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Chapter 6: Dare Day
"I can't believe you two have survived a week and a half being stuck together." Blake acknowledged, her bright eyes showing a mixture of disgust and admiration.
Rose shrugged, "We got used it. Besides we're half way through it now."
"Exactly," Scorpius grinned at her encouragingly. "And soon we will be over this, and I will be sitting back over there."
Charlie eyed the table he was gesturing to in amusement. Everyone at the table, so carelessly clad in silver and green, looked so constantly depressed that Charlie would hardly call it a victory to switch over to such a table. Never one to keep her thoughts to herself, Charlie opened her mouth to say this to Malfoy when she paused. Ordinarily one to act purely on the brush of her impulses, Charlie never paused. But she looked at her best friend in the world and noticed that something was different. She couldn't put her finger on what it was.
"What are you two doing today?" Charlie asked finally.
"Um, …" Rose paused and glanced at Scorpius. "I guess class, library…and then we have rounds later."
Scorpius eyed Charlie. "Why, what do you have in mind?"
"Well it is…Dare Day." Charlie began in a low mischievous voice, her dark eyes beaming with excitement.
Rose looked confused for a moment, before a wild smirk popped onto her lips. "No! How could I have forgotten?"
"You've been a bit busy. It's not surprising, but are you excited?"
Of course!" Rose giggled with excitement. " What are you going to do today?"
"Definitely option 2. How about you?"
Rose gasped, "I just don't know! There are so many options!"
"Pick a team Roro." Charlie said in a singsong voice as she leaned forward.
"I pick Option 1."
"Interesting. You usually go for three, feeling bold today?" Charlie asked cryptically.
"I'm in the mood for a challenge."
Scorpius put down his fork and looked at them. "Are you two going to tell me what's going on or not?
"It's so much funnier if we show you." Rose assured him with a grin. "Charlie you may go first."
Charlie's sleek dark hair fell to the front of her Gryffindor robes and she pushed herself up to her feet. Her white smile gleamed against her tan skin, as she bounced down the table over to Rose's cousin Albus.
"Hey Charlie," Albus said, glancing at her briefly before going back to his paper.
Without another word, Charlie inhaled sharply, pushed the Daily Prophet away from his hand and planted him with a kiss. It wasn't just any old kiss either; it was a grab-by-the-of-the-neck, straddle-his-lap, and made-him-feel-in-his-toes kind of kiss.
Rose started shaking with laughter as her best friend got up off her cousin, and left the Great Hall without another word to anyone.
Scorpius looked in awe, and then looked at Rose. "Is…that what you're going to do?"
"No," She snorted, "I only did that dare once and it DID-NOT work out."
Rose blushed. "He didn't want to kiss me."
"Ooh…ouch." Scorpius grimaced with a sympathetic laugh.
"Yeah it sucks, but what the hell. You only live once right? Might as well live with no regrets right? If I never kissed him I might have never been able to get over him and what's the point in wasting time?"
Scorpius paused and looked at her. Before he knew it he was smiling. He knew she was smart, but sometimes it still surprised him. "So what are the other options?"
"For Dare Day?" She asked, "Option 2 is walk around with your underwear outside of your clothes. Option 3 is make random noises and pretend it wasn't you-"
"I remember you doing that!" Scorpius laughed, "I thought I was going barking mad!"
"That's kind of the point. We do little things that aren't technically against any rules, but still toe the line and in process drive everyone around us just a tad bit insane."
"I suppose your parents don't know you do this." He mused as he finished off his coffee.
Rose shrugged, "I wouldn't stop if they did. You're parents are supposed to stop you from ruining your life not making it fun."
Laughing, Scorpius rose to his feet and helped Rose get to hers. "You are ridiculous."
"You haven't seen anything yet." She smirked up at him nudging him teasingly.
Scorpius was about to ask what she meant when they left the Great Hall. But he didn't even have to wait. Apparently the dare Rose chose to do for the day was something that was extremely subtle, but also entirely hysterical.
She would walk up behind someone, while still making sure she wasn't walking too far away from Scorpius and then she would proceed to dance around them. The goal, he learned after her fifth turn of doing so, was to do it as long as possible without getting caught. The sight nearly brought him to a fit, he was doubling over he was laughing so hard. It was impossible to imagine her little body inches, even centimeters, away from other people doing every type of dance imaginable at them, but she did and she was.
A couple of times he swore she was going to get caught, as she almost grinded on her fellow students and even teachers, but as soon as they'd turn, Rose would either move with them or walk away like nothing had happened.
He'd always thought Rose was so stuck up. Whenever he saw her she always was reading or studying, but as she dropped it low behind Professor McCain he saw that she was anything but.
