- For ShiningBrightEyes -

Hope you like it! xxx

Piercing grey eyes stared into crystal, scanning every inch of the reflection set before the boy. He was tall for his age- everyone said so and handsome, just like his father. But what they saw was merely a reflection; a distorted image of perfection. A beautiful lie. That was why his outer image had to be perfect, so the façade could be continued. Let them believe what they wanted to believe, after all, what harm could that do?

The child was Lucius Abraxas Malfoy, turned eight years-old just a month ago. His parents were hosting a party tonight but for what reason, Lucius had either forgotten or his father had not informed him. Not that it mattered, of course. They were all the same; Silly people arrived in silly clothes and talked about silly useless things. Lucius detested them because everything about these things were pretend, like a stupid fairy-tale that adults told children to shut them up. Only occasions such as these weren't for any child's benefit, they were to entertain stupid adults and keep them happy.

Lucius hated anything that was a charade because you never knew where you were with anything, they were all mirror images, simply a reflection that could vanish at any given time and then you'd know what they were really like…

The boy rolled up one of his shirt sleeves to examine his arm in the mirror. He didn't know why he wanted to see, nobody else did. Perhaps Lucius thought that it kept him in touch with reality, like a rotten apple in a painting of a perfect fruit bowl. He stared at the cuts ad bruises that ran up his thin arm, blatantly vivid against the paleness of his skin, almost transfixed by them.

These were not illusions or distorted reflections. They were the mark of reality, something to bring you sharply back from the world of make-believe. No matter how long you looked at them in the mirror, Lucius knew that they would never go away. And even when they had faded from sight, the hurt would still be there if you looked.

"Lucius darling, Father says to come down." Lucius' eyes never left the mirror as his mother came in, couldn't bear to be torn away from the only grip on reality he would be able to find tonight,

"Tell him I'll be down in a minute." He whispered. Marissa gasped when she saw what her young son was doing and hurried over to him,

"Lucius, your sleeves." She chided, rolling them back down with shaking fingers, "You know nobody must see…what would father say?" But Lucius simply stared at her through his mirror, almost blankly, like he wasn't really seeing her at all,

"You look lovely tonight, Mother." Marissa nodded as though the fact was an obvious one and didn't matter,

"Come down soon." She said, turning to leave. When the door had shut behind her, Lucius reached for his hair ribbon- the black one with silver patterns embroided into it that he had received for his birthday. His flaxen hair was only just down to his shoulders, but still long enough to tie back.

He was perfect, Lucius was sure of that, and finally he felt brave enough to risk the party.

The harsh clack of ladies shoes against the chequered marble floor. The ominous swish of the gentlemen's cloaks as they moved elegantly around the room. The rumble of low conversations. The chatter of pointless small-talk. Everything was as Lucius expected it to be.

He watched from across the ballroom as his parents moved like butterflies through the crowds, smiling and laughing with their friends. As ever, there was nobody of Lucius' own age to talk to and absolutely no way he'd be able to get away from the senseless, stupid conversation of equally idiotic adults without his father noticing and, having already gotten himself into his father's bad-books today, Lucius had no desire to do anything that might incur Abraxas' temper. Unconsciously, he reached up to touch his arm, but pulled away just in time.

Everyone was ignoring him, simply brushing past as if the small boy didn't exist. But that was good. There was little any of these people could say to capture the interest of Lucius. Besides, he hated them. They were silly and ignorant, only seeing what was put blatantly before them. Lucius held no desire to associate with those people, no matter how powerful they were.

Suddenly, the room around him became claustrophobic and Lucius felt as though he were being viciously suffocated. Too many mirages. Lucius had to get out.

The cold winter air hit Lucius' face with a refreshing coolness that made him sigh with relief. Outside was where Lucius liked to be best; when the frost was thick on the ground and you could see your own breath. Winter was the time when you were most certain that you were alive.

The young Malfoy settled himself down by the fountain, hiding his arms deep inside of his robes to keep the cold out. The sky was clear and the stars were bright, just as they always were in December.

Suddenly, the lights from the ball-room were extinguished, the guests would be moving into the hall now, to eat. Lucius entertained the thought of going with them for a moment. But the moment was short. He had no desire to be suffocated by mindless people and their worthless voices again, no matter how hungry he was.

