by Yih

This is the Correction #1.  This is still un-beta'd by anyone but myself, so any errors you see are entirely mine.  Harry is a "boy".  This is a "slash".  If there's any references to him being a female, those are incorrect (a problem with transferring this from an original to a fanfic conversion).  The original is better than the fanfic, since some of the stuff doesn't translate right so I either cut it off or modify it.  Lastly, I will be updating this whenever I find the type to finish transcribing it from one form to another.  Because of all the complaints on confusion, I'll take more time on Chapter 2.  Thanks for your patience, considering the length of this. I think additional time waiting for it shouldn't be too painful.  As for POVs, it only shifts when the other character is in the process of talking or has spoken already.  hope this clears up any confusion. 


You're a poison
Infiltrating and contaminating
You ruin everything you touch
You've destroyed me
Crippled me; broken me

I'm still here
I don't know why
I stay and wait to break
One more time, twice again
I think it's love

A cruel and atrocious fiend
Feed by foolery
It's my folly
I'm at the verge
Do I dare?

It's in my system
I'm tainted; I'm spoiled
You've gotten to me
I can't let go
Why is love you?

Chapter 1
Of First Impressions that DO NOT Impress

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, oh no, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, oh god, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, shit, 16, 17.

"Mr. Malfoy, I do not appreciate your tardiness. You were ordered to be here at 10:00, it's 10:17. That is not 10:00. Your disregard for the court shows contempt and insolence, I will not put up with it."

Harsh court, honest judge--- that was Judge Albus Dumbledore--- not a man to displease. Lucius had done it this time. As if it wasn't bad enough that a good portion of the media was casting Narcissa in a favorable light, his time as the press darling was short circuiting after a lengthy stint. Why oh why did he have to come late? Didn't he understand that prodding at a judge's particular peeve was not going to aid his divorce settlement?

God, he wanted to strangle the arrogant bastard. If he could just get his fingers wrapped around his pale, aristocratic throat--- he'd squeeze every bit of oxygen out of his breathing passages. He would. He would! Screw the fact that Lucius was his boss and that he paid his wages--- he was a fucking idiot when he no right to be!

What he wouldn't give for some black coffee to sooth the nerves that were pinched into distress. He needed his fix. A fix he did. He forced himself not to rock on his heels (a favorite way to lose excessive nervous energy), now wasn't the time for bad habits, nor was it the time to bite his nails (a vile addiction that kept him from wanting to claw Lucius) or chew his bottom lip (an unfavorable inclination that left him with a bloody mess).

"Judge Dumbledore," Harry began sincerely, "Mr. Malfoy did not mean to be."

"I do apologize," Lucius dripped with insincerity, "for inconveniencing."

Rap. da. Rap. da. Rap. "SILENCE!"

Papers stopped shuffling; fingers quit drumming; bodies stayed still. Ice bitch and cold queen Narcissa arched a challenging brow towards her to-be-ex-husband of more than a decade of years. Harry knew the look. It was a who's won now, you ass of a bastard? If he were anywhere other than the courtroom where they were to decide the fate of many of millions--- he'd applaud the former Mrs. Malfoy. Narcissa had gotten something out of the farce of a marriage after all--- a version of Lucius's punishing glares.

"I do not want you to speak," a sharp warning to Harry, "since this affair does not concern you, and you, Mr. Malfoy," a severe glower, "I will not put up with that tone of voice in my court. Is that understood?"

"It is," Harry murmured, taking a step back and sitting down. This was out of his hands now. He only hoped that Lucius wouldn't do anything more moronic than what he'd already done. This was being conducted without lawyers and that crap in hopes of not dragging out the divorce proceedings. Just give Narcissa what she wants and this nightmare would be done with.

"I apologize," Lucius stated with much more respect and dignity--- though none of it reached any sincerity of his eyes. He was not a first rate actor for nothing. His pretense was as good as real and only Harry knew that this wasn't at all genuine. "My tardiness was inexcusable. I would very much like the proceedings to be as swift as possible."

