Conversing with Severus Snape had often in the past left Harry feeling bewildered. Why did the man hate him so? Why was his vocabulary so extensive seeing as he was such a dungeon bat and didn't seem to talk much with anyone? Had he ever come across a bottle of shampoo? These were the questions Harry had asked himself as irritation ran underneath his skin, the latest insult causing his blood to boil in anger.
Remarkably enough, the past few hours had been peaceful, until now.
It was as though he'd been wading in treacherous waters. He'd been cautious with his words, careful to show gratitude-just be knocked off his feet from a behemoth wave. The reaction to his arm had been rather extreme in Harry's mind. Who cared how long he'd been in pain?
After Harry had snapped, "I thought you knew!" Snape had excused himself rather stiffly and retreated to some back room Harry couldn't see.
Happy to have a moment to let his guard down, especially when he had come so close to bolting only moments before, Harry sunk back into the couch and pulled one of the decorative pillows in front of his bare chest protectively.
A sigh creeped up from deep within his chest and emerged shakily. God, he wanted to sleep.
It felt like a hundred years had passed since he had arrived at Hogwarts with both children in tow. Their faces had been so young underneath the dirt from the cave. Harry felt guilty for being away from them so long. He wanted to reassure them that they were safe at Hogwarts, safe with Molly Weasley, maybe even confide that the castle had been more of a home to him than even his relative's house ever had or ever could be.
At the same time, part of him whispered that they wouldn't even be around much longer. Someone from Wizarding Child Services would arrive to take them away within the next twenty four hours, he was sure of it. Even the relief at finally being 'safe' wouldn't remain indefinitely. All that they had been through wouldn't matter anymore.
"Mr Potter, here."
Jerking in surprise, Harry avoided eyeing the bundle in the man's hands and instead looked straight up at Snape.
He had the ability to be such an imposing figure when he wanted, but now he didn't even raise an eyebrow at Harry's jumpiness.
"I believe these will be sufficient for the time being. Until we can return you to your relatives house."
Their eyes met. Suspicious green trying to gauge some sort of emotion in his teacher's own black depths. Quickly, Harry looked back down at the still outstretched hand.
Snape held two neatly folded items of clothing, expectantly waiting on Harry to take them. It was clear what they were just from the dark blue and green plaid material.
Harry stared at them, mouth open slightly in surprise. The man was lending him pajamas. His pajamas.
With a sigh, Snape dropped them and they landed in Harry's lap. Just from sight alone, they looked supple and warm. It was not the type of clothing he would have expected his hard, brusque teacher to have in his wardrobe. Harry lay his hand on the clothes slowly and let his fingers run over the clean cotton.
Maybe it was due to his wearing the same dirty clothing for days now, or perhaps it was because he was so tired and possibly a little high on painkillers...but the act of being offered pajamas by Snape of all people, made a jagged lump of stone to form in Harry's throat.
"Thank you, sir."
"Sweet Merlin," Snape said gruffly, looking unnerved as he noted the undercurrent of emotion in Harry's voice. "It's a pair of pajamas, Potter, not a vial of unicorn blood."
"Sorry," Harry murmured.
Snape cleared his throat. "Do your relatives have a way of reaching you? It's been quite a few days since the incident with the Muggle and they've yet to attempt correspondence with the Headmaster."
Gripping the pajamas, Harry looked down at his dirty fingers and bit his lip.
"Would you like some parchment to write them a letter?"
"No!" Harry replied quickly, feeling his face pale a little. He'd have hell to pay if an owl showed up at the Dursley's house. His response was too quick as his Professor went still.
Pushing the pillow away from his chest so he could attempt to stand, Harry continued. "It's like you said, I'll be back there soon enough-"
"'Soon enough' is a couple of days at least. Surely you'd like to end their worrying?"
Harry snorted and then blanched. He could feel Snape's eyes peering at him, probably narrowed in thought. This was going great.
"Honestly, Professor...they aren't big worriers. They know I'm well taken care of here-"
"You were kidnapped from their house," Snape said tightly. "A knife was plunged into your leg, a Muggle was left dead in their home and you think they'll be eating cream patisserie and discussing the Daily News?"
Harry couldn't help but smile tightly, "No, that's ridiculous, they never discuss anything educational."
Snape looked incredulous and opened his mouth, already inhaling for another verbal barrage.
