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Chapter Two- Come and rest your bones

 

 

Saturday, August 13th

 

   Scorpius was unsettled in his seat this time, fingers drumming erratically against the table top as his eyes switched rapidly between the clock, and the doorway beneath its ticking hands. He didn't understand what could possibly be taking so long this time. He didn't think he'd ever felt quite so anxious as he did right now. Like he might be sick, or worse, like his eyes might start leaking with stupid, salty tears. "Come on, come on, come on." he muttered, shaking his head harshly, then glancing at the door again.

 

   He saw shadows moving on the other side and immediately leapt to his feet. As the handle clicked downwards, Scorpius threw his hands upwards to cover his face, then span himself away from the openning door. "No, no, no." He whispered, keeping fingers over his closed eyes.

 

   "In, Malfoy."

 

   "Listen," a quiet voice, "That boy is my Nephew. Please... Please take the cuffs off, just for twenty minutes, so I can feel like a real Uncle. Please?"

 

   "Malfoy, you know I can't-"

 

   "Please." Imploring. "Believe me, I won't make a fuss. I've never acted up before now. I just want the kid to see me as a man, and not a thing."

 

   "Malfoy-"

 

   "Just twenty minutes?"

 

   "Well... Okay then. But if you make a scene you'll be straight into solitary. Understood?"

 

   "Of course."

 

   "Come on then. Arms." There was a soft click, and then a chinking as the cuffs were removed. "Twenty minutes then, Malfoy."

 

   "Right."

 

   The door clicked shut, and silence filled the room. Scorpius could hear the other man as he approached the table and pulled out one of its two chairs, sitting down and placing his uncuffed wrists silently upon the tabletop. He could feel the confused expectation rolling off of him, but for now at least, he couldn't move. He couldn't bear to face him, not yet.

 

   "I didn't expect you to come again." Draco said at last, in a voice that sounded so foreign to Scorpius, it might as well belong to a stranger. He didn't know this man. He didn't know him at all. "I thought you weren't interested in my help."

 

   Scorpius ignored the question, feeling a sudden anger pounding in his temples as he swang around to face the seated man. "Why?" He asked, in a voice that was loud and calloused. "Why didn't you tell me?"

 

   Draco frowned, glancing over at the guarded door. "Keep your voice down," he said almost anxiously, then he looked back at the boy, his frown deepening. "What are you-"

 

   "You're my Father?" Scorpius hissed, evidentally disgusted. Draco's eyebrows shot up with surprise, but the boy persisted, "You're my Father? My FATHER!"

 

   "Don't be ridiculous!" Draco yelled back, his eyes on the doorway. Then he turned back to the boy. To his son. "Be quiet, boy." he hissed, "What on earth's come over you?"

 

   "Mum told me." Scorpius said darkly, "She told me everything, and now I know. I know who you are. And I know who you are."

 

   Draco's mouth formed an astonished "Oh."

 

   "Yeah." Scorpius said, "Oh. That's right."

 

   "Scorpius-"

 

   "Don't say my name." the boy sneered, "You don't even know me. And you're not my Dad."

 

   "Look, just sit down, and we can talk this thro-"

 

   "No." Scorpius interupted, raising a hand, "I just came here today to tell you that I don't care what mum says. I don't care. You're not my Father, and you never will be. I don't want anything more to do with you. Is that clear?"

 

   Draco shook his head, placing his hands flat against the table. Still, he did not raise from his seat. "Sit down." he said.

 

   "No." Scorpius snapped, "I don't have to do anything that you tell me to do. You're not my father, you're my stinking, rotten uncle who's banged up in Azkaban for being a Death Eater and for doing bad, evil things. You're not anything like a father to me, and you don't get to tell me what to do."

 

   "I'm not telling." Draco said simply, trying to remain calm, but all the while keeping an eye on the door, as if the Aurors might burst back in and arrest Scorpius at any moment, just for the simple crime of being a Death Eater's son. "I'm asking. Please Scorpius, just sit down so that I can... So that I can explain."

