Blood of Birds

Note: Hi! The following is a 2nd generation Harry Potter fanfiction, with main characters being Rose Weasley, Scorpius Malfoy, and Albus Potter. It will be comprised of four parts, the first of which will follow Rose. There will also be seven one-shots (or side-alongs) following other characters at points throughout the series, each uploaded separately. I've also taken the liberty to include a few re-quotes, courtesy of JK Rowling and Steve Kloves of course, to pay homage to the original books and films. So without further ado, here is Chapter 1. Happy reading!

~ Lauren



15. Mayhem at the Malfoy's

Note: , Chapter 13 marks the beginning of Part 2 of Blood of the Birds, meaning that the next chapters will follow Scorpius's perspective, rather than Rose's. I hope you enjoy the chapter, and let me know what you think once you've finished reading! Thanks.


The world was spinning in every direction, and short, sporadic images were passing by like a slideshow gone wrong. Scorpius Malfoy could feel his body being squeezed through spots of air, as if he had been swallowed by a black hole. One moment, his arm felt as if it was about to detach itself from his shoulder, and next thing he knew he could hear a tiny bone in one of his fingers cracking. Screams filled his ears, but he didn't have time to realize that they were his own.

Rose Weasley's face, smeared with tears, appeared in front of him, and he tried to reach out for her, but was held back. Flashes of Harry and Albus Potter presented themselves as well, but none lasted longer than a millisecond. After each disappeared, they were replaced with the wet, green grass of Wiltshire, and the dark, iron gates that enclosed Malfoy Manor. Soon, Scorpius was back on his own two feet, his knees buckling as he grasped onto the gate that was now directly in front of him. Only moments ago, he had been with Rose at King's Cross Station, and now, somehow, he had arrived at his family's mansion.

The house was not at all a home for the sixteen year-old Scorpius. He had spent the first eleven years of his life here, peering out of the gate at the narrow lane that led anywhere else, and befriending the albino peacocks that his grandfather had insisted on leaving in the gardens. The house itself, like any good museum, was stunningly ornate, but not at all the type of place that one would want to live in.

Now more than ever, Scorpius dreaded the idea of stepping through those enormous, bold doors. The last time he had been here, his own mother had nearly killed herself, and the environment that she had been in could have only encouraged such drastic action.

"Well go on boy, get inside," Draco Malfoy told his son with a harsh pat on the back. Scorpius was still catching his breath from his first go at side-Apparation only moments ago, but his father didn't seem to have much sympathy for him.

Slowly, Scorpius picked himself up and dragged his body into the entryway of the house, which was arguably the starkest part of the building, with the exception of the dining room. Once inside, any light from the outside world was lost and the dark room engulfed the Malfoy family with the same sense of entitlement it had always bore.

"Story, may I speak with you for a moment?" Draco asked his ex-wife tensely. Scorpius could immediately sense that something was wrong between the two of them, but he didn't dare ask what it was. As his father led his mother, Astoria, into a sitting room nearby, he motioned to Scorpius and a small suitcase sitting by the stairs and added to his son, "I assume you can put away your own things?" He didn't wait for an answer, and instead closed the door behind him, leaving Scorpius alone.

Standing still for a moment in order to gather his thoughts, Scorpius wondered how it was possible for things to change so quickly. Less than a half hour ago, he had been on the train with Rose, the love of his life and the only thing that had ever mattered to him, and now he was back here, with a family he had hoped to never be a part of again. Scorpius had never liked change, but by now he was used to it. Life had been able to find curveballs to throw at him in every direction, and somewhere along the way he had stopped fighting them and just let them hit him, one after the other. That was until he and Rose had met and later gotten together; before he realized that if he didn't find the courage to fight, she would fight for him.

As the silence crept its way under his skin, Scorpius decided that he was ready to try to move again. Looking down at his broken finger, he clasped his free hand around it and pulled as hard as he could. After biting his lip to keep himself from screaming from the pain, he felt an immense sense of relief when the bone snapped back into place. He had never set one before, but his fingers were prone to fractures throughout his many years playing Quidditch. The Hogwarts school nurse had reset nearly every one of them at some point, and he had watched her do so each time.

Feeling nearly back to normal now, Scorpius walked over to where Draco had left his green and silver-colored trunk and ferret cage, lifted them, and headed up the wide, curving staircase. His luggage wasn't heavy at all, for he didn't own much to bring to school every year. Most of what was inside was clothing, and only a few books were thumping onto the bottom as he carried it all upstairs.

His bedroom was located at the end of the long, narrow, second-floor hallway. On his way, he shook his head at the walls around him, which held no frames of family photos, no newspaper cutouts, no Quidditch memorabilia. There wasn't even a scrap of artwork, nothing. It was the complete opposite of the Potter house in Godric's Hollow, which had become much more like a home to Scorpius after spending so many summers there throughout the years.

