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:  Draco goes to the only place he can for help.



Family Secrets



Part Eight


Draco sniffled miserably as he sat on the Knight Bus.  As soon as he had gotten away from Malfoy Manor, Draco had put his
hand out and called the bus.  He had needed a ride, although at the time he hadn’t been sure of where he was going.

He didn’t have all that many options . . . actually, he only had one.  He couldn’t go back to the school yet.  His rivals and
enemies within the student population would love to nab the juicy bit of gossip regarding his early return . . . he hadn't even
been gone for an entire day yet.  His father’s home was off limits to him . . . because Draco knew that neither he nor his father
would change their minds about the baby.

The only option that he had . . . was Professor Snape.  The Potions instructor had told Draco to seek him out if Draco needed
anything.  So when the Knight Bus’s conductor had asked him for his destination, he had simply said Snape’s home.  The
reason for his short reply was partially because of his embarrassment, but mostly because his face hurt terribly.

Here he sat on one of the bedsteads on the Knight Bus, holding what had, at one time, been a pristine, white handkerchief to his
face in order to stop the flow of blood from his nose and split lip.  The Conductor of the bus had given him the handkerchief,
to which Draco had politely thanked him.

Eventually, the bus arrived at its destination.  Draco stood up, blinking for a moment when a wave of dizziness made the world
spin.  He nearly fell back to the bed, but a hand grabbed his arm, holding him upright.  Draco turned and saw the Conductor
standing next to him.  With a quiet ‘thank you’, Draco exited the bus and strode to the door of the house he had been dropped
off in front of.

Draco paused before knocking.  What if Snape turned him away like his father had?  Where would he go?  He shivered at the
thought.  His coat was warm enough, but he had no means to pay for food or lodging.  ‘Well . . . if he DOES turn me away, I’
ll have no choice but to return to Hogwarts and suffer the gossip.’  With that thought, he raised his hand and knocked on the
door.  Then he waited.  He didn’t have to wait for very long.

Professor Snape opened the door and froze when he saw Draco standing there on his doorstep.  “Mr. Malfoy?  What in Merlin’
s name are you doing here?”  He didn’t sound angry, just confused.  “And what happened to your face?”

Draco choked on a sob.  “My father threw me out.”  He said, trying not to move his lips too much since the cut in his bottom
lip hurt considerably.

“What?  Why would he . . . ?”  Snape paused as if thinking.

Draco lowered his head in shame, knowing that Snape was fitting the pieces together.  Draco HAD run out of Potions class a
number of times to be sick.  He sighed, waiting for the inevitable yelling that he was sure would be coming to him.

Snape’s voice was angry, just as Draco had expected.  “Of all the pigheaded . . . throwing someone in YOUR condition out at
this time of year!”

Draco felt a hand on his shoulder and he looked up.  Professor Snape was angry, yes . . . but Draco could tell that the anger
wasn’t directed at him.  Strange, Draco had thought for sure that Snape would be furious with him for allowing himself to get
pregnant even after his father had warned him of the possibility.

“Who’s the father?  I know he’s someone from Gryffindor . . . I saw the crest on the robe you were wearing when you came
to my room that afternoon.”  Snape’s voice was softer, gentler than Draco had ever heard it before, as if he was being
compassionate.

Draco swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat and forced himself to answer.  “Ronald Weasley.”

Snape nodded.  “He doesn’t know, does he?”

Draco shook his head.  “No, sir . . . I couldn’t tell him.  I tried so many times, but I just didn’t know how to break it to him.  
He probably doesn’t even want it . . . we only had a fling, nothing more than that.  We’ve never been anything more than
enemies . . . he’ll want nothing to do with either me or the baby, just like my father.”  Draco said in a rush, bowing his head
and pushing back his urge to sob right then and there.  Snape wouldn’t want him showing a weakness like that . . . in all
probability he wanted to get rid of Draco now.  Draco turned to leave, feeling sorry for wasting his professor’s time.  “I’m
sorry, sir . . . I’ll go.”

Snape’s fingers tightened on his shoulder.  “I didn’t tell you to leave.  Now, get in here before you catch a chill.  You have to
take better care of your health now that you have a baby to worry about.”

Draco sniffled as his teacher pulled him inside.  Snape’s house wasn’t as large as his father’s, but it was grand in its own
way.  The entryway was tiled with white and black marble.  Draco didn’t have all that much time to admire anything though,
since Snape led him into the kitchen.  Draco sighed as the professor helped him to sit down.  The chairs seemed plain, but they
were so comfortable.  He looked up as Professor Snape placed a damp cloth on his face and gently started to clean the blood
from his features.

