Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns any characters and places you recognise. I'm just a humble writer trying to make part of the wonderful world she's creating my own.
Summary: Two unwelcome men visit Hogwarts. There are disagreements, but some friendships grow ultimately stronger.
Song: Title of this chapter and the lyrics used are from the song Black Sheep Boy by Okkervil River.
Author Notes: Thanks for all the lovely reviews so far! This isn’t my best chapter, but it’s setting things up - and from what I’ve got planned, a lot is in store for future chapters! Enjoy!
[Harry Potter, a concerned father]
credit to the almighty SaphiraLupin at TDA!
Chapter Four - Black Sheep Boy
I'm the family's unknown boy
Golden curls of envied hair
Pretty girls with faces fair
See the shine of the Black Sheep Boy.
Scorpius seems worse than ever this year. Could you please write to him? He’s always valued your opinion, I believe.
Astoria and I will come round sometime next week, if all goes to plan. I do miss your cooking. How is father? He’s not been talking to me properly since Scorpius called him ‘darling’ in the summer, and it’s beginning to get a little silly. It’s not my fault the boy acts like he does. Send father my best wishes, however.
Scorpius strolled towards the bathroom, smiling to himself.
Though History of Magic was insanely boring, as usual, he felt rather cheerful. Not only had he managed to prove Albus wrong by dragging a fellow sixth year into an empty classroom, but the boy he’d chosen to drag was rather lovely.
Edward Belby was the sort of boy he usually ignored. Quiet, shy, Gryffindor; yes, usually, Scorpius wouldn’t spare him a second glance. But the way the boy’s face lit up when he spoke to him, and how gentles his hands were, well, it was quite endearing. He was hardly bad-looking, either.
Whistling to himself, Scorpius turned the corner of the corridor, and suddenly came face to face with Rose Weasley. He took a hasty step back, knowing how violent she might become upon seeing him, and ran a hand through his blonde hair.
“Oh, it’s you,” she sniffed, despairingly. “What are you doing out of class?”
“I need a piss,” he shrugged, words a little blunt. “You?”
“I’m going to the bathroom,” she scowled, making to walk past him.
“Send my love to Edward, won’t you?”
“I - what?” she asked, surprised. Then, her eyes narrowed, and she folded her arms. “Don’t talk to me about him. You hardly know him.”
“Oh, I do,” Scorpius grinned, getting the usual kick out of teasing her. “You know, his lips are really soft and sweet when he kisses you. His hands are gentle, too, and he has this habit of running them through you hair, which feels lovely. Hmm, and when his hands run elsewhere, well -”
“Stop it!” she shouted, suddenly, angry red patches appearing on her freckled cheeks. “You’re such a liar, Malfoy, and I think you’d better shut up.”
“Liar, am I?” he asked, innocently. “Ask him about it. I’m telling the truth.”
“You sicken me, you know that? You can’t be content ruining Albus’s life, so you have to move onto Edward. He’s nothing like you, so leave him the hell alone or -”
“Or what, Red? You’ll hex me?”
“Well, I’m terrified now, I must say.”
Rose stamped her foot, looking maddened. “Just stop it, and leave me and my friends -”
“I like your ribbon,” Scorpius noted, and with one quick motion pulled it from her hair. It was long and red, and he absently wound it around a long finger. “May I keep it?”
“Give it back! My parents got me that for my birthday. Give it me, or I’ll -”
“Come and get it,” Scorpius sang, and without a moment’s hesitation took off at a run down the corridor. He heard her let out a frustrated yell behind him, and then take after him. “You’ll never catch me!”
To his surprise, she was actually quite fast at running. He was, however, faster, and skidded round the corner into the next corridor a few steps ahead of her. They were on the second floor, and so he quickly jogged down a stair case, taking care to jump over the vanishing step. He’d hope she’d forget about it, but as he chanced a glance behind him he saw her leap over it without a second thought.
