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02 December 2010 @ 04:59 pm
FIC & ART: A Poison Tree [PG-13] - Part 1  
Author: lotus_lizzy
Artist: dirty_darella
Title: A Poison Tree
Pairing(s): Albus Severus/Scorpius
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: angst, violence, disability
Word Count: ~15000
Summary: Their relationship had grown into a tall poisonous tree and the apple that Scorpius had carefully groomed for Albus to eat had been offered back to Scorpius, like Eve offering the fruit of knowledge to Adam.
Prompt: #7 (submitted by vaysh)
Notes: Oh vaysh when I saw your prompt I knew I just had to write this fic. Perhaps this Albus and this Scorpius aren't the typical version, but I'd like to think you'd appreciate their flawed ways. I have to thank treacle_tartlet, bk7brokemybrain, tari_sue and the mods for putting up with me. You all deserve a medal. And to my partner-in-crime, your art is amazing these pieces are truly a triumph!




~A Poison Tree~
by William Blake

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it with fears
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden he stole,
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning, glad, I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.




A Poison Tree





The blaring sun of July and August had not been kind to Scorpius' pale complexion; his nose and ears were red at the tips, a splattering of faint ghastly freckles had appeared on his cheeks. He spent most of his summer underneath a large straw hat, but the blaring sun always found a way to burn his skin.

A sudden cold front arriving on the first of September had cooled down the summer heat wave. The drop in temperature left Scorpius shivering underneath his new black school robe. The wind picked up, rustling the trees and disturbing birds out of their perches. The peacocks did not like the wind, gathering in groups as they made their way to find shelter. Soon, they'd be spending most of their days inside the insulated barn, sleeping and taking care of their young, their nests buried in the corners. This would be the first year Scorpius would not see the young chicks grow.

“Do you have everything you need?”

Scorpius gave a firm nod to his father. His father handed him an old bent trumpet, rust permeating the once-gold coating, and then his body was expanding and contracting until suddenly he was standing on a foggy platform, soft grass replaced by hard cement and tiles. His ears were bombarded with the sound of screaming children and a shrill train whistle. It smelled of burning coals and sweat. His father wrinkled his nose.

Without warning, his father placed a hand on his head, running his fingers through Scorpius' hair. It had been years since his father had touched him in such a way. It made Scorpius swallow hard and squeeze his hands into fists, fighting the urge to grab hold of his father's robe.

“Do you remember what we talked about?”

Scorpius gripped hard his wand. “Yes,” he replied. “I'm to make friends, especially with those that can help us. Listen for the names of all the great families, and those involved in the war. Observe those uncomfortable with magic, as they are most likely Muggle-born. Be wary, in private, but nice in public. Befriend a Potter.”

His father sighed, “There were days when the Malfoy name was enough.”

“I won't fail,” Scorpius replied.

“And write,” his father suddenly interjected. “Your mother will worry.”

Scorpius knew his mother would not worry, busy as she was with her hectic social life. He gave his father a reassuring smile, and in a fit of inspiration, pushed himself forward, wrapping his arm around his father's waist. He felt like a child, and was sure his father would push him away immediately; instead, strong arms wrapped around his back. Scorpius buried his head in his father's scent, pushing away the sounds of the train and his fellow classmates. It was just another day. He'd be back at the Manor soon enough, for Christmas dinner, his father in a dark sweater, hands wrapped around a cup of hot cocoa. He would write, and his father would write back, and he would be fine.

He would learn magic. He would rebuild the Malfoy name. He would befriend a Potter.

Scorpius stepped out of his father's embrace quickly, hiding his face. “I will write,” he whispered hurriedly before making his exit toward the train. He went to the first empty compartment and sat down heavily on the bench. There was a crack in the leather, and Scorpius began to pull at the strings, trying hard not to look out the window at his father.

The whistle blew, loud and long. Children began rushing into the train, the sound of their footsteps pounding outside Scorpius’ compartment. He took one last look out the window, peering out to see his father still standing on the platform, staring at his fingernails, but Scorpius saw the way his father’s weight shifted from foot to foot, a clear sign of his nervousness. Scorpius took a deep breath and turned away from the window just as the train began to move.

For most of the trip Scorpius was alone. Reaching into his robe, he pulled out a small black moleskin journal and began flipping through the pages until he found a clear one. With the small pencil attached to the journal with a bit of string, Scorpius began to sketch the inside of the compartment, the curve of the leather seats, the sharp corners of the window, the patterned lines in the carpet. There were twenty-two bars across the overhead compartment, thirty two visible squares in the ceiling.

