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13 December 2012 @ 06:34 am
Fic: This Brilliant, Imperfect Life for Everyone!  
Title: This Brilliant, Imperfect Life
Author: ???
A gift for Everyone!
Rating: G
Length: 3,161
Character(s): Draco Malfoy, Scorpius Malfoy
Warnings: None
Summary: Draco Malfoy takes his young son Christmas shopping.
Author's Notes: My recipient asked for family dynamics with a positive feel. I hope this somewhat non-traditional “positive family” fits the bill. Happy Holidays! ^_^

Also, a thousand thanks to my lovely and brilliant beta!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

There were a lot of misconceptions out there regarding Draco Malfoy. For some reason, people assumed that because he’d been a Death Eater, he must have had a horrible, twisted childhood.

In actuality, Draco’s childhood had been rather wonderful. Granted, he’d been raised more by the house-elves than by his mother and father, who had given him a lot of gifts to make up for their absentee parenting style. And that bit where the Dark Lord invaded the manor, with all the Muggle-torturing, the stark fear, and the hiding from his creepy Aunt Bella...that part hadn’t been so pleasant.

Alright, it hadn’t been all sunshine and roses. But Draco had been given every opportunity: he’d had world-renowned tutors in music, etiquette, and athletics. He’d had the best equipment in all his endeavours and been introduced to all the right people. And he had never once wondered whether or not his parents loved him.

His only wish (other than the would-have-preferred-to-avoid-the-Death-Eaters bit) was that he’d had a little more of his parents’ attention.

Which was why, when Draco began a family of his own, he was determined to give his children every opportunity his parents had given to him, and all of his love and devotion as well.

Even if they tried his patience sometimes.

“Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy,” he called up the stairs in exactly the way his mother had always told him not to do. “If you do not come down now, I will leave without you.”

“No, Papa, no!” There was a loud thud from upstairs as Scorpius dropped whatever it was he’d been using as an excuse to ignore his father, followed by the pattering of little feet. Draco waited another minute or two. When the pattering continued, but no little boys appeared, he heaved a sigh.

“I’m putting on my cloak now, Scorpius!” he called, matching actions to words.

“No, no. I’m coming, Papa, only...” another thud, and then the running feet noises were getting closer. “I can’t find Fearsome,” Scorpius said, materializing at the top of the stairs.

“We’ll find him when we get home, son.” Draco said, and made a mental note to have the house-elves locate the green stuffed dragon that had been Scorpius' constant companion for the entirety of his four short years. If Fearsome wasn’t immediately available when they returned to the Manor, things could go very badly.

“Come on.” Draco held a hand out, wiggling his fingers for Scorpius to take.

Scorpius made a moue of disappointment, scrunching up his little nose unhappily. “I wanted to bring him with us,” he explained, starting down the steps. Draco held in a sigh when, instead of walking like a normal person, Scorpius decided it would be fun to bunny-hop down the stairs, pausing between jumps to regain his balance and aim his feet for the next jump.

“It’s better that he stay here,” Draco said, catching his son’s hands when he came within reach and swinging him down to the floor. Scorpius squealed in delight, clinging to his father’s pant leg as soon he was let go. Draco smiled indulgently and petted his hair.

“Shoes, Scorpius,” he reminded.

Scorpius hurried to obey, glancing at his father’s footwear, before donning a pair of miniature loafers that exactly matched them.

Draco’s brow wrinkled as he observed the outfit: Black pants, green jumper, and Scorpius' favourite black robe, the one with “Fearsome Jr.” on the left breast, breathing “fire” across Scorpius' shoulder every few seconds. All black and green and red. Paired with cream coloured loafers.

Draco despaired of his child’s fashion sense. Never mind the warm fuzzy feeling he got from knowing Scorpius wanted to wear matching shoes.

“Why is it better, Papa?”

“Hm?” Draco said, distracted “Why is what better, Scorpius?”

“Leaving Fearsome here. Why is it better?” Scorpius voice was muffled as he dragged his cloak and winter gear from a nearby cupboard.

