Actions Left More Permanent
A HariPo oneshot
Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. This pairing was discovered by Luner Hale, so please give Luner a little mention if you write them! Thanks! It is one of many of Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings, which you may find in Mor's and my forum, "Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings Fan Stories," found here (Just take out the spaces!): http : / forum. fanfiction. net/ forum /Mew_and_Mors_Weird_Pairings_Fan_Stories /76194 / Read, review, and enjoy! And check out and join the forum FUN! *Note: This is slash. For Luner—hope you enjoy how I handled them!
Scorpius Malfoy strolled into the Ministry of Magic without the confidence of a Malfoy. He'd never really had that confidence; he was more Greengrass than Malfoy, anyway, and he'd never really minded that little fact. He didn't mind taking this package from his mother to his Aunt Daphne, either, but his skin itched as he walked past the Auror Office.
Some memories were better left alone.
When he reached his aunt's office door in the Portkey Office, he knocked twice and waited. Shortly after, Daphne popped her blonde head out, and her face broke into a wide grin. "Scorp!"
The Malfoy heir briefly hugged his aunt before passing her the parcel. "Mum said you needed this?"
Daphne eyed it and nodded. "Yes, that's it."
"What is it?"
"Oh, just a little something… You needn't worry yourself over it," Daphne stated, giving him the rare wink.
Though Scorpius was curious about the item that held her attention, he liked that his earlier, fleeting moment of anxiety had disappeared with her tiny action of affection. Daphne rarely smiled so wide or winked around anyone besides him and Astoria, her sister and Scorpius' mother, though Scorpius was inclined to believe she was the warmest around him. She had always been somewhat of a doting aunt.
"Is there anything I can get you?" Daphne asked, snapping Scorpius out of his thoughts.
"Er, no, I'm fine, Aunt Daph." He mustered a smile. "Well, I best be going."
Daphne stopped him when she furrowed her brow in concern. "Scorp… You'll never work here, will you?"
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry! It's just… You had said for the longest time that you were going to be an Auror along with your best mate. Speaking of which, did Albus ever get into the training program?"
Scorpius nodded. "He did."
"Did you two have a falling out?"
"Aunt Daphne, that's not why I gave up on becoming an Auror." He pursed his lips when Daphne raised one eyebrow. He hadn't meant to say something so tantalizing; after all, no one knew why Scorpius had wanted and stopped wanting to be an Auror. And he was surely not going to tell her now. He glanced at her expectant face and half-smiled. "Well, I guess I'll go job-hunting today instead of lazing about the house, listening to Mum's plans for my life."
Daphne sighed. "I can tell you this at least, Scorpius: Your father won't let her micromanage you. For him, it's a case of been-there-done-that—and he doesn't want a repeat of his life for anyone…least of all his son." Daphne cupped one of Scorpius' cheeks and patted it. "All right, then. I'll see you later. Family dinner's in two nights, isn't it?"
Scorpius nodded and pecked his aunt's lightly-powdered cheek. "I'll see you, Aunt Daph." He exited the Portkey Office and got back on the lift, tucking himself into a back corner. If the doors opened at that stop, he didn't want to chance seeing that face…
Scorpius thought of the various jobs in the Ministry of Magic, and the more he thought, the less likely he felt he'd ever work in this place. Everyone answered to someone, except for the Unspeakables—and Scorpius didn't feel desperate enough to possibly cut off family ties by becoming an Unspeakable.
A man stepped in front of Scorpius onto the lift, and Scorpius ignored the man's red hair when he glimpsed the frames of a pair of glasses curving behind the ear that was closest to Scorpius. The Malfoy son's breath hitched and he angrily turned his gaze to the trainers he wore, the ones his parents disliked even though he was nineteen now and surely capable of dressing himself.
Several other people filed in, despite the disappearance of vacancy, and Scorpius was eventually pushed up against the back wall. "Pardon me," the redheaded man said. He did a double-take. "Scorpius?" he asked.
The blonde wizard blinked. Red hair and glasses… There was only one person he knew that fit this description. "Oh…Mr. Weasley."
"Please, call me Percy."
"Right." The last thing Scorpius needed at this time was to run into one of the Weasley-Potter clan. Then again, Scorpius knew he should have better prepared himself for bumping into one of them; they really were everywhere.
"What brings you out here?" Percy asked.
"Just my Aunt Daphne."
Percy nodded. "She's a good worker. Daphne could run the Portkey Office, if she'd just let the minister give her the job."
Scorpius found it in himself to chuckle at the comment. "No, Aunt Daph's a little bit pigheaded… When she sets her eyes on what she wants, she gets it and doesn't budge." As his sentence drew an awkward—at least, he thought it was awkward—silence between them, he coughed. "So, how are Molly and Lucy? I haven't seen—"
The lift's bell chimed and the announcer came on and proclaimed they were on the first floor. Percy briefly frowned and nodded his apologies. "Sorry, Scorpius. Have a good day." He left before Scorpius could even say goodbye, but the Malfoy son didn't mind. He cared more about slipping out unnoticed by certain others from that family.
"Oh, Scorpius, there you are." Astoria waved her son down the stairs inside Malfoy Manor.
"What now, Mum?" he asked. He ran a hand through his blonde tresses and ignored her tut-tut at his slight slovenliness.
She pushed a small basket into his arms. "Take these to Daphne, will you?"
Scorpius groaned. "Why don't you just use an owl or something?"
