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Published: 02/04/2007Updated: 02/04/2007Words: 6,306Chapters: 1Hits: 524
Lucius Malfoy: Prince of Denmark
- Story Summary:
- When Hogwarts embarks on a production of William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" during Lucius Malfoy's seventh year, he finds himself unwillingly cast in the title role and drawn to the quiet and clever -- and therefore, boring -- Narcissa Black. Cameos by Bellatrix Black, various teachers, certain members of MWPP, Severus Snape, the Weasleys, and Lucius's future long hair.
Lucius Malfoy: Prince of Denmark
Additions to Disclaimer: Hamlet was written by William Shakespeare. Not by me. There are many lines in this fic taken from the play.
Author's Notes: There are various versions of Hamlet out there on the internet. However, if you are one of those people who cannot stand reading Shakespeare because of the way it is written, you might want to take a look at SparkNotes's "No Fear Shakespeare" Hamlet, which is "modernized." I prefer the original, but having the play written out in plain English does help a little.
Lucius Malfoy: Prince of Denmark
Hogwarts Presents William Shakespeare's Hamlet
If anyone had told Lucius Malfoy, perhaps during the summer or maybe the term before, that in September of his seventh year at Hogwarts, he would be prancing about on stage like a prat, auditioning for an ancient -- or close enough, anyway -- play written by a wizard masquerading as a Muggle, he would have sent them straight to the insanity ward at St. Mungo's. After hexing them, of course. Mercilessly.
And yet, here he was, glaring at the silhouettes of Professors McGonagall and Slughorn, who were the orchestrators of this embarrassing situation, while a light was being directed right at his face, ensuring that he would be blind for the next couple of hours, if not days. Standing across from him, just a few paces away, was Arthur Weasley, who had stolen Lucius's Head Boy-ship. Or so Lucius believed, anyway, as he doubted Weasley thought of it in the same terms. "Right," said Slughorn, sounding much too jolly for his own good. "As you might have realized, we are having you all audition in pairs. Much easier, I think -- gets you into the mood, as if you're really the character, if you're interacting with another actor."
Lucius's lip curled. This had all been Slughorn's idea, the play. As had been the requirement that all prefects and Heads audition for it, in order to encourage the rest of the student body to participate as well. Well, Lucius certainly wanted out, and the quickest exit was to completely fail his audition. There was the added bonus of toppling Weasley's chances for a part as well: Weasley seemed actually excited about the whole thing.
"Mr. Malfoy, you will read the part of Prince Hamlet. Mr. Weasley, the part of Laertes," said McGonagall crisply. "Malfoy, begin when you are ready."
Lucius glanced down disinterestedly at the parchment in his hand. "Come on, sir," he drawled, sounding completely bored. Weasley had a stage rapier in his hand; he was at the ready, looking as if he was about to begin a fencing match. Lucius had one hand at his side, holding his rapier limply, and the other was holding the parchment in front of his face.
Weasley scowled as he realized what Lucius was doing. However, he was unwilling to get out of character, so he replied, "Come on, my lord." He lunged forward and promptly slapped Lucius's shoulder with his rapier.
"My dear boy, you aren't supposed to be hit yet," said Slughorn cheerfully.
"Oops," said Lucius in a monotone. Weasley was practically frothing at the mouth.
Lucius took a long, leisurely look at the script and drawled, "One."
"No," gritted Weasley.
"Judgement?" Lucius pretended to yawn. Weasley was beet red now.
"A hit, a very palpable hit," said a small first year girl sitting next to the stage. She was a redheaded Muggle-born Gryffindor, one of Slughorn's favorites. Lucius couldn't recall her name. Was it Edwards? Louise Edwards?
"Well, again," said Weasley. Lucius had to hand it to him. He was still somehow in character.
"Stay, give me drink," said Edwards, or whatever her name was. "Hamlet, this pearl is thine. Here's to thy health. Give him the cup."
Lucius leaned casually against a wall. McGonagall gave an audible sigh of annoyance.
"I'll play this bout first. Set it by awhile. Come." He pretended to look expectant, as if waiting for someone else to say their line.
