You Belong with Me

The Willow Series

Title: You Belong With Me
Author: ExcentrykeMuse
Pairing: fem!Harry/Lucius Malfoy
Summary: Lucius, Lord Malfoy had a gift.  And he had no qualms in using it to win the hand of Lady Ivy Potter.

Wordcount: <30k

Song Inspiration: “You Belong with Me” by Taylor Swift

Warnings: EWE, Rule 63, no Lucius/Narcissa, no Draco Malfoy, canon death

Lucius, Lord Malfoy had been blessed with a very rare and underappreciated inheritance when he turned seventeen.  With an encyclopedic knowledge, he was able to memorize and instantly recall the pureblood protocol for every pureblood family in wizarding Britain.

Every family had different traditions.  Oh, there were the broad rules of society—how to address someone, greet them, what phrases and words to use.  However, that’s when things began to unravel.

Most would say that one could just look it up in a book, if one really wanted to know.  However, rules were so complicated that it was difficult to keep them straight, even in writing.  Only members of a particular House knew their own traditions.  They were ground into them since childhood.

That’s how Lucius knew that if he kissed his girlfriend Lady Narcissa Black at noon on her sixteenth birthday, they would be automatically betrothed.  He was a seventh year at Hogwarts then and had made the day special, bringing her flowers, taking her out on a picnic.  However, she was always checking her watch.  And when, at two to noon, she threaded her fingers in his blond hair and leaned up to kiss him, he immediately disengaged.  Not quite sure what to do, he started to talk about the cloud formations for the next ten minutes, just to make sure he was free from any obligation.

He liked Narcissa, he really did.  He just wasn’t certain he wanted to marry her.

Nor, he found, did he want to marry any witch.  As the years passed he became a confirmed bachelor.  That is, until he stared into the green eyes of Ivy Potter after the Battle of Hogwarts.  Really, it was amazing that their paths hadn’t crossed until then.

Lucius was clever enough not to get caught.  Although there were accusations, no one could use the Dark Mark on his arm against him, given the fact that he’d been supposedly under the Imperius Curse during the first war and gained it then.  No one, fortunately, had seen his face and lived to tell the tale at either the Department of Mysteries or the Battle of Hogwarts.

No one but Ivy Potter.

At the Battle of Hogwarts, the two of them had stared at each other, quite openly, their wands drawn, when Lucius made a decision.  He wanted those eyes and that mass of messy black hair in his bed every night.  And he wanted it to be a permanent arrangement.

He had two choices.  He could try to woo the Lady Who Lived with a Concubine Contract, but given the fact that she was probably receiving owls upon owls of marriage offers, he doubted she would take it.  Or he could do what he had not thought to do since he was seventeen and had rejected Narcissa Black.

Lucius Malfoy could court Ivy Potter.  And he was probably the only fool who knew exactly how to do it.

If Ivy knew anything about her family heritage, she was having a house elf record all the names of her would-be suitors who were offering their suit by mail, and then chucking the letters in the fire.  Then, if any of them wised up and realized how to court her properly, he would automatically be disqualified.

First, Lucius Malfoy had to learn where Lady Ivy Potter was living.  The feat wasn’t hard.  He followed her home from Diagon Alley one summer afternoon to where she disappeared between Numbers Eleven and Thirteen Grimmauld Place.  She was living under the Fidelius Charm at the old Black residence.  She must have inherited it from her godfather, who was a Black.

He waited for her every morning for a week, until she finally emerged.  “What do you want?” she demanded, looking him over.  “Who exactly are you?”

Sketching her a bow that showed that he was in the presence of a lady and not necessarily a social superior, he held out a carefully wrapped gift.  “Lucius, Lord Malfoy,” he answered.  “We met at the Battle of Hogwarts.”

She looked at him closely and he saw recognition dawn in her eyes.  “Weren’t you a Death Eater?  I saw you fighting Hermione!”

“I honestly couldn’t say who this ‘Hermione’ is,” he answered truthfully.  “However, if you would be so kind as to accept this courting gift, I would be most grateful.”

