Actions

Work Header

A little white lie

Work Text:

Shit, shit, shit, what have I done?! Oh, Merlin's lacy knickers on a flagpole... I've really stepped into a tar pit this time! More like jumped into one, actually... With an extra leap and all the enthusiasm of a horny bunny, it seems! Father's going to make a wizarding lasagne out of me when he comes back! I could totally see it in his eyes before he Disapparated – they narrow into proper serpent's slits and turn all anthracite when he's pissed off – and pissed off he was, royally so, believe me! The way he hissed “We'll talk when I come back, young man!” could put the legendary Nagini to shame. Then, he pressed his mouth together into a thin, livid line – oh, boy… yep, a tar pit, the one with bits of dragon eggs swimming in!

Erm, it's kind of hard to blame him, though... Honestly, who puts their grandfather into St. Mungo's?! And yes, that would be the same haughty, slippery grandfather, Lucius Malfoy II, who survived two wars – on the wrong side! – and the loving care of the Dementors relatively unscathed – only to be sent straight to the emergency ward because of a tiny white lie. Uh... look, I know how this sounds – but I didn't mean to, I honestly didn't! I just...

I guess I just wanted to put the haughty old fart in his place for once, going on and on snottily about how the noble House of Malfoy had never known a Gryffindor heir, and what a shame it was to leave all this wonderful, exclusive, arcane knowledge, along with a stash of carefully secured pockets of wealth in the hands of a Gryffindor who's probably going to use it all for opening an orphanage and support a Mudblood revolution and “...honestly, my boy, what were you thinking during the Sorting!”

For the millionth fucking time!!! One would think he silly old buffoon would have gotten over the fact in the six-and-a-half years since I've been sorted into Gryffindor – like I could help it! – but no, fucking NO! Not Lucius Malfoy! Not the last-standing pillar of Pureblood supremacy folly! Not that very Lucius Malfoy who sent a Howler to McGonagall after my sorting, demanding a re-sorting and for the hat to be replaced “with a less foolish one!”

We have, like, two bloody dinners together in the whole year as a family – two! That should give you an idea what kind of a family we are! As soon as we sit down at the table, we don't even straighten the napkins before the tireless, snobbish Snow White starts the same chewed-up lullaby of “How could you do this to the noble House of Malfoy, you unfathomable Gryffindor scum of a grandchild?!” 

Seriously, even Father began to frown and roll his eyes when the Gryffindor-lamenting made its tedious appearance; and Grandmother Cissy had persistently tried to put him off the worn-out track – but the pompous brick of ice just wouldn’t budge! So I kind of... maybe... a little bit lost my patience with him at today's Christmas dinner.

He was once again lost in his sour, delusional tune of how his precious wealth – “accumulated by the generation upon generation of cunning, politically savvy Malfoys – all glorious Slytherins, of course, every last one of them” – would end up scattered about aimlessly, possibly wasted on funding homes for elderly, destitute Mudbloods, when I could literally no longer stand it. I'd been chewing on my tongue for the entire dinner already – bloody endless affair, that; who the hell needs twelve courses?! – and I suppose I'd just had it with the pale old tit. It just shot out of me without a single thought spared:

“Actually, I was thinking about putting it in a joke shop. I heard it's good business.”

It was meant sarcastically, but as soon as I saw his spoon stop halfway to his mouth and his complexion turn green – and then a lovely ham-purple – and then sickly green again, I'd gotten a taste for the heady drink called revenge, and I could no longer hold back.

“A joke shop...”

Grandfather could barely speak. He opened his mouth, gawping like a grindylow out of water, and the voice that came out of his mouth was shaky and barely audible.

“A joke shop!!! He wants to invest in a joke shop!” he finally screeched out, the expression in his hard, grey eyes absolutely horrified. Father shot me a warning, hissing “Scorpius!” 

I should have stopped then and there. I should have smiled and explained it was merely a healthy jest, but the feeling of pushing the tormenting bastard into a corner was too damn intoxicating to let him have this one meagre round I was winning. I'd already embarked on a broom called Disaster, and fuck me and my brothers in red and gold if I was turning back!

“Yeah... I thought I'd back up my boyfriend and his family business...”

I blurted out the first thing that came to my mind, and at that point even Father's spoon had stopped halfway to his mouth. Grandmother Cissy carefully put down her utensils with shaky hands, and I could see my mother's hand go for her chest.

 “Scorpius... darling...” she whispered, but not once had she – nor Father, nor any of them, for that matter – ever protected me from that evil git's venom, and I was going to do this like a proper Gryffindor – all the way down to the pits of doom.

“Your boyf....” Grandfather couldn't even say it. He merely gasped for air and turned between shades again.

“Surely Scorpius here only means a friend that also happens to be a boy, Father,” my father said pointedly, trying to sound appeasing while shooting me a look that would make my infamously evil great-aunt Bella squeal for mercy.

“What an unfortunate choice of wording by my Gryffindor son,” he spit out coldly for good measure.

Even though I knew he had only done it to show me that I was out of line and not because he really cared about the House allegiances, it still hurt that he had so obviously taken his vile father's side. But at that point, I didn't even care any longer; verbally abused and humiliated time and time again, I saw red—my Gryffindor red! Underneath the icy exterior of a true Malfoy – after all, I'm supposed to be the spitting image of my grandfather in his youth – my notorious Black temper exploded in its full glory. No one fucks with the Black temper! My secret idol, Sirius Black, had taught the bloody Dementors that lesson! Father should really have known better; he might as well have thrown a truckload of logs on the bonfire of my spite with these words!

Not a fucking chance in hell that I was ever going to back down anymore, not.fucking.ever; no, at that point, this was a beyond a family feud, this was about the bloody House pride!

“Well, Father, that is where you are wrong,” I said as matter-of-factly as my gritted teeth would allow, even managing to throw in a hint of a stone-cold, vicious smirk. “I do mean an actual boyfriend, with lots of very boyish bits I'm hoping to enjoy soon, and I'm sorry if that thought offends you in your old-fashioned beliefs. But, you see, Hugo is every bit delicious enough...”

“Hugo! You can't possibly mean...”

This was a dry-throated squeak by my father, and it delighted me beyond words. I knew very well he knew that name; he must have heard it from his spiteful ginger business partner often enough, and hardly anyone in our world had such a poetic, but unfortunately very Muggle, name. Of course, it was my utmost pleasure to finish the sentence for him.

“Hugo, of course; Hugo Weasley, Ron Weasley's son, who else?” I said with deliberate cruelty, rubbing the sacrilegious “W”-word in with glee, all the while smiling a feral smile. I might have even bared my teeth a bit for a proper theatrical effect. And, Merlin on a broken unicycle, did it work! It was that glorious rooster-on-top-of-the-manure-pile feeling to see them all speechless and stunned before me! It was invigorating! It was orgasmic! It was, by-and-large, the moment of my greatest glory during the sorrowful events that were our family dinners. Sadly, a measly moment was all I got.

As it was, my gloating came to a swift and rather bitter end, once my dignified grandfather Lucius finally decided on the colour of his complexion, turned an unsavoury shade of blue, and collapsed face first into a dinner plate before him, his limbs shaking uncontrollably. Yeah... that kind of took the wind out of my gold-and-red sails rather quickly, I admit.

That, along with the panicking shrieks my mother gave, the hasty but futile attempts at reviving by my miserable-looking yet composed grandmother, and a look of darkest doom by Father that very quickly and unpleasantly reminded me of a faded Death Eater scar on his forearm. The incomprehensible, cold wrath behind the eyes of the only known survivor of the Dark Lord's embrace could only mean one thing: I was in a heap of fresh, warm, and comforting Hippogriff dung. Oh, bloody hell… I really could have done with a Time-Turner right about then!

This was one of those rare occasions that I truly, with all my heart, wished that I had been sorted a Slytherin. That way, I would have probably ended up with a whole list of perfectly believable excuses and explanations for my satanic behaviour at dinner before Father returned from St. Mungo's – but unfortunately, the Sorting Hat knew what it was doing: I was a Gryffindor to the bone, and we could only come up with so many lies. Because... you see... this is kind of the gist of the problem...

Hugo Weasley is not, in fact, my boyfriend. Nope, no, sadly not even remotely near the status. Perfect wanking material for every furious wank I've ever had, perhaps... but not my boyfriend. Though not for the lack of hopeless, obsessed wishing on my part, no... because, you see, I also wasn't lying all the way - that particular boy is... oh, god... delicious.

Even thinking about Hugo Weasley makes me forget my predicament for a while. No wonder his name was the first one I blurted out when I let my guard down; my pants nearly melt all the way down to my ankles on their own when he's around! Ever since the younger brother of my best friend Rose showed up in September all beautifully grown into his tall, manly form, I've barely stopped fantasizing about him – and we're talking 24-hour-pornish-fiction-marathons in my head here! Just a long look by those thoughtful, cobalt-blue eyes and a casual, “Hey, Malfoy”– and I was done in; perfectly unable to cast him out of my mind – and unfortunately, my very wet dreams – ever since. He put his spell on me before I knew what hit me and fucked me up completely.

But he's just bloody brilliant, isn't he? Yes, he is! Well, perhaps not academically so, no; in spite of his epic intelligence, he doesn't really bother with grades – and why on Merlin's boring earth should he, when explosions and crazy, genius inventions are so much more fun! And then, there's this lovely, distracted, and awfully cute mad-scientist aura about him that just dissolves me into a puddle of craving mess and... guh! This crush thing is terrible, I tell you! Whenever I spot him in the distance, my heart swells up like a bloody balloon, and everything else just tenses up. I'm like a big solid brick with a bubbly heart inside! And because Rosie and I are practically joined at the hip, it's becoming increasingly hard trying to hide my unhealthy infatuation from his astute sister; more so when I'm all but ready to hump his leg! I recently caught myself drawing bloody hearts around my school notes, oh, yuck, I was horrified!

Oh, but I just can't resist thinking about him, I honestly can't! It feels like I'm indulging myself when I do... That impossibly tall, god-sexy, slender figure with endless legs, curving softly into that tempting beast of a muscled arse, the arse I’m dying to touch, the two firm, round buns filling up those school trousers tightly, perfectly enough to leave me with a dry mouth every bloody time...

That Quidditch-toned body; oh, I know it well enough, I've lost us plenty of Snitches this year drooling over it; all that creamy skin, lightly freckled across the torso... and the wide shoulders, oh, my god, those Keeper's shoulders arching over a perfect set of chiselled abs!

And then there's that dreamy river of fiery hair leisurely flowing past the roaring Hungarian Horntail freshly tattooed down his spine – courtesy of summer work at Uncle Charlie's, no doubt – and I’m telling you, I’m separately in love with his hair! So wonderfully tousled... looking so soft and glittering, reflecting light... usually tied in a loose, negligent plait – but not always! Oh, it looks so warm, I bet it would feel like silk under my fingers, I already know that it smells of pure, golden temptation... Oh, Merlin, have mercy...

And those eyes... those piercing, sapphire-blue eyes, the most brilliant, deepest eyes I've ever seen... he looks straight at me and I swear, my knees go left and right, and my nipples stand at attention... And then there’s that sensual mouth with a gentle spray of very lickable freckles on top... and that killer, sexy smile... oh, god... great... and now I'm hard.

Oh, bloody hell, what was I thinking, contemplating Hugo's decadent beauty when I know very well how it unravels me every. bloody. time. Father could be back any minute, and I'm just sitting here like a sack of potatoes with a hard-on that could pierce a pregnant Ukrainian Ironbelly... Mother of god, here he comes – and now what?!

Oh, my... he doesn't look too happy; nope, none too happy, not even on the same side of the spectrum... In fact, he looks kind of ready to disinherit me! Erm, uh... think, Scorpius, think! You've got to give him something, some excuse, some semblance of explanation, some... something, you useless lion cub!

“How's Grandfather?” I blurt out, in absence of any other brilliant ideas. Not that I care, honestly... well, not much; not above seeing Grandmother Cissy unhappy anyway; she's my favourite, but apart from that... Though right now I'm gravely in need of some quality leverage; I'm even willing to go for the crocodile tears if it helps my case, though I haven't cried since I lost the last Snitch to that vicious Slytherin prince, Albus bloody Potter... er, that is to say, a week ago.

“Not yet fully recovered, though stable,” is my father's curt, strangely calm reply, and almost as a second thought, he adds firmly, “No thanks to you, of course.”

Oh, blast... here we go...

He looks at me, and it gives me the chills to see how cold his grey eyes are. Sometimes, when he's cheery – which is hardly ever, to be honest – they have a glow of their own, nearly silver and kind of... precious, but today his eyes are dark grey, like two slabs of marble over my premature grave. Gulp.

“I believe you would agree that this childish prank of yours has gone a tad too far... by a bloody mile or a thousand,” he points out in a chilly voice, and right now he looks every bit as malicious as his ill – and usually unjustified, if you don't mind me saying so – reputation would have it. “A fitting punishment must, thus, be administered,” he concludes with a voice that could freeze Fiendfyre solid. “Consider your permission to attend the Quidditch World Cup in France revoked, and you will hand me back the tickets to the premium lounge directly.”

What?! What, bloody WHAT?! I must have heard him wrong, I must have!!! Oh, bloody hell... He spoke of fitting punishment, didn't he, and it's not like I killed a bus full of innocent toothless babies, is it?! Fitting punishment, my arse! Send me to Azkaban, you merciless ice block, but do it after the Quidditch World Cup! Even the Scamander twins are going and those dreamy-heads probably think Quidditch is something to spread on your bagel in the morning! I'll be the laughingstock of the entire school if I don't go! Albus bloody Potter will laugh himself into an early grave, and his brother James, our brutally-devoted coach, will scream me into one! I swear, he turns into his legendary, temperamental maternal Gran Molly when he's royally pissed off! Oh, bloody hell... and now what?! How do I undo this disaster of biblical proportions?!

I know that this is a moment when I should probably go down on my knees and whimper for mercy, admitting that this whole boyfriend thing was merely wishing-upon-a star on my part, but what my deranged Gryffindor brain comes up with is a whole different class of demented.

“Not a prank,” I hear myself saying coolly – how the fuck do I sound oh-so-cool, when I'm practically a cauldron of boiling lava inside, I'll never know! – but it stops Father dead in his tracks. This is what I want, right? I want Father shell-shocked, I want him thrown off-balance and questioning whether I have actually done something wrong. Well, obviously, from Father's perspective, having a boyfriend – and a Weasley boyfriend at that! – as the last and only in the noble line of the Malfoys, might be considered a capital crime on its own, but it's got to seem just a hair's breadth less vicious than lying about it to give the head of the family a heart attack, right?

“Excuse me?” Father drawls and I can see the grey marble slabs in his eyes melt in disbelief.

“You heard me,” I keep on blabbing, just to keep myself afloat. “Hugo Weasley is my boyfriend. We're... dating.”

There. I've said it. The ultimate lie I have no way of backing up. I've surely doomed myself now. But it froze Father's determination to have me punished and bought me some time, which I desperately need right now.

“Interesting...” he murmurs, and a strange glee in his eyes no longer looks settled upon me. I know that look; Father only has that look in his silver eyes when he's thinking of one person, and one person only: his occasional business partner, Ronald Weasley, the one person my father desperately tries to pretend he despises, but only ever ends up obsessing about. Hugo's father, by the way. How convenient. Not.

It should take Father a total of five minutes to check my claims with Hugo's dad – or, Merlin help, me, Hugo himself; oh, please, please, great-aunt Bella, come back from the dead and murder me before that happens! – and that's the only time I have left. Not only have I lied, but I have lied about not lying and the way things are going, Father might just issue yours truly a lifetime ban from Quidditch World Cups!

“And how long, if you please, has this... glorious romance... been going on?” Father inquires with an unmistakable trace of cynicism in his voice – but there's something else in there as well, something I can't quite determine, something that makes him sound almost... wistful? Surely not, I'm all in pieces today, and my usual ability to read Father is probably kind of murky as well. But he's waiting for my answer, and the raised eyebrow testifies that he's growing impatient about it. Oh, Merlin the Innocent, let's sink both feet into this bottomless cauldron of deceit, shall we?

“A week,” I tell him flatly, remembering how I’d insinuated at the dinner table that I was looking forward to enjoying the fruits of my alleged relationship – which meant that I hadn’t done it just yet. Yep. That's a good one. That should hold. For a second or two, before Father decides to stick his head in a fireplace and fire-call the ginger lion's den! Well, doomed for a knut, doomed for a galleon!

“Ah... that explains it, then,” Father murmurs to himself, almost pleasantly, and there must have been a frown or some such on my face that actually makes him elaborate further:

“I was beginning to wonder why we haven't already been blessed by a visit from a roaring Weasley Senior, attempting to murder the perverted you for destroying his young son's virtue and leading him astray – and, of course, attempting to murder me for whatever complicity he could think of.”

Would you look at that?! It seems that Ron Weasley returns every bit of my dad's unhealthy choleric passion. Interesting, that...

“However, he's been abroad on a specific assignment for nearly a week now, and he doesn't return until Friday,” Father explains casually, and, unknowingly, explains a lot of other stuff as well – such us his unusually moody and barking behaviour throughout the entire week... Apparently it does wonders for his sunny disposition if he's able to take out his proverbial Malfoyian snark upon Hugo's dad, and when that martyr is not around...

“Well, best grab the proverbial bull by the horn, as the saying goes,” Father concludes calmly, with a small, deadly smirk in the corner of his mouth. When he claps his hands cheerfully, I know with a sinking heart and the certainty of a drowning man that everything has gone to pot.

“If you are indeed serious about this... Weasley Junior character, you will do this right and invite him over to have him formally introduced during the course of a dinner. And his father shall be present, by all means, of course, the etiquette requires it. I would invite his mother as well, but in the light of their recent divorce...”

Father rambles on for a few moments longer, but I don't hear any of it, as my heart seems to have effectively jumped to my neck and apparently tries to make a panicked getaway through my ears now. He can't be serious...! What is this – the heart attack for a heart attack game?! Is he trying to get rid of his only heir?! He can't put me through a dinner with Hugo Gorgeous Weasley... and his homicidal dad! Even if there was any remote chance of making Hugo appear at the manor – such as me, bribing Rose with the promise of buying her The British Library, and consequently, of Rose blackmailing her unwilling brother into showing up, the way only siblings know how – I would still have made an utter fool of myself in his presence! Providing that I made it to the table past his murderous father! Oh, sweet mother of baby Jesus, how do I avoid this disaster of epic proportions?!

“Perhaps this is not such a grand idea,” I try carefully. “Our... er… love…” I almost choke on the unfamiliar word - “… is still quite fresh and the fragile ties of our relationship might be irreparably damaged if...”

“Nonsense!” he interrupts me and snorts derisively, “There's nothing fragile about the Weasleys; not a thing, boy! Brutish, sturdy lot, every last one of them! Not a scratch on them, no matter how much you abuse them; I should know, I've been walking all over mine for ages!”

Did he just...? Did my father just...? My eyes nearly pop out of my head at the shocking choice of his words – did Father just call Hugo's father “his Weasley”?! The blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment of utmost mortification passes across Father's face at the realisation of his unfortunate slip of the tongue, but he can no longer take his words back, and he's clever enough not to try. He's going to try to mask it by coming down on me even more viciously any time now. But he's too late. Because now I know.

You see, I know my father like the back of my hand; this, here, is Draco Lucius Malfoy, my awfully haughty, awfully vulnerable dad, who's going to take the secret of where he put his heart to his cold Malfoyian grave. It is at the bottom of his silver eyes when he speaks of Hugo's dad mockingly – he hardly ever speaks of anyone else these days, come to think of it, and of no one with such passion – it's apparent in the polite, yet stiff formality of my parents' marriage and their complete lack of affection for each other; there is none of the unspoken warmth that even my grandparents share between them. There never was. So that look in his eyes was wistful, that expression mortified and I've gotten a glimpse of my father's lonely heart. But he doesn't know that I've seen it. And he mustn't, I decide on the spot.

Whatever delicately cruel punishment he had thought up for me – and this is what a dinner, planned for New Year’s Eve was supposed to be, without a shred of a doubt – I must bear it. All our differences aside, I love my dad fiercely, and I'm a Gryffindor enough to have my pride crushed, rather than his heart.

I brace myself for more acid, well-aimed jabs at me to take the attention off himself, but I think he's shocked himself out of his skin and he seems quite unable to continue.

“Tell your... Gryffindor – seven o'clock in the evening, sharp; semi-formal attire is expected,” he finally says with numb calmness. “And I will inform...” - Go on, I want to tell him, say “mine,” call him yours again, for fuck's sake, have what little comfort you can take! - “... his father,” he concludes finally, strangely softly, and it sounds like the saddest, most miserable thing I've ever heard. But Father is a true heir to his heavy, marble name and he does not tolerate weakness, not even his own.

“However, should your... chosen one... fail to make an appearance at dinner...” he says, quietly, but pointedly, “I hope you understand that such an unfortunate turn of events would shed a most unfavourable light upon the veracity of your claims of an alleged relationship between you and Weasley Junior, and as a consequence, you should consider your permission to attend the Quidditch World Cup permanently revoked.”

Just like that. Bloody man! But right before he disappears through the door, he turns towards me and says with a barely audible quiver in his voice: “He’s getting old, Scorpius. All our differences aside… he’s still my father. And you nearly killed him.”

And for a second there, I put myself in his shoes, and I understand why he feels the need to punish me. Only... the Quidditch World Cup, dad?! Like, seriously?! Great. Fucking great. And now what?!

~

It's well past midnight and I'm still awake, sitting in my room, devising, planning, sketching, vanishing, shredding the useless pieces of parchment, cursing and despairing – and I'm still no closer to the solution than I was nearly five hours ago. I desperately need to make contact with Hugo Weasley, ask him... oh, bloody hell, ask him out – somehow, fuck me if I know how! – and I'm supposed to do it in a week – six and a half meagre days! – and it's supposed to look persuasive. We're supposed to look persuasive. As a couple. Oh, bloody hell...

The very thought of being anywhere near the lovely redhead, playing all lovey-dovey, has me instantly covered in a sheen of cold sweat, shivering uncontrollably. I can't do it! I honest-to-god can't! He'd just look at me with those unfathomable, deep-blue eyes from his lofty height, and I'd probably mewl and come in my pants. That's how bad I have it! And it's not only the way he looks – bloody sex-on-endless-legs if anyone ever was! – erm, nope, if only!

You see, I've always found the younger brother of my best friend Rose Weasley intriguing, because.... well, because he was just such an odd, quiet, yet strangely bold kid that had no problem standing out from the crowd – nor standing against it, if he had an opinion of his own to defend. True, he was always slightly deranged and downright unscrupulous, dedicating most of his vicious intelligence to inventing all things mad, wonderful, and dangerous, as often as not blowing something up in the process. But the fact that he was slightly scary could never put me off his trail for long – there was just something about the skinny, tall, fiercely independent, and uncommonly confident boy with a million crazy ideas that pulled my eyes towards him like a brilliant crystal pebble in the sun. How does one become so... unique? That's what I always wondered about Hugo Weasley... as if, on the inside, I already knew that I was in the presence of a truly remarkable creature. And then, bloody puberty happened. And boy, did it happen for a freckly, lanky kid that was Hugo Weasley!

So there I was, on 1st of September, standing on the Platform 9 3/4 all alone – Father always leaves before the thick of the crowd arrives, he doesn't like the publicity. Anyway, I was there, minding my own business, playing my bored Malfoyness to the fullest, basically just waiting for Rose to make an appearance, when suddenly the whole bloody platform seemed to have become flooded with light, just like in those ancient Muggle movies Rose and I sometimes giggle at – and into the scene walked an unknown stud, breaking hearts left and right as he strolled down the platform leisurely – until he came to an abrupt stop by my side.

“Hey, Malfoy,” he said softly, and I gradually, incredulously, managed to identify him as Hugo Weasley, Rosie's little – well, not-so-fucking-little-anymore! – brother. And he literally took my breath away. Literally. I nearly choked. I barely managed to mutter something unintelligible back, because my mouth could barely cope with the amount of drool I had to swallow. One look from those bluest of blue eyes of his – and I was doomed.

My mind was a buzzing nest of panicking, swirling thoughts, one more mortifying than the other. Merlin, was he always so stunning?! He wasn't! How was that fair?! When did he become so... drop-dead... atrociously... gorgeous?! He was just gone for a bloody summer, he had no right showing up all... mouth-watering and breathtaking and ohsweetGodric, the way he smelled! Of summer and almond-scented after-sun and some unknown, daring spice that was minty and as Hugo Weasley as they come... guh. Oh, there is no god! How dare he?!

I was perfectly fine, feeling asexual and perhaps just a tiny bit lonely in all the dating, hormone-crazed frenzy of the teenagers around me – and along comes this grown up, pheromonal version of Hugo Weasley and suddenly, my balls remember their long-neglected natural function, and my predicament – yes, the bloody staff between my legs! – happily waves the flag of its awakening at a 90-degree angle. In other words, I found myself standing on Platform 9 3/4, at the edge of Hugo Weasley's personal space, as solid as a rock. Bless the inventor of the best-quality loose Italian robes, bless him; I bet he was a horny man himself!

So, you see – this is how I know I can't do it! I've been carefully avoiding Hugo's presence ever since, but I swear, the bloody boy found a way to clone himself; he's everywhere, under every rock, every table, and inside every cauldron, and I'm miserably, perpetually hard and in grave need of a wank 24 out of the 24 miserable hours of every day. I somehow, miraculously so, managed to stay away from him so far... or I swear, I would have jumped him. He just smells right to me. And by right I mean like a good, thorough, long, heavenly fuck. Oh, how I would... and I've never... Oh, let's not go there, let's please not go there, or I'm going to need one before I figure this out, and I've really got no time for graceful meetings with my hand!

Let's try to look at it from another perspective: what have I got working for me?

First of all, I've got access. Hugo is a Gryffindor, thus easily accessible, and I know for a fact that he chose to spend his Christmas holiday at Hogwarts – we're all kind of feverishly hoping at this point to still find the good old school standing after the New Year – and I remember that Hugo’s decision has something to do with his father's business trip and the working habits of his terribly ambitious mother. After today's turn of events, Father could perhaps be persuaded to allow me to return to Hogwarts until the doomsday on Friday.

