Title: More than words
Author: Miss Barrowmaniac
Characters: Albus Severus Potter/Scorpius Malfoy, and I plan another adult M/M couple for later on.
Summary: Albus starts Hogwarts, but things don't go quite as he expected. Finding less support from his brother and cousins than he'd hoped, the responsibility falls to his new best friend, Scorpius.
Disclaimers: I do not own anything. I don't make any money with any of it either, but I do have a lot of fun. And hopefully entertain my readers as well. But it all belongs to JK, Warner and all the others. So don't sue me!
Warnings: This is a slash story, which means it contains a romantic/sexual relationship between two men. A gay relationship. So if you don't like it, please go back or close the page, because nobody is forcing you to read it. I won't take any homophobic comments.
Author's note: Most of the story is just like it was on the books. But I've salvaged one character from the war, and he's back with full power, if slightly different from what he used to be. Well, war does change people, right? And I'll change a few things about his storyline, but nothing that will make him unrecognizable.
Author's note 2: This story hasn't been beta'd, so forgive me for any mistakes, spelling or otherwise. And if you like it (or even if you don't), and you can spare a few minutes, leave me a review. It would make me very happy!
More Than Words
Albus watched as his family disappeared in the distance, before being completely gone after a bend on the road. He turned his attention briefly to the people sharing the cabin with him: his brother James, who laughed loudly at some joke his best friend Jordan had told; Jordan Green, a slim boy with auburn hair and hazel eyes who'd spent a part of his summer vacations at his house; his cousin Rose, also distracted with their conversation and, most of all, Frank Longbottom II, who was a year older than them and had inherited all the best physical features from both his parents, and surprisingly none of their clumsiness. From what he'd heard from James, even though he was just a first year - now second-, he already had quite a few girls on his tail. Not more than James himself, of course. His brother said something apparently funny, and turned to him with those eyes that read he was up to something. Albus smiled the best he could, turning his eyes out the window.
"Hey, Al?" James called, touching his shoulder. When the boy turned back, all eyes were on him, and he blushed slightly, trying to focus on his brother. "What's wrong? You seem weird."
Rose nodded, agreeing. "You're not still worried about what James said, are you? About Slytherin?"
The boy shook his head, attempting another smile. The truth was, he was worried about that, but not only that. James had told him so much about Hogwarts, and all they'd do together, but now there was no denying he was a different person at school. Albus had tried to believe nothing would change between them, but he could tell by the weeks Jordan spent with them that it was a lie. And he was already too smart to believe in such things.
"Al, I was just teasing you." He said seriously, one hand still on the boy's shoulder. "Both mom's and dad's families have always been Gryffindors. You don't have a choice."
"You should've seen your brother being selected, Al." Jordan smiled at him. "They barely had time to put the hat on his head before it screamed, 'Gryffindor!' " The boy tried to mimic the hat's voice, making them smile.
"It'll be the same with you, little brother." He tried to give the boy a reassuring smile, but James's smiles were never reassuring. They were always naughty, and all the older Weasleys used to say it reminded them of twins' smiles, back when they were twins. Albus had never seen first-hand a smile from his uncle George. "Anything, Al, anything at all that's bothering you, you know you can talk to me, okay?" James asked, and the boy nodded.
"And me too, Al." Rose smiled at him.
"All of us, Al." Frank reassured, but before he had a chance to thank them - let alone expose his troubles - a couple of boys opened the door to their cabin abruptly, laughing and talking loudly.
In a matter of minutes, everybody sitting with Albus had left, forgetting about the boy, not even looking back when they walked out the door. Even Rose was gone, following Frank excitedly, to see whatever he'd promised to show her. The boy sighed, looking out the window and watching the landscape rushing past. He was almost asleep when a knock on the door made him jump on his seat as a blond boy stuck his head in.
"Hi. Do you mind if I join you? Everywhere else is full." Had his father and uncle been there, they would've recognized the scene. Ron in particular would've been very worried it would lead to the same kind of friendship he had with Harry. Even after all those years, Weasleys and Malfoys still didn't really get along.
Albus smiled shyly at him, nodding and watching the boy take the seat across from him. The blonde leaned forward, offering a hand.
