A tousled-haired Mr. Potter opens the door. He's still in his pajamas. The older man rubs his eyes for a second before opening the door. "Good morning, Scorpius. Come on in." He holds his hand out to gesture me inside the house. I nod and offer my thanks. He grunts. "Coffee's almost done in the kitchen. Albus is still sleeping like the dead."
I shrug, expecting nothing less. "Well, I'm early."
Mr. Potter grins slightly, and I can see the shadow of morning stubble on his chin. Albus might look like that one day. Assuming he ever passes through puberty, that is. "Ah, you always are." He walks back to his room, leaving me to sit in the kitchen. The coffee dings and I get up to pour two glasses. Five minutes later, Mr. Potter is back, fully dressed, freshly shaved, and considerably more chipper. I hold out the second mug of coffee which he takes gratefully. As soon as I stood to walk to the living room, he clears his throat, still seated at the kitchen counter. "Why don't you sit down, Scorpius?" I sigh to myself. This was going to happen sooner or later.
So I sat. And it began.
"How are you today, Mr. Potter?" I ask, granted a little belatedly.
"I'm just fine, thank you, Scorp." I don't cringe, but he should learn that only one person is allowed to call me that. One fantastic person who happens to be sleeping like the dead upstairs, probably curled around his pillow and wrapped in his blankets so thoroughly that he'll trip when we wakes up, trying to get out of bed. I hear another hem-hem. Mr. Potter has cleared his throat. I smile at him.
"I'm so sorry, could you repeat that for me? I was daydreaming for a second." Let's smile at him one more time, see if he'll forgive my lapse in attention. He clears his throat.
"I asked you what time you were planning on leaving for the game." Mr. Potter frowns.
"We'll probably want to be there an hour or so before the match starts. Al's been going on for weeks about the vendors. Seating opens in the Ministry box four hours before the quaffle's released. We'll probably apparate around ten or ten thirty." It's nine thirty now, and the whole house was asleep. I get the feeling Mr. Potter would still be asleep if I hadn't rang the door bell. "In fact, I should probably go wake Al up-"
Mr. Potter motioned with his hand for me to stay seated. "Wait up, Scorpius." I look at him quizzically, as if I don't know what's coming. Inhaling deeply, I sit back down. "You and Albus have been close for a while now," he began, and I could tell he had rehearsed this conversation prior to our meeting. I nod. What else is there to do? "And you're going into your final year soon." Very observant, isn't he? Another nod. "I was wondering what your plans were for after school? Albus has already secured an internship in London with a magical herbs retailer."
"I was hoping to find something specializing in runes or potions. My father has a secretary position for me set up at the Ministry, if I choose to take it. I'd be helping translate ancient texts."
He bobs his head up and down, clearly not really listening. "So you won't be going abroad or doing any touring?" That threw me for a loop.
I frown, confused. "No, sir. Why would you-"
He sucked in a deep breath and let it all out at once. "I would like to know what your intentions are toward my son."
And the truth comes out. I stare at him for a moment. He is clearly uncomfortable, but his eyes are focused. I'm almost knocked out of my chair when I realize his eyes are the same shocking green of Albus's. How many times have I gotten lost in that green, just staring into Al's eyes like there's nothing else in the world that matters? How many hours have I spent dreaming about his fluttering eyelids in the sunlight, and his emerald eyes shining from laughter-
"Scorpius," Mr. Potter's voice brings me back to reality. "Could you please answer my question, so the awkward phase passes?"
I smile at him. "Your son, Mr. Potter, is completely safe from me." It's hard to get the words out. There's a lump in my throat the size of a bludger.
He frowns. "You're not a disease," he starts.
I sigh. "Mr. Potter, Albus is blissfully ignorant of any intentions I may or may not have." I sound a little too much like an abandoned puppy.
His frown disappears. And all of a sudden, he's smiling. "Yes, he is a bit of a dolt sometimes. But if he weren't, if he were suddenly to become actually aware of his surroundings for once in his life, I need to know if you'll be planning on committing to him or just-" he enacted some weird motion with his hands, and my eyes widen when I get the point, "just casually, er, have fun, the way a lot of people your age are these days…"
He looks uncomfortable. I should save him. I clear my throat. This is not something I want to talk about. Al will be waking up anytime soon. "Mr. Potter," I begin. Damn, what's with my voice not cooperating today? I'm whispering! Ugh, so embarrassing. Let's try this again. I lift my chin to face him and say, more clearly, "Mr. Potter, I love Albus. He has been my best friend for six years. I care a great deal for him and want to see him happy." There. That's enough. The old geezer doesn't need to know any more than that.
He sighs, and part of me becomes outraged. How dare he be disappointed with my answer? I take a sip from my coffee to hide my expression. It's gone cold. Gross.
"Love is not something anyone can control," he muses, and I'm fairly certain he's gone off his rocker. Maybe he should get back to bed. Lazy Potters. He smiles at me. "It's quite magical, really. Believe me," he rubbed his forehead, I think more out of habit than anything else, "I know."
"Love is something unpredictable, Scorpius. But in the end, it's always right. I give you my blessing in every way you can imagine, as long as you help Albus realize what's going on. He loves you, too, but he's pretty thick. Do what you must to help him along."
"Mr. Potter, you're right. Al is thick. There's no way I can really clue him in without doing something… rash."
His nose wrinkles, and I can only guess at what he's imagining. "I don't want to know any of the, uhh, details." I laugh. He blushes and I note another resemblance between Al and his father. "Scorpius," his voice changes, "the two of you are young, and you should be enjoying your youth. Go have fun. Go have the time of your lives. I hope you do." I am absolutely frozen in place. He's known all along. I think I was aware that he knew. But I never expected him to… to… to what? What's he doing? Giving me his blessing? God, Potters are confusing.
