Last chapter. 300 words

)O(

Sweet Narcissa's wedding was the last Cygnus ever attended.

The wedding was beautiful – Narcissa a vision in powder blue, her groom, Lucius, every bit the white knight every girl should marry, the guests all so polite and proper, Druella having outdone herself with the decorations – and Cygnus loathed every second of it. His smile was forced and not very convincing, and he paid little attention to the goings on of the wedding.

He did not want to give his youngest daughter, his darling, precious jewel, away to any man, no matter who it was. The marriage could have been to God himself and Cygnus would still not have been happy to walk Narcissa up the aisle.

But walk her up the aisle he did, facing resolutely forward. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Bellatrix and Rodolphus, sitting stiffly too far apart, and he saw the empty space where Andromeda should have sat, and all the other guests looking bored and falsely pleased. They were all just pretending to feel joyful for the couple. Why should he bother with that falsehood?

Cygnus would later berate himself for denying his youngest daughter a father's joy at her wedding. Could he have not pretended to be happy for just a few hours?

No, of course he could not.

Marriage was too miserable a prospect. Marriage had split apart his family. It had turned Bellatrix from bright and lively to icy and embittered, it had stolen Andromeda from him completely, and now Narcissa had been taken from him as well. Cygnus longed for a chance to go back and appreciate the time when his family had three daughters rather than having none.

Long before the priest proclaimed Lucius and Narcissa husband and wife, Cygnus had lost his final daughter to marriage.

)O(

Fin