"It's your line," snapped Weasley after a long silence. Lucius smirked inwardly. Weasley was out of character!
"Oh, sorry," he replied, not sounding apologetic at all. "But I thought we were supposed to fight again."
"Yes, but obviously, as you won't take it seriously..." hissed Weasley.
"Continue for now, boys, but I want to see action next time," said Slughorn.
"Another hit. What say you?"
"A touch, a touch, I do confess't." Weasley's tone was one of acquiescence, but his eyes were blazing with fury.
"Our son shall win," said the girl. She paused, then continued. "He's fat, and scant of breath." Here, Lucius pretended to be outraged, and he could practically hear Weasley's teeth gnashing together. "Here, Hamlet, take my napkin, rub thy brows. The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet."
"Skip ahead to your line, Mr. Weasley," instructed McGonagall. "Beginning with 'Have at you now!'"
"Is there something amusing, Mr. Malfoy?"
"Nothing, Professor McGonagall," said Lucius angelically. Weasley looked as if he were about to explode.
"Have at you now!" he roared. He smacked Lucius with his rapier. It stung, unlike the first time. "I bet you all that inbreeding makes you unable to appreciate fine art, Malfoy," he muttered under his breath.
What? If there was one thing Lucius could not stand, it was being called inbred. How dare Weasley? With a snarl, he launched himself at the other boy. There was a scuffle as both dropped their rapiers. Weasley took Lucius's, leaving Lucius to pick up his. An insult, clearly. Lucius retaliated, hitting Weasley with his rapier as hard as he could and noting with satisfaction the other boy's wince.
"Part them! They are incensed!" said the girl.
"At least I don't live in a hovel with my millions of brothers. I bet your mother's popping one out right now," hissed Lucius so that only Weasley could hear.
Weasley gave a cry of outrage and attacked Lucius with his rapier. Lucius countered the blow, and they were off. "Stop! Stop!" cried Slughorn, running onto the stage, though it was much more like waddling. "That's enough! Weasley, Malfoy, please get off the stage for the next audition pair. You two got into your characters very well there, although I'm afraid this isn't the correct scene."
Lucius sent a triumphant smirk in Weasley's direction. The Gryffindor looked ready to cry; he was so disappointed. The Slytherin sauntered off the stage and sat down in the audience, which was really just a bunch of chairs set up in the Great Hall for the duration of the production, waiting for the end of the auditions, when parts would be announced. He looked forward to seeing Weasley's crestfallen expression when he was assigned no part at all.
"You were quite engaging," said a voice next to him. Lucius squinted through the darkness. Sitting two seats to his left was a girl, though he couldn't really tell who it was. He could see that she had very light blonde hair, and that was it. Her voice was familiar, but not one Lucius heard every day.
"Not really," said Lucius, assuming the girl was not a Gryffindor or a friend of Weasley's, as she had just complimented him. "He insulted me. And my family."
"Hmm." The girl did not sound impressed. She shifted slightly, and Lucius was briefly able to see her face. It was Narcissa Black, a fifth year Slytherin. Lucius knew her older sister, Bellatrix, well -- in his opinion, Bellatrix was slightly insane, but an interesting person to be around. A good snogging partner as well, if he was in the mood. She was very popular in their House. Narcissa, on the other hand, despite being as pretty, perhaps prettier, than her sister, was a quiet girl who mostly kept to herself. Lucius rarely talked to her, although he had heard she was clever. Cleverness, however, did not drive Lucius to talk to her, as clever usually meant boring, as illustrated by most Ravenclaws.
Lucius spent the next couple of hours bored out of his mind, watching as everyone ranging from the first years to the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher auditioned using the same script he had used. He supposed he fell asleep at one point, since he found himself being shaken awake by an irritated-looking Narcissa Black. The torches in the Great Hall were lit once more, and Slughorn was ascending the stage, a list in his hand. Weasley was glaring at Lucius from across the room, where he was sitting with his girlfriend, Molly Prewett.
"Right," said Slughorn. "We have seen a lot of talent today, starting with the auditions for female roles and ending with the auditions for our male roles. I would like to remind those of you that are not on this list that you are all very talented, and that there are many positions backstage available if you want to still be involved. Now... starting with our smaller characters... The part of Reynaldo goes to Frederick Hall."
