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Chapter 1: from the journal of draco malfoy I

July 3, 2017

Viktor Krum.

She left me for Viktor Krum. Of all the people she could have chosen, she chose Viktor bloody Krum.

I mean. Fuck. What the hell is with his eyebrows? Does she like his eyebrows or something?

Maybe his cock's bigger than mine. Sure would explain why he looks constipated every time he's on his broom.

Yes, I am drunk off my ass. Shut up.


 

July 4, 2017

One would think I'd learned my lesson about drinking to excess years ago: it causes bad hangovers. Thank Merlin for pepper-up potions.

All in all, I think I'm dealing quite well, last night notwithstanding. It's not as though I married Astoria for love in the first place. She was the only Pureblood woman who'd have me, back then. Draco Malfoy, ex-Death Eater, bigot and shamed.

I was officially divorced yesterday. At least my father is dead – he'd never have survived the scandal.

That's not true. Lucius was many things, but he was first and foremost a Malfoy, and Malfoys survive anything. Except fruit. As far as deaths go, I have to say, father's was disappointingly anticlimactic – he choked on a peach. Mother and I left him alone for two minutes, two minutes, and when we came back from the kitchen he was dead. Thank goodness the turnout to the funeral was small. Imagine telling all of his associates during the speech that he didn't chew on a mouthful of peach properly.

"Chew your food!" he used to snap at me when I was young and swallowed large mouthfuls without properly masticating. It'd be funny if it weren't so – no. No, you know what? It is funny. I'm sad he's dead, but – come on. A peach? Suddenly getting divorced isn't so bad after all.


 

July 8, 2017

I am worried about the kids. Astoria's touring Bulgaria now with Krummy boy and she's left the kids with me. I have to curse her timing – Scorpius is starting Hogwarts this year, and Livia's birthday is in a few weeks. She'd better be here for both of those occasions, whether she wants to or not. Could she really be that selfish?

…Yes, she can. "I've been a mother for eleven years, Draco!" she said before she left. I think she'd been rehearsing for it, though; the scene was very dramatic. She even had a suitcase and was dramatically throwing her clothes into it. "I want my own life! I'm tired of being a mother, all right?"

It's like she decided she just didn't want to be a parent anymore. I didn't realise it was a job you could resign from.

I had to leave the kids with mother today while I sorted things out with the goblins. What does Astoria need such a large settlement for, anyway? Doesn't Krum have a few million Galleons to go with his extra-large broomstick?

It's not even the fact that she left me that I'm upset about.

She left our children. She left me alone. And… okay. Yes. I'm worried about being on my own. I love my children more than I ever thought possible. But eleven years of being a father to two children, I'm still terrified I'm not a good parent.


 

July 26, 2017

I made my first public appearance today since my divorce hit the Daily Prophet. Given enough time between scandals, people eventually forget and move on. They're all preparing for Saint Potter's birthday now, so the Prophet has been running articles on him and his family. Never thought I'd be grateful for Potter, but he's wrenched the spotlight away from me.

At any rate, today was the monthly board meeting for a charity, the Muggleborn Fund.

It's taken many years, but slowly the Malfoy name is being mended, changing to suit the society of today. Old blood isn't as respected as it once was. Nowadays, it's all about what you do for society, how much you donate, how liberal you are in your personal philosophies and policies, how much you know about the Muggles.

Frankly, I blame Granger. (Pardon, Granger-Weasley.)

I digress.

I donate to the Muggleborn Fund on a yearly basis, a thousand Galleons a year. It would be remiss of me to say that I am insulted or hurt by the accusations that I am charitable only for publicity's sake, because that is exactly correct. It is for publicity. Good publicity, at that. My father, rest his soul, donated to St. Mungo's in his time.

"We are Malfoys," he used to say to me, "and Malfoys always survive."

So this is me. Draco Malfoy. Surviving.

Later

I feel compelled to add that just because I am charitable for publicity's sake does not mean I do not feel something for the causes themselves. As a benefactor, I make the effort to appear at every single monthly board meeting, every single dinner party, every single function night.

Earlier this night, we – the benefactors and donators and supporters – listened to the story of a young Muggleborn girl. Seven years old, like my daughter. Her Muggle parents, apparently, nearly killed her in their attempt to banish the "devil" from within her during some disgusting, primitive practice known as an 'exorcism'. They're some fanatic religious people. The girl – Louisa Maybourne – has been moved to an orphanage, where when she reaches the age of eleven she will be supported by the Muggleborn Fund for Hogwarts.

I know what I would have thought as a younger man. Filthy Mudblood, she should have died.

Being a father has changed me.

The thought of that ever happening to one of my own children – to an innocent seven-year-old girl, to any child… I don't think I can finish that sentence. I don't even want to think about it.

I donated two thousand Galleons this year.


 

July 27, 2017

I never doubted my father loved me.

I do doubt he'd have loved me if I turned out to be a Squib.

Scorpius, Livia – you'll never see these words but I want you to know that I am not my father. I am not my father.


 

August 5, 2017

That's it. I am never taking children to Diagon Alley on my own ever again.

I'm home now and the kids are finally in bed, but today… good grief.

I lost Scorpius. Well, he ran away, but the point remains. What sort of father loses their child?

I thought he was handling Astoria's departure well enough. Suspiciously too well, perhaps – and, well, I was right. He chose today to snap. He thinks Astoria left because of him. I think. I noticed how quiet he was being when we were going shopping – just after we bought his wand. I asked him if he was all right and he said, very softly, "I'm fine."

I knew he was lying. Livia was tagging along behind us, playing with a novelty Time Turner, so I took the chance to ask Scorpius again. I'm still not quite sure what happened – it was a bit of shock. Scorpius started yelling at me, something he'd never done before. He wanted his mother to be there for his first wand, and – he'd overheard her that night, when she left. That she was "tired" of being a mother.

Damn you, Astoria, just damn you.

He took off and, as small as he is, he disappeared into the crowd at Diagon Alley. And of course I couldn't run after him, because Livia was behind us and I had a bag full of robes and books and other school items. But then Livia also started crying because she'd heard Scorpius yelling and crying. It wasn't even midday.

I suck at being a father.

I think I wandered around Diagon Alley for a few hours with a one screaming child in my arms and another crying child throwing a (very justifiable) tantrum who'd run away. And then of course I had to run into Ron Weasley.

"Hey, Malfoy," he said with a smirk I wanted to smack off his stupid face, "I heard about your wife flying off with Viktor."

"Yeah, well, I guess he got tired of your Muggleborn wife and wanted something cleaner to play with!"

I didn't say that. I was too busy juggling my screaming daughter, a bag of shopping, a handful of Galleons, and resisting the urge to rip my hair out (even more) to reply. I think I might have looked like I was on the verge of tears, though, because Weasley looked concerned for a moment – not that I'd ever want his pity, for Merlin's sake – and had to put Livia down because she wouldn't stop squirming. Why was I even holding her? She's old enough to walk on her own! I think she might have asked to be picked up earlier because her legs were sore. I can't remember. At that moment, though, she wanted to go home and was making a large deal out of it.

"Stop it, Livia! We can't go home, we have to find Scorpius! Now be quiet!"

I may or may not have yelled. I'm certainly not proud of myself.

My little girl took one look at my face and burst into tears.

I never cried in public as a child. Father disapproved of such "grotesque displays". But I let her cry until I felt like crying myself (yes, I felt like crying. I'm pathetic) and dropped to my knees beside her.

"Sweetie, sweetie, please stop crying, Daddy's sorry, Daddy didn't mean to yell –"

I swear, if I hadn't known Weasley was still standing behind me, I would not have said that.

…okay. Fine. Yes, I would have. I can't stand seeing my children cry.

"Here, why don't you go buy some ice cream, okay? I'm sorry, I didn't mean to yell, I'm just worried about Scorpius. You know I love you very much, don't you?"

Weasley choked behind me. I swear, I could have slapped the idiot, but then Livia sniffled and wiped her nose with the back of her hand and nodded, still looking like I'd kicked her puppy. Usually I'd tell her off for wiping her nose on her clothes – she had a handkerchief, I knew she did because I made her put it in her pocket this morning – but she looked so upset that I just gave her a kiss on her forehead and sent her off to Fortescue's.

Seven-year-old girls. Merlin help me.

I think I stood there helplessly for a few minutes. My son was angry at me and had run off, my daughter looked like Christmas was cancelled as she bought ice cream, my wife was off in Bulgaria doing Merlin knows what with Krum, and Weasley was still standing there.

"Er. You okay, Malfoy?"

"Do I look okay to you, Weasley?" I spat.

And I did not, in any way at all, burst into tears. How dare you accuse me of that.

To be honest, I really expected teasing from him. Name-calling. I mean, Draco Malfoy, sobbing in public, in front of Ronald Weasley. I didn't expect him to awkwardly pat my shoulder and force me into a seat. Just as well he did – crying gives me vertigo.

"Er."

"Shut up, Weasley." Although I think it came out more like, "Sh-shu'up, Weas – sniff – ley."

"…Er." He sounded as out of his depth as I was feeling. "Do you… need some ice cream?"

Which is how I came to be sitting at Fortesue's at a table with my daughter and Ronald Weasley, eating chocolate ice cream. Livia had strawberry ice cream all over her face – she's the messiest eater I've ever encountered – and Weasley sat next to me in silence.

"Why are you in Diagon Alley?" I asked.

"I sometimes work at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes."

"The junk shop?"

"The joke shop," he said sharply.

"Isn't that what I said?"

He glared. "You're an arse, Malfoy."

I watched Livia eating her cone, blissfully unaware of what an arse her father was being. I sighed. "I need to find my son."

"I heard. He's run off?"

"He's upset. About his mum."

"Sorry about, er. About what I said. Back there."

"Yeah, well. Astoria wanted a bigger broomstick."

I'm proud to say that I made Weasley choke on his ice cream.

Eventually I called Livia over to me and told her we were leaving Fortescue's to find Scorpius, though Merlin knew where he'd be. I just hoped he hadn't made his way to Knockturn Alley. I'd spent far too much time there as a child. Picturing my own children in that place made me feel ill. Weasley finished his ice cream and watched start to struggle with the bags again.

"Just shrink them, Malfoy."

In hindsight, I think I just had too much on my mind to remember to shrink the damn things earlier. Had he said that to me twenty years ago, I probably would have turned my nose up and carried the bags around as they were, just to prove a point.

I was tired. My son was upset and was missing somewhere in Diagon Alley. My daughter was getting ice cream all over her clothes. My ex-wife had dumped me for a Quidditch celebrity, and Ronald Weasley had just eaten ice cream with me.

I shrunk the damn bags.

"Do you need help?"

"No." I hesitated, then said, "But thank you."

Squeezing blood out of a stone would have been easier. Weasley looked like he thought the same. "S'okay," he said in the same tone.

Livia tugged on my arm. "Daddy? Daddy, can we go to the joke store? Please?"

I sighed. "No, Livia. We have to find Scorpius."

She pouted. She's too damn good at pouts, and I'm pretty sure she knows it. I know it. I still fall for it. She knows that, too. "Please, Daddy?"

I put my foot down this time. Sort of. "Maybe tomorrow."

"Er," Weasley said again. I resisted the urge to make a snide comment about the extent of his vocabulary. "Good luck. With finding your son, I mean."

Ronald Weasley being nice to me. The world's ending, I'm sure. "Thanks. Maybe I'll end up coming by your junk store tomorrow."

Weasley scowled, but then Livia betrayed me and cried, "It's a joke store, Daddy! And you have to promise to take me because my birthday's soon and you just said we'd go tomorrow, so can I please please please go?"

"I said 'maybe'! And your birthday isn't until –"

"Of course you can!" Weasley suddenly said, grinning (in what I think was more of a take that, Malfoy, your own daughter's on my side! kind of joy than genuine adoration for Livia).

And that's how Ronald Weasley became my daughter's favourite person in the world for an hour.

I found Scorpius not too long later, thank Merlin. He was hiding in a back corner of Flourish & Blotts, curled up with a heavy book across his lap.

My son, my poor son – he'd been crying silently for hours on end. We didn't say anything when I found him. He just ran over to me and hugged me, and I held him back. I didn't care it was in public. I didn't pull away, or tell him to compose himself, or act like Lucius would have. I have no memories of hugging my father.

I'll talk to Scorpius and Livia properly tomorrow.

And then take them to the bloody junk shop.


 

August 6, 2017

I spoke to my children just now. They're getting ready to go to Diagon Alley again, and thankfully today I don't have to worry about shopping for Hogwarts. I don't have the energy to record all of this morning here, but it was draining. Extremely draining. Scorpius cried, I cried, Livia cried (but I think that was more because she saw me and her brother crying) and… there was chocolate. Lots of chocolate. Scorpius insisted.

But I think I know why Scorpius was upset yesterday, and probably has been for a while. It's more than just Astoria leaving us. I think he felt like he wasn't a good enough son for her, and he was afraid he wouldn't be good enough for me either.

"Don't leave me as well, Dad," he said.

That's what he said. He begged me not to leave him.

And then said, "I'll be better, I promise."

I don't know how long I spent telling him and his sister that I would never leave them and that they were perfect and I loved them and – well, you get the idea.

But… I just… I don't know. I'm still shaking. Have I done something to make Scorpius feel that way? That he isn't good enough? I always felt like that in my own father's presence – that if I didn't do something well enough, if my marks weren't high enough, if I wasn't powerful enough, if I wasn't a proper Malfoy, he'd disown me. But I never thought I'd made my son feel that way. I'm wracking my memory, trying to think of something.

When I first held him, the day he was born, I promised myself I'd be different. I loved the child I held in my arms, more than anything. He wouldn't grow up feeling like he was in danger of being disowned every breathing second. He'd grow up knowing I loved him.

And today I found out he was worried he wasn't good enough.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The apple never falls far from the tree, right? I loved my father. I was also afraid of him.

Later

I've never been to a more annoying, obnoxious store in my life, which meant my children fell in love with it.

The place was crowded. The kids looked ready to dive in but I could only grab Livia in time; Scorpius disappeared, but at least this time I knew he was in good spirits and wouldn't leave the store. "Aww, Daddy," Livia said, but stopped trying to pry her hand out my grip when Weasley greeted us.

"Malfoy. You came."

"The kids insisted."

"Hi, Mr Weasley!" Livia said, and Weasley looked down at her.

"Livia, right?"

She nodded, delighted her new role model remembered her name. "Yep!"

Weasley smiled. "How do you like the shop?"

"It's amazing."

I wanted to tease her with "Traitor!" but I was afraid she'd think I didn't want her to have fun. She looked up at me and asked, "Daddy, can I look around?"

"Okay, but don't leave the store!"

The crowd swallowed her alive. Weasley must have seen my alarm. "She'll be fine. We have staff all over the place."

"Oh. Good."

There was a short silence. "You, er, okay?" he asked tentatively.

It was as awkward as it sounds. Nineteen years of distance and growth is a long time, but the seven before that were spent antagonising each other. It was a little hard to ignore, though we were both doing a remarkable job. I didn't want to be horrid to Weasley in front of my children, who now worship him.

At least I know what to get them both for Christmas.

"Yeah. I'm fine."

"…No, you're not."

"Okay, fine," I snapped a bit. "I'm not. I have no idea what I'm doing."

He blinked. I sighed, but to my credit I didn't start sobbing again. There's only so much damage my pride can take.

"I just…" I ran a hand through my hair. (My hairline is not receding, damn it.) "I just worry that I'm a bad father."

Weasley was watching me with an odd expression, but still didn't say anything. Livia and Scorpius saved me from further embarrassment by turning up at my left elbow and tugging on my robes. "Daddy, can I get something? Please?"

"Yeah, Dad, can we?"

That darn look she gives me. Scorpius too. He's learning how to copy his sister, and he does it well. And after yesterday and this morning, how could I not give in? "All right," I conceded, "but just one! You too, Scorpius. One thing each."

