disclaimer: insert witty disclaimer here.
dedication: to emily, because i know you hate this pairing. also to eleni. hay girl haaaay.
notes: LuciusNarcissa what. also, i kind of love Rodolphus. hiiiiii.

title: sticks, stones, and hairpins
summary: The way she hissed "I am going to stab your eye out," did not freak him out. Seriously. Lucius/Narcissa.

.

.

.

.

.

Narcissa looked out at the world through the highest window in the Owlery. The early summer sky was finally, finally dusky—the stars were shining weakly in the east as the sun set far, far away. Tucked up with a blanket in the castle's highest tower, she sat with her knees to her chest, the summer wind in her hair.

Lovely Narcissa, the youngest of the female Blacks; she was the golden girl, the faerie princess who sat up in the top of the highest tower and surveyed her subjects with a benevolent eye. That's what they called her—her and her aloofness, like she was better than them all. Princess, princess Narcissa, bow for the princess!

"What are you doing up here, Cissy?" asked a gently familiar voice.

Narcissa looked up, and blinked at her older sister.

Andromeda smiled at the littlest Black, and sat down. "What, don't I even warrant a hello?"

Narcissa stared out the Owlery window, incensed. "I hate him, Andy. I hate him."

"Who? That Potter boy Sirius spends all his time with?"

"No, Malfoy!" Narcissa burst out, throwing small hands into the air. "I can't stand him, Andy, I just can't!"

Andromeda stared at the small blonde girl, a grin working its way to her lips. "Lucius Malfoy? The Lucius Malfoy? Merlin's saggy left buttock, what were you doing talking to him?"

Narcissa gnashed her teeth. "Language, Andy. And I wasn't—talking to him, precisely. I was doing homework. And I wasn't even—even bothering anyone, Andy, I—I was just—just wor-working on m-my e-essay—"

And with that, she dissolved into hiccoughs-that-could-be-mistaken-for-sobs.

Andromeda reached out, and pulled her younger sister against her side. "Oh, Cissa, shush, sweet, it's alright, I'm right here. What did that nasty boy say to you?"

Narcissa shook her head, wiping angry tears out of her eyes. "He didn't even—" she paused, to draw seething air into her lungs "—say anything. Not really. Not to me, anyway."

"What did he say about you?"

Narcissa smiled in a vicious way, her gaze far away. "Mudblood-lover, he said."

A hiss escaped Andromeda.

(They both hated that word.)

"Just because I'm friends with Lily Evans! She's really nice, Andy, and we have three classes together, and—! It's not fair. He's so mean. To everyone. I can't stand him!"

There was a steely glint in Andromeda's eye. "Narcissa Eveline Black, is that fear I detect?"

Narcissa's jaw dropped. She shoved blonde locks out of her eyes, outraged. "How can you even say that, Andy?"

"Then why are you sitting here moaning about him? Go teach him a lesson! Merlin knows Bella's taught you enough—she's threatened to hex his bollocks off often enough, he ought to know that wanking about our family is not the smartest thing he could possibly do."

Narcissa clenched her jaw and shook her head. "He's just… so big, Andy."

Andromeda snorted inelegantly. "I know a certain groundskeeper at home who cowers at your very presence. That man is neither coward nor fool nor small. I dunno what you're worried about, honestly."

"Everyone else."

Andromeda looked down at the top of her younger sister's golden head. "Cissy, everyone else is commonplace. They're all weak. You aren't."

"Aren't I?"

"No."

Narcissa stared out of the Owlery again, eyes hard and cold, like shining bits of ice. Andromeda couldn't help but smile at that look; it was the look Narcissa always got just before she was about to do something she found rather unpleasant.

"Well. Thank you, Andy. I—"

Andromeda smiled, and shooed the girl off. "Go on, then. Give him the verbal thrashing of his life."

Narcissa nodded and smiled a little. Andromeda had always made so much sense—much more so than Bella ever did. Bella's solution was always the same; "Cut out his tongue, Cissy, it'll teach him a lesson."

But Andromeda… if there was one thing that Andromeda had taught Narcissa, it was that the best way to seek revenge was to hit where it hurt; hit where it hurt, hit in the dark, and make sure that it was quick, vicious, and painful.

Narcissa could do quick, vicious, and painful.

And so she would.

Narcissa nodded once more in her older sister's direction, and zipped out of the Owlery. She had work to do, if she was going to put Lucius Malfoy in his place.

Andromeda grinned as the little girl disappeared with a flash of blonde hair.

That was the Narcissa she knew.

.

.

.

.

.

Narcissa contemplated having him tarred and feathered, only to decide that that was a little too much work.

And that it would be far too easy to be caught.

So instead, she went to find Lily Evans.

It was probably the best idea she'd ever had. The two girls sat outside under a willow tree at dusk

"Just sit there? But, Lily, that's when—"

"'Xactly, Ciss! Think about it! In front of all his mates! Oooh, what I wouldn't give…"

Narcissa giggled a little. Lily Evans was a fantastic way to kill some time. She was smart and funny and she and Narcissa got along famously.

Narcissa would never understand being dirty.

Someone like Lily couldn't be dirty.

