Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns any characters and places you recognise. I'm just a humble writer trying to make part of the wonderful world she's creating my own.
Summary: We meet Albus Potter and an array of other characters. The Sorting takes place, some people get thoroughly annoyed, and the power of a Malfoy begins to settle over the Slytherin first years.
Song: Title of this chapter and the lyrics used are from the song Prologue by Kate Bush.
Author Notes: Welcome to Brilliant Creatures. I should probably get some boring warnings out of the way before I let you read the prologue. In this fic, there is excessive swearing, same-sex pairings, sex scenes, alcohol, drugs, and a little violence thrown in there occassionally. When it's rated mature, it really is...mature. If you're offended by any of that stuff, I pity you. I also advise you not to read on. However, if you're up for it, I hope you read and - more importantly - enjoy. Reviews are very much appreciated, too.
[Scorpius Malfoy, glancing across at Albus Potter]
credit to the almighty SaphiraLupin at TDA!
We're gonna be laughing about this.
We're gonna be dancing around.
It's gonna be so good now.
It's gonna be so good.
The hall was cavernous and foreboding as the first years trailed in, it’s high ceiling glossed with stars and its ground lined with large tables, upon which sat the silent and watching students and teachers of the school. Albus’s mouth was dry, and his robes felt odd-fitting upon him, swinging uselessly against his trembling body.
Beside him walked Rose, bright and cheerful, though with a worry in her brown eyes. Her long red hair caught the starlight, shining and glittering, and Albus stared at it, hoping to distract himself from the inevitable nausea as they come to a halt before a crooked wooden stool and a decrepit hat.
Professor Longbottom, deputy Headmaster and Professor of Herbology, stands beside the stool, beaming at all the new first years, his eyes picking out Albus and Rose easily. Albus smiled nervously back - the teacher was best friends with his parents - and moved his gaze slowly to the immobile hat. Didn’t his father say it was supposed to sing to them?
As the thought crept through his mind, the brim of the hat opened wide, and a deep, slow voice echoed through the hall, calling the attention of all present. It marched on through the silence, telling a musical tale of the four houses, and Albus listened with rapt attention. He had no idea which house appealed to him, even though he knew his entire family wanted him and Rose to be placed in Gryffindor. He simply didn’t feel brave enough.
After all, how could he ever measure up to his father?
Hufflepuff for the fair of heart … he didn’t think he was particularly fair at heart. He wasn’t overly generous or kind, especially when compared with some others. He was just plain, unlike his kind and sweet grandmother Molly, and he felt suddenly fearful that he was extremely selfish and never able to fit in Hufflepuff.
Ravenclaw for those of a wise spirit … he definitely wasn’t wise. He never knew how to comfort or advise anybody, not like his Aunt Hermione who always knew the right thing to say. Ravenclaw would never accept him, and this hurt him, as he knew it to be a great and respectable house.
Slytherin for those with ambition deep inside … did he have any ambition? He didn’t believe so, he simply wanted to be sorted and get this horrible ordeal out of the way. Unlike James, he had no high needs or wants in life, he simply wanted peace and calm.
Gryffindor with bravery in their blood … he was definitely not destined for Gryffindor. His father, the great Harry Potter, was the epitome of brave. He had done so much in his life, already by Albus’s age he had survived horrors. What had Albus done? Avoided being murdered by James and his outlandish pranks, but that was about it…
The names were now being read out, and with each sorting Albus winced. He would give anything for one of them to struggle with being sorted, however selfish it sounded - he just knew he wouldn’t be sorted easily, if at all. The first name he recognised was that of “Malfoy, Scorpius”, and he couldn’t help but look up.
His father had often spoke of Draco Malfoy, but it was always in a strange tone - a mix of reservation and disapproval. His uncle Ron, however, had been much more crude and open about the matter, and Albus got the distinct impression the Malfoys were no good. He was, understandably, intensely curious about the son that came from his father’s enemy.
Scorpius was slight, but taller than Albus, his movements composed as he walked up to the stool. His hair was very light blonde, and fell neatly to his ears, his eyes wide and grey. He looked expressionless, and he perched tidily on the stool, pulling the hat over his eyes.
There was a long, tense minute, and Albus saw Professor Longbottom seeming somewhat apprehensive. Then, making a lot of people jump, the hat opened it’s brim once more and shouted;
Scorpius stood without hesitation, placed the hat back onto the stool and walked calmly over to the cheering Slytherin table. Albus lapsed once more into worry and panic, watching the line of waiting students gradually falling in number until, at last, Professor Longbottom looked up smiling and spoke cheerfully,
Somehow the silence became more pronounced, as the eyes of all present sought out the new Potter boy, wondering after his famous family. Albus’s cheeks tinged with pink and, stumbling across the floor, he made his way towards the stool and hat. It was a shorter journey than he had imagined, and too soon he had reached Professor Longbottom, who beamed encouragingly.
With trembling hands, he picked up the old, mouldy hat, sat himself heavily upon the stool and pulled onto his mess of black hair. It fell over his eyes, obscuring his view of the filled hall, and when the small voice spoke in his ear, he jumped horribly.
