Narcissa smirked lightly as the head of the council stood and handed her the required forms. With a small bow of her head, she thanked him and the other members for their time before walking out of the meeting room.
This was all going too perfect. In her hands were documents, stating that while Sirius was in St. Mungos recovering from his ‘accident’, she now had legal guardianship over Harry Potter. Due to the fact that Harry was a minor, he technically couldn’t make legal decisions over who his guardian was should Sirius be...unfit to watch over him.
A law that Narcissa felt almost no regret exploiting. Even as she was rudely interrupted from writing a letter (to her son) by Remus Lupin, who had flooed to her home without any heads up or permission.
“Mrs. Malfoy.” Remus began, eyes narrowed in a stern glare as the woman placed her quill down and stood up. “Just what are you playing at?”
“Whatever do you mean?” Narcissa tilted her head, blue eyes settled and calm as she regarded the werewolf.
“Sirius’ injury. How did you find out before we did?” The term ‘we’ was a reference to Sirius’ friends and co-workers, who weren’t too far away when the ‘accident’ occurred. Some of them were even the ones to rush him to St. Mungos. “The council has stated that by the time we got him to the hospital, you had already requested guardianship over his ward.”
Narcissa raised a brow at Remus, looking at the other as if he’d just sprouted a mandrake out of his head. “He is my cousin. Family. I am notified immediately if something happens to him.”
“You two haven’t spoken for a while. In my knowledge, you didn’t leave each other on good terms the last time he was here.” Remus made sure to emphasize the word ‘good’ in his sentence. It was another way to express his suspicion about Narcissa.
“Siblings have fights all the time.” Narcissa finally narrowed her eyes, not liking where Remus was going with this. She didn’t know the true extent of how much the werewolf knew about her and Sirius’ relationship, but so far, she didn’t like what he seemed to know. “Yet, that does not change the fact that they do care for each other and will assist the other should they get into trouble.”
“I’m not doubting that you care about Sirius.” Remus was lying through his teeth, but Narcissa didn’t seem to notice. Or care. If anything, she seemed pleased that Remus said that. “What I’m curious about is how quickly you jumped at the chance to claim guardianship over Harry.”
Narcissa raised a brow. Hmmm...seems like not everything was going as perfect as she hoped. She had honestly assumed that Sirius’ friends and coworkers would be happy that Harry even had another guardian to take him in while Sirius was recovering. So happy that they wouldn’t question it, just be glad that he was safe and not on his own.
It appears that she had been incorrect.
“And it’s just Harry.” Remus continued, trying to pressure Narcissa into telling him the truth. “I know you’re aware that Sirius had another ward, a young lady named Hermione Granger. If you’re truly doing this because you want to be a caring family member, then wouldn’t you be taking Ms. Granger in too?”
Narcissa rolled her eyes at this. “Ms. Granger is not legal family, so she’s not my concern.”
Remus couldn’t believe it. Narcissa had sounded to uncaring, had lacked so much compassion, when talking about Hermione. It was a complete opposite to how she was talking just moments ago, when Sirius and Harry were the focus of the conversation. He had doubts that it was because Narcissa was being serious about being a caring family member. Rather, it added more prove to his original theory…
“If you were really doing this out of the kindness of your heart or because you want Sirius happy by making sure his wards are safe, you’d be taking in Ms. Granger as well.” Remus watched Narcissa carefully, attentive to her body language and her facial expressions. He looked for any signs that might indicate that she would attack him.
When he found none, he continued, sounding a bit more accusing that he had meant to: “I don’t think you’re doing this for family sake. I think you have an ulterior motive for wanting Harry.”
What that ulterior motive was...again, Remus had a theory. He and Sirius had talked about it before (more like Sirius angrily ranted while Remus tried to keep his friend from destroying whatever he got his hands on). But at the moment, there was no proof of the correlation.
No proof...unless he could get Narcissa to admit it.
“Do you?” Narcissa broke Remus’ train of thought, sounding impatient. Rightfully so, since Remus had just been staring at her for a good portion of time without saying anything. “And pray tell, what motive do you think I have for wanting Harry?”
Here it goes...it was time to bite the bullet…
“I don’t think Sirius getting injured was an accident.” Remus ground out slowly, clenching his fists as Narcissa merely tilted her chin up a bit. “I think you had something to do with it.”
“It was an angered pureblood witch who attacked my cousin.” Narcissa pointed out, sounding rather smug with herself. “She had confessed, before the council I might add, that she had been trying to act in retaliation against the corruption of the world.”
