A/N: Okay guys, this is the final chapter! Sorry it took me several years to finish this fanfic, but I told myself I was going to finish it and now it's finished. Enjoy!
Ever since Al was a kid, his dad told him stories about his adventures at Hogwarts. Al, James and Lily would sit around their father as he retold how he saved their mother from a giant basilisk, or how he, Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione solved various riddles to uncover the secret of the Philosopher's Stone. Al dreamed of one day going on adventures of his own. Unfortunately, Hogwarts wasn't nearly as exciting as he thought it was going to be. Not only was he overshadowed by his many relatives, there were no basilisks traveling through the pipes or escaped convicts breaking into the school. Hogwarts was a very safe learning environment, which meant it was the perfect breading ground for bullying, stressful schoolwork and petty teenage gossip.
Usually, Al wasn't thrilled about Hogwarts, but this year was different. It was his final year at Hogwarts, and he could just tell that something exciting was going to happen. Things were finally going his way. He had been made the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team and James had finally graduated, which meant Al was officially the most talked about Potter at Hogwarts. He still wasn't the most talked about Weasley, thanks to the army of mutated frogs Roxanne conjured up and sent to the Slytherin common room that first week. Still, Al was happy to be back at Hogwarts. He was happy to return to Quidditch and his friends and the library. He was excited to start learning advanced Defense Against the Dark Arts. Things were going his way.
It wasn't until he saw Scorpius did he remember how miserable Hogwarts could be. They hadn't spoken or written to each other all summer. They haven't even made eye contact since their talk last spring. There were times when Al considered saying something to Scorpius, but he had no idea what he was supposed to say to someone after ignoring them for three months. He was ashamed of himself for being so petty and for not keeping in touch. He was also ashamed that he was still angry with Scorpius, and even more ashamed that every time he saw him, he would still get that feeling in his stomach.
The two first acknowledged the other's existence in Potions class. It was the only class they had together, and the words they exchanged didn't go beyond "could you pass me a sopophorous bean?" but it was something. Al caught himself smiling at comments Scorpius made once in a while, but he never let Scorpius know he found his comments funny. This was getting more and more difficult, especially since Scorpius's new potions partner was Toby Morris. Toby was a loud, competitive Gryffindor with a huge inferiority complex. He was a Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and he was constantly trying to "correct" the way Al coached the team. He hated Al for being made Quidditch captain, claiming it was nepotism. Al secretly suspected he was right, but he still hated Toby none the less. Scorpius and Toby never got along either, but that was less about Quidditch and more about two people with bad attitudes being forced to work together.
"You idiot, it's supposed to be light purple!" Toby said one day, gesturing to their cauldron. Scorpius, whose robes were splattered with the purple potion, looked as if he wanted to slap him.
"What do you think that is, orange?"
"That's periwinkle, not light purple!" Toby sneered with a superior tone. Scorpius rolled his eyes.
"Is there a difference?"
"Periwinkle is not as saturated as light purple. Everybody knows that," Toby said. Al could feel his skin crawl with anger; he hated how Toby always claimed 'everybody' knew something, especially since it was clear nobody knew it. Judging by Scorpius's facial expression, Al sensed he felt the same way.
"Oh good lord, Toby, sometimes I think you're even gayer than I am," Scorpius said to him while flipping through his potions book. This comment did not sit well with Toby. He looked absolutely furious.
"Fuck you," he said. His comment made Scorpius look up from the potions book in shock. It seemed a little harsh for such a casual joke.
"Really, Toby, I was only joking," Scorpius told him. "I'm sure you're only half as gay as me."
"Oh you'd like that, wouldn't you?" Toby sneered. Scorpius stared at him for a few seconds.
"You think I haven't noticed you staring at me all the time?" Toby said, his voice barely above a whisper. His eyes darted around the potions room as he said this, as if afraid someone might overhear. Scorpius laughed loudly. He had been staring in Toby's direction, but only because Al was at the desk next to him.
"Are you serious? You really think I've been checking you out? You're even more vain than I thought!" Scorpius exclaimed, his voice carrying. A few students stopped working on their potions and stared at Scorpius.
"Malfoy, Morris, focus on your potions," the potions professor drawled. "And don't kill each other while I'm out of the room. That goes for all of you" he said, pointing to nobody in particular as he exited the classroom. Once he was gone, Toby went back to scowling at Scorpius.
"I've seen you staring at me! Don't deny it!" Toby hissed at him, looking mortified and furious.
"Fine! You caught me!" Scorpius said theatrically, throwing his arms up in mock defeat. "I secretly fantasize about running away with you and living together in a giant periwinkle castle!"
"Shut up, Malfoy!"
