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Faith by Permanent Accountficexchange

Rating: R. Created: December 22nd, 2007. Updated: December 22nd, 2007. Read Reviews (4)
Disclaimer: Characters, the magical world, etc, is property of J. K. Rowling and Warner Bros, not the owner of this fic.

Merry Christmas, Diana (DianaPrallon)!

 

Faith

 

Faith was hard to find in a Black world. Narcissa found herself stuck between her fiery sisters; forced to the middle ground, unable to compete with fanatic Bellatrix and rebellious Andromeda. She would sip tea and sneer at her mother's side, her face carefully neutral, while Bella ranted with tiger's eyes and Andromeda's lack of presence was neither noted nor emoted. Bella brought round Death Eaters and purebloods to tea and their parents would discuss takeover politics with the less wild ones while Bella practised curses and duels with her fellow fanatics in the house grounds.

Narcissa kept her counsel. Once, only once, did she Andromeda in the house again.

"I waited," her sister said, "until I knew they were out. I wanted to say goodbye."

"They say you're dead," said Narcissa, uncertainly. Andromeda looked more alive than she ever had in the Black household, eyes alight and proud features, so like Bella's, filled with the same fire.

"I thought they would," she laughed, wryly. Narcissa spotted only the faintest trace of pain cross her sister's face. In truth, there was more relief.

"We...won't speak again, will we?" said Narcissa uncertainly, and Andromeda shook her head.

"I know you would never leave here. And I will not return now. So no...I don't think so." She paused, and added, voice softening, "I believe you might understand, one day...I hope. When there is nothing in your world but darkness and you see just one light, you will follow it with all your heart, regardless of what the world does to you."

"You were never one for bad poetry," snorted Narcissa, her eyes trailing over every contour of her sister's pale face, keeping the image to last a lifetime while the flesh-and-blood reality grew, aged, became someone else. After this day her sister would be dead to her, as it had to be. Toujours pur est mal foi, she thought, and hardened her heart to such nonsense. She had never been one for bad eulogies, either.

"Cissa," said Andromeda, exasperated, sorrowing. "Open your eyes. There is a different world to this..."

"I will find my way," said Narcissa, the use of her childish old nickname disarming her ice. 'Cissa' believed in beauty and light. Narcissa had grown out of such fancies. Her pure blood was the only beauty in a world of dark decay, surely. To see people...her own shared blood...abandoning this – her – betraying her... She shook her head to clear it; long, fine hair floating about her face. Andromeda opened her arms.

"One last hug?" she said, and Narcissa moved forward to embrace the corpse. It was a swift, cool embrace, and Andromeda pulled back first. That was goodbye. And her faithless sister was gone.

-

Time passed in the deep, dark, Black world, and Narcissa's road led blindly on. She watched her sole sister's political Pureblood ambitions rise and fail ("Mudblood lovers!" her parents seethed, as Bella's manic smile widened in anticipation of a different path to the power she craved), watched the Slytherin faction in Hogwarts plot and plan, watched even from the corner of her eye her dead sibling, resurrected as a Tonks already, looking rather well for the reanimated dead. Narcissa did her homework primly and held her tongue and gained some sort of reputation as the Good Pureblood Princess, loyal, proud and dignified. Her parents left her alone in an abstracted way; most of their attention was on Bella who practised hexes on visitors and spent her evenings in dark lairs in the less reputable parts of town with other undercover members of the Wizarding Gentry: the LeStrange brothers, urbane Rodoplphus and effeminate Rabastan; Mulcibar, all high-necked robes and long, twitching fingers; alcoholic Avery; sadistic Rosier; dignified, elegant Nott and the one whom Bella called The Saviour; Lord Voldemort Himself.

"He will lead us all to where we belong, to victory, to power!" Bella cried at dinner, her hair wild about her face, a prophetess drunk on darkness. Her parents nodded approvingly of the idea, although Narcissa heard them discuss the less civilised aspects of her methods after dark.

"Not really our kind of people," Mrs Black hissed, sneering.

