Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing/Characters: Albus Severus/Scorpius; Harry/Draco UST; Harry/Ginny, Draco/Astoria(background pairings), James
Summary: Some things never change, but usually the important things do. A story about fevers, books, cupcakes, newspaper articles and wandless spells.
Word Count: 7102
Disclaimer: these characters are not mine, nor do I claim them as such.
Author's Notes: This was awesomely beta'd by the lovely Carla, who manages to make my writing(and me) sparkle. Thank you, dahling~
There was noise in the manor. Draco realized this suddenly and put his teacup down onto its saucer with a clatter. He peered up at the ceiling with a displeased frown. There was definite romping going on up there. He heaved a sigh and picked up his teacup again.
"Something wrong, dear?" Astoria asked absently from behind the Prophet. Draco heaved another sigh.
"Potter's boy really is here after all, isn't he?" he asked with another glance up at the ceiling. His wife peered at him over her newspaper, raising an eyebrow. Draco pouted.
"You watched him walk through the Floo last night,” she pointed out, and Draco continued to pout into his tea.
"I know," he said, voice devastated, "I had sort of hoped I'd dreamed that bit." Astoria chuckled and went back to her paper; Draco huffed and went back to his tea. After a moment he put his tea back down and stalked from the room, his wife's amused gaze following his back.
He stood at the bottom of the stairs in the foyer, crossed his arms over his chest and tried to remember that look Lucius used to give him all the time. That I hate children look. Draco had never been able to perfect it, but he gave it a noteworthy try. The two boys thundered towards the top of the stairs (how could two boys make such an obscene amount of noise?) and started to race down it. Scorpius didn't notice his father until he was about ten or fifteen steps away, a look of mortification dawning on his features that was almost comical. Of course the Potter brat didn't notice and barreled into Scorpius, sending them both crashing down the stairs and into a heap at Draco's feet. Draco arched an eyebrow at the pile of limbs that was his son and his son's best friend (who also happened to be his archenemy's son).
"Ow, ow!" the Potter boy was moaning, wriggling away from Scorpius so he could get up, "Scorp, why'd you—“ the mini-Potter shut up as he looked up and saw his best friend's father looking down at him, thoroughly displeased (though really trying to hide a smile), "Oh. Er. Hello, Mr. Malfoy." The grin mini-Potter cast guiltily up at him was painfully reminiscent of the elder Potter, and Draco had to conceal a groan. Albus stood and dusted himself off, continuing to grin in that infuriatingly cheeky manner.
"Sorry, Dad," Scorpius mumbled, at least having the decency to cower behind mini-Potter (who was probably more than an inch shorter than him). Draco gave a long-suffering sigh and glanced up at the ceiling, letting a tiny smile pull at the corners of his lips.
"Good morning, boys. Perhaps tomorrow morning you could try not to stomp the house down?" he asked pointedly, turning his attention from his son (who was nodding guiltily), and the Potter boy (who was still grinning).
"Yes, Dad," Scorpius said obediently, then after a beat elbowed Albus, who winced.
"Yes, Mr. Malfoy." That mischievous glint in his eye was definitely Slytherin, which was more than enough to make Draco's lips curl into a small smile.
"There's breakfast in the kitchen, if you can make it without falling over each other," he said dismissively, and both boys cast him an identical grin before Scorpius grabbed Albus' arm and dragged him away towards the kitchens.
"Your dad isn't nearly as frightening as I thought he was going to be!" Albus practically yelled down the corridor, followed by a shocked (but amused) "Albus!" from Scorpius.
Draco shook his head and rolled his eyes. Albus certainly had all the tact of his father.
"But, Gin! He's a Malfoy! What if he tries to hex us in our sleep?" Harry flailed a little, trying not to sound as desperate as he felt. Ginny sent him a flat look.
"He also happens to be your son's best friend!" she pointed out, and Harry all but pouted, "Not to mention the fact that the Malfoys who wanted to hex you in your sleep stopped at Lucius. Not that Draco isn't a great git, I think he is too, but do you honestly think he would send his son after you because of a schoolboy rivalry? Honestly, Harry." Ginny waved her hand dismissively and walked away. Harry followed her into the kitchen.
"Not to mention the fact that he already graciously allowed Albus to stay in the Manor for a week," Ginny pointed out innocently, giving Harry a sly smile, "You wouldn't want Malfoy to think you were petty, would you?" Harry opened and closed his mouth several times until he huffed and crossed his arms over his chest.
