Epilogue: Death in the Family
Strange how one inevitably reacts like ones father when they become one themselves, despite swearing they would never treat their child in such a way. Stranger still how one generation will take what their father unintentionally did to make them miserable and consciously put their own child in the same situation, knowing just what it would do to them.
Who knew family punishment was an evolving organism?
"Do I really have to do this?" Scorpius called out from across the field, his uneasy whine discernible even from a distance.
"Absolutely," Draco replied, not bothering to rise from his resting spot or even watch his son complete his task. Scorpius would do what he was told, despite how eerie it was.
"This is bloody morbid and creepy and just wrong…"
His son's ranting died off as the wind carried it elsewhere, leaving the clearing deathly silent despite an otherwise cheery summer day. But deathly silent was exactly how a cemetery should sound. Especially a family cemetery on the day where he was forcing his only son to pick out where his burial plot would be. It was a Malfoy tradition going back centuries, and while Draco had once felt like sparing his son this particularly morbid custom, he now suddenly felt it prudent that his son take part in the practice. Somehow Scorpius had got it into his thick head that, not only was he allowed to fancy and date that Granger-Weasley hybrid, but that his father needed to accept it. For some reason his wife and daughter also demanded that he let Scorpius do such an absurd thing.
His family was against him, suddenly turning his son's wrong doings onto him, like it was his problem. This lead to the issue of conceding or seceding. He would not be run out of his own family, not when he was in charge. So he reluctantly agreed to tolerate that girl if she made his son happy.
He, however, would make his son remember just who he and his family were by any dramatic means possible. And if this happened to make him miserable in the process, then so be it.
"Who was Netherwood Malfoy?" Scorpius demanded. "I thought I had a rough name."
"You're great-great-great ect. grandfather," Draco replied lazily. "Best known for spreading a curse that wiped out a third of the Muggles on the continent in the 14th century. I believe they chalk it up to rats or some rubbish like that."
"Lovely," Scorpius spat as he continued his quest. Draco smirked, leaning closer against his own headstone. He had been eight when his parents had brought him out here and had him pick out his spot where his corpse would lay for all eternity. He had had nightmares for weeks. He came out there again when he was ten to watch his father bury his miscarried sibling. He had taken to laying against this very spot during the Dark Lord's stay at his house, strangely finding it the only sanctuary on the grounds. And it was here that he had taken the soiled carpet from Spinner's End to burn when Astoria finally told him the whole story of her own miscarriage.
This land was a bitter part of him, much like his Dark Mark had once been. However despite all the negative that spurned from here it was still an important reminder of what it meant to be a Malfoy. Past and future generations of Malfoys would all be lain to rest here, connecting them all in death despite the differences they shared in life.
Draco was pulled from his thoughts by his son casually walking beside him, escaping the summer heat by stepping into the shade of the large tree that settled near them. It was the shade of the tree that had drawn Draco to this spot decades ago. Scorpius let out a sigh and lay down on his back a few feet from his father, his eyes staring up into the sky.
"Here, then," Scorpius stated, folding his arms across his chest.
"Marvelous," Draco replied. He then slid down, so he too lay upon the grass with his eyes glued to the clouds that passed by them. The deathly silence continued for what seemed an eternity, neither son nor father breeching the quiet as they sat in their own deep thoughts.
"What made you chose Mum?" Scorpius finally asked, not bothering to turn to face him. "What made you chose her even though she wasn't a Pureblood?"
"The hell if I know. That decision seems to have given me nothing but problems," Draco muttered. Scorpius finally turned to his father, a look of irritation so similar to Astoria's he could not help but smile.
"Then again, I suppose I had my reasons," Draco mused. "She kept life interesting, hacked off my father, made me laugh…not intentionally, of course…and still to this day maintains a great ass…"
"That's disgusting," Scorpius moaned, his face squished into a look of horror.
"And I guess…I guess there were just things in life that didn't seem worth it if she wasn't around." Draco finished, smiling to himself as he recalled any number of memories he had shared with his wife throughout the years.
Scorpius too smiled, apparently having tapped into the part of his father he had been searching for.
