Big Brother - Peter Pan and the lost boys - Part 3 (in which Sirius finally appears)
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Big Brother - Peter Pan and the lost boys - Part 2
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Big Brother - Peter Pan and the lost boys - Part 1
Lucius looked at the enormous mess that was Spinners End. He had regretted every step that took him to this provincial, filthy backwater, but he had a responsibility. Severus might have told him to fuck off. Severus might be a filthy half-blood, a half-crazed little bastard with a filthy look and a filthy mouth. But Lucius had made a commitment. And whilst he was a poor excuse for a guardian for the younger set, all of his life, he had been trained and drilled in ‘you look after the younger children’. Any and all attempts at this had thus far ended in disaster, the worst being his total failure to keep Regulus alive.
He thought once again of the brilliant and beautiful boy regulus had been. It was hard to remember him now, as superimposed over Lucius’s memories, were images of Regulus’s spiralling madness. His suicidal depression, even his questioning of their lord and master! Lucius had fought hard to reach regulus, time and again, and each time, Regulus had struck back harder than before. Lucius shook his head. Why did the Blacks have to be so stubborn? At least Narcissa’s obstinacy had worked for rather than against him. Thus far.
He remembered the building panic when he couldn’t find Regulus anywhere, the frantic searching. Narcissa’s tears and recriminations. Her threats to do herself injury as Draco screamed in his crib. The growing blackness as it became clear that Regulus was nowhere.
He simply wasn’t anywhere any more. They had even yet not found the body. After the shock of their master’s downfall, the accusations and the trials had all been got through. Still, Regulus remained missing. Subtle questioning and bribery had achieved nothing. Even Lucius more unsubtle attempts had netted no results.
Dumbledore’s quiet hint that Lucius’ hunt was in vain as even Regulus’s magical signature was gone still burned in his memory.
Looking at the cherubic expression of his toddler child, when he was asleep anyway, Lucius felt a swelling in his chest. Love, pride. But tinged with total apprehension. Given his total failure to guide and guard his young charges thus far, could he reverse his and Draco’s fortunes and not lead him to disaster and ruination? Draco needed to be kept cloistered and protected at all times. Lucius dreamed of finding Regulus at the bottom of the Hogwarts lake, looking eerily down through the thick glass into the Slytherin common room, and dead Regulus would be cradling his drowned son. Lucius would wake crying and shaking. So far, Narcissa had been unable to wheedle the story out of him. He did not want to bring his terror to her. She was exhausted caring for the child, furious with the whole world, grieving for all of the family members she had lost to what she now called a damn silly crusade and terrified for the future of her only child. Sharing his fears would bring no good to her.
Lucius, with an effort, pulled himself from memories of the terrible search for Regulus. He would do what he could to avoid repeating the situation. And this is what had driven him here. This is what had driven him to demolish the existing wards and blast the door open.
The reek had hit him full in the face, and he still stood on the doorstep wrestling with his memories and secret terrors.
The last Lucius had seen of Severus, the young dark man had been furious and, strangely, detached. He had stood trial as a death eater, and should have been sent to Azkaban. But surprisingly the lilly white Albus Dumbledore, old bastard that he was, had saved Severus. But what had he saved him for? Just to allow Severus to kill himself in the comfort of his own home?
And just like that, fury blinded Lucius, building from his stomach and right up his throat. Fury drove him over that threshold and into the stinking room.
A cursory examination revealed a room where every item had been thrown in a fury. Severus had clearly vented on his belongings. Lucius stepped over the mess, kicking it out of his way in his rage, and loudly snarled:
No answer. Big surprise. Lucius wasn’t sure with whom he was angry. Severus? Dumbledore? Everyone? Himself? It smelled very much like someone had died in here, and Lucius was going to skin Albus Dumbledore when he found what he was sure he was going to find.
A bookcase door hung off one hinge. Interesting. If it had been closed, Lucius would have been challenged to know it was there.
With his wand drawn and his fury still burning bright, steadfastly ignoring his dread, he pushed further into the house. The space beyond held a narrow and pitch black corridor, and an equally narrow and dark stair. Lucius mounted them to the upper floor.
A platform at the top showed a pitiful three rooms. Only two narrow bedrooms and a ridiculously small bathroom. So small, that Lucius actually thought the cupboard looking door might actually be evidence of the bathroom originally being an inbuilt cupboard. The poverty of the living conditions was if anything, even more disturbing then the smell.
Lucius was fairly certain Severus was not up here, as the smell had abated, slightly, as he mounted the stairs, so he raised his wand to cast a little light into the three rooms. It was pitiful how quickly he was able to complete his upstairs cursory search. Lucius’s mind flashed back to the angry but brilliant boy Severus had been at school. At how his bright black eyes used to glint malevolently from under those curtains of black hair. How he would always chose the ‘fight’ response to any stimuli. How his tongue lead him into such trouble. Even how he had clung to that mudblood until after Lucius had left the school, in spite of all of Lucius instruction that she should not be associated with.
As Lucius descended the stairs, he thought of these and other memories, and felt he understood Severus a little better in light of what had quite clearly been awful conditions to raise a child.
That left only the corridor.
As Lucius followed it towards the back of the house and the only remaining room, the smell got worse. But with it was just a hint of hope. The smell was awful, animal, but it was not the stench of the days old corpse. Lucius alas, had now plenty of experience of the smell of one. Pushing open the peeling, swinging door, Lucius’s wandlight fell on yet more mess, and on the floor, a pitiful pile of limbs. They were not putrid, nor were they blue. They were pale yes, and perhaps a little purple, but Lucius fell across the room to Severus’s body and found a pulse with enormous relief.
Lucius sat back on his heels and considered his options. Where to take Severus, and what to do with him now.
The meddlesome old fool’s face swam to the front of his mind. How dare the old bastard shirk his responsibility, just tossing Severus back into his putrid childhood surroundings again? Had the old man even cared if Severus lived or died? Well, time for Lucius to beat it out of the old bastard.
Lucius rolled Severus into a more comfortable position, briefly thanking his sour old cow of a grandmother for being a drunk bitch, but ensuring that Lucius knew not to leave Severus lying on his back. Lucius summoned a blanket and pillow from one of the beds upstairs, wrapped Severus on the floor and placed the pillow under his head.
Lucius briefly contemplated the sour YOUNG bastard lying on the floor, stepped out of the backdoor into a tiny, damp, and smelling of feline incontinence back courtyard, and dissapparated to Hogsmead.

The bracing walk to Hogwarts in the crisp summer evening air would have been pleasant. Indeed, many had thought so until they spied Lucius stomping towards them. They had hastily withdrawn. Lucius had been furious before, but his recent tete-e-tete with Aberforth Dumbledore had pushed him over into incendiary.
