“Oh, sorry.” Rose said, muttering, already brushing herself off and striding back towards the Entrance Hall. She couldn’t wait any longer for Lily, she had to get those damn numbers off her hands…
Those damn green numbers.
She stopped mid stride and spun around. Standing stock still where she’d left him was Scorpius. He was staring down at his hand, which was stretched out in front of him, as though he was still holding Rose off the floor.
He looked up at her and back at his hand. She did the same. Then they just stood there, looking at each other for several long moments. Thoughts ran through Rose’s head. Of all the boys in Hogwarts, she’d interacted with Scorpius the least. She was a daddy’s girl, and though she knew he was only half serious that day at King’s Cross, she didn’t want to disappoint him and therefore had avoided Scorpius like the plague.
What would their first words to each other be?
Scorpius moved first. He stood up and rubbed his eyes. “I just woke up. Want to go get some coffee?”
Rose nodded dumbly and let Scorpius lead her to the Great Hall. But he turned before they got there.
“Where are we going?” she asked.
“Coffee in the Great Hall tastes like--” He paused. “I mean tastes like…” he tried to find a word that wasn’t a curse word. “Tastes bad.”
Rose giggled a little, and then stopped short. Giggling? She didn’t giggle. Scorpius watched her confused, and so she just said “You can swear. Doesn’t bother me.”
“Okay.” He said, turning and resuming their walk.
Rose didn’t bother asking where they were going. She just let him lead, lost in her own thoughts. Scorpius Malfoy? Was Sandra joking? This was the stupidest thing she’d ever heard of. Rose “Harry Potter’s Niece” Weasley and Scorpius “Son of a Death Eater” Malfoy. How the hell were they supposed to be soul mates? Was he as freaked as she was? This was just insane.
Rose didn’t pay attention, and looked up after several minutes to see that Scorpius had stopped walking forward and instead was pacing in front of an empty wall.
It wasn’t until a small door appeared that she realized they were in the seventh floor corridor. “How do you know about the Room of Requirement?” she asked, and then mentally winced. Her dad had told her about his father mending the vanishing cabinet in here his sixth year.
But Scorpius just shrugged. “Dad told me.” He said, grabbing a box from behind a suit of armor in the hallway and opening the door. “But I only use my powers for good.” He said, cracking a smile.
Rose laughed nervously and went inside to find two arm chairs on either side of a table in the center of the room. On one wall was an espresso machine and all the accoutrements. Scorpius opened the box he had brought in and pulled out coffee beans, milk, syrups, and whipped cream. “Thirsty?” he asked.
Rose looked at him quizzically.
“Ravenclaws like their coffee. We’re big on studying. A few of us like to come up here for real coffee and the room doesn’t make food, so we keep it out there behind the armor.
“How do you keep the milk and cream cold?” she asked, mentally wincing again.
“Magic?” Scorpius said, confused.
“Yeah.” Rose said. “I forget sometimes. My household is really muggleish. We have a fridge and stuff.”
Scorpius nodded. “Your mum would do that.” He said.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Rose said.
“Nothing.” Scorpius said quickly, picking up a pitcher and filling it with milk.
“Are you saying it’s a bad thing?” Rose asked.
“No, I just, I mean… I just, I know she’s a mud—muggle born.”
“Did you just--?” Rose started. “Did you say—?” she couldn’t finish a sentence. She spun on her heel and ran out of the room. She ran down, down, down to the Entrance Hall, right past Lily, who looked frantic, and out the front door. She didn’t stop running for a while.
Scorpius sat in the Room of Requirement, going over the conversation in his head. He hadn’t asked for this. Well, maybe he had, getting sigged an all. But his mom had suggested it, and Scorpius had been thinking it would be ten years from then. And at first, he had gotten the black bar, which meant that his One wasn’t sigged. And then last week, this stupid date had suddenly appeared. He’d been surprised, and a little freaked. After all, who wanted to meet their soul mate when they were seventeen? He had so many plans and ideas for the future, and getting married right away wasn’t one of them.
He sat in one of the armchairs, fiddling with the empty milk pitcher, and began to think about her. Rose Weasley? Seriously? The girl hates me. I swear she’s been avoiding me since first year. That magic in this damn thing has a heck of a sense of humor. He touched the freshly green numbers and sighed.
