Different responses popped up in Lucius’ head as he quickly weighed out the consequences of the different answers. When he found one that did not sound like a ‘no’, Lucius said, “I would be honoured, my lord, but-but my mother and I will be going to lunch with, with a ministry official regarding my internship tomorrow.”
The Dark Lord narrowed his eyes as his snake slithered towards him. He seemed to be waiting for Lucius to add to the excuse.
“My mother says it would be good. I…” Lucius paused as he gathered whatever words he had floating in his head before he continued, “I could pick which department to intern in.”
There was no reply from the Dark Lord, as he simply studied Lucius’ terrified expression. After what felt like an hour of petrifying silence, the Dark Lord said, “Department of Magical Education would be a good choice.” And with that said, the Dark Lord left.
Once Lucius was alone again, he found it impossible to return to sleep. His mind was full with strange questions on the Dark Lord’s visit, and his emotions were all over the place. Lucius did not know if he should be happy or scared, and he decided to hold on to both emotions when his room began to brighten up.
That sunny morning, Lucius entered the grand dining room to find his parents seated at the long table.
“Good morning father, good morning mother,” Lucius greeted, before taking his seat.
“Did you read the report I left for you?” his father asked.
“Yes, sir,” Lucius replied.
“Good,” his father said. Then getting to his feet, he excused himself.
Lucius watched as his father strode out of the room before turning to his mother across him.
“Did you sleep well, dear?” his mother asked.
Lucius wanted to tell his mother about the Dark Lord’s visit but he hesitated. What if his mother thought it was just a dream? It could actually be one, the longer Lucius thought about it.
Finally deciding that he needed to, he answered, “Not very, mother. Someone visited me last night.”
His mother stopped buttering a scone and gave him a questioning look.
“He asked if I would like to join him today, but I told him we had lunch plans,” Lucius continued.
Almost immediately, horror swept across his mother’s face. Seeing her reaction, Lucius quickly added, “I told him about the internship. He said it was a good opportunity for me to help him. When I told him about lunch, he said I should ask Mr Pepsworth to place me in the Department of Magical Education.”
Even though their lunch with Mr and Mrs Pepsworth had nothing to do with Lucius’ internship, Mr Pepsworth was a high-ranking ministry official. They could simply slip a request during lunch, since the Pepsworths and the Malfoys were always scratching each other’s backs.
“I see,” his mother said with a thin smile. Just before she returned to her scone, she added, “We better make sure you are accepted into that department then.”
As that subject closed, a strange relief swept over Lucius. It was as though he was carrying a burden the whole night, and being able to share it with someone put him at ease. He was neither scared nor happy now, he was simply hungry and the exhaustion from the lack of sleep left him.
“Roacher!” Lucius yelled. “This tea is as cold as your dead father!” Lucius threw his teacup at the house elf that ran into the dining room. Moments later, Lucius had a fresh cup of tea and a pleasant breakfast.
Lunch that afternoon was at an exclusive and overpriced restaurant. Mr and Mrs Pepsworth wanted to see Mrs Malfoy and Lucius because their youngest son was enrolling in Hogwarts. They wanted Lucius to keep an eye on him, and to make sure he does well. Not having much of a choice, Lucius promised to do his best but he took that same moment to bring up his internship. When Mr Pepsworth asked which department he was interested in, Lucius told him without a hint of hesitation.
By the time their plates were clean and their cups were dry, Mr Pepsworth told Lucius he would soon receive his internship letter. It was safe to say, his words were as good as the official letter itself. At his assurance, Lucius reached for his mother’s hand and gave a gentle squeeze. There was no doubt that she was secretly afraid of Lucius’ fate, and he didn’t want her to worry when she didn’t have to.
The next few days, Lucius waited for the letter’s arrival. Though it did not swoop in as quickly as Lucius had expected, the days went by pretty smoothly with his father absent for most of them. His father was either out for business or with the Dark Lord and the others. The Dark Lord also did not pay Lucius any more midnight visits, but Lucius’ bedroom was still unwillingly opened for guests.
One night, Lucius entered his bedroom ready to hit the sack when he found his father standing by the window. The moment Lucius saw him, his father asked, “Do you have anything to tell me?”
Lucius was not sure what his father was referring to, and the letter in his hand did not make his question any clearer. Was it the internship, the Dark Lord’s visit, or befriending a mudblood? Lucius had to pick one answer and he could only hope it would not turn their conversation ugly.
To Be Continued…
(Leave a comment below or vote on which answer Lucius should go for!)