The idea of these two really intrigued me, and there was barely any exploration into what their dynamic may have been on here at all, so I decided to embark on my own. Yes, I know they're cousins. I don't think either of them would have been raised to mind. Happy reading x.
Pairing: Sirius Black, 19-20/Narcissa Black Mafloy, 24-25
Rating: T, for a tiny bit of swearing and (hopefully?) more than a tiny bit of sexual tension
"Are you alright?"
Sirius starts at the familiar voice, cursing his worry-laden inattention and quickly throwing his body into a defensive stance, hackles raised, wand at the ready.
Narcissa Black Malfoy blinks back at him somewhat shamefacedly.
"It's- there's no one else here. I was just passing by. I recognized your bike."
Sirius only stares. His older cousin looks completely unlike herself. Her usually smooth blond hair has rebelled in the humidity of late spring, frizzing slightly into a golden halo around her head. There is lushness to her, almost as if she has ripened- her skin is flushed, her lips are fuller, and her body is softer. Instead of her usual corseted, perfectly fitted dress, she wears one that flows coolly past her torso and pools just above her un-heeled shoes. Unbidden, his eyes drop towards the swollen abdomen that it just barely conceals. The inside of her left forearm remains unblemished.
His gaze quickly resettles on her face. Her expression is more open than he has seen in years. There is a barely concealed, slightly manic glint in her eyes. Sirius knows, from experience with his best friend's pregnant wife, that he must proceed with caution.
He relaxes his stance and carefully turns, once again, to face row upon row of muggle bike equipment.
"You shouldn't be wandering around by yourself in these times, Narcissa. Go back to your manor; take advantage of your husband's protection."
The words come out with less disdain than he would have liked. Out of the corner of his eye, he can see something like restlessness snake its way through her body. It is a feeling that he is all too well acquainted with.
"I just- I wanted to walk somewhere! Muggle London can't possibly be more dangerous than Diagon Alley at this point, can it?"
There is a childlike earnestness in her voice that needles at him, whispering that he should turn and regard her fully once again. He studies the parts in front of him resolutely. He knows what will happen otherwise. She throws out larger bait.
"Besides, you're here."
The air is heavy between them, and he quickly cuts through it with a sharp bark of in-genuine laughter.
"Really, Cissy? Does that castle you live in not have enough leg room? I can't imagine your husband approving of you exposing his unborn spawn to the muggle world. What if it comes out half-decent?"
He makes the mistake of glancing at her in the recklessness of his mockery, and she catches him in her unobstructed blue gaze.
"My son will be born with as good a heart as any other child."
The air inside of the shop is stifling, and his leather jacket feels as if it is beginning to stick to him. Sirius turns towards the machinery once again, angry at himself for reasons he does not wish to contemplate. His next words are released in a low growl.
"A bastard child, then?"
Narcissa turns to contemplate the items on the shelf for a few moments as well, before cocking her head and regarding him with a pregnant woman's wisdom.
"My husband is not evil."
"I'd beg to differ."
"You still regard the world with the naivety of a child."
"You still regard people with the naivety of a child."
"How many times must I tell you, Sirius, that the world is not divided into good and evil? People are far more complicated that you are willing to acknowledge. There is light and dark-"
"-in all of us, I know. But, Cissy, it's the part we chose to act on that shows what we really are. Your husband chooses to act on the dark. Whatever light there may be inside of him, it doesn't matter."
They are looking at each other again. She holds his gaze captive, as she has always been able to, and then swings her own forward.
"It's still not that simple, Sirius. Choices mean different things to different people. You cannot abandon the people who love you just because they're not as good as you are."
He bristles at this. It was a perfectly-aimed jibe, constructed with the delicate manipulative prowess that the female line of his family has always excelled in. He does not care that letting his anger show by glowering at her, seeking out her gaze for the first time since the start of her conversation, is a victory for her side. He begins to growl again.
