Nothing belongs to me, all J.K. Rowling's property. I just felt like being depressing, I'm good at writing depressing. Please review…

A flash of green light and a silence, brought only with murder, descended over the house. He removed his mask languidly; proud of his work as he wiped the light sheen of sweat that had formed on his upper lip with his gloved hand. But he wanted suddenly, to cover his face as he looked down on the body.

"Clean up", he ordered quietly, surveying the room with distaste. The others, cloaked and masked moved quickly. Charming things back into place. He brushed back a tendril of blond that escaped his beribboned hair. Severus was breathing heavily on his left, having endured a heavy duel with McKinnon.

"He put up a good fight", Severus panted, kicking the lifeless body on the ground hard in the ribs.

"He was rather good, wasn't he?" he answered coldly, motioning his head for Severus to follow him. Something felt out of place, something inside him was screaming and he needed to get out.

They made their way through the hallway and again, he felt the claustrophobia he always felt in places like this. Places in which he had committed murder. He looked momentarily at the body of McKinnon's wife and tried to dispel that feeling of discomfort as he remembered she had been in Narcissa's year. As he remembered exactly what he had just did – what he had permitted.

"This is disgusting", he groaned, "Who could live in a place like this?"

This comment was as much to distract him with conversation as to remind himself of who he was supposed to be.

"Certainly not you, Lucius" Severus laughed mirthlessly, following him out the door. The ground was thick with snow, inches deep, covering his leather boots in white powder. He stood momentarily, and then from within his robes pulled out a silver cigarette case. He lit one and inhaled deeply, then turned to Severus.

"It's freezing", he muttered, "The mansion will be like ice when I get back."

"As well as Narcissa?"

Lucius regarded him with a sneer and then answered, "Don't speak of what you don't know." He knew nothing, no one knew. No one had been told yet.

"I was jesting, my friend! Why in your time of marriage you have become a man who cares more for a night in with his wife than a drink with his friends. A walk through Knockturn Alley, a night of fun, picking up those we can buy…"

"That's only you that buys' what he can't get for free," a voice muttered behind them, sure and hard. Lucius turned round, greeting his sister-in-law with a sardonic smile.

"I see you are as pleasant as ever, Bella?"

"Yes, Lucius," her lip curled into a gloating sneer, "You done well tonight, he will be pleased. Are you joining us for a victory party?"

"I'd rather not," he bowed his head slightly; "I must get home."

"Oh, indeed! I quite forgot you are tied to Cissy's apron!"

"Oh, do be quiet you infernal hussy!"

He stared at her with the utmost disgust and wondered just how it had come to be that Narcissa was her sister. They were two entirely different women, in every possible, minute aspect.

"We should be going," Snape muttered, "They'll be here any moment."

"Hmm," Lucius muttered his answer, "Yes, indeed. Well I shall see you next time."

Something in him wished there was never a 'next time' but fate, inevitability, destiny all proved victors over this futile whim. With that, he turned swiftly and was gone from the place.

However, the smell of death on his body did not disintegrate with the place in which he had committed the sin. It stills tuck to him as he made his way across the lawn, onto the porch and into his home. The house was quiet, his young wife must have retired to bed and he liked to think she was sleeping soundly because it meant her eyes did not have to pass over his leather clad form, she would not have to smell the pungent scent of murder that clung to him. He made his way quietly, ignoring the fact he knew that the elf's would have saved his dinner and would have laid it out, with wine and candles so he could eat, and he made his way up the stairs. The snow was falling outside in sheets of thick, dense purity that gathered on the corners of the windows of the house but never quite penetrated the thick warmth and dark inside the huge manor, most of which he hadn't been in or occupied for years.

Cautiously he pushed the handle on the door, it creaked open and he cringed slightly for fear of waking her up if she were sleeping. She was. She was lying on the bed on the side where he should have slept, her body curled up into the pillow which she was hugging. A somewhat less interesting but perhaps more reliable, surrogate for him. He waved his wand and the mask vanished and then quietly, trying not to make a noise at all he made his way to the bathroom.

The bath water was welcoming after the cold of outside and the hostile events of the evening. He sunk his body, raw with the heat of the water down until he was immersed completely. He stayed until his throat constricted, his eyes bulged beneath closed lids in a desperate bid for air. He pulled himself up eventually, the cold air of the bathroom hitting him with a ferocity so dire he felt as if he had been slapped. He reached for his cane with a dripping hand, his usually pale skin now a slight pink and waved his wand. A glass of amber liquid, in which he wanted to drown, appeared on the side of the huge bath. He looked at it mercifully and took it in his hand, downing it in one gulp. The next he savoured as the hour passed and as he lost himself in thought.

