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Scorpius stood in the doorway to Al's flat, tugging at his collar while Al finished signing a card and tossed a present into a gift bag. Scorpius's shirt clung to his chest in the blistering heat that Al's Cooling Charm couldn't penetrate. He'd wanted another shower ten minutes after leaving the Manor. The current heat wave was in its second week and showed no sign of granting England a reprieve. Scorpius's hand fell to the leather box in his pocket and a prickle of sweat sprang out on the back of his neck. He dreaded the stifling crowd of a Potter gathering.

Al eyed him, brow furrowed. "All right?"

Scorpius ducked his head and muttered, "Just bloody hot."

Al waited a beat, long enough to show Scorpius's answer didn't hold water, before replying, "Yeah. This heat is killer. Might as well get this over with."

Scorpius's eyes flickered up and he nodded both in agreement and apology for yet more secrets between them.

With a smile of apology accepted, Al Apparated away. Scorpius sighed and followed suit.

The sight of the Potter family cottage set a tingle of nerves through his belly. There was a time when he’d felt nothing but contentment walking up the stone drive. It was a charming house of worn grey stone with an unkept garden that burst with as many weeds as petunias. The white fence lining the property needed a coat of paint and there was a crack in the stone walk. And yet there was something in the character of the place that spoke of warm welcomes and more important things than perfectly pruned rose bushes. James and Al hadn't moved back in after finishing school and Harry hadn't lived with Ginny since Al’s sixth year. Still, all family gatherings – every Sunday and more often than that for birthdays, promotions and family announcements – were hosted here by Ginny and a reluctant Lily.

That Friday it was Harry Potter's fiftieth birthday and it was unlikely a single relative would be absent. Scorpius worried his bottom lip.

Ginny greeted them at the door, kissing both their cheeks. She commented absently about the heat, asked if they were eating enough, and directed them towards the backyard all the while keeping one eye on the kitchen and the array of chopping knives and stirring spoons.

The yard, as expected, was more bursting with gingers than usual. Al's aunts, uncles and cousins filled every seat, every inch of shade of the huge backyard. Scorpius tugged at his collar again and wished he'd borrowed a short-sleeve shirt from Al rather than the button up and tie he'd felt was appropriate for the birthday party.

Just outside the backdoor they found a table covered in gifts, the wrappings decorated with jokes about age and going grey – which Harry certainly was not. Al dropped off his card and the bottle he'd randomly chosen on the way home from work. Scorpius knew Harry hated port, but he'd only shrugged when Al asked for advice. Scorpius felt the weight of the box in his pocket bang against his thigh and gritted his teeth, turning away from the table.

Teddy caught them as they stepped onto the grass, handing them each a beer and introducing his flavour of the week – a very young, lanky blond with crooked smile. Scorpius didn't bother noting his name, Ethan or Nathan or something. They never lasted long enough to hit two Sundays. This one might not make it through dinner. A few feet away, Lily stood among her gaggle of friends in skimpy sundresses, showing lots of leg and freckles and the twenty-four hour shimmer-tattoos that were all the rage that summer. They whispered furiously as Scorpius and Al walked by.

Lily blushed and rolled her eyes. "Hey, Scorp. Al." The blonde at Lily's elbow, always full of melodrama, sighed heavily at Scorpius's wave.

There was no avoiding the inevitable. Scorpius followed Al directly to the centre of attention. He bit the inside of his cheek as he eyed Harry's faded blue cotton shirt. It looked a size too small, stretching taut over his broad shoulders.

Harry and James sat hunched over a small table, laughing. Scorpius tightened his fist on the sweaty beer bottle and waited impatiently for Al to finish with the pleasantries. He managed a nod to accompany Al's, "Happy Birthday, Dad!" but refused to meet Harry's eye for more than an instant. He looked around for a quiet corner of the party to hide in and cast a Cooling Charm.

"Oi! Your turn." James tapped the table between himself and Harry.

Harry squinted down at the table and adjusted his glasses in that fidgety sort of way that said he was stalling. Upon the table sat coloured crystals of various shapes and sizes, positioned on an ebony board. It had to be a new game, a birthday present most likely since Scorpius had never seen it before.

"James! You bought him Shui-Jing Zhen? That's too hard for Dad." Al guffawed. The name was vaguely familiar to Scorpius, but he hadn't been spending as much time with Al and his mates to know the new fads. "He's old. You should have given him a gardening magazine or something."

Harry scowled up at Al. "Yes, Al. Gardening. Thank you. I live in a flat. I will remember your generosity when I revise my will. Tomorrow."

"At least I didn’t get him a buttplug," James's baritone boomed in the conversational lull around them and Ginny's head popped out the kitchen window to glower at him. Al cuffed him on the back of the head.

The conversation would have moved on if Hugo hadn't arrived at Al's elbow demanding, "What's this about a buttplug?"

With a groan, Scorpius turned away, not staying for yet another recounting of that story. He'd had enough already and it had only been ten minutes. He ducked through a patch of trees and headed for the pond.

The ruckus of laughter at the familiar punch line, "I swear, I though it was a paper weight," carried across the yard to him.

