There was something about performing that made Albus’ heart soar. It was the rush of the audience, the thrill of the stage, and the hordes of people pushed against a metal barricade. He loved watching how people would sing back the songs he wrote, echoing lyrics that he poured his soul into. He loved being that sense of expression for people.
He always believed art made more sense than people, and he was glad to become that voice.
Performing with his primary school best friends was just a bonus. He had known these three boys ever since he was plopped at their table during his first year of muggle primary school. They spent a majority of their years being the slight muggle outcasts, eventually meeting again after a few years gap when Albus went to Hogwarts, or, that boarding school, he often referred to it as. The only thing that could possibly make the performance better was Scorpius.
Scorpius was, in all ways, the best of everything. Scorpius was always the one he had to focus on when he needed to perform. Scorpius was his muse for songs, his inspiration, and his morality for all things good. He wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Scorpius. He already knows that, and not even his band could convince him otherwise.
But, Scorpius was not here. He had to go back home at the beginning of the month for his own reasons. He had offered to help his father with his grandparents, helping his grandmother who was not feeling the best. While Albus could protest that Scorpius’ father could handle it, he knew there was more behind it. Scorpius was getting homesick on the road. Albus knew it. After all, he hasn’t been across the pond from his father for longer than a short vacation, let alone a tour in a smelly coach bus with three other rambunctious boys.
“One last show,” Dylan announces, as he rests his elbow on Albus’ shoulder. Even amongst his bandmates, he was still the shortest. “We finish in just a few hours, then we’ll be home for the next few months.” His smile is warm as he reminisces about his mother’s cooking. “Back home with Mum and her mash.”
“Back home to laundry and bitching mums,” the boy with messy blond hair and a devious grin adds. The dark haired boy nudges his best friend.
“Ry, like your mum ever makes you do laundry. Says the boy whose dad owns a prestigious clothing company and did whatever the fuck he wants.” He smirks at the blond. “Some of us are going to be back to being bitched at for not doing a suitable career.”
“Says the only one of us who actually finished our schooling.”
“Bah, GCSE’s aren’t the same as actual school. S’not like going to Uni.”
Albus watches the two boys go back and forth, slightly confused with their dialogue. He lost track of muggle education while away at Hogwarts, and he knows more than Scorpius, or his family does on the subject.
“And back home to hot boyfriends,” Dylan whispers, nudging Albus’ shoulder. He smiles at the boy. “One more show, then you’ll be with Scorp again. C”mon, Albie, one more show,” he says and nudges the boy’s shoulder harder.
There’s a groan from the other two boys, one of them throwing one of the oranges from the fruit bowl in the dressing room. It hits the long haired bassist in the side of the head and falls to the floor.
The last performance the band goes all out. Fireworks, pyro, every sort of special effect they could put on the stage. The drums are louder; the bass feels heavier. His best friends seem more energetic than they were just mere hours ago.
The crowd doesn’t die down until the venue starts to empty. Even after, Albus can still hear the cries and the cheers from the crowd, as girls and boys limp away from the barricades. All in all, it’s a successful run of a successful tour. The buses are loading at the back, and they’re set to spend the night on the bus before loading a plane back to England.
Albus had specifically requested his dad to create a portkey for this reason. He didn’t want to spend hours stuck in a metal plane. He wanted to travel home quickly. Frankly, he was getting sick of muggle transportation after the tour. But a poorly worded text from his father indicates that Albus will not be taking the portkey. His father had mentioned something along the lines of the holidays being the worst of times, and if Albus wanted this, he should’ve asked months ago.
Months ago, when he thought Scorpius would’ve remained here for the end of the tour, and he wasn’t sick of muggle transportation. Back when he thought Draco Malfoy would be the one to organize a portkey for his son, and Albus could latch on. But that isn’t the case, and he texts his father back on his green iphone about meeting him at the airport. He texts Scorpius, too, but he doesn’t expect the blond to answer.
Albus grunts when he feels the jerk of the bus and his head slams against the side of his bunk. They’ve arrived at the airport in the darkest hours of the morning. The only cheerful one seems to be the only one not going to the cold damp hell of their English town, which is out of norms for his personality.
Designer sunglasses are perched on the blond hair of the reckless drummer. He’s got two duffels slung over his shoulder and a rolling suitcase filled with various dirty laundry and knickknacks from tour life. “Later Laddies,” he teases, ever present smirk on his face. “Christmas hols with Mum’s side. Sunny, sunny, Australia. I’ll text you from the beach.” He blows a kiss to his friends and saunters off to another terminal.
