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Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot.

Narcissa sits in her private dressing room. She sits before a table and a mirror. The table has white lace on it.

Her white nightgown brushes the floor, hiding her dainty feet. They are pressed together, bare and cold.

Blonde hair ripples down her back. Immaculately brushed, even at this late hour. Her blue eyes are still pools, gazing at her from her reflection.

Cold eyes, some may say. They are right, yet they are wrong. Years of training have taught her to be like that; her father, uncles, cousins, ultimately her husband.

Yet if you look deeper, you see the worry and anxiety. A tiny ripple in the smooth perfection.

Her pale hand rests at her throat, trailing the pearls. White pearls.

Narcissa likes the colour white. White is pure and beautiful. White reminds her of the childhood she never had. White can hide the turmoil inside.

Lucius isn’t there. He should be home soon. And when he comes, Narcissa will be waiting. Narcissa will help him shrug off his cloak, and they will walk into the sitting room to talk. They’ll both pretend that she doesn’t know what he has been doing.

It’s easier that way.

Narcissa’s dressing room is white. The walls are white, the clothing is white. Bellatrix tells her it’s unnatural, that so much white is strange.

Narcissa doesn’t care. It’s something she has control over.

She rises from her seat slowly. It is almost unreal to see her walk; china dolls don’t move, after.

But Narcissa is not a china doll.

She moves to the window, tweaks the lace curtain. White lace. The sky is black, stars nonexistent. The yard is still. Lucius is not home.

It is only when she is certain that she moves to her wardrobe. The wardrobe, like everything else, is painted white.

Crouching down, she quickly opens the drawer. She digs to the bottom and pulls out an envelope. She curses as the photos tumble out. But she only curses softly.

She picks up one photo. The one she was looking for.

The two children laugh out at her. How old? Nine. Ten, maybe.

She has the long blonde hair even then, and though the photo is black and white, she knows the eyes are blue. They have not yet lost their warmth.

He laughs out at her, a carefree boy…a stranger. Dark hair frames a face that has not yet seen the tragedy he will face.

She puts the photo away, pressing her lips together. Lucius does not know about these photos. Lucius would not like them.

Narcissa doesn’t like doing things Lucius doesn’t like. She loves him, after all.

She cannot resist the photos, however.

A loud knock resounds throughout the house. Someone is at the front door. Narcissa jumps, and collects herself quickly.

She rises to her feet, and moves quickly into her bedroom. She slips on white slippers and moves into the hall.

She pads down the stairs, her hand resting gently on the banister. She is beautiful.

She moves to the door, wonders why her husband knocked; for it can only be him.

She pulls open the door. The preset smile fades.

“Bellatrix?” she whispers. They are the first words she has spoken in hours. She doesn’t use her voice much anymore; Lucius is away often.

“Narcissa,” he sister returns. Her sister’s cold, rough voice is far different to the soft, light one of Narcissa.

Bellatrix walks in. Narcissa clutches her thin hands together; she knows subconsciously what has happened.

“It didn’t work,” Bellatrix says quietly. She leads her sister into the nearest sitting room. Always the leader.

“What happened?” murmurs Narcissa. She cannot suppress the nervous tremor that passes through her body.

“Potter turned up; with friends in tow,” mutters Bellatrix, staring pensively into the fire.

“You couldn’t defeat a group of teenagers?”

Narcissa hears the derisiveness enter her voice, and instantly hates herself for it. Bella, it would seem, has not noticed.

“No; the Order turned up. And then Dumbledore.”



Narcissa waits. Bellatrix is not telling her something. Bellatrix sometimes forgets that the one person who knows how to read all her emotions is her younger sister.

“Dumbledore caught them.”


“Dumbledore caught all the others; Rodolphus, Rabastan…Lucius. They’ll go to Azkaban. Only the Dark Lord and I got out.”

Narcissa presses her fingers to her mouth. Her gold wedding ring glints in the firelight. Bellatrix speaks in a flat, uncaring tone. One Narcissa has gotten used to hearing from her sister.

When Narcissa speaks, it is no more than a flighty whisper.


“Will be fine.”

Bellatrix sounds impatient.