"I think," Dumbledore began caustically, "we all heavily desire that, Mr. Malfoy. This will all be done with if you agree to the terms that Ms. Malfoy has shown me. They are reasonable for your twenty years of marriage."

"And the terms would be.?"

Many pages flipped. Glasses put on. Congested throat cleared. "You were married for twenty years, is that not so?"


"You did not sign a prenuptial agreement, am I correct?"

If he hadn't been a preteen then, Harry would have drilled Lucius for his stupidity. No one who married someone for convenience dared to have the idiocy to not sign a damnable prenuptial agreement. What kind of dumb bastard was he? Harry gritted his teeth and bit his tongue so that he wouldn't scream at his boss.


"You also have a son that is 14 years old, right?"

"Yes." Fists clenched with impatience. Get on with the blasted terms! "His name is Draco."

"Ah yes," Dumbledore murmured, turning more pages, "here we are. The terms."

"And they are?" he nearly snapped but kept the true edge out. Do not anger the judge, Harry had said. Keep the sarcasm out of the courtroom, and if necessary--- yell later but not here and not at this moment. It was a deep and terrible struggle but he managed.

"Would you like do to the honors, Mrs. Malfoy?" Dumbledore offered. "I believe that you would know your terms best and as this is only a settlement with my presence required, I would rather leave this to you."

"I would much prefer it. Thank you," Narcissa replied smoothly, opening up the folder in front of her and only glancing down briefly before fixating her cool gaze at Lucius. "The terms are quite reasonable, Lucius. I could take much more than this, but I really don't have the need for it as I was well off before I met you and I am still well off without you. But then again, why would I want to leave this arrangement without having gained something?"

What a bitch, what a bloody--- bloody bitch! Lucius pressed his thin lips into a straight frigid line. His shoulders shuddered in suppressed rage. Control was barely leashed. Damn Narcissa to the fires of Dante's hells! "You are worth over $100 million dollars, and that is not including revenues from movies that are still making you money. I would guess if you never worked another day in your existence, you would still make at least $10 more million. Then of course, there are the houses and properties and etc. that easily bring you over $200 million. I want $100 million, and I will not settle for less. That is not even half your worth."

"Some of those assets," he sneered contemptuously, "cannot be touched. They cannot be consider as part of the marital estate, and you damn well know that. I am prepared to offer you $30 million with any manor you desire to take, but no more liquid funds than that."

"$30?" Narcissa scorned. "When you are worth close to a quarter of a billion? Are you mad, Lucius? No, $100."

"Those are all the funds I have," he stated tightly, "I cannot do that."

"Then $80 and a house," she countered. "That leaves you $20 and that's more than enough."

"I will not give you that much."

"You owe me half of all that you own."

"And half of all that I own is $50 million," he snapped. "The rest that you mention that I'm worth cannot be touched as I do not own them exclusively, and even though the production company was started when I was married to you--- you had nothing to do with it! That cannot added into the settlement."

"It can," Dumbledore added lightly, a terrible amusement gleaming in the blue baby of his eyes. "It was started while you were married, and thus it is part of the marriage. It is a reasonable settlement, but I do have to make one disagreement. For you to pay it all one go would cause undeniable difficulty for you. Therefore, you will either pay it out gradually, starting with what you offered or Mrs. Malfoy can take a smaller portion but take it all now."

He wanted to rip out Narcissa's vocal cords, and he wanted to dim the light of Dumbledore's bemused eyes. Sod them all! But patience, he reminded himself, and dignity--- it would not do him any good to lose his composure. "I need to speak privately to my assistant," gestured to Harry, "about this."

"He still knows more about your affairs than you do, doesn't he?" Narcissa remarked, chuckling. "So be it, let them go talk about it. There are more requests that I need to make as well, that don't involve monetary aspects. But don't take too long. I believe your day is quite full."

It was. It was booked full. Lucius gripped Harry's arm and dragged him to one of the private conference rooms. In the car, Harry had listed out in his meticulous fashion what Lucius had to do--- an interview with another bloody mag to promote another movie, some meeting with a director that was propositioning a rather interesting role, then there were exclusive clothes that he needed custom tailored for him. He had no time for this divorce shit.