Damn, he thought, idly, as he skidded across the first floor towards the staircase leading down into the Entrance Hall. He figured he could lose her in the grounds easily; after all, he could just leg it over to the forest if worst came to worst. He hoped it wouldn’t come to that, however. His legs were beginning to ache.
He felt her fingers snatch at the back of his robes as he reached the staircase, and so hastily sat on the banister and slid neatly to the bottom. He glanced back up the stairs upon doing so, to see her running down determinedly. Rolling his eyes, he gave himself a quick shake and sprinted across to the doors leading outside - before promptly crashing into somebody and skidding straight onto his backside.
“Ouch!” he whimpered, after a moment’s shock. His arse was killing him, and he felt sure he’d cracked a bone or two somehow. Behind him, Rose finally caught up, breathing heavily, and he winced. Now he was in for it.
“Right!” she gasped, clutching her side, her red hair falling into her face. “Right, Malfoy, give me my -”
“Scorpius?” came a startled voice, causing her to fall silent. “What’s going on?”
Scorpius knew the voice, instantly, and winced again. He got to his feet, tentatively, and looked up to see the person he had clashed with. It was, just as he’d feared, his father. A little more surprisingly, however, next to his father stood none other than Harry Potter. The two of them standing together, in his school.
Scorpius blinked, as though the two of them would evaporate when he opened his eyes.
“Uh.” Scorpius paused, and licked his lips nervously, whilst his father raised his eyebrows. “Uh, hi, Dad. What brings you to this neck of the woods?”
“You,” Draco replied, idly inspecting his fingernails. “Rather unsurprisingly, I’ve been called in by your headmistress to discuss some recent issues concerning you. Mr. Potter, here, is doing the same about your friend, in case you were wondering.”
“His friend?” Rose asked, staring at her uncle questioningly. “Albus?”
“Yes,” Harry replied, smiling at his niece. “Anyway, Mr. Malfoy and I should really be going now. Scorpius, would you mind fetching Albus and meeting us outside of the headmistress’s office in about half an hour? I think I should have a word with him.”
“I want a word with you, too,” Draco commented, and Scorpius was rather annoyed to see his father frowning at him. He’d guessed it was about the drug stories in the papers, and wasn’t looking forward to having to talk about something like that with a parent. His father would never understand the allure of it, nor the happiness it all gave him.
“Yeah, I’ll go get him now,” Scorpius sighed, hanging his head. Then, he remembered the ribbon in his hand, and held it out to Rose. “Here you are, Red. It suits you better than me anyway.”
She snatched it back, but remained silently, probably because of the presence of the two adults. He spared her a quick smile, which she didn’t return, and trundled off back to History of Magic to save his best friend from the boredom of Binns, and instead take him to their certain doom.
Albus had been contentedly staring into space, mouth slightly open, vaguely wondering what was taking Scorpius so long to just go to the bloody toilet, when the boy himself had sauntered in and, ignoring the oblivious teacher, had picked up his bag, left the room, and beckoned to Albus to follow just as he was in the doorway. A little suspiciously, Albus had picked up his own bag, quickly kissed Ava in goodbye, and had followed.
Now they were quickly making their way towards the headmistress’s office, with Scorpius attempting to explain what’s going on, but Albus barely catching a word. The blonde boy seemed unusually nervous, his voice breathless and anxious, and a hand constantly running through his usually smooth hair, turning it tousled.
“Wait, wait,” Albus cut in, at last, causing Scorpius to fall silent. “Sorry. Slow down a minute. I heard something in your rambling about my dad, about a ribbon and about Professor Creek. Start again, would you?”
“Our parents are here,” Scorpius muttered, as they climbed a flight of stairs. “They’re here to see Professor Creek, and I’m guessing it’s about this drug use report business. I bumped into them when I was running away from Red because I’d stolen her hair ribbon.”
“Oh!” Albus fell silent, rather surprised. He’d expected at least one of his parents to come in to discuss the whole fiasco, but he didn’t see why Scorpius was so nervous. Usually, he had immense confidence and knew he could charm his way out of any situation. Albus also couldn’t recall him every being worried about trouble with his parents. “What’s the big deal, then?”
