I owled Mother and let her know that I would like to come and visit her. I want to talk to her about my plans for building a manor for Pansy and me, and see if she has any advice for me. Letting my staff know that I will be out for an extended period of time, I leave the club and soon find myself on the front step of Malfoy Manor.
Mother's house elf opens the door and Mother comes behind her. Her face breaks into a smile when she sees me. "Draco, I have missed your company. Welcome home." I notice Mother is wearing one of those loose robes she seems to suddenly favour the past few months. They don't look bad on her, but they aren't the usual elegant form-fitting robes she usually wears.
I go over to her and embrace her, kissing her on the cheek. "I've missed yours as well. You are looking well."
"Thank you, Son. How long are you staying for? A meal? Tea? A weekend? Dining room or Library?" I am not used to Mother asking so many questions at once. She must really be glad to see me.
I give her one of my rare smiles. "I'm afraid I can only manage tea for right now. But perhaps Pansy and I could come for an extended visit sometime, if you would like. And let's sit in the library, if that is agreeable with you; it's a great room to take tea in."
She signals for her elf to prepare tea for the library, then we ascend the stairs together. I notice immediately that the largest table is half covered with written materials--in Mother's hand.
"Have you been feeling better since my previous visits?" I want to ask her about the parchment, but it's not my place to ask unless she brings it up directly.
"Much. Still tired, but overall much better." She looks at me looking at the piles of parchment, all arranged neatly. "You may ask what I am doing, if you wish, Son."
"It does look as if you have kept yourself busy. What is it that you are working on?" I ask curiously, thankful that I could ask.
"The True Biography of Morgana LeFey," she grins evilly for an instant, then, "the authorized biography."
I raise my eyebrow slightly at this. "Interesting subject. Might I ask what made you choose to do this?"
"Because I have studied her all my life. I probably am the most knowledgeable LeFey scholar living. Evidentally, LeFey knows this too. She came to me in her dream and told me to write her biography."
I just wish she had not told me about Bella . . . well, no, I am glad I was warned, but . . . well, it is better now. I look up and notice Draco looking at me, curiously. "Do not worry, Son. I am quite sane."
His pale cheeks redden and I can tell that is exactly what he was wondering. "I would like to read the biography when it is complete, if I may. It sounds like it will be quite interesting."
"Of course. You, Severus, McGonagall, there are several who have asked for a copy. I will have it finished before Christmas." I know my son well enough to know that he does not just visit me for a chat. I wish he would though. I miss the little boy snuggled up to my side while I read to him . . . sigh. "So what did you come here to discuss with me, Son?"
"Mother, I am planning a surprise for Pansy, and I was wondering if you can give me some advice. I realize that our wedding is months away, but this is something I need to plan in advance so that it is ready. I want to have a manor built for the two of us."
I look around the room. Manor's are not inexpensive, even for us. "If that is what you wish to do, I support you. Where? and how large?" I ask.
"Well, the location I'm not certain about yet. But it won't be as large as this. However, I want her to have everything that she wants and needs in it. Enough room for a den for each of us, a room for her to work on her designs, a library, a sitting room, several bedrooms because my hope is that one day I will have an heir, someone to carry on the name of Malfoy. Not until Pansy is ready, of course, but one day."
A grandmother. That is a frightening thought. Especially since I am about to become a mother again. "It sounds lovely." Faustus arrives with the tea and I pour out, handing Draco a cup. I have a mild ginger tea myself. "Is something troubling you, Draco?"
"Mother," he says cautiously, "did you ever get upset with Father when he would be out doing work for Voldemort, or with the Ministry?'
"Often. It has been a very lonely and stormy life married to your father. But the best parts make it worth it. Why?" I ask. Of course, I could not often tell him when I was upset. It meant my prolonged silence if I did.
"Pansy and I had... an argument last Thursday evening. I have been working late at the club, trying to get it rebuilt and ready to reopen. I fell asleep in my office - I didn't intend to but it happened." I know that there is more to the story that he's not saying; I can see it in his eyes.
"And . . .? What did she do?" I ask.
He looks thoughtful for a moment. "This past Saturday night she went to visit a colleague of hers at an hour that was inappropriate. But if I hadn't been working such late hours, she wouldn't have done it."
"A colleague? Theodore?" I ask, frowning.
He nods. "Yes, it was Mr. Nott." He says the name as if it leaves a bad taste in his mouth. "Of course I would not have had problem if she went to visit one of the witches that works in her shop. But tell me, Mother, would you have ever considered doing something like that, no matter how upset you were with Father?"