"I'm Scorpius Malfoy."
"So you're Malfoy!" He said surprised, making the other boy frown and pull back his hand. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to offend you!" He apologized immediately. "It was very rude of me. Can we try again?" He asked smiling, tilting his head sideways a little and sticking a hand out. "I'm Albus Severus Potter."
"Potter?" The boy asked equally surprised, before quickly shaking his hand.
"I guess you've heard of me too, then." Albus said, blushing slightly.
"Of course I have. Your father is Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Saved-The-World." He said with a light tone of irony in his voice, making the other boy laugh. "What?"
"Nothing. That's what everybody says. He's always been pretty normal to me."
"My dad says he was a nightmare in school."
"That's what my uncle Ron says about your dad as well." They smiled at each other, and before they could say anything else, the trolley lady stopped by their door.
"Would you like anything from the trolley, dears?"
"I want pumpkin juice and some Chocolate Frogs." Albus asked, reaching into his pockets for some coins.
"I'll have the same." Scorpius asked, and added after a second, "And a box of Bertie Bott's beans."
"There you go." She handed over their orders with a smile. "I hope you enjoy the rest of your ride."
"Thanks!" They said simultaneously, and looked at each other with a smile before laughing of that.
"Who d'you get?" Albus asked the boy opening a Chocolate Frog, while doing the same himself.
"My dad." They smiled. "You collect them?"
"My dad doesn't really like me eating candy." Scorpius shrugged. "Do you?"
"My brother does. I never really thought it was any fun."
"Yeah. Third year this year."
"Gryffindor, I suppose?"
"How did you know?" He asked surprised.
"Potter with Weasley. Couldn't be any different." He smiled. "Just like I'm bound to go to Slytherin. My whole family has."
"My brother keeps saying I'll end up in Slytherin." He said quietly.
"It's not a bad place, you know."
"James says Slytherins are evil and become Dark Wizards."
"Well, then he knows nothing." He said decisively, and smiled after a second. Albus smiled back. "I'm going to Slytherin and I'm proud of it. And I'm not going to be a Dark Wizard."
They just looked at each other for a moment, before smiling shyly, both blushing, before spending several minutes in silence, eating their sweets. They talked and laughed during most of the trip, and Albus was really glad he'd found a friend. Especially because he somehow knew they'd be good friends.
They had just heard the announcement telling them they were almost at their destination and should get ready, and were finishing putting on their school robes when James and the others returned. All of them, but especially the oldest Potter boy, weren't happy at all about the unexpected guest.
"What are you doing here, Malfoy?" He looked the boy up and down.
"What?" He looked slightly confused at the other student, Albus mimicking his expression.
"Get out. Leave my brother alone." James's voice was almost disgusted, and some of the other kids behind him also spared hatred looks to the blond boy.
"What are you doing, James?" Albus asked revolted, getting in between the other two, who already had both their wands drawn.
"Stay out of it, Al. I don't want you near scum like him."
"Scum? What about you, Potter? Take pleasure in harassing little kids, do you?"
"Shut up, you two!" Albus frowned and said loudly, surprising them all. "Scorpius is my friend, okay, James? And I won't allow you to talk to him like that. Come on, Scorp. We're done here already." He grabbed the boy by the hand and dragged him through the other kids, leaving several astounded faces behind.
"What was that all about?" James wondered out loud, slowly walking into the cabin. It was the first time he and Albus argued at all, and the first time he saw his brother raise his voice like that.
"Haven't you warned him about the Malfoys?" Jordan asked, reaching for his robes.
"I did! Or I thought I had. We shouldn't have left him alone earlier."
"I thought he'd just follow us." The auburn blond replied, shrugging.
"I'll talk to him later. Put some sense into his head." James concluded, letting himself fall back on his seat and playing with his wand.
"James? Don't you think maybe you were a little hard on him?" Frank asked a moment later, sitting back down, slightly bothered by how close Rose was to him.
"He's a bloody Malfoy, Frankie." He stated like it was all that needed to be said.
