A Chimerical Flame

BY : Silver Lioness
Category: Harry Potter > Het - Male/Female
Dragon prints: 4094
Disclaimer: I do not own the Harry Potter fandom, nor do I own the characters within, I am not earning money by writing this story.

 

Hasty

March 1979

It may be the start of Spring, but it was still winter, fresh bitter chill winds whipped against her cheeks. As the wind sprung up causing her flesh to pimple the young woman wrapped arms around herself trying to control her inner sob. Stupid, she cursed herself, so idiotic. What were you thinking? Why were you so upset in the first place? Did it matter when you had not spoken to... him... for three years now. There was history there.

Hearts did not stop beating – they broke – all she ever wanted, desired, was the man that was her best friend. It took her a full year before she finally agreed to go on a date with James. A bit of cockiness seemed to be slapped out of him, finally making him a boy she felt she could offer her heart too. That was all James was, even now, a boy. Lily wanted a man. Serious, protective, kind, intelligent, powerful wizard. Unfortunately, she sighed, his name was Severus Snape.

Then two days past, she overheard the most disgusting conversation between her fiancé and friends. Well, his ever joined at the hip mate Sirius Black, the slightly creepy hero worshipping Pettigrew and Remus. Dear, sweet Remus; whom she actually did have a crush on and tried to gain his attention during their Sixth Year. However, he wouldn't bite her apple of temptation so she gave up. Since the only other Wizard that showed any romantic interest in her was Severus she fell back on James. Causing gusts of breathy sighs in the Gryffindor Common Room of relief.

They dated merrily all throughout their 7th Year, and at Graduation, James knelt in front of the whole school and secured a Promise from her. How could she say no? Everyone thought she blushed bright red from joy – it was not. Embarrassment did not even begin to cover how she felt at being proposed to in front of the entire population of the most prestigious magic schools in the world. At Christmas, they made it official through the Wizarding version of the banns. The date was meant to be June but – for some reason, James decided, without her say so, to publish the date of their oncoming nuptials.

Today, rather, tonight was the 22nd of March. A Thursday. A cold, damp shiver inducing Thursday. Here she was sitting against a strange tree, in a darkening forest, in her party gear from her hen night – curling against the gnarled root of an old oak – nothing but a useless muggle without her wand. Dark red hair fanned out behind her. An obscene contrast against the bank of albin snow, sullied by the earth of damp ground beneath.  Shameful tears soon turned to icicles under her lids.

Why did she run? No, she comprehended that quite clearly, no; the real question she asked herself was: Why did her Apparition not take her to Spinners End? Why this bleak nowhere? The woods thankfully offered her some warmth due to the cluster of trees in this particular grove. Tears fell. She felt betrayed by all she knew. Lily desired to see the one person who she could rely on. Severus had tried several times to apologise for his actions on that fateful day.

The last time was the last day of school. Half an hour before the Last Feast. Before the grand and so-called romantic proposal. Surely, she should have gone to McGonagall – see what she knew of what the three Marauders were making clowns out of themselves for?  Why could she not go to somewhere sensible? A known location, the park she met Sev would have made more sense.

Suddenly, she heard voices on the edge of the copse of bushes hiding her.

“Still moping, Severus?”

“I know Lily,” the voice of her friend. Deeper than she remembered. More self-assured. Elocution lessons the pompous blond millionaire no doubt forced upon him to fit in with his crowd. Lily much preferred his Mancunian brogue. “She was mortified when Potter proposed.”

“You still on that?”

Lily's ears perked up. That was Avery. Finbar Riordan Quinn Avery to be exact. Dark in nature as well as looks. Charily, Lily peeped through the spindly branches to see Severus, her friend, proudly standing with blood splatters on his otherwise pale face. Lucius Malfoy as imperious as ever with his blond hair splayed loose across his back like some Norse God. The other side the strongly swarthy Irish Warrior. The sight of the three men standing at the edge – so near her hiding place – caused her heart to thrum painfully in her chest.

Yet how to get the attention of one without arous... no, wrong word Lily, she scolded herself. Alerting the suspicions of the other two.

Suddenly another popped out of nowhere.

Fierce, feral and masculine! “I did not recall you invited to be part of this mission, Greyback!”

