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Cursed Child AU

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I’ve been doing some research today (I can neither confirm nor deny I’m writing the sequel chapter to Dial Tone) and I just found out that Draco Malfoy’s wife Astoria supposedly dies really young due to a curse placed on her ancestor, which leaves both Scorpius and Malfoy devastated and I’m just…are you fucking kidding me????

Are you telling me that instead of the shitheap of fiction that was The Cursed Child, we could have instead had a story about young Scorpius Malfoy finding out about the curse laid on his mother, and being the Slytherin child that he is, deciding to find a way to break it. 

Like the possibilities, I can’t even, my brain is just…running away with the idea of what you could do with a story like that. Scorpius Malfoy finds out about his mother’s curse, and how his birth shortens her life, I mean…it’s like…there, in the title??? The CursedChild???!?

And then you have Albus “Al” Potter being sorted into Slytherin but that doesn’t make him any less like his dad so when he finds out what his friend is trying to do he’s there, he’s 100% there to help, whatever his friend needs, Albus Severus Potter is there. His dad gave him the invisibility cloak after all, what’s to stop them using it to get into the Library and reading all the books. They get caught of course, and Professor McGonagall has this surreal moment of not quite déjà vu, at having a Potter and a Malfoy breaking the rules in front of her again, but as friends??? And they’re…they’re reading about healing magic and protection spells at 3am??? Slytherins??? Is…is it too soon to consider early retirement??? Asking for a friend???

And because Al is the precious little Slytherin that he is, he has absolutely no qualms about breaking into his Dad’s office, aka Harry Fucking Potter’s Office, at the ministry and finding out all he can about the most powerful ways to break curses. But first he needs to get there and maybe a few years ago asking his dad if he could come visit on the weekend might not have been weird but it’s weird now. Everything’s been weird since he got sorted into Slytherin but that’s not important now. What is important is he’s pretty sure he remembers a giant book chained to his dad’s office desk and he needs to get to it, but he’s a bit of a squib when it comes to flying, and apparition is still beyond him, but Rose can fly. 

And even though she’s been sorted into Gryfindor and they don’t talk as often as they used to it’s worth a shot right? And initially she calls him mad for wanting to do what he wants to do (just, a moment of pure Hermione shines through, “no, absolutely not, you’re going to get us expelled or worse”) but as she listens to him, the more he pleads adamantly and vocally on behalf of his friend who is just staring at the floor, the more she realizes, they’re serious. Scorpius hasn’t even attempted to flirt with her yet…or…at all really, not recently…and she can’t help but notice he looks a little thinner, a little paler, and the dark circles under his eyes look like bruises, and when he looks up there’s a look of harrowing sorrow behind those bright eyes and Rose Granger-Weasley says slowly, “No, I’m not stealing a broom just so I can fly Albus to the Ministry…” takes a deep breath and licks her lips, determination settling over her shoulders like a well-fitted cloak. “We’re all going. But first we need to get to the Burrow.”

“The Burrow?” Al frowns, doing that weird hopping skip of a run he does to keep up with Rose’s long strides as she turns. “Why are we going to the Burrow?”

“Because, you can fit more in the trunk of a Ford Anglia.”

But no, that’s fine I guess. We’ll just get some muddled bullshit about Bad Parenting, time turners and alternate universes, feat the deranged lovechild of HimWithoutANose and RacistLeStrange. Sure. Great.


 

And just because I’m riding the high of this thought train right now.


“Dark hair, green eyes and a hand-me-down robe?” the other boy smiled, extending his hand. “You must be a Potter.”

***

“But Albus,” Rosie protested, lowering her voice so as not to be heard by anyone else. “He’s a Malfoy, do you really want to be friends with one of them?”

Albus paused, keeping his eyes trained ahead on the back of the other boy’s blond head, noticing the wide berth around him. It wasn’t so much that the other students were avoiding him, not really, it was more like he didn’t want to be seen and was willing his own invisibility into existence. Albus knew all too well what that felt like.

“I think I can make my own mind up about that,” he said, offering his cousin a small, terse smile. “Thanks.”

***

“Scorpion King!” someone shouted, and Albus watched his friend’s face color an unfortunate hue of red, feeling the secondhand embarrassment as keenly as his own. “Scorpion King! King of things that crawl!”

Leave him alone,” Albus said, rounding on the nearest boy who had reached out to flick Scorpius’ pointed hat from his head. 

“Or what, Potter.” Adrian Plunk sneered, leaning in to push Albus back so that he stumbled into Scorpious who caught him before he could fall, “What’s the Slytherin Squib going to do about it?”

