A/N: This is an H/P cross generation age disparity fic...if that is not your thing please don't proceed. Harry Potter is 42 and Scorpius Malfoy is 17 which is perfectly legal.

Thank you so much fardareismai2, your help is always welcome. A huge thank you to my beta OnTheTurningAway, she spent way to long helping me, holding my hand and fixing my errors.

WARNINGS: Character Death although not main pairing, depression, slight overuse of sleeping draughts

Scorpius Malfoy was sixteen years old when he came to live with Harry. It was the just past midnight when Harry had received the Floo call from Headmistress McGonagall, asking him to get to Hogwarts immediately. He hadn't bothered with much more than throwing on a shirt and pair of Muggle jeans before Flooing straight away. Harry's heart was pounding in fear as all the horrible scenarios that could have put one of his children in peril raced through his mind. He hurried to the Headmistress's office and the door opened for him.

When Harry walked in, his eyes immediately spotted Albus, whose big green eyes were red-rimmed while tears fell silently down his face.

"What's going, Al?" Harry asked. If Al was hurt physically, he wouldn't be here so that made Harry feel slightly better, until he noticed the boy Albus had his arms wrapped around.

"Thank you for coming, Harry." He turned around and saw Minerva standing behind him. "Please follow me."

Minerva walked out into the corridor and Harry followed. Once the door closed behind them, she spoke and Harry knew it wasn't anything he wanted to hear by the look on her face.

"We received word today, Mr. Potter, that there was an ambush on a group of Aurors on a raid. Several ended up at St. Mungo's and there were two who didn't survive."

Harry's heart sank to his stomach and he leaned against the wall as he recalled that the head of hair buried against Albus's neck was a shade of blond that only one other person he knew possesed. At that moment he knew and he felt like he was going to be sick.

"Draco?" he whispered.

Minerva's eyes glistened with unshed tears, "Mr. Malfoy was one of the two."

"Oh, gods," Harry said, closing his eyes and bunching his fists at his side.

Why Draco?

Why now?

Harry's mind flew to the moment they had gone from being enemies to acquaintances to being friends. Aside from Ron and Hermione, Draco was the best friend he had. After the war they decided to lay aside their differences and work together in the rebuilding of Hogwarts. Cultivating a friendship from there only seemed natural. Draco could still be a pompous git, but time only made him more personable. Tears stung Harry's eyes as the thought of never sharing another conversation over wine again. It was their Friday night tradition, especially with all the kids at Hogwarts.

Kids! Harry thought.

"Scorpius," he said, knowing just how this was going to affect the poor boy. When Astoria died giving birth to Scorpius, Draco had become a different man. Scorpius was raised knowing every second of every day that he was loved and that his Father was proud of every decision he made, no matter the consequences. They were very close and whenever Draco spoke of his only son, it was with great pride.

"Young Mr. Malfoy hasn't said a word since we told him other than to ask for Albus." Minerva's voice was strained and Harry didn't envy her at the moment. He couldn't imagine having to tell a child their only parent was gone.

"What happens to Scorpius?"

"He has no one else living, Harry. At seventeen, he will be of age to inherit the Manor but a decision has to be made for the time being."

The second the words left her mouth, Harry knew where Scorpius would live. Even thought he was too young to remember the moment they were killed, Harry knew the deep and ever-present feeling of losing both of his parents. Thinking back to how it felt to be treated like a parasite by the Dursleys, he knew he would never let Scorpius go to a home where he was only tolerated. Scorpius needed support, comfort and love.

Draco was Harry's friend. They had shared so much; Harry helped Draco through the death of Astoria and made sure he told Draco as often as needed that he was a wonderful father to Scorpius, despite his upbringing. Draco sat with Harry when his divorce from Ginny became final. Although it was an amicable split, Harry still felt like a failure when they couldn't make their marriage work. Draco let him get as pissed as he wanted and they talked into the night sharing their visions for the future, including dreams for their children. Harry pushed aside the empty feeling in his heart at the loss of Draco and focused on Scorpius.

"I'll take him." Harry was vehement, not expecting an argument but prepared nonetheless. Minerva didn't look surprised.

"I hoped you would. His reaction worries me Harry. There have been no denials, tears, anger, nothing. He has stayed silent and still."

Harry knew better than most about loss and thinking about Draco brought tears to his eyes. Scorpius worried him as well.

"I want to take him and Albus home with me tonight."

"It's only one day until the weekend, so that will be fine but I want them both back by classes on Monday. The best thing for Scorpius is a routine of normalcy."

"I think it's best if we see how he is at the end of the weekend and then decide, don't you?"

Minerva gave a slight nod. "Fine Mr. Potter, we will wait and see." Harry wasn't trying to question her decision, but he wasn't going to send Scorpius back if he wasn't ready.

Harry nodded once before walking back into the office. Albus looked up at him, his face wet and eyes glistening while he stroked the platinum blond hair of the boy in his arms. Harry's heart ached for them both, knowing that Albus was hurting for Scorpius and that for Scorpius the worst was yet to come.

Harry squatted in front of them and silently wrapped his arms around them both. He felt his son's shoulders shake and Harry let his tears fall as well for the man he had grown to love and respect. It wasn't fair; his life felt like the losses always outweighed the gains. Harry was thankful to have his three children to bring him joy, without them he knew his life would have been a bleak, desolate place. They gave him a purpose and a reason to feel when there were so many times before they were born that he retreated into himself and pushed everyone away.

Harry stayed there, holding them both with Minerva's hand on his back. When he looked up at her, he saw the sadness etched on her face. She too held a strong affection for Draco, especially after the war.

"Why don't you take them home and I'll let James and Lily know what is happening."

Harry stood and walked over to the Headmistress's desk. He scribbled out a note on a piece of parchment, folded it and handed it to her.

"Please give them this as well."

Minerva took the message and waved a hand for them to leave.

"Let's go boys, I am taking you both home for the weekend."

Albus stood up, pulling an eerily silent Scorpius with him. When they arrived back at the Potter residence, Harry felt it was best for everyone to get to bed and then in the light of day, they would figure out what to do next.

Scorpius stood there in the entryway, looking at nothing. His usually vibrant silver eyes that were so much like his father's were dull and lifeless. It sent chills through Harry's body, knowing how easy it would be for Scorpius to go from the normal boy he was to merely existing.

"Why don't you and Scorpius head on up to bed, Al."

Albus walked over to his father and hugged him tighter than normal. Harry could feel the fear in Al's embrace. He rubbed a hand over his back soothingly, trying without words to assure his son he would try his hardest to be there for them always.

Albus let go, whispered goodnight, took Scorpius by the hand and led him up the stairs to his room. When Harry heard the door close softly, he sank down to the couch and buried his face in hands.

He wanted to drown his sorrow in firewhiskey, but knew he would need all his wits about him tomorrow for Scorpius. Facing the loss of Draco in the light of day was going to be difficult, especially since everyone was still in shock. Harry pulled at his hair, wishing Draco was there to tell him to stop. He let out a half-laugh, half-sob as he imagined just what Draco would say to him. Even after all these years, he loved to make fun of the disorderly mess on top of Harry's head. When he spoke about Harry's unkempt hair, there was always a twinkle in his eye and Harry would retort quickly with a barb about pretentious gits.

"Oh, Draco," Harry said quietly. "Scorpius needs you and I'm afraid I am going to muck it all up."

Harry could hear Draco, looking down from wherever he was and saying, "Potter, quit your moping, Scorpius needs someone strong to lead him. That man is now you."

Those words had actually been spoken to him once before, when Draco feared someone was hell bent on ridding the world of all former Death Eaters and he worried about Scorpius being left alone. Harry just never thought Draco would ever leave this world while Scorpius was still alive. If anyone could cheat death, it was certainly a Malfoy.

Harry laid his head back on the couch and let himself cry this one time before he had to be the one to lean on. Hot tears rolled back, running into his hair, cleansing him of the grief and agony of losing one of the few people in the world who loved him for who he was, not what he did. Malfoy never let him forget what he accomplished but also never used it as a basis their friendship. Draco was one of the few people in his life that he could be completely honest with. Harry could count those people on one hand. Draco let Harry know when he was being a prat and even encouraged Harry to date men and women after his divorce when it became apparent that Harry admired both blokes and birds. That was a conversation Harry would never forget but still laughed about whenever eh thought about it.

