Draco Malfoy was pacing the length of the hallway, unsure whether to scream or tear his hear out. This was a complete disaster. How on earth did Scorpius find out? He had always made sure to hide his past from his son. Is this the day that his son turns his back on him? will his past sins destroy one of the most comforting relationships in his life? Draco felt sick, restrained. He wished he could run from this Manor and leave everything behind, but he knew that there was no chance of running away. Not this time. He would have to face the consequences.
"Draco, you know he's an intelligent child," Astoria said gently, appearing in the doorway to the Drawing Room. "He was bound to find out at one point."
Astoria's soft voice calmed Draco considerably and he stopped his pacing and turned to look at his Wife who was regarding him with motherly concern.
"You don't think my past has disappointed him, do you?" Draco asked his wife worriedly. "Traumatised him? I know how much he admires Harry Potter and his friends. I'm not one of his Gryffindor heroes, Astoria. Far from it. I've let my Son down. I'm not fit to call myself his Father."
He stared bitterly at the expensive rug, not really seeing it, hatred for his Father coursing through his veins; if it were not for Lucius Malfoy and his affiliation with Lord Voldemort, none of this would've happened.
"Talk to him," Astoria said softly, snapping Draco out of his depression. "It's the only way you can resolve this, Draco."
"Right now, I can barely look at myself in the mirror," Draco muttered darkly, wishing that he could reset time itself so that he didn't have to hear his son's hurt voice again. He always knew in his heart of hearts that this day was coming and he dreaded it. But Astoria was ultimately right as always; Scorpius was bound to find out that he was a Death Eater sooner or later and that day had finally come.
Draco remembered the hurt in Scorpius's eyes that morning at breakfast when he confronted Draco about it.
"You were a Death Eater, Daddy! A Death Eater!" Scorpius had cried, standing up, tears welling in his warm grey eyes. "How could you? How could you burn down that Village? You were my hero!"
He had run upstairs before Draco could say anything and Astoria had quickly followed him leaving Draco to his shock.
It turned out that Scorpius had read it in a History book of all places and it wasn't just any history book. It was Rita Skeeter's twisted version of the Second Wizarding War. 'It wasn't even a proper History book,' Draco thought bitterly, feeling a fresh surge of anger, noting the irony of having used Skeeter to help spread dirt about Harry Potter, that Skeeter would later turn on him when it suited her needs.
He would have to go to Diagon Alley to buy Scorpius a proper History book after he had retreated to his study to think.
"Locking yourself in your study isn't going to solve anything," Astoria said wisely, as if she knew what Draco was thinking. "Come on, he's in the Library. Both of you need to have a proper talk. It's the only way you can sort this out."
She gently took Draco's hand and led him up the stairs towards the Library. Astoria's touch calmed Draco considerably and he allowed himself to led to the Library. To his doom.
Before he was ready, they were both outside the Library. Astoria gently knocked and pushed the door open.
"Scorpius, sweetheart, is it okay if we could join you?" Astoria asked gently.
Six-year-old Scorpius was perched on the leather sofa sitting on a mountain on cushions surrounded by books and bags of sweets. He had an empty glass of Pumpkin juice on the coffee table and he looked at home reading a large tome that was heavier than him.
Scorpius looked up from his book and smiled at Astoria and nodded. He glanced at Draco and quickly looked away. Draco's heart sunk. Scorpius was already starting to fear him, he noted sadly. He didn't know what he could say in order to fix this mess.
Astoria let go of his hand and Draco felt his anxiety return. He had a lot of explaining to do. Astoria sat down on the leather sofa opposite Scorpius and motioned for Draco to join her. Draco reluctantly followed and he could feel his son's gaze upon him. It felt a lot like that time when he had been caught out of bed by Professor McGonagall back in his First Year at Hogwarts.
Draco joined Astoria and glanced at Scorpius. His son was looking at him intently, his eyes, grey like Draco's, had a lot of Astoria's warmth and they shone in a way that Draco's never did. Scorpius was looking at him wearily and Draco felt the guilt bubble up again, trying and failing to find the words.