“It’s what I’m going to do to you that should worry you,” said a familiar voice as Rosie stepped out into the courtyard, red hair flaming orange in the sunlight. “Now,” she began, unfolding her arms, “who wants to go first.”

***

“Rosie,” Teddy began, pinching the bridge of his nose, “you can’t just go around punching people.”

“Why not?! They started it!”

The prefect sighed.

***

“Your granddaughter stole the car!” Molly exclaimed, throwing her hands up in the air.

“Oh!” Mr Weasley Senior said, turning bright excited eyes toward the three youths. “How did it run?”

“Arthur!”

***

“Scorpius!” Malfoy yelled, tripping through the smoking debris in his haste to reach the boys, falling hard to his knees as he pulled Scorpius into him, searching for broken bones with quick desperate movements. 

It was the second nature of a father that made him reach for Albus too, hand tentatively reaching for the gash on his forehead and stilling when he realize what he was doing. The other boy didn’t pull back however, allowing himself to be briefly enveloped as well and something hot and tight and dreadful broke free in Malfoy’s chest with relief.

“Are you all right?” he pulled back surveying their grime covered faces as they nodded. “Of all the idiotic, stupid…”

“Insanely brave.” A voice from behind him finishes, sounding just as furious and relieved as Malfoy feels.

“Insanely brave!” he agrees, pulling Scorpius back into him as Potter plucks his own off-spring from Malfoy’s clutch, holding the boy tight. Briefly he wonders if this is what their parents felt for them as children, but quickly dismisses the thought. He knows for himself it was unlikely.”

“What were you thinking?” he demands, holding Scorpius at arms length and resisting the urge to shake him. “What were you thinking?! Your mother and I—”

“Is she alive?” Scorpius demands, eyes wide and hopeful with a terrifying intensity. “Did it work, is mother alive?”

It takes him a moment to realize what he’s being asked, breathing heavily from running and the exertion of fear, but now that he’s able to focus, now that he’s able to see where they are… 

“How…” he begins, eyes narrowing as suspicion begins to dawn, “how did you know about the curse?”

***

"As it would seem, we have some last minute amendments to make before we depart.” Professor McGonagall started, glancing around the Great Hall from behind her glinting spectacles. “Miss Rose Granger-Weasley”—a swell of cheering rose up from every table as Rosie dipped her head, pale freckled face turning pink—”for exemplary skill with a broom and quick thinking, fifty points to Gryffindor.”

“For Mister Scorpius Malfoy”—another cheer, though entirely from the Slytherin table and not as loud—”for correct use of advanced herbology methods and frankly astounding use of an energy transfusement spell, fifty points to Slytherin.”

“For Mister Albus Severus Potter”—and there is the silence Albus has come to dread—”for exceptional cunning, determination and loyalty to one’s friends and for being a true credit to the values of your house…fifty-three points to Slytherin.” That at least gets a cheer from the Slytherin table, and Albus doesn’t really care about the rest because with all the hands suddenly slapping him on the back and Scorpius’ beaming smile he suddenly feels like he belongs.

“Now, with that over with,” Professor McGonagall says, straightening her spectacles, “I do believe we find ourselves, in the happy instance of a draw. Congratulations, to house Gryffindor and Slytherin!”


“I don’t want to go.” Al says, kicking his feet against the scuffed underside of his chair, the sound all but drowned out by the thundering clatter of the train picking up speed as they head towards London. “I’ll miss you.”

Scorpius doesn’t respond right away. He hadn’t even been thinking about not seeing his friend over the summer. His thoughts had been consumed with the thought of seeing his mother waiting for him at Kings Cross Station. She’d been so tired and pale the last time he’d seen her, she hadn’t even been able to see him off…

“Perhaps you could visit.” He says at last, carefully unwrapping a chocolate frog and breaking it into pieces, absentmindedly offering Albus a piece.

“Yea, right.” Albus scoffs, chewing around the mouthful of chocolate. “A Potter at the Malfoy estate, that’ll go down well with your granddad.”

“Oh,” Scorpius blinks, “We’re not living there anymore.”

“You’re not?!” Albus says, righting out of his slouch excitedly, “Why? When did this happen?”

Scorpius shrugs. “Father and Grandfather had another fight about…about what happened with Mother. We’re going to go live in my mother’s old home…it’s not as…nice, but you should ask your dad if you can come. For a few weeks. If…if you’d like. I’m sure father wouldn’t mind…not after everything that happened.”

“Can I invite Rosie too?”