He shouldn't have come tonight. These types of dinners were getting unbearable, but this one in particular would have been inexcusable to miss. He pressed the chilled bottle to his neck and let the condensation drip down his shirt. Every time he tried to find the words to say how these events were torture his throat closed up. He could leave now, but the thought of two sets of green eyes boring a hole into his back kept him rooted to the spot.

Scorpius startled as the bush behind him shuddered and deposited two men at his feet. He sneered and spelled away the beer he'd spilled on his trousers while Teddy and his date untangled themselves and struggled to stand again without removing their tongues from each other's throats.

Teddy pushed away just enough to wink at Scorpius and pull the twink behind the old broom shed, shirt already half off as he rounded the corner. At the sound of 'oh, yeah, baby, like that' Scorpius swallowed the last of his beer and resisted the urge to pitch it against the side of the shed. Teddy might be a slag, but at least he had no secrets eating away at him.

He stalked back across the lawn, feeling even more alone than before. He ignored the looks he knew he was receiving and sought out Ginny in the kitchen. He was terrible at anything domestic, but at least it would keep his mind busy until pudding was served. Maybe he could duck out before the brandy hit the table.

Ginny took pity on him – she always did at times like this, even if she had Scorpius's motivations all wrong – and let him almost ruin the gravy. He kissed her cheek and she mumbled that she understood not everyone liked the crowd and the noise of the Weasley family.

Scorpius didn't correct her.


He snuck out after he helped clear the dishes, sliding from the kitchen directly out the door and avoiding the raised eyebrows at his new found domestic side. He didn't head back to the flat or the Manor. Instead, he sat in a tavern around the corner and had three more beers, trying to tell himself that the feeling in his gut had no right to be there.

It was not that he was jealous of the loving family – though maybe he'd understand better if the halls of the Manor didn't echo their emptiness with every step. The Potters had always made him feel welcome from that first visit at fifteen when he'd nearly pissed his pants because he had shaken hands with Harry Potter. At twenty-four, the Potters had made him feel more like family than the stuffy Malfoy champagne toast held every three hundred and sixty-five days in his honour.

But none of it stopped him from being an outsider. And now – even now – he felt like an intruder at a private party when he bloody well should not.

He made his way to the flat, grumbling with each step and then chastising himself for being selfish. At the door, he fumbled with his keys. The sun had gone down – maybe he'd had more than three pints? – but the air was still hot and stale and his fingers were slippery.

Finally, he got the door open and stepped through. Shit. The lights were on; he must have lost time at the pub.

"Hello?" he called out, trying to make it not sound like an apology.

"Where were you?" Harry stood in the hall, his arms crossed over his naked chest, his broad shoulders filling the hallway.

Scorpius Malfoy was no fool. He hadn't maneuvered through the delicate balance of his life by answering direct questions. "Happy Birthday!" he deflected and walked over and pressed his lips to Harry's. For a second he thought that the argument that was simmering in the air would win out, but Harry huffed against Scorpius's lips and then relaxed into the kiss. Scorpius tilted his head, pressing in further. He was taller than Harry by a few inches, but he only ever noticed at times like this, the first few seconds of a kiss where it took him by surprise. Though after a year, it shouldn't.

Harry pulled back and wrinkled his nose. "You smell like a distillery."

Scorpius quirked his lips into a teasing smile. "It's so bloody hot out there, I saw a huge vat of ale on the walk here and decided to take a swim," he drawled, with only a marginal slur.

Harry held Scorpius at arm's length and looked into his eyes. Scorpius bowed his head, cutting the search short just as he had with Al earlier. Potter men and their searching appraisals were going to be the end of him. They knew him too well, and even his blankest masks seemed to speak volumes.

"Want to talk about it?"

Scorpius didn't raise his eyes. He could see the faint sweat on Harry's chest and wanted to lick it off. "Not at the moment. No." A good hard fuck and a full night's rest was all he really wanted. And a trip to the loo first, his bladder reminded him.

"You sure?" Harry stepped back.

Scorpius pouted and closed the distance again. "I'm sure." Another step and Scorpius was pressed against him, opening his mouth against Harry's and making it clear that talking was not of interest. Harry moaned as Scorpius leaned in, knocking their bodies together in all the right places.

"Shower," Harry breathed. "Too hot to fuck in our room."

Scorpius gurgled his consent, Harry saying fuck still shot right to his cock like it was the first time.

Harry chuckled – the bastard was lucky it was his birthday or Scorpius might have put up a fight just to save face. Instead, he let Harry pull him through the flat and into the master bath.

The ensuite, just off Harry’s bedroom, was stunning. The walls were tiled in a slate blue flagstone to shoulder height and full to the ceiling in the shower. The sink and counter were on the right, beside it a deep two person tub and to the left the toilet. Tucked into the corner was a pentagon shaped shower – which would comfortably fit three, though they had no interest in testing that. They had tested how many positions could be managed with two, but after a month of fucking in the shower every chance they had, they realised neither of them was keeping count. It was, without question, Scorpius's favourite room in the flat.

Harry waved his hand and lit the candles that adorned nearly every flat surface. Harry Potter hides his romantic side in his toilet was added to Scorpius's list of things the Daily Prophet must never find out.

Harry swung open the glass door to the shower and started the water. "You haven't given me my birthday present yet," he said while tugging at his zipper, oblivious.

Scorpius's heart pounded with a flare of temper. Alcohol numbing his brain to mouth filter, he snapped, "I couldn't exactly, could I?"