 

   The fifteen year old regarded him suspiciously, then he reached forward and tugged the chair out, sitting down a good metre away from the table. He crossed his arms, then glared at Draco Malfoy expectantly.

 

   "Go on then." He said, arching an already sceptical brow, "Tell me why you did it. Tell me why you lied to me, and to the whole world, then sat back and allowed another man to raise me like a real father would."

 

   Draco stared at his son, feeling his chest constrict, then he opened his mouth and put it as simply as he could. "For you, of course." He whispered, his eyes not wavering from Scorpius's face. "To protect you."

 

   Scorpius scoffed, giving his father a sarcastic smirk. "Why am I not surprised by that answer?" He asked bitterly, "Of course, Malfoy, you did it to protect me. Well, that's just great. That's just fantastic. Why don't you tell that to the fifteen year old boy who grew up wondering why his 'dad' never held him like he held his two daughters?" Scorpius's eyes suddenly flew shut, as if he'd been hit by an overwhelming wave of emotion, which he certainly didn't want his supposed 'father' to see. "You've got no idea what it feels like," he said thickly, over the lump in his throat, "Growing up, just wishing there was something for me to belong to. Only to find out that I belonged here all along. It's like having a kite shot down in flames."

 

   "Exactly." Draco said unexpectedly, and Scorpius opened one eye to scrutinise him.

 

   "Exactly?" He repeated, his voice coarse. "What the Hell is that supposed to mean."

 

   "Just that..." Draco tried to hold onto his son's gaze, but grimaced when the boy looked away again, "That I didn't want to inflict my fatherhood onto any child. I thought you'd be... Happier, if you were able to grow up without the burden of an imprisoned, Death Eater father. Are you telling me you would rather have me as a father, than sensible, reliable Steven Hamilton."

 

   Scorpius's face blazed angrilly at this question. "I'm saying I would rather not have grown up in a lie." He practically shouted, turning to glare straight into his father's sad, defeated face. "It's got nothing to do with you, and it's got nothing to do with dad." -Draco flinched at his son's easy use of this name in regards to another man- "It's about fifteen years worth of lies, and my whole childhood being a waste of time. How do I know you're even telling the truth now? How do I know you really are my... my dad?"

 

   "Give me your hand." Draco requested quietly.

 

   Scorpius stared at him. "What?" He asked, horrified.

 

   "Your hand." Draco stated again. "Give it to me. Then we'll know."

 

   Scorpius hesitated for another moment, wanting to refuse- to punch the older man in the face, and then run from the room as fast as he could- before any of this became too real. But something else got the better of him.

 

   His curiosity.

 

   "Fine."

 

   He stood up cautiously, moving the chair closer to the table and then sitting back down again. Then he raised his left hand and laid it out flat on the tabletop, as if expecting Draco to read his fortune. Draco Malfoy smiled, lifting his own left hand and placing it on top of his son's.

 

   They both felt it. A shuddering jolt of electricity which passed between them in less than a heartbeat. Scorpius snatched his hand back without hesitation, but he looked into Draco Malfoy's eyes and he knew. He knew. And he understood then, that life was never going to be the same for him again.

 

   "Do you know why your mother decided to tell you now?" Draco asked, unable to repress his own questions any longer. It simply didn't make sense to him that Pansy would break her promise after all this time.

 

   "How should I know." Scorpius shrugged with annoyance. "She never tells me anything, does she. Just drops this bombshell on me, and then expects me to deal with it." Scorpius sighed, slumping down in his chair. But then he prickled, as if he'd just realised something. His eyes raised slowly to meet his father's, and then he said, "It's because of you, isn't it?"

 

   Draco frowned. "What?"

 

   "Mum." Scorpius clarified. "The reason that she can never bear to be near me. It's you. It's because she can't look at me without seeing you."

 

   "Scorpius-"

 

   "No!" He protested, "I love her, Malfoy. I love her as much as every boy loves his mum, but sometimes it's hard, knowing that she doesn't love me ba-"

 

   "She does." Draco interupted, shaking his head violently, "She loves you more than you could know, Scorpius. Everything that she does is to protect you."

