Tears fell down his perfect face. His stormy grey eyes stared listlessly out the window, as the carriage slowly took his wife from his life. Of course, he had never loved the woman; it had been an arranged agreement between their parents. However, he had been a friend to Narcissa even before their marriage, and to lose something that had been a constant in his life hurt like hell. Draco had decided to stay with his godfather, Severus Snape, over the holidays, preferring the sullen man's presence to his own father's. Sighing, Lucius placed a hand on his stomach, massaging the slight bump. His unexpected pregnancy wasn't the reason his wife had left him; rather he received orders from the Darklord that his wife and he were to be separated permanently. His hands flew up to massage his temples, trying the remove the insistent pain that pounded in his head. His brain felt like it was next to a particularly loud ringing bell, with his cranium as the bell tower, forcing the sound and pain inwards. Grunting, he stood and left the room.

Hot water pounded against his bare skin, his hands once more massaging his temples, desperate now to provide even a temporary release from the pain. Predictably, as he stood under the torrents of water, tears began to run down his face once more. Lucius Malfoy, supposed to be one of the 'most evil' men in all history, had been crying in the shower for months. At first, he hadn't realised that he was doing it; the tears were just like hot water to him. As he stood under the water, it got progressively worse, until the point where sadness and a deep pain made him fall to his feet. Quickly, he stepped out from under the running water, his hands fumbling for the button to turn the taps off. Critically, he stared at his body in the mirror, hands once again travelling to his stomach. He had never carried a child before, and he had to admit it was oddly relaxing to think of a small foetus inside him. Lucius chewed his bottom lip, wondering, as he often had over the previous three months, how this had happened to him. One morning, he had woken up smelling strongly of alcohol, and over the next few weeks, things started changing. The Darklord hadn't called him as often, and when he did, stared unabashedly and curiously at him. Perhaps He had somehow gotten wind of Lucius' present condition, and realised that another pureblood would undoubtedly be beneficial in the long run? Whatever the reason, Voldemort had stopped using the Cruciatus curse against him, and Lucius wasn't complaining. His perfect hair clung limply to his shoulders, dripping water down his body. He shivered, hastily casting a drying spell on both his body and his hair. This sudden fear of water was completely unlike him, but his pride would not let him walk around his house looking like some common bum living on the muggle streets. His reflection was still staring back at him, eyes almost accusing him of something, some unknown act of betrayal. Swiftly, he whipped his head around and grabbed a towel, pulling it around his hips and heading back towards his bedroom.

The silver and green blankets lay in a crumpled heap in the middle of the bed. Mentally, he wondered why a house elf hadn't been around to tidy up his bedroom, before he recalled screaming at them to never enter his bedroom again the previous day. Obviously, they had taken his words to heart, for no elf would want to be caught not performing its duty; their masters were their entire lives after all. Predictably, he took his favourite chair by the window, listlessly staring once more. His mind wandered at his leisure, as his eyelids began to droop. He was nearing the stage where sleep was within his grasp when a barely audible knock was heard at the door. Jerked awake, the Master of Malfoy Manor was not impressed to be woken in such a manner and prepared to give the knocker a good talking to. He padded over to the door, yanking it inwards, to reveal Severus Snape.

"Lucius," Severus said curtly, stepping into the untidy bedroom. His eyes wandered about, taking in the crumpled blankets and clothes strewn about all over the floor.

"Severus, I…" Lucius' face burned as he looked down and realised he was still wearing only a towel. Hastily, he pulled on a pair of rumpled pants.

"I think perhaps you should sit down, Lucius," Severus stated blandly.

Immediately, Lucius offered Severus the seats by the window.

When they were seated, Severus began speaking once more.

"This may come as a bit of a shock to you, old friend, but something has happened…" he trailed off, lost for words.

Lucius studied his face, holding his breath. He had been friends with the 'Greasy Git" for years, and never had he heard him stumble over words.

