You are viewing a story from harrypotterfanfiction.com


Brilliant Creatures by durotar

Format: Novel
Chapters: 9
Word Count: 41,904
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Contains Slash (Same-Sex Pairing), Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Drama, General, Romance
Characters: Harry, Draco, Teddy, Scorpius, Albus, James (II), Lily (II), Hugo, Rose, OC
Pairings: Other Pairing, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione

First Published: 09/29/2007
Last Chapter: 06/23/2009
Last Updated: 06/30/2009

Summary:
banner ¦ twilightave at TDA




The new generation always seems wilder than the previous one. The rule applies to Hogwarts; this new generation seems to live for parties, vulgarity, illegal substances and immorality. But such freedom and freshness never lasts for long, just like the innocence they once held so dear. When you live on the wild side and risk everything, you always crash harder.


Chapter 1: Prologue
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns any characters and places you recognise. I'm just a humble writer trying to make part of the wonderful world she's creating my own.


Summary: We meet Albus Potter and an array of other characters. The Sorting takes place, some people get thoroughly annoyed, and the power of a Malfoy begins to settle over the Slytherin first years.


Song: Title of this chapter and the lyrics used are from the song Prologue by Kate Bush.


Author Notes: Welcome to Brilliant Creatures. I should probably get some boring warnings out of the way before I let you read the prologue. In this fic, there is excessive swearing, same-sex pairings, sex scenes, alcohol, drugs, and a little violence thrown in there occassionally. When it's rated mature, it really is...mature. If you're offended by any of that stuff, I pity you. I also advise you not to read on. However, if you're up for it, I hope you read and - more importantly - enjoy. Reviews are very much appreciated, too.




[Scorpius Malfoy, glancing across at Albus Potter]
credit to the almighty SaphiraLupin at TDA!



Prologue



We're gonna be laughing about this.
We're gonna be dancing around.
It's gonna be so good now.
It's gonna be so good.





*




I

 

The hall was cavernous and foreboding as the first years trailed in, it’s high ceiling glossed with stars and its ground lined with large tables, upon which sat the silent and watching students and teachers of the school. Albus’s mouth was dry, and his robes felt odd-fitting upon him, swinging uselessly against his trembling body.

Beside him walked Rose, bright and cheerful, though with a worry in her brown eyes. Her long red hair caught the starlight, shining and glittering, and Albus stared at it, hoping to distract himself from the inevitable nausea as they come to a halt before a crooked wooden stool and a decrepit hat.

Professor Longbottom, deputy Headmaster and Professor of Herbology, stands beside the stool, beaming at all the new first years, his eyes picking out Albus and Rose easily. Albus smiled nervously back - the teacher was best friends with his parents - and moved his gaze slowly to the immobile hat. Didn’t his father say it was supposed to sing to them?

As the thought crept through his mind, the brim of the hat opened wide, and a deep, slow voice echoed through the hall, calling the attention of all present. It marched on through the silence, telling a musical tale of the four houses, and Albus listened with rapt attention. He had no idea which house appealed to him, even though he knew his entire family wanted him and Rose to be placed in Gryffindor. He simply didn’t feel brave enough.

After all, how could he ever measure up to his father?

Hufflepuff for the fair of heart … he didn’t think he was particularly fair at heart. He wasn’t overly generous or kind, especially when compared with some others. He was just plain, unlike his kind and sweet grandmother Molly, and he felt suddenly fearful that he was extremely selfish and never able to fit in Hufflepuff.

Ravenclaw for those of a wise spirit … he definitely wasn’t wise. He never knew how to comfort or advise anybody, not like his Aunt Hermione who always knew the right thing to say. Ravenclaw would never accept him, and this hurt him, as he knew it to be a great and respectable house.

Slytherin for those with ambition deep inside … did he have any ambition? He didn’t believe so, he simply wanted to be sorted and get this horrible ordeal out of the way. Unlike James, he had no high needs or wants in life, he simply wanted peace and calm.

Gryffindor with bravery in their blood … he was definitely not destined for Gryffindor. His father, the great Harry Potter, was the epitome of brave. He had done so much in his life, already by Albus’s age he had survived horrors. What had Albus done? Avoided being murdered by James and his outlandish pranks, but that was about it…

The names were now being read out, and with each sorting Albus winced. He would give anything for one of them to struggle with being sorted, however selfish it sounded - he just knew he wouldn’t be sorted easily, if at all. The first name he recognised was that of “Malfoy, Scorpius”, and he couldn’t help but look up.

His father had often spoke of Draco Malfoy, but it was always in a strange tone - a mix of reservation and disapproval. His uncle Ron, however, had been much more crude and open about the matter, and Albus got the distinct impression the Malfoys were no good. He was, understandably, intensely curious about the son that came from his father’s enemy.

Scorpius was slight, but taller than Albus, his movements composed as he walked up to the stool. His hair was very light blonde, and fell neatly to his ears, his eyes wide and grey. He looked expressionless, and he perched tidily on the stool, pulling the hat over his eyes.

There was a long, tense minute, and Albus saw Professor Longbottom seeming somewhat apprehensive. Then, making a lot of people jump, the hat opened it’s brim once more and shouted;

Slytherin.”

Scorpius stood without hesitation, placed the hat back onto the stool and walked calmly over to the cheering Slytherin table. Albus lapsed once more into worry and panic, watching the line of waiting students gradually falling in number until, at last, Professor Longbottom looked up smiling and spoke cheerfully,

“Potter, Albus.”

Somehow the silence became more pronounced, as the eyes of all present sought out the new Potter boy, wondering after his famous family. Albus’s cheeks tinged with pink and, stumbling across the floor, he made his way towards the stool and hat. It was a shorter journey than he had imagined, and too soon he had reached Professor Longbottom, who beamed encouragingly.

With trembling hands, he picked up the old, mouldy hat, sat himself heavily upon the stool and pulled onto his mess of black hair. It fell over his eyes, obscuring his view of the filled hall, and when the small voice spoke in his ear, he jumped horribly.

“Ah, a Potter?” it questioned, and Albus winced at the unspoken expectations. “Hm, well, this is an unusual mind. You’re a difficult one. Your brother and parents haven’t seemed to have much influence on your spirit, inside you have a thirst for greatness and power, even if you have not yet discovered it…”

Alarm flooded Albus’s thoughts then, but before he could defy these accusations, the voice rang loudly so that the whole hall could hear;

Slytherin!”

 

 


II

 

“James!” Albus cried, trying to resist being dragged along the corridor by his elder brother. “James, let go of me - I didn’t mean it!”

James ignored the indignant squeaks and carried on the march through the school, looking for somewhere secluded enough for them not to be overheard. Finally, he found the appropriate place, pushing back the tapestry and shoving his little brother into it. His brother backed into the wall of the passage, and James glared down into the face, into his burning green eyes.

“Slytherin!” James shouted, and Albus flinched. “What do you think you’re playing at?”

“It wasn’t my fault!” Albus murmured, covering his burning face with his hands. “It was the Sorting hat! I didn’t ask to be put there, honest!”

“What will Mum and Dad say?” James sighed, kicking the wall, livid. “Oh, and Uncle Ron! You’re going to embarrass the entire family to everyone. A Potter in Slytherin! Does family mean nothing to you?”

“Dad said it wouldn’t matter if I’m in Slytherin.” Albus began to cry, his body shaking with his sobs. James shook his head, softening slightly. He had always loved his brother, despite however he acted toward him, and the sight of the younger boy crying drained him of his anger.

“Look, Al, don’t cry,” James pleaded, biting his lip. “Alright, calm down. Calm down.”

Albus stemmed his tears as quickly as possible, taking deep, shuddery breaths, and looking up at his brother through tears. James shook his head again, smoothing the boy’s black hair down. Albus wiped his cheeks, and asked, voice shaking, “Do you - do you hate me now?”

“’Course not, Al,” James sighed, trying to find the right words from his twelve-year-old mind. “Okay, right, I’m sure no one will say anything horrible at home. It’s just - I mean, you’re supposed to be in Gryffindor. That hat is obviously going senile.”

Albus smiled weakly, and James grinned. “I’m sorry, really. I didn’t mean to be in Slytherin.”

“It’s - well, it’s not okay. But there’s nothing we can do. You’ll just have to be the best Slytherin there is and prove everyone wrong, yeah?”

“Yeah,” Albus echoed, beaming now. “We’re still brothers?”

“Of course we are,” James scoffed, slinging an arm around the smaller shoulders. “We always will be.”

 

 


III

 

Albus pulled his pyjama top over his head, hands shaking with nerves. His fellow Slytherin first years were changing around him, making small talk, but mostly keep themselves to themselves. Being the first to be changed, Albus stole a quick glance around them, wondering who he would have to spend the next seven years sleeping beside.

There were four other occupants. The first, Kaito Sato, was a tall, Japanese boy, with dark eyes and chin length dark hair. Secondly was Dexter Forest, short and pale, with wide brown eyes that scanned the room nervously. Thirdly, Milo Eights, cool and haughty, with masses of copper curls and olive skin. Lastly, Scorpius Malfoy leant against his bed post, staring around at everybody, only half-dressed. He had pale blonde hair and a thin face, with contrastingly colourful grey eyes. They were colourful in a strange sense - they were intense, alive, at odds with his expressionless face.

Albus and Scorpius’s eyes met, and they gazed at each other for a moment. A faint crease appeared between the latter’s eyebrows, and he opened his mouth to speak. Before a sound came out, Kaito spoke, voice somewhat curious.

“You’re a Potter.”

Albus jumped and turned to him, feeling suddenly defensive. “Yes, I am.”

“Harry Potter’s son?” Dexter asked, eyes even wider. “Harry Potter’s son?”

“Well, yeah,” Albus muttered, cheeks glowing red. He had expected this odd admiration, but it didn’t make it any easier. In fact, it made him feel rather pathetic. He wished Rose was there; Rose always stood up for him, Rose always knew what to say. But she, he thought, with an unpleasant squirm, was a Gryffindor, and probably hated him for his house.

“Wow,” Dexter breathed, sounding awed. “That’s really -”

Milo snorted derisively. Everybody turned to look at him, to see that he was shaking back his wild curls and looking scornful. “Oh, come on, Harry Potter’s been built up too much. My father says -”

“Leave it,” Scorpius said, suddenly. Albus turned his attention back to the blonde boy, and their eyes met once more. Scorpius smiled slightly, and Albus returned it, albeit nervously. Milo looked indignant, but was ignored. “Let’s all say goodnight, shall we?”

Most of the first years hastened to obey the Malfoy, but Albus stood where he was, puzzled as to why Scorpius had helped him. The boy in question merely smiled once more, and then turned to pull on his pyjama top. Albus stared at him for a moment longer, before shaking his head with a pleased smile, and climbing into bed.



*


A/N: Next chapter will start the real story, taking place on the first day of their sixth year. It will be longer, and not in parts. Please review? I'd love to know what you think.


*

Chapter 2: New Slang
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]



Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns any characters and places you recognise. I'm just a humble writer trying to make part of the wonderful world she's creating my own.


Summary: The world gets wind of the parties. The partygoers simply don't care, but that doesn't mean that nobody else does. We meet our characters in their current situations, and see that just because there is no "Dark Lord", Hogwarts is certainly not at rest.


Song: Title of this chapter and the lyrics used are from the song New Slang by The Shins.


Author Notes: This is the first real chapter of this story (which was originally called Epicene), and I'm pleased to have finally finished it. I think I've half fallen in love with this generation, even though I was wary at first. Screw that, I have fallen in love with it. This fic features sex, heavy drug use and slash. Fairy dust is basically a wizarding form of crack, and Screechsnap is basically a wizarding form of weed (JKR invented the plant, but not for that purpose, haha). I hope you like this, and where it goes!




[James Potter and Lily Potter, worried siblings]
credit to the almighty SaphiraLupin at TDA!



Chapter One - New Slang

I'm looking in on the good life I might be doomed never to find.
Without a trust or flaming fields... am I too dumb to refine?
And if you'd 'a took to me like, well -
I'd 'a danced like the queen of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would 'a fared well.




*





THE SECRET SHAME OF SLYTHERIN

The wizarding world were shocked five years ago when the famous Harry Potter’s second son was Sorted into Slytherin, writes Paris Monroe, special correspondent. Now, however, even more shocking news seems to have come from the walls of Hogwarts, which The Daily Prophet can exclusively reveal.

If you remember back four years ago, I took delight in reporting that Albus had formed a close friendship with none other than Scorpius Malfoy, son of Harry Potter’s school rival, Draco. This unlikely bond, however, seems to have led to disaster.

Several current Hogwarts students, who wish to remain anonymous, have told me of the current image of the Slytherin house. A group containing sixth and seventh years are constantly partying, taking drugs and acting thoroughly immoral. They are said to be drunk on Firewhisky more often than not, and also are heavy users of ‘fairy dust’ and Screechsnap.

 These dangerous and addictive drugs, however, aren’t the worst part of this terrible news. Albus Potter, son to the wizarding world’s favourite Auror, is said to be in the thick of this horrifying mess. What Harry Potter thinks of his middle child taking drugs is unknown - he has refused to give comment.

All we know now, my faithful readers, is that I will do my best to dish out the dirt and keep you up to date with the scandals unfurling before my very eyes.


*

 

“You disgust me,” the red-haired girl commented, raising a single, slim red eyebrow as she gazed at the blonde boy. “I’m surprised you’re still allowed at this school. I heard you got kicked out of the Astronomy N.E.W.T. at last, yesterday.”

“The rumours are true,” the blonde boy sighed, putting a theatrical hand to his forehead. He lowered his hand and winked at the girl, smirking. “Why, will you miss me, Red?”

“Hardly,” she replied, tossing her thick hair over one shoulder. “Anyway, I didn’t come over here to be annoyed by you. I came to show Albus something important.”

“Important?” Albus asked, weakly, raising his head from his hands. Rose wrinkled her nose at the sight of him, all bloodshot eyes and pale skin, and threw down a newspaper on the table before him. Albus blinked blearily at it, as though he had no comprehension of what it was. “What’s up, Rose? Why do I care about The Daily Prophet?”

“Look at page four, and you’ll see why you should care,” she sighed, dropping into the seat next to him. Several of the Slytherins looked outraged, but she ignored them. When Albus merely yawned, she poked him sharply in the shoulder. “Listen to me, Albus. Read page four.”

“Page four,” Albus mumbled, unfolding the paper and turning to it. “I don’t see what -”

“Shit, mate, that’s not when of our best photos, is it?” Scorpius asked, resting his chin on Albus’s shoulder, a definite tone of amusement in his tone. “I wonder when that was taken.”

Indeed, there was an extremely unflattering picture of the pair of them, taking up a quarter of the page. Scorpius was flushed and laughing, head tossed back. His arm was around Albus, whose pupils were dilated and whose face wore a rather manic smile. Quite evidently, they were both smashed on alcohol and goodness knows what else. The caption of the picture, much to Albus’s alarm, read; Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy - ringleaders of the doomed generation?

“What are they on about, ‘doomed generation’?” Scorpius enquired to nobody in particular, sliding into the seat next to Albus and pulling the newspaper from him. “Here we go; The wizarding world were shocked five years ago … blah, blah, we know all this … a close friendship with none other than Scorpius Malfoy … hoorah, at least they’re getting some of the facts right nowadays …constantly partying, taking drugs and acting thoroughly immoral … it makes it sound a lot more fun than it actually is, doesn’t it? … What Harry Potter thinks of his middle child taking drugs … I’m sure the bloke’s thrilled … scandals unfurling before my very eyes … wow, fourth page! That has to be record. Someday we’ll be on the front, Allie, I promise.”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Albus said, shaking his head as though having too much information piled upon him at once. “What are they on about? Drugs? My Dad? Slow down, and read it out, would you?”

Scorpius rolled his eyes, and began, in a dreadfully monotonous voice, “The … wizarding … world … was …

“You are beyond annoying,” Rose hissed, through gritted teeth. She snatched the paper from Scorpius and straightened it, clearing her throat. She read through the article perfectly, though there was a definite inflection of worry in her voice at the words.

When she had finished, she threw the paper back onto the table, shaking her head. “You have to stop, Albus.”

“Stop what?” Albus asked, shrugging and reaching for some toast. “None of it’s true.”

“Don’t bullshit me,” Rose said, sharply. “I’ve seen you when you’re high on God knows what. You’ve invited me to loads of your beloved Slytherin parties. The article doesn’t know half of what you lot get up to, and if they do, the consequences will be dire. You realise there will probably be an investigation now, by the school governors? Not to mention your parents. What will they say?”

“They won’t do anything, Red,” Scorpius laughed, knicking a slice of toast from Albus’s hands. “Anyway,” he continued, thickly, as he bit into it, “there’s no point you getting involved. Scurry off and be a good Gryffindor, yeah?”

“Don’t you dare tell me what to -”

“Rose, come on,” Albus sighed, nudging her in the shoulder to distract her from tearing Scorpius’s blonde head from his body. “It’s not that bad. Nobody cares. It’s just some jumped-up journalist who’s getting all this ‘inside information’ from her equally jumped-up daughter. It’s pathetic and annoying, yes, but nothing’s going to happen.”

She stood up, glaring at him through her brown eyes. “That may be so. I don’t care about the press. You lot will get what you deserve if you carry on. But you’ve forgotten one thing - the family will care.”

“As if they’ll ever find out it’s the truth,” Scorpius snorted, and then fixed her with a stern look. “And you’re not going to tell them, either, are you?”

“This doesn’t involve you,” she hissed back, tossing her hair over her shoulder again. “You are so childish.”

“That’s not what your Mum said last night,” Scorpius called after her, as she stalked away. Albus started to laugh, and his friend sent him a questioning look.

“The thing is, Scorpius,” Albus chuckled, brushing his dark hair from his green eyes. “That’s exactly what Aunt Hermione would say.”

“Oh, you and your boring family.” Scorpius glanced over at Rose’s retreating back and wrinkled his nose. “I hate your cousin so much.”

“As if I hadn’t gathered that already,” Albus groaned, running a tired hand over his face. “Listen, mate, she’s alright. She just doesn’t want to be involved in all the parties and stuff that we’re involved in. She’s family. She’s just concerned.”

“One man’s concern is another man’s nosiness,” Scorpius quipped, tapping his nose wisely. “Talking of nosiness, come to think of it - what do you reckon to this newspaper business? Think we’ve finally been found out and they’ll stop us?”

“Hardly,” Albus snorted. “Whatever dirt they have on us, my dad can smooth it over. Everyone might think I’m the worst Potter ever to live, but I’m still a Potter, aren’t I? No one’ll do anything to us.”

“And you claim to be modest,” Scorpius sighed, fondly messing up Albus’s hair. He stood up, casting a cool glance over the hall and running a hand through his blonde hair. “Reckon we should head for Transfiguration now? Professor Langley is the hottest teacher in the school, and you know how pleased she gets when we’re early.”

Albus grinned, standing up and pulling his bag over his shoulder. “Sounds good. Only thing is, we have Charms now.”

“Oh,” Scorpius faltered, before shrugging and winking. “Never mind, eh? Professor Lupin is hardly an eyesore, is he?”

 

*

 

“I look like trash, don’t I?” Ava Bodley mused, pouting at her reflection in the mirror. She fluffed up her black hair, turning to see it from another angle. Her high cheekbones were stained with blusher, and her eyelids were lathered with green eyeshadow. Her hazel eyes narrowed, scrutinising her body for any fault. “Come on, girls, be honest. It‘s our first class with Lupin this year and I want to make sure I look good.”

“Honest?” questioned one of the girls, irritation heavy in her voice. “Honestly, we’re five minutes late to Charms as it is. Stop getting yourself pretty for Professor Lupin and fishing for compliments. Let’s just go, already.”

“Just jealous, isn’t she?” Ava murmured to herself, pinching her naturally pale cheeks to make them even more red. She straightened up, tossing her long hair over her shoulder and glaring at the girl who had spoken. “Alright, Rebecca. Let’s go, if we must.”

 

*

 

“Morning, boys,” Professor Lupin smiled, as Albus and Scorpius arrived in the Charms classroom. Teddy Lupin was a young, cheerful man with the rare talent of being a Metamorphmagus. Scorpius and Albus settled themselves at their usual spots at the back of the classroom, glancing over at the Ravenclaws and few Slytherins who were already present. Teddy followed them, running a hand through his currently-dark hair.

“How’s the family, Albus?” he murmured to his student, smiling. He was godson to Albus’s father, and so he had always known the Potters very well, coming over to dinner most nights of the week. “Sorry I couldn’t come round a lot this summer. Victoire and I had a longer honeymoon than we’d intended.”

“They’re alright, I guess,” Albus shrugged, uncomfortably. He loathed having a teacher so close to his parents, but Teddy was likable, so Albus could never be blatantly disrespectful, even if he wanted to be. “How was the honeymoon?”

“Perfect, cheers,” Teddy grinned, eyes glazing over with the memories. Shaking himself, he glanced around at the class, and shrugged. “Looks like we’ll begin without those missing. Scorpius, you can have the privilege of choosing what I look like today. You always do complain that I never pick you.”

“Cheers, Sir,” Scorpius smirked, with a wink at his friend. Albus felt an ominous, dreading feeling, and winced as Scorpius continued. “Slim, nice cheekbones, dark hair and a nice arse?”

The class erupted into laughter, most of the girls giggling. Some of the boys, however, frowned and muttered amongst themselves, staring suspiciously at Scorpius. Teddy, however, tossed back his head and joined in the laughter. In a moment, a handsome young man had taken his place, as Scorpius had described him as.

“Dashing, Sir,” Scorpius smiled, giving the teacher a thumbs up. Teddy shook his head incredulously, and strolled to the front of the class. He looked around at the students, opened his mouth to begin the lesson, but was cut off as the door slammed open and three girls ran in.

“Sorry we’re late, Sir,” the first one wheezed, clutching her ribs and bending over double. “We forgot what time it was. Won’t happen again.”

“Very well. Sit down, Ava, Rebecca and -” Teddy came to the third girl and blinked, a crease appearing between his eyebrows “- Sandra? I’m surprised you’re late. You’re usually here early.”

From his tone, it was clear to the class that he meant to ask why on earth Sandra Terry, the classy Ravenclaw, was with the more common-seeming girls, Ava Bodley and Rebecca Locke. Sandra merely shrugged, and tucked a lock of her brown her behind her ear. “I’m sorry, Sir. I got held up.”

“Never mind,” Teddy sighed, turning back to the class. “Sit down, you three, and we can begin.”

The three girls went to their respective seats, and Teddy began writing the instructions for the class on the board. Ava, sitting at the desk in front of Scorpius and Albus, turned around, smiling. Albus grinned back, and she leant forward, kissing him full on the mouth. Scorpius groaned and looked away, eyes flickering over the other occupants of the room.

The two of them had been dating for five months now. Some said they were the perfect couple, others couldn’t see why there were together. Ava, it was said, came from a rough background. Her Northern accent contributed to this belief, but nobody knew for sure. She never spoke much of her family, and nobody asked. Albus, on the other hand, was wealthy and had been bought up in a beautiful mansion in Devon. He was said to be sophisticated and superior to most. The two of them seemed destined to be opposites. Yet, they had lasted for five months and claimed to still be going strong.

When Ava pulled back, she smooth a few strands of hair from her eyes, smiling. “That awful Sandra Terry girl wanted to know more about the party tonight. Why would I let a posh bitch like her know anything? Honestly. Anyway, are you going to it, Scorpius?”

Scorpius stared at her as though she were insane, which he often professed she was. “Ava, dear, of course I’m going. I always go.”

“Good,” Ava grinned, running a hand through her black hair. “I’ve got this girl for you to get with. She’s really pretty and I’m sure you’ll get on. Fifth year, but still.”

“For the last time, I don’t need setting up with people,” Scorpius grumbled, folding his arms. “You know that everyone flocks to me. I’m in such high demand that there’s no point even asking if I’m free at a party. Anyway, what’s the girl like? If she’s as insufferable as the last, the answer is no.”

“She’s fine,” Ava dismissed, with a wave of her hand. “You’re so up your own arse though, I’m surprised you can talk. People don’t flock to you.”

“Actually, they do,” Albus admitted, speaking up for the first time. “Whenever we walk in he’s mobbed by desperate singles. I’m always left alone.”

“That’s because you’re dating me, and nobody wants to feel my wrath,” Ava said, fondly. “Really, you’re a lot more respectable. It’s a good thing, don’t sound so disappointed.”

“It’s a lot less fun though,” Scorpius laughed, patting Albus sympathetically on the back. “Seriously, freelance is better all the way.”

“You’ll pick up an infection someday soon,” Ava warned, shaking a finger at the blonde boy. “You should be more careful. When I used to go with my mum to work at the hospital, you’d be surprised at the amount of people who are ill because they’ve had so much unprotected -”

“Fascinating as the subject of Scorpius’s dangerous sexual activity seems to be,” came a pleasant, male voice that caused the three of them to wince simultaneously, “I’m afraid we are in a lesson. Thirty points from Slytherin.”

“But Sir -”

“No protests, Ava.”

“Sir, if you could just -”

“Scorpius, you know full well that pout doesn’t work on me. Now, you three be quiet and pay attention.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Thank you, Albus. Now, as I was saying, this year non-verbal spells are going to be of utmost importance in nearly all of your lessons, and -”

“You’re such a creep, Allie.”

“I am not, just because you’re -”

“Boys! That is enough!”

“Sorry, Sir.”

“Yeah, sorry Teds.”

“Scorpius, I thought you were going to stop calling me that this year? It’s ‘Sir’, or ‘Professor’.”

“Sorry, Sir.”

“Very well. Now, Scorpius, perhaps you can tell me why non-verbal spells are important to use?”

“Well, Teds, they’re -”

Scorpius!”