"Thank you, darling." she said with a grin, leaning over to kiss her grumbling husband's cheek, "Plus, you know how devastated Al would be if you said Scorpius couldn't visit." Harry only grumbled some more, something about Slytherins and sons and Malfoys. Ever since that first letter home last September, where Albus had been so excited and nervous about being a Slytherin ("At first I was scared but the Slytherins were all so nice and James said that he should have known all these years and I told him to shove it") and his new friend ("His name is Scorpius Malfoy and I know you say Malfoys are all pretentious gits but he's nice and funny and sort of moody and quiet but that's only around other people"). Harry knew this was coming, because he loved his son and he didn't want the Malfoy past to rub off on little Albus. Though, Harry had to admit, after the war Draco had changed, even so far as to make a public apology for his family (Harry had been sure it was just a publicity stunt). Ginny chuckled and shook her head, starting dinner with a wave of her wand. Harry sulked in the corner, knowing he had lost the argument but not wanting to admit it.
"Well, run along and tell Al the good news. If the anticipation hasn't already killed him." Ginny rolled her eyes and turned back to cooking as Harry huffed and started down the hall.
"Al?" Harry half-heartedly knocked on his son's door and poked his head in, finding Albus crouched over his desk, writing something hurriedly.
"Oh, hi Dad," Al said, glancing up sullenly and not bothering to smile at his father. Harry held back a sigh and stepped into the room, stepping up behind the desk and laying a comforting hand on his son's shoulder.
"Who are you writing to?" Harry asked, and Albus sat back a little and glanced up at his again.
"Scorpius. Who else would I be writing to?" Harry decided to ignore the snide remark and pursed his lips thoughtfully for a second.
"You should tell him to bring his own sleeping bag. James ruined our spare," Harry said, smiling a little down at Albus, who stared back blankly.
"Why would he- ohh!" comprehension dawned on Al's face, along with a huge grin, "Oh, thank you, Dad!" he cried, leaping out of his chair to wrap his father in a tight hug. Harry started but hugged back after a moment, chuckling and shaking his head.
There was going to be a Malfoy in his house. No, Harry corrected, his son's best friend was going to be in his house. Who just happened to be a Malfoy.
Scorpius decided almost guiltily that he loved the Potters' house. He wouldn't admit it to himself until third year, Christmas holidays. He remembered back after first year he was so utterly confused by the house. He knew the Potters were rich, if James' new SonicStar 2 was any indication, but their house was utterly unextravagant. It wasn't small by any stretch, but it lacked the high ceilings and cold floors of the Malfoy Manor. It was always comfortable and decorated in warm tones of red and orange and yellow. Gryffindor colors, he had told himself with a sneer. Albus had explained once that his mum's family hadn't had much money growing up, and his dad was never much for material possessions anyways, so they always went for comfort more than extravagance. Al's room had always been solace though- all cool greens and grays, it reminded Scorpius of home. Though Al's room was decidedly colder than most of the rooms in the house, there was a warmth to it that was really nothing like the manor; Scorpius would speculate years from then that perhaps it was Albus that made the room warm, and then promptly blush.
He and Albus and James had been out in the snow, having a rather spectacular snow fight ("No magic! Al, you cheater, I said no magic!") when Mrs. Potter called them in, as the sun was about to set. They tumbled into the house, grinning and panting and reveling in the warmth of the house. Mr. Potter cast a hasty drying charm in their coat and scarves as they shucked them, and then with a sigh picked up the coats and hung them by the door. With a wave of Mrs. Potter's wand there were three steaming mugs on the table, and the three boys grappled to get to them.
"My mum makes the best hot cocoa!" Albus boasted loudly and Scorpius grinned in return. It was when Scorpius wrapped both hands around his mug and stuck his nose into the steam that the warmth flooded through him, a warmth that was alarmingly non-magical. The hot cocoa was the perfect temperature and Scorpius took a long sip, eyes fluttering closed as he enjoyed the liquid that slid down his throat and pooled in his stomach. But it didn't stop there—it spread farther through his gut and limbs until his whole body was tingling with comfortable heat.
Scorpius thought there must be a fantastic warming charm on the cocoa; but something told him it wasn't just magic. He glanced up to find Albus grinning at him again and Scorpius realized that despite its' lack of expensive curtains and mahogany dining tables; he really liked The Potter House. It was warm and cozy and friendly and nothing Slytherins liked, but Scorpius grudgingly loved it. Scorpius would never admit it, but some of the best Christmases he could remember were spent in that red-and-gold cave.