The house elf, Harry remembered her name was Jilly, chose then to return to Snape's rooms with a floating tray at her side. Even from where he sat, Harry could see the steam rise from the bowl of broth and felt pangs of hunger in his stomach.
Snape didn't seem quite ready to let the argument go, but neither was he willing to make Harry remain hungry.
"I can perform a cleaning charm, but if you would rather wash your hands in a legitimate sink, it's down the hall to your right."
Dragging himself out of comfortable couch was a lot harder than Harry imagined it would be. Sharply his breath caught in his chest and Harry held still in a slightly bent over position. If only his vision would stop swimming...he felt like the entire world was on an axis. Harry threw out his good hand just in case he needed it to break his fall.
A steady hand caught his shaking arm.
"I haven't even finished healing your first set of injuries and you're about to crack your skull open," Snape muttered. His tone wasn't degrading, so Harry managed a slight grimace that was supposed to pass for a smile.
"Sorry, sir. I-I'm just..." Harry couldn't even find the words to describe how utterly exhausted he felt. That combined with the lingering pain, the dirt and blood irritating his skin, the shakiness from the unforgivables. It was overwhelming.
"There are less than twenty steps from here to the wash room," Snape said from where he stood close by. "If you feel like you can't make that, I'll ask Jilly to bring you a basin of warm water here."
Harry blinked and nodded, "I...I can do it-just, um..."
"Could you, just...not go far, sir?" Harry felt heat rise in his cheeks and didn't meet his Professor's eyes. "I feel like my knees are going to give out," he added in a soft voice that betrayed his embarrassment even more than his face did.
The hand on his arm tightened just slightly, and Harry saw Snape nod once out of his peripheral vision.
Harry traveled slowly towards the doorway of the washroom. Relief flooded him as his hand touched the open doorway, and he glanced sideways at his Professor.
"Take these with you, once your changed I'll finish with your arm."
Taking the pajamas that Snape had picked up from the couch, Harry stepped into the bathroom and closed the door after him quietly. His reflection was a little shocking.
No wonder Snape was being almost kind. Flecks of dried blood remained under his nose and Harry cringed at the sight of his drawn face, complete with dark circles under his eyes and cracked lips.
"You look a right mess, Potter," Harry told himself bitterly and shook his head before turning on the taps. As tired as he was, thoughts of what he'd gone through the past few days ran through his mind. Methodically he began to scrub under his fingernails with the bar of white soap left just for that purpose.
In the past, Harry had always attributed his survival in whatever deadly situation he found himself in, to others. Or, in some cases, pure dumb luck. It seemed that even though it had been years since Harry came to Hogwarts, some things didn't change.
Without Elizabeth's message, Harry would have never found the herbs in her cloak or known what to do with them. Then, young Parker had found the entrance to the cave that led to them finally being rescued.
Harry wondered if he'd ever be able to save himself. He hadn't even thought fast enough to save Thomas. The man could have had another chance to make the right decision, to become a better person. Frowning a little in self-contempt, Harry made a lather with the soap and moved to wash his face. The crisp, cold water felt so good on his cracked lips and bruised face.
Cupping his good hand, Harry splashed his face until water ran down his wrist and splashed onto the stone floor below. After tidying up the bathroom, Harry carefully pulled on the pajama top with a bemused shake of his head and slowly buttoned it up.
The pant legs on the pajamas were far too long and Harry knelt to roll them up. When he exited the bathroom in the borrowed clothes, Harry looked around the empty living room and bit his lip.
Snape had been very nice to him so far, in comparison to their normal encounters. But, it couldn't last forever, and Harry wasn't sure how much longer he could stay awake. He needed a place to sleep where he'd feel like he belonged and not like an intruder leaching off of someone else's generosity. Eyes sliding to the door he'd come in from, Harry considered leaving. Due to some of the potion he'd taken earlier, his arm no longer throbbed, and he could probably sneak some SkeleGrow from the infirmary.
"Sit where you were before and I'll finish the administrations to your arm," Snape said, walking briskly back into the room before Harry could leave.
Harry sat and watched as Snape moved to sit in front of him as he had before. There was a very recognizable bottle of SkeleGrow in one long fingered hand, and an odd length of material in his other.
"A sling," Snape explained as he noticed where Harry's gaze landed. "Your arm needs to be held as still as possible while the bone sets and mends back together."
