A/N: This is an . . .odd little story about Narcissa. A glimpse at the past of her and Lucius, and insight into a broken spirit. Please R/R. DISCLAIMER: The Harry Potter Universe belongs to JK Rowling and Warner Bros. I own the cottage-by-the-sea.



She missed the rain.

Narcissa Malfoy sighed as she longingly gazed out the window, admiring the rain. Millions of the tiny drops were being thrust forth from the heavens, a variable tempest, that caused shipwrecks and destruction and death.

Of course, there was hardly a chance of being shipwrecked in the middle of England.

When she was a small girl, she had a grandmother who lived on the coast. Narcissa loved visiting her grandmother. The time was spent staying up late, eating chocolate chip cookies, and enjoying the outdoors. They would go to the beach in the summer, and she loved to swim, because even in August those waters were always cold.

She would run up to where the waves would glide against the shore, racing with the ocean as it swelled to and fro across the sand, like a sheet of glass. She'd run, and she'd laugh, and act about in what her grandmother lovingly called an undignified manner.

Narcissa's favorite time was when it rained. She would wait until the storms reached the height of their power, then run laughing, dancing and twirling as the water surged around her. They would be pinpricks against her skin, and she inhaled deeply as they hit her. It exhilarated her, and filled her with a strong sense of all-knowing and power. The rain gave her a sense of belonging, and excitement. The rain was why she existed.

But it couldn't last forever. Her fairytale childhood had to end sometime. As the summers passed Narcissa grew older, more mature, and became a strong young woman, with beauty to the excess.

And then she had done something stupid. She had fallen in love with Lucius Malfoy.

She was young, naïve, and completely sheltered. She had lived a quiet life in the country, apart from Hogwarts. And when she graduated she decided to see the world, and the first stop would be London, the very heart of her country.

It was there, while she was staying in a small room at the Leaky Cauldron, she met Lucius.

He was a deadly combination: brains, beauty, and an aura of mystery. He had money, power, and the Malfoy name and all that came with it. He was smooth and sophisticated, and, most of all, cold.

Narcissa had always loved things that were cold. The ocean's water, the rain, and now this handsome young man who was the very definition of grace, and a master of disguise. He never let his true emotions show on his face. Instead, he wore a mask of malevolent kindness, and even though she knew she should avoid him, she was drawn to him like a moth to a candle flame.

But when a moth gets too close to a candle, it gets burnt.

Narcissa burned for him. She spent weeks dreaming about him, yearning for him, and gaining indescribable pleasure from the time she spent with him. And finally, after knowing her for less than a month, he proposed.

And she, being the youthful and radiant girl she was, accepted. They were married in a lavish ceremony at the church the Malfoy family had been attending for the past four hundred years. Her spirits were dampened as she watched her mother and father, tight-lipped, solemn throughout the whole event. But it was her wedding day, and she ignored it, not understanding the foreshadowing until it was too late.

They had honeymooned in Paris, and she and Lucius painted the town green, because, as he had said, red was just too Gryffindor to be tasteful. They dined at the most expensive restaurants, stayed in the most luxurious hotels, and even spent a beautiful starry-eyed evening on top of the Eiffel Tower.

She was completely in love, dissolved in and blinded by it. That was probably why she never noticed that when he smiled, it never really reached his eyes, and when she laughed, he wasn't laughing with her.

It had seemed like a dream, until the two weeks were over and they returned to the Malfoy estates. It was a dreary old castle in the middle of a moor, and so unlike the childhood cottage-by-the-sea it was frightening.

It was then life had become routine. She would play hostess for any number of other important individuals, as he worked, and as the first auror in Malfoy family history. He was especially interested in those working for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. He would track down Deatheaters, question them with Veritaserum, and carefully package away his notes while he pushed the prisoners upon the Dementors.

As he worked longer and harder hours, Narcissa noticed a change. The charming young man she had once known was no longer feigning to be charming for her. He would ignore her, for the most part, except in the bedroom. There he would be demanding and harsh, prying her until she gave him what he wanted, and then left when the deed was done. He was getting deeper and deeper into the Dark Arts, and Narcissa knew it, but was unable to stop it. After all, he had already jumped in the pit. She was too late to throw out the line that could save him.

After years and years of searching, he had found Voldemort. And upon that night he through himself at the Dark Lord's feet, and professed himself to be the most loyal servant. Voldemort, impressed at the aptitude of the young man, had smiled, and graciously welcomed him into the fold.

Narcissa was pregnant then, and was deeply saddened. She knew she had gotten herself stuck. After all, divorces weren't something that the Malfoy family had done. And by marrying Lucius, she became part of that family. She was going to have a child, and in a house filled with not love, but distance and violence, death and darkness.

She blinked back tears as she stared out the window. Once, a long time ago, she would have ran out the front door, and danced and twirled and laughed as the freezing drops attacked her and engulfed her, setting her free and making her feel and live.

But she couldn't do that, for it was undignified. And Malfoys were anything but undignified. And anyway, the water was too cold. She breathed the cold, lived it, dealt with it every day.

And she loathed it, and longed for the days she had lived.