This is the sequel to my story He Finally Noticed.
O O O
"A little early to be doing homework, isn't it?"
Lucius Malfoy tilted his head back to look up at the speaker, his cool grey eyes locking onto sparkling blue. "You shouldn't sneak up on people like that," Lucius said smoothly to the young lady standing behind him.
"My apologies. I didn't mean to startle you," Narcissa Black joked with a little smirk. "But really, studying at five in the morning? You're worse than me before my O.W.L. exams." Narcissa sat in the high-backed nearest the black leather couch Lucius was lounging upon. "And on Christmas morning!"
Lucius motioned to the Potions book in his lap. "N.E.W.T year."
Narcissa winced slightly. "You aren't helping me look forward to my final year at Hogwarts."
"I don't see how you can look forward to a year without me around anyway," Lucius commented casually, glancing furtively over at Narcissa to see her blush. Lucius smiled softly at her reaction as he turned back to his Potions book. "So why are you up at this hour?" Lucius turned to the blonde when he didn't receive a response. Her eyes had suddenly lost their sparkle as she looked down at her hands. "Narcissa?" Lucius prompted quietly, his brow furrowing. Narcissa bit her lip and didn't look at him. He snapped the Potions book shut and got up from the couch, kneeling in front of Narcissa and gazing worriedly at her. "You had the dream again," he said, taking her hands in his.
Narcissa swallowed hard and nodded, finally lifting her eyes to look at him. Lucius stroked her cheek. "It isn't real, Narcissa."
"But it might be real," she countered. "It could happen. I know you—you're going to join him as soon as you leave here!"
Lucius shook his head. "No, no, I'm not." Lucius felt intensely awkward talking to anyone about this topic. He did want to help the Dark Lord cleanse the world of Muggle-born filth, and he did aspire to be in the Dark Lord's inner circle…but not yet. He was hardly of age, and he did not want to get in over his head. He also did not want to become a disappointment to his family and friends should he fail.
"But you want to be a Death Eater," Narcissa said quietly. Lucius frowned at her tone. It was almost disapproving, but Lucius knew that Narcissa felt much the same as him when it came to the Dark Lord. True, she did not want her arm to bear the Dark Mark, but she did want to aid You-Know-Who.
Lucius continued shaking his head, though what Narcissa said was true. "The dream won't happen," he insisted.
Narcissa had been having a recurring dream the last few months, though she had not confided in Lucius about it until the beginning of Christmas break, since her best friend Clorissa had gone home for the holidays. To be honest, her descriptions had been so graphic Lucius had begun having a few disturbing nightmares himself. He had not told Narcissa of this—it would only serve to worry her more, and she was already having trouble enjoying the holidays.
"Does the Ministry actually allow dementors to…suck out souls?" Narcissa asked. Lucius hesitantly nodded, and suddenly found himself being forced backwards into a sitting position, blonde hair obstructing his vision as Narcissa hugged him tightly.
Lucius chuckled a bit nervously, wrapping his arms around her and briefly returning the embrace before pushing her gently away. Lucius was not overly comfortable with physical contact. Narcissa, on the other hand, seemed to thrive off of human touch. Ever since the two had begun spending time together the year before, Lucius had been learning to adjust, but intimate contact still bothered him. He cleared his throat. "I take it that dementors were involved this time." He tightened his grip on her shoulders. "Listen to me—the Ministry is never going to let a dementor near you. You're far too—."
"It was you."
Lucius blinked and processed this. "It was—you dreamed that I received the dementor's kiss…that I lost my soul?" Narcissa nodded. Lucius felt extremely uncomfortable. During the last dream he had apparently died in a rather gruesome manner, and the time before that he had been withering away in Azkaban. These dreams were becoming more and more troubling to him, and almost made Lucius wonder if Narcissa held something against him. "Listen, that isn't going to happen," Lucius said. "I'm not going to Azkaban, I'm not dying, I'm not losing my soul, and the same goes for you." He sighed. "You know, there's probably some sort of potion that will make these nightmares go away."
Narcissa bit her lip. "What if the dreams are a warning? What if—?"
Lucius put a hand over her mouth. "Narcissa, stop focusing on the dreams. Eventually they will go away." He took her hands in his again. "They are not real," he said firmly. Narcissa nodded.
