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Chapter 2: Adaptability
"So," Albus started, with a face full of laughter, "You two really can't be more than three feet away from each other?"
"No Albus," Rose began in hostile sarcastic tone as she rested her arms on her knees. "We're joking."
Albus raised his long arms up in innocence, a common gesture with him these days. "Just checking."
Rose tossed her long straightened hair over her shoulder as she leaned back on her common room wall. Scorpius was across from her leaning against the coffee table. She may have been the one who was outspokenly furious about this whole thing, but it was Scorpius who would pay the bigger consequences. It was him after all that had a late night date tonight, and three more lined up for this week. How was he supposed to do that when Rose Weasley was constantly around?
The only person in the Head common room who thought the situation was the slightest bit funny was Albus. He had come looking for Scorpius and was shocked to find him and Rose sitting in the same room together, alone, in a heated silence. Scorpius was sporting a bruise on his left cheekbone, which looked the perfect sized for Rose's small little fist. Even if it didn't, Albus knew that no one else would resort to punching Malfoy when they had a perfectly working wand in their possession. Only Rose would let him get her riled up enough to forget her biggest advantage.
"So how long is this punishment going to last?"
"Three weeks." Rose replied bitterly, her scowl deepening.
Albus dropped down on the arm chair that stood in between them. "How are you guys going to…shower and where you are you going to sleep?"
Finally losing her patience, Rose let out a large breath, and narrowed her eyes at Albus. "I don't know Albus! I don't know what he's going to do about Quidditch practices! I don't know what we are going to do about classes! I don't know what we are going to do about the bathroom situation! I don't know! I don't know! I don't know! Okay?"
"Clearly," Albus said cautiously, "I'm not helping. So I'll see you both tomorrow. If you need anything…Yeah."
Then Albus stood up, flicking his messy black hair out of his pale face and walking out before Rose could kill him. Rose let out a groan and slid farther down the wall in aggravation. Always the point man, Scorpius brought his hands together and tried to be logical.
"Okay why don't we come up with a system?" He suggested.
Rose's eyes narrowed. "A system?"
"Yes. A system."
"Well by all means elaborate on this magnificent system you have planned out." Rose snapped.
Scorpius let out a heavy sigh. "Look I know you're in a right state, and I know you think it's my fault-"
"It is your fault!"
"I know you think it's my fault," Scorpius repeated as if she had never spoken, but why don't we just try and be civil to get through this?"
Rose scoffed. "I was never the one that had the problem doing that."
"My face feels differently." Scorpius pointed out.
"You slapped me in the face with five books for no-good-reason. Anything I did to you after that point was well deserved."
Scorpius ignored that and went on. "So you agree to be civil?"
"Once again," She huffed, "It's always you that starts it."
"If you truly believe that," He said every word filled with pompousness. "Then you should have no problem agreeing to it."
"Fine, I'll try to be civil." Rose pushed herself up to a sitting position. "Where are we going to sleep?"
Scorpius turned and eyed the two staircases nervously. "We could bring our beds down here, but three feet is just the size of one of those beds…."
"Are you saying…" She gulped down the disgust in her voice. "That we have to sleep in the same bed?"
"I'm saying I don't know what else we could do."
Rose bit her lip in thought. There had to be another solution, there was no way in hell she was sharing a bed with Scorpius Malfoy. "What about sleeping bags?"
"We'd each have our own and then that way we'd have our own space."
Scorpius nodded, but then his face tensed as he looked extremely uncomfortable. "I still don't know how the bathroom situation is going to work…"
"Why don't we hit that bridge when we get there? I'm more worried about how the hell we are going to spend the whole day together without killing each other." Rose admitted freely, her dislike for him as blunt as it had ever been.
"Well," Scorpius checked his thick gold watch that was undoubtedly a Malfoy family heirloom. "Dinner's in ten minutes."
Rose pushed herself to her feet and gave him an apprehensive look. "I guess we better go."
