Though remaining hidden, for the most part, with her sister in Upper Slaughter, Narcissa did return to the Manor at intervals to lull suspicion. It was appropriate to visit the grounds on her birthday, as surely admirers from across the world would be acknowledging her glory... but Mrs. Malfoy would soon wish she had stayed away.
Clutching the roses in her pale fingers, she moved through the Manor as if he were still walking with her. "That would be lovely, my angel," she said only loud enough for herself to hear. She allowed tears to flow freely, knowing that those who lived on the grounds would understand. "Think of all the memories we could make..."
Reaching their master bedroom, she did not bother to close any of the doors behind her. She collapsed onto the bed. Its sheets always seemed to lack his presence, but would now never see it again. Knowing this unbearable fact, Mrs. Malfoy broke down completely. She pressed the roses to her face and chest, hugging them tightly and ignoring the thorns that dug into her frail skin. Really, being in the manor for this long was unwise, but she had suddenly lost her mind again, feeling emotions strikingly similar to those experienced on Andromeda Tonks's floor.
When she finally got the strength to leave, Narcissa had fallen asleep several times and was jarred awake by dreams of falling. Tiny scratches and spots of dried blood marked where thorns had attacked her uncaring shell. Even conscious, she was haunted by a voice and touch that were not there. The roses were gently placed about her husband's side of the bed and left there to die.
She took the watch with her before heading back to Upper Slaughter once and for all. It would still count the days until they saw each other again, just as Lucius asked... though not in any tangible world. For now, the ticking would only be a reminder of a useless life for a woman who was too cowardly to do anything but live.