Harry stared at him, unmoved and unsurprised. Lucius's famous poise was nonexistent with him. There was a reason he was a brilliant actor, Lucius understood emotions well, and knew how to leash and release them in. If he didn't, how else could he be both a celebrated villain and a corrupted hero?

"I don't have $100 million for her to just take. Even if she takes $50, she'll be bankrupting me. I need more than that to run my production company. Even though I back independent films, each one still costs me more than $25 million, and I want to back more than 2 this year! Damn that bitch, damn her to Tartarus.

"What the fucking hell am I going to do?"

"Give her what she wants," Harry stated calmly, not perturbed that Lucius was ranging up and down the room like an out of control beast. "But you can't give her more than $50 and two or three properties out of the marriage. If she wants to wait, give her $25 and no manor house. And for the sake of God, keep your temper in there!"

"I WAS!" he raged. "I WAS!"

"I could feel your rage vibrating off your thick skull! You were close to losing it, and we don't have time to argue about settlements. Do you want this to drag out in divorce court? We agreed to have this done in front of a judge without lawyers because it wouldn't be a long and messy, not to mention costly affair. It's better for both of you, and especially for you as you have another movie to promote and another movie that starts filming in a month! You don't have time to mess with her! Just give her what she wants. And screw it if you can only support one indie this year, it's not the end of the world."

"She wants too much. Far too much. I can't give her that, I can't."

"Then you shouldn't divorce her," Harry muttered. "Why are you divorcing her anyway? Wouldn't it be more convenient to keep the charade of a happy Hollywood marriage up?"

"Except it's not Hollywood."

"Pardon me, a British ton wedding then."

"I will not allow anyone, even that bitch, to mock me. I know she's been seeing someone behind my back, I even know who it is. But I can't ever catch her with him, and neither have any private investigators I've hired. If I could get her for adultery, I would."

What a hypocrite! Even if he could, he'd committed enough liaisons to fill the sky with enough stars to blind the eyes. "And that would not be wise." Finger jabbed into his chest. Eyes narrowed into severity. "Your adulterous affairs are legendary, Lucius. It's fortunate I've managed to keep the nastier ones out of the papers. You would only lose more if this were brought up in court. That's why I want this to be settled outside of a civil trial. You'd lose half easily."

"Then why," his eyes more wary and alert, "is she willing to settle outside?"

Good question. "I have no idea." His shoulders shrugged. "Maybe she's not as much of a bitch as you would like to think she is. If Narcissa is anything, she's intelligent and cunning. Whatever money she could gain by settling in court would run both you and her a deficit in lawyer fees. A settlement outside doesn't waste the precious assets, and it keeps her name out of the filthy tabloids."

"I don't understand her."

"You don't need to. Just thank her and give her what she bloody well wants. Then you're doing her a favor and doing yourself a favor at the same time."

"I still hate her guts."

"You were the bloody fool that married her."

He pinched the bridge of his nose and sniffed indignantly. "Don't remind me of my stupidity."

"If I don't remind you, you'll only do something more atrocious."

"I hate you too."

"I know. I know." Harry grinned and saunter out of the room; Lucius was left with only the option to follow obediently behind. "It's time we get back into room of great monetary loss so that you can start having the pounds taken away from you."

A severe glare did nothing to shake him. He was too used to it. Really, they were practically punishing but they did nothing for him. He did jab Lucius hard in the side though. Now was not the time for cruel eyes nor sneer lips. It was time for him to turn on the charm that thousands of women fell under the thrall of and try not to alienate the judge anymore.

"Behave," Harry hissed, "you need every bit of grace you possess in your jaded soul."

Time ran out on Lucius's possibility of retort. "Have you sufficiently talked it all out?" Dumbledore inquired sharply. "As precious as your time is," he remarked, "I daresay my time is far more valuable as I have far less of a time in which to be on this god given Earth. So if you will please spare me any further waste and make up your mind on whether or not you wish to settle outside a lawyer's forage parade. that would be to your best interest."