“The big deal, Allie,” Scorpius said, through gritted teeth, as they turned onto the corridor the office was connected to, “is that our parents may press the issue and make us take a drugs test. Screechsnap won’t be in our system anymore, but fairy dust? Dexter once told me it stays in the bloodstream for a month. We could be sent to Azkaban!”
“Ah.” Albus swallowed, heavily, suddenly feeling a bit on edge. “Well, they wouldn’t send a Potter there. There’d be an uproar.”
“Yeah? Well, fuck, I’m not a Potter, am I?”
Albus blinked at the sharp tone, almost stopping in surprise. Never, in their whole friendship, had they ever argued - and never had Scorpius spoken to him in a seriously annoyed way. “Look, mate, I’m sorry, I’m sure -”
“No, I’m sorry, Allie,” Scorpius interrupted, smiling quickly and looking more like his old self. Albus relaxed. “I’m just being stupid, aren’t I? Our parents won’t do anything about it. We’ll just widen our eyes and stick out our bottom lips and they’ll believe us. Won’t they?”
“Of course,” Albus lied, grinning reassuringly, and the two of them came to a nervous halt outside the office.
They waited, mostly in silence, for half an hour. Once the door to the office finally opened, the two of them were sat on the floor, making their way through a rather large pile of chocolate frogs that Scorpius had fished out of the bottom of his school bag. When the door did open, the two of them jumped up, hastily wiping their chocolate-smeared fingers on their robes.
To Albus’s irritation, both adults look gloomy and disappointed. His father was slightly shorter than Draco, and looked the same as ever, except for the hardness in his green eyes. Albus wasn’t used to seeing it at all.
“Al,” Harry sighed, putting a fatherly hand on his Albus’s shoulder, and using the name that Albus so hated, “I need a word with you. In private, please. Here’s an empty classroom, let’s go in there.”
“Fine,” Albus muttered, giving Scorpius a resigned look as his friend was silently marched into a different, empty classroom. Harry led the way into theirs, and closed the door once Albus was in. He rested against a desk, folding his arms, and sighed again.
“Albus Severus,” he began, quietly, causing Albus to flinch.
“Don’t call me that, please,” Albus pleaded, and then felt a little guilty as he saw the sadness passing over his father’s face. “It’s just - I don’t know. Nobody gets called by their first and middle names round here. Everyone knows I’m named after these huge heroes, too, and it’s a bit weird.”
“Okay, then,” Harry shrugged, though his middle child could tell he was hurt. “Well. I’m sure you can guess what I want to talk to you about. The Prophet’s recent article about you and your friends. You know the one I’m talking about?”
“Yeah,” Albus said, guessing that - for now - honesty was the best policy. “About all the drugs and that shit? I mean, err, that -”
“Yes, the drugs,” Harry confirmed, ignoring the accidental swearword. “Now. I need you to be completely and totally honest with me. I’ve left you to your own devices a lot recently, and I’m sorry for that, and please don’t think I love you any less. I’m just trying to let you grow up in your own time.”
“Okay,” Albus nodded, warily. He was trying his hard not to be dragged into a confession by guilt, but it was proving rather hard. “Thanks, I guess.”
“Albus, please, are you taking drugs at parties? Are you addicted to anything? Your mother and I only want to help you, and we will do everything in our power to do so.”
Albus stared at his father, knowing inexplicably that he couldn’t tell the truth. Nothing in the world would make him do so. “Dad, I promise that I’m not taking anything, and I never have. I’m getting fed up of everyone suspecting me, to be honest.”
Harry didn’t look convinced, but he didn’t press the topic further. Instead, he changed tact and asked, “What about Scorpius? Does he?”
“No!” Albus retorted, a little louder. “Why are you so against him? You and James and the rest of the family - it’s getting ridiculous. He’s my friend, and you know full well none of your suspicion will stop that.”
