Disclaimer: I own nothing but the original characters and the situations I put all in, poor bastards. Thanks so much for reading, hope you enjoy this latest fic of mine and let me know what you think.
A Bone To Pick
Albus Potter woke up in a lot of pain. An enormous amount of pain. Actually, he felt like molten hot lava was being poured and than circulating through his blood so that his whole body was slowly melting from the inside out. Not even opening his eyes Albus let only a low hiss of pain escape his clenched lips as he tried to remember how he'd died and what he could have possibly done to land himself in Hell at the tender age of seventeen.
"Should have stayed asleep, Potter."
He'd recognize that snotty voice anywhere. Malfoy was in Hell with him. Go figure. Forcing one eyelid open Albus looked over with the hope that he'd see Scorpius in even more pain than he was. After all, surely the Slytherin had done far worse in his life than Albus himself had ever done. And at least he had company in Hell, even if it was Malfoy.
Instead of flames and brimstone Albus saw a hospital bed with Scorpius laying on it, Albus recognizing the room around him as the school's infirmary. He'd been stuck here more times than he cared to count in the past, but never at night which he judged it to be. So they weren't dead, they were just dying from as yet unknown wounds, he surmised. Thinking hard about it, Albus did have some vague recollections of something going horribly wrong in Potions class.
"You in there, Potter?"
Forcing his other eye open Albus grinched his teeth as he braced his hands to shift him further up his pillow so he could see better. The pain wouldn't be so bad if he could focus on something other than his impending death. "What the fuck happened?" He demanded to know, wondering if Malfoy had tried to do away with him and had been caught in the back-draft.
"Bloody Hell!" Nothing more needed to be said. Oliver Craft was a Hufflepuff in their year who was the most hopeless Potions student in the history of Potions students. He made even Professor Longbottom look like a Potions Master. Where ever Craft went explosions were sure to follow. Unfortunately he was also the nephew of the new Headmaster, which meant he was here until the bitter end. If the family hadn't bribed the testers for the O.W.L.S. Albus would personally eat his wand.
"You and I were heading to the front to turn in our flasks when his exploded all over us, vaporizing a number of our bones in the process."
"Skele gro." Albus hissed, having heard of the horrors of it from his father. He'd hoped to never experience it himself. "I'll kill that git if its the last thing I do."
The Slytherin's response was a rather evil harsh chuckle. "He's mine."
Sneering right back Albus wasn't in the least intimidated. "Not if I get him first."
Shifting so that he too was propped up on his pillows Scorpius's face was just visible from the light provided by the moon through the windows. "Do you really think you have the guts to do any real damage, Potter? Really, you'd be better off leaving it to me."
"Never send a Slytherin to do a Gryffindor's job."
Snorting over the comment Scorpius just rolled his eyes. That at least was something he could do without causing himself further injury. If anyone tried to give him Skele gro in the future he was going to reach down their bleedin throats, pull out their lungs, and give them to his house elf to use as grocery bags.
"How many bones are we regrowing here?"
"You have thirty two, I have forty seven."
Scorpius could hear the pain in the Gryffindor's voice but was impressed that that was the only thing giving away just how much pain he must be in. He himself had sworn like a drunken sailor when they'd started shoving the vile stuff down his throat. Potter at least had been unconscious, having bashed his head into a desk on his way down after a portion of his spine went missing.
"Bloody hell." The Gryffindor unleashed a stream of curses that were very similar to those he'd expressed earlier, surprising Scorpius who had always thought the man to be too goody two shoes for that sort of language.
"Wait a minute....you tried to save me...didn't you?"
What little color Scorpius ever had in his cheeks drained away. Oh fuck, he'd really hoped that no one, especially Potter would have noticed that. After all, who would believe it of him? He was supposed to cause things to cause Potter bodily harm, not try to save him from it.
"Don't know what you're talking about."
Okay, that sounded really lame, but it was the best he could come up with given his present predicament. It wasn't like one's mind worked well while doing with brain numbing pain.
"No, no I remember now. You tried to yank me out of the way, to shield me. I bashed my head because you...you tried to push me away from the cauldron." There was wonder mixed in with the certainty in Albus's voice, making it plain he was remembering things way better than Scorpius had hoped.
