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Iridescence by Ellyn Rose
Chapter 6 : Dark Blue
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 8


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Chapter 6: Dark Blue


 

 

Rose was eating breakfast in her usual happy silence when Tristan interrupted her private date with her cereal.

 

“Hey.” His smile was smug and swaggering. He seemed to listen to that one word hang in the air.

Rose sighed and smiled at him slightly, keeping her temper in check.

 

“So, do you want to go to the ball with me?” He said, his confidence brimming and overflowing like a waterfall.

 

 

“What ball?” Rose said out of confusion.

 

“There’s a ball next weekend, a masquerade.” He said, puffing his chest slightly.

Rose felt her hot cheeks throb uncomfortably. Had she really been that out of it to not have heard about that? Wow.

 

“Yeah, that sounds like fun.” Rose said finally, trying to keep her tone light and carefree.

Almost more fun than hitting myself in the face with a beater’s bat.

Or grinding my forehead on a cheese grater.

 

Tristan, being his not very bright self, didn’t catch on to anything other than pleasure, and so he bent down to kiss Rose on the cheek before going from the great hall. Rose tried not to think about why she was even doing this.

 

“Did he just ask you to the ball?” Dom said from across the table.

 

“Yeah.” Rose said, turning to look at her.

 

“That’s all anyone has been talking about for the last four days!” She said looking rather irritated.

 

“Ah. No date then, Dom?” Rose joked lightly.

 

“Please. You know how inexistent my love life is.” Dom shot back.

This happened to be true. Dom was gorgeous and had a great personality, but Rose expected that maybe her fantastic looks scared the boys off.

 

“We’ll see.” Rose said, raising one eyebrow.  One brave soul had to ask her.

 

“Ha, ha, ha.” Dom laughed sarcastically, glaring at Rose.

Rose glared back and won. Dom broke into a grin.

 

“No one glares like Rose Weasley.” Al commented, receiving a smack across the back of his head.

 

Out of the corner of her eye, Rose saw Lucy’s head shoot up and go back down to her plate. She had been exceptionally quiet all of last night and especially this morning. 

Hmm.

 

 

Rose had woken up feeling great this morning. Maybe it was because she actually slept last night; maybe it was because the sun was shining today. She had sung in the shower, (much to the annoyance of Moaning Myrtle) and had used words like ‘fabulous’ and ‘magnificent’ excessively in the short hour she had already been awake. Everything felt like it was back to normal; like things were under her control again. Her emotions were under control again.

And guess what? They had potions today.

Who cares?

Malfoy was pushed far back in her mind, a dusty box in the attic.

Plus, Rose was going to the ball and there would be other people there too.

Rose reveled in her happiness and had a wonderful morning joking around with Dom in DADA class and dancing stupidly in the halls on the way to potions.

 

Rose hadn’t even thought about Malfoy until the familiar smell of the dungeon brought him back to the surface. She didn’t see him or look for him when she walked in, but went and sat with Dom, Lucy and Amanda up in the front.

Dom passed Rose a note, her perfect handwriting completely parallel.

 

Good thing the partners change every week, right?

 

Rose laughed slightly and nodded to Dom, smiling.

 

Professor Barnes cleared his throat and everyone fell silent.

He gave a brief lecture on epyte stone (only found two miles underground on the moon) and then began to write the instructions on the board.

A moment later, he began to call out partners.

 

“Marcens and Rosenburg, Woodley and Terington, Potter and Copperton, Rockfeller and Smith… Malfoy and Weasley…” He rattled off, but Rose didn’t hear anything after that.

 

“Oh, my god.” Dom exclaimed under her breath. The ‘oh my god’ that usually means, ‘what ass thinks this is a good prank?’.

Rose was biting her lip and had her hands clenched into fists.

 

“Dom?” Rose whispered.

 

“What am I going to do?” She said, her soft voice strained.

 

“This does rather go against our plans.” Dom said.

 

“What should I do?”  Rose whispered.

 

“Do you want me to switch with you?” Dom asked.

Rose hesitated.

 

“I think he would know that something was up.” Rose said, not even knowing if she was talking about Barnes or Malfoy.

