Notes: A whole month? What was I thinking? Here is a chapter for you from the point of view of possibly one of my favourite characters in the series. I hope you enjoy!

our dancing days

xiii. guests

People always think that pureblood witches areornaments, trinkets, to be kept at their husbands' sides, guests in their own houses. They arrange parties and spoil their pureblood children while the nanny takes care of the harder jobs and they dote on the husbands that they know are sleeping around behind their backs.

Then again, in Narcissa's opinion, a large majority of the world has a habit of being undeniably moronic.

She loves him.

Of course, when Narcissa was straight out of school - seventeen, engaged, and elegantly beautiful - he had seemed perfect. He was a pureblood Slytherin with the looks and charms to match. Back at Hogwarts, they were the couple.

At all those horrid pureblood parties at which they are guests, they still are.

He never says it, though.

Narcissa pretends he does, of course, when he is half-asleep and his murmurings are unintelligible, she pretends that Lucius issaying "I love you." It is a nice memory, one that keeps her sane and safe and warm when her own sister won't look her in the eyes anymore.

But she is foolish; she is young and she is free and she is, honest to Merlin, in love.

"Darling," Lucius drawls, flashing Narcissa his most charming, most beautiful, and most fatal smile, "the guests are waiting."

Narcissa blinks, and looks down at the tray of drinks balancing on the tip of her wand.

"You spent so much time arranging this party, dear; surely you should be more involved?" She nods frantically, and smiles up at her husband. "The nanny is looking after Draco - that toy wand is no use, I believe we need to get him a proper one, not those preposterous starter wands."

"Of course," Narcissa replies slowly.

"I have a business meeting tomorrow night," Lucius says offhandedly, "so I'll be back late." He sneers at her. "I'd recommend you going to see dear Bella at the weekend also - I won't be here."

"Of course not," she snaps back suddenly, earning a perfectly raised eyebrow and an even more cutting sneer. "Wouldn't want your wife to find one - or maybe two? - of your mistresses sleeping in her bed, now, would you?"

"The guests are waiting," he replies sharply, turning to leave the room. Just before he does so, however, he faces her with a cruel smile. "I'm surprised you think so little of me, Narcissa."

"Surprised? Why?" Narcissa scoffs.

"Why would I have multiple mistresses if I have you?" Lucius leans closer. "I do love you, but the guests are getting rowdy, darling."