Ivy looked at the package wrapped in dark blue and silver.  “How—how did you know?” she asked in awe, taking the gift.  Blue and silver were the colors of the House of Potter.  It was paramount that the gift be wrapped in the House colors so it would be taken seriously.  “Nearly no one else who has given me a gift has gotten it right.”

“Call me industrious,” he offered with a smile.

Carefully, she turned it over in her hands.  Then she opened the gift up, being sure to do as little damage as possible to the paper as if she had never had many presents before.  Her breath caught.  “Keats,” she murmured.  “How did you know?”

Potters valued Muggle poetry and it was the traditional first courting gift.  It was a recognition of their love of something that was outside the norm of pureblood society.  “I hope you do not already have the volume.”

Ivy was turning it over in her hands.  “No,” she stammered.  “I—no.  Thank you, Lord Malfoy.”  Although she was wearing Muggle jeans and a sweater, she curtseyed to him.

“I will leave you to your day,” he murmured, sketching her another bow.  “I hope you will look favorably on my suit.”

And he walked away smugly, walking stick twirling due to his good mood.  As soon as Ivy Potter was Lady Malfoy, he must see to her wardrobe.

Phase One was completed.

If Ivy were following protocol, his name would have been recorded positively in her ledger of suitors.  It was such, according to guidelines, that he sent a missive inviting Ivy to tea at The White Witch.  Ideally, he would have invited her to Malfoy Manor, but there was the lack of a chaperone, which proved difficult.  The White Witch would afford them a modicum of privacy with all of pureblood society chaperoning them.  Also, there was the possibility that they would make it into the society pages.

Debating whether or not it would be proper to do so, he included the card of Woven Fairy Silk, an upscale wizarding robe shop, and contacted them with a credit for one pair of female robes.

Two days later he had a note from them saying that Lady Ivy Potter had come in and used the credit for a pair of gossamer white robes.

She had accepted his invitation, then.

“It was kind of you to dress me for the occasion,” she said by way of hello, after he lifted her hand to an inch below his lips and released it.  “I haven’t had robes since Slughorn’s Yule Party sixth year.”

“You look stunning in white,” he complimented, drawing out her chair for her.  Potter women always had their chairs drawn out for them.  Some Houses viewed it as an insult, but not them.  For them, it was a sign of courtesy and good manners.

Ivy was wearing the latest fashion of a tunic dress, a robe with long billowing sleeves that almost touched the ground tied loosely around the waist.  The dress was made out of lace and silks while the robes themselves were made of gossamer and acramantula silk.  She looked simply breathtaking in them.

A tea set appeared before them with only a choice of two teas: Earl Grey and Blackcurrant.  She perused the four bags, each flavor having enough bags for one pot.  “You’ve done your homework,” she commented lightly.  “Which would you recommend?  I’m afraid that I drink English Breakfast at home.  Force of habit.  My house elf, Kreacher, keeps on bemoaning my lack of pureblood breeding.”

Lucius looked her over critically.  “I would hope for a lighter, pleasanter afternoon.”

“Blackcurrant it is then,” she said, and he signaled over the waiter who made a pot for them.

However, the conversation was far from light.  “Tell me why you’ve never married, Lord Malfoy.  I know it is not unheard of for a man of your age, but purebloods often marry young.”

He stewed over the question.  “I almost married,” he admitted.  “I was thinking about it seriously when I was seventeen, but the young lady in question tried to trap me with pureblood etiquette.  I do not like to have my hand forced.”

“Then I shall never offer you a ribbon made of pure unicorn hair,” Ivy stated, referencing the Potter practice of a lady of the house making her intentions known and binding by engaging in such a practice.  “Then again, you’ve probably researched me to the point where I couldn’t trick you even if I wanted to.”

“No, you probably couldn’t,” he agreed, wondering if he would mind if she offered him such a gift.  He had, after all, decided that she would be his.  “Tell me of your childhood.  So little is known about it.”

