Well chosen. Sometimes Narcissa Malfoy surprised him. He’d always believed her to be rather flighty and shallow (most purebloods were so that was predictable) but there were these moments on occasion when she seemed far more aware than others. She could have lied to him, laughed and waved off the experience but she’d opted for a semblance of honesty. It was a shambling attempt at best since it was clear she was far from ‘okay’ but the term was appropriate. Had he not also looked like shit when he’d been coping?
Again his thoughts drifted to his fiancé. She was still locked in that hell hole. It was irritating that Amycus had refused to respond to his note. Pride was all well and good, but Azkaban was not a place to waffle about. The younger man needed to be decisive or she’d be mad despite her strength. That would be a true pity. He thought, rolling his shoulders to loosen them a bit before glancing across the space at the pale beauty once again offering her his attention.
He wasn’t particularly hungry, but he was in a benign mood, so he reached out to snag a napkin for the crumbs before collecting one of the offered scones. “Thank you.” He murmured with practiced ease. He was a civilized monster after all. Silence enveloped them as he sat back, taking a fastidious bite of the treat. It wasn’t his favorite flavor but it was tasty at least. Wiping carefully at his mouth he debated for a moment and then decided why not. She might have something good to share with him after all.
“I’m afraid I’m at a bit of a loss for what you hoped to impart cousin.” He said honestly. “I rather thought that the planning and everything was Alecto’s prerogative and mine was to stay out of the way?” He offered a faint smile that was almost sheepish, but then, he wasn’t lying. What little he knew of marriage (and it was of very little because he’d never actually planned to get married) revolved around getting a tux and showing up. He thought the rest of it was at Alecto’s discretion, though he planned to insist on a small wedding.
He didn’t think he’d have to worry about an argument there either since it was obvious that Ambrose Carrow didn’t care about his daughter so the typical demand for a giant wedding wouldn’t exist unless Alecto pushed for it.
Evan’s ignorance about the matter of weddings, though not surprising, was amusing. A wry smile graced her lips - the first since she had been released. After a few moments of savoring the taste of the scone, she placed her plate down, clearing her throat. It was imperative to find the right words to convey to Evan what a touchy matter something like this was. Marriages and weddings were hard enough as they were, but a whole new level of difficulty was added when one had to manage all the Pureblood pleasantries and complexities.
"Yes," she said calmly, "under normal circumstances your prerogative would be to stay out of the way. However, originally your case required delicacy. Now it requires something akin to a small miracle.” She took another bite of her scone, eating something regardless of her lack of appetite. She knew she was functioning on little more than an empty stomach. She hadn’t had the heart to drag herself out of bed for food.
Begrudgingly, she kept silent as she thought about Alecto in Azkaban. The poor girl, though strong, looked like she was barely holding it together at the engagement ball. She was all fiery temper, angry at the hand that fate had dealt her, much the same way that Narcissa was as a girl - frustrated that she could do little but watch as her life played out before her.
Amycus, on the other hand, seemed positively territorial. She remembered how his eyes fixed on his sister, the way they gleamed at the very sight of her, the way he constantly downed glass after glass of wine. Perhaps it was that he didn’t approve of Evan, Narcissa didn’t know. What she did know is that he would be of little help. She took another sip of her tea, feeling the infused Calming Draught calm her nerves, enabling her to think a bit clearer.
"Ordinarily," she continued, elaborating on her prior statement, "you would be expected to play the part just as much as Alecto would be - dress robes, formalities, et cetera. However, in this case, Alecto will likely be little help in the form of arrangements and taking care of preparations, given the… delicate circumstances of her position at the moment." Once more she paused, attempting to find the right words. Normally, she was not at such a loss. Then again, she wasn’t normally taking visitors whilst she was in her dressing gown.
"Furthermore, by the looks of the engagement ball at Carrow Manor, you would not wish to have the Master Carrow be in charge of your wedding - it is likely that something would either catch fire or your guests would be so upset by the garish ornamentation that they would refuse to attend." The small semblance of a smile began to form at the edges of her lips as she remembered everyone’s horror at the grandiosity of the Carrow ball. Grandiosity is all well and good, but their attempts made all the money that was doubtlessly put in seem humorous. He had gone overboard in an attempt to show his wealth.
