Summary: It hurts to see how much he's changed.
Characters/Pairings: Narcissa Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy
Word Count: 1526
They’d been fighting again. Had been shouting, insulting each other... As if they wanted nothing more than to hurt. As if they both had forgotten they’d once loved each other. He had left without a word of goodbye, had closed the door behind his back and not yet come back again. Had run away like a coward, had just walked away from her, leaving her behind in tears.
She did not cry in his presence, no did not dare to show any emotion, not even joy. But when had she last felt joy... She could not remember. Had no memory of when she’d last been happy in her life.
She had been, once, she knew it. But it all seemed so far away to her, as if it had been such long time ago. As if it had been in a former life.
Lucius had changed so much over the years... The gentle, loving man had completely disappeared, had been replaced by a much colder, harsher self. It had almost broken Narcissa’s heart to watch him.
She, too, had changed, of course. Had allowed her heart to become stone, hoping she wouldn’t get hurt any more. Her face had lost all softness, her piercing blue eyes had lost their shine. Had become bleak, like his. Sometimes she wished she knew what had happened between them, what had changed them so much. What had made their devotion disappear.
They had once loved each other so pasisonately, had been unable to spend only a day separated. They had once looked at each other, their gazes so full of love... If she looked into his eyes now, she’d only see hate. Despise.
But he... He would never look at her anymore, lived his own life, only noticing her if he wanted her.
He probably even had his affairs, besides her, she did not know. And, to be honest, she had stopped bothering about this. He used to be everything to her once, used to be her life... But now? Now he was nothing more than an duty.
She’d always fulfill her obligations as a wife, would always sleep with him, whenever he wanted, but kept on telling herself that she had lost any emotion. Kept on telling herself she’d feel nothing. Absolutely nothing, that she’d become numb. A doll, will-less. Just here to serve her husband.
But no, no, she was not a doll, was not will-less...
Narcissa knew she’d never be able to separate from him, she knew she’d be forced to continue living her life like this, to continue serving him, until she died.
She whiped away her tears, turning away from the door. He could not hurt her... She’d been trying to persuade herself that he would not be able to hurt her for years, that he’d not be able to hurt her by what he said, by what he did... That she did not care about how he treated her...
But she did. She did care. She was a human, not a piece of dirt... And she, too, had feelings. He had forbidden her to show any emotion, had forbidden her to cry... Probably he only hurt her to see if she obeyed.
She envied her sister Bellatrix, who married without love, but but who at least seemed to be content with her life... Rodolphus treated her well, like a sister, not like a wife.
Or Andromeda, who had been disowned by her family, but who was happier than anyone else...
They all had married shortly after they graduated from school, they all had been so lucky with their husbands... All. Except Narcissa. Sometimes she wondered if she still had married Lucius, knowing he’d be like in future. Knowing how much he would change. Probably she had. She knew about her duties, unlike Andromeda, who had just followed her heart. She knew about the expectations, lying heavily on her shoulders, as if they were about to crush her.
“Why?“ she asked herself, over and over again. Why her, why was it her to marry someone like Lucius, to fall in love with a man like him? Why had she not sensed what would happen to her...
What he had said to her just a few hours before had broken her heart, had torn it into a thousand pieces. He had never touched her before, had never beaten her. But his words had hurt her more than anything else. Had left injuries, much more severe than the ones physical could ever be. Had left injuries, that could never be healed again.
Even if he tried, he’d never be able to hurt her any mor than he had now. He’d been successful. He had broken her.
“You don’t know what you’re saying,“ she’d whispered, after he first had started to shout at her, to insult her, after just a little dissension. She did not even remember what it had been about... “You don’t knwo what you#re saying!“
He had taken a step forwards, heavily breathing, his grey eyes glistening with anger. “Don’t you dare raise your voice against me in my house,“ he hissed. But Narcissa just laughed. “Is this supposed to be a threat?“ she asked. “Don’t be ridiculous. We both know that there is no point in threatening me. You can’t hurt me anymore. And... What would you do to me? You can’t throw me out of the house, and you are very much aware of that, even if it might be your greatest desire. So... What would you do? Beat me? Curse me? Or lock me into my room? You’re too much of a coward for all of these things...“
Lucius seemed to be furious. He looked straight into her eyes, as if he wanted to force her to turn away. Now it was him to start whipsering. “I should never have married you...“
He came so close that she could feel his hot breath against her ear while he spoke the words... “I should never have chosen you, should never have chosen you out of every girl at school... You’re only mortifying, both our families. You’re not worth calling yourself a Black... Nor a Malfoy... You think you’re a honorable lady, but you’re nothing... Anyone would have been better than you, anyone... Even blood traitors and Muggle borns.“
Narcissa closed her eyes, for no longer than a second. “Anyone’s better than me...“ she repeated, quietly, her voice husky. “Even...“
She was unable to continue talking. Unable to believe what she had heard, what he had said... This had not been anger speaking, this had not been only words... He had been serious about what he said. Had believed every word he had spoken...
“Out,“ she said eventually, now finally turning away from him. “Get out of that room!“
But he just looked at her. Forced her to turn around again, to look into his face... To see him smile. A cruel, satisfied smile. As if he had reached what he wanted. Now it was him to turn around, slowly, quietly leaving the room, without a further word. Leaving her behind while tears started to stream down her face.
Of course it had not been only him. Of course, Narcissa had made her mistakes too, by provoking him.
She closed her eyes, trying to suppress a sob. She could scream, scream with anger and despair... But she remained quiet. Took a candlestick instead, throwing it against the wall... Not even noticing the frightened shriek of a tiny black owl that had dropped an envelope down to the floor and escaped through the same opened window it had come from. Having a quick glance at the letter, Narcissa recognized her name written on the parchment, but turned away again, not willing to touch it, to even look at it... But then she sank down on her knees, slowly, carefully opening the envelope while rising again. She did not recognize the handwriting on the letter, but even if she knew who’d written her, she would not care. Would not care about anything happening at the moment.
The Order knew about our plans. None of us expected a battle tonight. They lost some people, but so did we. Lucius was one of them. I’m sorry Cissa.
I’m free. Narcissa could not think of anything else, but just... Freedom. She was free again... Free... It took her a while to actually realize what had happened. To understand that he’d be gone, gone forever. That he’d left her. She closed her eyes, crushing the parchment in her hands. “He’s gone...“ she whispered, over and over again. “He’s gone...“
Now she really started to scream, could not suppress her feelings any longer. She screamed, as loud as she could, sobbed, even cursed... Until she sank down to the floor, gasping for breath with exhaustion, her eyes still closed, but wet with tears. She had been mistaken. She had been so mistaken... He indeed was able to hurt her more than he did, he was able to break her, to tear her heart, her soul into pieces. To leave her speechless. And he had waited until the end to do so.