"Oh don't worry, we can repaint it light purple if you'd like," Scorpius said coyly. Al tried to stifle a laugh and just ended up snorting loudly. Scorpius grinned at him out of habit, forgetting that the two of them weren't speaking. Before he was able to reminisce about laughing with Al, Toby interrupted him.
"Just so you know, if you try anything, I swear to god I'll use an unforgivable curse on you," he said darkly, glaring at Scorpius. This comment was just too much. Scorpius knew he should've rolled his eyes at Toby and continued working, but the fact that Al was paying attention to the two of them made Scorpius want to show off a little bit. One of Scorpius's many talents was getting people worked up.
"So that's the kind of bloke you are," he said with a smirk, "kinky." Toby hit the desk with the palm of his hands loudly and pointed his wand at Scorpius.
"Fuck you, Malfoy. Put a dick in it and crawl back to Voldemort, why don't you?" The whole room went silent. Nobody was working on their potions anymore; all they could do was stare at the two boys in shock. Scorpius stared at him, taken aback by his comment. The look of shock and humiliation in Scorpius's eyes was unmistakable, and Al no longer cared that Scorpius broke his heart. He hated seeing him like that.
"Hey!" Al shouted at Toby. "What the hell, Morris? You can't talk to him like that!" Toby smiled and looked around the room, as if under the delusion that other people in the class found this funny.
"Why not? What is he, your boyfriend?" He said, grinning at Al.
"No, but he's a human being and he doesn't deserve your ignorant bullshit!" Al said, taking a few steps closer to Toby.
"It's not ignorance, it's fact," Toby said confidently, "everyone knows the Malfoy's used to be followers of Voldemort. I wouldn't be surprised if he's started up a new band of Death Eaters with his Slytherin pals. He's nothing but an inbred, cock sucking - "
A loud bang interrupted Toby's rant, and Toby flew backwards into the cold, stone wall. Several students in the classroom shrieked, and a couple went over to Toby to help him stand up. Toby felt the back of his head and brought his hand back into view. Al noticed with a sickening feeling in his stomach that his hand was covered in blood. Al stared at his own wand, and felt his heart race in panic. He looked around the room and noticed that the professor had returned just in time to Al's attack on Toby.
"Mr. Potter!" the professor said shakily, "I think you need a little visit with the headmaster."
Al spent the rest of the day having a long talk with the headmaster about the importance of self control and then serving detention. While Al was forced to polish awards and trophies, Scorpius was sitting in the library, attempting to study. It had gotten to the point where his feelings for Al worked themselves into his homework. In the middle of his essays he would end up writing Al's name subconsciously. Eventually he just gave up on homework completely and drew stick figures of him and Al playing exploding snap and flying on broomsticks. He enchanted his drawings to move about the page to entertain himself, but it only made him more lonely. Seeing stick figures of him and Al confessing their love for each other did not brighten his mood. One of the Scorpius's was serenading a swooning stick figure Al, and Scorpius was furious that a stick figure version of him was better at romance than he was. He wrinkled up his homework and tossed it in the trash. He began walking around the library when he found Al hunched over a desk with his nose buried in a book. Scorpius thought that maybe if he backed away slowly, Al wouldn't even notice he was there.
"Scorpius?" Al said before he could make his sneaky departure. Scorpius froze, turned around and gave Al a forced smile.
"Oh, hi!" Scorpius said awkwardly. The two stared at each other for a moment, unsure of what to say or how to start.
"Hi," Al responded, setting down his book and staring at Scorpius curiously. Scorpius cleared his throat.
"Er, how was detention?" He asked. This was clearly the wrong thing to ask, based on the blank stare Al gave him.
"Sensational," Al finally said, his voice monotone. "Thanks for asking." Scorpius sighed, feeling uncomfortable.
"Look, Al, I'm really sorry," he said. Al gave him a weak smile.
"Don't be sorry, it's not your fault. You didn't make me attack Toby," he responded blandly. Scorpius wasn't sure if he should insist that it was his fault, or if he should tell Al he was his hero for beating up Toby, or if he should agree and tell him attacking Toby was a really dumb idea.
"So I hear you're the Quidditch captain now," Scorpius said, smiling at him eagerly. Out of all the things Scorpius wanted to say to Al, congratulating his Quidditch success wasn't really high on the list. Still, he figured small talk couldn't hurt.
"Well, I was," Al said bitterly. "I've been demoted after attacking Toby." Scorpius mentally cursed his luck; apparently small talk could hurt.
"Oh. I'm sorry," Scorpius said sincerely, feeling even more guilty. Al smiled at him.
"It's not really a big deal," he said, trying to sound reassuring. "The only reason I even wanted to be captain was for the title. Honestly, I'm lucky they didn't kick me off the team. And Teresa's a great Quidditch player and a good friend of mine. She'll make a great captain." The two sat in silence for a moment.
