Arrangements Have Been Made Chapter 6

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“I’m guessing you’re not early,” said Narcissa in Lucius’ dream.

 

What an odd thing for her to say while she was taking him on the head table during the Halloween Feast.

 

He felt a pressure on his arm and opened his eyes.

 

He was lying on the couch in front of the fireplace in the Slytherin common room. He looked up to see Narcissa grinning at him over the back of the couch.

 

“I must have dozed off,” Lucius said, wiping his eyes with his hands and trying to shake himself awake.

 

“You look exhausted,” said Narcissa. “Go back to bed. We can have lunch and go to Hogsmede in the afternoon.”

 

Lucius grinned. He kissed Narcissa gently, with a tightly closed mouth as not to frighten her off with morning breath.

 

“I promise I’ll make it up to you,” Lucius said. She patted him on the head and grinned when he scowled at her.

 

“I’ll catch up with you then,” she said and trotted out of the common room.

 

After she left Lucius realized he was being stared at by more than a dozen Slytherins. When he stared back they all found other things to be involved with. He didn’t know what they felt. Jealousy? Pity? For her or him? Afraid for Narcissas safety? That was quite an incident a few years ago and it hadn’t been covered up well at all.

 

Lucius dragged himself upstairs and nearly collided with Severus as he entered his dorm.

 

“What kept you?” said Severus, a smile playing around his lips.

 

“Shut it,” said Lucius, stripping off his clothes and climbing into bed.

 

“Finally got a piece did you?” chuckled James Goyle.

 

“Goyle, please refrain from referring to my wife as merely a receptacle for my sperm,” said Lucius sleepily. Severus smirked at Goyle as Lucius pulled his hangings shut.

 

***

 

Narcissa ate breakfast ignoring the rabble around her. Her brown velvet robes warded her against what looked like a chilly day. She gazed at the ceiling and frowned at the light grey clouds covering the sky.

 

Emily Ulrich elbowed her in the side.

 

“Where’s your Romeo?” she asked smiling through a mouthful of eggs.

 

“Fell asleep on the common room couch,” Narcissa shrugged. Emily winced. All of the Slytherins had fallen asleep on the couch at one time or another and each had been ridiculously sore the next day.

 

“He was awake pining over you,” said Emily batting her eyes in Narcissas direction. Narcissa elbowed her back.

 

***

 

“Where to?” asked Lucius as he and Narcissa approached the outskirts of Hogsmede.

 

“Hadn’t really thought about it,” said Narcissa shyly. “I’ve only been three times and I know I’ve probably missed things.”

 

“That’s right,” said Lucius slapping his forehead. “Well, I owe you lunch, if I remember correctly.” Narcissa nodded shyly. Lucius sighed inwardly. He knew this girl had a brain. He wished she’d regain use of it in his presence.

 

Lucius steered her towards the Three Broomsticks and entered. They chose a booth off to one side and sat across from each other. They began chatting as they waited for their food to arrive.

 

They had a lot in common. They both followed the Cannons. They both excelled at potions, although they agreed that their Potions Mistress should be roasted slowly over a low burning fire.

 

Narcissa was a relatively recent follower of the Dark Lord. She had been inducted 6 months previously. Lucius had followed him for 2 years. They both believed they took part in something bigger than they could dream for by helping the Dark Lord in his ritual.

 

Lunch was delicious and as dessert arrived the questions started getting more personal.

 

“Why wasn’t Severus paired off?” Narcissa asked as she dipped her spoon in the small dish of vanilla ice cream that sat in front of her.

 

“I have 2 theories,” said Lucius, dipping his own spoon into the mint ice cream before him. “First, and most likely: it was his first official meeting.”

 

Narcissa nodded. “That makes sense. We’re hooded so I never know who’s there.”

 

“It’s a lot safer that way,” Lucius shrugged.

 

“What’s the second reason?” Narcissa asked.

 

“One of his grandfathers was a muggle,” said Lucius. “But that’s a long shot. Severus is pureblooded.”

 

Narcissa wrinkled her nose. “Probably being so new. A grandfather shouldn’t matter. Was he exposed to him often as a child?”

 

“Dead before he was born,” Lucius said shrugging. “Some Muggle disease brought on by breathing dirty air.”

 

“Filthy creatures,” Narcissa shuddered. “They can’t even keep simple things like air clean.”

 

“Oi!” they heard a nasal voice call out. “Three Butterbeers!”

 

Lucius and Narcissa looked up to see Severus motioning to the barkeep and pointing to their table. The short, stout, grubby man behind the counter nodded cheerfully at them and three bottles began floating to their table.

 

“Thanks, Old Man,” said Lucius as Severus slid onto the booth bench next to him.

 

“No problem,” said Severus, twisting the top of his bottle off. “I’m not imposing, am I?”

 

“Nah,” said Lucius sipping his Butterbeer. “We were just going to do a bit of poking around.”

 

“I bet,” said Severus smirking. Narcissa kicked him under the table as she sipped delicately at her bottle.

 

“Now that was uncalled for,” started Lucius before he realized his wife was laughing. “We’re going to Leo’s back room when we’re done here.”

 

“Can I go?” asked Severus inquisitively. “I saved a few galleons over the summer and might be able to get something.”

 

Narcissa shrugged at Lucius, wondering exactly who Leo was or what this back room was about.