The werewolf who harmed her friend. Lily's eyes narrowed at the dangerous creature. “The Master called me – I came,” the monster growled. “Muggle Primary School camping trip. Of course, I had to be a part of it.”

Lily shuddered with contempt bordering on disgust at the way the monster licked his lips. “Thought of proselytising more of your kind, Greyback?” snarled Severus.

Now she knew why Severus had a fear of Werewolves so being near the father of many of them in the UK and Europe must have taken every ounce of bravery the man possessed. Oh and he was a man now, Lily sighed inwardly, his voice warm enough to melt snow. Lily reminded herself that he was clearly a Death Eater.

 A few more pops revealed others. Barty Crouch Jr, insane, and insanely gorgeous, the one who charmed his way into Mary MacDonald's bed and tried to do the same with her. It was not fair that someone so beautiful could be ugly inside! Then there stood something that looked piratical in appearance. His features matched his Slavic looks, he could almost have been Snape's brother. Igor Karkaroff, Lily remembered him as an exchange student, one who latched onto Lily and Severus – the one to begin inserting a wedge between them – as Igor kept pawing at her any opportunity he could.

Then one more arrived.

Her heart ached. It was sweet and shy Regulus Black whom she helped in his first year. Severus and her between them made him stand tall and smile. How? How could he now become a Death Eater? Since when was life this unfair and unkind? She watched as Severus turned to Regulus.

 “Are you well, Reg?” he asked soto voce.

“What's he doing here?” Regulus said through a series of well-orchestrated sighs, jutting his chin forward to Greyback.

“Apparently the Master wishes for him to be here to 'proselytise' more to his beliefs,” Severus murmured.

Regulus tutted and smiled humourlessly: “Proselytising?” tilting his head. “That's a new term for it. I thought it was animalistic.”

Crouching further down as she saw Lucius swish by: “I do not wish to remind you two that your footing with our Lord is not in a particularly good place right now – no antics like last time.”

“Oh so four-year-old kids deserve to be Crucio'd?” Reg spat coldly as his slate grey gaze landed on a laughing Crouch Jr.

Rolling his cane around behind his back in his hands Lucius sighed: “Of course not, Reg, but we are not supposed to stop anything happening no matter how unethical it gets.”

That was news to Lily. Lucius Malfoy understanding something complicated like Ethics. What next? Monk-hood? She scoffed. Everyone knew that Lucius had to marry Narcissa, but he still sought others to fulfil his needs. She shuddered at that thought. Just how kinky was Lucius that Narcissa did not wish too, but allowed others, to pursue with her husband? Sometimes, she cursed her wild imagination.

“Just keep Greyback on a leash and Stupefy Barty if he goes too far, Scout Leader!” scoffed Severus.

Lily was simultaneously sickened, shocked, and proud of both Severus and Regulus. It was wonderful to know that they – and even Lucius it seemed – had their breaking point. None of them wanted to hurt innocent children. Finbar Avery stopped chuckling at something Barty said when Greyback nudged him harshly in the ribs.

“Stop yammering yeh nancies!” the beast growled. “I smell somefin!” to emphasise his point his lifted his nose in the air and sniffed.

Quietly, Lily made to back down and tried to be as stealthy as possible as she scuttled backwards slowly. All those years of sneaking around with Severus taught her some tricks, and his Muffliato was a handy dandy spell; well, she sneered to herself, it would be if she had bothered to bring her wand. How she ended up here she still had not fathomed when the Death Eat... wait, she was focussed on Severus. The man was positively emaciated. Lily wondered when he had last eaten.

“Nah, not somefin” grinned Greyback showing his wolfish canine teeth. “Someone,” the leer in the voice made Lily stumble backwards and she crawled crabwise to the nearest hiding place. “A FEMALE,” there was no mistaking the tone in his voice. “Mating material. Young. Fertile.”

Barty giggled: “What is she attired in?”

“Nothing much,” said the wolf enigmatically. “Bit silly in this weather.”

“Where?” now Avery's interest was piqued.

“Definitely magical traces – she smells of ginger, pears, cinnamon and earth after the rain.”

That was when Severus stepped in. “I am sure she is of no consequence,” he was smooth, Lily admired that quality of confidence when he walked straight backed, with purpose. It leant a whole new demeanour to him that she never noticed when they were friends. “We do not wish to hold up the mission.”

