Who: Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape
Where: Leaky Cauldron, London, England
Summary: Revelations, discussions and being left with a lot of things to think through with intense emotions on both sides.
The Leaky Cauldron was fairly deserted for a Sunday afternoon. Severus assumed it had to do with the time of year, although he certainly wasn't going to put too much thought behind it. He was just grateful that the place wasn't filled with people who would be likely to approach either himself or his dining companion.
His dining companion who obviously hadn't arrived yet.
Making his way across the room, the Potions Master checked once more to make certain that Draco wasn't already seated somewhere. Not seeing his godson, he headed toward one of the back tables. It was positioned so that both entrances could be viewed, yet enough out of the way that no one could eavesdrop on a conversation taking place without being obvious.
Not that Severus expected the lunch to include any information that could be considered dangerous if overheard. However, when it came to both him and Draco, it didn't hurt to be careful. Both of them had enough going on in their lives that even the simplest talk could become rather interesting if given an opportunity.
Sitting down, the dark haired wizard nodded at the barkeep, then turned his gaze to the menu. The various types of food hadn't changed in quite a few years, although once in a while a variation on an already existing item would pop up under the title of 'special'.
It didn't matter, of course. He ordered the same thing every time, refusing to try something different in lieu of eating a meal he knew he would enjoy. Still, until his godson arrived, there was little else for him to do. So, Severus simply sat, his gaze flickering from the list of food to the Diagon Alley entrance.
Something told him that Draco, while he may be a few minutes late, likely wasn't going to come from the London entrance.
Leaving Grimmuald unobtrusively, Draco headed from the hulking dark abode to Diagon Alley, apparating to a point that was carefully set aside for that. Inside the wizarding world, he moved through the crowds, pushing aside the people who may have gotten in his way with a touch-me-not air surrounding his pale gorgeous beauty accented by his dark clothing, black for preference.
Making a stop at Flourish and Blotts, he collected several books that had ordered. Shrinking them down, he tucked them away. He had one more stop in Knockturn Alley to make before his meeting with Severus. He collected the few ingredients he had ordered for some potions he wanted to work on.
Certain he had everything he needed, Draco swirled back through Diagon Alley headed toward the Leaky Cauldron. Stepping in through the brick wall as the noise was shut out and the darkness of the pub swam over him. With firm steps, he entered the pub and looked around.
Within moments, he spotted Severus and a wry twist crossed his lips as he moved toward the dark haired potions Master and settled down in the seat across from him. "Good Afternoon, Severus," he said, quietly, his face holding a hint of affection that it rarely did, "How are you?"
Severus allowed a flicker of a genuine smile to flicker across his pale face as he tipped his head at the young man now sitting across from him. There weren't many people he respected, especially when it came to those younger than himself. His godson, however, he not only respected but also cared for.
Time was, Severus would have bet all the money in his Gringott's vault that Draco was going to turn out precisely like his father. Lucius has certainly done his damnedest to see such a thing occur. However, the boy had shocked them all and done precisely the opposite that was expected of him.
Whether Draco had done so due to teenage rebellion or due to some sort of wisdom that came with maturity, Severus still wasn't certain.
"Good afternoon, Draco," he replied once the younger wizard was seated comfortably. "I am doing as well, thank you for asking."
One eyebrow slowly rose toward his hairline. "And how are you?"
"Well," Draco answered with a slight smile. He settled down and placed his order.
If Draco knew what his godfather was thinking about, he would have not had an answer either. He was some days certain about what had forced him into this choice and other days he was uncertain. But somewhere inside, Draco was certain that he did not want to become his Father. Lucius was not a man, in many aspects, that Draco found he could admire.
Severus was a different matter. He was cool and calm with the emotionlessness that Severus possessed and wielded with efficiency. He appreciated the man's attitude toward Potthead and the thought made Draco smirk.
"I'm doing well. Is there a reason for this meeting today or just a need for pleasant company?"
Severus couldn't help the slight smirk that stole across his face at Draco's straightforwardness. It was something that, in the proper situation, he found quite refreshing. Fortunately, this was one of those times.
"I was not under the impression I required a reason to meet with you," he replied in a silky tone, his dark eyes shimmering in the flickering lights from the candles that surrounded them.