Scorpius shrugs again, smiling softly to himself as Albus begins scratching out a note on a piece of parchment, apparently intent on asking his father before he even gets off the train.

“Sure, why not. The more the merrier.”

Chapter Text

Another thing (because yes we’re just going to go back to talking about the Cursed Child AU like we never left) that annoyed me about The Cursed Child was how the Adults treated Scorpius Malfoy in the text. 

Like I get it, nobody is perfect and everyone has issues, especially when you take into account the things the original trio endured. But, and this is a large but I cannot lie, I also feel it’s entirely out of character for Harry Potter, the boy who survived twice and lived to become the man who would name his second son after two of his arguably worst abusers* (after Voldie and the Dursleys of course) in recognition of their bravery and…whatever…redemption I guess, to only then turn around to his son, point to another child and say “they come from an evil family, don’t be friends with him”. 

It just…it doesn’t feel right.** 

Just like how Ron pitting his daughter against the Malfoy off-spring doesn’t feel right either. “Here sweetheart, we fought this entire war based on opposing those who thought they were better than others because of how they were born, and we made the world a better, more fair place. Now go kick that other kid’s ass his dad was a dick. Also don’t come home if you get sorted into Slytherin, bye honey loooove yoooou!”

Like….that is just not Ronald Weasley to me. It’s maybe Ron at the start of the series when we see him coming from a place of…not monetary privileged to be sure, but definitely perhaps cultural in terms of his bloodline? Like they might be dirt poor but the Weasley’s are a pure-blood family and that matters in this world. 

But it’s not who Ron is at the end of the series. 

It’s not who any of them are at the end of the series. Yet somehow we just see the continuation of “all adults are awful, yes even the good ones” and it just…it’s mediocre writing for one thing, but it’s also a continuation of validating shitty adult human behavior for Reasons, which Rowling is infamous for, and maybe it’s just me. But I’m tired of that shit.

I’m so, gods damned tired. Both as a reader, an editor and a writer.

Which is why I’d like you to consider: Cursed Child AU Molly Weasley meeting Scorpius Malfoy for the first time. 

In my head, for whatever reason, the new trio are soaked, just, drenched to the bone and guilty as hell, and Rose isn’t too worried by her grandmother’s stern look, she knows the shouting and the hand waving is from concern and not a threat. And Albus too, who has gotten into his own fair share of trouble with his brother and cousins and been on the receiving end of his Grandma’s tongue lashing more than once has just sort of, switched off, eyes glazed over as he takes the reprimand as he takes all others.

But Scorpius has no reference for this. His own mother and father have never disciplined him, not really, they’ve never had cause to. But he’s seen the fights between his father and grandfather, and people have walked away from those burned. He’s felt this anger before, this shrill frustration, but it’s never been directed at him before and honestly he’s not sure if he’s about to vomit or cry—until suddenly it stops. And when he looks up, Mrs. Weasley is looking at him, just for a second she’s looking just at him. And then she sighs, wiping a weary hand over her face as she waves them towards the stairs. 

“Go to bed, all of you. Albus, show your friend where everything is. We’ll deal with this in the morning.”

So they climb the stairs and say good night, and Albus lets Scorpius borrow some old but clean clothes from a chest at the end of a bed that looks like it hasn’t been slept in for years but is still kept pristine. And he feels like an intruder in this cramped wonderful space that feels lived in and loved from the ceiling to the floor. But Albus is already falling asleep face down on the other bed so he can’t ask if this is okay and instead just peels back the covers and falls asleep thinking if a house could feel like a hot cup of tea on a rainy Autumn day then the Burrow would be mid-October with two sugars and a ginger snap on the side.

The next morning he awakens to find his own clothes not just dried but cleaned and mended, folded at the end of the bed. Not wanting to wake Albus (snoring gently on his back, dark hair sticking out at all ends in a nice way that makes Scorpius’ stomach do a funny swooping thing he’s not ready to think about just yet) Scorpius creeps out of bed in search of the privy, somehow managing to get turned around in this tiny house that’s smaller than his grandfather’s study and finds himself on the threshold of the kitchen again, where a fire is already lit and something bubbles gently on the stove. He doesn’t mean to stare, but there’s just so much stuff, brick-a-brack and clutter his mother would never allow, mementos, moving pictures on every wall, the clock gently ticking on the wall…

“Cup of tea, dear?”

He jumps, feeling like he’s been caught somewhere he shouldn’t be.

“Come along dear, sit down,” Mrs Weasley continues, placing gentle hands on his shoulders and guiding him towards the kitchen table where the table is already set. “One lump or two?”

