Lucius Malfoy and the Despicable Muggle Wench: Chapter OneThu, November 3, 2005 - 9:14 AM
It was raining when he woke, and while that should have been a familiar sound, it wasn’t familiar to him at all, nor were his surroundings. The room that housed him was cool, but not damp, not like the cell in Azkaban that had been his home that last, long year. The lighting was dim, almost azure in color, had it not been for the overwhelming hint of tarnished brown—a spring morning at sunrise, he thought, but not like any sunrise he’d ever seen before. The blankets draped around him were light, cotton, and scratchy, but comfortable, the kind of sheets that had been worn in, celebrated with long, lazy Saturday mornings in bed with the paper and breakfast. In fact, they were the kind of sheets that Lucius Malfoy had never afforded himself. They were too comfortable, too worn in, and while comfort had always been first on his agenda, wear was never the way to achieve it.
He sat upright slowly, the long tendrils of his silvery-blond hair falling in a frame around his face. Peering out through them he tried to make sense of his surroundings, but the strange bluish-brown light of a half-risen sun on a rainy morning did little to illuminate the room. There was a stand beside the bed with a glass of water that that seemed dull as ash in that lighting, and beyond that was a wardrobe, a chair and two doors, one half-opened, the other completely closed.
Lucius tried to remember where he was, how he’d gotten there, but the only fragments his memory would allow him to grasp were the remnants of that brilliant silver light and her thin hand reaching out to him. Her thin hand, he almost gasped at the memory, that strange hand that had saved him from Azkaban, from the horrors of another night under the pressure the dementors agonizing torment.
Who was she?
He remembered nothing beyond that brief interlude, her hand reaching out and those simple words, “Come with me if you want to live,. . .” He hadn’t even thought about whether or not he wanted to live, though night and day while in Azkaban there had been moments of weakness, desperate flickering wishes for death, for anything to draw his torment to an end, but her offer for freedom had prompted hope in him, and without a second thought he reached out and took her hand.
But where had they gone? What strange place did he now reside in, and where was his saviour? For a moment he contemplated throwing the blankets aside in typical Malfoy flare, and then storming through the halls of this strange refuge shouting for his hostess to come forward and make known her person, but the lingering weakness of a year in Azkaban made it difficult for him to complete the thought, much less follow through on it.
He lowered himself on his elbows so that he has half-sitting while still lying down, and for a long moment he tried to make sense of his surroundings. Obviously it was a very humble retreat they had escaped to, but why was he having such difficulty remembering a single event of their escape after taking her hand. Had she put a charm on him, some kind of sleep spell to keep him quiet and immobile while she worked her magic to set him free? Yes, a sleep charm, that must have been what she did, and that would explain perfectly well why he didn’t remember.
It must have been Bellatrix who had come to his rescue, though in retrospect the outline of the features belonging to the silver goddess of release resembled none like he had ever seen. Perhaps she looked vaguely like the woman he had once loved long ago, but the memories of that woman were lost to him, and he thought now as he allowed himself to lay back in the pillows, that perhaps the entire thing had been a dream. Perhaps, and this was the most absurd notion of them all, he was dreaming still, and any moment he would wake to find himself back in Azkaban, the humiliated prisoner, made to grovel for even a speck of food.
The Malfoys did not grovel.
And here he turned his head into the pillow and closed his eyes, shutting out the memories of the horrible truth. He had groveled. Like the rest of the slavering fools he had groveled, and he had been so hungry, so tired, so desperate for just a small bite to quell his aching belly. Lucius squeezed his lids tighter, blocking out the memories by grasping onto the sound of the rain once more. Unlike the constant roar of the sea surrounding Azkaban, the rain was gentle, like a tenderly dropped veil of moisture over the earth, and while the last bits of horror tried to beat there way into his attention he clung tightly to that tender veil.
