Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter - I know, really random but hey - such is life.

Author's Note: A little look at a teenager Scabior - the awkward sixteen year old - and how he progresses to the man we see in Deathly Hallows. A two-shot I'm thinking at the moment. Hasn't been beta'd and I really appreciate any thoughts anyone has on this.

Italics are little conversations they have from when they are older or younger - out of time. Who says which line is up to you.

Live Fast, Die Young

Sweet Sixteen


What are you staring at?

Nothing, darling.

Yeah, right.


She came to the library every day. That wasn't why she was interesting though. She was a Ravenclaw after all and that is what Ravenclaws did according to the status quo. Just like how Hufflepuffs were meant to be sitting in circles, sharing their feelings; Gryffindors were meant to strutting around school liked they owned the place; and Slytherins were meant to be secretly learning the Dark Arts.

So that wasn't what made her interesting. No, it was her hair that made her interesting. He'd never paid attention to her in the past, never felt the need. She was just another girl in his year level, in a different house. When he was younger he didn't sit with girls in class so he never talked to her then, and now that he was older, a sixth year, he knew as a Slytherin he should not sit with her purely because she was muggle-born.

Which irritated him in a sense – because he should be free to choose who he wants to sit and talk with. But he understands it at the same time – he's a first generation pureblood and a Slytherin so he needs to play the part.

But he's got a bit of muggle-born in himself so why should it matter if he chats to an actual muggle-born?

But yes – her hair. That was why he was interested in it. He knew it used to be dark brown – at least he was fairly sure it was. He was certain though that there had not been blood red streaks in it last year. That was new.

She didn't seem the type.

But it made her look dangerous, gave her an edge – he wasn't sure. The blood red streaks certainly made her interesting – enough to catch his eye as he had seen her sit in Charms that first period of the new school year.

And at the end of each day, after learning her habits he went to the library and sat down. He didn't study, only pretended as he watched her out of the corner of his eye.

He never stayed long though as he did need to finish his homework.


You're pretty fly for a white guy.

What?

Nothing


She plays Quidditch.

And so does he – he was a Seeker when he was younger but he got a little too big and is now a Chaser. He doesn't mind though – Kennedy Williams is a far better seeker than he ever was, even better than Regulus Black. The kid is small and speedy even as a fifth year. He likes working better in a team which is what being a Chaser is all about rather than by himself.

Seekers are loners on the pitch, the Keeper is the guard, the Beaters are the enforcers, and the Chasers are the workers. It's that simple. It's the way it works. They all have their roles and he makes sure his team knows it. He won't have any screw-ups on his watch.

She isn't a captain – she's a Chaser herself. A team player. She flies well and sticks to formation and he can't help but smile slightly as she bashes against him to steal the Quaffle and he returns the favour all too willingly.

The wind whips at them as they race, and dive. She looks completely different on a broom, no longer hunched over books or reciting charms, she's got that edge to her, and boy is she fast. She has no regard for her safety as she pelts down the pitch.

He chases her, flying overhead, his heart racing. He gets an extra burst of speed, urging his broom on and drops down in front of her, body tensing for the impact which never happens because she swerves just as quickly though in the motion the Quaffle slips, starts to fall and he grabs it and leaves her behind, mad grin on his face.

He doesn't glance back at her but he knows she's chasing him, no doubt furious.

He likes it when girls get angry – it's hot.

And he always scores.

The Quaffle sails from his hands into the hoop and at that moment the siren sounds – Kennedy has caught the snitch, Slytherin has won.

He spins around on his broom and sees her only ten feet from him, glaring.

"Good game, love," he calls, smiling.

"That was dirty," she retorts, rolling her eyes before descending to the ground: a streak of blue and gold.

He likes her and he'll show her what 'dirty' really is sometime.


Wish I could run that fast.

Why?

Because it would be awesome


"What's the matter, Scabior?"

He glances over Warren Griffin as they sit by the fire in the Common Room. It is one of the privileges that come from being one of the upperclassmen – they get to sit by the roaring fire while the little kids sit in the cold. Not that it was too cold. Despite the common idea that the whole school wanted Slytherins dead, they was a heating charm cast on their common room and dorms so it wasn't completely freezing – still being by the fire did make all the difference.

