Things had been different for Albus Severus Potter since his Sorting in first year. It felt as if all his fears had been realized. He'd been practically in tears at the train station, worried by the constant nagging of his brother. What if he WAS in Slytherin? He had thought. It would have been the end of his eleven year old world. Even the reassurances of his father weren't enough to console him completely. He was coaxed away from tears, but there was still a niggling feeling in his chest that told him Slytherin was not the place for him. Who could blame him? All those years, he’d heard nothing but slander against the Slytherin house. The house of Voldemort, Death Eaters, and Draco Malfoy.
Albus spent the entire train ride in silence, staring out the window, while Rose rambled on about how she hoped her first day at Hogwarts would go. But Albus was deep in concentration, attempting to look deep within himself to decide his sorting fate before the sorting hat. However, he always came back with Gryffindor, after all, everyone in his family had been in Gryffindor. The Potters, all the way back to his great grandparents and the Weasleys all the way back to his great grandparents and beyond. All his aunts and uncles. All his cousins so far. And, most importantly, James had been sorted into Gryffindor, and he acted as if he were fulfilling some supreme prophecy that said all Potter-Weasleys were to be Gryffindors. What was worse, James made Albus fear he was a screw-up, some freak break in the chain that would ruin that line of Gryffindors somehow. There was nothing his father could say to take that fear away from him.
During the boat ride, while everyone "ooo"ed and "ahhh"ed at the first view of Hogwarts, Albus had become entranced by the veins in his hand. Anything to stave off the fear that threatened to eat him alive. Hagrid, a family friend, seemed to notice the change in him, but Albus brushed off his concern and fell into line behind Rose.
As they were led into the Great Hall, Albus could practically feel the eyes on the back of his neck, and he knew his brother was among them. He wanted to bolt out the large double doors, but they were closed behind the first year, probably to prevent such a frenzied escape. The stool felt miles away when his name was called, and his feet seemed as heavy as lead. How he coaxed his feet into movement, he would never remember. The hat fell over his eyes and it had barely mumbled two incoherent words when it announced to the world, “SLYTHERIN!”
You could hear a pin drop.
“Al! Al, you’re going to be late!” There was a pause, “again!”
“Why, thanks, I wasn’t informed of that,” Albus rolled his eyes as he pushed his books into his bag. He was jogging behind his friend across the lawn to Care of Magical Creatures. “It’s not like I even like that class,” he muttered. He had only taken it for Hagrid’s sake, really. Hagrid wouldn’t berate him for his tardiness anyways.
He made it just as Hagrid had begun what he referred to as a lecture. Albus smiled apologetically to Hagrid, who just smiled back at him rather than reprimand him. This caused a few particular students to glare at him, like Scorpius Malfoy. The prat. Albus threw his best smug smile at him and turned his attention back to partially paying attention to Hagrid’s lecture and partially concentrating on looking casually disinterested. “Unicorns?” He snickered into the ear of the closest Slytherin. “We’re seriously doing a unit on unicorns? Does he think we’re a bunch of third years?”
“Scorpion’s paying an awful lot of attention, isn’t he?” Crony number one, as Albus called him in his mind, otherwise known as Haven Zabini.
“Well, I’m sure he gets along quite well with unicorns,” crony number two, Jane Macmillan, chuckled viciously.
“Speaking of virgins, Al,” Haven began snidely.
“Don’t start, Zabini,” Albus threatened.
“All we’re saying, Al,” Jane added, “is you’ve been single for so long.”
“Hogwarts just doesn’t have the high quality sort of woman I’m looking for,” he said pointedly to Jane and then snapped his fingers in front of her face. “Now, pay attention to the lecture.”
Albus noted, with some smug satisfaction, that Scorpius had craned his neck around to glare at the group at the back of the class. After a few moments, Albus grew bored with the drone of Hagrid’s stumbling words and pursed his lips. “Wish I were in Potions.”
“The only reason you like Potions is because your parents think it’s a Slytherin thing.”
“So true,” Jane shot back smugly.
“Keep arguing with me, Jane, we’ll see how long you stay on the team.”
“You can’t kick me off! What ever would you do without your star Seeker?”
“Star Seeker?” Albus snorted, “you couldn’t catch a Snitch two feet in front of your face.”
“If you didn’t like my seeking, then why did you put me on the team?”
“Because you threatened to kick him in the nuts if he didn’t,” Haven interjected in a low voice. “Now will you two stop prattling on about Quidditch?”
“You only don’t like it because Mummy thinks Quidditch is too dangawus for her widdle baby,” Jane teased in her babyish voice that Albus could only stand when it wasn’t directed at him.
“Hey, Star Seeker, class is over. Hurry it up,” Albus started walking away.
“Hey. Don’t leave without me!” Jane ran after him. “Over already? We didn’t get to see any unicorns!”
“That’s next lesson,” Haven pursed his lips.
“Not that the unicorns would let you anywhere near them,” Albus taunted. He spotted Scorpius out of the corner of his eye. The blond was walking close beside them, but going at a quicker pace. He, however, didn’t see an obnoxious redhead near him. Albus decided to chance it. “Hey, Malfoy, planning on making good friends with the unicorns? Probably the only person in sixth year they’d go near.”
“Unlike you, Potter, I see that as a compliment.”
Albus loved Scorpius’s poor comebacks. It made him such an easy target. “So you like being a-”
Shit. Albus turned to see Rose behind him, looking the very essence of Molly Weasley.
“Are you making fun of someone being a virgin?”
“Go away, Rose,” Albus’s demeanor turned sullen quickly.
Rose leaned over and whispered something in Scorpius’s ear, who smirked at Albus viciously.
“Let’s go, guys,” Albus quickened his pace to get away from the pair.
That evening Albus sat amongst his self-dubbed “posse” and “crowd of admirers,” which sadly, wasn’t much of an exaggeration. He was the son of the Hero of the Wizarding World, after all. Even his brother and younger sister had theirs. Although it was starting to bother him that his sister’s admiring crowd was slowly transitioning into all male. If any of them touched his sister… He may have been a Slytherin, but she was still his sister. The Potter children were all gifted in Quidditch, as well. James and Albus were competing Beaters and Captains. Lily was a particularly annoying Keeper. All in all, especially considering Albus’s budding good looks, he was practically a formula for popularity. Younger Slytherins were drawn to him like flies to-
“Albus Severus Potter!” A shrill voice sounded in his ear and he found himself being dragged to his feet by a petite redhead.
“What is it now, Rose?” Albus sighed as Rose dragged him into the hallway past a room full of onlookers.
“Did you say something else to Scorpius?”
“Malfoy? I haven’t seen him since Magical Creatures.”
“He’s been missing, which means he’s somewhere sulking.”
“Rose,” Albus began, exasperated, “my life doesn’t revolve around taunting Malfoy. I have better things to-”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don’t see why you have to at all,” Rose had a hand on her hip. “He’s my best friend, you could keep your mouth shut. I don’t insult your friends, even if they are Slytherin.”
Albus opened his mouth to retort when the front doors flew open and Hagrid hurried right past them to the Great Hall. “Professor Sprout!”
The pair looked at each other and Albus walked the way Hagrid had run, while Rose hurried over in the direction Hagrid had come from. “What are you doing?”
Rose looked back at him, “I want to see what’s wrong.”
“Whatever it is, if Hagrid is running from it, so am I.”
“Come on,” Rose grabbed him by the arm. “Typical Slytherin,” she mumbled.
Albus stumbled along behind her, cursing the headstrong Gryffindor.
“Scorpius!” Rose exclaimed as they reached the bottom of the front steps. She ran toward the forest, but Albus did not rush so quickly. He spotted a felled silvery figure and, guessing from the location of Scorpius’s head, which was the only thing visible in the darkness, he was kneeling over the shape. Having assessed the situation and sensing no danger, Albus followed Rose, who was already at her friend’s side.
“Is that a unicorn?” Albus asked as he arrived within earshot. He was ignored, however, even as he stood over the kneeling pair.
“Place some pressure here,” Scorpius was telling Rose. He had the sleeves on his robes rolled up, but his arms were drenched in silver. His scarf was no longer around his neck, but pressed against the side of the unicorn, the blue almost entirely concealed in silver.
“What happened?” Rose asked, shock and horror apparent in her voice.
“I don’t know. I was just sitting out here thinking, when the unicorn came out of the woods and collapsed beside me.”
Albus wasn’t even compelled to comment on this. He was too absorbed in the sight in front of him – Scorpius had never looked so genuine.
“Is it bad?” Albus was kneeling next to Scorpius now.
Scorpius got that look on his face that said he was about to get sarcastic, but one look at Albus’s face and that look disappeared. “Yeah, pretty bad. Hagrid went to get Sprout and Grubbly-Plank. Maybe they can heal her.” Grubbly-Plank taught half of the classes so Hagrid could continue his duties as groundskeeper. Albus moved over to kneel next to the unicorn’s head. He reached down and brushed some of her mane from her face. Her half-lidded, dark eye looked up at Albus, who smiled in response. “You’ll get better. We’ll fix this. I promise you’ll be fine,” he ran his hand from her jaw to her neck, trying to calm her.
“Thank you, Mr. Malfoy,” Professor Grubbly-Plank knelt next to him, “keep the pressure on it, Ms. Weasley.” Scorpius took the hint and moved out of her way.
“Do you think she’ll be okay?” Scorpius looked at Professor Sprout and Hagrid as students and teachers crept onto the lawn, drawn by curiosity.
“I’m not sure, Mr. Malfoy,” Professor Sprout responded, looking down at Scorpius’s silver-splattered robes. “She’s lost a lot of blood. And it’s not easy to heal a unicorn. They are so rarely injured, the art has not been perfected.”
“What happened?” Professor Longbottom appeared beside Hagrid.
“We’re not sure,” Sprout said helplessly. Both the former and the current Herbology professors had little expertise on the subject.
Albus watched Scorpius as he sat beside him. “You’ll be fine,” the blond said to the unicorn. “Professor Grubbly-Plank is an expert on unicorns.” It was the first time in many years Albus and Scorpius were able to be in close proximity to each other without passing snide remarks.
After what felt like a hour of watching Professor Grubbly-Plank alternating between mumbling incantations and waving her wand, she stepped back. “I’ve done what I can for now. She’s stable, but I don’t know for how long. I need to have potions prepared for her.”
“Thank you for your help,” Professor Sprout said to her, “and you three, thank you, but I imagine you should be off to your dorm.” All three of them stood up almost in unison.
“She’ll be fine,” Rose put her hand on Scorpius’s shoulder as they walked together back towards the school. Albus spared one last glance back at the unicorn before returning it to his dorm.
In Care of Magical Creatures that Wednesday, Albus was barely on time, as usual. A concerned-looking Scorpius was speaking with Hagrid and it wasn’t difficult to decipher what the conversation was about. “Is she okay?” Albus interrupted the pair; Scorpius looked peeved, but Hagrid nodded.
“She’s all righ.’ Professor Grubbly-Plank says we shoul’n’t git our hopes up.”