Second of all, I've got an ally – well, technically speaking, I haven't got one yet, but I'm certain Hugo's sister Rose could be persuaded to work in my favour – what are best friends for, I ask you, if not to back up each other's folly?! She's at Hogwarts as well, and it has something to do with reading through half the library in all the wonderful holiday peace and quiet. Well, how about not, Rosie... a lying grandfather-slayer here; requesting your assistance! Merlin in frilly knickers, she'll be livid! But she'll do it; that's the only thing that matters.

Third of all – I haven't got a third. Oh, blast. Fuck. I'm blond, young and pretty? Er... right. And that matters because he's some creepy, old fuck looking to fulfil the frustrated fantasies of his youth... not, you proverbial blond imbecile.

Inexperienced? Some people like inexperienced! Yeah, I'm sure Hugo is looking to hook up with someone to slobber all over him, not knowing what the fuck he's on about.

Er... I've got money...? Oh, scratch that, Hugo's mum's the Minister of Magic, they must be loaded; besides, if he cared about money, he could probably conjure some of his own! And last, but not least, I can't be caught throwing my wealth around like some classless Muggle yuppie!

I'm... tired... that's what I am. Really, really tired. How the fuck am I supposed to do this, sleepy as a newborn Kneazle?! Oh, who am I kidding! It's hopeless! Just look at it – look at it! – it is!

I've got a mad crush on a boy I'm supposed to bring home to meet my parents – and I can't even bring myself to be near him due to a very real danger of piercing him with my rampant, parading cock!

I've got no proper... behavioural techniques to seduce him; I'm as awkward as they come when the dating fun and games are concerned and my panicky brain usually just switches into its defensive gear of the most god-awful, rigid Malfoyian haughtiness in the presence of someone I like. I remember trying to kiss Rosie experimentally in our fifth year – not out of any real desire, no, but just because everyone was doing it – and my wonderful Rose let me, out of the sheer pity and kindness of her heart. Yeah, that turned out well! About a millisecond or so into the kiss, she gently pushed me away, still holding my jumper, and told me – dead-on, because my Rose is no-nonsense – that she was once hit by a flying bin lid during one of Hugo's mad experiments, and it was a less stiff and less painful experience than our kiss. Right. It's not like I was into girls anyway. It's not like I was into anyone before Hugo. Oh, this would be so much easier if I wasn't crushing on him like a drooling, overly-eager puppy!

And you see, aside from my inconvenient infatuation, there this other... obstacle on my road to making Hugo Weasley pose as my partner at the dinner with my parents: Hugo doesn't date. He fucks, oh, yeah, that he does; and though he barely acknowledges his conquests, there is certainly plenty of evidence of his sexual prowess on the walls of toilets all around the school! There are those crude, straight-to-the-point ones: “Hugo Weasley is hung like a hippogriff!!!”, and the poetic and wistful ones - “Come and crush me again, Hugo, my blue-eyed tsunami!!!”, plus some desperate ones - “Love-life goals: to date sleep with Hugo Weasley again... :((((”. There's even one that gives me a tiny bit of hope - “Hugo Weasley likes them blond!”– and a small million of others, more explicit ones, that let anyone interested know that if you wanted a lesson in Kama Sutra, Hugo was your man.

So, apparently, he fucks around like a wizard possessed, but it's common knowledge that he never fucks anyone twice – and he doesn't bloody date. Ever. I know that for certain – I've got a top-notch informer infiltrated right into his family, remember? – and after some around-the-bush prompting, Rose begrudgingly provided me with his explanation: it seems Hugo can't be bothered to waste time with all the niceties when he can get laid without them and – here comes the good part – “certainly not for someone who's not the one.”

Erm, do I look like the one to you? A white-washed, lying virgin?! I know! Not, bloody NOT!

Look, I know it's not all quite as black as my tired brain is trying to paint; I am, after all, a Malfoy, and I attract all kinds of social-climbers and gold-diggers who remain hopeful that I can't see their ambition and their greed through their good looks; and besides, I'm a Gryffindor Seeker, and as such, I have my own private army of ahhhh-ing fans... It's just that they annoy me rather than flatter me, and the one person... boy... Hugo... I'm interested in, surely wouldn't give me the time of day... if I could stop running from him in sheer panic for a bloody moment to find out!

But I have to at least try... something! Quidditch is my life; I'm considering taking it on professionally for a few carefree years, if anyone will have me. I simply can't have one bitter, aging grandfather with a weak heart and a bad case of Weasley-allergy stand in my way to what is surely to be the coolest World Cup of all time, swarming with Quidditch scouts!

But I can't do this any longer, not tonight, not as knackered as I am. I'm turning a new leaf tomorrow, starting an undercover operation: How to domesticate Hugo Weasley in six measly days – possibly without him noticing!

~

OK, I'm in! Ha, the first part of my plan worked like a charm! Father just gave me his all-knowing sidelong glance when I started stuttering about returning to Hogwarts for the sake of inviting Hugo over in person rather than by owl – and he “hmph”-ed, meaning that he didn't buy a word of my bull – but was graciously giving me a chance to get ahead in this game. Sometimes it's cool to be an only child; your parents sort of don't want you to disappoint them, even if you're playing against them. It's like letting you win at Wizard's Chess when you were little.

But because this was my father, he had to put his fangs in at some point, and his cold, “But I need you home every evening. I don't want any funny business with that boy before I meet him; not to mention that your Apparition skills could use practice, and flying in winter is considered good exercise,” told me that he was by no means surrendering his guns just yet. I am going to have to fight tooth and nail to get this right.

But here I am, at ten in the bloody morning and I've already got the first victory under my belt! Namely, I found Rosie in the library – where else? – she might have been there since last week for all I know! I certainly startled her stupid with my unexpected appearance and big puppy eyes, I can tell you that! I didn't even have to say anything; my super-smart best friend just grabbed my hand and took us for a stroll around the lake. So at the small cost of nearly freezing off all of my appendages, I poured my heart out to her – well, except the little bit, the small print part, really, where it says that I'm totally crushing on her brother – and I've secured myself a very determined ally – “Of course you must go to the bloody championship, I can't make sense of any boring game without you commenting by my side; Hugo and dad will just be howling! Honestly, what was your father thinking?!”

Well, obviously not about inconveniencing Rose Weasley – erm, one might want to avoid that, truth be told; I'm very, very glad, Rose is my friend rather than my enemy, that's all I'm willing to say... that, and the fact that her last ex still hasn't gotten rid of the big, pink elephant trunk sticking out from under his bum, making tiny trumpeting noises as he walks!

Imagining she'll go straight to Hugo to explain/blackmail/whatever it is that the siblings do – how would I know?! – to settle the matter, I must say that her next words startle me:

“I suppose you want to be straight with him. I'll call him over and you can spill it all, just the way you did to me. He'll appreciate honesty. He always says you can't have anything done right, if you don't know all the facts and...”

“No!!!” I almost howl at her, nearly startling her backwards into a frozen lake. “I can't bloody... tell him.”

I can't even go near him, I'll... impale him, or something... how do I tell her that?!

“But why?!” I see a total lack of comprehension in her blue eyes and she's beginning to frown. “You can't possibly be that embarrassed! You just made a joke, pulled a prank of sorts, that went awry – Hugo will understand; who, if not him?! He pulls shit like this on our parents – well, only dad now, but he's at him all the time! He has no reason to play all saintly; in fact, I imagine he'll be quite delighted to hear that you've got it in you! He always complains how stiff you are, imagine his surprise!”

And all of the sudden, I'm flushed from head to toe; forget the bloody “worst winter in decades”, it's a proper sauna out here!

“He... talks about me?!” I manage, trying my best to sound casual, but I'm stuck in some strange, wobbly purgatory between despair and elation, and I'm afraid I kind of squeak that one out. Hugo Weasley thinks that I'm stiff... but he talks about me! I don't know whether to laugh or to cry that he's noticed me – of course I'm bloody stiff, he's got no fucking idea how very stiff I am around him, and where! – but I must be acting very strange indeed, because Rose takes my hand and looks at my face worriedly.

“Are you all right? You don't seem quite yourself... would you like us to go back inside?”

“Of course I'm not all right!” I manage to choke out at long last. “I nearly killed off my grandfather and wasted my chances of seeing the Quidditch World Cup – and now you're telling me that the one person who could pull me out of this mess, thinks I'm stiff and... did he say anything else about me?!”

For a brief moment there is the strangest look on Rose's face, almost as if she's had a moment of revelation – her big blue eyes grow round and her lovely mouth, much like her brother's, takes the shape of a perfect O – but it's gone before I can start panicking about getting caught, and Rose turns her face away from me almost as if she doesn't want me to see her expression, or perhaps to conceal a smile. But when she looks at me again, her expression is perfectly solemn, with only a naughty spark left in her eyes to testify that I have a far, far way to go to reach “Level: Snape” at the game called Deceit. Oh, bloody hell, she can't be onto me yet, can she?! I just had a moment of weakness!

“He doesn't say much about you...” she starts carefully and I can't help to feel a tinge of disappointment in the wave of relief that washes over me. Good, that's good, right? So how come I'm just a tiny bit... crestfallen about it?

“He mostly asks questions,” Rose continues matter-of-factly as if she didn't just kick my heartbeat up to high heaven. “Quite a lot of questions, actually... it gets quite annoying, really.”

“I... ngh...” Nothing comes out right, and nothing ever would, not at a moment like this. I think my pulse is about 300 beats a minute, and my knees are all jelly. Couldn't she have at least warned me?!

“I think... I might have to let you sort out this questions/requests thing all by yourself, though. Here he comes... hey, Hugh, over here!”

Then this female embodiment of supreme evil even waves at her... oh, god, heiseversoheavenly... brother across the lake, and then smiles at my stricken, panicked face most beatifically.

“What a brilliant opportunity for an exchange: you ask him a favour, and he gets to ask you all those millions of questions, right? I'll leave you to it, Scorpius, dear, and don't worry about being stiff, he seems to like you that way!”

She leans in closer and kisses me on the cheek, and while I squeak pleadingly “Rose, don't...!” she just whispers into my ear: “That'll teach you to keep things from me when you're asking for my help, you snake! I expect a full report... and a confession later!”

And then she determinedly turns away from me and walks towards her brother, and her voice carries through the distance. “Hey, Hugh, could you keep Scorp here some company? I'm frozen solid, and he wants to have another round around the lake. He likes being stiff, it seems.”

So here I am, alone and abandoned, with wobbly knees, freezing my bits off, waiting for an approaching disaster that is Hugo Weasley. The closer he comes, the more certain I am that I can't do this; I bloody can't! I mean... just look at him, look at him! Rosy cheeks from the cold, flaming silken hair looking even more striking against the black coat, and those incredible blue eyes for a contrast, reflecting the icy sky around us, with snowflakes catching at the long auburn eyelashes, and the sweet, tender mouth, nearly crystal with frosted glitter, like frozen strawberries... oh... I'm ever so doomed... He's every bit breathtaking, and I sort of forget to inhale when he finally stops in front of me and gives me that soft, sexy smile that shoots my heartbeat through the roof.

“Hello, Malfoy,” he says warmly. Oh… when the hell did his voice become so... so... manly, for fuck's sake; I still mostly squeak, or croak like a frog!

“Want to take a round, then?” he asks me, blinking, and I realise, the fool that I am, that I'm still gawping and drooling, or whatever the fuck am I doing, but definitely not talking to the boy. Oh, Jesus in a flying car, this is going to be biblically bad!

“Ehm... yeah... I guess...” Here, Father, so much for the proverbial Malfoyian skills you put so much effort into cultivating! Bring me face-to-face with Hugo Weasley, and my ability to converse is reduced to mumbling like a Troglodyte! But he’s already taking the first steps, and throws an inviting look and a small smile over his shoulder.

“Coming?”

Oh, yeah, just smile like that again, leisurely, sweetly, the way that makes your eyes sparkle, and I might be! Oh, Merlin's horny pants, I need to find a way to beat this terrible infatuation, stop breathing him in, stop breathing altogether... something, anything to jump-start my brain into working! I need something from him – and no, not that, you bloody swollen root, it would serve you right to freeze off for interfering! – but this is a Quidditch World Cup on the line, and I need to find this pebble of a brain I'm left with!

“Would... would you...”

Oh, for fuck's sake, I don't even know what I want to ask him, I'm just desperate to keep the conversation going, any kind of conversation; Jesus, I think I'm at the point I'd settle for a belching contest. But then, the cobalt-blue eyes are on me once again, and I forget my own name and just blurt out the first idiocy that comes to my mind.

“Would you like some help with those books?”

Oh, Merlin's square Earth, open and swallow me whole! That's not even... who says that?! A four-year-old with mental development issues?! He's got, like, two books in his hands, two!!!

But he smiles most graciously; just a tiny, sweet smile at the corner of his mouth, because the Weasleys are just kind that way, and pushes one of the thin square books into my hands.

“Sure... you can help me with this one.”

His fingers brush against mine, and even though they're icy cold, I swear the leave a warm ghost of their presence behind and I barely suppress a shiver. I try to focus on the book in my hands, but I'm so poisoned by his presence that I can barely make out the letters. Am I reading this right? Arthur Weasley? Hey, that's...

“Your grandfather wrote a book.”

I'm so surprised that I actually look up – and fall head first into the pit of those smiling, brilliant eyes, and I just might want to stay at the bottom of them.

“Yes,” he nods happily, and his beautiful smile has a tinge of pride in it this time.

“And you're reading it.” Oh, look, I can actually talk. All I say is nonsense, of course, but hey, there's no two-year-old around to compete with.

“Yes,” he nods again and adds enthusiastically. “It's rather brilliant, actually!”

Well, if you go by the words of my grandfather, Arthur Weasley is a blathering Muggle-loving fool, who can barely say his name right, but you know what? Screw my grandfather! Since when is a convicted felon a reliable source?! I'm still buried somewhere between the dark blue skies of Hugo's eyes and the adorable spray of golden freckles across his nose, and if he was to tell me Arthur Weasley is, in fact, Merlin himself in disguise, and yeah, pigs can fly, I would have certainly nodded in awe and signed my name under it. 

“What is it about, then?” I hear myself say in an unusually raspy voice, and I swear I have no say in where my brain takes me at the moment. I seem to be on some sort of an auto-pilot of chit-chat, and that's perfectly all right with me, as long as I get to stand here, in freezing weather, swimming in the warm haze of Hugo's presence. He really is magical. He really is. His gorgeous eyes are, and his smile is, and he is... all that and more. And I'm fucked. I'm truly, utterly fucked.

“Well, I don't suppose you'd be interested – hardly anyone is, actually – but, it's about objects with Muggle technology and how to make them work in various magical environments.”

Oh, that's... that's actually interesting!

“And why, if I may ask, would you be interested in such a thing?” Oh, my dear God in pink socks, I can't believe how haughty I sound! There, I've surely done it now! He's going to pull his precious book out of my hands and smack me with it across the head, the way his temperamental sister sometimes does, and call me a stuck-up snob! Well deserved, too!

But, somehow, miraculously, it seems that my inborn arrogance has no affect on him whatsoever; he merely smiles again, almost sheepishly, but with the brilliance of someone who is simply living his dreams, and as I am watching him glow, for my eyes only, my heart swells up and just... aches to feel such youthful enthusiasm, to be part of such boyish scheming, to be part... of him, of the wonderful life he lights up with his own radiance. He makes me feel as if I've barely lived so far, and I know, I just know, he could wake me up and tear up the fabric of my age-old-norms and daily habits to shreds like no one else could. There is a light of primal chaos in those deep blue eyes and... oh, god, I find him irresistible.

“Well,” he says softly, and there's suddenly a naughty, daring spark in those stunning orbs, “if you spend the night in the castle, you might just find out.”

I open my mouth to tell him that I'd love to, but like a brutal lash of reality there's a memory of Father's words: “I need you home every evening,”and I close them again. But, I can't say “no” either.

“Perhaps...” I hear myself, and I know what I'm really trying to say is “Perhaps another day...” but it just doesn't come out, and in that moment, I know that I'm going to break Father's rule... somehow.

“Perhaps,” he agrees with a small smile, stopping unexpectedly. “Actually – it might be better for me to get back inside,” he explains, suddenly frowning, and something inside of me squeezes painfully, as if I'm about to lose something wonderful.

“There's still a lot to do if I want my... experiment to work,” he says, almost apologetically, and when I just nod dejectedly, he looks at me, really looks at me, with those mesmerising sapphires, and I get my tiny, precious miracle for the day:

“Tomorrow, here, same time?” he asks quietly, and I can scarcely believe my luck.

“Sure...” I try, but my throat is dry, and barely anything comes out.

He smiles again, strangely dreamily this time, and before I could blink, his long, cold fingers are suddenly brushing down my cheek, travelling slowly, sensually as he whispers, “See you...”

And then he's gone, just an image of a rapidly disappearing black coat and fiery hair, cutting through the veil of snow falling thicker and thicker. I'm just standing there with brittle wind picking up around me, my eyes closed, feeling as if I was marked by a divine touch, feeling happier than I had been in ages. Hugo Weasley... you have no idea what you do to me.

And it's not until I return to the dorm that I realize that I never even remembered to mention the dinner invitation. Fuck, just... fuck.

~

Oh, blast, what a day! But I'm finally here, in my Hogwarts bed, shaking like the last oak leaf in a winter storm in spite of my warming charms and I feel I might never be of a viable temperature again. That bloody beast of a winter!

As soon as I had returned to the castle, Rose was there, waiting for me in the Gryffindor common room, her arms crossed on her chest, looking like there could be a picture of her in a dictionary under “Armageddon”. I knew I was in trouble, but this time there was no fighting it. I really didn't want to meet Hugo tomorrow sporting a trumpeting pink trunk. So, I told her everything. Well, nearly. I told her about “having a bit of a crush” on her brother, and I told her about the rendezvous tomorrow – but I couldn't, really, for the love of god, tell her how he makes me feel. I don't have words for that. English language doesn't have the right words for that.

She listened and didn't say much, but by the end of my words, her touch was warm and so was her smile. I knew I was forgiven and I've negotiated myself the back-up I desperately needed. Goodness gracious, isn’t she wonderful?!

But, then it was nearly dark – winter days are awfully short up here in the Highlands – and I still had to fly to the outside the boundaries of Hogwarts to safely Apparate home. I needed to give Father a carefully polished performance of the compliant, if not entirely obedient, son.

I immediately told Father I was tired and asked for an earlier dinner, and then I put extraordinary effort into engaging him in a polite conversation and – imagine that! – I didn't even lie when he asked me if I managed to invite Hugo. I did, however, lie that I couldn't find him, but that was why I had to go back early tomorrow morning. He gave me that quiet, perusing look and I gulped silently, remembering that he was top at Legilimency. He didn't say anything, however, he simply let it slide. But just when I thought that our dinner would come to an end in amiable silence, he asked in a calm, but very quiet voice:

“What is he like? Your... Weasley boy?”

And my throat kind of stopped working a little bit after that. Never in a million years would I expect to hear such a question from my father, but I knew what this was, and I knew that even someone as hard as my father sometimes needed to indulge in a moment of tenderness, though he would never own up to it.

“Lovely,” I breathed out, my voice barely above the whisper. “He's got those stunning Weasley-blue eyes, you know, just like... and a spray of the world's most adorable freckles. He's fit, like... erm... incredibly fit, and his hair looks... er, feels like a fiery river of silk. He's sort of quiet, confident, and kind... and awfully smart, just like his mother – only he doesn't care for it; I suppose he doesn't want to be remembered as the smart kid when he's so much more. And he's tall, even taller than I, and our Gryffindor Keeper, and you know how Keepers are built... He's... perfect. And he's got that brilliant smile that can light up the darkness and makes you feel like you're the only one for him. And...”

“And apparently, he's made a poet out of you,” my father smirked, but it was not evil or demeaning, just strangely tired... and god, it was sad. I had the strangest feeling that I'd brushed against the very limits of my father's heart and... it hurt. It even hurt me, and the idea of walking a mile in Father's shoes made me shiver. Small wonder he was so bitter.

But he got up from the table abruptly after that, as if he somehow needed to make a physical break with his moment of weakness, with the man he allowed himself to be, and said briskly:

“To bed with you. I don't suppose I will see you in the morning. I expect you to come back with your... boyfriend's answer tomorrow. One does not plan for an occasion like that over night, you know!”

And then he was gone, and as soon as I was certain that he was not coming back, so was I. And now I am here, after one hell of a flight through one hell of a storm, frozen to the core, just to make good on my half-promise. That's how smitten I am with the boy.

And just when I finally begin to thaw, and my eyes are closing from exhaustion, it comes. Suddenly there is a quiet echo of the eeriest, most melancholy tune in the air, and it gradually grows louder, resonating within the ancient castle walls and in my chest. It simply pulls me up from my solitary bed, and I follow it. If I didn't know better, I would think that all the ghosts of this castle had found a new, majestic way to let their sorrow be heard... and it was beautiful. But I do know better, and I know this is him; I know he's found a way to make one of those wonderful Muggle devices they keep in their house work within the castle.

The handful of students that decided to stay at Hogwarts for the holidays trickle out of their dorms, wandering about the corridors in awe and wonder, listening to the deep, sorrowful male voice lament, but I follow... well, not the sound really, because the sound is coming from everywhere, but I suppose I follow my heart, and I find him. I find him in the Gryffindor common room, perfectly calm and nearly invisible, just a shadow stretched across the sofa in front of a guttering fire, and as the echo of the flames flickers on his face, with his mesmerising eyes closed and a small smile playing on his lips, listening to his creation, he's to die for.

Without a thought in my mind, I kneel down next to the plush sofa. He doesn't even open his eyes; his fingers seek out my face, slip into my hair and he pulls my head down onto his chest. Then I close my eyes as well, listening to his heartbeat, listening to the last echo of the melancholy, solitary music, and it's the most intimate I've ever felt with another person. And inexplicably, I think of my father. As the last tones of the singular, haunting tune disappear into the darkness of the castle, I whisper:

“What was this?”

“It's Muggle...” he answers quietly at long last, but I already know that. “Lacrimas Profundere.”

 To shed tears.

“My father's favourite.”

I have a feeling Ron Weasley is a very lonely man. Just like another father I know.

~

I wake up in a sunlit bedroom, because I'm an idiot and I forgot to pull my bed drapes together. The sun is reflecting sharply from a carpet of freshly-fallen snow, too painful for my sleepy eyes, and I sink deeper into my bed and pull the bed covers over my head. Better. As I lie there in the semi-darkness of my makeshift shelter, I realize I have no idea how I got to my bed last night. For all I know, Hugo might have carried me here, and the thought is as intoxicating as it is scary and arousing. In the bright light of the new day, the whole evening experience, with that bone-deep, wondrous music floating through the castle, seems to belong to the world of wistful dreams. Perhaps that's all it was. But here, underneath my bed covers, there is still a scent of Hugo about me, as if his fingers left their warm trail in my hair, and it's enough: I have a massive boner. Great.

Actually, this once – it might be. There's no one else left in the seventh-year's dorm and needn't worry about being heard, or caught, or, you know, disinherited. And I need one... badly. I have a distinct feeling I might have fallen asleep without my... regular good-night entertainment and as a consequence, my balls feel as if they're ready to explode, and I'm somehow all raw around the edges. I close my eyes, trying to block out the remaining light, attempting to recall that sweet, captivating scent that is Hugo Weasley crawling over my skin like a playful mist, just the way his fingers would if I could have it my way.

I love his fingers; I fell in love with them sometime yesterday, perhaps when they brushed against mine, handing me his sacred book; perhaps when they travelled down my cheek, leaving me desperately yearning for more; most definitely during our surreal moments of quiet bonding in front of the fireplace in the Gryffindor common room. Long and skilful, with a spray of golden freckles just like the rest of his visible complexion, they felt like rich velvet against my skin, but there is force underneath them, and it's that quiet promise of possessiveness that makes my nipples stand at attention. I tweak one of the rosy little peaks experimentally, and I just know he would do it harder, and it makes me moan quietly into the emptiness of the room.

I'm trying to picture his feather-light touch travelling down my ribs, down the tense, shivering expanse of my torso, those large hands catching at my hips, closing around them with that proprietary grip that says “mine” better than any words. I picture his thumbs sinking into the pale carpet of my pubic hair, making slow, exploratory circles as if to get used to its fine texture, just a touch away from the solid leaking cock — my thick, rosy shaft, so painfully hard it's nearly flat against my belly in its swollen glory. Would he... touch it? Or would he let his decadent, fuckable mouth do it?

My fingers claw at the sheet underneath me, greedy and desperate, my hips nearly flying off the mattress at the blasphemous fantasy... because, you see, I like to play those little games with myself where I won't touch my begging cock right up until the need becomes unbearable, but the thought of Hugo's plush, obliging mouth nearly becomes my undoing. The fantasy of that wet, hungry cave swallowing up my weeping hardness nearly proves too much. It is my ultimate fantasy to fuck that mouth, to fuck, fuck, fuck and just let it devour me… to watch him suck me like it's a ritual of worship, to feel that slick tongue toy with the proud, naked crown of my cock, to see him eagerly lap the little pearls from my slit... Christandmerlin, Hugh...

“Hugo...” I hear myself moan loudly, and it's so raw and needy I can no longer take my own expectation of surrender. I close my shaky fist around the desperate centre of my universe pulsating between my fingers, and my hips just do the rest... because when I'm fucking my hand, I'm really fucking my hand, not letting my hand do all the work, but fucking and slamming and fucking slamming, twisting and rocking those slim motherfuckers of hips I was born with like a serpent, thinking of drops of sweat shimmering on that muscled, lean body, on top of me... Jesus, Hugh... Pumping my throbbing, engorged cock furiously, I feel it viciously breach the constriction of my fingers time and time again, feeling the muscles of my arse contract, thinking of those tight, tense milky-white buns I’ve seen in the showers after the Quidditch training and picturing the soapy water drip down the crack between them… I nearly make myself come... ohdeargodfucknotyet... I want more...