A loud bang sounded as the compartment door was suddenly ripped open, causing Scorpius to smudge his sketch. He swore, gazing up at the intruder, ready to speak his mind.

A boy, slightly smaller than he, with wide green eyes and messy black hair, ignored Scorpius in favour of slamming the door shut and falling back against the opposite seat, wiping his brow, before throwing an arm over his eyes. The boy looked familiar, like someone he knew, but couldn’t remember, but Scorpius couldn’t get a good look at him with an arm over his face.

Scorpius carefully put away his journal, watching closely for any sudden movements from the boy. After a few moments of stillness, he cleared his throat.

The boy jumped, scanning the room madly before locking eyes with Scorpius.

“I thought this compartment was empty.”

Scorpius concentrated in order to not roll his eyes. “You are mistaken. I’m here.”

“Oh.” The boy ruffled his hair, turning his already messy locks into a complete nest suitable for a small rodent. “I was hoping to be alone. I’ve had enough of people for the moment.”

Scorpius could understand that. Living most of his life as a single child on a large piece of open land made social functions an alien and uncomfortable affair. Perhaps the boy across from him shared his experience. A sudden thought began to flit in his stomach. Perhaps this boy would be his first friend.

“I’m not much of a people person myself,” Scorpius replied. The boy gave a shy smile in response. “I prefer my peacocks, actually.”



The boy laughed. “I’ve never heard of anyone with peacocks before. We just have owls.”

“We have them too. My owl, Reginald, flew on ahead.”

“I have to share with my brother. Mum won’t let us have more than one. Do you have any siblings?”

Scorpius shook his head. “No. Just me.”

The boy sighed. “I wish I was an only child. I’ve got an older brother who teases me and a younger sister who talks non-stop. What I wouldn’t give to be rid of them for a day.”

“Well, you are rid of them now,” Scorpius replied, looking around the empty compartment and giving the boy a large grin. “Now that you are free of them, what will you do?”

The boy furrowed his eyebrows. “I don’t even know, to be honest!”

They both laughed. Scorpius liked the sound of the other boy’s laughter. It was open, friendly. “Well, I can show you what I do when I’m by myself.”

The boy’s eyes brightened. “Yeah?”

Scorpius reached into his pocket and pulled out a journal. He searched for just the right sketch, and when he found it he turned it toward his companion.

“This is Georgina. She’s one of our oldest peahens.”

“Wow,” the boy said as he peered closely at the picture. “You drew this?”

Scorpius blushed. “I’m not very good, but I like doing it. Keeps my hands busy.”

“You are very good,” the boy insisted. “Do you mind if I look at the rest of the pictures?”

Scorpius nodded his acceptance. The only other person had ever seen his sketches had been his father. Showing his sketches to the boy was both scary and thrilling. His hands began to shake just a tiny bit.

“Is this our compartment? It looks so real. You even got the squigles in the rug!”

“It would have been better had someone not stormed in and made me smear the corner of the window.”

The boy blushed. “Sorry.” He handed Scorpius the journal back. Scorpius quickly stowed the journal back into his robe.

Suddenly realizing his manners, Scorpius reached across the compartment with his hand. “Excuse me for not saying so earlier, but I’m Scorpius Malfoy. May I ask your name?”

The boy’s eyes widened and the friendly smile fell from his face. Scorpius' eye twitched and his elbow quivered. Logically, the train was moving, chugging along, whistling across the country, but all Scorpius could hear was the sound of his own breath.

He outstretched his hand again, hoping that the boy just hadn't heard what he had asked. “You name?” he repeated, a larger smile than before. His stomach was in his throat, his knees were weakening.

And still the boy didn’t take Scorpius’ hand. Instead, he just stared at the hand with his mouth agape, his hands firmly at his side.

Scorpius’ face flushed and he dropped his hand. Never in his life had he felt a greater need to flee than this moment, but all he could do was stand there with his head down. Scorpius willed his eyes not to water, but it was a losing battle. He hadn't even arrived at Hogwarts yet and he was already crying.

Scorpius had misjudged the situation completely. This boy had probably been told to stay away from the Malfoys and hadn't recognized Scorpius, only realizing who he had been speaking to when Scorpius mentioned his name. Father had warned him something like this might happen, but actually seeing it hurt more than he thought it would. He coughed and wiped his eyes, hoping the boy didn't see how hurt he was.

“You don’t...” the boy began to stutter, but Scorpius was not in the mood to listen, too embarrassed and upset. The flutter that had appeared in his stomach only moments before had turned to hot lead that burned in his belly. Was this how Hogwarts was going to be from then on; had everyone already judged him before he had even stepped foot onto the old stone floor?

