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Chapter 4 : Failure
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I came to hate you and I end up loving you—loving all that makes you. I point a gun at your chest yet I fail pull the trigger because my heart shan’t let me. I want to tell you horrible words of how you made me feel one day long ago, yet when I open my mouth nothing comes out. You’ve silenced me. You cast your spell on me again and now I don’t have the strength to make you suffer.
Draco Malfoy was a rather intelligent little boy, despite his snobbish manner and selfish attitude. He knew right from the start that the girl who walked in at breakfast was not just his father’s nice. She didn’t even look like a Malfoy, and besides, why would his father not have mentioned her before? His mother seemed so angry and sad these days, that Draco actually wondered if this was something to do with the past that Lucius always avoided talking about.
The girl—Eva, was the most peculiar person Draco had ever met. She would sit down at dinner or lunch and just smirk at his mother until she couldn’t stand it anymore and left the room. And she didn’t even touch her food until it was cold on the plate. And she drank a lot of water. And she went on moonlight walks in the garden for hours. And when she came in, she seemed sad, but that was only when she thought no one was looking. But Draco was looking. Draco had been watching her ever since she interrupted their breakfast that day. He had been “on her case” since the first time he set eyes on her. She didn’t seem to take much consideration of him, but Draco had seen a lot of things from the dark shadows on the house. He had seen his father crying in his study like a child when he thought no one was looking. He had seen his mother put on makeup every night, just to end up throwing away her perfumes and eye colours when Lucius didn’t even look at her during dinner. He had seen Bellatrix Lestrange flirt with his father, as he merely gave her a cold look and went out of the room, leaving her smirking at his portrait. He had even seen Dobby caressing his father’s arm one night when Lucius was crying again, only to be beaten up and thrown around the room by his angry father. But a girl as strange as Eva he had never seen before.
His father had acted strangely since she set foot in their house. He would sometimes look at her with longing in his eyes and sometimes he would look as if he wanted to murder her. At eleven years of age, Draco was quite frustrated because there were things in his life which did not make any sense, and the more he thought of them, the more confused he became. For example, poor Draco could not understand why mother and father were arguing so much when father came home after a Death Eater meeting. Wasn’t he taught by his family that being of service to the Dark Lord was the biggest possible honour? Surely, being summoned by the Dark Lord himself and having him promise you that one day you will be one of his Death Eaters was the biggest moment of Draco’s 11 years and five months of life; but what he could not understand was why mother would cry over it. But this girl...Eva...she didn’t make much sense to Draco at all. He understood that she was pregnant, and he also understood that mother though she was pregnant with his father, but what he didn’t understand was why father would do something like that with a girl who seemed only a few years older than himself. He loved his mother, didn’t he? He acted careless at times, but he must love her—otherwise, why would he marry her? He even remembered kissing and caressing her face nearly every day when Draco was younger...love like that couldn’t just go away, could it? It must be like the way his cheeks blushed when he saw Pansy Parkinson walking on the corridor at Hogwarts...and the sudden heart warming feeling when he touched her hand in Potions by accident—Draco couldn’t imagine that just going away. No...the more he thought about it, the clearer it started to become. Eva was the reason why his father had been acted so cruelly towards his mother, because he observed how father’s facial expression changed within minutes in love then hate then love again. Expressions like that, Draco thought, should come in years, not minutes. You can’t love someone for a minute and then hate them—that’s impossible even for filthy muggles and wizards are far superior, especially pure bloods. No...the only conclusion young Draco Malfoy managed to achieve was that Lucius Malfoy, his father, had known Eva for far longer than he let on.
And she was definitely not his nice. Draco set himself the hardest target he had ever set for himself—forget about bloody Potter and his broomstick...no this required far superior thinking—Draco had to find out who Eva really was and what she really wanted from his family.
Eva Riddle was not having a particularly good day. Her head was throbbing and her belly was getting bigger. The baby—the mer baby—was asking to go back in the Dark Lake, yet she was not finished in making Lucius suffer. Two more days should suffice, but now she was not so sure, her baby would allow her to stay two more days. Mer babies needed the presence of the Dark Lake waters to grow accordingly and healthy. She had been out of the Dark Lake for four days now, and despite the fact that her skin was getting extremely dry; her child was more and more agitated. Not even the drinking of salty water helped...nor the long salty baths. If she stayed too long, she risked of endangering her daughter’s life, and she was not prepared to do that out of revenge. Revenge wasn’t even like her...she was a peaceful creature—a peaceful squib/mer person.
