Title: Draco's pride

Author: Martine Lewis
Setting: Next Generation

Summary: Draco has a conversation with his son over the Christmas holiday.

Author's Notes: This is in response to Macceh's Three AM Challenge at Harry Potter Fanfiction Challenge. Hope you enjoy!

It was late, very late, but Draco Malfoy didn't care what time it was. He just took another sip of his firewhiskey.

He had to admit, he was getting fairly drunk.

He remembered his years at Hogwarts when he had been so keened on making his father proud of him, so sure of his heritage, so sure that the name of Malfoy was the most important thing in the wizarding world.

But now he knew how much of a fool he had been.

All those years, he could have had friends. He was pretty sure Harry Potter would have been his friend if he, Draco, had shown an ounce of decency. But at the time, he had none.

And now, 20 years later, he was a rather lonely man. Of course Harry Potter, with his legendary selflessness, had forgotten him. They were not friends, but they were civilized towards one another.

Sometimes, actually a lot of times, Draco envied Hermione and Ron to have such fierce friend. Draco had none. The only people he had were his wife, who he loved more than he had thought he would, and his son, who he totally adored.

His son, his pride, his joy.

His son, who he had raised to be a better person than him, who he had raised to be as he should have been himself, had he not been blinded by his pride and desire to please his own father at all cost.

Lucius Malfoy.

What a joke of a father!

Draco didn't think very highly of his father anymore. His father had known Draco's desire to please him and had used it, like he had used everybody else around him to better his own situation. And even if, at the end of the war, he had shown some genuine concern for Draco, it was just too late; by that time, Draco had been so deeply involved with everything to do with the Dark Lord that he had had no choice in his course of action.

How could a father do that to his son?

Draco, upon Scorpius birth, had sworn he would never allow his son to blindly seek to please him. He had sworn his son would be his own man, have a mind of his own and would know how to think for himself.

And Draco thought he had succeeded.

Earlier that day, he and Astoria had picked Scorpius at the train station for the Christmas holiday. To Draco's joy and surprise, Scorpius had been joking around with some of his friends like any normal eleven year old should do. He hadn't walked out of the train like the world owned him, like Draco had done when he had come off the train in his first year.

And when he had seen them, Scorpius had run to them, full of joy, making Draco crack one of his very rare smiles. He had hugged his mother and then Draco too, almost making him cry with joy and delight.

His son was home.

His son was the joy of his life.

His son was everything he should have been and more.

"Dad?" asked a small voice behind him, breaking into Draco's musing.

While Draco had never been allowed such liberty as to call his father 'Dad', Draco had always insisted Scorpius call him so.

"Yes, Scorpius? You're not in bed?"

"No... Something is bothering me," answered his son. "At school, right before the holiday, we had a lesson on the second war against Voldemort. What they say about you isn't really good.

"Dad, what really happened during the war?"

Draco closed his eyes and rested his head on the back of his chair.

"Son, do you really think three in the morning is the appropriate time to be discussing this?" he asked gently, sensitive to the fact he was talking to the most important person in his life; his beloved son.

Scorpius shrugged, a gesture so atypically Malfoy that Draco almost laugh in delight. He was so proud of this little man who looked just like him but was at the same time so different.

"What do they say about me?" asked Draco to his son who had taken a seat on the sofa next to him.

"That you were a Death Eater, and so were your father and mother," he answered.

"And what do your friends say about it?"

"Albus said it's all in the past and we shouldn't worry about it. He said it doesn't mean I'm bad or evil."

Albus Potter. Always trying to see the good in people, never taking the bad for granted. While Draco had never met the youth, he had read enough about him from Scorpius' letters to know as much about the boy, who not only was the son of Harry Potter, but also his son's best friend.

"During the wars, the first one and most of the second one, the Malfoys were strong supporters of Voldemort," began Draco slowly, sadly looking at his son. "My father was effectively a Death Eater and espoused the views that blood purity was the most important thing in a wizarding family.

"And I, I only wanted to please my father. I would have done anything to make him happy, to make him proud of me. Of course, I thought if I thought like him, he would be proud… but it never seemed to be enough for him. So I thought if I was to become a Death Eater myself, he would be proud of me," he added, raising his sleeve and showing his mark to Scorpius.

Scorpius looked at it with wide eyes.

"But that was not enough either.

"When my father fell out of grace, Voldemort used me to do things I never wanted to do. He asked me to kill Dumbledore. I thought it would save my family, I thought I would save us all and make my father proud. But I couldn't do it. Contraire to my father, I'm not a killer. I did believe in blood purity because it was the only thing I ever knew. I did believe pure bloods were better than muggle born but I had a rude awakening when Hermione Granger turned out to be better than me at everything. I sincerely thought my father was right and she was cheating to get ahead. After all, how could a mugblood be better than me?" he added with a cynical chuckle.

"Now, I know better," he continued, looking at his glass sadly. "And that is why I also taught you better," he said, suddenly looking up at Scorpius. "That is why I taught you to think and judge before you act. That is why I taught you that I'm not always right and what I expect of you is not that you try to please me but that you do your best for yourself. You understand now, don't you?"

Scorpius nodded and looked down at the carpet, frowning in his thoughts. Draco admired that in his son: he took the time to think things through, to find out if a course of action was the right one, not the 'pleasing' one.

"Dad, are you proud of me?" asked Scorpius tentatively, looking up at him.

"Son, more than you'll ever know," answered Draco sincerely. "Now, go back to bed before your mum wakes up and ask us what in Merlin's name we are doing, up at 3am."

With a proud smile on his face, Draco looked at the small version of himself walking back to his room.

His son. His pride.