Malfoy Manor was as cold and impenetrable as it always had been from the outside. The gates were dark and foreboding and though the elegant peacocks were long gone, there was still the feeling of being watched by something in the shadows.
But through the great oak door with its silver door knocker, was a very different story. The large sitting room at the front of the Manor was cozy and happy with a fire crackling in the large fireplace to keep off the winter chill. The lights were turned just high enough to provide a warm glow. And around the fire, three people were gathered. A family.
Scorpius Malfoy was sitting on the floor in front of the coffee table, a pile of papers spread out in front of him, and a small box of crayons by his feet.
Draco smiled at the sight of his son picking out a yellow crayon before he looked back to the business section of the Daily Prophet. The pages were rustling quietly when Scorpius spoke up.
“Mummy? Daddy? Will you help draw my picture?”
Draco looked up from an article about Florean Fortescue's financial troubles. He wasn’t really sure what to say, so he said nothing. His Father had never drawn pictures with Draco when he was a child, but Draco and Astoria were trying to raise Scorpius differently. He looked over at Astoria. She was already getting up from the couch, pushing the blanket onto the floor so she could have something soft to sit on.
“Of course sweetheart, what are we drawing?” Astoria looked back at him, motioning with her head for Draco to come sit down with them. He folded up the newspaper, and carefully set it aside. Maybe after this was over he could finish the Prophet, he was almost done with it.
“I’m drawing us!” Scorpius grinned toothily at them both once Draco sat down. “See I already drawed the sky, and the sun, and the grass, and that's me,” He pointed to a smiling stick figure with yellow hair and red pajamas. "but I need to put you in, and so you can help.” Scorpius smiled widely up at them. Draco couldn’t help but notice that he was focusing more at him, than Astoria. Like he thought it would take extra convincing to get his Dad to take part.
Draco looked at his wife. Astoria nodded her head at him with an encouraging smile.
“Alright,” Draco said, a little gruffly, “but then you need to go to bed. It’s getting late.” Astoria reached over and squeezed his hand, and Draco knew he’d said the right thing.
“Awesome!” Scorpius looked so excited, that he didn’t even complain about going to bed afterward. He reached down, and picked up the box of crayons and set them on the coffee table with a thunk! “We gotta pick out colors. Mummy, your hair is brown, and I have five browns. I counted. You can choose the right one.” Scorpius pushed five crayons across to Astoria.
“Ok, Scorpius. Help your Father out with the crayon for his robes and then we can get started.”
“Ok!” Scorpius got up and brought the crayon box over to Draco, and plopped down next to him. “What’s your favourite colour Daddy?” He pushed the box into Draco's lap, and almost spilled all the crayons.
“I’ve always been partial to blues and greens, Scorpius. Pick whichever blue you like best and we’ll use that one.” Draco brought out a few shades of blue for his son to choose from. There was light blue, Cerulean, sea green, and Cobalt. He hoped Scorpius wouldn’t pick Cobalt.
“This one,” said Scorpius decisively. It was the Cobalt blue.
Astoria laughed a bit. “What a wonderful colour!”
She had chosen a brown and had been watching Draco pick his color. She knew he hated Cobalt blue. He shouldn’t have even taken it out of the box as an option. Oh well. It made Scorpius happy, so he’d live with it.
Scorpius pulled the piece of paper close to him, and carefully drew two more stick figures, one on either side of the drawing of himself.
“Here Mummy, you draw on your hair and then do the robes.” Scorpius said, pushing the drawing to Astoria.”They can be pink.”
Astoria laughed as she began coloring long brown hair onto the stick figure on the right. “Pink robes? Light pink, or Hot pink?”
“I dunno. Daddy, what do you think they should be?”
Draco smiled a bit, he knew exactly what his answer was going to be without having to think about it. “Hot pink. It’s a great colour.”
“What!!” Astoria was giggling uncontrollably. “I’ll clash with the sky!” But Scorpius had already latched onto the idea of his mother having hot pink robes and was pulling the colour out of the box and putting it in Astoria’s hand.
“Here you go, Mummy.” Scorpius was giggling too, and all the laughing was contagious, so really, Draco couldn’t help but join in with his own laughter. Agreeing to draw this picture with his family was turning out to have been a great idea.
“Alright, if you insist.” Astoria sighed. “But while I’m finishing up, you should start drawing, Draco. Those robes won’t draw themselves.”
