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The small and dainty figure that breezed past the other students in the corridors could only be that of Narcissa Malfoy. The youngest of the infamous Black sisters, Narcissa had the will of her eldest sister Bellatrix and the compassion of her other sister Andromeda, and knew how to use both in equal measure to always ensure she got what she wanted. In spite of her spoiled nature, she was polite and well-practiced in the art of flattery. Despite being sorted into Slytherin house, it was almost impossible not to like the pretty sixth year since she was naturally curious and loved to listen to other people.
Perhaps she had learned to listen so well because she had been shouted over by her elder sisters since birth, or perhaps it was due to her mother Druella (having been bitterly dissapointed that Cissy had not been born a boy) constantly reminding her of her dissapointment. She was the only member of her family to have not been named after a constellation of stars for generations and generations, something both Bellatrix and Druella loved to remind her of. Either way it had instilled in the littlest Black a sense of resentment which she kept mostly to herself, but which reared its ugly head whenever anyone underestimated her.
Taking to the grounds of Hogwarts, potions homework tucked under her arm, Narcissa hummed to herself lightly. The song had been stuck in her head ever since her favourite portrait of an old cat sat on an armchair by the Slytherin common room had been singing it this morning. The sun was unseasonably warm and beat down, causing the lake to glisten in the most beautiful way.
Sat by a tree was a fellow Slytherin, Severus Snape and Narcissa shot him a friendly smile and a nod before settling down on a wooden bench by the lake herself. She had always admired Severus for the grades he recieved in potions class, but she always wanted to push herself and so decided to study by herself before asking him for any help. A firm favourite of Slughorn, her potions professor and Head of House, it was not as though she would get in much trouble if she made a mistake.
“Sirius Black!” came the high pitched screech, echoing across the stone corridors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Professor McGonagall, teacher of Transfiguration and Head of Gryffindor House, was evidently at the end of her tether – and nobody wanted to stand in her way. Students scattered, not wanting to get in the middle of her wrath as she made her way towards the culprit of the crime: a tall, handsome young man with elegant, dark flowing locks and a boyish smile.
Sirius had always been mischievous; he caused trouble wherever he went, especially when he was with his best friends James, Remus and Peter. Today, however, had been a solo venture. James had gone off with Lily Evans after dinner – as per usual – and Remus was having his time of the month, as Sirius liked to think of it. With only Peter Pettigrew as company, and fairly little around to catch his attention, Sirius had decided to entertain himself by letting off Dr Filibuster’s Fabulous Wet-Start, No-Heat Fireworks after class in the corridors closest to the Great Hall. As predicted, chaos had ensued. Amidst the bangs and crashes of fireworks going off and the sounds of the cheers of his fellow students, he could just about make out the voice of the Professor coming his way. Many people feared Professor McGonagall, with her stern stare and steel tongue, but Sirius had a bit of a way with her. He had a bit of a way with everyone really, he was too charming for his own good.
“Oh Professor, you flatter me!” Sirius burst out with a smarmy grin, trying to look innocent whilst he hid the remainder of his Fireworks behind his back. “I know I’m good, but I can’t be that good!”
The Professor looked positively puzzled.
“What on earth are you talking about, Black?” she asked.
“The way you scream my name so often.” He retorted, looking her up and down. It took a few seconds, but then the crowd surrounding him burst into laughter – one third year looked like he might break a rib. Sirius himself was resisting the urge to join in with the sniggering. Professor McGonagall looked as if she was fit to burst with rage, and it seemed she’d finally understood the insinuation.
“That’s it, Black. I’ve had enough. I’m taking you straight to Dumbledore-“
“… Sorry Professor, can’t make it. I’m starving. Think I might faint if I don’t eat something soon.” Sirius replied as quick as a wink, dropping the remainder of his Fireworks and darting off into the Great Hall. Behind him he could hear booms and crashes, but he didn’t stop long enough to look back. As soon he had reached the Hall he was camouflaged by a small group of students who had decided to stay behind for leftovers, and was fairly certain he had gotten away with his latest bout of trouble-making.
“That was brilliant Sirius!” came the adoring voice of Peter Pettigrew who had inevitably trailed behind him.
“Oh it wasn’t all that.” Sirius played it off with a roll of his eyes and a grin, finding a seat with a few fellow Gryffindors who had been playing Wizarding Chess but were soon distracted by Sirius’ raucous behaviour.
“Filch is gonna kill you for it later though!” one boy scoffed.
