When Draco met Teddy
AN: The Potter world belongs to J.K. Rowling.
21st December 1998
Draco Malfoy stifled a yawn as he padded down the steps of the Manor. First day of his Christmas holidays and he had to entertain guests at his mother's request. Was she oblivious to the disdainful looks he got from people when he was at school? Life at Hogwarts was difficult as it is, mostly people left him alone but he had trouble crossing certain corridors because they triggered so many memories. He had reacted badly a couple of times; losing control and weeping like a baby at the beginning of the term. People believed he was pretending to have panic attacks and would shove him in one of those corridors where he would hear their screams and see their dead bodies. Some however stood for him, Granger and Greengrass especially. Greengrass had even threatened to curse people for tormenting him. And now, when he believed he would escape people, his mother was entertaining guests. Why can't they leave his family alone? Why do they have to come and gloat at the fall of the mighty?
He slouched as he approached the doors of the drawing room for guests; glowering at the handle he pushed the double doors open. The room was eerily silent, as if no one had entered the room for a long time. Light from the hall behind him glinted on the trinkets in the room, giving them a sinister air. Despite all his mother's efforts, the Manor remained cold and distant; no amount of colours and flowers could take away the cold haughtiness of this Manor.
"Hello." He called hands still on the handle of the doors, foot poised to step in. How odd! Why had his mother sent Erica to call him to meet guests when there weren't any guests in the drawing room at all? He shut the doors and walked to the family drawing room, shrugging at this odd situation, feeling glad that he didn't have to act civilized in front of someone.
"-he looked like Sirius the other day in his sleep. Maybe that's his true form."
Draco froze; this was not his mother's voice.
"Or maybe we will find out when he gets older and is able to control his emotions enough to show his true form. You worry too much Meda."
His mother answered. There were guests in the family drawing room! But- Aunt Andromeda! How could he forget! Draco smiled, she was kind enough. Treated him fairly well, she was even concerned about the trauma he would eventually feel if he returned to school without talking about the events of last year. He remembered his shock when he had seen her for the first time, he almost ran back to his room to fortify it believing his evil woman of an Aunt was back. Standing by the door he listened intently, the two women were silent but something was making this weird gurgling sound, it was guttural. What was that thing? Curiosity taking over, Draco pushed the door open, his hand resting on the handle, waiting for permission to enter the room.
His mother and aunt were sitting next to each other on the sofa, watching a fat, little thing on the floor with huge elf ears and turquoise hair, trying to chase their house elf Erica. This weird thing? Being? Creature? Sure, Creature. This creature was tottering after the elf for a few steps before falling on his bottom and then crawling towards Erica who would always be just out of reach. Draco watched fascinated as the creature continued this game for two rounds before plopping down again, throwing his hands in the air and letting out a high pitched scream. Draco covered his ears. Was this creature a baby Banshee? His mother scooped the creature up in his arms, as he continued to scream and offered it her precious necklace. Draco's eyes widened; WHAT?! His mother wouldn't even let the house elves touch her jewellery and now she was handing her necklace to this unpredictable creature who stopped screaming, as he examined the necklace in his hands before throwing it with force on the carpet and clapping his hands. He stared at the creature as Erica picked up the necklace and offered it to his mother, who in turn offered it to this dark creature who was controlling his family. The creature turned and looked straight at him with large brown eyes which changed rapidly to stormy grey, the colour of Draco's eyes; its hair turned from turquoise to silver blond and the ears shrunk to human size.
Draco gasped loudly; the creature now looked like an innocent, miniature Draco. Is this how it was controlling its victims? By showing them innocent, undamaged versions of themselves? No wonder his mother and Aunt were entranced, after everything that they had been through, they would want to go back to a world where they still had innocence. But he was Draco Malfoy, he thought as he squared his jaw and glared at the creature that was sucking its fist watching Draco intently, he would not allow another dark being to take away what was left of his family. For a Malfoy, family always comes first.
