The Start of Something New
He let out the breath of air that he had been holding in for a while (it had been long enough to make his chest burn). Folding his hands, he rested his forearms on his knees.
"Well, you're not nervous at all, are you?" Silvia Zabini asked, settling herself next to Scorpius. She was as cool as a cucumber, nothing ever seemed to bother her.
The two had been friends since they were in their nappies, and were hardly inseparable. She was the most carefree person Scorpius had ever known in his short life span. Silvia never worried about what people thought of her, but then again, she never had to worry about it.
Which was much different than Scorpius Malfoy had to endear while growing up.
Silvia had straight, black hair, in which she usually wore loose and at shoulder length. She also always wore a hat (even to bed), so today, on their ride to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, she had on a purple bucket hat with a drawstring that hung down to her chest. She'd have to use the one for their school's uniform soon, but until then, she insisted on wearing the one that informed everyone of her craving for individuality.
Right now, Scorpius could quietly thank himself that he had Silvia here with him, because the looks— the staring eyes just made him a bit too edgy. He didn't like attention. Especially negative attention, and that was exactly what he had gotten on his walk to the compartment that he had led Silvia to.
"I am a little nervous," he admitted, fishing out a butterbeer from his carry-on bag that his mother had packed for him. He held it out for Silvia as an offering, but she shook her head in refusal.
"You know my bladder's the size of a pea!"
Scorpius twisted the cap off, lifting a shoulder up slightly. "And you know my mother's rules on sharing... She's packed enough for ten people in here!" Even if the Hogwarts Express offered snacks to buy, his mother insisted on packing enough for a party. Thankfully, she had also thought about the weight of ten butterbeers and other favoured treats among the young people, and had charmed the bag to hardly weigh anything.
"You don't have to follow them to a T at Hogwarts, Scorpius!" Silvia said with a roll of her eyes. "I'm not going to rat you out!"
Scorpius made to swallow a mouthful of his fizzy drink so he could reply, but he did it a little too quickly. He felt the burning pain form in his throat as it rejected the assault.
Silvia snorted in laughter and that sent him into his own laughter. Sticky, foaming liquid spewed from his nose and sprayed the empty seat across from them.
"Argh!" In extreme pain, enough to cause his eyes to swell with tears, Scorpius held onto his nose, blinking his watery eyes.
Silvia was stuck in a series of giggles, and began hiccuping over it. She pointed at Scorpius, her own eyes tearing up. "Oh, the look—" She giggled uncontrollably, leaning back into the seat for support, in fear of toppling forward and cracking her head on the table in front of them. "—on your face right now!"
"Merlin, that hurt a lot!" Scorpius sniffed his tender nose, messaging it to gain its normal feeling back. "And you didn't help matters any!" He playfully pushed at his friend's shoulder, who was still having difficulties controlling her amusement.
"Sorry!" She took a deep breath, making an effort to relax herself. She covered her mouth, concealing a snort.
The door to the compartment abruptly slid open, revealing two people; a boy and a girl, each Silvia and Scorpius's own age. Scorpius stiffened at the sight of them, while Silvia's sounds of amusement instantly ceased. The four students stared each other down in silence, none of them sure what to say. All that was heard was the dull hum of excited people, who were also aboard the train.
Albus Potter turned his head to look up the narrow walkway of the carriage. He frowned slightly, his bottom lip uneasily tucked between his teeth, and nibbled on a loose piece of skin. "I think there's one—"
He was cut off as Rose Weasley huffed impatiently and stepped inside.
"You wouldn't mind if we were to sit with you, would you?" Rose interrupted her cousin, pointedly looking at Scorpius. Her voice wasn't cold, but it was filled with some sort of expectance of how he was going to react to her request.
Scorpius stirred uncomfortably in his seat. Obviously, he had heard many stories about the Weasleys and Potters (and many other people who fought in the war years ago). They were all over the papers, famous for their heroism. While the Malfoys... were not.