"If I did, then you wouldn't get out of the house more often." Astoria smiled sweetly, but Scorpius understood she wasn't going to budge; she was very much like Daphne in that regard.
"So what is it this time?"
"Oh, just something edible. Little puff-pastries filled with dragon toe jam."
"Ugh! That sounds disgusting!"
Astoria gave him a look. "That's because you've never had it. Every part of a dragon has magical properties…and delicious flavors. Daphne and I last had this when we were kids."
"Why make some now?" he asked, holding the basket away from him, eying it warily.
"The price is right."
Scorpius shrugged. "Fine…I'll take it to her. But! Don't drag out dinner tonight, please, Mum."
"All right, all right…"
Just as he had two days ago, Scorpius left his house and walked for a while before Apparating to London. He always chose to land in the Muggle part of the city, because he loved watching the people he passed, and he loved walking right into Diagon Alley and entering the ministry through the front doors. Scorpius hated the back ways into the magical stronghold; all they reminded him of were secrets…and secrets and all the problems that came with them were bad.
It was a brief stop at the Portkey Office. Daphne, too, teased Scorpius over his revulsion for the pastry, and she confirmed that she shouldn't be late to dinner.
"Right on time, hopefully without a hair out of place," she assured.
Scorpius raised his eyebrows.
"Hey, I was once as good with my hair as your mother is. I just…let work get the better of me."
"Sure thing, Aunt Daph. I'll see you at seven, then."
On his way back to the lifts, an odd little compulsion forced his gaze up from the ground—and Scorpius saw Percy had joined him again.
"Oh…Percy," Scorpius said, recalling at the last second that Percy hadn't wanted to be called "Mr. Weasley."
"Scorpius!" Percy nodded to him. "Back so soon?"
"Aunt Daphne again."
The blonde fidgeted, realizing with quiet annoyance that this lift was going up, not down. Good job, Scor, he thought to himself. You've just increased your chances of seeing that face today.
"So…Molly and Lucy are fine, by the way."
Percy smiled warmly at Scorpius. "The girls. You asked about them last time, and I didn't have the time to answer. But they're doing fine."
Scorpius blinked. "Oh. Right. Are they still at home?"
"Molly is. She's an Obliviator—well, working to become one. Lucy…" Percy's expression turned ever so slightly dark. "She left home, but she's with her mother, so she'll be fine. They'll both be fine." His last sentence he'd spoken almost under his breath, as though he'd merely been thinking aloud. The man shook his head and looked at Scorpius. "You? I'm sure the girls would love to know how their old classmate is doing."
"I'm…trying to figure things out myself," Scorpius supplied.
"I recall Al chirping about the two of you being Aurors." Percy's brow knitted together. "You're not going to be one?"
The Malfoy son shook his head. "No. No motivation for it."
Percy frowned. "Do you even want to work in the ministry?"
Scorpius shrugged. "Dunno…"
"Well… You'll find your calling if it sounds." He paused, and then side-glanced at Scorpius. "A little secret between you and me…I had severe doubts about working here when I was younger."
The blonde wizard's eyes widened. After all the stories he'd heard about Percy being the uptight one, the wise one, the one with his life completely planned out…Scorpius could hardly believe his hearing. His cheeks warmed at the bit of friendly comfort, for he hadn't spoken so casually with anyone in so long. He hadn't even really said much to Al since…well, he stopped his thoughts there, putting them aside for a rainy day.
"Oh, it's fine," the younger man said. "You didn't bum me out. On the contrary," Scorpius continued, genuinely smiling, "I feel quite relieved."
Percy chuckled. "I take it that means we'll see you wandering around here some more."
"Possibly…" Scorpius felt his tension fly away as the lift finally started its descent. Yes, they were at the top and still had many floors to visit, but this was…nice, comfortable. In fact, Scorpius mused that he hadn't felt so relaxed since—No, he ordered himself. It was one thing to think that Percy was kind and charming. But it was another to think he was kind and charming.
For the rest of the ride, Scorpius kept his responses to a polite minimum. The last thing he needed were those kinds of thoughts cropping up again.
When suppertime came, Scorpius wished he had a pair of George Weasley's patented Molasses-Made Ear Plugs.
"If you continue frolicking around like nobody's business—"
"We are not 'frolicking around,' Narcissa. For your information, we are—"
"That doesn't even matter, Lucius. Narcissa just doesn't want to see me here, 'tainting' her perfect little family."
"Stop it, all of you!" Astoria bellowed from her end of the table. She was standing, with her hands on either side of her dining set, her food half-eaten. She glared at Narcissa, who sat beside her son, and then she glared at her sister and Lucius. "Please remember that we are all family!"
Draco said nothing, but Scorpius saw his father raise one eyebrow and hide a cough. Draco was smart enough not to enter this old debate.
Daphne, meanwhile, sighed and took a sip of her wine. "Astoria, I do remember that we're family. Perhaps in an odd sense of the word," she continued with a look at Lucius, "but I get it." Daphne met Narcissa's strong gaze head-on. "However, if not everyone's going to treat one another civilly, then I can leave."
"If you leave, then I will, as well," Lucius chimed in.
Scorpius silently ate his food as the others sniped. Ever since he'd been a baby, he'd never remembered a good moment between his grandparents. Throw in his grandfather and aunt falling for each other, and it was a sure recipe for disaster. Often he wondered, if they were still alive, what Grandpa Greengrass and Grandma Greengrass would've thought of their older daughter with the foreboding and formally-evil Lucius Malfoy, but Scorpius thought they got on pretty well—as long as Grandmother Cissy wasn't in the room to rag on them.