More of the sweet, torturous feeling of the raw life buzzing and boiling just under the surface of my slick, strained cock, and I imagine rubbing it against his soft, strawberry, open mouth, that swollen devil's cave, tempting me to damage it, to erupt and spoil it, to spill my hot load all over that wet, red velvet and I'm so fucking close, so close I'm whimpering, just need... just need... something... more... his mesmerising eyes on me, all blue and deep... so intense and hungry, watching me, begging me as I fuck.my.fist.

“Fuuuck!!! Fuckfuckfuckfuck… ohgodsweetgodfuck... fuck you, Hugh... if only... ohgodyeah… god, beautiful... mine... Hugh...”

Well... I never said I was eloquent when I come. And come... oh, boy... I did. As I lay there, spent, breathless, with that gorgeous, numbing warmth spreading across my limbs, I still seem to hear the echo of my hopeless scream, and my lips are still moving, whispering his name like a sweet charm of happiness and desire. I can't bloody stop saying his name, as if I could no longer imagine living without it on my lips. I've never come so hard. Never. It felt as if something tore from the bottom of my balls and shot through my whole body, flooding me with hot, brutal magic, and I'm strangely... altered, filled to the brim with some odd tingling sensation I don't recognise, but it makes me smile—leisurely, stupidly— into an empty room, and I can't spare a thought for anything else other than Hugo and his pretty, freckled face with those bluest of blue eyes, smiling at me lazily, like a giant ginger cat behind my closed eyelids. Lulled into a happy memory, I let myself doze away some more... like the proper fool that I am.

Oh, sweet Godric in Salazaar's fishnet stockings, the meeting!!! I'm not even sure how the drunken, insecure thought found its way through my hazy brain, but once it stumbled through, I jumped to the bloody ceiling!

The meeting — meeting with Hugo! God knows what time it is, and I’m lying there like an inebriated whore at daylight, slumbering my dreams away. Oh, Scorpius Malfoy, you utter moron, you!

I'm ever so glad there's no one in the part of the tower assigned for the Gryffindor seventh years, because I just run naked down the corridor to the bathroom and start a shower. I curse copiously when I figure out I forgot to cast a warming charm in my urgency, and the bloody ancient pipes release a freezing load water all over my sleepy skin. Well, at least it wakes me up, but even after I adjust the temperature, I have no plans to indulge myself under a hot spray, I'm needed elsewhere! Well, no, not really needed... desired... no that's not the word either... expected. I'm expected. Hugo expects me – but, whatever my haste, I simply cannot go to meet Hugo covered in dry come, courtesy of my wild fantasies of him and my obliging hand. Not to mention the wrinkles of a pillow still printed across my face and the hair that looks as if I had a grenade for breakfast. Oh, Merlin, someone murder me... or comb me, or something.

I almost forget my coat, but the “almost” bit doesn't last too long. I barely open the door of the castle when I realise, that “the scenery is colourful, but the paint is so damn thin...” as I once heard Rose's grandfather hum a tune from his favourite Muggle band. In other words, regardless of how photogenic that poser of a winter sun is, the pompous bastard is incredibly weak, and has nothing on the bitter cold sinking its cruel fangs in me the second I set my foot outside Hogwarts. Isn't Accio! just the coolest charm ever?! I bet it was invented by the most ingenious lazy fart in the entire wizarding galaxy, one who was, possibly late. Just like I am now. Awfully, terribly late. And when I finally, god, fucking finally, arrive to the lake, cursing like a drunken sailor, slipping what must have been fifty fucking times on the treacherous frozen puddles underneath the fresh patches of snow, he is just a tiny black speck in the distance, swiftly walking away as we speak. Hugo Weasley waits for no one, it seems.

So I curse colourfully, exasperated, and I take off. Running. After him, towards him, I don't know, it makes no difference in my head; I only know I've never been so eager to reach anyone.

When I'm just a few steps away, I slow down, I try to calm down my rushing heartbeat, try to look a little less desperate before I call out his name. Of course, as my bloody luck would have it, I'm out of breath completely – you try sprinting a bloody mile through two-foot-deep snow with clingy tendencies! – and it comes out merely as a croak:

“Hugo... wait!”

Well, if I'm supposed to charm anyone with my voice, I shall die a lonely man with nothing but a half-deaf frog for company. But it works, and he slowly comes to a halt. He turns around, as if he wasn't entirely certain that his ears weren't playing a trick on him, but when his eyes catch me, bent in two, my hands supported on my knees, breathing like a labouring old boiler, his stunning face stretches into a beautiful warm smile and to me, it is all worth it.

He backs up a few steps until he's standing next to me, and suddenly his long fingers find their way onto my hunched back – and it just takes away what little breath I had. I can feel his fingers' promising, intoxicating warmth through three layers of clothes, and it's maddening how very inviting they feel.

“Are you alright?” he asks in that deep, melodic voice he's developed. He might as well had taken my cock in his mouth and sucked deeply; I'm hard in about three seconds flat, bathing in his rich, honey voice, with his warm hand resting on my back. I just... don't want to move, I want it to last, but one can only stay hunched for so long, so with silent regret I straighten myself up and feel his wonderful fingers slide off my back, leaving a trail of warmth in their wake. I love those fingers, have I said so?

He puts his hands into the pockets of his thick winter coat after that, almost as if... almost as if he doesn't want to be tempted to touch me again – but I'm probably just imagining this, and he's possibly just very cold. Oh, Merlin, that must be it: the horny, air-headed fool that I am, I was nearly half an hour late, and he was out here, in bitter frost all this time!

“I didn't think you were coming,” he says, as if he senses that I'm in need of an explanation, but the very thought is so preposterous in my mind that I blurt out before I can stop myself:

“Don't be absurd. I'd never miss it. Never. I just... had a lie-in,” I utter. When I feel those crystal blue eyes on me, there's a fresh supply of blood tinting my cheeks red and then violently crashing down my body until my trousers are painfully tight at the mere memory of what made me come, not an hour ago: his eyes... on my face. Oh, Godric the horny, help me here... I desperately need to change the topic.

“So... what brings you here?” my frozen brain supplies awkwardly, and I almost roll eyes up at myself.

Great, Scorpius Malfoy, just great... Go on, cut the bullshit and go straight to interrogation, why don't you, you utter blond simpleton! I bet he appreciates some healthy prying into his business!

“Oh, I had a few things to work out... and I think better when I'm all by myself,” he simply smiles, once again immune to my lack of manners. “And... well, laugh all you like, but the bitter cold helps! I just tell my brain I'm not leaving until it comes up with a solution, and I suppose that's one way to keep it motivated!”

He laughs softly, and I swear he has the sweetest, warmest chuckle on the planet. It makes my skin prickle as if warm fingers ran across my cold cheek and caressed me, and whatever vague notion I might have once had of some kind of a purpose to this meeting, it is once again hopelessly lost to a dreadful urge to touch him, to feel that creamy skin under my fingers, to drown in those mystic eyes. It's all I dream about. And it's at the tip of my fingers, so close I can smell it, smell him... Er... what purpose, I ask you?

But he misunderstands my rude and inexplicable silence, frowning a little before his pretty face once again lightens up and he exclaims:

“Oh, did you mean what I was doing here in school during the holidays, then?”

By this point, I'm desperate to just dig a hole and sink all the way to fucking China in embarrassment. I'm so bloody petrified of blurting out how I feel about him that I'm making him hold a goddamn monologue, and I bet I have that frozen snotty Malfoyian face across my gob; I bet it! Oh, my fucking god, where's a Giant Squid to come and snatch you when you need it?! I do my very best under the circumstances and nod stiffly, miserably - and I'm instantly rewarded with another one of those boyish, brain-melting smiles that go straight to my crotch and my heart, and I'm just a puddle on the inside.

“I see... well, you know, I'm here because Dad's gone until Friday, and the house is kind of boring and quiet without him,” he shrugs and suddenly, inexplicably, he is much more subdued. “I'd just miss him too much if I moped around home – and Mum's no fun to be around... still way too bitter about the divorce...” he says quietly and there's something in his voice that makes me forget my swollen predicament for a moment.

“What happened... to your parents, I mean,” I blurt out and – excuse me, but what is this, “Act like a berk - feel like a fool” day?! Talk about a lack of tact! Even Grandmother Cissy might smack me across the head with one of her French magazines for such a faux paswhen manners are concerned! If this Quidditch thing doesn't work, maybe I can write a letter to Harry bloody Potter to hire me as an interrogative Auror, or some such rot; I'm sure I'd do great in drilling confessions out of people, pulling nails and doing other nasty, painful chores!

He's silent for a while, and for a breathtaking, hurtful moment I think I've truly lost him, lost his attention, and worse, his trust, but then he shrugs again and speaks quietly:

“You know... the usual. Dad fell in love with another... and Dad being Dad, the most straight-forward bloke ever to draw breath, couldn't keep it to himself as soon as he had figured it out. Mum was devastated, of course. She still loves him. I reckon she always will. There was a lot of yelling and tears and awkward silences... I'm glad Rosie and I were mostly stuck out here when it all went down. I heard my mum suggest counselling and reconciliation to him, but Dad said it's not like the counsellor could make him fall in love with Mum again, could he – besides, he says there was nothing to reconcile: he says he never cheated on Mum, as the bloke he fell for is the kind that wouldn't give him the time of day in a million years...”

“A man?!” I can’t help but interrupt him, because, honestly – Ron Weasley, gay?! You've got to be fucking kidding me! He's like the epitome of manliness! He's probably got “straight as a wand” tattoo somewhere on his, admittedly, impressive body! Oh, Father would totally have a field day if he ever found out! Actually, scratch that, I think he might fall into one of his fits of weeks-long depressions and rage that I nearly forgot about, since he hasn't had one since... erm, since he started working with Hugo's dad, actually... Oh, god, he must never find out!

“Yeah... you can imagine that didn't make my mum any happier about it...” Hugo says sadly. “She howled at him like a wounded harpy that she had no idea he was into men, and when the hell did that happen, but he wouldn't even bother yelling back, and he wouldn't really defend himself. And then he told her – so very calm and quiet, so unlike himself – that he wasn't into men categorically, that he just fell head over heels for that one person, and that particular person just happened to be a man. And that just stunned her numb.”

He looks at me with those big blue eyes, as if expecting something from me, some acknowledgement, some understanding, some bloody... whatever I don't have to give him, and I suddenly become aware how very young we both are, with next to no life experiences, and my heart squeezes in my chest to... do something. Help him... understand and accept, and just... bloody do something. I’m the older one here, for fuck’s sake, I should have at least some of the answers... only I don’t, and I can’t help him; I just want to put my arms around him and take some of that sadness away from him, make him feel better, make him feel mine. Oh, Godric’s jolly heart... I’m so fucked... he’s way deeper under my skin than I thought...

“I reckon it bothered dad as well... it must have,” he sighs. “I know he doesn't acknowledge it, but Dad's a proper pureblood, and as such, he was raised with the must-procreate awareness – so falling for a bloke, in this light... it’s just not done. I mean, you can obviously fuck around all you like...” he shrugs matter-of-factly, and of course, he would, because he knows about these things, “...but only as long there is no heart in it. But when it comes to a proper relationship – how many gay couples do you know?”

None. I know none, and neither does he – nor does Ronald Weasley, for that matter. There’s no such thing in our world; the fear for our kind to diminish is too great, too deeply rooted in all of us born into wizarding families.

“I know he must have it bad... but he wouldn’t discuss it! He won’t do anything about it and he’s just as stubborn as an old mule!” he suddenly says heatedly and for some reason his burst of temper sends jolts of delight down my body.

“He clings to his pride as if his pride is all he’s got!” he continues angrily, and I want to tell him that, yeah, I know one like him as well, remembering my father and that horrified look that crossed his face when he realized he might have betrayed himself... But I can’t think of my father now, I cannot think of anything or anyone but him, Hugo, because his eyes glitter darkly, almost violet, and my fuzzy brain imagines there are small sparks of magic buzzing in the narrow space between us. Oh, Christ... someone help me or I’m going to jump him! His magic seems to be spilling across the borders of his body and flushing my skin hot, and I can feel his livid, smouldering passion rub against me like an angry cat, charging me, melting me, and I’m so bloody helpless and needy...

I think I might have actually let out a small mewl, and he stops abruptly and turns towards me to look me in the eye.

“Well, fuck pride...” he said quietly, passionately and my eyes are captivated by those bottomless blue pools of his, unable to tear away and just begging... for something, some small mercy... please...

“Fuck pride when it won’t let you breathe... when it makes your life pass you by... and makes all those precious moments go to waste... just... let it go... and live a little,” he whispers, and suddenly his long fingers close my eyes with the gentlest of touches, and his other hand is in my wind-tousled hair... and his silken mouth is upon me, and Hugo Weasley is kissing the all the coldness of my life out of me and feeding me his fiery breath of desire, filling up my emptiness, my crumbling hollow frame, with his intoxicating, wild essence and his boiling passion.

The tender skin of my lips blossoms to life like a rose under the sweet touch of his mouth, and for a brief moment I wonder if he can tell that I’ve never been kissed – but I know he doesn’t care, and I no longer care... for anything... if it’s not part of this wonderful, warm creature stealing my every breath with his heavenly mouth, leading me on with a promise of wonders that have always been kept just beyond my reach – but I know they wait for me just behind the softness of his mouth.

And then it’s gone. And I just want to scream. I open my eyes to do just that, to scream and demand it back, that feeling of being permeated and completed by another magical creature and finally feeling whole... but he's already long steps away, headed towards the castle, and I have to run again to catch up with the monstrous pace his long legs set.

“Hugo...” I try pleadingly, but he won't have any of it, because I think he might have just done something he didn't mean to do, and that hardly ever happens in Hugo's no-limits life.

“Goddammit, Hugh!” I finally lose it and grab him by the arm and feel his muscles instantly contract underneath my fingers, and I'm suddenly surprised that he doesn't hit me. He's visibly upset. I've never even seen him like this. And a raw, open, vulnerable Hugo is a sight for the gods. This close up I can see myself in his eyes, my scared, pleading, pale face bathing in the blue crystal mirror and I'm afraid to even blink to lose this, this one precious cobweb of intimacy that still ties us together.

“Hugo... please...” I try, not knowing what I'm asking for, what it even is that I want from him, but there's a brilliance of unshed tears in his eyes as he speaks hastily:

“Did you like it? Last night... did you like it?”

So it was not a dream after all...

“Yes,” I whisper and realize that somehow, this is important. “Loved it.”

His heaving chest seems to calm down at those words, and he closes his dazzling eyes for a second, as if to get a grip, and when he opens them again, his voice is back to that warm texture that hides all the intricate feelings of the complex, extraordinary creature he is so well in their depths.

“Good,” he says quietly. “There will be more where that came from... if you stay the night.”

And those words just kind of screw me to the ground, and I cannot follow his rapidly departing figure because I know he will no longer stop. He had to communicate his feelings to me in a different, Hugo way.

Only... I can't stay another night. I can't keep on trying to trick Father; he's often intuitive to the point of scary, and terribly fierce when he's willingly defied. But I cannot leave either. I have to know.

Time for innovative approach, then.

~

God Almighty, I'm sick. Sick as a she-dragon pregnant with triplets doesn't even begin to describe it, I've just vomited twice and there's a third shipment of gore just around the corner... but I need to do this right.

I drag myself to the fireplace because it's fucking now or never. I barely manage to cast a look at the figure sitting behind me in the Gryffindor common room, still shaking her head in disapproval and disbelief, and I ask her in a faint voice I no longer need to fake:

“Ready, Rosie?”

“I don't think one can ever really get ready for that, Scorpius Malfoy!” she says in a scolding voice. “You are a blasted fool... but a very persuasive and dedicated one, so I suppose I'll help you,” her voice finally softens to something I can live with, and I nod weakly.

Here goes my ticket to hell...

“Father...! Father... oh, there you are, Merlin be thanked. I'm awfully sorry, but I honestly... oh, god, this is terrible... I honestly don't think I can make it home tonight,” I choke out. There's a fresh wave of bile rising in my throat, and my vision is swimming with tears the extreme sickness brings along.

“Scorpius... are you alright, son?! Merlin, what happened?!” However blurry my vision, I can hear genuine concern in my father's voice, and my stomach just squeezes some more in a terrible thought what an arsehole I am.

“It's nothing, really... no need to worry, honestly. It's just something I ate, I think... I've felt uneasy in my stomach since lunch, and that dry fish did taste a tad... fishy.”

“Move, darling, I'm coming over.” My father's voice is calm and composed, but I know that dead-still tinge at the bottom of it, he's dead worried about me and desperately wants control of the situation. But it's something I can't have! Time for my secret weapon, then.

I make a desperate, covert wave with a hand towards Rosie, and I hear her sigh nearly imperceptibly. But suddenly, she's at the fireplace, talking – lying! – to my scary parent as calmly as if it was her daily business, handling it like.a.boss!

“I believe that won't be necessary, Mr. Malfoy. Perhaps you don't remember me, but you used to bring Scorpius to The Burrow to play with other children when he was little. I'm Rose, Rose Weasley and – I’m not sure if you even know that, but – I'm your son's best friend. I don't imagine he mentions me much, though, knowing it would upset you,” she says with that authoritative voice she has. I can see that her no-nonsense approach doesn't leave father unaffected. His tense shoulders relax a little, but his face, as much as can be seen through the coals of the fire-call, still has an alert, wary look about it.

“Actually, I don't believe you could do much good here; I imagine it would only upset your son further. Scorpius wanted to inform you of his... condition personally, because apparently, there is some kind of an agreement between the two of you, but as soon as he's done fire-calling, I'm taking him to the hospital wing to have him checked out, and we remain hopeful a relaxing night will set him right as rain.”

Even through a layer of coals and cinders I can see that stiff, focused expression on Father’s face that means he’s considering it – but has yet to make a decision.

“Look,” Rosie says kindly after a long moment of precarious silence. “You really needn't worry, Mr. Malfoy. I promise to come back here and inform you of Madam Pomfrey's diagnosis regarding your son and his condition as soon as he's tucked in, if you insist. Or, you could send an owl in the morning. I expect he will be strong enough to travel home sometime tomorrow, possibly in the afternoon; it really looks worse than it actually is. He shouldn't have taken that last piece of fish, it looked positively vile, but you know your son's love for salted herring. He just couldn't resist, the little glutton that he is!”

Just the mention of herring sends me into a fresh fit of vomiting. Where did the blasted girl find herring?! Oh, I positively loathe that fish, it's oily and... fishy... and just... yuck!... oh, god I'm sick... I suppose that's Rose's little personalised revenge, with yours truly as a recipient, for making her do this.

“Very well, then,” my father says, and I can hear in his voice that he's got himself under control, that he's somewhat calmer already. “I expect to hear from you, or him, first thing in the morning, and of course, during any time in the course of the night, should anything... extraordinary occur.”

“By all means,” Rose says confidently, with an obliging smile, and I hear father “hmpf!” into the cinder.

“Another Weasley, dear god!” he mumbles into his chin, but even though I'm usually as protective of Rosie as she is of me, I'm willing to let this one go, because my stomach is once again heaving as if it's about to deliver everything I ever ate in my sorry life and then some, and for once, Father looks mildly disgusted.

“I'm really sorry, Father, but...” I choke out, but he just shakes his hand and waves me along.

“For Merlin's sake, have yourself checked out, silly boy, and I will talk to you in the morning...”

And just when I think that I've been spared, his pointy nose nearly jumps out of the flames, and he addresses Rose:

“Oh, one more thing, Ms. Weasley. I don't know if you're aware of a certain dinner invitation pertaining to your brother...”

And I'm dead. Just like that. Only... I'm not. Because my Rosie is just brilliant that way.

“Of course,” Rose says calmly, matter-of-factly even. “He accepts and seems very... eager to be properly introduced to Scorpius's family he's heard so much about.”

That devious, curly-haired little liar! Oh, I adore her! I didn't know she had it in her, honestly!

“Oh...” There's a faint interest in my father's cinder-covered face now and I think that perhaps Rose has just made a mistake in judgement. “I wasn't aware Scorpius talks about us much.”

“Not Scorpius, no,” Rose says kindly, and offers a small, pleasant smile. “But my father does.”

Checkmate, Draco Malfoy. He's gone in an instant, as if the connection had suddenly gone bad, and I can only imagine how shocked he must be to have disappeared in such an unmannerly way.

“Poor man,” Rose comments calmly, but sounding strangely pleased with herself. “Worrying about his ungrateful, deceitful child like that!”

And then she smacks me across the back of my head – I knew I had it coming ever since I asked her to do that for me – and sighs dejectedly:

“And now let's give you the other half of the pill, you terrible serpent!”

Weasley's Puking Pastilles are a dreadful thing, straight from the darkest pits of hell. The devil's very own tool, to be sure, but luckily, one with very reversible effects.

What can I say in my defence? Desperate times call for desperate measures? Somehow, I think my father might fail to appreciate it. But desperate I am. For more reasons than one.

Firstly, as grateful as I am to Rose for lying to my father for me, I’m now backed into a corner with no way to save my sorry arse. I must, simply must bring Hugo Weasley to dinner now, even if screaming and kicking. Maybe we could call it a lovers’ quarrel? Because I’m acutely becoming aware of one thing when I’m changing into a spare set of clean clothes I always keep in my room: this is no longer only about the Quidditch World Cup; I’ve allowed myself to abuse my father’s trust, and if I ever want to look him in the eye again, I owe it to him and to myself to make good on a promise that was never given. Erm... right, I can’t even begin to clear up this mess, it makes my head hurt to think of it.

But my “firstly” is nowhere near as grave as my “secondly”. Secondly... oh, this is hard. And just bloody out-of-proportion scary! You see, I’m afraid I’m no longer crushing on Hugo Weasley. Lying in my bed, with a fluttering heart, waiting for his wonderful magic to start flowing across the abandoned corridors of the ancient school, I’m feverish and dead frightened of the recognition that just dawned on me rather unexpectedly: I think I might be... oh, fuck my life... I think I just might be in love with the crazy, genius boy – in love with him good and proper.

Oh, Christ... and now what?

But in that moment the deep sensual male voice fills the air and with the first verse – “I love your skin, oh, so white...” – I know I can no longer stay in bed. That voice just pulls me behind, and I’m certain there’s some magic woven right into it, because once again, I know where to find him. There are no kids coming out of their dorms tonight. Everyone seems to be in their beds, waiting for their magical Christmas time treat. So there’s no one standing in my way when I enter the 6th year’s dorms, and it never dawns on me that I shouldn’t even have access. This is Hugo’s realm, and everything beyond this point is possible.

There are no candles lit, and at first I see nothing and no one, but their dorms are a mirror of our own quarters, and I know which bed is his. Don’t ask, I don’t know how I have the knowledge, but I do. It is directly below mine, and this is just right. This is just the way it should be. It is perfect and right to find him stretched across his bed, his long, dark figure barely discernible in the moonlight, and the silver light casting mystical shadows across his striking face. His eyes are closed once again, and he looks incredibly peaceful, but when I approach the bed, he simply opens his arms, and I don’t think – I just slide into his bed, put my head into the crook of his neck, press against the body I can’t even stand to look at in the daylight without craving it, desperately so, and when his strong arms close around me, I feel my lungs flooded by his wonderful fragrance and I’m deeply immersed into my own, personal Heaven.

“You’re gone with the sin, my baby, and beautiful you are...” the words echo... He’s so warm and smells like winter delights, like my unexpected, god-given, priceless present, and when those long fingers find their way into my hair again, I’m so wildly, hopelessly in love with Hugo Weasley that I’m literally suffocated by the spilling, overwhelming emotion; I can barely catch my breath against the painful, sweet tightness rising in my chest.

“I crave for your scent sending shivers down my spine, I just love the way you're running out of life...”

As the song fades away into another heavily shrouded night in the castle, with snow falling like velvet diamonds against the window panes, softening the moonlight into a silver glow, he leans into me:

“A song about you...” he whispers and then presses a single, silken kiss into my hair.

“For you. Because no one should be so beautiful... and so lonely.”

I wake up in my own bed, with pink fingers of dawn softly outlining the shapes of a brand new day, and once again, I don’t remember how I got here. But there are streaks of dried tears down my cheeks, and I remember that he called me beautiful. It brings a smile to my face and leaves me with an aching heart. Today is the last day.

Father will personally get me if I don’t make it home tonight and this is my last chance... to get this right. Because if I don't, if I blow it, the fuck-up that I am, I can forget about Hugo, about the nights filled with magic, about ever lying in his embrace again, listening to his heartbeat, loving him quietly, with no words and all my heart. And I want to. Desperately so.

~

So. I have a plan. And of course it'll go wrong, of course it bloody will! I'm so fucking nervous I've knocked on my own dorm door twice, and I might have broken my toothbrush. In two. With my teeth. Oh, merciful God, I'm supposed to look my most stunning and cool and composed this morning to impress him, but I cannot for the love of god find my scattered brain at all. Rose has to smack me across the back of the head after she repeatedly warned me about eating from her plate, rather than my own. Boy, that girl is proprietary when it comes to her food! And she has a mean right backhand! Ouch… And her Gran Molly's evil Howler voice, when she's trying to make a point!

In the end I think it blows the lid off her cauldron, when I – absentmindedly, I swear! – try to steal a sausage from her plate, and I... uh, kind of... maybe impale her hand with my fork instead? I don't know how that came about, I honestly didn't see it happen! I was, uh... otherwise... occupied. You see, Louis Weasley made it to the Great hall and he's a redhead, just like his cousin, so... ehm, you get the point. I might have jumped... a little. To the ceiling. And sent Rose to the hospital wing. I have to remember to bring her a sausage later... a chocolate frog, Scorpius Malfoy, you complete idiot – a chocolate frog!  not a sausage! Oh, imagine the look on Pomfrey's face if I showed up with a sausage! It almost makes me want to try it... It's only the fear of... er, I mean, the respect I have for Rose that stops me from trying. I wonder if Hugo would....

