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Chapter 1: Getting to know
Disclaimer: The wizarding world belongs to JKR. I have just borrowed some of her characters and created my own plot around it.
Great chapter Image by UnderPolyJuice @ TDA
NOTE: I have manipulated the age gaps between Narcissa, Bellatrix, Lucius, Andromeda, and other characters to suit my story. Sorry about that, and hope it's not an issue!
Getting to Know
Malfoy Manor was very still. Everything was quiet; in fact it was so quiet that the mansion gave the impression of being haunted.
However, it wasn’t.
As if to prove this point, the flames in the fireplace in the previously eerily desolate living room turned a bright emerald green before a tall, attractive blonde woman, possibly in her mid-twenties, stumbled out of the fireplace in a daze. She might have appeared quite conceited had it not been for the huge smile that graced her lips and the glow that radiated from her face.
Her travelling cloak covered her gorgeous black floor-length gown, trailing after her as she sighed contentedly and plopped down on the sofa, handing over her little black purse to her personal house-elf, who was by her side the very moment she had arrived.
“Will Mistress like a cup of steaming hot coffee? Or perhaps a glass of juice?” The elf asked the lady anxiously, bowing deeply to her.
“No, thank you Daisy. I would like to be left alone for some time.” She replied, the smile still intact upon her lips, and Daisy the elf, startled a little by the sudden polite response, shuffled away nervously.
The mistress of the manor leaned back against the sofa and closed her eyes.
Her world would change now, it would be changed forever; and she couldn’t wait to experience it.
Her hands clasped around her flat stomach (flat as yet) and sweet memories filled up her mind, making her heart swell with love.
“Cissy, I… love you…”
Those words. Those four words.
She could still hear them echoing in her ears as if it had just been yesterday when he had said them to her. Her heart had leapt with immense joy that day. Her smile had had the power to light the entire world that day. It had seemed that no one, absolutely no one could be more joyful than her that very day. Her life had come to a standstill. Her universe had changed its course. Nothing mattered to her anymore, except for him. She had longed to hear those words since one year, and finally the day had come when he finally uttered the glorious words.
At the tender age of sixteen, she, the meek and shy Narcissa Black, had fallen head over heels for none other than the Prince of Slytherin, Lucius Malfoy. His perfectly kempt gorgeous blonde hair, his toned body, his dazzling smile, his rumbling voice – it had been enough to make her swoon like every other girl he had had a ‘history’ with.
Previously, he had been nothing more to her than just her sister’s friend. Lucius Malfoy had just been another one of the friends of Bellatrix Black. She hardly paid any attention to him or any other of her sister’s friends ‘cause she was wrapped up in a world of her own, which consisted of her books, her parents, her two best friends, and her then boyfriend. She had had the perfect life… until she arrived in sixth year.
It was on the Hogwarts Express that she saw her ‘loving’ boyfriend wrapped up in the arms of some other girl. In an instant, her ‘perfect’ little world had crumbled around her and after a very dramatic argument, a few hexes and some bashing of the bitch who was attached to her boyfriend (no, make that ex-boyfriend), she had stormed off to sit in a compartment, all alone.
That was when the tears had spilled over and that was when he had entered. He looked baffled for a second to find a crying girl, but then he recognized her as his friend’s sister, and sat down beside her, asking her gently what happened. She hadn’t looked up to see who he was (if she had, she would’ve been very shocked to see him being this kind) and without a second thought, she had buried her head in his shoulder and cried her heart out. She still remembered clearly how his whole body had gone rigid and how awkward and embarrassed she had felt later on when she woke up (she had fallen asleep crying) with her head on his shoulder and he looking very, very uncomfortable. She had muttered a quick apology and started to get up, when his cool hand had touched hers and told her to sit down.
That had been the start of their friendship.
Since that day, she didn’t realize how fast their relationship developed. From a friend he slowly became a very good friend, from a good friend to a best friend, from a best friend to a small crush, and then finally, from a crush to the love of her life.
She had started loving him with all her heart and soul, and every time, he talked to her of other girls, she burned with jealousy, yet kept up a cool pretence on the outside. She didn’t want to ruin their friendship and lose him as a friend by showing him her true feelings.
Her female friends had insisted time and time again that he also felt the same way for her, but she refused to accept it. Afterall, how could the Lucius Malfoy harbor any kind of feelings for Narcissa Black? She was sure that such a thing could only happen in a dream.
However, her dream did come true.
When he finally asked her out, her happiness knew no bounds and she had kissed him full on the lips with all the passion and love she’d hidden inside her for so long. He had of course responded eagerly, and that had been the night she had lost her virginity.
Things appeared better and better as days, weeks, months, and then years passed.