Astoria looked as though she were ready to hex them all. "No one is leaving. We will stay, eat, and if no one has anything nice to say about another, then we will not talk. Understood?"
No one fought her, so she seated herself and resumed the dinner.
This was my reason for avoiding this bloody dinner, the heir mentally griped as his mother and aunt caught up on some news item they'd seen in the Daily Prophet. He watched his grandparents have a silent battle before Lucius turned to Draco and spoke of the latest ministry changes. Scorpius tensed, for this left Narcissa unoccupied, which could only mean…
"So, Scorpius, dear, have you been looking for work?"
The other two conversations died down at the Malfoy matriarch's question. Not only had she raised a touchy subject, but it was a topic that always seemed to draw the most attention. Two years out of school, Scorpius was a cause of concern for his family—everyone wanted to hold the reigns of his future, it seemed.
"If you like, I could always—" Narcissa began.
"It's fine," Scorpius blurted. His face flushed as his panic warned him he'd have to follow that up with a reason. "I—I've been looking."
There was a clatter as Daphne's silverware fell onto her plate. Even both of his parents were leaning forward, intent on hearing his next words.
"I…I've decided to try for something…in the Ministry of Magic." He was surprised by the mixed feelings he received in response.
"Oh, Scorp, I hadn't meant to bring that up a few days ago—" Daphne made a face.
"Are you sure you want to…?" Even Lucius seemed unsure of his grandson working in a place in which he'd once always had a hand.
Astoria frowned. "I thought you didn't want to be an Auror anymore…"
"He didn't say anything about being an Auror," Narcissa corrected.
Scorpius rolled his eyes. "And this is why I don't like having all of us dine together," he grumbled.
"Family's important, Scorpius," Draco stated. His voice, quiet and rarely heard since the days of the war, shushed the others. He locked eyes with his son, and it were as though they were alone in the room. "You can't let go of even the tiniest of opportunities…including vocational ones."
Just like that, the conversation segued back to the topic of Scorpius' future, almost as though the familial notions had never come up. With that, Scorpius did his best to dodge answers and answer partially with vague responses. He really did not feel like returning to London all of a sudden.
That did not mean that he could avoid London. With his friends off doing their own things and his family trying to boss him around at home, the Ministry of Magic became a sort of refuge. Perhaps his favorite place was the lift; there, he got to see much of what happened, but he was also never stuck in one place, caught in a moment of bad luck to see…"bad" people.
Also, Percy provided delightful company whenever he journeyed on the lift. "What, are you the bellboy now?"
"Bellman," Scorpius jokingly corrected without missing a beat.
Percy laughed. "You know, no one bites, Scorpius. You should try taking a tour of the different departments. Get a feel for the place." He glanced at his watch and gave him an apologetic look. "I'd give you a tour myself, but I'm nearly late for a meeting with Minister Shacklebolt. Rain check?" he asked, offering his hand.
Scorpius shook it, ignoring how warm the lift suddenly felt. "Sure. You know where to find me," he joked, and they laughed again as Percy stepped out on the minister's floor. Scorpius waved when Percy waved over his shoulder, and the blonde wondered if he could really just stay in this lift, watching people come and go, for another two weeks. Probably not, he thought. In two weeks, he was pretty sure he'd seen all the ministry had to offer.
It was that thought that forced Scorpius to finally leave the lift, even for little bits of time, to get a better idea of the place. He still avoided the Auror Office and he didn't visit the Portkey Office too much otherwise Daphne would become suspicious. On the other hand, some of the workers and secretaries and common visitors came to know Scorpius and get along with him, as well. It was…a pleasant thing, and Scorpius wondered when the last time was when he'd felt so relaxed around people.
But that couldn't last, of course, because when he had been wandering the place for about a month, Albus finally bumped into him.
"Scor?" he asked in disbelief.
Scorpius thought he'd misheard, but when he turned around and had a panic attack at seeing those green eyes…he'd then stopped to realize the green eyes were a little shorter than him, and it wasn't as bad when Al got close enough to pull him into a tight embrace.
"Sweet Salazar, Scor! I haven't heard from you in ages!" Al was bright-eyed and innocent; obviously his Auror training had yet to show him its full reality.
"It has been a while," the Malfoy son stated, growing calm and anxious at once.
Al frowned at him. "Oh, Scor… The last time I heard from you or saw you was a little after seventh year. Where the hell did you go?"
"I just stayed around."
"Then why didn't you see me? I know Mum and Dad wouldn't have minded." He mustered a half-grin. "Did something happen at home?"
Scorpius looked at his friend. It hurt a little that Al automatically thought it had to be his family that was dysfunctional; everyone in the Malfoy household did get along half the time. The same couldn't be said for Al's house. James was long gone with their god-brother and Scorpius' cousin, Teddy Lupin; they only dropped by for family Christmas anymore. Lily had just finished school, but she was looking for work far from England; the last Scorpius knew, Lily had been grumbling about America and the new dragon reservation in the desert. Then there was Al, who still lived at home just like Scorpius, but he had to put up with the cold civility between his parents. Nothing had been right between Harry and Ginny since Lily's first year of school, no matter how lovely the Prophet portrayed them.
Eventually Scorpius answered that everything was fine, and Al, reluctantly nodded. "Oh, okay. So are you working here then?"
"No," the blonde replied.
"Thinking about it?"