“Ah, a Potter?” it questioned, and Albus winced at the unspoken expectations. “Hm, well, this is an unusual mind. You’re a difficult one. Your brother and parents haven’t seemed to have much influence on your spirit, inside you have a thirst for greatness and power, even if you have not yet discovered it…”
Alarm flooded Albus’s thoughts then, but before he could defy these accusations, the voice rang loudly so that the whole hall could hear;
“James!” Albus cried, trying to resist being dragged along the corridor by his elder brother. “James, let go of me - I didn’t mean it!”
James ignored the indignant squeaks and carried on the march through the school, looking for somewhere secluded enough for them not to be overheard. Finally, he found the appropriate place, pushing back the tapestry and shoving his little brother into it. His brother backed into the wall of the passage, and James glared down into the face, into his burning green eyes.
“Slytherin!” James shouted, and Albus flinched. “What do you think you’re playing at?”
“It wasn’t my fault!” Albus murmured, covering his burning face with his hands. “It was the Sorting hat! I didn’t ask to be put there, honest!”
“What will Mum and Dad say?” James sighed, kicking the wall, livid. “Oh, and Uncle Ron! You’re going to embarrass the entire family to everyone. A Potter in Slytherin! Does family mean nothing to you?”
“Dad said it wouldn’t matter if I’m in Slytherin.” Albus began to cry, his body shaking with his sobs. James shook his head, softening slightly. He had always loved his brother, despite however he acted toward him, and the sight of the younger boy crying drained him of his anger.
“Look, Al, don’t cry,” James pleaded, biting his lip. “Alright, calm down. Calm down.”
Albus stemmed his tears as quickly as possible, taking deep, shuddery breaths, and looking up at his brother through tears. James shook his head again, smoothing the boy’s black hair down. Albus wiped his cheeks, and asked, voice shaking, “Do you - do you hate me now?”
“’Course not, Al,” James sighed, trying to find the right words from his twelve-year-old mind. “Okay, right, I’m sure no one will say anything horrible at home. It’s just - I mean, you’re supposed to be in Gryffindor. That hat is obviously going senile.”
Albus smiled weakly, and James grinned. “I’m sorry, really. I didn’t mean to be in Slytherin.”
“It’s - well, it’s not okay. But there’s nothing we can do. You’ll just have to be the best Slytherin there is and prove everyone wrong, yeah?”
“Yeah,” Albus echoed, beaming now. “We’re still brothers?”
“Of course we are,” James scoffed, slinging an arm around the smaller shoulders. “We always will be.”
Albus pulled his pyjama top over his head, hands shaking with nerves. His fellow Slytherin first years were changing around him, making small talk, but mostly keep themselves to themselves. Being the first to be changed, Albus stole a quick glance around them, wondering who he would have to spend the next seven years sleeping beside.
There were four other occupants. The first, Kaito Sato, was a tall, Japanese boy, with dark eyes and chin length dark hair. Secondly was Dexter Forest, short and pale, with wide brown eyes that scanned the room nervously. Thirdly, Milo Eights, cool and haughty, with masses of copper curls and olive skin. Lastly, Scorpius Malfoy leant against his bed post, staring around at everybody, only half-dressed. He had pale blonde hair and a thin face, with contrastingly colourful grey eyes. They were colourful in a strange sense - they were intense, alive, at odds with his expressionless face.
Albus and Scorpius’s eyes met, and they gazed at each other for a moment. A faint crease appeared between the latter’s eyebrows, and he opened his mouth to speak. Before a sound came out, Kaito spoke, voice somewhat curious.
“You’re a Potter.”
Albus jumped and turned to him, feeling suddenly defensive. “Yes, I am.”
“Harry Potter’s son?” Dexter asked, eyes even wider. “Harry Potter’s son?”
“Well, yeah,” Albus muttered, cheeks glowing red. He had expected this odd admiration, but it didn’t make it any easier. In fact, it made him feel rather pathetic. He wished Rose was there; Rose always stood up for him, Rose always knew what to say. But she, he thought, with an unpleasant squirm, was a Gryffindor, and probably hated him for his house.
“Wow,” Dexter breathed, sounding awed. “That’s really -”
Milo snorted derisively. Everybody turned to look at him, to see that he was shaking back his wild curls and looking scornful. “Oh, come on, Harry Potter’s been built up too much. My father says -”
“Leave it,” Scorpius said, suddenly. Albus turned his attention back to the blonde boy, and their eyes met once more. Scorpius smiled slightly, and Albus returned it, albeit nervously. Milo looked indignant, but was ignored. “Let’s all say goodnight, shall we?”
Most of the first years hastened to obey the Malfoy, but Albus stood where he was, puzzled as to why Scorpius had helped him. The boy in question merely smiled once more, and then turned to pull on his pyjama top. Albus stared at him for a moment longer, before shaking his head with a pleased smile, and climbing into bed.
A/N: Next chapter will start the real story, taking place on the first day of their sixth year. It will be longer, and not in parts. Please review? I'd love to know what you think.
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