“Severus is right,” piped up Reg, suddenly sounding like he did when he was 11. Stammering, shy and awkward. “We need to get on with our Lords work.”

“As you four are so eager then you should go on ahead,” Lucius said. “Where did this scent come from, Greyback?”

“Behind the bushes,” Fenrir grunted.

Lily held in her breath hoping that the four would take Lucius advice. Apparently, the thought of biting Secondary school children, torturing teenagers and killing Muggle teachers was too important to hold off. Four may have been ordered to leave via Portkeys that Lucius brought out of his robes but only three left. Once Finbar realised there was a witch hidden from them he decided that Lucius could be disobeyed for now.

“Why am I not surprised you stayed to help us investigate our eavesdropper?” Lucius smirked at Avery.

“You know me too well, Lucius.”

“She could be a real mutt,” said Regulus trying to deflect the suave older Slytherins from finding the girl – the one girl – he could not harm. “We have a mission,” the younger man took Severus hand and tried to steer him away from the delinquent duo.

“Oh, but she is not just any eavesdropper, is she, Sev?” leered the Irishman.

Lily covered her mouth to stop expelling breath. Black stilled as if petrified. Severus swung his eyes wildly about avoiding contact with his old dorm mate.

On the other hand, Lucius was intrigued by the turn of conversation, and wished the statement to be clarified. “What is Avery muttering about?” he asked, tilting his head just so.

“Tell him, Sev,” Lily always despised Avery. The blush that crept on her old friends cheeks almost melted her heart. Instant hatred blossomed in her heart due to how the other man was the cause of Severus discomfort. “No?” Avery's merry tone struck a discordant cord in the air between the spied and the unintentional spy. “All right, I will.”

“Someone had best tell me,” Lucius snapped. “We are holding up the Dark Lord's plans.”

“Remember Slughorn?” Avery said, at Lucius curt nod the Irish wizard continued with an ecstatic gleam in his eyes: “Sixth Year potions,” Lily felt her heart plummet. Oh no not that. Please tell me he didn't... “Armontentia. Slughorn made us all sniff it – What Greyback said – that was the exact same thing Sev said was his Armontentia scent. The scent of...”

“Ah,” Lucius stopped Avery. “Say no more,” he seemed to purr.

Before Lily had time to compose herself she saw the bushes burn instantly with an intense Incendio, never had she felt as vulnerable, as aware of how naked she actually was than in the moment she had four dark, dangerous Wizards regarding her with differing expressions of lust in their simmering gaze. Regulus was the only one who looked away. Severus focussed his gaze on Lily's face. Taking in every inch of her countenance filled with a mixture of fear and defiance, his filled with disbelief and mortification.

Lucius argent gaze lingered on her cold hardened nipples, the straps of her dress hanging loose down her arms revealing how frozen she was. Intensity smouldered through his silver eyes. The epitome of Slytherin. Rich, privileged, and good looking. Finbar was practically drooling at her prone form.

“Miss Evans,” Lucius offered his hand to help her up. Narrowing her eyes Lily decided she had to swallow her pride and was about to accept it before she found Severus behind her wrapping a cloak chivalrously around her shoulders. Lucius grasped her hand in his. “Why are you all the way out here in the Wiltshire Wilds when you should be celebrating your forthcoming...”

“I w-wanted t-to t-talk t-to S-S-Severus,” her teeth chattered. “I apparated and lost my w-wand.”

“Well,” Lucius smiled as he pulled her nearer to him. “The climate is not exactly conducive to a tête-à-tête.”

“Why did you wish to talk to me?” Severus asked.

Turning her head Lily glanced into her friend's fathomless eyes. His best feature, Lily always thought, now they were as dangerous and as deadly as black ice.

“I just,” she sighed, “just want to make sure of something.”

“Of what?” Severus asked.

“I just,” Lily started to sob. “I want to make sure I'm not... not... mak... making a mistake!”

“Why would you think that?”

“Perhaps allow the lady some food and warmth, first, Severus?” Lucius smiled, “I will Apparate this delightful vision to my home. I have many guest suites. I can provide you with all you need, Miss Evans.”

“Why would you do this for me?” Lily asked suddenly allowing caution to dictate her next move.

