Author's Notes: Written for silenced doubts' Song of the Week Mini-Competition #4 on the HPFC forum.

Song: Set Fire to the Rain by Adele
Pairing: Lucius/Narcissa

500 words. Enjoy!


When Narcissa had met Lucius, she had thought him the loveliest Pureblood gentleman that she could ever have hoped to know, and she had been overjoyed when her parents announced that she was to marry him. She waited for the day of the wedding eagerly, falling more and more deeply in love with him with every passing minute.

By the time the wedding arrived, by the time she was in his bed, Narcissa was so enamoured of the very idea of Lucius Malfoy that she could not have fallen out of love if she tried.

He rose with ease to the task of being the ideal husband for her. For months after their marriage, he still treated her the way he had when their courtship had begun – kissing her hand and holding doors for her and shooting her adoring smiles.

Everyone said how lucky Narcissa was.

But then… then things began to change.

It started when Lucius came home late one night. Narcissa had been waiting anxiously for him.

"Where were you?"

He laughed gently, embracing her and telling her not to worry, he had just been working late. But when the two of them lay in bed that night, Narcissa smelled an unfamiliar scent on him.

Perfume. Musky and spicy, the sort Narcissa never would have worn. And the smell of it was too strong for her to believe that the way it got on him was innocent.

After that, Narcissa started paying attention. All the things he'd say that weren't quite true – I'm having dinner with Crouch, we have some things to discuss… I'll be working late tonight… I need to go away this weekend, business, you know – began to bother her.

And then she found the note.

It was just a small scrap of parchment that she had found lying on his desk, but it had caught Narcissa's eye. Abandoning the search for a fresh bottle of ink that had led her into Lucius's study in the first place, she bent over it, reading the words written in oh-so-neat script.


Dinner tomorrow night? Frank will be out. I know you won't have any trouble getting past your wife. I'll see you then?



The parchment was perfumed with the same scent that had been on Lucius that first night he came home late.

And Narcissa had understood.

She had cried, first tears of sheer misery, then of increasing fury. How dare Lucius be unfaithful to her? And with this Alice woman! She was Narcissa Black, who could this Alice be that she was worth more than that?

Narcissa fled the study, back to the bedroom she and Lucius shared, her sobs now reaching a volume near to wailing. Mad with her fury, she tore her wedding ring off her finger and threw it as hard as she could into the fireplace, losing sight of it among the flames.

Then she dragged herself up onto the window seat and cried enough tears to quench a fire.