Halloween arrived quicker than Scorpius ever thought it could. Classes for 1st years had settled in. They mastered the basics and were able to move on to more interesting challenges. James Potter continued to wreak havoc on Scorpius’ life, but with Justine, Cornelius, and occasionally Garridan watching his back, nothing too terrible happened.
Scorpius Malfoy and Rose Weasley continued to dominate the top of the 1st year class. It became a silent competition between them. It wasn’t friendly or unfriendly. It simply existed. Scorpius was surprised that Rose didn’t follow James’ lead in tormenting him. However, whenever he beat her in a test her pale, freckled face flushed red in frustration.
Walking into the Great Hall, the trio talked about the upcoming Quidditch match of Slytherin vs Ravenclaw. All three hoped that Ravenclaw would win.
Cornelius stopped talking the moment his eyes took in the magnificently decorated Great Hall.
“It’s better than anything I imagined!” Exclaimed Justine.
“Ditto.” Added Scorpius.
Glowing Jack-o-lanterns floated around the Hall. Black candles adorned the walls and the ceiling was enchanted to show the night sky and a full moon. The tables were loaded with more food and treats than anything they had seen before.
Eagerly they took their seats and began to eat.
“Don’t look now, but James is glaring at you again.” Cornelius informed Scorpius.
“What else is new?” Scorpius replied nonchalantly. He was getting used to James’ evil stares.
“I still think I should fess up to the prank,” said Justine. “It would really be a blow to his oversized ego that a girl got the best of him.”
Two helpings of roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, two caramel apples, and a handful of chocolate frogs later, Justine, Cornelius, and Scorpius slowly made their way back to their common room.
Scorpius lagged behind the other two. As Cornelius and Justine rounded the corner, Scorpius heard a whisper and inexplicably became stiff, immobile and unable to speak. Someone tossed some kind of blanket over him and pulled him to the side.
He heard Justine calling his name and both of his friends backtracked their steps.
“Scorpius, where are you?” Justine was standing right in front of him, but couldn’t seem to see him.
“Maybe he forgot something?” Cornelius suggested.
Justine appeared uncertain. Scorpius did everything he could to move, make a sound, anything. Nothing happened.
Meanwhile, Justine unknowingly stepped closer and closer to where Scorpius was standing. His heart racing, Scorpius hoped that she would take those final steps and bump into him. He now realized that he was underneath the infamous Potter invisibility cloak and that his captor was none other than James Potter II. As much as he didn’t want to admit it, he was completely helpless, afraid, and at the mercy of this boy who hated him.
Justine stopped directly in front of where the boys were hiding. She stood very still, listening intently, but there was nothing that grabbed her attention.
“Maybe he walked around us and is already in the common room. Let’s check there.”
Scorpius’ heart faltered as his two best friends continued on. He knew he was a goner.
James hissed in his ear, “Think you got away with your prank, Malfoy? It took me 2 hours to stop puking and another 4 for the smell to go away. You are gonna pay for that!”
He whipped the cloak off of Scorpius and let him crash to the floor. The backward fall knocked the wind out of Scorpius. He saw James’ foot come crashing down on his nose and felt blood running down his face. He watched silently and helplessly as James pulled back his right hand, then slammed his fist into Scorpius’ eye and he felt an explosion of pain. The last thing he saw was the look of loathing and fury on James’ face and everything went black.
“He’s not responding,” a slightly familiar voice said.
“It looks like someone used Petrificus Totalus. Do you know the counter spell?”
“No. I’ll stay with him and you go get help.”
Scorpius opened his eyes to see the freckled face of Rose Weasley looking down at him with worry. She had a handkerchief in her hand and was gently mopping up his face.
He heard more footsteps and Rose’s companion, who turned out to be Tarani, returned with Dominique Weasley in tow. Dominique quickly performed the counter spell and Scorpius let out a groan.
