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:  Narcissa ‘discusses’ things with Lucius and leaves to see her son.  Ron has a talk with Harry and Hermione.



Family Secrets



Part Nine


Narcissa Malfoy was decidedly furious as she walked through the halls of her home toward her husband’s study.  She had
gotten the letter from Serverus Snape the previous night . . . at too late an hour to bring up the subject with her husband.  At
the moment, though, she was in fine form.  She knocked twice and entered before she was told to do so.  She had no patience
to wait around until he felt like allowing her entrance.

“Narcissa . . . I have no time for . . .”  Lucius broke off when he looked up from his work.

She threw the letter that she had received at him.  “How could you?”  She seethed, feeling as her anger grew within her at the
sight of Lucius reading the contents of the letter.  It wasn’t the fact that he was reading it that made her furious . . . it was
because he was showing no emotion whatsoever.  “What do you have to say for yourself?”

“The boy got himself knocked up . . . and by a Weasley, at that!”  He put the letter on his desk, calmly folding his hands over
it.  “I did tell him not to be on the receiving end, but the boy went against my sound advice.”  He shrugged.  “I wash my hands
of him.”

Narcissa walked over to Lucius’s side, turning him in his chair so that he faced her, then slapped him as hard as she could.  
“Draco is our son . . . YOUR son . . . NOT some little urchin you found wandering the streets!”  She raged.  “It was your
responsibility as his father to guide him!  I wanted to tell him about his grandmother, about his heritage, but you wouldn’t hear
of it!”

She sighed, shaking her head, raising a trembling hand to her forehead as it began throbbing in time with her heartbeat.  “How
could you turn out to be such a cold-hearted bastard, Lucius?  Your father understood and was ecstatic when he learned that
you were with child.  He would have helped you raise her to make the family name proud.  YOU were the one who wanted to
give her up.”  She was glaring daggers at her husband.  “I shudder to think of what might have happened to that sweet little girl
had Serverus not taken responsibility.”

Lucius waved his hand in a dismissing manner.  “She was his whelp as well.”

“SHE IS NOT A WHELP!”  Narcissa took a deep breath to compose herself . . . she truly did not like losing her temper like
this.  When she felt that she was calmer, she spoke again.  “She is a fine, upstanding young woman who gets nothing from her
‘mother’, thank Merlin.  I’m so glad to see that Draco got SOMETHING from me.  For a while there, I was afraid he’d turn
out to be just like you.”

Lucius flinched, but made no further sign of distress.  Still, Narcissa knew him well enough to be certain that her words had
stung him.  Perhaps now he would think about the callousness he had shown to his only son during his time of need.

“If you’ll excuse me, Lucius . . . I’m going shopping and then I will be staying with Serverus and my son for the holidays.  I’
ve already owled Serverus, he knows of my visit.  When Draco returns to school, I’ll think about coming home again.  If you
should need me, or change your mind . . . you know where to find us.”

With that, Narcissa turned on her heel and left the study, calling the house elves to help her as she went upstairs to pack a bag.  
She did need someone to pack a bag for Draco, as well as someone to carry the luggage.  She had to be there for her son.


*****


Ron sat in a comfortable chair in the Common Room, staring deep into the flickering flames of the fireplace.  He had been here
for hours already and it was only a few hours past dawn.  Once again, he had been unable to sleep through the night, his
emotions warring within his mind, confusing him deeply, leaving him with nothing but nightmares.

He regretted not telling Harry and Hermione about what had been happening in his life.  He was sorry for making them worry
about his well-being.  Ron was worried about how they would react once he told them, feared that they would hate him if they
found out he had slept with Draco Malfoy, and that he wanted to pursue a serious relationship with the Slytherin.  And then he
was concerned about Draco, left wondering if the blonde’s health was worsening or not.  And he wondered if Draco even had
the slightest interest in him now that he wasn’t in heat.

Ron sighed, tormented by these feelings.  Because he was so lost in thought, he didn’t hear as Harry and Hermione came down
from their dorms, didn’t notice as they sat on either side of him and looked at him in concern.  It wasn’t until Hermione set her
hand on his shoulder, that Ron snapped to his senses.

