Harry Potter does not belong to me.
By the time his son was three, Draco knew something was very wrong. He tried to ignore it, hoping that with time this ailment would correct itself. However, there was always a small nagging voice in the back of his mind telling him that something was not right.
Draco knew that he had always shown signs of magical aptitude, even as a small child. He knew that children from pure magical families began to manifest abilities at ages two or three at the latest, the brighter ones at an even younger age. Objects would break or explode during tantrums; toys would come to life while playing. These were the signs of a young wizard before he knew how to control the potential within him.
These occurrences were decidedly absent in his child. Not once did he come home to have the boy's caregiver tell him his son had destroyed a vase during a tantrum. Never did he find a toy wandering aimlessly around the house. The boy never did a single magical thing. There was no indication that there was anything extraordinary about him.
It wasn't that he thought the boy was dense. He proved to be perceptive and understood what magic was at a level above most children his age. He could read and recite passages with ease and even began walking at an early age. Draco was at a loss as to why a child that bright wasn't manifesting one iota of magical potential like he should. The thought that the child was simply a late bloomer was scandalous. The thought that there was something seriously wrong with him didn't garner conscious thought. It was impossible.
When Draco was four, his father had taken him out and given him his wand to teach him a few simple charms that would help him channel and control his budding power. After his own son's fourth birthday, Draco took him out on the private grounds of the Malfoy manner and gave him his wand. Perhaps, he thought, his son needed something to help him channel. At such a young age, magic was still raw and spontaneous. As smart as his son was, Draco had reasoned it possible that he was already controlling such outbursts.
In the early morning sun and into the late afternoon, Draco taught his son to focus and use his wand as a conduit for his power. By the time the sun began to set and evening fell upon them, nothing had happened. Not a single spark shot from the end of his wand while in his son's hands. The boy might as well have been holding a twig for all that it mattered.
Draco's frustration grew while Pansy watched out the window, her worried frown growing with each day. He could see his son's own frustration at not being able to produce magic like he was supposed to. Finally, after two weeks of working at it, he gave up all together. It just wasn't happening.
Pansy finally broke the unspoken silence around the subject. Standing outside of their son's bedroom as they watched the child sleep, she turned to him, speaking softly; "I want to take him to Saint Mungo's. You know as well as I do that something is wrong with him. I could do that spell in my sleep by the time I was his age."
Draco walked away from her without saying a word, his lips pressed in a harsh, thin line. He didn't want to talk about what was apparently wrong with his son.
The next day found them at St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, waiting for their son's tests results. The whole process did not take months or even days. Mere hours after their arrival, while their son slept peacefully in his room, they were in the stern-faced doctor's office.
"The results aren't good," Dr. Augus began, his deep voice crisp with professionalism. "Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy, there is no easy way to put this, but your son's condition is rare and unfortunately there is nothing we can do for him."
Beside him, Pansy grabbed his arm, her nails digging in painfully. Draco didn't flinch, his full attention on his son's fate.
The doctor paused, looking each in the eye before continuing. "It's not life threatening, but the test results concluded that your son has no potential for magic."
This time Draco did react. Jumping forward in his seat, eyes blazing, he hissed, "What do you mean my son has no potential for magic?"
Beside him, he heard Pansy choke, while in front of him the doctor sighed. "I understand that you are confused and upset, but the results are conclusive. Your son, for whatever reason, is non-magical."
"This is absurd," Draco shouted, rising from his chair to pace the room. "My wife and I both come from long lines of purebloods. How can you sit there and tell me that our son is in any way possible non-magical?"
"This is an anomaly, to be sure, Mr. Malfoy, but it does happen. It is difficult to give accurate statistics in a situation like this. Most families don't report such occurrences and studies and case histories are nonexistent. It's unexplainable why a family with pure lines, such as yours, would produce a non-magical child. Most theorists believe that it runs in the same category as Muggle-born wizards–"
"Don't you dare put my son in the same category as some filthy Mudblood," Draco snarled, cutting him off.
There was silence after that for a few minutes Then in a voice choked with tears, Pansy asked, "What do we do now?"
Dr. Augus sighed heavily before answering. "There are no options that St. Mungo's can offer you. In the past, families with your stature have dealt with this on their own and that is why this condition goes undocumented." The silent meaning of his words was not lost on the couple, causing Pansy to cry harder. Pureblood lines would rather kill off their own than live with something so shameful. Draco understood this well.
"What I would like to do," the doctor continued, "is study your son as he grows and develop a case history so that we might understand why this happens."
"You're a bloody quack," Draco snapped at the man. "What I want is a second opinion and there is no way in hell anybody is studying anything about my son."
"Very well, Mr. Malfoy."
The second opinion was the same as the first, as well as the third and fourth. Draco sought doctors all the way to the States looking for someone who could give him the answer he wanted. They all said the same thing: his son would never be a magic user.
Devastation could almost describe what he was going through during the months that he searched for answers, but wasn't quite accurate enough. His entire world, his whole way of thinking and being was turned inside out. Black was white, up was down – his son was little more than a muggle. The impossibility of it all was staggering.
A decision needed to be made. There was no way that he could raise a child with the Malfoy name who couldn't use magic. It was embarrassing to think that his long, illustrious line of pureblooded wizards could produce non-magical offspring.
Pansy never stopped crying. He blamed her, of course. It was unfeasible that he was in any way responsible for this atrocity. Even though the doctors told him there was no reason to place blame because there were no direct causes, he knew it had to be because somewhere in her line there was Muggle blood. There was no other explanation for it.
His son knew what was wrong with him by now. He understood Draco's angry frustration and his mother's constant crying. He understood that this was because of him. The child's depression only added to the situation and would make his murder that much easier to do.
Two months after the last doctor gave his diagnosis, the Malfoys buried their only son in the family lot. Newspaper articles read that the boy suffered from a rare, incurable disease of the blood. Close family and friends who knew they had been taking their son to different doctors in the months prior asked no questions. If they suspected something different, then they weren't saying anything. It wasn't something that was talked about, even in close gossip circles.
Draco didn't bother trying to comfort his wife as she stood at the grave crying until she collapsed. The whole affair was tearing them apart, but he would make sure they worked through this. She understood that there was no alternative course to take. That this would be how it would end. They would try again, of course. He still needed a son to carry on his name. He knew they could not be bound by the fear that this could happen again. This child was simply a fluke. Nothing more.
In the end, Draco didn't have the heart to kill the boy. As much as he knew it was the best thing to do for his family name, that he couldn't afford to leave any connection of the muggle-child to him, he still couldn't do it. He had raised the boy for nearly five years and despite himself… he loved the child.
Instead, Draco had smuggled him away and left him on the steps of a muggle home. It disgusted him to stoop so low, but he knew the boy would be taken care of. Though he couldn't erase the last five years of the boy's life from his memory, he was able to modify it enough that he would have no recollection of his family name and only a vague understanding that there was a magical world outside of the one he would grow to know.
In doing this, Draco understood why there were muggle-born in the wizarding world. As he had begun to suspect, there was unknown wizarding heritage in muggle-born wizards' families. He knew that in a generation or more, there would be a mudblood from his own line. And he understood, as many others before him must have, that he couldn't help but add to the problem plaguing the wizarding world.