Did it really matter where he was at that moment, just so long as he knew for certain that it was not Azkaban just there outside the boundary of his waking reality. He clutched at the pillow and squeezed it in his grasp until his fingers ached. Yes. It was real. The pillow was real, and those comfortable cotton sheets were real. He drew them up around his shoulders, ebbing away the chill of the damp breeze filtering through the half-opened window beside the bed. Just under his nose he could smell them, fresh laundered—pressed with flowers, lavender, perhaps. He sighed out that breath, the tightly squeezed lids of his eyes relaxing.
Indeed, it was real, he was free, and while curiosity ran rampant through his mind, the true relaxation of freedom was making it just a little more than impossible for him to keep his eyes open another second. Moment by moment he drifted away, as if he were nothing heavier than a tiny little feather on a soft, damp breeze.
When next Lucius opened his eyes, the colors were different; the browning-azure had been replaced by the very stark grey of a day that has been defined by constant drizzle. It was London grey, he thought, but then decided that this grey wasn’t near as dark, it was slightly whiter, and much less chilling.
He sat up completely, the sheet falling slowly down his naked chest and gathering in a pool about his waist. He looked about the room again, only in this light with far more conviction. Yes, the furniture still looked the same in this light, with a few of the more intricate details making themselves known, and so he concluded that he was definitely not just dreaming himself free. By some strange miracle, or perhaps at Bellatrix amazing hand, he had managed to escape the infernal hell that was Azkaban prison.
Outside the open window there was the small, tinkling trickle of a slow drizzle that had been going on for quite sometime. Occasionally a droplet was so loud it was almost musical, and while Lucius had to admit he had never heard anything quite like it before, he couldn’t deny the sound was actually pleasant. Then again, anything was far more pleasant than the rushing turmoil of an unsteady sea, always raging against the abomination rising from its midst—Azkaban Prison.
He listened then beyond that sound for some kind of hint to his whereabouts. He listened for city sounds, voices, movement, but heard none of them, and then much to his startled amazement, a sleek, but heavy black cat pounced into his lap from the floor beside the bed, and began circling around his arms, looping its tail across his every appendage, all the while purring like an over-gassed motorcar. He wrinkled his nose in distaste, shoving at the cat to push it away, and then he watched suspiciously as it perched on the edge of the bed and lowered its molten-amber gaze over him.
“What are you looking at, you wretched creature?” he scowled, half-inclined to kick it off the bed completely.
The cat, realizing that this pathetic mortal creature meant it no real harm stretched out her back leg and began to clean between her toes, wrapping the long, black strand of her tail around her body as she did. Lucius felt his upper-lip twitch with disgust. The beast reminded him of Narcissa, the dainty way she preened herself—the bizarre position she stretched herself into to make herself look absolutely perfect. Vanity, it had always been Narcissa’s greatest obsession, and while parts of him had missed her in Azkaban, it had been years since they’d been intimate enough for him to truly yearn for her. And yet here, in these strange new surroundings, the very first creature he was to encounter reminded him of that woman, that vain, contemptible woman he had for so many years called his wife.
“I suppose you’ve got yourself a master,” he muttered, curiously looking over the cat once again. “Or perhaps a mistress.” He gave the cat a gentle nudge with his toe, just enough to push her off the edge of the bed so that she landed on all four feet at the foot of the bed with a disgruntled puff. “Or are you the mistress. . .” he curiously watched, waiting for some mystery to reveal itself, for the cat to spring to her true size and identity, but after a few moments she flickered her sleek tail in agitation, and then darted toward the half-opened door.
Lucius eyes arrived at that door, the very exit that must hold all the answers to questions he had entertained since he had both times wakened to this strange and unfamiliar room. He knew that there was only one way to discover those answers—he would have to venture himself through that doorway, but the reality of his position, and his lack of personal attire alerted a rather uncomfortable conundrum. Lifting the sheet, he peered down at his nakedness, and then with a sigh dropped the sheet and closed his eyes.
