Geez, you read a few favourite pieces about one of your oldest OTPs and there're suddenly ideas sprouting all over the place... :)

Read & enjoy!

Lucius Malfoy wasn't exactly happy with the amount of people frequenting his home. He liked the quiet and calm atmosphere of the mansion.

He could understand the meetings, didn't mind the visitors that much then - the Dark Lord's presence ensured at least some level of manners throughout the room, after all. If some Death Eaters hung around after the meeting ended, very well - Lucius could retreat into his private chambers if he didn't feel like chatting.

But he had quite a few issues with her.

Yes, he understood well enough she was Cissy's sister and currently had nowhere else to go. But she was also a psychotic maniac and therefore highly unpredictable in her actions.

Just like now.

Lucius stood in the library's doorframe and watched his sister-in-law, who was currently sprawled across the most luxurious armchair in the room, seemingly engrossed in the book she was holding.


One never knew with her. Lucius had a myriad of wonderful experiences involving her going bat-shit crazy, as Macnair so nicely put it, over the smallest things, and he had no desire to attract her attention.

Still, it was a curious sight.

The golden sun rays, coming through the large window and playing a game of light and shade on her face, made Bellatrix seem younger, more innocent.
If Lucius' eyes served him properly, the book she was reading belonged to Cissy's collection of romance novels. Not only that, but he recognized it as one of the latest pieces he'd bought for his wife.

He'd never guess Bellatrix to be the type to enjoy the thrilling romantic exploits of Veronica, the young and beautiful heir to the Verdini family fortune.

(He had read it, of course. No use in giving Narcissa garbage, was there?)

But stranger things had happened - and were it only that, it would be the perfect portrait of an upper-class lady enjoying a Sunday afternoon.

It, however, wasn't.

There was, for instance, the giant snake slithering over the armchair and the woman herself. Bellatrix absent-mindedly stroked its scaly head from time to time, not at all bothered by the size and proximity of the animal.

"Were you any other man, I'd say you were ogling," said a drawling voice from behind him. Lucius almost cursed out loud. He'd known Severus Snape for many years, but he'd never managed to hear him coming if the younger man didn't wish him to.

"It's just...I've seen that snake do some drastic stuff to people," he said, leaning against the doorframe. "I've seen it -"

"Her," corrected him Severus.

Lucius threw him an incredulous look, shook his head and continued: "Anyway, I've seen her change her mood so quickly I didn't even catch the moment when she decided to go for the kill -"

"And you're wondering how our dear deranged lunatic gets to treat her like a household pet," finished Severus with a smirk.

Lucius gave a half-hearted shrug.

"Kind of. I mean, it could be hierarchy. Or the level of trust. Or maybe Bellatrix carries dead mice around for all I know."

A snort of disbelief from behind them made them turn around. Narcissa was walking down the stairs, a book in her hand, a look of slight amusement on her face.

"You're cute, darling," she said, patting her husband on his shoulder as she walked up to them.

"What? You have a better answer?" asked Lucius, raising his eyebrows. Narcissa threw a look at her sister, currently using Nagini's thick coils as a pillow, and sighed.

"Let's just say it's the Dark Lord's aftershave," she said finally.

"I don't think he..." Lucius gestured around his chin with his hand and his voice trailed off, a confused look in his eyes. Severus' lips twitched slightly, but he didn't say anything.

"Well, let me know when you figure it out," Narcissa smiled rather mischievously. "Severus, it was nice seeing you. Say hi to Draco for me, will you?" she added.

"Will do," the black-haired man nodded.

Narcissa entered the library and closed the door behind her.

Lucius stared at the ornamental wood for a few moments while Severus watched him with an amused expression.

"What does Bellatrix have to do with -" the blonde man stopped abruptly, his lips moving soundlessly.