Aside from running a vast business empire, an intelligence network, having my magical fun time (research) and spending time with my loved ones, I didn't really have all that much going on during the break. All things considered, it was pretty light compared to what I usually have to deal with.
I had a short meeting with the Headmaster in order to inform him that I had destroyed a Horcrux which I had found within the castle and end the curse on my position at the same time. I simply told him it was the Ravenclaw Diadem and that is why I had become close to the Grey Lady. He was quite happy about the news, a Horcrux being destroyed and the fact that even if I left my position as a Professor he could fill it permanently. He said it was a very good Christmas present indeed, even better than the socks I had sent him.
Made sure everyone from the business side of things was doing alright, which they were.
I'm pretty sure Jennifer is wringing Scott dry at every opportunity, her happy face and his eyes having dark circles told me that.
No real movements from anyone since Death Eaters still need to uphold the facade of upstanding citizens, meaning winter events and family gatherings. While the ministry was basically going through the same thing even when the minister's ass was on fire from all the Herald articles. Him trying to force Ministry employees to work during the holidays because of his own fuck-ups really didn't help his standing in peoples eyes too.
Meanwhile, I knew two people I am involved with were certainly having some more important moments.
-Narcissa Black (formerly Malfoy) POV. Currently residing in Spanish villa located near Barcelona.
The last few months of my life have probably been the most pleasant I have ever experienced.
Although I had to leave the country, this villa Lord Bones gifted me can more than make up for it.
The two-story villa was not grand or ostentatious, but rather comfortable and warm, something I never had the opportunity to experience due to my upbringing. But it seems the young Lord does have good taste. This was especially true when I was enjoying the various furniture as I lounged about on lazy days, indulging myself in the comforts brought to me by the enchantments and original quality. The plants decorating the villa might have mostly been from muggle origins, but they gave the place some life which could not be denied. Soothing pieces of art hung on the walls, the abundant light coming from all the windows, the pleasant and vibrant colors of the decorations and the sounds and smell of the ocean all lifted and helped heal my spirits as they clashed against the memories of the dark, cold and silent 'homes' I had inhabited in the past.
Having a private pool and hot tube in my private inner courtyard was most appreciated as well, because sometimes one just feels like taking a dip without being ogled at, another thing which was relatively new to me. This villa was located on the Spanish coast near the city of Barcelona, within a protected area exclusively for those with magic. So I naturally enjoyed spending time on the beach since it is only a short walk away and all amenities were already present. What I did not expect was the various instances of men approaching me to proposition various uncouth activities when I partook in sunbathing or the sea itself.
It appears I was able to maintain my figure quite well, even after having Draco. A small amount of pride was added, even if I would never agree to their advances. I have only just been freed and I will not chain myself down for some man's short lived desire.
Later I was informed of the influence one needs to even learn of this place's existence. From what I gathered when listening to others gossip, brag or just when I talked to some of the other women over drinks, this place is exclusively for some of the wealthiest or most ancient families in the wizarding world. It offered many services and entertainments, house-elves for residents, delivery service for whatever one requires and a good environment. This meant that the young lord certainly did not plan on treating me badly.
To respond to this very favorable treatment, I siphoned off the majority of Lucius' money and businesses for him. A move he rather appreciated since I was rewarded with a personal chauffeur to bring me wherever within the country and I was given the opportunity to learn whichever subject I wished.
The former I used to go visit Spain's El Rastro Escondido, the magical market in this country. My guide informed me the muggles even copied the original name of El Rastro for a market they still hold every week after they heard some wizards talk about how great the market was, only to find none and someone decided to make his own, resulting in wizards adding Escondido or hidden to their own market. The magical market itself was much livelier than the Diagon Alley I was accustomed to, with vendors specializing in many goods from many countries having set up booth and the permanent stores hawking their wares as people look from one place to another. It made me compare how dreary England is again after my visit, making me think that Lord Bones certainly has valid reasons for thinking of Death Eaters as rot.
Then for my second new privilege, I decided to use my abundance of free time to study potions and ancient runes. I was rather gifted in the two fields during my younger years and the idea of potentially becoming a potion mistress was appealing, with runes being more of a hobby. Not even a week after that decision I was informed of two tutors coming to help me with my endeavor, a pleasant surprise if I was being honest, and one I did not refuse. Goals and hobbies are perfect for staving off boredom after all and it was all payed for.
It was a good move to fool Lucius, earning me personal wealth and more freedom. And i am not so foolish to lose such a good position by trying to undermine the young lord Bones. He is not soft like Dumbledore, but also not iron-fisted like the dark lord, knowing when to kill and when to forgive. I could understand that when I met him. Although he treats me very well for someone he only has contractual obligations with, I did not forget the cold and emotionless look in his eyes when I begged for his help and the feeling of having death waiting to claim me at a moments notice as he pressured me. He would have killed me if he did not deem me to be an injured party instead of a silent supporter when it came to Lucius' activities, of this I have no doubt.