He had found himself screaming at the old bastard. Demanding to know where the elder brother was. Aberforth had refused to tell him, big surprise. But after Lucius had totally lost it, screaming things that he didn’t quite remember out into the mercifully closed and empty pub, the old man had grudgingly turned to a portrait and said:
‘Please ask Albus if he will meet with Lucius Malfoy at Hogwarts tonight.’
The portrait of the young girl had nodded once, retreated into the painting as though she was walking down a corridor that reminded Lucius uneasily of Severus’s, and returned after a very short time. She had simply nodded.
Aberforth had told him shortly to get the hell out of his pub. Albus would see Lucius in his office at Hogwarts. And that if Aberforth saw him in the Hogs Head again, it would go very badly for Lucius indeed.
The almost humiliating walk to Hogwarts might have cowed a lesser man, but it only served to bank and build Lucius’s fury higher. It was made worse by the uneasy feeling that in his rage he may have revealed rather more then he might wish to Aberforth Dumbledore. By the time he reached the corridor which hosted the entrance to Dumbledore’s office, he was in high dudgeon born aloft by embarrassment.
The house elf that held the entrance open looked positively terrified at Lucius’s face. His ears drooped and folded behind his head, and his eyes became round. His whole posture dropped down into a crouch, as though he expected to be kicked. The elf quickly drew back out of range. Lucius pretended to not even see him.
He stomped up the spiral stairs and stood looking at the door balefully. He’d be dammed if he was going to knock like a student seeing the headmaster. His fury grew further. Instead of it making him hot, however, he was ice cold.
Dumbledore must have tired of the game, as the door opened. Lucius fumed across the office until he stood before the old wizard. Dumbledore held his face in a study of relaxation, and in his right hand, his wand, which was facing away from Lucius and across the room towards a window. His posture was that of only mildly curious observer.
Lucius unleashed his fury. He filled Dumbledore in on his, Dumbledore’s, dereliction of duty, how he, Lucius, had just found Severus unconscious on the floor of his kitchen. Of the mouldy food and filth that had made him fear he was about to find one of his young charges dead. How at least that would have been better then never finding him at all.
Lucius laid down his ultimatum, save Severus, or Lucius would make it his duty, and his pleasure, to find or create a scandal that would ruin Dumbledore and everything he held dear.
Once he was done, he observed the old wizard.
The bastard hadn’t stirred at all, hadn’t moved a single hair. At looking into his face, Lucius realised that he had seen through all of Lucius’s bluster and had seen the young prefect who had taken on care for the younger students and had summed up the torment Lucius felt at their destruction at the hands of the death eaters and the aurors.
Lucius snapped his mouth shut with a click, and drew his whole posture up. He stood rigidly and tall, daring the bastard to say anything.
Out of the corner of his eye, he became of something standing as alert as he was. Dumbledore’s gaze moved to the left, sliding over Lucius’s rigid stance, to the phoenix, who seeing the cue for what it was, launched from his perch and flew across to the old wizard, who raised his arm ready to be a perch, and in an instant, both had disappeared in a sheet of fire.
The only outward signs of Lucius’s shock were the widening of his eyes. Otherwise, he stood stock still, and had only just regained the power of movement when footsteps came up the stairs behind him.
He whipped around and pulled his wand, finding himself aiming directly at Minerva McGonagall, who looked distinctly unimpressed. She simply walked past him to a small set of chairs around a tea table. As she moved, she revealed Filius Flitwick. Both professors had taught Lucius. The look on Flitwick’s face said quite plainly, ‘put the wand away boy, or I shall teach you another lesson’. Lucius considered his options, and divined that they had simply been sent to mind him whilst Dumbledore was away. He holstered his wand.
McGonagall had settled herself in one of the gilt chairs, and on seeing Lucius holster his wand, said
‘Tea?’, managing to make it quelling and enquiring at once.
On Lucius’s stiff and awkward nod, an elf stepped out of nowhere, delivered tea with three cups, and stepped back into nowhere. McGonagall poured tea from the pot into the cups. Flitwick sat, but Lucius was dammed if he was going to sit in one of those stupid chairs and play ‘english tea party’ with these two. With an exasperated flick, McGonagall sent the third cup across the room. Lucius caught it without spilling the scalding fluid, and sipped it, black and tarry.
Flitwick sat back in the chair, returned his cup to its saucer and said
‘Well, Severus has been delivered into the care of Poppy Pomfrey. It appears that he has injected himself with some substance. Poppy suspects heroin. And quite a lot of it. By the time you found him, he appears to have already reached the top of the ‘high’ in his coma and was coming down. He will be alright.’
Lucius felt no relief. He drained the tea, threw the cup to the floor, smashing it and stormed back to the stair. That the cup had been repaired before he was even through the office door did nothing to calm his temper.

Lucius returned to the manor. He had spent a little over an hour at Hogwarts, and it was an hour of his life he was never getting back. After leaving the smug bastards in Dumbledore’s office, he had arrived at the hospital wing, to find it completely closed, and a note on the door, from Dumbledore. It assured Lucius that Severus was alright, but would be not accepting visitors under any terms tonight. It might have well have said fuck off at the bottom. Banging on the door produced absolutely no reaction. And at last, he had turned in a dramatic swirl, and taken himself home.
Home. Home where everything was in his control. Where, with his father dead, he was at last total master of at least his own fate. With the dark lord dead, Lucius had felt, and felt ashamed of, a flare of relief. But no one would be telling him what to do ever again. From now on, what he did, he did because of what he chose to do.
He entered the parlour, and was gratified to find Narcissa had sat up waiting for him. Her face was etched with concern. But whilst she had been angry with the rest of the world, only Regulus’s disappearance and caused a cross word between them. And even now, when she knew what task had sent him out into the evening, she waited until she had relieved Lucius of his outer robe, sat him in a chair, removed his shoes and replaced them with slippers, and had supplied him with port before sitting next to him.
Lucius sipped the excellent alcohol, and exhaled in relief. Closing his eyes briefly, he was able to gather his thoughts. Opening them again, he found his wife at his side patiently waiting for him to be ready to tell her.
Once again, he blessed every star in the sky that Narcissa was his. Sometimes he found his duties as the head of Malfoy and eldest of the generation very trying. But that it had meant he had been able to choose Narcissa as his bride unopposed made it worth it.
He picked up her right hand in his left, kissed her palm, and told her he loved her. She smiled at him, sadly, but with real affection.
A dangerous thrill ran through him. He knew it was wicked to love her SO much. To be willing to sacrifice every other concern, every other alliance, for her. But he did. She was his comfort and helpmeet. She was quite willing to fight with him at other times, to stand and be her own woman and such. But when he needed her, she always knew and provided exactly what he needed her to provide.
