I can't believe I just wrote a 12K fanfiction about AS/S. Well, okay, I guess I CAN believe it since I just did it, but oh my god, my soul has gone. It was sucked into this unbeta'd story I'm about to present to you. This story was born because I noticed that most of the fanfiction for AS/S was from Albus Severus' point of view and I wanted to see Scorpius' side of the story. So this would be it, from First Year to Seventh Year.
Edited to the best of my ability and without further ado, I present you my AS/S:we held gold dust in our hands [1/2]otempora01
, rated R
for sexual situations (though it's probably more like NC-17
, but I say R
Harry Potter, AS/S, m/m post-series.His father warned him to stay away from anyone named Potter, but telling Scorpius to stay away from Albus Severus is like telling peanut butter to stay away from the roof of your mouth: useless and pretty damn impossible.
Complete, 12,379 words.first year;
His father had warned him numerous times to stay away from anyone named ‘Potter’ and the gaggle of people all surnamed ‘Weasley.’ His father had told him a lot of things, actually. Who to make friends with. Who to avoid. What were the best hiding places. Who were the best teachers. His father had told him as much as possible to ensure that Scorpius entered Hogwarts well prepared for everything that came his way, short of another psychotic wizard’s rise to power.
Still, he didn’t think his father could have predicted this. The Sorting Hat hadn’t even been on the younger Potter boy’s head for five seconds before it was screaming, “SLYTHERIN!” and horrified shouts were rising from the boy and from his brother at the Gryffindor table.
McGonagall pulled the hat off the little Potter’s head as he screamed and cried, begging to put it back on so he could try again and again and again until he got to be in Gryffindor and couldn’t she just put him in Gryffindor anyway because he was a Potter and Potters could choose
, his Daddy told him so.
McGonagall and the Sorting Hat won, just like Scorpius knew they would, and, forlornly, the little Potter trudged over to his table amidst jeers and threats from his House mates. Obviously they were less than pleased to have Potter with them, though because he was a Potter or because of his outburst, Scorpius couldn’t say. The little Potter plopped down on the bench next to him, hid his face in his hands, and didn’t move for the rest of the ceremony.
Scorpius felt bad for him, but his father had warned him about Potters and their tendency to become teacher’s favorites and get all the shortcuts and benefits that should rightly belong to a Malfoy and so he didn’t say a word to the little Potter. He was silent as the prefects marched them down to the Dungeons and let them into the common room for the first time. He admired the common room his father had described so fondly, watching out of the corner of his eye as the little Potter went up the stairs to the dormitories, oblivious to the people around him. He made alliances with a Goyle, like his father instructed, and a Zabini and two Notts. He entertained everyone with tales of the riding broom his father had gotten him for his eleventh birthday. He had half his year eating out of the palm of his hand before midnight, just as his father had instructed.
And yet he still went to bed before everyone else, climbing the stairs to his dormitory to find all the beds empty but one, upon which the little Potter lay curled into a ball, obviously sleeping. Scorpius took the bed next to his, sitting on it and watching the little Potter curiously.
The boy’s face was red and blotchy—he’d obviously been crying. He looked just like his father except without the glasses and the funny scar, his hair dark and messy, his eyes, from what Scorpius had seen in the Great Hall, a brilliant green. This already set him apart from his brother, whose hair was a dark brown that looked red in some lights and whose mud brown eyes were always cocky as though their owner was ruler of all they could see. Scorpius had never liked him, what little he had seen and heard of him.
As he was watching, the little Potter’s eyes slowly opened, hazy and unfocused for a moment as they rested on Scorpius. He pushed himself up and rubbed at them; Scorpius could see him trembling, even now half-awake as he was.
“I came to make sure you were alright,” Scorpius said, surprised to find the words true. He’d been worried about the little Potter, who already didn’t fit in. After all, he thought trying to twist this to fit some lesson his father had taught him and alleviate his own guilt at disobeying a direct order, he’d been told to take others under his wing as often as possible because they could be useful to him later. What could be more useful than a Potter? “You looked really upset.”
The little Potter sniffled, but didn’t reply.
