It shouldn't have come as a surprise to him, and he supposed that in some way he'd been expecting it, because when he glimpsed the still white hand through the doorway he didn't feel any twinges of panic or fear. There was only a mild curiosity, and when he'd stepped into the room and seen her sprawled on the richly carpeted floor his only thought had been the calm statement Mother's dead. Narcissa looked graceful even in death, her head turned slightly to the side and her large blue eyes open wide, making her look strangely innocent. Although there was a broken vase nearby, she bore no injuries so he knew it had been a quick and clean Killing Curse. He towered over her, studying the still form as the evening wind screamed past the window, and if somewhere deep inside he was crying his face did not show it.

Lucius's body was lying not five feet from Narcissa, but he didn't give his father a second glance─ his silver eyes were pinned to his mother's body. He wondered vaguely why the Death Eaters hadn't stuck around to kill him then decided he didn't really care. He had other things to take care of at the moment. For example, he couldn't just leave his parents lying on the floor. It simply didn't seem right.

That evening found Lucius and Narcissa resting not on the floor but on the king-sized bed that they had shared their entire married life. He had carried (or, in his father's case, dragged) their bodies to the lush bed and positioned their arms at their sides. He had smoothed their gilded hair and straightened out their clothes; Lucius had died in style, wearing a crisp black shirt and black trousers, while Narcissa had, quite unfortunately, been wearing a form-fitting sky-blue sweater and dark slacks. It would be more fitting, he thought, if she had been wearing a tastefully lavish dress, but he had neither the heart nor the will to change her attire.

After taking care of his parents, he had pottered around the house a bit. There were many rooms in the Malfoy mansion, and he went through every one of them. He tidied up as he went; the broken glass in the living room was Vanished and the figurines on the mantle in the library were straightened, as were the elegant chairs around the dining room table. He drew the heavy velvet drapes shut and flattened out the wrinkles in the Persian rugs in the corridors. He strode into his own room and packed extra clothes and supplies into his school trunk, which he then shrunk so it fit neatly into his pocket. He left his textbooks stacked on the bedstand, as he would not need them any longer. Finally he returned to his parent's room and glanced them over. After a moment he reached out and, with gentle fingers, closed Narcissa's eyelids. Now everything was ready. Before leaving he leaned forward and softly touched his lips to her forehead in a cold kiss.

He walked purposefully down the corridors, through the spacious entrance hall, and out the front door, which he closed quietly behind him and locked. The dark sky was star-spotted, the gates of the Malfoy property gleamed dimly in the distance, and the white peacocks were cooing softly. Standing on the front steps he slid his wand out of his pocket and murmured a certain spell. A string of flame wound out of the wand tip and flared toward the door. His movements took on an urgent pace; he walked the perimeter of the house briskly, still shooting flame at the mansion and muttering spells to make the fire stronger and faster. The peacocks were shrieking now but he paid them no heed, eager to get the job done before any Ministry officials or Death Eaters appeared, and thanked God that his father had made the anti-Apparition spells so strong. When he had circled the house he stowed his wand back in his pocket and made his way down the winding path to the gates, which opened before him of their own accord. He lingered on the sidewalk a moment longer, turning his gaze to the now fiercely burning mansion. The fire reflected in his eyes, but even the echoed flames did not make his frosty stare seem any warmer. His pale lips curved into a small, unfeeling smile before he Apparated away with a sharp crack!

The mansion continued to burn.