Disclaimer:I do not own Harry Potter or any of its associated characters. All rights belong to JK Rowling.
"A bond from broken marriages" – Normal Speak
'A bond from broken marriages' – Thoughts
'A bond from broken marriages' - Spells
$A bond from broken marriages$ - Parseltounge
Chapter 8: The Black Queen
The combination of the sunlight that filtered through the drapes and the chirping birds aroused Narcissa from her slumber. She got down from the bed quickly and rushed to the bathroom and proceeded to throw up. Groaning, she slumped against the wall of her bedroom after cleaning herself. Finally she came her senses and realised that she was once more a resident in Malfoy manner, something that usual brought her pride only disgusted her now. The next thing to register was pain, she felt her arms and head hurting. From this she deduced that Lucius must have released his anger on her last night, since the dark mark was slowly gaining colour. He did it rarely as it was mostly some unfortunate muggle or muggle-born that suffered his wrath, once again something that she was happy about before brought about a sense of self-loathing and shame.
She sat there for about an hour contemplating her course of action. The first thing she wanted to do was have her marriage annulled in this time, for that she must contact Lord Black but she did not know Sirius' location or how to contact him. She tried to imagine Sirius' reaction to her request, one he may be shocked to the core and do it just to spite Lucius or he might get more suspicious of her motives. Secondly, she realised that neither Fleur nor Hermione would have a plausible reason to contact her. This line of thought made her realise that she didn't know exactly when she is. Finally, she decided it was best to go Gringotts and actually confirm that Sirius had taken the lordship or was it left unclaimed currently. She sincerely hoped that Sirius had taken the lordship and could be contacted from there.
Narcissa rose and proceeded to get ready for her trip to Diagon Alley. She climbed down the staircase and entered the dining hall. She saw only a single plate set up and a copy of Prophet, which looked as if it was recently read, nearby. She unknowingly relaxed when she saw that Lucius had already left the manor. She did not know how she would react to his presence in her current state. She sat on the chair in front of which the plate was set and immediate the plate was filled with a traditional English breakfast consisting of fried bacon, a scrambled egg, fried vegetables and mushroom and baked beans, the cup was filled with earl grey tea. Inhaling the aroma from the food she started eating with a certain satisfaction. It was not that she didn't like Fleur's or Hermione's cooking, it was just the fact that all her life she had eaten like a queen, being served when she asked for it by house elves and the two months stay with Hermione and Fleur made her realise how much she took for granted, even during her virtual imprisonment the house elves were always there to do the work if asked.
Only after finishing her breakfast did Narcissa deem the Prophet worthy of her attention. The main page immediately notified her that the third task of the triwizard tournament would take place two days from now. For her this meant that the dark lord will be reborn tomorrow. Narcissa immediately started going through plans to save Harry or at least delay the dark lord's rise, unfortunately none of her plans would work within her available time. But this also gave her an extra incentive to contact Sirius sooner. She called out "Saffy!"
A house elf popped next to her. "Mistress called Saffy," said the elf, now known as Saffy and waiting for Narcissa to give her orders.
"I will be going out. Inform Lucius of this as the task may take some time. And pack my clothes neatly and hide it from Lucius, I don't want him to know that I may go on a trip sometime soon," commanded Narcissa.
"Mistress Saffy cannot lie to master. If master asks Saffy must answer," answered Saffy.
"Just don't tell him unless he asks. If he specifically asks then tell him the clothes are going to be thrown out and I asked you to arrange them so I know what is being dumped," replied Narcissa confident that Lucius wouldn't go snooping in her room. She walked outside the ward boundary and apparated to Diagon Alley.
Appearing in Diagon Alley the first thing she noted was every shop had tried to capitalise on the fact that the triwizard tournament was taking place in England this time. Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasion offered different robes with the participating schools symbol stitched on them if requested, Quality Quidditch had posters of Viktor Krum and advertisements for firebolt and Flourish and Blotts had a dedicated stand for books related to the triwizard tournament were some of the few that Narcissa noticed on her way to Gringotts.
Narcissa entered Gringotts and had to wait a few minutes before a teller was free to service her. She immediately went in front of him and said, "I would like to meet the vault manager of the Black family."
"Who are you, witch?" rudely asked the Goblin.
"Narcissa Malfoy née Black," was the reply.
"Very well. I will call the vault manager wait in the lobby, he will come and meet you," said the teller and returned to the task of counting the galleons.
Unusually irritated by goblin's general attitude towards witches and wizards Narcissa waited for about half an hour before a goblin came and introduced himself, "I am Black family vault manager, Bloodgrin. What do you Mrs Malfoy?" asked Bloodgrin.
"Could we speak in a more private area?" requested Narcissa.