“Slytherin’s not so bad,” Scorpius continued earnestly. “My whole family’s been in it and they turned out all right. Except the ones who’re dead, but everybody’s got to die sometime. You’ll make some great friends here.”
“I don’t…” the boy began, obviously trying for defiant but without any heat in his voice. All Scorpius could hear was fear. “I don’t want any Slytherins for friends! That’ll only make things worse!”
Scorpius tried not to look insulted. “I don’t see anything wrong with making friends within your own House. My Dad says—”
“My uncle says your Dad’s a git,” the little Potter said quietly. “And you’re a git, too, and Rosie and I shouldn’t talk to you.”
“Do you always do what your uncle says?” snapped Scorpius, aware he was being a bit hypocritical, but honestly not caring. Here he was, extending the hand of friendship to a Potter
and the Potter was getting fresh with him? No wonder his father hated them so much. “I don’t see why you’re in Slytherin if you haven’t got a brain of your own. Slytherin’s for people who are destined for greatness. All you’re destined for is—is being a lapdog!”
The little Potter seemed upset at this outburst, his eyes filling with tears all over again. Scorpius was immediately sorry.
“Don’t cry,” he murmured reluctantly. “I didn’t mean it. I’m just—”
“I’m s-sorry,” the little Potter hiccupped, wiping at his eyes. “I know you’re just trying to be friendly, but I… I didn’t want this!” He was crying now, shoulders shaking with quiet sobs, nose running. “James kept saying I’d be sorted into Slytherin and he’s such a prat, James is, but my Dad said—my Dad said that he got to choose to be in Gryffindor when the hat was going to put him in Slytherin and I tried—” The sobs were anything but silent now and Scorpius was quickly growing alarmed. “I tried so hard. Not Slytherin
, I thought. I thought it and I thought it and the Hat said, ‘Not Slytherin? But, my boy, you simply must be SLYTHERIN’ and then it was over.”
Scorpius wondered if maybe this was the part where he was supposed to sit on the bed next to the little Potter and pat his shoulder. His father hadn’t taught him anything about comforting people. The way his father told it, Slytherins didn’t know how to cry.
The little Potter continued to bawl and Scorpius made his decision, getting up and sitting down again next to the boy. He hardly had to do anything. As soon as he sat down, the little Potter had launched himself into Scorpius’ arms and was crying into his shirt. It was a full two minutes before Scorpius had stopped gaping long enough to close his arms around the little Potter’s body.
As discreetly as he could manage, he tugged his wand out of his pocket and cast a quick Silencing and Locking Charm on the door. His father had taught him plenty of magic to prepare him for Hogwarts. Apparently, a Rose Weasley, probably the ‘Rosie’ the Potter had mentioned, was to be his competition for the best marks.
Ages later, the little Potter finally stopped crying and murmured a, “Sorry,” into the fabric of Scorpius’ robes.
“It’s not a problem, honestly,” Scorpius said, not entirely sure he meant that. The little Potter shuffled back onto the bed and wiped at his eyes again, deliberately not looking in Scorpius’ direction. He was obviously embarrassed.
Scorpius got up and stood directly in front of him, holding out a hand. “I’m Scorpius Malfoy. I think we should be friends.”
“You… want to be my friend?” the little Potter asked, awed. “Even after—”
“I told you I didn’t mind, didn’t I?” Scorpius said heatedly. His father had also warned him about what happened when you extended the hand of friendship to ungrateful Potters and the longer his hand went unshaken, the more agitated he was likely to become. “After your little show out there, you’re going to need friends, especially a friend like me. Those guys out there would sooner hex you than help you with anything. At least I—”
His angry words died in his throat as the little Potter, with a small sound that was almost a giggle, clasped his hand and shook it firmly.
“You’re a bit funny, Scorp,” he said and Scorpius felt a rush of warm affection at the nickname. He hated his name. “But I like you. I’m Albus Severus Potter—Al, please.” He released Scorpius’ hand and blushed, ducking his head sheepishly. “I know I was named after great Headmasters and whatnot, but I hate my name.”