“Don’t speak to me like that, Al,” Harry said, sternly, and straightened to his full height. “Fine. If you’re telling the truth, which I’m sure you are, then it’s all right. But promise me, please, that you’ll never do anything so stupid as use fairy dust, okay?”
“I promise,” Albus lied, and was relieved to see his father’s green eyes - so like his own - clear.
Scorpius shut the door behind himself and his father, resisting the urge to run for it. If his father pressed for a drug test - well, he didn’t even what to think about what could happen. He knew perfectly well that Azkaban wasn’t exactly his cup of tea, and so wanted to avoid it at all costs. Even if that meant begging.
“So, Dad,” he attempted, brightly, taking a seat on the teachers desk and smiling. Draco remained standing, face tight and strained. “What did you want to talk about? It’s nice to see you again.”
“Stop trying to act as though nothing is wrong,” Draco snapped, his expression dark. “You know perfectly well why I want to talk to you. You’re embarrassing the family name again and again, and I’m fed up of it. What excuse do you have for getting yourself in the newspapers, high on goodness knows what?”
“I wasn’t high, I was just -”
“I’m not stupid! I was young once, too, you know. Don’t even bother trying to tell me you don’t do drugs, I’ve walked in on you enough times to know you’re a regular user of fairy dust, at the very least.”
Scorpius winced. It was true, after all, and it didn’t look as though he could do much to convince anybody over. “I’m sorry for embarrassing you. It’s silly how proud the family is of the name Malfoy, anyway. It’s not even pretty.”
“You’re talking nonsense, as usual. When are you going to grow up?”
“Fine! What do you want me to do? Go become a Dark wizard and follow in yours and granddad’s footsteps?”
“Don’t talk to me about -”
“Why not, though? It’s fine for you to talk to me about my illegal activities, but what about Muggle torture and murder and -”
“That is enough!” Draco shouted, and Scorpius fell silent. He’d never talked about his father’s involvement in the Dark Arts, but he just couldn’t help but uncover the hypocrisy of this whole conversation. He wasn’t proud of his past, but even he knew he’d gone too far now. Draco looked furious, his usually pale cheeks burning red with anger. “I don’t care how hard it is, Scorpius, but you are getting off any drugs you usually take. If I hear, or see, anything more of them, then I’m cutting off your allowance. Am I making myself clear?”
“As clear as crystal,” Scorpius sighed, gloomily. He guessed it could be worse, but the thought of losing so much money wasn’t exactly appealing. Not that he was going to be giving up drugs, however. That would just be silly. “Can I go now? It’s lunch, and I’m starving.”
“Yes,” Draco shrugged, opening the door and leaving himself. Scorpius shut the door behind him, just as Harry and Albus came out of their own classroom. Albus looked a little guilty, and Harry a little frustrated, but Scorpius didn’t want to ask how it went in front of his father. He’d find out later, anyway, he was sure.
“Send my regards to mother dearest, won’t you?” Scorpius asked his father, and without a glance at either Draco nor Harry, took Albus’s arm and marched him off to the Great Hall.
He’d be damned if their interfering parents would ruin their fun.
The drugs and the parties and the alcohol, he vowed, would continue. And they would be brilliant.
James made his way through his third ham sandwich, listening to the conversations around him, a little distractedly. Rose had just informed him that his father and Draco Malfoy had come to see the headmistress, and the thought unnerved him. He wondered, a little protectively, if Albus would be in any serious trouble and what he could do to help him get out of it - and then thought of Scorpius in the same situation, and felt a little bit of vindictive pleasure.
Wiping the cruel smirk completely from his face, however, he suddenly noticed a girl talking to a startled Edward Belby, a notebook in her hand and a keen, nosey look on her face. He placed her instantly. The girl who had started the whole thing. Elizabeth Monroe, the daughter of the infamous journalist, Paris Monroe.
