Disclaimer: It's JKR's world, I just play in it.

This is set in the same universe as In the Kitchen and In the Study.

While not graphic, this is about SLASH.

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He is such a different man here, versus at home. Actually, I have never seen him at home, rather only in my home, with my father. There he has a gentleness and a grace; here his fury masks a sadness I know more about than I should. Something that he in turn is aware of.

It is hard not to be jealous. Not of him, of having him as my father does, but of that ease of some dark haired alien creature that doesn't know how to leave, that there's even any such thing. So many betrayals in Snape, but not a one of them for my father, although I'm not sure that any but the three of us would understand.

I want him, or something like him, more accurately. Of the many things I wish to take from my father, that particular joy is not one of them, although I will admit to a fantasy inheriting the professor's affections were my father to die too soon.

He hides so much under his teaching robes. He is monolithic here, but I have seen his angles, as he paces in shirtsleeves and slacks, barefoot in my father's study, raving either about potions or politics, or my father's latest scheme or unkind remark. Then it is as if he should have once had wings, his arms slightly too long and his shoulder blades threatening murder. I would kiss them.

Even here, in class, it is easy for me to see that he maybe more deserves to be named after Lucifer, the light-bringer, than my father. My father is as pale as I am, reflective, translucent, but it is Snape that a room feels the presence of, even in darkness, it is Snape, who quietly, secretly brings that light, which is our birthright to show.

It is mostly a secret, and a long one. Twenty years. Twenty years is a long time to be in love, a long time not to betray someone to murder, at least as things go by us. I am impressed, although I suppose too many of my friends know about their unholy union, just as their friends know, and we are so much copies of their generation and school days.

Were that I were my father. There is no changeling here to pursue, no quiet and dark boy unable to understand and thus become indebted to my possessiveness. I think he would be shocked, were I to explain to him, that I am even more alone than he was.

"Mr. Malfoy," he purrs at me, leaning over the desk. "I am sure you ruminations are quite fascinating, but unless you have suddenly come upon an answer to prevent Longbottom from trying to near kill us, yet again, I will have to ask you to grace me with your attention."

That's not good, he rarely calls me out that way in class, but, at the same time, I can see he's half bemused, knowing that his words have different meaning, different images for me, than for my horrified classmates.

"I'm sorry, Sir," I reply with dutiful meekness.

"I'm sure you are," he says and half turns from my desk. "Now, Mr. Malfoy, would you care to tell us, the correct procedure for curing shed boomslang skins?"

I would be out of luck if the hand he were leaning on wasn't in my book pointing to the answer, and so I answer, again, dutifully.

"Very good," he says, walking to the front of the room. "I'm pleased not to have to deduct points from our esteemed house, but I will expect you to stay after class, to discuss this, lapse."

He positively hisses the last word. Half my house looks curious, wonders what is really going on, and one or two of the less cliquish Gryffindors manage to look sympathetic through their enthusiasm.

I am merely, curious, and excited.

"Draco," he asks, softening to the man I know, the man I was half raised with, "what is going on with you?"

"I'm sorry, Sir?" He'll have to spell it out for me, lest I confess to the wrong thing.

"You're inattentive, distracted, nervous and meek. I'd say you were in love if we both didn't know there wasn't a creature in your house worth a moment of your attention. Although I suppose you're still having to beat the Parkinson pug off with your books."

I try not to laugh. "Yes sir, and no, I'm not in love."

"So what is the problem? I'm sure neither of us truly wish for me to go to your father with this."

I half wish he would, an excuse for a family dinner perhaps, or a weekend away. Their ease is as contagious as our maliciousness.

"That is the problem, professor. There's really very little for me here," I say as confidently as I think is wise.

"Hogwarts isn't the rest of your life. Another two years, and you'll be free of this place and have a bigger pond to conquer. Certainly, you'll be more fortunate than myself."

I speak without thinking. "But Hogwarts did determine the rest of your life," I explain and he looks quizzical until I add, "and fathers."

He smiles, knowingly then, and I wish it meant there was so reward to follow, but I can't even imagine what that would be.

"Draco, surely you know I have suffered much, in no small part because of who and what I chose to wed my destiny to at so young an age. You will have a better life. Than either of us." He adds this last part almost as an afterthought.

"You're happy."

"Teaching you dunderheads and cooped up here? Hardly. I make due, Draco, but there's nothing to aspire to in being a schoolmaster."

"You could come live in the manor with us," I say, too young, too over eager. I just like having him near me and I watch as he tries not to laugh at me. His kindness reserved for so few.

"No, I couldn't Draco. It," he pauses here, and I wonder, what it is he truly wishes to say. "It would not be good for me. I prefer, a quieter life, which, I manage well enough here, even with you lot."

His eyes look tired, and I decide not to push it. "I'm sorry for being inattentive, Sir," and he looks relieved for being put back on the initial track of our discussion.

"Don't let it happen again. I will not be so kind, and I doubt, very sincerely that your father will be any type of amused."

"Yes, sir." And I give him a large closed mouth smile, just to remind him that he is not the only one that hurts and wants and needs before I flee the room.

The boy leaves, and Snape cannot help but write to the child's father, half out of amusement and half out of concern.

Dearest Luci:

I worry about your son. No, do not get alarmed at my sentimentality or the root of it. Merely, he is fifteen, and reminds me too much of the both of us, but he is alone. Safer that way I realize, a solitary destiny that will, as I know we both hope, only ever clutch at his arm in pains of sympathy.

Even so, I bid you to return from Paris soon, with or without the boy's mother; I hardly care. He needs to see you. I watch him take ease from what is familiar, and it seems pestering myself tops that list.

Do not punish him for this, or I will without a doubt pass his grief on to you, but he was inattentive in class today, because, it seems he was mooning over the notion of myself. No, not the crush you tease him about so mercilessly (which, I might add, I well continue to doubt), but the notion of companionship. I realize, more than most as you well know, that it is an unwise thing to covet, but he needs more and better peers than can be offered to him here, and dreams better than our own tangled and sad affections.

Owl me when you return, as I do not think a dinner amongst us would be remiss.

In the quiet dark,

Severus.