Hugo. I sigh. Damn. Here we go again. I almost thought of someone else for a second there! My whole world revolves around Hugo this morning and I can't think of frogs or sausages without thinking of him. How the hell do I do this right? So, here, this is what I've got so far: I jump him... oh, no, not jump him, no, for fuck's sake! – more like... surprise him during his daily walk around the lake; I, of course, make sure that I'm all stunning and... you know, whatever that... thing is that we, the Malfoys, do to look all polished, not a hair out of place and such... and – where was I? Sorry about that... another redhead walked by, Freddie this time; I swear the amount of Weasley gingers in this school is too damn high!

Anyway, back to my cunning plan: I'm at the lake, looking all polished, taking his breath away – if only… Holding a pleasant chit-chat about... er, you know, matters of importance, something from the Wizengamot schedule, never mind, it's only meant to shed light on my intelligence and worldliness; then I casually, politely pursue the issue by asking him out to the dinner with my parents, because we're... er... one short at the table or some such rot and... oh, look his dad is there as well, what a pleasant coincidence, my father must have thought we were one short as well, and... oh, crap.

Crap, crap, crap, crappity crap. Now, how is this sour calamity of a plan supposed to work?! Have you ever even heard anything more demented?! Me – discussing Wizengamot issues with Hugo Weasley, when I can't even spell my name right in his presence! Cunning plan, my arse! For a drunk mountain troll with a brain infection, perhaps! Oh, what am I to do?! Why the hell did I have to go and put Rose in the hospital wing?! Her advice would be priceless right now... but it will be at least another hour before Pomfrey releases her back to the world where Scorpius the Horrible wields his deadly fork...

And godfuckingdammit another redhead! What is this? Weasley United Nations convention?! Only... this one... holy Mary and her wonder-baby... this one is the right one, it's...

“Hugo!!!!” Oh, crap in a shit sandwich...

It seems... it seems I have actually.shouted.that.out... I... oh, just give me to Dementors, I might cheer them up a little... I've actually shouted that out so loudly that Hagrid spat out his bagel all the way to the Hufflepuff table, Tiffany Parkinson-Smith jumped and screeched, poured hot tea all over herself, and then screeched demonically some more... and I think The Bloody Baron might have fainted, he looks even less alive than usual.

And in complete, overwhelming silence, Hugo Weasley turns towards me slowly, and quietly looks at me across the Great Hall with those deep, cobalt blue eyes. Killing curse, someone, please.

“I...” Oh, I'm not really thinking about doing this?! Surely not here, not in front of everyone, am I?! How deranged have I become?!

“I was wondering if you would come with me to dinner with my parents on Friday,” I hear my shaky voice resonate trough the deadly silence of the Great Hall, and I can feel a hundred awed eyes on me – and myself grow faint. “I might have... I might have made up a tiny white lie and... I... my grandfather is in the hospital...”

“Mr. Malfoy!”

Finally, god, fucking finally, McGonagall remembers that she actually runs this school, and I'm totally buying the old hag a sunlit villa by the sea to spend her retirement in; my relief and my gratitude are immeasurable at this point. She stopped me! She actually stopped me when I couldn't stop myself, and I could kiss her like a bride right now! Uh... yuck... well, maybe not quite like a bride.

“That would be quite enough... detail... for everyone involved,” she says adamantly, though not unkindly, and all I can do is nod with a knot in my throat. Enough doesn't even begin to cover it.

“Perhaps you and Mr. Weasley here could take your... affairs?...affair?... elsewhere? Somewhere more... private?” she suggests with a raised eyebrow and a small, indulging smile in the corner of her mouth. Yep, her villa should definitely come with an enormous library!

And then I nearly faint. Like, for real. Because… because that beast of Hugo Weasley calmly walks towards me and takes my hand as casually as if it was something of his he left behind.

“By all means, Professor,” he says with that warm, liquid-sex of a voice he has these days, and his wonderful, strong fingers are incredibly soothing around my slippery, nervous hand. He squeezes my fluttering fingers gently as if he's trying to tell me something, warn me perhaps, and then he casually brings my hand to his mouth and kisses my knuckles. Gently. Lovingly. Repeatedly. Watching me all the time with those mesmerising blue eyes, and the Great Hall and everyone in it seems to fall away, and it's just us; me, with my helpless, stuttering heart and a pair of the world's softest lips eroding my boundaries, kissing away my tight constraints.

He smiles when he sees me so smitten, and it's the wild, sexy, promising smile of the proper predator he is, and everything in me stirs to life simultaneously with that smile. The Great Hall comes back into focus and McGonagall's indignant, “Mr. Weasley! Honestly!” echoes in the background. There's a loud, buzzing chatter of about a million excited, squealing voices, and I'm all scattered and confused, and bloody hell, am I turned on! I still seem to feel those inviting, provoking lips toying with the ridges and dips of my knuckles, caressing gently. The wet warmth from that decadently pretty mouth shoots up my body like a dangerous, intoxicating love potion gone awry and I'm suddenly desperately needy and nearly dizzy with lust. In full view of half the school. Fuck you, Hugo Weasley. Fuck you. If only...

But this is Hugo, and he does nothing halfway.

“I'm sorry, Professor,” he says smoothly, shooting her that winning, brilliant, boyish smile that could melt the Swiss Alps and turn them into a pile of sticky goo. “My boyfriend is a little too... irresistible.”

Boyf... I suddenly know exactly how Grandfather Lucius felt before he turned blue.

Only Hugo Weasley can silence the entire Great Hall stupid with a single word.

But he's already dragging me towards the door, and we barely reach it when all hell breaks loose behind our back. He quickly pushes me into the corridor and asks simply:

“Where to?”

At this point I'm so desperate to get away from the crowd that I don't even care if I have my bits frozen off.

“To the lake,” I tell him and he just nods and gets our coats, with a neatly done wordless spell. Show-off. Oh, god, he's totally brilliant, isn't he?!

All too soon we were at the lake, and somehow, my brain is still the size of a marble, jumping happily around my empty skull. I've been saved and... Merlin... as good as kissed! So excuse me if I can't really come up with the words I desperately need to say, with all that clever, worldly chit-chat and the badly made-up story that would explain why I – very loudly, oh, mercy! – invited Hugo Weasley to a dinner with my parents in front of the whole school.

Instead, I just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind and burns in my head as if there is a grain of hot lava wrapped in a cotton ball in there.

“Why did you do it?! Why did you... save me?”

He just looks at me with those smiling, dark blue eyes and shrugs.

“I don't know, really. You looked as if you needed it, I suppose... maybe? Are you angry at me, then?”

“No! What?! No! Why would I be angry at you, you... crazy wonderful prat?! I just thanked you... well, perhaps not thanked, but I meant to…! That is to say... I meant to thank you for having saved me, why would I be mad at you?!”

I'm babbling and destroying any hope of ever being able to keep that imaginary “boyfriend” status I was awarded so gloriously just moments ago, but... oh, crap, I can't help myself! He just affects me so, so bloody much... I really don't want to say anything to him anymore, I just want to push him into the nearest heap of snow and fuck him until he's frozen! But you see... I can't really do that, so I'm blathering and filling my mouth with all kinds of crazy gibberish to quell the terrible need to wrap it around his cock. God, I'm ever so horny!!!

“Well... I thought you perhaps didn't like being called my boyfriend,” he says very quietly, and looks at the ground while his foot begins to draw a tiny line left and right, as if he's truly embarrassed and he's just the sexiest, most adorable thing ever and... argh!!!

“Hugo Weasley.... you're...” – the fucking sex toy of my dreams; please, please come and pity-fuck me!  I want to scream at him, because I swear I'm seconds from coming in my pants, but at that moment he looks at me with those big, blue eyes of his and I just grit painfully through my teeth: “... you're an idiot, Christ... Hugh... who wouldn't want to be called your boyfriend?! Seriously... there's a line of the willing candidates from Hogwarts to the English Isles... can't you see, you're... oh, fuck that, Hugh, you can't do this to me... I'm, I'm just... – so fucking in love with you I don't know which way is up, you beautiful wild creature; yep, you guessed it, this one doesn't come out either – “I'm a Malfoy, you can't treat me like this!”

Merciful Thor, strike me with your lightning in this empty pot I have for brain, this is above god-awful! What am I even trying to say – “I'm a Malfoy”- like some upper-class snot, when I'm really desperate to tell him that... that I'm a bloody Malfoy, and I can't confess my feelings even if my life were on the line, because we're just emotionally constipated that way and my father is the same and... oh, Merlin, what am I doing with my life?! I'm blowing everything to bits and look, he already lost his beautiful, brilliant smile and any moment now he's going to smack me with one of those wordless spells he's clearly capable of – which would be an act of mercy at this point – and run away from me – which is the thought I can't bloody stand.

And in my despair I bring about the very thing I feared and avoided for so long:

“Besides, you don't even know what this is all about!”

For a moment he just lifts his eyes from the frozen floor, into which his foot already etched an intricate design, and offers a tiny smile that somehow doesn't look quite as brilliant as before:

“I was kind of hoping you would tell me,” he says calmly, but I see that he's close to not caring anymore and I really.can't.bloody.have.that! For more reasons than one. So once again, I'm at the mercy of my befuddled, melted brain and... bloody hell, I'm nervous... and still wretchedly turned on and... oh, fuck, Malfoy, breathe, you fool... all right, there we go, here goes nothing...

“We... that is to say – my grandparents, together with my parents and I... we traditionally dine together on Christmas... and sadly, my grandfather thinks the finest topic of conversation is my bloody sorting six and a half years ago. That, along with a couple of raving mad musings on how the obnoxious Gryffindor of a grandchild our proud pureblood line was cursed with is going to waste his precious assets on saving Mudbloods and such – his words, not mine, yeah? Right... so, this has been going on... for years. Like, every.bloody.time. So, understandably, I might have gotten... a tiny little bit upset on Friday. I mighthave mentioned that I'm thinking about backing up a joke shop with my inheritance – a healthy jest, to be sure – yet, grandfather might be a bit... immune, when it comes to sarcasm and money. And I seem to be immune to the concept of “a healthy jest” I...”

Oh, ChristandMerlin, here comes the hard part...

“Upon seeing his distress... I might have misjudged the situation as funny... rather than deadly grave, of course. I might have... aggravated matters somewhat by pointing out the joke shop I was interested in belonged... to my boyfriend's family.”

I'd honestly rather look a Dementor in the eye and tell him that he's got a bit of soul stuck between his teeth, than look Hugo Weasley in his pretty, freckled face right now. I feel his eyes on me, and I feel myself turn all the colours of the rainbow, so I just blurt out the rest like somehow, from one second to another, this became a speed-talking contest.

“So I mentioned your name, your surname, actually, and that just did it; that truly did him in. He just landed in his crème de menthe, face-first and had to be taken to St. Mungo's. Father was livid! He tried to revoke my tickets for the Quidditch World Cup – and I have them for the premium lounge! Imagine that, imagine the view I'd be missing! But Father specified it was because of a lie, not because of, you know... you. So...” I gulp bravely, “... so I lied some more and told him we really were a couple... and he came up with this impossible, god-awful idea of a dinner. With your father! To have you “properly introduced” – which is just his slang for merciless verbal torture! But...”

I'm sure by this time I look about as miserable as I feel, and things really can't get any worse, so I resort to what I should have done all along: shameless begging.

“But it’s really good food and...” – Oh, my fucking god, what am I on about?! – “... and it’s at seven o’clock sharp, semi-formal attire expected, and you really can't say “no”! Please, please, don't say “no” Hugh! I'm desperate... I'll do anything... You can experiment on me... or something... I'll... I'll pay you...”

“No.”

Just like that, and my dreams are over. But I'm still strung out on an adrenaline rush, and I'm not ready to surrender my guns just yet. My chest is heaving, and I swear my eyes are full of genuine tears and I try again in a trembling voice.

“Hugo... please...”

“No. Shut the fuck up.”

I stare at the impenetrable blue of his eyes. I'm afraid to blink, or I swear all my terrible frustration will spill over. And just when I thought that we were finished, that he's finished with me, and my shoulders slouch in surrender, he continues unexpectedly.

“Keep your fucking money, Malfoy. You got your grandfather, Lucius bloody Malfoy, into St. Mungo's with my name alone. Fuck it – I'm doing it for free!”

My head shoots up so fast I nearly decapitate myself on the low-hung branch of a nearby tree, but I finally look him in the eye, and the beautiful smile on his face is so carefree, boyish, and brilliant that I can no longer help myself... I think I mewl a little and launch myself at him, and before I know it, my arms are behind his neck and I'm kissing Hugo Weasley... I.am.kissing.HIM., straight on the mouth... oh, fuck. And Hugo Weasley... oh, fuck... is kissing right back. And the way he kisses... oh, bloody hell, no...

His tempting, delectable mouth is everywhere, seducing, capturing, encapsulating my lips completely and caressing gently until I'm a whimpering mess, surrendering my swollen flesh freely, hungrily, to be taken, toyed with, nibbled on and licked... ohgodhavemercy, the way he licks... The seam of my mouth just opens on its own when the plush, wet flesh presses against it, as if begging for access, and suddenly a wonderful, slick invader is inside of my mouth and our tongues touch gently... ohhhh... ohhhh... sweetgod, ohhhh...and this... this is no longer a whimper, this is an outright urgent moan of the most hopeless need... ohChristsaveme...

“Need to... practice a little... on this boyfriend thing... before Friday...” he whispers, straight into my greedy mouth. Suddenly, his hand is on my arse, squeezing gently, experimentally, and the only thing that saves me from coming right then and there is the fact that my coat is an inch of white fox fur, and it somewhat numbs the razor-sharp sensation of acute arousal. But it gives me a taste of what's coming and I desperately, viciously want more...

“Hugo,” I whimper breathlessly, “I want more... Hugh... please... more...”

“Merlin,” he gasps and chuckles straight into my mouth. “Aren't you just the sweetest little beggar... always such a prudish little thing... with such a lovely... tight... needy arse... so uptight... always so cool and polished... would you let me undo you a little... ravish you a bit... open you up, gorgeous...”

His curious, uncompromising fingers find a way inside my coat and I hazily register he must have opened it, somehow, fuck if I know how, fuck if I care; and when that addictive, manly, pure-sex fragrance of his skin hits me full-on, I realize that he managed to get his coat open as well, or maybe it was never closed – how the fuck should I know, when I can’t remember my own name at the sight of those rock-solid muscles moving under the crisp school shirt like a deadly monster, coming to get me?! Suddenly those large, possessive hands are on my arse, pulling me closer, and I'm separated from Hugo Weasley by nothing than the thin fabric of our school uniforms... while my imagination takes care of the rest. It's not like I could stop it at the sight of a huge hard-on he's sporting – Christ, how big is he?! But then I realize my own school trousers are ridiculously tented as well, and there's a betraying wet stain in place where my leaking, painfully swollen cock is pressing against it – and I sort of want to die of embarrassment. Only, he smiles against my mouth like a dangerous wild cat at the sight of it... and I just whimper with no way to save myself.

Oh, god, he is... delicious... and that beautiful motherfucker knows all too well what he is doing and what he's doing to me. His commanding mouth never lets go of me, his demanding, breathtaking kisses are making me desperate... Merlin... so close... so fucking close... just a tiny tilt of his hips and our erections press together, rubbing against each other for a fucking endless second... and for one slow, torturous motion I feel the contours of his hard, hungry cock slide against mine... ohMerlinpleasedontstop... I want more, more, more so badly I'm whimpering breathless, pleading little obscenities straight into his mouth, and I can see his sapphire eyes sparkle from up close – and my blue-eyed devil knows just what to give me.

“So precious...” he breathes into my mouth gently, wetly. “Such a sweet, needy, beautiful boyfriend...”

And the next thing I know, I'm clinging to him with all my strength, the muscles in my arse contracting and my hips slamming against him with force... and I hear someone make a desperate, urgent howl of release. But it can't be me... I'm not here anymore. My vision goes black, and all I hear is the rush of blood in my own ears and... JesusMerlin... what was that?! What the bloody fuck was that?! Oh, I think the bloody Earth has moved! This is... another fucking dimension... so good... oh, sobloodygooooood... How does one even survive that?! How can this be so... different... so incredibly sublime... a thousand times more intense... coming like this... with him? Fuck...

Oh, fuck. Have I just...? Oh, please tell me that I didn't. I can't have. I didn't just jump Hugo Weasley, practically rape him with my mouth, abuse him to live out my filthy fantasies and – oh, someone Avada K. me! – come in my pants in his arms. How am I ever going to live this down?! That's just... oh, Morgana the murderous! And the worst bit is that I can't even bring myself to wish that it didn't happen, the pervert that I am! It was just so… so fucking bone-meltingly perfect, ohhhh... oh, Scorpius Malfoy, you brainless dick with no morals, what have you mutated into?! You should be feverishly hoping you just bumped your head on that tree branch and dreamed the whole thing, you randy blond fool! Oh, damn... how can I ever look him in the eye again! How am I...

I suddenly feel myself laid down gently onto a cold soft blanket of what must be snow – I wasn't still hanging around his neck like a big wet rubbish bag full of pathetic, was I?! Oh, no, I just keep on finding new bottoms to hit, don't I?!

But I forget how to breathe when there’s a single slow, luxurious kiss pressed into a tender spot just under my ear, and in an instant my breath hitches to the sky, and I'm nothing but a bundle of sparkling, aroused nerves, ready to go again... Oh, Merlin, I’m such a happy slut!

“Until Friday... boyfriend,” the warm, raspy voice breathes in my ear and I'm all in shivers and ready to offer myself again up for... wait, he wasn't leaving already, was he?! Where to?! He had nowhere better to be, surely!

But all that’s left of him is the fresh, chilly whisper of a cleaning charm, and after a second or so I realize that he really is gone. A terrible cold tide of loneliness and abandonment washes over me immediately. How can I miss him already?! But I do! I miss his fingers threading through my hair, I miss that warm, comforting presence I felt last night when I stretched across him. I miss the beating of his heart next to mine, his wonderful, luscious scent of all things forbidden and pure-gold desire. Oh, boy, I really have it bad, don't I?! I guess I fell in a pit called Hugo Weasley's sapphire eyes and broke my neck.

With him gone, I can't be bothered to open my eyes. I just lie there, in a soft blanket of snow, pleasantly caressed by the cheeky rays of winter sun, thinking of all things bizarre – because that's the only thing that this salad I have for brains these days is capable of. How serious was he with that boyfriend comment? Probably not much... nope, probably not at all. That thought depresses me, so I chase it away – I'll deal with that after Friday, if there's still something to deal with, that is. After all, we all know Hugo doesn't do it twice with any one person, and we kind of had sex... well, I most certainly had a fucking mother of all climaxes, and if he got anything out of it... I don't know! How can I not know?! What kind of a boyfriend am I going to make?!

Oh, I'm so bloody dumb and inexperienced, who the hell would want to keep such a blushing virgin around?! Wait – am I even still a virgin? He hasn't actually touched any important bits, has he, and if he walked away with a case of blue balls – maybe I still stand a chance at another... chance. See my vocabulary, see it?! Pure eloquence, that. I'm practically a word away from grunting like a flee-infested mountain gorilla. And it's all his fucking fault, isn't it?! I'm a bloody Malfoy, I should be dashing and smashing - and all that other glamorous Malfoyian rubbish that comes with centuries of inbreeding, like it or not - and along comes one measly Weasley and my pompous marble facade just melts away like paper shoes in the rain and I'm this crazed, lost creature on the inside! I wonder if my father's Weasley affects him the same way... FATHER!

Shit, crap, bloody hell in a wheelchair, I forgot to call father! While I'm roasting here in sub-zero temperatures, he's surely walking a hole into the floor in front of the fireplace! Oh, he must be livid by now! Perhaps Rose fire-called him and saved my miserable life? But I've put Rose in the hospital wing! Perhaps he's already on his way here, coldly planning years of my isolation in the highest tower of the Manor! Oh, God, please murder... actually, God, don't bother, he'll do it for you!

And of course – he's already sitting on my bed in the dorm when I arrive, looking like that thing that sunk Titanic. Because I'm just lucky that way. Right. Well. Not only lucky, I'm fucked. Fuckity fucked. And grounded, boy am I grounded, I can tell!

“Good morning, son...”

Ugh, like he's grinding ice cubes with his teeth! I'm surprised they don't chatter. Mine do!

“Good morning, father! I was just about to...”

“Go and see your friend Rose at the hospital wing?” he interrupts me, and for a moment there he looks really mean. Like – his school days mean, the way Rose's dad says he was. Perhaps this school just brings out the worst in him. Gulp. Have I complained of my luck lately?

“I can explain,” I say quietly and he looks at me, all menacing, and spits out coldly:

“No, I really don't think you can. But what you can do, is cancel the dinner invitation. I will not hear another thing about the Weasley boy. He's too young, he's a bad influence, and you're not allowed to date.”

See my father? Remember the bit I told you about how ruthless he gets when defied willingly? That's how! Fucking plague if there ever was one; kill all life on the planet and such. Only – now I have an antidote, and his name is Hugo. Mere days ago, I would have chewed on my own tongue and accepted my punishment. Not now. I've got a chance at Hugo, the wonderful boy that woke me up from my half-life stupor and it's my only chance, the one chance I'm ever likely to get, and fuck me and mine if I'm going to waste it!

“Father, if you will just hear me out... I do have an actual explanation,” I say through my gritted teeth, because I really want to shout at him: I don't want to become you! I don't want to bow my head and follow orders and miss all the chances of loving and being loved; I want to enjoy life not merely breathe on empty! Live a little, Hugo told me, and my dad forgot how to do that. He needs reminding. Right now, he's looking at me with those stone-cold grey eyes, without saying a word, and he's terribly scary; but being a Gryffindor has its advantages. We're a magnificently brave lot. To the point of stupid, really.

“It's just not the explanation you're going to like,” I tell him sincerely, and somewhere at the depth of those icy eyes, there's a first sign of thawing. My dad has a thing for the truth.

“I... we met at the lake and I was just about to pop the question... well, no, not really pop that question – seriously Father, no need to look so alarmed, it was just a bad choice of words on my part! – anyway, I was just about to ask him to dinner as you requested, when I noticed a very interesting book in his hands, and before you know it, we were talking about Muggle devices working in magical environments, and he said he could do it here, at Hogwarts, but I'd have to be here in the evening to witness it. And I kind of, maybe, a little bit forgot about the invitation,” I say sheepishly, and I see his mouth quiver, which, in Draconian, means he believes me and might even be amused by my words, but is unwilling to say so.

“Anyway... I really wanted to be here, I really did,” I say quietly and I'm afraid to look at him. “In spite of our agreement.”

“Would that be the first night you spent away from home, or the second one?” Father inquires politely. What the…?! I feel a sudden cold shiver run down my spine. He knows about that, how the bloody hell on a thestral does he know about that?! I manage a scared little peek in his direction and see him watching me with the most incomprehensible expression on his narrow, solemn face. He must feel my need for an explanation and, surprisingly, obliges me, his voice uncommonly quiet.

“I've been getting up at precisely 2 AM on every night that you’ve ever spent under the same roof with me, to cover you up and to check on you. You used to have terrible nightmares when you were little and needed some... maintenance, and to this day, you sleep like a wild boar – I believe you would have frozen a long time ago if I didn't cover you up every single night; the nights in the Manor can get terribly chilly. Imagine my surprise when I came upon an empty room.”

He pauses a bit, and it's just enough to make my hair stand on end and to feel an enormous wave of pity and shame wash over me. I'm beyond flabbergasted. I can't even begin to imagine the dreadful life experience that made him into a man haunted by such a profound need to check on his only son, to make absolutely certain that he's safe and well in his bed. Oh, Dad... I barely manage to swallow a knot in my throat. I'm a fucking monster, that's what I am.

“At first I was... beyond upset to discover that you were gone; you know, terribly worried and... absolutely wrecked. I was about to call Potter himself to organize a search party, when I also happen to notice that your broom was gone. And then I knew what this was.”

“Father... I...” I don't really know what to say, I'm absolutely mortified at myself, and I can't even bring myself to apologize; I don't know where to start.

“It's love, right?” he says unexpectedly, strangely softly, almost as if he was asking rather than making a statement. “You're in love with the Weasley boy, and you wanted to be around him. I've never... but I guess it made sense, and I made myself understand.”

Oh, bloody hell, Dad, if you could only stop breaking my heart for a minute, so I could explain...

“It's not what you think,” I finally manage in a raspy voice, because I'm so bloody ashamed and raw on the inside, and right now it really hurts to know that my father never knew about these things; bloody hell, he can barely recognise them...

“I wanted to be with Hugo, but not like that. We're not... he only played me some music. He somehow made one of those Muggle devices work here, and he had it play us a song late in the evening. And it was magical, you have no idea... Such a sad, wistful sound resonating through these ancient walls, waking up the old magic. Lacrimas Profundere, he called it; don't know if it’s the song or the band. His father's favourite.”

I see my dad's eyes go wide and flood with that silver light he doesn't even know is there when Ron Weasley's name comes about.

“Why...” he manages, but barely, and I somehow, inexplicably, feel the need to explain Ron Weasley for once to my father; if I'm right about dad’s heart, he must be desperate for it.

“I suppose Hugo's father is not at the best spot in his life right now,” I say, as gently as I can because I know my knowledge could be cutting all kinds of wounds left and right. “He split with his wife of nearly twenty years because he fell in love... with another man.”

In an instant, my father goes so ashen that I'm afraid he's going to faint. His silver eyes look ready to devour his face, and he seems to have lost his voice. A myriad of emotions change on his face so fast that it's hard to follow and to identify, but there's disbelief there, and utter misery, along with something I never thought I'd see in my father's marble face: a glimmer of shyest, purest hope. It's all over in a blink of an eye, but I'm more certain than I ever was that my father, Draco Malfoy, is deeply, wretchedly in love with Hugo's dad.

“But he's not even...” My father can't even say it. So much pain, frustration, and broken dreams hides behind that single word that he's not able to utter it, or he would become all kinds of undone.

“Hugo's mother wanted to know the same thing: since when was he into men? But he said he fell head over heels for that one person, and he couldn't help it if it happened to be a man – and even Minister Granger Weasley had no answer to that.”
“And who...” Father can't seem to finish any of his sentences in this surreal conversation, and my heart squeezes in my chest at the thought how very invested he is into finding out who it is that Ron Weasley sacrificed what seemed to be a model marriage for – and I don't have a clue.