“I…” Scorpius stutters, looking around, desperately hoping for one of the other two to appear, even Rose who he knows only tolerates him because of Albus. “Two?” he asks. “Please?”

“There you are dear, help yourself to milk. Sleep all right?”

“I…uh, yes, thank you?”

“Good, good. Toast?”

“Uh…”

“There you go. Help yourself to butter and jam.”

He’s halfway through a second slice when Albus appears in the doorway, still in the rumpled clothes he’d slept in and yawning loudly until Rose pushes him out of the way and sits down heavily in the empty chair next to Scorpius, glaring, as though daring him to say something about her frazzled hair and the pillow markings on her sleep-pinked face. Scorpius wisely takes another bite of toast and pushes the teapot towards her. Albus stumbles over next, still so half asleep her nearly face plants into the jam the moment he’s sitting. It’s only the joint efforts of Rosie and Scorpius that keeps it from happening.

“What time is it?” he asks, rubbing blearily at his eyes. 

Scorpius glances to the clock—not the family one of course, though he can’t help but feel a little envious at just how many spoons it has. His parents have one, but it only has three hands.

“Time you were up and about,” Mrs Weasley comments before Scorpius can answer, swooping in over the table with a platter laden with breakfast food and dishing it out in heaps like she’s used to feeding an army. Glancing again at the family clock, Scorpius can see why. “And time to tell me what in Merlin’s Beard is going on.”

The trio glance between themselves, suddenly far more awake than they were mere moments before. With a mouthful of tea, Scorpius makes a hard swallow and braces himself.

“I’m really sorry, but this is entirely all my fault.” He starts when Mrs Weasley laughs, eyeing her two grandchildren with a knowing look.

“Somehow I find that hard to believe, dearie. Here have some more bacon.”

Somewhere between second, third and quite very nearly fourth helpings (Scorpius has never eaten so much in his life, not even at the Hogwarts feasts) they tell the truth. Or rather, they omit certain details and confess they found the car in the woods while having detention and wanted to see if it would work. How were they to know the doors would slam shut and the car would take them home. Molly Weasley listens quietly, with none of the previous shouting of yesterday, even when they recount the part about the doors falling off. Scorpius is relieved. He doesn’t think he could handle it, and he has no desire to see all that good food come up in reverse. 

“Well, I can’t say I’m pleased.” she says when they’re done, fixing them all with a pointed look. “But I am glad you are safe. Now, why don’t you go get ready and head on outside. The gnomes are in the herb patch again, and I need to contact the school and let them know you’re safe.“

The other two groan and slide out of their chairs to stomp up the stairs. Scorpius also stands and thinks about following them, but he’s already dressed so doesn’t see the point, he’ll just wait here by the door and go outside when they’re ready…he’s oddly excited by the prospect of de-gnoming the garden. He’s never done anything like it before…

“Everything all right, dear?” Mrs Weasley asks him, voice light as she clears away the breakfast table with a flick of her hand. “With school?”

He’s puzzled by the question, but he nods. “Yes, thank you Mrs Weasley.”

She hums politely, drawing her wand again and pulling over a scroll of parchment and a quill from a nearby table. “And what about home, everything all right there?”

The nausea is instant and for one horrible moment he thinks he might actually be sick. His mouth is watering, his head feels hot, his hands are cold and his eyes are blurring as he tries to quell the terror such a question brings because how, how can he answer a question like that while knowing the truth of what is yet to come...

He doesn’t even realize he’s sobbing until warm arms surround him. He’s been hugged before, but never like this. Everyone in his family is rail-thin and formally stiff. Physical affection often feels like an obligation to be endured, not warm and enveloping like sunlight through a glass pane on a cold winter morning. 

“There now dear,” she soothes, patting his back and holding him close like one of her own—a Potter or a Weasley, not a Malfoy. He doubts a Malfoy has ever been held this way. “I’m so sorry Scorpius. It’s not easy grieving…but you’ll be all right…it’ll be all right…shhh”

Later in the garden no one says anything. He knows they know, he can still feel the evidence of it streaked down his face, sniffling loudly in a way that has nothing to do with the chill Autumn air as they run after the scurrying gnomes. Instead they are stoically silent. But it’s a united sort of silence. Even Rosie looks grimly determined as she nods to him, just once, an unspoken version of the promise Albus had uttered in the small hours of the Slytherin Dungeon.

