Author's Note: Told you I haven't abandoned you! Thanks go to my beta for checking in on me periodically to make sure I hadn't died! I'll try to take less than a year on the next update!

Chapter 14

"Young Recruits"

January 28, 2032

Logan hummed softly to himself as he flipped through the book on advanced uses of worm wood, though he was only giving it half the attention it really deserved. It was a fascinating text, but his mind was on more important things such as a certain Quidditch team captain who had, after much placating, agreed to make things between the two of them official.

He knew he was acting weird and was half certain he had been walking around the last few days with the weirdest grin on his face, but he didn't care.

Finally, he got the girl!

She asked him to keep things quiet until the end of the Quidditch season for the sake of the team, and, being as head over heels for her as he was, he agreed immediately. Not that he wasn't dying to tell his two best friends everything, of course. Logan wasn't usually one to kiss and tell but…oh, who was he kidding? He was totally the sort of person who lived for the chance to kiss and tell everyone who let him.

When he heard a knock on his door, Logan jumped to his feet and rushed to open it. "Hey!" he greeted with enthusiastic fervor as he stroked back his sandy brown hair, trying to appear well collected. The enthusiasm wavered ever so slightly when he realized that it was only Matthew at the door. "Oh, it's just you."

"Of course it's me, dude," Matt said with a chuckle as he walked past Logan into his dorm room. The invitation was unspoken between them at that point. He flopped down on Logan's bed and picked up one of his text books, flipping through it. "Who else would it be? Maddy?"

"Shut up."

"What is all this anyway?"

Logan sat down on the bed and grabbed his stack of papers and pencils, setting them on the small table beside his bed. "Just some stuff for Mr. Malfoy. I asked him for books I could look over during the winter break and he must have given me, like, ten. He wants all these reports about them done by Monday."

Matt couldn't help but laugh at his friend's misfortune. "So you weren't kidding when you said that you were studying during break."

"Ugh," Logan groaned as he fell back against his mattress, covering his face with his arm, "Fuck my life. Why do I keep doing this to myself?" Logan was half-tempted to drift off to sleep when he heard some soft rustling. Sitting up with a start, so fast he actually made Matthew jump, he saw that an envelope had been slipped under the door. It caught Matthew's attention as well. Getting up, Matthew picked it up, turning it over curiously in his hand.

"It's addressed to both of us."

"Well? Open it," Logan instructed. For the moment being, he was willing to overlook just how anyone could assume the two of them would even be in the same room that late at night. Maybe the letter writer was lazy and only felt like writing one. Logan didn't tend to think the best of people he'd never met.

Matthew didn't need to be told twice. Opening the envelope, he tugged out a yellowed piece of paper.

"Well, what's it say?" Logan asked curiously as he got out of bed and stood beside his taller friend, trying to get a look at what was written on the letter.

Matthew just grinned excitedly. "It looks like an invitation," he replied as he handed Logan the paper. The flowing letters looked oddly familiar. That didn't matter, though. In fact, it simply added the atmosphere. They now knew the 'what', but the 'who' still remained a mystery. Not that either Matthew or Logan minded much. They loved mysteries.

Logan sneezed loudly, his sound echoing throughout the empty Owlry. He hugged his coat closer to himself as he looked around. "Are you sure we're in the right place?"

Matthew nodded as he checked his watch. "'10 PM, Owlry', just like it says." Logan was annoyed that Matthew looked so…fucking chipper for being so late at night. As someone who liked to stay in bed for as long as possible, Logan both envied and hated the fact that Matthew seemed to run like some sort of machine, always getting the exact amount of sleep needed, no matter the circumstances.

"Then who the fuck are we waiting for?" Logan snapped. He knew it was irrational. There was no way that Matthew knew any more than he did. Not that he cared. He was tired and irritable. He knew it wasn't much of an excuse, but it was the only one he had and he was sticking with it.

