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Chapter 2: Narcissa's Tale
Disclaimer: I wish the Harry Potter series was mine.
A/N: Thank you so much for the reviews! I didn't think I'd be getting any that fast. You guys are amazing! Just for you guys, this chapter is pretty long. Please PLEASE read carefully and tell me what you think of just about everything. And, most importantly, tell me what you think of Draco, did I portray him well enough? How about everyone else? Enjoy!
"Potter?" a voice laced with contempt asked disbelievingly. Harry turned around and dropped the kettle with a loud clang, all color draining from his face.
"Sirius?" he asked, not daring to believe his eyes.
What do you think you're doing here? Who let you in?"
Harry was shaking violently, unable to believe who it was standinbefg before him. It just...couldn't be. "Wh-what do you mean?" he asked, startled at the contempt he heard and felt radiating from him.
Sirius pulled out his wand and swiftly disarmed Harry, whose wand had been held weakly in his right hand as he had been heating up the kettle water. He just stood there, unable to move, unable to do anything. He sensed trouble but, for the life of him, couldn't figure out why. Sirius cast a spell his way and Harry, frozen in shock, managed to duck at the last minute, causing a cup behind him to shatter.
"I thought I told you that I never wanted to see you again!" he yelled.
"What?!" exclaimed Harry, dodging another curse. "What are you talking about?"
"Potter!?" came a startled call from outside of the kitchen. Malfoy! Harry had forgotten all about Malfoy! Just then the doorbell rang for the second time that day and Walburga's screams could be heard resonating around the house once more. Harry couldn't do anything; he was too busy dodging Sirius's curses.
"What the hell Sirius? What are you doing?"
"Shut up Potter. As if you can't tell! Now, you haven't answered my question. What are you doing in the Most Honorable House of Black?" he said, his grey eyes livid.
"What...I! You gave it to-"
"Expelliarmus!" a voice yelled by the door, causing both Harry and Sirius's wands to fly into Draco Malfoy's waiting hand. Draco looked startled. "What the hell is going on here Potter?" he asked. Sirius eyed Draco with slightly perplexed eyes. Harry shakily got up, broken. He had missed Sirius oh so much, his only family! And having him look at him the way he was…it was more than he could handle. Before anyone could do or say anything, the kitchen door slammed open for the second time that day and in came Narcissa Malfoy, her wand drawn. As soon as she saw her son, she ran to him and held him close.
"Oh thank Merlin, Draco! What in heaven's name is going on?" Draco gave her a one-armed embrace, his wand hand still trained on Sirius Black. Narcissa only just noticed her son's offensive stance and followed the direction of his wand. Her eyes widened as her vivid blue eyes met grey, and she gasped.
Both young boys' eyes snapped to Narcissa Malfoy. Draco showed no emotion but Harry was staring at her with his eyes wide.
"What?!" he rasped.
"Narcissa?" the figure that looked so much like Sirius finally said.
Narcissa ran to him and hugged him tightly, tears streaming down her pale face. "Oh my Merlin Regulus. Where have you been? Why were you cursing Potter? What are you doing here? What's going on? Oh my..." Narcissa was trembling.
Draco took a step towards her and placed an arm on her shoulder. Although he wasn't showing it, he was very worried about his mother and her behavior. Harry was too bewildered to do or say anything. He just stood there, as if frozen, not knowing what else to do.
"Cissy? My dear Cissy! How I've missed you! Ever since you refused to talk to me and..."
"I'm so sorry Regulus. I really am. I was so scared, so worried...but, I did something Regulus! I didn't let your efforts go to waste!" she said, pulling back, a teary smile on her face. "I couldn't let your...I thought you were...I wanted to honor you," she finally said quietly.
Regulus looked slightly perplexed, but tried not to show it. "Shh...shhh Narcissa. Calm down. That's wonderful. But I've...never been anywhere else. What do you mean where I've been?"
Draco finally spoke up, worried about his mother. "Mother, what's wrong?"
Harry woke up from his daze at the sound of the younger Malfoy's question. He echoed it with one of his own. "Mrs. Malfoy, what's going on?"
"Mother? Mrs. Malfoy? You finally married Lucius?" he asked softly. "He does look like a Malfoy," he said inspecting Draco, "but I still see some of you in him. I wonder why I didn't notice. Draco was what you called him?"
Then, it all seemed to piece together, but Harry couldn't believe it. He looked almost exactly like Sirius. Well, Sirius when he was younger. He was handsome, exceedingly so. He had the same dark hair, even the slightly haughty look that Sirius Black once wore. But, Harry noticed, his figure was slighter, smaller. Harry gasped.
