Down a dark and quite country lane where very few traveled, whether muggle or wizard, stood a massive manor house with sprawling gardens, lushes trees and sparkling ponds. Surrounded by a tall wall covered with vines so thick in some areas it look to simply be a wall of twisting weaving branches and leafs, with nothing else holding it up. In the middle of the wall was an ornate double wrought iron gate which in the center had an 'M' monogrammed to look like two snakes were twisting together to form the letter. These were the gates of Malfoy Manor.
It a was a quite night at the manor house, something that was a rarity these days. Only two lights could be seen coming from the windows, one from the second floor study where Lucius Malfoy was sitting at his desk, a glass of brandy in one hand as he read the evening Prophet. The other came from the high arched windows of the library where Narcissa was sitting reading a book in a deep green high backed chair which stood front of the fireplace as it crackled and snapped, a roaring fire held within. Narcissa reached towards the silver tray on the side table that the house elf had brought in, she picked up a cup of tea and brought it to her lips never taking her eyes off the page she was reading. The cup was mere inches from the tray when her hand paused in mid air and she listened to the hard foot steps that were making their way closer and closer to the tall oak doors. Only three people were in the house that night, and Narcissa had sincerely hoped her sister would remain up in her room, so everyone could have a little peace and quiet.
With the half drunk cup of tea back on it's saucer and the page of her book marked, but barely closed, Narcissa waited as Bellatrix Lestrange flung opened the library doors and made her way quickly over to her sister.
"Cissy." Bellatrix greeted with a nod of her head, a few lose strands of curls obscuring the side of her face. She sat down in the chair opposite Narcissa.
"Bella." Narcissa acknowledged in the same manner. "I didn't think you'd be down again tonight." She knew her sister too well to know this was not going to be a simple late night chat between sisters. If only, but those days were long gone.
"I couldn't sleep, and I find the reading in this house to be a trifle boring." She replyed. glancing lazily at the book resting on Narcissa's lap.
"Lucius' books on the Dark Arts not dark enough for you?" Narcissa questioned, thinking of all the spine tingling books her husband had collected over the years. She had only permitted Draco to start reading them once he turned fifteen, and had need such knowledge. Though she suspected he had gained access to them many years prier.
"Dark enough yes," Answered Bellatrix, taking her glance from the book on her sisters lap to instead looking around massive library which was mostly hidden in shadows."But not anything I haven't known for years."
Signing, and excepting this could go on for a while, Narcissa snapped her fingers and a small, frightened looking house elf appeared beside her chair.
"Bring a cup of tea for my sister, Lacey, and warm mine up while you are at it."
"Ye..yes, yes Madam Malfoy right away!" Squeaked the tiny creature as she darted her eyes quickly from her master, then Bellatrix, who had a look of loathing and distance towards the elf. With another small squeak Lacey, along with the cup of tea, disappeared with a soft pop.
"I do wish you'd stop that every time one of them enters the room." Narcissa said testily. "They always drop whatever it is they're holding."
"Oh please Cissy." Bellatrix answered with a careless wave of her hand and a dismissing tone. "It's nothing 'Reparo' wont fix. And besides I didn't do anything......this time.
Silence fell between the two, both staring into the fire. Each's thoughts so far apart that if one could have peered into their minds, apart from being completely appalled at the inner thinking of Bellatrix Lestrange, they never would have been able to guess that these two women were sister. A fact that has been known for centuries; As much as sisters can be alike, they can be so different.
Narcissa would have liked the silence to go on forever, just the soft crackling of the fire which almost muffled the pop that brought two fresh cups of steaming hot tea along with it; floating a foot or so away from their respective owners. But the silence was broken, and what was said was not what Narcissa had been expecting.
"Tonight is when everything will change. I could see it in him, tonight was not like the others times he has left. Tonight.....The Dark Lord will have acquired what he has been seeking." Bellatrix had spoken softly, something she hardly ever did. Something, that sent a shiver of dread through her younger sister.
"How do you know this?" Narcissa asked after a brief pause to sip her tea, and collect her thoughts. "I highly doubt The Dark Lord confided in you, even if you do think yourself his favorite." All pretence of pleasantry had left her voice, causing Bellatrix to slowly turn her head away from the glowing fire.
"Don't mock me Cissy." Bellatrix snapped. "Just because Lucius blundered his chances to be at The Dark Lords right hand does not mean you have the right to be jealous of those who are."
"Stop blaming my husband for what happened at the Ministry!" Narcissa exclaimed, her eyes glinting in a semi dangerous way. "You were there that night, if you could have done so much better then why didn't you?
"It was his mission Cissy, it was his to either succeed at, or fail trying. A wizard taught in the Dark Arts should have been able to handle simple school boy." She coyly said.
"You know full well Potter is anything but a 'simple school boy'." Narcissa shot back. "And maybe if you'd been more focused on the mission rather than our cousin, things would have gone as planned. And Draco would not have been made to suffer for Lucius' actions."
"Draco should be proud of what The Dark Lord asked him to do. He managed something great, getting us into Hogwarts, and it would have gone perfectly if Snape hadn't interfered." Bellatrix shot back in the same menacing tone. "And as for our dear, dead, cousin. The blood traitor got he deserved, finally."
"You and Sirius were always at each others throats. Before, during, and after school.' sighed Narcissa.
