Chapter 1 : Desperate
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Scorpius Malfoy was getting pretty darn desperate.
And Malfoys didn't generally deal with desperation, if the past did indeed serve as any kind of guide, in the most dignified of ways. Considering the position he found himself tangled up in right at this moment, Scorpius concurred, that he was really no exception to the generational rule.
With a wary huff, he dangled a cigarette precariously from the corner of his mouth, the nicotine buzz with each long, needy drag on this occasion doing no noticeable good for his dangerously wearing and decidedly jumpy disposition. Frustrated beyond belief, he pushed his wind ruined hair out of his eyes and with a distinct lack of interest, but driven by utter boredom, half heartedly attempted to gouge his name into the tough bark of the tree he was currently hiding behind with the heated tip of his wand.
It had to be proclaimed a sad day when a Malfoy was driven to hiding in moss and squirrel infested woods for the good of his...in light of the situation...virtue. Not that there was much virtue left to protect, but compared to the slightly deranged girl after his 'goods' so to speak, he was the poster child of pure and innocent. At least, that was what he liked to tell himself. The mere indignity of it all was enough to revert him right back to a petulant, stomping five year old all over again.
From a weekend that was supposed to be a joyous celebration, to a horror filled afternoon of being chased around the Weasley-Potter manor, Scorpius had seized the first life line he'd stumbled upon with unparalleled enthusiasm. Escape. Escape with the help of Arthur Weasley. If Scorpius got out of this weekend alive or intact at that, he'd make sure the man was made a saint. When he'd stumbled hurriedly into the living room and attempted to hide his 6ft plus frame behind a door, dishevelled, anxious and anything but unruffled, the older man had nodded towards the open French doors, old eyes twinkling mischievously with a lifetimes worth of understanding (not to mention expertise in avoiding intent women!) and whispered, 'Run to the trees, I'll hold her off mate.'. Without a seconds thought, Scorpius did exactly as the wiser man instructed.
He ran. Ran from the last shreds of his sanity.
It was all bloody Al Potters fault now he thought of it. No doubt about that. Al just had to go and get engaged. Al just had to have a family that insisted on celebrating everything on a grandiose scale. Scorpius often thought they would throw a party over the opening of an envelope if they could only get away with it. And Al just had to go and make him his best man. Which, before his life started to roll uncontrollably downhill, he had been pretty chuffed about. What an honour! Who wouldn't be happy? His joy, however, was unfortunately entirely too short lived, and the previously exciting business of being best man rapidly lost all its shiny appeal. It seemed pretty clear to Scorpius that Karma had him black balled and Lily Potter was clinging to his number with that manicured claw she liked to call a hand.
He had logically came to the conclusion that Lily's last year at Hogwarts, of which she had recently graduated, had obviously had an adverse effect on her brain. All that stress, well, it was bad for a girl. She'd obviously gone a little bonkers with the pressure. The Lily he remembered, the sweet, innocent, little sister of his best mate was gone and in its place was a cooing, philandering, red head, who had no concept of the phase 'leave me alone' or 'keep your hands to yourself'. What really got Scorpius though was the fact the Albus found his sisters new found infatuation terribly amusing and that, well, it meant Scorpius had one less person to whinge to, which was never a good thing.
Needless to say, being a chased man had put him on edge. Avoiding the overly keen, overly flirty and cleavage laden Lily was the only thing he could think of to keep him out of an Azkaban cell for completely losing his marbles and irreversibly transfiguring her into an inanimate object.
Maybe he was insane; maybe he should have welcomed her attention with open arms. Any other man wouldn't even dream of running away from such a stunner, but that was where the problem lay. She was stunning, with her poker straight, rusty hair and almond shaped hazel eyes. And she very well knew it. Exploited it in fact. He never did have much patience for the conceited ones, not when he thought of how much of his childhood his mother had spent in front of her mirror. No, Scorpius much preferred a woman with substance, only, the particular woman he seemed to constantly have on mind most probably hated his guts. That however, was an issue for another, less hassled day.
Really, he couldn't help feeling this whole situation was somewhat inevitable. A Malfoy couldn't exist in complete and utter harmony with Potters and Weasleys. It was unnatural, unprecedented even and invariably, due to this long standing curse, it was only befitting that he be punished accordingly. He'd known, he'd always known it was only a matter of time until his association with the Weasley-Potters would be his inevitable end (in a purely metaphorical sense of course).
If truth be told, all he'd wanted to do was relax in the almost there British sun and enjoy a couple of beers. He just wanted to see Al happy and go home feeling like it had been a good, satisfying break from work. But with Lily, the ever annoying rash, hanging around, that hope was swiftly dissipating. Scorpius, feeling rather condemned, grimaced quite unattractively. He was stuck; he couldn't sneak off home at his best mates engagement party. He'd just have to suffer. That thought in mind, he slumped against the trunk in a bit of a sullen sulk. Great, he was turning into his father. That was just what he needed.
