Based on the characters from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Edited by Marah's Fantasy and Deviant1 UK

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Harry was as surprised as anyone else when his second son was sorted into Ravenclaw. He had a feeling Albus would be as difficult to place as Harry had been, and therefore be able to choose his house. It was the first decision that showed—to Harry at least—how different Al was to him. Ginny thought it showed how similar they were, but Harry was unable to follow her logic. Rose followed Albus to Ravenclaw, but that surprised no one. They'd been best friends since before they could talk, and Rose was just as bright as her mother.

The main thing that proved to Harry just how different Al was from himself happened during his first Christmas break from Hogwarts. Rose mentioned their friend in conversation as that—our friend—never by name, but Al was silent on the subject all together. Harry brushed it off as Al's shyness, until he asked if Al wanted to invite their friend over or go see him sometime during their break.

'We'll see each other at school', Al said. 'Don't worry about it.'

'I'm not worried about it.' Harry laughed. 'I just thought you'd like to see your friends from school. Ron, Hermione and I saw each other as much as possible during our holidays.'

'I see Rose all the time.' Al shrugged. 'I don't want to cause any trouble.'

'It's no trouble.'

Al didn't say anything after that.

A few days later, Harry got the post and saw the Malfoy seal on one of the letters. What could Malfoy possibly want after all these years? Harry almost opened it, but glanced at the front and saw that it wasn't addressed to him. He hid the letter from Ginny and snuck upstairs before he needed to head off to work. Al's door was open so he knocked on the frame.

'Letter for you.'

Al's eyes went wide before he even looked to see who it was from.

Harry tossed it to him and it magically floated into Al's lap. 'You can still invite him, if you want.' He left it at that and gave Al some time. By the time the summer holidays came around, Al and Rose called their friend by his name: Scorpius, and Al asked if he could visit their manor. Harry hadn't anticipated that.

'I don't like it', Ginny said.

Harry should have realised the possibility that Al would want to go there, as well as that Malfoy would be reluctant to let his son visit Harry's home. 'Nothing is going to happen to him. Besides, what do you want me to say? "Scorpius can visit us, but we're afraid his dad might practice unforgivables on you in his dungeon?" That will really make his friend feel welcomed here.'

Ginny glared at him, but had no other solution to offer.

They let him go.

He was not tortured—that he remembered—and seemed to have fun at Malfoy Manor.

'I still don't like it', Ginny said, though only to Harry, and neither did he. At the end of Al's third year they had yet to met Scorpius, but Al visited him often.

Christmas of his fourth year Al asked if Scorpius could join them.

Harry didn't hear a word out of Scorpius the entire visit; he'd also never heard Al talk so much. 'Did someone slip something in his juice?' Harry laughed as the boys headed up to Al's room.

Rose snorted. 'Scorpius brings that out in Al.'

'How? He doesn't say a word.'

'He's just shy', she said before she headed up the stairs after the boys.

Scorpius' shyness won the girls over, even Ginny warmed up to him after a few visits.

'Lily has developed a crush on Albus' best friend', Ginny said with a musical tone in her voice, as she rejoined the adults after sending the kids to their rooms for the night.

'See', Hermione said as she squeezed Ron's hand, 'you can stop worrying about Rose.'

'Just because she likes him, doesn't mean he doesn't like Rose. They're bloody joined at the hip.' He sighed and shook his head. Al, Rose and Scorpius often reminded them of themselves as children. 'And it's my fault. I never should've told her to stay away from him. She's doing this to drive me mental.'

'There's nothing you can do about it, mate', Harry said. He knew that Ron never had a problem with Scorpius, after he got to know him, but still had issues with his father. 'Don't worry as long as she is happy, and they're all happy.'

'Well', Ginny continued, 'Some of us are going to have the Malfoys for in-laws.'

Ron groaned and Harry joined the girls in laughter.

Ginny pulled Harry's arm to her and took his hand. 'If it's Lily, they would be just like us, Harry.'

'Yes', Harry said, grimacing at the reminder that he married his best mate's little sister, 'but if it's Rose, they'll be just like Ron and Hermione.'

'Well, in that case', said Ron. 'I really don't have anything to worry about.'

'Why's that?' Harry asked confused.

'Scorpius is nothing like you or me. He's just like his father; therefore, he wouldn't want either of them.'

'Oh, really?' Hermione glared at him. 'Why is that, dear?'

'They're not stuck-up pure-bloods.'