"And you always had a fondness for him, Merlin only knows why." Bellatrix said her voice dripping with hatred, as she stood and started to walk back and forth in front of the fire.
"My 'fondness''. Narcissa countered. "Has always been for the Black family name to live on, and the way you've been going lately the only two Blacks left will be us." Then, she pausing a moment before adding. "And Adromeda."
"How dare you even mention her name to me!" Yelled Bellatrix, turning to face her sister who was still calmly seated. "She is no sister of ours after marring that mudblood! She never should had been allowed to darken the noble name of Black. Same with that so-called niece of ours. Marring a werewolf! It's disgusting! " Bellatrix's face contorted with more hate than before.
"I do agree with you Bella, it is truly a shame the noble house of Black did not remain pure. But going out of your way to kill them is not necessarily." Narcissa truthfully did agree, having been raise to treasure family honor above all else. She had married a pureblood of equal standing with the Blacks, if not more so, and had produced a son worthy to carry the name of Black and Malfoy with him into the future. However, the crimes her long estranged family members had committed, she did not feel it was up to her, or Bella, to bring punishment down upon them. Enough blood was being shed during the war, and she didn't want any of her families to amongst it.
"Bellatrix." Narcissa said after several minuets of silence. Standing up and setting her book on the chair, she walked the few paces between herself and the fire, stopping in front of her sister. "I wish you'd be more cautious. The Dark Lords wrath has gotten nothing but worse since Potter and his friends escaped, and you being so much closer to him than the rest of us, are in a position of great danger. Letting your guard down could deadly.
Bellatrix watched Narcissa speak with a curious amusement before speaking herself. "You don't know what you talk of Cissy, it is because of my position, that you and your family have been spared. It is because of I, that your husband and son have not suffered far worse."
"Spared!" Narcissa cried out in shock.
"As for any danger," Bellatrix continued as if not hearing Narcissa's protest. "I will always remain loyal to The Dark Lord, what ever it may take, and such loyalty he has always repaid with great power. Something you should have thought about doing lone ago"
"You think my husband and son have been spared?" Narcissa questioned with venom in her voice, not willing to let what Bellatrix said go so easily. "Lucius is a grown man, he made his choices and has to deal with the consequences. I may not like that, but it's something I must except. And hvae. But Draco, Draco is just a boy who was never given the opportunity to make his choices. They were made for him, because of Lucius and myself, and you. He should not have to paid for the mistakes we have all made." Bellatrix, who's face had started to turn a deep shade of purple, open her mouth to speak but Narcissa cut her off. "Yes, mistakes have been made. And for some unexplained reason, which I don't want to know the answer to, it seems you enjoy when the people I care about are punished because of them."
"Draco is of age, my dear sister, and if he has to pay for his failures than so be it." Bellatrix spat, her hand fingering the wand inside her robes. "How else do you expect him to learn, and grow into a proper Death Eater? Who could one day become a very great and powerful wizard. Draco has it in him, I see it, Lucius has seen it, The Dark Lord sees it. If only you would step back, let him be a man, and let what should happen, happen."
"If you were a mother Bella, you could never say such a thing to me." Taking a step back a really looking at her sister for the first time in years, Narcissa saw just how far gone she really was. Gone was the women she had once turned to in times of great need and been comfort by. In her place was a twisted, sadistic women who had no love left for anyone, save for her master who was just as sadistic as Bellatrix Black Lestrange had become. "If you had any heart at all, you wouldn't be what you've become."
"You sound like a blood traitor." mocked Bellatrix, throwing her head back in a cold, cruel, laugh. "Why don't you go and join the Order then? If everything here, everything you've ever been taught, is not to your taste anymore."
"You have your loyalties, Bella, and I have mine. To my family, my son. And I will do whatever it take to keep them safe, and unharmed." Turning around, Narcissa walked away from the warmth of the fire, into the cold reality that was Malfoy Manor.
"The end of the war is coming Cissy!" Bellatrix hissed, her eyes glinting dangerously in the amber glow, causing Narcissa to stop just before she reached the doors. "And when is does you best make sure you are on the correct side. Completely, unwaveringly."
Without turning around Narcissa pause briefly before responding, her voice cool and steady. "Make no mistake Bella, I will be."
Not bothering to glance back and see her sisters reaction, Narcissa walked out of the library and up the grand staircase. Leaving behind, not the sister she had grown up with and, yes indeed, had loved and always admired during her youth. But a Death Eater, who, if the Dark Lord asked, would kill anyone is his way without a seconds thought. Even her own family, with no hesitation at all. Bellatrix Lestrange had become like a stranger to Narcissa, the years in Azkaban had made her more deranged then ever before. Over the last few years she had seen Bella do things she'd never thought her capable of at one point in time.
Yes, Narcissa thought making her way down the long dark hall towards her and Lucius' bedroom, the end was coming. And she'd make certain her family made it through, one way or another. As for Bellatrix, her future was most uncertain. For if the Dark Lord fell, then surely another Black would also.
Hello! I hope you all enjoyed this, it's something I've had bouncing around in my head for a while and decided to finally put to paper. So to speak. I've always envisioned the relationship between Narcissa and Bellatrix to be a very complex one, how could it not be?
Incase any of you are a little fuzzy on exactly when this takes place, it's the night Voldemort retrieves the Elder wand from Dumbledore's tomb.
Please leave a review letting me know your thoughts. :)