A newborn child. If anything is a symbol for hope, for joy, surely that must be it.
That is why we smiled through the party. It is what is expected of us. We have a healthy child, a son at that. What can I ask for when I have an heir? But after they all have left, I look at Narcissa, and she averts her gaze. The mask she has put on for our visitors fades, and all that is left is emptiness.
How can I love our son when he will always stand as a reminder for the other child that we lost? How can he bring joy when the woman I love has barely smiled since she brought him home from the hospital?
Of course it is unfair towards the child. I don’t want to hate my only son. But all I can think of is how much I love Narcissa, and that because of what this boy represents, I might never be able to make her smile again.
She often sits by his cot now, in the nursery, and just looks at him. Her back is always towards the door as her long, delicate fingers play with the owls on the mobile above Draco’s head. I never enter. If I disturb her, her attention will be on me, and I just don’t know how to help her anymore. I thought it was money that would ultimately determine whether I was a good husband and father. I would give every last Knut away if I knew how to make her happy.
The nursery is painted blue, with the pink tendrils Narcissa wished for. She added them herself; it kept her occupied for one afternoon. I can see her sitting in there again, on her chair beside the cot as always. She has her wand in her hand and is making three beautiful silver lights dance in front of her. There is a small blubber and something resembling a laugh from within the cot, and I realise that Draco is awake. I feel a sudden stab at my heart. How can I love him?
For the first time, I step into the nursery, carefully and silently. I don’t know yet if I want her to notice me. But my steps take me to the cot, and before I know what I’m doing, she is right in front of me.
She still doesn’t see me though. Her eyes are on our son as he laughs and reaches for the silver orbs.
She is smiling.
Suddenly, it all becomes clear. This small, tiny child is not what is causing her grief. Draco is all that is still keeping her going. He makes her smile.
He’s the only hope that’s left. For her. For us. And one day, possibly, he will have given her enough happiness that I can make her smile again as well.