Regardless, Albus felt relieved. He looked around the class and caught Haven’s curiously quirked eyebrow. Scorpius was still talking to Hagrid as Albus walked over to his friends.
“The unicorn?” Haven asked simply.
“She’s fine,” of course, he’d told his friends what happened with the unicorn.
“We’re gonna be doin’ a project with unicorns. Fer those o’ you that migh’ not git alon’ with ‘em,” Hagrid took an awkward pause here, “yeh can choose an alternative project. Those o’ you who want to work with a unicorn, please come here.”
Albus hesitated, but Haven grabbed his shoulder and pulled forward. Jane glowered at them as she stayed behind. “Have fun with the unicorns, ladies.”
Albus ignored her and gave Haven a confused look instead, “but you aren’t-”
“I haven’t told Roselin yet,” Haven looked over at Albus. “Besides, I’ll just take notes while my good virgin friend plays with the unicorn.”
Albus ignored the insulting tone. “Haven, you can’t keep that from your girlfriend.”
“You know how she is. She’d dump me if she knew. So I figured I’d stick to the old Slytherin tactic of lying.”
“Aw, you lo-”
“Albus, Rose, an’ Mr. Malfoy, yeh’ll be one group…and…uh…you, too,” Hagrid saw Haven gripping Albus’s arm pointedly. “I have a special project for you three…err…four.”
About half the class followed Hagrid into the stables and the groups were assigned to their unicorns. “An’ you four will be takin’ care o’ this young lady.” Albus peered inside the stall and saw the unicorn from the other night. “Professor Grubbly-Plank will help o’ course,” Hagrid continued.
“She looks like she’s doing better,” Rose said optimistically, but Albus, like any Slytherin, was skeptical. She may have not been bleeding, but the look in her eyes hadn’t changed.
“Does she have a name?” Haven interjected.
“So do we just call her ‘Unicorn?’” He persisted.
“Let’s call her Molly,” Scorpius offered.
“Molly? That’s my grandmother’s name!”Albus protested.
“I know. I like your grandmother.”
“Molly sounds good,” Rose agreed. Before Albus could argue, Haven gave him his “if you keep arguing, I’ll punch you in the gut” look, which Albus got from him often, but not nearly as much as Jane did.
“Okay, Molly,” Albus grumbled and pulled down the note on her stall that had instructions for her from Grubbly-Plank.
“Wow, that’s quite a bit,” Haven comment over his shoulder. “Do we have to do all of this?”
“We’ll just take turns,” Scorpius said sensibly. “That way, each of us only has to come down once a day.”
Albus quickly tuned out as Scorpius assigned times for feeding and medicine. Honestly, Malfoy wouldn’t be so bad if he wasn’t so boring. Sure, he didn’t have Albus’s stunning good looks, but he could have been worse for wear. He had pretty nice hair…and teeth, Albus noted, having seen him smile probably once in his many years of knowing him. And his eyes….wait….what color were those? Albus tilted his head to watch Scorpius making some sort of color coded chart. Hmm…nicer than he thought. They were a very strange shade of blue, almost as if they couldn’t decide if they wanted to be blue or gray.
Suddenly, Albus’s ears caught something outside of the stable. “Something’s going on,” he said and jogged out of the stable, with his group following and shortly after the rest of the stable peering out curiously. “Oh no,” Albus didn’t think he’d ever feel this sick.
“Don’ touch it,” Hagrid was saying, “Miss Weasley, go find Professor Grubbly-Plank, and Miss Macmillan, get the headmistress.”
Another injured unicorn was staggering into their midst. It seemed to be searching for something…or someone. The unicorn started towards Albus, and he backed away just an inch, but Albus quickly noticed the unicorn wasn’t walking toward him, but someone behind him. He turned around to see Scorpius frozen on spot as the unicorn pressed its snout against his chest.
“Malfoy,” Albus whispered and that seemed to startle Scorpius, who reached forward and put his hand on the unicorns head.
“I thought they preferred girls,” Haven asked quietly, sounding astonished rather than insulting. Albus shrugged, watching Scorpius move around to look for where it was injured.
Albus saw the unicorns legs wobble, and barely got out a strangled “Malfoy!” when it collapsed on top of him. “Holy shit!” Albus ran over to him, Haven and Hagrid close behind him. “You okay, Malfoy?”
Hagrid lifted the unicorn slightly and Haven and Albus pulled Scorpius by the arms and pulled him out. Scorpius groaned in pain. “Malfoy, are you okay?” Albus asked again when they let him down.
“I’ve had a one ton horse fall on me, what do you think?” Scorpius was wheezing oddly, but still managed to get sarcastic with Albus. Albus was going to respond, correcting him about it being a unicorn, not a horse, but Haven interrupted.
“We need to get him to Madam Pompfrey,” Haven put his hands under Scorpius shoulders and started to move him when Scorpius hissed loudly and cursed. “Okay, maybe not that. I’ll go get her,” Haven stood up straight and ran off.
“I think something’s broken,” Scorpius winced, and Albus looked down. Hell, probably everything was broken.
“I would start fixing things, but I can’t tell what might be broken and what might not…” Albus hesitated, unable to detect anything through the robes. Rose, Jane, and the two professors arrived and Grubbly-Plank went straight to the unicorn while Professor Sprout looked at Scorpius.
“What has happened?” She knelt next to Albus.
“The…err…unicorn fell on him.”
“Has someone sent for Madam Pomfrey?” She asked.
“That’ll take too long,” she muttered to herself and flicked her wand, levitating Scorpius. “Would you accompany me to the hospital wing, Miss Weasley? And Mr. Potter?” Albus was confused, why did the headmistress ask him along? She levitated Scorpius in front of them and Rose walked beside Albus, looking just as confused and concerned as Albus was. Madam Pomfrey was already walking down the staircase from the wing when she saw them approaching.
“Mr. Zabini told me what happened. We must hurry.” They arrived in the Hospital Wing, Haven following, but Professor Sprout was prompt about telling him to return to class. Madam Pomfrey gave Scorpius a sleeping draught before she began waving her wand over him.
“He’ll be okay,” Rose whispered to herself, and Professor Sprout put a hand on each of their shoulders.
“I’m sure he will be,” Professor Sprout said to Albus, apparently interpreting Rose’s whisper as reassurance to him, not to herself. “I must go back to Hagrid and Professor Grubbly-Plank, but Madam Pomfrey will allow you to stay as long as you need,” she was still speaking to Albus and now Rose was looking at them. As she left the wing, Albus could have sworn she said “ah, to be young and in love.”
“Does she think you and Scorpius are…?” Rose left the question hanging, while Albus tried to get over his astonishment.
“I have no idea where she would have come up with it,” he was quickly shushed by Madam Pomfrey.
“He should be fine,” she was pulling out potions from a cabinet. “Broken ribs, shattered pelvis,” despite the situation, Albus had to suppress a grin at the words, “punctured lung…He won’t feel well for a few days, but he should be able to attend class tomorrow. For now, we’ll let him sleep.”
Albus and Rose knew that look from Madam Pomfrey – the elderly woman wanted them to leave, but Professor Sprout had said they could stay. “We’ll be back, Scorpius,” Rose promised as the two left. As they walked beside each other, Albus tried to focus on the unicorn instead of the headmistress thinking he was involved with Scorpius.
“I mean how can she think we’re together?” “What could possibly be hurting the unicorns like this?” Albus and Rose spoke at the same time, but Rose seemed to hear him clearly.
“Something is killing unicorns and Scorpius is in the hospital wing with broken ribs and all you can think about is the headmistress thinking you’re gay?” She asked incredulously.
“Well…I’m not gay,” Albus realized how childish the response sounded. Maybe he should start dating. Even if he wasn’t interested in anyone in particular, apparently his reputation was not what he thought it to be. “What do you think of Montague? She’s pretty.”
Rose threw up her hands and stormed off, uttering the word “unbelievable” repeatedly. Albus knew the injured unicorn and Scorpius should have been more important than his possibly tarnished reputation, but he was a Slytherin. Without their reputation, how could they distinguish themselves from Hufflepuffs?
Albus had barely sat down for breakfast the next morning when Scorpius was standing beside him. “The unicorn from yesterday didn’t make it.”
“What?” Albus asked groggily.
“Just thought you’d like to know,” Scorpius turned on his heel and started walking away, but Albus stood up quickly.
“Wait,” before he knew what he was doing, his hand shot out and grabbed Scorpius’s. He realized what he’d done immediately and automatically remembered the assumption Professor Sprout had made about them. He felt a flush creep to his face, but he hadn’t let go when he looked up at Scorpius, whose pale cheeks had turned bright pink. Albus dropped his hand quickly. Scorpius had a mixture of emotions on his face, but he was clearly waiting for Albus to talk. “Umm…are you okay?”
Now Scorpius’s look clearly turned suspicious. “Mostly. Why do you ask?”
“Well, excuse me for trying to be polite,” Albus retorted sarcastically, having recovered from his momentary insanity.
“What was that about?” Jane asked curiously as Scorpius walked away.
“What?” Albus asked, feigning ignorance.
“What just happened with Malfoy?”
“He’s a git. Glad I don’t have to deal with him in class today, eh?”
“I dunno, you seemed pretty enthusiastic a moment ago,” Jane raised her eyebrow, clearly noticing him avoiding the subject.
“Oh! Are those scrambled eggs?” Albus asked as he sat back down, further avoiding the subject for the rest of breakfast.
Albus was taking his first turn caring for Molly that night – Scorpius, as the only early riser, took the morning, Haven at lunch (at least for now, she was tolerating his company, and no potions needed to be administered at that time of day), and Rose took dinner. Albus’s turn was right before curfew, although he certainly was taking his sweet time. No other group had a unicorn that required such care, so Albus found himself alone in the stable. It occurred to him that these might be the only safe unicorns in the forest. Had this been planned for the lesson prior or had it only been integrated after the first attack on Molly? He petted her nose after he was done with her potions. “I always thought it was bad for unicorns to live in the Forbidden Forest. I mean, it keeps greedy people away from them, but they’d probably be better off with us. What with all the giant spiders and werewolves and…hippogriffs…”
“Don’t forget the Loch Ness monster.” Albus jumped and saw Scorpius leaning against the stable door. “Aren’t we listing dangerous monsters? Maybe there’s a chimera in the forest, too. Or a dragon.”
“Bugger off, Malfoy.”
“That’s about as likely to happen as there are monster spiders living in the Forbidden Forest.”
Albus snorted. “There are monster – forget it. What are you doing here?”
“I came to check on Molly.”
“Didn’t think I could handle it?”
“Actually, I just wanted to see her,” Scorpius ignored Albus’s defensive tone and brushed past him. “She still doesn’t look very good, does she?”
The tone of the conversation suddenly changed and so did Albus’s expression. “No, she doesn’t.”
“Don’t worry, Molly, we’ll find out who’s been hurting you and your friends,” Scorpius’s tone even felt reassuring to Albus.
