"II am not quite sure. When we joined Voldemort we just drifted apart. The Darklord tolerates no friendship or ally amongst the faithful after all," Severus replied carefully.

"Yes. Perhaps that is why he had Narcissa killed. Although we have not been lovers in many years, we still retained a deep friendship. Loyalty is allowed for no one, unless it is loyalty for the Darklord,"

Severus stared down at Lucius, who was lying on his back. He was wearing only pajama bottoms, the bump in his stomach obvious.

"Yes, and he shares nothing, not even people. I missed you Lucius, badly. But Deatheaters are not allowed emotion either, and it was easier to distance myself than pretend to be fine,"

"Oh Sev," Lucius said, tears filling his eyes.

'Hormones,' Severus thought. 'Definitely hormones,'

What he did not expect was Lucius to lean up and grab Severus around the middle and pull him onto the bed, pummeling him mercilessly with a pillow.

"You!oomph! I can't fight back!" gasping for breath he reached up and tickled Lucius.

The noise he produced was one he had not heard in years.

"Gigigi!" shrieked Lucius loudly as he thrashed wildly.

It was then he realized Draco was standing at the door staring at them in disbelief. Severus also realized he appeared to be straddling Lucius; the only thing he could be thankful for was that Draco most likely could not see his father's stomach from the angle he was standing in.

"Hypocrite!" he hissed, fleeing.

"Alright, what was that about? Who's a hypocrite?" Lucius asked in confusion.

Bemusement even looked perfect on Lucius' face that seemed to be carved by the gods at the worst of times.

"It's something I said earlier. Draco thinks you and I are involved, and obviously he is not happy,"

"Oh, is that all? Well I'm glad it's nothing serious. All I have to do is explain and…"

"Perhaps I should do the explaining, Luc. After all, I am the one he is angry at,"

Lucius looked relieved. Perhaps serious talks with Draco were not his forte.

"Severus?" Lucius said questioningly.

"Mmm?" Severus replied.

"Can you get off me? You're kind of heavy,"

Face still red with embarrassment, robes and hair still slightly mussed, Severus made his way up to Draco's room. The boy was watching him with a mixture of intrigue and disgust.

"Oh really Draco. Whatever you think you saw, you were wrong. Your father and I are not involved in any way,"

"Then why are you going to be spending time here over the next few months? You never have before," Draco asked petulantly.

"Your father has need of my potion making services as per the Darklord's wishes. Severus had previously decided that this response would elicit the least amount of interrogation.

"As for what your father and I were doing in the bedroom, your father and I were friends before we were Deatheaters. We were.playing,"

"Playing?" Draco repeated skeptically, one eyebrow raised.

Severus felt like a lump of nostalgia; how often had he seen that exact look on Lucius' face as a young boy?

"Yes. Did you know your father is ticklish?" asked Severus with a soft smile.

Draco shook his head still skeptical.

"Well, the whole of Slytherin knew it during my time at Hogwarts. Everyone looked out for a chance to cause that explosive laughter from such an unexpected source,"

"I know what I saw," Draco stubbornly insisted.

Severus shrugged gracefully.

"Believe what you will," he said, trying to sound as if he did not care.

"I will then," Draco said sounding like a spoilt four year old.

"Have you obtained the information I required?" hissed a voice from the shadows.

"Yes, my lord. It seems that Lucius Malfoy has not left his mansion in some weeks. Severus Snape however, has been seen coming and going frequently. Draco has not been seen either," the informant bowed low, sweat running down his brow.

"Good, then the plan is running smoothly. Lucius is presumably healthy and well into his pregnancy by now," Voldemort said satisfied.

"Yes, although even when he walks around the mansion grounds he wears lose clothing to hide it. Snape often accompanies him," the kneeling man continued.

"Strange, that Snape should so often accompany Lucius. I was under the impression that their friendship was destroyed years ago," Voldemort mused out loud.

"No matter. So long as he and the other Deatheaters do not know what has occurred. Oh, and by the way-" the immobile man suddenly looked up. "You're report was late. Crucio!" the screams echoed around the compact room, music to his ears.

"I had forgotten the grounds were this big," Lucius panted, struggling after the black haired man.

"Trust you to forget you live on one of the largest estates in Britain," Severus said snidely. "Besides, gentle exercise is good for you in your condition,"

"Oh and pray tell me, what condition is that? I'm larger than a blue whale, surely I deserve rest?" Lucius groaned, tucking a stray piece of hair behind an ear.

"You're pregnant. It's meant to be a blessing, not a disease. Your legs still work don't they?" Severus growled back at him.

"Well, if you think I'm ready to run a marathon, then you're wrong. I think I need to sit down," Lucius finally saw something that was worth walking to; a small park bench on the side of the path.

He heaved his aching body down, ignoring Severus' protestations. He closed his eyes, deep breathes rocking his frame.

"You are alright aren't you?" Severus asked quietly.

Lucius opened his eyes, and a vision of Severus centimeters away from his face swam into view.

"Of course, so get that sappy look off your face. You're the one who told me this was going to be difficult, and now you're worried,"

"I guess I am. Worried that is," Severus said thoughtfully.

"Anyone would think you cared," Lucius scoffed.

"I can't afford to let anyone think that. Now, do you think you can make it back to the house on your own? Because I am definitely not carrying you,"

He took off with large strides, causing Lucius to pull himself to his feet and follow. He had said 'I can't afford to let anyone think that'. He had not given a definite answer, choosing to respond ambiguously. Did that mean he cared, or that he did not?

Severus stopped and turned back.

"Are you coming?" he called irritatingly.

"Yes!" Lucius gasped, moving as fast as his changed body would allow.

Severus smiled. A strange, sad smile. But Lucius did not notice; there were other things on his mind.

A/N how strange, that I should actually update this story. Guess it just proves that miracles can happen, because all of a sudden I have inspiration for a story I haven't written in years. Anyway, I have quite a few good ideas for more chapters; so just keep checking back if this story interests you, because it may well write itself!