Nobody ever asked my birthday

Like a bad smell

Lucius Malfoy strode down the path from the gates to Hogwarts Castle. He knew it was only a matter of time before he was intercepted, and he wanted to enjoy the quiet, for once. He'd had little peace in the last few months, and the gentleness of Hogwarts would do his temper good.

As Lucius Malfoy entered the entranceway of the grand castle, Snape, his erstwhile friend, appeared like a shadow. Unfortunately, Snape's appearance meant words. Lucius pretended, accordingly, not to see Snape - which amused him, because Snape was habitually as silent as a tomb.

It was a waiting game - the sort Slytherins prided themselves on winning.

Luck was not with the Malfoys today, it would seem. Lucius heard the flittery voice of Professor Flitwick, the diminuitively dangerous miscegenous Half, "Why, Lord Malfoy! I was hoping I could have a word with you. It would seem Luck is with me today!"

So it would seem, Malfoy thought, unwilling to verbalize losing the match to a Half. He turned from Severus Snape and walked up the long flights of stairs with Flitwick. He knew that, before he'd actually exited the entranceway, Snape would have already retreated to the shadows. He was always more comfortable there anyway.

Lucius loved people - most particularly twisting people around his fingers, wearing them like baubles.

Snape had always been the opposite.

##-##-##

By the time Saturday Breakfast had rolled up, everyone who mattered (the Ravenclaws, and spreading from there...) had heard that Lucius Malfoy was again gracing Hogwarts with his august presence. Snape's eyes flicked quickly around the room - wondering where Lucius' support was strongest. Oh, sure, he had some among the Slytherins (Crabbe and Goyle bettered themselves by standing by his son, after all)... but Slytherins were naturally wary, and Lucius' smooth, silver tongue certainly set Snape off. There would be others like him - Millicent, whose trollish looks were not just a funny joke, and Nott, the terminally shy boy who knew that words were as wind, ready to blow away, and never to be trusted. Then there was Blaise, who Snape would have bet money wouldn't take The Fall. His mother valued independence too much.

Potter arrived, and Snape turned his head away from the Gryffindors, who were in the main boring anyway.

School owls arrived, includig one for Malfoy, whose face paled. As Snape could easily rule out the other causes of that particularly illmannered reaction, Snape realized that Malfoy was looking at a message from his father, telling him to meet.

At least Malfoy didn't need to be told that his father is Right Here.

[a/n: what is Lucius doing? Is he going to talk with Snape? Is Harry going to realize he's at Hoggwarts, or is he going to just run into him smock-a-dab.

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second post of the day.]