"Regulus Black? You're Sirius's brother?" Harry asked, finally finding his voice.
Regulus sneered slightly, almost as if he couldn't help it. "Brilliant observation Potter. Now, I'm only going to say this nicely once, and only for Narcissa's sake. Get. Out."
Harry clenched the back of the chair in front of him so hard that his knuckles turned white, but otherwise showed nothing of the turmoil he was feeling inside. "Reg- Black," Harry said at his look, "Where have you been?"
"What are you talking about Potter?" he asked, something tainting his cold drawl. He hesitated. "Is Sirius alright?" he asked, voice quieter than before. And though he was obviously trying to hide it, he was anxious. Harry's eyes watered and he looked away. This was too much for him to handle. What in Merlin's name was going on?
"Can ghosts do that?" Draco asked, lowering his wand slightly.
"Cissy, where's Sirius? Is he alright?" He asked, his voice wavering slightly. "Why's Potter crying? The great James Potter never shows any weakness."
Harry froze. James Potter. His eyes went wide.
"James? Your name is James? After all these years, Potter? The great Harry Potter is really a James! After everything, after all the times I've made fun of your ridiculous name, I find out you're really a James. You could've saved yourself from a lot of it if you had just told me," Draco said wryly, trying to land himself into familiar footing.
Harry shook his head. "My father's name was James. I'm Harry James Potter," he said quietly.
Regulus's eyes widened. "You're his son?" he asked incredulously. Harry nodded, not sure what to say. "What's going on here?" Regulus asked, pushing Narcissa gently away from him, his hands shaking slightly.
Harry was the first to finally speak. "You...don't remember anything?"
"Is there anything I'm supposed to remember?"
"Bloody hell," Harry whispered, pulling at the chair in front of him and sitting down.
"What do you know Potter?" Regulus shot.
"I...think you should sit down for this. It's not...pretty," he said quietly.
Regulus shook his head vehemently. "What is going on Potter? And what are you doing in my house? Where is Sirius?"
"Regulus," Narcissa said softly, "I agree. I think you should sit down." She pushed him gently into the seat across from Harry and took the seat next to his. "Now, go ahead Potter," she said softly, nodding at him.
"Harry. Please. I owe you my life, as do so many others. Please, call me Harry," Harry said, his face heating slightly. Draco smirked from his position by the door, leaning against the doorframe, his arms crossed.
Narcissa smiled slightly, "And many owe their lives to you, Harry Potter." That wiped Draco's smirk right off. "I'm assuming you know what's going on?" she asked him.
"No, not everything. I hardly know anything at all, really. But I think I might know some things that you don't. Possibly the last thing your cousin might remember," he said, feeling it odd to call him Black, and knowing that Regulus wouldn't have appreciated if he'd called him anything else.
Regulus made an impatient noise. "Do I have to repeat myself to you Potter?"
Harry took in a deep breath. "A lot's been going on. Where to begin? As to what I'm doing in your house, it's kind of my house as well," he said dryly.
Regulus was so angry, he didn't realize that Harry hadn't answered his other question. "What?" He asked indignantly, pushing himself up off the seat in anger and disbelief.
"Sit down Regulus. We'll try to figure out what's going on and explain everything," said Narcissa.
Harry warily rubbed his scar, Draco noticed. It was done almost as if unconsciously. Obviously, since the Dark Lord was gone, it couldn't have been hurting. Poor Potter must've missed his sociopath of a mind partner. Draco smirked again.
"What's the last thing you remember?" Harry asked tiredly.
Regulus frowned. "I'm...not sure." Regulus said in frustration.
"Nothing? Try a little harder. I need to know where to start," Harry insisted.
"I..." Regulus closed his eyes in concentration. He absentmindedly rubbed a spot on his forearm. With a jolt, Draco realized it was his Dark Mark. Narcissa turned questioning eyes to him, as did Potter, but Regulus paid no mind. Draco pretended he had intended to jump out of his position, and began brushing himself off. He raised a questioning brow back at them, as if he didn't know why they'd be looking at him so oddly. When they looked away, Harry with a shrug and Narcissa with a look that said she clearly knew better, he rubbed his forearm as well, before returning to his previous position.
Regulus's eyes fluttered open, widened in shock. "Kreacher! Is he...alright?" he asked. Narcissa looked at Regulus oddly but Harry understood and nodded.