There had always been tension between Rose and Scorpius, this kind of toxic electric currency running between them. Rose did her best to run from it, while Scorpius seemed to learn to take it head on. Right now though, they both wished they'd just stayed away from the library that day. At full height Rose noticed that Scorpius was one of the few men that still towered over her, and that thought alone added to her building her irritation. Scorpius frowned and walked to the portrait hole, reluctantly waiting for her to follow.
"This is going to be hell." Rose muttered under her breath with a small laugh.
Scorpius nodded, "That sounds about right."
Walking through the empty corridor, Rose crossed her arms around herself as the chill of the April spring weather seeped through her thin uniform fabric.
As they walked Scorpius began to grow more and more uncomfortable. Sure he licked the terrorize Rose from time to time, but he didn't actually want to spend time with her. To be honest though he liked her fire, he found that she hardly ever used it. From what he often saw of Rose she spent most of her time reading, sleeping or eating. Rose hadn't dated anyone since last year. Scorpius had never seen her sneak out even once or step a toe out of line. It was actually quite boring considering she was a seventeen year old girl with the world at her feet and she chose to live a safe little life. As he watched her fiery hair bounce in her wake, he couldn't help, but feel she was wasting her life. But as he had to now spend the next three weeks with her in purgatory he said nothing.
Rose walked through the sea of people and didn't notice or care that she wasn't sticking with Scorpius. She knew what would happen if she didn't stay close to him, but some how the idea still hadn't become permanent in her mind. It was like she was trying so hard to repress this fact that her mind had acted like it didn't exist at all. But as soon as she went farther away from him then three feet, her body sling shot back towards him, sending two people flying and violently crushing Rose's body onto Scorpius.
"Ugh." Rose groaned.
"This time," Scorpius scowled rubbing where she had elbowed him in the stomach. "It was your fault."
"Oh sod off."
Rising to their feet, they watched each other more carefully to make sure they didn't lose each other again. Once they walked through the Great Hall, they both paused as they reached an impasse.
"I'll make you a deal." Scorpius began in a compromising voice Rose had often heard him use with misbehaving students. "We sit Gryffindor for dinner and Slytherin in the morning."
Rose never wanted to sit at the Slytherin table, but she thought that it would be outright rude for her to refuse. So she sighed. "Fine."
They both moved through the hall and extremely reluctantly sat next to each other at the Gryffindor table across from Charlie, Albus and Blake Wood. As Rose and Scorpius started to fill their plates with food the threesome shared looks. Blake spoke first, her long pale face the picture of confused.
"I'm sorry, are you two doing some kind of friend outreach program?"
"If so," Charlie interjected, her tan skin, making Blake look almost ghostly. "Malfoy, Albus is more than willing to put in some more friend time in, and Rose, you have us. So you really don't even have a good excuse."
Rose snorted at her friends. "Higgins put a spell on us so we can't be further than three feet away from each other."
"As much as I want to hear this, I'm going to be late for Quidditch," Blake said, and then rolled her eyes when Albus gave her a dirty look. "I mean, we are."
Albus rose from his chair, "I'll fill you in Wood."
Charlie snickered darkly, "Great choice of words."
"You have a filthy mind!" Albus called teasingly over his shoulder.
"He has no idea…" Charlie trailed off suggestively.
"Charlie!" Rose laughed throwing a loaf of bread at her. "That's my cousin."
She shrugged her button nose scrunching up unconcerned. "He's not my cousin…Speaking of cousin's, here comes buzz kill."
Scorpius turned to see not the youngest, but definitely the smallest Weasley, rise from the Ravenclaw table and head towards them. Softly, he heard Rose let out a small breath and it amused him that she didn't want to face the daughter of Percy Weasley. Her father had to be the least intimidating person Scorpius Malfoy had ever seen, but as she came closer Scorpius realized that wasn't something he passed onto his daughter.
Having come accustomed to her less than favorite cousin, Rose let go of any resentment she did have to deal with Lucy. If Lucy saw a shred of annoyance from Rose she would instantly feed on it and report it to her. Rose wasn't going to have her entire family get into a fight with the Headmaster because she was stupid enough to fight with Malfoy. So she begrudgedly let go of her anger, and became calm enough to deal with Lucy.