Harry blinked, mouth open for a moment. Then his face softened. "Scorpius." He said it like an apology and took Scorpius in his arms, coaxing him into a kiss that almost succeeded in chasing the burn of annoyance from Scorpius's chest.

But the memory of earlier crept back to him, of being just one among the masses surrounding Harry, only a face in the crowd of Harry's life. His stomach churned and he hated himself for his self-pity. "Wait, Harry."

Harry just stared at him and Scorpius had to look away from the disappointment in his eyes.

"Just give me a minute." He needed to shake off the feeling before he got any further. Comfort sex, he just couldn't handle at the moment. "I have to piss. Then we'll shower, all right."

"No." Harry's voice was thick, his impatience sounded in the sharp pronunciation of each word. "I know what this is about." He yanked his trousers and pants to his knees, his hard cock bouncing proudly between his legs.

Scorpius tore his eyes away from it and huffed. "I have to piss. I drank rather lot of beer." Which was true on both counts. His bladder throbbed at him impatiently, adding to his frustration.

Harry stepped out of his trousers and kicked them aside. "You're shirty about tonight. And you want a minute to repress all your emotions."

That was also true on both counts.

Harry pulled him closer and held him tight. Scorpius could feel Harry's flushed skin pressed against him. Scorpius still had his tie on. His shoes still on, for that matter.

"Tell me what is going on in that pretty head of yours," Harry whispered into his neck, his hands making quick work of the tie and then the shirt.

Scorpius swayed under a heated kiss and tiny licks just behind his ear. He distantly heard his cufflinks hit the tile.

"I don't want you to ignore what's going on. Or drown it in beer. Or give me that Malfoy stiff upper lip."

Scorpius hated this part of Harry, the need to talk, to understand the bits of Scorpius he really didn't want to share. He pushed away, feeling overwhelmed and claustrophobic in the space between Harry and the door. "Harry, stop."

Harry stepped back. "Did I do something wrong tonight?" he huffed, fingers clawing into his hair. "You know I can't get out of those things and I wouldn't want to if I could."

"I know." Scorpius pressed his lips to Harry's in apology. It was not his fault Scorpius felt this way. Scorpius slipped his belt out of its loops, resolved to see this through. It was Harry's birthday and Scorpius had wanted it to be special. He stripped off his trousers, toeing off his shoes and socks quickly. He ignored the thud as the box in his pocket hit the tile when his trousers landed.

The instant he was naked, Harry's hands were on his cock, stroking him, making it impossible to say what he didn't want to say anyway. They stumbled into the shower, entwined despite the unresolved argument hanging in the air. Harry checked the water temperature, not breaking the kiss or his rhythm on Scorpius cock. Scorpius shivered at the barely warm shower on his over-heated body.

Harry sucked in Scorpius's bottom lip and mumbled, "You never looked at me."


"You never looked at me." Harry said again, but this time he pulled back. "All through dinner."

Scorpius remembered dinner and all the warm smiles everyone had for Harry. His Harry. All the laughter and love, and he was there as Al's best friend, wondering what right he had to look and adore Harry. Might have to take a number.


The hand on his cock stilled. And Scorpius realised he had said that last thought out loud. "To everyone at the table, I'm nothing but Al's best friend." It was more than he'd ever admitted before, the alcohol loosening his tongue. He wanted to cut it out.

"Scorpius." Harry's hand disappeared as he took a step back.

"No. Look, I really do have to piss." The pressure in his bladder was painful. Distracting. Almost worse than the pressure in his chest.

Harry grabbed him and held his hips and Scorpius hated the way his body reacted to the familiar touch, arching into Harry at the sense memory. Harry owned him, owned every inch of him. Yet Scorpius had no claim on Harry. The untamable Harry Potter, who made his own rules and lived life the way he wanted to and was loved by all despite that fact.

"Harry." He was hard, aching. But he couldn't do this. Harry was going to ask more and more and poke at him until he broke. He was not in his right mind and the pressure in his bladder was excruciating. He squirmed beneath Harry's grasp, twisting away and reaching for the door handle. "Harry, please."

Harry's grip tightened and Scorpius was drawn back, his nails dragging silently against the door. Scorpius stared at the streamed glass and the trail wiped clean by his hand. There was no conscious decision, no moment of clarity that Scorpius would be able to reflect on later to explain what was about to happen next. There was simply a spark of annoyance, a frustration that triggered the end to holding back. Certainly, there was no well thought out plan or weighing of consequences.

One moment Scorpius was gritting his teeth in rage at not being allowed the freedom of escape that his mind and body were crying out for, and the next there was a flash of rebellion.

He could first feel the tingle of pleasure at the relief in the pressure of his bladder then the bitter smell of ammonia filled the air. Cheeks burning, he looked down, unable and unwilling to stop. He watched the golden arc spray from his cock to Harry's abdomen.

Harry's fingers dug into the tender skin at his hips – there would be bruises in the morning – but Harry didn't move away.

Under the mortification that strummed through his veins was an undercurrent of something else, some part of him deeply satisfied at showing Harry how serious he was, getting his point across – though Scorpius had no interest in examining too closely what his point actually was.