"It's Narcissa...this afternoon, after leaving this estate, she was ambushed by Deatheaters. Despite her claims of allegiance to the Darklord, he had her killed. I'm sorry Lucius," for once in his life Severus actually sounded like he truly was sorry.

"I don't….I," mumbled Lucius staring at Severus in horror. "Dead? No! She can't be, I saw her this afternoon!"

He closed his stormy grey eyes once more, feeling the waves of grief rush over him.

"I'm sorry, Lucius," Severus repeated, taking Lucius' hands in his own in an almost soothing manner.

A single tear slid down the older man's face.

"Don't be sorry, Severus," he whispered, barely audible.

Severus did not stay long after revealing the unfortunate news to Lucius. He had sensed the other man's quiet desperation for solitude, and had quickly taken his leave. As the door clicked behind him, Lucius felt his barriers crash down. Tears leaked from his eyes, and he made no movement to brush them away. Instead, he rose and sat once more in his beautiful chair, silently staring outside. He watched the man clad in black hurry beyond the wards to Disapparate. He watched the house elves trim the shrubs and trees outside, ignoring the burning sun at their backs. He watched as birds flew in lazy circles high up in the sky, but did not take any of theses things in. Inside, his emotions felt like they had reached breaking point, and his unexplained sensitivity over the past few months was rearing its head once more. He wanted to scream to yell, to do everything that most humans did when faced with an emotional breakdown, but something held him back. Still, he clung to whatever pride he had left. He was a Malfoy, after all.

Draco had owled him the next morning announcing that he was going to be returning home the next day. He did not say so, but in his letter was an undercurrent of sadness and a tinge of guilt, as if he did not want to leave his father alone at such a time. To people like Potter, and that bumbling fool Dumbledore, the Malfoys were a bunch of heartless Dark wizards, and feelings of loyalty and love were complete unknowns to them. They had no understanding whatsoever of the strong ties that they felt for each other; Potter and crowd probably thought he was beating his own son and trying to make him a Deatheater! The idea was utterly laughable of course; a Malfoy, being told what to do and actually accepting it? Draco had already chosen not to join the ranks of the Darklord, although he would not oppose them either. He was a neutral in this war, and always would be. The boy, well gifted in all other areas, simply was not a fighter. He had not shown an aptitude for any of the dark curses, and for that, Lucius was oddly relieved. Draco would never see the atrocities committed against muggles by Deatheaters, never have to be expose to such raw pain and torture.

Almost tenderly, he placed the letter back down on the table, and began poking at his food. It smelled delicious, but try as he might, he could not ward off the brutal nausea creeping up his throat. He flung himself from the table, before vomiting in the corner of the room. The world seemed fuzzy and out of focus, and before he realised what was happening, Lucius had collapsed forwards, arms held protectively over his stomach. Almost gracefully, his body slumped, as a house elf rushed forward to aid its master.

"Master Malfoy! Sir!" cried the little creature loudly.

Fearfully, she shook his shoulder, hoping to gain some form of a reaction from him. Knowing that something was definitely wrong, there was a loud crack! And the creature disappeared.

"Master Snape!" shrieked the house elf, as she landed roughly on Severus' kitchen floor.

Severus turned to her, a piece of slightly burnt toast in one hand.

"Master Malfoy won't move!" she yelped, tears falling down her face.

Without uttering a word, and leaving his breakfast, Severus stood. He grabbed his cloak from the peg on the wall nearest him, took a handful of Floo powder, and commanding said;

"Lucius Malfoy's Living Room!"

The situation was exactly as the elf had described. Thinking quickly, the Potions Master dropped to his knees and gently turned his friend around. He was still breathing, but seemed unconscious. Gently, he wiped the vomit from his face, before (equally as gently) levitating his body. The sharp crack! Sounded again as the elf returned, sobbing broken-heartedly.

"Master Malfoy is dead!" she sobbed.

"Not dead, unconscious," replied Severus neutrally.