Harry and Ginny had decorated their own house with everything they had and more. Harry, being as sentimental as he was, was always tacking up articles from the Daily Prophet, while Ginny would pick out all the worst pictures of everybody and put an unfitting, formal frame around them. Scorpius even had one of his own, up on the wall just off the kitchen. Inside a grand, silver adornment, was a photo of him and Al, his eleven year-old self sneaking up on his best friend from behind, holding up fake bear claws and looking like he was about to pounce. As the picture moved to illustrate more, it showed him roaring, which resulted in a hilariously frightened Al, whose first instinct was to go into combat mode, resulting in the two of them butting heads and falling to the ground laughing. From there, the picture would repeat itself, always ending happily.

That, Scorpius thought, was a real family, a real home. This place, on the other hand, was clearly not. Pondering such, he sighed to himself as he entered his room. It was across the hall from the master bedroom that his parents used to share, and looked just as empty as it had always been. Across from the door was his bed, which was the hardest and most uncomfortable piece of furniture Scorpius had ever encountered. Above it hung a Slytherin banner, the one thing that his father had let him hang on his wall. On the bed's left side sat an antique desk with nothing on it, and on the right side was a dresser that was positioned beneath a tiny window. Walking over to it, Scorpius pulled open the curtains that were nearly always shut, allowing a few rays of light in, and inspected his small collection of chess pieces that were sitting on the windowsill, one of the only things he had always treasured as a child. Picking up his favorite of the bunch, the knight, which was composed of a strapping young boy mounted atop a strong, white horse, Scorpius looked it over quickly before dropping it into his pant pocket, where it fell next to his only other prized possession, Rose's ring.

She had given back the stone he had found in the Forbidden Forest before they had left Hogwarts, just in case they didn't end up seeing much of each other over the holiday. Like always, Rose's hunch had been right, as it hadn't taken long for the two of them to be separated, and the chances that they would reunite before September seemed unbearably slim. Until then, though, he'd have her ring to remember her by, along with the kiss and message she had left for him upon leaving the station.

Right before Draco pulled him away, Rose had warned Scorpius not to trust Astoria. Scorpius still didn't understand what exactly Rose had meant by this, but he also had no idea why his mother had even shown up at the station. She was supposed to be in the hospital, though Scorpius knew that she had left some time ago, since he had seen her over Christmas. Still, he had assumed that she had escaped, but now that she was walking around, out in the open, it seemed as if she must have been discharged. Otherwise, she would have been more stealth about her hiding.

An explanation for all of this would probably be provided in due time though. If not, Scorpius would at least overhear something during his stay here. What he wouldn't get the chance to hear, however, were Rose's thoughts. Becoming too curious to resist, Scorpius rushed over to his desk and pulled open all its drawers, searching for some scrap of parchment. Upon finding one, he took out a quill and some ink from his schoolbag and began to write:


Explain, please. What's going on with my mum? Write quickly. I love you.


The last time he had written a letter to Rose had been the summer of the year before, and he remembered how long he had taken to make it perfect. Now, he could write to her without even thinking about it. That's how comfortable they had grown to be around each other, and Scorpius was immensely grateful for it. Granted, the letter was barely a whole line, but he wanted to be efficient about things.

Searching his room for something to seal it with, Scorpius came up completely blank. Sighing, he set off into the hall, headed for his father's office to find more stationary. He wasn't meant to sneak around like this, but he'd need to use the family owl anyway, and the old black bird, fittingly named Eldritch, was always perched atop Draco's coat rack.

This part of the house looked slightly more used than the rest of it. Unlike his late father, Lucius, Draco hadn't been able to live off of his inheritance forever. Long before Scorpius was born, his father had taken up a position at the Ministry of Magic, in the Department of International Magical Cooperation. This was where he had met Astoria, and it was also why they had both been so absent throughout Scorpius's childhood. Draco was always either traveling or cooped up here, inside his office with a bottle of mead on his desk.

Moving quickly so as not to get caught snooping by his father, Scorpius went straight to Draco's desk. He had his hand upon the stamp which issued a seal in the form of the family crest when his arm brushed a piece of paper off the table. Placing the stamp back down momentarily, Scorpius knelt to the floor and picked up the letter, only to find that it was addressed to his father from Hogwarts. Unfolding it slowly, Scorpius saw that it was from the Headmistress, who happened to be his Transfiguration teacher as well, Professor McGonagall.

The letter detailed a recent event that had taken place regarding Scorpius. The teacher was informing Draco about the trial for the murder of Argus Filch, why Scorpius had been accused, and finally, that he had been innocent all along. Scorpius now understood why his father had come to greet him at the station. Draco would be disappointed, Scorpius knew, and he would be in for a good scolding any day now. It didn't matter if he was innocent in the end, since Draco barely ever had the time to read an entire letter. Usually, he'd get past the first line and then act on it. Second chances, along with forgiveness, weren't a part of his nature.

Setting the letter back down, Scorpius stamped his own paper, wrote out Rose's address on it, and handed it over to a grumpy bird. He then headed out of the office, but left the door wide open, anxious to hear back from Rose as soon as possible. On his way back to his room, however, the perpetual silence in the house was interrupted from a soft whispering coming from down the hall, what sounded like the room next to the office that Scorpius had just been in.

Slowly turning around, Scorpius smiled to see that it was his grandmother, Narcissa, her white head popping out of her bedroom door. She was nearly always asleep these days, but when awake, she was the only person in the house who seemed at all interested in conversing with the youngest Malfoy.