"Kreacher's fine. I think he's out getting some things for the house. Okay, I think I know what happened. Or...at least part of it. Help me fill in the blanks, alright?" he asked, his gaze touching Narcissa Malfoy. She nodded. "And your help. I need your help as well," Harry said, his eyes boring into Regulus's. He gave a shaky nod. Harry was satisfied. "Alright, first thing's first," he said, opening a leather pouch that was around his neck, and pulled out a neatly folded slip of paper, "Do you recognize this?" He slid the paper towards Regulus.
At first, Regulus's eyes narrowed in uncertainty before opening wide in shock. "What...what's this doing with you?" he finally asked, placing a trembling hand over the words that were written in his own hand.
Draco cocked his head to the side before pushing himself off the wall. He pulled out his wand and muttered a quiet spell.
"I found this letter in a locket," Harry said quietly. Regulus's eyes widened, if possible, even more.
"But how? How are you alive? How am I alive?"
"I was hoping you'd know the answer to the second question. As to your first, I didn't drink the potion."
"Drink up," Draco said, levitating a tray of glasses filled with Firewhisky, the bottle lying beside it, onto the table. Harry looked at him oddly. Draco shrugged, "Looks like you'll be needing it." Harry stared blankly, wondering why there were only three glasses on the table. He figured none were meant for him. "Don't look so crestfallen Potter, one's for you."
"I don't drink," he answered casually, grabbing another glass and filling it with water.
Harry felt startled. He shook it off and grabbed a glass, taking a swig, noticing Regulus do the same. It looked as if he wanted to down the entire glass in one go but thought better of it. Harry couldn't blame him. Narcissa grabbed her glass and held it firmly between her hands but drank nothing. Harry noticed that her hands were trembling slightly. He cleared his throat.
"As I was saying, I didn't drink the potion. Albus Dumbledore did, shortly before his death," Harry said, his voice cracking at the last word.
The sound of glass shattering cut through the silence. All eyes turned to the cause of the noise and saw a cup being repaired, Draco's wand trained on it, his face slightly pink. He was coughing slightly. Harry realized why and quickly wanted to continue. Narcissa looked concerned.
"Albus Dumbledore, dead?" Regulus asked quietly in disbelief. Harry nodded. "How?" More coughing could be heard from behind. Harry glanced briefly at Draco before he decided to give only part of the truth.
"The potion killed him. Well, no, it didn't. But it helped. Professor Dumbledore had been trying to destroy a Horcrux, yes I know what they are, when one of them attacked, blackening his hand." He gazed steadily at Draco, "He was going to die of that blackened hand within a week or two." Draco Malfoy's eyes widened but Harry turned away, allowing him some time to process what had just been said.
"That potion...I drank it. I remember now. Kreacher had had some as well, Voldemort's orders. I remember that," he said quietly. Narcissa Malfoy had briefly shut her eyes at Voldemort's name. If Malfoy had shown a reaction, Harry hadn't seen it. Regulus's eyes sharpened when he noticed Harry's lack of reaction to the Dark Lord's name. The look in his eyes almost looked like begrudging approval, or respect.
"Do you remember why?" Harry asked.
"Siri...I realized how screwed up his way of thinking was. Hell, how screwed up everything was. He separated brothers, had mothers abandon their children, had young ones kill- all for his own cause, which was, truly, only for himself," Regulus said, his voice ragged. He looked as if he wanted to say more but decided against it and downed another shot of whisky instead. Harry wondered if he had noticed Narcissa's reaction to his words as well.
"You...don't remember what happened next?"
"I don't," he said in defeat. "What happened, Potter? And who are you? A Potter and a Malfoy? That's...unheard of." Draco snorted. The corner of Harry's lips lifted slightly.
"Oh, Malfoy and I don't get along at all. A lost cause if ever I saw one." Narcissa looked as if she wanted to say something. "I'm Harry Potter, James and Lily Evans Potter's son," he said softly.
"The Boy-Who-Lived," Draco supplied helpfully from where he was perched, arms propped onto the counter behind him.
Regulus's eyes opened slightly. "Evans, huh?" Narcissa Malfoy laughed softly, but it was laughter filled with pain and deep sadness. Harry just nodded, not knowing what else to do. "What's with the 'Boy-Who-Lived' name? A nickname?"
"More like 'The boy-Who-Just-Wouldn't-Die," Draco interjected. "Not that I'm complaining," he added quickly, holding both hands up in mock surrender at his mother's look. "I'm thrilled, really."
Harry shook his head, a slight smile playing at his lips, despite the circumstances. Regulus raised a brow. Harry understood the unspoken question. "I survived the killing curse, Voldemort's killing curse, when I was an infant. He killed both my parents but he only left me with this scar," he said, brushing away his hair to make it more visible. Regulus looked horrified.