Scorpius smiled, his first real smile since setting foot on Hogwarts grounds, and thought that this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.second year;
His father had told him all about Quidditch. When Scorpius had shown Al the racing broom his father had bought him for his birthday, Al had looked so jealous that Scorpius had been unable to talk of anything else for weeks. He only stopped when Al’s looks turned from jealous to scathing and Scorpius felt so bad that he had woken Al up at midnight to take him for a ride around the Pitch that put them back on good terms again.
Still, tensions were high when it came time to try out for the Slytherin Quidditch team. There was only one position for Scorpius, the one position his father had placed above all else as Scorpius was too young to be Captain, and that was Seeker. His father had been a Seeker and it would have been shameful for Scorpius not to be one, too. In fact, he’d been given specific instructions to owl his father as soon as he got the position so they could talk strategies.
Al was trying out for the team, too, with the Firebolt XT his father had gotten him over the summer. Scorpius, his own Firebolt XT clutched in his sweaty palms, couldn’t help but feel resentful. Al was going out for Seeker, too, after all, and his father had warned him about glory hound Potters and their viciousness when it came to that position. True, his father had been wrong about Al being anything like his father or brother, in personality anyway, but their friendship was only one year old and he had yet to see how Al was on the field.
If he lost the position to a Potter his father would never forgive him.
“I’m nervous,” Al whispered to him as they waited for their Quidditch captain, a Flint, to call their names. “My brother’s Seeker on the Gryffindor team and he says the only way I can redeem myself for getting sorted into Slytherin is by making the team. But he says if I do
make the team, I can’t help us win because that would make me a dirty House-traitor and Dad would disinherit me.”
Scorpius snorted. He was a right prat, that James Potter. He could see how agonized Al was over the dilemma. “Your brother’s a twit. Don’t listen to him.”
“But Uncle Ron says—”
“Don’t listen to him either.”
Al paused, then whispered again, “But Dad said—”
“Albus Severus Potter,” Scorpius began ignoring the double wince at the use of both of the hated names. He wanted Al to know that he was serious, but a part of him did feel bad for the verbal slap. “I don’t care what your twatface brother or your dumb uncle or your father—” Scorpius had learned very early on to never, ever
insult Al’s father, “said about Quidditch. Just wait until you get up there and figure it out for yourself. Then I want to hear your
Al was giving him a slightly amused look, probably, Scorpius guessed, because he knew the only reason Scorpius was here was because his Dad would disown him if he didn’t become a Seeker. He liked Quidditch just fine, but he didn’t obsess over it to the lengths that his father did. Still, that was irrelevant.
“Everybody in the air now!” Flint shouted, startling everyone with her arrival, and Scorpius was on his broom before he knew it, racing into the air. There was a Bludger behind him, so he swerved out of the way in time to nearly be smacked in the face by a snitch. The field was a chaotic mess of Bludgers, snitches, and people either trying to avoid or catch the flying balls around them.
Somewhere to his right, he heard Al scream, “Got one!” A rush of resentment filled him and he leaned forward to make his broom go faster, determined to catch more of the golden snitches than Al and make his father proud.
They were a lot harder to catch than Scorpius remembered from practice with his father. His father had shown him his Pensieve memories of past Quidditch matches so he could learn Potter’s style and learn from his father’s mistakes. His father had taken him to the Quidditch World Cup, trained him since he was old enough to ride a broomstick. His father almost seemed to be there with him now, speaking quietly into his ear, “Catch a snitch or you are no son of mine. It’s not that hard, Scorpius. Do it!”
“Scorp!” he heard and glanced over his shoulder to see Al behind him, unnaturally close, and tumbling off of his broom with a sharp cry of pain. Scorpius’ eyes widened, his world narrowing to just himself and Al’s plummeting body. Then, suddenly, Al hit the ground and the noise enveloped him again.
“Al!” he screamed, diving for the ground and ignoring the snitches and Bludgers swirling around him. No one else aside from Flint had noticed Al’s crumpled form on the ground or, if they had, they didn’t care as much as Scorpius and nor were they forced to care like Flint. “Al!” he said again as he landed and kneeled next to the body of his friend. “Al, are you alright? What’s hurt? Al, open your eyes
“Malfoy,” Flint said coolly. “If you’re done mollycoddling him, I’d like to take him to the Hospital Wing. I refuse to be held responsible for a Potter’s death.”
