Diclaimer: Don't own. Never will. Sorry to burst your bubble.

When they were little, they would go for walks in the woods.

Narcissa loved those walks. Three girls. Three sisters. She and Andromeda and Bellatrix.

When they were really young, nothing would ever go wrong on those walks. Andy would hoist her up and Narcissa would ride piggyback for a while. And Bella, moody Bella, the oldest child, would smile and tell her sisters that trolls lived in that tree and that tree and if a squirrel crossed your path it was bad luck. She would tell them completely random, completely made-up stories, see how much they believed.

Andromeda was skeptical. She had learned early on not to believe Bella.

Narcissa believed everything her cherished older sister said, and she hung on to every word.

In all fairness, she was only four.

But then all three girls started growing up, and Bella no longer wanted to take walks in the woods. Andromeda always came. Truly, Andromeda was Narcissa's favorite sister. After all, Bella could be very cruel. But Andy had none of that cruelty in her- not a speck.

Bella got angry too. She got angrier and angrier, and went into rages, and screamed at her sisters.

If Narcissa had a nightmare, if she went to Bella's room the older girl would scream at her and throw a pillow at her, and Narcissa would duck out of the way and convince herself that Bella wasn't feeling well, that she'd be better soon and she would go back to being Bella, the sweet girl who made up things to tell her sisters, not the screaming, raging Bella that she had become.

Truly though, Narcissa knew it was a false hope.

Andromeda's door was always unlocked for Narcissa to go in if she did have a nightmare, and her shoulder was always there for Narcissa to cry on.

Bella did not get better. She only ever got worse. Each time, Narcissa thought that her dear, beloved sister couldn't get any worse.

But she did. She always did.

Then Bella came home one day, and she did seem a bit better. She was holding out her arm proudly, and telling anyone who would listen that she now served the Dark Lord.

Narcissa edged a bit closer. All she wanted was to get a look at what everybody was fawning over. But Bella caught her. She went back to screaming. She yelled at Narcissa, and told her that it wasn't kid stuff, and that if she didn't get out of the way she'd be sorry.

But Narcissa did get a look at the thing on Bella's arm, and she couldn't explain why, but it sickened her. She was horrified by the skull thingy and the snake coming out of its mouth.

She ran to the bathroom, tears in her eyes, and threw up.

Andy seemed repulsed by the thing too. She held Narcissa close and whispered soothing things.

Narcissa was a bit older, and she had started Hogwarts, when Andy left.

It was real sudden, just like that. And when she left, everyone seemed to be in a really bad mood. They wouldn't talk about her, and nobody would tell Narcissa where she had gone.

She walked in on Aunt Walburga one day when she was blasting Andy's name off of the big tapestry that Narcissa secretly didn't like.

"Hey!" cried Narcissa. "What are you doing to my sister's name?"

Aunt Walburga had laughed, but it didn't sound friendly or even happy. It sounded creepy.

"She isn't your sister anymore," she had explained. "She isn't part of our family anymore, darling Narcissa, and you should be glad."

Narcissa couldn't believe it. Andy was too her sister! Andy was her favorite sister, and nothing could change that, not even a burn mark in that nasty old tapestry.


However, no one else seemed to feel that way.

She later found out why Andy had left. She had run off with a Muggleborn.

And while Narcissa tried to be scandalized, secretly, she was thrilled.

She told herself firmly that one day she would do exactly what Andy had done. She would choose a husband for herself, someone she really loved.

She told herself she had Andy's courage.

Thing was, she didn't.

Her parents set her up with Lucius Malfoy. And sure, he was nice, but she didn't love him.

She told herself, Now's my chance. Now's my chance to run away from him!

She didn't though. She smiled politely and acted sweet and loving, because she just couldn't let her parents down like that.

Later, though, she snuck into Andy's long-abandoned bedroom and cried for hours, even though she seemed too old for tears anymore. After all, wasn't she of age? Wasn't she going to get married, for goodness sake?

She told herself those things over an over again, but she couldn't stop the flow.

She gritted her teeth throughout the wedding. She scanned the crowd five times, yet no Andromeda. She was foolish to expect such things, after all. Andromeda wouldn't go to an event like that!

But she couldn't stop herself from hoping.

It was a dreadfully long and stuffy process. When the priest asked if she, Narcissa Veritona Black took Lucius Tobias Malfoy to be her lawfully wedded husband, blah blah blah, she wanted more than anything to scream "I don't!", kick off her abnormally tight and uncomfortable shoes and run away.

But she didn't do any of that.

Instead, she cleared her throat and said loudly, "I do."

She wanted to scream with pain, but Bella was standing right there and would curse her if she did.

So she patiently waited until the burning sensation had died down and then looked down at her arm.

The Dark Mark was emblazoned on her pale skin, and she, truth be told, was just as sickened by it then as she was so many years ago.

Bella congratulated her, and her parents congratulated her and Lucius congratulated her and they all told her that she was so brave and she was doing the right thing.

She wanted so much to scream "I'm not!"

On both counts.

She knew it would happen eventually. She so hated fighting, but there she was, battling in Hogwarts, and she was still terrified, but she was firing hexes left and right, and she figured she was doing all right so far.

But then someone else came bursting in: a young girl named Nymphadora Tonks.

It was no matter- Narcissa's brain was already changing it to Andromeda Black.

She raised her wand to curse the youngling, but suddenly her eyes changed color until they were the exact same shade as Andromeda's, and Narcissa couldn't do it.

She couldn't curse her niece.

Her niece.

"Narcissa, you go."

She had always been the weakling, the littlest sister, the bad fighter. She was never picked for anything.

Why oh why did that have to change now?

She slowly made her way to the supposedly lifeless form of Harry Potter.

She knelt down. She could feel him breathing.

She knew what she should say. She knew what she should do.

However, one question swam to the front of her mind- What would Andromeda do?

Of course, she already knew the answer.

She whispered, so quietly no one but he could hear, "Is Draco alive? Is he in the castle?"

She had done it. She had chosen family over power, and once again Andromeda's face floated through her mind.

She waited, painstakingly for the answer. Finally it came.


She was so relieved, she almost forgot to breathe.

She stood up.

She had always been the weak one, the littlest sister. She could never do what was right, only what would protect her the most. She was a coward.

All that could change. She felt certain Andromeda would be proud of her.