The Malfoy Dining Room was the biggest and largest and grandest Dining Room Snape had ever encountered.
As they ate the delicious cakes and sipped their tea, Harry and Draco sat at their own little chairs, staring at each other.
Harry had called Draco 'baby' despite the blonde child persisting that he was 'Dwaco'.
Now, as Harry ate his white cream cake with his fingers, he saw that Draco was subdued as if he knew that the Dining Room was some kind of sacred room. Harry also noticed that Nape was shooting disgusted looks at him. Harry was hurt-what was he doing wrong? He stared at his messy face on the reflection of his plate and wondered.
Snape, on the other hand, had more important matters to think about. What had Narcissa meant? He really needed a chance to talk to her. And quick.
Snape's worries mellowed for a while. He found himself enjoying baby Draco's company. Many a time, Harry found Snape playing or talking with Draco. In fact, Harry even felt a little jealous about it.
Harry found Snape and Draco playing with a toy, Snape encouraging him. He immediately screwed up his face and yelped, "Nape!"
Snape turned around and smiled faintly, "What is it, Harry?"
"Play wiv Hawwy," Harry looked a little annoyed.
"Come here, then." Snape rolled his eyes at the boy's childish ways. Harry toddled up to Snape and Draco and sat down with the blonde boy.
For a while they played together and then when Snape said: "Good boy, Draco,", Harry glared at the man.
"No!" Harry shouted. He shoved Draco with a hand.
Draco looked shocked and began to cry.
"Harry!" Snape was shocked. He immediately picked Draco up and cradled him. "That was extremely ill-mannered, Potter. Apologise to Mr Malfoy at once."
Seeing Snape holding Draco made Harry even angrier. "NO! Nape mean!"
Snape stood up from the sofa coldly, still holding Draco. He walked away, intending to take the blonde boy to Narcissa. Draco sniffled into his robes.
Harry felt betrayed. He screwed up his face and yelled at no one in particular. He kept on yelling until he heard footsteps and saw Lucius Malfoy enter the room.
"Well, well, the famous Potter having a tantrum," Lucius sneered. "Come here, you brat, I want to examine that scar of yours," He advanced upon Harry, whose cries of anger had turned to horror. Before Lucius could pick him up, however, Severus re-entered the room, looking confused.
"Just seeing what the little boy was up to, Severus," Lucius said, calmly. Harry crawled over to Snape, whimpering against his boots. Snape picked him up.
"Would you like to have a chat?" Lucius asked, still looking completely serene.
"Of course," Snape immediately took a seat. Lucius sat too. Snape gave a last concerned glance at Harry, who looked frightened, and then began speaking to Lucius. If he wasn't mistaken, Mr Malfoy kept glancing at Harry in his arms. This made Snape feel even more suspicious.
Harry was in trouble. Snape had made him stand for two minutes in the corner for provoking Draco and using bad language like "mean!" and "no!"
The man massaged his temples. The boy had caused an uproar just because he had played with Draco and not with him. Who knew Harry was so jealous? Was this the Attachment Disorder?
Harry sniffed loudly as he stared at the corner. "No love Nape," he declared.
Snape didn't reply. They were alone in their guest bedroom.
A few moments later, Snape let him out. Harry's eyes were red and he looked very mutinous.
"Come here, Potter," Snape ordered sternly.
When Harry hesitated he frowned at him. "Come here,"
Harry came forward and Snape picked him up and sat him on his lap. "Why are you behaving so badly, Harry? I thought you liked Draco."
Harry hmped and folded his arms, looking bored.
Snape felt a little annoyed. It was after dinner time...-he had had to drag Harry inside the room after his tantrum had gotten out of hand.
"You will apologise to Draco tomorrow," Snape decided. "For now, it is time to sleep." he picked Harry up and lay him down on the bed, covering him with the soft comforter. Harry sniffed.
"Nape love Hawwy?" He whispered.
"Go to sleep and stop pestering me," Snape snapped, waving his wand so that the lights went out.
Snape closed his eyes, wondering if accepting the invitation really had been a smooth choice. He felt a tiny body pressing itself towards him.
"Ni' wiv Nape!" Harry whispered.
Sighing, Snape pulled him closer with one arm and they both fell asleep. Day after tomorrow was Christmas...
The pancakes were delicious and so were the scrambled eggs. Snape ate everything politely, glancing every now and then at Narcissa, who looked rather red-eyed.
He pulled her aside after breakfast.
"Narcissa, we need to talk, I-"
"Hush!" Narcissa looked around. "Not here! Come-come out into the garden,"
Snape obliged and they stood in the lush green lawn, talking agitatedly.
"What were you warning me about earlier?"
"Harry isn't safe. You need to keep an eye on him. You need to make sure that he never gets out of your sight."
"I can't say. Just, please, heed my warning,"
"Is Lucius planning something?" Snape asked rather straight-forwardly.
There was a long pause. Narcissa did not meet his eye. Her blues ones roamed over the garden before she finally looked up at him and sighed, "I'm not sure."
"I would have thought that you would have been on his side instead of mine," Snape said slowly.
Narcissa looked at him sharply, gazing at his dark eyes with some kind of ferocious determination, "I wouldn't want a poor, innocent child to get hurt! I'm not that cruel, Severus!"
"No, you're not," Snape said smoothly. "And that is why I thank you for telling me this,"
"It is no problem," Narcissa said.
"I'll talk to you later, then. Harry is all alone somewhere,"
"Oh. Of course." Snape wasn't sure if he had imagined the disappointed look on her face.
The day passed without much activity. Harry and Draco became friends again and they played in Draco's nursery, enjoying themselves.
"Baby!" Harry wailed when Narcissa took Draco away for a change (mud all over his expensive smock) "Baby play!"
"He'll be back," Snape said in a bored voice.
After a delicious lunch, Lucius and Snape had an interesting talk and Narcissa brought them both a glass of red wine.
"Have you heard anything about Avery lately?" Lucius asked him, as Narcissa sat down with them.
"No, I haven't kept in touch with him," Snape replied.
"He looked rather depressed, Avery. He wanted to meet with you,"
"Something about old friends meeting again. You and Avery were close?"
"We knew each other," Snape said composedly. A sudden flashback hit him:
"That's pretty cool," A teenage-version of him was saying, dark hair falling over his face as he leant over the book.
"Dark Magic is always cool," Avery grinned. He paused. "We are friends, right?"
"Why wouldn't we be?"
"Didn't your Mudblood friend say that I was dangerous and unpredictable?" Avery grinned.
A crease appeared between Severus's eyes as he thought about it. "Don't call her that," he said quietly, after a while.
"You didn't answer my question,"
"She did, but she doesn't know you very well. I do. And I think that you're just fine, honest."
"Well, we need to meet up with him again. He used to be fun, Avery."
"I agree," Snape said.
There was a sudden loud shriek-it sounded like Draco:
Snape's head shot upwards, towards the sound, his eyes narrowing.
"It's the kids," Narcissa said. She got up, looking flushed. "I'll go check,"
Lucius sat up rigidly. His pale cheeks got a pinkish tinge. He looked very tense.
Snape couldn't contain himself. He got up and followed Narcissa.
He was shocked when he saw Harry lying face-down on the floor, very still. Draco was staring at him, tears in his eyes as he pointed at the ground with a finger.
"Harry, dear!" Narcissa cried.
Snape's heart stopped as he rushed over to the baby and picked him up. Harry's eyes were screwed shut and his mouth was open impossibly wide, hitched breaths squeaking out of him.
And Snape felt his world darken and fall apart. Not Harry, please not Harry.