'Neither is Scorpius', Harry pointed out. It was a surprise to all of them how well-behaved Scorpius was.

'I bet it'll be Lily', said Ginny, which caused Hermione to roll her eyes. 'Then I bet it's Rose', she countered Ginny. Then they looked at their husbands and waited for their predictions.

'Well, I bet it's a pure-blood witch', Ron concluded. Hermione glared at him, and he hastened to add, 'Not because Scorpius is stuck up, but because he does really care about his family.'

They waited in silence all watching Harry.

'I'm not taking part in this.'

'What?' Ginny batted her eyes at him and whined. 'You have to.'

'You already have it covered.'

'Bet along with one of us', she insisted and then pulled him into a kiss.

After he pulled away, he just shook his head at her. 'I can see what you're trying to do.'

'What?' she asked innocently.

'You're trying to get me to say "Lily." It's not going to work.'

'Fine, be that way.' She let it drop, and they moved on from the conversation. Women were so strange. She and Hermione would say "ahh" every time Lily would blush, or Scorpius and Rose would lean close to each other. It always made the children glare at them, but after thinking about it Harry thought of the perfect answer. Because despite what Malfoy believed during the war, he knew Ron was wrong.

'Okay, I'll bet.' He waited for them to focus their attention, before he continued. 'I bet that he doesn't marry a pure-blood witch.'

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Scorpius always asked before he stopped by, so when he burst through their floo and ran upstairs to Al's room without so much as a 'hullo' they knew something was wrong. Harry waited as long as possible before he interrupted them, but it was time for dinner and everyone's curiosity was driving him mental downstairs. He opened the door to his son's room without knocking, then froze, watching what was going on in the room, and unsure if he should step back and tell everyone to give them more time, or interrupt them.

Scorpius and Albus faced each other on the bed. Scorpius's back toward the wall, and Albus's back toward Harry. Albus ran his fingers through Scorpius's hair, focused on the conversation, unaware of Harry at the door. They spoke in soft whispers, but Harry could still make out the words.

'I love you', said Scorpius with his cheeks stained with tears, his face pale and hollow, and his hair in a stringy mess just like his father looked the one time Harry saw him cry.

'I love you, too.'

Harry lost his breath as guilt spread through, him freezing his veins, and making his skin break out in goosebumps. He let his anger get in the way too often when he was young, and he never stopped—no, he refused—to think of Malfoy as vulnerable and in need of his help. That was what Malfoy needed—deserved: a friend; a real friendship. One like what he had with Ron and Hermione, and what Scorpius had with Albus. So many things could have been better, if he was more like his son.

He gained enough control over his conflicting emotions to raise his arm, but before it fell on the door Albus kissed Scorpius. It was more than a comforting peck; it was a slow, sensual, warm, loving kiss. They pulled back and pressed their foreheads together and stared into each other's eyes, until Scorpius kissed Albus; that time he saw Scorpius' tongue enter Al's mouth. They were definitely not just friends; Harry was going to pass out.

'D'you, want?' Scorpius asked, while he pulled at Albus's trousers.

'Um—', Albus paused and looked nervous as well as flushed. 'You're sure you're ready? I mean we've never—'

Scorpius nodded and kissed Albus again to calm him down. 'I know. I'm ready. I love you.' He said, as he studied Albus' face. They both were on the verge of tears from the myriad emotions taking a toll on them. They kissed again to focus on the physical aspect of the moment, instead of the emotional.

After Harry took a deep breath, he knocked on the door and cleared his throat. It startled the boys and Albus jumped off of Scorpius, who quickly sat up, whilst smoothing out his hair.

'Hey, dad', Albus tried to act normal, so he could deduce how much his father had seen.

Harry managed to force out a quick, 'Dinner is ready', before he turned and headed back down the stairs. Half way down he paused and took a moment to steady himself. He could hear his son's and Scorpius' panicked voices behind him. They should have seen this coming. How did he not see this coming? Al was, after all, the most like him.

He entered the kitchen and looked around at his family as they talked, laughed, and gathered around the table. Ron and Hermione were there with their kids and everyone waited for them. Before he could say anything, Albus and Scorpius entered the room behind him, and made their way to the table. Everyone could tell that they were nervous, but none of them knew the cause of it, still curious about Scorpius' odd behaviour that morning.

Al and Scorpius waited for the ball to drop, and Harry thought they should deal with the situation sooner rather than later. Harry cleared his throat, catching everyone's attention, 'So, I won the bet.'