"You didn't have to do that," Scorpius said, "I'm used to people saying crude things like that, it's not a big deal." Al looked at Scorpius in a very peculiar way.
"It is a big deal. He had no right to say those things to you. You don't deserve it," he said, not taking his eyes away from Scorpius. Scorpius blushed under his gaze, and he suddenly remembered how much he missed Al.
"Can we be friends again?" He asked before he could stop himself. Much to his surprise, Al laughed.
"I thought you'd never ask," He said. Scorpius grinned.
"Room of Requirement?" He suggested. Al shoved the book he was reading away from him and stood up.
It was almost as if the two had never stopped being friends. They laughed and talked about how boring their summers were and how much they are looking forward to graduation and everything in between. Scorpius hadn't had this much fun just talking with someone in a long time.
"Hey! Lysander's a little odd, but he's a good guy. I don't get why people are constantly making fun of him. He hasn't done anything wrong!" Al said when Scorpius complained about his new Charms partner. Scorpius smirked at him.
"He just wears fluorescent robes and occasionally serenades paintings," he said, taking a sip from his Pina Colada. "I'm just saying he's different!" He said defensively when Al gave him a stern look.
"You're one to talk! You're the only wizard I know who prefers Pina Colada's over Butterbeer!" Al said, smiling. Scorpius laughed.
"You're such a hero," he said, smiling at Al fondly.
"What?" Al said, raising an eyebrow at him.
"Oh, you know! Sticking up for Lysander Scamander and beating up Toby Morris. You're so noble and heroic," he responded, ruffling Al's hair affectionately. Al laughed and waved him off.
"Oh, come on!" He said, his cheeks turning slightly pink from Scorpius's affectionate gesture.
"You are! You're such a little golden boy. You and your bravery," Scorpius teased, punching Al playfully in the arm. Al didn't smile. Instead he looked away from Scorpius and shook his head.
"I'm not brave," he said darkly. There was no modest smile or awkward blush; he looked genuinely upset.
"Well shit, Al. There's no need to get all mopey about it. Of course you're brave! I know that wasn't the first time you've stood up for me. I hear what people say behind my back. It's not like it gets to me too much, but hearing you stick up for me... well, people don't usually do that," Scorpius said. Al shrugged.
"It's not a big deal. You're my friend." Scorpius rolled his eyes.
"Okay sure, but you stick up for Rose, you stick up for Lysander Scamander, you stick up for that kid with the big ears - "
"There's nothing wrong with big ears."
"See? You don't even know him and you stick up for him!" Scorpius exclaimed. Al shook his head.
"That's not bravery. If I was brave, I would have told my family I was gay by now. I mean, you had no problem with that," he said in a self deprecating manner. Scorpius's insides churned with guilt. He sighed heavily and set down his drink.
"I didn't tell my parents I was gay. They found out," Scorpius admitted. Al stared at him.
"Really? How?" He asked. Scorpius wasn't sure how to answer, and his silence made Al uncomfortable.
"I wrote someone a love letter," Scorpius said reluctantly, blushing a little as he said so. Al stared at him in shock.
"Scorpius... that's so cute," he said, smiling at him fondly. He had expected him to say that he was caught doing inappropriate things with an inappropriate significant other, but a love letter seemed so sweet and harmless.
"It's not cute! It was a really sexy, passionate love letter! For grown ups!" Scorpius protested, folding his arms and pouting.
"Sorry," Al said, still smiling. "So your parents found this sexy grown up love letter?"
"Unfortunately," Scorpius grumbled as he took another drink of his pina colada.
"How grown up was this letter?" Al asked him, staring at him suspiciously. Scorpius pondered this question; it was difficult to find the right words.
"Let's just say I used the term 'succulent toned body' a little too often," he finally admitted. Al's eyes widened and he tried desperately not to laugh.
"Oh my god, Scorp. That's mortifying," he said, failing miserably to keep a smile off of his face. Scorpius groaned and buried his face in his hands.
"I was never even planning on sending the letter!" He moaned. "I just – I needed to get it out of my system, I suppose."
"So there's a guy you're interested in?" Al asked him casually. There was an uncomfortable silence.
"Um... We don't have to talk about it if you don't want - "
"No no, I'm fine!" Al said forcefully. "Really, I'm over what happened between us. Seriously, I'm completely over it! We're friends now! You can tell me anything." Al could tell he sounded a little too eager to be sincere, but Scorpius didn't seem to notice.
"Yes! Frankly, I wish you would have just told me there was someone else you were interested in. I mean, I thought the reason you turned me down was because I'm repulsive or something," Al said, forcing a smile on his face. Scorpius reluctantly smiled back.
"Well, you are the most unfashionable gay man I've ever met. That's a little repulsive," he said, laughing to himself. Al laughed back, and Scorpius felt the mood lighten a little bit, so he continued.