“I think you should leave,” Scorpius said, his voice shaky. He was about to lose it completely and he refused to let the boy make him feel even worse.

At that moment, the compartment door slammed open again. An older boy, with similar features to the boy across from Scorpius barrelled through, his red hair clashing horribly with his red and gold scarf.

“There you are, Albus. Stop pouting and come back to our compartment. Rosie’s been babbling non-stop about her Hogwarts: A History book and you have to help us distract her.” The boy turned and looked at Scorpius. “Oh, you found a friend. Future evil Slytherin, as well?”

“I’m not his friend,” Scorpius blurted out loudly, his fists tight beside his hips. Why wouldn't they leave his compartment?

“What’s that supposed to mean,” the older boy retorted, his face growing cross. “Who are you?”

“It’s just a misunderstanding, James,” the boy, Albus, surprisingly replied. Although confused by Albus response, Scorpius's eyes had yet to clear, so he kept his eyes down. “And his name is Scorpius Malfoy.”

“Oh,” James replied, “My uncle said your dad was Death Eater scum.”

After the disappointment, the shame, now there was ridicule. Scorpius saw red. He stood up and lifted his chin, yelling in anger. “Who are you calling scum, you ginger freak!”

Albus got between him and James. “Hold on, Scorpius, my brother didn’t mean it.”

“What do you know about it?” he pressed. In his anger, Scorpius’ rational brain flew out the window and in entered all the hateful sludge he had heard his mother and grandfather say throughout the years. He didn’t believe anything that was coming through his mouth. In fact, if his father had been there to hear everything Scorpius had said, he would have been horrified. But, he had been so hurt by the utter rejection by his first friend that his tongue seemed to have a mind of its own.

“You people are all the same; a bunch of arse-licking Harry Potter fans.” He turned toward Albus. “You even look like him. Are you doing that on purpose? Wearing contacts to match the perfect Saviour’s toad-green eyes?” That garnered Scorpius a narrow look. “The man was a show-boating idiot who got lucky. He didn’t have to live up to his parents' expectations, like my father did, because his were dead.”

Scorpius' last word rang through the compartment like a gong. He hadn’t noticed before, but a small crowd had begun to form behind James in the corridor. Everyone had their hands to their mouths in shock. James’s face had turned as red as his hair. And Albus, Albus had gone as white as a sheet.

Scorpius never saw Albus’ fist until it landed square on his nose.

He fell back into the window, knocking against the glass before sliding down onto the floor. The train had stopped moving, the sound of the whistle blaring in Scorpius’ ears. His nose was bleeding hard and it was difficult to keep his focus.



The rest of ride was a blur. Some adult had found him and fixed him, ushering him to follow the other first years. There were boats, and stones, and flaming torches, all jumbling together to form an incomprehensible mass.

All the first years were asked to join their elder classmates in the Great Hall, sitting in heaps in the back, waiting to be sorted. Albus sat near the front, close to the Gryffindor table, his brother, James, sitting on the end of the bench introducing him to all his friends. Albus turned, catching Scorpius looking at him. Scorpius flushed and looked down at his knees.

He could hear his father's voice in his head. “Malfoys were never taught to apologize, but I'm going to teach you now. We all make mistakes, but the sooner you apologize, the better. The hardest thing I ever had to do was say I'm sorry, but the moment I did, I felt free.”

Scorpius wiped his eyes and pushed his hair forward, hiding the black eye. He approached Albus.

“I just want to say I'm sorry for the things I said on the train,” Scorpius began. “I didn't mean...”

Suddenly, another first year was in his face. She was taller than Scorpius with a thick head of curly red hair. Her hands were on her hips and her eyes were narrowed.

“Fuck off.”

Scorpius was stunned. “I just wanted to apologize,” he stammered. He looked to Albus for help, but Albus had turned all the way around until his back was facing Scorpius.

Scorpius shut his mouth, bit his lip, and made his way back to his seat.

And if what had happened so far that day wasn't enough, the day was about to get so much worse. Scorpius had already been sorted into Slytherin, seated at the far end of the table near other silent first years that did not seem apt to spark conversation, when he heard the name of the fellow first year who had refused his hand and ignored his apology.

Albus Potter

Scorpius squeezed his eyes shut, ignoring the shouts and celebration when the house Gryffindor was called. Of course his last name was Potter, Scorpius thought, </i>of course</i>.

He was humiliated, hurt, and alone, and it was all Albus Potter’s fault.

It seemed, regardless of his father’s wishes, The Potter/Malfoy feud was to continue.