"I'll let you get back to studying," she said quietly. Lucius glanced at the Potions book he had left sitting on the couch.
"I don't have to study right now. It is Christmas, after all," he said, wrapping an arm around Narcissa's shoulders. Lucius reached into his cloak and pulled out a thin, black box. "For you."
Narcissa blushed in the firelight. "You didn't have to get me anything."
"No, I didn't." Lucius held the present out to her. "But I did," he said with a grin.
Narcissa smiled and took it from him, opening the box to reveal a dazzling emerald and diamond necklace. "It's beautiful!" Narcissa gasped. Lucius smiled at her as she gently lifted the jewelry from the box. "It must have cost a fortune."
"I can afford it," Lucius said smoothly, taking the necklace from her. Narcissa lifted her long, blonde hair so Lucius could place his gift around her neck. Her soft skin tingled under his touch as he adjusted the necklace and brushed aside a stray lock of hair. "Do you like it?"
"I love it," Narcissa said quietly, letting her hair fall and flow down her shoulders and back. "Thank you."
"I got something for you too, but it's not nearly as nice…" Narcissa said, flushing again. She stood and rushed off to the girls' dormitories, leaving Lucius sitting in the middle of the common room floor near the fire. He got up and collapsed onto the couch, picking up his Potions book and flipping through the pages rather absentmindedly, trying to keep his mind from conjuring images of a dementor approaching him, mouth gaping.
A few minutes later, Narcissa returned to the common room. She sat next to Lucius on the leather couch, holding out a wrapped gift. "It's not much…"
Lucius carefully unwrapped the gift and grinned when he saw the Exploding Snap cards inside. "Is this a hint that I need to practice?" he joked.
Narcissa flushed yet again. "It's the only game I've ever seen you lose," she admitted.
Lucius laughed. "I should modify your memory about that." Narcissa giggled.
"I could conveniently forget, if you want."
"That would be appreciated," Lucius said with a smile. "Thank you," he said.
"It was nothing," Narcissa said quietly. The two sat, locked in each other's gaze until a voice brought them both back to reality.
"What are you two doing up so early?" Lucius turned to see young Severus Snape leaving the boys' dormitories. "Any chance of another lesson?"
"Until you learn how to cast spells without speaking, I don't think we can teach you anymore," Lucius said, slight irritation creeping into his voice, though not really because Severus being unable to cast nonverbal spells. "Verbal spells allow your opponent sufficient time and warning to block the spell."
"I think I've learned," Severus said, coming over to the two. "At least let me try."
Lucius blinked. "You want to duel? Now?" He looked at Narcissa, who shrugged. Lucius sighed and stood, drawing his wand. "I'll go easy on you. We don't want to send you to the hospital wing again."
Severus' eyes narrowed. "I made a mistake. I won't do it again." The young boy's persistence and determination was impressive. Lucius and Narcissa had been privately teaching him how to defend himself against attacks for the last year, and recently moved on to teaching him how to attack. Lucius greatly enjoyed having a protégé.
Narcissa also drew her wand, knowing that both boys had a habit of getting too caught up in their duels and unintentionally hurting each other or innocent bystanders. The two stood about ten paces from each other, bowed, and prepared to fight. "One," said Lucius. "Two…three."
He allowed Severus to make the first move with the spell, "Expelliarmus!"
Lucius calmly blocked the spell Severus had sent at him, not even saying the shield charm out loud. He smirked as Severus silently waved his wand and nothing happened. Severus waved his wand violently in frustration, allowing Lucius time to send another spell. Giving a slight flourish with his wand, Lucius said, "Serpensortia!" A snake appeared from the end of Lucius' wand, landing a few feet in front of Severus. Severus took a step back, pointing his wand at the snake but saying nothing.
"He doesn't know how to get rid of that," Narcissa hissed at Lucius. "We never taught him!"
"He should be able to figure out the spell himself," Lucius said, watching as the angry snake start forcing Severus into a corner.
The snake suddenly reared, prepared to strike. "Vipera Evanesca!" Narcissa said quickly, aiming her wand at the serpent, which vanished. She then glared at Lucius, who was shaking his head.
"He knows the vanishing spell—he should have been able to determine the proper spell to get rid of the serpent."
Narcissa continued glaring at him. "It's difficult to think like that under pressure."
"He needs to learn."
