Disclaimer - I own nothing. Just playing with JKR's toys.
A/N I don't know if Regents actually has a playground, but it does here. Thanks to everyone for the follows and reviews on my other stories! I'll get back to the angst in "Imitation," but this plot bunny wouldn't leave me alone. Enjoy! :)
Summary: Scorpius gets a new playmate. Hermione gets in on the fun.
"Mummy! Wake up - it's already 6:15 in the morning. You promised to take me to Hogsmeade, and then to the park today. Get up get up get up - hurry!" A small, delicate six-year old copy of the infamous Draco Malfoy shook the lump on the left side of the bed in front of him.
Said lump groaned, rolled away from her demanding spawn, and poked the lump on the right side of the bed.
"He's back. Deal with your son, Draco."
"Oh, but 'Mummy,' you promised him. Remember? I've told you before: when dealing with a Slytherin, never, ever leave a loophole in any agreement. You should have specified a start time."
She swore she could hear the bastard smirking. "He isn't a Slytherin yet. He's only six. Obviously, the sorting is five years away."
"Trust me, love. He's undoubtedly a Slytherin. I've been sure of it since he was three."
"Gods! Draco, were there any banshees in your family?"
"Nope. I'd know that whiny shriek anywhere. He's yours, Granger."
She took a sleepy swing at her husband, and missed. "That's Granger-Malfoy to you."
"So it is," she could hear the smirk turning into a smile.
The product of their union had since jumped up onto the bed, and was bouncing with the energy of a Jack Russell terrier on meth. Definitely time to admit defeat and rise for the day. Small Child: 1, Sleepy Parents: 0.
The lumps conceded, and two sets of eyes, one brown, one gray peeked over the comforter. A pair of large, sparkling gray eyes peered back.
And then the owner of the sparkling eyes pounced gleefully. "MUMMY!"
Hermione could feel her heart melt as soon as her son bounced into her arms. He had both of his parents wrapped around his finger. While he was nowhere near as spoiled as Draco, she still worried sometimes about how headstrong Scorpius would be as he got older. She kissed him on the cheek as Draco ruffled his white-blond curls. "Good morning, darling. Yes, we'll go to Hogsmeade today, but the shops don't even open until 9:00. You're up a bit early."
"Oh. I didn't realize that..." Her son's features darkened as he considered this information.
"It's okay, dear. It will give us time to get you properly cleaned up. You don't mind the extra bath, right? You want to be your best when we go," this was said in a sugary-sweet tone, and Draco turned away so his son wouldn't see him laughing. The boy loathed baths, and if Hermione had to be awakened so early, she'd found a way to exact a petty revenge that couldn't be questioned, and it would make her feel better. Scorp would also think twice before waking her again. She might deny it, but his wife had Slytherin tendencies. Being with him for the last eight years had made them more pronounced than ever.
He smiled to himself as his family headed downstairs to breakfast. Every day that he woke up and saw them, he thanked whatever deities existed for the change in his life. Not that it hadn't come without a high price; his parents had refused to accept his Muggle-born fiancée, disowned him, and ignored their grandson's birth. Draco had been lucky to land a good job with the Ministry, as he was now cut off from Malfoy Industries, and the family fortune. He'd had a trust fund that couldn't be revoked, and it had allowed him to purchase the home his family lived in now. Occasionally something would twinge inside him when he thought of Scorpius missing one set of grandparents, but there was nothing to do for it.
Draco shrugged lightly, finished his morning ablution, and headed into the dining room to grab a bite before flooing to work.
Breakfast was fairly uneventful. There was the minor instance of scientific curiosity when the boy decided to see if a pancake would stick to the ceiling, and then to a house elf (freed of course), but considering what had happened at previous meals, this could almost be counted a success.
"Lovely. We should be able to take him to a decent restaurant by the time he's, oh, 35 or so."
Draco's bride rolled her eyes and asked for the hundredth time how long this phase had lasted in his case.
"Who said it's ended?" FWAP! - a pancake bounced off the side of Scorpius' head. "Sorry, son. Just thought we should include some more data, since you already tried two surfaces. Your face is usually covered with jam by the end of breakfast, so I thought the pancake might actually stick."
After the ensuing carnage died down, Hermione once again was thankful for cleaning spells. Her overgrown child of a husband left for work, and she turned her attention to getting Scorpius ready for their outing.
They arrived in Hogsmeade at 9:05, and happily made their way through several stores. Scorpius was already crazy for Quidditch, and had been begging for a training broom. She wasn't sure how long she could keep Draco from purchasing one, he was so proud. She shook her head in amused resignation. Following the broom shop, they stopped at another store for quills, and then it was on to Honeydukes.