“This is surreal.”
Harry was immensely glad that Albus hadn’t inherited his bad eyesight, for if his son had been wearing glasses Harry may have started to believe he’d stumbled into the past. But not his past, some strange alternate past where he was friends with Draco Malfoy and they played Quidditch together on the extensive Malfoy Manor grounds. Al had been invited to stay at the Manor for two weeks (again), and towards the end he received a polite owl from Draco asking him and his wife if, when they came to get their son, they would like to stay for tea as well. Ginny had thought it was a splendid idea and reminded Harry how rude it would be to refuse, as well as how crushed Albus would be if he was never invited to Malfoy Manor again because his father couldn’t let go of a schoolboy rivalry.
So Harry found himself sitting next to one Draco Malfoy on lovely summer day, sipping tea and watching their fourteen-year-old sons fly around on brooms together. Ginny had demanded that Astoria show her how to make her lovely scones and the girls had left several minutes prior; leaving Harry and Draco doused in an awkward silence.
“Sort of like watching a picture of me and you, except it’s real,” Harry commented vaguely and Draco glanced over at him and raised an eyebrow, expression unmistakably condescending.
“Indeed.” Draco replied dryly; his sarcasm went right over Harry’s head. They were silent again for a few minutes, Draco smirking when Scorpius lobbed a bludger straight at Albus and the boy had to drop twenty feet to avoid it, and Harry grinning when both boys turned into a dive and Scorpius pulled up a good five seconds before Albus did.
“He’s not, though. Exactly like you, I mean,” Draco said suddenly, glancing at Harry and taking another sip of his tea. Harry raised an eyebrow, intrigued.
“No?” Draco was silent for a moment, frowning a little and refusing to meet Harry’s gaze.
“He has freckles. You didn’t- don’t have freckles.” Draco finally cast Harry displeased glance, and the other man blinked for a moment before laughing. Draco seemed startled by the reaction, but covered it up quickly with a frown.
“Yeah, Scorpius’ eyes are a lot bluer than yours,” Harry said with an impish grin, and Draco’s frown deepened. They were silent again, and Draco grudgingly admitted to himself that it was more comfortable than awkward.
“If anybody had told me back at school that someday I’d be sitting just outside the Malfoy Manor and drinking tea with Draco Malfoy I would have said they were crazy,” Harry mused with a half-smile on his face. Draco snorted.
“But then I would have said they were crazy if they thought I would save your life, too. Twice.” Harry’s impish grin was back and it was all Draco could do to not slap it off. His fingers tensed around his cup, his face flushed and he heard Harry chuckling beside him, the git.
“You did not—“ Draco started, but Harry cut him off.
“Okay, I suppose the second time was really Ron, but still!” Harry laughed again, and a little of the tension left Draco’s shoulders, “But then, your mum saved my life too.” Harry shrugged, and Draco’s shoulders slouched. He glanced over at Harry in the same moment Harry glanced over at him. They looked at each other for a moment, Harry half-smiling and Draco half-frowning, until they heard Albus laughing raucously and they both jumped. Draco glanced away and coughed and Harry stood abruptly, calling out to his son.
“Albus, we should be going soon, wrap it up!”
“I’ll, ah, go get Astoria. And Ginny,” Draco mumbled awkwardly, leaving his tea half-finished as he ran from what had most certainly not been a significant moment with Harry Potter.
Albus’ first kiss had been Scorpius in third year, but if anybody asked it was Darla Zabini in fourth year. It wasn’t terribly romantic or a very memorable kiss, but every time Albus thought about it he sort of smiled to himself and decided that it did count, even if nobody else knew about it. Not even Scorpius, because the blonde had been slightly delirious at the time. Scorpius had contracted a bad cold that had been going around, but he’d always been prone to sickness so it struck him pretty bad and landed him in the Hospital Wing for three days. Albus spent all three days in the Hospital Wing, though he was a picture of health (disregarding of course the fact that by the third day his stomach was dangerously empty and there were bags under his eyes). Scorpius had a bad fever and complained of a headache when he was aware enough to do it, and when he had recovered completely he told Albus that he felt as if he’d dreamed for three days straight, he couldn’t remember much of anything except for Albus’ constant presence and the potions that made his head spin. Albus figured this was for the best, because he could imagine his best friend’s reaction if he knew he had kissed Albus. Al assured himself that it was just an innocent, chaste kiss, friendly and sweet. Al wouldn’t realize until a month later that boys weren’t supposed to kiss boys; he wouldn’t realize until years later that that one small kiss was his favorite out of all the kisses he had experienced.
