"Too much pride, between you and I
Not a jealous man, but females lie
...how could it ever be just us two
I never loved you enough to trust you, we just met and I just fucked you"
Eminem - Superman
Draco stammered out of the floo arriving at the Ministry.
Or was her last name Mason? He couldn't remember, if she even told him. She may have, he surmised, but he didn't particularly care. Her last name wouldn't serve any purpose now. In fact, he barely remembered who she was and rarely thought about her until he received that owl yesterday afternoon.
Livvie. That was his nickname for her. They had met the summer the war ended. Though the war was over, everything was still in shambles and in dire need of being repaired. He needed to get away. Clear his mind; figure out how to uphold the Malfoy name and keep his dignity within the wizarding community.
It was in Italy that they crossed paths. A fiery passion consumed them both the moment the met each others eyes. Both of them were dealing with the aftermath of the war though she wasn't directly involved.
She was great in bed, he remembered, but that was all he really knew about her. When the summer ended, they went their separate ways and never saw or spoke to each other again. Draco was stepping up as head of Malfoy industries since he was man of the house and she was due to start her training as a Healer..or was she a writer?
She did love science, so perhaps she was doing Healer training?
Draco furrowed his brow, he really didn't recall much about her at all. Sigh. This was all too much. It would do no good to think about her now. He had much more pressing matters to deal with.
Draco made his way down to the Department of Magical Protection's liaison office. As he crossed the entrance into the lobby area he saw an older man run by him frantically.
"Animal crackers? She wants animal crackers? We don't have animal crackers! What are animal crackers?" He exclaimed in exasperation.
Draco quirked a brow at the scene he just witnessed and cleared his throat for the receptionist to notice him.
"Ahem." Draco squared his shoulders and stood proud with his chin turned up.
"Draco Malfoy." He drawled while raising his brow expectantly.
It seemed the the secretary had just noticed his presence. Her hair had fallen strands around her face from her perfect bun and her desk was a clutter of paper stacks. She had both her hands spread out in front of her as she twirled in her chair from left to right, right to left obviously scrambling to find something.
"Oh! Oh yes! R-right this way Mr. Malfoy." She blushed, obviously embarrassed by her unkempt appearance. She kept her gaze down low without meeting his eyes.
Draco rolled his eyes. The Ministry was seriously lacking in the quality of employees they employed if they became so unnerved by one small child. It was obvious that having children in this Department was of a very rare occurrence.
She grabbed a stack of papers and stepped from around her desk whilst leading him a ways down the hall. She paused and knocked on the door that he saw the man enter and poked her head inside.
"Mr. Braxley, Mr. Malfoy has arrived."
Suddenly the door opened and out stepped the man who was complaining about animal crackers. He took the papers from the secretary and quietly dismissed her. The man, Mr. Braxley, had taken a business-like composure and stuck his hand out for Draco to shake.
"Mr. Malfoy." As Draco nodded, he continued, "If you would please follow me to my office."
They walked a few paces down the hall until Draco heard another frenzied exchange take place.
"I found some saltines and tea and packets of honey, dear." Draco stopped mid-step turned his head to glance down the hall when he heard a faint childlike voice.
"Thank you. I like tea."
That must be her. Draco's palms became sweaty as the weight of the situation hit him head-on. He was not ready for this, not at all. Just 48 hours ago he was the finest bachelor in town! Now what? He was going to become one of them.
Them as in the ones who got married and had kids right after the war ended and were already full of exhaustion and hair brained from the frenzy of wild children running around their home. Case in point, Weasley, Potter and all those do-gooders you see flitting around like they own the place. All they did was stay at home and tend to their kids. They had no life and never went out and all their friends had kids too. They sat around and gossiped about their children as if that was the only highlight to their life.
Draco inwardly groaned. He prided himself in his freedom and being able to do as his pleased without being tied down to marriage and a family just yet. Sure he wanted the whole package one day, but this just was not how it was supposed to go.