They have a curse to break. And it’s bloody well going to get broken.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

*Yes, Albus Dumbledore is abusive, come on over here and fight me on this if you want to. This has been bothering me since I was fifteen years old and red warning flags started going off in my head when I recognized his behavior as stuff my own abusers were doing. 

**And you can argue with me until you are blue in face about how victims of abuse don’t realize their own behavior is toxic*** and it’s important to show the effects of that, (cause it is) but I also feel that when it comes to these portrayals, especially in media directed towards children and young adults, it’s important for these adults to be held accountable for their actions and made to realize, hey, you’re doing the thing you hated about your own childhood, maybe not do that??? Also here’s an idea, have abusive adults (intentional or otherwise) in narrative, recognize their actions, own to them and then, are you ready for this??? Apologize for them. Wild I know, right? Normalize this stage of recovery towards not being an absolute shitheel, please and thank you. It is a very important step that also, amazingly, does not require the immediate forgiveness of the victim. Astounding I know.

***Hello, I am a fellow human tire fire still dealing with my own toxic shit from years of ongoing abuse, please don’t launch into an attack on the assumption I am speaking from a place of sunshine and rainbows on this.

Chapter Text

“Dad…” 

Malfoy looked up from his desk, quill poised over the parchment as his son hovered by the study door. Aware that he was frowning, Draco lifted his expression into something more neutral. He was vaguely aware of his own father always frowning whenever he’d tried to talk to him as a boy, and he didn’t want Scorpius to one day think the same about him.

“Come in, come in. Shut the door, you’ll let the heat out.” 

The Greengrass estate was a crumbling ruin compared to Malfoy Manner, with only half the library and none of the artifacts Draco had spent the last few years archiving and putting safely away behind spelled glass. But for now it was home, chilly stone walls and all.

“Did you want something?”

“Yes.” Scorpius replied, pausing to tug at the hem of his dark shirt. There’s still a bruise under his eye, faded to be sure, but the mere presence of it made Draco’s heart skip a beat. When he’d seen Severus Potter crawling out of the rubble, face covered in blood and no sign of his own son, he’d known terror like no other.

And Draco Malfoy was intimately familiar with the machinations of terror. He’d been hugged by it once.

“Well,” he prompted, setting aside his work entirely and giving his full attention to his son. “What is it?”

“I want my friends to come visit.”

Draco blinked. Whatever he’d been expecting, it wasn’t that. “Your…friends?”

“Albus Potter and Rosie Granger-Weasley. I would like them to come stay.”

Draco blinked again. Later he’d laugh—somewhat despairingly into a decanter of fire brandy—at the absurdity of the notion that his boy, Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy, was best friends with a Potter and the hybrid off-spring of a Granger Weasley, but the threat of impeding hysterics was quelled under the defiant gaze of his son, narrow chin lifting at some unspoken challenge. 

“I see. For how long?”

“A…a week…maybe two…They’re going to France for the Quiditch Cup Primaries…” he glanced down and Draco spied the curled up parchment hidden up his sleeve. “So it wouldn’t be for long.”

Draco glanced at his desk, to the fireplace, then back to his son. “I don’t…”

I want my friends…friendshow often had Astoria lamented his lack of playmates as a child, how often had she fretted that Scorpius’ only interaction had been with adults—or books, or enchanting his own toys for someone to play with. And how quickly had Scorpius’ face crumpled at the utterance of two simple syllables. 

“…know if two weeks would be wise, given your mother’s health. She’s still recovering from the move. But I shall discuss it with her, and see what can be done.”

Scorpius stilled, the beaming smile on his face reigned in to something calmer, even now, not wanting to get his hopes up too much. “Thank you. For what it’s worth, we will be good.”

Draco snorted at that, remembering the last time a Malfoy, a Potter and a Granger and a Weasley had been together at their age. “Somehow I doubt it. Go on off you go, go see what your mother is up to. She’s enjoying having you home.”

“And I am enjoying being here,” Scorpius replied, in that curiously courteous and stiff way of speaking he’d always had, even as an infant learning his words. “I am happy to be here, with you, and mother.”

“I’m…very glad to hear it.” Draco replied, unsure what else he was supposed to say to such an open admission said so politely like one was discussing the weather. “Now go on, off you go, I need to finish this manuscript before I lose the thought.”

“You’ll talk to mother though, wont you?” Scorpius pressed from his space by the door. “You’ll ask…”

“Yes, yes.” Draco waved a hand, “I’ll ask if the Potter spawn can come stay with us. Just for a little bit. To say thank you for…everything.”

Reassured, Scorpius left, closing the door behind himself with a firm click. 