"Is that you, Scorpius?" she asked lazily. She didn't have her glasses on, and old age was taking away her ability to see clearly. Even so, she could still hear everything perfectly, and must have heard Scorpius walking through the halls just now.

"Yeah, it's me, Gran," Scorpius answered as he walked over to her. Once close enough, he pulled her into a gentle hug. For as long as Scorpius had known her, Narcissa had been very different from the rest of the Malfoy family. She was kind, caring, and most of all, undeniably protective of her family, and Scorpius had always valued her for that.

"Why didn't you tell me you were home?" she asked, opening her door wider to let Scorpius inside. Like the rest of the house, her bedroom was stark and void of color, but she had tried to make it as homey as possible, with floral bedding and pictures of Draco growing up all over the walls. "You know you're free to wake me any time. I can always sleep, but I can't always celebrate my only grandson's homecoming."

Scorpius chuckled lightly. "I know," he said, "but I didn't want to bother you." He had taken a seat in an antique chair across from Narcissa's bed, and she was examining him intently, as if he had just come back from a war, and she was trying to read the scars that had been etched across his face.

"How are you, my dear?" she asked sincerely. She hadn't witnessed the events of last summer, having been too preoccupied with slumber, but Scorpius suspected that she had been quite shocked to wake up the next morning and find that half of the household had disappeared overnight.

Scorpius was about to answer the usual response, that he was fine, but he couldn't seem to get the words out. Instead, he soon found himself replying, "I'm confused."

Upon seeing the curiosity on Narcissa's face, Scorpius continued, "My mum came to the station today, with Dad."

It only took a moment for Scorpius to be sure that Narcissa hadn't known about this until now. Her eyes were widened with surprise and worry all at once, as she asked, "Is she here now?"

Nodding, Scorpius said, "She's downstairs. They both are."

Narcissa sighed, and Scorpius knew that she was concerned not just for him, but for Draco as well. There was nothing in the world that Narcissa loved more than her own son, even if she didn't receive the same sort of kindness in return.

When Narcissa remained silent, Scorpius asked, "Gran, was she let out of St. Mungo's?"

Shaking her head, Narcissa answered, "I've no idea. But if she was, I pray for the sense of her Healer, because there's no way she's ready to come back home. Or anywhere, for that matter."

Scorpius nodded. As much as he would love to see his mother healthy again, he didn't want her to be home prematurely. He wouldn't let her try to hurt herself again, or anyone else. Still, he wasn't sure he'd be able to stop her this time.

"Don't worry about her. Your father will handle it," Narcissa said, as if reading Scorpius's thoughts.

Scorpius snorted at this, not being able to stop himself. All Draco had done was get Astoria into the hospital, and clearly that hadn't worked out as well as he'd hoped it would.

Narcissa, refusing to side with one of the boys, decided to change the subject. "So tell me about your year, Scorpius. Have any fun? Meet anyone special?"

Slowly, Scorpius felt a smile penetrating his lips, curving its way across his cheeks and turning them a shade of bright red in embarrassment. This was what happened every time somebody asked him about Rose, or even the idea of Rose. He had always felt that way about her, something more than friendship. This past year though, this had been when everything had changed between them. Now, he couldn't imagine his life without her. Every thought he had, everything he did, was somehow linked to her. They had been tethered to each other, an invisible rope connecting the two of them across immeasurable distances, refusing to be broken. He had never felt surer of anything in his life than the way he felt about Rose, and he had also never felt safer than when he had her in his arms. Now, she was at her own home, miles from where Scorpius was, but he still felt as if he could feel her next to him.

Her gorgeous, fire red hair was flowing around her porcelain skin. Its waves gave off an endless supply of her signature scent: salty sea air that can only be found on the most beautiful, secluded beaches. Her freckles were the same color as the darkest grains of sand, the way they looked right as the sun shined down on them, and her lips were like the wild raspberries that grew just off the shore. Best of all were her eyes. As he closed his own, Scorpius could see them perfectly, bright as the bluest sky with darker ripples encircling the iris, so delicate that they could only be seen if he got so close to her that their noses were touching. Secretly, Scorpius liked to imagine that only he could see this part of her, and that she had closed it off to the rest of the world.

Waking him up from his reverie, Scorpius's grandmother suddenly asked, "So who is she?" She must have sensed his daydreaming, and like any observant woman, had deduced that Scorpius had been put under the most powerful spell there was, and one of the only ones that didn't require any magic at all.

Blushing yet again, Scorpius replied, "Her name is –" but was interrupted by the sound of flapping wings coming from the room next door. Standing from his seat instinctively, Scorpius said, "Actually, that might be her now. Excuse me for a minute." He then walked out of the bedroom and back into Draco's office, where Eldritch was once again perched atop the coat rack. Below him, an already crumpled letter had been dropped onto the floor.

Unfolding it to the best of his ability, Scorpius read:


I don't want to assume anything, but I wanted to warn you as best I could before you got home. You remember when we saw your mum over Christmas? Well, I also saw Goyle at the same time, and they seemed to be headed in the same direction. I've also noticed that lately, he's had this sort of glazed-over look on his face, like he's not really himself. Do you think it's at all possible that Astoria's put him under the Imperius Curse?