They stayed in silence for the remainder of the trip. James was upset about his brother, Jordan knew better than to try and talk to him, Frank figured it wasn't any of his business, and had pulled out a book, and Rose was trying to read over Frank's shoulder, leaving the boy rather restless. James was still a little upset when they arrived at Hogsmeade, but quickly him and Jordan began whispering about all the pranks they were planning for that year, and were already very excited when they boarded the carriages with the invisible horses.
Albus and Scorpius had walked almost to the end of the train, running away from the oldest Potter. The brunet was still mad, and only stopped walking - still dragging the other boy - when the blond forced him to. He looked angrily at his friend, but soon realized he wasn't facing his brother and his features quickly softened.
"You shouldn't be so upset about that, you know." Scorpius said quietly.
"I should! He had no right to treat you like that! He doesn't even know you!" He started pacing around, in the limited space of the hallway.
"It's not worth it, Al." He thought it was a bit strange to be treating each other by nicknames already, but since the boy had used one for him, he figured he'd return the favor. "I know that because of... my family history, there will be a lot of that. Dad warned me about it."
"Still! You haven't done anything!"
"Albus!" He said loudly, grabbing the boy by his shoulders and forcing their eyes to meet. "Forget it. And get used to it, okay?" The boy reluctantly nodded. "Good. And go apologize to your brother later."
"He's the one who should apologize!" He complained, but just for the sake of it. Most of his anger had already evaporated, and he wasn't sure if it was because the moment had passed or because of the blond's interference. He didn't remember ever being that angry, though he'd witnessed more than a few fits thrown by both his siblings.
"But so will you. Okay? Now-" He had to grab the boy with one hand and the handle of a cabin door in order not to fall as the train stopped.
"Are you okay?" Albus asked, once they were steady at their feet. "I guess we arrived." He gave him a half-smile.
"They could've been subtler." He complained under his breath, making the other boy giggle. "Come on. We don't want to be late."
Because they were at the end of the train, they were the last students to reach Hagrid and the vessels at the lake, ending up just the two of them in the last boat. It had been quite a long while since the first day of school met the students without a heavy rain, and the soft summer breeze played with their hairs, making both boys smile. After watching the castle appear for a few minutes, Albus was caught off-guard by a splash of water, and looking to his right, saw a smiley Scorpius pretending nothing had happened.
Deciding to play along, the brunet splashed the other boy, and the game went on for a short while, until the boat began rocking too much and they almost fell into the water. After a scared look - and some reproving looks from a few kids on the boats ahead - they laughed easily, and tried to behave for the rest of the trip.
Albus only saw Rose again once they were warm inside the castle, waiting to be taken for the sorting ceremony. She shyly approached him - who was still firmly set on staying beside Scorpius - and asked if he was okay. He smiled happily at her, almost as if nothing had happened, before whispering something in the blond's ear, and sharing a smile with him. The redhead girl didn't seem too pleased, but before she could say anything, a professor appeared before them and requested their attention.
"Welcome, students, to Hogwarts. My name is Ethan Williamson, and I'll be teaching you Transfiguration. In a few moments, we'll proceed to the Great Hall, where you'll be sorted into one of our four houses. Those are Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. While you're at school, your house will be your family, and you can count on your fellow students, Prefects and all the staff to help you, should you have any problems. Here, points are awarded for achievements, and taken away for misbehaving, so I must warn you all to watch your steps while in school. Now, if you'll all follow me, we must go."
The professor smiled at them, turning his back and leading them to the Great Hall. He seemed rather young and cheery, perhaps because of his well-shaved face and long, dark hair tied in a low ponytail. Albus noticed some girls smiling a little too much as they followed the thin man, and a quick glance to the blond walking beside him later, he could barely contain his laughter. But their nerves attacked again as they entered the other room, where a couple hundreds of students chattered excitedly. The room went quiet as they made their way to the other side, where a small stool waited for them, with a battered hat sitting on top of it.
"Are you okay, Al?" The blond asked in a whisper, noticing the boy looked even paler than he had before, and didn't push it any further as he got a nod in reply. But a few moments later, he felt a hand searching for his own, and though it was really strange for him, he let the brunet take it. Last thing he wanted was the boy passing out beside him from being so nervous.
