A/N: I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for reading and reviewing this story. It was my big AS/S story and though I might write a story about about AS/S as adults, I'm kind of done with them as teenagers. I really want to do a story with Albus as a recovering alcoholic and Scorpius as a pop star, but I really am still in the middle of two H/D stories right now. We'll see. Watch this space, and thanks for everything guys.

Chapter 27:

It took over three months but Albus finally was home to get the post; usually he was working and either Jamie or Mum got the post from the owlery. But finally Albus did- he had taken the day off from work because he had gone out to the pub the night before with Hugo and James and had a massive hangover. Most of the post was the usual fan mail for Dad and Quidditch mags and lad's mags for Jamie, but amongst all of them was a letter. It was for Jamie, and it was in Teddy's hand, but it wasn't from Teddy's address in Paris- instead it was posted from Amnéville.

15 St. Louvel, Amnéville.

The address lingered in Albus' mind. Albus didn't dare open Jamie's letter from Teddy; that would have been beyond low, and despicable. But there was a chance that it could be Scorpius' address in France. Albus didn't know what he should do- on the one hand he wanted to go to France and shove Louis' letter in Scor's face and show him once and for all what a complete wanker his cousin was. But on the other hand, he was terrified; getting involved again would mean risking his family and his job, and Albus had nearly lost everything the first time around. Now that his life was just getting back to normal, he didn't want to tip the boat all the way over.

After another week of internal debate, Albus took off three days from work. He told Uncle George that he was going to the Quidditch finals in Scotland with Jamie and Fred, and he told Jamie and Fred that he was going to see if he could chat up his old girlfriend, Caroline Finnegan. Jamie had looked at Albus worriedly, but he didn't say much- perhaps he thought that Albus was able to handle himself, or perhaps he, like everyone else in the family, was tired of getting involved.

15 St. Louvel was in a wizarding area, but if it was near a Veelan district, Albus couldn't see it. It was a pretty suburban lane with neat rows of expensive looking townhouses and smaller thatched roofed homes. Outside, children with white blond hair played with wizarding toys; flying brooms and played exploding snap on the front gardens.

There was no one outside number 15. The lights were on though- Albus put his hand up to the knocker and yet hesitated. What if he was wrong and he came all the way here and it was some coworkers of Teddy's or some Veela friends of Victoire's?

Albus stood on tiptoe and peeked into the window. It was Scorpius- he was wearing a pair of grey sweatpants with a white t-shirt and he was listening to the wireless; Albus recognized the way he bopped his head to the beat. Albus smiled involuntarily; Scorpius looked so good, his pale hair was tossed back from his face and he had a little half-smile on his lips as though he found something amusing in the song. Albus was just about to turn around and knock on the door when-

Louis came into the room. He wasn't wearing a shirt. Albus narrowed his eyes at that- Louis had the constellation Scorpius tattooed on his right bicep, Albus could see it when he moved. Albus thought he had a lot of nerve; tattooing Scor's constellation on him like he owned Scorpius, like Scorpius was some sort of object or prize that he was claiming.

Louis took out his wand and a bowl of popcorn sailed forward. They sat quietly eating for a moment, in a scene so domestic that it made Albus want to scream. Then Scorpius said something and Louis threw a bit of popcorn at him. Scorpius laughed uproariously and then threw some back- and his fangs were out. He had never done that with Albus; the only times he had ever let his fangs descend was when he was feeding. Scorpius was smiling- full of life and free to do things that he hadn't done with Albus- but with Louis? Albus felt his hands ball into fists.

Scorpius shook his head and put his fangs away, climbing into Louis' lap. They rubbed noses for the briefest moment before kissing; hungry mouths sliding and slipping against each other. Louis slipped the arm with his gaudy tattoo underneath Scorpius' shirt and Scorpius arched into the movement, throwing his arms around Louis.

That was enough-Albus rocked back onto his heels and knocked on the door as loudly as possible.

There was a brief tussle of sound before Scorpius came to the door. As soon as he saw Albus all the color drained from his face.

"Al," Scorpius whispered, terrified. "What on earth are you doing- Louis will kill you if he finds out, are you mad?"

"Scorpius," Albus said hastily. "Tell me you love me- and things can go back to the way they were, wouldn't you be happy?"

"Living half a life pretending to be a normal wizard?" Scorpius snorted. "Albus, you know how I feel about you- maybe I should have lied to you and told you I didn't have any feelings for you, so that this could all end. But I'm bound to Louis for eternity, Albus-"

"You love me, more," Albus said softly.

Scorpius didn't answer that question. Instead he smiled gently. "Albus, please, you've always been my best mate. I'll always want you to be happy; I'll always want the best for you. But please don't make this any harder than it needs to be for the both of us. Just leave me alone."

Albus grasped Scorpius' wrist. The skin was cool, and the pulse steady and fierce. For the briefest moment Scorpius looked into Albus' eyes and Scor's were filled with warmth, affection and lov-

"If you touch my mate again," Louis hissed, whipping out his wand and poking at Albus' jugular. "I swear to every god it will be the last thing you ever touch, wizard."

Scorpius touched Louis' wrist gently. "Please, Louis," Scorpius murmured. "Don't hurt him. It would kill your family. Albus, you've got to go home."