Next thing she knew, she had become a very pretty and charming Mrs. Narcissa Malfoy, wedded to the Lucius Malfoy, the man of her dreams.
She loved him for who he was. His arrogant nature, his pride, his love (when alone with her), his care, his concern, his sweetness, and of course his looks… she loved every bit of him and her love and trust never wavered, not even after five years of marriage.
Now, today, at the age of twenty-five, when she discovered she was pregnant (finally), she once again felt like the most radiant person in this world whose happiness couldn’t be matched with anyone else’s. She laughed joyfully as she awaited her husband’s arrival to tell him the good news. Though she was very happy, she was a little afraid too – he had made it very clear that he was unwilling to have a child anytime soon after their marriage – but then five years after the wedding wasn’t exactly soon, right? – She was sure that she would convince him to keep the baby. It was one of the best gifts he could have ever given to her, after all.
She kept throwing glances at the door, every now and then, anxiously waiting for him to come back from his work.
He had been worrying her lately, not coming home for long hours, having secretive meetings in closed rooms, staying sometimes overly-excited and sometimes completely exhausted. She had asked him many times, where he went, what he did, what was going on, but he always brushed her off and told her that he’d let her know “when the time comes”. Slowly and gradually, she had found her happily married life coming to a standstill. There were no more romantic talks, no more sweet touches, no more passionate love making… he in fact spent almost every waking moment away from her. Her marriage was withering away, and she could do nothing but watch helplessly as her husband, her love, drifted apart from her.
However, all these thoughts flew off her mind as she caressed her belly where a new life was readying to come into existence. Once the baby came, everything would change. He would become her old loving Lucius once again. Not only when the baby came, she knew (at least she hoped) that once he came to know she was pregnant, his cold looks and nonchalant attitude would change to warmth, love and care.
She glanced at the door of the Manor once more, and sighed with relief as she saw his familiar silhouette enter.
“Lucius!” She almost shouted with happiness as she rushed forward to greet him. He gave her a tentative smile and returned her hug almost reluctantly. Maybe he was tired.
“Willy, get me a glass of water, now.” He barked at one of their house-elves as he sat down on the sofa, without as much as a “hello” to his wife. She felt a tad bit disappointed but pushed it to the back of her mind. First things first.
“Honey, I’ve some good news to tell you!” She told him merrily. He raised a brow, but otherwise did not show any other response to her as he remained deep in thought. Unfazed by his reaction, she ploughed on.
“It’s something important sweetheart… listen up here for once…” She gave him a sly smirk and slipped, after a slight hesitation, on to his lap.
It still felt like heaven, even after so many years. As she felt his cool hands slip around her waist, she smiled. His touch was as tender as the first time he had touched her.
What he did next, however, wiped the smile off her face and made her get up quickly.
He shoved her off and muttered, “Get off Narcissa, I’m not in mood nor do I have the time for this silly business.”
She felt a jab of pain in her heart but otherwise chose to ignore his rudeness, as she got up solemnly and stood in front of him. Willy handed him a glass of water and scurried away from his dark look. Those deep pools of grey had once held so much of love and tenderness in them, but now, a cold look had replaced all that.
“Is everything alright Lucius?” She asked him in a low voice.
“Yes, yes, all is fine. I’m going out. Don’t wait for me. I’ll be late.” He got up swiftly, nodded to her and started off towards the door once again.
Had it been any other day, she would have stepped back and retreated to her room with a dejected sigh, but no, not today. Today she had to tell him the big news. Happiness had come into their dull married life after so long, she wouldn’t, she couldn’t, let it slip away just like this.
She stepped in front of him and stopped him.
“But you just came!”
He looked angry for a second before he composed himself and replied.
“I have come from work. Now, I’m going out for dinner with a colleague.”
“I’m sure your colleague won’t mind having you spend some time with your wife. We need to talk Lucius. It is better that you inform him that you won’t be able to make it tonight.”
“Since when did you get the right to tell me what to do Narcissa?!” He snarled.
Her breath hitched in her throat but she didn’t move.
“I have always had the right Lucius! I’m your wife for Merlin’s sake!” Her words came out in a hiss as she fought to gain control over her temper.
“Yes.” He said quietly, taking an intimidating step towards her. “You’re my wife, and therefore, it is your duty to do as I say. Now, get out of my way. I don’t like to keep my colleagues waiting.” And without another glance, he hastened off, his black robes billowing after him.
She had had enough. Today was one of the most important days of her life. She wouldn’t let it go to waste. She decided to follow her husband and then, confront him in front of his stupid colleague. That would serve him right.
She took her wand, tightened her cloak around her, and rushed after him, making sure not to make any noise to alert him of her presence.