"He's right, I do," Severus said before Narcissa could respond. "In a real duel I would be under pressure."
Narcissa sighed and sat back down on the couch. "All right, whatever you say then, Professor Malfoy."
"Thank you, Professor Black," Lucius said with a wink. Narcissa blushed slightly and smiled.
O O O
Severus had only managed to successfully cast one nonverbal spell, a jinx that caused Lucius' nose to triple in size. Narcissa had a good time laughing at Lucius, saying that he should be able to make up the counterjinx for it on his own. She finally took pity on him when he accidentally turned his nose purple in the process of shrinking it to normal size.
"I did manage to shrink it to normal size, in case you don't recall," Lucius muttered under his breath as Narcissa make a sarcastic comment about it at breakfast.
"And you turned it a lovely shade of violet," Narcissa said with a grin. "You know, you should have made it red or green…you know, for Christmas." Lucius growled quietly and stabbed at his eggs.
"I really need to modify your memory," he said quietly.
Lucius glanced down the table to where Severus and his friend Avery were sitting. Avery seemed to be talking animatedly, unaware that Severus was ignoring him as he focused on a book.
"I wonder what he's studying—probably nonverbal spells that will turn your hair pink," Narcissa said with a grin.
Lucius glared at her. "Don't make me regret buying you an expensive gift," he said, running his fingers along the necklace. Narcissa's cheeks became tinted pink and she looked away. Lucius smirked slightly.
Lucius offered Narcissa his arm as they left the Great Hall, motioning to the door leading to the Hogwarts grounds. Narcissa pulled her cloak tightly about her before taking his arm and walking out into the cold with him. She shivered and clung onto him as they walked toward the frozen lake. "This winter isn't as cold as last year's," Narcissa commented.
"No, it isn't." The two fell into an awkward silence that was rather violently broken by a snowball impacting Lucius' shoulder. He was momentarily bewildered as he looked at the snow covering the left side of his body. Another snowball suddenly made its way towards the two, and Lucius put up his arm to block it.
"Aren't you going to fight back?" A few Slytherin first years poked their heads up from behind a mound of snow. Lucius and Narcissa exchanged a grin.
Lucius didn't really recall more people joining in the snowball fight, but somehow a few dozen students were involved before Professor Slughorn came outside to try and stop the battle. This attempt, of course, failed miserably, and the professor was soon not only covered in snow, but was actually joining in and throwing snowballs at all the students who had dared aim at him.
Lucius and Narcissa managed to sneak away from the fight after a while, arms tired from throwing and hands freezing. Their gloves could only protect against so much cold and snow. The two went inside, leaving the battle behind, and headed straight for their common room and the fire, still shaking snow from their robes.
Lucius leaned against one of the couches in the Slytherin common room, his arms wrapped around a still-shivering Narcissa. They silently watched the flickering fire, grateful to have the common room all to themselves as the rest of the Slytherins were busy outside, battling the other houses in the snow.
Severus wandered in, shaking the snow off of his robes and carrying a rather waterlogged book. He did not seem to notice the two older students as he wandered up to his dormitory, probably to change into some dry clothing.
"There's a trip to Hogsmeade scheduled for next weekend," Lucius said suddenly, finally breaking the silence.
"Yes," Narcissa said quietly.
Lucius swallowed. "I hear that there's a little teashop there."
"Madam Puddifoot's," said Narcissa.
"Apparently you already know about it," Lucius said under his breath. He was silent for a moment. "I've never been there—I was thinking of seeing how it was. But it's no fun to go on one's own." Narcissa looked up at him. "Care to join me?"
Narcissa's lovely blue eyes gazed up at him. "Madam Puddifoot's is generally filled with couples on dates. It wouldn't be…awkward to you?"
Lucius smiled down at her. "I don't see why it would be awkward to be among other couples, especially when I'll be paying far too much attention to my date." Narcissa blushed furiously as Lucius once again trailed his fingers along the necklace he had given her.
"I'd love to," Narcissa said quietly, her smile reaching her sapphire eyes.
Lucius flicked his wand, aiming above his head and casting a nonverbal spell. Mistletoe grew in midair a foot above the two as Lucius cupped Narcissa's cheek, leaning down and touching his lips to hers. Lucius kissed her passionately, a kiss he had secretly been longing to give her for over a year, ever since he had finally noticed her.