Chapter 1 : Train of thought
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I settled back on the train, feeling the steady thrum and beat of the wheels under me like the breathing and beating heart of a great creature. I was looking forward to this year. I was lucky enough to be old enough to enter the Triwizard tournament when it came around. Although now it should really be called the Hexawizard tournament as each school could enter two competitors. If I was lucky I’d get to fight alongside him. I shivered, eyes tight shut imagining him, whirling around facing a dragon. He’d been occupying my thoughts for quite a few months now. I was intoxicated by him. He probably didn’t feel the same way.
This was the problem with being nerdy and bookish; no matter who your parents were you were still unpopular. No, that wasn’t right. Most people liked me well enough but I’m not quite sure if they knew I existed. It was like I had an invisibility cloak on because I loved studying and practicing spells. The only time people were forced to pay attention to me is when I won all the duelling competitions. There were some advantages to not having friends, plenty of time to perfect technique.
There was only one person who ever stood any chance of beating me, and he was equally ignored, though not because of his school related interests. He was shunned slightly because of his name. A name that carried awful connotations because of what his family had done. It was a name that had the power to turn my legs to jelly and had done for about half a year.
It was at that moment that the door to my compartment slid open. Speak of the devil.
* * *
I dragged my case down the train glancing into compartment after compartment, being met with glares or indifference. There had to be one free carriage somewhere. There couldn’t have been that many new first years. Well I could always go and sit with the driver. I had done it before when there had been nowhere to sit. I actually quite liked the driver. He didn’t care that my last name was Malfoy and was always a good laugh. He didn’t even mind when I spent more than half the journey with his nose buried in a book.
I passed a carriage with Hugo Weasley, Lilly Potter and their friends in. I sighed as I carried on. It was a shame really, if I’d been a year or two younger I could have been friends with them. But as it was they were quite a little clique. It would probably be a bit awkward anyway, being friends with Albus Potter’s sister would lead to them coming face to face more often and then I’d make a fool of myself, being unable to speak.
Albus Potter. The reason I entered all of those stupid duelling contests. The reason I lost every single one. Also the reason I was entering the Triwizard tournament this year. Though really I couldn’t care less about the potential popularity or the prize money considering what I was set to inherit. But Albus was entering, or at least I was sure he would. And to see him fighting with me, well it would be every dream, well not every dream, coming true.
I was smiling as I approached the final compartment and looked in to see him sitting there. Albus was just sitting by himself, eyes closed. Did I dare? Could I go in and sit with him? The son of Harry Potter. The boy I was obsessed with.
We would be alone. We could talk to each other and if not then at least I could sit near him. It would be the closest I’d got to the other Ravenclaw outside of duelling. I had a good excuse, this was the emptiest and the last compartment on the train.
Holding my breath and felling like my all of my NEWT’s rested on this moment, I reached my cold hand forward and gripped the door handle. Before the sensible voice in my head could turn me back I plastered a small smile on my face and pulled the door open.
* * *
Scorpius Malfoy, small smile firmly attached, walked into my compartment. He shot me an apologetic look and started to speak.
“Hey” His silver eyes seemed to be a bit nervous, “Um... do you mind if I sit in here? I won’t be any bother, it’s just that there are no free compartments. I won’t even speak if it bothers you, I brought books to read anyway... um... Oh, and I’m Scorpius by the way.” He stuck out his hand.
I froze, “Um...” Well done Albus, that sounded clever. “No I don’t mind, and you don’t have to be silent either. Um... I’m Albus.” He reached out his own hand to meet Scorpius’.
There was no electric current passed between them, but I did feel warm, to the point where I thought I was probably blushing like crazy. I looked up and caught his gaze. Suddenly we weren’t connected by our hands, it was our eyes that joined us to one-another.
“You’re very good at duelling” I blurted. “I always look forward to fighting you. It’s nice to have a... um...”
“A challenge?” Scorpius asked, raising one eyebrow. “I know what you mean. Maybe next time I’ll even make an effort when duelling you.” He smiled and winked. It was a good job I was sitting down my knees were no longer knees but wobbling piles of mush. Why did this boy have so much of a hold on me?
“Hmm” I said, somehow managing to keep my face in a normal expression. “If you do then maybe I’ll be forced to do the same. I might actually bother to wake up to duel you.”
Scorpius chuckled and sat down across from me, flicking his wand and sending it flying into the luggage rack. “I’m glad I had chance to warn you.” He went quite still and then almost whispered, “I’m glad we had chance to meet each other.”