Long, thin fingers wrapped around his drink and he stroked the outside of the glass absently as he tried to decide how to continue. To be honest, the main reason he had contacted his godson had been merely catch up. It had been some time since they had seen one another and, at the risk of being accused of having grown sentimental, Severus found that he missed the frequent contact he'd once had with the younger wizard.
However, several things had happened recently that he wished to discuss with Draco. He wasn't certain how to bring up some of them -- most especially his encounter with Lucius -- or even if he should mention them. Yet he knew he would.
After all, Draco had a right to know anything that could, potentially, affect him.
Finally, after a few more seconds of thoughtful deliberations, he questioned, "There are a few things which I believe we should discuss. Would you rather we delve directly into them, or would you prefer we spend some time on idle chitchat?"
"I have yet to find a point in idle chitchat," Draco mused with a bit of a chuckle hidden in his tone. "I'm fine, you're fine. Gryffindors tend to stink, work is hard but money the ultimate reward, Slytherins above all and down with Potter. I think that covers the chitchat portion of our conversation."
His smile widened at his own witticism as he took the drink he was offered. Draco really had to admit that he was quite curious about what Severus wanted. It interested him quite a bit to know what would have called the Potion Masters to him.
"So, having covered the chitchat for both of us, tell us what we should discuss." His grey eyes highlighted his curiosity.
Severus snorted at the young man's comments. Not at all surprised that he agreed with most everything that had been said, he opted not to comment, but instead delve directly into some of the situations that had occurred most recently.
"Very well. I suppose the first order should be the situation that received the most public awareness," he replied evenly. "I assume that you are aware of the recent break-in at Malfoy Manor?"
The Potions Master was curious as to what Draco's response would be. There were times when the blond would shut down at the mention of anything remotely to do with his family. Then there were other times when Severus had seen him nearly lose control over his emotions.
With any luck, neither would be the case this time. For, while he could easily keep the information that hadn't been made public knowledge -- such as who had broken in and what had been taken -- from his godson, he loathed to do so if at all possible.
Almost imperceptibly, Draco's face and eyes tightened, his lips compressing in a line that could not be budged. Draco had heard about the break in from one source or another. It had resulted in a fit that was best left undescribed. At least it was not noted that it was his Father. For that he was thankful.
The shuttering of his face would be an obvious clue to anyone watching him who knew him well would know he was shutting his emotions down and reverting to the coldness that had protected him for so long. Not a single emotion slipped out as he answered his godfather, "Yes, sir, I am quite aware of it. Is there more about it I should be aware of than what was reported to me?" His grey eyes stormed with all the emotion he struggled to hold at bay, but in public he would not make a scene. He was a Malfoy and he would not slander that name the way his Father had. Never would he sink to that.
Severus barely resisted the urge to sigh. Wonderful. Draco was shutting him out, even going to so far as to refer to him as sir. Perhaps this hadn't been the best idea he'd ever entertained.
Still, it was too late to back out now. If he tried to shrug it off, Draco would know he was lying. And the young man had been lied to far too many times in his life for Severus to begin doing such a thing now.
So, instead he kept his voice as casual as possible when he replied. "It all depends on what was reported to you," he began, his voice loud enough for Draco to hear him, yet soft enough that no one -- even if they were standing directly beside the table -- could overhear. "The public version, of course, was merely that the Manor was broken into and the Dark Mark sent into the air. That is not, of course, the entire situation."
Drawing in a steadying breath, he continued. "The Auror who was responsible for investigating the situation was also an Order member. Apparently she found herself rather at a loss and requested that Remus and I visit the scene to see if we could offer any sort of assistance." He decided to gloss over the entire ordeal, and instead cut directly to the pertinent information.
"Needless to say, by the time we were finished, it was determined that Bellatrix Lestrange was the one responsible. And, although it is still something that has yet to be proven, we believe the only item she confiscated was a pensieve belonging to your mother."
That, Severus decided, was enough for the time being. The subject of Narcissa was one that even he was not going to broach. At least, not without large amounts of fire whiskey and his godson initiating the conversation.
For a long moment, Draco sat and digested the words. He had watched Severus's face throughout his entire discussion of what had happened. He nodded at all the appropriate junctures to show that he was listening and comprehending the information that Severus was giving him.
He worked hard to continue to control his emotions and remain cold and aloof as Severus talked about Bellatrix taking his mother, his MOTHER'S, pensieve. "She didn't," Draco snarled out in a tone that spelled certain death. "One assumes that you understand why I have to kill her now."