Thinking about it in more depth...Eva was no longer so sure that revenge was the correct answer. Why not just forget about everything that happened between them? But she could not do that because despite the hatred towards Lucius, she still loved him. Loved him more intensely with each day she spent near him. And seeing his wife suffer gave her a sort of satisfaction that you only get when you make someone else jealous after having a relationship with your husband. But Lucius wasn’t her husband. Lucius Malfoy, the powerful male dressed in aristocratic clothes and having more influence on people than if Merlin came about, was not her husband. He was a stranger. She knew the young Lucius...the child from all those years ago who made her feel special in a world full of wizards. And that Lucius did not exist anymore. That Lucius had died the day he had to kill her. Even the look in his eyes was different—she could not read what he was thinking. Everything about the new Lucius Malfoy was hidden behind a Death Eater mask that he did not manage to get rid of since the day he joined her cousin.
And could she really make a little boy suffer? She was going to have a child herself—was she ready for that? Could she call herself a good mother, or a good person if she destroyed the home of another child, deliberately, for a past romance between herself and his father when they were only kids? Was that a good enough reason to destroy all the source of support and love for Draco? She had seen his wondering eyes at the dinner table. She had seen how he looked at his father, longing for affection and love. Draco loved Lucius a lot. He loved him, perhaps more than Narcissa and he was trying with all his strength to be like him. But Lucius was blinded by his protection. He never complimented him—only stroke his face when he did something wrong. Eve had seen all of that in Draco’s big, grey eyes and his shy manner around his father. And she felt sorry for him, because Lucius was capable of far more love than that. But by protecting his son from the Death Eaters and the outside world, he was protecting him from his love as well. And Draco needed love—not only from his mother, but from his father too.
“It’s not mine, Narcissa.” Said Lucius sitting on the other side of the King size bed from their matrimonial bedroom and taking off his shirt, then throwing it on a nearby chair.
Narcissa did not reply. She was sitting in bed, reading a book on how to control you magic and she planned not to talk to her husband, until she was sure that she would not burst out crying. Her eyes were reading the same sentence over and over again as Lucius’ eyes were searching her face for any kind of emotion.
Lucius huffed and sat in bed, picking up a book bound in leather from the side desk. “When you are done ignoring me, I really like to know why you found it necessary to move all my shoes in the spare room.”
“That’s because—never mind.” Said Narcissa reminding that she does not want to speak to him until she can control her emotions.
“Never mind....hmmm.....I have to say Narcissa, that is a very helpful answer.” Said Lucius sarcastically as he placed the book back on the table and looked at Narcissa more intensely. “It’s not my baby.”
“Good night, Lucius.” Said Narcissa, but before she could place the book on the floor, Lucius snapped it out of her hand and threw it on his side table. She gave him a murderous glare, but he grabbed her upper arms and kissed her in a way he had not kissed her for a long time. When their mouths separated, he whispered in her year: “Believe me, it’s not my baby.”
Narcissa’s eyes softened for a minute under his icy, warm glare and her nails were no longer stabbing his flesh...they were caressing his strong arms which held her in place in a strong grip. And then she kissed him again, their tongues meeting in a passionate waltz, unmindful of whatever past he might have had.
“I have to say though...you were right about one thing.”
“Which was?” demanded Narcissa while unbuttoning his blouse.
“She’s not my nice.” Said Lucius, moving his hand over her leg.
Narcissa’s hands stopped on the last button, yet Lucius never took his eyes off her face. “I thought she was dead...I have no idea how she came back.”
“You’re not making any sense.” Said Narcissa attempting to sit up, but Lucius’ arms held her trapped under him.
“I know her from Hogwarts.” He said closing his eyes for a moment. “It was when I joined the Death Eaters...we were 18.”
“But she looks...like 17 the most.” Protested Narcissa, not sure whether she should believe Lucius or not. But there was a kind of look in his eyes, a pained look, which made her almost sure that he was telling the truth. “What happened?”
“She’s a squib and we dated. Her last name is Riddle.”
“When he found out her ordered me to kill her. I killed her. She’s alive and pregnant. I have no idea what happened or how she survived.” Said Lucius and this time let Narcissa sit up from under him. “But I know she cannot be pregnant with me.”
Narcissa was silent for a while, looking at her husband with serious eyes. “You killed her?”
Lucius did not reply for a moment. “I regretted it since the moment I cast the spell on her.”
