The days went by fast and soon two weeks had gone by in the school year. Draco insisted on eating and drinking more during his meals and obediently Blaise kept an eye on him. However, Severus did not inquire into Draco’s whereabouts. He himself watched as Draco sat in class or in the Great Hall. Often he would steal a concerned glance, but it would be gone the next moment.
Draco made his way to the Potions room with Blaise, Goyle and Crabbe. Many things were going through Draco’s mind. He was still not allowed to go anywhere without his father’s permission, though he had tried to convince his father to let him. Severus however, had been unrelenting and had even threatened to give him a detention if he didn’t stop.
He had voiced these concerns to Blaise, who seemed to be sympathetic. Something though was a bit strange in Blaise’s behavior. He seemed more sociable than normal.
Both Slytherin boys sat down in the front of the class. The rest of the students filled in after them and Snape began the lesson. Their assignment was to make a simple sleeping draught potion. It was simple, but could be dangerous if some of the ingredients were put in at the wrong time. Supposedly some of them were highly flammable.
Draco and Blaise worked quickly and were the second along in the class. The first was of course, Granger and Potter. As Blaise stirred the potion Draco waited until he had to add the next ingredient. Blaise suddenly started looking through the pile of bottles on the table. “Draco, we forgot the dragon’s blood. Could you get some?”
“Sure.” Draco replied, as he got up and headed to the storage cabinet. Next to the cabinet, two Gryffindor girls sat chatting.
“Did you hear what happened?”
“Supposedly Malfoy was released from Azkaban.” Draco stopped dead.
“No, not Draco. I mean Luci…”
“Miss Brown, perhaps you should keep an eye on your potion and not on gossiping.” Snape said as he walked up to them. “Draco, go back to your seat.” Snape looked at Draco sullenly.
“Father, what were they…?”
Snape came back over to Draco. “I said to go back to your seat, Draco.” He grabbed Draco’s arm. “You know not to do this here. Do not make a scene.” Severus said quietly for only Draco to hear. Draco tried to get out of his father’s hold.
“What were they talking about? I know they are only stupid Gryffindors, but they were talking about Lucius.” Draco winced slightly at his own words.
“Do you mean how Lucius was let out of Azkaban?” Lavender Brown as she looked over at Draco.
“What?!” Exclaimed Draco, not even caring about houses anymore as he stared wide eyed at her
Severus turned around to face Lavender. “Miss Brown, hold your tongue!” At this point, the entire class grew quite as they watched the exchange.
Draco looked over at his father. “You knew and you didn’t tell me!”
A scream filled the room as several of the ingredient bottles exploded. “Everyone is to leave. Class is dismissed.” Everyone in the class sprung up and scrambled out the door.
“Not you, Draco.” Draco continued to walk ignoring his father. “Draco Alexander Snape! You will come back here this instant!”
Draco stopped before the door, but did not turn around. “How could you?!” Suddenly Draco was spun around to face his father.
“You will calm down right now.”
“What will you do if I don’t, Father?” With that Draco ran off, leaving a distraught looking Potion’s Master behind him.
Draco ran and ran. He ran until he knew Snape wasn’t following. Draco finally stopped in an empty corridor and leaned against the wall.
He didn’t know where to go or what to do. Why had his father done that? WHY? Draco began to run again. He turned the corner to go to the Slytherin Common Room and knocked into the most unlikely person…his father. How had he gotten there so fast?
Draco went to go in the opposite direction. “Oh, no you don’t.” Severus grabbed Draco and pinned his arms tightly behind his back. “You will have detention with me, tonight at 7:00.”
“Let me go!” Draco yelled as he tried to push his father off of him. It only resulted in him being pulled more forcefully into his father’s hold.
“If this is the way you want to act, Draco, then you are also grounded for a week. It will start once we get back to the dorms, but right now we are going to make a visit to the Headmaster’s office.”
“I am not going anywhere with you!”
“Really? I do believe that I am not the one who is being held.” Severus then proceeded to the Headmaster’s rooms, literally dragging Draco along with him. The boy insisted on trying to get out of his grasp the entire way, even as they went up the spiral stairs that led to the Headmaster’s office. He may not have had much practice being the boy’s father, but he did have practice with fighting Slytherins and holding struggling students down. The door opened up once they reached the top and they went into the room.
“Oh, Severus, you have found young Draco.” Albus said as Severus placed Draco in a chair. How long had he been running for?
Severus sat down in the chair next to Draco. Draco refused to look at him. “Draco, is there anything troubling you?”
“No.” Draco replied, as he looked at the ground.
“Well, perhaps it is a person then?” Draco looked up at the Headmaster, but quickly looked back down. He wasn’t going to get into this trap.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Draco mumbled.
“Draco…” Severus started, but was stopped as Albus raised his hand. “Draco my child, you need to talk to someone, who not better than your father?” Draco clenched his fist. He wanted to yell and scream at his father. How could he keep something like this from him? Something that involved him and that man. It was infuriating. No, he knew this was what the Headmaster wanted. He was trying to get Draco upset enough to talk to his father.
“I do not want to talk about it, at least not now. Please let me go back to my room.” Albus sat back in his chair, examining Draco. The boy was confused. He didn’t know what to do anymore. He finally began to trust Severus again during the summer, but now he felt betrayed. He wanted to talk to his father, yell at him even, but he wasn’t ready yet. He had to have some time to sort through everything and he needed to do it alone. Much like Severus usually did. Albus smiled slightly though his hands covered it. They were so much alike, however much Severus was reluctant to allow the similarity to grow.
“Very well, you may leave.”
