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17 November 2016 @ 11:00 am
FIC: What You’ve Been Looking For (James Sirius/Scorpius, PG-13)  
Title: What You’ve Been Looking For
Author: redblonde7
Prompt: #S64 by amorette
Pairing(s): James Sirius Potter/Scorpius Malfoy
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 7,674
Content/Warnings: Scorpius is in 5th year/James is in 7th year, but there's no sexual content
Summary: Scorpius was stressed enough with O.W.Ls this year, he didn’t need to be pining after James Potter as well. Especially when James Potter seemed to be trying to date every girl in school.
Author's Notes: Not Cursed Child compliant. Thanks to my beta for their help and for doing it so quickly despite being horrendously busy. Thanks to my prompter as well, I had such fun writing this! And thanks to the mod for their understanding and extension.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling and associates. No copyright infringement intended.

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What You’ve Been Looking For


Scorpius craned his upper body over the banister, eyes fixed on the messy dark red hair of James Potter. He was chatting with Pia Patil, one of the smartest, most beautiful girls in Hogwarts, and James' current girlfriend.


"...and then I said I could beat him at Gobstones any day!" Albus trailed off when he seemingly noticed his best friend's inattention. "Scorpius!" Scorpius almost fell over the side of the banister in surprise but righted himself easily. He turned to look into Albus' disapproving gaze.


"I'm sure you can beat Gibbons at Gobstones easily," Scorpius said loyally, but it didn't stop Albus from craning his head over the edge of the stairs to eye what Scorpius had been looking at. It wasn't a moving staircase but Scorpius still felt the familiar lurch in his stomach as Albus turned back to him, eyebrows raised.


"You almost killed yourself trying to look at my brother?" Albus asked, typically blunt, and all Scorpius could do was thank Merlin there was no one else around right now. It would be all over the school that the Malfoy boy had a crush on the eldest Potter. The most desirable Potter, if Scorpius was honest. He loved Albus like a brother but the boy alternated between being a brooding loner and a dork. He looked like a skinny weed with glasses.


James Potter, on the other hand, looked like someone had crafted an advertisement for magical Britain. Come to Hogwarts and you can eat, sleep and shower next to this perfect specimen of wizardry! Not only does he rival his mother for his Quidditch skills, his smile could melt Dark Lords. Whenever he spoke up in class he had insightful and intelligent questions (at least that was what Scorpius heard) and he was a good guy on top of all that; took the time to rescue first years out of the trick step and tutored people struggling in class, free of charge.


Scorpius could have dealt with everything else, but the niceness of James Potter eroded what little defences he had.


"No, I was looking at Pia," Scorpius blurted out and then immediately wanted to slap himself round the face. Sure, that would go well. Albus didn't even seem convinced by his pathetic excuse.


"Hmmm, no. I think I would look at Pia because she's gorgeous and I'm actually attracted to girls. Unlike you." Albus' green eyes were very understanding and now Scorpius wanted to throw himself off the stairs for real. He could get away from this conversation and maybe James would instinctively catch him. The possibility of being cradled to that chest was almost worth the risk of breaking a few bones. Madam Pomfrey could heal those up really quick anyway.


"I can appreciate someone's beauty without being attracted to them." Albus seemed even less convinced by this and opened his mouth to speak.


"What are you guys doing?" The voice had Scorpius jumping and turning to face the very boy they were talking about, standing at the bottom of the stairs. He could see Pia walking off, her dark hair swinging behind her and felt a measure of relief. Pia was nice enough, if far too serious about her schoolwork, but he really didn't want to see her and James being all coupley together.


"Talking about Gobstones," Albus said. Scorpius appreciated the excuse but he wished it was one that made him look like less of a dork. Thankfully, James was Albus' brother (that wasn't something Scorpius said often) and immediately got an understanding look on his face.


"Ranting about Gibbons again?" James climbed the stairs towards them. Scorpius really appreciated the up-close view of the very sight he had been willing to almost injure himself for. He hadn't even liked red hair, glasses and freckles before, but on James Potter they really, really worked. "I feel sorry for you, Scorpius, you probably hear more about that guy than I do." The smile he threw Scorpius' way was one of someone sharing an inside joke and Scorpius was helpless to do anything but return it.


"He cheated!" Albus said, always willing to reiterate the facts as he saw them. "Where did Pia go?"


James shrugged and looked supremely unconcerned. "She said she can't see me tonight because she wants to do some more research for this spell she's working on."


What is wrong with her?! Scorpius yelled, inwardly thankfully. If he were dating James Potter... Oh, better not to go down that road while James himself was standing right there. "That sucks," he piped up with. "Especially since it's one of your only free nights."


Way to sound like a complete stalker but James just laughed. James couldn't see Albus rolling his eyes at Scorpius, obviously remembering Scorpius' undue interest in Gryffindor Quidditch team practices. "It's not too bad," James said. "I think Pia and I are better off as friends anyway."


"And another one bites the dust," Albus replied. "Isn't that the third girl you've dumped this month?"


James' shoulders came up and his whole body tensed as he glared at Albus through his glasses. "So what if it is?"


