Summary: Never has Narcissa seen her husband show any regret for his deeds, except in his sleep.
Warnings: Alcohol addiction, mentions of verbal abuse
Word Count: 845
Notes: Written for the mini Christmas fest over at hp_emofest
He’d not been talking to her the entire day. Had refused to speak, to even look at her, angry for a reason she did not know. What had she done to him, she asked herself in her thoughts, over and over again, not finding a solution. She wanted to reach out her hand, wanted to touch him, to stroke over his tender skin, telling him she was sorry, but she wouldn’t. Of course she wouldn’t.
How many times had she tried to get away from him already, how many times had she tried to leave, to just leave and never look back at him. But had she ever had the power to leave? Had she ever had the power to hate him, to despise him as much as he deserved to be despised? No. She loved him, still, even after he’d insulted her, even after he’d lied to her for so many times, perhaps even cheated on her. Unawareness seemed to crush her, to almost kill her, but what should she do? Ask him? No.
The war had changed him, had changed them all; changed them, broken them, torn their hopes into pieces. Narcissa had changed, too, of course, would barely recognize herself any more when looking at the mirror. She’d become thin, pale, almost like a ghost. But she’d stopped caring about her appearance, long ago. It had not been the war that had broken her, no. It had been him.
Slowly she turned around to look at him, to watch over his sleep. Was he really asleep? Or would he only keep his eyes closed in order not to be forced to talk to her?
He’d loved her once, once he’d been gentle to her, looking at her, his eyes full of warmth and softness. But these times were long gone; Narcissa barely had memory of the day he’d last kissed her. How could the years have changed him so much, how could they have made his love for her fade away like an old painting’s colour? Why couldn’t he love her, still, why couldn't he-
How many times had she asked herself what she’d done to deserve this, what she’d done to be punished in a way like this. Never would she forget the night she’d first found him drunk, too drunk to even walk. She’d brought him to bed, too ashamed of asking one of the elves to do so, had taken care of him like of a child, watching over his sleep, and had cried the entire night.
He doesn’t know what he’s saying, she’d told herself once he’d started to spit out insults, calling her dirty, unworthy of marrying into the noble house of Malfoy, unworthy of being their son’s mother. Lucius doesn’t know what he’s saying. He will wake up again. It will be all right again.
How foolish had she been, how naïve… It had gotten worse and worse with every night, with every night he’d drunk more. She should have left him in the minute he’d raised his voice against her, but she’d waited, had always waited until it had been too late. Would she ever go? No. She was not strong enough to go, had never been strong enough to just leave him.
Couldn’t he see what he did to her? Couldn’t he see that he was breaking her with his words, tearing her heart into a thousand pieces?
Quickly Narcissa covered her face with her hands, bit her lip until she felt blood flow down her throat. She hated herself for loving him, wanted nothing more than to scream, wanted to jump up from their bed, shouting at him, insulting him like he’d insulted her, hurting him like he’d hurt her, so many times before.
Instead she would only reach out her hand for his, would only seek his touch. Feeling his skin against her own had always made her calm down after she’d woken up from one of her nightmares, screaming, crying, having lost any control over her emotions. Slowly she turned her head to look at Lucius, couldn’t suppress a quiet gasp. For just a second she closed her eyes, shaking her head, sure that what she’d seen had only been her imagination trying to fool her. A single tear was rolling down his cheek, leaving a nearly invisible trace of water behind on his face.
Was he crying? Was Lucius really crying in his sleep? Would he maybe regret all these things he’d done to her, would it maybe only be the alcohol, making him say all this? Would he perhaps still love her? No. No, it was impossible, he could impossibly be-
Of course it was possible.
Narcissa’s entire body had started to tremble as she leaned forward to him and placed a gentle kiss on his cheek, feeling the moisture of a single, salty tear against her lips. Lucius wouldn’t open his eyes but winced, moved his arm, and for the first time after such a long time their hands were connected as Narcissa fell asleep against his shoulder.