well guys, it's just another "unexpected" fic from me. lol. this will probably be the last one for a while i should think. lol. i do hope you enjoy it and please, as always, i would love to hear from you and what you think about this fic. thanks! much love! ;) ~nomikkin Home Inspection
It had been a good two and a half years since her husband had died and her son had walked out of her life, yet the damn aurors, like flies, kept coming back. They repeatedly told Narcissa that it was a routine inspection, but if it was routine, why was she the only house that was constantly under surveillance? When she asked this, they never responded, they simply ignored her and went back to sneaking around her home. They had grown to be gentle now with her things, when before hand they would tear through the place almost as though it was a shack … well, by they time they left, it certainly looked like one.
Narcissa glanced at the calendar across the island in the kitchen and discovered a large, red, sparkling circle embedding the date. It was today. They were showing up again today.
‘How grand,’ she thought dryly as she poured herself a glass of wine.
Sure enough, almost as though it was on cue, there was a loud knock at the door. She rolled her ice blue eyes at the drumming sound and placed the thick wine bottle down with a thunderous thump. Narcissa stormed out past the dinning room and into the foyer where she found the front door standing in all its splendor. Behind the door was the dripping sound of rain and a young man was rapping his knuckles against the French wood. Her lip curled with disgust as she strode towards the front entrance. She pulled it open was shocked to find who the mystery person was.
“Potter?” she asked breathlessly, clutching to her heaving chest as she let him walk in.
He shook his head, trying to rid his locks of the rain as he said, “Surprised to see me?”
“That’s the understatement of the year,” she snapped as she slammed the door behind him. “What are you doing here?”
“Inspecting your house, I should think,” he grinned, removing his jacket and placing it over the staircase banister.
“Have they truly run out of aurors that they must send the one at bottom of the bucket?” she sneered.
“If your mouth keeps running like that, you might just end up like your husband,” he warned.
Narcissa eyed him for a moment and took a couple steps towards him. Harry stayed rooted in his position and let her breath coated with mint tingle over his senses; he knew that she had yet to break into a fresh bottle of alcohol due to her clean sent. His emerald orbs scanned her features; she was wrinkle-less, had placid eyes, and seemed to be graying … not in her hair but in emotions.
“Are you threatening me?” she whispered menacingly.
“You wish,” he replied, moving out of her way and towards the staircase.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” she called out as he took the steps at a time.
Harry paused at the top step and looked at her over his shoulder, “A threat would probably be the biggest thing that’s happened to you since your son’s disappearance.”
“Why you wretched little—”
“Cut the insults,” he begged as he continued up the stairs, “I’ve received enough of them from your son and husband in the past; I don’t need it from you.”
She clutched her hands into fists and clenched her jaw tight as she watched him stroll down the hallway into the master bedroom. He was rude and disrespectful, just like all the others. He was most likely going to be rummaging through her things with the same care that they all had in past; which was none. They didn’t care about her or her broken heart, how could they? She was only a Malfoy, which was now considered to be a disgrace.
Well, Narcissa certainly couldn’t allow the man who ruined her life to ruin her home, her sanctuary, as well. The house creaked and groaned as she traveled up the stairs with a brisk air surrounding her. She glided down the darkened corridor and stopped at the doorframe. She discovered Harry standing to the left of her, looking at a picture on her vanity.
He glanced at her and then looked back at the photo, “I’m sorry.”
The phrase hit her heart; no one had said that to her, not even her deceased husband.
“I’m sorry,” he repeated, “for everything you’ve lost.” He put the picture down and continued on with his explanation, “You lost your family to darkness. You lost your son to fear. You lost your husband, someone you gave your heart and soul to—”
“And never do that,” she interrupted.
“What?” he asked.