"So Lucius," Narcissa murmured, "what is it to be?"

She stood there, graceful and refined. Narcissa Black, socialite extraordinaire and hostess queen. But he knew how close the bitch was to the surface of her image of invulnerability. It was clawing, groaning, wanting release. How she suppressed it amazed even him. If only he could get her to lose it.

"You claim yourself to be well off before me and still well off after me," he declared, "but in reality, you would be nothing without me. Let me guess, one of your terms is to keep the Malfoy surname. You wouldn't want to be without that precious commodity, would you?" Agitation lined her eyes. "And you wouldn't dare to give up Draco even if you were the one to first suggest shipping him off to boarding school when the opportunity first arose because he is your only true claim to the name of Malfoy."

He was thinking. Good for him. Narcissa was on the verge--- at the edge of her restraint. If she lost it, if Lucius somehow got under Narcissa's skin--- then maybe all was not lost. He remembered how glorious of a rage Lucius's wife was capable of. It rivaled even Lucius in a rare tizzy.

She was close, Harry smothered a smile. Lucius might be a bastard of a boss, but he was still his boss. Loyalties were foremost to him. And as much faith as he could have in an incorrigibly conceited ass of a man. Narcissa was shaking; her shoulders were shuddering. One small shove and she'd break.

"You ask me what it is to be," his voice light and trite, "but you haven't told me all that you want from me, Narcissa. You want everything, don't you?" Her eyes wouldn't meet his. "My money, my name, and my son. Will nothing satisfy your voraciousness?"

Situation was significantly improved. Dumbledore pushed his face forward with his eyes peering through his spectacles with an air of much expectancy. Control was swiveling in an erratic pendulum movement that could easily swing in favor of Lucius or Narcissa. Narcissa or Lucius. It had better be Lucius.

"My voraciousness?" Narcissa spat out spitefully. Her ire was rising. Very good. Her malice was a teeny bit bad. "What of yours then Lucius? You aren't in the tabloids for nothing. If I am voracious, pray tell. what are you?

The warning was blatant. Dirtiness was descending. It was creeping and crawling its way into the courtroom. Harry had expected it. Too bad there was precious little time. Lucius was going to have to make this quick. A few millions more than he wanted to pay wasn't going to hurt him too badly, only crush his ego and it could stand a good deal of footwork.

"There is little time," he warned. "Finish this. Finish this now."

No inclination that he had heard him, not terribly surprising from Lucius. He did enjoy riling him as much as Harry derived pleasure in deflating Lucius's inflated ego. How they managed to stay together in a working business relationship defied on all logical sense. Somehow they did it. Did it well too. If he hadn't been there to pull Lucius out of one mucky mess after another, he would not be the name that he was.

"You have an interview after this, then you have a meeting with a director that has set aside a role tailor made for you, and you have a fitting that needs to be done with the fashion designer," Harry rambled incessantly. "We have no time for this."

He growled. Perfect. How he loved that sexy guttural sound from his pale throat. One of the few facets of him that kept him latched to his side. Damn the bastard for being somewhat redeemable. If he wasn't, it'd be that much easier to leave him and move on like Tom would prefer. His preferences be damned! Who was he to rule her?

"Incessantly inane interviews," Lucius muttered with a sneering distaste. "They never ask anything worth printing."

"Like about your amorous sexual exploits?"

Grinding teeth, pursed lips. Simply lovely. Hadn't lost the touch. Not that it ever went away, it was like riding a bike. It never left. "Hardly. More like why they only focus on this farce of a marriage instead of my work."

"You're A-listed; therefore, you're targeted like an assassin's aim."

"Lovely analogy."

"Simile git."

"As much as you two would like to continue your lovely conversation," Dumbledore interrupted tartly, "I would like this over with so that I may move on to more pleasant engagements. Activities like brunching on bland oatmeal, then lunching over some watery gruel, and perhaps a chocolate snack snuck from my drawers. Now will you please--- get on with it, Mr. Malfoy?"