They disappeared again. I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself. I'm beyond the age of joke gifts, although – against my will – I do admit some of the items in the store were rather impressive. Weasley appeared by my side again, probably to make sure I wouldn't sabotage his stock. I spotted Scorpius across the store; he, a moment later, turned and smiled and waved at me. I grinned and waved back.

"Hey, Malfoy?"

"Yes?"

Weasley hesitated. "Seems to me that, if you're worried you aren't a good father… it already means you are. 'Cause you care about it." He shrugged. "Just a thought."

I ended up buying three things each for Scorpius and Livia.


 

August 7, 2017

Maybe I can do this.




Chapter 2: from the journal of draco malfoy II

September 1, 2017

It's hard trying to organise two children in the morning on your own. I don't know how we even managed to almost miss the train: Scorpius and Livia were up at the crack of dawn, for goodness' sake. It took far too many hours this morning to get ready. Livia kept on changing her clothes and disappearing around the house to play with her junk toys from Weasley's shop, Scorpius kept packing and re-packing his bag, and I was extremely cool and calm and collected, thank you.

I think I deserve a trophy.

At least with Astoria, we could have handled one child each. I don't know how people can handle more than two children. The Weasleys, for instance – they breed like rabbits, but somehow they manage to organise themselves by the very last minute, beyond all reason or sense or logic.

I never realised quite how difficult it was to prepare for a year at Hogwarts. I don't remember ever having quite so many things with me, either – I'm positive the shopping list was five times larger this year than it was when I was at school.

Anyway, it would have been nice to have some help from Astoria this morning, but I'm lucky for her to have even shown up at the platform to see Scorpius off. Merlin forbid she miss a 'flying lesson' with Krum. Scorpius was happy to see her, though, so I played nice and so did she.

"Dad, what if I don't get into Slytherin House?" Scorpius said to me right before he was due to board the train. Oh, I dreaded that conversation. And he chose the worst possible time to start it.

I remembered the look on his face when he begged me not to leave him as well, and shrugged as if to say, Hey, I'm a cool and hip understanding Dad of the 21st Century.

"Well, you'll be in some other House then, won't you?"

Scorpius bit his lip. It's a bad habit, that – I'll have to make him stop it. Eventually. "But, Dad… won't you be disappointed? Malfoys have always been in Slytherin. What if –"

"Scorpius." I knelt down beside him. "I don't care which House you'll be placed in, as long as you're happy. There's nothing wrong with Ravenclaw. Or Hufflepuff." I paused. "Or Gryffindor." It took a lot of effort to say those last two, and Scorpius gave me a dubious look. "Well. Maybe not Gryffindor."

"Will you be upset if I am?"

I can't imagine why he would be in Gryffindor. People call Gryffindors 'courageous' – I call it a lack of self-preservation. My son certainly does not lack common sense.

"Of course not," I said. "It's just red, you know? That colour, it looks terrible on us."

This earned a laugh from him.

I mean, yes, I'd prefer for him to be placed in Slytherin, because Malfoys have always been Slytherins. But in all honesty, having another Malfoy in Slytherin House – which is still recovering from the War – is undesirable, particularly for Scorpius's own comfort at Hogwarts. Things have changed, the Malfoy name is recovering, but they haven't changed that much. Kids can be horrible. I should know. It's not as though I was the only one being cruel, because Potter and his sainted friends gave as good as they got. But still, the point remains.

I guess I'll find out tonight or tomorrow night which House he got into.

It's considerably emotionally draining, seeing your first child leave off for Hogwarts. I'm not going to see him again until Christmas. Did my parents feel the same way, watching me start school? Mother did, I think – father, I don't know and probably never will. Emotions weren't something we were supposed to show, really. I wonder if Lucius missed me. His letters often indicated nothing more than a vague wish of health and a reminder to keep on top of my homework. I guess that was his way of expressing love.

I hope Scorpius will be okay. I'm going to miss him. Things will be… not quieter, because out of the two kids he's the quiet one – Livia makes up the loudness of two children. Things will definitely feel emptier, though. His books always took up so much space, and he's taken most of them with him to Hogwarts. Livia ought to keep things lively, although now that her brother's gone off to Hogwarts she'll need to find someone new to play or fight with.

Astoria didn't stay long after the Hogwarts Express departed, but she stayed longer than I suspect she would have because of Livia. "Won't you stay, Mum?"

Now, if only one of my children get into Slytherin, I have money on Livia.

"No, Livia, I'm very busy."

Livia's eyes welled up, although I suspect it more of an act than it was real. Livia and her mother never had much interest in each other at home; she's far fonder of her Aunt Daphne and grandmother. Astoria, in return, never seemed upset by that. Honestly, if it were completely up to her I think House Elves would have raised both our kids.

In retrospect, I really should have seen her leaving way in advance.

"But, Mum…"

"I'll be back for your birthday next week, all right?"

Astoria was lying, of course – Krum has a Quidditch match scheduled in Australia next week and she's definitely going. I'm sure Livia knows Astoria won't be coming for her birthday, but she does know exactly how to make someone feel guilty. It's the eyes, I'm telling you. The eyes and the pout and the look of sheer devastation on her face. Melts the coldest of hearts.

Take that, Astoria.

"I love you, Mum."

Oh, the guilt. I could practically smell it. Good girl, Livia. You make me proud.

"I love you too, Livia," Astoria said.

"Will you come back home soon?"

Astoria glared at me, as if I put Livia up to it. "We'll see."

And then she left because Krum was waiting for her – probably with a large wooden broomstick. Seriously, gross. She can't actually like those eyebrows, can she? There's not much accounting for taste there.

I digress.

I spotted Saint Potter and his gaggle of redheaded family and friends at the platform, but I didn't go over. Weasley was there too, and it's a good thing Livia didn't see him otherwise she'd have dragged me over to worship the Lord and Master of Junk Items.

I think Potter has son Scorpius's age, and an older one. And possibly a younger daughter. So the Potters, plus Weasley-Granger's children, plus all the other Weasley children, probably single-handedly populate the school now. Absolute rabbits. At any rate, I did suggest Scorpius not antagonise the Potter-Weasley clan, but it's not really in his nature to do that anyway.

…Well, okay, it is. He's sensible most of the time, but when he plots revenge, it can get quite nasty. Pansy hasn't spoken to me in three years.

So long as the Potters don't get on his bad side, there won't be too much trouble.

Later

I'm betting on getting a letter from the Headmaster before the week is out.




Chapter 3: correspondence I

September 1, 2017

Dear Dad,

I'm in Ravenclaw! That's good, right? I can't believe you didn't tell me the Sorting was just a hat put on someone's head. Everyone on the train was teasing the first years by saying we had to wrestle trolls or that it was really painful or hard. A couple of kids even burst into tears they were so scared. I wasn't scared – it seemed a bit odd that we'd be made to wrestle trolls to get Sorted – but I tried to get away from the older kids and the crying kids. I managed to find a compartment with a girl in it. She let me share with her – said her name was Rose Weasley. I asked if Mr Weasley was her father and she said he was, so now I'm friends with her which means I have practically unlimited access to Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes things! Anyway, Rose is nice, if a bit of a show-off. She kept on practicing second year spells and told us she'd memorised Hogwarts, A History. I almost have, too, but you don't see me bragging about it. She was Sorted into Gryffindor, though, so I guess I'll have to wait and see which classes I have with her.

Speaking of the Sorting, the Hat sang a song. Is it hygienic for it to be placed on every single student's head one after the other? What if someone has head lice? Has it even been washed? The Hat looks ancient. And a bit dirty.

Well, the Ravenclaw Common Room is pretty nice – it's very cosy but not quite like home. The dorm's pretty quiet now – the other boys are all reading. There's this boy called Lorcan Scamander in the dorm who's really weird. I asked him what time it was and he said, "Ah, time. How can we really know what time it is when life itself does not exist in a strict progression of cause to effect? If every moment in history, past and future, happens at once, how can we ever be certain of something so immeasurable?"

So I asked someone else for the time. Actually, I asked a boy called Albus Potter. Do you think he's Harry Potter's son? People seemed to be making a big deal out of him during the Sorting. Anyway, he was sulking on his bed (still is) and told the time like he was on the verge of death or something. I asked him what was wrong and he said he was upset he didn't get into Gryffindor. I told him I was bit upset I didn't get into Slytherin, and he said, "I'd rather die than go to Slytherin!"

So, he's a twat.

And that was my day. The feast was brilliantand the teachers so far seem nice. I'm looking forwards to starting classes – Transfiguration looks like fun.

Tell Livia I say 'hi' and that I miss her, and I'll write again soon.

Love,

Scorpius


September 2, 2017

Dear Scorpius,

My sincerest congratulations on being Sorted into Ravenclaw. I have no doubt you'll be an asset to the House. Of course it's good! Blue and bronze look good on Malfoys.

Regarding the questionable hygienic nature of the Sorting Hat, I confess I was rather wary of it myself as a student. The Hat is freakishly old but I'm sure they clean it, and if you're still worried then it's nothing a shower won't fix.

This Lorcan Scamander sounds quite amusing. I do recall some of the Ravenclaw students being a little odd, but they mostly kept to themselves and were pleasant in general.

As for young Mister Potter, as I said before: do try not to antagonise him. He sounds like a drama queen already, and the Potters and Weasleys and their friends and worshippers more or less populate the entirety of Gryffindor House and all of them are likely to jump to his side, including Rose Weasley, in the event of any altercation. Still, I'm glad to see you've made a friend in Miss Weasley, but hopefully for more reasons than the fact she's Mr Weasley's daughter – so don't beg for free items from his junk shop. We are Malfoys and we have money; leave charity for those who are in need of it. Miss Weasley sounds a bit like her mother, at any rate, but also a nice young lady.

Livia says 'hello' as well and congratulates you on getting into Ravenclaw House. She's expecting a letter from you very soon, actually – so don't forget her birthday! I'll never hear the end of it if you do. She'll probably ask me to take her to Muggle London to make up for it or some equally horrifying punishment on your behalf…

Keep well, Scorpius, and take care of yourself. I'm very proud of you, and I'm sure you'll enjoy Hogwarts. Keep on top of your homework and don't stay up too late at night reading!

Love,

Your father

PS: Have you written to your mother?

PPS: Mind your language as well; Malfoys do not swear in public. (Letters are okay, if you must.)


September 4, 2017

Dear Dad,

Thank you! I really do like Ravenclaw. I've had a lot of classes already this week and I've met lots of new people. The Ravenclaws are all really strange but kind of funny, like Lorcan – he hangs around me a bit and he says the weirdest things. So I think he's a friend, although I'm not sure if he sees things that way. Rose is in my Transfiguration and Potions classes, which is good. She's definitely a show-off, though – she's already all the teachers' favourite and I think some of the other students think she's annoying. I dunno. I kind of like her. Shame she's in Gryffindor House, really – she's smart enough to be Ravenclaw. Some of the other kids tease her a bit when she's not around but she's got lots of Weasley cousins. They've almost all got red hair.

Don't worry, I'm putting in Livia's letter and a present with this one. Can you give it to her on her birthday for me? (And don't worry about the present either, it's just something I made. Harmless, I swear!) There, I've temporarily saved you from the horrors of Muggle London! But you know she'll drag you there eventually, don't you? You're just delaying the inevitable.

Thanks, Dad. I will. And I promise I'm not staying up too late.

Love,

Scorpius

PS: I sent mother a letter a few days ago, but she hasn't written back yet.

PPS: Albus Potter is still a twat.


September 5, 2017

Astoria –

Livia's birthday is in four days and I know full well you aren't coming back to England to be with her, so don't you dare expect me to be the one to tell her. Write her a letter the moment you get this – and don't think you won't! Aziraphale's very loyal to Livia… just imagine your perfectly manicured fingers all owl-pecked.

Draco


September 6, 2017

DRACO, YOU ABSOLUTE PIG! YOU SHOULD BE GRATEFUL I DIDN'T STRANGLE YOUR DAMNED OWL! PULL ANOTHER STUNT LIKE THAT AGAIN AND I SWEAR I'LL GET THAT DISGUSTING CREATURE PUT DOWN! HOW DARE YOU RUIN MY NIGHT! I HATE YOU AND I HOPE THIS DEAFENS YOU, YOU BASTARD!


September 6, 2017

Draco,

Don't you dare whine about the Howler because you know full well you deserved it.

I wrote Livia a letter telling her I won't be back for her birthday and I enclosed a gift here for her as well. Be sure to give it to her with my love on the 9th.

Astoria

PS: Don't write again unless it's important. And if you send that awful bird again, I'll send it back to you without its feathers. I won't let you ruin my trip with Viktor any more than you already have!


September 15, 2017

Dear Mr Malfoy,

I regret to inform you that there has been a situation at Hogwarts involving your son Scorpius, and your immediate presence is required. I await you in my chamber.

Regards,

Deputy Headmaster Neville Longbottom




Chapter 4: from the journal of draco malfoy III

September 9, 2017

I think I'm being punished, because karma has come back to bite me in the arse with a vengeance. Not only do my children worship the Lord and Master of Junk Items (because Merlin knows that's not enough): my son has made a friend in said Lord and Master of Junk Items's daughter, and my daughter today declared the other Weasley child as her best friend.

Rose and Hugo Weasley.

Scorpius, I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt – maybe he genuinely likes Rose Weasley. But Livia? I'm almost positive she's done this on purpose.

…All right. I concede that my children's taste in people could be worse. To be fair, Weasley didn't look too comfortable with the idea either.

Anyway, today Livia turned eight, so naturally she woke me up at the crack of dawn (by jumping on my bed) and made me sing her 'Happy Birthday' still half asleep. She seemed entertained, though, and I received a declaration of "You're my favourite dad in the whole world!" after I gave her a present. (As opposed to being her only dad? Unless Astoria threatens Krum into marrying her. Or unless Livia has secretly adopted Weasley as another father.) Astoria, thankfully, delivered on her promise and sent a birthday letter and a nice dress for Livia to wear today. I'll say what I will about her, but she had good taste and Livia liked the dress. It has ice cream all over it now, of course.

This morning Livia asked for a trip to Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes for her birthday. I don't know why I was surprised, really. It was either that or Muggle London.

I mean, really. Muggle London? What on earth does she want to go there for? How revolting. What has she even heard about Muggle London other than that it's full of Muggles? I think she just wants to see how many things I'll say "yes" to. Well, I put my foot down today and took her to the junk shop instead. Weasley, or Muggles? A tough choice, but at least the Weasleys are wizards. Sort of.

"You just can't keep away, can you?" Weasley said when I entered the store for the umpteenth time this week. I scowled, but Livia grinned and flounced – actually flounced – into the store. Except she did it prettily and made some of the other patrons go 'aww'. She has that effect on people, including Weasley.

(Score one for Malfoy.)

I stayed out of the way, mostly, even when Weasley introduced his son to Livia. Hugo is eight years old and shockingly redheaded and freckled like his father, which meant Livia, of course, simply adored him.

I'll admit, the junk shop is a very good babysitting device. I shall have to employ it more often if I need to leave Livia alone for a few minutes. Weasley has taken a liking to her, as has the other Weasley (George, I think? All he's done is glare at me, though). She played nicely with Hugo for a good hour or so before getting hungry.

"Daddy, can we get some ice cream? I'm hungry."

I think this is a new thing for her. Ice cream. Which means it's a new thing for me, which means I'm going to get fat, which means I need to adjust my diet accordingly. Great.

"I don't suppose I could convince you to eat some real lunch first?"

She gave me the look.

I caved. (Complete Slytherin.)

"All right, sweetie. Have you got everything?"

"Mm-hmm!"

"Are you going now?" Hugo asked.

"Just to Fortescue's," Livia said brightly. "We're coming back!"

That was news to me. Hugo still looked downcast at losing his new friend, so I sighed. "Would you like to join us, Hugo?" I said politely. Public image, you know. Make nice with the Weasley kids.

Hugo turned to his father in excitement. "Can I, Dad?"

Weasley looked a little dubious. "Er."