Draco waited several more moments, counting to a hundred before opening up the top desk of his drawer and pulling out his correspondence folder, flipping through them until he found the appropriate manila envelope, writing the address of the Ministry Neatly to the front. 

Clearing his throat politely, he composed himself, then tapped it to life with his wand.

“Hello Potter,” he spat with a vicious familiar glee, unable to keep from laughing, “I’m not sure which one of us is going to be more surprised by this turn of events, but I swear to gods if you break my son’s heart by saying no, I will personally send you a red Howler on the hour every hour till the day one of us dies. Now, about dates, the last week in June works well for us…”

Chapter Text

The platform seems unusually busy this year, and for a moment Harry wonders if it’s just his imagination but he knows it’s not. He’s had the conversation with Hermione in her office about the sudden increase in the magic population in the UK. It’s taken almost twenty years, but the birth rate has finally gone up and they’re starting to recover from the death tolls of the Wizarding Wars.

These are the children born in the aftermath. 

The realization is making him weirdly emotional. But maybe that’s just seeing Lily with her own owl on her arm, her luggage being pushed by an obliging Teddy Lupin who despite being graduated for the last three years, showed up to see her off.

It’s likely a mixture of things. He’s about to turn to his two boys and ask them if they’ve got everything (for the millionth time because inevitably something has been forgotten—there’s always something forgotten) when Albus pushes past him with a happy whoop, wheeling his cart recklessly through the crowd. It takes him a moment to realize what has caught his attention, when he spies the blond hair and feels some of his nostalgia curdle. 

Malfoy’s face—caught off guard in an indulgent smile—also stiffens, the two fathers drawn together as their sons reunite animatedly. It’s only been three weeks since Scorpius had joined them for the Quiditch match up in Brighton, but you’d think it had been an eternity from the way Albus practically flings himself bodily at the taller boy.

Potter,” the other man spits, seemingly unable to say his name any other way.

“Malfoy.” Harry acknowledges him shortly. 

Somewhere behind him, James makes the wise decision to follow after his sister than hang around listening to his father and his oldest rival spit civilities at each other like hissing tomcats.

“Busy this year.” Malfoy comments, grey eyed gaze darting to his son when Scorpius laughs loudly at something Albus has said.

“Seems so.” Harry agrees, forced to smile hurriedly as someone recognizes him, squeezes his arm and says a hurried thank youbefore rushing on with their offspring towards the train.

“Still Mister Famous then.” Malfoy notes, thin smile ticking up a notch. “I do wonder people don’t have better things to talk about.”

Still infamous then, is on the tip of his tongue when he notes the wide berth people are giving the Malfoys, but he clamps down on the impulse. Scorpius might hear him, and from what Albus has told him the boy gets enough bullying from his peers without hearing it from his elders. And he promised himself long ago he’d never be Thatadult.

“Yea well,” Harry replies, flashing him a grin that borders of friendly but not quite. “We can’t all be married to the new Chief Sports Editor of the Prophet.”

Malfoy snorts at that, eyebrow raising as he gives Harry what he’s almost sure is an amused look. “Too true.”

“Ugh,” Albus says from somewhere near Harry’s shoulder, “Come on, they’ll be at this all day, lets get some sweets for the train.”

“You’ve already got sweets for the train.” Scorpius replies, but following after Albus anyway, dark and fair heads bobbing together as they move around each other, like planets orbiting one another, bound by an invisible force. 

“He’s getting tall.” Malfoy says, also watching the boys go and idly catching his son’s abandoned luggage cart with his foot, reminding Harry to do the same, managing to stop the listing cart before it rolls away.

“So is Scorpius.”

“Do you think we were that tall at their age?”

“I think others probably thought so.”

“Hm.” It’s a polite, almost congenial sound which Harry takes as his opening.

“I hear congratulations are in order.”

Malfoy turns to face him again, pale eyes wary but curious. “Oh?”

“I hear Astoria is expecting again.”

“Ah, yes.” Malfoy smiles, and this time there is no malice, no pretense at haughty collectedness. It reaches all the way to his eyes with a pure kind of joy, and for a moment Harry can see Scorpius’ face so clearly it hurts him to think of the kind of childhood either of them could have had were it not for the circumstances of their birth. “Yes. March of next year, we think.”

“Congratulations. I hope she’s doing well.”

Malfoy inclines his head again, his joy tempering into something gentler at the real implied meaning. “Yes,” he agrees. “Things are much better this time.”

There’s a crash by the convection stand, and without even turning Harry knows it’s something he’s going to have to pay for.