 

 

*

 

Scorpius made his way to the armchairs in the Slytherin common room, humming cheerily to himself. Teddy Lupin had yelled at him, yes, but it was still a bright day. It was the third day of the first term of his sixth year, and it was a Friday. That meant, of course, only one thing. A welcome back party for whoever was invited.

Milo Eights lounged in one of the armchairs, coolly looking around at all of the new, excitable first years. He had grown, Scorpius had to admit, into quite a handsome young man. Of course, he’d never say so out loud because everybody assumed he thought himself the only worthy looking boy in Slytherin. Mostly, he did.

“Milo,” Scorpius sang, sitting on the arm of the chair. Milo looked up, narrowing his dark blue eyes suspiciously. “Milo, love, what are you doing tonight?”

“Nothing particularly interesting, why?”

Milo’s voice was curious, but cold. Scorpius shrugged, moving closer to the haughty boy. “There’s a party. Dexter’s managed to get the usual stuff. I was wondering if you wanted to go.”

Milo pulled a face, shaking his auburn curls. “I’m not feeling up to it, I’m afraid.”

Scorpius inwardly sighed, but outwardly he slid next to Milo, smirking. He let his hand fall on the boy’s thigh, and ran his lips across the smooth jaw. Into Milo’s ear, he murmured, “Please? I want you there.”

Breath hitching, Milo smiled, though he glanced around to ensure nobody was watching. “Oh, alright. If you insist.”

“I do,” Scorpius laughed, planting a quick kiss on Milo’s cheek. He straightened up, brushing down his robes. “I’ll see you tonight then, shall I? Normal place, around eight.”

“See you,” Milo smiled, shaking his head incredulously, a slight tinge to his olive cheeks. “Honestly, Scorpius, someday that kiss of yours is going to get you into trouble.”

“I look forward to it,” Scorpius winked, saluted Milo brightly, and left. He started humming to himself again, pleased. He couldn’t understand quite why he had a charm over everybody, and why people did what he said, but he was going to use it to it’s full advantage. Why shouldn’t he, after all?

 

*

 

James grimaced. The sounds of his siblings crying had always cut deeply into him, and today was no exception. Lily sat on the desk, sobbing into a tissue, her red hair long down her back. Her Gryffindor robes were soaked with tears and her fourth year body was racked with grief.

All in all, James decided, with gritted teeth, he wasn’t having a good day.

First of all the showers hadn’t been working in the dormitory, and he’d had to go without. Then he’d been accosted by Professor Longbottom for missing Herbology the day before, and had been given a detention - he was sure it was only so that Professor Longbottom could show he didn‘t favour the Potters. Next he’d opened the newspaper at breakfast, to find that Albus’s lifestyle habits were out in the open, with his father’s name dragged in. He blamed that stupid Scorpius Malfoy, who had corrupted Albus from the very beginning.

Now, Lily was in hysterics and he just couldn’t work out why. The day was getting better and better.

Tentatively, he placed a hand on his little sister’s shoulder, frowning. She gave a deep, shuddering breath and looked up, glancing around the otherwise empty classroom. “I - I’m sorry, James. I don’t mean to - to get upset.”

“Don’t be silly,” James said, soothingly. “Just tell me what’s wrong. Nothing can be that bad, can it?”

“Is Albus going to die?” she asked, bluntly. As James stared at her, she rubbed the tears from her cheeks and looked up, fiercely. “Tell me, James, are these drugs and parties going to kill him? People in my class have been saying -”

“Don’t listen to what anybody in your class says,” James interrupted, sharply. “None of what the papers have reported is true. You know Albus would never live like that. It’s just lies.”

“I’m not blind, James,” Lily hissed, hands curling into fists. “I’m fourteen years old. I know full well what goes on in this school; everybody does. Albus and Scorpius hardly hide it, do they? Anyway, I walked in on him this summer sniffing something up that couldn’t be anything other than fairy dust.”

James gazed at her for a moment, and then looked away, furious. He knew Albus was stupid in the first place for doing what he did, but to do it in the house? It was as though he wanted to be caught. Miserably, he looked up and replied, “If you know it’s the truth, why do you need to ask me about it?”

“I want to know how serious it is,” she replied, evidently pleased she was being treated like an adult at last. “I know fairy dust is said to be addictive, and I know he’s a heavy user. I know he parties all the time. I know he drinks all the time. But will it hurt him?”

“I’m sure he’ll be -”

“I want the truth, James,” she warned, scowling. “Don’t bother trying to comfort me if you’re going to lie.”

“Fine,” he snapped, irritably folding his arms. “It could be dangerous, yes. But so far, he seems in good health. He’s still an amazing Beater and his grades are still good. It looks like he’s in perfect shape. As for the future - I’ve no idea, I’m afraid.”

“Alright,” Lily sighed, drying her cheeks again. “Good. Thanks for telling me. Oh, and look after him, won’t you? Everybody knows he looks up to you.”

James snorted. “Hardly. But come on, let’s get to lunch. Your friends will be wondering where you are.”

“Okay,” Lily agreed, making her way to the door. She glanced back when she reached it, and frowned. “Are you coming, or what?”

“Just give me a minute, Lily,” James smiled, glancing around the classroom. “I just need to think about what I’m going to say to Albus next time I see him.”

“Good idea,” Lily nodded, and left without another word. Before she had shut the door however, James heard her squeak, “Oh, hello Albus! What are you doing on this corridor?”

“Walking back from class, surprisingly,” Albus was heard to laugh. “What about you?”

“Ooh, who have you been snogging in there?” came another voice, that James placed as Scorpius Malfoy’s. “Let’s have a look, then.”

“I’m not snogging anybody, I was talking to James,” Lily giggled, in a way that made James’s skin crawl. He loathed the fact that everybody changed underneath the charm of Scorpius, even his own siblings. Striding over to the door, he threw it wide open, and glared down at the two Slytherins.

“Oh, hey James,” Albus smiled, good-naturedly. “How’re you?”

“I’m fine,” James grunted, grabbing his younger brother’s arm. “I need a word with you in here. In private, too, so you can piss off, Scorpius.”

“Macho, aren’t you?” Scorpius asked, indifferently. “I had no intention of coming into their with you, anyway. I’m starving and I’m off to eat lunch. See you later, Allie.”

“See you,” Albus sighed, as James dragged him into the classroom. He shrugged him off once the door was shut, folding his arms. “What the hell is wrong, James? You’re such a bastard to Scorpius. He’s done nothing wrong.”

“Don’t even get me started on all the things he’s done wrong in his life, because we’ll be here all day.”

“Just because he’s a Malfoy, he isn’t a bad person! Stop being so -”

“I didn’t come in here to discuss your precious boyfriend, so stop it.”

“He’s not my boyfriend,” Albus laughed, shaking his head. “What did you want, then?”

“You know I’ve never interfered with your parties and whatever else, because it’s your life and you’re free to fuck it up, yeah?” James asked, and when Albus nodded, slowly, he went on. “It’s just that it’s affecting everyone else now. Lily’s upset and Mum and Dad will be furious. It’s in the newspapers. It’s gotten out of hand, and I think you should stop.”

“Well, we’ll just tell Mum and Dad it’s a lie, and everything will be fine,” Albus replied, promptly. Evidently, he had prepared the argument. “Like you said, it’s my life. We don’t do anything stupid and we don’t hurt anyone else. The drugs are only taken sparingly, I swear. We’re just having fun.”

“I can’t stop you doing it,” James admitted, running a hand through his dark hair. “But Mum and Dad can’t find out. We’ll both be killed if they do. Don’t get yourself talked about, and don’t let anymore pictures be taken, alright? If this gets any worse I’ll step in properly.”

“Oh, fine, fine,” Albus replied, bracingly. “Now, can I get to lunch, please? I’m hungry.”

“Yeah, sure.” James smiled, leading the way out of the room. “God knows you need some food in you, you weedy git.”

 

*

 

Flicking a stray blonde hair from his grey eyes, Scorpius blew a kiss at his reflection. He was well aware of the vanity of such a gesture, but nobody was in the room, and anyway, it was fun to feel sexy. He smoothed down his t-shirt, labelled with the words “Sex Kitten” (he had loved seeing the resigned expression on his father’s face when he’d come home with it), and gave his reflection one last wink.

With that, he left the dormitory and headed down the stairs. He made his way straight out of the dungeons, stopping for nobody, and stepped the familiar path to the party. The Room of Requirement was his favourite place in the whole castle, and held more memories of passion and fun than he could count.

As he emerged from the dungeons into to the Entrance Hall, he cast a quick look around. It was empty aside from a gaggle of seventh year Gryffindor girls, which included, much to Scorpius’s dismay, Rose Weasley. Holding his chin high, he stalked past her, taking care to show no indication of having noticed her.

Out of the corner of his high, he noticed that she glared haughtily at him as he passed, hands on her hips. He just knew she would tell James Potter about this the moment she could. Feeling very much hateful against both of Albus’s relations - though he did think Lily was quite sweet - he made his way up through the school to the seventh floor corridor.

Scorpius knew perfectly well that James Potter hated him back, though he couldn’t understand why. He’d been nothing but a good and loyal friend to Albus, and the two of them were equally involved in drugs and alcohol. In fact, it had been Albus who had been the first to try Screechsnap in third year, and it had all progressed from there. Yet James glared whenever Scorpius passed, and insulted him whenever was in earshot. Albus defended him, of course, but it was still dreadfully annoying.

“Jealous git,” Scorpius sighed to himself, as he finally reached the seventh floor corridor. He went to the wall behind which he knew the party would be in full swing, and ran a hand through his blonde hair, walking past the stretch of wall three times. Opening his eyes, he saw the familiar door, grinned, and opened it.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve arrived,” he beamed, stepping in and shutting the door behind him.

That was when the screaming began.

 

*



A/N:  I hope you liked chapter one! It was great fun to write. Also, I'd love for you to review. I'm always thrilled to hear what people think of plot/characters/etc. Thanks for reading!



*

Chapter 3: The Headmaster Ritual
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns any characters and places you recognise. I'm just a humble writer trying to make part of the wonderful world she's creating my own.


Summary: The party goes under way, and Albus has to choose between two important people in his life. The school also begins to take action -- but can the threat of Harry Potter quell the punishments?


Song: Title of this chapter and the lyrics used are from the song The Headmaster Ritual by The Smiths.


Author Notes: Yay! Chapter two! I hope you all like it, and please tell me what you think. I got such a lovely response to the last chapter -- thanks to all who read and reviewed. You all keep me motivated. Also, thank you to my good friend Gina -- she's so lovely to me, and so I had to throw her name in there. Hope you like the results, dear. ;D




[Professor Creek, an apprehensive headmistress]
credit to the almighty SaphiraLupin at TDA!



Chapter Two - The Headmaster Ritual


I wanna go home, I don't wanna stay.
Give up education as a bad mistake.




*




 

Dear Mum and Dad,

I know what you’re thinking, since when does James write you without being written to first? Well, I think there’s a call for it this time. I promise you it won’t happen again.

You’ve both probably seen the newspapers recently, and that article about Albus and the way he acts at school. Especially with that Scorpius Malfoy. Now, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if the Malfoy boy did take drugs all the time, but I can promise you that Albus isn’t involved in it, at all.

Paris Monroe, the stupid woman who wrote it, has a daughter in fifth year called Elizabeth Monroe, I believe. Lily tells me she thinks herself a budding journalist herself and she’s just trying to get gossip out of the school. It’s not true, so don’t worry.

Albus isn’t like that. I don’t know about Malfoy, but I still think it’s a bad idea, the two of them being friends. I won’t go into that though, you know my opinion.

Lots of love,

James x

(P.S. I already have two detentions!)




*

 

A startled Scorpius soon realised that there was no need for the screaming, really. There was just an annoyingly young third year (he wondered who on earth had invited him), who was high on something or other and evidently hallucinating. The boy was laid out across the floor, yelling at something nobody else could see. Scorpius simply stepped over him in search of friends.

The room was wildly decorated in greens, yellows, pinks and reds, clashing terribly but providing a vibrant atmosphere. Around thirty or forty people were there, some dancing to the music blaring out from Wizard’s Wireless that was propped up on a table in the corner, some in another corner smoking, some in yet another corner sniffing up drugs, and some talking in the huddle of chairs.

The room was soundproof, of course, much to everybody’s relief. They would have been caught long ago if not, and so far they hadn’t been found once. Scorpius wound around the dancers, smiling and trailing his fingers around the odd person’s hips, and went over to the chairs, where he could see Albus’s mess of black hair.

He reached the chairs in no time, raised a hand to those who were greeting him, and dropped himself down onto Albus’s lap. “Where’s Crazy Ava?”

Albus, who shifted obligingly to make them both more comfortable, shrugged. “She went off crying, I think. She’d drank so much Firewhisky she could barely stand, so I don’t think it’s anything too bad. You’re lucky she’s not here, too, or she’d hex you into next week for calling her that again.”

“She’s crazy and she’s called Ava, what is there to get offended about?” Scorpius asked, eyes wide and innocent. He messed up Albus’s hair fondly, and then looked around. “Haven’t started getting drunk yourself, then? Why not?”

“I was waiting for you, of course,” Albus replied, with a longing glance at the table of alcohol. “It’s no fun getting smashed without you, and you bloody well know it.”

“Aw, I never knew you cared that much,” Scorpius winked, standing up. “Come on then. Let’s get pissed and take our shirts off. It has to happen sometime this year, three days without it has been far too long.”

“Hear, hear,” Albus laughed, jumping to his feet and heading towards the alcohol. “Drinking competition, or casual shots?”

“Casual shots,” Scorpius replied, wrinkling his nose. “I want some fairy dust, too. I just hope Dexter’s managed to bring enough to quench my thirst. I’ve spent all summer with barely any.”

“Poor thing,” Albus sighed, sympathetically. He poured out two large glasses of vodka, which they both preferred to Firewhisky, and diluted it with a some orange juice that was next to the bottle. He held out Scorpius’s glass, which Scorpius took with a smile of thanks. “Anyway, any conquests for you tonight? I’m sure you’ve been starved of snogging this summer, too.”

“Hardly,” Scorpius said, lowering his glass and looking wistful. “There was a new family in the village, and they had two beautiful children. By children, I mean two seventeen year olds, of course. I wasn’t starved of kisses, believe me.”

“Nice,” Albus smiled, taking a swig of his drink. When he’d finished, he smacked his lips, and looked around. “Wonder where Ava got off to. Think I should go look for her?”

“No,” Scorpius said, simply, taking Albus’s arm and leading him towards the group of those with the fairy dust. “She’ll be fine, she’s a tough girl. Now, come and get high with me.”

“As you wish,” Albus obliged, smiling at one of the female dancers who caught his eye. “I wish I’d been starved of fairy dust over the summer. Lily walked in on me taking some at one point. I quickly hid it, but I think she knew what I was up to.”

“Why don’t you invite her to a party someday?” Scorpius asked, taking two of the sachets of fairy dust and a packet of pills from the pocket of an unconscious Dexter Forest. “She’s quite a pretty kid, she’d fit in well.”

“Now, now,” Albus frowned, plonking himself down on a chair next to Dexter, and accepting the sachet from Scorpius. “I’ve told you enough times that Lily is off limit. Stop talking about her. She’s only fourteen.”

“Don’t worry, I’m not going to touch her,” Scorpius winked again, sitting by his best friend. “God, I’ve missed this stuff. The parties, the drugs, and you. Summer’s been so boring.”

“I love how I come last in the list of things you’ve missed,” Albus said, sounding amused. Scorpius glanced up from where he was tipping out the white powder onto the wooden table, lifted a hand and ran a finger down Albus’s jaw. Albus smiled, softly, and let a throaty chuckle escape him.

“You know I missed you most, Allie,” Scorpius murmured, wearing half a smirk. He tapped Albus’s jaw with his finger and withdrew it, looking pleased with himself. “Now, get that cute little nose of yours ready for the high of it’s life.”

 

*

 

Edward Belby leant against the wall, biting his lip. The party was raging behind him, he knew it. Even though it was in his imagination, he was sure he could feel the reverberations of the music beneath his fingers as they rested against the stone.

He had never specifically been invited to one of the parties, however much he had wanted to be. Rose had told him where they took place and how to get in, scorn heavy in her voice. He couldn’t understand why she turned the invitations down. Yet, despite the rejections, Albus kept inviting his cousin. Everybody loved Rose. Next to her, Edward was invisible.

He scuffed his shoes against the floor, turning over what to do in his mind. If he simply went back to the Gryffindor common room now, he’d be safe but he’d regret backing out. If he went in, he was at risk of being rejected, but at least he’d know - at last - if he’d be accepted into the parties.

After all, Scorpius would be in there. Scorpius, who had never even spoken to Edward before, but who haunted the dreams of the Gryffindor. Svelte, beautiful Scorpius who Edward knew, deep down, he loved. He didn’t care that everyone seemed to ‘love’ the Slytherin - what he felt was real, he knew.

With this drive pumping in his blood, he grit his teeth and set out, walking past the stretch of wall three times. When the door materialised, he took a deep breath, opened it, and strode in. The party was madness, more mad than he’d imagined.

People were kissing everywhere he looked, and a string of dancers threaded across the room, groping and laughing. A table of empty bottles towered over the room, and on some surfaces were the familiar signs of fairy dust. The air was heavy with the scent of Screechsnap. It was a sweet smell, but a telltale one of drugs.

Edward pushed through the room, in search of Scorpius. He wasn’t entirely sure what he’d do when he found him, but he had to try, at least. Nobody spared him a second glance, which he found half a relief and half an insult. Finally, he emerged at the back of the room, and his heart seemed to stop for a moment as he saw the mop of startlingly blonde hair.

Scorpius.

But Scorpius wasn’t alone. He was kissing a girl that Edward knew was a sixth year Ravenclaw called Gina Knox. He paused, watching the two of them kiss, and felt a rush of horror inside of him. Of course, he knew that Scorpius kissed anybody and everybody but Edward, but actually seeing it seemed to deaden something inside of him.

Scorpius paused the kiss for a moment, and their eyes met. Edward tried to smile, but the muscles in his face seemed to have stopped working. Scorpius raised an eyebrow, smirked and waved. Edward, feeling numb, raised a hand and waved back.

And then, again, Scorpius was kissing the girl, leaving Edward to turn away and go to the drinks table. He wanted to get as drunk as hell, and try to forget the love that devoured him.

 

*

 

“Ava, calm down, won’t you?” Albus begged, casting a wary glance around. He didn’t make a habit of visiting girls’ toilets, and now he was here he realised that if they were caught, there could be serious consequences. What with the noise Ava was making, he was surprised that there weren’t teachers running in already. “Ava, stop it. You’re being silly. What’s wrong?”

“I’m not being silly,” she sobbed, make-up in stark streaks down her face. “You don’t love me, do you?”

“Oh, stop it, it’s the alcohol talking,” Albus snapped, irritated at her frivolity. He sank to the stone floor, shaking his head. How was he supposed to know if he was in love? She did this every time she got drunk, and it annoyed the hell out of him. “I’m not answering you when you’re pissed.”

“Stop dismissing me!” she cried, wiping her tears away and swatting him on the arm. “I want to know if you love me. Tell me, now. Can you go ten minutes without thinking of me?”

“No,” Albus lied, bored. He wanted to get back to the party and catch up with Scorpius; the summer had been long and tiresome without his best friend. “Ava, you either come with me back to the party, or I’m off myself. It’s stupid hanging around in a toilet.”

“I suppose you’re right,” Ava mumbled, and then lurched towards the toilet. “I think I’m going to be --”

“I’ll go fetch Rebecca to help you.” Albus rolled his eyes, getting to his feet. “Come and find me when you’ve finished throwing up, yeah?”

Without waiting for an answer, he left the girls toilets and made his way back up to the seventh floor. He was fond of Ava, yes, and it tipped over sometimes to love. But he had never felt in love, like people often said they were. He’d be the first to admit it was more of a lustful relationship than a loving one, even if he sometimes felt guilty for lying to Ava and saying he loved her.

Going up the stairs from the sixth floor, Albus ran a hand through his dark hair. There were going to be repercussions for the article in the newspaper, he knew, but he couldn’t seriously believe it would be anything bad. After all, nobody would do anything bad to a Potter. His dad’s authority was far too great for that.

With these positive thoughts in his mind, he headed over to the party once more. As he opened the door to go in, somebody pushed past him, coming out. It was Edward Belby, Rose’s best friend. He looked thoroughly forlorn, though sober, and walked past Albus without looking up. Albus frowned, but carried on into the party. He didn’t know Edward, and it wasn’t his business to know what was the matter with him.

The party was dwindling down now, with only around ten occupants left. Scorpius was dropping off on one of the sofas, alone for once, and so Albus made a beeline straight for him. Rebecca wasn’t in the room, so he guessed Ava would just have to sort herself out.

“Party over?” Albus asked, sitting on the sofa, and nudging Scorpius’s legs out of the way. Scorpius opened his grey eyes, and shrugged. His blonde hair was messed up now, and in his eyes, whilst lipstick was smeared across his mouth. Albus noted, with a smile, that there were at least four shades mixed together. “Kissed a lot of girls, then?”

“Yeah,” Scorpius murmured, yawning. He sat up and shuffled around, instead nestling his head against Albus’s chest. “Don’t move. Comfy.”

“I’m glad you are,” Albus grumbled, without any heart. “Ava asked the question again, you know. It’s awful, she won’t shut up about it.”

“Hmm. Tell her the truth.”

“I dunno what the truth is myself, though.”

“Split up with her? Or tell her you’re in love with me. That’ll stop her asking.”

“Yeah, and that’ll just get the both of us murdered,” Albus snorted, shaking his head. “I won’t split up with her or anything drastic. She’ll just believe me when I say I love her soon enough, and hopefully stop asking.”

“Fair enough,” Scorpius yawned, squirming to get more comfortable. “Stop moving, Allie, I want to go to sleep. The fairy dust is wearing off, and you know it always makes me sleepy. Hush.”

“Oh no you don’t,” Albus said, sharply, pushing his friend away. “The last time this happened you fell asleep and were impossible to wake up. Let’s get back to the dormitory before I end up stuck underneath you, yeah?”

“You always get stuck underneath me,” Scorpius smirked, but obligingly stood up. “Come on then, love, if we must go to bed, we shall.”

“Glad you see sense,” Albus smiled, leading the way out of the room. They emerged in the empty corridor, shutting the door behind them, and began their descent through the castle in silence. It was, according to Albus’s watch, nearing one in the morning. Luckily, Saturday was upon the two of them, so they could sleep in and not worry about missing any lessons.

The corridors of Hogwarts were still, thankfully, deserted. The main problem the boys encountered on the way back from the parties were the ghosts, Peeves especially. If they bumped into one of them (or, more precisely, walked through one of them), all hell could break loose. The Bloody Baron was inclined to ignore them, but most of the others were disapproving and, in the case of Peeves, likely to call the caretaker.

The caretaker was a kindly, middle aged wizard known as Radcliff. He was nice to the students in general, and was helpful and friendly, but in the case of Albus and Scorpius - well, he wasn’t inclined to be very nice to them. He had caught them one too many times, high on whatever substance they’d procured that night, and his threats of telling their parents were beginning to get closer to being carried out every time.

“I can’t make it,” Scorpius moaned. Albus thought his best friend was being ridiculously dramatic, and turned to push him onwards, but to his alarm Scorpius was being deadly serious. The boy had gone pale and he was swaying dangerously on his feet. As Albus made to support him, he slumped forward, completely unconscious.

Albus had played Quidditch long enough to get good reflexes, and so he moved forward quickly and managed to catch Scorpius, grimacing slightly at holding all of his weight. The fact that Scorpius had knocked himself out because of drugs didn’t surprise him - in fact, in was quite a common occurrence - but it always worried him. There was always a chance he’d never wake up.

“Wake up, you arse,” Albus muttered, laying his friend on the floor. He checked his pulse - which was fine - and smoothed the blonde hair from the pale forehead. “Wake up, you arse!”

Scorpius stirred slightly, and his grey eyes flicked open. Their eyes locked and Scorpius smiled, sleepily, and murmured, “Night night, Allie.”

With that, the blonde boy turned over, nestled against the floor, and began to snore. Albus gaped at him for a full minute, before scowling and kicking the wall in frustration. They were still on the fifth floor, and seeing as their beds were in the dungeons, he knew he had quite a bit of carrying to do.

Resigned, he hoisted Scorpius up, shuffled the unconscious body around in order to be more comfortable, and carefully made his way down to the fourth floor. He was grateful, once again, for the empty corridors - he was carrying Scorpius rather like a groom might carry a bride, and it wasn’t as though there weren’t already suspicions as to the nature of their friendship.

Not wishing to dwell upon the subject himself, Albus hummed quietly himself as he passed the bathrooms on the fourth floor. However, his humming, and his movement, came to a halt as he nearly collided by somebody staggering out of the girl’s toilets.

It was Ava, and she looked up when she realised she had nearly banged into someone. Her eyes were smudged with make-up, and her cheeks were slightly green with nausea. However, despite her drunken state, she managed to focus upon the pair in front of her.

Her brown eyes narrowed instantly.

“Oh, so this is where you’ve been!” she shouted, her voice slurred. Albus winced, shaking his head to try and shut her up. She paid no attention to him, however, and instead pointed at Scorpius. “I wanted you to help me! All you ever do is help Scorpius. I’m your girlfriend.”

“I know you are,” Albus said, in what he hoped was a calming voice. “I’ll help you in a minute. I’m just going to get Scorpius to the dungeons, and then I’ll come back and -”

“No!” she protested, folding her arms over her chest. “Put Scorpius down and - and carry me. I need you more than he does.”

“Well, look, no.” Albus shifted Scorpius again, his arms aching a little. “Can’t you just let me go? I’ll be back in a second.”

