|A Christmas Story (Albus/Scorpius. PG)
||[Jan. 6th, 2012|06:28 pm]
Title: A Christmas Story
Pairings: Albus/Scorpius, Scorpius/Lysander
Word Count: 2,867
Summary: Scorpius and Albus have not seen each other since Hogwarts. But now they are stuck at the portkey station in New York late on Christmas Eve. The situation is bound to have consequences.
Notes: OMG, yes, I know, I wrote this paring. Like WTF? I'm actually pretty happy with this story. I blame people on the flist for dragging me into trying this paring, they know who they are most likely :p
“I can’t believe this. I cannot fucking believe this. How incompetent are you Americans anyways?” Scorpius was furious. He didn’t even try to hide it. The wizard on the other side of the stand shifted uncomfortably, pulling at his navy blue robes.
“I am sorry, Mr. Malfoy, but there’s nothing I can do. We are simply out of portkeys. The holiday season is horribly busy and they go very-very quickly. Especially all the European ones. I could perhaps see if we have one for India—“
“I need to get to England. How is a portkey to India going to help me?” Not to mention that if they were out of portkeys in New York, they were just as likely to be out of portkeys in Delhi. Scorpius ran a hand through his combed back, blonde hair and sighed. “Look, I really need to get home. Tomorrow’s Christmas. Today, technically, in England. Can’t you just make a new portkey? I can pay whatever it would cost.”
“I would gladly, Mr. Malfoy,” the uniformed wizard said in an infuriatingly polite tone. “But we have to go through government approvals first. Which, given an emergency, would not be so difficult and perhaps we could have had a portkey for you by midnight, but with everyone on vacation—“
“Look, just get me a portkey done as soon as possibly, alright?” Scorpius said in frustration. Now he wished that he had learned how to make proper portkeys on his own. It wasn’t exactly legal but it could be done. Although, international travel by illegal portkey was, once again, not the best idea. Once promised a portkey as soon as possibly, Scorpius turned around sharply and almost knocked the man behind him over in his haste to get away. “Sorry,” Scorpius muttered, before looking up. “Albus?” He froze, realizing whom he had just run into. “Bloody hell, what are you doing here?” Scorpius blinked looking at the brunette with a feeling of displacement. He hadn’t seen Albus since Hogwarts since they’d participated in the age-old House Rivalry.
“Probably something similar to you,” Albus pointed out calmly. He had grown, amazingly, since Hogwarts, and was now about the same height as Scorpius. Malfoy found this horribly frustrating as he had enjoyed his height advantage. “Are they out of portkeys?”
Scropius shrugged. He suddenly felt very uncomfortable for some reason. He had enjoyed the idea of leaving school at school once he’d graduated and Albus was a firm but annoying reminder than he still had to deal with some people from that time in his life. “Yes,” he said. “Excuse me, I need to make a firecall.”
Scorpius chose to stay at the portkey station and wait for his portkey. He doubted that he’d get a portkey before morning given that it was far past the normal working day, but he couldn’t help but hope. The conversation he had had to have with Lysander was not the most pleasant one to say the least, but as much as he wanted to see his boyfriend and his family for Christmas, Scorpius didn’t really have a choice. Apparating across the Atlantic was out of the question. Apparating multiple times, over the North Pole, would be extremely exhausting and dangerous. He would do it for an emergency but getting home several hours earlier for Christmas was not worth the risk.
The young Malfoy put his trunk in a station hold and went to have dinner at the station restaurant – a tiny, unimaginative place. He sat there, picking at his chicken and salad when someone slid into the seat across from him.
“Do you mind it I sit here?”
Scorpius looked up and encountered a pair of dark green eyes. “What’s the point of asking if you’ve already sat down, Potter?” Scorpius asked, a little more irritably than Albus probably deserved, and went back to picking at his salad.
Albus shrugged, leaning back and sipping at his coffee, cradling the foam cup in both hands. The diner wasn’t cold – unlike the winter weather outside – but Scorpius had to admit that there was something soothing about clutching at warm liquid containers. “Looks like we’re stuck here until they can get us portkeys,” Albus commented. He didn’t seem worried. But then Albus didn’t have a hysterical boyfriend waiting for him at home.
“I didn’t realize we had to secure them ahead of time during the holiday season,” Scorpius complained. He didn’t even care if he looked ridiculous. This simple wasn’t fair. It was bad enough that he had been sent on this work trip just days before Christmas when most people were off, but now he would have to miss most of the damn holiday as well.
“Oh, really? I knew you had to secure it ahead of time.”
Something in Albus’ nonchalant manner began to itch at Scorpius’ nerves. “Then why are you still here?” he snapped.
“Because my portkey was this morning. I missed it.”
Scorpius nearly dropped his fork. He looked up at Albus, bewildered. “Potter, how did you manage that? You weren’t even this airheaded back at school.” Not that Scorpius’ father didn’t always say that Potters were generally block-headed, self indulgent brats – at least so Draco spoke of their patriarch – but Scorpius had never noticed anything quite this outrageous on Albus’ part back at school. Even in the face of House Rivalry.