And then one day she saw him. It seemed incomprehensible that she had never before seen him; lofty features, golden halo of hair, proud, confident gaze.

"Lucius Malfoy," whispered a friend in her ear as he passed them one day. "Seventh year prefect. Surely you've seen him? Keeper on the Quidditch team?!" And then of course she remembered the flash of green, silver and gold, soaring contemptuously above the lowly Houses of earth. Narcissa was no particular fan of Quidditch, but something told her she would be watching the next match.

Her friend's eyes narrowed. "He's single," she said archly. "No-one matches his standards, they say."

"I'm a Black," retorted Narcissa coolly. "Who says he would match mine?"

"Pureblood to the oldest generation!" her friend hissed. Narcissa shrugged, lip curling faintly, heart pounding a tattoo against her ribcage. How could she have missed this? Was this perhaps how 'Dromeda had felt in life, why her corpse shone with more fire than her live flesh ever had? Why that spark in her face and her manner let her defy everything she should have stood for. 'Dromeda was wrong in her choice, of course. Looking at Lucius, Narcissa could see nothing but rightness, nothing but that self-contained strength she prided herself on: the knowledge that being the best, being the elite, did not require ramming it home with brawling. Superiority was innate, obvious, set apart.

"As am I," she replied, her voice a meditative drawl. She could not see him in Bella's evening den of iniquity; not that young Apollo. Surely Mudbloods would simply capitulate to him instinctively, and he would have no need to ever associate with them. His world would be an island of purity, alone, untouchable.

Her friend's gaze was knowing as she turned a slow smile on Narcissa. "Going to talk to him?"

"If the occasion arises I'm sure we would be equally honoured to meet the other," said Narcissa non-commitally, turning her expression with its sudden sharp shock of...of recognition above anything else, away.

"Malfoy?" her mother tilted a silver soup spoon in her daughter's direction. "An old French-decent family, I understand. Very good breeding." Her beady eyes narrowed. "I understand the youngest son attends Hogwarts at the moment."

"I see him in passing from time to time," Narcissa said blandly, sipping soup. At the other end of the table, Bella laughed maniacally as she her whispered curse sent a teacup shattering on the floor. Mrs Black snapped her fingers for the house-elf, unconcerned, and lifted a sculpted eyebrow.

"Perhaps we should entertain him here one afternoon," she mused. "I would so relish the chance to meet with Abraxas again. A fine man."

"A good idea, mother," nodded Narcissa, trying not to let her voice betray her too deeply. Grace, dignity: the only props that had allowed her not to stumble this far in life. She remembered those cool, self-assured eyes, that spoke so eloquently of success and power. How something about that man shone in the dross of the dark world.

She let her mind drift off as her fixed smile turned on Bella shrieking Crucio! at the hapless house-elf.

The first time they truly spoke was such a clich�. Narcissa dropped a paper on the way out of Transfiguration as Lucius' class went into the room, and he leaned over with the Keeper's grace and caught the fluttering sheet before it hit the ground.

He held it out to her, smiling faintly.

"Thank you," said Narcissa, nodding politely, and his smile broadened just a hint, snakelike, charming.

"My pleasure, Miss Black," he inclined his head, and swept past her, leaving her fighting not to turn her head after him. Nevertheless as she walked off she could swear she saw the flash of his hair turning back, and she could imagine his cool smile, his commanding grace as he sat to listen to that dull, dull class. And her heart was a little warmer for the thought.

That weekend the winter holidays had begun. Narcissa sprawled over her bed reading 'Potions for the Advanced Student' or something equally uninspiring when the doorbell sounded.

"Afternoon tea, ma'am," the house-elf's voice called through her door as she heard her mother greet whichever interminable guest it was today, murmuring polite nothings and "charmed, charmed," over and over again, laughing her tight little laugh.

She sighed, let her book drop and strolled down the stairs, her empty, cool smile in place to see blue eyes staring amusedly up the stairwell at her from the darkness of the doorway, as if he could read her thoughts from right there. So terribly boring, all this, no? And yet so very, very amusing.