"And how about you?" Draco finally asked, turning to face Scorpius. "What made you chose her?"
"She's a know-it-all pain in my ass," Scorpius replied. "But she's smart as hell, and can get me talking…she saved my life. She also has the most amazing hips…and it doesn't hurt that she pisses you off so much."
Draco couldn't help but laugh at his son's reply, and he shook his head against the grass in irony.
"Dad?" Scorpius called out a few seconds later.
"Hmm?" Draco replied, still musing happily.
"Are we going to be okay?" he asked nervously. Draco turned his head over to look at the earnestness on his son's face.
"Oh, of course we're okay," Draco spat. "I'm your father. That means I'm supposed to put you through hell when you did the same things I did."
"Just like it's my job as a son to piss you off?" Scorpius suggested.
"Exactly," Draco replied.
"Well thank you," Scorpius stated. "For eventually understanding, and talking to the Weasleys as well. What exactly did you say to them?"
"I just made it look like I was okay with the whole thing so they looked like the shite parents," Draco shrugged. "It was easy."
"Somehow I doubt that," Scorpius laughed.
"Anyways, I'm sure their opinion of me has changed now that they know I married a Half- Blood," Draco continued with a sigh.
"How would they know that?" Scorpius asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Because…you told Rose your secret didn't you? That's why she agreed to date you?" Draco speculated.
"I got Rose to date me because I'm spectacular," Scorpius answered with a smirk. "But I never told her about any of that."
"Why not?" Draco asked in surprise.
"Because it's none of her business," Scorpius replied. "Not now anyways. There are certain things in my life that are just within the family. That has always driven her mad, and I don't expect her to understand seeing as she has the family she does, but it doesn't mean I'm going to blab all of our secrets. Besides, telling her and her family I'm not really a Pureblood seems like an easy out. I'd rather her want to be with me in spite of me. Plus I figured you'd love how crazy it is making her parents as now they have to eat their own words on 'tolerance'."
Draco picked up his head and stared incredulously at his son. Scorpius simply continued to stare upward, his Malfoy smirk visible despite his angle.
"That's my boy," Draco stated, his own smile filling his face as pride and love engulfed him.
"Are you two done with this madness?"
Both of the Malfoy men shot up as they heard Astoria's call. They watched as she approached them, causally followed by a sauntering Cassie. As a like in looks as were father and son, the mother and daughter looked down upon them with the same blend of haughty amusement.
"Just about," Draco proclaimed, hopping to his feet.
"What? What else do we have to do?" Scorpius inquired as he started to rise.
"Back down you go," the father insisted, pushing Scorpius back down. "We have to mark your resting place."
"You've got to be joking?" Scorpius muttered as his parents stood on either side of him. Draco gave his son a firm look before holding out his wand. It took Astoria a few moments to respond in kind. She thoroughly disagreed with her husband's method and the Malfoy penchant for picking out their graves. But as she noticed Scorpius' willingness to lie down and embrace the tradition and knowing her husband needed a win, she reluctantly raised her wand and pointed it at her husband's.
Twin jets instantly shot out, mating in midair. The electric blue streams cracked and jolted like lighting until suddenly a block of stone appeared and settled behind Scorpius' head. The stone was long and elaborately engraved. The Malfoy family crest was prominently placed in the center. An etching soon appeared on the right side; the script in cursive and quite clear:
Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy
October 23, 2005 -
Sanctimonia Vincet Semper
"Great, can we go now? This is giving me the creeps," Scorpius said quickly, taking a glance at the grave before jumping to his feet.
"My sweet little Starsweeper," Astoria sighed, stroking her son's cheek affectionately. "To think it wasn't that long ago I was cradling you in my arms and rocking you to sleep. And now you're all grown up with your own grave, sneaking into your girlfriend's room for a shag…"
"We were not shagging!" Scorpius proclaimed in exasperation, still miffed at having been caught being in Rose's room when his parents came to call on the Weasleys. "Why would you even say that?"
"Because, darling, your father's hair sticks up the same way when I'm done with him," she replied simply.