She saw him make his way out of the gates, walk some distance and then disappear around a corner in an alleyway. She disillusioned herself and followed him, her heart thumping louder than ever.
What she saw made her fall apart.
He was there. Her Lucius, in the arms of another woman.
So this was the colleague?
He kissed that lady hungrily and roughly, like he owned the woman, just the way he used to kiss her in the early years of their relationship and marriage. Now, the passion and the romance had been lost to the daily routine of life. At least that’s what she had assumed it to be – daily boring routine. But it hadn’t actually been lost to that. She had lost it to another woman.
Angry tears made their way down her face as saw her husband embracing the woman. Her throat burned, her heart broke into a million pieces, her world shattered, her body collapsed and she felt once again like the sixteen year old Narcissa Black who had lost her “loving” boyfriend on the Hogwarts Express to another girl.
Why her? Why did it always have to be her?
The next thing she saw, horrified her even more than what she had seen just now. Her husband’s robe fell to the ground, and there, on his left arm, was the Dark Mark.
Her husband, Lucius Malfoy, had joined the ranks of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named… and he hadn’t even told her? What had happened to their bond of trust and understanding? He had thrown away everything… for what?
Now everything made sense.
She remembered how she had been hearing rumours going around the school before she had even got together with him about him joining the Death Eaters. She hadn’t paid much attention to them. She didn’t really want to think about all that. All she had wanted was to have a good settled happy family life; participating in the war from either sides hadn’t been anywhere near her future plans.
She had confided this to Lucius, after he had asked her out, and he had just brushed off the topic.
Now that she came to think of it, every time she ever mentioned anything related to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named or the war, he always beat around the bush and somehow changed the subject of discussion. She also remembered him going in the washroom, touching his left arm every night with his wand and murmuring something… that must have been the Concealment Charm to hide his Mark from her.
Okay, she knew she wasn’t very supportive of the whole Death Eater idea; but then, Lucius shouldn’t have hidden such a vital part of his life from her. If he had told her, she would have gone along with his decision; she didn’t exactly have any problem with the Dark Lord as long as her family was safe. But no, her husband had not trusted her. He had not confided in her. Moreover, he had gone seeking refuge in another woman’s arms!
So this was what that had been going on behind her back. She still couldn’t believe it all and wished desperately that it be a bad dream, but alas, that wasn’t the case of course. She had to make a decision; not only hers, but now another life also depended on her choice.
She wiped her tears stiffly as her husband turned on the spot and dissaparated with the other woman. She stared at the spot where those two had vanished, got up and then stormed back to the Manor. Waving away the house-elf who came with a glass of water to her, she strode to her bedroom, lay down on the bed, and stared at the ceiling.
It was over. All over. In a split second, her “perfect” world had crashed down on her once more. She clutched her stomach protectively, wondering what future her child would have now.
The next minute she had made her decision.
She would endure the cheater, she would endure that Death Eater, she would go through hell each day of her messed up life now, just for the sake of her child. She had been the reason for its existence, but now it would be the reason for her existence.
No more tears, no more sadness, no more worrying, and definitely, no more brooding.
Tomorrow morning, she would pretend like everything is fine. Lucius wouldn’t know that she knows about his dirty little secret, or rather, secrets.
He wouldn’t know anything except the fact that he was going to become a father. She would tell him firmly that she’s keeping the baby and no matter what he said or did, she wouldn’t give up on the little life.
She would live, now, not as Lucius Malfoy’s wife, but as the little Malfoy’s mother.
Her “perfect” world existed no more; but what she would create now would be a world of perfection for her child.
Her child would have everything; money, property, authority, education, care and most importantly love. It wouldn’t be deprived of anything, and she would make sure of that, no matter what its father said or did.
She gave a hollow laugh as she realized that her life was indeed now going to go through a change and a drastic one at that; just not in the way she had previously anticipated.
A/N: Hey friends! I know I’ve been long gone from the HPFF archive but don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten it in here. I was just hell lots busy (I know the same old lame excuse… but what to do, this is *life*!!)… Anyway, I am working on the next chapter of Opposites Attract and hopefully it will be up soon (I’ll try to make it as soon as possible)… Till then, I decided I needed a break so I wrote this one-shot, which is from Narcissa Malfoy’s POV… an insight into her married life. I hope it is up to the mark and I have done justice to the characters. I also hope that it doesn’t appear too clichéd or too OOC, as I’ve tried to put in my best effort in this, and that you all liked this little piece of mine.
Please do leave your reviews in the little box down there, it will only cost two minutes of your precious time! Constructive Criticism is always welcome!
April 13 2011: Revised after being beta-read by the amazing Emily (or ghpotter).