"Love comes from the most unexpected places…”
Draco Malfoy thought, as he walked somberly down a Muggle pier with his son to complete a ritual begun four years ago; a ritual that allowed father and son to remain connected to the woman who had given them life, albeit in very different ways. “Unexpected” was an understatement for the way they had found love on a battlefield, fighting savagely for opposite sides. Fighting desperately to uphold beliefs they had been born into, beliefs that had kept them apart their entire lives.
When they had reached the end of the pier, Draco took the small boy into his arms and placed him on the railing, keeping a steady hand on his back and checking for the presence of early risers. As expected, they were quite alone.
Father and son looked at the heart carved in the railing between them. The years had taken their toll on the rail, the color bleaching in the sun, the wood cracking as the seasons passed. The blood red of the heart however, remained as vibrant as it had been the day it was carved, four years ago.
With the mechanical precision of actions long practiced, Draco withdrew a small vial from an inside coat pocket and a silver knife from his belt. Removing the stopper from the bottle, he emptied three drops of Ginny Weasley’s blood into the heart, then pricked his finger and added three drops of his own. Glancing at his son – their son – Draco realized that the boy had his own finger held out solemnly, ready to make his own contribution. Appraising the four-year-old, Draco finally nodded once and pricked the boy’s pointer finger. When the blood welled up, three drops were added to the mixture.
Satisfied with the preparations, Draco drew his wand and muttered the incantation. Holding his son close, they watched together as the head of a silver creature began to emerge from the puddle of blood inside the heart. Before long, the spirited creature had materialized completely, and began prancing about the pair watching from the rail. The silvery substance of Ginny’s Patronus was barely visible in the early morning fog, but made its presence known by the comforting feeling it spread to the quiet observers.
Reaching out a tentative hand, Draco caressed the head of the filly, eyes closed, breathing in Ginny’s familiar scent, feeling her presence enveloping him in the warmth and joy he had always come to associate with her. The silvery filly approached the small boy next, nuzzling him affectionately and whickering softly when he patted her head.
Too soon, the filly began slowly to fade. As the silvery substance finally let go of the form it held and became one with the early morning fog, father and son felt the caress of gentle hands on their faces, and the wind seemed to whisper:
I love you…