Her face instantly clouded.  “Perhaps we should have ordered the Earl Grey,” she tried to joke.  When he didn’t laugh, she sighed.  “I was raised by my mother’s sister—a Muggle who hates magic.  It was only when I started receiving letters asking for my hand in marriage that my friend Hermione Granger dragged me to the library and made me read the section on the Potters in Spungen’s Guide to Pureblood Dynasties.”

“How very solicitous of your friend.  I do not know the name Granger…” he trailed off, waiting for her to pick up the pieces.

Ivy pinked a little.  “Hermione’s a Muggle-born,” she admitted, “but she was sweet on a pureblood.  He’s from a minor house and only a Mr.—you can see that I actually did my homework—but she wanted to get it right.  Of course, the odds of him getting it right have been rather slim.”

Lucius let the comment about Ivy having a Muggle-born for a friend pass.  At least she wasn’t a Muggle.  “Do you have a copy of Spungen’s for reference?”

She looked him squarely in the eye.  “Yes, Lord Malfoy.  I don’t want to appear clueless considering all the attention I garner.”

“No, I suppose you wouldn’t.  Well, I grew up at Malfoy Manor.  I’m afraid I was an only child and a bit spoilt by my mother.”

“I’m glad to hear it.  I believe all children should be spoilt a little.—I think I should tell you, Lord Malfoy, to be fair that you are not the only wizard to be courting me.”

“Someone else has read his Spungen’s?” he inquired, his voice a little tight. 

“Yes, Mr. Ronald Weasley and Master Bartemius Crouch.  I’m a bit concerned about Ron.  We’ve been friends all throughout Hogwarts and he never gave a hint of interest until things blew up with Hermione.  It’s a bit disturbing.”

“I’m not acquainted with Mr. Ronald, though his father and I have always hated each other.”

“Yes, there was some speculation that you gave Ginny that diary during my second year.  And you were rather angry with me when I freed your house elf Dobby.  He’s rather—enthusiastic.  He’s upset I haven’t taken him into my service, though all I need is Kreacher.”

“I remember you at that age,” Lucius admitted.  “Your clothes were too big for you and you had glasses then.  Did you have a correction charm placed on your eyes?”

“Yes,” she sighed.  “I went to St. Mungo’s and had it done a month after the War.  A week before you caught me outside of Grimmauld Place.”

“I had wondered what kept you locked up in that house.  I thought you had spied me from the window and were avoiding me by using the Floo.”

“Hardly,” she laughed.  The sound was like wind chimes.  “I was recovering.  I didn’t even know you were out there until I found you waiting for me.  I do admit I was wary of you, though.”

“Yes, given the fact that you thought I was a Death Eater.”

“I still think you are a Death Eater,” she corrected.

There was then a blinding light and they both turned to see a reporter for The Daily Prophet taking notes and a cameraman next to him.  Perfect, this was exactly the kind of press that Lucius wanted, especially if there were others in the game.  Including Barty.  The two were both loyal servants of the Dark Lord and Lucius was sure he could convince his old comrade who, likewise, had never been caught, to back off from the Lady Who Lived.  Mr. Ronald Weasley would be more difficult to intimidate.  Lucius would be more likely to antagonize him.  No, he would just have to use his superior knowledge of the Potters.  The whelp was bound to slip up at some point.

“Well,” he said, turning back to Ivy, “I hope to dispel that belief over the next few weeks.”

“However are you going to do that?”

He grinned at her.  “I’ll think of a way.”

The next move was hers.  Ivy had to decide whether he had done everything to Potter specifications.  He had, of course, but if she could find one technicality, she could send him to the curb, forgive the Muggle expression.

He had a surprisingly long wait.  Lucius had expected to know the next day or, bar that, the day after that.

Instead it was exactly one week when a masked owl arrived with a package.  “Hello, beauty,” he murmured, giving him a treat.  He took the package and saw the return address.  It read “Lady Ivy Potter.”

