Determination to Salve

Scorpius' father had never been the most cheerful person in the world. Always careful not to let the frosty façade break and reveal a vulnerable, emotionally unstable person. But Scorpius knew that his father wasn't as strong as he always pretended to be. And so this knowledge only increased Scorpius' worry when Draco stopped leaving the house. He simply stopped. Not even making a step out into the garden when the peacocks danced for him. And Scorpius had needed all of his magic to make peacocks dance.

Scorpius wasn't sure if this was his fault, because he couldn't stop talking about her. He thought it was a good idea to make Draco talk about the death of Astoria, but everything seemed to get worse.

Sighing, Scorpius took in the sight of the master bedroom. Nothing had changed. Draco had never liked Astoria filling their room with so much garbage. Tiny little things that were unbearable sweet but still she had never approved Draco's softest blanket, calling it a big, ugly hippogriff, but now he refrained from changing anything. Draco suffered silently, not even touching his favourite food and never sleeping when Scorpius peered into his room at night.

Scorpius didn't know what else he could do to get his old father back and he was afraid to lose him, too. His mother would have known what to do to make his father show some emotions; Astoria had always known what to do. She could handle Draco perfectly after a quarter-century marriage and without her, Scorpius felt lost. He wished he knew a way to bring her back from the dead just to make his father happy again.

He walked towards Astoria's side of the bed and sat down only to feel a stitch in his heart when he noticed his mother's unchanged bedside table. A book was lying on it waiting to be finished, some cheesy romance novel with a broken cover. His mother had never been careful with her books and his father had always flinched slightly whenever she violated another book that actually didn't deserve a better treatment, because it was so awful.

Scorpius reached out a hand to the plate of biscuits but hesitated to touch them. They were most likely hard as rocks and he should throw them away, but he was afraid that his father would notice the smallest change.

Scorpius sighed heavily and tried to rub the pain out of his temples.

"I don't know what to do," he muttered and rose to his feet. "I wish you could tell me what to do, Mother." He felt something tugging at the seam of his robe when he made a step forward. Frowning, Scorpius lowered his gaze to find that his robe got caught in the handle of a drawer. Scorpius bent down to free his robe and accidentally dragged the drawer of the bedside table open, just to find some boxes, a mirror and a brush.

Scorpius looked into the mirror and noticed that fatigue had left dark circles underneath his eyes, but he still looked way better than his father. He had to do something. Before everything became even worse.

Draco missed his wife desperately. The house felt so dark and empty without her, and after so many years, Draco noticed that the atmosphere the Dark Lord had left had never disappeared. With Astoria around he just never noticed that even the days at Malfoy Manor were gloomy and dreary.

Now, he much preferred the nights. Because even if his wife was dead, he could still enjoy the warmth of her body in his dreams. The way her lips felt on his skin was so familiar after a quarter-century, but Draco knew that it wasn't real, because Astoria's kisses had never felt like this before. His body was reminding him of the fact that she was dead by simply forbidding him to remember her movements correctly.

Draco twisted on the sheets, hands clutched in the blanket. He had his eyes closed because he was afraid that the heat would immediately disappear when he opened them. There could be nothing but darkness surrounding him, but he felt the weight of another person. The weight of his wife. The tickling of her hair on his skin when she leant over him to whisper into his ear.

"Open your eyes." Her voice, so soft and gentle but still full of determination made Draco smile for the first time in weeks. He obeyed and although the room was filled with the darkness of the night, he could see the blonde long hair and the pale skin of his wife. Framing her face, he could feel that she was smiling and when he dragged her closer, he was able to see it, see the mesmerising blue of her eyes, full of life.

"Salazar… this is the best dream in my whole life…" Draco took a moment just to look at Astoria before he lifted his head and kissed her on the lips. All the movements before, the way she straddled his hips, suddenly seemed forced when she stiffened, keeping her lips pressed tightly together and impregnable for Draco's tongue.

His stupid mind wasn't allowing him to taste a little more happiness, apparently.