“I’m going back to the dorm now. She’s all taken care of, if you want to stay longer,” Albus had barely gotten out the door when Scorpius appeared beside him.
“I suppose I can walk back up with you,” the Ravenclaw had an odd expression on his face that Al, as a Slytherin, couldn’t help but try and read into. Was he trying to make friends? Or was there something else on his mind? Albus tried not to let his confusion show on his face, which apparently worked because Scorpius's expression didn't change. It was too dark to decipher anything but the strange way Scorpius's mouth had contorted and the way he didn't look at Albus. Was he smiling? No, that couldn't be a smile.
"I'm sure Molly will be fine," Albus finally decided Scorpius might be worried about the unicorn.
"It's nice of you to say so, but naive optimist doesn't suit you very well, Albus," Scorpius still wasn't looking at him.
"All right, I'll give you that. I'm not much of an optimist. Just thought it might make you feel better."
"Since when have you wanted to make people feel better?" Scorpius clearly meant it as a joke, but it actually made Albus want to stop and think. He had done things to try and make Jane or Haven feel better...but they were his friends. Even when he would do something to make them feel better, he'd still harass them about it. When Jane tried out for the Quidditch team, he'd known she'd been extremely nervous, but he'd been as encouraging as Albus could be during that time. She'd been better than her competitors, but just barely. Albus had put her on the team, even though he often teased her about not being very good. Had Albus ever just said something comforting or complimentary that wasn't back handed? Especially to Malfoy. Maybe the unicorn was making him soft. That wouldn't do.
"I don't. Just didn't want you to blubber all the way back about your sweet, dying unicorn," though he regretted it as soon as it had come out of his mouth, Albus was just pleased the world seemed to come back in place.
Scorpius's face seemed to turn red in the dark and he finally looked at Albus. "You just can't let things be pleasant for once," he huffed and stormed off. And though Albus smirked on the outside, he was feeling conflicted about scaring Scorpius away.
The next morning in Care of Magical Creatures, Scorpius was obviously still miffed about Albus's insincerity and was pretending he didn't exist. There was an uncomfortable tension and separation in the group that hadn't been there before. Scorpius carefully avoided talking to the two Slytherins, who, of course, returned the silence with glares and grudges that were likely to last a while. "What is his problem?" Haven was muttering to Albus while the other two were taking notes.
"I don't know. He's turned into a complete bitch again."
"What did you say?" Haven finally asked.
"Nothing! I suppose the unicorns have just been playing with our sympathy and now everything's just going back to normal."
"It was kind of nice not fighting with each other."
"But it was boring. What are you looking at?" Albus snapped at Scorpius who had glanced over his shoulder at them. Even though the group was separated, Albus completely ignored the fact that Rose was glaring at them. He wasn't about to test that relationship further. He'd called her 'firecrotch' once and he had seen stars for weeks.
"Hello, princess," Jane wrapped her arm around Albus's shoulders.
"Aren't you supposed to be working on your 'alternate assignment,' floozy?"
"Well, I can do that any time. A paper on unicorns isn't very hard. You can find loads of writing on them in the library. Besides, Professor Grubbly-Plank and I get along quite well. I imagine she'd share lots of information about unicorns with me."
"Professor Grubbly-Plank has hated you since that incident in third year, Jane," Haven retorted.
"Oh, Haven, I barely noticed you," Jane brushed some imaginary lint off of her shoulder. "You know, I ran into Roselin this morning and she says she'd love to see your unicorn. And since she's Catholic and all, I figured she actually meant the unicorn."
Haven groaned, "and you told her I'd love to, right?"
"Well, wouldn't you? She is your girlfriend," Jane smirked mischievously.
Haven's expression turned dark and he immediately decided to brood, leaving Albus to entertain his blonde friend.
"Must you do that?"
"I'm sorry, princess; did I upset you, too?"
"Don't call me princess, you whore," Albus smacked her shoulder.
"Well, at least I'm not a nun," Jane raised her eyebrow and looked over at Rose and Scorpius. "Aww...not bonding over the poor, injured unicorn, I suppose?"
"I'd be quiet if I were you, Jane. I'll make sure Quidditch practice is hell for you." Jane looked a little confused; clearly she was expecting a different response, so Albus figured it would be best to elaborate. "And I hardly care about a unicorn. I'm not going to whine over it like those two."
"Albus, you've been acting very weird lately," the play-fighting attitude was gone and now Jane took on a serious tone. "Is there something I should know about?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Well, I would ask if you'd developed a sudden crush on Weasley, but seeing as she's your cousin..."
Albus was torn between feeling like he was going to vomit at the thought and curious about the point Jane was trying to make. "Macmillan, where do you get these ideas of yours?"
"Your insults seem half-hearted recently, Al. It's almost like you don't want to mess with Malfoy and Weasley. Did she threaten you, no," she gasped, "...are you friends with Malfoy?"
"No, Jane!" Albus quickly countered, realizing he may have sounded a little too defensive. She looked quite pleased with herself, so Albus, although it hadn't helped a lot recently, added on, "we've just been able to talk civilly a few times. But we're not doing so anymore."
Jane was obviously about to start teasing again when Haven gave her a punch in the shoulder. "What is it with you two and hitting ladies?" She exclaimed, instead.
"We're not," Albus smirked, feeling better almost immediately when Jane glared at him.
"I'm going to make you regret that, Mr. Potter."
"I'm trembling in fear."
As Jane walked away, Albus caught Scorpius looking in their direction. Rose was clearly annoyed and tapped him on the head with her clipboard. Scorpius quickly returned to looking at her when his things fell out of his hands. He bent over to pick them up and bolted out of the stable. Although, Albus would take it to his grave, he rather enjoyed the view.
There was a long silence from Haven, although Albus didn’t notice it until he spoke. “Hey, Al, you weren’t ogling Malfoy’s arse, were you?”
The whole situation with Scorpius was turning weirder and weirder each time they were in a room together... or in each other's general vicinity. For some reason, Scorpius seemed to be quite fond of LOOKING at Albus. It seemed Albus could be standing in the hallway, and would feel a pair of eyes watching him, as soon as he turned around, Scorpius quickly looked away. He tried to tell Jane and Haven this, but they both told him he was clearly delusional. "I don't know what you're playing at, Malfoy," Albus grumbled the fourth time it'd happened today. He'd approached Scorpius one or two times, who would pull something out about being worried about Molly. "I was just about to come over to tell you Molly seemed to be doing better this morning," or "you were talking with your friends, so I didn't want to bother you, but you're late for taking care of Molly." He was using that unicorn as an excuse for something else, Albus was sure. At first, he'd been paranoid there was something on his robes that he couldn't see since Scorpius seemed rather fascinated with his backside. But after being reassured by Jane that his backside was "just fine, now stop asking," he realized Scorpius must be madly in love with him. Or at least his ass. Not that he could get proof. But Albus had to admit, he was rather good-looking, and he had a marvelous posterior. He tried to call Scorpius out on it once, but he gave him a very odd look and disappeared around the corner.
Albus was certain he was right, he wasn't an oblivious Gryffindor, after all...being a Slytherin came with a thought pattern for deduction and a cocky attitude that made him think the world revolved around him. He stepped outside early one morning - the only time he could probably catch Scorpius without Rose hanging around was during his feeding time with Molly, since Rose didn't wake up that time, or his time in his dorm. Since Albus didn't feel like putting any effort into a sneaky plot to infiltrate the Ravenclaw dorms, he decided he'd just have to grit his teeth and wake up early. He had to admit, he liked the crisp autumn air that greeted him that morning, and the relative quiet of the castle. The light seemed to cast a gray shadow on the lawn as Albus trotted through the wet grass. He was feeling quite confident he'd get Scorpius to confess his undying love for him. No, the logic that most people didn't fall in love in one week did not dissuade him from this conclusion. He was the exception to the rule, after all. He was near the stables when he heard a strange sound from outside of them. Odd, it was definitely crying...but shouldn't Scorpius be taking care of Molly, not sobbing for his hopeless love of a Slytherin outside? He took a detour around the side of the stable to find Scorpius on the ground, with his head resting on his knees, trying to stifle sobs.
"Malfoy, there's no need to cry over me. I wasn't going to turn you down harshly," Albus, clearly still on his 'someone's in love with me' high, stretched nonchalantly, the cocky grin not leaving his face. He should have known from the look on Scorpius's face as it emerged from his arms that that was NOT the problem.
"I know you love me. I know... you thought you were sneaky. But how could you not? And I realize while I will never return your feelings, you-"
"You think I'm crying over YOU?" Once again, the tone of voice should have alerted Albus he was in dangerous waters.
"Well...yes." Albus honestly should have known that this was a bad road to go down, but he didn't expect Scorpius to stand up and close the space between them in one swift motion. Suddenly a fist connected with the side of his face and Albus stumbled backwards. "Malfoy, what the hell?"
"How dare you?" He advanced on Albus again and swung, but Albus was prepared and dodged the fist quickly - he'd had enough experience dodging bludgers. Albus retaliated by shoving Scorpius away, but he came back.
"What is wrong with you?" Albus demanded when Scorpius took another swing, but Albus avoided it and knocked him off his feet. Scorpius looked bewildered for a moment, but kicked Albus hard in the shin while still lying on his back. Albus stumbled and almost fell backwards. That was it! Albus was not a patient person to begin with, and he didn't care that Scorpius was about as big around as a broomstick. He surged forward and grabbed Scorpius by the collar to heave him to his feet. He only released him to return the punch he'd gotten a minute ago. Scorpius snarled, even though blood immediately started to flow from his nose, and tackled Albus to the ground. He got a position of advantage over Albus and started to throw blind punches. Naturally, Albus was able to dodge a fair amount of punches, but it was more difficult when Scorpius was using two hands. So, Albus took Scorpius's lack of balance and flipped them so he pinned Scorpius to the ground and grabbed the blond's hands the in the confusion. "Don't you fucking touch me again or I will lay into you so hard you won't even remember your name," but Albus's threat seemed to do no good. A knee slammed into his groin and Scorpius escaped from Albus's grip when he rolled to the side in pain. Scorpius grabbed Albus's tie and brought his hand back in a fist, but suddenly released the cringing Slytherin and fell to the ground, crying again.
"I'm sorry, Potter. I'm so, so sorry," he sobbed into his hands. Albus was about to pound Scorpius's head against the ground, and Slytherin that he was, the other crying wouldn't stop him, but he found he was too curious to do so.
"What the hell is wrong with you, Malfoy?"
Albus's insides froze. "Dead?" How could she be dead? He'd just seen her last night! Oh no...was it his fault? Scorpius, wonderful Ravenclaw that he was, quickly dealt with that idea.
"Grubbly-Plank took a look at her. She said it wasn't our fault, we were doing everything right. There just wasn't enough life in her to keep going," Scorpius sniffled and wiped his nose, which was wet from blood, tears, and other liquids, on his sleeve. "I thought she was doing better, you know? I thought she was going to make it...and when I came in this morning and saw her..." he broke into sobs again and Albus sat down next to him - groin pain...MOSTLY forgotten.
