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Lily's Thorn

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Before he knew it, Christmas was here, and Jacob and Severus had been invited to two places for Christmas. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had invited them over, and they had also been invited to the Malfoy's. He wasn't sure about going over to the Weasley's, even though he was still friends with Fred and George, but… it wasn't the same place for him anymore. Still, it had been nice of them to offer. He was fairly certain it was because Mrs. Weasley wouldn't have wanted them to spend Christmas alone, even though neither of them had any problems with it just being the two of them.

Of course, they had already agreed to go the Malfoy's for Christmas dinner, so they had declined, though agreed to come over for brunch the next day. He wasn't really looking forward to that, but at least he would see Hermione, Fred, and George. 

That morning, he and Severus exchanged gifts after breakfast. They hadn't really put up a tree or decorated, but they both went and got their gifts for each other before bringing them into the living room. He handed his father his gift, holding his, which appeared to be a box of some kind. They watched each other for a moment, both seeming to be waiting for the other to go first.

"Please," Severus said, gesturing for him to go first.

Jacob nodded and pulled back the green wrapping. The box underneath was black. It was no wider than a letter, and about a few inches tall. It had a gold clasp on the front. He opened it, and inside were some pictures and letters. Picking them up, he saw that the pictures were of his mother when she was younger, all of her smiling. The letters were all written in her handwriting, each one titled Dear Sev .

Jacob looked up at his father, a look of shock on his face. "This is all… mum's stuff. Thank you, but... it's yours. Why are you giving it to me?"

"Because I have memories of her," Severus said frankly. "You do not."

"Thank you. Really. I - I love it."

"I am glad." Severus started opening up his own gift, and Jacob felt his heart race a bit. What if he didn't like it? He hadn't known what to buy a parent. He'd never had one! As the wrapping was pulled back, revealing the book underneath, he saw his father's eyes widen a bit. "An Ancient Runes book. One I do not have."

"I'm sorry if you don't like it," Jacob said quickly. "I didn't know what to get you, and… I've seen books around here for that, but not that one, so I thought -"

"It is much appreciated," Severus said, interrupting him. "You saw something that I had shown interest in and sought to buy me something similar. Thank you."

Jacob relaxed a bit, smiling at him. "You're welcome." Okay, so maybe he hadn't needed to be nervous. At least they had their gift exchange done. Now, he had one more gift to give, and he really hoped that Draco liked it. He hadn't given a gift to a boyfriend before, either. 

~~~~~~~~~~

That evening they ended up at Malfoy Manor, both dressed as nicely as possible because nothing less was good enough for the Malfoy's. Severus had a bottle of wine in his hand and another box for Draco, while Jacob held his present for Draco tightly. They had Flooed into the Entry Hall and were dusting themselves off when a House Elf came into the room. "Greetings, sirs. The Masters will take you in the Drawing Room." He led them into the drawing-room, where all three Malfoys were sitting.

Draco shot up from his place on the loveseat the moment he saw him. "Jacob!" he said, a smile breaking out across his face. He came over, giving him a quick kiss as Jacob could feel both his parent's eyes on him. "Is that for me?" he said, pointing to the box with a smile.

"No, I decided to bring one for myself."

Draco rolled his eyes at his sarcasm, taking the box and setting it with the others as Severus greeted Lucius and Narcissa, giving them the bottle which they accepted gratefully. Draco led him over to the sofa where he had been sitting. Severus sat in a chair nearby. 

"Shall we open up our new bottle of wine?" Lucius asked, snapping his fingers. He handed the bottle to an elf, who made three wine glasses appear, pouring one for each of the adults before setting the bottle nearby. "And something for young Jacob." The House Elf disappeared and appeared a moment later with a glass of water.

As the adults started talking, Draco slipped an arm around him. "Did you miss me?" he asked softly. "Maybe we can go upstairs later after dinner."

"I'd like that, and you know I did," Jacob said under his breath as he slipped an arm around him, but he felt a pair of eyes on him. Lucius was saying something, though not to him or Draco, but his eyes were fixed on him. It made him feel very uncomfortable. Did all people feel like this when they were with their significant other's parents or was it just because he was dating a Malfoy?

"So, young Jacob, how have your classes been treating you?" Lucius said though he got the feeling that the only reason why he was talking to him was because he had seen him and Draco whispering to each other. "Your grades been satisfactory?"

"Um, fine, sir," he said. "I get decent grades, I suppose. Draco is a huge help, though. I just mean that he helps me study, keeps me on the right track." He didn't want it sound like Draco was doing the work for him or that the two of them didn't end their studying sessions with snogging, so he hoped that he was covering his bases well enough. And it was best not to mention Hermione.

"He doesn't need my help that much," Draco said nonchalantly. "I just… keep him going in the right direction, that's all." 

"His grades for the first semester were more than fair," Severus spoke up.  He wondered how true that was, but then again, his father didn't need to say it if it wasn't true. Had he really done that well? Or well enough that Severus was satisfied. 

"Wonderful, and I hear you have made the Slytherin Quidditch team, congratulations," Narcissa said, though it didn't sound as if she cared one way or the other. "A Chaser, Draco told us, correct?"

Why are they talking to me? Jacob asked himself, but he supposed it was obvious. He was dating their son. "Yes, that's right, ma'am," he said. "Draco encouraged me to do it, and I'm glad he did. It's great fun, a nice distraction from school. And I really enjoy it, actually."

"He's actually really good, too," Draco said, taking a sip of his water. "Best Chaser we've ever had by far. Between the two of us, Slytherin is a shoo-in to win the Quidditch Cup this year. Especially with Gryffindor being such a mess. Hufflepuff is strong, so is Ravenclaw, but neither can match us." A haughty look was on his boyfriend's face, but he had to admit that he was probably right. 

"Excellent, well done," Lucius said. "You must be proud, Severus." 

"Of course I am, he's done quite well," he said. 

Jacob was glad for the support he was getting from his dad and Draco. He just wished the conversation was on something other than him!

Just then, a House Elf popped in. "Dinner is ready, Master," he said with a low bow.

Finally!

