Threesome at Spinner's End

Chapter 1: Narcissa

This can be read as a stand-alone fic, but if you read the prequels "Why Snape never eats here" and "Malice in his voice" and the sequels "Dumbledore was pretty firm with him", "I taught him! I thought I knew him!", "Well done, Draco, well done" and "Power the Dark Lord knows not" you will get a better feel for the particular version of the Potterverse in which this story is set.

She rushes away from her sister, runs ahead to knock on the door, she'd told Bella that there's nothing she wouldn't do any more, and she means it, what's Lucius' pride compared to Draco's life? He will help her, he must help her, oh, he'll be angry that Bella has come with her, but he isn't afraid of Bella, he's a powerful wizard now, and the Dark Lord's favourite, that's why Bella hates him so, she's jealous, before the Dark Lord fell she was the favourite and now it's Severus, a scruffy little nobody who Bella barely noticed when they were all at Hogwarts together.

She remembers the first time she saw him, she was in third year and Lucius was in fifth year, Lucius and Bella were the new fifth year Slytherin prefects, but Lucius didn't want to stay in the prefects' carriage, he wanted to be with her. They'd looked through the whole of the train for an unoccupied carriage, where they could kiss and pet undisturbed, and they'd found him, all by himself, in the last carriage. She'd never seen such a shabby unprepossessing little first year, she'd expected Lucius to kick him out on the spot, but he'd looked at them as if they were royalty, as in a way they were, a Black and a Malfoy … and they were always a beautiful couple … his black eyes had moved admiringly from their faces to their Slytherin badges and then back to their faces, and Lucius had turned on the Malfoy charm, full blast, got him to tell them his name and a little bit about himself, he'd mumbled that he expected to be Sorted into Slytherin because his mother was a Slytherin. Severus Snape! Odd name, she'd never heard of a pureblood family by the name of Snape, well, he looked a bit foreign, with that hooked nose, sallow skin and greasy black hair, so she'd supposed that his father must have been one of the many European refugees from the war with Grindelwald, his real name was probably Schnape or something like that …

Afterwards she'd asked Lucius why he'd wasted his time on a scrubby little first year without wealth, family connections or good looks to recommend him, and he'd laughed and said, darling, that was an investment, didn't you see the book the kid was reading? Advanced Potions, that's a NEWT text! That Snape kid has potential, I bet old Slughorn will be keeping an eye on him, too. And then in the first week of term Severus had hexed that nasty little blood traitor Sirius Black with a very advanced curse, everyone had been talking about it, Sirius was in the Hospital Wing for two days having every bone in his right arm and hand regrown. Lucius had been delighted that his intuition had been proven correct, and Bella, Bella always hated Sirius, and so Severus had been allowed to become the junior member of the elite group of Slytherins dominated by Lucius and Bella: Rosier, Wilkes, Avery, Bella's boyfriend Rodolphus Lestrange, and the rest. A useful member of the group, he really was very bright, and he helped the others out a lot with their school work, not her, of course, she'd didn't have to worry about examination results, she was going to marry Lucius as soon as she left school, so she didn't pay that much attention to him.

She hadn't seen anything of him for two years after she graduated from Hogwarts, though she knew Lucius and Bella kept up with him, so she'd been amazed at how much he'd changed, he'd grown up a lot, he'd never be handsome, not with that nose, but he looked good, very confident, graceful and dangerous. And the way he looked at her, oh yes, he was very appreciative. Not that Lucius minded, he loved it when other men showed how much they wanted her, it made him so much more … amorous.

It had started off harmlessly enough, a kiss in the hall between courses at a dinner party, Lucius thought it was terribly amusing that she was flirting with his best friend, told her he didn't mind what she did with other men provided it wasn't actual intercourse, but he wanted to hear all about it afterwards. But then the game had become more dangerous, she didn't really want to do it, but Lucius insisted … so she'd asked Severus to come down to the wine-cellar to help her pick out another bottle of wine, she'd told him that she and Lucius had a very open relationship and she'd kissed him, slipped her hand into his trousers and stroked him but when he'd wanted more she reminded him that she was married … she'd loathed it at the time, but telling Lucius about it afterwards made him so excited and possessive, the sex had been marvellous, he'd never been so tender and loving.

So it became a bit of a habit, she didn't want to tell Lucius she found it humiliating, if it pleased Lucius for her to play the role of the sex goddess with a dozen admirers but only one consort, she would do it, and over the years Severus had become the regular partner in the game because, to be frank, he was generally available, it was not like he had a suspicious wife keeping an eye on him, and he always seemed happy to see her – she guessed he was probably pretty lonely, stuck up at Hogwarts most of the time – and she trusted him not to take advantage, not to break the rules. Well, Lucius is in Azkaban now, it's up to her to do whatever it takes to protect Draco, at least she's got something to offer Severus that she knows that he wants, but he might help her anyway, Lucius has been such a good friend to him in the past, and he really seems fond of Draco.