20? 25? Too little. 30? 35? Decent enough but not to Narcissa. 40? 45? Better, but still. 50? God he wanted to hurl. "$49," he stated, "and 3 properties to her choosing with the exception of the Malfoy Estate. If she deems to take the three most expensive properties, estimated worth is $75. I am willing to dole out $25 now and deed the properties to her at her convenience, but the other $24 will have to wait."

"It is not even half of what you're worth!" she exclaimed, viciousness spitting from her soul windows. "This is unbelievably preposterous! If you expect me to walk out with anything less than $100, you're insane Lucius!"

He coughed. "I am sorry, m'dear. But," he took out a sheet of paper from his leather Vuitton bag, "au contraire, I am not worth over $200 million as you so practically claim. My assets are worth that much, but my personal worth is more within the range of $150, which makes $75 a far more suitable payout."

"You bastard!" she spat. "You got a lawyer when it was agreed specifically none!"

"Actually," Harry piped in, "what he has is a clipping of a business journal that had calculated the worth of actors and actresses for 2003. He is one of the wealthiest, but he is hardly in the range of say. the leading man, Brad Pitt."

Dumbledore cleared his throat. He had heard enough; besides, it was close to 11:00. He was going to miss brunch at this turtle rate. "Clearly Mrs. Malfoy," he addressed mildly, "more thorough research should have been done on your part. As Mr. Malfoy has come with proof that was not derived from the manipulations of lawyers, you may take his generous offer or file a suit with a lawyer and take this into civil court. However, if you do that and I receive you as part of my jurisdiction--- I will NOT take kindly to reevaluating a case that I deem done with and the terms decent."

Cheers for Lucius. "Agreed," she choked out, "but there are other terms. I want to keep the Malfoy name, and I demand custody of my son."

"Our son," Lucius, "is a fourteen year old boy that is perfectly capable of making up his mind who he would like to stay with. It is not like he is a baby anymore and needs his mother. I would daresay he needs me more than you." And he'd be damned if he let Narcissa take the one good thing that this inconvenient marriage had bestowed him--- his son, Draco.

"You are never there!" she cried out with a good dose of healthy passion this time. Harry was taken back, did Narcissa care for Draco as more than a tool of manipulation in regards to Lucius? Possibly, motherhood did strange things to women in their older age. "Never there for him! Of course, he wants you there; but he needs and relies on me. I won't give him to you without a fight."

Before Lucius had hope to retort, Dumbledore interrupted sharply, "As the divorce settlement has been agreed on, monetary wise, I would like this meeting to adjourn. To settle the rest of this splintered marriage, I will arrange a time to see the young Mr. Malfoy this afternoon before tea time. I do not want any of you there at such time. Do you understand?"

"Understood." Lucius's eyes were halfway shuttered with displeasure, but his voice communicated itself without rancor. It was a severe effort, but he managed with pompous brilliancy.

"I understand."

"Good," Dumbledore stated blandly. "I will be calling the main house after my brunch. I would like young Mr. Malfoy to have a time prepared in which to see me. Now, please leave. I have better things to do as I'm sure you two do as well."

Narcissa curled her lips up with disgust that she had been slightly outmaneuvered, and her devious tongue started its devilry once they had stepped outside of the courtroom, "You don't deserve to spend anytime with Draco. He might be your biological son, but he's the son of my own heart and soul. He's mine, and he was never yours!"

Actually, it was rather the opposite. Draco was a dead ringer for Lucius, and his condescending personality was a direct reflection of Lucius. It was devastatingly impressive, and Harry on numerous occasions had wished to strangle the young boy as much as the father. He held his tongue though, this verbal spar was between Lucius and Narcissa. There was no need for him to get in the middle.

"We'll see about that." Oh god, Lucius was doing him proud this day. So in control, and so. not prone to stupid tendencies like ripping awful movie reviews (even if they mention his performance as per normal was inspired despite insipidness) or throwing fan mail into an ever growing heap of a pile in sheer annoyance (yet they were glowing marks of adulation that would only stimulate his ego) or. "Let's go, Harry."