And now it was time to reward her.
‘I found him. He was still alive. He is now at Hogwarts in the hospital wing. He will apparently be alright. Dumbledore said something about Heroin’.
Narcissa, freed her hand from Lucius’s grip, raised it to her mouth, and as her eyes filled with tears, she half turned away from Lucius so her beautiful bright hair covered her face. Lucius sensed her holding her breath to try to keep the sob at bay. Lucius took his left hand from the couch, and used it to slide around her shoulders, pull her gently back and bring her to rest on his chest, tucked under his chin.
Her breathing was harsh. He stroked her hair and kept his own breathing even. She gave a hiccupping breath, and the tears came. She sobbed, just once, and her left hand suddenly gripped his shirt.
Narcissa rarely allowed herself to cry. It had been many months before tears had finally broken through her terror and desperation and allowed her to cry over Regulus’s disappearance. She had yet to speak the names of those lost to Azkaban. But every so often, she would allow Lucius to comfort her whilst she released whatever had been inside her in tears. As Lucius stroked her bright head, he reflected that even with her red eyes, blotchy complexion, gasping breath and wet face, she was still beautiful to him.
Truly, love was enormous and made fools of them all.

Lucius and Narcissa retuned to Hogwarts the next day. Today, Lucius was aware that he was accompanying Narcissa, instead of the other way around. Her face was set, and he was just glad it wasn’t directed at him.
They had already been to spinners end. After narcissa had made her noises of disgust, a ridiculously small number of flicks from her wand had the pitiful small space restored to rights. Really, Dobby was all about status, as Narcissa was quite capable of keeping the Manor as neat as a pin. But Dobby was an inheritance, part of the Malfoy estate as all of his family had been before him. The young elf was a pitiful specimen. Sometimes Lucius just wanted to kick him because the elf’s posture galled him. Sometimes he gave in and did just that. Lucius was tired of thinking up ridiculous punishments for his ineptitude or his spills and drops made in fear whenever Lucius so much as walked past.
The putrid smell had turned out to be a combination of spoiled food, over-boiled potion experiments in the bathroom, Severus’s unwashed body and just plain dirt of ‘unwashed house’. It had been very easy to fix. A few more flicks of narcissa’s wand had sorted Severus’s meagre possessions and the unbroken items had been restored to their shelves and stores. The broken items were in a pile in the middle of the floor.
Narcissa had then simply made her way to Hogwarts and Lucius had followed her. They had the day, the idiot Dobby was at least a passable child minder, and could watch Draco safely ensconced in his nursery.
They mounted the entrance stairs, crossed the courtyard, and Narcissa rapped on the door. Amazing how she could even knock angry.
An elf opened the door almost right away. They must have been expected.
This elf had guts. It bowed and said:
‘Would lord and lady malfoy please follow Nutty’, turned and lead the way to the seventh floor.
With school out, the castle was calm, clean and serene. Lucius sensed it hadn’t eased his wife’s tension in the slightest. She had slept only after Lucius had paid her a great deal of attention the night before. And now she was on a mission.
Madam Pomfrey stood at the entrance to the Hospital Wing. Thanking and dismissing the elf, she turned to the Malfoy’s. She pre-empted anything they might have said:
‘He woke this morning. We were able to remove the residue of the drug from his system and got him cleaned up. We estimate that he has been using heroin for some months.’
My snort drew no response, Narcissa’s expression darkened.
Pomfrey was already leading the way down the ward. Only one bed was occupied, and it was surrounded by screens. She continued:
‘He seems to have gotten off quite lightly. We were able to deal with the gangrene between his toes this morning and have managed to bully him into eating something.’
She turned to us
‘You may see him, but expect him to be hostile and defensive. He has already attempted to leave, but was too weak to do so. Please do not make caring for him worse.’
I imagine it was easy to read ‘Dumbledore should have been ‘caring’ for him substantially earlier then this’ from our faces. I certainly read it clearly on Narcissa’s.
Pomfrey continued: ‘It is too early for the withdrawals to hit him, and magic has done some good, but very soon he will be practically unbearable. Today we expect him to be his usual charming self. We shall see what tomorrow brings’.
She said no more, but a flick from her wand opened the screens.
Severus lay on the crisp white sheets. He looked. Strangely sunken and small. If he didn’t look like he’d just been dug up and then painfully scrubbed, he would have looked vulnerable. His body was surrounded by the vestiges of healing magic and little coloured sparks were running over his limbs. Never a good looking man, such flesh as remained was either stretched and waxy over the brittle bones of his face, or were sunken and bruised and dark like the circles that now surrounded his eyes. When he opened his eyes, Lucius felt an odd moment of vertigo as though he was tipping forward into black holes that sucked all light out of a star. But the eyes were wincing in pain and Lucius was quickly reconnected with his own body.
Severus’s hands lay on top of the coverlet, heavily badaged with just the tips of the fingers showing through so Madom Pomfrey could check the profusion of blood. His fingernails were cracked, broken and filthy. The last 24 hours must have not held time for such detailed work, clearly absorbed in clearing Severus’ body of all the toxins he had been filling it with and keeping him from total organ failure. Magic had greatly speeded the process of detox, and had no doubt cushioned some of the worst effects heroin withdrawal held. If Severus had not been a powerful wizard with magic reserves to call on, he either would have died before Lucius ferreted out his foxhole, or the shock of detox would have killed him.
For the first few years, Severus and Narcissa fought bitterly. Lucius had become quite sick of separating them. Narcissa was adamant that Severus denounce the Evans mudblood, and Severus completely refused to do so. Lucius understood that after Severus had some kind of fight with the mudblood, he and Narcissa had become closer. But now, as Severus looked at her, and for the first time, Lucius saw something other than sullen refusal to show any kind of weakness. Lucius was surprised to see that Severus accepted Narcissa sitting beside him on the bed and sliding her arms around him for a brief hug. And that Severus got some kind of relief out of her touch. Narcissa spoke softly to Severus, so softly that lucius could only hear the soothing cadence of her voice. She stroked Severus’ face, and whatever she had asked, he nodded softly, wincing in slight pain. His wrappings clearly held him securely.
Lucius wondered briefly if they were so tightly wrapped to prevent him trying to escape again.
Severus and Narcissa seemed to have come to some sort of agreement, as she nodded, squeezed his arm, and stood. She turned to Lucius with a sort of smile, squeezed his arm too as she walked past and out of the enclosure behind the screens and went to interview pomfrey.
Lucius and Severus were now alone.
Lucius dropped into the chair beside the head of the bed. Severus examined the ceiling. After a few moments he swallowed and said:
‘They said that you found me’.
