javiiaevelyn: (slytherin gryffindor)
[personal profile] javiiaevelyn
Title: Genetic Predisposition
Summary: AlbusScorpius100 prompt #3: "Independence".  Harry-centric.  Albus leaves home.  It's a year before Harry sees him again.
Notes: Nextgen what?
Word Count: 1,102

.:oxOXOxo:.

Harry looked around his youngest son's bedroom.  Albus has carried through with his threat, against every one of his expectations.

And now he was alone in the house.

Harry closed the door behind him.  He sat in Lily's room instead, James' door open.  They weren't here, but they would be come Easter.  And their clutter helped banish the image of the stripped mattress and bare walls that Albus used to inhabit.

He always good at pretending.

.:oxOXOxo:.

By the time Harry made it downstairs the green rush of the Floo had subsided and the man it had deposited in his house was tapping his foot impatiently.

Harry slumped against the doorway, rubbed his hand across his face.  His gut rolled, disappointment twisting his insides into knots.  Draco Malfoy blinked at him.  His voice was soft when he spoke.

"Scorpius has sent me with a list of books to collect."

Harry nodded, well beyond even tears.  He had to try three times to speak.

"They- should be packed.  The crate on the floor."  He didn't move, hand over his eyes.  Malfoy was sorting through the box, cross referencing against a list Harry knew he had.  He heard the parchment be folded into robes, felt Malfoy pass him, saw a flash of light through his eyelids.

Malfoy was still in the room.  Harry could feel the question, the hand hovering by the other man's side as neither of them moved.  Another flash carried the man away, Harry pressed his hand harder into his eyes.

The cup of tea sitting on the table surprised Harry.  It was just how he liked it.  And he cradled it until well after it went cold, until dawn crept into the room, until it was time to get changed for work.

.:oxOXOxo:.

He should have expected to run into Scorpius first, really.  Diagon alley.  Too early in the summer for school shopping.  The offer for a drink was weighing the air between them before he'd said hello.  Scorpius was probably more surprised when he accepted.

The inane chatter petered out before they reached the pub.  The discussion about seating and drinks lasted another half minute, and the service was far too quick to buy him more time.  Harry refused to let Scorpius pay - he'd made the offer, Scorpius refused, Harry shoved the money back at him.

They were silent again.

They made their escape as soon as both tankards were drained.  It happened again a week later.

.:oxOXOxo:.

Picture-Lily was ten.  She had a missing tooth, stained blue dress and a bright pink icecream.  Lily turns it over whenever she visits his work, and for his last three birthdays he's received current picture of his daughter in beautifully ornate frames.  He cherishes them so much they're in his bedroom.

Picture-James was four, picture-Teddy eleven and about to leave for Hogwarts.  James is bawling, and Teddy's hair is waist length and changing colour rapidly.  He's trying to calm his god-brother, but he can't stop smiling and waving his wand.  He's wearing his robes already, so excited for school.

Pictures-Hugo, Rose, Hermione and Ron were a family of elves for Hallowe'en.  This was the year Teddy graduated and James started, so they celebrated in October.

The lump under the covers is in a constant cycle of shift, shift, shift, hand knock over alarm clock, enter picture-Teddy, hand grabbed, picture-James dumped on floor.  The photo is shaking because Lily was laughing so much she couldn't hold the camera still.  Harry was woken that morning convinced his children were dying horrible, painful deaths.  He later thought it would be kinder if they had.

They were fifteen, sun-drenched and sun-burned.  Picture-Albus was lying on the brown grass, eyes closed, smile playing kiss-chasey with his mouth.  Picture-Scorpius could not drag his eyes away.  His eyes were wide, mouth slightly open.  His hand was twitching at his side.  Harry could remember the desire to touch and the terror of actually doing so.

Picture-Albus' nose was peeling, and the awe in every fibre of picture-Scorpius was beautiful.

.:oxOXOxo:.

"How is he?"

Harry froze.  Scorpius didn't.

"Fine.  Living with his boyfriend.  We're convincing him to go back to school next year."  The boy swallowed, never taking his eyes off Harry.  Harry also drank.

"Good.  NEWTs are important."

It wasn't for another fortnight that he asked how Scorpius was.

.:oxOXOxo:.

The time was the same, his pyjamas were the same, the way he stumbled into the living room was the same.  It wasn't Draco Malfoy.

In all the times he'd imagined being reunited with his son, he'd somehow forgotten to imagine them both frozen, had failed to think Albus would reach for the Floo powder, hadn't thought he'd watch his son walk out of his life again.

Draco Malfoy entered as tears were flowing down his face.  The blond held him, pressed a scrap of fabric into his hand.

"I only know that he's staying at the Leaky.  I also know he hasn't stayed there since he was eight."

Malfoy left.  Harry stared at the handkerchief in his hand.  He threw it in the fire.  Then he went upstairs.

Albus' door was open.  Harry looked at the bare walls, the lonely bed frame, the unnatural sterility.  He was throwing Floo powder in the fireplace downstairs without any conscious decision.

He never thought important decisions through.

.:oxOXOxo:.

There was a poster on the wall, brown covers on the bed, pottery from Egypt.  There was a cracked tea cup, a photo of the Potter-Weasley clan, another one of the Malfoys.  Teddy's wand was on the side table.  The half unpacked boxes broke his heart.

Albus walked in behind him.  They stood side by side, staring at the rented room.  Albus told him about living without family because Albus didn't want them to see their rented loft.  He told Harry about working two jobs, about sneaking out of Hogwarts to work shifts at a muggle bookstore because they could barely afford the rent, let alone food.  About the co-worker who had fallen for Albus' boyfriend as soon as she saw him, about James and Albus' deteriorating relationship and about the explosive argument with Scorpius that had Teddy sending daily owls to both.  Harry heard about how, when Albus was suddenly single, he realised he'd pushed everyone away.  Harry heard Albus' reaction to Lily's intervention, that Scorpius had told Rose who'd told Lily who'd told Hugo who couldn't keep his mouth shut. Scorpius was "in" love with Albus, and Harry's boy was crying, and insisting he'd wasted a year of his life, and Harry was holding him and could not be prouder.

Albus was always good at thriving.
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Javiia Faey Evelyn

August 2011

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