Pairing(s)/Characters: Narcissa Malfoy
Summary: After the war's happenings, seeming to have faded every happy memory away, how can Narcissa force herself to remain strong if everything she desires is to allow herself to fall?
Word count: 1.085
Warnings: Lots of post-war Angst
The pictures on the walls had faded away long ago, would hardly remind of the glory, the dignity it had once radiated. But she would still come here, would still come to this room, locking the door, wanting nothing but to hide, to escape from the world. No one would ever find her there, she knew that there, always watched by her ancestors, she’d be safe.
Slowly Narcissa sank down to the floor, covering her face with her hands as she gave a deep sigh. Once again her attempts to regain control over her thoughts seemed to fail, once again she’d get lost in her memories, all these terrible memories she’d been desperate to forget. Why… Why couldn’t she just forget about what happened, why couldn’t she just forget about what had happened during all these years.
How afraid had she been, how much had she lost, lost in a war they had always been destined to lose… All those years she’d believed in nothing, nothing at all, unable, unwilling to admit she’d been wrong, that they’d all been wrong. But how could she have opened her mouth to speak without risking to be killed, without risking her family to be harmed even more? She’d always been willing to die for her family, would still be willing to even take death just to know her son, to know her husband or her sister safe. Hadn’t she done the impossible? Hadn’t she lied to him, hadn’t she lied to the Dark Lord, ready to accept any consequences in case he would discover her deception? But still, still she’d lost, had lost her sister, watching her fall in a battle for nothing.
Narcissa knew that Bellatrix would never have given up, knew that she’d never have accepted a defeat. Had she always been like this? Had she always been the fighter she’d turned into in the end, hadn’t she also been a child, a girl, light-hearted like they all had been? And what about Andromeda, what about Andy, their third, lost sister, who had been extruded simply for following her heart? Hadn’t they once loved each other like sisters, hadn’t they once been best friends? She did not know. Narcissa did not know, had no memory of a time before the wars, of a time she’d been happy in.
The war was over. Everything would be all right, they’d told her, everything would be all right again after time had healed the wounds. But would time ever been able to heal wounds as deep as those inflicted by a war? Would everything ever be all right again?
Of course it wouldn’t.
Narcissa gasped for breath, desperately gasped for breath as if an invisible force would suffocate her, quickly rose from the floor, turning around, always turning around, stumbling… The walls suddenly seemed to crush her, the only place she’d felt safe in suddenly seemed to haunt her, seemed to even strengthen all the memories about the war, seemed to even sharpen the pictures in her head, not allowing her to get any rest. Her family’s eyes would constantly rest on her, would follow her, would shadow her, their gazes so full of reproach, so full of hate, as if it had been her fault, as if she’d failed, failed to protect the ones she was bound to protect, as if she’d disgraced her family’s name…
“What have I done!” she cried, her hands, her entire body shaking as she attempted to turn around the key in the lock. “What have I done to you, to deserve your punishment? Didn’t I always follow your orders? Didn’t I always do everything for you, just to be enough, just to be accepted? Everything! I did everything!”
Wasn’t she the last one remaining? Wasn’t she the queen now, the last member of her family remaining, the last one to bring honour to her ancestors, wasn’t she the last one to carry the burden of calling herself a Black?
She bit her lip, bit her lip until she felt blood flow down her throat, quickly closed her eyes… But still, still she’d see all those faces right in front of her, would still feel their gazes burn her skin.
So weak… You are so weak, Narcissa. Worthless…
“They can’t harm you…” she whispered to herself, over and over again, but seemed unable to believe her own words. “They’re dead… Dead! They’re not real… You’re the only one left, you’re the queen, they cannot harm you! You’re the queen…”
Finally the door would open, finally she’d have the chance to escape but she wouldn’t move, wouldn’t even dare to breathe. Had the war done these things to her? Had the war broken her, had the war driven her into something they called insanity? Why else would only these happenings haunt her, over and over again, why else would she only relive the most terrible moments in her dreams, why else would she have lost her memory of times, of happenings she’d sworn herself to never forget?
Bella… Andy… How much had she loved them, how much had they endured together as girls, how close had they been, but now? Now Narcissa would hardly remember anything about their childhood, would hardly remember Bellatrix’s laugh, a laugh she’d loved so much… No, she’d only see her dead body before her eyes, marked by the war, marked by all those years in prison…
Give up… All she wanted was to just give up, to allow herself to fall, to fall or to just run away and never look back. How long had she forced herself to be strong, how many times had she pretended to be all right, to be able to forget about the things she wanted to forget the most. So why couldn’t she just give up now? Now that no one would care any longer, now that she was the only one remaining, now that she’d lost everything? Even her son, even her husband had slowly slipped away from her, were no longer those she’d used to know, so why was it her, forced to remain strong, forced to…
No. No, she had to go on, Narcissa had to go on, didn’t have another chance than to just continue. The queen would be forced go on without rest, always smiling even if long ago, inside of her, her heart had broken into a thousand pieces, even if she’d lost any hold, even if all happy memories she’d ever possessed had faded away into emptiness.