Chapter 1 : I.
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She was indifferent to her impending marriage. She knew his name but had never met due to his loyalties with the Dark Lord. Her father was extremely proud to announce that Lucius was slowly becoming one of the Dark Lord’s most faithful followers.
She clutched tightly at her father’s arm as they walked down the aisle, all eyes on her.
However, she didn’t care for their stares. She cared what her future husband thought of what she looked like. Her eyes met his and he didn’t betray any emotion. His expression was stoic.
She felt a sliver of disappointment grow in her stomach and resisted the urge to turn back down the altar, running from him. Her father handed her over and Lucius took her hand gracefully. The two walked to the top of the altar together.
They didn’t look or speak to each other during the whole ceremony, only speaking for the bland vows that had been presented to them. Their first kiss was soft and sweet, but with no emotion.
And thus the two entered a loveless marriage.
Narcissa was a good wife. She took care of her husband, made sure the house elf did the household duties correctly and never disagreed when he used her for sex.
She knew that they were expected to have a son and that was the only reason they ever had sex. They shared a bed but slept on opposite sides, putting as much distance between them as they possibly could.
The two barely talked to each other. They exchanged pleasantries over dinner, as if they were mere acquaintances, not husband and wife.
Narcissa itched to talk to him more, but she was afraid he wouldn’t want to talk and hurt her. She truthfully didn’t know what to expect of his reactions as she hardly knew the man. She didn’t know if he’d actually hurt her but she assumed so as most Pureblood men hurt their wives if they didn’t behave.
It had nearly been three years into their marriage and Narcissa still hardly knew Lucius Malfoy. They still were very silent with each other and they still had not produced a son. Narcissa felt ashamed that she could not do the one task a woman was expected to do. She could feel Lucius’ disappointment every time she bled. She never told him directly if she did bleed but he still somehow knew.
One supper the two were sitting in the usual silence and Narcissa had had enough. She decided to speak. “We cannot go on never speaking, Lucius. We’re husband and wife, we may as well act it.”
He looked shocked. He never expected an outburst like that from her. He swallowed audibly. “I suppose you’re right,” he said stiffly, putting down his fork and staring at his wife opposite him.
She felt thrown. He didn’t yell or hurt her for speaking out of turn. She clasped her hands in her lap and said, “I feel we should get to know one another better. After all, we’ve seen each other every day for three years yet I know nothing of you, Lucius.”
He smiled. It was only a hint of a smile and from a distance he would still look apathetic to the conversation. “Ah,” he said softly. “What would you like to know about me?”
Narcissa thought of what she wanted to know about Lucius. A thousand questions flitted through her mind but she stuck on one. “What is your favourite colour?”
He stared at her incredulously before dropping the stoic mask and laughing softly to himself. Narcissa only waited. He gathered himself and then said, “Green. How about you?”
“Silver,” she replied with a small smile. The two smiled at each other before returning to their dinner. That night they slept in their bed with their arms nearly touching.
And so, every night at dinner the two would reveal one more fact about themselves. A step closer to falling in love.
When Narcissa and Lucius became friendly with each other, the sex was much more enjoyable. It no longer felt like a chore. They were wrapped up in each other when they slept, the bed having a lot of extra space on the sides. The atmosphere around the Manor changed. It was no longer quiet and delicate. It became more like a home. Everything seemed brighter.
That night at dinner, Narcissa had a very interesting fact about herself she was sure Lucius would be happy about. As was customary Lucius told her his fact first – a fond memory of when he first performed magic – and she listened patiently. When he finished his tale he asked the usual question of, “What is your fact today, Narcissa?”
She smiled genially. “I’m pregnant.”
Lucius blinked. Narcissa’s smile dropped as he asked, “Really?” She nodded, her voice lost in her throat. She didn’t expect him to be disappointed. He was silent for a few moments before smiling widely. “That’s wonderful,” he said happily.
Narcissa relaxed. “I thought so too.” The two kept a steady conversation about the baby and it was one of the longest conversations the husband and wife had ever had before.
As Narcissa’s stomach grew, she realised she still did not truly love Lucius. She admired him, but she didn’t adore him. She wished that it would change soon. She wanted her child to be brought up in a loving marriage.
Then one day she had the family Healer come to her house for an appointment. Lucius took the hour off work to join them as they would hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time.
As the Healer performed all examinations, she then cast a spell and the baby’s heartbeat – short and fluttering – beat soundly around the room. Instantly, Narcissa held onto Lucius’ hand and thanked him for the gift he was giving her.
He kissed her gently on the lips and in that moment she understood what true love was. This baby was a product of the two of them and hearing his heartbeat made her own heart swell to twice the size from love. And it was because of Lucius she felt love like this. She knew that she could not ever love anyone or anything more than her own baby and by an extension, she loved Lucius for this precious gift. She whispered, “I love you, Lucius.” It was the first time either of them had said it.
Lucius did not respond but Narcissa no longer cared if he didn’t really love her. She loved him but more importantly, she loved her child. She didn’t care who loved her as long as her child loved her.
As the months passed by, she grew to love her son even more and Lucius. With each passing day she loved them both more.
Lucius still had not returned the expression of love Narcissa had proclaimed but she still did not mind. She knew deep down he did love her but he would not be able to say it for a long time.
It was only once Lucius held his newborn son for the very first time he understood how powerful love could be. For the first time in his life he smiled a wide smile as he stared down at baby Draco.
It was only once Lucius held his newborn son for the very first time he understood how Narcissa loved this child so much. He had not understood it even when he felt the strong kick under the stomach. He had not understood it even when he heard the heartbeat surrounding the room. He had not understood it when Narcissa said that she loved him because why would she love him for the pain he thrust upon her? How could she possibly love him that much only because of the child?
However when he held Draco, when he looked at the baby sleeping softly in his arms he understood it all. It took him a few months later but he finally responded to Narcissa.
“I love you too, Narcissa.”
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