A/n: Sorry for the insanely long wait! The past four or five months have royally sucked for me, and I'm only just now getting back into writing. I sincerely hope this is worth the wait, and that you all like it. The next chapter will not take that long, I promise. Feel free to follow me on tumblr - my username is giasesshoumaru! Feel free to stop by and ask me questions about anything - my writing, stories, anything. :)
Chapter 30 - A Welcome Distraction
Severus was soon at Hogwarts, and he quickly made his way up to the Headmaster's Office. Thankfully, the halls were deserted this time of night so that he didn't have to explain why he was here when Dumbledore had publicly announced that he would be spending the holidays outside of school. He ran into no one and made it safely to Dumbledore's Office. He didn't need to notify the old man that he was there, because a moment after arriving, the Headmaster walked out of the room at the top of the stairs that lead to his private quarters. "Severus? I have a spell that notified me that someone had entered," he said. "What are you doing? What has happened?"
"Jacob had a vision," Severus said, cutting straight to the point. "Arthur Weasley was attacked."
"Are you sure?" The old man said as he made his way down the stairs.
Severus nodded. "His vision was brief, but it was clear enough."
Dumbledore turned to the portraits, uttering for one to make sure that Arthur was found by the right people, another to notify Grimmauld Place that the children would be arriving, and another to get Minerva McGonagall and to have her get the Weasley children as well as Hermione Granger. "Has his Occlumency training not been going well?"
"It has been coming along, albeit slowly," Severus said. "I believe it has been effective or he would have seen more of the vision."
Dumbledore nodded. "That is good, then, because I shudder to think if the training was ineffective," he said. "He is a very emotional boy." The old man sighed. "There is nothing more you can do here, and you should be gone by the time the Weasleys and Miss Granger get here because we cannot explain this to Fred, George, and Ginny. I will be in touch."
Severus nodded, getting up and making his way towards the door when Dumbledore spoke again. "I've also been thinking," Dumbledore said. "We might need to come up with a better cover. Not better perhaps, but… Voldemort doesn't believe you, or at the very least he is skeptical. Maybe we need to have another sighting."
"Another sighting?" Severus asked, turning back towards Dumbledore. "You want them to see 'Harry Potter' again? How?" He knew that the old man wouldn't put his son in danger, at least not if it didn't suit him and it wasn't for the 'greater good.' Severus doubted that was the case this time.
"We have members of the Order who will likely do it if asked," Dumbledore said. "It would only have to be brief. But we should not talk about this now. One problem at a time. We will speak of this later, though. If we wait too long, it'll put you at risk. There's no reason to do so unnecessarily." Severus knew when he was being excused, so he turned and left.
Dumbledore was willing to put him at risk if it was necessary - but at the moment, apparently, it wasn't.
Severus quickly made his way down the hall before heading back across the grounds. He Apparated as soon as he crossed the property line, quickly heading inside to find a light coming in from the living room. Frowning, he followed it to the living to find Jacob sitting on the couch. The young man's hands were in his lap, and he was looking down at the floor. "Jacob? Why didn't you go back to sleep?"
Jacob shook his head. "I couldn't sleep after that," he said. "What if he's dead?"
Severus walked over and sat next to him. He paused for a moment, wondering how to comfort him, before putting his arm gently around him. "He and I may have our differences, but he is made of pretty stout stuff," he said. "I'm sure he is fine." Jacob leaned into him, and he was glad that he could offer him sort of comfort. "It is not your fault."
"It doesn't feel like that," he said. The boy continued to lean up against him. "It felt like… it felt like it was me, whatever was attacking him - something large. I just can't… can't figure out what."
"Don't," Severus said, a firm tone to his voice. "Don't concentrate on it. It wasn't you. You were here, with me. It was the Dark Lord, and most likely his snake, Nagini. I can't imagine it could be anything else. Either way, it wasn't you, and you had nothing to do with it."
Jacob glanced up at him. "How did I see what happened, then? Through Voldemort?"
Severus nodded. "You have a connection to him," he said. "Weren't you already aware of that?"
The young man shrugged his shoulders. "Sort of," he said. "I mean, I knew that Voldemort had transferred some of his powers to me the night he killed my mother and James Potter. Dumbledore told me that in my second year. There's more to it than, though, isn't there? Is this why I need to learn Occlumency? Because our minds have some sort of link?"
Severus paused for a moment before nodding his head. "I apologize for not telling you," he said. "I was… waiting for the right time. A lot has happened this year."
"It's okay," he said. "I get it. There was no reason to push everything on me at once, considering what has happened to us so far this year. I get it now, though - why I have to learn this. Because, if I can see into his mind, can it be reversed?"