“If you like Scorpius more than me, then go ahead!” she yelled, swaying slightly. The green of her cheeks had faded to a pure white now, and she swayed unsteadily. A little more feebly, she murmured, “Carry me like you’re carrying him.”

“Ava, are you okay?” Albus asked, but it was a moment too late.

She had slumped to the floor in a drunken faint.

Albus raised his eyebrows and his mouth fell open from shock, his eyes moving from his unconscious girlfriend, to his unconscious best friend. Then, feeling very much hard done to, he kicked the wall again and shouted, “Shit!”

Then, of course, came the decision of what to do. He looked between them again, clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth. Who should he help to the dungeons first? Ava or Scorpius? His girlfriend, or his best friend?

After a moment more of deliberation, Albus shrugged, hoisted Scorpius over his shoulder, and muttered, “Sorry, Ava. See you in a minute.”

 

*

 

The sunlight washed over Scorpius, turning his pale hair golden and causing his pale skin to shine. He stirred at the sudden warmth, arching his back like a cat and unfolding his limbs. His grey eyes flickered open, and then narrowed, blinded by the light. He sat up, clutching at his forehead, and blinked a couple of times.

Saturday. The sacred day of rest and hangovers.

It was a bad hangover, too, he realised, as he climbed out of bed. His head felt as though it had been smashed against a wall, his limbs were shaky and tender, and his stomach was churning unpleasantly. He was still dressed in last night’s clothes - his Sex Kitten t-shirt crumpled with sleep - and so he quickly slipped them off and pulled on a dressing gown.

The other boys were all asleep, their low, steady breaths filling the room like appalling music, and Scorpius glanced at them as he made his way to the bathroom. Albus lay face down on his bed, still in his clothes as well. Wrinkling his nose, Scorpius tried to remember what exactly had happened the night before.

He remembered being ushered down the stairs by a concerned Albus, but halfway through the journey his memory hit a blank. He guessed he’d passed out and that Albus had to carry him, but that was just how things went. He wasn’t particularly concerned. Turning on the tap in the bathroom, he looked up blearily into the mirror. His blonde hair was messy and there were dark shadows underneath his eyes, but otherwise he looked in good health.

It was a good job, too. He wouldn’t take a step out of the dormitory if he looked anything less than beautiful.

He splashed his face with cold water and ran a brush through his hair, hoping to feel a little better. It worked, to some extent. Some of the dizziness had faded and he felt almost chirpy, and so strolled back into the dormitory to get changed. Still, the other boys slept on.

Scorpius pulled off his dressing gown and threw it carelessly on the bed. He set about getting changed for the day, after a glance outside to see that it looked rather windy, making as little noise as possible. Until he was dressed, he hardly wanted anyone else awake in the room. He dressed casually, for once, his jeans only a little tight.

However, as he knelt down to tie up the laces on his red boots, there was a tentative knock on the door. Raising an eyebrow - nobody had ever knocked before - he called, “Come in!”. The door swung open, to reveal a nervous looking second year boy. Surprised, Scorpius stood up straight and went over to talk to him.

“I’ve got a - a message from Professor Creek,” the boy squeaked, fidgeting with the frayed edge of his cardigan. “He wants to see you and - and Albus Potter as soon as possible.”

“Professor Creek?” Scorpius asked, mildly interested. “I was wondering when our first trip to see the lovely headmistress would be. Thanks for letting us know.”

“It’s - it’s okay,” the boy stuttered, already turning away and scurrying down the stairs. Scorpius shook his head in bemusement - little children always confused him. He had never been that shy when he was younger. He didn’t think he ever had been shy in any sense of the word, come to think of it.

Softly padding across the room, he made straight for Albus’s bed. If the headmaster wanted to see them, it must be pretty serious. Albus was snoring, his face down on his pillow, but Scorpius was merciless - he leant close to his friends, and shook his shoulders, whispering in his ear, “Albus, Albus, wake up, we have to go somewhere”.

Albus swatted him away, sleepily, but Scorpius persisted. Finally, after about five minutes of pestering, the work was complete. Albus lurched out of bed, hair tousled and in his eyes, and blinked groggily at his friend. “What d’you want, you git? I was dreaming about something really good.”

“Was it me, by any chance?” Scorpius asked, lightly. As Albus made to reply, he quickly interjected, “Get dressed into something respectable. Creek wants to see us.”

“Creek?” Albus asked, sharply, all signs of tiredness gone. “As in the headmistress?”

“Who else by the name would want to see us?” Scorpius smirked, and then stretched, his jumper riding up to reveal his hairless stomach. “Get changed. She’ll be in a right mood if we don’t get there soon.”

“She’s always in a right mood,” Albus muttered, but consented and went off to hunt for clothes for the day.

 

*

 

“Now,” Professor Creek sighed, leaning back in her chair and staring alternatively between the two boys. Albus shifted uncomfortably in his seat, trying not to meet the headmistress’s eye. She was usually a genial woman, but she wasn’t too fond of them and their troublemaking ways. “Boys, what am I to do with you?”

“You could slap our wrists and let us leave,” Scorpius suggested, slumped back in his seat and looking thoroughly bored. “This is just as much a chore for you as it is for us, Professor. We all know that.”

“I would do that, normally, Malfoy,” Creek nodded, looking unmoved by his attempt at charming her. “The thing is, I haven’t got you here for a specific wrongdoing. I have got you here for this.”

In time with the last word she threw a newspaper onto her desk, pointing at an article on page four. It was, just as Albus feared, the article that had emerged the previous day, featuring the picture of the two of them high on some illegal substance or other. Albus licked his lips nervously, and glanced at Scorpius. Scorpius looked completely composed, casting a disdainful look at the paper.

“Professor Creek, really, you don’t believe The Prophet, do you?” he sniffed, sounding scornful. “I thought you were above such things. Everybody knows it prints complete lies. I’m sure my father will be suing for libel.”

“The governors have been in contact,” Creek snapped, snatching the paper back from the table, as though it had been abused somehow. “There will be an investigation; they’ve demanded we have one. The Ministry is sending a specialist around sometime in the next week to ensure you are both drug free. This is a serious matter, and I’m thoroughly ashamed of the both of you.”

“But none of it’s true!” Albus insisted, desperately trying to prove their innocence. “The governors can do what they want. My dad will put a stop to all this. It’s ridiculous.”

Creek stiffened, her mouth forming a tight line. She was fairly young, only in her late twenties, and she’d been bought up in the generation that respected Harry Potter and his defeat of Lord Voldemort. Quietly, in a restrained voice, she murmured, “I don’t think there is any point in involving your father.”

“He’ll want to be involved without me asking,” Albus noted, rather relieved inside that she was getting worried. “Do you really think he won’t come into school, when the national newspaper has accused me of being a drug user? He’ll probably come today, especially if there has to be an inquiry.”

“Well, nobody said there had to be an inquiry,” Creek muttered, looking suddenly uncomfortable.

“I thought the governors said there had to be,” Scorpius said, sounding surprised. “The Ministry, too.”

“They didn’t say there had to be, exactly,” she said, in a sheepish voice. “I thought it would be fitting, however, to show them we are doing something. I was going to suggest a drug specialist come in from the Ministry and -”

“I’ll have to go and write to my dad, then,” Albus sighed, and out of the corner of his eye saw Scorpius wink at him. “He’ll want to be present, and he’ll want to talk to you about how you’re handling it, Professor. I dunno if he’ll be happy, though.”

“I won’t run my school how Mr Potter wants it,” the headmistress protested, but she didn’t sound certain. “He is just another parent. If he has any concerns about the way things go, he can make an appointment.”

“I’ll go and tell him that for you,” Albus offered, standing up. “I mean, we’re completely clean, so it will just look bad on the school - but if you’d rather go through all the bother for nothing, go ahead. We’ll look forward to it, won’t we, Scorpius?”

“We will indeed,” Scorpius nodded as well, getting to his feet. “It should be fun, meeting some dashing Ministry official who is intent on sending us to Azkaban when we‘ve done nothing wrong.”

“Off we go then!” Albus said, cheerily, sharing a smirk with Scorpius. “I’m sure we’ll see you later, with my dad, Professor Creek.”

“Wait!” she called, as they headed for the door. They turned, innocent, curious expressions on their faces. She looked miserable and torn, but drew herself up to her full height and glared at the two of them. “Are you really telling the truth about being clean?”

“Of course we are!” Scorpius lied, sounding offended at the doubt. “We wouldn’t lie, or we’d only be exposed.”

“Well, then, I see no point in an inquiry,” Creek said, with an attempt at a stern voice. “However, if there is one more hint of any kind of illicit activities from either of you, the Ministry is going to be contacted. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Professor,” Albus beamed, relief flooding him. “Thanks very much.”

With that, the two boys left the office. Once they were out of earshot of their headmistress, they began to laugh at their own cleverness, and pat each other on the back.

“Jesus, mate,” Scorpius snorted, running a hand through his light hair. “I wish my dad had that sort of power. Did you see the look on her face when you mentioned him?”

“It was great, wasn’t it?” Albus laughed, admiringly. They emerged into a corridor near the Entrance Hall, and Scorpius sniffed the air, hopefully. Albus cast him a strange look, rather alarmed at the behaviour. “What’s the matter? Someone smell bad?”

“I smell food, Allie,” Scorpius said, pouting slightly as he looked at his best friend. “Let’s go eat, shall we?”

Albus grinned again, and slung an easy arm around his friend’s shoulders. “’Course we can. All that lying has made me starving.”

 

*



A/N: Thank you for reading! I'd love to hear what you think, so spare a couple of seconds to review? ^^


*

Chapter 4: Foolish Love
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns any characters and places you recognise. I'm just a humble writer trying to make part of the wonderful world she's creating my own.


Summary: Some bonds are broken, and some become stronger. Scorpius decides to seduce a certain Gryffindor, and James vows to get revenge.


Song: Title of this chapter and the lyrics used are from the song Foolish Love by Rufus Wainwright.


Author Notes: Just wanted to quickly say, thank you for all the feedback I'm getting on this! You people really do spoil me. Just a quick warning - some quite graphic substance abuse ahoy. If you're offended by it, I wouldn't read on. If not, enjoy!




[a furious and jealous Ava Bodley]
credit to the almighty SaphiraLupin at TDA!



Chapter Three - Foolish Love
I don't want to hold you and feel so helpless
I don't want to smell you and lose my senses
And smile in slow motion
With eyes in love





*



 

Dear James, 
You can’t quite imagine the shock your mother and I went through when your owl came soaring towards us. We thought that somebody had captured our son and was acting in his place. Your mother would like me to tell you that it was a lovely surprise, however, and you should write to us more often.

As for the newspaper business, I must say that your mother and I really don’t know what to do. We’re not sure if there’s any truth in what has been said, and so don’t know whether or not to complain to the
Prophet. Are you sure that Albus is innocent?

I know that Paris Monroe is trouble. She studied journalism under Rita Skeeter, and that speaks for itself. You say she has a daughter in fifth year? Try to talk to her, if you can. Find out if she’s been reporting on your brother, and if so, try to find out why on earth she’d do something like that.

As for the topic of Scorpius Malfoy, you know what I think. His father was horrible at school, but was not a completely bad person. Scorpius may be worse, I don’t know. But it is up to Albus who he befriends, and until I see any damning evidence that shows Scorpius is really such a bad friend, I won’t condemn their friendship.

I must go now - your grandmother is round, and she’s brought some lovely treacle tart for pudding.

Love,

Your father

(P.S. your mother wants me to tell you to behave!)

 


*

 

“I am pretty sure that this entire school is mad,” Rose commented at lunch, watching a group of Hufflepuff seventh years walk past. “Everybody seems to be hung-over. Does nobody have any sense?”

“What d’you mean?” Edward asked, looking up from his pasta and trying to look innocent. He had an idea as to what she was talking about, but he wasn’t going to help her get there. “People have probably just been celebrating being back.”

“That’s not what I meant,” Rose sighed, rolling her brown eyes. “I meant that it seems everybody went to Albus’s stupid party last night. Sometimes I wonder what the future is going to be like, with these people running the country.”

“It’ll be fun?” Edward suggested, feebly. He immediately regretted it, as Rose turned to him, looking furious.

Fun? It’s stupid what they do. They’ll only get caught and get expelled.”

“Fair enough,” Edward mumbled, wanting to leave the subject. Rose, however much he liked her, could be a little stuck-up sometimes. He knew she was stuck firmly in her ways, and nothing he could say could change them, so he kept silent. It was safer that way.

Whilst Rose reached across the table to get an egg mayonnaise sandwich, Edward found his mind drifting to the night before. He had actually got into the party, yes, but Scorpius had been kissing somebody else. At least he’d acknowledged his presence, even if it had only been a few seconds of eye contact and a wave.

The mere thought of Scorpius made - most cringingly - his stomach feel as though a thousand insects were buzzing around. His cheeks glowed as he thought of that blonde hair, and that smooth skin, and the confident, outlandish way that body moved when it walked, and the lilting voice that -

“What are you thinking about?” Rose asked, having gotten her lunch.

“Scorpius, last night.”

The answer was out before he had time to consider it. Rose, who had been raising a sandwich to her mouth, froze. Her eyes went wide, and then narrow, and she dropped the food back upon the plate. Voice quiet, and all the more dangerous for it, she leant forward and asked, “What?”

Edward flushed bright red, and actually edged away slightly. “I - I don’t mean that - I mean, I didn’t see him - I was just thinking that -”

“You went, didn’t you?” Rose asked, looking stunned. “You went to the party!”

Edward hesitated. If he told the truth, she’d most likely explode. If he lied, she’d see through it and most likely explode. Wincing in nervous anticipation, he muttered, “Well, yeah, I did.”

“But -” Rose shook her head, evidently lost for words. Then, she gathered herself to her full, seated height, and tossed her hair over her shoulder. “Why? I’m pretty sure you weren’t even invited.”

Ignoring the sting of the words, Edward shrugged, acting as nonchalant as possible. “I just felt like getting out the dormitories. Nothing happened, so don’t look like that.”

Nothing happened? I didn’t think anything had happened. I just can’t believe you went, after how much you hear me go on about them. It’s ridiculous.”

“It’s just a party, calm down!” Edward pleaded, as her shrill voice was attracting quite some attention from those sitting around them. “Look, I went for about an hour, and then went to bed. There’s nothing to be annoyed about.”

“If you just went to an hour, and it was so unremarkable, why were you thinking of Scorpius with a stupid smile on your face?” she asked, waspishly. Edward went crimson. “See! Why on earth does the name effect you? I really don’t have a clue as to why everybody fawns over him. He’s hardly a nice person.”

“I don’t fawn over him,” Edward lied. He took a calming breath, and tried to act a little more mature. If he was going to get out of this, he couldn’t get angry or annoyed or upset. “I was just thinking about how he acted. He - um -well -”

“Takes a lot of drugs?” Rose asked, raising a red eyebrow.

“Yes, that’s it,” Edward nodded, pleased to have a solution so easily handed to him. “He took quite a lot, and I was just thinking about it.”

“I still can’t believe you went,” she fumed, sitting back and crossing her arms. “What came over you? Do I mean nothing to you?”

“I - what’s it got to do with you? It’s just a party!”

“My cousin runs the whole fiasco!”

“So? It doesn’t mean that me going effects -”

“Edward, use your common sense please, even though it sounds as though you’ve lost the lot of it,” she snapped, and stood up abruptly. As he looked at her, alarmed by her outburst, she shook her head. “I’m going to the Common Room.”

With that, she stormed from the Great Hall, leaving Edward to gape after her.

 

*

 

The two girls strolled through the chilly ground of Hogwarts, one of them holding a steaming mug of coffee they’d brought out from the Great Hall, the other holding a lit cigarette. One of them was tall and willowy, her long mousey hair tied into plaits. The other was slightly shorter and thinner, straight brown hair tucked beneath a woolly hat, her brown eyes a little bleary and bloodshot.

They were Slytherin sixth years, by the names of Rebecca Locke and Ava Bodley.

“Do you know,” Rebecca said, suddenly, exhaling cigarette smoke as she did so, “that Sandra Terry gave me the dirtiest look earlier. I dunno why. She’s such a cow.”

“I know,” Ava said, sympathetically. She took a sip of her coffee, looking thoughtful. “I think she has something for Albus. She always wants an invite to the parties, and she seems to hate us. It must be something like that.”

“Well, you’re safe then, Albus would never touch someone so mannish,” Rebecca laughed, though both were suddenly a little doubtful - Sandra was far from mannish, instead she was petite and pretty. To clear the air, Rebecca smirked and said, “Unless, of course, that someone is Scorpius.”

Ava laughed, shaking a strand of dark hair back from her eyes. “Tell me about it. Sometimes I think that Albus forgets which of us he’s going out with.” Her smile faded slightly, however, and was soon replaced with a frown. “You know, that reminds me of something. But I can’t think what.”

Rebecca shrugged, and dropped the cigarette on the floor. She stamped it out with her shoe and sighed heavily. “That was the last of my cigarettes. I’ll have to pop into Hogsmeade and get some more.”

“I think it was last night,” Ava said, slowly, ignoring her friend. “Something about Scorpius, Albus and me.”

“Threesome?”

“Rebecca!” Ava gasped, and slapped her on the arm. “That’s disgusting. I’d never do that.”

“I reckon those two would love to jump into bed together,” Rebecca taunted. The subject of Albus and Scorpius amused her to no end, and she loved to tease her best friend about them. “It wouldn’t be a threesome so much as a -”

“No, no, I think I remember now!” Ava said, triumphantly. “It’s all a bit muddled, I was so drunk. But I came out of the bathroom a bit late, and Albus was carrying Scorpius like he’d carry a girl. I think Scorpius was unconscious. So I asked Albus to carry me instead. Then - then I passed out. God, he better have taken me first.”

“I’m sure he did,” Rebecca said, sensing Ava’s nerves. Though they joked about the nature of the friendship between the two Slytherin boys, Rebecca knew that Ava was extremely insecure about the whole thing. It didn’t take a genius to work out that Albus cared for Scorpius above everybody else - including his girlfriend. “Come on, he would have carried you first. He’s a gentleman, if nothing else.”

“Wait a minute.” Ava stopped, expression suddenly dark. “I remember something else. I woke up - I mean, I woke up this morning on the couch in the Common Room, so he must have carried me there - but I woke up before that. I was on the floor when I passed out, and the corridor was completely deserted. So, that means he must have -”

“Ava, calm down, he might -”

Albus Potter, I am going to kill you!”

 

*

 

“Did you just hear something?” Albus asked, straightening up slightly. “I swear somebody said my name.”

“I didn’t hear anything,” Scorpius shrugged, leaning on the cubicle wall next to him. “Hurry up though, would you? I want some.”

“As you wish,” Albus obliged. As Albus sniffed up a line of fairy dust, Scorpius tapped his foot impatiently. The toilet was hardly the most hygienic or glorious of places, but it was discreet. It was a girls’ toilet, but was only ever occupied by a forlorn, somewhat annoying ghost known as Moaning Myrtle. Albus’s father had told Albus all about the place, and how it was always empty of other students.

Usually they wouldn’t take drugs in the week, and save it all for the party, but Scorpius was in the mood to get high. Albus consented to get high with him, so all it took was tracking Dexter Forest down and buying some dust. Dexter - who had been sitting in the courtyard with his newly-acquired Hufflepuff girlfriend - had grudgingly obliged and had gone to fetch them some from the dormitories.

From the next cubicle, Scorpius heard the telltale sounds of sniffing and deep breaths, and sighed. How come everybody else was allowed to be taking in the dust, when it was his idea first? Albus, who was using his wand to siphon his share into straight lines, didn’t seem to be anywhere near finished, so Scorpius charged out of the cubicle and into the next one.

“Dexter,” he groaned, looking down at the brown-haired boy. “Dexter, is it my turn next? You sound like you’ve had enough.”

Before Dexter could reply, however, a very different voice echoed around the room. It was thick with emotion, fluttering, and girlish. “I don’t think you should have a turn.”

Myrtle swooped down from where she had been lingering near the ceiling, her ghostly arms folded. Scorpius resisted the urge to roll his eyes, knowing it would only provoke her further. “Why’s that?”

“Well, it’s dangerous, isn’t it?” she asked, sounding surprised to even be asked. “You could get ill. Or you could get expelled. Then I’d never get to see you again!”

Scorpius couldn’t help but roll his eyes this time. In his father’s school days, he had been the subject of the ghost’s affections. Because he and Draco Malfoy looked so similar, it seemed that Myrtle thought they were similar people, as well, and so had developed a rather large crush upon him. It was rather tiresome.

“What a pity that would be,” he said, as kindly as he could. “But if you’d excuse me, dear, I really want to get high, and I can’t do it with the undead watching me. Mind turning your back?”

“I only care about you,” she said, indignantly, the familiar tears rising in her eyes. “I don’t want you to get hurt!”

“Please, don’t worry,” Scorpius said, dismissing her with a wave of his hand. He went back into Albus’s cubicle, adding over his shoulder, “You’re not my type, anyway. A little too pale.”

He heard the familiar wail and splash, and smirked. He knew she’d be back for more. Girls always forgave him. Albus was getting to his feet now, a slightly dazed smile upon his face. He stumbled slightly, but Scorpius grabbed his forearms to support him, sniggering to himself. He just loved a drugged up best friend. They were always the best kind of best friend to have.

“Steady now,” he warned, gently helping the boy sit on the floor. His black hair was splayed in his green eyes, and so Scorpius tucked it behind his friend’s ears. He liked being able to look in those eyes; they were the sort of eyes you could get lost in, no matter how many times you’d ventured into them before. “My turn, then.”

Ensuring the now chuckling Albus was in no danger where he sat, he turned to the toilet, and began lining up his own portion of fairy dust. He loved drugs. Really, really loved them. He couldn’t understand why people went on without them. As he mused on this, dipping his head for the first snort, he heard Dexter cleaning up in the next cubicle.

For their first two years of school, Dexter Forest was one of the most unnoticed boys in Slytherin. He wasn’t especially unpopular - it was just that nobody ever noticed him. That all changed, however, when he told Scorpius all about his older brother; a ‘professional’ magical drug dealer. Scorpius and Albus, who liked to show that they were afraid of nothing, asked for some drugs in third year. They’d enjoyed them so much that word had spread of Dexter’s dealing possibilities, and soon enough he was one of the most popular boys in the house. Girls and boys used him to get drugs, but his main clients were Scorpius and Albus. Together the three of them had organised the parties, and they’d evolved into what they were today.

In a matter of seconds, Scorpius was done. The drug hit him almost instantly, making him slightly drowsy, but very, very… well, horny. The feeling struck him like a stone, and he knew he had to find somebody straight away and drag them into a broom closet. He got shakily to his feet, clearing the mess with a wave of his wand, and gazed at Albus, who had also somehow stood up.

“That was strong stuff,” Albus commented, voice somewhat dazed.

“Yeah,” Scorpius agreed, and together they stumbled out of the cubicle, grabbing each other to keep upright. Scorpius tangled one of hands in the arm of Albus’s robes, and somehow managed not to fall.

“You two alright?” Dexter asked, looking ready to leave, seemingly not as affected as the two of them. “How much did you take?”

“Just enough,” Albus replied, and the three of them left the girls’ bathroom, luckily not being seen leaving. “Right. Now what?”

“I’m off to the kitchens, I’m starving,” Dexter sighed, and bid them both farewell, cheerfully walking away. Scorpius stared after him, amazed at the tolerance the boy had for fairy dust. Albus and he were hardly newcomers to it, and they could barely walk.

“What d’you want to do?” Albus asked again, yawning. “Personally, I want to go back to the dormitories and just -”

“Albus,” Scorpius said, a whine obvious in his voice. “Albus, I really need to - well, I need to find someone and drag them to a closet or something, because - well, you know what fairy dust does to me. I do something extreme, then it makes me sleep.”

“Oh, but -” Albus stopped, and took a moment to roll his eyes. Even the smallest of gestures seemed to require great effort when he was so high. “Ha, it’s a good job I have a girlfriend, isn’t it? Relationships aren’t so bad when you really think about it.”

Scorpius raised a sceptical eyebrow, and smirked. “You arse. I don’t need a girlfriend. Everyone’s dying to kiss me and you damn well know it.”

 

“Prove it,” Albus grinned, good naturedly.

“Alright then,” Scorpius smiled, rubbing his nose to ensure there was no evidence of dust left on it. “The next person to walk by, in sixth or seventh year, will be my proof.”

“You’re on,” the dark-haired boy smiled, and leant against the wall, folding his arms smugly. Scorpius, who was fast gaining control of his balance, whistled pleasantly to himself, waiting for the victim to arrive. He knew that there were only two people he’d really struggle with - Rose Weasley, and James Potter. As long as it wasn’t either of those, he reckoned he could at least snog whoever ventured past.

The first to pass were a crowd of second year girls, who all giggled when they saw him looking at them. Secondly came a burly pair of fifth year males from Ravenclaw, who ignored the two of them. Thirdly, however, came a lone figure, head bowed and steps mere shuffles. Scorpius frowned slightly. Rarely had he seen such a dejected looking person, brushing against the wall and not bothering to look up from behind the veil of brown hair that hung in their eyes. Rarely had Scorpius ever seen such a depressed boy.

And he knew just how to cheer him up.

 

*

 

James sat with his best friends, Adam Corner and Nicholas Hatton, at the Gryffindor table that lunchtime. The pair of them were Chasers on the Quidditch team, himself a Seeker, and all three of them held a great love of the sport. James, who had been made Quidditch Captain in the summer, was something of a hero in the trio now, after the first couple of days of jealous comments.

The thing he was most looking forward to were the try outs. Oh, how he’d love being able to choose actually talented Beaters, instead of the two thugs who had been in the positions all the way through his school years. Now the two of them had gone out into the world, it would be all up to him. And nobody could argue. Perfect.