“Scorp?” Al’s head jerked up from where he’d slouched and started to doze when he heard the voice. He stood instantly and leaned over the bed, peering worriedly into the flushed face of his best friend.
“Al, you… I thought you went.” Scorpius spoke slowly, and Albus could tell from his eyes that he wasn’t completely awake.
“Went where?” Albus asked quietly, brushing a few strands of white-blonde hair off of Scorpius’ forehead and letting his fingers linger as he felt the heated skin.
“To… To Romania. With your uncle.” Scorpius blinked tiredly, squinting even though it was dark in the Hospital Wing. Al smiled a little and decided not to press the ridiculous implications of that statement.
“I didn’t go anywhere, Scorp. I’m right here,” he assured the blonde, smiling sweetly down at him. Scorpius started to nod and shift, presumably to fall back asleep. Albus leaned forward to kiss his forehead innocently, but he didn’t notice Scorpius’ fingers fiddling with his tie. Scorpius tugged and with miraculous aim Albus was pressing his lips to Scorpius’. It lasted a few long moments and then Albus realized what was happening and pulled back sharply, readying an awkward apology. But as soon as he opened his mouth he noticed Scorpius’ eyes were still closed and his breathing was even and there was a slight smile in the corner of his mouth. Albus sat back down, and after a moment smiled to himself and trailed a few fingers over his lips.
“A Healer?” his father had asked, not exactly condescending but definitely disbelieving. Scorpius had shrugged and looked away. He’d sort of prepared himself for some kind of struggle, his father had always made a point of accepting Scorpius no matter what and not pushing any beliefs on him, but there probably hadn’t been a Healer in the Malfoy family since, well, ever.
"I don't want to do anything else." Scorpius carefully avoided eye contact with his father, a hand reaching up to rub the back of his neck.
"Scorp... Scorpius," Draco said sternly and his son reluctantly looked up, "It's not that I don't want you to become one... It's just... A Healer?" Scorpius rolled his eyes and had to bite back a smile when he realized his dad hadn't been this put-out when Scorpius told him he was gay.
"Yeah, well, I know you wanted me to take after you but I'm rubbish at Arithmancy and I'm not half as good as you with Potions and..." Scorpius trailed off, chewing his bottom lip, "I want to help people." Draco couldn't muster up a protest after that, so he stepped forward and tugged his son into a hug, who willingly hugged back.
"I love you, Scorpius," Draco mumbled quietly into his son's shoulder, and Scorpius bit back a grin.
"Love you too, Dad." They were quiet for a few moments after that, until Scorpius pulled away with a sheepish grin.
"Just be glad you aren't Harry Potter," he said, and Draco blinked and decided not to point out that he had never, ever wanted to be Harry Potter.
"What?" he asked, slightly incredulous and irritated that such a name could be brought up after a private moment like that.
"Al wants to open up a bakery."
For most of his life, Albus Potter had been positive that he was going to grow up to be Auror, like his dad. It certainly helped him make up his mind when girls would squeal when he said those were his life plans. They would coo and tell him how brave he must be and oh, how romantic! Scorpius would always roll his eyes and shake his head but Albus would always grin. James would point out that he thought the Auror Academy had a height requirement, and if Albus didn't spring up about five inches he would never make it in. Albus would growl at that and wait until James was strutting past the slutty Hufflepuff girls and throw a rather spectacular trip jinx at him. That always made Scorpius laugh.
Albus would realize later that most things in his life were related to or caused by Scorpius, and he would be surprised to find out just how little he minded that. His career choice was no exception.
It started in transfiguration, fifth year. They had to turn books into pies, and after Albus transfigured his first book into a perfect pie Scorpius urged him to do something more complicated and score back some of the points they had lost earlier that day. Soon Albus was showing off for the whole class and turning an encyclopedia into a batch of cupcakes with perfect green icing. Everyone who tried one of the cupcakes raved about how smooth the icing was and how moist the cake was. Albus spent the rest of the day beaming and showing off to anybody who wanted a cupcake.
Albus was in the kitchens early in sixth year when a thought struck him and he asked the house elves for advice on magical cooking. Scorpius turned out to be Albus' guinea pig most of the time, which he didn't mind at all because Al really had a knack for pastries and Scorpius had a knack for eating pastries and knowing whether or not they were good. It was a few days before Christmas when he got his big breakthrough—in the form of a present from Scorpius.