Striding to his desk, he stared at it for a long second.  If she sent him back the book of poetry, its pages ripped out, it was all over.  If she sent him a scarab beetle, then he could proceed with the courtship.

The owl waited by the window.  That was a good sign.

Hastily, he ripped off the paper and he saw, in a glass case, a rare magical beetle from Japan.  He recognized it immediately.  There was a small note with it.  “Forgive me,” it read, “but it took a little longer than expected to receive this specimen. –IP.”  He breathed out.  He hadn’t realized he had been holding his breath.

Thank the gods.

A gift lay on his desk, already wrapped in red and gold paper, the colors of her Hogwarts House, containing a butterfly hair comb.  He had purchased it years ago on a whim in the South of France and he thought that it would be perfect for his next gift, which was to be some form of ornamentation for her figure.  This would do nicely.

Going back to the owl, he offered her the package.  “Can you take this back to Lady Ivy?” he asked, and the bird ruffled his feathers. 

A moment later and he was gone.

The next date was on the Hogwarts grounds, per tradition.  Usually the witch in question was still a student, but Ivy had already graduated.  Lucius had to gain special permission from Headmistress McGonagall, which had been rather difficult.  She had never been fond of Lucius, though she appeared to have a soft spot for Ivy.  She also hadn’t liked the implications of the article in The Prophet, which had compared Ivy and Lucius to a magical Romeo and Juliet, given the fact that the late Charlus, Lord Potter and Abraxas, Lord Malfoy had been known enemies.

Lucius had prepared a light lunch of cold pork and mulled cider.  Ivy was once again in Muggle jeans and a light coat. 

“I had a whole fight with Hermione about what I’m wearing,” she informed him as he helped her onto the blanket.  “She thought I should wear my old wizarding robes, but I thought that might be worse than Muggle fashion as they’re out of date.”

He laughed openly at that.  “I’m afraid to admit that you’re both right,” he conceded.  “You look beautiful, Lady Ivy.”  Her hair was tied back in a ponytail, barely contained in its messiness, and her cheeks were rosy and bright.

“You’ll be happy to know that Master Bartemius dropped out of the race,” Ivy announced over pork.  “It was just after the article came out.  He said you were the better man.”

Ah, good.  Barty had taken his warning to heart.  “That leaves only Mr. Ronald.”

“Yes, Ron,” she sighed.  “Sometimes I wish I could put this all on hold and grow up a little.  I know I’m older than my eighteen years, but I just want a childhood.  Does that make sense, Lord Malfoy?”

“Lucius, please, and, yes, it does make sense.”

She seemed a little surer in herself. 

“I’ve told you of my past love.  Have you had a Hogwarts romance of your own?”  While strictly not by protocol, such relationships often led to marriage.

“Well,” she admitted.  “I dated Mr. Roger Davies for a year, but then I found out he was only using me for my fame.  Then there was Mr. Frederick Weasley who died in the war.”

Yes, Lucius remembered.  He’d been the one to kill him.

“But that soon broke up once he left Hogwarts.  And then no one.”  She shrugged.  “I never had a great Hogwarts romance like you seemed to.”

“And Mr. Ronald was with your friend Hermione?”  Her friend, as a Mudblood, had no title.

“Yes, they would bicker like there was no tomorrow, but they seemed to genuinely care about each other.  Then, one day, he just stormed out.  Ginny—Miss Ginevra Weasley—then started suggesting that Ron and I would be good together, and then he seemed to get the idea, and it’s been downhill after that.”  She sighed.  “I honestly wish it were one of the other Weasley brothers.”

“And you can’t get out of it on a technicality?” he asked her.

“No,” she answered.  “Everything’s so deliberate.  I know I shouldn’t be speaking about it, but he gave me a book of Byron’s poetry and then a month later asked me to tea and when the wrong tea was presented by his mother—our chaperone—they had words and then there was the right tea and it’s just horrible.”  She sighed.  “And then there’s you, the Death Eater.”

