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Wicked Games by ClawOfARaven

Format: Novel
Chapters: 6
Word Count: 21,417
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Mild violence, Scenes of a sexual nature, Sensitive topic/issue/theme

Genres: Drama, Romance, LGBTQA
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Albus, James (II), Rose, Scorpius, Teddy, Victoire, OtherCanon
Pairings: Other Pairing, Rose/Scorpius

First Published: 03/08/2015
Last Chapter: 04/03/2015
Last Updated: 04/03/2015

Summary:


Scorpius’ heart was freely given. A loving soul, he wore his heart on his sleeve -- or so it seemed to everyone that knew him. No one knew the truth of his deepest desires, and it is only when he is given the chance to act upon it that he begins to question who he is. Soon, he must face the ultimate dilemma: be true to himself, or risk losing the one thing that made him happy - another man.

Credit to Livilulu @ TDA.


Chapter 1: I Left My Girl Back Home
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CHAPTER ONE

Credit to Livilulu @TDA for the chapter image.


Passion erupted between the two.

Rose’s body arched as her fingers searched for and intertwined with her lover’s, emotions raging all through her as she neared the edge. She was blinded to everything inside the room, although there was nothing which mattered to her more than the wizard that hovered over her, blonde locks coated in sweat and blue eyes bright as he peered at her. Pink lips parted in breathy desire, and Rose’s own breath echoed out his name. “Scorpius…” It was the last word to tumble out on the edge of the passion, the witch trembling with the intense dregs of it all -- before collapsing on the mattress, the sheets cool against her heated skin. She was spent, and it showed in the wisp of her smile.

“That was incredible,” she breathed, lids fluttering as Scorpius rolled over onto his back, panting.

“Yes,” he confirmed with a pant, “it was.”

That was all he said before Rose rolled to her side, curling beside him and slipping her hand over his bare chest. She traced her fingers up and down his sternum, her grin as wide as it had been earlier that evening, when she had pulled him from the table in the Great Hall in the midst of supper and made a whispered promise of a fantastic evening to be had before he was sequestered with prefect patrols. She could never resist the wizard, even when they were locked away in Hogwarts castle. It meant being more creative with their trysts, but she was up for the challenge and usually succeeded in finding the right places to share her love with him, away from everyone.

She stretched, a contented sigh escaping before she sat up -- red hair flowing over her shoulders. “Do you think that there’s still time for more?” she asked wickedly, reaching for his left hand where his watch still encircled his wrist; she peered at the coming-of-age watch, the light of stars blinking up at her. Her head tilted and she grinned, but his hand was slipping free of her grip and he was sitting up before she could say anything else about the time.

“I’ve got to meet Albus in ten minutes,” he told her, reaching for his boxers and stepping out of the bed, slipping the underwear on and turning to face her. “You know if I don’t show up, he’ll come looking for me.”

“Or he’ll know we’re together and cover for you until I’m ready to let you go.” She crawled towards the edge of the bed, ready to pull him back to her, but Scorpius stepped away from her, shaking his head. For a moment, his face seemed clouded before he was grinning crookedly, the delusion fading. Rose kneeled in the bed. “What is it?”

“Twice already,” he said, holding up two fingers to detail their rendezvous score, “and we both know the longer I stay, the likelihood of us getting back before curfew is slim to none.” Rose was insatiable, and Scorpius knew that; she wasn’t ashamed, though, and just grinned. Scorpius chuckled. “We’ve still got tomorrow. And the next day, and the next day.” He slipped on his uniform, before leaning to kiss her lightly. “We’ve got many other chances.”

Rose pouted, but relented and began to dress. “I don’t know why you never want to just stay in here. You’re always so ready to head back to the main castle and the responsibilities. Just think of how fun it would be to hide out here, in the Room of Requirement, and just exist with only me and everything we could ever need appearing to us as we need it.” Her hands waved to encompass the room, the bed, the fireplace. “It’s so perfect for us.”

Scorpius did not look around as he adjusted the prefect badge on his lapel. “It’s not practical and you know that, Rose.” She frowned, brown eyes rolling at him as she angrily yanked her robe over her shoulder. Scorpius sighed and then stepped over to her, clearly needing to placate his irritated girlfriend. “You know I love you. Right?”

Silence fell between them as he held her chin in his hand, thumb caressing the soft skin. Rose looked at him, face slowly melting into a smile as she nodded. It was known to everyone, really, that Scorpius loved her. The wizard did not hide his feelings, always so open and so affectionate. Rose had known of his feelings for her even before she had fallen for him, herself. It was hard not to fall for him. He was the sweetest boy ever: caring, kind, funny, and a selfless soul that would give his shirt to someone that needed to be clothed. Rose loved him for that, and for the way that he took care of her -- emotionally, physically, intimately. She blushed, her head nodding slowly.

“I do. And I love you, too.” Her lips came to his in a small kiss and Scorpius returned it. For a moment, Rose tried to deepen it, to initiate something more intense than the sweet goodbye, but Scorpius was pushing away before her lips could even part, and the frown found its way back on her lips. She watched him gather the rest of his things as he headed towards the door. She stood coyly, like the school girl that she was, as she watched him start to leave her alone. It was always like this. That was why she clung to him whenever she had the chance. Scorpius was such a busy person in the castle. Head Boy and Prefect and leader of clubs tended to do that, and it meant that Rose was often a step behind him in what he needed to focus on at any given time. Still, she loved that he was so popular, and soon her smile was back in place when he turned to look back at her. “I’ll wait up for you. In the common room.”

He paused, hand on the knob of the door, before giving a nod. “I look forward to it.” With a wink, he was gone.

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“Get it together, Scorpius.”

The whispered words bounced around the alcove as Scorpius leaned against the stone wall, blue eyes closed and his fingers fisted in the material of his robes. He had just raced down two flights of stairs from the seventh floor where the Room of Requirement was, running as if it would help him escape the conflicting feelings that always assuaged him whenever he was with Rose. The witch was everything any teenager could ask for -- beautiful, smart, from a good family, and possessor of a willingness to do anything, anywhere, at any time. She was a young boy’s dream, but the truth was that she wasn’t Scorpius’ dream. Not really. He loved her dearly, he did, but his love was and only ever had been one of friendship. People had misconstrued it, and it was easy to do so. Scorpius had always worn his heart on his sleeve; always open with how he felt, and whom he cared for. Only, it was all just platonic.

Yet, when that platonic feelings had been construed to something more, Scorpius had gone with it. He didn’t know why, and two years later he still wasn’t sure. People had giggled over the idea of him and Rose -- the daughter of two of the members of the Golden Trio dating the son of their archenemies. It was the stuff of legend and romance, and Scorpius -- too sweet and accommodating -- had only ever smiled at the idea. He didn’t bother negating all of it, the feelings people assumed to be romantic. Instead, he had let Rose hold his hands and kiss him, because it’d made him feel good when it seemed that he was the only one without someone else. He had fallen victim to the pressure of the teenage world of angst and drama, and two years later he wasn’t sure he wanted to continue to play.

But, he was in so deep. He and Rose had crossed the boundaries into intimacy over the summer, and that had only seemed to make her cling to him more. He did it because, in a way, he did love her -- but would it be enough for him to keep the pretense? It would have to be. Besides, it wasn’t as if he knew what he wanted outside of Rose and their relationship; or, maybe he did, but the thought of it was too scary for him to bring it to the surface.

So, instead, he pushed it all down and played ignorant to what lay dormant inside of him. He had no choice.

Lids flickering open, Scorpius finally found his breath and stepped out of the alcove. He rubbed at his chest, fingers trembling lightly as he tried to get his bearings. He was on the fifth floor, and he turned left towards the stairs.

Before he could make it two steps, however, there was a tumble of bodies and limbs. Albus and another wizard stumbled into the corridor and Scorpius took a startled step back -- before his face flushed in a blush when he noted that the pair were locked in a heated snog, Albus pressing the wizard against the stone wall. Scorpius watched, his throat going dry as he bore witness to a moment that, truly, wasn’t that secret at all. Albus was open with who he was and what he liked -- and who he liked. He stared in awe as he watched their lips mold against each other and their hands explored. Albus’ lips dropped to the boy’s neck and Scorpius realized that it was Ernie Hook, a sixth year Hufflepuff that played on the Quidditch team. Ernie was clinging to Albus, clearly enjoying the ministrations on the skin of his neck -- until he realized that they had an audience when his eyes opened in a brief moment.

He squealed, pushed against Albus’ shoulder, and he tried to hide his face. “Al!” he squeaked out.

Albus pushed up, head turning and lips grinning as he spotted Scorpius. “Oh, didn’t realize we had an audience.” He chuckled, but did not let go of Ernie even though the boy was squirming. Ernie had always been shy, even if open to all about his own sexuality, and clearly didn’t think the idea of being caught making out with a Slytherin prefect right before curfew was a good thing to be joking about. He continued to try to hide as Albus kept talking. “What’s up, Scorp? Been there long?” The teasing in his voice only grew starker. “Or did we invade your rendezvous spot?”

Ernie’s face flushed more and he mumbled a quick, “I better go,” before wriggling free of Albus’ grip.

Albus turned to him. “Later. Midnight,” he told the wizard, letting him go and straightening his robes, the top of which was splayed open to reveal part of his chest. “I’ll come and get you outside your dormitory.”

The Hufflepuff was still speed-walking away, though, and Albus laughed. Scorpius still stood there in dumfounded silence, his face red hot and his hands trembling at his side. Throughout the exchange, his eyes had lingered on the wall, trying to make sure he didn’t do or say anything stupid. It was only when he felt a shove to his shoulder did he look up, gasping out a breath. He’d not even realized he’d been holding it, and he reached to rub his temple where he felt a little light headed. Albus, casual as ever despite having been caught snogging, chuckled at Scorpius.

“You alright, mate? You look like you’ve seen a ghost or something,” the prefect teased him.

Scorpius cleared his throat. “No, I just didn’t expect to see -- I mean, you guys came -- I just -- yeah.” He rubbed his cheek now, shaking his head as Albus’ laughter erupted, bouncing around the corridor.

“Relax, mate. S’not like you’ve never seen me snog someone before.”

Scorpius quickly turned away as he felt his head swim. “Yeah, I know. Sorry. It was just...unexpected.”

“Yeah, I guess.” Albus shrugged, but Scorpius didn’t see, on the count of having turned away from the wizard to stare down the corridor where Ernie had ran away. “I was actually just using him to waste some time. Thought you would’ve still been with Rose, you know. I know my cousin is always so reluctant to let you go.” He reached for Scorpius, slapping his shoulder.

Scorpius jerked forward, but caught his footing. “She was, actually. But, you know, we’ve got patrols and stuff to get through. Didn’t want to leave you to do it on your own. Though, I guess Ernie would have been willing to help.” He tried to sound casual, but he wasn’t sure it worked. It sounded bitter even to his own ears.

Albus, however, just laughed. “Oh, he was willing, alright, but not to help me patrol.” With a cocky bounce in his step, Albus bounded pass Scorpius and started down the corridor. “Well, we may as well get on with it, then. I’ve got a date at midnight and I’m sure Rose is waiting up for you in the common room. Guess it kind of works out that you two are in the same house. Makes it a whole lot easier to rekindle lost moments.” His brows waggled as he turned to face Scorpius, walking backward. “I, on the other hand, have to sneak out.” He sighed dramatically.

The blonde wizard, following Albus at a more leisurely pace, slipped his hand into the pockets of his robes. His lips twisted. “Wait,” Scorpius said, “so...you and Ernie are...dating?” He didn’t like the thump in his chest at that.

The snort, though, from Albus immediately belied the assumption. “Merlin, no. Snogging and the occasional shag. That’s about it. You know me. Why be tied to one when it’s more fun to be free?” He grinned. “Though, I know for faithful guys like you it doesn’t work that way. Don’t worry. I’m always safe.” He winked, before turning away.

Scorpius’ lips frowned and it took him a moment to label the emotion rolling through him as relief. The sight of the Hufflepuff wizard with Albus had done something to him that only happened whenever he saw Albus with another boy -- snogging at the breakfast table or behind the quidditch shed or in the back of class when they were meant to be listening to the professors. It was the same feeling that always bubbled to the surface whenever he left Rose, the warring notion that something wasn’t right and he was ignoring it. He scratched at his stomach, his eyes downcast as he followed the familiar path down to the first floor, where they were set to patrol along the Entrance Hall and down towards the dungeons. Ahead of him, Albus rambled on about what he and Ernie had done that day.

