Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter

A Bad Influence: or Why Scorpius Malfoy Shouldn't Drink Firewhisky
By Silver Sailor Ganymede

It was a particularly irate Daphne Greengrass that stormed unexpectedly into the Malfoys' dining room that Saturday morning at breakfast. Normally she would have at least paid the courtesy of a firecall before arriving, but in this case she just couldn't spare the time. The cause of Daphne's irritation was sitting sloppily in his chair with his elbows on the table, stuffing toast down his throat with a hungry yet ill expression that could only be explained by a night of exceptionally heavy drinking – a night of exceptionally heavy drinking that was currently detailed all over the front cover of Floo Magazine.

Floo Magazine was the gossip rag for witches who didn't find Witch Weekly quite entertaining enough. It was full of pure scandal and rubbish, yet Daphne couldn't help but buy it. The article the Skeeter woman had run when she politely turned down Ezekiel Carrington's third attempt at proposing to her was so hilarious (if untrue) that Daphne bought it just to cheer herself up. Unfortunately today it had had quite the opposite effect, and the photograph on the front cover was quite enough to prove that this issue's leading story was far from untrue.

"What," Daphne hissed as she slammed the magazine down on the table in front of her nephew, "were you thinking, going out drinking on Knockturn Alley?"

Scorpius turned to face her. The greenish tinge to his skin was enough to show that he was still remarkably hung-over despite several (likely more than several, by the look of him) doses of potion.

"Wasn't down Knockturn Alley," he muttered.

"Then what, pray tell, is this?" Daphne snapped, picking up the magazine and shoving it straight in her nephew's face. It was too close for him to read it, obviously, so he snatched it off her, staring at the photograph in abject horror for a moment as his face turned an even deeper shade of green.

Narcissa took the magazine off her grandson, her eyes flashing with annoyance as she did so.

"Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy," she said, "what is the meaning of this?"

Scorpius was trying his best to look utterly unconcerned by the whole affair, but unfortunately for him it wasn't working at all.

"Wasn't down Knockturn Alley."

"Then kindly explain to me why a photograph of you and Pansy Parkinson," Narcissa said, her voice turning icier than Daphne had even heard it, "happens to be on the front cover of Floo Magazine. And don't say it's not her; I saw enough of that horrible girl when she was hanging onto your father's arm."

Daphne would normally have been rather annoyed on Pansy's behalf (her friend was not, after all, the horrible person that Draco seemed to have convinced his mother she was), but frankly at that moment Pansy more than deserved it. What was she even thinking – he was more than twenty years younger than her and an ex-boyfriend's son. An ex-boyfriend who, Daphne recalled sourly, she had been engaged to until Draco had called the whole thing off and ensnared her sister instead. Or Astoria had ensnared him; even now she didn't care to discover the details.

"It's obviously forged, Grandmama. The muggles have all sorts of technology these days," Scorpius spluttered out at last.

"I highly doubt the use of muggle technology is within the skills of a pureblood like Rita Skeeter."

Scorpius could tell that his grandmother was obviously right and there was no way whatsoever of getting out of this one.

"Don't you dare tell Draco and Astoria," he muttered.

In any other pureblood family he would have been greatly chastised for using his parents' first names to address them, but Daphne knew that Scorpius had never called his parents 'mother' and 'father' in his life. Then again her sister and brother-in-law were certainly not the parenting type; Draco was only a 'father' in that he had fathered the child, and her sister had carried the baby for nine months and then had nothing whatsoever to do with her son again. Narcissa Malfoy had taken up the prospect of raising her grandson with enthusiasm that had surprised the whole wizarding world – not least of all her husband, who had hoped never to be obliged to have anything that screamed in the house again in his life.

"So you're admitting to the fact that this photograph of you kissing Pansy Parkinson of all people isn't a fabrication," Daphne said, aghast. She was helping herself to a slice of toast by now and almost enjoying it as her nephew's face turned slowly red with annoyance and embarrassment at the awkward situation. Mixed in with his still-green pallor from the night before, Scorpius' skin reminded her of an oddly mixed combination of mint and strawberry ice cream.

"It was just a bit of a laugh," Scorpius snapped, indignant as ever. Daphne couldn't believe that he still had the nerve to smile at her. He was as aggravating as Blaise Zabini, something she had never thought it possible for another man to achieve; she had thought Blaise one of a kind, but Scorpius was quickly proving her completely wrong.

"She's old enough to be your mother!" Daphne howled in despair. "In fact she's older than your mother, and yet you're gallivanting around as though… as though…" She was so infuriated by her nephew's attitude that she couldn't even bring herself to finish her sentence.

Scorpius shrugged nonchalantly. It was annoying enough that Daphne probably would have strangled the boy were Narcissa not in the room; the older witch would obviously insist on a curse being used, no matter that magic would likely take longer to teach the boy a lesson.

"Albus and I thought it would be funny."

"Albus and I thought it would be funny." Daphne repeated the boy's words in exasperation. "How many times have we told you not to hang around with Albus Potter? The boy's a bad influence on you, and now the entire bloody wizarding world knows it! Except that Albus Potter isn't in this picture and you are, and it's your reputation that's at stake."

"Well it was fun," Scorpius replied. "We just drank a little bit too much firewhisky."

"A lot too much by the look of it," Daphne sighed. "It's times like this that I wonder why on earth you and Potter were sorted into Slytherin. You're about as familiar with the word discretion as a pair of Gryffindors. Even if the fact that you'd decided to make a conquest of one of your father's ex-girlfriends wasn't disturbing enough…"

"How is that disturbing?" Scorpius interrupted her. "It's not like we're related or anything."

"Don't interrupt your aunt," Narcissa chastised him, and then at least Scorpius had the sense to look suitably ashamed.

"Like I was saying," Daphne continued, "even if that wasn't disturbing it itself, the fact that you didn't notice someone was taking a picture of you certainly is."

"How was I supposed to notice something like a bloody camera after I'd drunk two bottles of firewhisky?" Scorpius shouted.

So that was why he looked so ill. Just thinking of consuming that sort of amount of alcohol was enough to make Daphne feel nauseous.

"It's lucky we're not at war." Lucius' voice shocked all of them. He had been reading the paper, apparently unconcerned by or unaware of the whole affair that had been going on around the breakfast table. "You would have made an even worse Death Eater than your father did."

Scorpius' face went white as he choked on the coffee he had been trying to force himself to swallow. Narcissa glared daggers at her husband, which was enough to make it quite clear that the boy had previously had no previous idea of his family's affiliation during the war. Daphne strongly suspected that he had never been to a History of Magic lesson in his life.

"That was not appropriate, Lucius," Narcissa said coldly. "Honestly, with you, Draco and Bellatrix as relatives it's no wonder the boy's turned out like he has! And you, Scorpius, are never to drink firewhisky again. Ever. I don't care what you do with your time so long as it doesn't cause a scandal that lands your face on the front page of a tabloid."

Scorpius puffed up like an angry ferret and Lucius did exactly the same, each apparently quite unconscious of the other's reaction, which caused Narcissa to sigh and turn her attention back to her breakfast.

Daphne couldn't help but laugh until she started to cry.