Bella catches up with her before he opens the door, he's pleased to see her, not so pleased to see Bella. She steps into the familiar little sitting room, what a beastly little den it is, but then he's hardly ever here, is he? She asks whether they're alone, she's so agitated she's quite forgotten that the Dark Lord has sent Pettigrew to stay with him, Pettigrew fetches them some wine and is packed off to his room, now she can speak, but Bella bursts in, tells her to hold her tongue, and she's been a little bit afraid of Bella since she got out of Azkaban, she's so … fanatical … now.

Severus is sneering at Bella, taunting her, challenging her, this is awful, she covers her face with her hands and waits for them to start hexing each other … but Severus is being reasonable, dealing convincingly with all of Bella's wild accusations, of course he's not a traitor, Lucius trusts him! And now Bella is trying to blame Lucius for the fiasco at the Ministry – how dare she! Lucius is worth ten of Bella's useless husband Rodolphus, Lucius is the perfect husband and father, oh how fortunate she is to be married to Lucius, and he'll be out of Azkaban soon, he's so clever, so well-connected, those Ministry clots won't dare to keep a Malfoy in prison for long.

Severus has silenced Bella, she can't think of anything more to say, and now he's turning to her, asking why she needs his help, and she does need his help, Merlin knows when Lucius will get out of gaol and Draco is in danger now. She isn't sure how to begin, the Dark Lord has forbidden her to speak of it, but surely Severus already knows … Then he tells her that if the Dark Lord has forbidden it, she ought not to speak, and she gasps with shock, he's not going to help her, and there's no one else she can turn to, no one. But then he relents, admits that he knows what she's referring to. She's openly crying now, he's saying there's nothing he can do, the Dark Lord will not be persuaded, it's just as she feared, Draco is intended to be a sacrifice for Lucius' mistakes, it's just an inventive punishment, crueller than if he were to simply strike Draco down, because it holds out hope, when there is no hope. The Dark Lord himself could not … she realises that she has said these words aloud, treacherous words, words that could get her killed.

She begs him again to intercede with the Dark Lord, but he will not, and she doesn't care about trying to preserve her dignity any longer, doesn't care that Bella is watching, she clutches at his robes, weeps onto his chest, she has to make him understand that she'll do anything, anything to save Draco. Damn Lily Potter, the wizarding world never stops talking about how she sacrificed her life for her child, but any mother would do as much, if only the Dark Lord had demanded her life … but he has not, he has demanded Draco's, and the foolish boy doesn't understand. A sixteen year old boy who has never cast an Unforgiveable Curse thinks he can destroy Dumbledore, the wizard who defeated Grindelwald, and who still defies the Dark Lord! Her boy is still an innocent, he has no idea of what's required to cast the Killing Curse, the rage and hate … she's not like Bella, she's never tried, never wanted to, and Lucius has never wanted her to, either, he's always protected her from ugly things. But Severus could do it, Lucius has told her of some of the things he's done, he's killed Aurors, he's a dangerous, cunning, powerful wizard, not an inexperienced boy.

She gasps, "You could do it. You could do it instead of Draco, Severus. You would succeed, of course you would, and he would reward you beyond all of us …"

He seems to be taking what she's saying seriously, says that the Dark Lord intends him to do it in the end, but he makes no promise, he's not going to help her, and she collapses at his feet. Bella is saying that if she had sons, she'd be glad to give them up to the service of the Dark Lord, Bella has no idea what's she's saying, the dried up hag, she'll never have children, not now, not after Azkaban. She hates her sister now, the bitch, the bitch, Draco is her nephew, blood of her blood, flesh of her flesh, how can she say such things?

Severus is lifting her up, is giving her another glass of wine, has he finally been moved by her tears? Now he's saying he might be able to help … might be able to see that Draco comes to no harm, but he's not making any promises, all he's said is "I can try," and she must have more, for Draco's sake. She kisses his hand, asks him to take the Unbreakable Vow, he stares back at her, his expression, blank, unreadable. But Bella is backing her up, sneering about empty words, and he kneels and takes her hand. Bella places her wand on their linked hands, and she prepares to take the Vow, she asks Severus to watch over Draco and to protect him, but it's not enough, Dumbledore has to die, if Dumbledore is dead the Dark Lord will be pleased, so pleased he won't care who did it, or how, it's the only way to keep Draco safe, and just as he's preparing to withdraw his hand from hers, she speaks again.

"And, should it prove necessary … if it seems Draco will fail … will you carry out the deed that the Dark Lord has ordered Draco to perform?"

His hand twitches within hers but he does not withdraw it.

He says, "I will".

And it's over.