Disclaimer: All Harry Potter related characters, places and themes belong to J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury and Scholastic.
The title of the story and the title of the chapter come from the song, "Build God, Then We'll Talk," by Panic! at the Disco.
This story is being edited and updated with the help and beta skills of MrBenzedrine.
A Wonderful Caricature of Intimacy
Chapter 1: Sleeping with Roaches
"I'm getting too old for this," Draco mumbled under his breath as Pansy's voice drilled a migraine into his head.
"Excuse me? What did you say?" Pansy shrieked. "Speak up, Draco."
"Are you through, Pansy? I have a few things to get done, so whenever you feel like wrapping this up, it would be appreciated," Draco replied. He was sitting on the couch in the massive living room of their chateau, watching as his wife - correction: ex-wife - paced in front of him.
"Have you not been listening to me?" she shrieked. "I told you, I'm leaving tonight!"
"Yes, I heard that. So did half of the Northern hemisphere. If you could lower your voice, maybe we can discuss this like adults. I know that's something you're not used to, but I have a headache, and I need to go check on Zane."
"Zane, Zane, Zane… he's all you ever think of," Pansy said acidly.
"I would hope that's true, especially seeing as how he's our son. Since you obviously don't ever think of him, it falls on me," Draco retorted, his anger slowly growing.
"I have better things to do than chase after a four-year-old," she replied.
"Yes, like sleep with your boy-toy," Draco muttered.
Pansy acted like she didn't hear him. "My things are already packed and are on their way to Rouen. Angelo is waiting for me there."
Draco rolled his eyes.
"You knew this was coming, Draco," said Pansy. "I gave you plenty of chances to make our marriage work, and you didn't seem the least bit interested in keeping me around."
"You'd think that your son would be a pretty good reason for you to stay," Draco replied. "Frankly, I'm glad you've realized where your priorities lie. We're going to be much better off without you."
Pansy sighed and moved to stand with her hands on her hips. "Don't you even care that I'm leaving?"
"Why should I?" Draco asked. "You know this marriage isn't based on any sort of romantic emotion. Do I have to keep reminding you that the only reason I stuck that ring on your finger was so that Zane would be a legitimate child?"
"Zane, Zane, Zane… that mistake of a child took away four good years of my life!" Pansy exclaimed. "Do you know how much I had to pay to get my body back to the way it was before I was saddled with him?"
Draco clenched his fists to keep from hitting her. He would never hit a woman, but sometimes Pansy liked to test his self-control. "What kind of a person would call their own child a mistake?"
"I would! He was a mistake. A one-night stand mistake," she explained.
"The one-night stand, yes, that was a mistake," Draco told her. "Zane was not. All he ever wanted from you, Pansy, was just a little bit of motherly attention, and yet, you never gave him an ounce! You never fed him, you never changed a diaper of his, you never played a single game with him. He doesn't even call you Mummy, he calls you Pansy! Even at four years old, he knows what a shitty mother you are."
"I was never meant to be a mother at nineteen, Draco," she said. "I had my whole life ahead of me. My youth was stolen from me!"
Draco rubbed his temples, which were slowly starting to throb. "Ok, fine, whatever. The divorce has been settled, you get 10 percent of whatever assets I have, and you can keep the chateau. But Zane stays with me."
"You can have him," Pansy snorted. "What good is he going to do me?"
"Daddy?" the small voice of Draco's son sounded from the doorway.
Draco immediately arose off the couch and walked to his son. He threw a disgusted look at Pansy and picked up his son before leaving the living room and walking towards his son's bedroom.
"Were you and Pansy fighting again?" Zane asked quietly as he rested his head on his father's shoulder.
"I'm sorry, Z, I didn't want you to have to hear that," Draco told him.
"Why doesn't Pansy like me?" Zane asked. "Did I do something bad?"
Draco fought to keep his composure and not turn back around to cast an unforgivable on his ex-wife. "Pansy doesn't like anybody but herself, mate. You have never done a bad thing in your life."
Zane nodded and wrapped his arms around his father's neck. "Can we go to the playground tomorrow?"
As they reached Zane's bedroom, Draco shook his head. "Do you remember I told you we were going to see your grandparents tomorrow?"
"Gamma and Gampa?" Zane asked excitedly. "Are we gonna see them for a long time?"