"Mr Weasley can come too, can't he, Daddy?" Livia asked/insisted/demanded, and that's how I came to be eating ice cream with Ronald Weasley twice in the space of two months. That does not make it a ritual or a habit, okay? It doesn't. Anyway, it was for Livia and Hugo. Weasley was just there to look after his son.

And then he tried to make small talk with me. However, as I was sitting in Fortescue's with Livia, her new redheaded freckled best friend, and Ronald Weasley, eating ice cream and feeling vaguely silly, I talked back.

"So," Weasley said. "Scorpius. Rose has told me all about him. They're good friends at school, looks like."

I nodded. "Scorpius seems quite fond of Rose."

I remember Weasley rubbed the back of his neck, because his elbow jabbed the side of my head. (He didn't apologise.) "S'not exactly what I expected, y'know. The kids all being friends. I mean, who'd have thought?"

Certainly not me, but the kids seem delighted with their new acquaintances. Weasley is mostly baffled, as am I (and convinced it's all some elaborate revenge prank being pulled on me), but… well… looks like I might be having Weasleys over for Christmas. Probably better send mother out of the country for a little while in case she faints at the sight of all that red. They'll clash with the décor horribly. I hope it won't get to the point where I have to consider changing the upholstery.


September 12, 2017

Scorpius's last letter has left me feeling uneasy. He hasn't written anything since, and he's not written any more about Potter's twat of a son. His letters don't say much about other kids other than Rose Weasley, the strange kid Lorcan Scamander, and… that's it, really. He talks a bit about classes.

I'm really worried about him. If other kids are bullying him – and I don't doubt he will be if he hasn't been already – then he hasn't said anything. And there's only one reason for that; they're bullying him about being my son. People still know me as the kid who tried to kill Dumbledore. The Slytherin rat who became a Death Eater. The son of Lucius Malfoy. The man who still lives in the house that the Dark Lord lived in during his final year.

That's what I've passed on to him. That's what other people see when they see him.

Merlin, Scorpius. I'm so sorry. I have a lot of regrets, but none more than the fact that I've put a weight on my children's shoulders that they shouldn't have to carry.

I hope that the teachers are keeping an eye out for him. Flitwick's a reasonable man. Maybe I'll write to him and enquire about Scorpius.

Later

I think I'm going insane. I left my wand on my desk, didn't I?

Later again

No, it was in the living room. What was it doing there? I haven't gone to the living room this evening.


September 16, 2017

I don't know where to start.

Oh, wait, yes I do. Bloody Longbottom.

"A situation at Hogwarts involving Scorpius" – of all the ways to nearly give me a heart attack. Haven't I lost enough hair already? He must have done it on purpose. No, I knowhe did it on purpose.

Thank goodness Livia was spending the day with mother yesterday, because I'm not sure what I would have done with her. I panicked and left the house the second I got that letter. Actually, that whole trip yesterday is a bit of blur, because I don't remember much between tearing out of the house and turning up at Longbottom's office.

"Mr Malfoy, thank you for coming so quickly."

"What's wrong? Is Scorpius okay?"

"He's fine, Mr Malfoy," Longbottom said, frowning slightly. "He was involved in a situation this morning during Potions."

"What sort of situation?"

"I think we should continue this in my office. Scorpius is inside."

I followed Longbottom in. (Seriously, who made that buffoon a Deputy Headmaster?) I first saw Scorpius slouched in a chair, face stony. To his left was a black- and messy-haired child who looked so much like Potter at the age of eleven that I already knew who he was without being told his name. If the kid's appearance didn't give it away, then Harry Potter standing behind his chair certainly gave it away. I stood behind Scorpius and put my hands on his shoulders as Longbottom walked around the desk and sat down.

"What's this about?" I asked.

"We have reason to believe that during Albus's and Scorpius's Potions class this morning, one of the student's potions was tampered with. It exploded, and Professor Kingson was injured. She's in the Hospital Wing now. Madam du Lac is expecting her to wake up shortly, however." Longbottom glanced at Scorpius. "Just after the potion exploded, Albus claims that Scorpius here cursed him and made his tongue turn into a snake's tongue. We were able to reverse the transfiguration. The only thing is, there's absolutely no proof that young Mister Malfoy was responsible for either incident, other than Albus's word."

"Well, who else would have done it?" Potter snapped.

"I didn't cause the accident in Potions!" Scorpius cried. "I wasn't anywhere near it!"

It didn't escape my notice he didn't deny responsibility for transfiguring Potter's son's tongue. I put my hands on his shoulders. "It's okay, Scorpius."

"What, you're just going to believe him?" Potter said.

"I know when my son is lying, Potter," I said. "If he says he didn't cause the accident in Potions, I believe him."

Potter scowled and I turned to face Longbottom.

"Professor Longbottom." Merlin it hurt to say that. "Might I ask why this isn't being dealt with by the Head of Ravenclaw?"

"Professor Flitwick deemed the matter and accusations serious enough to be dealt with by me, Mr Malfoy. Do you have a problem with it?"

"No, not at all, except for the obvious bias."

"I beg your pardon?"

"You yourself said so. There's no proof that Scorpius had anything to do with the explosion in Potions, and yet here he is being accused and attacked. By the Deputy Headmaster, no less, who has personal friendship ties with the accuser's family."

Longbottom frowned. "Mr Malfoy –"

"He tampered with a potion, Malfoy!" Potter interrupted. He might be older, but he certainly isn't any less arrogant or self-righteous. "He could have caused serious harm!"

"That is your son's claim. Did anyone see Scorpius do anything? No, be quiet, Potter –" I snapped when he tried to talk. "Just answer me one thing. If it were any other child sitting in this room now, and not Scorpius, would you be acting like this?"

Potter fumed and didn't answer. I tightened my grip on Scorpius's shoulders.

"The… transfiguration, however, may be another matter," I conceded. It's true that the (unofficial) Slytherin motto is 'Deny everything', but Scorpius is a Ravenclaw, not a Slytherin. He plots revenge like a Slytherin, but for decidedly different reasons. His reasons, I doubted, were very Slytherin in nature. At any rate, Scorpius still stayed silent, so I knew for sure he'd done that. Transfiguration like that is advanced, actually, especially for a first year. I'll have to ask him where he learned it. "I also believe that Scorpius would not do anything unless he was first provoked," I added.

"He did it, I know he did!"

"Albus," Potter said, silencing his little ingrate of a son, and I faced Longbottom.

"Professor Longbottom, perhaps we could try and reach an understanding between the four of us first?"

He looked at me suspiciously and searched my eyes, looking for something, I'm sure. Whatever it was, I guess he found it. "Only if you promise not to destroy my office in the meantime."

"Neville –" Potter protested.

"I have to check on Professor Kingson, Harry. She'll be awake now and can tell me what she thinks happened."

Potter scowled again. I resisted the urge to freeze his face that way, just to prove a point. Longbottom left, leaving myself, Potter, Potter's son, and Scorpius alone in the room. Before the Potters could start whining again, I knelt down in front of Scorpius and forced him to meet my eyes. "Scorpius. Why'd you do transfigure his tongue?"

"Who says I did anything?"

Maybe he should have been Sorted in Slytherin after all. I gave him a tight smile. "All right, then. Let's say you hypothetically did it. If you hypothetically did it, where did the explosion during Potions come into it and what reason would you have had to do it?"

Scorpius glared gloomily at the mini-Potter. "I didn't cause the explosion. And he already had a snake's tongue."

Which meant he just used the explosion as a distraction. "What do you mean?"

"He said I was a mini Death Eater whose own mother left because she hated me so much."

This made Potter Senior blink in what I think was shock. "Albus?"

"That's not true!" Potter's son cried. "I never said that to him –"

"I overheard you talking to Rose, you did so say it!"

"Yeah, but I didn't say it to you –"

Scorpius looked up at me with tearful eyes. "But it's true, isn't it? That's what I hear the other students say when I'm around."

"It is not true!" I half-shouted. I wasn't panicking at all, all right? I wasn't.

"But she did leave because she doesn't love me!"

My panic subsided. Of the things he'd been called, he'd been more hurt by the one about his mother than the one about me. My son knows what I was, but hopefully he also knows who I am now. My relief, I'm sure, was palpable. I'm also pretty sure the Potter dunces were staring like the dunces they were. "No, Scorpius, we've been through this. She does love you, very much. She just isn't…" I sought for a polite way to put it. "…maternal."

I'd have loved to have said, "She's a selfish cow who only thinks about herself and the sooner you understand that the better," but for all her faults Astoria does love her children (in her own way) and her children love her.

Scorpius sniffled and I gave him a brief hug. Just a small one. I got the feeling he didn't want to be hugged by his dad at school in front of Potter.

Potter, in the meantime, had been talking to his own son. When Scorpius faced them again, Potter tapped Albus's shoulder.

"I'm sorry," Albus gritted out, and the snit didn't sound sorry at all.

"Like you mean it, Albus," Potter said.

"I'm sorry I said those things about you and your mum."

Potter looked at me pointedly, so I played along. "Scorpius, your turn."

"I'm sorry I transfigured your tongue into a snake's tongue." He didn't sound sorry at all, either. Oh well.

"And?" I prompted.

"And I won't do it again." Pause. "Unless you deserve it."

Potter rolled his eyes and I sighed, just as the boys started shouting at each other again. Longbottom knocked on the door and poked his head around and gestured for us to come outside. We left the kids to shout.

"How's it going?" Longbottom asked.

"We're sort of making progress," Potter lied. "What does Kingson say?"

Longbottom had the grace to look embarrassed. "She says that Scorpius didn't have anything to do with the explosion. Apparently the rosemary leaves were contaminated and they reacted badly with the other ingredients. I'll check them myself later today because we grow the rosemary potions stock in the greenhouses, but Scorpius is in the clear. There's no way he could have touched them."

"Is it usual for the stock to be contaminated?" Potter asked.

Longbottom looked troubled. "No. Hogwarts hasn't had a recorded incident of potions ingredients contamination since 1967."

I interrupted. "So, Scorpius –"

"All he did was use the explosion as a distraction to transfigure Albus's tongue, yes," Longbottom completed. I suppose asking for an apology on Scorpius's behalf was too much to ask of Saints Potter and Longbottom, so I wasn't going to push my luck. Longbottom continued, "Do you need me, or do you want to continue sorting things out between the four of you?"

I shared a glance with Potter. "I think we're all right."

Longbottom nodded. "Scorpius will still be receiving a few detentions."

Fair enough, I supposed. I went back into the room with Potter where the kids were still shouting and on the verge of physically attacking each other. Potter, I knew, already had his son's wand (he'd been holding it this whole time), so I thought, well, all they need is a good fight to either get over things for good, or get over things until the next fight. The latter, I have to say, is far more likely.

Looks like I'm in for a long seven years.

"Give me your wand," I said to Scorpius.

"What? Why?" He gave me a look of utter betrayal and devastation. (Livia does it better.)

"Just do as I say, please."

He grudgingly handed it over. I pocketed it. "Mr Potter, I propose we leave the boys to reconcile on their own."

"Er."

Here I must wonder if Potter and Weasley learned how to speak English from each other. It would certainly explain why their vocabularies are so very limited.

"But, Dad –" Scorpius said pleadingly. He's just not as good as Livia at that sort of thing.

"I mean it, Scorpius. Make nice. I'll be back in an hour."

"Dad!" Albus cried, but for the first time since meeting him in 1991, Potter was on my side. He shook his head.

"Al, you're going to be sharing a dorm with Scorpius for the next seven years. So, er. Make nice. I'll be back soon."

We left.

Potter looked nervously at the closed door. "What are they going to do?"

I shrugged. "Don't know. Fight it out or something."

"Fight?"

Potter actually squeaks when he's alarmed. It's hilarious. "They'll be fine. Have you seen them? They're skinny as sticks. The most they'll do is leave a couple of bite marks on each other."

He seemed a tad placated by that. We wandered out into the hallway. "Now what?" he asked.

"I'm hungry and I've got an hour. I'm going to the kitchens."

"Oh." He blinked. "Can I join you?"

"…I guess."

We didn't talk on the way to the kitchens. Thank Merlin for that, too; I don't think I can take small talk with Weasley and Potter in the same week. He stayed silent until the House Elves shoved a miniature feast in our hands.

"Familiar sight," he finally said, nodding up in the vague direction of Longbottom's office where hopefully our respective children were not tearing each other apart beyond repair.

"Yeah," I said, and rubbed my forearm. Potter noticed. "Look, about your son's 'mini Death Eater' comment –"

"He didn't get that from home. We're better than that."

All right, fine. Whatever. Maybe his family is better than that and maybe his family isn't – I don't really care. "If that's the case, then I doubt your son came up with it on his own, but –"

"He knows better than that, too. He'll get an earful from Ginny, that's for sure. He probably overheard one of the other students say it." Potter shook his head. "S'not fair to Scorpius, really. Kids can be cruel."

They can be, and I'm certainly not helping. I'd known what Scorpius might be facing at Hogwarts when he started. For all my work healing the Malfoy family name, there's not much I can do about my public image. You'd think that people would not judge the child for the father's crimes, but… no such luck, I guess.

"You know as well as I do that I don't exactly have many friends, Potter," I said.

It's true.

Nineteen years – you'd think that after trying so hard to reintegrate with society that I'd find a few people I could call friends. I have acquaintances, certainly; but they're mostly business partners, and none of them ever seek me out for company or leisure. I'm not a fool – I know why no-one wants to be close to Draco Malfoy, unless it's for monetary purposes. Still, nineteen years is a long time to go without having someone to call a friend.

Weasley's about the closest I've gotten to an actual friend in a long time.

…Oh, I feel dirty for writing that.

But back on track. When I said that, Potter looked at me with a hint of pity. That was the last thing I wanted, but I didn't pick a fight over it as much as I wanted to. I'm not a kid anymore, for Merlin's sake. Thankfully he didn't keep talking, and we ate in silence until the hour was up.

It was nothing short of awkward and I shall never do it again.

By the time we got back to the office, Scorpius and Albus were making nice. Or pretending to, at least. They were both still scowling, though somewhat half-heartedly, and Scorpius had a swollen lip and Albus had a bite mark on his hand, but otherwise they were playing a passive-aggressive game of Exploding Snap. Longbottom was there as well, having returned to check up on things.

"Do either of you need to go to the Hospital Wing?" he said to the boys.

"No," they chorused glumly.

"All right, then. You'll both be receiving detentions with Professor Flitwick for three days."

"What?" Albus yelped. He sounds like Potter when he does that – it's more of a squeak. Hilarious. "Why me?"

"What you said about Scorpius wasn't nice. Hogwarts does not condone bullying, Albus. Now, back to class, please, boys."

Albus started to sulk. He doesn't pout nearly half as well as Livia. No-one would fall for his look in a million years. "Bye, Dad."

Potter handed his son's wand back the same time I handed Scorpius's back. "I'll be telling your mother about this, you know."

"Dad…"

"Don't 'Dad' me, mister. Now, off you go. I'll write soon. Take care, Albus."

Albus shot another nasty look at Scorpius, which Scorpius returned, before walking away.

"You too, Mister Malfoy," Longbottom said. "I believe you have Transfiguration now."

Fitting, really. Before Scorpius could leave, he was joined by a student. Well, I say he was joined by a student, but I really mean the student approached me first. Red, messy curly hair and freckles. No need to guess who she was.

"Excuse me, Mr Malfoy?" she said, and I nodded. "I'm Rose Weasley."

"Oh." I blinked. "Oh! Yes. Hello. Scorpius has told me about you."

We shook hands.

"Hi, Uncle Harry!" she said to him.

"Hi, Rose, how are you?"

"I'll be better in a second." She turned and punched Scorpius's arm.

"Ow! What was that for?"

"That was for giving my cousin a snake's tongue." She pulled a face. "You're really creepy, Scorpius."

Scorpius scowled. "And you're as charming as ever."

She grinned. "Don't mention it. Now come on! We've got class!"

"Bye, Dad! And, er, nice to meet you, Mr Potter!" he added.

"Yeah, you… too…" Potter said, not that Scorpius heard him because he'd already shot off with Rose Weasley. "Huh."