“Come on,” Dominique said, “let’s get him to the hospital wing.” Dominique held him up on one side, while Rose took the other. He tried to protest, but realized his legs weren’t working properly.
“What happened, Scorpius?” Rose asked.
He pretended not to hear.
“Did my cousin do this to you?”
Again, there was no reply.
He looked up slightly to see Tarani in front of him, walking backwards. Locking his good eye with hers he whispered, “Would you fetch Justine and Cornelius?”
Tarani nodded knowingly and quickly ran off.
The hospital wing was a nightmare for Scorpius.
The aging Madam Pomfrey was quick to see to his injuries and his comfort. In no time Scorpius found himself in bed and blood free. He suffered from a broken nose, black eye, fractured leg, and a slight concussion. Most injuries were taken care of quickly, but he was going to have to spend the night in the hospital wing.
Once he was on the mend, the questions started.
“What happened, Mr. Malfoy?” Madam Pomfrey asked, with a frown on her face. Rose and Dominique were still there, listening attentively, but trying to look like they weren’t paying attention.
Again, Scorpius remained silent. He couldn’t bring himself to lie, but he also couldn’t rat out on James. That seemed to be too wimpy to him.
Noticing his silence, Madam Pomfrey promptly dismissed the Weasley cousins. They complained about leaving, but were compliant. As they walked away, Scorpius uttered his first words since speaking to Tarani.
“Thanks,” he said.
Dominique’s grey eyes swept him up and down and with a toss of her strawberry blonde hair, she nodded at him. Rose gave him a warm smile.
“You’re welcome.” She said. “I’m glad we were able to help."
She exited the hospital wing with her cousin.
Drawing privacy curtains around his bed, Madam Pomfrey continued her interrogation.
“Now that we are alone, Mr. Malfoy, will you tell me what happened?”
“I tripped,” he replied.
“Yeah,” he continued, “I’m kind of clumsy that way.”
“Do you really expect me to believe that?”
They were interrupted by the arrival of Cornelius, Justine, and much to Scorpius’ chagrin, Headmistress Sprout.
“Scorpius, are you alright?” Justine’s brown eyes were full of worry.
“I am now. Or at least I will be,” he said after noting Cornelius’ horrified look at his face. Justine carefully held his hand and he could feel a comforting pat on his shoulder from Cornelius.
The now familiar warmth of acceptance and friendship filled his soul and he breathed easier.
He looked up into the kind eyes of Headmistress Sprout. Madam Pomfrey was going on about how his parents should be informed.
Scorpius panicked. “No!” He yelled, causing Justine and Cornelius to jump.
“Please,” he continued, hating himself for the pleading, “my dad will make me leave Hogwarts. You can’t tell him.”
Headmistress Sprout was studying him intently. Scorpius met her gaze briefly and then looked down.
Justine’s voice broke him out of his thoughts. “Headmistress Sprout, may I speak with you privately?”
Scorpius opened his eyes to see Justine walk away from his bed and lead the Headmistress away. Cornelius promptly took up post at Scorpius’ side.
“Is she doing something stupid?” Scorpius asked.
“I don’t know mate,” Cornelius answered honestly. “Do you really want to think about questioning her?”
Madam Pomfrey returned carrying a potion in her hand.
“Drink this up, Mr. Malfoy.” She said. “It will ensure that you have a dreamless sleep.”
Giving Cornelius a look, he downed the potion and within moments was sound asleep.
He awoke sometime in mid-morning. When he first opened his eyes for a moment he forgot where he was and then the memories of the previous evening flooded his consciousness. Tentatively he felt his nose and then his eye. There wasn’t any pain or tenderness and he breathed a sigh of relief.
He opened his eyes and sat up in bed. Presently Madam Pomfrey came in behind the privacy curtains, which were still around his bed, carrying a breakfast tray.
“Good Morning, Mr. Malfoy.” She said, placing the tray on his lap. “Here is your breakfast. Cornelius brought up a clean uniform and robes for you as well as your books. After breakfast you can change and join your classmates.”