He had woke up this morning, determined not to touch any girls and make his date change. He would go through the whole day without his hands meeting someone else’s and then he’d go to bed and wake up again and the date would be some obscure day in six or seven years. And then he had woken up way too early and walked down from Ravenclaw Tower to get some toast. Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, he came out from behind the tapestry by the tower to see a girl flying at him from the top of the stairs. Without thinking, he’d held his arms out to catch her and then, with a buzz, like he’d been shocked, his numbers had turned green.
He hadn’t wanted the Day to be so soon until she ran away. He didn’t realize how much he liked her until he messed up and almost called her mum a mudblood.
Scorpius tossed the pitcher back into a basket by the espresso machine and headed down to breakfast.
Rose found herself on the far side of the lake, muttering darkly under her breath. Her freaking One was a pure blood, death eater, butthead. How cruel could fate be? She balled her hands into fists and tried to hold back tears. Rose wasn’t a crier. She just didn’t cry. She could be sitting there, watching the saddest of muggle movies, with Lily blubbering on her shoulder, and not feel a hint of tightness in her eyes. But now, fat drops were rolling down her cheeks, and her nose was starting to run. So she let it out. She cried about her stress over the NEWTS, the fear of not finding a good job when she graduated, and, of course, over having a useless soul mate. When was life going to get easier?
After a few more minutes of all-out crying, Rose wiped her face and began marching back to the castle. Nobody was going to make her feel bad. She was just going to pretend that she never got sigged in the first place.
Hurrying past all the students coming down to breakfast, Rose ran up the stairs to the tower, and into her room. She searched through her trunk until she found what she was looking for. Rubbing the costume makeup onto her finger, she smiled. But after a few moments, the numbers looked clear again.
“Bloody hell.” She muttered. So makeup wasn’t going to work. She looked around the room, and finally settled on a band-aid. It was hot pink, but considering she was a witch she thought it was just lucky she happened to have one around.
Taking a deep breath, she fixed her makeup and headed down to breakfast. She slid in between Lily and Al. “Rose!” Lily said. “What happened to you?”
“You took too long. I went without you.”
Lily looked skeptical. She’d seen Rose running out the front doors, not towards the secret passage. But she shook it off, distracted by Finn asking her a question about their Charms homework.
Rose breathed a sigh of relief.
“So you got it taken off?” Al asked.
“Uhuh.” Rose said. “Didn’t want to find someone today.”
“What’s with the band aid?” he asked.
“It leaves a scar.”
“One that can’t be taken off magically?” Al asked.
“Yeah. I have to let it heal the natural way.”
“So it’s kind of like love itself.” He said thoughtfully. Rose was surprised, but the magic of the moment ended a few seconds later when he shoved a huge bite of eggs into his mouth. “Well I guess I win then."
“What do you mean?” Rose asked.
“You’re a chicken. I win.”
“Sure, Al. You win.” Rose settled down and dished up her plate.
A few days passed and Rose began to relax. Scorpius hadn’t tried to talk to her. She’d been avoiding him as much as possible, but she had to give him credit for not cornering her after the few classes they shared.
But life couldn’t be that easy. NEWT level Potions was a small class, and Slughorn, who had to have been, like, a thousand years old by now, was feeling jovial the following Thursday. As the group of harried 7th years walked into his classroom, he chuckled happily and told them they’d be working in pairs today.
“And I’ve already picked the groups out.” He said, listing off the names. Rose squeezed her eyes shut, crossing her fingers that she was with anyone but Scorpius. Al, or Dom, or anyone but Scorpius. She would even take the class idiot, Spencer over Scorpius. No one had the dizziest idea how Spencer had even gotten into NEWT potions. But of course, Slughorn ran down the list and Rose didn’t hear her or Scorpius’ name for a while.
“And last but not least, Miss Weasley and Mr. Malfoy. Now everyone go find your partners and a table and I will explain the lesson.”
Rose grimaced and looked across the room to Scorpius, who found a table and set his things down. She slid into the chair next to him with a frown.
Scorpius laid his books out and grabbed a pen. He was one of the few who had switched from quills to pens, she noted. Most magic people, young and old, were very traditional.
