Chapter 1 : Before The Wedding
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She shivered though her room was anything but cold, the mere thought of being a wife to someone drilling a cold hole in her heart. She was too young to be married. Too inexperienced. And most of all, she was not in love with her betrothed. She knew she should have been. He had money, lineage, and a name to give her. But she didn’t have the love she wanted so desperately to fill her heart when she walked down the aisle.
Narcissa felt empty staring at the stunning white gown, it’s neckline adorned by small pearls. Her hand went up to her lips as she sighed, wanting to prolong the moments before she needed to put it on. She had hours, but it felt like it was only minutes before she would be attached to someone permanently. Her free spirit would be contained yet again by the name she had branded into her.
It was so simple a word that she was surprised it would mean so much in the wizarding world. It meant she was a pureblood, that she had outrageous standards, and that she was supposed to marry a pureblood.
He was the one she was supposed to marry.
At first, her parents had told her she would be marrying Rabastan Lestrange. Narcissa had begged for it not to happen. She pleaded that she would take anyone aside from the pompous, black-haired fool that was a year older than her. Anyone had been her mistake. Her parents had gone and found the second most pompous man she had ever met. But Narcissa was weak against her parents, and her sisters had been so convincing in the fact that Lucius Malfoy would be worth it.
Her hand clenched as she thought of the words they had spoken to her. They had been terrible liars, but she had gone with it only because she loved them. They were her sisters, and she hadn’t an inkling of what to do otherwise. Listening to them had been the easiest choice.
Narcissa wished she had put up more of a fight, but her willpower had been so low. It still was, but her regret was growing. She licked her lips and took a step forwards to the dress, her hand lowering to its skirt. The fabric was so smooth and soft that Narcissa wished she could wear it with joy, but after the first few arrangements with Lucius she knew that she wouldn’t.
Their first arrangement had been at Andromeda’s ball for when she had turned seventeen. They had danced and he had tried to charm her with his looks and wit. She had been unimpressed when all he had done was insult many of her friends before the ball was halfway over. Narcissa had left with a bitter taste in her mouth about the slightly older man.
After that, her parents had assumed it had been an amicable meeting between the two, ecstatic over the development. They had arranged a few dinners, all of which had made Narcissa cringe internaly, but smile for her parents. She had, after all, told them that she would have taken anyone but Rabastan.
The blonde twenty year old could not help but feel overwhelmed as she thought of all their meetings, a small glower of hate towards herself building in her chest. She could have done something to stop their ‘love’. She could have gathered the courage to stand against her parents like Andromeda had done recently.
Narcissa tucked a strand of limp hair behind one ear and sighed, accepting her fate. She could have done something, but she never did. She had to play the cards she had been dealt. She pulled her hand back away from the dress and walked towards the window, looking out at the extravagant garden below the trellis. It had all been set up for the impeding wedding. Narcissa had at least made it perfectly clear that she had wanted a small wedding outside her childhood home. It had taken some convincing, seeing as her parents wanted many of their powerful friends to see the wonderful pair their daughter and the Malfoy heir made.
A knock at the door startled Narcissa, causing her to allow the person behind it to invade on her introspective time. The door opened and her betrothed walked through it, a bright smile on his face. It struck Narcissa as odd to see him so happy. He had always been a solemn man in her presence.
“Isn’t it bad luck to see the bride with her wedding dress?” She tried as a weak attempt to make him leave, the want for more time to herself growing. Narcissa crossed her arms and sat down on the window seat, the sun disappearing behind a large cloud.
“I believe it’s only bad luck if you are a muggle and actually in your dress. Seeing as you are neither, I am perfectly allowed to be here.” His tone struck her as odd too. A perplexed look crossed her face catching Lucius’ notice. “You are not getting cold feet are you?” His tone had made her lose her strict control, causing an answer to leave her lips before she thought into it.
“I don’t have much of a choice do I?” She looked out the window, closed her eyes and instantly regretted the words. It was too bold a move and she could sense that he knew it was as well.
An awkward and unsettling silence settled over the room. Narcissa tried to block out the silence in the room with a rivaling silence in her head. She was so consumed in her own silence that she failed to notice the lean man cross the room to her window seat.
“You’ve always had a choice you know.” Narcissa, caught off guard, looked at Lucius in the eyes for the first time since meeting him. Her breath caught as she saw genuine care in his grey eyes. It was something she had never noticed in his face. She didn’t look at him often, but Narcissa found herself examining his face with great care, trying to find some hint of a façade.
There was nothing but true care etched in the undefined creases of his face.
Despite everything she had thought before he had entered the room, Narcissa felt a small, very small, pocket of warmth growing in her chest. The emptiness being swallowed just a little.
“Well, I had best go out there and try to keep your friend from the wine for the reception. She seems to me like a drunkard.” And the warmth was gone with the end of his words. Narcissa was disappointed that she had almost felt care for the sleek man.
He stood up and left the room, leaving Narcissa with many more things to think about.
She had felt good when he had made the warmth grow in her. He had shown her a side that she had never seen before, or that she had cared to see before. Being the woman she was, Narcissa felt compelled to believe that he could become that person again. That he could make her feel warm inside.
Narcissa looked at her dress and picked it up, holding it to her neckline. She looked down on herself and wondered if she would ever in the future remember herself walking down that aisle as a happy woman. But for the moment, she felt the emptiness, regret, and trepidation return to her chest.