They spent the next few hours on edge, waiting for an attack. “Surely they can’t have gone that easy.” Ginny said, trying to make sense- as the rest of them were- as to why they were not being attacked.
“They must have been after something Malfoy had, you lot know as well as I, that it wouldn’t be the first encounter with Death Eaters that our dear friend Draco has had.” Harry explained. Tensions were high, and just like their parents both the Weasley and Potter children alike were up and curious, listening in on the conversations, munching on the fresh baked cookies that Hermione had so lovingly made.
Scorpius, however, sat silently in the corner of the room, cloak still wrapped around him, twirling his wand around in his hands. Now that she saw him in the proper light, she could see just how stirred up he had gotten. As they chatted animatedly, Patricia slipped off the couch and walked over to him.
She sat down on the floor beside him, and smoothed a few stray locks of his blonde hair back into place. He didn’t say a word, and continued to stare at his twirling wand, as if transfixed. There was not a shred of emotion to enter his features.
Their conversation continued, and although they were being subtle, she could still tell that they were looking towards them. She wondered how exactly she was going to tell them, explain to them what the hell was going on. The questions must be driving them mad. She didn’t know how they would take it all, it wasn’t going to be easy to explain.
“Alright, I think that’s enough cookies for tonight!” Hermione exclaimed, though the statement, she was sure, was more to get the children to stop staring than eating the cookies. She could feel Scorpius shift beside her and it drew her attention away from the now watching group. She followed his gaze to the window where a dark coloured owl sat.
“Serus!” he shouted and jumped to his feet, throwing open the window. The owl stepped in through the window, seeming hardly at all curious of his surroundings, and flapped it’s large wings to land gracefully on the coffee table, right in the centre of attention. There was a white envelope in his beak, the Malfoy family crest which branded the paper, was easily recognisable from the far side of the room.
Scorpius dashed to the table to retrieve the letter from the bird and hastily opened it. His eyes, the same grey as his father’s, flew across the parchment, so fast she wondered if he was even able to really read it. The frown that had attached itself to his features at the beginning of the letter, was now ebbing away and slowly the corners of his lips turned upwards.
As he finished the letter he thrust it towards her and refocused his attention to the envelope. She assumed there was probably money of some sort to be found there, and sure enough he produced a smaller envelope from within the original. As she saw Scorpius’ eyes alight with nothing that could be more than the infamous Malfoy greed, she turned her own eyes back to the letter she now held in her hand.
Scorpius & Patricia,
I write from a safe place, far out of the reaches of trouble. Know that I am safe, and have led the Death Eaters long away from you both. I am sorry to have left so abruptly, but rest assured I will see you again soon.
Scorpius; Inside this envelope you will find some money for your spending in Diagon Alley, of course your mother can access my vault for the expenses of your school supplies, should she wish. I apologise, I will not be able to see you off to school this year, know that I wish I could.
Patricia; please pass my thanks on to the Weasleys for their understanding in these strange situations, as I know they would have more than reason to reject anyone in association with me. I wish I could have explained things more, perhaps Scorpius will explain what happened, but for now, I dare not write it, in fear that the owl might be intercepted. I would advise against either of you returning to the manor, as I’m sure it’s under strict surveillance. I’d say ‘don’t worry about me’ but I feel the words would be wasted, as I’m certain you already are.
Will write again soon, and be careful!
She felt some of her anxiety lift, imagining Draco, cunning as always, finding himself somewhere safe- possibly a quaint little house hidden away in the middle of nowhere. In her imagination, she pictured something just like the very place she sat; cozy and warm, tucked back in a quiet, peaceful area, but she knew she was being naïve, few places like that existed.
“Draco is safe, and he led the Death Eaters away.” Patricia spoke calmly, trying to contain the emotions that the small sentence brought on. For the time-being at least, they might be relatively safe, Draco on the other hand, who knew.
Ron snorted, “Yeah, and since when did we trust anything Malfoy said?” Patricia sat silently, as she watched the shift in Scorpius’ expression. She bit her tongue now, no longer wanting to pass on the thanks, clearly it would fall on deaf ears.
“Ronald!” Hermione hissed, giving him a disapproving look. “It’s late,” she said “we’re all tired and none of us will be any good sleep deprived. Patricia, I’ll show you to your room, Hugo, take Scorpius upstairs, show him where he can sleep and where he can clean up.”
Scorpius looked hesitant but followed without a word, disappearing up the narrow staircase, shooting a quick glance back at Patricia. It was nothing like Malfoy Manor, but she was sure that he’d come around to it… eventually.
There was a loud bang and Patricia shot upright, brandishing her wand. Her eyes quickly took in the homey room and her brain woke up. The banging she had heard, she quickly identified as pots and pans, she laughed slightly, foolish to think that for a moment she actually thought she was under attack. The smell of bacon and eggs rose to her nose and her stomach grumbled.
She searched the room for her clothes but could not find them, though she was sure, with the dirt that had gathered on them from last night’s events they were probably being washed. Without a second thought, she flicked her wand and found a new outfit sitting at the end of her bed.
She changed quickly and made her way downstairs. It was early still, she could tell by the angle the light streamed in through the windows, filling the living room with a comforting glow.
The house resembled the Burrow in many ways, it was quaint and homey, with a slightly worn look to it that was sign to the traffic that was constantly coming through. The hardwood floors were scuffed here and there, one particularly gruesome gouge she remembered, was from Hugo trying to drag his large school trunk across it. Mostly, it was Molly Weasley’s signature hand-knit blankets and pillow covers, the patchy and loved look that everything had that made the striking resemblance.