 

Professor Barnes clapped his hands, and the potions cupboards sprung open.

“You got it girl. Be strong. You’re a Weasley. Don’t take no for an answer.” Dom pepped.

 

“What? Never mind. I’m just gonna go.” Rose said.

 

“Remember.” Dom warned as Rose slid out from behind the cauldron and walked across the classroom to where the Slytherins and Malfoy were sitting.

 

 

 

 

Across the classroom.

 

 

 

Scorpius

 

That was so ironic it made him want to laugh, and he almost did. He felt something tugging at his mouth and realized he was smirking. He had the sudden urge to high five someone.

 

“Score.” Max whispered as he walked away to his partner, and Scorpius punched him jokingly on the shoulder. “Shut up.”

 

Scorpius had already pulled out the cauldron and had the book opened to the right page (Extreme Flexibility Potion), and was now leaning against the wall with his hands in his pockets, waiting.  He felt confident, satisfied that they were almost mutual friends now. He was just going to be normal; he had to remember not to go too far with this. They couldn’t be too good of friends, or even close to that.

 

All of these thoughts suddenly disappeared when she stalked up to his cauldron, scowling, dropped her bag on the floor, and turned on her heel towards the cabinets, not even acknowledging Scorpius.

 

What was that?

 

I thought we were past that stage? Or maybe we weren’t there yet?

 

He wove his way agilely around the cauldrons, people and desks and came up behind her. She had an armful of the things that they needed but was reaching into the cabinet for more; stretching to get the bottle she couldn’t quite reach. He slid right behind her and took the bottle effortlessly off the shelf. At this moment, however, she turned around, almost bumping into his chest. She jumped back uncomfortably into the shelves again just as Scorpius jumped back too from instinct.

 

“Oh god,” She said, bending down to pick up the things she dropped.

 

“That was my fault.” Scorpius said without thinking, helping her pick things up.

 

He watched her hand freeze, hovering over a bottle. She snatched it suddenly.

 

“Thanks.” She said almost angrily now, hiding behind her hair that was slung over one shoulder. She jumped up and walked back to the cauldron, dumping the things on the table.

Rose turned her back on him now, silently peeling the Laira seeds.

Scorpius followed the next step, measuring the powder in silence too.

 

After a few minutes of silence, Scorpius was sure that something was up.

What had he done?

 

 

 

It had been almost thirty minutes of no talking, just working on the potion when the next step was to wait for it to boil. Scorpius glanced at Rose, and saw that she had realized this too.

She fell exhaustedly into a chair and pushed up her sleeves, then combing her hair with her fingers into a sloppy bun.  Scorpius awkwardly pulled up another chair, and they both sat watching their dark forest green potion bubble and splatter inside the cauldron.

 

“That’s my favorite color.” Rose said out of no where.

 

Forgetting himself for a moment, Scorpius laughed; partly in relief and also in surprise.

Wow. Smiling felt so…different. How odd it was to smile without having to strain or force it.  

Rose smiled a little, looking surprised. She turned slightly to face Scorpius instead of the potion.

 

The blush on her cheeks was so genuine and beautiful that for a second Scorpius just stared at her, frozen, not understanding how something so lovely and pure was here, in this smelly dungeon, next to him.

 

“It is beautiful.” Scorpius said, still watching her. He could tell suddenly that he had made her uncomfortable. She looked down and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.

Oops.

Damnit.

 

“Hmm.” Rose said, seeming back to normal.

 

“Yeah.” Scorpius said, feeling a tug at his boundaries.

 

“Pretty useful, too I expect.” Rose said, smiling the tiniest bit.

 

Scorpius felt the sudden urge; he had to…catch her. He had to have her.

 

“Kung-fu?” Scorpius said, watching her face. Kung-fu took flexibility, right?

 

“Oh yes.” She got it.

She laughed and shifted a little in her chair.

 

 “Have you ever done Kung-fu?” He asked before he even thought about it. He wondered. He wondered about everything about Rose.

 

“When I was eight, actually.” She said, cocking her head slightly and looking at him.