Scorpius looked at Rose’s books and notes, which were color coded and stacked neatly. “I’m really sorry.” He said.
“What, that you’re stuck with me for a partner or that you’re stuck with me for a One?” she said in a monotone without missing a beat.
“Neither.” Scorpius countered. “I’m sorry for what I said. It was inexcusable, but I hope you can forgive me. I never use those words. I am just used to my dad using them.”
“Mudblood is a horrible word. It means a lot.” Rose spat back.
“But it doesn’t. I mean, not to my dad. He uses it to describe all muggleborns, but he doesn’t mean it in a bad way. It’s just habit for him now.”
“It’s a bad habit.” Rose replied, opening her book and pretending to be absorbed in what Slughorn was saying. Scorpius ignored this and continued to talk. Slughorn was half deaf anyway.
“I know, and I really am sorry. You don’t have to like me, but I don’t want you to hate me for an honest mistake.”
“You sound like you’ve been practicing this speech.” Rose pointed out.
“Yeah. Yeah, I have.” Scorpius replied. “I obviously can’t trust myself to just speak freely to you, and for some stupid reason I care what you think. So you can listen to what I’ve got to say or you can just sit there and pretend that you don’t care. But I think you do, too.”
Rose didn’t know how to reply. She opened her mouth, but then closed it and started taking notes.
“Nice band-aid.” Scorpius said, turning away and beginning to take notes, too.
Rose curled her hand in instinctively, but didn’t respond. A few hundred retorts came to mind, but none of them really described how she was feeling. So she just went back to copying down the potion on the board.
A few minutes passed as the two sat in boiling silence. Slughorn explained that the pairs would be creating laughter potions. Rose sighed. That was kid stuff. The old man was losing his touch.
The groups began to work on their potions and Rose started to cut the ginger root.
“What do you want me to do?” Scorpius asked.
Rose bit her lip. “Pretend you never got sigged?”
“I meant with the potion.” Scorpius said.
“Am I really that bad?” he asked.
“You called my mum—the woman who helped save Hogwarts—a mudblood. I think you’re that bad.”
“I told you it was an accident, and I only said half the word!” Scorpius said, his voice getting louder. “And I’m sorry you’re so mad you’re stuck with me but don’t think I am too happy about it either!”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Rose asked. “You’d be lucky to have me!”
Scorpius scoffed. “If you think I hate muggleborns then why do you think I’d want to be with the daughter of one?”
Rose’s face grew even redder and she opened her mouth to yell. But then she noticed that the entire class was watching them. She grabbed some rosemary and threw it at Scorpius. “You can cut this and press the juice out of the leaves.”
Scorpius nodded and began working at the rosemary. They remained silent the rest of the class.
When the potions were finally complete, Slughorn excused the class with a smile.
“Except for you two.” He said, pointing to Rose and Scorpius.
“What did we do?” Scorpius asked loudly.
“Just be quiet.” Roe muttered. “Don’t make him madder.”
“I’m not mad.” Slughorn said. “I just want to know why my favorite two students can’t work together.”
Rose sighed. Slughorn liked Scorpius because his dad had become extremely successful and influential in wizarding business, and Rose, well, Rose was Ron and Hermione’s kid. “Sorry for interrupting class.” She said. “It won’t happen again.”
“Oh, I very much hope not.” Slughorn said. “Because you’ll be working in these pairs until the end of the year. The potions being made in your NEWTS are extremely complicated mixtures that can’t be done alone. If you two don’t get along, well then, I worry about your NEWT grade.”
That was the last straw for Rose Weasley. “You’ve got to be freaking kidding me.” she said, running her hands through her hair. “You’re joking, right? I’m not working with that piece of--”
“Miss Weasley!” Slughorn said, at the same time that Scorpius said “Who are you calling a piece a’ you know what?”
“Sorry, Professor Slughorn, but I can’t work with him. And you can’t ask me to work with someone I am not comfortable with on my NEWTS.”
“Well, I am very sorry, too, Miss Weasley, but I already submitted the groups to the NEWT testing panel. You’ll just have to learn to deal with that.” He said, turning with a sniff and leaving the classroom.
“Harraaagghhh!” Rose yelled incoherently.