It was instinct, he would later think, or some subconscious reasoning that had yet to surface but the idea took root in his mind, half-malicious, half-erotic and he gripped the base of his cock and angled it down a fraction. He stared, mesmerised as the spray lowered, following the trail of hair to Harry's still very erect cock.

His eyes flickered to Harry, enough to see that his cheeks and chest were bright and his head bowed, watching Scorpius piss on his groin. That Harry was not repulsed, was allowing this – enjoying it possibly? – was as incomprehensible as it was erotic. It had to be warm. The shower was cool, much lower than their body temperatures. Scorpius aimed the hot piss just below the crown, just where Scorpius loved to press his tongue and make Harry cry out. Scorpius forced out the last bit of piss with a hard push.

Harry gasped then swayed. His hands flew up to the tile wall on either side of Scorpius's head like his knees had just given out.

Harry crowded Scorpius. Before Scorpius's brain had caught up with the fact that he just literally pissed on Harry Potter, Harry's mouth was on him, attacking. His tongue urged Scorpius's lips apart, licking and exploring like they'd never kissed before. He pressed forward until Scorpius's overheated back touched the cold flagstone. Scorpius had to twist away to catch his breath. Harry's moved to his jaw and neck, nipping and sucking, relentless. Scorpius's head swam in the thick fog of alcohol, adrenaline and lust, the faint smell of piss still clinging to the air.

Their cocks rubbed together, trapped between too close bodies, but Harry was trying to make a go of it anyway. He rocked his hips until Scorpius found the rhythm and they were both lost, gasping their orgasms into the steam, one after the other.

They stood, panting into each other's necks, both unable to find the words. The heat of the afterglow rinsed away in the cold shower spray, flushing down the drain, chasing after the come and the piss. Scorpius was left with only burning shame in his cheeks that no water would temper.

He moved and Harry's arms were still on him, clutching.

"Let go." Scorpius's voice cracked over the request, his heart thudding in his chest, his stomach churning. The reality of the night – all of it – crashed down on him.

Harry pressed his forehead to Scorpius's and whispered, "Scorpius." He said his name like a plea, begging to be let in.

"I'm getting cold." Scorpius shivered on cue.

Harry sighed, shoulders slumped. A far too familiar sight, one that occurred every time Scorpius closed off. The sound put Scorpius's teeth on edge but there was no way he was willing to talk right now. He didn't raise his eyes to meet Harry's gaze. And after a heartbeat, Harry let him go anyway. He stumbled out of the bathroom, towel in hand, eyes stinging.

Scorpius rushed into the bedroom, threw on pajama bottoms and Harry's favourite shirt that smelled of aftershave and crisps. By the time Harry left the bath, Scorpius was in the living room, already pretending to be asleep on the couch, his wet hair soaking the soft suede of the armrest. He heard Harry sigh and felt the weight of a thin blanket placed over him. It made his chest ache to not whisper a thank you.

He left before Harry woke the next morning.


Scorpius lived Monday through Thursday at the Manor, being the dutiful son to his parents who were never around anyway. The Manor needed a Malfoy presence; there were decisions to be made and Gringotts drafts to sign for one thing or another. While his father still handled the larger interests and investments of the estate, Scorpius was responsible for the day to day workings of the Manor itself. It was nothing to the complex ledger Arithmancy that was his career at Gringotts, but it filled the lonely evening hours until the weekend.

His weekends, though, were claimed by the Potters. While Fridays were always different, depending on what was happening in everyone's schedules, Saturdays were rote. For the last year, there had been little variation. Saturday mornings were spent in his small office in Gringotts where Scorpius would review the week's transaction summary report, checking the Arithmancy with the absolute focus that earned him his job. The afternoon belonged to Al. And Saturday nights were spent with Harry, while Al assumed Scorpius was out on the pull at some gay bar. Then Sundays were for Potter-Weasley family dinners, of course.

After leaving the office that Saturday, Scorpius caught up with Al as he waved goodbye to his current fling - a Hufflepuff named Cindy or Candy. Possibly Cathy. Al was only marginally better than Teddy, but at least his girlfriends never got invited to Potter gatherings. Al kept his litany of ex's to himself and left the broadcasting of conquests to Teddy, though it had more than once raised questions about Scorpius and Al's 'friendship'.

At noon, they ate fish out of rolled newspaper and bitched as they burned their tongues and kept eating without waiting for it to cool. Shade couldn't be found anywhere. The brutal temperatures had sent everyone to fill every shadow of Diagon, and Scorpius wished he wasn't still in his work robes.

"Up for lazing about with James this afternoon? He's leaving for Egypt next week."

Scorpius shrugged and nodded. You couldn't love one Potter without accepting the entire family. He had learned that long before he had joined the Potters' holiday in Italy last spring.

They typically did something Potterish Saturday afternoons, weeding the garden for Ginny or taking Hugo out around Muggle London. James was all right now that he wasn’t the arse he’d been in school.

Harry worked Saturdays until six. He wouldn't be expected back at the flat until then. Scorpius blushed at the conversation that waited for him. Scorpius hadn't been drunk enough to forget what he'd done, but the details had blurred edges. His cheeks burned at the thought of Harry's flushed face while Scorpius pissed on him. How much of that was real or Scorpius's imagination filing in what he'd blanked out, he couldn't be sure. Scorpius's memory focused more on emotion – humiliation, shame and undeniable arousal. There was no regret though. There was something freeing about having expressed himself that way, when words he wanted to say to Harry - I want you, I need you, I hate that I don't know what I am to you - always caught in his throat.