So now he was not only free, but he was completely exposed as well. Not even a shred of that horrid black and grey Azkaban issued uniform was draped in sight. He wrapped himself within the sheet, careful to cover himself completely, and got out of the bed to further explore the room. He opened drawers in the bureau only to pull out a rather racy collection of ladies undergarments. The wardrobe contained a small collection of dresses and frilly blouses. There were dainty shoes, some with heels and others without, but not a single shred of clothing befitting a man of his size or his stature. It was appalling, not to mention ridiculous, and when he opened the small door just beside the half-opened one and peered into a tiny bathroom, he realized that as preposterous as the situation was, the fuzzy, teal bathrobe swinging from a peg on the back of that door was just about the only piece of clothing in that entire room he’d even consider putting on.
A disgruntled sigh escaped him. A fuzzy, teal bathrobe. . . he held it in front of him for several minutes contemplation before finally deciding that his ancestors had worn togas with dignity, and there was no reason that he could not do the same thing. Dropping the bathrobe onto the floor, he gathered the sheet around himself, tucking it in wherever it would secure its hold, and then he peered at himself in the full length mirror behind the bathroom door.
He looked ridiculous. He didn’t even really have to look to figure out just how ridiculous he did look, but there it was before him—the evidence of his absolute idiocy, and to top it off his hair was a mess, and he was sure it had looked that way since the very day he’d been rudely dragged off to that bloody prison in the middle of nowhere. He wouldn’t want anyone he respected to see him that, much less anyone he expected should respect him. Exactly how much respect was he expecting to command in that getup?
Lucius shook his head, realizing that he would have to make the most of this with a usual hint of Malfoy flare, for the flare was the very thing that would draw attention away from how absolutely absurd he looked. Grabbing the hem of his toga, he shook his head again and without further ado marched straight through the door that the cat had gone out of.
Step by careful step he made his way down the darkened hallway until he came out into a wider opening, what some might have considered a living room, or sitting room, and there curled close into herself on the sofa was the savior who had rescued him from hell. Fast asleep, the loose pieces of her long, blond hair hung in near-curling tendrils around her long, but elegant face. Yes, it was a familiar face, a face he could have sworn he knew in some long ago world, but the shadows of that room could have very well been playing tricks on him and making him see something he desperately wanted to see.
A strange sound beeped from the corner of the room, and a small screen sprang to life with color. It was a computer screen, Lucius only knew this because in his vast research on Muggles over the years, he had familiarized himself with their many primitive forms of communication. The computer was their greatest discovery since the slicing of loafed bread, and as it beeped again, he was certain that some dire communication was calling out to his sleeping saviour.
She didn’t stir however, not even to roll onto her other side, or try to hide from the sound, and so apprehensively he approached the strange contraption. Inside the screen was a window within another window, and in that window was a message behind the word Beaniebaby6977 with a blinking line that seemed to be waiting for some kind of answer. The message asked, “Did you feel asleep at the screen again?” And then it beeped again with, “helloooooooooooooooooooo. Are you there???” And one last time, this time spelling out, “You really need to get a life writer girl. GO TO BED!”
He felt his upper lip twitching into the customary sneer that was Malfoy, that was above and beyond such ridiculous and primitive means of communication, but a part of him inside that would have denied it under the strictest of tortures, could not draw himself away from the ethereal glow of the screen before him.
The body on the sofa rustled behind him, and he shot around quickly, hoping to catch her off guard, but she had only shifted her position to one more comfortable. He drew in closer, his height drawing a shadow over her that it made it once again difficult to distinguish her features for recognition. She seemed so familiar, as though he had been with her somewhere before that his mind just couldn’t grasp the memory of. Even the curving delicacy of her mouth, the gentle slope of her nose, the soft, almost invisible band of freckles across the bridge of that nose. . . it was all so familiar.
If only he had his wand, or something he could substitute in its place, then he would have her at his mercy until he got some answers out of her, but without even a viable replacement, he was almost powerless against her, naked in more ways than he could fathom, and so he sat down in the chair beside the sofa to wait for her to awaken.
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