"Just be patient," Matthew chastised. He didn't like waiting any more than Logan did, but if they wanted to know who had wanted to meet with them so badly, they would have to wait until the mysterious writers showed themselves. Granted, Matthew wished that they could have met during the day. Lucas had invited him to go on an evening flight and Matthew had to make up an excuse. He hated missing out on dates, and he hated lying to Lucas. He hoped that that the person who wrote the invitation was worth it.

The message had sounded important. It had said that the meeting was a matter of grave importance. With an exaggeration like that, what could Matthew do but wait?

Luckily, it did not seem to be his fate to have to wait long. At ten past, a small owl flew into the tower. It dove at Matthew first, then at Logan, before dropping a small box at their feet and flew back out the window before either of them could stop it. Logan was dusting his coat off, having gotten loose downy feathers on himself from the 'attack'. That was when he noticed the box. He picked it up, turned it over once, twice, three times, and then handed it to Matthew to open.

Logan was curious, sure, but he would much rather leave the actual dangerous stuff to other people. Matthew knew that about his friend, but that didn't seem to bother him. Much, anyway. He accepted the box and slowly eased the top of it off. Huh. Strange.

"Is that…" Logan paused as he leaned in to get a better look when Matt opened the box, "…a coin?"

Matthew nodded as he pulled out a small folded piece of paper. "There's a note, too." He started to read the note before glancing at the coin, a concerned look on his face.

"What's it say?"

"It says that the coin's a Portkey. Whoever wrote the letter wants to meet with us, but not here."

A silence fell between them. It was obvious that they were thinking the same thing, but it was Logan who broke the silence first. "What should we do?"

Matthew ran his fingers through his dark brown hair before adjusting his glasses, a nervous habit. Logan was waiting for Matthew to tell him what to do, like he usually did. Like everyone usually did. Matthew had somehow turned into the go-to for advice, whether or not he actually knew what he was talking about. He took a deep breath. "Well, I want to say, fuck it, let's go for it. Because you know, youthful recklessness and whatnot."

Logan nodded his head. "Agreed." It made sense. They were young. They were tough. They could (theoretically) handle whatever that Portkey lead them to.

"But, then again, this could be a trap and the last thing I want is to be jumped by those assholes at Kingston so close to the Potions Tourney."

"Also, agreed." Matthew had a point. If this was all an elaborate plan, they could be boned right before the next tournament. Potions were usually their best bet to score points towards the Cup. They did not want to screw it up, especially considering how hard they'd worked to get as far in Quidditch as they had. "What to do, what to do...?" Logan wondered aloud, chuckling nervously. He hoped that Matthew would be able to point them in one direction or another. He hated to be the one to have the final word on matters.

More silent deliberation.

Then, Matthew grabbed Logan wrist with one hand and, with the other, palmed the coin. The world around them began to melt as Logan felt them being pulled suddenly downward. When they finally stopped, they were in some sort of lab. It actually looked straight out of a cheesy sci-fi movie.

"Hello there, you two," said a voice between them. Logan and Matthew spun around suddenly, wands at the ready. Logan was about to utter a familiar disarming charm when he recognized the person who had greeted them.

"No fucking way."

Clarence smiled at the two young men sweetly as he walked over to one of the tables, running his fingertips along the metal instruments. He picked up a pair of forceps, turning them over in his hands. "You look like you've seen a ghost."

"A little bit, bud," Matthew said with a weak, nervous sort of laugh. He glanced at Logan, unsure of what was going on. "Last we heard, your folks had you locked up in some psych ward."

Clarence set the forceps down as he grinned a bit. "Oh, I was. Awful things, those wards. Not a big fan at all of being restrained by Muggles."

"How did you get out?" Logan asked, curiosity written all over his face. Clarence had been expecting that, of course. Among young witches and wizards, psych wards were a place only spoken of in hushed whispers. Before the magical community had begun to utilize squibs in the Muggle government, many poor souls were lost in Muggle mental hospitals. It was a special kind of hell no one liked to think about.