Thank gods he still had Ron and Hermione, he knew Hermione would be a great help when it came to helping Scorpius heal and Ron knew the pain of losing someone too. Harry knew Ron would never truly get over losing Fred, and it took him a long time to get to a point where he didn't feel like crying anytime his brother was mentioned. Harry realized that in dealing with Scorpius, he was going to need them both.

Once his tears had dried, Harry went up to bed, looking in on the boys before he tried to sleep for a few hours. He quietly opened Al's door, not wanting to wake them if they were sleeping. His eyes adjusted to the darkness of the room, the moon bathed the bed in a faint light and he saw Albus sitting against the headboard, his head angled to side as he slept. Scorpius had his head on Al's lap, curled in a ball, Al's fingers tangled in his flaxen hair. Scorpius's eyes were wide open and locked with Harry's.

Harry's heart clenched, a thousand words on the end of his tongue, words of sorrow, apology and love, but he could see in Scorpius's eyes that they weren't welcome. He retreated, closing the door behind him before shedding his clothes and crawling into his bed. Harry fell asleep with the image of Scorpius's apathetic gaze burned into his memory.

When the morning light woke Harry from his fitful attempt at sleep, he reached for his glasses and put them on. He could feel someone watching him and when he looked around, he saw Hermione sitting in the corner of his room, her face splotchy and a handkerchief bring wrung anxiously by her fingers.

"Oh Harry, I'm so sorry." Tears immediately collected in his eyes and he felt the now familiar burn in his throat.

"I was hoping when I woke up it would have all been a bad dream."

Hermione sniffed, wiping her tears away with the abused linen in her hand. "Ron was there, when Malfoy fell. He was struck by a strong hex and rushed to St. Mungo's but they wouldn't tell Ron who was hurt until he was stable, he was hurt too." She dropped her head, sobs wracking her body as she tried to talk. Harry could feel each cry like a knife in his gut, knowing it was reality. Draco was gone, his friend was dead and Scorpius was an orphan.

"When Ron found out it was Draco and an Auror-in-training that were killed, he immediately thought of Scorpius and you and Fred and his mum. He wanted to come, but he didn't know what to say to you. When he owled Rose, she already knew and said Scorpius had come home with you and Al."

Harry sat up in bed. "I brought them both home for the weekend, but Minerva wants them back by classes Monday. I'm glad you came 'Mione, I am worried about Scorpius. He didn't say one word when he found out and was silent all night."

"Well, Harry, it's a tragic situation and each individual will deal with it in their own way. The important thing is letting him know you are there for him and trying to get him to talk." She immediately went into Healer mode and Harry was even more glad to have her as a friend, knowing her field of expertise was grief counseling. She had chosen that career once the war ended, knowing that so many had lost so much and felt that it was the best way she could serve the people who were in need. She was excellent at it and sought after often.

"I'm going to need your guidance, I haven't a clue what to say to him."

"People always feel that not saying the name of the person who passed on is best, but the opposite is true. Get him to talk about his father, how he feels, what he fears, what he needs. You know I will do whatever I can and I will make time for him if he wants to talk to me. Ron and I cared for Draco as well, it is hard for all of us."

"I know it is, I just want to do the right thing for Scorpius and fear my words can fuck it all up quickly."

"Harry, you need to have more confidence in yourself. You are the adult; he will look to you for guidance. Just listen to what your heart says and let your words come from there."

She stood up and walked over to the bed, placed a kiss on his cheek and walked to the door. "I'll let myself out, but I'll be here in a heartbeat if need be. Ron sends his love."

"Thanks 'Mione, tell Ron I'm glad he's okay."

Hermione smiled briefly before nodding and walking out the door. Harry got out of bed, took a quick shower to wake himself up, dressed quickly and went to check on the boys.

The door to Al's room was ajar and Harry peeked in. Scorpius was still in the same attire as last night, robes wrinkled from lying on the bed, holding a cup of tea. Albus was next to him at the foot of the bed, holding his hand. They still weren't speaking and Harry wondered if he should interrupt or let them have this tiny bit of solitude before everything got insane. He chose the latter and let the boys be.

While sitting at the kitchen table, an owl arrived from Draco's solicitor, asking for a meeting to discuss the arrangements to be made for Draco's burial. Harry was expecting the message, having been made proxy for Scorpius should Draco pass before Scorpius turned seventeen. Draco had no other living relatives he trusted with his son; Harry just never thought he'd actually have to do it. Harry sent a message back saying that they could meet later that afternoon, knowing the service needed to be scheduled soon so Scorpius could try to get past it and carry on with his life.

Harry couldn't imagine how alone Scorpius felt, but then, until he met Ron and the Weasley family, he had been alone too. Living with the Dursleys was nothing like having a real family and he was thankful daily that the Weasleys offered him that. They were his family in every sense of the word and he hoped that soon, Scorpius would come to feel the same way about Harry's family. They were already close, but he wanted Scorpius to feel like he belonged.

It wasn't too much later when the Floo lit up and a sullen-faced Ron walked through holding an official Ministry envelope.

"Hey mate." Ron was limping slightly and Harry was assailed with relief at the sight of him. He crossed the room quickly and enveloped Ron in a fierce hug. He very well could have been the second life lost and Harry knew that losing Ron would have been more than he could handle.

"I'm glad you're safe." Ron hugged him back, already knowing how it felt when he thought he had lost Harry. He understood what Harry needed. Eventually, Harry let Ron go and turned back toward the table, but not before noticing the stray tear that Ron swiped away.

They sat at the table where Harry noticed Ron was in his Auror robes. "You working today? They couldn't give you a day off to rest?"

"I need to be there, Harry. There is going to be an official investigation and I have to know where it all went wrong. Two lives were lost and there are still a few Aurors at St. Mungo's. When everything is recreated, I need to be there, for Draco, for his son and for the family of Seymour Smith, the other person killed. This can never happen again."

Harry understood, probably more than Ron knew. He pointed to the envelope in Ron's hand, "What's in there?"

Ron looked down, his features becoming even more grim. "It's for Scorpius, a letter of condolence from the ministry and a letter outlining the death benefits he will receive after the investigation, since Draco was killed in the line of duty. 'Sucks mate, sorry your dad's dead, here's some galleons to make it all better.'"

They both heard the gasp from the stairs and looked up just in time to see the flash of blond hair disappear from sight. Albus stood there, looking at them both in shock before charging up after Scorpius.

"Bloody fuck!" Harry hopped up, turning to Ron before following the boys. "I think it's best you go, I'll owl you later."

Ron walked to the Floo. "I'm sorry mate, I had no idea..."

"I know, leave the letters, I need to tend to the boys," Harry interrupted.

Harry didn't even wait for Ron to depart before running up to Al's room.

"Please Scor, open the door, let me in." Albus was leaning on the bathroom door with his hands pressed against it. He was pleading softly with Scorpius, begging for entrance and Harry felt like an utter ass for not thinking about the possibility that they'd come down the stairs.

Albus looked over at him, his lack of sleep evident in the purple smudges under his eyes. "He won't open the door, he won't let me in, Dad. I'm the only one he wanted and now he's..." Harry watched his son sink to the floor, his lip trembling as he tried to hold back his tears.

Harry placed a comforting hand on Al's shoulder before trying to coax Scorpius to open the door. "Scorpius, please open the door. Ron's an idiot sometimes and he didn't mean it, he is so worried about you. So is Albus and so am I. We want to be here for you, help you and comfort you any way we can, but we can't do that if you shut us out."

On the other side of the door, Scorpius sat on the floor, wishing they would shut up. He didn't want comfort, or pity or apologies from anyone, he wanted his father back. No one else in this world understood him and could talk to him quite like his dad. It still hadn't sunk in all the way that his father wasn't coming home. He wasn't on an extended trip, he wasn't working late. Scorpius wasn't staying the weekend with his best friend, and heading back to the Manor to see his father.

Scorpius felt the stabbing pains starting again and he shoved them back down. If he didn't feel the pain, it wouldn't be real, his dad would be okay and he'd admonish Scorpius for not having more faith in him. He would give anything to hear his father's voice once again, but deep down he knew it wasn't going to happen. On the other side of the door, Al's father was trying to get in and Scorpius was sure he was upsetting Al, but he couldn't talk about. He didn't want to face it and right then he really needed to be alone.

