Chapter Two- Titles (Narcissa Airhead Black)
Disclaimer/Authorís Notes etc: Iím not JK Rowling, and I donít own a single atom in Harry Potterís world. Thanks a billion to my lovely beta Wombat, and pre-reader and confidence booster Anya! Also a big thanks to everyone who reviewed Chapter One!
Chapter Two- Titles (Narcissa Airhead Black)
"The title symbolizes stages in life; social status and climbingÖit is sometimes the only clue of the ups and downs of a life one has"
-W. Peterson, Upon Historical Sources
Narcissa Airhead Black. Thatís what they called me, as a child. Bella made the name up, and they all adopted it- Andromeda, Sirius, Regulus, even Aunt Hesteria . Airhead, because I liked to sit in my room drawing beautiful witches in shimmering dress robes, asked for hair clips for Christmas, and didnít enjoy games that tore my robes or messed up my braids. "Fine then, Miss Airhead," Bella would say, nose in the air. She still claims the name wasnít her idea, that Andromeda made it up, but I know better. Youíd think she would admit giving her sister a slightly offensive nickname some 20 years ago, given what sheís been up to lately.
I suppose I am Narcissa Airhead Malfoy now. Bella certainly thinks so. She comes to call three times a week, calling me a coward and traitor for not taking the Mark; shaking my shoulders when her robes reek of blood. Itís ever so tiresome after a while. She canít understand that I do not lack confidence, that I donít need persuasion. It is impossible for her to grasp the concept that someone would not be eager to risk everything for a murderer and a Cause. She gives me hard, searching looks and asks me whether I have faith, whether I am taking up the traitorous ideas of Her Who We Donít Name. But it isnít that- I simply donít want to swear complete obedience to the Dark Lord. Not now, not until Dracoís a little older. Itís bad enough his father is out there, in danger of getting himself killed or thrown into Azkaban. I canít. I canít leave my beautiful baby boy alone, thoroughly unprotected. I canít take the Mark, for Dracoís sake. Regulus is Ėwas- my cousin. I know what happens when someone angers the Dark Lord. If I made a blunder, Draco would suffer. The Dark Lord murders children like he murders everyone else. I canít risk my sonís like that, I simply cannot.
This house is too big to be in alone with only a psychotic House-Elf and a baby boy . Iíve begged Lucius to at least stay the nights, but he canít, of course he canít. Though Iím not sure he would, if he could. He enjoys being in the Dark Lordís inner circle, the prestige and the high ideas, and cannot understand why all that he and my sister stand for disturbs and chills me. And so he leaves. Leaves me alone with muttering, stuttering Dobby, creeping out of corners when I least expect it and throwing me murderous looks. Whatever happened to well-behaved house-elves? I remember Milton, whoíd always make us hot chocolate, and played cards with usÖ Oh my, look at me, reduced to thoughts about house elves. Once upon a time I was smart, irresistible, with boys following me around constantly. I nearly beat my useless traitor of a cousin at OWLs, and there wasnít a soul at Hogwarts who didnít think I was the prettiest person there. Now here I am, barely two years later, imprisoned in my own Unplottable, unleavable manor. Married to a man almost seven years older than me, who is currently more interested in his master than his wife.
The only one who can come here is Bellatrix, and, sister or not, she is slowly going insane. I cannot stand her visits any longer. I am quite desperate for company, for someone who is not a Marked murderer. I am desperate for someone who will make me forget the troubled times I have put my son into, but will enthuse over his gurgling with me. Desperate for someone sitting on the kitchen counter, cake crumbs spilling all over her sweater. Desperate for a laugh that makes her curls bob up and down, saying "Aw, Cissy, Ďsnot that bad," as she ruffles my hair although she knows I hate it.
Andromeda? But no, I do not miss her. I swore to myself that I wouldnít miss her, swore Iíd forget her like Bella and Auntie, who stood shoulder to shoulder, blasting away the name of a girl theyíd known all their lives for the Family and the Cause. But Andromeda deserved it. Sheís a bloodtraitor, with that freak child of hers; she betrayed our family and all we stand forÖ betrayed me when I needed her the most. When father died and we moved into Grimmauld Place, she left me alone in that huge, creepy house and I spent an entire summer longing for her company. But it never came, nor will it ever. Itís better that way. I donít think she even likes me very much. There are very few people who actually like me, I think. Like me for who I am, Cissy Black or Narcissa Malfoy, or Airhead, or whatever it is they call me these days. There are few people who enjoy my company, and my sisters are not necessarily among them. But after that disastrous Christmas when I was seven years old and a tiny white kitten crashed on our paneled floor, she sort of stuck to me. Talked to me properly for the first time I could remember. I was floored. Iíd spent most of my childhood craving for some attention from my wonderful, perfect, practically sainted older sisters. When I didnít get it, I made up my own friends. Friends who were as pretty as I was, wore long, flowing dresses and didnít kill each other like the people in Bellaís games did. So Bella, Andromeda, and the boys, who followed along with whatever their cousins did ignored me. And I ignored them. It went well, until the New Years Day when Andromeda crept out of her room, eyes red from too much crying and obviously bored out of her wits, and joined me as I drew unicorns and princesses. She certainly still preferred playing with Sirius whenever he could come over, but the fact that Andromeda was showing interest in me was enough for me. The year we spent together, is, in my memory, the happiest of my life. She had a way of making everything more interesting, even things like Quidditch. When she left for Hogwarts, I was heartbroken, all the more so when I discovered sheíd met some friends of her own, that she didnít need her Airheady little sister anymore. Nothing could have spoken plainer than the letters that stopped coming four or five weeks into the school year. It must be a Hogwarts tradition, ignoring the siblings left behind. Perhaps Draco shouldnít have siblings, so he cannot disappoint them that way.
Draco, my beautiful, perfect baby boy. I look into his face and all my frustration spills out of me like water out of a tipped cauldron. I forget that I am shut up in my own house; I forget that my husband ignores me and my own sister frightens me; I forget that I am of the House of Black. The only thing I see is my child, and when he smiles, I feel at home in this manor I detest so much. He is my child, much more mine than he will ever be Luciusí. It is my hand he holds when he makes his first wobbly steps, slipping on the cold marble floor of the drawing room. It is my shoulder he hides in when Auntie Bellatrix comes to call, my name is gurgles, all over again, as he reaches for my hair. My son, a sleepy, sweet little part of who I am. He smiles at me, and I feel more love than on my wedding day, more fear for him than I could ever fear the Dark Lord, and more courage than I ever thought I possessed. One day, I fear, I will need the strange power he gives me. One day, I dread, I will have to fear for him, will need my courage to protect him from harm. He lies in bed, and I think of the times he has been born into- how he will grow up with fear, fear for his fatherís and his own life, from those who still dare to defy the Dark Lordís inevitable success. He feels the fear even now. It reverberates from my body into his tiny little one, until he cries, and I soothe him, covering him with kisses until our unease is gone. He looks up at me, gazes at me with those alert gray eyes, eyes that do not belong to a baby, but to the man he will one day be. He looks up at me and says one word, and I am Narcissa Airhead Black no more.