*Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling!
*Thanks for reading, leave a review and let me know what you think of the story! I got like none last chapter :(
Title of this chapter comes from 'F*** You' By Lily Allen. I heard the songs and I was like 'This is Astoria. EXACTLY. Give it a listen :)
Scorpius opens the door and quietly walks into the library. He doesn't look at me directly, but I can see the look of shame on his face. I glance up at him, wondering what made him want to come speak to me. We haven't had a proper conversation in three days.
"I'm sorry," Scorpius apologizes finally, playing with the sleeve of his robes and peering at his shoes. "I shouldn't have done it." He glances at the window. It's late in the afternoon, and the sun seems to be on its course to set.
I close my book and look up at my younger brother. "Come here," I say, waving him over. Scorpius comes to sit beside me on the sofa in the middle of the library. "What's going on with you? You used to tell me everything."
Scorpius shrugs, and he's silent for a while. "I don't know," he mutters finally, a troubled look on his face.
"Is Dad still mad at you?" I ask. Scorpius nods.
"Why is he so upset? Is it because of me, or my mother?" He questions. I don't know how to answer this question without bad-mouthing Astoria to Scorpius. I may dislike her, but I'll let Scorpius form an opinin of Astoria for himself.
"I think he's just upset you went behind his back about, he felt like you couldn't ask him about it yourself, you know?"
Scorpius nods sullenly. "Mum doesn't get mad at Rose about it, though," he points out.
"Well, that's because things are different with them. I don't think Mum and Ron are on as bad of terms as Dad and your mother," I say.
Scorpius' eyebrows furrow. "Why not?"
"Do you remember anything about the day she left?" I ask, hoping he doesn't. They day Astoria left was absolutely terrible. In that moment, every fear Scorpius ever had of Astoria not loving him was solidified. He didn't get over it until Mum began to take a bigger role in his life.
Scorpius shakes his head. "No, what happened?" he questions.
I open my mouth answer, then think better of it. "Nothing really. It's just, Dad and your mother fought a lot. An awful lot. It wasn't good for either of us," I tell him. That statement has a lot more meaning than he knows.
"But Mum and Dad used to argue a lot too, you said. It's been a long time, maybe my mother's different like Mum is," Scorpius says hopefully. I know that people like Astoria never change.
"Maybe." I turn to look at Scorpius. He's grown considerably in the past year, and his face is beginning to mature. With his white-blonde hair and piercing grey eyes, he looks like an exact clone of Dad. I'm positive Scorpius is going to break a lot of hearts when he gets older. The more Scorpius grows up, the more he seems to lose that air of trusting innocence he one had. "Mum loves you. You know that, right?"
Scorpius nods vehemently. "Yeah, I know. I never thought she didn't."
"It's just important you know that, though," I tell him.
"Um, okay." Perhaps I shouldn't worry so much for Scorpius. Teddy's right, he's a good kid. But even the best people can be influenced. "Are you still mad at me?" He asks.
I shake my head. "No, not anymore. I'm sorry for yelling at you."
"I forgive you," Scorpius says. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a pink sheet of parchment. "By the way, this for you." Scorpius hands the parchment to me. It says 'To Belly' on the front in Ninas' crazy handwriting.
"What is it?" I question, confused.
"Turn it over," Scorpius tells me. I do so, and the note says 'I'm having a tea party right now!' with a bunch of misshapen hearts and butterflies. Nina absolutely loves throwing tea parties, even more than I did when I was her age. If it wasn't for her blood, I'm sure she would get on a lot better with Grandmother. "She expects us to come."
"We'll hear about it from Mum and Dad if we don't," I agree. I'm sure that no matter what changes are coming, we can always count on Nina's tea parties.
I hold the library door open for Scorpius as we walk out and go upstairs together. Already, I can hear Nina talking loudly from down the hallway. I brace myself as Scorpius opens the door to Nina's room.
"Belly!" She smiles, her bright eyes lighting up. "You came!"