Harry nodded like he understood the biology of mending bones and didn't argue when Snape helped him wrap his arm so it was secure. The dose of SkeleGrow that was handed to him was small and Harry raised an eyebrow at it.
"You aren't growing a whole arms worth of bones this time, Potter," his professor told him. "One would think you'd remember the taste and not even dare to question how little I give you."
Cracking a small grin, Harry tossed back the potion much like he'd seen people in pubs toss shots. Little amount or not, it was still disgusting and a shiver worked its way down his spine.
"Thanks for your help sir, even though it's not your job. I'll leave you alone now," Harry stood and made to move away from the couch.
"Sit down, Potter. You need to eat."
Shifting from one foot to another, Harry looked at the tray of food that floated over to land on the table before him and felt awkward
"What's wrong now?"
Startled that his discomfort had been noted so quickly, Harry cleared his throat.
"You don't have to feed me too, sir. I can go to the kitchens and find something."
Snape raised one eyebrow and crossed his arms in a slow, methodical way.
"This came from the kitchens. I don't fully comprehend your hesitancy toward accepting what people offer you. I could understand the clothes, as they belong to your much hated Professor-" he held up a hand as Harry opened his mouth. "This however, is just a bowl of soup, and you are obviously famished. One would think you'd be familiar with the aspect of those who are older than you finding a way to provide when you are in need. No?" His eyes bored into Harry's, once again searching for something.
Harry was wishing he'd just eaten the damn soup.
"I'm sorry?" he offered.
Placing a hand on the bridge of his nose in an odd show of tiredness, Snape muttered. "Just eat the damn soup already, Potter."
There was no arguing with that. Embarrassed, Harry began to eat.
The first sip of the broth caused goose bumps to rise on the flesh of his arms. Hot and wonderfully seasoned, it soothed Harry's aching throat and caused him to close his eyes. Falling asleep wouldn't be a difficulty tonight. The fire crackled, sparks occasionally flying out onto the hearth where they were immediately diminished.
He couldn't remember wearing a more comfortable set of pajamas...not that he'd tell Snape that. What in the world would Ron say when he found out Harry borrowed some of the professor's clothes? Maybe that should remain unmentioned.
"I'm curious as to why your wand was left behind at your relative's house."
It wasn't phrased as a question, but Harry took it as one. He opened his eyes. They had fallen shut again without his permission.
"Uncle Vernon threw it in my trunk then locked it up," Harry said and took another long sip of the broth. Some part of his mind threw up a warning flag but he was too drowsy with contentment to take full notice.
"I'm surprised he would do that considering how often you've had to use your wand to protect yourself."
Harry found this statement funny and couldn't stop from smiling.
"Why would he care about me having a way to protect myself?" Harry laughed a little and lay the spoon down beside the bowl. There was some left, but he couldn't find the strength to lift his arm anymore. Slowly, he leaned back against the couch.
"You were placed under his roof for your own safety," Snape voice sounded sort of far away.
"That's funny," Harry said quietly. He tiredly blinked. The room was out of focus in a very pleasant way.
"Why is it funny, Potter?"
Harry blinked again, trying to clear his vision so he could look at Snape's face. The man sounded so serious, but he couldn't think as to why.
"Why would your Uncle not want you to have your wand?"
The words were said slowly and seriously. Harry murmured a reply as his eyes slid shut.
"'Cause then he doesn't have to be 'fraid of me."
The crackle of the fire was like a lullaby he'd never been sung before. From far off he heard a deep, slow sigh and wondered sadly if he was once again the cause of it.
Potter was asleep. That in itself wasn't a surprise. What other outcome could he expect after dosing the boy's broth with sleeping draught? No, what surprised Severus was how quickly the potion had taken affect.
After only a few mouthfuls of the steaming chicken broth, Potter's eyes had started to blink slowly. It was apparent that he was trying to fight off the lull of sleep with various small shakes of his head. Could anything else be expected from the boy who also fought the Imperius Curse with headstrong determination?
When Potter finally succumbed to the potion, Severus gave a small sigh and stepped forward to stare down at his temporary ward.
He'd fallen asleep still sitting up, head resting on his own chest.
Jilly quietly popped back in the room at Severus' elbow. She took a long look at Potter asleep on the couch, the bowl in front of him, and then turned those large eyes on her Master.