"I mean, you make house elves look fashionable. It's - "
"Alright I get it," Al said bluntly. "So who's the lucky guy?" Scorpius shrugged.
"It doesn't matter. We'll probably never get together," he said miserably.
"Why? Is he straight?" Al asked.
"No, straight boys are gross. He's gay, he's just... Well, he's out of my league," Scorpius said, the same miserable expression on his face. Al was so surprised by this comment that he laughed.
"I never thought you'd ever say that about a guy." Sure, Al had listened to Scorpius mildly talk about some boy he found attractive, but he never stressed over it and he certainly didn't consider anybody out of his league.
"I never thought I'd meet a guy like this," Scorpius said distantly, staring at the fireplace. Al could see it in Scorpius's eyes that this guy wasn't just some form of entertainment for Scorpius, the way Al had been. He was downright heartbroken about him, and Al could feel himself burn with jealousy.
"Oh. Great. He sounds like a catch," Al exclaimed with false excitement. He had no idea who this guy was, but he hated him even more than he hated Toby Morris, and that was saying something.
The next night, Al told Scorpius he couldn't spend time with him. He claimed that he had to catch up on his Defense Against the Dark Arts homework, when in reality Al was two chapters ahead of everybody else. He really just wanted to be alone and think to himself for a little while. He always seemed to run into Scorpius at the library, so he began spending his evenings in the astronomy tower. It was very peaceful and the view quite beautiful. However, it was also quite small, and Al ran into someone else up there while he was taking a midnight walk around the school.
"Oh, sorry. I didn't know anybody was in here," Al stammered, feeling a little embarrassed that he ran into someone while he was supposed to be in bed. The other boy smiled at him, and Al finally recognized who he was. He was Eric Nott, a Slytherin in his year. He recognized him from his Defense Against the Dark Arts class and prefect meetings, but Al didn't really know much about him. All he knew was that Scorpius had very strong opinions about Eric. He complained about how everybody worshipped Eric, and how Eric was completely full of himself, and how Eric was a closet case. He never mentioned that he was handsome.
"Don't worry about it. We can fit more than one person in the Astronomy tower," he said, leaning against the wall and smiling at Al warmly. Al didn't know how he had never noticed him before; he was tall and lean, and he had a very charming smile.
"Er, great. I'm not necessarily doing Astronomy homework," Al said, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly.
"I'm not doing homework at all. I just come here for the view," he said, gesturing towards the window. He had a smooth, articulate voice, the kind of voice a politician or an actor would have. He stared at Al curiously. "You're Al Potter, right? Scorpius's Gryffindor friend?"
"Er, yes. I suppose," Al shrugged, "I'm guessing Scorpius doesn't have a lot of Gryffindor friends?"
"Well he doesn't have any that are as memorable as you, that's for sure," he said, narrowing his eyes at Al. Al laughed nervously and blushed.
"Er, thank you," he said. He wasn't quite sure if Eric was hitting on him or if it was his imagination, but he felt oddly flattered all the same.
"I'm Eric Nott, by the way," Eric said, holding out his hand.
"Yeah. I mean, I know. Because we have Defense Against the Dark Arts together," Al stammered awkwardly as he shook his hand.
"That's right, we do. I believe we've also played Quidditch against each other," Eric said to him.
"Really? You're on the Quidditch team?" Al said before he could stop himself. This was probably something he should have known, especially since he had been Quidditch captain for two whole weeks.
"Yes, I'm the keeper," Eric told him, amused.
"Sorry. I guess I never paid too much attention - "
"It's understandable. You seekers are always so focused on your beloved snitch that you never seem to notice all the players on the field," Eric said casually. Al was vaguely suspicious that Eric wasn't really talking about Quidditch.
"Er, yeah. I suppose so," Al said, trying hard not to blush.
"It's funny meeting you in person. You've become a popular topic of discussion amongst the Slytherin girls," Eric said. Al's eyes widened at this comment.
"You don't know how many girls have come up to Scorpius asking him to introduce them to you." Al laughed when he said this.
"I kid you not. You're viewed as the silent, mysterious type. I'd keep an eye out for Cassandra Zabini if I were you. She's determined to make her father disinherit her, and she desperately wants you to be the reason." Al looked around the room, almost as if expecting Eric to be talking to someone else.
"But... I'm such a dork," was all Al was able to say. Eric laughed loudly when he said this.
"Perhaps, but it's endearing," he said to him, still smiling.
"No, I'm really not mysterious or, you know, sexy or anything like that," Al insisted, feeling a little uncomfortable with the situation. Eric's smile faded a little, and he gazed at Al in a peculiar manner.
