Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Ever4 Reviews
Narcissa Malfoy is released from Azkaban. Harry Potter was the one who released her, or gave the evidence that proved her innocence. Why?
Cool, calm and indifferent, Narcissa Malfoy seemed like a real ice princess, recently dethroned of course. Her blonde hair was threaded with silver and her lips were still twisted in a sneer.
Her pale grey robes did nothing for her figure, she appeared lifeless and thin. The colour made her look sallow and sick. The former Black's eyes burned but, with a proud intensity.
She had been captured, quite accidently, in a raid on Parkinson manor. No one had been sure of where she had been hiding, but her capture had been paraded across the Daily Prophet as a great success of the forces of Light.
That had been seven years ago. When Voldemort still was alive and not slain by the boy hero, Harry Potter. When Snape was still considered the murderer of the Headmaster of Hogwarts. When Draco Malfoy hadn't been married, or twice divorced for that matter.
Both Malfoy parents never attended either of their son's weddings. The first, quite respectfully and predictably, to Miss Pansy Parkinson less than a year after the final of Hogwarts.
Lucius Malfoy had been dead for over a year. When his son divorced Pansy in favour for a half-blood, Lucius couldn't turn over in his grave as he had never been graced with one. Any fragments that would have still existed of Lucius Malfoy would have been inhaled by his killers, through they had been too busy to think of that matter at the time.
His wife, Narcissa, was spending a life sentence is Azkaban, for conspiracy charges among others. She was suspected of killing an Auror but no proof could be put forward.
Now, she looked ill and weak. Her frail form, shivering in the sunlight as the Court pronounced her freedom. Not cleared of all charges, no, not that... But certain evidence put forward that suggested that she had indeed helped the Light during the course of the war.
It was enough and Narcissa Malfoy was free. Her son greeted her outside, a rare moment in the last seven years since he had seen his mother that a wedding ring was not resting upon his finger.
They embraced carefully, as if scared that they would break one another. Nary an expression crossed their face, they both looked withdrawn.
Draco Malfoy offered his mother lunch. She regretfully declined and said she wished to go for a walk through Diagon Alley.
Her son had nodded, not understanding his mother but not caring enough to protest. Too many years of obeying her could not be broken even after their long separation from one another.
The day was clear of clouds, but the sun was weak in it's winterly glory. Narcissa Malfoy, practically penniless, to her knowledge her funds and inheritance had been taken away at her arrest, started walking, ignoring any surprised glances that were cast her way. Seemed some had not forgotten the wife of the late Lucius Malfoy.
However, when a rich looking Pansy Parkinson approached, Narcissa did accept to have tea. She thought it was right to go, with her former daughter in law, even though she had never this Pansy when she was married to her son.
They discussed trivial things. Pansy was to be married again, this time, she said, without any rancour, to someone that actually suited her. Draco she revealed, to the mother, and her, never did get on. Perhaps, if times had been different.
Narcissa had shrugged and said she did not mind. She herself doubted she and Lucius would have stayed married for so long if times had been different, or they had been different.
Pansy, she didn't think, had understood Narcissa's words, but she had promised to send Mrs Malfoy an invitation to the wedding. Draco was coming too, she had added. Pansy had heard that was he was getting engaged again.
The two women had farewelled each other and parted ways. Pansy had paid for the two teas, Narcissa hadn't protested or simply said anything about the matter. She had accepted that Pansy would pay for the teas.
It was a surprise to a Mr Harry Potter when he saw the rather vacant looking Mrs Malfoy wandering, seemingly aimlessly down the Alley. Occasionally she would look at a window, staring at the products before walking onwards. All the while, her hands never seemed to be in full view of the public.
Harry found himself following her, he wasn't sure why, but time was full in his hands and Draco's mother seemed to be in want of someone's, anyone's attention.
For a moment she disappeared from his sight and Harry panicked. Scanning the bustling crowd of shoppers, under the wide brim of his hat, Harry frantically searched for the elusive widow.
"Mrs Malfoy?" He called, and a few fellow shoppers glanced at him, some pointing at his scar, recognizing the boy hero. "Mrs Malfoy?"
Her blonde and grey head turned and she regarded him seemingly to Harry as purposely blank. Raising an eyebrow, she asked in a hoarse but soft voice, "Yes, Mr Potter?"