“Kids, eh?” he says, feeling sheepish at the look of paternal horror dawning on Malfoy’s face as he peers over Harry’s shoulder.

“Boys, here now.” Malfoy says, calling them like they’re well trained hounds as he pushes past Harry towards the stand. “I’m so sorry, do allow me to make amends.”

“Oh, no!” Harry rounds quickly, “My fault…probably…allow me.”

“Absolutely not, Potter, I wont hear of it.”

“Oh yes you bloody will.”

Covered in foaming pumpkin juice and sparkling tongue dancers, Scorpius and Albus share a look. 

“Do you think they’ll always be like this?” Albus asks, taking an experimental lick of his sticky hand, the juice and dancers apparently melding to make some sort of growing taffy. It’s surprisingly good. He should tell uncle Ron and George about it for the shop.

“Probably.” Scorpius replies, attempting in vain to scrape himself clean.

“Where on earth is oh.” Albus smiles sheepishly up at his mother as she comes to a halt in front of them. She glances between the boys, and then to her bickering husband who is all but manhandling Scorpius’ father out of the way. “Merlin’s Beard. Right, you two.

“Is she talking to us or them?”

“Them,” Albus says with certainty. He knows when his mother is directing that tone at him. “Definitely them.”

Chapter Text

“I had a visitor in the infirmary today,” Hannah says, sitting down on the end of their shared bed and removing her shoes, getting ready for sleep.

“Oh?” Neville asks, not looking up from the term papers he’s marking as he sits propped up against the headboard of their squat four poster. 

The teacher accommodation at Hogwarts was a lot more cramped than their apartment above the Leaky Cauldron, and it could sometimes feel like they’re living on top of each other rather than together. But it was better than being separated from his wife for the duration of term. “No one too badly hurt I hope?”

“Oh no, nothing like that.” Hannah replies, climbing under the covers beside him and sticking her cold feet right next to his and stealing his warmth. He doesn’t even mind. “It was a student wanting a recommendation to the St Mungo’s training course for healing magic. Scorpius Malfoy, actually...”

Neville looks up at that, quill halting mid air and dripping ink into the hovering inkwell. “Scorpius Malfoy? Healing magic...really?”

“Really.” Hannah confirms, turning onto her side to regard him, blonde hair already spilling out of her messy braid. “He was asking what score he’d need to get on his preliminaries to be considered for the summer classes. I told him he should speak to his head of house.”

"Hm,” Neville hums, pulling a face. “I don’t see that going down well, not with Alexay. Slytherins aren’t exactly known for healing magic.”

Beside him Hannah huffs with laughter. “That’s exactly what Scorpius said. He’s determined though, he’s got it all mapped out in his head. He just needs a reference from a teacher.” She’s silent for a moment then adds. “It was strange seeing him standing in the doorway. I kept wanting to call hum Draco.”

Neville hums again at that, plucking his quill out of the air to chew absently on the feathered tip. He’s familiar with that urge himself. He’d caught himself scowling that first year he’d seen that pale head in his class. Forced himself to smile instead and tamp down on that immediate knee jerk reflex, to say the boy’s first name to avoid accidentally inflecting his last with any negative emotion. Whatever relationship Neville had had with the boy’s father shouldn’t be allowed to reflect on Scorpius. And he’ll admit, he’d been more than a little bit surprised when the Malfoy boy had signed up for sixth year herbology. Surprised but pleased. He was a conscientious student, he had good grades, he helped others...he kept Al Potter from accidentally murdering himself with the more toxic fungi more than once...and then there had been the whole incident with his mother... 

Neville could relate to that.

“What does he need to get into the summer classes?” 

“Potions, naturally.” Hannah replies, rolling over onto her back to stare up at the canopy, “potions, advanced charms and herbology. I told him to come back and see me tomorrow so I could give him the full itinerary from St Mungos. It’s a lot of extra work. He’d be giving up his entire summer.”

Neville thinks back on the last few years, of the chaos that had erupted the moment Rosie Weasley, Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy had become firm friends. It had calmed down substantially, since the curse on Astoria Malfoy had been broken, but still the trio could usually be found at the center of some kind of trouble. Funny how things repeated themselves, if not quite always in the same way.

“Send him to me afterwards.” He says, closing over his workbook and letting it fall to the side, done grading for the night as he rolls over to face her, pressing his mouth to her forehead as he’s done every night for the last decade. He knows the kids think it’s disgusting how in love their Herbology teacher and the Infirmary Matron are. Some of the seventh years even wolf whistle when they’re seen talking together in the corridor. But he doesn’t mind. There’s a lot of things Neville doesn’t mind. And helping his students get to where they want to be in life is one of them. “Lets see what we can do.”