“He’s not going to die,” Scorpius said and it took a great effort for him not to scream it. “I’ll take him to the Hospital Wing,” he stood, ready to levitate Al’s body, then, smiling as he knew with great certainty what the first question his friend would ask upon awakening would be, he asked, “Did we make the team?”
Flint looked at him like he was a particularly interesting bug, but nevertheless Scorpius could see a hint of respect in those cold, dark eyes. “Chasers, both of you. Now get him out of here.”
Scorpius obediently cast a Levitation Charm and toted Al’s unconscious body off the field, deep in thought. A Chaser wasn’t a Seeker, but perhaps his father would be proud of him anyway? And, at least, he and Al would be working together rather then competing against one another. He was already feeling bad for the resentment that had filled him in the air. Al had probably been delighted and shocked by his own success and would have been nothing but pleased with Scorpius’; meanwhile, Scorpius was hating Al for succeeding and striving to beat him purely for the sake of beating him. He was such a horrid friend.
He waited in the Hospital Wing as Pomfrey forced two bottles of potions down Al’s throat, then arranged him in one of the beds and permitted Scorpius to stay only because he adamantly refused to leave and if he promised not to make any noise to disturb the other patients. Then, she disappeared into her office, leaving Scorpius sitting by Al’s bed, clutching his hand and wishing he would open his eyes. Scorpius couldn’t remember wanting to see that extraordinary shade of green more desperately than he did at that moment.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, hanging his head. “I’m truly sorry, Al.” He wasn’t sure what he was apologizing for—and his father would kill him for humbling himself to a Potter like this—but he felt certain that this was somehow his fault.
“Did…” he heard Al’s hoarse voice begin before seemingly running out of steam. He lifted his head, surprised to see Al’s glazed eyes staring back at him. He stumbled out of his chair, grabbing the water from the side table, and helping Al to drink some so he could continue. “Did we make the team?”
Scorpius had to laugh. “Chasers. We’re Chasers.”
Al smiled exhaustedly. “Brilliant. James, Dad, and Uncle Ron can’t be mad at me for that, can they? I mean, not until I help Slytherin—oomph!”
In a burst of relief and adrenaline, Scorpius had practically thrown himself on Al’s body, hugging him so tightly he feared he’d crushed a windpipe. As soon as he realized what he was doing, he straightened, turned, and clenched his fist until he gained control of himself. What an absolutely appalling way for a Malfoy to act. His father would be ashamed.
But when he turned back to Al, the boy was smiling at him with such tenderness that Scorpius felt his heart throb in response. Breathless and just a little lightheaded, he smiled back.
“So, what happened up there? You nearly gave me a coronary,” he said lightly, even though his heart was still pounding from the rush of whatever he had just felt while looking at Al.
The boy turned an interesting shade of pink and looked away as though ashamed to have to be explaining himself. “I saw… there was a Bludger zooming toward the back of your head and… you didn’t hear me when I screamed your name so I just… and then once that one hit me, three more decided to, I think, it all gets kind of blurry there,” Al glanced up at him, then looked alarmed. “No, no, I’m perfectly fine, really. You would have done the same for me.”
Scorpius didn’t know what on earth Al had seen in his face since his expression hadn’t changed in the slightest, but he guessed that Al could sense his feeling of overwhelming guilt. Would he have done the same for Al, as resentful and competitive as he had been up there?
“I’m sorry,” he repeated now that Al was awake, taking his hand again. “Thank you.”
Al looked wary, but also relieved. “No problem. We’re mates, right?”
“The best,” Scorpius reassured him, dropping his hand only when Pomfrey reentered the room.third year;
Since Scorpius and Al correctly brewed their Shrinking Solutions well ahead of the rest of their class, Slughorn permitted them to leave early, much to their delight. Al was the happiest Scorpius could remember seeing him all year, looking fresh and happy after spending summer break at home with his family as usual. And, as usual, he’d sent Scorpius a letter every day discussing the latest happenings in the Potter home, which Scorpius read alone and amused in his bedroom before hiding.