“I have no idea...” I say, sounding apologetic, and see the silver light in his eyes subside a little. “Hugo didn't say and frankly, I didn't ask. But it seems that it's not requited,” I suddenly remember. “Hugo's dad said to his mum that it was one of those people who wouldn't give him the time of day in a million years; his exact words,” I tell him. The last emotion I expect to see on my father face is shame. But dad swallows; he literally swallows, and looks at the floor like a nervous teenager. Suddenly he seems years younger. He's incredibly handsome like this, did you know? And just like that, I know he's heard those words before, those very ones. Did he...? Oh, he couldn't have! Oh, Dad, seriously?!

“Did you say those words to him?” I blurt out before I can stop myself, and the way he blanches, flushes and blanches again, I know I've hit the nail on the head.

“You need to start minding your own business,” he says curtly, but then his eyes soften and he blurts out rapidly, almost as if confessing to a hurtful prank: “I might have said – years and years ago, mind you – that I cannot think of anyone that would give him the time of day... in a million years. It seems to have... stayed with him.” If I didn't know my father better, I would think there's a tinge of deep, honest shame right there and then in his frozen voice. But he enjoyed walking all over his Weasley, didn't he; so why in the name of Patron Saint of all Fools did he have this miserable, petrified expression on his face, the very same one I must have had, wishing for a Time-Turner?

Oh, Dad, you have it bad! I guess years and years of obsessing about Ronald Weasley backfired and Father lost all his mighty Slytherin weapons to his heart. Poor sod.

“So... did you invite him? For Friday?” I want to know, and I observe him closely.

“I did,” he nods, and, the way he crosses his forearms before him defensively, I'm guessing it didn't go down too well.

“And?” my curiosity grows.

“And I've gotten a very angry reply and two Howlers since,” Father says calmly, but I know him well enough to know that he has not given me all the information.

“But he'll be there?” I say probingly, and after a moment's hesitation he nods again: “He'll be there.”

And for some silly, unfathomable reason, that makes me happy. Before I know it, my face stretches into a huge smile and much to my shock, Dad's face suddenly relaxes and Draco Malfoy smiles at me. He smiles at me the way he must have smiled in his youth, before the war, before the empty marriage and the unrequited love; he smiles at me as if the whole world belongs to him, as one can only smile to the person they love.

And my dad loves me. I never doubted it for a second, not when I was sorted – his written reply to my panicked letter was immediate, and his tone appeasing – not when I told him I fell for a boy, regardless of the insane and rather evil manner in which I did it; not even when I broke and violated every single one of our agreements, and he would have been well within his right to sink his venomous Slytherin fangs in me. Sometimes we hurt each other, the way all people do, and the way only people who care about each other can – but we never stop caring. I was never, in my conscious mind, as close to my mother as I am to my dad. We don't really talk about it – we're Malfoys after all, and we're supposed to act all stiff and reserved and such – but we know we're a team.

It was my father, not my mother, who picked me up when I fell from my broom for the first time and splintered my elbow badly; and once he had expertly healed it, he indulged my childish whim to be like the Muggle kids, who wore the plasters around like medals, and he put a plaster on the place of supposed injury with a barely concealed smile and a disbelieving roll of his eyes.

It was him who got in a terrible row with Grandfather Lucius – the worst one to date – when I expressed my wish to play with other children from wizarding families. Grandfather would dismiss the notion with a haughty expression that said he smelled something foul and a contemptuous: “Don't be ridiculous, silly child. It does not do for a Malfoy to mix with the common crowd.” I must have been about seven, and I still remember a pink tinge to my father's cheeks and a fierce tone behind his seething words: “I will not have my child isolated the way I was, pureblood or not!” And before I knew it, I was introduced to my Rosie and to Albus bloody Potter, my eternal rival – but not really; Al's great, yeah, he just has this god-awful Slytherin competitiveness about him! – and my temporary address during the holidays was practically at The Burrow.

I can't even imagine how much of his precious pride it must have cost Father to take the first step, but he did make it; for me and my sanity, he did. I always felt like the coldness between the Weasley/Potter family and my father never really went away, but to their credit, they never held my family name or my father's actions against me, and when Draco Malfoy came to pick me, up he was always received with civilised politeness. But now I'm beginning to consider that I'm perhaps even wrong about that.

It was during one of those pick-ups that my father got into a stiff conversation with Ron Weasley, and before you know it, an owner of the most prestigious chain of potion stores across England – er, that would be my father – and the co-owner of the Weasley Wizard Wheezes – Ronald, yeah? – are heatedly discussing – and eventually agreeing, oh, my! – how rare ingredients are important for potions and inventions and nearly impossible to get and, hm, wouldn't it be easier to hunt for them together rather than compete for them on the market?! Father and Hugo's dad have been... er, partners for lack of a better word, ever since, though begrudging ones, if Father's complaints over the “Weasley berk” were anything to go by. Or so I thought. I should have known better; my dad is all about putting up an impeccable front. Funny, that he should blow it in the very moment when I was breaking down my own barricades.

“So... shall I consider the dinner on Friday cancelled, then?” I inquire carefully, and please don’t ask me when I started rooting for rather than against the damn tormenting session disguised as a New Year’s Eve dinner – I just know I want it, desperately so. I’m dying to see Hugo again, and the chance to pose as his boyfriend – the very thought makes me shiver. I look at Father expectantly, fairly certain that I know the answer, but still – if there’s one lesson I learned today, it was never to underestimate my dad... or assume you know all there is to know about him. There are depths to my father that make the vaults of Gringotts look as shallow as a puddle after a summer shower. But it seems that I do know him quite well after all, probably better than any other person, save for Grandmother Cissy.

“I suppose we should hold it after all,” he says calmly, after a short pause that was meant to give the impression that he was still pondering. “I'm most certainly not ready to consider all that time and effort I spent persuading the Weasley berk to come over wasted. Besides, I'm quite... intrigued by that young man who made my son believe that lying to his father was a good idea – which brings me to another point: you... are grounded. At least until Friday,” he smiles fiercely, as if he is finally satisfied with himself. What did I tell you about depths and monstrous capacities for revenge, when it comes to my father, huh? Now you see – this is what I was on about! Damn, I hate being right so many times.

~

Jesus on a lolly stick – that would be him! I hear the doorbell echo within the stone walls of the manor and jump to the bloody ceiling! Even though I’ve been ready and starched stiff for nearly an hour, I’m suddenly so not ready! Surely there’s everything wrong with my appearance! He’s just going to take one look at the blushing and shaking me and... change his mind or something. Run for his life more bloody likely, if Father gets his claws into him first! Scorpius Malfoy, you bloody fool, run! Oh, I so need to intercept him before Father gets to him, or he’ll just maul him upon arrival! Father is a world-class champion at branding people with mental scars that are impossible to get rid of!

I practically jump down the stairs, taking three steps at a time, and I know if Grandfather Lucius were to see me, they would have to take the stiff old prick back to St. Mungo’s! “That’s NOT how a Malfoy moves, you insolent creature!” – I can almost hear him screech behind me, but luckily, he’s safely stowed in the luxury suite of the wizarding hospital, driving the unfortunate staff barmy.

But there he is – no, not Grandfather; Hugo, my Hugo, my prince and... ohmyfuckingChrist is he ever so breathtaking!!! So much so, in fact, that it makes my heart ache in my chest and my legs freeze in mid-motion. I come to a halt a few feet from him, and I’m just kind of staring... and drooling... like the lovesick idiot that I am. Just look at him... the crushed-velvet dark blue robes with strips of leather across his chest fit him like second skin, just a shade darker than the hue of his eyes, and his colours – the creamy skin, the silken river of fiery hair and those eyes – they just come with a glow of their own against such a background, don't they?! Oh, he's a fantasy! I'm suddenly grinning like an idiot, and I can't bloody help myself; come on, someone kick me in the shin or something, this infatuation thing is horrible!

But he’s Hugo Wonderful Weasley, and nothing really fazes him. He smiles back at me – yeah, one of those sexy, mysterious, promising smiles that make me forget how to breathe – and lets the coat slip of his shoulders... those grand, wide, Keeper’s shoulders I was hanging onto last time, when we... oh, Merlin save me, I can’t think of that now!!! Oh, would you look at how he let the house-elf have his coat; with such casual grace, as if there was always an army of servants waiting at his feet – and why the fuck am I admiring the way he let the house-elf have his coat, what’s wrong with that melted goo floating in my head?!

But he knows – and cares – nothing about the sticky mess I am on the inside; he bridges the gap between us without a single word said, and before I know it, he wraps both his arms around me and gazes into my eyes. And I just sort of float away in his embrace. As soon as that warm, exciting scent of him hits my nostrils, my sanity bids me farewell, and suddenly nothing else matters but the quiet promises flickering at the bottom of those deep blue eyes. I know nothing of Father, of the hours I spent lamenting over my appearance in the mirror, of this evening being some sort of an elaborate prank. I only know about him, about wanting to be with him, so fucking much I nearly feel like crying. And then he leans down from on high – because he’s so scarily, wonderfully tall – and plants a soft, slow kiss just next to my ear. Would you believe me if I told you that I’m achingly hard already?

“Hello... boyfriend...” he murmurs softly, and the way his breath tickles my ear is unbearable. “How in love do you need us to be? Is this enough...?” Another maddening slow caress of his tongue down my neck, carefully disguised as a tender kiss, and I barely stop myself from whimpering. “Or perhaps just a little more...?” he breathes in my ear and... oh, good god, I know I shouldn’t, Father will be here shortly and... Father who?

“Just a little more,” I practically beg, breathless, and he smiles against my skin slowly, leisurely like a big ginger cat. Then he gently turns my head towards him and... I’m lost. Just like that. He captures my lips with his mouth like he’s hungry, or perhaps angry at me, and it’s a good thing that at some point he sank his fingers in my hair and is now holding me firmly, because I’m fairly certain I can no longer stand on my own. Oh, sweet, mad Godric, the way he kisses... I forgot, how could I... ohhh... have forgotten... such bliss... My thoughts trickle in slowly, with big gaps in between... like out of place, blind beggars, unsure where they are... something about inappropriate and some father somewhere... and after a while they quit coming altogether. I’m melted onto his mouth, drinking those sweet juices out of the deep, delicious cave and fight that soft, slippery swordsman in his mouth with my own tongue... and I know of no time and of no place.

It’s not until he stops – slowly, gradually, with a string of sweet, short kisses pressed onto my lips in a temporary goodbye – that I realize that we have audience. My father is standing there, and he might be gawping a little. Oh, boy... if Hugo is anything to judge by, we must be quite a sight. At some point, I must have tousled his hair, and his lips are even fuller, and crazy delectable in all their abused glory. In his elegant robes that cling to him like water, my boyfriend for the night is a sight for the gods if there ever was one – and it looks as if even my father cannot resist his appeal. His grey eyes that were wandering from me towards Hugo and back again finally settle on the redhead, as if pulled by an invisible force, and I can see them go wide, as if he isn't entirely sure there isn't something wrong with his eyesight.

“Good god,” he murmurs, sounding shocked. “You're a proper carbon copy, aren't you?”

And Hugo just smiles with that leisurely, sexy smile of his and, with a simmering jealousy, I suddenly realize I don't want him to smile like this to any other person, my handsome father included. Good grief, this Malfoyian nature is a terrible thing; we're all about owning and exclusive possession, and when Hugo returns father's somewhat intense perusal, my heart is literally pounding inside my chest, screaming, “Mine, stay away, this here is mine; he is mine, mine, mine!”– like a self-centred two-year-old who can't be reasoned with.

“Hello, Mr Malfoy,” my redhead says warmly. “I don't believe we've been properly introduced. I'm Hugo Weasley, your son's boyfriend.”

“So you are,” my father says, still sounding somewhat mesmerised, as if there was an image in his head that he couldn't quite chase away. But, to my great relief, he eventually accepts Hugo's offered hand, and just when I think this is it, that we can proceed towards the salle de diner, exquisitely decorated for today's event, he apparently remembers the purpose to why we are all here – to utterly embarrass me – and of course directly jumps at the opportunity to rectify the terrible negligence of his paternal duty.

“That was quite a... welcoming performance you put up just now,” he says lightly, but a blind and deaf man would be hard-pressed to ignore the snark in his voice. “Was it meant to impress me?” he continues with the same light tone, and I sort of want to go visit the manor dungeons right now, possibly by sinking all the way down to them.

But you see, there's one thing my dad doesn't yet know about Hugo: he’s completely snark-proof, not a scratch on his mental health, not one. Lovely quality, that.

“Oh, if it was meant to impress you, I’m sure it would,” he replies, with a small, polite smile, completely unfazed. “But frankly, I just miss your son,” he suddenly grants Father such a darling of a blissful smile, that it makes Father flinch.

“He’s just adorable, isn’t he?” my redhead looks at me, beaming, and he’s either the world’s best actor, or he’s somehow made himself believe his own words. In any event, a hot tide of excitement and some crazy, unknown elation, is already spreading across my body – unstoppable, setting my tingling nerves on fire. I’m looking into his eyes from up close, and I cannot take my eyes away from those soft, smiling lips, feverishly obsessing over how badly I want to kiss them. And I think a cog must have somehow gotten loose in my brain because... I do. I don't even know what I'm doing, but suddenly I'm all over him, and I'm kissing him. Kissing... him. Wistfully, carelessly, passionately so. In full sight of Father, and fuck all. He’s... delicious. And he seems to think the same about me.

“Most of the time... I just want to eat him,” he whispers into my mouth and the mental image of all the possibilities – quite a pornish one, I admit – sends shivers down my spine. It takes a loud cough from Father to break the spell he’s put on me and even that doesn’t quite do it; I still have an absolutely ridiculous, goofy grin on my face, and he’s got that mysterious smile in his eyes and… oh, can’t this bloody dinner end already, I’m dying to have him all to myself! But, right now there’s Father to deal with, and he looks none too impressed by our... er, wet, exchange of attention.

“Oh, you know, Weasleys and our... food,” Hugo smiles straight at my father’s darkening face, and then looks at him pointedly. “I’m sure you know how it feels to miss someone...”

“Right now I miss your father,” my father says dryly. “I was promised he would be here. Was he delayed, then?”

“You could say so,” Hugo shrugs and smiles leisurely. “He’s probably still home, cursing copiously in front of the closet.”

I try to ignore my father's wincing at the inappropriate “c”-word, and I'm religiously praying that Hugo doesn't cross the line with my unforgiving sire – for fuck's sake, lovely, I've got plans for you after this little bitch of a dinner, please don't get tossed out in the snow! But of course, as Legilimency is not part of the sixth year curriculum, Hugo has no notion of my mental squeals and he happily rambles on:

“You see, dad was still in Istanbul this morning, and with long-distance apparitions being so bothersome, he unfortunately had no time to drop by at Madame Malkin’s – he isn’t one for keeping formal robes in his closet. But I didn't wait to see the end result. I really missed this one...” he ruffles my hair lovingly, and it's like he turned on a mysterious switch I didn't know I had – I beam like a hundred-candle-chandelier, “... and I didn’t want us both to be late, so I went ahead. Last time I saw dad, he was still in front of the mirror, grunting something about putting on his Yule ball robes.”

And much to my surprise, Father snorts like a teenager.

“Sweet Heaven... not the Aunt Bessie ones, surely...” he smiles, somewhat mischievously, if you don’t mind me saying so, and Hugo smiles back like the goddamn sunshine.

“Great-aunt Tessie, actually... but yes, those robes.”

And my father actually chuckles, imagine that! What the hell...?

“Well, in that case, I might want to be sitting down when he shows up,” he proposes, and gestures towards the dining hall, clearly in a better mood. “Last time I saw those robes, I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe for twenty minutes. Good grief, by now they should have bats and boggarts living in them! Do come, it's this way. I hope you don't mind a bit of a walk.”

Oh, I know what this is! He's making Hugo take a stroll through the Manor in hopes of intimidating him with all the superfluous wealth our family home possesses, and I'm feverishly hoping that Hugo can fight off the effects of one-tonne chandeliers, two-inch-thick Persian carpets, flawless marble statues, stern portraits of my ancestors, heavy drapes with handmade embroideries, and vases that cost more than small countries.

And by this time, I'm ready to confess myself a tiny bit jealous. Clearly, these “robes of Ron Weasley’s” are some sort of an inside joke I'm not in on, and it's just a tad depressing how easy it is for my father to be charming when he wishes to be, while I... I'm such a mess on the inside and out... How the hell did I end up this stuck-up Malfoy on the outside, and a crazy hormonal Gryffindor at the core?! Who am I, anyway? What am I?!

My plethora of deep, existential questions comes to a sudden end when the long fingers seek out my hand and intertwine with mine, and right there in the joining of our hands lies the only answer to every silly question I’ll ever have. The silken hair brushes against my skin when my beautiful redhead leans into me.

“I love the way you smell tonight, gorgeous, I could just lick it off your skin,” he whispers naughtily, and presses a casual kiss into my hair – and just like that, I've been transported from the deepest pits of misery onto the cloud nine. I'm also very possibly in need of a wank. Badly. I've had just enough of a taste of that sweet, decadent mouth that I know what it can reduce me to, and the memory of our... intense encounter, by the lake doesn't do a damn thing to alleviate my predicament. My robes may be able to hide the worst of it, but I know it's there... and so does he. He distracted me completely, of course – I no longer remember that I was jealous and why. I just don't want those fingers to ever lose their hold on mine, and if I could only have that mouth on me... just for a second... oh, Merlin's impatient pony, this dinner is just going to be one endless affair, isn't it?!

But, then, luckily, we arrive, and I can see that Father really went out to impress our guests. The dining hall is lit up like the inside of a sun, and the candlelight reflects blindingly off the crisp, immaculate tablecloths and our most expensive sets of china. Everything has clearly been planned to the tiniest detail; there are waterfalls of white and red roses covering every surface – in the middle of the bloody North Pole Winter! – and the décor of the table is ridiculously intricate. Even the temperature of the hall has clearly been adjusted; there's no sign of the manor being the bloody polar bear's cave it usually is in winters. I see Father smirk proudly when he observes Hugo's eyes travel around the room, taking in all the heavy wealth, and my heart squeezes in my chest at the thought that my redhead might bow under the weight of all the plentiful riches.

But Hugo says nothing, at least not until we are seated, but then, he casually takes my hand and slowly rubs across my fragile bones with those long, callused fingers in that maddening sensual way that just leaves me with an aching heart desperately beating in my ears, and with my cock trapped heavy in my strained, stained trousers.

“You have a very beautiful home, love,” he says finally, and I can see Father barely hold back a proud smirk and, surely, an inappropriate remark. “Plenty of... shiny... priceless... fragile things... just like you...” he lovingly fixes an escaped lock of hair behind my ear, brings my hand to his mouth slowly, and at the first touch of those soft, wet lips gently caressing my knuckles, my heart goes wild in my chest, and my vision nearly blurs.

“Bit empty, though... ” he adds quietly and his eyes shine like blue velvet brilliance when he finishes his thought, “...so nothing like you, precious... It’s just glitter... and you are – you... so much more precious.”

And then his eyes close, as if he wants to thoroughly enjoy the sensation of my skin caught between his lips, and with those long purple shadows cast by his auburn eyelashes across his milky, freckled cheeks, he's to die for. Sweet Jesus... he must know what he's doing to me! This is how our little game of seduction first began, and I'm completely drunk with the touch of his mouth; a literal puddle of pure want with a hard-on that's about to pierce the heavy, oak table. I'm nearly dizzy with raw need; and only when there's a loud, pointed cough by my father does the rest of the room slowly come into focus. Father – oh, boy! – looks pretty pissed off. All of his good mood is gone and those grey eyes are dark and thunderous.

He opens his mouth, and I just know he's going to say something terrible and derogatory to ruin the moment, our special moment, my moment, and I desperately need to beat him to it, so I blurt out the first thing that comes to my mind.

“What of the clothes, then?”

My father's mouth closes with a snap, and Hugo just leans back in his chair, clearly having won this round, and smiles leisurely:

“Clothes? As in...?”

“Clothes... robes, bloody... I mean, robes of course, your father's Yule ball robes, what were they like?” I'm practically freestyling in babbling because I really need to get ahold of myself, and the bloody Yule ball robes of a teenage Ron Weasley will do just fine!

And my chosen one just throws his head back and laughs like there’s a spring of life caught somewhere inside his magnificent wide chest. Bloody hell, Hugh... bloody hell. You can’t be real; you’re just a beautiful apparition, aren’t you?

“Well, one word – hideous, really!” he looks at me with that sexy, boyish smile on his face, and when his fingers move across my skin again, I realise that he’s still holding my hand.

“But it's not like Dad had much choice in wearing them back then. You see, my father's family, though one of the Sacred 27, could hardly be called well-off before the Second Voldemort's War. Septimus Weasley, my dad's grandfather, spent a large portion of the family fortune funding the resistance against Grindelwald's so-called revolution, and by the time Dumbledore defeated the bastard back in 1945, he was already as poor as a church mouse. And then, my Grandpa Arthur went on to marry Gran Molly, née Prewett, another pureblood with nothing but stunning looks to her name, and they took the pureblood lore of “must procreate” quite literally, perhaps a bit too much so. My dad is the last of their six sons, and he never owned anything new – everything that ever came into his possession has had at least four other owners already. He hated being so very poor, but on most days he could cope with it – and then the Yule ball happened.”

I chance a look at Father, and there's a most curious look on his face, almost like he wants to smile, but doesn't.

The attention with which he's staring at Hugo now, is downright scary. Of course, this is about his life, I remember, and possibly, about his favourite subject, Ron Weasley, from another perspective. He's all ears, I can tell, though he carefully tries to disguise it by toying with the first choice of entrées that were served.

“I suppose Gran Molly wanted dad to look as fancy as possible for once,” Hugo chuckles softly. “I can't imagine she would deliberately try to embarrass him in front of the whole school, but dear god, Scorp! Traditional robes doesn't even begin to describe them; they probably date all the way back to the early 1690s, when the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy was enforced, and I doubt they were considered fancy even back then! They are, in all truth, disastrous... and I think Gran Molly should have considered another one of her sons for the dubious honour of wearing those robes; Dad was... a very ill-suited choice. He was extremely sensitive when it came to his poverty, and wearing it so obviously in face of everyone at the grandest event of the school year...”

Hugo shakes his head, but there's also a tinge of pity in his voice underneath the laughter.

“Yet wear it he did. He had no other, and I suppose he decided to wear his pride like armour, since it was all he had. But I think his self-confidence suffered a fatal blow that night. Everyone got to shine that evening and him...” Hugo shakes his head again, as if in remorse, and I barely dare look in Father's direction now. He's definitely deathly pale, and his eyes are focused firmly on the plate in front of him, but I don't think they see a thing.

“You know, if Dad was spared the experience, he might have turned out to be a different kind of man,” Hugo ponders thoughtfully. “I think he still wears that armour to this day. He's awfully sensitive under that entire nonchalant attitude, like he doesn't really know how great he is. I think he just wants to be appreciated, and you know... loved. For himself. Even when he's got nothing else to give. He spits fire a lot, obviously, he's a Weasley, and we're... passionate,” he looks at me and smiles with that mysterious, promising smile he has that sends shivers down my spine.

“But all in all, he's as sweet as they come, and he's got one monstrously big heart to give away. But the man he fell for seems to be a bit of a blind idiot,” Hugo looks at my Father sharply when he accentuates “the man”, but much to his credit, my father doesn't even flinch, and Hugo seems appeased and concludes his thought in a softer voice: “Besides Dad's too... damaged. He doesn't know how to ask for love, and won't; he'd rather be alone than risk being humiliated.”

“Nonsense,” my father interrupts and his voice is strangely raspy, as if some wild, uncontrollable emotion is swelling up behind the cork bottling it up. “Your father only ever loved one person more than your mother, and if he left her... I'm sure Potter would let him down gently... if at all.”

“Potter?” Hugo frowns. “Oh, you mean Uncle Harry! What does Uncle Harry have to do with any of this? Oh... You can't seriously think my dad's in love with his best friend?! That would be... no,” he gives my father a kind, but a bit reproachful look. “The vibe is all wrong – well, not wrong, obviously, but different – between them. Besides, after my parents divorced, Uncle Harry got drunk with my dad and admitted, blushing, that he had the worst crush on him when he was about fourteen, and Dad just laughed it off. I think he would have jumped at his chance then, don't you? No... it's not Uncle Harry.”

“Who, then...?” It just flies out of Father as if it was of vital importance to know, but Hugo only shakes his head.

“If he didn't tell you himself, I don't think you've earned your right to know,” he says firmly.

Which, of course, infuriates my father. He always turns into a bit of a fussy two-year-old when he can't get what he expects.

“I dare say you don't know yourself! I bet this story of your father is just another one of your little inventions! I've heard you've got quite an imagination, boy!” he hisses out with venom, and it kind of wakes up the protective lion in me, because, fuck you, Dad, this is my fake boyfriend, at least show him some respect!

“His name is Hugo, Father,” I say as coldly as I can, and regret it in the same moment when my irate parent just glares across the table at me. That's the man who holds my Quidditch World Cup tickets in his hands and possibly, a pass to the most wonderful night in my life, which I expect to have after this tedious-as-giving-birth malfunction of a dinner – perhaps I should avoid pushing him further over the edge? Oh, wonderful, lazy idea, where were you when I needed you a moment ago, before I opened my big mouth?!

“Oh, never mind Scorp,” Hugo says calmly. “Some older people cannot remember names well.”

And I kind of stop breathing for a little bit there – along with my father who doesn't seem to be able to find his breath at all – when my redheaded menace adds almost matter-of-factly:

“But I don't think that's the case with your father. I think he's just trying to put me in my place by demonstrating my lack of importance. If he doesn't even bother to use my name – how could I matter? You should let it go, you know – he'll be punished enough once he remembers he allowed himself to insult a guest at his table.”