"Of course, I did," I say back, stepping into her blindingly pink room. Nina gets up from the table in the middle of her room and scurries over to Scorpius and I, grabbing our hands. "Scorpius, you sit right here with Rose and Hugo. Belly, you sit here with Mummy and Daddy because you're the oldest," she directs. Scorpius sits down gingerly beside Hugo, who looks like he'd rather be elsewhere. I don't think that it's such a good idea for me to be sitting beside Dad, but I decide not to say anything. I can be mature if he can. Besides, the sight of Dad squeezed uncomfortably into one of Nina's small flowered chairs is gratifying beyond words. Mum looks at me as if she wants to say something, but she remains silent.
"Daddy?" Nina asks. "Why can't I put the house-elves in tutus and princess hats?"
"If you give a house-elf clothes, it sets them free, Nina," Dad explains. Nina looks slightly crestfallen.
"But they would look so pretty..." she protests.
"You could always put a tutu on Hugo again, I'm sure he'd let you," Scorpius mutters, laughing with Rose.
"Shut up!" Hugo says defensively, his ears turning red.
"Boys," Mum admonishes.
"Can I put a tutu on you, Hugo?" Nina questions, poking her lip out.
"No!" Hugo snaps.
"Nina, men don't wear tutus," Dad informs her.
"Since when is Hugo a man? He's barely got armpit hair!" Scorpius protests. Hugo glares at him.
"Rose?" Nina asks expectantly.
Rose nearly gags on her tea. "What?"
"You can wear a tutu like me because girls wear tutus," Nina explains, going off of what Dad said.
"No thanks..." Rose mutters.
"Oh, just be nice," I tell Rose."Wearing a tutu isn't going to be the end of you."
"You wear it then," Rose retorts. "Go on, put it on."
"I believe Nina asked you," I tell Rose, smirking.
"Yeah! Put it on!" Nina cheers. Rose sighs and glares daggers at me. This is definitely an interesting tea party. "You look so pretty, Rose! Doesn't she, Mummy?"
"Yes, Rose looks beautiful in her tutu," Mum nods, smiling at Nina.
"Do you want one, Mummy? I have one you can wear!" Nina offers.
"Oh, no that's alright. I do believe two princesses in tutus are quite enough," Mum politely declines. Nina beams at being called a princess and Rose makes an indignant face. Hugo smirks triumphantly at her.
"Come on, Mum!" Rose complains.
Dad gives her a disapproving look. "Rose, don't whine," he chastises.
"Believe me Dad, I'd be complaining too if I looked so ridiculous," Scorpius says, looking at Rose humorously.
"You don't look ridiculous," Nina assures Rose. "You look like me!"
Hugo snorts and covers his mouth quickly with his hand to prevent tea from dribbling all over the table.
"As if that's any better!" Scorpius says between laughs.
"Scorpius, stop being mean or I'll kick you out!" Nina threatens, glowering at him.
"Don't make fun of your sisters," Mum tells Scorpius, giving him a look.
"Yeah, shut it," Rose adds. "Or I'll tell everyone what you did at Hogsmeade that one time."
Scorpius immediately sobers up, but he throws Rose a sideways glance. The satisfied smirk she wears is enough to make me smile as well. Mum and Dad make eye contact, probably curious about what exactly Scorpius did. I'd like to know as well.
"Well, this is going nicely, isn't it?" I ask, in my best effort to ease up the mood.
"Yep," Nina agrees, smiling at me. "I told Daddy not to fight with you so it would be fun." Subconsciously, I gaze at Dad.
"Dad and I aren't going to fight," I assure Nina. "We're mature enough to handle that." Dad raises his eyebrows. "Do you disagree?" I ask, turning to him.
"On your part," Dad tells me, his voice low.
"You know, I really am trying my best. Thanks for realizing," I say bitterly.
"Then I must say, your little act a couple nights ago had me quite confused," Dad whispers back.
"You're just as guilty as I am," I hiss through my teeth. Mum gives both Dad and I annoyed looks. Scorpius kicks my foot. This isn't even my fault. Every single time I try to deflect an argument, one seems to happen anyway.
"Master Draco, you have a guest at the door," one of the house-elves says, stepping forward timidly.