Three of four of the remaining band members lay on the dirty floor of the airport terminal. Each only have a backpack and duffel bag, the rest checked. “Did his dad send the plane?” Albus asks, and the other boy with dark hair sits up.
“His dad doesn’t own the planes, Al. He rents them. But no, he’s suffering in first class, like the rest of us.”
Dylan reaches up to knot up his hair, then adjusts his duffel so he can use it as a pillow. “He owns a helicopter. For work, obviously. And three boats, and his mum used to model, so I expect they have a limo waiting for his family. But I don’t care if he’s spending time in Australia, I can’t wait for cocoa with Mum.”
“I’m just surprised your mum didn’t stalk the whole tour and try to play groupie. She did that for our first tour.”
“That she was against,” Dylan adds mindfully. “She had me take a self-defense class before we started. We were only going around England, and to Wales, too.”
“Your mum cares,” Albus adds. “That’s not a bad thing, Dyl. Mum only made it to one performance this whole tour. Dad didn’t come to any.”
Dylan looks at his friend, mindlessly going to tug at the knots in Albus’ long messy hair. It had gotten a great deal longer on tour, and none of the boys had made the decision to cut their hair. Even Scorpius had only decided to cut his hair because he was returning home. “I’m going to defend your mum here Albie. No mother wants to see her son prance around stage in golden undies while he gets off to his guitar. My mum nearly had a heart attack at seeing soft, quiet, Albie prance around stage in underwear. She still thinks of you as that little boy from primary that she had to lecture about the birthday cake.”
Ashton snorts. “My mum still thinks of you as that boy wearing my brothers old Nirvana shirt, and you, Dyl, as that boy with the only sensible mum.”
“I only do that now because it’s expected,” Albus retorts. He sits back against his bag and pouts. “You’re both shit; I wish Scorp was here.”
“I don’t fancy barfing before the plane, Mate. Thanks.”
“When do we leave?” Albus asks, still sulking against his bag.
Dylan looks up at the board, then frowns. “Flight is delayed. So I dunno.”
“Fuck,” Albus mumbles, and he locks his eyes down at his screen. He fumbles out a small message to Scorpius. He’s pleased when the boy actually writes back. It had been a long road to getting Scorpius comfortable with a mobile phone. The boy wasn’t the best with muggle technology. However, he eventually learned enough to send messages back and forth, and to use the video call function.
We’re going to be late. Flights delayed. Dad couldn’t get a key.
Are you still coming in on the muggle aeroplane? Dad had said that all the keys were used up this year. The key from the states is pretty difficult last minute. Dad told me it took him two weeks to get mine ready for the emergency. Do hurry up, Albie.
I’m going to try. We’re stuck in LA just me, Dyl and Ash.
Make it before Christmas?
Gods I hope so
Albus clicks off his phone and looks at his two band mates sleeping on their bags. They’ve readjusted now, so that Ashton is resting on the leg of Dylan’s skinny jean. Albus rolls over to the boys and makes a farting noise, casing the other to bolt up. There’s a snort of laughter, one that implies that the boys are still rather juvenile from time to time.
“Do you think anyone knows we’re actually in a band, or do we just look like hobos?” Dylan asks, sitting up.
“Probably,” Albus responds, eyes darting around the place. He’s been watched constantly, If not for being the son of Harry Potter, than for being in a rock band. Their band was pretty famous, on a more underground level. They’d done pretty well for their first full length tour in the states.
“I bet if Ry were here he’d ask those girls to suck his dick,” Ash says, and he starts to stand up when he notices other people in the gate area stand up.
“Ew,” Both Dylan and Albus chorus, then wrinkle their noses.
“If Scorp was here then Al would suck his dick,” Ash adds.
“But Scorp is in England,” Albus responds. He too, sits up with the majority of the people. They hear a sound ding and it appears that the plane was starting to board.
I think we’re starting to board Albus types to Scorpius.
Hurry back :)
Albus smiles down at his phone and grabs the shoulder of his bassist, going to take his designated seat in first class.
Across the pond, Scorpius is pacing back and forth. He checks his watch, then checks the board with all the times. He doesn’t know why he decided to come so early. The anticipation was killing him. He’d only been home for three weeks without Albus, but that was three weeks too many.
Scorpius had been advised by muggle travel sites and wizards who sometimes crossed over into muggle travels, that arriving early was better than late. Many had to do some kind of security check, and some sort of customs thing, that Scorpius wasn’t so sure about. He hadn’t traveled too much in the muggle world, aside from his trips with Albus.