Scorpius shrugged. If he told Al he'd been toying with the idea, then he'd see Al more. And if he saw Al more, then there was a big chance he'd see him more, too. Scorpius internally kicked himself; it wasn't as though Al knew any of what had happened during their last two school years. Scorpius had told no one. It kind of sucked that not even the guy who was supposedly his "best" mate knew about what Scorpius calls…"The Fling."
"Oh. Okay then…" Al gave him another halfhearted grin and clapped him on the back. "Well, I do hope to see you around. We should grab a drink together, mate. I don't think Callie would mind," he added, slipping in the fact that he was still together with Calytrix Zabini, a fellow Slytherin he'd loved for a long, long time.
"Maybe I'll catch up with you and your girl another time," Scorpius said.
The look in Al's eyes said that no bridges had ever been burned between them. He genuinely smiled. "Thanks, Scor. I'll see you later." Al jogged off, seeming quite happy with himself. On the other hand, Scorpius felt his gut twisting this way and that, so he marched to the lifts and rode one to another floor. Lo and behold, the door opened and Percy stepped in.
"Oh, Scorpius. How are you—"
"I want in. Anything but Auror or Portkey Office. But I'm in."
Percy blinked, his blue eyes big behind his glasses. "…Okay. That's fine. I'll see what I can do." He settled against the back wall, shoulder-to-shoulder with the younger wizard. "May I ask what's wrong? You seem rattled."
"Not rattled," Scorpius mumbled. "Determined."
Thankfully, Percy was a man who was true to his word. Though it took him some time, he didn't mind Scorpius tagging along here and there, almost getting a taste for the possible different departments of which he could be a member. However, finding one place was a bit of a challenge.
"You don't have a lot of experience," Percy said. They were in his office, Scorpius passing files for him to put away. It was an easy, mind-numbing task, and they could talk casually without much concern.
"Yes, but that means wherever I do go, my boss can shape me to his liking," Scorpius said. "It's marketability."
Percy raised his eyebrows and chuckled. "Dear Merlin… You've been around me too much—you're starting to sound like me."
Scorpius laughed. "That's not a terrible thing. Look at what you've accomplished. You're the undersecretary to the minister. Between you and Padma Patil, you pretty much get the minister's job done for him."
"Yes, it does seem that way, doesn't it?" The redheaded wizard paused to roll his shoulders. "It's…a little annoying sometimes. I really do feel as though I do the minister's job." He blinked and glanced at Scorpius, his face tinged with pink. "Ahem, never mind that. You didn't hear me voicing any complaints."
"No, of course not," the younger man said, but he couldn't hide his smirk. He resumed passing Percy files.
Percy was quiet for a while before saying, "Actually…"
"Actually, that's not a bad idea."
He grabbed the last file from Scorpius and looked around his office. "You."
Scorpius blushed and was grateful Percy was looking at him right then. "What?"
"You, working for me. Sorry. I tend to voice half my thoughts when an idea runs with me." He gathered up some papers and glanced at his watch. "Good, I have time." Percy conjured a chair in front of his desk, and it knocked Scorpius' knees out to push him to sit right before the man. "You could just work for me now. I travel to most of the departments and usually have a hand in everything, so you'd almost be working for everyone without being tied down to them. How does that sound?"
The Malfoy couldn't believe his ears. "Wow, really? That's very generous of you, Percy."
Percy smiled. "You work well with me, so why not?"
Scorpius nodded, feeling hot under the collar. "Th-Thank you. I really appreciate this. It's such an—"
"If you start going on about 'honors' and stuff, I may just kick you out. Now, can you walk and talk?" the Weasley asked as he stood.
The blonde stood with him. "Of course." They left then, and Scorpius now had a job—kinda.
This line of work turned out to be most enjoyable. Scorpius saw little of the two places he loved to avoid in the ministry, but he got a true taste for what it was like to work for the Ministry of Magic. That, and…well, frankly, it was nice to spend more time with Percy. Scorpius had come to see the man as a friend and peer, despite the obvious age difference. But Scorpius felt as though he could tell Percy almost anything.
Certainly Percy felt the same way. About a month and a half into the new "job," Percy began to explain more about his side of the family. And not all of it was very happy.
The topic had come up again when Scorpius had briefly seen Molly with her fellow Obliviators. Seeing her had reminded him of Percy's earlier comments about what had happened to the sisters. "Do Lucy and Molly talk much anymore? You said Lucy isn't at home…"
His words brought a sad frown to Percy's face. "It's a long story," he muttered.
Scorpius sighed. He peeked outside Percy's office and noted that there was little activity. He, too, skimmed the documents on Percy's desk and realized they were way ahead of themselves. He looked at Percy. "I think we've got time."
Percy locked eyes with him, deepened his frown, and leaned back in his chair. "Lucy left with her mother right out of school."
"Wow. I…didn't realize Luce was so impulsive."
"She isn't. But Audrey is—was," he corrected. He bent forward and leaned on his desk, cupping his cheek and mouth in his hand as he stared at a bookcase. "Audrey didn't just leave, you see. She left me."
Scorpius remained quiet. With Percy, there could be a multitude of reasons for the separation. "…why?" he finally pushed.
Percy rolled his eyes, and Scorpius thought it was nice to see a bit of Weasley in him at last. "Oh, Audrey thought we had the perfect life and all that… She didn't realize she had to work at it. I worked at it, but in the end…it was out of both our hands. I still had feelings for him."