I had a headache by that stage. I think I still have it. "I could really do with an ice cream."

Potter gave me a funny look. "Er."

I ignored him and went and got myself some ice cream.

It had been a long bloody week. Shut up.

 



Chapter 5: correspondence II

October 1, 2017

Dear Scorpius,

I hope you're well and that you and young Mister Potter have reconciled, if only to the point where you are no longer transfiguring tongues. How are your friends and how are your classes proceeding? I hear from your teacher that you are excelling in Transfiguration.

It may interest you to know that Livia has made close friends with Rose's younger brother, Hugo. I do have to wonder and despair about both your tastes in colour. Will I have to change the upholstery?

Livia misses you (as do I) and she looks forward to seeing you at Christmas.

Your mother has sent a gift from Bulgaria; I have enclosed it in the attached parcel. Be sure to write to her yourself and thank her.

Love,

Your father


October 19, 2017

Dear Dad,

Well, Albus Potter isn't as much of a twat as he used to be, but he's still a bit of a twat. He thinks the same of me, though, so it's even. He helps me with my Potions homework and I help him with Transfiguration because he's absolute rubbish. I'm really good at Transfiguration! I'm even better than Rose, and she's the best at everything. I beat her in our last Transfiguration test and she was furious. Anyway, Rose hangs around with us a lot and she makes us stop fighting if we start.

Lorcan is pretty good. Still weird, but he says the funniest things. I ask him questions now just to see what he says. The other day I asked him what was his favourite class, and he said, "Favourite? That's terribly subjective, Scorpius Hyperion." (He calls me that all the time.) "Asking me to choose a favourite subject would imply I hold one in higher regard than the others; are they not all equal in terms of practicality? It would be simply awful of me to discriminate."

But I think he was teasing me because he later said to me that he likes Charms the best. His brother Lysander is way less weird – he's in Gryffindor and hangs around Rose (and now me). He keeps going on about travelling and exploring and going on adventures.

I was actually thinking about staying at Hogwarts for Christmas. I mean, if you want me to come home, I will – I miss you and Livia as well – but Rose and Lorcan and Lysander and Albus are staying for the holidays and apparently Christmas at Hogwarts is really good. I haven't made my mind up though.

I've written to mum already to say thanks for the gift. It was Bulgarian chocolate. I shared it with my friends and Albus.

Sorry for the late reply, by the way – I got a bit busy with school.

Love,

Scorpius


October 28, 2017

Dear Scorpius,

I'm glad to see you and Albus Potter are getting along. Rose Weasley sounds like the voice of reason in your little group; unsurprising, I suppose, as she seems to take after her mother in many aspects.

If you wish to remain at Hogwarts for Christmas, you may. Livia and I will miss you, but if you would like to stay with your friends instead she understands. Christmas at Hogwarts is quite the occasion, at any rate; you'll enjoy it. Until then, enjoy Halloween at Hogwarts – the decorations and feasts are very impressive.

Love,

Your father


November 5, 2017

Dear Dad,

I think I'm definitely staying at Hogwarts for Christmas, but I'll be home again for the next holidays, I promise! I'll have Rose for company, and Lorcan and Lysander. (And Albus Potter.)

Things have been a bit scary at school, ever since Halloween. (Halloween was really cool, by the way.) Three students in the school are in the Hospital Wing and everyone says they were poisoned! But Professor Longbottom told us in Herbology that they just got food poisoning and that they'll be fine in no time.

Love,

Scorpius


December 2, 2017

Dear Hugo,

How are you? I hope you are well. I am well.

Do you want to come over to my house for Christmas? There'll be lots of food and decorations and stuff and you're my friend so I think you should come over.

Love from Livia


December 3, 2017

dear Livia,

Im well too. I just got back from paris with my mum and dad! It was all french and stuff. The eyeful tower was kind of cool.

shure I want to come to your place for Christmas! I asked mum and dad and they were all funny about it and said they wernt shure but I like you so Im coming any way. Shud I bring food as well? im not very good at cooking tho.

love,

Hugo


December 4, 2017

Dear Mr Weasley and Mrs Granger-Weasley,

It has come to my attention that my daughter Livia invited Hugo to join us for Christmas. I was unaware of the initial invitation but she is very insistent, so I thought it best to make it a formal invitation and ask your permission first. We would be happy to have Hugo with us for Christmas.

If you already have prior plans or are uncomfortable with the invitation, I'm sure Livia will understand.

Regards,

Draco Malfoy


December 4, 2017

Dear Mr Malfoy,

I must admit, your letter came as quite a surprise. I understand that Hugo and Livia have become close friends and her invitation to him was rather sweet. Thank you for the formal invitation; unfortunately, we already have plans for Christmas, and so we must decline on Hugo's behalf.

In light of their friendship, however, we would like to instead extend our own invitation for you and Livia to join us. For Christmas Eve we are going to go on the London Eye in Muggle London. We're going to purchase tickets soon, so please let us know. Hugo would be delighted to have her.

Sincerely,

Hermione Granger-Weasley


December 6, 2017

Dear Mrs Granger-Weasley,

Thank you for your letter and your invitation. I asked Livia if she preferred your proposed arrangement and she was very insistent upon it. I don't know what the London Eye is and I have never been to Muggle London, thus I insist upon accompanying her. Please let me know the price of the tickets so I may reimburse you as soon as is possible.

Regards,

Draco Malfoy


December 22, 2017

Dear Dad,

Christmas at Hogwarts is brilliant! The decorations are incredible, even better than the ones for Halloween.

Is it true that you're actually going to Muggle London on Christmas Eve? I heard through Rose who heard from her parents. That's so cool. You have to tell me what Muggle London is like.

Merry Christmas!

Love,

Scorpius

PS: Do you know anything about something called "Flight from Death"?


December 23, 2017

Dear Scorpius,

I thought you'd like it. I myself only had one Christmas at Hogwarts; I usually returned home, but the one Christmas I did have at Hogwarts was rather spectacular. I'm glad you are enjoying it and spending it with your friends.

It's true that I'm going to Muggle London. It is, of course, against my better judgement and desires, but the Weasley family extended an invitation to something called the "London Eye" to Livia and myself for Christmas Eve. Of course, your sister seems to be dedicated to making me lose as much hair as I can before I hit the age of forty, so she made me accept. I suspect I shall dislike it, but Livia is excited. She'll probably tell you all about it.

Merry Christmas, son. I hope you have a good day on the 25th, and I hope you like your presents.

Love,

Your father

PS: Flight from Death was a revivalist Death Eater group that was active some years ago. Why? Has someone asked you about them?


December 25, 2017

Dear Scorpius,

Merry Christmas! I hope you are having a good time at Hogwarts. I spent last night in Muggle London with Hugo and his family! We went to something called the London Eye and it is really hard to explain what it is but it was really really big and we got in a small carriage thing except sort of wasn't a carriage. And it lifted us all the way up to the top of this round big thing and we could see all over Muggle London! Mrs Granger-Weasley (Hugo's mum) said it moved by something called teknologee which is like magic for Muggles I think. And then we saw fireworks! It was really pretty.

(Don't tell, but I think Daddy had a good time even though he pretended he didn't.)

Thank you for the present, it's really nice! Did you make it yourself? I hope you like my present!

Love from Livia


January 5, 2018

Dear Mr Malfoy,

This letter is to inform you that your son, Scorpius, has received three nights of detention with me. He and Albus Potter were found in the Restricted section of the library last night.

Regards,

Professor Flitwick, Head of Ravenclaw


January 5, 2018

Potter,

It seems our respective sons have received detention again. How they managed to do that only two days back into the school term is beyond me. Apparently they were found in the restricted area of the library in the middle of the night. Sound familiar?

At any rate, I'm concerned about Scorpius. Has your son asked you about the Flight from Death group? Scorpius asked me what I knew about them in his last letter but didn't tell me why he was asking.

D. Malfoy


January 5, 2018

Malfoy,

At least they didn't get the detentions for fighting, I suppose. And are you implying that I'm a bad influence? Don't you dare tell me it wasn't your influence and that you didn't sneak out at night, because I know you did.

Albus already knows a bit about the Flight from Death group because of my work with the Aurors. FD were neutralised ten years ago by my Auror team. There was some recent suspected revival activity last year, but that was just a false alarm. FD is still spoken of, though – Albus tells me it's a sensationalist story that travels around Hogwarts. If you're concerned that people are accusing Scorpius of having ties to the group, just bring it to Neville Longbottom's attention. Otherwise, I'm sure he's just curious.

H. Potter


January 6, 2018

Dear Scorpius,

I'm not exactly impressed with your ability to earn detentions with the startling frequency you seem to be collecting them with. If you must venture out at night (with Albus Potter?) then take measures to not get caught. If you aren't caught, you cannot be punished. What were you doing in the Restricted section of the library, anyway?

Love,

Your father

PS: You never replied to my last letter. Why were you asking about the Flight from Death group?


January 7, 2018

Dear Dad,

We almost weren't caught. We just opened a book that started screaming and then Professor Kingson who was on rounds caught us and sent us to Professor Flitwick. We weren't looking for anything in particular, we just wanted to go to the Restricted section. Honest! I'm sorry, Dad. I won't do it again. (Well, I won't get caught again.) Anyway, Rose told me off for breaking the rules already.

Love,

Scorpius

PS: No reason. I just heard other students talking about them at school.


February 19, 2018

Malfoy,

Not to alarm you or anything, but are you by any chance missing a daughter? Livia is hiding in the back of my shop. She seems to be okay but she won't come out. Has something happened?

R. Weasley




Chapter 6: from the journal of draco malfoy IV

December 24, 2017

So.

Muggle London.

It was… different.

Okay, fine. It was somewhat enjoyable. It wasn't terrible, by any means. I mean, it was full of Muggles, but it wasn't bad. Not really.

We all met up in Diagon Alley. Granger told me ahead of time to wear a shirt and pants and a coat so that I'd look like a Muggle. Bad enough, of course, but I managed to pull it off in my normal attire minus my wizard's cloak. They didn't comment on it so I suppose I must have done all right.

Granger hadn't met Livia before, but there was never any question of her liking my daughter because Livia makes everyone like her. It's the smile, I'm sure.

"Hello, Livia," Granger said. "My name is Hermione. I'm Hugo's mother."

Livia gave her the best disarming smile she has. "It's nice to meet you, Mrs Granger-Weasley!"

I make it a point to teach my children manners.

Granger smiled. "You can call me 'Hermione' if you like. I'm so glad you're here," she said, then let Livia go to chatter excitedly about Muggles with Hugo. (I swear, sometimes the only reason I know she's my daughter is because of her hair. That platinum blonde has 'Malfoy' written all over it.) "Thank you for coming. Hugo is delighted she's here."

I bowed my head. "Thank you for inviting Livia. She's very excited."

Weasley grinned at his wife, then smirked at me. "And what about you?"

"I'm chaperoning."

When they thought I wasn't looking, Weasley whispered something to Granger and she chuckled and nodded. I'm sure they were talking about me. And then it was me, my daughter, Ronald Weasley, Hermione Granger, and their son, in Muggle London. It was awkward.

I wonder if we're ever going to talk about our school years. This is the first time in nineteen years I've had much of anything to do with Potter and Weasley and Granger, and now it looks like I inevitably will have a lot to do with them over the next seven years, at least. I can't say I'm looking forwards to any talk. Thankfully we didn't talk tonight; I let Livia be with Hugo and his parents and I walked behind them trying to avoid eye contact with the Muggles. (Not that they'd have noticed me; a lot of them had these white things with cables in their ears. Eyepods, Granger calls them. Why they're called that, I've no idea, because as far as I could see they didn't have anything to do with eyes. Wouldn't Earpods be more accurate? Muggles are ridiculous.) I doubted Weasley or Granger were keen on my presence or had anything in particular to say to me.

Muggle London, at any rate, is very different to the Wizarding world. It's very metal, for one thing. I've never been there before. I'm not sure what I was expecting. I always thought Muggles were primitive, and still walked around in villages like it was the Medieval period or something. There are cars everywhere, and people were talking into small things. Granger says that the Wizarding world, in comparison, looks like it was frozen in time during the Victorian era; while we had magic and stopped developing (not that we need to because magic does almost everything we need it to do), the Muggles kept on advancing to make up for the magic they don't have.

I'm still a bit dubious about that, though.

It's hard to explain what the London Eye was. It was this really, really big round thing with carriages on it and it goes around in a circle and… I sound stupid. Granger said it's a ferris wheel? It's apparently one of the most popular tourist attractions in Muggle Europe. Admittedly, I can see why.

"This is safe, isn't it?" I murmured when we were halfway up. I'm still not sure how it was moving without magic.

"Of course it is," Weasley said. "I've been on this four times already."

The view was quite beautiful, I admit. Very beautiful. Muggle London is massive. Livia loved it, I could tell. She had her nose pressed up against the glass and kept on asking Hugo questions and holding his hand. That, I confess, was adorable.

That doesn't mean I don't think red clashes horribly with platinum blonde. Because it does.

"It's nice that they're friends," Granger said to me.

"Mmm."

Granger, dare I say, looked smug. I changed the subject.

"So this is like… flying?" I asked. "But for Muggles?"

Granger laughed. "No. This is just for fun." She looked up and pointed out of the window at something in the sky. "That is flying for Muggles."

"And what is that?"

"That's an aeroplane. Muggles can't ride on broomsticks or Apparate but they need some way to travel all over the world. So years ago they started to construct large metal… ships, if you will, which are capable of flying. They sit inside it."

I pointed at the thing in the sky. It looked like a bird. "That's metal."

"Yes. It's a lot bigger than it looks from here."

I squinted at the aeroplane. "How does it fly if it's metal and they don't have magic?"

"Technology. I don't know the specifics, unfortunately – that was never my forte. But aeroplanes are capable of carrying hundreds of people all at once for thousands of miles, up in the sky, all over the world."

"But…"

It still doesn't make sense. I concede it is somewhat impressive.

We stayed in Muggle London until night fell. It was cold by that stage, but Granger wouldn't let me cast a warming charm because of how close we were to Muggles. They have something called indoor heating, though, which is like a warming charm but without magic. It's sort of, well, not amazing that they can do what we can without magic. It's interesting, maybe. Not amazing.

Anyway.

At the end of the night, I thanked Weasley and Granger again. They seemed amused for some reason, if not downright triumphant that they managed to drag Draco Malfoy to Muggle London for an evening. It'll be the gossip of next week, I can tell.

As for Livia:

"Daddy, can we come again sometime? Please?"

"I – what?"

"Please please please?"

"Oka- wait, what? No! I mean –"

"You said okay! You have to take me again, Daddy, you said okay!"

"No I didn't! Livia –"

So now I'm going to end up travelling to Muggle London again in the foreseeable future. How I get myself into these things, I have no idea…

It wasn't too bad, I suppose.

Later

I liked the fireworks.


January 7, 2018

I'm concerned about Scorpius. What is he asking about the Flight from Death movement for? If other students are accusing him or me about having ties with the group, I'll have no choice but to write to Flitwick and ask him to keep an eye on Scorpius. Scorpius will hate that but I don't want him targeted because of my own past. I never had ties with the Flight from Death group; they were underground and didn't seek me out, thank Merlin. I think because at the very end my family walked away from the Dark Lord? At any rate, it troubles me. If Potter says they're gone, though, I think it'll be okay.

At least Scorpius has Rose Weasley. And the Scamander brothers, if his letters are to go by. And Albus Potter now? That's a surprise. Speaking of, what were they doing in the Restricted section of the library? Just in there because he wanted to go, my arse. They were up to no good, obviously – I just hope theyknow what they're doing.

Later

I don't believe this. I can't find my wand again. This is the eighth time in two months it's gone missing! I hope I'm not going senile.

Later again

The guest bathroom. What in the name of Slytherin was it doing in the guest bathroom?