Oh, Hugh... you really don't know when to stop, do you? Fuck, love. And now he'll grind you into little bits of smart-arsed nothing.

But much to my surprise, Father just stares for a few more endless moments and then utters, as if he only just came to a startling realization:

“You little devil.”

Well, at least that’s accurate, he’s supposed to be redheaded, though I doubt that’s what Father had in mind.

“You're clever.”

What??

“I'm a son of Hermione Granger-Weasley,” Hugo points out calmly, with a small smile in the corner of his mouth and forcefully pushes a fork through the little bit of peach in his entrée dish. “Imagine that.”

“And feisty,” my father blurts out, as if he just came to realise another thing about my alleged lover. “Just like him.”

Him being...? Oh, him! Right. Hugo's dad. I forgot there's just one man living inside my dad's mind, and that one doesn't appear to need a name. I apologize. My fault entirely.

But Hugo is either on the same cosmic wavelength with my father – or perhaps the secret of my dad's heart isn't quite as “secret” as he probably believes... In any event, Hugo doesn't ask for explanation, he simply nods as if he already knows.

“Yeah, I'm told I'm a lot like my dad, physically and in... flamboyant character. However, I like to believe I'm a bit more on the... subtle side of the spectrum. Dad prefers brute force... FOR FUCK'S SAKE, SHUT YOUR FILTHY GOB FOR A BLOODY SECOND, MALFOY, OR I'LL COME OVER THERE AND SHUT IT FOR YOU, WITH MY FOOT!!” he howls suddenly in what must be a picture-perfect impersonation of Ron Weasley, and I think they're going to have to scrape little bits of Father and I from the ceiling eventually, if this dinner is to have any future.

“I overheard him the other day, fire-calling you,” Hugo explains pleasantly in his normal voice, while I'm still trying to catch my squealing, scared spirit, floating somewhere about a foot above its shell-shocked corporeal home. “He must be really fond of you; he only saves those truly horrible threats for those he cares for the most.”

Right. So much for my father walking all over Ron Weasley. But Father doesn't seem to mind; au contraire, he seems to beam a little, as if that last casual point of Hugo's words somehow... revived him. Merlin knows we both need it – that voice... honestly.

“Bloody Floo traffic! Sorry about that. What did I miss?” that same voice booms behind my back and I go to visit my remains on the ceiling from the last time I jumped up there. Hi, guys… I've missed you.

“Oh... nothing much,” my father manages, and I have to look twice because I can't believe my eyes – he's actually smiling. “Just a clever impersonation of yourself, by your son. Spot on, I must say.”

“It was a good one, Dad,” Hugo comments brightly. “Not lame, honestly... I really put my heart in it.”

“I'm afraid to ask,” Weasley Senior mumbles, somewhat more subdued, with the experience of a man who had managed to survive the company of my insane imaginary boyfriend for a whopping record of 16 years.

“Oh, and since we're talking about missing out and being missed – Mr Malfoy there personally declared missing you,” Hugo's eyes dart naughtily towards my father – and boy, he really is raving mad, isn't he?! Gorgeous as fuck, surely – but mad as Barnabas the Barmy giving ballet lessons to trolls. And possibly has a deathwish placed highly on his Christmas list. And yet... much to my surprise, there are no hexes flying across the table to stop him... Father seems far too busy flushing deep pink and looking about two decades younger... and he's got that look in his eyes.... well, I know that look. I bet you my inheritance I have that very same look on my face when I set my eyes on Hugo unexpectedly; he just sort of knocks me off my feet, and Ron Weasley seems to be the same kind of poison for my dad. No wonder he never stops rambling about him! He looks at him as if he was a man dying of thirst, and his redhead a spring of clean, life-giving water.

Well, I can't say I blame him. This is Hugo's dad after all and he's pretty fucking gorgeous for his age. And no, he doesn't have any kind of hideous robes on; in fact, it looks like these are of the best kind, and were clearly made to accentuate all of his favourable physical traits. In short, he's a bloody sex god in human form, and tonight he looks hot enough to have incinerated most of my father's wiring – oh, boy, did dad just swallow?! Someone give the poor blond sod a napkin, I think he's beginning to drool. And Ron Weasley looks nearly as cute as his son when he's got this clueless “Huh? I'm lost!” look on his startling face, I can confirm.

“If I knew you started drinking early, I wouldn't have bothered with the wine,” Hugo's dad mumbles somewhat awkwardly, as if he wasn't entirely sure we didn't get drunk in his absence, and were now having him on. But a second later, he pulls a shrunken bottle out of his pocket, enlarges it and puts it on the middle of the table.

“See, I told you if you put it up on a kitchen counter I'd remember!” he looks at his son almost proudly and I notice that his deep baritone voice actually has the same honey quality as that of his son. “I'm not as forgetful as an old bat yet, as some like to suggest.”

But Hugo says nothing, he just stares at his parent, evidently perplexed, and when he finally speaks, there's a tinge of disbelief in his voice:

“Dad... are those your wedding robes?”

And within an instant his poor dad goes as red as a ripe tomato.

“Shut up,” he mumbles unhappily. “Couldn't find any other decent ones within minutes... couldn't believe the damn things still fit either, right lucky I was! But don't you go big-mouthing too much, little one, it's your bloody fault I have to be here in the first place, and you haven't heard the last of me on the subject!”

“I've heard enough from your Howler,” Hugo mumbles. “My poor ears still haven't quite recovered...”

“There will be more where that came from, young man!” his dad bellows, and I'm telling you – that man has got the voice of a Quidditch coach, I think someone in bloody Bulgaria must have just woken up! But Hugo just smiles meekly and looks at his dad with those big baby-blues:

“Fell in love... can't help it, can I? Just look at him, look at him, Dad, you'll know what I mean!” he declares calmly, and even though I know he's just playing his part, perhaps a little too well for my silly, melting heart to bear, it just makes my cheeks flush, and I'm, perhaps, a little bit dizzy with the sudden rush of love I feel for Hugo. I desperately want to kiss him again... and again, and possibly, a few agains after that. But right now, that's hardly an option, because I find myself under the careful perusal of the bright blue orbs, and the look in them is much more astute than my father's remarks would have one believe. I suddenly remember that the man is acknowledged intercontinental champion of Wizard’s Chess, and has probably already made long-term strategic plans on how to make me suffer for seducing his baby boy – so I gulp quietly.

But he only murmurs “Indeed... I see what you mean", sighs almost imperceptibly, and finally looks at my father:

“Malfoy...” he acknowledges him, and, considering the circumstances, it's an actual improvement from what I expected him to say – namely, “You corrupt bastard, what's your part in this abominable seduction of my underage son?!” or “Please choose the method of your execution,” or something along those lines, and I think it takes Father by surprise as well. He has to stop drooling, you see, and suddenly he doesn't really seem to know what to do with his face.

“Weasley,” he murmurs, and if he was to add “you berk” to the way he said his name, it would have been a straight-out declaration of love. And I think he knows that he doesn't sound like his usual composed self and hurries to cover up the fact with conversation.

“You've got... quite an interesting son,” he offers politely, because the madness of Hugo Weasley must surely pass as a safe topic of conversation, since it seems to be an undisputed fact.

“You have no idea,” Hugo's dad murmurs as he waits for the deep red, aromatic wine to be poured into glittering crystal glasses. “Too bloody smart for his own good! McGonagall fire-called Hermione when he was ten, offering to make an exception to take him in at an early age – but we agreed to let him enjoy his childhood for a year longer. Longest year in my life, I swear it! It's safe to say that in all my time in the Auror Corps, I never feared for my life as much as I did in that year! The brat threw fit after fit! One crazy prank after another! Apparently, he couldn't wait to get in!”

He’s looking at Hugo reproachfully, and Hugo tries to looks indignant, but only ever ends up looking sheepish and sweet enough to be eaten straight out of bed... oh, mercy, brain, stop throwing images of a tousled-haired Hugo Weasley in bed at me, as if it's not hard enough to watch him eat already; that gorgeous, soft mouth toying with the food the way it does – brain-melting cock-tease, freshly served, if there ever was one! I can't even look in the direction of his mouth; I'm all but ready to have myself presented as a main dish!

“Well...” Hugo glances towards me and smiles softly, almost shyly, before his long fingers wrap around the glass of wine. “You could say I had my reasons. reason, to be precise.” His lovely eyes meet mine again and I don't know what the hell he's on about, but it just melts me on the inside to be on the receiving end of that look; there's a naughty glimmer in his eyes, as usual, but there's also such tenderness, it takes my breath away. Could this be for real?! Oh, dear fucking god, could Hugo Weasley be into me for real?!

“Hey, you! You put that down, young man! You're underage!” Ron Weasley's commanding voice nearly makes me spill my wine, and it takes a moment before I figure out that it was not meant for me. He's looking at Hugo and the glass in his hand with the raised eyebrow, as in, “I dare you to challenge me, son!” and I don't think even Hugo dares to openly defy such an outright display of parental authority. But I would sleep with one eye open if I was Ron Weasley for the next week or so; that lovely pout on his son's lips is more dangerous than any angry Veela's smile. But my father, it seems, lives for moments like this one.

“Oh, come on, Weasley, do come off your high horse for the night! Surely your nearly grown up son can have a glass or two under careful parental supervision. He's nearly taller than you already, and if he's old enough to date my son...”

Father raises his eyebrow suggestively and flashes a devilish, provoking smirk straight into the stormy face of Ron Weasley. I want this confrontation to be over as soon as possible, so I quickly take a sip out of my glass to demonstrate who I think is right and how harmless that is. The wine is lovely; sweet and rich, leaving a tingling aftertaste in my mouth I can't quite define, but it seems to spread pleasantly down my body.

My father raises us his glass as if in a toast, and declares with a tiny victorious smile: “To our unruly boys, I suppose!”

Hugo's dad stares at my father for what seems like forever, his eyes transfixed on his long, elegant throat, moving along with the liquid disappearing from the glass, and when the redhead speaks next, his voice is kind of rough, almost as if he's not in a state to use it, but has to, because his reaction is expected.

“Yeah... whatever... to hell with it... why not? I guess we can make an exception for the occasion, it's not like Hermione is here to screech... To you, boys, make it a happy one... as long as it lasts!”

Talk about being bitter! I guess he's a big guy and can hold a lot of bitterness, but still... I watch him finish his glass in three big gulps, as if he's determined to drown some unspoken defeat, and I'm thinking about what Hugo told me of his pride and the armour he had on to hide his heart behind. And yet, he was brave enough not to live a lie, brave enough to choose what had to be a life of solitude rather than settling for a life of pretence, and that pretty much makes him the bravest man that I know.

“Oh, speaking of wives,” he says as if he suddenly remembered. “Where is yours?”

Would you believe that this was the first time I thought of it myself? My mother is... well, nearly non-existent. Always has been. My father and Grandmother Cissy always had much more word – and interest – in my upbringing, than my mother ever did; hell, for all I know, Molly Weasley might have had more to do with the way I grew up, considering I was strolling about The Burrow every holiday while my mother was engaged in one of her trips abroad. Still, she was supposed to be here, it was only right – and yet nothing at the table indicated that she would be gracing us with her presence. Where was she, indeed?

And as casually as if he doesn't think much of it, my father answers the question.

“I fed her some Puking Pastilles I found on my son’s desk; I didn't want to share you for the night.”

In the mortifying silence that ensues, a crystal glass slips out of my father’s hand, shattering on the table, and all the eyes in the room are instantly on him. The way he looks – absolutely horrified and shocked beyond words – I know for certain that this disaster of an evening has just beaten all the worst odds of going to irreversible shit. What the actual fuck... just happened?! Scratch that. It’s not what happened; it’s who happened, isn’t it? I’m not the only one who reaches the only possible conclusion; Ron Weasley’s head turns in the same direction as mine does, at exactly the same time, with identical incredulous looks: Hugo.

And my beautiful, blue-eyed, batshit crazy would-be boyfriend just takes a tiny sip of his wine and smiles angelically. 

~

“What. The actual fuck.Was in that wine?!”

It is clear that Ron Weasley is beyond livid. He doesn’t howl; he doesn’t have to; in fact, the voice he speaks in is barely above a whisper, but the undertone... oh, the undertone... I don’t even want to be near when what’s behind that voice hits with full force. It’s raw and dangerous – some, erm... more squeamish types, might venture as far as calling it murderous – and I remember that this man here is one of The Holy Trinity and that he was perfectly able to hold his own during a full on Death Eater attack. I gulp quietly. I’m torn between my guts, telling me to run for my life, and my heart, all out to protect Hugo from the legendary demolishing Weasley wrath.

But Hugo is Hugo, and I might have been wrong about his father being the bravest man I ever knew. He sits there quietly, composed, holding his own without even flinching.

“Remember those Sweet Confe-ss-tion candies, meant to make a person pour out their true feelings? We had some Veritaserum that was supposed to go into the recipe at the shop, but the batch wasn’t strong enough, so I offered to discard it for you. I never did.”

“Right... I should have known better than to trust you with a task like this one. How foolish of me.”

Ron Weasley sounds strangely bitter and disappointed, and I’m on verge of feeling the same as well. It seems that not only had Hugo never cared one bit about how this evening I’d had such high hopes for turned out, he didn't even seem to care much about his father’s distress either. Or am I wrong? At this point, I feverishly hope that I'm wrong, because my heart aches at the thought, and right now I can no longer look at him.

“Get up. We’re leaving. I’ll deal with you at home. Malfoy – ”

Ron Weasley is already up when he finally gives my petrified, numb father a look.

“I’m sorry,” he says quietly. “More than I can say.”

“I’m not going anywhere. And neither are you.”

That was Hugo. And at the sound of his voice, all eyes in the room are suddenly on him. He sounds every bit like Minister Granger-Weasley, and when Hugo’s mum tells you to do something, you do it. No questions asked. Because it’s most likely good for you.

“You haven’t asked me yet why I’ve done it,” he says calmly and his mesmerising blue eyes are lit up like torches.

“One of your unfathomable pranks, to be sure. I bet God himself doesn’t have a clue what goes on in that befuddled head of yours,” Ron Weasley sighs, sounding tired. “Come on, get up, don’t make me break my own rule of “no hexes at the table” I imposed on Malfoy here so we could remain civil. I don’t like coming after you, Hugo Weasley, but if you make me, I will.”

Blue eyes clash with blue, and had my father looked at me that way, I would have budged, long ago, and all the way to the dungeons. But not Hugo. He stares at his father, hard, focused, and completely fearless, and even though I don’t understand a single atom of this complicated, intricate creature he is, I sort of fall in love with him all over again. He is... magnificent. And exciting... oh, god, yes.

“I’ve done it for you,” he says finally and I remember that he took a sip of the wine just like the rest of us did, so it must be the truth. “So you could finally say it.”

“There isn’t...” But Ron Weasley cannot finish his sentence. However weak the Veritaserum in that wine was, he cannot utter an outright lie.

“I’ve got nothing to say to you,” he finally concludes miserably, but Hugo simply shakes his head as if he won’t be fooled and declares quietly:

“Not to me. To him.”

And he points at my father.

My father who just sits there, pale as a lifeless statue, with his eyes still firmly set on Hugo. And now they slowly turn towards Hugo’s visibly distressed dad, and for all the knowledge I have of my father, I cannot decipher that particular look. I’ve never seen it before. But it’s heartbreaking.

And Hugo’s dad holds that look for what seems like forever, and the communication that crosses the blue-silver bridge is for their minds only. And just like that, I know. The way they look at each other cannot be misinterpreted.

But Hugo’s dad finally shakes his head and chokes out in a voice full of misery:

“I can’t.”

And turns around to leave. Goddammit, someone do something, even I’m disappointed!

“Ron!”

That was my father. Thank fuck, he came to his senses... I hope. And clearly the shock of being called by the first name is enough to stop Ronald Weasley in his tracks and make him turn around with disbelief painted across the blue eyes.

“Did it mean anything?” my father asks quietly, but there’s something in his voice that I’ve never heard before. It sounds almost like... most desperate passion? “The kiss... did it mean anything?”

The... what?! Bloody what?! How come I don’t know anything about that?! I steal a glance at Hugo and his eyebrows are also climbing towards his hairline – clearly this is not something from his script!

But our fathers are already back to staring, to communicating that unspoken something with their eyes, and when Ron Weasley sighs and his shoulders slump imperceptibly, it seems every bit like surrender.

“I left my wife of twenty years because of that kiss. What do you think?” he says bitterly. “No one's ever kissed me like that before. No one. With passion and pure golden want and all that magic... You came onto me and you felt right... so right in my arms, like there was somehow a place in my embrace only you could fill, like you were a perfect fit. Of course I fell for you, the naive fool that I am! I should have known better. Because afterwards, you ran like the coward you are, and the next morning you acted like it didn't even happen. You were drunk, you told me. Couldn't remember a thing. Right. No worries, Malfoy, I got the message. It's just me, right? Who would do permanent damage to their polished life for a pauper like Ron fucking Weasley? Certainly not Draco impeccable Malfoy, no! Oh, to hell with it...”

He makes an abrupt turn to leave, and if I could reach my foolish father under the table, I would have kicked him blue with my foot. The aging blond fool is screwing up everything!

“Don't... leave. Please, don't leave. It meant everything.”

My father's quiet, yet somehow urgent voice once again stops Ron Weasley in his tracks, and from where I sit I can see the expression on the redhead's face, and my heart squeezes in my chest. I don't ever want to see an expression like this on the face of anyone I love. It's clear my father has hurt the man deeply, and I can't imagine the sheer tenacity and depth of the emotion that is still keeping him in place, giving Father a chance to explain, however hurtful the explanation may be.

“You're right,” my father continues in a slightly shaky voice, as if he suddenly found himself on slippery ground where, for once in his life, his marble facade is the dead weight that is going to bring him down rather than keep him afloat. “It's just you... it's always been just you – and no one else. And I thought I could indulge myself this once; just once, it's been so long... you have no idea; it... this... terrible, inappropriate attraction... it was already there when I witnessed you vomit all those slugs, and all I could think of was how disgustingly adorable you were!”

Oh, yuck... whatever is he on about?! Oh, sweet Jesus on a pink centaur, my dad's courting rituals are seriously outdated – how is bringing up slug-vomit supposed to win anyone over?! And yet... against all odds, my father's words provoke a tiny smile on that closed face with miserable eyes and crack it open... Would you look at that?! Well, well, well... It obviously counts for something if you go as far back as those two do, and my father seems to know the complex mechanisms of Ron Weasley's soul better than I can fathom. Hm, I wonder what else has he got up the scales of his serpent sleeve?!

“So I thought if I could only get drunk and scratch the itch... have this crazy infatuation over somehow... ” Father continues quietly, but with the despair of a man who’s got nothing to lose, as if he was somehow encouraged to go all out by nothing more than that tiny smile. “I always wanted to know how you taste... I might have a bit of an obsession with your mouth... oh, that bloody wine, making me say all these impossible things!” he howls, and digs his fingers in his hair in a way that would make Al Potter proud – and it just brings another one of those pretty smiles to Ron Weasley's face. Hmmm, Father might be on to something with his strategy; however random it appears, it seems to be working!

“Anyway – ” Father is obviously trying to get it together, but it doesn’t look too rosy, Malfoy! “The plan was to get sloshed, blame the drinks for whatever happened and just get kissed... I thought I could do it; that it was just... you, you know, and how much bloody damage could a single kiss do, honestly? If only...”

My father looks Ron Weasley straight in the eye, and boy, isn't he just... magical when he chooses to be charming?! Just look at him beg forgiveness with those big, silver eyes! A bloody Dementor would have sobbed at the sight of such honest regret; come on, Ronald, surely dad has left you with some heart!

“I didn't count on it being so addictive, did I?” Dad says softly, wistfully. “Pure, fresh, soft poison, if there ever was one. Breathtaking... magical... painfully perfect... and perfectly unforgettable. How do you get something like this out of your system? I couldn't. I would wake up at night and still feel your warmth, your wonderful strength run through my body and that's when I knew I fell for you. I fell hard. That kiss... it meant everything. It was a beginning and the end of what I've become, and it scared me to the bone. I shouldn't want you – yet I do, desperately so. I tried to get over you... but I can't. You're here now, by the grace of gods or some other miracle – and I cannot let you leave. I'll do anything. I'll let her go. But I can't let you go. Don't leave me, Ron, don't...”

Aaaaand a hundred points to Gryffindor!!! Oh, boy... Merlin... Ron Weasley is clearly not a man who likes to waste time! Dad doesn't even finish the sentence when he's pressed into the wall, his words smothered by what seems to be one royal orgy of a kiss, and I'm... frankly, I'm embarrassed. One shouldn't have to hear their dad moan this way, it's... oh, my god, I'm blushing like a virgin bride on her wedding night, but I'm afraid to interrupt them because they're so damn desperate, because I don't want to ruin this and because... erm... uh... yeah, they could be a little exciting...

“Aren't they precious together? I guess my work here is done,” I hear the hot breath of a whisper tickle my ear and I shiver. Merlin, Hugo, lovely... at least give a boy a warning, I'll sprain my cock or something if it keeps going from “mildly interested” to “too-fucking-hard” in about one second flat!

“Get out of here... with me?” he asks me, and there's something at the bottom of his eyes I can't quite figure out, but it looks tempting, like silken, dark sin. Of course I'm coming... all the way down to the pits of hell if you're leading the way, angel... I honestly can't think straight around him. It's like he takes all my marbles, plays a round of Exploding Snooker with them, and loses some in the process. I doubt I know my own name when he's looking at me like that.

So this is finally it. This is my big moment; our moment, and I know we won't be missed. And honestly, right now, when he’s staring down into my soul with those bewitching sapphire eyes, I wouldn't care if they went looking for us with torches. I've got one night with Hugo, before the beautiful illusion of “us” dissolves in the harsh reality of the new day, and I intend to make the best of it. And fuck my pride. And fuck my stupid heart, screaming for this to be more than a one-night-stand because you only get one first time and it should be with someone that matters. It matters enough, I decide; he matters to me, and I stubbornly tell myself that it's not important if I don't matter to him beyond this evening. I chose him. I want to be with him. I want it to be him. My first. And fuck being a blushing virgin. Quite literally.

Of course I'm beyond nervous. My fingers shake badly enough to give me a job in the bakery, sugarcoating pastry, but I still find enough guts to quietly take his hand and guide him out of the dining hall and into the corridor leading towards my quarters. His hand is warm, so very strong and reassuring, and I just know that I'm doing the right thing. A man with hands like these cannot be a bad choice.

And then he stops. I stop as well, suddenly not certain about anything anymore, my wishes, my raging body, my insecure, wretchedly romantic heart. Then he turns me towards him and lifts my chin up, so I can look into those deep blue, magical eyes and feel the edge of the terrible power he yields over me.

“What are you doing?” he asks me softly.

“I...” I swallow. I no longer know. “I thought I... perhaps we could... I've never...” I finally say quietly, feeling hot and cold flush wash over me simultaneously, and I'm feverishly hoping he knows what I mean.

“I know. I know that,” he says just as softly, and that brilliant, sweet tenderness in his eyes is doing something to my soul, twisting me on the inside, leaving me wretched. “But why...”

“I want to. Now. With you,” I finally blurt out, and even as I speak I don't know if this is happening as I feel faint enough to pass out and... like crying. God, do I feel like crying!

“Why me?” he asks, and I don't have an answer, at least not a spoken one. Because you're you, I want to tell him. Because you're precious beyond any one person, any magical being I've ever encountered and because I ache to be yours. Because you gave me that magical night in your arms, listening to that timeless song that gave emptiness a voice, and then another, that was for me alone. Because you called me beautiful. Because you know how to make dreams come true, and you're my dream, and I want you to come true for me. Because I love you. Ridiculously so.

And because this is Hugo Weasley, I don't really have to say any of these things. He knows.

“Is that so?” he whispers softly, as if he had read it all in my eyes, and he closes the unspoken agreement between us by pressing a tiny, priceless, glittering gem of a kiss into the corner of my mouth.

“Lead the way,” he says simply, and my relief, that I won't have to say it, that he won't have me spill my stupid, sorry heart out to him, is immeasurable. We resume our walk towards my quarters without another word spoken, and the long, dark, hungry corridors of the Manor have never felt so... consuming. But finally, there's nowhere to run, and we arrive. I open the door to my bedroom with a shaky hand and we enter. One Lumos later, there are a few solitary candles lighting up the room, a luxurious suite I spent my entire childhood in, and the very room that would witness its end. It's my home; I opened the door of my home to Hugo Weasley and welcomed him in. Just the way I did with my heart.

I see him looking around, taking in all the details of my life, and I honestly don't know what to do with myself. He's still holding my hand, and his warmth has climbed up my arm and spread all over my skin, setting it on fire... and I want him. I want him to the point of shivering; I want his touch, I want those wonderful calloused hands with long, strong fingers taking me over, and I want to be underneath him and take it all. And at the same time, I'm painfully aware how little I have to give. Why would he want me? Why would someone like Hugo Weasley, someone so alight with all things magic he nearly vibrates with it, give me the time of day? The twisted, pale shade of my father and his father before him? With a raw, madly beating heart on the inside I had no way of revealing? I can't even kiss right, and I certainly can't talk.... not in a way that makes any sense... not around him. And yet that doesn't stop me from wanting him. Hopelessly so.

So I just accept that this is going to be awkward, and I start towards my bed, a giant, imposing four-poster Father had installed in here as a present for my 16th birthday. I don't have the heart to tell him it always makes me feel alone when I lie in midst of such vast, empty space all by myself. But perhaps this once, it'll come in handy; Hugo is a shockingly big guy, and something tells me he likes to stretch across vast, empty spaces, as if he's conquering them. But I don't take two steps when I realize that he's still holding my hand, but not moving, so I need to stop as well. I turn towards him to say something... invite him closer, possibly beg him to take over and at least show me how – when every thought I ever had goes numb. He's staring at me; just looking at me with those deep, sapphire-blue eyes lit up like starlight, and the sensation that's spreading across my body cannot be translated into words. It's like... I'm being invaded from the inside and every nerve-ending in my body is tingling with sparks of pure, decadent life.

