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Chapter 1 : Biased
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“Well, this is usually the part of the evening where you tell me what bothers you and I pretend that I actually care,” he said in a voice that suggested he expected no less. I glowered at him.
“That’s ridiculous!” I gasped, affronted at his perception of me, and a little irritated that he found me so shallow. “What a completely unjust accusation, especially considering how tough everything’s been lately with Scorpius’ developing relationship with that Weasley girl – ”
“And here we go....” Draco muttered with a sarcastic joy to his tone. It was in his best interests that I pretended not to hear him.
“ – honestly,” I continued, not put off by his snarky interjection in the slightest, “she’s a Weasley, and no doubt a trampy little slut. She’s not good for our boy, Draco, you know she isn’t!”
“Aren’t you a little biased?” he asked me, running a hand through his platinum hair (a mark of our wealth, clearly, that one can have hair coloured the same as platinum) and fixing me with his ‘I-know-more-than-you-so-shut-up-you-imbecile’ stare. This stare was not reserved only for me; the only person I was aware of who did not receive this look on a regular basis was his mother, and that was because he was terrified of her. “All mothers are discriminatory against their son’s girlfriends, it’s only natural.”
“Your mother was perfectly lovely to me,” I pointed out.
He burst out laughing. “You should have heard what she called you after that first dinner!” Seeing the look on my face, he backtracked quickly. “You should not have heard what she said. You should never hear what she said. She said nothing.” He gave me his best attempt at a winning smile (pathetic, honestly. Married for eighteen years and he still thinks he can get away with stuff) and shuffled as far away from me as he could.
“Regardless,” I snapped it out, making him flinch, “this Weasley child is probably going to be a bad influence on our poor Scorpius – ”
“Poor Scorpius?” Draco interjected incredulously. He felt the need to repeat this phrase several times to try and somehow get a grip on what I was saying. Moron. “For Merlin’s sake, Astoria, I asked him yesterday whether we should spend two weeks or three weeks in Barcelona and he told me to retire so I could move there permanently because he’s “always wanted to be an orphan”!” He paused for dramatic effect, and then added, “That’s a direct quote, by the way.”
I waved that off. “He was quite clearly joking, you idiot.” At this insult, Draco seemed about to protest, but I slipped him my signature death-threat-glare and he closed his mouth sharply. “He does have quite the sense of humour though, don’t you think? Rhetorical,” I quickly informed him. “That was not an invitation for you to speak rubbish again.”
“I don’t understand the point of me even being here during these little complaining sessions you do. It’s not like you listen to me,” he complained, and extinguished the main light with a wave of his wand. I kicked him under the covers in annoyance and lit up my own wand. He sat up sharply and scowled at me. “Put the light out, I want to sleep,” he growled.
“You’re so sexy when you growl,” I whispered mischievously, and his eyes lit up for a moment; he shuffled closer to me and encircled my waist with his arms. I let him kiss my neck a few times before whacking him on the back of the head. “Are all men lead by their balls?” I demanded to know, then made a face. “Rhetorical again. Anyway, I wasn’t finished talking, actually.”
He groaned and let go of me, leaning back and hitting the back of his head against the wall. “Well, I was.”
“Don’t be a smartarse unless you’d like fried testicle for breakfast tomorrow,” I said acidly, and he shut up pronto. It was easy to see who wore the trousers in this marriage, I reflected, and smiled. “Anyway, where did your prejudice for the Weasleys disappear to?” I was highly disappointed Draco had yet to exhibit this in our conversation, as I’d been relying on it.
“Probably the same place as my happiness,” he mumbled, and I reached out to swat him again; he dodged it neatly and caught my wrist, that seven-times-winner-of-the-Witch-Weekly-best-evil-smirk-awards appearing as I scowled at him, enraged. “You want my honest opinion?” he asked, and I considered this.