They had been in Capri, that first time. Al's sea sickness was to blame, really. He'd tossed his breakfast on the hydrofoil from Naples and the talk of getting into another boat to see the Blue Grotto had turned him green. The four of them, Al, James, Harry and Scorpius had decided to split up. Al and James toured the island on foot – most likely trying to catch the eye of the belle ragazze that sold flowers at every corner, and Harry and Scorpius grabbed one of the tourist boats from the Marina Grande.

The timing could not have been better, early morning and off-season. The Grotto was empty. Their only company was their own small boat, rocking gently with the soft sound of waves slapping against the cavern walls and the breathtaking play of light on the fathomless azure.

"I'm sorry Al and James had to miss this,” Harry had whispered.

Scorpius tore his eyes from the water and far too honestly had said, "I'm not." He'd blushed and looked away but not before Harry had caught his meaning.

They had sat in silence for a long time after that, Scorpius losing himself again to the ethereal beauty of the place and hoping Harry would let the matter drop.

And he had, for a time. But the next morning when Al's feet ached and his sea-sickness was forgotten, he was anxious to see the famous Grotto. But Harry suggested they split up again. He'd turned to Scorpius and with a nervous smile asked if Scorpius would join him on the walking tour they had missed the day before.

Heart in his throat, Scorpius had nodded. And hours later, staring out at Capri's Faraglioni, Harry's hand brushed his. Scorpius could still remember the tingle that trailed his spine from the simple touch, the way his breath caught as he'd turned and the look of nerves and lust and resolve in Harry's eyes as he'd leaned in to kiss him. They'd barely made it back in time for dinner that night, and then only after checking each other for sand in their hair and bruises on their necks. The rest of the vacation had been torture, stealing too short minutes when they could and never finding a moment long enough. But after that, nothing could stop them. Three months later, Harry bought a second flat. They shared their weekends in it. It was the ultimate in privacy with Scorpius as the secret keeper and not another soul knowing the address.

Scorpius and Al arrived at Ginny's in the unforgiving mid-day sun, and Scorpius hoped hanging out with James meant spending the afternoon in the lake. He and Al found them gathered in the backyard – Teddy, James and Lily and her cabal. The amount of noise that could be created by so few people was quite astounding. A glowing ball, looking somewhat like a large turquoise Quaffle seemed to be the cause of the raucous. It hovered about four feet off the ground. When James dove for it, it darted left and sent him flailing to the ground to the gasps and giggles of the audience.

"Fucking buggery fuck, Teddy." James stood and dusted the grass off his denims. "This thing's impossible."

Teddy laughed, loud and throaty, and ruffled James's hair. "We need more players, mate. Hoverball is the thing in America. No one pays attention to Quodpod anymore. It's all Hoverball."

"Like you're the expert because you once fucked some yank Hoverball player."

"Knowing Teddy, he likely blew the whole bloody team," Al heckled as he and Scorpius approached the group. Five heads swiveled towards them.

Teddy ignored the comment and beamed. Spreading his arms wide he announced, "Players! Just what we needed." He eyed Scorpius up and down then said with a leer, "I'll take Scorpius. I've always wanted to play with him anyway."

Al choked and Scorpius blinked. Teddy had never flirted with Scorpius. And Teddy flirted with everyone. Not that he had been insulted. Malfoy pride could hardly be dented by being passed over by a man of such indiscriminate taste. Still, it had been noticeable in its absence. But the way Teddy was looking at him at the moment made Scorpius want to blush like a virgin.

"We'll take skins," Teddy announced, eyes never leaving Scorpius. He peeled off his shirt, revealing a surprisingly well-toned chest and flat stomach. Though Scorpius did figure Teddy's rather active lifestyle was conducive to excellent abs.

It took a moment for Scorpius to realise that the game would not begin until he disrobed. Teddy watched, not for a second hiding the blatant ogling as Scorpius removed his robe and then his shirt and folded them neatly by the group of chairs Lily's friends stood beside.

The heat of the mid-summer sun sizzled on his shoulders. "If I get sunburned, Lupin, I'll hex your bits."

Teddy's eyes brightened and he stepped closer. "I could rub some lotion on you before we begin."

Scorpius stepped back. "Not necessary." He looked to Al for some explanation.

Al shrugged and rolled his eyes at Teddy.

"Pity." Then losing the husky roll to his voice, he called James and Al closer and explained the game.

Hoverball was quite simple. You capture the ball and run it over your opponent's goal line. The trick – apparently – was that the ball itself was difficult to get your hands on and equally hard to keep control of with the opposing players doing anything in their power to knock it free before you passed the goal line.

"Real Hoverball has a keeper and seven players on each side. But we should be able to make a game of it with just the four of us. And no spells, you can't Accio or trip or use a Sticking Charm to keep the ball in your hands." Teddy rested his hand on Scorpius's back. "This is meant to be a very physical game."

The heat of Teddy's hand seared Scorpius's skin even after he stepped away. He was not a tactile person. The only person to touch Scorpius like that in the past year was Harry. It was exceedingly uncomfortable to be touched so casually. Especially when it was not casual at all.

