Lily Potter was a very confused nine-year old. It started earlier in the day, when she had gone to see her brothers off to Hogwarts. It was James' second year, so she was used to him being gone for most of the year. Albus was one of the sources of her problems. He had left for his first year, and Lily was used to having her eleven-year-old brother around. She was going to miss him, even if they were often at opposite spectrums of the personality range. The problem was that the youngest Potter was also happy that she now had her parents all to herself. Even though she at times hated James and Albus (mostly James, the often arrogant Gryffindor), they were her brothers after all. She hated the fact that they were gone almost as much as the fact that she often loved it.
The second reason Lily was confused happened shortly after dinner the evening after they had come back to 12 Grimmauld Place from Platform 9 ¾. Teddy, who Lily considered to be her eldest brother, had come over to eat, like he did a majority of the time. Lily constantly missed when Teddy lived with them when his grandmother Andromeda had been hospitalized due to her poor health when Teddy was fourteen, but she was happy that he still came around as often as he could.
It was near the end of the dinner when Teddy nervously ran his fingers through his hair (which was currently a curly sky blue with specks of grey here and there).
"Dad," he said, avoiding Harry Potter's eyes, though sporadically looking in his direction.
"Hmm?" Harry responded casually, not picking up on his oldest son's nervousness.
"Can I, umm, talk to you in private?" Teddy asked.
Harry shrugged, happy for the excuse to not clean the dishes, and the two men headed towards the study.
Ever curious, Lily was able to sneak out of the kitchen and started to listen in on the conversation in the study.
Everything was quiet for a few moments.
"What does it feel like when you kiss Mum?" Teddy asked. Lily wondered why Teddy wanted to ask that in private. She didn't think that her father was embarrassed by his relationship with Ginny.
Harry didn't answer for a short time, apparently thinking.
"It feels right," Harry said in his calming voice. He must have finally picked up how nervous his son was. He was quiet for a few seconds before continuing. "I heard a little rumor about you and Victoire."
"Of course James would ignore my glares," Teddy said with a chuckle, "but yeah, that did happen."
"I assume you are having second thought about whether or not you like her," Harry said.
"Kinda," Teddy said wryly. "It was more of a conformation of something that I've been thinking about for a while."
"I'm gay," Teddy blurted out.
Lily froze. Did she hear him right? Even though she was only nine, Lily knew what it meant to be gay. The fact that Teddy liked men was something she didn't see coming.
Her father, though, apparently did see it coming.
"Thank you for telling me," Mr. Potter said. Lily knew that tone in his voice. It was the one that he used when he was fully supportive of something. "You should know that anybody that you bring here, I will fully support you. Any young man will be lucky to have you."
Lily heard Teddy give a giant sigh of relief.
"Of course, you may have to give me a few days to re-write the sex-talk speech," Harry said. "I have to do a bit of research."
Teddy laughed. And continued laughing.
"What?" Harry asked when he was able to get his eldest child's attention.
"The speech and research won't be required," Teddy said. "I've already done some field research."
Lily heard something being knocked over. It was her father's large, expensive, leather chair.
The Potter girl heard Teddy start laughing again, and soon afterwards her father joined him.
Teddy telling Ginny Potter was definitely more memorable than telling Harry. She was washing dishes at the sink when Teddy and Harry waltz in ten minutes after Lily had left the door and boldly pronounced: "I enjoy sucking cock!"
Ginny suddenly slipped on nothing, throwing the plate she was washing up into the air, hitting the light, which fell down to the floor with the shattered plate, all the while Ginny was trying to regain use of her legs by putting the counter under her arms. When that didn't work, she just splayed out on the floor, looking at Teddy with a dumbfounded look across her face. That was the first time the former Seeker for the Holyhead Harpies ever lost her balance in front of one of her kids.
Harry and Teddy were laughing their butts off, holding their sides and gasping for air.
"Who knows?" Ginny finally asked.
After regaining his breath Teddy answered her: "Just the three of you and the nephew of the owner of Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop."
Albus Serverus Potter was nervous the entire train ride about which house he was going to be sorted into. Dominique and James were both entering their second years as Gryffindors, so neither of them were worried. Molly Weasley II was confidant that she was going to be a Gryffindor. Rose… well, Albus knew that she would be either a Ravenclaw or a Gryffindor. Albus didn't know where he was going to go. He was quiet, but not shy. He could be courageous, but often only when he knew he would come out unscathed. He knew he had the brains to be a Ravenclaw, but only if he applied himself more than he was ever going to.