“Tough, you’re going to get it.” He caught my other wrist as I attempted to free myself from his grip, and shushed me. “I think that the Weasleys are a bunch of freckle-faced, ginger-headed blood traitors who’ve fallen on money. However, I have no reason to be particularly prejudiced against this Weasley girl as she is, from what I’ve heard, quite a looker.” I made a disgusted noise and tried to free myself uselessly from the man’s iron fists. My wand lay uselessly on the bedside table behind me. “As far as I’m concerned, my son should have the best-looking girl in the school.”
Slightly mollified, I considered this point before conceding grudgingly, “Uh.”
“I still dislike Weasleys,” he hastened to clarify, looking nauseated at the mere mention of their name. “I’m just being the rational one here.”
I burst into laughter, at which he looked insulted. As the first uncontrollable round of laughter faded, I managed to choke out, “You think –haha – that you’re – ha – the rational one?” I subsided into giggles again.
“I’m not the one laughing like a madwoman,” he pointed out, and I shut myself up immediately. “Astoria, you’re all but sitting here and plotting the death of our son’s new girlfriend. Remind me to keep you away from all kitchen implements.”
“You’re just being ridiculous now,” I informed him. “I would never use a kitchen knife, not even the house-elves would get the stains out of the carpet. Throttling would work much better.”
His mouth twitched in amusement before he quashed the urge to laugh and turned his frown on me again. “Astoria, can we go to sleep now? I’m exhausted and it’s a Monday tomorrow, I’ve got to be up early.”
“No, you don’t,” I pointed out without a hint of doubt. I knew what he was doing tomorrow. “You’re planning to sleep in until at least ten, I know. It’s the first week of the summer holidays, Scorpius is home for the next month and a half, and you’ve taken the next fortnight off, remember?”
He scowled at me as I spoke, clearly annoyed that his attempt to shut me up had failed miserably. My thoughts turned to my son’s budding relationship, which he had seen fit to inform us about when he arrived home yesterday morning.
“...I wonder if this Weasley girl used a love potion?” I mused, blowing a piece of hair out of my face as it itched at my nose. I tugged half-heartedly at my caught wrists, eliciting a smirk from my prat of a husband, then settled for scowling at him.
“I’ll make you a deal,” he said in a smooth, professional voice that usually only came out around clients. But there was a distinct twitch at the corner of his mouth again that betrayed the fact he wasn’t serious. “I will check Scorpius’ blood for anything which should not be there, and you will let me sleep. Do we have a deal?”
I chewed on the bottom of my lip as I mulled his proposition over. The urge to continue whining about life’s unfairness was battling with the need to discover what was in my son’s blood, and the choice was impossible. I settled for trying to stall. “Is there any small print?” I asked.
He knew what I was doing straight away, and his smirk reappeared. “Look, Astoria, I’ve got your arms trapped and I could just turn your wand out, if I didn’t think you’d continue whining in the dark anyway. But you get your arms back and an opportunity to pry into our son’s private business, while I only get a bit of sleep. I’m being the bigger man here, see?” He looked immensely proud of himself. Imbecile.
“...fine,” I acquiesced in a grumpy, sullen voice, and let him tug me into his arms. As I reached for my wand and murmured “Nox”, plunging us into almost total darkness, a thought occurred to me. “Draco, do you think we should have another baby?”
I felt him freeze against me and imagined his hands wrapping themselves around my throat in a fit of anxiety. Before that could happen for real, I added hastily, “Rhetorical, rhetorical!”
It was a bright morning, not exactly unusual for July, but it irritated me almost as much as Draco did. I’d already bought an outfit for our visit to my parents that afternoon, and it only looked good on me in dim lighting. My sister, Daphne, would have great fun poking fun at me if my blouse was slightly see-through (not that she could talk, bloody cow).
“Cup of tea,” I said to Tokie, who squeaked an affirmative in that annoyingly perky house-elf way, and disappeared with a crack. I sat down at the antique table and drummed my fingers against the old wood impatiently until Tokie reappeared with a steaming cup and set it down in front of me.
“You are allowed to eat, you know, Astoria,” Draco drawled as he slid into the seat next to me, eying my king-sized cuppa with disdain. “You’re middle-aged, no one cares what you look like.”