“Ron . . . is something troubling you?”  Harry asked.

Ron looked down.  “Not really.”  He muttered.  “I heard you talking yesterday.  I know you’re worried about me.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”  Harry offered.

Hermione smiled a little.  “We know something’s up, Ron . . . you’ve been acting so strange lately, for the past several months
in fact.  You’re our friend, we can’t help but worry about you.”

“Yeah . . . I . . . I’ve been keeping some stuff from you.”  Ron whispered, keeping his eyes averted from the gazes of his
friends.  He just didn’t think that he could face them right now, not when he’d been keeping secrets, and such big secrets they
were.

“We’re listening.”  Harry said.

Ron could almost feel their eyes watching him, as if their gazes were boring deep into his soul.  He had hated deceiving them
for so long, for keeping these things from them.  “I . . . I had a fling with Malfoy three months ago.”  He blurted out, feeling
that it was best to just get it out in the open as quickly as possible.  He sighed, raking his hands through his hair before he
continued.  “I couldn’t help myself . . . not at the time anyway.  He . . . he’s part Veela, and apparently he went into heat.”

“Oh, so that’s why he and all you guys were acting strange.”  Hermione noted.

Ron nodded.  “Yeah . . . he was putting off pheromones or something.  Anyway after we . . . well, you know . . . after that,
we went our separate ways.  But I just can’t get my mind off of him.  I think I want more than just a fling, but I don't think he
wants anything to do with me.  I thought there was something, a look in his eyes, but I can’t be sure.  It’s all very confusing.”

Ron blinked, finding himself pulled into a hug.  It was Hermione holding him gently, and he all but sank into the embrace.  “Oh,
Ron . . . you should have come to us sooner.  Maybe we could have helped you out.”

“You’re not angry with me?”  Ron asked, sparing a glance at Harry.

Harry smirked, shaking his head.  He set his hand on Ron’s back.  “Of course we’re not angry.  I’m a little disappointed that
you didn’t tell us sooner, but I understand.  I’m a bit shocked by your wanting to be with Malfoy of all people . . . I mean, he
is a git and a stuck-up bastard . . . but then again, you can’t choose who you love.  If you can find something to like about
him, I guess I could make an attempt to at least be civil to him.”

“I feel the same.”  Hermione added.  “Malfoy and I have never been friends, or even anywhere close to it, but I’m willing to
help you out.  I only want to see you happy, Ron.”

“Yeah, even if it means you start dating a prick like Draco Malfoy.”  Harry smiled.  “As long as he makes you happy, I’ll be
happy for you . . . for both of you.”

“Maybe you and Malfoy still have a chance at getting together.  He has been acting strange, just like you.”  Hermione said,
pulling herself away from Ron.  

“Yeah, I noticed that.  But he might just be ashamed that he got shagged by a Weasley.”  Ron sighed.

“I don’t know.”  Harry said softly.  “He might be just as shaken up as you are, just as confused by his feelings.  When he
comes back after break, maybe you should talk to him.  At the very least, you should get it off your chest.  If he doesn’t
reciprocate the feelings, then you’ll at least know it for certain.”

“Yeah, Harry’s right.”  Hermione nodded.  “We’ll help you out.  If it goes badly, you can always come to us for comfort.  We’
ll be glad to help you through it.”

Ron smiled, grateful for having two understanding friends like Harry and Hermione.  “Can we talk about it more later?  I’m
starving.”

Harry chuckled.  “Come on, let’s go to breakfast.  You probably should eat a decent meal for a change.”

“You two go ahead.”  Hermione said, almost leaping out of the chair.  “I’m going to the library.  I want to read more about
Veelas . . . amazing that males go into heat.”

Ron and Harry both rolled their eyes, shaking their heads as they rose to their feet.  “Always the bookworm, eh ‘mione?”  Ron
smirked, following along behind his friends as they left the Gryffindor common room.  He definitely was grateful that they
were so understanding, that they were willing to help him, even if it would mean that Ron would possibly be dating Malfoy,
someone that they most definitely had no liking for.



To Be Continued . . .