Al delivered the password to the portrait of the Fat Lady, who had thankfully stopped complaining about a Slytherin knowing the Gryffindor password some time in Al's third year. He was glad Gryffindor was the only house with a door that talked back, although Ravenclaw could be tricky to enter unless Rose gave him the answer to the riddle. At least the knocker did not grouse about Al's green tie.

James sat in a corner in front of a chess set, playing a solitary game. He beckoned Al over.

"Want to play?" James asked quietly.

"You know I suck at this game."

"You make too many sacrifices," James said.

Al sat down and waited, knowing his brother had not called him in to play chess. James rather sucked at it, as well.

"I wanted you to hear it from me rather than the grapevine or from someone else," James said. He looked almost embarrassed and tugged at his hair in a way that always reminded Al of their father. "Can I borrow your wand for a minute?"

Al's eyes narrowed. "Why?"

"So you won't be tempted to hex me."

"I always want to hex you."

James held out his hand and Al reluctantly deposited his wand. James tucked it into a pocket and took a deep breath. "I'm the one that cast the spell on your Devil's Snare seeds."

Al blinked at him for a shocked moment. He had suspected James all along, but to hear his brother come straight out and admit it… Well, Al had never understood the Gryffindor mentality, anyway. Al would normally rather die than admit to wrongdoing, unless caught red-handed, as he had been with the plant scenario and Scorpius.

"Why?" Al demanded.

James tugged his hair again. "I didn't know you had planned to use the thing on Malfoy. I thought you planned to do some kinky… thing… with Zabini."


James flushed. "How do I know what sorts of things you lot get up to? It's bad enough you liking blokes, but that… I just went a bit mad, I think."

"A bit mad? You nearly killed Pious! Did you mean to kill Bleys?"

"No! Of course not! The spell was only supposed to make thorns. Tiny ones, not—what happened. It was an impulse—I didn't really think about what I was doing. I was so angry…"

"You can't force people around you to act the way you expect them to," Al said quietly. "People are going to be who they are and they are going to love who they want to love."

James scowled. "I've already heard this speech from Dad."

"Did any of it sink in?" Al snapped and then waved angrily. Talking to James was less effective than talking to a stone wall. "Never mind. Did you tell anyone else about the Devil's Snare?"

"Yes. I told Dad and McGonagall. Only the fact that I've got a perfect record kept them from expelling me. I couldn't let you take the blame."

"You certainly waited long enough to come clean," Al said grumpily, but he was nevertheless thankful for Gryffindor guilt. They had a low threshold for remorse; they always confessed eventually. James shrugged. Al asked, "So what happens now?"

"I'm no longer a Prefect and I have detention for the next two months, but other than that I suppose I got off lightly."

Al winced. He knew how much it meant to James to be a Prefect. "Sorry," he said.

James snorted. "Merlin, Al, I nearly got you expelled and almost killed your boyfriend and you're apologizing to me. You're really a piece of work, you know that?"

Al rolled his eyes and stood up. "I just wish none of this had ever happened. It's turned into a huge cock-up. And Malfoy is not my boyfriend. Can I have my wand back now?"

"You won't hex me?"

"I'd rather punch you in the face, but I won't do either one. I should probably tell Malfoy, but I'm sort of afraid of what he might want to do to you."

"It's not him I'm worried about… it's his father."

Al laughed. "I don't envy you. He was pretty upset."

"Dad said he would talk to him for me."

Al cringed. He did not even want to know how that discussion would go, but the idea was slightly depressing. He held out his hand and James gave him back his wand.

"Do you think you'll ever get over this homophobia shit?" Al asked.

"Maybe. I'm beginning to realize I've been a massive arse."

"I suppose it's a start," Al said. He left the Gryffindor common room and went back to the dungeons. When he entered the Slytherin common room, the first thing he noticed was Pious Malfoy's silver-blond hair. He was seated on the couch before the unlit fire, holding a partially unrolled scroll. Al studied him for a moment. Malfoy's profile was really quite beautiful. His skin was like marble, smooth and pale. He had a cute habit of flicking the end of his chin with his quill when he was deep in thought, as he was now. Al grinned and Pious chose that moment to look up and notice him. The grey eyes widened and a shy smile lit his features before he caught himself. The controlled Malfoy mask slid back into place, but Al felt his heart leap a bit at the brief glimpse beneath it. Oh shit, I have it bad, he thought in despair.