I scowled at him. “Shut up,” I snapped, a little more waspishly than usual. “At least I still have a semblance of beauty to look after. You’re as ugly as the day I met you.”
His mouth twitched in amusement. “Then I’m sorry you didn’t have better taste.” I couldn’t hide a small smile at that, and he smirked in triumph. “What’s made you even more unpleasant than usual today, then?” he asked as he reached for the stack of French toast in the middle of the table and gave himself a hefty helping.
“Do you ever pay attention to me?” I demanded, more irritated by him than anything I had yet encountered this morning. “I told you last week, we’re going to visit my parents this afternoon.”
The French toast currently making its way to his plate slid off his fork and onto the table.
“We what?” he spluttered, looking completely shocked. “You never mentioned this to me! Oh, Merlin...” he groaned, dropping his head into his hands.
“I did mention it to you!” I exclaimed hotly, irritated immensely by the implication that his inability to listen was somehow my fault. “You told me you were planning to discuss some business with Blaise today and I told you that wouldn’t be possible because you’d both be at our little family gathering!” His face remained blank and I resisted the urge to practise my favourite wart-growing curse. I scowled at him and turned back to my cup of tea, muttering angrily, “Men.”
“I resent that, Mum!”
A blond teenager with a cheeky – what Draco would call idiotic – grin on his face walked through the door and plopped himself down in the chair opposite us. With great willpower, I summoned up some of my irritation with his choice in girlfriends, sniffed haughtily, and turned my head away from him.
It was a stupid thing to do, really. All I ended up doing was staring at the wall.
“Scorpius,” Draco said, and I knew despite where my eyes were situated, that he’d given Scorpius that nod that men give each other to say I am a man, and I recognise that you, also, are a man. Good morning. I also knew that Scorpius’ response to that would just be his endearing – what Draco would call moronic – grin again.
“What’s up with Mum?” he asked. I heard the distinct creak of his chair as he leant forwards to grab himself a stack of French toast, and took a loud sip of my tea to make sure neither of them forgot I was there (happened many times before).
“She’s menopausal,” Draco said with no hesitation.
I choked and Scorpius looked nauseated. I tried to reprimand – in other words, scream at and whack around the head – Draco, but I exploded into a fit of coughing that meant I was so incapacitated that I couldn’t even hit him.
“Can’t you help her?” Scorpius asked my darling husband.
“I would,” Draco said carefully, and I saw him shift towards the far side of his chair, “but then she’d be able to hit me, and I don’t particularly fancy that.” At moments like this, I would realise that he knew me surprisingly well.
Scorpius rolled his eyes and pulled his wand out of pocket, pointing it at me and muttering, “Finite.” My coughing ceased and I promptly took the opportunity to elbow Draco sharply in the ribs. He sent Scorpius a glare.
“See what you did?”
“I saw what he did,” I cut in before Scorpius could make a retort. “Underage magic.” I glared at my son, who immediately put on his ‘who, me?’ face that he patented in his childhood. “You know you aren’t seventeen for another two weeks!”
“That’s the last time I help you out,” he muttered mutinously, and to emphasise his point, took an extra large mouthful of French toast.
I glared at his bent head for a minute, then turned my gaze to Draco, who had also lost all semblance of table manners. I always found it incredible that someone so well-spoken and proper in public could be such a Neanderthal behind closed doors.
Feeling a little disgusted at the sight of the feeding males around me, I spoke up abruptly. “We’re leaving for my parents’ at half past twelve, so don’t pretend you don’t know. If you feel you might forget that time – “ this was aimed at Scorpius “ – I will quite happily spell it out in boils across your forehead.”
“That’s not much use, he wouldn’t be able to see it,” Draco interrupted, but was silenced by my scowl. He returned to eating, but discarded his cutlery.
“Scorpius, don’t wear jeans, you know your Grandmother hates them,” I informed him, then at Draco’s pointed look, added, “as does your father. He also hates your football t-shirt, so I would hide it before he tries to burn it.”
