The fire flared emerald green as the last teenager left the manor. I sighed in relief – if I’d had to put up with Dominic and Scorpius rubbing their relationship in my face (they looked at each other! It was one of those ridiculous soppy looks as well – it made me want to rip someone’s guts out) for much longer, someone would have ended up dead. And I hated to imagine what Draco would do to the house if I was sent to Azkaban.
I sighed and ran a hand through my hair, absent-mindedly smoothing down my skirt (demure, grey, knee-length – not even Narcissa could disapprove) and straightening out my blouse. A small rust-coloured stain was prominent in the middle of it, from when I’d heard Scorpius murmuring soppy romantic crap to Dominic and the ornament I’d been repositioning had exploded in my hand. With a scowl, I stomped along to the bedroom and ripped the blouse off, searching through one of the many closets around the room for a decent blouse.
“You look beautiful, Astoria.”
“Piss off, Draco.”
“If only you were as beautiful on the inside,” he drawled, although there was a definite hint of huffiness to his expression as he exited the en suite and headed towards the mirror, where he began destroying his hair with a comb, as usual.
“I’m not in the mood for your rubbish today,” I snapped at him, snatching a cream blouse off a hanger and pulling it on. His reflection in the mirror looked affronted – I wasn’t usually quite so bitchy with him (believe it or not).
“You need to cheer up,” he said slowly, turning to watch me. I began fiddling with the buttons on my blouse, although my fingers were shaking with annoyance and the buttons weren’t bloody working.
“You think?” It was a flat, sharp tone of voice that made him raise his eyebrows. I could see in the mirror that the cogs of his mind were whirring sharply to work out why I was so wound up.
It sank in a moment later. “Scorpius and his little toy are bugging you.” Maybe it didn’t make me a particularly nice person (but who wants to be one of those, anyway?), but his reference to Dominic gave me a slightly warm glow in the pit of my stomach. We might have been a less-than-functioning married couple, but we’d at least succeed in our parenting. We’d successfully break Scorpius’ heart, together.
Whatever my parents say, family counselling is highly overrated.
“You’re a genius.”
The sarcastic remark was ruined by the lack of motivation behind it. My bad mood was already fading as I grinned at Draco in the mirror. He seemed positively frightened by my sudden mood swing. No doubt it reminded him of those bloodstained days of my pregnancy. We both still referred to those days as the ‘Dark Ages’. When interviewed by Witch Weekly several years ago and asked for the most terrifying experience of his life, Draco had quickly and unhesitatingly named the birth of Scorpius as the worst moment of his life.
No wonder my change of mood had made him take several steps back.
I finished buttoning up my blouse, then held my hand out to Draco. He stared at it as if it was a tentacle (I had to check that it wasn’t – Dominic was just the type to jinx her hostess, I could tell). Rolling my eyes, I grabbed his wrist. “Let’s go out.”
I reran that sentence in my head to make sure I was speaking English – or French, whichever – because judging by Draco’s expression, he couldn’t comprehend what I was saying.
“Yes, yes,” I assured him. “I’m willing to be seen with you in public today.”
That was something he understood more. His smirk crawled across his face as slowly as a flesh-eating slug (and as unattractively as one, too) and he said lazily, “What make you think that I’d want to go out with you?”
We exchanged various insults, curses (both verbal and magical) and suggestive comments for another ten minutes before he caved into my superior authority and traipsed along behind me to the fireplace. I honestly didn’t know why he even bothered to argue with me anymore, considering his track record.
The first and only argument he’d won was the loud and furious disagreement which ensued when he proposed to me. I’d learnt from my mistakes since then.
“Malfoy table, please,” I said pleasantly to the waiter, who had blanched at my approach. He gulped, tugged at his ridiculously oversized white collar and cleared his throat several times.
“Mrs. Malfoy, a lovely surprise,” he managed to force out. I shrewdly guessed that his voice wasn’t usually that high. If it was, then I pitied him.