If that’s the kind of logic you apply to your daily life, it’s not a surprise that you ended up in Azkaban, however wrongly.
Yes, it wouldn’t be a surprise…
[She tilts her head, smiling slightly.]
However, Azkaban, by no means, is associated with my daily life. The Ministry really should put less severe holding areas for those only suspected.
[The word grits itself out of her mouth, a combination of fury and frustration.]
An Infinite List of Beautiful Collections - Zuhair Murad Pre-Fall 2014 (part 2)
Date: January, 1979 Time: 12:02am Location: Trafalgar Square, Muggle London.
Her mind was somewhere else, her body moved in automatic as she walked to the position that had been assigned. It hadn’t been a good idea, she should have talked to Moody about it, but then she would have to explain and Mary didn’t feel like sharing her past with the grumpy old man. If there was something she could do to feel better, that was being there and try to keep herself distracted.
No doubt Avery could be part of the Death Eaters, just like Rabastan, but she didn’t have any evidence. She only had the feeling that she was right, and because she normally never was, it was hard to ignore. So there she was, trying to act like a human being instead of a deflated balloon. But thinking about it gave it more importance than it actually had. He had done to upset her, he was a little shit, and she didn’t want to let him win. Not this time.
It wasn’t fair that she was all kinds of fucked up while he probably was enjoying a drink and making fun of her somewhere in hell. That motherfucker. Mary shook her head and sighed as she leaned against the wall. The countdown was about to start and she knew there was nothing to celebrate. That year had been awful and the next year would be even worse. She wasn’t a pessimistic, she was just fucking realistic.
Kisses, hugs and smiles around her almost brought a warmth feeling to her chest, but it was interrupted by a bright red light. Shit. Of course this was going to happen, reason why they all were there. Mary reached for her wand and ran into the crowd as the Muggles were trying to escape. It was difficult to push her way in, but there was nothing that would stop her now.
It was a complete chaos and her head was spinning, her pulse in her ear and fire in her throat as she kept running. Spells fell from her lips, making sure they didn’t hit any Muggle. Thankfully, she had her way with wands. Her eye caught a Death Eater going after Emmeline Vance and her blood boiled in her veins with anger. Only those sick bastards would actually try to hurt sweet Vance. But before she could make her way to the small witch, someone else knocked her over and Mary fell on her arse.
"Fuck," she muttered as she looked around for her wand and rushed to her feet. A distraction was the last thing she needed. It wasn’t her best night and she wasn’t doing a good job, and whoever had dared to— Holy shit. The robes, the mask, the wand; a Death Eater. Mary pointed her wand right at the head. “Do not move or I will rip your guts out, and so help me I don’t need a wand for that.” It could be a trap. It most definitely was a trap. There was no way in hell a Death Eater would be so weak to allow themselves to get distracted and caught in the middle of an attack, but she couldn’t run. Definitely not her night. “Get up. Hands where I can see them.”
Immediately after impact, Narcissa began the frantic scramble for her wand, feeling only the rough concrete beneath her fingers. Panic quickly set in as she failed to find her wand until she heard the stern, female voice order her to stand up. Hands where I can see them, she said. She was wandless, defenseless, likely two seconds away from being identified and arrested. For a moment she froze, debating whether or not she would get far if she ran. Even as she thought it, she knew that it was stupid.
"Shit!" she exclaimed as she stopped searching for her fallen wand. There was no way out of this. She was done for. She was going to be caught and done for. She could feel the world pressing in upon her as she slowly stood, obeying the orders given to her, delicate and pale hands stretched out defensively.
She felt lost, naked without her wand. Through the mask, Narcissa’s light eyes were wide with terror, trying to find some way to weasel out of the situation. Once more, she stayed still, casting her gaze to the ground hoping that some of the silver from her wand would shine in the moonlight, hoping that she would be able to catch it, hoping that she could dive for it before being jinxed. Hope was all she could do as she scanned the ground. It’s not there. It’s not there. It’s not there. The panicked mantra repeated itself in her head, getting louder and louder as she realized exactly how fucked she actually was.