Scorpius looked between the two of them, knowing what was going to happen next. Albus had been disapproving of his brother's dating habits ever since he went out with Grace Longbottom, the girl Albus fancied, and had dumped her the week after. Grace had seemed upset for a couple of days but had rallied quickly and was now dating Mark Gibbons (a major contributor to Albus' dislike of him).


"Would you look at the time? Albus, we have to get to Charms right now. I don't want another detention." He grabbed Albus' arm and started to steer him around. "You don't want me to be forced to write another essay about how not to put out fires, do you?"


"That was only because you set Professor Flitwick on fire," Albus reminded him, but his voice was softer now and he allowed Scorpius to lead him away.


"Bye, Scorpius." Scorpius looked back at James just in time to see him give Scorpius a little wave, the lines of his body now relaxed and an easy smile on his face. It meant Scorpius probably stared a little too long at James, enough so Albus had to guide him around the corner so he didn't completely embarrass himself crashing into a wall. To be fair, James hadn't looked away either.


"Yeah, you can't really deny being attracted to him now." It really sucked when Albus was right.


***


"Why did I fall in love with a straight guy?" Scorpius moaned as he lay under the shady oak tree planted by the lake's edge. The sun was warm and there was a hint of a breeze ̶ the perfect lazy day. Unless you were Rose Weasley, who was scribbling Quidditch plays on a scrap of parchment and muttering under her breath.


"I didn't know it was love," Albus said absently as he cast a spell on his Gobstones set. He had been trying to one-up Gibbons all week and every match had ended in Albus' loss.


"That is not the important part of my complaint here. It's the 'straight' part." Scorpius pulled himself up to look and see James Potter was still enjoying a lovely summer picnic with the girl he was currently dating, Angela Boot. Unlike most of the other girls James had dated, Scorpius really didn't like Angela and felt no guilt about disliking her intensely for being able to do what he couldn't.


Angela fed James a strawberry, then kissed him, and Scorpius dropped down again with a scornful huff. Merlin, it really felt like they were parading their relationship everywhere.


"Why couldn't I have been born with a vagina?" He muttered.


"Because you would have been so melodramatic over period cramps that someone would have killed you," Rose replied without turning her eyes away from her parchment. Scorpius thought about this and then conceded the point. He really didn't deal well with pain. At all.


"What do you think about your cousin and Angela Boot?" He asked, because apparently he wanted Rose to kill him for interrupting her in the middle of her Quidditch happy place.


She sighed as if she was the victim here. "Well, your moaning has already distracted me." She turned her analytical gaze on James and Angela, sizing them up in a way which made Scorpius uncomfortable though he couldn't pinpoint why. Albus put down his Gobstones set to look at Rose.


"What do you see?" he asked.


"Angela is looking around to make sure who is watching and seems more interested in appearing romantic than actually being so. James is already regretting his decision to agree to date Angela, although that could be more to do with the fact she demands he skip Quidditch practice to spend time with her, than her self-absorption." Rose's face twisted into an unpleasant expression. She obviously thought little of people who didn't care about Quidditch practice.


Scorpius sat up abruptly to stare at her. "You think they're going to break up?"


Rose shrugged, obviously losing interest in the subject. "Maybe. Maybe not. Angela will probably make more concessions than she wants to, considering she really likes the social status of dating James, and if she's easy to date, James is more likely to stay with her."


Scorpius wrestled with all the things he wanted to say. That didn't seem like a good relationship to him and anyone who didn't see how brilliant James was didn't deserve to have him. He could deal with Pia, though she seemed not to particularly care about any relationship with James, but Angela was just using him.


"I know a way you could get his attention now." Scorpius should have been warned by the smile on Rose's face. "Something to get him rushing over here."


"What is it?" It wasn't like they could go over there and drag James away, tempting though it was. Albus looked suspicious but said nothing.


"James would come rushing over here if he thought one of us needed help. Angela wouldn't like him interrupting their date for that, and if there's one thing that annoys James, it's insulting his protective instinct." Rose looked triumphant and Scorpius nodded slowly. It made sense, James tried to be the protective brother to his siblings, his various cousins and even random first years and that wasn't likely to change. It was one of the things Scorpius liked most about him.


There was something he was missing though. "How are we going to do that?"


Rose's wand was suddenly pointed at him. "I've always wanted to try out this spell. Flipendo!"


Scorpius was flying, and not in a good way. The whole world turned upside down and when he saw the ground rushing up to meet him, he put both his hands up to catch his fall. Something cracked and he rolled over onto his back, cradling his arm to his chest where he could feel white hot pain searing his wrist. The pain made him feel a little sick and he blinked back tears. So this was what it was like to break a bone.


"Merlin, Scorpius, are you alright?" Hands pulled him up to sitting, jostling his arm and making Scorpius cry out. The hands gentled and Scorpius took a deep breath before opening his eyes. "What were you thinking, Rose?" James Potter' angry voice would be something Scorpius would find hot but all he could think about was his wrist.


"I didn't think it would be that strong!" Rose protested and Scorpius wanted to swear at her. What was she thinking?


"Come on, Scorpius, let's get you to the hospital wing." It was Scorpius' wrist that was injured but James treated him like the whole of him was fragile, his arm around Scorpius' waist and his other hand under Scorpius' uninjured arm. His wrist still hurt but Scorpius pushed aside the pain for a moment in order to enjoy leaning against James Potter, close enough to be able to feel his heartbeat.