"Who told you that? Scorpius?" He asked. Al's silence answered for him. "Don't listen to anything he says. If he tells you you're undesirable, it's probably because you're more attractive than him. He's always been very petty." He then eyed Al, looking him up and down, smiling as he did so.
"Personally," He said, a grin creeping across his face, "I think you're very sexy and mysterious." Al's face turned bright red at this comment. There was no mistaking it; Eric was shamelessly hitting on him.
"Er, thank you, I guess," Al said, trying hard not to smile like an idiot.
"Am I making you uncomfortable?" Eric asked suspiciously.
"I'm sorry, I have that effect on people," Eric responded in a very suave manner. Al couldn't help but laugh.
"Is that a Slytherin thing? Making people uncomfortable?" He said, cringing a little as he said it. Eric chuckled.
"Perhaps," he said, still smiling warmly at Al. "I'm afraid I have to get going. I'm really not much of a night owl."
"Well, it was nice meeting you," Al said, feeling a little disappointed that he was leaving so soon.
"You know, Al, we should study together for Defense Against the Dark Arts sometime," Eric suggested.
"Definitely," Al said eagerly, feeling very giddy. Al couldn't help but think that maybe his days of moping and pining over Scorpius were finally coming to an end.
Despite the fact Al had come to terms with his sexuality, he had never really spoken of it much; at least not in a casual manner. The only two people who even knew he was gay were Rose and Scorpius. While Al loved Rose and usually enjoyed her company, talking to her about boys was never fun. She had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the opposite sex, and Al felt he needed to speak with someone who had a more positive attitude.
"Can I talk to you about something?" Al asked Scorpius nervously while they were studying in the room of requirement. He had never really spoken to Scorpius about boys. Not counting the love confession, their conversations about boys have been limited to Scorpius speculating if Nearly Headless Nick was gay or not and Al being grossed out by the conversation.
"If you must," Scorpius sighed, lazily shifting through his potions textbook. Al was beginning to have second thoughts. No matter how platonic Al acted around Scorpius, he knew he still had feelings for him. They were no longer heart wrenching, but they still existed. However, Al figured that the best way for things to become platonic is if Al started acting like things were platonic.
"I think... I think I have a crush on someone," Al said. He was surprised by how liberating he felt when he said that. It was the first time he was able to talk about a boy without any angst involved. Scorpius stopped flipping through his textbook and stared wide eyed at Al. What Al didn't know was that Scorpius had just gone from bored to devastated in a manner of seconds.
"Really?" He said, still not quite able to grasp what Al had just said. He looked at Al as if he had told him he'd grown an extra toe.
"Yeah," Al said, smiling triumphantly, "In a gay way."
"Very articulate. So who is it?" Scorpius asked him, burring his face in the book and trying to sound disinterested.
"Eric Nott," Al replied. Scorpius dropped the book onto the table and stared at Al as if his extra toe had mutated into a monster.
"I'm sorry, who?"He asked, praying that Al had said someone else's name.
"Eric Nott. He's a Slytherin."
"I know he's a Slytherin!" Scorpius snapped. "He's a crazy neo-death eater closeted nut job! How did you even know he was gay!"
"You told me!" Al said angrily.
"Oh yeah. Well I wouldn't hold your breath, Al. I doubt he'd give you the time of day," Scorpius told him, returning to his potions textbook and looking bored. Al could feel his cheeks burn with anger.
"He seemed pretty keen on flirting with me last night," Al said mildly. Scorpius put down the book and gave Al a skeptical look.
"What? He wasn't flirting with you!" Scorpius exclaimed.
"Yes he was!"
"Oh really, Al. Do you even know what that word means?" Scorpius said with an arrogant, condescending smile.
"Yes, I do! I'm pretty sure calling someone sexy and mysterious is flirting!" Al protested. Scorpius looked as if he had just been slapped.
"Are you joking? Did he really say that?" He said.
"Yes!" Al retorted. He glared at Scorpius, who was having a little difficulty coming up with a response. He wanted to say something witty and insulting about Eric, but his mind was filled with horrifying images of Eric serenading a swooning Al.
"When did this even happen! When were you two even alone together?" He finally managed to ask.
"We were doing homework in the Astronomy Tower," Al said defensively. Scorpius's insides churned with hatred when he heard this. He knew very well what Eric enjoyed doing in the Astronomy tower.
"Oh really, Al. The Astronomy Tower? Could you get more cliché?" he said, trying to mask how devastated he was. Al frowned at him.
"What is your problem?"
"Nothing! It's just that I know Eric, and to be perfectly honest, you're too nice for him," he said, patting Al on the back in a patronizing manner. He then though for a second before adding "I bet he called you endearing. Did he call you endearing! What an asshole."
"You're an asshole," Al muttered. Scorpius stared at Al, shocked and hurt by his comment.
"Are you mad at me?"
