A Diabolical Plan

They first saw each other on the platform. One was standing apart from the crowd, with just his parents for company. The other was with his parents, siblings, two of his cousins, and an aunt and uncle. It was a brief first glimpse, nothing more as they both had other things that needed their immediate attention.

"But what if I am sorted into Slytherin?"

"But what if I'm not sorted into Slytherin?"

They were both worried over nothing. Their parents really would love them no matter what house they were sorted into.

And in the end they were both sorted into Slytherin. And it turned out that neither of them really had a problem with that. It wasn't until later that evening—after they'd each had their fill at the Welcoming Feast—that the two came face-to-face again.

One had decided to read a book in the Common Room, rather than immediately 'bond' or some other such nonsense with his new dorm-mates. The other had made the trek all the way to the Owlery in order to share the news with his parents as soon as possible. Both easily lost track of time—the former reading and the latter attempting to avoid the old, probably senile caretaker.

It was with a sigh of relief that Albus Potter finally arrived back in the Slytherin Common room, shutting the door firmly behind him, safe from the caretaker's wrath. Scorpius Malfoy looked up at the sound of the door closing; it was a deafening noise in a room that he had failed to notice had fallen silent as all of its former occupants drifted to bed.

Weariness finally setting in after a long day, Albus began making his way across the room—intent on getting a good night's sleep—when he noticed the other boy sitting in a chair off to the side and stopped dead mid-step. The two simply stared at each other for a moment. Each easily recognized the other, were quick to recall the warnings of earlier in the day from their families.

No matter that they were now in the same house, they were not supposed to be friends. Naturally, they were supposed to be the worst of enemies. The Second War was long-since over and the wizarding world had been rebuilt. Things were better now; society was better now. But that didn't mean that Potters and Malfoys were automatically supposed to get along with each other. No, that would be far too drastic.

After quickly mulling things over in his mind, Albus decisively put his foot down—quite literally, as he'd been about to fall over, balanced as he had been on only one foot after pausing mid-step. And then picked it up again immediately as he changed direction and walked over to where his new housemate was sitting, taking a seat in the dark green armchair across from the pale, blonde boy.

"Albus Potter," Albus said, not offering a hand to shake, but clearly offering a greeting to the other boy.

"Scorpius Malfoy," Scorpius replied, making a move where Albus had not and inclining his head in the slightest of nods.

"I hear we hate each other," Albus stated, never one to beat around the bush. "That's what people were saying at the feast—or rather, whispering, obviously under the delusion that nobody has ears."

"That would seem to be the popular belief," Scorpius agreed, closing his book and placing it in his lap.

"I can't really say I know why," Albus admitted.

"Our parents didn't get along when they were in school together," Scorpius stated. "Naturally, we shouldn't either. They never saw eye-to-eye, so why should we?"

Albus was silent for a moment, contemplating.

"I've never really held much for going along with popular belief," He finally said. "It's always seemed rather boring to me. I rather like going against the grain."

"Slytherins are sly and cunning," Scorpius couldn't help but remind the other boy. "It's Gryffindors who do things to get noticed."

"Like I said," Albus stated with a sly grin, "I like going against the grain."

"Doing so certainly has its merits," Scorpius said.

Albus nodded his agreement. "And that's why I have a proposal for you."

Taking Scorpius' arched brow as indication that he was interested to hear just what his year-mate had to say, Albus proceeded to launch into a highly detailed explanation of just what he had in mind.

"In fact," Albus said, finally coming to a close several long minutes later, "I'd wager that this is the most brilliant plan anyone has come up with. Ever. In the history of brilliant plans."

"It is quite diabolical, Potter."

"Please, call me 'Al.'"

"And I prefer 'Scorpius.'"

"Wonderful," Albus said. "So, I take it you agree?"

"I'm a perfectly willing participant," Scorpius said. Then he smirked, "Like I said, going against the grain has its merits."

Albus yawned then. "I believe I'll head up to bed now. It's been a long day."

"Absolutely exhausting," Scorpius agreed, standing up at the same time as the dark-haired boy.

Naturally, the next morning the two boys slept later than their dorm-mates—all of whom were either in too much awe (where Albus was concerned) or too afraid (where Scorpius was concerned) to wake the last two first years. And so Scorpius and Albus found themselves walking to breakfast together on their first full day at Hogwarts, the last of the Slytherins to leave the House that morning. No one noticed the two stragglers enter the Great Hall until they passed the Gryffindor table on their way to sit with their housemates—and quite possibly actually socialize with their dorm-mates. And, as their luck would have it, one James Potter was seated at the very end of the table that they had to pass in order to reach Slytherin table.

"Oi! Al!" James said loudly by way of greeting when he saw his younger brother. "I guess you survived your first night, huh?"

"Hey, James," Albus easily greeted his older brother and nodding at the other Gryffindor second-years sitting around him, many of whom he recognized from the time they had spent at the Potter's home over the summer.

"And who's this?" James asked, nodding at the blond boy who had stopped with Albus, speaking over his friends' murmured replies.

"This," Albus announced, throwing an arm across Scorpius' narrow shoulders in a companionable way, "Is Scorpius Malfoy."

James' eyes widened slightly. "Scorpius Malfoy?"

"Yep," Albus confirmed, dropping his arm and proceeding to continue walking, Scorpius following after him. They were half a dozen feet away before Albus called back over his shoulder, "He's my new best mate."

A diabolical plan indeed…

A/N-Although originally unplanned, a sequel is currently in the works.