Disclaimer: They're not mine. You knew that.

A Father's Nightmare

-Catspook

Lucius quickly strode down the halls of Hogwarts, trying to control his panic. Severus had sent him an urgent owl, telling him that his presence was required at a meeting involving his son. The fact that the potions master had not told him what the meeting was about convinced him that it was something very serious, and Lucius was terrified that Draco had been hurt. Had that Weasley whelp made another botched attempt to transfigure Draco into a ferret? There were just too many horrible possibilities to consider; why couldn't Severus have just told Lucius what was going on?

Finally, the gargoyle guarding Dumbledore's office came into view. "Oreos!" Lucius barked, only sparing half a thought to wonder why Dumbledore had chosen this password; it was no kind of sweet Lucius had ever heard of. When he reached the top, Lucius yanked the door open. Draco and Millicent were sitting, looking pale and worried, in front of Dumbledore's desk. Dumbledore was there, as was Severus, and there were three empty chairs. The one next to Draco was presumably for Lucius, while the two next to Millicent were most likely for her parents.

Lucius was as Draco's side in an instant. "Draco, how are you? What's going on?"

"I'm fine, Father," Draco replied quietly, clearly not meaning a word. "We're waiting for Mr. and Mrs. Bulstrode."

"Why? Millicent, are you all right?" Lucius asked, concerned. The Bulstrodes treated their younger daughter in an atrocious fashion, and Lucius knew that Millicent would prefer not to involve them in anything unless she had to.

"I'm... I'm fine, Mr. Malfoy."

"But what-" And the Bulstrodes entered the room in a flurry of bustling activity. Somehow they, and Mrs. Bulstrode especially, managed to radiate both a sickening nepotism and an arrogance that clearly said it was a terrible bother for them to travel all the way over here.

"Lucius," Mrs. Bulstrode greeted brightly, completely ignoring her daughter. Mr. Bulstrode did the same.

Lucius ignored them, taking Draco's small hand in his own. "What's going on, Draco?"

Draco flushed shyly (or guiltily, Lucius couldn't tell), and looked to Millicent. She blushed too and stared at the floor. "I... I'm..."

"Yes?" her mother asked snidely.

Millicent took a deep breath. "I'm pregnant."

"Is Draco the father?" Mrs. Bulstrode asked... brightly?

"Of course I am!" Draco snapped.

"Well..." Dumbledore began, silencing everyone in the room, "Now that we all are aware of the situation, maybe we can discuss an appropriate course of action."

"Well, there really is only one option," Mrs. Bulstrode replied, "They must get married as soon as possible."

"You are not going to tell my son what he must and must not do," Lucius snarled, "And despite the fact that you share Millicent's blood, you have no right to force her to do anything either." He then turned to the clearly terrified girl. "Millicent, do you know what you want to do?"

"I... I don't know."

"Do you know what your options are?" Dumbledore asked kindly.

"Marriage is the only option!" Mrs. Bulstrode yelled, jumping to her feet.

"Shut up!" Lucius and Severus yelled at once as Millicent began to cry.

Mrs. Bulstrode sat angrily, her arms folded over her chest like a five-year-old who'd been denied a piece of candy. Severus and Lucius gave her the most evil of glares and she cowed somewhat.

"Now, Millicent," Dumbledore continued as if he had not been interrupted, "You have four options. You can marry Draco and have the baby. You could refrain from marring Draco and have the baby alone -"

"Absolutely n-"

"Silencio!" Severus and Lucius both cursed Mrs. Bulstrode at the same time, casing her to slump in her chair as if she had been punched. Mr. Bulstrode looked about to object, but glares from Lucius and Severus kept him quiet.

"-You could have the baby and give it up for adoption, or you could terminate the baby."

Lucius gasped as if he had been struck. Terminate his grandchild? "No!"

Draco looked at Lucius, worry clear in his gray eyes. Lucius turned to Millicent. "Millicent, I have no right to ask this of you, so I am begging; if you do not want to care for the baby yourself, please carry it to term and I will adopt it. Please don't kill my grandchild." Millicent looked at him tearily, then she looked to Draco.