He walked over and sat next to the blond.

"I'm glad you're here, Potter. I need a footrest."

Al groaned, but he supposed it could have been worse. Malfoy could have asked for a pillow. Al planned to avoid that particular torment for as long as possible. Malfoy set aside parchment and quill and swung his feet up over Al's thighs. The movement suddenly made the blond double up with and gasp. He clutched his abdomen tightly with both hands.

"What is it?" Al asked and leaned forward to clutch at Malfoy's sleeve.

"Cramp… I get them sometimes," Pious said. His eyes were tightly closed.

"Because of…?" Al asked.

Pious nodded sharply and Al set his jaw. Apparently Gryffindors were not the only ones to suffer from an excess of guilt. "Lie back," he ordered. "Let me help you."

Malfoy sprawled backwards to lie flat on the sofa. His face was twisted in pain. Al manoeuvred himself until he sat on his knees between Malfoy's legs. His thighs were resting on Al's hips. The grey eyes snapped open when Al leaned forward to loosen the Slytherin tie. He unbuttoned Malfoy's shirt and the blond made no sound at all as his torso was slowly exposed. One long-fingered hand still splayed over his abdomen and Al gently removed it to replace it with his own. He pressed carefully on the tender spot, massaging the bare skin beneath Malfoy's ribs. A faint gash was barely visible—the cream Al had been using on the wounds was working nicely, but apparently Malfoy still suffered some painful effects internally.

Al's other hand joined his first and he caressed Malfoy's flesh in short sweeps. He could not help but allow his eyes to roam over Pious's partially exposed body. The tie was still loosely knotted and hung mostly free of the white collar. Malfoy's shirt gaped open to reveal pink nipples that Al had seen before but had never taken the time to fully appreciate. The grey eyes watched him fathomlessly and Al looked away as a blush fought to take over his visage. Malfoy looked infinitely desirable.

"Better?" Al asked and was surprised when his voice came out as a husky rasp. He wanted to stop, but could not quite find the ability.

"Yes," Pious said.

Al's hands began to make longer strokes, sweeping over Malfoy's ribs and tracing each one before moving in a curving motion over the sides of his waist and splaying over his abdominal muscles. He followed the line of hair upwards to Malfoy's collarbone and touched the area feather-lightly before slipping away to smooth over the pectorals. His fingertips brushed over Malfoy's nipples and the blond drew in a sharp breath. Al felt possessed. Now that he was touching Malfoy like this, he never wanted to stop, and Pious was doing nothing to dissuade him.

Allowing one hand to continue the delicate drawing over Malfoy's skin, Al braced the other hand on the couch and leaned forward. The motion brought him in even closer contact with the blond.

"Why don't you ever touch me any more, Pious?" Al asked curiously.

Malfoy's eyes widened and a disbelieving sound huffed out. "You required a vow, Potter, remember? Malfoys do not go back on their word."

Al was shocked. "It's because of that stupid vow? But I thought since you nearly died… well, I didn't exactly keep my end of the bargain!"

"You released me, Potter. And I had already sworn." His tone made it clear what he thought of Al's intelligence.

"Merlin," Al said and groaned. Before he could properly think the impulse through, he blurted, "Scorpius Malfoy, I release you from your vow not to touch me. You can—"

Al was suddenly dragged forward by his shirt collar and Malfoy's arms wrapped around him. He felt his shirt being wrenched from the waistband of his trousers and then a pair of warm hands moved over his back. He felt like a predator turned prey.

"Merlin, I've been wanting to do that," Malfoy said with a near-moan. "You've been driving me completely mad."

