On that day, it was not the attention that Lucius received that had startled Severus so. Since they were much younger it had become apparent that women just fell at his feet – sometimes literally – without any effort on his part, and he lapped it all up without compunction. So, when they had been walking down that Muggle street, Severus was completely unperturbed by the curious glances that his companion was earning, and he himself, he noted. They must have made quite a spectacle together, handsome and… well, not so handsome, he told himself wryly, light and dark, austere and opulent.
However, the thing that made all the difference was the rugby tackle that sent Lucius sprawling to the floor in utter shock. A gaggle of women surrounded him – not in itself unusual – screaming, ‘Jason! JASON!’ and pulling at his clothes. Severus stood back, unwilling to involve himself in the fracas and maliciously enjoying the look of panic on his companion’s face. He seemed torn between being polite, and pulling his wand out to hex the lot of them as he struggled to his feet and attempted to gather his robes around him. Severus stepped a little further back. The scene was becoming very odd indeed.“Professor Snape?”
He turned to see who was addressing him. A young woman stood next to him, looking mildly amused by the whole scenario.
“Yes?” He sounded as clipped as ever.
“I thought you must be.”
“What do you mean? Do I know you from somewhere?”
She smiled. “Oh, no.” She considered Lucius, still trying to get through the crowd, with her head on one side. “He does look ever so like the actor who plays him, though. It seems casting agents do get things right sometimes.”
“What in the name of Merlin are you talking about, woman?” He looked down at her. She was young enough that he could have taught her, but he didn’t remember ever doing so, and she didn’t look as if she belonged to a wizarding family.
“Don’t you know? You two are in some books. And films. Seven of them, in fact. They’re all called, ‘Harry Potter and the Whatever of Something’, or things along that line.”
His lip curled. “Someone wrote a whole series of books about that little idiot? What is the world coming to?”
“Well, apparently the world wouldn’t have come to anything at all without him. He saved us from a dark wizard called Voldemort, according to the books.”
The expression on his face rapidly changed from disdain to incredulity. “You must be joking.”
“No, I can assure you I’m not.” She grinned broadly. “Is Voldemort dead?”
“Of course he’s bloody dead,” he spluttered, looking as if someone were choking him, “he got run over by a truck on the M1 five years ago.”
She snorted. “How… mundane.”
“It was his own fault. He should have looked where he was going.”
“I see.” She nodded. “Well, it explains why you’re not dead, anyway.”
“You die in the last book.”
“Voldemort’s big snake gets you.”
He closed his eyes. He suddenly looked very tired. “’Gets me’? ‘Gets me’ how?”
“It bites you and you die. Not before you release some memories of how you’re in love with Harry’s mum, anyway.”
He opened and closed his mouth wordlessly, like a fish out of water, Lucius completely forgotten.
“And Harry names one of his kids after you. And Dumbledore. He’s dead too,” she said helpfully, leaning on the wall. “Can I take it that all this is not exactly accurate, then?”
“No, it sodding well isn’t! I am clearly not dead, and nor, to my knowledge, is that annoying old man, Dumbledore. Potter did not save the world from anything, and none of his non-existent children are named after me.” He sighed and tried to ignore the bile rising in his throat. “And I was not in love with his mother!”
“Oh. So does that mean you weren’t a Death Eater, either?”
He screwed up his face. “A what?”
“Voldemort’s cohorts. They’re called ‘Death Eaters’, according to the books.”
“As camp and showy as Voldemort was, I think even he would balk at such a frankly ridiculous name for his followers. If he’d even had any. He preferred to work alone – which proved his downfall, of course.”
She was silent for a moment. “You don’t look like the books say you would, either.”
“Really? Why? Do I wander around in a tutu? Or perhaps I’m a transvestite? Nothing would surprise me anymore.”
“No, but you’re very ugly. You have greasy, long black hair, greasy, sallow skin, and a massive hooked nose.”
He felt his nose and patted his hair. “I didn’t think my nose was that big.”
“It isn’t. You don’t look at all like I thought you would. Lucius does, though.”
“So I gather.”
“Don’t you think you’d better rescue him?”
“I suppose so.” As much as he was enjoying this sudden illumination of the Muggle view of his world, he very much wanted to leave. And find out the source of these books, and ask why he had been killed by Voldemort’s reptile which, to his knowledge, had actually been a non-venomous King Snake. And then possibly kill the source of these books.
He waded through the women. “Nothing to see here, ladies, if you don’t mind.”
“But he’s Jason Isaacs!” one woman screamed feverishly, grabbing ineffectively at his robes.
“I think you must have him confused with someone else, madam,” he said, not entirely deceitfully, dragging Lucius through the crowd with him back to the young woman.
“So you made it out alive,” she said, grinning and looking Lucius up and down.
“Just about,” he muttered, casting a quick Reparo over a large gash in his hem. “Who the hell is Jason?”
“The actor who plays you, Mr. Malfoy.” She looked slightly amused at his confusion. As illustrious as he was, he never expected to be recognised in the Muggle world by an actual Muggle.
“Do I need to Obliviate you?” Severus asked her, narrowing his eyes slightly. “Or the other… females?”
She smiled. “I don’t think so, Professor Snape. You see, to us you’re only fiction anyway.” She began to walk off. “You might want to Disapparate from here, though, unless Mr. Malfoy particularly wants more of the same treatment.” She waved. “Nice to meet you.”
They watched her walk out of sight.
“What the bloody hell was that all about?” Lucius asked finally, brushing some stray specks of dust from himself and sneering at the remaining women watching him from across the street.
“I will tell you over a large Firewhisky,” Severus answered, shaking his head. “It involved Harry Bloody Potter being the saviour of our world – suffice to say, it isn’t a pretty tale.”
Lucius grimaced. “Excellent.”
“And apparently, we’re fiction, Lucius.”
Thank you for reading!