~~~~~~~~~~

The conversation continued through dinner - what did Jacob do during his free time? Did he have any goals? He answered it as best as he could because he couldn't tell the truth. He just wanted to survive, not have Voldemort try something, and in his free time, he basically just kissed his boyfriend. A lot. None of those answers worked, so he said as close to the truth as possible. He told him that between studying and Quidditch, he didn't have much free time and what he did have, he spent it with Draco. Severus and Draco both tried to help dodge his questions and change the subject, but Lucius and Narcissa would not be denied.

Jacob was glad that dinner was through, and they made their way back into the drawing-room. "You have to open mine first," Draco said, not leaving any room for argument. The blonde walked over and grabbed both of their presents from underneath the tree. It had silver wrapping with a green ribbon. They both went to sit on the love seat as Draco handed Jacob the present he had bought for him, holding his present for him in his hands but not doing anything, his eyes fixed firmly on him. "Well, go on then."

Jacob nodded, slowly pulling back the wrapping. He couldn't imagine what he had gotten him. There was a plain box inside the wrapping from a store he didn't recognize. Opening it up, he gasped at what he saw inside. It was a cloak, but by far the nicest cloak he had ever seen. It was green like his eyes, of the highest quality and silk. A different kind of silk seemed to be on the side. It was so soft, and he was sure it was charmed to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It was the most expensive piece of clothing he'd ever held.

"I - Wow, this is… Draco, this is incredible," he said. "It's so expensive, though. You didn't have to spend so much money on me."

"Rubbish," Draco said, waving off the comment with a wave of his hand. "Just say that you like it."

"I do like it. I love it. Thank you." He gave his boyfriend the briefest of kisses, very aware of his parent's eyes on him, as he kept feeling the silk of the cloak between his fingers. "Your turn." He was very anxious to see what Draco thought of his gift; his heart was racing faster than he was sure it should.

Draco started pulling back the wrapping, opening up the box inside to reveal the Potions book that he had gotten him. For a moment, he didn't react, and Jacob thought that maybe he already had it, until he looked up. A look of disbelief was on the blonde's face. "Where did you find this? How did you find this? I've been looking for this book for years. How did you know?"

Jacob wouldn't say the book was rare, but hard to find may fit better. It was an advanced book, which went into a lot of theory that made it one that wasn't sold very much. "I have connections," he said, to which Draco glanced at Severus before nodding. Of course, Jacob had asked his father to find a book, something on theory since Draco seemed to like it so much. His father had found the book. "And I didn't know. I told my father what I wanted to get you and helped me find it." A smile crossed his face. "I take it you like it?"

"I love it. Thank you," he said, leaning forward and kissing him before looking back down at the book. He started flipping through the pages almost absent-mindedly, his eyes briefly scanning them before moving onto the next page. He wasn't sure why he was worried. He had thought maybe he had this book already, but he had asked his father to make sure it was something he didn't think Draco would already have. He was interested in Potions, after all, so he would already have some novels already. It was something Draco immensely enjoyed, so it had been the first thing he'd thought of.

Jacob felt the fabric of his new cloak underneath his fingers. While he had spent his time from the age of eleven until his fifteenth birthday when his mother's magic disappeared with quite a bit of money, it still seemed weird to have something this expensive. He would never have spent this much money on clothes himself. He never really saw the need. Then again, Draco seemed to enjoy spending money on people he cared about.  Jacob had never cared about how much money he spent on his friends, either, so perhaps he should stop thinking about how expensive it was. It was more important that it was a very nice gift that he loved.