 

   "That isn't true."

 

   "She kept me a secret from you, because she didn't want you to be humiliated by all of my... misdeeds. And she brought Steve into your life because she thought that you would need a father, and she knew that he was a good man. She might not be able to show it everyday Scorpius, but she does love you. I mean... I remember how she looked at you, the day that you were born. And I remember how terrified she was when we realised that you were sick, and you weren't going to get better on your own."

 

   Scorpius looked ready to protest, but then a sudden frown swam over his features. "I was... Sick?" He asked, his voice almost uncertain as he posed the question.

 

   "Oh," Draco said hesitantly, "Pansy didn't..."

 

   "No," Scorpius frowned, shaking his head. "She never told me that. Mum... She doesn't like to talk about my birth. But I suppose I know why, now." He stared at his hands for a few long moments, but then he looked up at his father and said, "Could you... I mean, if you don't want to, I'd understand, but I just..."

 

   "Of course," Draco said as he realised what his son was asking him for. Something which he could actually give.

 

   "Just... The basics or something," he said, seeming almost self-concious now. "I realise you couldn't possibly remember everything that happened, or-"

 

   "Scorpius," Draco interupted, "I... I remember everything about that night. How could I ever forget? You're... My son."

 

   A second of silence passed between them as father and son met, truly, for the first time. Scorpius swallowed, and Draco could see the tiny baby he had been, once more.

 

   "It was eleven o'clock on a Saturday evening when your mother's waters broke." Draco said, his face lifting into a slight smile as he remembered. "We'd been on the run for about ten months already at that point, so we were just holed up in this old, disused hotel on the outskirts of Bristol. We'd been there for about a week already, so we knew it was a safe place for you to be born, and-"

 

   "Why were you and mum on the run?"

 

   Draco glanced at Scorpius's face again, and saw the confused interest there. "Uh, we took off together right after the Last Battle at Hogwarts." Draco half-muttered, feeling strange about retelling his own story, "For a few days after the Battle, everything was okay. People everywhere were... elated. But then the hunt began. They... They wanted everyone with the Mark to stand trial, so we decided to lay low for a while. Me, my mother and father, and Pansy, because she... she always followed me, for better or worse." Draco ran his hands over his face, "We saw those we used to asociate with being arrested and charged, even those we knew weren't guilty of murder or anything else of the sort. It seemed that in the eyes of the Ministry, the Dark Mark was proof enough of guilt, so we knew we weren't safe."

 

   "What happened?"

 

   "I... They caught up with us. Killed mother straight off, and took father. Pansy and I only got away because Father wouldn't go down without a fight." Draco clenched his jaw, then shook his head sternly. "It was just me and your mum after that. We ran together, and there was a sort of... comfort in her familiarity. You must understand, she had loved me for a very long time, and though I don't regret your creation in the slightest, it was actually only once. A desperate bid for release, and a moment of sanctuary from the terror that our lives had become."

 

   "You were married to mum's sister, weren't you?" Scropius asked, looking moderately surprised to hear of his mother's liason with a married man, "That's why I was always told that you were my uncle."

 

   "Actually, that wasn't true." Draco shook his head, "Your mother didn't want me completely obliterated from your family tree, even if I was to spend the rest of my lfie in Azkaban, so she forged the marriage documents for me and her dead sister. And so it went down in history. In truth, I have never loved any woman, though I wish very much that I could have given your mother what she deserved."

 

   "Are you gay?" Scorpius asked bluntly, and Draco actually chuckled at that.

 

   "No." he said, with a small grin as he shook his head once more, "I just always found it difficult to trust when I was young. And none of that matters in here anyway. It seems rather unlikely that Miss Right will come strolling around the corner any time soon." he clasped his hands together, then said "Anyway. After we realised that your mum was pregnant, I knew we would have to stop taking so many risks. We began to slow our pace, finding relatively safe places to stay for longer periods of time. Your mum hated it, I knew she did, and she was exhausted a lot of the time. But she didn't complain. Actually, it became a kind of habit that she didn't say much of anything anymore. I think that she might have hated me for what I'd done to her, but at the same time, she couldn't shake the feelings of a lifetime, and she knew I wouldn't ever leave her to fend for herself and the baby- you- alone."