"I thought she was going to do well, too. But we can't blame ourselves, I guess," Albus was getting pretty good at this comforting thing, "the only one to really blame is whatever - or whoever - attacked her in the first place," he was now patting Scorpius on the back.
"You're right...who knows how many unicorns it has hurt," Scorpius's tears suddenly stopped and a look of resolute determination appeared on his face. He stood quickly and started marching towards the Forbidden Forest. Albus followed the train of thought rapidly and jumped up as well.
"Malfoy! You can't go running in there!"
"Why not? I have to find out what killed Molly!"
"Malfoy!" Albus caught up to him and grabbed him by the shoulder. "You've been hanging around Rose too much! You can't go charging in there like some...bumbling Gryffindor! You need to stop and think about this!"
"Thinking's not going to get me anywhere," he said in a thick voice.
"Malfoy...Scorpius, I need you to calm down and think for a second here. Don't you think we should figure out what we're up against before we go looking for it?"
"We?" Scorpius asked with a very surprised, and very suspicious look on his face.
"Maybe Rose is rubbing off on me, too," Albus mumbled to himself. He hadn't really thought that one through, but when did stop to think about it before responding to Scorpius, he found it was actually a decision he wanted to follow through with. Whether it was vengeance for Molly, concern for the safety of the school, which it most likely wasn't, or liking this determined caution-in-the-wind Malfoy, Albus wanted to go through with it. "Of course, 'we.' Do you think I'm going to let some Ravenclaw deal with Slytherin-like matters of revenge? Now, you can do your Ravenclaw thing and hit the library to find out what could possibly kill a unicorn, and I'll use my own Slytherin-methods to gather information," he had no idea what those Slytherin-methods were, but those were details he'd work out later.
Scorpius got a very strange look on his face that Albus had been seeing more recently. He lunged forward again and Albus flinched, but a fist wasn't what connected with his face. It took Albus a moment to comprehend Scorpius's arms around his neck and the blond's lips against his, but as soon as he did, he shoved Scorpius away in alarm. "Malfoy?!" He sputtered and Scorpius turned bright red. "What the hell are you doing?!"
"Sorry," Scorpius stammered, looking shocked at his own actions. "Can you forget that happened? I just...I was emotionally...compromised what with Molly, and then you're going to help and..."
"Malfoy, stop talking," Albus groaned. "Emotionally compromised?" What the hell kind of Ravenclaw talk... "We'll never mention it again. EVER," Albus made sure his final tone was threatening before he walked away. It wasn't until he'd made it far into the dungeons that he stopped at leaned against a cold, damp wall. He took a long shuddering breath and realized, with quite a bit of horror. That had been his first kiss. His first kiss ever...had been with Scorpius Malfoy.
Well, Scorpius was fucked. There was no other way to put it. He was completely and totally fucked. He’d just kissed Albus Potter full on the lips! Albus Potter, the fucking boy he’d had a crush on since he was eleven years old! Why didn't he just Crucio himself instead? It would have been less painful and considerably less humiliating. Scorpius had dealt with his crush just like Schroedinger's cat was dealt with. He didn't know whether it was alive or dead, as long as he didn't let the damn thing out of the box! Scorpius paced his dorm room until he was sure he would wear right through the floor. Why did he have to let it out of the box? He'd rather have not known it was dead. Hell, he wouldn't know what to do with it if it was alive - he'd lived with the stupid infatuation for five years, but he had to go and change things. He wasn't entirely sure the Slytherin would keep the matter to himself, but hoped the situation was embarrassing enough for him that he wouldn't tell that gossipy friend of his. Scorpius was biting at his nail now. His excuse was a lame one, considering Albus had somehow managed to figure out Scorpius liked him. Certainly he couldn't have found his journal? Not that he'd written in it for a while...he'd been so distracted by taking care of Molly, he almost hadn't felt the need for it anymore. After Albus was nice to him and Molly took up most of his thoughts, Scorpius, for the first time in five years, felt as if things were going his way. The Ravenclaw didn't have to deal with being consumed by thoughts of a Slytherin crush who hated him, and even now he hadn't resorted to the journal. He doubted he could even hold a pencil steady, thinking about the experience with Molly that morning and the chaos that had ensued when Albus came across him.
Scorpius had known for a long time now that he was gay. Hell, he'd known it since he'd laid eyes on Albus Severus Potter at the train station. Prior to that, he'd been continuously in a 'girl's are icky' stage, but his father said that would change when the right girl came along. Unfortunately, it hadn't been a girl that came along. He would never say it was love at first sight...from the beginning and for nearly his first three years at Hogwarts, it was just a struggle to be around Albus because the confusion and hurt that he would feel inside of him would bring him to the brink of tears. Albus had always been unusually cruel to Scorpius. At first, he'd hoped it was a crush - like his mother always said, boys pick on girls they like. But Scorpius wasn't a girl, so that proverb just couldn't apply to him. After he came to terms with being gay and madly in love with a Slytherin asshole, his life had gotten a whole lot easier. He'd been able to spend more time with his best friend, Rose, and his schoolwork. As soon as he'd learned to compartmentalize his life, his grades had skyrocketed. He could spend his afternoons studying with Rose, his evenings tutoring, and his nights, right before bed, cursing whoever would listen that his affection towards such an asshole just wouldn't seem to fade.
But he just had to let that damned cat out of the damned box. He'd entertained notions that Albus might be gay before - seeing as while rumors would circulate about him and various women, he'd never actually had a girlfriend before. Not from what Rose had told him, at least. In fact, Rose had said Albus just didn't really seem interested in girls, but it was a silent agreement between them that he'd shown no interest in boys, either. Rose was fully aware of the situation between Scorpius and Albus. She must have suspected for a while before she came right out and asked him about it. Scorpius confessed, she was his friend, and he had expected her to figure it out eventually - she was a very intelligent witch after all - and he had already told himself, if she asked, he wouldn't lie. Rose was always quick to be at his side when Albus was around, mostly aiding in keeping his hurtful insults to himself.
He would have to tell her what happened. Somehow, he felt as terrible about the situation as he did when he saw Molly that morning. The cat was dead, and that was just something he'd have to take. But Molly, he could do something about her death. He took a long, deep breath, and finally left his room that day. He skipped lunch and headed straight to the library. He had all of today and tomorrow to spend in the library, looking up possibly enemies of unicorns. He always got his homework done on Friday nights anyways, unlike Albus, who he knew did most of his assignments Sunday night.
Scorpius slipped into the library, unnoticed by Monsieur Thierry, the librarian, who was used to his presence, and found the Magical Creatures section. If he came up empty-handed here, he would have to ask for permission to the restricted section. He rounded the corner and bumped right into Albus's friend.
"Oh! Wow! Malfoy!" She dropped her books right out of her hands and Scorpius knelt down to pick them up for her.
"Here you are, Macmillan," he smiled and handed them to her. "Doing the assignment for Magical Creatures?"
"Yeah. I figured its due Monday, I'd better get started."
He would have reprimanded her, since she'd had two weeks to "get started," but he wasn't the teacher.
"I heard about what happened with your unicorn. It's...well, it's really sad. I mean, I'm not partial to unicorns, but, hey," it looked like an idea suddenly dawned on her. "Could you help me? You're top of the class, and you got to work with an actual unicorn, you need to help," she grabbed his hand and dragged him to a table. He was very sure, right now, that she was absolutely out of her mind. He'd never really gotten to know her well...she didn't insult him like Albus did, but she laughed at the jokes made at his expense and sneered at him here and there. So why was she suddenly acting like he was her best friend? Was it a Slytherin thing? He supposed she could just be trying to manipulate him into helping with her paper.
After spending almost three hours basically writing Macmillan's paper while she gushed about how smart he was and how good he looked, Scorpius was ready to get some real work done. As soon as the blonde girl disappeared from Scorpius's line of vision, he returned to the magical creatures section. He'd learned quite a bit about unicorns from the paper Macmillan was SUPPOSED to be writing, but nothing remotely about possible predators. He now collected several books on dark creatures, what unicorn blood could be used for, since nothing but blood had been missing, not even the horns, and what possible curses could befall someone or something who injured the unicorn. The last two were almost hand in hand, but he found a large tomb on the first and a slim book on the latter. He started with the most intimidating book about the uses for unicorn blood, but found it was mostly a potions book - not what he was looking for. He flipped through the booklet, but instead became most interested in dark creatures. However, the dark creatures were not described in elaborate detail, probably because their most heinous acts were in the restricted section. He sighed and put the books away. He would have to suck up his pride and ask Monsieur Thierry. He always hated talking to that man...he was wildly uninteresting, but fairly helpful. Scorpius listened to him prattle on about how children weren't learning enough and didn't apply themselves. Occasionally, he'd wheeze about how English schools just couldn't stack up to his old school, Beauxbatons, where real learning took place. However, Monsieur Thierry allowed Scorpius access to the Restricted Section, rather than getting whatever book he might need from there. He pointed in the right direction and Scorpius cleared off one of the dusty tables to begin his work.
Scorpius finally made his way out of the library long enough for a quick sandwich before he raced back up to the library to continue his studies. He didn't even notice as he was bolting up a staircase with his sandwich in hand, someone following him. It wasn't until he was halfway down the hall to the library that he noticed a wheezing sound behind him. "Malfoy," Albus was gasping at the top of the staircase. "Holy shit, you can move fast," he was bent over, hands on his knees.
"Potter? Why are you following me?"
"I was just wondering if you'd found anything," Albus was still gasping for air like a fish on land.
"I've got access to the Restricted Section to look around, but I haven't found anything interesting, yet," Scorpius was watching him curiously.
Albus finally straightened up and closed the space between them. "I'll have a look, too."
Scorpius raised his eyebrow, but quickly started walking towards the library again. If he hadn't turned, Albus would have seen his little smile of victory. If Albus was talking to him, he couldn't have been too offended by the kiss, or had honestly decided to forget the whole incident ever happened. And this meant Scorpius could pretend the box had never been opened.
“Okay, okay,” Albus was flipping through a book, “how about this one?”
“Native to Africa,” Scorpius rolled his eyes.
“What if there was one here?”
“It gives diseases with its breath. The unicorns were mauled, not diseased.”
“Oh,” Albus was turning out to be wildly unhelpful. He liked to point out any monster that sounded dangerous, regardless of logic or likelihood. It took until the library closed for the two to pack up their things. There had been no epiphany, but they were both in hesitant agreement that the monster was most likely a Graphorn. They had deduced that it couldn’t be a human, because the cuts would not have been ragged and irregular, the unicorns had been scratched or bitten, not cut.
The pair parted awkwardly, probably the only indication of what happened earlier in the day.
On Sunday, Scorpius was up bright and early, in the library right after a rushed breakfast. Now he would just have to study the Graphorn and figure out how to capture or kill one. To Scorpius's great shock, Albus was already there, waiting for him. "Hey, Malfoy, the French guy won't let me in the Restricted Section. He thinks I'm up to something. So could you..."