I studied him for a moment, taking in the suddenly damp forehead and his several gulps of air. With a scowl which made him cringe, I cursed Draco. The last waiter here had complimented my new haircut. And promptly been fired for ‘inappropriate behaviour’ – which, Draco had assured me, was nothing to do with him. No doubt this poor young man was terrified for his livelihood. And his life.
After a moment of silence, where the waiter stared at me through fear-glazed eyes, I coughed delicately. “I’d like to meet my husband now,” I pressed gently, worried the waiter would bolt for it if I scared him too much.
“Of course,” he quavered, then led me across the busy restaurant full of peasants who were no doubt blowing all their wages on this one meal. I put on my pitying-with-a-dash-of-superiority smile on and followed the waiter, my shopping bags floating through the air after me.
He opened the smooth cream door into the quaint, more private area where only an elderly (pureblood) couple and Draco were sat on opposite sides of the room, separated by gauzy curtains which floated in a lavender-scented breeze. The waiter paused in the doorway and pointed a shaking arm at my husband, clearly too frightened to move any closer. I rolled my eyes at how pathetic he was, then shoved past him and moved towards Draco.
“Estelle will be your waitress for today.” The snivelling waiter shoved two pieces of parchment – menus – at me and then scarpered out of the room to no doubt wet himself somewhere more private.
As I approached the table, Draco was eyeing the large collection of shopping bags behind me with something akin to anger on his face. I say ‘akin to’ – he’d never have the balls to actually get angry at me. He just liked to pretend, for the sake of his masculine pride.
“I’ve been shopping,” I announced, somewhat unnecessarily, as I dropped into the seat opposite him, which tucked itself in as soon I sat still and thrust one of the menus at him. He arched a pale eyebrow at me.
“I noticed.” He appraised the collection of shopping bags which were tucking themselves away neatly beneath the table cloth with narrowed eyes and a displeased twist to his mouth. I pretended not to notice his mood and picked up the menu idly.
We both stared at the pristine sheets of parchment in a frosty silence that lasted several moments.
“For Merlin’s sake, Astoria!” he burst out suddenly, looking intensely aggravated (the closest to angry he’d ever dare get). His infuriated expression amused me highly. “This is ridiculous!” He waved a hand towards the barely visible shopping bags at my feet. “Honestly, we’re Malfoys!” I decided not to point out the irony of that sentence and adopted my well-practised ‘of-course-I’m-listening-to-you-and-care-what-you-have-to-say’ face. “Have some dignity.”
Although throughout his short but impassioned burst of irritation, I’d been untouched, this last, quiet sentence managed to ruffle my feathers (and I’m clearly a well-balanced, easy-going person, which makes that quite an achievement).
“Draco, you’re being ridiculous – ”
He fished a receipt out of the nearest bag, skim-read it and then brandished my face as if I was entirely clueless as to what I’d bought. “76 galleons on a pair of shoes?” he said disbelievingly. “I’m not the ridiculous one here.”
“76 galleons and 3 knuts.”
Knuts were clearly unimportant to him as he dropped the receipt in front of me and said coolly, “I give you my full permission to clean out my Aunt’s Gringotts vault, and this is what you come back with? A pair of ridiculously cheap, no doubt diseased and terrible quality shoes. Piteous,” he said contemptuously, leaning back in his seat and wearing his smug, I’m better than you face. “A Weasley could have done better.”
“Is this a bad time?”
Draco and I looked away from each other and glanced towards the doorway, where a young waitress was standing. At least, I assumed she was a waitress. She looked to me like she was no older than twelve, with clumsy blonde pigtails, petite stature and a mouse-like voice. It occurred to me that she was much too young to be working, even for a summer job, but I disregarded that thought. Child labour stopped being my problem the moment I grew up.
“No, not at all,” was my answer. A curt “Yes” was Draco’s. We locked gazes again.
“I’ll come back in a minute,” the waitress said uncertainly as she turned to leave.