~*~


Fifth Year

Scorpius, shivering underneath his wool jacket and scarf, shifted from one leg to the other in a fruitless attempt at making heat. Heating charms did not last long enough and his trim body, while pleasant to look at, was not ideal for this kind of weather. He really didn’t want to be outside on such a snowy day, his body open to the elements, but he didn’t have a choice. Today there was Quidditch, and where there was Quidditch there was sure to be Albus Potter, and where there was Albus Potter so must go Scorpius Malfoy.

Know thine enemy, were words Scorpius lived by, and he knew plenty about Albus Potter.

After Albus’ triumphant acceptance into Gryffindor, the boy surprisingly stayed mostly in the shadow of his more gregarious older brother and bossy cousin. He was well-liked, never wanted for friends, always in the middle of some group going somewhere, his shaggy locks covering his eyes, and his hands deep within his pockets. In class, his grades placed him in the middle of the pack, neither excelling nor failing any one subject. He didn't have a best friend, as far as Scorpius could see, just many friendly people around him. Rose bossed him around, James ruffled his hair, but when walking down the hallway or sitting in the Great Hall, Albus seemed to be an island in the middle of a sea of friends.

But, by his fifth year, Albus had firmly overtaken his brother’s popularity by securing the Gryffindor Seeker position. He was a fast flyer with sharp eyes that often spied the snitch before the other Seeker even knew what had happened. So far this year, the Gryffindors had won each of their Quidditch matches the same way each time, with Albus finding the snitch in under an hour, earning him a roaring cheer from the red and gold stands and a bored sigh from the others. It made for dull games, in Scorpius’ opinion.

Being a Quidditch star, and a Potter, made Albus the clear front-runner for Hogwart's golden boy. More of those friendly people began to swarm around him. Girls threw themselves at him, although Albus turned them all down but in such a way as they still thought of him as their idol. Even though he had no good qualities about him except his exceptional Quidditch skills, Albus had managed to become everyone's favourite, and it made Scorpius angrier each time he saw someone idiotically fawning over Albus.

Scorpius, on the other hand, was known round the school as the boy that said the unthinkable. He was a social pariah before he had even entered the Hogwarts gates, unable to do right no matter how high his grades or how polite he acted. He ate alone at the Slytherin table. At night, feeling unwelcome, Scorpius would head directly to his room and read, closing his curtains and falling asleep before his roommates made it to bed. The rest of the student body, Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs, and especially Gryffindors openly mocked Scorpius, pushing against him in the hallway, spelling his bag to rip open when he was in a hurry, whispering behind his back about his Death Eater family. There were other children of Death Eaters at the school, but they never received the same treatment.

Scorpius could ignore it all. Thinking about it critically, Scorpius realized he didn't want any of his fellow students talking to him anyway. They were more concerned with amorous affairs and petty gossip than real friendship. Why did he need them anyway?

The only person that he couldn't ignore was Albus Potter, because, while most wore their animosity on their sleeves, Albus hid his true feelings behind a disinterested mask, and treated Scorpius like he would treat a stone, ignoring him completely. It was the ultimate insult, to pretend that Scorpius simply did not exist. There was never an explanation as to why he didn't take Scorpius' hand, why he denied their friendship, there was never an apology for the black eye, there was never any communication period. If Scorpius sat on the left side of the classroom, Albus would sit on the right. If Scorpius was eating a pumpkin pasty, Albus would choose the treacle tart. If Scorpius chose to go to Honeydukes when visiting Hogsmeade, Albus would be at The Three Broomsticks. If Scorpius was walking down the hall, Albus would turn around and head the other way.

It made Scorpius go out some nights and stomp around the edge of the Forbidden Forest to kick tree trunks. It made him clench his fist so half-moon shaped lines appeared in his palm. It made Scorpius' stomach grow more and more agitated. And it made Scorpius yearn for revenge.

Bored with the monotony of the game, Scorpius took a quick glance around the Slytherin stands. Slytherin held the last place for the Quidditch Cup, so he was surprised to see more students than usual huddled together in packs, avidly watching the game, green and silver flags in hand. Their cheeks were red, their noses running, and yet they all sat, avidly watching their team lose pitifully.

“Today has been a dismal showing by the Slytherin chasers, unable to make any headway along the pitch. With a score of one hundred and twenty to ten the Gryffindors don't even need Albus to find the snitch in order to win!” the announcer roared across the field. “But their Beaters aren’t dead yet, showing a surprising force of brute strength, holding the Gryffindor Chasers at one hundred and twenty for the last ten minutes.”

Scorpius had noticed that Art Zabini, a seventh year Slytherin normally too blasé about Quidditch to actually put in any work, was suddenly playing very well, pummelling the Gryffindor chasers with Bludgers. And Elsie McDuffie, an inelegant flyer at best, was aggressively moving against the chasers, pushing them off their game.