A Divulging Chat with Lucius Malfoy exclusively for GQ Magazine.

GQ: Let's get straight to the point as you must be an extremely busy man.
LM: Quite.

GQ: You've got a new film out, Love Liasons. It's quite a different role for you, almost bland.
LM: I wouldn't say that it's bland per say. It is different.

GQ: You aren't the complicated villain nor the wretched hero.
LM: No, instead (trademark smirk) I'm this horribly romantic and tragic figure.

GQ: You haven't really done a role like this before. You've been a bit typecast as either a misunderstood villain or a hero that strays to the shadows.
LM: Never the bloke that gets the girl.

GQ: Hasn't stopped you from being the British sex symbol.
LM: I am a bit sought after.

GQ: Sought after is an understatement, I've heard you get enough mail to fill, what is it? Two postal bags a month?
LM: Something like that, yes.

GQ: And now you're back on the market.
LM: Not yet.

GQ: Ms. Narcissa giving you problems?
LM: No, just divorce papers are a shit of work.

GQ: I heard you were settling this outside of lawyer territory.
LM: We are. We settled most of it this morning.

GQ: You two seem quite congenial, will you be telling the public anytime soon why the marriage failed? Both of you have been together a rather long time.
LM: We've changed and moved on.

GQ: So you have.
LM: I'd rather not talk about this.

GQ: (Papers shuffling) You have more scripts pouring in for you. How ever do you choose which role to take? Especially as you've made your fame as a complexly brilliant villain?
LM: On how well written the characters are. And I dislike being typecast as only a villain. I like to think I am more than that, and I'd like to think I've proven the contrary in Dearly Departed and Fortune's Cookie.

GQ: You certainly have. In both you were sympathetic, though not to the point of making me ill--- and you were quite depraved yet in a good way, Cookie especially.
LM: Simon Freud was quite the character. He had good intentions that would invariably lead him to do something bad and then try to correct it and only to end up doing something worse. How could I not help but play such a role? It's thoroughly human.

GQ: His temper at realizing it kept getting worse was done with vicsciousness.
LM: Simon wanted to do good and kept doing bad and in the knowledge of his incompetence took it out on anything or anyone near him, almost making him the antithesis of a hero.

GQ: The common thread of your characters is complexity.
LM: Many layers of it.

GQ: The question is. are you equally as complex as the roles you've taken or even more so?
LM: More so? I don't know. (laughs) Ask my assistant.

GQ: Yes, your lovely assistant. She's been called your savior.
LM: He's my bitch.

GQ: Your bitch?
LM: Yes, he nags and bosses and gets me doing stuff that I'd never do if he weren't around. He's a horrid wench, but if I didn't have him--- I wouldn't be where I was today. He's got a terribly good eye for a worthy script.

GQ: Was he a factor in helping you choose such a different role in Love Liasons?
LM: To a degree yes.

GQ: To a degree? What degree?
LM: He goes through the scripts for me and helps wad through the stinkers.

GQ: And do you get many of those?
LM: Ah yes, many of those typecast villain roles where they are horribly written. If you must know (leans over in such a manner as to confide a secret in), I don't mind doing villain roles as long as the character is horrendously well written.

GQ: You've gotten a plethora of good evil buggers.
LM: And it's been a pleasure portraying them.

GQ: Your assistant is waving in such an anxious manner, so it must mean that our time's up. It's been a true pleasure interviewing you, Mr. Malfoy. I wish you all the best with Love Liasons.
LM: The pleasure is all mine.

"That was abso-BLOODY-lutely terrible."

"You were wonderful."

"I always am," he sneered.

Harry chuckled and rolled his eyes. "So conceited."

"Not without reason."

"Because you think you're the sexiest git alive."

"I don't think that, I know that," he declared arrogantly, "and so do the public."