And so it went: the guards' parts were handed out to a couple of third years; the unnamed courtiers in the background were to be played by a group of first year Gryffindors. Lucius didn't really listen. He looked up briefly with interest as Bellatrix was given the part of Ophelia. She would do the madness bit justice, at least. "The part of Laertes goes to... Arthur Weasley."
Lucius froze, his jaw dropping. Arthur Weasley's expression was one of absolute shock as his girlfriend kissed him on the cheek in congratulations. "What?" Lucius said in a strangled whisper. "Weasley got--?"
"And finally," said Slughorn, apparently unaware of what his prior announcement had caused, "the part you've all been waiting for. The part of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, goes to... Lucius Malfoy!"
"WHAT?" shouted Lucius and Weasley simultaneously. Lucius leapt to his feet.
"But... but--" he stammered.
"You acted just as Hamlet did," said Slughorn. "Coolly nonchalant, accepting his fate... Not to mention you and Weasley both got into that fight convincingly. Don't be surprised, dear boy. You've obviously worked very hard."
Narcissa snorted. Lucius scowled down at her. So, he hadn't wanted the part. But that didn't mean she could laugh about it.
"Rehearsals begin this Saturday, at two o' clock, here in the Great Hall," continued Slughorn. "Anyone who wishes to work backstage, there will be a sign-up sheet posted by Thursday. All actors will receive their scripts tomorrow."
Lucius was in a foul mood for the rest of the day.
"That's enough for today."
Lucius scowled as he descended from the stage, after his first rehearsal. It had been terrible. Not only had Weasley been smirking at him the entire time, but he had also been hit by a Dervish and Banges Skin Color-Changing Pellet, which had briefly turned him flamingo pink, courtesy of Bellatrix's wayward eleven-year-old cousin Sirius and his cohort, James Potter. Not to mention the fact that Lily Evans -- not Louise Edwards, as it turned out -- had been ordering them all around as stage manager. Evans was a first year, for Merlin's sake! And she was a Muggle-born. Lucius could think of nothing more humiliating than Lily telling him he wasn't being aristocratic enough. Weasley had nearly exploded with laughter.
He had tried in the beginning to get Slughorn to kick him out of the production by acting as horribly as he could, but Slughorn had pulled him aside and told him that he was very "displeased." Lucius had desisted his attempt at once, because "displeased" usually meant being kicked out of the Slug Club as well, and that would make Abraxas Malfoy, Lucius's father, very irate. And that was a fate to be avoided.
"You did fairly well today."
Lucius looked up from his bag, which he was trying to close after stuffing his script in it. Narcissa Black stood there, her expression unreadable. He was momentarily stunned; this was the second time she had talked to him in a week -- a record, surely, since they never talked to each other. "I thought you disapproved," he replied coolly, swinging his bag onto his shoulder. Her derisive snort at the audition still rankled on his nerves, though he wasn't sure why. He usually was never bothered by what others thought of him.
"Well," she said. "I didn't think you deserved the part."
Lucius stared, wondering if he had heard correctly. No one in Slytherin ever said anything like that to him, even if it was true. "If you're so great," he found himself retorting weakly, "why aren't you in the play?"
Narcissa looked taken aback, despite the pathetic nature of his reply. "It wasn't as if you were actually trying," she snapped, clearly flustered. "You told me you were actually trying to act badly. Well, if that was you acting badly, I wonder if you can act at all."
She strode away, leaving Lucius gaping at her retreating figure, at least until yet another Skin Color-Changing Pellet hit him in the neck, turning him an absurdly lurid green.
The play was to be performed in the week preceding the Christmas holidays. Narcissa seemed to be avoiding Lucius at all times, so he barely ever saw her. He wasn't complaining. There was something about her that always made him feel slightly oafish and stupid for some reason. Besides, she was rather annoying, with her double-sided barbs disguised as compliments. Nevertheless, Lucius found himself trying to act well, in case she ever showed up to watch, though he wasn't sure why he cared what she thought. He was Lucius Malfoy, not some Weasley brat.
