Title: Like Brothers (1/2)
Author: coonassblondie
Rating: Soft R
Word Count: 2,385
Summary: Draco has a few questions for the Weasley twins, and they provide him with some brotherly advice.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the HPverse, and I'm certainly not making any money off of these fics, or I wouldn't have bill collectors calling me all the time.
Author's notes: This was inspired by a review I recieved on a fic I wrote a couple years ago, called Hermione's Little Red Book (at my profile). Ironically, it wasn't even a good review. This is my first real attempt at anything slashy, and there wont be any smut quite yet (I'm just not that good). Sorry if Snape seems a bit OOC, but I'm just not that great at writing him. Hope you enjoy!

Draco stated the password to the portrait guarding the heads' common room, "unity", and waited patiently for the portrait of the four school founders to open, allowing him entry. Pandemonium was the first word that came to mind as he surveyed the state of his and Hermione's shared common room. The normally neat and tidy stacks of parchment and books were toppled over, the couch cushions were strewn across the floor. In the middle of the mess, on the floor, sat the head girl, head in hands and shoulders shaking.

Draco smirked at the scene as he grabbed one of the cushions and dropped it onto the floor next to Hermione. Earlier, he had left Blaise in the library reading her last entry. When Draco had looked over his shoulder at his friend, Blaise was studying the little red book intently, his eyes steadily getting larger. Draco threw his arm around Hermione's shoulders as she wailed,

"It's gone! I can't find it anywhere!"

"What's gone, Hermione? Maybe I can help." Draco wasn't sure when she had become Hermione instead of Granger. He supposed that since they had both made head students, they had agreed to be civil towards one another, and a tenuous friendship had been born.

"My journal. Y'know, that little red book I'm always writing in. I thought it was in my bag earlier, and now it's nowhere to be found!" Hermione whined, eyes filling up again. Draco attempted to stop the waterworks before they could start again. An upset head girl was beyond even his ability to control a situation, especially since his own emotions were incredibly out of balance at the moment.

"When is the last time you saw it?" He asked gently, trying to spark her memory and keep himself in the clear at the same time. If she found out he had willingly let Blaise read her diary she would wring his neck.

"Well…" Hermione tapped her chin with a forefinger in thought, "I was writing in it in the library earlier, and the boys came to get me to play in the snow. I shoved it in my bag, stood up to go and that's when my bag ripped...oh Merlin!" Hermione exclaimed, making Draco jump again, "I know where it is! Either it's in the library with Madam Pince, which I'm hoping for, or Zabini picked it up. You're friends with him, right? Has he said anything to you about finding a book? Where have you been all afternoon, anyway?"

Draco had to resist the urge to laugh out loud at her rapid fire questioning. Choosing to avoid her interrogation for the present moment, he grinned and replied,

"It's in neither place. It's in your room, probably on your windowsill. When you get up there, open up to today's entry. I think you'll be surprised."

Hermione's eyebrows shot up at his statement, but didn't give up her previous line of questioning. He knew she could be tenacious when she thought the situation worth her attention, as she apparently thought this one.

"I'll have to thank Blaise for returning it, then. That was surprisingly nice of him. You never answered my question, Draco. Where have you been all day? Come to think of it, you missed dinner, and you never pass up food."

Draco wasn't sure if he would be able to effectively evade her questions for any length of time, considering Ronald was her best friend along with the Boy Wonder. Keeping this fact in mind, he went with sarcastic honesty.

"I went to Hogsmeade with Ron, we went to Honeyduke's to nick some chocolate frogs."

"Since when do you sneak anywhere with...wait...you called him Ron!" Hermione exclaimed, standing to face him, fidgeting with pent-up nervous energy, as if she had discovered something completely wonderful she couldn't wait to share. "Since when do you call him Ron? What happened to 'The Weasel'"

"I've been told it's not nice to refer to your significant other by derogatory names..." Draco replied with as much dignity he could muster, although he could feel the tingle of a blush on his cheeks. His father would be mortified, Malfoys were rarely embarrassed, and they never blushed. He was thrown completely off guard when Hermione let out a girly squeal and threw her arms around his neck, knocking him backwards and making him lose his breath. Affectionate gestures were still a bit foreign to him, but Ronald had insisted that they were to work on that little quirk in the near future, provided his father didn't kill him first. Now that he was confident she knew his largest, longest held secret, he had a few questions for her. Gently pushing the head girl to sit back down on the couch, he turned towards her, swearing internally at the stubborn blush on his cheeks.

