'I'm sorry Mrs Malfoy, but its terminal.'
That's all Astoria could hear, for years after her husbands death, she blamed herself as any person would when faced with news that can break a family.
Her son, Scorpius was only 6 at the time when Mr Malfoy received the news of his impending expiration. Scorpius would follow his father around until the very last day, and even then he didn't truly know.
But, how could he? His mother mused, he was only a little boy.
'Mother.' Scorpius acknowledged the lying form as he walked uninvited to the master bedroom.
'Didn't Pilly teach you not to walk into rooms without knocking.' Astoria answered, closing her eyes against the light Scorpius brought by opening the curtains.
'Get up.' The voice was not of her son, but of a man with voice as cold as ice. Scorpius was no longer the little boy she once had.
He is every bit the man her husband was at his age.
Astoria laughs quietly to herself at the thought before hauling the duvet over her head in an attempt to get her son to leave.
But alas, running from your own imagination is a very hard feat to accomplish. However Astoria had much experience in running away from her own head, heart and soul.
Astoria knew that what she heard was but fiction, yet she was happy to wallow in the self despairing pity that consumed her. Happy to believe the cold voice was real, as real as it was when she first heard it.
'You want me to marry Astoria?!' Draco could be heard shouting from three corridors away. 'I will not do it!' Draco stomps his foot almost childishly at his mother.
'I am my own man, I thought when he was dead that would mean I could then have my own life, mother!' The man who was famous for his temper tantrums caught his breath and steeled himself against the aging woman. 'You cannot make me.'
Astoria remembers the soft laugh that resonated through the room, it chills her to the bone.
'But of course I can, my dear Draco.' In the distance Astoria hears the woman rising from her chair to confront the man. 'You may be an adult in the eyes of the law, but you are still my child, and after your fathers death you will carry on the one thing he truly wanted.'
There was a pause.
'Malfoy's do as they're told, Draco, that is the end of this discussion.'
Astoria still flinches in shock whenever she recollects this memory, Narcissa was never a cruel person, but the death of Lucius had hit her hard and Draco had always supposed that she had lost a part of herself in his death.
'You vile woman. You cause me nothing but pain.' Draco sneered at the young lady.
'But Draco, please, he is yours.' The woman insisted, her face the picture of pain.
'You are my wife's sister, he is not mine.' Draco spat.
Of course, Astoria muses, Draco could not hide it for long.
'I'm sorry Ria, its my fault.' Draco was crying, for the first time since he was a child himself, wracked with tears he had held for years.
'We'll raise him as our own.' Astoria says definitively, holding tighter onto the small form beneath her.
'Ria, I'm 19, we don't need a child.' Draco looks up at her, for the first time in since their union she sees hope.
'We can do it.' Came the response, not from Astoria but from Daphne, who had leant upon the door outside their room.
It was a feeble answer, yet as determined as her younger sister.
Astoria peeks through the gap between the duvet, she no longer hears Scorpius. She then moves to look at her fingers, they have gotten older, yet the ring is the same as the day she got it.
Astoria is now the sole owner of Malfoy Manor, her son only speaks to her in her dreams and Draco has not even granted her that.
'Ria, please, its been years.' Draco pleaded with his wife. He knew in the bottom of his heart that it was his fault she was acting in this fashion.
He had no idea when the war was over that his problems were only just beginning to surface.
'It is dead.' Draco shook the woman haphazardly, despite his best, he was never her son.
'How dare you call our son an it.' Astoria said, silence punctuating her every word.
'Daphne miscarried Astoria, you must get over this obsession you have!' Draco had never in his life been so angry, and helpless.
Mostly helpless. He had no idea what to say to his wife to placate her. It had been five years since his 'death'.
'Astoria, we can try again, you are only 22.' Draco said desperately, grabbing hold of his young wife's hand.
'He was everything to me Draco, and he left me.' She began to sob, inconsolable and heavy. 'Just like you left me for my sister.'
