If Tomorrow were ne’er Today
chapter one/ part two
I apologise again for this being mainly in the past; I must confess that I find myself again and again wishing to expand upon it as the notion for this fanfic originally came to me (believe it or not) within the midnight hours of a year ago June when I was trying to sleep (I’m an insomniac) concerning Lucius’s obsession for a young girl (other than Narcissa) which I then eventually adapted and am still adapting into this present fanfiction.
Also, for those interested in why I chose Everingham it concerns the only saint that holds a form of my name, St Everildis. She was a virgin who ran away from her wealthy parents to enter a nunnery which was located in a town that was later renamed for her – Everingham. Random trivia, I know, but I love etymology as well as the history of saints although I am not Catholic.
The clanging had ceased and yet, echoic as it was, still it had sounded throughout the castle. Narcissa had looked away from her own pale reflection, trying to hide her memories by hiding herself. And yet she never succeeded. She still saw within her inner eye what had been, what may yet come to pass.
The latter was an odd gift that Narcissa had never confided in anyone – except Junia. June, as she liked to be called, although different from herself had first been indifferent concerning the blonde Slytherin who had watched her during the sorting ceremony. Junia – the girl without a name. She had been called last, when every first year had been sorted into their various houses. She had stood silently in front of the stool upon which the mysterious mind-reading hat had been placed. Her boyish locks could not conceal her fright, her wondering admiration at the strangeness that had been placed before her. She had watched, her sea-green eyes that were grey, blue, golden, even purple depending on the weather had been fixed solemnly on each face that had been concealed by the object. She had listened as each face had appeared again, alight with joy that the trial had ended.
And still she had waited.
Narcissa had been one of the first who had been called, Junia the last. When it had finally been Junia’s turn, the strong voice of the transfiguration teacher had simply called “Junia of Everingham.” The girl had looked up as all eyes were resting upon her. She was undoubtedly the girl without a name. The Slytherin table, of which Narcissa had now become a part, had whispered. “Mudblood” some had called her, to only have a place as a name. However, others had remained silent, exchanging knowing glances. Only when their fellow students had pressed them had Lucius said, “She is of noble birth and is even recognized as such by the Muggle population.” His grey eyes had been serious, unsmiling as they might have been. Narcissa, although choosing not to look at him, had clearly heard the syllables that had passed his lips. Her glance, instead, was fixed upon the girl before her – Junia of Everingham. The pale skin of the unknown noblewoman had shown although the room that was lit only by candles, her eyes had remained fixed on nowhere in particular as her features had disappeared beneath the rim of the tattered cloth.
A moment later, however, she had been released. One word had been called by the magical object, one word that would bind her and Narcissa together. The Slytherin table had cheered, though not enthusiastically. Although their general pride concerning their superiority had been confirmed, the idea that one might be considered by even muggles as noble was both degrading (for muggles were the basest of creatures and should not be aware of wizards’s undoubted superiority in society) and humiliating (as they themselves were not as great to receive such attention from a world from which they hid). Narcissa had looked at the girl, the one who would be her confidant though not for several years.
Lucius, though unknown to Narcissa, had watched the blonde with interest. He had seen how her feminine paleness was even outdone by this peculiar Junia. And yet, he had thought to himself while resting his chin nonchalantly in the palm of his hand, this other’s paleness seemed to portray a sickliness that was undoubtedly a sign of weakness.
Narcissa was drawn away from her silent memory by the ceasing of the haunting clang of a bell that had silenced itself minutes before. She smoothed her dress out of habit, not out of any real insecurity concerning her appearance, and quitted the room. As she descended down the stairs she could plainly hear her mother and sister Bellatrix laughing over a glass of champagne. Lestrange undoubtedly would be standing nearby, perhaps a smile on his lips, Narcissa conceded, for he was always in attendance of his future bride.
As Narcissa entered the room, however, her attention was immediately distracted. Bellatrix and their mother were indeed laughing while holding near empty glasses of wine. The former was dressed in a midnight blue that complimented the elegance of her raven hair. Upon her right hand rested the platinum ring her fiancé had given her. It did not contain a speck of the corresponding magical substance, Narcissa thought. It was, nevertheless, beautiful. Its design was simple, a single diamond embellished only with a hidden text of Latin. Narcissa was uncertain as to what the words conveyed as her sister had not let anyone see the inside of the ring; however, after seeing her sister’s sly smile, Narcissa had known that it had evidently pleased the older Black.