Scorpius swallowed, trying to tune it out as the feeling inside of him started to bubble even more. “Hey, Al,” he choked out, “did you hear about what happened in Divination the other day?”

Albus stopped rambling, a smirk tainting his lips as he shook his head. “I don’t know why you take that class, Scorp. The woman’s as batty as all the other Divination professors this school’s ever had.”

“Well, battiness aside,” Scorpius said, “she made this prediction that I’m going to grow antlers this year.”

“Antlers?” Albus erupted into laughter, and the two launched into a discussion about how that would even happen to him. It was easier to talk about than Ernie, or his other trysts, or anything else that would have continued to make the feeling inside of Scorpius swell and roil with unidentified emotions. Scorpius preferred it that way, really.

It was easier to pretend he didn’t, than to think he may have been attracted to Albus. Or, any boy, for that matter.

His father would never allow it.

Chapter 2: I Can Bring My Shame
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CHAPTER TWO

Credit to Kate from TDA for the image.


Albus Severus Potter was gay -- and not afraid to make it known.

At the age of twelve, the wizard had realized that while all of his dorm mates had been pining over girls, and had been sneaking copies of Wizard Illustrated from their fathers’ stashes and trying to peer under as many witch skirts as they could without getting caught, his eyes had been trained on them. He found more interest in the male physique than that of the female’s and his attraction was intense whenever he thought about men instead of women. It was just easier for him to accept it, and strangely enough it had been easier for him to come out as gay to his family than he had thought. His mother claimed to have known, his father told him that it was his life to live, and his siblings had just blinked and asked if they weren’t supposed to love him the same. Albus, ever since telling them the truth about his sexuality, had seemed to blossom in who he was. He became more confident, bolder.

In the end, he became the Albus that everyone knew.

He was popular, Quidditch captain, and prefect. He was still adored by girls, but as their best friend they could trust with anything rather than the jock they wanted to bed. Even now, while he sat on the bleachers at the pitch waiting for the Hufflepuffs to finish their practice, he was surrounded by many witches. Most of them just hung out because he told the stupidest jokes and could make them laugh, but some of them were genuine friends and trusted Albus’ advice about boys above even their closest girl friends. Madeline, a seventh year puff whose boyfriend was on the house team, leaned with her elbows perched on her knees and her face in her hand, her nose scrunched as she just looked out towards the horizon, blue eyes seeming to be dazed as she was deep in thought about something.

“So,” she eventually said, “you think he’s hiding something from me?” Her gaze turned to Albus after she asked it, her head tilting as if her boyfriend -- Marcus -- would overhear even though he was currently testing out his beater swing in the air. “I mean, he blew off our date last night and then he barely looks at me when I came to watch them practice this morning. Do you think something’s wrong?” Her voice grew worried as she spoke, and Albus could tell that she was worried about what was happening with her two-month relationship. “Am right, aren’t I?”

Albus leaned back, perching his elbows on the empty bench behind him. “Well,” he started, lowering his voice so it was only Madeline that could hear him, “Marcus doesn’t have the best reputation with relationships, does he? Think about it Mads,” he went on, chin lifting, “how did you two start dating? And be honest with me, because you know I know the truth.” His brow rose almost warningly at her, as if he was sharing a flash of a memory with her.

Madeline’s face flushed, and she sighed. “He cheated on his ex with me,” she said softly, though it wasn’t exactly a secret. They’d been caught -- by Albus and his then-snogging buddy, Jonas -- and Jonas had snitched to everyone in the school that the two were doing the dirty in the Quidditch shed. It was one of the reasons Jonas was no longer his snogging buddy, and one of the reasons Madeline was worried about what was going to happen. “But...but he’d told me that he was ending it with Christie, anyway, so it wasn’t like he was really cheating on her and...and it’s not the same...like…” Her words trailed with each excuse, her hope faltering as Albus shook his head at her.

“Doesn’t work like that, Mads. They were still together, you were shagging him, and it’s not the first time he’s done it. I told you from that day to not get involved with him.” He gave her a pointed look, sitting up and nudging her with his elbow. “Dump him, move on. There’s better out there for you. Just lay off Ernie,” he added with a smirk as the team in the air lowered to the ground, and both Ernie and Marcus made their way towards the bleachers. Albus’ lips broke out into a grin. “That one’s mine.” Madeline laughed, and Albus patted her cheek. “Dump him. Now.”

He stood up and started down the bleachers, not even bothering to hide what they’d been talking about as Marcus’ face glowered over at the sight of Madeline there on the bleachers. Albus gave him a warning look, but Ernie was already reaching for his hand and tugging him away, just as Madeline’s said the infamous We need to talk. Albus smirked at Marcus’ groan. This was likely the first time he was being dumped. Served him right. Git.

“Alway the relationship expert, aren’t you?” Ernie whispered, tugging Albus behind the Quidditch shed.

Never one to really be led, Albus switched gears and grabbed Ernie’s collar, yanking him forward. “I’m in demand, you know. Resident relationship guru, being quite in tune to what wizards need.” He smirked as he nibbled Ernie’s lip, his fingers slipping from his collar to the hem of his shirt. He twisted his wrist, hands disappearing.

Ernie shivered. “Well, you kind of are,” he said breathlessly, head tilting back as Albus continued to nibble away at him, lips disappearing to that spot on his neck. Ernie’s lids flickered and he sighed. “Definitely are.”

Albus chuckled, sucking at the spot before lifting his head. “You know,” he said, switching to the other side, “they’re probably going to start protesting me being at your practices. They may think I’ll share the secrets with the Slytherin team.” He bit at his collarbone, earning a tiny yelp from the Hufflepuff. “Little do they know that’s not what I want.”

“Oh? And what is it that you want, hm?” He yelped, again, when Albus squeezed his arse. “Oh. Right.”

The blush on the wizard’s face was visible even through the heated flush from practicing. Albus grinned, sliding free of his grip and starting backwards. Behind the Quidditch shed was a dense area of bordering trees. It all led towards the Forbidden Forest, but Albus knew just how far to go before it got too borderline. He continued, licking his lips at Ernie. Ernie, though unashamed of who he was, was not as adventurous as Albus. He looked a lot more hesitant than the Slytherin prefect, but the fact that Albus wasn’t stopping -- and he’d pulled the top of his shirt down as if ready to tear it off -- meant he wasn’t going to quit, either. Ernie peered over his shoulder, then dashed at Albus with a laugh. The two disappeared between the trees, the frivolity the only thing they really wanted.

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“Where have you been?”

Albus’ grin never wavered as he sunk into the couch next to his sister, throwing his arm over her shoulder. “Hello to you, too, Lily.” He blew a raspberry kiss on her cheek. The girl protested with a nudge and a swipe of her hand to her cheek, her green eyes glowering at her brother. “What? Too old for your brother’s kisses, now?” He smirked as she glared even harder at him. “I’ll take that as a yes.” Slowly, his gaze slid from her to everyone else in the room.

Seated almost strategically around the hovel of armchairs and couches in the back of the school’s common room hangout were all of his cousins. One the other side of Lily was Hugo, who sat with his potions text perched in his lap, furiously scribbling on a sheet of parchment. Across from them were Dominique and Lucy whose gazes were both on Albus questioningly. Beside them, squeezed in an armchair together, were Louis and Roxanne, the two looking very bored as they read over the day’s copy of the Daily Prophet. The only person missing was Rose, and there was only one guess as to where she was. It was only when he looked at Dom and Lucy, that his brow lifted.

“What?” he asked the two.

“You look a mess,” Dom commented, gesturing to his hair. “You’ve got twigs in your hair. Lots of them.” She paused, her head tilting as she made a guess. “Back of the Quidditch shed, again?” she laughed.

Albus’ smirk deepened, and the wizard shrugged his shoulder. “It’s the most private spot on the grounds, believe it or not. Hardly anyone realizes that there’s even a space to slip behind. It’s perfect.”

Lily shook her head at her brother, laughing, but it was Lucy that spoke up.

The sliest of the lot, she leaned forward. “Hell yes, it is. That’s where I took Marcus the other day,” she admitted with a smirk that matched her cousin’s. “We were there for hours.”

Hearing that, Albus’ face darkened and the wizard sat up suddenly, disturbing a twig that had been hanging by a thread in his hair. “You went there with Marcus? As in Hufflepuff Marcus? Womanizing Marcus?”

Lucy just blinked. “He’s a good shag. Knows how to work his tool quite well,” she giggled, earning a snort from Dom and a chorus of ew from Lily and Hugo, who had tuned into the conversation at the news. “He says he’s going to break up with his girlfriend. What’s her name? Michelle or Magda or something?”

“Madeline,” Albus deadpanned, before he leaned forward. “And Madeline’s dumping him. For cheating on her. With you -- and who knows who else. Merlin, Lucy, that’s just gross. If I’d known it was you he was shagging, I would’ve told Madeleine to hex the girl along with him.”

His cousin balked, her eyes opening. “You’d tell her to hex your own cousin?” She growled at him. “But I’m your family! That’s not very nice of you, Albus.”

“Neither is shagging someone else’s boyfriend,” he forced back at her, standing.

“Like you’re some saint!” she yelled, clearly angered by Albus’ betrayal of what they all considered family unity; they all looked out for one another. The sudden shout, drew the attention of all the cousins -- none of whom were dumb enough to get in the middle of it; especially not when Albus’ fist balled at Lucy’s words. “Need I remind you of Trent, Darius, and Irvin? All of them were someone else’s boyfriend. All shagged by you.”

The room fell silent, Lucy’s hands brandishing on her hips at the fall of her words. Albus said nothing for the moment following her tirade. He couldn’t find the voice, too; not when her words were so true. It was not something that he was proud of; after he had come out about his sexuality, he’d gone through a dark period of trying to understand it and how it all worked -- and that meant sleeping around and snogging any guy that was willing to experiment with him, whether they were gay like him or not. It had been the start of his playful ways, and while he was still not the committing type, he had learned to stick only with those that were like him. Trouble only came from cheating.

His voice when he spoke was dangerously low. “That’s how I know to tell you not to do it,” he finally said, shaking his head. “You shouldn’t be so eager to repeat someone else’s mistakes.”

Albus shoved away from the group, marching towards the exit just as the door opened. In walked Rose, her fingers laced with Scorpius’. She was grinning, but at the sight of Albus tearing towards her with his face angry, the witch’s face dropped. “Albus what’s wrong?” she asked, but he pushed pass her, bumping Scorpius’ shoulder in the process before he disappeared out of the door. Rose watched him retreat, her eyes flicking to Scorpius -- who was staring after him, too -- before she turned back to her cousins. Lucy was furiously packing her things while Dom tried to talk to her, but Lily, Hugo, Roxanne and Louis just sat dumbfounded. It was rare for Albus to get angry, so they knew that when it happened, it was a big deal. Lucy finished packing, and stormed out, too, heading the opposite way.

Rose swallowed. “Someone care to explain what happened?”

There was a beat of silence, and then everyone started yammering away. Scorpius, who was still behind Rose, shook his head and put his fingers to his lips, blowing out a sharp whistle that quieted everyone.

“One at a time, please,” he said, and Dom launched into the explanation first.

“Albus was telling us about his rendezvous with Ernie,” she started, hands gesturing wildly, “and then Lucy piped in about how she’s shagging Marcus and it just...blew up.”

Lily, knowing her brother better, offered a different analysis. “She brought up fifth year,” the witch said softly, her fingers wringing together. “You know. The debacle with Trent and Irvin and Darius. Albus got angry and…”

Scorpius frowned, and there was a flash of something dark in his features. Rose saw it, and she frowned. “What is it?” she asked her boyfriend, but Scorpius was shaking his head. He squeezed her hand gently.

“I need to go talk to him.” Slowly, he stepped away, pushing the door back open. “I think I know where he went.”

“I’ll come with you.”

“No, Rose.” Scorpius stopped her, his voice sounding almost pleading, before he calmed. “Just...if what Lily said is true, he won’t be very open to talking to anyone. It should just be me.” She conceded, reaching to kiss his cheek and then waving him out of the common room. “Go make sure he’s ok. Tell him we’ve got a party to plan so he can’t be moody Albus, right now. Make sure he knows it’s just a joke, too.”

