Happy Springsmut, leni_jess! Author:themadmermaid Recipient:leni_jess Title: Strange Bedfellows Rating: R Pairing(s): Lucius/Narcissa Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended. Summary: It's been said that misery makes for strange bedfellows, and for Narcissa, her husband might be the strangest of all. Warnings: None. Word Count: 3,900 Author's Notes: I really loved your requests, leni_jess, and I hope I have done justice to the one I chose. Thanks to my beta, S, who always takes it in stride when madness ensues right before a fic deadline.
Love, honor and obey, thought Narcissa as she sat on a couch across from her husband. How long had it been since she had last seen him? She couldn’t even remember—she hadn’t really been counting the days, though it had been a long time, no doubt. They didn’t allow visitors in Azkaban.
Despite the years of marriage, he seemed a virtual stranger to her as they were now reunited. Reunited by what should have been a victory—Voldemort’s ascension to power—but what should have been a coup for the Malfoys was instead a disaster. Lucius had gambled it all and lost badly; when he failed in his errand to the Department of Mysteries he had fallen out of Voldemort’s good graces. Fallen so far, in fact, that Narcissa had spent his imprisonment frantically trying to keep their son alive.
Narcissa was in a tenuous position herself, having never taken the Mark. She had never desired to, unlike her crazed sister with her desperate, almost pathetic devotion to the Dark Lord. Narcissa sometimes longed to tell Bella that no matter how high she rose in Voldemort’s esteem, their father would still never love her best, but that would be imprudent.
In any case, Narcissa would swear her life over to no one. She would defer to her husband when it was needed (needed being when she couldn’t subvert his will with any of the skills at her disposal), but she would kneel to no man. And although she kept it well out of the front of her mind, thank Merlin that such training was standard fare in the nursery of the Black sisters, Tom Riddle would definitely not even make the short list of wizards she would even consider to pledge allegiance.
But here she was with the one that she had promised something to: to love, honor, and obey. She’d never considered the first, wasn’t sure about the second, and had no interest in the third… so where did that leave them, now? She waited, continuing to survey Lucius, who was obviously deep in thought. He was not as his best, certainly—Azkaban wasn’t known for its excellent accommodations—but she couldn’t help but note that he was still handsome, despite that. When he finally spoke, he surprised her.
"I need your help."
What Voldemort had forgotten was that perhaps the most Slytherin thing in the world was to save your own skin. Ruling over the Wizarding world had sounded appealing back in Lucius’s youth, before he realized that what Riddle actually had in mind was he himself ruling over it. Still, it had been tolerable when the Malfoys were in favor; Lucius wasn’t above a bit of ass-kissing if it got him in a better position.
This was insupportable, however. After all Lucius had done for Riddle, after all the things he’d put up with, he and his family were now in a worse position than some of the Dark Lord’s worst enemies. At least they were usually killed outright, instead of this cat-and-mouse, this game of pretending like Riddle wasn’t just winding them up and sending them to do the impossible until he finally tired of their efforts and slaughtered them.
Even Bellatrix, whose devotion to the Dark Lord was actually genuine, was suffering for the mistakes made in the Department of Mysteries, as if Riddle hadn‘t faced Potter how many times now himself and failed against him? Devotion wasn’t something Lucius had to worry about, and he thought it was time to start looking at other options. But he’d need Narcissa’s help to do that, and he wasn’t sure right now where he stood in her estimation.
Narcissa Black had been a stunning young woman, which hadn’t hurt in making the decision to offer for her hand, but the fact that she was from a prestigious family and completely ruthless had been more important. Narcissa had been perfect: beautiful enough to make heirs no problem, smart enough to manage the duties that came with being the wife of someone who was extremely rich, and savvy enough to know when to ask questions and when to just smile and pretend like she was oblivious.
He supposed that he could have married someone that really was oblivious, but then when push came to shove, as it had now, he would have no one to turn to. And Lucius knew that unless he had Narcissa’s full cooperation and partnership on this, they would never get out alive.
Narcissa admitted that when Lucius proposed they ally themselves to get out from under Voldemort’s thumb, she thought about saying no; she thought about how much it would be worth to sell him out to the Dark Lord. Her husband wasn’t a stupid man, however, and he was right—Voldemort now appeared to be in an unassailable position, but time and time again he’d been foiled by Potter. And although everyone was coy about the broken prophecy and what it had contained, that it had been connected to the boy seemed undeniable. What did Voldemort know about Potter that made him so concerned?