"Happy Christmas, Al." Scorpius was visiting for the day and he was hardly through the floo when he thrust the package at Albus, "I was going to wait to give this to you, but, well. I don't want to." Scorpius was practically beaming and Albus couldn't help but join him as he took the beautifully wrapped present. As it turned out, Malfoys had an innate gift for present-wrapping and ribbon-matching. Whenever Albus needed a present wrapped he made Scorpius do it—his always turned out lumpy. This one was a delicious shade of seafoam green with intricate black designs all over the paper; the ribbon was black lace and tied into a complicated bow, and when he peered closely at the design on the ribbon he could see scorpions and snakes wound together. When Albus glanced up at Scorpius with a grin the boy was blushing and smiling a little sheepishly. Then (Albus felt a little guilty afterwards) he tore at the paper with unmatched childlike glee and found that in his hands he had a—book? He blinked at it and then up at Scorpius, who was looking so damn hopeful that Albus felt a pang of guilt when Scorpius saw the look on his face.
"A- A book?" Al asked, slightly confused because Scorpius must know how shoddy a gift a book was.
"No, wait. Look at it, you dolt!" Scorpius gestured to the cover and Albus moved his hand away to peer at the cover.
"Madame Rousseau's Essential Baking Magic." Albus read slowly, comprehension slowly dawning on him as he started to grin again. He looked back up at Scorpius beaming, eyes glinting in awe.
"She's this famous French witch who invented tons of baking spells and has this bakery in Paris that's famous for its pastries. She's won about a million awards and has like, fifteen books and they're all bestsellers and—Open it, look inside the cover!" Albus could only blink in response, because it was rare when Scorpius was excited about anything, much less excited about something that was for somebody else's benefit. Al only realized he was staring when Scorpius barked "Open it!" at him and he jumped and fumbled with the book. He flipped open the cover and promptly gasped, shifting to run his fingers over the signed inscription.
My nephew tells me you have a passion for sweet treats. I hope this book brings you as much luck as wisdom. Never stop baking!
When Albus finally looked up he was gaping, jaw hanging open comically and eyes wide. Scorpius was biting back a huge, proud grin, practically beside himself with glee.
"Nephew?! She's your aunt?!" Albus asked, completely floored by this.
"Great aunt, actually, but yeah. On my mum's side." Scorpius laughed a little and then asked (needlessly), "So you like it?"
"Fuck, Scorp, I love it!" Albus launched himself at his friend and threw an arm around him (the other arm was clutching the book to his chest), "This is amazing!" Scorpius laughed and hugged him back, training his eyes on Al's face as he pulled back to flip through the book.
"Oh, Scorp. Scorp! This is amazing!" he was saying almost absently, pausing to gasp and trace his fingers over animated diagrams of wand movements and pictures of delicious-looking cupcakes and cookies and flaky pastries.
"I'm glad you like it," Scorpius said quietly with a small smile as he watched Al's face, expression a soft, sweet mix of joy and want. Then Albus was running away towards the kitchen, yelling and waving his book.
"Mum! Dad! James! Look what Scorp got me!"
After that it was a whirlwind of brightly-colored icing and delicious pastries, and soon people were suggesting that Albus start charging for the treats. By the summer before seventh year Al had had an important business discussion with his Uncle George, and started taking orders. Much to the chagrin of his parents, of course. Both remembered all too well Molly Weasley's reaction to her twins' similar idea—and they both gained a new understanding of the woman. Especially when Albus wrote them from school to tell them business was booming and he was considering opening up a shop ("Scorpius suggested it and I wrote Uncle George for advice, he says there's a shop near his that's going under any day now!"), and his dreams of becoming an auror were out the window ("Don't tell James I said this, but I reckon he's right—I am too short and I don't think they'd accept a student who still screams like a girl when he sees a spider."). The Potters never really had a chance to be disapproving because Albus never gave them one—not on purpose, of course, he just had the tendency of running headlong into things and forgetting that some people weren't as excited about it as he was.
Albus decided adamantly that he didn't want any financial help with his business from his parents, and spent most of his seventh year making cupcakes. He considered dropping out, but Scorpius reminded him that entrepreneurship was not the most stable of careers and it would do him well to have a backup plan. Also, Scorpius said he would probably die of boredom without Albus there to get him into trouble, and after all those years Albus still didn't have the ability to say no to that face.