"Potter and Evans...dead?"
"Murdered," Harry confirmed downing a shot of whisky, looking surprised when he saw Narcissa and Regulus do the same. Draco eyed his mother worriedly.
"I think you survived his killing curse more than once, Potter. No need to be so modest," he said. "How about that time in fourth year? And let's not forget the time my mother saved your life. Scared us all, you did. And of course, the final battle."
"The final battle?" Regulus asked.
"We'll get to that whe-" Harry was cut off by Draco.
"Don't you know? Oh of course, you don't. You've just come back from Voldemort-knows-where. Potter here defeated the Dark Lord," his face darkened slightly at the memory of the battle, all the bloodshed...
Regulus was gazing at Harry with his mouth slightly open. Harry avoided his gaze. "He can't die! He has too many horcruxes to-"
"Destroyed. All of them."
Regulus's voice was filled with begrudging awe, "All of them? Even the locket?" Harry nodded. "How?"
"What the bloody hell is a horcrux?" Draco finally burst out. Harry ignored him.
"Another story for another time. But it wasn't done all on my own. My two closest friends helped me. Speaking of which," Harry frowned, "they should be here by now."
"It's a good thing they're fashionably late then Potter. I can only imagine Granger's reaction to our friend here," he said, jerking his head towards Regulus. "I can practically hear that overused brain of hers whirring," he said with a grimace. Harry couldn't help but agree.
"Harry, I think you should start with your take on things now," Narcissa said softly, her eyes on Regulus.
"We're all waiting," Regulus said. Harry frowned.
"I-I don't know where to start."
"The beginning might be a good idea," Draco interjected helpfully.
"That's just it, I don't...I was never told the beginning. I only heard the end."
"Ah. Sucks knowing the end of a story, doesn't it Potter?"
"Well, that's kind of a moot point seeing as he's alive, isn't it?" Harry asked wryly. Regulus cleared his throat pointedly. "Do you remember anything from...the day Voldemort decided he needed a house elf? I'm sure, if you think hard enough, we might actually get somewhere, have a place to start."
Narcissa lifted the trembling cup to her lips again and took a swig before speaking. "I...I think I might know a bit. I think I remember. After all," she said, glancing at Regulus, "it was the last time I saw my favorite cousin." Her voice was pained. Harry nodded in encouragement while Draco frowned in worry over his mother, but said nothing. He crossed over to the table and pulled out a chair from next to her, sitting down in one fluid movement.
Narcissa took in a quiet breath before speaking. "It was about a year after Regulus had joined the Death Eater's ranks. So very proud, and so very young. He was, in almost every way, just like my Draco," she said, placing a hand on her son's leg. Draco said nothing. "He was quite happy and proud at first. So honored that the Dark Lord had chosen him at such a young age, so proud to finally be a Death Eater. He had no idea what he had gotten himself into," she said quietly, shutting her eyes. Harry could hear the double meaning in her words. Regulus looked pained. He discreetly took a sip of his Firewhisky.
"It was a hot day, sometime in the beginnings of summer. Regulus had just come back from Hogwarts."
"How old were you when you became a Death Eater?" Draco asked, his tone serious now.
"Sixteen," Regulus answered back automatically. Draco's face, if possible, became paler, but he said nothing.
Narcissa had taken a swig of her own Firewhisky at Draco's interruption, but continued her tale as if it had gone uninterrupted. "We were all gathered at Bell-Lestrange Manor," she seemed to have the sadness in her face become more pronounced. Draco placed a hand over the one that was resting on his leg, rubbing soothing circles with his thumb. Harry noticed her reluctance at saying the name he hated so much and wondered why? He felt his insides burn with anger at the thought of Bellatrix Lestrange. Before he could think more of it, Narcissa went on, her voice coming as if from far away, as if she were someplace else.
"The Dark Lord had ordered us to gather, had said that he had a task for someone, for one honorary follower of his," she said in contempt. "So we gathered, all of us eager to know what task the Dark Lord could possibly want. How sure they were that they would be chosen, that the Dark Lord trusted them above all his other faithful servants," she said bitterly. "I remember hating it all. I had an uneasy feeling about this new 'task,' fearing who would be chosen. Wishing with all my being, hoping, that my Lucius and Regulus would not be chosen. Whatever it was, I felt, it was something terrible. And I wanted nothing of it. And I was willing to do anything to keep them both away from it," She said quietly.
"I feared it was going to be some kind of murder or something terrible, I don't know," she said, shaking her head she took another gulp of her Firewhisky, "and Regulus was so young, so innocent- even as a Death Eater."
