Written for Caesar's Palace Shipping Week with prompt pasta.

At first, Narcissa had been glad when Lucius had told her he unknowingly set Dobby free. The elf was more often than not on her last nerve, and keeping him in line had become nothing more than a chore. She would have understood perfectly if Lucius had freed him on purpose.

However, when Lucius had mentioned going out the next day to see what he could do about getting a new elf, Narcissa had realized something. What were she and her husband going to do about food until then?

Of course, the Malfoys had a few other house-elves, but compared to Dobby, their cooking was atrocious. Neither one was about to eat that slop simply because Dobby was gone.

So Narcissa took matters into her own hands.

After looking over her options, she decided to make some pasta. Pasta was easy enough to make. In fact, it was so easy that Narcissa had plenty of time to devote to the sauce.

When it came time to eat, she served one plate to Lucius and another to herself, and then took her seat. She wanted to see how Lucius reacted before starting on her own portion.

When it first entered his mouth, Lucius had seemed okay with it. But when the flavor truly set in, he grimaced and pushed his plate away. "Don't you like it, Lucius?" Narcissa asked him.

"No! Try it yourself," he said. "You'll see what I mean."

It can't be that bad, Narcissa told herself. He's just overreacting.

He wasn't. Narcissa was horrified to discover that the noodles were tough to the point that they were a bit hard to chew. On top of that, the sauce that she had worked so hard on was watery and tasted like a cough potion. Narcissa too pushed her plate to the side.

"It's not good, is it?"

"No," Lucius agreed.

"I'm sorry I ruined our dinner, Lucius." said Narcissa.

Lucius seemed taken aback. "You made this? It's…it's fine. I thought one of those good-for-nothing elves did, and…"

"Lucius," Narcissa said. "There is no need to lie. If you don't like it, you don't like it."

Lucius tried to force down another mouthful, but found it as unappetizing as the first. "We can always have something else for dinner."

"Something else meaning what?" Narcissa was a bit skeptical.


"This is not at all what I was expecting, Lucius."

The two Malfoys still sat at the table. The pasta had been Vanished, and their plates now contained a few Pumpkin Pasties apiece.

"You might as well get used to it," said Lucius, biting into a Pasty. "I can't promise we'll have a new servant tomorrow."

"If you just wanted Pumpkin Pasties for dinner, you could have told me."

"You are partially right. But only partially."

Reluctantly, Narcissa began eating her own Pasty. She only hoped that whatever Draco was eating at Hogwarts, it was closer to a full meal.

By the way, the title is Italian for "failure of the pasta."

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