He wouldn't be surprised if the Sorting Hat just threw him into Hufflepuff, just to be funny. That's it. He was going to be a Hufflepuff. He knew it.
Albus hardly remembered the walk from the boats to the Great Hall. He remembered one Scorpius Malfoy being sorted into Slytherin, and an Ernie Dursley being sorted into Hufflepuff.
And then suddenly it was his name Professor Longbottom was calling. Where that had been some muttering and quiet conversations for the sorting of the others, the room went deathly silent as Albus sat on the stool. This was another Potter kid. It was the one that looked like the famous Boy Who Is Now A Man Who Survived Two 'Effing Killing Curses. Everybody expected the hat to quickly shout out Gryffindor, but it didn't.
Finally, an interesting child, the voice of the Sorting Hat said in Albus' mind. I remember your father's sorting. He had a tough choice to make. Your mother was easy, as was your brother. Of course, James Potter inherited the Weasley hair and personality, but you are definitely a Potter.
Albus kept on thinking about being in anything but Slytherin, that he wasn't outgoing or sadistic enough to be in a house like Slytherin.
No, you may not be traditionally outgoing, but I can see the shifting of your mind. The way you try to spin everything to your advantage. The way you like to quietly seek revenge when either of your brothers or sister does something that is so… Gryffindor. You have a quiet confidence that is slowly dying out. You would most definitely be a great Slytherin.
"You know what?" Albus muttered aloud.
What? The hat responded, actually pausing to hear what Albus had to say.
Albus looked directly at his older brother sitting at the Gryffindor table and smirked. "Let's piss my brother off."
Everybody's jaws dropped when the Sorting Hat actually began laughing aloud, and not just in Albus' head. Then everybody stopped breathing when the hat loudly exclaimed: "Well then, let it be known that Albus Potter and I have both decided on SLYTHERIN!"
The Slytherin table burst into applause, and the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff tables clapped unenthusiastically, stunned. The Gryffindor table was still deathly silent except for a loud "WHAT?!" from both Fred and Molly Weasley and James Potter falling off of the bench and cursing everything. Dominique and Victoire were the only ones at the Gryffindor table to clap, both jumping out of their seats. Al remembered to make sure to go easy on the pranks on the sisters for being the only ones in his family to support him immediately.
Albus gave his brother and cousins a large grin as he walked over to the Slytherin table. He sat in the seat next to Malfoy, since the blonde gave him an inviting smile, as they were two of only four first year Slytherin boys.
The sorting didn't have anything else exciting happen until it was Rose's turn. The hat was quiet for a good ten minutes.
She ended up in Gryffindor with Molly, Dominique, Louis (who was also a first year), Victoire, Fred and James.
The walk to the Slytherin common room in the dungeons was uneventful. He and Scorpius Malfoy walked next to each other quietly, having met their two dorm-mates and finding that they would both give them too much attention, being giant fanboys of their fathers'. Even though the Potter and Malfoy hadn't said much to each other, the both found comfort in the fact that they both didn't like the attention they received because of their fathers. So, they silently walked next to each other.
It was after everybody had settled into the dorms and Albus and Scorpius were sitting at a table together in the common room writing letters to send to their fathers.
I think I've finally gotten back at James for throwing all of my underwear into the wash with Lily's pink clothes! I got myself sorted into Slytherin! You should have seen his face! He fell off of his bench and totally embarrassed himself in front of the entire school! Of course, nobody was paying him any attention. I am actually pretty proud to be in Slytherin. Everybody seems pretty cool, but the only person I think I'll actually trust is Scorpius (Malfoy). You know, the son of your secret lover nemesis. He's great- just seems to be chill with everything. None of that angsty-emo stuff that you say his father can't let go of. So we of course decided to get the beds next to each other. Our other two dorm-mates, Ethan and Evan, are nice but too fanboy and excitable to really have a great conversation with.
So has anything interesting happened since I left? Has Lily had her meltdown yet? Has Teddy told you about Victoire? Are you going to let me paint my room silver and green now? Please!!!