"Very well. Follow me to one of the meeting rooms," said the goblin and began walking without turning back to even once to check whether Narcissa was following or not. The room that Narcissa and Bloodgrin entered into was very Spartan, it was not very small and congested but it was not too big either but with only two chair, one for a witch or wizard and another that clearly for a goblin as it was too small for an adult, with a table in between them and a cupboard with various instruments made the room seem large as there was a lot of empty space.
"Now can you tell me your business Mrs Malfoy," said the goblin but it was clear by his tone that he wanted to get this task over and move on.
Pushing down her growing ire Narcissa asked "Can you tell me who the current Lord Black is? In case there is no current Lord, then who is next in line for the lordship?"
"Sirius Black has already accepted the Lordship since he was not given a trial, he is innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of Gringotts. Due to this, his lordship cannot be contested," answered Bloodgrin impolitely, unaware of Narcissa' reason.
Narcissa relaxed a bit at Bloodgrin's answer even though it should have offended her but the goblin unknowingly revealed that Sirius had visited Gringotts or at least had a way to get in touch with it. "No, I do not wish to contest Sirius for lordship. I wish for Gringotts to arrange a meeting with Lord Black, inform him that I am ready to swear an oath that I have no malicious intent behind this meeting that I requested," said Narcissa.
Bloodgrin contemplated for a few minutes before he said, "Very well, I will inform Lord Black of your request. Come back tomorrow at 9 o'clock in the morning. If he accepts the meeting will take place otherwise I ask you respect his wishes and don't ask of this of us again," proposed Bloodgrin. Knowing that this was the best that was possible at the current time Narcissa accepted and left Gringotts, along the way thinking on how to convince Sirius that she genuinely wants to help Harry.
23rd June 1995…
Narcissa arrived half an hour early for the meeting and was waiting in the lounge. She was lost in her thoughts about events that occurred yesterday evening after her visit to Gringotts. She had spent most of the day in the library taking books and tomes that weren't dark or were borderline dark, since those will be the only ones that wouldn't be missed. Just after dusk had given way to the night, Lucius arrived intoxicated and proceeded to boast about blood purity and related propaganda. Unwilling to listen to Lucius drunken slur about mudbloods and halfbloods, she started to climb the stairs when he grabbed her wrist not letting her leave and started talking about the ways he would start training Draco to serve the dark lord. She listened to him, uninterested, as she already knew one way or other Draco would follow the dark lord whether Lucius wanted him or not is secondary, as long as Draco was given power to lord over others he would follow the person. Lucius encouraging Draco to use his influence with Minister and presence in the Board of Governors of Hogwarts had set Draco's path. She snatched her wrist and proceeded to her room and locked it before falling asleep.
In the morning, she saw Lucius waiting for her at the table. Unable to avoid him, Narcissa sat down to have breakfast when he went into an elaborate and eloquent apology. His charms and silver tongue would have convinced her if she hadn't been a time traveller, wanting to reach Gringotts she accepted his false apology and left the manor. As her thoughts were coming to a conclusion, she was pulled from her thought when Bloodgrin asked her to follow him. She noticed that she was being led to the same meeting room but this time there were goblin guards outside, on the inside there were three chairs and one was already occupied by Sirius Black.
All three occupants of the room were seated as an awkward silence filled the room with none of them willing to start. During this silence, Narcissa closely observed Sirius and comprehended the true effects that Azkaban on its prisoners. He appeared to be sickly slim with just appearing to fill out, he had dark circles under his eyes no doubt due to the constant nightmares, the reason she could figure that he had escaped from Azkaban from some time ago was that he appeared to have cleaned himself as he had shaved and was wearing decent robes. By this time Sirius realised that he was expected to start the meeting and decided to address the elephant in the room.
"Why did you want to meet me Narcissa?" asked Sirius.
"I want Lord Black to use his powers and break the marriage contract with the house of Malfoy," Narcissa replied truthfully. His shock upon hearing her request was something she wished to have a magical photo of. Soon his shocked face changed to a frown as he began to grow suspicious of her motives.
Instead of answering him, Narcissa stared at Bloodgrin uncertainly, understanding her reluctance to talk in front of someone that has no reason to keep the conversation a secret Sirius politely asked "Bloodgrin, can you please be outside the room for the remainder of the meeting. We will call you if there is a need for your services."
Bloodgrin frowned before nodding and left the room saying, "Ring the bell that is placed on the table and one of the guards should call for me." Sirius then looked at her, wanting her to answer now that there was no one within hearing distance.
"I am asking the head of my family for a simple request. Is that so hard to grant, Lord Black?" rebutted Narcissa.
"The request isn't that hard one to grant cousin Narcissa. The problem is you will become a responsibility of the head of house Black and unfortunately, that means that you will have to stay with me, now that is a problem as I am a wanted fugitive who is on the run. Can you live such a lifestyle?"
"And explain to me why we would supposedly be on the run when there is a black family house that is already under a fidelius in England," answered Narcissa.
Sirius narrowed his eyes, "How?" he asked.