Their mother, however, was wearing quite a different ensemble. She was wearing a pale green gown and her graying hair was stylishly placed on top of her head. “My dear,” Narcissa could recall her mother saying when she had returned from Hogwarts during her second year for the Winter Holiday. Madame Black’s hair had startled her daughter for it was beginning to lighten with age. At the almost undecipherable shock on the girl’s face, the older woman had said, “Really, to age is to know wisdom, Narcissa. Do not fret.”
Lestrange, as Narcissa had guessed, was standing nearby his intended. He, too, was holding a glass, though it contained a darker substance, and every few moments took furtive glances at his bride-to-be. Beside him stood Narcissa’s father, aged yet handsome. If this were all that Narcissa saw, she would not have been distracted. However, standing beside her father and her future brother-in-law was none other than a form most familiar to the young witch.
He was holding a glass as well, filled with an amber colored brandy. His form was handsome, more so than either that of her father and that of her sister’s lover. He was tall with a grace that most wizards lacked; his features, though pointed, held a beauty in them that even Narcissa had to acknowledge. Furthermore, his platinum hair, cut short yet stylishly, completed a figure that ensured that he could have any woman he desired.
Upon seeing her this well-dressed form immediately stopped speaking with Lestrange. His eyes, grey as the storming sky, held hers and a smile graced his lips briefly. The exchange, however, soon ended when Madame Black had addressed her youngest daughter. “Narcissa,” she said, and the girl was obliged to turn in her direction. “There you are.”
“Yes, Mother,” she said eloquently as she approached her kin.
“Where were you?” her sister enquired. “The bell announced dinner almost five minutes ago.”
Bellatrix’s lack of tact always annoyed Narcissa greatly. However, the latter merely smiled and replied, “I was finishing a letter, Bella, which I meant to send immediately.” How easily she could lie to her sister, for she preferred that no one know her real thoughts.
“Really?” the brunette had stated, her lips curling into what seemed a smile. “To whom? A boy perhaps from school?” Clearly she was enjoying this new exchange and had completely forgotten about the meal awaiting them. Before that day when Narcissa had yet to enter Hogwarts, Bellatrix would never have mocked the young blonde in public or allow others to do the same. However, now it was a different matter.
“Shall we play a game?” the elder daughter asked those assembled while turning to the men. “Shall we guess whom my little sister fancies?”
Lestrange merely laughed at first but Narcissa could not help but look toward him. Her father seemed amused as well. “Lucius,” Lestrange had said, turning to the handsome man beside him, “should you not first venture a hypothesis as to the name of this man my little sister writes to?”
Lucius Malfoy smiled. A hint of pleasure shone through his storming eyes and yet Narcissa could not help but perceive a malice within their intended playfulness.
“Yes, Lucius,” Bellatrix said as she addressed her former lover. “You should guess first as you are not one of the family or will not be within the next fortnight.” The latter part of her statement alluded to her fiancé whose thin lips smiled a little too forcedly.
Again, a smile graced Lucius’ lips as he looked at Narcissa, who was helpless in this jest. “Well,” he began, his eyes ravishing her form, “perhaps it is none other than young Rabastan Lestrange, as I am certain the upcoming nuptials have thrown the two together.” He smirked at the thought of anyone preferring Lestrange’s younger brother to even a mudblood. “However,” he continued as he approached her, “that seems unlikely.” He lifted his hand to her face, nearly touching it in a playful manner which made even Madame Black smile despite herself. “Also, he is not the best man, so he would not be present at certain functions such as this where there may be,” here he paused, “more intimate moments.”
Narcissa suddenly realized that that must be why he was present. Narcissa had known that Lestrange and Lucius Malfoy had been friends (although her future brother had graduated by the time she entered Hogwarts as a first year). She had heard comments about their family’s closeness in the commons room yet had never considered that Lucius would ever be the best man at a Black and, now, Lestrange wedding.
