Don't Panic, I Don't Bite
AN: I did a little bit of research on the affliction Scorpius suffers from, but I'm nowhere near an expert and I don't know anyone with it. I apologize if I got it all wrong.
Disclaimer: I don't any part of Harry Potter. I just own the mindchildren plotbunnies.
"If you want me to stop making fun of you, stop staring at him." Rose said simply, pulling Al's attention to her.
"I'm not staring." Al protested, even as a slight blush rose on his cheeks. Rose just looked at him, eyebrows raised, not believing. "I'm not."
"And I'm Voldemort." Rose didn't believe him at all. She also didn't want to argue about it, so she turned to her potion and added the mandrake root she'd been preparing.
"I'm not." Al said again, even though she wasn't listening. Despite his protests, Al had in fact been staring, just as he stared every time they had Potions. The object of Al's gaze was Scorpius Malfoy.
When he was being honest with himself, Al was forced to realize he liked staring at the boy. Sure it was a little creepy, but it wasn't like he was staring longingly at him or anything. Scorpius Malfoy was just pretty and easy to look at. It was much better than paying attention to Potions anyway. Rose bit his head off every time he tried to do anything to the bubbling concoction she expertly crafted. Yeah, it was much easier to center his wayward attention on something, and Scorpius Malfoy sat directly across the room, close to the board, and in perfect position to make it seem as if Al was paying attention to the professor. Al knew the back of the boy's head very well by now.
"You're doing it again. He's going to figure it out at this rate." Rose reminded him softly. Al leveled a glare at his cousin, completely displeased. "What?" She asked innocently.
"I hate you." Al said flatly.
"And I hate you too, Alby." Rose said, her voice cutesy and singsong.
"I hate that name." Al's glare intensified.
"I know." Rose smiled a bit evilly. "Stop staring at the bloke." Al didn't even dignify that with a response this time. Instead he picked up a knife so he could cut up something. Rose saw this and snatched the knife from him quickly. "Don't you dare. I like my good marks in this class."
"Then shut up." Al demanded.
"Fine. Fine. I will. I will. Just don't try to help." Rose pleaded.
"Deal." With that accomplished, Al very pointedly turned his attention to the door. The double hour was very nearly up, and he was eager to get out of the overly hot dungeon room. Fifteen minutes later, Rose was neatly fitting a cork on the vial of electric blue potion she had made for them. "Here's the label." Al said, handing over the piece of sticky parchment that would tell the professor who the vial belonged too. Rose took it and placed it neatly on the little glass vial.
"It's really no fair that your handwriting is neater than mine." Rose sighed, as she nearly always did when she looked at Al's work.
"It's because I don't scribble furiously, trying to get every last word down. I actually take more than two seconds to write a three line sentence."Al explained, as he nearly always did. Rose just stuck her tongue out at him before she got up to go give the potion in. While she was gone Al started packing them up. Because of Rose he was doing well in Potions, packing up for her was the least he could do. Al understood the theory of Potions well enough to do his essays and pass the written exams, but actually making the potion, the slightly more important part of the class, he was pants at. If Rose didn't help him out so much, he wouldn't have made it past first year, let alone get to sixth.
"Thanks Al." Rose said when she came back. She took over packing up her bag, so Al turned to start his own packing. Considering how little he actually did in Potions, it didn't take him very long. They should have been able to get out fairly quickly, but that was not the case this day. Instead, when they'd finished packing and went to leave the room, they found a large pile up. For some reason, every student was leaving single file, voluntarily. "What's going on?"
"I don't know. Hey, Frank, what's going on?" Al asked Frank Longbottom.
"There's a Mistletoe out there, from WWW." Frank answered.
"There wasn't before class." Rose pointed out.
"No, probably Peeves, or Fred put it there." Al guessed, shrugging. "I wonder if anyone got stuck under it."
"Probably not, everyone knows to look up around Christmas. Usually just first years get stuck under them." Frank said, moving up a little as someone else left the classroom. "Better get on line, this might take a while."
"Yeah, you're right. See you later Frank." Al nodded. He and Rose went to the end of the line. "Great, we're the last ones; we really are going to be here for a while."
"Yeah, and I don't even see him for you to stare at to pass the time." Rose taunted. Al elbowed her, hard.
"Shut up." Al hissed, even as he looked around to see if she was right. He felt his spirit fall a little when he realized she was. His pretty diversion wasn't around.
"It's your own fault for doing it." Rose said.
"You don't have to annoy me about it." Al glared.
"Ha! You admit you do it!" Rose sounded victorious. Heat instantly surged in Al's cheeks. "I've been trying for years to get you to do that."
"It hasn't been years!" Al instantly protested. Rose just looked at him, shaking her head. "It hasn't, though." Except, now that Al thought about it, he couldn't remember when he started staring at Scorpius Malfoy. He'd been doing it so long he forgot when he first found the blonde boy interesting.
Why had Al picked him to focus his attentions on? Scorpius Malfoy was not the prettiest thing Al had ever seen. He was definitely pretty, with his white blonde hair, gray eyes, pale, pointed face, and short willowy frame but he wasn't the most beautiful person in the class. No, that spot belonged to Valerie Thomas. But Al still stared at Scorpius Malfoy. Why?
"Wake up Al; you're boring when I'm not busy." Rose poked his side hard, successfully breaking him from his thoughts.
"Well you're boring when you're busy!" Al growled.
"Oh, there is someone caught." Jamie Jordon, who was in front of them, said. Then she edged out of the door until she was out enough to cling to the wall. Al and Rose watched as she began to crab walk away.
"Who is…oh." Rose said. "Look." And so Al did.
There, stuck under the offensive plant their Uncle George had created, was Scorpius Malfoy looking for all the world like he wanted to crawl in a hole and die. His normally pale face was bright red and his breathing was unsteady. He didn't even look up as Al gasped, completely surprised. "You have to help him." Al whispered, overrun with a desire to help the blonde out of his current predicament.
"Me?" Rose gasped. "No, I've never even spoken to him; I'm not going to kiss him. I'm not a slag."
"It wouldn't make you a slag; it'd make you a good classmate." Al protested.
"I won't do it Al, and no amount of persuading will change my mind."
"You did it for me that time I got caught in third year." Al reminded her.
"It was a weak, kiss on the cheek, one, and you're my cousin. I don't even know Malfoy besides his name and the family history in the textbook. That's nowhere near enough to consider this." Rose glared at her cousin. "Look at the strength of that one, I won't and you can't make me. And speaking of that, why do you want me to do it? You're the one who always stares at him, you do it." With that Rose turned away from Al and exited in much the same way Jamie Jordan had before, skirting the edge of the Mistletoe's range.
"Rose!" Al called after her, which caused Scorpius to glance up for a second before returning his gaze to his shoes. "I'm going to kill her." Al mumbled to himself. Just cause he stared at him did not mean he wanted to snog him. Appreciating someone's looks did not mean that you wanted to make out with them!
Al looked up at Scorpius, then back at the classroom behind him. The professor was in his office already, leaving the room empty and with no witnesses. 'Wait, no witnesses? Why would that even matter? I'm not going to snog him!' Al thought angrily. He looked back up at Scorpius, he was still looking pathetic. 'I'll bet he's shy. I can't just leave him.' Al watched as Scorpius' eyes flitted up to look at Al, quickly looking away again when he noticed Al looking at him.
Al sighed. "Do you have anyone who could help you?" Al asked finally. Scorpius looked up quickly, his gray eyes huge, clearly shocked to be spoken too. "No?" Al guessed. Scorpius nodded quickly and looked down again. 'It's kind of cute he's so shy, I never knew that.' Al had never spoken to him before; their interactions were limited to that one time in third year when they bumped into each other near the Hospital Wing. Scorpius had run off before Al could apologize.
