Title: The Singles Plan
Fic Word Count: ~1050
Rating: K (G)
Warnings (if any): None
Summary: (Son of) Single Father Seeks (Mostly) Kind Witch
Author's Notes: This is the companion piece to the “Second-best Single,” which was submitted to the 2016 Dramionelove Promptfest. All my love, always, to teddyradiator for her encouragement, and thanks to rzzmg for hosting dramionelove on Livejournal.
Disclaimer: "Harry Potter" is the property of J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. This work of fiction/art was created entirely for fun, not for profit, and no copyright infringement is intended.
“Father, what’s a ‘singles’?” asked Scorpius Malfoy at the breakfast table.
“Hmm?” His father sipped his coffee as he read the newspaper.
“This page is called Singles, which makes no sense. ‘Single’ means one. How can you have more than one one? If you did, there’d be two.”
“May I see?” asked Father. Scorpius hopped down and came round the table. His father drew him into his lap. “First of all, Witch Weekly is less than appropriate reading material for a six-year-old. Where did you get it?”
They turned to the page that had been puzzling Scorpius. “Oh, I see,” said Father. “Singles are adults who want a witch or wizard to marry.”
“Oh, just like...”
His father glanced away, and Scorpius knew he was remembering Mother, missing her. He’s a single, too, thought Scorpius suddenly, but he needn’t be.
There was a knock, and Nanny appeared at the door. “Right,” said Father briskly. “Off you go, or I’ll be late for work.”
Scorpius did as he was told, but his mind was elsewhere. He had a plan.
Nanny annoyed Scorpius the entire morning with her trivial errands around Diagon Alley. He couldn’t find a moment alone to execute his new plan.
Finally, she took him to Fortescue’s to reward his forbearance. She bought him a generous sundae, sat him down at an outdoor table, and popped off to the ladies for (he suspected) a smoke or two. Scorpius immediately pulled out his battered Witch Weekly, along with parchment and quill, and set to work. But a shadow soon fell over him. It was a red-haired girl about his age, peering at his magazine.
“That page is for grown-ups only,” she informed him bossily. She had a yo-yo in her hand, which she flicked with expert precision.
“Go away.” He went back to work, but she did not take the hint.
“Are you advertising for a wife?” She sniggered.
Scorpius hated being laughed at, so he hastened to correct her. “It’s for my dad. He’s a single father.”
“Well, then, you should say so. Put ‘single father’ here.”
“Go away,” he said again. But he scratched out “boy, age six,” and wrote “single father.”
“‘Single father seeks kind witch,’” the girl read out loud. “That’s good.”
Fearing Nanny would soon return, Scorpius began to fold up his work again. The girl regarded him for another moment, then seemed to make up her mind. “If your dad is looking for a witch, he can have my mum.”
“Your mum?” Scorpius stopped to consider this. “Is she kind?”
“Yes! I mean, mostly.”
“Is she single?”
“Oh, yes. She says so all the time. She’s always crying about it to my auntie Luna when she thinks I’m not around. She says my dad doesn’t want her anymore, she’s an old maid, she’s going to shrivel up and no one will ever want to shag her, whatever that is. So your dad can have her.”
Scorpius had to admit the idea sounded perfect. Instead of writing to the Singles page and hoping for replies from strangers, he had a lock on one mostly kind witch right now. The woman had a daughter; shouldn’t that mean she could get along with a father? And by extension, the father’s son? He made his decision.
“Alright, we’ll take her.”
“Brilliant! Just so long as your dad promises to shag my mum.”
Scorpius frowned doubtfully. “What is shag, exactly?”
The girl shrugged. “I don’t know, but I guess it’s really important to her.”
“Well, I guess he could, if he had to.” It was such a tiny word. How hard a favor could it be? He decided they would cross that bridge when they came to it.
He saw Nanny approaching at last, so he quickly asked for the girl’s address, which he scribbled on his parchment. He would write her tonight. “What’s your name?” he asked.
“Rose Hermione Weasley,” she said.
Rose was a useful confederate. She knew plenty and had many devious little ideas to share. They decided to arrange a meeting for their parents in London. Soon they agreed upon a time and place.
Scorpius instinctively knew that a plan of this magnitude would only suffer if he tried to explain it to his father. The meeting must be accidental. So Scorpius employed a roundabout approach, alternating a sudden, boyish enthusiasm for boa constrictors with merciless guilt about how his father never took him anywhere. It worked, and on the appointed day, Father and Scorpius Apparated to the London Zoo.
Rounding a corner by the reptile house, Scorpius spied Rose coming toward them through the crowd, clutching her mother’s hand. As they neared, he nodded. Rose already had her yo-yo in her hand.
“Watch my new trick, Mum!” she squeaked. The yo-yo snapped out, circled wildly and wound clear around Father’s legs. Father fell heavily against Rose’s mother, and they both went down in a tangle of limbs.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, Miss--”
“Granger!” Father quickly stood and held out a hand to Rose’s mother. “I mean, Weasley. Mrs. Weasley, rather ... Are you alright?” Scorpius had never heard his father so flustered. It had not occurred to him that they might be acquainted already.
“I’m fine.” Rose’s mother took his hand and stood shakily, laughing a little. “What a surprise! I didn’t recognize you out of your Healer gown. I mean, erm...”
“I could say the same. You look just ...” His vague gesture took in her whole aspect. Scorpius hoped she would not be offended, as she looked rather nice in her sundress and sandals.
“Oh, thank you!” Mercifully, Rose’s mother seemed flattered. And before too long, they had begun to stroll arm-in-arm, chatting about grown-up stuff, not even paying attention to the animals. The children trailed behind, periodically admiring their handiwork.
By the time they reached the penguins, Rose was certain the two adults were safely in love. Scorpius felt the glow of a job well done, while Rose’s thoughts had already turned to the future.
“We’ll move in with you and your father, of course,” she said. “I’ve always wanted a brother.”
Scorpius groaned. He would have to live with a girl! Well, no great plan was without its flaws.