Chapter 26

Settling Back Into Hogwarts


Severus Snape sat and watched as Harry's chest rose and fell with gentle, untroubled breaths. There was nothing Severus could do, but wait. When he'd left Grimmauld Place, Harry's condition was as grave as ever; it had been a risk to move him. But the stabilizing potions were having no affect, and he was growing desperate. When he'd arrived at Hogwarts, he'd given the boy two more potions, the strongest healing potions he had. And it had all been a mistake.

Severus' cheeks tinged red. At least, in the darkness of the hospital wing, there was no one to see it. Quietly, Severus reached out and grasped Harry's nearest hand.

When Madame Pomfrey had come to work on Harry, she'd scolded the Potions Master for his rash decisions. Severus was almost sent from the wing, unable to stand by and watch Harry bleed and bleed as the matron did a full gamit of examination scans. Severus had thought the injuries were rather obvious, and if the boy didn't respond to potions, then perhaps they should try muggle methods. But then Madame Pomfrey had laughed, actually laughed.

"He's not injured at all," she had the audacity to say. Severus, Minerva, Albus, Lupin, and the Weasleys had all stared at her as if the woman had finally gone mad. And Severus had almost pushed her out of the way in order to take his son to St. Mungos. But then she'd continued her explanation, "They're illusions, not real injuries. I'm sure the illusion includes enough pain to make them seem as though they hurt, for Harry to believe they're real. But look." They had all watched as the matron reached down and touched Harry's bleeding leg. The sight had been morbid enough to cause both Lupin and Mrs. Weasley to look away, but when Pomfrey had shown them her hand, it had carried no blood.

Feeling frustrated, and still concerned about the fact his son was in pain regardless, Severus had barked out, "How do you heal these nonexistent injuries?"

"Oh, well," the matron had blushed, as if she realized her fascination had nearly distracted her from the task at hand. The woman had stood with her wand raised over Harry's bed, and then finally she had said, "Finite." Nothing had happened; Harry's figure remained injured as ever. But Madame Pomfrey was not one to be deterred. "Finite," she had said, that time pointing her wand at a specific injury. As she had said, the wound was an illusion, and it had vanished.

So after a few well-placed Finites,Harry's body had been returned to the same basic health he'd had before the mirror incident. This meant that all the potions Severus had shoved down the boy's throat were unnecessary.

Severus' blush deepened.

The overdose of unnecessary potions wouldn't have any lasting adverse affects on Harry. Healing potions had never been that dangerous. The only result was that Harry was in a deep sleep and would remain so for at least 24 hours. And then, when the boy did return to consciousness... he was likely to be in a potion-induced stupor, slipping in and out of consciousness for several days.

Severus sighed.

The potion-induced stupor would not help Harry's state of mind, which had been clearly unstable from his time trapped in unreality. Not to mention the fact that Harry's nerves were fragile since being rescued from the Dark Lord's lair.

The boy had spent four days in captivity, no doubt tortured most of the time. And as yet, Severus hadn't gotten Harry to talk about it. Not that he'd tried much, a fault Severus scolded himself for. He wished he'd been more conscious during Harry's initial healing; surely the boy would have been most open at that point to talk. Had Lupin spoken to the boy? This time around, Severus vowed, I will remain by Harry's side.



The man started. Feeling a bit disoriented, Severus sat up and looked around the darkened medical ward. "Yes, Albus," he scowled. He hated being found in such an undignified state. Hopefully Madame Pomfrey hadn't entered to see him asleep, slumped over the boy like an over-protective mother.

"Severus," Albus began again, "this arrived for you." The headmaster handed over a thick role of parchments.

"In the middle of the night?" Severus asked. "What time is it?"

"A little after one," Albus replied.

Without thinking, Severus began to wipe the sleep from his eyes. Suddenly aware of the headmaster's gaze, he pulled his hands away from his face and scowled. With as much distaste as he could muster, Severus grabbed the scrolls from the old man's hand. "And what could be as important as—"

"It's from the department of child welfare."