January 13, 2018

I heard from Weasley that apparently a few more kids have been sent to the Hospital Wing due to food poisoning. Which is ridiculous, mind you – Hogwarts food does not give people food poisoning. Although I heard from Theodore Nott that he's started to send food packages to his children, just in case. Maybe I should do something similar for Scorpius? Until this food poisoning thing passes, I'm not sure I'm keen on him eating beef. There was that Mad Cow thing that the Muggles had in the 90s and some Wizarding households were affected. Hopefully it isn't that.

I'll tell him not to eat the meat.

January 26, 2018

I think it must be the House Elves who keep moving my wand. I told Rinnie to stop touching it. She says they weren't, but it's all very suspicious. I shall have to keep a closer eye on her and the others.

Later

Speaking of the House Elves, I might have to give them a higher wage now that Granger seems to be part of my social circle. And I never thought I'd say that.

February 15, 2018

I'm not freaking out. I'm not freaking out. I'm not freaking out.

Later

I took Livia to Hogwarts today. I just went in to speak to Flitwick about Scorpius's progress at school – he's fine, by the way, very good at Transfiguration and sort of getting along with Potter's son – and I had to take Livia with me because mother is out of the country and Daphne is busy with her own children.

I left her in the hallway outside Flitwick's office. It was Hogwarts, so of course she'd be fine. I was only in there for ten minutes. I wasn't even going to see Scorpius – no kid wants their father to turn up at school to see how they are, besides, I think he was in class. I asked about the food poisoning but Flitwick says the situation is being handled. Anyway, that's not important. When I came out of the office, Livia was still waiting in the hallway and the Bloody Baron was next to her.

"…and you must be the young Malfoy girl! Livia, wasn't it?"

Livia didn't reply. She didn't even look at him.

"Well, I say! How rude. Aren't you going to answer me, girl?"

Still nothing. I was frozen where I was, and I watched as the Baron waved his hand in front of Livia's face. She just looked straight through him as though he wasn't there. Didn't react. Didn't do anything.

The Baron sighed and shook his head sadly. "Terrible shame. Absolutely tragic." He caught sight of me and shook his head again. "Oh, Mr Malfoy," the Baron said. "I doubt I'll be seeing this one around these halls."

And then he floated away.

Livia just stood there, completely oblivious. When she saw me, she brightened and gave me one of her most charming smiles, then faltered when she saw my face. I wonder what I must have looked like. Death warmed up. I felt like it. Still do.

"Are you okay, Daddy?"

I managed to talk again. "Yes, I'm fine, sweetie. Come on. Let's go home."

She took my hand that certainly was not shaking and we didn't say anything. She knows something's wrong but I can't tell her, not yet. Does she know? Surely she knows.

She can't see or hear ghosts.

She can't see or hear ghosts.




Chapter 7: from the journal of draco malfoy V

February 16, 2018

I couldn't sleep last night. I couldn't stop thinking.

I've been denying it for too long.

She's eight years old. It's been heard of that some children don't express magical ability until a late age. But this? This is… this is too late.

She can't see ghosts.

In a dark corner of the Malfoy crypt, ignored by generations of my family who would rather forget, there are a number of small tombs where Malfoy children have been laid to rest. I went down there once, when I was nineteen, a year after the War. As it turned out I had a brother. An older one. He died a few months after I was born, and my parents never told me. When I asked them after finding his grave – Orion Malfoy, his name was – they told me he died from a fall down the stairs. Six years old.

Falling down the stairs – bullshit. I fell down the stairs at the age of four and came out uninjured; not only because my accidental magic cushioned the fall, but also because of the permanent charms my grandfather put on the staircase decades earlier to prevent such a thing happening. There's only one reason why a Malfoy child would die from a "fall down the stairs" at the age of six, and it's something that Malfoys just aren't supposed to talk about because Malfoys aren't supposed to be Squibs.

I saw Livia today. All those times my wand was going missing? I wasn't misplacing it and it wasn't the House Elves moving it, Livia was takingit. She's probably been doing this months. I found her in the corner of the old, unused drawing room, hidden in the shadows, face tense with tears and fear and desperation. She was shouting "Lumos!" over and over again.

Nothing happened.

She started crying but I didn't go in. She didn't know I was there but still, I left her alone, crying, because I don't know what to do.

Scorpius could produce a proper Lumos charm by the age of five. Livia hasn't shown any signs of accidental magic. I thought maybe she was just a late bloomer, but she can't see ghosts. I can't ignore this anymore.

Later

I went back to Hogwarts just now and made the Headmaster show me the list of future students.

She's not on it.

Oh, Merlin. Livia.

I don't know what to do.

Later again

I wish Astoria were here.

Later again

No, I don't. I don't even know what she'd say to Livia. I don't know what she'd do. She hates Squibs.

I just want someone to talk to.

Later again

I can't disown her. She's eight.

She's my daughter.

Merlin, I can't think. I want to ask mother what to do but I already know what she and my father did with the last Malfoy Squib and I am notdoing that to Livia, I feel sick just thinking about it. I swore to myself that I wouldn't be like my father. I swore that I'd love my kids no matter what, and –

[rest of the entry unintelligible; ink ruined by tears]

February 17, 2018

I was up all night researching. Just got back from the Ministry of Magic. There's something called the Society for the Support of Squibs but it mostly seems to be made up of a dozen or so middle-aged Squibs who sit in a circle and talk about themselves.

There was a pamphlet though, which I'm sticking in this journal.


SO YOUR CHILD IS A SQUIB!

What is a Squib?

A Squib is a non-magical person with two magical parents. They are very rare.

Can my child ever learn magic?

Unfortunately not, but they are capable of brewing some easy potions!

Can my child go to Hogwarts?

Hogwarts does not accept non-magical children. They can be accepted as janitorial staff at Hogwarts upon reaching the legal age of an adult (17 in the Wizarding world, 18 in the Muggle world). They can also be accepted as a member of staff, such as a Muggle Studies teacher!

What are the options for my child?

There are plenty of options for a Squib in the magical world! Education and career opportunities lie in the Muggle world, but in the magical world Squibs can become secretaries, or cleaning staff, or if they're really ambitious, a Muggle Studies specialist, or more!


Merlin's saggy left testicle, what complete and utter tripe.


February 18, 2018

Screw this. I'm going to talk to Granger.

Later

I wasn't kidding. I, Draco Malfoy, went to Hermione Granger-Weasley for help.

That was a few hours ago. I'm back home now, and it's not really the 18th anymore, it's the 19th (well past 1 a.m.). But, whatever. The point is, I went to her for help. Survival skills, I have them.

"I need to talk to you," I said when she opened the door. I could have been politer, I suppose. She was in her nightgown and her hair looked like a rat's nest (nothing new there). I must have woken her up.

"Malfoy?" She blinked. "It's almost midnight."

"I know, I'm sorry, it's just – it's urgent. Please." I would have stooped to begging if that was what it would have taken. I'm not an idiot. I know what I did to her during school. I know what I was like. Granger has the memory of an elephant. We might have been playing nice before because of the kids, but I needed her help and I couldn't let her turn me away. Begging was not beneath me for this. Livia is worth it.

Granger rubbed her eyes. "Mmph. What's this about?"

"It's about Livia."

Granger likes Livia. I know she does, because she wouldn't stop smiling at her with Hugo on the London Eye. Granger forced herself to be a little more awake. "Come in." She stood aside and led into the house. "What about Livia? Is she all right?"

"No. I mean, yes, but, no – I mean –" I remember I choked and buried my face in my hands. "I don't know what to do."

"You don't know what to do about what? Malfoy, you're not making any sense. Sit down." She forced me into a chair. What is it about Weasleys and forcing me into sitting down? "I'll make some tea."

So I sat and didn't hyperventilate and waited for her to come back.

It was a nice cup of tea. She made me drink it before talking. I must have looked like I was on the edge of a nervous breakdown. I felt like it.

"Ron's asleep," she said while filling my cup again. "Nothing short of an earthquake could wake him up now."

"Oh."

She sipped her tea. "All right. Livia. What's wrong?"

"She's a Squib."

I guess I could have been more tactful about blurting that out, but frankly I think I was dealing with this quite well, considering. You know, realising my daughter is a Squib and drinking tea with Hermione Granger in a Weasley household at midnight. It's not every day I can write that sentence.

Granger frowned. "How do you know she's non-magical? Maybe she's just late in expressing magical ability –"

"She can't see ghosts. She's been stealing my wand over the past few months and practicing with it. Nothing happens when she tries. I saw her a few nights ago." I wiped my eyes, not that I was concerned about crying in front of Granger. Bit late for that and all. "I checked with Hogwarts. She's not on the list of future students."

"All right. So she's non-magical." She sipped her tea. Calmly. How was it possible for her to be calm? "Have you talked to her already?"

"No."

She looked at me warily. "What do you plan on doing with her?"

"I don't know! It's not as though she can go to Hogwarts! And that stupid pamphlet I looked at basically said she can be a janitor if she wants to stay in the Wizarding world." I choked into my cup of tea. It was very refined.

"I know the Blacks disowned any Squibs in their family."

"Malfoys didn't disown Squib children," I said. I'm sure I sounded bitter. Granger looked confused, so I elaborated, "They all tragically fell down staircases."

I probably could have expressed it in a more discreet manner, in hindsight. Maybe even not said it at all. Because that was murder, what I told her about. My family has been murdering non-magical children for generations. My own parents killed a child because he didn't express magical ability. They acted ashamed when I asked them about Orion, all those years ago. I have to wonder if they were ashamed that they had a Squib for a child or ashamed they killed a child. I mean, they never outright admitted what they did, but it was obvious. I hope, beyond everything, that they were ashamed they killed him. My father did terrible things, I know, but this is all hitting me really hard right now and I'm not sure what to think. Because I was originally the spare child. That's how it used to work in those days; an heir and a spare. Orion Malfoy was the original Malfoy heir, the child my parents would have pinned all their hopes on and doted upon and loved. I was the spare in case he didn't turn out the way they wanted him to. And he didn't, did he? So they murdered him, because of social status, because of shame, because of the Dark Lord, I don't know. I became the heir instead.

If I didn't show magical abilities, I'd have gone exactly the same way. Because father could get away with that, in the past. They all could. And no-one said anything because even the bloody Ministry looked down on Squibs and continue to. Did anyone care that Orion Malfoy died suddenly and suspiciously? Or did everyone know he was a Squib, which made it okay for no-one to talk about him and made it okay for them to pretend the Malfoy heir died tragically instead of living as a disowned Malfoy Squib, forever bringing shame upon the family?

Granger pressed a hand to her mouth in horror. Don't blame her, really.

"Why did you come here, Draco?" she whispered.

"For help!" I cried. "I'm not about to push her down a staircase, she's my daughter, but I don't know what to do!" Except I think it came out more like "I d-don't know what –sob– to dooo." I'm eloquent that way.

She stared at me, and I stared at her. And then she hugged me.

And. Well. I let her.

When she pulled back, she smiled at me. "You look awful, Malfoy."

"Thanks."

"When did you last sleep?"

"…Um." Looking back through the entries, I don't think I've slept since the 14th.

"If you have to think about it then it's been too long. Go home and get some rest, Draco."

She gazed at me with sympathy. And, okay. Fine. Yes, it felt nice to have her sympathy and understanding because Merlin knows neither Livia nor I will get much of it from other wizards. And it's not as though I even deserve hers.

She's a better person than I am.

"We can talk again tomorrow, all right?"

Which was fair enough. We're going to talk tomorrow afternoon (technically today's afternoon) and she's going to get some information on Muggle schools or something. The point is, I'm not alone, and neither is Livia.

I'm going to sleep now. It's well after 2 a.m. and it's now the 19th, and I'm not going to help anything, least of all Livia, by staying up more.

Later again

I lied. Not on purpose. I just still can't sleep.

I have to write this down for posterity's sake. There will be a future in the Wizarding world for Livia, even if it's the last damn thing I do. I've had to adjust my whole life around this society to accept Muggleborns and Gryffindors and Merlin knows what else. How dare they turn around and say that the only thing my daughter – my Malfoy, Pureblood daughter – can only amount to is a janitor? If I can alter my life to fit them, then the bloody Wizarding world can accept my daughter as a Squib.

I'll fucking make them do it if they don't.


February 19, 2018

Never thought I'd say this, but thank Merlin for Weasley.

To clarify: I overslept this morning, making up for lost sleep this week. When I woke up I went in search of Livia with every intention of sitting her down to talk. Except she was nowhere in sight and wouldn't answer me when I called her name. I called for the House Elf instead.

"Rinnie! Have you seen Livia?"

"M-Mistress Livia has gone, sir," she stammered.

"What do you mean gone?"

The House Elf cowered. "Mistress Livia is getting up early these mornings, sir. She is borrowing your wand sometimes, sir, from your office. She is upset, Mistress Livia is! She is running away before Rinnie can stop her."

My office, where I left this journal and that forsaken pamphlet in plain sight.

I've done stupid things in the past. This would be near the top of the list when it comes to me being a really bad and stupid parent.

Livia's smart. More than smart – she's brilliant. I mightn't have ever told her about the brother I could have had growing up, or the other 'shameful' Malfoy children in the cold forgotten corner of the family crypt, but I have no doubt she knows. She knows every inch of the house, so why shouldn't she have seen the crypt? She's well read. She knows who I was, and who my parents were. She knows what happens to Squibs. She knows the Malfoy family history. Or if she didn't know before then she certainly knows now because I'm a stupid idiot who can't put things away.

I hope she also knows I would never, ever, throw her down a staircase, or disown her. She's smart, but she's also a scared eight-year-old girl whose mother left only a few months ago because she couldn't handle being a mother anymore. I'm all Livia has. She ran because she was frightened. I hope I didn't done that to her, make her feel afraid of me.

Anyway. Before I could panic, I got an owl and a letter from Weasley. I'll say what I will about his vocabulary and the colour of his hair; he had amazing timing. I went by Floo. I don't think I could have Disapparated. The way I was, I probably would have left an arm behind.

"She's in the back," Weasley said quietly when I entered his junk shop. He grabbed my arm. "Hey. What's happened?"

"It's complicated." I rubbed my eyes. "Thanks for letting me know she's here."

"S'okay. Malfoy –"

"Later," I said, and I went into the back room. True to Weasley's word, Livia was in the back, sitting on the floor with her back to the wall, and hugging her knees. She didn't look up when I entered, and she didn't say anything either. I sat down next to her and waited.

"I'm not going to Hogwarts, am I," she said eventually.

"I don't think so, Livia."

She shook. "I'm sorry, Daddy," she whispered, and hugged her knees tighter.

I put my arm around her shoulders and held her close. I'm not ashamed to admit I was crying. "It's not your fault, sweetie."

She started crying as well.

"Hey. Hey." She wouldn't look at me. "You're still my little girl, okay? Look at me, Livia. Okay? You're my daughter and I love you."

"Even though I'm a –"

"Even though. I don't care. You know I love you, right?"

I meant it. I meant it. I meant every single damn word I said to her, a hundred times over. I held her as she sobbed. It felt like hours but I'm sure it was just minutes.

"I spoke to Mrs Granger-Weasley last night," I said when she calmed down. "She said she'd help out."

Livia wiped her nose on her sleeve. (And I know she has a handkerchief.) "Help out how?"

"I don't know. Probably with finding a Muggle school. That sort of stuff." I dropped a kiss on her forehead then stood up and held out a hand. "Come on."

She looked up at me. "Where are we going?"

I shrugged. "To get some ice cream?"

She took my hand and I helped her up. "It's a bit cold for ice cream."

"All right, then. Hot chocolate?"

Weasley didn't say anything to us on our way out, but the look he gave me told me that he knew what was going now. I guess Granger must have told him via Floo. I nodded once, and took Livia to a small cafe in Diagon Alley for hot chocolate. We didn't talk much.

It's afternoon now. She's getting changed and ready to meet with Granger as I write this.

While I'm waiting…

I was frightened, these last few days.

