A/N – A timestamp ficlet written for Mynuet on LJ. This is set ten years after Footprints.

Disclaimer – I don't own HP, any of the canon characters, concepts or settings. Don't sue.


She saw him along the street front from the corner of her eye. An ordinary Muggle, middle-aged, dark-haired, in a traditional black business suit; and yet something in the way he held himself – the ironic tilt of his head, the unconscious arrogance – drew her eyes irresistibly. As she stared, puzzled, he turned and looked back at her, just for a moment –

And then, as he disappeared into the crowd, she knew.

She'd always known that he would not die so easily. No sordid end in a darkened cell for Lucius Malfoy, no anonymous encounter in a darkened alley: no, if he were to be brought down, it would be in a blaze of infamy, with all the drama and irony his scheming soul craved. So it was no real surprise to see him, to recognisehim, despite all the layers of disguise and glamour. They had been married more than fifteen years, and lovers for three more before that; she knew him, as well as any woman could ever know a man.

When she returned to her penthouse suite that night, she left her window open.

There was an extravagant diamond necklace on her pillow the next morning. The card, thick, creamy parchment, said only payment long overdue.

She hurled the glittering stones out the window and incinerated them in mid-air.

He approached her later that day, asking in clumsy, accented French whether he could sit with her on this beautiful morning. She was wearing Muggle designer-ware, classic Chanel, her ice-blonde beauty at its most intimidating and remote. His eyes mocked her, at complete odds with his manner and appearance; under his gaze, she remembered all the long, heated nights they'd spent together, when she'd abandoned her careful dignity, been reduced to elemental demands and needs.

She looked down at her long, crimson nails and flushed.

Still, she had weapons of her own. Lowering her voice, finding the rough, slightly husky tone he loved, she leaned forward, her long hair falling free of its tenuous bonds, her heavy perfume wafting around them both. She watched his grey eyes narrow, his pupils dilate.

He was sleek, agile, his hands and mouth sublimely skilled. She matched him kiss for kiss, caress for caress, their rivalry forcing them to increasing heights; unguarded, unfettered, recriminations were hissed and snarled, old grudges and blame spilling out and driving them to madness.

When finally they lay sated and sweating, there was nothing left to say.

When the morning came, he was gone. She did not search for him, did not waste even a moment of regret. Coolly, she continued her shopping holiday, spending extravagantly, enjoying all that Paris had to offer.

When she returned to England, she was once more powerful, predatory Narcissa Beaufort Malfoy Nott, who had abandoned her first husband, betrayed her second, and had carved a place for herself through sheer, ruthless ambition.

She did not look back. There was no point in it.