“We need to fill three positions then,” James concluded, after discussing his eagerness to get on the pitch. “We need a third Chaser and the Beaters. I reckon Olivia’ll still be up for playing Keeper, I’ll ask her later. None of it should be too hard.”

“I dunno,” Nicholas frowned, eyes scanning the table. “Everyone seems to be really weedy. I doubt any of them could hit a Bludger without spraining something.”

“Ah, they may possess hidden strengths,” Adam reasoned, but then examined them himself. “Actually, yeah, you’re right. They’re all as skinny as hell.”

“You two are hardly muscle men,” James snorted, studying the Gryffindors himself. “I dunno, I reckon we’ll do alright. It they can aim well, I’m not too worried. My cousin says he’s trying out to be a Beater, anyway. He’s pretty well built.”

“Hugo?” Nicholas asked, raising his eyebrows. “Well, we might as well let him try out. I know you’re weirdly protective of your family, but he could be good. If he isn’t, we’ll just let him down gently.”

James audibly ‘humph’ed. “I’m not weirdly protective of my family at all.”

Aaron coughed, sceptically, and grinned. “Sorry, mate, but you really are. Remember when Lily dated that Jason Eccles guy last year? When he dumped her, you broke his nose! They were planning to stay friends and everything, he hardly mistreated her.”

“That’s a complete exaggeration,” James sighed, though he knew he was blatantly lying. “That guy was a right git, he had it coming.”

“Whatever,” Nicholas dismissed, in an annoyingly sing-song voice. James sighed, again, but grinned slightly. He’d missed his friends over the summer, and had had to resort to getting to know Albus better. His brother had been unsurprisingly secretive about his interests, however.

At the thought of his brother, James’s grin faded. Why couldn’t Albus have normal friends, like him? They’d had the same upbringing - so why had they turned out so differently? James was normal, getting average grades and smoking a little weed every now and again. Albus, on the other hand, insisted on hanging around with the Then again, he knew exactly who to blame. Scorpius Malfoy. That arrogant little bastard whom everybody seemed to love.

One day, James Potter would get revenge on that horrible blonde kid.

He just didn’t know how yet.

 

*

 

Edward shuffled along the corridor, his hands in his pockets, his hair in his eyes. He couldn’t quite believe how bad things were getting. Not only had he found Scorpius kissing a girl instead of him (not that he had much reason to be surprised), but now Rose wasn’t talking to him simply for going to a party. Though he felt like a whiny teenager, he couldn’t help but wonder just why life was so unfair to him.

“Why, hello there, love. Need cheering up?”

Edward froze. He knew that voice, he knew it so well from endless eavesdropping in class, but surely it couldn’t be…? He looked up, slowly, and felt a familiar jolt in his stomach at those grey eyes. Those grey eyes that were looking straight at him. He found, quite suddenly, that his mouth was dry and he couldn’t bring himself to speak.

“Edward, isn’t it?” Scorpius asked, brushing Edward’s shoulder with a slender hand. “So, tell me, why do you look so dejected? You look lovely when you smile.”

“I -” Edward could feel himself going crimson. Scorpius knew his name? Scorpius was talking to him? He said he looked lovely when he smiled? He felt close to fainting, and then mentally scolded himself for being such a girl. Somehow, he managed to smile, even though he felt like a fool. “Well, uh, thanks.”

Scorpius’s hand slipped down to his collarbone, one finger tracing the skin, and Edward made an odd noise from the back of his throat. What was happening? Perhaps he’d wake up in a moment, and realise it had just been another wonderful dream. It couldn’t be real, it just couldn’t.

“I’ll leave you two to it,” came a voice from their side, making Edward jump and turn. It was Albus, looking heavily amused, and Edward went even redder. Leave them to it? Leave them to what, exactly? Scorpius, the one he’d wanted for so, so long, was in front of him, touching him, flirting…God. It was unreal.

“See you later,” Scorpius said, sparing his friend a quick smile, before turning his attention back to the reddening boy in front of him. “Hmm. Going anywhere special, are you?”

“No,” Edward squeaked, as Scorpius slipped a cool, pale hand in his. “I was just - just walking around, really.”

“Sounds like fun,” Scorpius mused, pulling Edward slightly closer by the hand. “Want to come on a walk with me?”

“I’d love to.” The words tumbled out of Edward’s mouth before he could stop himself, and Scorpius looked delighted. “Where are we going to walk to?”

“Somewhere private,” Scorpius murmured, with a wink. Edward felt something melt inside. The two began to walk through the castle - Scorpius tugging Edward along with him, more precisely - attracting a couple of strange looks along the way.

Scorpius led Edward into an empty classroom, on the second floor, and locked the door behind them with a flick of his wand. Edward stood by the teacher’s desk, awkwardly, wondering what on earth was going on. This was like some kind of dream, except the nerves made it real.

“Well then.” Scorpius smiled, walking over to him, looking slightly dazed, but his voice was steady and seductive. “Let’s cheer you up.”

As Scorpius’s hands grasped the front of Edward’s robes, pulling him closer, Edward couldn’t help but stutter - “You’re - you’re high, aren’t you?”

The blonde boy paused for a split second, and then a smile softened his lips. “Maybe. Doesn’t affect my ability to make your knees go weak though, does it, love?”

“Not at all,” Edward deadpanned, feeling himself flush.

“Good,” Scorpius murmured, and finally brought his lips to Edward’s, hard, their tongues melting together.

Edward felt as though his heart was about to burst and, pushing away all his doubt and self-consciousness and worry, kissed back.

 

*

 Mum and Dad,

How come you haven’t written to me yet, eh? Am I not your favourite son anymore? You could at least give me some kind of explanation as to why you haven’t sent loads of sweets, you know.

Anyway, even though you evidently don’t love me anymore, I thought I’d write you a letter about current going-ons this fabulous school. I got an O in a Transfiguration test, have only had one detention, and only about seven people have been blessed by kisses.

Speaking of kisses, I’ve met a beautiful little boy called Edward who seems to worship the ground I walk on. Isn’t that wonderful? Mother, you always said it was nice to get into a relationship with somebody who thinks you a saint, didn’t you?

I have to be off now - Albus is calling, and you know I don’t like to keep him waiting.

Your doting son,

Scorpius
*


A/N: Isn't Scorpius seductive? Alas, poor Edward. That's all I'll say. What did people think? I love reviews, they keep the story alive!


*

Chapter 5: Black Sheep Boy
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns any characters and places you recognise. I'm just a humble writer trying to make part of the wonderful world she's creating my own.


Summary: Two unwelcome men visit Hogwarts. There are disagreements, but some friendships grow ultimately stronger.


Song: Title of this chapter and the lyrics used are from the song Black Sheep Boy by Okkervil River.


Author Notes: Thanks for all the lovely reviews so far! This isn’t my best chapter, but it’s setting things up - and from what I’ve got planned, a lot is in store for future chapters! Enjoy!



[Harry Potter, a concerned father]
credit to the almighty SaphiraLupin at TDA!




Chapter Four - Black Sheep Boy 



I'm the family's unknown boy
Golden curls of envied hair
Pretty girls with faces fair
See the shine of the Black Sheep Boy.
 



*


Dear mother,

Scorpius seems worse than ever this year. Could you please write to him? He’s always valued your opinion, I believe.

Astoria and I will come round sometime next week, if all goes to plan. I do miss your cooking. How is father? He’s not been talking to me properly since Scorpius called him ‘darling’ in the summer, and it’s beginning to get a little silly. It’s not my fault the boy acts like he does. Send father my best wishes, however.

Love,

Draco


*



Scorpius strolled towards the bathroom, smiling to himself.

Though History of Magic was insanely boring, as usual, he felt rather cheerful. Not only had he managed to prove Albus wrong by dragging a fellow sixth year into an empty classroom, but the boy he’d chosen to drag was rather lovely.

Edward Belby was the sort of boy he usually ignored. Quiet, shy, Gryffindor; yes, usually, Scorpius wouldn’t spare him a second glance. But the way the boy’s face lit up when he spoke to him, and how gentles his hands were, well, it was quite endearing. He was hardly bad-looking, either.

Whistling to himself, Scorpius turned the corner of the corridor, and suddenly came face to face with Rose Weasley. He took a hasty step back, knowing how violent she might become upon seeing him, and ran a hand through his blonde hair.

“Oh, it’s you,” she sniffed, despairingly. “What are you doing out of class?”

“I need a piss,” he shrugged, words a little blunt. “You?”

“I’m going to the bathroom,” she scowled, making to walk past him.

“Send my love to Edward, won’t you?”

“I - what?” she asked, surprised. Then, her eyes narrowed, and she folded her arms. “Don’t talk to me about him. You hardly know him.”

“Oh, I do,” Scorpius grinned, getting the usual kick out of teasing her. “You know, his lips are really soft and sweet when he kisses you. His hands are gentle, too, and he has this habit of running them through you hair, which feels lovely. Hmm, and when his hands run elsewhere, well -”

“Stop it!” she shouted, suddenly, angry red patches appearing on her freckled cheeks. “You’re such a liar, Malfoy, and I think you’d better shut up.”

“Liar, am I?” he asked, innocently. “Ask him about it. I’m telling the truth.”

“You sicken me, you know that? You can’t be content ruining Albus’s life, so you have to move onto Edward. He’s nothing like you, so leave him the hell alone or -”

“Or what, Red? You’ll hex me?”

“Yes!”

“Well, I’m terrified now, I must say.”

Rose stamped her foot, looking maddened. “Just stop it, and leave me and my friends -”

“I like your ribbon,” Scorpius noted, and with one quick motion pulled it from her hair. It was long and red, and he absently wound it around a long finger. “May I keep it?”

“Give it back! My parents got me that for my birthday. Give it me, or I’ll -”

“Come and get it,” Scorpius sang, and without a moment’s hesitation took off at a run down the corridor. He heard her let out a frustrated yell behind him, and then take after him. “You’ll never catch me!”

To his surprise, she was actually quite fast at running. He was, however, faster, and skidded round the corner into the next corridor a few steps ahead of her. They were on the second floor, and so he quickly jogged down a stair case, taking care to jump over the vanishing step. He’d hope she’d forget about it, but as he chanced a glance behind him he saw her leap over it without a second thought.

Damn, he thought, idly, as he skidded across the first floor towards the staircase leading down into the Entrance Hall. He figured he could lose her in the grounds easily; after all, he could just leg it over to the forest if worst came to worst. He hoped it wouldn’t come to that, however. His legs were beginning to ache.

He felt her fingers snatch at the back of his robes as he reached the staircase, and so hastily sat on the banister and slid neatly to the bottom. He glanced back up the stairs upon doing so, to see her running down determinedly. Rolling his eyes, he gave himself a quick shake and sprinted across to the doors leading outside - before promptly crashing into somebody and skidding straight onto his backside.

“Ouch!” he whimpered, after a moment’s shock. His arse was killing him, and he felt sure he’d cracked a bone or two somehow. Behind him, Rose finally caught up, breathing heavily, and he winced. Now he was in for it.

“Right!” she gasped, clutching her side, her red hair falling into her face. “Right, Malfoy, give me my -”

“Scorpius?” came a startled voice, causing her to fall silent. “What’s going on?”

Scorpius knew the voice, instantly, and winced again. He got to his feet, tentatively, and looked up to see the person he had clashed with. It was, just as he’d feared, his father. A little more surprisingly, however, next to his father stood none other than Harry Potter. The two of them standing together, in his school.

Scorpius blinked, as though the two of them would evaporate when he opened his eyes.

They didn’t.

“Uh.” Scorpius paused, and licked his lips nervously, whilst his father raised his eyebrows. “Uh, hi, Dad. What brings you to this neck of the woods?”

“You,” Draco replied, idly inspecting his fingernails. “Rather unsurprisingly, I’ve been called in by your headmistress to discuss some recent issues concerning you. Mr. Potter, here, is doing the same about your friend, in case you were wondering.”

“His friend?” Rose asked, staring at her uncle questioningly. “Albus?”

“Yes,” Harry replied, smiling at his niece. “Anyway, Mr. Malfoy and I should really be going now. Scorpius, would you mind fetching Albus and meeting us outside of the headmistress’s office in about half an hour? I think I should have a word with him.”

“I want a word with you, too,” Draco commented, and Scorpius was rather annoyed to see his father frowning at him. He’d guessed it was about the drug stories in the papers, and wasn’t looking forward to having to talk about something like that with a parent. His father would never understand the allure of it, nor the happiness it all gave him.

“Yeah, I’ll go get him now,” Scorpius sighed, hanging his head. Then, he remembered the ribbon in his hand, and held it out to Rose. “Here you are, Red. It suits you better than me anyway.”

She snatched it back, but remained silently, probably because of the presence of the two adults. He spared her a quick smile, which she didn’t return, and trundled off back to History of Magic to save his best friend from the boredom of Binns, and instead take him to their certain doom.


*


Albus had been contentedly staring into space, mouth slightly open, vaguely wondering what was taking Scorpius so long to just go to the bloody toilet, when the boy himself had sauntered in and, ignoring the oblivious teacher, had picked up his bag, left the room, and beckoned to Albus to follow just as he was in the doorway. A little suspiciously, Albus had picked up his own bag, quickly kissed Ava in goodbye, and had followed.

Now they were quickly making their way towards the headmistress’s office, with Scorpius attempting to explain what’s going on, but Albus barely catching a word. The blonde boy seemed unusually nervous, his voice breathless and anxious, and a hand constantly running through his usually smooth hair, turning it tousled.

“Wait, wait,” Albus cut in, at last, causing Scorpius to fall silent. “Sorry. Slow down a minute. I heard something in your rambling about my dad, about a ribbon and about Professor Creek. Start again, would you?”

“Our parents are here,” Scorpius muttered, as they climbed a flight of stairs. “They’re here to see Professor Creek, and I’m guessing it’s about this drug use report business. I bumped into them when I was running away from Red because I’d stolen her hair ribbon.”

“Oh!” Albus fell silent, rather surprised. He’d expected at least one of his parents to come in to discuss the whole fiasco, but he didn’t see why Scorpius was so nervous. Usually, he had immense confidence and knew he could charm his way out of any situation. Albus also couldn’t recall him every being worried about trouble with his parents. “What’s the big deal, then?”

“The big deal, Allie,” Scorpius said, through gritted teeth, as they turned onto the corridor the office was connected to, “is that our parents may press the issue and make us take a drugs test. Screechsnap won’t be in our system anymore, but fairy dust? Dexter once told me it stays in the bloodstream for a month. We could be sent to Azkaban!”

“Ah.” Albus swallowed, heavily, suddenly feeling a bit on edge. “Well, they wouldn’t send a Potter there. There’d be an uproar.”

“Yeah? Well, fuck, I’m not a Potter, am I?”

Albus blinked at the sharp tone, almost stopping in surprise. Never, in their whole friendship, had they ever argued - and never had Scorpius spoken to him in a seriously annoyed way. “Look, mate, I’m sorry, I’m sure -”

“No, I’m sorry, Allie,” Scorpius interrupted, smiling quickly and looking more like his old self. Albus relaxed. “I’m just being stupid, aren’t I? Our parents won’t do anything about it. We’ll just widen our eyes and stick out our bottom lips and they’ll believe us. Won’t they?”

“Of course,” Albus lied, grinning reassuringly, and the two of them came to a nervous halt outside the office.

They waited, mostly in silence, for half an hour. Once the door to the office finally opened, the two of them were sat on the floor, making their way through a rather large pile of chocolate frogs that Scorpius had fished out of the bottom of his school bag. When the door did open, the two of them jumped up, hastily wiping their chocolate-smeared fingers on their robes.

To Albus’s irritation, both adults look gloomy and disappointed. His father was slightly shorter than Draco, and looked the same as ever, except for the hardness in his green eyes. Albus wasn’t used to seeing it at all.

“Al,” Harry sighed, putting a fatherly hand on his Albus’s shoulder, and using the name that Albus so hated, “I need a word with you. In private, please. Here’s an empty classroom, let’s go in there.”

“Fine,” Albus muttered, giving Scorpius a resigned look as his friend was silently marched into a different, empty classroom. Harry led the way into theirs, and closed the door once Albus was in. He rested against a desk, folding his arms, and sighed again.

“Albus Severus,” he began, quietly, causing Albus to flinch.

“Don’t call me that, please,” Albus pleaded, and then felt a little guilty as he saw the sadness passing over his father’s face. “It’s just - I don’t know. Nobody gets called by their first and middle names round here. Everyone knows I’m named after these huge heroes, too, and it’s a bit weird.”

“Okay, then,” Harry shrugged, though his middle child could tell he was hurt. “Well. I’m sure you can guess what I want to talk to you about. The Prophet’s recent article about you and your friends. You know the one I’m talking about?”

“Yeah,” Albus said, guessing that - for now - honesty was the best policy. “About all the drugs and that shit? I mean, err, that -”

“Yes, the drugs,” Harry confirmed, ignoring the accidental swearword. “Now. I need you to be completely and totally honest with me. I’ve left you to your own devices a lot recently, and I’m sorry for that, and please don’t think I love you any less. I’m just trying to let you grow up in your own time.”

“Okay,” Albus nodded, warily. He was trying his hard not to be dragged into a confession by guilt, but it was proving rather hard. “Thanks, I guess.”

“Albus, please, are you taking drugs at parties? Are you addicted to anything? Your mother and I only want to help you, and we will do everything in our power to do so.”

Albus stared at his father, knowing inexplicably that he couldn’t tell the truth. Nothing in the world would make him do so. “Dad, I promise that I’m not taking anything, and I never have. I’m getting fed up of everyone suspecting me, to be honest.”

Harry didn’t look convinced, but he didn’t press the topic further. Instead, he changed tact and asked, “What about Scorpius? Does he?”

“No!” Albus retorted, a little louder. “Why are you so against him? You and James and the rest of the family - it’s getting ridiculous. He’s my friend, and you know full well none of your suspicion will stop that.”

“Don’t speak to me like that, Al,” Harry said, sternly, and straightened to his full height. “Fine. If you’re telling the truth, which I’m sure you are, then it’s all right. But promise me, please, that you’ll never do anything so stupid as use fairy dust, okay?”

“I promise,” Albus lied, and was relieved to see his father’s green eyes - so like his own - clear.


*


Scorpius shut the door behind himself and his father, resisting the urge to run for it. If his father pressed for a drug test - well, he didn’t even what to think about what could happen. He knew perfectly well that Azkaban wasn’t exactly his cup of tea, and so wanted to avoid it at all costs. Even if that meant begging.

“So, Dad,” he attempted, brightly, taking a seat on the teachers desk and smiling. Draco remained standing, face tight and strained. “What did you want to talk about? It’s nice to see you again.”

“Stop trying to act as though nothing is wrong,” Draco snapped, his expression dark. “You know perfectly well why I want to talk to you. You’re embarrassing the family name again and again, and I’m fed up of it. What excuse do you have for getting yourself in the newspapers, high on goodness knows what?”

“I wasn’t high, I was just -”

“I’m not stupid! I was young once, too, you know. Don’t even bother trying to tell me you don’t do drugs, I’ve walked in on you enough times to know you’re a regular user of fairy dust, at the very least.”

Scorpius winced. It was true, after all, and it didn’t look as though he could do much to convince anybody over. “I’m sorry for embarrassing you. It’s silly how proud the family is of the name Malfoy, anyway. It’s not even pretty.”

“You’re talking nonsense, as usual. When are you going to grow up?”

“Fine! What do you want me to do? Go become a Dark wizard and follow in yours and granddad’s footsteps?”

“Don’t talk to me about -”

“Why not, though? It’s fine for you to talk to me about my illegal activities, but what about Muggle torture and murder and -”

“That is enough!” Draco shouted, and Scorpius fell silent. He’d never talked about his father’s involvement in the Dark Arts, but he just couldn’t help but uncover the hypocrisy of this whole conversation. He wasn’t proud of his past, but even he knew he’d gone too far now. Draco looked furious, his usually pale cheeks burning red with anger. “I don’t care how hard it is, Scorpius, but you are getting off any drugs you usually take. If I hear, or see, anything more of them, then I’m cutting off your allowance. Am I making myself clear?”

“As clear as crystal,” Scorpius sighed, gloomily. He guessed it could be worse, but the thought of losing so much money wasn’t exactly appealing. Not that he was going to be giving up drugs, however. That would just be silly. “Can I go now? It’s lunch, and I’m starving.”

“Yes,” Draco shrugged, opening the door and leaving himself. Scorpius shut the door behind him, just as Harry and Albus came out of their own classroom. Albus looked a little guilty, and Harry a little frustrated, but Scorpius didn’t want to ask how it went in front of his father. He’d find out later, anyway, he was sure.

“Send my regards to mother dearest, won’t you?” Scorpius asked his father, and without a glance at either Draco nor Harry, took Albus’s arm and marched him off to the Great Hall.

He’d be damned if their interfering parents would ruin their fun.

The drugs and the parties and the alcohol, he vowed, would continue. And they would be brilliant.


*


James made his way through his third ham sandwich, listening to the conversations around him, a little distractedly. Rose had just informed him that his father and Draco Malfoy had come to see the headmistress, and the thought unnerved him. He wondered, a little protectively, if Albus would be in any serious trouble and what he could do to help him get out of it - and then thought of Scorpius in the same situation, and felt a little bit of vindictive pleasure.

Wiping the cruel smirk completely from his face, however, he suddenly noticed a girl talking to a startled Edward Belby, a notebook in her hand and a keen, nosey look on her face. He placed her instantly. The girl who had started the whole thing. Elizabeth Monroe, the daughter of the infamous journalist, Paris Monroe.

“Oi!” he exclaimed, standing up and striding over to her. Edward and the girl looked up, and relief washed over the younger boys’ face. He smiled at James thankfully, and quickly went back to his lunch, evidently pleased to be rid of her. The girl, however, put a hand on her hip and stuck up her nose, snootily.

“Yes?” she asked, coldly. “I’m trying to work here.”

“Work?” James snorted, disbelieving, well aware that many Gryffindors were watching them whilst eating. “You mean trying to get some gossip about my brother to put in some stupid paper again?”

“I don’t know what you mean,” she snapped, sliding her notebook and quill quickly back into her schoolbag. “I understand if you’re upset about the article my mother wrote, but don’t take it out on my. It’s not my fault your brother got caught.”

“You took the picture, though, didn’t you?”

“I don’t share tricks of the trade,” she replied, haughtily, and made to leave, but James grabbed her arm. She tried to pull away but he didn’t relent, instead glaring down at her. He hated pretentious, arrogant people, and it didn’t help that he already had a grudge with the fifth year.

“Listen, Elizabeth, you stay away from -”

“It’s Lizzy, thank you very much,” she growled, finally pulling away and shaking her frizzy blonde hair from her eyes. “I wouldn’t make an enemy of me, Potter. I can break anybody I like, you know. I don‘t care who your dad is.”

“Oh, I’m terrified, kid.” James barked with laughter, a little bemused. Who the hell did she think she was? “Anyway, I’m just warning you not to photograph, or write about, anybody I know again, okay? There’ll be hell to pay if you do.”

“Are you threatening me?” she hissed, crossing her arms across her chest. “You had better not be.”

“Of course I am, you idiot,” he replied, rolling his eyes. He could hear Nicholas and Adam sniggering at the table, and cast them a quick grin. He was glad he wasn’t the only one finding this girl hilariously stupid. “Now, do we have a deal that -”

“I don’t make deals with people like you,” she said, simply. “Anyway, you’re in for it now. Threatening me wasn’t a good idea. I’d keep an eye out for The Prophet in the future, if I were you.”

Before he could stop her, she’d turned on her heel and had stormed out of the hall, leaving her gaping after her. There was nothing in his life that would be remotely controversial, he knew, so he wasn’t really worried - but still. He wasn’t used to being spoken to like that, let alone by some fifth year girl.

As he sat back down, he tried to banish her threats from his mind - after all, whatever she’d report would probably be a lie - but his worry for Albus had increased dramatically. If Albus didn’t stop taking drugs, or, well, being caught taking them, Azkaban didn’t seem too far off, and that would break James’s heart with guilt.

And, if he was honest, he was pretty fond of his heart, and didn’t particularly want it cracking in two.


*


Rose Weasley sat in the corner of the Gryffindor common room that evening, feeling too bad to do her homework. She felt overwhelmingly bad - and had done all day - about falling out with Edward the day before. At the time, she’d been angry and upset, but now? She knew she’d overreacted. It was hardly Edward’s fault that her cousin was killing himself with the parties.

The two of them had been good friends from their first night at Hogwarts, when Rose had had trouble climbing through the portrait hall because she was so worried about Albus being in Slytherin, and Edward had helped her. From that moment, they’d had a protective bond over one another, and now she’d gone and ruined all that just because he’d gone to one of those stupid parties.

She just didn’t want her best friend to end up like her cousin.

“Rose?” came a quiet, familiar voice, and she looked up, startled. Edward was standing uncertainly by the chair. Evidently she’d been so lost in her thoughts that she hadn’t heard him approaching. She sniffed, and gave an awkward smile, which he cautiously returned. He sank into the chair by hers, looking concerned, a strand of brown hair falling into his eyes. “What’s the matter?”

“Nothing,” she lied, and he raised his eyebrows. “Oh, it’s just. I kind of. I feel bad about having a go at you this morning. I’m sorry. It’s just that I’m always so worried that Albus is going to end up really ill because of it all, and I know nothing I say can break his habits, and I thought that if you get into it all I’d be left with nobody, and I’m not sure I could take -”

“I didn’t take anything,” Edward explained, smiling slightly. “There’s no reason to worry about me. I went, stayed for a little, didn’t talk to anybody, and left. Promise.”

“Well. I guess that’s okay, then. I really am sorry, though. I had no right to -”

“Forget it,” Edward laughed, brushing his hair from his face. “It’s fine.”

