Meh, didn't think this was my best chapter, but really wanted to update so hope you guys like it :D

Chapter 8

Scorpius turned and stalked straight away from the open portrait hole, clenching his teeth and trying to calm down. It was getting very late, and the last of the Gryffindor students were filing past him on their way to their dormitories. They all looked at him with a mixture of fascination – news travelled fast – and apparent shock at his appearance; years at Durmstrang had made him Impervius to the cold.

The ring seemed to beat with the pulse in his thumb, making his forefinger throb as he squeezed it hard. What should he do? Give it to McGonagall? Throw it away?

He walked on auto-pilot, looking away from his thoughts to find himself strolling idly down a corridor that he did not recognise. 'Bollocks,' he muttered, realising that he had no idea where he was. A further expletive followed when he looked down at his watch and saw that the minutes were ticking towards 9 o'clock, after which point he would be out after curfew.

'Lost, Malfoy?' A cold, jeering voice said, with an echo of laughter.

Scorpius's turn was slow and delicate, his wavering imperceptible. 'What do you want, March?' he replied icily, watching as a shaking-with-anger Tristan squared up behind the huge-looking William March. A third boy, a little smaller, was standing awkwardly in the shadows, his wand hanging limply by his side. It was Albus Potter.

'I want to talk,' March smiled, stepping forwards, threateningly close to Scorpius, who didn't even raise his wand. 'You stole my girlfriend.'

'She wasn't yours to steal from,' Scorpius said, taking a pointed step back and narrowing his eyes. 'You threw her away. Besides, she hates me. Though not as much as she hates you.'

March slammed Scorpius up against the wall and pressed his wand to his neck, but the smaller boy responded with a kick to the stomach that sent March stumbling backwards. 'Mate, I went to Durmstrang. You really reckon you can beat me in a duel?'

'No, but I can beat you in a fight,' March threw his wand on the ground, and Scorpius ignored the perfect opportunity to curse him, doing the same. They launched themselves at each other simultaneously, and the next few moments were a blur of pain and anger and the crunch of fist against flesh.

There was a sudden flurry of footsteps, and March jumped up, sprinting away down the corridor with the others without another word. Albus looked back briefly at Scorpius, who had managed to stagger to his feet and steer himself into an alcove in the wall. March had been right – Scorpius had lost that fight by a mile. Blood was running from his head, nose and lip, and he wasn't sure he'd managed to land a single decent punch.

'Who's there?' a voice demanded, presumably a teacher's.

Scorpius exhaled slowly, and started to relax with relief when he realised she was walking past. But the relief was short lived, as pain shot through his forearm and he cried out aloud, ripping up his sleeve. 'SHIT!' he didn't bother to remain quiet, gaping in horror down at the soft flesh by his wrist, where the unmistakable outline of the faded but permanent tattoo on his father's own arm was being carved, as if by an invisible knife, into Scorpius's. It was the Dark Mark.

He came to his senses just as the teacher reached the alcove, but he had already clipped the portkey-like invention of his father's onto his hand and vanished into thin air.

#

Scorpius hit the ground with a sickening thump! and rolled over, squinting through the darkness. He was in Salazar's Glen – where the compass point must have been pointing – and the village was silent; asleep.

He stood, looking around to find his bearings, and realised that he was directly in the centre of the village square. Ignoring the agonising throbbing of his arm, he stumbled away down the familiar side road to his grandparent's cottage, nestled in between two belonging to muggles.

The door opened for him, and he stroked his fingers along the familiar ivy-green walls, drawing out his wand with his other hand and murmuring an enchantment to send the gas lamps sputtering into life. 'Lucius?' Scorpius whispered. It was what he had always called his grandfather.

He planted a foot on the stairs to the upper floor, the eyes of familiar portraits following him in confusion as he hurried up to the landing, ducking his head under the wooden beams. 'Lucius?' he repeated, and, as he had known he would, the wide-awake ex-Death Eater opened the door of his office and smiled.

He had not aged much in the 20 years since Voldemort's fall, but there was a definite grey tinge to his hair and his face was a little more lined. He allowed bemusement to fill his eyes only for a few seconds, before pulling Scorpius into a strong hug and whispering, 'I have missed you, Scorpius!'

'You too!' Scorpius grinned in reply.

'But why are you here? Surely you ought be at school?'

'Long story,' Scorpius grimaced, holding out his arm to show Lucius, whose eyes widened. 'I don't know... what happened.'

'Well nor do I,' Lucius raised his eyebrows, 'come on, this could be a long night.'

#

Rose was sitting in the comfiest armchair in the common room, staring at the portrait hole and blankly ignoring the pile of homework in front of her. 'He has to come some time,' she muttered darkly to herself, throwing down the quill that had been poised between her fingers for the last two hours. 'He's gonna get detention of the century if he gets caught out at this time! Idiot, idiot, idiot boy. Why do I even care? I don't. He's just a Malfoy who I made a mistake about. He doesn't give a damn about me.'

'Oh great. Now you're talking to yourself like a psycho,' she added, screwing up her potions essay and throwing it into the fire irritably. 'Idiot, idiot, idiot girl!'

'You alright, Rose?' Albus raised his eyebrows as he descended from the boys' dormitories. 'You waiting for Scorpius?'

'No, I'm just going to bed, 'she said quickly, standing up and collecting her books in her arms. 'Why would I be waiting for him?'

'I know where he - ' Albus began, but she had already disappeared at a near-sprint up the winding staircase. 'Fine,' Albus rolled his eyes, 'but I know you're into him.'

Please please PLEASEE review. Only got two for last chapter :( thank you for you guys, it was you two who made me write this chapter! Remember, the more reviews, the more updates!

xx