Scorpius nodded and headed out the common room, his hands already starting to tremble.

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It took him nearly half an hour to find Albus. He’d not been locked up in the prefect bathroom like the wizard had assumed. Instead, he’d been sequestered in the astronomy tower, hiding behind the big telescope that Scorpius only vaguely remembered having to calibrate once before his Astronomy OWL exam. Scorpius entered the tower slowly, keeping silent. For a moment, he stood on the other side of the telescope, just watching Albus as the wizard stared out the window, his face calmer than it had been when he’d left the common room. He didn’t mean to, but his mind wandered to his features, tracing the line of them with his eyes. Albus had a well-defined jaw, more than his father’s despite the two being split-images of each other. His green eyes were noticeable even from the side and from behind his glasses. His hair, untidy as always, was currently mostly forced to one side, likely from Albus having ruffled it continuously for thirty minutes. Scorpius traced the line of his brow, his nose, the curve of his lips -- before stopping himself with a small gasp as Albus’ gaze jerked towards his almost instantly, face blank.

“What do you want?”

Scorpius blinked, clearing his throat that had suddenly went dry. “I...I came looking for you. Rose was worried,” he gave as an explanation. “Well, everyone is, really. And confused.”

Albus scoffed, turning his gaze back to the window. “You can tell them I haven’t leapt off the tower to my death, ok? I’m prefectly fine.” His gaze narrowed, and the two fell silent for a moment. When neither of them said anything, Albus sighed. “Is there anything else, Scorpius?” he asked. It wasn’t said meanly, just with resignation.

He considered leaving, but his feet remained rooted to the spot. There, with just the two of them, Scorpius was even more aware of that feeling again. He quickly tempered it, masking it by suddenly stepping forward and talking. Talking always seemed to dullen it. “Not really. But I’m also not sure that leaving you still upset would be at all productive. Everyone expects me to make you feel better. Not sure how I can do that…” His words trailed, sudden unease trickling through him as he realized the leap in his pulse at the naughty thought that flashed in his mind.

He nearly tripped over his feet, eventually just settling in the spot next to Albus -- but sitting such that he was sure no part of his arm or leg would touch the other Slytherin. Albus barely noticed his odd behavior, however.

“I told you, I’m fine.” He sighed, stretching out his legs. “S’not like I can be upset at Lucy, despite even wanting to. She’s right. I’m a hypocrite to scold her for shagging Marcus when I’ve not exactly been the best role model. I mean, I’ve built up quite the reputation, haven’t I? Came out the closet, and racked up enough conquests to last me almost an entire lifetime. Some that people don’t even know about.” The wizard scoffed. “I’m no saint.”

Scorpius said nothing for a moment, trying to diffuse the dryness in his throat and to still his pulse. Whenever he heard Albus talking about the things he’d done, it made him uncomfortable; but not the kind of discomfort that came from disapproval. It was the kind of discomfort that came from wanting to know it for himself.

He coughed to cover up his silence, before struggling to find the right words. “It’s not like you’ve hurt anyone since then,” he finally said. He remembered the huge blow up back in fifth year. Trent, Irvin, and Darius’ girlfriends -- or, in Trent’s case, other boyfriend -- had all converged on Albus at the same time, causing a great big scene outside the Great Hall right after the annual Yule Ball. Albus had been outnumbered, hexed and beaten before anyone could step in to help. It’d been his brother, James, who’d spared him any further harm, but the backlash from his actions had made Albus a near pariah for the remainder of the year. Of course, winning the Quidditch cup for Slytherin that season had erased the negativity surrounding him, but it was clear that it still lingered in Albus’ own mind.

Scorpius remembered the incident for another reason, too. He’d just started dating Rose, but the sight of Albus on the floor with a split lip, bruised eye, and swollen jaw had affected him deeper than just worry over a friend. He had wanted to be the one scooping him up off the floor, tending to his wounds, comforting him after the incident. For so many nights after that, he’d watched Albus sleep, barely managing to stop himself from tracing the healing cuts and bruises every time, but wanting to touch him, nevertheless. It was the same time, when Albus’ world had seemed to crumble that Scorpius’ own had opened up -- but he’d shut the door as quickly, because he knew it was wrong.

Even now, he had to hold his hands in fists between his knees to stop himself from reaching to comfort Albus; he did not trust himself to stop at just a light pat. He settled on using words to help. “We all make mistakes, Al. It does not define who we are. Besides, that was two years ago, and you’ve made up for all of that. I think everyone knows by now that you draw the line at relationships.” That included having relationships, and messing with anyone that was already in one. For the most part, he had managed to stick to his guns. “You’re better than that.”

Albus shifted, leaning his shoulder against Scorpius’. The blonde wizard froze, swallowing thickly as the sudden urge to move closer, too, overwhelmed him. But, just like every time, he clamped down on it. “I don’t know why it made me so upset,” Albus was saying, unaware of the war going on inside his best friend’s mind. “I guess I just don’t want people to look at me like that, anymore. I’m a confident bloke, but it hurts to have people hate you.”

Scorpius mulled it over, before saying, “I don’t hate you.”

For a moment, it seemed as though Albus was still angry, but then he smiled and it was like he was himself, again. “I know,” he sighed, lightly nudging the blonde boy’s side.

Scorpius felt his pulse leap. “So...are you good?” He didn’t feel as though he had done anything, other than tell him that he was better than people believed him to be, but it seemed to have worked. Albus was smiling, again.

“Yeah, I’m good.”

“Good. Because Rose said you lot have a party to plan so there’s no time for your mood swings. And she also said to make it sound like a joke but we both know how I am at telling jokes.”

Albus raised an eyebrow at him. “You’re horrible at telling jokes,” he snorted, “but I hear you. Come on, then.” Albus sighed and lightly patted Scorpius’ knee, fingers lingering on his thigh as he started to push himself up. “Halloween is in just a few weeks, and we’ve got a lot of things to do, including finalizing the permission to even have this party in the Room of Requirement. Have to leave Hogwarts with the best impression of us, now, don’t we?”

But Scorpius wasn’t listening. His eyes had dropped to where Albus’ hand was on his thigh, and even when the boy was standing and his hand was gone, the imprint of it lingered -- the heat and the warmth. He wanted it back -- but he knew that he couldn’t get it back. He fisted his fingers, again, before nodding. “Yeah. Party. Right.”

Albus snorted, shaking his head at him. “Sometimes I wonder what’s going on in that pretty blonde head of yours,” he smirked, his hand swiping across Scorpius’ forehead. The compliment had fallen so freely of his lips that it was like he didn’t mean it, but Scorpius caught it and it nearly made him stumble as he tried to get up. He covered it up, and stood. “Let’s go, before Rose sends the calvary and everyone thinks I’m trying to steal her boyfriend, this time.” Albus laughed. “Don’t worry, though. You’re not my type.” Playfully, he swatted Scorpius’ side.

But it was the comment that stung the pretty blonde-haired boy more than the swat.

Chapter 3: I've Got My Heart Right Here
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CHAPTER THREE


Credit to Kate from TDA for the lovely chapter image.


Scorpius needed distractions, and he often resorted to his books for that. Most people called him a nerd because of it, but the wizard preferred to keep his head in books than in the clouds -- because the clouds led him to daydream, and daydreams led him to think of things that he shouldn’t be thinking of. Namely Albus, which was something that Scorpius could only begrudgingly admit to himself, no matter how strange it seemed to be thinking that way in such a short amount of time. His mind had gotten harder to close off, these days. It seemed as though it was rejecting the Albus’ idea that Scorpius wasn’t his type, and while Scorpius’ better judgement told him it was a good thing, every other part of him didn’t appreciate it. The comment had stung more than he’d thought it could, and although it had been almost a week, Scorpius still rubbed at the side that Albus had swatted, as if it would make the hurt disappear. Even now, he sat in his favorite spot in the library, tucked away from everyone, rubbing his side.


His fingers moved slow, eyes dazed as he reread the same sentence in his Divination textbook fifty times. He traced the line of his side over and over, trying to imagine what it would feel like if Albus caressed it instead of him; would it make his pulse leap like it did every time Albus just nudged him or poked him or any of those playful things he did in his naturally affectionate ways? The wizard was touchy with everyone, but he wondered how much of the blokes in the school felt the same leap in their pulse as he did. He swallowed thickly, fingers clenching in his shirt in a flash of sudden anger -- before he exhaled a rough breath and shook his head. He shouldn’t be thinking like that, at all. It was why he’d come to the library, hoping to take his mind off of everything, get himself back on track. Things were starting to get to him too quickly; too easily. Just a few weeks ago everything had been stable for him and now…

Scorpius jerked suddenly as he felt arms slide over his shoulders, and the wizard whipped around, his mind halting on the precipice that he was too afraid to tip over. His heart in his throat, he nearly pushed out of his chair; it was only the recognition of Rose’s tiny laugh that calmed him. Scorpius sat back down and exhaled, head bowing as his girlfriend continued to giggle, sliding into the chair next to his and patting his back, as if to comfort him.

“Did I scare you?”

He gave a small gruff of a sound, his head continuing to fall until his forehead hit the table with a dull thud. “No.” A paused in which Rose snorted, and Scorpius amended his words with a small, “Maybe a little. I was trying to read.”

With his head down, Scorpius could only vaguely note that Rose had moved closer, as if trying to peer at his text; he heard her push it away, before her arms were wrapping around his waist -- and her lips fell to his exposed neck. His lids, which had closed when he’d put his head down, flew open and his breath caught. She nibbled at his skin.

“You’ve been in here all afternoon,” she pointed out between her ministrations, her hands slowly sliding lower. He felt a brief brush of her fingers over the seat of his pants and Scorpius jerked up, catching her hand, and Rose lifted her lips from his neck, a confused expression on her face.

“I’ve got a test in Divination tomorrow,” he told her, softening his grip on her hand to cover up his sudden rejection of her touch. He had never rejected her before; not even the times when he’d not wanted to kiss her or shag her, but it was growing more difficult to bear it. His mind was messed up, and all because of what Albus had said to him. He shook his head at her, leaning forward to placate her with a lingering kiss to her lips. “I’m sorry, but it’s a big test. Covers everything we’ve done so far. I’ve really got to study.” His eyes studied her. “Rain check?”

Rose stared at him, her hand twisting free of his hand, before she relentlessly reached for him again, this time with a secure grip on his zipper. She pushed herself forward, getting in the way. “You need a break, Scorpius.”

She kissed him before he could say anything, and Scorpius was torn between the need to rip his lips away and the knowledge that doing so would only hurt Rose -- and bring up too many questions. After a few stiff moments of not returning it, he resigned and kissed her back. She was soon climbing on top of his lap, her fingers making quick work of his zipper. Scorpius pulled back with an exhale, Rose using it as a segue to get to his neck, her favorite spot. She kissed him there, sucked the skin between her teeth and Scorpius’ fingers fisted in the material of her skirt.

“Rose,” Scorpius breathed, eyes wide with worry as he felt her grow bolder in her touch. His hips jerked and he let out a small groan, holding tighter onto her waist. “We’re in the library,” he said in a strained voice.

“So,” she breathed back against his neck, arching herself closer to him. “Ironically enough, Scorpius, you’ve marked the most secluded spot in the library as yours. Everyone knows you come here to study. Everyone knows I’m the only one that can disturb you. Everyone knows to stay away. Trust me.” She pulled back for a moment, her brown eyes flashing with desire. “We’re not going to get caught. Besides, I can’t exactly leave you in this state.” Her eyes fell to the bulge in his pants, the bulge that had drawn her hands to his zipper the moment she’d sat down. Before he could argue, she was kissing him, again, her lips and tongue ravishing the wizard’s mouth with pure lust.

He let her be, the tightening of his fist in her skirt his only means of holding himself together. It was starting already, the regret for leading her on in the way he did -- the regret for making her fall so hard for him when he’d never even wanted her in that way. They were in so deep, and while Rose clung to him harder, Scorpius struggled with not even knowing how he was going to survive this any longer. She consumed him, her lips pulling everything physical out of him, and Scorpius’ body gave in to the feeling, to the familiar release it had come to crave. But the whole time, the only thing Scorpius could think of was that his arousal had been there even before she had sat down.