He almost tenderly floated the unmoving Lucius to his bedroom, which was in the same state as it had been the afternoon previous. Placing Lucius on the bed, he proceeded to take note of his pulse rate. When he removed his hands from the others neck however, he was met with a moan. Lucius' eyes slowly cracked open, and he tried to sit up. Shaking his head, Severus forced him still.

"Why didn't you tell me you were pregnant, Lucius?" he said softly.

"Severus? How…" he was cut off midsentence by Severus.

"Answer the question, Lucius!" he growled urgently.

Lucius looked thoughtful.

"Didn't think it mattered, really," he said indifferently.

"Doesn't matter! How MUCH do you know about male pregnancies Lucius?" Severus at his sarcastic best echoed throughout the room.

"Did you know that they are highly dangerous, for both foetus and carrier? That patients often need constant monitoring? It's surprising that you're not dead!"

Lucius paled at these words, guilt eating his insides like worms in a rotten apple.

"What possessed you to take a Male Pregnancy Potion?" Severus continued ranting, oblivious to the effect his speech was having on Lucius.

Finally, he seemed to have run out of things to say. He stared down at Lucius, who was looking anywhere but at himself, and groaned inwardly. The other man was shaking, not out of fear of Severus, but out of the truth in his words. Finally, Lucius mustered a reply.

"I don't know," he said thickly, closing his eyes.

"Don't know? Why you took the potion, you mean?" probed Severus.

"I don't remember taking one at all. Hell, I don't remember how this occurred," he pointed at his stomach.

Severus looked flabbergasted.

"You don't know who the father is?" he practically yelped.

Wistfully, Lucius shook his head.

"I've tried, many times, to discover the circumstances of that night, but it's as if a memory charm has been placed upon me. I can't remember a thing from that entire day," he replied.

Suddenly, Lucius' face slackened, and his eyes slid out of focus. He began trembling, whimpering softly under his breath.

"No….please….not this," he mumbled, head thrashing from side to side.

The dark haired man sprang into action, slapping him quickly. Tears flashed in Lucius' stormy eyes.

"It hurts," he gasped weakly, begging the tears to stay trapped in their long-held prison.

Severus placed a cool hand on his cheek; thumb brushing a stray tear away.

"Sleep, Lucius," he commanded gently, as the other man's head lolled back against a soft pillow.

"I'll be here,"

The dark haired man was staring thoughtfully at the sleeper. He leant forward and brushed an errant lock of hair from his forehead, hand lingering almost protectively over him. Beads of sweat clung to his flushed face, and his hands were clenched by his sides. Severus rubbed them, trying to relieve the tension. Nothing was soothing Lucius, all that Severus had done had made any difference. As Severus leant down to administer another check up, he hissed and straightened. His hand flew up to grasp his arm, fingers burying into the flesh to try and alleviate the bone melting pain. Droplets of sweat dripped from his forehead as he sunk to the ground, moaning. Grunting, he pulled his body from the ground and stumbled to the door, briefly glancing at the sleeping Deatheater. Another flash of pain, and in a swish of dark robes, he was gone.

The muddy ground caused more than one to fall to his or her feet upon arrival at the apparition point. Those who managed to stand upright were immediately felled by a curse or hex sent spiralling towards them by a grinning Voldemort. He seemed oddly happy, despite his sudden influx in hexes and curses. When all of the Faithful had arrived and were soaked and covered in mud, he began with his usual 'inquiries' into the latest attacks.

"Severus!" he barked at the cowering man. "What news of Potter? Do we know the boy's whereabouts?"

Severus shrunk backwards.

"Not…as…of this….moment," choked out Severus, quivering furiously.

"Unfortunate," Voldemort yanked off Severus' mask, breathing putrid breath over his face.

Nothing could drown out the Potions Master's screams.

Caked with mud and bodily fluids, Severus slowly made his way up the stairs, hands clinging to the railings in a death grip. Thick blood slid slowly over the polished wood, a trail of red indicating his presence in the house. Rattled breaths leaped spasmodically from his chest, before the pain of being conscious became too much, and Severus fell forward.