She didn’t answer right away; instead she turned her back on him and gradually ambled over to the large painting pressed against the wall. The golden frame signified the wealth that the family had within their funds and the lavish painting itself stood for the honor they held. In between the two adults, was a young looking Draco, his name still yet to be embedded into his brain, yet taking over his features at that moment. Narcissa remembered that he had begun to smile when the artist came, but Lucius scolded him, telling him that men shouldn’t smile so widely; it showed weakness.
“Never give your heart and soul to someone,” she stated. “They usually take them away. Lucius did just that; I’ll never have them back.”
“Surely you can’t be serious.”
“I do not jest Mr. Potter,” she breathed. “My husband practically stole my heart.”
“And your soul?”
“That was given to my son,” Narcissa answered, bowing her head down with shame. "You’ve seen what he can do when given something. He either takes it for granted or runs away with it. In my case it happened to be the latter.”
She turned her back on the painting, never receiving the stolen heart and soul from the two-dimensional members of her beloved family. Narcissa strolled up to Harry, whose expression was riddled with concern and even sympathy for the poor Mrs. Malfoy. She grinned at him and traced the line of his jaw with a slender white finger, indicating that he shouldn’t feel such worry for her.
“I’ll leave you to your work,” she declared, lifting her head up high. “Please, if any room should be intact, let it be this one; I’d like to sleep soundlessly, not having to worry about the mess that you left it in.”
“Why would I leave it a mess?” he asked, his eyebrow arched with confusion.
“Don’t all aurors mess up the homes that they inspect?” she responded, her voice giving off a hint sarcasm.
“Well, they’re not supposed to,” Harry answered.
“That’s quite peculiar. Every time they’ve exited that front door, this manor has been left in a state that even a Hippogriff would find unsatisfying,” she stated. A small smirk made its way over her features, “I’m becoming too much of a distraction. I’ll be downstairs if my assistance is needed, but I assume it won’t be. It never has been and I don’t expect it ever will be in the future.”
Narcissa left him dumbfounded; he was simply amazed that a Malfoy could even have any feelings besides pride and vanity. Yes, he knew that they felt fear time and time again, for Draco had always tried to cover it up, but to suffer loneliness … that was a new one to him. As he turned back to the mirror topped dresser in front of him, he supposed that there was a first time for everything; feelings included.
The fire crackled quietly as Narcissa turned the page of the wizarding book she was reading. It was one that she used to read when waiting up for Lucius in the late nights of Draco’s early childhood … right before the Dark Lord had fallen. Her eye never once picked up a word and took it into consideration; she simply just scanned the pages almost as though they were blank.
“I’m done with the upper level.”
She lifted her gaze to meet Harry’s sparkling eyes covered behind a pair of smudged glasses. His hands were covered with a type of dirt and grime that she had never seen any of the other inspectors wear. Eyeing it carefully, Narcissa pointed to his disheveled attire.
“I do hope you haven’t touched anything of mine with those soiled hands of yours,” she noted, lowering her pointing finger.
He was taken aback by the declaration and snapped his eyes down to his grime covered hands and then back up at her, “Oh, no. Of course not.”
“You’re finished with the second floor?” she asked, not needing any clarification, but all the same just wanting to hear a defiant “yes” from him.
“Yeah, I’m done,” he replied.
“That took you quite a long time.”
“Two hours for one full floor isn’t that bad …”
“Considering that you have the first floor, the dungeons, and the secret passage ways to examine as well, I would say that you have a long night ahead of you, Mr. Potter,” she commented.
“Dungeons? Secret passage ways? Are you joking me?!” he exclaimed.
“I do not joke, Potter … or haven’t you understood that from our brief conversations?” Narcissa responded curtly.
He opened his mouth to reply, but shut it closed finding that nothing would please or satisfy this woman before him. He pursed his lips and headed for the next room over which he assumed to be the library due to the automatic candles that were alit when he stepped into the room and the massive shelves filled with books and parchment. A sigh escaped Harry as he took his wand out from his back pocket and began to survey the quarters.
