Fandom: Harry Potter (post-Cursed Child)
POV: Narcissa Malfoy
Summary: The year is 2022, and the Malfoy family is reeling from the news that 16-year-old Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Potter are more than friends: they are in love. Draco is thrilled that his son has found happiness and love, but Draco’s parents — Narcissa and Lucius, now in their seventies and worrying about the “Malfoy legacy” — struggle to accept that their grandson is not only bisexual, but also in love with one of Harry Potter’s sons of all people. Accepting the boys’ friendship was hard enough…
Warnings: Tackles issues of homophobia and emotional/verbal abuse
Series or One-shot: One-shot
Word count: 4820
Lucius Malfoy slammed the magazine down onto the dining room table, pointing an angry finger at the front page headline. Narcissa lowered her tea and looked up from her book to read the words, “Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Potter in The Scandal of the Century” — by Rita Skeeter, of course. She glanced up at the title of the newspaper, some unknown, irrelevant rag full of nothing but tabloids and conspiracy theories. Skeeter had sunk so low.
“At least it isn’t The Daily Prophet,” said Narcissa. Her husband’s face was beet-red, contrasted sharply against his white hair. She pursed her lips and looked back down at her book. Lately, she found many of the faces Lucius made unpleasant. “Nobody reads that filth, Lucius. Only fools believe anything that Skeeter woman writes anymore.” One more thing we have Potter and his friends to thank for, she thought.
“I don’t care,” Lucius spat. “This is slander. Narcissa, why aren’t you angrier about this? The world does not need to know that our grandson is — is–“
“In love with another boy?”
“Going through this phase,” Lucius said. “And with Potter’s son, of all people. I’ve always said that boy was a horrible influence on Scorpius.” He picked up the magazine and rolled it up, waving it like a bat as he continued to rant and rage. “This is nonsense! The Malfoy name must be carried on. We have always been about the blood in this family. Scorpius needs to get these ridiculous ideas out of his head and stay away from Albus Potter.”
Narcissa sighed and set down her teacup, so as not to let Lucius see that her hands shook. She shut the book she’d been reading all morning — a thick, leatherbound volume, heavier than any of her old Hogwarts textbooks — set it down on the table, and slid it around so Lucius could read the gold-lettered title on the cover: Divorce Law in Great Britain’s Wizarding World.
The red drained from Lucius’s cheeks, and he suddenly looked almost as gaunt as he had after his stay in Azkaban. He slid out the chair in front of him and fell into it, dropping the magazine onto the table once more.
“Cissy? What is this?” He tried to smile at her, almost as if pleading for her to tell him that this wasn’t what he thought it was. But he didn’t look convinced, and the smile flickered in and out of existence faster than Narcissa could blink.
Good. She wasn’t joking.
Christmas at Malfoy Manor had changed much in the last several years. Traditions were fading, to be replaced by new ones. Once Draco married Astoria, he stopped coming ’round to his parents’ to open gifts on Christmas mornings; instead, the evening was reserved for Narcissa and Lucius, while Draco and his wife visited her parents at their home. Christmas mornings started to feel cold and empty to Narcissa.
They used to invite their old friends around for Christmas dinner — the Crabbes and Goyles, other Death Eaters — but since the end of the war, many of their friends were either dead or in prison. And quite frankly Narcissa no longer had the energy to deal with the rest of those people anymore. They were always more Lucius’s friends than hers, and the talk of superior blood and hatred of Muggles grew tiring after a while. She didn’t want to talk about it anymore. So one year she simply told Lucius she did not want any of them over. He relented, because he loved her.
Then in 2006 Scorpius was born. Their first grandchild. Precious and fair-haired, just like his father, and so happy too — like his mother. Always giggling. Narcissa tried to remember if Draco had ever shown so much joy, even as a baby. Probably not.
That year Christmas tradition changed again. Draco and Astoria still visited her parents in the mornings, now with Scorpius in tow, but at night, after dinner, they left the baby with Narcissa. She insisted; they were young still, they deserved a little holiday fun. Why didn’t they leave the baby with her and Lucius, so that they could relax, maybe go to friends’ parties?