“Two Cupid’s Cocktails,” I called after her. Draco’s already annoyed expression became filthier.
Cupid’s Cocktails were a mixture of Merlin-knows-what; the only certain ingredient in them was magic. They were so full of colour-changing spells and sweetening spells that the magical residue was strong enough to taste – which of course, didn’t leave the drinker unaffected. For a woman, it increased her attractiveness to males. For a man, it was rather less glamorous. I’d once heard Scorpius describe it as a “magical Viagra”, although where he’d even heard of a Cupid’s Cocktail, much less learnt its effects, I didn’t know.
The most obvious thing about this Cupid’s Cocktail, besides it normally being only for the ladies, was that it was neon pink.
Funnily enough, Draco did not appreciate my sense of humour.
“That’s the fifth time you’ve ordered me that drink in the last month,” he hissed at me, looking remarkably like a territorial ferret.
I idly toyed with a corner of the menu. “Got the hint yet?”
His face was a picture.
Pretending the whole drinks episode hadn’t happened, I switched back to our previous polite topic of conversation. “Fuck’s sake, Draco, 72 galleons a pair of shoes is bloody expensive!”
“Not expensive enough,” he said stiltedly – clearly uncertain about whether to continue this argument or start another about the drinks. Apparently, he decided to forget all about the drinks and continued with a somewhat haughty tone to his voice, “72 galleons per shoe would be more acceptable.”
“Draco, not even the Notts spend 144 galleons on a pair of shoes, and you know what Pansy’s like.” He winced ever-so-slightly at the name of his ex-girlfriend, making me smile vindictively. He always wondered why Pansy got an invite to his birthday party each year, when he made it so clear he didn’t like her.
It was because he so blatantly didn’t like her that I even sent the invitation each year. (Well, that and Theo was a close friend of the family, and not inviting his wife would be a rather undiplomatic move on our part. But I mostly invited Pansy for the fun of watching Draco cringe, rather than diplomacy.)
“Unfortunately, I do know what Pansy is like,” he drawled, looking positively horrified by the memory of her.
The twelve-year-old waitress appeared in the doorway again, two glowing pink glasses floating ahead of her. I frowned slightly at that – she was much too young to be using magic outside of Hogwarts. But I didn’t say anything. It wasn’t my concern. Besides, saying something would just have ruined the delightful moment when Draco’s glass landed in front of him.
“Thank you,” I said gleefully, not even bothering to look at the waitress. She muttered something about “being back soon for food orders” but I wasn’t paying her any attention. The aghast look on Draco’s face was one thing I would quite happily spend the contents of his Aunt’s Gringotts vault on – he just looked horrified. And it was rare for any kind of emotion beyond annoyed, arrogant, lustful or derisive to even touch his expression – let alone for it to be displayed so openly.
I leisurely took a sip of my own cocktail, watching as he finally got a grip on himself and restored his facial expression to cool and aloof, placing the offensive drink in question beneath his notice and steadily ignoring it.
“Apparently Theo is banning Pansy from shopping for the next month,” I said conversationally. “Why can’t you be a stingy bastard like Theo, huh?”
“Theo’s a stingy bastard?” Draco queried, raising his eyebrows. “And how would you know that?”
“Pansy told me. And I don’t see how Theo’s personal finances are any of your business.”
“In all honesty, Astoria, I don’t see how they’re any of your business either.”
I flapped that annoying little piece of truth aside and searched my mind for a new conversation topic that wouldn’t have us bickering. After an exhaustingly long search of my mind, I settled for bitching about Dominic, which Draco seemed amenable to – “Weasley trash, polluting our manor and your son” – particularly when I brought up the horrifying suggestion that Dominic could actually end up being our daughter-in-law.
“No.” Draco shook his head, his eyes as hard as flint and a voice as cold as his heart. “I’ll kill her before she marries Scorpius.”
“Careful, dear,” I cautioned him, “people will take you seriously.”