"God, I have no idea how you managed before you had a throng of adoring fans to worship the ground that you tread," Harry muttered. "You're so impossibly big-headed that it's a wonder you don't rupture from the sheer pressure."

"The fans irritate me."

He snorted. "And you still ought to be grateful to them."

"Because according to you, you think that they've gotten me to this plateau."

"I know they have."

"And it has nothing at all to do with my acting merits."


"You can't get where I am," he snapped, "without having talent, especially with the roles that I've taken on."

"I never said you didn't have talent. If anything, I think you have more than you've been allowed to show. But that's changing now as you're being sought after for lead roles. You're finally getting the opportunity to be the showoff that you are."

"And a damnably good one I am."

"So modest."

"Of course."

Hary gave up. Trying to get him to lower his enormous ego was a waste of his time and effort. He might as well start briefing him on the next bit: "The meeting with the director has been pushed back another day, so you're going to get to have your fitting an hour longer than we planned. This should give us plenty of time to get a good deal of your wardrobe tailored and whatever we don't have an outfit for, chosen."

"Oh the joy."

"You know you love prancing around like a ponce with new clothes."

Steel eyes narrowed. "Never call me a ponce."

Terrifying glares didn't work on him, didn't Lucius ever learn? "Ponce."


"Is that the best you can do?"

"God, I hate you so."

"Was that ever in doubt?"

"Ouch!" A needled pricked his hip. He'd forgotten how maddening it was being measured for new clothes. And he had the wonderful suspicion that the blasted designer was watching all this with remarkable glee. Why was it again that he'd chosen this fashionista? Oh yes, because he came highly recommended. What?! As a sadist?

"You are such a baby."

It didn't help his ego any that Harry was looking at him like he was the biggest prat in the universe, but then again that was rather normal. The abnormality was that he was doing it in the presence of others. Now that sort of infuriated him in a way. He thought Harry made it a point to be the perfect assistant in public. Quite exasperating, especially when he pulled it off so convincingly.

"I don't see you here getting needles poked into your flesh," Lucius grumbled.

"I do a weekly acupuncture."

"God, are you a fucking masochist?"

Harry exhaled with vexation. "Only way I can put up with your bigotry."

"I thought I paid you to endure my. what? I am hardly that! Egoist perhaps!"

"Yet you almost subconsciously admitted it."

He scoffed at the mere suggestion. "I did no such thing."

"Almost convincing," Harry conceded.

"Whose the bloody actor here?" Lucius scowled. Another sharp pointy thing in his side. "Shit, watch where you're putting those sodding needles!" His death glare had the suitable reaction out of the needle wielder that it never had on Harry. "I didn't pay tens of thousands to get poked a million fucking times."

"Watch your language," Harry reprimanded sternly. "You're an actor, not a garbage collector."

"Are you insinuating something about garbage collectors?"

"Only that you collect trash in your mouth."

"I rather thought you were suggesting that garbage collectors have foul mouths."

"No one has a nastier tongue than you, Lucius," he snapped. "Now straighten your back up, you wouldn't want your custom tailored clothes to be fitted in a slouch would you?"

"Yes mum."

Ignoring him was always best. This time he had an enchanting excuse in the embodiment of one of the rising fashion designers of the new age. Severus Snape. "Your designs are heavenly," he complimented softly. His eyes dipped down, shyly. This wasn't Lucius, who Harry was used to sparring verbally with, this was someone else--- someone who he happened to admire greatly. "And Lucius looks marvelous."

"I wouldn't waste my time with him," a silkily slight sneer, "unless I thought him worthy of my creations." His black as onyx eyes slide over his figure with a critical appraisal. "Something for you, perhaps? There's a pair of cream slacks and a true white shirt that would work wonders with your complexion."

Pink tinted blush. "I could never afford it." Honest to a fault line.

"It's not about affording it," Severus began crisply, business-like fashion, "it's about."

            "If he wants to offer you some bloody clothes, I'll pay for."

