At the estate, Severus led Draco inside the house where Samantha was sitting on the couch reading a book. Seeing Severus and Draco, she stood up and came to meet them about half way across the living room. Severus had yet to remove his hand from Draco's shoulder.
"Draco," began Severus quietly. "This is my sister—"
Before Severus could finish the sentence, he was interrupted by Sam. "Aunt Sam; I'm sure you're tired of people asking you how you're doing, so I won't ask. I will, however, ask where your things are?"
Draco tried, but failed to give a small smile at the nice women standing in front of him, so Severus answered for him. "At the Manor still." Turning to look directly at Draco, Severus asked in a gentle voice, "Is there anything in particular you need from the Manor Draco?"
At first, Draco shook his head, seemingly without thought, but suddenly froze and looked up at Severus with large pleading eyes.
Severus lifted his hand and ran it over the child's head allowing it to rest on his cheek. Draco leaned, almost unnoticeably, into the hand and nodded his head yes.
Severus knelt down on one knee so that he had to look up to see Draco's face. "What is it you need, child, and I promise I will turn the whole manner upside down if I have to in order to find it."
Draco hesitated for a moment before moving in towards the Potions Master and leaning over to whisper in his ear. Once he was done, Draco took a step back and bit his lip looking scared, as though he expected Severus to tell him he was being nothing but a stupid baby and refuse him his request.
Severus didn't say or do anything of the sort however, as he stood up once more and, placing a hand on the back of Draco's head, drew the boy towards him for a comforting hug.
Samantha looked incredibly sad as she watched her big brother hold the unresponsive blond haired boy.
Eventually, Severus pushed the boy back, but kept a hand on his shoulder. "Sam, will you please show Draco his room, so I can go retrieve some of his things?"
"No," stated Samantha firmly crossing her arms over her chest, but smiling kindly at her brother.
Severus closed his eyes and gritted his teeth before responding to his sister. "And why not?"
"Because, Severus," said Sam as though she were talking to a small child. "You are not going to Malfoy Manor by yourself. At the very least you should wait for Marie, or Sean, or Jon, or Dan to get here then…" Sam stopped talking when Severus walked away from her and Draco, heading towards the fireplace.
Once Severus had pulled his head from the hearth, he stepped out of the way and waited patiently, ignoring Sam's request to know whom he was talking to and what he was doing. After a moment, Jon stepped through the grate, Peter in one arm, a diaper bag on a shoulder, and Jason's hand clutched in his own.
Walking over to Sam, he handed her Peter and the diaper bag, having already released Jason's hand. "Thanks Sam, for volunteering to baby-sit. Marie and the girls should be over soon. They just need to finish packing." Turning away from his shocked sister-in-law, Jon addressed Severus with a smile. "Ready to go?"
Severus bowed his head slightly, attempting to hide his smile at the look on Samantha's face. "Yes, more then ready. Thank you again Samantha for volunteering to baby-sit." With that, Severus and Jon both headed out the door and apparated away.
Samantha was left standing in the living room holding a baby and a diaper bag. She looked at the baby in her arms, which looked back at her with large round eyes. She loved her nieces and nephews without question, but never had she been left alone with them at such a young age before. She cringed as she heard a crash from the room that Jason had run off to.
Severus and Jon arrived at Malfoy Manner and, after talking to the Auror's in charge of the investigation, were allowed upstairs to Draco's room. After finding the boy's trunk, they filled it first with clothes and other necessities, before moving on to books. Once all the necessary, but meaningless objects had been packed, they moved on to other things. Rather, Jon moved on to other things. He found the boy's broom and a few other well-used items that he thought the child would like, but stopped when he noticed his brother-in-law tearing the room apart, as if looking for something specific.
"If you'd tell me what you're looking for, I could help you find it." Jon commented as he leaned over to look under the bed so he could see Severus.
Pushing himself out from under the bed Severus stood up and began scanning the room while taking to Jonathan. "Draco only asked for one thing from this place. I probably should have asked him where it was, but assumed it would be easy enough to find."
"And what one thing did he ask for?" Jon was still watching Severus, who was still scanning the room.
Severus stopped his scan of the room, and turned to face Jon. "He asked for his teddy bear." Severus said quietly, sadly.
With this one statement, Jon felt more sympathy for the recently orphaned boy than any he had heard yet. Here was a boy, for he truly was no more than a boy, of thirteen years, who's parents had just been killed and all he wanted was his teddy bear. Jonathan didn't care if they had to take this place apart, brick by brick: they would find the damn bear.
"What does it look like?" asked Jonathan, as he to began searching the room.
"Its white and no longer then your forearm. He's had it since he was a small child; I honestly thought Lucius had gotten rid of it, though."
For several minutes, Jonathan and Severus turned the room upside-down looking for the bear. No draw was left unopened, no bed unturned. Until, suddenly Jon stopped and dropped the side of the mattress he had picked up. "Severus," he said contemplatively, why don't we just summon it?"