By mid-November, everyone had memorized their lines. Lucius had spent many nights awake with the curtains drawn around his bed, half-deliriously reciting his lines to himself in a whisper, before waking up covered in parchment. Slughorn and Evans's deadlines for memorization were brutal. A few months before, he would have laughed in the face of anyone who told him he'd be obsessed with this play. But here he was, and he had memorized basically half of Shakespeare's bloody play. All because he was afraid of what Narcissa Black would think if she ever saw him act, despite the fact that she hadn't been back to watch a rehearsal since the first rehearsal.
They were now staging the play, bit by bit, incorporating movement. Lucius was on a rare break; the scene with a mad Ophelia and the queen was being rehearsed on stage, and Slughorn was off searching for props. Bellatrix was indeed doing a good job pretending to be insane -- she was quite possibly over-doing it, as Molly Prewett, who was playing Gertrude, looked slightly disturbed. He closed his eyes and leaned against the back of his seat in the audience, his thoughts drifting toward Narcissa, as they always did nowadays. Why did he care, anyway, what she thought? It wasn't as if he fancied her or anything. She was pretty, but far too quiet to ever be the lady of Malfoy Manor. Not that he was considering her or anything. Besides, if he wanted a girl's attention, he had all of the rest of Slytherin's females to choose from. In fact, it would be positively daft to pursue Narcissa Black, as she was the only girl in Slytherin who did not fawn over or want a chance to fawn over him.
"I see you're asleep again."
Lucius cracked open an eye. "Am not," he said defensively, before he realized this was most unbecoming of a Malfoy. He closed his eye lazily and drawled, "Why are you here, anyway? Come to torture yourself with some more of my dreadful acting?"
Narcissa huffed and sat down. "Actually, no," she replied tartly. "I've been helping Bellatrix learn her lines, and I want to see how she's doing. Don't flatter yourself."
"I wasn't. You're the one suggesting I was."
Lucius knew she was miffed at this, since he could hear her stiffen in annoyance. He smirked.
"Why are you sitting here?" he asked.
"Because this happens to be the best vantage point," she snapped back. "Even though there's a smarmy, arrogant prat sitting here as well."
Lucius's metaphorical feathers felt ruffled, but he was able to keep the whine out of his voice. "Pity."
There was a slightly surprised silence, and Narcissa let out a soft giggle. Lucius opened his eyes, puzzled. "That was... slightly amusing, actually, Malfoy."
"It wasn't meant to be," snapped Lucius, annoyed. He hadn't wanted it to be amusing. He had wanted to be a smarmy, arrogant prat. He hated it when he didn't get his way.
Narcissa sighed. "All right, Malfoy, we got off on the wrong foot at the auditions. Truce?" She held out a hand.
If a pretty girl offered a truce to Lucius, he would normally accept it and find a way to snog her some time. In fact, Lucius was about to do just that when his mouth rebelled, and he found himself drawling, "Malfoys never get off on the wrong foot. Whatever foot we got off on, it was the right foot." Inwardly, as soon as the words were out of him, he wondered what the hell that had meant, but he maintained an arrogant sneer anyway while he attempted to unravel the meaning.
Narcissa was obviously quicker than he was, because after a moment of confusion, she snapped, "Fine. I'm glad I didn't actually enter a truce with someone as horrid as you. I don't know what anyone else sees in you. You're just a foul, loathsome GIT!"
"QUIET!" roared Severus Snape, the first year boy who had somehow ended up with the part of Claudius. Lucius thought he had a surplus of anger. He was always scowling and sniping at people, though he did get along with Evans. Even if he did call her "Mudblood" perhaps once a day when extremely angry, since she didn't know what it meant and was therefore not offended. "You're being impolite!"
Narcissa stood furiously, opened her mouth, thought better of it, and stormed off.
"Ooh, Cissy's mad," taunted Sirius Black.
"We don't need further disturbance from you, Black," snarled Snape, sounding slightly ridiculous, as his voice, still high, cracked on the word "you."
"You won't shut up either, Snivelly," piped up James Potter.
"Can't we just get on with the rehearsal?" sighed Weasley.
"Arthur's right," said Evans. "Professor Slughorn wanted us to be on the next scene by the time he comes back."