Yawning, Lucius sat up, hand instinctively running over his stomach. Bemusedly, he stared at the potions flasks beside his bed, his groggy mind finally making a connection.

"Severus?" Lucius called, reaching for his night robe and wrapping it securely around his thickening middle.

The soft carpet prevented his feet from making any noise as he padded out of the room, still calling. Lucius turned at the end of the hallway.

"Funny…where could he be?" muttered Lucius, looking down.

His eyes fell upon a pale hand on the stair in front of him.

"Merlin," he whispered, shocked.

He knelt beside Severus, shaking his shoulder, eyes begging for a response from his friend that could not be given.

"Enervate!" Lucius muttered, to no avail.

"Kirry!" shrieked Lucius, completely unable to handle a situation such as this.

He was used to being the one to cause such things, not fix them.

The house elf appeared at his side, moaning softly at Severus' still form. Tears sprung up in Kirry's oversized eyes.

"Fetch some potions, elf!" Lucius' voice maintained it's high tone.

Nodding, the elf scuttled off; tripping over the tea towel she was so proud of.

"Sev? Please…Sev?" desperate now, Lucius reacted almost instinctively, and slapped his cheek, hard.

Still Severus didn't move.

He heard Lucius' voice, somewhere above him. Severus tried to pull himself up, reassure Lucius he was fine, but he couldn't. It was as if invisible chains bound him to the ground, leaving him as helpless as a newborn kitten. Cool liquid dripped sedately down his throat, smooth hands stroked his neck, urging him to swallow. Eyelids fluttering, he raised himself onto his elbows, moaning. Lucius hovered above him, eyes closed.

"Nice to see you can handle yourself in a crisis, Lucius. Still, glad to know you care," his voice held none of hatred he felt towards 95 of the human population.

"You're ok!" Lucius gasped, almost hugging him in relief, before remembering he was, in fact, a Malfoy, and Malfoys NEVER hug Snapes.

"Guess the Darklord was feeling particularly vengeful tonight," muttered Severus, wincing and clutching his head.

Lucius appeared blank for a second or two, before gaining back his composure.

"Of course…you'll be needing a bed," murmured Lucius, hoisting Severus into his arms and traipsing down the hallway.

Depositing him rather gently in one of his guest beds, Lucius turned, halted by Severus' voice.

"Next time, Lucius, just use a Hover charm," smirked Severus, closing his eyes.

Lucius blushed furiously and left the room rather quickly.

Breakfast was a solemn meal, with neither man making much conversation. Lucius' insides squirmed every time he glanced at the dark-haired Potions Master, remembering the previous night. Severus was concentrating on his food, mind on Lucius' unexplained pregnancy. Feeling sick, Severus stood, leaving the table without a word.

"Severus, wait! Where are you going?" Lucius' asked plaintively.

"I have just realised something," Severus replied, throwing Floo powder in the nearest fireplace.

In an instant he was gone, leaving a very confused Lucius behind.

Not even bothering to shake the soot from his dark clothes-who would notice? Severus strode quickly into his Potions lab, flinging open the cupboard that held his rare and rather difficult to brew potions. As he suspected, a Male Pregnancy Potion was missing.

He almost fainted in shock. Had he impregnated his best friend? The thought made him ill. If he had, then he had put his life in terrible danger. Quickly, he assessed his whereabouts around the time Lucius claimed he was impregnated. Relief was etched on his features, upon remembering he had had a Potions conference all that week, and not even Voldemort had disturbed him. However, that did not explain the missing potion. Severus knew that he would never willingly give out such a potion, especially to someone like Lucius. Lucius had barely passed his Potions Owl, and it was only with Severus' assistance that he managed the bare essential knowledge needed to pass the test. There was no way Lucius would know the effects and consequences such a Potion could produce. More wizards died during the pregnancy and subsequent birth than survived, so the Potion was becoming almost illegal.