She could say nothing, her throat as dry as sandpaper. Her throat constricted with nervous tension, every muscle and joint in her body telling her to run. How could you let yourself be talked into such a stupid plan, you idiotic girl! Her thoughts had taken over, her terror overriding almost everything. She was the only one to blame. She had gotten herself into this mess.
"Okay! Okay!" She said, raising her hands, palms open. "I won’t do anything… so lower your wand." She gulped down the vomit that tempted to rise up in anxiety. "I… I’m wandless! You can’t hurt a wandless person!" In reality, she had no idea what ministry officials could and couldn’t do. If she were, by some stroke of magnificence, incredibly lucky, neither would the other person.
Her breath was coming in short bursts as she felt the world tilt and spin around her. She couldn’t tell if she was hit with a Confundus charm or if she was just too panicked to function, her heart skipping beats left and right. More likely than not, it was the latter. The sound went in and out, fading, distorting. It was dizzying and only further confused her. She tried to focus on the figure that was talking to her - more like yelling or barking - but at the moment, she was a blur.
The sting she felt in her lip was from where she bit it so hard she bled, only realizing that when she tasted the sharp tang of blood. She shut her eyes, trying to think, to shut everything out, still standing exactly where she had stood up and given up looking for her lost wand. She was cornered up against a cold wall - no place to go. There was only one thing to do as all of her thoughts and senses began to overwhelm her; she listened to the basest of responses: Fight or flight. Without a wand, she was useless. The obvious option was flight.
There was a moment of clarity when her muscles tensed, getting ready to move and work with all they had. It was that clarity which told her how deep she had let Lucius and her sister drag her in to all of this nonsense. With that clarity came the realization that yes, she would be caught once more, and she would be jinxed, or hexed or cursed this time. There was, however, also the slight chance that she would get away. However slight that chance was, she had to take it.
Really, Bella, I think you lean more towards “attack” than anything else. Lessons of childhood well learned.
"Oh Narcissa, I might have expected you to have something to add. Always an opinion on everything. And without being asked. Charming, really."
"Sweet Bella, you’re discussing having opinions with me? What happened to the outspoken Bella I once knew? Surely not defeated by a marriage, of course. That would make me feel almost cheated, I assure you."
Her glare reminded him so much of Andy whenever she was short tempered; and he wondered if the sisters were specifically taught such a look in addition to the other lessons. Ted had seen a similar glare from the eldest sister whenever she might have caught sight of him – they increased more when he began to spend with Andy. It was a common trait with the three sisters, it seemed. He briefly thought if their mother had the same look, probably was the one who taught them. Ted had never met Mrs. Black, but it took little imagination to see what type of person she would be.
Black or white, right or wrong, light and dark. Ted wondered why people had to deal in absolutes. And what the hell was treason about? As he understood it, treason was something that was threatening – he was considered inferior, so how could he could possibly be a threat to them? There’s no point in trying to make sense of it. What she was referring to was complete indoctrination – their parents had brainwashed their children to take on these absurd views. Ted kept that to himself, not daring to mention it.
Ted raised his eyebrows at her hypothetical question. One would think that she’d have a better idea of how to sneak out. She knows her family’s schedules and their suspicions. Taking another drink, he took the time to formulate a plan of some sort. “Well, the only way I can think of preventing you from being seen would be polyjuice. Though, you wouldn’t by chance have some sort of invisibility device?” There wouldn’t be an issue with getting her near Andy; he could take on that easily. “You’ll need a good excuse to be gone for an hour, maybe two. And of course, alone.” I hope they don’t keep tabs on each of the family member’s whereabouts.
His anger had mostly gone and he was more or less back to patient and soft-spoken Ted. He hoped that she was sincere in the question and would make a reasonable effort in trying to attend. Although, if she refused nicely – not with all that haughty behavior, he would be fine with that. Not pleased, but able to walk away with no more harsh words. Right now, he could pretend that they were having a decently well-mannered conversation.
