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Chapter 14: Love rule #13.2
We danced to old Muggle songs until no amount of massaging could sooth my sore feet. Callie’s snobbing of Albus was the only low point of the night – they remained at an almost friendly distance for the rest of it. I was proud of her - a stubborn Callie wasn't always a civil thing to be around.
After making official rounds with Higgins and Scorpius, I spent the night drinking and chatting to my parents, dancing with my friends and spending precious time with the girls. Scorpius was never far away, and we had a second and then a third dance together.
Every time his hands came into contact with me, I felt as if my body was on fire.
The ball wrapped up in the early hours of the morning, some of the wait staff fast asleep in chairs. The others grabbed some butterbeers and and we left the great hall – but only after Scorpius and I checked that it was okay for us to be excused. It would have been awkward if we were meant to do a closing speech at 3am but were nowhere to be found.
“Astronomy tower?” someone suggested, and the idea was eagerly taken up. We not-very-silently crept through the castle which, in retrospect, was completely pointless. All of the professors were down at the ball, probably as tipsy as Albus and Fred were. I didn't want to know where they found the alcohol.
A very drunk Albus tripped over a sneaky coat of arms, taking Scorpius down with him, and Fred fell to the ground laughing. We girls rolled our eyes and stepped over them loftily, continuing up to the tower.
They still hadn’t shown up a few moments later, so we shrugged, cast a warming spell against the freezing air and seated ourselves under a conjured blanket. I was wedged between my two best friends under a beautifully clear, starry sky, and I didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.
“Cheers,” Callie said, clinking her butterbeer against mine and Sophie's.
“There you are! The belles of the ball! The beauties of Hogwarts! Nay, the beauties of the world!” Albus suddenly appeared, pausing dramatically at the doorway and throwing his arms out. The effect was ruined when he burped loudly and fell at Callie’s feet, promptly beginning to snore.
“And he wonders why I don’t want to date him again,” she muttered with a giggle, but I could tell her heart wasn’t in it. Scorpius stepped over him with a pretend haughty look and wedged himself between me and Sophie. She shoved at him good naturedly but moved over, giving me a pointed look. I ignored her, shivering at being so close to him again.
Surely this many heart-stopping and butterfly-inducing moments aren’t good for my nervous system? I felt his hot gaze on me again and shivered, taking a large gulp of my drink.
“Cold, Rosie?” he asked, and I almost swooned at his use of my nickname. Without waiting for an answer, he reached out and pulled me into his side. Sophie sighed her dreamer’s sigh, and I allowed myself a smile through my nervousness. My head was spinning – too much Scorpius, too much fun and not enough food.
“I’m going to go and find Fred,” Sophie murmured, standing up. “If I don’t come back, thank you for one of the best nights of my life.”
“Goodnight, hun,” Callie murmured, and I caught her staring at Albus’ prone form.
“Night, Soph. Love you,” I said, and she touched my cheek as she walked past.
“Love you too, tiny Rosie.”
I watched as Callie prodded Albus with her foot. He grunted at her. She giggled softly, and continued to poke him in between sips of the her drink.
I was far too aware of Scorpius’ arm wrapped around my back, and his hand on my arm. His chest rose and fell against my side, and I felt every movement.
I took a fortifying gulp of butterbeer and my head span without stopping.
“Maybe you should take him to bed,” Scorp’s deep voice interrupted my musings, and I jumped slightly. He chuckled against my ear, and I melted. Callie glanced up, and understanding dawned on her face.
Understanding of what? I wondered.
“Yeah, good idea Scorpy. Oi, lump, get up!” she said, rising gracefully to her feet and poking Al with her wand this time. She left a smoking hole in the back of his dinner jacket, and made a face.
“Oops. Guess I should levicorpus him, hey.” She did so, and Al drifted out the door with barely an aware murmur. Callie waved goodbye.
“Night, kids. Be good,” she called as she let Albus’ head bumped against the door frame, and then they were gone too. There was silence, and I felt awkward.
Was he just cold? Did he want to be touching me? What should I say?
Before I could say something that would undoubtedly be stupid and make one or both of us jump off the tower, Scorpius saved us.
“I had a really good night tonight. Despite tear-inducing ministry people talking about their wives and children,” he said, and I nodded, unaccountably nervous. He seemed to notice. “You okay, Rose?”
“Yeah, just tired and cold. Probably haven't been sleeping enough lately,” I whispered. The night beyond the tower was still. Clouds were starting to cover the moon and stars, and I was sure it was going to snow again soon.
“Want to go to bed?”
I wanted this night to last forever. Who knew when the next time would be, that I could snuggle up to Scorpius Malfoy and pretend I was ‘cold’? I glanced at him and saw that his eyes were already on me. I raised an eyebrow, and he mirrored my action. I giggled and he pulled me closer.
“It’s cold,” he muttered somewhat sheepishly in explanation, and I nodded. His hard muscled body shifted suddenly underneath me, and I found myself ensconced completely in his arms, my back nestled up against his chest.
“Is this okay?” he purred in my ear, and I held my breath, lest I scatter into pieces. I nodded the affirmative, and slowly relaxed my body against his. His arms were wrapped around my belly, and I was relieved that I didn’t touch the dinner table tonight - he would probably feel all of my fat if I did. It was bad enough as it was, though.
“I’m so glad Loretta O’Walsh didn't get you kicked out of your Head Girl position,” he said, breath tickling my ear.
“Why?" I asked, dizzy. Merlin, how did he make my head spin so much?
“Because then we wouldn't have become friends.”
My heart sank at the ‘friends’ part, but I was grateful that we at least had this night together. Even if he didn’t know what was currently going through my mind.
