They had first met at one of the standard pureblood parties that were always being thrown. Not that their first meeting had been all that pivotal, really. It was not the type of meeting that would make a lasting impression years to come. But it was still the first time they had ever seen each other.

It was Andromeda Black's first pureblood party that she was allowed to attend. Having just turned seven, her parents had finally deemed her mature and responsible enough to conduct herself properly at such gatherings. Andromeda was rather excited, although Bellatrix's endless chatter in her ear about what to do, and how to act, and who to speak to, and how to dress, and what to eat, and so on was rather irritating. She loved Bella dearly, but just because Bellatrix was two years her senior did not mean she had to act like Andromeda was so much younger than she was, such a baby. Because she wasn't. Seven was a very important and mature age, and Andromeda knew by now what was appropriate and expected behavior for herself at this event.

Once there however, Andromeda's eagerness had dimmed rather quickly as more and more time at the party elapsed. It was not in the slightest what she had imagined it to be. For starters, it wasn't even much of a party. There were people in fancy outfits, yes, and there was elegant food, fine, and there was a spacious dance floor with a orchestra playing in the corner, all right, but it wasn't any fun. Everyone attending seemed to have wedged a broomstick up their rear end, in her opinion. For what was supposed to be a party, they seemed to be suspiciously lacking in the concept of 'fun'.

"I don't like this," Andromeda mumbled to Bellatrix, as they sat at a tiny corner table together, observing the dancers.

Bellatrix shot her a look, a look that plainly screamed of her exasperation with her sister. "Andy, haven't you been nagging Mother and Father for years to attend one of these?"

"Yes, but I thought they would be fun," said Andromeda, sulking in her seat. "This isn't fun in the slightest."

"Lower your voice," said Bellatrix, glaring around suspiciously as though someone had overhead them, even though they were rather far from most of the room's occupants.

"Well, it's not," said Andromeda brazenly.

"Stop acting like such a child, Andy!" Bellatrix told her irritably.

"I am a child, Bella, and so are you, so stop pretending you're so high and mighty," Andromeda snapped. "This 'party' is a complete bore, and no one even seems to be enjoying themselves, so why do people even bother attending this – "

"Shush," Bellatrix hissed sharply. "The Malfoy boy is coming. His parents' are hosting this, so you just keep your mouth shut for a few minutes." In louder tones, she said cordially, "Good evening, Lucius."

A pale blonde boy who looked around her own age was standing by their table. "Good evening, Bellatrix. Can I join you?" he asked, gesturing at their table.

"Of course," said Bellatrix, and Lucius sat down opposite the two girls, smiling rather routinely.

"I don't think we've met," Lucius said to Andromeda, extending a hand across the table to her. "I'm Lucius Malfoy."

She reached out for his hand automatically; she had been doing these meet-and-greets all evening. "Andromeda Black."

"Pleasure," said Lucius formerly as he released her hand. He had obviously been raised to be just as prim and suitable as she had.

"Your family has put together a lovely gathering," said Bellatrix, throwing a pointed look at Andromeda before smiling at Lucius.

"I'm glad you're enjoying yourself," Lucius replied.

Bellatrix stared hard at her younger sister, who knew what was expected of her and added with as much vigor as she could muster, "Yes, this evening has been very – " she blurted out the first big vocabulary word that came to mind " – intriguing."

As the meaning of what she had just said sunk in, Andromeda flushed a light pink. Intriguing? Intriguing? That was as good as admitting she was not having a good time.

Bellatrix turned her head towards the wall in shame. Lucius, however, looked over at Andromeda with a grin.

"I appreciate honesty," he said genteelly, and she blushed darker.

"More like stupidity," Bellatrix couldn't seem to resist adding under her breath, but whether Lucius heard her or not Andromeda couldn't tell.

"Well, I should go see to the other guests and see if they are having a pleasant time as well," said Lucius, getting to his feet. He bid them both good-bye and good-night, then slipped away.

"Oh Merlin, Andy," Bellatrix groaned the minute he was out of earshot.

"Oh bother," said Andromeda sourly, "he didn't care, you saw his face."

Bellatrix just shook her head.

Despite what she told her elder sister, Andromeda was rather embarassed. Her parents had taught her the importance of first impressions, and she had probably not made a good one on Lucius Malfoy. Still, even though she would remained mollified for several days (and Lucius would remain amused), neither of them would remember the event in the long-term as being one to define their future. Even though, in some small way, it might have.