Severus took a deep breath. Holding the parchments more carefully, he stared down at them with a small amount of trepidation. Either they would contain adoption papers, or rejection letters. He thought from the scrolls somewhat heavy feel that there had to be more to them than mere letters. But the ministry did like to waste parchment…

"Would you like some help, Severus?"

Remembering to scowl yet again, Severus began to lift the heavy seal. Reading the top document, he felt all worry slip away. "I've got custody," he said aloud. "They've given me custody of Harry." He didn't notice the way his scowl melted away, or how the corners of his mouth had actually started to turn up. And he definitely missed the twinkling eyes of the headmaster as Albus discretely stepped out of the room.

Thumbing quickly past the documents over Harry's inheritance from both the Black and Potter families, Severus quickly found a certificate for Draco as well. Even though he was fairly certain he'd have no problem gaining custody of Draco, he'd still worried. Bellatrix Lestrange had actually filed for custody herself, using some archaic law for justification. He didn't think that a known crazy woman and escaped convict would hold more credibility than he himself, but the ministry had done stupid things before.

Delicately rolling the parchment back up, Severus secured them with a spell. "Harry," he spoke quietly, "its official. I've got custody of you." Under normal circumstances, Severus would scoff at himself; he wasn't one to be so sentimental. But at the moment, he didn't care.


"Poppy," Severus called, a bit of fear finding its way into his voice. Harry had been tossing and turning in what looked like a dream. But when Severus tried to wake the boy, Harry had started to— to groan… At least, that was the best word Severus could think of to describe the sound. The boy was definitely terrified, and in pain. Severus wanted to find a way to make it stop. "Poppy!" Severus shouted again. In a more gentle voice, he said, "Harry? Harry, wake up."

"NO!" Harry said back, his eyes opening so suddenly that Severus jerked back. "S-stay away," the boy slurred. Even though Harry's eyes were open wide, Severus was sure he wasn't fully awake.

"Harry," Severus said calmly, "it's me."

Harry reacted quickly, rolling away from Severus and onto his hands and knees in once quick motion. Severus reached forward to stabilize the boy, but Harry continued to scramble away and fell off the bed. Quickly, Severus rounded the bed, hoping that the idiot boy hadn't injured himself. Harry was busy backing under the bed, a wild panicked look to him.

Unsure what to do to comfort the boy, Severus crouched low, and hoped the solution would come to him. Reaching his hand out, Severus opened his mouth, but was unprepared for an armed Harry.

A flying bedpan hit him squarely in the nose. Even drugged up and groggy, the boy had a strong arm. Applying pressure to his now bleeding nose, Severus watched as Harry's face changed from panic to recognition and then slip away into unconsciousness. The boy's head slumped against the bedside table and the rest of his limbs became a limp tangle under the medical bed.

"What happened?" Poppy asked with concern, as she stepped into the hospital ward much too late.

"Harry gained consciousness for a moment," Severus said, his pronunciation suffering because of his plugged nose.

"Oh dear," said Poppy, once she got good sight of Severus. "Let me see that."

"Tend to Harry first," he said. "In his panic, he fell off the bed."

Madame Pomfrey quickly levitated Harry back into bed. After a couple of charms, she said, "Harry is in good condition, only a small bump on the knees." Before Severus could open his mouth, she continued, "I've healed him up already. Now sit down so I can tend to your nose." Severus tried to protest, but Poppy's voice grew more firm. "Now," she commanded, pointing to the chair near Harry's bed, "or else, I may see fit to confine you to bed. You do need more rest yourself. You haven't properly healed from your own injuries."

Severus ignored the rest of Poppy's rant, trying the best he could to nod his head at seemingly appropriate moments. He decided to move Harry down to his own quarters as soon as he possibly could. The boy would likely wake up panicked more than once. Harry's mind was probably a jumbled mess, after days of torture and the events at Grimmauld Place. An overdose of healing potions was just an added bonus… Severus cringed.


