Disclaimer: Characters and situations are JKR's, not mine! I'm just mucking about x.

A/N: Starts off quite sad, but gets cheerier, promise!

Narcissa Malfoy was a lady. Overt displays of emotion were unbecoming and rather beneath her. Which is why she had retreated into the furthest corner of the bathroom of her personal suite in her particular wing of the Manor, putting several sealed and silenced doors between herself and the nearest human being before succumbing to her feelings.

First, she screamed and screamed and screamed until lack of oxygen made her dizzy. Then, she collapsed onto the priceless Iznik tiled floor, clawing at her robes, her throat, and her treacherous abdomen until the pain hit her and she swore at length. Next, she curled up into a ball, sobbing hard enough to burst her lungs, shaking and moaning, liquid pouring from her eyes and nose as she cursed incoherently. Finally, she found that nothing really mattered anymore. She was completely numb. Crawling into her bedroom, she flung herself under the covers, preparing to think rationally for the first time since receiving the news.

The Malfoy family's private healer had performed test after test, referring her to international specialists and applying every spell and potion known to humanity. That afternoon, her last hope had been destroyed. There was nothing left to try. It was hopeless. Narcissa was infertile.

She had failed in her career. In her life. As a woman. It was ridiculous, all those mudbloods and muggles across the world who just popped out babies on demand, and here lay society beauty Narcissa Malfoy, of the most ancient and pure House of Black, incapable of producing a single child to inherit the great mantle of nobility. She bitterly remembered meeting her husband's Ministry colleague's wife, Molly Weasley, who already had five healthy boys, though how her shabby husband managed to feed them was a mystery. Narcissa grimaced. The Malfoy fortunes were more than equal to the support of five hundred brats, yet she could not provide even one.

What would become of her now? The whole reason Lucius had married her was to provide the family with an heir, and she could not do her duty. He obtained sexual pleasure and companionship from another source, she knew, so there would be no reason for her to remain at the Manor. She did not mind his having a lover, in their situation it was only to be expected, but she had grown so fond of the house and lifestyle that leaving it behind would be a terrible blow. A quiet divorce and her suite, which she had decorated so prettily over the last four years, would be occupied by another witch, one whose biology would not be flawed. There would be no shortages of candidates for the position of the second Mrs Lucius Malfoy. But what would become of the failure? Who would take a barren wife? Perhaps a rich, old wizard who had divorced the mother of his children when she became too old or too fat would be glad of a young, blonde second wife. He might buy her a pet dog to cuddle.

Silently and more delicately than before, Narcissa began to cry.


A/N: Am hoping to do short chapters, more frequently updated for this one. No prizes for guessing what happens, I'm not being terribly original I know. But I'd still love to hear from you! SN x