Lucius grunted assent
‘Well, thank you for saving me.’ He paused. ‘They said that you insisted that I come here?’
Lucius shifted a little.
‘Why here?’
Lucius shrugged. After a few moments he answered: ‘I;m not entirely sure, and it certainly what I planned. I guess. I felt like Dumbledore owed you. And I really, wasn’t sure that St Mungos would, treat you.’
Severus gave a weird gasping kind of laugh. His face twisted into a wry smile. Lucius thought of Pomfrey’s warning that Severus would be defensive. Instead, Lucius had never known Severus to be less defensive.
‘You realise Dumbledore has been trying to force me to come here for months?’
That sent kind of electrical charge through Lucius and he gave Severus some strange kind of look:
‘Do you want me to bust you out? You could stay with Narcissa and myself?’
Severus sighed: ‘Dumbledore will never let me go now. I’m stuck here’ Severus said in a sort of resigned way.
Lucius said simply: ‘I can insist they let you come home with us’.
Severus shook his head: ‘No, you have Draco. I’ll stay here and, try to build some kind of life. I’m sorry for frightening you and Narcissa so badly. I’m glad you came looking for me.’ He sighed deeply. ‘I’ll have to try and get clean’.
They were silent for a while. In the background, the voices of the women could be heard. Pomfrey was getting louder, but Narcissa was getting quieter. Never a good sign.
Severus, with his head tipped to one side, had been listening. Eventually he said softly: ‘You know, I never realised, but perhaps I should have. We all went and vanished on Narcissa. We left her all alone at your manor, pregnant, whilst we ran off on some fool quest’. Lucius shifted guiltily. ‘She is now determined not to lose any more.’
Lucius sat and idly considered this, and watched his wife win the argument. A disgruntled Pomfrey called an elf and sent it off with a message of some kind. Narcissa looked triumphant.
The voice came from the bed again. It followed a sigh: ‘You realise Lucius, that there’s one left? One more friend? One more of our year out there somewhere.’
It was a few moments before Lucius was struck by the implication. Oh yeah. HIM.
Severus’s face was twisted up in dislike. But Lucius didn’t need any special skills to divine the fatigue now shadowing the young man’s face. He stood from his chair, helped Severus wriggle into a more comfortable position, settled his wrappings, and left him to drift off to sleep.
He pulled the screens closed behind him and joined his wife, thinking all the while.
Where the bloody hell was bloody Lupin.

Searching for the wretched Griffindor was going to test all of Lucius’s patience. The last time Narcissa had met her sister Andromeda, which had also been the first time they had exchanged words since Andromeda fled their parents house, had been when Andromeda had sought Narcissa out. Andromeda was searching for young Lupin and hoped that he had been in contact with the blonde Slytherin sister. He had not, and Narcissa had been concerned. She had reported to her husband that Lupin had not been heard from by any of his surviving friends in some weeks.
Narcissa had gone to Severus, who had always had an almost uncanny knowledge of the location of that little quartet. They had had a raging argument. Severus had always found it rankly hypocritical how he had been forced to give up his communication with the Evans mudblood whilst Narcissa continued to hold some sort of strange friendship with the young male Gryffindor.
Narcissa had convinced Lucius emphatically that Lupin was of no threat to him. They had formed a relationship having been thrown together on Herbology projects. They were the best at the subject, and Sprout had decided to see what they could do if teamed together. They had successfully impressed many people, and Narcissa had been offered several positions after Hogwarts, whilst Lupin had not. Lupin had never been anything but happy for her. Lucius had always wondered why he had not been offered the same opportunities. As had Narcissa, who had turned them all down in disgust if they would not also accept Lupin.
The only mollifying factor for Severus had been that his relationship with Narcissa put equal pressure on Lupin from his Gryffindor friends. But Lucius recalled many times seeing lupin going to the very same comfort from Evans after one of the many confrontations.
But the fact still remained. Lupin was Narcissa’s friend and was indirectly one of Lucius’s charges. Lupin had been missing for some time. So long that people now assumed he was unfindable because of his own wish. And after the death of nearly everyone he cared about, lucius didn’t actually blame him his hermitage. But it was now necessary to produce him for Narcissa’s happiness.
And so Lucius turned his considerable influence to finding the sandy haired mop-top.

Three months later and Lucius had exhausted many promising leads. He had been amazed to discover that lupin had several buried assets, and even more to discover that he had, as far as Lucius had been able to ascertain, not touched any of them. The coup de gras of the whole sordid mess was coming across Lupin’s father, alive and absolutely frantic with worry. Lyall Lupin had been a world renowned expert of the more minor dark creatures. The elder Lupin had flatly refused to tell Lucius anything, but it was clear that like everyone else, Lyall Lupin had no idea of where his only child was, and it was bleeding his heart.
The young wizard was simply gone.
Lucius put himself through the agony of interviewing lupin’s remaining friends and contacts. He began with the easiest to tackle, Andromeda. He invited her to meet him at a popular and central tea house. She came, mercifully without her husband or child, his niece.
Lucius had seen his niece precisely three times, and all recently. The Tonks family had suffered losses during the war, with both of Andromeda’s inlaws being hunted down by the death eaters. Lucius was fairly sure it was Bellatrix; who else had such capacity for menace, such a grudge against her sister and a thirst to prove herself the most loyal of followers. He had often thought that one day, he would have to kill Bellatrix to protect his own family. He still shuddered at what she had done to be sent to Azkaban.
Andromeda was as beautiful as his wife, but in quite the opposite way. Or more accurate to say that Narcissa was the one that didn’t belong. Andromeda looked a perfect Black with the heart shaped face, heavy set grey eyes, masses of black hair that curled so appealingly, with those intelligent grey eyes skewering Lucius to his seat.
Andromeda was dressed in her simple healer robes and had come directly from her work at st Mugos, which she shared with her husband. Lucius was aware they worked on the spell damage ward, perversely with Bellatrix’s most tragic victims.
No doubt Andromeda shared his relief that Bellatrix was locked up where she couldn’t hurt anyone else.
No matter, they were meeting to discuss Lupin, and Lucius would need to convince Andromeda he meant the werewolf no harm.
Thankfully, it was Andromeda who began the conversation, breaking a lengthy and stiff silence.
‘I hear Severus is doing much better’ she observed.
‘Yes, he has made a good recovery. Seems to want to get clean.’
‘Poppy has said something about that too. That is, of course, half the battle. Once you’ve admitted you have a problem, you have something to work from.’ She paused. ‘Thank god. I imagine Severus could make everything very unpleasant if he was being forced against his will.’