Unsure of the time, Severus crept quietly down the abandoned halls of the castle. After healing his nose, Madame Pomfrey had gone back to bed. She'd given strict orders for Severus to 'take it easy' and 'call if Harry stirs'. Severus nodded politely, thanked the matron and then waited approximately 35 minutes until making his escape.

Harry's light body was easy to carry. He is far too skinny, Severus thought, and as soon as Harry is lucid again, the boy will be eating. Severus knew several different nutritive potions that would work to fatten Harry up. And the boy needs proper clothing too, Severus noticed, and a new pair of trainers.

Harry will not be using his inheritance, Severus continued to contemplate, whether he likes it or not, I will be providing for his basic needs until he comes of age. The boy can have an allowance, Severus nodded to himself, for a sense of independence and to teach the boy how to budget his money.

Inwardly, Severus cringed. I will be treating Draco the same way. Draco wouldn't take to his ideals very easily. In fact, he worried, Draco may not ever forgive me. Draco was part of the reason he wanted to return to his quarters. He knew the boy had been moved from Grimmauld Place and set up in a new room in his private quarters. Hopefully, Draco continued to lock himself away, rather than wander about creating trouble… but with Draco, he could never be so sure.

Severus still needed to address the issue that occurred in Grimmauld Place… how he'd forcibly legilimized the boy. He needed to apologize, or somehow patch up the situation. But right now, he was busy dealing with Harry. He didn't want to risk leaving the boy's side.

He groaned aloud this time, how will I ever properly care for these two boys?


Severus tucked Harry into bed and went directly down the hall to check on Draco. The third room had added nicely to his quarters, making the long hall to his bedroom seem to make more sense. Opening the door a crack, Severus was pleased to find a snoring blond. The sleeping teen looked a lot more innocent and young than his waking self.

Extra security measures would need to be taken to ensure that both Draco and Harry would be safe returning to classes. Not that Harry had ever been particularly safe, but with one successful abduction, the Dark Lord would no doubt be ordering his prospective Death Eaters to attack Harry and Draco again.

Draco was also a threat all by himself. Regardless of Lucius' betrayal of the Dark Lord, Draco's loyalties and ideals had not changed. Depending on how the boy reacted—once he got past his melancholy—he could take his revenge on either Harry or Severus.

Besides wanting revenge, Draco never really had a proper chance to grieve. The boy had plenty of time to sit around and mope… but Draco didn't have anyone to confide in. And he was certainly not able to attend the memorial service.

Not that the service was really much to see, so Severus had been informed. It had been organized by Death Eaters—probably in hopes of luring Draco to them for the Dark Lord's purposes—and attended by various corrupt ministry officials. Anyone who might have cared about the Malfoys' fate now considered them traitors.

Draco wouldn't be received well by his housemates, either. His father's betrayal would affect his own reputation. And that's what made Severus afraid for his godson… the boy would no doubt try to link up with his old friends…

Severus shook his head. There was no point in worrying about what might or might not come. He levitated the comforter to cover Draco's shoulders more snuggly and then backed out of the room.


Harry had slept through the rest of the night without so much as stirring. Therefore, around five in the morning, Severus decided to leave the boy's side (after placing several monitoring charms on him) and take a shower. By the time Draco got up for breakfast, Severus was showered and dressed with only a hint of fatigue showing.

"I am eating in the Great Hall," Draco announced, holding his nose up into the air.

"No, you're not," Severus growled back. Draco opened his mouth to protest, but Severus cut him off. "Sit down," he commanded.

Draco, full of teenaged theatrics, flopped down into his chair. There he glared across the room, but made no move to eat.

If looks could kill, Draco might have been able to take out a first year Hufflepuff; as it was, Severus merely ignored him. "I will allow you to attend classes," Severus said, "but you must understand the danger you are in." Draco rolled his eyes, but otherwise kept his mouth shut. "Pay attention to what's happening around you. Always have your wand handy—"

"Severus, I'm hardly a child," Draco said in a haughty tone.