Narcissa could tell that Astoria hesitated. There was an unspoken tension between her and her mother- and father-in-law. She knew, of course — the whole world knew — that the Malfoys were far from innocent in the war. No doubt she didn’t want them to influence her newborn son.
But Astoria had given Draco the benefit of the doubt when she met him, and she did the same then for Narcissa and Lucius. Scorpius stayed the night, in a nursery that Narcissa had requested be designed the second she discovered she was going to be a grandmother.
Christmas at Malfoy Manor was a little warmer that year.
But Scorpius wouldn’t stay a baby forever. The second he came home for Christmas his first year at Hogwarts, things changed again.
Because he came home with Albus Potter.
“Narcissa,” said Lucius, pulling the book towards himself as if taking it away from her. “You’re not reading this because you want to–?”
Narcissa nodded her head. She was almost afraid to speak. She would be lying if she said she didn’t still love the man sitting beside her.
They were eleven when they met, two wide-eyed, baby-faced Slytherins, from two of the most prestigious magical families. It was no surprise when he proposed to her at the end of their seventh year. They were foolish to marry so young, sure. But their marriage was never a mistake.
“Yes,” she finally said. Her voice was raspy, and she struggled to maintain control of it. “I want a divorce, Lucius.”
“I don’t understand. Why? Where is this coming from? We’ve been through so much together.”
He was right. School, two wars, Azkaban — hell, they hosted Voldemort in their own home, they were there the day he almost won the war, they saved their son from his clutches. Anything Narcissa asked for, she was given; Lucius bent to her will because he trusted her to make the right choices, and they had survived because of it. They were a strong couple, a smart one, and, yes, she was still sad their side lost the war, and she still agreed with Lucius on most issues, and she still loved him just as much as they day he proposed.
“I’ve changed,” she said. “My worldview is changing. And I don’t think yours is.”
Lucius frowned. “What are you talking about?” he asked.
“Some things are more important than blood purity, Lucius.” She spoke slowly, gently, not wanting to send him into a rage.
It was no use.
“This is about Scorpius, isn’t it?” Lucius spat their grandson’s name, and suddenly Narcissa was certain she had made the right decision.
“Yes,” she said. “Find a lawyer.” And with that, she stood and left the dining room, her cup of tea still steaming, forgotten, on the table.
Draco was more than okay with his son befriending the Potter boy. But that first year they invited him to Malfoy Manor — and without warning Lucius or Narcissa ahead of time — felt like a slap to the face for both of them. The second they had the chance, they cornered Draco in the kitchen as he was cleaning up after dinner and started a heated argument. Astoria was in the family room, nodding off by the fire. She had a cold, and Draco insisted she get some rest. The boys were off wandering the gardens and playing in the snow.
“How could you, Draco?” said Lucius.
“Really,” said Narcissa, “inviting a Potter into our home after everything his father did to our family — I have never been so insulted!” It felt so surreal to be berating her son. Usually she fawned over him and gave him whatever he wanted. Usually she took his side in an argument. Lucius could be hard on him when he was growing up, but this time he was right to be angry with Draco.
Draco lowered his wand, letting a platter fall into the sink hard enough to splash water and soap all over the counter.
“Albus has been a wonderful friend to Scorpius,” said Draco. “They deserve to be normal children without their parents — or their grandparents — breathing down their necks and monitoring who they befriend.”
“At the very least you could have asked us if the boy could come here,” said Narcissa, “instead of springing it on us like this.”
“So that you could say no?” Draco glared more at his father than his mother as he said this. Narcissa would have been more likely to invite Albus, though she was unsure whether Lucius would have believed that was the right decision and caved into her wishes as he usually did. “Let the boys grow up without their elders planting the seeds of hatred within them. I want to give them the type of childhood that was… withheld from me.” He looked away as he finished speaking.
“Excuse me?” The breath seemed to have left Narcissa’s lungs; she felt attacked.
