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The Black Prophecy

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Seated in the warmth of a glowing fire in the Three Broomsticks, Narcissa mused that this had been easier than she had anticipated to convince her son and his friends to join her. Somehow, Draco hadn’t seemed overly surprised at her presence in the town so far from the shopping comforts of Diagon Alley. When she invited the boys to lunch he gave her a knowing smirk. It was a pity, she thought, that he carried the Malfoy name instead of Black. The look alone tied him as much to his mother’s family as his platinum locks did to his father’s. She couldn’t remember the last time that she felt such contentment. The happy chatter of the young Slytherins flowed around her and she found herself happier than in any moment in recent memory. The smile gracing her son’s face was something rarely seen since the events at the Tri-Wizard Tournament the term before. The looming war weighed heavily on the younger generation. It was different for them, she realized. The First Wizarding War belonged to her generation. They’d been young, enthusiastic and ultimately unprepared. They charged head first into a war without planning or thought to what was at stake and what they might lose. Had she, her family and friends been wiser and better trained, perhaps the Dark Lord would not have spent so long in a state of limbo, nor would have her older sibling spent more than a decade locked away in a prison out of Narcissa’s reach. But this generation had it thrust upon them. They had little choice in the coming battles, as fighting was the only option. She could only hope that her son would not pay for their mistakes.

Bellatrix’s return home this week had felt like the only victory in the long years after the war. Though now free, healing her would take time. Narcissa knew no one more resilient than the eldest Black sister, but her appearance at Malfoy Manor just after her escape had shaken Narcissa’s faith. She had never seen her sister look so small or so haunted. Bella’s mental stability was a concern of the Black family as long as Narcissa could remember due to the mood swings and manic behavior she became so infamous for. Those first few days Narcissa worked around the clock to stabilize the physical health resulted of the 15 year stint in Azkaban. A few weeks of consistent food and rest would restore, in full, the fiery beauty that surrounded her sister. After only a handful of days, the fight was returning and moments of the old Bellatrix could be seen shining through the exhaustion that isolation had wrought. Perhaps it was no mystery after all that Narcissa had the urge to be in the lively company of school children. Bringing someone back to life, even metaphorically, was draining under the best circumstances.

The commotion of Crabb and Goyle rising from their seats drew Narcissa out of her introspection. They politely thanked her for lunch and explained that they were off to make their social rounds to the classmates that were sitting at tables on the other side of the room. As his friends made their way to the other waiting friends, Draco moved to sit next to his mother.

“Mother, while I am thrilled to have lunch with you today, I can’t help but wonder what you are doing in Hogsmeade with all of the recent excitement,” Draco said with the same trademark Black smirk.

Narcissa took a deep breath and looked over her only son. When had he become so very mature? And when in Merlin’s name had he learned to read her with such ease?

“I only came for a bit of shopping and perhaps to see my precious heir,” Narcissa cooed falsely sweet, knowing full well that she had been caught with ulterior motives.

“Mother…”

“Very well, Draco. I had, in fact, hoped to see you. Though I truly did not intend to interrupt your time with your friends. You must accept my apologies for doing so.” Not wanting to interrupt as his mother had finally started speaking in earnest, Draco simply nodded his agreement.

“I was in Scrivenshaft's looking for a book. With the events…. of late,” she paused, not wanting to discuss it further in public, but hoping Draco would understand. “Its become necessary that I broaden my knowledge of certain ancient arts.”

Draco’s posture stiffened. He had read the Prophet like everyone else, and he had suspected that his aunt had been among those who escaped. Though he had no memories of her, from the stories alone it was clear that she was among the most powerful witches alive. He leaned slightly towards his mother and spoke just barely above a whisper. “The Black Prophecy?”

“Yes, my son. I can no longer sit at home hoping and praying that your aunt will recover on her own. If there are other means of helping her, you know I cannot stand idly by.”

“I had never assumed that you would, I just thought I would be older that I would be able to assist you. You shouldn’t have to bear the preparations alone.”

Narcissa reached out to her son’s face affectionately, brushing her hand under his chin. “I know my dear boy, but it is quite alright. I made more progress than I had anticipated today, but I’ve found something I cannot solve alone. Would you be willing to help me just for today?”

“Of course, I can’t believe you would even think that you have to ask.”

“In the store earlier, I was not alone in the ancient section. And as you know, it is not exactly from the Daily Prophet’s Best-Selling section. There was a girl. She appeared to be about your age. She was pretty and dressed well but without any discerning characteristics. She wandlessly and wordlessly summoned a book, all the while with some sort of muggle technology plugged into her ears.” Narcissa knew immediately that something she said struck a cord with her son as his face lit up with recognition.

“A powerful witch, alone, and with muggle technology. There is only one person at Hogwarts that could possibly be, though beyond a name I fear I cannot help you. To my knowledge no one has ever gotten close to her. But for what it is worth, her name is Hermione Granger. She is a Ravenclaw. “


Finally free. Bellatrix Lestrange…no, Bellatrix Black was finally free. The long years in prison took 15 years of her youth and her husband. She thought that she was rather lucky. As a witch the age meant little. She was pureblooded and would live many more years. And as for the husband, she’d never had much use for him. He had appeased her parents desire to marry her off and he supported her interest in the dark arts and following the Dark Lord. He was too busy with his many mistresses to be concerned with his wife, for which she was always grateful. She was sorry that he had not survived prison, but it hadn’t damaged her emotionally. The monotonous crashing of waves, the damp cold that never left and the constant threat of dementors were the scars left behind by Azkaban. Though she was warm, safe and well cared for in her sister’s manor, the fear of those things haunted her sleeping and waking hours.

She was fortunate that her sister was trained as a healer before becoming the wife of Lucius Malfoy. Over the past 6 days Narcissa healed her body beyond what she had even hoped. Her skin was clean and its natural pale glow was returning. The lovely soaps and warm water had calmed her long black curly locks, which currently fell in her eyes. The potions had rebuilt her inside and out, leaving her with a dazzling smile and energy that she knew would astound anyone who knew of her history. She was happy to look like herself again and knew that the radical change in her appearance would serve to frighten the Order in the first battle she fought in. They would naturally expect her to be weak and changed, but that’s because they knew nothing of the house of Black. Blacks were many things, but weak was not among them.

Her mind raced through spells and scenarios, fighting battles in her mind. She was filled with more hope and anticipation than she had felt in years. There were times over the last few years she had doubted everything; her ability, her Lord, the prophecy. But circumstances changed drastically and she could nearly feel the magic crackling around her. Anticipation grew quickly into boredom and then into jealously. Narcissa had gone to Hogsmeade without her. Not that she couldn’t understand the need to not take a recently escaped convict out in public, Bellatrix was not as insane as the public had been told. She was cruel, short tempered and loved conflict, but she was not mad. After an hour or more of seething, she declared to herself that Bellatrix Black was not the sort of witch to hide away in boredom and that a short trip near to where Narcissa had gone would do no harm. With determination, she pulled on her cloak and apparated with a loud crack.