I could be completely wrong, of course, but it makes some sense. Otherwise, I can't think of why Goyle would have murdered Filch, or how he would have even been capable of it. I know this isn't something that will be easy for you to think about, but Filch was a Squib, and you said that Astoria was pro purebloods... Anyway, let me know what you think, or if you get any more information on the subject.

Also, I hope you don't mind, but I asked my dad about what's been going on with her, your mum. It turns out she was let out of St. Mungo's, but she's on probation. Her case has been passed down to a lower ranked Auror for now. Do you think she's ready for that? How is she acting?

Write back when you can. I'm already worried about you, cooped up there alone. How bad is it? I hope you can get out at some point, but I'll keep sending letters either way. Gosh, it's only the first day of summer, and I already can't stand the thought of not seeing you. I love you too, more than you know.

Come back to me when you can,


Scorpius had to read through the letter a second time for Rose's words to fully sink in. Could all this be true? Rose was rarely wrong about these things, and it made perfect sense. Astoria had always detested Squibs, nearly as much as Muggle-borns, and she seemed to have a soft spot for that particular Unforgivable Curse. Rose was definitely right about one thing though: this was the last thing he wanted to be assuming about his mother. She may not have been all that present as he was growing up, but she was his mum. He just couldn't imagine her as a murderer; that would be too much to handle, even for him.

Plus, if only lower ranked Aurors were watching over her now, it was safe to assume that they wouldn't be observant enough to see the signs that Rose had. They'd only be checking in once a week or so, and they'd never check at Hogwarts. Scrambling as he thought this, Scorpius raced through his father's desk for a piece of paper. He would need to tell Harry about this immediately, even if it was just a speculation.

He was about to start writing, granted with a less than steady hand, when the incredibly loud sound of a slamming door came from downstairs. Looking up, Scorpius saw Narcissa standing in the office doorway and looking curiously in the direction of the marble stairwell. Draco and Astoria had been arguing in the dining hall for hours, but now it seemed as if they had moved into the entryway, their yells echoing throughout the house.

"You need help! Why can't you accept that?" Scorpius's father screamed.

"Because it's not true!" retorted Astoria in a devilish tone. She made it sound as if this was a fact, and Scorpius could tell from the tone of her voice that she would be completely unwavering with her opinion on this particular matter.

During a moment of silence, Narcissa motioned for Scorpius to stay put as she began to descend the staircase. Growing impatient all too quickly, Scorpius decided not to follow his grandmother's advice and instead followed her, running over to the top of the stairs where he'd have a decent view of his parents' row.

Draco was standing at the bottom of the staircase, a few steps away from Narcissa. In the middle of the entryway stood Astoria, right underneath an old chandelier that had had to be redone before Scorpius was born.

"If it's not true," Draco went on, "Then why can't you answer this simple question: why are you here?"

"I already told you!" Astoria screamed, coming closer to Draco. In response, he backed away, almost as if he was frightened by her. "I'm here for our son. I've been apart from him long enough, and now I want him back."

Back upstairs, and yet to be noticed by his parents, Scorpius held his breath. His mother looked and sounded nothing short of crazy, her long brown hair that was normally so perfectly done-up falling in front of her face and hiding her shifting eyes. Her voice was raspy and desperate, when it used to be calm and polite. Even her clothes looked cheap and slightly ratty, when they were usually expensive and perfectly tailored to her thin form. Whoever his mother once was, that person was gone now. This woman, reaching out to her ex-husband's hand as if he were a weapon, was a stranger to Scorpius. A stranger who, so it seemed, might also be a murderer.

"But I have sole custody of Scorpius, which means that I decide whether or not I want you anywhere near my son!" Draco yelled, making Astoria coil over in disappointment. As rage sizzled behind her eyes and her hands balled into fists, one of which was clasped tightly around her wand, Scorpius decided it was time to intervene.

"Actually, I think I can tell the wrong sort for myself, thanks," Scorpius announced as he came down the stairs, passing Narcissa as she reached out her hand for him, as well as Draco, whose face looked more aged than ever, and finally taking his place directly in front of Astoria.

"Scorpius, darling," Astoria said to her son, a twitching smile spreading across her semi-wrinkled, pale white cheeks. "I've missed you so much."

"Yeah, I've missed you too," Scorpius admitted, all the while telling himself to stay strong and hold his ground. This wasn't going to be easy, but he needed to tell her what she wanted to hear if he was going to get any kind of truth out of her.

"Scorpius, don't do this," said Narcissa from behind them. "She's not safe."

"Oh yes, well that's very easy for you to say, isn't it, Narcissa!" Astoria spat back. The two had never gotten along, but this sort of behavior was worse than they had ever displayed in front of Scorpius before. He couldn't help but marvel at how perfect the scenario was, Narcissa, old, wise, and white-haired, looking down at the younger, naive, and dark-haired Astoria. Like any good game of wizard's chess, the two sides were complete opposites, and it was difficult to tell which would prevail.