It was funny; if Scorpius had asked anyone else this question (which he wouldn’t have) they would have raised their eyebrows in scorn at silly Scorpius and his silly questions. Rose took it al in stride.

 

He smiled without even thinking about it, rare; surprised at the direction their conversation had taken them. She looked surprised again. Why did she look surprised? Scorpius did figure that this was pretty much the first time they had ever talked except for the occasional ‘can I borrow a quill’ or ‘pass the plums’. Maybe she had never seen him smile before? No one ever really saw him smile except Max.

Wow, that is messed up. I have issues I think.

 

“Nice. Don’t most eight year olds do ballet and things like that?” He asked, genuinely curious.

 

“Not me.” Rose said, smirking.

 

“Dancing’s not your thing?” Scorpius said, wishing he hadn’t said it the second he did.

 

“I never said that.” Rose said in mock defense.

 

“So are you going to the masquerade ball thing?” Scorpius asked, wishing he hadn’t.

Oh god, that was dim.

 

To his amusement, Rose blushed, her complexion going from normal to rosy in about two seconds.

 

“I guess.” She said. There was something under what she said but Scorpius didn’t understand it.

 

“With…?” He asked, hoping he wasn’t pushing things too much, but she spoke at the same time.

“Who are you going with?” She said.

 

They were both silent for a second, waiting for the other one to talk.

He talked first, “I don’t know if I’ll be going, actually.”

 

She looked confused.

 

“Why would you not go?” She asked.

 

Scorpius thought of a good way to say this.

 

“I haven’t asked anyone yet, actually.”

He didn’t mind being truthful to her, even if it made him look like a looser.

She looked confused. Bewildered, in fact. As if ‘Scorpius Malfoy not going to the ball’ was the weirdest thing ever. Where was everyone getting this idea that he was so popular?

 

“Aren’t you…don’t you…” She stuttered for a second.

 

“Isn’t Hallie Patil your girlfriend?” She spat.

Crap.

 

Scorpius covered his face with his hands.

 

“No.” He said, his voice muffled.

He uncovered his face and shook his head.

Keep it together.

 

“No.”  He said again.

He felt like they were treading into off limit grounds.

She looked worried.

 

“Oh. Sorry” She said quietly.

Scorpius shook his head again, unconsciously running his hand through his hair.

 

“It’s just…um…our parents always pushing us together.” He said embarrassedly; he didn’t want there to be any rumors about that.

 

“Oh!” Rose said, sudden understanding lighting up her face.

 

“Oh, well I totally understand that.” Then she muttered something under her breath that might have been either ‘Dom’ or ‘Tom’.

He repeated his earlier question.

 

“Who are you going with?” He asked, keeping his voice uninterested and neutral.

She gazed at the ceiling and smiled a little, and Scorpius resisted the urge to grind his teeth together.

 

“Tristan Edger?” She said, still looking up “You probably know him.”

 

She looked down and Scorpius felt more confused than ever. Her eyes shouted conflict like a raging thunderstorm and it surprised him.

He figured he’d better say something.

 

“Right, I know Tristan.” He did, sort of. He was an okay guy until he went out with Rose.  

She looked on the verge of saying something for a moment.

“Do you--” but the cauldron began to bubble and spew all over the place.

 

They both jumped up, Rose extinguishing the fire with her wand and Scorpius hurriedly brushing the powder into the cauldron. The bubbling immediately ceased and the potion turned dark bubble gum pink.

They both stood looking at the potion for a moment in silence.

 

“That’s my favourite color.” Scorpius said seriously.

 

Rose paused for a second, and then laughed.

 

Scorpius smiled just at her laughter.

 

“Whew, for a minute there…” Rose said, shaking her head.

They both looked around for a moment, noticing that no one else had gotten as far as they had.

 

“I like green and…dark blue.” Scorpius said after a moment.

 

“What kind of blue?” Rose challenged as they both sat back down in their seats, letting the potion sit for a few more minutes.

 

Dark blue.” He repeated, raising his eyebrows at her, forgetting to be careful.

“I know,” She said delicately, “there are hundreds of different hues of dark blue.”

