Note from Author: I was very unsure how to bring this story to a close. Here I am sharing two of the final chapters I wrote before deciding that they did not fit in the story. I am also including a brief portion of a chapter that I took out of the middle.

Chapter 53

Draco's Return

Note from Author: This chapter was taken out because it just cased unnecessary stress in the character's lives when the story was ready to be ended. Plus it felt a bit (actually a lot) like a trashy soap opera. It is pretty crappy. But if you are interested in reading it here it is.

(September 3, 2003)

David burst through the front door with Severus riding on his shoulders.

"Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd," David sang up to Severus.

"Buy me some peanuts and apples," shouted Severus.

David reached up and pulled Severus off him and placed him on the ground. "No, Sev, it is 'buy me some peanuts and applejacks,'" David told him. (So after I wrote this I realized that the words are "buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks" Applejacks is a breakfast cereal…so apparently like me David is not a very big sports fan and has absolutely no idea what he is talking about.)

"But I just want an apple," Severus argued.

"Fine," sighed David and then grinned at my son. "Do what you want then."

"I will," Severus proclaimed.

David looked up at me. I was in the kitchen making dinner. "Don't you have something for your mother?" David asked Severus without taking his eyes from me.

I blushed deeply.

"Oh yeah," Severus cried. "Mommy, look what I got!"

Severus ran to me and held out a baseball in his little fist.

I knelt down next to him.

"This is for you, Mommy!" he said excitedly, handing me the ball. I took it with a smile. "David has one and so do I," Severus explained. He pulled another baseball out of his jacket pocket. The balls were worn and dirty, not the brand new kind that you could by in the gift shop.

"Three?" I questioned with raised eyebrows.

"Yeah," David exclaimed. "It was amazing. Three balls just came right to him and he caught them all in his hat."

"Really now?" I said as I straightened up, an edge to my voice.

"It was incredible," David smiled proudly at Severus.

"Yeah," I said looking down at my son, "Incredible, just like magic."

Severus looked down at the floor.

"Oh," said David as everything began to make sense.

"Severus you know you are not supposed to do magic in public," I told him sternly.

"I'm sorry, Mommy," he said, "I'm sorry."

"Are you really?" I asked.

Severus thought about this for a minute and then shook his head. "I wanted to get you a present," he said sweetly.

I sighed. "Go get cleaned up for dinner, okay?" I said. "And we will talk about this later."

He was about to run off but before he could I caught him in my arms and kissed him on the cheek. "Okay now you can go," I said.

He laughed and ran to wash up.

"I'm sorry," David told me as I walk over to the stove.

"It is not your fault," I assured him. My brows knit together with concern. "I am just starting to worry," I blurted. "Since his powers started to show he has gained a lot of control over them."

"Isn't that good?" David asked, walking over to me.

"I don't know," I admitted. "It is not common for a young witch or wizard, who is wand-less, to be able to control their powers like Severus is doing."

"Well he is just gifted, I guess," David whispered to me. He wrapped his arms around my waist from behind. I instinctively tensed up, but then remembered that it was okay to relax with him. David squeezed me tighter and kissed my neck gently. Shivers spilled down my spine.

Since our reunion at his art shop, David had not tried to kiss me on my lips. I knew that he was waiting for me to make the next move, as if a kiss would seal the deal. Although there was lots of hugging and hand holding and once in a while he would kiss me on the neck, cheek or forehead as if to say "See what you could have? Aren't you tempted? Wouldn't you like more?"

And the truth was that I would, but yet there was still a gaging feeling I got every time I thought about getting intimate with David, a mixture of fear and self-consciousness. I felt like damaged good and I was just so afraid that when he realized that he would leave. But so far he remained ignorant to the fact that I could never deserve him. He was so whole and pure and happy…and I, well, I was a fragile collection of broken pieces taped together, ready to fall apart at any minute.

I turned around from my cooking, twisting in his arms. I let my cheek rest against his shoulder, if only for a moment I could enjoy being in his embrace and forget that I did not belong there.