Al looked at Scorpius with an apologetic smile and motioned him over.

"What's with Ted?" Scorpius whispered through his clenched jaw.

"That might have been my fault." Al bit his bottom lip, but the twitch at the corner of his mouth said it was more to keep from laughing than out of nerves. "After you left last night Teddy asked me if you were in a strop because we'd had a lovers quarrel. I laughed and told him even my girlfriend doesn't get that stroppy."

Scorpius raised an eyebrow at the admission to Teddy, but Al just shrugged. It was good one of them was being honest about their love lives.

"Anyway, he was genuinely surprised we weren't fucking each other."

Before Scorpius could determine what that had to do with anything, James called them over with an, "Oi! Are we playing this thing or what?"

Scorpius shook off his thoughts and ran to take his position on the field.

The hoverball was indeed very hard to catch. It took twenty minutes before the first of them managed to catch and hold the slippery bugger. They were all so surprised at James's success that they forgot to actually stop him from scoring.

After that it became more tactical than brute force. They would approach in pairs, one diving for the ball, the other ready to catch it as it darted away. Scorpius's first goal came when he saw Al and James set up. Al dove and the ball swirled towards James, and Scorpius, anticipating the ball's move, pounced to intercept and ran directly to the goal line.

Scorpius held the squirming ball over his head in a celebratory march back to the middle of the pitch, beaming at James's slack-jawed stare. Scorpius excelling at any sport among the athletic Potters was a rarity to be savoured. He didn't see Teddy until Teddy was upon him. With a cheer, Teddy tackled him. The ball flew out of his hand, and he hit the ground hard, the wind knocking out of him. Then Teddy was on top of him, pressing their sweaty chests together and smiling, close enough for Scorpius to see the sharp edge to Teddy's bicuspids.

"That was amazing, gorgeous," Teddy said with a wide grin. Then, to Scorpius's horror, Teddy tilted his head and leaned in.

Scorpius squeaked, turning his head away, struggling to move but he was pinned to the ground by Teddy's weight.

Then he wasn't.

The weight lifted off him and, flushed with embarrassment at having been attacked so publicly, he blinked up. The sun obscured the confusion going on above him. He sat up and held his hand to his forehead to block the sun and a thrill ran down his spine.

Two feet from him, a half naked, sweaty Teddy cowered next to Harry Potter in full Auror robes, the golden stripes of his title glinting in the sunlight.

Harry had a hand on Teddy's shoulder, fingers digging in, sinking into the sensitive ligaments of Teddy's neck. Teddy winced and nodded furiously to Harry's quiet words.

The pitch had gone silent. Scorpius's eyes darted around: Lily's friends stared wide eyed at the spectacle in front of them; James pulled at the grass and seemed to be pretending not to notice why their game came to an abrupt ending.

Al walked over to Scorpius and whispered, "Sorry, mate."

Scorpius shrugged. "Not your fault."

They turned to look at Teddy who was still nodding like an adolescent getting an earful from his mum, and not a full grown man getting a verbal lashing from a man who was not even his father.

Al kicked at the grass with his trainers, likely too embarrassed for Teddy to keep watching. "I think he took me being straight as you are free to be, um, jumped. Quite literally."

Scorpius wiped the sweaty fringe from his brow. "Merlin."

"Excuse me, boys."

Scorpius's head snapped up. Harry was right there. Scorpius could feel the anger rushing off him in waves.

"All right there, Scorpius?"

"I-" It was on the tip of his tongue to explain why he'd been in such a compromising position, but from the corner of his eye he caught sight of Al. “I’m fine.”

"Teddy's gone inside." Harry's voice was brittle, angry. Obvious. "To take a cold shower."

Scorpius coughed, mortified. "I should go." He couldn't meet Harry's eyes, so he turned to Al. "We'll talk later."

Al nodded, but his eyes never left his father – who hadn't taken his eyes off Scorpius. What a mess.

"Thank you, Mr Potter." Scorpius said in an effort to salvage the moment from Al's observant eyes. But he knew he overshot by a mile when Harry flinched.

With all the dignity he could muster, Scorpius picked up his shirt and robes, squared his shoulders and headed out.


Scorpius strode through Harry's flat, his skin still tingling from the heat of the day. The residual adrenaline made him jittery, unsure what to do next other than the certainty that he needed to be here.

He headed straight for the ensuite and the pile of his clothes that Harry had left untouched in the corner. Searching his trouser pocket, his knuckles brushed the box and his heart unclenched. The soft leather was smooth beneath his palm, and he ran a thumb along the clasp but didn't open it. He knew exactly what it looked like inside as though it were burned to his eyelids.

He should have chosen a different gift. Something thoughtful and uncomplicated. At times he and Harry felt like a holiday tryst that had lasted too long, pulled taut and ready to snap. Then Harry would look at him like he had this afternoon – like he wanted to stuff Scorpius in a bottle and hide him away from the rest of the world. Like he would implode if Scorpius were not his alone. At times like that Scorpius thought the bond between them could stretch beyond measure and never break. He just needed a little Gryffindor courage to test it. With a strangled exhale, he ducked into the bedroom and hid the box in the bedside table.