"Er, I'll get it," I volunteer, too eager to leave that uncomfortable setting. I stand up and walk out of Nina's room, not even bothering to look at Dad. I go downstairs, frowning slightly, wondering who wouldn't just use the Floo instead. Perhaps it's Holden. He likes to be polite and use the front door, considering Dad dislikes him already, and I'm sure he's got him blocked off the apparition wards anyway.
I make it to the foyer and open the door. When I look at the person before me, my heart plummets and my fists clench. "Simon wasn't lying, was he?" I question in spite of myself.
Astoria smirks at me and pushes the door open, stepping inside as if she still lives at Malfoy Manor. "I'm afraid not. Look at you, Isobelle. I'd barely recognize you..." she drawls, looking me over.
"You don't look any different, though. Seems that month in prison treated you rather well," I throw back, giving Astoria an equally hard look. In all honesty, she hasn't aged a day. She looks just as I remember her. Same blonde hair, same ice blue eyes, same constant look of disgust...
Astoria half-smirks at me. "I see your face healed quite nicely."
"What? Did you still expect a hand print to be there?" I question.
Astoria ignores me and glances around the Manor. "It seems to have changed around here," she says, curling her lip in disgust. "And not for the better. Where is my son?"
"Oh, you mean Scorpius?" I ask.
"Who the hell else would I be talking about?" Astoria snaps.
"I must say, I'm surprised. You never did seem to care about him," I remind Astoria.
"I cared for him a lot more than I cared for you," She points out coldly.
"And yet, that still wasn't a lot," I mutter with fake sympathy. I turn around as I hear footsteps coming from above.
"Isobelle, who was at the door?" Dad questions, coming downstairs. He still sounds a bit irritated at me, but I'm sure that'll change in a second when he sees our guest.
"Draco!" Astoria cries, an uncharacteristic sweetness to her voice. "It's been a while, hasn't it?"
Dad stops halfway down the staircase. He's probably deciding whether he should come the entire way down and do something that will land him in Azkaban, or run back upstairs and pretend this isn't happening. "What the hell are you doing here?" He demands, keeping his voice low. Nina's door is open.
"I want to see Scorpius, of course," Astoria answers. "Would you mind terribly getting him for me? I wouldn't want to inconvenience you."
"I belive you already have," Dad answers harshly, his eyes boring into hers.
Astoria wrinkles her nose and shakes her head. "No, I'm only visiting. Honestly, I just want to see my son. Nothing more. You can't deny me that, can you?" I don't know what Astoria's playing at, but I'm sure as hell not buying it.
"Why shouldn't I? You're crazy! You abused them both!" Dad whisper-yells, gesturing to me. "How long have you been going behind my back with my parents? Is this some sort of plan of yours?"
Astoria shakes her head innocently. "No, not at all. Draco, Lucius and Narcissa approached me with Scorpius' letter. Quite honestly, I've always thought about Scorpius, but I didn't want to spring anything on him. I didn't think that would be fair if he didn't actually want anything to do with me," Astoria explains, glancing at me. I know that's a stab at Mum."I've had a lot of time to consider my actions and really, I did behave rather immaturely. I've caused this family a lot of grief." Now, I've always believed Astoria to be a wonderful actress, but she's definitely gotten better over the years. I'm sure she's had loads of time to practice.
"Damn right you have," Dad mutters.
Astoria purses her lips. "Please, Draco, I know I ruined things between us, but I don't want things to be that way between Scorpius and I. I may never have the chance to correct our relationship, but Scorpius is my son..." She looks like she actually regrets the choices she made. Bravo.
"Astoria, you must be out of your mind if you expect me to believe-"
"Draco, you must admit that I've stayed away for the past two years when I could have easily interfered with Scorpius' life. I don't have any other motives, I can promise you that," Astoria interrupts Dad, giving him a pleading look.
Dad eyes Astoria warily, but he can't really prove that she's lying. If he turns Astoria away now, he will have ruined Scorpius' chance of meeting her again. Scorpius would hate him for that. Dad sighs and rubs his chin. "Only for today. While I'm around. If you so much as try anything, I will go straight to the Ministry myself, and you can kiss your son goodbye forever. Is that clear?" Dad questions, as if he's speaking to Scorpius or I.