And Scorpius was sure that Albus and Rose's parents would disapprove of their little angels sitting with the child of an ex-Death Eater.
"Sure," Silvia broke the awkward silence. "We don't mind," she answered for both she and Scorpius.
Albus cautiously stepped in. The corners of his lips turned upward just a bit, showing Silvia his gratitude. Rose didn't move though. She wanted an answer from Scorpius specifically.
"Let's just call a truce," Rose said to him.
Scorpius shook his head in confusion. A truce? But they hadn't even—
"I know exactly what you're thinking..." Rose crossed her arms over her chest. "We have no reason to call for a truce, right? We've never even met until this day— why need a truce?"
Scorpius looked away from her piercing look. Why did she look at him like that? Most people stared at him and his family warily, as if expecting that they were going to sneak up on some innocent person and curse them. But not this girl. Not Rose Weasley. He didn't understand what she was trying to say, or what she was trying to prove.
It didn't matter what his father had said to warn him, or the many years Scorpius had grown up in a life of shame that he himself had not deserved; he was not prepared for this.
"I feel we can make our own decisions," Rose said. "And I don't wish to waste my time on hexing you all throughout the next seven years of my life just because of what our parents did when they were our age."
Scorpius shifted his eyes back at her. "I wasn't going to hex—"
Rose nodded. "Precisely. I'd say we've all learned from the mistakes of our mums and dads, right?"
He tilted his head at her, intrigued by the way she just took control of things. Things that hadn't even started. He sucked in a breath. "My father is never going to believe this."
Rose finally smiled. A big triumphant one. "I'm sure it's redundant, but I'm Rose Weasley, and this is my cousin, Albus Potter." She properly introduced them.
Scorpius' felt his lips twitch into a smile. A huge weight was suddenly lifted from his shoulders. "Scorpius Malfoy," he said and gestured for her to sit down.
"And, I'm Silvia Zabini," Silvia added, giving Scorpius a dirty look for his impoliteness.
Scorpius chuckled. "Yes, my best friend, Silvia."
"Nice to meet you," Rose and Albus said in unison, with Albus being much more quieter than she.
The dark haired boy sat next to his cousin, patting the seat uncertainly. He rubbed his fingers together and looked at up Silvia, who started snickering. "Why is the seat sticky?" he asked in mild disgust.
Rose stood up immediately and shrieked at the stickiness of her robes.
Scorpius fished his wand out of his shirt quickly. "Sorry!" He cleaned the seat with a spell. "I... had a bit an accident..." He eyed her backside, frowning at the damp droplets of his spittle of butterbeer. "I—" He sighed. Just when he thought things would be different for him, this had to happen... "I don't know how to clean clothing just yet..."
Rose sat back down. "Well, it should be dry by the time we get to Hogwarts," she said stiffly. Scorpius could tell that she was trying to be calm about it.
"I'd say so," Albus agreed with her. "It was just a few droplets, Rose."
"So, which Quidditch team is your favourite?" Rose asked with a much more cheerier voice, as if she had forgotten about the incident all together.
And so they spent a majority of the ride arguing over the best Quidditch teams and players.
He slid off the tall stool, nearly falling down on his face because of his undependable, shaking knees. Thankfully, he had enough strength to catch his fall.
Most of the room was stunned by his sorting. Only about a quarter of the people were clapping, and it was a slow, dull one, merely for support only. Scorpius looked around nervously, having little success in swallowing a large lump that had formed into his throat. Even a couple of the teachers were in complete shock.
Malfoys were always sorted into Slytherin.
Scorpius found Rose in the crowd that was still awaiting to be sorted. Her eyes were lit; bright and shining. She put her hands up to her mouth, shouting, "Go on, Scorpius!"
And then the clapping turned into something loud, faster, and roaring. People were cheering. They were praising him. Accepting him.
His mother was always telling him that he was going to change the world, but he hadn't believed her. At least not until this moment.
Malfoys had always been sorted into Slytherin— up until now.
Today was the start of something new.