19 March 1978
"Sev, I don't want to! How many times do I have to say it?"
"Lily, please, just this once, and if you still don't like them, I'll never ask you to come along ever again."
"I wasn't even planning on going to Hogsmeade this weekend, O.W.L.s are way too close to be messing around with you and your friends at the Three Broomsticks." Lily picked up her fork again and turned her attention back to A History of Magic, which she had propped against a jug of pumpkin juice.
It was early in March, a Friday morning in the Great Hall. It was still largely empty, but Lily and Severus always arrived before their Houses so that they would have a chance to share a bit of toast and a chat before the tables filled up.
"Lily," Severus said seriously. "Come with us. We're only going for a few hours, and you'll be back in plenty of time to study. I really want you to have a chance to get to know my friends. They're—well, I think you'll like them if you give them a chance. It'd really mean a lot," he wheedled.
Lily looked at her best friend, an expression of resignation on her face. She sighed.
"Fine, Sev. I'll go with you."
Severus made a triumphant gesture with his arm. "Yes! You won't regret it, really, Lil!" He got up and began trotting over to the Slytherin table.
"Whatever you say!" Lily called, rolling her eyes.
The next morning was cold and gray, but not particularly snowy. Lily wrapped herself in several warm layers, opting for colors other than those of Gryffindor. Spending the day with the Slytherins, she thought, shaking her head. Then, quickly, she pushed the thought from her mind. Your best friend is a Slytherin. Don't be cruel.
She checked her reflection one last time and hurried out of the dormitory to the front door of the castle, where Severus stood waiting for her.
"Wow," he said. "You look amazing."
Lily smiled a little. "Thanks. Shall we?"
Severus nodded, leading the way through the doors. They chatted as they walked the long path into Hogsmeade. There was snow all around, but less than there had been in recent weeks; with any luck, Lily said, spring was coming soon.
They stopped at the door of the Three Broomsticks.
"Who exactly are we meeting?" Lily asked.
"Uh, a few people," Severus told her, pushing the door open. "Nott, Mulciber, Avery—"
Lily froze, looking into the bar where the cry had come from. A handsome young man, about twenty years old, with long, white-blond hair tied at the nape of his neck, stood at a table full of fifth- and sixth-year Slytherins.
The man had sharp, steely gray eyes and a high, proud forehead. He had a way of standing that served to make him look taller and more impressive than he was. Lily thought he looked somewhat familiar, but couldn't be sure that she knew him. He was terribly attractive, and the slight swagger that he bore only added to that.
"Lucius!" Sev cried, hurrying over. "How are you? You didn't tell me you would be here!"
"Quite well, quite well, and as a matter of fact, I didn't know, myself. I've some—business—to attend to, and I heard that it was a Hogsmeade weekend." Lucius gave Severus a firm handshake as Lily moved quietly behind him, tugging her gloves off. "Ah," Lucius said, noticing her. "A pleasure, Miss—?" He held out a hand, but Lily did not take it.
"Miss Evans." Lucius smiled.
Lily nodded. "Nice to meet you as well…er…"
"Oh! Right," Severus said. "Lily Evans, this is Lucius Malfoy. You remember me telling you about him? He's a few years older than us."
Lily vaguely remembered seeing him during her first and second years at Hogwarts; he might have been a Slytherin prefect. Finally she extended her hand. Lucius bent and brushed his lips against her hand, a smile lifting the corner of his mouth. In that half-second, Lily felt her stomach turn over—it could have been half an hour she looked into those lovely eyes…
Then suddenly, Lucius straightened and pulled out a chair for her. Lily sat down, mentally shaking herself. The momentary magnetic feeling vanished, and she carefully avoided meeting Lucius' eerily charming gaze again.
For nearly two hours, Lily sat with the other Slytherins, squeezed between Lucius, whom she tried very hard to ignore, and Severus, who kept glancing at her nervously, watching for her reactions. Lily calmly sipped her butterbeer and did not speak often, unless Lucius directed a question at her, which he did very often, listening to her answers with rapt attention.
At one o'clock, Lily decided that it was time for her to leave. "Sev," she said quietly. "I'm going to go."
Severus looked crestfallen. "I—are you sure?"
"Yeah, I've got…homework…Charms." Lily glanced at skinny, glowering John Mulciber, who was eyeing her with deep mistrust.
"Lily, leaving us so soon?" Lucius asked with a look of concern. He truly was very, very good-looking, Lily realized. And the way he said her name…she repressed a shiver of mingled pleasure and apprehension.