Narcissa turned at sound of Draco's grasp. "Oh Draco! You are here! Good! I thought I would have to send Erica to your room again. Come on in, why are you standing at the door? Have you been standing at the door for long? Forgive me please. But this precious little bugger," His mother affectionately kissed the creature's forehead. "He always captivates me. Why are you still standing at the door? Come on in and say Hello to your Aunt and your cousin Teddy." Draco stepped in rigidly, eyes never leaving the creature who was cooing at his mother's hair pin. He narrowed his eyes as his mother smiled warmly at the creature. Why was the universe being so unfair? He was forced to become a death eater to protect his parents and now this creature was trying to steal his mother away from him. Wasn't life hard enough without this complication?
His mother cleared her throat. Draco jerked out of his trance and smiled at his Aunt and then turned around to look for his cousin. "Mother," Draco said cautiously, if the two witches were giving into the legendary Black family madness, he would have to handle it delicately. "Where is my cousin Teddy? I can't really see him anywhere." Andromeda choked on her tea. Narcissa looked her sister, their lips twitched. "He hasn't seen one ever, has he?" Andromeda asked, trying hard to mask her amusement.
"No. He only met children his age and most of Lucius' friends had just one child." Narcissa replied, eyes twinkling mischievously.
"Draco, what do you see in my arms?" His mother asked her face a serene mask again.
"A creature that looks like a more innocent version of me." He said looking at the creature with disdain. "Mother, I don't know what creature you would want keep here to avoid feeling lonely. But is the creature in your arm really safe? It changes its appearance at will; for all we know it could be a dark creature. Something like a more sinister and enticing form of a boggart." He burst out before he could stop himself, glaring angrily at the creature.
His mother and Aunt burst out laughing and the creature gave a shout of surprise before joining in the melee. Aunt Andromeda was wiping tears from her face and his mother had to put the creature down to regain her balance. The creature immediately advanced towards Draco, crawling towards him, lifting a sticky fist to beckon him towards it. Draco backed away till he hit a table; he froze in horror as the creature continued to advance towards him from across the room. "I apologise okay? Go back! Go back! Mother!" Draco said frantically, he didn't want another dark creature to touch or brand him. "MOTHER!" He all but screamed panicking.
His mother crossed the room and laid a hand on his shoulder to calm him, as his aunt picked up the creature who protested, his hair turning turquoise. "Calm down Draco." His mother chided him; he took a few deep breaths to calm himself. "And he is not a dark creature. That is your cousin Teddy. He is a metamorphmagus like his mother and that's what human babies look like when they are quite young. He is only six months old."
"I don't believe you!" Draco said wildly. "I never looked like that; neither did Theo or anyone else I knew."
"You don't remember looking like that, but you did. All human babies do."
"I didn't, I remember being small, like hardly reaching grandfather's knee but I was never that small."
"Narcissa, don't you have Draco's baby pictures?" Andromeda asked suddenly.
Narcissa huffed, "I wanted to take some pictures. But Abraxas and then Lucius claimed that proper pureblood wizarding families do not play with magical versions of muggle contraptions. And thus we would stick to the age old tradition of magical portraits. As if that wasn't a muggle idea at all!" she scoffed.
"So, are you saying that once upon a time I looked like that?" Draco asked jerking his head towards Teddy who was squirming in Andromeda's arms impatiently.
"Yes, but with blond hair and grey eyes, and you were smaller than Teddy at six months. You had started crawling and were attempting to support yourself against your crib. Teddy is advanced for a six month old baby." She mused looking thoughtfully at Andromeda.
Andromeda nodded, "We have a lot of theories. Nymphadora developed faster than babies her age. Metamorphmagus babies develop three months faster than their contemporaries but that is mental and emotional development. Meaning they would behave like a six months' old baby when they are just three months old. But Teddy is showing signs of advanced physical development too. He had us all worried, the healers said he is perfectly healthy and happy baby, but he is growing way too fast. Albus believes that the werewolf genes, combined with metamorphing genes have lead to his overall growth spurt but assures us that this would slow down as he grows older."
"Fascinating." Narcissa said as she watched Teddy tapping his grandmother's cheek impatiently growing more and more agitated. "I think he wants to be put down." She pointed out quietly. Draco cleared his throat, clearly wanting to say something but thinking the better of it. Teddy gave an excited squeal as was put on the ground and crawled rapidly towards Draco.
"M-m-m-m-mother!" He stammered, "Why is he coming towards me?" He asked looking at Teddy with fear.