Severus looked at Jonathan from the place he was kneeling on the floor and with as slightly confused look on his face replied. "I don't know. I just don't know." After saying this and looking rather ruffled he stood up and drew his wand. "Accio."
With that simple word a white bear, no longer then his forearm came zooming out from behind the dresser and into Severus' hand.
Jonathan cleared his throat. "We shall never speak a word of this to anyone."
Severus nodded his head, the bear clutched in his hand. "Agreed."
After shrinking the bear so it would fit in his pocket, Severus and Jonathan gathered up everything they had packed for Draco and swept out of the room with as much dignity as possible.
Once they had apparated back to the estate, Marie, the girls, as well as Sean and Daniel were there, talking quietly in the kitchen. After greeting his brothers and sisters, and dodging the hand towel Sam threw at him, Severus went upstairs to find Draco.
Before going to Draco's room, however, he decided to stop and see how Harry was doing. Opening the door to the boy's room, he saw Harry lying on his bed studying. Quietly walking over to him, he sat down on the side of the bed before speaking. "I see you finished cleaning the porch."
"Yes, sir," nodded Harry before turning over on his side to look directly at his uncle. "I also washed the dishes from earlier, before coming up to study."
"Very, good," said Severus. He continued after a brief pause in a casual tone. "Draco's here."
Harry nodded his head again, which was resting on his hand being propped up by his elbow. "I know, I saw him when Aunt Sam showed him his room. He didn't say anything to me at all."
Now it was Severus' turn to nod. "I know. He's very upset Harry; he needs some time to adjust."
Harry shrugged, not really knowing what to say.
"Thank you for trying at least." Severus told him as he pushed back a loose strand of hair out of the boy's eyes. "You may continue studying until dinner. I'm going to go talk to Draco, okay?"
"Yes, sir," nodded Harry as he watched his Uncle leave, before turning back over and continuing to study.
Before Severus entered Draco's room, he enlarged the teddy bear as well as the rest of the boy's things. Entering the room, he set the trunk down by the door, but kept the bear in his hand. Walking over to the bed, where Draco was lying motionless, his back to the door, he gently sat down on the bed while placing a hand on the boy's shoulder. "Draco," he said gently, attempting to draw the boy's attention.
Slowly, with only a slight sniffle, Draco turned red-rimmed eyes that refused to shed tears towards his new guardian.
Severus immediately offered the white teddy bear to the boy. Draco's eyes widened slightly and he glanced cautiously between Severus and the bear, as though he expected Severus to take it away from him at any moment. Severus waited patiently however, and continued to hold the bear out towards the confused child.
Tentatively, Draco slowly reached out a hand, grabbing the bear, then quickly brought it to his chest and curled into a ball, the bear clutched tightly to his chest. Severus merely began rubbing the child's back with his hand in an encouraging manner. "Its okay, Draco." Severus said comfortingly. "It's okay. You can cry if you wish, child. I won't tell, I promise."
After a couple of minutes, Draco couldn't stand it any longer and with a muffled sob, he clutched his bear tighter to his chest and began crying heartbrokenly. Severus scooted a little closer to him and talked comforting nonsense to him while rubbing his back in a soothing manner.
Several minutes later, Draco was still crying with gusto and Severus began to worry that the child would make himself ill. Getting into a position in which he was seated fully on the bed, he pulled Draco close to him, so that Draco was practically in lap. Severus attempted to uncurl Draco slightly and get the bear away from his face, but as soon as he began nudging the bear away Draco released a wail that would have broken Voldemort's heart (if he had one), compelling Severus to abort his plan at moving the bear away from Draco's face.
"Pl… please… don't… please don't… t-take him… away… please." Draco sobbed even as Severus stopped moving the bear.
"Shhh…" soothed Severus in a deep silky voice. " I'm not taking him away from you, I promise. It's okay. Shh… it's okay." As he soothed the distraught child, Severus pulled the boy fully into his lap, so that Draco's head was resting on his shoulder, the bear held tightly under his chin.
Sending waves of soothing magic through him, as well as listening to Severus' heart beating steadily beneath his ear was enough to put Draco to sleep. He tried to fight it, but eventually he could feel his own heartbeat slow, and his sobs quieted, and though he tried, he couldn't seem to keep a firm grip on his beloved bear. With silent tears running down his face and onto his new guardian's shoulder, Draco drifted off to sleep.
Severus remained rocking Draco slowly for a couple more minutes before placing the child on the bed. Getting up off the bed, Severus pulled the covers up around Draco's shoulders and made sure his bear was safely tucked in beside him. Straightening back up, Severus quietly watched the fitfully sleeping boy for several minutes, before leaving the room as quietly as possible.
A/N: A long wait, I know. I apologize.
Lots of thanks to damato for beta'ing. You're awesome.
Please review and tell me what you think of Draco.