Before he could say anything she made a brisk exit.
He ate fairly quickly and changed. He made his way over to the bathroom to wash his face, brush his teeth and comb his hair. When he returned to retrieve his book bag, Madam Pomfrey was back.
“Mr. Malfoy, you have a visitor. He is waiting to speak to you in my office.” She gestured for him to go.
He walked towards her office with trepidation. He knew for certain it was his father and his days at Hogwarts were over. He felt his stomach churn in protest.
He entered Madam Pomfrey’s office staring at his feet. Sitting down in the nearest chair, he took a deep breath and looked up into the face of…
Shock flooded his system. The Chosen One was sitting there, in front of Scorpius Malfoy, and his green eyes held an expression Scorpius couldn’t read. He didn’t know what to think. He didn’t know what to say.
Harry held out his hand, “How do you do, Scorpius? I’m Harry Potter. I was at school with your Dad.”
Scorpius automatically shook his hand. Years of training made the move automatic.
“How do you do, sir,” he said.
“I want to apologise to you on behalf of my son,” he began. “His behaviour was completely unwarranted and he will be facing severe consequences.”
Scorpius couldn’t help it, his mouth dropped down in shock.
That look seemed to upset Harry more. “Scorpius, I promise you, James’ mother and I did not raise him to be a bully. He behaved dreadfully towards you and we are heartily ashamed. He’s gone against everything his mother and I, and his aunt and uncle have been fighting for in the last nineteen years.”
Scorpius closed his mouth and continued to listen.
Harry had paused to ruffle his still-black hair with his hand. “I wanted James to be here, to apologise to you in person, but Madam Pomfrey was against having him here when you arose. “
“Please sir,” Scorpius interrupted, “can’t we just let it be? I never said James was the one who did this to me. I told Madam Pomfrey that I fell.” He didn’t know why he continued to protect James. Perhaps it was some twisted sense of honour, not wanting to cry like a baby, that he’d been beaten up.
“Justine Finch-Fletchley interfered. She confessed to the Puking Pastille prank that was played on James and suggested he was the one behind your attack. He adamantly denied it, but she somehow persuaded James that they should both take veritaserum in the presence of the Headmistress. James must have been convinced of your guilt because he jumped at the chance. Unfortunately for him the truth came out. He found out you had nothing to do with the Puking Pastille prank and the Headmistress found out he was responsible for your injuries.”
Scorpius didn’t know what to think. Before coherent thoughts could be pieced together, Harry went on, “James has been banned from the Quidditch team for the rest of the year and will serve detention through the holidays.”
He sighed. “I’ve also removed the invisibility cloak from his possession. Personally I think he got off easy.”
“No, sir,” Scorpius said, “what would be the point in that? Can’t we just move on?”
Harry studied him quietly. Finally he said, “You are very kind to say that, Scorpius. I think I see why you were put in Hufflepuff. No Slytherin would ever have that attitude.” He pulled a large bar of Honeydukes chocolate out of his jacket pocket. “My daughter, Lily, overheard what happened to you because of James while Headmistress Sprout was speaking to us over the floo. She wanted me to give this to you in hopes that it would make you feel better.”
Scorpius smiled slightly as he took the bar. Vaguely he remembered seeing a red-haired girl standing with Al and James at Platform 9 ¾ on that fateful day in September. She had looked to be either 8 or 9 years old.
He looked down to see Harry holding out his hand again.
“It was nice to meet you, Scorpius. I hope someday we will meet again under happier circumstances.”
“Yes sir, Thank you sir. It was nice to meet you too.”
Scorpius watched the retreating back of Harry Potter. His heart froze at the sudden entrance of Draco and Astoria Malfoy. Apparently Professor Sprout still felt it necessary to inform his parents.
At the sight of Harry Potter, Draco stopped and began speaking to him. Astoria saw her son and he quickly walked over to her. They met at the bed he'd just vacated earlier.
