Disclaimer: As always I own nothing but the original characters and the situation all characters find themselves in. I hope you enjoy this latest fanfiction, and let me know what you think.
A Deal Is Struck
Walking down the currently deserted hallway Albus Potter felt a familiar pain in his chest, one he ignored as he forced himself to continue on. As much as he would like to turn around and head back up to the main level he had promised Flora and Rell that he would speak to Malfoy today. Everyone else apparently had, from the braver students all the way up to the Headmaster. How his godbrother's children thought he could give the Slytherin an attitude adjustment was beyond Albus though. If he thought it were possible he would have talked to the other man long ago. He was pretty damn sick of his second year girls coming from Potions sobbing their eyes out because Professor Malfoy had been mean to them.
A low grade headache making itself known Albus pushed that aside as well, hoping that he'd at least find his former classmate in a good mood. Not that one could really ever tell when Scorpius Malfoy was in a good mood. The man was an enigma at the best of times. At the worst of times he was scarier than one of his Veela cousins when they got a bad haircut.
Not that he and Malfoy made it a habit of going to head to head. In fact they were famous for having stayed out of each other's way for the past eighteen years, ever since they'd first met as first years. Of course they'd seen very little of each other once they'd finished school, and he was only here at Hogwarts for the year while his Uncle Neville took a year's sabbatical, but up until now they'd only seen each other occasionally in the hallways and during meals. Malfoy didn't even come to him for potion ingredients. The Slytherin just helped himself.
Arriving at the door to the Potion teacher's classroom Albus knocked, then knocked again when his first went unanswered. When that got no response the Gryffindor opened the door and walked in, looking around the room for signs that the Slytherin would be returning soon or was gone until his next class. Hearing noise coming from the storage room attached to the potions classroom Albus headed in that direction, standing in the doorway as he looked up at the blonde who was currently up on a ladder, rearranging jars.
Not wanting to startle the other man Albus stayed where he was, watching the Slytherin work.
Obviously sensing that he had company the potions teacher turned his head and looked down, the overhead light shining off the man's short blonde hair. "Something I can do for you, Professor Potter?"
It still sounded weird to be called that. "Could I have a few minutes of your time?"
"Do you plan to waste them?"
"I would imagine you'll think so." Albus answered honestly, shoving his hands in his trouser pockets as he waited for the other man's response.
A hint of intrigue appeared in the Slytherin's eyes. "Wait for me in my classroom. I'll be another seven minutes or so. If you won't wait until then it's not important enough that we can't discuss it later."
"I'll wait for you in your classroom."
Watching the other man leave the doorway Scorpius turned his attention back to what he was doing, moving on autopilot while he mentally reviewed possible reasons for the Gryffindor to want to speak to him. It wasn't like Potter to actively seek him out. And the man was not looking forward to talking to him, the man's body language had given that away. That wasn't a surprise though. Potter didn't like arguments, and the Gryffindor was also the type who circumvented his own desires and wants to keep the peace, even at his own expense. The Gryffindor wasn't weak natured per say, the Slytherin mused, just one who hated when his boat was rocked.
Albus Severus Potter had always fascinated Scorpius for that very reason. Personally he was a loner by creed and nature, he didn't like most people and he didn't care that they didn't like him. A lone wolf was one of the politer terms applied to him during his years as a student. Unlike him Scorpius was fairly sure that Potter wasn't a lone wolf by nature. Of course a lot of people would consider the Gryffindor their friend, but the truth was that Scorpius doubted the man allowed any of those people close enough to know the real him. Like him Potter could be surrounded by people and still be completely alone in his head. Unlike him the other man went through the motions of pretending to be connected to people.
Did the other man pretend to be part of the crowd because it was expected of him, or did the Gryffindor need the loose connections to others in order to delude himself into believing he was just like his siblings and cousins?
He was pretty sure that no one knew the real Albus Potter…and damn if he hadn't always wished he were the one to finally crack the Gryffindor's shell to see what was underneath.
That the other man's ass was spectacular didn't hurt either.
Grinning at the thought Scorpius climbed down the stairs, rolling his shoulders as he glanced towards the doorway that led back into his classroom. Schooling his features into an unreadable mask Scorpius left the storage room and walked in to find the man standing with his back to him, giving him a nice view of said ass.
Walking over to meet the Gryffindor in the middle of the room Scorpius linked his hands behind his back as he gave the other man a questioning look.
