Author's Note: This is my first story - I've taken almost 3 years to gather courage and publish it online. Please read and review!

Forging Friendship

Al was afraid.

He had never been courageous and adventurous like his elder brother James. He had always been in his brother's shadows, being the quiet and shy person that he was. But maybe- maybe there was an ember of his family's bravery in him- enough to get him sorted into Gryffindor.

Brushing aside his thoughts about Sorting, he moved along the corridors along with Rose to find a place to sit. Rose definitely didn't have any qualms about her Sorting, because she was excitedly jabbering about all the spells she had already learnt.

Bemused, Al shook his head and moved along. Rose seemed uncannily similar to his Aunt Hermione in this aspect.

It seemed that none of the compartments were empty, save one. But it wasn't completely empty – Scorpius Malfoy was sitting all alone, staring out of the window wistfully.

Al and Rose looked at each other, then opened the compartment door.

"Do you mind if we sit here? Everywhere else is full." Rose asked.

"No, not at all!" Scorpius seemed glad to have found company in what he had expected to be a lonely train journey.

Despite all their misgivings against the Malfoys, Al was willing to give a chance to the poor boy sitting opposite him. He had been subjected to enough prejudices because of his family; he knew what it felt like to be on the receiving end.

"I'm Albus, but you can call me Al." Albus extended his hand for Scorpius to shake.

"Yes, of course I know you! I've heard a lot about you all!" Scorpius exclaimed, then turned pink. "I mean, our parents know each other, so I know about you… Um, I'm Scorpius." He shook Albus's hand.

"I'm Rose." Rose spoke in a detached manner. She was no doubt suspicious about the Malfoys, with Ron as her father.

"I'm really glad to meet you both. I was half expecting you to shun me as the others have… I guess my name itself acts as a deterrent to anyone who wants to speak to me." Scorpius sounded dejected.

"Yeah… I mean, no." Albus corrected himself, while Scorpius and Rose both raised their eyebrows.

Wincing, Al tried again. "I mean, I don't think many know you to immediately shun you."

"Thanks." Scorpius gave a half-smile. "It means a lot to me to hear someone say that."

By this time, Rose seemed to have warmed up enough towards Scorpius. Both Al and Rose smiled back at him.

Soon, the Trolley Witch appeared in the corridor outside their compartment, pushing along her trolley of goodies.

"Anything off the trolley, dears?"

Al and Scorpius immediately got out of their seats in their haste to buy, making Rose chuckle.

They bought heaps of everything from the trolley, paying the Trolley Witch fifteen Sickles.

"Honestly, how much can you eat, Al? Anyone seeing you would think you've never eaten before in your life." Rose sniffed disapprovingly.

"Growing boys need this nutrition," Scorpius mumbled with his mouth filled with Pumpkin Pasties.

Rose glared at him, then at Al, who was stuffing a Chocolate Frog and was vigorously nodding at Scorpius's statement. "At least would you mind not making a spectacle of it, then? It's disgusting to watch." Rose said, making a face.

She picked a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans and cautiously picked one from it. "Please let it be something good…" she hoped, popping it into her mouth. "Oh, it's blueberry!" She happily informed them.

Al and Scorpius looked at each other, and then both dug into the box. Al had a cream-colored one, while Scorpius held a slightly purple colored one.

"Ready?" asked Scorpius. "Let's do it," said Al and both put their beans inside their mouth.

"Yuck!" Al seemed to have drawn a soap-flavored bean, while Rose and Scorpius laughed.

"Mine's grapefruit." Scorpius informed Al, who was still disgruntled.

"You just wait, I'll get a better one…" declared Al grumpily.

The rest of their ride was filled with chatter and amusement. In what seemed like just a few minutes, a loud voice rang out through the train, informing that they would be reaching Hogwarts in 5 minutes. They hadn't even realized how the time had passed; they'd all been too engrossed in talking and laughing.

All three realized something. Scorpius realized that family names didn't matter – what mattered was the bond that you could create with people. Rose realized that prejudices against people wouldn't help her, and resolved to be more open to others. As for Al? Well… he had already decided that he, Scorpius and Rose would be the Harry, Ron and Hermione in their next seven years of school together and would embark upon several adventures together.