Albus shrugged again, still cradling the coffee. “I was busy sight seeing. I’ve never been to New York before. Boston, yes, but not New York.”
Scorpius rolled his eyes. “Whatever.”
They were silent for a minute. “We should have some drinks,” Albus proposed finally, sitting forward a bit.
“Why not? We’re both here, aren’t we? We’re both waiting for our portkeys and…there’s no use being grumpy about a situation you can’t fix. Right?”
Scorpius opened his mouth to protest but then closed it just as quickly. Whatever. He could really use some brandy anyways.
Somehow they ended up talking about school over the alcohol. Albus would pour them shots and Scorpius would down his and then recall another funny anecdote. He and Albus didn’t cross paths very often at Hogwarts – Scorpius was a Slytherin Chaser and Albus, a Gryffindor, preferred to study and lie around by the lake not doing much of anything. But when they did cross, especially in their later years, there had always been a strange tension. Every time Scorpius saw Albus, he had found himself in a mood to show off or say something snide. He first tried to write this off as a Potter-Malfoy rivalry thing, then a personal rivalry with Albus over top marks but that was silly as well. Albus was far ahead in Charms and Transfiguration while Scorpius excelled at Potions and DADA. But the more Scorpius ran into Albus, the more he wished to be far away from the boy, and the longer they didn’t see each other, the more Scorpius couldn’t wait until the next term started so he could rile up Potter’s temper just a little more than last time.
“What do you do now anyways? I never asked,” Albus said during a pause in their reminiscences.
“I work for the Ministry. Foreign Affairs.”
“Politics?” Albus made a face.
“What’s wrong with politics?”
Albus shrugged. “I thought you would go into something more exciting like…curse breaking or become an Unspeakable.”
Scorpius shook his head slowly. “I don’t know what gave you the impression that that is something I would do but no, I am quite well situated in my job. It’s a Malfoy thing.” He put his hand over his glass when Albus tried to pour him another shot. If he had anymore, tipsy would turn into drunk and Scorpius didn’t want to cross that line.
“Malfoy thing,” Albus repeated, as though it was the strangest word coupling in the world. “Do you always do what your father expects of you?”
Scorpius meant to say one thing but what came out instead was, “Don’t you?” It was a stupid thing to say, the same as admitting up front that he had no desire to go against the family traditions. Everyone was proud of him and being the heir of a Pureblood lineage still meant something. At least it did to him. Dating a boy was the only deviant thing Scorpius had ever done, but then he couldn’t help that. His grandfather would have never accepted it, but his grandfather was dead and his father had accepted his son’s “illness” – as Draco so kindly put it – quite a few years ago. As long as the Malfoys got an heir, everyone would be happy and Scorpius didn’t have to get married in order to reproduce.
“No,” Albus said simply, setting aside the brandy bottle. “Or I’d be an Auror. Like James. But I don’t enjoy the idea of running around in a crimson cloak, throwing spells at people, acting all self-righteous because I defeated Dark Magic. No one even knows what that is these days.”
Scorpius snorted. A Potter who didn’t care to lord himself over everyone because of his, supposedly, superior morality? Well wasn’t that refreshing. “Are you trying to say you support Dark Magic?”
Albus shook his head. “No, that’s not what I meant. I meant that I would prefer a better definition of the term than what the Ministry offers us at the moment.”
“Ah-ha.” Scorpius rolled his eyes. Why had he expected anything else? “What do you do anyways?”
“I study Herbology.”
“You were never that good at Potions,” Scorpius pointed out.
Albus rolled his eyes at the blond and pouted just slightly. “I’m decent at Potions. Besides, I do research; I don’t need to be good at Potions for that.”
Scorpius snickered. “I remember at school you wanted to go into wandlore.”
Albus flushed and made a shooing gesture at him. “Only until fourth year!”
Scorpius laughed in utter amusement. “Whatever you say, Potter.” .
“Are you cold?”
Albus looked up from where he was curled up on a pair of seats in the station waiting room, his muggle coat and bright crimson scarf pulled tightly around his body. He shook his head at Scorpius who sat opposite him, reading a newspaper. It was completely dark outside and very late. Sometimes, through the window, large white snowflakes could be seen as they fell to the ground, illuminated by the lights coming from the station windows. “No, I’m alright.” He was a little chilly though, Scorpius could tell. The station wasn’t very warm but a simple heating spell was keeping Scorpius warm and generally comfortable. He watched as Albus closed his eyes and went back to his attempts at dozing. The boy was strangely attractive in that hat and those ridiculous muggle clothes. Albus wore bangs and they fell slightly over his eyebrows and into his eyes. Scorpius caught himself on the thought that Albus had unsettlingly kissable lips… The blond huffed quietly at the thought and returned his attention to the newspaper.
Several minutes and one article later, Scorpius realized that he hadn’t understood a word he’d just read. He peeked around the paper at Albus’ curled form. He did not look comfortable. Scorpius took out his wand and cast a silent warming spell at Albus, then quickly tucked the wand away.