“You may have a better idea though. I don’t know your schedule or how to convince them that you’re going out without causing suspicion. I imagine though, they wouldn’t be suspicious anyways since you seem to be following the right path.”
Her heart skittered at the very thought of being so defiant, putting herself in such a position to get caught and face her father’s wrath. She would be lucky if her father didn’t disown her as well for just attending the wedding. As Ted rattled off the various ways that she might be able to do this, what she was agreeing to became very real. It was scary; she didn’t want to end up like Andy. She took another long sip of her barley wine, contemplating whether or not she was really prepared to do this, and face whatever punishment would come her way. There was no way that she could hope her parents would understand that after everything, Andromeda was still her sister, still her family. To them, she was just a disgrace, something to be ashamed of.
She nearly scoffed when Ted suggested some type of invisibility device or spell. ”You realise that I am underage, and as such, all magic that I use would be tracked, correct? That would not only break the law, but alert my parents.” The very thought sent shudders down her spine. ”I can go where I wish and my parents wouldn’t think twice about it, especially since I’m in school most of the time anyways.” She tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. It would ideally be easier to sneak out of school. Druella scheduled her daughters’ every move, be it a social engagement or a garden party.
"Polyjuice, no matter how… gruesome, seems to be our best option. The question that remains is whose hair I should acquire." The thought made her cringe. She had never imagined being anyone else, and especially not to her own sister’s wedding.
"I don’t want her to know that I’m there." The words came out quietly, involuntarily. Her voice was weak, her eyes cast down to her lap. She was beginning to feel the tingle of the barley wine in her fingertips, the slight feeling of floating. Maybe it was the wine causing her to be so vulnerable, maybe it was just the reality of the situation.
She shook her head, looking back up at Ted. ”She can’t know that I am there.” She said it firmly this time, “if she does, then word might get out and I would have few excuses.” This reason seemed like a thin cover to her, but it provided, at the very least, an excuse for her previous show of vulnerability. She was trying very hard to be mature, from the way she sat up straight to the way she talked and managed to deal with the fact that she was sitting at the table with a Mudblood of all people. If anyone else knew, she would surely be the laughing stock of the school.
HARRY POTTER HISTORY MEME: one family [1/1] → The House of BlackThe Noble and Most Ancient House of Black was one of the largest, oldest and wealthiest pure-blooded wizarding families in Britain, and one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight. The Black family tree is displayed in the drawing room of the family home at 12 Grimmauld Place in London on an intricate tapestry. Most Black family members are named after stars or constellations.
He’d considered blowing off the appointment. It wasn’t as if he had a great deal to say to his older cousin, and the only reason he’d agreed had been because of the engagement. An engagement to a woman sitting in Azkaban likely going mad. That would draw a tedious amount of attention to him, and it would certainly highlight his connections.
What will Marlene think about that?
He scowled at the thought. What did it matter? She was a good fuck, but he wasn’t marrying her for this exact reason. She was on the wrong side of the war. If he gave her too much credence his allies would begin to notice, and while it was inconvenient for Alecto to know, she was at least minding her tongue on the matter. Will she continue to do so? She is in a mad house right now. A mad house that Narcissa had also been in. In the end it was that thought that had driven him to keep his appointment. There was a chance he could glean some insight from his cousin after all.
It was difficult not to be impressed by the Malfoy estate. It was the epitome of luxury, and while Evan had never wanted for anything but even he experienced the bite of envy when faced with the opulence of his cousin’s home. He arrived on the stoop at precisely one twenty five so that by the time her servants informed her of his arrival, it would be one thirty (their agreed upon time).
Ignoring the way the elf shifted nervously he meandered around the parlor he’d been shown too, touching nothing, but admiring more than a few trinkets. It was the kind of set-up that would have appealed to his mother. Not that the observation was surprising. Celia Rosier had been the ideal pure blood wife. She’d lived for appearances. Their house had always felt like a display. Every book left out had been significant in one way or another, meant to make a statement for anyone fortunate enough to receive an invite into the Rosier home. Evan preferred to just keep people out, but Alecto wouldn’t be that way would she? She’d likely want to entertain. To draw hapless flies into her web. Was this his future? Would she re-order his home to suit her needs? Dark brows furrowed as he turned away, pondering the notion as he waited.