Stripping off, he returned to the bathroom and turned on the shower. Once the water was cool enough to be refreshing without giving a chill, Scorpius stepped in. He closed his eyes and let the water run over him. It leached the heat from his skin, washed the grass stains from his elbows and pushed the memory of Teddy's hands to the back of his mind.

He reached for the shampoo and was suddenly shoved forward. He gasped, flailing to regain his balance but a strong hand at the middle of his back forced him still, his cheek pressed to the tile wall in front of him. The flagstone felt like ice, freezing him nipple to groin. He cried out, but a hand clasped over his mouth and a hot breath tickled his ear. "I think there should be a law against ever allowing you in public without a shirt on. Apparently all hell breaks loose."

The thunder in his ears faded at the familiar sound of Harry's voice.

Scorpius wanted to push back, to writhe and wiggle like a whore, and show Harry how much it was him that Scorpius wanted. Only ever him. But he sensed Harry was not ready to give up the moment yet, the need for control.

"It's always like that for you, isn't it? Always someone batting their eyelashes at your gorgeous face." The hand between his shoulder blades hadn’t let up, rather it pushed him further against the wall.

Scorpius whimpered as his cock hardened, pressing against the unforgiving tile.

"Every day at work. Some pretty secretary, maybe? A filthy rich client that needs to see you in your private office?” Harry's words were half furious, half seduction, deep and sultry and barely above a whisper. “Have you caught the eye of some Goblin, too?"

Scorpius barked out a laugh at that one because while the rest was true – no matter how little Scorpius was tempted by their attentions – Harry could not seriously be jealous of Brienfoot and his warted nose. But Harry didn't join in the joke.

He leaned closer, pressing their bodies together and dragged his teeth along Scorpius's neck. "And what about Teddy, hmm? Dear Ted's no Goblin. Nice and fit and obviously plenty practiced at sucking cock." Harry teeth closed a fraction, enough for Scorpius’s breath to catch at the promise of pain. "Must have been tempting."

Scorpius panted, struggling to keep focus on the conversation while he wanted to scream Fuck me, already. He closed his eyes and thought of Teddy close and leaning in. "Not even a little."

"Don't exaggerate to soothe my ego." Harry nipped at Scorpius’s shoulder, but Scorpius could hear he was pleased.

"Harry.” He whined, finally pushing back, fighting against Harry’s hold. “You know. You know, it's only you."

Harry's growl rumbled through the shower. "Fucking right, it's only me."

Harry moved back a step; Scorpius shivered in the cool air. He tried to look back but Harry held him firm, hand flat and long fingers spread wide between his shoulder blades. Then Harry grunted and a hot splash hit his right arse cheek. It took only a second to process what was happening, a stream of heat on one buttock, then the next, then up his lower back. The familiar smell of urine tickled his nostrils.

His cock twitched, begging for attention but Scorpius didn’t dare move. “Fuck."

"Yeah," Harry agreed, and he leaned forward and licked Scorpius from his jaw line to the tip of his ear. "Mine."

Chest aching, fit to burst, Scorpius tried to turn around. He needed to see Harry's face, needed to kiss him, hold him. But Harry's hand pushed him further into the wall.

"Stay. I'm not done," Harry commanded, his voice thick with authority. A second later, before Scorpius could plead his case, two slippery fingers pushed into him.

Scorpius whimpered at the burn. It felt like that first time, the third day in Capri with Al and James only out for a morning espresso and back any minute, with each thrust hot and desperate, rushed because there was no other choice. The sheets had still been warm and damp with sweat when the hotel room door had clicked open. Scorpius had bitten his lip raw just trying to tone down the beam of his grin.

Scorpius tried to relax, but couldn’t concentrate. He pushed back and begged for more before his body was ready. He wanted to feel this all day, wanted to hiss as he sat for dinner and make Harry blush as he fidgeted in his seat and asked for Hugo’s dad to pass the potatoes. Harry seemed to agree because Harry’s fingers slipped out and the blunt tip of Harry's cock pushed in before Scorpius could voice the request.

Harry slammed onto him and they cried out in one voice. The sound echoed through the bath, then the room fell silent but for their panting and the rush of water.

Harry had a beautiful cock. Thick and fat and always hard for Scorpius. Always. The rhythm was brutal, deep long strokes, smacking hard against Scorpius and slamming him forwards. He scrambled to find purchase on the wet tile to keep from knocking against his head or his knees with each thrust. He had no free hand to wrap around his cock. The rub of smooth flagstone was his only friction. It was delicious torture.

The tension of the day must have been too much build up because Harry soon lost his rhythm, clawing at Scorpius's hips before coming silently with a final thrust. His teeth closed on Scorpius shoulder as he shuddered through the aftershocks.

Scorpius wondered if he could come just from this, the weight of Harry at his back, the softening cock in his arse, and his cock trapped against the tile. He was so close. A whimper slipped past his lips. Then suddenly he knew what was coming the second before it happened. In a classic Harry move, he pulled out, spun Scorpius around and fell to his knees. The minute that fucking hot mouth wrapped around his cock and sucked, Scorpius cried out, his orgasm tearing through him like wild fire.

In the post-coital bliss, Harry trailed sudsy hands over their bodies, massaging each muscle with slippery fingers. Eventually, he led a boneless Scorpius to bed. The sun had yet to set, but they tumbled into sleep, tangled naked in each other's arms.


