My cousin Lily and I were walking down the hall for our third class. I was headed for Divination (Mum warned me about that class, but no, I just HAD to rebel and take it just to piss her off. I soon regretted it, seeing as how Mum was right. Most of what Trelawney said WAS rubbish. Unfortunately, not even Trelawney's death could help me escape— she decided to take a lead out of Binn's book and come back as a ghost). Lily was headed for Charms, which she was pretty good at. I sucked at Divination. Dad and Harry both suggested I just make stuff up when I gazed into the crystal. That seemed to work pretty well. I was just grateful I'd been taking the OWL for it that year. After that, I could ditch it and focus on my Potions and Ancient Studies classes, both of which I was excellent at.
Lily was a second year, and was still starry-eyed and innocent, though most people lost that quality after first year. She reminded me a bit of Harry's description of a kid he used to know, what was his name…? Oh, yes. Colin Creevey. I hope Lily doesn't meet the same fate, though. Despite her naïve nature, romantic idealism and annoyingly perpetual optimism, I liked Lily. She was easily my favorite cousin, since she liked to talk to me and often asked for my help, which was oddly flattering.
At the moment, Lily was rambling about some boy she met in Transfiguration.
"…but I only see him then," she continued, "since he's in Ravenclaw. But he's so-o nice and so-o cute and I was wondering if you could ask him if he likes me?"
"Wait, what?" I said, glancing at her.
"Pleeeeease?" she moaned. "I'd ask him myself but I'm too shy!"
"No way. Lily, you have to learn to stop being intimidated by boys. What're you gonna do when in two years when I graduate?"
"Make Dominique or Freddie do it for me." (Fred II, or as we called him, Freddie, was the son of Uncle George, named after the late Uncle Fred.)
"Uh-uh. I'll tell ya what you're gonna do. You're gonna pull up those tights and be a man!"
"But I'm not a man. I'm a girl."
"Regardless, you have to ask him yourself."
"B-but, Toby McDonald would never talk to me. I'm just that quiet girl in the back of class." She looked at her feet, sadness on her face.
Dammit. I never was able to let Lily be sad for too long.
"Look," I said, trying to make her feel better, "I'll ask Toby if he likes you, but you're gonna owe me, big time."
"Oh, Rose!" she said, hugging me, causing a few seventh years nearby to snicker. "Thank you! You're the best cousin ever!"
"I know," I said, as we went in separate directions.
"How sweet," a voice said. It was Scorpius Malfoy, Slytherin, fellow classmate, and jerk extraordinaire. I mean, was he cute? Yes. Was he funny? Yes. But was he a jerk? Big fat yes. I mean, he was in Slytherin! That's a pretty sure sign of jerkhood right there.
"Oh, hi, Malfoy," I said.
"Your cousin really is the cutest thing," he smirked. "When I'm 17 and she's 14, do you think she'd go out with me?"
I whipped out my wand and held it to his throat. "Keep away from Lily," I snapped. "I'd never let her date you anyway."
"I'm not an ogre, Rose. I'm just a Slytherin."
"And the difference is…?"
Fortunately for Lily, I had an acquaintance in Beth McDonald, Toby's older sister. She too was a Ravenclaw, but Ravenclaws and Gryffindors had double Potions together. My partner, Janice Thomas, and I worked next to Beth and Oliver Boot.
While Professor Edgecomb— yes, Marietta Edgecomb did indeed go on to teach Potions— explained how to make Pepperup Potion, I scooted closer to Beth.
"Psst, Beth," I whispered.
"You know how Toby has Transfiguration with the Gryffindors, including my cousin, Lily?"
"This is so embarrassing, but Lily wanted to know if Toby likes her or not."
"Lily likes Toby?" she said, surprised.
"Yeah, but don't tell anyone, Lily would die if anyone else knew. So, does he?"
"Hmm… well, he does talk about her sometimes. He calls her, 'that Potter girl, the one with the pretty eyes'. He also thinks she's really smart."