But not today: the warm flicker of flames seemed to have no effect on him as he sat in two jumpers and thick socks, staring at the fire with dead eyes, a crumpled letter from home in his right hand. He had gotten the letter this morning, at breakfast. His parents are fighting again - worse than before it seems. He'd felt shit all day, unable to focus as his mind flickered to and from the letter. He didn't want to be here with his housemates, he didn't want to be in the open. He just wants to be alone for a bit – he could go to his dorm but even that didn't guarantee solitude.

"Nothing," he says, "Just thinking,"

Griffin didn't push the issue but continued to watch him for the rest of the night until he excused himself, walking to the dorm and sinking into his bed.

But not sleeping.

He left the dorm early that morning – at a quarter to six unable to lie down any longer. He wasn't exactly sure when he was allowed back in the corridors. He knew that at night he was allowed out until nine ... but what time was he allowed to leave again?

Then again at this point he really didn't care if he loses Slytherin some house points.

He leaves the dungeons and walks up into the Entrance Hall which is completely still – silent, dead. Every step he makes sounds so loud and he stops moving, staring at the heavy oak doors that lead to the grounds. Glancing around he wanders to them and they begin to creak open as he approaches. He throws a glance back but sees no on.

And then he is out on the grounds, in the cool air, walking on the dew and standing in the dark. He wanders over to the lake, sits down and watches the glass like surface, unsure of what to do with himself.

He could go up to the Owlery and write a letter home.

But he doesn't want to. There is no point. It won't change anything; it will be a waste of time. So he just sits and watches.

Until he hears the labour of heavy breathing, the crack of a twig and then he twists around, wand out, looking. The grounds are still empty, the sun only just starting to come up. And then he sees her, running – in what looks like short shorts and a sleeveless shirt.

He frowns.

She's running – why?

He staggers to his feet and begins to walk back to the castle. She's picking up speed and he's reminded of her racing on her broom except this is more ... well .. he isn't sure. She's free, feet skimming across the ground as she bounds. She stops outside the castle and leans against the wall, hands on her hips, eyes closed. Her hair is dishevelled; her body is sweaty – and bare.

Her eyes snap open and she jolts in shock. "What the -?"

"Why were you running?"

"Huh?"

She's confused. He's confused. He shouldn't be talking to her – and if he does he should be more ... Scabior.

"Nothing, love," he says with an easy smile, "You should take a shower,"

He leaves a parting wink that suggests a number of impure thoughts to her head, as her face grows even more flushed, and the moment he's back in the castle, he's back to being just as confused as before.


Keep doing that

Doing what?

Bending over and picking up that book

Perv


He's at the library again.

And so is she – or she will be soon, very soon.

The only difference is that this time he's there first. He's sitting in his usual seat, looking at his Potions essay with increasing frustration. He knows it's right – but he knows it's wrong. And he'll be damned if he'll get another 'P' in Potions especially not after he aced it in his OWLs. He lifts his quill, poises it over the paper but doesn't write.

Because at the moment he can hear her making her way into the library to her spot, lugging her heavy book bag.

He stays there, waiting for her to fall into his line of vision and sit at her desk. She does fall into his line of vision but only because she stands opposite him, dropping her bag on the table, pulling out the chair and sitting down, staring at him.

She has brown eyes.

"It would help if you had wet ink on that quill," she says.

He blinks, places it down, fighting the urge to quirk his lips. "Want to help me wet my quill?"

And then he cocks an eyebrow, smirking.

And she surprisingly smiles. "That was actually pretty funny,"

"I'm being serious,"

She leans forward and he can just see the swell of her breasts as her top button is undone and notices that they seem bigger than the girls in his house. He promptly turns his attention to her though as she speaks.

"You should get a better stalking spot,"

He wonders how long she's known about him watching her. He decides to play dumb.

"Stalking?" he says, "I don't understand,"

She rolls her eyes, and stares at his essay. "What's wrong with your potions essay?"

Everything. He used to be good at this subject but now it seemed everything he did blew up in his face – sometimes literally. He opens his mouth when he sees Warren Griffin enter, his housemate scanning the library no doubt for him. Shit. Scabior promptly shuts his mouth and sighs inwardly.

"What does it matter to you, mudblood?" he says.

She looks over at Griffin, a small smile on her lips, as if she has just used Leglimency.

"Same time tomorrow?" she asks, grabbing her bag and getting up. "We can go over your essay,"

He nods because it takes guts to go up and chat to a Slytherin when you're a muggle-born and that plus her red streaked hair and her running in the school grounds each morning adds to her appeal.

And because he knows she's getting Os in Potions.


Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an –

Muggle tune?