Scorpius woke in the pre-dawn hours. His shoulder ached and he tried to shift his weight but Harry was clutching him. Scorpius looked down at the white-knuckled grip that Harry had on his wrist and his chest swelled. He reached over and opened the bedside table drawer, blindly fumbling for the box. He pulled it out and slipped it under his pillow.

It was time. He lifted the thin sheet just enough to crawl under. He took his time, relishing the moment. He loved the smell of Harry in the mornings, there was always a hint of soap from Harry's nightly shower but mostly Harry smelled of pending arousal. Harry had laughed the first time he'd said that. But he must have woken Harry a hundred times like this and the musky, sleepy scent of Harry's cock before he'd woken was one of the most erotic things in the world.

Harry's soft cock lay nestled in wiry curls. Scorpius nuzzled it with his nose, letting the delicate skin tickle his cheek before lifting it with his tongue and opening his mouth around it. With gentle wet sucks and a talented tongue, he urged the cock fatter until his mouth was full enough he had to pull back and Harry's hands found their way into his hair. He set a slow pace, they had nowhere to be. Nothing to do more important than this. No demands on them, no family or jobs or responsibilities pulling them apart. Pre-dawn blow jobs meant Harry was Scorpius's alone.

Harry’s hips lifted off the mattress to meet each down stroke just as Scorpius's jaw began to ache. He sped up his rhythm and let Harry fuck his mouth, knowing his voice would be raw for the rest of the day.

"Scorpius," Harry cried out, flooding Scorpius's mouth.

Eyes prickling, Scorpius swallowed, greedy for every drop, remembering hot piss on his arse, Harry's teeth on his shoulder and the word mine ringing through the shower.

Harry's hands slipped under his arms and pulled him up for searing kiss. As they pulled apart, Harry kissed Scorpius's nose and grinned. "Morning, gorgeous."

Scorpius worried his lip, gathered his courage and reached under his pillow. Placing the box on Harry's naked chest, he whispered, "Happy Birthday."

Harry blinked. Scorpius had a flash of thought of Stunning Harry and taking it back, but his wand wasn’t handy and Harry was far too quick to be bested even seconds after an orgasm. After a moment, Harry cleared his throat and grabbed the box. He shifted to sit up. Leaning against the headboard, he inspected the box. "Thank you."

Scorpius tugged at a loose thread in the sheets, and listened to the faint squeak of the hinge as Harry lifted the lid. His gut clenched in the seconds of silence that followed.

"Scorpius." Harry whispered, voice thick with emotion. "It's incredible."

Scorpius's eyes flicked up and Harry was already fumbling with his old watch – the Prewett watch Molly Weasley had once given him and Harry hadn't taken off in the last twenty-five years. Scorpius's throat tightened. "You don't have to."

But the watch was already off and the new one sliding in its place. Scorpius let out a nervous breath.

With a flick of Harry’s wrist, the candles about the room lit. “Oh.”

Scorpius couldn't help resting his head on Harry's chest to see better. The platinum band held a heavy glass watch face a with a dozen protection charms on it. Harry would not be careful with it, and Scorpius would not want him to have to be; he had more important things to think about. There were no numbers, only a small lighting bolt in diamonds at the twelve position.

Harry tilted his wrist slightly and smiled, broad and utterly charming. "Very clever."

Scorpius had worked on that bit of subtlety for months. The watch face showed blank – a simple azure – but a slight angle change and the silhouette of Capri's Faraglioni appeared as if emerging from a Mediterranean fog.

"It's perfect." Harry ducked his head to capture Scorpius in a kiss. "Thank you," he whispered against Scorpius's lips.

"Harry.” Scorpius wanted to live in the moment forever, but it wasn’t so simple “It's ok, you know. I don't expect you to wear it all the time."

Harry slid back down the bed and pulled Scorpius to him. “I want to."

"They'll know." Scorpius didn’t know how exactly, but they would. Scorpius lay back, staring at the ceiling while Harry stared at the watch. Once Harry realised what might happen, the watch would be relegated to the flat. Scorpius understood this when he had commissioned it. Still, he dreaded to hear the words.


Scorpius’s brain tried to catch up Harry’s thought flow. "What?"

"Tonight's Sunday," Harry explained, pulling the sheet over both of them. The heat wave must have broken overnight.

Scorpius rubbed at the goosebumps covering his arms. "You should switch them back. For tonight then." He hated the feel of the words on his tongue.

"No.” Harry kissed his cheek, his brow, his lips. “Tonight we'll show up together."

"Harry." Scorpius blinked against the stinging in his eyes.

Harry said simply, "It's time."

A companionable silence filled the room and they dozed in and out of sleep, each deep in thought. Scorpius remembered Al the day before, watching, and Scorpius wondered how much he had guessed already. "I'm meeting Al at three, we're supposed to head over together as usual."

Harry shrugged like it was nothing, like they hadn’t danced around this for months. "Then we'd best tell him first. He loves to know stuff before James anyway."

Just like that, Harry broke the tension in the room like only he could. Scorpius barked out a laugh, sighing as the ache in his heart finally eased.

Harry smiled at the watch and then at Scorpius. "I love it." And Scorpius heard all that was meant and not said.



This fic also has a tiny coda: I can feel the butterflies