A Learning Opportunity

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Story Notes:
The entire residence is the size of the master bathroom back at the manor. Lucius can’t contain his sneer as he looks at the dilapidated furniture and faded material. “This is Shacklebolt’s idea of humor. I cannot believe we are forced to endure such harsh conditions.”

“Would you prefer the stellar accommodations of Azkaban? I’m certain that the minister could arrange a cell for you,” Narcissa says, arching a brow and challenging him to continue complaining. “Do remember, Lucius. This is the consequence of actions that you chose to make.”

“I am well aware of that fact, darling, as you continuously remind me every time I dare speak up.” Lucius looks at the sofa, shuddering as he imagines sitting on the horrid orange flowery material. “Muggles have horrid taste.”

“I doubt that the minister was taking your aesthetic appreciation into consideration when locating a safe place for us to be kept until the last trial is concluded.” Narcissa walks over to the tiny area that has different items he recognizes as appliances from a Muggle magazine Draco gave him when they learned of this requirement to his testimony.

“That is a micro-wave.” He smirks slightly, rather pleased that he can identify the item that Narcissa is poking with her wand. “Muggles use it to heat food and to make popping corn.”

“It’s absurd.” She looks at him. “Don’t look so pleased with yourself. You wouldn’t be able to use it even if you know what to call it.”

Lucius frowns. “I’m sure it isn’t difficult. Muggles aren’t very bright.”

“You must stop speaking that way, Lucius. The world is changing, and we cannot risk any further damage to our reputation. My good deed for Potter only extends so far in the public eye.” Narcissa walks to the sofa and waves her wand, turning the horrid orange material into a luxurious fabric that is a much more appealing shade of green. “Draco needs us to be seen in a positive light or he will never find a suitable bride. He is already spending far too much time sulking around and trying to make amends for actions that you forced him to take.”

“Do not place the entire blame on me, darling. I remember a certain beautiful woman who insisted her parents were correct in the ways to rid our world of filth and contamination,” he reminds her as he sits on the newly covered sofa. “I was content to remain neutral and allow others to kill themselves over such ridiculous politics, but your sister was very persuasive.”

Narcissa scoffs. “You were intent to save our world from the inferior, too, dear. It took little persuasion, though I will accept responsibility for introducing you to that man. Oddly enough, my views have changed, minutely, over the last few years. Not all of them are filth and inferior, while there are some with our status who do fit such a description.”

“Please refrain from allowing Draco to hear such talk. He’ll rush out and duel Weasley for that Mud—Muggleborn or for Potter. Perhaps both. I never can quite tell with that son of ours.” Lucius grimaces at the idea of either of those two being his in-law. “He always has been far too fascinated with the two of them.”

“It would be rather scandalous if he were to do such a thing, though also quite amusing.” Narcissa smirks as she sits beside him. “The Weasleys have power now, dear. We will be certain to not encourage dueling any of them. Do you think that Muggles really live in such tiny places or is Shacklebolt punishing us? He was a Ravenclaw, after all, even if he behaves like a brash Gryffindor the majority of the time.”

“I am far too nauseous at the idea of Weasleys having power to discuss Shacklebolt’s mental tortures.” Lucius puts his hand over his face. “We shall finish the trials, and then I think we should go stay at the house in Milan. There are no Weasleys there to run about bragging and boasting of their political importance.”

“Let them have their boasting,” Narcissa says, reaching over to brush her fingers through his hair. “They lost a son. That is far worse than anything we will endure for the roles we played in this recent war. The loss of my sister was a welcome relief, I must admit, and I never knew my niece or brother-in-law. We suffer nothing compared to losing a child in such a violent manner.”

Lucius frowns. “Do not make me feel for them, darling. I prefer hate to pity. Besides, it was one of those horrid twins with their jokes and schemes. They have a dozen other redhead imbeciles to replace the loss of one.”

“I rather liked those twins. They were clever and entertaining. Besides, no amount of remaining children can replace the loss of one, so do not make hex you for even suggesting such a thing.” Narcissa pulls his hair hard enough to make him hurt. “You know better.”

“I apologize.” He does know better. Their Dahlia died before she could be born, yet they still feel the loss as if she had grown and lived a full life. He thinks of how he would feel if she had been able to have a life only to be taken away violently during the war, and he leans his head into Narcissa. “You are right, as always. Nothing could replace that loss.”

“When these trials are concluded, I intend to reach out to my sister, and I will make an offer of sympathy to Molly Weasley, even if it might not be accepted.” Narcissa pets him. “You do not have to approve, but Andromeda is my only living relative, and I think family is important. Draco should have the opportunity to know her and her grandson, if he chooses.”

“I do not find it surprising, darling. I know that you mourned the loss of your sister years ago when loyalties led to separation. She might have horrid taste in men, but, hopefully, she is at least sane, which is an improvement over dear Bellatrix.”

“You always hated Bellatrix, so don’t pretend otherwise.” Narcissa sighs. “She used to be different, before we were married, before he influenced her. He caused so much destruction and loss in our world, and we allowed it to happen, Lucius. We supported it actively the first time even if we were rather forced into it the second time around. We cannot allow a third time to happen. Draco deserves the chance to live a life without more war and loss. While I only aided Potter to save our child, the choice to do so never caused a moment of hesitation. I chose Draco over politics and personal affiliations, and I chose Potter over Riddle. I would rather live in a world where Weasleys have power than live in a world where my family is controlled and punished constantly.”

“You are much braver than I,” Lucius says, tilting his head so that he can kiss her jaw. “You saved us, and I will do whatever you think will assist us in making our way in this new world that’s taking shape, within reason. I refuse to redecorate our home in the Muggle way, and there will be no micro-waves in our kitchen.”

Narcissa smiles slightly, continuing to brush his hair with her fingers. “There is no need to be concerned about redecorating. However, I do intend for us to receive an education in Muggle things because knowledge is power. This required stay in the Muggle world can be seen as an opportunity to learn instead of simply being punishment. Think of how Shacklebolt will react if we embrace this nonsense instead of protesting, as I’m sure he expects. It’s only for a few months, and it is for our protection, so let us use it to benefit ourselves when we return to our world. Besides, we cannot allow the Weasleys to know more than we do. The very idea is preposterous.”

Lucius raises his head and slowly smiles. “You do know how I get when you display your intelligence and cunning, darling. Shall we venture further into this Muggle hovel and locate the bedroom?”

“Why do such a thing when the sofa is right here?” Narcissa asks innocently. She leans over to brush her lips against his before pulling him against her. Lucius isn’t certain what he ever did to be fortunate enough to marry such an amazing woman, but he knows how lucky he is to have her by his side. He’ll do anything to keep her, too. Even learn how to use a micro-wave.