Summary: Kingsley remembers Narcissa before she became a brood mare, contemplates her son's wasting potential and waits for when things will be the way they're supposed to be.

Pairing: Kingsley/Narcissa


She's still mine… I don't care about that ring or that name she wears like a necklace of twisted gold or the fact that that boy should be calling me father. God knows, he would be better off with me as his father. But see, my woman is a Pureblood. She's a brood mare, and, after Lily passed, all that fire died off… all that's left is that quiet heat just beneath those perfect green eyes. Draco has that fire though, and I can feel Narcissa's power there, keeping it strong, a roaring, savage blaze beneath his mother's eyes.

I think that Nymphadora has figured it out, at least to judge by the way her eyes soften and flick to me when one of the people at Grimmauld begin to speak of her as the trash they think she is… and I think that Nymphadora has told Remus. He, like Nymphadora, has stopped taking part in these conversations. It's not enough to give her back to me but it stops some of my hate towards their misunderstanding.

Narcissa is mine; she's been mine since I first saw her, that day, in Hogwarts. That day, on the front lawn of the school, and the sun had fallen on that curtain of hair and I'll never forget how beautiful that had looked. It wasn't blonde, not really, more like a flare of pale gold… it hadn't lasted for more than a few heartbeats before it was gone. But I remembered it forever, never forgot it, not even after the announcements in the Daily Prophet about that marriage.

She always reminded me of sunlight on fresh winter snow, and when I told her that, that night, after we were laying there, beneath the sheets, her hair falling across the bed, she'd flung back her head and laughed herself silly, not caring how exposed she had been in my arms. Narcissa never had the chance to laugh like others did, not nearly enough. Whenever she laughed, she sounded strained, hesitant, would withdraw for the next few days.

I used to make her laugh, so did Lily. Yes, technically, she laughed at Alice but that was the laughter of a Slytherin Pure Blood. No, the times when she really laughed, laughed like just a young woman, and her eyes would warm, open to me and Lily and our words.

It was the winters that were best, those last two winters before she was married off like the brood mare she had been raised as. Those winters are what I remember, and even though there is nothing I've forgotten about my minutes with her, the minutes in the snow, in the winter chill are what warm me when the nights get too rough. When my head fills with thoughts of how badly I want to end this all now.

"It's frozen water, Kingsley, nothing more."

I smile slightly, watching as she balances effortlessly on the remains of the wall. Her cloak lays over the wall, and the light green dress, perfectly tailored, ripples at the breeze that passes us. It causes her long hair, cascading down her back, to lift and sway. It's beautiful, and I resist the urge to move it.

"Lily seems to think it's some sacred turn of events…" She grins, twists slightly, raising her arms and making the movement seem like a dancer's turn, all grace and quickness. Then she turns again, and catches my eyes, that gaze sparkling like some kind of pale fire and the humor in that perfect face will comfort me forever. "Kingsley… do you think I'm silly for wanting to believe her?"

All I want to do is reach up and pull her down off that stone; what if, Gods forbid, she falls? Except that look… Who am to interrupt the few moments of joy this spun-winter woman has? "Silly for enjoying life? Never…" I tilt my head, peer up at her. "Unless you think I should."

She grins again and I'm pleased with myself once again, pleased with my knowledge of her in all her grace and courage. I have seen what Lily has seen, what so few have been blessed to know.

She looks like a daughter of winter… she looks like a frozen maiden spun from winter. Everything about her sings of cold, speaks of chilly nights and frozen winds that come roaring down from the North. But her… her heart, her roots are all heat. She's fire, she has a heat there, beneath her, inside her. And I've been blessed enough to feel that.

She grins again, even broader and brighter than before and looks down at me, sliding down to crouch on the wall. "Why do you like my laugh?"

I can't answer her… I'd love to, truly, but how do you put into words the feeling that she gives me? The knowledge that I'll never find a woman like her ever again. The understanding that, since she's cared about me, I've become something more. The fact that, after she's gone, I'll have nothing left to fight for

There he is, the boy with her eyes, standing just a few feet from me and attempting to make himself invisible as he slinks around, looking for something. Nobody else looks at him, nobody dares… except for me. He has her build, that willowy litheness that makes him seem more fragile than he is but, still,she's already smaller than he is and he's still growing. He's a fine young man, especially if you know how to look down, look deeper into that gaze that is so much like Narcissa's.

He has so much potential.

If he could get away from Malfoy, get away from that bastard, he'd be one of the finest I've seen. Of course, even without getting away from Lucius, he has a chance. I've seen him with Parkinson, seen him with Zabini and, oh, they make me think of the three girls who called each other 'sister'.

I see them and I think of how Lily and Narcissa used to look. How the two of them looked marching together through the Hogwarts halls, red hair and blonde, two very different pairs of green eyes, heartless and pure-hearted, connecting on levels others could never imagine. But the fire and heat and life in those eyes was the same; in fact, the fire burned brighter after they were joined by Alice with those big blue eyes, like the sky she can't see anymore.

As I watch, the boy shifts, eyes skimming the materials he's found himself while, outside in the hall, Lucius shows off his mare to Fudge. She smiles and nods obligingly, acting the perfect wife but her eyes are on the boy who's eagerly latched onto the sheets of paper that I left out for him, sharp and intelligent as she keeps a careful gaze on him, protective as any mother bear or maybe even more.

She turns, and she looks at me, moving away from Lucius to watch over her son.

When she smiles at me, I nod in answer, playing the respectful Auror but we don't need words, we never did. We share it, a few seconds of our connection, something that is not changed by the fact that I haven't touched her in nearly two decades. I've had women, beautiful gorgeous women who would be happy to have an Auror as a husband.

But they're not the one I want, and I'm left turning from them, wanting her all the more.

I want Narcissa back and, I think, that's why I'm in the Order. I never thought of it before last night, didn't want to but, damn it all to Hell, Dumbledore sees it, knows why I'm risking life and limb to somehow help destroy Voldemort.

It isn't about Voldemort, not really… it's about the fact that, when Voldemort falls, Lucius will fall with him and I'll have my chance to step forward to pull her out of the warfare. I have it planned out, inside myself, down to every detail, and it should frighten me, how a part of me has become so completely taken over by my need of her.

I watch, sitting behind my desk, as she takes the boy, leads him away, and the boy unhappily sets back down the papers, obeying her unspoken command, the feel of the weight of her hand on his back. And then she's back with her husband, who takes hold of her arm, leading her and the boy away with Fudge, to do something with his money and power.

He calls her his, he speaks of her loyalty and how she 'belongs' to him, but he's a fool. I hate to think of what he's done to prove to her that she is his, feel sick inside when I think of what he's done with that body of hers. But she isn't his.

She's never offered herself to him, as an act of trust; she's never given herself to him out of caring, out of love.

She's never looked at him the way she used to look like me.

She's mine, even now, because I'm the only one who knows how she looks when she offers herself as the only gift she can think of as worthy of the caring given. She gave me herself, freely, out of her own will… he'll never know that. Narcissa's mine and, in many ways, so is the boy.

But it goes both ways. She offered me herself but me? She owns me, completely and totally and nothing will change that.

So I fight. I go to Order meetings, I go to Ministry meetings and I wait for the glance of her that is worth the wait. The flare of soft hair, the scent that I'll always know, how her hands looked that day in the library as she swore and cursed about how Lily was becoming brain-washed by James, how her voice trembled the smallest bit with the knowledge that Lily could have with James what she'd never get the chance to have with me.

And I wait for the day that she calls herself mine.