"James, we are on a date!" Angela's irritated voice made Scorpius flinch. "Can't Albus take him to the hospital wing?"


"He's gathering up Scorpius' stuff. I can't just leave him, Angela." James steered Scorpius up to the castle, ignoring Angela crying his name. The walking made Scorpius' wrist flare with pain every step and he grit his teeth. He was not going to cry in front of James. He wasn't.


"Note to self, don't break any bones ever again," he muttered, trying to distract himself. He felt James' low chuckle beside him and had to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other.


"That sounds like a good plan," James replied. "And I'll talk to Rose. What she did was stupid."


As much as he wanted to kill Rose a few minutes ago, Scorpius was disinclined to let James scold her. "I'm sure she already knows. Besides it was my fault anyway, I agree to something without knowing all the facts." They climbed the stairs to the Hospital Wing. "I'm sorry I interrupted your date." A complete lie but it had to be said.


"Don't worry about it. I wasn't having that great a time anyway." James shrugged. Scorpius tried not to burst out into song and resolved to buy Rose something from Honeydukes next time he went to Hogsmeade. "I need to find Cleo and talk to her about the Quidditch match this Saturday anyway. After you're all fixed up, I'll find her."


Scorpius knew he should say James didn't have to wait with him while he got fixed up, but he was too worried James would actually listen to the offer, and Scorpius would have no one to distract him from the pains in his wrist.


The Hospital Wing was unusually crowded for a Saturday afternoon with no lessons, and Madam Pomfrey waved him over to a chair as she was in the middle of reversing the spell which had given Goyle a second head in the shape of a sunflower. Scorpius sat down gingerly on the plastic chair and tried not to move his wrist too much. James watched his progress with a concerned furrow to his brow. Even now he still looked handsome.


"Can you stay and distract me? My wrist really hurts." Scorpius tried for a pleading tone of voice rather than a whining tone but he didn't think he succeeded. Luckily James seemed okay with that because he smiled at Scorpius and took the seat next to him. James was so close, Scorpius could feel the heat of James' thigh against his and he had to resist the urge to press closer.


"So, what did you agree to that meant Rose flipped you through the air?" James asked after a moment of silence. Scorpius bit the inside of his cheek and forced his brain to work through the pain and the heady feeling of sitting right next to James.


"Oh, I said I would give my opinion on a new spell she had learned. I didn't think she would use it on me though." He shifted in his seat, swivelling a little so his and James' knees were pressed together. "I can safely say ten out of ten, her spell works." The concerned crease came back to James' forehead and he reached out to touch Scorpius' wrist, his fingers barely brushing the skin but it felt like a brand on Scorpius' skin.


He felt himself holding his breath when James looked up from Scorpius' wrist to look him in the eye. "Scorpius," James said softly. The quiet tone led to a more intimate atmosphere and Scorpius found himself leaning closer. "I..."


"James Potter!" A familiar voice had the two of them startling and leaning away from each other as if they were never close. Scorpius would have mourned the loss of the warmth of James' leg and of being so close he could smell him, but him jumping had jolted his wrist and now he was biting his lip, trying not to cry.


Angela strode in, her perfectly straightened brown hair being flipped over her shoulder in a gesture that made no secret of how angry she was. She was lovely, from an objective point of view, but the sneer on her face ruined it a little. "You do not abandon your date in front of the whole school simply to take someone to the Hospital Wing with a hurt wrist."


James stood up, his hands clenched into fists. "He needed help," he said loudly.


"It wasn't his legs that were broken," Angela shot back. "And he had two friends and numerous other witnesses that could have helped him."


"Miss Boot, Mr Potter, this conduct is not suitable for the Hospital Wing." Madam Pomfrey descended like an angry Hippogriff on the two teenagers. "If neither of you is injured, get out of my Hospital Wing!"


"But I'm staying with Scorpius!" James protested, drawing another sneer to Angela's face. Scorpius ignored her; he was too busy smiling at the warm feeling which had sprung up in his chest.


"And now you're a disruption. You can see him later, now out!" Madam Pomfrey wouldn't be moved, that much was obvious, but Scorpius still wished James would fight some more for him. Instead he slinked out the door after an apologetic smile for Scorpius. Angela looked triumphant when James wasn't looking, and Scorpius watched the door shut behind the two of them.


Madam Pomfrey had him drink a painkiller potion before setting his wrist to rights. The swelling disappeared instantly but the painkiller left Scorpius with a strange feeling of euphoria which seemed particularly weird considering he felt the complete opposite at the same time. James was outside the Hospital Wing when he left and that made the euphoria stronger.


"Hey, James," he said, giving a far easier smile than he could normally muster. "Thanks for waiting."


"Had to make sure you were alright. Angela says she's sorry too but she had to go to the library." James turned and started walking towards the stairs, heading down towards the Slytherin Common Room instead of the Gryffindor Common Room. Scorpius was bemused but wasn't going to complain about James walking him back to his Common Room.


"She did?" This did not sound like Angela, and he didn't think he liked the implications. He followed after James, wary of what he was going to say next.


James sent him a sympathetic look. "Yeah, she said she was just upset about our date being cut short, but she understood why now and she was sorry she had behaved so irrationally." James smiled as he turned to step on one of the moving staircases, leaving Scorpius to look horrified for a split second before he rearranged his face into something more appropriate.


