His breath tickled my neck.


My body was reacting to his warm exhaling much more pleasantly than I thought it should.

"Wake up, Moony," he whispered.


It was winter holiday of our sixth year at Hogwarts. Peter, Sirius, and I had all crashed at James's house for the holiday. The full moon had been two nights ago. I was still catching up on sleep. My body felt lead-like, unable to move.

"Let him sleep," James suggested, "Exploding Snap isn't worth exhausting him."

Exploding Snap?

Sirius's breath was still at my throat, "Pleasant dreams then."

My eyes snapped open as the pleasant warmth of him left me, "Hard to dream when you all won't be quiet."

I sat up, trying to forget how nice it had been to have Sirius's mouth so close to my own.

Behave yourself, Remus.

"What day is it?" I asked, unsure of how long I had been asleep.

"Two days before break ends," Peter said sadly.

Sirius sighed, "Yep. It's my cousin's birthday."

"Who? Legs?" James asked immediately. 'Legs' was the slightly demeaning nickname that he used for Narcissa Black, Sirius's younger cousin. It was given due to James's opinion that the purpose of her whole existence in humanity was her legs. She had no other redeeming quality.

But, hell, those legs…

"That'd be the one," Sirius said, "They're probably having some fancy shindig as we speak. Something horrible. In the ballroom, of course."

James gave an exaggerated shudder.

"But she and Regulus are probably ditching," he chuckled to himself. "I almost miss it. Ditching the boring parties, that is."

Sirius had recently run away from home and proper society. He had finally had enough money to leave the bigoted place he hated. But he still had doubt. Because though he hated them, they were the known and familiar.

I hate when he's like this. Sad, I mean.

"But think of all the small talk you'd have to endure, Padfoot," I reminded him, "You'd have to discuss the weather. There'd be no escape from that."

He laughed, "You, Moony, have a point. I ran away so I would no longer have to discuss what a nice day it was. It's the whole reason."

"It's all the reason you need," I told him, relieved to see him smile.

Sirius was my best friend. I loved him like a brother…Or at least, I hoped I loved him like a brother.


James proceeded to deal out the Exploding Snap cards. We played a few rounds and Sirius won, as usual. Peter lost, as usual. It eventually morphed into Exploding Fifty-Two Pick-Up, as usual.

I dreaded the return of school, as usual. The day continued in normality and I stubbornly ignored my waking thoughts.


His breath tickled my neck.


I forced a hesitant smile to my lips.

Leave. Go back to Regulus.

He nuzzled his lips to my throat and my spine prickled. I was being bad. Again. Only this time, my rebellion seemed only to gain the approval of my pretentious family.

Except Regulus. I could still see his face as he watched me leave the ballroom, hand-in-hand with Rabastan Lestrange. He usually vacant gray eyes had swirled with the slightest hurt as he stood there, amid a gaggle of giggling girls. I had almost run to him, forgotten the stupid impulse…

Stop. That's worse.

It was my sixteenth birthday party. Only I was no longer in attendance, swapping spit with Rabastan in the front hallway, but no matter. My father wanted me married.

All because of stupid Andromeda running off with some muggle-born loser…

He was desperate to find someone respectable willing to put a ring on either my or my sister, Bellatrix's finger. It didn't matter which. Just repair the family name. But Bella wasn't interested in getting married.

So instead she dresses me up like a harlot and parades me around wealthy men. Like her toy. Never mind the fact that she's five years older than I am.

So the burden fell to the youngest, the prettiest of the Black daughters. That'd be me.


Regulus, my best friend and cousin, hated it. But then again, so did I. And tonight, I had simply wanted to be awful.

Because that plan worked so well…

Of course, Bellatrix had seemed so smug when she saw me leave with Rabastan. He came from a rich family. A respectable family. And Bellatrix was still holding out for Lucius Malfoy. Her and the rest of the female population.

Lucius…Stop. Now.

Lucius Malfoy was the heir to the Malfoy fortune. His father owned the printed press of the Wizarding world. The Daily Prophet? Owns it. Transfiguration Today? Owns it. Witch Weekly? Owns it. I could continue, but you get the point. His family was beyond respectable; they were royalty. And it helped that Lucius was hot.

Yeah, and an arrogant scumbag. But, yes, very good-looking. And tall…Stop.

The Malfoys had a mansion down the street from ours where Lucius used to spend his summers. He was in the same year at Hogwarts with Bellatrix and she never truly understood that he wasn't interested.