"I'm afraid so," she said, reaching for her purse and pulling out a few silver coins. "Lots of work to do."
"Oh please," Lucius said, " allow me." He stopped her hand before she could put the money on the table.
"That's really not—"
"It would be my pleasure," he smiled. "And if you like, I would be more than pleased to see you safely to the school gates."
"Lucius, it's all right—" Severus began.
"Nonsense, Snape, we cannot allow a lady to walk unescorted in these dangerous times," Lucius said, rising and offering an arm to Lily.
Lily felt her cheeks grow hot and knew she was turning pink. She took Lucius' arm, half-reluctant, half-thrilled. "It's fine—I'll see you later, Sev," Lily told him as she and Lucius walked out the door arm-in-arm.
As they walked along, Lily looked everywhere she could besides Lucius' face, aware of his piercing eyes never leaving her profile. He held her arm securely, so that their bodies were pressed together against the chilly wind. When they were halfway up the street, making the turn for the road to Hogwarts, Lucius spoke.
"Severus is very lucky," he told her.
"Is he?" Lily asked, slightly confused.
"To have won a prize such as yourself," Lucius said, a gracious smile on his lips. "I can see why he loves to talk about you. You are quite captivating."
"Oh," Lily blushed. "Thank you, but—"
"But of course," Lucius said, stopping in the middle of the road. He turned to face her, grabbing both her hands. "I mean it, very deeply. You are most enchanting, Lily."
Lily smiled awkwardly, feeling uncomfortable, but she didn't want to pull her hands free. "Lucius, Severus is not my boyfriend. I don't know what he's told you, but—"
"Oh!" Lucius said in a tone of surprise that illuminated his face with a look of comprehension. "Forgive me," he asked. "I assumed—I am sorry."
Lily shrugged. "It's all right. We're just friends. We've known each other a long time." She turned and continued on the path when she felt Lucius grab her wrist and spin her back around. He pulled her close to his chest, pinning her there.
"What are you doing?" she cried, surprised.
"Forgive me," he said. "But I just need to know—"
And right there, he kissed her fully on the mouth. Golden lights exploded before Lily's closed eyes, and she stopped fighting, instead returning the kiss passionately. This, she thought, this could go on for days, and she would still feel this wonderful.
Then, they broke apart.
"I do apologize," Lucius said, averting his eyes from her face, his cheeks very red. Lily got the impression that to see Lucius Malfoy embarrassed was rather a unique occurrence.
"No," said Lily breathlessly. "It's fine." She smiled, exhilarated. They began walking again, slightly closer together this time. Lily now found that she couldn't keep her eyes away from him,
"I have a bad habit of getting overly—excited," Lucius explained. "My father is the same way," he laughed. "Though, of course, he's got a rather exciting job at the Ministry—Head of the Department of Accidental Magic Reversal."
Lily smiled. "My parents are pretty boring, I'm afraid…both teachers."
"Teachers?" Lucius asked, a frown creasing his brow. "I don't recall a Professor Evans at Hogwarts."
"Oh," Lily said, feeling her cheeks grow pink. "They work at a school in London. They're Muggles, not wizards." She walked on for several paces before noticing that Lucius was no longer at her side. "Lucius…?"
"Muggles?" he spat, standing very still several feet behind her. His face had an ugly look on it that she would not have imagined possible on those charming features. "You mean—you're a Muggleborn?" he hissed the last word furiously.
"I—well—" Lily stiffened. He was one of those, was he? Fine. Fine. "Yeah, I am!" she cried.
"But you're a Slytherin!" Lucius cried.
"What? I am not. I'm in Gryffindor," Lily snapped.
Lucius scowled. "I think it's time I was going."
"As do I," Lily said coldly.
"A Mudblood," Lucius hissed. He didn't see the ball of ice and snow head straight for his face, and yelled aloud as it collided squarely with his nose.
Lily glared at him. "I assure you, I'm a thousand times more disgusted." And with that, she turned and marched away, never looking back.
It wasn't until she was safely in Gryffindor Tower that Lily sat down on her bed and began to cry. She was tired of it; tired of the pureblood mania, of feeling like she didn't belong in the one place she was free to be herself. She hated Lucius Malfoy, she hated everyone who hated her for being Muggleborn.
But still, Lily never forgot that one moment, with the most charming, sleekly attractive man she had ever met, until the night she died.
Written for The Rival Pairing Challenge, by xAccioDramionex. Lily/Lucius.
Thanks for reading,