He simply exhaled loudly and gave an ambivalent shrug of his shoulders. But his jaw was tight and his eyes hadn’t softened in the slightest – it made me realise just how protective he was of the Malfoy name. And possibly of the actual Malfoys, too.
The lunch was over surprisingly quickly, and it came as a shock to me when I realised how much I’d enjoyed spending time with my husband. Not that I told him this, of course. His arrogant smirk would fall off his face if it got much bigger.
The waitress flitted into the room after our dishes had magically disappeared from sight, holding out a bill to us. Draco took it from her silently, without a single “thank-you” (I despaired of him, I really did), but she didn’t move away.
“Sorry, are you Scorpius Malfoy’s parents?” she asked, twirling one of her chunky plaits around her finger nervously.
“Unfortunately,” Draco drawled, earning himself a scowl from me and a wide-eyed stare from the waitress as she decided whether he was joking or not. Giving a half-hearted laugh, she shuffled herself around on the spot awkwardly for a moment.
“I’m Estelle,” she said suddenly, making me jump slightly. She held out a slightly sticky hand for me to shake, which I did gingerly. She didn’t try to shake Draco’s – which was a good thing. Judging by the distance she kept between herself and him, she’d have pissed herself with fear if he came even close to touching her. “Estelle Langham. I go to Hogwarts too.”
“Oh,” I said politely, wondering if she expected me to care. “How nice.”
Apparently she had expected me to recognise her name, because her face fell. “I’m in the year below Scorpius.”
I choked on the remainders of my cocktail in shock, whilst Draco simply surveyed the young waitress with a newfound curiosity. She definitely didn’t look fifteen. Poor, underdeveloped child.
“Oh,” I said hoarsely after a pause where I tried to clear my windpipe. “How nice.”
Apparently I was supposed to have connected something between her age and her name, because her face fell further. A short silence fell before she said in a small voice, “Scorpius never said anything about me?”
“Why would he?” I asked, frowning slightly.
Her bottom lip wobbled and I could tell already that Scorpius was set to receive a tearstained furious letter that afternoon. “Because Scorpius and I dated all summer term.”
My jaw literally dropped open and I could feel my eyes bugging out. Draco seemed impassive, although his stilted movements belied his shock. He muttered under his breath, “I didn’t know Scorpius was into cradle-robbing.” I kicked him under the table, jerking my head towards the teary-eyed girl in front of us, and a sneer settled into place. But he stayed quiet. No matter how irritated he was by her presence, he wouldn’t start her off crying. He hated touchy-feely emotional stuff like that.
“Oh. How nice.” My vocabulary was fast becoming limited. My voice, on the other hand, had slipped from polished and polite to shaky and robotic. Scorpius was going to be slaughtered for keeping this from me.
“It was,” Estelle said quietly, and I watched in horror as tears beaded up and began to drip down her face. I cast a helpless look at Draco, who simply averted his gaze and pretended the sobbing girl and I didn’t exist. Stupid, useless sod. “But then I f-found him, k-kissing Rose, and then we end-ded it.”
“Rose?” Draco echoed me a second later. His sneer had evaporated; it was replaced by a triumphant, proud expression as he muttered, “Well done, Scorpius.”
“Draco!” I reprimanded him sharply. “Infidelity is a sin.”
“Yet I dream about it all the time,” he said in a mock-wistful tone. Clearly, the few sips of the Cupid’s cocktail that he’d dared to drink had vastly improved his mood. A smile was twitching at the corner of his lips, and I resisted the urge to curse it off his face. Of course Draco would be pleased if Scorpius became a heartbreaker. Obviously, Scorpius had the looks and the brains – he was my son, after all – but I’d assumed he’d also inherited my kind, generous nature.
Judging by the snivelling wreck that was Estelle, he unfortunately took after his father in more ways than I’d first thought.
Fuming, I stepped out of the fireplace into our sitting room. I was shaking, not only from the horror of using economy-Floo powder, but from the pure shock and anger that was rolling around in my stomach at the very thought of Estelle Langham.