"Well, I was only restrained by Muggles," he explained, as if the answer should have been obvious. "I got out the usual way."

"Explosion?" Logan asked.

"Charms?" Matthew suggested.



Clarence made a face at their rapid-fire conjecture. "Apparition, boys." He couldn't help but chuckle at the look of disappointment on their faces. It looked like they had actually been hoping that Clarence had made some sort of daring escape. He hated to disappoint them, but this was real life, not some story.

"Clarence, man, you've changed," Matthew finally said. Clarence should have figured that it would be Matthew who would opt to address the elephant in the room directly. "You used to be a total…well…"

"Bitch," Logan finished without skipping a beat. Matthew looked at him with wide-eyed shock, punching his arm. Logan just shrugged, nonplused by his friend's chagrin. "Sorry, but he was. You totally were, man."

Matthew tried to form some kind of apology, but Clarence just held up a hand dismissively. There was no need to apologize for stating the truth as far as Clarence was concerned. "I was a bit of a coward, it's true. But things have changed."

"Yeah, no shit," Logan snorted. He glanced around, taking in the strange atmosphere completely this time. Strange vials. Odd tanks full of water. The stench of burning flesh hanging in the air. "What exactly did you get into?"

"I am now with purpose," Clarence declared, chest puffing out proudly.

Matthew and Logan looked at each other incredulously. "This isn't some kind of weird religious initiation is it?" Matthew asked, taking a step away from Clarence cautiously. "'Cause, listen dude, you can believe whatever you want, I'm not going to knock you for it, but I just don't-"

"Oh no, nothing as unsubstantiated as that," Clarence assured them. "Tell me, are you familiar with the Philosopher's Stone?"

"Come on," Logan declared, sounding a little insulted. "We aren't Lucas. We actually do listen in class."

"What if I told you that not only does such a stone exist, it exists in a large quantity?"

"Then I'd have to call you a fucking liar, for one," Logan snapped back. Clarence nodded his head. He had been expecting that. Walking over to one of the tables, he pulled out a scalpel and held it firmly in his hand. Turning to look at Logan and Matthew, he could see them reaching for their wands nervously. He grinned as he pressed the blade against his own slender neck. Logan's eyes widened in horror. "Hey, hey… Put that the fuck down, dude..."

Matthew was so nervous Clarence could see his body trembling ever so slightly. It had been so long since Clarence had last felt that level of fear. He was almost jealous. "Clarence," Matthew pleaded, "Look we believe you, alright?" Clarence moved his blade down. Matthew relaxed for the first time since arriving at the strange laboratory. The blond-haired wizard just smiled as he looked from Logan to Matthew. When was the last time that he had seen such innocence, such naivety? He would soon put an end to that, he thought. With one swift movement, he slashed the scalpel across his throat, sending a spray of blood out, coating the floor.

"No!" Matthew screamed out as he rushed to catch Clarence as he fell. He covered the hissing wound with his hand, clutching it as tightly as he dared, but it wasn't enough. Blood gushed from between his fingers all the same.

While Matthew sat in shock, trying to do what he could to revive the fallen wizard, Logan was pacing back and forward like an agitated creature backed up against a corner. "Fuck! Fuck... Fuck! What do we-" he accidentally glanced down at Clarence's bloodied body before turning his head away in disgust, "What the fuck was the whole point of that?!"

"Calm down!" Matthew snapped, his sharp mind already beginning for formulate a plan. Where Logan was quick to action, Matthew was always much calmer. " We need to think, alright? No one knows we're…" he glanced around. He felt a twinge of helplessness. "Wherever the fuck we are. No one. We can just…go somewhere else. Find the surface, go back to school. Pretend like this was all a huge nightmare."

"And what about that?" Logan demanded, motioning towards the body.

"That…" Matthew started as he got to his feet, letting Clarence roll off of his lap and fall to the flood, "is not our problem."

