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?”
“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.