A/N: Slash warning. I'd detail, but that'd give away the ending. My stab at humor.

DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.


by cyanide blue

"...Well," Lucius said cordially, fixing the cuffs of his shirt for the millionth time.

There was silence. Except for that damned clock. The grandfather clock that Justinian Black had thrust upon them ticked loudly, as though counting away towards death. Lucius despised it.

He glared at it, and turned back to see Rodolphus glaring at him. The mad glint in the man's eye made Lucius endlessly grateful that he himself had never even entered Azkaban. Rodolphus had been a... fairly normal man before Azkaban, and a fine conversationalist. Now Rodolphus was barely coherent.

And there was the top hat to consider as well. Lucius found it quite odd, and grossly out of style.

"Yes?" Rodolphus said, the darkness in his eyes lightening. "When do you think they'll be ready?"

Lucius pursed his lips. "There's no knowing. You know how they are. Everything has to be perfect." He tsked.

There was silence again, except for the heavy tick of the clock. No wonder Narcissa's father was so eager to get rid of it.

Rodolphus lifted his arm and yanked down his sleeve, revealing a long scar on his forearm. "Remember this?" he said.

Lucius blinked a few times. This was a bit unexpected. Nonetheless, he leaned forward, inspecting the scar carefully. He leaned back, sighing at his luck to get stuck in a room with the madman of the wizarding supremacy movement. "Not that I can recall, Rodolphus... refresh my memory?"

"Tonks," he snapped. "That bastard Tonks."

Lucius's expression didn't change, though inwardly wondered what the hell Rodolphus was getting at. "Oh. Yes. Soon after school ended, I recall. Some time in June."

"I told you we should have taken his wand. But you were a bastard, as usual." Rodolphus narrowed his eyes.

Lucius froze, quite aware that his wand was one very unsubtle reach away. "Rodolphus, now, the past is the past."

A loud scream, a pause, and then a giggle, momentarily halted the tense conversation.

Rodolphus's anger seemed to disappear into a look that Lucius was used to, and was starting to despise—-the melodramatic angsty look. Ugh. "I used to be a handsome man," Rodolphus mourned, running his finger along the scar. "I had all the men, women and various things I liked."

Lucius couldn't contain his cringe at that comment. It was most certainly unnecessary for him to know that much information. "When we own the world, my friend, we will have anything we like. Our Lord will provide."

Rodolphus raised his eyebrows. "Ah? Anything?"

That gave Lucius pause. "...Yes, anything. He has promised us so. And He does not break promises lightly."

"He let mon pureté douce and I rot in Hell for fourteen years. Did he promise that?"

Lucius stared at Rodolphus for spouting such... such blasphemy. "You couldn't possibly mean that, Rodolphus," he said. "That was Potter's fault-—not our Lord's."

"I have faith," Rodolphus said. "Mark that, I have faith, but I do have my doubts if our Lord has been thwarted, once, twice, thrice by a mere child. My loyalty will never waver, but have you not wondered the same, mon ami?"

Lucius said nothing.

"I thought as much," Rodolphus said. "Don't worry," he added. "This will be our little secret, Lucius of Ill Faith."

It was just as well that at that moment, Narcissa swept down the stairs in little but a white nightgown, pale spiral curls mussed most endearingly—and thus destroyed any chance of her husband responding at all. Admiration played on Lucius's features as he watched her continue into the conservatory—

And quickly faded as Bellatrix followed almost as a shadow to Narcissa's light, with only a sheet around her body.

Rodolphus slowly grinned.

Bellatrix gave Lucius a condescending look of pity, tsked, and continued into the kitchen.

"Perfection indeed," Rodolphus said.

"I'll be in my study," Lucius said. "Do as you please."

He locked the door, and seethed.