Title: Four Phases Of The Moon
Rating: R
Pairing: Severus/Draco
Summary: Four stages in the development of Severus and Draco's relationship…
Warnings: Age disparity (~20 yrs), underage sex (Draco is 16)
Word Count: ~3,000
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: Written for the HP_Yule_Balls exchange on LJ.

Curious grey eyes shown in the dark of the Malfoy drawing room as a small child – no older than six – crawled across carpeted floor toward the Christmas tree and the pile of presents under it. The fireplace still glowed a soft orange as the coals simmered. The blonde child, his hair shinning in the silver moonlight that slithered into the room through a crack in the curtains, paused briefly in the shadow of a high-backed armchair and looked around the empty room. His eyes shined mischievously as they fixed once again on the pile of presents under the tree. He continued his slow crawl across the room.

"Where do you think you're going, Mr. Malfoy?"

The boy jumped at the sound of the lazy, razor sharp drawl coming from the armchair. He clamped a hand over mouth, blond strands of hair falling into his eyes. "Uncle Sev!"

"Exactly. Now what are you doing?" The young Potions Master leaned over the side of the armchair to peer questioningly at the boy who now sat in the middle of the room, a sheepish look on his face.

"I. Well. It is past midnight so teh-a-na-cly it's Christmas. So I thought…."


"Yes?" The child – Draco – seemed to pull into himself a bit. His godfather just watched him carefully and silently, his dark hair hanging in curtains around his face so that his features were in perpetual shadow and Draco couldn't tell if the man was mad or not. "One present?" He asked pathetically, lifting a single finger in the air, silver eyes hopeful.

"What did you father say?"

Draco sighed dejectedly. "Wait until morning. But I can't sleep anyways. You're up! Why must I sleep when I can't?"

Severus shook his head and motioned the boy to come over. Draco stood and walked over slowly, almost cautiously, hands fisting in the skirts of his nightgown. Severus picked the boy up and sat him in his lap. "If your father said to wait till morning than you must listen to him."

Draco looked up at his godfather with wide grey eyes that reflected the moonlight seeping into the room in a single ray and falling over his face. In a single movement he curled up into a ball on Severus' lap and put his head on his godfather's shoulder. His blonde hair glowed in the silver light. He looked almost angelic, Severus would later think. "Can you tell me about…mmm…werewolves, Uncle Sev?"

"Werewolves, of all things, at Christmas time? Really Draco."

"Well. How about the Snowman that stole everyone's wands?"

"Why do you like that one so much, Draco?" Severus asked, running a hand gently through Draco's hair.

The boy yawned and nuzzled Severus' shoulder. "Because it's the children who have REAL magic that can stop his. Because the Snowman wanted to give the wands as Christmas presents to the children who didn't have magic because he didn't understand that they couldn't do all the wonderful things that children with REAL magic could."

Severus sighed. The children's tale of a well intentioned but, supposedly, misguided talking snowman was so soaked with Pureblood ideals that it was almost painful. "How about I tell you about werewolves instead?"

"Ok," Draco said, making a movement as though to sit up but he was asleep within minutes as soon as Severus began talking. The young Potions Master looked down at the sleeping form of his godson curled up in his lap, his face bathed in light of the third-quarter moon. He leaned down and kissed Draco's hair before picking the child up into his arms and carrying him off to bed.

The full moon hung heavy in the early August sky, glowing blue and throwing ghostly, misty light over the garden of Malfoy Manor. Narcissa had insisted that they have tea outside since the evening was so warm and everyone seemed in favor The elves had set up an area with soft illumination by means of several candles but the moon's glow provided more than enough light.

Severus was over for dinner that night, as well as Pansy Parkinson whom Draco, at just fourteen, could not yet begin to court formally but it was long decided among the parents of both adolescents that they would be engaged once Draco was of age. Pansy, in a white, muslin gown with silk bows and lacing, sat beside Draco making pleasant conversation with Narcissa while Severus – who had donned his perpetual black, bat-like robes for the evening – sat across from Draco, speaking easily with Lucius.

Draco sat as though isolated, hardly hearing Pansy and his mother, hardly seeing anything but the dark lines of Severus' hair and the firm set of his jaw. His mind was blank the heat that rose up from the bottom of his stomach melded with the heat of the evening and all he could do was stay still as sweat broke out across his brow. He found, lately, that seeing Severus no longer evoked in him childish feelings of delight but rather sent his entire bondy into a frenzy of some feeling that he could no describe.

The moon seemed to burn scathingly bright across the tablecloth, the crystal glasses and porcelain teacups, the rose bushes around them, and Snape's angular face. Draco knew that he was staring but he stared anyways. Bitterness twisted his delicate, handsome mouth into a firm-set frown. He was being disregarded, ignored, supposed to be too young to think and feel and be of any significance. At least when he was little, Severus would spoil him. Now his godfather treated him with some distant formality that stung and burned and made him stumbled all over himself.

