This is the first time they've been into the office since she died. It's been locked for the past year and a half, but this morning they've opened it up and are in there together, sorting through her things.
It's a cloudless, cold winter day. Snow blankets the ground outside, and there's a bit of watery sunshine leaking in through the open curtains. They've lit the fire in the grate so it crackles and pops, bathing them in heat and light while they work.
Draco stands over her desk, head bowed as he sorts through her papers. He reads each one intently before separating them into things to keep and thing to discard. The pile to keep is far larger than the other, as if he can't bear to part with anything that holds her thoughts.
Scorpius sits on the floor by his feet, legs crossed, tapping his feet on the carpeted floor as he unpacks one of the cupboards. There are plenty of books in there, and other assorted stationery. Ink wells, beautiful quills, notebooks. He regards each one with intense curiosity before setting them aside. He isn't sorting them so much as admiring them.
As he flips through one particularly interesting book about the history of the Muggle justice system, he absently wipes his nose on the back of his sleeve. His dad doesn't glance down at him, just gives a barely audible sigh and takes a tissue from the box on the desk, holding it out to him. Scorpius looks up with a slightly sheepish little smile. He takes the tissue, and Draco meets his eyes, giving him a small nod, before returning to the papers on the desk.
Scorpius curls in on himself again. He wipes his nose, properly this time, and stows the tissue in his sleeve. There are a few pages left in the chapter he was reading so he skims them, then sets the book aside and wriggles closer to the cupboard.
He'd expected this to be difficult. His dad had thought so too, when they'd talked about finally doing this at the start of the Christmas holiday. But it isn't really. It's just a room full of stuff, albeit stuff belonging to someone they both loved a lot. It's actually quite fun, finding old memories of her. There were some photos tucked away inside a diary, holiday photos from when Scorpius was little. One was of the three of them walking on a beach, Astoria and Draco each holding one of his hands and swinging him between them while he flailed his feet around happily. They were all smiling. It was the sort of picture that might have brought tears not so long ago, but today they just reminisced over it.
It's been like this ever since they got back from Godric's Hollow. Easier. Better than it's ever been before. The whole of the Christmas holiday so far has been delightful really, full of chatter and gentle teasing and the occasional hug. When Scorpius looks at his dad now he doesn't see an empty shell anymore, there's a new brightness to his eyes, and he smiles more, the way he used to when Scorpius was younger. It's really good.
He grins to himself as he digs deeper into the cupboard, setting aside a rather stunning peacock feather quill that he definitely plans to steal later, and as he does he spots a box tucked away right at the back. It's a wand box, unmistakeably, and it must have been his mum's or why else would it be in here? Quickly he shoves the general detritus aside and extracts it.
He expects it to be empty, but he opens it up anyway, since it would be stupid not to check. Nestled inside is a wand. His mum's wand. He would recognise it anywhere even though it's been a long time since he saw it. Very gently he plucks it from the box. As he does he feels a slight tingle in his fingers, a sweep of power. It makes his heart feel lighter, and he can't keep a smile off his face as he holds it up.
"Dad, look what I found. Mum's wand is in here."
Draco looks down, a surprise on his face. "Her- I thought it had been lost." He reaches out and takes it from Scorpius, holding it carefully, almost reverently. "She must have left it here before she went into St Mungo's for the final time. If I'd known..." He bows his head slightly and his voice lowers. "We ought to have buried it with her."
Scorpius scrambles to his feet. "But now we get to keep it. And it's like finding a piece of her! Do you remember how she would use it to make the roses bloom brighter in the garden?" He holds his hand out, and Draco passes him the wand.
"I do. Would you like it?" He asks. "I have no use for it. It would just gather dust, and I'm not sure I like the idea of her wand being unappreciated."
Scorpius holds the wand delicately between two fingers, and it feels like sparks are dancing up his arms, glowing embers of warmth. "Which wood is it? It looks like gold."
"I believe it's pear, and phoenix feather." He sounds so casual, but Scorpius can see him watching the wand, following its every move through the air.
"Dad... Are you sure I can have this?"
Draco nods and looks away, back to the papers. "Of course. I have too many things. As long as it's well looked after I don't mind what happens to it."
Scorpius turns the wand round and round between his fingers, slightly anxious, and takes a step towards his dad. "If you want it..." he says hesitantly. "It's her wand. It should probably go to you anyway. And I don't need it. There are quills, a-and books... I have plenty to remember her by." He puts the wand down on the table, but Draco just picks it up and hands it back, without a glance.
"It's yours, Scorpius. Just take it."
