Disclaimer: The HP universe is most definitely the brainchild of JK Rowling. I'm just having fun.

AN: Dear Reader, I'm very glad to see you've clicked on this story to read. I hope it meets your expectations. But I should provide you with a few warnings before you begin. This story deals heavily with modern-day issues such as bullying, threats and violence in a high school setting. I promise you right now that there is plenty of angst ahead. That being said, there is also a healthy dose of fluff, romance and hormones.

Also, I'm not British. I apologise for any negligence of appropriate slang usage.

Chapter 1

Scorpius Malfoy: Anomaly

The pungent smell of sweat, timber and steam that pervaded the Quidditch Changing Room would have made any passerby wretch in disgust. But Albus Potter, muscles groaning and in desperate need of a shower, knew his team this year was a shoe in for the Quidditch Cup, if today's practice was anything to go by. Gripping his Nova in his left hand, the black-haired captain smiled at the players in front of him, all looking rumpled and ragged, but sporting smiles on flushed faces.

"That was brilliant, lads. Good practice. Dennison, excellent work with that Backbeat. Rockwell, Peters and Sims, I swear you're getting faster and faster at the Wollongong. And Matt, you've got the fastest reflexes I've seen in a Keeper, they'll never get past you. We can't possibly lose, not with this team," Albus praised, green eyes glinting. Switching to a more serious tack, he calmed his voice. "But that doesn't mean we can slack off. Practice will be on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning. Alright? The year may have only just begun, but we're going to train as if the final were only days away". His speech was met with determined nods, and murmurs of "yes" and "let's do it". Pride coursed through Albus as he observed his team. With a smirk, he ended with, "Now hit the showers, you lot stink".

Matthew Morion, the Keeper, and his closest friend, hit him playfully with his towel, before grabbing him under his arm, locking his head in place and scuffing his already messy hair. "Captain Potter, huh?"

"That's right, you great big prat. Knock it off or I'll take you off the team!" Albus laughed, trying to wriggle his way out of Matt's hold.

Matt released him. "Threatening me already? Merlin, you're gonna be a nightmare!" he teased.

"Whatever it takes to win, mate. I'm gonna need you by my side to do it," Albus said.

"Count on me. We'll be fine," Matt smiled.

It was Albus' first year as captain and he intended to do everything possible to make sure Slytherin won the Cup.


The Great Hall was bursting with noise as the students of Hogwarts enjoyed a hearty combination of dinner and conversation. Albus, who was stuffing his face full of roast beef and potatoes, found it easier to listen, rather than participate in the chatter. At least he had his priorities sorted.

Matt and the team were surrounding him, huddled together and talking strategy between bites, careful to keep voices low lest a passerby overheard their new ideas for the year.

"Hufflepuff's no real competition," Paul Rockwell almost whispered, as if no one else knew. "We'll thrash them when their time comes. I figure we should use that match as a practice session and try out some new moves," he snorted.

"Hufflepuff may be terrible, but bear in mind their head Chaser. He's nothing to laugh at. Last year, he scored half the points we managed together, on his own. His dad's a pro," Matt said.

Crispin Dennison scoffed loudly, "Bunch of girls, they are".

"Speaking of girls…" Bryce Gilles, Beater, murmured. His head was twisted to face the entrance to the Great Hall.

Albus, his attention sparked, followed his line of sight, and caught sight of Scorpius Malfoy, who had only just arrived to dinner. He heard the sniggles of his friends from around him as they observed him like hawks, taking in his impeccable appearance. He didn't join in to their gossip but listened intently, his eyes never leaving Malfoy as he took a place at the end of the Slytherin table, with his small group of friends.

Scorpius Malfoy was an anomaly. He was, in fact, the biggest surprise Hogwarts had seen since Harry Potter. With a personality and manner so entirely different than his fathers', Scorpius destroyed all expectations of him upon entering the school. Where Draco was an attention-seeker, Scorpius stuck to the shadows. But where attention often was diverted off Draco, it sought Scorpius like bees to pollen. Albus could tell the boy would prefer to be left alone, but how could he blame all the gossip floating about him? Especially when he chose to carry himself in the manner he did.

"Careful, Bryce," Matt muttered back to the Beater, "he may hit you with his purse." The team burst into giggles.

Although no one spoke from experience, the entire school knew Malfoy was gay. And when taunted, which was very often, the blond boy didn't deny it. If it wasn't the clothes that gave it away, his hair did. Sharing the same dorm and bathroom with Malfoy had Albus convinced that the blonde's hair smelled better than most girls', but he was hardly about to say that out loud.

"…or blind you with hair spray," Paul added, encouraging louder laughter that spread down the Slytherin table until it reached Malfoy's end. Albus noticed that he stoically ignored it, though his cheeks did go a little red.

He suddenly felt bad for him and was about to shut his friends up and change the subject, when he realized he couldn't. He had a reputation to stick to. Siding with Malfoy was not going to win him points as team captain, or with the ladies.

Scorpius Malfoy would have to wait. He hadn't featured in Albus' life in the previous five years, and he wasn't about to start now. This year, unlike the last few, there was more at stake.

Turning a blind eye to the blond boy, he continued eating his dinner, listening to his friends' gossip.


Albus left the Great Hall earlier than the rest of his team, who were gorging themselves on ice-cream and pudding, opting to head down to the Slytherin common room and work out team dynamics and maybe even get started on his Charms essay. He doubted the chances of that happening though.

He was stopped, however, by a female voice calling after him. "Al!"

He turned. "Mel!" He smiled, admiring his girlfriend's appearance as she walked towards him. She was, undoubtedly, the most beautiful girl in school. She had curves in all the right places and big brown doe eyes. And—Albus reckoned—she had the softest hair. He challenged anyone to come to him with softer hair than Mel's. Shame she was in Gryffindor, Albus thought humorously, but quickly brushed the thought aside when her lips touched his. His hands automatically wrapped around her waist, bringing her closer to him, while hers circled his neck. Albus hadn't had any classes with her today and found that he had missed her. He sighed happily into the kiss, his fingers toying with the edge of her shirt, trying to inch it up slowly. He thought he was being subtle, but she pulled away with a smile before he could do much else.

"How was practice, Captain?" she asked.

Albus released a breath and stared at her kissed lips before he realized she had asked a question. "Sneaky girl. James sent you to spy on me, did he?"

"Maybe," she teased, looking up at him through her lashes, looking completely gorgeous.

He laughed. "You can tell that idiot brother of mine, that he won't be getting any Slytherin secrets from me." He snorted. "Like it would do any good. Sorry, love, but Gryffindor sucks. You've got a terrible Seeker. She can't see three feet in front of her!"

Mel laughed and slapped him on the arm. "Hey, you. Amy's just getting used to her prescriptions. Don't be mean. You may catch the Snitch, but we'll still beat you. James is a pretty good Chaser," she said, knowing it would annoy Albus terribly.

He smirked at her for a few seconds, before attacking her with tickles.

"Al!" she giggled, trying to escape. But he caught her, wriggling his fingers against her sides. He tormented her for a few seconds, loving the sound of her laugh echoing in the corridor.

"Stop! Al! Stop it," she begged.

"Who's the better captain? Me or James?" Albus asked, continuing his torture.

"James!" she managed between her gasps of laughter.

"You asked for it," Albus warned, increasing the tickling. Mel, somehow, escaped his grasp, running the opposite way down the hallway, her squeals following her. Albus, figuring he had plenty more time to do his work later tonight, pursued her.