“No, that’s Archie Longbottom, you idiot. The one behind him.”
The girls fought and pushed to get the best view, poor little Orla Finnegan being squished underneath her sister and her sister’s friends in their frenzy to get the first glimpse of-
Scorpius Malfoy ran down the path, taking care to trip over every twig, rock and small insect in sight and dived behind a tree as he heard someone – probably the gaggle of girls he was running away from – lumbering towards him. Hagrid walked past, humming a tune under his breath, and Scorpius heaved a sigh of relief.
He needed to get away from these girls, and fast. Tightening his Velcro on his shoes, Scorpius ran out from behind the bush and into the direction of the last place anyone would suspect him of being: the Quidditch pitch.
“Scorpius Malfoy,” Anna Finnegan sighed, her nose pressed up against the glass and fog rings growing underneath her nostrils, “with his father-”
“Draco Lucius Cepheus Romulus Malfoy…” Anna’s friend Debbie swooned, fanning her flushed face with her hand and collapsing onto the seat. “If only I was at Hogwarts when my parents were, and I might have been put into Slytherin with him.”
“But instead you’re stuck with us in Hufflepuff,” Anna snorted, taking one last glance at the blonde brigade and sitting down next to Debbie. “And you will be too, Orla.”
“But,” Orla sat down opposite her sister, as Maggie Finch-Fletchley finally unstoppered her face from the window. “What if I don’t want to be in Hufflepuff? What if I want to be in…” She thought about it for a moment. What house did she want to be in? Sure, her dad was in Gryffindor back in his day just like Draco Malfoy had been in Slytherin, and so too would Scorpius, wouldn’t he? So what house did she want to be in?
She’d heard a lot from her father about Draco Malfoy and what he was like at Hogwarts; and when Anna had gone to Hogwarts last year, Orla was graced with even more gossip and rumours about Draco’s time at their school. And her excitement had only heightened when she realised that little Scorpius would be in the same year as her little sister.
Anna grinned down at Orla, “Well, Orla, what house do you want to be in?”
“I don’t know,” she mumbled, blushing furiously and looking down at the compartment floor, “Slytherin doesn’t sound too bad.”
Anna and her friends laughed and Orla felt as though she was going to cry, but Anna leant forward and took Orla’s hand. “Orla, if you really want to be in Slytherin, then you better get in with them as soon as possible.”
“What do you mean?”
“Didn’t you hear? Apparently, Draco Malfoy-” a communal sigh resounded in their compartment and Anna took a moment to recollect her thoughts “-was the heir of Slytherin. He had all these secret powers or something,” she shook her head, “so if you want to be in Slytherin, I say go and get in with the new heir of Slytherin.”
She raised her eyebrows and Orla finally understood. “You mean,” she gulped and lowered her voice, “you mean go and talk to Scorpius Malfoy?”
It wasn’t that Orla was shy or anything, or that she hadn’t been blessed with her older sister’s conversational abilities, it was more the fact that they were asking her to talk to Scorpius Malfoy. The boy they hadn’t stopped talking about all summer (even though they had never met him), and the boy with a father so dreamy he put the James Potter to shame.
“Well durh,” Anna smiled and got up to grab Orla’s suitcase for her, “come on, we’ll go and find him together. Girls,” she turned to Maggie and Debbie who had half gotten out of their seats, “stay here and guard the compartment; we don’t a repeat of the Goyle twins incident of last year, do we?”
Anna smiled and opened the compartment door, power-walking down the busy corridor with Orla jogging to keep up behind her and stopped suddenly in front of an almost deserted compartment. Anna turned to her sister and cocked her head. “Go on,” she whispered, shoving her suitcase into her hand and giving her a shove.
Orla took a deep breath and smiled weakly at her sister. If these next few hours went well, she’d be in Slytherin with Scorpius. They would be King and Queen of their house, he would fall head-over-heels in love with her and then they’d get married underneath the Whomping Willow and Draco Malfoy (she sighed internally) would be her father-in-law…
Not that she’d planned it or anything.
Scorpius used all of his strength to push open the changing room door and collapsed out of sheer exhaustion when he got inside.
He looked up. Standing over him and staring disbelievingly down at him stood Rose Weasley, her hands on her hips and her Quidditch uniform muddied and dripping dirt onto his face.
He just couldn’t get away from them, could he?
“Malfoy, what in Merlin’s name are you doing here?”
She pulled him up and sat him down on one of the benches.
Well, if she wanted to know…
Shaking her head and taking one last glance at her sister, Orla pushed open the door to the compartment and took a confident stride in. “Excuse me,” she said, smiling that award-winning smile at him, “do you mind if I sit here? Everywhere else is full.”
Scorpius stared blankly back at her and Orla knew that they were destined to be together forever. Taking his silence as a ‘yes’, she closed the door behind her and stuck her suitcase in front of it so that no-one else would come in. She sat down opposite him and stuck out her hand, “I’m Orla, Orla Finnegan.”
He glanced down at her outstretched hand and gulped before giving her a quick, weak handshake in return. Orla grinned as his clammy hand met hers – he was obviously nervous because he loved her so much already. How sweet.