‘Indeed. I tried very hard to have Dumbledore allow him to convalesce at the manor, but after flat out refusing me, he said Severus would likely make the whole process very difficult and they really needed to supervise him at the castle. I also suggested St mungo’s but…’
‘He just wouldn’t get the care he needs in an institution’.
Lucius nodded in agreement. He took a sip of his excellent tea and realised he had been given the perfect segue
‘And then the old bastard says to me: ‘And I hear you have another project Lucius, and I am also invested in your succeeding.’’
Andromeda let the insult to her favourite headmaster pass through unchecked. She and Lucius had already had all of the screaming arguments on the topic. She raised a questioning brow. This was always an effective manoeuvre for a Black, being both decorative and compelling. Lucius obligingly elucidated:
‘Lupin. Narcissa is fond of him and is concerned he is missing. I want to find him and ensure he is safe.’
Andromeda gave him a look of frank disbelief
‘I mean it. If I find he has decided to marry a muggle can-can dancer’, Andromeda’s face suddenly became very amused but Lucius did not understand why, ‘and has three little rug rats, then I’ll withdraw, assure Narcissa he is fine and happy. I have already identified several assets, and I am trying to find out if he is accessing any income at all. His father is sickening for him and the house is dangerously close to foreclosure.’
Andromeda looked very concerned at that: ‘He loved that house.’
‘Do you think I should save it from the goblins then?’
Andromeda considered him for a moment. ‘Why would you Lucius. Pardon me, but what’s in it for you?’
Lucius knew this would be the crux of the matter, and what he said next determined whether Andromeda, and probably whether the rest of Dumbledore’s crowd, helped him or told him to bog off. And the worst thing was he didn’t know. He wasn’t sure what compelled him to save Severus and Lupin beyond Narcissa’s tears, but he knew that compulsion was there. He wanted to make Narcissa happy yes, but, it was deeper than that. Something that he’d learnt in the nursery. He was reminded of being taken to see the little black sisters when they had all been tiny things. Their mother had told them all to go and play but ‘mind their pretty dresses’.
The scene came back sharply in his mind, with a pretty green twinkly sound:
The motherly witches turning to him, their robes swirling closely, his mother looking down on him indulgently. It wasn’t long before she died:
‘We’re counting on you, Lucius, as the eldest, to look after the littler ones. Can you do that my big man?’
The scene dissolved in green stars. Lucius realised his eyes had fallen shut and he still fancied he could hear the ends of his mother’s voice.
He sat there in the lounge chair in the tea shop, holding the saucer in his left hand, the cup in his right by its handle. He breathed out over the surface of the tea and whispered: ‘Because I’m the eldest’.
Andromeda was also reminded of being told to mind Lucius. And of Lucius trying to chivvy them around all the time, including right through school. She remembered Sirius’s at first joking, then serious rebelling. And she remembered watching the Regulus she knew die, and seeing her concern echoed on her blonde brother in law’s face. She realised that Lucius was facing some major changes in his life. With Draco now relying on him utterly, and with Regulus’s loss still fresh, Lucius was now trying to find and collect the lost boys away from harm.
She wondered if Narcissa knew she had been cast as Wendy to Lucius’s Peter Pan. Probably not. Andromeda dismissed her fancy.
‘We have tried every magical method we can think of Lucius, but of course you know the flaw in those. Remus is a powerful wizard, with cunning and craft of his own. After we buried James and Lilly and little Peter and lost…’ she drew in a soft sharp note of pain, ‘well, he became withdrawn. We were worried, so we tried to get him more involved in our lives. He was teaching Dora a little Latin you know. He’s a very good teacher. But it was like he was a robot. Such a contrast from the shy and gentle boy he had been before…’
She picked up her tea to have something in her hands.
‘He lived with his father for a short while, and Lyall was delighted to have him, but Remus never could settle with him. Lyall had to tell him something awful and not long after that Hope died suddenly, Remus moved out, just packed a case and left. I don’t think Lyall has seen him since. They used to be so close, and they do love each other, but Remus can’t stand to be a charity, and he felt like a drain on his father.’
‘And then Frank and Alice.’ She paused here and her hands clamped tightly on the cup. Lucius gave her a little time, then reached over and very gently touched those tight fingers. Andromeda looked up at him in agony. Looking into her eyes, Lucius read guilt there. Bellatrix was HER sister, and Andromeda hadn’t stopped her. Lucius dropped a few masks and let Andromeda see his answering guilt.
After they had sat in silence for a little while. Lucius asked: ‘What did Lupin do after that?’
‘He became so withdrawn Lucius. And when we got so concerned, he started to fight us, stopped coming around, or answering calls. He refused to see Lyall at all. Ted started the process to have him committed, but something went wrong, and Remus got to hear of it, and when they went for him, he was gone.’
‘And he’s been missing ever since?’
‘No, Dumbledore tracked him down in a hovel in the back of beyond, tried to convince him to come home, or to Hogwarts. Said we were all just worried about him.’ She paused again.
‘What happened?’
‘Dumbledore wouldn’t tell me, but he said he was worried Remus was self-harming. I can only imagine how Dumbledore guessed that, but Remus actually attacked him, and ran out of the place. And ever since then he’s been gone. Dumbledore says Remus has thrown up some of the most sophisticated misdirects he’s ever seen. He could literally be anywhere on earth, as he has set up misdirects to pretty well everywhere.’
‘Everyone’s on the point of giving up Lucius, except for those of us that really love him.’ She refilled her tea. ‘You know, not one of us has thought to trace him using methods like yours. I don’t think any of us had any idea there was money left. I guess we assumed it had run out.’ She drained the scalding fluid quickly. ‘I honestly wish you the best of luck Lucius, and I think you might have more luck in finding him than any of us’.
‘Really, why do you say that?’
‘Because he doesn’t know you’re looking for him and it wouldn’t have occurred to him to block you. Be careful. He has shown he is so bent on destruction that he won’t hesitate to hurt you.’
She stood
‘Thanks for the tea Lucius. I’m going to go hug my daughter and husband. Give my love to your wife.’ With that, she left. Lucius reflected on the sorrow of the Black sisters.

Lucius’s interview with Albus Dumbledore was certainly better than the previous one. The old man unbent a little. They spent some time discussing Severus. It seemed the young man was starting make plans for the future, all agreed this was a very good sign.
As before, this had led neatly into Lucius’s new project:
‘I met with Andromeda last week.’
‘Did you?’ Lucius was sure that Dumbledore had been very aware of his meeting with Andromeda. Neither had been trying to hide after all, and the old bastard was a nosy old coot.
‘Yes. We found ourselves discussing the fate of Remus Lupin. Andromeda is very concerned.’
‘Indeed. And of course, Narcissa would be very concerned about her old friend.’
Lucius rolled his eyes at Dumbledore’s frankly clumsy mentioning of his wife. Dumbledore actually laughed at this.
