Author's Note: I put my chaptered stories on hold, for lack of inspiration. But I've signed up for a few challenges, this being one of them.

The poem that you will read, if you follow my story, has one line in each chapter, and is written by Lying In An Angels Arms

It will be, I plan, eighteen chapters.

Of course, I don't own anything you recognize.

A Scared Father

I was sitting in my study, at my grandfather's desk, quietly doing paperwork for the bank when he told me, four long years ago.

Long years, and yet I remember it like it had happened days prior.

My son had stood before me, in a manner that I had taught him.

Perfect posture, his face lacking of emotion, hands at his sides, hair groomed with no imperfections.

He was my pride, not that I'd ever tell him.

He had been standing, nearly motionless, in my study for nearly five minutes, when I realized he was waiting for me to address him. I took pity on him, and said in a quiet, but firm voice, "Yes, Draco?"

His words came out murmured, rushed, and nervous. I was barely listening, but once my ears caught those dreaded words--the ones I had prayed I would never hear. . .that's when I finally payed him any mind and glanced up at him, eyebrow raised.

My first born, my heir. . .no, he couldn't be, I must have misheard him.

"Pardon?" I asked him.

I watched as Draco looked down at his shoes and took a deep breath, waiting a few seconds before addressing me again. He looked me firmly in the eye, and said the words again, the words I had hoped I would never hear. . .but did, again, and clearly.

"I'm gay." He was looking me in the eye, asking me with his eyes if I was going to hurt him, physically or mentally, because his sexuality was something different than I had assumed.

I had no words to speak, no consolation to give, so I nodded curtly and went back to paperwork, head bowed. It took a few minutes, but finally I knew that Draco had left my study with a hard 'slam' of the door.

I was so disrupted by his announcement I did not even reprehend him for slamming it.

And still, after all these years, I'm not used to idea of my son having a boyfriend instead of a girlfriend.

. . .My son, liked men.

I had pushed Draco away as he grew up from baby, to toddler, to child, to teenager; I didn't show him love or affection, hoping that if I were to die on a mission for the Dark Lord he wouldn't be as hurt over it.

When the war ended I was going to finally act fatherly towards my son, if a little late. I was hoping to develop a new relationship with my son, a more kind one, as well. But after Draco's confession I wasn't sure, and still not sure, if I can.

He and his sexuality was now something foreign, something odd. How am I suppose to act? I had never felt so unsure before.

Still, four years later, I realized I had never been the father figure I was suppose to be, and now I don't think I will ever be.

A heart-wrenching thought for a father, even my cold heart aches with the thought-- I'll never be a father to Draco. I'm too frightened to try.

I am the father who's never hugged his son because he's afraid.