Draco smiled at the names Zane had bestowed upon Narcissa and Lucius when he was a toddler and hadn't quite developed all of his speech sounds. "We're going to stay with them while I buy us a new house to live in. One that's close to them so we can see them more often."
Zane's dark blond eyebrows furrowed. "Is Pansy coming with us?"
"No," Draco assured as he settled Zane into his bed. "Pansy is going to be living here in France. She won't be living with us anymore."
"Oh," Zane said. "Are you happy, Daddy?"
"If you're happy, then I'm happy," Draco told him.
"Ok. I'm sleepy. Does that mean you're sleepy?" he asked with his usual curiosity.
Draco laughed quietly and shook his head. "Do you want a story tonight?"
Zane thought for a moment, his little pink lips pursed in contemplation. As Zane made his father wait for an answer, Draco studied his son, like he did most nights.
A messy patch of dirty blond hair adorned the top of his head, a few strands falling into his grey eyes. An infinite number of people told Draco, at every opportunity, that Zane was a spitting image of him. Narcissa insisted that Zane was an exact copy of him as a child, except for the darker shade of blond. Zane had the innocent face of a boy not yet aware of the negativity in the world. He differed from his father in the fact that his facial features were softer and not yet carved into the planes and angles of adulthood that Draco featured.
"I'm too sleepy for a story, Daddy," Zane yawned. "Tomorrow, when we see Gamma and Gampa, can they read me a story?"
"They will be so happy to see you, Z. They haven't seen you in a few months, and they will do almost anything you ask, so I'm positive that they will want to read you a story."
Zane smiled and turned to his side, his eyelids drooping. "G'night, Daddy," he whispered.
Draco kissed his forehead and tucked the covers around him tighter. "Night, Z."
As he quietly closed the door behind him, Draco heaved a sigh he didn't know he was capable of. He passed by the living room from where Pansy had seemingly disappeared. Thank God. The hallways of the chateau were empty, with everything being packed up and ready to be shipped off to either Rouen with Pansy or back to England with Draco and Zane.
When he reached his own bedroom, the one he had seldom shared with Pansy while they were married, his thoughts drifted to the memories of how he came to be a single father of the most wonderful child a man could ask for.
"You're pregnant?" Draco choked.
Pansy rolled her eyes in irritation. "Of course I'm pregnant. I haven't bled in nearly three months."
"That's too much information, Pansy," said Draco with a grimace. "Have you seen a Healer?"
"I went this morning, and they confirmed it. God, I can't believe you forgot protection. It's just a simple spell," she yelled.
"You're blaming me?" Draco asked incredulously. "You were the one who told me that you were on the potion and that I had nothing to worry about."
"I was on the potion! But there's still a ninety-nine percent success rate with the potion. You should have taken care of the one percent!"
Draco inwardly groaned. This wasn't happening. Not to him. Not with Pansy.
"Well, you know what this means, don't you?" Pansy asked.
Draco outwardly groaned. "We have to get married."
"Damn right, we have to get married. If I'm an unwed mother, I would be shunned from every social circle around," Pansy complained.
Another groan. "Have you told anyone yet?"
"No, what do you think I am? Stupid?"
Draco wondered if that was a trick question. The honest answer was on the tip of his tongue, but he figured if he was going to marry the dolt, he might as well get used to not insulting her.
A one-night stand with Pansy had turned into the first day of the rest of his life.
It had all occurred at Blaise's 19th birthday party. The party included massive amounts of alcohol and massive amounts of drinking games. It had also included a massive amount of poor decisions.
Poor decision number one: going to Blaise's party.
Poor decision number two: getting completely smashed and making out with Pansy in the closet.
Poor decision number three: letting his damn dick do the thinking while he was drunk.
Poor decision number four: shagging Pansy in the same closet while a party was going on in the background.
Poor decision number five: shagging Pansy, period.
Poor decision number six: see poor decision numbers four and five.
He was never going to get drunk again. Ever. Never ever.
"I am so sick of being pregnant," Pansy whined. "I don't understand how people have more than one child. I feel like shit, look like shit, and probably smell like it, too."
Once again, Draco found himself wondering if Pansy wanted a response. After six months of dealing with her, he knew the correct times to give his opinion and the correct times to disappear from the chateau that his parents had bought them as a wedding present.
Thinking about the chateau's location in France, Draco knew his parents were distancing themselves from Hurricane Pansy. In fact, Narcissa had absolutely no tolerance for her daughter-in-law, constantly reminding anyone who would listen to her.
