“Dance with me,”
She looked up from her old book, The Tales Of Beedle The Bard to be precise, and softly shook her head at him, her eyes lacking their usual spark of energy and excitement “Not right now, Draco.”
Astoria was currently sat in one of the many sitting rooms of Malfoy Manor, hiding underneath layers of thick fluffy blankets, whilst listening to the heavy rain patter against the frosty window her cheek was pressed against, adding a slight tinge of colour to her porcelain face.
That’s where she spent all of her time these days. A mere shadow of herself, her soul slowly evaporating each passing day from her grief.
All Draco could see when he gazed at her was himself in his 6th year at Hogwarts, feeling impossibly lonely and as though his world was being torn apart.
And that pained him more than anything, seeing her this way.
He was grieving himself, of course, but this was Astoria’s passion. This is what she had wanted ever since she was a child. This is what she had dreamed of. Then it was robbed from her awaiting hands.
She sighed, clearly exasperated already, her usual high amounts of patience starting to dwindle “I’m not in the mood.”
Her concentration returned back to her book, expecting the conversation to have finished, as they usually don’t last very long these days.
But Draco had other ideas, as he strode over to where his wife was slumped, and sat opposite her “What are you reading?”
“You know what I’m reading,”
He slowly exhaled, trying to tame the beast of his frustration “Indeed I do, as you’ve been reading the same book non stop for a week. So, I thought we could do something else.”
“No...I-I’m still not fully well again. I just need a few more days,”
“Astoria, I’m not leaving you like this any longer. It’s killing me,”
“I told you, I’m unwell and need time to recover,”
“You’ve had enough time, quite frankly”
She met his gaze, and felt herself becoming warm with pride at the determination and loyalty in his eyes.
Closing the book and distractedly glancing out of the window, Astoria whispered “I don’t think I have the energy to dance.”
Draco followed her vision outside and felt an idea sprout and bloom in his brain. He clasped his fingers around a latch on the window, and nimbly unlocked it, just as the wind violently ripped the window open with such force that it bashed against the walls of the manor, leaving space for the torrential rainfall to infiltrate their warmth “Then I’ll support you.”
Before she could protest, he was ripping his robe off and kicking away his shoes, leaving him in a plain white button up shirt and black dress pants.
Astoria couldn’t hide a slight smile as she watched him climb through the ground floor window and cautiously make his way to the bottom, lacking the Gryffindor bravery to jump the distance “If only your father could see you right now.”
He grinned at her teasing attitude, and extended both his arms out to her, which she accepted after a few seconds of deliberation, letting him wrap his hands around her waist and gently pull her to the ground “You have, well and truly, lost the plot.”
Draco squeezed one of her hands in one of his and led her further into the Manor’s grounds, ignoring the fact that his clothes were starting to get annoyingly itchy, focusing on keeping Astoria occupied.
Their bare feet thudded against the mud as he quickened his pace, dragging his wife along with him, passing the dark and ancient trees and flowers that had been long since wilted. The peacocks were clearly used to this sort of behaviour, as they continued to strut and parade around the grounds, the rain causing them to display their array of brightly coloured feathers.
Time seemed to slow for the young couple, as they recklessly ran together, but eventually, Draco’s pace started to slacken when a small wooden den came into his view.
Astoria frowned, uncertain of whether she had seen this building before, and she was certain she hadn’t as soon as Draco opened the door.
Inside, it was a simple and dimly lit nest filled with hay - clearly for the peacocks to stay in when the weather starts to get cold. However, in the corner of the shelter, there lay only two peacocks nestled closely together, whilst the rest of their group enjoyed the current atmosphere outside.
“I didn’t even know this existed,” Astoria mumbled, untangling her hand from his grasp so that she could walk around more freely, leaving droplets of water onto the ground from her drenched nightgown, feet and hair.
“Yes, well, I wanted to show you something that was in here.”
She curiously peered in his direction, and noticed that he had a slightly worried look on his face, as though he was nervous about something. So, she whispered back to him “What is it?”
Draco cleared his throat, and went towards where the peacocks were, crouching down in front of them and motioning with his head for Astoria to join him; which she did.
A small gasp was released from her lungs, and she felt her heart squeeze painfully tight in her chest.
Right in front of the duo, there lay two resting peacocks, with their small child wide-awake in between them, it’s eyes searching the newcomers curiously, never having seen humans before.
“I wasn’t sure wether to bring you here or not, since it hasn’t been very long since you...you know,” Draco avoided eye contact with her, instead choosing to focus on the animals “But I can’t keep seeing you this way, Astoria. It isn’t benefiting anyone.”
She looked down at the dusty wood below, blatantly ashamed with herself and her behaviour over the past few days “I-I know I’m just-“
This is when the tears started to pour, and she’d never felt more embarrassed about sobbing in front of Draco before, as she’s done it plenty of times during the duration of their long relationship.
He just watched her with understanding eyes, knowing that Astoria needed to get this off her chest so that her internal wounds can heal.
“I feel like- I feel like I’ve let you down. And I just... I wish that I could be strong enough. I wish that I could give you a child. I wish that I could give us a child,” Astoria told him, her voice barely above a whisper, as she watched the small family with green eyes brimming with longing alongside the tears and heartbreak.
“And I know that you keep having doubts about this, and I’m so fucking frustrated that we both decide that we want a baby and I go ahead and kill it!”
At this point, she just let the sobs roll over her body like waves in the ocean, crashing upon her and rocking her backwards and forwards, in a constant pool of cold and lost.
“And I’m just- I’m just so sorry,”
She raised her blood shot eyes to look directly into his own “I’m so fucking sorry for everything, Draco.”
“You-“ He had to clear his throat as his voice was hoarse and thick from his wife’s words “you have nothing to apologise for. The healer told you that miscarriages are normal with the curse, and that we can just keep trying.”
Astoria nodded her head, sniffing heavily as she did so “I know. It doesn’t make it hurt any less, though.”
Draco held his hand out to her, which she gladly accepted, and they both helped each other stand, feeling quite lighter after understanding how they each felt.
He pressed his forehead against hers, and they both shared the others breath, neither of them wanting to ruin this important moment.
Well, that is until snarky Draco Lucius Malfoy felt the need to comment:
“You still owe me a dance,”
Although she was still crying, she couldn’t help but laugh at his antics. She curtsied as he bowed, and she questioned “May I have this dance Draco Malfoy?”
He pressed his forehead against hers, and whispered “Why of course, Astoria Malfoy.” Before leading her into a slow yet passionate dance, that the couple had truly missed.
Wow, the first time I’ve ever wrote Draco! I do hope you enjoyed, and that he wasn’t out of character. But I should get better at writing him over time if you felt like he was.
Constructive criticism is happily welcomed and thank you for reading! :))