Title: Fatherly Advice
Author: Persephone Yavanna the Entwife
Pairing/Characters: Lucius and Abraxas Malfoy
Rating: G for gen (in other words, completely work-safe!)
Disclaimer: JK Rowling and assorted others have rights to create derivative works within the Potterverse, but I am not one of those licensees, unfortunately. Rather not be sued for playing with the characters, though . . . not making a profit here, just exploring the characters and situations created by the esteemed Ms. Rowling.
Summary: Lucius has a chat with his father
Author Notes: This story is dedicated to my father, as it was written on the tenth anniversary of his death. Unfortunately, his portrait does not speak.
“Well, you look gloomy.”
Lucius looked up from his paper.
Abraxas looked down on him from the drawing room wall, a concerned look on his painted features. “What’s the matter, boy?” he asked.
Lucius hid behind his paper again as he replied, “Nothing.”
Abraxas snorted. “Don’t try to fool me, child. Something is the matter -- you’ve been biting your nails again.”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Hmmmm, sulky now, are you? Come and tell your old father what the problem is,” the portrait coaxed.
Lucius turned the page, trying to hide his hands as best he could.
“Put down that paper, boy, and look at me when I speak to you!”
Paper in his lap, Lucius glared at his father’s image. “I’m an adult -– you can’t talk to me like that!”
“If I weren’t oil on canvas right now, I’d be doing a good sight more than talking to you, laddy-me-boy! Good thing for you I am, else you’d be over my knee by now, no matter how old you are. I’m still your father, whatever age you might be!” Abraxas roared.
“Yes, Daddy,” Lucius replied meekly, looking at the floor.
“Now then, lad,” continued Abraxas in a more conciliatory tone, “tell me what’s bothering you. I might be able to help, despite no longer being on your side of the veil.”
“Daddy, I don’t think you can help. I’ve several problems on my mind and there seems to be no good solution to any of them . . . ”
Abraxas hmmphed at that. “Let me guess -– at least one of the problems has to do with that young rapscallion Riddle you got yourself involved with, correct?”
“And I’ll bet another has to do with Narcissa?”
Lucius nodded again.
“And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there wasn’t something to do with Draco as well, am I right?”
Lucius nodded a third time.
“Well I’m willing to listen. It’s not like I have much else to do, now is there, with all eternity on my hands?”
Lucius sighed. Not again, he thought. He meddled enough when he was breathing, now he wants to continue even when he isn’t . . .
“Cissy’s been nagging again, right? Fussing over Draco and driving you up the wall, correct? Draco too, no doubt.”
“Well, it’s not like you haven’t heard her yourself,” Lucius said with asperity.
“Hard not to,” Abraxas harrumphed. “I end up visiting the portrait up in the green bedroom usually.”
“Oh, you must be desperate to get away then, if you’re visiting Mother.”
“No snide remarks, young man! I cared very much for your mother.”
“Could have fooled me . . . ”
“Not everyone gets on after marriage, despite what some might say in public. As you should know.”
“Cissy and I get along fine,” Lucius snapped.
Abraxas quirked an eyebrow.
“Well, mostly. No huge rows, at any rate.”
“No, just lots of little barbed comments. Those are so good for a relationship, don’t you think?”
“You should know, sir,” Lucius said, glowering at his father.
“I’ll have you know I loved your mother. Eventually.”
“Could have fooled me . . . ”
“Now, now, boy –- not everyone is lucky enough to have a love-match, as you should know. And a companionate marriage is nothing to be sneezed at.”
“You’d think she’d behave better, being a Black . . . ”
“You’ve obviously forgotten Aunt Walburga -– not that I can blame you for it.”
Abraxas winced at the name. “I try to, really boy, I try to. Not surprised her eldest turned out the way he did, considering.”
“Yes, well, Cissy is quite nice -– the nicest of all the Black girls, to my mind.”
“Well, she’d have to be for you to have married her, hmm? Only the best for our Lucius, no?”
“Please, Father! You’re making her sound like a pedigreed hound or horse or something.”
“She’s got good enough blood lines . . . ”
Abraxas chuckled. “So it’s ‘Father’ now, not ‘Daddy’, eh boy? Still can’t resist rising to the bait, can you?”
“You love doing this to me,” Lucius growled.
“It’s because you look so damn cute when you pout -– you always did, you know.”
Lucius glared at the portrait. Here he was, a man in his forties, yet he felt more like four at the moment.
“Now then, feel any better after having shouted at me?”
Lucius didn’t want to admit it, but he did. He grumbled a yes while looking at the floor.
“I know better than you think what goes on around here.”
“Well, being a narcissist must’ve helped. I can’t even remember how many pictures of yourself you had painted . . . ”
“Pot calls kettle black, boy,” Abraxas chided. “Now as I was saying, it might behoove you to remember that we’ve had more than a few cuckoos nesting in our family tree . . . ”
“Don’t remind me,” Lucius groaned.
“Cut down on the squib percentage for the family, though, didn’t it?” Abraxas replied acidly.
“Yes,” Lucius grudgingly replied.
“It might solve more than one of your problems to revive that fine old Malfoy family tradition. You have an heir, so that’s not an issue, and while a girl would be best under the circumstances, a cadet line still has its uses, not least of which would be providing spouses for Draco’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And given pureblood lines, by that time there’d be more than a bit of Malfoy in them anyway,” Abraxas said. “And if you’ve inherited any sense at all, you know who would be the best person to have nesting in the tree now.”
Lucius nodded. “Two birds with one stone.”
“At least two -– probably more, now that I think about it,” Abraxas replied. “Might do you a world of good, in fact, in more ways than one.”
“Well, at least I’m ‘Daddy’ again –- that’s a start,” Abraxas said with satisfaction in his voice. “Think on it, lad.”
“I will, Daddy,” Lucius said. “And thank you.”
“That’s why I’m here, child. I’m still your father and I care about you and your family very much, even though I can’t be physically present.”
“I know,” Lucius said softly. “I miss you.”
“I miss you too, my boy. And Draco and Narcissa also. Now get back to your paper before I start to get maudlin and go looking for your mother.”
“Can’t have that now, can we?” Lucius snarked.
“She’d be insufferable for at least a month, so no,” Abraxas said. “Cheeky boy.”
Lucius stuck out his tongue at his father’s retreating back before going back to perusing the day’s news.
“And don’t think I didn’t see that, young man!”
Lucius quickly ducked behind the pages, smirking.