A silence fell between the two young boys. They had done many things together, but hiding a suicide was not one of them. A number of emotions began to fill their gazes. Worry. Concern. Pity. Confusion. Anger.

It was then that Clarence's unseeing eyes began to see once more and he began to make a sharp, hissing sound that could have been a laugh. "'S not very nice. I have a name."

At first there was silence. And then there was screaming. And kicking.

"OW!" Clarence cried out as he rubbed at his side. Logan and Matthew jumped away, wands clutched in their white-knuckled fists, panting from fear. "There is no need for that…"

"You… what!?" For once, words failed Matthew entirely. "Explain!"

And so Clarence did just that. He told them of the so-called Philosopher's Stones and of Belrose. He told them of Scorpius and Albus' involvement as well, to lend some credence to the cause. He told them of everything that their organization stood for and everything they hoped to accomplish.

When he finally fell silent, Logan and Matthew just looked at each other. They weren't quite sure of what to make of what they had just been told. Logan at least lowered his wand and leaned back against one of the tables. "Sure. That makes sense. Now you're part of some sort of clandestine after school program dedicated to bringing down the forces of evil and making America safe once more for young witches and wizards, regardless of blood status. What the fuck, Clarence." It was too much as he chuckled derisively, shaking his head.

"You joke, but I'm quite serious. And it is far from some kind of school club. There are only a handful of young people in the group at all. Most of them are adults."

"Then if there are already so many adults, why do you need us?" Matthew asked. He tried to put Clarence's little performance out of his mind. It had shaken him, but he had more pressing issues to tend to at the moment.

"Because," Clarence began, slowly getting to his feet, "age means nothing when it comes to talent, and your abilities are most impressive. I want to bring you into the group."

"I don't know…" Matthew began, still gripping at his wand, but lowering it to his side.

"Matthew, this is great," Logan suddenly declared. Matthew wasn't too surprised. He might have just seen a man die and then come back to life, but when it came to an opportunity to show off, Logan would always go for it. He could see it in Logan's eyes, the desire to prove himself, in front of an audience if possible.

Matthew sighed loudly. "Does Lucas know? About his mom, I mean."

"She isn't his mother," Clarence corrected him, "She isn't anyone's mother."

"Does he know?" Matthew asked again, this time punctuating each and every word. Matthew was usually so well composed, but it seemed that composure dissolved when Lucas was involved. Clarence filed that little bit of information away.

"He doesn't," Clarence answered. He was not sure what Matthew would do. Just a year ago, Clarence would have considered both Logan and Matthew to be incredibly simple and easily manipulated. But now… Matthew was different from the man he used to be.

"I'll do it," Matthew eventually answered. Logan hollered and cheered, eager to face the new challenge. Clarence was pleased. Matthew might have changed, but not enough to disrupt his plans.

"Excellent choice," Clarence said as he motioned for the two young recruits to follow him.

Scorpius was absolutely livid as he watched Logan and Matthew training down below. Clarence had summoned him down to the training room to show their newest members of their group. Scorpius had been expecting seasoned witches or wizards, but when he saw his own young students, he had lost his patience. "Are you deaf, Clarence?" he screamed, "I thought I had made myself perfectly clear. Do. Not. Recruit. Children."

"They aren't children, Malfoy," Clarence replied coolly. Scoripius' rage was no longer enough to frighten him.

"They are not even involved!"

Clarence shook his head, crossing his arms over his chest, defiant and proud. "They're plenty involved and you know it."

"Obliviate them."

"I won't."

They were at a stand-still. Scorpius hated that. He looked out the window to the training grounds below. Logan and Matthew were very good. Albus had done an excellent job training them. He sat down in his chair and Clarence walked up to his side.

His confidence faltered ever so slightly. He was used to Scorpius angry or determined or a million other emotions but not so defeated. Never defeated. Scorpius closed his eyes. "Fine, they can stay. But you make it obvious to everyone here. No one is to bring in anyone else without my express permission. That includes you, Clarence. Especially you."

