Title: So Blind

Author's Note: This is my first HP fic. It's very exciting, embarking on a new fandom.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything Harry Potter, not even the special broomstick. You know what I mean.

Summary: Lucius is sent to Azkaban and asks his old friend Severus to keep his wife company. Don't worry folks, this will not be an epic tales spanning the years; a mere four chapters are waiting in the wings.

Rating: PG-13 for short bit about suicide.

Now that that's all taken care of, read, enjoy, and review!

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"And Severus?"

"Yes?" It was strange to see the older man looking so worn. His eyes were chips of flint, but not even he could disguise the lines around his mouth and eyes. It was disturbing, as well, for Lucius Malfoy was one of those constants in life he count on never changing. He regretted that, sometimes, but it was the simple truth.

But the sentence looming before him had eroded the stone at Lucius's core. Few who entered Azkaban retained their sanity, and though he was fully confident that he would escape, he was afraid of what it would do to him. And he was afraid for the two people in the world he loved. Funny how Severus could see all that; he had never been good at reading people.

"Will you visit her? The manor will be so empty, with Draco at school. She enjoys her solitude, from time to time, but she needs companionship."

Severus simply nodded. It was reasonable request, after all, from one friend to another. From one Death Eater to another. He still considered Lucius a friend, though he'd had a large part in the man's capture. Lucius had chosen the wrong side, but that couldn't erase the years they'd spent together. He couldn't forget the evenings spent in the luxurious warmth of Malfoy Manor, so different from his own cold family home.

"And Draco. My son. When I am gone, you must teach him the ways of our loyalties. He is surrounded by fools, Severus. Show him the true path."

Those grey eyes had softened at the mention of his son, but now they hardened again. His visitor pulled up a black hood over his head and picked up his ebony and silver walking stick. "Thank you." Without a further word, Lucius Disapparated, and Severus began the long walk back to Hogwarts.

He would honor the request laid upon him. Lucius was right; Draco was surrounded by fools, but they weren't the same his father meant. Draco paraded around with his bodyguards, the dim-witted Crabbe and Goyle much as his father had during his school years. And years later, where was his father? Very near the gates of Azkaban.

No, Severus would not allow Draco to end like that. The boy had so much promise. If he could channel his ambition and his hatred for Potter into a useful fashion, he could become very powerful in the wizarding world. But if he fell into darkness, he would only have the cells of Azkaban.

And though Severus could not bring himself to kill Lucius for a hundred different reasons, he felt less compunction concerning the boy. He had potential, but he was a brat. He simultaneously scorned the Granger girl for her Muggle blood and failed to best her. In fact, the boy had once returned to the castle with a suspicious swelling on his cheek, and none of the trio would reveal its source. Usually, he loved playing up the imaginary injuries dealt to him in ploys for sympathy and trouble for someone else. Severus was sure the Granger girl had lost her temper and clocked the boy across the mouth. Good for her, he thought, one of the very few times he praised her. The boy did have a big head which needed taking down every so often.

He believed he could kill Draco if it became absolutely necessary, but he hoped it wouldn't, for her sake. His breath caught in his throat, and he growled. This was ridiculous. He couldn't even think about her without losing his senses, it seemed... but that was that. There was nothing to be done about it. He would visit her, as he had promised Lucius, and he would look foreboding, and he would restrain himself from taking her in his arms.