Chapter 2 : Zebra Angst
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Nine Months Earlier
Narcissa Black boarded the Hogwarts Express after waving farewell to her parents, who stood rigidly on the platform. As she passed compartment by compartment, searching for her best friends, she reminisced on the days when her two older sisters, Bellatrix and Andromeda, attended Hogwarts with her. School, and life in general, had become less entertaining since they’d graduated a few years ago, but she was thankful to still have her friends.
As if reading her mind, a pair of hands grasped her shoulders from behind, pulling her back sharply. Would it not have been for her grabbing firmly onto the compartment door, she would have toppled over and humiliated herself. Humiliation was intolerable for Narcissa. In fact, many things were intolerable for her. After all, she had a vital reputation to uphold, as she came from a noble and elite family. If she had a list of things she could not tolerate, it would go something along the lines of this:
4. Muggles (not that she hated them, but rather she wasn’t quite fond of them)
5. Gossip (which the haughty women of the pureblood society loved)
6. Death Eaters
7. The Dark Lord
Of course, she had her reasons for disliking many of those things. Lies, for instance, because her father had lied to her for many months about joining the ranks of the Dark Lord. When she finally did discover him concealing his Dark Mark one early morning, she had grown to harvest a hateful passion for Death Eaters, and for the Dark Lord, for stealing away her father’s commitment to their family. Narcissa did, however, support the cause, as it was a strong core of her beliefs, but endless days of witnessing the sorrow in her mother’s eyes had convinced her to seek out a better future for herself, one that led away from the path of darkness. She’d told no one outside her family of her father’s loyalties, not even her friends. She would not be able to bear them if they knew.
“Cissy!” a voice yelled out, spinning Narcissa around and snapping her back into focus.
Her eyes widened as she came face to face with one of her best friends, Nixie Keating. Nixie and Narcissa had become instant friends their first year after both being sorted into Slytherin. Narcissa had been rather frightened to make her way over to the table filled with intimidating Slytherins, but Nixie had taken her hand and led her over with full confidence.
“Nixie, you really shouldn’t scare me like that!” Narcissa cried, smacking her friend on the shoulder before embracing her in an affectionate hug.
“Sorry dear, but I couldn’t help it. You walked right past our compartment.”
“Did I? Well I've been doing that for the past 6 years. I would've expected you to get used to it by now," Narcissa joked as she picked up her trunk.
“Oh come on you skunk,” Nixie rolled her eyes, grabbing her hand and leading her over to the compartment.
Ever since Narcissa had dyed a streak of her long blonde hair black during her fifth year, her friends, particularly Nixie, had begun calling her a skunk. She’d learned to accept it over time, since none of her fussing had made a difference.
“Cissy darling, for a moment there I thought you’d forgotten what we look like!” came a startled voice from the corner of the compartment.
Narcissa turned to see her other close friend, Vesper Hale, stand up after shutting a thick, dusty book.
“Oh Vesper, how I’ve missed you!” Narcissa exclaimed, throwing her arms around the brunette beauty.
She pulled back and admirably examined the two girls for a few moments. Nixie, like her, had fair blue eyes and silky blonde hair, although Nixie’s hair was a curly wonderland compared to Narcissa’s tame, sleek style. Nixie's features weren't structured as perfectly as Narcissa's, but she was still quite comely. They both had pale complexions and slender figures that wooed more hearts than necessary. If one did not know, they’d assume them to be sisters! She noticed, however, that Nixie had cut her hair rather short, making her resemble a mischievous pixie. Narcissa’s hair still fell well below her waist in a straight manner, additionally shaping out her already thin figure.
Vesper, be that as it may, did not possess the blonde hair and the blue eyes. She instead had long, dark, wavy hair that extended down to her tailbone, completing her marble white skin. Her green eyes sparkled in the light of the compartment as she flashed her brilliant white smile. That smile had only become more captivating since the day Narcissa and Nixie had come across Vesper in their common room first year. She’d dropped all her books and had made an utter and complete mess. Ever since they’d helped her tidy up, they’d all clicked, and to this day, remained sisters.
However, when it came to being the elite ladies of the pureblood society, not all of them fit that established image. Nixie, in particular, was a more self-governed spirit. In a way, she reminded Narcissa of her dear sister Bellatrix, as they both shared a wild and fierce disposition. Although, Bellatrix was almost ferocious compared to Nixie, who simply possessed an adventurous inner being. Lord knew it gave Nixie's parents the hardest time to deal with her unsettling propriety.
Quite the opposite was Vesper, who was the more calm and composed of the three. Always with a book in hand, Vesper flowed with the customary and traditional aspects of the pureblood society, but even she could be a daredevil when the occasion called for it.
“You two are more beautiful than I remember,” Narcissa said, sitting down across from them.
“Oh please, Cissy,” Nixie motioned. “We’re all beautiful here, even you.”
