Disclaimers:  I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters.  This story is purely for entertainment purposes only.  I am
making no money from this.

Notes:  Ron returns to the Gryffindor Tower.  Then a major time skip.  Draco has some news to tell his father during Christmas
Break and dreads over it.



Family Secrets



Part Seven


Ron was deeply confused.  Actually, conflicted was a better word for what he was feeling right about now.  On the one hand,
he’d just had mind-blowing sex with a beautiful person . . . TWICE.  On the other hand, that beautiful person was Draco
Malfoy . . . someone who had made Ron’s life almost completely miserable ever since they had met for the first time.  He just
didn’t know what to make of it.  If this had happened at any other time, maybe Ron would have made Draco’s life as miserable
as his own life had been made.  But he just couldn’t shake how vulnerable Draco had looked all curled up on the floor of that
cave.

Ron sighed . . . there was no chance of a relationship between them, even though Ron wanted one and he sensed that Draco
wanted one too.  It had been screaming at Ron in Draco’s lovely eyes.  They had seemed to say, ‘I want MORE, but we both
know that we can’t.’  It was frustrating to know that he wanted Draco even now that the Slytherin wasn’t in heat.  Draco
Malfoy was simply all that was on Ron’s mind.

He climbed that stairs to his room, lost in thought, ignoring any questions addressed to him as he sat on the edge of his bed.  
Ron was tired.  He didn’t care if he had any more classes today . . . he just wanted to go to bed.

With that thought in mind, Ron set his robe aside and kicked off his shoes.  He peeled off his shirt and pants, just tossing them
to the floor.  Then he dressed himself in his pajamas, deciding that he wasn’t going to be getting out of bed at all today . . .
forget lunch and dinner . . . he didn’t feel up to eating anything today.

When he grabbed his robe, getting ready to set it with the rest of his clothes, Ron blinked.  This wasn’t his robe . . . it had a
Slytherin crest on it . . . it must be Draco’s.  With a sigh, Ron let his fingers slide across the fabric of the black garment, the
lingering scent of Malfoy’s body still present within the dark cloth.  Ron would have to give this back to Draco sometime, and
get his own robe in return.  But not today.  Draco was probably in his own bed right about now, he had seemed too tired to go
gallivanting around the school grounds . . . plus the fact that he was injured.

Ron carefully folded the robe, laying it to the side.  He grabbed his pillow and laid down, bringing his blankets up and over his
head to keep the sunlight out.  Soon, he fell into a slumber, hoping that he wouldn’t wake up until sometime tomorrow morning.


*****


Time passed quickly, the days into weeks, the weeks into months.  Ron saw Draco every day, and yet he didn’t have the
courage to approach him.  Draco’s leg healed with time, and soon he was back to normal, and yet there was something
drastically different about him.  

Draco didn’t sneer so roughly anymore, he didn’t berate Ron or Harry . . . or any Gryffindor for that matter . . . all that often
at least.  He did still cast a number of malicious barbs now and again, just not so many as he had before.  He mostly kept to
himself now, not speaking up as much as he used to, staying quiet instead of offering opinions in classes.  It was all very
strange behavior for the normally cruel Slytherin.  And quite frankly it made him the topic of many rumors.

Well, he had been ill lately.  Ron had taken notice that Draco seemed sick.  For a while now he had been bolting out of classes
now and again, and from the rumors Ron heard, Draco almost always went to the bathroom to vomit each time he abruptly left
the room.  And he was looking more pale than usual, so maybe he had gotten sick, a virus or something.  But as far as Ron
knew, Draco had not gone to see Madam Pomfrey.

Ron still had Draco’s robe . . . and Draco still had his, at least as far as Ron knew.  Although they’d had numerous
opportunities to talk, neither of them seemed to be able to say even one tiny word to each other.  They were left with awkward
silences between them.  Ron wished that they could have something, and he had even started to consider that it was a
possibility.  Just because their families didn’t get along, didn’t mean that they couldn’t.  But Draco didn’t seem to have any
interest in Ron anymore . . . at least he didn’t let on that he did.

Still, Christmas Break was only hours away . . . in the morning most of the other students, Draco Malfoy included, would go
home for the holidays.  Even one of the teachers was leaving this year . . . Snape was leaving for home, although no one had
asked if it was because of family . . . probably just to get away from the students for a short time.  Ron was staying behind of
course, along with Harry and Hermione.

It was nearing dawn, and Ron had awakened from a restless sleep.  He didn’t know if he was excited about the holidays, or
that he was disappointed that Draco was going to be away for the next several days.  He just couldn’t be certain of his feelings
anymore.  Everything was simply confusing to him now.  Ever since that wonderful day they had spent together in the forest,
Ron couldn’t come to grips with his emotions, with the way he viewed Draco Malfoy.

Not knowing what else to do, Ron left the room and went down to the Gryffindor Common Room, hoping some relaxation
would help him.  Maybe a little reading would settle his nerves enough for him to go back to sleep.  He paused when he heard
voices and frowned as he recognized them as Harry and Hermione’s.  Ron wondered what they were doing up so late, and then
he heard the topic of their discussion.

“I can’t help buy worry, Harry.”  Hermione said, her voice a low whisper, probably to avoid waking the other Gryffindors.  
“You know as well as I do that he’s been moping about.  He’s not acting at all like himself.”

Harry’s voice was just as soft and resigned.  “What do you want me to do?  He isn’t talking to me at all.”

