This story starts in two parts. The two worlds will of course eventually collide. I hope the intros etc speak for themselves, but if anyone is confused etc I will endeavour to un-complicate things.
This is a very new venture for me so I hope that you will like it. I do not profess to be an expert in either field here. So please excuse any errors in either one. And of course grammatical etc.
Feedback and constructive comments/criticism are always welcome, they keep a girl going.
Part One ~ The Malfoys
Chapter 1 ~ The Beginning of the End
Lucius Malfoy straightened his spine. His pale grey eyes narrowing, his nostrils flaring as he lifted his aristocratic head with haughty disdain. His mellifluous platinum blonde hair cascaded about his broad shoulders with the imperceptible movement. His long slim fingers tightened around the cold silver of his serpent headed cane. The chips of emerald green, which filled the eye sockets, glinted as coldly and bitterly as its masters.
Large icy flakes of snow continued to fall, drifting past the panelled pane of glass which looked from the master bedroom of Malfoy Manor, and out over the spacious well-kept gardens. He watched unemotionally as his wife Narcissa's petite frame slowly disappeared into the distance. Reaching the apparition point, her small dark figure vanished.
Four Months Earlier…
Family was everything to Narcissa Malfoy, and she would protect them with her dying breath. She had naïvely assumed, with the demise of The Dark Lord, at the hands of Harry Potter, and the end of the second wizarding war, hers and her family's lives would once more return to normal. Narcissa had both her husband and her son safely back, but both of them were changed men.
The war had ended just over a year ago, and whilst on the surface, everything looked normal enough, things behind closed doors at Malfoy Manor were anything but: Autumn was almost upon them once more. The shorter, darker days were fast approaching, and Narcissa Malfoy was filled with an overriding sense of dread, wondering just how much more she could endure.
Her son was still floundering, not knowing where his future lay or how to put his past behind him. But as a mother, she knew, with her help and her love, the invisible scars of war that he bore, would eventually heal. But Draco was a young man now, his mother's love, whilst important, was simply not enough. He needed the strength and guidance of his father. No matter how she tried to ignore it, Narcissa Malfoy knew, at this moment in time, her husband possessed neither, to help their son. Whatever outward appearances he might portray, she feared, Lucius was struggling to find the strength to keep himself going, and was in need of some guidance of his own.
She felt his pain, she felt it twice over, even if it was not physical. But whilst she sensed it was there, she couldn't share it, he would not allow her to. The barriers he had erected around himself became harder and harder to surmount. Each day, she found herself falling deeper and deeper into an overwhelming void of helplessness.
Initially the Malfoy matriarch had feared for her son, even kept him away from Lucius. His relationship, what there was of it with his father, was already strained. She knew, Lucius would never hurt Draco, not physically at least, but, harsh words, denunciation and blame from his father were not what their son needed. Could she trust Lucius? His own mental state, despite the haughty façade of implacability he wore, seeming at times, dare she say, as fragile as Draco's. Thinking perhaps their shared failures might give them common ground, bring them closer, she had gone to her husband.
"Draco needs you Lucius. Help him." She had beseeched him.
Lucius Malfoy rarely raised his voice in anger, he had no need to. His quietly menacing and chilling aristocratic tones nearly always sufficient. A look of censure, coupled with a raised dark blonde eyebrow, or a lip curled in that infamous Malfoy sneer, were enough to strike fear into the most formidable of adversaries, or silence the darkest of souls. Lately those tones had become quieter and even more chilling. But with them had come a darkness that Narcissa had never seen in her husband before, especially when directed at her, or their son. Fear once more scratched at her bones, at the cold empty look in his ever beautiful, silver grey eyes.
Narcissa blanched, her already pale skin, whitening yet further. Her husband had been understandably quiet and withdrawn on his release from Azkaban. But his shame and suffering, had been compounded at the hands of the Dark Lord. Humiliating him, not only in front of his peers, in his own home, but also in front of his son. Something about which Lucius Malfoy had never spoken, but something which had affected him deeply, something which now stopped him reaching out to his own son.
"Please, just talk to him." She had pressed with a calmness she didn't feel.
Narcissa was no expert in the workings of the human mind, but one thing she did know was her husband, she knew how his mind worked. Everything about the formidable dark wizard was steeped in tradition, the old ways. It had been borne into him. What hadn't been borne in him had been taught, or drummed into him by his own relentless and unforgiving father, Abraxas Malfoy. Upholding those family traditions, and the Malfoy name, were all that were important to him. He had ruled his family and especially his son by fear.
Failure was not an option under any circumstances. But Lucius had failed, and by his own father's standards, he had failed spectacularly. Abraxas Malfoy might have been a long time dead, but Narcissa knew that her husband was still fighting those demons, those ghosts, and was profoundly ashamed of how he would look in Abraxas' eyes. Lucius had always fought to make his father proud, and to above all else uphold the precious family name. In his own eyes, he had done neither.
"What could I possibly say to our son that would help him?" His voice was flat, taciturn and biting.
Narcissa knew well enough the question was rhetorical, and remained silent. Her blue eyes sparkling with emotion, silently imploring her husband.
"I have no words of encouragement. No well-placed offerings of deeds well done. My son has nothing to respect or to be proud of."
"Lucius" Her small hand reached out, grasping the sleeve of his dark robes, squeezing his arm in encouragement. Her heart ached for the man she loved.
"You are his father. He loves you whatever. Right now, he is hurt, he is lost, he needs your reassurance. Your guidance."
A disdainful, sneer crossed Lucius' face as he slowly withdrew his arm from her touch: "And yet he listens only to his mother."
Narcissa's aching heart sank. Like Abraxas Malfoy, Lucius could be an unforgiving man with a very long memory.
His failure at the Department of Mysteries to gain the prophecy from the Potter boy, had seen Draco charged with an even darker deed of his own. It had been down to Narcissa to plead with her husband's old friend Severus Snape for help. Her request, further emasculating and shaming her incarcerated husband. Following the final Battle at Hogwarts, the relationship between father and son had deteriorated yet further. Draco clearly having little or no respect for his once powerful and feared father, and having no compunction in showing his own contempt. In front of all of the Dark Lord's followers and his school friends, Draco had ignored his father, responding only to his mother's quiet but firm request to "Come". Impacting yet further embarrassment upon Lucius.
For the sake of their son, Narcissa fought the fear rising in her blood. Fought, the pain that gripped her heart at his recoil. She continued to plead with her husband, tears brimming in her blue eyes. Assuring him quickly, as his grey eyes glittered with annoyance, he didn't need to attend to the task immediately, but perhaps when he was feeling a little more like himself.
As he had done on many previous occasions over the previous months, Lucius tersely assured his anxious and tearful wife that he was perfectly alright, that there was nothing wrong with him. His anger rising as her tears finally spilled onto her cheeks.
"Lucius please I….."
His aristocratic tones took on that clipped chilling timbre as he told her. "Woman, silence becomes a woman."
Narcissa was mortified, Lucius had never spoken to her in such a manner before. For all of his faults, his reaction and treatment of her was totally out of character. Whatever Lucius Malfoy might say, Narcissa was now more convinced than ever that there was something very wrong. That void of overwhelming helplessness became yet deeper still.