“Do not speak to us that way!” said Lucius, raising his voice so that it reached the high ceiling. “We did everything we could to give you everything you wanted–“
“I could have been friends with Harry Potter,” said Draco, his voice matching his father’s. “We could have been friends, and instead you taught me to hate him, to wish death upon him! A fellow child! And in turn I started to hate myself! My childhood was nothing but a toxic–“
The kitchen door swung open.
“Are you sure I can’t help with anything?” said Astoria meekly from the doorway.
Draco’s face was as red as his father’s, but Narcissa had gone pale. She felt dizzy.
“Get our coats,” Draco said to Astoria. “I’m going to find the boys. We’re going home.”
“But we haven’t even opened presents yet,” Narcissa said, following her son into the dining room. She was unsure anyone even heard her; her own voice sounded so far away, and everyone was talking over her. Lucius was yelling still, his voice echoing through the house, and Draco murmured to Astoria as he guided her away from his father with a hand on the small of her back.
Despite the fire blazing in the fireplace, Narcissa’s teeth chattered. She looked out of the grand window of the dining room and saw the boys outside, trying to build a snowman together. Smiling. Laughing. Scorpius tossed a snowball at Albus, and Albus tackled him to the ground playfully.
Had she ever seen Draco act like that with Crabbe and Goyle? So carefree? So sincere? When he smiled at Crabbe or Goyle, it was more of a sneer; when he laughed it was at their expense. They never touched when they played together.
No. She had never seen Draco so full of joy.
That night, for the first time since he was born, Scorpius did not spend Christmas night sleeping over at Malfoy Manor.
When Narcissa told Draco the news about the divorce a few days later, he rushed to Malfoy Manor with Scorpius in tow. Lucius was out… somewhere.
“I’ve been sleeping in a guest room,” Narcissa explained. “We haven’t been speaking to one another very much. I plan on letting him keep the estate. It is his family’s, after all. I’ll find a house somewhere else.”
The Black estate was long gone. She had sold it to help keep her family afloat after the war, when Lucius lost his job at the Ministry.
Draco nodded, as if to say he understood.
“Scorpius,” he said, “why don’t you go do some homework?”
“But I’m on break,” said Scorpius. “I don’t have any–“
Draco gave him a nudge.
“Oh, alright.” Scorpius slinked off towards the grand staircase, towards the room that was once his nursery and now housed a larger bed, a desk, and several of his old toys.
Once he was out of earshot, Draco turned his attention back to Narcissa.
“But why are you getting divorced, Mother?”
Narcissa attempted a smile and looked over Draco’s shoulder, in the direction Scorpius had disappeared. How did she put this?
“I’ve changed,” she said, repeating her exact words to Lucius just days ago. “Your father is… very stuck in his ways. But I’m learning to listen better. To hate less, and understand more.”
Draco frowned, shaking his head. “I don’t understand,” he said, sounding so much like his father.
Narcissa smiled again, a little more genuinely this time. “You and Astoria — and Scorpius too — you all taught me so much about myself,” she said. “I’ve been so horrible to you in the past. I want that to change. When Astoria died, I… I wanted to be there for you, but you were still angry at us, and your father didn’t want to apologize. I couldn’t stand not being there for you.” She paused to gather herself. “I think that is when things started to change between me and your father.”
“So you’re divorcing Father so that you can support me and my son?” There was a hint of anger in Draco’s tone. “I don’t understand. That’s your solution? I — we need you both. Together.” His eyes were watering; Narcissa’s did the same. His comment stung a little. Was her support not enough? Or was he simply tired of bearing the brunt of Lucius’s disappointment?
“I love your father very much still, Draco,” she said. “I’m not taking him away from you. You and Lucius can still stay in touch once this is all over. But he values blood and his family’s image more than his family itself. And he shows no sign of ever changing. I cannot be around that much hatred anymore.” She paused and took a step towards him to place a hand on his shoulder. “Do you understand yet?”
Draco opened his mouth to speak, but cut himself short. He shrugged and gave a half-hearted nod, though he stared at the floor as if still trying to wrap his head around her explanation.
