A Malfoy Must Be
A Malfoy must be strong.
Draco remembers when his father returned from Azkaban. He was so pale and small and frail and nothing like the last time Draco saw him. He was a shell of his once self, nothing like the father he once knew. He was weak to both the Dark Lord’s whims and his own fears. Draco’s weakness was no better.
A Malfoy must never show any fear.
Draco remembers when he first saw the spark of fear in his father’s eyes. It was his fourth year leading into his fifth, the Dark Lord had just returned to full power and he was displeased at his father’s apparent abandonment in his cause. The loss of some important diary was no help to his father’s standing in the Dark Lord’s order either. Tensions were from then on were high within the Malfoy family. Draco secretly feared for his father.
A Malfoy must never fail.
Draco remembers hearing from his father’s fellow Death Eaters on how his father failed to secure the prophecy. Just like he failed in protecting the Dark Lord’s precious book. His father was captured and arrested by the Aurors and sent to Azkaban immediately due to his failed mission. Draco in turn was given a mission he too was doomed to fail in.
A Malfoy must be the best.
Draco remembers those bloody Gryffindors. First Granger topping the charts in every class but Potions and then Potter beating him at Quidditch and playing Seeker. Even Weaseley seemed to fare better than him on some level or another. His father was most displeased with this news. He was the best in school just like his father before him. And his father before him. And his father before him. And so on and so forth. But now his father was not the best at anything, surely not the best Death Eater, that honor now goes to Professor Snape. The great slayer of Dumbledore. Draco too seems to be forever not destined to be the best.
A Malfoy must never hesitate.
Draco remembers lowering his wand. He had a sure victory in front of him, the great Dumbledore was disarmed, no witness was in sight and he lowered his wand. His family’s life was in danger, his life was in danger, the other Death Eaters were on their way and he lowered his bloody wand! He had a lack in faith in his Lord, not the first mind you and certainty not the last, but for once at a most crucial moment. He hesitated. This allowed Professor Snape to swoop in and steal his glory. A glory he didn’t deserve anyway. Glory is not meant for those who hesitate in their task.
A Malfoy must be the leader.
Draco remembers actually filling that role. Before his family fell down in the ranks of importance in the Dark Lord’s circle and his position as Slytherin Prince went down the drain with it. Goyle and Crabbe would waddle on by his side, an impenetrable wall of muscle and the pretty Pure-Blooded girls would flock to him in hopes of being the next Malfoy bride. All gone now. He is no longer the leader.
A Malfoy must stay loyal to the Malfoy name.
Draco remembers the one time he betrayed his father’s trust. It was when Potter was captured and brought to his home. His lonely Manor. He lied and said he didn’t recognize him. He didn’t know who he was he claimed. He freely gave up his chance to turn him in. Get revenge for all those years of belittlement. He willingly refused to help his father regain his position as the Dark Lord’s right hand man. He might as well of orchestrated Potter’s escape on his own. He was not loyal to the Malfoy name or the Dark Lord himself at all that day.
A Malfoy must never give up.
Draco remembers being full of determination. To beat Potter or fulfill this task or that task for his father. Now as he watches the violent battle on his former school’s grounds from a distance he just wants to crawl into a ball and hide. Instead he just watches. Never wavering or attempting to help or hinder either side. He and the entire Malfoy family have given up on this battle. They have given up on the Dark Lord. They have given up on this war.
A Malfoy must never cry.
Draco remembers his sobs echoing throughout Moaning’s Myrtle’s bathroom. He remembers her soothing coos and ignorant reassurances. He tried to explain the hopelessness of his situation to her but Potter, of course it was Potter it was always bloody Potter, interrupted him. Best thing Potter ever did, what was he thinking trying to use a ghost as counsel. Then he nearly ripped his chest open. The pain was excruciating. He felt his precious pure blood, red and warm poring out onto his crisp, white uniform shirt. He remembered his eyes filling with tears again, but this time it was because of the pain as he lay on the cold, hard floor. Bested by Potter again. And Potter just stood there murmuring ‘no, no, no’ until Professor Snape swooped in and saved his life. As he was being healed he turned his head from Professor Snape’s piercing obsidian gaze. Draco didn’t want anyone, even his favorite professor, to see him cry.
A Malfoy must never bow.
Draco remembers the first time he saw his father bow. It was of course to the Dark Lord, then his whims, then the perils of Azkaban, then the Dark Lord’s whims again and then to his own cowardice by backing out of the war. Draco himself bowed to the Dark Lord and eventually to his own fears. Ever since his triumphant return from death all the Malfoys seemed to bow to him and his rules. All of them except his mother. She refused to bow in the end and betrayed her supposed lord and master to aid Potter in his quest. How ironic that the only Malfoy to never truly bow was actually a Black by blood.
A Malfoy must never fall.
Draco remembers the most important rule of all. Keeping the Malfoy name relevant and as important as possible in high society. Throwing vast parties, showing off their endless riches, securing government positions and showing all those worthless blood traitor families how high up the Malfoy family was in comparison to theirs. No more. The Malfoy name fell with the Dark Lord’s short-lived reign. It was about as low as the Weaseley’s name once was, an ironic twist to being on the wrong side of the war. With his father locked back up in Azkaban for the next century and his mother only being a Malfoy by marriage it was up to restore the family name to its former glory. In the new, tolerant wizarding world it will have to be done in a far different way from the old-fashioned Malfoy tactics. Draco himself could not do it. His father had poisoned him with the old ways and twisted his mind for far too long. It was too late for him. Draco knew that despite his now changed outlook, his eyes now opened wide to the reality around him, he would never be taken seriously in the new, pro-muggle society. His chance was gone. It would take a new breed of Malfoy to restore their former glory. This time they would not fall. Not ever again. Draco was sure of it.
“And make sure to send your mother, grandmother and I a letter everyday to let us know how you’re fairing at Hogwarts. Leave absolutely nothing out, you know how your grandmother worries,” Draco said as he straightened Scorpius’ tie. They were right in front of the Hogwarts Express preparing Scorpius for his first year at Hogwarts. Draco had already warned him about Peeves and Filch roaming the halls at night while Astoria instructed him on proper study habits and mannerisms towards the teachers and staff. Astoria. The one thing in his life he had chosen for himself. She was beautiful, intelligent, sweet and best of all wanted Draco for himself. Even after the Malfoy name fell she was still there with open arms. Together they would rebuild it. Together they would change it.
“What if I don’t end up in Slytherin, father?” Scorpius’ lip trembled at the very thought of ending up in a different house from his beloved father and mother’s. Draco first looked at his wife who smiled gently at him and then he turned his grey eyes to the matching set staring up at him.
“It doesn’t matter what house you end up in, Scorpius. As long as you’re happy and healthy, that is all that matters to us,” Draco wisely and truthfully replied as he stroked his son’s hair. In the distance he saw Potter and his gang and he couldn’t help but nod in their direction as he turned back to his only son, the only child he had in this world who was about to be whisked miles away from him for the first time in his young life. Draco could feel the tears prick his eyes as he watched Astoria embrace their son one last time. He forced them back. Draco would be strong. For Scorpius. For Astoria. For his mother. Not as a Malfoy but as Draco, the father, the husband, and lastly the son. That was all that mattered now.