Clarence just nodded. He tried to look grateful, but he couldn't help his grin as it spread from ear to ear. Scorpius, on the other hand, couldn't help but feel like he had just made a terrible, terrible mistake.

January 29, 2032

Maddison liked to think that she was a very clever girl. After all, she had to be to keep her rowdy Quidditch players in line. That was why she was shocked to have no explanation as to why Logan had been avoiding her for Matthew. The two boys were seated together all day, anywhere they went, speaking only to each other in hushed whispers.

A part of Maddison would have thought she was being cheated on except… well it was Matthew. She knew the rumors about Matthew and Lucas well enough to know that the two of them were pretty into each other. She also knew them personally enough to know that the rumors were completely true. For that reason, she felt worse for Lucas than she did for herself. She was older than he was and used to the romance game. She doubted he had ever liked anyone before Matthew, so being suddenly avoided must have not been something he was expecting. Though, to be fair, it wasn't something any expected.

"They're being weird, right?" she asked as she sat down at the lunch table beside Lucas. He was roughing up his mashed potatoes like it owed him money as he watched Matthew and Logan rush out of the cafeteria together, heading towards the library. "It's not just me?"

"I don't get it," Lucas spat out as he tossed his fork into his plate, shoving it away. "They've been weird since yesterday."

"Have they really not told you anything?" she asked, plying the issue. "Not even Matt?"

Lucas visibly flinched at the subtle accusation and Maddison felt terrible for even bringing it up. "Has Logan told you anything?"

It was Maddison's turn to look thoroughly embarrassed. That lasted for all of five seconds. She would not allow someone like Lucas to see her out of sorts. "So… he told you?"

Lucas shrugged, eager to change the topic. "You made him do double laps every day for the past two weeks."


"That's trying too hard to hide that you like him."

Maddison and Lucas looked at each other before they both smirked. "You little shit," she said, reaching out to muss his white blond hair. "But seriously… what are we going to do about them?"

Lucas shook his head as he tossed back the rest of his juice. "I don't know what the fuck they're up to, but I am going to find out." One way or another, he added to himself.

January 30, 2032

Albus was dreaming of Hogwarts, as he usually did when he was feeling stressed. On that particular night, he was twelve years old again and in the Shrieking Shack with the ghost of Severus Snape.

He had seen so many images of the man growing up, but none of the portraits seemed to look like the young boy that was leaning over him, looking over his potions work, correcting his every mistake. All of those portraits had been of a frighteningly intimidating man with cold eyes, but the Severus Snape that Albus knew always had a gentle sadness about him. It made Albus's heart fill with pity whenever he had to leave him.

Severus had just finished explaining to him why silver stirring rods should never be used when dealing with frog livers when a knock at his door awoke him from his relatively pleasant dream.

Yawning, Albus slowly got to his feet. He slipped on his robe and staggered to the door. "Just one moment," he said as he took his wand and illuminated the tip. When he considered the time, Albus figured it was probably just a lost first year. He was sure any other professor would have angrily sent the student on his or her way, but Albus had a soft spot for his students, especially the skittish first years.

Albus had a soft spot for his students… and a certain Potions teacher who was at that very moment standing at his doorway with a lost look on his face. He looked Scorpius up and down. He was drenched in rain. Horror filled his eyes when he realized that he had some scratches on his hands and face, with more certainly hidden by his drenched clothes. His eyes darted up to meet Scorpius's. He had been hurt. "Scorpius, wh-" he started to speak, but he was cut off when Scorpius took a step into the room and crushed their lips together.

The two moved together backwards towards the bed. Albus pushed the door closed just as Scorpius stepped through the threshold. Albus's wand clattered to the floor, the light completely extinguished. Scorpius's mind was trapped in his singular task, but Albus's mind was racing.