Rose fixed her collar and asked him with a beaming smile. "Ready for Charms?"
"You're mad." He laughed, putting a hand on her shoulder. "You are completely off your rocker."
She shrugged unphased by his assessment. "I prefer the term …cool."
"I'm sure you do."
Walking into class, Scorpius and Rose moved to sit towards the back. They were laughing amongst themselves about Rose's dance moves.
"How did you two come up with this idea anyway?"
Rose got out her books and shrugged with an easy smirk. "I don't know… One day we were just sitting around bored and we kept thinking of funny things we could do to liven the evening up. So we made a list and promised that every month for one day we would chose an item on the list and do it."
Scorpius gestured to Albus, who had just walked in, blushing from head to toe. "He looks pretty out of it."
"Charlie's always liked him. He's just a blind idiot."
"How could he have known?" He wanted to know.
Rose asked, "Well how do you know if a girl likes you? I mean you've been around the Quidditch pitch a few times right?"
Rolling his eyes, he said, "Not as much as you might think."
Rose relaxed back in her chair with a thoughtful expression. "Don't you snog a new girl every week or some thing like that?"
"I do love the Hogwarts rumor mill." He laughed dryly.
"Are you trying to say it's not true? Because I did witness one of your less than honorable endeavors..."
"I told you not to bring that up." He shot at her darkly, trying, but failing, to get mad at her. "But back to your earlier question…You can just... tell."
Rose shook her head, a bemused smile plastered on her face as she played with the perfectly straightened ends of her hair. "I guess it's just easier for you."
"How is it easier for me?" He scoffed.
She was saved from answering by the teacher's entrance, but as their professor introduced the spell they were mastering that day, her face began to flush. Of course Scorpius didn't notice. He was immersed in his notes. Rose looked at him and saw his soft, elegant blonde hair fall into his face as he worked. His wide steel eyes were squinted in concentration as he made sure to soak in every piece of information he could.
Rose shook herself out of her trance and began to write her own notes. But the second she did, Scorpius paused writing. His hand cramped up from writing, so he stretched it out for a moment to give it a break. When he did, he glanced over for a second. He didn't mean to look at Rose. It had become a reflex. At first it was to make sure he wasn't walking too far away from her so they wouldn't fly into each other. But now he wasn't aware of it anymore. Somewhere in the past week he had come accustomed to looking after her. It wasn't intentional. But all the same it was a permanent habit now. Scorpius couldn't stop now if he tried.
He watched as the sunlight hit her hair, making the orange and red fibers of her hair beam against her fair skin. Though she didn't seem to be aware of it, Rose was repeating back everything the professor was saying in a low mutter. What amused him most was he knew she didn't know she was doing it, which made it that much …cuter. Scorpius went back to writing his own notes, but he couldn't keep the smile off his face at the sound of her murmuring.
After two Charms and a rather boring class of Herbology, Scorpius and Rose headed into the library. They had two hours or so before dinner so they had plenty of time to get the books Rose needed and finish their Transfiguration papers in a timely fashion.
"So what do you want to do when you leave Hogwarts?" Scorpius asked idly as he leaned against the nearest bookshelf.
"I want to write a travel column for the Daily Prophet." Rose answered excitedly.
His eyes widened in surprise. "Really?"
"Weren't expecting that were you?" She smirked as she added another book to her stack.
"I thought your family hated the prophet."
Rose nodded, "Oh no they do. But I really don't care. I'm not going to be writing gossip. I'm going to be writing actual news and getting other people's stories out there."
"You like to travel?"
"Whose idea do you think backpacking through Europe was?"
Scorpius halted in surprise, his jaw dropping. "I thought it was Albus's idea."
"Oh no it wasn't." She laughed at the memory of it. "I had to bully him for weeks to even get him on board and then I had to sell the idea to my parents which wasn't easy in the slightest, but my aunt always says if you've got enough nerve you can do anything."
"So you bullied him eh?" He teased her, nudging her gently.
"Um, after seeing all those pictures of the girls Albus snogged on our travels do you really think I let him have a bad time?"
Scorpius laughed under his breath. "No, I suppose not."
"It was great though. We were able to see a million different things I've always wanted to see. And things I never dreamed I'd be able to. It was really exciting." Rose's entire face lit up as she talked and Scorpius couldn't help, but smile with her.
"My parent's would never let me do that."
Rose eyed him. "How would you know? Have you ever asked?"
"…No, I guess I haven't."
"Then there's your problem." She told him bluntly. "How can you ever know how far to push your parent's, and how much you can actually do if you never test you're limits?"
