Manor was very dark and gloomy. This was not the normal appearance for the
ancient and noble home. It was usually lit with bright lights and had enjoyed a
continuous stream of visitors, but the manor had been dark for a while. Its
owners were experiencing very difficult times and had been away for many weeks.
beginning of the end came when the Order of the Phoenix
managed to attack Lord Voldemort and most of his followers in the Ministry of
Magic. Several of his minions had been captured. Narcissa Malfoy’s sister
Bellatrix and brother-in-law Rodolphus Lestrange had managed to escape capture
and disappeared with Voldemort. Her husband Lucius had been captured along with
the remaining Death Eaters trapped in the Ministry building and taken to Azkaban
prison where they were awaiting word on their punishment from the Ministry.
end of Draco’s fourth year at Hogwarts, Narcissa knew that things had a chance
of not proceeding well for her family. She had always managed to stay out of
harm’s way and let Lucius retain control of things. She was not a weak woman,
but it was usually easier just to let him run things for her. He provided
everything she could ever desire or need. They had a beautiful son together
that Narcissa adored and spoiled. She held no false hopes of Lucius’ love for
her. She knew that she was a convenient vessel to give him his precious heir
and she also knew that he had many lovers, male and female, to satisfy his
sexual needs. It had been a long time since they had shared a bed together and
she did miss him, because Lucius was an excellent lover.
Narcissa accepted the fact that she was the ‘trophy’ wife and learned to play
her role well. She did wonder, however, if Lucius would have eventually
replaced her with a younger, prettier wife had they not gotten into this mess. Well, no sense worrying about that. Now
we’ll be lucky to come out of this alive.
lady of Malfoy Manor sat alone under the trees surrounding her home. It was
cold and dark and forbidding. She shouldn’t even be there, because the Ministry
had confiscated the entire Malfoy estate. What the Ministry didn’t know was
that while Lucius was consorting with his Death Eaters, Narcissa had been
liquidating their entire estate. During the last year, she had managed to
convert most of the family wealth into gold Galleons and had transferred the
wealth into a very private wizard’s bank in Switzerland.
She had put the new account in three names: Lucius’, hers, and Draco’s. There
would always be money for them. Narcissa would have done anything within her
power to save her family, and when things started to turn against them after
Lucius’ capture, she sent Draco into hiding in Switzerland.
He was to remain with some distant relatives of the Blacks until he heard
personally from either his mother or his father.
had insisted that Draco should be sent to a safe haven over his father’s
objections. He wanted his son by his side, but Narcissa would not hear of it.
She knew that Lucius was a target and therefore, so was Draco. She had given
Draco the information about the bank account and told him to use the money if
something happened to both her and Lucius. She had also given him a list of
relatives and friends that would help him if he needed them. Now that he was
safe, Narcissa could concentrate on Lucius.
voice spoke to her from behind the trees, “What are you looking for, Narcissa?”
there? Come out where I can see your face!”
slim figure of Severus Snape stepped forward out of the trees to stare down at
Narcissa Malfoy. “What are you looking for, Narcissa?”
Severus. I’ve had enough of you…you traitor!” Narcissa lunged at the Potions
Master and tried to claw his eyes out, but it was very easy for the man to
subdue her into submission. “How could you do this to me? You’ve ruined
you for the final time, what are you looking for, Narcissa?”
“Nothing, anything. This is my home, Severus. Don’t you
understand? I have nowhere to go. You and your precious order have taken
everything from me!” I will NOT cry. I
will not cry in front of Snape or anyone. They will find no weaknesses in
Narcissa Malfoy. I live my life on my own terms. “Let go of me. You have no right to detain me. I have been
charged with no crimes.”
the crime of bribery? Just how did you manage to bribe the guards at Azkaban
into letting Lucius escape? Is that why you are here, to meet Lucius?” Snape
searched the area surrounding them but could see no movement and heard no sounds.
He tried to look into her mind, but found it blocked to his invasion. Narcissa
forced him out of her mind.
escaped from the prison? When? How?” Narcissa knew
that Lucius had been freed, but she would never let Snape know that. It had
taken her a month to prepare the polyjuice potion that let her enter the prison
as her niece Nymphadora Tonks. The guards had been
easy to bribe with gold. She had been careful to remain in the background as
she watched them release her husband from his cell. Narcissa had only had a few
minutes to talk with him before she left. She had given him directions to a
secluded house where he could hide for awhile and find food and clothing. Then,
at a pre-arranged a time and place they would meet again… and Narcissa was late.
I don’t believe you. I know you for the lying, conniving bitch that you are.