“Me too” I said, my stomach doing funny things that only an acrobat should attempt. “I’ve only really got to speak to you during that potions project last year. And then a couple of times after that.” It had been when I’d started liking Scorpius. The few conversations we’d had had brought us closer than they probably should have. Or maybe that was just my twisted perception of our relationship.
“Oh Merlin!” Scorpius said, dropping his face into his hands and groaning. “Don’t even remind me. I felt so stupid when I ended up melting your cauldron. I am so sorry about that by the way.”
“Don’t be silly. You replaced it and even potions master Scorpius is allowed to make mistakes occasionally. Plus you haven’t stopped apologising to me every time we’ve met since.” I said reaching over to pat his bent shoulder. It felt so natural, which was odd, since I often went for months without human contact, excluding Lilly, who had taken to hugging me randomly from her second year at school.
“Then how come you never make a mistake?” Scorpius asked, a wry smile curling his lips.
“Were you not there when I gave Professor Greenwort that sleeping solution that blew up in his face?” I said with a chuckle. “I got detention for weeks after he’d woken up.”
We were both laughing and beginning to relax when Lilly walked in and said, “Albus, Aaron would quite like to have a word with you when you get to school. He wasn’t going to tell you he needed advice but what with me being so lovely, I thought I make sure you knew now before we get to... oh!” She smiled looking in at me and Scorpius and I could sense her evil mid working. “I’ll talk to you later Al, I’ll leave you lovebirds alone.” With a wink she was gone, vanishing out the door as quickly as she had arrived.
I was blushing furiously as she left, sure that she’d guessed over the holidays that I liked someone in my year. It seemed she thought she knew who it was. Of course she was right but that just made it more annoying.
“Um...” I said, cutting into the awkward silence that was growing to be as thick as treacle tart. “That was... my sister. She can be irritating so just ignore her.”
* * *
“Don’t worry about” I said as I began to worry, had that Lilly girl heard rumours about my sexual preference? I had only told two people, my one friend, Alicia Prang, and my mother. “I know from my friend how annoying younger siblings can be.”
“Oh, I forgot you were an only child.” Albus said, looking shocked as if he couldn’t imagine such a small family. “That must be bliss.”
I smirked. “Not really, I end up being cooped in a house with just my parents. It can get reasonably lonely. But it’s not that I mind particularly, I find peace in solitude, but it might have been nicer to have more friends.” I was speaking too much and I knew it.
Albus’ face fell a little. “Well... there’s one here... i-f... if you want it.” No he was looking down, going to the cutest shade of red. I was nonplussed.
“One what?” I asked. Feeling like a bit of a fool.
“A... a friend. If you want to of course. I mean you said you liked being alone but I thought, you know, since we both like duelling and studying it might be... But again if you don’t want to that’s fine, actually you know what I’ll just go and sit with the train driver. I’ll stop pestering you...” He started to get up and reached up for his bag.
“Don’t be preposterous.” I said, standing and grabbing his arm, stopping him from taking his bags and running. “You got here first and anyway, I’d love to be your friend.” Whilst my brain was suggesting what else this boy could be we both sat down.
“So...” Albus and I started awkwardly at the same time. “You going to enter the tournament?” he continued after I indicated he should carry on.
“I think so. But wouldn’t it be a bit unfair on you?” I said, faking concern.
“What? Why?” Said Albus looking nervous.
“Well.” I continued “You’d have no chance of winning if I did, now would you?” I winked at him. What was I doing? Was I flirting with Albus Potter. I mean he knew he was gay, everyone did, but I was a Malfoy and he was... well... perfect. Plus he didn’t know I was gay so... I told my brain to shut up as I realised it was thinking in every smaller circles.
“Getting a bit cocky there are you Scorp?” He said grinning, “Who’s to say I wouldn’t kick your arse out there?”
I was too busy getting my heart to stop racing after he’d used my nickname, Scorp. He took my silence and slightly scared look the wrong way.
“Hey, no. I’m sorry, I’m sure you’d give me a run for my money. Honestly.” He said, patting my leg.
I scowled, “I wasn’t thinking about the possibility of you winning. It isn’t one you see.” I thought frantically, “I was thinking about... umm... having to tell my father that I’d killed a Potter. After all the work he’s put in to clear our name I’m not sure it would go down well.”