I always swore to myself that I'd love my kids no matter what. I never considered the possibility that one might be non-magical. I mean, yes, I think I suspected before about Livia, but when I realised for sure Livia doesn't have magic… I was terrified for a moment that maybe I really was like my father. That I wouldn't love her. But I'm really not my father, am I?

I don't doubt my father loved me, but I think he loved me because I was magical and could be a Malfoy heir, not because I was his son. At least, at the start. I think he loved me as son after the War. Too little, too late, for Orion. But that was who Lucius Malfoy was. I loved him, but it doesn't mean I have to be like him.

I love Livia because she's my daughter.

Livia Malfoy is a Squib. But she's still my Pureblooded, cunning, Slytherin Malfoy daughter. Magic or no magic.




Chapter 8: correspondence III

February 21, 2018

Dear Draco,

I hope you found the booklets I gave you helpful. If you plan to let Livia begin Muggle education in the new school year, she will need to catch up on the present curriculum.

Your cover story is to be that she's been home schooled her whole life, but since you and Astoria divorced you need more time to work and earn money to provide for your children's educations. I've enclosed in the attached parcel some Muggle exercise books to help her get up to speed on Muggle education. If she needs help, you can contact me.

We didn't speak much about it last time, but I'll warn you that now you'll be coming into contact with Muggles on a frequent basis, you need to become acquainted with Muggle life. I'm happy to help you and Livia out with that.

Sincerely,

Hermione Granger-Weasley


February 22, 2018

Dear Mrs Granger-Weasley,

Thank you for the books. Livia has started one already and seems to be enjoying it, although I do wonder why Muggles think counting matchsticks helps with learning addition and multiplication.

As for becoming acquainted with Muggle life, don't think I can't see you and your husband smirking. I get the feeling you're enjoying this more than is absolutely necessary. Nevertheless, Livia and I accept your help and duly thank you.

Regards,

Draco Malfoy


February 23, 2018

Dear Dad,

Is it true? That Livia's a Squib, I mean? Why didn't you tell me? I had to hear from Albus Potter who heard it from Lorcan who heard it from Lysander who heard it from Orlando Nott who heard it from the older Slytherins who heard it from the Bloody Baron. Now the whole school is talking about it!

Scorpius


February 24, 2018

Dear Scorpius,

Yes, it's true, although we prefer to use the term 'non-magical'. I apologise I didn't tell you earlier – things have been a little chaotic lately, as I'm sure you've guessed.

I don't remember the Bloody Baron being quite so loud-mouthed about things. I had hoped for Livia's condition to be kept private, at least for the meantime. I'm hoping that Livia will have you full support, Scorpius – she's very upset that she won't be attending Hogwarts. Rose's mother has agreed to help us find a Muggle school for her to attend instead. If you have the time, please write to your sister.

Love,

Your father


February 25, 2018

Dear Livia,

I heard about you being non-magical. Sucks and all, I guess. But, you know, you're still my little sister and I still love you and everything. Write to me anytime, okay?

Love,

Scorpius


March 3, 2018

dear Livia,

mum and dad say you won't go to Hogwarts because your a muggle. I'm sorry you arent coming. I wanted to be in the same house as you, maybe Gryffindoor or Slytherin. But muggles are funny and mum says there really smart so I guess you will have fun.

do you want to come to my place next week to play?

from Hugo


March 4, 2018

Dear Hugo,

I wanted to be in the same House as you too but I don't think you're much of a Slytherin and I am not much of a Gryffindor. Maybe we could have been in Ravenclaw together though, like Scorpius and Albus. That would have been cool.

Daddy's looking at Muggle schools now so that I can start in September. I promise to tell you all about it!

I asked Daddy and he said maybe this time you should come over because last time you took me to the London Eye which was heaps of fun. So he is writing to your mum and dad now.

Love from Livia


March 5, 2018

Dear Mr Weasley and Mrs Granger-Weasley,

It seems that your son and my daughter have been arranging play dates again without our knowledge. They seem determined to spend more time together. What do you suggest?

Regards,

Draco Malfoy


March 6, 2018

Dear Draco,

Oh, those children. I think this might be an excellent opportunity to introduce you and your daughter properly to the Muggle world. How does this weekend work out for you? We needn't jump into finding a school straight away. Perhaps a tour around Muggle London? I'm sure Livia will enjoy it, and Hugo is looking forward to seeing her again. If this weekend works out for you, how about we all meet up in Diagon Alley on Saturday morning? The five of us can make another day out of it.

Sincerely,

Hermione Granger-Weasley


March 8, 2018

Dear Mrs Granger-Weasley,

This weekend shall suffice. Livia is looking forward to it.

Regards,

Draco Malfoy


March 29, 2018

Dear Astoria,

I'm not sure if you've heard the news yet, but if you haven't, our daughter is non-magical. She could really use your support right now. I know you're busy doing whatever it is you're doing with Krum, but even if you just send a letter to her to say you love her or something, I would really appreciate it.

Draco


April 7, 2018

Astoria, did you get my last letter?

Draco


April 15, 2018

Draco,

I've known she was a Squib since it hit the gossip vines a few weeks ago. As far as I'm concerned, no child of mine is a Squib. Send her to a Muggle school and be done with it. If you want financial support (which I know you don't), fine, but don't expect me to appear in public with her.

Astoria


April 16, 2018

You absolute bloody bitch.

[not sent]


April 16, 2018

Astoria, you selfish cow, I hope you rot in Bulgaria –

[not sent]


April 16, 2018

Krum will get tired of you, you know. And when he does, don't you dare even think about crawling back to me, you –

[not sent]


April 19, 2018

Not to worry. I wouldn't let my daughter appear with you in public anyway. Have a nice life, Astoria.

Draco Malfoy


May 2, 2018

Dad,

People are saying Mum disowned Livia. I wrote to her about it but she didn't say anything about it. Is it true?

Also, the food poisoning is getting worse. Twelve kids are in the hospital wing now and they've been there for weeks and they aren't getting better! Dad, what if it isn't food poisoning? I'm worried and the teachers don't seem to be doing anything.

Scorpius


May 4, 2018

Dear Scorpius,

Don't worry about your mother. Livia is still a Malfoy and as far as I'm concerned that is all anyone needs to know. She has our surname, not your mother's, and that's what matters.

I have faith in the Hogwarts system. If it were anything other than the occasional food poisoning, the Headmaster would have issued a warning or would have sent the children home. I know you've probably heard all the stories about the Dark Lord and Basilisks and escaped prisoners, but I promise you that those belonged to a darker time. Don't go around looking for danger where there isn't any danger. Just keep your head down and focus on your schoolwork. If anything is going on, you let the teachers deal with it.

I've enclosed a food package with this letter. It's just simple, non-perishable food, but keep a freezing charm on them anyway. Otherwise, my advice is to not eat the meat served at dinner.

Take care, Scorpius.

Love,

Your father

PS: Is anyone giving you a hard time about Livia?


May 7, 2018

Dear Dad,

Thanks for the package. Lorcan and Lysander have received food packages as well, and so have Rose and Albus (and his brother James). I've stopped eating the meat at dinner and so have a lot of other students, but kids are still getting sick. I've heard that the Ministry is calling for an inquisition! Will you be part of it, Dad? James Potter says that it'll just be really boring, though – a bunch of old stuffy Ministry wizards and Board Governors checking the conditions of the kitchens. Not that you're old and stuffy.

Love,

Scorpius

PS: Well, a couple of the older Slytherins were, like Jacob Flint, but earlier this week they all ended up in the Hospital Wing because their lips were sealed shut.


May 9, 2018

Dear Scorpius,

Yes, I'll be part of the inquiry team. We're coming down to Hogwarts next week to investigate the kitchens and oversee the cooking. You'll be in class during that time.

You're welcome for the food package. I'm sending you another with this letter.

Love,

Your father

PS: How convenient.


May 10, 2018

Potter,

Have you heard anything about your son regarding the food poisoning situation at Hogwarts? It's starting to sound a bit suspicious, especially since it's been going on this long.

D. Malfoy


May 11, 2018

Malfoy,

Albus hasn't said much about the food poisoning but he did recently write home and asked if he could borrow my Invisibility Cloak. Ginny wrote and told him no and I asked what he needed it for, but he wouldn't tell me. I have a sneaking suspicion that our respective sons (along with Rose and the Scamander twins) are up to no good. I've asked James to keep an eye on them.

I don't know anything about the food poisoning other than that a few parents have started sending food packages. I sent both my sons food packages as well, just in case. I spoke to Neville the other day but he seems to have caught a bit of the food poisoning himself. He did said the situation was under control though, but there'll still be a Ministry enquiry. I'll be there, of course, as the Auror representative, but it's mostly for show. You're part of the Board of Governors, aren't you?

H. Potter


HEALTH AND SAFETY ASSESSMENT OF HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY: FOOD AND KITCHENS

14/05/2018

By Order of the Ministry of Magic

Sanctioned by Kingsley Shacklebolt, Minister for Magic

Conducted by the Ministry of Magic's Health and Safety Department and the Hogwarts Board of Governors

Attended by Head of the Auror Office, Harry Potter (representative)

Report:

On the morning of the Fourteenth day of the Fifth month of the year Two-Thousand-and-Eighteen (14 May 2018), a team of representatives and skilled Ministry officials from the Health and Safety Department, alongside several Lords and officials from the Hogwarts Board of Governors and the Head of the Auror Office Harry Potter, arrived at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to investigate claims of food poisoning.

After a thorough investigation of the kitchens and food supplies, the Board of Governors and the Health and Safety Department have unanimously deemed the cleanliness of the Hogwarts kitchens to be satisfactory. Head Auror Harry Potter concurs.

Hogwarts nurse, Madam Ellen du Lac (employed 2016; experienced Healer from St Mungo's, employed for 28 years before taking over from Madam Pomfrey, former Hogwarts nurse) gives her statement:

"It is my opinion that the majority students in the Hospital Wing due to so-called 'food poisoning' are in fact suffering from hysterical maladies. It isn't uncommon; one child falls ill, and others panic and their bodies mimic the symptoms. The initial cases of food poisoning happened to three young students who were unfamiliar with and/or allergic to the food served at Hogwarts and simply happened to fall ill."

When asked why the students where bedridden for such an extended period, Madam du Lac replied, "Hysterical illness or not, they are still ill and shall remain in my care."

The Health and Safety Department and the Board of Governors agreed with Madame du Lac's assessment. Head Auror Harry Potter concurred.

Let the record show that in September of 2017, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had a minor incident of contaminated potions supplies. Katerina Kingson, Professor of Potions (employed 2016) states:

"The contamination was a mere side-effect of the rosemary being placed too close to another plant in the Greenhouses. It reacted badly with the potion it was being used in and caused a minor explosion. The only person injured in the class was myself. The situation was dealt with swiftly and accordingly. There have been no further incidents."

Professor Kingson is in charge of preparing potions for the students in the Hospital Wing.

Suggested course of action:

Cut out all meats from the meals served to students to prevent further hysterical maladies. Ensure that members of staff oversee the House Elves preparing meals every day. Should the cases of food poisoning (or hysterical maladies) persist, another assessment of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry will be ordered by the Ministry of Magic.

Let the record show that the Ministry of Magic has declared Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry kitchen conditions and food safe.


May 18, 2018

Malfoy,

Did you get the copy of the report? I certainly did not 'concur' with du Lac. What happened to Madam Pomfrey, anyway?

H. Potter


May 20, 2018

Potter –

Firstly, your owl is an evil lunatic.

Secondly, yes, I did get a copy of the report. It's all typical Ministry talk. Shouldn't you be used to it by now, O High and Mighty Head Auror?

As for Madam Pomfrey, apparently she won the lottery.

D. Malfoy


May 21, 2018

Malfoy –

This evil lunatic of an owl isn't mine, he's Albus's. His name's Crowley and he's a right pain in the ass. The things I do for my kids. No, I'm not used to Ministry jargon – I thought that was more to your personal taste.

Er. Malfoy. There is no lottery.

H. Potter


May 22, 2018

Potter.

For the Head Auror, you're extraordinarily thick. Of course there's no lottery, you dolt. Go investigate. Isn't that what you Aurors are supposed to do?

Malfoy


May 28, 2018

Dear Mr Malfoy,

I regret to inform you that your son Scorpius Malfoy was involved in an altercation with Albus Potter earlier today. From what is understood from they eyewitness account given by Rose Weasley, your son hit Albus Potter with an Expelliarmus charm during an argument and rendered him unconscious. Young Mister Potter is now in the Hospital Wing. Your presence is not required; however, please be advised that Scorpius is to receive two weeks' worth of detention with myself.

Regards,

Professor Filius Flitwick, Head of Ravenclaw


May 28, 2018

Scorpius,

I received a letter today from Professor Flitwick, and I know you know what it was about. I was under the impression that you and Albus Potter were getting along now. Was I mistaken in this assumption? What on earth did you put him in the Hospital Wing for? And so close to your exams? I sincerely hope that your actions are extremely justified, Scorpius, because Merlin knows I'm disappointed and busy enough as it is. The only reason I'm not coming into Hogwarts today to speak to you is because I have to take Livia to Muggle London to look at a school. I'll be coming in at the end of this week, young man. I'm expecting a proper explanation.

Your father


May 29, 2018

Dear Dad,

It was justified.

Scorpius


May 30, 2018

Scorpius, that is not an answer!


May 31, 2018

Malfoy,

We've got problems, and I don't just mean the kids. Get down to the school now.

H. Potter




Chapter 9: from the journal of draco malfoy VI

March 13, 2018

Muggle London is many things, but it certainly isn't quiet. The headache I have, I'm sure, will stay for at least a week. The population is, frankly, astounding. I never really realised before just how much Muggles outnumber Wizards. Granger says that the Magical communities of Australia and America (in some areas) are a lot more integrated with Muggles, and suggested I visit Chicago sometime and converse with the wizards there. I hope she didn't have that Dresden freak in mind.

Anyway, it's Sunday evening now. Saturday morning saw Livia and myself waiting in Diagon Alley again for the Weasley clan. I'm really having trouble pinpointing the exact moment my life took a turn in this direction, but for the time being I'm just going to blame ice cream. It seems to be a common factor in this thing I've got going on with Granger and Weasley. Livia and Hugo insisted on having ice cream for lunch. Granger is a better negotiator than I am and managed to make the kids agree to eat a real lunch before ice cream. So not only is ice cream going to make me fat, it's also tied me to the Weasley and Granger and by extension, Potter.

Which is not to say I'm unappreciative. I doubt I could have coped or done much without Granger.

Livia, at least, is utterly enamoured with the Muggle world. Me, I'm mostly confused. Like those plane things. They're metal. How do they even get up into the sky? And don't get me started on this "internet" thing.

I just know Granger and Weasley were laughing at me.

Livia seems to understand most of it, though. Granger gave her a couple of history books and Muggle novels (something called Anne of Green Gables – sounds rather boring, to be honest, but Livia has almost finished the first one) to look through, and then refused to let me reimburse her. Why does Granger have to be so nice?

Thank Merlin father is dead and I've sent mother to France for the next five months. Draco Malfoy, accepting help from Hermione Granger-Weasley and whose own daughter is non-magical.

Good grief. If someone told me this would happen back when I was at school, I'd have put them in the Hospital Wing myself.


April 16, 2018

Bloody fuck.

Later

I'm too angry to write a proper letter back to Astoria.

Merlin, I hope Krum leaves her. I actually feel sorry for him now. Does he know what kind of woman she is? Maybe it's him who doesn't have much taste. At least Granger was nice. I can only assume he's still with Astoria because of the sex. But seriously, he could have any woman he wanted – why the hell her?


April 19, 2018

I didn't marry Astoria for love, nor did she marry me for love. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement, shall we say – I knew her in school and she was a sweet girl. Sweet. Hah. What happened? Maybe I happened. Maybe it was me who turned her into a bitch. I have a skill for bringing out the worst in other people, as well as myself. She's a Pureblood from a very old, very respected, and very proud family. I don't know why I expected any other response from her about her non-magical daughter.

