A/N – A series of loosely connected vignettes on an arranged marriage. My first real attempt at Lucius/Narcissa.

Also, please forgive the poor formatting.

Disclaimer – I don't own HP, any of the canon characters, settings or situations. No money was made in the creation of this.

All We Have Left

The Aurors were finally gone, jackbooted tyrants intent on stripping the Manor of everything they could. In their lust for vengeance, they had completed what Voldemort, incensed at Draco's failure, had begun – humiliation and disgrace, stripping the Manor of all its luxuries and graces, just as they had stripped Lucius of his fortune and his reputation, destroying his influence and his position in society.

In the midst of ruin, only three things remained: the House, cold, ancient stone and echoing corridors; the Malfoy Name, hated, feared, courted; and pride.

Even in darkest, bitterest defeat, there was pride.

Huddled before the fire in her chambers, in what had once been her refuge from the outside world, Narcissa felt smothered by the echoing silence, painful and awkward and full of things unsaid. Lucius knelt before her, his white, elegant hands enfolding hers, offering what comfort he could.

"My dear," he began, his voice low and intent, as it had once been on that one, perfect day so long ago. The comparison almost broke her heart. "My dear Narcissa…" he trailed off almost awkwardly.

His head was bowed, his shoulders set, as though he braced himself against her recrimination. She knew, in that moment, that he would accept whatever accusation she chose to throw at him. She also knew that she would say nothing. Whatever grievances she might have, she would not break him, not now, not when the combined forces of the Death Eaters, the post-war Ministry and the vengeful Order of the Phoenix could not.

"I know," she whispered. "I know." Slowly, gently, she brought their joined hands to her lips. The soft, feather-light touch brought his face up to hers, his grey eyes for once utterly transparent.

Her breath caught.

"I chose you, Lucius," she said, "that long-ago day, of my own free will. I have never regretted it, not once; not even now."

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