You know it


The castle is getting colder as the snow falls thickly in the grounds. They are both in the library again, this time in a more secluded spot so they can talk without any stares from their peers. Scabior feels somewhat wrong doing this – he's talking to a muggleborn after all, something completely against his House. She also feels this though for different reasons.

They don't talk a lot, mostly study. She helps him with his Potions and he helps her with Transfiguration. Every other subject is a competition for them except she doesn't do Defence and he doesn't do Herbology.

He's practicing the Aguamenti charm using non-verbal magic, trying to shoot water into a glass he took from the Great Hall at lunch. She's reading a book for Care of Magical Creatures. After his twentieth attempt which only produces a dribble of water he puts down his wand and sighs.

She keeps reading. He watches.

"Stop."

He blinks. "Watching you?"

"Yeah,"

"You didn't mind it before, love,"

She glances up. "I actually did,"

"Is that why you came and talked to me?"

"Sort of ..." she says. Her gaze flicks to the snow falling outside. "What are you doing for the holidays?"

"Home," he grunts. He'd rather stay here though, that letter and the ones which had followed from home stuffed into the bottom of his trunk.

"I'm going to my Dad's,"

"Dad's?"

"My parents separated when I was little – Mum gets me in the summer and Dad gets me at Christmas," she says, eyes back onto her book, like it's no big deal.

"And you're okay with that?"

"I got used to it," she says that last bit carefully, eyes looking at him carefully. He stares back into them and fidgets slightly.

"I should go back to my Common Room," he says. He grabs his stuff and stands up.

"Merry Christmas, Scabior," she says.

"Yeah, Merry Christmas,"


Ever feel like you can't talk to anyone?

It's called being a teenager


"Scabior!"

Her voice rings in the library. He jumps slightly and sees her, poking her head out of their spot, her red streaks just as prominent as ever. He looks over to where Griffin has wandered off, doesn't see him, guesses he can see what she wants and Griffin will be none the wiser to him talking to her. He quickly heads over to her.

"Don't yell my name out," he says in a low voice, leaning against a book case.

"Still ashamed to be seen with a mudblood?" she says, rolling her eyes. "What happened to 'I don't really see the problem – we're all magic'?"

He glares at her. "You have no idea what –" he changes mid-sentence because he is not going to bring it up. He hisses, "Just go study, mudblood," and turns to leave.

"And let you fail Potions?"

He spins on his heel. "I'm not failing Potions –"

"Because of me," she says.

Why does she have to be so hard headed? Why isn't she in Gryffindor with this kind of attitude? He sighs and takes a seat opposite her, all the while glancing around to make sure no one is watching them.

"Things aren't the same anymore," he says, unsure of how to say it. How to talk about it. He's only talked to it to Yaxley, who he barely knows, and even then he gets the feeling Yaxley doesn't really care but is only there to convince him what his Dad did was wrong – sinfully wrong – and that his Mum did a noble thing.

"Why?"

He narrows his eyes, his heart hardening. "Because me mummy killed me daddy because 'e became a blood-traitor – get it? She sliced –"

"Scabior –"

"You wanted to know didn't you?"

"I told you in my letter –" he instantly regrets sending her that first letter the moment he got home, " – which you never replied to – but anyway that if you wanted to talk about it, I know where you're going through –"

"Oh so now your mum killed your dad?"

"No, but ..." she says, "Listen – when you want to talk I'll be here – okay?"

"Yeah, whatever,"


Stop, please – you can't!

Now why would I stop? Just started, didn't I?


It takes him a week to return to the library and when he was at the threshold he stands there for about a minute weighing up his options, considering the situation from all angles. He finds more pros than cons and steps into the library, walking briskly over to their spot where she is waiting.

She doesn't look up when he sits down and he watches her for a bit. She's the same as she was before Christmas, exactly the same. He's not, he's changed, he's grown, he's ... something. He wishes he could turn back the clock.

Maybe Yaxley could get him a Time Turner ...

"I wondered when you'd turn up,"

So did I, he thinks.

"I'm only 'ere because of Potions, okay?" he says though.

"Thought so," she says. She rummages in her bag for a bit and pulls out a brightly wrapped present. She hands to him.

"What's this?"

"Your Christmas present," she rolls her eyes.

"Why?"

"Because I saw it – when I was getting a presents for my cousins – and thought of you,"

He takes it and carefully unwraps it. Out spills a red monster teddy bear like toy. It's soft, with wide eyes and orange button nose.

