Draco lay crying on his bed. He was lying on his stomach, crying into his pillow. What he had said…Maybe he was telling the truth. Somewhat. He just did not know anymore. He felt the same, as he did last year, not sure what was going on.
He felt the bed dip down next to him, though he did not look up. His father began to run his hand gently in his hair, to calm him down. “No, Draco.”
Draco looked up at his father as he was about to stop crying. “Go ahead and cry, child. I dare say you do not cry nearly as much as you should.” Draco looked up at Severus before allowing his father to bring him into his arms.
“I was too harsh on you, Draco.”
“But…But I said-”
“Yes, I know what you said, I was there.” Severus pulled some bangs out of Draco’s eyes. “I know you did not mean them. We do have a bond, child, if you forgotten. Plus, I do not believe I would have found you weeping into your pillow if you did not feel sorry.”
“I’m sorry, Father.”
Severus chuckled slightly. “I believe I already told you I knew you were sorry, but I still accept your apology. Now,” Severus moved Draco more into a sitting position on the bed, “I believe I never sent you a paper nor did I tell you to let any of this happen. Are you ready to tell me how you got them and how you knew the manor was raided?”
“You knew. How?”
Severus sighed. “Albus told me. How did you know?” Severus looked at Draco expectantly. “He’s been communicating with you and you never told me. I will have to watch you now.”
“Draco, if you are going to act like a child-”
“No, I meant I haven’t been talking with him. He…He sent me one letter. He said the Minster made him, well not made him, but…”
“Draco,” Severus took Draco’s chin, “why didn’t you tell me about it? Are you trying to get back at me for not telling you?”
“What? No, he just sent it this morning.” Draco said as he shook his head furiously. “I did not have anytime…It was just a letter, Father.”
Severus placed his fingers on the bridge of his nose. “What did it say? Never mind, just go and get it for me.”
“I…I can’t.” Draco said as he looked away. He was biting his lower lip.
“What do you mean? I do not care if you will not-”
“No, I can’t. I burnt it.” Draco said in barely a whisper.
“You can…You burnt it? In the fireplace?” His father asked suspiciously.
Draco looked down. He felt his father pick up his chin again. He felt new tears start to form. His father would be so mad. He told him never to use his powers without him there.
“Draco,” Severus said as he ran his finger on his son’s face. “I told you not to do that.”
“I know. I am sorry, Father. I was…I just got so mad.”
He heard his father sigh again. “It’s okay. Just do not do it again. What did it say?”
“Just that the Ministry was raiding more and he got raided. They would not find anything though. It is all in the din-”
“I know the dining room. What else?”
“He said about the Heir of Slytherin and that what was happening was right and not to worry about it, cause nothing would happen to me anyway. I just…Why can’t he leave me alone?”
Severus put his arm around Draco’s shoulder. “I…I don’t think he ever will, Draco. I probably should not be telling you this. I just want you to have a normal childhood, while you can. Nevertheless, I do not think…You have to understand that he will not go away, at least not for a while. There will come a time when he realizes he can have no hold over you, but for the time being he will keep trying. You need to remember that although he may try to get you, I will do everything in my power to prevent him from doing that. I will always be here for you, Little Dragon and help you through this.”
Draco nodded and his father gave him a quick hug. “I think you have a bewildered friend. Maybe you should help her understand what is going on?” Draco nodded again, got up, and knocked on the sitting room door and asked Cherise if he could come in.
Severus leaned on his son’s bedroom door. “Maybe it will help you as well, Little Dragon.” Severus whispered to himself as he saw his son enter the room to have a long conversation with his friend, thinking to himself that it wouldn’t hurt to place a ‘hear all’ spell on the room.
“Hi.” Cherise said as she looked back down at the desk before her. She had a quill and parchment placed before her. The quill did not sit so well in her hand as the Carnesîr did that they used in Ethylon, but she had been trained to write eloquently nonetheless (well as good as she could anyway). Had anyone else seen her handwriting, he or she surely would have been shocked and amazed by it. Being the daughter of a Titaness and Titan demanded more than the effort she had been doing to write her letter, though.
“Are you writing another letter to your mother?” Draco asked as he walked up behind her.
“Yes, unlike some, I love my parents enough to correspond with them.”
“Listen, I do not mean to be rude, but I would like to be alone.” Cherise said abruptly. Draco, in the short time he knew her, had never seen her act like this.
He looked down and nodded, going back to the door. “It must be nice to want to be alone.”
“What are you talking about?” Cherise asked as she turned around in her chair. “Do you not like being alone?”
“No, I hate it.”
Draco looked back at her and sat down on the daybed. “I never told anyone this before, not even my father.”
“Well obviously you like talking about your father.” Cherise’s rude attitude came back at once. She knew how much Draco loved his father, but she also knew how much Severus loved Draco. How could Draco say those things about him, when he knew they would have hurt his feelings?
“It wasn’t him.”
“What?” Who else would it be?
“I was not talking about him. There is…there is this Wizard…Lucius Malfoy. I thought he was my father.”
“You mean that man we came across in the hall?”
“Yeah.” Draco said not even looking at Cherise. Cherise got up and walked over to the daybed, sitting down next to Draco.
“Did you…Did you not always live with your father?”
“I thought…Then you know nothing about Warlock or Immortal society? At all?”
“No, I don’t. At least nothing more than what they teach us.”
“I do not understand. If Professor Snape is your real father, then why…”
“When I was really young, everyone believed my father had been killed. My mother also thought he was killed. I do not know exactly how it happened, but my mother remarried. I grew up thinking…Lucius Malfoy was my father. I never found out the truth, not until last year, at Christmas. I did not want to believe my father, but I kept dreaming about him, Professor Snape I mean. Now I know they were repressed memories and simply being around him was bringing them out, but they scared me. I just…I could not bring myself to believe I lived someplace once where a father loved me.”
He felt Cherise’s hand on his own and looked up at her. “Didn’t Lucius love you?”
She felt him tense and move his hand away. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m sorry. I just can’t bear to hear his name, especially now.”
Draco shook his head and gave Cherise a small smile. “It’s not your fault. He didn’t love me.”
“Did he hate you?”
“It’s not as simple as hate.”
Cherise gave him a strange expression and Draco expanded on the statement. “I mean that he thought I was a tool. Something he could mould and he certainly tried. I guess to some extent it worked. He wanted me to become a Death Eater, just like he is.”
Cherise seemed to weight her next words. “Are you scared of him?”
“Yes and of what he could do.”
“But he can’t do anything to you, right?”
“Not necessarily to me.”
“What do you mean?”
“I did not tell my father, I couldn’t.” Draco looked toward the door. “He’ll just get overly protective again, like he did in the beginning of the year.”
“Wouldn’t you want him to protect you?”
“It scares me to see him when he gets overprotective. Like he does not know what to do. I mean, I know that sometimes he doesn’t but…”
“You do want him to be protective though?” Cherise asked again slowly.
“Yes. I felt safe when I knew he was standing outside or when he would watch me as I slept, but he would not tell me anything about it. I could feel that he was just as scared-”
“And that’s what got you so scared?”
They remained silent for a minute. “So, what can he do?”
Draco sighed. “He’s been put onto the board of governors for this school. As long as he gets all twelve signatures, he could get anyone he wants fired, even Dumbledore or my father.”
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