Chapter 1 : A Pair of Pansies
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Disclaimer: I own neither Rose nor Scorpius (nor Hogwarts or Hogsmeade, for that matter).
Dressed entirely in black, Rose tip-toed out of the sixth year girls' dormitory and slipped down the winding staircase, sneaking quietly into the moonlit common room. The fire had long since died out and the room rang with an ominous silence while she listened for the trace of her discovery. Avoiding the floorboards she knew to be squeaky, she stepped carefully towards the portrait hole.
She felt her stomach plummet as she jumped in fear, nearly falling into a nearby bookcase, and cried in horror. Clutching her pounding heart, she turned to see a head of short blond hair peeking up from behind one of the loveseats by the desolate fireplace, illuminated by the light of the night sky that flooded in through the tower's window. She heaved a heavy sigh of relief.
'Bloody fuck, Scorpius, you scared me,' she breathed. 'What the hell is wrong with you?'
She saw him smile. 'Not much more than people who sneak out of Gryffindor tower in the middle of the night.'
'You're not even supposed to be here,' she accused, disguising her blush. 'Why are you and Al always in our common room?'
'We have our ways.'
She raised an eyebrow.
'He needed to talk to James about something, so he conned the password out of some third-year girl,' he admitted.
'So he's still up there?'
'Yeah, fucking wanker,' he said bitterly, rubbing the back of his neck and sitting up in his seat. 'Fell asleep with my neck sideways.'
Scorpius lifted himself off the sofa and slowly walked over to where Rose was standing, her hand still defensively pressed against her chest. The ancient floorboards groaned under his feet. He tilted his head, bemused, and smiled curiously.
'And where, may I ask, are you off to?'
She crossed her arms across her chest, and he mirrored her, before calmly replying, 'To the kitchens.'
'Now? Don't you expect those poor elves to get any rest?'
Rose considered her mother's outrage at the thought of her own daughter mistreating the school house-elves.
'Well I missed dinner in detention and I'm hungry. Do you have any better ideas?'
Scorpius pondered her question for a moment before smiling.
'Do you feel like going for an adventure? Because we could always go into Hogsmeade.'
'Shit, you can do that? I was wondering where James got all his booze for his stupid parties...'
'Well, are you up for it?'
'You're not going to get me expelled, are you?'
'Wouldn't dream of it, darling.' He winked as she rolled her eyes.
'Fine, but I have to go upstairs to get a jumper and money,' she said, hurrying back towards the steps of the staircase.
'Don't worry about the money,' he called after her. 'Bill owes me a favour.'
'I don't want to know,' she muttered as she skipped up the stairs.
Scorpius chuckled quietly as he waited for her. She returned dressed in a fitted, but likely warm, jacket and a black cap, her eyes glittering with excitement. She asked for the time and, after checking his watch, he told her it was half one.
‘You sure Al won’t mind?’
‘That idiot had me waiting down here for four hours. Honestly, I don’t give two shits if he dies up there.’
Rose laughed softly and he smiled. The quiet sound reverberated around the walls in the silence of the night-time.
‘Alright then,’ she said, stepping forward. ‘Let’s go.’
Scorpius led her through numerous secret passage ways, urging her to be quiet and stop asking questions. Rose found herself in awe at the magic of the school she had never known before. Though she was a known trouble-maker amongst the school staff, she had never bothered to explore the school after hours. Instead, her mischievousness was restricted to back-talking professors when they frustrated her, as she had never learned to control her temper, and pulling the haphazard prank on other students with Albus, who was occasionally accompanied by his second, Scorpius.
Finally, the pair emerged from the darkness of hidden corridors and into the light of streetlamps. Scorpius grasped Rose’s hand and guided her out of an opening in the side of the castle.
‘That’s so weird. I thought all of the passageways leading out of the school had caved in during the war,’ she said, looking back at the castle as they strolled down towards the quiet village.
‘Yeah, me too,’ he said quietly. ‘But I guess not.’
‘Clearly,’ she said sarcastically. ‘Are you cold?’
She realised that while she had had time to retrieve a sweater, he had been in Gryffindor tower with no access to his clothes. He had come out in the early November air dressed in a jumper that she expected would not shield him from the biting cold of the autumn night.
‘Nah, I’m a man,’ he said gruffly, his voice laced with humour.
She shook her head in disbelief. ‘So, where the hell are you taking me, anyway?’
‘Three Broomsticks,’ he answered. ‘They’re the only place around here that still has any business at this time. We came out on the wrong side, so it’s a bit of a walk from here.’
