LbN: No excuses guys. I needed a break from this one; story exhaustion. Hope this last chapter is worth the wait!!

Quiet

"Hey Ciss—Narcissa!" Lily exclaimed.

"It's nothing…" Narcissa mumbled when Lily ran over to her.

"How'd you get this?" Lily asked, kissing the bruise on the blonde's cheek.

Narcissa fidgeted.

"Promise you won't freak out?"

"No. What happened?"

"Malfoy hit me," Narcissa sighed.

"WHAT??"

"He hit me. And I…well, fought back."

Lily pulled Narcissa into a hug, and the blonde could feel her shaking slightly with anger. Without a word, Narcissa pulled away and looked down. She was really, really, worried about how Lily was going to react to this. Hopefully the redhead wouldn't do anything ridiculous…

"Don't worry," Lily played with a strand of Narcissa's hair, apparently thinking hard. "I'll find a spell that'll take his toenails off. Slowly."

"Lily," Narcissa smiled. "You can't."

"Merlin's balls, I can't," she crossed her arms. "I'll be sneaky about it, don't worry. No one will even know it was me."

"No, Lily Evans," Narcissa laughed.

"Why are you defending him?" Lily asked.

"I'm not, it's just…"

"You are," Lily insisted. "You always do."

"Please don't start this again…"

"Tell me something; just this one thing. Are you going to marry him?"

"I've been betrothed to him since I was three."

"That doesn't answer my question. You don't love him, I know you don't."

"No, I don't. But yes, I'm going to marry him."

"Why? There's no sensible reason—"

"You don't know that! You have no idea what I go through; the things expected of me…"

"When you were five, your parents made you go through "elegance training". When you were eight, you and Malfoy had to be presented together in an official betrothal ceremony. At eleven, you watched your mother Crucio Andromeda because she hadn't gotten top marks in two of her classes. And now, you're being bullied, once again, into doing something you don't want to do. Into marrying a guy who hits you and only 'respects' you because he's afraid of Bellatrix. I know what you're going through, Cissa," Lily told her softly, hugging her. "I do. But you don't have to be who they want you to be. I mean, look at Andromeda."

"I can't just…I can't turn my back on my family," Narcissa said in a pleading voice. Lily had to understand; she always understood. They'd have the argument, Lily would vent, and then they'd leave the subject alone.

"Yes you can. They're wrong, Narcissa; you know they're wrong. Plus, being in love with a Muggle-born might hinder the nuptials just a tad…"

"It might," Narcissa conceded with a smile. She took a step towards Lily, but the redhead wasn't going to be consoled that easily.

"No."

"What?" Narcissa asked, surprised when Lily pulled away from her.

"I…I don't want to do this anymore. I know this is hard for you, but you have to understand…I love you, but I know I can't have you; so let's just—"

"Lily—"

"No!" she said, beginning to cry. She wiped away the tears hurriedly. "We're not going to do this. Not until you make the decision to whether or not you want to put up with Malfoy for the rest of your life."

With that, Lily turned and walked out of the classroom, leaving Narcissa surrounded by the quiet.


Narcissa looked away from the Pensive, not bothering to do anything about the tears that matched her younger self's. There were many things in her life that she regretted, and this day topped her list. She should've stopped Lily. She should've followed in Andy's footsteps and left Malfoy. Harry and Draco should be brothers. This was the source of her ire towards Harry James Potter: Pure. Unrelenting. Regret. There were a lot of things she should've done differently, but hadn't; and feeling a bit masochistic, she swirled the contents of the stone basin with her wand and began to watch the memory she hated, and at the same time, loved, the most…


"Potter?"

"Bloody hell," Lily spun around in the garden. "Narcissa? What are you doing here? How do you even know where I live?"

"Talked to Severus. So…Potter? You couldn't find anyone less vile?"

"Says the woman who married Malfoy," Lily gave her a glare. "What are you doing here?"

"Came to congratulate you. Do you love him?" the blonde repeated the question Lily had always asked her.

"Yeah, I do," Lily smiled.

"Do you…" Narcissa trailed off; afraid of the answer she might receive. "Do you love him more than you love me?"

"I love him differently than I love you. But no, not more."

"What's that mean?"

Lily sighed and took off her gardening gloves.

"That means we have a completely different relationship than you and I had; but I don't love him more than you."

"I miss you."

"Oh, don't start Cissa…"

Narcissa couldn't help but smile at the use of her old nickname. And the fact that Lily's patience with her hadn't improved…

"I'm telling the truth," she said. "But I'm happy for you. I'm happy that you're happy. Have a good seventh year."

"Thanks," Lily smiled.

Narcissa smiled back at her, before Disapparating.


Narcissa Malfoy closed the doors of her vanity over the Pensive. Collecting herself, she got up from the chair and left her room. She walked down the stairs and through the hall that led to Draco's room; planning on waking her son up from his afternoon nap and getting him to help her with tea. Upset though she was, she didn't want to be alone. She hated the quiet.

LbN: Hope y'all liked it! Send reviews, por favor!