"I don't get it,"

She giggles. "Okay so basically there is this television show called Sesame Street – Muggle thing – and they are all puppets who teach kids how to spell things, right?"

He nods, still staring at the little red monster.

"And that guy –" she gestures to the toy, "is called Elmo (1) – like you,"

"They named a furry red monster after me?"

"Well not exactly after you but..."

He doesn't know if he should laugh or cry.


Running is –

Painful, don't say otherwise, love


She's invited him to go running with him. It takes him three mornings before he actually gets up and heads down to the grounds. She's dressed head to toe in proper running gear – Muggle clothing – and he ... well he's got some old tie-up boots and a baggy t-shirt.

She, as always, rolls her eyes at him and starts to run. He's soon puffing heavily, realising that this is a very different form of exercise to Quidditch. He's working harder than he's ever had to before as his feet thump beside her graceful leaps.

They run – or rather jog in her case – to the Quidditch Pitch, do a lap and then head back to the castle.

"So why aren't we going to the lake?" he asks once he's finally got his breath back and is sitting on the stone's steps.

"At the rate we were going it will take too long," she says, now stretching. She glances up at him, "You should really stretch – you'll feel it tomorrow if you don't,"

"Why do you run?"

"My dad used to be an Olympic runner,"

"Olympics?"

"You are such a wizard," and her trademark eyes go a rolling.


If you were a Quaffle and I was a Chaser during a Quidditch match, I'd score with you.

Who said that to you? That is no way to pick –

Like yours are any better?


She's lying in the hospital wing, covered in mud and with a large bruise on her head. It's turning purple, getting larger by the second. She's just laying there, eyes flickering open and shut. Her housemates have just left and he waits until they are out of sight before sneaking in.

He can imagine the hexes that would come his way if they, the Ravenclaw Quidditch Team, saw the Captain of the Slytherin Quidditch Team going to talk to one of their Chasers. As he walks in he spots her and feels a twinge of guilt. It was one of his Beaters who had hit that Bludger which had promptly knocked her off her broom. Another part of him says it was all in the name of the game and it had to be done to win – which they, Slytherin, did – a good start to his first year as Captain, winning the House Quidditch Cup and all.

"'ello," he coos, walking over to her bed.

She tilts her head slightly, grimaces from the pain. "Hello,"

"How is your 'ead?"

"Bludgers hurt,"

"I never realised," he deadpans.

"They really hurt,"

"I think you'll live,"

"But it really hurts,"

He gives her a quick peck on her forehead remembering some inane comment about kissing something to make it better.

"That was almost sweet if not for the fact the pressure of that is now making my head hurt like a –"

"MISTER SCABIOR –" booms the voice of Madam Pomfrey.

"Ahh shit,"

"You snuck in didn't you?"

He can only nod as the Hogwarts matron pulls him out by his ear.


I need a little more


"But I'm really worried about question –"

He briefly considers casting Silencio on her. She hasn't stopped talking since they left the exam room, going on and on and on about it. He's thankful to the Sorting Hart for not placing him in Ravenclaw because if the rest of them are like this he might have poisoned himself long ago.

"- but I suppose it's out of our –"

He stops, dead in his tracks. His hand snakes forward and he grabs her hand, pulling her towards him. His lips meet hers, her body briefly losing the ability to stay up right but he holds her, pressing a bit harder against her lips before pulling back.

Her eyes are wide.

"What just –"

To prevent another verbal ramble he kisses her again, silencing her as his lips move against her, holding her firmly against him.

She pulls back, breathing heavy. "Scabior?"

"I needed you to shut up," is what he says but he thinks: I've waited all year just to do that, Madness.

And he's glad he did do just that.

He winks at her, sees Griffin on the other side of the courtyard and his stomach drops for a second but then Griffin gives him the thumbs up. He frowns at his dorm mate and looks back at her. "Later," and he leaves her standing in silence and wanders over to Warren.

"About time," says Warren, clapping him on the back.

"But she's a mudblood–"

"She's cute – and now you've guaranteed a pass in Potions next year,"

He needs to get better at hiding things.


To be continued.


Thoughts are very much appreciated :) Thanks for reading regardless though.

BTW (1) Elmo (from Sesame Street) was only called Red Monster when this story is set ... so creative licence is used. In fact in regards to what world this fits in - I like book canon best except for when it comes to the Snatchers ... so ... yeah. And yeah, Scabior is properly known as Elmo Scabior - I thought long and hard about this ... went on numerous baby name sites as well.