"You're traumatizing our students." Albus stated bluntly, knowing better than to try and soften the man up first. "I know you pride yourself on being a tough taskmaster, but I'd appreciate it if you would consider toning your…Slytherin-ness down a couple of notches. They can't be learning all you're trying to teach them if they're terrified of you."
"Who asked you to come talk to me?" Scorpius interrupted, curious as to who had the bright idea to sic Potter on him. It was like sending Nearly Headless to teach Peeves some manners.
"Some students who would appreciate not being cried on every day."
Cocking his head to the side with a considering look on his face Scorpius kept his gaze locked on the other man. "And how precisely would I benefit from…toning down on my toughness? If they can't handle my teaching methods then they should drop out now. And if they have problems they should come to me, not go whining to you like children."
"The majority of them are children." Albus pointed out.
"And those children are better off learning early that the world wasn't created to cater to them. They may not like me, but they learn to swim or they drown." Moving a little closer Scorpius looked deep into the other man's eyes, wondering just how bad the man's eyesight was without his glasses. Not that he minded them, they suited the Gryffindor's features. "So back to my original question...why should I alter my behavior when it doesn't benefit me?"
Albus knew better than to think that the other man cared how other people felt about him. The Malfoy heir didn't give a damn what anyone thought of him. "What would benefit you? I mean what would you want in exchange for your agreement to go easier on your students?"
The Gryffindor's words had Scorpius hiding his surprise, taken off guard by the question. The question he didn't have an answer for. It wasn't like he needed more money, and there was no way the school would agree to pay him more anyway. He couldn't handpick who was and wasn't allowed in his class, which was the first request that came to mind. What would he consider worth curbing his own behavior for?
Looking into the man's untouchable face Scorpius's lips curved ever so slightly. It was a look that had often had him wondering just how untouchable the man really was. The man had dated very sporadically while they were at school and he'd only heard of a few afterwards. According to the rumor mill the man had been as single as they come these past few years.
If he were stupid enough to date girls, especially the nice girls the Gryffindor had dated, he'd pick the single life too.
And it was thinking about how he wouldn't mind being the one to end the other man's single status that had Scorpius thinking of something he was willing to act better to get. Of course the apparently straight Gryffindor would never go for it, but it would be fun to watch the other man's reaction.
Albus literally felt a shiver go up his spine at the look that had come into the other man's grey eyes. That could not bode well for him.
"Tell me something, Potter…just how badly do you want me to start playing nice with the kiddies?"
Not good, definitely not good, Albus thought as he fought to keep his breathing slow and steady. He had such a bad, bad feeling about this. "You've thought of something you want badly enough to adjust your teaching methods, haven't you? Something…I can get you? Like potions ingredients from the greenhouses and the Forest?"
"I can get my own ingredients, thanks."
"So what do you want…from me?"
"Well that would depend on what you want from me. How nice you want me to be. For instance, one of these a day would be enough to have me not picking on the Hufflepuffs just because they're Hufflepuffs." And lowering his head the Slytherin placed his lips against the shocked Gryffindor's lips while his hands reached up to dive into Albus's hair, holding the man's head in place as he gave the other man a toe curling, shiver inducing, full body experience kiss.
Scorpius had expected a variety of response, ranging from the man fainting dead away from being kissed by another man to the Gryffindor actually trying to take a swing at him. But the man did neither, not moving so much as a muscle as he allowed the physical contact without response.
When the Slytherin finally pulled away he looked into blank, stunned green eyes, a response that amused him in spite of himself.
And on that note Scorpius moved around so that he was behind the other man and herded him towards the door leading out of the classroom, opening said door and then lightly pushing the Gryffindor through the doorway.
"Think about it and get back to me after dinner."
Closing the door behind the other man Scorpius licked his lips. His first Gryffindor, the Slytherin thought to himself as he walked back to finish what he'd been doing.
In a complete daze Albus walked back to his rooms, headed straight for his bed, and turning fell backward onto it, staring up at the ceiling as he tried to recover from having his world completely and totally rocked on its axis. He was too stunned to even hyperventilate. Which would have been a nice change, except that the Gryffindor was fairly sure that his head would explode once it got done processing the fact that he'd just been snogged by Scorpius Malfoy in the dungeon.
He was an ordinary guy. He had an ordinary life. Or as ordinary a life as any wizard could claim to have. If someone was to ask him to use one word to describe himself, and he was brutally honest for once, he'd say average. An average guy who was content with his life and to whom nothing particular startling or earth shattering ever happened to.
In the back of his mind Albus figured that once he processed the fact that he'd been snogged by another man his mind, or what was left of it at that point, would blow up over the fact that he'd enjoyed being snogged by the Slytherin more than he'd ever enjoyed snogging any girl.
