Hi there, Pix! I come bearing the gift of a review! Yay! ^.^
Ugh, this came out so great! How did you do this? I can't believe how critical you were of it at first because it really turned out pretty darn awesome - especially considering the time frame and circumstances! Not that I ever doubted it would be anything less than that - you've always been able to craft these funny, witty, interesting, and surprising stories in no time at all! You've simply done it again here. The whole story from start to finish was just delightful, it really was. :)
I hate you.
haha No, I kid, I kid. It's really, really great, Pix! Not to mention the fact that you were also able to fit in a handful of connections to your partners story, as well, which I wasn't expecting at all because of how little time you two had to compare details! I'll tell you this much: I couldn't have done it if I'd been in your boat. But I won't dwell on that train of thought here... to the story!
"Scorpius Malfoy walked into the Dripping Dregs pub, utterly chuffed over his good fortune." - Perfect opening line. 'Utterly chuffed' - love it. hehehe
Scorpius came out wonderfully! I love how you chose to develop his character! He's a great balance of all things: stubborn, but kind, stuck in the past, but building a future, a criminal, but a good samaritan. He's almost an oxymoron with all of these opposing characteristics battling it out, but that's what makes him such a great character; he very realistically reflects human nature. And he's so in denial. SO. MUCH. DENIAL. I just love that so much of who he is these days is based on the idea of what Rose might think of him; a few years worth of becoming this person he might someday get to rub Rose's nose in and yell, 'Ha!' at. As sort of sad and pathetic as that is, it's also a very real trait that a lot of people have - this desire to prove to those who have hurt them wrong, especially when it's someone as deep seeded as a person you once had feelings for.
Rose is great as well, even though we only get a second-hand look at her in this story. The way Scorpius talks about her paints a very clear - if not somewhat bias - picture of who she is and of the relationship the two have had. From her love of all things rule-related to her "sterling reputation" to her ability to always gain the upper hand and best Scorpius, she's the exact type of person a Malfoy would feel so bitterly towards. I particularly loved this line about her: " Following rules, creating rules, altering rules to be fair and equitable for all... if it was in the name of justice and righteousness, Rose Weasley jumped on the Troll Trolley." - Troll Trolley... Hahaha
The twist ending was perfect. So funny and the exact kind of surprise I should know to expect from you by now, but still always manage to be fooled by. It's great, because you really set us up for that idea that he's clearly following her very closely and being a little creepy about it all, but leading us astray with the distraction of how if he's going to get into trouble, it will be for his illegal smuggling, and not for being a creeper. hehehe "He'd only seen her a handful of times in the last two years. Ten, or fifteen times at the most, he decided. And all those instances had been purely unintentional (on her part) and random (also on her part). The back of her head had never looked so good." and "He thought for a second of looking her up (she was still in the Ministry building at this hour), for old times' sake (because he'd seen her leave for an early lunch, which probably meant she'd be working late tonight), so he could rub his successful, useful self in her face." - You are literally dangling his stalkerish behavior in front of, but distracting us with this illegal smuggling business so that I can't see the trickery - you're a magician! :-p
I love how clever he thinks he is, even as he's being arrested - so certain that he's covered all his tracks. Although I feel like bringing up the smuggling before the brunette said a word and the fact that he has actual blood on his sleeve might be incriminating, but hey - at least he's not getting taken away for that after all, is he? :-p Too funny.
"Face it, he grumbled to himself." - I might consider italicizing the 'Face it' here, but it's a minor thing either way. ^.^
"Scorpius' face went slack. "Weasley?" His face contorted. "Oh, blimey! You're that assistant that sits behind her with the paperclip chain hanging off your lamp!"" - I thought this moment/line felt just a tiny bit rushed. I think something as simple as giving Scorpius an internal moment of recognition, in which we see it finally dawn upon him that he's seen this girl before, before announcing who she is, would take care of that. Literally that was the only spot that felt even slightly that way, though, which is insane considering how quickly this was written. :-p
Overall, this was just fantastic. It really was enjoyable and clever and fun the entire way through, and it's got a very distinctly you sort of feel to it, which is just great. I know you weren't thrilled with this story when it first went up and I know it was a struggle for you getting it to come together, but you should honestly be really proud of yourself, because it turned out wonderfully. :)
*hands over Spoon of Kudos* ;)