Albus blinked lazily up at Scorpius who returned to reading, pretending he hadn’t done anything. “Thanks,” Albus muttered. “I was never good at those.”
Albus woke from his slight doze to hear Scorpius arguing with someone. He sat up, rubbing at his eyes, and looked over at the fireplace from which firecalls could be made. Scorpius was there and although Albus couldn’t see his face, he could hear the distress in Scorpius’ voice.
“Look, Ly, I’m here waiting. I’ve been waiting all night. I want more than anything to come but I don’t know when I’ll get a portkey…listen to me, it’s not my fault I didn’t—…that’s not fair, Lysander! I do want to be there for Christmas, why would I want to be here? ....Last year wasn’t my fault, it was either go on the trip or lose my job, I thought you understood that…Ok, yes, the year before that was my fault and I apologized a million…”
Albus stood and wondered to the window, further down the waiting area. He felt awkward listening in on Scorpius arguing with his boyfriend. It also made Albus feel all hot and hurt on the inside which was the strangest feeling. It felt a lot like jealousy and he had no idea why he would be jealous of Scorpius and his boyfriend. He was long over what he’d felt at Hogwarts. He’d told himself that so many times it almost became a mantra.
When Albus finally dared looked back, Scorpius was finished with his conversation. He was kneeling on the floor in front of the empty fireplace, head hung, hands in his lap. Everything about his body language cried despair and Albus felt an unpleasant whining deep inside that he couldn’t ignore. He watched as Scorpius slowly stood up and walked over to the seats. He watched the blond sit and drop his head in his hands, shoulders hunched slightly. Taking a deep breath, Albus walked over and sat next to him. They were both silent for several moments.
“Do you have a boyfriend, Albus?” Scorpius asked suddenly, not looking up.
“No. I...I don’t have anyone.” It sounded pathetically tragic to Albus’ own ears but he couldn’t help it. Something was pulling and punching at his heart and he couldn’t help feeling sorry for himself.
“I don’t either anymore,” Scorpius said dully. Albus reached out to put a hand on the other boy’s shoulder but withdrew at the last possible moment, afraid that it wouldn’t be well received. After another moment, Scorpius stood and began to gather his things.
“Where are you going?”
“Going to find some hotel to sleep in,” Scorpius said dully, all the spunk gone out of his voice. “I’m not really in a hurry anymore. I suggest you get some real sleep too.”
Albus looked down, chewing absently on his lip. “How long were you guys together?” he blurted out just as Scorpius began to walk away.
“Almost three years. Doesn’t matter anymore.”
By the time Albus decided to follow he didn’t think he’d be able to find Scorpius, but he caught up to the other boy just outside the station. It was slowly getting light, just a thin strip of light on the horizon, barely visible between the tall buildings. Snow fell generously, creating heavy drifts. Christmas lights, hung on trees along the street, twinkled a warm yellow. “Scorpius!” Albus called, flailing slightly as he almost slipped on a patch of ice, powdered over with fresh snow.
Scorpius turned and looked at him expectantly. Albus caught up to him and grabbed his arm, despite the lack of necessity for the contact. For a long time they just stood there, looking at each other, gathering snowflakes on their hats. Then, slowly, Albus leaned in, closer and closer, testing out the boundaries of personal space. Scorpius allowed his eyes to fall closed of their own accord and Albus pounced.
The kiss was wet and awkward, desperate and deep. Scorpius relaxed into it, struggling not to cry. What the hell was he doing? Why was he kissing Albus in the middle of a New York street instead of waking up next to Ly in their shared flat? Why did it feel almost just as good?
Albus pulled back after several moments, somewhat breathless, and rested his forehead against Scorpius’. “I had the biggest crush on you back at school,” he blurted out.
Scorpius reached up and cupped the other boy’s face in his hands, taking a long look into a pair of green eyes that were a few shades darker than the green Potter eyes that so often stared out of the front page of the Prophet. “Merry Christmas, Albus,” he said quietly, swallowing past a large lump growing in his throat. Then, Scorpius dropped his hands and walked away in an undetermined direction.
They got their portkeys just after noon and would be home in time for dinner. Albus could just imagine the chaos Uncle Ron’s place probably already was by this time. He and Scorpius portkeyed to the London station at about the same time. From there they could apparate home.
Albus lingered, watching Scorpius. He supposed Scorpius would spend the evening with his parents but getting dumped on Christmas morning couldn’t be easy. “Will you be alright?” Albus asked finally, unable to just walk away. He couldn’t get their kiss out of his head and the way Scorpius had looked at him afterward.
“I’ll be fine,” Scorpius replied coolly, distractedly.
Albus nodded and was already turning away, ready to go back to pretending Scorpius Malfoy didn’t really exist, when Scorpius called his name. Albus turned and gave the other boy a quizzical look. “Yea?”
“We should…ah…see each other more often.” Scorpius shifted uncomfortably, as though he had just said something embarrassing.
Albus couldn’t help his smile which was almost, but not quite, a smirk. “We should.”