This isn't to say I never felt anything for her, because I did. I really did. In some ways I still do, because I'm pathetic that way. We were married for fourteen years – that isn't something to scoff at. We had good times.

Later

I find myself missing Astoria sometimes. She was funny and charming and, okay, yes, the sex was utterly fantastic. (Even if my memory of it is from six years ago. Whatever.)

She was company. Sometimes she was good company and mostly bad company, but company nonetheless. It's going to be very quiet around here when Livia starts Muggle school in September.

Later again

Livia deserves a better mother than Astoria, anyway.


May 9, 2018

This food poisoning thing at Hogwarts this actually making me nervous. Maybe Scorpius is right and it isn't food poisoning at all. I know I'm not the only parent sending food packages now. It shouldn't be going on for this long.


May 14, 2018

The inquiry into the food poisoning situation at Hogwarts was today. As a Board Governor, the position I inherited from my father (how he managed to keep it is a little beyond me, but money buys many things, I suppose), I was required to be there. I took Livia with me as well.

That's what I'm going to do, I've decided. She's going to receive the finest Muggle education possible, learn magical theory and history at home, and appear with me publicly at every other chance we get. If I want her to have a place in this world – and she will, because she is still a Malfoy – then I think this is how I'm going to have to do it. It's already causing a bit of a stir, actually, letting people see me in public with Livia proudly by my side, despite the fact that Astoria Greengrass disowned her. I don't think that's ever been done before. No Pureblood from an old family has proudly shown off their non-magical child for all to see.

Look at me, creating scandals. I'm talented.

Anyway, Scorpius was right. It was mostly a bunch of old and stuffy Ministry officials and Board Governors gathering and 'hmm'ing and 'haw'ing while passive-aggressively taking notes. I introduced myself and Livia to them all, and they more or less coughed and flustered around a bit. Theodore Nott was there as well, as a Governor. I hadn't spoken to him since, well, ages. Not for twelve years, at least.

"…And, uh," Theodore faltered, looking down at Livia. "You brought the Squib along?"

We were friends of a sort in school, but I could have broken his nose for that comment. The Squib. The Squib. That's what he called her, right in front of her. I nearly pulled out my wand. I didn't need to, though, because Livia lifted her head. "I prefer the term 'non-magical'," she said, giving him her most disarming smile, "if that is agreeable with you, Lord Nott."

Hah. That's my girl.

Theodore cleared his throat and blinked, looking flustered. "Right. Of course. Pardon me, Miss Malfoy." He looked back at me. "However, I don't think it's appropriate for a child to accompany us."

"That's all right," she said, charming as can be. "I can wait in the library, with your permission, father."

I said yes. Once she was out of earshot, Nott said, "You surprise me, Draco," and then he turned away to talk to the other Governors. See if I ever talk to him again.

"You surprise me, too," Potter said behind me, and I did not, in any way at all, jump, because he didn't scare me. At all.

"Potter." I swallowed. "I think that might have been a compliment, but I'm not certain when it comes to you."

He shrugged. "It was. A compliment, a mean." He nodded after Livia. "Ron and Hermione have told me all about you and her. I've gotta say, I'm… impressed."

"I'm not doing it to impress anyone, Potter."

I'm sure I sounded ridiculously over-defensive, but Potter just nodded. "I know. It's because she's your daughter."

Potter stopped being my childhood enemy when he said that. He became a fellow father. Strange feeling, that. Him, Weasley, and Granger. I'm collecting childhood enemies as acquaintances. It's a new hobby of mine.

Anyway. I think he felt that, too, because he held out his hand.

I was instantly reminded of our first day of school, all those years ago, when I held out my hand with an offer to help him find the 'right' kind of friends. He didn't take it, and the seven years after that… well, the rest is history.

I shook his hand.

Besides. I have to play nice with all of them now. Let's see: Scorpius is best friends with Rose Weasley and Albus Potter. Livia adores Hugo Weasley and is going to go to a Muggle school. Hermione Granger-Weasley is helping me with the Muggle world.

It's like my life is some really massive joke sometimes, I swear.

"So, this food poisoning thing," I said.

"It's very suss."

"It's what?"

"Suss." Potter smirked at me. "Muggle slang for 'suspicious'. You're gonna have to get used to it, Malfoy."

Ha ha ha. Ha ha.

"I think you're enjoying yourself a little too much, Potter."

"Who, me?"

Anyway. I didn't see anything wrong with the kitchens. Potter and I ate there months ago, when Scorpius and Albus fought in September, and we were fine. The House Elves in the kitchens looked absolutely traumatised when the Health and Safety people started tearing apart the place. Good thing Granger wasn't here – we'd never have heard the end of it. Anyway, I'm not convinced the Elves have anything to do with the food poisoning because I ate at Hogwarts for seven years and didn't fall ill once from the food.

And don't get me started on Madam du Lac. Madam Pomfrey was many things (I recall quite a few slaps to the back of my head) but she wasn't what one would call creepy.

I don't remember the teachers and students being quite so lethargic or passive, either, especially not Longbottom. He walked right past Potter in some sort of daze, as if he didn't even notice him, and didn't stop until Potter actually spoke to him.

"Neville, how are you?"

"Hmm?" he said, and blinked a lot. "Oh, me? Fine, Harry, just fine. Thank you."

I know Longbottom could be a buffoon, but that was ridiculous, even for him. Potter seemed to be thinking the same thing because he grabbed Longbottom's arm before he could collapse. "Neville? What's wrong?"

Longbottom shook his head. "Wrong? Nothing's wrong, I'm fine. Bit of food poisoning, but I'm all right. Yes, yes, I'm quite fine. Professor Kingson is making me potions to make me feel better. Yes…"

And then he wandered off.

"Er," Potter said. I think it was about that time (well after the Board Governors and Ministry people left) that I noticed that some, if not most, students were all walking really slowly and not talking much. Aren't kids supposed to be hysterical when things like this happen? What about du Lac's "hysteria" assessment? These kids didn't look very hysterical to me. They looked passive. I have to say, I really didn't like it.

I asked a passing older student if they knew what happened to Madam Pomfrey and they said she won the lottery.

Mmm. Right.


May 22, 2018

I always knew Potter wasn't exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, but Merlin's saggy left testicle, he can be slow. He's the Head Auror, for crying out loud.

"Er. Malfoy. There is no lottery."

Yeah, no shit. Something's going on at Hogwarts and I don't like it. It's just like Potter's son to drag mine into conspiracy theories and dangerous adventures. And I can't exactly do anything either – I'm going to be busy with Livia next week finding a school. Actually, we might have found one (with Granger's help) – a nice private girls' school in the Muggle country. Ravenswood Girls' College, it's called, in Pembury. There's a "prep" school and a "senior" school and the option for boarding. So I guess we'll see.

I'm not sure how I feel about letting Livia board when she's still so young. She'll be away from home for a long time, in the Muggle world.

But back to Hogwarts – I think Potter and Weasley are investigating du Lac now, because there is definitely something up with that woman.


May 28, 2018

I don't know what to do with my children, sometimes.

It was inevitable, I suppose. A Potter and a Malfoy, fighting. No way to avoid it.

I just want to know why. I thought they were getting along.


May 29, 2018

Livia and I went to Muggle London again today. She says I should stop calling it that, though, in case I slip up in front of an actual Muggle. London, then. We went to London, and from there we went to visit the school we've found. Ravenswood, it's called, and it looks nice enough.

(On an off-note, the exchange rate is disgusting. Why is Muggle money worth more than Wizard money? I'm going to have to set up another account in Gringotts, all Muggle money, to support Livia. Granger also said something about setting up a bank account in the Muggle world, but it sounds absurdly complicated. Why do Muggles like making things hard for themselves? Such strange creatures. I doubt I'll ever understand them.)

The cover story Granger came up with for me is decent enough, although I made a slight adjustment to it. Livia has been home schooled her whole life (technically not a lie; I've gone through a lot of magical theory with her and shall continue to do so). Ever since my divorce from Astoria, I have been finding it difficult to look after the children on my own and after a long discussion, my children and I agreed upon sending them both to boarding schools to receive the finest education possible. My son Scorpius is at a private and prestigious boarding school in Scotland, and I have heard that Ravenswood has a fine reputation and my daughter is keen on attending.

The Muggles didn't question it too much. They did ask what I did for a living, and I said I was a government official.

The Muggle woman who showed us around was nice. Marian Halcombe, I think she said her name was? She's a young woman, perhaps in her early- or mid-thirties. Very well spoken – assertive, but polite. It was her eyes, I think. Very intelligent. Brown eyes, brown hair. Not pretty, by conventional means, but she was in possession of a sense of humour: I slipped up and asked what a "laptop" was. She just laughed and asked if I'd been living under a rock all my life. "Something like that," I'd said. I think she knew there was something decidedly non-Muggle about me and Livia, but she didn't say anything. Livia liked her a lot, which is a good start because Miss Halcombe will end up being one of her teachers in the next school year.

At any rate, Ravenswood is a nice school. Not unlike Hogwarts, although considerably smaller and not quite as old. Livia seemed to love it. I guess I'll be sending her there come September, to the "prep" school, and when she reaches the age of eleven, the senior school. Enrolment is almost completed and the fees are all sorted out. I guess now it's just a matter of getting her the school uniform and various required Muggle equipment. What is a "USB drive"?

Later

I think I'm more nervous than Livia is. I know it's not for another few months, but both my children will be off at school next year.

This house is too damn big sometimes.

Later again

I wish Scorpius would stop making me worry about him. I'm a bit fond of having hair. Maybe he's doing it on purpose as an attention-seeking thing?

Later again

Oh, Merlin, he'll be going through puberty in a couple of years. I don't even want to think about Livia yet.


May 31, 2018

I don't recall Scorpius ever being so snide to me. Either he's developed an attitude problem, or something is wrong. I sincerely hope that boy knows what he's doing.

Later

And to make things worse, Potter's lunatic owl is on its way, I can see it out the window. I have no doubt he's furious about Scorpius putting Albus in the Hospital Wing, but what am I supposed to say or do, other than promise to give Scorpius a firm talking to? Potter strikes me as the kind of person who'd want to organise an intervention where everyone sits down and talks about their feelings or something, but there are only so many times we can lock the kids up in a room and let them fight it out. And, really, it's not as though –

[journal entry interrupted; incomplete]




Chapter 10: from the journal of draco malfoy VII

June 2, 2018

It's been a long two days. Strange, it feels so much longer. I should probably try to sleep soon.

I finally have a moment to sit and think, and now that I do I'm not sure that I want to. But I know I should write down what happened before the memory becomes too muddled. I've already given my statement to the Aurors but I want – no, not want, need – to record it here. My narrative skills have never been particularly wonderful, and certainly my style leaves a bit to be desired, but no-one shall ever read this. I doubt I'll look back on this entry for a long time. Maybe one day I will, when I've had sufficient time to acknowledge and deal with what happened.

When I received Potter's letter, I didn't have time to think. I ran and ordered Rinnie to stay with Livia and not let her out of her sight. Livia is at Hogwarts with me, now – after the ordeal I went home to pick her up. That sounds quaint – it didn't feel like that at all. I can hardly believe the whole thing barely took two hours.

Scorpius hasn't woken up yet.

Potter and Weasley were already at Hogwarts on the 31st – the latter sending a Patronus to the Ministry when I arrived. Potter had a letter from his son James clenched in his hand.

"I just got this letter from James this morning," Potter said. "He says that Albus and Scorpius and Rose have –"

"I thought the boys were fighting!"

"No, they set it up to get Albus into the Hospital Wing! And shut up, that isn't important. James says that they think du Lac is poisoning the students and that it isn't food poisoning at all –"

"Then were are the kids now?"

"That's what we're trying to find out," Weasley said. "Come on."

"Ellen du Lac hasn't been at St Mungo's for twenty-eight years," Potter explained as we ran – well, I say ran, I really mean jogged awkwardly – through the school. "There isn't even a real record of her! Ministry spy wizards have her picture down in the old Flight from Death files – "

"And it's just us three?" I said. "Where's your backup?

"We didn't have time. I just sent for the Aurors," Weasley said.

No backup in a school where the teachers were staggering around like they'd been Confounded and people and students were being poisoned by a revivalist wannabe Death Eater. "Oh my god, Potter –"

"Shut up, Malfoy! Just come on!"

Where we were going, I didn't realise until we were halfway there: the Hospital Wing. I nearly suggested that it would make more sense to go to the Headmaster, but to be fair, Potter and Weasley had more experience with end-of-school-year-adventures than I did. In a stroke of luck, as we ran past the students who didn't seem too concerned with anything, we found Flitwick.

"Professor Flitwick?" Potter said, stopping. "What's going on? Do you know?"

"Going on?" Flitwick blinked. "I don't know what you mean, dear boy." He caught sight of me. "Oh, your son, Mr Malfoy, he's been very naughty, fighting in the corridors! But otherwise everything's just fine. He'll have to have detention, yes…"

"Er," Potter said.

I looked at him closely. "Professor Flitwick, we're going to go now."

"Very good, very good."

"I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to set fire to the school on our way out."

"I'd really rather you didn't, but if you feel you must, Mr Malfoy."

Weasley shone a Lumos into Flitwick's eyes. "He's Confounded." He looked around at the students who lethargically surged around us, not noticing anything was wrong. "They all are. This shit just got real."

The Hospital Wing didn't seem to shed much light on the situation at first. There must have been twenty children in bed, all asleep or groaning in pain with "food poisoning". du Lac was nowhere in sight, and neither was Albus Potter who was supposed to be bedridden because of Scorpius. Which according to Potter wasn't because they were fighting but rather a set up, and now days after the fact, a ploy to get Albus Potter inside Hospital Wing and find out which potions du Lac was giving the students.

The potions supply was smashed and dripped all over the floor, and stuffed into a closet was du Lac – disarmed, gagged, and bound by ropes.

"Ellen du Lac, member of the Flight from Death movement," Potter said coldy.

She struggled pathetically.

"The ropes. They're transfigured bed sheets," Weasley said, and Potter glanced at me.

"That's your son's work," he said.

"I know, but where are the kids now?"

Which led us to running for the Gryffindor tower where James Potter presumably had some more answers.

"You know," Weasley puffed as we ran, "this would have been a lot easier if you remembered to bring the Marauder's Map –"

"Well, I'm sorry, but I was a bit stressed this morning, Ron –"

"Can we maybe focus, please?" I said, except I think it came out more like, "Can we –puff – maybe – pant – f-focus, please? – huff, pant –"

It's the ice cream. I need cut back on it.

James Potter was waiting outside the Gryffindor common room.

"James –" Potter said.

James choked. "I tried to stop them, Dad, I did –"

"James, what's been going on?"

"I don't know. Albus made me drink this potion last week and – and it was really strange. It was like I was waking up or something. He said it was an antidote he made –"

"Albus," Potter breathed. "He's brilliant with Potions."

"Well I should bloody hope so, with a name like Albus Severus! Would have been a bit embarrassing if he turned out to be like you at potions."

I didn't actually say that. The moment seemed rather inopportune. I'd like to say it eventually, though – it's too good a line to go unspoken.

I digress.

"Dad, the kids in the Hospital Wing! Albus says they really were poisoned, he saw du Lac's stash, and I just remembered they're all Muggleborns. They're all Muggleborns, Dad! My friend Laura is there!"

"Where have Albus and Rose and Scorpius gone? Can you tell me, James?"

"The dungeons. They went down the dungeons because they said none of the teachers were doing anything and they think Professor Kingson is behind it all – where are you going? Dad!"

"Stay here, James," Potter yelled over his shoulder.

"But, Dad –"

"Stay here!"

I'm not as fit as I used to be. I'd almost forgotten just how big the school is and how much effort it takes running from one of the highest points of the castle to one of the lowest.

It was everything cliché: dark and gloomy, two cauldrons bubbling in the room, the three children cornered and a teacher pointing a wand at them.