"You may attend lunch in the Great Hall," Severus continued firmly. "After your last class of the day, you are to return to my quarters. Or," Severus raised his voice, in order to cut off Draco's retort, "or, under special circumstances you may go to the library. But you will return here for the night."

"That's completely unreasonable!" Draco shouted.

"It's for your own safety," Severus said calmly.

"Safety?" Draco mocked. "What you're going to do, lock me away? Trying to turn me into a blood traitor as well, is that it?"

"Draco," Severus' voice grew cold as ice, "the Dark Lord already considers you as thus. Mark my words; you are not safe from his vengeance." Severus watched as the boy's face grew deathly pale. He didn't want to sound cruel, but he couldn't sugarcoat reality, Draco needed to know the danger he was in.

"This is your fault you know," Draco's said quietly, his voice more like a whine than anything.

"I know," Severus replied.

"I hate you."

"I know, now eat your breakfast."


Severus had nearly broached the subject of the legilimency incident, when his monitoring wards alerted him to Harry's altered status. He excused himself from the table and waved his hand to acknowledge Draco's request to go to class.

Opening Harry's door, Severus quickly made it to the boy's bed. Harry was stirring, most likely in the throes of a nightmare.

"No," Harry pleaded. "No more."

Severus' heart dropped. So he's dreaming of his captivity, he thought. Severus had no idea how to deal with this type of situation. Not wanting a repeat of the night before, Severus sat on the edge of the bed, and leaned over the boy. Resting his weight gently against the boy's upper torso, he rested his hand against the boy's face. "Harry," he called gently.

At first, Severus thought he was calming the boy. Harry's stirring body seemed to relax against the added weight. But when the boy's eyes opened, his struggle became wild. Severus held tightly. Harry screamed and landed one good punch to Severus' shoulder.

"Harry, it's me, it's Severus," the man said firmly, holding Harry's face so that the boy was forced to look up at him. Slowly, Harry's eyes made contact with Severus and as soon as the boy recognized him, his struggles stopped.

"Snape?" Harry asked, sounding confused.

Severus nodded. Now what to say? he thought.

Harry gasped. "Oh god, Snape. We have to get out of here." Harry gaze darted around the room as he struggled to sit up. "They'll come back," Harry cried, "they'll come back—"

"Harry," Severus reassured, "you're at Hogwarts now. We escaped, remember?" Severus was still leaning over the boy, effectively keeping him in place so that Harry couldn't get up and injure himself.

Harry didn't seem to notice his position, his mind still a jumbled mess. "Did the house elf bring breakfast?" Harry cried. Real tears were streaming down the boy's face.

"Are you hungry?" Severus asked, feeling confused. He hated to see Harry in this state; the boy would be horrified later.

"They always come," Harry was shivering now, pulling in his arms and legs as best he could. "After breakfast, M-malfoy and Bella—" Harry's body jolted. "Don't let them get me, please, Snape," Harry pleaded. "Please, no more."

"Harry, you're safe now," Severus comforted. Adjusting his position, Severus sat up and leaned against the headboard. Gently, he pulled Harry closer. He was sure both he and the boy would be embarrassed later, but at the moment none of that mattered. Harry came easily, leaning his back against the man and clung to Severus' arm. Harry continued to stare towards the door, as if expecting his torturers to come. Meanwhile, Severus continued to repeat, "You're safe, you're at Hogwarts, I've got you," and other assurances.


It had taken about fifteen minutes for the boy to calm and fall asleep. And then an hour passed. Severus didn't want to wake the boy, knowing sleep would be the best way for Harry to pass the next several days. But, Severus realized as his arm grew numb, he wouldn't be able to sit here for much longer, let alone several days.

Moving as slowly as possible, Severus tried to pull his arm out from Harry's grip. The boy stirred and then clung tighter. Severus froze. He sat there in a rigid position until he heard Harry's heavy breathing resume. Then he cursed Merlin and slowly settled back against the headboard. He could wait a while longer.