Astoria grins at Dad. "Crystal. Now, where is my little boy?"
Dad gives Astoria one last hateful glare before turning to go back to Nina's room. A second later, after I hear him muttering with someone who I'd guess is Mum, Scorpius finally comes out with Dad. When he looks over into the foyer, Scorpius breaks into a wide grin. He nearly runs down the stairs and into Astoria's arms.
"My, you've grown a lot," Astoria gasps, looking Scorpius over. "You look just like your father!"
"Yeah... I hear that a lot," Scorpius says casually. I can tell that he's both excited and nervous to see Astoria again. "I er... missed you."
"I missed you, too, Scorpius. I really have missed you." Astoria smiles fondly at Scorpius and touches his face gently. It's nearly revolting to watch. "I feel so terrible that I had to leave you!" Dad clears his throat to indicate otherwise. Astoria looks up at Dad, and for a split second, I can see a hint of well-masked hatred in her eyes. She turns back to Scorpius, her back now facing Dad.
"Why did you leave?" Scorpius asks, looking confused.
Astoria purses her lips. "Your father and I didn't get along very well. And after I had to leave it put me into a terribly difficult state, and I really had to sort things out after that. I hope you can understand. I never wanted to leave you, dear. I love you," she tells Scorpius quietly. That was well-rehearsed.
"I know," Scorpius tells her. "That's what I told Dad and Mum."
"Mum?" Astoria questions, wrinkling her eyebrows. "Scorpius, honey, I'm your mother." I glance at Dad, who looks as if he's about to explode with anger.
"Oh... um, I'm sorry," Scorpius apologizes, looking a bit uncomfortable.
Astoria smiles at him. "It's okay, love. I can't be mad at you for something you didn't know was wrong, can I?" Funny, that was never a problem for her before.
Scorpius shakes his head. "No..."
"Daddy! Where's Scorpius and Belly?" Nina questions, running out of her room, her pigtails bouncing behind her. Nina stands beside Dad on the stairs. "Who's that lady?" Astoria looks between Dad and Nina a few times, then raises her eyebrows at Dad.
"Daddy?" She repeats, regarding Nina scrutinizingly. "Draco, I didn't know you had another child."
"Why would you?" Dad questions, glaring at Astoria.
"Narcissa and Lucius never mentioned anything about it," she answers. Well perhaps if she'd let them out of her ear for a moment, she might be able to hear things for herself.
Nina's face lights up. "You know Grandma and Grampa?" She questions excitedly.
Astoria nods. "Yes, I've known them for quite a while now. Are you Isobelle's sister?"
Nina wrinkles her eyebrows like this is a silly question. "Yeah, Belly's my sister. You're really pretty," Nina tells Astoria, smiling.
Astoria grins at her in return. "And you're quite adorable yourself. You seem to be about the age my Scorpius was when I last saw him."
"You saw Scorpius before?" Nina asks, looking at him. Astoria has her arm around Scorpius' shoulder. Scorpius is purposely avoiding Dad's gaze.
"Of course, I have," Astoria answers.
Nina looks up at Dad. "When did she see Scorpius before?" She questions.
Dad doesn't answer her. "Nina, how about you go back upstairs with Mummy? We'll be up in a minute." Nina nods and walks back upstairs, looking at Astoria one last time. She appears to be quite pleased with herself
"Draco, you haven't even introduced me to your wife yet. After all, this is her home now, too. I wouldn't want her to feel as if I'm intruding," Astoria says. Mum probably doesn't even know that she's here, but I'm sure Nina is about to tell her.
"You've already met Hermione," Dad reminds Astoria, his jaw clenched.
"She's your wife now, Draco. Don't be rude."
Dad frowns at Astoria, his hand tightening on the banister. "Don't you call me-"
"Astoria," Mum says stiffly, forcing a smile. I look up and see Mum coming downstairs. She links her arm around Dad's and forces him to come with her. "I didn't expect to see you."
Astoria effortlessly returns Mum's look. "Hermione, I'd really like to thank you for watching over Scorpius. I can understand what sort of transition that must have been." Even though Astoria doesn't say the exact words, I hear her loud and clear: Raising your half-blooded children doesn't at all compare to raising my pure-blooded son.