"Rose, Albus has been spreading a horrid rumor that-" Lucy informed Rose flatly.
Rose held up a hand to stop her. "It's true.
"Rosie," Lucy started in her most noble tone, as she fixed her most sensible headband and sat on the other side of Rose. "You can't be serious."
"I'm afraid I am."
Lucy's jaw dropped, "Well...this can't be legal!"
"It's probably not," Rose admitted, "But there's nothing I really can do about it."
"I can go to my father," Lucy declared. "The undersecretary to the minister wouldn't allow you to be forced to be stuck with the likes of-"
"It's fine Luce." Rose cut her off sharply, before she said something too rude to take back.
"Because you know Rose," Charlie started in an extremely dry tone as she pretended to whisper. "If you give in and become friends with him…the death eater's win."
Rose busted out laughing at the mock serious look on Charlie's face, but Scorpius wasn't so amused. "I'm sitting right here, Weasley."
"Yes," Lucy scowled; her large hazel eyes narrowing much like a hawk would eyes a weaker hawk. "I can see that Malfoy."
"Luce, lighten, up." Rose rolled her eyes. "I don't like this situation, trust me, but Higgins was really serious about it. I think he thinks if other houses see us getting along then maybe we will all get along."
"And then," Charlie began with an animated expression, "We will all join hands, and form a peace circle filled with love and happiness. What do you say Luce? You think you're game to lead it? I know how much you love being the top dog."
Lucy gave Charlie a dark look. "As much as I enjoy this conversation, I have to be going."
"Library?" Charlie asked.
"Yes, if you must know. Rose I will see if I can find anything that will help you." Lucy, despite being just over five feet tall gave Scorpius a rather threatening look. "You touch my cousin and I will hurt you."
"Fat chance Weasley." Scorpius replied vaguely.
Once Lucy had strutted away, looking remarkably like her dear father, Charlie turned to Malfoy. "What are you going to do now Malfoy? Your plot to impregnate Rose and take over the world has been thwarted! How could you live with a threat of that size hanging over you're blonde head?"
Rose looked at her best friend and couldn't help, but laugh at her. "You really are enjoying this aren't you?"
Charlie beamed at her as she stood up to leave. "Are you kidding me? This is like the spirit of Christmas with repercussions of Halloween. It's pure magic!"
"What does that even mean?" Scorpius snorted as he watched Charlie leave.
Rose shook her head. "I don't even know."
Rose took a bite of her food and took even breaths until it didn't bother her in the slightest that Scorpius Malfoy, the boy she had taken great pains in the past few years to avoid was sitting right next to her. There were loud discussions about their situation across the hall, but neither of them contributed anything to them. They were both focusing not on the food they were eating, but on where they'd be sleeping. Sure they'd already agreed to sleeping bags, but it still was a very uncomfortable situation. Even when their elbows or legs would graze each other they would jump apart as if they'd been electrocuted.
When the time came to go back to their dorm, they both tensed up and walked back as slowly as humanly possible. Truth be told although they had both slept with other people, they'd never literally done so and even in this technical capacity it still felt like it counted. Scorpius walked in first and paused making Rose almost walk into him.
"Do you need to change? Because I do." He stated.
Rose groaned, "Yeah...Come on."
"I thought boys weren't allowed up these stairs." Scorpius marveled as he followed her up her staircase.
"You're thinking of the house common rooms. Ours are different because we're of age and supposed to be able to get in touch with each other if need be."
"Is that how you've come to know that," He paused, "Or maybe have you had some late night visitors."
Rose opened her door and gave him a dirty look. "Don't you remember Albus busting in my room for my birthday?"
"Besides, it's in Hogwarts, A History."
Scorpius's eyes traveled around her mildly organized room. "Never read it."
"I'm sure you haven't. Brooding and coming up with sleazy comeback's surely would take up some time." She murmured as she went into her dresser drawer to grab some pajamas.
"You would know, wouldn't you?"
Rose raised her eyebrows. "Ha-ha. Now turn around."
"I'm about to change."
"Oh," A faint blush rose in his cheeks, and he turned around.
