Soft, slow music carried across the grounds of Black Manor, lending an elegance to the sunset as Lucius Malfoy leant back against one of the trees at the edge of a small wooded area. Smiling as he listened to his friends trying to outbrag each other, he shook his head. They had all left Hogwarts just three months before – Lucius with some of the highest marks in the year, not that it was acceptable to boast about things like that – and had immediately sought out that which would give them all a taste of true power. He rubbed his hand over his left forearm, knowing that none of his group had managed that which he had yet.
There had been stirrings for a while now; rumours that the new power rising was going to be the strongest in years. Lucius had attached himself to his new Lord the second the opportunity had arisen. Now the only thing missing in his life was his elusive mate. Being two months short of his nineteenth birthday, he knew he didn’t have long before he would be classed as an embarrassment to the family; he knew he had to find his mate soon.
Narcissa Black’s birthday party was one of the last social events on Lucius’ social calendar. She was one of the last pure-blood witches to turn seventeen before Hogwarts started back up in just a week, so it was his last chance to meet her. If he didn’t find his mate here, then he may have to go to France to search for her. Not that he would mind a French wife, but the travel …
He almost jumped as the sound of Leopold Crabbe’s voice broke through his thoughts. Focussing on the stout man before him, Lucius raised an eyebrow. Unfortunately, Crabbe was too dense to realise that the look Lucius was shooting him did not invite conversation.
“We were all thinking we should ditch this party and go find some real action, if you know what I mean?”
Lucius sighed, “I would have to be the lowest of dullards to not understand you, Crabbe.”
Glancing over Crabbe’s shoulder to the rest of the group watching the interaction, Lucius couldn’t help sighing again. Perhaps France really was his best option? He had been attending these insipid parties for the past few months in the hope that one of the women would turn out to be his mate, but it was all to no avail. Missing out on this one party wouldn’t damage his chances of finding her too much, would it? The benefits of going out with his friends could potentially far outweigh any he could find here tonight: one night of fantastic anonymous sex compared to a night of frustration, being pointlessly set up with obviously unsuitable girls by their hopeless and desperate mothers. At least this way he would be guaranteed some form of satisfaction.
He was about to respond when a breeze blew his hair into his mouth. The day had been relatively fine for the end of summer but, considering they were out-of-doors in Bristol, he figured he should have expected something of the kind. He scowled as Crabbe chuckled at him while he extracted the strands from his mouth. One of the apparent disadvantages of wishing to grow one’s hair longer was the in-between moments that made it near impossible to do anything with it other than charm it out of his eyes. Running a hand through it, Lucius was about to murmur the incantation when he was hit with the most enticing scent he had ever smelled. Sweet and musky, it wafted on the wind from his left, drawing him away from his group of friends.
“Lucius? Oi, Lucius, where’re you going?”
The shout drew the attention of a number of people standing under one of the many large white canopies that had been erected for the day and they all turned to stare at Lucius. Knowing he had to keep up appearances for the sake of his family, he smiled vaguely but politely at each of them as he passed. It was a struggle to keep his Veela nature at bay and Lucius waved an irritated hand towards Crabbe as the other man tried to follow him, dismissing him without a second thought. This was it; he knew this was the woman he had been waiting for, searching for. He followed the scent towards the leafy walls of the hedge maze that he knew Druella Black had had planted years before. Almost stumbling in his haste, he plunged in through the entrance, but had to stop the second he came to a crossroads. Unsure how he would find his mate in this confusing warren, he quickly ran through his options in his mind.
A revealing spell would probably work best…
He didn’t get the chance to cast it however, as another waft of her scent on the wind brought his Veela nature to the forefront of his mind. Closing his eyes as he felt the change come over him, Lucius knew that this would be faster than any charm could be as both his eyesight and sense of smell sharpened. The change triggered his wings to emerge, and they tried to rip through his robes, but Lucius fought against it. He knew the walls of the maze were too close; that they would rip and tear at his delicate feathers if he were to spread his wings. Falling to his knees, he panted with the exertion of preventing them from unfurling, his hair falling about his face. It cost him a lot of energy, but he managed to keep them at bay. Raising his head, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He would track his mate the way his ancestors had: through instinct.
The maze wasn’t overly large, he knew that from previous times he had spent chasing some girl through it at one party or other. His problem would be trying to discover which route to take to get to her. Fortunately, his Veela instincts seemed to have that part covered: glancing down each avenue in front of him and breathing deeply, he closed his eyes and allowed his intuition to take over. Feeling a tug towards his right, he raced down the path, knowing that he could trust his instincts.
The walls of the maze rushed past him in a blur of green as he ran. Her scent was getting stronger with each gust of wind blown his way, increasing his desperation to find her; to claim her. It took him close to ten minutes to reach the centre of the maze, an open area where four different paths converged. Her scent was all around him, being blown by the wind and he spun in a circle, unsure of which path to take. Frustration clouded his mind for a few seconds and he squeezed his eyes shut in an attempt to regain some of the control he had lost. Trusting to his Veela senses to help, he took a deep, hopefully steadying breath. Her scent washed through him again, musky and stronger than ever. She was close, so very close, but which way?