“Are you alright darling?” She caressed his face gently with her well manicured hand. At her touch, warmth flooded through his body.
“I’m alright, mum. Please don’t make a fuss.”
She sat down on his hospital bed and pulled him next to her so as to look him straight in the eye.
“How can I not make a fuss? You are my son.” She stated.
“Yes, Mum, but do you remember Norval Zabini’s 10th birthday party?” She nodded, questioning.
“He did worse to me then.”
“You said you fell?”
“Yeah, well,” he grinned sheepishly, “I use that phrase a lot.”
He looked carefully at his mother as she clutched his hands.
“Mum, you’ve got your war paint on, I see.”
She couldn’t help but laugh. “Yes, Scorpius. I was appalled at what had happened to my son and I loaded my guns, so to speak.”
Scorpius laughed in return. His mother was an incredibly beautiful woman. When she was angry or upset, she tended to “dress to kill” as a defense mechanism to whatever or whomever she was angry with. When she felt calm and comfortable and unthreatened, she wore muggle t-shirts and jeans.
Today, she was dressed all in black, in the most expensive wool, silk, and leather available. Her long black hair was loose, cascading down her back. Her makeup was artfully applied, giving her hazel eyes an additional glow.
“She was performing an errand for me when we were notified by Professor Sprout over the floo. There wasn’t enough time for her to return so your father came with me.”
Scorpius looked out to see that Draco was still speaking with Harry Potter. It was hard to tell what they were saying.
“Is dad going to pull me out of Hogwarts?”
She sighed. “You know he wants to. You are experiencing exactly what he was afraid of.”
“It’s not what he thinks! How can I ever get him to understand that?”
“Scorpius, please try to understand, your father had a very rough time after the war. He just wants you to be spared what he went through.”
“Then he needs to let me be. Life at Hogwart’s has been great!” She looked at him skeptically. “Alright, the past 15 hours haven’t been the best, but that is the exception. My sorting into Hufflepuff has been the best thing that has happened to me.”
“Your father still thinks you should be in Slytherin.”
He shook his head vehemently. “No, Slytherin is not the place for me. I am in the right spot.”
He looked up to see his father standing at the foot of the bed. He wondered how long he’d been there.
“Yes, father,” he said and stood up to greet him.
Silently Draco looked his son over. He turned Scorpius head left, then right, checking for any remaining injuries or marks.
“How do you feel?” He asked.
“I’m fine, Dad, thanks.”
Turning to his wife, he said, “I’ll wait for you in Madame Pomfrey’s office. We can floo home from there.” He formally shook his son’s hand and walked away.
Astoria stood up with Scorpius and hugged him tightly. Returning her hug he couldn’t help but whisper, “Mum, why does Dad do that?”
He heard her sigh. “It’s a long story, Scorpius. I hope one day Draco will open up to you.” She pulled back to look in his face. “Just be happy for now that he hasn’t pulled you out of Hogwarts.”
“How much of our conversation did he hear?”
“He probably heard the entire thing.”
Slowly Scorpius made his way to his first class, eating the chocolate bar on the way. Around the corner from the Hospital wing he saw James Potter sitting on a bench in the hallway. His face was red and his eyes looked swollen. His facial expression was blank.
James hadn’t seen Scorpius yet and he debated turning back and taking the long route to his class. He didn’t feel like another confrontation with the boy. Before he could make a move he was hit by the blunt force of Justine hugging him fiercely.
“Scorpius, you’re alright!” She cried happily.
Hugging her back he glance up to see James watching them. He stood up as if to approach them, but looked uncertain.
Justine noticed his pause and looked over to see what had his attention. At the sight of James her eyes turned cold.
Linking her arm through Scorpius’ she said, “C’mon, let’s get to class. Cornelius, Tarani and Kavi can’t wait to see you.”
A/N: Please read and review! I appreciate the reviews so far!
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