When he’d been thinking of Albus.

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“Orange. It should definitely be orange.”

“But orange is too typical. We should make things red. Mix Halloween and Christmas.”

“They already have Yule Ball for Christmas. Halloween should be just be about Halloween.”

“Yeah, Louis, don’t be an idiot.”

“Shut up, Lucy, I’m just trying to think outside the box.”

“How can you when your head’s shaped like a box?”

“If mine is, so is yours. We’re sodding related, you nitwit.”

“Takes one to know one.”

“Oh, for the love of Salazar, you two, shut up.”

Rose rolled her eyes as she tossed two balls of rolled up parchment paper -- one at each of her cousins’ head. Lucy ducked her head and caused it to roll harmlessly onto the floor, but the one for Louis caught him right in the cheek. His eyes narrowed at Rose as he gave a small growl, but the redhead only smiled innocently, lifting the clipboard in her hand higher with the quill in her other hand. Her brows furrowed for a moment, before she spoke, again.

“We’re going with orange,” she eventually announced, earning a smug look from Lucy, who had been advocating for orange from the start of the meeting. They were all gathered around the table in the Great Hall during one of the rare free periods that the seventh years had along with the sixth years, making it easier for all Weasley-Potter kids to meet up and discuss things. They had less than two weeks to finalize the plans for the Halloween party, and while it would be easy to decorate with the Room of Requirement easily manipulated, they still had to agree on how it was going to be done. “I mean, everyone will be wearing costumes and stuff, anyway, so might as well keep in line with the whole idea. Did we decide if we’re inviting anyone below fifth year to this or not?”

“Anyone younger will only stir drama,” Lucy pointed out.

You would stir drama, dear cousin,” Dom said, flicking Lucy across the nose. “Just like last time.”

“Oi, that girl came at me first. Was I supposed to let her throw punch on me?”

“No,” Hugo piped in, his quiet voice still being heard in the interim silence, “but you could have at least kept your insults about her costume to yourself. You don’t know when to shut up. That’s the problem.”

Lucy rolled her eyes, but said nothing. Though it made her angry, sometimes, she knew her cousins were right about her attitude. She didn’t believe in staying quiet and would speak her mind regardless of who she was speaking with; it was why her fallout with Albus wasn’t all that surprising to anyone -- it was more Albus’ reaction. It had been a week since that incident, however, and Albus seemed to be back to his buoyant self, even if he did keep his distance from Lucy. Even now he sat on the other end of the table, fiddling with his novelty snitch and grinning at some silly joke that Roxanne was telling him. The two were always the least involved, but the most avid partiers.

“Right, so if we’re done arguing,” Rose interjected, “I’ve got some good news. Headmaster Longbottom said that the party is permitted-”

“Of course he said so, he’s your godfather.”

“But we’ve got to make sure everyone is back in their dormitories by one,” Rose went on, sparing Louis a crooked grin at his comment about her godfather, “and that should be easy since that’s about the same time the party ended last year. By one am, everyone’s ready to crash, anyway. We can clean up and be out by two. That’s our curfew.”

“Sounds like everything is sorted out, then,” Albus pointed out, speaking up for the first time during the meeting.

“Yes,” Rose agreed with a nod, “it is.”

The confirmation came the same time as the ringing sound of the bell echoed throughout the castle. Rose glanced up, then checked her watch. It was time for the last lesson of the day, but she was still free, having cut down her NEWTs classes to five instead of six after making Head Girl. It made it easier to deal with, with added responsibilities on her list. Her other cousins, though, started packing up their things for class; some were headed to Arithmancy, the others to either Care of Magical Creatures or Divination. Albus was the only other one that was free.

“Hey, Al,” Rose called out to him as he stood up from the table, “can I talk to you for a second?”

Albus paused, his foot halfway over the chair, then shrugged. “Yeah, sure.”

Rose opened her bag, shoved the clipboard in, zipped it back, then slung it on her shoulder before walking towards Albus. She jerked her head towards the doors, indicating he should follow. The two fell into step and were soon meandering out of the Entrance Hall and down the path that led to the Black Lake. There were not many students out, given that only those in sixth year and up had the luxury of free periods. Together, they followed the winding path, step for step. Rose kept her gaze forward, brown eyes ever observant as she noted a few of the seventh year Claws huddled under a tall tree, free of classes but clearly unable to stop studying. She shifted from them to the lake which sat calmly as always. For the entire walk, the pair did not speak. It was only when she dumped her back on the dry earth at the shore of the lake that Rose turned to look at her cousin, who was slowly shedding his robe.

“Are you going to tell me what’s wrong?” he asked her, pulling the outer robe free and, then, rolling up the sleeve of his white shirt, his tie already undone. He looked ruggedly disheveled, something Rose was sure drew the attention of whatever guys were interested in him -- which she was knew to be most of the ones interested in men.

At his inquiring eyebrow raise, Rose cleared her throat, brows furrowing. “Well, I don’t really know how to put it…”

Albus dropped to sit against a tree, his legs tented. “Why not just blurt out the most burning point, and if I have any questions, then I’ll ask them.” He patted the spot next to him, clearly willing to listen.

Rose knew that many people went to Albus for advice about relationships, about men, about ideas for what to do when they didn’t know the answer, themselves. It was one of the reasons she even trusted confiding him, besides the fact that he was her cousin and they’d grown up like siblings. Too, there was another factor that made Albus her go-to person. She sighed, sinking into the spot next to him, curling her legs against her chest, folding her skirt so to prevent any peeks at her undies, and perched her chin on her knees. She looked out at the lake before starting.

Blurt out the most burning point. She sighed. “I think Scorpius wants to break up with me.” Rose closed her eyes tightly, not sure what reaction she was going to get from him. When Albus didn’t say anything, though, she peeked one eye, then both at him. He was staring at her with a confused expression. She straightened, lifting her chin off her knee, and blinked. “What? Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Because I’m trying to decide if you’re crazy or delusional,” Albus muttered with a snort, shaking his head. “What in the world makes you think Scorpius wants to break up with you? Last I saw, you two were as close as you’ve always been. Did something happen?” This time, his brows furrowed. “Did he say something?”

Rose shook her head, her trouble expression seeming to deepen. “No, but he doesn’t have to. His actions say a lot more.” She rocked back and forth, before straightening out her legs. She hesitated a moment, before speaking in a softer tone. “He’s not wanted to...you know...for like a week.” Her face flushed. Although most of their cousins were aware, by now, that she’d lost her virginity to Scorpius, and that the two were hot and heavy in the intimacy level of their relationship, Rose was still reserved enough to want to keep it between themselves. Still, when she worried that her boyfriend no longer wanted her, she was willing to talk about it. “He doesn’t look at me the same way.”

Albus said nothing for a moment, and Rose knew he was waiting for her to talk more.


She sighed, licking her lips. “Scorpius has always been so open with how he feels. You know that. But, lately, it’s like he’s closed himself off. He only tells me that he loves me when he knows I’m waiting for it. He doesn’t like sneaking out, anymore, for us to be together. He doesn’t kiss me the same way, anymore. And, like I said, he’s not wanted to shag all week. And while I get shagging’s not an important part of our relationship, it’s the fact that he seems to get scared or uncomfortable whenever I get too close. I practically mauled him in the library and he...he didn’t respond. Not the way he used to. It was like he didn’t want to.” She blinked, her eyes starting to get teary at the thought of Scorpius falling out of love with her. She wiped her cheek. “Do you think that’s possible?”

“No,” Albus said disbelievingly. “Scorpius cares about you. I see it in the way he always makes sure you’re alright, and the way he looks out for you, and Merlin knows he rejects every advance from girls that don’t seem to care that he’s in a relationship.” Albus snorted, arms folding as he leaned back, slouching a little. “Have you tried talking to him about the sex? I mean, that doesn’t have to be because he doesn’t want you, anymore. It could just be that he’s tapped out. Last time we talked about, you told me yourself that it’s like you couldn’t get enough of him.”

Rose blushed. “Yeah, and you teased me about it because you couldn’t believe Scorpius was like that. Don’t let his shyness fool you.” She felt safe talking to her cousin about Scorpius in that regard. They were best friends, all three of them together. Her voice dropped low as she added, “He’s different behind closed doors.”

Her mind flashed to the first time they’d made love. It had been over the summer, when he’d visited his Manor and his parents had left for some society part. The Malfoys were still very much involved in that world, but Scorpius was not as interested and his parents trusted them enough. It had been sweet. Quick, but sweet and he’d held her after, when she’d worried that she’d not done a good job. Ever since then, it had been like magic. But not anymore.

She rubbed her eyes. “I just hate thinking that he’s changed his mind about me. I love him so much, and…”

Albus’ arm settled around her shoulders. “Talk to him. That’s the only way you’re going to know what’s going on with him, you know. But if I know Scorpius as well as I think I do, it could have nothing to do with you and everything to do with him just stressing over tests or Head Boy stuff. You know how he gets with his grades. And I thought you were obsessive.” Rose thwacked him in his stomach. “Oi, watch it. I need those abs for later, yeah.”

“For what?”

“How else do you think I attract the male species?” he smirked.

“Like you need any help in that department,” Rose teased, then fell silent. She thought about Albus’ words. It was true that Scorpius could get distant and introverted whenever it came time for tests. Being NEWTs students meant they were constantly being tested, and while Rose worried over her grades, too, the witch wasn’t as bad as her own boyfriend could get. “Maybe I should just give him space. Until the Halloween party. Most of our pre-tests would be over, by then, and there’d be some free time before Christmas exams. That should work out, right?”

Albus nodded, slipping his arm free. “I still say you should talk to him. Just let him know that you miss him and make sure it’s not something else. But, like I said, Scorpius isn’t the kind of guy that would mistreat you. If something was truly wrong with him, he’d tell you. Just like he always does.”

Rose knew Albus was right. Scorpius was often never afraid to say if something was bothering him. He was so open that people could tell what he was feeling easily. Albus patted her leg and stood, saying something about a nap, and she watched him go. Still seated against the tree, she curled her legs back up to her chest. The truth was that she was scared to lose Scorpius. She loved him deeply, and had waited for him to take their friendship on to something more. For years she’d endured the teasing from everyone else that they would work well together, until they’d finally kissed one night when they’d been studying together. She had initiated it, and Scorpius had followed. The day after, they were dating, and it had just been the two of them since then. She didn’t want to lose any of that. She did not want to lose him, and she hoped that it was as easy as Albus said. That everything was alright.

Scorpius meant everything to her -- and she wanted to be his everything, too.

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Chapter 4: These Eyes That I'm Staring At
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CHAPTER FOUR


Credit to milominderbinder from TDA.



”Don’t worry, though. You’re not my type.”

“But what if I could be?”

Scorpius, in the bold move following his statement, reached for Albus. The wizard’s green eyes were wide with a full look of surprise, but neither that nor the hammering in his chest could stop Scorpius from what he wanted. His hand clasped Albus’ cheek, sliding to hold the back of his neck. He closed the distance, lips descending, lust raging...


“PAY ATTENTION, SCORPIUS!”

Albus’ voice penetrated the Slytherin’s reverie, and Scorpius jerked into focus in time to avoid being struck with a bludger. The wizard dove low, the grey ball zooming pass him, wind ruffling his hair. He exhaled a breath, and turned to look at Albus, who was waving frantically at him and then at the scoreboard. They were behind by one-sixty, and Albus never liked big gaps. Gaps meant things could change too easily, and if he caught the snitch now they would still lose the game -- and all because Scorpius was sodding daydreaming. They needed to score; as one of the three Chasers on the team, it was his responsibility to help with that. He shook his head, clearing his mind before searching for the other green robes in the air, before darting into the fray with other chasers.

Blue zipped by, the Ravenclaw team clearly gaining momentum with their lead. Scorpius bit his lip as he sped up to get closer to Bella, the other Slytherin chaser who currently had the quaffle. She was jetting towards the goal posts, but was heading right into a defensive line of the other three Chasers. Scorpius dove low under her, calling out.

