All canon characters belong to JKR.
Thanks to June for all of her help and suggestions.
Chapter 5 â€“ Former Death Eaters and Best Buds
Harry observed Lucius speaking to Ginny. He felt uneasy as he noticed how much Ginny seemed to be enjoying her conversation with the elder Malfoy. So intent was he to eavesdrop that he didnâ€™t realize Ron had won their match.
â€śCheckmate,â€ť Ron was smiling. For a brief moment he had thought Harry would beat him, but since Lucius came into the room, his friendâ€™s game began to suffer. Of course, being a fierce competitor, Ron took advantage. He looked up at Harry and realized the Boy Who Lived wasnâ€™t even looking at the game board. Ron noticed Harry still looking towards his sister and Lucius.
â€śWhatâ€™s wrong, Harry?â€ť
â€śHuh?â€ť Harry looked towards Ron. â€śSorry, what did you say? Is it my move?â€ť
â€śI just won. Whatâ€™s the matter with you?â€ť asked Ron.
â€śNothing, Iâ€™m fine. I donâ€™t feel much like playing anymore.â€ť Harry stood and walked towards Ginny and Lucius.
For his part, Neville watched the two quietly. Even though Lucius had come to the side of the Order, there was always a dangerous quality about him that Neville felt uneasy about. The tall blond always seemed imposing to him.
â€śLucius,â€ť Harry said as he extended his hand and Lucius shook it.
â€śHarry, how nice to see you.â€ť Lucius remembered that there were others in the room. â€śNeville, Ron.â€ť He bowed his head slightly toward the others, then turned his attention back to Ginny.
At that moment, Hermione came into the room.
â€śLucius, welcome.â€ť Hermione welcomed her guest graciously, with a kiss on the cheek and a warm hug. â€śIâ€™m so glad you came. Maybe now Severus will emerge from the Countâ€™s labs and spend some time with the rest of us.â€ť
â€śWell, you above all people should know that Severus loves tinkering with his potions. Iâ€™ll see what I can do, however, if you point me in the right direction.â€ť
Hermione summoned Foofoo, the head house-elf, and asked him to take Lucius to the labs. Before he walked out of the room, Lucius took one last look back at Ginny. As he left the room, Ginny took hold of Hermioneâ€™s arm and let out a breath she didnâ€™t even realize she was holding.
â€śI canâ€™t believe he actually came,â€ť said Ginny enthusiastically.
Harry, of course, didnâ€™t notice the gleam in Ginnyâ€™s eyes, and thought she said it more in disbelief than anything.
â€śI didnâ€™t know you invited Lucius to come along,â€ť Neville said to his hostess.
â€śI hadnâ€™t at first, but I thought Severus might like to have someone his own age around,â€ť answered Hermione.
â€śYeah, Iâ€™m sure theyâ€™re reliving the good old Death Eater days,â€ť said Ron as he popped a small tea sandwich in his mouth. Blank faces met his gaze. â€śOh, like Iâ€™m the only one who thought that.â€ť
Lucius was led to the dungeons of the castle, which were actually very undungeon-like. They were incredibly well-lit and decorated in bold colors.
â€śMaster Snape is in this room, sir. Is there anything more?â€ť Foofoo asked.
â€śNo, thank you.â€ť Another change in Lucius was that now he was quite gracious to house-elves. His own were free and very happy to be in his service.
Foofoo disappeared, and Lucius knocked on the wood door.
â€śWho is it?â€ť called Severus.
â€śLucius.â€ť He waited a few moments, then heard footsteps approach. The door opened and he was pulled inside quickly.
Severus looked out into the hallway, first left, then right. He then closed the door.
Instead of finding several sets of cauldrons bubbling wildly, Lucius found what Draco called a media room. Lucius himself did not own a television, or any other type of Muggle electronic apparatus, save a laptop computer, which Draco insisted he have so that they could communicate easier and faster by Internet.
â€śI thought this was some potions lab,â€ť said Lucius as he approached a fifty-inch plasma television.
â€śIt is. But yesterday I went to that bookcase near the table to look for a book I needed. I noticed a book which seemed out of place, and when I went to take it out, the entire back half of the room transformed into this.â€ť
â€śSo while your family is upstairs enjoying their holiday, you are sitting down here moping watching that?â€ť asked Lucius as he pointed to the television. There was a woman with an odd looking metal object that looked like a large needle. She was manipulating something that looked like yarn into a hat. Behind her was a sign â€“ Knitting for Dummies.
â€śI tried to be part of the group, Merlin knows I tried. But the first day we were here, Weasley walked into my room and saw me naked.â€ť
â€śWhich Weasley?â€ť asked Lucius.
â€śThe one who flies for the same team.â€ť
â€śPlease tell me you donâ€™t mean Ginny,â€ť said Lucius.
â€śNo!â€ť yelled Severus as he rolled his eyes. â€śIt was Ron. He thought my room was his. Then the day after that, Four-Eyes drank too much brandy after dinner and threw up all over my lap when I was wearing the new trousers Hermione purchased for me in Harrods. As though that in itself wasnâ€™t bad enough, he tried to help me clean it up, and instead of saying Scourgify, he pointed his wand and said Stupefy. My penis wouldnâ€™t work for two days. And you donâ€™t even want to know what that furball cat did this afternoon.â€ť
Lucius was laughing so hard he had tears running down his cheeks. Severus scowled at his friend.
â€śIâ€™m sorry, Severus. It is quite funny. I donâ€™t blame you for sequestering yourself, though. But you need to get out of here.â€ť
â€śHang on, what exactly are you doing here?â€ť Severus finally realized how unexpected it was for Lucius to be present. â€śNot that I mind. It will be nice to have another Slytherin around.â€ť
â€śHermione invited me to spend the holiday with all of you. Draco and Cho are in America, so I thought why not. Iâ€™m glad I came. I had no idea that Miss Weasley had grown into such an attractive woman.â€ť
Severus raised an ever-inquiring brow and smirked.
â€śYes, she is quite pleasant to look at.â€ť
â€śOh, you think so? Does your wife know you think her best friend is pleasant-looking?â€ť said Lucius playfully.
Severus chuckled. â€śI love my wife very much, and I think she is the most beautiful woman in the world. But I do still have eyes.â€ť Severus noticed Lucius smiling as they spoke about Ginny.
â€śAre you perhaps interested?â€ť asked Severus.
â€śMost definitely. But, I know she and Harry are an item. Besides, I may be too old for her taste.â€ť
â€śWell, for one thing, I have it on good authority that she is not seeing anyone seriously, and that includes Harry. And two, said authority also states that Miss Ginevra Weasley may be looking for an older man.â€ť
Lucius smiled, looking much like the cat that ate the canary.
â€śReally, now? I have a feeling this is going to be quite an interesting stay. No wonder Harry took such an interest in our conversation. I doubt very much he is going to like having competition.â€ť
Now it was Severusâ€™ turn to smile. Things were turning around for the Potions master. Watching Harry and Neville try to impress Ginny with Lucius around would be very entertaining.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter.
The Snapes go on holiday by ancientgir