I looked up at him and he smiled at me as if he were the happiest person alive.

I instantly pulled away from him. His smile faded at once. I knew I was frustrating him…but he was frustrating me too. Not only was he completely wonderful and completely out of my reach, but he kept dangling himself in front of me. He was at my apartment almost every day and on top of it all he had become Severus's knew BFF. So there was not room to forget him or my feelings for him, even when he was not around.

David sighed and moved away from me. I turned back to my cooking.

"If you are bothered so much by it perhaps you should just leave," I said coldly.

"Why do you have to do that," he said exasperatedly.

"Do what?" I asked roughly.

"Push me away," he said matter-of-factly.

I ignored him.

"See it confuses me when I know how you feel and yet you still put up a wall," he said.

"I don't put up a wall and I like having you around and Severus does but that is it," I told him harshly. I forced myself to look at him to see if my message was received. My heart stung as I caught his gaze. The hurt was obvious in his eyes. You can do so much better than me, I thought.

"Why did you tell me your secret?" David asked for the hundredth time, trying to get me to admit that I told him about the wizarding world because I needed him to know, because I was lonely, because I wanted to share that part of me with him, because I- Well it did not matter why, anyway that was not my real secret. My real secret was buried deep inside me and the only other people that new about it were dead. It was my burden to bear; someday it would be Severus's too, but not today.

"I told you because you saw Severus do magic," I lied.

"But you could have modified my memory," David pointed out. I had told him too much to be dishonest.

"David," I signed with exasperation. "Let's not have this conversation right now, please."

"Okay," said David hardly. "Then let's talk about something else."

"Fine," I said.

"Let's talk about Severus's father," David retorted.

"I told you he's-"

"Yeah dead, I know," David started. "Did he have magic too?"

"David!" I half shouted. "I don't-"

"Yeah I know you don't want to talk about it," he said with no remorse. "Did he have control over his magic like Severus."

"He was nothing like Severus," I said firmly.

"Could he speak to snakes too?"

"SHUT UP!" I screamed at him.

David backed off from me.

I grabbed the counter for support. "Shut up," I said weakly. As if David had pushed a button in my heart, tears started running down my cheeks.

"Alex?" David said with alarm.

"Can you just go check on Severus," I said softly.


"Please, David," I said wearily turning away from him. I felt his eyes on me for several moments before he left the room.

Wiping my face with a kitchen towel I began to ladle soup into three bowls and put it on the table.

Then there was a knock on the door.

I gave my eyes a final rub before hurrying to answer the door.

I stood on my toes to look through the peep hole and my heart stopped.

"Oh my god," I breathed pressing my back against the door for support, "Oh my god."

Another knock came just above my right shoulder.

I took in a deep breath and opened the door.

"Draco," I was barely able to say.

Standing in my doorway was Draco Malfoy, five years older, blond, and sneering but just as handsome as ever. He wore a black suit and black button down shirt that was a shocking and impressive contrast with his pale skin and white blond hair.

His grey eyes poured into mine, like they had many times before.

This is not happening to me, I thought desperately.

"Hello, Alex," Draco said.

"Oh God," I breathed grasping my chest.

"It's been a while," said Draco.

"Oh yeah," I said in a panic.

"Surprised to see me?" he asked, leaning in and kissing me right on the mouth. I froze on the spot

"Wh-what are you doing here?" I stammered.

"Well," said Draco reaching out to stroke my cheek. I pulled back before he could touch me. Draco took that as an invitation to come inside. He stepped over the threshold and began looking around at my apartment with a scowl. "Well," he began again, "I am getting married actually," he told me as he walked into my kitchen and stirred to pot of soup still on the stove. "In three days."

"Oh," I said lamely, wondering how this was at all relevant to my life.

"Yes, Astoria Greengrass," said Draco, "lovely girl, Slytherin and pure-blood."

"She sounds delightful," I said starting to get some sarcasm back.

Draco turned away from the soup and walked towards me again. "Yes," said Draco, "Everything is in order, all the plans made, although," he paused. "There has been something nagging at me for quite a while now." He stood directly in front of me now.