Draco had no answer for this, so he simply left his wife crying out her anger as he cursed the day his mother said Astoria Greengrass.
Draco was never a soft touch, Astoria admits to herself if no one else. She laughs to herself once more before sitting up in her bed, and as was a habit for the past few months, she feels over the side and feels the cold sheets against her fingertips.
Astoria always allowed herself the grief that came along with her husband cheating on her and the death of her child. She reminded herself constantly that her child was not in fact hers, yet whenever anyone asked if she had family she would say a son.
When they asked how old, she always replied 'Fourteen' with a smile as she remembers the first time she met his father.
'Miss Greengrass, you're prettier in person.' The handsome figure said, a knowing smirk displayed across his face.
'Of course Mr Malfoy, charmed I'm sure.' Astoria refrained from giggling as her boyfriend lifted her up and pressed her against the wall.
'We're going to be married some day, might as well practice.' Draco murmured, hot breath tracing her neck.
'Oh what would my mother say, a deatheater in training fucking her darling little Tori.' The girl looked up into the boys eyes, mirth dancing around the pupils that were growing larger.
'Oh I don't know Astoria, what would my mother say if she knew her darling pureblood boy was screwing around with a girl who seems to have only hit puberty in the last week.'
'That's just horrid, Draco, you and I both know how puberty has treated me.' Astoria laughed into Draco's chest, before grabbing him by his crown jewels.
'I suppose I do, little girl.' Draco chuckled before devouring her lips in a fight for dominance.
Astoria always wonders how time had changed from when she was 12 to when she was 17, certainly her feelings around the boy in question had not changed, but then war changes people in ways you cant explain.
'Scorpius?' Astoria called out into the empty house. 'I didn't think so.' The woman sighed.
There was no life in the manor anymore, not with Narcissa's untimely death not long after Draco. Astoria had no one to confide in, Daphne thought she was crazy and her parents weren't exactly supportive of her choices earlier on in life.
There was a truth Astoria had to face, she had been hiding behind it, willing it away for years. But on the dawn of her 30th birthday, she had decided enough was enough.
'There is no Scorpius, and soon there will be no Draco, please don't fret my love.' Draco was on his death bed, quite literally. He wasn't to be moved until 4 months later when Astoria realised it was detrimental to her and Narcissa's own health.
Still it was the nicest thing Draco had ever uttered to Astoria in all the time she had known him, never had he ever said 'I love you', this was as close as she would ever get.
She understood that Draco felt nothing but guilt towards his younger spouse, but this all consuming guilt left nothing else for him to give, Astoria felt more alone with him than without.
She was relieved when he finally died, yet could not seem to let go of him, the only part of Scorpius she ever truly had, had died.
When Astoria was told of her husbands death, she didn't mourn for her husband but the life she knew she would never see. She had opportunity to have a child, but she loved her Scorpius and saw him in Draco.
She never cried for him after Draco's death.
The months that followed Draco's death and his final burial, she made a burial of her own and laid in it for hours, every day for two weeks. Astoria had lost everything she could have hoped to love, her selfish dream had been shattered.
And so she made up her mind to see him again, everyday until her 30th birthday she saw her Scorpius grow into the man she believed he would be, exactly like his father, she heard him, believed him, but every time she grasped through to try and see him, he disappeared.
Her boy who had never lived, she mused.
So, she thought once more, on the wake of her 30th birthday, the curtains open and the duvet stretched over her head, she decided.
Astoria got up for the first time since Draco's death 8 years ago, and made herself pretty.
She saw the stress lines and the grey hair beginning to form, and chose to ignore it.
She put on her best perfume and her best going out dress, put on her coat and apparated to Head Auror's Office, without any time to lose.
'Astoria?' A man with black untamed hair asked, walking through the door.
'Ah yes, Mr Potter, this lady is saying it is urgent that she must see you immediately, but she doesn't have an appointment.' Riley, his assistant said.