His fist slammed down on the table shaking the glasses and spilling the contents across the table. His mother was the one person that Draco loved and could honestly say that he understood that stupid Gryffindoric emotion in connection with. "I want Bellatrix dead and I want that pensieve back," he snarled out, flashing his grey eyes to Severus. "You understand that of course." It was not a question but a clear black lined statement of intent. "That bitch."
It was probably the most passionate that Draco had ever been in public and he never would be again. Several deep breaths helped get his actions better under control and settle his raging emotions.
Severus was only mildly shocked at Draco's reaction, although he was a bit surprised that the young man was showing such a display in public -- even if they were relatively unnoticed at the moment. Still, he said nothing, merely sat quietly and allowed the young man to have his say and regain his composure.
Once he was certain that the worst had passed, he took a sip of his drink and attempted to continue the conversation. "I can assure you, Draco, that you are not the only person who would love nothing more than to see Bellatrix suffer. I would have no qualms whatsoever with choking the life out of her with my bare hands solely for what she did to Remus," he murmured, changing the subject slightly before he lost control of his own emotions by thinking too long about the torture of his mate.
"At this point, we do not have any theories as to why she would have taken such a risk for such an item," he lied smoothly, keeping his face devoid of expression. Moving past the falsehood, he delved immediately back into the truth. "However, it would appear that she was not there under orders of Lucius. Especially considering he also broke into the Manor not very long ago." A bitter smile twisted his thin lips. "That, I assume, you were not aware of."
Draco shook his pale head, not aware of Lucius's visit to the Manor. It just gave him another reason to want to do away with his Father that Bellatrix had been ordered to steal the pensieve by Lucius. At this moment, Draco hated his father with a passion that could not be described in words. It was not friendly in the slightest or even respectful as a proper relationship should have been - as Draco had been trained to believe. He wanted his father dead and that clearly flashed across his face.
"Then we are in agreement and we shall make it happen," Draco said in a coldly certain tone. "We will kill her - no matter what reason we choose to give - she will die."
Another set of deep breaths pushed the emotion away and his face calmed and the storm in his eyes ceased. "And Lucius, my father," he spat the word out as if the taste of it in his mouth disgusted him, "as well."
Long fingers pushed through his hair, shoving back the paleness from his face. "I apologise for becoming more Gryffindor than Slytherin for a moment." He flashed a brief upward curve of his lips. "I assure you that I have myself under control now Severus." He took a drink from his glass and asked, "So what is the next step in the investigation?"
Severus' respect for Draco rose ever higher as he watched the young man manage to regain control over himself with minimal effort. "It is understandable," he murmured in response to the apology, although part of him wondered if the blond would be as understanding if Draco were to know the reason he believed Bellatrix had taken Narcissa's pensieve... or the fact that Lucius had made it quite clear he was not going to take the blame for his wife's death.
He will never know. He cannot know. It is that simple.
Pausing for a moment, he finally answered his godson's question. "Lucius also took a pensieve -- one that was hidden in the basement of the Manor. The Ministry was not made aware of this, or even of his being in the Manor. When the Aurors did eventually notice that the wards had been bypassed, I excused it away," he stated first and foremost. Giving a slight shrug, he halfway explained, "There is simply some information that I am not going to trust with the Order's newest allies."
Taking another sip of his drink, his dark gaze locked on Draco. He hesitated for a moment, knowing that Draco wasn't going to let Bellatrix and her involvement slip past without any more of a discussion. He was going to have to say something, of that he was certain.
The question was, what?
Finally, he settled for, "As far as Bellatrix is concerned, I can only assume she was struck with some sort of idea. Perhaps she grew a bit nostalgic. As you well know, the Ministry went through every artifact that they could locate. While the pensieve certainly has sentimental value, I cannot imagine it held anything of importance."
Another pause, then he admitted, "The one that Lucius managed to get, however, concerns me. He made it quite clear during our ... conversation that he has every intention of regaining all he has lost. With such intentions, he must have had a very good reason for taking such a risk as breaking into a place that was swarming with Aurors and had recently already been broken into."
Severus sighed slightly. A troubled look flashed in his eyes before disappearing into the inky darkness. "He is also, somehow, aware of my ... involvement with Remus. And, while certainly a far more personal discussion than I feel comfortable discussing with anyone -- including you -- it is something that he could use very much to his advantage if given the opportunity."