Draco smiled at her, then picked up the blue crayon Scorpius placed in front of him. Here goes nothing, he thought, and put the crayon to the paper, and drew himself into the picture.
“Can we put the picture up on the wall?” Scorpius asked. They had finished the family picture, and Scorpius seemed pleased, even though it was, in Draco’s opinion, a very ugly picture.
“Of course dear. How about on the fridge in the kitchen instead of the wall?” Astoria said. She was already starting to stand up, and Draco hurried to help her the rest of the way.
Scorpius scooped up the finished drawing and gently carried it like he was afraid the paper was going to rip. Draco held Astoria’s hand while they walked behind Scorpius out of the living room, through the first-floor library, the dining room, and into the kitchen. Scorpius stopped in front of the refrigerator and bounced up and down on his toes.
“Mummy, will you stick it to the fridge?”
“I’m feeling a little too tired to do that right now, how about you ask Daddy if he will?” Astoria said. When Draco glanced at her, she did look a little pale. Scorpius wouldn’t be the only one going to sleep after this.
“Will you stick it up, Daddy? Please?” Scorpius looked up at Draco with pleading eyes.
“Of course.” Draco took his wand from his pocket and pointed it at the drawing in Scorpius’s hands. “Inhaerotus Fridge.” The drawing flew up and stuck itself to the refrigerator with a flash of yellow light.
“Here we go,” Astoria said to Scorpius, “The picture is all finished. It’s beautiful.”
Scorpius was smiling, and examining the picture closely.
“Wait!” Scorpius threw out his arms as if to stop Draco and Astoria from moving forward. They were both standing still. “We need to sign it.”
“Oh!” Astoria brought a hand to her forehead in distress. “You’re right! We almost missed the most important step! Why don’t you run back to the living room and grab a crayon so we can sign this piece of art.”
“Okey-Dokey!” Scorpius turned and skipped out of the kitchen.
“Is signing the picture really the most important step?” Draco asked when Scorpius was out of earshot. It didn’t really make sense to him why it mattered if their names were on it. They all knew they had drawn it, and it wasn’t as if anyone else would be in the kitchen to see it.
Astoria poked his arm teasingly. “Of course it is! It shows everyone that it’s a picture all three of us worked on as a family. It also makes it feel professional.”
Draco chuckled a bit and pulled her closer to his side in a half hug.
“I FOUND THE RIGHT CRAYON!!!” The quiet was interrupted when Scorpius came barreling into the kitchen at breakneck speed, a crayon clutched in his fist. When he came to a stop, he held it up as close to their faces as he could.
“It’s the special sparkly black one that Grandmama and Grandpapa got for me when they went all the way to India! Remember that?”
Draco’s parents had taken the trip to India only a few weeks ago, and when they had returned, they’d stopped by the Manor to give Scorpius his gift. Draco had been livid that Scorpius had only gotten one crayon, but his son didn’t mind at all and was always bringing up his ‘special sparkly black crayon” over dinner.
“We do remember, now give the crayon to Daddy and he’ll sign first,” Astoria said, bringing Draco out of his thoughts. He looked down and saw that Scorpius was waving the crayon at him. He reached down, and picked up the crayon, and rested it against the bottom of the picture, and started to write out his name.
“Wait!” Scorpius stopped them all again. “Why are you spelling it that way? Mummy said yesterday that Dad spells like D-A-D, and she said that that letter is a R!”
Astoria laughed loudly and happily, “I do remember telling him that dear.” she said after the laughter subsided.
“Oh. Um...Yes, I can’t believe I misspelled my own name.” When Draco said that, Scorpius started laughing, clutching at Astoria’s arm. “Hey now! Don’t laugh at me! I’ll fix it.” He quickly turned the R into an A. “There. D-A-D.” When he looked next to him at Astoria for reassurance, he saw his wife nodding, and smiling at him. He’d done it right then. Draco could feel himself start to smile. He could be a good parent. He watched as Astoria and then Scorpius signed the drawing before asking,
“What else did Mummy teach you yesterday?”
“Well,” Scorpius responded, walking towards the stairs, so he could get ready for bed, “she said that Mum spells like M-U-M and that Scorpius spells like S-C-R-O-P-I-U-S, also-” Before he could get much further, Astoria interrupted him with a tap on the shoulder.
“The R and the O switch places sweetheart.” She reminded him.
“Oh. Oops. Never mind my name doesn’t spell the way I said. It spells this way: S-C-O-R…”