"It wasn't any trouble at all," Mum says tightly.
"That's a relief! I know how much you had on your mind at the time what with Isobelle, and your divorce from Ron. Who would have known you were pregnant as well? I certainly wouldn't have guessed!"
"Mum only told people who really needed to know," I tell Astoria, coming to Mum's defense. "Much like you did when you were pregnant with Scorpius." Scorpius' eyes meet mine, and then he turns away. I think he knows there's a lot more tension between all of us than we've let on, and he's wondering why.
"Of course. The media really can be harsh, can't they?" Astoria agrees. Even I have to second that. My family has had so many terrible things written about us, and in the recent years, many of those things have been about me.
"They most definitely can."
Astoria looks down her nose at Mum. "I'm sorry, Scorpius, but I really do believe that I should be going now," she tells Scorpius. His face falls.
"Do you have to go now?" He questions, giving Astoria a wistful look.
Astoria nods reluctantly. "I suppose so. It really was wrong of me just showing up like this, I suppose I should have spoken to your father and Hermione beforehand. I mean, they haven't even invited me in..."
Scorpius turns to Mum and Dad, giving them pleading looks. Dad ignores him. "Merlin, how rude of us. Astoria, would you like to join us in the sitting room for tea?" Mum offers. "I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem."
"But... we just had..." Scorpius trails off once he sees the look on Mum's face , but I'm sure he was going to mention the fact that we've already had tea with Nina. Mum's trying to keep that little detail a secret so that she doesn't have to invite Astoria to stay for dinner. I'm sure she wouldn't want to cook for Astoria. It annoys me that I know Mum would be too kind to spit in her food.
"I would love that," Astoria tells Mum. "I hope you don't mind, Draco?"
Both Scorpius and Mum give Dad looks. Dad clears his throat. "Not at all," he says gruffly. It's obvious by his tone that he minds it a lot.
"Lovely. Scorpius, would you mind showing Astoria to the sitting room?" Mum questions.
"Oh, I know the way, dear," Mum tells Scorpius. "I did live here at one point, but I'm sure you don't remember-"
"I remember," Scorpius tells her, smiling slightly.
"Isobelle, you don't mind joining them?" Dad asks, but it's more of an order than a question. I can tell he wants to have a quit talk with Mum about why the hell she just invited his psychopathic ex-wife into our home. Knowing Mum, she didn't do it without reason.
I shake my head. "No, I don't mind."
With every word Astoria speaks, I hate her more than I already do, and it appears that Scorpius likes her more. She's very smart, constructing her sentences just carefully enough to make it seem as if she cares about Scorpius, she absolutely couldn't bear to leave him, and it was all Dad's fault that she had to. She also says things in a way that aren't outright rude, and Dad would just seem to be calling her out out of spite if he were to say anything about it. It's manipulation at its best.
"Scorpius, dear?" Astoria questions, setting her teacup down on the table in front of her.
"Yes?" Scorpius says expectantly. He and Rose are sitting beside each other on the sofa. When she heard that Astoria was here, she wasn't initially jealous like I had expected. Instead, she seemed rather curious to meet her. Hugo appears to be rather indifferent. I have no idea why Mum brought them all downstairs.
"You are still quite a big fan of the Falcons, aren't you?" Astoria asks.
Scorpius nods. "Yeah, Hugo and I bet all the time on their matches. That's why I have more galleons than he does," he answers with a smirk.
"Who is Hugo? Is he one of your friends from school?" Astoria asks conversationally. Mum glances at Astoria with a look of utter distaste. Nina giggles.
"Um, I'm Hugo," Hugo says uncomfortably.
Astoria puts her hand to her forehead. "How could I be so rude?" she apologizes, giving Hugo a fake look of sympathy. "Please forgive me, I'm absolutely horrid at remembering names!"
"It's okay," Hugo tells her.
"What were you saying?" Scorpius asks, urging Astoria to continue.