He’d told his father about his friendship with Albus Severus Potter and his father hadn’t taken it well. He might have used Scorpius’ correspondence with Al as a means of spying on the Potters, though for what purpose Scorpius couldn’t guess because his Chocolate Frog card of Voldemort clearly said ‘vanquished by Harry Potter’ at the bottom. He supposed some habits died hard.
Still, Al’s happiness was contagious and he couldn’t help the small smile on his face as he watched Al beam and rock back and forth on his heels as he tried to decide where they should spend their unexpected free time. Scorpius was about to suggest they sneak down to Honeydukes using the secret passage when Al came to a sudden halt and he crashed right into him.
Scorpius looked to see what the problem was and scowled when he saw the arrogant form of James Potter staring at them. He’d just exited a classroom, that much was obvious, and he seemed surprised to see them, though it was the resigned sort of surprise one usually reserved for running into ex-girlfriends or relatives one hated. James caught sight of Scorpius and scowled right back, which only caused Scorpius’ scowl to deepen.
Al was examining his shoes. “Oh, hi, James.”
“Hi, Al,” James said neutrally, not taking his eyes off Scorpius. “I see you’re still slinking about with Slytherin scum instead of trying to make some real friends in Gryffindor like I told you to.”
Scorpius opened his mouth to retort but, to his utter surprise, Al lifted his head, eyes burning with defiance, and said, rather coldly, “You also told me Polyjuice Potion always tasted like bogies and that Filch’s favorite form of detention was S&M. You understand why I find it a little bit hard to believe you—and why you’re failing Potions.”
James looked every bit as astonished as Scorpius felt, but nowhere near as proud. His eyes narrowed, cheeks getting very red with either anger or embarrassment. Scorpius had never been as good at reading James Potter as he was at reading Albus Severus.
“You little—,” he growled, advancing on his brother menacingly. Al was shaking; Scorpius could tell he wanted nothing more than to run away and never look back, but he was standing his ground, refusing to let James mock his friend and his House. For the first time, Scorpius could see the intricate blend of Gryffindor and Slytherin in Al. The undeniable bravery and inherent malice from both respective Houses were shining through.
James came to a stop mere feet away from Al, eyes narrow slits of brown. “You may think you’re at home in Slytherin with your little Malfoy friend, but you know as well as I do that a Potter has no place there. The other Slytherins don’t take to you as well as Malfoy does, do they?” and even without the hitch in Al’s breath, James could tell he was right. Everyone could see the way the other Slytherins glared at Al when they thought Scorpius wasn’t looking. “How long do you think this ‘friendship’ with Malfoy’s going to last? You heard what Dad said—Draco Malfoy offered him the hand of friendship, too, and he turned it down because he knew Malfoy would only turn him against his friends and use him. He knew Malfoy was going to do to him what you’re letting this one do to you.”
Al’s shaking had increased. Scorpius wanted to touch his shoulder, hold his hand, something to reassure him, but he knew it would be unwelcome and would only make things worse.
“So, fine, turn your back on your family and keep pretending that this Malfoy’s any different than all the rest of the nasty Slytherins the Sorting Hat aligned you with,” James continued viciously. “I might’ve forgiven you because that was the Sorting Hat’s choice, not yours, but now I can see that this is what you wanted, little brother. And you know what?” He paused for one long, cruel moment. “You deserve everything you get.”
That said, he turned on his heel and marched down the hallway, eventually disappearing around the corner and leaving Scorpius and Al in a tense silence. Al broke it with a deep, shuddery breath that brought Scorpius back to reality. Al was crying, sobbing like he hadn’t since his first night at Hogwarts two years ago.
“Al, don’t—” Scorpius began, but Al was turning and running in the opposite direction of his brother, back down the stairs of the Dungeon, no doubt on his way to the Slytherin boys’ dorms. They still had Herbology before dinner, but Scorpius knew that Professor Longbottom wouldn’t mind Al’s absence if he went and explained it beforehand. He was also sure the professor would let him go and look after his friend. They had Herbology with Gryffindor today; he could have Al get the notes from Rose Weasley later.
