Castles Out Of Air

by Lara Wilson

Spells were her forte. When she was a child she'd dreamed of becoming a great witch, surrounding herself with others like her and using her abilities to build castles out of air. To heal broken bones, and mend broken hearts. To use her gift to benefit the wizarding world. She came from a dark wizarding family, but that didn't mean she couldn't help others as she helped herself. She would write spells even to stave off death and her name would be renowned for ages.

But that was not to be her future. That was set in stone on her thirteenth birthday, the day that over cake and tea her parents informed her of her betrothal.

Lucius was seventeen, in his final year at school, the ruling prince of Slytherin House, and he'd always frightened her. Not that he'd paid her any attention. She was just a child, and her eldest sister had been much more to his liking, his equal in wickedness and dark desire.

Narcissa had watched the fury build in Bella's dark eyes, and shuddered, fearing for her own life. Stupidly asking why he couldn't be married to Bella had earned her a slap from her father, and a scream of anger from her sister who had apparated away, leaving the house for several days. When she'd returned, she'd never looked her baby sister in the eyes again.

Once back in school, Narcissa had devoted her free time to finding some way to change her future, some spell that would wipe out her betrothal, wipe out her fianc‚'s unwelcome desire to make her his wife, wipe out the hatred in her sister's eyes. But there was nothing save taking her own life, and her sense of self-preservation was too strong to allow that action.

At least Lucius left her alone as she finished her years of schooling, never even kissing her. Their meetings were formal, cold, empty, but as she grew older and less innocent, Narcissa recognized what lay behind his flat eyes.

He wanted her.

Her fear of him only grew in strength.

So, finally she turned from seeking a spell to prevent her marriage, and sought another one. One that would help her survive it.

As she stood alone before the mirror in her dressing room, dressed in a gown of pure white, the Black family serpent tiara pinning the veil to her pale blonde hair, she murmured the words of the spell she'd spent a year writing.

And thirty minutes later when she spoke her vows and accepted Lucius' kiss, all she felt was cold detachment and a welcome darkness.

"Mine now," he whispered against her cheek.

"I've always been yours," she replied softly, the spell making her no longer feel any fear, no longer care that she belonged to a man who she knew would hurt her. No longer innocent, Narcissa stepped into her future at Lucius' side and left all hope behind.


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