“Scorpius mentioned you this morning,” Rose said, suddenly remembering, and then scowling as she did so. “He was so vulgar. He’s such an arse.”

“He - er - he mentioned me?” Edward asked, and to Rose’s surprise he’d turned a bright, boiling scarlet. “Erm. What exactly did he say?”

“Something about you kissing really - Edward! Have you and Scorpius done - done something?”

“No!” Edward answered, sounding a little desperate. “No, not at all. We. We’ve never even spoken. I don’t know why he’d say something like that.”

“Don’t lie to me, I can tell something happened!”

“I’m not lying! Why don’t you ever believe me?”

Rose didn’t answer, but instead folded her arms and narrowed her eyes, scrutinising her best friend closely. The colour was fading to pink now, but his eyes and expression seemed sincere. She sighed, relaxing, and shook her head. Sweeping her red hair over her shoulder, she said, sternly, “If I find out you’ve been lying to me, though, I’m going to be furious. You know that, don’t you?”

“Of course I do,” Edward replied, smiling faintly. “Erm. I’m just going to go to the bathroom for a minute, so I’ll see you later.”

With that, he stood up and hurried towards the dormitories, without looking back. Rose blinked, a little taken aback by the sudden departure, and then sighed again, more heavily.

Scorpius Malfoy was evidently not just a druggie and a twat.

He was a liar, too, and she’d set him straight about Edward the moment she saw him again.


*


Albus sparked his favourite Muggle lighter to life, gazing with some interest at the flame that burst from it. It was a blazing orange in the darkness of the dormitory, and he watched it catch the tip of the white paper alight with a strange kind of fascination. Releasing the pressure on the lighter, the light disappeared, and the only source of it was from the burning corner of the joint.

Albus took a long drag, and then held it out to his side. Long, slim fingers took it almost instantly, and he heard the familiar sounds of inhaling from the figure next to him. He and Scorpius were lying back on his bed - above the duvet, of course - and attempting to get nicely stoned.

Scorpius had been in a bad mood all day, since the discussion with his father, and Albus didn’t really know what to say to make him feel better. His own father had only made him feel a little guilty, but he hadn’t pondered on it for long after - yet Scorpius seemed truly affected, which surprised him a little.

“I hate my family,” Scorpius murmured, making Albus jump. He turned, resting his head upon on a hand, and could, fairly clearly, make out the shape of Scorpius next to him. He took the joint, gratefully, and waited for his best friend to elaborate. “They just don’t get it. They think I’m ruining the family name, but it’s already in the dirt, isn’t it? Everyone expects me to start killing all the Muggleborns, and they hate me for that a lot more than for the partying.”

“Everyone knows you’re not like that, though,” Albus argued. “Everyone expects me to be amazing at Defence, and start battling all the Dark wizards out there. There’s a lot of pressure when you have Harry Potter as a dad, believe me.”

“I know,” Scorpius replied, sympathetically. He reached up and brushed a few strands of Albus’s dark hair from his green eyes, and Albus could see him smiling. “We’re both disappointments, aren’t we?”

“That we are,” Albus agreed, grinning. “I mean, you’re no evil Pureblood fanatic, and I’m definitely not a champion of the underdog. We’re fucked, basically.”

“Ah, well,” Scorpius laughed, sounding much more cheerful, and he nestled his head against Albus’s shoulder. Taking the joint, he smiled, widely. “At least we have the drugs, eh?”

“At least we have the drugs,” Albus confirmed, and, for some reason, had to stop himself adding ‘and each other‘. 




*



A/N: Thank you very much for reading! I hope you can review, too. :D



*

Chapter 6: The Sporting Life
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns any characters and places you recognise. I'm just a humble writer trying to make part of the wonderful world she's creating my own.


Summary: Quidditch gets underway in Hogwarts, and most people seem pretty content. One Potter begins to develop quite the crush, whilst a Malfoy muses that the world seems pretty okay at the moment.


Song: Title of this chapter and lyrics used are from the song The Sporting Life by The Decemberists.


Author Notes: I’m so happy to be getting such lovely reviews on this story. I admit, I was worried when starting it that people would be offended by a lot of it, and so dislike it, but to know people are reading and enjoying really makes me smile. So, one big thank you to all of you!

 


Sporting-Life--BitterSweetFlames.png picture by smallstreets
[Conor Appleton, James's new Chaser and love interest]
credit to BitterSweetFlames at TDA!

 



Chapter Five - The Sporting Life


There's my father looking on
And there's my girlfriend arm in arm
With the captain of the other team
And all of this is clear to me
They condescend and fix on me a frown
How they love the sporting life!


*



Dear Scorpius,

It’s your grandmother here. Your father has told me about your recent troubles with the press, and I must say, if I were him I’d be suing the paper for all it was worth. As it is, he seems to fear that there is some truth in what’s been said, but, of course, I told him he was being silly and judgemental.

It may just be me, but I don’t think you’ve changed much from that little boy who used to come over every Saturday to look after his grandparents when they were ill, and to try one of my cakes. All of these drug accusations are nothing but preposterous, and I’m trying to convince your parents otherwise.

This is just a short note to say, have a nice sixth year, and I really do miss you. I shall see you at Christmas, I’m sure, and please don’t take your father’s doubt to heart.

All my love,

Narcissa Malfoy




*


 

The captain of the Slytherin Quidditch team was, much to the annoyance of one Albus Potter, not one Albus Potter. That responsibility lay with a burly, no-nonsense seventh year named Johnny Torrent, who played as a Chaser. Johnny was stern and unforgiving, and Albus wasn’t overly fond of him. Part of it was jealousy over his captaincy, but part of it was a justified grudge, in his opinion - Scorpius had been kicked from the team as Seeker the year before, because he was too ‘lazy’.

Whatever his personal opinions of Johnny were, however, Albus couldn’t really deny that the guy was good at his job. They were stood in the cold, October morning, the team tryouts well underway. Over breakfast, Scorpius had loudly lamented that he’d retry, but he didn’t think the team uniform was particularly pretty, earning him some very dirty looks from the sportier members of the team.

Albus, much to his relief, had outflown all of the other potential Beaters, and so had been welcomed back on the team without question. By his side stood Amanda Store, a dim but friendly seventh year girl, who was a new find and now his fellow Beater. She’d done fairly well in the tryouts, and he wasn’t too worried about playing with her. They were just finishing off the search for the Seeker - a thin, fifth year boy seemed to be the best flyer - and Albus was feeling exceedingly bored.

A month and a half into school, and it was proving a lot more work than he was used to. The only thing that was keeping him motivated was the thought of ending up with no money in some dead end job, and for that reason he handed in all of his homework to the best of his ability and in time. There was a lot of homework, though, and even his free periods didn’t really help. It was all cutting down on the time he spent with Scorpius and Ava, too, so he wasn’t exactly having the wild, fun year he’d hoped for.

He glanced across the pitch, as he’d been doing for the whole tryouts, to see Scorpius in the stands. He’d faithfully come down to watch them, but it didn’t look as though he was having much fun - he had his chin resting on his arms and was watching the grey clouds pass overhead. He looked up by coincidence as Albus did, and their eyes met. Scorpius mouthed “Are you nearly done?”, and Albus nodded. He hoped so, at least.

“Right!” Johnny said, loudly, drawing him back to the tryouts. “I think it’s clear that you’re the best out of the lot, Michael. Welcome to the team.”

“Thanks,” the fifth year grinned, running a hand through his windswept brown hair as the other hopefuls slouched off the pitch, all looking thoroughly disappointed. “I’ve been practising all summer for this.”

“Well, keep it up, and I think we’ll have a good chance at winning this year,” Johnny told the team, rather optimistically for him. “Let’s head off, then, it’s lunchtime.”

Albus lingered at the back of the team, though, looking over at Scorpius. Scorpius grinned, and leapt over the stands easily, strolling over to his best friend. He reached him, and stretched, wrapped up warmly in a duffel coat and his Slytherin scarf and hat.

“Well, I am glad that’s over,” he announced, watching the retreating team with a frown. “You know, Allie, you have an exceedingly ugly Quidditch team. I can’t say one of them makes my heart beat any quicker.”

“You’re such a charmer,” Albus said, pretending to be offended. “If that’s how you feel, then -”

“Oh, you know you’re not exceedingly ugly,” Scorpius rolled his eyes, and spoke as though it were the most obvious thing in the world. “I just meant your team. They really are atrocious. Don’t you wish I were back on it?”

“’Course I do,” Albus shrugged. “But you can’t be arsed, you know that. You’re an amazing Seeker, but it’s too much energy and time, isn’t it? You’d rather spend it kissing someone.”

“You know me too well,” Scorpius beamed, and then moved his gaze to the broomstick Albus was holding. “So. Did I come onto the pitch for a reason, or are we just going to stand here for a bit longer and talk about my general laziness in all but the kissing department?”

“I dunno,” Albus laughed, holding up the broomstick. “Do you want to have a fly? Unless you’ve gone and left your broom in the castle.”

“Well, yes, I have, actually,” Scorpius smiled, undeterred. “But you have a broom, and we’re hardly the heaviest of boys, are we? I might as well just get on behind you.”

“Any excuse,” Albus groaned, though he didn’t really mind. Shooting Scorpius one of his looks, he got upon the broom, leaving enough room behind him. Scorpius smiled, winningly, and climbed on. He put his arms tightly around Albus’s waist, causing Albus to sigh. His friend was rather predictable, at times. He kicked off, however, without complaint, and the grip around him tightened even further.

“Hmm. I’ve missed flying. We’ll have to do it more often,” Scorpius murmured, as they soared above the goal hoops. “Or, well, you’ll have to do it more often, and I’ll have to hold on tight.”

“I do need to get some more practise in,” Albus commented, steering the broom in a wide circle. “I guess we could make a habit of it, even if you do have your own expensive broom.”

“You know you love it,” Scorpius said, nestling his head comfortably into Albus’s back, and Albus couldn’t help but silently agree.

 

*

 

James was beginning to get heartily annoyed.

He’d been looking forward to being captain of the Gryffindor team so much, and now the try outs were looking dire. They were a week into October - which was pretty late, seeing as even the Slytherin team had done their tryouts the week before, and they were notorious procrastinators - and it was chucking it down with rain. It was good for picking out flyers who could stand bad weather, but it did nothing but increase James’s bad mood with those who refused to be told they’d been rejected.

He was in the middle of trying the potential Beaters, and he already knew most of the hopefuls were absolute crap. They flew above him, trying to swat away the Bludgers he’d released, whilst he watched them for any spark of talent. Only one seemed really to shine; and that was, a little surprisingly, his cousin, Hugo.

Hugo had never seemed to show much of an interest in Quidditch when they’d all played it in the Potter’s large garden. Though he didn’t get the best grades, he’d always been assumed to take after his bookish mother by James. Apparently, though, he’d been completely wrong - the fourth year was swinging his bat with a force and aim that James had come to expect from professional players.

Studying the rest, he realised that nobody else was particularly brilliant, but one sixth year was fairly good. He knew him vaguely as Lewis Hutchinson, and the boy had a wicked force behind his swing, even if his aim wasn’t quite as perfect as Hugo’s. Everybody else seemed to be trying out just to waste his time. James raised his whistle to his lips, and blew, hard, signalling for everybody to land.

He wasn’t looking forward to telling the five other hopefuls they weren’t good enough. He’d had enough trouble with the Keepers - he was letting Olive Burin back onto the team, which she’d been playing as for three years. Once everybody had landed around him, he cleared his throat, and straightened to his full height.

“Right,” he said, briskly. “Hugo, you were by far the best, and I’m not picking you just because you’re in the family, before anybody starts. Second to you, I reckon, was Lewis. So, well done the both of you, and welcome to the team.”

Predictably, there was an uproar from the disappointed Gryffindors, and it took a good five minutes to chivvy the lot of them off the pitch, where they grumpily sat in the stands to watch the rest of the tryouts. James returned to those waiting in the middle of the pitch, and instructed them all to get into the air and start tossing a Quaffle to one another, and to show him what they’d got.

He wasn’t too worried about this section of his team. Nicholas and Adam were both amazing Chasers, and he knew they’d probably outfly everybody else. Everyone else seemed to be shaping up pretty well, too, which he was glad about; he really hoped to find some more undiscovered talent. He, of course, was returning as Seeker for the fifth year in a row, and was fairly proud of the fact. It was nice to follow in his father’s rather intimidating footsteps.

Soon enough, he realised that his eyes were straying to one particular hopeful more than any others.

The girl was in James’s year, but until now they’d not had much to do with each other. Her name, he knew, was Conor Appleton - which he’d always found a little bemusing, as he didn’t think Conor was actually used as a girl’s name. However, she was a damn good Quidditch player and was, well, rather good looking, in an almost boyish kind of way.

She had dark brown hair just past her shoulders, which she kept in a ponytail, and had a tanned, freckled face. Her body was slim and hardly feminine at all, but for some reason James was finding it hard to focus on anybody else. He swallowed, hard, and shook himself. He was Quidditch captain, and he was not about to choose someone for the team on the basis of her looks.

Much to his relief, she was extremely skilled, on par with Nicholas and Adam, and the three of them seemed to work well together. Nobody else was really in their league, so soon enough James was blowing his whistle and beckoning them all down.

“Well, I’ve come to a decision,” he announced, once everyone was firmly back on the grass. “Nicholas, Adam, welcome back. New to the team, however, I’d like to congratulate Conor. So. Well done to the three of you, and everyone else can head back to the castle now, because I think we’re done.”

Making him sigh with further relief, there weren’t any complaints for the four would-be Chaser, who merely looked disappointed and left without a word. Nicholas and Adam clapped James on the back and jogged over to the Quidditch store room to put the equipment away, leaving Conor and James to made their way back to the castle.

James was rather alarmed to find explosion after explosion of nerves in his stomach, and had no idea what to say.

Luckily, she solved it for him, by sweeping her hair from her face and grinning. “Wow. Cheers for picking me, I wasn’t expecting that at all. My dad’s been training with me all summer, though, because he reckons it was about time I tried out for the team.”

“He was right,” James complimented, trying to ignore the redness itching up his cheeks. He would not randomly fall for a team-mate, he sternly told himself. “I mean. Uh. You’re really good.”

“Thanks!” she laughed, and then wrinkled her nose. “I bet I mess up in the actual games though, so sorry in advance. I’ve never really been in front of a huge crowd, so I might react really horribly.”

“You’ll be fine, everyone is nervous at first, but it’s easy to get used to,” James shrugged, remembering the panic before his first game. “The thing is to focus on what you’re doing, rather than what the crowd is doing. Just pretend you’re in practise and all that. It works for me, anyway.”

“I’ll try that, then,” she smiled, gratefully, and then glanced behind them. “Ah, look, my fellow Chasers are catching up.”

James turned, to see that, indeed, his two best friends were jogging towards them. He was half grateful, half annoyed when they finally caught up - he’d been finding conversation with Conor easy and comfortable, but then again, they provided a welcome distraction from this sudden, annoying crush that had burst upon him.

 

*

 

 

She’d been saving all summer for this, and now she was finally here, she really couldn’t pick which dress she wanted.

Ava had managed to tear Rebecca away from a game of Exploding Snap, and together they’d snuck out of the school (as they’d done countless times before), and now stood in Hogsmeade’s best dress shop, trying to find the perfect dress for Ava. She didn’t really have too many nice clothes, she knew, so she wanted to actually get something classy, and surprise Albus at tonight’s party.

“What about this one?” Rebecca asked, taking a bottle green dress from a shelf and holding it up.

“Ugh,” Ava groaned, sparing it the smallest of glances. “I may be proud of being Slytherin, but that shade of green is disgusting. I want something bright. Something vivacious. But not yellow, because it clashes horribly with my skin tone.”

“You’re so picky,” Rebecca sighed, shaking her head, but continued on her search. “Hmm. Well, there aren’t many yellow dresses, so you’re safe. I’ll go look at the blue rail.”

“Alright then,” Ava commented, scanning the red rail. She soon found one that caught her eye, and rushed off to the changing room, hoping she’d found her dress. After all, looks were immensely important, she knew that. She changed in seconds, casting off her school robes with satisfaction, and soon was marvelling the dress in the mirror.

It was a shimmery red, reaching just above her knees, and was typically low cut. It was clingy - just how she liked her clothes - and she smiled at her reflection. She thought it was perfect. It would be lovely to see the look on Albus’s face when he saw it, which she was certain would be surprise and happiness and lust, or something equally good. Sometimes she needed to dress up to remind him she was the one he was dating, but she didn’t really like to dwell upon that.

A few minutes later, her purse was considerably lighter, and her and Rebecca were strolling back to school. Her friend had agreed that the dress looked nice, and Ava was very much satisfied with her purchase. Linking her friends arm, and gazing at the castle they were making their way towards, she sighed. “You do think Albus will like it, don’t you?”

“You really are paranoid,” Rebecca sighed, though she was smiling. “I’m sure he’ll love it. Where is he today, anyway? The two of you usually spend Saturdays together.”

“He’s with Scorpius,” Ava shrugged. “Scorpius has a headache or something - probably thanks to all that fairy dust he snorted last night - and he doesn’t want Albus to leave his side.”

“Ah,” Rebecca said, thoughtfully. After a pause, she elaborated. “Are you alright with that?”

“Of course I am,” Ava replied, puzzledly. “Why wouldn’t I be? They’ve always been like it.”

“No reason,” Rebecca smiled, hastily. “I just wondered. It’s just. Well. Most girlfriends wouldn’t be all too pleased if their other half spent all of his free time with his best friend instead of her. That’s all.”

“Hey, he does spend time with me,” Ava snapped, becoming a little irritated. She didn’t really bear Rebecca any ill will; it was just that it was a topic she hated to think about, and so other people bringing it up annoyed her. “I’m not going to start an argument by trying to make them spend less time with each other. They’re like brothers. That’s all.”

“I know! I was only saying -”

“You don’t need to,” Ava interrupted, pushing all thoughts and doubts surrounding the topic firmly from her mind. “Now. Let’s get back to the castle and get ready for the party.”

“Exactly,” Rebecca laughed, though Ava sensed she wanted to press the subject further. “I’m sure the moment Albus sees you, he’ll forget all about Scorpius.”

 

*

 

 

Albus vaguely wondered when Scorpius had got his latest pair of criminally tight black jeans.

His best friend was currently dancing with Edward, shimmying his hips like nobody’s business. Edward looked amazed that he was where he was; his face was flushed and lit up, his eyes telling of his awe. Albus couldn’t help but smile. It had been a while since Scorpius had had a fling with somebody new, and it was nice that it wasn’t some arrogant little attention-grabber for once.

He also knew Scorpius didn’t consider it a relationship and would soon move on, but Albus was far too used to it to really feel any guilt any more.

As the song from the Wireless faded into another, Scorpius smiled at Edward, whispered something in his ear, and then made his way across the room to the sofa on which Albus was sat alone. He slid comfortably into the vacant seat, tossing his head back to get his blonde hair from his eyes.

“Isn’t Edward just lovely?” he asked, watching the brown-haired boy head over to the drinks table. “I know he’s not really my usual type, but still. He adores me. It’s adorable. He’s adorable. I might keep him for a while.”

“He does seem to think you’re quite the hero,” Albus agreed, smirking. “Does he think you’re going out, though? I’m sure it’ll be quite a shock if he finds you with somebody else.”

“Honestly, everybody knows I don’t do relationships. It’s my motto, isn’t it? What’s the point in simply kissing one person, when there are millions? Variety is the spice of life, as they say.”

“There are perks to a relationship, though,” Albus commented, thinking of Ava. “I mean, there’s the whole safety thing. You know you’ll get a snog whenever you want. Then there’s the nice feeling of trust and satisfaction and -”

“The cons outweigh the perks completely,” Scorpius snorted, waving an indifferent hand. “You’re tied down to one person, and if you happen do to something with anybody else it ends in heartbreak and a slap. With open relationships, though, you get all of the pleasure and none of the pressure. As for always knowing you can get a snog, I don’t need a relationship for that. We’ve been through it a hundred times.”

“One day you’ll find the right person, and then you’ll feel differently.”

“Oh, I’ve already found him,” Scorpius laughed, rolling his eyes.

“You - what?” Albus was rather startled; what on earth was his friend on about? He’d never shown a particular attachment to any boy that could be called love. Scorpius, though, merely smiled secretively. “Come off it. Do you mean drugs or something?”

“No,” Scorpius smiled, in the same manner, and stood up. Edward had approached them, holding three drinks a little awkwardly, and he held one out to each of them. “Thank you, dear.”

“It’s okay,” Edward grinned, a little nervously. Albus stood, too, and took his. “I didn’t know what you both liked so I got vodka and coke.”

“That’s fine, thanks very much,” Albus said, taking a quick sip. There wasn’t nearly enough vodka in it, but he wasn’t about to be ungrateful and say so. Scorpius took a large swig, and then licked his lips, examining Edward carefully.

“Hmm. Do you want to dance, love?”

“Not really,” Edward confessed, biting his lip and looking at the floor. “I’m not very good at it. Not like you.”

“Well, there’s a vacant chair over there,” Scorpius replied, nodding over at a cosy-looking chair in the corner. “We could go and - ahem - share it, if you like.”

Edward smiled, happily and awkwardly, and nodded. Scorpius laughed, downed the rest of his drink, winked at Albus in goodbye, and dragged his new find off to the chair. Albus raised his eyes to the sky, turned, and found himself looking straight at his girlfriend. She didn’t look particularly happy, what with her narrow eyes and her crossed arms.

“Er. Hey, Ava. What’s the matter? You were a while at the bathroom.”

“You haven’t even noticed, have you?” she snapped, sounding surprisingly sober. “You’re absolutely ridiculous. You’ve been looking at Scorpius all night, haven’t you? Maybe you need to ask some questions about yourself.”

“Excuse me?” Albus spluttered. “What the hell are you on about?”

“Look at me, and try to think, all right?”

“Fine,” Albus sighed, exasperated, and examined her. She looked quite pretty, with her hair loose and curly, and she wore a tight red dress he couldn’t remember seeing before. Ah, he suddenly thought. “Oh. Your dress, right? It’s really nice, you look gorgeous.”

“Oh, you’re just saying that now,” she muttered, slumping back onto the sofa and shaking her head. He tentatively sat by her side, wondering if he’d been forgiven. He was a little surprised that she was annoyed; since when did he notice what clothes a girl wore? “I spent loads on it, you know, and I thought you’d -”

Albus knew that he had to make her feel better before she got upset, and so he moved closer, sliding an arm around her shoulders and pulling her towards him. “Listen,” he said, in a quieter, deeper voice, “you look beautiful, you really do. It makes you look even lovelier than usual.”

She smiled, cheeks going pink. “You think so? Thank you. You’re too nice to me.”

He smiled, softly, and leant in for a kiss. He was being truthful, he mused, as she wrapped her arms around him. She did look nice, even nicer than usual. He most certainly had no qualms about her splashing out on new, revealing dresses, especially for him. He’d been honest when he’d told Scorpius there was a lot of safety in a relationship, and he enjoyed it.

He just had to learn to ignore certain comments about him watching Scorpius.

Because, he told himself, he most certainly hadn’t been.

 

*

 

Scorpius stood at the door of the Room of Requirement, one hand idly playing with Edward’s collar. It was fairly early - eleven - but Edward said he had to go, or Rose would be even more suspicious. Whilst Scorpius wasn’t happy to have to say goodbye just yet, he wasn’t in the mood to kick up a fuss.

“Hmm, does Red not know about your little sessions with me, then?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.

“N-no,” Edward replied, swallowing hard. “She wouldn’t understand. She doesn’t. Well. I mean. I don’t think she likes you very much.”

“Understatement of the year, love,” Scorpius grinned, not minding the honesty at all. He much preferred it, in fact. “Do you feel the same way as her?”

“What? No! Of course not. I really, really - erm. Well. I kind of really - “

“I know,” Scorpius laughed, leaning forwards and pressing a kiss against Edward’s mumbling lips. The boy reacted slowly, but soon responded, kissing back passionately. Scorpius withdrew, smiling winningly. “Well. You should be off then. Don’t want to keep her waiting.”

“I guess,” Edward muttered, looking quite reluctant. He put a hand on the door handle, but then paused. He looked at Scorpius straight in the eye, and before Scorpius knew what was happening, Edward was hugging him, tightly. He blinked, but soon hugged back, a little unsure of what was happening.

Edward pulled back, kissed Scorpius on the mouth, murmured ‘thank you’, and left, all before Scorpius could react. He stared at the door as it shut, blinking a few times, and then smiled. Edward really had been a lucky find; he was sweet and attractive and doting.

He was far from Scorpius’s perfect boy, though, and so the Slytherin turned to find Albus and head to bed. He was feeling a little tired, thanks to all of the alcohol he’d drank.

Albus, however, was already asleep - curled up on a sofa with Ava.

Clicking his tongue, Scorpius made his way over to them, stepping over an unconscious Dexter as he did so. The two of them looked quite sweet together, Ava’s head on Albus’s shoulder, and so Scorpius didn’t want to disturb them.

Things, he mused, were going quite well in the world. He had a new, sweet plaything, Albus and Ava had never gotten along better, and his hair had never been softer. Yes, he thought happily, things were going well.

He quickly planted a kiss on both of his friend’s heads, and then went over to a vacant chair in the corner to sleep and dream of how fun the next party was sure to be.

Little did he know, however, that a girl was watching him from across the room; a girl who would soon take all the friendship and contentment from him, and shake everything up.

Sandra Terry smiled to herself. Ava and Rebecca may of made her less than welcome in the party crowd recently, but she had always had a way with boys, and Scorpius was obviously the ringleader.

Yes, she thought, watching Scorpius curl up on the armchair, she had always had a way with boys, and she couldn’t see why this one would be any different.