Al's second thoughts evaporated in a cascade of lust. He was close enough to Malfoy—tucked between his legs, for pity's sake—that he knew Pious could feel his growing arousal, but Al simply did not care. Malfoy's hands—Merlin, how he had missed those hands, although he hadn't realized it until that very moment—his hands were warm and seemed to remember every sensitive spot Al possessed. He groaned in surrender and leaned closer until their breath mingled. He remembered their single, molten kiss with another surge of desire as he tried to find his voice. That second ridiculous vow needed to go.

"Scor…" His voice was a barely audible rasp as Malfoy's hands found Al's chest. One nipple was tugged and Al nearly lost all ability to think, much less speak, but he fought on gamely. "Scorpius Malfoy, I release you—"

Apparently, that was all Malfoy needed to hear. He raised his head and crushed his lips against Al's. It was even more brilliant than their first kiss, wilder and far more intense. Al lost all control and Pious seemed to have done the same. Their tongues twisted and lapped together and their teeth clicked as they devoured each other. Al could hardly breathe, but he decided that air was overrated—all he really needed was to keep kissing Pious. Luckily, Malfoy must have deemed air more important, for he broke away. They panted against one another's lips for a moment.

"Should have… kissed you ages ago," Al said thickly.

"Damn right. Oh bloody hell; what am I saying? You've kissed every fucking person in this school, including Bleys Zabini. Am I just another Potter test case?"

Al nibbled Malfoy's lower lip. It tasted delightful. "Not a test case," he said and sucked lightly. "Besides, I've never done this with anyone before." As he spoke, he gripped Malfoy's hips and ground his erection into Pious's, glad to note that the blond was just as hard. The friction was incredible. He had never in his wildest dreams thought another boy's hard-on would turn him on, but oh how wrong he had been.

"Never?" Pious breathed. One hand clutched at Al's ribs and the other had pushed completely through Al's shirt and out the collar to curl in his hair.

"Only you," Al said and kissed him again. They were both lost in panting breath and low moans for several long, heated minutes.

"Bloody hell, get a room," a voice said in amusement. Al froze for only an instant before he continued his exploration of the underside of Malfoy's tongue, because the blond was making the most enchanting whimpering sounds and Al would like to extract more of those. Bleys's voice continued dryly, "I meant a room other than this one. You're killing Emily over there."

That statement reluctantly dragged Al's lips from Pious's and he turned unfocused eyes over his shoulder to find a Slytherin girl seated in a chair, gripping a book in white-knuckled hands and watching them through eyes wide as saucers. Al wondered if she had been there the entire time.

"Damn you, Bleys, did you have to stop them? It was very… entertaining," she said. Al very reluctantly moved back slightly, but quickly wrapped his arms around Malfoy and pulled him along. The blond looked dishevelled and incredibly attractive. Al felt a sudden rush of possessiveness and half-glared at Bleys. The glare faded in surprise when he noticed a girl standing beneath Zabini's arm. Her arms were wrapped around his waist and she giggled at Al. Pious pushed at Al, who let him go with a sigh. The blond only shifted until he could lean on the back of the couch and glare at Bleys. One hand shot out and drew Al against him. Al gladly folded himself into Malfoy's back.

"I see you had a talk with Albus," Bleys said and chuckled.

Pious coughed slightly. "Talk. Yes."

Al snickered and buried his face in Malfoy's neck. He wondered how long before they could comfortably stand and walk away from the sofa. The feel of the soft skin beneath Al's lips made his thoughts wander back in that direction and he opened his mouth to bit lightly at the tendon before sucking at it. Malfoy's body tensed beneath his.

"Stop that, Potter," Pious said, trying to be stern, but his voice came out somewhat uneven. Al bit down again before releasing him.

"Well, I was planning on taking Lucia to our dorm, but it looks like you two need it more than we do." Bleys turned to the girl—a Gryffindor, Al noticed now that he was not quite so distracted by Pious—and asked, "Unless you plan to let me have my wicked way with you tonight?"

She smacked him lightly. "Nice try, amigo."

Bleys sighed and raised a hand to Al and Pious. "Adios, then. I shall find our other roommates and warn them away. It looks like you two have a bit more… talking to do."