Scorpius takes it from him and holds it loosely, heart sinking, despite the presence of the golden wand making it want to soar. He's always hated the way his dad won't look at him when he's trying to hide. "Dad, please. We're supposed to be talking. It's been going so well. And this is her wand. It's important. I know it is. Wands are..." He looks down at the golden wood of the wand. It's brighter than the wood of his old willow wand, the one that Delphi snapped and tossed away across the floor of the Owlery. He sighs and his shoulders sag. "They're part of you."
He feels a hand on his shoulder and looks up to see Draco there, papers now abandoned, a softness in his eyes.
"I would very much like to keep it for myself," he says quietly. "Just as I want to keep everything of hers to myself. But, I am not the only person she mattered to, and I think she would have been happy to know that it ended up with you."
"Do you?" Scorpius asks, voice small.
Draco nods and gives his shoulder a gentle squeeze. "I do... Just please be careful with it."
"I promise," Scorpius says with as much certainty as he can muster.
The bedroom is pitch black. Scorpius is curled up in the middle of the four poster that will always be far too big for him, hugging the blankets round himself like a cloak. It must be well after midnight, but he can't sleep. He's too painfully aware of the presence of the wand on his bedside table; he can't stop thinking about it.
It's been over a month now since that night in the Owlery. Sometimes in his sleep he can still hear Delphi laughing, talking arrogant words as she held those searing bonds around their wrists. He can feel the sobs that rose in his throat as he begged her not to snap his wand. He can see the pale willow shards falling from her hands as though they were nothing.
When he'd got back to school the first thing he did was go up there and find them. Thankfully no one had swept up in there, and they were still there, along with the two halves of Albus's blackthorn wand. Albus had got rid of his, decided he didn't need them anymore since they were useless, but Scorpius still has his. He couldn't bear to part with them, the broken bits of that wand that was so good to him. That was his. The first tangible proof beyond his letter that he was really, finally, actually going to Hogwarts. That he belonged in this world.
The wand he's been using since, the one he borrowed from school, just isn't right. It hasn't worked nearly as well during lessons. He can still use it, but he doesn't like it. There's something about it in his hand, a wrongness, a foreignness, a lack of understanding. He would have got a new one already but there hasn't been time.
And now there's another wand sitting right there on his bedside table. A wand that made his fingers tingle when he held it, the way his old wand used to. And maybe it's wishful thinking because it's her wand, but... It felt good to hold.
He growls frustratedly and rolls onto his front. These thoughts aren't allowed. It's his mum's wand. What is he thinking?
He half kneels up in bed, the covers falling off him. The room is cold, and he shivers as he leans there and picks at his pillow, looking across at the barely visible shape of the wand lying on his bedside table.
There's no way his dad would ever forgive him for this. Your wand is supposed to go to the grave with you, not get picked up and used by someone else. This is not what his dad meant when he said he could keep it. He didn't mean use it.
But Scorpius has an unshakeable feeling that it would work for him. That it connected with him. That swell of power and tingle in his fingers. The way it made his heart soar. Just like the willow wand used to. And he just desperately wants to know if maybe... Maybe his mum's wand has chosen him.
Slowly he sits up, crossing his legs. He peers through the darkness at the two wands, his mum's and the borrowed one, lying side by side on the table. Although he can't really see them he knows what they look like. The borrowed one mundane, a generic brown, too short, not straight enough but also too rigid. Weak, dull, a bit temperamental, like it has its own ideas about how things should be done, ideas Scorpius doesn't really like. And then there's the other wand. Rich, gold, with a subtle grain. Straight and true, gently pointed, a constellation design scattered across the handle. Thrumming with life and power and energy, like it would do anything he asked of it, like it's listening to him.
He stares at them both and he can't resist. He isn't strong enough. With a groan he reaches out for his mum's wand and lets it rest in the palm of his hand. After a moment he closes his fingers around the handle.
"Lumos," he murmurs.
Pearlescent white light floods the room. Warm, making the whole world shine. The shadows have been chased back beyond the edges of the bed, and when Scorpius looks up at the mirror on the wall opposite him he can see himself, holding the golden wand, glowing at the centre of this small, bright sanctuary. He grins at himself.
"Protego," he says, confidence in his voice now.
The silvery shield bursts out around him in a bubble. He can see the shape of it in the air around him, shimmering like a heat haze as the wand light refracts through it. A very faint rainbow falls across the wall in front of him in the brief moment before he dismisses the shield.
All this magic, it just feels easy. It's been a couple of months since magic felt like this. Flowing, effortless, like breathing. Casting spells has never felt like so much fun.
He starts playing around, making bubbles stream out of the end of the wand, changing the colours on his bedspread to a sky blue, then a fiery sunset red, then finally back to their normal pale green. He lets sparks shoot across the room in a chaotic kaleidoscope of colours, he summons a couple of pepper imps from the kitchen and sits on the bed with steam pouring from his ears, beaming down at the wand in his lap.