Slowly, Albus and Scorpius started planning their lives around each other, almost unintentionally. It started with Al's decision to rent a flat in London until he could afford a shop in Diagon Alley. When James heard these plans he laughed so hard he fell right off the bench (or maybe Albus pushed him) and declared Albus a girl officially. He took it back in the end, though, because Al refused to give his brother any more free pastries and even came up with a ‘Brother Tax’ that just happened to triple the price of all wares. Then a few days were spent with Al pouring of the Prophet and moaning to anybody who would listen about the outrageous prices of flats. Then Scorpius mentioned that he would be living in London as well, when his Healer Training started in September, and Albus figured out that the rates weren't quite so daunting when you split them in half. And then it was decided—they would share a flat in London, and how perfect would it be? Scorpius was a little wary about sharing close living quarters ("It'll be like the dorms, except, y'know, more private.") with the boy he'd been in love with for years, and Albus was as oblivious as ever, too blinded by his pastry-related-excitement to notice anything else. But, he figured, they’d both be available bachelors in London and neither would have much trouble finding dates. And on the bright side, their love lives would never intersect because Albus only dated girls, and Scorpius only dated boys. This was a bittersweet bright side to Scorpius.
Their seventh year seemed to fly by and before either boy had a chance to take a breath they were unpacking boxes in a smallish flat in a muggle building that was equidistant from St. Mungo’s and Diagon Alley. And then it turned out that Adult Life was a lot more time-consuming than they had figured. Scorpius spent his days either in classes or doing his residency at the hospital or sleeping. At one point he went three whole days only eating the experimental pastries Albus shoved down his throat in the middle of the night. Albus spent all his time baking, taking up permanent residence it their kitchen. At any one point the table was covered in floating stacks of plates of cupcakes, constantly rearranging themselves as Albus waved his wand fervently, most of the time looking intently at various orders and only glancing at the pastries flinging themselves into existence.
Christmas had seemed terribly fleeting and Valentine’s Day went off with a huge mass of pink and red cupcakes, and before he knew it Scorpius found himself watching Albus mold adorable fondant bunnies that frolicked with other bunnies on a plate of grassy cupcakes.
“I think there’s a problem with your bunnies…”
“What?! Are they melting again? I just cast a cooling charm on the cupcakes they can’t be melting!”
“Oh, they’re not melting. Come look.”
“Can’t you just tell—Oh my god.”
“Yeah. I think you made them a little too realistic.”
“Oh my god, these are supposed to be kid’s cupcakes! I can’t sell cupcakes with real fucking bunnies to kids!” Scorpius lost all self-control at that point and dissolved into giggles, leaning heavily on his best friend.
“Don’t laugh! This is serious—Oh, fuck you.” The insult was empty because Scorpius had infected Albus with his giggles and both boys collapsed onto each other and laughed harder than they had in months.
Six months later found Albus and Scorpius standing outside the newly-opened Al’s Sweet Treats and gazing up at the building. Al’s grin was giving the sun a run for it’s money and his eyes were totally not glassy, Scorp was biting back a huge proud smile and glancing over at his best friend.
“It’s beautiful, Al.”
A few weeks later Albus was working late in the shop, he had already closed the storefront and the only lights were on in the back kitchens, where Albus was catching up on orders. He heard the bells on the front door jingle and jumped, very nearly lobbing the head off a fondant snowman he was sculpting.
“Sorry, we’re closed!” he called, slightly annoyed as he straightened and moved towards the doorway into the shop front, seeing a tall silhouette loitering by the counter. There was silence for a beat and then the soft rumble of laughter that Al would recognize anywhere.
“It’s me, Al.”
“Merlin, Scorp, nearly gave me a heart attack.” Al chuckled and shook his head, waving his friend into the back room. When the blonde stepped into the light Albus realized how overworked he looked; he was still in his scrubs and his hair was a little ruffled and there were dark smudges under his eyes. Albus couldn’t imagine he looked much better, though he’d had a mishap with some flour earlier and had completely forgotten to clean himself off.
“What happened to you? The cupcakes finally revolting?” Scorpius asked, leaning against the door frame and smiling, even though his voice was tired. Albus smiled sheepishly and brushed off his apron, producing a cloud of flour.
“I was explaining something to Emily earlier and I started talking with my hands, you know how I do—well, I still had my wand in my hand and... A bag of flour exploded all over everything,” Albus explained, grinning and shrugging. Scorpius laughed again and shook his head, pushing himself away from the door and stepping towards Albus.