Images of McKinnon's wife, the woman cradling the small child would not disappear from his head. It was obscene, it was cruel in which the way Bella had murdered that woman and... It was terrible, he realised, that he had allowed it to happen. But it was on the Dark Lord's orders.

"Lucius?"

A quiet voice, laced with tiredness called from the shadows. All in one moment he was grateful for her presence and angry that he had woken her. He turned to the door slightly, so he could see her over his shoulder. She was shaped oddly in the light of the candles all around him and her figure danced across the marble floors.

"I apologise, dear," he whispered turning to stare at the wall before him as he rubbed his hand over his eyes, "I didn't mean to wake you."

"I know," she was nearing him now, her voice though always the perfect volume became louder, "It is late, Lucius."

"I know," he smiled at her as she stood before him, "I needed to relax."

He took her hand, cold in his, needing to feel her near him. She moved towards him, her thighs pressed against the edge of the bath that was raised high out of the ground. She smiled slightly, then sat down on the steps that led to the cavernous bath.

"Go back to bed, dear," he said gently, "I'll be in soon."

"Liar," she answered keenly, "You won't. You will get out of this water, once it is frozen and you will sit by the fire reading until you fall asleep."

"You know me well," he laughed.

"Our bed is cold Lucius," she squeezed his hand.

"The Bathwater is warm…join me."

She shook her head, "I am tired, you are tired. Please come to bed."

He smiled and laid his head back on the ceramic, "You are beautiful in this light."

"What did you do this evening?"

She toyed with her hair innocently but her actions did not mimic the intent of her question.

"Nothing you would want to know about," he answered, staring at his hands, "I wouldn't tell you."

She smiled but it did not reach her eyes as she toyed with his fingers below the water, "You look tired."

"You said so," he said kindly, as he stood up, "Pass me that towel, won't you?"

She did as he asked and he stood up, taking the steps down from the huge bathtub and wrapping the warm material around his waist.

"You are very right, I am tired," he ran his fingers through his hair dripping water on the marble floor; "I want to sleep for days."

"Don't you want to do what Bella does?"

"What's that?" He asked, watching her move from the bathroom to the bed as he slipped on a night shirt.

"Go and get drunk and celebrate your victory?"

"I never cared for that, Narcissa." He smiled slightly and reaching for a leather queue on her dresser, tied his damp hair.

"I know," she slipped beneath the covers, "Come to bed Lucius."

He smiled again and crossed the room to their bed, pulling back the sheets and sliding in.

Hours later, he watched her sleep, her body pressed to his. He rarely slept these days, now was no exception. The only time he slept was after they made love, when he suddenly felt young again, when he felt freed from the bonds of his commitment.

It wasn't that he served the Dark Lord unwillingly, though it could be considered that in some respects, it was simply that he was beginning to feel a change inside himself – something that had not affected the murderous and vain teenager he had once been but now as a man, murdering did not come as easy as it seemed to come to Bellatrix or Rudolphus, it no longer created in him that ecstasy. It only created a dull thud, which he imagined was what was left of his conscience. He closed his eyes but sleep never came, only those at peace slept.

O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O

"It was the McKinnon's," Narcissa whispered slowly, weighing the words in her mouth as they fell and landed before him, heavy with anger. In her hand she held the Prophet, the edges in her furious grasp. She usually never mentioned his actions of service.

"Yes," he almost whimpered as he took the paper from her, the picture displaying the familiar sight of the Dark mark suspended above their house.

"She has just had a child."

He could not answer her; he did not have the words. Instead he stared at her, the paper still in hand. he wanted to apologise but words would not help.

He was forced, by some inkling of his torn conscience to draw his eyes to the slight bump on her stomach, where he had know his future child rested these last few months. How joyous the news had been, how lovely Narcissa looked and how they had reveled in keeping it their secret. But now something was wrong with that happiness.

He could suppose, as he knew she was most definitely thinking as she sat across from him, sipping calmly on tea that he was like McKinnon. He knew she hated him for this, for the murder of an innocent child.

He would be a father soon; he would have a child to fight for like McKinnon and a wife too. He wondered why that feeling, so hard to suppress, he had once mistaken for a conscience. No it was not a conscience; it was guilt on behalf of his unborn child.

That night he did not sleep, he watched her watch him, her eyes wide and glassy as her had rested on her protruding stomach and she did not sleep, at least he had someone's company in the darkness.

Yours,

M

Xx