"Do you have a plan to get out?" Al asked.
"Imwaitinguntillitwearsoff." Scorpius mumbled so quickly and quietly that Al had no idea what he said.
"I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that."
Scorpius took a deep breath. "I'm waiting until it wears off." He said louder and slower.
"Oh, er, that one's not gonna wear off mate." Al felt horrible for breaking this news to him. "My Uncle is the one who makes them and they've got different strengths. That particular one isn't one that wears off, and it's active so you can't summon or move it. You have to get someone to, er, to snog you." Al explained, heat rising in his face. He rubbed the back of his neck nervously.
This news sent Scorpius' already uneven breathing into a more frantic pattern. He put a hand on his heart in a way that made Al think it might be hurting him.
"Are you alright?" Al asked, concerned. The blush was leaving Scorpius' face, but he was getting pale. Well paler than he usually was. Scorpius glanced at Al then nodded, looking at his feet again. Al didn't believe him for a second. 'He's very shy.' Al noted. 'I wonder if he has any friends. I never see him talk to anyone in class.'
"Are you sure?" Al asked again, not liking the way the other boy was beginning to shake. 'I think he needs the Hospital Wing.' When Scorpius began to frantically look around Al knew he couldn't let him stay trapped by the Mistletoe. Al knew that look; he'd seen it on a number of wild animals Lily had thought it would be a good idea to bring home. Scorpius was looking for an escape. "Scorpius," Al called the blonde's attention to him, he got it for only a brief moment before Scorpius continued his frantic searching. "I'm going to get you out." Al said quickly, before he could change his mind. He stepped into the transparent white ring that indicated an active Mistletoe and quickly came to Scorpius' side. The other boy didn't even seem to notice him.
"Scorpius," Al tried, but Scorpius didn't hear him. "Please don't kill me for this." Al mumbled before he took a deep breath and grabbed Scorpius' face with his own slightly shaking hands. Before he could think about it Al kissed him.
Scorpius tasted good. Al pulled away just enough to readjust his position before he kissed him again, completely forgetting why he'd done it at all.
Forgetting until Scorpius fainted that is. The other boy slumped against Al, startling him and making him take a step back to properly catch him. Brought back to the present Al's first thought was that Scorpius was heavier than he looked. His second was to get that Mistletoe so Scorpius wouldn't be stuck again. Carefully, Al shifted Scorpius until he could reach his wand. He summoned the Mistletoe and stuck it in his pocket, making a mental note to add Fred and Peeves to the hit list Rose was on.
"Hey, mate, you gotta wake up. I'm not very good with the locomotus spell and I can't carry you to the Hospital Wing." Al said, gently shaking Scorpius. Luckily it worked, because Al didn't know if he could hold the other boy up much longer, it was an awkward position.
Al helped him get properly on his feet. "You alright?" Al asked, looking directly into Scorpius' eyes. He held in a little gasp. He'd known Scorpius' eyes were gray, but up close he could see they were actually silver. They were beautiful. The beautiful eyes quickly looked away from him; their owner too shy to properly look at Al. Al shook his head slightly to clear it and get back to the situation at hand. He took note of Scorpius' too pale skin and the sweat on his face. "Actually, forget I asked. I'm just going to bring you to the Hospital Wing anyway."
"You don't," Scorpius immediately began to protest, flashing Al those beautiful eyes.
"I know I don't have too, but I want too." Al said and took a step back from the other boy. He took hold of Scorpius' arm, fully prepared to drag him. "Don't mess with a Potter when he wants something, it doesn't tend to end well for Slytherins."
Scorpius remained quiet, not even trying to fight as Al began to tow him down the hall. After a few minutes of walking Al was really uncomfortable with the silence. He glanced back at Scorpius, who hadn't tried to catch up enough to walk beside him. "You can walk next to me you know, I don't bite."
Scorpius looked up, clearly startled. Al sigh, he really needed to stop surprising this boy. "I know you don't bite." Scorpius said quickly.
"Then stop letting me tow you about like a little kid. C'mon." Al gave Scorpius' arm a little tug. It successfully brought the blonde in line with him. They walked on, and still Scorpius was silent. But out of the corner of his eye Al caught him looking at him. "You're probably wondering why I'm doing this aren't you?"
"What? No. You're a good person." Scorpius said simply, looking at where Al was still holding his arm. "Everyone knows that."
"I'm not that good." Al protested, feeling a blush coming on. "I do a lot of bad things actually. I've probably had more detentions than anyone I know. Besides my family of course, a few of them could outnumber me."
"You're still a good person." Scorpius insisted, his voice quiet and timid. "You didn't just leave me when everyone else did."
"Yeah, about that."Al nervously rubbed the back of his neck. "I, er, I would appreciate it if you didn't, er, well if you didn't mention that to anyone." Al said, then quickly realized how that sounded. "Shit, I mean, er. I'm not ashamed of that or anything, I mean, I was helping, but, er, just,"
"I get it. I won't say anything." Scorpius said, putting Al out of his misery. It was too late to stop the massive Weasley blush though, Al was quite sure he was as red as Rose's hair at the moment.
They walked in a silence again, which really was starting to annoy Al. Silence in general was not something Al liked or was used too, but this awkward silence was grating on his nerves. "Listen, er, Scorpius, you're not, er, that is to say, you don't mind that I'm a bloke right? I mean, obviously I'm a bloke, but you don't mind that a bloke got you out do you. 'Cause that's something a lot of people are very touchy with and I'd rather you not hate me or anything. I tend to like it when I'm not hated."
"Why would you think that?" Scorpius asked, surprising Al in more ways than one. Scorpius hadn't said it in his normal shy and reserved manner, but in a genuinely confused and surprised voice.
"It's something that's on my mind a lot. I'm bi, and that doesn't sit well with a lot of people. So, you know, I was just wondering." Al explained. "Also, you're so quiet; I have no idea what you're thinking in that head of yours."
A soft "Oh." was all Al got out of him before he once again became completely silent. Luckily, they were close enough to the Hospital Wing that Al didn't get annoyed again.
The minute they opened the doors Madame Pompfry seemed to be there. She took one look at Scorpius and pointed to a bed. "Sit." Was all she said before she bustled off to her little back room office. She was back in a matter of seconds with a little bottle. "Here you go honey. Had another one didn't you?"
Scorpius nodded, taking the potion from Madame Pompfry. He downed it quickly, making a slight grimace at the taste. The small amount of colour he usually had returned and the slight trembles he'd still been suffering from quieted. "I'll have the kitchens bring you up something." Madame Pompfry said, squeezing Scorpius' shoulder reassuringly. She then turned to Al. "Well Mr. Potter, you're unexpected. Normally he comes up by himself, if at all. I assume you brought him up."
"Yes, he kind of freaked out then fainted." Al explained, sort of fascinated that Madame Pompfry didn't seem the least bit surprised.
"Well you can sit with him a while, dear. Then it's off to class with you both." With that she left them, off to her office again. The distinctive pop of a houseelf's apparition told Al she was indeed getting Scorpius food.
"It's called a Panic Attack." Scorpius volunteered after a few moments of silence. "I'm prone to them, so, er, thank you for helping me. In both ways." Al looked over at Scorpius, who was now a rather lovely shade of pink.
"I've never heard of that before." Al admitted. "Is it a common thing?"
"I'm the only one I know who gets them, but Madame Pompfry says it is common." Scorpius' voice was quiet again.
"So you'll be alright then?" Al asked. Scorpius nodded. "Well then, I actually do have to go. Madame Pompfry reminded me, I'm terribly late to Care of Magical Creatures." Scorpius nodded again. "You sure you'll be okay?"