"Yeah, I'll talk to him," Scorpius tried to keep the smile off of his face when he went to find Monsieur Thierry. Albus had been waiting for him, and they were talking to each other almost as friends. Scorpius was feeling a bit like a giddy school girl, not that he'd ever admit that. Because he was decidedly not a giddy school girl. The librarian let them into the Restricted Section, still eying Albus suspiciously.
"So today are we going to look for how to kill a Graphorn?"
"Well, preferably to capture one. We should probably capture it so it can be relocated. They're particularly stupid, so this one probably just wandered into our forest without a thought."
"Capture and relocate?" Clearly an insulting retort was on Albus's lips, but he didn't say anything else. "Fine. If you think it's best..."
Scorpius set his bag on the table they'd been at last time and started browsing through the books while Albus waited at the table, drumming his fingers. After about ten minutes, Scorpius returned with several books that might possibly point them in the right direction. They split the pile in half as they began flipping through the books.
At lunch time, Albus disappeared, promising to sneak a sandwich into the library for Scorpius. He kept his promise, but they carefully watched for Monsieur Thierry as they finished their lunch. Halfway between lunch and dinner, Albus finally slammed his book shut.
"We're never going to find anything! I can only find historical accounts that don't give you anything specific at all."
"We've found plenty of things, Potter, just not a magical spell that will fix all our problems."
"But how much help is it really that Graphorns are more susceptible than most breeds to hip dysplasia? I mean, unless our Graphorn suffers from it, which is unlikely seeing as it's catching unicorns, it's not much help."
Scorpius was sometimes annoyed by Slytherin pessimism, maybe he was getting too used to Rose's optimistic personality. "We know that means there's a lot of pressure put on the hips and that might be a weak point. We also know they're incredibly stupid and violent animals."
"Oh yeah, that makes me feel loads better," Albus retorted sarcastically.
Scorpius resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "It means we can outsmart it. We just need to know what kind of spell can take it down. I sincerely doubt something like Stupefy is powerful enough."
"Malfoy, and...I can't believe I'm saying this...why don't we just let that teacher's handle it?" Albus seemed to cringe at his own words, but Scorpius quickly noticed Albus might just be getting scared.
"Look, if you're scared, Potter, I can do it on my own," Scorpius made sure his voice sounded condescending. If he knew anything about Slytherins, it was that you didn't mess with their pride.
Sure enough, Albus defended himself quickly. "I'm not scared, I'm just saying they'd be better equipped..."
"Potter, we're doing this for the unicorns and for Molly. I thought we were doing this for purely selfish reasons, to be satisfied that we saved them, not pawn it off on some teachers."
Albus looked a little confused - Scorpius was usually a logical thinker. However, there were a few weak spots that could make him abandon his logic, and death was one of them. His mother's death hadn't been easy for him. It still wasn't a topic he could handle thinking about for long. It had turned him into a giant mess of a Ravenclaw. Despite the fact she'd been gravely ill for months, her death was, quite illogically, a shock to him.
However, this time he could avenge Molly, he could find out what had done this too her and stop it from harming anyone else. He wouldn't have to sit back and watch helplessly like he did with his mother.
"All right, Malfoy, we'll do this your way," Scorpius hadn't realized how long the silence had been until Albus spoke. "Let's look for a spell that can take this terrible beastie down."
They spent time looking right through dinner and even when the candles lit and the sun had set, Scorpius was still flipping through books. It wasn't until he heard heavy breathing that he realized Albus was asleep. Scorpius set down his book and rested his head on his hand, watching him. Granted, no one really looked fantastic when they slept, but Scorpius couldn't help but smile at Albus anyways. He made sure no one was looking and leaned forward to press his lips against Albus's. He doubted he'd ever have a chance like this again, and he didn't even mind the saliva that was at the corner of Albus's mouth. When Scorpius pulled back a bit, Albus's eyes snapped open. "What are you doing?" He asked in a groggy voice.
"I was just about to wake you up," Scorpius panicked, but the lie had come out so easily. "It's...uhh...the library's closing."
"Oh," Albus rubbed his bleary eyes and sat up. "Well, I guess we should get out of here before the crazy Frenchman...well...I'm not really sure what he would do since he's French."
"Be nice," Scorpius smacked him lightly with the book he was going to put up. "My family is French."
"Well, that certainly explains a lot."
Scorpius glared at Albus, who was smirking back at him, before he turned the corner to put the book back in his place. Damn, that had been a close one. He couldn't keep letting himself lose control like this. It was going to get him in trouble.
"So....did we find anything?" Albus asked as he returned.
"We have a few spells to try," Scorpius pointed to a list on the table.
"How are we going to try these, exactly?"
"Well, I was hoping they might work on some sort of substitute."
Albus groaned. "I hope you don't mean we're going to try them on each other."
"Well, they're only forms of stunning spells, they're not going to injure us too terribly. We just have to know they work."
Albus shook his head. "Why am I even doing this?" He grumbled, but Scorpius could tell the question wasn't directed at him.
"We'll try them tomorrow after curfew."
"After curfew?" Albus raised his eyebrow curiously.
"We can't throw spells at each other with people around. I figured we'd practice down by the lake so we can fall on the grass rather than stone floors."
"Did you come up with all this while I was sleeping?"
"Well, partially. I came up with some of it while you were awake, I just didn't mention it."
"All right, see you tomorrow, Malfoy. Even though you are completely out of your mind.”
Albus met Scorpius by the broom cupboard next to the entrance hall just before curfew. The two slipped outside just as one of the teachers walked by. "All right, if we go down there," Scorpius was whispering, "we can't be seen very well from the castle."
"What if one of these spells is something worse than a stunning spell? What if I die....or worse, get horribly disfigured?" Albus was complaining as he followed Scorpius. Sometimes, Scorpius wished Albus were a bit more like his family, with that Gryffindor daring and bravery, but then again, he'd have to deal with Gryffindor hard-headedness and idiocy. Scorpius had never really been able to deal well with idiots.
"I understand the roots of these spells, and maybe if you took Magical Theory, you would, too. None of them are deadly, and hopefully won't horribly disfigure you."
"The importance of spells, especially dark ones that might maim or kill, is the meaning behind them. If I'm trying to stun, and send something like the Cruciatus Curse at you, it's not going to work very well."
"Well, if you send a Crucio my way, then I can't promise I won't retaliate, with full intent behind it."
"Do you Slytherins do anything but threaten?" Scorpius sighed, but didn't take offense. He stopped and made Albus stand a few feet back. "Okay, we should start with the easiest one on the list."
"Are we going to try them all on me?"
Scorpius massaged his temples for a moment. "We're taking turns - it's only fair."
Albus hesitated, but nodded. "Hit me with your best shot."
Scorpius had already studied the spells, but he still glanced down at the piece of parchment he had with him. Scorpius chanted the spell, but nothing happened.
"Was that supposed to work?" Albus sneered.
"Well, it was SUPPOSED to, but obviously, it doesn't seem to," he tried one more time, but nothing happened.
"So does that mean it's my turn to try one on you?"
"I suppose it does," Scorpius sighed. Admittedly, since nothing happened, Scorpius would have preferred to try the next one on Albus, but they had agreed that they would take turns. The next spell Albus chanted, hit Scorpius square in the chest and knocked him off his feet. Albus was by his side in an instant.
"Are you stunned?"
"No," Scorpius groaned, "but I feel like a troll just hit me in the chest," he rolled over onto his stomach.
"Well, this spell probably won't work unless the Graphorn is a skinny Ravenclaw," Albus teased and Scorpius smacked his arm. "Give me the parchment so I can hurl a spell at you," Scorpius yanked the parchment from his hand and stood up slowly. As soon as he was up, he felt like he'd gotten another club to the chest and fell back to the ground. "Why'd you do it again?!"
"I didn't!" Albus exclaimed. "Try getting up again."
"Because it worked so well last time?" Scorpius muttered and Albus helped him to his feet. However, he was struck with the same feeling and fell back against the Slytherin.
"Finite Incantantum," Albus waved his wand and the feeling slowly went away. "That could actually be pretty useful."
"For warding it off, but not stunning it so we have time to capture it," Scorpius was able to stand on his own again.
"This next one is just a modified version of Stupefy, that's usually used for subduing dragons and the like. Although you normally need about ten people doing it," he added, mostly to himself. He was still a bit winded, but managed to throw the spell at Albus. There was a huge flash of red light and Albus seemed to disappear. Scorpius ran over and found he'd been knocked to the ground about ten feet from his original position. Scorpius knelt next to him, just as he felt raindrops falling on the pair. "Finite Incantantum," he waved his wand and Albus's body went slack again.
"That's some pretty powerful stuff," he mumbled and sat up. “Ah, fuck, is that rain?” He looked up just as it started pouring down on them.
Scorpius couldn’t help but laugh and Albus tried to get up, but wobbled a bit and fell back against Scorpius. “Guess we’ll have to wait here a moment until you can manage to get on your feet again.”
“Hey, you weren’t doing so well a minute ago, either!” Albus protested and shoved Scorpius to the side. Scorpius couldn’t help but grin and grab a fistful of mud and throw it at Albus. “Whoa! That’s crossing a line!” Albus was pushing himself to his feet and Scorpius scrambled to get to his. He started running away from Albus, but the Beater was much faster and grabbed the back of his robes. “Let’s just see how you like it,” he shoved Scorpius, who had managed to get a firm grip on Albus’s damp clothes, and they both fell into the shallow water of the lake. “Look at what you’ve done now, you crazy Ravenclaw! Now I’m soaked!”
“And you weren’t before?” Scorpius was still smiling, and seemed to infect Albus with an evil grin. The Slytherin brought his hand up from the murky water, and grabbed Scorpius’s robes before he could get away and smashed his handful of mud in Scorpius’s hair. At the rate the rain came down, almost all of it was washed out within seconds. Scorpius splashed him, but the Slytherin didn’t let go of his robes.
“You’re not going to get away, Mr. Malfoy,” Albus was now so soaked his clothes and hair were sticking to him in odd directions. They looked at each other for several moments, the air becoming strangely still despite the pouring rain. There were still a few spots of mud on Albus’s face, and his eyes were alarmingly green in the dim light of the school. Scorpius’s breath became heavy and Albus was leaning closer. Albus got so close Scorpius could feel his breath on his lips and Scorpius leaned forward just enough to close the space. Their lips were pressed together and the hand that wasn’t still immersed in water was on Scorpius’s cheek. The hand was shockingly cold, still covered in mud, but Scorpius couldn’t bring himself to care. Albus’s mouth was so hot against his, it dragged the freezing cold right out of his body. Autumn rain had never seemed so warm with Albus’s tongue against his. Scorpius brought his arms out of the water and wrapped them around Albus’s back, grasping at the fabric over his shoulder blades. Albus was still on all fours, moving closer so that his arm was still holding him up, but just brushing against Scorpius’s back and their thighs were touching.