Draco was sat back on the sofa (having ignored that oldest of social laments, ‘ladies first’, when it came to using the Floo), eying me in the same way one might have viewed a hormonal Bellatrix Lestrange. His feet were propped up on the coffee table, but I barely had to glance in his direction for him to stumble over himself to stop defiling my priceless antiques.
“Astoria,” he ventured, sounding oddly unsure of himself.
I shrieked wordlessly at him and threw my shopping bags down at my feet with excessive violence. When one became stuck on my wrist, I hurled it across the room, where it hit the portrait of his sneering mother. Narcissa’s painted self (even more repulsive than its living counterpart) flipped me off with a vulgar word that Narcissa herself would never have even heard before. I made a mental note to change the Malfoy painter at some point.
“He’s such a two-faced little prick!” I yelled at Draco, who flinched from each word with a distasteful expression on his face. I was knotting my fingers through my hair in aggravation and I knew I would be red in the face in anger. “Betrayer – he stabbed me, his mother, in the back! In the back!”
“Remember to breathe,” my husband advised me, clearly trying to cling to his cold-faced-bastard persona despite how pale with fear he’d gone. “If you explode, the bloodstains might upset the house-elves.”
“ – complete arsehole, just like his father, can’t think how he even managed to survive in the wholesome and angelic conditions of my womb. Sixteen years...! Sixteen years of tender love and nurturing, and this is what I get?! A harem of desperate whores and a house invaded by Weasleys?!”
I was pacing up and down in front of the fireplace, my vision tinged at the edges with red-hot rage. The same colour as Dominique’s hair. Rose-red.
“They’re leaving now! I won’t let them stay, knowing they’re screwing my son under the same roof as me – I knew the Weasleys were no good. This is your entire fault!” I directed this at Draco, who cringed back into the sofa. He was whiter than a ghost – and if he handled this situation badly, that would be what he would become.
“My fault?” he queried, raising two pale eyebrows at me and attempting to look blameless – an impossible feat. He looked constipated. “My fault? Of course. I forgot that I was the one buddying up to the Weasleys at that bloody barbeque!”
“Oh, shove off,” I snapped viciously at him. “Ginny was born into that family as a cruel twist of fate; she can’t help being related to those vicious little harpies. She’s just as conniving and bitchy as I am, deep down.”
“Impossible,” he scoffed.
I had my wand out of my robes and in his face in a moment. “Take that back, you bastard.”
For the first time in our conversation, he looked perfectly at ease. “Hex me.” A smirk began tugging at his lips as he stared me down with those stupid grey eyes he was so proud of. “I dare you.”
A long moment passed as I stared at him, cursing him to hell and back. Of course he knew that I wouldn’t hex him now. Not now he’d ordered me to. The devious prat knew me too well.
I pocketed my wand and sat down beside him instead, ignoring his growing smirk with great poise and dignity. There was only one way to respond to his audibly inflating ego.
I laid my head against his shoulder – he jumped at the contact – and slid my arms around his waist, murmuring in my best broken voice, “I just don’t understand why Scorpius would do this to me. Am I a bad mother? Is that why?” I added a heart-wrenched-out-of-chest sniffle and hid my face in his shirt.
His entire body had tensed up and he was exuding discomfort from every pore.
I relished it.
“You’ve been an adequate mother.” His usual polished manner of speech was broken and disjointed. I smiled into his now-wrinkled white shirt.
He shifted uncomfortably, then said in an attempt at a cool, collected manner, “Above average, I suppose.”
“So why does Scorpius hide these girls from me? Am I not good enough to know about them? Don’t I deserve to know about the life I brought into the world?”
“I suppose.” Draco’s arms wrapped carefully around me without even touching me – there were at least three inches between my back and his arms. In stilted movements, he managed to lower them onto my back and then patted my shoulder-blade awkwardly.
I’d started this little charade to prove to him that I was in charge – that he might have won one little argument, but I was still the dominant half of our marriage. But now, with his weak attempt at being an understanding husband, I was oddly touched.