"Would it be alright if Daddy talks to you about a couple of things?" Astoria asked Scorpius sweetly.
"I don't see why not," Scorpius replied seriously sounding a lot older than six. He took a Jelly Slug and popped it into his mouth. "Is it to do with the Broomstick? I didn't know how windy it was when I went flying and I didn't mean to upset you. It was really, really scary. I've never been so high. I was even higher than our house. I won't be doing that again in a hurry."
"No, Scorpius," Astoria smiled. "It's not about the broomstick, darling. Daddy has a few things that he wants to discuss with you if that's okay with you."
"Is it about what I said at breakfast?" Scorpius said quietly, looking down at his feet which were dangling over the sofa which his cushions were perched on and taking another Jelly Slug. Draco and Astoria both exchanged a look and Astoria nodded at Draco and motioned him to say something.
"Yes," Draco said heavily after a moment's pause.
"I didn't mean to shout, Daddy," Scorpius said quietly. "I was just very shocked to read it. Did you really burn down a village full of Muggles?"
"Rita Skeeter is known to twist the truth, Scorpius," Draco said seriously, trying to force down the bubbling anger that surfaced in the pit of his stomach again. "She's not a proper Historian, son. She's a journalist. She's paid to lie about people. I didn't do half the things that she said I did."
"So, you were a Death Eater?" Scorpius asked quietly, looking hurt. "I thought it was a mistake."
Draco bowed his head in shame, unable to look at his son's hurt expression.
"I was a Death Eater, Scorpius," He said finally, letting out a long sigh. "But before you judge me, I want you to know that I was forced into it. I didn't have a choice in the matter. I young and with youth came naivety and foolishness. Most people at the age of sixteen are usually caught up in romantic drama. Something I would have preferred."
"Was it because of Grumpy Grandfather that you became a Death Eater?" Scorpius asked. "Because I know he's a Death Eater. He's very, very horrible and I've read that he was once in Voldemort's inner circle. Is that why he's always grumpy? Because Voldemort was his friend and he doesn't have a friend anymore."
Astoria chuckled beside Draco as he lifted his head up to see Scorpius looking curious.
"Scorpius, you know you shouldn't call your Grandfather that," Draco chided gently. "But yes, it was because of your Grandfather. He was in Voldemort's inner circle and the choices I made at the age of sixteen were down to his actions and influence. Or more likely his failures. I'm not proud of what I've done, and my choices have haunted me to this day."
"Did you kill anyone?" Scorpius asked, sounding so innocent that Draco had to fight back tears.
"No," He sighed. "I'm not a killer, Scorpius. It takes a different type of person to take a life. I may have boasted about it in the past, but when it came to it, I couldn't do it."
The unbidden image of Albus Dumbledore being blasted off the Hogwarts Astronomy tower sprang to Draco's mind. He knew that he could never have killed him. He had plenty of nightmares afterwards of his old Headmaster being killed and it had taken him a long time to recover from them.
"But did you torture people?" Scorpius asked. Draco stilled, remembering the screams of his many victims. Voldemort had often ordered him to torture Death Eaters who had failed him.
"I had no choice," Draco said quietly. "It was torture or be tortured. I didn't enjoy it like my Aunt Bellatrix did, in fact I hated doing it."
Another unbidden image, this time of his Aunt Bellatrix, her face contorted with rage as had her wand on Hermione Granger, who was laying on the floor, screaming in agony. Draco had never forgotten the screams of Hermione Granger and for years, he used to hear them in his nightmares.
"Draco, are you alright?" Astoria asked him. Draco snapped his eyes up to see both Astoria and Scorpius looking at him worriedly; He seemed to have blanked out momentarily.
"Sorry," Draco exhaled, trying to banish the screams of Hermione Granger from his mind.
"The Cruciatus Curse is one of the worst curses known to man, Scorpius." Draco said seriously, causing Scorpius to gaze intently at him. "The intense pain that it causes it victims can cause them permanent insanity. I wasn't sadistic enough to be a proficient caster of the curse, as my Aunt Bellatrix constantly reminded me."