“Bella,” he shouted, “drop call!” He stuck his hand out as the quaffle fell from her grip. He caught it and then took off in a sideways curve, now the target of the line. His eyes searched for Pierre, but the third chaser was too far back out of the fray. Passing to him would be counterproductive. So, Scorpius sped forward. He heard the roar of the fans in the crowd as he drew nearer the goal posts. The Claw keeper was eyeing him, and Scorpius made a beeline for the right hoop, drawing the keeper in that direction. At the last second, though, he jerked crookedly and sent the red ball through the center hoop, earning a ding at the scoreboard and a rousing roar from Slytherin.

He arched out of the flight, coming around as the quaffle was tossed back into play; Bella stole it and signaled to them for a triangle formation. Scorpius lined up, using his position as a way to guard her against any onslaught. He flew into the path of a Claw chaser, while Pierre took a bludger to his broom -- all so Bella could get the ten points to bring them to a little closer to still securing a win. She caught it on the edge of the left hoop, and Scorpius’ eyes went directly to Albus. The wizard was in the middle of a dive, perfectly strategized. He must have been tailing the snitch the whole time, waiting for the two goals to close the gap -- so that an added one-fifty would make them win.

He, like all the players and spectators, watched the fight for the snitch with a riveted gaze. It was an accepted excuse to watch Albus -- the way the robes flittered behind him from the force of his flight; the way his hair breezed back to reveal the full contours of his face. He played the game without his glasses, contacts giving him a freer flight, and it seemed to only showcase his handsomeness even more. Scorpius was breathless, even after the exertion of playing the game, and he could only grip his broom tighter as he watched. To everyone, it was as if he was anxious for the catch, but Scorpius was just captivated by Albus, himself. The dregs of his daydream still lingered, despite him trying not to pay too much attention to it. It wasn’t the first time he’d had it, either; they were becoming more frequent as time went by, but they never lasted. Every time he would lean in to kiss Albus, something shook him out of it.

Perhaps it was a sign.

Even now, as he thought of what those wizard’s lips would feel like, the roar of the crowd erupted.

Albus had caught the snitch.

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The hot water from the shower head beat down on Scorpius, soaking his blonde locks to thin threads, rolling down his shoulders and his back, flowing in rivets over the curve of his backside and down his legs towards the drain. Grey eyes watched each tiny river slip through the drain, wondering what it would take for him to follow along, to escape the torment of his own mind and the temptation of the wider world. Would it be easier if he was nothing more than a drop of water that could flow easily on its own, move through many paths, never having to worry about where it went or how it felt or what others thought about it? Did water even feel? Now, he was just being silly. Scorpius’ eyes closed, water splashing over his face as he raised his chin to the ceiling of the boy’s changing room.

The game was over, and while Slytherin had won, Scorpius still felt ashamed by his horrid playing. Though Albus had not chewed him out for being inattentive during the game, he figured the lecture was going to come later, when no one was left in the changing room. He never scolded his players in the front of everyone, choosing to pull them off to the side and chastise them privately, so they would be spared the embarrassment. Scorpius wasn’t sure he’d be able to handle the chastising, though, because that would mean the two of them would be alone -- and the more time went by, the more Scorpius feared for his own actions if that were to happen. While he was becoming less and less fortified in his control over his thoughts and feelings, his actions were becoming harder to mask.

Surely, by now, someone knew something was wrong with him -- but how could he explain anything to them?

He wasn’t sure he understood it fully, yet, himself.

Scorpius sighed, his head dropping. He swiped water from his face and turned around, only to trip back and collide with the shower wall when he saw a shadow through the curtain. “Bloody hell, Albus,” he muttered. “You startled me.” He knew it was him, because the changing room was quiet besides his shower. Everyone else was likely gone.

“I thought you heard me,” Albus said, his voice distinctive even through the pounding of Scorpius’ heart in his chest and ears. Instinctively, his hands went to cover himself, but Albus likely could not see through the curtain, and it was not like him to yank it aside, anyway. It was only his hand that hung casually over the rod.

Scorpius was able to see his pinky. He stared, his back still pressed against the wall. “No, I didn’t. I must have been-”

“Daydreaming? Yeah, you’ve been doing that a lot, lately.” Albus’ hand dropped, the action disturbing the curtain.

It slid just an inch, exposing part of the towel rack on the other side of the room -- and Albus as he moved towards the shower next to Scorpius’. A thick tiled wall separated each shower, but Scorpius suddenly felt like there was not enough distance between the two of them. Vaguely, he saw Albus toss his bag on the floor. Scorpius could not see him, but he could hear every shuffle and rustle of his clothes as the wizard stripped to take his own shower, likely having waited until everyone was done. He often did, because Albus took long showers. Scorpius, still frozen in both fright and uncertainty, continued to stare through the slit, his breath catching with each toss of clothing. First was the green Slytherin robe, then the shirt, then his pants. Soon, there was nothing left to toss, and Scorpius’ breathing seemed to grew shallow as he watched Albus’ boxers fly out, landing right at the foot of his own shower stall.

He stared at it, his chest heaving silently. His hands seemed to press even closer against his manhood, body stirring at rasp of the shower as it was turned on and a sudden realization: Albus was in the stall next to him. Naked.

Scorpius’ eyes blurred as he tried to focus on his breathing instead of letting his mind wander to how Albus must have looked under the spray of the water, how it must have flowed so easily over his well-defined physique. Soon, his lids fluttered close, and his breathing seemed to draw him into his own mind -- his mind where Albus heard his pleas and came into the shower with him, pulling his hands free from covering himself and taking over, touching him in the way that Rose liked to do, but doing it in a way that pleased him more than she ever could. He swallowed as he forced his eyes open, pushing the thought aside. He scrambled for the shower knob, turning up the cold water.

He forced himself beneath the spray of the cold water, spluttering as if he was drowning. He tried to keep quiet, but it seemed Albus had not heard, anyway. He was talking, and Scorpius tried to tune back in to his words.

“…worried about you,” Albus was saying.

Scorpius’ eyes darted along the line of the shower tiles, trying to piece together what he was saying. A heartbeat passed, then another, before he swallowed and stammered out, “What...what was that?”

He could practically hear Albus rolling his eyes, and bit his lip. “I was talking about Rose. She came to me yesterday. Said she’s been worried about you. That you’ve seemed...off, lately. I told her there was nothing wrong, but judging by how you played today, I think something is wrong.” He paused, as if waiting for Scorpius to say something; but when the blonde wizard still could not find his voice to reply, Albus went on. “Scorpius, you know you can talk to me. I’m your best friend. We talk to each other about everything, remember?”

Scorpius leaned forward, his forehead pressing against the wall. He listened attentively, hearing the water as it rasped down, the sloshing of the towel as Albus lathered himself. It was growing difficult to breathe properly; he could barely keep himself from getting lightheaded, much less maintain the conversation. His voice even sounded strangled to his own ears when he finally said, “Yeah, I know.” He needed to get his head together. Finally, he got his throat clear. “Nothing’s wrong,” he replied. “I guess I’m just...distracted. School and duties and all that stuff. There’s a lot on my plate.” He hesitated with his hand over the shower knob, before turning it off.

The sudden silence in the stall seemed to make his heartbeat sound like a drum, and he wondered if Albus could hear it. His shower was still on, though, and Scorpius used the moment as a chance to escape. At least, to put a little distance between them. He slowly pulled the curtain back, before darting out, grabbing a towel and drying himself off. He moved so fast that he nearly tripped, and it was only once he was dried and took a seat on the bench outside the showers that he felt his breathing even out. He sat wrapped in just the towel, staring at the ground. He stayed for a few moments, looking up when he heard Albus moving. The wizard stepped out of the shower, came around into the main changing room, and Scorpius stared as he, too, was wrapped only in his towel.

Albus walked forward, and sat right next to him. “Is that the only thing that’s bothering you?” he asked.

It took a moment for him to remember their conversation, what he’d said, before he nodded. “Yeah,” he strangled out, clearing his throat. “Yes. Seventh year, you know. It’s a tough time. You guys are handling it a lot better than I am.” He frowned. Albus was silent, and Scorpius -- after a moment -- turned to look at him. “What is it?”

Albus was looking at him with a troubled expression. Green eyes seemed to pierce all the way to Scorpius’ soul, and the Slytherin feared he might have been able to read his mind. Scorpius wanted to look away, but the gaze held him; his eyes dropped to Albus’ lip for a brief second before he caught himself. Albus, though, didn’t seem to notice. His head tilted, and the question that came was so unexpected that it knocked Scorpius back to reality. “Is it your dad?”

“My dad?” Scorpius asked, flabbergasted. “Why...why do you think this has anything to do with my dad?”

“Because the last time you were this spaced was back in second year, after he-”

Scorpius shot to his feet, keeping a firm grip on his towel. He shook his head rapidly. “No, no, this has nothing to do with my dad or anything pertaining to him. It’s school. Like I said. That’s it. That’s all.”

Albus must have known he struck a nerve, because he held up his hand. “Alright, alright. Sorry, mate. I didn’t mean to bring it up. I just remember...never mind.” He dropped it, standing, too, and moving towards his bag. He grabbed his clothes out of it and without a second thought, dropped his towel and started getting dressed.

Scorpius had to turn around, pretending to fumble through his locker for his wand to avoid looking. It wasn’t the first time he’d seen Albus naked, but it was the first time he’d wanted to explore that nakedness himself.

He cut his own thoughts off, talking to distract himself. “Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, and it’s not that. My dad has his ways, but he knows we’re friends and I’ve told him that it’s not going to change. He just has to live with it. So just drop it, yeah?” He glanced at Albus, glad to see that he at least had on boxers, by now.

“Consider it dropped,” he said easily. “So, is it the pressures of school that’s stopping you from being with Rose?”

“What do you mean? I was just with Rose this morning,” Scorpius muttered, confused as he started getting dressed, making sure he kept the bulk of his locker door shielding him. He quickly slipped on his boxers and sweats.

“I don’t mean like that, Scorp. I mean doing the do,” Albus said, his voice taking on a teasing lilt. “She said you haven’t wanted to.” It was clear he’d not wanted to bring it up, since his voice grew soft.

Scorpius paused in slipping on his shirt. He stared into his locker. He knew exactly what Albus was meaning, but he’d not thought that Rose would complain to anyone about it. Although he’d placated her with sex for weeks, it had gotten more difficult to ignore his lack of desire for it -- for it with her -- and it had started seeping into his every action. No longer did he just hide out at times to get over it; he tried to make excuses each time, and it was something that Rose was starting to dislike. He knew it, he should have prepared for it, and he didn’t know how to go back from it. Still, he didn’t want to tell Albus about that, because he couldn’t lie and say it was because he didn’t want to be with Rose. She was his cousin. He would demand more answers, and Scorpius couldn’t tell him.

The truth would be harder to hear.

“I…” He trailed off, not sure what to say. Albus drew nearer, leaning on the locker next to his. Scorpius, glanced over to his best friend. He leaned so casually that Scorpius wondered if the tension he felt was all in his mind. His chest was still bare, the lay of his jeans exposing the cut of his hips. Scorpius quickly looked away, back inside his locker. He grabbed his wand, shoved it into the band of his sweat pants, stalling for time.

“You, what?”

“I just-”

“There you are!”

Both Scorpius and Albus jerked around to glance at the entrance. Ernie stood in the doorway, his shy grin plastered on his face. He blushed at Scorpius, before stepping inside the changing room. He paused halfway over. “You were supposed to meet me twenty minutes ago,” Ernie said at Albus, fidgeting with the hem of his shirt. It was amazing to Scorpius, truly, how Ernie could be so open and lustful while still being shy at the same time.

Scorpius, his throat having gone dry, quickly shoved his shirt on and slammed his locker shut. “I was just leaving,” he said, stepping around Albus to grab his bag off the floor. “Don’t let me keep you any longer. Ernie.” He nodded his head at the Hufflepuff, breezing pass him and practically rushing through the door. With his heart in his throat, he stopped right outside the door, pressing his back against the wall. He waited for a few minutes -- but then he heard the vague sound of Ernie laughing, before it was cut off with the sound of bodies hitting the lockers. His stomach twisted and Scorpius pushed away, trying to escape the sound -- and the jealousy that boiled inside of him.

He raced across the pitch, picking up speed once he’d crossed the field and headed towards the castle. He moved so that the breeze would rush pass his ears, dullen the sound of his thoughts. But they were hard to ignore. He could think only of Albus, and how he’d looked standing over him in nothing but his jeans. It was more than just a physical attraction, though; he thought, too, of the concern in the wizard’s voice, at just how much he cared for Scorpius and Rose, his two best friends. Scorpius felt touched by it all, but it was so conflicting that he wanted to both run from it and embrace it, all the same. How could he feel like this? How could feel this way towards Albus?