 

*



A/N: A word of warning to my dear characters -- whenever you think things are going well, something is just around the corner. Keep that in mind, dears. Now, to all my readers, THANK YOU for being so awesome.



*


 

Chapter 7: Diva Lady
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns any characters and places you recognise. I'm just a humble writer trying to make part of the wonderful world she's creating my own.


Summary: James resorts to violence, even though he knows it won’t solve much. Things begin to fall apart for some people, however, as a certain boy thinks he’s fallen in love.


Song: Title of this chapter and lyrics used are from the song Diva Lady by The Divine Comedy.


Author Notes: Thanks to everybody who has been reviewing! I really appreciate it. I’ve now got every chapter planned out, and I know exactly what’s going to happen to everyone, and all I can say is there’s going to be a lot of drama involved. I hope you enjoy the results. ;D


 

divalady.png picture by smallstreets
[Sandra Terry, getting what she wants]
credit to .ducky at TDA!


 

 


Chapter Six - Diva Lady


She’s got thirty people in her entourage.
Just in case her ego needs a quick massage.
She’s got a famous boyfriend
They go out in style.
She makes him look hetero
He helps her profile.

 
*
 


Mum and Dad,

Hugo here! Guess what? I got picked as a Beater for the Quidditch team! James said it wasn’t because I was family but because I was good, so I’m really happy.

Anyway there are lots and lots of rumours going around school about Albus and his friends. I’m not sure what to believe. People are saying they are taking drugs and stuff, and Lily keeps getting really upset about it. Rose knows Albus better than me but she won’t talk to me about it.

This is a short letter because I have an essay to write for Defence and it’s going to be really difficult.

Lots of love,

Hugo x

 

*

 

Much to James’s delight at a practise on Halloween, his new Quidditch team was shaping up to be pretty damn good.

His new additions to the team were working well with the regulars, and nobody was sticking out at all as awkward. Even the one James had been worried about - Lewis Hutchinson - was performing well, him and Hugo proving to be a troublesome and forceful pair of Beaters. Olive was still an exceptional Keeper. He thought he was doing pretty good as a Seeker. Nicholas, Adam and Conor were amazing Chasers.

Not only that, but Conor was causing him to go embarrassingly pink whenever she looked his way.

He’d confessed to Nicholas and Adam how he felt about her, and they’d made it their duty to leave the two of them alone whenever possible. He was grateful for his best friends; they understood that he’d never be able to get her on her own himself, without seeming like an arrogant prat. So far all he’d managed to do was talk in a stupidly squeaky voice in front of her, and make a few stupid jokes that she’d seemed to force a laugh for, but at least he hadn’t made her hate him.

The evening began to plunge the day into darkness, and it looked like it was going to rain at any moment, so James decided to call it a day. He yelled over the growing wind for everybody to land and everybody - looking quite pleased with how the practise had gone - sped to the ground. James reached it last, and climbed off his broom, grinning at everybody.

“I’m not usually this optimistic, but I reckon the cup’s in the bag for us this year!” he enthused, and everybody nodded in agreement. “Right, then, well done to everyone, if we keep this up the match against Slytherin will be ours for sure. Let’s call it a day and head back to the castle for showers, yeah?”

Before he knew what was happening, however, Nicholas, Olive and Adam were rushing off to put the equipment away - smirking at him wickedly, and Lewis and Hugo were walking back together, deep in discussion of Beater techniques for the upcoming match against Slytherin. That left - rather suddenly - him and Conor alone.

She grinned at him, beginning to walk up to the looming castle, and he followed along side, feeling rather like some lovesick puppy. Before he could help himself, he’d blurted out something that had been puzzling him for ages - “Why do you have a boy’s name?”

Conor raised her eyebrows, and he coloured, but he was soon relieved to see her smiling. “You get straight to the point, don’t you?”

“Uh - well -”

“Don’t worry about it, everybody asks one time or another,” she shrugged, and then wrinkled her nose. “My dad was dead set on having a boy when my mum was pregnant with me. He’d already decided on the name Conor, and then when I turned out to be a girl he hadn’t got the heart to change it. I feel a bit stupid, to be honest.”

“Oh, no, I like it, it suits you,” he assured her, quickly, and then winced. “I mean - not that you’re like a boy, of course, uh, far from it actually, but -”

“Thanks, I guess,” she sniggered, looking nothing but amused at how flustered he was getting. They remained in an awkward silence as they headed into the castle, James mentally cursing himself and wondering what to say to sound a bit more suave. Would complimenting her be too much? They barely knew each other.

As they passed through the Entrance Hall, he couldn’t help but say, “I like your shorts.”

“My -” she paused, and looked down. She was wearing a simple pair of black shorts to practise in, and looked bewildered at his compliment. He wanted to die, right there and then. Her shorts?! He could have said he liked her eyes or her hair or her accent or anything, and he said he liked her shorts? Really charming, James. “Er. Thank you.”

“Sorry, that was a stupid thing so say,” he said, in a rush. “I meant. I don’t know, actually. Just, you’re really good at Quidditch and I’m glad I picked you for the team. You’re like. I don’t know. I’m not sure where I’m going with this, ha ha. You do have nice, er, shorts though. It just kind of came out wrong.”

She fixed him with a strange look as his breathless rambling trailed off, her dark eyes making him experience a strange, warm feeling in the pit of his stomach. “You’re very sweet, you know,” she commented, slowly, and he broke out into a grin.

“I’m -”

“Oh, look, Edward! It’s James Potter and some pretty girl. Don’t they look nice together?”

James turned, sharply, his skin crawling at the sound of the jovial male voice. It was, sure enough, Scorpius Malfoy, leant against the wall, idly playing with the hem of Edward Belby’s sleeve. Edward smiled at James, nervously, but his eyes soon returned to the blonde boy by his side. Scorpius was smiling, too, but it was more of a smirk. James sighed, heavily, frustrated and heavily annoyed that the moment between Conor and him had been ruined by this idiot.

“What do you want, Malfoy?” he asked, angrily. “Can’t you go back to your slimy little dungeon and leave everybody in peace?”

“Oh, I can, I suppose,” Scorpius laughed, smugly. “I suppose your lovely brother will be there, won’t he? Probably in our bedroom. Just waiting for me. Isn’t that a nice thought?”

“What the hell?” James asked, a little unsure whether or not he was being serious. He knew his brother was with that strange Ava girl, but sometimes it seemed like he and Scorpius were such good friends they were practically married. He wouldn’t care if Albus was gay or bi or whatever, but with Scorpius? The thought made him want to murder. “Shut it, Malfoy. By the way, Edward, I don’t know why you’re with him. He’ll mess you around, you know. Does Rose know about this?”

“Er. No, not exactly,” Edward admitted, looking at the floor. “Don’t tell her, please?”

“It’s not my place to,” James explained, gruffly. “But if I were you -”

“Luckily, Edward dear isn’t you, James. So you’ll just have to be content with thinking about me when you’re all alone in bed, won’t you? Oh, I bet you’d love to door to open and night and for me to slip in to the dormitory, wouldn’t you? Naughty, naughty.”

“Shut up right now, or -”

“Aw, are you getting embarrassed? You’re much easier to break than Allie. It takes lots and lots of drugs just to get him to blush, you know. Mmm, but it doesn’t take too much to make him kiss me. You should know that your brother’s actually an amazing -”

James couldn’t help it. He shoved Scorpius hard into the wall, and drew back his fist. For the first time in James’s memory, worry - even fear - passed over Scorpius’s face, and he flinched, evidently bracing himself for the blow. The strange, innocent action made James paused, and then swear. He couldn’t hit him. Albus would kill him if he did, anyway.

“Fine,” he growled, lowering his fist. “But listen to me, Malfoy. You keep your stupid comments to yourself, and keep your filthy fingers off my brother. One more little bit of cheek from you, and I won’t hold myself back from messing up your pretty little face, you get that? You‘re not charming or lovable or whatever else other people see you as, not to me. You‘re a slime ball and a cheat and a heartbreaker, and I hate you, understand? One day my brother‘ll see sense, and then you might actually shut up. That‘s if you don‘t destroy him first.”

Scorpius stared at him with wide, grey, insolent eyes, all traces of brightness gone. He didn’t say a word, instead shoving past James and stalking away, presumably to the dormitories. Edward left, too, heading up the stairs, probably to the Gryffindor tower. James let out a long breath, still feeling furious, and turned back to Conor - to find that she had gone.

He cursed and closed his eyes, knowing his threats had probably shocked her, or ruined what she thought of him.

Fuck you, Scorpius Malfoy, he silently thought to himself, and then went off in search of Conor, to try and explain away his aggression.

 

*

 

“Rarr, I’m going to suck your blood!” Albus announced, enthusiastically, as the dormitory door opened and Scorpius came in. He stood up, brandishing his cloak for effect, and baring his newly, magically-sharpened fangs. Scorpius stared at him, eyebrows raised, and so Albus pounced. He pushed Scorpius back on a bed and pressed his teeth against the soft skin of his neck, laughter escaping him against his will. “Rarr!”

Albus knew he was acting more than a little childish, but he couldn’t help it. Dressing up, especially for Halloween, was always so much fun. They were having a fancy dress party that night and he was unusually excited. He’d found the perfect spell to get real fangs, and he was remarkably proud of the fact he hadn’t blown up his own mouth in the attempt of it. He’d wanted Scorpius to be impressed, or at least amused.

A little disappointingly, though, Scorpius just stared up at him, blankly.

Albus climbed off of his best friend, instead sitting down next to him, crossing his legs, and gravely informing him, “You’re not a very good victim, you know.”

“Sorry,” Scorpius sighed, sitting up and rubbing his neck. “Why are you pretending to be a vampire, then?”

It was Albus’s turn to stare now. “It’s Halloween, remember? The fancy dress party? We went out and got our costumes at the weekend? Ringing any bells?”

“Oh, yeah, the costumes,” Scorpius agreed, looking across at his bed to see his own laid out for him, which Albus had done earlier. “I don’t want to wear mine anymore. I’ll look stupid.”

Standing up, Albus ran a hand through his dark hair, more than a little bemused. Scorpius was missing - well, that spark that he usually had. That glint in his eye, that skip in his step, that flirt in his voice. Everything that made Albus like him so much, everything that made him bright in the grey world they lived in.

Damn, he didn’t even want to dress up as a kitten for the party. There was most certainly something wrong.

“Come on, you’re dressing up whether you like it or not,” Albus protested, bundling the costume up in his arms and dropping it on Scorpius’s lap. “You know how nice you looked wearing that headband with the furry ears on. You didn’t shut up about it all day when you found it!”

“I suppose,” Scorpius said, slowly, “that I’ll dress up then. For you.”

“That’s the spirit!” Albus grinned, and practically bounced over the mirror to continue applying eyeliner. He wasn’t much in the habit of wearing make-up, but tonight he had no reservations. He noticed, though, in the mirror’s reflection, that Scorpius was staring glumly at the floor. “Okay, mate, that’s totally not the spirit. What’s wrong?”

“What’s wrong?” Scorpius repeated, a little loudly, standing up. “What’s wrong is that I’m destroying you. I just. Oh, never mind. I’ll go dress up as a kitten and smile and fuck someone pretty and pretend I’m amazing some more, shall I?”

“Destroying me?” Albus asked, turning from the mirror, more than a little startled. “You’re not destroying me. We’re destroying each other, aren’t we? Has someone said something?”

“Never mind, Albus,” Scorpius said, smiling faintly, and began to pick through his costume.

“Albus? Since when have you called me that?”

“Oh.” Scorpius stopped, and then looked his dark-haired friend straight in the eye, seeming uncertain. “Allie. Allie.”

Suddenly, colour seemed to flood back into Scorpius, his grey eyes glittering. “Right you are. Albus is such an ugly name; I can’t believe I even tainted my tongue by saying it. Time to get dressed, then, eh? I’ll have to go impress everybody with my innocent little kitten look, won’t I?”

“That you will,” Albus laughed, worry fading fast. “Except, I doubt there’ll be much innocence going on, you little sex kitten.”

 

*

 

A couple of hours later, the party was well under way, and Albus was having an amazingly good time. Dexter had gotten a new strain of pills from his brother, and Albus felt as though he were floating, without a single care in the world. Ava was dressed as a fairy, looking extremely pretty, and Albus had to kiss her every few minutes just to be satisfied.

He’d squirted fake blood all over the white shirt he was wearing, and he had black eye shadow smeared around his eyes, and he was pretty sweaty from all the dancing, so he knew he looked like a mess. But he didn’t care at all - he was having a damn good time, and all was going well.

Well, not all.
Scorpius sat alone in the corner, looking gloomily off into space. 

He was dressed in very tight black trousers and a grey shirt, with whiskers painted on his cheeks, a fluffy tail magically attached to the seat of his trousers, and his headband-ears firmly on his head. Albus had to admit he looked quite sweet, and without drugs or alcohol affecting him, he looked much younger than usual.

Edward had been with him earlier, but it seemed Scorpius was still very despondent, and so now the brown-haired Gryffindor was at the drinks table, alone, and looking concerned. Nobody else seemed to have noticed that the usual life and soul of the party was sulking in the corner. Albus wondered, vaguely (thanks to the pills), if he should go and see what the matter was. But Scorpius would tell him if he’d wanted him to know, wouldn’t he?

As he stared over at his friend, a pair of arms slipped around his waist, and somebody sighed in his ear. “What’s wrong with him?” Ava murmured, resting her chin on Albus’s shoulder. “He hasn’t taken anything all night, it’s really odd.”

“I don’t really know,” Albus sighed, turning and pressing his lips against hers. He felt her smile, her arms sliding around his neck, and he smoothed his across her hips, pulling her closer. She smelled like shampoo and soap, her dark hair curled and tickling in his cheeks, and he couldn’t help but grin into the kiss. God, he needed to get some more of these pills off of Dexter some time. They were making him forget all his guilt and doubt, and actually making him into a well-behaved boyfriend.

They broke apart after a minute or two, and Albus glanced at his reflection on a mirror on the far wall. His mouth was smeared with bright red lipstick, and it had made his costume even cooler. He bared his fangs to Ava, who giggled, and planted another kiss on his forehead. “Go see Scorpius,” she smiled, glancing at the silent blonde boy. “Make him feel better, okay? I feel bad for him.”

“As you wish, you lovely little fairy,” Albus smiled, saluting her. “Then I shall come back and bite your -”

“Oh, it looks like he already has company,” Ava suddenly cut through him, voice cold. Albus, startled at the change of tone, turned, to see a posh Ravenclaw girl from their year settling herself in the seat by Scorpius, who looked up, surprised. “It’s that stuck-up bitch, Sandra Terry. She had better not try anything with him.”

Albus, watching the way the girl smiled at his best friend, couldn’t help but silently agree.

 

*

 

Scorpius knew he wasn’t acting anything like his normal self, but he didn’t much care.

Occasionally - very occasionally, in fact - he sunk into a strange, depressed mood, and wondered why exactly he was usually so carefree and bright and happy. There didn’t seem to be a point to it, and James’s words had definitely stung. He was doing Albus more damage than good, surely? Albus was from a good - no, great - family, and Scorpius had dragged him into drugs and alcohol and rebellion. He was a terrible person, he knew, and he couldn’t even bring himself to get high in an attempt to rid himself of all the guilt.

He glanced up from the corner he was sat in, to see Albus and Ava happily making out in the middle of the room. They looked so happy, it almost made him want to go and shove straight through the middle of them. Couldn’t they see how unhealthy this whole thing was for them? Pills, fairy dust, Screechsnap? It was fine for him, he knew he was in too deep and would never get out, but they had a chance at being normal.

Heaving a great sigh, he looked back down at his black jeans. He had absolutely no idea why he wasn’t dancing and kissing himself, but he was in the middle of one of his exceedingly rare not-in-the-mood moods, and would just have to wait to snap out of it and be alright again. Then, he’d forget about feeling bad, and just live again.

There was the sound of movement to his left, and he looked up, hoping it was Albus. Maybe his over enthusiastic vampire of a friend could shake him out of his silly mood. To his surprise, however, it was a rather pretty girl from his year, who he vaguely knew to be extremely rich and well spoken, and called Sandra. He thought she was in Ravenclaw, too.

“Hello,” she smiled, moving a little closer to him on the settee. He started, wondering what she wanted from him, but before he could do anything else, she crossed her legs, causing her skirt to ride up her thigh a little more. It revealed the top of her stockings, and suddenly he had to pause and swallow, hard. He’d always been a sucker for lingerie.

“Hey,” he replied, in a weak attempt at his usual cheerful tone. “Can I help you?”

“Mmm, I was about to ask you the same thing,” she laughed, voice soft. She raised a slim eyebrow and moved a hand to his cheek, tracing a whisker. “You look lovely as a kitten, you know. It almost makes you seem innocent.”

“Almost?” he asked, smirking, feeling his bad mood lessening.

“You’ve done so many naughty things in your life that you’ve lost count, I’m sure,” she commented, now running a finger along his jaw line. “I think it’s nice. Isn’t it a little lonely, though? You always seem to be with different people every night. Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up next to somebody and know they’re not going to regret it in the morning? Somebody who understands you?”

Without quite meaning to, or really knowing why, Scorpius half-glanced at Albus at this. His friend was watching him, an odd look on his face, and Scorpius had to look away. What Sandra had said… well, it was all so true, it made his stomach twist painfully. He wondered if she understood how it felt, and looked up at her with wide, grey eyes.

“Yeah, that would be nice,” he replied, hoping he didn’t sound as stupidly emotional as he felt. “It would be amazing, actually. But I wouldn’t get your hopes up, love. I don’t tend to stay faithful for too long, whatever I feel for the boy or girl in question.”

“Well, then,” Sandra whispered, leaning even closer, now running her fingers through his blonde hair, “the boy or girl in question would just have to make sure you’re always - ah - satisfied, wouldn’t they?”

Okay, Scorpius thought, his bad mood was definitely gone now. He could feel his old self flooding back in, and damn, it felt good. He leant forward, pressing his lips against her soft ones, feeling a rush of butterflies and adrenaline mixing pleasantly in his stomach. Pulling back, he smiled, brightly. “Want to see if you can satisfy me, then?”

She smiled, strangely triumphantly. “I’d love to.”

“Well, I think my dormitory is free,” he offered, standing up and holding a hand out to her. She stood and took it, nodding, not a trace of shyness about her. For some reason, her confidence was driving him absolutely wild. He led her out of the room, not sparing anybody else a glance.

Scorpius Malfoy was back, and with an exhilarating, beautiful girl that he didn’t feel like getting rid of just yet.

 

*

 

Albus watched Scorpius go, feeling a strange, painful twinge deep inside. He didn’t know why he felt so bad about seeing what he’d seen so many times, and he was glad his best friend had returned to his old self, but still. There had been a strange new glitter in his eyes when he’d looked at Sandra, and Albus just couldn’t get the sight of it out of his head.

*

 

There was a searing pain in Edward’s chest as Scorpius kissed the girl.

He stared after them as they left, breathing heavily, and it took him five minutes to realise he’d dropped his drink.

 

*

 

The morning washed over Hogwarts mercilessly, sunlight pouring through the windows as the birds began to sing. Deep in the dungeons, the sixth year Slytherin male’s dormitory was home to one more occupant than usual. Dexter Forest was curled into a tight ball in his bed, snoring loudly. Milo Eights was only half-asleep, because he liked to hear the birdsong in the morning. Kaito Sato lay on his side, dreaming about his current crush. Albus Potter lay on his front, face still smudged with makeup and clothes still his vampire get-up. Scorpius Malfoy, however, was completely awake, his arm around the waist of one Sandra Terry.

He planted a kiss on the top of her brown hair, as she slept. They’d had, well, an exceptional amount of fun the night before, and he couldn’t get out of his head how perfect she was. She was confident, flirty, pretty, sexually adventurous, classy… without quite knowing how, he knew that his heart was won over. She seemed to genuinely like him for him, too, not just for his drugs or his looks.

His mind briefly turned to Edward, and he actually felt, for a moment, guilty. Edward doted on him to a maddening degree, but Scorpius had felt something back, he knew. Edward was sweet and attractive and loving - but he didn’t understand, not like Sandra seemed to. He didn’t understand how lonely Scorpius could somehow feel, or why he was so confident and cheerful all of the time. No, Edward could never have lasted - Scorpius would have broken his heart sooner or later, and he didn’t want to. It would have been inevitable, though.

He moved from the bed, careful not to wake the sleeping girl, and slipped his dressing gown around him. He squinted across the room, his eyes adjusting to the half-darkness, and then padded across to his sleeping best friend. Albus was in the middle of rolling onto his back, fast asleep, and Scorpius sat on the bed next to him.

Smirking, he noticed the smears of red all over Albus’s face, and his smudge eye shadow, and tried to remove some of it with his thumb. It didn’t do much good, however; all it achieved was causing Albus to stir, his green eyes flickering open and focusing on Scorpius. He swallowed, blinking a couple of times. “Hey,” he said, quietly.

“Morning,” Scorpius replied, quietly so as not to wake everybody else. “You look like you’ve been playing with your mother’s make-up bag, you know.”

Albus groaned, closing his eyes. “I passed out last night before I had time to wash it off. I’ll have a shower in a minute.”

“Yeah, I think that’d be a good idea,” Scorpius laughed. “Did you have a nice time last night, then?”

“It was good,” Albus replied, sitting up and running a hand through his black hair. “You should’ve tried some of the new pills. They’re amazing. Hey, where did you get to last night, anyway? You disappeared pretty early.”

Scorpius smiled despite himself, biting his lip and looking down. God, even the thought of her was making him feel shy and strange. He looked Albus in the eye and then murmured, “I fell in love.”

He had expected Albus to laugh, or to congratulate him, but he most certainly hadn’t expected him to begin to choke. As he had a coughing fit, Scorpius helpfully hit him on the back, and in a matter of moments Albus was staring at him with wide, watering eyes. Scorpius knew it was because he’d been coughing, but it still amused him to imagine Albus crying over the news.

“You’re what?” Albus asked, voice hoarse and confused. “With who?”

Scorpius explained it all to Albus, how she understood and how she looked and how she acted, and Albus silently listened, expression unreadable. When he was finally finished, Albus stayed silent for a minute longer, before smiling - a little forced, it seemed to Scorpius - and running a hand through his hair again. “Well done, mate. I hope it goes well for you, I’m afraid love is an unexplored land for me.”

With that, Albus had jumped from his bed and rushed over to the shower, without sparing his dumbstruck friend another word or glance. Scorpius stared after him for a full minute, wondering what on earth had just happened, before his eyes fell upon the sleeping Sandra and all thoughts of Albus slipped from his mind.

He smiled, stood up, and went to wake her with a good morning kiss.

 

*

 


A/N: What did you think, then? I bet Sandra Terry is a really popular character with you all… *cough* Also, I’d really, really appreciate it if people could review telling me who their favourite character is! I’m really intrigued and wondering if what I think is actually right. :D

 

*

Chapter 8: Love Is Blind
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]



Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns any characters and places you recognise. No profit is being made & no infringement is intended.

Summary: Albus begins to realise that he and Scorpius are not inseperable and tension rises between two sixth year girls, whilst romance blossoms between two seventh years.

Song: Title of this chapter and lyrics used are from the song Love Is Blind by Pulp.

Author Notes: ... So, after over a year ... guess who's back?




Love-is-Blind2bittersweetflames.png picture by smallstreets
[Ava Bodley, ready for a fight]
credit to BitterSweetFlames at TDA!







Chapter Seven - Love Is BlindOh and I used to think that maybe one day
I'd find the love of my life
Oh but it's so far away
Oh I don't know why
Oh but I, I want it all tonight
 



It soon turned out that Scorpius wasn't lying about being in love.

Albus sat next to him in Potions, resting his chin upon his hand, staring out across the classroom. The room was full of steam and it stank kind of like burnt rubber thanks to the disasterous liquid in Dexter's cauldron, and Professor Sears was yelling, her usually pale face flushed and her hair standing on end because of the vapour. The Gryffindors seemed to be doing much better; Albus could see Rose's potion from here, and it was the exact shade of turquoise it should be.

Scorpius and Albus's potion, on the other hand, was an odd shade of murky yellow. Usually the two of them can keep up with the instructions well, but things were a bit different today. To Albus's increasing annoyance, his best friend just wouldn't shut up about his new girlfriend and their astounding sex life.

It had been three days since they started dating and Albus was already sick of her, even though they'd barely spoken. The moment it was break or lunchtime, or lessons were over, Sandra was there and Scorpius was grinning. She practically lived in the Slytherin boys' room, her hands possessive and constantly touching him. They would lie on the bed making out - or more - leaving the other boys feeling awkward and intrusive, driving them out of the dormitory.

"-- so, like, Sandra says this really cool new shop has opened in Hogsmeade and it sells loads of Quidditch memrobillia, and I know we're not really into supporting teams and all that, but she said it's really good and there are some nice robes, so I think we should go and --"

Albus tuned out again. He never thought he'd ever think anything like this, but ... Scorpius was really beginning to piss him off, and he wished he'd decided to partner with Ava or Rose this lesson instead. He glanced at his cousin to see that she was even further with her potion, no thanks to her partner - Edward didn't look focused at all, but instead kept looking over at Scorpius with a hurt expression. Albus sighed.

"-- and then she said that in the holidays I can go and visit her and she has a really huge house 'cause her parents are so rich, and I'm trying to convince her to have a party - that'd be good, wouldn't it? I don't know if my parents will let me stay with her but I'm not sure I could go all that time without seeing her, so --"

"Scorpius," Albus interrupted, irritably, "can you at least try to help me make this potion? We're really behind."

Scorpius blinked, and looked around, seeming surprised they were even in a class. "Oh. Right, sorry. What d'you want me to do?"

Shut up, Albus thought, but he couldn't bring himself to say it and so he just muttered, "I dunno. Concentrate?"

