Chapter 3 : Graduation
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Wondered eyes travelled across the glittering decorations that adorned the once sparse and empty Great Hall. Light danced and bounced across shining surfaces, reflecting and refracting into every inch of space, over smiling faces and dancing, writhing bodies that crowded the heaving make shift dance floor.
Rose had really gone and out done all of her predecessors as Head Girl with this one. She had given her year the best Leaver's ball she could. The sleepless nights, the hours of indecision over this colour scheme and that, the nearly nonstop bossing of prefects about she had to do, had been entirely worth it. Every grin that turned her way, every hand that reached out to shake hers or pull her into a hug, made the two months of pure unadulterated organisational stress pale in comparison. She really couldn't have felt happier, except maybe if that certain someone actually asked her to dance rather than scowled whenever somebody else took the prerogative to do just that.......
Scorpius, if he was being completely honest with himself, was feeling rather shell shocked by this whole day. This was his new beginning, the very certain end of his adolescent years were just around the corner, ready to pounce as soon as the last beating song died to a buzzing, unwanted end. He was petrified, utterly petrified and no amount of glitter or muggle music would quell that ache. It refused to disappear and leave him be, inevitability was a constant shadow and that dreaded first Monday morning of his real adulthood would forcefully bludgeon its way into his life whether he was ready or not.
This day, their graduation, was an end of an era.
Scorpius wished they could all stay here forever, kept and cradled by the warm, comforting walls of their childhood home. They'd grown up here, had arguments and laughed over the silliest of things. They'd plotted pranks, hexed unsuspecting Hufflepuffs, talked quidditch and smuggled in cleverly disguised bottles of Fire Whiskey. This very hall, this now fancily disguised space was the place he had found himself accepted, despite his name and his families past, despite the prejudice that still wafted around the generations. In this wonderful shelter of stone and magic, Albus Potter and Rose Weasley had welcomed him, a Malfoy, into their lives and he had never said how grateful he truly was. Scorpius couldn't help but feel a little soppy on the inside now that that portion of his life was dwindling to an unavoidable close.
Shaking his head to rid himself of such miserable thoughts, he found himself falling into a comfortable smile at the wildly dancing Al not too far away, all waving arms and uncontrollable legs. A sight he had so often seen, and laughed at, during the many parties they had illegally thrown over the years. His gaze and that infamously charming Malfoy grin travelled across Rose's impeccable work and found themselves dwelling on the woman of the night.
It wasn't often a Malfoy was left with his jaw brushing the floor, but that night seemed to be an engender of firsts. She left him speechless with her effortless grace, took the air from his lungs when that mane of fiery locks flew around her face as she danced care free. The glint in her eyes, the blush when she caught his. He wanted to storm right onto the stage, steal the microphone and announce to the whole hall that Rose Weasley had stolen his heart, was the only girl who ever truly had. But Malfoys didn't indulge in such overt displays of affection...at least not sober ones.
God's he really didn't want to leave here without making her understand or kissing those tempting, ruby lips before the night was out. He didn't want to leave without her and yet, Scorpius found himself quite unceremoniously stuck in his seat, nursing a warm Butterbeer in a bout of cowardice. Dutch courage, that was what he needed. Not being a Gryffindor, he had no idea how to get just that.
Rose had really started to change her mind about him as the final months of their school lives had began to slip away, and it had taken the general population of Hogwarts, teachers included, by great surprise. The already preposterously avid rumour mill had been in an excited overdrive, all pupils smiling, giggling and gossiping profusely about the two leaving seventh years tentatively calming relationship. The unfamiliar sight of them sharing words without threats was a spectacle that many had been waiting with baited breath for, so when Rose began to freely smile at the sight of him or let that lilting laugh of hers blossom at the sound of his jokes, even the atrociously cheesy ones involving two house elves and an intoxicated troll, it was fairly hard not to feel too optimistic. Even if such an emotion was quite out of his usual range. He just couldn't help the wishful yearn, the sprinkling of daring, invading hope when he thought back to the way she had gently held his hand in hers as they waited nervously by the side of the stage at graduation earlier that night.
As they waited together for their names to be announced as Valardictorians, Rose, his Rosie, had let her thumb softly stroke across the back of his hand in soothing circles and, with a gentle and very becoming flush gracing her cheeks, had coyly leaned up on her tiptoes and softly brushed her lips against his cheek in a sweet second of iridescent bliss. He had been rather glad when she'd decided her shoes were of the upmost interest afterwards because he had the dopiest grin to ever grace mankind spread unabashedly across his in response.