"Still don't know what you're talking about." Was his stubborn reply and he was sticking by it. No way in hell was he admitting to thinking about, much less attempting to save a Potter. He'd sooner snog a Basilisk.
When Albus went silent after that Scorpius thought after a while that he'd gone back to sleep. Marvelling at that Scorpius settled back to try and rest as well, though he'd yet to figure out Albus's trick to falling asleep while in serious physical pain.
It had been a good twenty minutes of silence before the Gryffindor spoke again.
"Uhm..Malfoy? Are you awake still?"
Since he really didn't want to be interrogated over his brief moment of stupidity Scorpius remained stubbornly silent, keeping his eyes closed and his body still to give the illusion that he really was asleep and therefore not about to answer any questions he could pose.
After two minutes of silence Albus took that as a sign that the Slytherin really was asleep and therefore could hear nothing Albus felt he needed to say. So he'd say them to Malfoy's unconscious body, get it off his chest, and not have to deal with the horror of facing a knowing Malfoy afterwards, he thought to himself. Taking a deep breath, Albus quickly launched into his planned speech before he could lose his nerve.
"Thank you for saving me, Malfoy. I really do appreciate it and the fact that you're probably in worse shape then I am because you got in the way and took the worst of it. I'm incredibly sorry that you were hurt and that I played a part in how bad it must be for you right now. if I could do it over again I'd definitely push you out of the way...sorry I didn't see what was happening till it was too late. And I'm sorry about turning you into a toad our third year, it really was an accident, I swear. And I'm sorry for all the cracks I made about your dad and granddad, and I'm sorry for the too numerous to count pranks my brother James has pulled on you and I'll do my best to make him stop now, I really will. And uhm...I'm...sorta..oh to hell with it, I'm the one that stole that dragon tooth fang you wore in your ear last year."
"YOU STOLE MY EARRING?"
"YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE ASLEEP!"
"Why the bloody hell did you take it?" The Slytherin demanded to know, horrifying Albus by shifting over to lay on his side, now facing Albus with a gaze that that could see through walls, much less the various imaginative excuses Albus was trying to come up with on the fly to no avail.
"I'll give it back to you when we get out of here." Albus informed him, looking to buy himself some time.
"That doesn't explain why you took it in the first place!"
Since his own ears were un pierced Albus couldn't claim to want to wear it, and it wasn't something he'd wear even if they were. He could make it out to be a mean prank, but that sort of went against his current attempt to make amends with the Slytherin. Of course he could just tell the truth, but there was still three more months until the end of their life at Hogwarts, and he'd rather not spend that time horribly humiliated.
Okay, he had seriously screwed himself over here. The only thing now was to be a man, suck it up, and do some serious damage control. "If...if I tell you you have to swear NEVER to tell anyone about this. Not your friends, not my friends, not even family. This never leaves these hospital beds and afterwards we NEVER speak of it again."
There was a few moments of thoughtful silence before the Slytherin nodded his head. "Alright, you have my word."
"Wait...how good is the word of a Slytherin?" Albus muttered to himself, suddenly seeing the major hole in this course of action.
"I heard that." Was the cold answer to his mumbled question. "And for your information I don't ever give my word unless I mean it. Besides, you're not taking something into account here, Potter. Would any of your friends or family take MY word over yours?"
"Oh yeah." Slightly relieved at that reminder Albus couldn't see any way out of it now, which got rid of that relief real quick. "Okay...well you see...technically...I didn't steal your earring, I found it while I was on a walk to Hagrid's one day. I just didn't give it back to you because...well because it was yours and I...sorta...maybe...kinda...had a little...crush on you that year."
"You had a what?"
"I'm completely over it now." Albus rushed to say, not wanting to repeat it. "It was just a momentary brain blip really. Hardly lasted more than a month or so. And it was your own fault really, I'm usually not the least attracted to blonds, but you were out sunbathing and had your shirt off and...and I'm only bloody human you know. And I'm giving it back, first thing tomorrow when i can walk again. End of discussion, done talking about it. Good night."