‘Sherbert Lemon?’
‘No thank you Dumbledore. Let’s get back to the point. Andromeda thinks I might actually have a hope of finding him. Do you have an opinion?’
‘Ah, directness. It’s always been an admirable Slytherin trait. When they’re not hopelessly obfuscating things of course. Yes, Andromeda and I did have a chat about her meeting with you. She said you have found some of young Remus’s assets? I confess, it never occurred to us to look. Although of course it should have done so. I have moved to save the house from foreclosure over Lyall’s objections. Those goblins were not happy.’
Dumbledore chuckled at the thought of stealing gold from little greedy goblin hands.
‘But I fear Lyall hasn’t got much longer Lucius. Being without Remus is just about finishing him off. We’ve been hunting so determedly that its quite apparent Remus doesn’t want to be found. And its breaking his father’s heart. It is terrible to be my age and watch the young die Lucius. But I guess it is not easy to watch that whatever age you are.’
Lucius refused utterly to look at Dumbledore at that. He had been Voldemort’s assassin. He had killed without remorse. But he had killed with compassion. And he had been unable to save Regulus from whatever it was that was hunting him. Looking out the window at the golden light beyond her said: ‘Andromeda said he attacked you.’
The light in Dumbledore’s eyes dimmed. His posture folded down a little on itself, he looked quite a bit older. ‘Yes, poor boy, I’m afraid he did rather fly at me. Just enough to get past you understand. Didn’t hurt me, and he could have if he’d really wanted to. I tried to grip him by the arm, but he made it past me, moved so much faster than I was expecting. And he dissaparated. I came straight back here to try the trace again of course, but he had blocked it by the time I had everything ready.’
‘How did you know he was self-harming?’ Dumbledore looked really upset Lucius knew about that. He shuffled the papers on his desk around hoping the question would go away. Lucius stayed sitting as he was practically halfway in the chair, the ultimate Slytherin pure-bred bastard with a rod up his arse, and enough money to be at home in any company.
Eventually Dumbledore stopped dithering. He sighed deeply. ‘the room was full of bottles of alcohol. There was a bathtub full of blood, which of course I got rid of, and several lengths of rope. When he stood, he had long scars down his arms and his belly,’ At lucius’s surprised look ‘what?’
‘His belly?’
‘ah yes, he was shirtless.’
‘And he ran off without a shirt?’
‘Yes dear boy. I stuffed the place with shirts and blankets and all kinds of things afterwards, untraced so we could hopefully build a little trust back, but he never went back to it.’
‘No idea where he is now?’
‘Lucius, honestly, if I knew where he was, he would be locked in a room in the infirmary as we speak. I know he’s alive, magical signatures can’t be hidden.’
Lucius felt he had pumped Dumbledore for all of the information he was going to get today, and he still wanted to visit with Severus before returning home. As he gathered his things ready to depart, Dumbledore spoke again.
Lucius paused to look at him.
‘Please Lucius, if you find him, please bring him here, not to St mugos.’
Lucius rose and left the room. He had no intention of taking Lupin to either St mungos or Hogwarts. Lupin was being saved for Narcissa’s benefit, and so he would be looked after by Narcissa and Dumbledore simply didn’t have any say in the matter.

Lucius and Narcissa were sharing a quiet evening at home several months later.
‘Hmmm, that’s interesting.’
‘What is my dear?’ Lucius looked up at his wife who was reading an old tome of some sort. At her feet, Draco was playing with Dobby. Although playing seemed to be consisting of Draco ordering Dobby around.
‘This old law here. About custody.’
‘What about it?’
‘Oh maybe nothing. But you remember how the goblins challenged Dumbledore saving Lupin’s house based on Dumbledore not having any right to interfere?’ Lucius nodded.
‘But he defeated it with some arcane bit of nonsense about the Lupin’s entering into a contract with Dumbledore which he had forgotten to pay.’
‘Yes, but that was just because it was Dumbledore and no one was going to challenge him about contracts. This law trumps it all. It says if a Wizard of note can prove another is unable to care for himself or herself, the wizard of note can declare himself guardian over assets and body and make the other a ward. Came in when all of those wizards starting killing themselves over [insert name of wizarding drug like opium].’
‘Hmmm, that sounds like our situation here.’
‘The crux of the matter is in proving that the other is unable to care for himself, even means himself harm.’
‘Well, that sounds like the description of Lupin’s last sighting.’
‘Yes, I thought so too.’ Both Malfoys looked at each other for a while. Narcissa then returned to her book, and Lucius relaxed back in his chair. Tomorrow he would call his solicitor.

As Lucius entered Knockturn Alley, he was still suppressing his surprise that his long enquiries had led him here.
Left, right, left again. Hags and other knockturn denizens scurried out of his way. The walls came close enough that he could touch both sides without reaching, and widened out to show a door to a filthy tenement full of screaming children and stale cooking smells or a thoroughly disreputable tavern, silent and sulking. Until at last he came to the den of whores, right at the back. Several women and a few men were standing around half in and half out of the lamp light. At first, the whores had turned to Lucius with interest, but upon recognising him, afraid respect was all Lucius received. A young whore managed to give lucius the impression with the way she placed her shoulder strap that if Lucius wished to be left alone, she was fine with that. But if Lucius was looking for company, she might just happen to find herself available.
Lucius managed not to sneer. Whores could be useful allies.
He walked further, entering another sub alley, which was narrow, dark and damp, water was actually running down the walls in some areas, and a steady filthy trickle ran along the middle of the alley. In some places, Lucius was forced to straddle it. Figures stood in the gloom, but they stayed the hell out of Lucius way. He knew he was close to what he sought. The information had been almost joyfully given. Lupin had been reduced to the very cheapest of whores, unable to afford a roof over his head, and unable to sell his body for anything but the most pitiful amount.
After all of the avenues he had pursued, all of the palms he had greased for worthless information, after all of the information he had begged, borrowed and stolen. Here, in knockturn alley, is where Lupin had holed up.
Lucius had come prepared. He fully expected a fight. If lupin had wanted help, he still had friends and family living, any one of which would have done so happily. But lupin had clearly hidden himself in this den of whores for a reason, and Lucius knew that pulling him out would take force.
At last Lucius stepped out into another wider area. It wasn’t lit at all and the square was filthy. Piles of garbage lined it periodically. More damp alleys radiated off the square, all ending in dead ends. Slum was really too polite a term. It was, in short, the lowest of the low.
A body lay on one side of the square. Lucius kicked it, and it rolled over with a muffled curse. Lucius trained his wand on it, and identified it as an old male whore, definitely an alcoholic with a quick scan, and not lupin. Severus had helped Lucius identify the scanning spell that would not be deceived by the disguises Lupin might have erected.