Patricia’s gaze stopped at the couch. There was nothing all that spectacular about the couch at first glance, it was a sage green colour, the cushions were a little bit droopy, and overall it appeared to be quite a normal couch. It reminded her of her days at Hogwarts in fact, it was just as squishy and comfortable as the chairs by the fireside of the Gryffindor common room. The colour was all wrong, but it fit, all the same, with the mess of blonde locks that peeked out from under the patchwork quilt.
“So, when exactly are you going to tell us the story here?” came Ginny’s voice from behind her. She sighed, she knew this was coming and she still didn’t know how to tell them. “You can’t expect us to just overlook Draco Malfoy landing on our doorstep and leaving his son with you, can you?” She shook her head.
“It’s… a long story.” She said quietly, looking at Scorpius sleeping soundly, in a mess of blankets on the couch.
“I’ll get the coffee.” She responded, and led the way into the kitchen.
The coffee was poured and they settled in around the table; Ginny, Harry, Ron and Hermione, all looking at her expectantly. “So where do I begin?” she pondered aloud. “I suppose it goes back before our days at Hogwarts.” They looked slightly surprised but none said a word, so she took a deep breath and began.
“I suppose it was when I was about four, my Mum and Dad were friends with the Malfoys. You see, our fathers worked at the Ministry together, and the Malfoys being well… Malfoys, our pureblooded lineage attracted them like a fly to honey. Shortly after came the play dates, Draco was always a bit of a nasty one, but when he began to realize I was going to be forced into playing with him at least once a week, he lightened up a bit, we became friends.” Harry snorted and shook his head at her last comment, she shot him a look and proceeded to tell her story.
“Then I don’t really know what happened, I suppose looking back on it, Dad found out Lucius was a Death Eater. I remember sitting at home playing with the dog when my Dad came in outraged. He was in the kitchen with Mum, I remember hearing him ranting on and on. ‘That good for nothing Malfoy! Going to get himself into a lot of trouble, can’t believe he never told us!’ he’d say, ‘To think I let you both around them!’. After that we never went to visit the Malfoys again.
Things changed when we started school though, for the first time in years I had seen Draco, and I immediately had to talk to him, try to find out just why exactly my Dad hated the Malfoys. We were old friends once more until the sorting ceremony, where you lot know as well as I the results: Draco landed himself in Slytherin, it wasn’t really a surprise, his whole family before him had been the same, and I was sorted to Gryffindor. Once more it was if the other never existed. I suppose it wasn’t until about fifth year that we started talking again, I ran into him in the library, studying. This time was different, this time we were no longer influenced by the thoughts of our fathers, we had our own ideas, our own thoughts.
It became our pattern, once a week we would meet in the library. As the unwritten rules of Hogwarts are, Slytherins do not socialize with other houses, and we quickly realized we would have to be quite careful hanging about each other. As time went on, our meetings became more and more frequent and our friendship became more than just a friendship.”
“I’m not quite seeing how this leads into last night’s events, you know, showing up and leaving his kid with you on our front porch.” Ron prodded, trying to connect the pieces together. Patricia sighed and rubbed her temples.
“It’s not just his son Ron, he’s mine too.” Their jaws dropped.
“You-you…” Ron stumbled, opening and closing his mouth without a word, trying to figure out what to say. “You mean to tell us that Scorpius Malfoy is your son?” She nodded, biting her lip a bit, not sure exactly how any of them were going to react to this.
“Hold on a minute, but it wasn’t you at the platform last year, it was Malfoy’s wife.” Hermione frowned as she said it. A pained look crossed Patricia’s face, remembering that day, how she wished she was there.
“I couldn’t be, his family, his wife… they don’t know. His wife was a marriage his family wanted, a girl he had gone out with before, the hate for my family was still strong. He went along with it.”
“But how could she not realise that, that wasn’t her son! You don’t just not recognise that!” Hermione exclaimed, concern on her features.
“We altered her memories, a simple ‘Obliviate’ topped off with her inherent drinking problem, it was rather easy. Scorpius of course, always knew that he was my son, he visited quite frequently actually, Draco just altering her memories a little more each time. Sometimes for weeks at a time Scorpius would be with me, and she’s never notice the difference.”
“I smell Bacon!” the shriek came, running footsteps not far behind. A disheveled James came bursting in through the kitchen door, followed by the stampede of Potter and Weasley children, shattering the serious air. The table was soon full, and the house was completely alive once more, but Scorpius was nowhere to be found.
Patricia quietly excused herself and slipped back out into the living room to find Scorpius standing by the window in pyjamas too big for him. With a quick flick of her wand he was back in his normal attire, but he hardly moved. She touched his shoulder gently “So are you going to tell me what happened?” she asked. He shook his head and stared out the window. “Are you going to go eat some breakfast?” He shook his head again.
They stood in silence for a while, before Patricia spoke again. “He’s not going to be able to write for a while Scorpius, he’s in hiding.”
“I know.” He said quietly. She sighed, knowing that there was no use, he would be constantly awaiting his father’s next owl. “I want to go home.” He said quietly, looking up at her now, his grey eyes filled with hurt and sadness.
“If you two don’t hurry Ron and James will have eaten everything!” Came Ginny’s voice from behind them. Scorpius’ face turned blank, strong and calm, just like his father’s did whenever ‘outsiders’ were around. She could sense his uneasiness here now, at first he complied, an act he did under the circumstances of last night’s actions, but now that the danger was gone, he couldn’t wait to be out of this place.
She didn’t know if he knew the Potter and Weasley children, or if he simply knew of them, one thing was certain however; he didn’t know the Weasleys or the Potters well enough to trust any of them. “I think it’s time we left.” Patricia responded, looking back down at Scorpius beside her. “I think it’s time we left.” She repeated again quietly.