Anyway, I miss all of you already. Please make sure Lily keeps her demented cat out of my room.
Your favorite son, Albus
Albus quickly re-read the letter several times before her folded up so he could take it to the owlery the next day. He stared at the top of Scorpius' blond head until the other boy had finished writing his letter.
"Father is going to have a meltdown when he hears I've decided to get to know you," Scorpius said as he folded up his letter. "I can't wait to see his reply. I'm expecting a strongly worded howler."
The boys grinned.
Harry was sitting at his desk when he heard Albus' owl, Anzo, pecking on his study window. He quickly read the letter, smiled, and immediately started writing a reply.
My favorite son,
I am glad you are smart enough not to trust your housemates (sarcasm!). I am so proud of you. Slytherin has just gained a fine student. I know that you'll make your house proud. Yes, I will happily let you paint your room, but we may have a bit more trouble convincing your mother. I'm sure James's expression was priceless. And for the final time, I am not, nor have I ever been, in a relationship with Draco Malfoy. And I'm sure Scorpius is a nice enough boy if you've decided to speak aloud to him.
No, Lily has not had her annual meltdown yet. I expect it either later today or tomorrow. Yes, Teddy mentioned Victoire. There have been a few interesting moments. Your Mum actually slipped on thin air.
Yes, I will make sure that the cat doesn't ruin your room. And I'll be the one to break it to Ginny about you being in Slytherin. I know you're dreading it.
Your favorite parent,
Harry made sure Anzo had the letter secure before he let the owl go and went to the kitchen. Lily was sitting at the large table, reading the latest copy of Witch Weekly and his lovely wife was chopping up some vegetables.
"Albus is now a Slytherin," Harry blurted out.
Lily's eyes snapped to Harry and nearly screamed "WHAT?"
Ginny faired little better than the night before, but was able to not hurt the light and keep herself standing.
"You might want to sit down, darling," Harry said, guiding Ginny over to a chair and taking up the knife she had been using, promptly continuing what she had been doing.
"He's also made his first friend," Harry continued.
"That's almost as surprising as him being a Slytherin," Ginny said.
"What's even more surprising is that said friend is Scorpius Malfoy."
Ginny didn't react the way that Harry expected.
"Well," she said, "I guess he could do a lot worse, if only because one Draco Malfoy will probably freak out."
Scorpius did receive a howler the next morning. It was not pleasant. What made it worse was that the entire Great Hall watched. Albus couldn't stop sniggering, and that only increased Scorpius's embarrassment. The Howler said what Scorpius had expected it to say, how his parents were proud of him for being sorted into Slytherin, but how they forbid him to interact with the son of an "arrogant, self-absorbed, worship-hogger."
It burst into flame in front of everyone.
Albus burst out into full laughter as Scorpius stood there blushing.
"Your father needs to find a way to release his anger," Albus said. "Are his panties always that tight?"
Scorpius shoved Albus playfully and grinned.
"You get use to it," Scorpius said. "At least both your parents took it well."
Albus gave Scorpius a large smile and the blonde grinned back.
It was nearing the end of November and Albus and Scorpius we sitting in their corner of the library. Most people had learned to let the two of them keep to themselves. They were both reserved, and though not unkind, tended to push people away, especially when they couldn't see anything they could gain from someone's friendship.
Albus did make sure to spend time with his family, and was happy that Scorpius decided to tolerate them. The two had also made friends with Ernie Dursley, the son of Albus' father's cousin.
"Hey Scorp," Albus said in his usual quiet voice.
"Yes, Al?" Scorpius replied without looking up from his Charms essay.
"Do you wanna come to my place over the holidays?"
Scorpius's silver eyes snapped into Albus's emerald green ones, and he looked slightly terrified.
"Oh, come on," Albus complained. "My family isn't that bad."
"I can barely stand the Weasleys here at Hogwarts," Scorpius complained. "How do you expect me to get along with everyone in your family?"
"Come on!" Albus said. "They're only loud and somewhat obnoxious. I'm sure they'll warm up to you once they get to know you."
"I highly doubt that."
Albus gave his friend an intense stare. "You do realize that I am the first person on either side of my family to not be in Gryffindor. That is because I can barely stand my family, and now that I'm a Slytherin, I don't think I'll be able to survive their ridicule and joking alone."