He just had to tell her how much he wanted her; how his eyes sought her out in any room he entered. How when she touched him his heart very nearly leapt right out of his chest or that when they argued the heat between them was sensationally addictive. He wanted her to know how he used honeysuckle shampoo so he could smell her on his pillow and that was the only way he could sleep. Slightly weird, he admitted, but irrevocably true. No other girl made him ignite and fluster like she did, and this could very well be his last chance.
Who knew what life after Hogwarts would hold for them both?
The song quickly skipped to a soft, crooning love song and Scorpius rolled his eyes sardonically at the completely predictable cliché. His defining moment was marked. The music was perfectly cheesy, the girl was staring at him expectantly from just across the dance floor, eyebrows raised in an intimidating challenge, and he...he couldn't move a muscle. It seemed his night was going to be spent in the chair he currently frequented instead of with the girl he wanted.
Scorpius couldn't have that end to his Hogwarts story. He just couldn't.
He had to go over. He had to...
“I can't go over.” Scorpius shook his head vehemently and swiftly finished off his beer. “I can't, she'll rip me to sodding pieces.” He took a withering draw on his cigarette, his eyes quickly shifting nervously between a grumpy looking Rose on her precariously rickety bench and a hopeful, twitchy Al. “Look at her, she looks like she's in blood lust. That woman is out to get me, Al. And you, you set this whole thing up.”
“You, my dear friend, are a drama queen.” Al scoffed cheerfully.
Scorpius let out a long, laborious breath of discontent. “You've met my dad, what do you expect?!”
Al laughed rather exasperatedly, running a hand through his hair whilst throwing a frowning Scorpius a pleading look. “Listen, Rose is in the exact same boat as you! You're both incredibly stupid, that's an established fact...” Scorpius opened his mouth to argue but Al, cheeky grin and all, cut him off swiftly, “...and it's also pretty obvious that you're the only person on her mind and vice versa!” He smiled encouragingly though Scorpius felt more harassed than anything. He figured Rose was probably contemplating whether to castrate him before the beatings or after. “You'd know that Scorp, if you actually had the balls to make eye contact with my cousin!”
“Hah! They've retracted at the mere thought of her!”
“Oh lovely!” Al deadpanned with a droll roll of his eyes. “Anyone ever told you how charming you are?”
“My mother.” Scorpius drawled, copying Al's tone perfectly.
Scorpius arched a blonde brow at the glass of golden, bubbling liquid Al had thrust before his eyes and his perfect view of Rose. “And what exactly is it?” He asked curiously, taking the offering and examining it with a critical eye.
“Ah, well you see mate, this...” Al tapped the glass and grinned mischievously, “Is a little muggle delicacy!”
“Will it kill me?”
Scorpius gave it a little experimental sniff. “Smells alright.”
“Tastes even better. Champagne they call it I believe...” Al, ever the entrepreneur, looked around suspiciously for any prying ears and shuffled his chair that little bit closer to Scorpius' just incase, “...thought I'd spice the evening up abit, remind our peers what a real party is y'know. So, being the genius I am, I swapped the drinks...kind of explains why Sam Longbottom is standing on a table, trying to remove his clothing!” He finished with a somewhat befuddled grimace and a shiver.
Scorpius let out a slightly evil chuckle and brought it to his lips with a dangerously impish grin. “Bottoms up then mate...”
Thing is, Scorpius wasn't one for 'moderation' and well, performing a 'Longbottom' was never beneath a drunken Malfoy.
“Lily! Oi, Lily! Come over here!”
“What in Merlin's name are you doing!” Scorpius growled bewildered, figuring that imminent marriage had obviously began to decay his best mate's brain cell count prematurely.
“Well, I figure you either spend the evening with my delightful sister or Rose...” Al shrugged nonchalantly, though the little calculating glint twinkling away in the green of his eyes gave him away instantly. “Your pick, Scorp.”
“I'm going back to the woods, hiding behind a tree is eminently better than either option...” Scorpius turned to leave only to find Al had an iron grip on the front of his jumper.
“There you are!”
Scorpius heaved a sigh, a strange mixture of pain, desperation and annoyance throbbing through the sound. That voice, in all its squeaky, raking wonder, went right through him. Sent horrified chills tumbling down his spine. He helplessly watched a freshly powdered Lily bound happily over from the house through her chuckling, smiling relatives. Obviously, Scorpius thought to himself somewhat bitterly, they all enjoyed a round of the old favourite past time, 'Bate the Malfoy'.