"When is your stupid baby going to come out?" Pansy asked with an angry sigh. "My feet hurt and my back hurts and everything hurts!"
"Shut up, Pansy. Just shut up. My head hurts from your goddamn whining and moaning," Draco finally said.
With a slap to his arm and a string of curse words that would have made a sailor blush, Pansy left the room and locked herself in their bedroom.
"OOWWW!" Pansy's voice woke Draco up that very night. "Son of a fucking OW!"
Draco sighed and got out of bed, walking over to the other bed in the master bedroom. Yes, you read that right. No sane man would sleep in the same bed as a cranky behemoth. From the very beginning until the very end, Draco and Pansy never shared a bed.
Draco had learned his lesson from poor decisions 4, 5 and 6.
"What's wrong, Pansy?" Draco asked sleepily, stumbling around, looking for the lamp.
"What's wrong? I'll tell you what's wrong; your stupid child is ready to come out while I'm trying to get my damn beauty sleep. If I don't get the recommended eight and a half hours of sleep, I could develop wrinkles as early as the age of twenty! That's what's wrong!"
Draco sighed as he helped Pansy out of bed and through the floo straight towards L'hôpital de Mysticisme in the nearby town of Dijon. It was the only magical hospital in all of France and was conveniently nearby.
Arriving at the hospital, being yelled at by Pansy, and trying to calm his nerves at finally getting to meet his child left Draco physically and emotionally drained. He sat in the waiting room for five hours because Pansy refused to let him in the delivery room. She barely wanted the Healer and matron-witches in there. Heaven forbid somebody see her in a less than fashionable state.
"Monsieur Malfoy? Would you like to see your new son?" The soft voice of the elderly matron-witch roused Draco from his half-sleep state.
He rubbed his face and stood up, walking towards her and the blanketed bundle in her arms.
If someone had told him earlier that he would instantly fall in love with a child he had made with Pansy Parkinson, he would have recommended an extended mental health break for that person.
Nothing could have prepared him for the onslaught of emotions at seeing his pouting baby boy in his arms. Draco's throat clogged with unspoken feeling as he gazed at the round face of the flaxen-haired infant. Wisps of downy blond hair crowned his head and molten mercury eyes refused to open behind dark eyelashes. Draco knew from that moment, as he had held his son for the first time, that nothing in the world would ever come between them. He would make it his life's duty to make sure nothing ever harmed the child he had created. Draco had never loved anything more.
"Would you like to hold your baby, Madame?" the matron-witch asked Pansy, who had seemed to have acquired a permanent scowl on her face.
"He caused me enough pain. I'm tired, so leave me to sleep," Pansy scowled.
Draco sat in the rocking chair near the window of Pansy's hospital room holding his new son: Zane Draco Malfoy.
The matron-witch suppressed a surprised look and shared a glance with Draco. He knew a pity-look when he saw one. "Very well, Madame. I'll wake you in an hour so you can feed him."
"I already told you that I'm not letting my breasts go to hell just so the kid can eat. I've seen what breastfeeding does to women. I won't have saggy tits by the time I've hit my mid-twenties. Give him the formula like last time," Pansy said in an annoyed tone.
The matron-witch stared at Pansy as if contemplating whether to laugh or smother her with the pillow she was fluffing. Draco hoped she would decide on the latter option.
An hour after Pansy had fallen asleep, something the hospital and Draco were thankful for, Draco held his son and just stared at him. As if disturbed by being watched, Zane carefully opened his eyes and blinked slowly up at his father, a disconcerted look on his little face.
Identical grey eyes stared up at Draco, acknowledging his presence and status of fatherhood. That had been one of the single greatest moments Draco could remember since claiming neutrality in the Second Great War.
After being cleared of conspiratorial acts towards the murder of Albus Dumbledore, Draco and his parents gave up their loyalty to Lord Voldemort by staying out of the fighting. By not helping the light side, they got to keep their facade of 'every man for himself.'
Holding his son, Draco knew he had made the right choice in convincing his parents (mostly his father) to give up the stupid devotion to the Dark Arts and the Dark Arts groupie: Voldemort.
"Oh, little Zane!" Narcissa tearfully greeted her grandson. "Look how big you've gotten!"
Zane looked up at her with wide eyes and a toothy grin. "Ba ba ba ba ba," he babbled.