Scorpius tugged at his hair as he crossed into the castle, turning towards the stairs that led to the dungeons. With each step, he grew more determined. He wasn’t sure what it was that had broken through to him, but it was so clear to him that he wanted Albus. How could he not? The wizard was amazing, but the sight of him with Ernie had been a blow to Scorpius’ desire. He could never have him. He should never have wanted him, anyway. Had not his father told him many times that he was better than that? It wasn’t right for him to lust after his best friend, a wizard. Not when he had someone that everyone thought was so perfect for him; he raced towards the Slytherin dorms, heart pounding. He would show them. He would show them that he could still be with Rose, like he was meant to.

Barely inside, he tossed his bag to a chair, sought out Rose, and yanked her up from where she had been sitting next to the fireplace. She looked startled for a moment, but he just turned heel. Saying nothing to her, he led her out of the dormitories and down the corridor. She had to jog to keep up with him, but she said nothing in the five seconds it took for them to make it from dorm to potions classroom. He chose the one that was furthest away from the main entrance to the hall, walked in, yanked her inside, shut the door, and then slammed her against it.

“Scorpius, what’s-”

He cut her off with a kiss, a deep one. He invaded her mouth with his tongue, holding her cheeks in his hands as he snogged her with a fervor he had never shown. She returned it, clearly aroused by the sudden domination. Her hand gripped at his shirt, the other falling to his hips as he pressed against her. Her leg arched up and Scorpius grabbed it, eventually bending down to lift her. He settled between her, her legs wrapping around his waist. Scorpius continued to devour her lips, before his mouth dropped to her neck. Her breath rasped in his ears, moans falling from her lips with each nip to her neck, with each arch of Scorpius against her. He blocked out everything eating away at him; he kissed her harder, hand slipping between them to speed things along before they were joined. The press of pleasure as it moved through him cast every doubt and memory and unwarranted desire from his mind. He clung to Rose with masked lust as she did to him, holding him tighter, milking him like she always so desperately wanted.

Against the door, he shagged his girlfriend -- all the while wondering if it would have been better with Albus against the lockers.
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Chapter 5: I Can Bring My Pain
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CHAPTER FIVE


Credit to ether from TDA



The breeze was blowing cooly against Scorpius’ skin, ruffling the fringe of his hair as he lounged in the grass, his back pressed against the thick patch in the garden behind his family’s manor. His arms were spread wide, fingers in the dirt. It was a clear day, hence the reason for him lounging on his back, and he could feel every whisp of air, every ray of sun as it pressed against his pale skin. The clouds seemed to cruise by just as lazily as he lounged, eyes moving only when he felt a small nudge against his fingers. His gaze shifted to Albus, who was in the same position beside him, though one of his arms was pointing up at the sky, waving around in a circle as he gestured upwards.

“Looks like one of those spinning tops,” he surmised, his voice sounding almost dreamy.

Perhaps, though, it was just Scorpius’ own lazy haze, from a day spent doing nothing with his best friend. It was the summer break, with no schoolwork to keep them busy, and the promise of a great third year waiting on the horizon of the holidays. Doing nothing was their only priority, and Scorpius hummed as he looked at the cloud, there.

“Like that muggle toy you showed me last year?” Scorpius asked after a moment, grey eyes on the sky.

“Yeah, exactly,” Albus agreed. “Like an upside down triangle with the little control at the top.” His arm fell, ending in a line atop Scorpius’ arm. The blonde wizard turned his head to look back at his friend, his toothy grin wide. “D’you think your dad would’ve yelled if I’d brought some of them with me?”

Scorpius’ nose scrunched at the thought. “Probably. He’s not like your dad. He’s not as…”

“Accepting?”

Scorpius fell silent, his gaze lingering on Albus as he tried to figure out if that was the word he was looking for. It was certainly one that was on Albus’ mind, however, and Scorpius was well aware of why. It was in the last week that Albus had come out to his parents as being gay, and despite the fear and concern of not knowing what to expect, all the reaction had been positive, bearable, accepting. Scorpius’ lips lifted into a soft smile. He had been one of the first persons that Albus had told about his sexuality, when he had first begun to think it was the reason he’d had no interest in Sophie, the Slytherin in Rose’s dorm that had been trying to snog him for weeks. Scorpius didn’t really understand what it meant to be gay, but the fact that Albus was still the Albus he’d befriended in first year meant he had just shrugged his shoulders and moved on with it. He still had his friend, and that was all that mattered.

Though, admittedly, the concept of being
gay had intrigued him -- and flickered in his mind musingly.

He rolled onto his side, and Albus followed suit. “So...do you, like, feel any different since you’ve...come out?”

Albus shook his head, his black untidy hair shaking. “No. Well, maybe just that I feel more aware. Less unsure. All this time I’ve been wondering what’s wrong...and, now, I realize nothing is
wrong. I just understand who I am better. Kind of like when people figure out what they want to do when they grow up, or what flavor of sugar quills they prefer,” he added with a laugh, sitting up. Grass stained his shirt, but he didn’t care.

“That sounds like it’s how it should be,” Scorpius replied with his own laugh. “I wonder what it’s like to be gay.”

Albus smirked down at him, his green eyes narrowing. “I think you’d know if you were, Scorp.”

“How?”

“Well, for one, you’d want to snog me. Because, come on, I’m pretty hot. At least that’s what Sophie said.”

Scorpius laughed and shot up. “But you’re my best mate. That doesn’t really work like that. Sorry, Al.”

Albus scrunched his nose. “Did you just reject me, Scorp? I’m hurt.”

“Did...did you want to snog me?” Scorpius’ heart pulsed, but Albus seemed to only be joking -- because he laughed.

Scorpius’ face fell, but he recovered quickly and reached to shove Albus’ shoulder. Albus shoved back, and before long the two were wrestling on the grass, the clouds rolling by overhead, oblivious to the laughter of two pre-teen boys as they rolled around in the yard. Albus had the upper hand, already being the taller and stockier of the two boys, and Scorpius eventually conceded defeat, holding his hands up. Albus hovered over him, their legs intertwined as his hands perched on either side of Scorpius’ head. He was still grinning, his teasing evident in his face.

“I win.”

“Only because I gave up. You’re sodding heavy, you know.”

Albus shifted to flick the side of his cheek with two of his fingers; Scorpius protested and tried to shove him back, but Albus caught his hand and held it down, leaning forward. “I win because I’m better than you are,” he teased.

Scorpius bit his lip, eyes narrowing playfully at his best friend. Albus was so close to him. He tried to get away, his chin jerking up and brushing against Albus’ in the process. There was a shock of something that shivered down the boy’s spine and he froze, a hairsbreadth away from Albus. The green-eyed wizard titled his head down, and in that moment it seemed as though the teasing and the playful idea of the two kissing became more than just a tease and playing. Albus looked serious and his lips seemed so close. There was a subtle tilt of his head, Scorpius following suit in the other direction. They were close, and his grey eyes searched questioningly, but Albus’ eyes were slowly falling shut, and Scorpius’ flickered in response. Their lips brushed, his breath caught in his throat --

And there was a sudden onslaught of cold air as Albus was pulled off of him -- his desire ripped away.


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Scorpius jerked awake, the sheet falling in a jumble at his waist. Sweat beaded his forehead and cooled his chest and back, and he swiped a hand down his face, trying to catch his breath. He had no idea when he had fallen asleep, but the dregs of his dream were still clear in his mind. It wasn’t really a dream, anyway. It was a memory -- the start of a memory of one of the most confusing and altering days of his life. It was that day in second year that Albus hinted at in the changing rooms, a day that Scorpius had tried to erase from his mind. It was like forgetful therapy, where he had to push the memory out of his mind so to feel better, to move forward in life without feeling like he was treading through quicksand. In doing so, though, he wondered if he had hindered himself.

He sighed, his hand dropping to the mattress -- but landed on something else. He glanced down, spying Rose.

The witch was curled on her side, half buried beneath the same sheets that crumbled around Scorpius’ waist. Her left breast hung free and Scorpius quickly reached forward and adjusted the sheet over her. He studied her sleeping face, and it was then that the memory of the night before assaulted him. After he’d shagged her in the potions room and bruised her neck with kisses, the two had gone to dinner, only to return to his dormitory to shag some more. It was thanks to silencing charms that he’d not disturbed his roommates, but it was clear that it had gone well into the night, because Rose was still there. He saw her begin to stir, and in a rather timid move, he quickly slipped out of the bed, treading silently off the mattress and then out of curtain of the poster bed. He grabbed his boxers and a tshirt, slipped them on, and beelined to the bathroom. No one was inside and he used a moment to collect himself.

He braced his hand on the sink, staring at the floor for what felt like an hour but was likely only a few minutes. There it was; that familiar thread of guilt that often ran through his veins after a date with Rose. It would likely be stronger, now, considering he’d gone to her out of spite and not true desire, like she thought. Albus had told him of her worry; Rose thought she was on the verge of losing him, and Scorpius knew she was right. It was getting harder to be with her, and despite the raging determination that had overwhelmed him last night, he only felt less compelled to continue the charade of the relationship. It had not been because he truly wanted her, but because he needed to prove to himself that he didn’t want Albus -- but the momentary bliss had only made it worse for him.

Each day brought new challenges for him, deepened Scorpius’ confusion -- and all because he’d begun to let himself think about the things this father had warned him not to think about; all because he’d begun to question why he’d felt no true connection to Rose and why he felt better around other people, certain people. The same sense of guilt had assuaged him after he’d rejected her proposal to stay that day in the Room of Requirement, and now it seemed to latch on to him even stronger than before. He couldn’t get rid of it. He scratched at his stomach, as if it would help him scratch it away; but with an entire night of wrongful lechery behind him, Scorpius was bathed in remorse, and his hands started to tremble. He held onto the sink, again, his head bowing again, breath shaking.

He closed his eyes, and the hazy remnants of his dream swam, this time as a memory being played out.

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Scorpius was stunned for a second, grey eyes wide and confused as the sun seemed to blind him, shock him in a sudden moment of the loss of Albus’ body hovering over him. It took another second for reality to swim; deafening silence roared into life and he gasped in exhalation, jerking up as he saw Albus wriggling in his father’s grip. Draco Malfoy stood over Scorpius, holding tightly onto Albus’ collar, but glaring down at his son. Almost as if Albus was not more than a piece of twig, Draco tossed the green-eyed wizard, causing him to stumble and nearly fall. He caught himself, though, and straightened with a glaring look at the older Malfoy, but it softened just as quickly.

Scorpius got to his feet, confused. “Dad, don’t hurt him,” was all he could manage to say, but Draco was converging on him and Scorpius tripped back, retreating with speed as his father’s icy gaze seemed to grow colder.

“Don’t hurt him?
Don’t hurt him?! I come outside to find my son close to kissing a boy and you tell me not to hurt him?” HIs voice escalated and Scorpius winced. “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t?”

“He...he’s my best friend. We weren’t doing anything. We were just playing and-”

The slap came before Scorpius even realized his father had lifted his hand. It stunned him, and the twelve-year old boy stared in shock at his father, his own hand trembling as he lifted it to his cheek. Draco stumbled, and it was only the mess of untidy black hair over the man’s shoulder that alerted Scorpius to the fact that Albus had interrupted, pushing at Draco with a force that wasn’t strong, but that had come out of nowhere. Draco spun on the boy, and Albus glared up at the man, clearly not as afraid of Draco Malfoy as his flesh and blood son was right then.

“Leave him alone! Scorpius didn’t do anything wrong.”

“No, that was
you,” Draco growled, grabbing for Albus again. The boy protested, but Draco was bigger and far stronger, and the man started dragging Albus towards the manor. Scorpius, his cheek still stinging from the first slap, ran forward after them. He tried to get in between his dad and best friend, but Draco kept pushing him away, all the while lecturing about Albus’ wrong choice and how foolish his parents were for not stamping it out of him. Scorpius followed them, tugged at his father’s shirt, tried to pull his arm off of Albus, but it did not stop him. None of it worked, and they were soon at the front door of the manor. Draco yanked it open.

