To Have a Home Part 33
A/N: What's up y'all! I'm back. Maybe. Hopefully. Here's an update for you. Thanks for being patient. I still have plans for this story; don't give up on me yet! As always, I hope you enjoy!
Summary: After Draco is found guilty of an attempted murder, he is sentenced to the Lupin’s house with hopes he’ll finally understand what it means to have a family. Only problem? Draco doesn’t want it.
Draco fiddled with the seam of his shirt endlessly. He had sat himself on the couch over an hour ago with the attempts to calm down but he just couldn’t find it in his head that everything was going to be okay. A book he had been reading, A Wrinkle in Time, lay discarded on the coffee table; he had given up trying to read a while ago. He instinctively went to reach for his wolf, but he forgot that he had left it upstairs with the rest of his things. He didn’t want her to see them. He didn’t want her to know that he had them. It would make him look weak.
Abigail had told him that this lady would get here at 3:00, and it was 2:55. Five minutes until she arrived. Five minutes until he would have to talk to her about how he was feeling. About his past. About the things that Voldemort did to him.
His heart seized in his chest, and he felt the air escaping from his lungs, no attempt from it to come back. He wheezed, grabbing at the couch for support but not finding it. He didn’t know how long he sat there like this. However, an arm that he didn’t recognize calmly made its way into his tunnel vision.
“Deep breaths for me, okay? You need to breathe.”
Draco couldn’t exactly see who was talking, but he tried to level out his breathing. But it wasn’t really working; he didn’t really know how to calm his breath. It ended in a sort of hiccupped breathing cycle; one where he never truly was able to get the right amount of air back into his lungs.
“Here, try this with me.” The person in front of Draco sat down further to meet his level. Now Draco had a clear image of her; her dark brown hair pulled away from her face and her eyes flashed signs of concern, but they didn’t travel any farther than that. She looked calm, and Draco tried to mirror her appearance.
“I am going to breathe in five seconds, and exhale for seven. Do you want to try it with me?”
Draco nodded his head, gripping the edge of the couch as an anchor. He followed her breathing for a while, the hiccuping finally leaving. He got a hold of his breathing long enough to get a good look at the person in front of him.
She smiled, slightly. “It’s nice to meet you. My name is Galena, and I used to be a student at Hogwarts. Do you remember me?”
Draco thought about it for a moment, then nodded slightly. “You played on the Ravenclaw Quidditch team.”
“Yes, I was their Seeker a few years back.”
“I watched you play before I went to school there. I’m the Seeker for Slytherin…” The sudden thought of not going back to Hogwarts that school year rang somewhere in the back of his mind, and he slowly trailed off the sentences.
“Oh really?” Galena could only get a slight nod out of Draco, and noticing something was off, she decided to change the subject.
“Where is the rest of your family?”
“Um…” To be honest, Draco had no idea where they went. He asked them not to be around when Galena came, and they respected his decision. “I think Remus and Fred and George might be outside. I’m not sure where Mo–Abigail is.”
“Strange, none of them are around. Are they always not around?”
“What?” The question confused Draco for a moment. “Yes. I mean, no. I mean… They’re just not around because I asked them not to be. I didn’t want them…”
Again, Draco trailed off. To his luck, Abigail peaked her head out of the master bedroom.
“Is everything okay out here?” She noticed Galena crouched next to where Draco sat.
“Galena!” She called, throwing her arms around her when she got close enough.
“Professor Rose, it’s been too long.” Galena said, voice slightly muffled in Abigail’s shirt.
“Please, you can call me Abigail.” Abigail said, finally letting go. “You graduated, what? Almost five years ago. You’re good to–Draco? Are you okay?”
Draco had gone back to fiddling with the seam of his shirt. He wished that he had brought his wolf down with him now; he wanted something else to do with his hands, and his shirt just wasn’t working for him anymore. But his head snapped up at the sound of Abigail calling his name.
“Are you okay?”