Despite this she gazed at him resolutely, daring him to continue. He naturally did. “There is also the charming brother of Junia of Everingham,” the wizard continued, unaware of his companion’s thoughts, “about which we heard whispers at our time at Hogwarts together. But it seems unlikely that dear June would share her brother with one whom she disliked as much as Narcissa here despite her nobility of birth.” He paused, as if for dramatic affect. During the two girls’ first years at Hogwarts, their dislike for each other had been immense. Both had envied the other, while proclaiming her own superiority. Junia, who had been taken with Lucius, had begrudged Narcissa her favour with the elder boy. Narcissa, conversely, had admired the other’s hidden intellect which went unrecognized in Slytherin house and, thus, unrecognized by the said Lucius.
“Haven’t you heard, Malfoy?” Lestrange interrupted. “Junia and little ‘Cissa here,” Narcissa involuntarily shuddered at the nickname, which Lucius could not help but notice, “Are now the best of friends. I’ve even heard tell of their schemes and the power they have in Slytherin. No one can stand up to either, not even Melisande.”
“Really?” Lucius had drawled as he recalled the now Seventh Year who undoubtedly had been set to be ruler of Slytherin House one day and possibly even head girl, “Then perhaps it is Junia’s elder brother of whom we have heard so much. Tell me, Miss Black,” here Narcissa seemed to remember sometime, someplace when he had not called her that so dismissively. But she could not place such a time when she would have been more than Miss Black, or Narcissa in the Slytherin Commons Room. As she briefly searched Lucius’ eyes for some explanation of the half dream she could not recall, she saw a flicker of the same memory. Tell me, Miss Black …
“How this friendship came to pass and,” here he almost sneered with malice, “is she still wearing that ridiculous haircut?”
Narcissa took no notice of the first part of his inquiry. Instead, she chose to say, “Yes, and it is quite fetching on her. Some of the younger Slytherin girls are even copying her example. After every Christmas or Easter holiday some new first or second year, perhaps even a fourth year, turns up with a similar hairstyle. However, despite their efforts, they can never be quite as beautiful as June or as popular.”
“Really” – he paused – “how interesting.” Then he saw, though fleetingly, distress behind her eyes. She was not distressed by their conversation, but something else that he could not quite perceive. His heart involuntarily leapt at this hidden inner pain or confusion.
As he was not currently interested in a girl he had not seen in years but only with the bewitching witch in front of him, he asked her seductively, “As Bellatrix’s only sister,” no one flinched at his neglect of acknowledging the eldest Black daughter or even wondered at it, “I assume that you are to be Maiden of Honor at the upcoming nuptials.”
“Yes,” Narcissa replied. And, although she already knew the answer, asked, “Are you to be the best man?” Here she looked at Lestrange, questioning his judgment and neglect of his younger brother. “Or is it to be Rabastan?”
“Ah,” Bellatrix murmured in triumph, “So it was Rabastan to whom you were writing.”
Both Narcissa and Lucius ignored her untimely remark. “Yes, my fair lady,” Lucius drawled, “and as such I believe I have the first dance.” Lucius was evidently referring to the timeless tradition, to which even muggles adhered, of the Best Man and Maiden of Honor dancing the first number together at a wedding. In the magical world, however, the tradition carried even further, though perhaps only in legend.
Some told and all secretly acknowledged the presence of an old magic, one that bound the chosen maid and the bridegroom’s brother or friend together and, thus, betrothed them. Even muggles had heard the rumor, although they had misshapen it into their own and involved some ridiculous tale of a bouquet and garter. Despite this, there were tales in the magical world of more than one suitor mysteriously abandoning the witch to whom he had been soliciting himself and on the point of marrying. In her place, he had married the young maid of honor when he himself had been the best man at the same event.
“Perhaps,” Narcissa acknowledged. “But then again,” here she smiled knowingly, “it may already be reserved for this unnamed person. If Bellatrix’s assumptions are correct, then I am as close to marrying this mysterious man,” she paused to relish the silent effect it had on Malfoy, “as she is to marrying dear Lestrange.”
“However,” she continued as she had at last gained control of the ridicule, “he may – alas – not be invited as such. If this were so then it would be a tragedy indeed if we are to assume that I am in love with this man for then my poor, young, innocent heart will break – and in years to come all shall say ‘Ah, dear Narcissa, the poor girl died as she could not dance with some mysterious wizard who unwittingly stole her heart.’” Here, despite herself, she laughed. “Shall you come to my funeral, Mr. Malfoy? Then, perchance, you may meet him and inquire as to his name yourself.”