He looked at the clock. It's now nine forty-five. "Off you go," he pushes me out of the chair. "Go wake up Sleeping Beauty. I'll have breakfast ready for you in ten minutes." I don't need a second offer. I'm up to Al's room in an instant.
I was definitely right about his blankets. Half are on the floor, and the other half are twisted wildly around him. His sheet is wrapped around the top part of his face, pulling his nose up to resemble a pig. A cute, drooly, snoring pig. I manage to get the sheet off his face without waking him up. He looks peaceful. His bottom lip twitches as he dreams, and I'm tempted to lean down and suck on it. What does Albus taste like? I know how he smells and feels. I definitely know how he looks. And his voice is unmistakable. But how does he taste?
You know what? Mr. Potter's right. I've been putting this off for years. Albus loves me. He just needs a little encouragement. So I lean down and kiss his bottom lip. It's soft and mushy, not really what I was expecting. Ugh, and he has the worst morning breath! But it's nice. He tastes sweet. I could have guessed.
I open my eyes to see bright emeralds staring back at me, and, for a horrible moment I think I had just snogged the wrong Potter. How difficult would that be to explain? Sorry Mrs. Potter. I thought Mr. Potter was Albus. That's why I was kissing him. But it's Al. Sweet, sleepy, beautiful Al. I smile at him, but he's still just staring at me. "World Cup, today, mate," I remind him. He takes the bait and smiles gleefully. I roll my eyes. Potters and Quidditch.
"What was that for?" he asks, all of a sudden pouting.
I sniff. "What was what for?"
He glares. Pretty boy eyes. They should be illegal. "Your, uh, inventive method to wake me up."
I raise one eyebrow, refusing to get my hopes up. But a part of me still acknowledges the fact that he didn't punch me in the face and throw me down the stairs for assaulting him. "Well, it was better than a bucket of cold water, wasn't it?"
Al shrugs. What the hell? He shouldn't shrug! He should give a damn, one way or the other! He gets out of bed and walks toward his dresser. "I've had better." He's grinning at me now, cheekily. I glare at him. If he wants to play like that, I'll more than willingly go along. I stride up to him, take his face in my hands and crush my mouth to his. I can feel him still smiling against me. I push us back so he's up against the wall and I swear to Merlin, our bodies can't get any closer. It's amazing.
He's taller than I am, and I'm aware that my head is twisted at an angle that doesn't allow any oxygen to reach my nose. So I have to pull away, for Potter's sake, really. I don't think he would handle the situation very well if he had to tell his father that he asphyxiated me during our first real snogging session.
"Scorp, what's going on?" he asks, breathless, but still grinning. I'm baffled by him. He doesn't know what's happening, but he knows he likes it. Dolt.
"We were kissing, just a moment ago," I point out.
"Yes, thank you very much. I noticed that. I meant, why? Why are we, uh, kissing?"
"Because it feels good," I shrug. This is a complete and total understatement. It feels so much more intense than good I don't know a word for it. Marvelous. Stunning. Absolutely amazingly hot.
"Ookaay." He's lost for words. Excellent. We can talk later. Another kiss is in order.
He's more compliant this time, and he shifts his body so that his weight is evenly distributed across his feet. And as he moves I feel his cock through his pajamas rub against hip. He breaks the kiss this time, but he doesn't move his hips. My insides are jumping for joy. Part of my outsides are, too, actually. I grin. I must look ridiculously happy.
He's looking at me like he's expecting something brilliant to come out of my mouth. Pffft. I just keep on smiling. "We have to leave soon, Scorp." I nod. "I should get dressed." I nod again, but I don't let him move.
"We should talk first." I'm staring directly at him. A small noise of agreement escapes his mouth. "Your father and I had an interesting chat this morning while you were still sleeping. He seems to think it's time for you to acknowledge that your best friend is madly in love with you, and that you are equally just as crazy about him." I release my grip on his hips. When did my hands get there? I don't know. My stomach is churning out of anticipation and dread at the same time. I can't really focus on anything.
He gulps. An actual, real-life gulp. I can't help but laugh. "That sounds like something he'd say."
"Boys!" a call from below sounds, and I recognize it as Mrs. Potter's familiar voice, "breakfast is ready. You'll want to leave soon!"
I smile up at Al and lean in to kiss him one more, possibly one last, time. "Think about it, Potter." And with that, I'm off to the kitchen. Mrs. Potter really does make magnificent cinnamon buns. Mr. Potter looks up at me over his Daily Prophet. I get the feeling he knows everything.
"How'd it go?" he asks nonchalantly, looking back to his paper.
"He's, uh, deciding." I settle in at the counter.
Mrs. Potter turns around with a tray full of warm pastries and sets a plate down in front of me.
"Deciding what, dear?" she asks, smiling so brightly at me I think I may be blinded.
"Uh, on what he wants to wear." I can't help it. I giggle. Mr. Potter snorts. And I feel reassured by him. He knows his son better than anyone else, probably better than I do. And he said Al loves me. Albus tromps down into the kitchen, and I'm suddenly giddy. Al loves me. I could sing. But I won't. Singing is for people like Potters, not Malfoys.
Soon we're getting ready to apparate to the match. Albus is jumping up and down. He's decked out in Ballycastle memorabilia. He's even managed to secure a flag with a bat insignia to the back of his head. Idiot.
Mr. Potter smiles at us. "Have the time of your life kids." Thanks very much, Mr. Potter. I think I just might.