"I'll admit to having my days of weakness, held under the persuasion of the one I loved. However, I will NOT let that happen to either of my boys!" Narcissa yelled, and before Scorpius had time to blink, his grandmother had her wand pointed at Astoria and flicked it ever so slightly, the action that went along with her silent spell that Scorpius assumed was Expelliarmus, meant to disarm the opponent.

Unfortunately, Astoria's reflexes were much faster than Scorpius's, as she was able to produce a counter-curse just in time, defending her own wand and knocking Narcissa's right out of her hand. As she did so, her eyes widened with power, and Scorpius felt a shiver of fear. He already knew that Astoria was no longer in her right mind, but now it seemed as if she was dangerous as well. Her skills as a witch were better than they'd ever been, and she was prepared for anything that came her way.

"Don't you dare pick a fight with me again," Astoria threatened.

Draco was in front of Narcissa now, trying desperately to protect his mother in any way possible, but Narcissa didn't want any of it. Pushing him away from her, she looked straight back at Astoria and said fiercely, "I am not afraid of you. You will not hurt me in my own house."

"What makes you think I won't?" Astoria fired at her, taking a step closer so that there was only a foot between them. Her eyes fixed on Narcissa, Astoria flicked her own wand and flew Narcissa's from the ground and into her free hand. She then rolled it between her fingers, examining it, and asked sinisterly, "Elm, yes?"

Narcissa nodded, her lips pursed tightly.

"And the core?"

"Dragon," said Narcissa. "Dragon heartstring." The Malfoys had been using wands made of dragon heartstring for generations, until one with unicorn hair had chosen Draco. Though he had lost that wand some time ago, Scorpius's was also made of a unicorn hair core, but his wood was willow, the most pliable type there was, and therefore the best for Transfiguration.

Astoria stared down at the wand in her hand, her fingers brushing over the grip on its end that was shaped as a snakelike handle. As she held onto it, her face tightened and she pulled, absentmindedly snapping the grip off the wand. "Not anymore," she mumbled.

Across from her, Narcissa let out a sharp breath, but didn't dare move. Astoria had two wands now, and Narcissa had none. Sadly, she turned to her son for help, but Draco was lost in his own world. Staring blankly at Astoria, he had the same pained expression Scorpius had seen on him that day in Diagon Alley, nearly a year ago now. Realizing that he wouldn't be able to provide any help at all, Scorpius stepped in.

"Stop it!" he yelled at Astoria, stepping in front of her once again. When she looked at him in surprise and attempted to turn her expression of anger into admiration, Scorpius added, "If you're here for me, then there's no need to argue with anybody else." He was testing her, and he already knew that she would pass. She had always been cunning and diabolical, now more than ever before.

Astoria's face softened at this, and she put a hand on her son's shoulder. She was a very tall woman, but wasn't much taller than Scorpius anymore. He had grown quickly over the past year, and wasn't done yet. Soon he'd tower over her, but for now she'd take advantage of their difference in stature. "Of course, you're right," she surrendered. Then, straightening her back in order to regain her lost power, she suggested, "How about we talk things over… alone? We could have a nice chat in your room."

Scorpius knew what she was doing, but he wasn't about to hand over the control. At the moment he was safe, since Astoria couldn't lay a hand on him whilst they were out in the open, in front of Draco. He had put her in the hospital before, so she knew he could do it again. She was trying to get Scorpius away from his father, but the former wouldn't budge.

"I'm all right here," Scorpius said, knowing full well that Astoria wouldn't protest. "But I do have a few questions," he added, trying to shape his face so that it looked like he was sad and confused all at once. If she pitied him, he may just be able to lure something out of her.

"Anything you want to know, I'll tell you," Astoria replied. It seemed as though Scorpius's tactics were working.

Looking down at the annoyingly clean, cold floor, Scorpius thought about what he might say. He needed her to trust him, if only for a moment, and then he could lead into the real questions, the hard ones. Until then, he'd start out with one less intimidating, one that had an answer. Once he decided on something, he took a deep breath and asked, "Where have you been, all this time? Since you got out of St. Mungo's, I mean."

"The Leaky Cauldron," Astoria answered without hesitation. "It's the only place the Aurors will allow me to stay."

Scorpius nodded, and he did in fact believe her. She probably was staying there. What he didn't believe, however, was that that was the only place she was staying.

Going backwards in time, Scorpius's next question was, "And when exactly were you let out?" He already knew the answer to this, but was curious to see if Astoria would lie about it or not.

"Just before Christmas," she answered.

Nodding once more, Scorpius was glad to see that she still respected him enough to be straight-up about things. From behind him, he could hear his father's unsteady breathing, sharp and quick. Draco had most likely asked all of these questions already, but he probably wasn't able to get such answers.

"I came home for Christmas. I didn't stay at school." Trying to make Astoria feel guilty, Scorpius turned on the heat by asking, "Why didn't you come to see me then?"

Astoria took a moment to think this one through, but eventually she said, "The Aurors wouldn't let me. They wanted to make sure I was ready first, so they made me be on my own for a few months. I wanted to see you, I did. I even went to King's Cross, just to get a look at you, but I – I knew I wasn't supposed to come talk to you. I'm so sorry. I wish I could have explained it all then."