“I was young and stupid. And she’s here for revenge. She’s not capable of hurting us physically, I know she is not, but she is angry and hurt. I think that her mental level is frozen on eighteen years of age—I don’t know what happened that night after she fell in the Dark Lake, but she still looks the same as then.”
“Oh Merlin...Lucius...why did you never mention this before?”
“I thought she was dead.”
“You thought she was dead.”
“Don’t look at me like that. What would have been the point?”
“You married me and you never mentioned that you dated the Dark
Lord’s cousin. Lucius...that’s just too much.” She placed her head in her hand and no one said a word for minutes, which seemed like centuries to both of them. “Do you love her?”
“It’s a simple question, Lucius. Do—you—love her?” asked Narcissa and just like that the honey in her voice turned into sour lemon juice.
“No. I don’t know her. She’s changed. Cissy, you know you’re the only one I love.” Said Lucius watching as Narcissa’s eyes softened yet again, under his glare.
“I know that. But I want her out of the house before she can hurt Draco.”
“She won’t hurt Draco. She’s pregnant and she—she won’t hurt Draco.” Said Lucius trying to make his voice sound more certain that he felt.
“But you said that she is not the same any more. How can you be so sure?”
“She’s a squib.”
“A squib who survived the killing curse! Look...I just want her out.” Said Narcissa in a determined voice.
“I will make her go.” Said Lucius looking at his wife. How could he have not seen how much Narcissa really means to him? He was angry—angry with himself for staying entangled into a romance from when he was just a child. Before he alienated himself from Cissy, she had been the one to stay with him until the early hours of the morning to wipe his forehead with a cold cloth and pray that the after effects of the Cruciatus curse would just go away. And they did because of her. His muscles used to relax under her touch and just like that he wasn’t shaking any more. And wasn’t she the woman who bore him a child? He had seen how Draco grew inside of her and every day he would love her—them—more and more. When did that hide so deep inside of him that he couldn’t find it? He had never shared a moment like that with Eva, yet her presence there seemed to disturb everything that he loved. Sure, he killed her, and sure she was right to want revenge, but he would do anything in his power to protect his family, even if it was not just. If he had to kill her again and be a mean Death Eater—a title which he’d been running from for a long time, yet it seemed to catch up with him—he would do it for them. “I will make her go.” He said again and Narcissa came closer to him. She placed her hands on his face and kissed him, yet again. “I know you will.”
“You still didn’t answer my question.” Said Lucius as Narcissa clicked her fingers and all the candles went off. She was arranging her pillow for a good night’s sleep and looked at Lucius as his eyes glowed in the moon light. “What question?” she asked confused.
“My shoes. Why did you move them in the guest room?”
Narcissa’s lips curved into a smile. “Because I ordered Dobby to clean them all and I don’t want him to come here tomorrow morning.”
“I see.” Said Lucius.
“Ha! You thought I was throwing you out!” laughed Narcissa as she laid her head on his chest.
“I did not.” Replied Lucius in a deep voice. “Good night, love.”
A deep silence fell on them as Narcissa was listening to the rhythm of his heart. In a way, she thanked the girl in their house, because she had awakened something in her husband that had been asleep for a long time. She knew he was not lying, because she could see it in his eyes. Lucius Malfoy—her husband still loved her, despite the doubt from a few years back. He had been deeply wounded by her death and his involvement with the Dark Lord that he shut down everyone who loved him. But now, through Eva, he let her back in, and Narcissa would do everything in her power not to be chucked out again.
“I want a baby.”
“I want a baby. I have thought about it for months...I want a baby.
We have a son, I want a daughter too.”
Narcissa let out a small laugh and lifted her head off her husband’s
“I have imagined myself with a daughter too. As long as she does not inherit your deranged sister.”
“Don’t be abominable! Bella is lovely!”
“Yes...when she doesn’t torment people.”
“I mean it! Bella would be hurt to hear you talk like this.” Said Narcissa
mockingly, yet truth to be told she did not want her daughter to take after Bella either.
“I am sure she would be distraught. I, on the other hand...would be terribly sad if we think about Bella when we are on the verge of making a baby.” He sat up and trapped Narcissa underneath him, with his strong hands, and for the second time that night, she started unbuttoning his shirt.
Lucius was in a good mood the following morning, as he thought back to the moments he spent with his wife the previous night. He had woken up at precisely 6:00 am, dressed in his home robes and went in search for some coffee, as his Cissy was still sleeping, her pale back marking shadows on the silk bed sheets in the morning sunlight. That precisely same back he had kissed a few hours before, marking it with his lips as she ran her hands through his hair.
