Author's Notes: Written for Lady Phoenix Fire Rose's Pairing One Hour Challenge/Hardest Challenge Ever on the HPFC Forum with the pairing Narcissa/Rodolphus and the prompt "It's cold outside".

Also for "Begging" on my kink_bingo card.


Tears misted Narcissa's eyes while she watched Rodolphus pace up and down the length of his bedroom. He looked so thin, so weak from Azkaban and she wished that he would lie down and rest, but no, she could sense his anger and knew that she would be the one to endure it.

"You never came to see me while I was in Azkaban," he hissed at last. "Not even once."

"I couldn't, Rod," she said quietly. "You know that I couldn't–"

"I would have begged you to save me, if you had been there," Rodolphus snapped, all bitterness. He turned his eye upon Narcissa, his face contorting with disgust. "I would have begged you to save me."

"I couldn't have," she whispered. "I couldn't have done, Rodolphus… you know…"

"You make me sick!" he spat. "You stupid- stupid little girl, didn't you ever think that I might have wanted to see you? You don't know what it was like in there!" He grabbed her by her shoulders and shook her, and though he was not strong, he was still strong enough to make Narcissa hurt. "Do you understand what it was like for me, every day, hoping that you would come to see me–"

"I couldn't, Rodolphus!" she cried as she tried to push his hands away. "What would people have thought?"

"You cared more about your reputation than about me?"

"That's not what I meant!" Narcissa buried her face in her hands and let out a strangled sob. "I love you, Rodolphus, you know that I do…"

"You disgust me!"

"Forgive me," she whispered, her voice choking. "Forgive me, please, Rod, please forgive me…"

There was a brief silence, then he grabbed her by her long, fair hair and pulled her head back so that she was looking up at him. Her cheeks were wet with tears and her lips trembled as she tried to keep her hiccupping tears silent.

"Beg me," he hissed. "Beg me like I would have begged you if you had come for me."

"Please," she whispered immediately. She brushed the tears from her eyes and looked up at him desperately. "Please forgive me, Rodolphus, I cannot bear to have you angry with me. You are everything to me, Rodolphus and I- I couldn't- go on without you–" Her voice choked with tears again and she saw a small smile creep onto his face.

"Quite so," he said quietly. "Quite so."

"I- all I want is for you to love me…" He had released his grip on her hair and she sank shakily to her knees, folding her hands at her breast as though in prayer. "I would- I would do anything for you, Rodolphus… I- I will gladly do- whatever it is you want from me, whatever will make you forgive me… I beg you, Rodolphus…"

He placed his hand gently upon her hair, stroking it slowly with his rough fingers.

"I should go," he told her quietly, simply, and for the first time since Azkaban, she thought that she heard a bit of his old, velvety purr in his voice.

"Don't go, Rodolphus," she whispered. "Please don't… it's cold outside…"

"You think I should stay here?"

"Yes," Narcissa whispered. She leaned forward a bit, pressing her cheek against his lower stomach, placing her hands on his hips in the guise of an embrace while she looked up at him with the sweetest expression that she could muster. "I think that you should stay here." Then, softly, seductively, tantalizingly, "You should stay here so that I can keep you warm."