They walked in silence for a couple of paces. Scorpius had thrust his hands into his trouser pockets as Rose walked alongside him, gazing up at the stars in wonder.
‘What did Al want James for?’ she asked casually, her eyes lost in the heavens.
Scorpius looked at her. ‘Some bird’s giving him trouble.’
She snapped her head back to look at Scorpius, a maniacal grin at her lips.
‘Albus Potter is having trouble with a girl? Oh, tell me who she is!’
‘I think her name’s Jenny. Ravenclaw.’
Rose recognised the name of a pretty petite brunette in her Transfiguration section. She looked back at the deserted path ahead of them.
‘She’s nice,’ she said. ‘What’s going on with her?’
‘He fancies her. A lot.’ Scorpius felt a pang of guilt that he was confessing Albus’s secrets.
Rose snorted. ‘How does he expect James to help him?’
Scorpius smiled to himself. It was common knowledge that James Potter had been unsuccessfully chasing after the same girl for two years. ‘Maybe he wants advice on how to scare her off. Or get a restraining order.’
Rose pondered her cousin’s situation for a moment. ‘Maybe I’ll help him. I could put in a good word for him.’
‘You would never do that for me!’ cried Scorpius in indignation.
‘Sure I would,’ she replied, irritably. ‘You’ve just never asked.’
‘I’m going to hold you to that,’ he said, smiling at her.
The pub, though not nearly as full as Rose had ever seen it, was relatively alive; she estimated at twenty or so customers. Scorpius steered her towards an empty booth and went up to the bartender while Rose pulled off her jumper and seated herself. She looked up just as Scorpius had walked up to their booth and taken his seat at the table by her side, but still maintaining a friendly distance.
‘What was that?’ she asked.
‘I told him to bring up a couple of Beers and whatever he’s got in the kitchen,’ he replied. ‘I figured you probably don’t care too much about what you’ll be eating tonight, knowing you.’
Rose scowled at his reference to her hearty appetite. He chuckled.
‘So,’ she said, eyeing him carefully, ‘who’s this girl you like?’
Scorpius raised his eyebrows. ‘When did I say I liked someone?’
‘Well, you said you wanted me to put in a good word for you,’ she said. ‘That would be an easier job if I knew who I was chatting up for you. So, who is it?’
He grinned. ‘Oh, I don’t think I’m ready to tell you just yet.’
‘You’re impossible,’ she huffed, crossing her arms on top of the table.
‘Well you’re not going to tell me who you fancy, are you?’
‘That would imply that there is someone I fancy, which there isn’t,’ she said, straight-faced.
‘I don’t believe you,’ he said, imitating her pose. He leaned in towards her and looked her in the eyes. ‘There’s got to be someone.’
‘Because you seem like the type.’
She looked puzzled. ‘Type? Type of what?’
‘You know, type. Like, there’s the type of bloke who always has some bird in his pants, or the type of girl who always has someone hanging on her hip. Or the type of bloke who is dating around but secretly wants one special girl. Or the type of girl who acts like she’s after the popular, fit ones, but you know she’s really into the quiet, weird kids.’
Rose smiled. ‘So what’s my type?’
‘You’re the type who acts like she doesn’t really like anyone, but you know that one bloke got to her and she secretly wants him,’ he said bluntly.
She stared at him silently, her eyes blank. Her face seemed to fall.
‘Or the type who is secretly a raging whore and has had sex with hundreds of people and no one really knows about it,’ he added as an afterthought.
At that moment, Bill the bartender arrived at their table. In his hands he carried a tray with two Butterbeers, a plate of chips, onion soup, and a Cauldron Cake. He laid the food out in front of Rose and Scorpius and looked at them apologetically. ‘Sorry, this is really all we had lying around. I could go make something for you, if you want.’
‘No, thanks, Bill,’ replied Scorpius kindly. ‘Don’t trouble yourself.’
‘Well then, have a nice night, you two,’ he smiled.
‘Thank you,’ said Rose gratefully before Bill returned to the bar.
Rose eyed the food for less than three seconds before she grabbed at the chips and demolished them. Scorpius snickered as he took one of the Butterbeers and brought it to his lips.
Rose swallowed. ‘Aren’t you going to have anything?’
‘No, no, I actually had my dinner, thanks,’ he said, smiling. ‘Go nuts.’
Rose rolled her eyes as she reached over for the onion soup and the spoon by its side.
‘So what’s your type, then?’ she asked, not meeting his eyes as she paid her attention to the soup.
