As always, I own nothing.

__

I know you say you love me

If what you say is true

So show me something that's not deceiving

'Cause I wouldn't lie to you

__

Lucius. It has been too long.

Has it? I haven't noticed.

Your sarcasm escapes me, dear. Don't act like you don't miss me.

Of course I do, Tom.

Very well, then. It is good to have that assurance.

___

"What does he talk to you about?"

"Father?"

"No, you dolt. Lord I-Am-So-Much-Fucking-Better-Than-Yourself!"

"Just stuff, Adora. Why do you always meddle in my affairs?"

"Meddling, is that what you call it?" she shakes her head, disgusted. "You are getting to be just like Abraxas. I can't even ask a question without you being so defensive."

Silence. Lucius pokes at the hearth absent-mindedly.

"There's a reason he's always meeting with just you, Luce. And I can guarantee you, it's not just because you are a Malfoy. There's a better reason than that. Even I know Lord Voldemort doesn't just show up on doorsteps for a cup of tea and a conversation about literature." She sneers, roughly placing a hand on her brother's wrist. "You'll be a 7th year soon, Lucius, and as such you should be able to make better decisions for yourself, you can't be dealing with such dark magic when you have your future to think of."

"You're just like him!" he shrieks, wrenching his hand away. "You're just like father, Adora! Don't even deny it, you try to influence me just like he does!" Adora's lip trembles as they stare at each other.

"When did it come to this, Luce?" she asks sadly, but it is purely rhetorical- they both know the answer.

____

He's much too close for comfort, but Lucius doesn't dare say anything. It isn't his place, not yet.

The Dark Lord traces Lucius' chin with a nail before tracing it up to his hairline, over his eyebrows, down that straight Malfoy nose. The young man is confused, so delightfully confused at what he wants. Such innocence. His nails dig into the pale skin, drawing blood. Astonishing that such a ruby-red substance could lay beneath that ethereal skin.

It will be a pleasure to steal Lucius' innocence. A pleasure Tom can only bestow upon himself.

____

"You don't understand, Severus."

The two boys are sitting, quite alone, in the Slytherin common room. It seems almost as if there is only one, but one must look closely- there, in the dark green seat, is a pale, scrawny boy, a scowl marring his sickly features. "What is there for me to understand? You want me to join, that's it, isn't it?"

"No! Not at all, Severus. Just listen to me, won't you?" the handsome boy pleads. He pauses, full lips parted for a moment, before he continues. "My father- you see, he's arranging a marriage..it's common among Pureblood aristocrats...it's with-" he swallows nervously here- "-Narcissa Black!"

The boy called Severus' eyes widen and he leans forward. "Narcissa Black? Isn't she that fifth year, related to Sirius?" he wrinkles his nose in disdain.

The other boy nods. "I can't." he whispers. "I hardly know her, and my idiot of a father expects me to marry him!"

Severus nods, a bit more absentmindedly this time.

"And the Dark Lord, that will hardly.." Lucius mutters under his breath and shakes his head, picking at his nails anxiously. They've already been ripped to shreds, bitten and bled, yet he continues the assault on his fair hands. Severus watches his friend carefully before speaking, much more hesitantly this time.

"You have...feelings..towards him." He states it as a fact, not as an opinion or an awkward question from the mouth of a rather awkward boy. Lucius' eyes narrow, suspicious of how his young friend should make such a deduction.

He glances about him quickly, despite the fact that they are quite alone, before turning back to Severus. "I'd hardly say feelings are the correct word for such a cruel man."

_____

Severus is sitting across from me, staring at his tea like it's the most repulsive thing he has ever come face-to-face with. He rubs his hands before glancing back up, absorbing the portraits behind us of long dead, pale-faced ancestors.

"Do you remember," I begin, feeling I'm treading over dangerous waters, "our conversation about Narcissa in the Slytherin common room?"

"Yes, in fact." he brushes a hand lazily over our wolfhound. "You specifically told me you would never marry a woman who spends her time gazing at her own appearance in Charms class and you'd sooner be held in Azkaban."

I can't help but wince at my youthful promise. "That was the conversation, wasn't it?" I mutter.

"Why do you ask?" he requests smoothly. I pause, mull over how to phrase exactly what I mean.

"I know you are not the type to listen to other's problems." I begin. "But...God, Severus, how long has it been?"

Since the Dark Lord fell. He knows what I mean, he is not stupid. "Lucius, I was sure you had gotten over all of this. Move on, you have a wife and a son to care for, as well as your public image."

"You've done just fine, you never had any emotional bonds tying you to anyone! Not like this!" I say tearfully as his back stiffens, eyes grow cold. "He was a part of me, Severus."

"Indeed."

"You think I'm lying, that I'm full of shit. I know you too well. You were the only one who knew, Severus, who promised never to declare us public...." I bury my head in my hands.

"Good God, what's happened to you, man?" He shakes me roughly.

"Our souls are the same, like Cathy and Heathcliff's, Severus.." I say, dazed. I lean my head against his shoulder. "'He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same...'"

"You're muttering to yourself again, making no sense, as usual." he scoffs. "The Dark Lord is gone, Lucius. Gone. You have lived quite fine up until this point, don't fall apart on us all."

Do not break your facade.

____

"The Prophet is making accusations again." says the man angrily, punctuated by the loud thud of the paper on the fine oak table. "Going to my father for comments, my father! You think they would have learned by now, the bloody bastards."

Tom glances at the newspaper, bemused. "Fight back, then."

The younger man shakes his head. "It's no use, I shan't be the one to aggravate the situation."

"I suppose not." Tom sighs, then roughly grabs the blonde's arm. "Roll up your sleeve, Lucius."

Lucius obeys, then turns away, waiting for the elder to touch his wand to the Mark. It never comes. He looks back and sees Tom simply staring at it, a strange glaze over his eyes.

"Curious, isn't it?" he murmurs. Lucius can't be sure of what he means- the Mark itself? Or something deeper? "That one may hold so much power, so much influence, yet yearn for more." Slowly, his eyes avert to Lucius' impassive face. "Wouldn't you agree?"

Lucius always agrees, for there is no room for argumentation.