Draco pulled away, but only a little so that he could lean his forehead against Astoria's. "I miss you," he admitted and closed his eyes again, arms coming up to wrap around the slender waist.

"I know…" Astoria's fragile hand seemed to take every pain from Draco's head by simply stroking his hair. "But I want you to know that… that… it would be… it…" She twisted in his arms when Draco moved his hand down her back and it was strange how she started stuttering just because Draco's hands slipped underneath the wide pyjama shirt. He had never liked his wife wearing these huge pyjamas that covered her perfect figure.

"Can I talk to my subconscious later?" Draco yanked the shirt over Astoria's head and kissed her before he could start to wonder why her eyes widened in fear. He took advantage of the small whimper that escaped her throat when he pulled her firmly against him, ruthlessly thrusting his tongue into her mouth. Long, sharp fingernails dug deep into his back as he threw her around, pressing her flat onto the mattress.

It felt so real. Draco admired his imagination for gifting him such tangible dreams.

Astoria's skin, so soft and hot felt as always, but the goosebumps that his fingers left were almost forgotten, as was the way she squirmed underneath him. It had been years since she had enjoyed his fingers on her so much, always pretending to have a headache or to be tired. And it had been almost as long since he had wanted her this badly. Had he known that she would disappear so suddenly, he would have treated her with this passion every day, but now the only thing he could cherish were memories. And he really loved the memories his subconscious served him. He would be stupid not taking advantage of that.

Draco pulled away and ran his thumb over the full lips he had missed so much. "I always loved your mouth," he rasped and once again noticed the beautiful blue eyes widening. Astoria opened her mouth but before she could speak, Draco slipped his index finger into the wet warmth. Fluttering eyelashes caught his attention just like the heat coming from his wife's face. She was blushing, shifting her legs slightly so that her knees pressed into Draco's sides. Then she started sucking like she never did it before.

Draco smirked. The clumsy motion of the supple lips around his finger had him hard in seconds. But maybe this was also just his imagination.

He kicked off his pants and sat up. Big blue eyes stared at him, but Draco didn't pay any attention to the fact that apparently the only expression from his wife he could remember was fear. Burying his hand in her blonde hair, Draco shoved Astoria down and forced her to swallow his length. He hoped that this intimacy they hadn't shared since happier days would bring back better memories.

But how could he dwell on these memories if all he heard was gagging? Draco was sure that it wouldn't be much longer before Astoria verbalised her annoyance and just wanted him to get over with it. Then again, this was his dream. All he needed to do was remember the days when Astoria had enjoyed making him feel good.

Draco let his fingers move through the silky hair, aiding the movements of his wife. So unusually clumsy, almost like their first time. He felt teeth scraping over his cock, exerting a foreign but pleasurable pain. Draco moaned softly when that gorgeous mouth started to suck greedily. Small hands grabbed his slightly bucking hips and Draco was surprised how strong their grip was, easily holding him in place and keeping him from thrusting hard into the warm mouth.

His chest heaved and he moaned loudly when he came, feeling like every emotion, positive or negative, was dragged out of him. For a moment he just stared forward into the darkness and already thought that his dream had ended, leaving him all alone again. But a soft hand on his thigh caught his attention back to the woman in his bed.

"Feeling any better?" Draco barely heard the words that left this temptingly swollen mouth. When they finally made their way into his clouded mind he only nodded. Astoria's lips curled into a smile that was new on her face, but somehow it wasn't new to Draco. He frowned at the sight, not able to sort it out.

"Good." Astoria straightened and wrapped her slender arms around Draco's neck, pulling him into a tight embrace. Draco didn't return it. He just put a hand onto Astoria's back and pressed his lips against her ear.

"Are you real?" Blinking hastily, Draco tried hard to hold back his tears. It was stupid to hope for a yes, but if this was truly his imagination he wouldn't feel the pain that came hand in hand with the fear of losing Astoria once more.

"M-My love for you is real." She put her hand on the back of his head and kept him from looking up. "And seeing you suffer… I can't take that. U-Understood?"

