Chapter 40 - Stalking at First Sight

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∞ 40 ∞

STALKING AT FIRST SIGHT


Christmas had just passed. Lucius stayed home for the winter holidays. He felt it was still too soon after the trials to be around people in intimate gatherings for the length of time; so much had happened, he wasn't ready. Draco was in Verbier with Astoria and his soon to be in-laws along with two other families skiing. He had taken two of the guards and two Elves. Ethelred, Kynaston (Lucius's butler) and one of the other staff were also on holiday, so the household was much quieter than usual.

It was over a month since Hogwarts and he had arranged a few times since to see Justinia: once just for the afternoon a few days after Scotland and more recently, the week before Solstice (and then almost everyday following, until the holiday began). Letting her come to the townhouse in London was out of the question with the guards and Bibsey being there, not to mention the amount of nasty paparazzi lurking about.

Knowing his luck, with all their charm crackers, they'd probably spot her and put two and two together, he imagined. The Fearchar's London house was of course out of the question, even without Thaddeus being at home and as it was also too difficult to find suitable rented accommodation just before Solstice, they met instead at a house her sister owned in Primrose Hill, just behind Regents Park. All the sneaking around was so nerve-wracking and tiring, Lucius was surprised he was able to get an erection. He left the guards supposedly attending to him at Cumberland Terrace at Acacius Fairchild's offices while he disappeared (Muggle style, on foot) down the back stairs, out a service entrance and out onto the street to try and flag down an ordinary black cab – all the while hoping:

1.) No one saw him,

2.) He could actually find a cab available and

3.) Acacius wouldn't wonder what he was up to in the spare office after two hours...

Once he left his Muggle money and got completely flustered and had to go inside and get Justinia to Magic some up and twice, after not being able to get a cab after 25 minutes, he had to walk all the way to Chalcot Square. By the time he got there, he was so exhausted and frazzled, he just wanted a bath and some tea, before having to turn around to leave not long after he arrived.

In the end, he had to tell Sander. Sander was fine with it (not that he didn't already know that the Wizard was up to something and not that it was any of his business) saying Lucius should have explained earlier, as things could have been made a lot easier. Sander made it clear that he did not (of course) consider it his business to judge Lucius's actions. What's more he seemed privately to approve of the affair to the point of almost being proud of Lucius. (Sander was good like that.) However, from a professional sense, he was very annoyed about the safety breach. Sander had a right to be annoyed, it was the Luthomequis's job to keep him safe (which he did very well) and he had jeopardised that. It was a lot more dangerous when they were in England and the location of Acacius's offices was known, which made matters even more hazardous. Lucius had put himself in real danger walking out on the street, scarcely armed as he was, with so many who wished him dead around. He felt a bit of a Troll for not being straight with Sander... Sander arranged things so that the clandestine rendezvous between Lucius and Justinia were relatively stress-free (at least logistically) and much safer too. He was so helpful in the matter, Lucius regretted not trusting him with the information in the first place.

Justinia and Thaddeus were now off with their daughter skiing as well. In fact everyone Lucius knew, or knew of, was off somewhere snowy, or sun-kissed with their loved ones, or lover, for the holidays... and he was stuck alone at home like a feck. He wasn't even in his own home. He was living like a refugee with Auntie and had taken over her whole house, although she assured him daily that it made her happier than words could express to have him there.

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