Summary: Draco wants to visit Azkaban, to see the Malfoys. He wants to know why they didn't love him.
Remus stares at Draco, wondering if he heard his son right. He had been cooking dinner, Alyssa was doing inventory with Severus, Raven was playing in the living room, and Draco had been reading in his room. Or so he thought. His eight year old son came into the kitchen a few minutes ago, saying he had a question. When Remus asked what it was, he was expecting questions about something Draco had read, or something that had puzzled him at school earlier and he had forgotten to mention it. The last thing he expected was Draco asking if he could go and visit Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy in Azkaban.
"Papa?" Draco asked, wondering why he hadn't answered.
"What did you say?" Remus asked, barely noticing the front door opening as he watched his son.
"I want to go to Azkaban and see Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy," Draco repeated as Alyssa entered the kitchen. He had been referring to Narcissa and Lucius that way for about three years now, though he hadn't told either of his parents why.
"Why would you want to go to Azkaban Dragon?" Alyssa asked, confused, moving over to hug her son and husband before leaning against the counter.
"To visit them," Draco said, his eyes flicking from Alyssa to Remus and back. "I want to know why they didn't love me. I want to know what I did."
"Draco, you did nothing to them," Remus said. They had gone down this road before. Draco never could seem to accept that it wasn't his fault that his parents were cruel. No matter what he and Alyssa said or did, nothing could change his mind.
"I had to do something," Draco insisted stubbornly, "Or they'd still love me, and they wouldn't have hurt me. You've never hurt me, or Raven, and you love us."
"And we love you unconditionally," Alyssa said, emphasizing the last word. "Nothing you could do or say would make us stop loving you. It is part of being a parent."
"But I want to know why," Draco insisted, "Why didn't they care? Why didn't they want me? What happened?"
Alyssa looked at Remus. This is, quite possibly, the only way he'll ever get closure. Alyssa remembered, vividly, talking to her father before she killed him. In between bouts of torture, she asked why. Why did he hurt them, why didn't he love them? She hadn't gotten to ask her mother, but her father's answer was perfectly clear. Because he could, because we were there and couldn't fight back. Because he didn't give a damn.
"Give your father and me a little while to consider this, alright Dragon?" Alyssa asked, wondering if it would be better for Draco to go and speak to the Malfoys or if it would be better to keep him away.
"Ok Mama," Draco said, leaving the kitchen to go back to his room. He just wanted to know why? He remembered being yelled at for not being a proper pureblood, but Mama and Papa didn't care about that. What had he done to make the Malfoys hate him?
"Are you seriously considering this?" Remus asked Alyssa incredulously.
Alyssa sighed. "I don't like this any more than you do Remus, but this is obviously something Draco needs. He knows that we love him and that we always will, yet he doesn't understand why Narcissa and Lucius didn't."
"They're Death Eaters," Remus snarled, turning back to dinner, "They all are incapable of affection." The stillness behind him made him turn around. Alyssa arched one black eyebrow as she lifted her left arm and turned it, palm up, allowing him to see the skull on the underside of that arm. He winced. "I meant…"
She shook her head. "Most of the Dark Lord's followers were heartless bastards," she said her eyes fixed on the mark on her arm, "But some had simply joined out of self-preservation, like Regulus. Some were misinformed, or simply angry at the world, like Severus and I were. By the time we came to, it was too late. Lucius and Narcissa were unfit parents, but they were his parents regardless. He will need the closure wolf." She turned and left the kitchen, going to get Raven cleaned up for dinner.
Remus sighed as he began to set the food on the table. Was Alyssa right? Would it be better to allow Draco to see for himself that nothing he did would ever be enough for the Malfoys? He didn't know, and that bothered him.
They went to Azkaban the following Saturday. Raven stayed behind, Severus and Sirius were watching her while she played with 'cousin Hawwy'.
The prison was as dank and miserable as Alyssa remembered and she shivered inadvertently, pulling her cloak closer around her and drawing Draco closer. She could see the dementors at the entrance to the prison, though thankfully they were too far away to be affected by their chill. They had orders to wait for a guard to escort them to the Malfoys' cells, so they waited on the dock.
"Mr. Lupin, Mrs. Lupin," a guard called as he approached, "Everything is ready for you. Can either of you conjure a patronus?"
Both nodded. "My wife and I are both able to," Remus said.
"Good," the guard said, gesturing for them to follow him. "I suggest you do so now. We'll be nearby so none of the dementors come too close, but better safe than sorry."
Alyssa and Remus nodded again, drawing their wands and easily casting the spell. Alyssa's wolf trotted to her side, standing beside Draco, while Remus's snake coiled in front of them.
Nothing more was said as they entered the prison. Draco stayed close between his parents, flinching whenever he heard someone scream. The patronuses kept the demetors away from the little party.
Soon, they stopped in front of a room, where the Malfoys had been taken to wait for their visitors. They had been shackled to their chairs, and there were three empty chairs on the other side of a table, waiting for the Lupins.
"I'll wait out here," the guard said as Remus went to open the door, "Give you some privacy. They're bound, but if they try anything shout for me."
Remus nodded his assent before opening the door and entering the room. The sooner they began, the sooner this would be done with and they could leave.
"Filth," Lucius sneered as he saw Remus.
"Pitiful half-blood," was Narcissa's contribution, directed at Alyssa.
"Traitor," both spat, eyeing their son with evident distaste.
"Yes, yes, your insults haven't changed," Alyssa sighed, sitting in one of the chairs. Draco stood beside her for a minute, before moving to sit beside her, with Remus on his other side. "If it were up to me, I wouldn't have done you the small mercy of relieving you of the dementors' presence for even the small amount of time that we will be here, but Draco has questions for you."
"And what makes you think we will answer them?" Lucius asked imperiously.
"Because," Remus said lightly, "You know that as long as you are in here, you are away from the dementors. This is more than likely the only reprieve you will get, so you may as well enjoy it. Cooperating will ensure that you are here, while refusing will simply result in you being sent back to your cells."
Lucius and Narcissa sneered, but said nothing, showing that they saw the truth in Remus' words.
"What does that brat want that is important enough that you would lower yourselves to visit prisoners?" Narcissa asked haughtily.
Alyssa glanced down at Draco, silently assessing how he was doing. He was slightly pale and looked nervous, but otherwise he seemed ok.
"Why didn't you want me?" Draco asked softly, his grey eyes flicking from Lucius to Narcissa.
"Why would we want a pitiful little brat who knows nothing about what being a proper pureblood means?" Lucius asked rhetorically. "You were our heir, a continuation of the Malfoy line."
"That's why?" Draco asked, sounding confused. "Mama and Papa don't care that I'm not a good pureblood. They love me anyway."
"Well, what do you expect from a half-breed and a half-blood?" Narcissa asked.
"They love me un..um…unconditionally," Draco said, stumbling over the word a little. "Why couldn't you do that?"
"We had an image to maintain," Lucius said, unconcerned. "You would not conform to our image. If the half-blood hadn't stepped in, you likely would have become a proper heir soon."
"That's all I was, an heir?" Draco asked.
"Yes," Narcissa said, shrugging. "You are supposed to carry on the Malfoy name."
"I'm a Lupin now," Draco said proudly. "My last name's still Malfoy, but I'm not one."
Remus felt that nothing more would be achieved, so he called for the guard. They were escorted back to the dock and left.
Draco mulled over his birth parents' answers for a bit, realizing that nothing short of being the perfect pureblood son, following all the rules and regulations of the society, would have made them happy. His adoptive parents loved him regardless, and Draco was happy with that. Alyssa and Remus Lupin had been better parents to him than Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy had ever managed.