Daffodils and Grass blades
They said that Draco had some kind of complex, because when he fell in love with a quiet, biddable pureblood younger daughter he was essentially marrying his mother.
But when Narcissa Malfoy looked at her daughter in law, she felt not an ounce of kingship, not love, not even passing acceptance of her. Because when Narcissa looked at Astoria, she didn’t see herself: she saw her sister Andromeda.
Andromeda, who had been the one to teach Narcissa how to keep secrets. Who had played the part of perfect sister, daughter and cousin so well that when she decided to show her true colors it teared the Black family into two perfect halves.
Narcissa saw much of her sister in Draco’s wife. Astoria’s act of rebellion against her family hadn’t been to marry a muggleborn. In the eyes of society Astoria had done worse, much worse: She’d married the only marked Death Eater to escape trial.
Sweet, neutral Astoria, who would hug Draco and send a vindictive smile to his mother when he wasn’t looking.
This was her son and that good for nothing girl had essentially waltzed in and made him her slave. Narcissa didn’t like the chit. How could she, when every innocent laugh Astoria shared with Draco felt like a knife in her heart.
“Look at me, Draco doesn’t care what you think anymore” the girl’s actions seemed to say to Narcissa “I took him away from you, he’s mine now, he was never yours to keep” the delicate hand in Draco’s arm taunted.
Narcissa didn’t like her because she’d lived under the shadows of the likes of her during her childhood.
“Of course Lady Malfoy, I’ll wear what you want me to this evening” the girl agreed peacefully lifting the teacup to her lips “but if I don’t please know that it won’t be my fault, these days my house elves have a habit of damaging my clothes when they clean my bedroom”
Always conciliatory, never a word of confrontation in her lips, but if she happened to drag Draco out to meet and be publicly photographed with the dirty orphans of her charity, then that would just be called a happy accident. In fact the world would only celebrate her for it.
If Astoria made up her mind to rebuild Draco’s reputation as some kind of mudblood sympathizer using every mean she had, well, her son would follow her lead, simply because the doe eyed little harpy had him firmly under her spell. Just because she was a pretty face and happened to know a thing or two about cleaning up after Draco’s blunders then suddenly she was “the one” .
And Narcissa was reminded of her sister. Every single day.
In most of Astoria’s actions, the ghost of young Andromeda would be there waving mocking at Narcissa.
The girl Andromeda was, and most of all the woman she’d almost had been if she’d ever set her mind on marrying Lucius.
Sweet, diplomatic second daughter, born with a gift for keeping her rebellious opinions to herself, always able to convince even the worst of people that she held them in great esteem. If Andromeda had been allowed to thrive in a world without Voldemort….This could have been her.
Half of the pureblood mothers in society would have killed for a daughter in law as biddable as Astoria, who in a very Slytherin way turned bad publicity into good publicity everywhere she went. But Narcissa knew better than to trust the little garden snake her son had married. As much as Draco wanted them to get along the best Narcissa could muster for the chit was a brief regard. But never approval.
How could her son ask her to love let alone approve of the girl who was willfully ripping him away from her arms?. That monster who encouraged him to ‘find himself’ by putting space between him and his parents.
And Narcissa could have loved her. There were days when Draco and Lucius bickered like children that Astoria would turn to her and Narcissa would share a conspiratorial smile. When the girl played Darkfellow Sonata N°7 in the piano because she knew it was her mother in law’s favorite.
There were days Narcissa stood next to Lucius and felt almost thankful that Astoria could withstand the pressure of being a Malfoy. Days when she laughed at the girl’s passive aggressive remarks and patted her arm indulgently as she complained about the gossip circus they all had to endure.
But even on those days, Narcissa still saw her sister in the girl. It was a bit sad, because Andromeda had been Narcissa’s favorite sister. And when Astoria made a remark about a certain Councilwomen needing a reform not only in the law but in her wardrobes, Narcissa could remember a time when she’d also laughed about similar comments with another girl, decades ago. When Andromeda would snort under her breath at aunt Walburga’s antics.
Bella had followed Voldemort, Narcissa followed her duty but only Andromeda followed her heart.
Astoria’s little rebellion hadn’t cost her an inheritance, but she’d still gone against her whole family for Draco. She’d still been prepared to give up a life shrouded with comfort in order to marry a man her parents and all society thought unsuitable.
And maybe that’s what made it hurt the most. That of all the girls in the world, Draco had not chosen the one with the temperament that was closer to his mother.
Unknowingly he’d chosen the one closest to his disowned aunt.
In another life, maybe, Narcissa could have learn to feel something beyond bare tolerance for little Astoria Greengrass. But it was very hard to live with one’s mistakes when you see how much happier your own son is away from you.
And that’s what hurt the most, Draco loved his mother, Narcissa was well aware of how much her son adored her. But she didn’t make him happy. She’d made and let Lucius make choices during Draco’s childhood that guaranteed his future unhappiness despite the fact that they both loved him.
But Astoria, she made him happy. She put light in his eyes and even her frail countenance wasn’t enough to drive him away.
So maybe Narcissa refused to approve of Astoria because it hurt. Approving of the girl would be acknowledging a lifetime of regrets, it would be saying that she’d been wrong, that Andromeda had been right to chose love instead of duty, that Draco was no longer her baby and that she had to accept Astoria as the new leading lady of his life.
And it was painful.
So Narcissa Malfoy held on to her pride and continued to disapprove of her daughter in law, it was better this way.
An: so there you have it folks, this piece was very interesting to write, because I pictured Narcissa Malfoy as a very deep character. It was surprising to delve into how she sees Drastoria, from a mother in law’s POV. Hope I did her justice.