"Oh my God!" Scorpius spat, shaking his head in disgust as he heard his father laugh in the background. "You're both mental, you know that? You shouldn't have even been allowed to have children, let alone raise them!"
"I'm hungry. This place is stupid," Cassie added, stepping in and crossing her arms.
"You're just saying that because you're not allowed in," Scorpius shot back. "Unless you decide to be a bitter old spinster."
"I'd rather be a bitter spinster than a prat who makes a fuss over some girl and then has to make up for it by digging his own grave!" she shot back, sticking her tongue out for good measure.
"Malfoys don't dig," he retorted. "And if you don't stop being a brat I won't play tea party with you later."
"You have to play with me, Mum said so," Cassie reminded snidely.
"Yeah, but I don't have to do it with an accent and call myself Lady Arabella, do I?" he fought back. His face then quickly fell back into a look of disgust as he realized his last line of argument didn't quite make the point he was going for.
"Lady Arabella," Cassie sniggered, as though she too were amazed at the depth of humiliation she was able to put her brother through.
"I've had it with this day," Scorpius spat, shaking his head. "Come on, you little usurper of my inheritance, lets ditch this place and those Imperiusing prats we call parents."
With one swift movement Scorpius scooped up his little sister and tossed her over his shoulder, marching them determinedly up the hill and out of sight of the Malfoy family plot. Cassie's screams and giggles could be heard as they continued to bicker as he walked.
Draco watched his children briefly, smiling sadly at their antics before returning back to his own headstone. He stared at it silently, taking in the old view with the new neighboring feature.
"So this is where we're going to go when we kick the proverbial bucket, eh?" Astoria inquired, never having actually seen the place.
"Right," Draco responded quietly, his hands buried deep in his pockets as his thoughts drifted. Astoria cocked her eyebrow at him. Without a word she walked by him and took a closer look at the headstone.
"So my name really was engraved here on our wedding day?" she asked, her fingers tracing the curves and loops of her personal nomenclature.
"The moment the ceremony was complete," he answered dryly.
"How romantic. No wonder I felt a little piece of me die that day." Astoria smirked at her husband, awaiting his own feisty quip. When he remained silent she simply rolled her eyes and continued with her inspection. Her heeled foot brushed aside a few wayward leaves that had settled on her side before unceremoniously plopping down in front of it.
"My side seems a bit uneven," she remarked candidly, eyeing an encroaching root from the large tree that seemed destined to settle over her in a century or so.
"I'm sorry," he spat, "but I was eight years old when I picked this spot. My last concern was the comfort of the unknown pain in the ass that I would inexplicably marry."
"Now there is the man I fell in love with," she sighed in relief. "You know I hate it when you get all broody and quiet. We both know you're going to complain about it to me regardless, so off with it now."
She accentuated her words by patting the hallowed ground next to her. Draco snorted in response, yet still he complied and settled next to her as though Summoned.
"I dunno. I guess I'm starting to rethink this whole parenthood bit," he grumbled, pulling up the grass by his legs and examining it thoroughly.
"It's a tad late for that, don't you think?" she inquired with a grin. "The big one's almost done cooking."
"That's what I mean though," he exclaimed. "It's just…I still can't help but feel hurt and betrayed by all of this. I just can't help but wonder if I had just gone and raised him to be a self-hating Pureblood enthused maniac none of this would be an issue."
"I'm sure had we only done that the world would be a perfect place," she patronized, nudging him playfully in the arm.
"I'm serious!" he pressed. "I don't know how I'm supposed to get over this."
"Draco," she cooed, scooting closer to him as she directed his gaze back out to their children. "Look at Scorpius. He's healthy, happy, on the right track to do amazing things with his life. And, most importantly, he's here with us. Not because he has to be but because he chooses to. Could either of us say that at his age?"
"As for you getting over it I don't know if you ever fully will. You think your parents are ever going to be happy you married me, despite the pretense of Purity and their two amazing grandchildren? You think my mother will ever get over me running off and starting my own company despite how much money it's made for the family?" she added.
"What, so I'm just supposed to pretend like I'm okay with all of this until I'm dead?" he demanded, looking down fiercely at his wife. Astoria looked back at him, the pools of her eyes wavering as she took a moment to respond.