“James Potter is headed toward the goal, almost knocked off his broom by McDuffie’s Bludger. He shoots, but no go. The Slytherin Keeper has saved another goal. What a defensive play! I’ve never seen a show like this from the Slytherins before. Something’s happened to get these snakes riled up!”

Yes, indeed, something had. Scorpius moved closer to one of the Slytherin clumps to find exactly what that was, but had a hard time hearing anything other than the chilling wind. His tightened his scarf and sent himself another heating charm.

“And look, Albus Potter has veered off his course. He’s spotted the snitch. Potter has spotted the snitch!”

All eyes turned to Albus, his body hunched down upon his broom, his eyes focused on something ahead of him. He looked like a bird, his arms flush against his body, his head pointed down. Regardless of how Scorpius felt about him, he could not deny Albus was a beautiful flyer.

Scorpius scanned the pitch for the Slytherin Seeker, hoping perhaps the Slytherins would at least attempt to reach the snitch first, only to find her sitting idly near the back posts. It was very odd, considering the effort put forth by her fellow team-mates.

“Potter’s reaching now, he’s almost got it. That wily snitch keeps zooming this way and that, but Potter always gets it in the end. He’s almost there, just a few more seconds...”

And then, out from behind the visitors' box, came Serena Parkinson, chaser for the Slytherins, the only decent player on the team, who usually was able to chuck in a few goals before Potter could find the snitch. Scorpius had lost track of her, wrapped up like the rest of the audience in the startling defensive show by the Slytherins. She had the Quaffle in her hand. Scorpius wasn’t even sure how that was possible, but indeed the Quaffle was in her hand and she was racing, but not toward the Gryffindor goal. No, she was racing toward Albus Potter.

Suddenly panicking, Scorpius began to push through the crowd to the front of the stands.



Serena threw the Quaffle as hard as she could, not to the goal, but into the back of Albus Potter’s head.

He never had a chance.

His head was pushed forward with such force that it flipped his body over the broom. He was falling, twisting through the air like a crumpled piece of paper. There were shouts, screams, professors with their wands out sending Cushioning charms, and yet Albus continued to descend with no signs of stopping.



The professors had been able to slow Albus' progress toward the ground, but they hadn't managed to stop him completely. It only took a few seconds, and then Albus landed on the grass with a sickeningly loud thump.

For a few moments no one moved, and then there was mass hysteria.

Gryffindors were racing towards Albus, the Slytherins were racing toward Serena.

James Potter reached his brother first, screaming to Albus to open his eyes.

And then the crowd around Albus grew too large and Scorpius could no longer see what was happening.

In his fury, Scorpius turned to his fellow Slytherins, ready to find out who exactly masterminded the plot to do such harm, but they had all fled the stands. Only Scorpius was left with his hands gripped tight around the banister.

“Albus will be okay,” Scorpius chanted to himself. “If anyone deserves to kill him, it’s me, not Serena Parkinson.”

Scorpius bit his lip as Albus was carted away by the school nurse.

~*~


By the end of the day, one Slytherin had been expelled and five were off the Quidditch team. Having been pushed into a corner, the Slytherin team had thought the only way to win a game would be to take out the competition. Albus Potter was the reason they were losing, so Albus Potter had to go. Parkinson had packed her trunk and left the Slytherin common room with her head held high, the rest of the house cheering her name, as if what she had done was something to be admired.

Scorpius sighed and shook his head. They had no idea what they were doing. Slytherins already had a hard enough time dispelling their negative reputation, and this would serve only to confirm that it was a reputation they deserved.

Through the grapevine, Scorpius was able to find that Albus was alive, awake, but in critical condition in the hospital wing. He was unable to find out anything else.

The next morning, bleary eyed, Scorpius ate his porridge without really tasting anything. His leg nervously twitched as he waited for classes to start.

His first class, Potions, was with the Gryffindors and Scorpius hoped that Albus' fellow lions would let it slip the condition of the golden boy.

Sitting toward the back, next to a rather smelly fellow Slytherin, Borus, Scorpius trained his ears but heard nothing except the idle nattering about hair products and dreamy celebrities. He flipped his book and began to doodle in the margins.

Suddenly the murmur grew louder. Scorpius looked up to the source of the noise, and there, standing in the doorway, his head bowed, his right arm in a sling, was Albus Potter, his cousin, Rose, at his elbow, hovered over him like a mother hen.

Albus shooed her off and waved half-heartedly toward his fellow Gryffindors near the front. A classmate ruffled his hair and Albus playfully pretended to jab him in the stomach in return.