He was only 24 for merlin's sake! He wasn't ready to be a father. Draco didn't even know what it took to be a father. Would he be a good one? And how on earth was he to raise a child who had no mother?
"She hasn't said much since she arrived in our headquarters. I just need you to sign a document claiming yourself as her full guardian."
Draco realized that Mr. Braxley had been talking all while he had been close to a damn near mental breakdown. He nodded in all the right places and took a seat in the armchair in front of Mr. Braxley's desk.
Several rolls of parchment were laid out in front of him with all the legalities of the situation at hand. Draco needed to sign off as the child's father and take full custody of her or she would go into foster care.
He may not be ready to be a parent, but he would be damned if a Malfoy was ever left to fend for themselves, especially his child.
"Just show me where to sign." Draco growled. He wanted to get this over as quickly as possible. The hope that this was all just a sick joke seemed to fade with each passing second for he knew better. The minute he got the owl the day before he had a paternity test done, and sure enough he was the one.
Mr. Braxley pointed to several points for him to sign.
"So what happened to her?"
"Accidental explosion occurred. From the sounds of it Ms. Moore was on a research team at the Seizer Health Institute and the potion or spell which they were testing out malfunctioned." He explained with a sad sigh.
Ah, so she was a Healer and a damn good one too. The Seizer Institute was one of the top healer research facilities in Europe.
Draco leaned back in the chair and ran a hand through his hair in frustration and over his face in exasperation as Mr. Braxley went on to further explain the situation. Apparently Olivia, Livvie, didn't have any living relatives. Both of her parents were dead, and the only living sibling she had was a sister who was in her 4th year.
Livvie was her sister's guardian. Briefly Draco wondered what happened to the young girl; how she was taking the news of her sister being dead, but she wasn't Draco's problem at the moment.
"Olivia has several bank accounts set up that are for Aurora. One is in Gringotts and the other in the Gringotts Australia location."
"Australia?" Draco sputtered. Aurora. Pretty name, he concluded.
"Yes. Australia. I'll include the vault code here on this card for you." He replied as he wrote the numbers on a business card and handed it to Draco.
Draco pocketed the card but knew he would never use it. He had more than enough money to care for the child.
"So? All the paperwork is complete." Mr. Braxley said as he clapped his hands together. He look relieved to have this all behind them at last. Obviously the department was not used to dealing with children in the office. They dealt with cases about children, but rarely ever had children in the office.
"Ready Mr. Malfoy? I'll lead you back to the room up the hall."
Draco scoffed. As if he had a choice but to be ready. He nodded and promptly stood up and stuffed his hands in the inside of his robes.
He followed Mr. Braxley out the door and down the hall. Each step seemed to echo through to hall as his newly polished shoes clicked the floor.
This was it. Just a few more feet and he would be there. Draco exhaled a deep breath he didn't realize he had been holding. He had to get it together, so he took the next 30 seconds and conformed his thoughts so now he only wore a mask of determination on his face.
They stopped in front of the door and Draco took one last deep breath as Mr. Braxley opened it to let him in. He clenched and unclenched his fists inside his robes and wiped all emotion from his face.
Draco stood to his full height and hardened his eyes as he walked in.
There were two other people in the room besides himself and Mr. Braxley.
The room was plain white with a plain table and several chairs around it. Next to the girl was the person, whom Draco assumed, was the one who found the miraculous discovery of saltines and tea. He looked at Draco with wide eyes and intimidation it seemed.
He didn't want to say anything for hope of getting on the bad side of the Malfoy family; especially now that he had a child.
Good, Draco thought. He didn't want anyone to to get laxed and start making snide remarks about what was happening. He was still a Malfoy and his presence demanded respect.
But there she was, Draco noted for the first time. She was sitting in a poorly made plastic chair that caused Draco to sneer. That rickety piece of shit, what if it collapsed while she sat in it?, he thought.
Her legs, clad in bright rainbow striped tights and white trainers, dangled several inches off the floor as she swung them back and forth.