“Rose-“ Scorpius began, but she was already running out of the classroom.
Rose ran for Gryffindor, to find Lily and tell her about her awful luck. But she couldn’t; she hadn’t told Lily about Scorpius and the Sigg turning green. Frowning, she walked outside to the owlery. Sometimes she found the messy tower peaceful.
She rested her arms on the railing and looked down to the Quidditch pitch. Practice was just beginning for the Ravenclaws, and Scorpius came into view over the top of the stadium. He made a few laps on his broom and then came to a rest in the air near the closer side of the arena. Rose bit her lip, watching him look for the snitch. His eyes panned the sky for the small gold ball, and then he stopped, looking at her. Rose blushed and turned away, but looked back a few moments later. Scorpius, far away as he was, continued to watch her. For a split second, Rose thought he looked pleading, but then, with a flash, the snitch flew in front of him and then he was gone, taking off after it.
Rose let out a breath and realized she’d been holding it the whole time. Closing her eyes, she tried to relax and shake the jitters out of herself. He probably hadn’t even seen her. Maybe he was just looking at the owlery itself or something. It had been a long day.
Rose walked inside and found Theodore, her snowy owl, waiting for her. He was small for his age, but faster than any other owl Rose had met. He hooted softly as she ruffled his feathers, and Rose felt okay for the first time in two weeks. Maybe things weren’t as bad as they seemed.
Then, with a flash, a hand flew into Rose’s vision and ripped the pink bandaid off.
“No!” she cried, pulling her hand back and spinning around.
“I knew it!” the tiny blonde yelled. “You’re game is up!”
“Dom!” Rose yelled. “How did you know?”
Dom smiled and held up her own hand, covered with a thick cocktail ring. The jewel was bright yellow with a brass frame and it covered her finger from knuckle to knuckle. “It’s not just a fashion statement. You got sigged too!”
“You got one?” Rose asked.
“Yeah, of course. They are awesome. But I’m not sixteen yet, mom would kill me, so I wear this. The bandaid’s pretty tacky, if you ask me.”
“Did yours green out yet?” Rose asked.
“No.” Dom looked puzzled. “Wait, did yours?”
“N-no.” Rose said, a little too quickly.
“Oh, it so did!” Dom yelled, reaching for Rose’s hand. Rose tried to snap it back, but Dom was too quick.
“Last week, huh?”
Rose sighed and nodded.
“Who is it?”
“No one.” Rose said.
“How did I not know about this? You’re so lucky.” Dom said, ignoring Rose’s reply. “I mean, I think I’d notice if you were running around with your soul mate. Greenies are so annoyingly cute.” Dom stopped. “Wait, I know I’d notice. You haven’t been.”
“No.” Rose said quietly.
“Ooooh! Drama!” Dom said, squealing. “Who is it and why don’t you guys like each other?”
“Scorpius Malfoy?” Rose said, the words spilling out of her mouth.
“No. Way. Your dad is gonna plotz!” she said. “And you guys aren’t hitting it off?”
“More like just hitting.” Rose said. “He’s absolutely awful.”
“I’m so sorry.” Dom said. “Wait, no I’m not. You greened out. It’s all gonna work out in like, a week. You’ll see.”
“No, it’s not gonna work out. He called mum a mudblood and told me that he didn’t wanna be with a daughter of one.”
“What?” Dom asked, her hand flying to her mouth. “That asshole. Want me to hex him?”
“No. It’s not necessary.: Rose said quickly. Dom would probably accidentally curse laser pointers into his eyes. "I have to get used to being around him anyway.”
“Well, duh, if you guys are going to get married.”
“No, Dom, that’s not happening.” Rose said, rolling her eyes. “Slughorn made us partners for our NEWT Potions test. That’s what I meant.”
“Oh. Lame.” Dom said, clearly getting bored with the conversation. “So you’re really not going to change your mind about him?”
“No.” Rose replied. “Not in a million years.”
“So I’m guessing you don’t want me to tell anyone?”
“Fine.” Dom said. “Finally you do something interesting and I can’t even talk about it! You frustrate me, Rose Weasley.”
A/N: Soooo? Thoughts? Suggestions? Rants? Raves? I want to hear it all! :)