 

“Fine,” said Lucius gulping the last of his Butterbeer down and slapping his hand on the table. “Onward!”

 

Lucius walked with Narcissa and Severus towards a small shop tucked in between Norlina’s Notions and Potions and Harold’s Happy Hats. It had a small swinging wooden sign sporting a red cauldron with a gold embossed “L” on it waving in front of the store.

 

A small bell rang as they entered and a short thin balding man came scurrying out to meet them. He wore a bright red apron and Narcissa heard keys jingling in one of the pockets. The store had cauldrons of all shapes and sizes stacked all over. Dull pewter ones, shiny silver ones, decorative glass ones, a shining gold on perched on a pedestal of red velvet.

 

“Leo! How nice to read you obituary the other day,” said Lucius cheerfully.

 

“When Felix chimes the hour the saints will cry,” replied Leo quite normally, as if they had made any sense at all.

 

“As time passes the trees will still grow,” said Lucius, giving a short bow.

 

“When the yellow star rises hawks will fall,” Leo said arching an eyebrow.

 

“Plain heralds see me just, but I keep locks,” said Lucius.

 

Leo nodded and made his way to the front of his store to flip around a sign stating “Be Back Soon.” He nodded to the three as he made his way through the rows of cauldrons to the back of the store. He lifted a section of the counter and made his way to a doorway in the back covered in a yellow curtain. He held aside the curtain as Lucius led his wife and friend into the largest showroom of dark potions ingredients he knew in existence.

 

Lucius, Narcissa and Severus began pouring over the labels and bins organized on the walls. Small candles sat on ledges here and there, but the room was fairly dim, due to the decomposition of certain ingredients when exposed to light.

 

“Basilisk Venom?” said Severus in awe as he read a label.

 

“Where?” squeaked Narcissa, crowding him.

 

Severus pointed a shaky finger at a bottle labeled: Basilisk Venom: 30 Galleons a drop.

 

“Well, I suppose it’s not all that easy to get,” remarked Narcissa.

 

“Guess not,” said Severus, his eyebrows raised. He looked over at Lucius, who was chatting with Leo. From what Lucius picked up, Lucius had been referred by the Dark Lord himself to this establishment. Leo hadn’t seemed that surprised, but rightfully honored that he was doing his bit to support the cause.

 

“Well, I don’t have this kind of money,” Narcissa shrugged at Severus. “We’re just wasting this poor man’s time.”

 

“I second that,” said Severus.

 

As Narcissa and Severus turned they saw a flash of green light.

 

“Avada Kedavra!” said Lucius as Severus and Narcissa stared in shock.

 

“What did you do that for?” asked Severus.

 

“The Dark Lords orders,” said Lucius simply. “He had been tipped off that our friend, Leo was about to sell a few of us to the Ministry for a tidy sum. He was a liability.”

 

Narcissa looked at the man, staring wide eyed in surprise lying motionless on the floor.

 

“What a shame,” said Narcissa.

 

“His lordship did ask that we acquire a few items Leo had in stock for his personal stores,” Lucius reached into an inner pocket of his robes and pulled out a small purple velvet bag. He opened it and began unfolding a piece of paper he retrieved from it.

 

As Lucius ticked off potions ingredients Narcissa and Severus gathered them from the walls and put them in the small bag that never seemed to fill.

 

“Is that it?” Severus asked.

 

“Our reward is whatever is left,” said Lucius grinning and tossing Narcissa and Severus black silk bags.

 

Narcissa watched as Severus turned and looked at the potions ingredients. He rotated around in circles, not seeming to know where to begin. Narcissa thought she saw tears gleaming on his cheeks in the dim room.

 

Lucius had a bag of his own and after a good half an hour their bags finally began to fill.

 

“The Dark Lord is most generous,” said Severus as he tied his bag tightly and slipped it into an inside pocket of his robes.

 

“There’s a loose floorboard here,” Narcissa called out to Lucius. She stood back. “Accio board!”

 

The plank flew through the air and Narcissa caught it before it hit her.

 

“What do we have here?” Severus asked, looking into the long thin hole in the floor.

 

“What is it?” Lucius asked walking over.

 

“It’s beautiful,” He heard Narcissa say and looked over her shoulder to see Severus pull a cane out of the floor.

 

The cane itself was made out of tapered ebony, polished until it gleamed black in the dim light. The handle was heavy and silver in the shape of a striking serpent. Severus pulled on the handle and jumped in surprise and it slipped from his fingers and thunked loudly on the floor.

 

“Don’t damage it,” said Lucius, annoyed.

 

“Don’t think I could,” said Severus, picking up the serpents head. “This thing is solid. I think it’s been made to receive a wand here.” He pointed at the base of the head.

 

“Let me see that,” Lucius said reaching for the cane. Severus handed it to him, somewhat reluctantly. Lucius fitted his wand into the base of the handle and sheathed it in the body of the cane. He posed.

 

Narcissa chuckled. “It suits you.”

 

“You did do the dirty work,” admitted Snape. “If you want the cane you should have it.”

 

Lucius turned and sniffed at the corpse of the shopkeeper.

 

“Kind of like stepping on roaches isn’t it?” remarked Lucius as he stepped over the motionless Leo and led his fellow Deatheaters out of the shop.