Well... I guess this is my first fanfic finished. (Yay!) It's been a long journey for me to write a rather long series, but don't worry... I'll be back with more stories! I might write a fanfic on Watchmen, perhaps Pan's Labyrinth or maybe something on Heroes (or I could write more Harry Potter fanfics!). But for now, I think I'll take a break...
Some time after the wedding, Draco woke to a fine morning when the sun had just shone through the pale curtains. Sitting up against his pillow, he turned to his wife who was sleeping rather peacefully with her head resting next to her youthful hands. He lightly kissed her on the cheek before patting her already expanding belly. He chuckled when he felt a gentle kick respond to his movements.
The baby will be due at any time now, he thought. The thrill that lived in his heart also housed an ongoing emotion of agitation. Leaving his wife for work nearly every day was the main source of his growing guilt. Of all the recent times when he looked at her, he wanted to cry. Not in sadness, but in a desperate self-frustration.
Not having the appetite for a deliciously warm breakfast, he slipped into his business attire. As usual, he checked the mirror to make sure he looked presentable for a long day's work. Astoria slightly shifted in her sleep, prompting Draco to creep out of the room as quietly as he could.
He did not bother to shut the door but rather left it slightly ajar. Entering the hallway, he still cautiously made his way as the sound of his steps created tiny echoes that travelled throughout the home. Upon reaching the end of the corridor, he was startled by a brief yelp followed by what sounded like a bump.
Draco whipped his head behind him like an alarmed animal and immediately bolted back down the hallway. Storming into the master bedroom, he found his wife curled up on the floor with a face of weeping excruciation.
"Honey!" he exclaimed while rushing to kneel by her side.
"Draco," Astoria cried. "It's here."
He jumped up onto his feet in a sudden moment of panic. "Oh no! Oh no!" was all his mind had contained. His mindless reactions were already starting to ignite Astoria's painful impatience.
That shout alone let his mind click back to sanity. Finally remembering what he was supposed to do, he assured her before bursting out of the room. He ran like a child in distress and started to call for his mother.
"Mother! Mother!" he shouted, and found her awake in her bed much to his relief.
Not needing to be told anything, Narcissa leapt out of her relaxed position. She motioned for Draco to contact the healers at the nearby fireplace and rushed to her daughter-in-law's aid.
Draco drew out his wand and flicked towards the glowing firewood. In an instant, a woman's face appeared in the crackling flames. Her eyes momentarily recognised his as the eyes of her patient's spouse.
"Mornin' Mr Malfoy," she greeted casually.
"I need you at my home," Draco quickly said. "My wife is giving birth!"
"Okay, I'll be right there."
The woman's face disappeared as soon as the fire gradually died down. A distant crack was heard and Draco knew that the healer had just arrived. Coming out of his parents' bedroom, he made his way back to the hallway. Before he could reunite with the pained yells of his wife, the healer appeared at the door, blocking his way.
"I'm sorry, Mr Malfoy," she said. "You have to stay out here."
About to object, Draco heard another scream coming from inside the room. Astoria was calling for him despite being comforted by his mother.
"Draco!" she screamed.
He choked on a panicked stutter only to be calmed by the healer who tried to assure him that all would be well.
"But she's calling for me!" Draco objected.
"She's meant to," she replied. "Don't worry, I'll be back with good news." And she abandoned him by shutting the door.
Cries of pain filled his ears, torturing his mind. All Draco could do was stand and rest his forehead against the cold wall, wishing that he had never impregnated his dearly beloved. His attempt to keep a brave face only made him look like he was being burned alive, inside and out. Trapped in an inferno of torture and self-blame, he felt more than tempted to punch the wall he leaned on.
Her shrieks of "Draco!" were now becoming louder and more desperate than ever. Scared to the bottom of his wits, he shuddered and wished this moment to be a complete nightmare.
Just as he thought he would collapse from being mentally and emotionally drained, he heard another cry. For a brief second he thought it was his wife, but the pitch had somehow changed. All was silent as he froze in suspense.