Harry and Al tried for a solid hour to get Scorpius to open the door before Harry had to get ready and go meet with Draco's solicitor. When Harry even hinted earlier about Draco's service, Scorpius started to shake his head, so Harry decided to go take care of things himself. He let Al know where he was going and encouraged him to keep trying, then Harry Apparated to the office.

When Harry emerged a few hours later, his head was swimming. Leave it to Draco to have every detail planned, down to where he was to be buried and how he wanted his service to go. There was also a letter for Scorpius and Harry had more knowledge than he ever wanted about Malfoy's companies and financial status. Being an Auror was something Malfoy did because he had a true passion for it, not out of necessity.

They had set a service for Tuesday of the following week and the solicitor would arrange making the announcement in The Prophet and dealing with the Ministry. They needed to be notified to make proper arrangements as well.

When he got home, Harry sent an owl to Ginny, letting her know what happened and when the funeral would be. She was touring with her Quidditch team but he knew she would return to Britain for this. After the divorce, he officially took custody of the kids so she could continue her career, but when they were out of school for the summer, they spent equal time with each parent.

Harry hoped Al had made some headway with Scorpius. He quietly made his way up and found Al asleep in the hallway and the bathroom door wide open. Harry quickly looked in all the rooms and breathed a sigh of relief when he spotted Scorpius sleeping on Al's balcony, the sun turning his face a bright pink. When he went to wake Scorpius up he noticed the empty vial in his hand. Harry quickly picked it up, fear hammering in his chest, and smelled it.

"Dreamless sleep," he whispered. Scorpius must have gone into his lab. Harry was a healer at St. Mungo's, so he had a small lab at the house. He picked up the sleeping boy, whose face was tortured with grief even in sleep, and laid him on Al's bed. He looked down at the face that was so like his father's, yet so different. Harry bent down and placed a kiss on his forehead before going to wake up Al.

The weekend was much of the same. Some of Scorpius's school chums came to visit and other than acknowledging them with his eyes, he never uttered a word. He didn't eat and got no sleep. Harry had offered him use of the Dreamless Sleep but Scorpius refused. No one, not even Al, seemed to be able to get through to him.

The only time he showed the slightest bit of emotion was when the Head Auror, a bloke Harry didn't recognize, came to present Scorpius with Draco's robes. The young boy clung tightly to the material, his knuckles white against the deep red fabric. He also handed Scorpius the only picture on Draco's desk, it was a picture of Draco and Scorpius. Draco had his arm around Scorpius and was laughing before pulling Scorpius tightly against him and Scorpius had a grin on his face to match. His eyes went wide at the sight of the photo and for the first time since he learned of Draco's death, his eyes came to life. Just as quickly as the spark ignited, it faded away and the dull luster was back.

Scorpius stood up, nodding once to the gentleman before leaving the room. Harry watched him walk away, into the kitchen and out the back door. Once he was alone, Scorpius looked up at the moon and stars, wishing it was July so he could see the constellation that bore his father's name. His father taught him early on about the importance of astronomy, constellations and how they all tied to their names in the Malfoy family. It was one of the few traditions that his dad was proud to tell him about.

He felt so disconnected, even seeing the picture hadn't helped. It only reminded him of what he lost and Scorpius wished fervently that there was some tangible proof that his father could see him from wherever he was and that he would guide him from afar. It was a fool's dream, he knew that, but he hoped just the same. Scorpius reached up to the sky, trying to touch the stars, wanting to feel something but his fingers only met with the chilly night air.

It wasn't long before he heard the door close behind him and then he felt the heat of the man standing behind him. He knew it wasn't Al; he'd been friends with Al for years and would recognize him in a second. No, it was Mr. Potter, who was only making the whole situation even more difficult. Scorpius knew what had been decided and he also knew that Mr. Potter stepping into the role of his parent was the last thing he needed from him.

"Scorpius, are you alright?"

No! he wanted to scream, I'm pretty fucking far from alright. But it wouldn't be fair to Mr. Potter and Scorpius wasn't ready to break down yet, he knew when that happened it would surely mean his father wasn't ever coming home ever and he just wasn't ready to admit that even to himself, so he kept silent.

Harry reached out a hand and placed it on the boy's shoulder, feeling him stiffen under his touch, but he didn't let go. Instead, he turned Scorpius around, pulled him into a hug and held tight. Scorpius didn't know what to do, it was too much, all of it and he felt his control slipping. Scorpius allowed himself a brief moment of self-indulgence and sank his weight into Mr. Potter's embrace before pulling himself away and running up to Al's room.

By the time Sunday evening rolled around, Harry knew he needed to talk to Minerva. Scorpius was a walking zombie, there was no way he would be at all able to attend Monday classes and with the funeral on Tuesday, he felt it best to keep Scorpius at the house for the time being. When he Floo called her, she agreed, but said the boy must return by Wednesday. She informed Harry that students requesting permission to attend the service were excused from classes. That night Harry sent Al back to school, with a promise to see him Tuesday and his word that he would keep trying to get through to Scorpius.

When he looked in Al's room, he saw Scorpius lying under the covers, staring at the ceiling. Harry feared if he didn't start eating and getting some sleep, he was going to end up at St. Mungo's. All Scorpius had done was taken a few bites here and there and Harry knew it was to please Albus, not nearly enough for a boy his age. He made a decision right then, no more fucking around, Scorpius was going to have to at least drink some potions, whether he wanted to or not. Harry went to his room, pulled out a vial of Dreamless Sleep and a nutrient-sustaining potion.

Walking into the room, he dropped down next to Scorpius, who was looking at him with weary eyes. Harry held up the vials. "Your father would not want you doing this to yourself, Scorpius. He would be sick with worry for you and I very much am. I won't leave this room until you have drunk both of these and gotten the sleep you need. You need to rest and you need sustenance. I know it's hard and awful and you feel so alone but please, drink them."

Scorpius couldn't deny Mr. Potter's pleas, they were so earnest and he was powerless against them. Sitting up, he took the vials from him and drank them both. When he handed them back, Mr. Potter made to speak again, but then decided against it, got up and walked to the door.

"Thank you." Harry was immensely relieved Scorpius had taken them without a fuss. As he was closing the door he heard Scorpius speak, faintly but words nonetheless.

"You don't know what it feels like." Harry gripped the door jamb, wanting to hold the boy against him and tell him it was all going to be okay, but it wasn't. Scorpius Malfoy was going to have to grow up quickly and none of it was okay.

Instead he whispered back to him. "I do know, Scorpius, better than you might think." Then Harry closed the door and went to his own room to sleep.

Tuesday dawned cold and rainy, which was perfectly fitting for the sombre mood in the Potter household. Monday Harry had taken Scorpius to the Manor to get some formal robes and when they'd arrived Scorpius refused to enter, leaving Harry to go in alone and find his room. Harry knew it was going to be awhile before Scorpius would be able to set foot in his home again but the service would be held there so he'd have to at least be there for that.

James, Albus and Lily came home to go with them instead of traveling with their friends from school. They would be one unit, a family and it was important to Harry that Scorpius see that they wanted to be that for him. Ron and Hermioine were there at his home as well and they all took turns Flooing to the Manor.

Harry had arranged everything ahead of time, letting the solicitor handle most of it so all they had to do was show up. Scorpius held his head high with furrowed brows as they walked into the entrance of the Manor. He didn't say a word as he walked down the hall, knowing instinctively where they needed to go.

Together, they walked into the room which was already full of Draco's coworkers, their families and friends from Hogwarts. Scorpius was a few paces ahead of Harry and Al, so they both came to a halt when they saw him freeze. Harry looked up at the front of the room and saw them, pictures of Draco, Astoria, Narcissa and Lucius. Scorpius's entire family, his loss was on display for everyone to see, all of them behind the prominently displayed body of Draco Malfoy.

Scorpius tried to look anywhere but at his father, he had no idea what to expect but hoped that there would be no body, no proof. He reached back for Mr. Potter and Albus's hands, gripping tight, pulling them back slightly, not wanting to go in. Scorpius wasn't ready to see the looks of pity, to hear the condolences, and he certainly didn't have it in him yet to listen to people talk about how wonderful his father was. He already knew what kind of man his father was and didn't need virtual strangers telling him so.