"What should I do?"

Draco looked to his father. "I don't know what to tell you. But if you do want to get married, you both will have a place at the Manor with me."

Millicent cried harder, "I just don't know how this happened! I was taking an anti-pregancy potion!"

"Which one?" Severus asked, slipping into his potions master persona.

"Madam Rose's. It's supposed to be foolproof!"

Severus frowned sharply. "It is foolproof. There has never been a pregnancy when the woman was taking properly made and administered Madam Rose's. Are you sure you took it every day, even when Draco was not... with you?"

Millicent nodded, "Yes! I took it for all of the Christmas hols, even though I knew I wasn't going to be with Draco; I took it right, I swear!"

Severus looked thoughtful. "If you don't mind, Millicent, I would like to take a look at the bottle."

Millicent nodded, still crying. Severus swept out of the room, with a promise that he would be back as soon as possible. Draco reached out to stroke Millicent's back in a comforting manner, though he looked close to tears himself. "I'll marry you if you want," he said in a very small voice. Lucius did not miss the smile in Mrs. Bulstrode's face.

As they waited for Severus, Dumbledore proceed to offer everyone assembled a lemon drop, only to be refused. Lucius longed to gather Draco in his arms, but Draco was still comforting Millicent; he was such a strong boy. Finally, Severus returned, looking grim. "This potion has been tampered with," he announced.

"What?" Millicent gasped.

"Someone did this to us on purpose?" Draco whispered. Then and there Lucius vowed to kill whoever it had been; no one got away with hurting his precious son.

"There is a potion that will annul the effects of Madam Rose's; it has been added to this bottle. Millicent, who had access to your things?"

"Anyone who could get into the Slytherin girls' dorm," Draco answered for her, "But why would anyone do this to us?"

And suddenly Lucius knew. He jumped to his feet and drew his wand, "How dare you!" he yelled, causing Millicent and Draco to jump. Mr. and Mrs. Bulstrode cowered before him.

"I-I don't know what you mean," Mrs. Bulstrode stuttered, clearly lying.

"How dare you! How dare you use your daughter this way! How dare you do this to my son! Was marring into my family that important to you!" Lucius drew back his wand, prepared to curse them, but Draco stood and grabbed his wrist.

"Father, don't!"

"How can you defend them?"

"Because if you curse them you could go to Azkaban; I need you right now."

Lucius paused for a moment then yelled, "Get out of here! You've no legal claim to your daughter anymore; she's of age. And you never had any moral claim to her; get out!" And they did.

Draco wrapped his arms around Lucius' waist and lay his head on Lucius shoulder. Lucius did not want this for him, but he could not loose his grandchild either. Lucius felt so helpless.

O~O~O~O~O

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhgh!" Millicent's screams reverberated down the hallway. She was in her bedroom with the midwife while Draco and Lucius paced the halls. Her sounds of pain soon diminished and were replaced by the keening cry of a newborn. Lucius rushed into the room, and Draco fallowed, more slowly.

Millicent was propped up by pillows, a tiny baby cradled in her thickly muscled arms. She was crying, exactly why, Lucius could not tell. Lucius gently led Draco to her bedside and helped the midwife place the baby in Draco's arms. Draco wasn't his little boy anymore...

c~c~c~c~c

Lucius gasped, chilled by the stuffed dragon in his arms. "Thurmos!" he panted. After he had gained his breath, he sat up and retrieved a parchment and quill form his bedstand. He took a deep breath before beginning a letter to his son.

Draco,

How are you faring? I know that NEWTs are approaching, but do take the time to care for yourself. You almost overdid it on the OWLs; I don't want that to happen again. How is Millicent holding up? I know that she worries about her grades, but her abilities as a beater and tamer of magical creatures more than makes up for her academic troubles. In any case, I hope you are both well, and I wish you good luck on your exams.

love,

Father

Lucius thought a moment before adding:

ps: You and Millicent aren't... intimate are you?

*The End*