Bellatrix cleared her throat. "By Gis and by Saint Charity, alack, and fie, for shame! Young men will do 't, if they come to 't. By Cock, they are to blame. Quoth she, 'Before you tumbled me, you promised me to wed.' He answers, 'So would I ha' done, by yonder sun, an thou hadst not come to my bed.'" She smirked.
"You've already done that bit three times," said Evans.
"So? I like it," replied Bellatrix.
Narcissa was nearly out the door. She turned suddenly, her face contorted with fury. "GIT!" she cried.
Lucius's jaw dropped. Did madness run in the family? This was enough. Well, he just had to end it once and for all, in a mature manner, of course...
"BINT!" he shouted after her.
It was two weeks before the performance, and Lucius was sitting by the Slytherin Common Room fireplace with some of the other seventh years. "Shall we practice our lines, Lucius?" asked Bellatrix, curling up on the sofa next to him like a cat. Rodolphus Lestrange glared jealously at Lucius before turning away to play chess with his brother.
"To be or not to be," he said in response, smirking at her. "And so on."
"Good, my lord, how does your honor for this many a day?" She slowly approached him, eyelids lowered.
"I humbly thank you. Well, well, well."
"My lord, I have remembrances of yours that" -- her voice lowered to a whisper -- "I have longed long to redeliver. I pray you now receive them."
Her face was an inch from his when Lucius realized with a jolt that though she was very pretty, and very... talented, he felt nothing when she was this close to him now. His mind whirling in confusion, he replied, "No, not I. I never gave you aught." Bellatrix's eyes opened. They were filled with bewildered puzzlement.
"I didn't think that scene went that way," said a voice in front of them acidly. Bellatrix quickly retreated, looking annoyed.
"Eavesdropping again, Cissy?" she snapped.
"No, but everyone could hear your proposition to Malfoy, and we could all see you on him, Bella."
Lucius felt the familiar wave of anger that washed over him whenever Narcissa appeared. Despite the fact that the conversation had been going in a decidedly awkward direction before her arrival, he still was annoyed. "And was that any of your concern?" he asked icily.
Narcissa froze, and a pink tinge appeared in her cheeks. Bellatrix suddenly smirked. "I--"
"Oh, Cissy, you never told me," said Bellatrix. Narcissa looked even more mortified.
"Told you what?" demanded Lucius.
But at that moment, Narcissa, to Lucius's shock, burst into tears and rushed away.
"Lucius, where are you going?" shouted Bellatrix as Lucius ran after her. He didn't reply, partly because he wasn't sure himself. In fact, why was he running after Narcissa Black, whom he disliked intensely?
She ran out of the Common Room, up the stairs, and past the Great Hall. Lucius had just rounded the corner when she dodged into the girls' toilets, sobbing. Looking around furtively to make sure no one was around, Lucius went in after her.
"What's wrong?" crooned a ghost with thick horn-rimmed glasses and a spotty face.
Narcissa was huddled on the floor, looking oddly vulnerable. Neither noticed Lucius's quiet entrance.
"I... I don't know. He... h-he's such a prat; he's so arrogant, and I can't stand him..."
Lucius felt his stomach drop. Oh. Had he been so horrible towards her, that he'd reduced the quiet but normally in-control Narcissa Black to tears? After all, the only time she showed any sort of embarrassing emotion was around him. He watched her sometimes, and she was usually very cool and collected. Not like Bellatrix, who flew from tears to euphoria to murderous anger in a matter of minutes.
"But..." continued Narcissa.
However, before she could explain further, Moaning Myrtle looked up. "What are you doing in here?" she demanded, flying up to him. "You're a boy."
"Malfoy?" Narcissa glared at him.
Lucius deflated completely. What was going on? He felt... terrible. But why? "I heard what you said about me," he muttered, eyes downcast.
"Oh." She sniffled. With a disgruntled noise, Myrtle zoomed off, grumbling. Lucius tentatively sat down on the grimy floor next to her, wincing at the dirtiness. They sat in silence. Finally, she said, "Why are you still here? Shouldn't you be off snogging Bella or something?" There was a note of something in her voice, but Lucius couldn't identify it.