A sudden pang stabbed Scorpius in the stomach. What had he been worried for? A broken arm did not constitute critical condition. Scorpius would have to find that gossiping girl and pull her ears. Or perhaps pull his own ears for wasting so much of his time.

He felt like such a fool for worrying. Scorpius scowled, wishing he could leave the class and destroy something. He should have been glad that Albus fell. He should have laughed at Albus' misfortune. His scowl grew deeper as he gripped the edge of the potion table.

It was at that moment that Albus chose to look at him. Scorpius attempted to school his features into an aloof expression, but Albus had caught the scowl and was now scowling back.

“Sit down everyone,” Professor Slughorn urged, “I am glad to see Mister Potter back and in good health. Such a shameful thing done and by my own house too.” He shook his head, making sure not to make eye contact with any Slytherins. Slughorn, while the Slytherin Head of House, did everything in his power to distance himself from it and its bad reputation. “I don't understand why there are so many bad eggs in the Slytherin house. I myself fought alongside the great Harry Potter. If only more Slytherins were like me, we could really change things.” Scorpius snorted, earning him a glare from both the Professor and a few classmates.

“So today, in honour of Mister Albus Potter and his ordeal, I thought it appropriate for us to try the Draught of Peace.”

Swallowing down his earlier humiliation, Scorpius rolled up his robe sleeves and flipped his book to the correct page. His eyes widened as he saw the long list of directions.

“Be mindful of the steps, class. This potion can be tricky. But this is an O.W.L. requirement so pay attention!”

Many voices around the room groaned and Scorpius was tempted to groan with them. Albus, who wore a look of dread on his face turned to Rose and whispered something into her ear. She smiled and nodded her head.

“Thanks Rose. You are a life saver.”

Rose flipped her red curly hair over her shoulder. “It's not as if you can do it anyway with your arm in a sling. Knowing you, you'd just blow the whole thing up.”

Borus interrupted Scorpius' observation by saying, “I'll get the ingredients, but you have to make the potion. It's the only reason I'm sitting next to you anyway,” and then lumbered off the stool.

Scorpius rolled his eyes, used to insults.

Once Borus was back with the ingredients, Scorpius began to work, engrossing himself in the process, carefully measuring out each ingredient and following the steps to perfection. After a half hour his potion was a soft silver colour, a thin vapour wafting from the surface. He felt calm, relaxed. He liked this potion indeed.

On the other hand, his fellow classmates were not having as much success. Harry Patil and Edwin Smith's potion was spitting out green sparks, Frank Bell and Harriet Cartwell's potion was creating a foul odour, and Kelly Finnigan and Harry Pokeby, sitting behind Albus and Rose, both had worried looks on their faces as their cauldron began to shake.

“What is going on over there?” Slughorn cried. As soon as he spied the spinning cauldron he suddenly shouted, “Everyone, under your desks!”

Everyone flew underneath their desks, including Slughorn who had dived underneath his front table, covering their faces with their arms

All except Albus.

Albus, Scorpius observed from underneath his desk, was still sitting on his stool, mindlessly flipping through his potion's textbook, not paying attention to anything that was going on around him.

“Watch out,” Scorpius cried, but the sound was muffled by a loud bang as the cauldron exploded, sending grey sticky goo everywhere. It landed in large plops all over the classroom, landing on Scorpius; legs and all over the back of Albus' robes. It was only then that Albus turned to see what was going on.

“Everyone, to the hospital wing, quickly. I don't believe this substance is dangerous, but we must take precautions. Kelly and Marcy, walk beside me and tell me everything you did.”

The class gathered their stuff and hurriedly made their way to the hospital wing. Most were only slightly spattered with the mysterious mass, all except Albus. When asked why Albus had so much goo on him, he just explained that the explosion happened right behind him so it was only natural that he caught the brunt of the stuff. No one had seen that he hadn't actually gone under his desk.

“This is not your week, eh Albus?” A fellow Gryffindor shouted. “I'd stay away from the Giant Squid, if I were you. With your luck the Squid might mistake you for its mate!”

Albus smiled and nodded, his eyes darting around. Everyone laughed.

Scorpius' mind began to race.

~*~



For the next few days, Scorpius attempted to get close enough to Albus and his friends to listen in on their conversations, and far away enough not to be noticed, hoping that someone would let it slip what was going on. It was ridiculously annoying to listen to the mundane topics discussed amongst Albus' friends, none of which had anything to do with the potions' incident, but absolutely fascinating to see how much of it Albus completely misunderstood.

“The Arrows are looking pretty good this year,” Kelly Finnigan announced in the hallway. It earned her a rueful scowl from Rose Weasley.