“You have no idea, do you?” he whispers, and – no, I don't. What is he trying to tell me? I can’t hear him through all the clutter in my head, through the noise of blood rushing in my ears, through the terrible, ecstatic, pressing lust in my loins, crashing against the confines of my flushed skin, prisoner of my immobile, petrified body.

He pulls me closer almost imperceptibly, with nothing but an implied nudge and the temptation of his arms around me, and I can’t wait to melt into him. His hands close behind my waist, holding me firmly, possessively, as if I only ever belonged near him, to him. His cheek brushes against mine; the fragrance of the silken, fiery hair strikes me full on, and I feel my knees buckle under his intoxicating presence. I close my eyes to savour the experience and the sweet, wet, silken kiss pressed just next to my ear takes me by surprise. I gasp and moan and laugh a little into the emptiness of the room, because it tickles and because he's so near me I can feel his heartbeat, and it makes me impossibly happy.

But then there's another kiss... and another... and one more... and more, many more; a soft puff of hot breath across my ear; just a slow, tender lick underneath it and then an army of hungry, thorough nibbles down my neck, leaving flushed marks in their wake. Those warm, generous lips are closing on top of my pulse, sucking in its mad, out-of-control beating as if they're feeding on me, travelling all the way down to the crook of my neck, where I feel his teeth sink in gently, and I nearly blow my load against the decadent sensation. I'm no longer laughing, but gasping for breath and making those embarrassing little sounds of pure need, because I want more, so much more, and he’s left me speechless...

“You are... so beautiful... so very exquisite... and ethereal... so very precious...” he whispers heatedly against my prickling skin. I can barely comprehend that he's talking about me, that he thinks this way about me. His fingers stop at the top buttons of my robes, and he looks at me intensely, as if trying to hypnotise me into giving permission. With a knot in my throat I sink to the bottom of those captivating eyes and I nod. There, I've done it, there's no way back now. He smiles at me and kisses my mouth softly, as if thanking me. Those long digits open the first two buttons of my shirt, and the way he looks at me, at the skin of my neck revealed, sends the shivers down my spine. He's the predator, and I'm his willing prey. He's bewitched me, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Come and do your worst, my redheaded devil with sapphire eyes, there's no one else for me, I want to tell him, but my mouth is too busy catching my breath when his long, warm fingers reach inside my crisp white shirt and caress my neck lovingly.

“You're just made of pure bright radiance, aren't you,” he whispers a second before his soft mouth discovers the tender flesh under my collarbone. “I see no one else when you're around, my angel.”

And just like that, I'm lost for good. I hear myself whimper helplessly, and my fingers sink into that glossy, fiery hair I'm so obsessed with, and it's every bit as warm, as silken and as breathtaking as I imagined it would be. I hold onto him for dear life, and I can no longer imagine breathing without his seductive touch, that bone-deep closeness he gives me, that warm breath on my skin untangling the knots that keep me together, one by one, slowly, lethally, until I feel as if I am about to fall apart in his arms. I can’t get enough of that hot, needy whisper, teasing my skin with a slow poison of desire, telling me that Hugo Weasley wants me, that he's just as devoted to these precious, fragile moments of our union as I am – “so sweet...” “untouched...” “so delicate...” “just look at you... you're flawless, aren't you... just like the virgin snow...” “mine... be mine... I need you to be mine...”

“Yes...” I choke out because my need to say it, to tell him that I want this, so very much so, finally manages to push through the breathless sounds that seem to be all I'm capable of.

And, as if he was only waiting for this indisputable permission, he picks me up like a paper doll, like my Seeker weight is nothing for his Keeper arms, and carries me those few steps to my luxurious, solitary four-poster bed that has never welcomed anyone but me before this magical winter night. I sink into eight inches of pure luxury when he deposits me in the middle of it, but some unreasonable, inexplicable fear that he's going to change his mind when I loosen my grip on him makes me stretch out my arms and pull him closer. But it seems unjustified, this unspeakable fear of mine; he's on top of me, capturing me under the muscled, agile frame of his body, before I have a chance to beg him for it.

“Finally, you can no longer run...” he whispers, while his long fingers learn the contours of my face and his breathtaking sapphire eyes capture mine, melting away my anxiety of not being good enough, my restless loneliness, my sentinel reserve and bringing my shy, awed soul out in the open. Right now, pressing me into the mattress with his soft, warm breath caressing my skin, he's the very image of everything I wank to.

“You can't run from me... you always run from me, and... now you can't. Scorp... my sweet solitary angel... you don't know... I've wanted you for so long...” he moans his quiet, impossible confession into my mouth, as if he is pulled to me by some magical allure I don't know I have, and.... ohhhh...My imagination and my memory never quite live up to the tenderness and decadence of that luscious, eager mouth on mine, feasting on my desire at its core, and I could just die from a bursting heart, knowing that Hugo Weasley wants me the same way I want him.

And he seems to, oh yeah, he does; the look in those darkened, savage eyes of his is dangerously charged, making me feverish, and I want... I want to melt into him, become one with him, share that brutal, toxic power that runs through him, and finally come alive in his arms. I wake up at the end of his fingertips, my skin flares to life, and my consciousness expands. I’m somehow more... aware of my body than ever before as the new horizons open to my aroused senses. The way his mouth travels down my body in search of hidden treasures only his eyes can see resonates in my every sparkling nerve-ending, in every violent surge of blood against the confines of my body, making me arch into him, making me give myself to him willingly, with words of worship torn from my helpless mouth.

I’ve never been so... naked with anyone before, but the anxious awareness of my all-too-boyish body that I expect never makes an appearance. It’s as if being naked with Hugo Weasley, at the mercy of those curious, maddening fingertips and hungry, wicked mouth, is something that comes naturally to me. He pulls me into a whirlpool of sensation I have no way of controlling, and I didn’t know I could feel so much, want so much, love so much. I love his teeth, scraping, worrying my nipples into raging, tense peaks of lust; I love those calloused hands taking possession of me, owning me, claiming me, leaving visible trails of my master all over the virgin surface of my flushed skin; I love, love, love the silken carpet of fiery hair moving down my body, visiting all the hidden places where my lust resides, just a shelter for that predatory mouth that is making a slave out of me, because I want nothing else but to give it what it came to take.

“Hugo...” I whimper because I’m beyond incoherent when the gentle, wet tongue slowly licks the underside of my burning cock, from the root to the top, the pearly drops on top messing up his pretty, swollen mouth and I immediately want him to do it again. I don’t even recognise this sex-crazed, whimpering, babbling fool he’s reduced me to, but it’s not like it matters, it’s not like I know what I want to tell him anyway. The urgent, swelling need, pooling at bottom of my cock has no need for a language; I just don’t want him to stop, ever, no, not ever, gods, this is amazing, this is... ohChristandMerlin...he’s suckling on the tip of my cock now, like he’s feeding on it and that ripe mouth around my swollen, vulnerable shaft is such a sight for the gods I’m almost there, ready to burst –

“Hugo... Hugh, please... let me fuck your mouth...”

Oh, my fucking god, I can’t believe I’ve said it; I can’t believe my ultimate wanking fantasy just flew out of my mouth, but I’ve got no shame left, I’m nothing but a bursting ball of raw need, the pulsating, prickling nerves drawing up in my cock, screaming for release, and I want to sink into that damning delectable cave of his mouth so badly, I’d do just about anything to get to my prize. Filth flies out of my mouth just as easy as begging does, as if those mindless, worthless words were wired into my brain, only to be released at the sight of Hugo Weasley’s mouth teasing my weeping cock.

But he hasn’t said “yes” yet, his mouth is still nibbling at my hard balls, as if he’s not yet certain if he should let me – as if he wants to see how much I can take, before I just shove my angry, raging cock down his throat and make that fucking debauched cavern work me into stuttering, screaming bliss.

“So you want to fuck my mouth?” he whispers against my skin, licking and spoiling me stupid, ruining me for anyone else as his tongue paints desire across the sensitive patch of skin near the cleft of my arse. When his fingers casually pry it open and his playful tongue touches me there... ahhhh... bloodyhellyes... that, ohgodyesthat...

“I’ll make you a deal, precious...”

He’s now licking me slowly, thoroughly, as if he had something to prove. The way he runs his tongue all around the tender area between my arse-cheeks, spreading them open with those strong, uncompromising fingers, drives me spare with frightening lust, and with every delectable touch of that talented, ungodly tongue my cock twitches and leaks, drooling precious come in aching expectation.

“I’ll let you fuck my mouth all you like... if you’ll let me play with your beautiful, tender hole a little... I promise not to do anything you won’t beg me to,” he looks up into my face with those daring, devilish blue eyes of his, and I’m ready to start begging now... right now, fucking now, why wait? I’ll do whatever he wants me to in the end anyway, I’d bloody run around the manor naked in this fucking penguin weather if he asked it of me, oh, yes, I’m going to let him... whatever he wants...

“Whatever you want,” I croak out. “Anything. I’ll let you... I’ll do anything... Just... please... now... please, ohfuckinggodHugh, yesss...”

Without a warning he sinks down my cock, hungrily devours every inch of swollen, bursting flesh and... oh, god, I knew that a mouth so generous had to serve some purpose! He’s able to take me all in, all of it; he’s eating me hungrily, all the way down to my balls... oh, Merlin... the incredible sensation... I howl, I think... at least I think it’s me, because I never knew there was a sound inside my chest so primal and desperate; and then he reads my mind again and flips us over so I’m finally in control. I once again fill his mouth full of my cock and I just know that I’m going to wank to the image of my dripping, purple shaft slamming into that pretty mouth for the rest of my living days. Oh...fuck... my imagination and my lonely fist have got nothing on this boy's incredibly pliant, talented mouth... Hugo... oh, fuckingChrist, man... I think someone forgot to inform him of the gag reflex, as he seems to have none, and I'm fucking his mouth the way my wildest fantasies wouldn’t allow – and he just takes it all with those magical eyes closed, as if he's utterly enjoying what a wreck he's making out of me. When the shadows made by the candlelight seem to elongate his silken eyelashes across his pretty freckled cheeks, he's... he's just to die for. The sensitive, naked head of my cock just keeps on hitting the back of his throat, and I'm so close that my vision is swimming. But I hear a familiar noise, and I steal a glance behind my back, only to nearly choke at the sight of his big hand wrapped around his own massive cock, wanking furiously, and I want.that.fucking.cock in my hand, pulling those ungodly, helpless growls out of him. Like, right now. Now, fucking now... I need it smashed against my own bursting cock, because the very idea is... oh, fuck.... yeah, it's... it fries my brain.

And I'm possibly mad, because, honestly, you’d have to be, to willingly give up that delicious, debauching mouth serving your most private, most abused fantasy, but there you go, I most likely am mad, because all I care about right now, gasping and brushing against the very edge of coming, is how badly I want to feel my body pressed into his own, feel his heartbeat underneath the hot skin, reaching towards me... and oh, yes, how seriously badly I need to kiss him, bite his lip bloody, sink my playful tongue into the intoxicating juices of that seductive mouth and find my slick sparing partner. It's into that mouth that I want to whisper my little filthy confession of how much I want this – and more, and again – straight into the sweet, heavenly spot between those swollen lips.

His eyes shoot open in surprise when I pull my cock out of his mouth, but I really have no explanation for him other than my actions, and I see the exact moment when it hits him what it all means, and the look of yearning merges with his sweet, sexy smile. Yes, I'm willing to sacrifice my ultimate fantasy to feel close to him, because, fuck all, I've only got one night and I want what's most precious out of it; I want a memory that will keep me warm at night long after he no longer cares about me. And because I'm a Gryffindor, I'm willing to doom myself for nothing but a sweet smile and a pair of mesmerising blue eyes.

“I love you,” I tell him in a shaky voice. I'm hard to the point of pain, and my fucking Gryffindor heart is making my eyes brim with tears. “And for this one night, I need you to love me, too.”

His fingers wrap around our shafts, because he's got this giant fucking hand that nearly fits around them, and I feel his heart drum madly. When he looks at me, there's some sort of innocent wonder in his eyes that makes my heart ache.

“Why do you think I'm here?” he asks me, a bit breathless, while I gasp from the skilled movements of his hand, because... godAlmighty, he can really do this, oh, fuck, Hugh...

“I want this, I want you, I've wanted you for ages and I...” he looks at me straight in the face and breathes into my mouth “... and I've loved you for far longer than that.”

And I don't even manage a reply; the last thing I remember is the feeling of his strong, possessive fingers slipping into my hair to hold me together and kiss me thoroughly, but it's all black and insanely wonderful after that. I'm lost in the starlit bliss of completion, gone with a breathtaking feeling of immense release that washes over me and leaves me boneless. While my broken mind swims somewhere in the Universe of Happy, my detached body still seems to register those warm, strong fingers in my hair, the exquisite strawberry mouth stealing my every breath, and all my helpless sounds of surrender... I think I might even be crying.

And then there are words, whispered words, “I love you, Scorpius Malfoy; what did you think this was all about?” and I can't be sure if it's not just imagination supplying them, but I desperately want them to be true. I feel a most impossible smile crawl onto my face, stretch the corners of my mouth and I'm simply happy – happier than I ever was in my life of cultivated luxury and solitude. At the breathless sound of broken, tired laughter that makes it out of my mouth, he growls quietly, and I feel his hips slam forward and the wet warmth floods my flushed, slick skin...

“Scorp...”

It's all he says, moans, really, and I think… I think I just made Hugo Weasley come with nothing but the sound of my laughter. Beat that, if you can! No one can. Nothing can. Nothing even remotely compares to how he makes me feel. I'm so, so very much in love with this living, breathing creature made of purest magic that I'm headed for heartbreak head on, but I don't even care. I can’t, not when he's wrapped around me the way he is now, not when he's holding me as tight and as close as anyone has ever held me before, not when he's kissing the wetness off my face – it seems I was crying after all – with those gentle, peppering kisses that tickle and tease me and just make me want to kiss him deep, good, and proper. God, I love him! What am I to do when he's gone?!

My stupid mind wakes up at the most inappropriate of moments – and where were you, dear fool of mine, when I needed you earlier?! It's working at full throttle, bringing up all the alarming, terrifying scenarios of finding myself in an empty bed, going through a solitary life looking for something remotely akin to what he just gave me, walking down the street and seeing him with other people... I swear it only takes a blink to have my chest filled with pain and anxiety, and suddenly I feel the tears pool in my eyes and I can barely breathe –

And then that big, warm hand crawls to the centre of my chest and covers the spot where my raging heart hopes to beat through the skin. He kisses the side of my neck lovingly and places another one of those tender, devoted kisses right on top of my heart.

“Mine,” he says simply and that's it; that's all it takes to put me right again. My heartbeat slowly returns to normal and I allow myself to dig my fingers into that glossy red hair spilled across my chest where his head is resting. It's so... alive around my fingers, warm and silken and it won't stay in one place. I try wrapping it around my fingers, but it uncoils immediately and he lets out a deep, happy grunt when my fingers sink deep into the warm red-gold mane to bring out another one of the locks with an attitude I could play with it. And just like that, I have to know.

“Will you still be here in the morning?” it just flies out of me before I can stop myself, and I immediately squeeze my eyes shut as if I can't handle the answer, and I childishly hope to stop it from coming. Way to go, Scorpius Malfoy! Go on, you clumsy elephant, be as clingy as a royal python right from the beginning; show him what to expect if he dates a Malfoy! Give the man an honest chance to run, why don't you, you tremendous blond pumpkin!? Oh, blast! Me and my penchant to ruin my silly life... I feel him move up my body, and he presses a tiny kiss in the crook of my neck, just tender enough to have my teenage raging juices running again. And then his hand is on my cheek and I know he's looking at my face, so I open my eyes – and it's always a tiny shock to my body how very blue his eyes are this close up. I could get lost inside those eyes for days – but, perhaps I don't have days. I might just have this night, and only those deep sapphire eyes hold an answer to that question.

“Would you like me to be?” he asks quietly, and with a knot in my heart, I nod slowly, adamantly. I'm nowhere near done with him yet, and I know perfectly well what I want him to do next.

“Make love to me,” I whisper, and I refuse to think about the consequences this fateful night drags along with it for my hungry, aching heart. I love him, I want to be with him, and that's all I'm willing to think about. “Make love to me like you do... with others,” I barely choke out and the nervous anguish in my voice leaves no room for confusion as to what it is that I want from him. “All the way... I want it all the way. With you.”

There's no one else for me, and as a Malfoy, I know there never will be. Malfoys only love once, and you won't believe it, but my grandfather told me that once, and he would know, he's a proper Malfoy. And if I'm to only have this one night with the boy I so foolishly fell for, I have to make the best of it, it has to last me a lifetime. Because this is my Hugo, six and a half feet of magic and sex appeal, all mine for the night, and I want to give him everything. So his answer comes as a shock.

“No.”

I think for a second there my heaving heart stops cold, as if it couldn't comprehend that this is it; this is the end I so dreaded, and it came even sooner than expected. It feels as if I'm petrified; I want to ask him why, I need to beg him to reconsider, but my breath just doesn’t reach my lungs, and I think there's some fucking Malfoyian mechanisms wired deep inside of my system that stops me from uttering a single word, even as I'm choking numb on all of my unspoken feelings, my devastating misery, my unbearable need to understand and to belong.

“I can't,” he says calmly with that warm-honey voice that let out my name in ecstasy just moments ago. “Not until you recognise what this is all about. Because I think you are mistaken. You don't understand... I don't want this.”

How can he look me in the eye and say all those cutting words only moments after he pushed me out of my fucking body and nearly made me afloat with happiness by saying some sweet nothing, because, evidently, that's all that it was?! How can he look at me and pretend he doesn't see my sorrow, my fists contracting around the sheets in frustration, my eyes pooling with uncalled for tears because he's made me so goddamn vulnerable my aching heart can barely take it? How can he not see…? Or perhaps he just doesn't care...

“I don't understand...” I tell him and I hate my shaky voice right now; I hate how swollen it is with barely held back tears, with all those overbearing emotions begging to be spilled, but they can't be because they belong to this Malfoy, who's about to choke on his own heart, but still won't let them out.

“I don't want this,” he repeats quietly. “I don't want a one-night-stand.”

Wha- ?? What?!? Bloody what?!? Is that what I think it is?! Oh, my fucking god, Hugo, oh.my.fucking.god!! I barely dare hope... perhaps I'm interpreting this all wrong again... and I'm hyperventilating... or something... or maybe I forgot how to breathe at all... in – out, Scorpius, you incompetent human, in and out...

“I want you for good. Because you... you're the one.”

Oh, Hugo... mother of god, you mad idiot... Oh, you… Hugo Weasley, you ginger troll, sit down, that would be a nice juicy “T” for most terrible use of the English language!!! You awesome Weasley prat, you! Right now I could kiss you and beat you to a pulp and very possibly rape you... with consent. How could I fall for such a spacey person with a terrible way of delivering his lines?! Couldn't you flip the sentence a little and start with “You're the one, therefore...” Oh, you crazy, wonderful thing!

“I thought...” I try to tell him, but this once absolutely nothing comes out, not even a sorry “meep.” I'm still busy gasping for air and possibly trying to find my screaming voice.

“So if you don't want... more, I have to leave,” he continues, and suddenly there’s a hint of sadness at the bottom of the mesmerising eyes. “I know how much your family means to you... I know you don't want to disappoint them. You're the one last Malfoy, so if you can't do this... I understand,” he caresses my cheek with his thumb, and my chest swells up at the heavy implications of his words. He knows me all too well. Or rather, he knows the boy I was until this evening all too well. He has no idea of the person that was born tonight, in his arms.

“But you still need to know...” he speaks without waiting for my answer, as if he honestly believes he's got this one chance at telling me what he came here to say, and perhaps no more. You know nothing, Hugo Weasley.

“I realize that this started as a prank for you, but when everything escalated and Rosie told me you asked about me... it was my dream come true,” he smiles at my stricken face with that dreamy, sexy smile of his and I can scarcely believe what I’m hearing.

“And that… would be one dream that was born the first day when your father delivered you to the front yard of the Burrow,” he blurts out, looking nearly shy and totally adorable. I can’t believe how sentimental his words make me. My heart is fluttering against my chest, and if I ever steal a Time-Turner, I’m going back to that day to watch his little self look at little me. “I still remember it like it happened yesterday... “This is Scorpius Malfoy,” Uncle Harry had said. “You kids treat him well, you hear me?! Put that Dungbomb down, Albus Severus Potter, that's no way to welcome our guest! Don't let me owl your mother at work!” His exact words, you can't fool my eidetic memory,” he smiles at the sight of my dropped jaw, because, yes, those were indeed Harry Potter's very words and my awed, fried brain cannot comprehend that he remembers it so well – this was over a decade ago!

“And you were just standing there,” he runs his fingers through my hair lovingly, and the simple gesture makes my skin shiver in yearning for more. “You were standing there, in that childish battleground that was the front yard of The Burrow, looking so... clean, so perfect and composed, like you existed in your own, beautiful universe where no one could reach you without your permission. I never saw anyone stand so still before, and if Rosie didn't come forward and take your hand, I might still be staring at you to this day, I think – I was completely mesmerised and not entirely sure your were even real,” he smiles and touches my cheek, as if he still somehow needs to make sure I am tangible.

“But then you smiled at her, and then at the rest of us dirty brats, and it was such a beautiful, radiant smile only someone really kind and happy could ever have, and I think you won all our hearts over with the way that smile lit up your face... I've loved you ever since,” he concludes quietly, and I can't stop my heart from making a triple salto mortale at the words “love” and “you” in the same sentence, coming from that tempting, worshipped mouth, from that bewitching man.

“Of course I didn’t know it was love back then,” he smiles almost sheepishly. “It took me a while before I figured that part out. I just knew I wanted to be with you… be around you. I was always pulled towards you like a moth to a flame… but even when it finally hit me what this was all about, I never thought I stood a snowball’s chance in hell… until that day at the station.”

“Until that day at the station,” I repeat, still a bit numb, and run my finger down that adorable, freckled Weasley nose, and he snaps at my finger jokingly, and the combination of sharp white teeth and slick, tender tongue makes all my hair stand on end.

“You do realize you fried my brain entirely that day?” I ask him, and suddenly he chuckles and rolls off me to stretch across the bed in all his naked glory, like a giant ginger wildcat, and he’s just… he’s… oh. Oh, bloody hell, Hugh, oh… Lying like this, his gorgeous body on shameless display, all mine for the taking, he’s a living, breathing picture of every forbidden fantasy I ever held, of every wank I’m still about to have, and he’s just… over the fucking top, isn’t he? Fuck me in my fur coat if the damned enormous Quidditch pitch I have for a bed doesn't look like it's barely a proper fit for the giant he is! He just consumes place, doesn't he? Just look at those strong, muscled legs – is there any end to them?! Oh, and that chiselled torso that makes me drool…. Merlin, there’s barely any room left for me! And look at those wide Keeper shoulders, three seconds across, arching above the tiny, dark pink and very erect nipples, they… I…

An unexpected wave of raw lust hits me with such force that I barely manage an embarrassing mewl before I launch myself hungrily across that tempting chest and seek out one of the alluring hard peaks to own, because I have to… I have to own at least a piece of him, just a tiny, rosy tempting piece, right fucking now, or I’ll fucking die of the violent storm of lust in my loins. I moan along with him when I work him with my mouth, and I let my fingers seek out the other needy twin of the darkening nubs. I’m none too gentle – and he likes it. He fucking likes me being all wild and crazy and horny as fuck around him.

“You… are not going… anywhere!” I tell him with all the fierceness of a man with his cock on fire. “You are going to stay here… and fuck me until I scream… and then some! Because I need it, you incredible ginger cock-tease… Because you knew what you did to me at that bloody station… and still you let me wait for four fucking months… let me obsess over you… let me fuck my fist with your name on it after every chance encounter… And now you can forget about going anywhere until I’m done with you! You’ll be here – and nowhere else – until you make me live out every dirty fantasy I ever had during those sensuous, poetic after-Quidditch showers of yours – pure torture, you bastard, you knew I was gagging for it! And you’ve got four straight months worth of fucking to make up for, Hugo Weasley, so you better get started! Because I reckon you bloody well owe me for making me come in my pants, you beautiful incubus… You owe me, you insatiable redheaded slut, for every arse you’ve ever touched thinking of me… and you’re not going anywhere, not this night, not any other! And if I have to fuck some pureblood prude to give my family an heir, I’ll do it, I’ll fucking do anything to keep you, because you’re all I think about and you’re under my skin… and I’m so fucking in love with you I don’t know which way is up!”

MerlinChrist I don’t even recognise myself; I sound menacing and desperate as fuck – and I’m just a natural at this dirty language thing – who’d have thought it?! But whatever bloody works, yeah? He’s not going anywhere. I’ve got one of his nipples between my teeth, and the other between my merciless fingers. His rock solid cock is trapped under my body and he taught me just enough of it to know what feels good… Just a sloppy, endless kiss onto that delectable, damaged mouth, a lover’s bite into the crook of his neck, and if I move my hips just.this.way, oh, yeah, like this… oh, boy, here we go…

He flips me over like I weigh nothing and frankly, this is what I was aiming for, because I don’t have that much knowledge left in the arsenal of my charms, and I’m kind of desperate to learn the rest from him. He promised me something earlier and… ohJesusfuckMerlinyes… he delivers…. Oh, god… his tongue should be registered as a lethal weapon! He’s killing me here… no way this is legal… no way I’m not going to come if he keeps this up for another minute…

“Hugo… Hugh… please… inside…” I’m whimpering because I want so much more, and I’m kind of really fucking desperate not to come in the first thirty seconds while he’s licking my hole… invading it with that slick, sloppy tongue that’s making it twitch on its own like it’s begging entrance... Sweet Merlin… if he keeps at it for another bloody minute… I can’t make any promises…. Hugh… He really is a fucking sex god, isn’t he?! Just look at him, look at him! Kneeling before me as if in a worship, manhandling my legs apart, that beautiful red hair spilling across my body, and that tongue… oh, mercy, that forbidden luxury of a tongue...

But he seems to know my boundaries better than I know them myself, and he stops… just when I think that there’s no way in hell I can keep myself from coming, and my hips are already humping the empty air.

