Narcissa Malfoy found her home empty as she returned form her outing, late at night. She’d gone everywhere and nowhere, hoping for time to pass faster than when she was inside, waiting, worrying, trapped by her own houses’ walls. Empty. Of course it was empty, what else would she have expected? He couldn’t be back yet, had he only been out for five hours, maybe six.
“Don’t wait for me,” Lucius had told her, like he always told her, placing a gentle kiss on her temple before he turned around to leave the room. Narcissa had only nodded, her eyes still resting on the door he’d passed through many minutes later.
Of course she waited. She always waited for him, whether she intended to or not, would wait until exhaustion overwhelmed her, causing her to fall asleep on the couch in the drawing room, her book still in her hands. Slowly she raised her hand to unloosen her hair, feeling it fall down her back like a thick waterfall of long, blonde locks, quickly glanced at the mirror. Her bright, blue eyes were looking back at her, tired, with a hint of worry. Sorrow.
Slowly she turned around, took a step forward to reach her desk and open the bottom drawer for her collection of phials, but then held back. Just like her mother, Narcissa had always been a master in brewing potions of any kind and difficulty, stored them in their bedroom, close, in case they were needed, especially now during the war. Of course she noticed the disappearing of Calming Draughts and Sleep Potions, but never lost a word about it, just like her husband seemed to consider it a matter of course to remain quiet in his attempts not to worry her.
They were attacking a village tonight, she’d heard him say, far up north. There’d be a battle. She had been unable to suppress a gasp, to keep her eyes from widening with fear. Again she reached out her hand for, like so many times before, opening the drawer and take out another phial, but again she held back. Instead, she opened the window, looked out into the dark. It was a cold, clear night, the sky was covered with a thousand bright stars, illuminating the streets, covering them in a mysterious, silver light. Somewhere, she thought, giving a quiet sigh, somewhere out there he was, amongst others, following a man’s orders, submitting to his will like a servant would to his own.
Somewhere, the night wasn’t as peaceful as it was here, somewhere flashes would cut the air, bright green and red, somewhere, screams would break the silence, the scent of fear lying incessantly in the air.
If only he’d return.
For a moment, Narcissa closed her eyes, inhaling the fresh winter’s air with slow, deep breaths. She knew they expected her to be strong, like they expected them all to be strong, and she was. She was strong, just as strong as anyone else, would always remain strong, even if sometimes it required help.
Absently she turned around to take her book, to leave her bedroom and sit down in the drawing room for just a couple more minutes, but instead she only sank down to the chair at her desk, beginning to take off her jewellery after having a quick look at the clock. It was late, later than she’d expected it to be, nearly half past two in the morning. She was tired; perhaps it’d be a better idea to go straight to bed, to just take a Sleep Potion and close her eyes, not opening them until the sun had risen, instead of falling into a restless sleep far away from her bed, tired of waiting.
Lucius would always wake her when he found her asleep on the couch, gently, by only touching her cheek, like he’d woken her in times that now seemed long gone. He’d then look at her, an expression in his wide, grey eyes that she was unable to read.
Again she closed her eyes, barely noticed how the door to their bedroom opened with a quiet creak, how steps so familiar to her came closer and closer, becoming louder with every second. Slowly Narcissa turned around, her lips forming a smile, relieved yet sad, her eyes widening with fright only a second later. He was standing right in front of her, heavily breathing with exhaustion, his face and hands covered in blood.
It seemed to take her a while to realise that he’d returned, that, for tonight, it was over. That he was alive. But then, then she took another step forward, reaching out her arms to wrap them around his neck, pulling him close to her body, close and even closer, into an embrace she never wanted to end.
Minutes seemed to have passed when she released the embrace and sat down on their bed, right next to him, still looking at him, still looking deeply into his eyes. Slowly she took out her wand from her pocket as she rolled up his sleeves and whispered quiet spells, watching his wounds slowly disappear, leaving his skin behind unblemished, as if nothing had happened.
“Let’s go to sleep, Cissy,” Lucius eventually said, his voice hoarse, tired. Narcissa only nodded, beginning to undress herself. She wouldn’t lose a word about his return, wouldn’t question him about the wounds, about what had happened while he’d been gone, would only go on as if nothing had happened. As if everything was all right, as if their future wasn’t indefinite, as if they both knew that from his next journey he’d return, too.
He’d already laid down when Narcissa finally pulled up the drawer in her desk, taking out two tiny phials, filled with a clear, purple liquid. Soon later her head, too, finally touched the pillow, quickly she swallowed the potion, just like her husband did, closed her eyes only a second after. She smiled when his quiet snore began to resound in the room, then, too fell asleep, her hand still connected to his.