He’s not sure three hours early was the best time to arrive, but he’d figured he’d waste time in muggle shops. He could spend all day wandering them, although he was distracted this time by the small box in his pocket.
Scorpius had known for a long while that he wanted to be the one that proposed to Albus. He had heard countless of times Albus’ anxiety that Scorpius would leave him, that he wasn’t loveable, that he was too difficult. Albus was a firm believer that no one could love him, and Scorpius knew that he had to be the one to show his boyfriend that he wasn’t unloveable. He had to be the one that made a fuss over Albus, because he knew Albus would feel hurt, thinking no one cared enough to do so. Even though he was a successful rockstar with a booming career, Scorpius still noticed that Albus often felt like he wasn’t good enough compared to his siblings. He still noticed that Albus still compared himself to his older brother, getting hurt when James would do something that made his parents proud. It didn’t matter if the something was an accomplishment that Albus couldn’t do regardless; he would still put himself down and be hurt over his brother.
The ring he found was pretty simple. It was rugged and dark, and it looked to be fit into the world of his hope to be fiancé. He had searched all of the muggle shops on tour, eventually finding the perfect one in a small store in Diagon Alley. The ring was engraved, too, with the words Pepper Imps, in silver lettering. Scorpius knew he’d understand the wording. It was how they met, after all.
He didn’t have the biggest of plans in mind. He knew he wanted to propose in the airport. He knew he wanted everyone to know that Albus was going to be his. Scorpius knew it was wrong to lie and say his grandmother was ill, but he needed the excuse to get away and plan this. He needed to get his father’s advice, and he needed the time away to plan the perfect proposal.
He knew he had to do something to show Al that if they could make it through fifth year, then they could survive anything. Scorpius needed Albus to know that he wasn’t going anywhere, unless it was beside Albus.
Scorpius listens, hearing the sounds of the busy airport. He can hear the intercom warning passengers over and over. He can hear the sounds of heels clicking and luggage rolling. He hears the dings of alerts, as plane after plane is announced. He looks at the board again, and the arrival time is only an hour and thirty minutes away now.
Airports take forever, he realizes as he’s standing in line at one of the muggle refreshment stands. He feels like he needs a coffee, even though he prefers tea. He orders the complicated beverage that is way too sweet and sips on it, nibbling on the cake pop he should’ve saved for Albus. Both treats remind him of Albus. The sweet coffee is made exactly how Albus prefers his beverages, and the cake pop is an added sweet that Albus would impulse buy, but only eat half of.
He taps the pocket of his coat, nervous that the large overcoat would somehow swallow whole the tiny box. He knows now that he only has about an hour to completely decide how he wants to go about this. All he knows is that he wants to do it here at the airport. He wants it to be something Albus will love, and something that Albus will understand.
He deposits the rest of the sugary drink in the rubbish bin and wanders around the stores again. He doesn’t have much longer, and if he were calmer, he’d be geeking out over the muggle book store. His eyes wander over the various titles of the books in the shop, falling over the largest, thickest book on the shelf.
He can hardly grab the book in one hand as he tugs it off the shelf. A smile comes to his lips as he rubs his fingers over the spine. He inhales, then taps at the box in his pocket. He thinks he might have a plan, now. One that makes more sense than whatever winging it he was told to do.
The book in hand is a new, fresh, copy of Albus’ favourite book. It’s the same book he spent all sixth and seventh year obsessing over. It’s the same bloody book that was turned into a musical that Albus has on copy the muggle way. It’s the very same musical Albus has seen over and over again, to the point he quotes it randomly. It was the same book and film he tried to convince Scorpius into dressing as for Halloween, despite nobody except Albus’ family and his aunt, understanding it.
Scorpius skims the pages of the large, thick book when he comes across the part Albus talks about frequently. He remembers how Albus wrote to him about that part, how Albus would speak to him about that part. He remembers Albus being a complete geek about the part, and declining Albus’ choice for matching costumes until he reluctantly gave in. He remembers the beam Albus wore when he waltzed around in the matching costume with Scorpius, despite little to none knowing who they were dressed as. (American Solider comes to mind the most, Scorpius remembers.)
He borrows one of the highlighting pens from the staff and agrees to pay for the book, going to highlight the words in the thick book. Then, he again borrows a pen from the same staff member. Scorpius scowls; he doesn’t like the muggle writing utensil. He prefers all the elegance that the quills have to offer. He once had to practice calligraphy at his grandmother’s, and for once, he’d like a notable reason to use that skill.