"'Him'?" Scorpius could hardly believe his ears.
"An old housemate." He looked at Scorpius now. "You know Oliver Wood of Puddlemere United? He married Gabrielle Delacour a while back."
"Yeah, yeah… Vic, Dom, and Louis' aunt, right? Tying him to the family, in a way."
Percy nodded and sighed. "The one and only."
"No! Really? That's—well, I don't think anyone can blame you, he's a handsome fellow and an amazing player—"
"Yes, he is." He leaned back once more. "I've known that the longest out of anyone. I shared a dorm with him, you know. Both Gryffindors." He smiled then, and the Malfoy thought it was a very sweet smile; he wished Percy would show it more often. Then the smile vanished as he continued. "But Audrey found I still had feelings with him, and she decided it was better than I stopped putting her through so much pain. So she divorced me, and Lucy went with her, not liking a dad who seemingly couldn't make up his mind. Molly doesn't really seem to have one opinion or another about it; she still lives at home with me, but we see each other more at work. She's probably still here only because of the ministry and Michael Corner in the Office of Misinformation." He grumbled then. "And it doesn't matter that I don't really approve of him since he's from Harry's year because she's going to do whatever she damn well pleases…" He sighed again.
Scorpius dropped his gaze to his pencil and paper. "So does Oliver…?"
"No, he doesn't return the sentiments. He insists we remain friends, which is fine. He and Gabrielle are very nice for each other. And will you stop writing in pencil? Godric, that's driving me nuts."
"What? Oh, sorry. Why?" He let Percy snatch the pencil from his hand, but then Scorpius frowned. "Is it too Muggle for you?"
"You're not going to hear rubbish like that from me. Aud's Muggle-born, you know. But it really does drive me up the wall."
"Then why didn't you say something before? I've been doing that the whole time I've been here."
"I don't know. But must you insist on it? It makes my job harder and tedious if what you've jotted down smudges or fades." He pulled out a quill and placed it in Scorpius' palm. "Please, take one from me. The ink doesn't run out and we can read our notes now." He chuckled as he got up as they got back to work. "But really, whoever heard of a wizard using graphite all the time?"
Scorpius said nothing, and he was glad to work. If he was facing the paper, then he wouldn't have to look at Percy. If he didn't look at Percy, then he wouldn't have to dive into that story. The more distance from the past…the better.
"How's the ministry treating you?" Astoria asked her son a little before Halloween.
"Well, three months into the job and nothing's exploded, so that's got to be a good sign, right?" Scorpius replied.
Astoria laughed. "Oh, Merlin. There was this one boy in your father's year, Seamus Finnigan, and he never found a spell or potion that wouldn't blow up in his face. Everyone in Hogwarts knew about him."
"I'm glad I'm not like him, then." Scorpius bit into a biscuit while his mother folded the newspaper in half. He gulped down his gillywater and got up, putting their dishes away since their house-elf, Squally, was busy elsewhere in Malfoy Manor.
"Btw, I was thinking we'd all get away next week for the holiday. Can you get a little time off? You've been working nonstop for a while now."
Her son mentally ran through his schedule. "No, I don't think I can. And personally, I'd like to stay here. It'd be nice to have the house to myself for once."
Astoria gave him a look. "You little… You know Daphne and Lucius are going to be fine, but what about your father and me, hmm? With Narcissa along, she'll be stuck to us like glue."
"Then don't invite her," Scorpius cheekily quipped with a grin.
His mother laughed. "And that is the Greengrass in you, dear. How else would I have ever gotten Draco, or Daphne dealt with Lucius?"
Scorpius smiled at the compliment; "Scorpius Greengrass" had always made more sense to him, anyway. He kissed his mother's cheek. "All right, I'll see you later. And I was joking about Grandma Cissy—please, take her with you."
"Oh, all riiight…!"
At work, Daphne brought up the getaway plans as well, griping similarly about who would get Narcissa. However, Scorpius remained resolute about being on his own for once. More and more the idea of having peace and quiet grew on him, and he got through much of the week on the pleasant feeling the idea gave him.
"You're seemingly unusually peppy lately," Percy snorted as they grabbed lunch to take back with them to the office.
Scorpius couldn't fight his ridiculous grin. "Hey, everything's going great for me right now. I have a job," he began, with a thankful nod to the other wizard, "I have a decent family, and—best of all—that decent family will be away for a whole five days, starting tonight, because of the holiday. My family's always been around to tell me to do this and that. This one time, I get to be the boss of me. Hell, they can take our house-elf with them, for all I care."
"I didn't realize you favored your freedom so much," Percy commented. "But I suppose you're about that age."
"You sound like an old man," Scorpius teased. They rode the lift together back to Percy's office, and Scorpius pulled the door shut behind them before plopping into Percy's seat. "Wow, you are an old man. This thing must be, what, extra plush?"
He laughed, but Percy only rolled his eyes and leaned over him to grab a tissue off his desk. He wiped the side of his hand and showed the grayed cloth to his assistant. "And you are still a kid. That bloody pencil has rubbed off on my hand, Scor."
Scorpius smiled at how Percy had said "Scor." He rather liked that. "It's not my fault you're a lefty, Percy. You're eradicating all my hard work…!" He mock-sobbed.
"Oh, get a hold of yourself. I told you to use that quill I gave you. And it's a very nice quill, I should add."
Scorpius' smile withered into a grimace. "Then take it back if you care so much."