Scorpius hadn’t realized he’d forgotten to breathe until Albus suddenly pulled away. “What the hell am I doing?” He stood up in one smooth movement, leaving Scorpius still sitting in the shallow lake water, eyes still half lidded and feeling suddenly, very cold. “I’m not gay, Malfoy,” he was wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “You’re…” he took a deep breath. “Don’t ever come near me again, got that?” He hissed and stormed off, still leaving a confused, hurt Scorpius lying in the mud.
ALBUS’S INTERLUDE/PART 3.5
Albus hoped that getting Scorpius away from him would clear his mind – it didn’t. It just seemed to make things worse. When he kissed Scorpius it had just felt like the right thing to do – the perfect moment, but now that he was alone with his thoughts, everything was a jumble. He’d just…panicked. He didn’t even know where to start. At the time it all seemed to happen in slow motion, but as soon as it was over, it felt like it’d happened in a blur.
Albus couldn’t say his actions had surprised him – that would be a lie. Ever since the first time Scorpius had kissed him…well…he’d rather enjoyed it. But that fact had been easy to ignore, seeing as both he and Scorpius wanted to pretend it had never happened. Albus was glad to do so – it might have opened some doors he wasn’t ready to look into yet.
But after the amiable time spent with the Ravenclaw, the roll around in the rain had just gotten too much. He’d imagined the kiss over and over again in his mind, he wanted something to make him feel like that again, and it seemed like only a kiss from Scorpius did that.
Things were different this time – the first time they could ignore, but Albus couldn’t have Scorpius around him if the blond managed to make him lose control so easily. He sighed and sat down on his bed. Before all of this, it had been like he didn’t know if something was dead or not…an animal, let’s say…maybe a cat. And he was just fine with not knowing if the cat was dead or alive, but now he knew. Now he knew the cat was very much alive and very unhappy. Seeing Scorpius now was like seeing a feral cat chasing him down: it served to remind him that there was something different about Scorpius that managed to unhinge Albus. Frankly, it scared him. He wasn’t a Gryffindor, who would brazenly swoop in, banish all fear and sexual confusion, and ride off into the sunset with Scorpius. He was a Slytherin, and he was handling it the Slytherin way, by avoiding the problem, and, at the same time, spending night after night overanalyzing it.
What was problematic, was the overanalyzing wasn’t making things better…it led him to conclusions he didn’t really want to reach. He was very certain he was attracted to Scorpius, although, when he thought about it, he wasn’t sure how long he had been. Hadn’t he been fascinated with the blond since first year? Incessantly teasing him in the “I’m going to bully you because I like you” way? But perhaps the attraction had only clicked when Scorpius kissed him. Regardless of when it started, he was attracted to Scorpius, and by way of this, it meant he was gay, which he found odd didn’t surprise him. His immediate thought on the matter was, “well, that explains a lot.” And by way of being gay, that meant he was allowed to be attracted to Scorpius…and also meant he was allowed to act on that attraction. Right? This was a job for a professional.
“Hey, Jane, I have a purely hypothetical question for you…” the blonde looked up from her magazine with a raised eyebrow. “If I were gay-”
“This is hypothetical!”
“Al, I’ve been waiting for this conversation since you complimented my shoes in second year.”
“Your shoes? They were nice shoes!”
“Men don’t notice a girl’s shoes, and if they do, they’re trying to get in her pants,” Jane sat down her magazine. “Which you never tried to do….ever. Which was also a little bit suspicious, but regardless, what has got your hypothetically gay panties in a bunch?”
“Well…IF I were gay, and I were attracted to a guy who I knew was attracted to me as well, what would I do?”
“Is this a trick question? You snog his lights out, you idiot!” Jane smacked him with the magazine she’d picked back up. “Look, Al, you can be some Hufflepuff, sit in your dorm, brooding and moping for years over your sexual confusion and the horrible tragedy that has befallen you for being attracted to a man. OR you can suck it up, admit to yourself that you’d like to bugger some bloke’s lights out, and get into the game before you waste years of your life just trying to decide if that’s what you want to do.”
“So I should just….go right up to him?”
“Albus, the time for Slytherin seduction is over if you already know he’s interested. Now is the time to grab him by the face and snog him until he passes out.”
And that was exactly what Albus intended to do.
A week had passed and Albus still hadn’t talked to Scorpius. Every time Scorpius was within his line of sight, he abruptly left the room. Tears still managed to spring into Scorpius’s eyes every time this happened. Rose would pat his arm and Scorpius would wave her away. It was stupid; he should have still been working on the unicorn problem, not moping over some Slytherin.
But one day, Albus suddenly appeared in front of Scorpius after Muggle Studies class. “We need to talk.”
Albus grabbed Scorpius’s wrist and started pulling him away from the crowd of people leaving classes. “Look, Potter, I’m really sorry. I really am. It was stupid and…”
“Please stop talking,” Albus said as he pulled him into an unused classroom.
Once they were in the classroom, Scorpius waited expectantly for Albus’s lecture, or whatever he was going to reprimand him for this way. Scorpius felt his heart jump to his throat when Albus advanced on him. The Slytherin had always been so difficult to read, but it was clear now that he was going to attack Scorpius. He was backed against the wall, with Albus pressed against him. Scorpius closed his eyes, rather than trying to defend himself, but Albus’s hands found his waist and snaked around to his back. Scorpius was shocked, what was Albus doing? His eyes quickly opened and he was about to question him, but the look in his eyes was something Scorpius clearly recognized. Albus had made it clear he hadn’t wanted any of this. So why was the brunet leaning in? Scorpius was unmoving when those lips were pressed to his. Scorpius felt like his body was on fire, but he was unable to react. When the Slytherin pulled back from the unrequited kiss, he let out a long sigh. “I’m so sorry, Scorpius.”
“Sorry?” Scorpius felt his voice grow small at the sound of Albus using his first name. The skin that Albus was still touching was burning – the arms around his back, the chest pressed against his. Scorpius was sure Albus must be suffocating him because he couldn’t breathe.
“I’m sorry I kept you waiting. I’m so sorry it took me so long to realize,” his lips found Scorpius’s neck, and the blond felt his knees buckle. However, Albus had a firm grip on Scorpius, so he only slid down against the wall slightly. He could feel Albus smiling against the hot skin of his neck, he knew he was flushed a bright red already. Albus’s hands were moving quickly, running along Scorpius’s torso as if he were trying to feel every nook and cranny. “Ever since you’ve kissed me that first time, I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. At first, I was scared, but the more I thought about it…the more I wanted to do it again,” Albus had started sucking on Scorpius’s neck.
Scorpius’s hand rested on the back of Albus’s neck, and the other tried to desperately grip at the wall. He didn’t know why, but he hadn’t quite worked up the courage to touch Albus back in the way he was being explored. He almost wondered if this were another one of his fantasies and maybe if he didn’t touch back, he wouldn’t wake up. “But, Al…”
Albus pressed his lips against Scorpius’s again and this time the blonde kissed back. He felt shocked when Albus’s tongue was at his lips and all he could do was let his mouth fall open. Albus’s hands had stilled and he gripped Scorpius’s hips tightly as he buried his tongue deeper in Scorpius’s mouth. Albus suddenly smiled into the kiss and pulled back. Scorpius, still wide-eyed, drew in his lower lip to break the string of saliva between them. “Scorp, it’s a little weird if you have your eyes open while we’re kissing,” he chuckled fondly. Since when had Albus started using a pet name for him? Scorpius didn’t even have a nickname for himself, and he made Rose call him Scorpius because, honestly, Scorp was a horrible nickname. But he just couldn’t bring himself to ask Albus not to use it.
“Sorry, I’m just not used to this sort of thing,” Scorpius said sheepishly. “Let me try again,” he leaned forward and pressed against Albus’s lips, this time being the one that explored Albus’s mouth. He made sure to close his eyes and he finally pulled his right hand from the wall and put it on Albus’s cheek. When they pulled away, Scorpius realized his glasses were steamed and had somehow been knocked askew. Momentarily embarrassed, he tucked them away in one of his robe pockets. When he returned to Albus, the other had removed his robe, scarf, and cloak, leaving him in his school uniform. Scorpius hurried to do the same, as it was getting rather hot in the room. He’d never realized how many clothes they had to wear. Scorpius looked over and Albus was now discarding his sweater, Scorpius struggled to keep up and pulled his sweater over his head. As soon as his head was free, Albus’s lips were meeting his again, despite the sweater still wrapped around his arms. He discarded it quickly but managed to awkwardly bump noses and teeth with Albus. The Slytherin hardly seemed to care as he reached down and loosened Scorpius’s tie. Scorpius’s hands gripped the back of Albus’s shirt as the kiss deepened.
They separated with a wet pop and Albus was grinning like a madman. His hands ran down the other’s chest, scraping over the buttons on his shirt as they went. However, the only button he stopped at was the one on Scorpius’s pants. As soon as Albus had popped the button, Scorpius brought a hand down to still him. “Albus, we can’t,” he whispered. “The unicorns…they…”
“Then we won’t do anything that counts,” Albus’s grin turned into a mischievous smile. “I can touch, you, can’t I? We can stay virgins until we find this…”
“Graphorn,” Scorpius provided the word.
“And after we capture it and save the unicorns, we don’t need to worry about being virgins anymore,” he grinned.
“Albus,” he finally put his hand on the Slytherin’s chest and pushed him back a bit. “To be quite honest, we’re moving a little fast,” he flushed bright red. “And I’m not entirely sure what unicorns consider ‘pure’ or not.”
Albus looked to be contemplating for a moment, so Scorpius didn’t break the silence that hung in the air. “I suppose I don’t know much about this, either,” he finally admitted. “I’ve just been thinking about it and I realized…well, this thing you’ve been wanting to start…it’s not such a bad idea, actually.”
Scorpius leaned forward and kissed him chastely on the lips. “After we fix the unicorn problem,” he collected his things quickly. “But I wouldn’t mind a few more of these moments until that happens.”
However, as Scorpius left the classroom, he couldn’t help but feel twice the motivation to finally go into the forest and capture the damn thing. And Albus seemed to be of the same mind.
“This Friday night,” Albus exclaimed as he sat in the seat across from Scorpius the next day. Scorpius’s eggs fell from his fork, and several other students were giving them strange looks over their breakfast.
“Friday is the Halloween feast, Potter,” Scorpius hissed, but the triumphant look didn’t disappear from his face.
“Exactly! It’s perfect. We can sneak away while everyone’s busy at the feast. My father’s had experiences with it before. One time they let a troll into the castle during the feast. A troll! And no one even knew who did it! Imagine the things we could do during the feast if the attention is that lax. We can meet at the fifth floor broom closet,” Albus winked and people were now giving them very intrigued stares making Scorpius turn bright red.
“Let’s talk about this outside,” he stood up and marched out of the Great Hall. Albus was only a step behind. “Do not talk about this when there are people around!” Scorpius was sometimes amazed by Albus’s stupidity.
“You think I didn’t want them to hear that? They’re teenagers, they’re automatically going to think we’re up to something naughty, the rumors will spread like wildfire, and curiosity will be piqued, especially if we’re absent from the feast,” Albus had a know-it-all smirk, that Scorpius was having trouble growing fond of.