He stared at the closed cupboard door, brows furrowed, and chin resting on his hands. His greasy hair fell about his face as the darkness grew around him. Severus had spent the entire day puzzling over the missing potion, and had consequently wasted a small fortune worth of ingredients on spoiled potions. It looked like Madam Pomfrey would have to wait a little longer to replenish her stocks before school returned. Voices sounded in the corridor that led to his rooms. Draco thought Severus dismissively. He was surprised therefore, when two people entered the room.

"Potter?" snarled Severus, glaring at the messy-haired boy.

"I invited him," Draco's voice cut into Severus' intense staring at Harry, startling the Potions Master and forcing him to glance at his godson.

Draco's blond hair, usually well kept and straighten, was windblown and his pale cheeks were blushing profusely.

No thought Severus, staring in horror from one to the other. It can't be!

Draco seemed to realise what was going through his godfather's mind. Eyes almost drilling holes into the floor, he began talking.

"I was going to tell you…You and Father…it's just…" he seemed completely unable to finish his sentence, opting instead to release Harry's hand and walk from the room.

Leaving two archenemies glaring at each other with utter loathing.

"How DARE you, Potter! You're just like your filthy father; using people to your own advantage, corrupting Draco…" ranted Severus, eyes flashing.

Harry said nothing as Severus went on, staring steadily at him with emerald orbs. Pausing to take a breath, Severus finally checked to see what impact he'd had on the boy.

"I love him, sir," Harry murmured, not breaking eye contact.

Shocked to the core, Severus opened his mouth, words failing him. Harry walked past him, heading for the room he'd seen Draco enter. Cursing, and now with another problem to deal with, Severus pulled on his cloak and walked into the fire.

The blond man stood as he entered the room, lips curving into an unusual smile. Usually, when Lucius smiled, it was full of malicious intent or fake good humour, but he seemed almost happy to see the dark-haired Death Eater. Frowning, Severus noticed Lucius' smile too, disappeared, replaced by something akin to worry.

Clearing his throat, Lucius indicated the chairs by the window.

"Do you want anything? Tea perhaps?" Lucius' voice was harsh and cracked under strain, as if he was worried about something.

Severus shook his head, not daring to speak. His insides clenched painfully. It was not like him to be nervous, very few people, and especially not Lucius, could cut through his 'nerves of steel'.

"You left rather quickly this morning," silver eyes darted to meet his own, pained by the almost instant dismissal.

"Had work to do," grunted Severus evasively.

Flinching, Lucius stared blankly out of his large windows.

"Luc…"

Severus placed a weathered hand over Lucius' smooth fingers

"I was worried," Lucius' hand moved to his stomach.

"You said it might be dangerous…and then you just leave?" Lucius tried to keep his voice devoid of emotion, and failed miserably.

Severus appeared flabbergasted that the other man appeared to have missed his presence during the day. Although Lucius was claiming to be upset at the thought of his life being in danger, there was a softer edge to his voice.

"I place a charm over you and the baby before I left," replied Severus evenly. "It would have alerted me immediately if you or the child were in any danger,"

A look of relief flashed briefly over the blond man's face before disappearing behind his usual brooding Malfoy mask.

"How long are you staying, Severus?" he asked after a few minutes had passed.

"I will stay until I deem you ready and able to be left on your own, Lucius. That is unless you have another carer in mind, one who can provide sufficient Potions and knowledge on this subject?" he made an awkward gesture towards Lucius, eyes trained on the window.

Again, as if taken by surprise, Lucius took a long time to reply.

"I'd much prefer you to stay, Severus. After all, as you've said, I know very little on the subject of male pregnancies. That is, unless it is inconvenient to you?" his words were slow and deliberate, as if he knew what each word would cost him.

It would have cost him his pride had he asked the other man to stay, and he knew it. Besides, Severus might see it as a sign of weakness, and report this failing to their Master, Voldemort.

"Draco will be here in a few hours," commented Severus, as if he had run out of things to say.