"I'll be fine." he answered.
"Alright then. Have a good day I guess."
Later that day Scorpius lay on his bed, practicing his breathing. Sometimes, when it wasn't a particularly strong one or he could feel one coming on, the breathing techniques could help him get back to normal. At least that's what the healers told him. Special breathing requires thought and control, which could help him feel in control. He wasn't sure if it worked, or if the ones he thought he had chased off were really panic attacks, but he was willing to give it a go.
Mainly though, he was trying not to think about Albus Potter. It was kind of impossible, considering the day he'd had, but he tried anyway. After Albus had left Scorpius had let himself cry. Panic attacks always left him feeling weak and vulnerable, but he'd sucked it up because another person was there, once he was gone however, the tears came out. Not full out sobbing, but crying nonetheless. He cried a little harder when he remembered the Mistletoe. Albus must have kissed him, but he couldn't really remember that much. Everything got a little hazy when he had an attack.
Still, he didn't know how he felt about having his first kiss taken away like that. Yes, he was grateful he wasn't stuck under that bloody Mistletoe anymore, and the fact Albus was a bloke didn't really faze him that much. It was more the fact he couldn't truly remember it, and that was because of a panic attack. First kisses are supposed to be remembered, but he couldn't.
'It's no good to dwell on it Scorpius. Just forget it.' He ordered himself, fully aware that it wouldn't work and not really caring. 'Go back to your breathing,'
It didn't really work, nothing could make him forget what happened that day, or rather, make him forget that he couldn't remember, but every time Scorpius realized his thoughts were straying he made himself start his breathing exercises from the beginning again. By curfew he hadn't managed to finish the routine once.
"Since he's free and you're pointedly not staring, I'm assuming you kissed him and he got mad at you." Rose guessed the next day in Potions. Today's class was only an hour, so they weren't doing any heavily demanding potions; instead they were doing class work, which Al could actually do without her.
"He didn't get mad." Al said, before realizing that he'd admitted to kissing Scorpius.
"How was it?" Rose asked, instantly interested and forgetting to pay attention to the professor.
"I thought you liked having good grades?" Al tried to distract her with school.
"I've read ahead, I already know this chapter. Distracting me won't work. Tell me Al. How was it?"
"For someone who refused to do it themselves, you're oddly interested." Al evaded the question again.
"Al." Rose said warningly, her eyes flashing dangerously. Al knew that tone, he had to answer or risk castration.
"He was having a panic attack, so I kissed him so I could free him of the spell and take him to the Hospital Wing. He was fine after that." Al answered.
"Really? A panic attack?" Al nodded. "I've never known anyone to have them. How'd you know it was a panic attack?"
"He told me afterwards. I'd never even heard of them before."
"Oh, well they're apparently not that uncommon." Rose shrugged. "And you still haven't answered the question, don't think I didn't notice."
Al groaned softly. "It was…" Al paused. 'How was it?' he asked himself. He'd gotten so distracted and concerned with Scorpius' panic attack that he hadn't spared a thought to the kiss. Then he'd gotten distracted with school, and family, and Fred and Roxi having a big fight that he hadn't dwelt on it at all. Now that he was confronted with the question, Al's memory replayed the event for him. He'd went in with the sole intention of helping the blonde, but then he'd kissed him again. That second kiss, it was completely unnecessary, and yet, he'd done it. 'Why?'
"Earth to Al, you just zoned off." Rose said, risking snapping her fingers in front of Al's face. Al looked at her startled. "So that good huh?" Rose asked.
"What?" Al was confused for a moment before he remembered what they'd been talking about. His face and ears turned red. "It wasn't…" but he had no way to finish that sentence, so he just looked down at his pen.
"Shut up. I don't want to talk about it."
"Alright." Rose agreed. Al snuck a glance at her, shocked by her acquiescence. He saw her picking up her quill and turning her attention back to the professor. Within seconds she was scribbling furiously, as per usual.
'Why did I kiss him again?' Al asked himself. 'There was no reason to, I'd done what I intended. I freed him. So, why? I don't understand.' Al propped his head on his hand. He thought back to the kiss, replayed it in his head. Scorpius hadn't kissed him back, hadn't even really acknowledged his actions. It had all been him, Al realized. He was entirely responsible for what happened. Without conscious thought Al's eyes found Scorpius. He was seated in his usual spot, quill in hand. He wrote quickly, but not like Rose. Al always thought that his writing would be neat, easy to read, efficient. His eyes flickered from the board, to the professor, to his notes.
His eyes. His beautiful silver eyes. Al had never known before that eyes could be silver, but his were. Al was suddenly hit with the desire to see them again, like he had the day before, up close. It really was such a shame that Scorpius was so shy. 'I bet if he looked up more he could mesmerize people with those eyes. Wait, did I really just think something so girly? Oh, Merlin's pants, I did. And I don't even think I'm wrong, I still think he could.'
Shaking his head a little to help him change his thoughts Al noticed a lock of hair fall out of place. Scorpius ignored it, or maybe he didn't notice it. Either way, Al felt the strange desire to fix it. He wondered if Scorpius' hair would be soft or coarse. It looked soft, like he almost wouldn't feel it if he touched it. 'Except why am I thinking about touching Scorpius Malfoy's hair? I've never thought about that before. I've always just thought it looked nice, that it was such a pretty colour and the way he runs his fingers through it constantly make it look nice and messy without him trying for that effect. I never had these thoughts about him. What's happened? Did that kiss really make this type of difference?'
Except Al didn't get a chance to think on it further, because Rose was pulling his arm and telling him it was time to go. Al gave Scorpius one last look before the blonde ran out of the room, looking up as he went.
Albus Potter had been staring at him in Potions, and Scorpius didn't know what to make of that. He wasn't sure what had made him look up today, but something told him he was being watched and he'd looked behind quickly and saw Albus Potter staring. He'd glanced back a few times and his suspicion was confirmed.
Normally he wouldn't have made that much of the odd sixth sense that told him he was being watched, it was something he was very used too. As soon as he'd entered Hogwarts he'd been stared at, by children of devout former Death Eaters, by children of devout former Order of the Phoenix members, by children of devout citizens from twenty years prior. The list went on and on. He'd learned to build up a type of tolerance to the irritating and nerve racking feeling, but today it was different. Today the odd sixth sense made nervous butterflies of an entirely different nature explode in his stomach. He had no explanation for the feeling, just that it wasn't entirely unpleasant.
"Ignore it." Scorpius ordered himself. "You have to finish this Charms essay before class in an hour." Scorpius reloaded his quill and read the last sentence he'd written. 'Why was he staring though? Is it because of yesterday? Did he regret saving me? Or was he freaked out by my panic attack? Or…no, bad, I have to do this!' After ten minutes of struggling to read what he'd last written Scorpius wanted to give up. The essay wasn't his best work, and it was lacking a conclusion, but it wouldn't kill his grade to hand it in as it was. Still, he didn't want to think about yesterday or today, it made him uncomfortable, so he trucked on.
"Al!" Someone yelled much too loudly for the Library. "There you are." The voice was much too loud still. Scorpius looked up and saw it belonged to Lily Potter. He looked where she was going and saw Albus Potter sitting at a table ten feet away situated behind a pile of books that belonged to the red headed Rose Weasley beside him. "Thank Merlin, I've been looking all over for you, Mum,"
"Lily, quiet before we're kicked out." Rose Weasley snapped. Lily Potter glared a little before seating herself at the table, back to Scorpius. When she spoke again he didn't hear her. He watched as her hands whipped about, animating the words he couldn't hear her saying. When she pointed to Albus Scorpius followed the point and instantly forgot Lily Potter. Albus was smiling. Scorpius had never seen that before, not that he'd ever exactly paid attention before though.