Draco sighed when a variety of sporting gear and other garments tumbled to the floor along with the sought after winter-wear. “Because if we take him into the shops in Diagon Alley, the shopkeepers might think he belongs to them instead of you,” Draco replied, picking up the displaced odds and ends and stacking them on a nearby chair while Scorpius struggled with the clasp of his cloak.

“No!” Scorpius looked up at him wide-eyed, hands frozen in place.

“Exactly. So we will leave him here where he will be safe.”

Scorpius frowned at this, but held still as his father gently shooed his hands away and clasped the cloak for him. “Won’t he be lonely?”

“He’ll have the house-elves for company.” Draco straightened the cloak on Scorpius' small shoulders. The boy held his hands out for his mittens, then laughed when Draco plopped a boxy fur hat on his head and pushed it down too far so that it covered his eyes as well as his ears.

“Scorpius?” Draco pretended to look around. “Where did you go?”

“Papa!” the boy protested. “I’m right here!” Scorpius shoved the hat back, only to have Draco tip it down again.

“Where?” Draco demanded, poking at Scorpius’ side so that he was too busy giggling and fending off Draco’s tickly fingers to fix his hat.

“I’m right here! You’re tickling me!” He finally shoved the hat back again with one hand.

“Oh, there you are!” Draco scooped the boy up, scattering kisses over his face and hair and blowing a raspberry on his belly before setting him down. He fixed a giggly Scorpius' cloak again, then plopped the hat back on his head (properly this time).

“Ready?” Draco asked.

“Yes!” Scorpius cried, bouncing excitedly on his toes.

Draco smiled, took his sons hand, and Apparated them away.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Draco had only ever worried about being a good father. He’d never thought there would be any question as to whether or not he would actually have a family, have children. He took for granted that it would happen and never gave that part of the plan any thought until the war ended and he realized his name was essentially mud.

Draco didn’t really understand why this was. Draco had done very little to further the Dark Lord’s cause during the war, and most of what he had done took place under duress. Additionally, Draco was extremely wealthy, and he and his mother were both exonerated after the war because they both, at different times, lied to save Harry Potter’s life.

Money and exoneration were not, apparently, enough to wipe the slate clean. Or even smudge up the words a little. For a long time, girls wouldn’t even look twice at Draco.

It was pretty hard to father a child when women crossed the street to get away from you.

Eventually, Draco struck up a friendship with Astoria Greengrass. After awhile they agreed it was to their mutual benefit to get married.

This was more than a little disappointing to Draco. His parents, for all their faults, were deeply in love. Draco had always assumed he’d have that with someone too.

(When he was younger, he’d sort of thought it would be Pansy. That minor dream dissipated five minutes into their first date. If you could call it a date. Blaise still loved to tease Draco and Pansy by bringing it up in company and watching as they both shuddered in horror.)

So the...thing he had with Astoria wasn’t the grand romance Draco had envisioned for himself. It was more or less a business arrangement with a friend—a friend of which he was fond, but a friend nevertheless. Still, it saved Draco from loneliness and gave him someone to share his life with. The only problem was that Astoria wasn’t terribly interested in motherhood. They had one child, a son, whom Astoria had borne grudgingly. Even so, when Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy was born into the world, no child was ever more loved and wanted than he.

Fatherhood came easily to Draco. Despite having a fond but mostly disinterested mother, Draco’s infant son was calm and generally good-natured; it was easy for Draco to cart him around wherever he went, and Draco took great pleasure in doing so. And he found an unexpected ally in his own mother, who took almost as much joy in her new grandson as the baby’s father did.

But as the boy grew, Draco struggled more to balance the time he wanted to spend with his son with the time he needed to spend at work. When Scorpius was a baby, Draco just took him in to the office with him. When Scorpius became a beautifully happy and rambunctious toddler, it became impossible to keep track of him and get any work done.

So Draco quit his job. It wasn’t like he really needed the money anyway; he’d mostly been doing it to keep from getting bored. He started up a charity instead, which he ran from his home office, and dabbled with potion-making on the occasion he had the time and inclination to do so. His high-profile solicitor of a wife rolled her eyes at the idea of having what amounted to a house-husband, but she didn’t protest, and Scorpius loved having his papa home with him every day.