"He was half dead on his feet," Severus said, a tad defensively. Jilly had a knack for knowing more than she was told, and had somehow picked up on the fact that Potter's current state of unconsciousness was not without aid.
She continued looking at him.
"The brat was going to leave and start wandering the castle," Severus said snappishly. The questions Potter had answered left him feeling unsure and on edge. "Look at him, he was moments within passing out anyway...I just hurried the process along so he wouldn't break his damn foolish neck. Albus would have a lot to say if that were to happen."
Jilly snapped her fingers and two blankets appeared where Potter's tray had been.
"Master Snape is a good man," she said quietly and then popped away, taking the used dishes with her. Severus stared after her, his mind had immediately started coming up with scathing retorts-when he realized that the house elf had no need to be sarcastic.
Looking back at Potter, whose head was starting to loll to the side uncomfortably, Severus frowned.
"It was self-preservation," he muttered even knowing there was no one left to put on a face fierce for...except the unconscious Potter, who really did look uncomfortable.
Severus moved forward, telling himself that as soon as Potter awoke, he would be unceremoniously booted out. Carefully he shifted Potter's legs onto the couch and frowned. His skin was cold even through the flannel material of the pajama pants.
The flames in the fireplace jumped higher at Severus's muttered spell. He then moved Potter's limp head onto a couch cushion and turned to pick up one the heavy blankets. Through this process, Potter never stirred. He was remarkably agreeable to be around when sleeping...though in the last few hours, even awake he had not been in the slightest bit obnoxious.
Straightening up, Severus looked down at the boy. If not for the steady rise and fall of his chest under the blanket, one wouldn't even be able to tell that Potter was breathing.
Severus waited to feel annoyed. Not too long ago, that would have been the first but not the strongest emotion he felt at seeing Potter asleep in his guest rooms like he belonged there. No, once upon a time he would have been furious. This was not the case at present.
All he felt at the moment was tiredness. The gratefulness and constant surprise Potter expressed at being taken care made Severus feel quite unsure. He didn't like feeling that way.
There was a lot to think about. Determination to hate Potter had wrapped around his mind like steel before he'd even met the boy. It had remained and even strengthened through years of attempting to teach Potions.
Now though, that metal frame had a weak spot. That was extremely frustrating.
Something Draco Malfoy had said came to Severus in that moment. Potter isn't supposed to be like this.
The young Malfoy heir had been discussing how Potter was treated in comparison to how he'd previously thought the boy lived. Living on food eaten straight out of cans, not even a utensil given to him in goodwill. Severus had seen that and dismissed it - had made himself dismiss it.
Draco hadn't stopped there. "They haven't let him out of that room to do anything other than piss in nearly five days; his Muggle uncle threw his wand in a trunk and carried it off-after yelling in his face and shaking him so hard Potter's head almost flew off..."
Why was it that those words screamed neglect now when before they had been so easy to overlook?
Something bitter rose up in Severus' throat. Those half asleep mumblings about an Uncle that locked up his wand and was afraid of him had caused an intense mental battle. Albus would want the boy to go back to his relatives home soon. The summer wasn't even half over. The knowledge he was beginning to get a grasp on made him question whether Potter was truly safe there. Severus knew all about men who acted in violence when they were afraid. Though he had not seen the physical marks of abuse on Potter, other clues were there.
So many bloody clues, and him, playing investigator.
The problem was this. He didn't know what was truth and what were lies anymore. It was not a healthy position for him to be in. Severus could no longer look at Potter with jaded eyes if he wanted the real story.
He would have to start over with a clean slate.
Seeing Potter ignoring his own pain, the way he had shrunk back from Severus's hand, his tendency to be surprised at the most mundane forms of hospitality...it had changed something.
Though he was many things, Severus was not one to pass up knowledge. Without his skills of perception and reasoning, he might have been dead long ago. It came with being a double spy. The uncomfortable shift in his world view could not end with just deciding that Potter was not so spoiled as he had previously thought. There was more to it than that.
It would not be easy, but he was beginning to see that something had to change. The deluge of evidence hailing injustice done to Potter wouldn't let him return to who he used to be. He no longer wanted to be that man. The man stuck in his own false logic, he would be useless in the war to come.
Severus snorted in disbelief and shook his head. Who would have ever thought that Potter, of all people, would make him doubt himself? But there it was. That haven of hatred Severus had built with his own lies and prejudices could never be returned to its former strength.