"I can't do this." Scorpius whispered those words into Harry's ear, making Harry pull him close.

"You need to, just for a moment then it will all be over and Al and I will be there with you."

Scorpius felt hands rubbing his back and knew the Potter siblings were doing their best to comfort him. Over Harry's shoulder he saw Ginny Potter walking towards them in tasteful black robes. As grateful as he was for her presence, he selfishly wanted Harry and Albus all to himself. Scorpius allowed Harry to hold him and took comfort from the others and just for a second everything felt like it might be okay.

That feeling was short-lived when he heard Ms. Potter speak. "Oh, Scor, I'm so sorry." She put her arms around her ex-husband and Scorpius, attempting her own brand of comfort but he didn't want her hands on him. He didn't want her to call him Scor, that was Al's name for him. Scorpius felt the panic welling up inside his chest and when he couldn't take it anymore, he bolted from the group and ran.

Scorpius felt the stares as he passed people in the entry way by but he couldn't be arsed to care. He heard Mr. Potter calling his name, but even that wasn't enough to make him turn around. He knew he would be discovered if he didn't hurry, the Manor was big enough that maybe they'd never find him. When he reached his father's bedroom door, he opened it and slipped into the darkened room.

The only noise he heard was the rasping of his own breath and Scorpius hoped no one could hear him. He laid his head down on the floor, knowing his father would never approve of a such a display, and for the first time since the Headmistress had broken the tragic news, he let the tears fall.

"What am I supposed to do without you?" Scorpius asked the empty room, taking in gulps of air and trying to calm himself. He wrapped his arms around himself and tried to fight off the shivers wracking his small frame. "I need you, please Father, come back...no one else understands me."

Scorpius let the tears run, wetting the floor underneath his head as anguish carried him into a much needed sleep. That was where Harry found him after the service was over, sleeping on the floor with a tear stained, splotchy face. When he saw Scorpius, Harry felt something inside do a summersault.

"I found him." Albus visibly relaxed when he heard his dad. He had been so worried about his best friend and didn't pretend to understand any of what he was feeling. Albus couldn't comprehend the thought of losing either one of his parents, much less both of them. Walking up behind his father, he looked inside and saw Scor sleeping on the floor.

Scorpius woke up when Harry bent down to pick him up. They were silent as Harry carried him down the hall, to the Floo and they all went home. Albus went upstairs while Harry carried Scorpius up to Al's room. Harry laid Scorpius on the bed and Al got him undressed and tucked under the covers while Harry went to fetch more Dreamless Sleep. They were both extremely concerned about the boy burrowed under the covers and while Al laid next to him on top of the blankets, Harry knew there was no way Scorpius was ready go back to Hogwarts tomorrow.

When he came down the stairs, Hermione and Ginny were on the couch, deep in conversation. Harry went to the kitchen, put on some tea and tried to figure out the best course of action to take.

"He needs help." Ginny's voice interrupted his thoughts, she had a knack for knowing what was on his mind, even years after the divorce.

"I know, Gin. Hermione said she'd talk to him but in the meantime I think I am going to take a leave from St. Mungo's. I'll talk to Minerva about keeping him here and hiring tutors for him so he doesn't get behind in his studies."

"But you love being a Healer."

Harry took a deep breath, knowing it wasn't a decision to be made lightly, but if it was Albus in Scorpius's shoes and Draco was the one who took him in, he knew Draco wouldn't hesitate to give Albus proper care.

"I do love it and I will return at some point, but I can't turn my back on Scorpius and he is in a bad place."

"It's not your responsibility, Harry. Draco didn't ask this of you and I don't think it's best to shut him off from the world he knows."

Harry pulled the whistling kettle off the stove and turned to face the woman he still loved, just not the way a husband should.

"Draco would do it for me if..."

"He wouldn't have to, the children have me and my family as well."

"Don't you get it, Ginny? Scorpius has no one, no other parent, no relatives, nothing! We are all he has."

"Just think about it, is all I'm asking. I know I don't have the right to tell you what to do anymore, but think of your life too."

Harry pinned her with a glacial stare, upset that she would even question his choices.

"The decision is made, all I have to do is talk to Minerva and 'Mione."

Ginny stood in front of him and pecked him on the cheek. "Very well, Harry."

After everyone left, Harry Floo called Minvera and they talked for almost an hour before deciding that staying with Harry for the rest of the term was in the best interest of Scorpius. They agreed that having tutors come to the Potter's home would be enough to keep Scorpius up to date on his classes.

Summer was only a few months away and that would hopefully be enough time for Scorpius to adjust to life without his father and be ready to return back to Hogwarts for his seventh year. That was his crucial year. Harry and Minerva both agreed it would be best for him to be back in school by that time.

Before Hermione left, Harry had also worked out a schedule with her. She would come see Scorpius twice a week to try to help him deal with the grief. The next morning Albus left back to Hogwarts with James and Lily. The tutors for Scorpius would start coming that afternoon so Harry went upstairs to talk to him, he never got a chance yesterday as he slept all through the afternoon and night.

Harry walked into Al's room and looked at the peaceful expression on Scorpius's face. He stared at the pale cheeks, which were getting more and more gaunt as the days passed. His dark blond lashes dusted his face and his lips were chapped from all the worrying Scorpius had been doing to them with his teeth. His long, slender fingers were curled around the pillow and peeking out from under the pillow was the picture of him and his father from Draco's desk. The sight melted Harry's heart and he wanted nothing more than to hold Scorpius and make all the pain disappear.

But he couldn't. Only time would heal the wounds in Scorpius's heart.

Instead he reached out a hand to ruffle the mussed blond hair, even more prominent against the midnight blue of the pillowcase on Al's bed. It was a Ravenclaw thing, he supposed.

"Scorpius, wake up." A low groan escaped the boy's mouth before he fell back into slumber.

"Come on then, we need to talk and you need to eat." Harry wondered whether or not he should yank the covers away like he did when Al was too lazy to get up, but he figured that was probably not the best way to go about waking Scorpius.

Harry knelt down next to the bed and one pale silver eye looked at him. Scorpius's serene expression immediately became dismayed.

"Morning, Scorpius."

"Scor," he mumbled into the pillow. "Call me Scor."

"Alright then Scor, can you get ready and come down to breakfast? I want to discuss what Headmistress McGonogall and I felt would be best for you at the moment."

Scorpius furrowed his brows, bit on that poor lip once more, then nodded. Harry left him to get dressed and hoped Scorpius would be receptive to the idea.

Forty-five minutes later, they sat at the breakfast table. Scorpius hadn't touched his toast or tea nor had he uttered one word as Harry told him about the tutors and the sessions with Hermione. It was hard to judge the expressions on his face, but Scorpius didn't seem to care one way or another about what was going to happen to him. Harry could have said he was sending Scorpius to study the culinary arts in America and he didn't think he would have gotten any different reaction from the boy.

"Is all this okay with you, Scorpius?"

Silver eyes flashed momentarily before fading back to the dull gray they had been since Draco's death.

"Scor." His voice was so soft, Harry barely heard him.

"Sorry, Scor." Harry couldn't quite get a taste for shortening Scorpius's name. He knew that is what Al called him, but it almost seemed too personal. Well, if he's going to be living here, it doesn't get more personal than that, Harry thought to himself.

Scorpius stared across the table at the man who just told him that everything he knew was about to be upturned more than it already was. Not only was he being pulled from Hogwarts but he was going to be living at the Potter's house, seeing a mind healer and going to finish out his sixth year with the aid of tutors. Thinking about it, he really didn't mind not going back to school. The thought of everyone staring at him, asking how he was and offering their platitudes with regards to his father weren't anything he wanted to deal with.

There were two things that bothered him though. Scorpius was going to miss Albus desperately. Scorpius knew that without Albus by his side these past few days, things would have been much worse. Albus was his rock to lean on, his shield to protect him from the elements and who he would confide in, were he to feel like talking. Summer wasn't too far away, but at the moment it seemed like years.