"Was she the mad one?" Scorpius asked.
"Yes," Draco said with a wry smile. "She was the one sent to Azkaban for torturing the Longbottom's to the point of insanity."
Draco's stomach churned with guilt at the memories of bullying Neville Longbottom at Hogwarts. He had always been such an easy target and his reactions were very amusing, but looking back on it now, Draco felt disgusted at his teenage self. Longbottom grew up with his Grandmother as his parents were incapable of taking care of him. Having Scorpius greatly changed his world outlook and he would hate for Scorpius to go through the same thing Longbottom went through.
"You're lucky to live in a world where you don't ever have to worry about the Cruciatus Curse, Scorpius," Draco continued. "It is easy to boast about doing something, but when it actually comes to doing the deed, it's an entirely different matter."
"You don't have to worry about joining the Death Eaters, Scorpius," Astoria smiled. "Whatever your Grandfather says, you are your own person. You live in a world where it doesn't matter whether you are a Pure-Blood or a Muggle-Born."
"Thanks to Harry Potter," Scorpius said happily and Draco tensed.
"That's right," Astoria nodded.
"I've read all about Harry Potter," Scorpius beamed. "He went to School with you, didn't he Daddy? Did you ever speak to him? Were you friends with him? Because that would be really, really great if you were friends with Harry Potter. He's my favourite hero!"
Draco shifted in his seat, guilt bubbling in his stomach like boiling water. His animosity with Harry Potter was over, but he couldn't call him his friend. In fact, he hadn't seen Potter for years. Not since the end of the war.
"I-I wasn't friends with Harry Potter, Scorpius," Draco said solemnly and Scorpius's eager face fell causing a fresh wave of guilt to wash over Draco. "In fact, Potter and I never got along. We were quite the enemies."
The light left Scorpius's eyes as his mouth opened in horror. His whole body seemed to deflate and Astoria got up and gently wrapped her arms around Scorpius.
"I'm sorry, Scorpius," Draco said solemnly, absolutely hating himself. "I did try to be his friend, but Harry Potter always had a strong sense of justice and to be honest, I was a bit of a bully."
"But he's a hero," Scorpius sniffed as he pulled away from Astoria. "He's my hero."
"I know," Draco sighed. "And I wasn't the nicest person around when I went to Hogwarts."
"Your Father and Harry Potter had quite the rivalry at school," Astoria said softly. "They could be quite silly sometimes."
"It wasn't all bad," Draco muttered. "Potter saved my life."
Scorpius's jerked his head to look at Draco, a look of pure astonishment on his face, the light returning to his eyes.
"Really?" He asked eagerly. "Is that true, Daddy? Harry Potter saved your life?"
"He did," Draco said shortly. "Apparently, leaving me to die in a burning room was too much even for him. Just when I thought that I was going to die, he comes soaring down on his broomstick and gets me to safety."
"Did he really save you?" Scorpius asked, his face lighting up again and his eyes brighter than ever before.
"If he didn't, you wouldn't be sitting here," Draco said with a wry smile.
Draco laughed softly at the wonder in Scorpius's eyes. Scorpius started fidgeting with excitement and he looked as if he wanted to say something else.
"I want to thank him," He burst out, sliding off his cushions and onto the floor where he jumped back up again.
"I think that would be rather difficult, Scorpius because I haven't seen or spoken to Potter for years," Draco said hesitantly, feeling unsure where this conversation was going.
"You could write a letter to him," Astoria smiled at Scorpius and Draco looked around at her with alarm.
"I don't think that would be a good idea," Draco said wearily. "Potter wouldn't to be disturbed by the likes of us."
"But I'm saying thank you, Daddy!" Scorpius exclaimed. "It's important to say thank you. Manners go a long way. Don't they Mummy?"
"They do indeed," Astoria beamed. Draco felt very uneasy at the prospect of his Son writing to Harry Potter. What if Potter didn't like it? What if he sent a rude reply to Scorpius? That would really break Scorpius's little heart as he seemed to hero worship Potter. If Potter ever upset Scorpius, Draco would make him regret it. Astoria, as always, seemed to know what Draco was thinking because she sat back down and put a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Draco, relax," She said softly. "I don't think anything would go wrong if Scorpius wrote to Harry Potter. If anything, it would put a smile on his face. Don't forget he's also got a son Scorpius's age."