Narcissa feels dizzy. Her husband, in Azkaban? Her blurry eyes land on the grand armchair next to the fireplace. Lucius’ chair. It is red. Blood-red.

Narcissa remembers when Lucius bought it. She had protested against the colour. So violent a colour, red was. The colour of blood. Of death. But now, she would let him have all the red armchairs in the world if she could have him back.

“Don’t worry so much, Cissa, we…I… got one of theirs, too.”

Bellatrix’s voice is so far away. Narcissa dimly registers the tone her sister’s usually flat voice has taken, and realizes with a sickening feeling that Bella is bragging. She raises her head. She expects to see Bellatrix’s face triumphant and boastful, her heavily lidded eyes full of pride.

She does not. Bellatrix looks suddenly anxious, and Narcissa realizes in a flash that Bellatrix has said something she didn’t mean to.

“Who did you 'get'?” whispers Narcissa. She is wringing her hand unconsciously, her fingers playing with the white fabric of her gown.

Bellatrix coughs. She turns to stare into the flames. They dance, but their dance is suddenly ominous as opposed to merry.


This word is uttered after a silence, and it is this word that makes Narcissa draw in her sharp breath.

She rises from her seat. She moves to the wall and clutches it for support, as she feels her world falling around her.

“You killed Sirius?”

“Don’t look so upset, he was a blood traitor. Filthy scum.”

Narcissa stares into the cold fathoms of her sisters eyes-dark, mocking eyes, so different from Narcissa’s calm pools of blue-and feels ill as she sees no regret there. And, not for the first time, a sick thud brings to Narcissa’s senses how much Bellatrix has changed.

“Don’t say that, Bella,” she whispers.

Bellatrix shakes her head impatiently.

“But I am forgetting. You always had a soft spot where he was concerned, didn’t you?” she asks. Her voice mocks Narcissa, reminding her that Sirius is-was-not good enough. Not for the Blacks.

Narcissa doesn’t reply. She shuts her eyes, suddenly wanting to throw up.

Her eyes. She sees them in her mind, gazing back at her from the mirror. Eyes that have seen so much, so much no-one should have to see. Eyes that could have been saved.

He tried to save me, she thinks, and it is not till she hears Bellatrix’s sharp intake of breath that she realises the words were whispered.

Narcissa feels her sister grab her hands. She opens her eyes and looks down. Narcissa’s hands are frail and small, almost alarmingly pale. Bellatrix’s hands are smooth and dark, and Narcissa remembers the way Bella used to shelter her.

She waits, anxious, for the reprimand that she is sure will come. The lecture about Sirius, and how Narcissa should be glad he is gone.

It doesn’t come. Narcissa meets her sister’s eyes again. They are still cold, yet there is something else. Something Narcissa cannot place.

Bellatrix is the first to break the stare. She looks down, her dark hair forming a curtain around her face.

“He liked you,” she murmurs, and the words are said so softly Narcissa barely hears them. “You were always going to be the one he tried to save.”

She looks up again, and her eyes are shining. Narcissa feels a strange feeling settle over her heart. Sadness, and something else. Anger, possibly?

She pulls her hands away from her sister. A mark of how far apart they have grown, of how Voldemort has torn them.

“Maybe he thought you were too far gone to be saved,” she whispers. “But maybe I was, too.”

She walks out of the room, her head held high. Away from her sister.

Narcissa lies in bed later, even a fitful sleep evading her. Her eyes shine through the darkness.

The room is white. Something she pleaded for, something Lucius gave into. Lying there, in the darkness of white, Narcissa silently cries. For her husband who knew she loved him, for the cousin that never did.

She remembers the picture, buried beneath all the items in her drawer. She remembers the day it was taken. A little girl in a white sundress, floating round like a pixie. The boy who chased her through the house, teasing her. The arm he flung around her as the picture was taken. The laughter that had echoed as he told her a joke.

Those two children now live only in Narcissa’s memories. And they are memories she knows she best forget.

But nothing will ever wipe the memory of the grin on the face of the innocent little boy.

A/N: This is meant to be a bit of a 'missing moment' story, set after the fight in OoTP. I hope you enjoyed it, I'm rather proud of this one. Your comments are greatly appreciated!


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