Andromeda laughed, "Because you are someone new and he wants to know you. I was afraid that he would be a shy child, clinging on to me. But Harry and the Weasleys made sure that Teddy is used to a lot of people in the same room. Don't worry, he won't bite. He just wants to know the new person in the room."
Narcissa nodded, Draco didn't even register the names as he fearfully watched Teddy approach him. His mother and aunt had meanwhile moved to a different topic and the sofa. Draco watched them panicking slightly as he felt something tug his pants. Teddy was sporting blond hair and grey eyes again, looking uncannily like him and had his arms raised, fists beckoning Draco towards him. Draco stared at the child nonplussed. "Little Master wants you to pick him up, Master Draco." Erica squeaked her voice trembling with fear. Draco glanced at the elf. She was shaking like a leaf for acting so bold, a hand clamped tightly around her mouth. His father and then Voldemort had insisted on terrorising and torturing house elfs resulting in Erica and Pringle being the only house elves left in the Malfoy household. Draco like his mother had tried being kind to them, but his kindness extended to instructing them to not punish themselves harshly. "You don't have to punish yourself for helping me, Erica." The elf nodded, still shaking and staring at him fearfully. Teddy grabbed his pants again, tugging them, attempting to hoist himself against his leg.
Draco looked at Erica meaningfully, who squeaked in fear before picking Teddy up by lifting him from his armpits and hoisting him up above her head for Draco to pick him up. Draco hoisted Teddy to his face level, Teddy grinned, showing his little front teeth to Draco. Looking critically at the child who was grinning at him as his face was going red; Draco decided that babies were nothing terribly exciting unless they had an interesting talent like metamorphing abilities. Draco still held Teddy at an arm's length, when Teddy let out a breath, giggled; kicking his feet forward and a pungent smell surrounded Draco. He sniffed his armpits. No, he wasn't smelling so unpleasant. He looked at the pink coloured, blond haired glob in his arms suspiciously before pulling him close enough to take a sniff. Draco gagged, "Erica, take this infernal being away from me! The way he smells! Why would he do that?" He said loudly, ready to drop Teddy.
Erica snatched the baby away from Draco and disappeared with a soft crack. Draco sat down on the armchair across from his mother who looked up questioningly. "That- that- that- baby of yours smells terrible. I picked him up for less than a minute and he went red and started smelling horrible. I think the smell has settled down on my clothes, I can't get it away. Was I ever such a nuisance to you, mother?"
Andromeda and Narcissa laughed. It really was entertaining to see grown men be afraid of something as harmless as a baby. "Well, Draco. Now that you ask, you were worse." Narcissa replied, her twinkling. "You know Meda; he was so bad that at some point Lucius moved to the guest room to get away from the smell- as he called it. Draco had a very healthy composition and he was able to digest his food pretty fast, well it also meant he would banish it out from his body with equal speed. I think he banished it out on Lucius' hands when Lucius attempted to give him a bath." Andromeda and his mother burst out laughing. Draco blushed, it was rather embarrassing when someone talked about the things you don't remember doing.
"How did Lucius react?" Andromeda asked wiping tears from her eyes, still grinning.
"Screamed bloody murder. I had just lied down to take a nap and I ran to the bathroom, luckily an elf was helping him. He caught Draco as Lucius dropped the baby in disgust and then hurried off to help clean Lucius. Draco here was giggling like he had accomplished something in life."
Andromeda and Narcissa laughed some more as Draco looked away, trying to hide his own embarrassed smirk. Erica appeared with a soft crack with a clean and fresh smelling Teddy. Teddy saw Draco and squealed squirming to go to Draco. Narcissa and Andromeda smiled indulgently at Teddy. He looked at them questioningly and they nodded at him. "He won't smell again right?" He asked all three of them doubtfully. They smiled and shook their heads. "Teddy has already been fed, he has been cleaned now, he would probably play for a while and then sleep." Andromeda added thoughtfully. Draco nodded as Erica placed Teddy on his lap. Teddy grinned at Draco, imitating his looks. Teddy reached up, hoisting himself on his lap and tapped at Draco's cheek. "Yeth!" He exclaimed. "Haee (Harry), anma (Grandma), olly (Molly), orde (George). No. Yeth. Otlae. Why. Hutt." Teddy continued with his gibberish.