Severus nodded. "Most likely, yes," he said. "I do not believe he knows about it because he would have used it if it was. Occlumency is necessary, though, to prevent it from happening." There was more, though - the prophecy, the circumstances surrounding how he found about that and the events that lead to his mother's death. Severus couldn't tell him all of that, though. He could especially not do that right now.
He should tell the boy to go to bed but knew that he wouldn't help. If this helped him, it was the least that Severus could do. The two of them stayed up until Dumbledore Flooed, saying that Arthur Weasley was alive, though in fairly bad shape, and that the Weasleys and Granger were going to Grimmauld Place for the holidays. Dumbledore also made a point of saying that if they'd gotten to him any later, the Weasley patriarch might not have lived.
After that, Severus told Jacob he should try and rest before Draco came over. He had been going to suggest getting back to their summer schedule, at least for a bit. Right now, he was fairly certain that his son just needed to rest after last night. He wished there was more that he could do. Jacob had just nodded and gone upstairs. There wasn't anything he could do, though, and for the first time in a long time, he felt completely and utterly helpless.
Jacob knew that he should have done some dueling practice or something, but it didn't seem that way. He knew he had, but by the time he woke up mid-morning, it seemed as if he hadn't slept at all. He was surprised that Severus hadn't woken him up early for exercising, but he hadn't. He had been very comforting towards him last night. Jacob wished he would have known about it sooner - the connection between him and Voldemort - but at least Severus had told him. He wondered if Dumbledore would have ever mentioned it, and considering how blasé he acted about forcing Ron and Hermione to not contact him over the summer.
It seemed as if the old man always had his own agenda. If Severus hadn't found out that he was his son and decided to divulge some information to him, would he ever had found out? Jacob knew the answer to that - when it suited him, and only then. It was his life! He had a feeling that there was more that his father wasn't telling him, but it was just a feeling. Right now, though, he didn't care and was happy with one big piece of information revealed to him at a time.
He spent most of the time waiting in his room, playing with Moirai, who seemed to adjust well enough to being back home. That is until a certain blond appeared in his doorway. "Flooed in, and let myself upstairs," Draco said with a smirk as he took off his robes, setting them on the end of Jacob's bed. He was wearing a pair of black slacks and a black shirt underneath.
The blond then settled on the bed next to him. Draco moved in close to him, giving him a quick kiss on the lips. The smile faded from his lips almost instantly. "Is something wrong? You seem… off."
Jacob knew that he shouldn't be surprised that his boyfriend picked up on it so quickly; they had spent quite a lot of time together over the past five months now. It was only to be expected, he supposed. Besides, Draco was a very observant person. "I'm okay… It's just, something… happened last night."
"Are you okay?" Draco asked, his voice wrought with concern. He propped himself up with one arm so that he was looking down at him, worry etched on his face.
"Yeah, I'm fine, it wasn't about me," he said. Giving a sigh, Jacob told Draco briefly what happened what last night, the vision he'd gotten about Mr. Weasley being attacked. "Apparently, it was true, and I guess I saved his life." He shrugged his shoulders. He supposed he should feel better about it, but he just felt numb right now.
"Well, that's good, though I don't blame you for feeling off after that." The blond paused for a moment before continuing. "So, since when did you start getting visions?" Draco asked. "Is that new, or…?"
"Yeah, not since last night," he said. "Apparently, it's got something to do with Voldemort. I'm always finding something out about myself that I didn't know before." After all this was trying to just go with it, but… he couldn't wait for a point in time when he had some semblance of control over his life. Right now, he didn't feel like he was doing anything but going with the wind.
"Doesn't that bother you?" Draco said, his voice laced with annoyance as he laid back down. "That you don't seem to have control over your own life? That everyone seems to only tell you stuff when it's suitable for them? It's your fucking life!"
Jacob appreciated his boyfriend's anger on the situation, and if he wasn't so drained from last night, he would probably feel the same way. "Yeah, it does," he agreed. "I just don't want to think about that right now." He turned over, facing Draco. Moirai gave a meow of annoyance at his movement, and jumped down, running out of the room. "DIstract me."
The blond smirked, and leaned in, pressing their lips together. Jacob moaned into the kiss wrapping his arms around his waist. Slowly, the blond pushed him gently on his chest so that he was laying flat on the bed. The shock of the movement caused Jacob to break the kiss. The next moment, Draco had moved one of his long legs over him and moved on top of him, straddling his hips.
"I like this position," Jacob said, moving his hands to grip Draco's hips. There was something incredibly hot about his boyfriend on top of him, straddling his hips. It was far from the first time that thought had crossed his mind, either.
Draco smirked down at him. "Good, because I happen to like it, too," he said, before learning down and kissing him again.
