Author's note: If you haven't read "The Mercury Chronicles: A Little Death," this might not make much sense. In the beginning of that story, Ginny walks into Albus's room to find our trio in a rather compromising position. Here's how they got that way. Enjoy!

The Mercury Chronicles Outtakes: One Night Only

For Sara Winters, who's been asking me to write this for two years now.


Scorpius let out a low whistle as he saw the bottles emerge from a hidden pocket in Rose's dufflebag.

"Circe's tits, Rose. You're not fucking around, are you? Old Ogden's and everything."

"Of course, love," she replied. "This isn't amateur hour, is it? What did you expect, vodka and pumpkin juice?"

"How'd you manage to get it, then?" Albus asked, walking through his bedroom door and sitting on the floor next to his best friends. "Teddy's not buying; Dad'd have his bollocks. What did you do, a confundus?"

"Goodness no. That would just be gauche, wouldn't it? I simply walked in, put my Galleons on the counter and ordered up. Now, it didn't hurt that the new shop clerk was a strapping lad from Italy, and I may have given him permission to owl me - or, at least to owl someone named Clytemnestra Lambton."

Albus smiled. Lambton was one of Angelica's friends - the only one left in Hogwarts at that point - and she'd taken no small amount of pleasure in the way he'd been dumped.

"Pure class, love," Albus said, as he set three short glasses in a row next to the bottle. "Well," he continued, "shall we?"

Rose carefully poured an inch of the light amber liquid into each glass, and passed them around. "To your health," she toasted, and she and Albus both tossed their drinks into their mouths in one shot, as Scorpius looked on in disbelief before taking a healthy sip of his.

"Right. It is apparent that even after winning the hearts and minds of an entire society, breeding will out. Darlings, this is not some crass liquor to be downed in a quick shot so as to mask the taste. Rather, it is the finest of spirits, lovingly aged in dragons' blood infused casks for 37 years and a fortnight. One is to such a libation, as if inquiring if one is worthy so much as to hold it in a glass. This is Ogden's Old."

Albus and Rose took a long look at their friend before breaking out in giggles as they watched him try to maintain a stoic demeanour as steam wafted from his ears. Soon the giggles were too much for him to resist, and Scorpius began to chuckle a bit himself.

"Alright, that was a bit heavy-handed, even for me. But really, try sipping this stuff; it's awfully good - waste of good booze to do shots with this."

Albus shrugged his shoulders and looked at Rose, who poured another round, which even the less-well bred among them managed to sip slowly.

"Ooh, that is tasty, love," Rose said, after taking a healthy sip. "Smoother than I'd've expected, too."

Several more attempts were made to get just the right sip; not too much, not too little. By the time they had it perfected, most of the bottle had gone, and Rose seemed to have gotten the worst of it.

"Oi!" she exclaimed after the steam from her fourth glass had finished wafting its way from her ears. "It's fucking hot in here, innit? Albus, I thought these old houses were supposed to be draughty."

"Not my fault," the significantly more sober Albus replied. "Bloody firewhiskey'll do that, y'know. Of course, you don't have t'be wearing three layers of robes now, do you?"

"Wait wait wait," slurred a rather inebriated Scorpius. "If we're going to start removing garments, we should make it a bit more interesting, don't you think?"

"Right," Albus declared. "And this is where I put my foot down. The noble game of poker will not be besmirched by anything as crass as 'strip poker'. If you want to get more comfortable, you're just going to have to do it without the cover of a game."

"Oi! Now where's the fun in that, Albus?" Rose slurred."

"Rose, you're too drunk to think clearly. Strip poker? We'll be ashamed of ourselves in the morning, carrying on like that."

Rose slumped down even further, with a pronounced pout on her face. She sipped her drink pointedly, trying to portray as much displeasure as she could.

"Besides, you don't want to toss a Patil original on the carpet like that, do you?" Scorpius offered, trying to make some kind of amends. Rose's face lit up.

"Wrong, love. Drink up!" she pronounced. She then looked at Albus.

"Care to try your luck, dear cousin? If you get the designer, I have to take it off. If you get the shop, too, then I have to drink."

Albus sighed. At least this would be easy; he was there when she ordered those robes.

"La Mode Magique, out of their catalogue. Drink up." Albus replied, and Rose rather ungracefully slunk out of her cloak.

"Dammit. I forgot you helped me pick that out!" she said as the garment dropped to the floor.

"Right," Scorpius said, after taking a moment to check out his girlfriend in a sleeveless, fitted cassock. "That's not even a bit fair, is it? He's seen you buy most of your outfits, hasn't he?"

"Well, darling," Albus retorted, "If you want to see me undress so badly, perhaps you should guess who I'm wearing." He punctuated this with a jaunty wink.

"Oi! No making passes at my boyfriend, Potter!" Rose proclaimed after she finished quaffing her penalty, perhaps a bit louder than was otherwise called for. "But, yes. Scorpius, you're up, sweetie. Who is Albus wearing?"

Scorpius sucked his teeth and sighed. "Same place he gets everything else. Lord Blackpool's Magickal Wares, via owl-order." Albus's face dropped, but he gathered himself quickly. He then tapped out a combination on the buttons on the front of his robe, and the entire robe and cloak ensemble floated off of his body and hung itself on his valet, leaving Albus in nothing but his y-fronts.

"Fuck me," said Scorpius, taking in a good eyeful of his best friend's package. "If I'd've known you were that well hung, I might've given your brother reason to spread those rumours about the three of us."

"Right. You'll do no such thing, Scorpius!" Rose stood up and stated, a bit louder even than before. "And stop leering at my cousin."

"S'alright, love," Albus said, kissing his cousin's forehead, and giving her a squeeze around her shoulders. "Besides, he's too pissed to be able to do anything about it, anyway."

Rose had a mischievous look in her eye as she grinned. "Think so, do you? Well, watch this: who'm I wearing?"

"Isn't it my turn?" Scorpius asked?

"I don't give a skrewt's fiery arse whose turn it is. Albus, who made this cassock?"

"Almy for Witches. You bought it at Gladrags."

"Right make, wrong location. Now..." The look Rose gave Scorpius frightened him nearly as much as it excited him. She grabbed her boyfriend by the hand and dragged him to Albus's bed, where she sat him down.

"Oh look. Lord Blackpool as well," she said, after reading the tag from Scorpius's robes. Pulling her wand out of her pocket, she banished Scorpius's garments to the other side of the room, and slowly, button by button, began to remove her own. After the buttons were opened past her hips, she shimmied out of the robe and pushed Scorpius on to the bed, kissing him furiously, if a bit sloppily.

Albus, having had about as much of this show as he could take, polished off the last few drops from the bottle and banished the empty to the North Sea. He was magically cleaning out the glasses they'd used when he heard a thump from near his bed. He looked over to find Rose lying there, passed out on the floor, with Scorpius lying in his bed fast asleep.

"And they say chivalry is dead," he mumbled, picking up his cousin and laying her next to his friend. Albus finished the clean-up, folded his friends' clothes, and looked at the scene.

"No, that won't do," he whispered, as Rose and Scorpius began to curl around each other in their sleep. "Gods. If they wake up like that they'll start - no."Calling out a soft "nox," he climbed over his cousin, and directed Scor

pius to budge over, planting himself between the pair.

Which is exactly how Ginny found them the following morning.