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The Memories Remain

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Astoria's breathing was heavy and labored as she laid on the hospital bed. Her heart monitor chirped steadily in time with her heartbeat. Her hand was clutched tightly in her husband's, and her son sat beside her, quietly twisting her long hair into a braid. His eyes glistened with unshed tears. At the door of the bed sat Astoria's sister Daphne with tears running freely down her face. 

 "I can't believe this," Daphne sniffled. "All the treatments and potions...for nothing?" She looked at Draco. "Isn't there something the Healers can do?" 

 "They've already done everything they can," Draco replied through gritted teeth. Daphne's voice had never been a comforting sound, but right now it seemed like someone was banging a hammer against a pot right beside his ear. "The treatments weren't for nothing, either. She'd have been dead years ago without them."

 "Well, she'll be dead in days with them!" Daphne stood, storming out of the private ward. Astoria shifted in her sleep, and Scorpius gently took her hand, running his own hand through her hair. 

 "Come on, Scorpius. We should let her sleep..." Draco said softly, standing. "She'll be here when we return."

 "When we come back, Dad. Nobody says 'return' anymore," Scorpius joked, trying to disguise a quiet sob. Still, Draco saw when  his son reached up to wipe away a tear. He sighed, beckoning Scorpius. 

 "Come on, let's head back home." Together, they walked out of the hospital and to the nearest alley, where they Side-Along Apparated home. 

Scorpius immediately made for the bedroom, and Draco, after asking a house-elf to fix a pot of tea, retreated to his study. He sat at his desk, staring quietly at the floor. 

We've had that carpet forever, he thought, trying to distract himself. He sighed, looking over to the wall, where a portrait of he and his wife hung. 

Why do you have to leave? That's...bloody unfair. 

Draco could imagine Astoria smiling softly, her green eyes shining. "not everything's fair," she'd say. And then she'd kiss his cheek and punch his shoulder and tell him to help her fix dinner. 

He sighed, laying his head on the desk. His eyelids felt heavy, and his head ached after sitting in the brightly lit waiting room for over an hour. He drew his wand and flicked it at the sconce on the wall, sending a gust of air that put out the candles.