The clock moved slowly, the steady noise ringing in her perfect apricot ears. The finery of the guest living room was barely any sort of distraction in the practically empty house; the only other living creatures within at the moment were the House Elves and Lucius' owl hooting from the open window. Narcissa turned another page in her book and reached for her cup of tea.

The waiting was tedious and worrisome. She did not ask questions of what he did with his friends. In truth, she really did not care to know. It was easier not too. Because when he came home, she could just pretend he was out playing cards and not inspiring terror in other people with her sister. It was a nice fantasy she lived in, delusional, but pleasant. Narcissa knew what was going on when she married him. Her love drove her to ignore how it would affect her and her plans for their life together.

She set the cup down and stared at the open page of her book, not reading the words before her as the clock ticked on the wall.


She never anticipated the loneliness of waiting.


He said he would be home by eleven.


She could have sworn it was eleven fifteen minutes ago.


What if something had happened to him?


That clock seems to be ticking backwards. It would have to be repaired.

She snapped the book shut and sat up to adjust the pillow behind her and lay back down. As formal as the room was, the couch was very comfortable. Lucius had his opinion that nice looking couches should also be comfortable. He seemed preparing in advance in the (increasingly likely) event she kicked him out of the marital bed. Smart move, especially if this waiting for him was going to become a regular occurrence. It was the fourth time this week she had waited up for him. She should do something about this, it was unacceptable and would become more so if she let it become a habit of his. How would she fulfill her wifely duties if she constantly banished her husband from the bedroom? Immaculate conception?

Narcissa had been wondering about babies and children lately. Not just as a duty to her husband and his family name, but to raise and love as a mother. She was starting to get maternal with the owl, telling it to be careful, don't wander to far and slipping it extra treats. Maybe it time to really start thinking about that and discuss it with her husband?

She stretched her arms over her head before sitting up again deciding that the children discussion would come up at the first opportunity. One would be excellent, and then she would not have to divide her attentions between multiple children. Just one to watch, a lack of parental observation had been a contributing factor in Andromeda being able to run off with that Mudblood. Andromeda had a little girl now, with an unusual name even by Black family standards. Narcissa got to her feet and set her book on the table and walked out and down a long elaborate hallway and towards the living room with the fireplace connected to the floo network.

A boy was a must to carry on the Malfoy name. If they had a girl first, then they would have to try again for the boy to inherit the Malfoy estate, which traditionally went to the eldest son, daughters were set up with a nice dowry to entice marriage to respectable pureblood wizards. Though if the child were a girl, she would also be set up with some of the money Narcissa had squared away that would be for her use alone apart from the dowry. Cassiopeia would be a lovely name for a girl. Narcissa was thinking that Draco would be a great name for a boy, it sounded very strong.

Of course she would need to discuss it with Lucius when the time came. Though she would take his opinion into account, she was certain he would not put up too much of a fight in the area of baby names.

It would be nice to fill this large house with a little more noise. It was a little creepy to knock around the manor by herself, aside from the House Elves, and they tended not to make themselves seen by the lord and lady of the house. They kept the manor clean from the shadows as was proper. Not skulking around like her aunt's dearly devoted beast Kreecher.

There was a faint noise from the fireplace, a couple of mumbled swears before the inevitable thud of someone large falling onto the floor. Narcissa turned on her heel and walked rapidly towards the noise. She flipped her pale blonde hair over her shoulder in an attempt to look a little more intimidating, it worked for Bella in school, and the same principle should still apply.

His back was to the too the corridor that Narcissa was standing at the entrance of, she leaned her shoulder against the wall and crossed her arms in front of her chest, her mouth became a thin line and her brow furrowed with agitation. It would do her no good to speak; it would ruin the whole effect of getting a few small changes made to her marriage.

Her little circle of friends had told her that it was rare for a man to adjust immediately to marriage after a few years of bachelorhood. They said she needed to lay down the law early, in a gentle way, starting with little issues. Then he would bend to her will in other larger matters.

Narcissa kept her face impassive as Lucius turned and found himself staring at his displeased young wife. He seemed to be weighing whether or not it would dig him into a deeper hole to speak or not. He stayed silent; Narcissa could not say she married a fool.

"I am displeased with the way you have been carrying on lately." Narcissa started, Lucius looked suitably abashed. "This is the fourth time this week you have been out late gallivanting around with your friends. While I do not disapprove of that, Merlin knows I have my own friends. It is your consistent disregard for the time that I find frustrating."

Last but not least, her circle of friends had told her to be firm, and not to yield to a puppy like expression that men were prone to use in times of trouble with their better halves.

"I'm sorry, dear, I just lost track of the time." He walked forward to pull her into his arms and stopped when he realized that Narcissa had not changed her expression at his apology and had not moved at all.

Narcissa's smile was frosty. "You have watches Lucius, perhaps it's time you started wearing them." She gave him another cold gaze before speaking again. "To make sure that this lesson sinks in, I am going to bed, alone." She pulled her wand out of her sleeve and summoned a blanket and pillow from one of the guest bedrooms and put them on the couch by the fireplace. "We'll talk more about it in the morning."

Narcissa turned on her heel and walked down the corridor, she allowed herself a victorious smile when she closed the bedroom door behind her. Lucius would have the rest of the night to dwell on his mistakes.


AN: I've always pegged Narcissa to be the one who was really in charge of that house for some reason.


That clock seems to be ticking backwards


Last but not least