I do not own Harry Potter. I write for my own enjoyment and that of my readers.
Harry woke the next morning not remembering where he was. At first he thought he was in the Hospital Wing after the final battle and that everything from the day before had been a dream. Extreme in its tangibility and fantastically unreal logic, but a dream nevertheless.
But the bed was too soft to be in the Hospital Wing. The light was soft and comforting, but artificial. It didn't come from the floor to ceiling windows that were a part of the Hospital Wing.
The next thing he noticed was that someone was sleeping very close to him. They weren't in the same bed, but they were quite a bit closer than any bed in the hospital wing would be. He opened his eyes and saw the blond mop of hair no more than six or seven inches from his face. He tensed at first, his instinct telling him that Malfoy was lying near him. But these features were not as sharp. He had markers of someone else contributing to the basic makeup up of genes. Scorpius.
This wasn't a dream after all. At first this really didn't bother Harry. Soon after, though, the memory of that blasted stone that contained all of his worst memories and a few of the ones so good that they were too private to be shared… but they had been anyway. He didn't know how some of those memories had been put into the stone. Harry couldn't imagine the lengths they had to have gone to, to find and rip those memories from the places they had been embedded. To rip those memories out, just to place them in a stone was a sign of desperation, he thought. Desperation to stay one of the exalted war heroes.
These thoughts hurt and he was glad when Scorpius's eyes opened sleepily and stared at him for a moment, a small smile playing about the corners of his lips. It was like he thought he was still in his dreamland. This was reinforced when he slowly raised his hand to touch Harry's face. Smooth fingertips drifted down the side of his face. It took everything he had not to flinch, despite the fact the touch wasn't hostile. Realization dawned on the blond boy across from him.
" Not a dream," he whispered quietly to himself. Scorpius gently removed his hand from Harry's face, deliberately slow so he wouldn't be startled.
"I'm sorry. I just couldn't believe…. I mean it was so…." he whispered once his hand was back on the bed. Scorpius blushed once he realized that he had caressed Harry's cheek. Harry stared at the pink flush crossing this pale skin; it occurred to him that he liked that look on him more than he should.
"It's okay," Harry whispered back, "I thought it was a dream too."
They both smiled gently at each other, neither saying anything or acknowledging how the incident between them could have escalated into something ugly. It wasn't very long before a careful knock brought them out of their little bubble of contentment.
"Scorpius? The Professor came down; he's having breakfast brought. He also promised he would be down to talk after classes," Zane explained softly from the other side.
"Thank you, Zane. I'll be out in a minute." Scorpius waited until the footsteps faded out of hearing, then he turned to Harry. "Did you sleep well?"
Harry stilled for a moment, then nodded. He remembered his dreams from the night before, the horrid memories of the war mixed with the new realizations that his friends had betrayed him. And then he remember how, in the middle of one of the dreams, a soothing presence had seemed to join him. The dream had slowly tapered off and changed into dreamless, deep sleep. The dream had lasted only a short while. In fact, last night had been the best rest he had had in a long time.
Scorpius smiled gently at the other man. At least his presence had helped some last night.
"I'm going to go talk to the others for a moment. I'll bring your breakfast back in with me. Do you need anything?" His concern was obvious in his voice.
"I'll be fine after I get something to eat." was the somewhat amused reply. It was amazing how different Scorpius was from his father.
Scorpius nodded before getting out of bed and walking to the foot of his bed, rummaging through his trunk so that he could change out of the clothes he had been wearing yesterday.
All the Slytherins were waiting out in the common room waiting for him. Moving with a quick efficiency that spoke of several years of the same routine, Scorpius checked each first year to make sure they had all their supplies and texts, along with their homework. As soon as he finished checking the first years, he moved on to the second and third years.
Harry watched unseen from the doorway as Scorpius weaved his way through the mass that was the three youngest classes, handing out spare quills, straightening ties and, on one occasion, braiding a little girl's hair for her. He had never seen anything like it before as a Gryffindor and he wondered if Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw did something like this too.
Not long after, Scorpius finished making his way through the children and shooed the entire House our of the common room. Harry observed half of the seventh years leading the way with the younger years following them. The rear of the group was brought up by the other half of the seventh years.
When Scorpius was the only one left in the house Harry stepped out of the door way.
"I've never seen something like that before." Harry said gesturing to the common room entrance.
"They don't do that in Gryffindor?"
"Not when I was there, no."
Before Scorpius could respond to the sad statement the House elves popped into the Common Room with a full breakfast. Harry's stomach rumbled at the mouth watering spread. The Slytherin smiled, breaking the slightly awkward silence.
They sat down together and dug in to the eggs, bacon, pancakes, and various other scrumptious foods before them. After they had both finished their quiet meal, they moved from the table to the comfortable couch in front of the fireplace.
Harry was the first one to break the silence, "Why do you do that?"
"Do what?" Scorpius turned in his seat to look at Harry as they talked.
"Help the younger years. Hell, you even braided that little girl's hair for her. Why?"
Scorpius looked at Harry for a moment before asking him, "Why I do it as a Slytherin or why I do it as a person?"
"Well, as a Slytherin I do it for house pride. We present a untied front; it wouldn't do for a Slytherin student to go to class without the proper supplies or an untidy appearance. It is good for the house if they always have their homework and the upper years check over it each night before curfew.
"As a person I do it because Hogwarts can be a scary place the first couple years. Most children raised in the magical community don't meet many other children until Hogwarts. Suddenly they are thrust into this school with more people than they have seen in their entire lives.
"Now they have homework and responsibilities. Several of them have never been away from their families. They need someone to look after them and make sure that they are okay." Scorpius sighed after his speech.
Harry didn't say anything. He simply stared into the fireplace.
"When I was a first year, Gryffindor didn't do that. It was sink or swim. I didn't understand anything, unlike Granger I hadn't had the chance to read up on classes. But I was the savior. No one thought to ask if I knew anything about magic, they just assumed that I did."
Scorpius didn't know what to say to a grown man who had tears streaming silently down his face. He only knew what he had done in the past for crying first years who were homesick. So he scooted across the couch and gently pulled the other man into a hug. Harry broke down even further.
Now it wasn't just about his first years in Hogwarts. It was about his childhood. It was about his first friends' betrayal. It was about all the lives that were lost in the war and everything he had missed in those 25 years he had been 'gone'.
Slowly the quiet sobs trailed off and Harry fell asleep. During his crying, Harry had slipped down from Scorpius's shoulder to his chest. So Scorpius gently moved him so that his head was lying on Scorpius's lap.
Summoning a book from the shelves across the room, he opened it and settled in to read, his fingers unconsciously running through the other's hair.
A/N: And there you go. Finally another chapter ready for your enjoyment. I think from now on I'm going to write my stories in advance. I hate making you all wait forever because I get writer's block. I'm really proud of this chapter, it might not look like a lot is going on, but it's really bring them closer together. Merry Christmas Everyone!