“I… I don’t…”
“Abigail, is there somewhere that Draco and I can talk privately? I think it’s time we start. The quicker we begin the quicker I can get out of here, right Draco?”
He slowly nodded his head, going back to fiddling with his shirt.
“Okay, um…” Abigail thought for a moment before making her way to the study on the first floor. She opened the door slightly.
“You can talk in here, if that works for you. There’s a couple of chairs in there for you to sit on, or we can grab something else… Draco, I can be in here too if you want me to.”
“I think it would be best if it was just Draco and I.” Galena responded.
“Oh, okay. I was just offering. Do you need a glass of water or anything?”
“I’m fine. Draco, do you want something to drink?”
Draco just shook his head.
“Alright, then, we’ll start and be done as soon as possible, okay? I just want to get to know you a little, Draco.”
She started towards the door and opened it a little more, standing just inside the door frame. Draco looked from Abigail to Galena back to Abigail. He could feel the tears start to well.
“I will be right in the kitchen, Draco. Right here. You’re safe with Galena. I trust her, and you can too. Go on, go with her.” said Abigail. Galena finished her thoughts.
“Take your time, Draco. Take a few breaths, and then come when you're ready. I’ll wait for you inside, okay? Just close the door when you come in.”
Galena disappeared from Draco’s eyeline. He breathed in heavily a few times, feeling himself get slightly lightheaded. He could do this. He could just sit in that room with her and not say anything until she needed to leave. He’d done it before and he could do it again. She was just a human being, after all. Not some scary monster like Voldemort.
But what if she was working with Voldemort? What if she was going to take everything she discovered and give it right to him. What was he going to do then? He couldn’t protect himself. He couldn’t protect his family. And they would know where he is. And he wouldn’t be able to escape. And… And…
Suddenly the room felt really small. He grabbed at the collar of his shirt, trying to pull it farther away from where it sat around his neck. It was hot in here. And tight. And…
“Draco, what’s going on?” Abigail looked up from her mixing bowl. Draco looked like he was spacing out, breaths coming in faster than they should.
“I don’t think I can do this.” He whispered, quickly making his way over to her. He wrapped himself in her arms, burrowing his head into the side of her neck. “Please don’t make me do this.”
“It’s going to be okay, Draco. She just wants to talk to you…”
“But what if she works for him, mom? What if she takes everything she finds out about me and gives it to Voldemort. Then he would know where I am and…”
“Hey, hey, breathe for me, okay?” Abigail made sure she had eye contact with Draco. “She doesn’t work for Voldemort. I trust her. Remus trusts her. She’s a safe person to talk to. You don’t have to worry.” She paused for a moment, thinking through her next words.
“You should still go talk to her, but maybe you can leave the door slightly open. That way, if anything goes wrong, Remus and I can come in there for you. Okay? How does that sound?”
Draco nodded his head slowly.
“Do you want me to walk you to the door?”
Again, there was another nod from Draco, so Abigail took his hand in hers and they made their way over to the study. Galena was sitting in one of the chairs already, a small note pad in one hand and a pen in the other.
“Draco has a question for you.” Abigail said, pushing him slightly in front of her.
Draco nervously looked back at Abigail before asking if he could keep the door open.
“Just slightly. It doesn’t have to be far, and you can say no. I don’t want to come across in any way. I’m sorry, it’s just…”
“We can, Draco. You don’t have to explain yourself. Come on, take a seat. Let’s just chat.”
With one more look to Abigail, Draco carefully took a seat next to Galena, making sure there was enough distance in case he needed to leave fast.
“I’m proud of you, Draco. I’ll be in the kitchen, okay? Call if you need anything.”
And with that, Abigail slowly shut the door, careful not to close it completely. She could tell that Draco was still nervous, but he wasn’t having a panic attack, and that was a good enough sign for her.
She made her way back to the kitchen. She could hear the faint conversation in the other room, but she knew better than to snoop right outside the door. She was sure Draco would tell her what happened later. Maybe tonight would be a good night to make one of Draco’s favorites. She took out some flour from the cabinet. Pizza and breadsticks it would be, then.