"Yes I'm mad at you! Why are you the judge of whether or not Eric is a good guy to be with?" Al argued.
"Because I know Eric!" Scorpius told him, "You don't! I He's just flirting with you because he wants to make me angry. He knows we're friends, and he hates me." Al couldn't help but notice that Scorpius had managed to turn this into a conversation about him.
"Why is it so hard for you to believe that someone might actually find me attractive?" Al asked, thinking back to Eric's comment about how Scorpius always put people down. He never really noticed it before, but Eric was right.
"It's not that! You don't understand the way that Slytherin's work, Al. He's manipulative, and deceivingly charming, and he doesn't care about anybody but himself," Scorpius argued, his voice rising with every argument that he made.
"Sounds familiar," Al said under his breath as he folded his arms and looked away from Scorpius.
"And he's in the closet! He wouldn't ever want to do boyfriend things with you! He just wants to have sex with you!"
"Good! That's all I want too! Tell him to climb aboard!" Al exclaimed. Scorpius was not expecting that. The thought of Eric 'climging aboard' Al made Scorpius want to strangle something; preferably Eric.
"Come on, you don't mean that," he insisted.
"No, I really do. I'm sick of being a virgin," Al said, folding his arms and pouting like a child. Scorpius rolled his eyes.
"Well you shouldn't have sex with him just because he's there! You should find someone who you at least care about!"
"Really? You're going to lecture me on that?" Al said before he could stop himself. He knew he had crossed a line the moment he said it. Scorpius stared at Al, clearly hurt by his comment. It was no secret that Scorpius wasn't a blushing virgin, and he had admitted to Al he didn't love the guys he had been with. It wasn't something Scorpius was proud of, but he wasn't ashamed either. What hurt was that Al had never judged him like this before. Scorpius thought he could tell Al anything.
"Alright. Fuck you," Scorpius said.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean – I shouldn't have said that," Al said quickly, trying to repair the damage he had done as fast as possible. "But come on, what other options do I have? There are what, five gay guys at this school? Are any of them really worth it?"
"Yes!" Scorpius insisted.
"Other than your perfect mystery man?" Al asked him bitterly.
"What?" Scorpius said, giving Al and odd look. As far as he was aware, there was no perfect mystery man in his life.
"The guy you've been pining over since last year. You don't get to judge me on who I'm interested in if you keep your guy a secret! We're supposed to be friends, we're supposed to be able to tell each other these things." Scorpius blushed when he realized what Al was talking about.
"You're the only friend I have who I can talk to about being gay. So it would be nice to be able to talk about being gay! I'm not still in love with you or anything, so you don't have to tip toe around my feelings anymore! I'm really getting sick of it!"
"It's not that -"
"You really are a hypocrite," Al said, shaking his head. "You would be furious if I told you your guy was Voldemort reincarnated." Scorpius felt a desperate need to disappear from the room. It was just too uncomfortable.
"Well yes, because he's not!"
"How do you know? I bet you know him about as well as I know Eric! I bet you've had only a few conversations! I bet the only reason you're interested in him is because he's some stupid muscly pretty boy!" Al said, feeling himself burn with jealousy. He knew he sounded petty and immature, but he was too angry to care.
"No! I mean he is muscly, but we have a lot in common, and -"
"Really? Like what?" Al snapped. "You probably bonded over something stupid like shampoo or facials and all of the sudden he's your soul mate!"
"Well he's not a girl!"
"Then who is this guy? Do I know him?" Al asked. Scorpius didn't respond, he just bit his lip and avoided eye contact. As he stared at Scorpius, a horrible thought came into Al's head.
"Is he older?" He asked. Scorpius didn't know how to respond; after all, Al was a couple months older than him, but his silence made Al assume the worst. "Oh god, is he a professor?"
"Of course he's not!" Scorpius retorted with a look of disgust on his face.
"But he's older, isn't he? Please don't tell me he's over forty. He's probably some horrible, corrupt politician who seduced you by buying you gawdy jewelry with money he embezzled from some orphanage for children amputees!" Al exclaimed, words falling out of his mouth at an uncontrollable speed. As more horrible thoughts filled his head, Scorpius stared at him as if he was insane.
"How do you even come up with this stuff?" He asked. He couldn't decide if he was concerned or impressed with Al's imagination.
"Well is he?"
"Is he what? A forty year old embezzling orphan hater? No!"
"Then who is he?" Al asked him desperately. Scorpius paused; he felt like such an idiot for thinking he could get away with talking to Al about this. There plenty of other reasons he felt like an idiot; one being the fact that he was still in love with Al. He wished that he could tell him the truth, but he knew it would be useless. He had been so fickle with Al that he doubted he'd forgive him for this.