"That'll be good enough for Lily," I said, satisfied with the fact that my mission was completed, and Toby's opinion of my cousin. Had he thought anything less of her, I swear to Merlin I would've kicked him all the way back to the Second Wizarding War!
"Okay, so Toby thinks your eyes are pretty, and he thinks you're smart," I said to Lily in the Common Room that night.
"So, he likes me?" she said, her blue eyes shining hopefully.
"Maybe. There's a good chance."
"Do you think he'd go out with me?"
I held up a hand. "Now, young Lily, let's not get ahead of ourselves. You're 12 years old, you have time to meet some other boys, build more confidence, get to know Toby a bit better. I mean, who knows? Maybe he is your Soulmate. After all, your mum's first crush was your dad, and look at them now. But Dad's first crush was Lavender Brown, and look at them now."
"But you and Nathan went out in your first year!" she protested.
"True, but you'd never guess by just looking at us." I laughed slightly. "We preferred talking about Muggle movies over kissing."
"Still, thanks for finding out for me," she said, hugging me. "To pay you back, I'll ask the guy you like if he likes you!"
"Really? You're too shy to talk to a 12-year-old, but talking to a 15-year-old doesn't faze you at all?"
"Fine, I guess you can ask him," I said, thinking of Max Finnigan.
Walking to class the next day, I was stopped by Scorpius. He looked unusually nervous.
"Um, hi, Rose," he said.
"Hello," I said, unsure of what was going on.
"I, um… I'm really flattered about… you know."
"I mean, I've always kinda liked you, but I never said anything because of our Houses and families, but… if you ever wanted to… meet in Hogsmede, that could be arranged."
"Just… just a thought."
He scampered off.
That's when it hit me.
I spotted Lily walking to her next class with her friends. I grabbed her by her tie.
"What. Did. You. Bloody. Do."
I can't believe I'm doing this, I thought as I walked into Three Broomsticks. Scorpius was waiting there, his eyes lighting up as soon as I entered his line of vision. I'm not sure what made me decide to arrange a date with him. Maybe it was curiosity, maybe it was to make Lily happy, maybe it was because he sounded so sincere. No matter what it was, I went.
I sat down across from him, and we just kind of looked at each other for a minute.
"So…" he said.
"So…" I repeated.
He twiddled his thumbs nervously in his lap, then flagged down a waitress. "Two Butterbeers, please," he said.
I reached into my pocket. "We can split the bill," I said.
"No, no, I'll pay," Scorpius said all of a sudden. Seeing my surprised look, he said, "You know, chivalry and all that jazz…"
"Oh… thank you."
There was another awkward silence before I said, "So, what do you want to take NEWT classes for next year?"
He shrugged. "Charms, I suppose. Maybe Care of Magical Creatures or Arithmancy. I'm all right at Astronomy, but I'm definitely dropping Divination. Trelawney hasn't the slightest idea what she's talking about."
I laughed out loud. "I know! She once predicted that I'd get trampled by a centaur army."
"Hey, at least she didn't predict your death every five seconds."
"Oh, she picked you to torture?" I said sympathetically.
"Yeah. She's always saying that I'm doomed," he said. "Whenever I pointed out that she was wrong, she'd always say that I just didn't have the Sight. I've given up on using logic with her."
There was a pause. Then he said, "I wasn't lying that one day. It is really sweet how your cousin loves you so much."
I smiled. "Lily is a nice kid. A little too naïve for her own good, but it does add to her charm."
"I know. When she told me that you… you know, fancied me, she said that it was just like a fairy tale."
"…please tell me your friends weren't around."
I put my head on the table. "Oh God."
We walked back to the castle together, and he turned to me.
"This went really well, don't you think?"
"Yeah," I said, surprised by my answer. "It did."
I smirked and shook my head. "Maybe someday, but not on a first date. As another Rose said, 'Always leave 'em wanting more, and then don't give it to them.'."
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