"No," he replied shortly, unable to keep the annoyance out of his tone. Why was she able to get to him, while others could not? "I should not be doing anything I don't want to be doing at the moment, since no one tells me what to do."
Narcissa let out a peal of laughter, and for a moment, Lucius wondered if she was mad. "You are arrogant, aren't you?" she spat derisively.
Instead of making him feel defensive, however, this only made him feel even more miserable. "Sorry you hate me so much," he replied bitterly.
"Hate you? Hate you? Why would I hate you?" There was a slightly hysterical sound to her voice. Lucius wanted to sink into the floor. He looked at anything but her face. She sighed. "Look. You asked me why I didn't audition myself for the play. It's because Hamlet is my favorite play in the entire world, and I want to see it in its entirety, as a member of the audience, rather than just from one point on the stage. In a way, to be a character is to understand that character, but to be in the audience is to understand them all. And they're all so human, just like we are.
"And when you didn't take it seriously, I felt like the role was being wasted on you, that you were ruining it for all of us. Even though... well, you're perfect for the role if you actually want to be. You even look a bit like he does in my mind."
"And he's a prat, and a git..." added Lucius, staring at his shoes.
She made a small noise, sort of like a giggle. "Yes," she said softly, standing. "But he's more than that."
Before Lucius could ask her what she meant by that, she was gone.
They all should have known that something would go wrong.
The day before the final rehearsal, two days before the first performance, Bellatrix's incorrectly-made Veritaserum exploded in its cauldron, splattering her. She became unable to speak, and Madam Pomfrey told her that it would be a full three days before she would be able to, since the Silencing Potion she had accidentally made was highly potent. This effectively threw all students involved in the production into a panic, since Bellatrix needed her voice to play Ophelia.
On the morning of the last rehearsal, Snape approached Lucius with a note from Bellatrix. Frowning, he opened it. It was very short.
Cissy knows all the lines and what to do.
Of course. Now that he thought about it, Narcissa would know what to do, as this was her favorite play, and she had helped Bellatrix with her lines. But then again, she had told him she had wanted to see it from the audience.
She had to realize, though, that this was an emergency, and if she didn't help, the play would not be able to go on.
"Narcissa, please. We need you to do this." It was the first time Lucius had talked to her since their conversation in the lavatory, and it was slightly awkward.
"Malfoy, I told you I wanted to see it from the audience."
"I know." Lucius sighed and leaned against the door to the Great Hall. "But you know this play well. And Bellatrix will be back for our second performance on Friday. You can see it then."
Narcissa did not reply.
Lucius smirked. "To be or not to be?"
She sighed. "Malfoy, you know very well that Hamlet is not talking about--"
"The play's the thing."
"The readiness is all."
"Oh, for heaven's sake..."
"To thine own self be true."
"Malfoy, that does nothing to further your argument."
"I know. I just like it. It's very poetic." His smirk grew. "So, will you do it?"
She sighed again. "All right. But only one performance. And I bet I'll be rubbish--"
"You're always rubbish, Cissy," called Sirius as he squeezed past them. "Stop blocking the doorway. I'm starving."
Lucius ignored him. "Excellent, love. See you at rehearsal." He patted her arm and didn't notice her startled blush, as he was too busy hurrying away in embarrassment. Love?
"I can't do this." Narcissa looked queasy as she peered around the curtain at the enormous audience that had assembled in front of the stage.
"You did it at rehearsal yesterday," replied Lucius.
"Yeah, better than Bella, anyway." Sirius grinned. "But you're still rubbish."
"Don't you have someone else to bother?" snapped Narcissa, who was green now.
"Snape's in the dressing rooms, fussing over his costume and preening. It's no fun when he completely ignores us."
"Maybe I ought to, then." She peeked out at the audience again. "Oh, no! My parents are here. With my aunt and uncle, and my cousin. And Andromeda's out there with her friends... My entire family is here!"
"Eurgh, Regulus is here?" Sirius scowled. "I think I'll go hex him."
"You'll do no such thing, Black!" said Evans shrilly. "The play's about to begin!"