You know where he is and if you expect to live through this, you had better
tell me where he is. If there is proof that you helped Lucius in his escape,
you will meet the same fate that awaits him.”
fate is that, Severus, the Dementor’s kiss?”
as well as I that the Dementors are no longer in Azkaban. No, Cornelius Fudge and
the Ministry have decided that public execution is the only appropriate
sentence for traitors like your husband.”
“Public execution? What, are they back to burning witches
again? That’s just so 17th
Narcissa, public execution as in beheading.
All known Death Eaters are to be beheaded in the public square in Hogsmeade.
Fear and paranoia strike deep. The Ministry wants the Death Eaters who
committed the worst crimes to set the example for any who might try to bring
the old evil ways back. Lucius is to head up the list of the condemned. It
should really be a proud day for the Malfoy family.”
does not become you, Severus.”
come with me. I will take you to Dumbledore and the Ministry and you can plead
your case to them. I will not leave you here.”
turned to follow Snape into the woods and away from her home. She thought for a
few moments and decided not to push the situation with Snape. Sometimes the best offense is a quick
defense. Or is it the best defense is a good offense? Whatever... He had
never known how skilled Narcissa was at Occlumency because he didn’t see her
thoughts or notice her actions until he heard, “Stupefy!” Snape’s body stopped in mid-stride. “Incarcerous!” Magic ropes wrapped around his body and
he was levitated down onto the grass.
Severus, but I’m not going anywhere with you or anyone else from your precious
order. I’m not a simpering wallflower or weak witch you can manipulate. Never
forget, Bellatrix was my sister and I can hold my own against her. Just because
I chose not to actively practice the Dark Arts, doesn’t mean that I don’t know
how to use them. I now expect you to
send up a prayer of thanks every day that you live because I didn’t kill you
where you lie. You now owe me a life
debt. My son is safe and you will never find him. What happens to me is of
little importance any more and I can guarantee that you will never, ever put
your filthy hands on my husband again.” Narcissa spat upon Snape’s prone figure
as she turned away from him and started off toward the back of her deserted
through the high wall, Narcissa found herself at a back entrance to the house.
She tapped a pre-arranged signal on the locked door and it slowly opened,
allowing her entrance into her home.
evening, Kreacher. It everything ready?”
Mistress, Kreacher has prepared for everything that you have asked.”
elf bowed to his mistress and pointed to the assorted items he had collected
into a basket.
Kreacher, things may not go as planned tonight. We may in fact have uninvited
guests. Do you know what you are to do?”
“Yes, Mistress. Kreacher will leave the house and go to Switzerland
to care for young Master Draco, then Mistress will place charms and spells on
the house so that no one may enter.”
Kreacher, you have done all that I could have expected. I release you from your
service here and charge you with the care of my son. Do not let him return
until it is safe. Do you understand?”
before someone sees you leaving.”
her hand to dismiss him and made sure to lock the door behind him as he left.
Kreacher silently left the Malfoy estate and slipped into the
surrounding woods. He was not approached by anyone and began his slow
trip to join his young master.
rummaged through the meager items that Kreacher had procured for her. There
were a few bits of clean clothing, some healing salves, cleansing items and
food for a day or two. If all went well, that was all they would need. A sudden
noise from below alerted her to the danger she was in. She quickly gathered the
items and went about the confines of the house placing complicated sealing
wards on all the doors and windows. With luck, it would give them time to
escape to safety.
“Lumos.” The tiny
light emitting from her wand was the only light in the cavernous house.
Narcissa gathered the items in a bundle and opened the outer door to Lucius’
private dungeons. She didn’t go down there often, but she knew that it would be
the safest place in the house. After closing the door, more elaborate charms
were placed on the door and locks sealed the dungeons off from the outside
dark hallway with several side halls stretched before her. Narcissa didn’t want
to know where any of those terrifying passages led; she only knew that she was
instructed to proceed straight down until the end of the passage. A recessed
stone door with no handle blocked her entrance. There was an intricate carving of
a many-headed snake in the center of the door. She leaned in and whispered the
password, “Serpensortia!” A wry smile
crossed her lips as she remembered the time that Draco had used the silly charm
to scare Harry Potter in a wizard’s duel. It had become a bit of a family joke
since then. This time, it might save
door contracted into the inner room and opened enough to allow Narcissa entry
into the dark room. As she gingerly stepped inside, she held her wand up to
have a look around. Abruptly she was shoved against the cold stone wall and
fingers as cold as ice held her throat in a vice-like grip. She tried to speak
but nothing could emerge. Her air supply was effectively extinguished. Narcissa
looked into the pale, haunted eyes of her husband Lucius. She reached up to
brush his hair out of his face and his hand relaxed around her throat. Her
lungs instinctively gulped for air.
is that you?”
late. Where have you been?”