Lucius moved on.
As he circled the square, Lucius became aware in that animal/human way that he was being watched.
Lucius felt the strange resentful intelligence of the gaze, and felt he recognised it. Lupin knew he was there, and so he was at a disadvantage. Lucius hoped that one of the things Lupin had sold in order to eat was his wand.
He took a few paces backwards and observed the scene.
One small square, with no doorways, a forgotten area where the buildings had been built all backing on it, to forget this sad area of existence, with four, no five, little sub alleys leading off it. Three piles of garbage, all mixing with eau de alley and stinking to high heaven.
Lucius considered his options: Act like a potential customer? Lucius’s informant had enjoyed Lupins flesh nearly as much as he had enjoyed his denigration and humiliation. No. lupin had likely seen Lucius scanning the drunk a bit further up and would have guessed Lucius wasn’t cruising for tail. Perhaps appealing to his better nature. Yeah, and knowing he had a whole lot of people worrying about him, including his father, and STILL being a whore made Lucius convinced that idea was a no starter. With Lucius as yet unsure where he was being observed from, it seemed a full frontal assault was necessary.
Lucius reached into his robe and withdrew the mirror Narcissa had given him, and he used it to call for Severus, who had the matching one. Lucius felt the observer’s gaze considerably sharpen on seeing it. When Severus answered, Lucius requested his assistance. Severus was in an argumentative mood, and tried to wriggle out of it. What a good little Slytherin. But Lucius knew he would give in quickly, he knew why Lucius sought Lupin. But Lucius had not yet told him his new information about Lupin’s living conditions.
Severus got around to agreeing, and Lucius got ready to wait for his arrival. He became aware that his observer had doped out that he was about to be outnumbered and that he should attack now whilst there was only one assailant. Lucius tensed.
In moments a hex fizzled out of one of the alleys on the left. Lucius was able to deflect it and there was a quick little exchange of spells. The nearest drunk swore and scrambled out of the way. Lucius retreated further up the alley he had come down and out of Lupin’s range of fire.
The observer immediately stopped firing and went back to pretending to be a shadow.
Severus eventually spun into the scene, and Lucius gave him cover from a quick barrage from the little alley.
When Severus was standing beside Lucius out of range he said:
‘Why are we doing this again?’
‘You know why’ said Lucius. The observer made no noise, but he must have heard the exchange.
Lucius checked that Severus had not been hit. The dark young man was still wraith thin, but he had always been unattractively so. His hair had regained its trademark grease after having recovered from being brittle enough to snap. He was at least dressed well.
Dumbledore had followed through on Severus’s fears and had bound him to Hogwarts. Severus was now the Potions Master and had suffered through his first term of students that drove him distracted. So far he had managed to retain his wry sense of humour, but people who hated teaching really shouldn’t teach. He was strictly denied any of his drugs but was bribed with one of the world’s best laboratories. Dumbledore filled his idle hours with research projects, and allowed Severus to have screaming arguments with him on a periodic basis.
The young recovering drug addict said in a clear oddly ringing voice:
‘Why are you hiding in an alley Lupin’
The answer came from a rusty and hoarse voice: ‘Oh because I like the atmosphere Severus, reminds me of happy hours spent with you’. Severus’s pale and sour face twisted further.
‘In the meantime, your father is dying and you’re out here living the high life.’
There was deafening silence from the alley.
Lucius decided to stop playing games.
‘Lupin. Get out of the alley and come home with me. I’m not about to allow you to starve yourself on whatever reason you’ve managed to convince yourself of. Nor am I going to allow you to whore yourself any further.’
There, Severus’s shocked look should get him on point and not goading their target from doing anything that would get them both killed.
The alley continued to be astoundingly silent.
Lucius squatted down, Severus by his side. The young potions master materialised a cup of tea out of thin air. Lucius gave him a surprised look, and Severus smirked at him over the rim. It was something Lucius was unable to do.
Severus smugly conjured Lucius a cup of tea. Then that wry twist of the lips was back. ‘Sorry Lucius, haven’t quite mastered biscuits yet.’
After Lucius and Severus had refreshed themselves, watched closely by the alley, both stood together. Somehow, a plan had formed between them.
Severus suddenly dived and rolled behind a promising pile of garbage and Lucius crabbed in from one side. Their simultaneous attacks had Lupin busy deflecting and attacking. There was no doubt, the alley was very good at defence, and Lucius dimly recalled that Lupin had topped their year, much to Severus’s disappointment. But there were two of them. Lupin tried to blow up Severus’s pile of garbage, but doing so gave Lucius a narrow opportunity to strike, which he did successfully. He heard Lupins grunt of pain, then surprise as the curse that Lucius had used started to shut down nerve endings. Very quickly Lupin had lost function of his right leg. Lucius had chosen the curse knowing that effects were wholly temporary. He wasn’t trying to hurt Lupin, just get him out of the alley and into the guest room prepared for him in the Manor.
Lupins distraction as he figured out how to continue whilst balancing on one leg allowed Severus to move to a new place of cover, and a simple trip jinx knocked Lupin to the ground.
Lupin gave a cry of rage; however soft, his fury was clear. His wand, unfortunately unsold, slashed out and Lucius felt the sizzle pass way too close to him for comfort. Severus had followed up his trip with an interesting charm that Lucius didn’t recognise. Putting him in almost 24 hour contact with the Hogwarts Library might have had some unintended consequences. Lupin made a noise of distress as he pitched forward and shook his head as though trying to clear cobwebs. Lucius and Severus were now quite close to him, and Lupin mustered himself for one last attack, which Severus easily deflected. This hex lacked any of the power that they had previously witnessed from Lupin, who was making another noise of distress as his eyes seemed to close on him. As he struggled against Severus’s charm, Lucius was able for the first time, to take in the full state Lupin was in.
He was appalled
And disgusted.
As Lupin succumbed to the effects of the charm, he lay still on the floor of his filthy, narrow and damp alley. A few sheets of card at the far end were clearly Lupins only shelter. His rags and his wand his only possessions. He would have won awards for ‘most skeletal but still moving’.
And now that he was not moving, Severus made a noise of concern. Lucius looked at him in surprise.
‘Don’t look at me like that, help me. If I had known he was this bad, I’d have picked something else.’
‘Why, what was that you hit him with anyway?’ Lucius answered as he helped Severus by gripping the unconscious man’s feet.
‘Strength stealing spell. If I haven’t killed him, he’ll be fine in a day or two.’
