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Shade of Winter by darkkid
Format: Short story
Chapter 1: Longing for a Child
Authors Note: I came up with this on a cold, December night. About two hours ago, actually. It's now midnight and I don't know if I'm in proper shape to be posting a story, but here I go...
Any typos or errors and things that just don't add up, please let me know!
Also, any and all reviews are appreciated! Thank you!
Her eyes were the shade of winter; icy, blue, and crisp. Tears stained Narcissa's cheeks and her nose felt raw from the endless dabbing of tissues. She sat in her favorite part of the manor, a bay window seat just off the foyer. The cushions were soft and plump, and the view was remarkable. Though on days such as this, not even her much loved bench could pull her out of her misery.
Snow drifted outside and gently rested upon the window pane. She watched it land carefully on top of the previously fallen snow. It piled up higher and higher, and just when it got to the point where it looked like no more could fit, a gust of wind would take away the pile. Then a new mound of fresh snow would build up, just for the same thing to happen again.
Narcissa stared out of the window in a sort of trance. Stillness and sorrow consumed her as if the snow from the other side of the glass was piling up on top of her instead of the window. It felt as if it were covering her, cooling her, and trapping her. The news she had received from the healer that morning was upsetting; tragic, even.
Narcissa could hear the healer's words in her head as if it were a record set on repeat. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Malfoy," the nurse had said in a cool, calm voice. Narcissa remembered cringing at these words. She didn't need to hear to the rest, but the healer said them anyway. "You're not pregnant."
You're not pregnant.
Narcissa Malfoy was not pregnant. The words hurt to even think about. She was not going to be a mother. She was not going to have a child grow inside of her, feed off of her strength, and become a real, live person.
She was not a mother.
Even though she had her husband and a few select relatives in her life, Narcissa felt alone. Her desire to be a mother burned in her like a flame licking the bark of an old oak tree and each passing month the news became harder and harder to bare.
I'm never going to be a mum.
Narcissa buried her face in her hands and cried again. She cried all morning and afternoon, and when the sun began to set she finally stopped the tears and merely sat in silence by herself. She wiped her eyes and waited for Lucius to return home from work at the Ministry.
When he walked in through the double doors Narcissa stood from her spot at the window. Her eyes were still swollen and red, but she didn't care about her appearance. Without a word she simply ran up and pulled her husband into a hug and clung tightly to his warm flesh.
He didn't question it. He seemed shocked at first, but didn’t question his wife’s sudden movement. Without hesitation he hugged her back and pushed his face into her ratted, blonde hair. He knew she needed it, if just for a moment.
After a minute had passed, they broke away and the night continued on as if nothing had happened. It was just another evening. They sat down for supper at 7 o'clock and exchanged simple conversations across the table, and at 10 o'clock they readied for bed.
But still Narcissa ached inside, and at night when she was in bed and sleep evaded her, she cried.
It was on that night that Narcissa vowed she would become a mother. She refused to give up. She needed to be a mum. It was her calling.
She would not give up.
Narcissa awoke on a cool, mid-February morning feeling different. She was nauseated, tender, and unbearably moody.
Is this it? she thought to herself with excitement. Am I going to be a mum?
Narcissa dressed quickly in a black skirt and top before Lucius awoke and apparated to the healer whom she saw only a month beforehand. After checking in at the front desk, she was lead to a quiet, white room and was instructed to rest on a soft, cushioned seat. She did so and pulled up her shirt to show bare stomach. She rubbed her stomach.
“Please,” she whispered to her naval. “Please let this be my time.”
Five minutes passed before she was accompanied by the nurse. The young, raven haired nurse pulled out her wand. Narcissa waited and waited while the healer hovered it across her stomach.
The healer frowned at Narcissa and slowly shook her head. "I'm sorry Mrs. Malfoy, but you're not pregnant."
"But, the signs!" Narcissa said with a sudden taste of hysteria on her tongue. She sat up from the table and pulled her shirt back over her belly button. “The signs are all there! I was sick this morning, right when I woke up. And I had cramping. I’ve read the books! These are the signs of being pregnant!"
“I’m sorry,” the healer said with a sincere frown. "I'd say you have a simple head cold. The symptoms are all the same."
A cold? That's all she had was a head cold. Not a child growing, feeding off of her strength to become a real, live person. Just a cold.
The healer placed a small bottle of simple tonic on the counter. "Take this right before bed tonight, and you'll feel good as new again." The healer then left the room, leaving Narcissa alone to her thoughts.
She buried her face into her hands and wept right there in the room.
Why? she asked herself. Why can't I have just this ONE thing?
Narcissa began to grow blank. Her eyes glazed over when she was alone. She was too tired to cry anymore. Too tired to care anymore.
Why wasn't she getting her one wish? Why?
"I want a child," Narcissa blurted out over dinner one hot evening. Lucius coughed into his spaghetti and looked up at his wife with calm eyes.
"We are doing our best, aren't we?"
"I mean, we could adopt," Narcissa said, twirling her noodles around her fork. It was a bold topic, and she feared that Lucius would take it harshly, but it was something she had to discuss with him. It wasn't that she wanted a child; it was that she needed a child. She couldn't stand to live anymore, her obsession was overwhelming.
"I don't think that would be practical," Lucius said finally. For him the topic was over. He buried his face in his supper and ate quietly.
Narcissa remained silent for the remainder of dinner. She would get a child, one way or another. She would be a mother. She just had to be.
That night, the couple went to bed in silence. Lucius drifted to sleep, yet Narcissa was wide awake. As the snores of her husband bereted about the room, she slipped out from the silk sheets and pulled on her navy blue robe.
She had her mind set. Her plan was crazy, and possibly idiotic, but she couldn't take this anymore. There was only one person who she could trust to help her.
Narcissa walked quickly to the study room, shutting the door quietly behind her, and grasped a hand-full of floo powder. She quietly muttered the home of her sister, Bellatrix, and threw down the powder. She was swept away in a flurry. Her insides felt warm and her limps were tingling as she flitted through fire places.
Suddenly she arrived in the empty room of the Lestrange home. She stepped from the fire place and crept quietly out of the family room she had arrived in. A figure appeared at the end of a dimly lit hallway.
"Cissy?" a voice called out. "Cissy, is that you?"