"He is trying to talk to you. He just listed out pretty much all the words he knew and then some." Narcissa supplied. "Andromeda, What do you say to leaving Draco here to bond with his cousin's child while I show you my rose garden? Merlin knows this has been long overdue."
"It is actually a very good idea, Cissy. Had Crabbe and Goyle not attacked the Burrow this summer, Draco would have met Teddy before. Well, lead the way to your rose gardens then."
"NO!" Draco said loudly. "Please don't leave me alone. I don't know what to- OW!"
Draco massaged the side of his head, as Teddy tugged at his hair trying to eat it. "Teddy! How many times have I told you, hair is not food." Andromeda chided as she pulled Teddy away from Draco.
"NO!" Teddy protested loudly, struggling against her grip.
"Erica, why don't you bring out some toys for Teddy," Narcissa said. "And Draco, Teddy's bag is on the coffee table, see if there are any toys and try and play with him." Draco nodded at his mother's orders.
Draco rummaged through the baby's bag, pulling out a stuffed stag, dog, wolf and dragon as well as a squishy ball and a train's engine. Andromeda placed Teddy on the ground amongst his toys. Teddy immediately grabbed the stuffed dog and started banging it on the floor, twisting it in ways that would kill a normal dog. "That kid has a violent streak." Draco muttered to himself. "Mother, he looks fine playing by himself. I will-" he quailed at his mother's glare. "Fine." He sighed, before sitting down in front of the baby who ignored him as he thumped the dog with all his power. Draco watched the elderly witches leave, as Erica returned with more toys. Erica placed the toys near Draco's elbow and bowed, "Don't leave me alone with him." He pleaded. The elf nodded but tottered off to a corner as she had clear instructions from the Lady of the Manor to let Draco bond with the baby.
Teddy climbed onto Draco's lap dragging his dog with him; he reached up to tap Draco's cheek before losing his balance. Draco caught him deftly, steadying him and then mimicking Erica's actions, he placed the child in his lap. "Pa'fu." Teddy said scratching the dog's ear.
"What's that?" Draco asked, surprised at the softness in his tone.
Teddy gave him a look, before grabbing his finger and laying it on the dog, "Pa'fu" he said again.
"Your dog is called Pa'fu?"
"Pa'fu." Teddy said before flinging the dog away and leaning to grab his wolf.
"So, the wolf is Ooony?"
"OOONY! DA!" Teddy screamed excitedly, thumping his wolf wildly.
"Okay, so what is this called?" Draco asked, pulling the stag to Teddy.
"You do have rubbish names for your toys don't you?" Draco asked grinning.
Draco spent the next hour playing fetch with Teddy, where Draco felt Teddy was using him as a dog; running after Teddy, making sure he didn't crash into anything delicate or dangerous as the kid insisted on crawling everywhere; Thrice Draco had to pry open Teddy's mouth following Erica's instructions to pull out a button, a glass bead and a cricket. Teddy kept him so busy that Draco had no room for any other thought. At the end of the hour, Draco lied down on the floor on his back letting Teddy use his legs as train tracks for his toy engine. Draco winced as Teddy banged the engine on his shin.
"Merlin kid! You are too small to cause so much of havoc." He said rubbing his shin, "Don't you ever get tired?"
"No." Teddy said, climbing on to his chest and lying there on his stomach. Erica cleared her throat making Draco jump. She took a vase from the nearby table patting it softly, her eyes darting from Draco's hand to Teddy who was lying on his chest, tapping his shirt button. Draco started patting Teddy hurriedly, but this seemed to make Teddy squirm. Draco tried to pat his back softly, rhythmically, allowing a couple of seconds between pats. Teddy settled down instantly, Draco realised that this kind of patting is actually very relaxing. Before any other though could make its way in his head, he had dozed off.
Andromeda and Narcissa returned to find Draco sprawled on the floor, with Teddy lying face down on his chest; both boys sleeping contentedly. Erica was in a corner, placing Teddy's toys in his bag, with another basket of toys near her feet. Narcissa nodded at Erica and stepped out into the hall.
"So, how did it go?" She asked Erica in a whisper.