Percy stared at him long and hard, and Scorpius had to look away. "You know, you never told me why you feel you have to write in graphite."
The blonde ran a hand through his hair as Percy leaned back against the desk, looking down at him from beside him. Scorpius' mouth felt gummy and dry, for he truly hated this topic: The Fling. Of course, no one knew. …until now, he scolded himself. Scorpius drew a deep breath and glanced at Percy before staring at his sandwich. "I like pencil because—because I can erase it. I can erase mistakes."
Percy furrowed his brow. "But I don't understand. We're wizards, Scorpius. We can erase ink, too, with just a spell. So why—"
"I slept with Harry."
The look on Percy's face was akin to one on someone who'd just been punched or kicked in the gut. Needless to say, he was astonished. "What?" His voice was barely a whisper.
Scorpius covered his eyes and rubbed his temples. He swished his wand, Sealing the door off from possible eavesdroppers. "It was sixth year. I—I had started flirting with him in fifth, not expecting a return of any sort…"
Yes, it was finally out. He, Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy, had had The Fling with the one, the only, Harry James Potter—the Boy-Who-Lived. And he wasn't lying; he'd started to flirt with him casually in fifth year, when Harry had done more guest-lecturing in the Defense Against the Dark Arts classes than ever. Harry had gone along with it in what Scorpius had thought was a teasing manner. Then…then Scorpius found excuses to do poorly and stay behind for "extra help" from the man. Even now, Scorpius wasn't one-hundred-percent sure who had made the first physical move, but their interactions went on for a long while.
It wasn't all bad. On the contrary, it was excellent. He could understand why Ginny Weasley had stayed around so long, especially long enough to have three kids with him. But while Harry was excellent in one way, he was horrible in another. Truly, he was an insufferable git. It wasn't that Harry needed to have everything his way, but he had tantrums when things were done in another way and he didn't like them. Scorpius often had written it off as Harry being a worrier; he'd heard tales from Al of Harry's past and Scorpius couldn't quite fault him for wanting to have a say in every aspect of life—his or anyone else's.
But Scorpius had only been able to handle so much of that attitude. Scorpius and Harry had never said anything to anyone, and Scorpius finally dropped their pseudo relationship a short while after he and Al graduated from Hogwarts. Sure, that was well over two years now, but still… Scorpius still felt queasy even seeing Al.
"Because his eyes are the same as Harry's," Percy correctly assumed.
Scorpius nodded. "I hate ink, Percy. It's too…permanent. Once it's there, you can't really get rid of it. Sure, you can magic it away—but I can't do that about my past with Harry." He squeezed his eyes shut tightly. "I can never forget that. And I feel incredibly stupid for it."
Percy was quiet for a while. "And you never even told Albus?"
"Are you kidding? He's the last person I want to know. 'Oh, yeah, by the way, mate, I shag guys. Do you know how awesome your dad is in the sack?'" He snorted. After a pause, he glanced at Percy and loosed a small, nervous chuckle. "That's about the most absurd thing I've ever heard."
Scorpius hated to look at Percy right now, because he didn't see pity or sympathy in those blue eyes. Instead he saw compassion, care…hurt on his behalf. Percy, damn him, Percy understood Scorpius' conflicted thoughts and feelings. So when he rested a comforting hand on Scorpius' shoulder and gave it a squeeze, Scorpius knew he had to stop this, too.
"This was a really bad idea, working here and telling you, telling anyone, really—"
"Scor, don't kick yourself over it—I won't tell anyone, I promise—"
Scorpius shook his head, hating even more that, deep down, he wanted to hear Percy say those words. They were nice words to hear, and even better to hear from Percy, his companion, his friend. "It's no use. I—" He paused to steady himself and make sure his breath didn't come out shaky. "I'm just not cut out for ministry-work," he stated dejectedly, hating himself for causing the hurt look on Percy's face.
Percy pursed his lips and removed his glasses. He pinched the bridge of his nose in exasperation and exhaustion. "Scor, you don't have to go."
The blonde marched to the door. "Actually, I think I should—"
Suddenly, Percy looked up. "Wait a minute. Scorpius! Don't—"
However, Scorpius had already opened the door, and there stood the topic of the hour: Harry. His fist was frozen midair, looking as though he'd been about to knock. But his jaw dropped upon seeing the Malfoy. "Scorpius…?" Harry and Scorpius had last spoken and seen each other more than two years ago, on the day Scorpius had ended things.
The blonde froze. Not now—anything but now—! He couldn't handle a confrontation right after reopening wounds that had finally healed! He managed to break that green gaze on his face and glance back at Percy, his blue eyes electric with worry. Then Scorpius shoved Harry out of the way and made a mad dash for the lifts. He only rode far enough to get to the Atrium, for he knew he needed to Floo out of there immediately.
He was relieved to find no one home.
Squally had actually stayed behind for Scorpius, but the house-elf left his master alone at Scorpius' stomping out of the fireplace. There was no need to add oil to an already well-lit fire.
Scorpius was burning with rage. Why, why had he opened his mouth? Why had he thought it okay to tell Percy his deepest, darkest secret? Why had he informed Percy that, oh yeah, he liked blokes, too—and then mentioned Harry in the same breath? Why had Percy looked like such a decent human being after hearing something so awful? Why had he looked as though he cared about Scorpius and Scorpius' feelings?
Why had Harry shown up?