The world rushed past them as they watched each other, not paying attention and not really caring. They however, respect their privacy and Narcissa was wanting of some alone time after the sometimes crowded cells of Azkaban in the minimal security ward of the prison. Harry wanted nothing to do with this world, the world that wanted him to be always the hero, he just wanted to be himself.
"It's..." Harry stopped, hesitating as she turned her bright blue eyes on him, "It's just that you surprised me that's all and I thought that, since the trial and all and... I just thought you would like some lunch? I heard about your release, I thought I could explain... over lunch?"
She examines him, studying him like a bug under a microscope. Harry refuses to shift as the level of intensity in her eyes hightens. Then her eyes close and she smiles slightly.
"That would be pleasant, Mr Potter. I would be delighted to have lunch with you. I do have some questions, it won't be much trouble, on such short notice?"
Harry shakes his head, holding out a hand. She pauses for a second before placing a hand in his. "Thank you for accepting my offer, Mrs Malfoy."
Narcissa inclines her head gracefully as Harry Potter, beloved hero vanishes out of Diagon Alley to Godric Hollow with Narcissa Malfoy, until this morning a resident of Azkaban.
Mr Potter now had a lunch date. Mrs Malfoy couldn't refuse the offer, she had questions of her own that needed answered. She would permit him to ask some of his own. They could learn from one another, she had rationalized back in Diagon Alley. Maybe, this would turn out for the best.
The food had been prepared by a house elf that 'eeped' when he saw her. Narcissa had from that moment on paid no attention to the creature, in some lost and useless loyalty to her long dead husband.
"Thank you," she murmured huskily, her voice still dry from years of disuse, "I haven't enjoyed such a meal for decades it seems."
Harry Potter smiled nervously and nodded. "Yes, well, I don't suppose Azkaban serves up the finish cuisine, from what Sirius - " He stopped and looked away, a shadow of old grief passing over his face.
Not an expression crossed Narcissa's face. She simply put down her knife and fork and commented, "Yes, I understand. I remember seeing the pictures of him. And..." She paused looking at him with slight apprehension, before continuing, "I remember what Bella, Bellatrix my sister looked when she escaped." She sighed.
"Do you think they ever met in Azkaban? Sirius and Bellatrix?" Harry asks, not shying away from the most famous Black sister.
"I doubt it, they were of different genders. The prisoners lived a very isolated existence and had seldom contact with outsiders." At Harry's curious expression, she clarified, "I visited Sirius once when Draco turned five, every few months I visited my sister and when my husband was incarcerated I visited at much as possible."
"That's a hefty list of family members in gaol." Harry says darkly.
"Was there any reason to it?" Narcissa says after a moment of silence.
"To what?" Harry bites back, fiddling with his napkin.
Narcissa shakes her head and glares at him lightly, "For your testimony, for setting me free. You're, you're the one who made it possible to be here today. I was dazed, confused, Mr Potter, when I found out. Why? After all these years?"
Harry is quiet again. "I suppose," he says, "It was because of a letter I found, from your sister to your husband." He stops and looks at Mrs Malfoy carefully, warily. "They were having an affair. I'm sorry."
She is still, and then bows her head, "I knew, Bella told me at once. They had been lovers before we had married and it continued on and off until she was captured. It started again after she escaped."
"You didn't mind?" Harry asked, shocked.
Shrugging she answered, "There was no point. Lucius was my husband and he would never leave me. Bella was married herself. We accepted it as it was." She looked at the almost red Harry, "I had a few dalliances myself after Draco was born."
"Oh... and none of you minded?" Harry pressed.
"It was the norm back then, I don't know about it now." She smiled, so her white teeth were revealed, "Don't get your hopes up Mr Potter, very few of these lovings were about love and not a child was born out of it. It is not done."
"Why did you set me free, Mr Potter?"
He looks her intently, and smiles slightly. It looks strange on his face. "Because, Mrs Malfoy, you weren't guilty."
"Some would say I wasn't innocent either." Narcissa comments.
"Yes, I imagine they would, but I don't want another person going there for crimes they didn't commit. It's what I can do for Sirius, even through I couldn't save him."
"I see. Thank you Mr Potter. For this and the lunch."
"It - It doesn't matter Mrs Malfoy." He not looking at her now. "I couldn't save him, I couldn't..."
"Bella killed him, Mr Potter, or she is the closest thing that did. I couldn't save my husband. I couldn't save my family. We live, we have to survive. The past forgive you, forgive yourself. You will destroy yourself, if you don't stop."
Harry smiles weakly. "Thank you, Mrs Malfoy."