A/N: drabble for Writing Challenge #27: Fic Exchange. My prompt was "Narcissa's first time meeting Lucius as a child," for Liz (TuesdayNovember).
"Do you remember how we met?" he asks one day. They're lying under the pear trees at Malfoy Manor, far from the house and Lucius's parents and the cries of the peacocks. The sun is shining and the grass is new and clean and soft and she's just so, so, so in love.
Narcissa thinks. "No," she says. "You've always been there, in the periphery."
Lucius smiles. "I remember," he says.
"You do?" Narcissa says, giggling at how smug he looks. "Tell me!"
Lucius smirks, holding her gaze, pretending that he's going to keep it to himself – but Narcissa knows him now, and she waits.
"I was nine and you were four," he says finally. "Our mothers saw each other in Madame Malkins, and stopped to chat. I was eating Bertie Botts' Every Flavor Beans and my mother made me share with you."
"I remember!" Narcissa says. "You kept giving me the yellow ones, the brown ones, the gray ones - "
"But they turned out to be toffee, and butterscotch, and marshmallow – and then I ate a perfectly normal-looking red one, thinking it'd be cherry or strawberry or maybe tomato - "
"And it was blood!" Narcissa giggles. "I remember you spat it out, right on the floor, and your mother yelled."
Lucius laughs self-consciously – he laughs so rarely, while Narcissa is always giggling, but he likes it, he assures her he likes it, really.
Narcissa props herself up on one elbow, gazes down at him. Lying there in the grass like that, he looks as carefree as she's ever seen him – his collar is still buttoned and his dragonhide boots must have been polished this morning, but there's dandelion fuzz in his hair.
"What?" Lucius says.
Narcissa smiles. "Can I tell you a secret?" she says, her voice dropping so Lucius has to lean in to hear her.
"Tell," he says.
"The beans weren't really toffee and butterscotch and marshmallow," she whispers. "I was pretending."
Lucius laughs out loud. "You - !"
He reaches out for her, and Narcissa leans away, laughing giddily, thinking he's going to swat her shoulder or tug her hair, but he grabs her neck and pulls her down, and she falls against him and they're kissing, and it's summer and there's sunshine and she's so, so, so in love.
Later, that night, when she's alone in her own house, she lets herself remember. She was three and Lucius was eight, and their fathers had seen each other in Knockturn Alley. Mr. Malfoy had said something about her father's Squib uncle and let's hope for the best with your little girl, and they'd dueled. She remembers the sound of breaking glass and the feel of the stones crumbling beneath her feet, and the dust in the air, making her choke. She'd screamed and cried until they'd stopped, and when the dust cleared she saw Lucius, standing in the alcove of Borgin and Burke's, shattered glass at his feet and his mouth bleeding. But he wasn't crying or screaming, he was just standing there, calm-faced, waiting for his father to finish. And that was when Narcissa knew she needed to learn how to pretend.