“We failed you,” Narcissa continued. “I don’t want to fail Scorpius as well. Lucius was very… very hard on you. And I was too sometimes. I don’t want him to have the same influence over our grandson. I want to surround Scorpius with support and love. I want to surround myself with love. If Lucius cannot accept that, then… this is my only option.”
“But Father does love you,” said Draco. He crossed his arms and looked up again, glaring. “What am I supposed to tell Scorpius? That his grandparents are getting divorced because he’s bisexual?”
Narcissa tensed. “Of course not,” she said. “I am not doing this to play the martyr, or to win back your favor, if that’s what you believe. I’m not trying to manipulate you into feeling sorry for me, or to worm my way back into your life so that I can destroy it. But I understand if you don’t trust me. What you said all those years ago, about us ruining your childhood — it’s had a long time to… percolate. Your father and I are — or were, I suppose — a very powerful couple. And we accomplished a lot together. But we were bad parents.”
“No, Mother, you only did what you believed was best–“
“Let me finish.” Narcissa cut him off mid-lie; she could tell he was only saying what he felt he was supposed to say. “Looking back on how we raised you, I don’t think we were as good together as we believed. We did the best we could with the situation we were in — with the hole we dug ourselves into, but…” She shook her head. “And honestly lately, after watching the way Lucius has reacted to the news about Albus and Scorpius, I’ve become a little disenchanted with our marriage.”
“So you don’t love Father anymore?”
“No, no, I do. Of course I do. This divorce hurts worse than anything in the world.” Here, the tears finally spilled. She took a few deep breaths to try and steady herself before continuing. “But I’m so tired of talking about blood purity and the family legacy, and your father still cares about all that very much. I just want to be with my family. But I can’t — I can’t keep it all together. I either lose my husband or I lose my son and g-grandson.”
She stumbled over the last word as she started to sob. Draco wrapped his arms around her. They stayed like that for a while, her crying into the lapel of his suit, him burying his nose into her hair. Once or twice she felt him shake too, and she knew this upset him just as much as it hurt her.
“I guess my hope in all this is that perhaps we can be better grandparents to Scorpius if we are apart,” she said as she pulled away from him. “Better grandparents than we were parents, at least. Maybe it will teach your father how to love better.”
“Or maybe it won’t.”
“Maybe it won’t,” she agreed. “Maybe it will push him away even further, and the thought of that kills me. But I, at least, will love.”
After that disastrous Christmas, many months went by before Draco finally came back to his parents. Now and then he would send them an owl, but his letters were few and far between and they contained little information aside from big news — a raise at the Ministry, Scorpius’s good grades, Astoria’s health dwindling and then improving and then dwindling again. But even when he wrote of such personal matters, he was distant.
The family gathered on Christmas as usual, but only in the morning. Draco, Astoria, and Scorpius opened their presents, and then went on their way to the Greengrass’ home to eat dinner with Astoria’s parents. It was the coldest Christmas at Malfoy Manor yet.
And then, the next summer, Astoria died, the result of some long-dormant family curse.
Narcissa and Lucius both tried to reach out to their son and offer comfort. But he withdrew from them, and from life in general. No owls arrived from him for several weeks. Through the grapevine Lucius heard that Draco took over a month off of work to grieve.
They had no idea how Scorpius was handling the loss.
It was the next holiday season when Draco finally reached out to them and tried to make amends. He never said it, but Narcissa believed he simply couldn’t to spend the holidays alone.
Albus would not be accompanying Scorpius to Malfoy Manor this year. In fact, Scorpius wouldn’t be coming at all. He was going to the Potters’ house for Christmas.
Narcissa felt chilled when Draco told her this, but, as always, Lucius was enraged. He did not want his grandson anywhere near Harry Potter.
“We don’t know Potter’s intentions, Narcissa,” Lucius said to her before Draco and Astoria arrived for dinner that night. “He could be using Scorpius to find incriminating evidence that could land me in Azkaban again, for all we know.”
