It's JKR's world, I just play in it.

Just this one chapter this time.

Severus/Lucius, not related to any of my other stories. SLASH. Probably rated PG. Kinda bittersweet, because I'm just like that.


Severus lounged on a divan, Lucius Malfoy sprawled mostly on top of him. He was content, and idly ran his hand through the blonde's hair, as he skimmed a volume of Catullus he was all too familiar with.

It was soothing -- the quiet of the house, the cadence of the familiar words, and the peacefulness of Lucius, whom Severus knew better than to presume was actually asleep. He cherished these times Narcissa was away, not because she really cared, but because they allowed for a semblance of normalcy he wasn't allowed to admit he craved.

Lucius made a small fussing sound and shifted slightly to get more comfortable. The man was most definitely not asleep, but Severus found the fiction to be charming enough to indulge in it anyway. Lucius was so rarely needy – demanding yes, but not needy.

Before he could return his attention to his book, he saw the man's son poke his head around the door and make an inquiring face.

"It's all right Draco, come in," Severus said in a low voice.

Draco smiled, straightened up and walked into the study. He pulled an ottoman over to where his professor was sitting, and perched there.

"What are you reading?"


"No potions?"

"No potions. What do you want Draco?"

The boy shrugged smiled at him, and then looked at his father. "I look exactly like him,, don't I?"

"You're more delicate than he was at your age, but mostly, yes."

"Do you find it as strange to see your lover in your classroom as I find it to see myself lounging on you?"

"The impertinence of your curiosity astonishes even me," he said, with a slight hint of bemusement in his voice.

"The boy has a crush on you, Sev," interjected Lucius without opening his eyes.

Draco blushed, and Severus smirked. He loved this family's predictability. "Actually Lucius, I think he's merely ambitious," Snape replied, winking at his student who looked at him with relief.

"Thank you," he said.

"You shouldn't thank someone for putting you in their debt without your permission, Draco," Severus said, turning the awkward moment into a lesson for the boy. Lucius chuckled against him. And Draco sighed with the exasperation that comes only of being fifteen.

"How long are you staying for?" the child asked.

"As long as the two of you can put up with me." They had had this conversation many many times.

Lucius made a slightly humming noise and shifted again into feigned sleep.

"Sometimes I wish you were my father."

"But then Lucius wouldn't be your father."

"No, I meant instead of my mother."

"Of the many things I will never and should never be Draco, it's anyone's mother," he said with a grim chuckle.

"I'll explain it to you when you're older," Lucius muttered, really for no other reason than to make his lover laugh and to horrify his already perfectly aware child.

Draco made a face as he clearly rearranged some mental image.

"Go do something useful, Draco. We'll see you at dinner," Severus said as gently as he could.

Draco thought about muttering something about if they wanted privacy to seek it in private rooms, but restrained himself. His father sensed the hesitation though.

"Severus takes comfort in our having the run of the house. Do go find some way to occupy yourself?" he said without opening his eyes.

Draco nodded, and left with a small smile for them both.

When he was gone, Severus sighed.

"I'm sorry, I've upset you," Lucius muttered into his lover's chest.

"No more than usual," Severus said obviously distracted.

Lucius shifted against him, yet again.

"Try to get some actual rest," Severus said, petting the man's back absently. Where he, himself was an insomniac, tortured and pacing in the dark, Lucius avoided even considering sleep as often as possible, terrified as if a child to miss a moment of anything. When the exhaustion did finally crash upon him, it was always merciless, and it hung dangerously close now.

The man made a small noise, and shifted yet again, every movement as ever a vague suggestion and reminder, not that Severus needed one.

He was reminded of Lucius' wedding day. They had rested like this in Lucius' rooms before the ceremony and he had been grateful for the blonde's natural languor; it had kept him from holding on too tightly.

"Does this bother you?" Severus had asked.

"Will you be terribly offended if I say no?"

Severus had stayed silent then, and after a long moment, was relieved that Lucius was willing to fill in the gap so peaceably.

"I've known who I was going to marry and why since I was five years old. I not only can't imagine anything different for myself, but for anyone. I envy you a little that you have no such concerns, but I imagine you'll eventually find a similar arrangement for yourself."

"I've no interest in children, Lucius." And then after a long pause, an answer to the unasked question, "Nor any desire to be assured this particular family name lives on." He had tried not to sound bitter.

"What will you do with everything then? I mean, when you die?"

"Leave it to your son, I suppose." Severus had been thinking aloud, and was horrified when he realized he had actually said it. He felt Lucius smile against his chest.

"That's terribly romantic, Sev."

"Don't mock me, not today."

"I'm sorry. This is hard for you."

"I worry."

"Nothing will change. Narcissa certainly isn't under any illusions."

"Promise me."


Severus had frozen utterly then, and Lucius had sat up, unwound his long arms from the man and fixed him with a gaze that had been trained to lead nations, but rarely did more than insult the unworthy.

"I will not make you any promises today, because you will not believe them. I know you, and you will find a way to disregard anything I say in the face of my vows later. Ask me tomorrow, and then I will promise you anything."

"Within reason," Severus said grimly.

"Always," and Lucius smiled, tried to make light of their mercenary natures. He touched Severus cheek and smiled before giving him a brief and not entirely chaste kiss. "Come on," he said standing up, "best get this over with."

"There's something I want, first."

"I'm not –"

"No," Severus said, standing. "Dance with me. We won't be able to later."

Lucius smiled at him sadly, a parent indulging a child against all reason. It was a sweet moment, and Severus did clutch to his lover harder than he should have.

"Are you trying to make me cry, Snape?" Lucius asked over his shoulder.

"Maybe," the response was coy, but Lucius stopped.

Taking Severus' face in his hands, he fixed him with his most pointed gaze. "Malfoy's don't cry. Now come on, I'm sure we're wanted downstairs."

And that had been that and life had turned out fairly satisfactorily, although Severus was sure he would never stop being stung by it. It didn't seem right, that someone such as himself should have nothing more than himself to share with another – not a home, or a life or a bed, just his difficult self and the occasional vacation. This was why he so valued the times they could laze around in Lucius' study and pretend this was theirs. It was something Lucius only understood well enough to indulge.

"Bed?" Lucius murmured, shaking Severus from his reflections.

"No, later. I'd like to just enjoy this for a little while."

"Of course," Lucius replied, finally allowing himself to drift into a genuine sleep.