"Oh, shut up, Evans. You're really annoying, you know that?" Sirius sauntered off, presumably to join Potter and the other Gryffindors playing the courtiers.
"I can't do this."
"This is getting repetitive, Black," drawled Lucius. "And really pointless, as I do believe McGonagall is telling us to get ready."
Narcissa gasped and retreated off the stage, looking quite nervous. Lucius followed at a leisurely pace, though his stomach was churning slightly now as well. His mother had owled him a few days before to tell him she and his father would be coming. Before he knew it, the Great Hall had darkened, and the guards had stepped onto the stage.
He delivered his lines flawlessly when the time came, the nervousness melting off of him quickly as he became Hamlet. The "To be or not to be" soliloquy came out with the appropriate indecision, and then he found himself looking at Narcissa, who had managed to erase all traces of anxiety off her expression. "Good, my lord," she began with a slight smile, and Lucius knew that it would all be all right... better than all right, in fact.
The rest of the play ran smoothly. Lucius was able to keep from laughing every time he had to look down at Snape, who looked slightly ridiculous, as he was far shorter than Molly Prewett or any of the other main characters. During the fencing scene, he and Weasley didn't have to fake a fight, but they were able to keep it under control nonetheless, and Sirius and Potter were able to restrain themselves from trying to join in, as they always attempted to do during rehearsals. He was able to convincingly "die" without snorting. And then it was over, he was standing up, and they were taking their bows to loud applause.
Narcissa went up with Weasley and the boy playing Polonius, and Lucius, to his surprise, felt a jolt of annoyance at seeing her on Weasley's arm. He quickly suppressed it, going up with Molly Prewett and Snape. Snape was in the middle, and Lucius felt as if he and Prewett were playing Snape's parents instead of his son and wife. They backed up to let others take their curtain calls, and Lucius glared at Weasley, who was still arm-in-arm with Narcissa. Without warning, Lucius found himself breaking away from Snape and pulling Narcissa away to take an unplanned bow at the end, which was greeted by cheers from the audience and snickering from Sirius. Lucius sought out his parents in the audience and found them. His mother looked amused, and his father raised an eyebrow. In the front row, Dumbledore's eyes were twinkling.
"What was that all about?" asked Narcissa a few minutes later, when everyone in the audience had drifted out into the entrance hall, and the cast was meeting up with any parents and family that had come.
Lucius coughed, embarrassed. He had hoped that he would be able to avoid her. "Er, well," he said lamely.
Narcissa smirked. It was an unnerving experience, seeing his own devious smirk plastered on her face. "I thought you looked slightly... jealous," she said calmly. "Jealous of Arthur Weasley, Malfoy?"
Lucius cleared his throat, but was still unable to say anything intelligible. "Er, no," he stammered. "Why would I ever be jealous of him?"
She laughed and hooked her arm through his. He jumped, and her smirk grew. "You're awfully sweet and awkward sometimes, Malfoy," she informed him before kissing him lightly on the cheek and moving off to see her family. Lucius's jaw dropped, and he lifted a hand to his cheek in disbelief.
"You're not good enough for her, you know," said a high voice snidely at Lucius's waist. He looked down. Snape was glaring at him, his arms crossed.
Lucius felt a goofy grin spread across his face. "Shut up, Snape," he said lightly, pushing the first year away.
"Lucius." His mother made her way through the crowd, smiling, his father at her heels. "Did I just see you with a girl? The girl who played Ophelia, in fact? She looks awfully familiar... is she a Montague?"
"Oi, Lucy!" sang Sirius Black, bounding toward him. Potter was laughing behind him. "I just saw you and Cissy getting cozy. So... welcome to the family!" He grabbed Lucius's hand and shook it wildly. "When's the wedding? I want to come!"
"Sirius! Get back here!" Narcissa appeared, looking irritated. "Stop bothering Malfoy!"
"Shouldn't you be calling him 'Lucius?'" asked Sirius angelically. "Or maybe 'Lucy,' since he's your husband. Or 'Lulu!'"
Narcissa scowled. "Auntie wants to talk to you," she snapped.
"Oh? Well, I don't want to talk to her. Hey, look, James, Regulus is at the punch table with Snivellus!" They ran off.
