A/N: Hello! Welcome to my newest fic. First off, disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. That obviously belongs to JKR. Now, I just want to say thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy. Warning: Here be slash! Anyway... I just want to say that this fic really hits home with me and is shockingly personal, even though I am a straight female writer. I don't know why this is, honestly. There is angst here, and there is fluff and romance. And hormones and bullying and a desperate need to be something that is unattainable and unrealistic. But happiness too. So I hope you enjoy it! caputdraconis14

Chapter 1:

Of the Attractive and the Average

"Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts…" he hummed under his breath, walking through the walls of Hogwarts, alone. He was out of bounds. It was after dark. If he came across a teacher, they would probably get mad at him. But he was the head boy, after all, and he could pass it off as rounds, or a suspicion that Slytherin boys were out of bed.

Scorpius ran his hand across the cold stone, feeling the chill underneath his fingertips, the history imbedded in the stone. He was back, and he was quite pleased about it. Hogwarts was his second home, the place where he understood and was understood.

Life was good here. His friends were here, and the world was quiet. He was smart, he was talented, and athletic. He was enviable. It was an interesting existence, to say the least. Scorpius Malfoy, Slytherin Qudditch captain and star seeker, top of the class. He was, if he did say so himself, good looking.

There were problems of course. He wasn't the ladies' man of the Hogwarts rumor mill. He was anything but. They could fawn on him all they wanted, and the chances of him giving them a second glance… unlikely. It was just the way he was, and he'd known that for some time now.

Still. It was good to be back. He couldn't deny that. No matter the false notions and whatnot. Hogwarts was a place where he truly felt like he fit. He belonged in the Slytherin dormitory, with his friends, and he ruled the school easily, and snobby as that sounded, it was basically a fact. The teachers loved him. The headmaster, Professor Thomas loved him. It was easy.

He smiled a little, heading back toward the dormitory. It was going to be a good year. He knew it already, and he was glad of it. This was the sort of couple of moments, all strung together, that could change his life forever. He liked the thought of that. The future was pretty bright, no matter what direction it took, and he would climb over quite a bit to get there.

He murmured the password to the brick wall, and it dissolved to the sides, letting him enter the common room. He walked down the steps into the pit, where seventh years were still lazing around, some asleep on the low leather couches.

His best friend, Scarlet, was attempting to build a house of Exploding Snap cards, a determined expression on her face, biting her tongue.

"How was the midnight prowl, oh head boy, sir?" she teased, looking up at him. He took a seat in one of the wooden chairs on the other side of the table, watching her through the holes in the skeleton of a house.

"Nice as always," he said, stretching his arms above his head.

"Oh?" she said. "Good, good. I'm glad. Not that I don't think it's weird. But all the same."

"You should go to bed," he said as the cards exploded and she frowned at the smoldering pile.

"Hypocrite," she said.

"You get whiny when you don't get enough sleep, and I'm the one that has to deal with it," he said.

She turned her frown up to look at him. "Why don't you go to bed then? You get dramatic. And I'm the one that has to deal with that, and trust me, I don't enjoy it at all."

"Both of us to bed then?" he said. "Is that what we've decided? I imagine it's a bit of a toxic combination if I'm dramatic and you're whiny."

'Ah… but… I'm not tired," she said.

He sighed, looking at her. "Don't talk to me tomorrow then. I won't be listening to you complain'

"And I won't listen to your tale of woe part four hundred sixty-three," she said. "I'm good. I've done the rest of them."

"I don't have a tale of woe!" he said. "Merlin."

"Yes you do!" she said. She dropped her voice. "Oh Merlin, no one will ever love me, or I'll never love anyone, that what I get for being at Hogwarts and being seventeen and being—"

He covered her mouth with his hand. "You're so annoying." He narrowed his eyes. "Keep your mouth shut, will you? And I don't sound like that."

"Well that is your mantra,' she said. "That things would be a lot easier for you if you were—"

"Scarlet!" he growled.

"Well, I'm just saying, everyone else is conked out, and well… it's not like your life wouldn't be easier. Still, Scorpius. No one knows. They think the exact opposite," she said, waving her hand casually with many of those words.

He glared at her. "I know. And that's sort of the difficult part."

'You're allowed to tell them," she said. "No one is saying it's not allowed."

"Because that wouldn't be awkward," he said, rolling his eyes. "Dorm room and Quidditch lockers would become mighty tense all of a sudden, I assure you."

"I'm sure they would," she said. "But you can't have it both ways, Scorpius. Even you aren't that lucky. The universe doesn't smile upon you that much."

"So far, the universe has smiled on me a lot," he said. "And then it turned around and made it a little harder."

"But not impossible," she said. "I don't think anything would be impossible for you, Scorp."

"We'll see," he said, grinning a little.