“I would not!” Draco exclaimed through a mouthful of food. I raised an eyebrow; he swallowed hastily and then said just as hotly, “I would not burn it!”
“There are two issues with what you just said,” I informed him calmly, and saw him roll his eyes across the table at Scorpius, who was wearing a smirk identical to Draco’s usual one. “Firstly, must you eat like a starving hippogriff every mealtime? If you must, then I will insist on having acquaintances over every meal, because it’s only in front of them that you actually chew your food. And secondly,” I continue, allowing a smirk to grace my own lips, “You do burn things, actually. You burnt those last dress robes I wore, remember?”
“They were too low-cut,” he mumbled defensively. “That bartender was looking at you.”
Sometimes, Draco acted like he was a dog and I was a lamppost. That’s not a reference to our sex life – that’s private, and also that would just be completely weird – but to the fact that he took possessive to an entirely new level. Once, he tattooed ‘property of Draco Malfoy’ across my forehead and neglected to inform me of this until we’d returned home from a dinner party. He’d slept in the guest bedroom for the rest of the night for that little misdemeanour.
“No jeans, hide football t-shirt from Dad, got it,” Scorpius listed them off on his fingers. “Anything else?”
I thought it through. “Send an owl to Ginny saying that we’ll have Albus and Lily to stay for a few weeks if she wants, and that they can bring a friend if they want,” I decided. I liked having a full house. I always wanted lots of children, but there was just too much to cope with when Scorpius was growing up – Draco and I climbing careers and social ladders while trying to bring up a kid was no easy matter. Albus and Lily were always courteous and a hell of a lot more appreciative of me than my fabulous husband and son.
Draco groaned and put his face in his hands next to me, his fork discarded on the table by my elbow. “First Weasleys, now Potters?” he moaned. “What kind of friends are those? Are you trying to kill me, Scorpius?” This was said completely and utterly seriously.
“If I killed you, who would I have to irritate?” Scorpius smirked again, looking entirely amused by Draco’s actions.
“Your mother!” he said instantly, then backtracked at the scowl he received from me at that. “Well, I suppose you could always try arguing with your mirror. Although, Merlin knows you manage to get on with that beastly thing...” After one particular dinner between us and the Potters, the mirror managed to overhear Harry’s comment on old school nicknames and ever since then, regularly insulted Draco with ‘oi, ferretboy!’ when he walked past it.
On the contrary, whenever Scorpius or I looked at our reflections, comments like ‘not in all my 500 years have I seen such beauty’ were not uncommon.
One might say that Draco was jealous, although he would never admit that, not even under the Cruciatus.
I glanced at the time as the two idiots at the table with me bantered on, and interrupted a heated argument regarding the new line up of the Chudley Cannons with a sharp, “Shut up.”
They complied immediately, turning their heads to look straight at me.
“We have an hour and a half until we have to leave, so I want you in the shower within the next twenty minutes. Scorpius, pick out a clean shirt and some of those trousers Grandma Greengrass got you last Christmas. Draco – oh, Circe, let me pick you out something.” He looked set to complain at this, and truth be told, he wasn’t incapable of dressing smartly. However, he had a history of deliberately showing up at my parents’ in disarray to antagonise them. “You will wear what I give you, make no alterations and if you complain, I will castrate you. Understand?”
They nodded. I looked at them both, Scorpius in a holey t-shirt and boxers, Draco in a mismatched pair of green and grey pyjamas, their platinum hair sticking in every direction and their cheeks stubbly, and sighed in despair. I got up, vanished the pieces of French toast littering the table, and repeated pointedly, “Castration.” With a glare at both of them, I walked out of the room.
If I castrate Scorpius, I won’t get grandchildren, I thought absently.
Then again, if he’s dating a Weasley, I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing after all.
welcome, welcome, to my newest little baby! this was inspired after watching several episodes of the British sitcom 'My Family' (look it up, it's amazing) so i hope you liked it :) It's a little short, but the chapters will get longer, I promise. this is just an intro :D
so. what did you think? leave me a comment, please, and thanks for reading this far :P ^^
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