In the background, past the rustling of branches and the tinkling, constant run of water from the tiny brook that ran through the woods, Scorpius could just about make out the bursts of laughter and contented chatter creeping with the wind from the crowded garden. There were so many of them, so bloody many. By no means was he in any way a people person, in fact, if it wasn't for his socialite mother and Al, their constant barrage of nagging and that niggling habit of never leaving him with a moments solitary peace, he'd happily be a social hermit living cheerfully with nothing but his own company. Bliss. He liked to believe he was a burgeoning misanthropic. Scorpius dragged a hand through his hair with a self deprecating grin; he really was too like his father than he was at all comfortable with.
“Scorpy?” A simpering, sickly sweet giggle drifted to his ears and filled him with icy dread. She sounded too close, too close for bloody comfort.
Lily the mascara clad massacre was coming to get him and worst of all; she was using that dreadful abbreviation of his name. Scorpius was bad enough, a kind of penance for the crimes of his ancestors he often thought. Or maybe his dad just hated him. Both were plausible. Abbreviating it was simply rubbing salt in the already long standing wound.
“Has anyone seen Scorpy? The boy has just completely disappeared...I'm so dreadfully worried!”
Maybe he could hide in a pile of bracken and pray for a miracle.
A chorus of no's echoed back sending a overwhelming surge of gratefulness flying through his veins, knowing that several of them had indeed seen him dash madly into the trees and had obviously decided he was in need of some well deserved mercy.
“Oh, well, if you see him tell him I want to show him something special!” Maybe he could try to drown himself in all one and a half inches of stream water. “Tell him I'll be waiting inside!”
The sound of retreating tottering heels slowed his pulse significantly.
He could always make for his room and barricade himself in for the remainder of the 'celebration'. But then he'd miss out on Mrs Weasley's cooking and well, he couldn't do that. She made the best apple tart and custard he'd ever tasted, putting up with a mad eighteen year old was something he could live through, was surely a sacrifice worth giving in favour of Nanny Weasley's magnificent food.
He was starving already, the smell of roast beef coaxing and luring him out of his hideout with comforting, stroking fingers. His stomach contracted in annoyance and rumbled angrily, roaring its argument in favour of mingling with those few nice Weasleys and Potters that weren't clinically insane. Risk of mauling or not, Scorpius was heading out for food. He wasn't going to die of starvation because he was a coward, at least, not today anyway.
Running a hand through his beyond messy hair, Scorpius straightened himself up, had a quick mental pep talk about being Draco Malfoy's apparently esteemed son and stepped out from behind his short time sanctuary feeling both unsteady and wary. Through squinted eyes, he scanned the immediate area for any signs of the demon Potter and established it was really quite pointless to try and differentiate one red head from the next. He might as well just go for it. It wasn't like Lily was going to jump out from behind a rose bush and sexual harass him in front of her whole sodding family. At least, he has praying on the girl having even the smallest slashing of dignity.
He didn't have all that much hope if he was honest.
Cautiously, peering around, he slowly began to stroll back over to the bustling crowd of people, winking back at his new favourite Weasley, Arthur, as he went. His nemesis was evidently nowhere to be seen and Scorpius felt a wave of imperturbable calm, a calm that lasted all of two precious seconds.
“Anyone would think that you were avoiding someone Malfoy!” An amused chuckled sounded from just behind.
He let out a relieved sigh at the sound of Al's familiar voice and quickly turned a confident smirk his way, really quite pleased to see that head of uncontrollable hair walking his way, “Well...then they'd be entirely right!”
Al grinned lazily and patted him on the shoulder “That bad, mate?”
He rolled his eyes drolly and accepted the bottle of beer Al's fiancé, Jules, was dangling in front of his face with a gracious, thankful smile, “Where is your delightful sister anyway?” Scorpius drawled sarcastically and took a large swig.
“I believe James just spotted her and dragged her into the house saying something about her lack of clothing.” Al shook his head with a smile and threw an arm round Jules, kissing the tip of her nose softly. Scorpius just about managed not to retch at the sweetness...just. “Rose is here by the way.” Al continued on in a conversational tone and slyly avoided his best friends eyes.
Rose is here by the way. Rose is here. The sentence span around his conscious and slowly sank in. Seeped into understand and morphed into worry. Rose was here. Right at this moment...and now he knew, it was cemented in fact, he was certainly not going to live out this weekend. He began thinking of witty quotes to pop on his grave stone.
“I...I thought...shit!” Scorpius' cheeks began to flush a steady red as he stamped a few steps closer, “You said she was bloody working! You assured me she wouldn't be here!” He growled in a shouting whisper, dragging a flustered hand through his hair and pulling on the ends.
Rose Weasley, the very name brought...mixed emotions. Namely panic. Mostly anxiety. And an overwhelming sense of embarrassment. Not to mention attraction. He was a bloody dead man.