Lucius nodded, eyes vacantly staring out the window once more.

The sky was dark now, tiny flickers of light sprinkled over it. Lucius let his eyes wander over them, tracing out constellations.

"You always were top of astronomy," smirked Severus, as he watched Lucius study the sky intently.

Draco arrived soon after, two faithful house elves dragging a full trunk behind him. His father stood and held out a hand to his son, which Draco grasped, nodding his head formally. As soon as the two elves had left the room, Lucius pulled his on close to his body, feeling Draco relax into the touch.

"I'm sorry father, that I didn't come earlier," Draco mumbled, easing himself away.

Lucius smiled bitterly.

"It's enough that you're here," he replied genuinely.

"I'm going upstairs…to…er supervise the House elves," Draco dashed away quickly, eyes darting guiltily towards Severus.

Lucius stared after his son, wearing a completely unMalfoy look.

"He's probably gotten himself a girlfriend," Severus said, praying Lucius wouldn't notice his pause before saying girlfriend.

Lucius' expression cleared.

"Ah, of course. Boys will be boys, I suppose," replied Lucius, a fake smile now plastered on his face

"Dinner, Severus?" he grinned, striding down the hall.

Shaking his head, Severus followed

Dinner was a quiet affair. Draco appeared to be lost in thoughts of Harry, while his father appeared to be simply lost in thought. The boy left quickly, his father's eyes watching him sadly.

"I think I'll go now too," mumbled Lucius to no one in particular.

Severus watched as he practically ran from the room, the second Malfoy to do so in a matter of seconds.

He knew what he had to do, and it certainly didn't appeal to him.

He opted to talk to Draco first, since his problems were simply less complicated than his father's. The boy was lying on his massive bed, staring up at the green ceiling, hands behind head. He did not look up as Severus entered.

"Draco, Potter won't evaporate because you aren't there with him," Severus said harshly.

The blonde boy flinched and sat up.

"I know, godfather. But he means…well he means a lot to me, you might say," Draco choked these words out, his Malfoy training in showing a lack of emotions evident in his tone and choice of words.

"He will be none the worse after a few weeks separation, Draco," Try as he might, Severus could not make this sentence seem comforting. They were talking about Potter after all.

Draco's shoulders slumped dejectedly. Severus sighed.

"I'm going to be spending…some time at this house over the next few months. It is more than likely I shall require the use of my Potions lab, especially if my visit is prolonged. Mr Potter-" he spat the name. "Is staying at Hogwarts. You may visit him while I work,"

Shocked, Draco's mouth dropped open.

"Thanks, Sev!" he almost hugged his Godfather before deciding against it.

Severus stood and left the room, hearing a flurry of movement as Draco searched for paper and a quill. One Malfoy down, one to go.

As he expected, Lucius was curled up once more on his armchair, still staring outside.

"It couldn't possibly be THAT interesting," Severus said, shaking Lucius from his reverie.

Lucius stared at him instead, eyes wide and yet appearing to see right through him. Severus stared right back, until Lucius dropped his eyes to his hands. A fine tremor ran through his body; it was controlled, yes, but Lucius seemed to be losing his defences quickly. Suddenly, Severus felt a flash of something he rarely felt. He was nervous, afraid that whatever Lucius said or did, he wouldn't be able to handle it.

"Luc," he tried using Lucius' nickname to calm him.

To his surprise (and horror) a glistening tear ran down Lucius' face.

"I don't know what happened," muttered Lucius, as if he was talking to himself, and completely oblivious to Severus' presence in the room.

"It hurts. Something hurts. But I'm not sure what," frustrated, Lucius almost stood, stopped by Severus' calming hand.

"Concentrate…Luc, what hurts?" Severus whispered.

Finally, it seemed as though Lucius knew he wasn't alone in the room.

"Sev…Sev, I think I was raped," Lucius' voice cracked, another tear joining its brother on his pale cheeks. Severus promptly sat on the coffee table in shock. Raped? The great, the strong, the powerful Lucius Malfoy? The memory of the missing Potion flicked on in his mind, as his insides were ravaged with guilt.

