Small Beginnings Chapter 8
Lucius stared at the ceiling, the daylight just beginning to streak across the sky. He should have listened to her. Three she said. Three was the magic number. Did he listen? No. Now he needed to use the facilities and his body was in so much pain he was afraid to move.
He couldn’t stay there forever. He inched one leg onto the floor, feeling around for a slipper. When it slid in he sat up quickly and bit his lip to keep from crying out. His other foot slid into the other slipper and he threw his robe around his shoulders. The white fur had been enchanted with a warming charm and the chill of the manor in the early morning left him. The pain between his legs began to ebb as the heat caressed him.
Lucius rose and walked over to a decorative chamber pot in the corner of the room. He winced as he relieved himself and was slightly alarmed to see a tinge of blood swirling in the pot.
He heard Narcissa stirring and tucked himself away as he turned to face her.
“Good morning,” she said smiling and flinging the covers off her nude form. She reached for her robe, nearly identical to Lucius’, but of a silvery grey fur.
“I’m glad you’re up,” she said. “I was hoping to go to Diagon Alley and pick up a few things today…” she trailed off as she realized her husband was walking slightly stooped, back in the direction of the bed.
“What’s wrong?” Narcissa asked, concerned.
“What exactly happens if you finish more than thrice with that silly potion,” Lucius snapped, angrier at himself than with Narcissa.
“I told you three,” said Narcissa annoyed. “It’s not my fault if you got carried away.”
Her words had a hint of a chuckle behind them as she wrapped his robe around him and tucked him back into the bed. He scowled at her, but remained silent.
“Do you have to check in the Ministry today or should I rouse you in a few hours?” Narcissa asked, patting the comforter.
“I think those fools can deal without me today,” Lucius said, adjusting himself under the covers and wincing. “However you need me for a shopping excursion, it seems.”
“I wouldn’t dare to ask you for something so trivial-“ she began.
“Nonsense,” Lucius said. “Wake me for lunch and we’ll go on the afternoon.
Lucius sat up in bed sipping a cup of tea.
“You didn’t have to bring it to me,” he said annoyed. “I’m not infirm.”
“You looked it this morning,” said Narcissa cheerily as she opened a window and fresh air hit his nostrils. “You got heat on it soon enough to subdue the pain before it got really bad. I looked it up while you were sleeping.”
“I’d hate to see what really bad is,” Lucius said with a shudder.
“There was an illustration,” said Narcissa. “But I don’t think you want to see it. Some fellow got carried away 14 times.”
Narcissa shook her head as she beat the dust out of a cushion out the open window.
“Were we going somewhere?” Lucius asked changing the subject.
“Borgans has a space distorter,” said Narcissa. “Abigail Nott told me last night.”
“Are you serious?” asked Lucius, his teacup clinking as he set it down abruptly in its saucer.
“I have no idea how much it is,” Narcissa said blushing. “I just wanted to find out more.”
“Narcissa,” Lucius said setting aside his tray and getting out of bed. “Think what we could do if we had a workshop!”
“That’s what I was thinking,” said Narcissa excitedly. “But it’s bound to cost a fortune.”
“You did come with quite a substantial dowry,” Lucius waggled his eyebrows at her.
Narcissa was stunned. She had known it was a part of wizard custom, but she had no idea it was being observed anymore. Her family was well off, but what was ‘quite substantial’ to a Malfoy?
“I – I had no idea,” she said.
“Either way,” Lucius said, grabbing for a pair of grey trousers on a warming rack. “We can have a look.”
The small bell above the door in the dingy shop rang as Lucius Malfoy and his wife walked into the shop. Skulls and boxes lined the shelves around the perimeter of the room. Larger objects crowded around the dusty shop, much like a muggle antique store, but with a more sinister purpose.
“Good day Mr. Malfoy,” croaked out a voice that sounded like it was trying to be cheerful, but hadn’t had much experience. “And Mrs. Malfoy! So glad to see you milady! Is there anything I might interest you in today?”
A short squat man stood up behind the counter. His dark brown hair stuck out in all directions. He seemed as dusty as all of the items in his shop. His clothes were fine, but dusty and stained with indiscernible marks. One of his cuffs looked damaged by acid.
“I hear you’ve acquired quite an item, Mr. Borgan,” said Lucius. “One of your back room items, I believe.”
“And what would that be, Mr. Malfoy?” asked Mr. Borgan, his dark eyes glittering with greed, a hand sneaking to his waistcoat to twiddle the tarnished silver watch chain.
“Your space distorter,” said Lucius.
“How did you find out about that?” Borgan exclaimed. “It only came in last night.”
“How I get my information is no business of yours,” snapped Lucius. Borgan bowed his head submissively.
“Of course, milord,” he sniveled as he led them to his back room
“Bed room! You’re as stubborn as an ass!” Lucius fumed.
“I don’t want the chance of breathing fumes while you’re working,” Narcissa ranted.
“What if we’re entertaining and a guest finds it?” Lucius said exasperatedly.
“We can hide it, you know,” said Narcissa annoyed.
“How? Under a rug?” said Lucius laughing.
“Yes,” said Narcissa plainly. “I think a hatch is far more practical.”
Lucius was quiet.
“It might work if there was a hatch,” said Lucius. “But it would have to be designed right.”
Narcissa pulled a silver scroll case and laid it out in front of Lucius.
“What is this?” asked Lucius opening the case.
“The plans,” said Narcissa. Lucius unrolled the parchment in front of him. It was perfect. No one would notice the disturbance in space because it would be between the first floor and the cellar levels. The space distorter could alter space, but not create something from nothing. Her plans merely took the space between the floor of the first floor and the ceiling of the cellars and made it into a more convenient shape. And quite a spacious one, Lucius noted.
“When can the elves get started?” he asked Narcissa as a smile grew across her face.