A loud thump disturbed Narcissa from her distorted dream and found that she was back in the perfect nightmare that she casually called her life. Another thump vibrated throughout the house and she knew it was time to go off and see what the wretched scar-head was doing. She pushed herself up from the black leather couch that she had fallen asleep on. The living room had grown cold due to the dying embers of the fire against the wall. As goose bumps crashed upon her skin, Narcissa traveled out of the frigid area ad into the foyer. There, Harry was leaning up against the glossy banister of the staircase, his eyebrows furrowed with confusion as he stared a specific area beneath the steps.
“Might I ask why you are causing such a ruckus?” she breathed.
Harry pointed to the area where he had sent spells, charms, countercharms, and even hexes at, “That’s a door.”
“Good job. No other inspecting team has discovered that,” Narcissa grinned.
“How does it open?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” she replied sarcastically.
“Yes I would,” Harry answered with a stern tone covering his voice.
“Well, demanding, aren’t we?” she smirked, as she strutted up to the scorched hidden doorway.
The woman of the Malfoy Manor pulled out her slender wand and pointed at the concealed entrance, mumbling something in the dead language that was usually used for their everyday spells. But when they were all strung together in the way she had put it, Harry found it to be like a song … lyrical. He was snapped out of his trance suddenly as the door swung open for him. He shuffled towards the gaping opening and discovered a short, dark stairwell leading into a room lit by green candles.
“Well? Go on,” Narcissa pressed. “I’m almost certain you’ll find what you’re looking for down there.”
“You mean you don’t know what’s down there?” Harry asked, pulling away from the murky abyss.
“I’ve only been down there once … Lucius felt the need to spice our lives up, which resulted into me bearing his child,” she explained. “I don’t think I need to tell you what happened.”
“I’d be grateful if you’d spare the details,” he grimaced. There was a slight pause and then he asked her, “Would come down there with me?”
“You aren’t scared, are you Potter?”
“Are you so sure of yourself?”
There was a flicker of hesitance in his eyes and she knew that the same fear she had felt when first going down there was coursing through his veins at that very moment. With a roll of her blue eyes, Narcissa directed him down the steps into the bitter, damp dungeons. He made sure to keep close to her, but not to close as to suggest something, which she picked up on immediately. She cleared her throat the moment the landed on the ground floor. Her hand was held up, gesturing to the area and letting him get on with his work. Harry nodded to her and walked over towards a wet bar, strolling behind it and dipping below, searching through the many bottles alcohol and mixers that Lucius had once kept for “special meetings”. He came back up with a large, bulbous glass bottle filled with a burgundy liquid that could only be defined as fire whiskey.
“1912 … my goodness,” Harry mumbled to himself as he studied the bottle carefully. “Lucius had good taste in whiskey.”
“It was his father’s,” Narcissa informed him. “We only opened that once. It was the only time I ever ventured down here.”
There was a moment of silence between the two and Harry broke it by looking up at her, “Would you like to break it out now?”
She thought about it; by doing this she would be breaking down every wall she had ever put up over herself since her husband, her loved one which she had made vows to, was sent to Azkaban. Narcissa was having the notion of actually having a drink with the very man who put her precious Lucius away in the first place. However, now with the war over and the Dark Lord defeated, she had nothing to lose; she had already lost her family, how much further could she possibly fall?
“I could use a drink,” she smiled, coming to the very conclusion that the only thing lower than this was to bear a muggle’s child … that would be a sign of the apocalypse, though, Narcissa would never do that.
When she slid onto a magically wiped clean barstool, she found a small glass filled with the burning desire that she so desperately needed. Narcissa had never felt the urge to just drown herself in sorrows and wallow in alcohol, but there were times where she was beckoned to the small glass or champagne or wine. Whiskey was far too much for her poor delicate figure to handle; at least in society’s eyes. Nevertheless, society had decidedly turned its back on her and now she would turn her slender back on society.
Narcissa down the half glass of scorching liquid and merely grinned at the tasteful sensation it brought upon her; happiness. Harry stared at her suspiciously as he sipped his drink carefully. She cocked her head to the side and raised an eyebrow to him.