Other than that, there was the ridiculous crush he'd always had on Mr. Potter. Ever since he knew Mr. Potter, Scorpius had admired the man. As he got older, that admiration turned into a burning ember of lust. It simmered under the surface any time he came home with Albus to spend time with the family or when both families got together. Scorpius had never, ever let anyone know and he intended to keep it that way, especially since he would die of humiliation were Mr. Potter to ever find out. Living in a house with him was going to be trying, and Scorpius thanked whatever deities there were that lusting after Mr. Potter was the last thing on his mind lately. Although, maybe he shouldn't have told him to shorten his name, hearing 'Scor' in Mr. Potter's voice was making the salacious thoughts surface again.

Scorpius knew his heart was broken and the he'd never be that same person. It was highly unfair to feel like he had to grow up and leave his childhood behind at sixteen but that's exactly what he had to do. There were decisions to be made when he turned seventeen and they were the kind of decisions for an adult, not a boy. He was now the head of Malfoy Manor and getting his education was in his best interest in keeping his father's businesses successful.

"I understand why it's best that I stay here and you have my most sincere gratitude for allowing me to live here and arranging all the tutors for me."

"Please don't thank me for something I would have done for any of my nieces or nephews."

"I'm not related to you, Mr. Potter."

"I understand Scor, but your father was one of my best friends and you and Al practically grew up together, so in that way I regard you as my family and will always treat you as such."

It was so hard for Scorpius to listen to Mr. Potter. He wanted to scream, You are not my father, it's his job to make these decisions, not yours. But he knew Mr. Potter was just trying his best to make sure Scorpius was all right. The worst part was that not only did he have to take on the extra burden of another child, his life was being disrupted as well.

"When will Mrs. Weasley start coming?" That was another thing that made Scorpius uneasy, someone trying to understand what was going on inside of him when he didn't even know himself. He feared going to sleep, images replayed over and over about his father's last moments.

Was he terrified?

Did he feel anything?

Was it all over quickly?

Those were questions that plagued Scorpius over and over and they were also the ones he would never get the answer to.

"She will start coming Monday and will meet with you Thursdays as well."

Scorpius nodded in acknowledgement. "Mr. Potter, may I please continue to use the Dreamless Sleep?" Scorpius didn't meet Harry's eyes when he asked. It made him very uncomfortable to need it in the first place, but it was the only thing that let him sleep without images of his father's broken body in his head.

"Do you think you still need it?" Harry was concerned, wanting Scorpius to be able to deal with all this on his own without hiding behind a potion.

"Yes." Scorpius whispered the word harshly and Harry made a note to talk to Hermione about it.

"On one condition." Harry waited for Scorpius to raise his eyes to his. "You must eat better, nutrition potions aren't enough and I don't want you to be sick." The concern in Mr. Potter's eyes grabbed at Scorpius and held him, making him feel loved and cared for. It was almost enough to make him break down.

"I'll try."

"Start now. Your tutor will be here in an hour."

Scorpius let out a sigh, then picked up the cold, soggy toast and took a bite. He tentatively ate the entire piece and when he was done, the sparkle in Mr. Potter's eyes was as bright as the smile on his face. If that was all it took for him to look like that, Scorpius would eat every day whether he wanted to or not.

"Thank you, Scor. You have no idea how worried Al and I have been."

Scorpius blushed and apologized. "I'm sorry, Mr. Potter."

Mr. Potter reached across the table and covered his hand, sending a shiver through Scorpius.

"Please don't apologize, we're a family now and I just want you to be okay. I know this is going to tough on you but I'll do whatever I can to ease the burden. All you have to do is ask."

A traitorous tear escaped and rolled down Scorpius's cheek, landing on the table. He sniffed and nodded, not trusting himself to say a word. Mr. Potter squeezed his hand before letting go and standing up.

"I need to Floo to St. Mungo's to take care of a few things, but I'll be back in time for dinner, study hard. Oh and Scorpius?" Mr. Potter looked back as he walked out. "You can call me Harry." Then he was gone and Scorpius was alone.

The man who just departed had no idea the avalanche of emotion he caused in the chest of the young man sitting at the table. Scorpius tried it out on his tongue, "Harry," he whispered. When he heard Harry's name in his own voice, a small smile graced his lips for the first time since he came to stay at the Potter's.

In the following weeks, Scorpius fell into a routine. Five times a week he had classes. He asked his tutors for more work, extra assignments, books for research and anything else he could use to distract himself from thoughts of his loss. There wasn't an hour that passed in the day that he didn't think about his father.

Mrs. Weasley, she refused to be called Healer Weasley, encouraged him to keep a journal of his most private thoughts. It was in that journal that Scorpius recorded his most precious memories. As far back as he could recall he started writing the things he remembered; adventures his father took him on, lessons he taught him and even the solitude of walking the grounds together at the Manor when his father was upset with something he'd done. Scorpius charmed the pages to repel moisture as there were usually some cathartic tears that accompanied his writing.

The journal was also the only place he could write about his feelings for Harry. As the days turned into weeks, the kind affection and attention the man paid to his well being and emotional healing made Scorpius fall deeper and deeper into a place he knew feelings would never be returned. Every time Harry touched him, hugged him or helped him, the strong emotions Scorpius felt for him grew exponentially.

Then there were the nights; those times were the hardest for Scorpius. In the dark of the night, he could hear his father screaming in pain and in fear, gasping once before his last breath left his body. Scorpius would lie in bed shaking, hating that his father died so violently. By the time he went to bed he was exhausted from burying himself in books and school work. At the rate he was going, he would be ahead of the game when he went back next year.

The first few times he tried to sleep without the assistance of potions, he had nightmares that no one could hear because of the silencing charm he put on the bed. The charm served two purposes—so Harry couldn't hear his screaming from the dreams or the crying that followed. He would wake up soaked in sweat and gasping for breath. The aid of the sleeping draught became imperative after that and Mrs. Weasley said he could take it as needed, but that he needed to try to wean himself off of it slowly.

All Harry saw during this time was a young man driving himself crazy with the need to learn, study and absorb. Scorpius was manic in his academic performance. He was up before Harry, always with his nose in a book whilst eating breakfast when Harry came down. Scorpius had withdrawn into himself, making Harry feel useless. There were the few times he would talk to Harry about a particular subject to garner Harry's opinion, but those times were rare as Scorpius had a beautifully brilliant mind.

The only time he saw Scorpius well and truly free of all self-imposed burdens was when they would take their brooms and go flying. Watching him soar, his hair reflecting the sun, the silver eyes lighting up when he dipped and turned made Harry the happiest. Scorpius's cheeks would be pink from exertion when they landed, his breath coming out in pants and Harry swore there was almost a smile on the young man's lips.

There were also the nights when they would both sit on the couch reading, somehow they would gravitate towards each other and usually Scorpius was leaning against Harry, his head on Harry's shoulder. Harry wished he could understand what was happening inside himself. All the time spent alone with Scorpius was making him think things he had no right to be thinking. Every time their hands brushed or Scorpius squeezed his arm before walking by to pour tea in the morning sent heat spiraling through Harry. It had been years, since Ginny back at Hogwarts that he ever remembered getting that flustered with an innocent touch.

Through it all though, Harry still worried about Scorpius being alone in the house with him. It couldn't be that fun for him to be stuck with a man in his forties as company. Harry wondered if maybe Scorpius needed to be around his friends, if seeing them would awaken his spirit, and remembered that there was a Hogsmeade weekend coming up soon. "Scor, how would you feel about seeing your friends?"

Scorpius had a book in his lap, tea in hand, when he arched an eyebrow at Harry. It was a look Harry only thought Draco possessed but obviously his son had learned it as well. Harry's heart swelled when Scorpius gave him that come again? look. Harry didn't know what was so significant about the expression, it was so Malfoy-like and Scor's true personality had been buried under all the grief. For the first time Harry truly believed everything was going to be okay.

"It's a Hogsmeade weekend coming up and I thought you might like to join your classmates. Albus will be there."

Scorpius looked back down at his book and took a sip of tea before replying. "If it's all the same to you I prefer to stay here this weekend." He calmly flipped to the next page and continued reading.

"You don't want to see your friends?"

Scorpius let out a slight huff, bit his lip, closed the book and set down his tea. "Albus will be home in a few weeks and I don't care to see anyone else."

"Isn't there someone you fancy?" Harry was trying to think of any reason to get Scorpius to go, truly feeling it would do the boy some good to get out of the house and be with people his own age for a change. There was no explanation for the thought of Scorpius and some faceless girl making Harry's stomach uneasy.

