Chapter 51 - More Arguments with Draco and the Hags

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 ∞ 51 ∞

MORE ARGUMENTS WITH DRACO AND THE HAGS


Back in England, Malfoy Manor had been opened up and was being readied for guests. Draco was having several friends over for the Vernal Equinox and he was driving the staff mad with his fretting over every detail. Although it wasn't a very large fête, he was both very excited and very nervous. He felt relieved that any of the guests had accepted the invitation, considering the shame on the family and the danger involved being anywhere near his father (or even himself to some minor extent) especially since it was rumoured the Manor was now cursed.

Draco hadn't considered that many of his guests close relations had also been involved in the shameful Death Eater controversy in some way or another – even if they hadn't held such prominent positions. So in a strange way being around the Malfoys, now in the very compromised position that they were in, actually made Draco's acquaintances feel much better about themselves. For once, Draco, who had always cultivated the feeling of inferiority felt even amongst many Superials in regard to his family, was worse off than them. For the ones whose families had not been mixed up with the Death Eaters, with Draco knocked down several measures, it was even more of an extraordinary chance to feel as if they were on somewhat of a level ground with the mighty Malfoys... And anyway, because it was dangerous spending the Equinox at the Manor with the family, it was considered quite a 'cool' thing to do (albeit possibly quite stupid).

Lucius had flatly refused that anyone outside of the household be allowed knowledge of the address in France –regardless of what oaths and charms they were put under– but he agreed after Draco's brooding to let him use the Manor to make up for Lupercalia. The strategy was that they put up a good show that all was well with the family. Most of the household, including Lucius's mother Kore, returned to the unhappy house for the occasion. Several cousins at varying degrees of relatedness on both sides and even Narcissa's estranged sister, Andromeda were invited – although many of them, including Andromeda, did not turn up.

When Lucius agreed that the household could return to Malfoy Manor temporarily and that it would be a nice idea if the extended family could be there too, Draco somehow forgot that Auntie was part of both the household and the immediate family and therefore didn't take into account that she would be coming. He worried about Auntie eating with the other guests and in a heated argument, Lucius had told him plainly that he could make a tent out in the garden if he liked, but none of "the brats of Death Eaters" were stepping foot in his house if Auntie wasn't paid the proper respect she deserved. Draco knew not to challenge his father further in case he really did make them all stay out in the garden – or worse, cancelled the event entirely... Draco decided instead to work on his aunts Urania and Hestia. Neither of them approved of having a Bridge at the table either... she was basically a glorified Muggle AND a servant, after all.

Shouts came from the dining room and then went silent. Lucius had just cast the Tacitus Charm. He was having an argument with his great aunt Hestia about the house back in France. Whereas Urania was especially hateful towards him, Hestia was especially hateful towards Auntie. Although the Malfoys did not hold the uncommon prejudice that the Blacks held about Intergenti (that they were inferior on the basis that they came into the world as Muggles) it irritated Hestia beyond words that her father Helios Malfoy, Lucius's great grandfather, did not give the particularly grand château to HER (his oldest child) and she never stopped voicing her rancour about it. On this day she was brazenly challenging that the château actually DID belong to her as Helios's natural blood relation and claimed that he had been tricked into giving it over to Auntie. While Lucius deeply resented their intrusion into his life, he resented their incursion on Auntie even more. Her putting up with the old bats (and with such grace) was just another thing that made him love her... She put up with the inconvenience and their abysmal rudeness for him.

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