Ever the gentleman, as
always, my love. “I was
detained in the woods. Severus stopped me and tried to take me back to the
Ministry. Let’s just say we had a bit of a disagreement about where I was
going. He agreed that I should go with him and I disagreed.”
you do to him?”
him and graciously prevented myself from killing him. It was a difficult
choice, but now he owes me a life debt.”
“Stupid woman. You should have killed him. You cannot trust
“We will be
out of here before he can track us down, my love. Here, let me look at you.”
held her wand up to illuminate the area. The wretched creature standing before
her could hardly be recognized as the same elegant man whom Narcissa had
married. Prison had not treated him well. His clothing was ragged and dirty.
His hair was matted and full of filth, and he smelled. Oh, Lucius, this must be killing you.
“Here, Lucius, sit down on the floor and eat something. You look
like you are about to drop from starvation. You’ll need all your strength to
get out of here.”
ate the meager fare, Narcissa watched her husband in amazement. Even in this
horrible situation, there was an air of grace and elegance that surrounded him.
Yes, she knew exactly what and who he was. She knew what he did, and while not
participating with him, she accepted and agreed with his pure-blood beliefs.
Their marriage had been arranged years ago, but no one ever knew that Narcissa
had truly loved her husband and would have done anything for him. She would
prove it to her husband now. She would make sure that no one captured him. He
was not going to be publicly executed
in front of all those filthy Mudbloods.
took some of the cleansing items out of the bundle and began to gently stroke
Lucius’ skin. Her slow and tender ministrations seemed to revive him some. The
healing salves removed the bruises and cuts from his skin. He looked into her
eyes, but said nothing, but she understood him. She had always understood him
and knew that there were words that he would never speak…words like “thank you…
please… I love you”. Narcissa didn’t need to hear the words. On this day, she
Once he had
been cleansed and healed, Narcissa began helping Lucius into the clean clothing
from the bundle. They were not as elegant as most of his clothes but were
serviceable for his current needs.
thump from over their heads startled them both. “What was that?”
worry yourself, Lucius. It’s…it’s…just Kreacher cleaning in the kitchen.” How did anyone get inside? There are enough
wards and spells on this house to keep out an army. They will still have to
break through the door...
“Kreacher? I thought he was with Draco.”
be. He is leaving tomorrow morning. Don’t worry, Lucius. Nothing can enter the
dungeon. I’ve taken care of that. Nothing can harm you.”
checked the wards on the stone door and sat down on the floor next to the far
wall of the dungeon.
down. We have some time before we can leave. Lie down on my lap and rest while
down and placed his head in Narcissa’s lap. She absentmindedly began combing
his long blond hair. For a moment, they were transported to another time and
you remember when we were in school?”
remember how we would sit by the lake and do nothing all afternoon?”
just found out that our parents had arranged our marriage. Neither of us was
particularly happy about it.”
“That was a
remember what you said to me?”
‘Don’t worry about me ever loving you. I’m only
marrying you to continue the Malfoy name. You just bear my son and I’ll be done
with you. You can live your own life. I will never tell you that I love you.’
That was what you said to me just before our wedding. I was so hurt and
couldn’t understand how anyone could be so cruel.”
said the same thing to me, Narcissa. You said that you would never love me and
that I was lucky that one of the Blacks even considered marrying a Malfoy. I
believe your words were that the world was running out of pure-blood wizards
and that I was your best choice.”
“I lied to
you, Lucius.” I always considered myself
a strong woman, but I’ve never had the courage to tell you how much I love you.
lied about everything. I lied about you being my only choice. I lied about the
Blacks and the Malfoys. I lied…I lied when I said I could never love you.”
I have always loved you and I will always love you. I have accepted the fact
that you will never love me the way I love you, but I wanted you to know that
everything I’ve done has always been to protect you and Draco and the Malfoy
family name. I will never allow anyone to soil the Malfoy name.”
noises from upstairs were now coming from just on the other side of the dungeon
door. Lucius made no indication of hearing them, but Narcissa heard them and
she knew who was on the other side. Damn,
I hate it when he’s right. I should have killed the traitorous bastard.
“Lucius, did you love me, even
just a little?”
Narcissa, if there was ever a woman that I could have loved or trusted, it would have been you.”
trust me, Lucius?”
Narcissa, I trust you with my life.”
leaned over to press a deep passionate kiss on her beautiful husband’s lips. Then you will have to trust me this time, my
love. The people on the other side of that door will take both of us away. They
will humiliate us with the mockery of a trial and Draco will never be able to
recover. This time they will not win. They will not take Lucius and Narcissa
Malfoy. I will end this game on my own terms.
Narcissa Malfoy embraced her
husband and held him close to her own body. As she pointed her wand at their
two bodies, she uttered the final words of her life.