"Yes, there is." Harry had to look away from the intensity of Scorpius's gaze, swallowing once before looking back.

"Well don't you want to go see them?"

"Hogsmeade has nothing for me, Harry. I'm staying here. I'd rather fly with you."

Harry's insides flooded with relief at that statement. There was a small hint of pleasure that Scorpius preferred his company over others for now. Once Scorpius was mentally strong enough, he wouldn't need him anymore but until then Harry was happy to the one he leaned on when he needed it. Even if it was only for a weekend flying session.

"That's fine, Scor. I am not going to force you, just thought you'd like the option."

Once they parted ways for the day, Harry headed up to his study to read the information his boss sent him. While he took a leave from work, he didn't want to fall behind on any new information and they were kind enough to keep him abreast of any changes. It wasn't until later that evening, while he was enjoying a drink alone, that he thought back to his conversation with Scorpius at breakfast. Harry's mind kept wandering back to Scorpius saying there was someone he fancied and after much reflection Harry was finally able to identify the uneasy feeling.


The questions was, jealous of what? It wasn't a question Harry was prepared to answer.

As the time for summer break drew near, Harry noticed a small glimmer start to appear in Scorpius's eyes. He and Albus had been sending owls back and forth, making plans for the coming months. Harry knew Scorpius was ready for the family to come home. He had hinted at it more than once, but mostly it was Albus he was excited to see. There was also a surprise the Potter men had in store for Scorpius.

Next month, Scorpius would be turning seventeen. Harry wasn't ready for him to leave, still considering him too young to be on his own. He couldn't imagine Albus living alone when he still had a year at Hogwarts and Harry wanted him to be home until he was ready to move out and start his career. Harry had the same hope for Scorpius, as well as the thought of him living in the Manor all alone. The house was too big and was no place for someone who had recently lost his only living parent. There were holidays to think of and Harry could only imagine how those were going to affect Scorpius. The first one coming up was his birthday.

Draco had had big plans for Scorpius when he turned of age. There was going to be a big gathering, complete with introductions to the people Scorpius would be working with when he became more involved with the family investments. Until then Draco had kept that world separate from his son. Unlike his father, who started molding Draco at a very young age to be ready to take over, Draco wanted Scorpius to actually have a childhood filled with fun.

Harry knew he couldn't have a big party, it wouldn't be fair to Scorpius. On his first birthday without his father, Harry couldn't imagine Scorpius wanting to be around a lot of people. Harry had spoken to Albus and they decided to have a small dinner at the house with the Weasleys, and then tell Scorpius what they hoped would be a welcome gift.

This was James' final year, and he already had plans to play professional Quidditch as soon as school was out. Puddlemere United had offered him a home on their team and it was all James could talk about. Harry was so proud of his son but would miss him immensely.

They were going to offer Scorpius the bedroom James was vacating. Harry hoped that if Scorpius were allowed to pick out the furnishings he would be more apt to stay and feel like he had a home with them. It made Harry's chest ache to think of him leaving anytime soon. Scorpius Malfoy was slowly weaving himself tightly through Harry's heart and he would do just about anything to get Scorpius to stay, to see him sitting at the table with his long fingers holding the small tea cup every morning.

Scorpius was improving, slowly, and had reduced his appointments with Hermione to once a week. As a Healer there was only so much she could share, but she assured Harry that although Scorpius still seemed withdrawn, he had made tremendous strides in dealing with his grief. Scorpius was now on his third journal, he always had it with him and was constantly writing in it. Aside from the Dreamless Sleep, it seemed to be the best thing for keeping Scorpius relaxed. The sadness was always present, especially in Scorpius's eyes, but there were also hints of the sixteen year old boy Harry knew before Draco died.

In a matter of hours, from the time school let out to when the kids arrived home, Harry's house went from serene to absolute chaos. Harry was almost tempted to tell his children to tone it down just a bit for Scor's sake until he saw the mirth twinkling in sterling eyes as Albus relayed story after story. The two boys were sitting on the couch, smiling and talking. The balloon in Harry's chest, that slowly filled every time he saw Scorpius smile, was close to bursting at the sight of him happy, even if only for a moment. That was what Scorpius needed, a family to love him and be there for him, and Harry was determined to make sure he knew that they were always going to be his from here on out.

There were also the underlying feelings that Harry didn't know if he would ever be able to let Scorpius go, but he kept those buried down deep, almost ashamed to have such thoughts.

Scorpius had slowly been drinking less and less of the sleeping draughts at night. Being in constant communication with Albus and writing to him at night helped distract Scorpius from the nightmares that seemed to plague his mind when all was quiet in the dark. Mrs. Weasley told him she was just about ready to stop seeing him, but she was waiting for him to stop taking the potions at night and he was finally ready to do so.

It was the fourth night since everyone had come home. After spending the first two nights with Scorpius, Albus had started sleeping in James' room. Taking a deep breath, Scorpius climbed under the covers, not even drinking a partial vial of the potion he consumed nightly and went to sleep. That night, the nightmares stayed away and when he woke up, Scorpius finally felt like he was ready to move forward and start living his life.

For the next few weeks, Albus and Scorpius were inseparable, aside from the times when Albus met with his girlfriend in Diagon Alley. Those were the times when Harry and Scorpius would go flying. Neither one of them wanted to give that up, it was something special that was only for them. No one in the house asked to join them and neither Harry nor Scorpius invited them.

Scorpius knew his birthday was fast approaching and two things were starting to bring him down. This would be the first birthday without his father and also, Albus and his sister were leaving soon after to spend the rest of the summer with their mum. While Scorpius was looking forward to it being just him and Harry again, he was going to miss the happiness he felt in their presence. He knew he felt more alive since they had come home, he only hoped that once they were gone it would continue. So much of the time he spent thinking was occupied with Albus and his incessant rambling. Scorpius smiled just thinking about it, he loved Albus dearly and since he was an only child, considered Albus to be like his brother.

On the other hand, what Scorpius felt for Harry was nothing short of sinful.

Since Scorpius had been feeling more like himself lately, his late night thoughts were sometimes occupied with images of Harry touching him. Nothing obscene, just dreams of kisses and gentle hands wandering was enough to make Scorpius hard enough to wank before falling asleep. He always made sure the silencing charm was set and the door spelled closed so when he took himself in hand, he could call out Harry's name as he brought himself to completion.

On the eve of his birthday, Scorpius had gone a few weeks without sleeping potions and nearly debated drinking one before the big day. He had no idea it was going to be this hard. When he opened the nightstand drawer to pull it out, he heard a knock on the door.

"Come in."

The knob turned and Albus stuck his head in. "Hey, want some company tonight?"

Scorpius warmed with affection at Albus's thoughtfulness. Times like these, Scorpius knew he was still loved. "You mean do I want to listen to you snore all night?"

Albus smiled before jumping onto the bed. "Fuck you, I don't snore and you cuddle, so there."

"I don't cuddle, puppies cuddle, Albus. I merely seek warmth because my body temperature is below normal, besides, all that extra weight on you makes for a comfortable pillow."

There was a moment of shock on Albus's face before he pounced on Scorpius. "I'll show you extra weight, arsehole." Albus dug his fingers into Scor's ribs, tickling him until tears were running down his face and Scorpius was screaming for mercy.

"Stop...please...sorry," he panted between fits of laughter.

"Fine," Al said, letting go. "Wouldn't want you to wet your pants."

Both of them burst into laughter again and talked long into the night before falling into an exhausted sleep.

The next evening, when everyone was gathered at the table for his birthday, Scorpius actually cried for the first time in months. It wasn't the grief over his father this time, it was the realization that Harry and Albus really wanted him, forever if he so chose. They had just finished telling him that he now had a room at Harry's house and that if he wanted, they would go shopping the next day and help make it Scorpius's own. It was all too much, they were so good to him, good for him and without a second thought Scorpius jumped up from the table and ran to Harry, hugging him with all his might.

"Thank you, I had no idea...just thanks." After Harry got over the shock of being hugged by Scorpius for the first time in forever, he wrapped his arms around the young man in his arms and for a fleeting moment wished he never had to let him go. There was a feeling of rightness at the way Scorpius fit against him and Harry secretly wished they could have more.