Their burden groaned, and Severus looked at it in relief. Lucius pulled out his pre-prepared portkey, waiting until Severus had a good grip on both it and a handy limb, did the same himself, and triggered it with the password: ‘Mucilaginous’
They landed roughly, Lucius stumbling and nearly dropping lupin, but he just managed to regain his balance. He yelled blindingly loud ‘Dobby’ and the elf popped into the room so fast he was spinning slightly.
‘Get the plastic sheet on the bed!’
Dobby quickly found it, and with a snap of his wrists it was spread over the bed covers and Lucius and Severus dumped the unresisting werewolf onto the large single bed. Lucius had chosen it carefully. The mattress was large and luxuriously thick, the covers warm and fluffy. And the bed head and base fixed very securely to the wall. Affixed to them were some very thoughtfully selected bindings that would attach to wrist and ankle, which Remus would be unable to wriggle out of. They were of a cloth that was charmed to be unbreakable and Lucius himself had warded them against any wandless attempts lupin might make. Not only would wandless magic take quite a long time to undo them, Lucius would be alerted if Lupin tried.
But there wouldn’t be much need to bind lupin in the condition he was currently in. No way could Narcissa see him like this. Lucius didn’t yet know how he would broach the subject of Lupin’s recent living conditions to her.
First things first.
‘Do we need to do anything medically for him?’
‘Shouldn’t we take him to St Mungo’s for that?’
‘No, they tried st Mungos’ before, he gave them the slip somehow and I’m not risking him getting away again. He will probably succeed in his next suicide attempt. And I’m not explaining that to Narcissa, are you?’
‘Hogwarts then’.
‘And have him bound to the castle too? No, learnt that mistake the first time.’ Lucius used his wand to strip the noisome cloth from lupin, and had Dobby remove it. The two wizards stood there and looked at the wreck of Lupin’s body in silence.
‘His father then’. Lucius didn’t respond to this. Lyall Lupin wasn’t capable of looking after himself, and seeing his sone like this would probably polish him off.
There wasn’t an inch of skin that wasn’t covered in god awful marks. Lupin had ropes of scarred tissue all up and down his arms and legs, as well as across his torso and even his groin. Lucius could just see the lines Dumbledore had described on his arms and belly. He was beyond thin, with that strange pot belly the truly starving got.
Lucius set his mouth and began cleaning the abused body. Severus stood there and looked at him for a bit, then he spoke:
‘I need to know Lucius. How far are you intending to take this?’
It was such an odd question, particularly considering how much Severus knew about Lucius’s long search, that Lucius twisted around to look at him.
Severus was standing with his wand held loosely and pointing at the floor and he was giving Lucius such a serious expression, that Lucius straightened up to look at him more fully.
‘Why, I’m intending, to, take it all the way? I will convince him to live and like it one way or the other…’
Severus gave him a very troubled look, then looked at Lupin’s body, laid out on the bed with no covering.
‘Here, in your house, with your wife and child. I’m not sure that’s the best idea’
‘Why on earth not? I’m not even allowing him to wander around. He’ll be bound to the bed until I’m convinced he won’t try to run away again.’ Lucius turned back to the bed. ‘Not that he can. I’ve set the wards to deny him pass, he’s stuck on the grounds for a while. And I’ve had the lawyers declare him my ward. He has handed me plenty of evidence by becoming a whore.’
Severus hmmmed. Something was clearly bothering him. He shifted from one foot to the other and back again, and even switched his wand from one to the other, before absent-mindedly holstering it. He ran a worried hand through his hair.
‘I have to tell you Lucius.’
‘Tell me what?’
‘Something I swore not to tell anyone. This is big, OK. Not an unbreakable. But Big.’
Lucius was now a little alarmed. What on earth was the matter? Severus stepped forward and just touched an old wound on Lupin’s left shoulder.
It was a mess of scar tissue, stretching all over the shoulder. Lucius tipped Lupin up to trace it to the end and, good grief, it went halfway down his back too. It was an oddly circular shape and had regular points of deeper scar tissue around the whole rim. Lucius traced its length with a finger.
Realisation had him stumbling backwards and falling off the bed. Lupin’s body flopped back onto the plastic sheet.
Severus stood there an observed him sadly. ‘At least, I didn’t have to tell you. I’m, not actually entirely sure what would have happened if I had.’
Lucius’s heart rate slowed to merely racing. ‘Good god, how long have you known?’
‘Since we were fifteen. Black thought it would be funny to have Lupin eat me. Potter got cold feet and got me. Dumbledore swore me to secrecy. Black didn’t even get expelled. Of course, they eventually believed me what a vicious bastard he was. Too late of course.’ Severus scowled darkly. It was such an impressive scowl that if there was a pictorial dictionary, this image should be entered under ‘scowl’.
‘Christ. How long has he been a werewolf for?’
‘Don’t know. A very long time I believe. I understand our cheery old friend Greyback is the culprit.’
Lucius noticed Severus’s surprise when he got off the floor and picked Lupin back up to examine the wound more closely.
‘He’ll be perfectly safe at Hogwarts. Among friends. A lot of them know.’
Lucius put him down, stood and looked down at the pitiful specimen in front of him.
‘He was among friends, and he ran from them. He was with family, and he hid from them.’ He made up his mind. ‘No Severus, he stays here. I will take precautions, starting with finding out when the next moon is, but he was among friends, and he reduced himself to this,’ he gestured eloquently at the bed, ‘he may not like being here. But. I might be just what he needs.’
Severus was completely silent after this little speech. Lucius went back to cleaning the young wiz – no, WEREwolf of all things. After a while, Severus stepped forward and began setting up healing magic. He used a lot of spells. Complicated ones, many of which Lucius didn’t recognise, but he knew Severus was pulling off some powerful stuff here.
He stood and placed a hand on Severus’s shoulder. He was thinking of Severus telling him about Sirius’s behaviour. ‘Don’t think I’m ignoring your warning or your concern, old friend. I promise you, I will take all precautions, including binding him to that bed. We shall see what follows. If it stops being good for him to be here, I promise, he’ll be taken to Hogwarts straight away.’
Severus looked into Lucius’s face. Then he covered Lucius hand with one of his own, said ‘thank you’, and then went back to work.
Lucius called Dobby to give him instructions.

Everybody wants to be a cat
I have been singing this all day.

Opening post
I am what is known as a 'lurker'. I 'stalk' a number of fan fiction writers, that is, I read their stuff without friending them or participating in their communities. I've noticed a few of them are now locking their posts, so the time has come to take the plunge. Its not going to be an active page, I have enough trouble managing my facebook activities. But for obvious reasons, I use my OWN name for that.
Anyway, I'm 200 pages + into my own first foray into fan fiction, and when I don't hate it, I'll post it here.
It could do with an edit, so if there's a beta out there interested, please message me. I'm aware there are a few bits where I'm kinda spinning my wheels.


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