Well, I wouldn't say that. He was interested in getting in her pants at the very least.

I myself had used to follow him around like a lovesick puppy. He had been my hero.

Note the past tense.

But, never you mind, I hadn't seen Lucius in four years. Since he had graduated from Hogwarts. Well, I had seen him once. At mum's funeral. But we didn't speak a word to each other. He just hugged me. For the entire service. And then left again.


So now, almost 16, I was not one of his fangirls. I sincerely hoped that he and Bellatrix would be happy together.

In hell.

Making out with Rabastan Lestrange in the front hallway of my house was not the ideal way to spend my birthday.

Well, duh. The boy has personal hygiene issues. His breath is rank.

So I wasn't too upset when I heard the front door open. I was upset, however, when I heard the voice that starting catcalling.


Travis Travers. Lucius Malfoy's best friend. I yanked my head away from Rabastan's to get a better look. He was taller than I remembered, but he was still so utterly the same. Too big of a grin, too crazy of hair. Too flamboyantly gay for your average deatheater.

Where there's a Travers, a Lucius is not far away…STOP.

There was someone standing beside him. But I couldn't see the face; they were carrying a giant pink present. For me, the birthday girl. I was alarmingly hopeful.

Could it be?

Sure enough, Travis said to the mysterious person, "Hey Luc, have a look at who it is."

And Lucius dropped the present. I heard glass breaking and winced. I hoped it hadn't been too expensive. Though Lucius could afford it, whatever it was.

"Narcissa?" he gasped.

"umm…hello?" I said carefully.


Without another word, he jumped over my broken present and scooped me into his arms, swirling me around in a hug. I giggled as he set me back on my feet. I couldn't help it.

Lucius, Lucius…STOP IT. Lucius Malfoy is an asshole.

He looked me up in down in a way only a Malfoy could get away with, "You've grown up."

I blushed and realized what I was wearing. Bellatrix had picked it out.

I look like a slut…and he's staring at my legs…

"It happens with time," I told him, not wanting to behave like the idiot I usually did whenever he was around me.

He laughed, but then he remembered Rabastan. He smile turned into a glare as he fixed his eyes on the poor seventeen-year-old boy.

"Why don't you go back to the party?" he asked, wand fingers twitching.

Rabastan smirked and took my hand in his, "I was a little busy out here."

There was a definite growl to his voice now, "Yes, but Narcissa has other engagements now. Run along, kiddo."

Rabastan rolled his eyes and looked at me.

I shrugged, "We'll catch up later."

He shook his head disgustedly and walked back into the party. As soon as he left, Travers burst into a fit of laughter.

"What were you doing out here with that bas—boy?" Lucius asked me, angrily.

Yep, I'm still 12 to him. And now he's pulling the protective older brother bit. What an ass.

"Yeah, hun," Travers pulled himself together, "I thought you'd have better taste than that! Rabastan Lestrange!"

I rolled my eyes at Travers, not meriting Lucius-the-hypocrite's question with a response, "Well, there's not much of a selection. I have to marry one of those men in there, you know. And Rabastan, at least, still has all his hair."

For now. And I'll have to purchase him some breath mints.

Lucius looked thoughtful, "You have to marry one of those men, in there?"

Oy. What's he playing at? He should know how this works.

"Well, yes," I told him, "Unless you know of any other wealthy pureblood males in excellent social standing who are either sick or out of town. If so, I hope he's under thirty and owns a toothbrush."

Please, god, know someone else besides Rabastan.

Lucius grinned then, "Okay, then. I'll marry you."

eh? Excuse me?

"Pardon?" I asked.

"Well, you can't find better than the Malfoys," Lucius shrugged, "Let's get hitched."

Er—where's the punchline?

"Very funny," I rolled my eyes.

"I'm serious." Lucius said, laughing.

What an asshole.

I put my hands on my hips, "And why, Lucius Malfoy, would you want to marry me?"

I thought I didn't mean anything to you. Don't remember that? I thought that you were some skirt-chasing lunatic. What? Did have a brain replacement sometime in the last four years? And why in god's name would I want to marry you?

He shrugged, "Well, Rabastan's a…he's not a very nice person. And if your hand's being forced, it should be to someone who will at least not murder you in your sleep."

Murder me in my sleep? What the hell?

"So you want to marry me so that I won't marry Rabastan?" I raised my eyebrows skeptically.

"Well…yes," he said, "I want you to marry someone you like."

"So why would I want to marry you?" I asked without thinking.

