Author: Abigail-Nicole PM
She lived her life in a black glass vase.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst - Narcissa M. - Words: 1,120 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 3 - Published: 02-28-04 - id: 1753023
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Let them be as flowers,
always watered, fed, guarded, admired
but harnessed to a pot of dirt.
-Julio Noboa Polanco, Identity
It was a lovely day, she thought absently to herself.
The sun sank gently to the ground, warming the cold gray stone walkway on her bare feet. Overhead, the sky was rainwashed blue, the color of her eyes at this moment, flecked with silver-white clouds that drifted dreamily across the sky without stopping. Her fingers brushed the smooth softness of the flower petals she was arranging, and she put her lips against one gently, leaving a faint trace across the white petals, a faint red mark, like the remnant of washed-out blood upon the pure white petal.
They were narcissus, her favorite flower, white and delicate and pure and beautiful, the flower of spring, with just a hint of pale gold to their whiteness, just as there was just the faintest hint of gold in her hair. She smiled vacantly at it, humming something as she pulled the flower closer to her, fingering it lovingly. It tickled her nose with its scent; fresh and clean and lovely with the faintest whiff of sweetness that made it lovely and mellow.
She hadn't had a happy child, by any account, but it was her childhood and she had been happy in it, dressed in white-cream dresses, pale pinks and blues and greens, always pastels and prettiness and immaculately curled flaxen hair with big blue eyes. And he had been silver and hard and cold and fascinating.
Still humming vacantly to herself, she took the shears, the metal gleaming under the sunlight. They were cold, still chilled from the touch of winter in the core, and she took them in hand and snipped the flower neatly, cutting the green stem near the base, watching liquid bead on the blade. She should have wiped it off. Water left on something iron would rust it, bringing on the harsh red stains that would creep up a blade, weakening it until it was no longer good, no longer sharp, almost ready to break.
Andromeda had told her that she could help bring the Dark Lord down, told her that if she were to spy on Lucius that the Order would have valuable information that they could use to fight the dark side, and she had always trusted her sister. They had said that she could fight back in a small way, but that every small thing helped, telling her that even a little crack could break the stone wall of Voldemort's forces, could let loose a sound that would let loose the cannons upon it. She had always loved her sister, and she had always trusted her, but she didn't like it, and she told Andromeda so: "You're asking me to choose between my sister and my husband," she had said evenly.
Her fingers were pale, soft and smooth as they trailed up the flower stem, touching the petals gingerly. The flower was perfect, growing in its confines of the cold hard earth outside of Malfoy Manor, perfect in flawless coldness, cut off sharply from the ground, the source of its nutrition, cut off from its home and its home. She hummed silently, picking the flower up, watching the petals tremble in her hand as it was whipped by the air. She put it into the vase, long and curved and sinuous, and the white petals looked stark against the vase. It was black, black shiny stone that almost completely blotted out the green of the stem, smooth and hard and chilled.
The Manor was always cold, even in the summertime, the huge marble-carved halls covered in black tapestries depicting battles and cruelty and brutalness, all covered with a twisted formality of nobility and beauty. She had looked at them, once, and realized that they were beautiful--the warriors had the long, pale flowing hair, wore armor that flowed and shimmered, captured in silver threads, and their faces were noble, aristocratic, flawless and smooth and beautiful, the perfect picture of cruelty. It was not like a real battle; in a real battle they would have been bloodstained and cold and grim and not quite so beautiful. But then, the Malfoys did not do battle. They slaughtered.
She carried the vase carefully, with both hands, her black skirts swishing around her ankles with a soft murmur and little sh-sh sound of silk rubbing against itself, soothing and cool and smooth. She knelt gracefully, fluidly, by the great fountain, the nymph on the statue holding out its palm from which water flowed, trickling from its wrist. She held the vase under the hand, letting the water trickle hollowly into the vase. She did not look up at the nymph, and so she did not see the expression of great pain on its face, nor the knife it held close to its heart in the carving.
She had fallen into the lake one day, terrified and small and alone, only eleven years old and in the midst of winter. She had opened her eyes and looked into an eye that was the size of her head and the color of her's, felt something soft and firm and smooth wrap securely around her, and heard a soft sort of reassurance, wordless and warm, in her soul that made her shiver, and she had thought that was her glimpse of pure love.
Narcissa pulled the vase away from the fountain, carefully wiping drops of water from the side of the vase, and walked slowly towards the house, looking down at the flower as her feet traced the sun-warmed path of their own accord, and her humming spilled over into singing as a large gray cloud moved steadily towards the sun, shading the horizon behind it for as far as the eye could see. Her singing sounded feeble, weak and sweet and all too pitiful next to that great looming monstrosity of a house, but she did not see it, her eyes fixed on the narcissus, her lips moving softly with the words.
I guess I'll hang my tears out to dry...
Jottings & Blottings: This is a quite different take on Narcissa from usual, but still rather sad and angsty. Last line is from a Frank Sinatra song (probably by somebody else first, but I don't know who). The water from the narcissus rusting the blade of the shears is an example borrowed from the Wheel of Time, when the Tuatha'an are illustrating a point to Perrin about his axe. Characters belong to JK, plot belongs to moi.