“What’s the matter? Haven’t you seen a woman drink before?” she asked.
“I’ve never seen a girl down fire whiskey like that,” he answered.
“Well then there’s your problem; I’m not a girl, I’m a woman,” Narcissa corrected. “A woman can do anything a man can do. She can feel anything that a man can. She can be anything that a man can be.
“That’s why I married Lucius. He was such a challenge for me as I was him. We were constantly trying to beat one another whether it was at chess, at calling one of the house elves first, or even seeing who could drink the wine faster. We always broke even and it certainly ticked him off, I can guarantee you that. After a few years of receiving this constant deadlock, he married me. I was the suitable wife, the one who could handle him, the one who was equal to him in more ways than one.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Harry asked.
“Because I need to hear it for myself; I lost the will to challenge him after Draco came into our lives. I became weak and let him walk all over me … it was …”
“Stupid?” he offered.
Narcissa glanced at him slowly, “Yes. Exactly.”
Harry averted his sparkling orbs down to his half filled cup, feeling his thirst for the sizzling liquid had diminished. He sighed and pushed the drink to the left of him, letting it glide a bit across the glossy bar top. Narcissa locked eyes with him again and pushed herself up off of her warm seat. She gestured for him to follow her with a wave of her hand and he obeyed. They traveled down a seemingly short corridor, but when the green candles lit up one by one, the end of the hallway could not be seen. The beautiful Malfoy stopped at a black wooden door, her shoulder casually leaning up against the frame. She grinned at the expression crossed over Harry’s face.
“This is the first of many rooms,” she announced. “It’s one of the less gaudy quarters … if anything it’s riddled with class due to my husband’s need to get me down here.”
He didn’t respond, but gulped as he pushed the entrance way open. In front of him was a black and white replica of the master bedroom upstairs. The sheets had been shoved tightly underneath the mattress and the furniture, such as the dresser and matching nightstands, had been pressed up against the stone coarse walls. More green candles were dripping out of the ceiling from a small chandelier, giving the quarters an effective Slytherin feeling.
“This is the only room I have ever been in,” Narcissa said quietly as she walked in after him. “I have never felt the need to go any further. I may have been attracted to a Death Eater, but to be one was not attractive to me at all.”
Harry spun around on the back of his heel and stared at her, examining her fragile features carefully. They were free of any worry lines that she had worn time and time again over the years due to the two malicious men she had in her life. It seemed unfair to him that she had loved a couple of malevolent scoundrels such as Lucius and Draco. He knew that she had tried to change her son, tried to make it so that the saying, “Like father, like son,” wouldn’t come true. But it did and now she was being punished … it was unreasonable and down right cruel.
That’s when it came over him so suddenly that even he, himself, didn’t have a warning as to what he was doing. Harry took one stride across the large gap in between them and cupped her face within his hands, pressing his lips against hers. He expected her to pull back and smack him, like any respectable pureblood would have done, but she was hungry for the lust and little droplets of love that he was feeding her. Narcissa ravaged her hands through his thick ebony locks and slammed the door behind herself, leaving all feelings of guilt outside in the cold barren hallway.
The next morning, Narcissa awoke slowly, which was a first to her since generally she woke up due to a nightmare or just a random jolt of emotion. She looked over to her right and discovered that the area where her one-night lover had once slept was now replaced with a small piece of parchment and scratchy handwriting. She sighed and seized the note within her grasp. It read:
I apologize for leaving you alone. I had to report back to my department and let them know how far along I had gotten. I’ll be back later tonight to finish the home inspection. I do hope you’ll be here when I arrive.
Sincerely~ Harry Potter
A smile curled her lips as she placed the thick parchment over her sheet covered stomach. If her husband was watching from down below, surely he was cussing his lungs into oblivion. But no matter, she had bigger fish to fry at that moment … such as the perfect dress to wear for when the inspector arrived.