Albus snorted, “Kill me? Yeah right. You could try Malfoy.” Then he smiled. “Anyway, that’s if we both get in. I like to think you’ll be cheering from a seat somewhere so I won’t be forced to hex you.”
“Humph” I said and we lapsed into comfortable silence. I drew my wand and muttered “accio standard book of spells grade seven.” and it flew down to land in my arms. I began looking through it, although I wasn’t supposed to need this book for another year.
I was practicing the motions and incantations for the replica spell, geminio, when out of nowhere Albus blurted; “Hey, do you have a girlfriend?” I looked up and saw that he’d gone crimson.
“Um... no actually. That’s me, loner single with one... well two friends now.” I replied, turning a not so subtle shade myself. “What about you? Do you have a... a boyfriend somewhere?” I tried, and failed abominably to look nonchalant.
“No.” He said with a small laugh, “I don’t speak to anyone long enough to get to know them properly.” He looked a bit uncomfortable.
“You’re speaking to me...” I whispered. Looking up at him through my lashes I could see that he looked quite shocked and had gone from red to pale white in a matter of seconds.
“Um” He said as I went over to sit next to him. What was I doing? This wasn’t me. I was never so... so forward. But it felt so good to finally make a move on this gorgeous guy.
I placed my hand over his and said, “Al, I’ve been watching you for quite a while now. I think... I know that I like you. Um... would you... uh... well I ‘d like to know... do...are the feelings reciprocated?” I was barely audible now, my terror catching up on my like a tidal wave.
“Um” Albus was red again. He was so damn adorable I wanted to press my lips against his and... “yes.” He whispered, looking down and away out of embarrassment.
I smiled and gently put my hand on his soft cheek and turned his face towards mine. “I would like to take this quite slowly. But if, once we get to know each other a little better, you still share my feelings. Would you like to go out with me?” This was bolder than I’d ever been in my life and I was just a millimetre away from screaming nerves and insane dancing.
“Yes” Albus whispered again, going, if possible, more red with a cute smile. I pulled him in for a hug and we just sat there for a while. I breathed in his scent, which was something clean and nice, with a hint of a sweet, fruit smell. He was so soft, head resting on my chest, woollen jumper making a soft padding between our two bodies. His hair was sweet, jet black and a bit messy sticking up here and there like he’d just woken up. He had hi eyes closed and he was breathing deeply, with a wide grin on his face. I rested my cheek on the top of his head and slowly ran one hand through his hair.
He shivered at the contact and buried his face deeper into me. I put my hand under his chin, tilted his head up and lightly pressed my lips against his. His mouth was soft and warm, his lips silky. I pulled away after just a second and said, “Taking it slow.” Before smiling and holding him again.
“AH HA!” Said a loud voice from the compartment door. Albus and I jumped apart and spun around, guilty looks on our faces, there stood Lecia and Lilly, both staring in at us with triumphant looks on their faces.
“You see I told you Lecia, Albus has had a crush on him for aaaggesss now.” She leered in at them. “Thank god they’ve both realised it now.”
“I know.” Lecia said, wicked grin spread across her face, as sickly as honey. “Scorpius was driving me insane, it was Albus this and Albus that. And putting all that aside, guys kissing is hot, can you do it in front of us?”
“Ew!” Lilly said, “It might be hot, if that wasn’t my brother. Shall I tell Aaron that you two will be offering advice together?”
“Uh...” Albus said, “I suppose. I’ll talk to Scorp about it later.”
“Ooohh!” Lecia said looking between us, “Scorp now is it. I thought that was just me.”
I scowled at Lecia, “That’s just because you’re my only friend. It doesn’t mean other people can’t call me it. And Lilly I’ll be fine to talk to Aaron about whatever, so long as I actually know how to give advice on it.”
“Oh you will.” Lilly said, winking. “Now for the second time, We’ll leave you two love birds alone.”
They ran out giggling madly “Well.” I said. “That was my friend Lecia.”
“That was my sister.” Albus said. “Um... yeah.”
We spent the rest of the journey reading, Albus with his feet on the chair, head in my lap. I had a feeling that this next year was going to be much more fun than the previous one.
A/N So as I said, this story runs alongside my other one and I love Scorpius/Albus fictions so I think I might write a novel to follow this short extract. Please review and tell me whether you guys would be at all interested in it. As always, I own nothing. It all belongs to the lovely J.K. Rowling, who is our queen.