Hermione sounded exasperated.  “Then you talk to HIM.  Honestly, Harry, it isn’t healthy.  It’s like when you pined over the
Mirror of Erised in our first year.  If I didn’t know that the cursed thing was no longer here, I would think that Ron had found
it.”  There was a pause.  “Don’t look at me like that.  I’d talk to him, but I think he needs to talk to someone who’s been his
friend from the start.  Besides, I get the feeling that it’s a romantic problem . . . and it’s easier for two boys to discuss this sort
of thing, than it would be if I were to try.  I doubt he wants to express his feelings to a girl.”

Ron backed away from the Common Room, feeling bad about causing his friends to worry about him like this.  He hadn't
meant to upset them.  He hadn’t even known that he’d been moping until he heard them talking.  Guess he wasn’t so good at
hiding his feelings from his friends.  With a sigh, Ron turned and went back to the dorm room, flopping down on his bed.  This
was an unpleasant way to begin Christmas holiday, he thought, burrowing himself deep under his covers and huddling there to
ward off the chill in the air.


*****


Draco looked up at his home with a strange sense of foreboding.  In all of his life, the large manor house had always
represented a sanctuary of sorts for him.  It was someplace where he could be himself for the most part.  After all . . . it was
rare that his father or mother bothered him for anything . . . mostly they just left him to himself.  

Now, however, he felt a queasiness in his stomach that had nothing to do with his current physical condition.  He paused in his
stride to place a hand over his stomach, as if to protect the tiny life growing within him.  He’d been seeing a witch in
Hogsmeade, instead of entrusting his care to Madam Pomfrey, and she had informed him that he was with child.  A part of him
was elated with this news, but another part of him was terrified.

He took a breath as the servant escorting him opened the front door.  Quietly, he murmured his thanks and then asked where
he could find his father.  He figured that the sooner he told his father of this, the better it would be.

Upon being informed that his father was located in the study, Draco walked with heavy steps.  Although he was young, he
didn’t want to give up the child that he carried.  He already loved it a great deal, and he wanted to raise it.

Taking a long deep breath to steady his nerves, he raised his hand and knocked on the study door twice, then entered when he
was bid to.  At least his mother was not here . . . most likely she was where it was common to find her, reading in the library,
immersed in the heavy tomes that usually occupied her attention.

Lucius frowned a little when he looked up, but closed the journal that he had been writing in, to give Draco his attention.  
“Draco?  Is there some reason for this interruption of my work?  I’m very busy at the moment.”

Draco took another deep breath and nodded before closing the door behind himself.  He stepped over to his father’s desk,
hoping for the best in this situation.  “Father . . . ummm . . . I have something to tell you.”

Lucius waited impatiently.  “Well . . . don’t dither about, boy.  I taught you to speak your mind without all the huffing and
puffing that other dimwits show.”

Draco nodded.  He knew that there was no good way to say it, so decided to just get it over with as quickly as possible.  
“Father . . . when I went into heat . . . I was on bottom.”  He felt his cheeks flame upon mentioning the intimate fact, but it had
to be said.  “I wasn’t thinking at the time and . . .”  He swallowed, his eyes widening as he saw how pale his father had
suddenly gone.

Lucius was shaking with barely controlled rage, his hands clenching and unclenching on the hard wooden surface of his desk.  
“Despite all of my warnings . . . who was it?”  He demanded, rising to his feet and slamming his hands down on the surface of
the desk.

Draco shrank away from his father, but knew that he had to tell the truth.  “It was Ronald Weasley . . . from . . .”

“I KNOW who he is!”  Lucius’s face was bright red now.  “Of all the half-witted, ignorant things for you to do!  You let
yourself be sullied by a WEASLEY?!  Why didn’t you seduce that Potter brat?  At least HE comes from good stock!”

“So does Ron!”  Draco yelled back, furious with his father for even daring to say such things.  “And WE don’t come from the
best stock as it is, Father . . . we are Veelas after all.  The Weasleys don’t have a lot, but at least they’re HONEST!”

“Honesty gets you nowhere fast!  Of all the people in the school, you had to let that Weasley whelp have you.”  He ran his
fingers through his hair, then began to pace, muttering things before he finally sighed.  “Well . . . it shouldn’t be too far along .
. . we can have this mistake fixed.”

“No.”  Draco said, feeling as a sort of calm settled over him, even though he knew that his next words were going to make his
father furious.  “You are NOT going to fix this.  I’m keeping the baby . . . with or without your consent or support.”  He
wrapped his arms around himself, as if he could protect his unborn child from his father’s wrath.

It happened so suddenly . . . Draco hadn’t even seen his father step around the desk.  Draco’s eyes widened, and before he
could raise a hand to defend himself, he found himself sprawled on the floor, a single strike of his father’s hand knocking him
down.  Hot, wet liquid ran down his chin, dripping quickly to stain his clothing.  Draco brought his hand up, touching his
mouth . . . a split lip, but the majority of the blood that was spilling came from his nose.

“Get out of here!”  Lucius Malfoy hissed, pointing to the door, his eyes flickering with rage.  “Leave this house . . . I don't
want to see you again!”

Draco scrambled to his feet, knowing that his father meant his harsh words.  He felt the burning of tears in the corners of his
eyes, but fought them back, knowing that to shed tears would only make Lucius angrier.  “But Father, please . . .”

“I don’t want to hear your voice again.  Just get out . . . NOW!”  He shoved Draco, nearly knocking him over again.

Draco turned, throwing open the doors and running out of the study and to the front door of the manor house, of what had
once been his home.  He couldn’t believe that his father was throwing him out over this, but it was happening . . . it really was
happening.  This was too much to handle, much too much to deal with.

As Draco left what had been his home just moments ago, he heard his father’s anger-filled voice ring out.  “When you change
your mind about that bastard seed you carry, I’ll consider speaking with you again.”



To Be Continued . . .