Title: Master of None
Wordcount: 11 800 total (5 parts)
Summary: Lucius Malfoy approaches a young Severus Snape, offering his friendship and much more. "Every man has a master; few get to choose theirs."
Lucius had, of course, noticed Severus Snape before. As Head Boy, he made it his mission to keep tabs on all his little Slytherins. But the first year was a tricky one to keep track of; he was very sullen and kept to himself, not allowing the other students to get close to him either physically or emotionally.
Severus Snape knew how to keep people out.
Fortunately for Lucius, he had no regard for the walls other people put up, and so he decided that before he graduated, he would make sure little Severus knew how to take care of himself. He couldn't say where this desire came from, only that he saw a bit of himself in the young prodigy, and wanted to bestow upon him the gift of his experience.
Though, based on Severus' severe retaliations on the group of Gryffindors that continually vexed and hexed him, Lucius wasn't certain his interference was necessary. But again, that never stopped him.
Lucius first approached Severus some time after the Christmas holidays, when the students were getting back into the routine of school and homework. Severus was sitting in the library at a long table in the back, hidden from the sight of people just passing by, but not hidden from Lucius on a mission.
He watched the younger boy organize his books, folders and parchments in front of him. Severus seemed to like things just so. He was reading something quite intently and Lucius took a moment from his vantage point to watch him.
His long black hair was greasy and constantly getting in his eyes. He would harshly push his hair behind his ears, as if he couldn't stand it and hated touching it. His brows were furrowed, as they always seemed to be when he was concentrating. His nose was large and seemed out of place on an otherwise delicate face. His lips… Lucius broke off his train of thought there. No sense in thinking of things like that, he admonished himself. The boy was not even a teenager yet.
Severus' sure quill flew across the page as his long finger underlined exactly what he was copying, and he was scribbling madly in a script that Lucius was sure must be code, as there was no way anyone could read it.
Lucius cautiously approached.
"What are you working on?" he asked congenially, proud that his voice was confident and even kind. It would not do to scare the boy off with a superior demeanour, though certainly his reputation, as always, preceded him.
"Nothing. What do you want?" Severus' response was surly at best and hostile at worst, and Lucius grinned inwardly. A challenge.
"Just checking up on my little snakes, of course." Lucius had the condescending habit of referring to the Slytherins in his charge as his "little snakes". Most did not mind.
"I'm fine, though I find it exceedingly difficult to work when being talked at." Severus fairly snarled these words; his silky, veiled insults would not be perfected until much later in his life.
Lucius laughed out loud, a genuine laugh that was quite unlike his usual sardonic chuckle. This little snake is coiled as tightly as a spring, he thought. Time to gain his trust. Lucius sat down across from Severus and looked him in the eye. Severus bravely held his gaze for as long as he could, but had to break away, his hands growing sweaty and he cursed himself for not keeping eye contact. Something about this older man disturbed him; it was as though Lucius knew all his secrets.
"Look, Severus," he paused here so Severus would take note of his casual use of his first name. "I want us to be friends. I know you don't have many—" and of course Lucius meant any "—and I want to remedy that."
Severus looked suspiciously at Lucius, using a usually unerring gaze to discern if he was lying or trying to trick him. The Slytherins usually left him to his own devices; only the other houses openly mocked him. But he had heard things about Lucius, things that made him wonder if it was wise to accept such an offering. But Severus was really lonely, and Lucius was so popular….
"Okay…" he allowed, suspicion evident in his voice.
"Great! What's your last class today?" Lucius was pleased that Severus was at least willing to try to accept his friendship. Even if he wasn't entirely certain of his own motives, Lucius wanted this boy as a friend, despite the age difference, and knew there was something special about him. Severus told him his final class was Potions, and Lucius told him he'd be waiting outside the room for him.
And he was.
And he did, for nearly every final class, every day, until Lucius graduated. Severus was devastated that his only friend was leaving, and that he would most likely never see him again. Hogwarts graduates did not socialize with lowly second years, of course; it was unseemly and just silly. Severus attended Lucius' graduation ceremony, but stood far enough back that he was not seen. After all, all the chairs meant for friends and family were occupied, as Lucius was still the most popular boy in school, despite his strange affinity for the young Snape. Most saw Lucius as his mentor, but Lucius himself knew differently.
The more he saw of his young acolyte, the more Lucius realized he wanted him as more than a friend. As a wizard, his sexuality tended to be… lenient, but it would be unacceptable, not to mention illegal, for him to pursue something with someone so young. But when he and Severus were alone, in the library or in Lucius' own private rooms, Severus did not seem young. He had been through a lot in his life, more than even Lucius, and he had a way of looking at the world that was both positively morbid and somehow naïve.
Lucius also learned something else about himself during his time with Severus. He wanted to control the younger boy, to mould him in his own image. When he had romantic or sexual thoughts about Severus, it was about grabbing his hair and pulling his body tightly against his own, bending him backwards and forcing his tongue into his mouth. He thought about pinning the smaller boy down and ripping his clothes. He wanted Severus to fight him, and he wanted to bind him to his bed and tear his clothing. He wanted to hurt him in a way that would make Severus beg for more. Lucius was not ashamed of his thoughts, but he was unnerved by them. He actually cared for Severus and didn't want to damage him, so he kept a safe distance from the boy, physically; though he breathed Severus' scent in deeply if they had to be near one another, and if they were roughhousing, Lucius made sure to touch as much of the younger boy as possible without pushing boundaries.
It was one such incident that changed Severus' perspective on Lucius forever. Lucius took particular delight in tormenting the younger boy about his intelligence, which was beyond reproach, but Severus did not know that. And since it was the only thing the younger boy seemed to be proud of, Lucius teased him about it, challenging him and correcting him mercilessly until Severus would attack him.
One afternoon in Lucius' room, he was indulging in his favourite hobby, and Severus lunged at him, trying to pin him back on the bed so he could pummel him; he was so enraged from Lucius' teasing, he did not care if he hurt the older boy, or even if he lost him as a friend. He straddled Lucius and swung wildly, arms flailing, shouting vitriol and nearly losing his grip on his tears. Lucius let him get a few swats in before grabbing his wrists in a vicelike grip and flipping the slight boy onto his back on the bed. Lucius used all his weight to bear down on him, and told him in a soft voice that he was only kidding. He gently told Severus that he knew he was brilliant, that he was smarter than anyone Lucius had ever met (except himself, of course, he said with a wry grin).
"Then why do you torment me like that? You must really hate me!" Lucius could see the younger boy was confused and he himself was becoming very uncertain of his precarious hold on his desire for the very young boy wriggling beneath him.
"Severus… I don't hate you. Not at all." He couldn't resist pressing his arousal against the younger boy's body for just a moment before jumping off him and straightening his clothes.
"Now, get cleaned up and we'll head to the library. I could use your help with my Potions essay."
Though Severus may not have been the most self-aware or socially conscious creature, but he knew a hard-on when he felt it, and suddenly he knew Lucius liked him like that. Severus wondered what to do with the information, but instead of planning on using it against him, Severus only filed it away for later. Severus was just happy someone wanted him, even if it was a boy.