'He's handsome.' Scorpius found himself thinking. 'How did I not notice yesterday how handsome he is?' He didn't have an answer for his own question. Albus smiled again and Scorpius' heart jumped slightly in his chest. The smile lit up the other boy's face like nothing Scorpius had ever seen before. He wasn't used to smiling people, only his mother ever really smiled around him, and she didn't smile often. He'd never known before that a grin could make someone look like Albus Potter looked just then. When he laughed Scorpius had to force himself not to let his jaw drop. 'Beautiful.' Scorpius thought, shocked, blood rushing to his face as he continued to watch the beautiful boy.
Lily getting up and leaving the table barely registered on Scorpius' radar. He was lost in a mushy, pleasant feeling that didn't leave much room for observing things that weren't Albus Potter. 'He's got such pretty eyes.' He struggled to remember what they'd looked like up close yesterday, but he couldn't call the memory to himself. Albus propped his head on his palm and Scorpius was drawn to his hands. They were thin, long fingered, and tanned even in December, like the rest of Albus. 'He goes out in the sun a lot. Does he play Quidditch a lot then?' He's on the Gryffindor Quidditch team Scorpius remembered. 'Have I ever seen him play?' Crowds made Scorpius uncomfortable, so he tended not to go to games often, and he only ever went to Slytherin ones when he did attend. Still, he must have seen the other boy play. Then he remembered, in his fifth year he'd gone to the Slytherin Gryffindor game. He'd huddled in the corner of a stand, attempting to ignore his obnoxious classmates that were also in the stand. He hadn't really noticed Albus Potter that day, but he did remember that Gryffindor had won when he'd caught the snitch in an impressive rolling dive right out from under the Slytherin Seekers nose. Suffice it to say the Slytherins were not happy that night.
Beautiful green eyes locked on him, startling Scorpius. He felt frozen by that gaze. He'd been caught, and that terrified him. He took a shuttering breath and felt a stirring of panic. Quickly he looked down and started the breathing exercises the healers had taught him. 'Does this really work?' Scorpius asked himself for the millionth time. His father had refused to allow the healers to try any medication and going to school didn't leave him much time for therapy sessions.
Feeling eyes on him Scorpius glanced up. Albus Potter was still looking at him. Quickly Scorpius looked at his quill, noting the dry and cracked ink on its point. He'd have to recut it. 'Okay, just breathe and pack up your stuff. Then leave so you're not late to Charms.' Scorpius ordered himself, trying desperately to ignore the eyes on him and his own shaking hands.
Rolling his parchment was difficult and took him a lot longer than it should have. When he went to cap his ink pot he ended up knocking it over. Scorpius just stared as the ink spread across the table, heading for the essay he'd so poorly rolled and staining his quill.
"Let me help?" Albus Potter said. Scorpius looked up at him in shock. He hadn't noticed the other boy moving at all. "I'll take that as a yes." Scorpius watched dumbly as Albus pulled out his wand and sent the ink back into the pot and stoppered it. Then he unrolled and efficiently rerolled Scorpius' essay. He picked up the white feather quill that was now stained with black ink. "I can't really do anything about this one; I'm pants at cleaning spells." Albus said, holding it out to him. Scorpius took it instinctively. Then Albus put the essay and ink pot in Scorpius' open bag, closed it, and picked up. He held it out to Scorpius who took it silently. "There you go." He smiled, Scorpius' heart flipped.
"You're taller than I thought." Scorpius said dumbly and without his normal mental filter. Those green eyes were looking at him and he couldn't think.
"Er, thank you I guess." Albus said with a chuckle, which sent butterflies to fluttering madly in Scorpius' stomach.
The intensity of the feeling broke him from his mood; he looked down quickly, away from those eyes, and mumbled a thank you before backing away quickly. He was out the door quicker than he ever had been before.
He was twenty minutes early to Charms and he took that time to try calming himself down.
Scorpius Malfoy could mesmerize people with his eyes. Al was living proof of that. When Rose had pointed out that Scorpius was staring at him he'd looked instantly. She'd been right. He'd watched as the blonde quickly looked away and started to shake. Al was instantly reminded of the panic attack he'd had and concern flooded him. When Scorpius looked up again there was a noticeable panic in his expression. Albus was up and over to him without thought. When he reached the table he saw Scorpius staring at the ink he'd spilled.
Having much practice packing up other people's things, Al set to work, not bothering to truly wait for permission. When he'd given over Scorpius' things he'd been hit with those silver eyes. He'd felt his heart stop, then speed up rapidly. Al didn't even really remember what Scorpius had said that made him laugh, just that it had made the other boy look away, which was completely unacceptable. That Scorpius had then run away so quickly Al couldn't talk to him at all was also completely unacceptable. He wanted to talk to him again, to look at those eyes again. 'He's so shy. It's cute, even if it does mean he doesn't look at me much.'
"So, you excited about spending Christmas here?" Rose asked him, pulling him out of his thoughts of Scorpius.
"Yeah." Al answered. He was actually. The castle would be mostly empty so he would be able to sneak about it easier, and, most importantly, he wouldn't have to visit the Dursleys. No one liked those visits, not even his father, and he was the one that made them go. The Dursleys, while not the most hateful muggles Al had ever come across, were not very pleasant. Dudley always seemed slightly scared that Al or his siblings would curse him, especially Al for some reason. When Al had asked his father why they even went he told him it was because they got invited, which seemed like a stupid reason to Al. So he'd pestered his father for the real reason, and Harry had told him it was a long and complicated story that he'd tell him when he was older, which immediately meant it was about Harry's childhood.
"You don't have to see the Dursleys." Rose said, correctly guessing Al's line of thought. Rose sighed. "Isn't it nice that you're parents are going to Venice? I'd love to go there one day; it's so romantic and gorgeous. Not to mention hot."
"It is nice they're getting a vacation. Mum and Dad never go anywhere together." Al agreed. "Though I don't know about romantic, Dad's rubbish at that. I remember this one time, on their anniversary, he was late coming home because of work. He brought her chocolates to apologize, but they were squished and had this stain on the box that I'm sure was blood. She was so mad at him. For a week he brought home flowers until she just yelled at him to get them out because they were attracting gnomes."
"I remember that, Aunt Ginny told my Mum that she loved those flowers." Rose told him. "She just wanted him to suffer a bit before she forgave him."
"Oh." Al hadn't known that. "Why are girls crazy?"
"We are not." Rose protested.
"You are, I don't understand why she wouldn't just forgive him if she liked the flowers." Al shook his head. "It's things like this that make me think I should just be all gay."
"And deprive all those crazy girls out there a chance with you?" Rose laughed. "I think not. Although, they already have to get in line don't they? Scorpius Malfoy has first dibs on my little cousin."
"Rose!" Al protested, blushing. He looked away from his cousin, hoping she wouldn't see it.
"Holy…" Rose stated, flabbergasted. Al looked back over at her face, surprised by her tone. "You really do like him now don't you?" She asked, Al's blush deepened and he looked away again. He could protest, but she wouldn't believe him. He wasn't sure he'd believe him. "When did that happen, Al?"
Al didn't answer her question; instead he said "Venice is really hot isn't it?"
"Al, don't change the subject. Now, I might have been making fun of you about this for years, but it's never been true before. What changed? Was it because of the Mistletoe? Did you turn into one of those novels where snogging him made you realize you're in love with him?"
"What kind of novels do you read?" Al asked. "And I'm not in love with him. I barely even know him; I can't be in love with someone I don't know."
"True, but you do like him now. That's obvious."
"How is it obvious? And I don't like him." Al tried, but it felt false on his tongue.