"I'd do anything for you, Scor." Harry whispered those words in Scorpius's ear and meant every single word. Harry pulled him tight one more time before reluctantly letting go. Scorpius turned around and hugged Albus and Harry knew their friendship was stronger than ever.

Harry couldn't be more proud, they had done it. Scorpius knew he had a home.

When the time came for Albus and Lily to go spend the rest of their break with Ginny, things grew somber in the Potter house. Harry was not ready to let them go, it seemed like they'd just arrived. That was the worst part about the divorce, not being with his children all the time. He was also worried about Scorpius; he'd been a little withdrawn the past few days. Scorpius was no longer seeing Hermione and Harry hadn't seen him writing in his journal for a few weeks.

When Harry left to take the kids to Ginny, Scorpius went up to bed. It was a little earlier than usual but he was sad to see Albus go and figured he'd find peace in sleep. There was no peace to be found that night for Scorpius, or the nights that followed.

When Harry came home after meeting Ginny, he called for Scorpius, but didn't receive an answer. He figured Scor went up to sleep, but wanted to check and make sure. When Harry got to the door, he called Scor's name once more and received no response. Harry turned the knob and opened the door. A gasp tore from his mouth when he saw Scorpius tossing and turning, his mouth open but no sound coming out. Harry quickly disabled the silencing charm and Scorpius's desperate cries tore at his soul.

Quickly, Harry sat at the edge of the bed, not wanting to wake him up and startle him. It hurt Harry to think of Scorpius suffering alone and since he had a charm to keep Harry from hearing him, Scorpius clearly didn't want him to know about it.

Tentatively Harry reached out a hand and lightly touched Scor's back. His pajamas were damp with sweat and Harry rubbed up and down, whispering words of comfort. Scorpius slowly relaxed at the touch; Harry kept up the movement until it seemed Scorpius was deep in sleep once again. He longed to brush the sweaty locks off Scor's face and kiss his forehead. Instead he set up a monitoring charm that Scorpius couldn't detect and went back to his own room.

For the next three nights it was exactly the same, the monitor would alert him to Scorpius in the throes of a nightmare. Harry would touch him and stroke his fingers through Scor's hair until he was calm once again. With each night that passed, Harry became bolder in his movements, almost wishing that Scorpius knew it was his touch that was stopping the bad dreams, not anything else.

Harry had finally admitted to himself he felt something slightly more than was appropriate for Scorpius and it made his need for the young man grow every time he went into his room. The battle he had within was nearly over, he hadn't felt this strongly about anyone since Ginny.

On the fourth night, Harry knew he should leave, Scorpius was calm, sleeping after Harry soothed him. But when he was rubbing Scor's back, his fingers had slipped under Scor's pajama top and Harry felt the texture of his smooth skin and couldn't pull back. Harry's fingers made lazy strokes on the bone of Scor's hip, the desire to touch making Harry ache in places he had no right to ache.

"Scorpius," he whispered before getting up and walking out the door. Harry went straight to his room, shut the door, uncovered his cock and quickly relieved himself. When he came, he bit into his bottom lip to keep from calling out anyone's name.

What Harry didn't know was that Scorpius had been awake when Harry touched him, as he had been the previous three nights. Scorpius had wanted it for so long, dreamed of it, so he feigned sleep and hoped Harry didn't feel him shaking underneath his fingertips. The shock of Harry's touch on his skin nearly made him lose control. Scorpius was so close to rolling over, pulling Harry on top of him and kissing him. But he didn't.

Scorpius knew that Harry could never feel the same as he did. Harry was a man and Scorpius knew he loved him, just not the way Scorpius wanted him to. In Harry's eyes, he was Albus's best friend, almost like another son, so Scorpius vowed to keep his feelings hidden during the day. But when he was alone, he could dream.

When he knew Harry was back in his room, Scorpius got up and locked the door, crawled back in bed and closed his eyes.

"Harry," he gasped as he pushed his hand down into his pants, lightly touching the skin of his cock. "Touch me."

Harry's hands moved roughly over his body, he'd wanted Scorpius for so long that it was hard to be gentle. Scorpius felt Harry's mouth on his throat, biting delicately into the skin, making Scorpius cry out.

"I want you," Harry said, his voice rough with need.

Scorpius moved his hand faster and faster over his prick, imagining it was Harry's hand he was fucking and when Scorpius looked down at himself and saw Harry looking up at him with lust-filled green eyes, Scorpius came all over himself, screaming Harry's name.

Smiling to himself and wishing it were all real, Scorpius rolled over and went to sleep.

A fierce storm hit a few days later and bright lightning and loud thunder were making Scorpius more and more anxious. He'd gone to bed hours earlier, but Scorpius just couldn't sleep. The more anxious he was at night, the worse the dreams were. If it wasn't for Harry coming to his room every night, Scorpius would have reverted back to the sleeping draughts.

Crack! A loud boom shook the entire house and Scorpius unconsciously bolted from the room and ran to Harry's. Scorpius opened the door, walked in and crawled under the covers until he was next to Harry. He covered his head with the blanket and wished the storm away.

Harry felt the warm body next to him and instinctively clutched it to him. Scorpius let out a whimper and let himself be pulled closer. Scorpius scooted up a little until Harry's face was right in front of him. Harry mumbled his name then another loud bang hit and they both moved closer together. Scorpius knew Harry was asleep, but he was right there, the temptation too great. Hesitantly, Scorpius reached for Harry's face, laying his hand on the stubbled cheek then leaned forward minutely and touched his lips to Harry's.

Harry's breath escaped his mouth and his body gave a start. Scorpius froze as Harry's eyes opened, trying to focus on his face. The touch of Harry's lips never left his. Feeling like he had nothing left to lose, Scorpius closed his eyes and pressed his mouth to Harry's again.

Harry was trying to wake up, so sure this was a dream until he felt the firm press of lips against his own. The shock left him immobile. Scorpius tried to get him to move his lips, but all Harry could think was, he's dreaming, he doesn't know who it is. Why is he in my bed?

"Please Harry, I need you." Scorpius whispered across his lips, his warm breath sending chills down Harry's spine. There was a war going on in Harry's head, one he was losing very quickly. He put his hands on Scorpius's shoulders to push him back as long fingers wound tightly into his hair, pulling him forward.

"Scorpius, stop, please." Stopping was the last thing Harry wanted but he knew his regret in the morning would be enormous.

"Touch me, Harry, make it all go away." The warm, wet touch of a tongue against his mouth made Harry moan and suddenly, strong hands on Scorpius were pulling him close instead of pushing him away. Harry surrendered to the desire that was buried deep inside of him for the young man lying next to him.

They opened their mouths at the same time, tasting each other. Harry squeezed his eyes shut, exploring the magic that was Scor's mouth with his tongue. His lips were soft and surprisingly full, Harry gently bit into Scorpius's lower lip and was rewarded with a groan. Fuck, Scorpius was everything he dreamed and so much more.

Harry longed to reach under Scor's shirt and touch the hot skin that still burned on his fingers from earlier but that was a line he couldn't cross, so instead they traded kiss after kiss. Scorpius took much delight in tasting the salty skin on Harry's neck and jaw. Harry tasted even better than he smelled. Scorpius moved his hand to Harry's waist and held tight, trying hard not rub his throbbing cock against Harry.

They laid in the dark, under the magic of the storm and continued to touch and taste, not moving any closer, each knowing they weren't ready for more. Scorpius radiated joy, his first kiss was with the person he had long desired and the fantasy was but a spark to the perfection of reality. Neither knew how much time passed as their kisses slowed down to soft glances of each other's lips and when Harry made to move away Scorpius held tight.

"Don't, just hold me." Harry sighed then, wrapped an arm around his waist, pulling him back into his body before putting his leg over Scorpius's protectively. Scorpius linked his fingers with Harry's and fell asleep in the warmth of his arms. For the first time since Albus left, Scorpius slept dream free.

Sunlight, filtered through the room when Harry opened his eyes. His face was buried in the neck of the person in his bed and his nuzzled the warm skin with his mouth. Unable to remember the last time he woke up with one of his lovers, Harry enjoyed the contact for a brief moment before the events of the previous night came rushing back. Scorpius, lips, fingers, tongues, falling asleep holding the young man in his arms. Oh fuck! Harry extricated himself gently, trying not wake Scorpius. Standing at the side of the bed, Harry looked in horror at the innocent expression on Scor's face as he slept. Blond hair splayed out on the dark pillows, a smooth stomach showing where his shirt had ridden up and swollen, red lips from all the kisses they'd shared the night before.