Severus sat still, his eyes rooted to Lucius' face, an expression of interest on his face though he was hardly hearing a thing his friend was saying. Draco's gaze was so firmly fixed on him that Severus wondered if the boy was attempting to set him on fire with Wandless Magic. He didn't dare look at Draco. Draco, who looked every part the Slytherin Prince he was considered, bathed in the light of the blustering moon, was a sight Severus did not want to see because he feared he might lose all ability to function if he did. The boy was only fourteen but there was not a single childish line in his face. He was elegance and grace, lithe and delicate and ethereally beautiful.

Unable to bare the intensity of Draco's gaze anymore, Severus turned sharply to the boy and said curtly. "Draco, you're ill. You should go inside and lie down."

Narcissa looked up from her tea and to her son. Noticing Draco's paleness and sweat-socked bangs, she lifted her eyebrows in concern. "You do look quite unwell, Draco. Is something wrong?"

Draco's eyes flared just as his cheeks flushed an unhealthy, bright crimson. He stood abruptly, knocking his chair over. "Quite alright, Mother. It must be…must be the heat," he muttered in utter confusion and embarrassment, angry tears biting at the back of his eyelids. He turned and ran to the house.

Draco stood on the open balcony of the astronomy tower, blonde hair whipping around in the cold wind of early October. The sky was clear and decked with pinpoints of lights, hundreds of stars and one large slice of moon poised somewhere between it's first quarter and the new moon. Grey eyes wide and unseeing, he stared out into the night, his thoughts congested and tumbled, confused and rolled up into a tangled ball of strains of ideas, feelings and realizations that all weaved together to the point of uselessness.

The cold night air stung against his skin when the wind managed to get under his clock and robes. It stung his cheeks, turning them bright pink, and his hands were as white as the moonlight splayed across the ground. His whole body felt numb and unattached to reality, as though floating somewhere in another consciousness.

He could feel Severus standing behind him, could feel how his dark, bottomless eyes burned holes in his back. He could make out the man's words as though through water but they hardly registered. Everything Severus said seemed to flow right through him and fade into the darkness spread over the Hogwarts grounds.

"Let me help you, Draco."

"You can't help you anymore, Severus. You never really could." His own voice sounded distant and Draco attempted to reach for some feeling – any feeling. But there was not a single emotion, not a single steering. He'd emptied himself so completely, disavowed everything that used to make him tremble and blush, that he could no longer find a single trace of humanity around Severus. Especially around Severus.

"Stop being such a spoiled child and think for once, Draco!" Severus' tone was part frustration, part indignation and part desperation. "You can't do this on your own. It's too much, too dangerous."

Draco sneered, numb hands gripping the ledge of the balcony until his knuckles whitened. "I'm not a child. He chose me. It is my assignment. Not yours. I don't need you, Severus. I—" He choked on his own words and swallowed hard.

"Draco." Severus stepped forward and grabbed the boy's shoulder in an iron grip, twisting him around so they were facing each other. "Stop this nonsense. Stop running from me." Snape's expression was as unreadable as always but his eyes blistered and smoldered like a pair of coals in a freshly-extinguished fireplace. The emotions there boiled and pulsed with an intensity that made Draco gasp and struggle backwards.

"What is it to you!" he demanded with an edge that was bitterness more than anger. "Why do you care? Either I succeed or you'll be rid of me! You can't lose."

"Rid of you? Is that what you think, you stupid boy? That I want to be rid of you?"

"Don't insult me!"

"For Merlin's sake, Draco."

Draco twisted out of Severus' grip but did not run. In fact he made no move at all; as though riveted to the spot, he merely looked up into his mentor's face. Severus reached out and ran a hand across Draco's cheek and into his soft blond hair.


"You hardly ever come around now, you hardly ever speak to me directly, you never look directly into my eyes…Now you want me to trust you? How can? Why should I? What reason have you given me to believe that you feel anything but disdain toward me? I was a child, Severus. A boy who knew only whet he felt. But I'm no child anymore and perfectly capable of—"

He was never given a chance to finish. Severus swept down upon him like a large bat on a small mouse. Draco whimpered with the first bruising kiss. His breathing became harsh and uneven. "For Merlin sakes, Severus!" he gasped as they withdrew, but then thrust himself forward, tearing open Severus' cloak and then his own outer robe. They went flush against the wall, Draco's back to the smooth stone as his hands traveled insistently over the older man's chest.

Their robes fell and Draco slid both hands under Severus' shirt as Severus pulled off Draco's, fraying the edges of the tie as he tore open the knot. "If you were any less beautiful I might dare…" Severus started but Draco cut him off by grasping at his groin and squeezing tightly to the point where Severus gasped in pain.

