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Phoenix in the Ashes by HPFF United
Chapter 17 : It Was Enough
 
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 “Please, Lucius, just give her a chance. One conversation with her, and if you still don’t wish to marry her, we won’t make you.”

Lucius privately marveled how his mother could be so sure he’d like this girl –Narcissa was her name. She was supposed to be beautiful, but that was all he knew about her, other than the fact that her sister was a menace and her other sister was a runaway.

“They have arrived,” His father droned needlessly, and Lucius slouched down a little lower in his seat, his messy blonde hair falling over his eyes.

“Sit up straight,” His mother hissed at him and he grunted but complied, running a hand through his hair and making a vague attempt to straighten it out.

The silence in the sitting room was deafening, and then a house elf led Narcissa and her parents into the room. With a jab in his side from his mother, Lucius stood, stooping his head slightly to show that he held respect for her parents, shaking her father’s hand and placing a delicate kiss on her mother’s, before giving a purposefully too-wide smile to Narcissa who hid trained, delicate giggles behind her delicate hand.

“So, er, Cissa,” Lucius said mild voice, leading her to the far end of the sitting room as was expected. She cut him off before he could continue.

“My name is Narcissa.” She informed him bluntly.

He couldn’t all together hide his surprise; everything about this girl seemed perfect and delicate and exactly how a pure blood witch should be. There was no snarkiness in the equation that made up a spoiled princess.

But she had it. 

Now that he could take a closer look at her, he could see the amused mirth dancing in her eyes like a fire –strong and untamed, but expertly hidden from her elders. Bar him, of course.

“Well I like Cissa better. Much less stuffy.”

“Are you saying my name is stuffy?”

“Of course not,” He replied, a hint of cheekiness seeping into his tone, and he produced an amused half-smirk, half-smile that had the corners of her lips twitching in grudging amusement.

“You were saying?” She asked after a moment of silence and he blinked, remembering that there had been a point he’d been trying to make before they’d discussed his name.

“Your sister –she couldn’t come?”

“Which one?” Narcissa asked, and Lucius was surprised once more. He hadn’t imagined that she would still consider the runaway one her sister –he knew for sure that Bellatrix didn’t.

“Bella,” He clarified.

“No, she and Rodolphus had prior arrangements.”

“Ralphie?” Lucius questioned, “What’s Bella doing with Ralphie?”

“Ralphie?” She asked, “I’ve never heard him called that before. I’ll make sure I start. She married him three days after she turned seventeen which was, oh I’d say three years ago. You sure are kept up with the latest news of people who were in your year.”

“Your sister and I have never really gotten along,” He said, twirling his wand absentmindedly.

“That’s an understatement,” Narcissa muttered.

“Pardon?”

She looked up at him, her cheeks coloring slightly. “She sort of hates you,” She explained.

“The feeling is quite mutual.”

“This isn’t really convincing me that you’d make a suitable husband.”

At the word husband, they both froze, staring with wide eyes at one another. Lucius was the first to break the gaze, looking away and out the window near them. 

“I take it that you don’t really want to be married at twenty,” She murmured after a long, vaguely awkward silence, and he couldn’t help but look at her, shocked that she’d read him so easily.

He could see why his mother thought he’d like her. She wasn’t like the other girls he’d gotten out of marrying. She was gorgeous. She had brains. And wit –she seemed very smart.

“It’s nothing personal,” He rushed to explain, worried he’d offended the only normal pure-blood girl he’d ever met. “I just think I’m too young to marry.”

“You’ve got your whole life ahead of you,” She breathed, looking past his gaze that had been turned onto her once more and out the window as well, her wide silvery blue eyes reflecting the rain that was falling. It didn’t really sound like she was talking to him. “You’re young and your life has just begun, and your parents are all but forcing you into marrying, so you can –what else? Carry on the pure-blood line.”

“You don’t want to get married either?” He questioned.

“I’m eighteen years old, Lucius,” She said, her voice peaceful, but sounding oddly like she’d screamed and ranted about this many times before. “It’s nothing personal, but I don’t really want to get married. After the summer is over, I go back to Hogwarts, for Merlin’s sake. I don’t want to be married inschool. I’m not Bella. I don’t want to do every single thing my parents tell me to do.”

“Merlin. Eighteen.” Lucius muttered and she looked at him blankly.

“I hope that’s not the only thing you’ve gotten out of my pouring my heart out to you.”

“No, no…it was just the most interesting. I’m out of school and twenty. It’s slightly better than being in school and eighteen. Seventh year?”

“Thank you so very much,” She said sarcastically and he chuckled.

Lucius studied her as she stared out the window, her eyes telling him that she was somewhere far off. He wondered if she had a boyfriend. He knew nothing about her. He also knew that even if she did have a boyfriend, or plans for her future, they wouldn’t matter very much to her parents.

“So what do you say?”

She snapped her gaze to his once more. “What?”

“Will you marry me? I think I’m pretty interesting. The best you can get on such short notice.”

Narcissa stared at him in such a way that made him uncomfortable.

Finally she smiled at him.

“Yes,” was all she said.

But it was enough.


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