Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J. K. Rowling. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.


Welcome to the first story (of eight) in the journals & ice cream series! Draco Malfoy and the Trials of Single Parenthood is completely (more or less) told from Draco's point of view, in epistolary form. Oh, and I've given Draco another child who doesn't exist in canon. Overly ambitious of me? Almost entirely. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it! journals & ice cream also has a Tumblr page, which is linked in my profile page.


Draco Malfoy and the Trials of Single Parenthood

one

from the journal of Draco Malfoy

July 3, 2017

Viktor Krum.

She left me for Viktor Krum. Of all the people she could have chosen, she chose Viktor bloody Krum.

I mean. Fuck. What the hell is with his eyebrows? Does she like his eyebrows or something?

Maybe his cock's bigger than mine. Sure would explain why he looks constipated every time he's on his broom.

Yes, I am drunk off my ass. Shut up.


July 4, 2017

One would think I'd learned my lesson about drinking to excess years ago: it causes bad hangovers. Thank Merlin for pepper-up potions.

All in all, I think I'm dealing quite well, last night notwithstanding. It's not as though I married Astoria for love in the first place. She was the only Pureblood woman who'd have me, back then. Draco Malfoy, ex-Death Eater, bigot and shamed.

I was officially divorced yesterday. At least my father is dead – he'd never have survived the scandal.

That's not true. Lucius was many things, but he was first and foremost a Malfoy, and Malfoys survive anything. Except fruit. As far as deaths go, I have to say, father's was disappointingly anticlimactic – he choked on a peach. Mother and I left him alone for two minutes, two minutes, and when we came back from the kitchen he was dead. Thank goodness the turnout to the funeral was small. Imagine telling all of his associates during the speech that he didn't chew on a mouthful of peach properly.

"Chew your food!" he used to snap at me when I was young and swallowed large mouthfuls without properly masticating. It'd be funny if it weren't so – no. No, you know what? It is funny. I'm sad he's dead, but – come on. A peach? Suddenly getting divorced isn't so bad after all.


July 8, 2017

I am worried about the kids. Astoria's touring Bulgaria now with Krummy boy and she's left the kids with me. I have to curse her timing – Scorpius is starting Hogwarts this year, and Livia's birthday is in a few weeks. She'd better be here for both of those occasions, whether she wants to or not. Could she really be that selfish?

…Yes, she can. "I've been a mother for eleven years, Draco!" she said before she left. I think she'd been rehearsing for it, though; the scene was very dramatic. She even had a suitcase and was dramatically throwing her clothes into it. "I want my own life! I'm tired of being a mother, all right?"

It's like she decided she just didn't want to be a parent anymore. I didn't realise it was a job you could resign from.

I had to leave the kids with mother today while I sorted things out with the goblins. What does Astoria need such a large settlement for, anyway? Doesn't Krum have a few million Galleons to go with his extra-large broomstick?

It's not even the fact that she left me that I'm upset about.

She left our children. She left me alone. And… okay. Yes. I'm worried about being on my own. I love my children more than I ever thought possible. But eleven years of being a father to two children, I'm still terrified I'm not a good parent.


July 26, 2017

I made my first public appearance today since my divorce hit the Daily Prophet. Given enough time between scandals, people eventually forget and move on. They're all preparing for Saint Potter's birthday now, so the Prophet has been running articles on him and his family. Never thought I'd be grateful for Potter, but he's wrenched the spotlight away from me.

At any rate, today was the monthly board meeting for a charity, the Muggleborn Fund.

It's taken many years, but slowly the Malfoy name is being mended, changing to suit the society of today. Old blood isn't as respected as it once was. Nowadays, it's all about what you do for society, how much you donate, how liberal you are in your personal philosophies and policies, how much you know about the Muggles.

Frankly, I blame Granger. (Pardon, Granger-Weasley.)

I digress.

I donate to the Muggleborn Fund on a yearly basis, a thousand Galleons a year. It would be remiss of me to say that I am insulted or hurt by the accusations that I am charitable only for publicity's sake, because that is exactly correct. It is for publicity. Good publicity, at that. My father, rest his soul, donated to St. Mungo's in his time.

"We are Malfoys," he used to say to me, "and Malfoys always survive."

So this is me. Draco Malfoy. Surviving.

