Still not mine.

AN: I have the CH. 18-20 story arc planned out, it is just taking a great deal of time to write.

It was the beginning of November, and Harry and his friends had settled into a routine. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, they had warding lessons, and for Draco and Harry, muggle Chemistry and Mathematics. Ron hung around for the math part, while Hermione learned advanced Transfiguration and Charms under Dale's watchful eye. Harry also recieved on Mondays the reports from his house contacts, which he, Ron, and Hermione would read and analyze. On Tuesdays, he met with Dumbledore to discuss the reports. On Wednesdays, he would meet with his house contacts as well as a select group of students in each house and discuss any instructions from Dumbledore. Harry, Ron, and Hermione would tutor the group in defense, under Dale's and/or Everett's supervision during the meetings. Despite all of this, Harry was able to keep his grades up as well as to find the time to play quidditch and visit with his father.

It was during one of these visits that Severus' fireplace suddenly flared to life. "Severus?" harry recognized the voice as belonging to Lucius Malfoy, though more anxious and weary than Harry ever remembered him sounding. "Can I come through? I really neeed to speak with you."

Severus indicated to Harry to go into his bedroom. "Don't come out until I tell you," he mouthed. As Harry closed the door, he heard his father say, "Come on through, Lucius. What is going on?"

Harry listened at the door as Severus and Lucius exchanged pleasantries, then he heard his father ask "Okay, now what is going on? I get the impression that this is not a casual visit."

"No, it's not. Severus, you're the only one who can help me with this. You're much closer to, and have more influence over Draco, than I do. You're aware that I only joined the Death Eaters because my...father...made me, and that he passed away Draco's third year, right?"

"Yes. What are you getting at?"

"You know that I never truly wanted to join, but that it was expected of me to join and become one of, if not the best. I do not want Draco to go through that, I want him to be able to choose, but please, Severus, use your influence on him to keep him from joining. The Dark Lord is completely mad, you and I both know that. Draco can be so much more than that."

"Lucius, I don't think that you have anything to worry about. Draco knows how crazy the Dark Lord is,and has no desire to sign up for that. Besides that, he has developed a healthy respect for muggle maths and sciences. If the climate here grew too unsafe, he could, with a little help, disappear into the muggle world."

"I hope that it doesn't come to that, but if it had to be done, that would be a good idea."

"Draco is a bright young man who has already formed covert friendships outside of his house. Young Crabbe's Ravenclaw cousin for one."

"Please tell me that one of them is with Potter. He's the key to stopping all of this."

In the bedroom, Harry nearly gasped as Lucius went on to say, "For the love that you held for Lily Evans, and the love that you held for Miss Latham, keep Potter safe. Don't let the Dark Lord muddle around in his head. If you can, teach him all that you know." His voice was getting closer to hysterical.

"Lucius, calm yourself. Yes, one of Draco's covert friendships is with Potter. The two of them get on rather well in private, even working on extracurricular defense and warding work. He's also developed a healthy respect for Granger and Weasley."

"That is the purpose of the detentions, is it not? For Draco to learn additional defense skills as well as muggle math and science?"

"Yes, it is. As I said, Draco has a brilliant mind, and regular classes are too dull to keep his mind occupied. These are practical skills that he will actually use, not nebulous concepts with no real substance."

"Good. Listen, Severus, I know that you are the double agent." Harry and Severus both gasped. "I've known since 1978. I'll never betray you by telling the Dark Lord that one of the ones that he trusts the most will be a part of his downfall." He paused. "Does Draco know?"

"Yes. He also knows a much bigger secret about my past that I cannot disclose to you at his time. It is too personal, and far too dangerous."

"I understand. Cissy's been passing information via coded letters to Andromeda that Eugene Cummings picks up. Andromeda reads them, then Ted picks out the information to pass on to Cummings. How close is he to ousting that idiot Fudge?"

"Quite close. The investigations have so far revealed enough corruption to send him to Azkaban for the next decade at least. Fudge is expected to resign any day, especially since Cummings has most of the departments under his control now."