"I will now start calling your names. When I do, please step forward and take a sit." The same man who welcomed him earlier said, a piece of parchment floating a little to his left and the hat on his hand, once the hat was done singing. "Scarlett Anderson." He called, and a girl with dark blond hair and light blue eyes nervously stepped forward, and after a few seconds on her head, the hat sent her to Ravenclaw.
All the students cheered loudly as each student was sorted, and Albus grew more apprehensive as his turn approached. He felt Scorpius let his hand go as his name was called, and caught a reassuring look as the blond walked ahead. He crossed his arms over his chest, and watched as the hat almost instantly put him in Slytherin. He saw the boy smile at him as he walked to his table, and after another girl sent to Hufflepuff, his turn finally arrived.
"Mr. Albus Severus Potter."
The boy hesitated for a moment, taking a deep breath, and sat on the stool. The hat covered his eyes partially, and he almost jumped on his seat as he heard it talk to him. "This is a familiar head, boy. I remember one very similar not too long ago." Albus nervously looked up, trying to keep his legs still. His hands held the edges of the stool so strongly the tips of his fingers were white. "Torn between Gryffindor and Slytherin, are you?"
"I-I guess." He thought, and almost jumped again as the hat responded to it.
"You know, another boy just like you had a great stay at Gryffindor, but I always wondered if he wouldn't have been more successful on Slytherin."
"Then why did you send him to Gryffindor?" He asked curiously. He got distracted with the talk, and began relaxing. A little far away, sitting in one of the tables, James was growing apprehensive with the time the hat was taking. From the three ceremonies he'd seen, that was by far the longest the hat took.
"He asked me to. But I don't sense such a strong inclination in you."
"I... Don't mind either way. My brother wants me to go to Gryffindor, but..."
"But you're not too sure you want to join him? Very interesting. In that case, I better send you to-" And then his voice sounded to the whole room, "Slytherin!"
Almost all students dropped their jaws in shock. Nobody applauded for a few tense seconds, and Scorpius was the only one smiling at the snake table. The blond was also the first to start clapping, followed by the Headmistress and some of the professors and older students. The boy felt a little uneasy for the commotion he'd caused, but was smiling as he sat down. The Transfiguration Professor was getting ready to call the next name on the list - in an attempt to dissipate the tenseness that took over the room -, but a third-year student stood up, surprising everybody, and started almost screaming, to nobody in particular.
"No! That's a mistake! Albus can't go to Slytherin! He belongs in Gryffindor!" James's voice sounded clear through the hall, and he looked around the staff table for a moment before settling his eyes on the person in the center. "Headmistress! You have to do something!"
"Mr. Potter, sit down." She asked, standing up herself. "There has been no mistakes. Your brother has been sorted, and that's the end of it."
"And if you can't control yourself, Mr. Potter, I'll have Mr. Filch escort you to your dormitory." She looked severely at him, and after a tense moment, the boy sat down, with virtually all eyes on him. "You may proceed, Ethan." She told the man who nodded and followed the list.
There were only a few students left, Rose among them, and the hat almost immediately put her in Gryffindor, like should've happened to Albus, James thought. But the little boy was glad to be sitting by his new friend, and the two chatted excitedly all throughout dinner, especially when the ghosts made their appearance. A couple of hours later, the Headmistress requested their attention for a few announcements before sending them off to bed. Albus was smiling and walking with his fellow first years when James pulled him aside.
"What are you doing?" He asked angrily, pulling his arm away and rubbing where his brother had grabbed him a little too strongly.
"I'll talk to McGonagall. There's obviously been some mistake. You'll be in Gryffindor by tomorrow, so don't worry." He said decisively, making his brother even angrier. Then he turned to the blond. "Don't dare lay a finger on him, Malfoy, or I'll make sure you regret it." The boy turned to leave.
"It wasn't a mistake, James!" He said to his brother's back, making him turn around. "I chose Slytherin."
"What are you talking about? Nobody can choose." He shook his head confusedly.
"I could. And so could dad. And I chose Slytherin." His voice was lower now, but so firm it took a few moments for his brother to process what he was saying. That wasn't his little brother, he thought.