Even though he spent quite a bit of time with his son after that, Draco still made an effort to take the boy out on special trips, mostly because he enjoyed it when his son lit up at the suggestion of special papa-son time.

Lately, Scorpius had been pestering Draco about buying “something pretty for Maman for Christmas,” which he insisted he wanted to pick out himself. Draco had never taken Scorpius Christmas shopping because crowds made him nervous when he was out with his son—too many people plus an energetic and independent (small) child made for raw nerves and irritability. But Scorpius was old enough now that Draco felt somewhat better about taking him out into the flood of Christmas shoppers, so Draco had agreed to brave Diagon Alley in December for the first time ever with Scorpius in tow.

He really hoped he didn’t come to regret that decision.

When they arrived at Diagon Alley, Scorpius' eyes landed on Fortescue’s (now run by Florean’s son) and Draco had to promise a stop there at the end of the day before Scorpius would agree to move on without crying.

(The one parenting weakness Draco shared with his parents was the tendency to spoil his son. He had long ago decided to be unashamed of this so long as Scorpius was generally well-behaved. So far, so good.)

The next thing to catch Scorpius' eye was, of course, Weasley Wizard Wheezes. Draco took him in because it was the kind of place that little boys loved best. And because Draco took some pleasure in wandering through and knowing that, due to wise investments, WWW’s success was also Draco’s success.

As expected, Scorpius went wild once they were inside the shop. There were at least twenty items the boy piled into Draco’s arms to purchase, most of which Draco subtly returned to their shelves. (He did retain a few as Scorpius' stocking-stuffers, and one he determined he would let Scorpius have when they got home.) For the most part, Draco was feeling like his decision to stop by WWW was a good one.

Until Scorpius spotted the pygmy puffs.

The pygmy puffs had gone through a lot of changes in the years since they were first sold at WWW. They were smarter, came in a wide range of colours, and were accompanied by a variety of “Provide for your Puff” spells. They were really quite adorable, if you were fond of fluffy pets, which Draco was not.

Scorpius wanted to buy one for Narcissa.

“It’s her favourite colour, and it’s so, so soft.” Scorpius rubbed the teensy forest green creature against one small cheek before holding the thing out for Draco to take.

Draco looked from the puff to his son and back again. When Scorpius looked up at him with pleading eyes, Draco sighed and accepted the puff with one hand. The creature hummed happily and began changing colours from a deep green to a brilliant emerald. Predictably, Scorpius oooo-ed and ahhhhh-ed and fell a little more in love with the creature.

“I don’t think this is the best idea for Mémé,” he said, using one of the French words for “grandmother” because apparently when you spend half your time in France, your children start picking up foreign words. Scorpius now addressed all his dearest people by their French titles. Narcissa had been charmed by it, and so it had stuck. It amused Draco no end. There was no family more British than the Malfoys unless it was the Blacks.

“Mémé will love him!” the child insisted. “Ever since the puppy went away, she’s been lonely.”

Observant little thing, his son, Draco mused absently. His mother had indeed been lonely since her crup had died that past spring.

“She needs a friend,” Scorpius added. “And she won’t take Fearsome.”

“You tried to give Fearsome to Mémé?” Draco said, startled.

“Not give,” Scorpius hedged. “Just borrow. But she said he can’t be her best friend when he’s already got one so...”

Draco considered. There was a great deal of potential for this to go very, very badly. And Draco would have to take care of the thing between now and Christmas. And there was always the chance that Scorpius would get too attached and want to keep it, which would defeat the purpose of buying it.

But Scorpius was very intent on this. And his mother had been very lonely...

Draco sighed and headed for the front counter before Scorpius found something to buy for his mother as well. Astoria would not appreciate anything in this shop, and Draco didn’t want his son to be disappointed when his mother failed to enthuse over his gift.

Scorpius cheered when Draco took the pygmy puff with him.

Their next shop was the most expensive jewelry store for Astoria’s gift. At first, Scorpius was excited to be helping Draco pick out his mother’s present, but after five minutes of staring at various jewels, he quickly lost interest.

