Literatti: Fiction By Deslea
Apologies, Surrender, and Other Things A Malfoy Does Not Do
Deslea R. Judd
Fandom: Harry Potter
Spoilers: Whole franchise.
Summary: Written for the At The Close Comment Ficathon on LiveJournal. The prompt was: Draco, Lucius/Narcissa - Post Second War Lucius asking Draco and Narcissa to forgive him.
Disclaimer: Characters not mine. Interpretation mine.
Feedback: deslea at deslea dot com.
More fic: http://fiction.deslea.com
He never says "I'm sorry."
Lucius never was one for such gestures, Narcissa thinks; none of them are. It isn't a Malfoy trait, nor a Black one either.
He never says "I'm sorry;" ergo, he never says "Forgive me," either. She needs to hear it and she knows it will never come.
Things settle down with surprising speed. They bury Bellatrix. They attend Snape's funeral, such as it is, joining Potter at the graveside. They exchange stilted but civil greetings. Lucius doesn't say "I'm sorry."
Draco finds work. He is luckier than some - Potter told the press that Draco saved his life - but still, there are few open doors for death eaters. He begins an apprenticeship with a wandmaker. A second-rate wandmaker, of course - there is no place for a Malfoy at Ollivander's. Lucius doesn't say "I'm sorry."
Narcissa takes up walking, and gardening, and swimming. Anything to get out of the house. There are bloodstains on her floor that won't come out and people have died at the table where she eats and she can smell that damn snake everywhere she goes. It is her home and it has been in the Malfoy family for generations, but she can't bear to spend her waking hours there.
And Lucius doesn't say "I'm sorry."
Lucius spends his days staring morosely into the fire. His nights, too. There is nowhere that would hire him, and money is not a problem but distraction is. His friends are dead or insane or outcasts like they are. He doesn't know how to live with himself and he doesn't know how to live with her.
And he still doesn't say "I'm sorry."
She is gardening one day when she sees him, watching her from the french doors. His mouth is set in a grim line. She raises her hand and gives a cautious wave. He looks right through her.
Her eyes fill with tears, and she bows her head to her flowerbed so he won't see them.
He bangs the doors, clattering down the steps in busy strides. She looks up at him as he approaches, glowering with fury. Wonders what she's done wrong.
He drags her to her feet. His face working. "Stop that!" he shouts at her. She gasps back the tears like a frightened child. Feels salt trickling down the back of her throat. She stares at him, eyes wide and sore.
His face is still working. Like the things that hold it together are giving way. He's breathing hard, like an angry creature of prey.
"Lucius," she says tremulously, "what-"
The movements in his face grow more violent. He's white, dead white, and his eyes are wild. "I don't - I can't -"
And then she understands.
The knowledge washes over her and she draws in her breath. Raises her palms to his face. "Lucius," she says. It is a voice of command. The command that says, *I am your wife and it is my time to lead and yours to follow.* The command taken in marriage when one is at a loss and the other brings them out the other side.
He comes to himself then, just a little. Says, "He asked me how I could live with myself."
"Vol-" he breaks off. None of them can bear to say his name. Not yet. "I said I didn't know."
She doesn't have an easy answer. She shrugs. "By going on. By living. That's all."
He's still shaking, but he nods. "All right."
He kisses her, and then he makes diffident love to her out there in the sun. And he never says he's sorry, never says forgive me, but she hears it anyway.
They go on, and they live, because they are Malfoys, and that is what they do.