Slowly, the blond slipped his tongue into his mouth. Jacob moaned into the kiss, and then slowly slipped his hand underneath Draco's shirt. His skin was soft and smooth, and he loved how it felt underneath his fingertips. Slowly, he brought his hands up, and started to undo the buttons on Draco's shirt. His fingers got stuck on the third button, which wouldn't seem to cooperate.
Draco broke the kiss with a groan. "Seriously, it's a good thing I like you quite a lot or I would find you completely hopeless that you can't even take off your boyfriend's shirt. You act like it's the first time," the blond said, smirking down at him as he finished unbuttoning the shirt and threw it off on the floor while Jacob just chuckled. The next moment, Draco grabbed the hem of Jacob's t-shirt before pulling it off. It joined Draco's on the floor, and the blond leaned down and kissed him again.
Draco's fingers moved across his chest as Jacob moved his hands up the blond's back. It felt so good to feel his muscles underneath his hands, the blond's fingers across his skin, their lips moving against each other as they moaned into the kiss. This was exactly what Jacob needed; the only thing he was thinking about right now was his boyfriend and how good he felt.
That is, of course, until his father's voice sounded from down the hall. "Lunch is ready," he said. It sounded like he was only a few feet away. He hadn't even heard him approach at all.
"Okay, Dad," Jacob said, as Jacob had stopped kissing him the moment they'd heard Severus's voice. "We'll be right there." There was no response, but they heard his footsteps going back down the hall. "For the love of…"
"At least he didn't come barging in," Draco said. "He might not let us be alone if he found us like that."
Jacob smirked up at him. "We were just kissing."
A chuckle escaped the blonde's lips. "With our shirts off," he said, and Jacob couldn't help but smile up at him. "I highly doubt that any parent would like to see that, and wouldn't make us stay where they could see us. Or interrupt us every five minutes to make sure we're not doing anything." He leaned forward, giving him a light kiss on his lips. "I suppose we should get downstairs before he comes looking for us."
Jacob nodded. "Yes, we should," he agreed, "but you're still on top of me." Indeed, the blond was still straddling his hips. Neither had moved since Severus had come upstairs.
Draco let out another chuckle. "You act like you hate it," he said, before leaning down to kiss him again. Jacob desperately wanted to get lost in him again, but he wasn't wrong - Severus would come up looking for them soon if they weren't downstairs. The blond broke the kiss a moment later, before slowly getting off Jacob and off the bed.
Draco threw Jacob his shirt, and he slipped it on as he stood up. "I don't hate it," he said, "but we do need to get downstairs." He would never complain about kissing his boyfriend, though, and it had distracted from what had happened last night. It had still happened, of course, but he would much rather think about Draco than Arthur Weasley lying in a hospital bed in St. Mungo's.
Draco and Jacob headed downstairs for lunch, where it was waiting for them - sandwiches. Normally, he would have helped Severus make it, but he hadn't even thought about it. He had been so wrapped up in his guilt over what had happened last night, over something he couldn't control. Helping prepare lunch might even have helped, but then again, he wasn't sure anything could have helped more than making out with Draco on his bed. It had only been a few days, but he had still missed him quite a lot since he had gone home for the Holidays and they had been separated.
During lunch, Draco proceeded to monopolize the conversation. Jacob wasn't sure how he knew that he he hadn't felt like talking much, but somehow, he must have. He immediately launched into a conversation about their NEWT's classes. "Of course, I'll be in Potions, but if I were to try and become a Potions Master of some kind, what other classes would I need?" Draco had asked as they started to eat.
"We will discuss this next semester," Severus had originally said. "You do not need to worry about this at this stage, and while we are out of school at the moment, I am still your teacher and Head of House." While his father may show favoritism to Draco to a point, at least he wasn't willing to give out too much information beforehand. "You can wait for a couple months like everyone else."
"I know, I know, but just… I'm getting top grades in everything, I don't need to take all of it next year, right?" Draco asked in between bites.
"Of course not, no one ever does," Severus said. "Most only take four or five classes, few take more than that, though I suspect you and Miss Granger will be apart of that."
Draco smirked and shrugged his shoulders. "Well, of course, one needs to keep their options open," he said. "Now, what about Alchemy, I heard - " His boyfriend went on.
Apparently, Alchemy was a class sometimes offered to NEWT's-level students, and he was interested in taking it. Severus simply explained that it was hard because it required NEWT's-level Potions, notoriously the hardest class to get into because of the level of difficulty. Of course, Jacob wanted to say if Severus required something other than an O, he might have more students. Then again, he was pretty sure that his father didn't give a damn how many students he had, and felt that he probably preferred just a handful of students who could keep up as opposed to twice as many students, with only half who met his standards.