The door clicked open. The healer appeared with sweat forming on her forehead and a shortness of breath. The blood on her gloves would have concerned Draco if not for her exhausted but triumphant smile. A wave of relief swept over him, nearly knocking him to his knees.
"You can come in now, sir," she breathed.
Resisting from charging into his room, Draco casually slipped past the healer. He stopped merely metres away from the entrance and observed his wife lying in bed. Her eyes were closed but Astoria was beginning to catch her breath.
"She's just tired," the healer reassured, patting Draco on the shoulder. "She'll come around shortly."
A wail twitched Draco's face away from her. He then noticed a bundle being held and hushed by his adoring mother. Stepping in for a closer look, he saw a baby sleeping peacefully within a pale red blanket.
"Girl?" he asked.
"No," Narcissa replied. "It's a boy."
She carefully handed the baby to Draco who then sat beside the bed. Followed by the healer, Narcissa decided to leave the three alone. Draco barely noticed their disappearance as he stared down at his newborn son. Astoria shifted slightly and opened her eyes to her smiling husband.
"He's beautiful," he said.
Then in unison the couple said, "Just like you." They paused in confusion before letting out their amusement at their simultaneous thoughts.
"So," Astoria said. "What are we going to name him?"
Draco had to be honest. "I don't know," he said. "I haven't really thought too much about it. What names do you like, Tori?"
"Well, I've only thought about girl names."
He snickered in agreement. "I thought it was going to be a girl too."
"If that were the case I would have named her Demetra, after my father."
"That would have been nice," Draco said.
The couple thought hard within the calm silence. Draco gently placed the baby into his wife's arms and watched her observe its tiny movements. He sighed and jogged through every memory he could think of for inspiration.
He most certainly knew not to name his son after his former friends and Death Eaters. And naming his son after Lucius was completely out of the question. Trying to recall someone or something worthy to name the baby after was more frustrating than Draco had originally thought. But then he found it.
"I remember one time," he said while staring up at the ceiling, "when I was five, I felt so alone. And I was jealous of nearly everyone else who had a brother or a sister playing alongside them." He paused. "But then I thought; if I were to have a younger brother, I wanted to call him 'Scorpion.'
He then chuckled to himself. "I know, it sounds silly."
"Well, I think that's adorable," admitted Astoria. "But I'm not completely keen on naming him Scorpion."
Draco interrupted by clicking his fingers. "I got it!" he exclaimed, nearly waking up the baby. "What do you think of Scorpius?"
"Draco," she managed and held his face with both hands and said, "you are an absolute genius!"
He leaned over and gave her lips a long smooch. The baby let out a quiet wail and Draco looked down into its now open eyes. He would have chuckled in adoration, but Astoria noticed a different mood as tears streamed down Draco's cheeks.
"Draco?" she whispered, placing a hand on his cheek.
"We're gonna make great parents, Tori," his voice cracked. "I won't raise him like my family had raised me."
"There, there, Drake," Astoria consoled. "We will make great parents and Scorpius will grow up to be a terrific young man. You hear me?"
He nodded. "I just...don't want to mess up."
As she embraced her husband, his tears dried and he calmed. During the long silence that followed, they broke apart to find Narcissa standing next to Lucius in the doorway.
"Hello, Father," Draco said in surprise. "You're back."
"Yes," Lucius replied. "You're mother told me the good news, so I thought I should come down from work and see the little chap."
"We named him Scorpius."
"Unusual name," Lucius remarked. Before Draco could shoot his father a glare, Lucius smiled and said, "I quite like that."
The four spoke quietly amongst themselves, except for Narcissa who tried hard to contain her excitement. The conversations often brought out how the baby strongly resembled his own father. Lucius somehow deemed it appropriate to ask how Draco would cope when Scorpius grew to become a teenager.
"Don't worry," he replied, staring at the ceiling like as if he could see into the future. "I'll be ready for that."