"And what is that?" I asked him.

He grabbed my waist in his hands and pulled me towards him. "You," he hissed.

"Me?" I questioned trying to pull away, but Draco pulled me closer to him.

"Yes you," he said putting his face closer to mine. Images flashed into the front of my mind of our nights together.

I shook my head as if to try to get the memories out through my ears.

"Oh don't worry," said Draco releasing me. "I haven't come all this way to seduce you…sorry."

"Pity," I told him through pursed lips.

"I can because I was," he thought about this for a moment. "Worried is not quite the right word. Anyway, I wanted to make sure you were not starving or living in a dumpster or something like that."

"It has been more than five years," I pointed out. "I could very well have been dead by now."

"Not likely," said Draco, "you are too clever and stubborn to die."

"Well thanks, I guess," I told him.

"Well now that I see you are okay I can get married with a clear conscious."

"Good for you," I said coldly.

"You are awfully snarky today," said Draco. "Aren't you happy to see me? Just a little bit, maybe?"

He grinned at me slyly. He was my only comfort and escape during the darkest moments of my life, of course I was happy to see him.

I smiled back at him and he opened his arms, I feel into them like many times before. "It is nice to see you," I said into Draco's shoulder. He tightened his hold on me.

"Mommy," called Severus's voice. Draco let go of me at once.

Shit, I thought.

David and Severus stood only three yards away, watching Draco and I embrace.

Draco's eyes widened as Severus came running towards us. Draco backed up as Severus drew nearer as if my son had some contagious disease.

I took Severus in my arms and rested his weight on my left hip.

"Who are you?" Severus asked Draco.

I glanced to my right and saw David still as a statue watching the scene through untrusting eyes.

Draco looked from my face to Severus's and then stepped back further.

I put Severus down and he bravely walked over to the cowering Draco and extended his hand.

"I'm Severus Snape," said Severus.

Draco gave me a long terrified look before giving Severus his hand.

"How old are you?" Draco.

"That is not how it is supposed to work," Severus told him. "I tell you who I am and then you tell me who you are. Okay?"

Draco turned his gaze towards David and then to Severus again. I knew he was desperately trying to identify similar characteristics between to two.

David just glared back at Draco angrily, but then shook his head.

Draco looked down at Severus. "I am Draco Malfoy."

He grabbed my sons hand and shook it gently. His fingers writhed under the grasp of Severus's.

I heard a snort come from David's direction, but we all decided to ignore it.

"Now you can ask me how old I am," said Severus bossily.

"How old are you?" Draco asked timidly.

"I'm five and a half," Severus stated proudly.

"Five and a half," Draco mouthed. I could almost hear his brain replaying my words from earlier, 'It has been more than five years…'

"My God," Draco stared at me with horrified eyes.

"It's not what you think," I said timidly.

"Then what is it," spoke two voices in unison. Draco and David both confronted me.

"Severus," I said in my sweetest-trying-to –stay-calm voice. "Darling, will you go to your room and play for a while, Mr. Malfoy is an old friend of mine and we want to have time to talk."

"Why can't I talk too?" asked Severus.

"Because, Darling, we want to have adult time," I said.

Severus looked hurt at being sent away, I never left him out of anything, because up until recently it was just him and me.

"Please, sweetheart," I pleaded.

"Can David come play with me?" Severus asked.

"Yes," I sighed. "Please by all means take David with you."

"No," David protested.


"No," he said firmly. "I am staying here." He turned to Severus. "Why don't you go paint a picture with the supplies I brought you?"

"With our supervision?" Severus asked wide eyed.

David nodded and Severus smiled and ran to make a mess.

David walked between me and Draco, holding out his hand to the latter.

"David Harper," he said firmly.

Skeptically Draco shook David's hand.

Then both men turned to look at me, waiting for an explanation. I felt cornered.

"Perhaps we should all sit," I suggested nervously.

"Fine," said David. He walked over to the sitting area and moved Useless the cat off the sofa and sat. He looked at Draco and then gestured to the chair. Then he looked at me and patted the sofa cushion next to him.