“The Arrows cheat,” Rose replied, her arms folded across her chest.

“That's just because we killed the Cannons. Your team didn't even score one goal.”

“That's because you cheated,” Rose vehemently replied. “Albus, you went to that game with your dad and mine. What did you think?”

Albus blinked back at Rose and Kelly, and then replied, “Yeah, that game was great. I had fun with your dad.”

Rose rolled her eyes, “No, what do you think, do the Arrows cheat? God, you’re such a scatterbrain lately.”

Albus looked between Kelly and Rose and then said, “I agree with Rose.”

Kelly groaned and Rose crowed.

Later, leaving the Great Hall, Albus was accosted by a curly-haired, busty Hufflepuff.

“I've tried to convince my mother to send me chocolate once a week as inspiration to do well,” the mindless Hufflepuff girl droned, “but she refuses. How am I supposed to get through my revision without it? If I get a T in Transfiguration, it's going to be her fault. Your mother sent you some chocolate a few days ago, right? Lily said you had some stashed away. Would you mind lending some of it out to the desperate?”

The stupid girl batted her eyelashes, attempting to look attractive.

“Yeah, I don't think you want me to tutor you in Transfiguration. I'm pants at most of my subjects.” Albus replied. “That's why my mum sent me chocolates. She figured it'd motivate me.”

The girl's batting increased, resembling more a facial tick. “Well, yes, that's why I asked you if I could have some of it.”

“Good luck with the studying,” Albus replied and then began to speed up down the hallway to meet up with Rose. The Hufflepuff girl looked stunned, and a little embarrassed. As if on cue, a fellow Hufflepuff approached her looking concerned.

“Are you all right?” the comforting badger asked, her hair in childish pigtails.

“I think I've been rejected, horribly. I thought we'd share his chocolate, get to know each other, and then,” she sighed, “we'd fall in love and I'd be Mrs Potter.”

Scorpius began to laugh, but covered it up with a cough.

It wasn't just in conversations that Albus seemed off. In class, Albus, a reticent student, became almost completely silent, usually answering the Professor's questions with, “I don't know” earning him quite a few negative marks. Scorpius spied on a few of Albus' parchments and saw indeed, Albus was pants at Transfiguration, and Defence, and Care of Magical Creatures. Scorpius wasn't sure how Albus managed to fail at that subject. Everyone was good at Care of Magical Creatures.

And then, the biggest shock of all, not just to Scorpius, but to the entire school, Albus had been placed on the bench for the Gryffindor Quidditch team. No one knew why. Some suspected it was due to his grades, some thought Albus had been spooked because of his injury. There was even a rumour that the Ministry had insisted Albus sit on the bench, fearing the wrath of the Great Harry Potter if his precious son were hurt again.

But Scorpius wasn't so sure that any of those rumours were true, and the truth was tickling the back of his brain like an itch Scorpius couldn't scratch.

Scorpius also began to see Albus in the library more often than usual. It made sense, with Albus' dismal grades, but one would think that Albus' frequent and long study sessions would be earning him better grades, not worse. It didn't add up.

Realizing that the only way Scorpius was going to truly know what was going on would be to actually approach Albus, Scorpius began to devise the right words, the right scenario, for reintroducing himself to Albus. It would be tricky, considering they hadn't spoken since that fateful train ride and Scorpius was rather certain Albus hated him.

So, it would need something big, something out of the ordinary, out of the box, to get Albus to tell him what was going on.

What it would take was a good apology. Scorpius ignored the fluttering in his stomach and began to practice.

A week later, after much practice in front of a mirror, Scorpius approached Albus in the library. He took his time, he counted his fingers and toes, he breathed in the dusty library air and patted down his hair to look just so. He smoothed out the wrinkles in his robes, he adjusted the strap to his bag, he cleared his throat, several times, and he worried his lip until he remembered it wasn't polite to do so.

Finally, when there was no excuse whatsoever for delay, Scorpius approached Albus' table, which was thankfully in the back of the library, away from prying eyes. Albus failed to notice him, so Scorpius had the onerous task of tapping Albus on the shoulder. The boy jumped, making Scorpius jump. Albus cursed and then his eyes widened when he noticed who it was that surprised him.

“Um,” Scorpius inelegantly stated, his practised lines thrown completely out the window.

“Um,” was the response given back. Albus looked just about as lost as Scorpius felt.

But Scorpius did have a backup plan, as all good Slytherins do. He dug into his pocket, pulled out his favourite bar of pure milk chocolate, and handed it over.

Albus stared at the chocolate as if it had grown wings.

Scorpius cleared his throat and shifted from one foot the other. When he realized what he was doing he stopped, lifted his chin, and stuck the chocolate out again for Albus to take.