"That was nice of her," he said blandly.


"Yeah. She was happier after I said we could go on a make-up date to Hogsmeade next weekend."


And with that, Scorpius' day was ruined. He couldn't remember what he said, but he must have acted normal for James didn't act worried at all, and he held it together until he got to his dorm room. Albus didn't even try to get Scorpius to talk, he just let him pull the curtains around his bed and sulk. His wrist felt better but his heart hurt.


***


All of the dramatic brooding seemed pointless when James and Angela broke up the day before the Hogsmeade weekend and James asked Kara Jordan to go with him instead. Kara was, if possible, even prettier than Pia and Angela, with long, braided hair, brown eyes so dark they looked black and an infectious smile. She was a Gryffindor but also really, really nice. You would think it was fake if she hadn't apparently been like that ever since she stepped off the boat and managed to hold onto it through her O.W.L.s. She loved Quidditch, though she didn't play on the team, and was smart enough to keep up with Pia talking about her latest spell. If Scorpius was going to dream up a perfect girl for James, if he wanted to torture himself for instance, he would make her like Kara.


"I didn't realise there were any girls left in Hogwarts for you to date," Albus said to James in what Scorpius thought was an unnecessarily snotty voice when they heard the news.


"Thanks, Al," James replied dryly, obviously in a good mood and Scorpius tried hard not to think of why that was. "You two are coming to Hogsmeade, right?" He looked between Albus and Scorpius and they both agreed.


"I need to get a new Gobstones set before the club meeting on Wednesday." Albus looked grumpy and Scorpius, being a loyal friend, smothered a laugh. Not very successfully, judging by Albus' glare, but at least he tried.


"Why do you need a new set?" James asked, as he looked between the two of them curiously.


Scorpius grinned and Albus mumbled something indistinct. James smiled back at Scorpius, though he still looked confused. "He lost his set in a bet." Albus groaned at Scorpius' words, the memory getting to him. "Against Gibbons."


"Ouch," James said. He looked sympathetic for a moment but it faded back into a smile. "What was the bet?"


Albus gained a look not unlike a trapped animal and Scorpius thought he could leave the telling of this one to Albus.


"James!" Kara called from across the courtyard and James glanced over his shoulder, the look on his face suggesting he had completely forgotten about Kara. This pleased Scorpius and his grin brightened a little as James turned back to the two of them.


"We'll see you in Hogsmeade," he said cheerily. James gave him a look Scorpius couldn't quite interpret before heading over to Kara, who was standing with her friends by Filch as he took in permission slips.


"You know, you could be a little less flirty when I'm right here," Albus said dryly. Scorpius had to tear his eyes away from James to gape at his best friend.


"I was being friendly! That wasn't flirting!"


"I think it's because you like him so everything you say comes out flirty," Albus said thoughtfully, completely ignoring his best friend's protests. "Have you ever thought about trying to get over my straight brother and dating someone else?" His question was completely serious and that hurt. Scorpius always thought that Albus supported him, despite the fact James was his brother, but he obviously didn't approve as much as Scorpius thought he did.


Scorpius turned away and headed towards Filch, handing over his permission slip and trying to get rid of the lump in his throat.


"Scorpius, I didn't mean it like that," Albus said as soon as he caught up with him. "Scorp, come on."


"Don't call me Scorp," Scorpius broke his silence to say and immediately regretted it.


"Look, if you and James started dating, I would be fine with it," Albus explained as they walked down the road to Hogsmeade. The wind was a bitter chill and Scorpius drew his cloak around himself tighter. Hogwarts students were dotted around the road, but luckily none of them were in earshot. "I hated it when he dated Grace but he treated her alright and I knew he wouldn't do anything nasty, and I know he'll be the same if he dated you."


"Is this you working your way up to a confession?" Scorpius joked, not used to be being lumped with Grace in the same category.


Albus mock-shuddered. "No. I've seen you in the mornings. If I was attracted to guys even a little bit, that would have killed it dead anyway." The smirk faded and Scorpius' smile echoed it. "Look, I'm straight and I'm pretty sure so is James, judging by the amount of girls he dates. I'm not saying you have to give up all hope, but maybe you should consider finding a guy to go out with instead. It doesn't have to be a big commitment, just someone you like and who will take your mind off James."


"That sounds like you think I should use someone. That isn't really fair." Scorpius felt like enough of a jerk disliking the girls James dated, simply because they were girls and dating the guy he liked. He didn't think he could date someone just to get over James.


"You know I'm not saying that." Albus rolled his eyes as the Three Broomsticks came into view. "I just think you're closing yourself off to other guys in the faint hope James might wake up gay and throw himself at your feet."


Scorpius snorted helplessly. The thought of James waking up gay was funny, even if Albus' point wasn't something he wanted to think about. "Look, James is leaving Hogwarts at the end of this year but I promise, if a guy I like asks me out, I will accept even if he's not James."


"I guess that's the best I can hope for?" Albus asked but seemed to accept Scorpius' nod. They unanimously decided to have a Butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks before heading off to get Albus' Gobstones, then to Honeydukes, as the wind had somehow got icier since they set off from Hogwarts. Scorpius resolved to owl his father and get him to send Scorpius' winter cloak, the one he had worn in Bulgaria on their latest holiday. He was not built for the cold.