 

“Ah. Well, in that case, my favorite today would be…” Scorpius jokingly put a finger on his chin, looking thoughtful, “The dark ocean blue after a storm.”

 

Sudden amazement hit Scorpius in a wave.

Where the hell did that come from?

Who was this person, suddenly possessing him? It just felt natural, normal. 

 

“You’re a poet and you didn’t even know it.” Rose rhymed at him, smirking.

“That’s right.” He said, laughing.

 

“Are you a poet?” She asked curiously.

 

“I don’t think so.” He said, glancing at her quickly.

 

“What are you?” She asked mysteriously.

 

“Er…a figure skater,” Scorpius said, looking entirely serious.

She nodded, “Of course.”

 

He smiled.

 

 “You’re an athlete.” Rose said, pausing, “And an artist.”

It wasn’t a question.

 

“How do you know that?” He asked.

 

“I don’t,” She said, looking smug, “I just guessed.”

He nodded, feeling his shell covering him again.

 

“What type of artist?” She said, her words pulling him back out.

 

“Pianist. Or I used to be.” He said, looking away.

To his surprise, she laughed.

 

“Are you embarrassed?” She asked, smiling.

Scorpius scratched his nose.

 

“I think it’s great.” She said, tilting her head and smiling a little at him.

 

At that moment, Professor Barnes came over to their cauldron with a vial.

They both jumped up, Rose looking guilty, and Scorpius filled the tube with potion, corked it and handed it to Barnes just as the bell rang.

 

“Anyway,” Rose said, her voice less casual and now awkward.

 

“Right.” Scorpius said, feeling awkward too.

The back of his neck felt hot, and he took his time putting things in his bag, deciding what to say to her.

He stood up just as she stood, looking guilty.

 

“So I’ll see you around then.” She said.

 

“Yeah.” Scorpius said intelligently.

 

“Or maybe I’ll see you at the ball or something.” She said, struggling.

 

“Yeah.” He said again, searching for something to say.

She started to walk away.

 

“I’ll be the one with the mask,” he said suddenly, smirking as she swung her bad over her shoulder.

She laughed and someone called her name from the direction of the door.

 

“Rose, come on!” a male voice yelled. Albus Potter, Rose’s cousin.

 

“Bye.” She said, still smiling a little bit but not meeting his eye or even looking at his face, that same conflict raging in her eyes.

 

“See you.” He said nonchalantly, but she probably didn’t even hear it because she was already jogging towards the door.

 

 

 

 

“This is getting ridiculous.” Max glowered as the fifth girl “accidentally” bumped into Scorpius in the hallway towards Muggle Studies.

Scorpius laughed.  He seemed to be doing that a lot in the past hour.

In fact, the muscles in his face felt…weird. Like they weren’t used to being used.  How sad.

 

“It’s like they think I’ll randomly ask them to the ball just because they run into me.” He said.

Max laughed and they both turned as a girl’s voice called across the hall.

 

“Hey, Scorpius!” She called, Scorpius spinning around to see Hallie and her friends coming towards him.

 

“Uh oh.” Max said, and Scorpius elbowed him.

 

“Make an excuse.” He hissed.

Hallie and her followers came into earshot and they both stopped.

 

“Hey Scorpius.” Hallie said, swinging her long hair over her shoulder and looking expectantly at him. Her entourage stood around her, also looking up expectantly at him.

 

“Hi.” Scorpius said shortly, waiting for her to say what she wanted.

 

“So, are you going to the ball?” She asked, looking up at him and tilting her head with a smile.  The girls behind her giggled.

 

“I…actually…” Scorpius began; but suddenly he saw Rose though the crowd and the picture of her face as she said “Tristan? Tristan Edger? You probably know him…”

Max saw his hesitation and tried to help.

 

“We actually have to go, really. We’re really late.” He said, looking at Scorpius.

 

“Yeah, I’m going to the ball.” Scorpius drawled, surprising all of them.

 

“Do you want to go?” He asked, his voice sounding bored to his own ears.

The entourage giggled.

She had the decency to try to look surprised, and then flattered; her voice suddenly annoying and girly to Scorpius.

 

“Oh, of course Scorpius.”