"He was aware of that?" Draco asked, quite surprised by that all things considered. He steepled his hand in front of him as he thought about this. "I do wish to assure you sure that I didn't tell him. That is your business completely." Draco kept his own opinions on the relationship to himself. He certainly didn't understand the complexity of the emotion (or emotions in general) or the bond, but in this instance he trusted Severus's opinions.
"Now, while I want my mother's pensieve back for my own purposes, is there any speculation about what is in my father's?" his cool voice inquired, interested. "I do not want my father back in the position that he was. He, with his idiotic views, lost the Malfoy name and fortune once and I won't do it again."
Leaning back in his chair, Draco's cool face and calm demeanor considered Severus. "Is there something he could use to convert me to his side? I cannot honestly think of a thing that would make me believe that man ever again."
Severus didn't even take a second to consider the question. "There is certainly nothing I can think of," he lied easily and smoothly. Years of practice wouldn't allow him to do otherwise. "You have made it quite clear that you are more than capable of making your own decisions. And if Lucius did have anything planned, rest assured I would be the last person he would choose to confide in."
A self-deprecating smile crossed his face, then faded as he began to consider the rest of what his godson had said. "I have put a large amount of thought into what could be in that pensieve, and I am no closer to coming up with a theory than I was when I discovered him removing it from the manor," he replied. His hand clenched slightly around his glass as a brief image of Lucius' broken nose flashed before him.
Blinking, he re-focused on the blond seated across the table. "According to sources, he is apparently making an effort to strike some sort of alliance with the werewolf community. Or, more specifically, those who have fled from the Ministry and the laws that govern them. However, I do not believe whatever was in that pensieve has anything to do with his newest allies." He shrugged his thin shoulders. "Still, until we have reason to believe otherwise, no coincidence should go overlooked."
"Father always did have low taste in associates," Draco stated in regard to the information that Lucius would choose to associate himself with such dark and low creatures. Draco had now less than confidence in his father's ability to return the Malfoy name to power. But would he go to Lucius if he did manage to succeed? Draco wasn't certain on that matter. He didn't particularly like the methods of the Dark side of things. Draco liked to consider himself above such inefficient and uncouth methods of gaining money and power.
"I shall think if there is anything that I can recall that he may have selected to remember," Draco said, "and report it to you. But," Draco gave an elegant shrug," he often didn't choose to confide much in me about his plans. But there may be an item or a hint in something he mentioned." His mind would be busy considering that for some time.
"I don't trust the man for obvious reasons," Draco said, "but do you honestly think he would trust me enough to use me or attempt to use me? He should know by know that I have no faith in his words of even an inclination to trust or listen." That Lucius would approach and offer something that Draco couldn't refuse... it worried him and that worry showed in a brief frown between his eyebrows.
Those grey eyes slid to Severus as he thought, contemplating all that he had just learned and, with pleasure, the messy death of Bellatrix over the theft of his mother's property.
"When he said that he was going to regain all he has lost, Draco, I have little doubt that he meant you, as well," Severus stated calmly, his mind struggling with what small bit of conscience he had. He cared for the young man sitting before him. Draco was, perhaps, one of the few people that Severus would willingly risk his own life for without a moment's hesitation.
However, he knew that, to tell him the truth about Narcissa's death would likely be the equivalent of returning the young wizard back to Lucius complete with a bow and gift wrap.
Still, he knew he should really say something. If he truly cared for the blond, that was the 'right' thing to do. Allow him to know the truth so he could make his own decision without any sort of outside influence. Yet, they were also looking at yet another war and, just like the last one, sometimes personal relationships had to be sacrificed in order for the greater good to succeed.
The question was, if Draco were to discover the truth some other way, would he accept that excuse as Severus' reason for remaining silent? Somehow, the Potions Master didn't think so.
Finally, he'd had enough deliberation. Releasing his glass, he placed his hands on the table and eyed the wizard sitting before him. His face was completely unreadable and his eyes devoid of all emotion. And, with a heavy heart, he stated, "There is the subject of your mother's demise."
Draco clenched his fingers together as he heard Severus's last words. He had accepted what Severus had said about Lucius wanting him back as a matter of course. Draco's ego, large as it was, never thought that anyone wouldn't want him. Of course the Malfoy name would be nothing without its only living heir ignoring the family.