 

   "So you were still on the run when she gave birth to me?"

 

   "Yes," Draco said, "She was in labour for a long time, all through the night and into the morning of the 12th of November. And we were alone, so I delivered you myself. It was... I don't know how to describe it. Just that it was the most incredible thing I've ever done. And sometimes, when I'm cold and lonely and locked up, and all I can really think about is how much I just wish all of this could be over, I... Well, I close my eyes, and I remember that feeling. Holding you in my arms for the very first time, and knowing that you were mine. I... Just can't describe how earth-moving that feels. I sort of knew that nothing would ever be the same again, but when I was holding you, I got the strangest feeling that things were going to be so much better."

 

   Scorpius stared at the man he had always adhored in thought, and he felt his heart pounding. The humiliating blight of an Uncle was closing his eyes and speaking words that Scorpius had spent his whole life longing to hear from his father. True affection, and true belonging. Draco Malfoy's words were those of a father who had loved his son in an instant, and it actually tore at Scorpius's heart to know that he could have been permitted this affection all along.

 

   That somewhere out there, all along, there had been a father who really did love him. Who really did want him.

 

   And all at once, he felt he belonged.

 

   "But," Draco said, his hands suddenly shaking, "After a day, I knew that something was wrong. Pansy hadn't woken since your birth and you... You hadn't stopped crying. I checked everything, but I didn't know what was wrong with you. And I was so scared! I couldn't stand the thought that after all of this, you might be taken away from me. I... thought you were going to die, and it bloody terrified me." He covered his face with his hands, "I took you to Pansy, and she felt that there was something wrong. Like she could feel it deep inside. She said that she would take you... Take you to the hospital, and I was to wait for you to come back, because she didn't have the Mark, and they weren't after her. But-"

 

   Draco gulped down a deep breath.

 

   "-But then we found she couldn't stand. Could barely even sit up. And I knew... I knew you had to be taken to hospital right away, and she couldn't do it. She was exhausted, and if we waited, it might be too late. So I... I..."

 

   Scorpius sat up sharply in his chair, eyes suddenly burning with hot tears as he said, "And that's when they got you?"

 

   Draco nodded. "I checked you in as my Nephew, because as soon as I walked in, I knew that they knew. The Nurses and Healers were all looking at me as if I was about to do something terrible, and I knew that look: understood that look. I... I said "This is my Nephew, Scorpius Parkinson. He is sick." and when the Healer I was addressing requested that I hand you to her, I knew that it was over. I hesitated, only slightly, then I passed you into her arms. She took an immediate step backwards, and then Aurors apparated around me in a deadlock circle, wands all pointed directly at my heart."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, August 15th

 

   "Malfoy." A sharp voice called. Draco looked up to see Ballick marching towards him, tugging a set of keys from his front pocket. "Get up. Duke wants to see you."

 

   "Duke?" he repeated, scratching his head as he lumbered to his feet. "What's he want with me, boss?"

 

   "Don't know. Don't care." Ballick wrenched the cell door open, then nodded Draco out. "Hands." He said, voice stern as he pulled a set of handcuffs from his belt. Draco obeyed without concern, and Ballick cuffed his wrists. "Come on then."

 

   Draco's brows were furrowed as he followed Ballick up towards Duke's office, and his heart was undeniably hammering as he wondered what was going on. All he could think was that something had been said against him, and he was in trouble. But what? And why? God, he felt pathetic, and he hated feeling this helpless. So utterly at another's mercy.

 

   "Mr Duke?" Ballick knocked curtly on a hardwoor door which Draco had never been brought in front of, before now, "I have Malfoy out here."

 

   "Let him in."

 

   Ballick smiled nastily as he pushed the door open, then he turned to Draco and offered him a mock bow. "After you."