He reached the kitchen and searched for the little jar with coffee imported from Brazil, everywhere, yet it was nowhere to be found. And then he remembered that he was a highly skilled wizard, in charge of a dozen house elves, so he snapped his fingers and just like that, Dobby popped into the room, with a submissive bow.
“How can Dobby be of assistance, master Malfoy?” Lucius snorted—surprisingly, the little squeaky voice was not bothering him. On the contrary, he seemed to find the little creature rather pleasant.
“Coffee, Dobby. I need coffee. Bring it in my office—and don’t take too long.” His own voice surprised him, for it held a sort of kindness
that he did not hear in a long time. A very long time.
“Certainly master Malfoy.” Said Dobby with another low bow.
Lucius took another brief look at the tiny creature and was even about to say “thank you”, but he thought better of it. That would just be too much—he was after all, Lucius Malfoy, feared Death Eater and extremely cruel person. He had to maintain that title for the safety of his wife and son...and maybe, soon, even a daughter. He walked out of the kitchen, where Dobby was snapping his fingers and cups were floating in the air uninterrupted, and headed for his study—for the first time in a very long time, the study was only a study and not a sanctuary from his wife and the outside world.
But as he walked past the drawing room, the sound of murmuring voices reaching his ears intrigued him—no, not intrigued, angered him—for Eva and Draco were sitting at the wooden table, looking very serious. He hid behind the shadow of the door and looked at his son’s back as it stood very serious, listening to whatever Eva was saying. Lucius wished he could have taken his wand with him, for they were too far away for him to hear what they were saying. Actually, the more Lucius thought about it, the less he liked it—for all he knew, Eva could be telling his son the murdered he had been when taking her life away from her to save his own skin. A murdered and a coward. Lucius’ nerves were rising in an alacritous way as his thoughts drifted to what Draco might think of him after he found out—of the accusing words he would say and most of all, Lucius’ feelings were boiling with anger at Eva for making the relationship between him and his son take the path towards deterioration.
He watched from the shadow as Eva was stroking his son’s hair and smiling at him in a way which made him wonder how much she must hate him. Draco’s shoulders relaxed and then contracted, as his head went down...was he crying? Besides him was his untouched toast and jam, which Eva pushed away from him as she lifted his head with the tip of her finger—the same smile appeared on her face which sent chills down Lucius’ spine.
And then she looked at him, her brown eyes seeming deep and hurt—not hateful, but hurt. He had hurt her in a way that cannot be healed...he marked her with his love which transformed fatal. It was only then that Lucius realized that Eva was dead. He had killed her that night and that was all, for the woman poisoning his son’s mind was not the Eva he knew. The Eva he knew was too good to cause any harm, especially to a child. The Eva he knew head been able to smile with joy, yet when this woman smiled it was with hate and satisfaction for making someone else suffer. Those new eyes were staring at him, as she slowly stood up, patted Draco on the back and came towards the door, where Lucius was standing, hurt and angry.
She looked up at him for a brief second, then her eyes lost the shine in them and she looked down, as if physically hurt by his cold stare. And she did not stop...she walked past him as if he was invisible. He was invisible...she had made sure of that, because Eva realised a long time ago that by hurting everyone he loved, she would cause Lucius pain. Pain that was worse than the Cruciatus curse.
“Wait a minute!” hissed Lucius, but Eva continued walking past him, towards the main door. He hurried after her, and once they were outside, she started waking faster and faster. It was a chilly winter morning, and everything was under a thin layer of ice, as if death had placed a hand on it. As if the nature had been preserved under a layer of frozen water, keeping its youth and colours until the ice would melt away, leaving summer in want of revenge, as the sun’s rays would warm up the ground.
“I said WAIT!” shouted Lucius getting angrier by the minute, yet Eva acted more or less as if he was an annoying fly buzzing in her ear.
“He’s just a boy!” hissed Lucius as he was getting closer to her. “Why would you feel like he had to know about us?” the acrimony in his voice was growing as his face was getting slightly red. He didn’t care if he was hated by people as long as he was feared as well...but what he did hate was ignorance. He could not stand people ignoring him, especially people who owned him an explanation of some sort. His arm reached out and caught Eva’s slim wrist—turning her to face him in a swift movement. He looked at her. She looked terrible and for a moment his grip softened on her arm, but remembering Draco, he tightened it again—trying to see past the heavy bags under her eyes, the slightly yellow and dry looking tone of her skin and the much advanced pregnancy, acting like a border between them.