I sat at the very edge of the sofa, as far from David as possible, but he moved himself closer to me. Then put his arm firmly around my shoulders, not to comfort me but to prove to Draco that he could.

I took a deep breath, waiting for someone else to start.

"What the hell is this?" David exclaimed.

I glanced at Draco who seemed too shocked to speak.

"It isn't what you think," I whispered to him.

"Is he Severus's father?" David asked the blunt question.

I pulled myself out of David's grasp, but then put a firm hand on his knee to keep him calm.

"Does he look like he is?" I asked David wearily. I felt as though an army was trying to penetrate my castle's stone walls of safety; there was nowhere else to go, nothing left to do, but wait for them to come.

"Who the hell is this?" David asked me gesturing at Draco.

"Perhaps I should be asking you the same question," Draco said coldly.

"Both of you please," I begged. "I will," I sighed deeply, "I will explain."

"You better," Draco said harshly.

"Watch it," David pointed at him.

"Draco, you are not Severus's father," I whispered, "I promise."

Draco looked at me scandalized. "Five years ago you and I…" he trailed off.

"Yeah, I know," I said defensively, "but that doesn't change the fact that you are not the father."

"Is he the father?" Draco pointed at David.

I wished David was not in the room so I could lie and say that he was. I shook my head.

"Then who the hell is?" Draco interrogated.

I gulped and casted my eyes down. "I don't know," I lied.

"Yeah, well I don't buy it," Draco said.

"Why does it matter who it is?" I told him. "It isn't you?"

"Well then who else were you possibly sleeping with?" Draco retorted.

"Draco…" I began without a purpose.

"What?" He spat. "Is it really that horrible to you that the child is mine?"

"I thought you said the father was dead," David spoke up.

I was trapped. I stood up and knelt by Draco taking his hands. Tears began streaming down my cheeks.

"Please believe what I am saying to you?" I cried.

"Not a chance," Draco told me.

"You are not Severus's father," I told his desperately.

"Then who is?"

"Think Draco. Please don't make me say it out loud," I bawled.

Draco's eyes widened. "It can't be," he said.

"Severus can talk to snakes, Draco," I whispered.

"No," he hissed.

I nodded through tears. "Please don't tell anyone, please, Draco!"

"Is he anything-"

"No, no," I cried. "He is not like him in the slightest. He is so good and pure and happy."

"He is a parselmouth," Draco said back.

"So is Harry Potter," I reminded.

Draco scowled.

"Please, Draco for me. Never tell a soul, please!" I begged.

Draco stood and pulled me with him. He brought me into him and hugged me. "I promise," he whispered in my ear and then released me.

My body was shaking all over as he released me. David was at my side at once. I was skeptical about trusting anyone with the information that I just gave away to Draco. Perhaps Severus and I would have to move somewhere far away so I could be sure that he was safe.

David enclosed me in his arms. I didn't hug him back but continued to shake.

Draco looked at me with terrified eyes, but then turned his gaze to David with curiosity.

"What is this all about?" David asked Draco.

"You don't know?" Draco asked with little interest, looking with concern at me again. He reached out his arm and grabbed my hand.

Now I was awkwardly trapped with David and pulled in the other direction by Draco.

"Mommy!" called Severus. We all broke apart and Draco turned a sickening ashy color.

I took in a cleansing breath. "Yes, Severus," I called back.

"Can I come out now?" he asked hopefully.

"In five more minutes," I cried back.

"How long is that?" he asked.

"Sing happy birthday four times, twinkle twinkle little star 3 times and your ABC 5 times."

"That's a lot," Severus commented.

"I know, honey," I said. "We just need a little more time."

"Okay Mommy," he said. And then I could hear him starting to sing.

"What is going on?" David asked me.

I ignored him and looked at Draco.

"I will keep your secret," Draco said firmly. "But I don't want to see the child again."

Tears flooded from my eyes, and hatred filled my heart as Draco spoke of my son as some sort of parasite.