Severus felt odd when he suddenly remembered that Harry was his son. It made it a little easier to excuse his coddling behavior, because this was what fathers did, wasn't it? Severus brushed the fringe out of Harry's eye. There was a lot he was going to do for his newly adopted son—for one the boy needed a whole new wardrobe. Harry would be raised properly, at least for his last year being under-aged.

But what would happen when the boy turned seventeen? Severus wondered. Would Harry leave and start his own life? Or will I still be a part of it? Severus shook his head; he was the boy's guardian. He was being ridiculously sentimental. He would take care of Harry, but he wouldn't expect anything in return. Surely Harry didn't see him as anything more than a guardian…

Regardless, Severus would give Harry guidance and protection for as long as the boy needed it. If Harry decided to cut off relations when he turned seventeen, then he could make his own decisions.

Severus adjusted Harry's weight so his arm was more comfortable. Right now, he'd hold onto the boy, so that Harry could feel safe and sleep well.


After a couple of hours passed, Severus' sense of needing to get work done nearly had him getting up. But at the same time, he heard the Floo ring and then Madame Pomfrey's voice calling for permission to enter. Instead, Severus acciod a book and started to 'research;' he would deal with Pomfrey's scolding later.

Severus was so deeply engrossed in the second chapter that he didn't realize Harry was awake until he noticed the boy studying his own hands. Quietly, Severus put his book aside and watched as Harry continued to open and close his hands.

"Do they hurt?" Severus asked finally. When Harry didn't respond, Severus reached out and pulled the boy's right hand closer in order to inspect it. Severus had just about enough time to discover that Harry's hand wasn't injured before the boy pulled it away.

Still leaning his back against Severus, Harry pulled his hands close to his body in a protective manner. "Did you know," Harry said quietly, his voice raspy, "that they have a curse to cut off fingers?"

Severus held his breath, hoping that the question was rhetorical. He was proficient in many torture curses, not that he wanted Harry to know.

"Malfoy liked to do that," Harry continued, his voice hollow. "He liked to take his time." Harry shuddered and then pulled his legs closer to his body.

Severus didn't know what to say. Somehow, admitting that he knew Lucius' torture techniques didn't seem like a good way to comfort the boy. Instead, Severus said nothing, but wrapped an arm around Harry's shoulder.

Harry leaned his head back and sat in silence. Within fifteen minutes, he was asleep again. Severus picked up his book and continued to read.


Severus finally managed to free his arms from Harry's clutches before Albus resorted to breaking his way through the Floo. He made it to his sitting room just in time to dismantle his wards.

"Severus, my dear boy," Albus said cordially, not fazed at all by the man's scowl. "How are you?"

"Harry is recovering just as well in my quarters as he would in the Hospital Wing," Severus said. "And you can tell Madame Pomfrey that I'm perfectly capable of—"

Albus held up his hand, "I am not here on that account."

"Then why are you here? Surely not to check up on me, I hardly need a minder."

"You and Harry disappeared from the infirmary hours ago and have since been out of contact," Albus explained. "Considering what has occurred recently, I wouldn't expect you to hide away without a word to anyone."

Severus' scowl melted as he was forced to look away. Feeling uncomfortably like a chastised schoolboy, he didn't know what to say. After a moment, he managed to pull together a half-hearted sneer. Without looking up, he said, "As you can see, I am fine. The boy is fine. You can return to whatever it is that you need to do today."

"How about a cup of tea?" Albus suggested, taking a seat nearest the fire.

Severus opened his mouth to protest, but instead went to prepare the tea. He decided to do things the muggle way, making sure to take his time.

"I have received documentation from the ministry about the change of custody for both Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy. I saw that everything worked out in your favor."

"Indeed," Severus replied as he levitated a cup to the headmaster.

"I suppose I should congratulate you."