“I’m glad too,” I whispered, suddenly sad. Should I tell him I fancied him? Would it ruin everything?
We fell silent, and I watched as clouds unveiled the moon and a few stars again. It was beautiful. I think I must have fallen asleep, because I suddenly jolted back to consciousness.
My hair had fallen out of its elaborate up-do and was tickling my cheek; probably it was what woke me up. Scorpius still had his arms around me, but not as tight. His head had dropped onto my shoulder, and with a start I realised his lips were against my neck. I shivered as a delightful feeling coursed through me, wishing that I could just tell him how much I wanted him.
“Scorpius?” I whispered, and he sighed, warm air blowing against my neck, “Are you awake?”
He took a deep breath and straightened up with a yawn. “Sorry Rose, I’m just so tired.”
“Don’t worry, I fell asleep too.” My head was well and truly was spinning with exhaustion.
“Did you want something?” he asked, voice husky with exhaustion.
“Yes, I- I want-“
“You want?” he prompted, and I pulled myself reluctantly from his arms.
I WANT YOU!
“I want to go to bed,” I whispered, clambering shakily to my feet and looking at the ground.
“Oh, okay. Let’s go, then,” he said, sounding disappointed. I was freezing without his body heat, and he slipped his jacket off and put it around my shoulders. I smiled tiredly up at him, and he gazed down at me. He reached out and brushed some hair out of my eyes, and I sighed at his attention and touch.
He smiled and seemed to shake his head. “Come on, let’s go.”
He grasped my hand and pulled me into the thankfully-warm corridor, and we made our way silently through the castle. I stumbled continuously on the hem of my long gown. I yawned and again stumbled on my dress. With a growl of frustration, his arms came around me without warning and he threw me over his shoulders.
“Really?” I sighed, “I’m staring at your butt.”
“And I’m almost touching yours. Shush.”
So I did. Shush, that is. His pace was almost soothing, and I was half asleep by the time we got to the head’s dorm. And he had a great arse, by the way. Really great, one of the best.
“Wake up, Rose.”
“No,” I sighed, “Take me to bed.”
A strange, guttural sound came from his throat, and I blushed at how my words had sounded.
“If only,” I thought I heard him whisper, and he trudged up the stairs and kicked my door open. Walking to my bed and sliding me to my feet against it, he gazed at me again. My body was on fire where it had been pressed against him, and I didn’t want to let him go just yet. Suddenly feeling bold, I yawned and held my arms up in the air. He stared at me until he realised what I meant.
He sighed and slowly removed his jacket. I turned around and he unzipped my dress with trembling fingers.
“My pj’s are in the second draw down,” I yawned, drowsily leaning against my bed and fighting my heavy eyelids. Everything felt heavy. I was vaguely thankful for the fog of tiredness and that I was wearing pretty undies as I slipped my dress off and waited for my jammies.
“Here you go,” he said in a strained voice, putting them on the bed beside me. I looked at him, and he didn’t meet my eyes. “Rose, put some clothes on. Please.”
“Why? You saw me in my bikini at the beach, this is the same thing.” I yawned again, and shivered as he reached out and touched my hip.
“Just - because.”
I reached out a hand and cupped his cheek. He leaned into me and the world slowed down. His eyes were on my lips, his chest against my bare stomach, and I felt faint.
“Scorpius,” I whispered, and his eyes widened. He let go of me and stepped back, running his hands through his hair and turning away.
“Please put the fluffy turtle pyjamas on, Rose. I’m begging you.”
“Why?” I asked, sounding like a petulant child. I shivered as my skin lost warmth in my cold room, but I was too tired to even lift my weak arms. I was too tired to even climb into bed. With another huge, jaw-cracking yawn, I slid down the side of my bed and sat on my thankfully carpeted floor. He turned at my movement, and sighed.
“Come on Rose, you need to go to sleep.”
“Help me, then,” I muttered, crossing my arms over my fat stomach and frowning at him. He reached down and pulled me up, and I was thankful that my brain was still too foggy to ponder the implications of having Scorpius in my bedroom while I was wearing nothing but my ‘intimates’, as Nanna Molly put it. He said nothing, but resigned himself at last to the fact that I wasn’t going to bed unless he physically put me in it.
“Up,” he commanded, and I lifted my arms slowly. Lucky I shaved, I thought, and couldn’t help but giggle as he pulled my jammie top down over my breasts and tummy. Scorpius raised an eyebrow and relented at last, laughing slightly.
“This is ridiculous. Leg.”
I lifted my leg and he slipped my foot into my flannel pyjamas.
“Leg,” and the same with my other foot. I was finally ensconced in my warm, comforting pyjamas, and I smiled at him.
“Was that so hard?” I asked, and he groaned.
“You have no idea.”
I giggled and put my arms around his waist, burying my face in his chest. The butterflies were going mad, and I sighed. He squeezed me briefly and then heaved me away and up onto my bed. I climbed under the covers but didn't pull them up.
"What?" he questioned, seeing me look at him. I tugged on his hand and he took a deep breath. "Are you sure?"
I nodded and pretended not to watch as he unbuttoned his shirt and threw it over my chair. I gazed at his sculptured body in the dim candlelight, and shivered in delight.
He was gorgeous. Broad shouldered, defined muscles, long limbs. I felt dazed as he slipped off his shoes and pants.
“I can’t believe I’m doing this. Al will kill me,” he muttered. I felt the bed shift as he climbed in.
“Thank you,” I said, and I felt him settle down under the covers. I rolled over so I was facing him, and met his eyes. He reached out and brushed his thumb down my cheek. I smiled and closed my eyes.
“You’re beautiful, Rose. Inside and out,” he whispered, but I was already asleep.
I don't think he slept a wink all night.