Lucius sounded crazed. If Narcissa was honest, that final battle of the war had changed her opinion of Potter and his friends. He wasn’t so bad. He had helped her save Draco, after all, and she trusted him not to hold a grudge against their family still, so long after the war was over. Especially now that Scorpius and Albus were close friends.
“Please, just don’t start any arguments with Draco tonight,” she said, trying to change the subject. “He has been through so much this year. He needs us now more than ever.” She was more afraid of Draco’s intentions than Harry’s. Was he sending Scorpius away this Christmas to keep him away from his grandparents, to punish them for that fiasco two years ago? She hadn’t seen her grandson in months, not since Astoria’s funeral. He hadn’t been to the estate since last Christmas. Narcissa was starting to worry she might never be allowed to see him again.
She didn’t voice any of these concerns, but Lucius took one look into her wide eyes and nodded, because he loved and understood her and she knew best.
“Of course,” he promised. “I wouldn’t dare.”
Christmas 2023 was a Christmas full of new traditions.
The divorce process was a slow one. Despite Lucius losing his job after the war, the family was still well-off, and they had much to divide between them. It was just about finalized, but there were still a few things to settle.
Narcissa bought a small — or smaller — house just outside of London. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a sleek, modern kitchen. White walls, a small backyard, lots of big windows to let the sun warm the house.
It was hard to believe that a whole year had passed since Scorpius brought Albus to Christmas at Malfoy Manor a second time. That time, Draco warned his parents, and Lucius begrudginly extended the invitation once Narcissa coerced him into it.
Draco entered the family room before Scorpius and Albus did.
“The boys, they — they have something to announce,” he said. Narcissa heard the plea in his tone and saw the apprehension in his eyes, and… was that hope?
Scorpius and Albus stepped into the room, and as they did so, they looked at each other, smiled, and held hands.
It was another rough evening. Narcissa tried to keep Lucius calm, but there was another fight in the kitchen, this one before dinner was even served. It escalated beyond her control, and this time the boys were in the next room waiting for their meal and heard every word. A part of her wanted to go to them and offer her support, but she was afraid to leave the kitchen lest the fight escalate to violence. She had never seen Lucius so angry. Was the Malfoy line to end here? he raged. Hadn’t Scorpius just had a girlfriend last year? Would Draco never have grandchildren of his own?
And Narcissa froze. In the moment she should have defended her son and her grandson, she said nothing at all, but stood in the corner with her arms wrapped around herself. In that moment she sensed that everything would change soon, that she would have to take sides and lose one person she loved — or two.
Draco stormed off again, leaving the gifts Narcissa had wrapped so neatly for him, for Scorpius, and even one — a nice casmere scarf — for Albus. Where they went, she wasn’t sure, but for the fifth year in a row, Scorpius was not spending Christmas overnight at his grandparents’ estate.
Narcissa had made up three of the spare bedrooms, one for each of them. They were empty that night. She fell asleep in the family room, beside the dying fire in the fireplace. Lucius woke her, put out the embers, and guided her to bed. She slept with her back to him.
No longer was she stuck in that icy Malfoy Manor.
She stood now in front of one of the large, west-facing windows of her new home, allowing the setting sun to warm her face.
The door opened. Draco, Scorpius, and Albus all strode into the house, stomping snow from their boots and shivering. They all smiled as they looked across the living room at her.
Dinner was lovely. She’d cooked some turkey, potatoes, and vegetables, baked an apple pie. Draco brought brownies from the Greengrass family, whom he and Scorpius had visited that morning, and Albus had sugar cookies that his grandmother, Mrs. Weasley, had baked. The boys aimed party crackers at each other and donned their paper crowns.
No one said anything about Lucius, though she knew Draco and Scorpius had spent Christmas Eve with him because he had sent her an owl this morning. Narcissa would be lying if she said she didn’t miss him. There was pain in his long letter, underneath the warm holiday wishes. He was considering selling the estate, he told her; it was empty now with only him in it. Unless Draco or Scorpius wanted it.