“Why’d you stop by?” Albus asked amiably while he went about finishing up his work and Scorpius was quiet for a moment, watching him.
“Well, I just got off work and I figured you were working late too. I thought you might want to grab a bite,” Scorpius suggested and Albus turned to him, grinning.
“How thoughtful! That sounds lovely. I’ll just finish up here and we can go,” Albus said and Scorpius returned his smile warmly. It was a few minutes before Albus finished up his cupcakes and a few more before he deemed himself presentable. Scorpius couldn’t help but grin when he noticed a smudge of flour on Al’s chin that had avoided his scrutiny.
“Uh, you’ve got—“ Scorpius gestured to his chin and Albus blinked at him.
“Huh?” Albus asked blankly, and Scorpius rolled his eyes.
“Here, let me—“ he stepped close to Al and reached out, grabbing his chin and rubbing the flour of with a few brushes of his thumb. Al’s eyes went wide and his heart started inexplicably thumping as he remembered a moment four years ago; a tug on his tie and a soft, comfortable touch. Albus’ lips parted in an inaudible gasp and Scorpius’ eyes flickered up to the startling green, and Al counted six thumps in his ears before Scorpius was tilting his chin up and leaning in close. Al held his breath and closed his eyes and felt the gentle press of Scorpius’ lips again, feeling like he was hopelessly lost and at home simultaneously. All too soon Scorpius was pulling away and Albus was taking in a sharp breath, eyes opening in surprise and remembering so many things at once—
“Fuck, I’m sorry Al, I shouldn’t—“ He’s eleven and there’s a blonde boy sitting next to him in the Great Hall, Al can’t remember being so scared but then the boy gives him a small, private smile and everything’s all right. He’s thirteen and he can feel the tug on his tie and the soft press of lips and he loses himself for a moment. He’s fifteen and the blonde next to him is beaming and telling him how great he is with Transfiguration.
“I shouldn’t have done that, just forget it, okay?” He’s sixteen and Scorpius is saying how he should pursue this baking thing, he has complete confidence that Albus would succeed in anything he did. He’s still sixteen and it’s Christmas and he’s running his fingers over an inscription; he should have been asleep hours ago but he can’t stop smiling, can’t stop rereading those words. He’s seventeen and everything is falling into place, Scorpius is clipping newspaper and magazine articles about this new pastry chef that has London buzzing, sticking them to the wall in the kitchen. He’s eighteen and he’s working late, somebody steps into the shop and laughs and Albus breaths a sigh of relief because he can’t think of anybody else he would rather be seeing.
“…Al?” Scorpius’ voice was small and broken and worried and he had stepped back, inching towards the door and Albus couldn’t keep the grin off his face as he surged forward. He knew this would more than alarm Scorpius but he didn’t care; he grabbed two fistfuls on Scorpius’ scrubs and hauled him down into another kiss. Scorpius made a high-pitched surprised sound and his hands grabbed Al’s hips and he kissed back like he’d never get another chance. Al slid his hands up over Scorpius’ chest and neck, cupping the back of his neck and curling his fingers into the soft white-blonde hair. Scorpius’ tongue poked out and licked his bottom lip and Albus parted his lips, coaxing the tongue into his mouth and sucking on it. Scorpius moaned and tugged Al’s hips closer and Al gasped when he felt something hard and warm poking into his hip. He leaned back a little and took a few gasping breaths; the passionate intent in Scorpius’ actions made him dizzy. Scorpius trailed his lips down Al’s jaw and neck and Albus nearly forgot he wanted to say something.
“Sc-Scorp, uh—“ he started, dissolving into a moan when the blonde sucked at his pulse point, “You… Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked breathlessly, tugging at Scorpius’ hair. The blonde paused and pulled back a little, apprehension flashing in his eyes.
“Tell you what?” he asked, and Al was glad to hear that Scorp was just breathless as he was. Al had to take a moment to gather his thoughts, because he’s completely forgotten what he had meant to say.
“That…” Albus swallowed and glanced away for a moment, then looked back up at Scorpius when he spoke again, “That you’re all I’ll ever need.”
Scorpius figured it was a combination of the amazing green of Al’s eyes and his wavering, honest tone of voice, but suddenly he forgot how to breathe. He could feel Al’s thumbs rubbing soothing circles into the back of his neck and he wouldn’t stop looking up at him like that and Scorpius swallowed thickly, suddenly so afraid he was going to wake up.