"Has he said his first word, yet?" Lucius asked as he watched Narcissa coo at the one-year-old in her lap.
Draco shook his head. "He just babbles. Drives Pansy crazy," he added with a smile.
"Thank you for not bringing her, Draco," Narcissa suddenly said. "The holidays would have been completely ruined with her presence."
"My life is completely ruined with her presence," Draco muttered. "She's visiting her friends in Florence."
"Have you considered what we talked to you about, dear?" Narcissa asked. "About possibly divorcing her?"
Draco sighed and ran his hand through his hair. "I don't want Zane growing up without his mother. I owe him that much at least."
"He's better off without her," Lucius said silkily. "I've never met a woman so disinterested in her own child. Does she spend any time with him at all?"
Draco shrugged. "I take him to work with me, I bathe him, feed him, change him, play with him. She mentioned that she'd rather not hear his cries because they give her a headache."
"And you're torturing yourself by staying married to her? Why, Draco?" Narcissa asked, stroking Zane's hair.
"It's good for him to know his mother, even if she is a horrible one. I don't want to deprive him of anything, and if that means I have to stick with her for a while, well, then I can make a few sacrifices for him."
"I've met someone," Pansy said coolly as Draco dressed Zane in a pair of denim overalls. It was the day before Zane's third birthday.
"Have you?" Draco asked, making a face at Zane to make him laugh.
"Yes, his name is Angelo," she replied. "We're in love."
"Well, that's good. Love's important, isn't it, Zane?" Draco asked.
Zane squealed a small laugh and stood up on the changing table to hold on to his father. "Daddy!" he screamed. "Hop, hop dance hop!"
"Can you pay me a second of attention?" Pansy asked irritably. "I just thought I'd let you know that I want a separation."
"Not a divorce?" asked Draco. He picked up Zane and walked out of the door, leaving Pansy no choice but to follow him.
"I thought you wanted me around for the kid?" she asked. "I might as well stick around and have a little fun on the side. Since you won't sleep with me, might as well find someone who will."
"I'll send Angelo my condolences," Draco told her.
"Argh!" Pansy yelled with frustration. "You don't take anything seriously! All you care about is Zane and what Zane wants and what Zane needs. Well, what about what I want? What about what I need?!"
Draco ignored her and walked outside into the large backyard of their chateau, where Zane's jungle gym was. He set the boy down and watched as he walked off to climb and explore.
"I need to feel like a woman, Draco, and you obviously don't treat me like one. Angelo is a good man who loves me!"
"Does he know you're married?" Draco asked apathetically. He wasn't interested in what she had to say, but he was bored, and infuriating Pansy was a favorite pastime of his.
"Yes, he knows. He knows what a horrible sham of a marriage this is. He knows it isn't based on love, but on the fact that we were careless idiots who couldn't practice safe sex," she replied.
"Practice? I'm sure we did it just the one time. Don't make it seem like more. I have enough disturbing thoughts without having to add the one of you and me having sex more than once," Draco said.
With another yell of annoyance, Pansy turned on her stilettos and left the yard.
Draco got into his bed and turned out the lights, his head aching with the juxtaposed memories and the tiring day he had of finalizing his divorce.
After insistent persuasion from his parents that Zane wouldn't be affected by not having a mother around, and the fact that Pansy wanted to marry her lover, Angelo, Draco had signed the divorce papers with ease. His only regret was why he hadn't signed the damned things earlier. Stubborn idiot, that's what he was.
He closed his eyes and cleared his head from all thoughts. Tomorrow would be the start of his life with Zane in England. He had practically been a single father the entire time Zane had been alive, due to the negligent nature Pansy had adopted. He wasn't too worried about his skills as a father. He did worry about how Zane would adjust to life in England and whether he would like being put in an early education center instead of going to work with his father every day. The Little Witches and Wizards Early Education Centre had recently opened, and Draco was sure that it was a great place for Zane. He needed to be around kids his own age and to start learning the basics of primary education.
Most wizarding families home-schooled their children before it was time to send them to Hogwarts, but with the hectic schedule of owning his own company and taking care of a child, Draco found it a bit difficult to try and teach Zane everything he would need to know to make it as an intellectually capable adolescent.
He would leave it to the professionals.
And with that thought in mind, Draco dozed off into the world of slumber where problems disappeared, solutions played out, and fantasies emerged center stage.