"How did you figure me out? I know I shouldn't have...But I read your entry...Where you said you thought Ron would be my type. How did you know?" Draco mumbled, not quite knowing how to word his question. He looked up in shock as he heard Hermione's rich laughter, then her reply.

"Draco, I've shared living quarters with you for almost three months. It didn't take long to figure out, and I suspected already, although seeing you in pastel green pyjamas was a bit disconcerting at first."

"I suppose so," He replied, laughing slightly before becoming serious again, "I wonder how his parents are going to react? He insists on telling them, and my family...well, I have a pretty good idea of how that will turn out..."

"How much do you know about the Weasleys, Draco?" Hermione interrupted, grinning at him with warm, soft eyes. Draco had completely missed her rolling them at his paranoia before interrupting him.

"Not a lot, really, despite that our families have been enemies and rivals for years, although I'm not quite sure why. Are they a bunch of closet death eaters I wasn't aware of or something?"

"Hardly," Hermione replied, laughing slightly before continuing, "They are very nice folks. However, you can't have seven children without witnessing some strange things. For instance, if they can accept the twins' relationship, I don't think you and Ron will phase them."

"The twins..." Draco was now extremely curious.

"...Are very, very close." Hermione replied, shaking her head and giggling. Draco's brows raised at this bit of information. He had always thought the stocky Weasley twins a bit on the sexy side, even thought he was supposed to hate the entire clan. As much as he questioned Hermione as she prepared to head back to Gryffindor tower, she wouldn't enlighten him a bit. As she started up the stairs to her bedroom, she turned and spoke over her shoulder.

"If you're so curious about Gred and Feorge, ask them yourself."

Draco grinned as Zeus, his black eagle owl, flew happy circles around his head and hooted excitedly at him. He waved nonchalantly at Hermione as she rushed out of the head's common room to go see the Boy Wonder. Harry may have saved them all from the madman who had fashioned himself as Voldemort, and Draco was thoroughly grateful to him, but that didn't mean he had to like the stupid git.

Draco thought about his afternoon with Weasley, or Ron as the redhead has insisted on being called. Ron had explained to him in no uncertain terms if they were to make a go of a relationship, they would have to try their best to avoid referring to each other by derogatory nicknames. It wasn't conducive to a healthy relationship or some other lovey-dovey Gryffindor load of tripe. Draco mentally shook his head to clear his thoughts as he held his arm out for Zeus to perch on. At least he wouldn't be constantly referred to a ferret. He still wanted to wring Crouch Jr's neck for pulling that little stunt.

The blond girded his loins for his upcoming conversation with his godfather as he gently pet his owls feathers down. As he stood to head towards the dungeons, Hermione's suggestion pricked at the back of his brain. Draco set Zeus down onto his desk as he scrawled a quick note in penmanship that would make his father cringe. He rolled up the note and tied it onto Zeus's outstretched leg as he murmured instructions to the owl. He watched as Zeus took off through his bedroom window with a haughty hoot, then turned to face his first hurdle: coming out to Severus.

Draco made his way through the dungeon corridors automatically, lost in thought. Before long he found himself in front of the potion professor's office, staring at the imposing dark oak door. Draco mentally slapped himself as he swallowed and drew his shoulders back. Malfoys don't get nervous. His conscience supplied, sounding scarily like his father. Draco shook his head slightly to clear his thoughts as he rapped on the door with his knuckles.

"Enter!" came the short, stern reply. if anyone thought being free of Voldemort's reign would improve Severus Snape's disposition, they were sadly mistaken.

Draco stepped into the dark office and watched indifferently as his godfather made several notes in scarlet writing across what appeared to be an essay on the uses of billywigs. Severus capped his ink and sat back in his chair to gaze at his godson, a knowing glint in his fathomless black eyes.