“Al, I…” he found there wasn’t anything he could say to that so he groaned and tugged Albus back into a kiss, letting his actions speak where his words failed him. Albus seemed to be pretty okay with that answer because soon he was moaning again and jerking his hips forward. Scorpius stumbled forward until he was pressing Al into the heavy metal table in the middle of the room, searching his mouth with his tongue and tugging at the apron Al was still wearing. After a little fumbling the apron was cast aside and Scorpius lined up their hips and thrust and both of them were whining at the contact. Scorpius realized vaguely that this was a terribly sixth-year way to get off but he had been waiting too long to worry about clothing now. His hands slipped from Al’s hips and grabbed the table behind him, slipping his thigh between Al’s and thrusting against him. He pulled his lips from Al’s because it was getting harder to concentrate on kissing and settled on sucking sloppily on his neck. Al hooked a leg around Scorpius’ calf and moved his grip to the blonde’s arms, tilting his head back and letting out a whine that had Scorpius moaning in return. They rutted against each other until Albus was arching and shuddering, making an absolutely delectable squeak when he came that instantly made the top of Scorpius’ list of favorite sounds. Scorpius tumbled over the edge a few thrusts later, accidentally sinking his teeth into Al’s shoulder as he bucked and shuddered. After a few quiet moments (save their coupled heavy breathing) Albus sunk down a little, reaching back to lean heavily against the table while he caught his breath. Scorpius backed up a little and Al’s eyes fluttered open and pierced him with an intense look that only lasted a moment until a sleepy grin pulled at the corners of his lips. He leaned up and kissed Scorpius again, but this time it was sweet and slow and made Scorp’s already-wobbly knees dissolve into jelly. He turned to lean against the table next to Albus, licking his lips and trying to decide if he really was going to wake up sometime.
“Didn’t think I’d be doing that after fifth year,” Al said with a laugh in his voice, pulling a chuckle from Scorpius. He slid over a little and let his hand slip over Scorpius’, the hand beneath his turned over easily and intertwined their fingers.
“Al… I feel like I’ve been in love with you for… ever,” Scorpius admitted quietly, and Al laughed, making the blonde glance up sharply with a frown.
“You were my first kiss,” Albus replied casually, making Scorpius start and flounder.
“I—what?!” Scorpius reeled a little, fairly positive he would remember kissing Albus before. Albus laughed again and Scorpius flushed, frown deepening.
“Remember when you got sick, third year? Well one night you woke up and spouted some nonsense you’d been dreaming and I told you to go back to sleep and I went to kiss your forehead and you tugged on my tie and made me kiss you,” Al explained, grinning sheepishly, trying not to show how much he enjoyed the bewildered face Scorpius was making.
“You- I… What does that mean?” Scorpius asked and Albus laughed yet again in a completely infuriating way.
“I dunno, I just felt like telling you.” Scorpius stared at Albus like he had spontaneously grown a second head and Al could only grin in reply. He shook his head and pushed himself away from the table, pausing after a few steps and glancing down.
“Fuck, I need a cleaning spell,” he muttered, red-faced as Albus started to laugh, “You need one too!” he added, gesturing to the suspicious splotch in Albus’ jeans. He pulled his wand out of his pocket and cast the spell on himself, and then pointed it at Al. After a moment of thought he stuck his wand back in his pocket and sprung towards the table, grabbing Al’s wand from where he’d left it next to a big bowl.
“Scorp! You ass, give me my wand!” Al growled, springing towards the blonde, who merely had to stretch his hand above his head to keep the wand out of Al’s grasp.
“No.” Scorpius sneered, grabbing his wand with his free hand and reaching up to slip that one into his other hand.
“Fine! I’ll just cast it wandless!” Albus stuck out his tongue and Scorpius laughed.
“You’re rubbish at cleaning charms even with a wand!” Scorpius pointed out and Albus flushed, surrendering his pride to reach as high as he could and jump up to reach Scorpius’ hand.
“I’m hungry, are you hungry?” Scorpius asked amiably, turning and moving towards the store front, Albus still hopping pathetically after him.
“You’re a jerk and I hate you!” Albus cried, stomping his foot on the ground in a show of all the maturity he obviously possessed. Scorpius threw his head back and laughed, sprinting towards the door to lure Albus out into the night with come-stains on his pants.
After that night both boys could take solace in the fact that some things never change, but usually the important things do.