The issue of purity would forever confuse her—and it seemed like she was the only one. Bella was very clear on where she stood on the issue; Blood Purist Because Those Nasty Mudbloods Are Out To Taint Us All. Andromeda was even more clear; You Blood Purists Are Stupid Get Away From Me.

Little Narcissa had long ago resigned herself to the fact that she would never understand. She had also long ago resigned herself to the fact that her family would probably never get along on that point. Andromeda would always be the odd one out, and that made Narcissa just the littlest bit sad.

She looked over at Lily. "So that's it, then?"

Lily grinned, eyes green and bright and flashing in the early summer sun. "That's it, then."

.

.

.

.

.

And so Narcissa took Lily's advice.

She took her books and five rolls of parchment and twelve different quills, and sat down at her usual homework table in the corner. She settled down to work on her History of Magic essay; Binns may have been ancient, but Narcissa hated handing things in late.

Getting this essay done was a priority.

Narcissa ignored the fact that it wasn't due for a week.

It was all part of Lily's Magnificent Plan To Humiliate And Properly Bring Down Lucius Malfoy.

Narcissa mused that she would never know why on earth she'd allowed ever allowed Lily to open her mouth. Actually, she sometimes thought that she'd never understand why she was friends with Lily, at all.

And then Malfoy walked in through the dungeon's door, and Narcissa remembered.

Right.

That was why.

Narcissa concentrated on keeping her head down, eyes trained on the roll of parchment in front of her, quill dripping ink. Do not move, she reminded herself. Do not move until he says something.

And she waited.

And waited.

But not at all that long.

Because after he'd dumped his books on some unfortunate first year, he looked about the room in the usual search for someone to pick on. Narcissa felt the hiss and sizzle of anticipation as his gaze landed on her neck.

Breathe, Cissy, breathe, she told herself. Despite it all, she held her breath and waited.

"Look, boys, it's our little princess! Isn't she radiant, today?" he snarked. The usual derision was layered thickly, today.

Narcissa struggled not to roll her eyes. Come here, you great lug, I'll gut you.

"Oh, princess, won't you give us the time of day?" he asked, and Narcissa could hear every step he took. The common room had gotten quiet, just as it always did; Bella wasn't back from NEWT-level Potions, and Andromeda hated the common room anyway and spent very little time there.

"Let them eat cake," she murmured absently, looking for all the world too deeply engrossed in her essay to notice or care what anyone else had to say about her. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Severus Snape; he looked a faint bit green.

What fun, Narcissa thought, disdainful.

"Princ—"

"Do you want something, Malfoy?" Narcissa snapped. She jerked her head up, blue eyes blazing, and glared up at him with all her might.

"Just to gain your favour, princess." The stupid grin plastered on his stupid face incensed her.

Narcissa tried to remember The Plan.

It wasn't working out so well.

Narcissa pushed herself away from the table, and rose very, very slowly. She brushed clouds of blonde hair out of her vision, fingers catching on the jewelled hairpin nestled in the blonde depths. As she did, a new plan formed in her head in a flash of insight.

With practiced ease, Narcissa pulled the pin from her hair, and tucked her hands behind her back. If she was lucky, he hadn't seen it.

Lucius eyed her suspiciously. He'd never seen her stand her ground before, and the entire common room knew it.

Narcissa smiled viciously to herself.

They had all better get used to it.

"You don't want my favour, Malfoy. You don't want anyone's favour. You want fear and respect, but… you know… you can't have both."

Lucius stared at her, grey gaze cold.

Silently, Narcissa raged. He dare call her princess?

"Shows what you know, Lady Black," he sneered.

Narcissa tipped her head at him. He was sixteen, and thought he was so important.

Well. Narcissa was thirteen, and she was going to show him.

She strode up to him and stood in front of him, hands on her hips. "You are despicable," she told him.

He loomed over her; he had three years and a foot and a half of height on her, but that was not going to stop Narcissa. She smiled up at him for a minute, innocence incarnate, and she knew that he thought he had her.

And then she kicked him in the shin.

Lucius doubled over, swearing loudly about Merlin's unmentionables. Narcissa grabbed him by the ear, dragged him down to her level and brandished the hairpin at him. She hissed "I am going to stab your eyes out."

It did not freak him out.

Seriously.

"You leave me alone, do you understand? I don't need protection from Bella or Andy or anyone. You bully everyone around here, Malfoy, and I won't stand for it!" Narcissa pulled back, and glared around at them all. "That goes for all of you. You leave me alone!"

The silence was deafening. The common room stared, half horrified, half in awe. Narcissa let out an angry "hmph!"

And with that, Narcissa whirled and gathered her books. She pranced away, chin held high as the curtain of pale gold that was her hair whipped around her. There was grace and fire in her step as she went up to her dormitory.

Lucius watched her go. Listened to her footsteps after he couldn't see her anymore.

And thought that, perhaps, he had just met his match.

.

.

.

.

.

fin.
notes2: BWAHAHA. that is all. i'm definitely going to play in this sandbox more often.
notes3: please do not Favourite without leaving a review, because i like reviews & they inspire me to write. :)