Emily walked past them on her way to the door. "I need to go find John. He's been begging me to go all the way for weeks. Looks like he might get lucky tonight. Thank a lot, Pious. Al."

Bleys and Lucia followed and Bleys gave them a wink as they exited. When he and Pious were alone, Al felt slightly nervous. Had it just been the heat of the moment? Would Pious go back to being a prat? The blond turned and fixed Al with an enigmatic silver stare. Al waited breathlessly and then Malfoy quickly pushed Al backward until he was the one on the bottom. Malfoy's teeth sank into Al's neck and he yelped until a delightful sucking, alternated with more nips, quickly followed the bite. Al was fully hard again in moments. Malfoy's hands were on the move again, waking up nerve endings Al hadn't known he'd possessed.

"Maybe we should go to the dorm," Al suggested. Even though he was partly terrified to be alone with Pious on a—oh Merlin—on a bed, at the rate they were going it wasn't going to matter. At least they wouldn't be surprised by fellow Slytherins in their own room, especially if Al's Locking Spells were still up to snuff. Regardless of how frazzled he was at the moment, he thought he could manage.

"Dorm," Pious said into Al's throat.

"Bed," Al corrected and Malfoy's head snapped up. His eyes were dark pools of liquid mercury. For a panicked moment, he wondered if they were moving too fast. Maybe Malfoy wasn't quite ready for the next step. Maybe he wasn't quite ready for the next step. In fact, Al was not exactly certain what the next step involved.

All thought of steps fled when Malfoy shot to his feet and pulled Al up by their interlocked hands. The blond walked to their room so quickly Al nearly had to run or risk being dragged. The instant they reached the safety of their dorm room, Al yanked out his wand and cast a series of Locking Spells on the door. Some of them had been taught to him by his father, so it was unlikely anyone less skilled than a professor would have luck opening the door.

Al meant to explain as much to Malfoy, but talking quickly became impossible with Malfoy lips firmly attached to his. They tumbled onto Al's bed with Pious once more on top. Al arched into him and then blushed at his lack of control. Pious did not seem to mind. His hands tugged at the buttons on Al's shirt.

~~- oOo -~~

Pious had difficulty pushing past his amazement. It was nearly impossible to believe that Albus Potter was here, willingly—Merlin, wantonly—touching and being touched, just when Pious had been ready to give him up for good. He wondered if Potter was under some sort of spell.

The buttons on Potter's shirt were surprisingly stubborn, either that or his hands were simply shaking too much to properly attend to the task. Pious made a frustrated noise against Potter's lovely mouth. One hand that had been roaming nicely over Pious's ribcage disappeared as Potter fumbled for his wand. Teeth fastened into his lower lip and sucked for a moment—fuck it all, but Potter did know how to kiss—and then he muttered a spell. The shirt Pious had been fighting with disappeared completely and Pious made a sound of blissful contentment.

"Brilliant spell," Pious acknowledged.

Potter chuckled and cast it twice more, leaving Pious clad only in silk boxers and his Slytherin tie.

"Best spell ever," Potter agreed huskily. Pious smiled down at the self-satisfied boy and bent his head to lick a stripe over Potter's exposed collarbone before moving lower and taking a dark-hued nipple into his mouth. Potter gasped and arched his back again, prompting Pious to chuckle wickedly. It was incredible how sensitive Potter was, if something so simple could cause that reaction. Pious played with one nipple and then the other until Potter was writhing beneath him and his hands were twisted almost uncomfortably in Pious's hair.

Pious left off that particular torture and slid lower. He locked his gaze with the green orbs as he pulled at the fastenings of Potter's trousers.

"Rather unfair of you to leave these on, don't you think, Potter?" Pious asked. "Or did you just want me to unwrap you?"

Potter's eyes widened as Pious took the zipper in his teeth and drew it down slowly, freeing Al's erection bit by bit, although it strained at the pale green material beneath the trousers that still held it. Pious put his lips against the hardness and moved them slightly.

