Warnings: Strong Violence, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme
Era: Hogwarts Pairings: Narcissa/Lucius, Bella/Rodolphus
Characters: Narcissa, Voldemort, Bellatrix, Rodolphus, Other Canon
*Written for Tacey's 'Forget Him' challenge and mixed with Midna's 'Pick your own quote' challenge on HPFF* What will it take to spare Lucius' life? The will of Narcissa.
Author's Note: I used padfoot's girl's story on HPFF: "The Road Not Taken: Narcissa" for part of this and as reference.
There would be no suffering at all, if only you would forget him. - The alien scientist; Scott Nicholson
The feeling of their eyes on her was something that made her skin crawl. She had grown up in this world and yet their mockery still disturbed her.
"Lucius is a fool. He has failed you too many times my Lord," came Bellatrix…her own sister.
"It is true he has failed but he has always been loyal," Narcissa stated proudly, "he has even gone to Azkaban for you…"
"We went to Azkaban for our Lord!" Bellatrix indicated the two brothers on either side of a cloaked man at the other end of the table and herself, "You two denounced him remember? Lucius is weak to think…"
"My husband is not weak!" Narcissa jumped from her seat and faced her sister, "this is my house Bella and if you wish to stay here any longer I suggest you hold your tongue."
"Perhaps it would be best if you hold your own Narcissa," a hiss of a voice came from the other end of the room.
He sat there.
Flanked by Rodolphus and Rabastan, two of the vilest men Narcissa had ever met, sat Lord Voldemort. He was a thing that was not even man anymore.
His presence in her home meant demise. And he brought, as an iniquitous gift, something that even her sister could not manage…veneration.
Lord Voldemort had an anomalous respect for those who could not stand against him. Because they were the ones that proved his rhetoric by dying at his feet, proved that they were weaker. Even though Narcissa would never admit it, this scared her far more than his wand.
"Lucius has never been what I had hoped. Always falling short, always failing to do as I ask. He swore his allegiance to me and yet he can not repay me for all the power I offered him…that I offered you…"
Narcissa shook slightly. The Dark Lord was sometimes cryptic in his speech but now was not one of those times. She knew perfectly well what he was getting at. If Lucius could not pay back his debts then she would. And if she couldn't…Draco…
"Our family has never left your service my Lord. Always we have stood by you, even in our silence we worked for your benefit…"
Narcissa fell to the floor as pain shot through her.
She hadn't heard her sister say the spell but she did hear her scream, "liar! I know what you did! All those letters when I was in Azkaban asking me to turn and come home! You're all cowards here, running the moment you think he's gone!"
Lord Voldemort waved his hand and the pain subsided, "enough Bella. Let us see what she thinks of her dear husband now, knowing that she will be paying for his mistakes…unless of course she wishes to leave him to his own sins."
Narcissa stood up and looked into the cold red eyes, "my husband is a loyal servant. He lives to serve you, as does our family."
The Dark Lord sighed impenitently and the pain returned. Her own sister was torturing her. Narcissa didn't know which was worse, but she knew she would never let them see her break.
The pain stopped and she stood back up, slowly, but she did it. Narcissa again faced those cold red eyes and held herself up to her full height and stature.
"Will you now denounce your husband? Turn from his side Narcissa and ask my forgiveness, you shall have it." She was no fool. She knew what turning from his side would mean for Lucius. It would mean death.
She had not married him for love, but he had cared enough about her to bring her into his home and his life. Lucius had given her a decent life. And out of all her sisters, she had had the best marriage.
Narcissa was not about to give that up simply because some thing thought it funny to degrade his victims before killing them, "I will never denounce my husband."
Her words still hung in the air as she hit the floor. Her sister screamed at her, "blood traitors! My whole family! How dare you choose another over our great Lord!"
Rodolphus, next to Lord Voldemort, leaned over and whispered silently in his ear. There was a moment's consideration before the Dark Lord waved his hand for Bella to stop.
He stood up slowly and walked to where she lay on the ground. He bent slightly and whispered inquiringly to her, "there would be no suffering at all, if only you would forget him."
Narcissa's eyes flew upwards to the Dark Lord's and stayed there, ferocity burning inside them. She stood up.
"I will suffer for my husband if that is what it takes but I will never forget him," she took a slow, uneven step forward, "not even for you."
The pain that ripped through her now was much more fervent. Lord Voldemort's skill far out ranked her sister's and she almost screamed… almost.
But the pain subsided again and two pairs of hands lifted her into a seat. Rabastan held her up as Rodolphus moved to stand next to his incensed wife.
The air became filled with an odd sort of calm and Narcissa tried to focus her eyes, through the lingering remnants of pain, onto the dark figure that stood before her.
"It would seem that Lucius made a good choice in you Narcissa. Where he is a disappointment, you are an amusement. Your willingness to face death for such a man intrigues me."
"I love him." She finally admitted it.
"Love? It's a feeble concept. No. You better him, make him less pitiful. If you remain at his side, I may just spare him." Then he was gone from her sight.
"Why do you spare them my Lord? They have failed you!" Bellatrix asked in the hallway. Whether her sister was doing it loudly enough for her to hear on purpose or not, Narcissa didn't know.
"I spare them Bella because they are good to have as fodder when I need it. I control her through Lucius and Lucius is not adept enough to go against me. I can use their foolish dependency on love to further my own plans and in that way, they at least make themselves useful."
Bella smirked as Rodolphus came to stand next to her. They had married for blood and now, even after everything, they still didn't love each other. No, they would not make the same mistake as Lucius and Narcissa…they simply admired each other.