Chapter 1 : A Rose Amongst the Thorns
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“My father said I shouldn’t talk to you.”
He smirked and leaned against the doorway with his arms crossed over his chest. “Do you always listen to what daddy tells you to do?”
She pouted and all he could do was continue to smirk. They had been bantering back and forth for weeks. It was the first time he had found a way to corner her. It was the first time he actually saw a difference in her instead of her being the cowering girl she always had been. Just the sight of her made his blood run hot and his heart race. Didn’t she understand the effect that she had on him?
“You don’t know my father,” she warned. “You have no idea what he’d do to you if he found out you were even in the same room as me.”
“Well that seems to be a problem since most of our classes are together.” He quickly moved from the doorway and stood mere inches from her. “What would he do if he saw me standing this close to you?”
No words poured from her mouth and the usual sharp wit he heard was absent. She was tongue tied and it made his heart skip a beat. Maybe she felt it too. Maybe it was just because of her father that held her back.
Taking a chance, he outstretched his hand and combed his fingers through her red apple-colored hair. Startled, she pulled back the slightest bit, but quickly moved back to the same spot she had been. Her eyes fluttered closed as his other hand rested on her hip. Their families had been at war since he could remember. There had been warnings issued and threats given. Could they be the Wizarding World’s answer to Romeo and Juliet?
“We shouldn’t be doing this, Scorpius,” she whispered. “I already told you that my father said I shouldn’t be with you. That I shouldn’t even speak with you.”
Resting his forehead on hers, Scorpius Malfoy let his thumb caress her hip through her shirt. “Tell me that you don’t want this and I will go away. Tell me everything that I’m feeling is nothing but a lie. I’ll disappear from your life and be the bastard Slytherin that everyone thinks I am. Show me that I’m more than my family name, Rose. Prove to me I’m better than just some loathsome Malfoy.”
She moved to stand on her tip toes and let her lips brush lightly against his. Scorpius wrapped his arms around her, bringing her flush against him. Their lips met in an awkward mess until both found their rhythm. It suddenly became second nature, the feelings that met when one touched the other.
Rose Weasley had always blamed her father for being so sheltered, being afraid to explore and be her own person. When Scorpius had first approached her, she merely ignored him and pressed on. But he was persistent and wanted nothing but her, keeping his Slytherin house mates away from her when they began to pick on her. She didn’t understand why and wasn’t sure if she wanted to. All she knew was that her supposed mortal enemy was helping her out when he should have been hurting her instead.
Their kiss deepened, his hand sliding down her side and away from the locks that he enjoyed playing with. She could feel her heart swelling and her heart quickening. He actually felt something for her, more than loathing and pity. Could Scorpius Malfoy actually love her?
Scorpius reluctantly broke the kiss, letting his forehead rest against hers once again. His breathing was ragged and his vision fuzzy. The kiss had been more than he had ever imagined it to be. She was more than anyone thought she was.
“Why me?” she questioned. “Merlin, why me? You can have anyone at Hogwarts and you pick an awkward Weasley. Half of the Slytherin house wants you. Most of the school would bow at your feet. And it isn’t just for your name, Scorpius. You are probably, by far, the most handsome one in the school. You are…”
“Stop,” he said, pressing his finger against her lips – silencing her. “Please stop. You are over analyzing this. Can’t we just be together without worrying what everyone else thinks?”
Rose retreated from his touch and his embrace as if she had been scolded. “You have absolutely no idea, do you?”
“What are you talking about?” He held out his hand for her to take, but she rejected it. “What did I do wrong?”
The Potions classroom had become their little hiding place to talk, even though she always seemed reluctant to be anywhere near him – afraid her cousins would tell her father. Today she was glad for the peace, the isolation from the rest of the school. She had always been seated behind a book, needing to read and see words to make her feel as if she belonged somewhere. He had longed to make her feel wanted, but she shied away from it. She had been alone all of her life, wanting to just be on her own, that being with someone was…different.
“The bookworm captures the heart of the snake.” She rolled her eyes. “What will everyone say if I’m seen on your arm?”