"I can't tell you. I'm sorry, I just can't," he said softly, lowering his head in shame. He knew it was all over now; there was no way Al wouldn't be able to figure it out after that statement.
"Oh my god." Al whispered. Scorpius could tell by the tone in his voice that he knew the truth. Scorpius looked at Al, praying that the right words would come to him, but for the first time in a long time he was speechless. The way Al was looking at him nearly broke his heart; he looked hurt and confused, and the silence between them did nothing to ease the tension.
"It's Eric, isn't it?" Al finally said. "That's why you're trying to convince me not to be with him!"
"It's you, you fucking idiot!" Scorpius exclaimed. It was if the words had involuntarily left his mouth. The silence that followed was painful. It took Al a second to realize what he had just said.
"What?" Al responded breathlessly.
"The guy who's out of my league? It's you. I wrote you the love letter. I fell in love with you. I'm still in love with you. Please, just don't..." Scorpius shook his head, looking more flustered than Al had ever seen him. "Anyone but Eric, okay? He really is an asshole." Al didn't know what to say. His brain wasn't quite working properly, and he was trying to piece together the information.
"So... you loved me this entire time?" He asked. Scorpius took a deep breath.
"Yes," he said softly, rubbing his forehead and looking away from Al.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Al asked. Scorpius shook his head.
"I don't know." The two sat in silence for a moment. Al's heart was beating painfully fast. He had spent – he had wasted so much time pining over Scorpius, only to get led on and rejected. It had taken all summer to numb his feelings for him.
"That's not a good enough answer. You can't do this. You can't..." Al sighed and ran his fingers through his hair, trying to find the right words. "You really hurt me. And I thought it was because there was someone else, which sucked but it was something I could handle. But you put me through all of that... Why? Just because you felt like it?"
"No! That's not it!" Scorpius said quickly.
"I don't believe you. I don't believe that you love me, you just think you do because now I'm interested in someone else," He said, his heart sinking at the truth in his own words.
"That is not true!"
"Just save it. We both know that by tomorrow you'll change your mind," Al muttered, standing up and making his way towards the door. As Scorpius watched him walk away, he felt the same emptiness he felt all summer. He knew he couldn't go back to that; he knew he couldn't let Al leave the room without an explanation.
"You know that blue shirt you spent an hour searching for when you lost it at Quidditch practice?" Scorpius asked, feeling himself begin to panic. Al turned around and stared at him.
"You know, you said it was your lucky shirt and I said it was ugly and -"
"I know the shirt," Al snapped at Scorpius. "What does that have to do with anything?"
"I stole it," he confessed, his heart beating loudly. "I stole it and slept with it so I could smell you at night." Al stared at Scorpius, his green eyes wide as causers. This was almost more shocking than the love confession, and even though he knew it was creepy, he couldn't help thinking it was adorable. Al had never been so flattered in his entire life. Scorpius groaned and hit his forehead with the palm of his hand.
"Fuck! I can't believe I just told you that! That sounded so much more romantic in my head!" He moaned, thinking desperately of something else to say. "Forget I said that, okay? I'm just not used to this, you know? I'm not used to caring about anybody, especially not about a guy like you. Oh god, I can't stop talking."
"That's nothing new," Al joked, trying but failing to lighten the mood. Scorpius sighed and looked down at his feet.
"I'm so sorry about what happened, Al. If I could, I would do things differently, and I know this is no excuse, but when you confronted me about that night and told me you loved me... I don't know. I figured if I tried being with you, I would do something to fuck it up, because I fuck everything up," Scorpius said, looking at Al with pleading eyes. The way Scorpius looked at him was too much for Al. He looked so lonely and so miserable, and it was becoming harder to stay mad at him.
"Please don't hate me," Scorpius continued, "We already did the silent treatment, and it was the loneliest summer of my life. I know I fucked up, but... Please, I can't lose you now." Those words were all it took. Al took a few steps closer to Scorpius and wrapped his arms around his waist, just like he did when he first saw him crying a year ago. Scorpius held his breath, shocked by Al's reaction. He sighed and buried his face in the crook of Al's neck, and Al could feel his own heart pounding in his chest. Scorpius lifted his head; their faces were mere inches apart. It was as if a force field between them had dissolved, and Al was finally allowed to do what he had been dreaming about for so long. Before any doubt could fill his head, Al closed the space between them and pressed his lips against Scorpius's.
Scorpius could feel warmth fill his body, starting from his heart and running through his fingertips. As Al traced the curve of Scorpius's lower lip with his tongue, Scorpius wrapped his arms around Al's neck just to keep himself steady. Scorpius had never wanted anybody more than he wanted Al at that moment. They finally drew away from each other, breathing heavily. Al's eyes locked with Scorpius's, and he realized that nothing could possibly happen this year that would be more exciting than this. Everything about the moment was perfect, and judging by the goofy grin on Scorpius's face, things were going to continue to be perfect for a very long time.