Where had Scorpius gone? Had someone tried to kill him? What exactly had happened? How close had he unwittingly come to losing Scorpius that night while he slept soundly in his bed? He slipped his arms around Scorpius's neck as he fell back against the bed, pulling Scorpius down with him. When Scorpius removed his lips from Albus's it was only to press them against the brunet's exposed neck.

The soft sound of moans and shifting clothes filled the starlight drenched room. The movements were calculated yet desperate, instinctive. Albus's back arched. Scorpius's finger tips drug into Albus, keeping him close.

And almost as soon as it had started, Scorpius stopped, collapsing over Albus, a tired, panting mess.

Albus kept his eyes closed. He was thankful that there was relative darkness in the room. He would have died from embarrassment if Scorpius could see how red his face had gotten just from the heavy petting.

Scorpius had done this a few nights in a row now. He would show up in the middle of night, usually after a mission and would stay with Albus until the early hours of morning when he would sneak back to his own room down the hall. Sometimes Scorpius would kiss him, but most of the time they would just sleep snuggled together. Tonight was the first time Scorpius' kisses had almost led to… something else.

"I'm so sorry," Scorpius murmured, face buried against Albus' neck.

"For what?" Albus asked, his voice a whisper as his fingers found their way to Scorpius' hair, stroking the white blond wisps. He curled a lock around his forefinger. His hair was still wet from rain. "For kissing me?"

"For waking you up," he answered sleepily, pulling Albus closer. "Kissing you could have waited until the morning…"

Albus couldn't help but smile. He hugged Scorpius in return, his eyes slipping shut. He wasn't sure what sort of relationship it was the two of them had, but he was thankful that Scorpius didn't seem to regret whatever it was.

When Albus came to, he was surprised to see both the sun out and Scorpius still in his bed. At some point in the night, Scorpius must have gotten cold and pulled the blanket over both of them. Albus didn't quite want to wake up so he moved closer and rested his cheek against Scorpius's chest. The soft beating of his heart relaxed Albus.

No matter how hurt Scorpius might have been, he was still alive. Some nights Scorpius would return to him so bloodied and bruised, Albus would stay up for hours just listening to that gentle, stubborn heart beat just to reassure him that Scorpius had returned to him alive.

Leaning his head up, shy but determined, he pressed his lips against the edge of Scorpius's.

The blond's eyes remained closed, but he smiled a bit. "Good morning to you, too," he muttered softly, pulling Albus closer to kiss him again. "What time is it?"

"Almost time for breakfast, I suspect," Albus muttered as he rested his head back against Scorpius' chest. "Are you alright? You looked hurt when you came in."

"Just a scratch. Maybe a few."

"Where did you go, Scorpius?" Albus asked worriedly. "You didn't say that you were going on a mission last night."

"You would have worried if I had."

"Don't you dare," he said angrily, sitting up. "Don't you dare use that as an excuse to ever leave me in the dark, understood? I doubt your dangerous missions will offend my delicate sensibilities," he muttered, obviously annoyed.

"I'm sorry."

Albus looked a little surprised. It wasn't like Scorpius to willingly apologize for anything when he wasn't in a state of senselessness. "For… not telling me the truth?"

"For leaving a bruise on your neck," he said with an impish grin as he reached up and pressed his palm against Albus' neck. His thumb swiped against a sensitive spot. "I'm sure you will be able to cover it up without a problem, but I'm still sorry."

Albus's eyes widened as he hopped out of bed suddenly and rushed to the mirror. "Oh, for goodness sake...! What are you, a child? Who does things like this anymore?!"

Scorpius stretched out on the bed comfortably. "Maybe I'm just making up for lost time? I didn't have the sense to do this when we were back in school, you know."

"Or maybe you just had too much sense?" Albus suggested as he picked up his wand from the floor.

"Hmm," Scorpius hummed as he made a show of genuinely thinking on the matter. It was just a show. "No, no. I definitely didn't have much sense as a student. Do you know how many opportunities you had given me to explore how I felt? Numerous. We were in the same dormitory. I could have just made my way into your bed."