"I've abandoned my loved ones, have I? You, of all fucking people- have you talked to Andromeda lately, Narcissa? Reme-"
"I'm still in contact with Andromeda."
She kills his rage with a few words, without even glancing his way, and he can do nothing but continue to stare, stunned and speechless. She is still winning.
"I've never seen you at her house."
"Of course you haven't."
"She's never mentioned you."
"Of course she hasn't."
"Does Lucius know?"
"Of course he doesn't."
The full implication of what she's saying hits him. Panic begins to creep into his soul. His hand hovers is a hairsbreadth away from his wand out of habit.
"Are you absolutely sure? Cissy, this-"
"I'm sure. Lucius knows nothing."
"But He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named could always extract the information out of you."
He regrets saying it almost immediately. However much his posturing may indicate otherwise, he does not like acknowledging that she is privy to such situations, does not like imagining her in them. Naricssa has always been pure. Narcissa has managed to remain pure, despite surrounding herself with the tainted. Her arms are as pale and as spotless as they have ever been. The hairs on the nape of his neck rise in agitation irregardless.
As if sensing his distress, she turns and holds him in a steady gaze.
"No, he couldn't. I'm a very talented Occlumens."
"But Bellatrix would-"
Her perfectly sculpted eyebrows arrange themselves into an arch look.
"Do you really think that Bella is a better Legilimens than the Dark Lord? Besides, she has too much pride. She hates Andy, she loves me and she knows that I love her too. It would never even enter her mind."
Her use of the subservient title suddenly reminds him that they are on opposite sides of this war, which she is winning, and he idly wonders what he's been doing all of this time. Her guard has been down from the outset, after all.
"Bellatrix would kill Andy without missing a beat if given opportunity. She would love to kill Andy. Just like she would love to kill me, even you, if you gave her a reason, and yet you still say that you love her- while still speaking to me and Andy like it's a non-issue?"
He relishes in the victory of seeing a bit of the placidness drain out of her body. She looks at him in a frank and almost tired way, as if she has had this conversation many times before.
"Bella is insane. You know that. Everybody knows that. I cannot abandon Bella."
He is sure, then, that she has had this conversation before; with Andromeda, surely, and perhaps even with her husband. The idea strikes an unpleasant chord within him, but he throws it aside and charges on with his offense while he has the advantage.
"And what of your husband? Wouldn't he kill her, me? Aren't you betraying his cause?"
"His cause is exactly that, his. Lucius is not a cold-blooded murderer. He seeks protection."
"He seeks power."
"Is there a difference?"
"There can be. There are other ways, Cissy. You keep secrets from him."
"He knows that I do. He keeps secrets from me too. It's for the best. It protects us all."
"But is that love?"
He has advanced on her physically in tandem with his tactical advances, and now they are too close. He has the wild urge to throw his jacket off and grab her and muss her hair further. He can see the tell-tale specks of grey in her dilated blue eyes and feel the electric, hormone-ridden heat rolling off of her in waves, causing the flush in her skin to darken and spread ways that are far more familiar than he will ever be inclined to admit. She is almost panting.
The word relays nothing of its context and is instead breathy and filled with a kind of repressed longing that is too familiar. His mind becomes littered with whispers of ambiguities and double-meanings, all blending into white noise as his breath shallows and he is overcome with the feeling of preparing to jump off of a high edge into something oceanic, all-encompassing and dangerous. It would be relief from this unrelenting heat, he thinks, this uncomfortable, agonizing state of being.