"Good." He sighed, and was silent for a long time. When he began to speak again, his voice was trembling. "Severus, I know that I am not going to survive this war. I've already set my trust up to where Cissy will recieve a yearly allowance, and a lump sum when, or if, she remarries. The rest is Draco's, though you will hold control of it until he reaches the age of thirty or he marries, whichever is sooner. You will have to approve his choice in bride, since I know that he will not willingly marry Pansy Parkinson, nor do I want him to. That was my father's doing, not mine."

"I know who he has his eye on, and if she at some point returns his affections, I will definitely approve. Her mind is brilliant enough to be a match for his, and she is kind, compassionate, and sees past people's illusions."

"Is it Granger?"

"No, though they have become more friendly due to his alliance with Potter. His interest lies in Potter's female Ravenclaw alliance."

"How far do Potter's alliances stretch?"

"He has male and female contacts in each house that report directly to him. He, in turn, reports to Dumbledore any critical information. He also trains his contacts, plus several others in each house, in defense under the supervision of Dr. and Mr. Latham."

"Good." He sighed, and Harry could picture him suddenly looking very old. "After I leave, I am reporting to Dumbledore. For the first time in my life, I'm going to do the right thing, not what would please my father or make my family name look powerful. Will you tell Draco for me?"

"I will. He will worry, of course, but he will be pleased. Your son loves you a great deal, Lucius."

"Your son must love you as well."

Severus made a squeak of shock. "How did you know?"

"I knew by the time Harry reached his third year. I don't know how he is, but he is. Even if he didn't looke quite a bit like you did at that age, he has your temper, your stubborness, and he rides a broom much more like you than James Potter.'

"Tell no one. his safety and mine depend on it."

"If I've not told anyone by now, Severus, I'm not going to. The only way I was even able to tell was because I know you so well. He really did inherit your smile and your laugh, depsite any glamours. He also holds a wand like you do. They're all little things, but if you add them all together, they point to you somehow." He sighed. "I know that I love my little dragonet. He was my miracle child."

"I remember. The botched sterility hex that you were hit with on a raid."

"Yes. We were lucky to have Draco. We wanted more, but it was not meant to be. Does Draco have any positive male role models besides you? Men who can teach him caring, compassion, and how to do the right thing?"

Severus smiled, and Harry could hear it in his voice. "Yes. His defense teachers, Dale and Everett Latham. Dale is one of the kindest people I have ever met, and Everett uses his sense of humor to hide a heart much bigger than his body."

"Draco owled me and said that they his choice of word. He said that they challenged him, and made him think. That's what he needs, to be challenged. He said that when Everett Latham filled in for you for a few days when you were ill, as a reward on the last two days, he did several muggle Chemistry experiments that were, as Draco put it, fun."

"That is Everett's muggle career, teaching and doing research in Chemisrty. In the wizarding world, he is a Potions Master that I would openly consider my equal, as well as an expert warder. Dale's muggle field is music, and his wizarding fields are as an emergency medic, warding, and dueling."

"I hear that he and the wereworlf Remus Lupin are an item. If so, I am happy for them. That is one advantage of the wizarding world, that we are more accepting of same-sex relationships."

"Yes, they are. Now go on and catch the Headmaster in his office. The password this week is 'Necco wafers'."

"He's still on the muggle candy kick, I see." Lucius left Severus' quarters to find Dumbledore.

"Harry, you can come out now," Severus said.

Cautiously, Harry came out. "Was he being sincere, Dad?"

"Yes. I've known Lucius for well over twenty years, and I know when he is being sincere. You've seen something tonight that not many people see, Harry. Tonight you saw the real Lucius Malfoy, a man who desperately wants to do the right thing, and who loves his son more than life itself." He looked thoughtful for a moment. "What I don't know is why he was so open. Lucius is not a very open person unless he thinks something is going to happen. He runs as big of a risk by not selling me out as I do by spying, since if we are found out, both of our lives are forfeit."