The last question was what Scorpius really wanted to know. Harry was related to Percy by marriage, but what the hell? Speak of the devil and he turns up! This was why Scorpius hated ink. This was why he hated secrets. Because when you talk of bad secrets, the people in them show. Up. Period. It was Merlin's Law, or something like that…
Scorpius fell to his rump and hung his head. That was it. He couldn't do this anymore. He…he couldn't go back there. He couldn't work in the ministry. Yes, Percy was there…but so was Harry. And though it killed Scorpius to be separated from the one person he'd finally grown close to in such a long time—he couldn't risk seeing Harry again.
It wasn't even just Harry that bothered him. Right before Scorpius had opened the door, Percy—he'd—he'd had this…look of dawning realization on his face. It was almost as though he'd known Harry was going to appear.
That made the heir wonder if Harry really had kept his mouth shut all these years.
Either way, Scorpius felt sick to his stomach. He really wasn't going back to the Ministry of Magic. He didn't know what he'd tell his family when they returned, but he had five days to figure out a story. And if Percy showed up on his doorstep, then he'd—he'd…
Scorpius squinted, hating the feeling of tears pricking the backs of his eyes, a sensation he hadn't known for what felt like a decade. And all this because of Percy…
Yeah. Scorpius was pretty sure of it. He'd already crossed the line again…and fallen for Percy.
The house was so quiet. It was a delight and a torture all at once. Scorpius did not have his family breathing down his neck, asking him about what had happened. Yet the quiet abandoned Scorpius in his own thoughts, leaving him to dwell on recent events.
His heart ached when he thought about the past several months too much. Scorpius felt stupendously stupid for not seeing sooner that he'd been feeling too comfortable around Percy. He didn't hate being around Percy—he loved it—but all he could focus on was the last time he'd been so close to someone. And look at him: He'd ended up hurt. Badly hurt.
"Master will eat today?" Squally asked on Halloween night.
Scorpius looked away from his window to the house-elf standing in his doorway. He'd eaten very little over the past three days, so it was easy for the elf to reason the amount had been negligible. The wizard rubbed the back of his neck. "Yeah, yeah…I'll eat. Um, just don't go all out. It's only me here, remember."
"Yes, Master." The house-elf backed out of the room and Scorpius picked up the Quidditch magazine he'd left open on his bed, leafing through the numerous pictures of the latest brooms.
He heard the screech of an owl and the scrap of a window opening, and his owl, Jorman, flew up the stairs. The black bird dropped a letter on his stomach before settling appreciatively on his post. He waited for Scorpius to toss him a treat, and then he let his owner open his parcel in peace.
It was a letter from Astoria:
I hope the house is still in order…? I hope you're enjoying the holiday by yourself. As for the rest of us, things are scarily fine. In fact, we'll be stay another two days to give ourselves a full week. See you next week, luv, and don't forget to eat Squally's delicious pumpkin and treacle tarts!
He smiled a little sadly to himself and tucked the letter back in its envelope. This wasn't too bad. With a few more days, he should be a lot better, and maybe the story he'd create for his family would actually be believable now that he had proper time to sort out his thoughts. Yes, all would be well so long as he hid out at home.
The day before Scorpius was expecting the others to return, he had an awful nightmare.
In it, Scorpius had detention. He was writing lines upon lines of some sentence—he wasn't sure exactly what—in the blackest India ink he'd ever used and the ink soaked through the paper. It soaked into the wood of the table and got onto his hands and pants; it went through his clothes, and he was left feeling disgusting, covered in the muck he couldn't wash off.
Just when he thought the lines were finished, Harry walked in to check his work, and the next thing he knew they were back in the same compromising positions Scorpius had known so well. It sickened Scorpius to know that he still recalled Harry's body in such vivid detail. And it was even worse when dream-Harry sought out his mouth to kiss him—
Then Harry's face was Percy's. Blue, blue eyes and red, red hair and fair, fair lips that touched his and then Scorpius awoke.
No wonder people tried to sort out dream meanings.
Scorpius groaned as he rolled onto his back and stared up at the ceiling. By now, he was more than ready to have company again. He wished that his parents and family would return—he would even welcome Grandma Cissy's pestering right now. Anything would be better than this cold sweat from anxiety, fear, and worry.
He traipsed out of his room and downstairs in just his pants, the cold sweat leaving an icky sheen on his torso. "Squally," he called. "Can you get me a sandwich? I'm going to show—"
The son stopped mid-sentence. He heard Squally's hushed voice talking in the vestibule. Words like "request" and "audience" and "home" floated to his ears, and Scorpius strained to hear the other voice. He recognized the house-elf's inflections, but the other voice…
Shit. It was Percy.
And what did you have in mind for if—when—he turned up on your doorstep? his conscience chided him as he hid around the corner.
Squally, being a good house-elf, let Percy in and left to find his master. The house-elf squeaked in surprise when he bumped into Scorpius. "Master! A Misterr Percy has some to see you, sirr." Squally nodded and pointed to the vestibule, and Scorpius shuffled forward, feeling fairly warm for someone walking around his house in October without a shirt.
Percy appeared relieved to see that Scorpius was well. Then his eyes momentarily drifted downward and he forced his gaze back up, but his face was as red as his hair. Weasleys were still so predictable. "Scorpius."
Scorpius did the childish thing and stared at the floor. He said nothing.
"Scorpius, look at me."
The Malfoy crossed his arms in front of his bare chest.
Something in Percy's voice forced Scorpius to look at him, and he hated how self-conscious he felt when staring into those eyes. The very same eyes about which he'd just dreamed.