Draco dithered over the jewelry (it wasn’t his favourite thing either, but it was Astoria’s, and it was her gift) while Scorpius sat down in a corner, playing with some Quidditch figures he’d had in his pocket.

Finally, after what felt like hours but was probably only ten minutes, Draco was down to choosing between two necklace/earring sets. He must have been a little too loud when he sighed painfully over the choice because Scorpius appeared suddenly at his elbow.

“For Maman?” he asked, eyeing the sparkling jewels curiously.

“One of them is. I just haven’t decided which yet.” Draco answered.

Scorpius eyed the choices sceptically, then pointed to a sapphire set still in the case. “You should get those for Maman,” he said.

Draco looked at his two choices—both emerald—and then examined the sapphires. “Why?”

“Maman has green already. She doesn’t have blue. They are like Maman’s eyes. And she likes blue.”

“Does she?” Draco hadn’t noticed that Astoria had any particular preference for any one colour.

“She wore it three times already.”

“When?” Draco asked, wondering if Scorpius meant recently or ever.

“Yesterday, and Saturday—my favourite day—and the day before that.”

“Hmmm.” Well, alright. Sapphires would be a nice change from emeralds and rubies.

Perhaps he should have brought Scorpius with him to go Christmas shopping long before now. Where had this child been all his life?

Draco made the purchase quickly and asked to have the jewels delivered to the Manor. After that, he and Scorpius wandered through Diagon Alley, stopping anywhere that looked interesting in an attempt to pass time before lunch.

Draco made the mistake of letting Scorpius drag him into Eyelops Owl Emporium. That particular stop went well until Draco tried to leave...without an owl. Draco firmly refused to purchase the owl that was apparently destined to be Scorpius' and couldn’t get the boy to stop crying about it until he reminded Scorpius that they had tons of owls at home already, and none of the new owls could be a better pet than Bruno, the white peacock that followed Scorpius across the Manor grounds like an overlarge and rather ugly crup.

Draco was still uncertain how that relationship came about, but there it was.

Finally, it was time for lunch. Draco was particularly excited about this because, when he’d told Astoria his plans for the day, she’d volunteered to meet them at the restaurant for the midday meal. Draco enjoyed Astoria’s company—she had become his closest friend over the course of their marriage—but on this occasion, he was excited for Scorpius' sake.

Astoria was fond of the boy but had little patience for children, and her maternal instincts were practically non-existent. When Scorpius was graced with her presence, he positively glowed. Draco knew lunch with Astoria would make his son’s day.

To Draco's absolute shock, once they’d finished lunch, Astoria commandeered the shopping trip, voluntarily absconding with their son so that Scorpius could “buy Papa a present too.”

Astoria was still laughing at his shocked expression when she took Scorpius’ hand and walked away, promising to meet him in an hour for the promised trip to Fortescue’s for ice cream.

Draco wandered around on his own, unsure what to do with an hour by himself. He browsed Flourish and Blotts for a little while before moving on to Quality Quidditch Supplies, where he ended up purchasing yet another pair of fine leather flying gloves that he didn’t need but loved to collect.

He was still there, admiring the latest racing brooms, when Astoria and Scorpius found him, Astoria holding their son’s hand and smiling tolerantly as the boy bounced beside her, chanting about having bought his papa the perfect pressie.

At that last bit, Astoria cringed a little. She hated that word but tended to use it; she had no one but herself to blame for his learning it.

She glared half-heartedly when Draco smirked at her, then relented with a smile. “Walk me to the Apparition point?” she asked.

“Yes, yes, yes, Maman! Yes, we will walk you,” Scorpius told her, dancing in a circle around them. He grabbed Draco’s hand as he passed and tugged him closer to his mother.

Another indulgent smile from Astoria, who also petted his head, made their son practically light up. Draco found himself smiling as well when Astoria looked at him expectantly.

“Yes. Alright,” he agreed, offering his wife his elbow.

Walking through Diagon Alley with his son’s hand clasped in his and that of his lovely best friend looped through his elbow, Draco reflected briefly on his life.