Scorpius matched his friend's stare. "And why would I want to put myself up to be terrified?"
"Because I won't help you with your Herbology essay if you don't come."
They both continued to stare at each other seriously for a few seconds before a grin appeared on each of their faces. It was impossible for them to stay too serious with each other for very long.
"Fine," Scorpius let in. He was barely making an "Acceptable" in Herbology, so he definitely needed the help.
Albus just grinned.
Anzo found Ginny this time around, and after she retrieved the letter from Albus, she made sure she was sitting down. She didn't want to have another "incident," as she began to call the times when she couldn't keep standing.
She was hoping that this time it was an unneeded precaution.
Dearest Parents of mine,
Scorpius is spending the holidays with us, okay? His parents are okay with it, I promise. They're spending the holiday in France with Scorpius' mother's family, and he doesn't want to go.
I can definitely wait to come home, but I miss you anyway.
Ginny sighed. James had at least asked if he could have a friend over the holidays, so of course Albus had to not care what his parents thought. It wasn't the fact that she didn't like Scorpius that set her off thinking. From the few letters Albus has owled home, Scorpius seemed liked a decent kid. A product of his mother's raising, no doubt. It was Mr. Malfoy that Ginny was worried about. And why was that? It probably had something to do with the fact that he made her and Harry's life like a small piece of hell when the three of them were in school.
She vowed that she would spend as little time with Draco Malfoy as possible.
Lily was excited. All three of her older brothers were going to be at home in the evening, and Teddy was even going to be staying for a couple of days. What made her even more excited was that Albus was going to bring a friend, Scorpius, home, and Teddy was bring someone special.
Lily soaked Scorpius in as they, along with James, his friend Conall and Albus, sat in the back of the Potter's charmed van. The Potter parents were sitting in the front, Harry happy that he didn't actually have to drive.
The young girl almost immediately developed a crush on the eleven-year-old blonde. Of course, she never had the opportunity to talk to the boy, since he was quietly having a conversation with Albus the entire ride home and then when they got home, he and Albus took their trunks up to Albus's room and didn't come down.
She wasn't very excited any more.
"Well, Scorpius seems like a decent kid," Harry said as he sat down at the table.
"He does," Ginny agreed, "and his mother is actually a decent person. I think I'll probably owl her at some point to see if she would like to join Hermione, Angelina, Fleur and I for lady's night."
"As long as her husband stays away, I think that would be a wonderful idea," Harry agreed.
"He wasn't even at the station to send off his son," Ginny complained. "I hadn't expected him to improve much since our school days, but I would have thought that he would have at least had the decency to come."
Harry just shrugged.
"Well I think that Scorpius is rude," Lily said. "And Albus is a jerk for keeping him to himself. They didn't even say one word to me."
"If you expected them too, then you know Albus better than I do," Harry mused with a small smile.
Lily sat in her favorite chair by the fire as she settled in a state of nine-year-old-mini-depression and watched James and Conall talk about Quidditch. Lily wasn't all to interested in it, but she wasn't kept waiting long for something else to happen.
About ten minutes after the Potters arrived, Lily saw her father try to sneak off into his office, so Lily decided to eavesdrop like she often did. She heard the familiar whooshing sound of two people Flooing through the fireplace.
She heard what sounded like muffled introductions, but she couldn't understand what was being said.
About three seconds of silence, Lily's father stuck his head out of the door. "Come meet Teddy's boyfriend, Lily."
James Potter was getting used to surprises. The first major surprise of the year came when Albus had actually gotten his Hogwarts letter during the summer. The second came when previously mentioned younger brother got sorted into Slytherin. That one was difficult to rub off his shoulder, but he soon got used to the fact that he was related to a snake. Thirdly, he was made a Chaser for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, instead of being made Keeper like he was planning on. The fourth surprise was, of course, Albus and Scorpius being friends. Really though, he should have known Karma would have thrown that one at him. And after actually have a few short, choppy conversations with the blonde git, he was able to accept the friendship.
It was when his father called a family meeting in the kitchen when James would receive his last major surprise before New Years. He was the last to enter, and everybody was looking at Teddy, who was holding hands with another young man. Teddy then shyly introduced Akimitsu as his boyfriend.
That wasn't the surprise though. The surprise was that that was when James started to suspect himself of being similar to Teddy in a new way.