“Undoubtedly.” Sirius grinned back. “But who cares?”
Laughing and chatting with his friends at the Gryffindor table, Sirius remained completely unaware that mere meters from him at the Slytherin table sat his cousins Narcissa and Bellatrix. Sirius hadn’t even spoken to a member of the Black family since his parents had kicked him out of his home at number 12 Grimmauld Place for some questionable posters which he had charmed permanently to his bedroom wall…
The attention that focused on her cousin Sirius was something that Bellatrix had learned to ignore so much more easily than Narcissa. There was a sort of awe about the Gryffindor that she held for her cousin, though she would never admit it. Narcissa knew well and good that being yourself was not always a good thing, especially not in their family. Toujours Pur, that was their family moto and Narcissa did not know how easily and without issue Sirius had ignored that. She couldn’t help but admire him for it, for his courage and his trust in his friends that he would be ok if he left his family. Cissy could never, and would never do that. There was strength in numbers and though they didn’t always get on she would do anything for her sisters. There was a particular strength that the Blacks held within society which Sirius seemed not to care about, but that which was the most important thing in the world to the young Slytherin.
People naturally, she observed from the silence of her own table, gravitated towards him, and she supposed it was a particular Black trait which they all had. Narcissa however, had the decent sense to keep people around her that were useful to her- rather than just for the company. Petigrew for instance, what good had he ever done? Constantly outshone by the other friends Sirius had, Narcissa decided that she would rather leave school that be in his position. She rolled her eyes and took her attention back to her work, so much for not having any distractions… there was a morbid curiosity that Narcissa held for her cousin and she recalled that while they had gotten on as children she had always been a little afraid of him. He was a maverick, a rogue and that was not Narcissa’s way in the slightest. She liked order, and he was the opposite of that. She supposed it was a good thing that her Aunt and Uncle had kicked him out of home- he was like wildfire and would destroy everything their noble and pure house stood for.
Small in stature but in little else, Narcissa had always been mistaken for the weakest willed of the Black sisters. The youngest of three, Cissy had been spoiled dreadfully, at least by her father. Her mother had always been dreadfully dissapointed by the fact that she had not been born a boy and took every opportunity to remind her. The walls that the littlest Black sister put up to defend herself around her mother followed her each year to Hogwarts, and the Slytherin held a desperate resentment against anyone who underestimated her.
That said, Narcissa had a distinct flare for flattery. Her father had often told her that she held all the traditional qualities expected of her and more. She had a tongue which dripped honey and knew exactly what to say to the “right sort” of people. Narcissa had the will of her eldest sister Bellatrix, and the compassion of her other sister Andromeda, and knew how to use both in equal measure to get what she wanted.
Her long blonde hair floated behind her as she strode towards the great hall, satchel flapping against her dainty hip bone and her wand- elm, dragon heartsting, twelve and a half inches, twirling through her tiny fingers. Despite her short appearance, the girl had no problem navigating the halls of the infamous school without any issue. The other students knew who Narcissa was, what family she belonged to and what that meant. Narcissa was destined for great things there was no doubt about it and a group of Ravenclaws parted for her to walk by.
Nodding thankfully in their direction, Narcissa entered the Great Hall and immediately glanced at the staff dinner table to meet eyes with Professor Slughorn. The potions Professor had taken a liking to the Slytherin as soon as she had entered his house, being- frankly- a little scared by Bellatrix Black, and finding little of interest in Andromeda, Slughorn been inviting Narcissa to his Slug Club meetings since her third year. She was bright, there was no doubt about that, but mostly Narcissa held an air about her which was almost difficult to ignore. The blonde drew people to her, she was polite and tactful and was bound to have a career in whatever field she chose.
Flashing a friendly grin and a polite nod to Slughorn, the Slytherin girl bounded towards her friends, all listening in earnest to Bellatrix’s monologue.
Dinner passed in a blur and her sister did not stop talking, one by one her friends trickled away to the Common room, full from their dinner, but Narcissa remained seated. The Great Hall in the evening was her favourite place to study and while it remained a little drafty, the enchanted sky was her only distraction from her Transfiguration homework.
[1/1] family : the House of Black
narcissa malfoy was probably the most powerful occlumens in hogwarts history and nobody knew
she literally stood up to lord voldemort and lied that harry potter was dead and i don’t know about you but if i were an evil ruler i would probably want to triple-check that my nemesis was, you know, actually deceased
voldemort had actual doubts about snape
narcissa swans on by without a whisper, without a second glance