A/N: Well hello everyone! This is going to be a new multichapter, centring on the Malfoys post-war. Now I hear you guys think: you haven't even finished Sisterhood yet! I know, I know, mea culpa. I picked it up again after a long hiatus, but it's difficult to work on it since my writing style has changed so much since I started that. Just know that it will be finished eventually.
I do hope you'll enjoy it!
The first thing Narcissa noted about her surroundings was the silence. No footsteps in the corridors, no voices downstairs; no Death Eaters in her manor, no Dark Lord dealing out orders.
Next to her, Lucius was still asleep. He looked dishevelled and the last year had aged him as it had her. She let out a sigh and stared at the – very plain – ceiling. There was no chandelier hanging from it, no intricate ornaments. There was a cherub in the corner, which quite frankly she found unnerving.
An hour later, she was still staring at the ceiling and Lucius was still sleeping. He had stirred once or twice, but then he had fallen back asleep. Light was seeping through the curtains and she decided that she might as well get up. It promised to be a nice day. She snapped her fingers for a House Elf to bring her some tea. She couldn't start her morning if she hadn't had tea and sugar first.
No one came.
Irritated, she snapped them again.
Still no one came.
She fell back into the cushions as she realised that none would come for a very long time. No one would bring her tea anymore or cook her meals. No one would wash her clothes nor iron them. She'd have to learn how to use a stove and worst of all, she'd have to clean her house all by herself from now on, without any magic. She was no longer in Malfoy Manor. They had said goodbye to the Manor right after they'd seen Draco off to Hogwarts. She snorted. He at least got to use magic, even if it was in a place that would not be kind to him and would most likely shun him from social activities.
She glanced at Lucius again. How could he still be sleeping? How could he sleep as if nothing had happened? But then again, up until an hour ago, she had slept as if nothing had happened. And besides, he must be very tired from the trial.
She got out of bed eventually, pulling her night-robe close to shut out the cold of the Mansion. In a way, she and Lucius had been lucky. If it had not been for their incredulously well-filled vault at Gringotts, they might have ended up in a town house, like the Wilkins. Narcissa shuddered at the thought. At least they had a Mansion at their disposition. She walked over the clothes-room. It was dark and she had to think hard what to do to lighten the place. They had explained this to them. It was one of the things she had remembered, because it seemed rather simple than everything else they had tried to explain. But now it seemed like her mind was foggy and the answer wouldn't come. She opened the curtains and then she noticed a white button next to the door. The memory came back to her and she walked over to it, pushing it. At the ceiling, a light appeared and she was content to have managed that.
She took a look at the clothes and gasped in horror. They were hideous. And so… plain. She couldn't think of another word to describe them. They'd need new clothes, she decided immediately. It wouldn't do for a Malfoy to be dressed in anything like that. She picked a dress that was slightly less awful than the rest of them and put it on. There were no House Elves to button her dress, so she walked back into the bedroom. Lucius would have to do it then.
Thank Merlin, he was awake already. He could have a terrible mood if awoken rudely.
"Could you button my dress, dear?"
Lucius turned around in their bed and stared at her. A look of disapproval passed over his face. "What on earth are you wearing?"
"Trust me, it's the least disgusting one in there," she muttered and gestured vaguely in the direction she had just come from.
"You mean, the others are worse?"
She nodded wordlessly.
With more force than necessary, he buttoned her dress.
"Yours are in there as well. I haven't checked them, but I have a hunch they'll be just as bad as mine," Narcissa said.
"What have you gotten us into, Cissa?" he growled. "We could have been in our own Manor, with House Elves to serve us and clothes that would actually be befitting of a Malfoy instead of this… this…rubbish."
"No, we wouldn't," she snapped. "I would have been in our Manor. You would have been in Azkaban."
Lucius closed his mouth, looking sour. He knew she was right, but he didn't want to admit it. If it hadn't been for Narcissa's determination, he would be in a cell right now, where he would have been lucky to wear the prisoners' robe.
Narcissa huffed and stood up. "I'll see you downstairs," she said.
Downstairs, it took her fifteen minutes to locate the kitchen and she was starting to feel really annoyed. Why had she ever agreed to this anyway? She looked around, trying to find something that would be simple enough to prepare.
The sound of a bell rang and Narcissa froze.
"Who's there?" she called.
No answer came and Narcissa sighed as she remembered that this wasn't like the wards in the Manor. She would have to physically walk over to the door and open it. The bell kept ringing.
"Can't you do something about that noise, Cissa?" Lucius called from upstairs.
"I'm working on it!" she called back.
It took a bit of time to locate the front door, by which time the bell had rung another time. Really, it was just plain rude to ring it for so long.
She opened the door, irritation written all over her face. "Yes?"
A plump woman with auburn hair stood on her doorstep. She stuck out a hand. "Hildegard Gascoyne," she introduced herself. "I'm your guide during the programme."