“Then we will still meet for lunch here as usual, but I will never speak of any of this again.” Lily shrugged, taking a delicate sip of her coffee and grimacing. “Ugh. Should’ve just gone for an iced mocha.”
“Snob. So, do we have an agreement?” She raised her brows, waiting.
“I really don’t know why I associate with you.” Narcissa sighed after a moment, yielding with a silent nod. “Crazy witch.”
Lily tapped her cup with her wand, hidden in her sleeve, before saluting her with it. “Because I’m the most Slytherin Gryffindor you will ever meet, and you can’t help but respect me for it. Admit it. You like me. You really like me.” She smirked. “Now, are you all caught up on reviewing for our practical next week? I still can’t for the life of me remember what ingredients go into a bone bruise poultice…”
The next evening, Narcissa approached Lucius’s study with a bit of trepidation. Taking a deep breath, she knocked sharply on the door, waiting for his call before entering the room.
“Good evening, my lord,” she said demurely, stopping just inside the door and waiting for him to look up and acknowledge her.
Resentment and anger rose like bile in her throat as he deliberately waited a few moments before lazily lifting his gaze from the document in front of him, but she forced it back down to offer a pretty, coy smile.
“Narcissa.” He said, and though his flat grey eyes travelled over her body, showcased to perfection in the sheer dressing robe and lacy nightgown in a mint green that accentuated her curves and her coloring, there was no flicker of interest – or anything – in his expression. “I thought you had already retired. Did you need something?” There were no inflections in his cultured, cold, drawling tone as he returned his gaze to his paper, dismissing her as of no importance before she even had a chance to answer.
“The Mark kills everything related to life and love.” Lily’s voice sounded in her head. “He will show no sign of sexual or personal interest in you, will not seek to touch or take. The only emotions left to him are of anger, resentment, pride, and arrogance.”
“He is still the man I married, the one who courted me so persistently!” Narcissa had protested. “You are wrong about him, Lily.”
“Again, I hope that is true, for the sake of your heart, happiness, and future.” The redhead replied quietly as they had gathered their things to leave. “But we are both Slytherin and female enough to know better than to trust solely our heart’s hopes and wishes, when our heads and magic know the truth. Enough time has passed that, were there other reasons, they would have revealed themselves already…”
The courtship and marriage of the golden couple was the talk of wizarding society. Rumors abounded of Narcissa being pregnant out of wedlock, although there was never talk of them marrying for love. Nine months passed, then another nine, and the whispers began, along with the sidelong looks and patronizing tones. It never occurred to anyone to blame Lucius, but Narcissa went through months of ‘helpful’ suggestions and remedies, all couched in false sympathies and a covetous eye on her husband.