“What good will that do?”
“Think about it, Scorp, if they are curious students slinking around, there’s more of a chance they’ll be the ones caught by the teachers. We get a better chance of slipping out and possibly other students will get excited about the thought of lax security during the feast and cause other sorts of distractions. By the time we’re out of there, the teachers will all be on edge, so if something goes wrong out in the Forbidden Forest, at least they’re on their guard.”
Scorpius narrowed his eyes. “That’s so brilliant I could kiss you, but when you get that know-it-all tone, the urge disappears.”
“Well, fortunately for you, I don’t have the same affliction, otherwise I would never want to kiss you,” Albus grinned, planted a kiss on his cheek, and practically skipped back into the Great Hall.
“Why do I voluntarily do this to myself?” Scorpius groaned, but couldn’t help but feel happier than he could ever remember feeling.
Apparently, Albus had perfected the art of gossip fuel, because by Thursday of the same week, everyone had heard about it. People were giving Scorpius curious looks as he walked down the hall, and he'd even received a letter from Lily Potter, congratulating him. Apparently the Hufflepuff girl knew her brother was gay all along and was just glad someone had managed to pull him out of the closet. Scorpius had blushed, but didn't mind the chocolates the girl had sent him in "thanks." His encounter with Albus's older brother wasn't so pleasant, however.
"Malfoy, tell me this rumor about you and Albus isn't true," the 'gay' rumor had been pushed even further by Albus's constant winking at Malfoy and the one time he grabbed Scorpius from a crowd of people and pulled him into an empty classroom. Albus's attempts at snogging hadn't lasted very long, because Scorpius knew full well there was at least one person listening at the door.
"Why don't you just ask him?"
"I did, but he'd being such a damn Slytherin about it. 'I can't confirm or deny the existence of a gay relationship between me and one Scorpius Malfoy.' What the hell kind of Slytherin bullshit is that?"
"Look, Potter, if your own brother won't tell you, neither will I."
"I don't like this, Malfoy. You need to stay away from my brother. He's already the outcast in the family; he doesn't need it made worse."
"I'm fairly certain Al can make decisions for himself," Scorpius purposely used the nickname to bother James Potter, because Scorpius always called him 'Albus.' "Besides, your little sister seemed to be quite happy for him. She even sent me a letter of thanks."
"Lily is a Hufflepuff; she'd stand by him no matter what."
"And your Gryffindor family won't?" Scorpius raised his eyebrow and James took a long, deep breath.
"It's not my family I worry about, okay? Albus is already the weird on in my family; I don't want him to feel like an outsider to the rest of society, either." Despite the genuine concern James seemed to have for his brother, it was only managing to anger Scorpius further.
"If he was so worried about that, he wouldn't be yanking me out of the library to snog me, all right? As long as he's still interested in me, then I'm not changing it, okay, Potter? I'm happier than I've ever been and if I found out you've done something to jeopardize that, I'll hex your balls into next week."
James seemed to actually back down. Thank god Scorpius had taken a page or two out of Rose's book. "What are you two going to do during the Halloween feast?" His voice was substantially less demanding than it had been.
"Let's just say, it will be a very special evening," maybe Albus was rubbing off on him, too, because on that note, he turned and left. He might as well perpetuate the rumors that Albus had started, but he would definitely have to have a word with him about his brother.
That Friday night, everything was going smoothly. Albus and Scorpius met in the dungeons, rather than the fifth floor broom closet like they said, and quickly headed to the entrance hall to disappear from the castle before the teachers caught wind of any mischief someone was starting. They had agreed on the strategy prior, and Scorpius couldn't help but feel confident when they escaped the castle without a single hitch.
However, Albus didn't seemed as thrilled. "This is bad."
"This is going too well."
"Too well? How can anything go too well?"
"If things go smoothly at the beginning, there will be some sort of monstrous disaster later on."
"You're just being a pessimist, Albus. This is all happening because we planned, I realize it's something you don't normally do, but if it goes smoothly, that means it's working."
"I don't think we should go in, Scorpius. We'll do it another night," Albus was already backing up, but Scorpius grabbed him.
"Another night? We've already planned this. Everything's going perfectly. You're not backing out. Besides, the sooner we do this, the sooner we won't have to worry about adhering to unicorn standards of purity."
This last comment Scorpius had obviously thrown in to motivate Albus, but it worked regardless. The Slytherin surged forward, at a much faster pace than Scorpius had been taking. They were at the edge of the forest within minutes. The pace became significantly slower as they started walking through the sparse trees.
"Well, two of the unicorns were able to make it to Hogwarts, hopefully that means it can't be far off," Scorpius was saying as he lit his wand to look around.
"I heard Grubbly-Plank talking to Hagrid. She said she's narrowed down the area to this part of the woods. She hasn't figured out what it is like we have, but she said she's certain it's currently in the northwest segment."
"What? When were you thinking about telling me this?"
"Well....I took us in the right direction, didn't I? I didn't think it needed telling if I just led us here," Albus shrugged. "Besides, you do your Ravenclaw way of gathering knowledge and I have my own Slytherin way."
Scorpius rolled his eyes. "Sometimes, Albus....I just don't know about you," he couldn't help but be encouraged by the information anyways. The pair started walking deeper in the woods, but it became clear it wasn't going to be as easy as they thought. They'd been walking through the forest for an hour, both shivering in the cold night air, jumping at every twig that cracked in the night. But they hadn't managed to find even a single track.
"Maybe Grubbly-Plank was wrong," Scorpius mumbled finally.
"Or it moved, and if it did, it shouldn't be too far," Albus cast another warming charm on both of them.
"But we don't know what direction it could have gone in," Scorpius was feeling discouraged, but Albus put his hand on Scorpius's shoulder.
"Like you said, we made a plan for tonight; we're not going to give up. Now, we've got all evening, and we're going to find this thing. Let's just try the other way, because I think if a giant purple monster had gone through here, there'd be some sort of footprints or obvious trail."
“Your methods of deduction astound me,” Scorpius said sarcastically, but Albus ignored the sarcasm and had his wand “point them” in a more northern direction. The pair started walking again, mostly in silence for the first half an hour.
“Maybe we need to try and attract it,” Albus finally offered up as a suggestion.
“Are you kidding me? Albus, we need to sneak up on it, not have it sneak up on us and then devour us whole.”
“Scorp, you said these things are lumbering and stupid, right? How would it sneak up on us? It’d probably knock down trees on its way here.”
“I still don’t think it’s a good-” However, Albus was already yelling out into the night.
“What has gotten into you?” Scorpius hissed when he clamped his hand over Albus’s mouth.
“I want to get this over so we can get back to the castle…together,” Albus winked, but Scorpius was not amused.
“I didn’t say we were going to do that right after, Albus. It’s still…well, it’s still a bit early for it, don’t you think? I mean…we’ve snogged a few times…”
“More than a few, Scorpius.”
“But maybe we should slow down. You’ve been moving rather fast, and it’s been a bit weird how easily you fell into this whole…relationship thing…”
Albus took a long breath and stopped. “Look, Scorp,” he took Scorpius’s hand in his, “I’ve never really had a relationship, okay? I guess I’m just excited. You make it feel so easy…so…natural. I’ve been on a date or two and they were uncomfortable and awkward. I feel like, when I’m with you, I know what I’m doing, I feel comfortable, okay? And I’m sorry if I’ve been so eager, but when you kissed me…it was like I knew I felt this way about you as long as I’ve known you, but you opened my eyes.”
Scorpius couldn’t really look at Albus. “You sound so cheesy right now,” Scorpius tried to joke, but his voice was thick.
“Look, I don’t know much about relationships, but I know if it’s going too fast for one of them, then the other needs to slow down. So…I suppose I can slow down as much as you want, Scorpius…Scorpius?” Scorpius’s gaze was suddenly fixed on something not three feet away from them. “Are you listening to me?”
Scorpius pulled himself away from Albus and held his wand over the ground.
“What the hell are you looking at? I’m trying to be serious here!”
“Albus…” Scorpius suddenly felt like his insides had been turned inside out and his throat had gone completely dry. “We need to get out of here.”
“Get out of here? We haven’t found the Graphorn yet!”
Scorpius was backing up quickly, but the Slytherin grabbed him to look at the ground.
“What kind of tracks are those?”
Scorpius looked back down. Five, oddly shaped prints.
There was a creaking noise behind them and Scorpius’s insides were now frozen. Both of them turned their heads in unison to see a giant, hairy creature, perched in a tree, watching them with drool hanging from its mouth. “RUN!” Albus screamed and dragged Scorpius along as he began running, the thunder of a tree branch breaking meant the creature was pursuing.
“What the hell is that thing?” Albus gasped.
“A Quintaped,” Scorpius shouted back, “but they don’t belong here! They should be confined to the Isle of Drear!”
“Well, Basilisks and Acromantula don’t belong here, either!” Albus shouted back as they dodged through the trees.
“Acromantula?! I thought you were joking!” They were running so fast, Scorpius’s eyes were watering. He turned only slightly to cast a poorly aimed Stupefy at it.
“Oh god, I’m going to die a virgin!” Albus wailed, falling slightly behind Scorpius.
“Albus, you idiot!” Scorpius had jumped a log in their path, but Albus was too busy bemoaning his fate, that’d he’d not seen it and tripped. “Get up, get up!” Scorpius shouted. “Stupefy! Stupefy! Stupefy!” The spells seemed to bounce right off of the Quintaped, but it was slowing him down just a bit. Albus scrambled to get up and grabbed Scorpius as they started running again.
“We’re dead. We’re so dead.”
“Shut up!” Scorpius snapped. He could hear tree branches breaking behind close behind them. “Up ahead!” Scorpius gasped and they broke through the clearing back onto school property.
“There you two are! I knew you weren’t going to be snogging in some broom cupboard!”
“ROSE, RUN!” Albus shouted and the redhead looked momentarily confused. As soon as the Quintaped broke through the trees, she screamed and ran after them.
“What have you done?!”
They ran across the yard towards the castle, where the front door had just opened. “Let us in! Let us in!” Albus screamed and pushed the door closed with the help of Rose, Malfoy, and a bewildered looking third year.
“I’ll go get a teacher,” Rose ran straight to the Great Hall.
“All right, we got the damned thing here,” the ominous banging from the door made them step back a little, “can’t we just let the teachers take it from here?” Albus complained.
Scorpius nodded. “Professor Sprout!” He looked to the headmistress when she came in. “There’s a Quintaped out there!”
“A Quintaped? Are you sure?”
“Very sure, headmistress. Very, very sure.”
“Very well, boys, and Miss Williams, please return to your dorms, we’ll take care of this.”
“Couldn’t agree with you more, headmistress,” Albus grabbed Scorpius’s hand and had them out of the way in a flash.
They stopped in a hallway and Albus kissed him on the lips. “I can’t believe we survived that!”
“You’re happy? There’s a giant five-legged monster banging down our door!”