As she kneaded the freshly made dough, Remus popped his head in the back door.
“Is the coast clear?”
“If you mean to ask whether or not Draco is talking to Galena, then yes, he’s talking to her. They’re in the study; I hope that’s alright.”
“It’s fine. I didn’t really care where they were as long as Draco is talking to her. Did he start off alright?”
“It was a little rough, but Draco managed to get there by himself. The door is opened slightly, so make sure to keep your voice down and the snooping to a minimum.”
Remus brought his hand to his chest in mock offensiveness. “I wouldn’t dream of it, Gale.”
She smirked. “You got some dirt on your face. And your arms. And your neck. You’re a mess.”
“Hey, not everyone can keep as clean as you. And if you think I’m dirty, you should see the twins.”
“Then the three of you better get cleaned up before supper. There’s no way I am letting you anywhere near food looking like that.”
“Like what? Like this? Sure, whatever you say…” He swiped a mud-filled hand onto Abigail’s cheek and she laughed in surprise, tossing a little flour at him.
“Get out of here, Remus! I’m serious. You won’t get any food if you do that again. Might even make you sleep outside.”
“Wow, I didn’t know you could get so serious.” Remus smirked, trying once again to swipe at Abigail. She dodged out of the way just in time to miss the mud that would have gotten all over the front of her shirt.
“Out, now! I don’t want to see you again until you’ve washed up. Tell the twins the same.”
“Yes Ma’am.” Remus peaked his head back outside, calling the twins to come in and wash up. Abigail knew that they were going to be dirty, but the extent surprised her. Mud was everywhere, some places that she didn’t even know mud could exist in. They didn’t stick around for long; when Abigail threatened no dinner, she meant it. Each boy took a different bathroom, trying their best to wash off. Abigail made a mental note to not let all of them garden together again.
After a while Abigail heard one of the doors open, and she was surprised to see not one of the twins or Remus, but Galena and Draco.
“Oh, hello. How was…”
“I’ll come back next week at the same time as today, and we’ll pick up where we left off, okay?” Galena directed her question at Draco, but she knew it was asked in front of her so she would know what was going on. Draco just nodded his head slightly.
“I think today was good, Draco. There was a lot you were open about, and I’m thankful that you trusted me.” Galena turned to Abigail. “Thank you for allowing us to talk in the study. There’s a little bit of homework that Draco needs to finish before the next time we meet. He needs a journal so he can write some things down. Can we get him one before our next session?”
“Yes, of course. We’ll get one right away.” Said Abigail.
Galena smiled. “Thank you. I will see you all next week. Remember what we talked about, Draco. I want to see if you can put some of those techniques to use.”
And with that, she floo powdered out, not bothering to wait to talk to Remus or the twins. Or to tell Abigail what they had talked about. She was going to have to see what she could know about what they talked about.
“So, Draco. How was it?” Abigail prodded, hoping that Draco would provide her with the answers she wanted.
“Fine. Good, I suppose. We just kind of talked about me and being here and…” He suddenly got quiet. The fiddling with his shirt returned. Abigail made a note of it; she would have to find something for him to fiddle with in his hands. She knew that he usually had his wolf with him, but he didn’t have it now…
“You don’t have to go into details about what you talked about, I’m just glad that you’re talking to someone.”
Draco just nodded his head, already turning to run up the stairs to his room.
It was at that moment that Remus stepped out of the bedroom, hair still damp. He had a towel thrown over his shoulders to try and stop his shirt from getting anymore wet.
“Was that Draco running up the stairs?”
“Who else would it be?” Abigail responded.
“Did he say anything about their session?”
“Not much, Remus. I wouldn’t push it right now. Let him process what happened. We can talk to him at dinner.”
“Alright, Abigail.” Remus pressed a kiss to her forehead. “Do you need any help in here?”
“Not really, but I wouldn’t mind if you stayed.”
Remus smiled. “For you, dear, anything.”