"Make me an unbreakable vow that you won't tell," I said bitterly.

"Alex…" Draco stammered.

"If you will not tell, you should have no problem doing it," I hissed at him suddenly feeling like I was channeling my cousin.

"We don't have enough wizards to do it," he said triumphantly, "unless your muggle wants to do the honors."

Draco and I both looked at David, who was fuming in confusion and anger.

Suddenly, Severus came running towards us. Draco backed up against the fireplace as my five year old son was a credible threat.

"Oh please Draco," I hissed at him and he straightened up.

"Mommy, I sang everything you told me to sing," Severus said cheerfully.

"Very good," I breathed, "Go sit at the table."

Not letting me escape, Severus grabbed my arm and began to pull me towards the table.

"Hold on, Sev," I whispered.

"Come on, Mommy," he said as he pulled me harder.

"I will be right there," I said firmly. "Just let me say goodbye to Mr. Malfoy."

Severus let go of me and then stomped over to the table alone.

Draco took both my hands, raised one to his lips and kissed it hesitantly.

David made a noise beside me.

"Do you trust me?" Draco whispered, his eyes pouring into mine.

Trust the most powerful, dangerous word in the English vocabulary, well next to love that is.

I swallowed hard. "Yes," I assured him and myself. I wanted to follow my reply with a threat that if he ever spoke about Severus's parentage I would personally make him wish he had never been born, but I choked back the retort. I did trust Draco Malfoy.

He nodded once curtly and then said his goodbyes. I felt as if a grey cloud had washed over me. I would miss my old friend.

"Come now, Mommy!" Severus demanded.

I snapped out of it. "You are so bossy," I teased. "Okay, okay, I'm coming." I turned to Draco on last time. "Goodbye."

He moved to the door and David followed him. I through him a warning look.

"I will see you out," David said too kindly. I looked skeptically at him. He shrugged. "It is only polite," David grinned at me forcefully.

Draco threw a glance over his shoulder, but then let David follow him out the door.

"How do you know, Alex?" David asked Draco as soon as they were in the hall. "You knew Severus's father, what happened?"

"One question at a time, Muggle," Draco told David through a sneer. David scowled. "I went to school with Alex and other things." Draco smiled disgustingly. David felt a blazing desire to punch him. "As for the other question, you were in there, I just gave my word not to speak of it didn't you hear that?"

"I don't think she will mind if you tell me," David said weakly.

"Really now," Draco leered. "If she wanted you to know she probably would have told you by now."

David looked as if he really would punch Draco. Draco decided to change his tone. "How do you know Alex?" he asked.

"I have known her since we were children," David said defensively.

"Interesting," Draco said. "Well obviously you know she is a witch…what else do you know?"

"I know about the wizarding world and Hogwarts and the other creatures," David said.

"So not very much then," Draco commented. "Tell me, has Alex ever told you about me?"

"No," David said proudly.

"Well she has never told me about you either," Draco retorted. "How about the first Severus Snape, do you know about him?"

"I know he was Alex's cousin and a wizard," David said.

"So again practically nothing," Draco told him. David looked down. "What about the death of her family?"

"I know they were killed by dark wizards," David said.

"Is that it?" Draco asked.

"Alex didn't seem like she liked to talk about it," David said, "So I didn't want to push her."

"I have no idea what the two of you talk about," Draco said. "Have you slept with her at least?"

David pressed his lips together.

"So obviously you two just sit around and look at each other all day," said Draco.

David's eyebrows knit together. He was thinking over everything Blondie said. A feeling of extreme panic came over him. He knew that Alex was not telling him everything, but he believed she would in time. He was honored that he had trusted him with her secret of magic, but obviously he had not trusted him enough to confide in him much more. How did she feel about him? He thought he knew, but perhaps he was wrong.

"Hey," Draco said.

David was pulled back and looked at the man in front of him.

"You really do care about her, don't you?" Draco asked.

David thought about this for a moment. "Caring about her is an understatement," he said almost bitterly.

"Look," said Draco in a mockingly serious way. "Maybe it is a good thing that she hasn't slept with you yet."