Add to these doubts the fact that the Dark Lord had become increasingly unstable, and the argument became even more persuasive. Even if he triumphed, and the Malfoys returned to a place of honor within the Dark Lord’s regime, could that be counted upon to last? Would it be worth it to have a world where Pureblood supremacy was acknowledged if living in that world required dancing in attendance on a madman?
A madman who was not Pureblood himself?
So ultimately, Narcissa decided that Lucius’s bet would be hers as well; she would trust his instincts again. Maybe that was the "honor" part. At least, the Slytherin version.
Lucius did, in fact, need her help. A crucial point of their plan was staying alive long enough to finish it, and Voldemort was directing too much attention towards both Lucius and, Merlin help her, Draco. Although Narcissa did feel his disfavor, years of perfecting her "nothing to see here but Lucius’s pretty but not very interesting wife" act had served her well. She suspected that Voldemort really did think she was nothing spectacular to start with, but she also offered him nothing to contradict that idea.
If he rebuked her, she was chastised enough to satisfy him but not enough to pique his interest. If he wanted her to bend, she bent enough to make him feel he’d gotten what he wanted but not enough to make him want to see where she broke. This was a talent, she felt, something that she was not only inherently good at but something that she had practiced since she was small—one of her mother’s lessons.
Her mother had told her it was like being bland pudding. You didn’t want to taste bad enough that you got sent back to the kitchen, but you didn’t want to taste so good that anyone wanted seconds either. This had seemed perfectly sensible to a tiny Cissy, whose only real question was why Mummy was teaching her how to be bland pudding but not Bella or Andy. Her mother had shushed her but never answered. Looking back, Narcissa saw perfectly the answer to this question but didn’t fault her mother; she couldn’t think of a way to explain it to a six year old either.
She doubted that Lucius would appreciate the idea of an unappealing dessert or the act of being like one. Part of his talent was his strength of will, and maybe there was a story of a lesson learned at his father’s knee that went with that; she didn’t know. That will had taken them far, it was true, but now it would serve to do nothing but antagonize. Her only hope was that same strength could be used in application to hide itself, as convoluted as it sounded.
They talked into the night, more than they had for years, in fact. Narcissa did tell him the story of the pudding in the end. He raised an eyebrow at her and said nothing for long moments afterwards, and just when she was starting to rue her frankness, Lucius burst into hearty laughter, genuinely amused as she had not seen all evening. "Oh, Narcissa, that’s too perfect," he told her. "If we get out of this alive, I shall share with you some of the secrets of Abraxas Malfoy. There’s no bland pudding, but there’s very like it."
In the end, they told Draco little to nothing. Lucius loved his son, but he also realized that neither he nor Narcissa had taken a firm hand with the boy, although nothing could really prepare a young man to face the whims of Lord Voldemort. Under immense pressure, Draco might crack and let anything slip. He would have to rely on his own wits and the behind-the-scenes protection of both his parents. Lucius hoped it would be enough.
He hoped any of it would be enough, because what respite they had was near its end. He had been sent ahead to the Manor only to prepare for the arrival of the Dark Lord and his entourage; their home was to be taken over, supposedly to accord them an honor. Lucius knew it was actually both to show him again what his new place was in Voldemort’s estimation and frankly because their home was one of the finest in Wizarding England.
Hosting a house party was a trying occurrence under the best of circumstances, and when that party consisted of the majority of England’s Death Eaters, the task became daunting. Lucius thought it was almost worse convincing Narcissa that she could accomplish this feat of hospitality than it was to convince her to double cross the Dark Lord.
It amazed Narcissa how life kept on going, no matter what. Regardless of the pact made with Lucius, the small details of each day must be attended to. She did feel more purposeful though; she was so Slytherin that any scheme always cheered her. However, for a long while after their talk, any action was put on hold as their home was descended upon.
There was one other thing they had decided, something that Narcissa still felt odd about. In all their years of marriage, she and Lucius had never shared a bedchamber. A bed, yes, and sometimes in their newlywed furor even a rug or two, if you wanted to be perfectly vulgar about it, although that was long ago now. Never the room in which the bed had been, however; no mixing of clothes, no rolling over into one another, no waking up to see the other drooling onto their pillow. Why, she didn’t even know if her husband snored.
Sharing a bedchamber was a completely accepted practice, however, and the perfect way for Lucius and Narcissa to be able to speak freely on a consistent basis. Narcissa was also virtually certain that Voldemort would never try to separate their sleeping spaces. As far as she could tell, not only was he uninterested in sharing the rug, so to speak, he was actually quite invested in ignoring that facet of human existence. Perhaps he was truly trying to get rid of Draco simply because he was proof that Narcissa and Lucius had sex at least once.