"What about Mother's death?" Draco asked quietly. His mood was cool and controlled. With the rage of emotions from before, Draco had let out most of his aggression. In the deep part of the night, when he was completely honest with himself, he realised that he missed her. He wanted his mother back. He wanted to know love again because... because he thought it would make him a better person. Alright - so maybe that was a load of Gryffindoric bull but still Draco did think he was better off under the influence of his mother.
A slight smile crossed his features as he considered his mother. The smell of her jasmine perfume. Her fondness for the colour green and tea with scones. He could remember her with fondness for she made his childhood bearable. He would have done anything for her and her death hurt him deeply. Would his lift have been the same with her alive? He wasn't sure. Would he have enjoyed himself or be alive without her death? Draco, when he was honest, realised that without her dying, he could also possibly be dead.
"You stated that your father was the one responsible for her death," Severus replied in an even tone. His gaze remained steady on his godson as he spoke, watching for any sign that Draco was going to either lose control or shut down completely. Seeing nothing other than a young man who obviously was still struggling with the fact that the only person who he had ever truly cared for was gone forever, Severus continued.
"Suppose it was discovered that Lucius was not, in fact, the one who stole her life. One can only assume it would alter your perceptions toward him."
"Not Lucius?" Draco managed to stammer out. The mere idea floored him. For a long moment, he merely sat there and looked at Severus, uncomprehending. "But who would want to harm my Mother in such a manner? There would have been no reason." And then his mind clicked a bit. "It was done to use me. Use me as Lucius did - attempting to mold me in his imagine."
Leaning back as he forced his mind to work, Draco considered the last part. Would it alter his perceptions of Lucius? Without speaking he shook his head at Severus. No. He had nearly made his decision about Lucius and Lucius's character before Narcissa's death had pushed him over the edge. Lucius was cruel and thoughtless and evil to the core. He didn't feel a thing for him and Draco knew this with certainty. To his father, Draco was merely a tool to be used in whatever manner he choose. Draco would never ever allow himself to be used that way again.
Finally he answered Severus out loud. "No. I don't think it will."
Severus felt a wave of relief wash over him unlike any he'd felt before. The fact that, if the truth were known, Draco may not return to Lucius filled the Potions Master with a great deal of pleasure. Of course, that didn't mean that Draco would ever forgive him personally for his part in Narcissa's death.
Still, though, it was better than losing the young wizard to the Darkness altogether.
"I am relieved to hear it," Severus murmured after a moment. "Had your mother's death been the sole reason you had turned against him, I would have been slightly concerned, I will admit. Such a decision, while certainly difficult, should never be made under emotional duress." I should know, he added silently.
Taking a sip of his drink and trying to stave off the feeling that he was about to make quite a large mistake regardless of whether he confessed now or not, Severus tried to decide how to proceed.
Studying the younger wizard with fathomless black eyes, he finally decided to go for broke.
"Lucius did not kill her, Draco," he stated in a surprisingly calm tone. "According to him -- and I have verified his alibi -- he was not even in the country the night she died. He is apparently just as determined to discover her true killer as he is with convincing you to return to his side."
There. That part was over. It was no longer speculation, but rather a statement of fact.
Now, depending on Draco's reaction, Severus would decide how to proceed.
"Excuse me?" Draco said, blinking with shock. "But I saw him Severus. I saw him kill her. How... how is it possible that he didn't?" His mind reeled with the idea. "But how?" He was so stunned that he couldn't even think of a way.
"I mean I believe you when you say he didn't do it and that you have proven that, but... but how?!" His grey eyes were confused. And then something clicked inside. "I don't believe it. The man is a bastard." A feral growl slipped from him. "He hired someone to do it. He wanted to manipulate me to something, but I shan't give him the satisfaction."
It took every ounce of self-control that Severus possessed for him to not simply begin agreeing. The hatred that Draco obviously had for Lucius was strong enough that he could nearly taste it, and the part of him that was constantly looking for ways to gain an upper hand over the Death Eaters cheered at the idea of having such a potent weapon on his side. However, he couldn't bring himself to do it.
No, Draco deserved the truth. Or, at least as much of the truth as Severus felt he could be trusted with. After all, there were other people to consider in this equation. And he didn't think Tonks would be overjoyed at the thought of the son of her victim knowing she was responsible.