Scorpius opened his eyes, taking in the sight of Harry before saying, "Come back to bed." His voice was gritty from lack of use, Harry thought it was one of the sexiest sounds he'd ever heard. Garnering his strength, he shook his head and turned his back to the bed. Harry knew if he crawled back in, the repercussions would only be worse.

"Why?" Harry didn't answer, wouldn't look at him and Scorpius felt rather alarmed. Insecurity rose up inside him, he knew this would happen. Harry would never want someone like him. He was an amazing man, the Saviour of the Wizarding World, the one who defeated Voldermort. Why would he ever want someone who wasn't as strong to be with him? Still, Scorpius wasn't going down without a fight.

Harry threw on a shirt and didn't glance back once as he walked out the door. Scorpius sat up and stared, hoping Harry would come back in, knowing in his heart he wouldn't. Being ignored hurt Scorpius intensely. He hoped for a moment everything he'd ever wanted was happening, that the unfairness of his life was finally trying to balance itself out by allowing him to be with Harry. Where did it all go wrong?

The minutes crawled by and when it became obvious that Harry wasn't going to return, a renewed determination surged through Scorpius. There was nothing else to lose. He'd already kissed Harry and spent the night in his arms. He was prepared to fight for Harry, for what he wanted, what they both obviously wanted. With renewed determination, Scorpius went to dress and find Harry.

It didn't take long to track him down, Scorpius stood at the back door and stared. Harry looked gorgeous in the morning light. He had a mug in his hands and a troubled expression on his face. Scorpius longed to walk up behind him, to wrap his arms around Harry and beg for a chance to make him happy. That wasn't a safe option for the conversation he knew they needed to have. Schooling his face into an expression that wouldn't give away everything he was feeling, Scorpius pushed the door open and walked out for the fight of his life.

Harry looked up when he heard Scorpius. His face, normally a warm tan, was pale and troubled. It bothered Scorpius to see him so upset, knowing it was partially his fault. Harry looked at him, saying nothing for a moment before speaking, his voice raspy and full of sorrow and guilt.

"I am so sorry, Scorpius, you have no idea how sorry I am." Harry's eyes were glistening with unshed tears.

Scorpius walked over, kneeling in front of Harry. "Sorry for kissing me? Sorry for taking me in at all? Sorry for knowing me? What?"

Harry was shaking his head. "I could never be sorry for any of it, ever! But I am sorry for taking advantage of you when I should have been taking care of you." When Harry was finished, he stood up and walked across the yard.

"Harry!" Scorpius called out, walking after him. "You didn't do anything I wasn't asking for."

Harry scoffed, keeping his back to Scorpius. "Really Scorpius? You asked to be kissed and felt up by a man more than twice your age? Somehow I doubt that."

Scorpius was glad Harry couldn't see his monumental eye roll. He took a deep breath, stood behind Harry and placed a hand on his shoulder. Harry stiffened under his grasp but didn't move. Scorpius could feel the heart hammering in his chest. He was about to put everything on the line and it was terrifying and exhilarating all at once.

"Do you have any idea how long I've wanted you Harry?" Scorpius waited for him to say anything but when he didn't, Scorpius answered the question for him. "As long as I can remember. From the time I was old enough to realize I looked at you with the adoration that only a child could possess."

"Exactly my point, you are a child." Harry was angry, Scorpius knew it was at himself but he still hated to hear it.

"As I grew older and learned the difference between hero worship and desire, I knew I wanted you. Always. You are who I fancy, who I've always fancied and I am not a child, Harry. I am a man, old enough to inherit my father's empire and old enough to know that I want to live my life with you by my side."

Harry shook his head. "Scorpius, you don't know what you're saying. You need someone young who you can experience all your firsts with. Someone who can look at the world with you through rose-colored glasses and be there through all your accomplishments and disappointments."

"Harry, I stopped looking at my world with naiveté when Headmistress McGonagall told me my father was dead. I have had to grow up too fast and I know what loss is. There is no one I want to do anything with but you, don't you understand that?"

Harry didn't understand. The idea that Scorpius wanted him, desired him, did not didn't make sense. He felt as if Scorpius's feelings were spurned by Harry being the one who cared for him right after Draco died, despite what he said. Harry was the adult and he had to be the one to put a stop to this madness before it went any further.

"Can I show you something?"

Harry turned around slowly, looking down, too ashamed of what he'd done to look Scorpius in the eye. Scorpius handed Harry one of his journals and pointed to an entry. "Read it please."

Harry looked down and saw the entry was dated two days ago.

I first realized I wanted Harry when I was twelve years old. Back then I could

close my eyes and dream of what he smelled like, what his hands would

feel like on me and now I know.

For the past few nights, he's come into my room, soothing away the dark

dreams that haunt my sleep with just a touch of his hands upon me. He

has accomplished what no potion ever could. Being near him makes it

all better. When Harry is close to me, his mere presence soothes the

turmoil that is constantly taking place inside of me. I hide it well. I have

to if I want to return back to school when my seventh year commences.

The first time I felt him touch me was when I was in the middle of a rather

nasty dream, I woke instantly, feeling the calm spread through me

at the touch of his hand. No one's touch, not even Albus's, has had

that effect on me. I knew it all along but now I am certain that I am in love

Harry Potter. I lie in my bed after he leaves and think back to

boys and girls I've thought I might be attracted to at Hogwarts and now

I know why I never took the time to try and pursue anything. They

weren't him, none of them ever would be and I want him so much it

hurts. But I can't have him. He is too good for me, he has done

things to save the world I live in from being a dark place. Who

is worthy of that?

If he'd let me try, I'd like to be.

I wonder if he could ever love me, not as a son but as a partner.

Now, how do I go about telling him? That's a whole other journal entry.

Harry trembled as he held the book in his hands. He read and reread the words over and over. "It can't be."

"It is." Scorpius put his hands on Harry's over the journal, waiting for the older man to meet his eyes so he could see if there was a chance. Slowly, vibrant green eyes met his.

"Do you want this Harry? Do you want to try?"

"It's not right."

"That's not what I asked you, do you want me too or am I just someone to use to satisfy your needs with in the middle of the night?"

Harry's eyes flashed in anger. "If that's what I wanted, Scorpius, I'd go to a bar and find a lover for the night."

The thought of Harry bringing someone home for sex sent pain reeling through Scorpius.

"Harry forget right and wrong, forget what anyone might think and tell me. Do you fucking want me?" Scorpius wasn't sure how much more he could handle and if Harry was going to cast him aside he wished he'd just say it.

When Harry started to shake his head again, Scorpius screamed. "Tell me dammit! Do you want me?"

"Yes!" Harry hissed. "Yes alright, are you happy?" Scorpius felt relief and delight at the words, he wasn't able to hold back the smile that nearly split his face.

"Yes, I've waited years to hear you say that." Scorpius reached down and took the journal from Harry's hand, dropping it to the ground before leaning forward and kissing him. The kiss was soft, chaste and just the beginning of something spectacular.

When they parted, Harry still looked quite upset. "Where do we go from here?" It was a question Scorpius had to know the answer to.

"I don't know, Scor but wherever it is, we have to move there slowly. One step at a time."

"As long as I can walk with you, I'll go as slow or fast as you wish. All I ever wanted was a chance."

Harry looked at him, his expression still guarded. They stood in the warmth of the sun, thinking, drinking in the sight of each other and Scorpius's heart melted when he felt Harry take his hand and lace their fingers together. Scorpius loved with all his heart and now Harry had his and he felt like now he might have Harry's in return.

"Together." Harry said, taking a step closer to Scorpius.

"Always." Scorpius leaned forward and kissed him once more. "Together always."

There would be hurdles, that was a certainty. Scorpius would have to tell Albus and Harry hoped the things people would say wasn't going to tear them apart before they started. Relationships weren't perfect, they were hard work. Both of them knew this wasn't going to be easy but as long as they stood together in a united front everything should fall into place. Neither knew what their future held but their hands were bound in a promise of things to come.

If you read I'd love to hear your thoughts.