A/N: A few quick notes before kicking this story off. First, a few dates/years have been fudged in order to place Lucius on the scene at the same time as the fight between Snape and Lily, as well as ensuring that Molly's still around and not married yet. Second, I will do my best to, apart from the aforementioned date merging, keep things canon, including the characters. I'm more than open to any criticism/critique and will try to improve from it.
And finally, I've had this idea for a bit, since reading the final book and couldn't resist it any longer. I hope it works well and that, as always, you the reader enjoy it.
With that being said, onto the fiction.
Severus Snape looked out at the placid surface of the lake and did his best to keep from crying. It wasn't like him to cry; he knew the importance of keeping his emotions bottled up. But losing Lily, permanently from the looks of it, was enough to strongly tempt him to do precisely that. He wanted to weep, to rage, to beg, to plead.
He couldn't do any of it, however. Instead, he sat there transfixed, internally cursing himself all the while.
As if the situation weren't already upsetting enough, it was his rotten luck that Lucius Malfoy had been hunting him all afternoon. Out of the corner of his eye he could see the silver-haired seventh year making his way over.
No doubt trying to get me to do something for him, Severus surmised.
"Snape!" Lucius demanded. "What do you think you're doing, staring out like that? My Potions homework isn't going to do itself you know."
"Then why don't you do it yourself?" Snape turned venomous eyes onto him and Lucius took a step back.
"My, my," he murmured after taking a second to compose himself. "What's gotten you so worked up?" He paused for a moment and smirked. "Don't tell me – trouble with the ladies?"
Severus stood and brushed past the older boy. "What would you know about it?" He snapped.
"Enough to know that she's distracting you," Lucius drawled. "Why don't you bed her already and have done with it?" Snape rounded on him with a murderous glare and Lucius raised his hands up in a mock-defense position. "Oh, I'm sorry. She's too much of a lady for that. And you're – what? A gentleman? Oh no, that's right, a greasy git is the phrase I believe her friends use."
"They're not her friends," he retorted in a strained voice.
"Well you're not either now, by the looks of it." He strode up to Snape and leaned over to whisper in his ear. "I certainly hope that this… Gryffindor isn't distracting you from your true calling."
"Not at all." A muscle in his cheek twitched, the only outward sign of his intense aggravation at Lucius' prying.
"Besides, Severus, if you wanted to best Potter you should have come to an expert for help." He grinned and touched his chest with the tip of his wand.
"You?" A scoff escaped Snape's lips and his mouth curled. "As you yourself said – she's a lady. I hardly think she'd be wooed by the ass-grabbing and lewd remarks you use to get on."
Lucius rolled his eyes, as if he couldn't believe Snape was so thick. "That's only for certain types of girls. You want something a little more challenging – but I can help you there too, believe it or not." Snape looked at him skeptically and Lucius flushed, insulted that someone like Snape would have doubts about his abilities to attract any and all of the opposite sex. "Shall I prove it to you?" He snapped indignantly.
"Prove what?" Snape began stomping off in the direction of the castle. "The only thing you prove is how much of an arrogant prig you can be."
"I'm willing to ignore that comment and not dock you points if you take two seconds to listen," Lucius went after him. "First off, this obsession with yours has gone quite far enough. I'm not risking your distraction over something so easily obtainable."
"And you have the skill to obtain it?" Snape's voice dripped sarcasm.
"Yes, I do. Bringing me to my second point – I resent the implication that I would fail at such a simple task as seducing a Gryffindor!"
"You know this from practice."
"Well… no," he admitted. "But I know the theory behind it!" He retorted, flushing again, the red contrasting prominently with his pale skin. "As I said before, I'll prove it to you; I'll tame a ginger lioness and in the process show you how it's done."
"You? How?! You're one of the most notorious Slytherins in school; no Gryffindor girl in her right mind would ever go out with you – it would be instant ostracism!" He quieted for a moment. "It was bad enough for Lily when she and I were just friends – and I don't have half your reputation!"
"You flatter me; but regardless, it can be done," Lucius smirked.
For a moment, Severus paused, considering. He was loathe to take advice from the smug, superior Malfoy, who would no doubt lord it over him forever if it worked. And he wondered if the whole setup might not be a trick to embarrass him in front of Lily, just as Potter and his lot had. Even if it worked, surely a permanent reunion would be impossible; he didn't think anything he ever said would bring Lily around to his side of matters. Every bit of logic and good sense he had told him to go no further down the path Lucius was beckoning.
In the end, however, the temptation to get back into Lily's good graces, even for a brief interval, was far too strong.
"Fine then," Severus crossed his arms. "If you're so certain, then prove it."
"Oh I will. Watch closely when I do; you don't want to miss anything." He motioned for Severus to follow him as they headed back up towards the castle.
"Just get on with it!" Severus hissed. "Who do you think you're going to get anyway?"
"That one right there," Lucius whispered, directing Severus' attention with a nod of his head. "The red-headed seventh year leaning on the tree." He turned to Severus and grinned. "Molly Prewett."
A/N: And so the fun begins. :) Next chapter – Lucius makes his opening moves.