"Sorry about that," said Narcissa. "Cousins, you know... there's the three of us girls, and the two boys, and Sirius has always acted like an annoying little brother. Bella hates it." She noticed the Malfoys. "Oh!"
"This is Narcissa Black," said Lucius, feeling awkward under his mother's amused look.
"Bl- Narcissa, these are my parents, Abraxas and Juliette Malfoy."
"Oh, now I know," said Juliette Malfoy. "You're Scorpio and Lettice's daughter." She smiled at Lucius. "Your father and I have to go now, dear, but it was an excellent play." She turned to Narcissa. "Very nice to meet you, Narcissa. We hope to see you again." They left.
"Want to take a walk?" asked Lucius after an uncomfortable pause. He felt as if his world had turned upside down. His parents thought Narcissa was his girlfriend, and Sirius was already making fun of them, as if they were a couple. And strangely, Lucius had no objections to the idea. Narcissa was everything Lucius didn't look for in a girl, personality-wise, and yet...
"Sure. We should get our cloaks, though."
They went down to the dungeons, not looking at each other. Once they were properly attired and outside, where all was quiet, Lucius awkwardly offered her his arm, and she took it hesitantly. They began to walk slowly through the snow that had fallen the night before. "So," said Lucius finally. "It went well today."
"Yes, it did."
More silence. "I, um, have something to tell you." Lucius stopped, frozen. Narcissa was going to tell him that Bellatrix was madly in love with him, or that she was madly in love with Snape, or maybe she, Snape, and Bellatrix were madly in love with each other. "That day..." She blushed. "That day I came to rehearsal. When I said I came to see Bella." Oh, no, she was madly in love with her sister, thought Lucius wildly. "I wasn't exactly telling the truth. I, um, came to see you too."
Lucius gaped. "Really?" He winced inwardly.
She nodded. "I mean, it wasn't as if I fancied you then," she said defensively, as if Lucius had been arguing with her. "You were just so arrogant and uncaring over the play. And you know, you're exactly the type of bloke I would never go out with in a million years. I'd... I'd go out with the giant squid before I went out with you. And..."
"Really." This time, Lucius found a smirk creeping onto his face. He put his hands on her arms and moved closer. She stared at him, speechless. "You said you didn't fancy me then. What about the kiss in the entrance hall?"
She didn't reply.
"I have to say, you are the type of girl I would never go out with in a million years," he drawled. "Too quiet. Clever, too, the book kind, which everyone knows is dreadfully boring. Not to mention you've got a sister who'd be terribly jealous if you were to start going out seriously with her toy." His lips quirked. "I'd go out with the giant squid before--"
"Are you going to make me say it?" she burst out. "You're so difficult, Malfoy!" She huffed. "Fine. I--"
He cut her off, kissing her on the lips before she could say any more. "No," he replied when they broke apart. "For once, I'll be a nice person and let you off... for now." He put an arm around her and pulled her close. She leaned her head on his shoulder. "But you owe me for what Bellatrix is going to do when she finds out."
"I'll take care of her," Narcissa assured him, a smirk back on her features. Lucius raised an eyebrow. "She owes me for covering her part. As do you. Don't look so shocked." She grinned. "There are a lot of things you don't know about me, Lucius Malfoy..."
"I don't doubt that."
She laughed as they entered the castle again. "For example," she said. "Clever doesn't always mean boring. Boringness is often just a mask. Clever really means that I always get what I want."
"Yes." Snape glowered at Lucius, and Lucius pulled Narcissa closer to him. She ran a hand through his hair. "I think you'd look dashing with longer hair, tied back."
"I'd look like a ponce." He scowled, imagining himself with long hair. "That's ridiculous."
She smirked again. "We'll see about that."
- fin -
Author's Notes: This was originally supposed to be a humor fic, with Narcissa on the side. Then it became far too shippy for its own good, so I had to place it in the Astronomy Tower. Well, anyway, Lucius/Narcissa has turned into my pet ship now.
There isn't a particular reason why I chose Hamlet out of all of Shakespeare's plays. It is my favorite, though, so maybe that's why. And there are several lines in it that definitely work, in my opinion.