"What for? You didn't do anything wrong." He sighed. "Or did you?"
Percy frowned and fidgeted on his feet. "I forgot that Harry was going to stop by that day. We—Everyone was trying to meet at the Burrow for Halloween. He only meant to ask if Molly and I were coming separately and if we'd be late. I—"
"You could've given me a little warning," Scorpius groaned.
"For what?" Percy glared at him, clearly angry. "I didn't even know it was him you were avoiding until right then! You just told me about him, Scor!"
The blonde's haughtiness disappeared. "Oh. Yeah." He looked sheepishly at his former boss. "Sorry."
Percy sighed and took a few steps closer to Scorpius. "Harry, he—he didn't say anything about…then, if you're wondering. He was surprised to see you, so all I said was that you were looking for a job. I told him I turned you down." He exhaled again. "He and I barely see each other at work, so…so you can come back. You'll—be safe there. You'll be safe with me."
Scorpius winced at how that sounded. "Percy, while I appreciate the offer—"
"Please! You're good, you manage to work well with me, everyone else says I drive them nuts with my incessant details, you could have a new position, I'd create it just for you and—"
"Percy!" Scorpius yelled. He held the man's shoulders at arms'-length. "Stop already!"
"No. You could be the only undersecretary to the minister's only undersecretary and—"
Scorpius rolled his eyes and smacked both sides of Percy's face.
"OW…! Why'd you do that…?"
"To get you to shut up," Scorpius said, failing to keep the laughter from leaking into his voice.
Percy pouted. "But…you left and didn't come back… I thought you weren't going to return…"
"Then you were right," Scorpius assured him, raising his eyebrows. "I don't want to go to a place every day, knowing that one encounter might open up a bag of worms."
Scorpius blinked, taken aback. One rarely heard profanities out of Percy Weasley's mouth. "I beg your pardon?"
"You heard me," Percy said, removing Scorpius' hands from his face and holding them captive by his sides. "I said you're chickenshit. You're scared. No wonder you weren't in Gryffindor. You stayed in the House of your family because you didn't want to handle change. You don't want your happy little life upturned."
"You know nothing—"
Percy shook his head and pulled Scorpius' arms behind him, going for his lips. He was timid for a second but then he sought out Scorpius' mouth once more, and they were breathing one breath. Percy had a slight advantage over Scorpius, as he was a couple of inches taller.
The blonde wizard nipped at the redhead's lips to break away. Scorpius returned Percy's earlier glare. "I said you know nothing. This is…it's futile, Perce."
"Let's pretend for one gracious minute that I'm a bloody idiot like my youngest brother. Tell me why this is futile."
Scorpius frowned, but Percy wasn't letting him look anywhere except into his eyes. "This just—just can't happen. I… I don't want a repeat of Harry. You can't blame me for that."
Percy nodded. He shrugged out of his outer cloak and draped it around Scorpius' shoulders. "Sheesh, you're making me cold just looking at you… Yes, I understand what you mean," he stated, leading the younger wizard to the couch near the edge of the hallway leading from the vestibule. They sat down and Percy made sure Scorpius was facing him. "But I'm not your teacher. Hell, I'm not even really your boss—you walked away from your job."
"Fancy that," Scorpius quipped. He grinned just a little and slipped his arms in the sleeves of Percy's cloak.
The older man shook his head. "My point is that what happened between you and Harry won't happen between you and me—"
"Uh, you just kissed me."
"I did. And I mean that we won't have an affair. We would have a relationship." When Scorpius ducked his eyes, he tugged on his hand to get him to look at him again. "So, if you wouldn't mind, could you start using ink again? I've smudged graphite all over my nice shirts and robes…"
Scorpius stared at him before laughing. "Are you kidding…? I walked out of there…"
"And I'm inviting you back. Same pay and job as before, and still no pressure."
"No pressure at all?"
"Hex me if you must."
The Malfoy son raised his eyebrows. "That's generous of you."
"Eh, I've been told I can be like that."
Scorpius pursed his lips. "…what of your feelings for Oliver?"
Percy sighed and thought. "What of yours for Harry?"
The blonde nodded. "Touché. Mine are nearly nonexistent."
"As are mine." Percy pecked his lips again, softly. He stared into Scorpius' warm gray eyes. "The ones I have for you are a whole other matter, however."
Scorpius sighed and stood up. "That's nice. But I'm hungry for food. Perhaps I can have dessert later?" He winked and Percy groaned.
"I should've known what I was getting myself into…"
Percy followed Scorpius into the kitchen and Squally seated and fed them and Scorpius felt a lot better than he had recently. Not only did he have one more night without his family around, but he finally found someone he could trust. Sure, a worry nagged the back of his mind about Harry's possible interest in any of this, but the Malfoy didn't care. He was writing his story with Percy now—and it would most certainly be in ink.
8D I have little to comment. I just adore them now. I love writing Scor, as he's more Greengrass in my mind, and Percy doesn't get nearly enough love. B) They didn't even need a cheesy love confession. So yeah. Do review. :3
Pairing creds (M&MWPs): me (mew-tsubaki)—Daphne/Lucius, Oliver/Gabrielle, and Molly 2/Michael Corner. Luner Hale—this delicious Scorpius/Percy, which is now an honorary M&MWP.
Oh, and cookies to you if you caught the obvious video game reference. B)
Man, this begs for a sequel…does Harry care that he saw Scor in Perce's office…? X3 Thanks for reading. And REVIEW!