Author's Notes: Written for the first challenge in the Quidditch European Cup Competition on the HPFC forum. I'm on the Applyby Arrows team.
A Marauders Generation One Shot using the prompts: rain, ribbon, reflection, the genre must include friendship, tragedy or adventure.
Warning: Contains implications of father/daughter incest and child abuse.
On Narcissa's wedding night, she sat at her mirror and stared into the cold, emotionless eyes of her reflection. All day, while she had been groomed by her sisters and mother and all but dragged down the aisle to meet her husband, she had had the same impassive expression on her face. Not allowing herself any emotion at all had been the only way she had known to stop herself from crying.
She looked, she thought clinically, pretty. She always looked pretty – it was something that her father had told her that she was more times than she had ever wished to count.
He told her she was pretty when he put his hands on her hair and stroked it back and laid those kisses on it…
You will not think of that on your wedding night.
She pressed her hands to her eyes and breathed deeply.
No more of this, Cissa. Control yourself.
Narcissa raised her head and looked into the mirror, managing a smile. It looked weak and it wavered, but it was better than her actually appearing as miserable as she was. She tried to widen her smile, but that made her look grotesque, like a caricature or a mask.
Dear God, why am I married?
She hadn't wanted to be married in the first place, she hadn't ever. She had pretended that she did, but the whole idea did nothing for her but bore her. Oh, the flowers and pretty dresses and music were pleasant enough, but that wasn't what the wedding was. Narcissa wouldn't have minded it at all if she had been all dressed in ribbons and lace and paraded down the aisle and then was allowed to go back home to her real life.
To her real life, with her father's hands on her instead of her husband's–
"Stop it," she whispered to herself, standing up and crossing to the window so that she didn't need to look at herself in the mirror anymore. It sickened her to see the scared little girl in her eyes when she should have been strong, adult, womanly. She rested her forehead upon the glass, watching rain run down it from outside.
She had heard that it was terrible luck for women to be married in the rain, and she did not doubt it. The water ran in little rivulets on the other side of the glass, and Narcissa wished that she could put her hands out into it and feel it pounding against her skin, cool and pleasant…
Narcissa didn't look behind her, but she could see the reflection of the door opening and Lucius stepping into the room. He hovered behind her. "Is something wrong, my darling?"
Don't call me your darling.
She could hear her father whispering it in her ear – darling, princess, Cissy, love…
Narcissa let her hand slip down off the glass, staring outside with eyes glazed over with tears that she would not let fall.
"Do you love me, Lucius?" she asked quietly.
"Now, Cissy, what sort of question is that? Of course I do." Lucius's voice was soft, warmer than it should have been, and he moved close behind Narcissa, wrapping his arms around her waist. He smelled sweetly of cologne, the same sort that her father had used.
She closed her eyes and let tears spill down from beneath her lashes.
"Cissy?" Lucius sounded panicked and he spun her around, brushing the teardrops from her cheeks. "Cissy, my darling, tell me what's wrong."
"I can't," she said, her voice choking. "I can't tell…"
"You can tell me anything, my love," he whispered, and he touched her cheek again, but Narcissa could only shake her head and let the silent tears stream down her face.
She couldn't tell Lucius.
She couldn't tell him what her father had done to her in the dead of night for all those years, and how when Lucius put his hands on her, that was what came to her mind. She could only be still and silent and hope that he would never know.
"I can't," she said quietly, and, to her most profound relief, Lucius did not press the point any further.