"Don't. Not a word," he commanded in a tone that was purely Malfoy. His hands went up to twine in Severus' hair. Their heated bodies pressed and ground against each other for minutes as their tongues battled for superiority. They licked and bit at each other's lips, frustration and desire, pent up for years, came pouring out in a tangle of hands and mouths and mussed hair. Severus' hands dropped to Draco's belt and Draco pushed his hips forward. Severus undid Draco's belt and set him free. He was hard and the moonlight gleamed invitingly off the pre-cum at the tip of his member.

Severus fell to his knees before the blond as a worshiper before an idol and slid one hand gently over the length of Draco's erection. Draco gasped and arched his hips forward in anticipation. The simple sight of Severus, whom he had thought to be completely unattainable, knelt before him was so arousing that the boy thought he might lose all control in that moment. He moaned loudly when Severus took him in and began to rhythmically massage his member with a warm mouth and agile tongue. Their eyes were locked, burning with desire, pulsating with a want that was insatiable. Draco found his release and threw his head back, crying out and exposing the soft skin of his neck, his Adam's apple bulging.

Severus stood and undid his own belt. He caught Draco in a passionate kiss; Draco tasted himself on Severus' lips and smiled triumphantly into the kiss. He allowed himself to be flipped over, his burning face pressed against the cold stone. Severus muttered a lubricant spell then entered him. Draco's cry of pain was soothed away by Severus' kisses across his shoulders and neck, down his back and into the shell of his ear. They moved in a steady rhythm that made Draco feel like the whole world was unhinged and reality spun before his eyes.

Severus' own release sent him reeling and he clasped Draco close to his chest as they went crumpling to the ground in a tangle of limbs and lowered, but not discarded, pants, onto the pile of cloaks and shirts they had made. He kissed Draco's eyes and lips, his silky blonde hair and flushed cheeks. They lay in silence for some time, their breathing ragged and unsettled.

Severus broke the silence first. "Draco. Tell me?"

"What?" Draco asked, as though in a daze.

"Tell me what you mean to do. Let me help."

Draco tensed, then jumped to his feat, pulling up his pants and grabbing his cloak. "Bastard!" he cried, wiping out his wand. The boy's eyes were still glazed over with the passion they had experienced but tears were now pricking away at his eyelids. Every feeling that had just been crashing through his body was now flushing out of him, leaving behind nothing but a black hole that threatened to consume him.

"Draco," Severus pleaded desperately, eyes narrowing. He stood as well but Draco took a large step back, brandishing his wand.

"Oh stay away from me! How vile! How—no don't speak to me you filthy half-blood! Don't speak to me or I will tell my father! Don't, don't! Never again, I swear!" Draco's face burned with hurt and shame and regret. He gave a cry of pure agony, turned and ran just as he had that night at the Manor when he was fourteen.

Severus watching him with a sinking heart. He had always lost everyone he would come to care for. He had taken the boy and along with him – any chance he ever had to be anyone but a vile half-blood in Draco's eyes.

Severus woke in a dark room, his head cradled in a cloud of white, down pillows and his body swathed in a warm blanket. He hadn't expected to wake up at all but to wake up like this was even more unexpected. Turning his head hurt but he attempted it anyway in hopes of glimpsing a clue as to his whereabouts. There was a large window in the room. The night was clear and numerous stars shown in the night sky but the new moon could not be seen and there was an empty black spot of sky where the glowing orb should have been. A young man was silhouetted against the night landscape, his figure slim and well defined.

The boy turned to look at him and in the darkness Severus made out Draco's face. His mouth was compressed into a thin line and is eyes were dull but otherwise he looked well. "You're awake," Draco declared quietly.

Severus tried to speak but his mouth and throat were too dry and no sound came. Draco slid off the windowsill and went to a small table where a water-filled pitcher stood. Draco poured a glass and brought it to Severus. He cradled the older man's head in the crook of his arm and held the glass to his lips. Severus drank several gulps of water before he could speak properly. "Is it over?"

'The war? Yes. So is your coma apparently."

"How long?"

Draco shrugged. "A couple of weeks. It's the 21st of May. How do you feel?"

"There have been better…days. Draco, did you?"

"Did I what" Draco asked, turning to set the glass of water aside so that he wouldn't have to look Severus in the eyes.

"Save me?"

"No. We heard that you were at St. Mungo's and I just thought…thought you would be more comfortable here." They were silent for a moment.

"I only meant to protect you, Draco. Never use you."

Draco looked over and down at Severus who was looking up at him intensely, "I know. I know now," Draco said quietly, biting his lip. He kicked off his boots and lay down on the bed next to Severus, head on his godfather's shoulder.

Severus had a flashback of Draco as a child, curled up on his lap, head on his shoulder, asking to be entertained with stories about werewolves. "Should I talk of werewolves?"

Draco laughed quietly. "No. Sleep for now. We can talk tomorrow." They slept like that, side by side, both nurturing the hope that in the light of day they might talk with clearer minds and start anew.

As morning neared, the shadow of the new moon gave way to the slightest sliver of silver light.