"It's obvious because I know you so well, Al. I've known you since you were born, you can't hide anything from me." Rose said, ignoring his ineffectual protest. "So spill, what happened?"
Al's blush progressed to the full Weasley blush, reaching to his ears and all the way down his chest. "I, er," Al stammered. "He's got beautiful eyes." Al admitted. "They're silver, like, actually silver. And he's very shy and that's cute. And his hair is such a pretty colour and it looks so soft, I want to touch it. And he is very pretty, he's so small and shy and cute." Al said, much more than he'd intended. "And when I kissed him, I, er, I did it twice."
"Twice?" Rose asked surprised. "Why'd you do that?"
"I don't know. I didn't think about it at the time, I just did. Then he fainted and I didn't even think about it again until you asked me about it the next day. I was just concerned with getting him to the Hospital Wing. Well, and getting him away from the Mistletoe, he'd been looking for an escape from him. After it was deactivated I summoned it and put it in my pocket."
"Aren't you a knight in shining armor?" Rose teased. "You definitely like him."
"Shut up." Al mumbled.
"You should talk to him. He was staring at you the other day, maybe he likes you too."
"He was probably only staring because of what happened." Al said, feeling disappointment.
"You'll never know unless you try."
"Rose, stay out of it." Al glared.
"Alright, alright. I will." She promised. "But you like him, definitely?"
"Rose." Al warned.
"Alright, shutting up now."
For the next week Rose watched, silently, as Al and Scorpius Malfoy stared at each other. They never seemed to catch the other one doing it, but she did. Al was much more practiced at staring, so it was easy to spot his system. She knew all his tells.
Scorpius Malfoy, however, was harder. The boy was unquestionably shy, and rarely looked at anything that wasn't his school work. He was a wallflower. Rose didn't once see him talk to someone, not even a teacher. She wondered if he ever forgot what his voice sounded like. He kept thoroughly to himself, except when he was staring at her cousin. As the week progressed he did this more and more. His eyes, which looked gray to her, seemed to always be finding Al when they were in the same room. He'd stare at Al with changing emotions, from confusion, to happiness, to a kind of panic. Whenever he looked panicked he'd always look down and start breathing oddly. She wondered if it had anything to do with the panic attack Al had said he had.
By the time a week had passed Rose was sure he liked Al. She was also sure that Al liked him. She just didn't know a way to get them to talk to each other. Al refused to talk about it with her, and she didn't know Scorpius. 'Hey, but maybe I should. I could talk to him.' Rose thought suddenly.
The next day Rose waited in the library after dinner, she normally did this, and this week she'd noticed that Scorpius did too. After he'd been sitting for half an hour, long enough to get comfortable, Rose got up to make her move. She felt a bit nervous, but this was for Al. She'd decided that before she did anything else, if she did anything else, she amended to herself, she really should talk to Scorpius and find out completely if she was right in her thinking.
"Hello. Scorpius Malfoy, right?" Rose asked, even though she knew very well. She sat across from him as he jumped, his gaze flicking up to her. "I'm Rose Weasley, I" She stopped short, startled by his eyes. They were silver. She instantly saw why Al liked them so much. He lowered his gaze, his shyness taking over. Rose shook her head a bit to clear it. "Anyway, I'm Rose, like I said. My cousin Al told me about you." She started and instantly regretted it, all the spare colour in his face drained. "I'm sorry; I don't mean to embarrass you."
"Don't worry about it." he mumbled.
Rose bit her lip. This wasn't going to be easy. She hadn't thought this through enough. "Alright, I'm really sorry about this, but I do need to know the answer to this question. I'm really sorry that it'll probably embarrass you. Do you like Al?" Rose asked, deciding to just try the blunt approach.
Scorpius stared at her with huge silver eyes, and Rose felt her breath leave her. His eyes were really pretty. "What?" he sputtered.
Rose blinked, using the motion to clear her head. When she looked at him again, his eyes weren't so strong. "Do you like Al?" She asked again. "I've been watching you two stare at each other for the past week or so. It's all really cute if I'm right."
"He's been staring at me?" Scorpius asked, shock still in his voice. Rose wondered how long before that wore off and he closed up again.
"You've been doing it too. Do you like him?" Rose asked, not willing to give too much of her cousin up in case she was wrong.
"I…" Scorpius sputtered and looked down, retreating. His blush spoke volumes though.
"Thank you Scorpius, you've answered my question. I'm sorry I embarrassed you." Rose apologized again and stood. "I'll leave you alone now." She announced so he'd know she was leaving. Then she went back to her table and packed up her stuff. It would probably be easier for him if he didn't see her at all, and Rose couldn't help but take pity on him. She gave him a last glance before she left and saw that he was still staring at his quill on the table, not having moved at all.
Yeah, she was definitely going to have to help. And she thought she knew just how to do it.
Rose had her plotting face on, whenever that happened Al knew someone was in for it. He just didn't know who this time, and she refused to tell him. She refused to even admit she was plotting, which made his nerves quake. This was going to be something big. He just wished he knew what that something was, because whatever it was, it was going to have to happen soon. It was just a week until Christmas break started, and she was going home.
Al's train of thought was lost the next moment as Scorpius walked into the Library. Al's eyes were instantly drawn to him. He was pink and bundled up, like he just came in from outside. The green and silver scarf wrapped around his neck brought out the silver nature of his eyes even from a distance and Al was entranced. He watched intently as Scorpius went to a table in the corner and put his bag down. He began to pull things out of it, an essay perhaps. He neatly set up his work space, like he always did. Al suspected he did it so he could assert some control over things. When he began to take the scarf off Al made a soft protesting noise without noticing what he'd done. However, the view it gave him of Scorpius' neck made up for the loss. Al suddenly wanted to get closer, to touch his neck and slide his hands into his hair and see if it really was as soft as it looked. Then he'd look into his silver eyes and have his breath stolen away. So he'd kiss him to try and get it back and he'd taste good and Scorpius would kiss him back and put his hands on Al's shoulders to hold him down. Then Al would run his hands up and down Scorpius' thin back before pulling back to look into his eyes. He'd stare at them until he couldn't resist kissing him again and again and "Stop!" Al snapped at himself, perhaps a bit too loudly for the Library, not that he noticed this.
Scorpius jumped at Al's voice, looking up and over to him. Al got caught in his gaze and blanked on the reason he was so angry with himself. When Scorpius looked away, red colouring his face deeper than the cold had, Al got out of his seat without thinking. He was over to Scorpius' table before he realized he'd moved at all. "Er, hi." Al said lamely, standing next to the table. Scorpius' took a quick glance at him before mumbling his own greeting. "Could I sit with you?" Al asked, empowered by the brief glance. Scorpius nodded. "Thanks." Al took his seat.
Scorpius' mind was blank, completely blank. Albus was sitting across from him, looking at his quill. Scorpius flicked his eyes up to look at him, reminding himself not to stare. Ever since Rose Weasley had talked to him three days ago he'd been trying not to look at Albus so much, it was a losing battle.
"So, you working on an essay?" Albus asked.
"Yes." Scorpius mumbled.
"Defense Against the Dark Arts." He answered.
"Oh, werewolves. That one was easy for me, I just asked Teddy." Albus chuckled, which instantly made Scorpius look up at him. Albus was making a face, and he cut his chuckle short. Scorpius was hit with the desire to make him laugh; he really liked it when Albus laughed. Scorpius just had no idea how to do that. "Sorry, er, Teddy is a cousin. He knows all about werewolves." Albus explained.
"Oh." Scorpius said.
"Do you want any help with it?" Albus asked. "I mean… I mean I know you're probably able to do really well without any help at all, but would you like some help?" Albus clarified.