“Are you otherwise injured besides this?”  Snape asked, watching as Draco shook his head.  “Have you eaten?”

Draco swallowed.  “Not since breakfast, sir.  I was too nervous to eat lunch and Father threw me out before I could have
supper.”  He sniffled again.  “I’m sorry.”

Snape’s voice was oddly gentle.  “Stop apologizing.  Had your father not waited so long to tell you . . . you probably would
have been able to make plans.  Now, you sit here and take it easy.  Keep this cloth on your cheek.  It has a potion on it that will
reduce the swelling.”  Snape said, guiding Draco’s hand to hold the cloth over his bruised cheek.  “I'll make you something to
eat and some cocoa.  Then we’ll get you into a bath and you can have a good night’s sleep.”

Draco nodded, relieved that Snape was being so gentle . . . even if it WAS unusual for him to see the man in such a generous
state.  As Snape went about fixing a quick dinner, Draco looked around the kitchen that he was sitting in.  Unlike the kitchen in
the Malfoy house, this kitchen was small.  Draco guessed that there would be more room if the table and chairs weren’t in
here, but the furnishings themselves gave the room an almost cozy feeling.  “Professor . . . why don’t you have a bigger
house?  I know you can afford one.”

Snape glanced over.  “I don’t want anything that I can’t take care of myself.  I have no wish to hire help, so there is no need
for anything larger.  This house is fine for me.  True, I have the means to purchase a manor, but I prefer the simpler things.  I
have enough room here for myself and a few guests whenever company arrives.  That’s enough for me.  I never did like grand
parties.  Your father was the social butterfly, not me.”

Draco managed a small smile that fell rather quickly.  “I’ve disappointed him and brought shame to my family.”

Snape stopped what he had been doing and turned to face Draco.  “Did your father tell you that?”

Draco shook his head.  “He didn’t have to say it.  He threw me out and told me not to come back until I decided to agree about
letting him ‘fix’ my mistake.”  Draco wrapped his arms around his middle in an unconscious wish to protect the unborn child
that he carried.  “I won’t let him hurt my baby.”

Snape scowled.  “Of all the hypocrites . . . he has NO right to talk to you like that!”

Draco blinked.  “How is my father a hypocrite?”  His eyes widened as the answer hit him, as more questions appeared in his
mind from the revelation he had come to.  “You mean  . . . ?”

Professor Snape nodded and sank into a chair next to Draco.  “The first time . . . the only time that your father and I were
together, ended with the same result.  The late Mr. Malfoy, your grandfather, was ecstatic and vowed to dote on the child . . .
he had always been the black sheep in the Malfoy family line, oddly kind and cheerful.”

Draco sighed sadly.  “So . . . my father fixed that mistake.”

Snape let out a noise that sounded distinctly like a snicker.  “Hardly.  No . . . he gave her up.  Or at least, he tried to.”  Snape
shrugged, returning to his cooking.  “I decided to take her in.  She was MY daughter, too.  Lucius was all too glad to have her
off his hands, the cold-hearted bastard.  I raised her alone . . . some of my family’s money went to her upbringing and her well-
being.  I helped her through school, hired the best nannies . . . and she turned out finer than I’d ever dreamed.”  He was
smirking, seemingly glowing with what could only be a father’s pride.  “She works for the Ministry now, in researching . . .
magnificent Potions skills she has.”

Draco allowed a small smile to come to his face.  “She must have inherited the skill from her father.”  He ducked his head,
hoping that he would do such a splendid job of raising his child as the Professor had done with his own.  But to do it all alone .
. . and with no money . . . he doubted that he would have much success in his attempt.

“Here, eat your dinner . . . I’ll show you to your room when you’re done.”  Snape said, not addressing Draco’s compliment.  
He set a plate down on the table in front of Draco, placing necessary utensils and a mug of cocoa for him as well.

Draco didn’t say anything.  He was famished, so he simply ate his meal.  When he was done, he pushed the plate away from
himself, his eyelids heavy as he sipped at his cocoa.

“Tired?”  Snape asked, his hand clasping Draco’s shoulder.

“Yes, sir.”  Draco replied, nearly dropping the mug as he set it back on the table.  