Max had his mouth hanging open.

 

“I’ll see you later then, Hallie.” Scorpius said, and turned quickly with Max, not looking back.

They took a left and came to a quiet place in the hallway.

 

“What in the hell was that?” Max asked exasperatedly.

Scorpius was studying his hands and didn’t answer for a moment.

 

“My mom thinks that…”Scorpius started, but Max shook his head.

 

“I’m your best mate. Don’t pull that on me.”

 

“I…I um, I saw Rose,” Scorpius said quietly, his face down.

 

“Oh.” Max said simply.

 

That was one of Scorpius’ favorite things about Max; he just didn’t push things when they needed to be left alone.  Whatever. If it made his mom happy, then…

 

Sigh.

 

Max left to his next class, and a few moments later Scorpius was in his room of requirement, laying on the couch with his arms clasped behind his head.

 

Damn.

 

It was still only her.

 

I’ll be the one with the mask

 

Did he really say that?

Scorpius rhythmically hit his head on his hand.

So much for a good parting line.

 

He felt her green eyes on his eyes, that sudden spark that made things seem to move in slow motion and then go along at high speed, her lips intoxicated his mind. Scorpius held his breath. The moment passed, and he released his breath all at once, covering his face with his hands. Her laugh echoed in his ears like a song you can’t get out of your head.

 

Tristan Edger? Scorpius shook his head disbelievingly. He didn’t really know him at all. He knew they had gone to Hogsmeade before, but they were still going together? And to the ball?

 

She didn’t seem extremely excited about it…the voice in his head consoled.

 

 

I don’t even know why it should make a difference. It’s not like I would ever ask her…like she would ever say yes. Like she would even talk to me outside of class.

At least I won’t be going alone…even though alone might be better than going with Hallie…

Even if…

 

He had to have her. Being with her was…magic, really. Adrenaline, like jumping from a high building, and yet yearning so…raw and intense it was almost uncontrollable. Like walking on a tight-rope, so careful, but you just wanted to let it all go.

 

Scorpius swung his legs off the couch and put his head in his hands, pushing the heels of his palms into his eyes until he saw purple stars and the crave subsided a little. 

 

He took a deep breath. He had to be strong.

 

It was just…somehow…she made him...he felt normal, himself. Feeling like himself was so foreign to him that it actually felt weird, but so…like things were supposed to be. Not having to think every time before he said something, just flowing and talking and then it all coming to an abrupt halt the moment he realized…he had to remain in the boundaries.  He was starting to think he had multiple personality disorder. In a group of people sometimes he just became…so Malfoy; the sneering and smirking and drawling and the ego. And if he wasn’t being a Malfoy, he was just quiet and reserved and alone.

Rose wasn’t screwed up like he was.

 

They could never be, and he knew that. 

 

We can never be…

 

He lay back down, sighing and crossing his arms. He lay there for a very long time.

 

 

 

Outside, left and down the hall, take a left at the marble pillar, down the stairs, right at the cat statue, left at the painting of the woman in the yellow dress, down the stairs, skip the fifth one—it’s fake, right, right through the skinny hallway, right onto the main eastern hallway, left at the Japanese vase, right at the rusty suit of armour, up the mahogany stairs, left at the green tapestry, down the hall, under Peeves who’s throwing dungboms, left, down the short stairs, left, left, right and down the hall to the portrait of the fat lady, through the hole, into the common room, chairs next to the fire place.

 

Rose

 

“Rose, that green one would look really nice with your eyes.” Dom declared, clutching the catalogue in her hand, looking excited. There was an animated stir of agreement from the other girls.

 

“It looks a little low cut, don’t you think?” Rose said worriedly, eyeing the picture of the deep scoop neck green dress in the catalogue.

 

“If you’ve got, it then flaunt it Rosie.” Amanda said, measuring around her waist with a measuring tape.

 

“Exactly why I won’t wear it.” Rose said, gesturing to her chest.

 

Everyone laughed, and Dom said bluntly, “Please, Rose. Your boobs are fine.”

 

“Ah. Thanks.”