"If you wish," Severus said. Levitating the prepared tea, he walked back to the sitting area.

"Thank you, Severus," Albus said.

Severus tilted his head and sat down at the far end of the couch. At first he wasn't going to serve himself any tea, but quickly his resolve crumbled. After accioing a cup, he filled it to the brim and then leaned back into the cushions. He hadn't realized how tired he was.

"Now tell me, Severus," Albus said gently, "how have you been doing?"

Severus narrowed his eyes. He was hardly going to have a heart-to-heart with the headmaster. Wrapping his hand more firmly around his cup, Severus looked across the room towards the fire.

"Harry's sleeping," Severus said finally, saying anything to fill the silence, "as he will be for the new couple of days."

"It's not your fault," the Headmaster said.

"Oh, don't be a patronizing idiot," Severus scowled. "Of course it's my fault. I overdosed the boy on healing potions and his drugged stupor is a direct result!"

"Madame Pomfrey informed me that it's probably a good result. Harry could use the rest."

"This isn't rest!" Severus snapped. Despite himself, Severus began losing control of his temper. He couldn't help it, how dare Dumbledore make light of Harry's situation! "He's having horrible nightmares. Even when he's awake, he's hardly lucid. After everything he's been through, it's unbelievable that he has to suffer yet more."

"He will recover," Albus piped in.

"Perhaps," Severus sighed. "Physically of course, but—" Biting his lip, Severus glared at his tea. He wasn't going to blab all his worries to the headmaster.

"Harry's a very resilient child."

"He shouldn't have to be," Severus said through clenched teeth.

"I'm going to continue to cover you classes for the rest of the week," Albus continued, "longer if you would like. It's going to be quite an adjustment—for all of you."

"That won't be necessary," Severus said. "I can handle both boys just fine." Taking another sip of tea, he gained more of his composure. "I trust you're taking measures within the castle to ensure the safety of both Harry and Draco."

"Of course, but do you think it wise—"

"I will keep Harry safe. I can't choose one boy over the other and I have to give Draco a chance."

"Severus, I just want you to be careful. Draco—"

Severus quickly put his cup aside. Rising to his feet, he began to lose hold of his temper yet again. "I know Draco. I know what he's capable of. The boy will be given a chance. I will make sure that neither of the boys hurt the other." Severus began to pace. "You haven't even considered the danger Harry is to Draco, have you? Always distrusting the Slytherins first?"

Albus rose to his feet, too. "Severus," he spoke sternly, "you know this is no usual house rivalry." Severus snorted and nearly rolled his eyes, but when Albus caught his eye, the Potions Master quickly schooled his attitude. "You know the danger. Draco might very well be plotting his revenge right now—on Harry or you. I just want you to be careful."

"I know," Severus replied, his voice noticeably quieter. "I will take measures to ensure all of our safety."


After Albus left, Severus went straight to work on setting up wards in his quarters. It was some of the most complicated magic he'd done in a long time. He realized half way through the task that he should have asked for the headmaster's help. Needless to say, he'd never call the old man back. So just before dinner, Severus was ready to collapse into bed and sleep for the next couple of days.

At least he'd be able to sleep. As a result of all his wards, neither of the boys could do any magic whilst in the confines of his private quarters. When he first started to construct his wards, he had first decided to protect against dark arts, destructive spells, and allow some charms that might not be harmful. But in the end, he realized even a Lumos could be harmful, if wielded correctly. So he decided that the boys wouldn't be allowed to do any magic at all.

Harry would likely adjust well to the restriction, but Draco on the other hand… Draco was going to need special handling, Severus realized. Eventually, the boy would end his moping and likely begin seeking revenge. Severus only hoped that the boy wouldn't be so stupid as to go to the Dark Lord or some of his father's closer friends. They weren't going to be friends to Draco any longer and the boy would end up getting himself hurt or killed.