“I thought we agreed, my dear, that I wasn’t a Death Eater.”

“You promised to prove that you weren’t one,” she stated.  “You haven’t done that yet.”

“Well, I will say that Malfoys bow to no one except Blacks—“ The Blacks were preeminent family in wizarding Britain, and the Malfoys were second to them and then next came the Potters.  “The Dark Lord’s title was styalized.”

“Yes, Lord Voldemort,” she said without fear.  He flinched.  She looked at him solemnly.  “You won’t get me to stop saying it.”

“I wouldn’t dream of correcting you.”  Well, that was a lie.  He could dream all he liked.  He doubted that would change her mind, though.  She had defeated the Pretender, after all.  She had the right to say his name.

She nodded, turning back to her pork.  “So Malfoys bow to no one except some upstart Black,” she mused.  “I think he’s the grandson of the squib Marius.  I can never remember his name.”

“No one can.”

“At least he hasn’t decided to court me.  Heaven help me if he does.”

Of course, that’s exactly what Lord Black decided to do.  The two of them were enjoying an evening at an exclusive wizarding wine bar, Phantasmic, when an owl flapped into the establishment.  They were both surprised when it landed next to Ivy.

“Why didn’t it go to Grimmauld Place?”  She frowned.  Taking the package, she opened it and gasped.  On display was Chaucer’s The Book of the Duchess.  It was exquisite, written by a personal calligrapher.

Lucius looked at the gift with horror.  There was a new player in the game for Ivy’s heart—and he was wealthy and had expensive taste.

Ivy carefully opened the book and a note fell out.  Lucius caught it and skimmed it.  His face darkened.  The gift was from Castor, Lord Black.  “I—“ Ivy began before carefully closing the book.  The owl waited by her shoulder.  It was clearly waiting for a response to the invitation to tea the following afternoon at Black Castle.  Castor’s Muggle mother, Katherine, was to chaperone.

Ivy swallowed.

“Perhaps the bar has parchment and a quill,” Lucius suggested somewhat tersely.

“I’m so sorry, Lucius.”

He waved his hand.  “When I offered for you, I knew this was a reality of the situation.  Go, I’ll be waiting right here.”

“I can answer it when I get home,” she said firmly.

“And have that damn owl waiting for you?  Besides, I don’t think a Muggle counts as a proper chaperone.  I’m quite certain of it.”

“Really?” she asked hopefully.

“I’m entirely certain.  Look it up in Spungen’s when you get back to Grimmauld Place.”  If Lucius knew anything, it was pureblood traditions and manners.  The chaperone had to be magical.  “What do you have against Lord Black anyway?”  He took a sip of his Prosceco.

“I—it’s silly, really.”

“Nothing you feel is ‘silly,’” he answered imperiously.  “Now, what was it?”

“Well, just after he was made Lord Black, he summoned Sirius to Black Castle.  I couldn’t get it entirely out of Sirius, but it seems like Lord Black humiliated Sirius because he lost the title and a half-blood with a Squib father and a Muggle mother got it instead.  I thought that was rather—below the belt.  I’ve never liked him since.”

“Hmm,” he finished his glass.  He walked up to the bar and demanded parchment and quill.  Quickly he wrote out: The Lady Ivy Potter declines your invitation for not following proper form.  He then sent it out with the owl.

Lord Black was nothing if not persistent.

Lucius had finally gained access to Grimmauld Place and presented Ivy with a box of unicorn milk chocolates.  “I’ve never had any,” she murmured.  She was just about to try one when there was a banging on the door.

“Kreacher!” Ivy called.  “Go see who it is.”

A card was presented to her a few moments later.  Before she could pick it up, a young and arrogant Castor Black strode into the room. 

He looked nothing like the Blacks.  He was ugly where the Blacks were all beautiful or handsome and while his hair was black, his eyes were a piercing blue.

“Lady Ivy,” he demanded, not bothering to sketch her a gallant bow.  “I demand that you come to Black Castle and have tea with me.”