They didn't talk about James, or Scorpius' ill-advised crush, again while they were in Hogsmeade. Instead they talked about O.W.Ls (terrifying), how Scorpius' owl continued to despise Albus (hilarious) and how Albus didn't need to get any sweets from Honeydukes thanks to his parents sending him regular care packages filled with Honeydukes' nicest chocolate (from his father) and Weasley's Wizard Wheezes (from his mother). It completely drove Scorpius' mind off James, which made it even more of a surprise when they stumbled upon him outside the post office.


Albus noticed him first. "James?" He asked uncertainly. James was leaning against the wall as if his legs couldn't hold him up and he was staring at the ground with an awful look on his face. Scorpius wanted to wrap him up with a blanket and protect him from whatever had hurt him like this. "James, what's wrong?"


James seemed to notice the two of them, his head jerking up. He stared at Albus for a second but when he looked at Scorpius, he went pale and dropped his gaze again.


"James what happened?" Scorpius asked "Where's Kara?" James flinched and then was wracked by a shiver.


"Is Kara okay?" Albus asked, getting worried now. "Are you okay?"


"I'm fine," James said slowly. "Kara gave me some unexpected news." He pushed himself up off the wall and his expression slowly calmed, looking more like normal James.


"Bad news?" Scorpius asked. "Did you break up?" He didn't realise James liked Kara so much, he wouldn't have wanted them to break up if it meant that James looked like that.


"I suppose so," James said absently.


"Do you want to come to Honeydukes with us?" Albus asked. Scorpius was thankful Albus had asked, he hadn't even thought of it until now. All he had been doing was staring at James and feeling helpless.


James managed a smile at that. "No, thanks, Al. I think I'm going to head back to Hogwarts. I need some time alone." And he headed off after a quick goodbye, leaving Albus and Scorpius staring at his back.


"What was that about?" Albus asked, sounding totally mystified.


"I have no idea," Scorpius replied. He hadn't noticed until the very end but James hadn't looked at him again after the first time. He didn't know whether that was a good or bad thing.


***


After James broke up with Kara and Albus and Scorpius found him in Hogsmeade, he seemed to go back to his normal self. With one minor detail difference ̶ he didn't date. At all. It was the end of November, heading into December and he hadn't been seen with any girl for three weeks. When asked by Fred, his cousin, James had shrugged and said he was working something out.


Scorpius was very confused by everything to do with James. One moment, James would completely ignore him. The next moment he would be right there beside Scorpius and Albus discussing schoolwork or Quidditch or revenge on Mark Gibbons (Scorpius had joined in with Albus' hatred of him after Gibbons had laughed at Scorpius when he gave himself a haircut). Rose was as mystified as Scorpius, but Albus seemed to suspect something. Something he wasn't sharing.


"Why did he ask you to come and watch him play Quidditch?" Rose asked Scorpius as James was walking away after having done just that. "You don't even like Quidditch!"


"I like it well enough," Scorpius defended himself. His parents loved Quidditch, as did Albus' parents and it was one of the most talked about topics at Hogwarts. It was either like it or get semi-permanent ear plugs.


"Something weird is going on with him." Rose sniffed and then rounded on Albus, who had his head down so much his nose was almost touching the page on Divining Dreams. "What do you know?"


Albus jerked and his ink bottle slowly toppled off the edge of the table. "I don't know anything," he protested. "I just... think it might be something."


"What might it be?" Scorpius was curious now but Albus had set his jaw. Nothing was coming out of him now. Rose obviously knew the expression as well for she sighed and marched off with a toss of her curly brown hair. "Why do we come here to study again?" Scorpius asked his friend as he looked around the red and gold Common room.


"Because you like the armchairs better than the ones in the Slytherin Common Room and James will let anyone have the password." Albus rescued his ink pot and vanished the stain. "And Madam Pince won't let us talk in the library."


"I'm surprised she still lets us into the library after what you did," Scorpius muttered, but his mind wasn't on teasing Albus. He couldn't work out why James had invited him to watch the Quidditch match on Saturday. He knew Scorpius was going anyway, he and Albus went together unless one of them had a ton of homework, and Gryffindor was playing Slytherin as well. It just added to his confusion and the wizard himself was too busy feeding treats to his spoiled owl to be much help.


Scorpius sighed. Albus avoided his eyes and he knew there would be no help from that quarter. It was up to him to figure it out.


***


The day of the Quidditch match dawned bright and cold and Scorpius made his way down to the pitch with the crowds, still confused about James' invitation but ready to cheer Slytherin on. James too, but he would have to do that far more secretly since he was sitting in the Slytherin stands. Albus had a Herbology book, lent to him by Professor Longbottom, after Albus had been adopted by one of the plants in Greenhouse Five, and he was walking with his nose buried right in, despite the fact he had already tripped twice.


"You are going to trip and die if you keep reading while walking." Scorpius guided Albus around another tree root.


"But it's so interesting!" Albus gushed. "The Fanged Geranium will bite if it's not taken care of and sometimes it even seems to smile after it has bitten someone. Professor Longbottom said he might be able to get me one of them to take home." Scorpius couldn't imagine anything worse than a smug, biting plant but as long as it wasn't in his dormitory, he could deal with it.


