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Narcissa was talking with an older woman dressed in a hideous, ancient gown of a fading purple color. Of course the woman had purchased the dress when it was “fashionable,” but Narcissa found it hard to believe a woman so rich had nothing better to wear to such an important event. It was the annual Founder’s Day ball at Les Prés, the club to which her father had belonged to since he came of age. The ball was, as usual, a meeting of the wealthiest Wizards and Witches in England and a way for her father to advance his illegal activities without the Ministry finding out. The woman with whom Narcissa was talking was as boring as the music, a slow upbeat genre designed to allow people to dance and talk at the same time. The woman was saying something to Narcissa about her older sister, a conversation which had grown dull before it had started.

            The evening wasn’t a complete waste, however. Though Narcissa wasn’t fond of him, Lucius Malfoy had been staring at her the whole night. He had a few times attempted to talk to her, but she had either begun a conversation with someone else or walked away. She didn’t like the man, but she like the attention he gave her. During her conversation with the old woman, Narcissa was tapped on the shoulder. She turned around and stood face to face with Lucius.

“Excuse me,” he said politely. “May I interrupt?”

“I suppose,” said Narcissa, rather dully.

“I’m sorry Miss, but may I steal this young lady for a dance?” he asked.

         The old woman, though taken aback, smiled fondly at him. “Of course you can, young man,” she said. “You remind me of my oldest son.”

“Well,” he said. “Lucky you.”

            The woman laughed and Lucius took Narcissa’s arm and walked her towards the dance floor. He placed his arm around her waist and took the other.

“You’re welcome,” he said as they began to dance.

“For what?” she said.

“For saving you from the world’s most boring woman,” he said smartly.

“Oh please, I could have left any time I wanted.”

“Oh, and tarnish your precious reputation. I can imagine it now, everyone at the club would see you as an arrogant teenager who blows off old, rich women.”

“No, the would see me as the young woman who is dancing with the arrogant teenager who sucks up to old women.”

“Ha ha,” he said, obviously not amused. He spun her around and caught her in his strong hold.

“You could have warned me you were going to do that,” she said, almost losing her balance.

“Sorry,” he said, but clearly was amused. “So why do you hate me so much?”

“I don’t,” she lied.

“Then why do you look at me like I’m poison? I’m actually quite good looking.”

            His arrogance surprised her, but she was attracted to his confidence. She was attracted to power.

            He spun her again, this time she was ready and moved gracefully. He smiled.

“What?” she asked.

 "You’re learning,” he joked, like she had never danced before. Her grip tightened on his hand. He twitched in pain and let out a small scowl.

“Oh, sorry,” she said as if it was an accident. Lucius chuckled.

“So, how is it that you’re here?” asked Lucius.

“Well, my father is a member here,” Narcissa explained. “He always comes to the Founder’s Day ball. It keeps his standing here solid, and he gets to increase his, er, business ventures.”

“You mean he’s involved with illegal dealings?” asked Lucius. Narcissa glanced around nervously. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell.”

            Narcissa smiled. “Thank you,” she said. They continued dancing.

“So, what is he in to?” asked Lucius. “Black market tradings? Government corruptions?”

            Narcissa didn’t answer.

“Ah, the Dark Arts?” he said. Narcissa bowed her head. “Is he actively pursuing this, er, hobby?”

“No, not really,” said Narcissa. “He’s just exploring ways to become more, open in his beliefs.”

“You mean his pure-bloodedness.”

“Exactly,” said Narcissa. “Surly you can respect that, Lucius, you yourself coming from a noble pure-blooded family.”

            They danced some more, Lucius watching Narcissa move intently.

“You fascinate me,” he said.

“Why is that?” she asked.

“You have all the potential in the world. You’re obviously bright, you’re rich, and you’re beautiful. You could do anything you want, yet you’re here dancing with me, Lucius Malfoy, the guy you’ve hated ever since I messed up your Summoning Spell in our fourth year, because it’s what mommy and daddy want.”

            Narcissa pursed her lips. “That is so not true,” she said.

“Oh really,” he said. “Then why are you here?”

            Narcissa thought for a moment and realized he was right. She could do anything she wanted, she was dancing with him to please her parents, and she had hated him since their fourth year.

“Ah, you hadn’t realized it,” said Lucius, triumphantly.

"You’re right,” she said. “I could be doing anything I want right now, but I’m dancing with you.”

“Is it that bad?” he asked.

            Narcissa looked into his blue eyes and smiled. “Surprisingly, no.”

“Well, then my job here is done,” said Lucius. The song ended and they stopped dancing. Lucius let go of her hand and leaned in, as if he was going to kiss her. Instead, he smiled widely and said, “I’ll see you later.”

“Wait, where are you going,” asked Narcissa.

“I can’t tell you. I have to keep you on your toes, keep you wondering what will happen next,” said Lucius. He bowed to her, in a mocking way, and disappeared. Narcissa didn’t look for him, but she wanted to.

            She continued making small talk with the right people and flirting with the right Wizards. Her father and her mother watched her socialized with the guests and were genuinely proud of their daughter; not because she was polite and sociable, but because she had come that night for her parents. She had become a submissive woman.

            When the family returned home, Mrs. Black helped Narcissa out of the blue gown she was wearing.

“Did you have fun tonight?” asked her mother.

“As much as could be expected,” said Narcissa.

“I noticed you dancing with Lucius Malfoy.”

“Well,” said Narcissa. “I figured I would give it a try. It wouldn’t kill me.”

“Thank you, Narcissa,” said her mother as she hung up her daughter’s dress. She gently placed the gown in the closet and cast a protective charm over the fabric.

“You’re welcome,” said Narcissa. Her mother turned and headed towards the door, looking sad of all things. She stopped and partially turned around, as if to say something, but decided not to and left the room.

            Narcissa plopped on her bead and her head swirled with the events of the night, rather the one event. She couldn’t stop thinking about how she had become such a pushover with her parents and how she had begun to act on their wishes, but mostly she couldn’t stop thinking about how Lucius had called her beautiful. 

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