The Teacher Becomes The Student

Lucius winced and tried to smash the pillow more tightly on top of his head. Narcissa was sleeping soundly next to him and he almost wished she wasn't. It would be nice to have her awake with him, but he had insisted hours ago that she needed sleep. Now a spell to block outside noise ensconced his wife while he listened to the horrid sounds of his home. Someone needed to be able to hear the telltale signs of a huge attack after all. Although he had to admit at the moment he wasn't so sure if he would flee from Aurours or huddle behind them instead. His stomach clenched at a thumping noise and thought furiously "it was just a plant". Or a statue. Anything inanimate would do really.

He stared into the pitch black, clutching his blanket as if the material would somehow shut him off from the world. Glass shattered and Lucius gulped. This time he couldn't think of anything to attribute it to. Instead he concentrated on a memory of Draco breaking a mirror with a quaffle. He had never really managed to get his son to not practice Quidditch in the house. Something just as harmless had happened to break this mirror. He was home in his bed; if he couldn't feel safe here where could he feel safe? Of course he was safe. He wasn't in Azakaban any longer. He was home; the source of all of his happy memories from the past two decades.

He never did fall asleep and his wife woke up staring sadly at him. He let her caress him and soon the two found themselves in a tight embrace. "Tonight you sleep dear. I'll stay up." Lucius just kissed her knowing he'd rather stay up all week than see his wife have even darker circles under her eyes than she did now. Neither of them got up for some time, not wanting to leave the sanctuary of their bedroom. The sun was now quite bright however, and they knew it'd do no good to be accused of hiding. Getting up, they dressed and headed to breakfast where the table was full of unwelcome guests. Of course the Dark Lord sat of the head of the table and Lucius found he wasn't even angry about this fact anymore. Instead he took a seat at the side of the table as if he wasn't the Master of the house.

Nott was attempting to speak to him but Lucius found he wasn't able to concentrate. Across the table from him was his son. Draco was barely managing to hold his fork and when he lifted his face from his plate Lucius saw bloodshot eyes with dark, dark rings around them. Before he could stop himself, he found himself scowling at Draco. Of course the expression was misinterpreted and Draco stared at him as if he'd just been punched before closing himself off and staring back down at his plate. Lucius wanted to groan. He was angry that Draco was obviously not casting the spells to block out noise so he could sleep like he had told him to do, but he wasn't really mad at his son. Surrounded as he was though, there was no way to say any of this. Instead he suffered his son avoiding his gaze for the next hour as they were all required to stay at the table until the Dark Lord was ready to move on with the day.

And just like all of the days preceding it for the last month, it was a slow, dull, oppressive day. No one said much of anything although Lucius did try to hold Narcissa's hand as often as he could. Her hand was much too thin and shook too often so he tried to be the strong one. Draco spent the day like he always did, trying to blend into the shadows as often as possible. That hurt Lucius even more. During his imprisonment he had clung to memories of his family, in particular his son. Draco was his loud, attention seeking boy. He had been released to find himself faced with not only a broken wife but with a son who hardly spoke and shied away from the world. And though he was loathe to admit it, he was hardly fit to help them. Azkaban had hardly left him in much better condition.

That night Lucius sighed as his wife finally drifted off. It had taken quite a while to convince her to sleep, and only then did she agree providing that he promise to wake her up in the middle of the night so she could stay up while he slept. If their house was attacked, Lucius knew it would be up to them to hear it so they could prepare to flee or fight. His Dark Lord would certainly give no warning save for the possibility he needed his followers to fight on his behalf. Much more likely though, his Lord would simply flee, leaving those in the house to deal with the consequences.

Lucius heard shouting and jumped up, racing to the stairs. He looked down only to see a lone victim being dragged through the foyer. The noises tonight would be a bit worse. Determinedly, he went to Draco's room. If Draco wasn't casting the spells to block out the noises himself, Lucius would do it for him. He was quite shocked when the spell came back to him showing the spell he had been casting was already in effect. If Draco had been following his orders after all, why did his son look so awful each day? Undoing the locking spells Draco had on his door, Lucius nudged the door open. The room was silent and dark but Lucius could just make out the outline of his son's body from the moonlight. It was shaking. He closed the door behind him and relocked it. No sounds were made from his actions, the room effectively charmed silent. It would be dangerous if it weren't for the locking spells. Only family could undo them, and even then it was tricky.

Knowing Draco wouldn't be able to hear his voice, he charmed a fountain of green sparks to come jetting out from his wand. Hopefully the change in light would alert Draco to his presence without scaring him too much. Draco made no acknowledgement of noticing anything though, so Lucius resigned himself to frightening his son. He gently touched Draco's shoulder and his son immediately whipped around wide eyed. His eyes were red and salty tracks ran down both of his cheeks. He couldn't remember the last time he had seen Draco cry. Admittedly the last time he had seen him prior to this summer had been Christmas almost two years ago. He wasn't sure what he ought to do. His first instinct had been to hug him but Draco was no longer a little boy. He was an adult now no matter how wrong that seemed to Lucius. He wasn't ready for Draco to be an adult.

Draco seemed to recover from the shock and lifted his arm to remove the spells. Lucius grabbed his arm before he could though, having no desire for his son to hear what was most likely going on downstairs. Lucius was also a bit alarmed that Draco had already been gripping his wand as if ready for attack. Draco frowned, and before he could stop it again, Draco had lifted them defiantly. Instantly shrieks pierced through the room and Draco paled. Lucius squirmed and tried not to think about what caused those noises. He had to be strong. He had to protect his wife and son as best as he could.

He was shocked to see Draco stand up and give him a full frontal hug. It wasn't until then that he realized it was him, not Draco, who was shaking now. "It's alright father. Things have to get better eventually." He nodded and embraced his son back, not understanding why he couldn't pull himself together. Letting go of each other, they sat next to each other on Draco's bed waiting for it to stop. Finally it did and now there were only muffled voices drifting up. "Have you been sleeping at all?" Draco looked over to his father and reluctantly shook his head no. Lucius sighed. He felt he had failed in some way.

They sat there in silence until Draco started whispering quietly. "It's not the noises, I've been doing what you told me to. I still know what's going on though and every time I think about it I can't help but" He didn't finish his sentence but began playing with his wand instead. A thunk reverberated through the room and Lucius let out a shuddering breath. "I'm so sorry Draco. I should be able to help you and your mother more. Instead I just stand there and do nothing. I can't, I can't do what I'm supposed to do." There was an oppressive weight inside of his chest that he couldn't shove off.

He noticed Draco was looking at him and felt even more terrible. Once again he was being weak. He almost pulled back in shock when he felt Draco's hand on his face, dragging his gaze to his son's. Draco held his face in place while looking sternly at him. He didn't know what to do. "Dad, listen to me. You have just as much of a right to be scared as me or mum. You don't need to always be strong. Adults can be scared too sometimes." And with that his son let go of his face and took his hands. Squeezing them, Draco said "We can be scared together." Lucius couldn't help the small smile tugging on his face. "Now go let mum bully you into sleeping."

Lucius found sleeping wasn't as difficult as he imagined it would be that night. His wife ran her fingers through his hair as he drifted off, for once unable to hear the noises from downstairs. He didn't have to be strong. Like Draco said, even adults can be scared too sometimes. After all, he wasn't a bloody Gryffindor.