He is vaguely aware of a crash somewhere outside of his consciousness, and it is only his war-sharpened paranoia that persuades him to drag himself out of his intoxicated state so as to assess the situation at hand. A toddler, a little boy, stands no more than a meter away from them, wide-eyed and with a broken toy motorcycle at his feet. Narcissa, he notices, is looking the child with an odd sense of trepidation, worrying her already swollen bottom lip between her teeth. One of her hands rests on her protruding stomach, as if having drifted there of its own volition. Sirius is suddenly overcome with the odd urge to laugh, and instead distracts himself by bending down to the boy's level and muttering a quiet reparo while distracting innocent eyes with a bit of showmanship. The boy laughs in the unadulterated way that only children can, and Sirius cannot help but smile back. He hands the newly fixed toy back with a wink and watches as the child scampers off, suddenly realizing that he would like nothing more than to run off after him. He doesn't want to do this, not again. He wants to get on his motorcycle and soar off into the cool afternoon sky.
But he is a Gryffindor, and running away would be cowardly and ignoble, so he eases back up and turns around. She is facing the aisle of machinery, once again, but her hair is not as quick as her feet and the way in which it sways tells him that she had been watching him. She has picked one of the items off of the shelf and examines it with the air of someone trying to disassemble a bomb. He cannot stop himself from smiling at her, and decides that he really must be as insane as the rest of his family.
She glances up at him in a way that suggests having just noticed his presence beside her.
"You asked me if I was alright, earlier. I'm fine."
He watches as the gears click into place, and then as a smirk eerily reminiscent of her husband's blooms on her visage. It is a mask, he knows. He looks away.
"You've always been a bad liar."
"Most of our old professors would disagree."
"They were worse. How has your lady friend been treating you?"
He turns guarded, tense, at the change of subject. His posture is defensive once again, his hand ready at his wand.
"Oh, don't give me that. I know her you, know. I like her. I'm glad you've finally found someone."
She is speaking to the piece of metal in her hands and is clearly more uncomfortable than she intended to be. He says nothing, not wanting to make it easier for her. But she is resourceful, a Slytherin, so she makes it easier for herself by making it harder for him.
"I think you should marry her, you know, have children together. They would be beautiful and smart. You'd make a good father."
He's always thought that he'd make a horrible father. Even his impending godfatherdom terrifies him. He abandoned his own family; she knows this- enough to exploit it as a weak point. He is flighty and reckless. He has spent his entirely life rebelling against authority. He was a bully in school. There is madness in his blood. It is only James who keeps him sane.
He hates her. He hates that he doesn't understand her and he hates that she understands him.
There is an oddly wistful look on her face, however, and he can't bring himself to disrupt it with anything directly impolite.
"This isn't really the most ideal atmosphere to start a family in."
Her hand strays to her stomach again, and her mask slips. Behind it, her eyes are shadowed with the burden of having seen too much. It is a feeling that he is familiar with. He almost wishes that she had kept it on.
"No, it isn't. Sirius, I know. I've heard about it, the prophesy."
Alarms should be ringing in his head by this point, he knows. He should be reaching for his wand. He should be kidnaping her so as to get information out of her for the Order- but he cannot. His mind does not. He hates her, because she belongs on the side of the light, because she knows the difference between right and wrong as well as he does and has chosen a different path from him anyway.
"If you ever need anything, you know how to reach me. I don't know what I can do, but I don't abandon the people I care about."
"You look after your own."
It is scathing. It's an insult. She would save him, put her own life on the line for him, but not for the little muggle boy who had been standing so close to her only moments ago?
"I do what I can."
But no, that's not true. Narcissa, he knows, would not hurt the little boy. Narcissa is only on the side that would because the majority of the people she loves are, and she cannot bring herself to leave them alone in the darkness. Narcissa is extraordinarily complicated, independently minded and rebellious in ways that even Sirius cannot fathom. He is convinced that she is not of this world. She is delusional, is fooling herself. He hates her.
"Stop this, Cissy. You know this isn't going to last. You have a son on the way. Your husband is in He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's favour now, but how long will he be able to stay there? You-Know-Who is a psychopath. There's no guarantee with him, your husband is mortal. As soon as puts even a toe out of line, you'll be targeted. He'll punish him by coming after you. He'll use your son. You'll lose everything, Cissy. Stop this. You're not like them. You're not even like Andy. You're like me. You understand. The Order will help. They'll keep you and your son in hiding. You'll be safe."
