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Chapter 2 : Part II
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“Watch the kettle,” Narcissa ordered, flitting around the kitchen and ducking between house-elves. “Not those,” she reprimanded. “The good teacups, if you mind.”
A small house-elf, nearly half the size of the rest and only six years of age, tripped, sending a tray full of snacks crashing to the ground. Narcissa cringed, her teeth grinding in the process.
“Careful!” she hissed through her teeth, trying to keep her voice down.
She froze momentarily, her face draining of its color. The cold, detached voice sent her stomach into a frenzy; doing back flips and cartwheels in her body. It took only a moment, but Narcissa straightened her back, took a deep breath, pinched her cheeks for color, and strode from the kitchen to the dining room where the group was convening.
The Dark Lord was sitting at the head of the table, stroking the large serpent that lounged happily on the table in front of him. Narcissa didn’t let him see any weakness, however, and kept her chin high as he motioned for her to take a seat two chairs down from him, next to Lucius.
“It saddens me...” he began, raising an eyebrow and cocking his head to the side. “To see the lack of people at this table.”
As he spoke there was a loud crack and two more Death Eaters apparated into the room, bowing before taking their places at the table. Lucius made eye contact with the two of them, but didn’t nod or acknowledge them in any way. His eyes flicked back onto The Dark Lord as he continued speaking in his deep, hissing voice.
“You see my point,” he growled, almost sighing. “I think something more is in order. Something that will allow people to see why they need to be seated here at this table, our new base, when a meeting of the minds is called for.” He didn’t look at Narcissa or Lucius, but instead at the six others who sat at the large, ornate dining table.
Narcissa’s hands clenched onto her thighs, trying not to let her emotions get out any other way. She avoided eye contact with her husband, and the one-sided conversation continued.
“Dumbledore...” he drawled. “Must be...disposed of.”
The tension in the room could have been cut with a knife. Lucius and Narcissa stayed quiet, but the rest of the room made grunt of agreement.
“I have also picked a person to do this task...” he continued, making Narcissa’s heart lurch as he looked at her. “He will also find a way into Hogwarts for a group of Death Eaters.”
Lucius wanted to grab her hand, but his gut told him not to show any weakness on their part. His hand twitched, but it stayed firmly placed on the arms of his dining chair.
“Draco will do this task.”
The hair on the back of Lucius’s neck stood up, his fists clenching tighter onto the arms of his chair. Narcissa, however, couldn’t sit still. The shock sent her body into overtime, and she could hardly control herself when he bolted straight up, knocking the chair over as she stood. Silently fuming, she picked the chair back up, pushing it in.
“Please excuse me, the tea must be ready.”
The Dark Lord stood as well, knocking his chair back but not tipping it over. “Sit.” He barked, throwing a commanding hand forward toward her chair.
She straightened out her shoulders, taking a breath. “The tea,” she insisted, taking another step toward the kitchen.
She held his gaze a moment longer before taking her set. It was a good thing, too, because a moment longer on her feet and she might have collapsed from the horror.
Her boy—her baby boy—was supposed to commit such an atrocious act? Kill the one person at school that held the unspoken consensus of protection? Possibly one of the only people at school Narcissa only hated out loud, Dumbledore was a beacon of hope as far as she was concerned. And her baby boy was supposed to kill him. This wasn’t supposed to happen. He wasn’t supposed to become a murderer...
“He has by the end of the month to find a way into Hogwarts for the entire group I will choose. And then he will murder his precious headmaster.” The Dark Lord continued, sounding pleased with his plan. “If he should fail...”
He didn’t have to finish his threat. Everyone already knew what would happen. There would be no more Draco, no more baby boy for Lucius and Narcissa, and—as far as anyone was concerned—that would mean no more Narcissa. No more happiness, at least. Only a ghost of her would remain.
Once she was excused from the table, Narcissa went straight to the kitchen and downed a bottle of something foul. Time was catching up again, only this time there was a clock. A clock that had a horrific consequence once it drained to the end of time as she knew it.
Lucius joined her a half hour later, announcing that everyone had left for the time being but that they would most definitely be back.
“Narcissa,” he started, his voice steady as he put a hand on her shoulder.
Narcissa looked up at him with equally as steady eyes, the pain dulled out by the bottle in her hand. “Lucius. No.”
Ever since the Dark Lord had come back into their lives, Narcissa wasn’t sure who her husband was anymore. He wasn’t the sly blonde she met at Hogwarts anymore. He didn’t tease her, jokingly, and then give her a kiss on the lips to say he didn’t mean it. There were no stupid fights to end in a good make up shag. They didn’t go out to have a drink, just the two of them, or prepare romantic dinners to eat out on the patio—staring up at the stars and reminiscing about the day Draco was born or their wedding day. There wasn’t anything there to even prove she was married to the same Lucius Malfoy she gave her vows to.
Narcissa walked toward the counter, pouring herself another glass. She set the bottle down, picking up the expensive, crystal glass half-full of something stronger still. She sipped at it tentatively, feeling it burn down her throat like a dragon spitting fire.
“My baby boy…” she muttered, closing her eyes and tipping the glass once again.
Lucius moved closer, placing a hand on her back. “Our baby boy,” he corrected her gently. It had been a long day and, frankly, he didn’t want to be there reminding her that this wasn’t something that only affected her. But he hadn’t seen his wife in such a state since her parents died, and even then she had been decent enough to lock herself away in the study instead of out in the open where any one of their guests could have walked in on her show.
Narcissa whirled around, her husband’s hand still lingering on her side. Her dark eyes were narrowed into slits. “What did you say after I left that room, Lucius?” she asked, testing him. “Did you even say anything? Or did your subservient nature keep you from saving Draco’s life?” Her voice rose with each word until the very end when it cracked and she looked away, hoping the pools of warm, salt water gathering in her eyes wouldn’t betray her.
Lucius frowned. His wife went to take another swig of her drink, but he snatched it away from her. Her hands trembled and her mouth opened like she wanted to protest, but Narcissa closed it, taking a deep breath and looking him straight in the eyes.
“What. Did. You. Say?” She asked again, her voice coming out in short hisses. “If you want to claim that he’s your son too, if you want to ever even see him again, tell me what you said to stop this from happening.”
They stared at each other in silence. Somewhere above them, a house-elf dropped a pan or something, sending a loud clang through the Malfoy manor. Their eyes didn’t leave each other’s and neither needed to say a word; they both knew he had not uttered a single word to save their son from his task.
“I’m sorry,” was all he could manage to say.
Narcissa blinked once, took her glass back from Lucius in one hand, and picked up the bottle it came from in the other hand. “Me too,” Narcissa replied, her voice soft as she pushed past her husband and started off toward the door. “Me too…”
A/N: Thanks so much for reading! Please take the time to leave a review! :)
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