Draco seemed to want Alchemy to be a class offered to them next year, and was wondering what would have to be done to get enough interest to have a teacher set for next year. Severus suggested getting some of the other top Potions students and see if they would be interested. If they are, bring it to him, as the Potions Master, or McGonagall, as the Deputy Headmistress. Apparently, that was all that could be done about. It would put it into consideration to hire a part-time teacher to teach the class.
After lunch, Jacob and Draco went back upstairs. They kissed for a bit more before Draco had seen his music and stereo, and started asking questions. While he seemed a bit haughty at the muggle stuff at first, he quickly became curious. The blond went over and started picking random tapes and playing them. He would critique them or make faces when he didn't like them, and when he did, he'd listen before moving onto something else.
It was fun to watch him, and while he was, of course, sworn to secrecy, Jacob enjoyed just watching his boyfriend have fun listening to music that he would not ever have had access to listen to. Before he knew it, though, it was time for him to leave. He had been told by his parents to be home for dinner, so they slowly made their way downstairs, and to the Floo Room.
For a moment, neither of them said anything. Jacob honestly didn't want him to leave but knew he would see him in a few days. Draco put his arms around him, drawing him into a kiss. "I have to go," he said, "but just a few days. Perhaps you can come over early so I can give you some dancing lessons?"
Jacob chuckled. His only experience dancing before had been with Parvati Patil at the Yule Ball last year. "I'm not sure I need dancing lessons," he said.
It was Draco's turn to chuckle now. "I remember watching you dance last year, Snape," he said. "You need them. Trust me. You looked like a monkey in a suit."
He pretended to look offended by his boyfriend's words. "I am not that bad!" He knew he had been, though. It had been awkward to say the least. Parvati wasn't who he had wanted to go with, though thinking back on it now, perhaps he had treated her badly. Not to mention the fact that he had stepped on her feet quite a bit as they had danced.
Draco laughed. "Yes, you are, and I want to make sure you don't embarrass me at my parent's party," he teased, leaning in to kiss him again. Jacob wanted to lose himself in his boyfriend's kiss, but the blond pulled away sooner than he would have liked. "I do have to go, but I will see you soon."
"Okay, see you soon, then," he said, "By the way, thank you for today." His boyfriend raised a questioning eyebrow at the statement. "You really helped take my mind off everything, and I really appreciate that." It had been exactly what he had needed today.
A smile crossed Draco's face. "Mmm, I'm glad I could be a good distraction for you. I know it must not have been pleasant, but think about it this way - at least Weasley Senior is not dead. He could be dead now if you hadn't gotten that vision or hadn't seen anything."
"You were a very good distraction," he said, drawing Draco into another kiss. "And maybe you're right." He hadn't considered that before, so wrapped up in how it had felt, that he had been the one to cause it that it hadn't occurred to him that maybe it would have happened anyway - and that his vision stopped Arthur Weasley from being dead right now, the Weasley kids from losing their Dad, and Molly from losing her husband. Severus had been trying to tell him that last night, and he hadn't wanted to listen, not yet.
"I'm always right, but I really do need to leave now." With that, the blond unwrapped his arms from his neck. He went into the Floo, called out, "Malfoy Manor" and then disappeared in a swirl of green flames.
Jacob stood there for a moment, staring at the fireplace, before making his way out. Severus came out of the kitchen. "Did Draco leave already?"
Jacob nodded. "Yeah, he needed to get home before dinner, but he suggested that I go over early to his house on Friday… if that's okay," he said. He was still getting used to needing to ask someone because he had been largely ignored at the Dursleys who hadn't given a shit. He knew that Severus wanted to know because he cared, just like Jacob wanted to know when he left.
Severus nodded. "Yes, that is fine," he replied. "Are you feeling a bit better now?"
He shrugged. "Sort of, I guess," he said. "It was nice having Draco around for a while. He got my mind off things."
His father paused for a moment before speaking again. "I am glad. Are you two…?"
It took Jacob a moment to realize what is father meant, and he quickly shook his head. "Nonono! We're just kissing! You don't worry about - just no. Not yet. We're taking it slowly." He really hated discussing things like this, though he knew they'd be having sex eventually, just… he didn't' want to talk about it with Severus. Was it like this with all teenagers and their parents?
"Okay, I have to ask, you understand," he said. "Dinner's almost ready. Are you hungry?"
Jacob nodded, and yeah, he knew that, but it didn't make the conversation any easier. His stomach started to grumble, and he followed his father back into the kitchen. "I would have helped, you know," he said. "Maybe I can help tomorrow. I enjoy cooking, actually." It would be nice to get back into their routine, and after last night, he knew he needed to work on Occlumency, too, now more than ever.