“I’m sorry, Lord Black,” she answered, putting down the candy.  “You’ve been disqualified.  Your mother is a Muggle and therefore cannot be a proper chaperone.”

“Then he can be the chaperone,” Castor said, pointing at Lucius.  “Surely he’s a wizard.”

Lucius rolled his eyes.  “It must be a woman and you’ve already been disqualified, Lord Black.”  He bowed.  “You have the right to appeal in five years.”

“Five years.  Five years!  I’m Lord Black!”  He practically stomped his foot.

Lucius looked at him imperiously.  “You are not the Queen of England,” he reminded Castor Black.  “Please desist from hounding the lady.”

“I will have her,” he demanded.  “I will have nothing but the best.”

“I’m flattered,” Ivy said, and it was clear that she was trying not to laugh.  “But as I’ve said, you’ve been disqualified.”

He reached for her and brought his lips close to her.  Ivy leaned away and pushed at him, the costly chocolates covering the floor, but it was Lucius who pulled them apart.

“You’re evicted,” Castor spat.  “This is still a Black house.  Sirius Black had no right leaving it to you.”

Ivy looked devastated.  “But this is my home—“

“I don’t care.  Be out by tonight.”  He wiped his mouth and turned on his heel, leaving through the door.

Ivy was clearly in a state of shock.  Lucius called the house elf and ordered it to pack anything and everything that was Ivy’s before dismissing it.  He brought Ivy over to the sofa and she just sat there, staring.

“Lady Ivy,” he murmured, but she said and did nothing.  “Lady Ivy!” he said a bit louder and she looked at him, not caring that his arms were around her. 

“Where will I go?” she whispered.  “There’s not enough room for everything at the Leaky Cauldron and Hermione’s place is too small and I can’t go to the Burrow—“

“Come to the Manor,” Lucius offered.  “It’s a little unorthodox and I know there will be no chaperone, but everything will be well.  At this point in our courtship, we don’t need a chaperone and there is no guideline about cohabitation.”  They could share a room together and it wouldn’t matter to Potter etiquette.  Some fool had forgotten to put it in.

“I—I can’t do that.”

“I can give you your own wing, and it’s only until you get back on your feet,” he offered.  “You’ve had no warning, after all.”

And so Ivy came to the Manor.  She looked around the rich splendor as he showed her the morning room where she could write her letters in the morning and then the drawing room where she could spend her afternoons.  “The rooms are a little outdated,” he apologized.  “My mother had them redone after her marriage and they’ve never been remodeled.”

“No, they’re wonderful, Lucius,” she smiled.  And he smiled back at her, loving the fact that she was in his home, in her rightful place.

The next day he found her in the morning room and presented her with a play by Moliere.  She was writing letters to her friend at the desk his mother had once sat at, and she looked absolutely perfect.  Standing and taking the book, she threw her arms around him and kissed his cheek.  “Thank you,” she breathed.  “For everything.”

Ivy didn’t move out.  Mr. Ronald Weasley was disqualified, fortunately, after a rather angry spat over her change of address, which Ivy told him about over dinner one day.

One Thursday, Lucius came into the drawing room where she was entertaining Ladies Parvati and Padma Patil.  “Dearest,” he said, using his endearment for her.  “I was thinking of inviting the Selwyns to dinner a week from tomorrow.  Would you mind playing hostess?”

Lucius knew it was a tricky thing to ask.  Although they hadn’t talked about it in weeks, he still hadn’t convinced Ivy that he wasn’t a Death Eater and the Selwyns were a dark family.

“Are you certain?  I’m just a guest.”

One of the twins laughed behind their hand.  “Ivy, you’re practically lady of the house!”

Lucius did his best to ignore her and looked at Ivy who looked undecided. 

“Weren’t they supporters of Lord Voldemort?”

“No more than I was,” he answered honestly.

A flash of uncertainty was in her eyes.

“Please.  For me.”

She sighed.  “Very well.”

