Lucius got out of bed the next morning so close to forgetting about Severus’ little problem. It was only until he witnessed the bullying himself did he act on it.
It was right after breakfast. Students were heading to their classes and Lucius was heading to his. As he walked past a small garden within the school compound, he spotted three boys standing by a tree.
Curiosity struck him as he walked towards them.
“Shouldn’t you be in class?” Lucius asked.
The boys spun around immediately, and behind them was Severus sitting against the bark of the tree.
“Oh yes, we should get going,” the boy with messy black hair said as he signalled his friends to follow after him.
Though they took big strides, they did not manage to escape. Oddly, it was not Lucius who stopped them but Ms Evans.
Ms Evans walked up to them and demanded, “Apologize.”
“For what?” the boy replied.
“Apologize, Potter,” Ms Evans repeated.
The Potter boy chuckled and said, “I did nothing wrong, Lily. Why should I apologize?”
Ms Evans seemed to be struggling in holding in her anger, and when she gave up, she swung her hand right across the boy’s cheek.
Severus scrambled to his feet at the sound of the slap. The Potter boy said nothing while his friend turned to Lucius and said, “She hit him! She should be punished!”
Lucius had no problem punishing them both, after all, it was Gryffindor losing points.
“Fifteen points from all four of you,” Lucius said, and before the boys could question why, he continued, “Fifteen points for bullying a fellow student and fifteen points for physical violence.”
“That’s sixty points from Gryffindor!” the Potter boy finally spoke.
“You count well, Potter. Next time, think before you act,” Lucius merely said before ushering Severus away from the scene.
When Severus tried to protest, Lucius held on to his shoulder and led him away.
Lucius brought Severus to class before heading to his, but the day was not over. During lunch, Lucius invited Severus for a walk and he intended to give a pretty good lecture.
“Do you know why those boys keep bullying you?” Lucius asked.
“Because I’m weird?” Severus replied.
“Well, partly. I think they bully you because you need a girl to stand up for you,” Lucius pointed out.
“Lily was just helping me. She’s a good friend-”
“She’s not worthy to be your friend. In fact, you don’t need a friend like her. She’s a mudblood after all,” Lucius interrupted.
“What’s wrong with mudbloods? They are just like us,” Severus asked innocently.
“They’re not. They are outsiders hoping to take what is rightfully ours. They don’t deserve it. Your friend, Lily, doesn’t deserve it.”
“But I can’t leave her,” Severus almost whispered his words.
“Make new friends Lucius, then you can leave her,” Lucius advised.
As Lucius left Severus pondering, he began to wonder. Why did Severus need Ms Evans? What kind of a friendship did they have? Was it something so inseparable that the thought of parting ways sounded impossible?
Lucius never had a friend that meant that much to him. He didn’t like being tied down. He was the lone ranger who preferred working by himself, and that worked well for him all these years.
Friend, who invented that word anyway? Lucius silently asked himself.
As Quidditch season started drawing in, Lucius noticed Severus taking his advice. Severus stopped hanging out with Ms Evans as much as he used to, and started hanging out with other Slytherin boys. He also started using the word ‘mudblood’ when Ms Evans wasn’t around.
Lucius had a feeling that one day, a slip of a tongue would end Severus’ ties with Ms Evans altogether. Now wouldn’t that be something to celebrate? Lucius smiled at the idea.
But that was one celebration he would reconsider in due time.
One sunny morning, the match between Slytherin and Ravenclaw began at the blow of a whistle. Lucius enjoyed watching a Quidditch match, but he never liked the idea of playing it. Let’s just say he wasn’t a big fan of heights.
As the quaffle changed hands and the bludgers shot at unsuspecting players, something unexpected happened.
Lucius was climbing up to the professors’ watchtower when a wild bludger crashed into the wooden structure. It rammed against the stairs and the inner pillars like a loose cannon, and it cut through Lucius’ path. Immediately, Lucius scrambled for his wand but before a spell could be cast, the bludger hit him in the stomach and forced him through the supposedly thick wooden panels.
The bludger free itself from him and swerve back into the Quidditch field while Lucius madly waved his arms and grabbed onto the Ravenclaw banner around the tower.
When he finally had a firm grip, Lucius braved himself and took a look down. He was dangling high above the dark waters of the lake, and his heartbeat rose almost instantly. When Lucius tried calling for help, the loud cheering students had their back against him and he was completely out sight.
Nobody knew he was there, not even his ‘friends’.
He thought of climbing back up to the platform or lowering himself to the lake, but while he tried to rationalize both options he saw a Ravenclaw player swerving around a nearby watchtower. Without having to squint much, he knew who it was.
What should he do? Lucius would rather save himself, but a broom ride to solid ground was much more safer. If only that player wasn’t Tanya, he wouldn’t have to contemplate so much.
To Be Continued…
(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Lucius should save himself or ask for help!)