"Sorry," Scorpius replied, cheerfully. "I was just kind of thinking of ... her. I can't help it."

"I noticed," Albus sighed, but Scorpius doesn't get the hint.

"I really wish this lesson would end, I'm starving and I invited Sandra over to eat with us 'cause I'd like her to get to know my friends a bit more, then like ... Ava and you, and me and Sandra, we can go on a double date, can't we, so you get to know her better?"

"Double date?" Albus repeated, despairingly.

"Yeah! It'll be fun."

"No, it won't."

"Won't what?"

"Be fun."

"Why? It'll --"

"You know Ava and Sandra hate each other," Albus said, after racking his brains for an excuse. "It'd never work. They'd end up hexing each other."

"Oh, yeah." Scorpius looked thoughtful, before smiling brightly once more. "Well, leave Ava, and me, you and Sandra will go out."

"Um. I-I don't ... no, I'd ruin your fun. You two go alone!" Albus smiled back, hopefully. He really, really did not want to be the third wheel and have to witness those two slobbering all over each other. Scorpius gave him a weird look but Albus just kept on smiling, praying that his friend would get the hint and realise that Sandra Terry was not the sort of girl Albus wanted to spend time with. Ever.
 
"If you're sure," Scorpius replied, slowly and somewhat doubtfully, and it was kind of alarming to see such an expression of confusion on the fact of such a self-assured boy. "I mean, I just thought it'd be ... nice, for my girlfriend and best friend to get to know each other."
 
"Nice is one word for it," Albus agreed, now feeling a little guilty. "I just ... wouldn't I make it awkward?"
 
"Of course not, you're --"
 
"So, how is your potion coming along, boys?"
 
Professor Sears was suddenly in front of them, looking harrassed and wild-eyed, evidently having had enough nonesense for one day. Albus looked at the Potion and then at Scorpius, and finally at Professor Sears, wincing. She stared at it for a minute before her eyes narrowed dangerously and she pointed at the blackboard, upon which the instructions were written.
 
"Tell me, Potter, why is your Potion barely past the second instruction?"
 
"Um, well, we were --"
 
"Not paying attention," she finished for him, shaking her head. "Five points from Slytherin apiece. Your cousin is already finished, and whilst I'm sure your social lives are much more important than a silly old Potions lesson, I really must request that in my next class you pay attention, or there'll be more serious consequences. Is that understood, Malfoy?"
 
"Yes, Professor," Scorpius smiled, sweetly. "It won't happen again."
 
"I hope not," she snapped in reply, before bustling off to see how Ava and Rebecca were getting on. Once she was out of earshot, Albus took the opportunity to steer the conversation safely away from the topic of Sandra and the double date. "So," he said, casting his mind around for a subject, "what d'you want to do in Hogsmeade on Saturday?"
 
Scorpius blinked. "Er. I'm going with Sandra, actually."
 
"Oh." There was a strange sinking in Albus's gut, one that he couldn't entirely credit to disappointment. It was too painful for that. "Right. Of course."
 
"You can go with Ava, can't you?"
 
"Yeah, I guess," Albus muttered, choosing not to mention that Ava already had plans with Rebecca. He didn't want to make this an issue; it wasn't an issue, of course not. It was just kind of ... weird. Ever since third year, they'd gone to Hogsmeade together and girls never got in the way. He was beginning to wonder just how long this little infatuation of his friend's was going to last.
 
 
 
*
 
 
 
Saturday arrived and Albus found himself sulking in the corner of the common room, wondering whether or not he should actually resort to reading to cure his boredom. The place was practically empty aside from first and second years, thanks to everybody else being in the village of Hogsmeade. But, no, here Albus was; totally alone, friendless, and imagining just how great some Butterbeer would taste right now.
 
Scorpius had left half an hour later, a smirking Sandra in tow, leaving Albus to ponder the workings of the female mind. If Sandra was at all nice, this might be more tolerable. The thing was - she seemed to know exactly what effect she was having on Scorpius, and therefore what effect she was having on his and Albus's friendship. Whenever Scorpius chose her over his best friend, she would look as though she was the happiest person on earth. It made Albus feel sick to think of it.
 
"Hey," came a soft voice, from his side. He looked up from his armchair and raised his eyebrows, somewhat startled. Kaito was stood next to him, which is surprising in itself. Kaito was always different to the other Slytherin boys; he never did drugs, he never slept around and he most certainly didn't make conversation. He kept himself to himself and chose to surround himself with books rather than friends.
 
"Um. Hi," Albus replied, sitting up straighter. He was grateful for company, however unusual it was. He motioned to the chair opposite him. "Sit down, if you like."
 
"Thanks," Kaito smiled, looking a bit on edge. "You looked pretty bored and I'm not doing anything, so - so I thought you could do with some company."
 
"You're right," Albus laughed, fiddling with the hem of his robes.
 
"You're not going to Hogsmeade today? Where's Scorpius?"
 
"Oh, um. He's going with his girlfriend."
 
"Yeah, I've seen them together in ... well, in the dormitory."
 
"It's annoying, isn't it?" Albus asked, sighing heavily at the thought. Kaito nods. "So yeah, he went with her, and Ava is with Rebecca, and I have no idea where anybody else is, so I'm left here."
 
Kaito continued to nod, looking thoughful, before quietly asking, "Well, we could go? I'm not doing anything today."
 
"Yeah, sure!" Albus smiled, jumping to his feet. He was eager to get out of this damn common room and get some fresh air, and maybe run into Scorpius along the way. "I'll just go get my bag from the dormitory."
 
His fellow sixth year looked pleased, standing up and walking across the common room to retrieve his own bag from the table. Albus rushed upstairs, running his fingers through his hair to smooth it a bit, and grabbed his bag from the bed. He looked across at Scorpius's to see the covers thoroughly wrinkled thanks to all of the action that had been taking place on and inside it. He sighed again, shook his head, and went down the stairs to meet Kaito.
 
Ten minutes later and they were leaving the gates of Hogwarts, walking up towards the village of Hogsmeade. The autumn had smothered the road with leaves which Albus took care to grumpily kick out of the way, and the weather was slightly chilly. They were both wrapped up in scarves of their house colours, and on the way they passed a couple of third year Ravenclaws who looked downright scared of Albus. He smirked.
 
"Anything in particular you want to buy?" Kaito asked, stirring Albus from his smugness.
 
"Oh, er, not really. Might go and get a Butterbeer from Mellors' though. How about you?"
 
"It's my older brother's birthday next week, I should get him something," Kaito shrugged, wrinkling his nose in distaste. Albus grinned.
 
"Don't get on with your older brother, I take it?"
 
"He's really arrogant and likes to remind me how good his grades were compared to mine," Kaito lamented, before fixing Albus with an odd look. "How about you? I hear that you and James aren't always the, er, best of friends."
 
"You could say that," he muttered darkly in reply, thinking of how James likes to lecture him on his lifestyle choices. "He like - I don't know. He's so proud to be a Potter and he thinks that I should be too. It all started when I got sorted into Slytherin; he nearly went into cardiac arrest. I mean, we get on well most of the time but sometimes, just. Ugh. He absolutely loathes Scorpius, too, so that causes loads of arguments."
 
"It must be really weird to be a Potter," Kaito frowned, politely stepping out of the way of an oncoming seventh year Hufflepuff. "Like ... you have a really large family, and your dad is pretty much the hero of the whole wizarding world." He brushed his dark hair from his eyes and gave Albus a small smile. "Sorry. I don't mean to rub it in."
 
"It's alright. It's nice to talk to somebody who gets it, instead of someone who expects me to start hunting dark wizards or whatever," Albus shrugged, rolling his eyes. "I mean ... I'm proud of who I am, and I'm proud of my dad, too, but that's the past and I'm definitely not him. Luckily," he grinned, wickedly, "I think people have realised that thanks to all this bad press I'm getting."
 
 
 
*
 
 
 
James was absolutely terrified.
 
Conor was sat opposite him, sipping a glass of Butterbeer and smiling politely. She'd bumped into him that morning in the common room and he'd invited her to the village before he had time to think about what he was doing. She'd looked taken aback and her friends had giggled humiliatingly, but she'd actually said yes. Now, here they were in Hogsmeade, and James and no idea what to say.
 
"So," she said, placing her glass down, "what's new in the life of James Potter?"
 
"Um. Nothing. Just, you know, nervous about the match tomorrow. It's my first as Captain and I don't want to let the house down."
 
"You won't," she reassured him, wrinkling her lightly freckled nose. "Seriously, we've been training so hard - I don't think I've ever exercised so much in my life, as I have these past few weeks. Everyone is fantastic."
 
"We are a great team," James admitted, playing nervously with the salt shaker. "Supposedly, the Slytherin team is supposed to be awesome this year. Even Albus has been training."
 
"Albus? Your little brother?" When James nodded, Conor bit her lower lip and asked, "Are the rumours true?"
 
"What rumours?" James shifts uneasily in his seat.
 
"Well ... the rumours that him and that Malfoy boy are drug addicts."
 
"Oh. Those rumours. I, um. They're ... they're not addicts."
 
"So they do drugs?" Conor asked. Her eyebrows were raised and James sank lower in his seat. He knew his brother did, but hardly wanted to admit it. At the same time, he didn't want to lie to her.
 
"Sometimes," he nodded, voice quiet.
 
"I see." She sighed, frowning heavily. "That's ... I'm sorry. You must be very stressed about it."
 
"I guess. I'm worried about him but he has a good head on his shoulders. It's that idiot friend of his, Scorpius, that worries me more. It's all his fault." He realised he was getting a bit off-topic and probably sounded savage, and so he cleared his throat and averted his eyes. "So. Um. What - What's new in your life?"
 
She shrugged, not meeting his eyes either. "I've just been trying not to mess up in Quidditch, I guess. Oh, and I've met somebody new."
 
James choked on his Buttereer. "Um - what?"
 
She laughed, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. "I've met somebody new, and I'm really enjoying getting to know him."
 
Trying not to look too crestfallen, James puts a strained smile on his face. "Wow. Cool. I'm, er, happy for you. I mean, well, you're -- oh! There's Albus!"
 
Sure enough, his younger brother and some random sixth year Slytherin boy were entering Mellors' bar, laughing at something. James waved, and Albus grinned, leading his friend over. Conor looked a little anxious and James realised that he'd just told her his brother was a drug user, but there was nothing he could do about it now. Albus finally reached the table and smiled at his brother, with a glance at Conor.
 
"Hey," he said, taking James's Butterbeer and having a sip. "How're you?"
 
"Good, thanks," James replied, and then motioned to Conor. "Erm. Conor, Albus. Albus, Conor."
 
"Conor?" Albus repeated, blinking. "But ... you're a girl."
 
She laughed awkwardly, and James frowned. Great impression, his little brother was leaving. "Um. So. Where's Scorpius?"
 
Albus's expression instantly darkened. "I don't know. Off with his new girlfriend, I expect."
 
"New ... girlfriend? I thought he just fucked around and didn't get involved."
 
"So did I," Albus muttered, before shaking his head and relaxing a little. "Never mind. This is Kaito. Kaito, this is my brother, James."
 
"I've heard about you," Kaito smiled, surprisingly politely for a Slytherin. James instantly warmed to him. It was such a relief to see Albus with anybody but Scorpius. "So, you all ready for the Quidditch match tomorrow?"
 
"Of course," James snorted. "We're going to kick Slytherinss arses."
 
"Don't speak so soon," Albus warns him, haughtily. "We're better than ever, and we won the cup last year."
 
"Doesn't mean you're unbeatable!"
 
"Whatever you say," Albus teased, glancing at Conor again. "You're on the team, aren't you?"
 
Conor nods. "Yeah. Chaser."
 
"I'm a beater," Albus told her, proudly. "Sorry in advance if i knock you off your broom."
 
"Oh, um. That's okay," she replied, uncertainly, and James wondered just how subtley he could hex Albus from here. "So, um. Did you want to sit down? You're free to have some drinks with us, if you want."
 
"No, no, don't worry. I don't want to interrupt your date," Albus grinned lecherously, with a wink at James. James silently contemplated murder. "See you both later."
 
Before James could kill his brother, he walked off, Kaito following him. James immediately turned to Conor, colour rising in his cheeks. "I'm really sorry about him. He can be a childish little twat when he wants to be."
 
"It's okay," she told him, though she looked slightly uncomfortable. "Little brothers tend to be annoying, don't they?"
 
"Definitely," James murmured, watching his brother ordering drinks.
 
"Anyway," she said brightly, as though to turn the conversation to something lighter, "the match tomorrow. Tactics?"
 
He smiled gratefully at the subject change, and began to explain just how they'd destroy the Slytherins and, consquentially, win the eagerly anticipated match.
 
 
 
*
 
 
 
Ava felt pretty happy with herself, her arm linked loosely with Rebecca's. They'd spent the day clothes shopping and though she was by no means the richest of girls, thanks to a lot of saving over the summer she had bought herself a new set of makeup. She'd opted for dark colours - red lipsticks, black eyeshadows - and she hoped Albus would be happy with the results.
 
"You're looking unusually happy," Rebecca smiled at her, cigarette dangling from her other hand. They were in the Hogwarts' grounds now and so she was smoking faster than she normally would, not wanting to bump into a teacher. "It's a nice look. You should smile more often."
 
Ava rolled her eyes. "I'm always happy. Don't be a bitch."
 
"Whatever," Rebecca retorted, without malice. She took a large drag on her cigarette and exhaled smoothly. "Is there a party on tonight?"
 
"No," Ava replied, somewhat sadly. "Albus cancelled it because he's got a Quidditch match tomorrow, and if we held one without him he'd be too tempted."
 
"Oh. Fancy getting drunk in the dormitory or something? I can't stand being sober on a Saturday night."
 
"Sounds good," Ava smiled, before noticing who they were passing on the grounds and coming to a halt, eyes narrowing. "Oh my God. Can you two please get a room?"
 
Scorpius and Sandra pulled apart, red lipstick smeared all over the boy's grinning lips. He barely noticed the two newcomers, instead staring at Sandra in awe. Ava felt a bit sick, seeing it. It wasn't right. Sandra, on the other hand, noticed the two of them at once, and she turned to Ava with a haughty expression. "Excuse me?"
 
"You heard me," Ava snapped, pulling her arm from Rebecca's and crossing it with the other firmly across her chest. "You and Scorpius need to get some privacy. It's disgusting, the way you're all over each other all the time."
 
Sandra raised a well-plucked eyebrow. "It's absolutely none of your business and, besides, you're not one to talk."
 
"What's that supposed to mean?"
 
Sandra laughed, sending a shiver down Ava's spine. She glanced at her side to see Rebecca glaring at the Ravenclaw girl. Sandra, however, ignored her. "What do you think it means? You're the whore of Slytherin."
 
Blood pumped in Ava's ears as she bristled, angrily. Scorpius was most certainly paying attention now but kept silent, wide grey eyes flickering between the two of them. She stepped forward. Sandra didn't flinch. In little more than a whisper, Ava murmurs, "Say that again."
 
Sandra smirked. "You're the whore of Slytherin."
 
In all of her years of living where she lived, Ava had learned how to fight, and how to fight well. She went straight for the hair, hands twisting in the brown tesses, and she pulled. Sandra screamed, struggling with her, one of her elbows sinking painfully into Ava's stomach. Before anybody knew what was happening, they were in a full blown fight, and they both were fighting as dirtily as possible.
 
Scorpius and Rebecca stared at them both in shock, and then looked at each other, before rushing forward and intervening. Rebecca hooked her arms around Ava's, dragging her backwards, whilst Scorpius grabbed Sandra around the waist and pulled her back and away from the yelling Ava. The two girls struggled but their captors were strong, and soon they ceased, breathless and flushed, glaring at each other.
 
"What," Scorpius began, spinning around the face Ava, "the hell is your problem?"
 
"My problem?" Ava repeated shrilly. "My problem? Your psycho of a girlfriend is my problem!"
 
"You're the one who just attacked her!"
 
"I can't believe you! You're actually taking her side over mine? We've known each other for years and she's just --"
 
"What's going on?" came a shocked, breathless voice. They all turned to see Albus and Kaito standing there, evidently having run over. "I thought I saw a fight going on."
 
"You saw right!" Ava said loudly, walking over to him and glaring over at Scorpius and Sandra. "That - that bitch just called me the whore of Slytherin."
 
"She what?" Albus asked, staring at the girl in question.
 
"Well, it's the truth," Sandra hissed, her hair all in her eyes. "Then your freak of a girlfriend attacked me! She needs to be locked up."
 
Rebecca spoke up for the first time, stepping towards the Ravenclaw, "Don't you start again, you --"
 
"Everybody calm down," Albus interrupted, loudly, and he looked at Scorpius pleadingly. "Mate, please, tell me what the hell is going on?"
 
Scorpius went slightly red, but quickly replied with, "Sandra's right."
 
Ava blinked. "Seriously, Scorpius? Seriously? You're taking the side of a girl who just called me a whore for absolutely no reason?"
 
"Scorpius," Albus began, warningly, "from the way I hear it, Sandra started this whole thing off."
 
"Ava was having a go at us, saying that we should get a room!"
 
"Well, you should!" Albus snapped, and Ava sighed in relief. "I'm sorry but you've been completely embarrassing this week. Always all over each other and making everybody else feel awkward. Ava speaking the truth was no reason for your girlfriend to call her a whore."
 
Scorpius's cheeks were positively crimson now. Ava could barely believe this was happening - Albus was having a go at Scorpius, his best and most treasured friend. She tugged on his arm. "Look. No, you two don't need to fight, it's just --"
 
"Trust you to take the side of crazy Ava," Scorpius muttered, staring at Albus as though he'd never seen him before. "You're both being stupid."
 
"We're being stupid?" Albus repeated, disbelievingly. "Wake up! You've been a different person this week all because of some random girl who's good in bed, and we're being stupid?"
 
Sandra's fingers dug into Scorpius's arm. "We don't need this," she told him, in a dark voice, "come on. Let's leave this - this scum and get some privacy."
 
Ava moved forward. "Don't call us --"
 
"Yeah," Scorpius said, suddenly, his eyes pinned on Albus. "Let's go."
 
With that, he turned sharply on his heel and stormed towards the castle, Sandra by his side, leaving four very confused and pissed off Slytherins. Ava took Albus's hand and squeezed, and wasn't surprised when her boyfriend didn't squeeze back.
 
 
 
*
 
 
 
Walking out of the Great Hall after eating dinner, Albus felt rather shell shocked. He had spent the meal in a stunned silence, glancing down the table every so often to see Scorpius and Sandra sat together, laughing and seeming perfectly at ease. His stomach lurched and he suddenly didn't feel hungry anymore.
 
Him and Scorpius are in a fight. A fight. They don't get into fights. They were best friends, inseperable, always content with each others' company and perfectly understanding of the others' quirks and flaws. But now? Because of one random girl, Scorpius seemed to be throwing all of that away. Albus's fingers clenched and unclenched in his pockets, as he walked into the Entrance Hall.
 
Stirring him into his thoughts, he heard a voice behind him, calling his name. He turned, curious, to see Rose staring there, her red hair tied into a loose ponytail and her face almost stern. He sighed, internally. He was in no mood to deal with his cousin's lectures.
 
"Albus," she said, gravely, "I need to talk to you."
 
"Can't it wait?" he pleaded, running a hand tiredly through his hair. "I'm really, really not in the mood at the moment."
 
"No, it can't," she replied firmly, taking his arm and leading him into the corner of the Hall, out of earshot of a gang of Hufflepuffs. He went with her, however reluctantly. Once they were in the corner, she fixed him with a solemn look. "It's about Edward."
 
"Edward?" he repeated in surprise, thinking of the quiet Gryffindor boy. "What about him?"
 
"I don't know what's wrong with him," she whispered, biting her lower lip worriedly. "Ever since Saturday, he's been a wreck. I think - I think it's something to do with Scorpius and his new girlfriend. He's really, really upset about it."
 
"He's not the only one," Albus said, without thinking, causing Rose to raise her eyebrows. "I mean, just. She's absolutely horrible and everybody but Scorpius can see that."
 
"You don't think ..." she swallowed heavily, uncomfortably, "you don't think Edward ... Edward likes Scorpius? Like, romantically?"
 
Albus stared at her. Evidently, her best friend had not told her that he'd been making out with Scorpius for a few days before the boy had started dating Sandra. "I, um. Well. Yeah."
 
"Ugh!" she exlaimed, pulling a face. "What is it with everybody and your stupid friend? I just don't understand why everybody is in love with him!"
 
"At the moment," Albus groaned, leaning against the wall and letting his eyes slip closed to rest them, "I couldn't agree with you more, Rose, I really couldn't."
 
"Oh," she said, in surprise. He opened his eyes to see her looking rather startled. "Oh ... have you two fallen out?"
 
"Yes," he said, shortly, before pushing himself off the wall and shaking the hair from her eyes. "Listen. I really just need to get some rest; I've got that match tomorrow and I don't want to mess it up. Am I okay to go? I have no idea what to do about Edward."
 
"You're a lot of help," she sighed, but fondly. "Go get some sleep. You look like you need it."
 
"Thanks," he smiled, tiredly, and left her, walking in the direction of the dungeons. He needed sleep, definitely. Maybe when he woke, all would be restored to normality, and he'd have Scorpius back. Maybe.

Hopefully.



*



A/N: Thank you so much for reading. :) Please review?



*

Chapter 9: This Love Affair
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]



Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns any characters and places you recognise. No profit is being made & no infringement is intended.

Summary: Mistakes are made in the Slytherin dormitories and hearts are broken. In the Gryffindor house, however, hearts begin to swell.

Song: Title of this chapter and lyrics used are from the song This Love Affair by Rufus Wainwright.

Author Notes: Sorry about the wait for this one -- I've been doing my A-levels. I hope you enjoy the revelation this chapter revolves around. ;)




musicbox.png picture by smallstreets
[Kaito Sato, just wanting to comfort]
credit to Musicbox at TDA!





Chapter Eight - This Love Affair
I don't know where I'm going
But I do know that I'm walking
Where?
I don't know
Just away from this love affair






The Bludger hit the back of Adam Corner's head with a nice thwack and Albus smirked.
 
It was such a relief to be playing Quiddtich again, being able to take out his anger on the Gryffindors. Over the summer he'd not practised much and so his techniques had been rusty when he'd presented himself at practise at the beginning of term, but the Slytherin captain - Johnny - had quickly got him back into the swing of things. Now he went to bed exhausted, with aching muscles and a sore right arm that he'd been swinging in practise. Growing up with the father he did, there was no way he could have escaped the clutches of the sport, but he wasn't completely over the top about it like James tended to be.
 
When he first joined the team in his fourth year, it had been rather disconcerting to be told to aim Bludgers at his older brother - as Seeker, James was one of his main targets. His loyalty soon rolled over and died when he got a taste of blood and realised just how much of a kick he got out of smacking Bludgers at the opposition, whoever they may be.
 
Masterfully steering his broom out of the way of an oncoming Bludger, he raised his bat and sent it speeding in the direction of a Chaser he vaguely knew to be his brother's friend, Conor. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his brother shoot him a filthy look and merely smiled winningly back - he'd warned her in Hogsmeade that he might aim at her, and besides, he was just doing his job! It missed, anyway, as she managed to move out of the way at the last second. He sighed; there was no denying it, the Gryffindors were good, and in the hour they had been playing he'd still not managed to knock any of them off their brooms.

He saw a Bludger shooting towards Johnny and hastily flew over, whacking the metal ball as hard as he could. Johnny gave him a gruff thanks and he left again, flying to the other side of the pitch. He remembered his first match; every shout of the crowd influenced him, making him terrified and exhilirated all at once. Now, all of the shouts blurred together, the boos of the Gryffindors and the screams of the Slytherins merging into one, incessant roar. Despite all that, he still always sought to find Scorpius in the crowd. Seeing his friend's encouraging expression or a thumbs up always meant the world to him and helped him play the best he could.

Today, he had not looked for Scorpius.

The morning had shown him that his best friend was still most certainly not his friend. He'd gone to breakfast with Kaito, ate with Kaito and had watched, with a heavy heart, Scorpius walk straight past him and sit at the other side of the table, alone. So, now, he refused to give in and be the first to apologise. Keeping his eyes firmly averted from the Slytherin stands, he scans the other players to spot the Bludgers.

The game continued for another fifteen minutes, and by this time Albus was getting rather tired. There was only so many times he could swing a bat before his muscles stiffened in protest. The Seeker - Michael Davis - was looking around the field with narrowed eyes, evidently trying to spot the Snitch. James was doing the same close-by. Damn it. Why couldn't the game be over yet? Just as he thought that, he saw a golden blur whizz past James's ear, and his brother dived, Michael close behind him. Shit. Shit. Shit. James was ahead by far and -- oh, shit, a Bludger was zooming towards Michael, aiming straight for his head.
 
Albus swung into action immediately, rushing forward with his bat raised. He could get there in time, easily. He could do this. Maybe it would cost him his brother's friendship for a little while, but James would understand. This was Quidditch after all, and if knocking your brother out and therefore off his broom meant winning ... well, then, knocking his brother out and therefore off his broom was what he had to do. As he flew forward, his eyes went almost without his permission to the Slytherin stands. Immediately, they picked out Scorpius - and Sandra. His supposed best friend wasn't even watching the match and that made Albus freeze in midair, breath suddenly catching in his throat and stomach starting to churn. He forgot about the Bludger and match and the speeding Seekers and felt nothing but a pure, venomous and downright absurd jealousy.
 
The Bludger knocked Michael from his broom and the match was lost.
 