The thing I neglected to mention about Kingson in my last journal entry (actually, neglected to mention her at all), when I met her during the inquisition, is that she was a very average kind of person. She was the kind of woman people look at and think, she's pretty, because she was. But it was a very generic kind of pretty – also the kind that people forget when they look away. Nothing about her was remarkable; her voice was not attention grabbing, the way she held herself spoke nothing, but she was not so unnoticeable that people wouldn't find it suspicious. There was nothing memorable about her at all.

She was, in all senses, the perfect infiltrator – because no-one thought about her.

When she said, "One more step and the children die," we definitely noticed her, though. It was incentive enough. We froze. "For Aurors," Kingson said, "you weren't very good at sneaking up on me."

"I was temporarily blinded by your face. Maybe you should get that looked at," Weasley said. It wasn't his best line.

In response, Kingson locked the door behind us with a flick of her wand before pressing it against Albus's neck. "Put yours wands on the floor. Now." We obeyed. "Accio wands!"

Unarmed. I felt like a child again. To be fair, I'm a bit out of practice. I've been sitting in a manor for years. Potter and Weasley, though – well, I'm still convinced they have no excuse for that. Aurors, my arse.

"Scorpius, are you all right?" I said.

He nodded from his spot in the corner, beside Albus and Rose. "I'm fine. So are Rose and Al."

Potter spoke. "You drugged the school," he said to Kingson slowly. "What I don't understand is how."

Kingson smiled. "Everyone was so concerned about the kitchens. No-one was ever going to find anything there. The House Elves are clean as can be." She tilted her head to the left, observing the three of us. "It wasn't the kitchens. Confounding potions aren't poison, so they can't be detected that way. Just a bit in the water supply, to water the fruit and vegetables and herbs grown in the Greenhouses, every day all year long. Everyone kept on saying not to eat the meat, but it wasn't the meat, was it?" She laughed. "The teachers started using the fruit and vegetables from the Greenhouses to make their own meals, to avoid food poisoning. I wanted to laugh so much, just watching them become more and more docile to the point where they knew something was wrong, but couldn't think about it clearly to do anything…" Kingson scowled a little there. "Home-sent packages, though – those were a bit harder. Good thing Potions is compulsory until Sixth year."

"What about Neville? Why didn't he notice that you were dosing the food?"

"He did. So I dosed him directly. I couldn't have him going around telling people, now could I?"

See, that's the thing about would-be villains. They love exposition. They just have to Explain It All, tell us the intricacies of their plan, show off. The Dark Lord was a fan of it, but you'd think after his defeat other extremists would take lessons. I shared a glance with Potter to make sure he kept her talking.

"The Muggleborns?" Potter asked.

"That was actual poison. Filthy Mudbloods. Ellen helped me with that."

"I know. Albus found her supply." Potter walked closer. "Flight from Death isn't active."

She smiled. "Not yet. But still, I do have to kill you. Shame. You're ever so bright. Your children have already caught poor Ellen, I hear. Not to worry. I'm sure she'll understand if I send her to Azkaban to keep me at Hogwarts. It's all for the greater good."

She raised her wand.

"But to what end?" Potter asked. "I don't understand. Why Confound Hogwarts?"

"To kill the Mudbloods without suspicion."

Weasley snorted. "Yeah, good job at that. You don't honestly think you're going to get away with anything, do you?"

"But I do, Weasley. You see that cauldron over there?" She pointed to the one on the left, bubbling over a fire. "That's a Confounding potion, and its fumes are making the air very thick. Aren't you already feeling a little… confused?"

We were, by that stage. Weasley was blinking a lot, Potter shook himself, and I – I dug my fingers into my Dark Mark to wake myself up. Kingson raised her wand again.

"Wait!" Potter cried. "There's something I don't get. The explosion in Potions, at the beginning of this year? The contaminated rosemary?"

Kingson waved her hand. "A set-up. A red herring. Whatever you want to call it. If I were injured, that would make me a victim, and no-one would suspect me from then on. And it worked, didn't it?"

Weasley narrowed his eyes. "Clearly it didn't, Kingson. Did you get all chatty with du Lac and mention Flight from Death? The kids were asking about them, you know."

"We were spying on her," Albus said. "Rose put it all together. We heard her and du Lac say –"

"Shut up, Potter," Kingson hissed, rounding on the boy. "You've been a pain from the beginning, making antidotes for your friends. I ought to kill you and your little cousin first. The son of the great Harry Potter, and the daughter of Ronald Weasley and the Mudblood Hermione Granger! What a wonderful start to the rise of Flight from Death again."

"Leave them alone!" Scorpius yelled.

"But you, Scorpius Malfoy," she said swiftly, flawlessly changing between lunacy and gentleness. "I don't have to kill you. You're still of pure blood, boy. Your father," she spat, glaring at me, "might be a blood traitor, but you don't have to let the sins of the father shadow you."

It was like a sick perversion of everything I'd told him. You don't have to carry my sins, Scorpius.

She touched his hair. He flinched away and she laughed, and produced a phial from her robes. "All you have to do is drink this."

"Go to hell," Scorpius spat. "I'll never drink your poison."

"Oh, Scorpius. You foolish boy. Of course I can't make you drink anything. I've never been one for the Imperius curse, unfortunately. It isn't my forte. However, this isn't the poison."

"Then what is it?"

"This? This is the antidote," Kingson said, and Scorpius's legs gave out beneath him.

"Scorpius!" Rose yelled, but then she collapsed as well, against Albus, who caught her and then promptly fell with her.

"What have you done to them? What have you done?" Weasley yelled, lunging towards them. Kingson flicked her wand and sent him flying back into the far wall. It looked nothing short of painful.

"Those insufferable children. All year they've been snooping around and sticking their noses where they don't – belong!" she spat at the children before turning and walking over to the cauldron on the right. She ran her hand around the brim of the cauldron. "This is the poison. I noticed they and their Scamander friends weren't becoming passive."

Albus groaned from the floor and she crouched beside him.

"You're good with potions, Albus – I thought you might have figured it out, and you did. So I found your stash of antidotes." She smiled. "I'm a potions master, Albus. Did you really think you could outwit me?"

Potter made a lunge for her as well, while she was distracted, but she turned on him and shot a Stunner at his chest.

"Some Auror you are!" I hissed, and he coughed and crawled to his knees. Potter explained afterwards why he wasn't knocked unconscious; as an Auror, he's required to become resistant to certain spells. Stupefy is one of them: it is capable of knocking him down, but not knocking him out. By then the fumes were affecting us a lot more anyway, though; there are a few moments there that my memory isn't clear. Kingson kept on talking, Potter kept trying to negotiate, and Weasley was fighting the effects of the Stunner he'd been hit by. Then I remember the three children groaning and convulsing on the floor, and Scorpius curled up in pain. "D-dad, help –" he choked, and fell still.

I felt something snap.

"Kingson!" All of this is both sharp and blurred in my memory; it didn't really feel like me. "Give it to me. Give me the antidote now."

"Come now, Mr Malfoy. All you and your son have to do is swear allegiance to me and uprising the Flight from Death movement, and I'll hand it over." She smiled. "Death Eater's promise. We could help you, you know, and your Squib daughter. We could give her back her magic that was stolen by the Mudbloods. She could be a witch, like she's supposed to be – proper and Pureblooded. You were loyal once, Draco. Join us again."

I felt sick. Everything she said to me was something that once upon a time, I would have considered. But that woman – she'd threatened and poisoned my son. She was going to let him die. She'd drugged the entire school. She as good as called me a Death Eater. She was killing my son.

"Do you have a Dark Mark, Katerina?" I asked.

"I was not so fortunate."

She wasn't one of the original Death Eaters. She was too young for that – too idealistic. If she'd been a real Death Eater, she'd have known that there was nothing fortunate about a Dark Mark.

"I have a Dark Mark," I said.

"All the more reason to join us, Draco."

"Katerina Kingson." I shook my head. "You've been lucky so far, you know." I remember I was struck by vertigo and swayed; the fumes from the potion were starting to affect me. No threat to her at all.

Kingson raised her eyebrows. "You don't get to where I've gotten to through luck, Mr Malfoy."

"No?" I steadied myself and paced closer to her. "Then how do you explain why you're still alive?"

She smirked. Potter and Weasley, conscious but immobile behind me, could see and hear everything. "Because even two of the most famous Aurors aren't clever enough for me."

I shook my head. "No, that's not it. That's not it at all. You see, you're lucky because those two Aurors are nice men. Really nice men. So nice that I feel physically sick sometimes. They're Aurors – not one unethical or immoral bone between them. You've been lucky. You know why?"

She was distracted by then – wary of me. Let it never be said I can't put on a good show when I want to. "Why?"

"Because unfortunately for you, Katerina Kingson," I said, "I am not a nice man."

The official story is that Katerina Kingson, member of the underground Death Eater revivalist movement known as Flight from Death, found herself cornered by two Aurors and a Hogwarts Board Governor. After threatening and attempting to kill three children, and after admitting to those present (and conscious) that she and Madam Ellen du Lac – also a member of Flight from Death – were responsible for drugging the majority of Hogwarts staff and students and poisoning Muggleborn students, she realised her situation was hopeless and drank her own poison. As soon as she died, I took the antidote off her body and immediately administered it to the three unconscious children. The Aurors arrived the moment everything was over.

Like I said. Official.


June 3, 2018

Potter finally came to speak to me this morning.

I'm still in the alcove outside the Hospital Wing where he found me. I didn't say anything to him and he didn't say anything to me. Eventually he stood behind me and sighed.

"Do we have to talk about what happened, Malfoy?"

"I'd prefer not to."

He walked around me. "Are you okay?"

"I'll be fine." My throat was dry. "Men who aren't nice always feel fine in the end. That's why they aren't nice men."

He stayed silent at that, for a very long time. "I'm an Auror, you know," he said.

"I know."

Potter stared at me, long and hard. "I'm also a father," he eventually said, and he put his hand on my shoulder. "Draco?"

"What."

"You're a good man. That's better than nice."

Then he left, because I'm human enough to cry and he's good enough to let me.


June 7, 2018

It was my birthday two days ago and I completely forgot. Livia didn't – she sent me a birthday card, which was beautiful. She's staying with Granger at the moment – Granger insisted on it. Said that this was no place for a girl to be spending. If Livia still had a mother, maybe she could have been at home with one of her parents. But she seems happy to stay with Hugo and her redheaded heroes.

Rose and Albus woke up this morning. I hope Scorpius wakes up soon.


June 9, 2018

He woke up today. This morning.

I don't have words to describe how relieved I am.

Later

The Healer on lend from St Mungo's declared Scorpius fine. He asked to see Rose and Albus, so I brought them in a few minutes ago.

Rose punched his arm softly. "That's for scaring me, you creep." Then she kissed his cheek and hugged him. "And this is for being a stupid brave idiot. Glad you're back, creep."

She pulled back and Albus sat next to him instead, looking sheepish. "Hey," Albus said.

"Hey," Scorpius replied, and they hugged.

I left the three of them alone.


June 10, 2018

Most of the school has been given antidotes to the Confounding potions du Lac and Kingson were dosing them with, and now there's hysteria. Parents have been taking their children home early; only a hundred students, I think, will be catching the Hogwarts Express home at the official end of the term. It's been in the Daily Prophet all week: INSIDIOUS PLOT AGAINST HOGWARTS! FLIGHT FROM DEATH ACTIVE! HOGWARTS STAFF AND STUDENTS POISONED!

Needless to say, exams have been cancelled.

I've not left Hogwarts yet. Scorpius insists he doesn't need me here and that he's fine, but I don't think I'll leave until I'm certain. At any rate, I certainly didn't want to miss Granger and Ginny Potter in all their fury yell at the Headmaster for employing two FD members. The highlight had to be watching Potter get the back of his head slapped by his wife. "How dare you run off like that, knowing our son was in danger and you didn't even tell me! I would have killed that bitch myself, Harry –!"

I can't count how many redheads and Weasleys are in the Hospital Wing at the moment, all crowded around Rose and Albus (and by extension, Scorpius). Someone saw fit to introduce me to all of them. ("That's Scorpius's dad! He used to be a Death Eater but now he's a hero!" "Oooooh…")

From memory, there was James Potter, Victoire Weasley and her two younger siblings, Dominique and Louis. And I think there was a Molly in there somewhere, and a Lucy, and a Fred and a Roxanne. Whose kids are whose, I don't know. Like I said – too many redheads to keep track of. I'm pretty sure all of them have the Weasley surname, though.

Later

Scorpius wants to stay at Hogwarts with Rose and Albus and the Scamander twins until the official end of term.

He'll be okay. He will. There are Aurors all over the place, and Potter and Weasley and Granger are here – and Merlin's saggy left testicle, I trust them.


June 21, 2018

I saw Potter and his family at Platform 9 ¾ today, while waiting for Scorpius. Livia was with me, but ran off to find Hugo Weasley as soon as she saw the crowd of red hair surging across the platform. I ran after her, of course; thank Merlin she has my platinum-blonde hair, otherwise I'd never have been able to find her. Before I got to her, I found myself face-to-face with Potter.

"What a year," he said.

"You're telling me."

We watched the kids exchange farewells.

"Hey. You should come over during the break. You and your kids." He grinned and glanced sideways at Weasley and Granger. "Don't tell them I said this, but I think they've unofficially adopted you."

"There are so many things wrong with that, Potter."

He laughed and we shook hands, just as Scorpius, Albus, and Rose found us.

"Ready to go home?" I asked Scorpius after he said his goodbyes.

"Yeah, I am."

Livia hugged him. "I'm glad you're okay, Scorpius."

"Thanks, Liv."

I got in on the hug as well. "I'm so proud of you," I whispered.

He hugged me back. "Thanks, Dad."

"Don't ever scare me like that again, all right?"

He grinned, but it was more of a don't bet on it kind of grin than a yes I promise kind of grin. "Okay, Dad."

I sincerely hope he isn't going to try and top his end-of-year scares like Potter did, although now that he's hanging around Potter spawn and Granger and Weasley spawn, I'm going to have to start assuming the worst from now on. Goodbye, hair.

So now I'm back home, with my Ravenclaw detective son (who should be in Gryffindor after all, I've decided) and my non-magical daughter. In September, he'll be back at school and Livia will be living with Muggles.

Potter wrote to me the other night, just to see how I'm going. So did Weasley.

I honestly don't know how I am. I'm not all right, that much I know. I haven't been sleeping very well. I doubt I will for a while. But then I look at my children and I think, it was worth it.

I think I'll be okay.




Chapter 11: postscript

July 31, 2018

If someone had told me when I was at school that I would one day be attending a private birthday party for none other than Harry Potter, I'm not sure what I would have done. Laughed, first, then scoffed – Perfect Potter, having parties thrown for him…

I'm a bit drunk, I think. The sentence I just wrote looks a bit blurry. Huh.

Anyway. It's a fun party, even if Weasley's being a bit of a douche. I'm outside now and I can't believe I'm writing in my journal. I'm so fucking sad, I swear.

"Tell us 'bout Astoria," Weasley slurred a few minutes ago. "Bit of a bitch, ain't she?"

"A little."

"You haven't been with anyone since she left?"

"No. You might have missed the memo, but I've been a little busy this year."

"It's only been a year, Ron," Ginny Potter said. "Give him some time."

"Technically seven years," I scowled into my drink. I thought I was being quiet but Weasley heard.

"You haven't gotten laid for seven years?"

Weasleys. They're as unsubtle as their hair. Potter choked on his drink and started laughing, and even Granger hid a smile very badly. Evil woman.

"Announce it to the world, why don't you," I grumbled.

"You," Weasley had said dramatically, pointing at my chest, "need to get laid."

I blinked at him slowly. "Okay," I said. "That isn't the most disturbing thing you've ever said to me, but it's definitely up there."

"Bugger off, Ron!" Potter laughed, but Weasley draped his arm around my shoulder and grinned.

"Whaddaya say we get you into speed dating?"

I said I needed another glass of wine. And now I'm outside like a sad loser writing in my journal because I probably won't remember this but it'll make me laugh when I get over the hangover I'm sure I will have.

At least they won't remember this in the morning, either.

 

the end