"Miss Narcissa," he gave that little half-bow again, so olde-worlde, so charmingly mocking, and she held out her graceful hand under her mother's approving eye for him to brush his lips over, just the faintest chaste touch. "We meet again."

"Good afternoon, Lucius," she replied, and her smile grew just a touch more sincere. What a word to apply to herself: sincerity was for those who knew where they were going, those whose world was as pure as they and who had no need to conceal themselves to protect themselves from the rough. And yet�of course, he was not the rough. So far from it.

Mrs Black was now shaking the thin pale hand of Lucius' imperious mother, all fur and silver and ice, and inviting them all through to the drawing room.

"Well, how could I turn down such an afternoon's invitation?" he whispered to her, as he let her hand drop.

"Well, for me it was tea or Potions homework," she responded archly, smirking a little, and to her pleasure he laughed, a dry chuckle in the back of his throat.

"So nice to be appreciated," he returned her smirk, and she felt some small exaltation leap in the back of her mind. So many were intimidated by her, so many misunderstood her�but he, as she had known since she first saw him, was a man who could be her equal�who could give her faith that there was something in this dark, dirty world worth having, worth being�worth existing for.

"Shall we?" he extended his arm towards her and she hesitated only a moment before tucking her hand through it and allowing him to escort her into the dining room.

Under the slow drawl of Mr Malfoy's elegant conversation and the faintly smug glances of her own parents, she let him pull out her chair and help her to a slice of cake, which she nibbled daintily, giving a graceful little laugh at some witticism of Mrs Malfoy.

Over talk of birthrights, wars, Oriental china and the Ministry she felt his heavy gaze on her all afternoon, assessing, considering, admiring. Only once did she allow herself to look to him and meet those hot eyes, and the spark that flowed through her was as sure as if it had been a physical touch. He could give her his message with his eyes alone, send her his thoughts. Soon we shall be alone, depend on it. She tilted her head modestly downward, glancing back up towards their parents, knowing he would receive her answer just as she had received his question.

Lucius became something of a regular visitor that holiday. They walked in the gardens, and talked of high and delicate things, or watched the snow fall from the largest living room window.

"I find it so hard sometimes," Narcissa sighed quietly one day, as Lucius' hand rested on hers as the sat by the fireside, sparks leaping to reflect in their eyes, "When the world can be so..." She paused, but Lucius was nodding.

"So besmirched," he murmured. "It should not be a case of fighting. It should not be a case that we have to even consider associating with the lower orders. We simply should never even be aware of the other's existence. How else can we preserve purity? To even acknowledge anything else exists..."

"...is to acknowledge the foul world, that there is something less than..."

"...than pure faith," he finished, and she nodded, more emphatically than she had expected.

"You understand!" she breathed, and he gave her a strange half-smile.

"As I knew you would," he replied. "We should be free to live our lives in beauty and loyalty, in our Utopia." He settled back, paused, and added, "Blood matters, of course it does. But to need to fight to show it is almost defeat. Do you not agree?"

And Narcissa thought of aggressive, fanatical Bella, losing all the grace of her birthright in her semi-madness, and thought of her own existence, so removed from so much, longing to live solely with that which she loved, pure, free from the violent darkness. "Oh yes," she said quietly. "Yes."

He squeezed her fingers, and breathed, "We shall, one day. Have faith in me."

As she twined her long white fingers around his, she realised to her disbelief, that in him, she felt faith. It was then that she suspected it hardly mattered if the rest of the world killed itself in war. She was falling in love.

She longed to ask Andromeda if this was how it had been for her, as when term began, she arriving a few days early to prepare, she found, tucked, somehow, inside her Charms book, a narcissus flower long out of season, charmed to ever-last. She remembered her mingled horror, confusion, pain and even longing at Andromeda's defection to the darkness: the perfection of love tainted. Yet her sister would understand, she knew; and Narcissa could at least feel she was perhaps correcting her sister's mistake now...her own love was born from the light. She held the fair flower to her lips, pretending it was his hand, his lips, his throat, and flushed mottled red in the silence of her dorm. She inhaled softly, wondering if she could still catch just the faintest hint of his scent upon the petals, or was that just her imagination?