 

   Draco ignored him, stepping cautiously through the doorway and glancing upwards at the high, enchanted ceiling. He tried not to show his wonderment as he was submerged in the warrm, plush room, but it was like nothing he'd ever seen before, or at least, not since Hogwarts at any rate.

 

   A soft noise caught his attention, and Draco looked sharply towards the window which Duke was positioned before. Azkaban's head Warden was sitting straight backed in a chair behind his desk, gazing out of the window and down at the world beyond. Draco could only imagine what the other man was seeing, but he didn't dare ask.

 

   "Where do you want him, Mr Duke?"

 

   The old man turned, letting out a grunt as he did so. "Right there will do, Ballick." he said, pointing at the chair in front of his desk. "And I think it'd be best if you left us, too."

 

   Draco didn't have to glance at the guard to imagine the sour look upon his face. "Right." Ballick said, giving Draco a harsh shove, "You heard the warden, Malfoy. Sit down and don't let me see a single toe of yours out of line."

 

   Draco stumbled over to the indicated seat, and he sat down quickly, dropping his cuffed hands onto the desk. Duke didn't look his way, keeping his beady eyes on Ballick until the door clicked softly closed, and then he sighed loudly, turning his attention to the prisoner in front of him.

 

   "Mr Malfoy-" he started slowly, setting his hands down opposite Draco's, "I... Realise I have never really expressed an interest in you or your case before now, and for that, I hope you can forgive me. But I... I am afraid I have some rather difficult news, and I would like to request that you take it... quietly." Draco frowned, feeling a suddenly brutal twisting in his gut.

 

   "Difficult news?" he repeated, his eyes closing slowly. "With all due respect Warden... I think you've lost me."

 

   Duke sighed, then he reached forward and squeezed Draco's shoulder tightly. The action was so unfamiliar, however, that for a moment Draco was entirely frozen.

 

   "The parents of your nephew were found dead this morning," Duke said, in a voice which was altogether too familiar for a man who'd never spoken to him before. "The Killing curse, I'm sorry to say."

 

   His hand landed on Draco's shoulder again, and the blonde's eyes rolled downwards to stare at the thick fingers gripping his robed flesh. "I..."

 

   "I'm very sorry, son." Duke said consollingly, "As I understand it, you were rather close to Pansy Hamilton."

 

   "Close..." Draco stared at the desk, feeling a churning sickness in his stomach. It was like he'd been punched, and the impact of the motion was more immediately shocking than the driving-force behind it. He couldn't understand the words. Couldn't digest them at all. "I..."

 

   "Are you alright boy? Do you need to take a moment?"

 

   Draco's closed his strangely bleary eyes, but then a second later they snapped upwards. "Scorpius?" He asked, a sudden desperation pulsing painfully through his veins. "My so... My nephew. Where is he? Is he safe? Where is he?"

 

   Duke's eyes turned very quickly from sympathetic to something else altogether. "The boy is missing," he said, in a tone that frightened Draco more than the threat of a thousand Dementors. "I hasten to inform you, Mr Malfoy, that there are several warrants already instigated by the Ministry for the boy's immediate arrest."

 

   "Arrest?" Draco repeated, alarmed. "But-"

 

   "The Killing Curse was administered from his wand. The only witness says he heard loud arguments coming from the Hamilton household yesterday evening, and then saw Scorpius himself dashing from the scene moments later. His wand was found abandoned at the end of the Hamilton's street this morning, and his parents were discovered not long after, when the same neighbour went round to check that everything was alright." Duke glanced down at some paper's on his desk, as if affirming the details of his tale, and then he looked back up to meet Draco's eyes once more. "The boy is being charged with double-murder, and will be transported to Azkaban prison- pending trial- as soon as he is caught."

 

   Draco shook his head harshly. "No." he announced firmly, "No, it isn't true. It's not how it looks, I know it isn't. Scorpius is a good kid, a little troubled recently, perhaps. But still a good-"

 

   "With the... kindest regards, Mr Malfoy, I find it imperative to remind you that you have absolutely no idea what this boy is capable of. And, as I understand it, you have only met with him twice; his first visit being only three days ago to date."

