Disclaimer: Characters belong to J.K Rowling

Warning: Spoilers for epilogue. (DH)

As the train sped up, Albus Severus took one last whimsical look at his parents and little sister. With a small sigh, turned his head towards where his cousin Rose was located beside him only to find that she had disappeared. A small stream of panic rose within the small boy. It's not as if she could have disappeared; she was surely on the train, but having her out of sight made him a little anxious: even while he was only two months her elder, he could not help but feel very protective over his cousin.

"Rose?" he called, albeit quietly, as horror stories of first-year initiations flooded his mind. He could really dislike his brother sometimes. "Rose?" he tried again, peering into the student filled compartments with no success. After a few more feeble attempts, he noticed that a couple of the older students were glancing at him with slight irritation, and so, feeling rather embarrassed, the dark haired boy slipped quickly into a nearly-empty compartment, the first one he could find, really. Albus Severus sat down by the large window, looking across at the other occupant of the compartment only to find himself looking at the pale face of Scorpius Malfoy.

The blonde haired boy did not greet Albus, nor did he make any gesture to welcome him, but his sapphire eyes –presumably his mother's- scanned him with curiosity.

After long minutes of rather awkward silence, Albus Severus spoke, "Hello.".

Sapphire met emerald and Scorpius nodded slightly, before looking back to the moving scenery outside the window. And when no further response was given by the pale boy, Albus spoke once more,

"Why are you sitting all by yourself?"

A pale eyebrow rose, as Scorpius one again looked at the other boy.

"I could ask you the same question." His voice was quiet, but stern, commanding. One would think it strange for a boy of such a young age to have such control over his voice.

"Oh," the dark haired boy blinked, "well, you see, my cousin kind of disappeared on me, and-"

"I wasn't actually asking, you know." Again that quiet but commanding voice interrupted Albus.

The emerald eyed boy frowned. "You're quite rude, you know." he said, but his mind was elsewhere: on the argument he had had with is brother during their trip to the station. He began thinking of how his own embarrassment and fear got in the way of his worry and his determination to find Rose. Albus pulled his knees to his chest. That wasn't very Gryffindor.

"I was merely stating a fact", the distinct voice of Scorpius Malfoy spoke up again. But Albus kept frowning, and looked out the window. What he did was really like Slytherin. Maybe his brother had a point; maybe he would be sorted into Slytherin, and then his whole family would hate him. Despite his father's reassurances, Albus Severus felt none too convinced that he would be able to willingly join Slytherin.

It was a few minutes until the dark haired boy spoke again, previous exchange of words seemingly forgotten,

"I'm afraid…"

The pale eyebrow rose again.

"And what are you afraid of?" Scorpius inquired, not looking at Albus this time.

"Of being sorted into Slytherin", was the reply.

Scorpius huffed, face contorting in mild disbelief.

"Believe me when I say that all Potters are destined to be sorted into Gryffindor, it's like a second nature for you."

Albus lowered his gaze to the floor.

"But I'm not at all like Gryffindor. Maybe I really will be sorted into Slytherin", he murmured, only half listening to what the other boy had said.

Now the blonde's face reflected mild annoyance.

"Why is there such a prejudice against the Slytherin house anyway?" he huffed.

"More dark wizards come from Slytherin than from any other house. Voldemort came from Slytherin!" was the reply.

The frown on the pale boy's face deepened.

"It has nothing to do with the house, rather than the families of the wizards and their morals. Dark wizards have come out of other houses as well. It has nothing to do with the actual house, per se."

"I-" but Albus had lost what he had planned to say.

"Why are you so afraid of going into Slytherin, anyway?" Scorpius spoke up after a quiet moment, "why would that be so bad?"

"I- It's just that all the time, - I", once again, Albus found himself unable to give a sufficient answer, but Scorpius stayed silent until the other boy was able to conjure something. "It's just that… I would be getting into the wrong crowds, and-"

"The other houses are just as responsible for creating the rift as Slytherin is." His voice was quiet again, "I believe this assumption about Slytherin to be a stereotype based on certain characteristics of someone typically sorted into the Slytherin house."

"Well, what about you? What house do you want to be in?" Although Albus was sure he already knew the answer, considering the person he was talking to, and the way he was defending Slytherin as he was, but found himself surprised.

"I don't actually care."

The emerald eyes widened, and Scorpius took notice of the shock, knowing exactly how to interpret it.

"Just because my father was Slytherin does not mean that I have to be as well."

"But what would he say if you weren't?" Those emerald eyes were locked with the sapphire ones again, and Albus sat up in his seat.

Scorpius sighed, "I don't know. I can't imagine him being far too pleased if I land myself in Hufflepuff, but he'd just have to deal with it.", and then the pale boy shrugged, looking back out the window.

Albus Severus looked down at his feet again, "but what would your family think? Wouldn't they resent it?"

Scorpius continued to observe the sky.

"If that's what you're afraid of, then know that your family should love you even if you do not value bravery above all else."

Albus did not reply, but he felt a little better, as this conversation with Scorpius Malfoy made him consider what even the talk between him and his father had not. Even if I don't value bravery above all else.

Of course, the dark haired boy was still utterly petrified to go under the scrutiny of the dreaded sorting hat –fears, of course, partly brought on by his older brother-, but felt slightly better, slightly more at ease, because of the conversation, and because he had met someone in a similar predicament; with expectations to go into a certain house, and the feeling that it might not happen. And he managed a small smile, "Thanks."

Scorpius waved his arm nonchalantly.

"You know, you're different from what I expected." Albus spoke again, rather shyly, despite their conversation.

The blonde quirked an eyebrow again, but a small smile managed to creep onto his face as well.

"To be perfectly honest, you're different from what I expected of a Potter, as well."

The other boy beamed at the response.

"Even if we're sorted into different houses, I don't want to loose you as a friend."

Scorpius snorted, "And defile the legacy that our fathers left us?" The response was sarcastic, but the other boy seemed to have missed it.

"Don't you think it would be interesting?", but perhaps he hadn't, as his own voice now contained the slightest trace of sarcasm.

Scorpius snorted again. It was all the answer he gave – and yet had translated as agreement, anyway-, which was just as well, because the food trolley had come around at just that moment, and Albus Severus, stood up to buy some treats, followed by the pale haired boy.

The conversation was seemingly over as they found distractions with cauldron cakes, and chocolate frogs, but both, while they might not have liked to admit it, felt a little more content, a little more comfortable with their arrival at Hogwarts, and already the premonition of story-worthy experiences with the boy sitting opposite.

Fin.

Yes. Next gen rocks. Hm. And if you're thinking that Scorpius is far too mature for his age, you're thinking correctly. I wanted to make him so. Just because Draco wasn't, doesn't mean that Scorpius has to be as immature. I would imagine him to be more solemn, and a bit more interpretive, observant and intelligent. Everyone could go into speculation, but this is just what I'm choosing to interpret and think of right now.

I see so much potential in these two, and just this generation in general (and despite my earlier revulsion to the epilogue, im finding myself used to it).. and while I do, as many, see a lot of potential and interesting situations for these two, I decide to start off with baby steps, become more familiar, read other people's interpretations and opinions and so on, and from there, let my ideas of the two grow.

And if this is poorly written, I blame the fact that im half asleep. Of course, I'll soon run out of excuses.

And if you're wondering. Rose fell into a wonderful invention called the plot hole (bwahaha)

I hope you enjoyed.

Comments and criticisms greatly appreciated. I give cookies.