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

Just a quick thanks to Sev's Little girl, mysticy0gi2, LadyGryffindor313, lilyann96, lostgirl888, High Reacher, angelvan105, 21stCenturyMarauder, Sophie blue2, SparrowHarkness, AusAshMommy, AnjuAddams, and sapurplemonkey.

*Answer to a guest's questions/suggestions:

First, thank you so much for your response and ideas!

I'm not sure about having a Draco/Ginny and a Harry/Hermione relationship, but I'll think about it. I like to stick close to cannon while still making it mine at the same time. I will definitly let Sirius have a bigger role. He is the father after all. Sirius and Severus having a discussion...that could be very intersting, so thank you. I could also try to let Hermione have a bigger role, but it's a bit harder with this story, since it's not really focusing on the time at Hogwarts, at least yet. However, I'm sure I can try to work something in. Also, having Minerva be more involved is a good idea too. Now I just have to figure out how.

Thanks again! Hopefully this helps!

Also, I know people have suggested that I take on a co-author and/or concentrate on one story. I am sorry it takes so long. However, I have future plans for these stories and I prefer working alone. I am grateful that everyone keeps reading and puts up with me. Thank you for this suggestion, but though I am busy, I am also very dedicated to these stories. Thank you! :)

Now on with the story! :)

Chapter 37:

Torn Between Family

Draco awoke slowly, blinking against the harsh light coming through the window. The window? He began sitting up when he felt something on his chest, holding him down. The young man felt his heart race as panic began to settle in. Steeling himself, he looked down…and immediately felt calm wash over him as he leaned back against the pillows. He was back in his godparents' house. Looking down again, he smiled softly as he watched Evelyn still sleeping soundly on his chest. Carefully, he began to sit up, adjusting her as he did so.

Suddenly, he heard a light knock on the bedroom door. "Come in," he said in a low voice, not wanting to wake his godsister.

The door opened to reveal Silvana. "Did I wake you?" she asked, coming to sit beside her godson.

"No. I just woke up a few minutes ago. Thank you for letting me stay here," he said.

"Draco, you are more than welcome. You're family, you're always welcome here. I hope you know that," she said.

Draco's eyes, usually void, softened as he met hers. "Thank you," he whispered.

"And don't worry about Sirius. He's not on very good terms with your father, and so – "

" – he believes me to be like him." Draco finished.

"Unfortunately, though I believe his mind is already changing."

"Draco, I know you emulated your father. But not being entirely like him isn't the worst thing in the world. Your mother is a wonderful person, and you have a lot of her in you. I've very proud of you," she said, taking his free hand and gently squeezing it.

"Thank you," he whispered again.

"What do you say to some breakfast? You must be hungry, especially after not eating last night."

He nodded and let Silvana take her daughter. "I'll just go put her in bed, and then we can eat."

Stretching, he made his way to the kitchen, leaning against the wall, his senses aware despite knowing he was safe.

"You can sit down, you know," another voice said, causing Draco to stand straight immediately, snapping his head to where Sirius Black stood by the kitchen counter. Cautiously, Draco did as he was told, eyeing the older man suspiciously.

"Okay, look. I may not like you, but obviously you're not as horrid as your father. Even I can see that. So as long as you stay like this and don't hurt my family, I won't hurt you. Got it?"

"Understood, sir," Draco said stiffly, still not sure what to make of his older relative and step–godfather.

"Ah, there you two are. Ready for breakfast?"

"Always," Sirius replied immediately, causing his wife to roll her eyes.

Draco stood up, intent on helping his godmother, despite never having even stepped foot in the kitchen before.

"Draco,, you don't need to help. Go sit down," Silvana said. Though he nodded, she could tell that he was tense, all senses alert – as were hers for that matter.

"I – "

However, suddenly the door flew open, and Severus strode in.

"Silvana, a word alone. Now," he said, his voice strained.

Immediately, Silvana left the room with her brother, throwing up a silencing barrier, while Draco looked almost frightened after him.

"The Dark Lord has been asking questions. About Potter, about Draco. It's getting very dangerous out there."

"It's war, Severus, of course it's dangerous. And I don't know anything about Harry. I'm scared for him, but I don't have any information. You know I'd tell you. As for Draco, just tell Riddle he's following your orders and staying with you on weekends. Riddle does know you're his godfather, right?"

"I can't believe you're telling me to toughen up."

"I'm not. I'm simply saying perhaps you need to take some time off, at least from school. Come stay here."

"With Black? Are you serious, Sila? Now isn't the time. I have to protect the students, and I have to help Potter, and I have to watch out for you and – "

"Severus!" she exclaimed, causing him to stop his rant. Tentatively, she pulled him into a hug, gripping him tightly. "All you need is to know I am here. You are so brave to be doing all that you are," she whispered.

Beneath her fingers, Silvana could feel her little brother shaking, and knew he was trying to use his training to keep himself composed. He hated being weak, as he thought it was. So she just held him. He was taking on so much. She loved him, even if she didn't say it enough. They had both suffered, him even more so.

"I'm proud of you," she said, not letting go, but simply moving them over to the couch.

"Thank you," he whispered, gaining control again.

"I'm sorry," he said then.

"Sev, you never have to be sorry. I promise."

He nodded, straightening. "Why don't you stay for breakfast, if not the full day?"

Looking directly at her, he nodded slightly, ashamed, despite the fact he knew he needn't be in front of her.

"All right. Why – "

However, his response was cut short by a cry that rang through the house. Immediately, Severus was back in control and focus, his wand out. His sister put an hand on his arm, trying to calm him.

"Sev, it's just Evelyn. Why don't you go into the kitchen. Unless you want to get her instead?"

Quickly, the younger man shook his head, returning to the kitchen.

Yet, as Silvana reached the doorway of her daughter's room, she saw that Draco had beat her to it. Once again, Evelyn was smiling happily at her godbrother.

Severus came into the room, laying a hand upon his godson. "Careful," he warned, though his tone was softer than usual, betraying how he too felt "soft" around the innocent little girl. He decided then, despite not being able to stand Black, that he would stay. After all, he had a family to protect. Even if they were being torn apart of this war, forced to go separate ways. They were his to protect and he would do his duty…even if they didn't all know it.

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