"You just confirmed it. I didn't actually know but I couldn't seem to remember where we spent our time when we were kids so I made an educated guess," she replied.
"Fine. But I still don't want you to live with me."
"Even if it meant that Harry Potter suffers."
Narcissa immediately regretted taunting Sirius instead of answering him directly, the glare that he was sending her way promised her pain, unimaginable pain. She quickly back stepped, internally scolding herself for not properly planning, "I am sorry, that was uncalled for," she apologised.
"The real reason is that I am fed up with Lucius and his beliefs on blood purity and he has already made my little dragon to follow the same despite my efforts. Moreover he physically started to beat me as his dark mark was gaining more colour indicating that the dark lord is getting stronger," she continued hoping to appease him and not ruin her easy chance to freedom.
Sirius calmed down but still remained suspicious, "How do you know about Harry's relation to me?" asked Sirius as only a few people knew that he had met Harry and fewer about him being his godson.
"Severus knows and despite what Dumbledore thinks Severus is happy to provide Draco with material to taunt Harry. Draco being Draco immediately shared the information in his letter to us after the incident and only Lucius ordering him to keep quiet, did Draco keep it a secret," she lied as she couldn't possible say that Hermione Granger told her.
"So the dark lord is rising from death. And you actually want to escape from him. Moreover, you don't want to take your son with you, which is kind of hard to believe. Listen to yourself Cissy, you don't resemble the cousin I remember or even heard about from gossip," said Sirius exasperated.
"Help me Sirius. I don't want to live with Lucius. He is suffocating me, telling me what to do whenever we got out together. Draco seems to follow as she commands to Pansy to do his bidding, not that she minds," she pleaded her case.
"Alright, you have somehow convinced me to void the contract but I will be watching you. If that is all, pack your bags and come back here and we can leave," said Sirius.
"Don't worry about packing, I asked Saffy to do it for me. But I do have a question…" she sauntered off.
"Out with me."
"Why does Harry dress like a pauper, I mean seriously he has a fortune but he wears oversized clothes according to Draco. Even if Draco maybe exaggerate it, he must have based it on some facts," asked Narcissa.
"What!?" said Sirius outraged. Dumbledore had said that the Dursleys treated Harry well, they just didn't love him like a family should. He could understand that as he was treated the same way after he was sorted into Gryffindor. But hearing about Harry's state of clothing made him doubt the old man's word.
Narcissa had a curious face on the outside but she was smirking on the inside. She saw the wheels grinding inside Sirius' head, the seed of doubt has been planted now she just has to water it regularly. That shouldn't be too hard with Minister unknowingly providing her help during this summer holidays.
"Just a quick question Cissy. Does Kreacher obey you?" asked Sirius just as he rang the bell.
"Don't tell Aunt Walburga about the contract and Kreacher will obey me as Aunty would order him to obey the last true Black from Aunt's point of view," replied Narcissa smirking.
Sirius laughed heartily imagining his mother's face when she learns the truth, "A prank worthy of a marauder. I didn't know that you had it in you, Cissy" gasped out Sirius in between his laughter.
"You don't know a lot of things, Sirius. After you left to live with James a lot of things changed, many not on the positive side," said Narcissa with a sad smile as she truly missed her childhood days.
Sirius sobered quickly upon hearing Narcissa. He thought to himself that he may not know what had truly happened after he left but just maybe not all of his family were pureblood bigots just people who were forced into unfortunate situations. Bloodgrin had entered the room, on his way he had heard Lord Black's laughter, "You need my service?" asked Bloodgrin.
"Vault manager Bloodgrin, can you bring the marriage contract with the house of Malfoy? I need to go through it and search for loopholes," asked Sirius. Bloodgrin nodded and left the room to get the contract from the vault.
"You are not going to void the contract," said a surprised Narcissa.
"I may not like politics but I distinctly remember being taught to read a contract before voiding it as it may have unknown repercussions. Don't worry, I will go through it tonight and void it if there is no other way tomorrow," said Sirius.
"Thanks, Sirius. You don't know what this means to me," thanked Narcissa with a small smile, pleased that even after some blunders she had achieved what she wanted.
"I may not your true motive, Cissy but I do know Lucius behaviour is a part of the reason just not the main one. I will be watching you but I could never condemn you, Cissy, if a family doesn't help then who will," smirked Sirius seeing the brief look of shock on Narcissa's face.
"You still have hope, Siri," said Narcissa using her nickname for Sirius when they were children.
Getting the contract from Bloodgrin, the cousins left Gringotts from the special apparition point inside Gringotts but not before the secret was revealed to Narcissa. Both of the cousins had the same thought as they apparated to Grimmauld Place, 'It is nice to sit together and talk after a long time.'
The first chapter that take place in the past/new present. A nod to Vegasman59 for idea to drop the time travellers close to the third task. This semester I have a lighter load so there may be more frequent updates. Thanks for reading. Until the Storm brews once more.