Al was so nervous he couldn't even look at his dinner plate. His family sat around the table, chatting idly about what relatives are visiting for Christmas and who's buying what for who. Lily and Rose were talking about classes while Uncle Ron and James talked about Quidditch. It wasn't comforting for Al to know that he was about to ruin their perfectly boring conversations to come out of the closet. He was beginning to feel nauseous when Scorpius placed his hand on Al's knee under the table. Al had begged Scorpius to visit over break so he could come out to his family,Scorpius smiled at him reassuringly, and Al smiled back. Now he only felt a little nauseous. He took a deep breath, stood up and tapped his glass to get his family's attention.
"Mum? Dad? Family?" Al said nervously, "I have something I need to tell you." All nine pairs of eyes were on him as he tried not choke on his own fear.
"Yes, Al?" His mother said, staring at him with concern in her eyes. Al took a deep breath.
"We know," his parents said at the same time. Nobody seemed shocked by the news. James and Hugo went right back to eating their mashed potatoes while Lily poured herself a glass of water.
"You do?" Al asked.
"Yes. And we still love you," His father said to him. Scorpius rolled his eyes.
"Your family is so boring," he muttered, thinking back to the agonizing night when he came out to his parents.
"Seriously, you're all okay with it?"
"I'm not okay with it," James said.
"James!" Rose exclaimed, giving him an appalled look.
"I don't care if he's gay, but he's with Malfoy!" he clarified. Uncle Ron nearly choked on his green beans when he heard this.
"Jr, honey. Malfoy Jr," Aunt Hermione told him.
"Oh," he said, returning to his green beans.
"Al, I have a question. If you're gay, then why don't you have any fashion sense?" Lily asked him coyly.
"Lily, that is such a politically incorrect stereotype!" Rose exclaimed. "Just because Al is homosexual doesn't mean he's stylish, musical or artistic!"
"Thanks, Rose," Al said in a monotone.
"I think Al should be a stereotype, because then he'd at least not wear the same dirty outfit two days in a row," Lily said. Scorpius wrinkled his nose in disgust.
"Gross, Al, you do that?"
"Hey, I do that!" James said defensively. Scorpius smirked at him.
"Maybe you should be gay then."
"Gee, if that means I get to be with a jackass like you, Malfoy, sign me right up!" James said sarcastically. Al's dad cringed at this comment.
"James, please tell me you're not gay too."
"I'm not gay!"
"For god's sake dad, I'm engaged!" As soon as the words left James's mouth, everyone at the table gasped simultaneously. Al didn't even know it was possible for so many people to gasp simultaneously.
"Oh my god, James! You're engaged? To who!" His mother exclaimed. She looked horrified and excited at the same time.
"Who do you think, mum?"
"Oh no, not Emily."
"James, really, this is terrific news, but are you sure you're old enough for marriage?" Aunt Hermione asked him in a very motherly manner.
"Hermione, there's no need for you to lecture my son," Al's dad said sternly before turning to James. "James, you're way too young to be engaged!"
"James, Emily is a tart. Don't marry her," Lily said while picking at her fingernails. Rose raised her eyebrows.
"pot calling the kettle black, Lily?" she said.
"Javier is mine!"
"Javier doesn't want to be with someone as uncultured as you!"
"Javier doesn't want to date either of you!" Hugo stated with frustration. "But Rose, you know who does? Frank Longbottom! Lily, you know who wants to date you? Everybody else! Now shut up about Javier!"
"Hey, I thought this conversation was about me," James said.
As the arguments raged on, Scorpius leaned close to Al and whispered "want to go somewhere else?"
"God yes." Al said, smiling. Scorpius and Al left the table, and as Scorpius laced his fingers with Al's and began pulling him towards his bedroom, Al felt his heart melt with giddy excitement. All his life, Al had been overshadowed by his relatives. He had never viewed himself as interesting or exciting, but Scorpius Malfoy thought he was the most fascinating person in the world. That's all that mattered to Al.
Thanks for reading my story! This fanfiction means a lot to me. It is the first multi chapter fic I've ever finished. I started it in 2008, so finishing it in 2011 isn't really something to brag about, but I still wrote a story. I've started so many stories and fanfictions, and I this is the first one I've ever actually completed. I like to think that my writing style has improved over the years, and having evidence of that posted on the internet is kind of surreal and awesome at the same time.
And to those of you who reviewed: I love you. Honestly, I cannot even begin to describe how happy every review has made me. I feel so bad for not mentioning this before; usually when I finish a chapter I just want to focus on posting it as soon as possible because I'm so bad at updating, but your reviews have meant so much to me.
Thanks again for reading my story! Hoped you liked it!