"Albus Severus," Scorpius chirped happily. "I've seen him in photos. He looks just like Harry Potter, doesn't he Mummy?"
"He does," Astoria smiled. "Doesn't he? Although he looks slightly overwhelmed being out in public with all those cameras everywhere. The poor boy. He didn't ask for all that fame."
"He's a Potter," Draco muttered. "He's probably lapping it all up like his father and brother."
"No, he doesn't!" Scorpius cried indignantly. "He usually tries to hide from the cameras. I feel sorry for him. He could use a friend."
Scorpius looked so stubborn for a moment, that Draco was lost for words. Astoria looked as if she were trying not to laugh, but Draco could see her eyes twinkling with silent laughter.
"I suppose you can write to Harry Potter," Draco sighed, resigned to the inevitable.
"Thank you, Daddy!" Scorpius cried, jumping forward and hugging Draco. "You're best Daddy ever!"
"Even though I was a Death Eater?" Draco asked weakly, patting Scorpius on the back and feeling incredibly touched.
"But you're not now," Scorpius mumbled, pulling away and looking at Draco with wide eyes that sparkled with happiness. "You're my Daddy and that's the most important thing that matters to me. I already guessed that you were a Death Eater, anyway. Grumpy Grandfather said something about it during dinner the other day. It was really mean of him. It wasn't your fault that you were forced to be a Death Eater. It was his fault."
Draco smiled, ignoring Scorpius's nickname for Lucius just this once. His son didn't hate him for what he was and that was the best feeling in the world.
"You'll never have to go through what I went through, Scorpius," Draco said firmly. "I promise you."
"And I promise you that as well, Scorpius," Astoria said, her eyes blazing fiercely. "Now, didn't want to write a letter to Harry Potter?"
"Okay" Scorpius beamed, his little face lighting up and he rushed to the door.
"Don't forget to use your best handwriting," Astoria smiled, getting up and opening the door for him. "You should always make sure to make a good impression when writing to people."
Scorpius opened the door of the Library and ran out excitedly, moving as fast as a Snitch. Draco put his head in his hands and let out a long sigh.
"That went far better than I thought it would," He sighed weakly.
"I told you that talking to him would resolve things," Astoria said softly, wandering back to Draco and putting her hand on his shoulder.
"I have no idea why someone like me deserves someone patient and understanding like you," Draco said, as he stood up and reached out and tucked a strand of Astoria's hair behind her ear. "I am truly blessed to have you and Scorpius in my life."
"I think anyone who seeks a chance at redemption, deserves a second chance, Draco," Astoria smiled, taking his hand and interlocking their fingers.
Draco always enjoyed these moments with Astoria where they would be alone and simply enjoy the feeling of each other's presence.
"Do you think Harry Potter would be okay with Scorpius writing to him?" Draco asked worriedly. "I hope Potter doesn't take it the wrong way."
"He won't," Astoria said softly. "I don't know Harry Potter that well, but I do know that he'd never snub a Six-year-old child."
"I hope you're right," Draco muttered. "It's been a long time since I've had anything to do with Harry Potter. At least Scorpius doesn't despise my innards as I thought he would."
"He's got so much love inside him, that I don't think that he knows how to hate," Astoria said wisely. "Now let's see how he's doing. Knowing our son, Scorpius has probably written Harry Potter a foot-long essay on how much he admires him. I don't think he should read that."
"I would love to see Potter's face if he did read it though," Draco said dryly before catching the look on Astoria's face. "Although it might be prudent to check up on him." He added hastily.
As Astoria left the Library and made her way to Scorpius's room, Draco sank back down onto the sofa and laughed with relief. It wasn't a disaster. His son didn't hate him for his past and still loved him like he did yesterday. He knew he was lucky to have Astoria in his life and he thanked the stars for her every day.