A sudden memory flashed through Narcissa’s mind. It started with the utter disgust on the council’s face as they stared at the pitiful witch before them. It was a believable reason, so believable that the council didn’t allow the witch to have a defense representative.
They had listed off her crimes; (attacking a pureblood creature, a member from the house of Black nonetheless), heard her reasoning, then delivered the punishment. A punishment that was easily agreed upon in under half an hour.
The pureblood witch, Caroline Lance, would be publicly executed. Beheaded in front of her fellow pureblood witches/wizards and any pureblood creatures who wanted to take time out of their day to watch.
“She also claimed that she was working alone.” Remus sighed, closing his eyes briefly and shaking his head. As someone close to Sirius, he had been allowed to know Ms. Lance’s punishment before the general public was alerted. That, and the council also just wanted to boast that they had been able to rid the world of another pureblood witch. “Tell me, doesn’t that seem...strange?”
“What do you mean?” Narcissa was genuinely curious. By now, it was clear that no matter what she said, Remus wouldn’t believe her. He had solid reasons not to, she had to admit that.
“There have been several groups of pureblood witches and wizards fighting for equal rights.” They both knew this, so Remus didn’t bother to wait for a response before continuing. “No witch or wizard alone could make any sort of impact. It’s too small and a guaranteed suicide mission because of how our world is. Do you really expect me to believe that a lone witch willingly attacked a pureblood creature, even if she was fighting for equal rights?”
Remus began to sound more and more angry as he talked. It was as if hearing the situation out loud made him realize more and more how ridiculous and cruel it was.
“You are saying that she was pushed into it.” Narcissa hummed as Remus now openly glared at her. Perhaps it was time to end this little game and just come clean. It wasn’t like anything would happen if he knew the truth.
The worst that would happen to her is she’d get a warning, or perhaps have to pay a small fine for lying to the council about her lack of involvement in the case. Caroline Lance would still be executed though, because even if she was forced, she still did attack a pureblood creature. There was no saving her.
“Very well. I must admit, I am not as innocent as the council assumes.” Narcissa sat back down and picked up her quill, now focusing back on the letter. She acted as if Remus wasn’t in the room with her and she was just talking to thin air. “I had some of my house elves bring me a random pureblood witch, then persuaded her to do what I asked.”
Remus shivered in disgust. He didn’t expect Narcissa to really care about what she’d done. Most pureblood creatures probably would’ve done the same thing in her place. Still, it was unsettling, hearing how much lack of care she had for the situation.
She just admitted that she sent an innocent life to death’s door mat. And she didn’t care. Neither did the council, or most of the world.
“You injured your own cousin, so severely that he needed to be kept at St. Mungos for a whole month, because you wanted to get to Harry. You took the life of an innocent away because your son can’t accept that he fucked up.”
Remus wasn’t someone who swore often. He had Sirius for that, who swore more than enough for the two of them.
So Narcissa dropping the quill and looking up to gasp at the werewolf wasn’t unexpected, nor was it inappropriate. Though the shock soon wore off and turned to barely concealed anger.
“My son understands what he’s done and has been pouring his heart and soul out in his attempts at seeking forgiveness.” Narcissa made no motion to stand, but Remus still backed up a bit, more towards the fireplace. You didn’t need to stand to lunge.He also couldn’t see her wand, which was unsettling. “It is no fault of his that some people don’t understand that the problem is between him and Harry alone.”
“You think the best way to remedy the situation is to force Harry closer to Draco?” Remus was now more mindful of his tone, but he didn’t sound meek or understanding. He was still plenty shocked and plenty upset. “You understand that Harry will fight even harder, right? He’s not someone who will give up just because he’s cornered.”
“I am not helping Draco apologize to Harry, that is his responsibility alone.” Narcissa shook her head, as if offended by the idea. “I am simply making sure that the two of them get the privacy they both deserve for having this conversation.”
Remus just stared at Narcissa, silently contemplating the sanity of this woman. Really, he understood the whole ‘what would a mother not do or her child’ situation. Really, he did.
But this? This was just...it was insane.
He prayed, begging for any god or spirit that was listening. Prayed, as he slowly walked backwards towards the fireplace, Narcissa’s eyes remaining on him until he had flooed out. Prayed...that someone was watching over Harry. That someone would be protecting him, giving him strength. Lily’s spirit, James’ spirit...anyone.
At the moment, as afraid as he was to admit it, Harry was on his own. Sirius was in the hospital and Remus, while Sirius’ friend, couldn’t claim legal guardianship over Narcissa, nor could he just march to the council and tell them what Narcissa told them.
They either downright wouldn’t believe him or they wouldn’t care too much about it being the truth. The Malfoy family name held too much influence.