“I’m Scorpius Malfoy,” he muttered quickly in reply and retracted his hand as fast as he could get it out of her iron grip.
“What house do you think you’ll be in, Scorpy?”
“It’s Scorpius, actual-”
“Yeah, well, I prefer Scorpy.” Orla grinned and he shrunk underneath her gaze. Before he could even answer her previous question, she had gone onto an aural assault about which house she wanted to be in, her particular attributes as to why she would be suited for that house what teachers she wanted to have for each subject, what she hoped they’d have for the feast, which way her bed would be facing, the size and composition of her bathroom mirror…
“…so, I guess overall I’d like to be in Slytherin because I like green and my eyes have little flecks of green in them. Want to see?” She leant forward and Scorpius glanced quickly at her.
“No, thanks,” he croaked, having not used his voice at all for the last two hours and seventeen minutes, “you’ve already shown me three times.”
“Oh, well, never mind.” She sat back, already mentally making a note to tell Anna later about how his eyes were blue with a hint of grey and how he had a constant tortured expression on his face, like no-one understood him and he was trying so hard not to bear his soul out to her because he didn’t want to appear a sissy in front of the girl he was deeply infatuated with.
Just at that moment, the compartment door swung open and the trolley lady leant in, “Anything from the trolley?”
Scorpius, at last feeling as though this was his time to be able to say something that wouldn’t send Orla off into another one of her speeches, raised his hand and opened his mouth. “A pumpkin pasty, please. My father says they were-”
“Oh, your father,” Orla sighed and leant forward to take the pumpkin pasty from the trolley lady. “I hear he’s the heir of Slytherin, is that true?”
“What?” Scorpius said, too busy was he staring intently at the way Orla was crushing the pumpkin pasty in her hands that he didn’t hear her. She raised the pasty to her mouth and took a bite, and Scorpius felt as though he wanted to cry.
“Izzzefehairhofschwiverin?” She repeated with her mouth full.
Scorpius was distraught and had to look away so as not to cry. Orla, on the other hand, was too busy revelling in her fantastic situation to notice. Here she was, sharing a compartment with the utterly gorgeous Scorpius Malfoy who had just bought her a pumpkin pasty – an unequivocal sign that he wanted to share his life with her – and she was about to be sorted into Slytherin.
Life couldn’t be sweeter.
After another three hours and thirty nine minutes (not that Scorpius was counting, mind), the Hogwarts Express finally came to a halt at the station and a gruff voice sounded for the first years to get into a boat and sail to Hogwarts.
Immediately Orla clung to Scorpius, so sure was she that he had the muscles to row her single-handedly to the school (and probably battle a fully-grown dragon whilst he was at it), and all but dragged him into one of the little boats. But her hopes were never to be answered, for as soon as all the first years were in, the boats started to move themselves.
They were off; off to Hogwarts where they would finally become witches and wizards and they would spend the most important seven years of their lives. And Orla had already planned everything out.
They finally made it to the school, Scorpius having been silent all the way there – Orla put that down to a mixture of nerves and awe from him being so close to her – and were finally taken to the Great Hall where the Sorting Hat sat on the stool in front of them.
This was it. This was where she and Scorpius would be announced as King and Queen of Slytherin, to reign supreme over the rest of their house and forever more. The first five people were each sorted before Professor Longbottom called out, “Finnegan, Orla” and she was up onto the stool in a shot.
Slytherin. Slytherin. Slytherin. She thought furiously, staring intently down at Scorpius as if his heir-ness would rub off on her. The Hat chuckled, but before she could even think about what that might mean, its brim had opened wide and shouted “HUFFLEPUFF”.
And six years later, Orla was still convinced that she and Scorpius were going to spend their lives together. She had somehow managed to find out what he was taking – and dropping – and the end of their fifth year and had taken exactly the same mix of subjects as him. She had also managed to convince every classmate that would otherwise have sat next to Scorpius that they should let her sit next to him, and had joined every single club that he had throughout the past six years. She had simply failed, however, in convincing the captain of the Gobstones club – Lucy Weasley – that it would be in her best interests to leave. But Orla still had two years to work on her.
To cut a long story short, she was utterly besotted.
And earlier that day, she finally took up the courage to tell him. “I,” she said as she chased after him up the Great Hall, “I need to tell you something later. Can you meet me here at teatime so we can…talk?”
Orla mentally prepared herself that afternoon, barely being able to work during her study period so excited was she in planning the evening they would spend together, and then they had the rest of their lives…
But when she glanced down at her watch and made her way to the Great Hall that evening, Scorpius wasn’t there. In fact, he wasn’t anywhere to be seen in the whole castle. And Orla Finnegan wasn’t the only one to have noticed.
Story-wide disclaimer: everything belongs to JKR. And all graphics belong to ahoythere @ TDA.
A/N: This won't be long and sloppy. I just want to say thank you to my best friend Julia (peppersweet) for everything: for her wonderful graphics, for her endless hours of spell-checking, for being the most enthusiastic fan-girl and for inspiring this one. Without her award-winning "Starving Artists" there is no way this idea would have popped into my head, so thank you so much. And thank you to all of you for reading this and for (hopefully) enjoying and reviewing! I can't wait to hear what you think.
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