"Merlin!" Potter cried out. He nearly tore a handful of hair from Pious's head. "Oh shit, I'm sorry, I just—"

Pious wanted to speak, but he was overcome. His fingers tugged beneath the waistband of Potter's pants and lifted them just enough to release the dark head of Potter's cock. He studied it with interest, never having seen another up close before. He had seen them from a distance, thanks to communal bathing facilities, but it was bad form to examine another bloke's bits. It twitched beneath Pious's scrutiny and he watched a tiny bead of liquid ooze from the slit at the top. He realized Potter was holding his breath and impulsively leaned down to lick a flat stripe over the slit. The strangled cry that wrenched from Albus more than made up for the taste.

"Pious…" Al gasped. "Pious, have you ever—?"

"No, Albus, never," he said and repeated the motion.

Potter stifled his cry that time, but his body made a delicious shudder. "Good," he said. "That's… oh that's very good."

"Has anyone ever…?"

"No. Merlin, no!" Potter said.

Pious grinned and went to work on Potter in earnest after tugging his trousers and boxers down a bit. He was not completely sure what he was doing and used Potter's reactions as a guideline. By the sound of things, Potter was perfectly happy with his technique. Pious sucked the length of the hard cock, taking care to keep his teeth from scraping the tender flesh. It barely took any time at all, which was not surprising. Pious was ready to come just by listening to Albus.

"Pious, Pious, I'm going to—"

He appreciated the warning and exchanged his lips for a tight grip just as Potter arched once more and exploded. Pious felt immense satisfaction as he watched the pale stream shoot over Potter's abdomen. One of the hands in his hair hauled him upward and he wrinkled his nose when the slick substance smeared between them. He forgot that almost immediately when Potter's lips captured his.

"That was brilliant. You're brilliant," Potter said. "Bloody amazing."

"You'd say that to anyone who sucked you off, Potter," Pious said, but he could not meet the bright green eyes. The compliment warmed him more than expected.

Potter laughed. "Maybe. But I don't think I'd reciprocate," he said and rolled quickly to lie atop Pious, grinning at his expression. "And I'm definitely going to reciprocate."

Pious shivered and hoped he wouldn't embarrass himself by coming the instant Potter's face hovered over his cock, because merely watching the dark-haired boy make his slow way in that direction—pressing soft kisses into Pious's skin as he went—brought him dangerously near the brink.

Potter made a growling noise and sank his teeth into the flesh of his flank, pulling a gasp from Pious and then a shocked chuckle when it tickled unexpectedly. Potter sucked and nibbled the spot until it stung and Pious hissed at him.

"What are you doing, Potter?"

"Marking you," he said matter-of-factly.

Pious was not quite sure how he felt about being marked—it seemed rather presumptuous and possessive of Albus—until the green eyes met his once more and he realized Potter's hand had slipped beneath his pants to gently stroke his cock. He decided he could live with being marked, especially when Albus took the waistband in his teeth and eased it down to expose Pious completely. Potter's hands finished the job of removing the last bit of Pious's clothing, except for the tie. Pious was momentarily disgruntled to be so exposed, at least until Albus wrapped his hot mouth around his cock.

"Holy mother of Merlin!" Pious cried.

Potter made a humming sound that was like pure pleasure and Pious twisted one hand in the blankets. The other slid into Potter's soft hair and curled gently. Even though Albus seemed as inexperienced as Pious—his teeth scraped indelicately over the tender head of Pious's cock more than once—his enthusiasm more than made up for it. The determined expression on his face was entrancing and he often looked up and met Pious's gaze before the thick lashes fluttered down when Pious smiled encouragingly.

Potter's tongue sent shivers of electric energy coursing through Pious. If he'd had any inkling how incredible blow jobs would be… well, it had taken forever merely to steal a kiss from Potter, so it wasn't likely the lad would have obliged with oral sex any sooner—that train of thought skewed off the track when something peaked.

"Potter… Albus, I'm—"

He expected Al to stop, but he took the length of Pious even deeper. Pious cried out in mingled joy and astonishment as his release pumped into the hot depths of lovely, beautiful Potter. Only when the last shiver had settled through Pious's bones did Potter look up with a smirk.