"Why would you do that, Al? What about all we would do together?"
"All we would do together?" He asked, exasperated. "It's like I don't even exist when your precious friends are around!"
"Of course not, Al! You're, you're my little brother!"
"The one you abandoned in the train? Or the one you ignored while Jordan was staying with us? Which one, James?"
"That's enough." They heard a voice behind them and jumped in their places before turning around.
"P-Professor Snape." James stammered. So that was the dreaded Potions Master? Albus suddenly understood why one would be scared of him.
"Mr. Potter. I believe the Headmistress instructed all students to return to their houses, am I wrong?" He asked raising an eyebrow.
Albus could see his brother swallowing hard before replying. "No, sir." His friends were as nervous as him, and took a half-step back.
"Then what are you still doing here?"
"I-I was talking to my brother, sir."
"Now is not the time. So off to your dorm before I take the points you haven't even earned yet." He ordered, and more than quickly the boys rushed off the room. Turning to Albus and Scorpius, who were now a little scared of him as well, he said, "The two of you should also go. As I don't believe you know your way around the castle yet, I'll take you there." Without waiting for them, he billowed his cloak and started walking.
Sharing a quick glance, the boys ran a few steps to catch up, but luckily the man had some trouble walking - he was assisted by a black cane - and they didn't have to really run to stay beside him. He still walked pretty fast, though, Albus thought, much more than his parents normally did. They followed in silence to the dungeons, and after watching him say the password - the Fens -, saw almost in amazement the wall give way to a short passageway leading to their common room. As the professor walked in, the older students greeted him politely and quickly made their way up to their dorms, leaving all the first-years alone with the man.
"All of you, please have a seat." He sat himself in an armchair, and all the others gathered around him, on the couches and on the floor. There were ten of them in total, four boys and six girls. "I am your Head of House, Severus Snape. I am also the Potions Professor and Deputy Headmaster. While you're at school, any problems you have can be brought to any of your Prefects or directly to me. There are a few more things you ought to be aware of. Breakfast is served everyday between six and seven-thirty. Classes start at a quarter to eight, giving you enough time to fetch your material, should you ever forget anything. Lunch is from noon to two in the afternoon, and dinner from six to eight. Should you fail to arrive at the Great Hall in time, you will be deprived of a meal. Also, curfew for all students is at nine, and any student caught out of their Common Rooms later than that will be punished with loss of house points and detentions. The password changes every fortnight, so be sure to keep an eye on the notice board if you do not wish to be trapped outside." He ran his eyes through the kids, seeing most of the expressions he always saw, ranging from focused to sleepy, but his attention was quickly captured by two boys whispering to each other. "Mr. Potter, Mr. Malfoy. Is there anything you would like to share with the rest of us?"
"Uh, it's just..." Scorpius started, a little embarrassed. He knew Snape from a few social visits he'd made to his dad, and the two seemed pretty close. He was also his dad's favorite professor, and he was the one person in the castle he was actually eager to impress.
"I was just telling Scorp that you're the man I'm named after." Albus smiled at him, and Snape sighed, noticing that he'd have those emerald-green eyes haunting him once again. "My dad said you're the bravest man he ever knew."
"Did he, now?" He raised an eyebrow, making the blond - and all other students - look down, but the brunet just smiled and nodded. Snape seemed unaffected by the information. "Either way, while I'm talking is not the time to..." He narrowed his eyes. "... Chatter."
"I'm sorry, sir."
"Just don't do it again." He said, shaking his head slightly. He would always protect his Slytherins, but he never expected Potter would be one of them. Any Potter. "Are there any more questions about what I was saying before?" All the students shook their heads, and one or two tried to repress a yawn. "Very well. Off to bed, all of you." He stood up and left without looking back.
Albus and Scorpius made their way in silence to their dorm, their eyes already heavy, and didn't even bother unpacking before collapsing in their beds. They were about to start what they always heard would be the most exciting years of their lives, and if the day hadn't been eventful enough, the nervous energy had drained their last resources. The room went quiet within a few minutes and all four boys slept peacefully all night long.