 

Dom tossed her the catalogue and Rose curled up on the red chair next to the fire, pulling her hair over one shoulder and began to leaf through it.

The other girls’ breathless talking about the dresses they were wearing to the dance, and with what shoes made a soft rumble of background noise…

I’ll be the one with the mask…

Rose, smiling, tuned it out and started on the first page, her mind drifting already.

 

So why did he ask me if I was going to the dance?

And Hallie isn’t his girl friend? I wonder why they were all over each other then…

He almost seemed normal for a second there! We were almost…like normal people!

Rose laughed out loud at the absurdity of this statement. Lucy looked up and raised her eyebrow from the other chair. Rose smiled and shook her head.

Ha ha…well…I guess I have to choose a dress if I’m going to go to this ball thing…

 

Rose flipped through the pages, nothing catching her eye until almost the last page. There were two dresses; one was a deep red that would go fabulously with her hair, the satin even looking soft on the paper of the catalogue. And the other one was a greenish blue, and it immediately reminded her…

the dark ocean blue after a storm…

Rose inhaled sharply.  The dress was impossibly beautiful, you had to admit. The neckline dove elegantly low and wide, cutting across the left shoulder, gathering gracefully at the hips and pooling at the ankles.

Rose jumped up off of the chair with the booklet and practically skipped over to where Dom was measuring another girl.

“Dom.” Rose said impatiently, “I found one!”

Dom dropped the measuring tape and grabbed the booklet.

 

“The dark blue one, right?” Dom said, her eyes widening.

…I like green…and dark blue…

 

“Yeah, that one!”

Dom started jumping up and down and Rose did too, the other girl standing there looking quite amused.

 

“Perfect!” Dom exclaimed, picking up the measuring tape and grinning.

 

“So…how do we order it?” Rose asked, suddenly apprehensive.

 

“Ok, well first I get your sizes and your height, and then you just tap your wand on this spot right here,” she said, pointing at a little star on the page next to the dress that said ‘order here’, “and then we’ll have it within five minutes!” Dom cried happily.

 

“Cool!” Rose said, feeling silly but ecstatic none the less, and Dom proceeded to measure Rose, smiling and muttering.

 

Rose loved the dress…and the color. It was just coincidence…not like she had chosen that dress for him or anything…Rose shook her head again violently and Dom shot her a quizzical look.

 

“Nothing.” Rose said, smiling.

 

Tomorrow night was the ball. They had classes for the morning, and then the afternoon to get ready.  Rose wondered if…

 

“…need shoes though,” Dom rattled on as she measured, and Rose snapped back to attention.

 

“Don’t I need a mask too?” Rose asked; she liked the mask idea.

 

“It comes with the dress, see?”

 

Dom held up the folded-back booklet and sure enough there was a picture of a mask to match the dress. The mask was the same color as the dress, but with little droplet pearls around the rim and around the eyes, making an overall beautiful mask.

“Oh.” Rose sighed, and Dom giggled.

 

“You’ll be the prettiest princess at the ball.” She said, laughing.

 

Dom chatted gaily while she took all the measurements, measuring around Rose’s waist and her shoulders, the length of her legs, finally poking the button in the catalogue with her wand. The figure in the booklet immediately came to life and pulled a notebook from somewhere in the folds of the beautiful dress and said in a rather squawky voice,

 

“What size?” Rose looked rather taken aback, but Dom dove right in. “Yes, here are the measurements.” The squawky lady in the beautiful dress scribbled furiously in her little notebook, not even looking up.

Finally she was done, and Rose ran upstairs to get her money to pay for the dress.

 

“Really inexpensive!” Rose exclaimed to Dom as she put a small handful of coins onto the cover of the catalogue.  “That was even less than I paid for my school robes.”  The cover of the booklet opened and swallowed the coins, and the squawky lady appeared again. “Thank you for shopping with us, hope to see you soon.” She said in a monotone voice, and then disappeared.

 

“That was so cool.” Rose said, rolling the tape measure up.

 

“And you’re dress should be here in about five minutes, or that’s what they say in the instructions.”

 

“Great, thanks Dom,” Rose said, pulling her shoes on, “I need to run down to the library but I’ll be right back.”