She did not look at him...she didn’t want those angry grey eyes on her. Her job at Malfoy Manor had been completed, and now it was time for her to return into the Dark Lake before her daughter’s health was fatally deteriorated. Lucius’ warm grip on her cold wrist was a reminder to her of how warm he used to make her feel when he would kiss her back or run is hands through her hair. Of course, those days were over and now Narcissa was his love...she knew that simply by looking at Draco.
“Why did you tell him?” he asked in a softer voice, when her eyes refused to meet his. But Eva did not say anything...not this time. She just looked up at him, with soft brown eyes and just like that Lucius’ grip on her arm softened. She stood up on her toes and their lips met for a last time, softly and swiftly as wind passing. And then she moved away from him, away into the sea of trees, coated in a thin ice layer. Lucius did not go after her...he was done with chasing the past, even thought, this time it was the past chasing him. He took a last look at where Eva had been trying to recapitulate the image of her in his head, because he knew that this time she was gone for good. And he was fine with that...despite telling Draco horrible things, Eva opened his eyes at how much he loved Narcissa and his son. So he went back to the house, leaving the memory of Eva and their relationship far behind. It was time to focus on the present.
Draco was waiting in Lucius study, together with the cold coffee that Dobby provided for him. He was still in his pyjamas and he was hopping for one foot to another because it was cold and he did not have his wand with him to turn on the chimney fire. When his father came in, his eyes widened at the seriousness on his face and even more questions popped into his child mind.
“Draco.” Said Lucius and Draco’s eyes widened even more because by the look of his father’s face he feared he might be told of for talking with Eva. But the words that came out were calm and even kind. His father never spoke to him like that and he wondered what might have happened.
“Is Eva gone?”asked Draco in a daring voice.
“Yes.” He said as he sat down behind his mahogany desk.
“But I thought she was going to stay until your great cousin in back
from Romania.” Said Draco puzzled.
“She had to—what?” asked Lucius, his eyebrows tensing.
“She told me she is going to go when her great-great uncle Morpheus Malfoy is back. She said he sent you a letter asking you to take care of her while he’s hunting for Dragon blood.”
“What else did she say to you, son?” asked Lucius starting to understand.
“Nothing...she just said that she was glad to have finally met her little cousin and that was about all.”
Lucius did not replay as an irrational joy overwhelmed him. Draco did not know and Draco did not hate him. And Draco was heading towards the door with a rather sad expression on his face, because his father drifted into his own thoughts, probably not knowingly looking at him with a disapproving glare.
“Draco?” His son turned around and looked at his father as if he was about to be told off, but when Lucius’ motioned him towards him, his eyes widened and his legs took him forward. And just like that, the tears started welling up in his eyes as Lucius caught him in a hug he had not given his son in too long.
Eva was still a mystery for Draco, even if he had decided to find out about her. He solved the mystery of her existence, or so he thought, by becoming certain that she was truly related to the Malfoys. Eva had made sure that Draco believed her little lie, just so he does not get hurt by his father’s past. But Draco was utterly confused by the change she had produced within his father. Where were all the slaps across his face when he did something wrong? Could they have been replaced by hugs like this one? Where were all the disapproving glare and snapping name calling? Why was his father hugging him like that? Draco knew he could not answer those entire questions...to be more honest, he was not even sure he wanted to find out the answer. But he knew he loved the change in Lucius. He loved the fact that he was allowed to show his weaknesses for once, but most of all he was happy that he was allowed to show his desire for love towards the most influential person in his life.
“Now, young man...what have I taught you about the Malfoys?” asked Lucius in a mimicking disapproving voice, while breaking the hug.
“A Malfoy never cries.” Said Draco while wiping away his tears with his shelve.
“Exactly.” Said Lucius while standing up. “Now...what did we discuss about that broom you wanted?”
Draco’s face lit up into a smile, but then he remembered about the way his father taught him to show his emotions so he tried to hide his overwhelming happiness behind a curtain of simple pleasantry. Finally, he would defeat that Potter prat!
Live your life, Lucius Malfoy...live it for your wife and for Draco. And I will live mine for my daughter and husband. After all, we must not linger on a past long forgotten, but look towards a brighter future. I loved you, Lucius Malfoy, but now the time has come for me to love again and with this thought I shall leave you to live your life.
A/N I hope you liked this story...and the twist as well. I wanted to focus a lot on character feelings, especially Lucius'. Anyways, I really, really, really wish you could review to tell me what you think of the story. Thanks for reading. :)
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