No matter how safe it felt to hide there in his fortress, walls built of negativity and disdain, he knew now that some of the beams holding it together were lies. Therefore, the walls would have to fall.
He would no longer be a prisoner to his own biases.
Until recently, Draco had never pondered death. Certainly he had never been reduced to a state of despondency over thoughts about how he might one day die. There had been a great deal more interesting and current happenings to occupy his mind. At least, before the unfortunate situation at the Ministry took place. That was when he had been shoved out of childhood and into his father's world.
Trying to remember how he had come to be here, in this almost hopeless situation, was comparable to trying to find the starting point of a landslide. It had just...happened. Afterwards, he had managed to avoid thinking too heavily on what might occur should he fail this unwanted mission. Finding the spell that allowed him to spy on one Harry Potter had fueled his procrastination. However, it had also saved him, for a time, from those dark thoughts and the all consuming helplessness.
Now though, the spell hadn't worked in a manner of days. He was beginning to think that the one person who had kept his mind occupied all those days he'd been close to giving up might now, in fact, be dead. This was rather a hard blow.
Then, that afternoon, Draco had pulled open the heavy curtains to look out at the gardens and the sight of a dead moth had made him pause. The small white moth lay on its back, feathery antennae fluttering from a breeze through the cracked window.
An inescapable coldness pressed down on Draco as he stared at the moth. There were so many ways he could die, and suddenly, old age didn't seem to be the most likely of the options. Backing away, Draco slid down the wall in a graceless slump and brooded over the ways his life could end.
Avada Kevadra was quick, presumably painless because it was so swift-almost merciful in comparison to the other ways people could die by magic.
For the first time in his life, Draco thought about the Longbottom's and felt his stomach turn painfully.
Sure, he had known about their perpetual stay in the Mungo's Spell Damage Ward. The hushed knowledge of their insanity had been used more than once to get a rise out of the Gryffindors or Neville Longbottom himself.
Now though, Draco seriously thought about the events that had caused not one, but both of his classmates' parents to be driven to the point that not even magic could heal their broken minds.
It was considered one of the most atrocious acts in Wizarding History. Cruciatus cast with such a steady flow of hate and the desire to cause pain that there was no relief from it...and Draco was supposed to become one of those people.
His aunt Bellatrix and her husband Rodolphus were sent to Azkaban for their heinous crime. The same location where Draco's own father now waited for retribution.
Before birth he had been destined to serve the Dark Lord. He had been raised knowing that the day would come when he would continue the work his father had also taken on, that of cleansing the Wizarding World of the filth constantly trying to mingle in. He had been told that if he was careful, he could one day be honored enough to be called to the Dark Lord's side.
Draco closed his eyes tightly. It did nothing to prevent the doubt that raged inside his mind. It could not stop him from questioning what was right anymore.
Why did the very thing that was supposed to feel like honor, feel like a death sentence? Why was he sitting here, on the floor of his bedroom, with the grandness of the room around him closing in like prison walls?
Why was he imagining the ways he might die should he turn away from the Dark Lord? Since when was turning away even an option...
"Draco," his mother's voice was quiet.
Looking up sharply, he noticed how she stiffly stood in the door, watching him. Any other time she would have scolded him. Malfoy's didn't sit on the floor, she would say. More than that, any proper Malfoy did not have an emotional breakdown without the proper wards cast around the room and a heavily secured door between them and the rest of the world.
The fact that she did not reprimand him told Draco something that caused his heart to speed up. His palms broke out in a sweat. Someone else was in their house.
"He is waiting for you downstairs."
Draco nodded almost absently and looked around at his room and then down at his hands wrapped around his knees like a small child. He had to stand up.
There was a Death Eater waiting in the parlor.
Carefully he began to clear his mind. No more negative thoughts about serving the Dark Lord. Only the feeling of being humbled, honored even, and the overwhelming eagerness to please...just as he had been taught. Because, when it came down to it, what other choice did he have? Draco made his way across the room, building that wall of coldness that would turn him into one of them. A wall he could hide his disgust and revulsion behind.
From the doorway, his mother watched, eyes tired and dull. He knew she didn't believe he would accomplish his mission. Even with the Unbreakable Vow she had acquired from Snape, she still worried that he would be punished and possibly killed should he not manage to kill Dumbledore himself.