As sudden movement in the bushes behind the fountain caught Lucius' eye and made him turn abruptly, just in time to see a small figure dart out of sight,

"Hey!" Lucius called, jumping to his feet, "Hey! Come back!" But only the rustling of leaves answered. "What are you doing? Who are you?" The bush stopped moving and an anxious ace peered out. It was a boy, of about the same age as Lucius. His face was pale, almost sickly looking, and a mass of limp, ebony-black hair fell about his face. "Who are you?" Lucius demanded again, glaring at the intruder with a glare that would make any Malfoy proud.

"Prince." The boy said instantly, "Severus Prince. My mother brought me." He nodded to Lucius, "Now you. What's your name?"

"Lucius Malfoy." Lucius said, holding his head up proudly, "This is my parents' party." Severus nodded,

"I know. Mam told me." He stepped out the bushes and brushed the leave off himself. Lucius couldn't help but examine the new boy in contempt,

"Why are you wearing muggle clothes?" He asked, pointing to the crumpled black trousers and too-small coat that Severus was wearing. He shuffled self-consciously,

"I, umm… my magic stuff's being washed and…" He shrugged and broke eye contact. Then he smirked,

"Why you wearing that stupid hair-tie? You look like a girl."

"Least I wear decent clothes."

"Your clothes make you look like you're wearing a dress." Lucius snarled and shoved Severus hard in the chest,

"Muggle!" Severus shoved him back,

"I'm not a muggle!" He spat, suddenly angry, "My mam's a witch just like anyone else's! So don't you call me muggle!"

"Muggle! Muggle!" Lucius taunted, dancing out of Severus' reach as the younger boy lunged for him,

"I'M NOT A MUGGLE!" Severus screamed, finally landing a punch on Lucius' jaw. The young Malfoy reeled backwards from the force of the blow, putting a hand gingerly up to his lip which was now bleeding freely. He considered for a moment, head-butting the obstinate boy but didn't really think it would go anywhere. So instead, Lucius nodded appreciatively and held out his hand,

"You're a good shot. I'd like it if we could be friends." Severus frowned, incredibly put out and not quite understanding what was happening.

"Why?" He asked suspiciously, "Why would you want to be friends with me? And why should I trust you?" Lucius shrugged,

"I like you." He said, "I think we're the same sort of person. How old are you, anyway?"

"Seven. But I'm eight in January. The ninth." He replied guardedly, ""I think that's when it is…" Lucius laughed,

"You don't know when your birthday is?" Severus shot him a cold look,

"We never really do much for it." He admitted, "Mam makes a cake but that's it…" He trailed off, clearly not wishing to discuss it further. "It's not your business anyway." Lucius held his hands up in surrender,

"Fine!" Suddenly, Severus' onyx eyes widened. Lucius frowned, "What are you staring at?"

"What happened to your arm?" The flaxen haired boy looked down in alarm and quickly tugged his sleeve back up from when it had fallen,

"Nothing." He muttered, licking his lips, "I fell over. That's all." He turned away, reluctant to talk to the Prince boy anymore, just in case he started asking questions. But Severus ran up to hi before he could go far,

"Lucius, wait!"

"What?" Severus yanked up his own sleeve,

"Snap." He whispered, meeting the older boy's silvery eyes directly, "To put it bluntly." Now it was Lucius' turn to stare. A scar, about five inches long, ran from the underside of Severus' elbow. It was deep and ugly, the mark of a break that hadn't been healed properly. Snap, Severus had said.

"How did you do that?" Severus glanced at it then at Lucius,

"I fell over." He said with a wry smile, "Just like you." Slowly, almost uncertainly, Lucius smiled back,

"Coincidence, huh?" The raven haired boy nodded,


"Did your mother know?"

"She didn't want to know. She didn't get it fixed. What about yours?" Lucius hesitated, suddenly wondering whether he was saying too much, going in too deep. But this boy seemed to understand and Lucius felt that it didn't really matter what he said because he just knew that Severus wasn't going to judge him or laugh.

"If something gets broken, she fixes it, but otherwise she just ignores it. I hate her for that." Severus nodded understandably,

"Same. But I don't think Mam means it, there's just nothing that can be done and it's silly to try." Lucius scowled heavily,

"I hate both of them. I want to kill them! One day, when I'm the most powerful wizard in the world I'm gonna kill them! I'm going to hurt them in all the ways they've ever hurt me so they'll know what it's like and they're going to regret everything.!" Severus smirked at Lucius' words.