His voice was quiet and even as he replied, "He did not hire someone, Draco. Lucius was in no way involved with Narcissa's death. He had no reason to be. She was loyal. She believed in everything he did. And, aside from all of that, he simply would not have bothered with such a thing at that point of the war. He was far too busy attempting to keep the Dark Lord from being detected."
Shaking his head, he ran a hand through his greasy hair. "No, Lucius, for once, is innocent," he practically whispered. Then, placing both hands flat on the table, he met his godson's eyes for what he could only believe would be the last time in a civil conversation. And, in a voice that sounded dead to his own ears, he said the one thing he'd vowed he would never say.
"The Order was responsible for your mother's death."
"They ... what?" Draco snarled, his voice deathly cold with anger. "And what, exactly, gave them the right to kill my Mother, who's only crime against society was to marry a horrid arse? She did nothing to them."
Folding his arms across his chest in order to keep himself restrained, though his grey eyes stormed with the temper that was building, he reached the only logical conclusion. "They did it to manipulate me of course. To use me on their side. A lovely way to gather information that they couldn't have otherwise. How quaint. How fucking Slytherin. I suppose they thought of this themselves?" He made sure that the question was pointed directly at Severus.
"Oh no, that would take a master of cunning - a true Slytherin. No Gryffindor would consider such a thing - death for life? Anything to save the cause - even the life of an innocent woman? No. I can't see one of those fucking do-gooders managing such a thing." Leaning forward, he snarled at Severus, "Why didn't you just kill me to Severus? You already had her dead. You could have had me too. Too chicken? I never would have thought that of you."
Anger coiled within Draco at Severus and his actions. "Tell me why. Explain to me why I shouldn't go and make plans to kill you." Dangerous and calm, every word was a weapon. He felt used and betrayed. The man he had always trusted and even admired had just admitted to killing his mother. Draco wanted to reach across the table and throttle the life from him. Of course, deep inside, he knew that would never bring him back the mother he truly wanted. Nothing would and that was what hurt more than anything.
Draco's words hurt, stung in a way that Severus wasn't accustomed to. He didn't allow himself to be affected by what many people said. There were very few people he respected enough to care what they thought of him. Draco, however, was one of those people. And to know he had caused the young man such pain -- even with the best of intentions -- was perhaps the most painful realization of all.
Still, Draco was giving him a chance to explain and far be it from Severus to allow such an opportunity to slip past. So, forcing aside his emotions, he attempted to justify himself.
"There is nothing I can say that will prevent you from doing such a thing, Draco. You are, and always have been, someone who does what he pleases. Your father always believed you were weak, able to be molded into what he wanted. I knew otherwise and am not going to pretend for one instant that you would allow things such as logic and common sense to change your mind once you have decided upon a course of action," he began quietly.
His dark eyes glittered in the firelight as he continued to speak. "However, before you decide to do something that will likely cause you to either become injured or thrown into Azkaban, allow me to clarify a few things for you." He leaned slightly closer, his voice silky and sharp all at once.
"Your mother was not an innocent woman. She was not a victim, nor was she someone who simply married the wrong man. She was intelligent and knew precisely who it was she joined her life with. She was as loyal, if not more so, than Lucius, when it came to the cause. Yes, she cared for you. But do not be fooled -- she would have turned on you in an instant had she any idea of your intention not to follow in your father's footsteps. Loyalty and honor were everything to Narcissa. She frowned upon anything that would have made her look bad and you would have done precisely that had you made your true feelings for the Dark Lord known."
He barely paused to take a breath before moving along with his impromptu speech. "Narcissa was partially responsible for the death of at least one Order member and, while I certainly did not mourn his passing in the slightest, the fact remained that she was an enemy of the Order in her own right. She was also a liability to you," he stated.
One eyebrow rose as he stared at the livid young man across from him. "You believe my intent was to harm you? To cause you pain?" He scoffed. "I did what I had to do to keep you alive, you foolish boy. You went to her with the intent of swaying her to leave with you. And somehow, in your convoluted, self-centered mind you actually believed you had succeeded in your task. You truly believed she was going to give up everything she had worked her entire life for just for you, when in reality she was preparing to hand you over to the Dark Lord herself just so long as she and her husband weren't punished for your disobedience."