She was a brilliant liar, Scorpius tried to tell himself when a part of him believed her. What if she was being honest? What if that was why he had seen her at the station? What if Rose was wrong? Draco was feeling the same way, Scorpius could tell, as his breathing was steadying and the air around him had grown more relaxed. Narcissa, however, was firm in her beliefs, and grunted at Astoria's explanation.

Determined to get more answers though, Scorpius ignored his gullible side and carried on. "Did you happen to see Vincent Goyle that day, at the station?" he asked. He didn't want Astoria to grow suspicious too quickly, but he was running out of the easy questions.

"Yes," Astoria said, much to Scorpius's surprise. He thought that out of all these questions, she would lie about this one, but apparently she hadn't. "I wanted to say hello. His father is an old friend of ours," she said, glancing at Draco at the last word.

Scrutinizing her expression, Scorpius was beginning to lose his grasp on his goal. She hadn't stammered yet, and he wondered if she ever would. Still, the next question may be a game changer. Staring her down, he said slowly and with perfect annunciation, "So did you know, then? Did you know that he had recently murdered Argus Filch?"

The next moment was crucial, and Scorpius knew that in the few short seconds following this question, Astoria would reveal the truth, not in her reply, but in her reaction. As soon as she heard Filch's name, Astoria's eyes widened and steered away from Scorpius. She tried her best to steer them back, but it was too late. She had already let out a tiny chuckle, and was blinking furiously by the time she said, "No. Of course not. What in the world would make you think that?"

He didn't expect to feel this way, but Scorpius was suddenly met with a giant wave of disappointment. Her flustering had proven her guilty, and though he had predicted this to be the case, he hadn't been prepared to hear it. His mother was a murderer, there was no denying it. His mother was a murderer. His mother was a murderer.

With a shake of his head, Scorpius told himself one more time that this person was not his mother, not anymore. He wouldn't let himself feel any sympathy for her, nor would he fear her. That's exactly what she wanted him to do, and he refused to abide by her wishes. Instead, he decided to answer her rhetorical question with, "Because you were the one who made him do it."

Everyone went silent then. Any sounds of rustling and bustling disappeared, and all the focus turned to Astoria. Scorpius could feel all of the eyes on her, from Draco, Narcissa, and even himself. Astoria, however, didn't look back at any of them. She was staring at the floor, taken aback to hear none other than her own son accuse her of something she had been sure nobody knew about.

Since he couldn't stand the stillness, Scorpius began to pace, walking in steady circles around Astoria, slowly leaching all of the power she once had away from her and taking it for himself. He knew that he was in a dangerous position, not being allowed to use magic even in a case of self-defense, but he was confident that she wouldn't hurt him… at least not yet.

"You put him under the Imperius Curse," Scorpius said. It wasn't a question, it was a statement. He wanted to make her scared; he wanted her to see just how much he knew. Then, maybe she would realize that whatever she was up to wasn't going to work. Soon Draco would know everything, and then he would tell the Ministry, and she would be put into Azkaban. Scorpius wanted Astoria to know that her options were frighteningly slim, and that she had better choose carefully.

"You murdered Argus Filch, through Goyle. You planned it all. You planned that it would be in the forest, where nobody would be watching. You even waited for a night when other students happened to be outside, so that maybe they'd be framed for it instead." Scorpius couldn't have explained where all of this inside information was coming from. For a moment, he felt as if he could suddenly read her mind, all of her motives had become so incredibly clear. Either that, or all of these answers had been in front of him all along, and they were just now clicking together to form one coherent train of thought.

On the inside of his circular path, Astoria's body was growing tenser. Her lips were pursed, her eyes like daggers preparing for aim, and her hand was clasped so tightly around her own wand that she might just snap that one in half too. Still, she didn't say a word, nor move an inch. She wanted to hear more; she needed to know just how much he knew.

"Over Christmas break," Scorpius continued, "You checked in with him, made sure everything was going as planned. Then, things got more complicated."

With a glance at Draco, whose eyes were puffy and red, Scorpius said, "Then, I was accused for the murder, and that wasn't part of the plan, was it?" He didn't know just how far Astoria would go to get what she wanted, but he knew that there was still a part of her that cared about him, or at least wanted to protect him. Otherwise, why was she here now?

"You didn't want me to pay for your mistake, but of course it didn't matter to you if Goyle did," Scorpius continued. "So you made him turn himself in, in turn proving my innocence."

Scorpius had stopped walking now, and was standing in front of Astoria, who was looking back at him. He just had one thing left to say to her, but it would be the hardest thing to admit. As his eyes began to water, he found the strength to say, "You saved me, but it wasn't because you love me. It wasn't because you want me back. It wasn't even because you think I might be useful. It was for the same reason why you're not going to hurt me, or anyone else in this room. It was because, like you, we all have pure blood."

Astoria held her breath then, and Scorpius could sense that she was scared. "How did you know?" she asked, not bothering to refute. Her face held no emotion, and all the love it had shown for Scorpius before had gone now.

"I didn't," Scorpius admitted, and it was completely true. He had gone out on a whim at the last part, because he hadn't known why Astoria had done what she'd done. Rose had suspected that blood status was the reason, and Scorpius didn't think that Astoria would answer if he just plain asked her why she had done it. So instead, he had set her up. "I didn't know," he repeated, "But I do now."