"You can imagine my surprise when the Dark Lord said he required an elf for one of his purposes. Regulus was fast and eager, being the first to react," Narcissa ran a hand over her tired face, "Regulus volunteered Kreacher, the Black Family house elf. I felt...I felt fear in my heart like no other. I'm not sure why, but I felt...I was scared for him. I was so worried," she said softly, eyes touching Regulus who was downing his whisky. She looked down at her glass, as if wanting to do the same, but placed the glass on the table with a soft clink that echoed around the kitchen.
"That was all? Then...you never saw him again?" Harry finally asked in a quiet voice. He knew what came next in the story. Narcissa shook her head, eyes glistening.
"Mother, you don't have to-"
"No no Draco, I'm almost done," she said with a weak smile. "No Harry. He came back. The 'task' was completed. I had thought Regulus would have been happy, proud even. I imagined he might've even gotten that haughty look he sometimes used to wear, the one that made him look so much like his brother," she said with an aching smile, her eyes far away, as if she could actually see them. "But he wasn't. No," she said softly," Regulus looked like he had aged years rather than days since the last meeting. His eyes were hallow, his face gaunt. He looked...I don't know. He was just so different. And it wasn't just the way he looked, oh no. Everything about him was off. I wasn't the only one who noticed," she said darkly, "one other person, if you could call him that, did."
"The Dark Lord," Draco said, understanding her tone. She nodded.
"But I was the first to notice. And I tried so hard to comfort him, to find out what was wrong. To help my favorite cousin, as he had for me, so many times. And I had failed him," she said, shutting her eyes briefly. "But he wouldn't have it. In fact, he kept pushing me farther and farther away, trying to push me away from him, to make me hate him. He should've known it was impossible," she said sadly. "I tried, I truly did. But...not long after I...he..." she put her head in her hands. Draco placed a hand on her shoulder but allowed her to grieve.
"Normally, due to her reaction, I'd say he died. And yet, here you are. So what did happen?" Draco asked in a grim voice.
"I disappeared," Regulus said, his voice hard. "I'm remembering this, all of it. But I still don't know what I'm doing here." He froze. He looked at Narcissa and Draco as if for the first time. "Narcissa? How long was I gone?" Narcissa looked up, eyes glistening.
"It's been seventeen years, Regulus. Seventeen years," she said in a choked whisper. Regulus's glass slid from between his fingers, shattering into thousands of pieces.
Harry nodded grimly. "And a lot has changed since then," he said quietly.
Regulus's eyes were wide, disbelieving. He looked at his hands, down at himself, searching for something, anything. Draco said nothing, showed no emotion. "Whathappened to me?" he asked quietly, as if talking to himself. He finally looked up at Harry. "You. You said you know some things. I am remembering, but I have a feeling it's not all of it. I don't know what's going on. Tell me."
Harry nodded. "I think I do. At least...part of it. There's just something that doesn't make sense," Harry said, frustrated. Regulus was fighting for control, Draco could see that. He could tell because he had done so many times before. He wordlessly repaired Regulus's glass and levitated it back to its place. Regulus's eyes met his, grey met grey, and he nodded in wordless thanks before turning his attention back to Harry.
"How I'm alive, you mean?" Regulus finally said. Harry looked apologetic.
"Just say what you know Potter, or should I call you Harry dear as well? Maybe Regulus will remember something as we go along," said Draco. Harry nodded.
"That- that letter," Harry said, jerking his head towards the slip of paper laying in front of Regulus, "I found it in a golden locket, the fake one. I already told you how I acquired it. With Dumbledore. Do you remember what this slip of paper was doing in that golden locket?" Regulus nodded grimly.
"Humor me, Potter, and I'm sure my mother would like to know as well. What's the story with the locket? Regulus might remember something along the way," Draco finally said when he realized he wasn't going to be getting an explanation.
"I only know what I've been told. I'll start from where your mother left off. We all know Voldemort wanted a house elf for one of his sick plots, but do any of you know why?" Regulus's jaw tightened. Harry nodded. "I see you remember."
"Enlighten us, Potter."
A/N: So what do you think? Comment on every line if you can :D Pretty please! The more reviews/reads, the more motivated I'll be *wink wink*.
IMPORTANT: Did anyone find out what Narcissa meant by her "doing something?" Care to guess? If so, do not read on.
What she meant was, remember in the last book, very end, she saved Harry's life, which led to Voldemort's downfall. Yeah, ring a bell? That's what she means by she didn't let Regulus's "death" go to waste. I felt like there was a lot more to her saving Harry's life than just the fact that Draco was alive (although that would have been enough :P)