Scorpius stared at her, completely taken aback. He knew that his parents would say no they were the type to be against any kind of non-traditional behavior. But why did he never bother to even try? What was the risk in asking? Rose was right he had never tested his limits. He'd hardly ever stepped even a toe out of line with them. Why not? He did want to travel. He did want to try things, but he never thought it would work so he never bothered.
"What?" Rose blinked pulling him back out of his thoughts.
"Nothing. What book are you looking for?" He scratched the back of his neck as he changed the subject.
"Something on Animagus's. I'm doing a report on them, and I have to cite a book in my sources."
He grabbed the book she was looking for and handed it too her. "Here."
"How did you know where it was?" She asked curiously knowing she could have been referring to a dozen books.
"I've read it."
Rose glanced at him curiously, "You have?"
"I was thinking of turning into one." He admitted, his voice lowering as he looked cautiously around to make sure no one was listening. "Al and I are trying to anyway."
"Is that what you two have been up to? Are you going to register?" Rose whispered, with a devious glint in her eye.
He shrugged, "We want to see if we can do it first."
"Well keep me posted." She told him. "I'd love to know what animals you two turn into to."
"You aren't going to…tell are you?" He whispered putting a hand on her shoulder.
Rose snorted. "I may have been a prefect, and be HeadGirl, but I'm not going to tell about something you haven't even accomplished yet."
"You think we can do it?"
"I wouldn't be surprised if you could. You both get the highest marks in transfiguration after all." She told him with an encouraging smile.
For a second more his hand remained on her shoulder. His steel eyes almost looked blue in the short distance between them. And Rose's breath began to slow as she looked up at him. There were a few people sitting by the tables by the window, and a couple was laughing a few bookshelves down. The noise around them was perfectly still. Without thinking about it, Rose's hand moved up to hold onto the hand he had on her shoulder.
His other hand dropped to her left shoulder, and they both turned into each other. Not touching, but only a few precious inches a part.
Scorpius didn't know why he told her that he was trying to be an animagus. He and Albus had agreed that it would be best not to tell anyone. But somehow when he was around her…things just slipped out. Things he never shared with anyone. Mostly because he didn't care to share them with anyone, but also because no one had ever asked. Rose always asked. She always wanted to know more about everything. But lately he'd been wanting to know more and more about her.
Rose was about to lean forward. She was about to kiss him, when she came to her senses. What was she doing? This was Scorpius Malfoy! She couldn't believe what she was doing. But instead of making it awkward or hurting his feelings, she decided to just wrap her arms around his waist and hug him.
"What are you doing?" He laughed, completely and entirely thrown off, as he hugged her back stiffly.
"First of all," She began, by passing any embarrassed tension between them. "You really suck at this."
Scorpius backed away, "What?!"
"You suck at hugging!" She told him.
"I'm exceptional at everything." He dismissed this claim. "Do you have all your books?"
Rose and Scorpius left the aisle of the library and dropped the subject, but both of them were quite startled by the course of the conversation. Scorpius had just asked the question out of pure curiosity. He had been expecting she'd have some big ministry job like most of her family did, but to go to work for the enemy like she was attempting to do was bold. And yet she showed not an ounce of fear. She carelessly shrugged off her family's dislike of her career path and went down it anyway. Something he couldn't help, but admire.
Feeling similarly Rose found it kind of adorable that instead of shagging girls and getting tossed like she'd imagined Albus and Scorpius were doing, they were trying to actually take their unnatural talents to the next level. They were doing something that touched on her thirst for learning and made Scorpius's grades and intelligence match up with his personality better than it previously had.
Leaving the library, Scorpius stepped forward and took half of Roses's books. She gave him a strange look. "What are you doing?"
"If I don't grab these, you'll topple over and then we'll topple over."
"Don't worry," He smirked, "I'm not trying to be noble."
She smiled, "Not quite your style eh?"
"Not so much."
Scorpius had this nagging feeling tugging at the back of his gut, but he didn't understand what it was. All through dinner, and all through rounds he was silent as he tried to absently figure out what was bothering him. He couldn't put his finger on what it could be for the longest time.
That night, as he was about to fall down into his sleeping bag to fall asleep, he looked at Rose for a minute. She was already sound asleep, her red hair sprawled out across her pillows as she made little murmurs of indecipherable noise. It was then that a feeling rushed up into his chest. It was then he realized that the feeling he felt and had been feeling ever since they left the library was disappointment, and it was because she hugged him. Scorpius didn't understand what he wanted her to do instead, but it unnerved him how his feelings had swiftly changed. A week earlier he would have flinched if she even touched him, and now …everything was different.
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