Soft splatters of rain hit the roof above them with dull thuds, causing Lucius to look up in alarm.

"Rain!" he moaned, covering his head with his hands.

His teeth chattering violently in his mouth, his eyes grew large with terror.

"It hurts, hurts so much…" his feet slid to the floor, his body following.

Tears once again threatened to overtake their bearer as the rain increased in intensity. Dazzling light filled the shadowy room and seconds later, thunder cracked overhead. Lucius shrieked, eyes closed, hands still covering his head to protect himself. Severus was at a complete loss. Never before had he been in a situation like this one. If he offered comfort to the stricken man, what were the chances that it would be accepted, and even less likely, helpful?

But as the sobs grew louder, Severus knew he had no choice. Almost gracefully, he dropped to the floor next to Lucius, pulling his arms away from his head gently. Holding Lucius' hands in his own, he tried to find words to placate him.

He was surprised when Lucius pulled him closer, clinging to him. Uncertain of the consequences of his actions, Severus placed his arms around his only friend, surprised that he did not instantly recoil. Lucius buried his blond head onto Severus' chest, as his body shook. It took a long time for the storm to die down, and the entire time as the wind and torrents of rain swept the countryside around them, Severus simply held him.

"Severus?" the rain had finally stopped. "You won't tell anyone about this, will you?" Lucius' voice, try as he might, could not manage its usual ferocity after hours of whimpering and crying.

The Potions Master almost grinned with relief. Trust a Malfoy to make sure his reputation was still intact after a breakdown.

"I think you already know the answer to that question, Lucius," replied Severus, basking in the ambiguity of that statement.

Lucius' eyes narrowed and he almost pulled away.

"You trust me, right?" Severus tried instead.

Mutely, and warily, Lucius nodded.

"Then trust me enough to know I'll carry this to my deathbed," Lucius grinned weakly.

"Come, you will need to rest. We can't have you tiring yourself out, it could be detrimental to your health and to your child,"

Severus, feeling as if he was surprising even himself, offered Lucius a hand up. He indicated the potions by his bedside.

"Take these before you sleep. Instructions by the bed," he went to leave the room, but paused at the doorway.

"Remember, Lucius, if you need anything…Anything, I'm just down the hall," with these words he did leave.

Oddly, Lucius felt like crying again.

Sun streamed through the window he was so fond of, causing him to moan and roll over. Gradually, he became more awake, listening to the distant sounds of the house elves downstairs. Stretching like a cat, Lucius' hands rubbed at his eyes, stiflingly a yawn. It was unbecoming of a Malfoy to yawn. He was warm, and completely unwilling to leave his sanctuary.

"Come on, Lucius, not going to lie there all day are you?" Severus' head poked around the door, grinning mischievously.

It was a smile that was oddly familiar, a memory captured from their youth racing across Lucius' mind. His shoulders felt relieved of some heavy burden, and this had left him in good spirits. Playfully, he tossed an expensive pillow at the smirking face, snorting when Severus failed to block it.

"Away, you evil beast!" he cried, still lying in bed.

The door creaked open further, and another pillow joined the first. Deciding to play at a game he had often done at Hogwarts, Lucius burrowed further under the blankets. He was not surprised then, when Severus wrenched the covers off.

"Come on Master Malfoy," Severus taunted jokingly.

His black eyes had lost all their usual callousness, and had adopted his childhood grin once more. Lucius smiled back.

"What happened, Sev?" he murmured, almost fondly.

"Happened to what?" the smile disappeared behind a quizzical frown.

"Us," answered Lucius, as though this was obvious. "We used to be friends, best friends. Nothing stood between our friendship. Not our parents, school, our other friends. But something happened,"

Severus looked slightly shocked. It had not occurred to him that Lucius might have missed his friendship, or even notice his lack thereof over the past years.