Her eyes twinkled in mirth as she could see what effect her speech had upon the surrounded company. She studied, in particular, Lucius. Although he seemed to portray nothing, she noticed that his breathing had become shallower and the depths of his grey eyes seemed almost agitated. His right hand was clenched in a fist, though it was barely noticeable within the folds of his robe.
Lucius chose not to answer her question and, thus, instead of continuing the amusement they were creating for everyone about them, he merely smiled and said serenely to all except the girl in front of him, “Shall we go into dinner?” Then offering his arm to the blonde, they entered the dining room together.
“Well,” he drawled to her now that the attention of the others was momentarily drawn away after a tense silence between them that neither of them chose to acknowledge. “Shall I venture another guess?”
“Any guess,” his companion replied shortly yet sweetly, “would be incorrect as I indeed was not writing a letter.” This, she thought, would put an end to the entire conversation. Although Lucius might believe that she were now telling an untruth, the matter would certainly drop as she had denied such a letter or a recipient being in existence.
“You will not hinder my inquiries that easily,” Malfoy responded. “If you indeed were not writing a letter then what, pray tell, were you doing?” They were now seated, unfortunately next to each other and the meal was being served. Rodulphus Lestrange was speaking with his future mother while Bellatrix was relating to her disinterested father some part of the wedding plans.
“Reflecting,” Narcissa responded simply, while tasting the broth before her. It was not to her liking so she placed it aside immediately which, unfortunately, only left her the option of looking at her companion as the other conversations were clearly not meant to be intruded upon.
“Is that safe?” Malfoy jested without looking at her. He was, naturally, referring to the antiquated belief that when any woman thought in any form it was dangerous. Men had believed that when able to think they would do it improperly, choosing not to think as they did. Lucius was not merely thinking of that, however. Whenever Narcissa created a scheme in her head, as far as he could tell, she executed it. And, cunning as she was, the end results (though always to her advantage) were not necessarily thus to others. Although Lucius himself had never been at the receiving end of any such mischievous deed, he had known and seen others who were and often shuddered at the effect the young Miss Black had on them (although they were often not aware that she was the culprit).
Narcissa, choosing to ignore the antiquated reasoning and focusing on her own devious intelligence, replied “Perhaps not. But as I was unaware as to your presence here tonight and your upcoming role in my sister’s wedding, you hardly have reason to fear as of yet.”
“I always fancied,” he breathed, gazing at her profile in awe, “that after my last year at Hogwarts I had ample reason to ‘fear,’ as you put it.”
“Yes,” Narcissa began, remembering the scene by the lake. Although she had gained the upper hand, she had been secretly devising revenge ever since. It was to be subtle, not as brash as his own attempt, delicate, precise. Nothing but the most intricate torture would satisfy her desires and all her previous plans had failed to satisfy this lust for his pain. “However,” the blonde continued, “I would have thought that there was reason enough before that particular event.”
Lucius, however, said nothing. Although he did not care for the broth either, as it was of Scottish descent though eagerly trying not to be, he continued to eat it. His grey eyes lingered at the girl now looking at him intently and he could not perceive what secret the green eyes currently held. It had been half a decade since they had first set eyes upon each other, and since then he could strangely think of nothing but her. The torment had become too great after his NEWT tests (the final qualifying exams that would decide what path he could take in his future) in his seventh and final year at Hogwarts. He now had ample time to reflect on anything but his studies and could not help but constantly observe Bellatrix’s younger sister.
He had not wished to disturb her with his tricks after the undignified scene by the lake and had left her to her studying. However, he could not help but dwell on the brief kiss they had shared there upon the grass. His friends had congratulated him, Bellatrix had even laughed at her sister’s dignified behaviour and at his own cunning scheme to degrade her. None of his circle had seemed to acknowledge how she had essentially defeated him in the end; however, the whispers had followed him throughout his last weeks at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Although her humiliation had been generally acknowledged, her response and how she had essentially overruled Lucius Malfoy circulated even more. Everywhere he went he would hear students talking of how the youngest Black had shown herself superior to her sisters, perhaps even to him.