But overall, Aedan Bones has treated me better than my own family and ex-husband by far. A slightly sad thought, but I hold no love for most of them. Andy I envied because she could escape from the Black name and find love, while Bella at least tried to protect me when she hadn't completely lost herself in her so called devotion. And I doubt Sirius would ever really treat me like family, not that I've ever given him a reason to do so.
But I hope I can truly reconnect with Andy one day at least. We've been talking, but I'm just hoping she can forgive me.
On the topic of family, I was informed of my own son's desire to see me and his impending arrival, something which brought me some hope in the matter of taking him away from Lucius. If I could help it, I would not have my child anywhere close to the Dark Lord, forced to act as a servant, scared of dying whenever he is angered and only causing death wherever he goes. But his cowardly, Morgana-damned, two-faced, incapable, bitch of a father had thoroughly influenced him. But I won't give up on my child. I will do whatever I can to protect him, even if I hated the man who fathered him.
"Mistress Black, the guest scheduled for you has arrived. Shall we let him in?" A squeaky voiced asked from behind me as I was brought out of my musing.
There stood the house-elf in charge of my care and well-being, Jose. Unlike the Malfoy elves or Kreacher, Jose was well dressed in a button-up shirt and dress pants, had proper training as a servant and was capable of making appropriate decisions without explicit orders or punishment. He would probably feel insulted being compared to how Dobby was during his time under Lucius.
"Yes Jose, bring him in please." I calmly answered, but I could feel some nervousness in my heart.
I could not help it. This might be my best and only chance to change my child's fate away from being a slave in all but name.
Only a few moments passed before Jose reappeared with my son by his side.
My growing boy looked thinner than I remembered, his blonde hair a bit too long, properly dressed in one of the black suits I had gotten him last summer but I could see some usage on it, telling me no one was taking proper care of it. I could also see worry in his grey eyes as he was also anxious.
'Lucius cannot even properly take care of my son! The worthless flobberworm is probably too busy groveling before the Dark Lord to even care.' I thought with fury and disgust as I looked at my baby boy.
"Draco come here and let me take a proper look." I softly said as I beckoned him closer.
As soon as he came within my range I began to look for any signs of Draco being hurt.
"Hmph that useless man cannot even make sure you're properly dressed. You also look hungry so let's have Jose make some food for us, I already told him about all your favorites. I need to book you an appointment at the stylist and order some new outfits to be made for you." I muttered as i fussed over my son's neglected state.
"I'm fine mother. I'm more worried about you. You left without saying much and haven't returned home in months. Then you tell me Professor Bones is the only person who can help me, and he is protecting you for some reason." Draco said as he struggled a bit to get away from my fussing.
"I am well dear. In fact this has probably been some of the best times of my life. The only thing which could make it perfect would be having you with me." I replied lovingly as I looked at my son.
"But why did you leave?" Draco asked in an emotional tone.
"*sigh* It would only be fair to tell you everything properly. Come, let us talk over some tea." I simply said as I guided Draco to the pergola I used for my relaxation.
Jose had already set up everything as I ordered previously. The tea I usually drank with Draco, his favorite sweets, a nice view and comfortable chairs.
I think it was mostly for my own nerves that I prepared all this. I just didn't know how Draco would react and it scared me to think about losing my son.
Only after we both sat down and tea was brewed did I decide to begin this talk.
"I know young Lord Bones has talked to you about my situation, ask whatever questions you have son." I gently said as I put my tea cup down.
"Is what the Professor said true? Were you only with father because of a contract?" He asked with a lot of confusion in his Grey eyes.
"Yes. I only married Lucius because of a contract." I calmly answered as I did my best not to let my own emotions show.
"Then is it true that the contract also made you father's servant?" Draco followed up.
"Unfortunately it was so." I confirmed with a small nod.
"And am I... am I simply part of that contract?" My own son asked with great difficulty, almost making me hug him that very moment.
"You have to understand that even if Lucius and I did not love each other, we would still need to fulfill our roles and produce an heir. This is the basis of most pureblood marriages, just as you were taught.
The biggest problem is Lucius' own preferences, but the contract forced him to produce an heir with me, this resulted in him doing everything in his power to fulfill that clause in one try, even performing rituals and drinking potions. As a result you were born, but Lucius never even touched me again." I explained slowly as I did my best to not make my son break down.
"Is that why you left? Because father never loved you. If so, what about me?" My darling boy asked in great turmoil.
"I love you more than anything Draco. You are the reason why I had the desire to live through the pain I suffered under Lucius. Without you I would have been broken a long time ago." I responded as tears started to form on my eyes at the sight of my son struggling so much. "Leaving you behind when I left was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I knew you would be safe for now. My only hope was that you would be able to break free from the shackles Lucius placed on you after seeing the truth of what the Dark Lord and his followers truly are: Master and his Slaves. Not allies working towards a noble goal, but a tyrant desiring power at all cost and those who have deluded themselves into thinking they are his generals, when in truth they are simply pawns."
"If that's what you believe then why didn't you take me with you?" Draco asked with doubt in his voice.