Scorpius stood behind his father, starting to plead with him. “Dad, stop! Dad, no! Please.”

“I don’t want him in my house. I will not allow
that lifestyle into my house. Not with my son.” He pulled Albus forward; the boy had stopped fighting when he realized that Draco would likely only hurt Scorpius in the process; he stared at the man with a defiant look, but said nothing. “You’re not welcome here, anymore. Tell your father that.”

Scorpius gasped, but in a split second Albus was shoved out onto the porch and the door was closed in his face. He didn’t even get a chance to look at him. Scorpius breathed heavily, shocked, as his father spun towards him.

Draco towered over his son, and Scorpius looked up. He had no idea when he’d started to, but tears were clouding his vision and he felt a few roll down his features. “He’s just my best friend,” he tried to say.

But Draco wasn’t listening. He grabbed Scorpius by the scruff of his shirt and dragged him towards his study. “I’ll show you what happens to people like that in this house. Make you think twice about doing that ever again.”

He wriggled in fright, but his eyes never once left the front door, trying to imagine what Albus must have felt; he was tossed into the man’s study, and before he could even straighten himself, the first blow had struck his cheek, the second his jaw. He whimpered, “Dad, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” but Draco heard none of it.

Scorpius peered up at him, sobbing, but all he saw was the first coming at him. Again. And again. And again.

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By the end of the memory, Scorpius was curled on the floor, his head buried in his hands and his face wet with the tears he’d not been allowed to shed back then. His father had beat him for the mere idea that he could have been snogging Albus that day in the grass; and while the kiss had never happened, Scorpius had not even tried to think of what it could have meant. He’d closed himself off from the idea, and although he had managed to repair things with Albus by the first day of school -- though Albus claimed to have never blamed him for it -- Scorpius had always had to confirm with his father that nothing was happening with them. Draco had disapproved, but it was only when he’d started dating Rose that the wizard had relented, seeming to finally accept his son was not gay.

He was, though -- and the truth came like a rocket to his gut as he sat curled on the bathroom floor of his dorm.

Scorpius hiccuped, lifting his head. His vision was blurry with tears, but he didn’t bother to wipe them. He sat in pure amazement at the release that seemed to come from the acceptance of himself. Ironic that it had taken shagging his brains out with Rose to do that for him, but it had. The guilt thereafter had awakened years of other dregs of guilt; he felt remorseful for not doing more to protect Albus, and for going with his father’s insistence without considering that it may have hurt him with more than just blows in the end. Worse was that he felt guilty for not acknowledging the truth within himself all these years; that was the part of himself that he always shut down every time he faced the prospect of being with Rose intimately. It was the part of himself that didn’t want her, but wanted a man.

The part of himself that wanted Albus, and that always had -- from he was twelve-years old.

Albus had understood himself back then, but Scorpius had not. He’d had yet to comprehend what it meant, and he had a feeling that, had their lips met in more than just a brush, the two would have explored it. Together.

Shakily, Scorpius lifted himself off the floor. At the sink, he splashed water on his face, waited until he felt less shaky, and reached for his toothbrush. Almost as if on autopilot, Scorpius began to brush his teeth, the sound of the water filling the background. He stared at himself in the mirror, tracing the lines of his own features -- the grey eyes, the thin nose, the chiseled jaw. He wondered if he looked different from yesterday; he wondered if people would know that he knew. He wondered if his whole world was about to spin off axis. He wondered why he wasn’t afraid.

He scrubbed, spitting out toothpaste and bending to rinse his mouth. When he straightened, Albus was behind him.

Grey met green in the mirror, but Albus’ grin was playful whereas Scorpius suddenly seemed tense. He straightened slowly as Albus took the sink next to his, plucking his own toothbrush from the holder. “Morning,” he greeted.

“Hey,” Scorpius said, busying himself with rinsing off his toothbrush.

Albus smirked as he started brushing his teeth, standing casually in his pajama bottoms and non-matching purple Harpies Quidditch jersey that his mum had likely given him. One arm was folded over his torso, his eyes peering at Scorpius out of the corner of his eye. The look, the easiness, his sheer presence unsettled Scorpius.

He waited a moment, to see if Albus would say anything, but then he relented. “What?”

Albus snorted, spitting out toothpaste. “Nothing.”

Scorpius smirked, a rare lilt in his lips that he’d learned from the many Weasley-Potters that did it. “You look too smug for it to be nothing. What,” he added, not wanting to bring it up but feeling too resentful about it not to say anything, “did you and Ernie try some new move or something?” His gaze shifted away, Scorpius acting as if he was setting out his things to take a shower, acting as if his entire life didn’t hinge on Albus’ response.

“No,” he said easily, “but it seems like you certainly did.”

“Sorry?” Scorpius asked, after a heartbeat of a pause, where he looked thoroughly confused.

Albus snorted, finishing off his brushing and rinsing the toothbrush. “You’re too sodding humble sometimes, I swear to Salazar.” He swiped excess water for his mouth and turned to lean on the sink. He waited another pause, a pause in which Scorpius merely looked at him with a raised eyebrow, before laughing. “I just saw Rose sneaking out.”

Scorpius looked mortified for a moment, before his face deepened in a flush and he turned away, scratching at the side of his face. Albus, forever amused by Scorpius’ shyness, just laughed even more at his best friend.

“She was waiting for you, I think,” Albus went on, “but then when she realized that everyone else was starting to wake up, she got dressed and practically raced through the door. Good thing I was the first one out of my bed, or else she may have crapped her pants. She looked quite satiated, though. Good job.” He gave Scorpius a pat, rolling his eyes. “Merlin, you should see your face, right now. You’re redder than a sodding radish.”

Scorpius wasn’t really listening, anymore. His mortification wasn’t really from Albus having caught the two of them in bed, though -- figuratively speaking, of course -- but more from the fact that sleeping with Rose may have been a mistake that he wasn’t sure he could make up for. Just a few minutes ago, he’d been ready to accept a new part of himself, to cut ties with anything that would perpetuate his lies; but with Rose likely clinging to him more, and Albus clearly satisfied with himself for helping them patch up whatever rough moment he assumed they had, Scorpius was stuck. Albus continued to laugh, gathering his own things and tossing a towel over his shoulder. He saddled pass his best friend towards the showers, patting him on the back, again, as if Scorpius needed the support.


The touch only seemed to set his skin on fire, though, and Scorpius had to clench his jaw to stop himself from giving in to the feeling. Albus was off limits; his father had warned him so. He was off limits, Rose would likely make it so. Scorpius was royally screwed and as Albus left him standing by the sink, the wizard looked back in the mirror at himself. Shame marked every line of his features, and he swallowed thickly. He was in deep in a royal mess.

He was gay -- but he was dating the cousin of the guy he wanted, and he saw no way out of it, either.

Worse than that, the guy he wanted him didn’t want him, anyway. He wasn’t his type, after all.

Would the wrongness of his situation ever end?
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Chapter 6: I Don't Love Her No More
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I DON'T LOVE HER NO MORE



The shame hung deeply over Scorpius’ shoulder for the rest of the day, but he tried to overlook it with his usual easy smiles and his casual demeanor. He was not as outgoing as Albus, or dignified as Rose. He was just Scorpius; people knew him to be the quiet one that hovered in the background observing but more intelligent than them all; the one that was laidback but with an avid sharpness that had made him a prefect and Head Boy, to begin with. Even as he sat in potions, his best class, Scorpius did so with an easygoing stance that people wanted to emulate but could not pull off as well as he did. He sat perched on the edge of the tall chair, his arms folded across his stomach, shoulders at a hunch. Albus sat much the same way, but his was with more of a playful attitude, his grin spread wide.

The two were often paired together in class, but Scorpius had purposefully slid his chair over to avoid close contact with Albus. He had to make sure that he could keep a strong mind during class, otherwise he would just lose it. The professor was currently going over the steps for them to brew the perfect draught of living death in practice for the NEWT pretest, and while Scorpius knew it perfectly, he pretended to be watching keenly as Professor Wilde drew a diagram on the chalkboard with his wand. Sporadically, he would scribble something in his notes, and it was just as he was in the middle of finishing off the drawing of the cauldron that he felt his page throb with a subtle heat.

He frowned, his hand moving off as a scratchy scrawl appeared in the place of his notes.

Don’t you already know this stuff?

Scorpius peeked out of the corner of his eye at Albus, but the wizard’s head was down, his quill hanging unused in his hand, having already completed the note that he’d sent to Scorpius. The spell was one the pair had perfected in fifth year, an easier way to talk without getting into trouble for actual talking during the classes they had with each other -- and the ones they didn’t. While the page still beat with a dull light, Scorpius scribbled back an answer.

Figured I might as well still look busy.

Albus’ gaze went to his own notes before Scorpius heard the scratch of his quill across the page.

We need to start brewing soon or I’m going to fall asleep. My dreams are better than this lecture.

Wouldn’t be the first time.

Scorpius heard a snort, and then, Yeah, but at least it was a damn good dream last class.

I know. You moaned one time in your sleep. Two guesses about what you were dreaming about.

Scorpius lifted his head to the board, keeping up the pretense of listening, but he was really just waiting for every hint of something new being written in his notes. He didn’t know why, but talking like this made it easier for him to say things that he would never voice aloud to Albus. Though discussing the wizard’s carnal thoughts was awkward for Scorpius -- even more so now under the circumstances -- writing and reading made it easier to mask his reactions to things. Too, he could at least pretend that the person they were talking about was him; only in his dreams.

You should only need one guess. Merlin knows you’ve caught me enough times to know what I get up to.

Scorpius felt his pulse leap in his throat and he swallowed, hand shaking as he wrote back. Yeah. Then, in a bold move, he added, Your little shag buddies may start to think I’m stalking you or something.

Albus’ response came quickly; almost too quickly, like he had the answer ready-made. Nah, they know the deal. You’re the one person they don’t get jealous of, funnily enough.

Scorpius stared at the sentence: You’re the one person they don’t get jealous of. He wasn’t sure how to feel about it; on the one hand, it meant no one was the wiser to his deepest desires but, on the other hand, it meant that Albus likely wouldn’t have a clue about it, either -- and he wouldn’t see that it may have been alright to look at him in that way. No, Scorpius suddenly thought, you’re not supposed to want him. Stop it.

He shook his head, staring down at the now-blank paper. His hand still trembled slightly, and he started writing before he could stop himself, not really listening to his own mind. Is that a good thing?

Nervously, he peered over at Albus. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the wizard’s head tilt to one side, almost with a questioning undertone. He understood the reason; Scorpius shouldn’t care whether anyone was jealous of him being so close with Albus -- because there was not meant to be anything to be jealous of. He didn’t look at him long, though. Instead, he shifted his gaze immediately, kept his head straight to the front of the room, acting like what he’d asked didn’t have a whole wealth of meaning to it, like it didn’t matter.

Eventually, a response came. It is. Means no choosing. Means I get to keep my best friend.

Scorpius looked at the words. Best friend. That was what he was; that was exactly how Albus saw him. Truthfully, he still considered Albus his best friend, too, but one that he wanted as more. It should have been a good thing that the interest was only one-sided. It meant Scorpius had no encouragement to blur the lines, to misbehave, to act on the desire within himself that would only cause trouble. Still, it sung, but he was spared an awkward reply.

The professor suddenly clapped his hands, drawing everyone’s attention. “Gather your ingredients, and get to work. Double period, so you’ve got time to brew the first stage of the draught. Chop, chop!” He clapped again.

Scorpius jerked off the edge of his chair, rushing over to the cabinet to gather the ingredients that were not in his kit already. He moved with purposeful delay, offering to help others get theirs, to avoid going back to the table where Albus was already setting the heat beneath his cauldron and slicing his shrivelfigs. He needed a moment to compose himself; to shake away the rejection that he’d felt. It wasn’t his place to be jealous, to feel rejected, to hate the fact that nothing between him and Albus would ever happen. That was the way it should be. It didn’t matter that he was gay and accepted it. Albus was his best friend. Rose was his best friend, too. They were all so close, and it was too fragile of a situation to mess with. What he wanted didn’t matter, at all, because his happiness wasn’t worth the sadness and the heartbreak that would be rendered between them all. It was too much to bare.

His feelings were his own to hold on to, and to get rid of as quickly as he could.
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“Knight to E5.”