He and Draco just sat next to each other, not saying a word. Draco was flipping through his book, and Jacob was content just to sit there while Severus talked to Lucius and Narcissa. "We are heading back in a few days," his father was saying. "I need to prepare for the next school year, as you know. All teachers return a bit early, and as I am Head of House, I want to be there a bit earlier than the rest."

"Who was filling in for you while you were gone again?" Lucius asked.

"Professor Sinistra, the Astronomy teacher," he replied. "She is the only other Slytherin member on staff."

"What of your son?" Narcissa asked. "Is Jacob to go with you?"

Severus nodded. "Yes, he will rejoin the classmates that stayed behind until the rest of the students arrive, and classes start again."

"Seems a shame to miss the train," Narcissa said in almost an absent-minded manner. "Didn't he miss it last time, too? As you say, you have to go back early." 

Severus nodded, and then Lucius spoke up. "It seems such a shame that he misses the train," he said. "It's such an important part of the experience of going to Hogwarts." The elder Malfoy seemed to be thinking for a moment. "Why does he not stay here? Simply send him here when you go back to Hogwarts. He can spend some time with Draco before he goes back, and he can ride the train with his friends."

"That is an excellent idea," Narcissa said. "We would love to have him, and it would give the boys a chance to spend some time together."

They planned this. He wondered if they had been waiting all night to ask this. It had gotten Draco's attention, too. He stopped flipping through his book and looked up at the adults. "Could he?" his boyfriend asked. "That would be great." He turned to him, a smile on his face, and Jacob couldn't help but smile back. "If you don't, we won't see each other until school starts." 

However, he was a bit hesitant. He knew that the likely only reason Lucius and Narcissa wanted to do this was to "get to know him better," which most likely meant Lucius trying to interrogate him again. He was, after all, their son's boyfriend, and as Draco himself had said before, he was not someone they would have chosen for their son. 

"What do you think, Jacob?" Severus asked him. 

Jacob put a smile on his face. "Sure, sounds great," he said. "Thank you, Mr., and Mrs. Malfoy." 

"Good, it settled then," Narcissa said.

Great… Jacob thought to himself, feeling decidedly less excited about it than Draco was. It wasn't that he didn't want to spend time with his boyfriend - he did very much - but he had a feeling that his parents were going to be breathing down his neck the entire time. He was not looking forward to that at all.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Jacob wasn't able to get any alone time with Draco. The Malfoy's insisted the two of them stay down there, but at least he knew that he would be staying there. Hopefully, that meant some more alone time with his boyfriend. All he had left to do was do his mental exercises before going to bed. He woke up early the next day to exercise with his father again before having a light breakfast, showering and then heading over to Grimmauld Place to see the Weasley's.

The two got there a bit early. They heard some bustling around in the kitchen, but otherwise, the house was quiet. Mrs. Weasley poked her head out. "Oh, Severus! Jacob! Good to see you both. Now, brunch isn't quite ready yet, but it will be. Sirius and Remus are in the living room, and all the children are upstairs. Make yourself at home. Can I get you something to drink?"

They both waved off her request, but there was something that Jacob just had to ask. "Um, I heard your husband was in the hospital? Is he alright?"

Mrs. Weasley smiled. "Oh, that's very sweet of you, dear. Yes, he'll be fine. He's still a bit hurt, and he's not out of there yet, but soon enough. He'll be just fine. Thank you." With that, she bustled off. At least he was okay. Jacob wanted to see Sirius and Remus, so the two of them went into the living room quickly before he supposed he would go upstairs to see Hermione.

Jacob froze as soon as they entered the room.

Sirius currently had Remus pressed up against the back of the couch. The two were currently snogging and didn't look as if they had been expecting anyone. Severus just groaned. "Could you keep that inside of your room as opposed to when unsuspecting people will walk in?" Immediately, both of them jolted apart, not seeming to have noticed that they had even arrived.

Jacob looked up at his father. "Wait, you knew?" Why was he always the last to know everything? Shouldn't Remus or Sirius have told him something about that?

"No, but seeing as how they couldn't keep their hands off each other our last couple of years in school, I am not surprised they have rekindled things," he said. 

Remus and Sirius both looked embarrassed to have been caught. "This is not the way we wanted you to find out, Jacob," Remus said. "We were going to invite you over to our new place today, and then tell you there. Oh, yes, we got a place in Hogsmeade, so we'll be a lot closer to you, in case you want to come to visit us in addition to being able to meet again in the Room of Requirement."

"It's new," Sirius said. "We didn't want to tell you until we had something to tell. We started dating towards the end of our sixth year, but with the war and everything… well, we loved each other, but we had a lot of things to work through. We didn't want to say anything to you, especially considering everything you've been going through until we knew for sure that it was going to last. You understand?"