“You have to be sure,” he tells me quietly, intensely, but he’s got that swollen, deep red mouth on him, and that feral, wild look in his deep blue eyes that could scare a Dementor away, and I know he’s a proper beast underneath that composed shell.

“Oh, I’m sure…” I tell him, blurt out, really, because I’m kind of breathless from all the panting I’ve been doing, and honestly, I’ve wanted that monster of a cock buried inside of me since that first porn symphony of a post-Quidditch shower. And right now I don’t even care what I have to do to get there. I’ll do it. I’ll do anything. And I trust him implicitly; I know he won’t let himself hurt me… much. “Been sure for about four months already… like I could resist.”

And just to make my point, I take him in my hand and roll my hand up and down his engorged shaft enticingly – and if the way he throws his head backwards and moans my name is any kind of indication, he’s got my point. Oh, but this is just the best thing ever…! I want to try this later as well. I’m actually finding it kind of hard to stop. I definitely want tossing off Hugo Weasley on my resume… but I’ll save getting more working experience for later.

“You talented, spiteful little puppy, you,” he murmurs when he comes down for a kiss. “Have it your way, then… I want no complaints later, though – this… it tends to leave an impression,” he murmurs and I nod once more – like I don’t know it! Just the idea of having that monstrosity of a cock buried inside of me, stretching me impossibly, moving – just the very thought of that sends shivers of excitement down my spine. I’m as exhilarated as I am scared – but no chance in hell that I’m passing that up, nope, never; this is Hugo, and I want him so bad it hurts.

And I wasn’t wrong about him – he doesn’t want to hurt me. He must have used a charm at some point, because his fingers are slick with something I can’t name, but it feels warm and delightful against my skin, and it smells most heavenly – of rich, smooth flavour and a hint of exotic spice. Those long digits are as careful and gentle as they come, but the very first time that one of them penetrates me, it still shocks the breath out of me; goosebumps flourish all over my skin, and I instantly go as rigid as a broom handle.

“Shhh…” he whispers soothingly, peppering my neck with a small army of delightful kisses until my brain turns to goo. “It’s just a slight burning sensation, you’ll get used to it… but if you want to quit – ”

“No… nope,” I gasp, because somehow my tight arsehole remembers it is supposed to be accommodating, and when he happens to move his finger slightly, I’m immediately and forcefully reminded that I want this, and there’s no “maybe” about it. I want that finger to become those fingers, and I want them up my arse – moving, stretching, making room for… more. There. There’s no nice way of saying it.

“Ready for another?” he whispers in my ear, and I nod without making a sound, because I don’t know if it would be one of pleasure or pain, and I don’t want to scare him away. Two fingers are a lot more to handle than one, because this is Hugo and everything on him is big and intense. But he gives me time, and when I finally let out a shaky breath and relax, nodding my silent consent to continue, he smiles against my skin and murmurs:

“Time for a little treat, then…”

And slowly his fingers sink deeper into me, at a different angle… and in an instant, my body just flies off the mattress and arches into him, and… oh, Christ… my nipples stand to attention at the most barbaric, most ungodly surge of pleasure I’ve ever felt. Ahhhh… oh, MerlinfuckChristyesmore, yessss, more… more, more, more… Oh, what… the fuck… is this?!

“You like?” he murmurs against my skin, and I’m too fucking incoherent to even reply. My language is reduced to a litany of, “fuck… oh, fuck… yes… please… Hugo… more…” and I can’t bring myself to care as long as I get to sink down those divine fingers – three of them now – leading the way to that little, neglected piece of heaven residing inside of me. I can’t get enough, and I can’t believe I managed 17 fucking years without ever… oh, Christ, here he comes…

“Now, yeah?” he says, and I realize he doesn’t say much, because he’s pretty flushed and ravaged himself and the tip of his cock, pressing against my hole, is slick and just looks… deliciously, painfully hard.

“Yeah… please…” is all I manage, because he’s pulled those unforgettable fingers out, and now my channel is open and feels positively hungry to be filled. “Now… please… yeah… ohgodfuckyeah…”

He pushes in and… Merlin, he’s so much more to take than those fingers! He knows that, and he tries to take it slow… but by this time we both sort of want it too much, and he’s just as desperate for it as I am. He slips in and he’s… god, he’s big… and I’m so, so very full of him… and so close to him like this… His eyes are huge, nearly crystal, and shine like the blue moonlight… gods… I can see the reflection of myself looking at him as if he’s some ancient, forgotten god and… I’m all tousled and messed up and beautiful… I’m beautiful. And with those bitten lips and eyes of blue fire, he’s gorgeous beyond words and… Merlin, I need him to move… he needs to move, move, move

“Move,” I tell him, and my voice is strangely hoarse and sounds uncommonly manly… because I need him deeper, I need him closer, I need to feel that alien burn and that brutal, savage wave of pleasure when he rolls his hips and brushes against that spot... I need to feel and own and be one with him. And there must be something in my voice, some utmost urgency that reflects his own desperate desire, because it doesn’t take more than this one word, and he slams into me as if he could barely wait, and knocks the very breath out of me along with a wanton, helpless yelp. This is… I’m… He moves like the tide now; every thrust of his beast of a merciless arse is hard and perfectly aimed at that fucking raw centre of the Universe on the inside of me that just oozes desire all over my prickly, virgin skin, and I’m reduced to broken yelps, begging for more – and he’s all heated moans and sweet nothings and filthy, decadent fantasies and heartbreaking confession…

“Always so elusive… so perfectly composed… such a cold marble angel…” he hisses viciously as he fucks me into the mattress like there’s no tomorrow… and perfectly undone and so very much alive, I’m loving every second of it. “Let me break you a bit, angel… I want that hot, captured life pouring out of the cracks. I want the real you, the man I know you are underneath, coming to meet me, coming all over me… I want to hear you scream… you needy, virgin little slut… scream my.fucking.name…when you want it so bad, you can no longer keep it to yourself…. I want you to spill your come all over that perfect empty shell until your fucking nipples are bathing in it, and you’re filthy and happy and alive… Want me to ruin the beautiful lonely statue you are, precious? I’ll do it… I’ll do it for you…. Because I want to own you so bad it hurts… It fucking hurts not to have you, and I won’t stop until you’re mine. Mine, mine, mine… Scorp… shit… Christ, you’re beautiful like this… My debauched little angel… made of pure, white sin…”

“Take me,” I whisper and I don’t even know where all this is coming from. I just know I’m so bloody desperate to come that I’ll say anything to make him fuck me stupid, fuck me apart, fuck me close, fuck me into oblivion and keep fucking me there. “I’m yours… take me… Fuck me… fuck me deep, Hugh… I’ve been fucking my fist, biting my knuckles and coming all over myself thinking of you… everywhere… on the Quidditch pitch… in the showers… in the Great Hall… staring at that perfect curve of your arse until I could polish the underside of the desk with my cock… fuck, Hugh….”

I’m staring at his flushed face, those unfathomable savage eyes, devouring me, and I’m absolutely desperate to tell him how much I want this, how much this means, how very essential he has become to me.

“I never wanted anyone before you, no one… I never dreamed of anyone, never tossed off to the image of anyone, never let anyone touch me… but you. You…you alone. There’s no one else for me. You have no idea how crazy you make me… with those wild, magical eyes of yours and that… ohgodyes... soft, promising mouth… How could you not know how bad I have it for you… how much I need your greedy hands on me… Just looking at those long, curious fingers sliding across my skin drives me absolutely.fucking.spare, you redheaded devil… I need your beautiful, savage mouth eating me… all smeared with my juices… I want those hungry eyes on me, devouring me, stripping me, watching me come undone… Want to make you come… so bad… I’ll take your fat cock again and again and again… as many times as it comes for me, you fucking demon… because I need it… need your cock, Hugh… splitting me… fucking me… drilling into that fucking heavenly spot that makes me scream… I’ll be your little whore… yours…. Hugh, please… so close, so fucking close… Want to see you fall apart for me, with me, fucking me, saying my name… say my name, Hugh… say it, say it, say it… say it’s for me...”

“Scorp…!” he roars my name as his hips slam forward, and he nearly splits my arching body in two… In an instant I’m forcefully pulled under those beloved dark waves of absolute ecstasy, spilling like a geyser all over our skin, and lost in my own personal Heaven, I can still feel that tireless monster of an arse, pounding bliss into me in a litany of surrender: “Scorp, Scorp, Scorp, Scorpius… oh, fuck… Scorpius… so good… so incredibly… fucking good, love…”

I can’t fucking move. I can’t. He’s killed me… or something. That’s got to be an ultimate Weasley fantasy – to off a Malfoy. Even if by a screaming-orgasm-inducing-cock from heaven that makes the said dead Malfoy’s mouth water and his buttocks fly apart in happy expectation. I bet the savage ginger lot is not picky how it’s done. A dead Malfoy is a dead Malfoy. This Weasley certainly seems happy. If due to my recent passing or some other reason, it is hard to say. As a man currently qualifying as deceased, I’m somewhat limited in my analytical abilities – but even dead, I can recognise this much happy. I can feel him lying across my boneless body like a felled tree, his head buried in the crook of my neck, his warm, erratic breath caressing my ear, that soft, alluring mouth whispering sweet nothings mixed with all kinds of profanities against my flushed skin – and fuck me, if Hugo Weasley’s mouth is not sexy enough to wake the dead!

Must be all that Saviour influence in the family rubbing off on this gorgeous piece of male fantasy embracing me. I’m so fucking bone-tired I can’t even open my eyes, but my surviving cock twitches enthusiastically under all that onslaught of happy – and I guess I’ve been successfully resurrected, or at least my shaft has, making a desperate effort to wave tiredly from the debris that is my shattered body. Down, boy, down. No way, I’m moving again this year.

But as my sodding luck would have it, the clock begins to chime, and before I know it…

“Happy New Year, precious,” my beautiful, lucky boyfriend whispers, and my cock celebrates the end of the shortest sex prohibition in the history of mankind by treacherously hardening a notch or two. And then more of my body parts defect to the other side, because I moan happily and my eager mouth looks for his sweet, tempting one. Full-on rebellion, then.

“I don’t think I can move, love…” I’m practically whimpering for mercy, and only when I feel the muscles on his back move under my hand in laughter, does it hit me full on that I’ve got Hugo Weasley lying on top of me, sheltering me with his incredible body, laughing at my words and not going anywhere. After we had killer sex – nearly literally. The ridiculous feeling of happiness that washes over my heart and drowns it is downright embarrassing. We’re three seconds into the New Year, and I already know it can’t possibly get any better.

“Well, no one’s asking you to move… but I have to,” he mumbles in his warm-honey voice. “Or there won’t be a potion on the planet that will put you in a walking shape by morning.”

He’s right; I’m all sore already, and at this point just the idea of walking seems about as likely as flobberworm winning a tango championship. But you know what? I don’t even care, and I’m not even a tiny bit sorry. I’d do it all over again. In fact, if my rebellious cock wins its guerrilla war, I just might. Walking is overrated anyway. Perhaps I could levitate myself? I could probably skip breakfast, but I’m going to need a loo at some point. Furniture might be a problem, though; I could probably make my way around the fireplace, but that desk has vicious edges and the serpent carved on it loves to bite…

“Do you know that your cute, pointy nose scrunches up when you’re overthinking?” he surprises me, and – wait, did he just call my nose cute? And… pointy?! I’m a Malfoy, we’ve got… aristocratic noses, and frowning is our default setting! Oh, I better get ready, he’s a Weasley; he’s going to drive me mental! Besides, I was most certainly not overthinking, no! One has to consider alternative, possibly crazier options when they’ve been fucked immobile! But at that moment, he leans over to take ahold of his wand and before I know it, he’s levitating something – not yours truly, thankfully – towards the bed.

“There,” he says simply, while he applies the… something he got ahold of – straight onto my sad, sore arse. It’s slightly cold and feels almost minty, but incredibly soothing, and I guess my silly bum just can’t resist the Weasley charm: it begins to heal as we speak, and I just know that it’ll be ready for new adventures when I need it. I’m actually proud of my silly, fast-healing arse! Well done, girl… er, yeah, have I mentioned my brain has been successfully fried? Here you go, the proof: Scorpius Malfoy talking to his girly arse.

“You have got to have the cutest, most fuckable little bum I’ve ever seen,” he murmurs into my hair, and I realize he finished and I’m no longer sore, but just stupidly happy, settled into the crook of his neck and half asleep already.

“Mmm-hmmm,” is all the intelligent conversation I’m capable of, drifting away on my redheaded cloud nine, and I don’t remember much else anymore. Just… perhaps… a dream? I dream that in the middle of the night, a figure stops by my bed and covers me and the boy I’m wrapped around for warmth, safety, and love, and whispers  “One last time, my grown-up, beautiful boy” and slips away like the shadow it is made of… but it’s all too vague and I’m too damn tired to know if any of this has happened, or if I only dreamt of my dad coming to say goodbye in his own Malfoyian way.

But I wake up in the new morning, with a sunbeam climbing up my nose and tickling my eyelashes, because I’m an idiot and I forgot to close the drapes again – and I’m all alone.

No Hugo.

The disappointment that cuts straight into my chest and leaves behind a big chunk of emptiness is crippling. Have I really dreamt all of it? The crazy dinner, the unforgettable night of conquering my lonely bed as my own at last with my gorgeous redheaded dream breathing desire into my mouth – could I have dreamt something so elaborate?! I madly look around for proof, and yes, the bed is a mess, but it always is, my father wasn’t joking when he said I slept like a wild boar – and at this point I’m even frantic for some pain, soreness, something, anything to prove that my magical night had really happened, that I haven’t only had the world’s cruellest dream that was going to leave me completely broken-hearted and…

“Hugo…” I whisper into the emptiness of my enormous, sunlit room and it’s like being abandoned in Heaven all alone and I don’t want it. I don’t want a perfect, sunny day, I don’t want all the comfort and the luxury, I don’t want anything, not if I can’t share it with him. He couldn’t have gone already, could he? That’s one single option that’s even more horrible than the one of my tired head doing a number on me, and I don’t even want to go there. I don’t want to go there at all. I hide my face in the palms of my hands the way I did when I was a child, and I tell myself that when I count to three, I’m going to look up, and he’s going to be there, and everything is going to be all right.

One, two… the longest three seconds of my life… three.

I look up… and there he is.

Standing in the door he just opened, wearing nothing but a pair of trousers and someone’s fur coat he must have picked up in the closet, he’s carrying a gigantic tray loaded with all things breakfast – the croissants, the jam, the butter, the orange juice, the coffee, and my trembling silly heart, thank you very much – and I just want to hug the lovely, smiling idiot stupid and beat him senseless. My heart is racing so hard, going from one shock to another, I cannot utter a single word. How dare he?! How dare he give me such a scare?! I mean… obviously dating a Weasley was always going to be like voluntary shock therapy when you’re a Malfoy, but dating this particular Weasley was clearly going to be like signing up for a heart attack. Daily! The bastard. The wonderful, crazy, caring bastard.

“Morning, love! You sure look like you’ve seen a ghost,” he comments cheerfully, carefully putting the offending tray that nearly cost me ten years of my life onto the nightstand, and literally dives into the bed, knocks me back, covers me up, and buries his head in my neck. There. Forgiven.

“Where on Merlin’s bloody earth were you?!” I complain once my lungs work again, but it comes out like a horny moan, really, because I’ve missed him so much.

“Was hungry…” he mumbles into my ear, and presses one soft, hungry kiss after another all around it until I’m happily melted into a Malfoyian pâté and can be served on a baguette. “You know… Weasleys and our food… I went to beg some refreshments off the kitchen staff… thought I’d spoil you a little… but right now… breakfast can wait, or fuck off, or whatever, I’ve got something much more delicious here in this royal bed… holding this beautiful, silver-eyed prince… with world’s most fuckable butt…”

“You gave me a scare…” it finally shoots out of me, and I swear, one of these days I’m sacrificing my stupid tongue to some blood-lusting ancient god or some such; that damn bastard just won’t stop embarrassing me! I didn’t mean to sound like a sulking three-year-old, I swear I didn’t… but he had rattled me to the bone, so…

“Whatever for?” he lifts his head up from my chest, where he was currently busy making a feast out of my hardening, rejoicing nipples, and I actually whimper at the loss, and because it’s hard to live with a stupid tongue. But there’s genuine surprise in those beloved sapphire eyes, and I swallow because I hate, hate, hate being so vulnerable and insecure, but he’s going to want an answer… and lying really isn’t my strong point as you might have figured out – all kinds of biblical shit hits the fan when I try it.

“I just… I thought… you were gone and I thought I had dreamt it all… or that, perhaps, you left… and I was just one of your conquests…” I finally blurt out, and I can’t believe how tiny and shaky my voice is, and that I finally confessed to my worst fear – and actually didn’t choke on my tongue, imagine that…

But all my insecurities are drowned, squashed, and buried in a bear hug that devours me quite unexpectedly, and nothing, absolutely nothing, no fucking Level 10 orgasm, can beat the feeling of finding myself sheltered in the darkness of his warm embrace, immersed into his unique, addictive male musk, with those strong arms around me, protecting me, anchoring me, holding onto me with the force that testifies to his feelings better than any words could. So I hide my face under the brilliant canopy of his silken red hair, and in the crimson semi-darkness I kiss him fiercely, and he kisses all my fears away.

“Silly…” he whispers into my mouth lovingly. “Why would I want to leave? Just look at you… look at you! Most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen… My pearly, cuddly little kitten with silver eyes… so gorgeous… what kind of a fool would give this up? I was getting desperate, you know, with you leaving school this year, and this… God couldn’t stop me from going after you once you let me kiss you… so fresh and sweet and right... I’m not my dad, you know… I’m not about missed opportunities...”

“Not your dad…” I whisper, and I’m immensely grateful for that – and suddenly very curious. “Did your dad stay the night, you think? Did they…?”

Ugh, I’m such an impossible prude! Fuck me right, and I’ll blurt out any filth I don’t even know is floating around my mind – but outside of that… I’m capable of most horrendous blushing. And when my father is concerned… well, you know. Blush, blush, über blush. I shouldn’t even be thinking about these things! I’m going to need to scrub my brain at some point!

“Oh, yeah,” Hugo nods happily, and his blue eyes sparkle with such mischievous joy that I’m instantly reminded of his role at last night’s dinner debacle. “I think they were silly enough – or horny enough, who’d know? – not to lock the door. I heard you mother scream most horrendously when I went to get food.”

Oh, holy shit in a flooded loo! What have I done?! My little white lie almost made Grandmother Cissy a widow, and I’m about to be a single-parent child! In fifty years or so, my life story will probably be an urban legend used to keep children in line: “The Horrendous Story of Scorpius Malfoy, or What Happens to Selfish Kids Who Lie…”

“You think we could go check on them?” I propose sheepishly, because… well, because I sort of did this, and I feel responsible. I don’t want to leave Father in a jam all by himself, you see.

“Of course,” Hugo agrees enthusiastically – honestly this boy’s flair for drama is inexhaustible! – but I can’t really hold it against him. Not with the way it makes his brilliant eyes sparkle, and not with that tousled red hair making him look so fresh-out-of-bed sexy it should be forbidden.

“We’ll be back soon,” I promise, to myself more than to him, because this is one of those times in my life where I’m cursing being a caring Gryffindor, because a ruthless, careless Slytherin would have probably stayed under the sheets and happily made the best use of his gorgeous boyfriend.

“We’ve got time,” he says with that slow, sexy smile spreading across his face and the way he gives me a long once-over – a silent promise of long, mindless fucking if I ever saw one! – kind of makes my knees weak and sends a rush of blood to all those inconvenient, inappropriate places. Bloody hell, Hugh… this one is going to drive me the best kind of mental, I can tell!

As we walk hand in hand down the hallways of the manor, past the shocked and horrified looking portraits of my ancestors, I – strangely enough – feel more a Malfoy than ever before. This, here, is my boyfriend, and I’m bloody arrogant enough to take him around by the hand and not give a damn what anyone thinks. Perhaps there are no same-sex couples in our world – but we, the Malfoys, have always been trendsetters, and being a unique creature such as a Gryffindor Malfoy, certainly makes me ready for the job. Besides, the man next to me is totally worth it. Just look at him, look at him glow! Oh… he makes my mouth water… damn those teenage hormones… damn them. He notices me staring at him, drooling, and gives me a sidelong glance and a lopsided grin and I sort of want to hump him in the middle of a solemn-looking hallway, because, yeah, why the hell not?! I totally could, I live here, don’t I, and if he keeps looking like that, like hot, sweet sin personified… oh, damn, are we at the breakfast parlour already? We must be, if my mother’s shrieks are anything to go by…

“How am I to stand the shame?! Have you ever thought of that, Draco Malfoy, you selfish creature?! Betrayed, cheated on, abandoned – for a man!”

“I’m sure you’ll find the way, dear,” my father’s voice sounds nonchalant, almost bored. “Perhaps you could ask one of those lover boys you have scattered all over Europe to give you a hand – or another appendage – with that? I’ve certainly been paying for their expensive lifestyles long enough; I reckon they owe me a try. One of them is bound to succeed, surely; you can’t have only been picking the incompetent ones!”

I hear someone choking on their food, and by then, we’re already standing in the doorway, unnoticed, and I can see Hugo’s dad trying not to laugh too obviously, and politely, yet unsuccessfully pretend this conversation isn’t his concern. But he can’t do that for much longer, because my mother’s wrath is suddenly redirected at him.

“Oh, you should laugh! You and your whole wretched family of blood-traitors! First your pervert of a son corrupting my poor, innocent child and now this! Stealing my husband behind my back! Have you no morals?! No manners?! No wonder your wife left you! Everyone knew she was always too good for you; I suppose she finally came to her senses! Or did she discover your ghastly, despicable affair?! Couldn’t you and this brute I married have at least been more discreet?! Whatever he sees in you, I’ll never know, you and that… that garish hair colour and that spotted skin and…. Mwmmmww…”

That last was only a mumble. Someone had finally taken pity on all our ears and shut her up with a well-aimed hex that left her unable to say words, but merely producing some unintelligible sounds that would make any Neanderthal proud.

“So glad you did that, Mr. Malfoy! I don’t take too well to having my dad insulted, I’m afraid. I would have been compelled to break that ridiculous decree on underage magic again – I mean, they don’t usually send anyone for simple spells, but this one might have brought along that annoying, ancient Hopkirk woman from the Ministry – and I swear she’s allergic to me!” Hugo, by my side, explains leisurely, and my father, shockingly, smirks at him with something that looks suspiciously like approval.

“Well… yes, you’re welcome,” he agrees uncommonly cheerfully. “I was about to use full-on Muffliato at first… but I guess she’s funnier this way. Do sit down,” he invites us with a welcoming wave of his hand, and I sort of realize that I’ve been holding my breath just a little until then. It’s one thing having your boyfriend formally introduced at dinner, but it’s quite another to bring him to the family table after he spend the night ravaging this humble, barely-of-age family heir most indecently! But I suppose father is not enough of a hypocrite to keep his overnight guest at the table and chase mine away. Dad, I love you; I should totally let you know one of these days.

And just when we’re about to take our place at the table, there’s a rather loud bang, and a familiar and most unwelcome voice fills the parlour…

“Do let go of me, for Merlin’s sake, Cissy! I told you I need no help Apparating! Ask those incompetent scoundrels at St. Mungo’s they will tell you I’m perfectly well… Draco, son –”

A long pause in which none of us dares to draw breath, and then the screeching voice of my livid grandfather fills the room in a way that it makes the windows rattle.

“Is that a… WHY… is there A WEASLEY… TWO WEASLEYS!!! – at my table?!?!”

I’m quite frozen stiff at this point, I’m afraid. Grandfather does look majestically vicious this murderously angry…

“Hello, Father. Welcome home. Yes… we have guests, as you so astutely noticed. There have been some… developments, while you were gone,” my father replies after another long moment of silence, and I can’t believe how calm and composed his voice is. He’s got bigger fucking balls than a Hippogriff; we just might have another undercover Gryffindor in the family!

“Firstly, the younger Weasley, the one sitting next to your grandson, proved to be a genuine thing – imagine that, in spite of my initial doubts. Either way, he has since been introduced to us formally, so it’s all perfectly within the courting norms and rituals, and you needn’t worry about a potential social faux pas anymore. Splendid, isn’t it?”

“But this is a… he’s a…”

My grandfather’s eyes look ready to roll out of his skull, but my father, like the proper serpent he is, is not beyond using his parent’s shock to his advantage. He stares him down like a boss and I’m totally busy being proud as fuck of my dad, standing up to the old menace like that!

“However, I regret to report that Astoria and I have finally reached a long overdue decision to end this travesty of our marriage due to some… irreconcilable differences,” he continues matter-of-factly. “She will be moving out of the manor by the end of the day, and regretfully, so will I. You see, I have foolishly decided to be happy for the rest of my life, and Ronald here – remember him? – is quite essential to my plan, I’m afraid. Unless, of course, you are willing to tolerate him under your roof as my lover…? No? I didn’t think so. Never mind.”

“Your lo…”

And yeah, you guessed it. He hits the floor like an empty sack of bullshit before he’s able to grasp the sacrilegious idea of two Weasleys involved with his family, and my father finally winces – but not at grandfather hitting the floor, no; I think he might have expected that… but it’s a rare occasion indeed to hear Grandmother Cissy raise her voice.

“Draco Lucius Malfoy, I never…!!! How dare you?! This is no way to break the news to your father; you know very well how oblivious he can be! Oh, dear… help me straighten him up, then, there’s nothing easy about levitating him in this position! And now it’s back to that horrible food at St. Mungo’s! And the service – it’s ghastly! Goodness gracious, child! I’ve known you fancied Ronald here ever since you wouldn’t shut up about him during the fourth year holidays, planning his demise and such nonsense – but couldn’t you have found a more tactful way to break the news to your father?! He’s still weak; a little white lie would have been appropriate for today, you know!”

And I nearly choke on my food. Torn between trying to keep a solemn, respectful face and hysterical laughter I’m coughing out my croissant, thinking – Grandmother… seriously…. you have no idea what you’re asking for…