And I’d never admit it to him, but perhaps there was a layer of truth to my charade. Maybe, just maybe, the idea of Scorpius leaving me behind was having a bigger impact on me than I’d first thought. I wasn’t a major part of my son’s life anymore – I didn’t know what made him tick or what he wanted anymore, and I almost certainly couldn’t give him whatever it was that he did want, but maybe I would be okay with that, one day.
Living with Draco for the rest of my life – well, that was harder to wrap my head around.
“You stupid bastard,” I said scornfully, pulling away from him and unleashing a forced smirk on him. “I can’t believe you fell for that.”
The humiliated expression I’d been hoping for failed to materialise on his face. Instead, a matching smirk was on his lips and he smoothed his gel-drenched hair carefully with one hand, barely sparing me a look. “Don’t mess around, Astoria,” he said smugly. “We both know I only did that for one reason, and one reason alone.” A lewd wink was tossed my way, along with “You owe me.”
“You know what I found the other day, Draco? Your virginity. Don’t worry. I’ll make sure you don’t lose it again.”
It was silent at the dinner table.
Completely, utterly silent.
I was viciously ripping Scorpius to pieces (in my mind only, sadly). Draco was staring morosely at his now empty glass of firewhiskey. Those gangly-looking twins with the matching vacant expressions on their faces were frowning at the air between them - now and again, one of the twins would flap a hand through the gap as if swatting away a fly, although I couldn't see anything. Lily had a bored expression on her face, toying with the edge of the tablecloth, Albus had his mouth slightly agape as he stared blankly at the salt shaker and Rose was watching Scorpius with a hawk-like edge to her posture.
Not even the fact that Dominic and Scorpius seemed to be slightly frostier with each other than usual could ease my agitation.
The icy silence was shattered after several painfully awkward moments.
"Astoria, where have you hidden the firewhiskey?" Draco was staring at me, his mouth in a hard line and an accusing tone to his voice.
"It should be in the cabinet with the rest of alcohol," I said lightly. I wasn't going to tell anyone at that table that I'd had the elves bury it at the end of the west gardens, just in case Scorpius tried to impress his friends. Drunk idiots make drunken, idiotic mistakes. I wasn't about to let Dominic become one of those. "Surely you know where the cabinet is."
Six feet under in the back garden with all the alcohol we owned, all potions and ingredients and even Scorpius' wand. I wasn't taking any risks.
He sent me a scathing look. "It's in the other dining room, of course. I'm not stupid, Astoria."
I bit back several sharp retorts and simply smiled blandly at him. He eyed me suspiciously for a moment and I could see him slotting the puzzle pieces together - my less-than-murderous behaviour, light-hearted tone of voice and lack of nagging - behind his equally bland expression. A few seconds later and he rolled his eyes at me, clearly having worked out that I'd done something he wouldn't consider rational with the alcohol. That familiar expression of disdain settled into place.
Food began popping onto plates all of a sudden, and the teenagers around me broke their silence to exclaim various profanities of delight. I studiously ignored the "Holy fucking Merlin" that came from Scorpius' lips as he spotted his favourite dish of spaghetti bolognese and instead envisioned the shade of puce he would be when I next humiliated him.
“So, Dominique,” I said pleasantly, cutting across one of those freakish twin’s enlightening story of an encounter with a Swizzling Barbantuan (which sounded oddly like a butterfly – although he was insisting it wasn’t one). The entire table went silent. I could almost feel the vindictive, satisfied smirk settling onto Draco’s face. “How did you and Scorpius get together? I must confess I have a morbid curiosity.”
Scorpius’ face was contorted in a scowl, whilst Dominique had gone so red that her freckles were almost completely obscured. It was a mild improvement.
“Mum, right now?” Scorpius was all but hurling killing curses at me with his eyes.