Narcissa herself had always thought it was one of the most interesting aspects of life. However, she wasn’t sure yet how… intimate her partnership with her husband was to be.
Lucius had always respected Narcissa in his own fashion, but as he tried to play Voldemort’s game her way, his regard only increased. Of course, he was accustomed to the use of subtlety as he controlled situations, but he controlled them nonetheless. Now it was all reaction, reaction, reaction, as if he was being led in a dance by a partner who had no regard for him.
The fact that Narcissa was there made it easier, surprisingly. The better his act, the more cowed he appeared, the more pleased she would be later. He focused on that, then, when his rage burned under his skin and the bile rose in his throat. He would think of her ridiculous pudding story and feel his blood pressure drop. And although he tried not to look too much at her, afraid that a knowing glance between them would spoil their façade, he sometimes imagined the way she smiled when they talked alone, when she would crook one side of her mouth and laugh at how well he’d kept his face schooled during one of Voldemort’s tirades.
Things between Lucius and Narcissa had changed slowly, but it took another significant incident for something dramatic to shift between them.
Again, Potter had been within their grasp and slipped away. Narcissa had mixed feelings about the whole incident; her goal now was to get out of Voldemort’s reach, and although handing Potter over to him would relieve some immediate pressure and gain them accolades in the short term, it didn’t really fit in with that long term goal.
Regardless of whether the boy's escape was ultimately better or worse for their situation, Voldemort was horrific to deal with in the aftermath. Poor Bellatrix had borne the brunt for whatever reason, and although Narcissa did feel a twinge of sisterly sympathy, the larger part of her was glad it hadn’t been her husband or son. Lucius, however, was angry. She could see his temper fraying the edges of his carefully impassive mask.
He kept it together until they were alone. In their bedroom, however, it was a different story as the air practically crackled with his rage. His words of anger came in a torrent, flowing so quickly that she could catch nothing specific and was left only with the realization of how truly incensed he was. Narcissa was afraid that he’d set something alight like an untrained child. And, to be frank, she felt a tiny bit of fear herself, a little frisson of it trickling along her backbone, enough to tease her adrenaline.
She couldn't really be frightened, she told herself. This was her husband, the father of her child, and who was that to be afraid of? That line of reasoning made her feel no better for that was the point precisely. This man might be that, but he was sometimes something else entirely; not for nothing had he maintained his place as one of Voldemort’s most trusted servants for so long. It was not often that she was viscerally reminded of how powerful her husband was; generally it was just something that she just took for granted.
Narcissa went to him nonetheless, all this in the back of her mind, wanting to offer him some kind of comfort. He faced away from her, looking into the grate of the marble fireplace where flames burned brightly, and seemed to pay her no mind as she approached him. Placing a hand on his arm, she could feel the tension humming through him. She started to say something—what, she didn’t know—when in a movement swift and smooth, she found herself swept into his arms.
Almost immediately she was crushed against Lucius as he took possession of her mouth; he did not stop to ask permission and Narcissa responded with no hesitation. He clutched her to him, one hand on the back of her neck, the other tight around her waist as his tongue delved deeply into her mouth. She brought her hands up to run them through his hair, breaking away from his kiss to take panting breaths when she finally could bear it no longer.
He hardly paused, merely moving his attention to her neck, licking a delicate line down its side and causing her to shiver. When the shiver ceased, he nipped sharply, causing her to gasp as the slight pain seemed to jolt straight to her breasts and the apex of her legs.
He brought his mouth back to her ear and spoke to her. "Some things never change, do they?"
Narcissa laughed, flattered despite herself that he would remember something like that. Then she stopped as Lucius applied his knowledge of how much she enjoyed having attention paid to her neck. She was more turned on than she had been in a long time, but she still had the presence of mind to reflect on how odd this was —odd that she should be doing this with Lucius, after so long, and odd how that length of time had made intimacy between the two of them both new and familiar at the same time.
Perhaps Lucius could sense that her thoughts were not entirely on their encounter, because he began opening the top of her robes, bringing her fully back to what was happening. Soon her breasts were bared, and any idle thoughts or musings on her mind were gone. Lucius kneaded them roughly with one hand, the other still holding her to him, and Narcissa leaned her head back as she moaned. Her exposed neck evidently presented too much of a temptation, however, and soon Lucius directed his attention back to it.
Narcissa’s moans increased as he did so, until finally her nerve endings were so overwrought that she couldn’t stand it any longer. She grasped Lucius’s face, bringing it to hers, and kissed him again, pushing her body up against his and moving her hips. She ran her hands down over his shoulders and body, sliding one between them to rub the bulge she could feel solidly against her. Lucius reached down and covered her hand, pressing it more firmly, and she obliged. Soon his hands were back on her breasts and they stood there for long moments, moving lips and tongues frantically against one another as their hands explored each other equally as fervently, as if this was all new and it was their honeymoon all over again.