He winced. Travers gaped at me, shocked.

So they were still under that misconception, were they? Newsflash, I'm not twelve.

Lucius regained his composure, "I thought your objectives were money and status."

Oh. Good point.

"Those would be father's wishes," I admitted, looking for a reason to tell him off again.

"But not yours?" he asked, curiously.

I rolled my eyes again, "Well, no if you must know. I don't honestly give a damn who my husband is so long as he has all his teeth and showers regularly."

"Such high standards," Travers laughed

You have no idea.

"You don't want to marry for love?" Lucius asked.

I laughed, "Oh don't tell me you believe in love, Lucius Malfoy."

Lucius Malfoy? Love? The only person he'll ever love is himself.

"Of course I believe in love," he said seriously, "And you should want to marry for love. I'll hear none of this talk about your hand being forced to some…miscreant. I'll have a word with your father."

"I beg your pardon? Just who do you think you are?" I asked angrily, "Why on earth would you believe that you have any say as to whom I marry?"

"Because you're my Little Miss Cissy," he shrugged, "I have to look out for you."

Little. Miss. Cissy?!

"Well you're going to have to relieve yourself of that burden, Lucius Malfoy," I snapped, "I am not twelve years old anymore! You can't leave without a word for four years and except to still have any say in my life! You can't come prancing back here, giving orders, like I'm just going to melt like an idiot and do whatever you want! Why did you even come back? If my father thinks that I should marry a 'miscreant' then none of your business if I do or do not. So you can take your opinion and shove it up your ass."

Lucius blinked. I turned to go back into my birthday party, but he grabbed my arm. Then he pinned me to the wall, much in the same manner that Rabastan had earlier. Only Lucius Malfoy was not horny. He was pissed. He held my arms to the wall and stood a centimeter in front of me.

He's so tall…STOP.

"Now you listen to me, Little…Miss…Cissy," he emphasized my old nickname deliberately, "You may not be twelve anymore, but I'm not seventeen either. I'm still five years older than you and, like it or not, I still care about you. So I'm talking to your father. And no amount of a hissy fit will change that. You're as good as my little sister. And no miscreant is laying a hand on you. So suck it up and deal with it." He paused, "I'm sorry I didn't write." He looked down, ashamed, but immediately looked up again, blushing. He must've gotten a good look down my dress, "There's no real excuse. But I'm not going anywhere this time. I promise. And as for you not melting like an idiot…" he leaned forward and brushed his lips softly with mine.

And I melted. Like an idiot.


He let me go, looking smug. I immediately stalked back to my party and he had the nerve to call after me:

"Was I that bad?"

Lucius Malfoy is a jerk. An asshole. He should die. Flobber worms should gnaw on his toes as he decomposes…

I found my way to Regulus. He saw the expression on my face and we found a deserted corner to talk.

"Are you alright?" he asked at once, "Was it Rabastan? I can kick his—."

"No," I rolled my eyes, "Lucius Malfoy is here."

"WHAT?" he asked, looking around for the offending person. When his eyes found him, his tone clamed, "My, he's gotten taller."

Could you sound any more middle aged?

"And he's become even more of an ass," I said grumpily.

"What did he do?" Regulus asked.

"He asked me to marry him. And then he kissed me," I growled unhappily.

Regulus looked alarmed, "Did you say yes?"

"Of course not," I rolled my eyes, "I'm not that masochistic."

He chuckled, "Well, then. Why'd he kiss you?"

"Just being an ass," I shrugged, "You know him."

"Yes," he said, "But I've always liked him."

Stupid male quidditch bonding.

"School can't start soon enough," I muttered darkly.

He laughed, "I know. We've only got a few more days though." He paused, "He's heading this way…"

Can't even give me five minutes with my Regulus. What a…

"I'm going to hide out in the bathroom. Then maybe the kitchen," I told him, plotting my escape, "Meet up with me later."

"What should I tell your admirers?" Regulus asked, "Because Lucius and Rabastan are both staring at you."

I laughed, "Tell them that I've gone to hell and hand out complimentary daggers to those who wish to join me there."

"If you insist," he said mock-seriously as I scampered out of the ballroom once more.

A/N: If you couldn't tell, it's in Remus's POV at the beginning and Narcissa's POV through most of it. That's how it's going to be. And it's never really going to be an even split. Some chapters may have more Remus, some more Narcissa. They just have to fit the time period. So no worries, Remus will get his share of storytime.

Review please!

Love, Listerine.