It must have been the 6th time he had checked and refolded Scorpius trunk. The boy had packed half of his library and half of his bedroom favorites, leaving a few vital essentials like his uniforms, school supplies and special blanket that adjusted to the body's temperature.
"Hey Scor are you absolutely certain that you don't want to stay home for the first half of the school year. Grandmama and I can homeschool you for a bit-
Draco continued not noticing his son’s anxious expression.
"I know you'll miss your friends but you can always send him an owl-"
"Dad! Is- is there a- um never mind..."
The young boy trailed off fiddling with his most recent purchases from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. The boy practically lived there.
Draco finally stopped his own fidgeting with the worn cloth in his hands.He looked at his son seeming to struggle with what he was about to say.
Draco nodded his head,"Go ahead son."
Scorpius released a deep sigh,"Is- is there a reason why you don't want me to go? Do you think I'm not strong enough? I mean I understand I have been a bit of a wreck these past weeks but I think I'll be fine. I-"
Draco walked across the bedroom the blue carpet underneath his feet muffling his steps.
He was holding onto a small scarf reminiscing of the last winter they had,had with Astoria. His beautiful wife the only person in the world who could get Scorpius to slow down and get his scarf and gloves on before heading outside in the snow.
Astoria was winding the scarf around her son’s neck smiling fondly at the story he was sharing of a snowball fight he and his best friend had gotten into the previous school year against some 4th year Gryffindor bullies.
“I’m proud of you both for defending yourselves but please honey remember….
She leaned closer to whisper in his ear, “Always aim for the nose.”
He laughed, “ I’ll pass that onto Al. Speaking of Albus, he should be here soon! Can I go now?”
His mother replied pulling his jacket tighter around at the collar and overall fussing if he had covered every inch of his body.
“Yes yes of course. Are you warm enough my darling?
He was heading toward the front door, his footsteps resounding loudly as he ran across the marble floor.
“Scorpius I think you’re old enough for me to stop yelling ,”use your walking feet” every day.”
The blonde haired boy turned to see his father with his arm around his mother’s shoulders. He knew he shouldn’t be such an eavesdropper but he noticed lately that his father had become more hovering around his mother. He would ask her if she wanted to rest or if h3 could take over whatever she was doing.
She always smiled before saying, “I’m fine. I’ll sit down in a bit.
Today her answer was no different.
Scorpius was simply excited to see his best friend “Yes mum! I got my gloves, my hat, my boots. Now can I go play outside?"
Draco rolled his eyes fondly at his son’s impatience.
“Just stay warm and keep this scarf on. Just like your father you always have cold ears."
“Better than your cold toes, love."
Draco released a shaky sigh. He glanced up at Scorpius rolling up a muggle band poster and placing it neatly in his trunk,
"You have every right to express those feelings. We we just lost her and it's not that I don't think you won't be strong enough. You're one of the toughest-”
"I am being compared to a sea slug in this 'one of the toughest' comparison."
Draco snorted,"No, like a lion."
Scorpius grinned,"I rather be a slug."
Draco sat on the corner of the bed.
"No you are strong. But I don't know if I will be as bit as strong as you when you leave. it will be the first time in so long I won't have her or you in this big castle like you call it."
Scorpius smiled sadly glancing at his favorite picture of all of them together by his bed stand. He definitely had to pack that.
"She was always there singing, laughing or puttering in her garden. I knew she was nearby. And you always the chatterbox never kept the halls silent for too long. You both brought life into this place and now I feel like it's going to be quite different without you there.
"Hogwarts is a castle dad, this is like a mini castle. But I know what you mean. You know what I was thinking of? Whenever I got on the train and I looked out the window to see you both, I would see mom crying but not you. I thought you were happy to get a break from me.”
Draco pulled his son by the hands closer so he could hear him loud and clear.
"Never ever, ever think that. I missed you the second you would step on board the train but your mother was always there to remind me that we could owl you. Send you letters or packages even both until that owl pecked our fingers bloody."
He offered a broken smile at the laugh he got from his son. He swore it sounded quite similar to Astoria’s.
"Well how about we continue that tradition. Send owls every week even if its letter asking how I'm doing or if- if you just want to talk until we have bloody fingers."
Draco let out a laugh a sniffle following. He nodded. Feeling that hollowness in his heart fill itself with the smile his son had on his face. So much of her was in him.
"Dad we're going to be fine right? This- this...Does does the crying ever stop?"
Draco opened his arms a huff escaping his throat as Scorpius practically tackles him. His heart aching at the muffled sobs coming from his son..
"Of course my darling. Eventually it does.”
They were at the train station. Draco kept a tired eye on a rambunctious Scorpius from getting distracting and letting the trolley roll away from him and into bleary-eyed people.
He'd apologized enough times to cranky muggles in the last 8 minutes as he kept an eye out for a flash of blonde moving through the masses of people.
"Scor would you try not to run the muggles over.”
Scorpius dressed in his muggle attire which consisted of,black jeans and a very faded band shirt that Draco had asked him twice to change. Which the teen had replied with a ‘no’ but covered it with a slightly decent looking jacket. Malfoy was learning to pick his battles and if this type of clothing brought some security to his child then so be it.
They were finally past Platform 9 ¾ and the sounds of wizards and witches along with excited chatter from parents and children alike hit the Malfoy family like a tidal wave. Scorpius chewed on his bottom lip as he scanned the many faces on the platform. A hand took a gentle hold of his cheek.
“Just breathe in and out. Can you do that Scorpius?”
Scorpius took a couple of deep breaths before releasing each one slower than the first.
Draco leans in close and looks Scor into his eyes,"Remember what we said. Don't let the bastards-"
"Get me down!"
Draco pulled his son into a hug. Choosing to ignore the “dad you’re squishing me!”
"Perfect. Be good and have fun. And please remember to eat. Your grandmother nearly had my head this morning."
Scorpius nodded his head,"Got it! I'll eat toast and jam with bacon everyday."
"Er get some sort of vegetable in that mix and we'll be fine."
Once he’d helped Scorpius load everything on the train he was left alone with all the other parents and guardians bidding their own goodbyes to their children.
Draco caught himself when he began to lean down as he if he were about to speak to a person at his side before he stood up straight. Astoria would always tug at his arm while waving goodbye to their boy. He would be near to make sure she didn’t stumble or bump into someone in her excitement.
The widowed father sighed wearily once the all too familiar horn began to blow, signaling that the train was departing. That his son was off to another year of learning and to having his own adventures.
He knew his Scorpius would be safe but that feeling in the pit of his stomach churned uncomfortably at the thought of not being there when Scorpius would pause in middle of doing something and stare into the distance. A melancholy expression falling over his face.
Draco would always bring him back with some coaxing and a promise of hot chocolate.
He ardently hoped that the one person Scorpius trusted more than anyone even Draco who bitterly admitted himself, would be able to keep his son safe and present. It wouldn’t be too long until those two reunited-
He was brought back when he heard a happy sounding Scorpius yelling, “Bye dad!!”
He smiled at the frantic waving. He thought he saw a flash of messy black hair behind his son.
‘Potter of course always around.’
He felt some fear relieve itself at the thought that his son wouldn’t be alone. How could he be when those two were practically joined at the hip.
His son would be fine he knew that and eventually whether it was years or decades he would be fine too.