It took Jacob a moment to absorb everything, but slowly, he nodded. Okay, so… they were a couple, had a lot of history, needed to work through some things before springing something else on him. And they had a new place in Hogsmeade! It would make it easier to see them, though he'd been so busy he hadn't been able to get away to see them. "Yeah, I understand," he said. "I'm really happy for both of you. And it'll be nice having you closer. What does Dumbledore think about you leaving? With you still being a fugitive?"

Sirius scoffed. "I don't care. I need to get out of this bloody house! Besides, I won't leave. It'll basically be trading one prison for another, but at least that one will just be me and Remus, and a lot less bad memories." His godfather walked forward and wrapped his arms around him. "It's good to see you. I don't see nearly enough of you."

Jacob wrapped his arms around him. "It's good to see you, too." He quickly separated. "I should go, though. I mean, no one here knows except for Hermione, and - "

"No, go ahead, go," Remus said, waving him out of the room. "We'll talk later, yes?" " It goes without saying that I am not letting him go over to your 'new place' unsupervised," Severus said, speaking up. "He is my son, and you are still a wanted criminal, Black."

Remus put his hands on Sirius's shoulders as he looked like he was about to tell Severus exactly what he thought about that idea. "Of course, but we'll put up the proper spells and everything," he said. "He's your son, though, and I'm sure between the three of us we can work something out, right gentleman?" Sirius and Severus reluctantly nodded.

"I'll just… be upstairs if you need me," Jacob said. "Okay, Dad?" Severus nodded, and he took that opportunity to make his way upstairs to see if he could find Hermione. However, it wasn't Hermione he ran into first.

Ron came out of his room, and then the two were staring at each other. He had barely seen or talked to him since the argument they had that got him kicked out of Tomes and Scrolls in Hogsmeade. "I'm just going to go find Hermione," he said, immediately trying to walk around him. He did not want to get into it here, with so many people around who didn't know his secret.

"Wait." Ron put out a hand to stop him from moving. "I - I want to talk."

"I have nothing to say to you." Jacob tried to go around him again, but once more, Ron stopped him.

"Please, I - look, I want to apologize."

That took Jacob by surprise. He didn't remember Ron ever apologizing, although maybe that was just because he was still pissed at him. He looked at him for a moment. "Alright, go ahead. Give it a go."

It was clear that Ron wasn't sure what to make of that, but he cleared his throat. "I was a right arse to you, I have been for a while, I suppose," he said, shrugging. He ran a hand through his hair while Jacob just stood there, arms crossed. "I just… Last year, I suppose I was a bit jealous of you, and I just… I guess I didn't understand how you could go from hating Snape to being okay with him being your father, but I don't think… I don't think I understood how you were feeling. I mean, it had to have been a lot to deal with, and I just… I should have stood by you; we were best friends. But then you started dating Malfoy, and it felt like… Had I ever really known you? After everything Malfoy had done?"

The redhead gave another shrug, and Jacob could see that he had practiced this. "I was actually coming to find you in Tomes and Scrolls when I heard and Hermione talking so casually about Malfoy, you seem to really like him and I just… couldn't stand that, I didn't understand that, and I just sort of snapped." Ron looked embarrassed, actually, at what he had said and done. "But I lost Quidditch because I lost my temper, I've lost both you and Hermione, and she's dating Terry, and I'm happy for her and all, and…" He took a deep breath, seeming to steady his nerves. "What I'm trying to say is that I'm really, truly sorry for what I've done and how I've treated you."

Jacob stood there for a moment. He could see how heartfelt Ron was being right now, but he had been hurt. "I appreciate that," he chose to say. "It doesn't change what you did, though." He took a few steps forward so that they were not to be overheard by accident. "You were my best friend, and I needed you. I needed your support last year when I was facing a dragon, but you were too jealous to look me in the eye. I needed your support when I found out my entire life had been a lie, but you got pissy and left. Honestly, Ron, do you want my life? Because it's a never-ending series of bullshit that happens to me, and I'd be happy to give some of it to you."

Ron was silent for a moment before nodding. "It's okay; I deserved that. I don't expect things to go back to normal, but… I'd like to try and start over. Get to know… who you've become. If that's okay." The redhead then did the most surprising thing and stuck out his hand to him. "Hi, it's Jacob, right? I'm Ron. You know my brother's Fred and George, but I don't think we've ever been properly introduced. I've been a right arse lately, so I thought maybe we could start over because I've come to realize I don't really know you, and I judged you based on your last name, and your father, and I shouldn't have."

Jacob was taken by surprise. He hadn't really expected that, but if Ron was willing to admit he was wrong, then maybe Jacob could give him a shot. He took his hand and shook it. "I appreciate that, Ron. It's nice to officially meet you." It felt kind of weird saying that with all their history, but he supposed Ron Weasley and Jacob Snape didn't have any history. Maybe it was all for the best.