Dom hesitated, raising an eyebrow at her, but then waved and Rose climbed out of the portrait hole, smiling and humming.

 

 

Rose walked down the hall, her steps echoing off the stone walls and giving the illusion that there was more than one person in the empty hall. She paused at a window, resting her elbows on the sill and looking out at the scenery before her.  The weather was certainly nice; a cool breeze lifted Rose’s hair from her face and she closed her eyes. Listening, she let go and breathed.

 

After a moment, Rose felt more at peace and she left the window and continued to walk towards the library.  It wasn’t him that she was really concerned about in this moment; it was just how he was making things…change? She just felt different, flustered, whenever she thought about him.  

 

Slipping into the library, Rose made her way to her favourite window seat, grabbing a hard bound book randomly off one of the shelves as she walked by. Concealed by two tall bookshelves, this secluded seat was one or Rose’s favorite places to stop and think. She clambered on, leaning on a few squishy pillows and hugging the red book.

 

She heard footsteps behind one of the bookshelves right in front of her, and she instantly stiffened.

Please don’t see me...

 

“Anyway, I don’t think Christy really even cares about Jack at all.” One voice said, with a definite drawl that Rose recognized as belonging to the sort of girls who said “Oh My GOD!” every half a minute.

“Not like I do.” Another voice added mournfully.

They both sighed.

“He is like, so…amazing.” One said.

Rose covered her mouth with her hand, stifling her laughter.

“Okay, so here’s a question.” One girl said, excitement seeping into her voice like ink on thin paper.

“If you could go with ANYONE, and I mean like anyone, who would you go with?”

There was a few seconds of silence.

“Like, fifth and sixth years?”

 

“Yes. I said anyone.”

 

“Scorpius, of course.” The other girl said, laughing. Rose saw a glint of green in the crack between the two shelves. They were Slytherins.

 

“Like, duh.”

Rose ignored the sudden quickening in her pulse.

 

“He is so…amazing.”

 

“Amazingly hot too.”

They both giggled.

Rose shifted her knees so they were leaning on the wall, and put her chin on her hand.

This isn’t really what I need to hear right now.

See? This is why I won’t…don’t like him.

 

“Oh, but Alexia told Jaime, who told Brittany, who told Laura, who told Sallie, who told me that Scorpius isn’t even like coming to the dance!”

 

“Oh my god.”

 

“Bummer, right?”

They collectively sighed.

Rose however, closed her eyes and did not.

Could he have changed his plans so quickly?

 

“I thought he asked Hallie though?” One girl gushed.

 

What?!

 

“Yes, of course he did. Everyone knows that he is like totally in love with her.”

 

“Then why isn’t--” The other started.

 

“I told you, it’s like family stuff or something.”

 

“I thought it was Hallie who was in love with him.”

 

“Well, yes obviously she likes him a lot.” The bossier one stated.

 

“Who wouldn’t?” The other one said, giggling.

 

“I know, right?”

They both giggled, receiving a loud shushing from the depths of the library.

 

“Oops. What time is it?”

 

“Oh. My. God. We’re supposed to meet Derek in five minutes!!”

Rose heard both of their footsteps hurry away, tattering across the wooden floor.

 

She counted to ten in French (badly, mind you…very badly), waiting for them to be gone, and then stood up from the window seat and slid back through the crack in between the shelves. She took a brisk walk towards the exit, sliding the book back onto the shelf before leaving.

Setting her jaw firmly, she walked back to the common room with more purpose than she had originally had coming there. Rose ignored the sinking feeling in her stomach, and concentrated on counting the cobblestones that she passed over.

 

Smack.

 

Rose was suddenly on the floor. Stars popped in front of her eyes and her head felt like it was spinning. She looked to see what she hit and blurrily focused on another person.

 

“Whoa,” a voice said, sounding amused, “easy there.”

 

Rose blinked, already knowing who it was before she actually saw.

His pale hand was hovering by her face, and she bravely grasped it, turning red as he pulled her up. She used all of her focus on not falling over again, and only stumbled a little bit. Malfoy released her hand immediately, and she stumbled again.