Sitting back slightly, Severus leveled him with a look that was a mixture of anger, sadness, and something entirely unrecognizable. "I ordered someone to follow you, to make certain you didn't do something to get yourself killed. My specific orders were for them to do whatever was necessary to ensure you did not die. They did precisely as I commanded and, while I will readily admit that it pained me to cause you such obvious distress, the simple fact remains that we were at war. Choices had to be made that were difficult and not always pleasant and yes, sometimes the lives of the many must outweigh the lives of the few. Or have you forgotten the definition of 'by any means necessary'?"
Severus paused then, his chest rising slightly as he drew in a shaky breath. Eyes still locked on Draco -- not daring to look away unless the blond decided to attack him then and there -- he took a moment to collect himself before adding in a softer tone, "I care for you, Draco. That has not changed. I do not expect forgiveness nor will I be foolish enough to ask for it. Yet I will also not apologize. There are many things I have done in my life that I wish to seek redemption for. Many decisions I made, and some I did not, that resulted in situations I still cannot ponder on to this day. This, however, is not one of them. Narcissa was a threat to you, perhaps the largest threat there was. When I became your godfather, I swore to protect you at all costs. I kept my word and did precisely that and, if you choose to hate it for me, than so be it."
Draco was mute during this entire speech. His eyes went from their normal clear and light grey to a dark and dangerous colour. He did not appreciate hearing his mother, in his opinion, slandered. His mind reeled from the details and it would take time for them to sink into a point where they could be thought of intelligently and rational decisions and judgments made. For right now, he could only react to things.
And react he did. His fist slammed down on the table and shook the glasses there. Rage coiled up inside of him and he wanted to take one of those glasses and slammed it against the wall. Something as an outlet for the passion that spread like wildfire through his veins. Abruptly he stood and turned his back on Snape and the rest of the occupants of the room, hands braced against the wall and his head dropped down. Mentally he raged as he stood there and attempted to collect enough of himself to not make a scene in public.
The real issue was that Draco's illusions had been shattered. Illusions that he had fed himself about his Mother and his Father. Illusions that gave deeper and more respectful reasons to the break with his Father - some kind of high moral ground that the Gryffindors admired and in the end, welcomed him for it. In the end, what did it mean? It meant that everything he had done in his life was just because he was a spoiled little rich boy and nothing else.
That thought flashed through his mind and he slammed his hand against the wall in anger. He was nothing. Nothing meant anything any more ruined by the actions of parents who hadn't cared about him in the slightest - other than as a tool for their own motivations. No one cared about him.
At some point though he would get beyond that 'woe is me' thought to realise that Severus must care deeply for him to order them to do whatever was needed to save his skin. Severus had taken great risks for him - beyond anything his parents would have done. And perhaps... with time and healing and sanity, Draco would see that and return to his side but for now... now he couldn't think all that clearly. He was certain that no one, no one, was on his side. Well, except maybe Pansy, at this point in time.
Gathering a deep breath and using that motion to draw his emotions like a shield around him, wrapped in coldness and distance, he returned to his seat across from Severus. "Regardless of what my Mother was or was not, I expect you to respect MY memory of her if nothing else. And I certainly hope that, as you will not offer me the courtesy of an apology, you will not expect me to be overcome with an embarrassing display of Hufflepuff gratitude that you removed both my parents from my life in the manner of your own word of 'protection'. I shall not do that." He wanted to say more, that he hated Severus and that his ruthlessness had cost him more than he could explain and that they would never speak again, but oddly enough, in Draco's mind, the words choked in his throat. He couldn't say them for some reason that he could not name. Instead, he settled for merely glaring at Snape. "Is this discussion finished then? I find I need to return back to my current lodgings" the word was imbued with disgust, "and collect my things as I shall soon have a new residence."
Severus had watched the entire display warily. He had been prepared to defend himself if need be, and was grateful to realize that he may not have to. At least, not right now.
He tipped his head slightly. "Of course. I have nothing more to say," he stated. Rising to his feet, he peered down at his godson for a moment, a look almost akin to regret flittering across his face. Then, in a blink, it was gone and the cold mask of indifference returned.
"I do regret having to cause you pain. I can only hope that, with time, you will realize it truly was for the best," he murmured. He stood there for a second longer, before quickly adding, "Take care, Draco."
And, drawing his robes about himself, he left the Leaky Cauldron without once glancing back.
Something told him it would be quite some time before he saw the young man again. He could only hope that, when that time came, they were not on opposite sides in a battle of some sort.
For a long time, Draco sat at the table and thought - shifting through memories and feelings - before he realised the time and departed from the pub. It was time to live somewhere else.