It wasn’t perfect, and it wasn’t what he’d dreamed of. But it was his and it was brilliant.
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alley_skywalkeralley_skywalker on December 13th, 2012 09:43 am (UTC)
This is lovely. I like the idea that Draco can be happy with Astoria even if their marriage was based more on friendship and practicality than some sort of crazy romance. These sort of marriages tend to last and be very study. And Scorpius is just adorable <3
DoraeAzure: Shinydoraeazure on January 6th, 2013 09:14 pm (UTC)
I'm glad the Draco/Astoria relationship worked for you. I was trying to make it a happy one without being too lovey-dovey, and without making it too stilted or depressing in the alternative. It ended up being harder than I anticpated when I started out. ^_^

Thanks for commenting!
smallbrownfrog: shadow frogsmallbrownfrog on December 13th, 2012 10:06 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this warm little tale. Mystery author, you did a good job creating little Scorpius as a charming but realistic kid. I completely believed this Scorpius and Draco and Astoria, and I wish them a long happy future.
DoraeAzure: Shinydoraeazure on January 6th, 2013 09:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Scorpius was based on my nephew, so it was fun to write him. ^_^
eglantine_breglantine_br on December 13th, 2012 12:21 pm (UTC)
Warms me to believe that this is how it may have gone...
DoraeAzure: Shinydoraeazure on January 6th, 2013 09:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
primeideal.dreamwidth.orgprimeideal.dreamwidth.org on December 13th, 2012 01:29 pm (UTC)
Scorpius obsessed with his stuffed dragon is so cute! :)
DoraeAzure: Shinydoraeazure on January 6th, 2013 09:19 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you think so! I thought a stuffed dragon was the most appropriate toy for the small son of an ex-Slytherin whose name means "dragon." I have this whole picture in my head of Draco finding out he's going to have a son and then seeing Fearsome in a shop window and having to run in and purchase it. ^_^

Thanks for reading and commenting!
mollywheezy: Frog for Christmasmollywheezy on December 13th, 2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
Little Scorpius is ADORABLE! I loved Fearsome and the Fearsome, Jr. robes, LOL. I enjoyed your characterization of Astoria and her relationship with Draco. Also loved what a good dad Draco is. You did an excellent job showing how Draco had grown and changed, but still kept him believable. Bruno's cameo was great, too. ;) Thank you for such an excellent story! :)
DoraeAzure: Shinydoraeazure on January 6th, 2013 09:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Especially Bruno. (He may or may not be may favorite, and also, the very thing that sparked this entire story...)
忘れな草: reading and researchingwasureneba on December 13th, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
I love seeing Draco as an involved and caring father---after how uncaring he can be in the books, it's good to see him grow up, and to really love someone. And it's very interesting to see the non-romantic marriage between Draco and Astoria; in some sense it's very much about the partnership, as opposed to Crazy Romantic Love....
DoraeAzure: Shinydoraeazure on January 6th, 2013 09:27 pm (UTC)
I never really liked Draco in the books, so when I sat down to write him, I had to really think about how this spoiled, horrible boy would have been affected and changed by the terror of the war. I'm glad that seemed realistic; I wanted him to be likeable here, but not unbelievably so.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!
secretsolitaire: xmas jakesecretsolitaire on December 14th, 2012 02:19 am (UTC)
Sweet story!
DoraeAzure: Shinydoraeazure on January 6th, 2013 09:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.
ozarkmoon: Slytherin Menozarkmoon on December 24th, 2012 07:35 pm (UTC)
A peacock who follows the child like an ugly krup. Too funny!
DoraeAzure: Shinydoraeazure on January 6th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
Hahaha! The thing that started this whole story for me was an image of Scorpius exploring the Manor grounds...with this weird white peacock trailing along after him. Obviously, the story changed drastically over the course of writing, but I couldn't get rid of Bruno entirely, so... ^_^ Thanks for reading and reviewing!
evening12: Dress // nameevening12 on January 10th, 2013 03:42 pm (UTC)
Awww. This story is so warm and fuzzy. I love your characterization of both Draco and Scorpius. Scorpius is so full of energy and he's a delight to read. Plus you have a talent for inserting bits and pieces that made me giggle. There was no family more British than the Malfoys unless it was the Blacks. best sentence ever along with the bit about Bruno. Thank you for sharing your work.