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Mourning Marigolds

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The grey light of dawn seeped through the drapes in Scorpius Malfoy's bedroom. The light wasn't disturbing, however. Anyone who had been sleeping would not have noticed it, but Scorpius was anything but asleep. He was exhausted, but sleep had not come that night. It was rare that a good night's rest came to anyone these days. Slowly, he sat up, the wood paneled bed creaking as he moved. Pulling back the covers, a burst of cold air hit his body. Is this house ever warm? he thought. It was, when Mum was here.

Scorpius shivered as his feet touched the hardwood floor, but he stood anyway, despite the coolness. Sliding off of the warm, inviting mattress, Scorpius made for the door, and carefully turned the brass knob before pushing it open and beginning along the long, dark hallway. All of the other doors were closed, including Draco's, but Scorpius concluded that his father wasn't asleep either. He padded down the corridor, trying not to be intimidated by the portraits of previous Malfoys, with their cold, icy eyes, pointed noses and irregularly pale faces. Though Scorpius had passed the paintings many a time with out fear, he felt like an unwelcome intruder in his own house as his ancestors sneered down at him from above.

He reached a pair of double doors at the end of the path, only a little ways away from his own suite. He opened them, wanting desperately for the doors not to creak, Scorpius paused in the threshold to look at the room's occupant. After a moment, he advanced toward the bedside.

 "Albus," Scorpius whispered. Immediately, Albus Severus Potter's eyes shot open, and he bolted upright in bed. Scorpius envied him. True, he appeared to have slept lightly the previous night, based on the way he had awoken, but he was probably only doing so in case Scorpius needed him. Still, Albus had slept--but then, his mother was still alive and well.

 "What is it?" Albus asked frantically. "Are you alright?"

 Scorpius nodded, though it was a lie. He was sure Albus saw through it, but he hoped he didn't. 

 "The funeral. It's today."

<III>

The boys dressed in midnight black robes without conversation. It seemed no one could put the momentum of the loss of Astoria Malfoy into words, though there was so much to say. Around eleven o'clock that morning, Albus and Scorpius met a very sleep deprived-looking Draco outside in the Manor's garden. It pained Scorpius terribly to know that his mother--his Mum--was to be put into a box and buried beneath the ground.

Slowly, people began to arrive and pay their respects as the ceremony began. Daphne Greengrass, Scorpius's aunt and Astoria's sister was slightly late, but it came as no shock to anyone. Daphne loved her sister, but she had never really accepted the fact that Astoria married into the Malfoy family. The two had lost contact after Draco and Astoria's wedding. Mr. and Mrs. Greengrass, Astoria and Daphne's parents also showed, but they seemed to avoid Draco, as they always did. The family had never really cut ties after Draco asked for their daughter's hand. Scorpius's grandmother however, did come along to meet Albus and comfort her grandson.

The priest droned on about how Astoria's death should merely be a reminder of a well lived life.

It wasn't well lived! Scorpius screamed inside of his head. She should have had longer. She was young! Too young. It wasn't her time!

He shook away his thoughts and tried to pay attention, but the worst was yet to come. When the speech concluded, a few of the guests, Scorpius didn't know whom--maybe some other relatives of Astoria--summoned a spell and levitated the elegant wooden casket that held his mother, and lowered it into the ground. He couldn't watch. It was all too horribly final. Scorpius slammed his head into Albus's shoulder, so quickly it might have been mistaken for a reflex. Albus didn't flinch or leap away in surprise, however. He merely stood tall and placed a comforting hand on Scorpius. They stayed in that very position until the ceremony ended.

 The guests retreated indoors, but Scorpius walked over to the gravestone belonging to Astoria. 

"Mum..." he sat down, but it felt like a fall from a hundred feet. Albus watched his friend from afar.

 

HERE LIES ASTORIA MALFOY

SISTER, DAUGHTER, WIFE AND MOTHER

THE SUNLIGHT ON A RAINY DAY   

The carving was hurtful to look at.

 "Mum, I'm sorry-so sorry-please-I love you-Mum." Scorpius sobbed. Albus was by his side in moments, hugging him fiercely. Scorpius cried until it seemed as though he was out of tears. Albus watched his friend in pain and sadness. He felt some of his own tears threatening to fall, but he blinked them away.

 "She wanted to meet you, you know." Scorpius croaked.

 "She did?" Albus asked.

"Yes. Very much so."

 "She sounded lovely," Albus replied. They sat in front of the grave, taking in the scene. It seemed unfair that a funeral was held on such a bright and beautiful day. White, fluffy clouds floated past in a brilliant blue sky. Flowers of every color surrounded the boys.

"This was always her favorite place," Scorpius informed, breathing deeply.

"I can see why," Albus agreed. The garden was truly spectacular, with it's cobblestoned pathways, sparkling fountains and beautiful plants and flowers.

 "Look at the flowers," Scorpius ordered. Albus obeyed. Tulips, roses, daises, morning glories surrounded him. Albus couldn't name the rest.

 "There are none by her," Scorpius pointed out. It was true; all that surrounded the gravestone was dirt.

 "We can fix that," Albus said lightly.

"How?"

"What was her favorite flower?" Albus asked walked off into the floral abyss.

 "Marigolds." Scorpius answered. "What are you on about?" 

Albus didn't reply, but instead returned with two golden-orange flowers. He handed one to Scorpius.

 "Plant this one here." He said. "I'll do this one." Albus made a tiny space in the dirt for his marigold. Scorpius watched then copied. 

"See?" Albus said. "Flowers."

"They'll die without water," Scorpius replied glumly.

"So we'll water them." Albus trotted to one of the fountains and filled a nearby watering can with the fresh, crystal-clear water that flowed from the mouth of one of the statues.

 After pouring a small amount on the marigolds, Albus sat back down. Scorpius sniffed and wiped his eyes. "Thank you,"

 "Of course." Albus replied softly. "I'll always be here for you. Okay?"

 Scorpius smiled slightly. "We should go. They'll be missing us."

 Albus nodded, and the two stood. Scorpius knew there would be more mourning to come, but for now, that thought was given little attention. Albus had a way of making the most awful things okay. So did Astoria. Scorpius was thankful for that.

Hand in hand, the two left the graden, the gravestones, and the mourning marigolds.

 It would be okay.