"That's great, Albus, but let's get you to the match in one piece and then you can read about plants to your heart's content." This did make Albus close his book and Scorpius breathed a sigh of relief. They got into position for the match without any further trouble and when the Slytherin players flew out in a rush of silver and green, they cheered with the rest of them. The Gryffindor players flew out and the rest of their housemates booed but Scorpius found he couldn't, not when James Potter was at the head of the pack. His hair clashed horribly with his robes but the stretch of his shoulders could be appreciated from where Scorpius was sitting in the stands and his grin made several nearby girls sigh audibly.


Scorpius could understand that.


The game was fast-paced, Slytherin taking an early lead, making James scowl where he hovered at the hoops. He seemed to become even more determined then, and Scorpius could imagine his eyes hardening, focusing on the Quaffle and each of the Chasers with unerring accuracy. It was too far away to see, James being at the other end, but Scorpius' imagination was vast concerning James Potter.


The Gryffindor Chasers, with Rose at the helm, started a new attack, scoring three goals in quick succession, and the score was tied. Scorpius tore his gaze away from James to look up at their Seeker. Buttercup Goyle looked extraordinarily like her mother but thankfully had none of her Quidditch skills, at least that was what Scorpius' father said. She was only a second year but she had out-flown everyone else at trials apparently (Scorpius' interest in Quidditch didn't extend to watching people crash into goal posts when trying out for the team) and had a driving need to prove herself. She was also better than the Gryffindor Seeker (an idiot in Scorpius' year called Dylan McLaggen), though Scorpius could admit he was biased, and so the only way Gryffindor could win if they outscore Slytherin by one hundred and fifty points or the Snitch flew up McLaggen's nose.


Still, he wished James could win. He took losing better than Rose, but it still made him unhappy and Scorpius wanted him in a good mood. Generally, but also so he could ask why James had invited Scorpius especially to the match.


"Do you know why James invited me?" Scorpius asked Albus in a low voice, careful for those around them not to overhear. His friend had stuck his head back into his book but glanced up at the question.


"I think he wanted to make sure you were here at the game," Albus said, his tone of voice careful.


"Yes, but why?" Scorpius asked. Albus was very rarely vague and for him to choose to be so now was irritating.


"He wants to talk to you after the game," Albus finally said, after hesitating for a long moment. It was an answer and not at the same time because it just lead to more questions. Scorpius settled down to watch the game as Albus stuck his head back into his book. Someone had hit a Bludger at Rose and she had scored a goal in retaliation, baring her teeth in a grin at the offending Slytherin Beater.


Slytherin won when Goyle caught the Snitch where it had been hovering behind McLaggen's head. He had proceeded to throw a tantrum until James had yelled at him to get down to the ground and Scorpius tried not to smirk too obviously at this. The rest of Slytherin were in good spirits, even Albus put down his book to cheer with the rest of them, and Scorpius let himself be swept out of the stands on a tide of triumph. Albus dragged him out of the wave of people and pulled him towards the changing rooms.


James was outside waiting, newly showered judging by the damp, dark red strands of hair sticking up. He noticed them approaching and grinned wide, seemingly over the loss of the game to their House.


"Hey, you made it!" He smiled at Scorpius after giving Albus a quick acknowledgement and maybe it was wishful thinking but Scorpius thought he could see something behind it apart from friendly feeling.


"You played well, James," Albus said before Scorpius could.


"Not good enough obviously," James said dryly, but in a good-natured way. "Everytime I looked over I saw your head in a book, Al, so I might have to take your words with a pinch of salt."


"Well, I watched the game and I can verify Albus' words," Scorpius said, a hint of teasing behind it.


James switched his attention to Scorpius and the intensity of his gaze took Scorpius' breath away. "I'm glad you came."


"Yeah, me too." His voice came out a shade too breathless for Scorpius' liking but it was hard to even think when James was looking at him like that.


"It seems the fact that I came meant nothing at all, so I'm going to go and find Rose." Albus had disappeared before Scorpius could register his words. James didn't tear his gaze away. Instead, he put one arm around Scorpius' shoulders and started to lead him away.


"I need to talk to you," James said quietly. He was leading Scorpius away from the castle and Scorpius used the excuse of the cold air to lean in closer to James' warmth. Their path took them past the greenhouses to a spot familiar to a lot of the Hogwarts' population as a private area, considering the view from the castle and the main paths was blocked.


"Are you going to talk to me about why you've been so weird with me lately?" Scorpius asked. Normally he would beat around the bush but James' behaviour was a little concerning, especially since it only seemed to happen around Scorpius.


"So you noticed that then?" James took his arm of Scorpius (he felt strangely cold without it) and rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.


Scorpius gave him a look. "It was hard not to notice," he replied pointedly. "Even Rose noticed." And out of all of them Rose was the most unobservant about things that didn't interest her.


James winced. "Yeah." He shuffled his feet and stared at something on the ground, away from Scorpius. "Do you remember last summer when you came to visit us? And we all went swimming?"


It was completely random and Scorpius took a moment to think several months back. "When I got horribly sunburned and your dad had to stick me in the tub of Burn-Be-Gone potion?" That had not been a fun memory.


