“Oh, Narcissa!” Gladys Parkinson squeals, spotting the silver chain glinting beneath her robes. “Let me see!”
Coyly, Narcissa pulls the serpent pendant free, its emerald eyes winking. “It’s a family heirloom. A present from my mother.”
At the station, Mother had fastened it around her neck, then unexpectedly pulled her into an embrace. “It would have been…well. No matter.” She had drawn back, resting her hands on Narcissa’s shoulders. “You’re old enough now. And I trust you to respect what it represents.”
Narcissa looks past Gladys to where Lucius Malfoy sits, watching her with a newly appraising expression, and smiles.