“But Albus…” Albus shook his head to silence Snape as Draco got up.
As Draco closed the door he heard: ‘Perhaps you are overreacting, Severus.’
Draco sat in the Astronomy Tower looking over Hogwarts, later that day. He had missed both lunch and dinner and would probably miss his detention, but he didn’t care. Blaise had been with him a bit ago. They had talked, but not much. He just couldn’t talk to him or anyone for that matter.
When had this happened? Why had it happened?
Why hadn’t his father told him the minute he had found out? He had to have known. Wait a minute….that was why he had made Draco promise to not go anywhere with out his permission. Was that the problem? Did his father think he wasn’t able to protect himself or maybe he didn’t trust him enough? Tears began falling as many more thoughts went through his mind.
A strange feeling filled him and he knew instantly what or rather who it was. Draco closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He wasn’t ready for this and he was cornered.
“Why were you not at lunch or dinner?” His father asked. There was most certainly anger in his voice, but was there also concern?
“Of all the questions you could ask, you want the answer to that one?” Draco replied not bothering to turn. Once again strong arms forced Draco to turn around.
“Do not speak to me like that, Draco. I asked you a question and I expect an answer.”
“I didn’t want to be in the same room with you!” The torches in the Tower flickered as a breeze went by.
“Stop this instant, Draco!”
“Stop doing what? Perhaps if you would tell me instead of keeping me in the dark all the time, I would know what to stop doing.” Tears began rolling down Draco’s cheeks. He couldn’t take this anymore.
“Why Father? Why didn’t you tell me? Why?” Draco slide down to the floor. Severus simply stared down at Draco. Was Albus right? Did Draco feel betrayed? Was that why he had acted like this?
Severus’s expression softened. Maybe he had overreacted after all. He should have realized this was going to happen. He knelt down by Draco. How could he make the boy see that he had only wanted to keep him safe?
Severus pushed some of Draco’s bangs from his eyes, while wiping away tears as he did so. Draco still refused to look at him. “Draco?” Severus gently picked up Draco’s chin. “Please look at me.”
Slowly Draco looked up at Severus. His eyes were red from crying. “I’m sorry.” It was all Severus could think to say. He saw the frustration and confusion that was in his son’s eyes.
“Father…” Draco trailed off and suddenly grabbed onto his father. Severus was more than shocked, but still put his arms around Draco.
“I’m so sorry, Draco.” Severus held Draco more strongly when the boy began to cry again. Any anger that he had about Draco’s earlier actions dissipated. The child meant more to him than his anger.
“Father, why didn’t you tell me?” Draco asked after the tears had finally stopped. He looked up at his father expectantly.
“I didn’t want you to be frightened anymore. I wanted you to grow up with out Lucius’s presence hanging over you.”
“Did you think it was better for me to read about it?”
“You wouldn’t have read about it. I made sure you didn’t get to see any newspapers after I found out.”
“So you wanted me to just see him in the street? Did you want me to freak out when I saw him? Is that what you wanted?”
“No, Draco! I should have told you. I just…” Severus ran his hand through his hair. “I remembered that night at Malfoy Manor and I never wanted to see fear like that in your eyes. No child should have to be afraid like that, especially my child.”
Draco looked at Severus, understanding on his face. “I’m sorry, Father. I never should have acted the way I had. I thought…I thought you didn’t trust me.”
“Of course I trust you, Draco. Come on, let’s get out of here. It’s getting chilly and I don’t want you to get cold.” Draco began to get up, but got dizzy. Severus saw him start to fall him and caught him in his arms.
“Maybe we should get some food in you first, before you faint.” Severus sat Draco back down on the floor and conjured up some food. He offered it to Draco who only shook his head. “Draco, you missed both lunch and dinner. You need to eat something.” Draco then took the food and began to eat.
“There is something else you should know, Draco.” Draco stopped eating and looked over at his father. “It is rumored that Lucius wants to attend the first Quidditch match.”
“What?” Draco asked as he put the food down. “How could Dumbledore let him come here?”
“Albus has no choice. Lucius was set free, thanks to his lawyer. He will be watched but otherwise he is a free man. However, Albus has said he will put up extra wards just in case. You have to let either myself or Albus know if he does try anything. I do not want a repeat of last December, Draco.”
Draco nodded as he thought back to the trip to Diagon Alley in which Lucius had ‘disciplined’ Draco and he never told his parents. Severus had found out by seeing the bruise that was on his left arm, just below his shoulder and was not too pleased. That was the night he had told his father what Lucius had been like and how Lucius had treated him for the almost nine years he lived with him.
“I still don’t want him there.” Draco replied quietly as he finished his food. Severus brought his hand up and gently rubbed Draco’s cheek. “Nor do I, Draco.”
Draco looked up at his father when he brought his hand up. “Does this mean that you’re not mad at me anymore?”
Severus made a small look of disparagement, before he replied. “I was never really angry at you. I thought you were just trying to be impertinent. It never occurred to me that you were simply disorientated by the whole situation.”
“Do I still have to go to detention?” Severus looked up at Draco as a smirk formed on his face. “No, I think our time together right now can suffice for that. As for the grounding…” Severus paused as he pondered on the matter. “In the corridor you were uncouth and disrespectful, even considering the situation. I will, as your Head of House, take ten points from you. As your father, I will put you under a curfew of 7:00 for the next week. That will act as your grounding. Also you will eat your meals next week with me my quarters.”
Draco slowly nodded as his father finished talking. He gazed at the river, when he felt a hand on his shoulder. “We’ve been here long enough I think.” Draco nodded as he got up and followed his father out of the Astronomy Tower.
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