"Because of how much you believed in it all. How far gone your father had brought you into believing the pureblood supremacy rhetoric. You were only starting to show more independent thoughts on the subject when you attended Hogwarts. But without seeing the truth for yourself, I knew you couldn't break the chains Lucius had made for you so I left in the hope that it would help you break free." I answered as I got up to sit besides my son.
I was relieved to see him not reject me as I sat down next to him.
"But what can I do about it? I saw what they do people and father would disown me as soon as he heard about me leaving. I don't know what to do mother." Draco said as his body deflated from lack of hope.
"Talk to Lord Bones Draco. I know he offered you sanctuary from everything if you desired it. I am also certain he would be willing to send you here to live with me. As for your father disowning you, I can assure you that you will not be missing out on much." I reassured Draco as I gave him a path.
"I know he brought you here, but can the Professor really protect me from them? From him? And why wouldn't I be missing out if father disinherits me?" My son asked with some fear and doubt.
"On the latter, because I already have almost all of the Malfoy accounts, businesses and properties under my own name, leaving Lucius with an empty noble title. That means you will never have to worry about money. And on the former, you are still underestimating your teacher by a large margin." I seriously answered will holding my boy's hand to support him.
"How can that be? I know he's a prodigy, but how can he fight against the Dark Lord?" Draco loudly replied as his disbelief overpowered him and his fear of the Dark Lord made him look invincible.
"Because he has already fought him to a standstill and come out of it without a single scratch. The Dark Lord does not believe he is a true threat, but that will be his downfall. All of them severely underestimate Aedan Bones.
At the age of 18 he was able to almost casually fight against the Dark Lord. His business has ties throughout Europe, through multiple governments, grants him an enormous revenue and displays his genius when they sell his products or books. His political influence grows every day as his fame, titles and power help him gain more and more allies, all the while his own mother figure completely controls the DMLE and no one has ever heard of any kind of negative event regarding him.
Do you know what this means?
He has complete control over how he is viewed and no one actually sees him as a threat.
Do you understand how terrifying that is?
The Dark Lord only truly sees Dumbledore and Harry Potter as threats to him gaining power while lord Bones is only a minor threat which can be killed later, and Fudge believes he can easily sweep the young Lord under the rug whenever he's done with Dumbledore.
Meanwhile he has been doing who knows what from the shadows and no one is noticing any of it.
That is how I know he can protect us. I have stood in front of the Dark Lord and Dumbledore, but only he gave me the feeling that he was unfathomable." I replied with all the seriousness I could muster.
The look on Draco's face told me he finally understood just how absurde all of this truly is. He was most likely blinded by how the young lord acted while in school, forgetting that even while he was heavily involved in the business and political worlds he never sustained even a blemish. This is not even mentioning the suspicion I have regarding a possible link between him and Breaking Grounds and Natural Cultivation. The two businesses simply had too many innovations for it to be a coincidence, while the books on both Herbology and Potions he wrote follow many of the same developments. The thought of no one knowing that the young lord was connected to two of the most powerful players in Europe sometimes left me with goosebumps. And then this new book I found in Boneswork's store branch here in Spain on so-called White Magic. Just this book alone tells me he could most likely easily deal with the Dark Lord.
"If what you said is true mother, then isn't he the most dangerous person to be around?" Draco nervously asked as the gravity of what I said sunk in.
"Only for his enemies. His allies will prosper and those who remain neutral shall be untouched, this much I know for certain. And I have chosen to be an ally so that the both of us can live lives free of all our restraints." I softly said as I tried to sooth the fear I had given my son.
"Can I really just leave all of it?" My son asked with some hope and hesitation as he looked at me.
"Of course Draco. Even if you are no longer the heir of the Malfoy family, so what? You are a bright and talented young man, capable of so much more than just following Lucius' shadow. And once you're free from all that pressure, I am sure you will be able to truly enjoy your life and not have to live the life of heir Malfoy." I answered with a gentle smile as I held my his hand.
It took a few minutes of thinking before Draco talked again, properly going through everything he learned and his options.
"Then can I stay with you for the rest of the break Mother? I really don't want to be in the Manor anymore." He hopefully asked, making joy spread through me as my boy made a good decision.
"Nothing would make me happier Draco." I answered with a warm smile.
We then spent some time finishing our tea and having some less serious conversation, enjoying catching up since I've been here.
"Oh I can't wait to finally show the ladies my handsome son. They have been bragging about their children for weeks now, but we will have to get you cleaned up properly. Then I can introduce you to some lovely young ladies I had the pleasure of meeting during my stay. I am sure we can finally get you into a relationship." I said as I started planning the rest of the day in order to get my son to be as handsome as he should be.
"Mother!" Draco said with red creeping on his face.
"Now don't you worry dear. I will take care of everything." I replied with a happy smile as I dragged him into the house to prepare for some socializing.
So yeah, Draco gets a talk with his mom.
I tried to bring across her care for Draco, hatred of Lucius, carefulness around Aedan and her change of character after being able to be free from her life without freedom.
I also wanted to show that she is intelligent and observant, making her notice things many simply don’t about Aedan.
And finally, it’s pretty rad that this fanfic reached 6 million views already. I’ll do my best to keep going strong.