Was he gay?
Had he been in the closet all these years and somehow not realized it…or had he put himself there subconsciously because being gay would have been just one more thing that set him apart from the rest of his family? He was very good at compartmentalizing those things he didn't like about himself, Albus mused with dark, self deprecating humor. Either way, at this point, he had to at least entertain the idea that he was either bi, gay, or belated developing a curiosity about sex with his own gender.
He'd never considered the possibility before, he'd just assumed that his ho-hum relationships with women was a result of his less than passionate nature and the fact that he'd never been in love with any of them. Hence the fact that he'd given up dating and sex, because the rewards of those situations weren't enough to outweigh the negatives. Especially the dating. He really hated dating. Sex was good, sex was enjoyable…it had just never been the earth shattering or even shaking event others made it out to be.
And since his self preservation instincts were telling him that now was not the time to think about his lack of sex life Albus's mind shifted over to the Slytherin's parting comment. Not that that was really getting away from the topic of sex either. Of course the other man wasn't asking him for sex…probably. But logically, if a kiss like that only bought the Hufflepuff equal yelling rights, then to get Malfoy to be nice to his students had to cost…something well beyond his previous sexual experience.
Not that that was what the other man was asking for. Or had even meant, Albus sternly told himself. Everyone knew that Scorpius was gay after all. The snogging thing could have just been the Slytherin's version of a joke. A guy like that had to have a twisted sense of humor. Just a joke; the other man's way of making a fool out of a Potter while effectively shutting him up in the process.
But what if Malfoy was serious?
Of course he wouldn't prostitute himself for his students, not if all they got out of it was a nicer potions teacher. It would definitely have to be a matter of life or death for him to do that, and Malfoy was only traumatizing, he wasn't actually killing them. Not that the Slytherin didn't threaten to kill them according to his sources, Albus thought as he rolled his eyes. So no, he wasn't thinking about Malfoy's offer because he was interested in martyring himself.
He was thinking about the offer because he wanted to be snogged by the Slytherin again.
Albus was used to wanting things he couldn't have. He'd never be as handsome as his brother or as vivacious as his sister, as smart as Rosie or as adventurous as Roxanne. He would never save the world or play professional Quidditch or make the world a better place in any significant way. His impact on the world would be so small as to be forgotten after a few generations. Being Harry Potter's son would always be his only claim to fame.
All his life he'd been known as someone's son, sibling, cousin or friend. And he'd accepted that. Dealt with that fact so that it didn't even bother him, most of the time, Albus amended. He'd even come to the conclusion that in some ways the way he lived was better than paying the price of being exceptional or called to greatness the way others in his family had been.
But this was a want he could fulfill…if he was willing to risk playing the Slytherin's game.
And it was so rare for him to want something that was actually in his reach. It was rare for him to really want at all these days.
So what was he going to do?
During dinner that night Scorpius didn't bother to so much as glance in the Gryffindor's direction. He felt the other man's gaze on him a couple of times, and deliberately chose not to look over to acknowledge the questions he felt in those eyes. It wasn't like he actually believed the man would take him up on his offer after all. There was no way in hell. The Gryffindor had a very clear and defined comfort zone, and the man didn't step outside it. Potter had been a nervous, self conscious kid when they'd started school together, and by their third year Potter had developed walls that didn't come down for anyone.
So he'd have to content himself with the fact that he was fairly sure he'd go down as the only man to ever snog Albus Potter.
Once dinner was finished and the students had departed the teachers rose as well, exchanging their good nights before they headed for home or to their quarters within the castle's walls. As it happened Albus and Scorpius's quarters were in the same hallway, separated by another set of rooms that was currently empty. Most nights they ended up walking back to their assigned rooms together unless they had been assigned to patrol the school grounds. These walks had always been short and usually in silence, neither acknowledging the other until they reached the Gryffindor's door, in which case they politely bid each other good night.
This night seemed to be no different, though there was a tension between them that had them both intensely aware of the other.
Arriving at Potter's door Scorpius stopped and gave the man a questioning look, just to mess with the Gryffindor's head.
Reaching out Albus opened his door before turning to face the Slytherin, swallowing hard once before speaking in a casual, even tone. "You have the second and sixth years tomorrow. I'll ask around to find out how you treat the Hufflepuffs. If you keep your end of the bargain…you can collect your reward tomorrow night."
And before he could take his words back Albus hurried into his room and closed his door, leaving a very shocked Slytherin standing in the hallway.