Snape’s lips curled into a smirk.  “That’s quite understandable.  I added a sleeping draft to your cocoa to help you rest well.”  
He helped Draco to his feet, keeping an arm around his shoulders as he led him up a staircase and down a long hallway.  “I
believe that you need sleep more than you need a bath right now.  I’ll send an owl to your mother . . . perhaps she would be
kind enough to send you a few changes of clothes for your stay here.”

Draco nodded wearily.  “Thank you, sir . . . for all of your help.”

Snape opened a door, ushering Draco inside a simple bedroom.  The bedding and curtains were a soft blue shade, a nice touch
when paired with the dark wooden furniture that filled the room.  Draco didn’t really see much else than the bed, feeling more
weary than curious right now.  That potion that Snape had slipped him did work rather speedily.

Snape’s hands pushed lightly on his shoulders and Draco fell back to sit on the bed.  Draco rubbed his eyes, yawning tiredly as
the professor pulled off his shoes and socks.  He stood upright, leaning forward slightly and pulled off Draco’s robes and shirt,
leaving him clad in just his trousers.  Draco stood, or actually, staggered to his feet and removed his pants, not caring about his
lack of covering in front of Snape.  The teacher had seen him in the nude after all, being in just his boxers now wasn’t going to
matter much.

Professor Snape pulled the blankets back and Draco lay down on the oh-so comfortable bed.  Draco closed his eyes, only to
open them once again and blink in confusion when he felt a pair of chilly hands touching his abdomen.  He raised his head, his
brow furrowing as he took in the sight of Professor Snape prodding his stomach gently.  “Sir, what are you doing?”

“Hush . . . I’m just making sure that everything is going well.”  Professor Snape said.  “I trust you are seeing a medical witch
or wizard?”

“Yes . . . Lydia Merriday.  She has an office in Hogsmeade.”

Snape nodded.  “Yes, I’ve heard of her . . . she is a reputable witch, with a moderate amount of skill.  I suggest that you start
seeing Madam Pomfrey though . . . in the eventuality of an emergency.  She should at least be informed of your condition.”

Draco’s eyes were barely open, but he nodded.  “Yes, Professor.”

Snape drew the blankets up over Draco’s form, nodding slightly.  “Everything seems in order.  When you wake in the
morning, we’ll speak more.”

Draco nodded, or at least he thought he did.  He was too tired to really be sure if he had made the slight movement.  He rolled
over onto his side and clutched at the blankets, not noticing as Snape quietly left the bedroom.


*****


Serverus Snape sighed, shaking his head as he stood in the doorway, observing the slumbering blonde that lay snug in the bed.  
Draco hadn’t deserved the treatment that his father had given him.  The fact that Lucius had even thrown the boy out was
simply outrageous.  Serverus remembered quite clearly how frightened Lucius had been to tell his own father of his pregnancy,
the dread that he had gone through for weeks before he finally confessed to the late elder Malfoy.  Just because Lucius had
ultimately decided to give up his child, didn’t mean that he could force Draco to do the same.

With another sigh, Serverus backed out of the room and closed the door.  He strode down the stairs and to his study,
scrawling out a simple note to Narcissa Malfoy in the hopes that she would be more understanding in this matter.  It said all
that needed to be said, explaining Draco’s condition and that Draco would be staying with him for Christmas break.  At the
very least she could send Draco a number of his clothes, at least Serverus hoped that she would.

He stuffed the letter into an envelope, then sealed it with his family crest.  With that task finished, he stepped over to the dark
owl that was perched on its pedestal near the window.  He opened the window, holding his arm out to his loyal owl.  “Come,
Anu . . . I have a task for you.”  He held up the envelope.  “Take this to Narcissa Malfoy, no one else . . . not her husband, or
the servants.  It must be delivered directly to her.  Understand?”

The owl hooted as if in affirmation.  It was enough for Serverus though . . . he had owned this owl for a good many years and
never had he failed Serverus.

“Good, now go . . . and wait for a reply.”

The owl took off and grabbed the envelope with its talons, disappearing into the evening sky as a soft curtain of snow began to
fall from the dreary sky.  Serverus certainly hoped that Narcissa would be understanding in this.  Draco would need more
support than Serverus could offer . . . the comfort of family would be more beneficial to him now, not compassion from a
teacher.

Serverus closed his window and returned to the chores that he had been attending to before Draco had arrived at his home.  He
did have guests arriving in the morning, and so much to do in preparation for them.



To Be Continued . . .