Louis narrowed his eyes and stared at Albus as though he was taking the measure of him. Albus stood up taller. He no longer felt intimidated by the Louis Weasley who had broken his wrist and teased him on holidays and shagged Scorpius right underneath his nose. If Louis could play with fire, then he could get burned, just like any mortal creature could; and this time Albus was more than ready to be the one to cast the first incendio in the fight.

"Scorpius, go inside," Louis said forcefully.

Scorpius shook his head, his face utterly absent of color, though he had stopped protesting Louis' actions. He bowed his head submissively, staring at his bare feet. Louis said nothing more, as if he had been satisfied by that half-way, non-verbal response to his command. Albus felt his lip curl up involuntarily; he felt the same way he had as a child, watching one bird peck at another, instead of at a piece of bread by the small park near Godric's Hollow. It was quite clear that Louis hadn't changed a single bit, not that Albus had expected him to.

"You're a monster," Albus said, disgusted.

Louis only laughed.

"And you're pathetic," Louis growled, baring his teeth. "You thought that Scorpius loved you, didn't you? You were nothing but a rebound snack that I allowed to go on for far too long! If Scorpius and I had managed to settle our differences earlier on you would have been nothing more than my annoying cousin that Scor used to hang about with, isn't that right, Scorpius?"

"Stop," Scorpius said half-heartedly, but he didn't raise his voice, or even look up. "Please, Louis, there's no reason to be cruel-"

"There's every reason to be cruel," Louis laughed loudly and widely. "You see what you've done to him, my little Scor? Do you smell it on him; how it lingers in the air- that awful stench of human desperation? And if I am being cruel, Scorpius, who is the one who made me this way? Who is the one who made us like this? We had a chance; you and I, but you pushed us into this-"

"Louis, please don't be cross," Scorpius sniffed, his eyes glassy red with tears. "You know I how sorry I am. You know I would do anything to make it up. You know I would do anything."

"Yes," Louis said, mollified, pulling Scorpius into his arms. "You would. Of course you would, my love. I'm sorry. And I'm sorry for this, too-"

"Do you see him?" Louis continued in a silky coo and Albus realized what he was doing. The allure. Even though Albus wanted to move, he was literally immobile. Louis smirked at his own easy success; trailing a fair, long fingered hand through Scorpius' hair. Instead of moving away or scolding Louis for his manipulation, Scorpius went almost entirely still before slumping against Louis' chest.

"Beautiful, isn't he?" Louis murmured, stroking along the side of Scorpius' lean frame. "A lethal monster, but as close to perfection as you will find without crossing the Veil. Vampires and Veelas have much in common, you know. The pureblood creatures, I mean. Consuming the blood, and consuming the flesh. There's a certain erotic quality in ripping though a body and feasting. And yet, in also being the victim. Once you accept it."

Albus stared blankly. He wanted to know what Louis meant, but he couldn't ask; whatever his demonic cousin had done to him had left him practically mute.

"The only reason that Scorpius ever wanted you," Louis murmured as he slid a hand into Scorpius' trousers and began to fondle him lewdly, his wrist tugging out an immediate reaction from Scorpius' allure-dazed body.

Albus tried not to be envious of how quickly Louis was able to rouse Scorpius to hardness, or of the little moan that escaped from in between Scor's slack pink lips, slick with spit. Louis was cheating- this was the only way he could hold onto Scorpius, and Albus knew it.

"The only reason Scorpius could ever want you is because he wanted to be human himself," Louis continued relentlessly as Scorpius rutted shamelessly against his clothed thigh. "Fuck a wizard, see how they taste, and feel better about being a monster. Isn't that right, my darling?"

"Enough," Scorpius snapped, flashing his fangs for the briefest moment. "Enough, now stop."

"You are not to allowed to say stop," Louis smirked and Scorpius blushed and stared at his feet again.

"Glamour him," Louis barked, as they broke for air. "It's either that or I'll be cross, my love."

Scorpius nodded sadly and stood in front of Albus. Albus tried to look away but he couldn't; he couldn't and in a moment it would be as though he had never even learned the truth. Scorpius looked at Albus and for a moment he could see regret. Regret and fear. Just for the briefest moment. Albus tried to hold on to that memory, that belief that his friend was in there, somewhere.

He didn't know if it was because Scorpius was part-vampire, or because he had been saved by necromancy, or because he was bonded to Louis. He didn't know how it all had gone wrong for them both; but he knew he was at fault too. He should have asked more questions. He should have listened to others more, including Louis.

"The last ten minutes never happened," Scorpius said neutrally, the words as blank as empty parchment. "You came here to confront Louis, and the last thing you remember is me asking you to leave."

Albus blinked. His head ached a bit, but he was still here, in France. Albus felt dizzy, and tired- he looked at Scorpius and tried to focus, but he couldn't; it was as if his thoughts slid away like jelly on a wet tray.

"You need to go home now," Scorpius said, without expression. "Please."

Louis wrapped his arm around Scorpius' waist and led him back inside. For the briefest moment before Louis slammed the door shut, Albus caught sight of Scorpius. Scor leaned against Louis heavily; his slimmer body sliding against Louis' as though he needed to be supported. Albus' eyes met Scorpius' and he didn't smile, in fact he didn't even look at Albus with the awkward little grin that he had worn all through Hogwarts. Instead he looked at Albus as though he was fearful about something, or perhaps someone.

Albus was going to win Scorpius back. He had done it before and he could do it again.

He could.

He could.