Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
A/N: Italic parts are flashbacks, the rest is set a few months after the end of Half-Blood Prince. No spoilers really, though. Review and tell me what you think.
A light snow fell, every flake slower than the last. Gray, luminescent clouds hung low and still, and time seemed to almost stop in its tracks. Ice collected on Narcissa Malfoy's pale cheeks, caught in the streams her tears had left behind. She wiped them off with one gloved hand and dropped to the ground in front of the flat marble rectangle that served as her son's grave marker. She laid down, her head against the smooth stone, her lips pressed above the engraved surname.
Narcissa wrapped her black cloak around her, shutting her eyes and imagining a world where her greatest hindrance was the white frost now covering her frail form.
"You looked like a fallen angel."
Narcissa recognized the voice but did not open her eyes or greet the man now standing at her feet. "Finally," she sneered, "a label that fits."
The wind whistled through the trees outside the cemetery as the rest of the world remained silent.
"I didn't forget you," the man said. His feet crushed the snow as he walked to her side, sitting on the frozen ground at her back. A hand rested on her shoulder. "I didn't forget this either." He ran something along her fingers, slipping it between her index and thumb.
Narcissa opened her eyes and looked at the lock of blond hair in her hand. It was tied with a scrap of red cloth. She pulled it into a fist and rolled onto her back, letting the snow hit her full in the face. Remus leaned over her, his haggard face sad and his graying brown hair flickered with white ice. He caught her eyes with his own.
"I didn't forget you, either," she said.
"Let go of me!"
"Please, just stand still!"
Remus pulled his wand out, and the first year stuck in his grasp struggled at the sight. The twelve-year-old instinctively jerked back his left hand when she opened her mouth to scream and the girl winced instead, trying to hold her head straight.
"I'm so sorry," Remus muttered panicking. "It was an accident."
"Sure!" the young witch cried. "Your hand just happened to get tangled in my hair, you horrible little freak!"
Actually that was exactly what had happened.
Remus heard a stifled chuckle from the corridor ahead and his face flushed with anger. In charms Remus's fingers had began to stick together and onto his parchment after Sirius had insisted that an adhesive spell would make him a better quidditch player. Remus had been on his way to the hospital wing in hopes of finding a quick cure when he had collided with the young Slytherin witch he was currently stuck to.
"I'm going to have to cut it," he said quietly.
The girl screeched. "Not my hair!"
Not waiting for her to protest further, Remus had already ran his wand across her hair. A golden lock was all that remained stuck to his fingers. The witch turned around, glaring at Remus and patting the back of her head to see what damage he had inflicted. Squinting her eyes furiously, she raised her hand and slapped him soundly across the face. Raising her chin and pursing her lips she stated coldly, "My 'head of house' will hear about this."
The young witch disappeared before Remus could dare touch her with his sticky hand again. Laughter erupted as she ran by. Sirius strolled out of his hiding place behind the corner, a huge smile on his face.
"Bloody fantastic work, Remmy. You're a real lady killer. I can't wait to tell James about this," Sirius smirked.
A thousand curses passed through Remus's head, but he voiced none of them. "Who was that girl?"
Sirius slapped his friend on the back. "My cousin, Narcissa-I've-got-a-stick-up-my-rear Black."
"You look like a child," Remus said, "tossing about. Wave your arms and legs and perhaps you'll make us an angel."
"You and your fascination with angels." She grabbed his arm, pulling herself up into a sitting position. "Remus, what are you doing here? Can't you see I'm in mourning?"
Remus pulled his knees up, resting his crossed arms on them as if he was a bored school boy. "For the only man you ever loved," he stated.
"Yes," Narcissa whispered, "and he was not a man yet, not really. He was still my baby, my little dragon. Lucius wanted him to grow up too quickly." A cruel grin twisted her beautiful face. "I suppose he'll really take root now, now that he's severed from the 'apron strings'."
Remus shook his head. "Be quiet. You don't know what you're saying, Cissa."
"Yes, I do!" she snapped. "How dare you question me! How dare you question a Malfoy, you filthy werewolf!" She laughed coldly. "Familiar words, Remus? That's because they probably came out of my prick of a son's mouth."
Remus put an arm around her shoulders, pulling her closer to him. "He was a beautiful boy, Cissa. He was, in truth, as good as any other boy. He disserved his mother's love. You were not a fool for giving it so easily."
"I never loved Lucius," Narcissa said, looking at the wizard beside her.
"I'm aware of that, yes."
"I never loved you, either."
"I know that, too."
Remus sat on the roof's edge, grasping the tower's stone wall tightly. He let his feet dangle over the side. A wave of vertigo washed over him as he looked down at the school grounds over a hundred feet below. The dizziness frightened him but also thrilled him beyond anything else. The moon shined down on him—half moon, not full, he had to remind himself when his heart jumped into his throat.
Remus turned his head quickly, almost losing his balance. A blonde witch stood a few feet away, a handkerchief raised halfway to her reddened, tear wrenched eyes.
"Please, don't," she begged. "Don't jump."
Remus smiled softly and tried to look as if the thought of suicide had never passed through his mind. "Oh, I'm not. I'm just here for. . ." What was he here for anyhow—to escape, to be free, to make sure that the moon was still only half full? "I'm here for the view. . ."
She took a step back. "Well, then, I'll let you be alone."
"No," Remus snapped. "I mean, you can stay if you want."
The witch's eyes smiled, even if her lips remained in a straight line. She walked toward him, finally relaxing enough to lean against the wall on which he sat. "I suppose I can stay," she said, "if no one finds out."
Remus nodded, realizing that her last statement ran true for both of them. If Sirius saw him chatting to his cousin, he would most likely be told to quit consorting with the enemy. He stared out at the hilly landscape. "So, why were you crying?"
She shrugged, but Remus already knew the answer. Rumor had it that she was to be married in another year, not even allowed to finish out her days at Hogwarts. She was to wed a Slytherin who had already graduated, a Malfoy if Remus remembered correctly. Remus would be crying too if he had to marry a prat like that. He laughed aloud at that thought.
"What's so funny?" the witch asked, obviously offended that she had been left out of his little joke.
"Nothing." She glared at him, and he amended himself automatically. "Well, if you must know, Black, I was watching the angels dance. They're surprisingly clumsy."
"There's no such thing as angels," the witch replied quickly.
"I beg to differ," Remus said with a lopsided grin. "You just have to see one to believe."
She blushed, looking around suspiciously as if she expected someone else was watching. Her eyes fell on Remus again. "You don't have to use my surname, you know. You can call me Cissa—as long as no one hears."
The wizard nodded. "Well then, as long as the rest of the world is deaf, you can call me Remus."
Cissa grinned, a genuine smile that make her pale skin glow. "Not Remmy?"
Remus raised a brow. "That horrid nickname? Never!"
"I loved my son," Narcissa moaned. She put her head against Remus's shoulder. "And they killed him. They put him through so much pain. . . Then they took his light."
"Yes, Cissa, I know."
"I heard him crying," she murmured. "When I put my head down, I heard him crying. He was little again, just a boy in my arms.
"That's where he'll always be," Remus said.
"Do you promise?" Narcissa's wide eyes danced over the shabbily dressed wizard.