Scorpius was trying to decide between Chocolate Frogs, Sugar Quills, and Bertie Botts' Every Flavor Beans when Hermione had the sensation of being watched. Her hand went to her wand, and she turned as subtly as she could, only to find the last person she expected.
He stayed at the other end of the shop, and his body language was non-threatening. His attention was almost compulsively focused on the grandson he'd never acknowledged. Hermione drew her son closer to her, and headed for the register. As they approached, her estranged father-in-law backed up, never looking away.
Scorpius was an intelligent child, if not especially tactful, "Who's the weird old man, and why is he staring? Mummy, he's got hair like Daddy's and mine."
"He's no one, sweetheart. No one you need to worry about. Shall we head for the park, then?"
"I want to go to Regents Park - their slide is bigger."
"That's fine, dear." She drew herself up to her full height, and stared the 'weird old man' down as they left the store.
Gray eyes watched after them pensively.
Regents Park was lovely. It had been established more than a century ago in Muggle London, and it boasted an exceptionally well-equipped playground, and a zoo. As long as Scorpius stayed in sight, Hermione was content to read while he played. They had been there for about an hour when she saw a small, strange boy approach her son. It took her a moment to place what was wrong about the child. He was dressed appropriately, but he carried himself in an almost regal fashion. She set the book down beside her, and continued to watch the children.
Scorpius had to cajole the boy into playing, but in a short time they were chasing each other around the equipment. Her son had climbed a large slide, went to look down at his new friend, and lost his balance, toppling backward from the stairs.
Before she could react, the boy waved his right hand with a languid grace, and Scorpius floated gently to the ground.
Hermione ran to them, and she saw that the odd child looked like he was considering bolting as she got closer.
"Mum! I was going to fall, and then I flew. Kind of..."
"So you did. Who's your new friend, love?"
"This is Ab."
"That's an interesting name. Is it short for anything?"
"Ab...Abner," the child's eyes were wary as he seemed to assess Hermione.
"Really? Are you sure it isn't short for 'Abraxas?' Scorpius, why don't you bring our lunch basket over here, dear? We'll have lunch with Ab."
The little boy happily left to retrieve their lunch, and she looked carefully at the being before her. "You aren't fooling me, you know. Accidental magic manifesting in a child is never that focused. A wandless Arresto Momentum isn't easy to cast. You're no more a little boy than I am the Queen. So, what is it, Lucius? Polyjuice?" She made sure he could see that her wand was within easy reach.
Lucius gave a curt nod of acknowledgment of the situation. "How did you know it was me? I plucked a couple of hairs off of a Muggle child right before I approached."
"Your mannerisms and carriage aren't exactly normal for a small boy, and your grace always was distinctive. You disappeared twice for short periods right around the hourly mark. I knew something was off, but I might not have twigged to who you really were if you hadn't raised your hand to save Scorp from that fall. Thank you for that, by the way."
Her still somewhat-estranged-but-now-busted father-in-law nodded again. "You're likely wondering what I'm doing here."
"To be honest, I'm not the least bit surprised. Your reaction at Honeydukes was obvious. Except for the curls, he's a dead ringer for Draco. Even if you believe in your Pureblood supremacy rubbish, you're still human. And you know your son. After the way you and Narcissa handled the situation, he wouldn't be likely to let you near Scorpius now, am I right?"
"Brightest Witch of Your Age, indeed," he raised a sardonic eyebrow, and gave her a small half-smile.
They both turned to Scorpius as he dragged the loaded picnic basket. Hermione smirked, and turned to Lucius, "Ab, would you like to have lunch with us? We're going to grill hot dogs and have crisps. I can even get you a fizzy drink. It's a feast for any child." Lucius' eyes widened in horror as he realized that she was trapping him into eating Muggle food. Hermione gave him an evil smile, and on some level, he began to understand Draco's choice.
She had to refrain several times from laughing outright during lunch. Especially as she watched Lucius' fear and disgust transform into gluttony. He ate three hot dogs, half the bag of crisps, and washed down two fizzy drinks. She had to admit that it was amusing to watch him on a sugar rush. He interacted well with Scorpius, and she took him aside as she made to leave.
"Would you like me to have a word with Draco about seeing you here?"
Lucius inclined his head, "I would be grateful. I don't know how much good it will do, or if he'll agree to speak with me, but I would appreciate the effort."
"You'll likely score points for eating the Muggle food. You did it immediately, just to spend some more time with your grandson. It took Draco weeks to work up to trying a hot dog!"
"I find that I quite like them. Where, exactly, does one find hot dogs?"
"Work on your relationship with your son, and I'll help you out with that."