He cast one last look at the stairs, longing to rush down them after his friend, but knowing it was in both their best interests if he gave Al some time to calm down and got him out of trouble before he went down there.
Still, the walk to the greenhouses seemed to take an eternity, as did explaining, vaguely, to Professor Longbottom what was going on, and the long walk back. He felt like years had passed since he’d last seen Al smile when, in reality, it had only been fifteen minutes at most. He sprinted down the stairs, navigated the labyrinth corridors faster than he ever had before, and was in the common room and up the stairs to the dormitory before he was really aware of what was happening.
Unlike first year, Al was not curled up in a little ball in his bed. Instead, he was sitting in the alcove where the window would have been were they not under the lake. He was hugging a knee, his chin resting on it, his other leg extended. His face was blank as he examined the bricks.
Scorpius hovered hesitantly in the doorway, trying to contain himself. He lost control far too often around Albus Severus Potter for his liking. There were times when he wanted to confess to his father that he had hugged this boy, had screamed for this boy, occasionally thought he would do anything for this boy, just so his father could hex it out of him and he could wash his hands of Albus Severus Potter forever. And yet, as his eyes ran over the familiar unruly dark hair, the green eyes, the pale skin and thin frame, he knew that he could never truly be free of Al. He already cared too much. He doubted even the most powerful Obliviate
would be enough to wipe Al from his mind.
“Al?” he said, voice sounding loud in the silence of the room. Everyone else was gone, in class. “Al, do you—”
“No, I don’t want to talk about it,” Al said dully.
“I told you not to listen to your twatface brother,” Scorpius continued as though he hadn’t spoken, closing the door behind himself as he approached the window. “I told you that, don’t you remember? At Quidditch tryouts last year, I said—”
“It’s not just him,” Al said in that same dull voice. “Everyone’s been telling me. I left it out of my letters because I didn’t want to upset you, but everyone’s angry with me. I mean, I told them about you right off and they didn’t like it, but none of them said
anything until—” he took a deep breath. “Until James just stood up at dinner and said, ‘How long are you all going to keep pretending he’s not turning into a snake right before our very eyes?’ Mum sent him to his room, but then Lily started in, saying that all the other Gryffindors would probably jeer her and everybody would think she was going to be a rotten Slytherin lover like her big brother and it was all my fault.”
Scorpius could do little but stare at him, horrified.
“Mum sent her to her room, too, and told me to ignore them, but then Dad said—” Al started to shake again, then took a deep breath and controlled himself. “Dad said I oughtn’t trust you because you were, after all, a Malfoy and that you look out first and foremost for yourself. And then Mum—”
“That’s a lie,” Scorpius burst out, unable to stand anymore. “That’s a lie. That’s not true. None of it is true!” Al was looking at him in surprise, but he was so angry he could hardly see straight. “You know me, Al. We’ve been best mates for three bloody years and you know I’ve never been anything but honest with you, never wanted anything but the best for you, always protected you from the other Slytherins and—do you really think I would do all of that just because I wanted
something from you? Something like what, I’d like to know? What the bloody hell could I possibly want from you that I don’t have already?
Al’s eyes were wide, but he didn’t speak.
“I have plenty of friends, but you’re the only one who knows my middle name. You’re the only one I’ve ever wanted to invite to the Manor. You’re the only one I owl over summer break, the only one whose owls I look forward to,” Scorpius was clenching his fists so hard he was sure he would have crescent shaped cuts there when he was finished, but he couldn’t help it. Control, control, control,
he chanted like a mantra. It was useless. “You’re the only one I care about! You’re the only person whose friendship has ever meant anything to me because you’re the only one who’s my friend for more than just my last name!”
He made a sound that was far too much like a sob for his liking and whirled away from Al before he could see how bright his eyes were.
“Scorp,” Al whispered remorsefully, but Scorpius was having none of it. He ran, throwing open the door, and heading back the way he’d come in, perhaps, a greater haste than before. His vision was swimming, but now that he was away from the influence of Albus Severus Potter, he found it easier to get control over himself. He wiped his hands hurriedly over his eyes and no more tears came. His anger and misery ebbed until it was nothing more than a mild irritation.