James looked at Scorpius, only to roll his eyes. "After that."


"You mean when I couldn't leave the house for three days and you kept me company?" Despite the fact he was in pain and annoyed Albus, Lily, Rose and Hugo were having fun without him, it had still been a good time. James had had to do his homework but he had been interesting and funny to talk to and it hadn't helped Scorpius' crush at all.


"Yeah." James smiled and there was definitely something there that wasn't there before. "You became someone to me more than my little brother's best friend. And it scared the crap out of me."


Scorpius' chest seemed to have constricted. "What? Why?"


James shrugged. "It wasn't who I am ̶ was. I'm James Potter. I'm supposed to be popular, good at sports, get married and have three kids. That was what I expected. I didn't expect you at all. And so I started dating even more when I came back to school, but they ̶ they were all nice, but not what I was looking for. And then Kara said something about you liking me like that, and she said it so casually like it's something everyone knows, and it changed things."


That was lot of information to absorb and Scorpius seesawed between various emotions such as delight, confusion and humiliation. Did everyone know about his crush on James Potter but James? Scorpius knew he wasn't subtle but he thought the pool of knowledge was limited to those who knew him well.


"Everyone knows?" He asked because that was the part he had to focus on because that was the part that made sense to him.


James gave him a strange look. "Yeah, but that's okay." Scorpius made a sound and James shook his head, cutting off a protest before it could form. "It really is, Scorpius. I didn't consider actually facing what I knew about myself before then because I didn't think it would make any difference. But now, knowing that you like me means that my liking you isn't pointless. That if I ask you out, we could actually have something." James looked unsure as he bit his lip. It was unfamiliar for the ever-confident James Potter and it was more than a little endearing. "Do you want to go out with me, Scorpius?"


Scorpius shook his head, trying to clear the thoughts from his head and it was only when he saw James looking stunned and hurt that he realised how it must have been interpreted. "I would love to go out with you, James," he said hurriedly. "It just seems like this has come out of the blue. I'm really surprised." It wasn't how he imagined things would go, although to be fair, he hadn't actually had a definite idea of how James asking him out should go; it was more to how they would be when they were actually dating.


They were still really far apart and Scorpius took a breath, summoning what bravery he did have, and stepped closer. James' gaze was fixed on Scorpius with the same intensity as before and it was exhilarating. He could feel the warmth of James' body, and when he titled his head up (James seemed to have gotten all the height genes in the family), James took the wordless hint and drew him into a kiss.


Scorpius wasn't so cold anymore, especially when James wrapped his arms around him and pressed them closer together. This was a far better use of his time than working out where James' request had come from, the only thing he needed to know was that James had asked him out and was now giving him the best kiss of his life.


It may not have been exactly how he imagined their first kiss would go, but it was real, and that made it perfect.


***


June had been almost unreasonably hot and Scorpius would have normally been happy to laze around under the trees by the lake with his boyfriend, apart from the fact that soon he wouldn't have a boyfriend at school to laze around with, and this fact was making him grumpy.


"Look, we can't change it," James said, being very reasonable and increasing Scorpius' irritation. "I'm not coming back to Hogwarts this September and you have another two years here."


Scorpius eyed his textbook and contemplated throwing it at James. He had been trying to study for his Charms O.W.L and James had been helping him but soon the thought that he wouldn't have this any longer grew too loud to ignore. "After I get my O.W.Ls, I could leave." It had happened before, for people whose scores in the O.W.Ls were too low to go onto N.E.W.Ts. They normally ended up doing apprenticeships instead.


"What and be my kept man?" James asked incredulously. Scorpius made himself look thoughtful and James let out a laugh. "You're kidding!"


Scorpius threw himself down next to his boyfriend, the soft green grass acting as a cushion. They were in the shade of a tree and the sounds of the lake lapping against the ground were soothing. If Scorpius allowed himself to be soothed. "I don't see how you're not bothered by this," he said peevishly. "Next year we'll maybe see each other every month and have to write to each other all the time instead. Aren't you a little upset?" He sounded whiny and demanding and Scorpius hated this about himself, but he couldn't understand why James was so calm. Was he seeing this more of a casual thing and they would break up after it went long-distance?


"Scorpius." James' tone was deadly serious and Scorpius put his book down to look him directly in the eye. The look James was giving him was as familiar as it was dear to him, and he never got tired of it. "I am upset. I want to continue seeing you every day. Merlin knows I'm going to miss you, it was bad enough over Easter." The warm feeling in Scorpius' chest had nothing to do with the sun. "But I want to enjoy this time together, even if we're both studying for exams, and plan for September where we'll have to go our separate ways."


It was good to hear James wasn't as unaffected by their upcoming parting as he had been showing and Scorpius chose to let his bad temper die down. He wrapped his arms around James and buried his face in the crook of his shoulder and was gratified to feel James' arms wrap just as tightly around him. "I'm going to miss you." Letters wouldn't be quite the same.


"Me too," James replied. "But we'll get through this and after you leave, we can see each other a lot more."


"Something to look forward to," Scorpius said. The issue hadn't gone away but he felt far more settled about it. They had survived as a couple during Scorpius' O.W.Ls year, James' N.E.W.Ts year and the mass gossip of the population. They had survived telling their parents about the two of them and even The Daily Prophet getting a hold of the news. They could survive this.
 