A knock at the door made her drop the flower in startled bemusement. She had sworn she was the first one back of her House; the empty castle had a strangely restful effect on her, allowing her to prepare herself for the coming term.

"Hello?" she called, letting her frost-Black arrogance creep into her voice.

"May I come in?" murmured a voice, low and intensely masculine, and she knew he hardly needed to ask, for he had entered to put a flower in her book and such a man she could never keep out.

"You may," she whispered, her heart pounding as she knelt in the silver bedsheets, her name-flower resting on her thighs, bright against the heavy black material of her school robes. She lifted it gently to place on her bedside table, wondering at the trembling nervousness in her that was so very unlike her.

And then he was there, smiling, gazing down at her with blazing eyes, a silhouette between her the end-curtains of the four poster bed, and the last part of her that was not submerged in some strange half-frenzy of which she had hardly dared to imagine thought, oh, the old romance novel? I thought I said once...I was never one for bad poetry? And she smiled, tight, amused, realising she was about to finally bury the corpse of her sister, of her lost way, of her bad faith. Mal foi? Never was there such a misnomer, surely! Only for some. Only for the impure. For the truly pure, there can be the best of faith.

 

And she realised she was mentally gabbling, parted her lips in a deep, slow breath and then suddenly he was there, his mouth crushed against hers, slow serpent-smooth and starving, body pressed to hers as though there would never be space between them again, timeless, endless. She responded, helpless to him for only a heartbeat before she let her own hands tangle forcefully into his silk-shining hair and kiss him back as he should be kissed, surely; all ice and desire; trailing down his set jawline. She heard his small growl of approval, deep in the back of his throat, and felt him press forward to lower her suddenly-burning body to her sheets.

"Lucius," she breathed against his throat, feeling the blood pounding there, and he paused, whispered,

"Cissa?"

But she had no answer beyond pressing her lips fiercely against his throat again, pressing her teeth into the skin for just a moment and then, then, she pulled back with a gasp as she felt his cool fingers slide under her robes, over her ribs and her fluttering heart, pausing just beneath her breast. She cursed the way her eyes widened and turned with such unusual unworldly innocence, the act of some schoolgirl with the first stirrings of feeling, to Lucius, but he was watching her with concern, and gently withdrew his hand.

"Are you all right?" he asked solicitously, despite his ragged breathing. Narcissa's blood flared to hear the barely controlled undertones in his voice. "Do you not want this?"

"I..." she gathered herself, and managed a tremulous, decisive smile. "No...I...I think I do. Lucius, I..."

But he was kissing her again with that mastery of before, and she returned the kisses, pulling back only to whisper, "I want this."

"I love you," he hissed against her cheek, and her chest tightened. In her mind's eye she could see the scene, a third party hovering over her silver and green bedcurtains: the two blond snakes, twining around each other, his hand now gently sliding her robes from her snow-pale shoulders and down, down, revealing her slender white hips, thighs, tiny feet, throwing the heap of material carelessly aside.

And she�she could hardly believe that it was her hands that tore at his robes, with less care than him but perhaps more need, half-clawing them from his back and raking her nails down his perfect skin, making him cry out a little. She licked her lips, the bitter sting of blood making her realise she had chewed through her lower lip, and writhed at his touch, tracing her collarbone and following the line down between her breasts.

"My beautiful Cissa," he breathed, his voice a harsh rasp, and she laughed wildly, abandon sucking at her skin (or no, no, that was just him, his perfect thin lips tracing a curve around each breast, and slowly, so slowly, outlining each achingly hardened nipple and�), her hips rising helplessly to meet his body above her. There was nothing but the heat coiling and throbbing in her ice-cool body, melting her defences and the very last of her protective barriers...

"Lu-cius!" she gasped herself, half-hating the way she could think of no other word, nothing more dignified to cry as his fingers danced over the outline of each of her ribs and finally lower where she had hardly been able to restrain herself from asking – no, begging – him to touch. She might be ashamed in the morning – had it been anyone else, she would have been certain. With Lucius, perhaps not. Yet she would let him do it anyway, and hang the consequences.