Unintentionally this brought a smile to her face. He hadn't even considered teasing her. It was the rare strand of gentlemen nobility that still lived inside of him, but what she found funny was he had blushed, like the idea of a woman changing was worth blushing over. Surely with his and Albus's extra curricular activities with all of their lady friends, he had seen countless girls naked. Why would it bother him in the slightest that she would be changing?
Putting the idea out of her head, she quickly took off her blouse, jumper, tie, knee socks, and shoes. Once she finished she switched out her undergarments, pulled on an over sized t-shirt and some short shorts.
"You can turn around, but I need to go brush my teeth."
"Fine," He shrugged boredly.
As they entered the bathroom, she promptly tied her hair back off her face, washed her face and brushed her teeth. Malfoy eyed her room in the meantime. Her room wasn't what he'd expected it would be. The room wasn't pristinely clean, she still had some books lying around half-hazardly without a home, but it wasn't as messy as some of his old roommates had been. On her walls, she had pictures and posters. The posters, he was pretty sure, were of locations in Greece and Italy, but what took his interested were her pictures. She had a picture of her chasing Charlie around the grounds, one of her on her cousin James's shoulders when she was about 12, a picture of her entire family in their Christmas Weasley sweaters and a picture of her, Blake, Albus and Charlie by the lake. Though Scorpius had seen that picture in Albus's room he didn't notice until that percise moment that Rose was wearing a bikini. Looking back at her as she flossed her teeth like her grandparent's had taught her, he was a little alarmed that under all of those clothes she had that decent of a body.
Shaking his head of such treacherous thoughts, Malfoy sighed for what must have been the hundredth time that day.
"Okay," Rose grabbed a bag and put a fresh uniform, her tooth paste, toothbrush and some deodorant in the bag.
"What's all that for? We aren't living downstairs you know."
"Do you really want to have to come up here with me in the morning and wait while I get ready?"
Shaking his head, he didn't even bother to answer. They went up to his dorm and instantly started changing. Rose's jaw dropped. "Do you want me to...?" She spluttered.
"It doesn't matter. I'm not getting naked."
Rose stood awkwardly by his bed as he stripped in front of her. At first she looked around his room and smiled at the stack of books he owned, the quidditch magazines lying on his bedside table before her eyes landed on a rather sweet framed picture of him with his mother when he was around 5. His smile was big as his mother held him in her arms. Although he looked almost identical to his father, and looked the polar opposite from his mother Rose could see they had the exact same smile.
"Is this you and your mum?" Rose asked quietly.
Scorpius naturally smirked from years of inherited arrogance, but when his eyes hit the picture of his mother he smiled something Rose had never seen. "Yeah. She was taking me to a carnival."
"You've been to a carnival?" Rose questioned, her eyes careful to not fall on his bare chest.
"I happen love carnival's Weasley," He boasted as he tossed his dirty shirt on his chair and pulled off his pants.
Rose looked away, but couldn't ignore the obnoxiously loud thumping rhythm of her heart. It sounded like it was pulsing in her very ear. Self consciously, she crossed her arms and saw another small picture of Scorpius with Albus. He had no other pictures on his dresser or anywhere else in the room. In her room she had a bunch of pictures of all of her family and friends, but his seemed more selective. He had subtly showed with just two pictures that the most important people in the world to him were Albus and his mother. The thought made Rose swoon slightly, she had never imagined that he would be so obviously sentimental.
Snapping out of it, she reminded herself why she was there in the first place and got some clarity. Obviously it had been a long day and due to her sleepiness she was forgetting herself. After Scorpius grabbed a bag of his own, they headed down the stairs in the same silence two people might share if they were heading to a funeral. Rose pulled out her wand and seconds later two very comfortable looking grey sleeping bags appeared at the foot of their staircases.
In unison they both climbed into them, and zipped up the sides.
"Malfoy?" She asked into the darkness as she hugged the sleeping bag protectively.
"Huh?" He yawned.
"Do you... snore?"
Softly he laughed, "No. Why do you?"
"Then we should have a problem then."
Despite herself, Rose snuggled into her sleeping bag and said, "Night."
And he chuckled, "Night Weasley.
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