"Oh, right, right. You remember your Auntie Daphne, don't you?" She asks. 'Auntie Daphne' is Astoria's older sister. Surprisingly enough, she's even more foul and rude than Astoria, and that's a feat in itself. Scorpius nods. "Yes, well, a friend of her husband's is the manager for the Falcons, and I had a little chat with him. How would you feel getting to meet the team before a match one day? I know you absolutely love quidditch, and considering I've missed out on a lot, I thought it was the absolute least I could do. Would you like that?"
Scorpius' mouth drops open. "Would I?" He repeats. "Yeah, I would! Thanks so much!" Scorpius looks as if he could die right there, if it wouldn't prevent him from meeting his favorite quidditch team in the universe. Even Rose looks surprised.
"Looks like your life's dream might come true," She says mockingly, nudging Scorpius on the shoulder.
Astoria smiles at Scorpius. "Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, alright? You'll need to ask your father," she tells him, discounting Mum completely. I know that Astoria's doing it on purpose. She's going to make it at clear as she can that she no longer has any use for her. Scorpius turns to Dad, who looks as if he could shit bricks right now. He seems more enraged by Astoria's presence than I am.
"Can I go, Dad? Can I? Please?" Scorpius begs.
"Your mother and I will talk about it, Scorpius," Dad answers flatly, casting a scathing glance at Astoria.
"I've already made it quite clear that I have no problem with it," Astoria quips smartly.
Discreetly, Dad narrows his eyes at Astoria. Mum gives her a dirty as well. "Hermione and I will discuss it," he rephrases, his words stiff. He can't outright say no to Scorpius, even though he already made it quite clear that he didn't approve of Astoria spending time with him alone.
Scorpius seems upset by his indirect answer. "Okay, Dad..." he mutters.
"Are you sad now, Scorpius?" Nina questions. I want to tell her that now isn't the time to ask a question like that.
"No," Scorpius mutters dejectedly.
"You look sad," Nina presses.
"Nina," I whisper, urging her to stop. "Not now."
"Sorry, Belly," Nina apologizes. Nina turns to Astoria. "Rose said you were Scorpius' Mummy," she says loudly. Rose immediately turns to glare at Nina, and I realize that this was something she wasn't supposed to tell. Both Mum and Dad look at Rose. Her face turns the shade of Hugo's hair.
"Rose is correct, I am Scorpius' mother," Astoria tells Nina.
Nina's eyebrows furrow. "Then why does Scorpius call Mummy 'Mummy' and not you? And then why don't you live with us? Mummy is Scorpius' Mummy," Nina says.
Astoria gives her a stiff smile. "Well, things like this are quite difficult to understand at your age," Astoria tells her kindly.
"But, I'm six," Nina protests.
Astoria nearly chokes. Quickly, she recovers and gives Nina an interested look. "You're six? My, you're almost a young lady! I expect you'll be seven soon?"
Nina shakes her head. "Not until February," she tells Astoria. "That's when my birthday is." I can tell by Astoria's eyes that she's thinking intently about something. A tiny smirk crosses her face and she locks eyes with Dad.
"Nina, I do believe you never cleaned your room from earlier today," Mum says hurriedly. "Isobelle, won't you go help her?" I can tell that Mum's trying to get Nina out of the room.
"Yes, Mum. Come on, Nina, let's get your room cleaned up," I say, gesturing for my youngest sister to get up.
"We had a tea party in my room!" Nina explains to Astoria.
Astoria grins at her. "And here you are, having tea again. It was great to meet you, Nina."
"Come on," I say again, quietly.
"Oh, and Isobelle?" Astoria calls sweetly. Slowly, and begrudgingly, I turn around. I know that Astoria is only pretending to be so kind. She isn't capable of being a genuinely loving person. She's made that clear. When our eyes meet, I notice that taunting look she has, and it assures me that she hasn't changed a bit. "It's absolutely wonderful to see you again."
(A/N: So, Astoria's back! And she's playing nice! Really excited for the story to have her back. I enjoyed writing this chapter as though I hate Astoria, she is one of my favorite characters to write. I hope I did this chapter justice! Predictions on what's going to happen with Astoria? Thoughts, opinions? Let me know! Thanks for reading, LEAVE A REVIEW! Let's see if we can get to 100! :)