He laughed, a low throaty sound, barely clinging to his own control, and dragged his finger tortuously slowly up the inside of her thigh, towards the centre of her whole being, wet and burning and pounding as it was. As he slid a single finger inside her, she parted her lips in a sobbing cry.

"Don't�don't stop," she half-screamed, forcing some imperious command into her tone, pointless as it was. They both knew how helpless they both were to each other.

"Cissa?" he gasped, just the faintest hint of a question in his tone, and pulled his fingers back even as she ground down upon them, the desperate ache dragging her onwards. She growled now and, fuelled by some sudden determination of Slytherin power, buried her fingernails in his shoulders and drew herself up to him, pressing her belly against his, feeling the fevered red finger of his flesh against her. She lifted her body, hardly conscious of her own movement, and paused as the smooth tip pressed against her own sodden, sweet flesh and she heard her own pitiful moan, echoing his own.

"My...Cissa, love," he choked out, and she at last dragged him inside herself, felt her flesh open to his and caress her deep, deep inside and�

The last vestige of consciousness sneered and told her this had to be a fairytale, there was no spark that could light a fire as this inside her, and then that thought too caved into nothing but heat and the need of her hungry aching body and Lucius�Lucius, so close they might almost be one, his penis huge and pounding and delicious inside her and�

"Cissa!" he half-screamed and she forced herself to remember to breathe even as blue dots started to dance in front of her eyes as he screamed again, a strange, feral sound, a strange word to attach to such a man, and there was nothing but boiling fluid and heaven pouring inside her, down the heat of her once-pristine thighs, matting the blond curls there against her skin�half-manic, she joined his scream as the timeless ecstasy building in her drowned her at last, and then they were just lying in each other's arms, all sweat and torn breath and at last Narcissa's thoughts surfaced, halfway sensible again, and she looked into his blazing eyes and knew right there and then that this was the man to whom she could give herself, the man who was worthy of her.

They lay in peaceful dark silence for what seemed like hours, naked bodies pressed together, occasionally stroking each other's bare arms or ribs, sighing softly. At last he murmured, quiet, "I would fight with the Dark Lord to save you, swear allegiance to him for you." She shook her head.

"No, no. Let's run away, let's buy our own island�" Her voice drifted off, lost in fantasy.

"Then nothing will change," he silenced her with a finger over her lips. "I will protect you, love you, and make you believe I can make this world perfect for you. Believe me?"

"I do," she pre-empted, whole-hearted.

-

But that was years ago, thinks Narcissa, sipping from a goblet of vintage Merlot. On the Persian rug before her carved oak chair plays Draco, serious-faced even as he places blocks one on top of another, his chubby young fingers handling each block with Slytherin concentration, face screwed up in childish determination.

"Dear boy," she whispers, idly stroking his soft hair, so like Lucius', and he gave her a brief, wide smile before turning back to his castle-building.

The familiar creak of the door made her turn in her chair, that old warmth filling her, and at her feet Draco stumbled to his feet, toddling over to greet the man pulling off his heavy moss-green travelling cloak.

"Da," he beamed, holding his arms out, and Lucius swept the boy up into a brief hug, catching him before he tripped over the edge of his short play-cloak, before turning to his wife, her eyes drinking in every inch of his face, her smile of return intimate, shutting out the dirty world outside.

"My Narcissa," he murmured, placing their son back on the rug and letting him half-crawl, half-stumble back over to his toys. Narcissa stepped carefully and deliberately over the patterned rug, placing each foot slowly down, delicious anticipation, glad Draco was far too young to understand their slow smiles.

"I'm so glad you're back," she whispered, pressing her body close to his, feeling his arms circle her, safe and true. Every time he left, she feared this war would carry him off from their Utopia. How she wished they had never had to enter this...and yet, even now, there were those distant dreams of freedom for her and her family, the reason he was fighting. For her. For them. For their light.

"Always," he murmured, kissing her warm hair. "My reasons to believe, my love."

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