“Save me!” He hissed to everyone in the general vicinity, the thought of kicking Al in the shin and legging it becoming more and more appealing. Or diving behind any nearby shrubbery to keep up his running theme of salvation in greenery.
“Your pick.” Al repeated simply and grinned slightly too obnoxiously for Scorpius' liking.
“I hate you, Al.” He breathed heavily and raked his fingers through his tousled mess of hair. “Sometimes, I think you get a sick kind of joy out of making me suffer.”
“I do mate, I do.” He nodded solemnly, “But only when it's for your own go-”
“Have you missed me?!” Lily bounced forwards on the balls of her feet as she stopped enthusiastically in front of the arguing pair and slapped her brother's hand away to replace it with her own.
“No.” Scorpius deadpanned dryly, eyeing her hand with hopeless consternation. “Not in the least.”
Well, at least he was honest.
Al snorted loudly and quickly turned it into a cough at the sight of Lily's scowl.
She, however, briskly set her face into a sweet, innocent smile and sent a startling amount of lash fluttering Scorpius' way. “You're so funny Scorpy!”
“You should see me when I try.” He muttered and sent Al, via the language of facial expressions, a very clear death threat.
“I'll leave you two lovebirds to catch up.” Al started to slowly stroll away despite Scorpius' not so subtle head shakes.
“Yeah, Al, good idea.” Lily smiled widely and ran her hand down a bewildered and frightened Scorpius' chest.
“No, Al...Al! You stay right there! Or I'll, I'll get very-”
“I think...” Al propped a hand behind his ear and smirked wickedly, “I think I hear my mom shouting my name!” He put a hand over his mouth and proceeded to shout his name in a terrible impression of Ginny Potter, who was in fact standing a few yards behind him and seemed to be eyeing her second born with a mixture of amusement and concern. “Yeah, I'll be right there mom!”
Ginny rolled her eyes and went back to telling James off for chewing with his mouth open.
“Al! You...bloody Merlin...Al?!” Scorpius called after his retreating back desperately.
Doomed. Utterly doomed. He could feel the years of his life washing away.
He looked down with dread to what Lily must have believed was a face of dignified seduction. She looked more like a trout in his mind and so he was forced to cough dramatically to hide the curl of unstoppable laughter that had made its way to his mouth.
“So...” Sickening giggle, fluttering eyelashes...she was using all her skills, “...we're alone!”
“We're in a garden full of people...we're hardly alone.”
“Semantics.” She purred.
He reared back amused and arched a brow, his lips quirking slightly into a surprised smirk, “Do you even know what semantics means, Lily?” He joyfully asked in a fairly condescending tone.
She flushed violently. “Well...no! But, I heard Rose say it before...no idea what it means, it just sounded good.”
Rose. Scorpius sighed heartily and nodded, if only it was Rose purring 'semantics' at him...or anything in fact. He often thought her purring a death threat would be enough to get him hot under the collar. Letting Lily drone on about her day, he risked a curious, and somewhat longing, glance over in her direction and found the most delightfully surprising sight he'd seen in quite some time. Rose wasn't directing that dangerous glare at him anymore. Oh no, quite the contrary, she seemed to have redirected her anger for the time being on the hand that sat playing with the smooth cashmere knit of his jumper and the individual on the end of it.
Scorpius smirked indulgently, his calculating Slytherin mind cooking up a plan as he contemplated both ladies keenly. Suddenly, plot formulated, he laughed charmingly at something Lily said, throwing her off guard but obviously cheering her right up. He noted happily that Rose turned a very hot shade of pink as her eyes narrowed, burning, over bubbling with potent jealousy at her younger cousin. This was brilliant, she was jealous! Rose Weasley was so very fantastically jealous, and Scorpius couldn't have felt better if he'd won the lottery.
There was no doubt about it, he still had it. And Rose definitely wanted a piece or two or three, actually, Scorpius was prepared to let her have anything she wanted. This situation was far too perfect to be true and he could definitely use it to his advantage...as a matter of fact, he planned to...if he could just keep Lily's hands off him long enough for it to work.
Seduction. He was a skilled master, a coinsurer of classy pick up lines and sexy smiles. Self confident as it sounded, he reckoned even the great Minerva Mcgonnagal would have been swooning at his feet if she were subject to one of his special winks! Why he'd even considered that disturbed him greatly, but he swiftly swept it to the back of his mind to refocus on his sweet, sweet Rosie. He knew very well, or rather happily deluded himself, that that slightly worried gleam in Rose's eyes as he unsteadily made his way over was all a clever cover for the burning, unadulterated desire she felt for him. Obviously. How could she not want such an in demand stud?!