‘I’m the bloke all the girls are secretly, or not so secretly, in love with.’ Rose snorted. He paused momentarily before adding, his voice serious, ‘But he only has eyes for one girl.’
She looked up at him in surprise, grinning. ‘So you admit there’s someone you fancy.’
He raised an eyebrow deceptively. ‘Did I? I don’t believe that’s what I said.’
‘Oh, you’re so full of it,’ she growled in frustration.
‘You’re so full of it,’ he shot back jokingly. ‘Eat your food.’
It was nearly three when Bill had politely shooed them out of the Three Broomsticks. Rose and Scorpius hurried through the streets of Hogsmeade, back to the secret entrance to the castle, where Rose held Scorpius’s hand as she blindly groped at the walls of the passageway. They made their way back to Gryffindor tower in silent conversation, careful not to wake the surrounding portraits and ghosts. When they reached the portrait of the Fat Lady, Scorpius made to turn back and head down to the dungeons before Rose stopped him.
‘You aren’t coming in?’
‘You want me to come in?’ he asked, seemingly confused as he frowned.
‘Well, I reckon Albus wouldn’t be too happy to know you abandoned him, and wandering around the castle alone can’t really be a good idea,’ she explained. ‘Just come in. You can sleep wherever.’
After rudely waking an insistently comatose Fat Lady and she had allowed them into Gryffindor tower, muttering tartly about ‘bloody teenagers’, Rose and Scorpius found the common room to be just as they had left it. She turned to look at him as she unzipped her jacket and removed it.
‘The boys would be pretty angry if you went up there at this time,’ she said, placing her jacket and cap on a nearby table. ‘So I suppose you can sleep on the couch, if that’s OK with you.’
‘That’s fine,’ he replied, walking over and plopping himself on the largest of the sofas. She walked over and stood next to him.
‘Do you need a blanket, or a pillow?’
‘Nah, don’t worry about it,’ he said, leaning towards her.
‘Oh right, I forgot, you’re a “man”,’ she said, rolling her eyes.
‘Don’t say it like that,’ he said, standing up and towering over her. ‘You wouldn’t know what a man was if he came and danced naked in front of you.
‘Er, I think I would know whether the naked person in front of me was a man or not,’ she said, raising an eyebrow.
‘Not a male, a man,’ he said half-joking, his eyes boring into hers.
‘And I suppose you consider yourself one?’
‘Yes, Rose,’ he said seriously. ‘I do.’
She stopped at his use of her name and held his gaze. Though she had found herself in numerous situations with Scorpius where they had a limited proximity, she had never been in a situation with him that felt so intimate. His gaze was unwavering and her breath caught. Pacing himself, Scorpius placed a soft hand on her cheek, gauging her reaction. She did not step back.
Slowly, Scorpius brought his other hand to her lower back, gently pulling her towards him. Then, without hesitation, he lowered his face and touched his lips to hers. She swooned and immediately found herself reaching up for his chest, tangling her hands in his shirt. They tumbled onto the sofa, arms and legs interweaving, and she fell on top of him, pressing onto his chest. His hand lost itself in her wild hair and he swiped his tongue along her bottom lip. The heat of their embrace escalated and as Rose trailed hot kisses to his chin, she felt the fabric of her shirt being slipped off and pulled over her head.
Scorpius planted the mark of his lips on her neck, nuzzling his face into her collar. She sighed and felt his hands play at the waist of her trousers and she smiled. She bent her head towards his ear and whispered, ‘We’re not having sex here.’
He stopped and looked up at her and smirked. ‘That’s what beds are for, I suppose.’
She raised an eyebrow. ‘We aren’t having sex anywhere. There’s some stuff I’d like to sort out first.’
His eyes smiled at her and he placed his hands at her lower back, looking up at her. ‘Oh?’
‘Like, what exactly are your intensions, Mr Malfoy?’ She grinned mischievously. ‘Do you plan on starting a relationship with me, or are we going to be fuck buddies? Or are you just going to sleep with me and then chuck me aside?’
‘No!’ cried Scorpius, surprising Rose with his urgency. She looked at him curiously.
‘I wouldn’t do that, especially to you.’ His fingers spread out, spanning across the small of her back, their heat seeping into her skin. She shuddered pleasurably.
‘Although I would love to take your word on that, I still need to sort things out.’
‘I changed my mind about your type,’ he said. He paused. ‘You’re the type of girl who really knows how to make a moment complicated.’
She smiled and leaned forward. ‘It’s what I do,’ she whispered before pressing her lips to his. He responded enthusiastically, wrapping his arms around her waist and tightening his grip. She broke away and grinned.
