Narcissa lay on the grass under the willows beside the lake. The world was a waterfall of pale green around her, a blue shimmer at her feet. Bees hummed drowsily between flowers, bobbing couriers of summer, and in the distance voices called out in play. It was a warm slumbering sort of Saturday, the type to spend with a book in your hand and your head on your lover’s lap, and nowhere and nothing better to do with yourself at all. Just drowse and bask, lizard-like, in the sun and company.
Except that Lily
had left her, and Narcissa didn’t think she’d ever feel warm again.
The first time she was shocked - an almost unimaginable reaction for Narcissa. She’d gravitated once more to Lily’s side, walking with her from the Great Hall down to the Potions classroom. When Lily stopped, halting Narcissa with a hand to the forearm, she’d lifted an eyebrow, indifferently curious. Lily leant forward and pressed her lips, soft, moist, tasting of fruit and custard, steadily against Narcissa’s. Narcissa gasped, and Lily was inside her mouth; hot and thrusting and nothing innocent at all, and a roll of slick heat running down her body, trailing shudders and butterflies. And suddenly she could draw air again, but only quick and shallow and oh, so...
The grin was wild and mischievous, the green eyes heated. Then Lily was bending forward and Narcissa’s breath evaporated again.
Familiar laughter sounded from the lake. Lily, her new plaything, his sidekicks and sycophants, squashed into two rowboats splashing insults and water at each other.
Lily saw her and waved. Waved. As if she were just some casual acquaintance, some occasional friend.
What was cold inside before, froze.
Potter looked over his shoulder at her and smiled. A small, smug little smile. Because, of course, he’d won. Because he was entitled to. Good, solid James Potter. Salt of the Earth. Champion of Gryffindor. Bane of Slytherin.
Sneaking, arrogant, self-righteous, bullying thief.
The sun refracted
off the water, blinding her, making her eyes water. She closed them and laid
her head back on the soft turf.
Lily. Lovely, lovely Lily. No pallid, swooning flower laid on graves and cultivated in darkness, but a vibrant bloom, flaunting colour, nurtured in sunlight. Her Tigerlily.
They’d found an abandoned classroom two corridors over from Charms. Narcissa performed the locking spells, Lily the transfigurations. Narcissa was no longer shocked, but eager; impatient to taste and touch and lose all sense of self. Lily had no more experience than she in anything more than kissing, so they’d learnt together the magic of the slow glide of palm on stomach and thighs, the lush blanketing of tongue and lips, the addictive stroke of fingers turning from gentle and sensuous to rough and urgent.
And when the
inferno died down, before Narcissa melted into sleep, she whispered words to
chain the sun.
A shadow fell across her. She opened her eyes to Lucius; tall and elegant, black school robes overformal for a weekend afternoon.
“Hiding?” he asked, although curiously enough there was no malice evident in the question.
“How can it be hiding if I’m in full view of the school?” she replied in even tones.
“Hiding in plain sight,” he said.
There was a little shock that he had noticed that of her.
“Have you thought about my proposal?” he continued.
She propped herself up on an elbow.
“All of them.”
“What choices do you have left, Narcissa?”
Unspoken: Now your Mudblood has made them for you both.
“There are always choices, Lucius. It’s just that most people are too afraid to take them.”
He smiled at her, covetous and sly.
“The same could be said for many things. Love. Power. Revenge.”
She listened to the truth and untruths secreted beneath his words, turning them over in her mind. In the greyed ice of his gaze, Narcissa could see every darkness of this world and the next.
Lucius reached down his hand to help her up. With a barely perceivable hesitation, she took it.