He was back on speaking terms with his grandson. It was a promising sign.
But Narcissa didn’t dare get her hopes up that he was starting to come around. She was no fool.
He signed the letter:
After Christmas dinner, the boys — all three of them — stayed over. Albus and Scorpius took the guest room with the double bed, while Draco took what was usually Scorpius’s room. The boys were sixteen now; Draco trusted them to be responsible, and if he did, then so did Narcissa.
There was a knock at Narcissa’s door around midnight. She was still awake, writing back to Lucius to tell him about her Christmas day.
She hid the letter under a book on her nightstand as Scorpius poked his head into her room.
“Can I come in, Grandma?”
Narcissa removed her reading glasses — another change — and nodded. She patted the mattress beside her, and Scorpius sat down, folding his legs in front of himself as he faced her.
“How are you doing?” he asked her.
She tried not to cry as she smiled. He was so thoughtful. It made her proud, though he certainly didn’t get that from his grandparents. It had to be his mother’s doing.
“I’m okay,” she said. “How about you? You seem happy.”
“I am!” he said. “Thanks for dinner. And all the presents! How did you know Albus’s favorite is chocolate frogs?”
Narcissa shrugged. “Wild guess,” she said. Scorpius looked unconvinced. “Okay, your father told me.”
“Well he’s got enough to last him half a year at this rate,” said Scorpius. “I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t get the last few collector’s cards he’s missing.”
“Or maybe he’ll just get more Dumbledore cards.”
Scorpius laughed. “Yeah, he’s pretty sure he’s got his dad’s luck there.”
Narcissa’s smile softened. She reached out and brushed some floppy strands of hair out of Scorpius’s eyes.
“Grandma, did you and my grandpa get divorced because of me and Albus?”
The question came as a shock. Narcissa dropped her hand back onto the duvet and stammered as she struggled to think of an answer.
“I — we — no, sweetheart. Of course not.”
“It’s just, I overheard some of that conversation you had with my dad over the summer,” he explained. Narcissa raised an eyebrow. “I, uh… I didn’t exactly go up to my room to do homework right away. I listened at the top of the stairs.” Narcissa raised both eyebrows. “That mansion is pretty, uh… echo-y.”
Narcissa laughed. “It’s alright,” she said. “That’s what teenagers do, I suppose.” She sighed, a long, overwhelmed sigh.
And then she told him everything she’d told his father half a year ago. What a long half year it had been.
When she finished, Scorpius was quiet for a long moment, nibbling at his lower lip. Then, “Do you think grandpa will change?” he asked. “Now that he’s lost you?”
It was a heavy question, and one that had been on Narcissa’s mind a lot. There were signs, of course. Lucius was speaking to Draco and Scorpius again. He was considering selling the estate, or passing it on to one of the boys. Maybe he was learning his lesson, slowly but surely.
Or maybe he wasn’t. From what Draco had told her of their Christmas Eve visit, Lucius still refused to talk about Albus or Scorpius’s relationship with him, and if the Potters were mentioned at all he grew cold and silent.
“I don’t have an answer,” said Narcissa. “People say that no one ever changes, but… I don’t think that’s true. A lot of us do change as we grow older. And some of us never seize that opportunity.”
Scorpius nodded. “And if he does come around,” he said, “will you… will you get remarried?”
The question was an even bigger blow than the first one, and it was another one she couldn’t answer. Not yet at least.
She leaned forward and kissed his forehead.
“Go get some sleep, sweetheart,” she said.
Scorpius trapped her in a long hug. “I love you,” he said.
“I love you too.”
Narcissa sat in silence for some time after Scorpius was gone, his questions buzzing in her thoughts. It was late, but she wasn’t tired now. And she wanted to finish her letter.
She kept it brief, describing the dinner (she decided she would send Lucius some leftover sweets in a package with the owl), the gifts she gave, the gifts she received. She had a gift for him too, just some polish for his cane. But maybe she would save it for the next time she saw him in the New Year.
She signed the letter:
Happy Holidays & Love Always,