Nixie often joked like that, although sometimes Narcissa felt that she meant what she said. She was especially filled with wit and clever repartee concerning the pureblood status they all shared. They’d all been raised fastidiously to believe that purebloods were superior to muggle borns, holding a rank above all else, and although they believed it, they never imposed their beliefs on others. At least, Narcissa didn’t.
“Well, Vesper gets it the easy way, doesn’t she?” Nixie whined. “She has a bit of Veela in her. I still consider that cheating you know.”
It was true. Vesper’s great-grandmother was half-Veela, thus making her one-sixteenth Veela.
“I can’t help my natural charm,” Vesper winked as they all dissolved into laughter.
They were interrupted by a loud thud, which startled all three of them at once. The three girls turned to see the compartment door thrown open, in its place standing a tall, handsome man with dark wavy hair and eyes the color of honey. He had a gleaming prefect’s badge pinned to his robe, and had his lips curved into a crooked grin. His broad chest was pushed out in a cocky manner, but anyone who knew Drew Knight knew he was anything but vain.
“Hello ladies,” he said with a voice capable of melting butter. “Has anyone seen a blonde haired minx? She’s stolen my heart and refuses to give it back.”
“Oh, Drew!” yelled Nixie, throwing herself onto him as he stumbled back a few steps.
Narcissa and Vesper glanced at each other, laughter playing in their eyes. They stifled their outbursts as the usual snogging between Drew and Nixie began.
During their fifth year, Nixie and Drew had been paired up in potions, and on the first day, Nixie had managed to erupt their cauldron (on accident of course), sending Drew to the hospital wing for weeks. She’d been guilted into paying him daily visits, and before she knew it, she’d found herself by his side each and every day, caring for him as no one else ever had. She'd even grown a soft spot for half-bloods. Since then, they’d been inseparable. Literally.
It was quite ironic, considering the fact that Nixie had sworn to never fall in love with anyone other than a pureblood. Of course, her parents didn't approve of Drew. Nixie had even tried explaining that his parents were quite respectable people. His father was a pureblood, and his mother was a half-blood. And yet, her parents, with their egotistic and presumptious ways, made it quite clear that they expected the title "pure" and not "half" in the blood status of their daughter's choosing.
Vesper rolled her eyes and reopened the book she’d been reading earlier. Narcissa peered out the foggy window as people passed by. Just as Drew and Nixie sat down, the compartment door was thrown open once again. Coveting the space this time was none other than the infamous and arrogant blonde miscreant: Lucius Malfoy. With long blonde hair that reached past his shoulders, and a posture of vanity, he traced the room with his cold grey eyes, resting them for only a moment on Narcissa.
As the Blacks and the Malfoys were both very prestigious families, they had mingled quite a bit at the conventional elite gatherings that Narcissa attended almost every week in the summer. She never had been fond of the man, what with his vast ego that spread hastily across a room upon his entrance. No, she rather found herself avoiding him most of the time.
“There’s no room for you in this compartment, Malfoy. You and your cronies can tally along,” Drew muttered through gritted teeth, sitting up straight.
“Is it just me, or is that the stench of a half-blood?” Lucius smirked, addressing Drew.
Before Drew could retaliate, Narcissa quickly stood up, giving Drew an amicable nod. He stayed seated. Thank the heavens for that.
“Get out, Malfoy,” Narcissa stated boldly, sneering her icy eyes at him.
“Get out? May I remind you that you and your possies have stolen our compartment.”
Lucius’s friends (if that’s what you would call them) shifted behind him uncomfortably. Narcissa spotted Dmitri Amador and Bryce Carson, who were actually rather agreeable fellows. Pity they hung around Lucius, that pathetic prat.
“I don’t see your name on it,” Narcissa remarked, tilting her head sarcastically.
“Funny,” Lucius said, a smile playing on his lips as he eyed Narcissa’s hair. “I don’t remember the train allowing zebras.”
Before anyone could breathe, or blink, or even utter a single word, Narcissa had her wand at the ready, pointing at his chest.
“Mind yourself, Malfoy,” Narcissa warned. “I’m not one of those Muggle-borns you can dish around as you please.”
Lucius took a step toward Narcissa, now inches away from her. No one said a word as he lifted her chin up, his lips meandering in a devilishly amused manner.
“What are you going to do Black, paint a stripe on me?”
Narcissa saw the taunt in his eyes, saw the pleasure he derived from his mocking insults. How dare he talk to her like this? Did he not know of her family? Of her stature? How dare he come so close and touch her so unbecomingly? And without her consent at that. No. She would not allow it. She would not crumble beneath a man as wretched as Lucius Malfoy.
“Stupefy!” she yelled.
And that’s how it all began.
A/N: YAY! Lucius and Narcissa finally clash! And has all hell broken loose? I think YES! Please read and REVIEW. Tell me all your thoughts on this chapter!
What do you think of Narcissa's friends?
How dreamy is Lucius Malfoy *sighs moonstruckly*
How do you feel about Narcissa stunning Lucius?
What do you think will happen next?
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