“Well, we survived, got it out of the forest, and now it’s not our problem!”
“Not our problem, Albus, we led it here!”
“Calm down, Scorpius. I’m just glad we both made it out alive, okay? The teachers will handle it. Look, I think we both need rest. I’ll see you tomorrow,” Albus leaned in and kissed him on the cheek.
“We’re not going to do anything?”
“Professor Sprout told us to go back to our dorms. There’s nothing else to be done. See you tomorrow, Scorp,” Albus smiled at him and started walking back towards the dungeons, looking like he had not a care in the world. Scorpius was considerably less carefree; he spent the entire night, sitting in his bed, chewing at his fingernails.
The next day, the castle felt no different than it ever had; well…save for the severely damaged front doors. Apparently the beast had somehow been subdued, but Scorpius felt terrible. “This isn’t how it was supposed to go.”
“What are you talking about?” Albus and Scorpius were staring at the entrance hall front doors.
“We were supposed to be there when it was captured! Preferably even done it ourselves! Not hid in our dorms like…”
“Like a Ravenclaw and a Slytherin? It’s not our style, Scorpius. We’re not Gryffindors. We’re not heroic and insanely lucky. We’re smart and know when to let the teachers take over. The Quintaped is out of here, not hurting unicorns, and the end justifies the means, eh?”
“It just feels so….anticlimactic,” Scorpius sighed and Albus kissed him on the cheek.
“It’s just because we haven’t reached our climax yet,” he smirked evilly and disappeared.
Scorpius rolled his eyes and took a deep breath. He joined Rose in the Great Hall for breakfast, though it was difficult to keep his eyes from the Slytherin table.
“It’s fantastic, isn’t it? I mean…they’ve finally got a Quintaped in captivity. They can find out if it’s really how the legend goes,” she was saying. Scorpius “hmm”-ed in response, but she didn’t seem to mind and she went on about the possibilities. “I mean, we can actually find out if they’re transfigured people! The MacBoons! …Scorpius, you’re not listening. Scorpius!”
“Would you stop staring at your boyfriend for just one second?”
“Hmm…my boyfriend…I quite like the sound of that,” Scorpius stood up and marched over to the Slytherin table. “Albus Potter, I’ve seen the wonders your “Slytherin” ways of gathering knowledge can work. And, quite frankly, I’d like to be amazed. Tonight, all of my dormmates are going out to Hogsmeade for a drink and I can’t say I much enjoy being alone. Feel free to surprise me,” for once, Scorpius liked being the enigmatic one.
Scorpius sat in his bed that evening, enjoying his Advanced Muggle Studies textbook. He had the book balanced on his knees as he took notes. It wasn’t as if he didn’t expect Albus to come – he just didn’t know when he would and wasn’t going to twiddle his thumbs until he did.
“That’s what you’re wearing?” Scorpius almost jumped out of his skin at the sound of Albus’s voice.
“What?” Scorpius looked down at his flannel pajamas.
“I was hoping for candles, sexy underwear, some rose petals perhaps…But you’re doing homework in flannel. I’m disappointed in you, Scorp.”
“Well, if you’re so disappointed, maybe you should just leave.” Scorpius snapped his book shut and put it on the nightstand. Of course, they were only both teasing each other. Albus grinned and crawled onto Scorpius’s bed.
“I suppose I can get used to flannel,” he kissed Scorpius on the cheek.
“You didn’t really dress up for the occasion, either,” Scorpius grabbed him by the tie. Albus was not wearing his robes or sweater, just his white, button-down shirt, black pants, and his tie.
“Aww, and I spent so much time on it,” Albus moved to Scorpius’s lips. Scorpius reached for his wand on the bedside table and flicked it to lock the door.
Once he sat his wand down, he wrapped his arms around Albus. Their tongues moved against one another with familiarity. Soon, Albus separated their lips with a wet noise and moved down to Scorpius’s neck.
Albus's mouth was searing against his neck and his knee had worked its way in between Scorpius's thighs. The blond ran his hands up the back of Albus's shirt to press his hands flat against his skin. Albus worked his way down from near Scorpius's jaw to his collarbone. The buttons on his flannel shirt were being undone and Albus's mouth continued to move down. Scorpius moaned and tightened his thighs around Albus's knee. Albus seemed to chuckle into Scorpius's chest and moved his knee higher, pressing against Scorpius's arousal. Every place Albus moved his lips from felt like ice - deprived from the heat of the Slytherin's tongue. Really, Scorpius was beginning to understand why their symbol was a snake. He'd never really understood how a person could "slither," but now, as Albus moved, he felt there was nothing else to compare it to.
Scorpius pulled one of his hands out of his shirt and clenched his hand in Albus's black hair. Albus began to move his knee up and down, still pressing in between Scorpius's legs. Scorpius dropped his other hand from Albus and propped himself with it as he leaned back. He felt a hot flush creeping up his chest and into his face. "Oh Merlin, Albus," he gasped when Albus had undone every one of his buttons. The green-eyed Slytherin grinned and slid his hand under the elastic of Scorpius's pants. Scorpius threw his head back when Albus wrapped his seemingly cold hand around Scorpius's erection.
"You're a lot hotter than I thought," Albus pressed his lips back against Scorpius's as he slowly worked his hand up and down, swirling his thumb over the tip. Both of Scorpius's hands were now grasping Albus's strong upper arms. One of his hands managed to work two of Albus's buttons and loosen his tie until Albus sped up the pace of his hand. Scorpius's hands immediately stilled and gripped whatever he could of Albus. His hands were fisted, clinging to the fabric of Albus's shirt.
"Albus, I - " his sentence halted when Albus removed his hand from Scorpius's pants.
"Suppose I am being a little rough," he moved down, his hard cock brushed against Scorpius's knee and he pulled Scorpius's pants completely down, careful to avoid Scorpius's erection. He grinned and bent over it, taking the head in between his lips. Scorpius's knees tightened and his hands were now seeking a grip amongst the sheets beneath him. Albus ran his tongue completely over Scorpius's length and when he moved away, Scorpius made a whimpering sound that, in any other circumstance would have made him cringe.
"We'll have plenty of time for that later," Albus's hand returned, encasing Scorpius's cock and began its movements, this time with more ease.
Scorpius leaned forward and kissed Albus before leaning his head on Albus's shoulder. "Ah...Albus..." he began to gasp as he felt pressure building, but was unable to say much before he came into Albus's hand. Albus leaned forward and kissed Scorpius on the nose while wiping his hand on the bed sheet.
"Do I get a turn?" Albus teased as Scorpius was still trying to catch his breath. Scorpius's arms felt limp as he watched Albus pull off his tie and unbutton the rest of his shirt. Both were discarded on the floor. "You're a bit loud...it's kind of sweet," he joked and Scorpius hit him on the arm.
"I'm not sweet," he said half-heartedly and started unbuttoning Albus's pants. He was careful when he pulled them down, freeing Albus's engorged member. He wrapped his hand around it, and although it felt unfamiliar, he had to admit the heat felt good. He stroked lightly as Albus groaned.
"You're not sweet, you're a tease," Albus countered and put his hand over Scorpius's. "Stop for a moment. If you don't mind, I'd like to do something else," he raised an eyebrow and Scorpius let his hand drop. "Spread your legs," he said and provided a small jar from his pocket.
"Do you always carry lube, Mr. Potter?" Scorpius tilted his head. Admittedly, he was a bit nervous - he knew what Albus wanted to try, and he'd dreamed about it before.
"I've only just taken up the habit," he responded. "Is this all right?" He asked after a moment of thought.
"You could have asked earlier," Scorpius wrapped one of his legs around one of Albus's and pulled himself closer. "I'm a Ravenclaw, I'm infinitely curious."
Albus smiled in response and dipped his fingers into the jar. Scorpius unconsciously spread his legs farther and Albus's fingers ghosted past his balls to rub his slicked finger against Scorpius's entrance. The blond gasped at the feeling and closed his eyes. It only took a moment and Albus pushed his finger into the first knuckle. Scorpius tensed around the intrusion and bit his lip. However, Albus pressed further and Scorpius tried to gain control and relax to make it easier. Albus had barely worked his first finger in when the second one was urging its way in as well. Scorpius winced and his head tilted back.
"How does that feel?"
"Keep going," Scorpius whispered and moved a bit closer to Albus, trying to wiggle his hips down on the fingers. His cock was half hard again from the feeling. Albus slid his fingers back out with only a little tense resistance and Scorpius let out a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding. He didn't dare open his eyes when he felt something much bigger pressing lightly against his entrance. The slick cock was sliding against the cleft of Scorpius's cheeks. "Stop teasing, Albus," Scorpius moaned after what felt like a whole minute of the motions. Albus's hands were now on either side of Scorpius, who was lying all the way back.
Scorpius felt Albus pressing against his entrance, and he slid in after only slight initial resistance. Scorpius grunted and instinctively moved away, but Albus used one hand to hold him still. Scorpius wrapped his hand around Albus's arm and let him push further.
"How does that feel?" Albus whispered.
"Feels like you're splitting me in half, thanks," Scorpius managed to bite back, although he didn't mean it viciously.
“Just give it a second.”
“Working on it, Albus,” Scorpius said through clenched teeth.
“Just relax,” Albus sounded reassuring, but Scorpius just wanted him to be quiet a moment.
“I’m trying, just don’t move.” Without Albus moving, Scorpius was able to concentrate on forcing his body to relax. “Okay,” he finally was able to get a breath and fight down his initial reaction when Albus pushed deeper inside Scorpius. Scorpius’s breathing was coming in short gasps when Albus had seated himself completely inside of Scorpius. “Oh, Merlin, Albus, keep moving.”
“Happy to oblige,” Scorpius wasn’t sure how Albus managed halfway decent responses, or even noticed Scorpius’s neglected cock, but within seconds, Albus had pulled out and thrusted back into Scorpius and had a hand around Scorpius’s hardening erection.
“Ah!” Scorpius gasped when Albus hit that spot. Thank Merlin! He was about to point Albus in the right direction. Scorpius had used a finger for exploration before and knew Albus had been getting close. “Right there, Albus,” he gasped and his back arched when Albus thrust against it again. As Albus thrust into him, Scorpius felt a heat building from his groin and into his chest, working all the way up his neck. His body grew tense as Albus’s thrusts became more erratic. In moments, Albus came inside Scorpius, his hand still moving around Scorpius’s cock and his cum filling him. Albus stayed inside Scorpius, gasping, while he pumped Scorpius’s cock harder. Scorpius let out a strangled cry and came into Albus’s hand for the second time that night. The Slytherin released his grip and his limp cock slipped out of Scorpius. He fell onto the bed beside him, with his arm slung over the Ravenclaw. His eyes were half-lidded, but he was grinning at Scorpius like an idiot.
“We have to do this more often. Can’t believe it took us so long,” he toyed with the flannel shirt that was still managing to hang onto Scorpius’s arms. “Why didn’t we start this sooner?”
“Albus…do you know anything about Schroedinger’s cat?”