Severus glared at the clock. Draco should have returned to his quarters five minutes ago. The boy had a modicum of safety during the day, being in classes or at meals for the majority of his time. Plus Albus had told Severus that Draco was being tailed by more than one house elf who would call for help if any sort of situation arose. But the boy was not to return to his dormitory—it was just too concentrated with those whose families were sworn to the Dark Lord. And although Severus was loath to admit it, he knew many of his snakes had family sworn to the Dark Lord.Seven minutes late, Severus couldn't wait any longer. "Locata alt Draco," Severus enchanted with a flick of his wand. In the air before him, misty red lettering formed. It read, "Slytherin common room." Severus cursed under his breath and left to go retrieve the boy.

After placing a charm over Harry's bed, in case the boy should wake while he was out, Severus left his quarters to make his way to the Slytherin dormitories.

The familiar corridors appeared the same as they had since he was a boy. It was here in the dungeons that he'd always felt the safest. The Marauders never ventured this far into the dungeon, so he'd always been safe from their torments. Often times, he'd wished they had been foolish enough to pursue him here, because Slytherins protected Slytherins in their own territory… But now, with Severus' betrayal and Lucius Malfoy's involvement, the Slytherin domain wouldn't be safe for him any longer.

When he entered the Slytherin common room, he had about thirty seconds to observe the room before it went deathly silent. Draco was sitting in the corner of the room, arms crossed with a cocky look on his face.

Foolish boy, Severus thought. Aloud, he said, "Mr. Malfoy come with me." Draco sighed dramatically and then lifted up his nose. "Now," Severus growled. His voice was harsh enough to cause several of the first years to shiver. Draco looked away, almost as though he thought ignoring the man would make him go away. Losing his patience, Severus started across the room, students all but leaping to get out of his way. He made it half way to Draco before the boy finally got to his feet.

Scowling, Draco finally complied. Although he avoided walking near Severus, Draco quickly left the common room. Giving his snakes a farewell glare, Severus turned and followed the boy out.

Neither of them said a word until returning to Severus' quarters. It was there Draco exploded. "I'm not some little child," he yelled. "I can take care of myself!"

"Draco," Severus said, feeling his anger calming down, "I know you'd like to believe that you're safe. But the Dark Lord—"

"I won't be a blood traitor," Draco spat. "You think you can turn me into some sort of mudblood lover?"

"Hush, Draco, you don't know what you're talking about," Severus replied. "Reguardless of your loyalty, the Dark Lord wants nothing more than to see you tortured and killed."

Draco's face grew a little paler as he sat down on the couch. "Thanks to you," Draco said, his voice quiet, but still full of venom.

Severus said nothing, unsure of how to respond.

"For how long?" Draco asked, "How long were you betraying my father?"

"Draco, I never meant to betray your father, the Dark Lord—"

"He died," Draco's voice cracked as the boy looked away. "He died because of you, you and bloody Potter. It's your fault my parents are dead." Draco's voice grew louder as he continued. "And I won't turn into some bloody muggle-loving fool. Mark my words; I will save my family name. The Dark Lord will let me join him and—"

"Draco!" Severus shouted. "You're being an idiot. Even your father didn't want you to become a Death Eater."

Draco scoffed, "How can you expect me to believe a thing you say?"

"Listen to me, Draco," Severus spoke urgently. "If you pursue this path, you'll only end up getting hurt. I don't expect you to change your beliefs. Just don't be stupid."

"I'm not the one who's being stupid," Draco replied. "And you should be more concerned about your own safety as far as I can see. Your safety and your little pet, Potter."

"Are you attempting to threaten me?" Severus yelled. "Go," he pointed towards the boy's quarters, "go to your room until I call you for dinner."

"Oh no, not my room," Draco mocked, standing slowly to stroll out of the room.

Once the boy was finally in his room, Severus sat down heavily. Whipping his wand out of his robe, he quickly started a fire, accioed headache drought, and cursed Merlin. What am I going to do with Draco? he thought, pinching the bridge of his nose.

Author's note: More to come… eventually.