 

   Draco flinched, but didn't fold. "He's a fifteen year old boy, Mr Duke." he argued, feeling the boundaries as he pressed against them, "Scorpius won't even have heard of the Killing Curse yet, let alone be able to administer it himself."

 

   "Unfortunately, the once-cherished naivity of childhood is not something one can so heavily rely upon these days." Mr Duke sniffed, his eyes lifting towards the ceiling, "It seems all too hard for you to accept, and I can appreciate that. But the boys peers have already affirmed the fact that he showed an unnatural interest in the Dark Arts from a very early age."

 

   "But that doesn't mean anything," Draco said, feeling he was grasping at straws even though his argument made perfect, coherant sense. "All boys dabble in things they don't understand while they're young. It's a part of growing up, and coming to understand who you are. But that doesn't make him a killer."

 

   Duke raised himself up very tall in his chair, and then he gazed down his long nose at Draco. "All boys?" He repeated sceptically, arching a thick eyebrow. "Are you quite sure you aren't simply referring to yourself, Mr Malfoy? After all, it comes as no surprise that the boy should be interested in the Dark Arts. Not when considering his Death Eater uncle."

 

   Draco felt his pride burn, and he lowered his gaze for the briefest moment. A look of defeating understanding crossed Duke's face, but then Draco resurfaced.

 

   "Why would Scorpius want to kill his mother and father?" he asked, punctuating his question with two raised brows. "They might not be the perfect family, but he does love them. I know that's true."

 

   Duke looked rather grave as his eyes slipped down to the papers in front of him once more, then he looked up, shaking his head sadly. "It seems Mr and Mrs Hamilton had already sufferred enough at their son's hand. It is apparent that they had been looking into having the boy taken into care for some time, and the papers for this weighty decision were discovered beside their bodies. It would seem that young Scorpius had tracigally uncovered his parent's intentions, and not taken too kindly to the blow."

 

   Draco shook his head, mouth dropping open. "No," he said, eyes wide, "They wouldn't do that. I know Pansy, and she wouldn't have even been considering it. I know what Scorpius means to her: she'd do anything for him."

 

   "Then it seems you didn't know Mrs Hamilton as well as you might have thought, either." Duke said heavily. "Mr Malfoy, I wanted you before me today so that I could tell you these facts myself. I knew that, coming from anyone else, they would have been twisted and used as weapons against you. But this is what it is, son, and I'm very sorry that I can't lie to you, or make it any easier."

 

   Draco didn't know what to say. What could he say? The man would just discredit his words anyway. Why even waste time with openning his mouth?

 

   "You will be taken back to your cell shortly, but rest assured, you will be kept up to date on the progression of your nephews case. The boy, no matter how malicious, is still just a boy. And boys can't run forever." A look of cold satisfaction settled in Duke's eyes, and Draco felt his bones chill. "He will be caught, and justice will be served."

 

   "What will happen to him?" Draco whispered, and Duke let his eyes rest on the papers for a final time.

 

   "He will be held in Azkaban prison until the time of his trial, and then he will stand before the Wizengamot as an adult. Should they find him guilty, he is most likely to recieve a life sentence, or, perhaps more unhappily, he will be sentenced to recieve the Dementor's kiss."

 

   Draco felt he was choking on his own soul. "The Dementors k..."

 

   "The boy has already been asigned a Lawyer from the ministry, and work for his case will comence immediately. You are welcome to speak with his Lawyer at any time, should you feel the inclination."

 

   Already, Draco was nodding. "Yes." he said, "I want to see this man. I need to tell him about my n-nephew. I want to see him right away."

 

   "Consider it done." Duke said with a grim nod. Then he rose from his chair, proceeding to the door which he opened, seemingly pleased to see that Ballick was still standing behind it. "Ahh, good." he said in a hearty voice, "Ballick, if you could take the prisoner back to his cell now, please."

 

   "Certainly sir." Ballick wore a malicious grin as he strode back into the room and gripped Draco by his cuffs, hauling him back to his feet and telling him in a gruff voice, to "Follow me, Malfoy."

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