Mother Knows Best
May 24, 2005 11:51 AM
Draco was waiting in the main sitting room. The house elf going to fetch his mother had already informed him that his father was out for the afternoon. Good. This was going to be difficult enough as it was.
When the house elf informed her that Draco was here to speak, Narcissa almost sent him away because she was entirely too busy at the moment. There was a social tea to plan and the main ballroom was being decorated for a party to occur in two nights' time. But it was her son, and she hardly got to see him at all. She would make time.
"Inform him of my location," she told the house elf while looking over different china patterns. "He can come to me."
Draco rolled his eyes, but followed the house elf to where his mother was. He almost asked her if it was another evil tea circle gathering, but curbed the impulse.
"I can come back later."
"Nonsense," Narcissa replied, waving him over. "You've made the trip and there is no need for you rush back. I value the moments you come visit."
"Mother, I just live right down the road. It wasn't as if I had to apparate to China."
She gave him her patented Narcissa Malfoy basilisk look.
"Right then. So... I did something dumb and hurt Pevensie. I didn't even consider the damage, so I'm thinking I shouldn't have children. Why if I damage them? What if I end up using them as pawns as Father did me. I can't have that. The look she gave me. I didn't mean it as she took it. She thought I'd betrayed her. I know that feeling. I swore I'd never do that to someone, and now I have. I suspect I am damaged and should not try to function in society any longer."
It was hard to understand any of what Draco said. She managed to discern that Draco had hurt Pevensie, was feeling guilt over it, and had wormed in the pointless logic that he should not have children. "What did you do to warrant this reaction?"
Draco looked at his own shoes. "I locked her in a crypt with four vampires."
Narcissa had glanced back down when a group of cloth was put in front of her so she could choose the table covers. She held up two selections side by side to compare them. As soon as the words left Draco's mouth, she brought the fabric up and slapped him on the arm with it.
"What possessed you to do such a thing, you stupid
boy." She hit him with the fabric once more. He was extremely lucky her hands were full and she could not draw her wand.
"That's what I do," Draco defended fiercely. "I want her to be ready. I want her not to die. I didn't leave her. I was always there, but she did think herself alone. She didn't need me. I'd never seen anything like it that close outside of seeing Buffy work. She's going to be one of the great ones, and she's my slayer."
It was silent for a moment.
"But I think I went about it the wrong way."
She hit him once more for good measure before throwing the rumpled cloth at the nearest house elf. To control the urge to hex her only son beyond recognition, Narcissa laced her fingers. "Of course you did, Draco. Did you even let her know what was coming or did you throw her in there and lock the door behind her?"
Draco frowned and looked down again. "She adapts rather well. I apologized. She was amazing. I'm not sorry for the training part. I honestly thought I was going to have to step in at some point and assist her. I did not have to. But the simple fact that I didn't consider it hurting her makes me unfit to be a parent."
Narcissa couldn't help herself. She rolled her eyes. Draco was so exasperating at times. "Darling, no one is ever fit to be a parent. We all make mistakes, but the difference is whether we learn from the mistakes and do not repeat them."
She shook her head. "You and Pevensie are both so similar. Did you not stop to consider that you were put in the same situation around her age?" Narcissa's hand went to her throat as she swallowed tightly. She still had nightmares at times about that horrid year. "Abandoned with what so many assumed to be an impossible task with no one to help you?"
Draco broke out in a cold sweat is memories assaulted him.
"That's it then. I'm him, and I won't be him to a child. I can't. How did this happen?"
Draco stumbled back in shock and took a seat on a nearby chair. His heart was beating so fast he was certain it was going to come out of his chest, and he felt sick.
Narcissa set her jaw. She so hated to see Draco hurt and disliked bringing up bad memories. If only Lucius had this reaction, things in the family would have been so much different. She walked over to the chair and started and run her hand through Draco's hair.
"It is because of this reaction, that you never will be him. You see the implications of your actions whereas your father only saw your failure. He has come such a long way, but Lucius cannot change who he is, just as you cannot change your heart to not be genuinely concerned for your ward."
"I don't want to be despised any longer for not being wholly good. I can't be. Now matter how hard I try, I do something on the side of wicked. I have good intentions, but I think I am cursed to be wicked no matter what I intend. I've already ruined enough lives through my fear and weakness. I am much like a plague. Why would any woman want a cursed man, much less have children with one?"
"Well," she began lightly, "I should hope that you consider me a woman of high standing since I am with your father. If any man is cursed, it is him, and he gave me a wonderful, if sometimes idiotic, son."
"He wasn't like that when you met him, though, was he? Did... you know what he'd do? Did you have any inkling of it?"
Draco was trying not to let on how important her answer would be. It would be the difference between hope and hopelessness for him. But no matter what, he knew he had to stay away from decent women. No decent woman would ever care for him. How could they?
"There was always a darkness to your father, and while I did not like it, I accepted it, but he allowed that darkness to corrupt him. As much as I begged him to, he did not stop it. Although, I truly believe that he thought with all his being that he was making a better world for you and the rest of the Wizarding World."
Draco released the breath he did not know he had been holding.
"And you still love him?"
Narcissa couldn't help but smile as she continued to run her fingers through Draco's hair. He rarely held still enough for her to do so, or protested against it. "I do. There are times when I do not like him, and I do not agree with his choices, but I do love him."
So he just had to find someone willing to overlook his many defects.
"I just don't want you to be upset with me if I never marry or have children. I don't feature myself finding an especially tolerant woman who doesn't mind my many and varied faults."
She did not believe that, and someday, neither would he. "She is out there. I am confident that you will find her."
"I appreciate the sentiment, Mother, but the glass isn't just half empty here - it's full-on not-a-drop-to-drink empty."
"That's what my dear friend Rosemarie Parkinson told me when I proclaimed the already-engaged Lucius Malfoy as mine."
Draco sighed. "You just want what you want, even if it's impossible. No, especially if it's impossible, but this might really be, Mother."
She leaned down to kiss his forehead. "Nothing is ever impossible. If you keep on this negative attitude, I'll take matters into my own hands. Speaking of Rosemarie, Astoria Greengrass might be out of the question, but I hear her daughter is still single."
Draco craned his head around to glare at his mother. "Pansy and I have absolutely no spark. She's like my sister, so you would not be getting your grandchildren, because as attractive as Pansy is, the thought of sleeping with her does nothing for me. At least Tori and I were attracted to one another."
Narcissa chuckled. "There are plenty of other single witches. Maybe I should take an ad out in the Prophet. Your father would absolutely love
"Oh balls, please don't. Please. Willow reads the Prophet. Most of my current colleagues read it as well. Just leave it alone. Please."
With one last kiss to his forehead and brush through his hair, Narcissa started to walk off. She believed Draco just wasn't looking hard enough. Her son, above anyone, deserved happiness.
"Thanks, Mum," he said after her.
Draco rarely called her that. And he never did around his father. Lucius felt it was not respectful enough.
He rose and decided to leave himself. Perhaps he'd stroll down Diagon or go to Hogsmeade before returning to the Council, perhaps he'd see this elusive and exceptionally tolerant woman he was supposed to marry and create spawn with.
Narcissa stopped, but kept her back to Draco. She allowed a small, indulgent smile before continuing on.