The irritation exploded back into anger as he caught sight of none other than James Potter separating himself from his friends with a laugh and a promise to see them later. Scorpius waited by the shadow of the Great Hall doors, waited until James’ friends had dispersed and James was close enough before he stepped out and pointed his wand directly underneath the boy’s throat.
“You arrogant git,” he hissed, greedily drinking in the fear and shock on James’ face before it faded into a wary curiosity.
“What the bloody hell do you
want, Malfoy?” James asked scathingly. “Mad because I opened my brother’s eyes to your plan? Won’t speak to you now, will he? Going to have to find another pawn, huh?”
A hex was right on the tip of Scorpius’ tongue but the intensity of the fire in James’ eyes made him stop. James honestly and truly believed that Scorpius was after nothing more than to use his brother. His cruel speech from earlier had been his twisted form of brotherly protection.
Scorpius lowered his wand, then pocketed it and punched James in the face.
James let out a string of profanities that would have made Peeves proud as he clutched his bleeding nose. Scorpius hardly felt the pain in his knuckles (Malfoy hands were not meant for brutish actions like punching), so great was his gratification.
“You don’t know your brother at all,” he said pityingly. “You may think you’re trying to help him, but you’ve probably hurt him worse than I ever could if I wanted to, which I don’t. I don’t care whether you believe me or not, but Al is really my friend and I his. I’ll admit to you, because I know you want to hear it, that my original intentions for seeking his friendship weren’t all that pure. Some part of me was only doing it because I thought he might be useful to me in some way. But majority of me—all of me now—wanted nothing more than to keep him from crying as hard as he did that first night in Slytherin.”
James seemed impassive, but Scorpius was determined to make him see, to make him understand.
“He was absolutely tortured that night, almost refused my friendship just because he didn’t want to be an even bigger disappointment to you and the rest of his family. I took care of him. I let everyone know that anyone who messed with Al messed with me and they left him alone after awhile. He was—is—my best friend, my only friend, really, since the other Slytherins only like me because I’m Draco Malfoy’s son and better than them by default,” he could tell his voice had gotten a bit haughty at the end, but he hardly cared. “He’s in the common room bawling his eyes out right now, just like he did that first night, because of what you said. I don’t care what you think about me, but if you ever, ever
make Al cry like that again,” his voice dropped, low and menacing. “I will kill
you. Or, at the very least, I have enough Dark Magic artifacts left in my home to make you wish I did.”
To his surprise, James laughed, though it was grim and somewhat resigned. Scorpius blinked, wondering what, exactly, was so funny about a death threat.
“Wow,” he said once he’d stopped laughing, looking at Scorpius with what he would swear was pride. “You’ve really flipped for my brother, haven’t you?”
“Excuse me?” Scorpius asked, appalled.
“Well, if you must,” James continued with a painstaking sigh. “But I’ll have you
know,” he drew himself up to his full height, a full two inches taller than Scorpius, and glowered. “If you break my brother, I will break you into many individually unrecognizable pieces. Got that?”
He didn’t wait for a reply before stalking away, leaving Scorpius stunned and confused in his wake. He got the distinct feeling that something had occurred here, that perhaps he had just been given permission to do something, though what he could not say.
“Scorp,” a quiet, familiar voice said behind him. He turned to see Al standing sheepishly by a suit of armor. “I just—I wanted to apologize for what I said—”
“You didn’t say anything,” Scorpius was quick to say. “It was your family. You and them are completely different, I’ve learned.”
“So are you and your family,” Al replied quietly, walking up until there was hardly any room between them and overpowering Scorpius with the full weight of that green-eyed stare. “And I was wrong not to defend you better. I’m sorry.”
But Al had thrown his arms around him in a hug that had his words dying in his throat. Scorpius felt his heart give a little lurch as he hugged Al back and thought maybe, just maybe, he was beginning to understand the hidden meaning behind his confrontation with James Potter. Part II