Later

I feel compelled to add that just because I am charitable for publicity's sake does not mean I do not feel something for the causes themselves. As a benefactor, I make the effort to appear at every single monthly board meeting, every single dinner party, every single function night.

Earlier this night, we – the benefactors and donators and supporters – listened to the story of a young Muggleborn girl. Seven years old, like my daughter. Her Muggle parents, apparently, nearly killed her in their attempt to banish the "devil" from within her during some disgusting, primitive practice known as an 'exorcism'. They're some fanatic religious people. The girl – Louisa Maybourne – has been moved to an orphanage, where when she reaches the age of eleven she will be supported by the Muggleborn Fund for Hogwarts.

I know what I would have thought as a younger man. Filthy Mudblood, she should have died.

Being a father has changed me.

The thought of that ever happening to one of my own children – to an innocent seven-year-old girl, to any child… I don't think I can finish that sentence. I don't even want to think about it.

I donated two thousand Galleons this year.


July 27, 2017

I never doubted my father loved me.

I do doubt he'd have loved me if I turned out to be a Squib.

Scorpius, Livia – you'll never see these words but I want you to know that I am not my father. I am not my father.


August 5, 2017

That's it. I am never taking children to Diagon Alley on my own ever again.

I'm home now and the kids are finally in bed, but today… good grief.

I lost Scorpius. Well, he ran away, but the point remains. What sort of father loses their child?

I thought he was handling Astoria's departure well enough. Suspiciously too well, perhaps – and, well, I was right. He chose today to snap. He thinks Astoria left because of him. I think. I noticed how quiet he was being when we were going shopping – just after we bought his wand. I asked him if he was all right and he said, very softly, "I'm fine."

I knew he was lying. Livia was tagging along behind us, playing with a novelty Time Turner, so I took the chance to ask Scorpius again. I'm still not quite sure what happened – it was a bit of shock. Scorpius started yelling at me, something he'd never done before. He wanted his mother to be there for his first wand, and – he'd overheard her that night, when she left. That she was "tired" of being a mother.

Damn you, Astoria, just damn you.

He took off and, as small as he is, he disappeared into the crowd at Diagon Alley. And of course I couldn't run after him, because Livia was behind us and I had a bag full of robes and books and other school items. But then Livia also started crying because she'd heard Scorpius yelling and crying. It wasn't even midday.

I suck at being a father.

I think I wandered around Diagon Alley for a few hours with a one screaming child in my arms and another crying child throwing a (very justifiable) tantrum who'd run away. And then of course I had to run into Ron Weasley.

"Hey, Malfoy," he said with a smirk I wanted to smack off his stupid face, "I heard about your wife flying off with Viktor."

"Yeah, well, I guess he got tired of your Muggleborn wife and wanted something cleaner to play with!"

I didn't say that. I was too busy juggling my screaming daughter, a bag of shopping, a handful of Galleons, and resisting the urge to rip my hair out (even more) to reply. I think I might have looked like I was on the verge of tears, though, because Weasley looked concerned for a moment – not that I'd ever want his pity, for Merlin's sake – and had to put Livia down because she wouldn't stop squirming. Why was I even holding her? She's old enough to walk on her own! I think she might have asked to be picked up earlier because her legs were sore. I can't remember. At that moment, though, she wanted to go home and was making a large deal out of it.

"Stop it, Livia! We can't go home, we have to find Scorpius! Now be quiet!"

I may or may not have yelled. I'm certainly not proud of myself.

My little girl took one look at my face and burst into tears.

I never cried in public as a child. Father disapproved of such "grotesque displays". But I let her cry until I felt like crying myself (yes, I felt like crying. I'm pathetic) and dropped to my knees beside her.

"Sweetie, sweetie, please stop crying, Daddy's sorry, Daddy didn't mean to yell –"

I swear, if I hadn't known Weasley was still standing behind me, I would not have said that.

…okay. Fine. Yes, I would have. I can't stand seeing my children cry.

"Here, why don't you go buy some ice cream, okay? I'm sorry, I didn't mean to yell, I'm just worried about Scorpius. You know I love you very much, don't you?"

Weasley choked behind me. I swear, I could have slapped the idiot, but then Livia sniffled and wiped her nose with the back of her hand and nodded, still looking like I'd kicked her puppy. Usually I'd tell her off for wiping her nose on her clothes – she has a handkerchief, I know she does because I made her put it in her pocket this morning – but she looked so upset that I just gave her a kiss on her forehead and sent her off to Fortescue's.