Draco swung his arms around Astoria, inhaling the scent that wasn't really her scent. "Then don't leave me again." He heard Astoria gulp, but when he pushed her back onto the mattress, she looked a little less scared. His imagination was making progress…

"Remember our honeymoon?" Draco sighed, covering the slightly shaking body of his wife with his own. "I'd like to refresh that memory."

The circles under Scorpius' eyes became even darker, while Draco's had seemed to disappear. It might just be the rays of the morning sun shining right onto his face when he sat down on the edge of Scorpius' bed. He looked worried and Scorpius wished he could enjoy the gentle touch of Draco's hand more.

"Scorpius?" Draco smiled at him and Scorpius wondered when this smile had started to spur his heartbeat on like this.

"Feeling any better?" Scorpius retorted while sitting up. He rubbed over his puffy eyes and felt that his cheeks had heated obviously.

Draco chuckled softly. "I wanted to ask you the same. You haven't left your room the whole day."

"You've noticed?" Disbelievingly, Scorpius raised one eyebrow. He really hoped that… this hadn't been the biggest mistake in his life and if his father started to look happier and to leave the house again, then definitely not.

"Well…" Draco looked a bit startled. "Of course."

Scorpius avoided Draco's eyes. He could not forget how the grey irises had looked last night. Just the memory of the dark lust filling his father's eyes sent waves of heat down his spine to his groin. He could still feel every movement as Draco had touched his body and that hand on his shoulder was the trigger for Scorpius to wish it would happen again. This time without Polyjuice Potion.

"I've neglected you, Scorpius. Although you suffered just as much as I did…" Draco moved his hand from Scorpius' shoulder to his chin and forced him to look at what was not supposed to be his. "Can you forgive me for being such an awful father?"

Scorpius felt himself blushing because he knew the perfect way for Draco could apologise.

"I'm not sure. How do you plan to make me forgive you?" Scorpius asked with a smirk. And maybe it was a bit too flirtatious, but Draco was most likely mistaking it for the one Scorpius put on when he wanted a new broomstick.

Draco looked like he wanted to laugh but something, probably guilt, kept him from doing so. "I certainly won't tell you that now. Would ruin the surprise." He winked at Scorpius and rose to his feet, nodding towards the door. "First, how about waffles for breakfast?"

"For me… and you?" Scorpius asked cautiously.

Draco's expression was gentle; his smile resembling the one he had worn shortly before losing his dream by falling asleep last night. "Yes."

"Are you sure?" Scorpius found it hard to believe that his plan had worked this well. Or was there a part inside him that had hoped for Draco to cling to dreams and memories a little longer?

"Scorpius, you are everything I have. And I want everything I have to follow me to the garden now. We'll have breakfast outside," Draco said with a secretive spark in his eyes.

"Together with dancing peacocks?" Scorpius asked and beamed because Draco laughed in a way Scorpius had never heard him laugh. As though he was sensing what he had shared with his son and felt more relaxed around him now.

But what really made Scorpius' heart beat in a rhythm that almost felt unhealthy were Draco's words. Everything

Scorpius watched Draco walking to the door, feeling like in a dream, like all colours became brighter and the earth turned slower, making it easier for him to take in the sight of the new man his father was. And he was not even regretting that he did not get his old father back…

Scorpius' gaze flickered towards the drawer of his bedside table. He reached out a hand and hesitated but then decided to take a look inside. The brush of his mother was still in there and with it hundreds of hairs waited to be used. His lips twitched.


Hastily, Scorpius slammed the drawer shut and jumped from the bed, meeting Draco's gaze from the other side of the room.

"I'm coming," Scorpius said and ran towards his father, visibly surprising him with his eagerness, when he grabbed Draco's arm and snuggled close against his side. When he smiled up to his father he thought he saw a shadow of realisation washing over Draco's face, but after the glimpse of a second, Draco returned his smile, and although feeling a little stiff now, he put his arm around Scorpius' shoulder and led him out of his room.

"Are you sure that everything is all right?" Draco was obviously taken aback by Scorpius' behaviour.

But Scorpius only nodded. After all, he was not the one needing the healing. And in his father's case he was determined to properly salve him…