I brushed him off like he was an irritating fly. “Sweetheart, I wasn’t talking to you.” Draco’s eyes sparked in amusement at my slightly venomous tone. “Dominique,” I stressed the ‘name’ with a pointed look at my son, “please, tell me how you and my son became so enamoured with one another. I’m just dying to know.”
“Er,” Dominique began, then hesitated.
“Excuse me?” I asked, giving her a curious look. “What did you just say?”
She audibly gulped and said quietly, “I didn’t say anything.”
“That’s a little rude, don’t you think, Draco?” I turned my shocked expression to my husband, whose smirk was almost a separate entity right now. “I asked her a reasonable question, and she doesn’t answer me. Honestly.”
“Quite disrespectful,” he said coldly. I saw Dominique nearly faint with shock as he spared her his best disparaging look. “Scorpius, I would have expected a more...literate choice from you.”
Our son seemed uncertain of who to be scowling at. He settled for glaring at the space between his father and I, saying coolly, “I believe she was about to answer you before you so rudely interrupted her, Mother.”
My grip tightened on my glass. I had to force myself to slacken my hold before it shattered.
Albus had a blank expression on his face as he watched the exchange, whilst his little sister was wearing a small smirk as she quietly speared a carrot with her fork. One of the twins was staring vacantly at the chandelier above our heads with a mildly curious look on his face, while his duplicate was staring at Dominique wide-eyed.
“Scorpius, please don’t lecture me on my manners,” I said sharply, then placed a benign smile on my lips again. “Dominique. Continue, please.”
“Er, well, we met in his second-year,” she said uncertainly. “He showed me around the school when my sister Victoire dumped me for Teddy. Er, then this year, uh, he was tutoring me for my O.W.L.s and I guess – ”
“How did you do in your exams, may I ask?” I cut across her smoothly, baring my teeth at her in an attempt at a friendly smile.
“I haven’t got the results back yet.”
“Well, don’t get your hopes up,” I said warmly, although Draco clearly picked up on the hard edge to my tone and almost died of malicious glee.
“I tutored her for a few weeks and I guess we fell in love,” Scorpius tossed in his uninvited input. “So I asked her out for the last Hogsmeade weekend and it went from there.”
“Oh! Isn’t that clichéd!” I clapped my hands together in delight and beamed at my son, who clearly wasn’t fooled in the slightest by my act. He was going to end up looking as bitter as his father if he kept scowling like that. “Unoriginal romance is the best, don’t you think?” I directed this question at Draco, who dropped his smirk immediately and assumed a disdainful expression.
“Indeed.” His lips twisted in a sneer.
It was at times like this that I realised just why I’d agreed to marry the stupid prat.
The conversation died at that point – clearly, Scorpius realised he would actually like to remain on the Malfoy family tree, and Dominic was probably still trying to process the insults I’d thrown at her. Albus started up some meaningless conversation about their trip to the village earlier that day which I paid no attention to, preferring to stew in my triumph-filled yet highly irritated thoughts.
The image of Dominic’s scarlet face and quivering bottom lip kept surfacing throughout the evening, bringing a strong sense of accomplishment with it. But then again, the complete silence and pink-stained cheeks of Rose throughout the conversation at dinner wouldn’t leave me alone either.
I began to consider whether slaughtering the life I brought into this world (that, unfortunately, would be Scorpius) actually counted as murder.
As I stood up from the dinner table and moved towards the kitchens with the intent of venting my fury on the house-elves, Scorpius spoke again (vicious images of repainting his room with his blood fought bitterly with mothering instinct and lost by a slim - oh, so slim - margin).
"Mum, have you seen my wand?"
i'm wondering right now how many of you will have to read the past few chapters to remember what happened in this story so far (don't tell me if you did have to. i'll just feel TERRIBLE).
Draco/Astoria fans, this chapter is for you. Scorpius fans, the next will be for you. ScoRose fans, hopefully this vaguely satisfied you. (:
thanks for reading & please don't hesitate to review!
(seriously. the worse you make me feel about not updating, the harder i work on the chapters. so guilt is good. mostly.