Ah, sweet seduction, he was just too bloody good. Rose would be putty in his hands in no time. See, it was all about the swagger, so him tripping over a chair and narrowly missing a collision with the floor could be easily ignored now that he'd crossed the room without injuring himself or his pride further.
“Rosieee!” He took that last statement back. “Oi, Rosieee!” Slurring, Scorpius decided, didn't even look good on him.
An annoying voice at the back of his head, that sounded incredibly like his mother, told him to turn around and get some coffee. Some very black coffee. It demanded he sober up before it was far too late. Don't make an idiot of yourself, it pleaded. Don't shame the Malfoy name...yet again. Keep all of your clothes on this time, no matter how many people call for an impromptu streak. Most definitely keep your drunken arse self away from the perfectly sober head girl. Scorpius, who had been teetering between objecting and agreeing, scoffed obnoxiously at the last instruction. He didn't think he could stay away from her now even if he tried.
Spilling half a cup of sparkling wine over a miserable looking Hufflepuff as he continued on his merry way and elbowing that know it all Ravenclaw in the chest accidentally on purpose, he stumbled past a few disconcertingly dirty dancing Slytherins and finally sidled up to Rose's bemused side. Her big browns wide with a mixture of curious amusement and concern. Too late for regret, Scorpius threw an arm securely around her shoulders, partly to keep himself standing but also to make sure she couldn't run away. Slytherins...even intoxicated ones...always thought ahead.
“You...” He tapped the tip of her nose affectionately and planted a kiss on her cheek, his half lidded eyes shuddering shut for a few seconds as though he was fighting back the strong urge to just fall asleep where he stood, “...are gorgeous, d'you know that, Rosie?”
Rose choked on her mouthful of pumpkin juice, her eyebrows retreating right into her hairline. “And you're drunk...” She smiled wryly up at him, “...so whatever comes out of that mouth of yours I promise to use against you for any blackmail situations that arise in the near future.” She chuckled with a roll of her eyes and patted his chest wearily as he leaned against her and took another swig. “In the meantime, how about I confiscate that glass for the sake of your sobriety and you and I have a nice sit down?”
“I don't need to sit down woman!” Scorpius argued petulantly, his lips curling into a defiant and adorably childish pout.
“Oh really?” She arched a brow in challenge.
“So if I duck from under your arm, you'll still be standing?”
“No.” He shook his head seriously and Rose couldn't help but laugh that laugh he adored.
“I'll be having that drink then.” She plucked it from his hands and popped it on the table behind.
“You're...” Scorpius studied her thoroughly, “...I know I'm a git sometimes...”
“Most of the time.” She corrected him with a cheeky smirk.
“Most of the time.” He nodded, matching her smirk and beginning to direct the little red head towards the exit, clumsily navigating their way through the dancing crowd. He honestly couldn't think straight, not with the feel of her warm, curvy body tucked against his. It felt so right, so perfect. “But you have to admit I've changed and you have to admit that you're bloodly mad about me-”
“Is that right!?” She scoffed unconvincingly, so forced that even Scorpius through his haze of alcohol induced happiness caught the hint of insincerity and vulnerability that carried through the honey of her voice.
“I've seen you Rosie, you want me! I see it in your eyes, all the time; you can hardly contain yourself from ripping off my clothes and ravishing me! Just come out and say it gorgeous, look...” He whispered in what he thought was a terribly husky and alluring voice, “...we're alone now. Admit you want me!”
For a moment, Scorpius could have sworn she was going to snog him right then and there, and he got very very excited. The want, the striking spark that had ignited in the molten brown of her eyes had been a very telling sign, but just as Scorpius had expected, Rose covered herself and her slip with effortless ease.
Her lips thinned into a sarcastic smile. “Drunken, adolescent, overly blonde...” She arched a brow and slipped from under his arm in the deserted corridor, “...what's there not to love?”
“Exactly!” Scorpius grinned jovially and leaned his shoulder against the wall, slipping further down by the second and letting her blithe laugh wash over him greedily.
He watched her watching him, her face alight with something quite akin with affection as those eyes swept over his dishevelled appearance and settled, he noted joyfully, for a rather telling time on his lips. He watched her begin to worry her own, taking her bottom lip between her teeth as she contemplated just what ever to do with her newly acquired drunken Malfoy.