"It was marvellous, Mistress," squeaked the little elf. "Master Draco was so busy playing with little master Teddy that he forgot to be unhappy. He is smiling in his sleep." Narcissa's eyes gleamed with pride and hope.
"Excellent, we must invite Andromeda more. Teddy is such a precious little being; I knew he would make Draco see the good things in our bleak conditions." Narcissa said before going back to the drawing room. Andromeda was fanning a photograph in her hand; she passed it to Narcissa with a small smile. The picture was perfect. Draco was sleeping with a smile on his face, one hand behind his head, the other holding Teddy whose hair had stayed blonde. Narcissa could almost see the future in this picture, Draco with his son.
"Should we wake them up? I am sure Draco must be famished. He slept through lunch." Narcissa said.
"If you must, I find the two of them quite content right now. He reminds me of Harry a little."
"Harry was terrified of holding Teddy for the first time. Then he was terrified of being left alone with Teddy for a day." Andromeda laughed. "He looked like a lost puppy when I told him he could have Teddy for a day, as I needed some rest." Narcissa giggled.
"Even the way they are napping. That's how Harry gets Teddy to settle down for a nap. He would pull Teddy on his chest; hum a lullaby and rock Teddy a little. He naps with Teddy most times. He is a big baby in many respects."
"I presume he is coping well with his role as a Godfather, then."
"Remus and Dora have both expressed that they might be Teddy's biological parents, but Teddy is Harry's first child."
"Do you resent that?"
"It hurt to hear them say this. But they are right. I doubted their choice when Teddy was born, but Harry does everything he could to give Teddy and me a family. Teddy is in many ways Harry's first priority and keeping in mind that he is hardly an adult himself or that he didn't really have a childhood he is doing very well. He is remarkably selfless." Narcissa nodded.
"May I ask you something?" Andromeda asked her sister.
"Why did you lie to him? In the forest, Harry told me you lied to him, why did you do that?"
Narcissa shrugged. "I was tired. Tired of waiting on a madman. He wasn't this crazy when he was gaining power, or maybe our interaction was limited so we didn't see it. But this time he had hijacked my home and held us prisoners in our own bedrooms. We brought Draco up in a world free from the nightmare that the dark Lord was and suddenly my son was living that nightmare. Draco is not really that bad. He has a generous heart, he just believed his father a bit too much. There was no point in telling him that Mr. Potter was alive. It would have led to more fighting and I was desperate to find Draco. Not to mention the fact that Harry Potter had survived two killing curses sent directly at him. I was hoping he would be able to rid us of the nightmare that the Dark Lord and later on Bellatrix was."
Andromeda sighed, "She killed Nymphadora you know. She killed my only child, my precious Dora and I still felt sad when I heard about her death."
Narcissa made a noise in the back of her throat, reaching out for her elder sister's hand, she squeezed it tightly. "She tortured Draco mercilessly. When he returned home after the death of Dumbledore, she tortured him for being weak. The next morning, Lucius and I found Draco dumped in the hallway of the manor, his own home. We feared we had lost him. It took him a month to wake up enough to drink a few spoonfuls of water before passing out again. She would come to me, asking me to let my weakling of a son die. I think she never understood what a mother would do for a child. That became her death in the end. I never pegged Molly Weasley to be such a fierce dueller."
Andromeda smiled grimly. "Molly is a generous woman. She gives love freely. No one would ever believe that she could turn out to be such a fierce dueller. From what I hear, her brothers Fabian and Gideon used to practice with her, so that she could protect herself and her children on her own. They say before the twins died, they admitted that they were afraid they had created a monster by training Molly to fight."
The two sisters sat in silence, watching their wards sleep peacefully, thanking their stars for this day of peace. The day of peace however was short lived. Teddy woke with a wail, his hair turning red in distress. Draco woke with a start, almost knocking down Teddy as he sat up. Andromeda snatched Teddy away in time, kissing away his tears, murmuring soothing words as Draco watched the baby with wide fearful eyes.
"What's wrong with him? I dozed off for a minute; I told you I won't be good at taking care of a baby. Did he eat something harmful? Merlin! How could I be so careless?" Draco rambled on in his distress.
"He had a nightmare." Narcissa said soothingly, "You were actually very good with him."
"Nightmare? What would such a tiny being that hasn't seen anything worthwhile in the world have a nightmare about?"
