Authors Note: I know this is different from what I normally write, but I hope that you are going to like it. I can certainly tell that I will enjoy writing it. Reviews are welcome and please do tell me if you have any suggestions for the story, certain things can be tailored to your desires if you wish. Enjoy - Bee x
It had been years since Lucius Malfoy had met his old friend under circumstances other than when it was required. After the transgressions that had occurred between them in their youth, Lucius had seen it fit to distance himself from Severus Snape and vice versa. Narcissa would have none of it though, and had continued to speak to Severus on the occasions that she could. Now, finally, after years of wishing it to be so, Narcissa had gotten her heart's desire and Severus was standing in the hallway of Malfoy Manor with the intention of meeting Lucius.
Lucius descended the main staircase, his cane absent for once. It was a clever place to hide his wand when he was in public, and he did so love to get up everyone's noses with his blatant superiority. It was one of few games that were left for him to enjoy, especially now that the Dark Lord had risen once more.
"Ah Severus. A pleasure to see you once more, old friend." Lucius called out, his voice echoing in the grand and silent hallway. There was no need for him to speak particularly loudly as the acoustics of the hallway were rather good if he did say so himself.
"Lucius. I am here as requested by Narcissa, I am here only for Narcissa." Severus said. Lucius would have been wounded if he had not already known and accepted this. After all, Severus had not been the only one to place the distance between them.
"You remain as charming as ever Severus." Lucius turned his head slightly as he heard Narcissa's voice. She came up behind him, laying a hand on his shoulder for support. The action was not an obvious show of support, but both Lucius and Narcissa knew the intention behind it. That was all that mattered to the both of them. Severus, as sharp as ever, watched their interaction closely, like a hawk.
"Only for you Narcissa." Severus replied genially. Narcissa offered him her best polite smile as she gestured with her free hand in the direction of the Parlour. Severus inclined his head in their direction and headed towards the room.
"I do not know if I can do this Narcissa. There are too many wounds." Lucius confessed, admitting his weakness in a very rare moment. There were few times when anyone would find the Lucius Malfoy admitting that he felt pain. He did though, and he wasn't going to hide it, not from his wife. Female intuition, or simply plentiful knowledge about Lucius, enabled her to see his pain where others could not. Even Draco was oblivious, and that was how Lucius felt it should stay.
"You must try to Lucius. With the Dark Lord back, you and Severus need to move past this. He needs to know, and so does she." Narcissa said, gently stroking her husband's cheek. She felt great love and affection for him, as he did for her, although neither would show it in public. They all had their parts to play, and to them all the world really was a stage, and they were just players.
"What if he doesn't want to hear it Cissa?" Lucius asked, using his affectionate name for her as he smoothed her brilliant blonde hair back from her beautiful place. She had the looks of a Queen, his Queen.
"It isn't a matter of want Lucius, it's need." Narcissa replied softly, gently steering her husband in the direction of the parlour. They crossed the threshold together and Narcissa let go. Lucius paused and looked to her questioningly.
"I am afraid I have urgent matters to attend to Severus. I hope that you will inform me when you desire to leave." Narcissa said sweetly, looking to Severus. The dark haired man in question had seated himself in one of the armchairs by the fire, his outer robes shed and thrown over the back of the armchair.
"Of course Narcissa." He replied coolly, his gaze flickering between her and Lucius. A small smile graced her lips before she shut the parlour door, leaving Lucius and Severus alone once more.
"What did you bring me here for Lucius?" Severus asked, watching as the blonde haired man crossed to settle in the armchair opposite him. Comfort would be required for this particular conversation, and it seemed that they were going to get right down to the business of it. Severus had never been one to dance around an issue.
"To talk old friend. It would be her birthday today, if she were still here." Lucius said, his voice dropping to barely above a whisper. Severus stiffened in the armchair, gripping tightly onto the chair's thick arms, his knuckles whitening.
"If I had known that was the reason for your summons, I would not have come." Severus said tightly, his voice strained. He was trying to maintain his standard calm and control. It was an effective tool, shield and weapon, which he had perfected over the years. Lucius had to wonder if matters would have turned out differently if the tragedy had not happened.
"Have you forgiven her yet?" Lucius asked, his own voice constricted with the pain he felt at the mere mention of her. Even after the years since, he still felt the anguish as though it had occurred only yesterday.
"I never blamed her in the first Lucius. You should know that!" Severus exclaimed, his façade beginning to crack in front of the slightly older man. There were few things that could affect Severus so much, shake him so deeply, to his very core. She had always been one of those things, and she probably always would be.
"Then why did you remove yourself? Why did you never try to contact the girl?" Lucius asked, unable to keep the sharpness out of his tone, the edge of anger off his words. A great injustice had been done to the girl, and yet she had continued on. Lucius admired her resilience in the face of it all. Severus was silent for a few moments before he all but threw himself out of his chair. He began to pace up and down, Lucius watching his every step intently, waiting for him to speak again. Finally, Severus came to a stop.
"I could not bear to look into those eyes, and see her staring back at me." Severus hissed, his back to Lucius. The elder Malfoy's expression softened and he stood up, walking to stand behind Severus.
"She wants to know her father, and she has waited many years for it." Lucius said softly. Severus turned to look at his friend before sighing heavily.
"Then bring her here, for my heart wishes to know her for her, not who she is." Severus said, everything about him screaming that he was resigned to it. After so many years, right was going to be done, and the girl's life could be healed before the ruins became ash.
"Jeanne would be overjoyed." Lucius commented with a fond smile, blinking back the tears that threatened to fall. The pain would always be there, for she had been the light of his life, for all of his life. He would not be alone in his pain though, for Severus had hurt and so had the girl.
"What is her name?" Severus questioned.
"Lyra. Lyra Eva."