"I don't want to lose him again," she whispered, her voice cracking slightly as she held back tears. "Not again. Not while we have him back."
Draco felt a little piece of his heart break as Astoria struggled to maintain her emotions. He knew right then that she was right. He had had more than enough experience both as a father and a son to know that when it came down to it your family was what was most important. He had spent his son's life trying to create a world where he could be accepted. He had no business denying Scorpius when he finally was.
"Okay," he replied simply, wrapping his arm around his wife and pulling her near. Astoria nodded before putting her head on his shoulder. They watched their children play in harmony for awhile, laughing as Scorpius dramatically tripped backwards in defeat after Cassie vanquished him with her toy wand.
As Draco leaned back against the headstone he couldn't help but think that despite the serious missteps he had taken in his life, he could not imagine a better existence then the one he somehow managed to eek out.
"Are you happy, Azzy?" Draco asked as his lips brushed against her ear.
"I haven't divorced you, have I?" she responded playfully.
"Only because it would be too much of a hassle though, right?" he inquired.
"It would be a dreadful mess. And I wouldn't want to be alone with the children that often."
Draco chuckled, tossing his head back against the cool stone. Astoria joined him, and soon they were engulfed in a round of laughter neither of them could quite explain. It only stopped when Draco exhaled in exasperation, this time banging his head back hard.
"I'll let the spoiled brat do whatever he wants with the girl, but I'll be damned if I'm going to spend eternity lying ten feet from a Weasley," he spat, looking over at the blank spot next to his son's name insidiously.
"Darling, I'm quite certain you've been damned from the get go," she responded, finally hoping to her feet.
"At least we'll have a king sized bed reserved for us in hell," he added, joining her side and squeezing her hand. They watched their children continue to play as the sun went down, waving back at them as Cassie beckoned them to come so they could grab dinner.
"I love you, Azzy," he declared from behind her as they made their way to their son and daughter.
"And I love you," she replied dreamily. "But Draco…."
"Yes, darling?" he inquired happily."
"I told you not to call me Azzy."
It took Draco a moment to piece together why all of a sudden he was on the ground, his shoes steaming as though they had been blasted out from under him. All he could see was his wife swaggering away from him like the bitch she was, joining up with his ungrateful children as they howled in laughter.
"I'm already in hell," he spat, clearing his robes as he quickly thought up his retaliation as his family started to walk away from him.
But even as the anger welled inside of him as a thousand different ways to punish his family swelled in his head, he couldn't help but appreciate the way his wife's hips moved as she walked.
Suddenly all thoughts of his children banished and he focused solely on what he would do to Astoria when he got her home.
(A/N: Ah another long story comes to an end! I cannot believe it is finally over after two years of planning and updating. Now I know many of you were hoping for a Weasley confrontation, and some of you said you thought the story ended best two chapters ago at the engagement party. Well there is a method to my madness. I have decided to write my Rose/Scorpius story after all, and these two chapters sort of set the stage for it. However I already messed up a bit on the timeline so forgive me for that.
The story is called "Truth Will Out". It follows how Scorpius befriended the Weasleys and the Potters in school, and the ways (both good and bad) that he handled being the son of Draco Malfoy. It is told through the memories of Rose, Hugo, Albus, Lily, James, Lucy and other in a Pensive in an attempt to show their parents why Scorpius should be allowed to date Rose. Now while I'm not going to play up Scorpius not being a Pureblood in that story, it is a continuation of sorts of this story. Draco and Astoria have the same relationship and make their own appearances, and Scorpius' mindset is shaped by this environment. A few things may change here and there as it is not a complete sequel, but hopefully if you liked this story you will be happy with my latest. I already posted the first two chapters so I invite you to join me on my next line of HP adventure.
Regardless of if you do or not, I would just like to thank each and every one of you for reading my story. I love writing fanfiction and even though life gets in the way of regular updates (stupid full-time job, friends and boyfriend like to get in the way) I am so glad you stuck by me for so long!
I hope to see all of you soon.