"Scorpius!"Albus cried out in embarrassment, "Stop, would you?"

"Oh, but it's true, my sweet Albus. How many times did you throw those sultry glances my way?" Scorpius teased.

At that, Albus snorted. "I was such an… awkward child. I doubt anything I could have ever done back then would ever be branded as sultry. You on the other hand... I heard many a rumor about you."

Scorpius smiled as he propped himself up on his elbows, watching Albus put a charm on the bruises, hiding them. "Is that so?"

"Oh, yes. You and Claire Thompson. You and Jessica McDougal. I ever heard one about you and my brother."

He just shrugged. "Thompson was a troll and McDougal smelled like she only ever ate onions and brie. I would have thought you knew my standards were a bit higher than that."

"And my brother?"

"What about him?"

Albus turned to look at him. "Aren't you going to insult him, too?"

"Oh. Well, that particular rumor was at least partially true."

Albus' eyes widened for a moment before he quickly tried to recover. It was too late. Scorpius had seen that twinge of jealousy. "I-is that so?" Albus's voice was unusually high


"Did you like him? Do you… like him?"

Scorpius slipped out of bed as he walked over to Albus. He smiled at him. "Only as much as I need to for your sake. He was never the sort I had my eye on. I was much more interested in the awkward younger brother."

Albus looked down at his feet. "But you and James…" That was a story he was familiar with. Why would ever want Albus after they had had James? James Potter was so outgoing, so charismatic. Albus was practically little more than his odd little shadow in most people's eyes.

"It was a single kiss after our last Quidditch game. The kiss took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting it… and I didn't expect it to be so terrible."

Slowly, Albus chuckled as he looked up at Scorpius incredulously. He would have to start believing that Scorpius truly was not like most people. "Terrible? How so?"

"Oh, it was awful. All teeth. All tongue. All saliva. Could you imagine my disappointment? My first kiss with a Gryffindor and it was a right mess. There I was thinking they had the common sense to practice before performing in public."

At that, Albus snorted. "I bet he tried to bite your tongue. He kept telling me how he read that girls love it when you bite their tongues."

"Is that what that was? Here I was thinking he was trying to pick a fight," Scorpius joked. He was happy that Albus seemed to be taking the news so well. "So you aren't upset?"

Albus quirked a brow. "I think you mean to ask if I'm jealous. I like to think that level of teenage angst is rather behind me, Scorpius. Besides, unlike you, I had the benefit of growing up with James so I know for a fact that you and he would not for a very compatible relationship make," he explained, pushing Scorpius away slightly so he could walk over to his wardrobe to pick out his outfit for the day. "Now, if you wanted to attempt it, I wouldn't stand in your way. In fact, I'd give you my blessing, though I doubt his technique has improved little."

Scorpius walked up to Albus and slipped his arms around his waist, resting his chin against his shoulder. "And why would I go and do something like that? Who would be daft enough to pine after James when they could have you?"

It was now Albus's turn to smile coyly. "Oh, that's interesting. I don't recall every saying you had me, Mr. Scorpius Malfoy and honestly, I'm insulted by your insinuation."

Scorpius looked a little surprised before he chuckled. "Well, excuse my rudeness. I had assumed I had you around the time you were gasping my name last night."

Albus's cheeks went bright red as he reached up and flicked Scorpius' on the forehead. "You bastard." Scorpius just laughed in response. Albus sighed and relaxed into the embrace. It was a nice way to start the morning, he had to admit.

"Oh, before I forget," Scorpius muttered, "I received word from Seamus that he will be able to make the delivery two weeks from now."

Albus hung his head. If anything could ruin his otherwise good mood, it would be that. "I hope we don't have to use them."

Scorpius nodded his head in agreement as he pressed a kiss against Albus's neck. He hoped they wouldn't be necessary, but in times of war, sometimes atrocities could not be avoided for the sake of the greater good.