I unfortunately don't own the world of Harry Potter .

Thank you to my absolutely amazing beta, Book. Freak112233 !

Just a quick thanks to DragonFury7, Daydream-Away95, bodie3, Emberetta Isaca Vexley, Kanika Kiku, readermind, Apocolips, Sev's Little girl, High Reacher, bellastrange51, The Writer and Reader, Aleucard, alaskanwoman25, DocBrown13, ptl4ever419, Bronzelove, cutie2boot4u, and Leseratte13.

Now on with the story! :)

Chapter 36:

Safe Haven

Draco was walking alone in the black halls of a dark Hogwarts. Physically, he looked worse than he had the previous year. Suddenly, a hand grabbed his wrist, startling and stopping him. Turning sharply, he raised his wand, coming face to face with Neville Longbottom.

"What do you want?"

"I want to know why you let Ginny go," Neville replied, releasing his classmate's wrist.

"She told you?" Draco asked, not all that surprised.

"Yes. Now why'd you do it? She told me what Carrow wanted you to do. Yet you didn't."

"I told her my reasoning and I'll tell you the same. I may not agree with what you believe, but you don't deserve to be tortured for it…or worse."

Neville regarded his classmate carefully, before nodding once. "Were you punished because of it?"

"Carrow does not know the truth, nor will she find out from me."

"But did she punish you?"

"I was given a reminder, yes," Draco answered, willing himself not to lose control.

"Longbottom, the Carrows are getting suspicious. Consider going into hiding. Take Weasley and whomever else you want with you. Perhaps the Room of Requirement," he suggested suddenly, shocking both boys.

"Why are you helping me?"

"For the same reason I told you earlier," Draco said coolly. "Think about it."

Draco then walked away, once again wondering if he was doing the right thing.

Neville just stared after his year–mate's retreating back this war was causing strange things to happen.

Silvana was looking forward to the weekend. Sirius was coming to visit again, and starting this weekend, Draco would be coming to stay with her every weekend from now on. She would have to talk with Sirius about not tormenting the poor boy.

"Silvana? What are you cooking for dinner?"

The witch rolled her eyes at her husband's antics.

"Daddy's being silly, isn't he?" she asked her daughter, who smiled happily, eyes shining.

"What? I'm hungry!"

"You're always hungry," Silvana retorted over her shoulder.

"Mama, food!" Evelyn cried from her playpen, causing both parents to laugh. Evelyn joined them, clearly enjoying the sound. Suddenly, her violet eyes widened, and she clapped her hands together.

"Da–co!" she exclaimed, causing Silvana to look towards the doorway. Draco was indeed standing there, leaning quietly against the door post, his body tensed.

"Please, come in. you're back early," she said warmly, giving him a smile.

"I left as soon as class ended," he replied.

"Draco, you know Sirius, yes?"

The blonde looked at the other man, and nodded once. "We've met," he said simply, his expression revealing nothing.

"Da–co!" Evelyn cried again, and he turned towards his godsister, leaning over the playpen, giving her his hand. She laughed, grabbing his finger, squeezing tightly.

"You can hold her if you want," Silvana said quietly, ignoring her husband's incredulous look.

However, Draco just shook his head as Silvana pulled Sirius to the side. "I trust him. And he clearly loves Evelyn. Give him a chance. And no pranks!"

"Fine. But you'd better be right."

"I am; see?" she said, gesturing to where Evelyn was reaching up towards Draco.

"Here," she said, picking up her daughter and placing Evelyn on her hip. Immediately, Evelyn lunged towards Draco, who caught her just in time, his grey eyes wide.

His eyes widened further as Evenlyn clung to him. Carefully, he shifted his grip to hold her better. "Why is she so attached to me?" he asked, his voice only just above a whisper.

"You're a part of her life. Stop trying to separate yourself from her," Silvana replied gently as Draco looked up, gratefulness clear in his usually void grey eyes.

Sirius watched, unsure if he was seeing clearly. He couldn't believe that Lucius Malfoy's son could be so gentle. But then he thought of Narcissa and his expression softened. Despite their differences, they had always gotten along rather well. Perhaps Draco had more of his mother than he had previously believed.

"Evelyn, don't pull," Silvana said, moving her daughter's small hand away from Draco's white–blonde locks.

"Silvana, I – I told Longbottom to go into hiding. Was that right?"

"Draco, of course you were right. I – listen to me. No matter what happens, you need to stop worrying and you must stop second guessing yourself. You're going with your instinct. And for that, I'm very proud of you."

"Thank you," he whispered, adjusting Evelyn, who snuggled into him, clutching his tie. Looking down, he smiled ever so slightly.

"Sorry to interrupt, but are we eating any time soon?' Sirius said, breaking the silence, not sounding sorry at all.

Silvana rolled her eyes again. "Dinner will be up soon. Draco, make yourself comfortable. You know the way around."

He nodded, deciding to leave the couple alone. As headed down the hall, he made towards "his" bedroom. Gently, he sat upon the bed, putting his legs up, adjusting Evelyn as he did so. She held on tightly, a smile still on her face as she snuggled up against his chest. His usually perfectly pressed tie was now wrinkled and clenched tight in her small fist.

"For someone so small, you're awfully strong," he murmured, thinking aloud. Closing his eyes, just for a moment, he leaned back against the pillows. If felt good to be back home.

"Well? What did I tell you?" she asked.

"All right! Perhaps he's not so bad after all," Sirius said, holding up his hands. From experience, he knew when to give in.

"Can we please eat now?" he begged.

"Sirius, can you think of something besides your stomach? For once?" she asked exasperated, not bothering with an answer.

"One more minute. Draco!" she called. When no response came, her brow furrowed. "Draco?"

Casting a heating and stabilizing spell, Silvana went down the narrow hallway towards the bedrooms. Knocking lightly on the room she had given to her godson, she slowly opened the door. Immediately her expression softened.

"Sirius! Come here," she whispered. When her husband obeyed, she said, "See? I told you."

Silvana smiled as she took in the sight of Draco asleep, and of little Evelyn sleeping on his chest; Draco's arm draped protectively across his little godsister.

"He cares about her," Sirius whispered.

"Yes, though he may not realize it yet," his wife replied.

"Come; I'll feed you dinner and save him some. Let them sleep," said Silvana, quietly closing the door.

"I love you, you know that right?" he asked.

"I know," she replied, kissing him.

There may be a war going on, but at least here, in this little house, they were safe and content. Here, they were a family.

Happy New Year Everyone! :)

Thanks to all who are reading and enjoying this story. If you have any suggestions, (i.e. would like to see something happen, etc.) questions, or comments, please feel free to private message me. Thanks! ~ Leanora