His heart feels lighter than it has since that night in the Owlery, because as good as everything has been recently, there's been something leaden in there too. Something mourning his willow companion. But now he has this -- pear and phoenix feather -- that warms his heart and his hand.
Holding it gives him that same swell of joy he gets when he goes back to Hogwarts. Makes his soul brighten the way it had when the protection of the Silver Doe had fallen over him by the lake in that lost, dark world he tries not to think about. It's like... It's like getting a hug from his mum again. Like she's holding his hand from beyond the grave.
He can't get a different wand. He can't. It's his mum's wand, and it's almost like she wants him to have it. Maybe if he asks his dad for permission...
Gently he runs his fingers over the golden wood. It's so smooth and perfect. Like silk. Silk if it felt like life and energy, and magic.
"We're going to be friends," he whispers to it. "You've chosen me, and I want you, and we're going to do good things together. Like you did good things with Mum. Not the same things she did, but...
"I-I want to be a healer. We can learn all the spells together, and all the potions and things. I'm going to stop people dying like Mum did. We are. I hope that's okay with you."
It's definitely crazy, talking to the wand, and it's entirely possible he's sleep deprived or something. Besides, he shouldn't get attached. His dad probably won't be happy about him using it. He should just put it away and sleep.
For several more minutes he sits there and stares down at it, then he finally sighs and curls back up in bed. Now he's been sitting up for so long he's let all the cold back under the covers, so he waves the wand and takes some of chill out of the air. It's the last thing he does before he falls into a comfortable, contented sleep, wand still clutched tightly in his hand.
Draco's office door is closed. Usually that means he's buried in his manuscripts. Once Scorpius thought of the closed door as a terrifying barrier, but now it's just a door. Back in November his dad had told him he was more important than anything that went on in that office. It's one of the nicest things he's ever said to him. Still, just walking in seems weird, so Scorpius knocks quietly before he opens the door.
Draco is sitting at the desk, leaning back in his chair. He's studying a letter and he doesn't even seem to have heard Scorpius knock or come inside.
"Dad?" Scorpius asks cautiously.
Draco jumps and turns round. "Scorpius. Did you knock?"
Scorpius nods. "Is everything okay?"
Draco sighs. "Yes. Just a letter from Potter. Nothing of any significance. Asking if we'd like to visit sometime over Christmas."
Scorpius crosses the room and drags a second chair up to his dad's desk. "And would we?"
His dad surveys him. "Last Christmas was rather lonely. It might be nice to spend a day or two with company. Although I'm not about to let Harry Potter outdo me where dinner parties are concerned. This is a large, empty house. It could do with a few people to fill it."
Scorpius frowns. "We visit them and then... They visit us? I thought you didn't want people here?"
Draco gives an imperceptible shrug. "I've been reconsidering a lot of things recently. But I'm sure you didn't come here to talk about dinner parties. What did you want?"
"You should say yes," Scorpius says, ignoring him. "It might be fun. I've never visited Albus's house before. And I think it'd be nice to have some people here. I think... Mum would have liked it. She'd be happy, to know we had company."
"Yes," Draco says quietly. "I think so too. I'll reply in a minute." He sets the letter aside. "What are you avoiding talking about, Scorpius?"
"I'm not avoiding anything," Scorpius says indignantly, although it's true. There's a tiny sense of dread swelling larger inside him every second. Ever since last night he's been thinking about the wand non-stop, how well it had worked, how glorious it had felt in his hand. And what if all that gets taken away from him? What if his dad says no?
"If you didn't want to speak to me about something you wouldn't be here," Draco says brusquely.
Scorpius curls up in his seat and examines his hands intently. Draco sighs softly.
"No," Scorpius mumbles. "It's okay. I'm wasting your time."
"I have as much time as you need," Draco says, pushing his chair back from the desk and turning to face Scorpius.
Scorpius ducks his head, avoiding his dad's eyes. "Mum's wand..." He says.
"I already told you I don't-"
"I used it," he continues. There's a book on the table in front of him. He picks it up and starts flicking through it, just to give his hands and eyes something to do.
"You-" Draco stops. "Please explain."
There's a little place marker ribbon. Scorpius twirls it round his finger. "I took Mum's wand, and I used it. I couldn't resist. Because... When I picked it up for the first time it felt like it had chosen me, and... Using it was like using my old wand. Only maybe even better. But I know I shouldn't have done. I know that wands are... Personal. And I'm very sorry. I-I'll give it back. I don't want to but I will, because I don't want to tarnish Mum's memory."