"I think that too. I have dreams where I kill my pa and then everything's good for Mam and me and we go and live in a big house and we're happy forever. But…" He bit his lip and crossed his arms tight across his chest, "It's just a dream, isn't it? It'll never happen because it's not real."

"Maybe…" Lucius sighed and unconsciously removed the ribbon from his hair, letting the wave of silver-gold fall about his face, "Maybe one day…"

"I didn't mean it." Severus said, smirking, "When I said that you looked like a girl…well, maybe a bit." Lucius raised a delicate eyebrow,

"I didn't mean it when I called you a muggle either." Severus flushed,

"Don't worry about it." He looked up tentatively, "Friends?" Lucius grinned and stuck out his hand once more which Severus took gratefully,


The house was cold and grey when Lucius got back, even colder than it was outside, not that anyone really noticed it much. It was dark also. The long halls lit by only a few dim candles. It become apparent, almost immediately, that Lucius had been outside for far longer than he had thought. But maybe that was a good thing. Maybe his parents would be in bed by now. Maybe they hadn't noticed that he'd not been at the party…

"Lucius!" 'Bugger it!' Reluctantly, the boy turned to face his mother who was fixing him with an 'I-am-not-happy-with-you.' Look, that didn't really work when she was in her bed-robes,

"Mother." Lucius replied in a falsely bright voice, "What are you-"

"Enjoy the party?" Marissa asked her son coolly. Lucius rolled his eyes and turned to walk away, not really wanting to deal with this right now, "Don't you dare turn your back on me, Lucius Malfoy." Mrs Malfoy barked, yanking the boy back by his collar. Lucius scowled, but made no attempt to fight her off. When it came to his mother, Lucius knew that there was really no point even trying.

"Leave me alone Mother."

"Where were you tonight?"

"What do you mean 'where was I'?"

"Why weren't you at the party? You know how much your father wanted you to be there."

"You know how much I hate parties, Mother." Lucius murmured, gently lifting his mother's fingers from his arm, "I had to get away…" He brightened, "I met a boy in the gardens." Marissa was not amused,

"So that's where you were hiding." Lucius gritted his teeth, frustration bubbling to the surface

"Mother! I was not hiding! Why can't you just leave me alone?" Marissa sniffed and stepped away from the boy as if he disgusted her,

"What did I do in a previous life to deserve such an impertinent son?" She muttered as though she were talking to herself, "Such a shame. Such a terrible, terrible shame…" She glared at Lucius sternly, "Your father's after your blood, you know." The pale boy glowered darkly,

"I guessed…" He met Marissa's eyes, suddenly anxious, "Is he really angry?" Marissa ran her fingers through her son's long hair, in an unexpected tender gesture,

"What do you think, Angel? You knew when you ran off that you wouldn't get away with it, didn't you?"

"I hate him." Lucius said bluntly, playing absently with a button, "He's an evil bastard and I hate him." Within an instant, Marissa's hand had lashed out and caught Lucius smartly across the mouth,

"Watch your tongue!" She snarled, "Don't you dare talk about your father like that." Lucius sneered at her,

"Why shouldn't I?" He demanded, "It's true. And you're just the same! I hate you!"

"Lucius!" But this time, Lucius wasn't staying. He turned and ran as fast as he could through the house, away from her and her twisted, pretend images.

Reaching his room, Lucius flung the door violently open causing it bounce off the wall with an ear splitting crash. He hurled himself onto the bed and buried himself into his pillows, blocking out everything that he belonged to, everything that was in any way connected to his parents.

"I hate you I hate you I hate you!" The young boy screamed, his voice muffled by the deep grey material. His cheek stung like fire and his handsome features were screwed up tight to keep the in coming tears at bay. Lucius wondered what the boy- Severus Prince was doing. Going by what he had said, things weren't so good for him either, maybe Severus was laying on his bed too, thinking exactly the same things, hating everyone with just as much anger.

Friends, he had said. They were friends now. So…so maybe it was worth getting into trouble for that.

Lucius hoped that he'd see Severus again, maybe they could write to each other…that would be good.

That's what friends did, wasn't it?