“Simple,” Lucius shrugged. “Severus is a dear friend of mine, we look after our own, if,” he sighed as he tucked a fire red coil of hair behind her ear. He made sure he looked deeply into the most beautiful pair of green eyes he had ever seen. He decided then and there he would love to see those eyes lust darkened for him: “you are here to help Severus it is only my pleasure to help you in advance.”

Stunned by his speech and by the way Lucius pupils definitely dilated at the sight of her Lily coughed: “Erm, er... thank you, Mr Malfoy.”

Smirking, Lucius lifted Lily's pale hand to his lips and pressed a kiss to her knuckles. Allowing his teeth to graze gently against it. Lily gulped. James had never made her feel like that before. Yet, here stood this man she had only known as a terrified 11-year-old, looking at her like he could eat her. Severus sandwiched her in with his volcanic gaze burning through her flimsy party dress and his outer robe – smelling of leather, basil, rosemary and sandalwood. That was the problem, she discovered, James did not smell right. With Severus, she smelled home.

Finbar stood at her side smiling and tilting his head to the side: “In some ways our Master has his priorities all wrong,” he sighed as he confidently stroked up and down her arm. “Pretty maidens like you ought to be cherished.”

Death Eaters – they are Death Eaters! They follow your enemy! THEY CAN KILL YOU EVANS, GO BACK HOME.

Except, where was home now? She was certain that it was definitely not in James Potter's arms. Regulus stepped to completely block her in: “Lily, it is all right. I won't hurt you.”

“Neither of us will,” Lucius affirmed. “Our Master has actually wished to meet you for some time. Your talents are incomparable. A Potions Mistress in the making.”

“Charms and Transfiguration too,” Lily said allowing pride to colour her tone. “What choice do I have?”

Truthfully, Lily had no choice. She had come from being uncertain about her hasty decision to run off without telling anyone. To self-pity as she lay shivering in the cold, damp earth. To now realising that James Potter was still a boy – here she was surrounded by men. Even sweet Reg was more a man than James Potter. How had she been so blinded? What was she afraid of before? Being alone? No, she had talent, she could be known for something much better than Mrs Potter the wife of the so-called hunk of Gryffindor. No, what she realised she was missing was... perspective.

Here it was, delivered to her in four different but wonderful specimens. Dark, saturnine, fair and bold. For the first time in her life, Lily did not feel like a freak, an outsider. She most certainly did not feel like the trophy wife. Surely that is what she would end up as if she married James Potter. She remembered what James said his Armontentia smelled like – it was not her that was for sure!

“What will your wife say?” ventured Lily trying to hang on to one thin thread of sanity that clung to her brain and screamed: Bad Idea!

Lucius chuckled and leaned over to whisper in her ear: “My marriage is rather... open, shall we say,” Lily's throat tightened at the thought of being in that sort of marriage. “All Death Eater marriages are, mostly, some remain loyal due to love. I care for Narcissa a great deal,” his lips brushed the highest point of her cheek, “but our needs are not always met, shall we say?”

Blushing Lily lowered her gaze to the floor where, she realised, she could only see feet.

“Enough flirting, Lucius,” Regulus sighed, “and get her somewhere warm for Merlin's sake!”

With that statement, all four men paced back but still kept her locked in until Lucius was the only one who stepped forward: “Hold on tight, my dear,” he whispered as he snaked his arm around her waist. “I have a feeling the night has only just begun.”

Lily hid her face in Lucius robes at the implication of his sentence whispered only for her to hear it. The blush spread down her neck and Lucius grinned. What did this Witch see in a buffoon like James Potter anyway?

Once they left Finbar grinned at Severus and Regulus: “A real pant-stretcher that one, I'm tellin’ you.” Severus scowled thunderously back, and Regulus lips thinned in disapproval. “What?” shrugged the Irishman, “don't pretend you both weren't thinkin’ it. I can assure you gentlemen,” he bowed floridly, “that Lucius was already sporting the effect she had on him...”

As Fin and Reg Disapparated both men swore they could hear the sound of Severus grinding his teeth together at the mere thought that Lucius Malfoy would get to her before she had talked to him.

What was it, she said?

Ah yes...

It was not her words that gave her away but her eyes.

“She's having second thoughts,” Severus smiled to himself. “I was right, she accepted out of grace rather than love!”



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