She slowly took a few steps back towards him, nearly closing that space between them but holding back where he would have certainly chosen to indulge. Honeysuckle crept over his senses, its calming scent lulling his want to have her right then and there into a gentle submission. He was hers, all hers. If only she would take him. His heartbeat sped, tripled by anticipation, daring him to just lean those few inches forward and taste her for the very first time.
“Let's get you to bed, Scorp.” She said softly.
And he very nearly groaned at how downright sexy she sounded.
“I thought you'd never ask!” He informed her with a lazy wink. “You've always wanted to get in my boxers! And they're silk too, you like silk. I wore them for you, love!”
“Marvellous!” She smirked dryly and reached out to take his hand but Scorpius, his mind on the prize as she gasped deliciously, quickly pulled her to him, his hands sliding around her waist to the small of her back and pressing her flush against his body.
“Scorpius...” It came out as a breath, a hot, revealing breath.
“You're...” He knew he must have looked like a nervous kid, his hair mused and his cheeks burning but no matter how much of a fool he felt, he could only focus on Rose. “I...I really, well, I..I like you, Rosie. A lot. More than a lot. Too an unhealthy level actually...” He admitted quietly as his forehead rested against hers and his nose clumsily nudged her own. He was so caught up in the relief of the moment, in finally getting it off his chest that he didn't notice the wide, shocked eyes or the panicked increase of breath as she realised what might be coming next.
It wasn't that she didn't want it to happen, her heart was banging its approval with an unprecedented vigour, she just wished it was a sober Scorpius whispering that rather inarticulate line to her instead. She could keep that line any other time, she could cherish it but this, she didn't want a drunken admission and she didn't want something that would disappear by the waking hours. She wanted perfection, not a shadowy satire of it.
Rose wanted her Mr Darcy to not have overindulged in cheap, black market, fizzy wine.
Her hands slid up his chest, the muscles tensing and shifting beneath her travelling touch, ready to give him a little shove back and stop whatever the drunken, quite frankly too adorable, Scorpius would think of next but she just couldn't push that beautiful face away. The honesty that danced and swirled in the grey of his eyes stole her every sensible thought. They'd never been this close. Nose to nose. Heart to heart. And she couldn't for the life of her say she didn't love it, that she didn't want him. Her eyes flickered treacherously down to his lips as they edged that little bit closer to hers, tentatively tasting the air, so soft and rosy....so...so awfully wet!
And that small, insignificant fact pretty much broke the magic for her. As pathetic as it seemed when she thought back during her self deprecating moments in the months to follow, those too wet lips had been a little too much to ask. She voluntarily reared back with a frown of discontent, her mouth falling half open with a comment about his alcohol fuelled breath wreaking havoc on her sobriety when those two, overly moist, plump lips crashed down upon hers and caught her entirely by surprise. She stood stock still as the faint thumping of the music died in the distance and the sounds of joy and laughter began to file out into the corridor they were currently sharing saliva in.
This wasn't how it was supposed to be! It was so terribly wrong from every kiss she'd ever dreamed of them sharing! He was bloody ruining everything! Annoyance riffled to the forefront of her mind, fighting viciously against that incessant portion of her brain that was thoroughly enjoying (that was an understatement) being attached to Scorpius Malfoy after all this time. Rose did the first thing that came to mind, she hit out. Her knee swiftly came up in a crippling blow to his privates and Scorpius crumpled like a sack of heavy potatoes to the floor. Rose stood, flushed to the tips of her hair, a moaning, nearly sobbing, Scorpius clutching his bits at her feet and the majority of their year standing open mouthed and shocked at the mouth of the corridor.
She smiled weakly at the crowd and dared a look at her victim. He avoided her eye line as best as he could and she winced at the excruciatingly embarrassed and pain filled scowl that had crept over that beautiful smile of his. A panicked Al pushed his way through the group of whispering graduates and helped his best friend up without a word, all he did was sigh and Rose knew it had been directed at her. She'd messed it all up. In her constant need for control, in her constant want for that perfect moment, she'd messed up the best thing she'd ever nearly had.
It would be a miracle if Scorpius would ever look, let alone forgive her.
AN: Did it get confusing at all? Any good/bad parts? Anything I could add/take away?
Please review? I can't tell you how much I value everyones imput =] I really do
You've all been amazingly supportive so far and I'm very, very grateful, you're all brilliant
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