"The ancients believed that babies often dream about their past lives. That they are more connected with the time stream and their nightmares could thus range from a memory to a fear to maybe a future they see."
"He is just a baby! He hasn't got many coherent thoughts."
"He has coherent thoughts; he doesn't have the language to express himself coherently."
"Do you really believe that?"
"The ancients postulated it." Narcissa said with a shrug, "They study it in the department of mysteries. No one really knows what a baby thinks about. You could believe what you want to believe in."
Andromeda sat down with Teddy, who slid down her from lap and hugged Draco's leg. "He likes you. Almost as much as he likes his other uncles."
"We have more family?"
"No. His adopted Uncles, the Weasleys, Neville Longbottom, Sirius and James too."
"How can he like Sirius and James? They died right?"
"They did, but they have their portraits at the Potter Manor and they talk to Teddy all the time."
Draco looked down at Teddy who was busy sucking the hem of Draco's pants. "Why do you have to put everything in your mouth?" Draco asked Teddy exasperatedly, picking him up and settling him in his lap. "Up!" Teddy commanded throwing his hands up and then standing on Draco's lap with support of his shoulders. He tapped Draco's cheek "Otlae."
"He wants chocolate. His Godfather has spoiled him by giving him chocolate milk as soon as he asks for it. I have some in my bag, give to him. I think he wants you to feed him." Draco paled.
After learning the corrected technique of feeding and burping a baby, Draco felt pleased with himself when Teddy grinned at him.
"Teddy," Andromeda said. "What do we say when someone gives us chocolate?"
"An'u" Teddy said tapping Draco's cheek before giving him a rather wet and slobbery kiss on both cheeks and plopping down in his lap, playing with his stuffed wolf.
"Sorry about that," Andromeda said smiling, noticing Draco's stunned expression as he touched the wetness on his cheek. "Harry taught him to do that since Teddy allows only Harry, Molly, George, Ginny and me to feed him apart from Kreacher and rest of the house elves."
Draco looked at the harmless being in his lap. He felt pride and some other warm feeling filling his chest. This tiny being right here did not care that he was a Malfoy or a death eater. He had willingly liked Draco, even given him a special place in his life. This little creature had placed his trust on Draco. The world condemned him and sneered at his distress, but this creature had accepted him, no questions asked. Why didn't adults learn from the innocence of children? Why did they go about destroying their innocence? He remembered how his father and Aunt Bella, even that man had talked about the baby in front of him, as if he was an abomination on Earth. But if you look at it, Teddy was just a baby, the most trusting, loving and easy to love baby in the world. Why would anyone ever hate him for being born? Even he had shuddered at the thought of Teddy, imagining him to be more like a vicious animal than human. But weren't animals better than men? Men killed for the pleasure of killing, because they have the power to do so. Animals kill in their time of need, because they don't have another option. He felt guilt rip through him as he gently stroked Teddy's head, cupping it in his palm.
"Will he hate me?" He asked looking pleadingly at his mother, "Will he hate me when he finds out what I really am?" He looked away, that warm feeling in his heart giving way to something cold and painful and sharp, like a knife. Like the knife Bellatrix had used on him that night.
"I don't know." Andromeda answered gently, "So far he has shown he has great capacity to love and accept people. Maybe it won't matter to him when he grows up because you won't be a distant someone to him. He would know you as someone who cares about him and welcomes him to his home. I don't think much would matter to Teddy beyond that. I also believe that Nymphadora, Remus and Harry would make sure that he doesn't judge a book by its cover. Dora never did, or she wouldn't have married Remus."
Draco nodded, looking dejected. Andromeda smiled kindly, exchanging a look with Narcissa who was watching her son intently. "Hey Teddy," she said calling Teddy. "What's your name? Did you tell your new friend what your name is?"
Teddy looked up at his grandmother, unsure of what to do. "What's your name Teddybear?"
"Tetty." Teddy said giggling.
"And what's my name?"
"And what's her name?" Andromeda asked pointing at Narcissa
"Anissy" Teddy squealed throwing his hands up. Draco laughed at the name. His mother mock glared at him "It's a baby term for Great Aunt Cissy." She said sniffing slightly.