"Why do you keep wanting to help me?" Scorpius asked before he could stop himself, looking up at Albus to see his reaction.
"Do you not want me too?" Albus asked, his expression unreadable.
"No!" Scorpius squeaked and reached out his hands before his mind caught up with his body and he pulled them back quickly and looked down, completely embarrassed.
Albus didn't say anything for a while, and Scorpius was too embarrassed to look up and see his face, even though he really wanted too. "Lycanthropy is hereditary, to an extent." Albus said out of the blue. Scorpius looked up to see him reading over his essay. "Children of werewolves aren't full lycans themselves, so long as both parents aren't werewolves. My cousin's looked into it a lot." Albus explained his eyes meeting Scorpius'. "It hasn't made it into our textbooks yet though. The Ministry hasn't finished the study."
Despite his discomfort, Scorpius' interest was piqued. "How did your cousin find that out?"
"He's a half-lycan himself." Albus answered. "His father was a werewolf."
"How'd he come to be then? Most people don't even want to live in the same town as werewolves, let alone procreate with them."
"Nymphadora Tonks-Lupin wasn't most people." Albus smiled, making Scorpius' heart flip. "She loved and married Teddy's father."
"It's alright. A lot of people ask that question when they find out about him. Actually, it's because of him that we're getting to know about this now. Until him, half-lycans weren't even known to exist. He's not the first, not by far, but he's the first famous one. He kind of couldn't help it, my Dad's his godfather. When Teddy's real dad died mine sort of took over a bit." Albus explained.
"His real father died?" Scorpius questioned. It was easier to talk to him if he didn't look directly at him, and Scorpius was interested in this, he actually wanted to hear about it.
"Yeah, in the war." Albus said somberly, Scorpius glanced at him to check before looking down again. "But that's a bit depressing. Anyway, your essay. It's really good. Better than Rose's would be if we didn't know Teddy. I think so anyway, she'd probably disagree, but she's just full of herself." Albus started to laugh but cut it off again. Scorpius felt his heart sink. He really wanted him to laugh.
'And how am I supposed to make him laugh. He obviously doesn't want too and I'm not in any way funny. I don't know how to make someone laugh. I don't even know how to make me laugh!' Scorpius scolded himself. "Thank you."
"I won't bite you know." Albus said. "You can look at me."
"Oh, I know I can." Scorpius snapped his eyes up to Albus and felt them widen in shock.
"Then why don't you?" Albus asked, staring straight into his eyes and not letting him look away. The green of Albus' eyes was better than any other green he'd ever seen. It was close to the Slytherin colour, which Scorpius would never look at the same ever again.
"I…" Scorpius trailed off, not knowing what to say. The way Albus was looking at him made those nervous butterflies he'd been feeling lately explode a thousand times more strongly than they ever had before. He suddenly wished more than ever that he remembered what happened with the Mistletoe. Something like that would never happen to him again.
"You…" Albus prompted, still staring intently into his eyes.
Scorpius just stared, unable to think of a single thing to say. He was just caught in the gaze of emerald eyes and he didn't want or know how to get himself uncaught.
A soft "Aw" shocked Scorpius, making him jump and unlocking him from Albus' stare. It also made him aware of a slight, swirling pressure on his left hand. He jerked his hand to himself instantly, freaked out. He looked and saw that Albus' hand was on the table halfway between them. 'Had he been touching me?' Scorpius wondered before he remembered the noise that had shocked him awake. He glanced and saw Rose Weasley.
"Oh." She whined. "I didn't mean to make you stop."
"Rose." Albus said, sounding dazed.
Feeling the heat rising in his face Scorpius took the opportunity to snatch his essay back from Albus' side of the table and roll it as quickly as possible, not caring at all that he did it poorly. He grabbed his ink pot and quill and stuffed them in his bag along with the essay. He stood up quickly to leave, feeling the need to escape and rising panic. "Wait!" Albus called but he was already walking away. "Scorpius!"
A hand grabbed his arm and spun him around. "Wait." Albus breathed. "I, er…" Scorpius felt his breathing quicken and sweat break out all over his body. 'No, I cannot have a panic attack.' Scorpius ordered himself. "I'm sorry." Albus said and let him go. Scorpius didn't think, he just backed up and left, not even bothering to try and resist running.
Once he was in a corridor far away from the Library Scorpius slowed down and nearly collapsed, his breathing coming in short gasps."Breathe." He ordered himself, bracing himself against the cold stone wall. Heat was beginning to flash through him and that was bad. "No." he collapsed to the floor and curled up, holding his knees.
He concentrated on breathing and tried to imagine peaceful things. "Just breathe." Slowly the heat receded and his heart slowed. "Okay, that was not a panic attack. I'm never able to breathe myself out of one once it really starts. That was just me freaking out some." Scorpius told himself. "Okay."
"Young man, you look ghastly. Perhaps you should go to the Hospital Wing." A portrait across the corridor from him said. Scorpius looked up at the portrait. "Yes, definitely you should."
Scorpius just nodded and forced himself to stand up. He felt his bones pop. 'How long was I sitting like that? Maybe I should go.' He got his bag off the ground and felt his back crack in several loud pops down his back. When he stood up he twisted the other way to even out the feeling in his back. His stomach grumbled. "Yeah, Hospital Wing." He mumbled to himself and set off.
Madame Pompfry was very pleased that he'd come to her. She gave him some pepper up potion to help return some of the energy he'd expended and went to get some food for him. Scorpius settled in the bed she'd made him sit on and let himself feel sad. He didn't cry this time, which made him feel a little better.
"How have you been doing dearie? This is the second time you've come to me in two weeks." Madame Pompfry asked, coming to sit beside his bed.
"I didn't have a full one this time." Scorpius offered. "I'm just tired."
"Where did it happen this time?" She asked him.
"Oh, and you love the Library. I need you to go in there and spend an hour after this. You can't let yourself fear it."
"I know." Scorpius answered, looking at his hands. "I spent two hours outside the Potions classroom after the last one. It took me almost that long to go down there, but I did it. I've been standing out there for ten minutes before every class since."
"That's a good boy. And how has that been going?"
"I don't get shaky anymore." Scorpius answered.
"That really is good. The way you're going you might actually get this under control much sooner than I'd have thought." Madame Pompfry complimented him.
"I thought you said it wasn't something I could completely control."
"It depends for each person. I have faith in you Scorpius." Madame Pompfry told him. "You didn't come in for two months before last week. I think that's improvement."
"I could have had one without you knowing." Scorpius pointed out.
"I asked the portraits, they say you haven't."
"You got the portraits to spy on me?"
"No, I asked them if they'd seen you. You'd been gone for a while and I was curious." Madame Pompfry explained. "They don't watch you anymore than any other student.
"Okay." Scorpius said, relaxing muscles he hadn't realized were tense.
"Anyway, like I was saying. I think you might be able to get a good handle on this. You already do for the most part. You're very good about this."
A knock at the door prevented anything Scorpius might have said from coming out of his mouth. A houseelf was let in carrying a tray of food. "For Master Malfoy." She said with a little bow.
"Thank you, Dippy." Madame Pompfry said and took the tray. "Eat up Scorpius." She said putting the tray on his lap. Scorpius just nodded and looked at the plate, vegetable lasagna and green beans, strawberries and a banana. There was milk in the glass and decaffeinated tea in a little mug.
"No meat?" he asked hopefully, to which Madame Pompfry just raised her eyebrows.
"You better not be eating unhealthily." She said.
"No, I eat more vegetables than a rabbit." Scorpius sighed.
"I'm a fruit bat."
"That's what I want to hear." She nodded and went to her little office in the back.