 
 
*
 
 
 
James whilstled cheerily to himself as he locked up the empty changing rooms, broom slung casually over his shoulder. He could still feel the ghost of the madly fluttering snitch in his left hand and the thought made a grin spread across his face. Hahaha. His first game as Captain had gone so well. Sure, he probably should have caught the Snitch sooner and ended the game quicker, but the damn thing was nowhere in sight. No point worrying though -- he'd won.
 
He turned to face the castle, shivering slightly. It was a little chilly. Everybody else had left, or so he thought. Surprised, he found himself looking at his younger brother, who was leant against the wall and looking glumly at the floor. Stepping forward cautiously, James softly asked, "Albus?"
 
The boy started, straightening up and looking towards James, before he smiled slightly. The smile looked awkward and forced. "Hey. Um. Do you mind if I walk up to the castle with you?"
 
"You're not going to hex me for winning the match, are you?" James asked in reply, a little suspicously. "I mean. Nothing personal, you know. It's a game and everything."
 
"I'm not going to hex you," Albus replied, his face darkening at the mention of the game. "I just ... I wanted to clear my head so I hung back, then I realised you were still here so I thought we might as well walk back together. If you want to."

"Yeah, that's fine." James looked around, confused. "Er, no Scorpius, then?"

Albus's face darkened even more. "No. No Scorpius. Can we go?"
 
"Er, okay," James shrugged, following his brother towards the castle. His curiousity was piqued, however. "Why no Scorpius? Has something happened?"
 
"You could say that," Albus sighed, and now his voice was strained, almost sad. "I just ... We argued. I didn't mean to tell you any of this 'cause you're just going to say how right you were all along about him being no good, but ... I dunno. He's got a new girlfriend and he's absolutely "in love" with her. It's insane. It's not like ... it's not like him, and now we're not talking because his bitch of a girlfriend insulted me and Ava."
 
James blinked. "Scorpius is in love?"
 
Albus winced. "Yeah. Or so he says."
 
"Woah." James exhaled a long breath, eyes on the castle. He figured his reaction was doing nothing to help the obvious discomfort and jealousy of his brother, something he didn't want to think to deeply about. The weird relationship Albus and Scorpius had was sometihng he never wanted to dwell on for any amount of time. "Maybe it's just, you know. Puppy love. The sort that's perfect for a week or two before they realise that it was just hormones."
 
"Maybe," Albus agreed. He was speaking unusually quietly now and James was rather alarmed. "I just ... I miss him, James, but if I try to talk about him he just talks about her and I can't stand it."
 
"Look," James started, patting his little brother on the shoulder bracingly, "we've only got a month and a bit until Christmas, haven't we?" Albus nodded. "Well, then. I reckon over the holidays, when the two of them are apart for a couple of weeks, they'll realise how ridiculous they've been and this ... I dunno, infatuation ... will fade. In the meantime, hang around with other people. Your girlfriend, I guess. Show him you're ... fine without him?" James suddenly laughed. "I sound like I'm giving break-up advice."
 
"You do," Albus said, grinning slightly. "But I think you're right. I'll do that. I mean, Kaito and me are getting to be quite good friends without Scorpius breathing down my neck, so I can hang around with him too."
 
"Good," James smiled, trying to fight the victorious jolt in his stomach that Scorpius Malfoy could be out of his brother's life for good. He, for once, wanted Scorpius and his new plaything to last. "Now, can I, uh. Ask you some advice about my own ... um. Problem involving girls?"
 
Albus looked at him in surprise, evidently taken aback that his advice would even be sought. "Uh. Sure. I'm not that good at the whole agony aunt thing, though."
 
"Pft, I'm hardly an expert. But anyway. Do you remember the girl I was with at Hogsmeade?"
 
"Conor?"
 
"Yeah. Well. I kind of ... really like her. Not stupidly, mind you, not like this whole Scorpius thing. But, you know, more than a friend. I think she might like, I dunno, like me back. I'm not sure though. But I've got no idea what to do and she's driving me mad."
 
Albus was silent for a few moments, as they started up the steps of the school. "Hm. Well, to be honest, I've never been one for beating around the bush. Take her somewhere quiet and tell her how you feel. The worst she can do is say she doesn't feel the same way and, I mean, she seems like a nice girl. She wouldn't be nasty about it. Besides," his eyes glinted as he smiled, "she's totally into you. Anybody can see that."
 
James, to his horror, blushed. "Don't be ridiculous, Albus. But ... I'll, um. I'll try it. Thanks."
 
"Any time," Albus smiled, though tiredly. They were in the Entrance Hall now and had to part to go to their respective Common Rooms. "So. I'll see you soon, yeah? Tell me how it goes with Conor."
 
"Of course," James said, clapping him on the back again.
 
"Oh, and James? Thanks. For the advice, I mean."
 
"Any time," James grinned, repeating Albus's words back to him. Then, they parted ways, and James just couldn't shake away the relief that Scorpius Malfoy was finally fucking up in the eyes of his little brother.
 
 
 
*



The Gryffindor Common Room was noisy, stuffy and far too full of distractions for Rose to properly study. She was hardly amused; she had an important test in Ancient Runes the next Wednesday and she wanted to get the best mark she could. Sure, she was happy that her house had won the Quidditch match, but really. Was it important enough to throw a huge party? It was just an excuse for the idiots to get drunk!

She scowled heavily at a usually polite, bookish boy in her year who passed, roaringly drunk and shouting at the top of his lungs just to ask the girl next to him where there was more alcohol. "For goodness sake," Rose muttered to herself, pushing a few strands of red hair from her eyes. For the smallest of moment she wondered if she should put her books away and just relax, but she soon banished such a thought from her mind. She would not make an arse of herself just like everybody else here.

"Hey," came a quiet voice, and Edward slid into the chair next to hers. He rested a book on the table and looked despairingly out across the masses of students. "This is a bit over the top for one match, isn't it?"

"It is indeed," Rose sighed in reply, rubbing tiredly at his eyes. She was glad of his company; he was one of the few people she knew that didn't adore Quidditch as much as everybody else. Sometimes she hated being in such a sport-orientated year. "What book have you got?"

"It's just some Potions book," he shrugged, motioning to the cover. "I thought I'd do some studying but it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to concentrate."
 
"I doubt it, what with this nonesense going on." Never one to beat around the bush, Rose fixed her best friend with a stern glare and asked, "Edward, are you alright?"
 
"Um. Of course. Why?"
 
"Ever since Scorpius and that Sandra girl started dating, you've looked stupidly depressed. Are you going to talk to me about it or bottle it all up as usual?"
 
It was remarkable, Rose thought, that her voice could make people recoil like Edward was recoiling now. She didn't know whether to be proud or offended. Settling on ignoring it, she waited patiently (or as patiently as Rose Weasley could) for him to answer. Her friend squirmed under her gaze for a little longer, before sinking lower in his seat and letting out a heavy sigh. "Fine. I just. I ... I really, really like him, Rose."
 
She nodded, completely unsurprised. Finding out had only been a matter of time. "Right. Well. You have to be practical, Edward. He's a drug user, a Slytherin, and we all know that the only person he could ever truly love is himself."
 
Edward frowned. "That's a bit harsh. I mean, he - he obviously is a good friend, him and Albus are really close, and he really likes his new girlfriend, doesn't he?"
 
"Him and Albus have fallen out," Rose commented, mentally adding thankfully, "and this new girlfriend of his ... well, I don't like being a bitch, but really. Whenever I've had to talk to her, she - ugh. She's horrible! She thinks she's so much better than everybody else because her parents are so rich. I never, ever thought I'd say this, but even Scorpius deserves better than her."
 
"That's the first nice thing I've heard you say about him," Edward laughed, before shaking his head. "Wait. Him and Albus aren't friends anymore? Why? They were like, ridiculously close."
 
"Sandra, I think," Rose shrugged, watching her cousin James pass with a girl she knew to be called Conor. It was ridiculous how drunk everybody looked, and it wasn't even 3pm! Really. "Anyway. They're not the problem. You are. I'm worried about you, Ed. I can tell how much you're ... hurting over this."
 
"I'll be fine," Edward replied, softly, looking down at the table. "I just thought for a little while I had a chance and now that's all over. I'll have to move on."
 
"Yes, you will," Rose said firmly, though not unkindly. "It'll be difficult but it's what has to be done. Besides, I'm here for you." She smiled, sheepishly. "Sorry I can be a bit judgemental sometimes. I don't mean to be such a horrible friend. I just kind of ..."
 
"It's okay, seriously," Edward interrupted her. "I'm glad I can be friends with somebody who's honest about things. Really."
 
Rose smiled and gathered up her books. "Come on. Let's go into the grounds or something. It's a lovely day and we're never going to get anything done here."
 
 
 
*



Accepting James's advice and carrying out were two very different things.

It was all too easy for Albus to say he'd wait until after the Christmas holidays until he seriously got worried about Scorpius, but really. It was the second of November. How was he supposed to last that long? In normal circumstances, he wouldn't be so stressed out about falling out with a friend but this ... this was different. Tihs was Scorpius. He was closer to the boy than anybosy else. He was more of a family than those who shared his blood. It caused a real, physical pain in his gut to know that they were no longer even on speaking terms.

Lying back on his bed, Albus sighed. It was nice and empty up here and he didn't have to be annoyed by seeing his ex-best friend and his girlfriend all over each other. It was also a cool afternoon, snow gently falling outside. The dormitory itself was warm and it made him sleepy and completely unmotivated when it came to the pile of homework he had for the next week's classes. Yawning, he closed his eyes, perfectly content to take a mid-afternoon nap after the exhausting and rather humiliating Quidditch match earlier in the day.

Oh, how the Slytherin Captain had yelled at him for getting distracted. The man's bellow was still ringing in his ears. He'd been beyond embarrassed to be shouted at so fiercely in front of just about the whole house, who had all come to tell him off as well. Usually, he'd be the star of the house after a match, but thanks to Scorpius and the way he just couldn't keep his stupid hands off his stupid girlfriend, he was most likely the most hated Slytherin at the moment. Now, he didn't even have any close friends to laugh it off with him, and Ava was goodness knows where with her friends.
 
"Idiot," he muttered, unsure of whether he was talking about himself or Scorpius.
 
Just as he said the word, the door opened and he sat up straighter, nervous for a moment that it was the boy in question. To his relief, it was Kaito. "Hey," Albus smiled, as his friend shut the door behind him. They'd become quite good friends yesterday, when there was nobody else to go to Hogsmeade with. He liked the boys company, even if Kaito was rather quieter than most of his other friends. "You've not come up to yell at me for making us lose the match, are you?"
 
Kaito grinned, sitting next to him on the bed. "Pft. I couldn't care less, really. Quidditch isn't my cup of tea. Why, have people been giving you a hard time over it?"
 
"You could say that," Albus groaned, running a hand tiredly through his hair. "Even girls who I know don't give two shits about it have been giving me filthy looks. It's driving me mad."
 
"That's why you're up here, then? Hiding from everyone?"
 
Albus hesitated. "Well. That's part of it. I kind of wanted to escape from ... well, Scorpius."
 
"Yeah, I figured as much." Kaito frowned, somewhat thoughtfully. "You two still aren't talking?"
 
"Nope," Albus replied miserably. "It's really weird and I'm trying not to think about it. I never thought, I dunno, I never thought the day would come where I could pass him in the corridor and not even be able to acknowledge him. He's supposed to be my best friend and he's just throwing all that away for nothing." He paused, and then laughed, humourlessly. "Bloody hell, I'm sounding like a girl."
 
"No, it's completely understandable," Kaito said, emphatically. "You'll just have to distract yourself until he comes to his senses."
 
"How?"
 
"I dunno. Spend some time with Ava?"
 
"I would, but ..." In truth, Albus couldn't help but feel the slightest bit bitter towards his girlfriend. He knew all this was far from his fault but he just couldn't shake the thought from his head that if she hadn't tried to interfere with Scorpius and Sandra on the way back from Hogsmeade, he might still have a best friend. "Yeah. You're right, I guess."
 
"You don't sound very sure," Kaito commented, quietly, causing Albus to blush.
 
"I mean. I love her and everything, but. It's just not the same as Scorpius."
 
Kaito was looking at him strangely now. "You love her? Are you," he licked his lips, obviously nervous, "are you sure that it's not ... somebody else you love?"
 
Gut twisting suddenly and hotly, Albus blinked a couple of times. "Um. What? You're not making any sense."
 
"I am," Kaito replied, calmly, and suddenly his fingers were presssed into the small of Albus's back. Albus froze. "I just think, you know, you need to be more open with yourself. It'll be such a relief and then --"
 
"I really don't know what you're talking about," Albus interrupted, his voice higher and alarmingly breathier than usual.
 
"You do," Kaito laughed, hoarsely. He shifted closer. "Open your eyes, Albus, really. The truth is right in front of you."
 
"I seriously do not know what you're going on --"
 
He shut up at once, as Kaito's lips pressed softly into his.
 
 

*



One of the many things Scorpius loved about his girlfriend was her confidence. When they walked through the corridors hand in hand, she wasn't afraid to pull him close and kiss him in front of others, nor was she opposed to giving dirty looks back to those who scowled at them. It was so ... exciting being in her presence. She was vibrant, beautiful and had the attitude to pull it all off. He just couldn't get her out of his mind.
 
"Do you have to go back to your Common Room? I thought we could go for a walk in the grounds or something," he said, smiling hopefully at her, as they neared the door leading to the Ravenclaw quarters.
 
"I need to go, yes," Sandra replied, looking amused, but she squeezed his hand. "I have so much homework to do, I've been putting it all off so I could spend the weekend with you."
 
Scorpius pulled a face but couldn't help but feel pleased at the fact she'd spent the last two days in his company. Even though he was used to people fawning over him and wanting to spend as much time as possible in his presence, it was so much more exhilarating when it was Sandra. Squeezing her hand in return, he sighed, wistfully. "Thanks. I mean. Just, you know, thanks for spending the whole weekend with me."

"You're welcome," she replied, softly, and came to a halt. Pulling Scorpius closer, she laughed and buried her face into the crook of his neck. "It's my pleasure, really. Thank you."

His arms slipped around her slim waist comfortably. "Don't thank me for anything, really. Are you sure you have to go?"
 
"Don't you have work to catch up on as well?" she smiled.
 
"Nope. I mean, well, yeah. But I never do it anyway and I think the teachers have given up."
 
"What would you be doing if you weren't going out with me? I really don't want to, but I do need to go. I'll get killed if I don't hand in all this work."
 
"Okay," Scorpius sighed, releasing her, "and I'd usually just ..." He paused, frowning slightly. "I'd usually be hanging out with Albus."
 
"Yes, well," Sandra sniffed, her eyes going a little more icy, "he showed his true colours when he had a go at us. You're better off without him, seriously."
 
"I ..." Scorpius shook his head. "I dunno. I should be going. I'll see you in the morning at breakfast, okay?"
 
"Okay," she said, sweetly, and leaned up on her tiptoes to brush their lips together. Scorpius smiled, kissing her back, letting his lips linger on hers for rather longer than necessary. When they parted, it was with some difficulty that Scorpius managed to walk away, heading down to the dungeons.
 
As he walked, he found his thoughts straying away from Sandra and towards what was waiting for him in the Slytherin quarters. He hadn't really thought about anybody there for the past few days, aside from the pangs of guilt he felt whenever Albus crossed his mind. But surely Sandra was right? Albus had turned on them for just no reason, when Ava decided to get involved in their business. Still, he thought sadly ... things just weren't the same without his best friend, however amazing Sandra was.

Just as he turned the corner to face the Entrance Hall, he nearly collided with a girl heading in the opposite direction. "Whoops! Sorry about that, I wasn't --" he paused, hands tensing on her upper arms, which he had grabbed the steady her. "Oh. Ava. Hi."

"Hello," she said, in an unusually timid voice. "I was looking for you."

"Why?"

"I - I want you and Albus to be friends again," she said in a rush, as he let his hands drop to his sides. "He's been absolutely miserable since you fell out. It's killing him. Can you not just be friends again?"

He wanted to say yes immediately, but his dignity caused him to say, "Why? He has a problem with Sandra and I, obviously."

Ava scowled. "I'm sorry, Scorpius, but you've been practically ignoring him since you started dating her. Surely you can see why he's annoyed?"

Scorpius sighed, heavily, not wanting to dwell upon her words. "Fine. I'll talk to him, but I can't promise anything."

"Good," she beamed, taking him by the arm and steering him down the stairs. "We'll go and see him now. He's up in your dormitory at the moment, sulking.



*



Albus's brain was frozen as he laid back on the bed, feeling his shirt being pulled over his head. Kaito was warm against him, his lips soft and desperate, his hands roaming.

He tried desperately not to think, and just feel.



*



James was terrified.

On a whim, he'd decided to actually take his little brother's advice and tell Conor how he felt. They'd been chatting casually amongst friends in the Gryffindor party, celebrating their victory over Slytherin, when suddenly he'd asked her if they could go to an empty classroom or something, because he really, really needed to talk to her. She'd looked somewhat surprised but had said yes, and now here they were, standing awkwardly in a quiet classroom, the door shut behind them.

"Er."

"Are you okay?" Conor asked, brushing a few locks of hair behind her ear, brow creased in concern. "You look kind of ... red."

"No, no, I'm fine," he replied, even though it couldn't have been further from the truth. Now he was blushing even harder, much to his humiliation. "I just thought it was a bit crowded in the Common Room, too many people to listen to ..."

"Listen to what?" She looked absolutely bewildered, eyes narrowed slightly, head cocked to the side. "Listen, are you sure you're okay? You really do look ill."

"I'm not ill. I'm just kind of, um, warm at the moment. I just needed some air."

"And that's why you've brought me to an empty classroom?"

"That's why I've brought you to an empty classroom," James confirmed, with an awkward laugh. He walked over to the window, resting his forehead against the cool glass. The skies were darkening slightly in the grounds, and he could see nobody about except for Hagrid, limping from the castle to his hut. The guy had always been good friends with his family and James liked him well enough, although it was a bit annoying having teachers as family friends. Having Neville as his Herbology teacher was bad enough. "Sorry," he said, suddenly, turning to Conor. "You can go back to the party if you like. I'm just ... I dunno, I --"

"Don't," she said softly, moving forward. "Just tell me what's going on, okay? Is there anything I can do?"

"I really like somebody," he said, before he could help himself. "I really like somebody, and it's driving me mad."

She blinked. "You ... like somebody?"

He couldn't tell if it was his imagination or not, but he could have sworn that a look of disappointment had glinted for a moment in her eyes. "Yeah," he admitted, stomach flipping incessantly. "I ... yeah. I do."

"Oh." She recoiled slightly, arms folding across her chest. "Why do you want me here, then? Do you need advice or something?"

"What? No! I just ... I wanted to tell you."

"Why? Don't you think I ..." She broke off, looking annoyed. "Never mind. Who is it you like?"

"I like you," James said, before he could help himself. She froze, eyes widening.

"Me?" she whsipered.

"Yeah. I mean, I didn't really plan to tell you at all because, like, I just make an idiot of myself in front of you and so why would you even want to know? But then I was talking to Albus and he said I should tell you so I decided to, and yeah, I just did, and I, um, I just thought it was best to tell you so you know why I always act stupid and I --"

"James," she laughed, interrupting him, stepping closer once more. "Stop it, you're rambling."

"Yeah." He licked his lips. "Yeah, I kind of am. Sorry."

A small smiled appeared on her lips. "You're so sweet, and you get so wound up over nothing. I think you might explode if I kiss you."

Breath catching in his throat, James whispered, "Kiss? You mean ...?"

"Yeah, I mean ..." Tentatively, she leaned up on her tiptoes, pressing her lips into his. He closed his eyes, moving forward, arms slipping around her slight form. He could feel his stomach doing something akin to the conga inside of him and he couldn't help but smile into the kiss. After all his worrying and blushing, it turned out that she liked him back and -- why was he even thinking? Conor was kissing him, and nothing else mattered right now.



*



Scorpius headed through the Common Room, Ava's grip still tight around his arm. His insides were a mess of nerves and apprehension; the prospect of seeing and talking to Albus again was terrifying. He'd never been worried before, as they had always been completely comfortable with one another and had never seriously fallen out before. It was just so strange to think that things had  changed - whoever's fault it was, Scorpius hated it and just wanted things to go back to normal.
 
"Milo," Ava called across the room at the boy, "is Albus still upstairs?"
 
Milo looked up from where he was stretched out luxuriously by the fire and nodded. "Yeah. Kaito went up like half an hour to see if he was okay."
 
"Kaito?" Scorpius repeated, softly, as they headed up the stairs to the dormitory. "Since when has Kaito been friends with Albus?"
 
"Since you started going out with Sandra," Ava said, her tone tentative. "I guess somebody had to fill the gap you left."
 
Scorpius blinked. "It's really that serious?"
 
"Yes," she replied, simply, as they stopped outside of the door. "Anyway. Be nice to him, okay? Don't, like, hit him or anything."
 
He raised an eyebrow at her. "Can you really imagine me hitting anybody?"
 
She snorted, shaking her head, and pushed the door open. "Albus!" she said, voice bursting with cheeriness. Scorpius couldn't help but grin, even if he was still a little annoyed with the girl. "I've got somebody to see you! It's about time you and Scorpius got yout acts together, so I --" She froze, every inch of her tensing, her eyes on the bed. Scorpius frowned at her, before turning to Albus's bed himself. He moved forward.

"What are you --" he himself fell silent, his eyes widening and his breath catching in his throat. Wow. Kaito really was checking if he was okay. By sticking his hand down Albus's pants and kissing him. "Jesus Christ. I never knew you liked boys, Kaito!"

It was these words that seemed to break the spell. The two boys looked up sharply, before moving suddenly apart. Kaito stumbled off the bed, pulling his shirt over his head and backing away wildly. Albus, on the other hand, sat up slowly. His hair was tousled and his cheeks were flushed. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. Scorpius was staring at him, but Albus was looking at Ava, who still seemed frozen to the spot.

"I ..." She trailed off, looking between the two caught boys, her chest heaving.

"I'm sorry," Kaito blurted out, not looking at anybody, but staring at the floor as he walked backwards towards the door. "I just. Sorry. It was a one time thing, I just - it was an accident, it won't happen again, I was just - it meant nothing, absolutely nothing, we were --" He shook his head one last time, before scrabbling with the handle and then all but running from the room, shutting the door loudly behind himself.

The silence in his wake was thick and tense, with Ava beginning to tremble and Scorpius not knowing what to say. He wished that Albus would at least fasten his trousers or put his shirt back on, but the boy just sat on the bed, looking at Ava with fear and guilt and confusion in his eyes. Scorpius felt like he was intruding and shifted awkwardly on the spot, too caught up in the moment to really register that Albus had been kissing a boy. As it hit him, he suddenly started blinking rapidly, stomach flooding with heat.

"You - you bastard!" Ava yelled, suddenly, drawing back. The tears were now streaming down her cheeks, blackened by her make-up. "I - I always thought you might ... just, how could you?"

"Ava, please, just listen," Albus said, seeming to coming to life. He jumped to his feet and finally pulled his trousers up, zipping up the fly hastily. He was still shirtless, robes cast to the side. "I swear I didn't mean that to happen. Kaito just kind of kissed me out of the blue, and I wasn't thinking, and I swear it meant nothing. I wasn't even thinking, and --"

"Obviously you weren't!" she interrupted, shrilly, stepping back from him. "Don't you dare say that it was an accident, you were hardly pushing him away!"

"But --"

"I don't care, Albus, I don't want to hear it." She wiped her tears away furiously. "I never want to talk to you again. We're - we're over."

"Ava, please don't --"

She turned to Scorpius, eyes flashing. "He's - he's all yours now."

With that, she turned on her heel and stormed from the room, hand covering her mouth to hold in her sobs. Scorpius stared after her, looking almost unseeingly at the door that had slammed behind her. He felt a mixture of pity for her and a hell of a lot of shock. Behind him, Albus slowly walked over to the window, silent and slow. He looked utterly defeated, the muscles in his back loose, his head hanging low. He pressed his palms against the cold glass as though supporting himself. Scorpius watched him, not knowing whether to stay or leave. They still weren't technically friends, after all.

"Albus," he whispered, and Albus tensed. He didn't turn around, however. A little more bravely, Scorpius walked carefully over to his ex-best friend. He closed his eyes and drew a deep breath, thinking about how confident he usually was and how he'd never been more comfortable in anybody's presence than he was in Albus's. He opened his eyes and knew that now, more than ever, he had to be the Scorpius that Albus knew and - hopefully - loved.

"Allie, come on," he said, bracingly, "there's no point in crying over spilt milk. These things happen, you know? Anyway, I always told you just how restricting relationships were."

"If they're so restricting," Albus replied, in a hollow sort of voice, "why are you going out with Sandra?"

"That's different," Scorpius said hastily, not wishing to talk about something that had already caused them to argue. "Seriously, there's no point in moping. I have some fresh Screechsnap from Dexter under the bed. Want to light up and forget about what just happened?"

Albus turned from the window and stared at him. "Drugs? That's your answer?"

"I don't know what you want me to say," Scorpius confessed, fixing him with a stern stare. "I am who I am. Are you really surprised?"

"I can't say I am," Albus sighed, some of the colour returning to his cheeks. "Alright then. We may as well have a smoke."

"That's the Allie I know and love," Scorpius grinned. They looked at one another for a moment longer, before Albus let out a small laugh and shook his head.

"You're insane," he commented, fondly. "We're - we're okay, aren't we?"

"Of course we are," Scorpius replied, nonchalantly, as though he hadn't been worried about their friendship. He ruffled Albus's hair, smiling slightly. "You will be okay, won't you?"

Albus hesitated, before shrugging and looking at the floor. "We'll see, I guess," he murmured, "I just ... it really was an accident."

"Everything will be fine," Scorpius reassured him, walking over to the bed.

He didn't mention that he only half-believed that himself.



*



Thank you for reading! <33



*

http://www.harrypotterfanfiction.com