This one-shot takes place near the end of the Goblet of Fire.


"Lucius, dear? Are you coming to bed?"

I glanced up from my work to where my wife was standing in the doorway. Narcissa was wearing the black silk nightgown I had bought her for Christmas. Revealing as it was, it did not tempt me. My mind was too cluttered with worried thoughts.

"It's getting late," Narcissa commented when I said nothing, tucking some of her beautiful blonde hair behind her ear.

I slowly stood and walked over to her, placing a gentle kiss on her lips. "I'm afraid this work needs to be done tonight, my love," I said, stroking her cheek. I half-expected Narcissa to pout, but instead she simply gazed at me worriedly.

"Is something wrong, Lucius?" she asked timidly.

"Besides too much work and the idiot of a Minister we have?" I responded with a fake smile, attempting to cover my own unease.

She did not smile at my joke. "You've just been rather…distant lately." Narcissa seemed to almost shrink as she said this, as though afraid of my reaction. Realizing what she was probably thinking, I gently cupped her cheek and kissed her with the same fiery passion as our first kiss.

Our first kiss—it had been at Hogwarts, back when the Dark Lord was the Slytherin role model. I was a pureblood and proud. Narcissa was of pure blood and proud of it as well, though she was not as open about her pride. She did not wish to join the Dark Lord's inner circle, but we both agreed on his ideals. Half because of Narcissa's wishes, I did not join the Dark Lord's ranks for many years after I left Hogwarts. I would have done anything for Narcissa. I would still do anything for her.

When Draco was born, Narcissa had suddenly stopped speaking the Dark Lord's praises. It had taken me nearly a year to realize that she feared for our son—she feared that our son would be caught up in the war we fought. But I believed that there was no reason to worry. By the time Draco would be old enough to fight, the war would be won, and pure blood would be properly valued.

Then came the day the Dark Lord fell.

He had been defeated by a little boy, the son of James and Lily Potter. It was unbelievable—an infant had stopped the darkest and greatest wizard of all time. I remembered the boy's parents from school. Potter had been an arrogant little bastard—I don't understand how he came to marry Lily Evans.

Yes, I did know Lily. Not personally, but through Severus Snape. He had adored her. He never admitted this to me, or to his friends, or even to Lily herself, but I could read it every time he looked at her. Something even more incomprehensible was that Lily was his friend. A Muggle-born and a Slytherin. Somehow the redhead's relationship with Severus made me look at her differently than the rest of the Mudbloods, mostly because I was trying to figure out why she was different.

I never found out what happened between them. I had been somewhat surprised when Severus had first come before the Dark Lord to pronounce his lifelong devotion to the cause. I never saw Lily again, and I never heard Severus speak of her. I had actually felt a little sad when I learned of her death, which is more than I could say of the Dark Lord's disappearance.

I didn't realize until after he was gone that I did not want to serve the Dark Lord anymore. I never let go of my belief that purebloods were superior, and I doubt I ever will. But the Dark Lord had been going about it wrong. I was glad he was gone.

Narcissa had been delighted at the news, though she would never dare say so out loud. She did not want her son to grow up in a world of hate. And a world of hate is what the Dark Lord had planned to create. I was actually thankful to the Potter boy for stopping him. Not that I would ever admit this aloud either, of course.

Draco grew up to be excessively proud of his pure wizarding blood. I was likely to blame for his arrogance in the matter, but as long as he could keep up his grades in school and not make a complete ass of himself, he could brag all he pleased. He was my son—our son. I would do anything for my family. I would do anything for Narcissa.

I finally pulled away from Narcissa, leaving her quite breathless as I leaned my forehead against her flawless skin. "I love you, Narcissa. No matter what happens, know that."

Narcissa looked at me, her blue eyes wide and concerned. "You make it sound as though something bad is going to happen."

I swallowed hard as my love's eyes delved into mine. I did fear that something was going to happen, the evidence of which I had been hiding from my darling Narcissa for months. Unwittingly, I glanced down at my left arm.

Narcissa immediately began rolling up my left sleeve. I did nothing to stop her as she pulled back the expensive cloth that covered my body, revealing the skull with a serpent protruding from its mouth like a tongue. She gasped and jumped back against the doorframe. "He can't—it can't be," she breathed.

I took a deep breath, not knowing what to say. We had both been less than loyal during the Dark Lord's absence. But he was coming back. I could not deny it. Wrapping my arms around my wife, I held her to my chest and whispered what I hoped would be words of comfort. I then took her face in my hands and kissed her again. "I love you," I told her earnestly.

Then I felt it. Something I had not felt for thirteen years. The burning—the summons. I stepped back from Narcissa, holding out my left arm and staring at it as though I did not recognize it as my own. Meeting Narcissa's eyes, we both knew our lives had just changed forever. The Dark Lord had returned. I leaned forward, kissing my wife again. "I love you," I repeated before heading to fetch the mask I never thought I would be wearing again.

The Dark Mark still burned, but my love for Narcissa burned brighter.