I think of Severus. No, I did not run to him, but it was for his own protection. But I did run to Severus when Lucius was in Azkaban. I would turn to him now, in a minute. "Yes, Draco. I would have considered it if Pansy's relationship with Theodore is like mine with Severus. I never did except when your father was in Azkaban and I needed him to protect you, but I certainly considered it."
He thinks about that for a moment. "Would you have gone to visit him in the middle of the night? For example, at 3am?"
"To protect you or your father? Yes. Otherwise? No." I tell him truthfully.
"I can't say that I am surprised. There is a difference between going to visit someone for a good reason, and going to visit someone out of spite, which I think is partly why she went to see him. I don't think that she has been unfaithful to me, but I can't tell you how that made me feel."
I nod, and put my hand over his, giving it a squeeze. "She loves you, but I sometimes think she is not ready for what you are planning. Maybe this proves she needs more time," I suggest softly.
His eyes darken for a moment. "Why did he have to come back?" he asks angrily. "You know, that night that the club was attacked? The coward fled. He fled!" He stands up and paces a bit. "She says nothing happened, but I would wager everything I own to bet that Nott wanted it to."
"I do not think the problem is Theodore. I have sensed Pansy's reluctance for months, Draco. And Theodore will not steal anything. He will only take what is given," I add quietly, waiting for his anger.
"Mother, I have never forced Pansy to do anything that she didn't want to do. I didn't force her to make love to me the first time, I didn't force her to move into my flat, and I didn't force her to accept my proposal. And you are wrong about Nott. He's the worst kind of thief, and he's a Slytherin through and through." He pauses and looks at me, anger flashing in his eyes. "He slinks off to Merlin knows where, leaving Pansy to pick up the pieces with the shop then slinks back in, thinking that he can charm my fiancee into becoming his business partner."
"Sometimes people leave because they are in danger and do not want to endanger those around them," I say quietly, worried about the coldness I see in my son's eyes. He is too like his father.
He runs his hands over his hair, and I can see that this is something that has him upset. "If it had been anyone but Nott...." he says, shaking his head. "I don't trust him."
"I do," I answer with a cold stillness.
"You must see things that I don't. I see a wizard who left Pansy to run the shop on her own, who wormed his way back into her life and invited her to come over at any time, and then left the club while it was being attacked. I'm sorry but he will have to show me that he is trustworthy because I certainly don't see any evidence of it."
"You do not have all the facts, Son, but they are not mine to give you. Just be aware that there is much more to the story."
He's quiet for a moment. "Very well. I will reserve judgment--for now. After all, people didn't have all the facts with me either, did they? But trust me when I say, Mother, that I will not stand for Nott taking advantage of Pansy."
"Nor should you," I say quietly.
"Do you ever wish that you were something that you aren't any more, Mother?" Draco asks, turning towards me.
I almost smile, then look down sadly. "I have."
"Sometimes I wish, just for a moment, that I was still the way I was at Hogwarts. It's not easy to keep things inside, to want to curse or hex someone..." He looks at me and I can see in his eyes his frustration.
"Sometimes I wish you were my little boy and I could hold you against me and take away all your frustration," I reply softly, my heart filled with longing.
I think, for just one moment, I see a glint of moisture in my son's eyes. His shoulders sink, just slightly, and he comes over to me, putting his arms around me.
I put my arms around him and relish the feeling of holding him close, wishing it were real and not just a memory of how we used to be. I have never been the mother of an adult wizard until recently, but I think our society would not look on me holding him as proper. Right now, I do not care. For this moment, he is my Draco.
Too soon he pulls away, and I see a small smile on his face. "I just realized something. We can spend Christmas together this year. I only wish Father could be here."
I do not answer, just give him a small smile and run my fingers through his hair.
"Maybe..." He shakes his head and doesn't say anything more. "I should get going. I made a promise to Pansy and my time is running short."
I do not get up. I cannot risk him seeing what my robes and the table are obscuring. "Good bye, Son. I hope I shall see you soon. I love you."
"I love you too, Mother." He bends down and kisses me on the cheek, then I watch as he leaves the room.
Venus kicks happily. I hope it means she will love her brother.
|2007-11-20 04:56 (UTC)
I return to the club and get ready to go home. I am happy with the way my time with Mother ended, although I am still a bit confused about Nott. We'll see what happens.