Albus sprawled on his back, looking up at the ceiling. Around him, the scarlet hangings fluttered gently in the breeze from the open window. It was good to be back for another year of weird Hogwarts life. Not that he wasn't already stressing a little.

Thoughts had been bouncing around like toxic chemicals in the back of his head since the summer before the one that just ended, and they were always intensified at Hogwarts. He couldn't deny that he tried to smother them, every single time. In fact, he wasn't even sure what they were at this point. So if it was his decision… these thoughts were nothing. Absolutely nothing. Teenage hormones.

Besides. He had a great year ahead of him. He already knew that. Finally, he was free of the weight of James's constant stare over him. The teachers weren't sure whether to be afraid or happy. James and Albus Potter together were a scary pair of trouble-makers. Would the lack of the older boy tone Albus down, or just allow for a blossoming of some ideas and actions that had previously been smothered by James's Potter's watchful eye?

And then, Albus was the Quidditch captain. He had been since his fifth year, much to the dismay of James. Albus was a seeker, and he was a damn good one. James had been the keeper, and desperate for the captains position. Professor Longbottom had barricaded himself in his office on the first day of classes to hide from James demanded answers. It took a week of practice for James to accept that Albus was just more… Quidditch savvy.

In his fourth year, the last year of the captaincy of his cousin Roxanne, they had lost the cup to Slytherin in the final. But since fifth year, it had sat proudly on the shelf in Professor Longbottom's office, right next to the house cup, which had been floating around occasionally, but was currently in the hands of Gryffindor.

Yes. And in his seventh year, he was going to keep the cup. The Quidditch one. He couldn't possibly care less about the house cup. Whoever wanted it could have it, and he wouldn't complain. As long as the Quidditch cup was his—okay, okay, Gryffindor's!—and the new plaque went up in the trophy room, with his name carved in gold… Albus Potter- Captain, Seeker. He could see it if he closed his eyes, imprinted on the back of his eyelids. Not that there weren't already two plaques that said that… he just wanted a third. Pretty much more than he had ever wanted anything, actually…

Quidditch was his life. He lived and breathed it. He dreamed about broomsticks and got a tingle in his stomach every time he smelled broomstick polish. He was an encyclopedia of facts, a walking and talking Quidditch Through the Ages. His favorite team was the Montrose Magpies, and rumors were spinning, mostly delivered by Professor Longbottom, that there would soon be offers floating around him for potential spots on teams. But those were just rumors. Just rumors.

HE had to keep telling himself that so he didn't get his hopes up. He knew that. That's what his mum told him. His mum the professional Quidditch player. Merlin, all Albus wanted to do was make his own name for himself, but his parents had pretty much long-since covered that.

For one thing, his father was Harry Potter. That had a lot of weight and came with a lot of expectations. Albus, James, and Lily were expected to be talents—though as their dad admitted he wasn't actually that fantastic at school. Just on the good end of average—and they were expected to be wonderful, amazing parents to live up to the name of the guy that defeated Voldemort. Their mum said it wasn't anything they should worry about. They just had to be themselves— even Harry Potter had been a bit of a troublemaker in school. In fact, according to Harry himself, he had succeeded in losing fifty points for his house in one sitting, combined with fifty each for Aunt Hermione and the now Professor Longbottom, each of them for being out of bed after hours and wandering the school.

But being himself was harder than Albus imagined. He didn't know who he was, and he was afraid to question it—or at least, afraid of the answers. He wished he didn't have to ask. He wished everything would just be obvious. Thinking about it all was just too hard to do.

The snores of his roommates echoed across the stone dormitory. He continued to stare at the ceiling, the stones, the dark gray… He pushed the hangings on his bed open a little, letting in the moonlight. His bed was next to the window, and the light shone blue on the stone floor. A gentle breeze, the smell of northern Scotland, drifted in through the slight crack. He felt the wind on his face, and took a deep breath, turning his face to the window.

He couldn't sleep. Stuffed full of food from the feast, he was in an ideal shape to conk right out. If he couldn't sleep now, it meant that he probably wouldn't get to sleep before the night was out. A good and chipper way to start out the first day of classes.

What else could he do but stay there and watch out the window, green eyes open. He loved Hogwarts. He loved everything about it. But sometimes he wished he went there alone. It would be easier to figure things out without all of the people that surrounded him on a daily basis, telling him how he was and how he ought to be. People like Albus had very little time to themselves. Maybe he brought it upon himself. Maybe. But sometimes he wished it would all just be gone.

He didn't want to be Harry Potter's son. He didn't want to be talented and, apparently, attractive. He just wanted to be like every other guy that walked down the corridors and attended classes. Not exceedingly talented or popular. Just average.

He rolled over, looking away from the window, toward the dark hangings.

But he would never be average, and well, he knew that.