"I hate fruit." Scorpius mumbled to himself and glared evilly at the strawberries.
Rose decided it was now or never with her plan. They were ready. After what she'd seen in the Library Rose was more convinced than ever. Now, the only problem she had was how to get Scorpius to comply. Oddly, this problem worked itself out the next day without any effort by Rose at all. After dinner Scorpius walked into the Library as he usually did. But instead of pulling anything out of his bag he just sat and stared at his table, breathing.
Curious Rose went over to him. "Hi." She said. "Remember me?" Scorpius looked up at her with his pretty eyes and nodded. Then he went back to looking at the table. "Might I ask what you're doing?"
"I'm trying not to be afraid of the Library." Scorpius answered softly.
"Why would you be…oh, does this have anything to do with your panic attacks?" Scorpius nodded. "They make you afraid of where they happened?"
"Sometimes." Scorpius mumbled. "The fear that it'll happen again if I do the same things I was doing is something I have to overcome."
"Oh. So sitting in the Library helps?" Again Scorpius nodded. An idea came to Rose. "Do you want to come later tonight? When there are less people in here. I'm a Prefect, I could arrange that for you easily."
Scorpius looked up at her for a few seconds before looking down again. "Do all Gryffindors like to help so much, or just your family?" he asked quietly, probably more to himself.
"Just my family I think, and not all of us either." Rose answered him even if he wasn't looking for one. "So is that a yes?"
"How would you do that?" Scorpius asked.
"Well, I'm a Prefect."Rose told him. 'And I'm part of my family.' She added silently. "It's something I can do. So are you accepting my offer?"
Scorpius looked down, which wasn't much of a surprise, but for once he didn't look like he was trying to avoid eye contact. Instead he looked like he was thinking. After several minutes of deliberation he looked up and nodded.
"Perfect." Rose said with a smile. "Come back around nine, I'll have everything worked out." With that she stood up and left him. "Now I have to get Al here." She murmured to herself.
"Rose, why do I have to go to the Library with you at nine at night?" Al asked again. "It's almost curfew and we have to patrol soon."
"Just trust me. It's important." Rose said, tired of giving more clever answers. Al was suspicious of her to no end. This was not that far out of character for her, but something about it made Al's skin itch. Al's radar went off even more strongly when, halfway there, Rose told him she'd forgotten her bag and asked him to go back and look for it.
"It's a five minute walk back, then another ten to the library!" Al pointed out, frustrated.
"Please Al, just go get it. I never ask you to do anything for me." She pouted. Damn it, she knew he couldn't help but obey the pout. Pouting always worked on him, which annoyed him greatly. "Please." She added, tugging lightly on his sleeve in a childish way that made Al sigh.
"Fine." Al grumbled and turned around.
"Don't forget to come back quick!" She called after him. "I'll meet you there."
Yeah, she was plotting something. 'Might as well get it over with.' Al thought dejectedly to himself and picked up his pace. He couldn't go up to her room so he really hoped her bag was just in the common room. Five minutes later he had his answer. It was in her room.
Luckily Lily was about and went to go get it for him. "Thanks, Lily."
"She pouted right?" Lily giggled as she handed over the bag.
"Shut up." Al growled and yanked it out of his sister's hands. Then he stalked out of the portrait hole and proceeded to grumble to himself all the way to the Library. By the time he got there he was not in a good mood. "Rose!" He said, not caring that he was too loud. "I got your damn bag."
"Jeez Al, couldn't you be a little quieter?" She asked from behind him. Al spun around fully intending to bite her head off, but his steam immediately dissipated when he saw who she was standing with.
"Scorpius." Al squeaked, then coughed in an attempt to make his voice not sound like a girls. "I mean, hi." he said.
Scorpius was staring at him and Al felt a piece of himself freeze. "Hi." Scorpius said, sounding like he had to choke that single word out.
"Aw, isn't this sweet?" Rose said quietly to herself. "Now boys, you're probably both wondering what's going on now, that is if you can spare little ole me a brain cell. Well, I'll tell you." Rose began. Al heard her but he couldn't look away from Scorpius' silver eyes. "What's happening is, oh wait, prolly shouldn't do this right in the middle of everything. C'mon boys, don't make me drag you 'cause I will." When neither of them did anything Rose did indeed grab each other their arms. "I told you I would." She said when Al tried to pull his arm free. A sharp intake of breath made Al look over at Scorpius again, and he was once again captivated. Al hardly noticed when Rose stopped them and released their arms. "As I was saying. What's happening is this: you two like each other. Al's too stubborn to admit it and Scorpius, honey, you're too shy. It's adorable. Anyway, since you both need a little helping hand, here it is."
Al was reeling from what Rose said, but he still remembered enough about his cousin to know he had to look at what she pulled out of her pocket. Al's blood ran cold when he saw the small, green, offensive sprig of Mistletoe in her hands. The three red berries and crinkled leaves told him that it was the Mistletoe he'd put in his pocket that day he'd saved Scorpius.
"Here you go." Rose said and quickly magicked the mistletoe above their heads.
"Rose!" Al yelled and attempted to jump at her. He was, however, thrown back by the magic of the plant. "I'm going to kill you!" Al promised.
"I know. Have fun boys." Rose said with a wink and scurried away.
"You better run!" Al called after her angrily.
"I'm sorry." Scorpius' nervous voice distracted Al from his anger at his stupid, meddling cousin.
"What are you sorry for?' Al asked, perhaps a bit too much residual anger left in his tone. He saw Scorpius flinch. "I mean, it's not your fault she's demented. She does things without thinking sometimes, when she wants to help. She's just mad without any idea what she's talking about."
"Oh." Scorpius said quietly, looking at his shoes. Al instantly regretted his words, he'd hurt the other boy's feelings somehow. 'But what did I say?' Al asked himself. Al couldn't answer his own question.
"So, we're stuck under this thing again." Al said eventually, tired of trying to come up with something. Scorpius nodded, turning red.
"Er…" Albus started, but then he stopped. Scorpius desperately wanted to look up at him, but he was afraid too. 'He said she was lying. He really doesn't like me at all.' Despite the circumstances behind it, when Rose had said Albus liked him, Scorpius' hope had picked up. He hadn't even known he harbored the hope that was now being crushed painfully in his chest. 'Definitely gay then.' Scorpius thought to himself and couldn't help but snort out loud at his own thought. 'Great I finally found something I think is funny and it's my sexuality.'
"What's funny?" Albus asked. Scorpius' mind blanked as he tried to think of something. He didn't come up with anything. "Well?" Albus asked, a slight smile on his face.
"I'm gay." Scorpius blurted out, unable to stop himself. 'I do that a lot around him don't I?'
"Oh." Albus' eyebrows rose. "Er, how is that funny?"
"It's not." Scorpius said, turning his attention to a book behind Albus' head. The blush he hadn't stopped wearing since spotting the Mistletoe deepened.
"Oh." Albus said. They were silent again. Scorpius usually liked silent, but around Albus it never felt comfortable, and it made it feel like ants were crawling all over his skin. "Scorpius, what's wrong?" Albus asked. "I mean, I know we're stuck under here again, but did I say something that upset you or something?"
"Er," Scorpius started, feeling tears spring to his eyes all of a sudden. So Albus knew something was wrong with him? "I…" Scorpius tried again, then quickly shut his mouth as a tear threatened to escape. 'He cannot see me cry!'
"Scorpius?" Albus asked, taking a step closer and reaching out a hand to him. Scorpius jerked away instinctively. Albus' expression saddened. "I'm sorry, but I don't bite you know." He said and looked away.
"Don't be sad." Scorpius said, even as a tear fell from his own eye. "Please."