Seven-year-old girls. Merlin help me.

I think I stood there helplessly for a few minutes. My son was angry at me and had run off, my daughter looked like Christmas was cancelled as she bought ice cream, my wife was off in Bulgaria doing Merlin knows what with Krum, and Weasley was still standing there.

"Er. You okay, Malfoy?"

"Do I look okay to you, Weasley?" I spat.

And I did not, in any way at all, burst into tears. How dare you accuse me of that.

To be honest, I really expected teasing from him. Name-calling. I mean, Draco Malfoy, sobbing in public, in front of Ronald Weasley. I didn't expect him to awkward pat my shoulder and force me into a seat. Just as well he did – crying gives me vertigo.

"Er."

"Shut up, Weasley." Although I think it came out more like, "Sh-shu'up, Weas – sniff– ley."

"…Er." He sounded as out of his depth as I was feeling. "Do you… need some ice cream?"

Which is how I came to be sitting at Fortesue's at a table with my daughter and Ronald Weasley, eating chocolate ice cream. Livia had strawberry ice cream all over her face – she's the messiest eater I've ever encountered – and Weasley sat next to me in silence.

"Why are you in Diagon Alley?" I asked.

"I sometimes work at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes."

"The junk shop?"

"The joke shop," he said sharply.

"Isn't that what I said?"

He glared. "You're an arse, Malfoy."

I watched Livia eating her cone, blissfully unaware of what an arse her father was being. I sighed. "I need to find my son."

"I heard. He's run off?"

"He's upset. About his mum."

"Sorry about, er. About what I said. Back there."

"Yeah, well. Astoria wanted a bigger broomstick."

I'm proud to say that I made Weasley choke on his ice cream.

Eventually I called Livia over to me and told her we were leaving Fortescue's to find Scorpius, though Merlin knew where he'd be. I just hoped he hadn't made his way to Knockturn Alley. I'd spent far too much time there as a child. Picturing my own children in that place made me feel ill. Weasley finished his ice cream and watched start to struggle with the bags again.

"Just shrink them, Malfoy."

In hindsight, I think I just had too much on my mind to remember to shrink the damn things earlier. Had he said that to me twenty years ago, I probably would have turned my nose up and carried the bags around as they were, just to prove a point.

I was tired. My son was upset and was missing somewhere in Diagon Alley. My daughter was getting ice cream all over her clothes. My ex-wife had dumped me for a Quidditch celebrity, and Ronald Weasley had just eaten ice cream with me.

I shrunk the damn bags.

"Do you need help?"

"No." I hesitated, then said, "But thank you."

Squeezing blood out of a stone would have been easier. Weasley looked like he thought the same. "S'okay," he said in the same tone.

Livia tugged on my arm. "Daddy? Daddy, can we go to the joke store? Please?"

I sighed. "No, Livia. We have to find Scorpius."

She pouted. She's too damn good at pouts, and I'm pretty sure she knows it. I know it. I still fall for it. She knows that, too. "Please, Daddy?"

I put my foot down this time. Sort of. "Maybe tomorrow."

"Er," Weasley said again. I resisted the urge to make a snide comment about the extent of his vocabulary. "Good luck. With finding your son, I mean."

Ronald Weasley being nice to me. The world's ending, I'm sure. "Thanks. Maybe I'll end up coming by your junk store tomorrow."

Weasley scowled, but then Livia betrayed me and cried, "It's a joke store, Daddy! And you have to promise to take me because my birthday's soon and you just said we'd go tomorrow, so can I please please please go?"

"I said 'maybe'! And your birthday isn't until –"

"Of course you can!" Weasley suddenly said, grinning (in what I think was more of a take that, Malfoy, your own daughter's on my side! kind of joy than genuine adoration for Livia).

And that's how Ronald Weasley became my daughter's favourite person in the world for an hour.

I found Scorpius not too long later, thank Merlin. He was hiding in a back corner of Flourish & Blotts, curled up with a heavy book across his lap.

My son, my poor son – he'd been crying silently for hours on end. We didn't say anything when I found him. He just ran over to me and hugged me, and I held him back. I didn't care it was in public. I didn't pull away, or tell him to compose himself, or act like Lucius would have. I have no memories of hugging my father.

I'll talk to Scorpius and Livia properly tomorrow.