David rolled his eye; Blondie was not getting the point.

"I am just saying," said Draco, "She seems the type to wait for the right moment if she really likes someone."

David wondered if this was Blondie's way of trying to make him feel better.

"She must have really hated me, then," Draco pointed out.

Or maybe not.

"You really are not the father?" David wanted to clear this up.

"I am really not." Draco told him.

"Good," David sighed.

Draco almost smiled. "Take care of her," he told David.

And before David could say that he would Draco was gone.

Note from Author: Okay this next bit is chapter 54.

(Same day)

I whispered a final goodnight to Severus and closed his bedroom door. Walking into the living, I saw David sitting on the very edge of the sofa stroking Useless with his mind somewhere else.

"We need to talk don't we?" I asked hesitantly. I was curious as to what Draco had told him. David was pale and speechless at dinner. Did he know?

"Oh yeah," David sighed.

"Okay," I said, taking a seat across from him.

David shook his head, patting the cushion right beside him. I stood and David moved the cat.

As soon as I was seated beside him David grabbed my hands so that I was facing him.

His eyes were so green and even in distress they glittered. My heart skipped a beat.

"I love you," he blurted.

Warmth built up inside me and started bubbling up my body, but I tried to cool the feeling. This could not be. It was not right. David was too good for me. I had suspected that he was in love with me, but he had never said it before now. I tried to convince myself that I was wrong but now that the words are out I could no longer live the lie.

"It is out in the open now," David said after I was silent. "Oh God please say something."

"I don't know what to say," I told him.

"I feel like you love me," David said, "Sometimes I feel it more than others, but perhaps I am deluding myself." He let go of my hands and turned his face away from me. "When we were younger, I used to think that maybe you did, but I didn't do anything about it. Perhaps it is too late."

"David," I started with nothing else to say.

"What," he hissed, his face still turned from me.

"I don't know," I admitted.

"You don't know what, Alex?" he said bitterly. "You don't know what you think or you don't know what to say?" He let out a definite sniff. He was crying. I made David cry. I felt awful, but perhaps if he just hated me it would be better. My insides ached for him.

I reached out a hand to touch his shoulder, he pressed up against my hand.

"Just tell me you don't love me then," he said, "tell me one way or the other. I just need to know." His voice broke and so did my heart.

"Look at me, David," I whispered.

He did. His green eyes swimming with tears I caught one with my thumb as it rolled down his cheek. I left my hand cupped around his face.

"You don't want me," I assured him.

"Don't I," he mused.

"David, I have lost so much, so many people. I have been through and seen too much. I am not worth loving," at this I heard my own voice crack. "And I am definitely not worth being loved by."

"Tell me everything and I will judge for myself," David muttered.

"David I-" I began.

He put a finger to my lips. "Tell me how you feel about me first."

Tears streamed down my own face, it was David's turn to wipe them away. "I love you," I cried. "I have loved you so long! Since I knew what love was!"

A humongous smile spread across David's lips and he took me into his arms. "That is all I needed to know," he exclaimed. But it wasn't, so I told him everything and he stayed with me forever.

Note from Author: This is just something I wrote to try to expand of David and Alex's relationship, but it never found a place in my story

First of all David never showed the slightest bit of interest in me. He was known at school for reaching the "great" achievement of dating every member of the cheer squad. He liked the bleach blonde, big breasted, short skirted, whore type. So yeah, he had horrible taste in women and never was attracted to the awkward, bookish type that sang in the school choir and went to chess club every Wednesday. But when beautiful, slutty cheerleaders are prancing around, with plunging cleavage and mini-skirts that hardly cover anything, how could David resist? He is only human. Plus girls like that just set out to seduce guys like David, smokin' hot, sports stars. Poor David never stood a chance.

I know it sounds like I fell for the typical, clichéd high school jock, but I didn't. David never ignored that awkward, bookish girl, when others would. Although, he never showed her a bit of interest he was always kind.

Thank you to everyone who has read this story to the end.


Thora Jane