He tries his hardest, but with a shaking hand the most that comes out is semi-legible writing that looks to how Scorpius used to write his notes for when he copied notes for Albus. He decides on writing a special note inside the cover. He does his best with his small amount of resources, the clock ticking down. At fifteen till, Scorpius heads over to one last shop and buys a bag, stuffing the book inside. He then dashes to the security area Albus will eventually come out of. He smiles as his phone makes a buzzing sound.
Scorpius beams, and the most horrible waiting begins. He scans the crowd for three rambunctious boys. He wants to see them, wants to find his Albie. During his search, it’s as if every boy in the world suddenly has Albus’ haircut and a quarter of those boys with the haircut also have his glasses that usually are only slightly on his face.
There are some grumps in the crowd, although that’s a handful of people as well. But only one of those grumps coming through security has those infamous Potter bright green eyes. His heart stops, as he looks over Albus Potter.
Even with dingy torn clothes, he looks amazing. His shirt is ripped in the shoulder and in the armpits, while his jeans have the ripped holes in the knees that drives his grandmother crazy. His shoes are the black converse he hadn’t stopped wearing since he started performing, and Scorpius notices that Al isn’t wearing his facial piercings. Instead, his glasses are lazily on his face as his thick dark curls fall the length of his neck. Scorpius can see the shimmer of grease from a piece that’s remained curled outwards. But even with the grease, and the bags, Scorpius can’t help but think he’s the most beautiful man in the world.
“Scor!” The voice is so familiar, Scorpius feels his face light up. No records, or vinyls, or recordings could replace the joy of hearing Albus in person.
“Albie!” The two collide into a big hug, as Scorpius goes to grip the boy’s cheeks, pressing a large kiss to his lips. Albus welcomes this and doesn’t stop kissing him until the two boys he’s with start coughing. Scorpius takes the hint and breaks the kiss. “Oh, hi,” Scorpius says with a light tint of pink entering his cheeks. “Welcome back,” he says, and reaches to the back of his neck to tug at a piece of blond hair.
Albus steps back and looks at the little bag in the boy’s hand. “Is that for me?” Albus asks, and his eyes sparkle a little bit.
“Oh!” Scorpius looks at the two boys, eyes warning them to remain quiet. “Yes, uh, yes it is.” He grows nervous and with shaky hands, holds out the bag. Albus takes no time unwrapping the gift, pulling the book out a little confused.
“Les Miserable?” Albus says, brow furrowed. He doesn’t know what to say. After all, he owns a copy of the very book. Scorpius knows he owns a much worn and very tattered copy of said book. He also owns a worn muggle film version of the book turned musical as well as a copy of the book in French, for no reason other than Scorpius had found it in France and wanted him to have it. Albus can’t speak French very well, but he appreciates the gift regardless.
He runs his hands over the cover of the book, opening the book to the inside of the front cover. Albus looks at the book and a small smile comes to his lips as eyes scan over the less than perfect scrawl.
As a child I dreamed a dream long ago that one day when I went off to Hogwarts I’d befriend someone and have great Harry Potter style adventures with them. I once dreamed of having a friend like your father did Ron and Hermione. When we arrived on the train that year, I sat lonely in the compartment waiting for that friend to come. Rejected by your sibling and cousins, you showed up and promised me you were only staying for my sweets.
At the sorting, you wished me well on my wishes for my house, and I yours. You may have not got the house you wanted at the time, earning the dreadful nickname of the Crybaby Slytherin, but that didn’t stop me from being drawn to you. From the moment we were placed together on the train, I knew something was special about you. When you took time to introduce me to your little owl, Hooty, I knew you were far more than what the articles said.
You quickly became my best friend, Albus Severus Potter, and I yours. Even when you had your dreaded third year date with that girl who wanted your dad’s autograph, or waxed poetry about words that I couldn’t understand no matter how hard I try.
I fell in love with you the day I saw you in the hospital, fifth year. I knew then, I wanted you in my life forever. I just didn’t know how to say the words. Seeing you in tubes and gowns hurt my heart, but made me so proud of you, and your accomplishment. Hearing your mum refer to me as your exploding snap, was the best compliment I ever received from your family.
When you dated that arse in sixth year, I waited. It was like Eponine watching Cosette and Marius. I hated him, and I hated him hurting you. But you said you were in love, so I couldn’t doubt you. I didn’t know if I was in love.