 
Sabethea: cauldronsabethea on November 17th, 2016 09:43 pm (UTC)
Such an enjoyable read! Scorpius was excellently written, so convincing. And Albus was lovely, while James was definitely swoon inducing.
redblonde7redblonde7 on February 14th, 2017 04:15 am (UTC)
Sorry, just realised I was super rude and didn't reply to any of these comments.

Thank you! I love Scorpius from the Cursed Child but it's really fun to try out different characterisations for all the Next Gen kids.
Amoretteamorette on November 17th, 2016 10:10 pm (UTC)
So excited to read this tonight! Thank you for choosing my prompt!!!
redblonde7redblonde7 on February 14th, 2017 04:16 am (UTC)
Your prompt was great, thank you for posting it! I'm always up for more Scorpius/James!

(sorry for the late reply)
wicked smut goddessgracerene on November 17th, 2016 10:33 pm (UTC)
Awww, this was just the sweetest! Scorpius was lovely here, and the pining was fabulous! I'm glad things worked out with James in the end. :D
redblonde7redblonde7 on February 14th, 2017 04:17 am (UTC)
It was so fun to write Scorpius who was an adorable dork but in a different way to how he was in Cursed Child. Thank you so much!

(I'm sorry about how late this reply is!)
my_thestralmy_thestral on November 17th, 2016 11:46 pm (UTC)
Awww, Scorpius's pining was adorable and he seems totally justified in falling for James - what a star! Not only the looks (freckles and dark red hair, are you kidding me?!) but also the lovely grandma-Evans character when it came to caring for others - it was all there! I really liked the characterisation in this one in general - Rose not noticing much outside of her area of interest (thus, her father's daughter, LOL), Al being all smart and snarky and observant. And the boys were totally cute together, what more can one ask for? :) Lovely story!
redblonde7redblonde7 on February 14th, 2017 04:20 am (UTC)
I know, James was so sweet. I wanted him to be popular but different to both his father and his namesake and for him to date lots of girls without being an arsehole so I'm glad I pulled that off!

Thank you so much! I always love seeing Rose characterisation where it is acknowledged that she's not just Hermione's daughter, she's Ron's daughter as well. So she's very bright but becomes very obsessed with certain things :) And Al being adorkable and a great friend was so fun to write!

(I'm sorry this reply was so late!)
welcome to villa cariño!capitu on November 18th, 2016 02:52 pm (UTC)
That was absolutely delightful! I mean, smitten! Scorpius is just so freaking adorable! <333 I loved the pining and Al's teasing. I mean:

"You know, you could be a little less flirty when I'm right here," Albus said dryly.

LOL Poor Scorpius, really, but he was just so cute whenever he saw James. <3 I loved Rose's ~plan, and really, it worked! I loved James to the rescue. ;)

Lovely characterisations, and just such a fun story. I adored it from beginning to end. *happiest of sighs* Thank you so, so much! <333

James/Scorpius is my NG OTP and reading this brought the biggest smile to my face. :D:D
redblonde7redblonde7 on February 14th, 2017 04:21 am (UTC)
The two of them make such a good team, it was so fun to write their relationship as well as how James fits in. Rose has terrible plans but they somehow always seem to work!

I love writing James/Scorpius (hence why I always pick a prompt for them at this fest) and I'm happy that I've met another fan!

Thanks for your comment!

(sorry for late reply)
Melissa Rose_melodic_ on November 19th, 2016 03:02 pm (UTC)
Ah this was so adorable and lovely! I just adore Scorpius/James and the way you wrote them was divine! The humour and playfulness was incredible and the ending had my heart sining with joy. Thanks for sharing, MA!
redblonde7redblonde7 on February 14th, 2017 04:22 am (UTC)
Thank you! I tried to get it so you could see why they would make a good couple and how there was a very good reason why they liked each other.

(sorry for late reply!)
Maccadolemaccadole on November 21st, 2016 09:48 pm (UTC)
Ohhh, this was so precious. I adored the longing, and Scorpius and Al's friendship, and I liked how supportive Al was, all things considered. Rose was a hoot and a half, of course. Gosh, how she just threw that spell at Scorpius, that was so horrible and wonderful all at once. And, oh dear, that interrupted moment in the hospital wing had me at the edge of my seat.

All that pining, and then, aw, we that adorable ending. It made me so happy. Thanks for sharing. <3
redblonde7redblonde7 on February 14th, 2017 04:23 am (UTC)
Yes! Scorpius/James was a big relationship here but so was Scorpius + Albus and I'm glad you liked it! Rose is tactless and short-sighted but she does really want to help!

Thanks for your lovely comment!

(sorry about the late reply)
articcat621: pic#120760023articcat621 on November 26th, 2016 12:47 am (UTC)
Such a sweet and enjoyable read! I love when Malfoy's pine, and Scorpius was just perfect. This was playful and fun, and the ending was too precious! Thank you for sharing! <3
redblonde7redblonde7 on February 14th, 2017 04:24 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm glad the ending worked for you, I had no idea how to end it because I think I could have carried on and written the next year of Hogwarts together!

(sorry about late reply!)