LbN: This will eventually be a Narcissa/Lily. It's my first time writing either of their characters, so be gentle :). That said, if I completely screw them up, let me know. They're younger in this fic, so they'll be a little different...
Narcissa walked slowly through the halls of Malfoy Manor. There was a time that these walls would echo the sounds of raucous laughter or the evil cackle of madmen; but now the house was quiet. It was one o'clock in the afternoon, and Narcissa was troubled. She couldn't understand why she was thinking about…her now, but it probably had something to do with what happened the morning after the battle.
"I don't know if I'll get another chance to tell you this; Lucius, Draco, and I will probably be in Azkaban by this afternoon. Thank you. For everything."
She'd had to tell him, but she detested him so. Lucius always egged her on, thinking he knew what it was all about, but he was so far off the mark it was comical. He was under the impression that her hatred of Potter was just like his, blind loyalty to the Dark Lord. She'd never gotten around to telling him that she was more like Severus than like him.
She walked into her private room and after locking the door, sat down on the vanity stool next to her bed. She tapped a drawer twice and it opened to reveal a Pensive.
"How are you tonight, Narcissa?" Lucius smiled.
"That's Miss Black to you, Malfoy," Bellatrix said coolly from across the table. "You're not married to her yet."
"I'm fine, Malfoy," Narcissa smiled. Her gaze wandered across the Great Hall as she took another bite of her roast chicken. It was completely unfair that she had to marry him; he was such a brownnoser. At least she didn't have to have classes with him; he was in Andromeda's year.
"Cissy, do you want any dessert?"
"No Bella," Narcissa shook her head. She didn't understand why Bellatrix insisted on treating her like a child in front of people. If she wanted anything she could get it herself; she was thirteen, damn it.
The Headmaster droned on for a few minutes after the plates had cleared, wishing them a good term and such. The youngest Black never paid attention to these, she was too busy looking round the hall at everyone else. People watching was an art learned early in pureblood houses, and Narcissa was one of the best. She took in everything she saw. The Ravenclaws were sitting up straight in rapt attention, their first years looking a bit apprehensive; probably trying to remember everything. The Hufflepuffs looked comfortable, some of them were still snacking on cookies or cakes. They weren't slouching or anything, they just didn't look poker stiff like the Ravenclaws. The Gryffindors were a mixture, just like Slytherin. Some were paying attention, others were goofing off. Finally, the Headmaster dismissed them and there was the loud banging and scraping of benches being pushed back as hundreds of students headed out of the hall.
Urrrggghh. Friday, finally. Narcissa ran a hand through her long blonde hair as she walked down the hallway. She'd forgotten how stressful the first few weeks of school could be, but her teachers were definitely giving her a reminder. All of a sudden, she felt a bump as someone walked into her. Automatically, she reached out and caught the girl as she stumbled back.
"Careful girl," she said, lifting her back to her feet. She was a Gryffindor, and a first year by the look of terror she was giving her.
"Sorry," the girl said, "I wasn't watching were I was going."
"Don't worry, girl; neither was I."
"My name is Lily."
The tone of the last sentence was what made Narcissa remember the name in days to come. Normally, she didn't go around memorizing Gryffindors' names because first, she couldn't handle Andy's proud squeals at her "rebellion" and two, Bella would kill her. However, the way Lily said it made her pay attention. It was spoken in a calm tone that nevertheless stated, quite clearly, that Narcissa would be expected to remember that name should she see Lily in the future.
"Nice to meet you. Watch out next time, especially on the stairs; there are a few trick steps."
The adult Narcissa smiled into the Pensive as it showed their first meeting. It was odd, really. She had no idea why, for that one moment, she wasn't really worried about Lily's blood status. Probably because she wasn't being tailed by Bella or courted by Malfoy at that moment. With a small sigh of nostalgia, she made up her mind to stay for a while, and swirled the memories again.
"Miss Black, could you come up here a moment?" McGonagall asked.
"I need you to tutor a few of my first years. Your marks are excellent in the class and you're one of the only ones not completely blinded by this dratted rivalry."
"Of course, professor," Narcissa smiled. "Who will I be tutoring?"
"Erika Rosco from Ravenclaw, Michael Wishburn from Slytherin, and Lily Evans from Gryffindor. You know her?" McGonagall asked at the look of recognition on Narcissa's face.
"I've met her before. Briefly."
"Wonderful! Well, I've told them that you will owl them with what times work best for you. Here are their names, in case you forget. And let me know if you need anything, won't you?"
Narcissa exited the classroom and just barely caught herself before walking straight into Bellatrix.
"Careful, Cissy," her sister smirked. "You'll get to be as bad as those Hufflepuffs if you don't watch where you're going."
Narcissa suppressed an eye roll with difficulty. She knew a few Hufflepuffs, including Andy's secret boyfriend, and they weren't really as bad as all that. However, she knew Bellatrix would have something to say if she saw her less than willing to criticize, so she simply smiled up at her oldest sister.
"What did McGonagall want?"
"Wants me to tutor some firsties."
"Slytherins, I hope!"
"One of them is. The others are a Hufflepuff and a Gryffindor."
"Ick. I'm sorry. If you need any help keeping them in line, just let me know," Bellatrix grinned.
"I don't think it'll be a problem," Narcissa smiled back at her.
"Of course not, you're a Black."
Fixing their schedules took a while, but finally, that next Friday, the group met in the library. With a smirk, Narcissa noticed how Wishburn was pointedly avoiding the others' gazes.
"Alright, look," she said, "I know you all are supposed to hate each other or whatever, but as long as you're here, you're all stupid the same. So we're going to get along, or at least be cordial. Agreed?"
The first years nodded but said nothing. She realized then that they were afraid of her, which, of course, would make her job a whole lot easier.
"You all are on chapter three, so we'll go over that first."
The hour went quickly, with Narcissa reading from the chapter and the first years asking her questions. By the end of it, they were all talking. She could tell that they still didn't like each other, but at least they wouldn't sit in silence for these things. As she was gathering her things to leave, she glanced over and noticed that Lily was still there.
"Yes?" she asked.
"I was just wondering…I've been here for two weeks and all I've heard from older Gryffindors is how evil all you Slytherins are. You don't seem as foul as they say."
"Not all of us are evil, just like not all of you guys are noble," Narcissa said simply.
"I've got to go," Narcissa told the younger girl. "If you need help this weekend, send me an owl, okay? Just…don't send it at breakfast. My sister's not as nice as I am."
LbN: Like it? Hate it? Want me to quit writing forever? Let me know!!