"Tarnish..." Draco swallows. "Scorpius-"
Scorpius pulls the wand from where he'd tucked it away in his pocket, and places it on the desk. "There. I can't do anything else with it now."
Draco doesn't take it, he just looks at Scorpius, who can feel his dad's eyes boring into him. He sighs and tucks a bit of hair behind his ear, then snaps the book shut and looks up.
"I'm sorry, Dad. It was a stupid thing to do really. I don't know what I was thinking. You can spare me the lecture about respecting other people's wands, and I'll just leave now." He gets up.
"Sit down, Scorpius," Draco says firmly.
Scorpius pauses, then slowly sits.
"Did you know I once had to use my mother's wand?" his dad says mildly, tidying up the papers on his desk.
"Yes," he replies. "I read about it in one of my books."
"It never worked for me," Draco says. He collects the papers into a neat pile and sets them out of the way. "Not well, anyway. Not like my own one did. Taken wands don't tend to work well for people."
Scorpius nods, ice creeping through his heart, because he knows where this is going. "You don't believe me. That it chose me."
"You loved your mother very much," Draco says gently. "Perhaps this is wishful thinking. I know the idea of using her wand is a nice one, a comforting one, but... You shouldn't have a sub-par wand, Scorpius. This is important. It could affect your future, your studies, any career you might have."
Scorpius picks the wand up off the table. "Can I show you? Will you believe me if I show you?"
Draco looks away. "I don't want you to-"
"Lumos," Scorpius says. It's as if the office has been flooded with a burst of summer sun. The light radiates out from the wand, filling every corner, chasing away the darkness, even stronger and brighter than the night before.
"You see? It chose me. I-I didn't want to use it, I was scared you'd be angry with me for that, but it feels right. And if you don't want me to, I'll put it back in its box and never touch it again, but... But if your problem is whether or not it really chose me then... Then I promise you it did."
Draco is finally looking at him, the wand light making his eyes shine silver and glitter like two pale stars. It bathes his face in a warm glow and casts out the shadows that normally linger there. He opens his mouth to say something, then looks away again, darkness creeping back under his eyes and across the right side of his face.
"This is real, Dad," Scorpius says desperately, shifting forward in his seat. "I-I know what it's like to have a wand that hates you, and this isn't it. Please."
There's a very long silence in which Scorpius feels like he's going to burst from everything welling up inside him and Draco looks like he's trying to contain... Whatever it is he's trying to contain. He's painfully unreadable.
Scorpius is considering saying something just to break the brittle silence, but then Draco finally looks up again.
He swallows. "I-I hadn't realised it was possible. It looks... It looks as though it suits you."
"Nox," Scorpius murmurs as he looks down at the wand. He turns it over in his hand, the varnished pear silky smooth under his skin. "It feels like it suits me. I like it. It's nice. It feels... Sort of warm, you know? And a bit tingly. It's like having my old wand back only... Only it might be better."
Draco nods. He smooths a crease from his robes then folds his hands in his lap and sits very still. "You have my blessing, of course. To use it. You needn't have asked really."
"But it was her-"
He looks intently at Scorpius. "I wonder if perhaps she meant for you to have it. She always did have tremendous foresight."
"So you really don't mind me using it?"
"The wand chooses the wizard," Draco says. "I'm not sure I could keep you apart. And since it is... Since it is her wand, I think we should respect its wishes, don't you?"
Scorpius nods, and he can feel a buzz of excitement beginning to swell in his heart because he's allowed to keep the wand. He's allowed to make magic with it, and he just knows it's going to be brilliant.
"I suppose it shouldn't have been a surprise, really," Draco continues. He gives Scorpius a small smile and there's a warmth to his expression. "You always did have a lot of her in you."
Scorpius ducks his head and grins, pushing a bit of hair behind one of his ears. "I-I'm going to make you proud with it. A-and Mum proud. I'm going to be brilliant, I promise."
"I know," Draco says, without hesitation. He leans across and hugs Scorpius, who freezes for a second in surprise before squeezing him tightly in return. For a long moment they hold onto each other, then they part, and Scorpius wriggles back in his seat, his smile shining across his face almost as brightly as the wand light had shone through the room earlier.
Draco is smiling too, eyes a-gleam like polished silver. "So. The Potters. Do you think we should have them round for the new year?"
Scorpius nods. "We could have fireworks in the garden."
"There's certainly the room for it."
Together they begin to plan a dinner party worthy of Astoria. Scorpius hangs over Draco's shoulder while he writes to Harry, and when the letter is done he seals it with a flick of his new wand.
Things have been good since Godric's Hollow, they really have, but now, suddenly, it really feels as though anything is possible.