Lucius spun on his heel, his eyes flying open as his heart raced with anticipation. This was it; his mate had sensed him and searched him out, just as he had always known she would.
I should have known… The fact that she was from such ancient bloodlines on both sides of her family should have given him the clue he needed to know that she was a Veela. Many of the old families had mixed creature and magical blood these days, after all. The fact that Narcissa alone of her sisters had inherited the Rosier blonde hair must have been what had distracted him from assuming that they had Veela blood; but now, wrapped up in her sweet musk, it was so clear that she was a potential mate.
Taking a step forward, Lucius ran his eyes over her. She stood proudly, her back straight and head tilted in such a way that showed off the long, pale column of her throat. It was obvious by the deep breaths she was taking that she had been moving just as fast as he had been and the thought sent a delightful shiver straight through him.
“You are the one I’ve been sensing all afternoon; the one that fate tells me is my perfect match?”
The superior tilt of her head had Lucius smiling. There was absolutely no doubt in his mind that she was a mate well worthy of him: her family position, her good looks and her fortune would all enhance his social stature and satisfy the demands of his family obligations. He knew for a fact that she was quick-witted and strong-willed; perhaps she would offer the challenge that had been absent in his past conquests. The only objection he could see his family having was the aberration of her elder sister’s recent marriage. But surely that kind of fault in one sister didn’t translate into another; surely Narcissa was more like Bellatrix than Andromeda. Not that he considered the Lestrange brothers to be his equals…
“So it would seem, my dear,” Lucius stepped forward and began to circle around her, keeping a respectful distance at all times. “My mate.”
The anticipation building inside him was causing Lucius’ fingers to twitch with the need to touch, to claim. He repressed the urge, however. His eyes eagerly raked over her trim form, taking in her sky-blue formal robes adorned with white lace that gave her an ethereal look in the fading light. Images of just what those robes hid raced through his mind as he completed the circle and turned to face her once again.
There was a strange tone to her voice that caused Lucius to raise an eyebrow at her in question. Before he could voice any questions however, he found her wand pointing directly at his throat. The smile she offered up at his small, involuntary intake of breath sent his nerves shivering in anticipation again. She was certainly proving that she was not the same as the other well-bred witches her age; he had never once been confronted like this by a female from the pure-blood families. Moving slowly, Narcissa dragged the wand tip over his chest as she began her own slow circle of him.
“My mate will be strong… intelligent… influential… He will have the ability to protect me and our heir from any challenges that may arise, no matter who poses them…”
Sweet Merlin, but that voice was going to do him in! The feel of her wand brushing lightly across his shoulder blades caused Lucius to roll his shoulders in an attempt to prevent his wings from forcing their way out. There would be more than enough time for that later on. Taking a few deep breaths, he enjoyed her musky scent wafting around him for a few seconds before she turned to face him again. He met her eyes, the desire he saw there causing his breath to hitch.
“You believe me to be unworthy?” He tilted his head to the side, despite the fact that her wand now rested just beneath his ear.
The wicked smile that spread across her face as she ran her eyes down his form had Lucius’ heart rate kicking up another few notches. Narcissa slid the wand down his throat, dragging it slowly over his wildly beating pulse. It came to rest on the collar of his robes as she met his eyes again. Lucius’ mind raced, the animal urge to claim her pulsing in the back of his mind, screaming at him to let himself go - to allow himself to take what was his - and the effort it took to hold it back had him almost grimacing with the pressure. He had to resolve this quickly; had to claim her before the strain drove him to insanity.
“Of course not,” she responded as she took another step closer to him. “You are a perfectly – acceptable – mate.”
Raising an eyebrow at her again, Lucius finally gave in to the impulse to touch her. Running the tips of his fingers across her cheekbones, he moved to tangle them through her soft hair, tilting her head back to meet her pale blue eyes. He would prove to her just how acceptable he was.
“Indeed? In that case, I believe there is still a Lestrange brother free.” The anger that flashed through her eyes was a better response than she would ever be able to make verbally.
Removing her wand from his robes and leaning in so that their faces were only inches apart, Narcissa glared up at him, causing desire to pool in his stomach. “I am not my sister.”
Her scent filled his senses again and Lucius took a shaky breath. The intensity of her gaze had his heart skipping in his chest, but taking deep breaths wasn’t making his situation any better.
“No, you certainly are not,” he whispered in the few seconds before their lips met.
She was soft and sweet, her taste complimenting her scent perfectly. The quiet sigh she let out as he traced her lips with his tongue almost undid him, but he took a deep breath and held on, knowing he had to. The need building inside him pushed Lucius onwards and he found his fingers trembling a little as he fumbled with the buttons of her robes. His Veela pulsed in his mind again as her hands slid into the neck of his robes, rubbing her fingers over the skin of his throat.