'Let her in, and cancel all other appointments I have today Miss Mannell.' Harry said, ushering the prematurely aging lady through the door.
'Of course Mr Potter' was heard as the man closed his door, effectively privatising the conversation they were about to have.
'Hello Mr Potter, I hope I'm not disturbing anything.' Astoria said, taking a seat next to his work desk.
'Um, no not at all.' Harry said, quickly typing out an apologetic text to Ron, saying he could not meet this lunch. 'Is there anything in particular you need?' He asked setting himself down at his desk.
'Draco, always said you helped him after the war ended, and that he owed his life to you.' Astoria began, clearing her throat. 'I was wondering, if for the same price, you could do the same for me.' Astoria looked like the epitome of confidence when she looked into the mans eyes.
However, Harry knew better.
'Of course, Mrs Malfoy, sorry for your loss.' Somehow, Astoria knew that he was not talking about her husband.
'I need your help forgetting.' Astoria's calm façade crumbled, as she looked searchingly in his eyes.
'Astoria, you know I cannot do what you're asking.' Harry looked sympathetically at her small form.
'Please Mr Potter, I am asking not for me, but for him.' She whispered. 'The life I ruined.'
Harry understood, Draco had become an unlikely friend in the last years of his life and knew of Astoria's pain, he had also agreed to help her when the time came. Another debt, Draco promised to repay some day.
'Your family loves you, Tori.' Harry reached over to put a hand on her arm.
She flinched before moving away.
'Harry.' She said almost like a prayer. 'Please.' It was a cry for something he couldn't give. 'I have no one.'
'If you let me, I can help you another way.' Harry said reaching out for her once more.
'Mr Potter, I will not engage in a rendezvous with you!' She recoiled immediately, straightening her back a look of rage circling her features.
A loud, almost barbaric laugh filled the room.
'Oh Mrs Malfoy, please that was not – eh – my intention.' Harry's laughter continued for another few seconds as Astoria lost any composure she may have had and stood up facing the door.
'I'm sorry for bothering you Mr Potter.' Astoria said as pleasantly as she could muster before opening the door.
'Oh Mrs Malfoy! I'm so sorry, wait please!' Harry cried, mirth quickly leaving his eyes.
Harry put himself in a state of panic.
'Please, please Mrs Malfoy, I meant nothing –' Harry was interrupted by laughter of his own.
Astoria, albeit subdued, was giggling slightly.
'Harry, I have been angry, sad and happy all in the space of five minutes of entering this room.' Astoria said smiling slightly. 'I haven't felt any emotion for 8 years, this is a big step.'
She had tricked him. Harry couldn't be any happier.
'Well of course, I had to test you.' Astoria smirked at Harry's shocked face. 'Draco said you could be soppy, I had to see it for myself.' Astoria let go of the door handle. 'I've had enough time to be sad Mr Potter.'
'Then you wouldn't mind coming with me?' Harry answered, as giddy as a child entering Honeydukes.
'Of course not, Its not like I have anywhere else to be Harry, you should know, you've been the one opening my curtains every morning and cooking me breakfast.'
Harry blushed slightly before grabbing her arm,
'It was a promise to a friend.'
When they appeared in the Weasley's kitchen, they were instantly surrounded by the whole family.
'It took you long enough to convince her, ey Harry?' George laughed, punching Harry lightly in the arm.
'Come in, come in, please, we were just about to set down and eat.' The matriarch bustled through, giving Astoria a big hug before leading her to her chair.
'The whole family is here.' Ginny says, as she hugs Harry.
'Why?' Astoria asks puzzled.
'Waiting for you.' Harry says smiling. 'Draco wanted to give you the family you always wanted there's more than enough of us to go around.'
'You got that right mate!' Ron's laughter could be heard from the small living room.
'The food's going to be cold, sit, sit!' Molly said, hurrying to serve all the food, that could feed five armies.
I suppose being family with the Weasley's isn't the worst thing Astoria expected when she woke up this morning.