Author's Notes: Written for the "Rhythmic Gymnastics" Event in the 2012 Hogwarts Games on the HPFC forum – write a songfic for your choice of song and pairing.

Song: Black Roses by Candice Night.


And so she'll wait amongst her old black roses,
Her whole life fading in and out of the wind.
I've loved, I've lost, my dreams were well worth the cost,
But my roses have always been around.

Too many lies, too many tears, too many hopes lost in too many years
Too many tries, such long goodbyes, when it all comes around we'll always be here.

It's cold out there
And frost hides the blue winter air
Her roses lay sleeping in the ground.

And so she'll wait amongst her old black roses
Her whole life fading in and out of the wind.

Too many lies, too many tears, too many hopes lost in too many years
Too many tries, such long goodbyes,

When it all comes around, we'll always be here.

~~Candice Night


"Don't go," Narcissa whispered urgently, twining her fingers through Rodolphus's hair and trying to hold his head still so that he would keep his eyes on her. "Rodolphus, please, let Bellatrix and Barty go on their own–"

"Rabastan wants to go," Rodolphus told her, trying to untangle her fingers from his hair.

"So let him and Bellatrix and Barty go, then! You needn't be there – they can fight without you…" There were tears in Narcissa's eyes and panic rising in her throat, but Rodolphus pushed her away firmly.

"Rabastan needs me."

"He's not a child!"

"You aren't either."

A tear spilled down Narcissa's cheek and she brushed it away quickly. "But Rod- you don't need to go, the Dark Lord has fallen… there's no reason to go…"

"I'm going." He put one hand on her chest and pushed her back again, so hard that she stumbled and went sprawling on the sofa. She was crying in earnest now.


He softened a bit and leaned down, wiping the tears from her cheeks. "Don't cry, Cissa… it's going to be all right. I'll be home in a few hours. I'll be fine – you know that I'll be fine."

"I know," Narcissa sniffed.

"No more tears, Cissa," Rodolphus told her, but he didn't sound tender. He was giving her an order, which was what he always did, always. He gave orders and Narcissa obeyed because it was all she knew how to do.

"Just wait for me," he told her quietly, then he Disapparated and she was left alone.

And so she waited.

She perched on the edge of the sofa, shifting and rocking slowly back and forth, twisting her hands in her lap until her nails tore her skin and she had to stop.

Narcissa was sure that it was unwise for Rodolphus – and Bellatrix and Rabastan and little Barty as well – to go to the Longbottoms' home. The Dark Lord had fallen and Narcissa was more than willing to accept that, but Bellatrix had been terribly sure that he was still alive somewhere, somehow, and that she would be able to find him and help him.

And she had been terribly sure that the Longbottoms knew where he was.

Lucius had tried to dissuade them, but no one had expected that to work. Bellatrix had her heart set on getting the information out of the Longbottoms and Barty had been eager to go along with her and prove that he could be of use to the Death Eaters despite his age, though Lucius had told him that if he really wanted to prove something, he shouldn't be wasting his time on a wild goose chase like this.

But Narcissa wouldn't have cared. If Bellatrix and Barty and even Rabastan had gone, she wouldn't have cared. Let them risk their lives. They could make those choices if they wanted to.

But she hadn't expected Rodolphus to go with him.

He loves his brother altogether too much, that is all.

Narcissa shuddered. She stood up and paced the parlour, plucking roses out of a vase and twisting them between her fingers until she was bloody from the thorns pricking her skin and until the stems were frayed, then dropped them to the ground with no care for cleanliness and drifted over to the sofa again. She pulled an old embroidery sampler from the shelf and pondered stitching on the floral design on it, but she had only black thread and could not think where she had put the other colours. It wasn't worth searching for them.

So she settled back on the couch and waited.

Why had she let Rodolphus go?

She could have stopped him. She was weak, but she could have found some way to stop him. He wouldn't have gone if she begged…

If you begged on your knees…

She swallowed, sickened by her own thoughts. Rodolphus loved her. He would not have gone…

Narcissa stood up and drifted to the window, staring out as if she expected Rodolphus to be out there, coming back up the walkway of Malfoy Manor, perhaps with a triumphant smile on his face. But she couldn't see, and when she opened the window and stared out into the night, the bitterly cold wind stung her face so badly that she had to draw back inside.

It was so cold out there.

There was a late autumn frost clinging to the windows, the leaves, the garden.

Bellatrix would have said that cold had taken over the world since the moment that the Dark Lord fell, but Narcissa did not – could not – think of it like that. She prayed that snow would fall soon, though it was too early for a seasonable snow, and that the world would lie sleeping beneath a blanket of snow…

That she would lie sleeping…

She didn't close the window when she returned to her seat. The cold wind drifted through the room and chilled her while she sat, unable to sleep.

The petals blew off the flowers and they swirled around her, caught in the breeze, and she waited among them for Rodolphus to return.

Lucius was the one who came to her, and who told her that Bellatrix, Barty, Rabastan and Rodolphus had been caught – that they had been taken away.

Narcissa refused to believe him.

She waited and waited for Rodolphus.

But he never came back.