The hawk-nosed designer narrowed his eyes darkly at the boorish interruption, though he hardly paused before continuing, " whether or not you'll grace my design by deeming to wear it. At any moment I spy a figure that would wear my creations not merely as clothes but like the skin, it cannot be bought by mere pounds. And this vanilla invention has been bothering me for quite a bit. You'd wear it beautifully. You have the right type of body. Slim and petite."

Nice way of saying short, Harry thought cynically. "I couldn't."

His hand dismissed him. "It's too virginal for other models to carry off. Today, it's sex and fucking and more sex and then add some shagging. The sweet vanilla has no sex appeal, it's this hazy innocence. It suits you."

Damn it! He wasn't that disgustingly innocent! Why did everyone think that? Just because he didn't go around fucking anything with legs or being the one shagged? He felt unclean. Not to mention severely wigged out. "Too bad I'm not a virgin," he muttered for his own benefit. He wasn't. Well, not technically. No orgasmic pleasures with that bit of sex, a cock had been between his ass cheeks. "Um. thanks."

"You don't have an arse. It's that simple."

What a terribly nice man. Give him clothes but tell him that 1) he was short, albeit in a respectable fashion and next say 2) that he didn't have hips in an unflattering fashion. Now he knew why Severus got a horrendous rap for being god awful. He was a callous--- on purpose or not--- and critical man. No wonder he was such a good designer. He had the eye. the eye that saw mad beauty stuff.

"As much," Lucius drawled, "as I'm enjoying you dissecting the flaws of Harry's body, can we get this sodding show on the road? I have better things to do with my time than to stand up here like a bloody prat with needles poking every which way into my flesh."

"Pity, that's what you are," Harry added. "And what else would you be doing? Screwing around with any ditzy blond that swings your way?"

A sneer of dissatisfaction curled his thin lips. "I did not appreciate that, Harry Potter." He might not like what he said about him in private, but he didn't stop him. This, however, was public and this he did care about.

"The true hurts."

"And that statement about blonds was horrid."

"I only really meant the blonds that you attract."

"What the HELL is up your ASS today?!?!"

His lips quavered. "Nothing."

"Then why are you such a bitch today?"

"And as much I'd like to hear your assistant rip away any attempt of yours at verbal assault," Severus stated sharply, "I have an important meeting that I must attend." He inclined his face toward Harry. "It's been a pleasure. I'll have the clothes sent to you. Leave some reference and my assistants will deal with it. As for you," his eyes far less friendly, "I trust you'll wear my creations in body with more intelligence than your tongue has shown. Good day." Out he went. Gone in seconds.

"Good riddance," Lucius muttered.

"He's a brilliant man," the assistant, who was steadily still pinning the suit to Lucius's physique, remarked. "Absolutely a genius. Difficult to get along with, but if you can deal with him, you learn more as his assistant than you would anywhere else. He grinds you down and almost crushes you, but it prepares you."

"For what?"

"For life."

"And life as Lucius Malfoy's assistant," Harry injected, "is an enlightenment."

Lucius barely contained a pleased smile. An enlightenment? "Truly?"

There was something in his deep green eyes. Something that was no good. "Truly." Only he detected the faint sarcasm. What a cynic he was, he mused. Had he always been this way? "It's a revelation on the trials of public life," he continued. "Prolly in the same way that working for Severus is for the fashion world."

           OR had he made Harry this way? "Life as I know it, would be distorted without Lucius." It was him then. And what was that twitching of his lips and that fluttering of his 'lashes? "I may be a godsend for him, but he is a prayer's answer."


Author's Note: This was long. This is the longest chapter I've ever written for a fanfic. I plan to continue this. Chapter 2 is more than halfway done. It'll be available as soon as I'm done. I have not have this beta'd so all mistakes are my own. I would say the most likely errors are pronouns. Other than that, this should be pretty much as good to go as I can get anything. Please review. So how do you like my portrayals of Lucius? Severus? Harry? I'm very proud of this story. Breaking new ground with a LM/HP/SS? Hopefully. Thanks! Let me know what you think and maybe my muse can be persuaded to write more and faster.