Quickly rolling over, ignoring the major pain that caused, Albus gave the Slytherin his back and put his hands over his ears for good measure.
He needn't have bothered, Scorpius didn't know when he'd last been struck speechless so quickly or efficiently. His brain cells had literally shut off simultaneously. Nothing was work as he stared dumbly at the Gryffindor's back.
And stared until morning's light when he finally passed out from exhuastion as the Skele gro finally ran its course.
When Scorpius woke up Potter was gone, Madam Pomfrey informing him that Potter's sister and cousins had come to collect him for breakfast, which he himself was served off a tray since he hadn't woken sooner. He quickly gobbled down his food than excused himself, quickly making his way back to his own dorm room where he encountered a number of fellow students all wanting to hear about how he was doing and was it true that he'd taken a swing at their Potions professor who had administered the Skele gro to him while Pomfrey attended to Potter. It took him a good half an hour to get away from them and make his way to his room where he quickly changed, retrieved the well hidden item in the bottom of his trunk, then head out for his first class, arriving late but forgiven since he had a note from Madam Pomfrey.
Going through his day as usual it was just before lunch time when Scorpius headed outside, his intent being to head Potter off as he came back towards the castle for lunch after Care of Magical Creatures. Standing on the hill Scorpius spotted him easily, seeing as Potter's best friend and cousin Rose Weasley's hair was too bright to miss. Coming down the hill to meet them Scorpius was waylaid for a moment by a friend of his but he quickly shook him off, explaining he had something to take care of first.
Apparently Potter had the same idea, because he'd motioned his friends to head on in without him and was headed in Scorpius's direction. The two met in the middle, most of the students hanging around to watch from a safe distance, just in case they were about to witness a duelling.
Stopping when they were a couple feet away from each other Albus reached into his pocket and pulled out the earring he'd promised to return. Holding it out to Scorpius the Gryffindor was obviously confused when he made no attempt to take it form him.
"I only got that because I knew it would drive my mother crazy. A little revenge for...something I can't remember anymore. It's terribly tacky, I prefer my stud much more." Scorpius explained, flicking a finger over the silver stud he now wore instead. "So keep it if you want."
A very puzzled look on his face Albus none the less returned the earring to his pocket, not knowing what to do now. This was not how he'd expected this to go. He'd really expected to be challenged to a duel right off the bat, or at least a punch in the head. Maybe Malfoy was so far in denial he was just going to pretend nothing said last night mattered?
"And here." Pulling something out of his own pocket Scorpius tossed something gold in Albus's direction.
With the skills of a trained seeker Albus's reflexes took over, immediately snatching the item out of the air. Holding it between thumb and pointer finger Albus stared at the coin in confused comprehension. "This is..this is my lucky coin, the one that Uncle Bill brought me from a pyramid in Egypt. But I lost this on the Quidditch pitch two years ago...how did you get it?"
"You found it." Albus repeated, raising an eyebrow. "And you didn't give it back because you thought me losing it would guarantee your house victory in our next match?"
"No, I didn't give it back for the same reason you didn't return my earring."
"What?" It was Albus's turn to be struck dumb.
"Now you know how I felt last night." Scorpius continued, like Albus wasn't standing there looking like a landed trout. "And since you really don't need that to beat our crappy team, I think it would be fair to give me my souvenir back too."
"Of the brief, incredibly stupid, but blessedly short period of my life when I had just a little bit of a crush on you."
"Or not." Stuffing his hands in his pockets Scorpius took a step back, turning with the intent to walk away.
"Wait." Grabbing his arm before he could get away Albus held out the coin to him. "You can have it. You're right, it's only fair."
Reaching out Scorpius took it from him, slipping it into his pocket without acknowledgement of the fact that he'd just gotten back something he'd treasured for the past two years. Wrapping his fingers around the coin Scorpius didn't know what to say any more than Albus seemed to.
His hands in his pockets Albus's fingers wrapped around his own treasure, which was a lot more dangerous given the sharpness of said tooth and ear post. But it wouldn't be the first time he'd stuck his finger on it, nor would it probably be the last.
And so the two left to rejoin their friends, and both shared a look of a shared secret only they knew as they headed back towards the castle.