"To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit, Draco?" Snape asked silkily, gesturing to the hardback chair across from his desk. Draco settled himself into the chair, knowing that it was cushioned for comfort for Slytherin students. Draco decided to cut right to the chase.

"I have something I need to tell you, Uncle Sev." Draco stated, referring to his godfather in the informal manner that he rarely used outside of Malfoy Manor, making Snape's brows shoot up to his hairline.

"Indeed, you do. You, as Head Boy, should know that rumors fly through Hogwarts at an incredible speed. You should also know that the professors are kept quite informed of the current gossip." Severus replied, vanishing the essays he had been marking to his private quarters and conjuring a silver tea service. He watched as his godson picked up his teacup, his hands trembling a tiny bit as he took a sip of his drink in an attempt to calm his nerves. Severus waited patiently for Draco's reply.

"Yes, I'm aware that the gossip in this school can reach ridiculous levels. However, all rumors have a grain of truth, if you get past all the embellishments added with retellings. I trust you are having a good weekend?" Draco placed his teacup back on the service, his manners overriding his fight or flight reaction, which was telling him to flee back to his bedroom and hide under the blankets until Christmas holiday.

"The same as usual. Marking papers, mostly. Have you done anything overly entertaining this weekend? I hope you managed to get some air and human contact. Steady studying can wear on a person, especially one preparing for their N.E.W.T.'s." Draco heard the underlying question. Severus was wanting to know if there was any truth to the rumor that he had went to Hogsmeade earlier in the day, and with whom.

"Oh yes. A friend and I went exploring earlier. We got so distracted with our discoveries that we completely missed dinner." Draco hoped that Severus would pick up on his hints.

"I noticed that Miss Granger and young Mr. Weasley were both missing at dinner, along with Mr. Zabini, Miss Parkinson, Mr. Potter, Miss Weasley, and Miss Abbott. I'm quite aware that there was a snowball fight in progress all afternoon, though." Severus replied, taking a sip of his own tea and picking up a lemon biscuit, taking a large bit of it so that Draco would have some time to formulate a reply.

"I'm not sure where Miss Abbott or Pansy were, but I'm confident Hermione and Blaise were together most of the evening. We can safely assume that Potter and Ginny Weasley were hidden in the Gryffindor common room snogging each other's brains out."

"Ah, that only leaves Mr. Weasley and yourself." Severus replied, nodding in understanding. "A new friendship, perhaps."

"Something like that..." Draco mumbled, looking into the dregs of his tea, wishing he had put more stock into his Divination studies. Perhaps they would be able to tell him both Severus and his father's reactions. His godfather's next statement, however, made his head shoot up and his eyes widen.

Severus stood up and walked around the desk, grabbing Draco gently by the chin and raising his head to look him square in the eye.

"Don't ever be afraid to look someone in the eye, Draco. You are who you are. If you want to be friends with Mr. Weasley, that is no one's business but yours and his. If, over the upcoming holiday, Lucius gives you a hard time, don't hesitate to remind him that there are people who remember his school and bachelor days quite vividly. Now, I do believe I just saw Zeus headed toward the Heads tower. If you don't mind, give Mr. Weasley's my regard, and tell them to expect my order within the week."

Draco's eyes widened, and he almost stuttered as he opened his mouth to reply. Catching himself before he could embarrass himself further, he swallowed and asked,

"How did you know that's who the owl is from?"

Severus did the most surprising thing Draco could think of: he threw his head back and laughed. Not chuckles or snickers, but deep, hearty gut-wrenching laughs. As he attempted to compose himself, he explained,

"Draco, the owl was carrying a package for you. A violent purple one with a triple W on it. I'd be wary of opening my mail if I were you." Draco flushed as he turned to leave, Severus's chuckles following him as he ran up the stairs towards the great hall. Draco grinned to himself as he opened the Head's portrait and stepped into the common room, untying the package from Zeus's leg and giving it a perfunctory glance before taking the equally violent purple envelope from his beak. Apparently, this was the answer to his questions.