I'm afraid I shocked the old boy when he first came in. I didn't change the record in time, so he was treated to the sight of me in my thong and boa, dancing around to the rhythms of Abba. He was a bit put off, to my disappointment, until I realized that it was only the choice of music which disappointed him. Once I replaced my Abba 45 with a slam-bang album by Def Leppard (who should be taken to task for their hideous spelling), he was much more enthused.
Lucius stayed the night in my chambers, and the following day, while I was teaching, he went into Hogsmeade and, I believe, paid a visit to Poppy in the infirmary. No doubt he wanted to get the details of Draco's prognosis after his extended stay, and perhaps he needed some looking-after himself. I wonder whether Narcissa really attends to his needs at home, though I don't consider it my place to ask. In any event, I'm quite certain he had a better time than I did; for most of the day I had one of the feathers from my lovely boa stuck in my hair. Those miserable Gryffindors kept laughing every time my back was turned. Their house is already in negative points, so I don't know why they insist on lowering the score even further. I overheard Potter and his friends whispering as they left the classroom, something about "he must have a really ugly owl." Ha! If they only knew.
The third day, Lucius finally cornered Draco and insisted that he explain what's been going on with him. Now, I myself was unaware of exactly what Draco has been doing, but I've noticed a marked improvement in his color and his attitude, so I encouraged him to keep doing whatever it was he was doing.
How was *I* supposed to know that it was a who and not a what?
Lucius went into a terrible state of shock, which is when Draco came and found me. I still didn't know what was going on, but I very carefully escorted Lucius up to see Poppy. He kept muttering, "Did you know, Severus? Did you tell him to?" I hadn't the faintest notion what he meant, but I was sure that Poppy could set him to rights in no time.
She did, indeed. At first she was a little puzzled as to why we were both there, but once she saw Lucius's state, she quickly understood. We conferred briefly and decided that another shock, a more pleasant kind, would jolt Lucius back to his senses. She left the room after we had settled him into a comfortable chair; a moment later, she returned in an extremely high-skirted, low-collared Mediwitch robe. I can see why she's called Poppy, because she pops out of damn near every tight little outfit I've seen. She strode over to Lucius and began to murmur in low, soothing tones while gently massaging his shoulders. Gradually, he snapped out of his funk.
"Poppy," I said, "I think I need to speak with Lucius alone for a moment." She nodded and left, but not before blowing me the smallest, most discreet little air kiss I've ever seen. I think I'm in love, but that's not at issue just now.
"What did Draco say, Lucius? You must tell me."
Lucius gulped. "He...Severus, he...he shagged that Weasley girl!"
I couldn't believe it. I knew -- even if Lucius didn't -- that Draco was quite the little casanova. He takes after his father, from what I've overheard when passing near the Slytherin common room; he likes the boys as well as the girls. And to judge by those whom I've determined to have been his conquests (except for Pansy Parkinson, but I don't think there's a boy in Slytherin who hasn't had her), Draco is of most discerning tastes. The objects of his interest have all been attractive, and most have even been relatively intelligent.
So what on earth possessed him to go after Ginny Weasley? I don't have anything against the child herself, really; she doesn't irritate me as much as her brothers do, and she seems more or less bright. It's just that Draco, like Lucius, could have absolutely anybody in the school -- so why Ginny?
Lucius was developing that haunted look in his eyes again, so I called Poppy back into the room and we spent the next several hours, ah, consoling him. Later, I assured Lucius that it was either a prank -- Draco was lying to his father -- or, equally possible, he actually did it so he could ruin Ginny's reputation. In any event, he seemed to have recovered well by the time he left school this evening, and I promised to try and keep closer tabs on Draco. I also reminded him that we have an upcoming party for his birthday later this month, and added that Poppy said she'd be quite happy to provide another delicious, sticky chocolate cake.
Damn. If I want to keep my temperature down, I must refrain from using the words Poppy, sticky, and chocolate in the same sentence. Oh, well, guess I should head for the hospital wing, since she always knows just how to relieve my fevers.