“Cissa,” he whispered when he managed to get enough of the buttons undone to slip her robes off her shoulders, “my Gods…”
Standing in front of him in a sheer silk slip with her robes pooled around her feet, Narcissa was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen. Her long, pale hair trailed down over her shoulder, ending in a curl that framed one of her rosy nipples. Her breasts pressed against the thin fabric of the slip, straining it with each short breath she took. How he had never noticed just how long and lean her legs were was beyond him, but now his mind was crowded with just what it would feel like to have them wrapped around him as they moved together.
The desire in her voice was all the prompting he needed. Stepping forward, he slipped the thin straps of the slip off her shoulders, his lips following it down her body. She let out a deep moan and arched into him as he paused to draw her nipple into his mouth. It was a stalling tactic so he could push the slip down over her hips, but he had to admit to becoming a little too distracted by her reactions to him and staying there longer than he had meant to. He moved onto her other nipple as his hands slid further down her body, seeking her very core.
“Oh, I… Oh.”
Lucius smiled against her skin as he slid two fingers into her heat. Her thighs parted for him as her knickers slid down, allowing him better access as she swayed on the spot, almost as though she were about to collapse. Wrapping his free arm around her waist, Lucius continued his attentions to her breast, sucking and tonguing her nipple leisurely. After a while of enjoying himself, the urgent ruffling of feathers beneath his skin reminded him that he had a duty to attend to.
“Narcissa, you’re ready for me, love.”
The smile that spread across his face when her only response was a breathy moan made his cheeks ache. Stepping backwards, he quickly stripped himself of his robes and spread them on the soft grass. It wasn’t a bed like he would have preferred, but it was better than lying on the itchy grass. Wrapping his arms around Narcissa’s waist and shoulders, he carefully lowered her onto his robes before standing up again to rid himself of the rest of his clothing. The sight of her lying before him, panting and waiting had his Veela nature pressing forward much more insistently and this time he allowed it. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath as his wings spread out behind him. Large and white, they fluttered for a few seconds before settling down.
Narcissa’s eyes widened as she watched him and Lucius was gratified to see them filled with desire. Her fingers flexed, showing off the claws associated with the change in female half-Veela. He preened under her gaze for a few seconds before kneeling down between her legs and running his hands up her body, enjoying the arch of her back. Lowering himself over her, he captured her lips in a fiery kiss as he slid inside, letting out an involuntary groan as her heat surrounded him. Darkness enclosed them as his wings shifted and settled around them, cocooning them in warm feathers. He didn’t get much time to savour the feeling however, as it pressed forward again and had him moving, sealing their bond with long, slow strokes that had Narcissa mewling beneath him.
Lucius had no idea how he managed to last the length of the bonding, not with Narcissa stroking her fingers through his feathers, or arching her back to take him deeper, or bending those long legs and digging her heels into his thighs. The tension built and built, his arms shook where he was holding himself above her and it felt like he was going to explode so many times, but he held on. And it proved more than worth it: the bond sealed just as her muscles contracted around him in an orgasm that had her moaning incoherently. The sound of her hitching breath; the sight of her eyelids fluttering and her mouth twisting with the bone-shaking pleasure that he had caused sent his mind blank with the bliss of release. He came back to his senses a short while later with her stroking her fingers through his hair.
“Only yours, my Cissa.”
“Cissa,” he murmured into her ear as he stepped close, “why so formal, my love?”
Smiling wider, Narcissa relaxed her posture a little and slipped the hand on Lucius’ shoulder around his back to rest on his shoulder blade, just above the joint where his wings would spread. Leaning in as he wrapped an arm around her waist, she laced the fingers of her free hand through his when it was offered. This was nothing like the formal waltzing position that had been drilled into her head growing up, but it was so much more intimate and Lucius felt so good in her arms that she found herself uncaring of propriety. Pressing closer as he began to move them slowly around the room, Narcissa took a deep breath, inhaling the spicy scent of her husband’s hair.
Their formal robes swirled around their feet as Lucius led her through the dance. The walls of the formal ballroom blurred as they twirled, the canapés and champagne adding to the twisting colours. Narcissa had requested that that night just be the two of them and her mate had readily complied.
Today was the day Lucius and Draco had been exonerated thanks to the testimony of Harry Potter in front of the Wizengamot, and Narcissa had wanted the celebration to be just them. Draco had excused himself a few minutes before and Narcissa had the sneaking suspicion that there was a special someone he was sneaking off to meet, but she would not interfere there just yet. Let him be for just this one night; let him have just one more day to celebrate the youth he had lost, now that the threat of death no longer hung over his head. If it turned out that this someone was his mate, then all the better.
Lucius tightened his grip on her waist as he spun them around in a circle and Narcissa pressed as close as she could get. The feeling of freedom that spread through her as Lucius let out a low chuckle had her beaming as they twirled. This was one of the things that she had missed so desperately over the past few years: Lucius’ ability to make her smile through anything.
The past few years had been the worst of her life, but Lucius had done everything he could to shield her and Draco from the very worst of it, taking much of the pain and punishment on himself to protect his mate and heir. Now, though… Now they were free. Free to be together, free to move on, free to simply love each other the way they had in their youth. Lucius may not have been perfect, no, but he was perfect for her. They were soulmates.