Nobody ever asked my birthday

A little bit late

Draco Malfoy had thought he'd have trouble sleeping, after the Malfoy Ball. Instead, the moment his head hit the pillow, he was fast asleep.

He blamed the alcohol.

He woke in the dark of the night, to pressure in his bladder and the dull shaking of his door in its doorframe.

Goyle

Only Greg Goyle had such a distinctive knock. Draco was fairly certain it was a practiced thing, even if Greg liked to look dumb enough that he didn't know his own strength. He was sharp enough at Quiddich, so he was hardly fooling a Malfoy.

Still, Draco hadn't expected any visitors at this time of night. Normally guests didn't stay, unless they were sleeping off a bender. With how sodden Snape had looked, it was a sure bet that he'd stayed the night, inebriated or no.

"In a mo," Draco said, his voice for once freed of pretense. Well, mostly. It was pretty awkward to have Greg at your door at ... 4 in the morning?!

Typical Greg, that, Draco thought with a sigh. He used the facilities, and then opened the door, "What do you want, Greg?"

Goyle just shouldered his way in (Draco hadn't been blocking the door very well, and Greg was twice his weight, and had a head on him in height).

Draco gently closed the door. Greg Goyle looked troubled - and that meant that he'd had good, sound reasons for not announcing the topic at hand in a hallway.

Goyle sat on Draco's bed with a suspiciously ominous creak (he hadn't broken the bed, had he?). "Need to talk."

Draco nodded, remaining standing and resting his heel against the door, while he propped himself on the doorframe. He cast some simple privacy wards, and then said, "So talk."

"My mum's not really my mum." Goyle said, "She... she's not really my mum."

Draco studied the hunched-in figure on his bed, Goyle nearly deflated with the thought. "You... didn't know?"

"None of us kids did," Goyle said, and he looked up at Draco. "When she said that storks brought babies to good, loving parents, we believed her."

Draco covered his eyes, using his hand to hide a sunny smile.

"Not forever," Goyle amended hastily, "We do breed Abraxans, you know...?"

Wiping the smile from his face, Draco nodded expressionlessly.

"I..." Goyle said, "I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel, now."

"Are you..." Draco Malfoy said, reaching for subtlety that eluded him. Hell, that would elude the finest Slytherin. He chose bluntness, because he had no choice, "Are you a bastard?"

"I..." Goyle said, "Didn't ask. Need to know... how I feel."

Draco Malfoy paced, thinking. "Does... does it really matter?"

Goyle, his eyes shining, looked up at Draco - the bloke he trusted to figure shit out, "What do you mean?"

"She still held you when you cut your head and soaked your shirt in blood, didn't she?" Draco Malfoy said, not mincing words.

There it was, just the leastest trace of a smile, but it was there. "Yeah," Goyle said, sadly.

"She's been a mum to you, just like in the stories." Draco Malfoy said, firmly. They didn't write stories about households like the Malfoy's. But the Goyles' were poor as churchmice, and many stories started like that.

"Yeah," Goyle said, voice soft as a whisper.

"Then what does it matter?" Draco asked, his voice quiet too. "Our Housemaster would say that every mum makes a choice to have a child, to cherish them, to care for them." Draco shrugged, "Seems like Gretchen Goyle just made that choice a little late, wouldn't you say?"

Goyle gave him a soft smile, and Draco could tell - by the easing of Goyle's shoulders, that it was going to be alright.

[a/n: People seemed honestly interested in what was going on here. And Goyle needed an outside perspective, on what to feel. Those times when you're feeling everything? This was one of those times for him.

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