He glanced up when his cousin finally arrived, though his expression remained impassive. Merlin she looks like shit. He tilted his head, green eyes narrowing. Why isn’t Malfoy here taking care of her? Evan wasn’t exactly the caretaker type, but he did have rules. Even though he’d yet to marry Alecto, she already fell into a category where his attention was guaranteed whether she liked it or not, though at least he could maintain his distance for the moment. Sending a note to her brother had been sufficient (but necessary after his observations at the Christmas ball).
“I had thought to reschedule, but decided you might welcome the distraction.” He said after a moment more of observation. Doing his best to ignore her state of dishabille, he moved to sit stiffly on the edge of an adjacent chair. “I am well, but then I wasn’t just treated to an unwelcome tour of the halls of Azkaban. How are you?” He returned, his gaze attentive. She’d only been in there for what, two days? Given the obvious lack of care Carrow Sr. had for his daughter, he had a feeling Alecto would be in there far longer. Could he expect this kind of shamble or would it be worse? Alecto was strong but dementors were not to be underestimated…
Narcissa saw the look of surprise on her younger cousin’s face. If she had been in any other position it would have been comical. The elf had settled in the corner, still trembling from the verbal whipping that she gave it. She sent it off with a clean wave of her hand and a glare of distaste. It scuttled away quickly, opening the door only a crack before it slipped out. She took a deep sip of her tea, hoping that it would calm her, both with the herbs and the Calming Draught. She made the mental note to contact Severus again soon. She would need more at this rate.
She realised that she should have been more ashamed at her state of undress. She was just glad that Lucius was not here to see her like this, bearing herself in such a manner before any man, even if he was her cousin. For a moment, the only sound that came from her was the slight clink of the china of her teacup being placed against that of the saucer. The set had been a gift from her mother - a wedding gift that was hardly used. Narcissa had more tea sets that she favoured. In fact, most of the items in this room were gifts that were only used for visitors. The room in its entirety was only used for visitors and people that they were attempting to impress.
Though the rest of the manor was impressive, it was impressive in a different manner. The rest of it had the distinct feel of being lived in, used (but not dirty). Its elegance all had a use, a practical purpose and a history. It had a reason for being in that place. The opulence of the parlour was almost overwhelming that that respect. It was a lot of splendor in a small room. It had changed since Narcissa had married Lucius, undoing much of the tasteless florals that her predecessor had preferred. In fact, many of the lesser touches were her own. In her opinion, the lush dark green velvet drapes were a humongous improvement from the disgusting linen floral curtains that used to be hung there.
Returning her gaze to her cousin, she smiled cordially. ”Yes, you happen to be quite correct. The distraction is quite welcome,” she ran a hand through her tangled mane, “though again, I must apologize for my state. I’m afraid that its partially due to the fact that the Ministry has kept my wand in their custody since New Year’s. Something about a pending investigation.” She noted how stiffly he sat; this was likely not only a rare sight for him but a situation in which he had little idea what to do. ”Azkaban was…” she paused, attempting to find the right words. ”I’m…” She trailed off. If she said that she was fine, he would know that it was a lie. There was no way that she could possibly be fine. She settled for something a little closer to the truth. “I’m coping.”
No, I’m not, no I’m not no I’m not not not not not. So far form okay. Drowning, terrified, petrified. Can’t do anything. So terrified. Don’t let them take me back. Please. So much pain. Too much pain. Nothing but pain.
She offered him a slight smile as she picked up a plate of scones. ”Would you like one? They’re quite good. They come from an international tea shop that I frequent.” She took a tiny bite from one before returning it to her plate. ”I can’t speak to Alecto, however, so I have to apologize. However, as for your upcoming nuptials, perhaps I can be of some help.”