Chapter 5 : Shifted Axis
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The first day back to classes was fine. People were getting used to the fact that a Weasley and a Malfoy were friends. It was difficult for the upper years to do so since Harry, Ron, Hermione and Draco were all in their history books. The rivalry was well known, to say the least.
As the middle of the week rolled around, however, things started to change. Albus started sitting with Rose in every shared class. Scorpius would be waylaid in getting to meals so that he wouldn’t be able to sit with Rose. It seemed to be a conspiracy. The worst part was that neither of them could do anything about it. If they got defensive people would think they were more than just friends and neither of them needed that.
During the second week of school they got fed up. Prefect rounds were starting and Al had volunteered to take over all of Scorpius’ times for him. That meant that Al was with Rose and Scorpius was with Alison Danner, the Sixth Year Gryffindor. Needless to say neither Scorpius nor Rose was happy.
So they started sneaking out again. It was just like it had been for years, but there had been a shift. They knew what they were doing now and so did everyone else. Admittedly, however, people thought they were snogging as well.
About a month into school, Scorpius realized he’d just about had enough.
“This is ridiculous!” Scorpius shouted once they shut themselves in the abandoned classroom. “Sneaking away to spend time with my public friend!”
“I know, Scorpius, but what choice do we have? I haven’t been able to come up with anything. Have you?” she asked him.
“I’ve been thinking, Rosie, but I can’t figure anything out. It’s just so bloody frustrating!”
“And I suppose it doesn’t make it any easier because you can’t be in dark, abandoned rooms with me anymore without having some kind of fit,” she responded.
“Remembered that, did you?” he asked nervously.
“Don’t worry,” she responded. “I won’t make you talk about it. I know you don’t want to.”
“It’s not that, Rose. Honestly. It’s just … I don’t think you and I could handle what I have to say.”
“What is it with you all thinking I can’t handle anything? Is it because I’m a girl?”
“No,” he said quickly. “It’s got nothing to do with that. Not technically,” he added quietly to himself. “And I meant that our friendship probably wouldn’t be able to handle what I have to say.”
“It’s that bad?” she asked quietly as her eyes found his. “The reason you can’t be in a room alone with me for too long is bad enough that it would break up our friendship?”
Scorpius saw the tears forming in her eyes. He knew he would have to tell her. HE took a deep breath and moved closer to her. “Please don’t cry,” he whispered as he took her hands in his.
The tears slipped down her cheeks anyway, but the sadness was replaced by something else. Confusion? Fear? Hope, maybe?
“Scorpius?” she asked in nothing more than a whisper.
“I can’t be alone with you because of what I think of when I am,” he told her honestly, voice still low. “I think of doing this; I think of holding your hand.” When he saw her open her mouth to speak, he gently shook his head and continued on. “But that’s not all I think of doing with you. I can see myself hugging you … or taking you to Hogsmeade for tea. I can see myself tickling you and flirting with you and joking with you and … and k-kissing you,” he finally confessed. “And that scares me.”
Rose couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Did he really think about those things? She wouldn’t say that those same thoughts were crossing through her mind when they were together, but she couldn’t deny that they had, in fact, crossed her mind before. In fact, she had thought about it rather frequently over the summer when she would daydream about being back. But she hadn’t dared voice her thoughts or allow herself to think them after that day on the train. She refused to allow her mind to wander to placed it ought not to be. But now, here she was, alone with her best friend, listening to him admit he had the same thoughts she did.
“It scares me too,” she told him softly.
He immediately dropped her hands and took three large steps back. “I’m sorry, Rose. Really. I shouldn’t have said anything. I’m so … I’m so sorry. I should – I should get back to the common room.”
“Oh,” she said as her heart broke. “I-I thought you …” she shook her head. “No, I guess you’re not really thinking about it, huh? I suppose it’s natural. I mean, it’s just your imagination, right? You don’t r-really want those things.”
Scorpius, who was headed for the door, froze. “What d’you mean?” he asked.
“Well, I don’t reckon you’d be walking away if you really felt those things,” she told him.
“You just said you were scared,” he told her. “I didn’t want to …”
“Scared because I feel it too!” she shouted at him. “I’m scared because I’ve had the same thoughts you have. And now I’m scared that we both have the same thoughts and what the next logical step should be.”
“We don’t have to …”
“But I think I want to,” she told him earnestly. “Wouldn’t you like to try? Just once?”
“Rose, I’m going to being honest with you here because you’ve been honest to me.”
She couldn’t stop herself from shaking just a little bit. “O-okay.”
He stepped closer to her and stood as close as he could without actually touching her. “I don’t know if I could stop at just once.”
Her eyes, which had slipped shut so she could brace herself for rejection, popped open. “What?”
“Rose, I’ve been thinking about kissing you for months. I don’t think just once is going to satisfy me.”
Rose, emboldened, whispered, “Well, let’s try once and see where it goes.”
Scorpius swallowed harshly and let out a shaky breath and stepped closer, his body coming slightly into contact with hers. He nodded before dipping his head down.
Unfortunately, however, she moved her head and their foreheads clashed. Both chuckled nervously and backed up slightly. Once they regained their footing, he leaning in towards his right and her towards her own.
Their lips touched briefly, barely brushing the other’s, before they backed up. They both averted their eyes for a moment before her brought his hand up to cup her cheek. “Okay?” he asked her.
She nodded slightly and looked up into his eyes. “Yeah. Okay,” she told him as she pulled her bottom lip between her teeth.
“Don’t do that,” he whispered with a smile.
“Why not?” she asked softly, releasing the flesh.
“Because it’s my turn,” he told her before he leaned in once more, his lips making contact with hers.
The kiss was smooth. His lips slid against hers in a fluid motion. And then his teeth nibbled on the same bottom lip she had been doing the same to only seconds before.
And the world shifted on its axis. Something snapped inside both of them. Their lips pushed harder together as her arms circled his neck and his grabbed her hips. He pushed her back until she was against the wall.
His tongue entered her mouth as she released a moan and she welcomed it wholeheartedly. Their hands didn’t stray except when his moved up to cup her cheeks and jaw instead of her hips.
Everything was going so well until the door banged open and Nathaniel Weatherby, their git-like Potions Professor and Head of Slytherin House, stood there smirking. He said only one word but both of their hearts froze. “Detention.”
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