Come with me. Come with me. I'll protect you. You don't need him. Come with me.
It is desperate to even his own ears, but he doesn't care. These are desperate times.
She does not look at him, but he can see that she is trembling. He wants to reach out and steady her, but he is so much closer to winning than he has ever been that he dares not move.
"I can't, Sirius. I can't leave Lucius, I-"
"So you'll let him ruin you? He'll ruin your son! Corrupt him! Lead him on the wrong path and then to his death! Do you think that's love, Narcissa? Do you think that's what men do to the women that they love?"
She is closer to tears than he has ever seen her; he has never seen Narcissa cry. Lucius, he knows, probably has. He hates him.
He knows what she wants to say, knows what she wants to yell and scream at him amidst tears. He wants her to say it, wants her to be reckless and throw it into the open air, wants her to finally acknowledge its existence. He wants to shake it out of her when she doesn't. He watches, instead, as she carefully composes herself, shutting her tears away for a later time and denying him of her vulnerability and honestly. He hates her.
"If my son's safety is ever called into question, I will know where to go for guidance and protection."
He takes it, because he's not going to get anything better from her.
"I'll do the best that I can."
A beat passes between them, and the familiar heaviness of resignation fills the air once again.
"What were you going to buy from here, anyway? Something for your bike, right?"
He blinks at her, remembering why he had allowed himself to drift into troubled reverie in the first place. He then turns and walks leisurely towards the door, unable to stop himself from throwing a belated "didn't have the part I needed" over his shoulder to placate her offended expression. She follows, waddling, really, and laughing in a way that she hasn't since they were children. Her eyes gleam playfully at the sight of his bike.
"You know, I've never been on a motorcycle, magic or otherwise."
He raises an eyebrow at the implication and looks pointedly at her belly.
"I don't think that's the best idea."
"Are you saying that I'm too fat to fit on your motorcycle?"
"No," he retorts, amused "I-"
And, for some reason, it's suddenly too much for him. Perhaps it is because they've begun to play at domesticity, or perhaps it is because they're out in the open, under the sun, and she is smiling at him in an uninhibited way, but he can't bear to be around her any longer.
She is still looking at him, expectantly and in good humour. He looks away.
"I think you should go home."
"Oh, right, of course."
An awkward silence stretches between them. Sirius has to imagine that his feet are planted in the ground to keep from leaving.
"Will you come see the baby, after he's born?"
"I don't know if I'll be able to. When is he due?"
"Later this month."
"Well, if I can manage it."
She appears so small then, so pregnant, that he cannot help but draw the conversation out a bit more.
"Have you picked a name for him, yet?"
"Yes, would you like to hear it?"
"I don't know; will I die of laughter?"
"Draco Lucius Malfoy."
He snorts, unable to help himself.
"That's one hell of a name."
"I think it's just as good as yours, Sirius Black."
"You would adhere to that ridiculous tradition. Even Andromeda did, I was so disappointed in her."
"Nymphadora is a beautiful name."
"And what's this trend with the father's name? Even James is playing along."
"Is he really?"
He watches her eyebrows twitch as he adjusts his helmet and decides to save her the trouble.
"Harry James Potter."
She blinks at him in surprise.
"Think of it as a parting gift."
"It's lovely. Very simple and… English. I like it."
"I do, too."
"Will you be his godfather?"
"He'll have fun growing up with you, I'm sure."
"Because you had fun growing up with me, Cissy?"
She captures him in her cobalt gaze for the last time, crinkling her nose in an entirely un-lady like display of frivolousness before leaning over his bike to kiss his cheek.
"Something like that. Good bye, Sirius."
She appariates away before he has the chance to make a dramatic exit on his bike.
He hates her.