She was beautiful.
So beautiful that he wanted to crush her face up into grains of sand and hurl them into the sea, where the restless waves would swallow her up and hide that beauty beneath grey waters. Then no one would have to see it ever again.
She had no right to be beautiful, just as she had no right to be there, in Diagon Alley, skirt hem flapping slightly in the brisk wind of autumn as she walked quickly along the street. The small heels of her shoes could be heard tapping across the cobbled stones.
Bright green eyes – greener than he had ever seen – shone out at the world through soft, almond-shaped frames of flesh. What a waste they were on such a creature. She was a waste herself; all that smooth, warm skin that covered slender limbs and hugged a lithe figure that could bring any scene to life.
Oh, how he hated her.
He hated the way her thick, red hair rippled behind her as she marched along; the manner in which her head tilted slightly to one side to avoid the wind; the determined yet pliable expression that lined her faultless features.
Her nose was shorter than Narcissa’s, and perhaps a little softer; lips, pink and budding and made to wear a smile, though they were wearing none now. The reason for Severus’ continued longing to see that smile was now clear to him, though he hated understanding any of it. She was unnatural, a freak of nature, a hiccough in the perfect system the wizard world was built on. Her presence in it was bewildering and undermined everything that he believed.
Surely she could not be in the right.
Lily Evans looked up briefly while striding, as though she had heard that last thought and was determined to find the mind that voiced it. Her bright eyes flickered from side to side, eyeing her surroundings like some agitated animal that was paranoid that a predator would pounce the moment her guard was at all down. Lucius could see in the way her hand slipped into her pocket that she was gripping the wand that she did not deserve to touch, Mudblood that she was.
Sunken into the shadows of the arch leading to the Leaky Cauldron, he watched and waited as she unknowingly hurried towards him, her shoulders hunching slightly as she braced herself against the wind and the darkness seeping into their world. She was married now, Severus had informed him, to the insufferable Potter boy whose only real talent was catching a little ball while riding on a stick. A waste of a pure-blood, in the opinion of any decent witch or wizard.
They were perfect together, the Potters. Perfect wastes of space and air, and were it not for the favour that friendship had called on him, he would have gladly extinguished both those puny fires that filled the beautiful redhead and her useless husband who was arrogant over nothing.
But Severus had asked him – had begged him – to make sure that his precious Lily Evans was still breathing and walking the earth like the little goddess she was to him and Lucius had had no choice but to oblige, for his friendship with young Snape was curiously binding, despite the difference in characters and positions.
He was to make sure that Lily Evans was safe and as happy as she could possibly be in such uncertain times when the Dark Lord was making his ascent at long last. It was pointless to be at all concerned about a thing that would be destroyed soon enough, but Lucius hadn’t been able to convince Severus on this point and agreeing to spy on Evans had been the only way to make the dour young man return to Hogwarts, where he was finishing his final year.
Evans wouldn’t speak to him, Severus had said. Nor would she let herself be seen by him, having taken to avoiding him as though he were the cause of the terror and apprehension creeping in the bones of those who were foolish enough to resist the truth and greatness of the Dark Lord.
It would all come to an end, this inclusion of undeserving, hideous offspring of Muggles, and then they, great wizardkind, would finally do what they had been born to do.
Lucius smiled to himself as Lily Evans slipped into the shadows where he stood cloaked in invisibility, and her entire form shivered as her loose hand brushed against his. He could almost smell the stench of impurity flowing off her and he clenched his jaw as she shuddered and stumbled past him, bitten by the coldness of his superior presence.
She was beautiful. And she was going to die.