Scorpius Malfoy was horrible at having crushes.

How much more obvious could he have been? Scorpius lied back on his bed, beating himself up, after herding the Slytherins into their common room and going through the "I'm a prefect and a seventh year, here's how small you are in comparison to me" song and dance. Smiling, flirting, joking, even touching Albus like that during their prefects' meeting—the stupid boy had to know Scorpius was mad for him. Or maybe he didn't. Albus Potter was notorious, at least in Slytherin House, for being completely oblivious when someone fancied him. No less than three Slytherin girls had gotten a crush on Albus in the last three years, and all three times, Albus never seemed to notice. Either he was very good at playing dumb, or, in this particular area, he actually was.

The problem, Scorpius figured, was that it had been all girls, and Albus wasn't interested in those. At least, it certainly didn't seem like it. His best friend was female, he couldn't possibly care less about Quidditch, and he spent way too long looking at the pictures in the back of Gilderoy Lockhart's MagicalMewhen they'd read it as part of an extra credit Potions assignment. Besides, Scorpius had an eye for this kind of thing. He'd had Alfie McMillan picked out as a poof all the way back in second year, and now, Alfie was happily snogging Nicolas Smith (who Scorpius had also pegged) around just about every corner or the castle.

But even if Albus was out and proud, and Scorpius certainly didn't see thathappening anytime soon, Scorpius wasn't sure what he'd do with that information. Right now, he supposed, he'd continue with the flirting, see where that took them, if anywhere. Maybe they'd partner in Potions again. Or, better yet, spend a day together in Hogsmeade, one of those prefect only affairs. Or, better than that, maybe they'd run into each other in the prefects' bath...

Scorpius felt his trousers tighten. Damn his overactive sex drive. He muttered a locking spell on the door, hastily adding a silencing charm as he reached downward and heard himself moan. The truth was that Scorpius himself had never had a boyfriend or anything like that, so he was left to his own devices in these situations. And while he'd gotten well practiced at it, maybe even embarrassingly so, he longed for someone to help him out. Someone with green eyes and mussed up hair and a slender frame that would fit so well against his...

Scorpius thought about the train ride in again, how nice it had been to talk to Albus and catch up, however briefly. They'd been sharing a cauldron in Potions since third year. It had been Albus' idea.

"We're mates," he'd said. "And that drives our dads mad already. Think about how much madder they'd be if we were mates and study buddies!"

At that point, all Scorpius had known was that he liked Albus more than anyone else. He was still trying to work out why he didn't like girls the same way the other boys in his house did, and he hadn't started thinking about Albus' bright green eyes and chipped front tooth (two-a-side Quidditch accident, James' fault, according to Albus) just yet. That started fourth year, when Albus told him that James had done a freezing spell on the showerhead in the Potters' only bathroom over the summer and it took a week for Albus' dad to undo it.

"We all smelled awful, even Lily, and I don't think Lily's touched dirt in her life," said Albus. "Since I was James' target, I got to shower first. Longest, hottest shower of my life." He grinned, displaying that tooth in all its crooked glory, and for the rest of the day, Scorpius couldn't shake the image of a wet and naked Albus out of his mind.

Scorpius never officially came out. He'd asked his dad if that was important.

"That's beneath a Malfoy, Dragon," his dad had said, using Scorpius' nickn ame around the manor. "You don't ever have to justify yourself as anything to anyone."

"It might be nice to Blaise and Pansy's daughter, though," Scorpius' mom had piped up. "I talked to Pansy the other day, and she's quite taken with you."

That crush had lasted far longer than Scorpius had anticipated. It took five boyfriends and two years for Morena Zabini to give up on him. And when she did, the rest of the girls in his year seemed to take the hint.

Scorpius finished off and sighed. Maybe he should make it his mission this year to not have to help himself out in this way anymore. Seemed a reasonable enough goal, as he had noticed a boy or two paying him some extra attention as he'd led the Slytherin charge into the castle earlier that night. But those ones, they weren't who he had in mind. No, Scorpius only wanted Albus. And whether Albus wanted that or not, Scorpius intended to find out.