Rose watched as the chess piece moved, knocking away the pawn on Louis’ side, and then beamed smugly when her cousin groaned, tugging his queen down and lifting his hands, brandishing a sign of surrender in the game.

“I don’t know why I even bother,” he drawled, “because you beat me every time. Uncle Ron needs to stop training you.” His brows furrowed as he gently pushed the chessboard away. “Us lowly folk don’t even stand a chance.”

“Oh, come on. You were close that time,” Rose said, rearranging the pieces on the board. “One more game?”

“You call being checked five minutes into the game close?” Louis snorted. “No. I think I’m done. Why not ask your dear old boyfriend to play?” Louis smirked, jerking his thumb towards the door of the student commons just as Scorpius entered, his other hand busy closing the clasp of his satchel. He yanked it up, standing. “I’m out.” He waved on his way out, nodding at Scorpius. But Rose wasn’t watching him; she was watching her boyfriend.

Her grin spread wider at the sight of him, her body still humming from the love making of the previous evening. Her neck was still lined with a hicky or two, having not removed them just for the sake of having the reminder.

Even now, she touched one faintly as she waved Scorpius over. The wizard saddled over and then sat in the seat that Louis had occupied. Rose furrowed her brow at him, and he looked at her, confused for a moment, before leaning over and placing a kiss -- on her cheek. She tried not to drop her smile, and reached for his hand, linking the fingers.

“Rough day?” she asked, hoping there was some reason he was distant, again. She couldn’t believe that something was still wrong with him from before; not after how good their night together had been. She had thought that it was over, whatever rough patch they’d struck, but he still seemed dazed. She squeezed his hand. “Scorpius?”

He hummed, before blinking and shaking his head, as if he needed to focus himself. “Yeah, yeah. It was my full day of classes today,” he told her with a sigh, squeezing her hand back, before unraveling their hands and sliding his to his side of the table. He folded his arms, grey eyes going to the chessboard. “Practicing, again?” he asked.

She twisted her lips, before sighing. She wasn’t going to question him; she wasn’t going to be the nagging girlfriend that questioned everything her boyfriend did -- or didn’t do, in Scorpius’ case. She had to trust Albus was right; that Scorpius would tell her if something was really wrong with him and that their relationship wasn’t on the rocks. Even though it sure as hell felt like that. She picked up the white queen, fiddling with it. “Yes, I am. The chess tournament in Hogsmeade is coming up. I want to be ready. Speaking of Hogsmeade…” She perked up, leaning forward with a glint in her eye, like she had some exciting news. Scorpius looked at her with a calm expression. “Neville said that we can go into the village tonight. Get the things we need for the party. No booze. He was adamant about that and he’s going to be checking the stuff we bring back, anyway, but it’d still be fun to go. See the village outside of what we say when we go on Saturdays.” She paused, titling her head, studying Scorpius. “Do you want to come?”

Still quiet, Scorpius shrugged his shoulder. “I don’t know. I’ve got a lot of reading to catch up on for Runes.”

“But it’s the weekend. You’ll have plenty of time to catch up on it. Besides, we don’t plan to be gone that long.”

“Who’s we? Who’s going?”

“Well, I am, of course, and Roxanne,” she said, “and Dom said she wants to go, but I know it’s only so she can sneak off to see Frank. He’s working in the Hogsmeade station this weekend. Albus volunteered to go, too.”

Scorpius’ head lifted from where he’d been leaning it against his hand, eyes blinking. “Albus is going?”

“Do you know him to ever turn down a chance to get out of the castle?” Rose said with a snort. She reached for his hand again, trailing her fingers along his knuckles. It normally didn’t take this much effort to get him to even hold her hand, but eventually he seemed to understand and his palm turned over, offering his hand. She latched on with a softer smile, but when she looked up at him, his eyes was dazed, gaze somewhere off towards the entrance. Rose looked over her shoulder with a frown, but saw no one. “Scorpius?” She clipped her fingers. “What is it?”

He blinked, straightening in his seat. “Nothing. Just thinking. So, erm, what time did you say we’re leaving?”

Rose beamed, glad to see that he wanted to come. Maybe she, too, could sneak off with him. They could walk along to the park like they used to when they’d first started dating. Maybe doing that would rekindle whatever spark was beginning to fizzle out between them. She would take every opportunity to draw Scorpius back to her, and even if a group date to get drinks and food for a party was her only option, she would take it and hold onto it tightly.

“We’re leaving for six,” she said, “so be down at the Entrance Hall by quarter to. All six of us are going to need to get the permission slip from Neville...Professor Longbottom.”

Scorpius, who had seemed to suddenly lighten up -- a sign that maybe he just need a night out and that it was just schoolwork that had him distracted and not something worse than that -- frowned over to her. “Six of us? But you said it’s you, me, Roxanne, Dom and Albus. That’s five.”

Rose looked confused for a moment before it dawned on her. “Oh, right! Ernie’s coming, too,” she said with a wave of her hand. She shook her head, as if laughing at herself for forgetting, and started packing away her chess pieces in the engraved chest that her father had bought for her. “I forgot about him until just then. Al asked if he could come, since Ernie heard about it and begged to go. I think he just wants to shag Al somewhere else other than all of their usual spots in the castle. I swear, sometimes I think Ernie really fancies Albus for more than just-” She stopped short when the table rocked, some of her chess pieces falling on the count of Scorpius’ sudden movement. “What-”

“I just remembered I have a meeting,” Scorpius was saying, his eyes down as he quickly righted the pieces that had fallen and then shoved the chair he’d been sitting in aside. “School newspaper. Sorry. I should go.” He was talking in a rush, his face seeming to have darkened in the space of two minutes. Rose, her worry on the edge when it came to Scorpius, stood up quickly and reached for his hand. She caught him at the wrist, and could have sworn she felt him jerk, as if he wanted to shove her off. He didn’t, though, but the feeling of unease lingered inside of her.

“Are you sure that’s it?” she asked him, her voice low, concern tinging it. “You’ve been acting really-”

“I’m fine,” Scorpius quickly said, twisting his wrist until he was free and starting towards the exit. “Really. Like I said, I just have a meeting to get to. I’ll see you later. At six.” He waved, not even looking back at her as he left.

Rose remained where she was, glancing down at her palm, the same one that Scorpius had wiggled out of. Dropping it, she rubbed it on the material of her skirt, as if it would erase the disconcerting feeling that had settled within her gut. Scorpius had been with her for all of five minutes, but in that time, her worry for him had escalated. He’d gone from aloof to exhausted to upbeat to dismissive in mere seconds. It wasn’t like him, and the longer he continued to slip away from her, the more she began to wonder if he was the same Scorpius she had fallen in love with when she was thirteen. The same Scorpius that everyone could read as easily as a book. He was harder to read, now, though.

He wasn’t her Scorpius, anymore.
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He was there by five thirty.

Scorpius glanced at his watch, before readjusting his position on the small bench right outside the Entrance Hall. He was the only one there out of the party that was meant to be traveling to Hogsmeade that evening, but he’d come a tad earlier to make sure that he would have time to control his expression. When he had left Rose earlier that day, it had been in a huff. He had nearly lost it when he’d found out that Ernie would be joining them. His only reason for agreeing to go was because Albus was going, and Scorpius -- despite his constant battles -- couldn’t help but want to be wherever Albus was. Perhaps it would help him get over him quicker, in some twisted, deluded way.

But when Rose had gone on about Ernie, something inside of Scorpius had snapped. He didn’t want to hear about it, about how the two seemed to be getting close. Just the hint that Ernie may have fancied Albus made his gut do a flip, a sense of dread settling inside of him. That wasn’t right. Albus wasn’t the committing kind, something that he clung to because it made him feel better about the possibility that there would never be anyone that he’d choose to settle with. In some weird -- selfish -- way, it made Scorpius feel better about being unable to act on his desire; he would always have Albus has a best friend, but no one would have him as anything more. He didn’t want them.

Though, there was the nagging worry that he wanted Ernie in the same way, and it made his throat go dry.

“This is a million degrees of screwed up,” Scorpius mumbled to himself.

“What is?”

His eyes lifted as Albus breezed pass him, slipping into the spot next to him. Where Scorpius sat bent over, with his elbows on his thighs, Albus lounged in his seat, arms spreading out on both sides. He looked at Scorpius.

“What’s a million degrees of screwed up?” Albus asked again.

Scorpius shook his head, looking away from the rather tempting sight of Albus’ collared shirt splayed open enough to show his collarbone. “Nothing, just talking outloud.” Idly, he drilled his thumb into his palm. “Debating whether I should still come with you lot. I’ve got a ton of-”

“Work to do, yes I know,” Albus finished. “You’ve always got a ton of work to do, which is why you should get a chance to unwind. You’re going, even if I’ve got to tie you down and drag you there, myself.” He dropped his arm, his hand landing on Scorpius’ back with a thud. “Your choice. Come willingly, or as my prisoner.”

He squeezed the wizard’s side, and Scorpius nearly leaned against that touch. He indulged for a moment, pooling his attention to that spot, mentally outlining every inch of his skin beneath his shirt covered by Albus’ hand. His head turned, grey eyes peering at Albus from over his shoulder. He said nothing for a moment, and then, “I’ll come.”

“Good.” Albus grinned, but then his green eyes shifted up and his smile seemed to dip just a little, before it was back in place. Scorpius, who was still looking at Albus, didn’t see Ernie until the Hufflepuff was already dropping himself in the seat next to Albus, squeezing the three of them on the bench. He looked away from them as Ernie leaned in to Albus’ side. “Hey, Ernie,” Albus greeted, but Scorpius noted it was with a heavier tone than when he’d been talking to Scorpius. Scorpius also noted, with a flutter of butterflies, that Albus’ hand was still against his side, still holding a little tightly, while his other arm had not moved to touch Ernie, despite the wizard’s blatant request for it.

Smugness settled onto Scorpius’ face, and even though he was looking forward, the wizard sat up. Albus, almost in an automatic way, lifted his arm up to accommodate him, but just as Scorpius had predicted, it did not move from around him. He was tempted to trail his own fingers over where Albus’ peeked out from between his elbow and his side, but he didn’t. This was enough to put a genuine smile back on his face, and when Rose and Dom and Roxanne showed up nearly ten minutes later, it was still there. Ernie had prattled on the whole time, Albus merely muttering a few responses without engaging fully in the conversation -- and, all that time, his hand had not moved.

Scorpius didn’t want to think anything of it. It wasn’t like Albus never touched him. The two were close enough that tiny nudges and shoulder brushes were normal, but Scorpius analyzed everything, now, and even when Albus stood and his hand slid free, he couldn’t help but to feel like he was forever encased in his arms. Not even Rose slipping in to his side and wrapping her arms around his waist could alleviate it, and Scorpius even felt good enough to put his arm around her shoulder, which seemed to make her smile wider. He imagined his actions earlier that day had put her off, and while he didn’t want to apologize because it would mean explaining, he could cover it up by giving her what she wanted. He stood, pulling her along, and placed a kiss to her temple as they moved as a group.

Neville was waiting for them, waving a slip of paper in his hands. “Two hours,” he told them. “That’s all you’ve got. You’ll need this to get back in the castle, but it’s only good until eight. Understood?”

“Yes, sir,” everyone chorused, and then they were heading down the road towards Hogsmeade, moving in quick and automatic pairs. Dominique and Roxanne took the lead, with Albus and Ernie taking up the middle. Scorpius took up the rear with Rose, the girl clinging to him. She spoke softly about what they would need to get, but Scorpius was not really listening. His eyes were on the couple in front of them. Ernie was holding on to Albus’ elbow, clearly still going on about whatever the hell he’d been talking about earlier. Albus, though, walked with his hands shoved into his pockets, and Scorpius’ secret grin settled on his lips. Rose had been right; Ernie was infatuated with Albus. But Scorpius had been wrong. Albus didn’t fancy him in return, which meant Ernie was on his way out.

It was only later that night, when they were back from the village and Scorpius was crawling into bed, did the wizard realize how truly selfish his thoughts were. It didn’t matter whether Albus fancied Ernie or not. There was no room for him, anyway, and he had to remember that. He may have wanted Albus, but he couldn’t have him.

He couldn’t have him -- and he just had to find a way to face it, and to get over it. And he’d find a way. He would.

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