And then take them to the bloody junk shop.


August 6, 2017

I spoke to my children just now. They're getting ready to go to Diagon Alley again, and thankfully today I don't have to worry about shopping for Hogwarts. I don't have the energy to record all of this morning here, but it was draining. Extremely draining. Scorpius cried, I cried, Livia cried (but I think that was more because she saw me and her brother crying) and… there was chocolate. Lots of chocolate. Scorpius insisted.

But I think I know why Scorpius was upset yesterday, and probably has been for a while. It's more than just Astoria leaving us. I think he felt like he wasn't a good enough son for her, and he was afraid he wouldn't be good enough for me either.

"Don't leave me as well, Dad," he said.

That's what he said. He begged me not to leave him.

And then said, "I'll be better, I promise."

I don't know how long I spent telling him and his sister that I would never leave them and that they were perfect and I loved them and – well, you get the idea.

But… I just… I don't know. I'm still shaking. Have I done something to make Scorpius feel that way? That he isn't good enough? I always felt like that in my own father's presence – that if I didn't do something well enough, if my marks weren't high enough, if I wasn't powerful enough, if I wasn't a proper Malfoy, he'd disown me. But I never thought I'd made my son feel that way. I'm wracking my memory, trying to think of something.

When I first held him, the day he was born, I promised myself I'd be different. I loved the child I held in my arms, more than anything. He wouldn't grow up feeling like he was in danger of being disowned every breathing second. He'd grow up knowing I loved him.

And today I found out he was worried he wasn't good enough.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The apple never falls far from the tree, right? I loved my father. I was also afraid of him.

Later

I've never been to a more annoying, obnoxious store in my life, which meant my children fell in love with it.

The place was crowded. The kids looked ready to dive in but I could only grab Livia in time; Scorpius disappeared, but at least this time I knew he was in good spirits and wouldn't leave the store. "Aww, daddy," Livia said, but stopped trying to pry her hand out my grip when Weasley greeted us.

"Malfoy. You came."

"The kids insisted."

"Hi, Mr Weasley!" Livia said, and Weasley looked down at her.

"Livia, right?"

She nodded, delighted her new role model remembered her name. "Yep!"

Weasley smiled. "How do you like the shop?"

"It's amazing."

I wanted to tease her with "Traitor!" but I was afraid she'd think I didn't want her to have fun. She looked up at me and asked, "Daddy, can I look around?"

"Okay, but don't leave the store!"

The crowd swallowed her alive. Weasley must have seen my alarm. "She'll be fine. We have staff all over the place."

"Oh. Good."

There was a short silence. "You, er, okay?" he asked tentatively.

It was as awkward as it sounds. Nineteen years of distance and growth is a long time, but the seven before that were spent antagonising each other. It was a little hard to ignore, though we were both doing a remarkable job. I didn't want to be horrid to Weasley in front of my children, who now worship him.

At least I know what to get them both for Christmas.

"Yeah. I'm fine."

"…No, you're not."

"Okay, fine," I snapped a bit. "I'm not. I have no idea what I'm doing."

He blinked. I sighed, but to my credit I didn't start sobbing again. There's only so much damage my pride can take.

"I just…" I ran a hand through my hair. (My hairline is not receding, damn it.) "I just worry that I'm a bad father."

Weasley was watching me with an odd expression, but still didn't say anything. Livia and Scorpius saved me from further embarrassment by turning up at my left elbow and tugging on my robes. "Daddy, can I get something? Please?"

"Yeah, Dad, can we?"

That darn look she gives me. Scorpius too. He's learning how to copy his sister, and he does it well. And after yesterday and this morning, how could I not give in? "All right," I conceded, "but just one! You too, Scorpius. One thing each."

They disappeared again. I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself. I'm beyond the age of joke gifts, although – against my will – I do admit some of the items in the store were rather impressive. Weasley appeared by my side again, probably to make sure I wouldn't sabotage his stock. I spotted Scorpius across the store; he, a moment later, turned and smiled and waved at me. I grinned and waved back.

"Hey, Malfoy?"

"Yes?"

Weasley hesitated. "Seems to me that, if you're worried you aren't a good father… it already means you are. A good dad, I mean. 'Cause you care about it." He shrugged. "Just a thought."

I ended up buying three things each for Scorpius and Livia.


August 7, 2017

Maybe I can do this.