Fuming all of the sudden, Astoria's rage took over as she pointed her wand at Scorpius and yelled, "Stupefy!" making him fly back onto the stairs, collapsing on the step below Narcissa.

Her protective instincts immediately kicking in, Narcissa knelt down beside Scorpius to see if he was all right while spitting at Astoria, "How could you? He is your son!"

As Scorpius struggled to pull himself back up, his eyes caught onto his father. Draco had just gulped upon seeing what Astoria had done, and he was clearly struggling with which side to take. He had never been good at differentiating between right and wrong, and in that moment Scorpius could see why. He loved Astoria, more than anything in the world, and that love had consumed him for most of his life. All those years in this house, he had been cooped up in that office of his, worrying about her. He had done his best to prevent what had happened last summer, and that took all of his time; all the time that he could have, and would have, spent with Scorpius had he not been preoccupied.

Turning back to Astoria, Scorpius was just in time to hear her respond with, "Oh, I am capable of doing much more than that, Narcissa!" She then held her wand straight out toward Scorpius and stated clearly, "Imperio."

Before he could have run off, Scorpius found himself being dragged back toward Astoria. With every fiber of his being, he tried desperately to fight the spell off, but he hadn't had the same practice that Al had. All those times Shunpike had used the spell on his students, Scorpius had refused to be one of his guinea pigs. Of course, now he was greatly regretting that decision.

Before long, Scorpius was back underneath the chandelier, Astoria's arms wrapped around him and her wand still pointed at his head. He couldn't do anything unless she let him, and he had never felt so helpless.

"Our boy was wrong about one thing," Astoria said, addressing Draco and Narcissa, who were both in their same spot on the stairs. "I do want to protect him. And that's why he's leaving with me."

Everything that occurred in the next minute was a blur. Scorpius could feel Astoria's hand turning on his shoulder, and he was sure that they were about to Apparate all over again, a sensation which he was not looking forward to experiencing once more. However, the turn did not end up pulling him into a black hole like it should have, and he could tell that something had gone wrong. Still at Malfoy Manor, Scorpius could hear his father screaming and could see the flick of his wand just before Astoria looked up at the ceiling with terror beneath her eyes. Backing away from Scorpius, the Imperius Curse was lifted and Scorpius unknowingly ran in the opposite direction, right underneath the falling chandelier and into his father's open arms.

Once back to safety, and after the structure had shattered across the floor, Draco stated simply, "Leave. Now. Get out. Don't come back. Ever."

And then, with a soft crack, Astoria was gone. Now it was just the three Malfoys remaining, Narcissa collapsing onto the stairs in exhaustion, and Draco holding onto his son for dear life, the way he wished he had held him since the day he was born.

As Draco relaxed some, Scorpius was able to break away and stand on his own. "Are you all right?" Draco asked, with more concern than he had ever shown toward Scorpius.

"I'm fine," Scorpius said. "But Dad, we have to tell the Ministry. Now." He was done with all the false accusations, all the undeserved blame, and, most of all, all the pain it caused. He wanted it to be over, and for that Astoria needed to be taken care of.

"It's too late," Narcissa answered blankly. "She'll be long gone by now."

"We can at least tell them what she's done!" Scorpius yelled. He wouldn't normally be so adamant about one receiving punishment for their actions, but he knew now what Astoria was capable of. If she was aiming for a pureblood world, Rose and her family could easily be next, and Scorpius wouldn't stand for that.

"With what proof?" asked Narcissa. "I'm sorry to inflict you with this Scorpius, but our family does not have the best record when it comes to the Ministry. They will not trust us, I can assure you of that."

"Harry will trust us," Scorpius argued, ignoring the shot of jealousy that came from Draco. "Or he'll trust me. I know he will."

Narcissa shrugged then, and Scorpius was pleased to see that she didn't have a retort. Little did he know, Harry had earned Narcissa's trust many moons ago. Draco, on the other hand, looked outraged.

"No," he said. "I'm not about to let Harry Potter go after her. I can find her myself, and I can help her."

"Dad," Scorpius shook his head. "You can't help her. Not anymore."

"Yes, I can," Draco said, and once again Scorpius could feel the tension between the two of them, as if the wall they had been separated by was suddenly back up. Scorpius didn't want things to stay that way, so he didn't press further. Instead, he nodded as Draco said, "First thing in the morning, I'll head out and look for her, but I don't want you involved in any more of it."

At that, the conversation came to a close, and Narcissa was the first to head to bed. It was already late, and Scorpius had forgotten that he had spent the first half of the day on the train coming home. Time had stretched itself out somehow, and made the day feel like years, and yet it had gone by so quickly.

Upon realizing this, Scorpius noticed just how tired he was. He had been awake for a very long time, and hadn't slept much over the past week, for various reasons. Because of this, he ate his make-shift supper quickly and then headed upstairs to his bedroom to get some rest. He wanted to write to Harry, despite his father's own wishes, but knew he wouldn't be able to. Sure enough, Scorpius saw Draco sitting alone in his office as he passed by. The only owl in the house was well protected now, so he wouldn't be able to write to anyone tonight, not even Rose.