"You're crying." Albus ignored his words in favor of reaching a hand up to his left eye and wiping the moisture away. For the first time in his life Scorpius' breath didn't falter because of a panic attack. He stood shock still as Albus' hand lingered on his face. "I like it when you look at me." Albus whispered in a voice so low Scorpius wasn't sure if he'd meant to be heard.
"Albus." Scorpius whispered, saying his name for the first time out loud.
"Al." Albus corrected immediately. "Call me Al."
"Oh." Scorpius said. Albus', Al's hand was still on his face and Scorpius couldn't think. "Al." He said dumbly, eager to please the other boy.
It earned him a kiss. Al's lips were on his immediately, warm and surprising. Scorpius gasped, his mouth opening slightly. Al moved his lips and Scorpius' eyes slid closed. 'I might fall down after this.' Scorpius thought giddily as he tried moving his lips like Al had.
Al groaned and Scorpius' thoughts left him entirely. He repeated what he had just done, eager to make Al make that noise again. It didn't work as well the second time, but Al seemed to know what to do. His tongue swiped across Scorpius' bottom lip and Scorpius opened his mouth wider in shock. Al took this as an invitation and gently pushed his tongue into Scorpius' mouth.
Scorpius had always thought this would be kind of gross if he ever got to do it, but Al instantly changed his mind. This felt good. And he wanted more of it. Tentatively Scorpius touched his tongue to Al's. Al groaned again, increasing the pressure of the kiss. The hand on Scorpius' face worked its way into his hair and Al's other hand found a home on his lower back. With this hand Scorpius was pulled closer.
Scorpius ran out of breath and pulled away to suck in some air. Al didn't seem to require this, as he immediately went for Scorpius' neck. Shocked by the sensation it took a few moments for Scorpius to tilt his head to the side. With his lips unoccupied Scorpius noticed where his own hands had migrated. They clutched Al's shoulders, like he was afraid the other would disappear without being held down.
A sharp, slightly painful sensation made Scorpius gasp loudly and clutch Al's shoulders tighter. The sensation happened again, and Scorpius' foggy brain told him he was being bitten lightly. 'I thought he didn't bite?' "Al." Scorpius said, instantly finding his lips occupied once more.
This time it wasn't the exploratory snog of the first time, but a more heated kiss that something in Scorpius knew exactly how to respond too. He moved his hands to Al's neck and pulled the other boy down more to his own, shorter, height. Al responded by pulling Scorpius flush against him and pushing his tongue into Scorpius' mouth. Scorpius' grip tightened as he pulled Al closer still.
"I left you to snog, not shag." Rose said loudly, surprising them both. Scorpius tried to jump back but Al held him tight. "When I said 'have fun' I didn't mean that much fun."
"Go away Rose." Al ordered his cousin.
"I'm really sorry to break up the love fess, but we have prefect duties, he's breaking curfew, and you would actually need to relocate anyway." Rose pointed out. "How about you walk him to his dormitory? That eliminates all three of those little pesky problems."
"She's right." Scorpius said, wanting desperately to get away. "I am breaking curfew, I should go. You don't have to walk me anywhere."
"Scorpius." Albus said, finally letting him go and taking a step back.
"Oh, please don't start that!" Rose sighed exasperatedly. "He wants you to walk him back Al, and he wants to walk you back Scor. Don't ruin what you started." She had her hands on her hips and looked very like Molly Weasley. "Oh, and you don't need that anymore do you?" She grinned evilly and pointed to the Mistletoe. "Why don't we leave it there though. That might be fun. Look what section you're in."
Scorpius looked at the little brass plate on the closest bookshelf. "Ske-Sna Potions." Scorpius read out to himself.
"I don't get it." Albus said.
"Our text book is written by Smithton. Do you know how many people use the Library's copy?" Albus shook his head. "A lot. Anyway, go walk each other places. Then, Al, I expect you to get to work. Bye boys." Rose twiddled her fingers at them and disappeared behind a shelf.
"You really don't have to walk me anywhere." Scorpius said immediately.
"I want to." Albus said and put a hand on Scorpius' face, whose breath caught in his throat. Scorpius averted his eyes. "Look at me." Scorpius did as told. "That's better." Al smiled and Scorpius felt his heart melt in his chest. "You have the most beautiful eyes. You should really look at people more."
Scorpius was speechless. Al slid his hand down Scorpius' side until he got to his hand. "She called you Scor, do you like that?" Al asked. "As a nickname I mean."
"Er…" Scorpius breathed, not at all sure how to make himself speak.
"Bad then? Okay, I won't call you Scor."
"Do!" Scorpius blurted out.
"Do call you that?" Al stopped walking 'When did we start?' and turned to look him in the eyes. "You like being called Scor?"
"I've never had a nickname." Scorpius said, unable to turn away from Al's eyes. 'His eyes are much better than mine. By a million.'
"Well then, we will have to change that." Al said. "Scor." He added with a chuckle that he cut off quickly.
"Why do you do that?" Scorpius asked.
"Do what?" Al asked, lightly tugging on his hand to get them to start walking again.
"You don't laugh around me." Scorpius answered; surprised he was talking this much.
"You don't like laughing." Al said.
"How did you get that idea into your head?" Scorpius asked, giving Al a look that clearly said how crazy he thought the other boy was.
"You always look away when I laugh." Al answered.
"I'm embarrassed because I like you." Scorpius blurted out, then realized what he said and looked down. He tried to tug his hand out of Al's grip but the other boy held tight.
"You do?" Al asked beaming. Scorpius' heart flipped. Then he started laughing and Scorpius swore his heart tried getting out of his chest. "Good. I like you too." Al said and then kissed him quickly. "C'mon, you are breaking curfew. The madwoman was right about that."
"Yeah." Scorpius nodded. "Are you still going to kill her?"
"Probably. She deserves it for something, even if not for this." Al shrugged. "So you do like Scor then? I can start calling you that?"
"If you want." Scorpius said, turning the name over in his mind. Scor wasn't bad, he kind of liked it actually. It made him feel special that he had a nickname. 'And someone who likes me!' Scor's giddy mind provided. Scor snuck a peak at Al and saw him doing the same. He looked away quickly.
"Hey," Al scolded playfully. "It's cute you're so shy." He mumbled but Scor heard him. Scor's face flooded with heat.
Deciding to ignore it in favor of leading the way to his common room Scor realized that Al seemed to already know the way. They were heading in exactly the right direction. "How do you know where the Slytherin common room is?" He didn't think any of Al's family members were in his House.
"That's a secret." Al said with a laugh that Scor loved. "Maybe one day I'll tell you." Al pulled him closer and put his arm around Scor's shoulders. This time when they didn't talk it wasn't uncomfortable like it had been all those other times. When they got to Scor's common room Al spun him around. "Scor, I have a question for you. Well two questions. The first is, are you staying here for Christmas or going home?"
Scor had been hoping for a different question. "I'm staying." He looked down at his feet. "I'm afraid of my house. I've gotten too many attacks there, I feel more comfortable at Hogwarts." He admitted. He wouldn't be seeing Al at all during the break. If he'd gone home he could have maybe met Al in Diagon Alley or something, but he would be stuck at school.
"Oh. Okay. Well, how about going to Hogsmead with my on Christmas?" Al asked. Scor snapped his head up, finding Al's gaze quickly. "My parents are going on vacation without us pesky children, so I'm here for the hols. I could have went and stayed with the other members of the family, but I decided I wanted to stay. Now I don't have to pack." Al admitted.
Scor kissed him. He hadn't planned too, would have thought he didn't have the guts if he'd thought of it, but he did. And Al responded favorably, wrapping his arms around Scor and holding him close. "I'm going to take that as a yes." Al smiled, and Scor kissed him again.