"Why did you do that?" Pious asked breathlessly.

"Because you didn't."

"Competitive bastard," Pious growled. "It was incredible, though. Really."

Potter grabbed his wand and cast a quick Cleaning Charm that even seemed to remove the accumulated sweat. Potter was quite a lot better with charms than he gave himself credit for. Then again, most of his difficulty in Charms had arisen from Pious's hands distracting him. He grinned at the memory and reached out to put his hands on the glorious skin once more. It still amazed him that Potter allowed it. He enfolded Pious in a warm embrace and they burrowed beneath the covers, cuddling together as though they had done it a thousand times.

"Why do you hate to be touched, Potter?" Pious asked as he trailed a hand over Al's smooth back.

"By everyone but you, you mean?" Al asked and then sucked gently on Pious's throat.

Pious laughed. "That is a rather dramatic change, you have to admit."

One of Potter's hands drew soft circles on his chest while the other slipped down to rest on Pious's hip and squeeze gently. "I guess I never knew how much I really liked it until you stopped. Even then I wouldn't admit it for a long time. But I hated to be touched at all because of James."

"Your brother?"

"Yeah, he sort of accidentally set me on fire when we were smaller. I think I was four. He was messing around with Mum's wand and managed to cast Incendio or something. Luckily, Dad heard me screaming and took me straight to St. Mungo's. They managed to heal me and even keep it from scarring, but it took months of treatment. I remember it was painful for a long, long time. I couldn't stand anyone touching me. Most of the time I could barely stand to wear clothing."

Pious chuckled, even though the story was horrifying. Suddenly he was very glad to have been an only child. "Feel free to choose nudity around me any time."

Al's grip tightened and he kissed Pious for long minutes. Pious sighed happily and carded his fingers through the soft black hair when Potter pulled away.

"Anyway, I guess I never got over the touching thing. It used to make Mum horribly sad. The whole thing made James even worse. Instead of feeling bad for torching me, he seemed to get even meaner. I think he was jealous of all the attention I got. I'm sure he thought Mum and Dad blamed him and maybe hated him a little, too. We were never very close and that made it even worse. Any time James could do something to me without getting caught, he would. I think that's one reason I learned how to make potions and use Uncle George's pranks. I had to stand up for myself somehow. James finally learned to leave me alone, mostly. It got easier after he went to Hogwarts. Until recently, that is."

Pious sensed Potter's reluctance to continue. He tried to pull away, but Pious held him more tightly.

"What is it?"

Potter sighed. "James tampered with the seeds and caused the Devil's Snare to nearly kill you."

Pious stiffened and this time Al's arms gripped him to keep him close.

"He meant for it to make small thorns, not… what it turned out to do. He was always a bit pants at Herbology. He confessed to McGonagall."

"Is he getting expelled?" Pious asked hopefully.

"No, but he's not a Prefect any longer. That's worse punishment than being expelled. He adores being a Prefect."

Pious thought it was not nearly enough punishment, but there would be time enough for that later. Besides, if not for James Potter's idiocy, Albus would probably not be curled next to him at this moment. He supposed he could be the better man and not extract vengeance on Al's brother… perhaps.

"Potter, Bleys told me I should tell you how I feel about you," he said. The dark head rose and Al's green eyes fixed on him in surprise.

"I thought you just showed me."

Pious grinned. "Then we don't have to talk about our feelings?"

Al snorted. "What are we, Hufflepuffs?"

Pious giggled. "Heaven forbid."

They laughed together for a bit and then Al said, "Merlin, what are we going to tell our fathers?"


WOOT! :D You didn't think I could squeeze all that into one chapter, did you? BWAHAHAHAHAHA So yeah, there will be a sequel-ish thing, and for the curious... it's Harry/Draco. I KNOW YOU SAW THAT COMING. It's still being written, though, so I'll try to get it up... soonish. :( Thank you all for your lovely reviews, I WISH I COULD REPLY. *stabbity stabbity on broken *