* * * 

“...Healing...” Malfoy parrots back, as though he hasn’t quite heard Neville correctly the first time. “He wants to do healing?”

“Yes, Mister Malfoy.” Neville replies, putting on his best teacher smile and schooling his expression into the polite curiosity that usually means he’s on his last nerve and someone is about to get detention. “Is there something wrong wit that?”

Draco looks up at that, gray eyes returning from whatever inner horizon they’d been focusing on as he meet’s Neville’s gaze. “No, not at all. I’m just surprised...he’s never mentioned it to us.”

Turns out there where a lot of things Scorpius Malfoy had neglected to tell his parents. Like the fact that Neville had taken over his guidance counselling from the Potions Master and his father would be meeting him, and not the head of Slytherin house for this appointment. He’s not sure how that particular owl message had been mislayed, but he has his suspicions. Dark haired, green eyed, Albus Potter-shaped suspicions.

Neville had rather been hoping Astoria would be there, her temperament much calmer, much more towards that of her son’s that Draco’s. But that was apparently not to be. Just because the curse was broken didn’t mean she still didn’t live daily with the consequences. Scorpius’ desire to be a healer made a lot more sense when you took his home life into consideration.

“It’s a lot of work, but he seems set on it. He’s already applied for the extra circular activities and signed up for the advanced classes. All he needs is your written permission to take them.”

Malfoy looks down at the mountain of paperwork on Neville’s desk, eyeing it. It’s a truly ambitious workload, even for a Slytherin. He picks up some of it, leafing through it with interest and stopping at one. 

“No time turners.” He says, skewering Neville with a pointed look. “No messing about with time or enchanted rooms without sleep.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it.” Neville assures him. It’s not an idea he’s terribly fond of himself, and when young Malfoy had suggested it he’d shut it down immediately. The boy either did this on his own time, or not at all.

“You’ll be teaching him herbology of course?”

“Of course."

“Potions is Alexay,” Draco made a face at that, looking back down at the parchment, “but we can make up for that at home. What about the curse breaking? That’s Defense isn’t it?”

“Yes, I believe so, that would be Professor Wi—”

“No.”

“No?” Neville blinked taken aback.

“If he’s doing this he’s doing it with the best. I’ll speak to Potter myself.”

“Pot—” Neville blinked again, realization catching up with him. “Hang on you can’t just ask Harry to teach your son Defensive Curse Breaking.”

“Why not?”

“He’s the Chief of the Auror Office!”

“Exactly. Who better.”

“Draco...”

“Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do Longbottom. His off-spring is practically living in our house on the holidays. Him and the Granger-Weasley hybrid.” He pinches the bridge of his noise, as though the very thought is giving him a migraine. Neville wonders what kind of mind fuck that has to be like. “I think I can ask that Potter spend some of the time he spends around my boy teaching Scorpius something more useful than how to fly upside down with no hands.”

Neville had heard about that from Hannah. Apparently it hadn’t been too bad of a fracture...but still bad enough to require a trip to St Mungos. If Draco seemed upset about it however it didn’t show. Instead he just looked mildly exasperated. 

“Anything else?”

“Just the classes at St Mungo.” Neville repled, eyes rolling towards the other stack of paperwork on his desk. “And their fees.”

Malfoy’s brow lifted at that, apparently unconcerned by such trivial things as money. Somethings apparently never changed.

“And you’ll be overseeing his progress? And be part of his counseling?”

“That’s right.” Neville confirmed, fully prepared to defend himself on this, but not hearing the rancor he’d been expecting. If anything Malfoy sounded...reassured.

“Well...he’s clearly made his mind up.” Malfoy sighed, pulling a muggle fountain pen out of the inside pocket of his black suit and signing the base of the parchment, flipping through the others to do the same. “I can’t really argue with that.”

You can though, Neville thinks, you absolutely can shut this down and push him towards something else if you wanted to...

“A Slytherin Healer.” Malfoy laughs, catching Neville off guard with a small, quirked smile. “How times change.”

“Yea...” Neville agrees, accepting the pile of parchment back and shuffling it, ready for owl dispatch in the morning. It really was amazing just how much everything had changed in a few short years.“For what it’s worth, I think he’ll do well.”

“Of course he will,” Malfoy replies, sounding more like his old self as he stands, re-buttoning his suit jacket and raising his eyebrows at Neville in a thoroughly autocratic manner. “He’s a Malfoy.”

But then again, maybe not everything.