‘Alright, we’ve got to go to bed or else we’ll never get to class tomorrow,’ she said, sitting herself up in his lap and leaning over to collect her forgotten shirt from the floor. Scorpius watched her climb down from the couch, eyed the soft lines of her back as she slipped her shirt back over her head. He ran a hand through his dishevelled hair, nervously.
Rose walked towards the cold steps and stopped, glancing back at where Scorpius lay on the sofa.
‘Are you still sure about the sex thing?’ he called to her, a smile at his lips.
She shook her head, smirking. ‘Goodnight, Scorpius.’
The following morning, Rose descended the stone staircase leading to the Gryffindor common room, somewhat tired, but in good spirits. The common room was mostly empty that Friday morning, and the fireplace was alive with dancing flames. The cloudy skies, foreshadowing the coming rain, darkened the windows. Glancing at the largest sofa in front of the fire, she smiled to herself before departing for the Great Hall.
Taking her usual seat at the Gryffindor table, Rose had been alone for less than a minute before she sensed someone slide into the seat in front of her. She looked up from the toast she had dropped on her plate to meet Scorpius’s deep blue eyes, sparkling brightly.
‘Good morning,’ he greeted, cheerfully.
‘Good morning.’ She smiled. ‘Sleep well?’
‘I did, thanks,’ he replied, resting his elbows on top of the table, looking at her intently. ‘You know, you don’t look like you went to sleep at four this morning after wandering around Hogsmeade late last night with a very handsome man.’
Rose chuckled. ‘Oh, is that what I was doing?’
Scorpius did not reply, allowing her a moment of silence as she reached over and poured herself a glass of water.
‘Oh, that reminds me,’ he said, pulling something out of his book bag. He lifted and handed over a black mass of fabric, which Rose recognised to be her jacket and hat. ‘You forgot this in the common room last night.’
‘Shit, thanks,’ she said, taking it gratefully. ‘I didn’t even notice I’d left it.’
‘Did anyone catch you sneaking out?’
‘No, the girls sleep like they’ve been heavily sedated,’ she said darkly. ‘I swear, I wouldn’t be able to wake them up if I blew something up in the middle of the dormitory.’
‘Sounds like perfect prank targets,’ he said, his eyes glittering devilishly.
‘Just don’t get me involved – I live with them, remember?’
‘I’ll be sure to leave a note signed with your name.’
Rose shook her head disapprovingly, taking a sip from her goblet. She noticed Scorpius tilt his head and look at her seriously.
‘Listen, about last night,’ he started, clearing his throat, nervously, ‘I was hoping we could talk about it. Sort shit out, yeah?’
She nodded but did not speak. He paused, waiting for her to begin. When she did not, he swallowed and spoke again.
‘Do you think it was a mistake?’ Rose was surprised by how timid his low voice sounded. She looked at him, her eyes solemn and deadpan.
‘No, I don’t.’
Scorpius sighed, releasing the breath he had been holding. ‘Good.’
‘What about you?’ she asked apprehensively, holding his gaze.
She smiled with relief. A silence briefly fell over them while they held each other’s gazes, ignoring the murmur and clatter of the Hall around them. Scorpius took a breath.
‘It’s always been you,’ he said quietly. ‘You know that, right?’
She cocked her head to the side, watching him, inviting him to talk. Her expression was calm, inviting.
‘Remember that thing I said, about types? And how my type was that bloke who only had eyes for one girl?’ He eyed her meaningfully. ‘I’ve never looked at anyone else.’
Her soft smile widened at his words. ‘I think you were right about my type, too, about wanting that one bloke who got to me.’
He smiled brightly, showing all his teeth, as he bent his head in embarrassment. ‘Merlin, we sound like a pair of pansies.’
She laughed loudly. ‘So what are we going to do?’
‘Well, you said you’d help me with that girl I fancied, right?’
‘Does your offer still stand?’
‘Of course,’ said Rose, reaching over for her water goblet.
‘Well, there’s this girl – her name’s Rose Weasley, by the way,’ he said, ruffling his hair.
‘Oh fuck, I hate that bitch,’ she said in a low voice, her eyes dancing, as she leaned towards him over the table.
‘I know she can be a bit dodgy at times, but I really like her,’ he pleaded, grinning in spite of himself.
She raised an eyebrow, crossed her arms over her chest, and sighed. ‘I think I could put in a good word for you,’ she said finally.
‘That’s all I needed to hear,’ he replied, leaning across the table, and smiling against her lips, ignoring the whooping and cheering of the watching students ringing around the Hall.