There was one guest to Malfoy Manor that was rather unwelcome.  Fortunately, he was shown to the library, where Lucius was reading, and not to the drawing room.  “Lord Malfoy,” the nasally sickening tones of Castor Black’s voice sounded.  “What do you mean by having the Lady Ivy under your roof?”

“You tossed her out,” Lucius responded, not rising or even looking up.  “I am merely providing her sanctuary.”

“You take too much upon yourself.”

“On that we must disagree.”  He turned the page.  “Lady Ivy has her own wing, her own drawing room, she wants for nothing.”

“How dare you interfere with my courtship with her!” Castor snarled, storming up to Lucius and grabbing the book from his hands. 

Lucius sighed.  “Xenix!” he called.  A small house elf appeared.  “See Lord Black out.  His invitation is rescinded.”

In the end the man had to be kicked out with magic, which was very satisfying.  Lucius was only sorry that The Daily Prophet wasn’t there to take photographs.

Lucius brought Ivy back to Woven Fairy Silk where she had robes in blood red made, still fashionable, but with a little ornamental hood.  “Lucius, you spoil me,” she said afterward.

“As far as I see it, it’s only a matter of time before you’re the future Lady Malfoy, dearest.”

“I’m an investment, then, am I?” she teased.  “You know I can pay for my own robes.  Whatever Lord Black says, I inherited Sirius’s fortune, as well as the Potter vaults.”

“I don’t doubt it.  But let me spoil you, dearest.”

“And that’s another thing.  You shouldn’t call me that in front of my friends.  They’re already wondering if I’m your mistress.”

“Who would dare think such a thing!?  You’re my guest.”

“They think it’s a euphemism.”  She turned away from him, but he grabbed her elbow. 

“I think it’s time.”  There was a question in her eyes as he led her away from the morning room towards what appeared to be his study.  It was a large room with mahogany paneling and more books than Ivy could count.  Going to his desk, he unlocked the top drawer and drew something out.  Reaching out his hand, Ivy gasped.

“But that’s—“

“I know,” Lucius said.  “A ruby worth its weight in gold.”  It meant marriage to the Potter clan.  It would exclude most suitors and only the wealthiest would be seen as suitable.  Of course, there was an alternate proposal of a garnet necklace, but this was the true Potter tradition.

Ivy hesitantly reached out for it but then pulled her hand back.  “Lucius, this is too much,” she whispered.  “I’m a half-blood, I know how you feel about blood purity.  For heaven’s sake, you were a Death Eater!”

Carefully placing the ruby down, he stalked toward her.  “And so what if I was a Death Eater?” he answered silkily.  “Does it make me any less of the man who’s been courting you, caring for you, loving you quietly as you’ve been a guest in the house that should be rightfully yours?”

“It makes every bit of difference!  My parents were killed—“

“By the Dark Lord,” he affirmed, pushing her against the wall.  “It’s a tragedy, I agree.  The loss of pureblood life is never to be taken lightly.”

“Pureblood!”  But then Lucius was grasping her wrists and pulling them above her head and he leaned in to kiss her.  At first it was soft, tentative, then it grew hungry and powerful.  Ivy was clearly lost in it for several moments before she pushed Lucius away.  He let her hands spring from his grip, and didn’t even mind when she shoved him backward, accentuating each sentence.  “You’re nothing but a bigoted—pureblooded—Voldemort loving—wizard!” she exclaimed.  With each push, he took a step backward until he was leaning against his desk.

“If you’re quite finished, dearest?”

“Erg!” she cried, throwing up her hands, but then they were on the side of his face, and she was kissing him passionately if a little inexpertly, and he wrapped his hands around her waist.  Pulling away, glassy eyed, she whispered, “What am I going to do with you?  You’re everything the Lady Who Lived stands against.”

“But I’m everything Ivy Potter fell in love with,” Lucius daringly suggested.  He kissed her lightly and she leaned into him.  “Marry me, dearest, and let’s put the past behind us.” 

And that’s exactly what they did.


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