He had not minded, though. Although she had had the last word in the matter, he had forced her to utter it and had humiliated her in the process. He could recall how her pale cheeks had slightly blushed after he had drawn away from her, how her heart had fluttered as he kissed her. Despite the fact that he had wanted to punish her for refusing his friendship, ruin her for his three year obsession with her small form, beat her into submission and then be able to forget her, his passions had not been sated by the forced kiss. Instead, they had only increased. Though she had obviously been inexperienced, as he would hope any maiden would be at that age, he could not help but recall with delight how she had gasped at his supposedly laughing form of tribute to his passion while unwittingly deepening the kiss. He had remembered how she had tried to fight him as he had held her in his powerful arms, how he had fallen on top of her writhing form. There he had lain gently, wishing for all the world that it would never end although wanting her to merely be still, to be calm in his embrace. As they had lain there, his heart had moaned for her unwavering passion to free herself to be directed in another direction, toward him. He had secretly begged with his lips that she would need him as much as he had wanted her.
But, alas, it was not to be. Instead, he had had to pull away from her, to laugh at her, to laugh at himself. His heart had broken when she had shown no sign that anything had passed between them, that he had moved her in any way.
And, thus, he had sought her during the first week in June. It had been a cool day; the majority of the students had been resting beside the lake. But Narcissa had not been there. He had searched for her throughout the castle, had looked for her in all of her haunts. She had been neither in the library nor in a deserted classroom (for she had often inhabited them with a book or her work so as to avoid the noise of the Slytherin Commons Room or the unnatural quiet of the library). After two hours of searching, he had finally found her. She had been roaming the grounds, near the border of the Forbidden Forest. Werewolves and other dangerous creatures had been said to have inhabited the dark trees and students had been strictly forbidden from entering it. However, Narcissa had always admired the quiet she had found near those ancient trees, where no one else walked or thought in silence.
Her hair had been swept back carelessly and her robes had been crumpled. However, he had found her disorder even more alluring. The perfect Narcissa, he had realized, was human and, thus, could possibly one day want him as much as he now wanted her. The second year was unaware of his presence until he had whispered one word in her ear – Anthos. She had turned in surprise, only to have found herself in the arms of a man whom she had feared. She had tensed in their forced embrace, her arms had pressed against his heaving chest. And all he had done was hold her small form, cherishing the moment until she had eventually relaxed in his arms. He had then withdrawn from their closeness and had kissed her, kissed her as he had never kissed another woman before. But she had resisted, she had resolutely kept her mouth closed, her teeth clenched as she had endured the assault. However, he had managed to force her mouth open through his tenderness to both of their amazement and had tried to convey his need for her in his caresses.
Soon his hands had been roving over her back, through her hair and yet she still had remained tense, as the onslaught had caused her to become. He had felt the strong urge, desire, need to show her that he cared but to no avail. After what had seemed an eternity to both of them, she had begun to cry. At first she had done so silently, the tears escaping from her eyes as he had forced her closer to him and had continued to love her. But as he had continued, she had begun to sob uncontrollably for the first time in her life. She had not been able to help it though she had tried to bear the present situation with fortitude. Narcissa’s small body had trembled and had heaved in agony against his form which finally caused him to relent.
“Anthos,” he had exclaimed in astonishment as he had pulled away from her though still holding her tightly against him. The tears had run down her delicate young face and she had tried to subdue her wailing as she had tried to pull away from him. However, her sorrow had made her weak and her crying and fear had disoriented her. “Anthos,” he had repeated. “Narcissa, dearest,” but she had continued to struggle. When he had finally released the second year she had collapsed in her sobs. If he had not caught her she would have fallen to the hard stones upon which they were now standing. He had supported her against him and she, weakened by the new sensation of such passion and the torrent of her tears, had further collapsed against him.
Lucius had kissed her head gently, both tormented by her distress and inexpressibly content with her lying in his arms. He had brushed her tangled hair away from her face and, taking out his wand, had whispered “Anthos, dearest,” in agony and then something unintelligible to the girl in his arms. As she had fallen into a magical sleep within his arms, he had laid her down upon a mound of grass and while tenderly kissing her seemingly lifeless lips had further communicated to the sleeping form, his voice hardened in agony “Miss Black, you will not remember this.”
He then had retreated as she had awakened to find herself inexplicably on the ground with swollen eyes and a racing heartbeat.