“Oi!” he exclaimed, standing up and striding over to her. Edward and the girl looked up, and relief washed over the younger boys’ face. He smiled at James thankfully, and quickly went back to his lunch, evidently pleased to be rid of her. The girl, however, put a hand on her hip and stuck up her nose, snootily.
“Yes?” she asked, coldly. “I’m trying to work here.”
“Work?” James snorted, disbelieving, well aware that many Gryffindors were watching them whilst eating. “You mean trying to get some gossip about my brother to put in some stupid paper again?”
“I don’t know what you mean,” she snapped, sliding her notebook and quill quickly back into her schoolbag. “I understand if you’re upset about the article my mother wrote, but don’t take it out on my. It’s not my fault your brother got caught.”
“You took the picture, though, didn’t you?”
“I don’t share tricks of the trade,” she replied, haughtily, and made to leave, but James grabbed her arm. She tried to pull away but he didn’t relent, instead glaring down at her. He hated pretentious, arrogant people, and it didn’t help that he already had a grudge with the fifth year.
“Listen, Elizabeth, you stay away from -”
“It’s Lizzy, thank you very much,” she growled, finally pulling away and shaking her frizzy blonde hair from her eyes. “I wouldn’t make an enemy of me, Potter. I can break anybody I like, you know. I don‘t care who your dad is.”
“Oh, I’m terrified, kid.” James barked with laughter, a little bemused. Who the hell did she think she was? “Anyway, I’m just warning you not to photograph, or write about, anybody I know again, okay? There’ll be hell to pay if you do.”
“Are you threatening me?” she hissed, crossing her arms across her chest. “You had better not be.”
“Of course I am, you idiot,” he replied, rolling his eyes. He could hear Nicholas and Adam sniggering at the table, and cast them a quick grin. He was glad he wasn’t the only one finding this girl hilariously stupid. “Now, do we have a deal that -”
“I don’t make deals with people like you,” she said, simply. “Anyway, you’re in for it now. Threatening me wasn’t a good idea. I’d keep an eye out for The Prophet in the future, if I were you.”
Before he could stop her, she’d turned on her heel and had stormed out of the hall, leaving her gaping after her. There was nothing in his life that would be remotely controversial, he knew, so he wasn’t really worried - but still. He wasn’t used to being spoken to like that, let alone by some fifth year girl.
As he sat back down, he tried to banish her threats from his mind - after all, whatever she’d report would probably be a lie - but his worry for Albus had increased dramatically. If Albus didn’t stop taking drugs, or, well, being caught taking them, Azkaban didn’t seem too far off, and that would break James’s heart with guilt.
And, if he was honest, he was pretty fond of his heart, and didn’t particularly want it cracking in two.
Rose Weasley sat in the corner of the Gryffindor common room that evening, feeling too bad to do her homework. She felt overwhelmingly bad - and had done all day - about falling out with Edward the day before. At the time, she’d been angry and upset, but now? She knew she’d overreacted. It was hardly Edward’s fault that her cousin was killing himself with the parties.
The two of them had been good friends from their first night at Hogwarts, when Rose had had trouble climbing through the portrait hall because she was so worried about Albus being in Slytherin, and Edward had helped her. From that moment, they’d had a protective bond over one another, and now she’d gone and ruined all that just because he’d gone to one of those stupid parties.
She just didn’t want her best friend to end up like her cousin.
“Rose?” came a quiet, familiar voice, and she looked up, startled. Edward was standing uncertainly by the chair. Evidently she’d been so lost in her thoughts that she hadn’t heard him approaching. She sniffed, and gave an awkward smile, which he cautiously returned. He sank into the chair by hers, looking concerned, a strand of brown hair falling into his eyes. “What’s the matter?”
“Nothing,” she lied, and he raised his eyebrows. “Oh, it’s just. I kind of. I feel bad about having a go at you this morning. I’m sorry. It’s just that I’m always so worried that Albus is going to end up really ill because of it all, and I know nothing I say can break his habits, and I thought that if you get into it all I’d be left with nobody, and I’m not sure I could take -”
“I didn’t take anything,” Edward explained, smiling slightly. “There’s no reason to worry about me. I went, stayed for a little, didn’t talk to anybody, and left. Promise.”