“Calm down mate!” Al threw up his hands in what looked like surrender and tried to soothe Scorpius with his a famous Potter grin, but for the rather exasperated blonde, the fact his best friend had set him up, made him much less susceptible to the boys placid charms. Al, being the clever young man he was, backed off a few tentative steps and began to edge behind a less than impressed Jules due to the dark, glowering and somewhat murderous scowl that had taken over Scorpius face.
“I'm marrying a coward.” Jules half laughed, half scoffed as she eyed Al and placed her hands firmly on her hips.
“Now, now, love! No need for that talk.” Al chuckled defensively and tucked a strand of her very red hair behind her ear affectionately, “It's just Scorpius there has been known to lash out and I would prefer to have a straight nose on our wedding pictures, sweetheart!”
Jules smiled and patted his cheek before grabbing his hand and pulling him fully behind her so she could face the fairly cross Scorpius full on. “You're a man! Act like one, Malfoy!”
“Says the woman with her fiancé cowering behind her!” Scorpius snorted loudly but visibly relaxed all the same. He rolled his eyes and rubbed a hand over his stubbled cheek, he was doomed. He was completely doomed.
Al rested his chin on Jules' shoulder and grinned sheepishly, “Spending some time with her will do you good!”
“Oh yes, spending time with a violent, grouchy mentalist is exactly what I need!” He scoffed and felt his face fall. “She hates me!”
“I wouldn't say hate exactly...” Jules placated, not sounding the least bit convinced.
Al rolled his eyes cheerfully, “Quit your moaning Scorp, you're stuck here.”
“Don't I bloody know it!”
“Rose!” Someone shouted excitedly.
“Great!” He muttered sarcastically as various members of various families began rushing past him. “Just peachy, just bloody-”
The complaint died abruptly on his lips as he saw her standing in the growing crowd. Hugging relative after relative, her cheeks a becoming shade of glowing pink as though she hardly relished the attention but was glad for the affirmation of love their ministrations meant all the same.
Now, in clear sight, he broodingly acknowledged the newcomer.
Rose Weasley had been his rival in all senses. Wit, intelligence, sarcasm and popularity to name a few. No matter what lines he thought up or how many pranks he pulled off, he never came out on top, never, and that made her the most infuriatingly appealing woman in the world. It always confused him how he could find somebody so frustratingly annoying and yet at the same time, fancy the pants off her. It was illogical, insane, not at all the behaviour of a Malfoy! Even though his dad found his infatuation, which really kicked off when she gave him a good slap round the chops, rather amusing for some unexplainable reason.
To say he'd been mildly obsessed with her all the way through Hogwarts would have unfortunately been an understatement. He'd spent the last year and a bit expertly kidding himself he was well past that stage in his life, that those feelings had died down, but even now, as he felt a hot trickle of attraction creep through his body, he knew he was a goner. He knew that saying he was over her had just been a big old act of self denial. He could hardly breathe when she smiled.
Rose, blush fading from her cheeks, looked every bit the woman he remembered. As Al's best friends, they had never really seen eye to eye. She was studious, strict and up tight, he was loud, obnoxious and only studied when Al threatened him with violence or Rose. Although, Rose and violence for him were really the same thing. It was hard for him, wanting to kiss the girl that embarrassed him in front of all his friends, it had been hard knowing she destroyed any semblance of Malfoy grace and dignity he usually held and that that ability enamoured her more than imaginable. He had always been a fan of self destruction.
Since graduation, and a very awkward incident which involved too much champagne, his lack of self control and her painful reaction, they had both avoided one another viciously. Which for Scorpius, in some ways, didn't feel long enough. It was his entire fault, it was all down to him that they didn't even talk civilly to one another anymore. It was only inevitable that he ended up with her knee somewhere delicate and a deeply wounded ego which had taken quite a bit of stroking to get back to where it was today.
Scorpius, torn and quite embarrassed by that memory, watched her tuck a fiery strand behind her ear, eyes scanning the crowd as the hand she used to control the wild curls fell briefly to the strap of her dress on her shoulder. Not being able to resist the temptation, he slowly let his eyes fall and follow her fitting summer dress that hugged her every curve. Rose's soft auburn curls cascaded down her back, her pale ivory skin holding no blemish other than a faint scattering of freckles he'd counted one too many times. Scorpius grudgingly melted when he came back to those large, chocolate eyes as they found his, widening slightly with recognition. She was more than beautiful, easily surpassing the forced and fake qualities of her cousin, Lily, with the mere whisper of her graces.
Then again, when the familiar scowl flittered across her features at the sight of him, he hardly hesitated in throwing one right back.
Al sighed at the familiar sight, safe in the knowledge that there was no way in hell those two were going to leave this weekend without one another. He was going to make sure of that, even if it killed him. They were going to do a bit of growing up....well...hopefully.
A/N: Awful? Goodish? Plain atrocious? How d'you like Scorpius?
So yeah, I'm not going to ramble for once, thanks for taking the time to read...and review if you decide to
Thanks again =]
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