"Sure it is, Mother. Sure it is." Draco replied grinning.
"And what's his name?" Andromeda asked pointing at Draco.
Teddy looked at him brows furrowed, his hair rapidly changed colour. Draco looked at his Aunt, "Go ahead. Tell him your name." Draco shrugged.
"Teddy, my name is Drey-ko. Say Drey-ko."
"Treto." Narcissa laughed, "Close enough." Draco said hastily before sticking his tongue out to his mother and blushing immediately afterwards.
"So, what's his name, Teddy?"
"Treto." Teddy replied obediently.
"And what does a wolf say?"
"owooooooooo" Teddy tried imitating the howl of a wolf. Draco couldn't help but laugh at this miracle in front of him.
"Ask him something Draco. Go on." Andromeda encouraged.
"Umm… Hey Teddy, what does a dog say?"
"oof! Oof! Oof!" Teddy replied laughing at his intelligence. They continued this game for a while before Andromeda checked her watch and exclaimed that they really had to get going. They had promised Molly to be there for dinner and she had to pack before that as she was moving into the Potter Manor for the holiday season.
"Will you be coming to celebrate Christmas with us? I know you would like to have Dinner with them but can you please come and have lunch with us?" Narcissa pleaded with her elder sister, just like she used to when they were younger.
"Sure I will. We are family. I will see you for lunch on Christmas then." Andromeda said hugging Narcissa and then Draco, taking Teddy from Draco's arms in the process.
"Will you bring Teddy too?" Draco asked before his socialization could stop him from displaying his emotions.
"I will bring him along. He should celebrate Christmas with all of his family." Andromeda said before disappearing into the flames. Narcissa leaned onto Draco's shoulder as he put his arm around her. The Manor eerily quiet now as though it was missing something significant.
"How can one afternoon with a whirlwind of a baby change the Manor's serenity to eerie calm?" He asked his mother.
She smiled and patted his cheek, "The Manor felt dead when you left for Hogwarts the first time."
"Mum?" Draco asked losing all formalities with his mother.
"You haven't called me that since you were 10."
He blushed, "He won't hate me when he finds out; will he?"
His mother pulled him a hug, "I know he won't hate you. You can't hate someone who has showered you with nothing but love. I don't hate your father for his choices, because in the end he did love both of us. He made the wrong choices, but I didn't stop him either. I couldn't hate him when I saw that his punishment for his failure had broken him more than Azkaban could ever break him. He didn't even blink his eyes at night for the two months you spent in your torture induced coma. Do you hate him Draco?"
"No. He never treated me wrong."
"Exactly. Teddy will judge you on the basis of how you treat him. I don't think your choices or lack of them would matter. When the day comes and he asks about your mark or your role in the war, be honest with him."
"But he lost his parents in the war. They died because of death eaters."
"Yes and no. They died in the war, Nymphadora's own blood killed her. You did not raise a wand to kill anyone Draco. You are not a murderer. That in itself is a claim that very few people can make after the war. Don't worry it will be fine."
Narcissa woke up from a nightmare at one in the morning. She tried to go back to sleep, but the images of a sickly pale and still Draco kept flitting in her mind. Sighing she got out of bed and decided to check on Draco. Draco's room was empty; his bed looked like it hadn't been slept in. Narcissa shook her head slightly walking down to his study to ask him to coax him into taking a sleeping potion. Narcissa stopped dead in her tracks when she realized that the lights in the study were off, but the library was well lit. She peered in the library, "Draco." She called softly before entering it. She found Draco asleep on the couch, a book on magical games for babies open on his chest. Narcissa smiled, she hadn't seen that book since Draco was old enough for her to not refer to it. She picked up the book, carefully marking the page and setting it aside on the coffee table. A picture fluttered down, creating a slow graceful arc before settling down on the rug. Narcissa picked up the photograph which was taken that afternoon; she smiled at the peace and contentment on her son's face. Placing the photo on the coffee table, she ran her hand through Draco's hair, before conjuring a blanket and tucking him in. She then transfigured an armchair across the couch on which Draco slept to a small but comfortable bed and lied down to sleep. There was hope and healing for the damned after all.
AN:And that's a wrap. Hope you like it. Read and Review people. Happy Reading everyone. :D
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