“Well. I guess that’s okay, then. I really am sorry, though. I had no right to -”
“Forget it,” Edward laughed, brushing his hair from his face. “It’s fine.”
“Scorpius mentioned you this morning,” Rose said, suddenly remembering, and then scowling as she did so. “He was so vulgar. He’s such an arse.”
“He - er - he mentioned me?” Edward asked, and to Rose’s surprise he’d turned a bright, boiling scarlet. “Erm. What exactly did he say?”
“Something about you kissing really - Edward! Have you and Scorpius done - done something?”
“No!” Edward answered, sounding a little desperate. “No, not at all. We. We’ve never even spoken. I don’t know why he’d say something like that.”
“Don’t lie to me, I can tell something happened!”
“I’m not lying! Why don’t you ever believe me?”
Rose didn’t answer, but instead folded her arms and narrowed her eyes, scrutinising her best friend closely. The colour was fading to pink now, but his eyes and expression seemed sincere. She sighed, relaxing, and shook her head. Sweeping her red hair over her shoulder, she said, sternly, “If I find out you’ve been lying to me, though, I’m going to be furious. You know that, don’t you?”
“Of course I do,” Edward replied, smiling faintly. “Erm. I’m just going to go to the bathroom for a minute, so I’ll see you later.”
With that, he stood up and hurried towards the dormitories, without looking back. Rose blinked, a little taken aback by the sudden departure, and then sighed again, more heavily.
Scorpius Malfoy was evidently not just a druggie and a twat.
He was a liar, too, and she’d set him straight about Edward the moment she saw him again.
Albus sparked his favourite Muggle lighter to life, gazing with some interest at the flame that burst from it. It was a blazing orange in the darkness of the dormitory, and he watched it catch the tip of the white paper alight with a strange kind of fascination. Releasing the pressure on the lighter, the light disappeared, and the only source of it was from the burning corner of the joint.
Albus took a long drag, and then held it out to his side. Long, slim fingers took it almost instantly, and he heard the familiar sounds of inhaling from the figure next to him. He and Scorpius were lying back on his bed - above the duvet, of course - and attempting to get nicely stoned.
Scorpius had been in a bad mood all day, since the discussion with his father, and Albus didn’t really know what to say to make him feel better. His own father had only made him feel a little guilty, but he hadn’t pondered on it for long after - yet Scorpius seemed truly affected, which surprised him a little.
“I hate my family,” Scorpius murmured, making Albus jump. He turned, resting his head upon on a hand, and could, fairly clearly, make out the shape of Scorpius next to him. He took the joint, gratefully, and waited for his best friend to elaborate. “They just don’t get it. They think I’m ruining the family name, but it’s already in the dirt, isn’t it? Everyone expects me to start killing all the Muggleborns, and they hate me for that a lot more than for the partying.”
“Everyone knows you’re not like that, though,” Albus argued. “Everyone expects me to be amazing at Defence, and start battling all the Dark wizards out there. There’s a lot of pressure when you have Harry Potter as a dad, believe me.”
“I know,” Scorpius replied, sympathetically. He reached up and brushed a few strands of Albus’s dark hair from his green eyes, and Albus could see him smiling. “We’re both disappointments, aren’t we?”
“That we are,” Albus agreed, grinning. “I mean, you’re no evil Pureblood fanatic, and I’m definitely not a champion of the underdog. We’re fucked, basically.”
“Ah, well,” Scorpius laughed, sounding much more cheerful, and he nestled his head against Albus’s shoulder. Taking the joint, he smiled, widely. “At least we have the drugs, eh?”
“At least we have the drugs,” Albus confirmed, and, for some reason, had to stop himself adding ‘and each other‘.
A/N: Thank you very much for reading! I hope you can review, too. :D
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