When we dated; it was bliss. I was Cosette and you were Marius. We were in love, and nothing could stop us. Nothing can stop us. Not even your band traveling across the world for tours and shows. The second proudest I have been of you, is watching you at that large arena, smiling in ways that I hadn’t seen you do since early years.
You make me do crazy things, Albus Severus Potter. You make me go to muggle villages to buy guitar strings and women’s makeup. You make me watch hours and hours of muggle children’s films, then make me watch the same bloody film twenty times in one visit. (And I’m the geek??)You drag me to the West End because you need to see that bloody musical and then force me into dressing up for Halloween your favourite character and supposed couple. You make me understand all the references to this book, this book that is bigger than any textbook I’ve ever owned.
You make me love you, Albus Severus Potter. You make me love you, even when you give me reasons I shouldn’t. You make me love everything about you, even the things you hate. Like your inability to understand people, or your stupid speech quirks on the word phone. I love holding you after and during storms, love listening to your songs. I love that little lisp you get on those certain words, or how you desperately try to force me you’re wearing your glasses when they’re clearly not on your face.
I love you so much, Albus Severus Potter. How can I live when we are parted?
Albus Severus Potter, please do me the honor
Albus can feel his heart flipping. He’s not watching out for anyone else, as his shaky hands turn pages in the book. He feels paper slice through his dry hands, cold from the outdoor weather. He scrambles through the pages quicker and quicker, fingers getting sliced with pages.
When he reaches the desired page, he looks at highlighted words. It’s not the most romantic piece in the book. It’s not even a happy scene. But it’s his favourite, and the words said feel as real to him as the words in his songs.
The gesture from the character confirms all what Albus has wanted in his life. It confirms his relationship with Scorpius, his trust in someone. It confirms to him, that he may have issues, but that someone out there is willing to be with him.
Albus blinks back tears. He’s memorized the words countless of times, but rereading the passage feels as if he’s seen those words for the first time.
"Finish both of us at one blow," said he.
And turning gently to Enjolras, he said to him:
"Do you permit it?"
Enjolras pressed his hand with a smile.
He looks up from the book that had tear drops on the page. From behind the thick book, he can see a kneeling angelic blond boy on the ground as people watch.
“Albus Severus Potter,” the boy says. He’s down on one knee and both boys are shaking. “I know you promised you would only stay for the sweets. But will you do me the honor and stay for one day more?” Albus is quivering more than Scorpius in a rare bookshop. “Will you marry me?”
There’s gasps around the airport from passer byers. Scorpius doesn’t focus on them, but instead on Albus. He watches the boy pause, wiping occasionally at his eyes and removing his fogging glasses. He hopes the answer is yes. He really wants the answer to be yes. He doesn’t think Albus will say no, but the what if, still lingers.
Albus takes his time and it nearly kills Scorpius. Albus bites at his lip and tugs on his dirty hair and blinks back tears and sleep.
“Yes,” he finally whispers, in a soft voice that Scorpius is sure is just for him. “I do.”
Noticers from the surrounding areas clap, and some are filming it on a video. Scorpius doesn’t care, and he knows the good press will probably help the band. Scorpius doesn’t care once more, as he slips the ring onto Albus and kisses him, then pulls him into a hug.
His hair smells unwashed, and his shirt smells like day old sweat. He can see every bit of freckle over the bridge over his nose and notices that Albus still has smudges where his eyeliner would be.
He looks perfect.
Scorpius then takes his fiancé’s hand to take him to retrieve his baggage, along with the other two boys who were standing around watching. He notices the way Albus seems to glow right now, like he’s floating on air. They turn a corner when Albus seems to get his voice back.
“How did you?” He asks, looking around.
“Dad,” Scorpius says with a smile on his face. “We planned it. Grandmother was in on it as well. She’s not actually ill. Dad had my portkey booked over a month ago. We planned it just right. It was almost Christmas Eve, there was no way you’d be able to get a portkey.”
“I fucking hate you,” Albus says in his usually grumpy voice.
But his admiration of his ring says otherwise.
Scorpius just kisses the boy once more after they load the luggage into the vehicle Scorpius’ father had provided. The snow falls down around their feet as Scorpius smiles, using his scarf to wrap around Albus’ neck and shoulders bare from his t-shirt.
“Best Christmas Ever?” Scorpius whispers, pressing a soft kiss to Albus.
“Best Christmas Ever,” Albus confirms, as they break apart.
How could they ever top next year?