Hiding in Shadows
Scorpius hated himself for what he was about to do. God only knows his mother might kill him later for it, but he couldn’t stand it any longer.
“Scorpius! Good to see you, dear boy!” A round wizard with a bushy mustache pumped his hand up and down in an aggressive handshake.
“Always a pleasure, Professor Slughorn,” Scorpius said with a smile. He glanced back at the crowd of party-goers, all dressed in their best light-colored finery: the ladies having brought out their fanciest hats and some of the wizards giving them a run for their money. “I believe Professor Sinistra is looking for you.”
“She is?” Slughorn blurted out a little too eagerly. Scorpius gave him an amused look and the older man harrumphed at Scorpius. “I mean, of course she is. Lots of planning for the start of the school year.”
“Of course.” Scorpius gave his former professor a short bow and Slughorn hurried off, his short legs taking his heavy form off into the crowd, far faster than Scorpius had given him credit for.
He muttered a small charm to make himself unnoticeable. Another stop would really annoy him.
He slipped through the small groups of people congregating on the outskirts of the garden party and into the woods. He breathed easier as he realized he had made it.
He wandered around the familiar path he had trod so many times before, flicking his wand at branches as he passed under them causing pine needles and other debris to rain down, covering up any trace of his passing.
Gods, WHY did she have to come with him?
They weren’t really broken up. Just cooling off after a fight.
At least, that was how he has seen it until a half hour ago.
Now she was draped on the arm of that huge, muscly, git.
I bet he’s a squib. Scorpius thought darkly, trying to push away the guilt that came from thinking something that petty and mean.
I bet he’s got a tiny--
“I see I’m not the only one that’s had enough of that.”
Scorpius froze at the sound of his father’s voice.
He hadn’t even noticed him, sitting on the flat rock at the side of the burbling brook, but there he was: robes pulled up and feet in the water.
“I guess so,” Scorpius grumbled as he approached his father.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Draco asked as his son sat near him and peeled off his shoes and socks.
“Do you?” Scorpius asked sharply.
“Fair enough,” Draco said, holding his hands up.
Scorpius dipped his toes into the cold water and winced. Then he gritted his teeth and plunged them into the water, trying anything to cool himself down. “She brought some great lump with her.”
“I saw that,” Draco remarked as he watched Scorpius pull faces at the cold water washing over his pale feet. “Do you know who he is?”
“No, and I don’t care,” Scorpius said, folding his arms over his chest.
“Well, that’s a shame, considering I do,” Draco said, a smile playing around his mouth.
“You do?!” Scorpius blurted out.
“I thought you weren’t interested.” Draco teased his son.
“Who is he?” Scorpius demanded.
“Well, you know Rose is a third cousin to Lydian Bagshot in Ravenclaw.”
“Everyone knows that,” Draco made a face.
“And that Lydian’s the only magic user in the whole lot, it’s been so watered down?” Draco prompted his son.
“He’s one of Lydian’s brothers?” Scorpius asked, immediately cheered.
“The eldest.” Draco nodded. “The one that plays for that Muggle rugby team.”
Scorpius felt immediately guilty for hoping the mystery man was a squib. “Oh.” He thought for a moment. “Third cousins aren’t very closely related.”
“Seems like a nice guy,” Draco said airily. “His husband is escorting Lily Potter.”
“Really?!” Scorpius practically leapt to his feet, splashing his father with the water from the brook.
“She really has you played, doesn’t she?” Draco laughed.
“What do you mean?” Scorpius asked defensively.
“Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.” Draco shook his head.
“I saw mom with her new boyfriend,” Scorpius said awkwardly.
“Me too,” said Draco, grumpily.
“Erm… you know, there is a way to get to her.”
“How’s that?” Draco looked at his son with an amused expression.
“Well, it’s not an inappropriate charm if you don’t get carried away...”
“Out with it, you little snake,” Draco raised his eyebrows and chuckled at Scorpius.
“Transfigure a date.”
“What?!” Draco’s jaw dropped. “That’s illegal on so many levels—“
“I told you, just don’t get carried away,” Scorpius said grumpily. “Just transfigure a goose, say she only speaks ancient Icelandic, give her a few turns and send her on her way. People have been popping in and out all day. No one would think anything of it.”
“Then what if the goose takes to following me around?” Draco demanded. “Then what?”
“Well…” Scorpius said hesitantly. “Cook is considering goose for dinner…”
“Stick to your own girl.” Draco ordered his son, trying not to laugh. “And leave the geese alone.”
“Yes, sir,” Scorpius said, rolling his eyes.
“Now you get back.” Draco shooed him. “I’ll catch up in a minute.”
“See you there!” Scorpius called out as he tried to trot off and slip his shoes on at the same time.
“Want to make her really mad, start talking about the rose garden. Steal her date.”
Scorpius laughed. “You’re evil.”
“After your suggestion about the geese, I don’t think so!” Draco chided.
“Promise you’ll be coming back, too!” Scorpius demanded, reminding Draco of when his son was young and demanding his father stop working and play trains for a few moments.
“I will.” Draco said, his face softening. They really did grow up altogether too fast. “Promise.”