“Who gives a damn, Rose!” Scorpius shouted. “Merlin, just live life! Stop hiding behind the pages of a book. It isn’t a fairy tale, Rose. None of it is! What do you want me to do? What do you want me to say? I love you, alright? I bloody well love you and you’re oblivious to it because you are waiting for Prince Charming to sweep you off of your feet. You want daddy to be happy with the choice. Your father will never like me. I could give a damn less about that. Just…just…”
Rose watched as Scorpius grew more frustrated and turned away from her. Picking up an empty flask from off of the desk, he launched it across the room and watched it shatter against the wall. She flinched, noting the anger. It wasn’t what she wanted. All she wanted was for him to understand that this wasn’t going to be easy. It never would be.
Her hand gently touched his shoulder and she grimaced as he flinched against her touch. “Scorpius…”
“I’m tired of fighting these invisible chains that are holding you back,” he said solemnly. “I cannot keep doing it. I am going against everything my father instilled in me because I love you. I’ve showed you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my feelings are genuine. Yes, Malfoys are supposed to loathe Weasleys…but I cannot fight the love I feel for you.”
There was hesitation, but she couldn’t deny him. She had felt the pull, needed him more than he ever knew possible. But books had been her best friends for years. Hugo, her brother, had been the popular one. She had been the teacher’s pet. How was she supposed to change who she was when she couldn’t figure it out herself?
“We’re Seventh Years now, Scorpius,” Rose began to say, “almost graduates. Soon we won’t have the halls and walls of Hogwarts to shield who and what we are. Are we doomed to follow the fate of our families the rest of our lives?”
Peering over his shoulder, he leaned his head down and kissed her hand that grasped his shoulder. “We don’t have to if you don’t want to. No need to live in the shadows. Although I am seen as the pure-blooded brat that will forever be in the shadow of the Malfoys.”
“And I will be the disappointment of the Wizarding World and the ever non-popular Weasley child,” she added. “No matter how much I accomplish, it won’t matter.”
“It matters to me.”
It was exactly what she needed to hear. She wasn’t alone in the world and someone truly cared for her and not just her parents. Someone besides the constants in her life wanted her more than anything in existence. Scorpius loved her for her. Could she truly fight it any more?
“You can’t lose your popularity,” Rose finally said, meeting his gaze. “I won’t allow it.” Before he could rebut, she held up her hand. “You need it for now. We can put up an act. I know you’re not going to enjoy it, but for now you need to do it. We both do. We can’t let our parents find out. Its just not time yet, Scorpius.”
Scorpius nodded, understanding the need to keep this secret until they could be who they wanted to be outside of Hogwarts. “I understand the need to do this, Rose, but this doesn’t make it any easier. I hate being mean to you. I hate the thought of it.”
Wrapping his arms around her, Rose snuggled against him, needing to feel him one last time before they did this. She knew that she needed him, but the strain from outside forces would only destroy the relationship that they were trying to build. They needed time to figure it out themselves without people sneering at them. She needed time to adjust to the fact that someone wanted to be with her.
“So you’re willing to try this then?” he asked hopeful. “You’re willing to trust me and be with me?”
Taking a deep breath, she nodded. “I’m willing to try it if you are.”
Before Scorpius could respond, a loud banging erupted, echoing throughout the classroom. Scorpius held her tight after she jumped from the sudden sound. He peered over his shoulder, waiting to see the door open…
“Oy, Malfoy! For Merlin’s sake, we’re waiting for you on the Quiddich Pitch!”
Kissing her quickly, Scorpius smiled at Rose and winked. “I love you. Don’t forget that.”
“I won’t,” she replied, smiling.
Stepping away from her was the hardest thing she knew he ever had to do. But she watched his smile then it slowly disappeared. It was then he became Scorpius Malfoy, proud son of Draco.
“Sorry, boys,” he began to say, as half of the Slytherin team filed into the room, “this slime beneath my shoes distracted me. I would have been out to the Pitch a long time ago.”
“Told you to hex her a long time ago,” one of his mates said. “You never listen to reason.”
Scorpius huffed. “She isn’t worth my time. Let’s go.”
Rose stood there and watched as Scorpius and his Quiddich teammates began to leave the room. Just before he left, he turned to look back at her. She hesitated to move, not wanting to give away the rouse. He winked then turned and quickly left. Breathing a sigh of relief, Rose knew that this was just the beginning.
But who was she to debate love?