He was just standing there looking surprised. And quite attractive, too, with his collar of his shirt up and his hair looking rather windblown. (Probably coming back from a photo shoot.)

He wasn’t wearing robes, Rose noticed immediately. He looked different, like he was going somewhere. Rose shut her mouth and tried to compose her face.

Jerk jerk jerk jerk jerk jerk

 

“Ah…hi.”

 

“Hi.” He said, looking a little bit confused.

 

“Thanks, I wasn’t watching where I was going.” Rose said, suddenly uncomfortably aware of the fact that she hadn’t washed her hair today and that she was wearing a baggy sweater with a stain on it.

 

“I assumed.” He said, nodding and still looking confused.

 

“Lost in thought…” Rose elaborated, a florid tinge creeping up to her cheeks.

She just stared at him. He stared right back at her. What an ass.

 

She broke it first, “Well I should probably be going back to my common room.”

He immediately looked down and scratched the back of his neck. “Oh, yeah. Me too.”

Rose felt panicked suddenly, like she needed to tell him something. She needed to make him think.

 

“Do you still play?” She asked suddenly.

 

“Play…?” He asked, raising an eyebrow. “Scrabble, occasionally.”

Rose laughed in spite of herself.

“Piano.”

 

The sudden intensity in Malfoy’s eyes left Rose breathless. He gave her such a look with so many emotions and things that it overwhelmed her. He looked mostly frustrated, confused, and…other things Rose couldn’t describe. Almost regret, or sadness.

 

“Yeah. I do.” He said, and there was an undercurrent to his words that Rose didn’t understand.

 

What?!? You do what?!?

 

“That’s good.” Rose said, not really remembering what they were talking about anymore or even what her name was, seeing as she was completely distracted and breathless.

The moment passed.

 

“Right, I should go then.” 

 

“Oh, yeah me too,” He said, his face closing.

He regrets talking to me.

 

“See you later then.” Rose had to make herself walk away, not letting her self look over her shoulder. She heard him walking away behind her, and dimly wondered where he was going.

 

“Good luck with you Kung-Fu.” He said over his shoulder, just loud enough for Rose to hear.

Rose laughed, the sound of it echoing with the beat of her racing heart.

 

 

*  *  *  *

 

Rose was seriously thinking that something was wrong with her. Firstly, she couldn’t walk without having to concentrate on it and even when she did she walked into people. Secondly, anytime that Malfoy did that…that look she just lost it.  

 

And speaking of Malfoy…was he coming to the ball? Was he going out with Hallie? Why did she even care again? The common sense voice in Rose’s head now argued with the voices of the girls from the library and also those of Malfoy, making a sort of jumbled yelling match being held inside of her head. But the better question: why did she even care? Rose was beginning to think that Malfoy was just too…enigmatic. Secretive, a mystery; what was his deal? Why did he get that weird look out of no where? That look where…he tried to communicate something with his eyes, but the frustration clouded his intentions? He was dangerous, she knew that for sure. She would probably be in quite a spot of trouble for even talking to him.

Rose bit her nail, pulling her feet underneath her and sliding into a more comfortable position on the chintz chair by the fire in the warm common room.

Rose wondered distantly why she didn’t feel hostile towards Malfoy. From listening to stories that her parents told her, they really hated the Malfoys. And they probably still did, Rose realized with a jolt.

 

 It was suddenly a lot harder to not be friends with Malfoy when he actually acted like a normal person. Talking to him drove a wild curiosity in her; where did he grow up? What did he do as a child? What was he doing right now? What did he do in the summer? Did he read? What subjects did he like?  Their conversation from that day echoed in her ears, and Rose smiled at the ridiculousness of…everything they said. Or that they even said anything, really.

Rose sat in her whirl pool of confusing emotions for a while; not coming to any conclusions other than it must be true that he wasn’t coming to the ball. He looked like maybe he was going somewhere, too…

 

Rose let her head fall back and she closed her eyes. Amidst the crackling of the fire and the voices of the Gryffindor common room, Rose fell into sleep clouded with dreams she didn’t remember later of satin dresses, masks, and a certain rare smile.


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