He wanted to tell her that it would be alright. Spew some kind, meaningless drivel that would bring a smile back onto her pallid face, but the words wouldn't come. He had never been good at lying to his mother, or to himself.
Instead, he moved past, careful not to look her full in the face. Cool fingers brushed his wrist, just a soft touch to remind him that he wasn't alone in this. For a moment Draco wished she would grab his hand and jerk him back, tell him that she did not think it was wise for him to go and that they were leaving.
But that was a fantasy, much like the one he had fallen into by watching Potter. Focusing on the other boy's life and leaving his own behind. Now though, even Potter was out of reach, possibly even dead by the same Dark Lord that Draco would soon be standing in front of.
Breath shuttering, he made his way toward the stairs and started to descend. The wooden railing was cold to the touch and Draco drew his hand back quickly. Even his home didn't feel welcoming anymore. It was as if the house knew that things had changed. Times were different now and Draco was slowly realizing that real life didn't come with ways out.
"No reason to don your fancy cloak, Malfoy," Yaxley said when Draco walked into the parlor, face forced into boredom. "Just a little search party of sorts tonight. You're just an extra set of eyes for a dull job."
"Then what does that make you?" Draco drawled back at the larger man.
Not taking the bait, Yaxley smirked, "Tonight I'm just the sitter, taking baby Malfoy to the pool so he can get his toes wet."
A myriad of mental images came with that description. A swimming pool filled to the brim with bright red blood. In his mind, Draco imagined himself being shoved into that pool, the blood thick and hot as it splashed into his eyes and up his nose. Corbin Yaxley's brutish face split into a wide grin as Draco blanched.
"Wha - what are we searching for?" he tried to say with a firm voice, but it trembled and Draco hated himself for it.
"Not a what-but a who, now come on." Yaxley turned and bypassed the fireplace, heading out into the lobby and toward the front door.
Left behind, Draco stood there in shock. Potter had been a captive of the Dark Lord, and now they were searching for someone. Surely Yaxley didn't mean they were searching for Potter? Had he escaped? That would warrant a little more reaction, right?
Striding quickly after the older Death Eater, Draco tried to form his thoughts into sentences that wouldn't end in his own demise. After all, he wasn't supposed to know that Potter had even been in the Dark Lord's hands at all.
"Who are we searching for?" Draco called as he walked out into the dark, stones crunching under his booted feet. "Yaxley, I asked you a question!"
He'd been walking so quickly down the dark pathway that he never noticed the sudden stop Yaxley made until he'd ran into his back. The next instant, a large hand had grabbed his collar.
"Listen here you little rat," Yaxley's bitter smelling breath filled his nose as he spoke quietly. His hand tightening on Draco's robes until they bunched together. "I was told to take you with me, and so I am, but no more questions or I'll sew your mouth shut until this night is over."
Draco was released and stumbled backwards a few steps. With a mix of anger and fear, he stared.
"I'm serious, you're to shut your gob, Malfoy. This should be an easy enough task if you just do what you are told." Draco hadn't shut the front door behind him, so the lights from the entry way caught on Yaxley's teeth as he smiled thinly.
"Who knows, if you play your cards right boy, I might even let you light the fire."
With his wand in hand, Yaxley turned and strode away from the house, already whistling something jaunty. It was a mockery of the words he had hatefully snarled.
Confusedly pondering the man's last sentence, Draco followed him out of the gate. His steps were heavy with dread.
Author's Note: Instead of my usual apology for this taking so long, I'm just going to start with gratefulness. Reading takes more than time, it takes energy that you could have spent on something else, and what you decide to read will either make you feel and give you an escape from your norm - or it will disappoint you. You take a risk when you pick a story, so thank you for taking a chance on me...I will not make an ABBA joke here, I'm trying to be serious.
In ten years of writing fanfiction, this is my most favorite work to date, it's given me an emotional outlet and reminded me to do things that make me happy. Thank you for your continuous feedback and encouragement!
Side note: Recently celebrated my 25th birthday by driving 350+ miles to Charleston, South Carolina on a solo road trip to go to YallFest, I'm curious if any of you were there? We're at an emotional turning point for Severus, Draco is about to make a rather life-changing discovery and...well, I can't give away all my secrets, it wouldn't be ladylike. Please review!