“It’s not poisoned,” he managed to spit out, immediately flushing afterwards.

Albus finally took the chocolate, still giving it a once over before placing it on the table.

“I’m not sure why you are giving me chocolate,” Albus replied, his eyebrows knitted together.

“Oh,” Scorpius said inelegantly. Deciding that perhaps the honest approach would be best, Scorpius blurted a bit too loudly, “I panicked.”

It seemed to be the right way to go as Albus snorted out a laugh. “Do you always give out chocolate when you’re panicked?”

Scorpius could feel the tips of ears burn. “First time.”

“Well, um, thanks,” Albus responded, and then turned back to his book, leaving Scorpius to continue standing beside him.

Scorpius tapped him on the shoulder again.

Albus looked up, confused. “Did you need something? I’m not in your spot, am I?”

Scorpius shook his head. He took a deep breath and let everything he wanted to say come out in a one big jumble. “I know it’s a bit too late for this, but I wanted to sincerely apologize for the things I said our first year. I hope you can accept my apology and I hope that perhaps we can begin a friendship.”

“I’m sorry?” Albus replied.

Seeing Albus’ reluctance, Scorpius pressed on. “A friendship to your benefit, of course. You clearly need help with your studies, and I’m an excellent tutor.”

Albus just stared up at Scorpius, his mouth slightly ajar.

“See, I’ve already devised a study schedule,” Scorpius slid into the seat beside Albus, passing over a detailed sheet with dates, notes, all colour coded depending on the subject.

“Why are you showing me this?” Albus asked, looking very confused.

“This is our schedule. With this, you can’t fail. I guarantee it.”

Albus stared down at the sheet, tracing the time line. He squinted, bringing the sheet close to his face.

“Why is my name on here?”

Scorpius was confused. “It’s our study schedule. For me to help you.”

“Do you want to tutor me? Is this what this is about?” Albus asked, pointing to the sheet.

Scorpius paused. Didn’t he just say that? “Yes, that was the whole point of this conversation...” Scorpius trailed off, a sudden thought appearing in his head.

Quickly, Scorpius pulled out a quill and began to scribble on a blank piece of parchment.

Are you having trouble with your hearing?

Albus suddenly stood, his legs knocking into the table. He began to furiously gather his belongings, stuffing parchments and books into his bag. Scorpius raised his hands, his heart beating madly. It was as if Scorpius had just awoken a beast.

He grabbed hold of Albus’ arm, turning him around, his eyes firm on Albus’. He said in a calm and low voice, “I am the King of France.”

Albus attempted to twist out of Scorpius’ grip. “I can hear just fine, let me go.”

“That’s not what I said,” Scorpius replied. “Repeat this phrase: I am the King of France. I am the King of France

Albus just stared wildly. “I...” he said, “I...” and then paused, his face turning white. “I heard France. That’s all I heard. I heard France.”

After confessing, Albus fell back into his chair and hid his face underneath his arms.

Scorpius slowly sat down beside him, unsure what to do.

Without thinking, Scorpius placed a hand on Albus’ back. He could feel Albus’ lungs expand and contract. It was fascinating, comforting.

“Don’t tell anyone,” Albus vehemently whispered underneath his arms.

Knowing this was his chance, Scorpius quickly scribbled onto the parchment.

I won’t tell anyone. I swear.

At that moment Scorpius knew he had made it in.

Read Part 2...
 
 
 
catsocialdcatsociald on December 2nd, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
Nice!
This story is a very interesting take on Scorpius and Albus. Scorpius raised in fear of being rejected as a Death Eater becomes a really compelling character. And an Albus raised in the shadow of the famous Harry Potter is a big conflict. Nice work!

And the pictures are fantastic.
lotus_lizzylotus_lizzy on December 6th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Nice!
Love you!
dirty_darella: H/D and M/A Chibisdirty_darella on January 5th, 2011 09:32 am (UTC)
Re: Nice!
Sorry about the late reply, but thank you. I'm glad you liked the art. :)
Truthful Plum Logical Horse: harry potter [would rather not say]megyal on December 7th, 2010 04:28 am (UTC)
Ugh I was supposed to be in bed ages ago, but when I got to this line: He took his time, he counted his fingers and toes, he breathed in the dusty library air and patted down his hair to look just so I knew I adored your Scorpius (and his dad!) and knew I just had to know what happens next.
lotus_lizzylotus_lizzy on December 7th, 2010 04:45 am (UTC)
I'm sorry! Didn't mean to keep you up! I'm so glad you enjoy this Scorpius :) And I had to make Draco super!dad. I just had to!