Title: These Dangerous Lives

Author/Artist: Inclination

Character/Pairing: Sirius/Narcissa

Fandom: Harry Potter

Theme: #50, murmur

She is beautiful by anyone's standards; there is no denying the perfection in her pale skin and proud cheekbones, in the purse of her lips, the swell of her hips. Child-bearing hips, the superstitious old Aunts had whispered, she'll bear fine sons, that Narcissa.

They were at a party; Pureblood sons and daughters milling around the grand house idly, whilst their parents talked politics and the Dark Lord in the drawing room. Boring, Sirius thought, and wandered away, to see if he could find somewhere to have a quiet smoke. He didn't even know whose house it was.

He hadn't expected to find Narcissa in the quiet, darkened room - hadn't expected to find anyone who, like himself, actually wished to escape the social niceties and the false compliments of the gathering. He nodded to her, once, and made to leave; she called out after him. Unexpected.

Her face was lit in profile only by the moonlight; in the dim lighting, Sirius could see the glint of the Black family madness behind her eyes, animalistic, that Narcissa usually kept so well hidden.

"Sirius," she whispered, and her fingers found his wrist, winding their way around it – he found that they were pleasantly cool. He suspected her other hand was fisted around her wand. Narcissa was too smart to fully trust anyone. "Have you heard what they're saying? About our engagement?"

"Of course," Sirius answered bluntly, "It's hardly a secret."

Sirius and Narcissa had been engaged for as long as either of them could remember, but it had only become official when Narcissa had turned seventeen. Toujours pur, a voice in the back of Sirius' mind purred, and he smirked.

"What do you think of it?" Narcissa pressed.

"I think I'd rather my children only had ten toes," Sirius said, and Narcissa smiled.

She looked lovely in the moonlight he had to admit, guards dropped, and true vulnerability on her face like Sirius hadn't seen in years. He wondered if she might cry – weeping at the inevitable seemed a very Narcissa thing to do.

Sirius kissed her, because that was what he was expected to do. It was brief, dry lips chafing each other. Her lips were very, very soft.

"I'm in love with Lucius Malfoy," Narcissa murmured against his mouth.

Sirius smiled. "I'm gay," he whispered against hers.

Narcissa stepped back, looking at him as if for the first time. It was, Sirius thought, perhaps the only true moment of honesty the two had ever shared. She pressed a hand against his cheek, tracing the contour of his cheekbone with her thumb.

"I won't tell anyone," she promised.

"I don't care, even if you do."

And then, Sirius was alone again; he could hear the sounds of laughter from the party as the door of the room opened and closed. Opening the window, he leant out and lit a cigarette.