Instead, he undressed and got into his pajamas, a pair of striped bottoms and an old, white wife-beater, and climbed atop his uncomfortable bed. His rucksack sat just next to his pillow, and he was careful to stuff the objects he had been carrying in his pocket into the front compartment of the bag. After last summer, Scorpius had learned to always keep a bag with all the essentials handy, in case he needed to make a quick runaway.

With Rose's ring and his own white knight tucked safely away, Scorpius lay on his back and stared up at his stark, white ceiling. Though he tried to close his eyes, he knew that there would be no use in it. He hadn't slept a full night in months, and tonight was sure to be even worse than usual.

Scorpius had had trouble sleeping ever since Astoria had tried to commit suicide last summer. Her screams, along with Draco's, haunted Scorpius's dreams, and he couldn't find a way to stop them. The only thing that seemed to work was having Rose there. Recently, she had noticed his insomnia, and had offered to help. Though he had been hesitant, she had been right, like always. Somehow, having her there had made him feel safe, and had reminded him that he wasn't alone after all.

Now though, he was alone, and so he merely rested his body to the best of his ability, all his muscles still, and his thoughts subsiding slightly. His eyes and ears, however, were wide open. He stayed this way for the next few hours, alert but resting all at once, until he was completely awoken by, yet again, a slamming door.

Sitting up against his headboard, Scorpius waited for Astoria to appear. It didn't take long for her to creep up the stairs and slither across the hallway toward Scorpius's room, and when she arrived she merely said, "Hello again."

"What are you doing back here?" Scorpius asked fearlessly. He was defenseless, that he knew, but he wanted to know why she felt as though she needed him so badly.

"I told you," Astoria said, not bothering to whisper, "I want to protect you. So grab your rucksack and let's go, before that god-awful grandmother of yours stupidly tries to get in my way again."

"Or before I do," a voice said from behind her. Scorpius immediately looked over to find Draco, still fully dressed as if he never went to sleep at all, standing tall with his wand pointed at Astoria. He looked as frightened as ever, with his eyebrows twitching and his forehead sweating, but Scorpius could see something else in his eyes that hadn't been there before. He looked determined, a quality Scorpius had always thought, until now, he had gotten from his mother.

"You wouldn't," Astoria said as she turned around, smiling at the idea of a challenge. "I know you wouldn't hurt me, because you still love me."

Scorpius, now standing just beside his bed, waited for Draco to respond. He was hoping and praying that his father would be able to do what needed to be done, but he was ready to it himself if Draco couldn't. He could pin her down easily without magic, so long as her back was turned.

Luckily, he didn't have to, since Draco said, "I do love you, but that's exactly why I can do this." His proclamation distracting her, Astoria didn't see the curse coming as Draco yelled out, "Petrificus totalus!" It had always been his favorite spell, though he never would have thought that he'd have to use it on her.

Scorpius watched Astoria suddenly freeze and fall to the ground, rendered inept for the next few hours at least. Rushing over to her as Draco knelt down and patted her head, Scorpius was about to tell his father to lock her up now, in the cellar downstairs, but Draco spoke first.

"Scorpius, I hate to do this again, but I have to ask you to leave this place," Draco said. "She seems to want to get to you, and I can't let that happen. So please, just go, as far away as you can get, and somewhere she won't expect."

Scorpius heard his father, but he didn't move just yet. For the first time in a long while, he felt like he had a home here, and yet he had to leave it. It all just didn't seem fair.

"Quickly, please. We can't risk her waking up," Draco said, more harshly this time. "And use your broom. It'll be much faster than walking, and flying isn't under the Trace."

Scorpius nodded and got to his feet. He was about to get his bag when a thought dawned on him, and he turned around to face his father once more. "You know about my broom? The Falcon Flyer?" He had been using a broom from Hogwarts before somebody had mysteriously sent him the newest, fastest broomstick on record back in November, on that day that had probably been the best of his life.

"Of course I do," Draco said sincerely. Though his hand was still entangled in Astoria's hair, he was looking up at Scorpius now. "Why do you think I was in Diagon Alley that day we ran into each other? I would have sent it to you sooner, but I wanted you to feel confident without it first. I never got the opportunity myself, you see."

Scorpius smiled, and said, "Thanks, Dad." He hadn't given much thought as to who had sent him the broom, but he would have suspected that it had been his grandmother. Draco probably would have been last on his list of possibilities, but he couldn't have been happier to be proven wrong.

"Go," Draco said, brushing off the father/son moment. "Here, I'll help. Accio Flyer."

Within a few seconds, Scorpius could hear a broomstick swish past his open window, and so he took one last look at his parents, the two of them having never appeared so small as they sat sprawled across the floor of his bedroom, before turning around. He then grabbed his bag and jumped out the window to land on his broom, all the while knocking his chess set to the ground below him. For a split second, he looked down at the broken pieces and wanted to go collect them, but he knew he shouldn't. Flying off into the night, with no idea where he was headed, Scorpius said goodbye to the family and the house that, earlier today, he had hoped to never see again. Of course, one should always be careful what they wish for. After all, it might just come true.

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