"Aurora.." Mr. Braxley started as he cleared his throat. He lowered his voice as he went to sit next to her and said gently, "This man here is Mr. Malfoy. He's going to take you to your new home."
Her head was down and under one arm she was clutching a stuffed monkey that looked like it had definitely seen better days. She had the skin of porcelain and her hair was the color of raven black, but when she looked up from the packet of saltines in her hands, she turned her head and their eyes met.
Silver met silver. If there was any doubt in Draco's mind that she wasn't his, they were all squashed now. She had his eyes.
She held his gaze for a few moments and flitted her eyes up and down several times in such quick precision that Draco almost didn't notice.
Draco smirked. Impressive, he thought. She has analyzing him; gathering an opinion already.
The next instant, she saw her tiny frame hop down from the chair and walk over to stand in front of him.
"Are you my daddy?" Her tiny child voice breaking the silence.
Daddy. That was going to take some use to hearing. Would it be rude to ask her to call him Draco? No he couldn't do that. He was in fact her father and it would be even more awkward for her to use his first name.
He closed his eyes for a moment and opened them to look down into her expectant eyes.
Draco grabbed the little girl's hand nodded back at the other men in the room as he led them the way back to the lobby of the Ministry with the floo travel.
"And we need to hurry. I have a meeting to attend in less than an hour and we need to figure out who's going to watch you." Draco said as his glanced as his watch and tightly shut his eyes still dragging the young girl behind him as the crossed over to the floo.
His legs took long strides which made the little girl almost have to jog to keep up with him.
Draco went to step into the floo but was tugged back with a slight resistance. He turned around and stared at her.
"I'm hungry. I want to eat." She pouted as she tugged his hand once more while jutting out her bottom lip.
"We will when we get back to the Manor. You've floo'ed before, yes?"
The little girl nodded and inquired once more, "What's a manner?"
Draco pinched the bridge of his nose and exhaled sharply for the umpteenth time that day. This was most certainly not going to be a good day, he could see it now..and it wasn't even mid-day yet.
"It's my home. Where I live. Where you will live. Any more questions?" He asked as he peered down at her once more.
It was then that Draco really noticed what she had on. Not only did she have on those bizarre colored tights but she had a denim ruffle skirt over them with an obnoxious pink top and green feather boa wrapped around her neck.
What the hell? He would have to go shopping for her. But what do you buy little girls? He frowned. His daughter -it was most definitely going to take time getting used to that- stuck out like a sore thumb. They were still standing in front of a floo network and Draco noticed several people giving him odd stares as they noticed the girl beside him.
"Yes." She tugged his arm again, now with both of her hands. "Mummy says manners are minding your peas and q's, how do you live in manners? What are we going to eat? Are we going to eat there?"
"You just asked what we were going to eat."
"Nooooo. I said when, now I want to to know what we're going to eat." She explained to him as if he was the child.
"Come on." He tugged her towards the floo without acknowledging what she said. If they stood there all day she'd probably ask him all sorts of questions.
"Noo Allegra!" She whined.
"What?" Draco said in exasperation. He didn't have time for this. He had a meeting to prepare for.
"Allegra! I dropped her. You made me drop her." Her eyes started tearing up and Draco made a quick dash to retrieve the battered monkey on the floor.
"Here. Now let's go." He said as he handed her the monkey with a bit more force than was necessary and tugged with her into the floo with him.
He was trying to keep his temper in check. It wasn't her fault this happened, but dammit. He had a long ride ahead of him. He didn't know what he was doing or how he would do it but he was now a father. At least in the war, he knew it would be over sooner or later but this...this was permanent. He couldn't mess this up and the thought of failing scared him shitless.
Disclaimer: All characters recognized from the Harry Potter books do not belong to me, unfortunately. But Aurora and any other character stemmed from my imagination do. This disclaimer applies to the entire story. ty :)
Update 06/May 2011: Also, I just want to add that I'm going to turn this story into a romance eventually. I won't say who the love interest will be because well, it's a surprise! But that part won't even be developed for the first several chapters, if then because I want to focus on Draco and Aurora first.