It became obvious after awhile that standing up was not the way to do this, and Lucius began moving Narcissa towards the bed without breaking away from her.
"The rug," she gasped out, stopping a kiss only long enough to say the words. When he kept moving towards the bed, she stopped again. "Not the bed, the rug," she told him, more firmly this time, and she felt him shrug.
Apparently deciding that it was a battle not worth fighting, Lucius moved away from her long enough to tug her down to the floor with him. Narcissa stretched out on her back; she could feel the warmth of the fire on her feet. On his side next to her, Lucius looked down at her. Unexpectedly, his face was quite serious, and he twirled a lock of her hair idly. Dropping the silky strand, he moved his hand to her face, tracing a finger over the planes of her cheeks, her chin, making her close her eyes as his fingertips grazed her eyelashes.
It was a quiet, tender moment, and Narcissa felt an unexpected sweetness well up in her, a kind of bittersweet happiness that made her eyes sting a little, and she was afraid that maybe the moment had passed; perhaps that flare of heat between Lucius and her was just a byproduct of tension and anger. That worry was soon dispelled, however. Lucius moved atop her, bringing their lips together again as he fit their lower bodies together. Even with the unfortunate layers of clothes between them, Narcissa could feel the hard length of him and arched up eagerly.
They moved together as they kissed, hips meeting despite their clothing. Eventually they grew impatient, and their hands began to tug and pull at robes and underclothes. What could have been accomplished in an instant took long minutes as they continued to kiss and move against one another. It was finally accomplished nonetheless; Narcissa could feel not only Lucius’s cock, hard against her thigh, but his fingers moved easily between her legs, where she was hot and slick.
Narcissa couldn’t help but think of what kind of picture this might present to an outsider: Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, elite of the Wizarding world, rolling around on the floor of their bedchamber, too eager to even take their clothes off properly. Lucius moved his fingers faster, and Narcissa laughed even as she moaned.
Taking it in stride, Lucius moved his lips close to her ear as he positioned the head of his cock at her entrance. "Fortunately, I also remember how amusing you always seem to find these sorts of activities," he told her, and then slid into her with no further preamble.
"It’s because you know how to show a witch a good time," she managed to gasp out before giving up on speaking. She tilted her hips up to meet him, overwhelmed by the feeling and longing to get as much of him inside her as possible. They moved together slowly at first, Lucius withdrawing with an almost agonizing slowness before thrusting back in, Narcissa bringing up her hips to meet him. Their rhythm increased gradually, Lucius thrusting faster as Narcissa urged him with her movements.
Without missing a beat, Lucius began touching Narcissa’s breasts, rolling her nipples between a thumb and forefinger firmly. Narcissa was so close to orgasm that she felt like screaming; her breath came in panting gasps and the sensation in her nipples was close to pain it was so intense. Just when she thought she could stand it no longer, Lucius moved his hand from her breasts down between their bodies, sliding it over her belly and then moving it firmly on her clitoris.
It only took the first touch, really, before she was coming. The rest were icing on the cake as she felt her muscles contract, the pleasure hitting her so sharply it was like a knife thrust in its intensity. She was making a lot of noise, she realized dimly, but that’s what Silencing Charms were for and she didn’t really care.
The pleasure came in waves, peaking and cresting, until finally she was done, and as the movement of her hips slowed she heard Lucius gasp. He thrust into her deeply and then didn’t move, and she felt him pulse inside her. They lay as they were for a few minutes, the afterglow mitigating the physical awkwardness of their positions.
Finally, Lucius stirred, shifting so that he wasn’t crushing Narcissa any longer. She was so relaxed that she was close to sleep when his voice brought her back.
"Why the rug, Cissy?" he asked her. She could only laugh.
They did get up, eventually, and even ended up in their bed. Although they were tired, they talked for a long while, reviewing the events of the day. Lucius was still bitter, but he did see some merit to Narcissa’s thoughts on Potter’s escape.
"I can’t say I mind the thought of Voldemort capturing the boy, but I suppose you’re right," he told her.
Narcissa was more determined than ever that her family would be free of Voldemort, and she didn’t care how this goal was accomplished. "I’d get down on my hands and knees before Potter if that’s what it takes to get us out of this," she said, spoiling the dramatic declaration by yawning.
"I suppose you’re right," he said, as they fell asleep. "We’ll do whatever it takes."