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Chapter 17 : Secrets and Dancing Kisses
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It was toward the end of November right after she had thrown her fit in the Gryffindor tower when the card came to Rose. It was bizarre; she was just sitting in the great hall with no one in particular when the owl flew over her head and dropped a card onto her textbook. Looking at it, she didn’t know what to think.
Seeing as how she was loathed by just about everyone in the school, she didn’t know who would send her card. She looked over at Stacy who was sitting a few seats down with Ben and Albus to see if she showed any sign of having sent it. But as usual, she just laughed along with whatever joke Albus was telling.
Looking back down at the card, she picked it up, and going against her better judgment, she opened it. On the cover was a beautiful sketch of a Rose and it said in cursive letters: Every Rose Has Its Thorn. On the inside: Too Bad Yours is You’re a Bitch. She could feel the red rush to her cheeks; she was so embarrassed. Standing up, she slammed her book shut and rushed out the door as fast as she could.
Ever since that day, Rose made a point to eat an early breakfast, skip lunch, and have a late dinner. That way she could avoid everyone.
It was mid-December, and it was just turning seven o’clock, and Rose was hiding in the back of the library as usual. She sat working on her homework. She knew the great hall would stop serving dinner soon, but she was on such a roll with her charms essay that she decided to skip it, just like she did yesterday. She was intentionally starving herself, but with her mid test coming up so soon before Christmas break, she was pushing herself a lot more.
Taking a break from her essay, she dropped her quill and cracked her knuckles while closing her eyes for a brief moment. She was so tired of working, but she knew she had to push through. So picking up her quill again, she had the full intention of getting back to work until a brown paper bag fell out of the middle of nowhere and onto her essay.
Smiling to herself, Rose dropped her quill and leaned back into her chair. “What is this crap, Scorpius?” she joked, looking up to see him grinning widely and standing right behind her chair.
“You know, you could just open it up and look,” Scorpius said while walking around from behind the desk and taking a seat on the table.
Raising an eyebrow, she leaned forward, snatched the bag, and opened it; she saw and apple and a banana and a jar of olives. “You are the worst at packing food,” she laughed, examining the apple and then eating it.
Scorpius, who was glancing at the essay she was writing, mumbled, “If you wanted something better, you should have come to dinner.”
Rose just shrugged her shoulders and continued to scarf down the apple.
Scorpius finished looking at the essay and said, “I can’t believe you gave up Hogsmeade weekend to do this.”
“I don’t have time for Hogsmeade,” she said, throwing the core of the apple into the bag and then putting it on the table.
“Oh come on, Rose, I was going anyway. Why don’t you come along? Curfew tonight is eleven,” he said while looking at her with a smile on his face.
Taking a deep breath, Rose shook her head. “Like I said before, I don’t have time to go to Hogsmeade.”
“Correction: you don’t want to make time for Hogsmeade.”
“Your point being?” she pushed.
“My point being that you have spent the last month inside, and you need to get out.” He stood up and continued, “Come on and go to Hogsmeade with me. You need a break from all this, Rose. I’m all for studying, but what you’re doing just isn’t healthy.” He looked at her and saw her face relax a bit as she thought about it. “You know, you could get some Christmas shopping done and actually get a real meal, and Hogsmeade is having their Christmas celebration tonight: it might be fun.”
He watched as Rose considered everything he said. “I’ll have to change first and go grab my money.”
“I don’t care what you do, just as long as you go,” he smiled.
Rose nodded her head, stood up, and gathered her things. “I’ll meet you at the entrance in twenty minutes.”
Rose was waiting by the entrance in jeans and a maroon sweater with snowflakes on the arms; she had her hair pulled back into a ponytail, and she was freezing. She was happy that she decided to come. Scorpius was right that she needed to get out, but she would never tell him that.
She looked down at her watch and then back to the town. She could hear the music playing from where she stood. Hogsmeade always went all out for Christmas, and she loved it.
Taking in a deep breath, she could almost taste the snow. Opening her eyes, she saw Scorpius as he walked up to her in his jeans, button down shirt, and black jacket. “You ready?” he asked.
Nodding her head, she smiled and followed his lead as he walked down to the town.
As they entered the town, she saw sparkling lights over every windowsill and a Christmas tree in every store. There were wreathes on every door and mistletoe sprigs hung everywhere. There were even Christmas lights strung between the lampposts, connecting them all. In the center of the town, there was a huge, decorated Christmas tree. Beside it there was a dance floor that had a band playing on a stage while dozens of people danced.
Rose stood still and looked at the scene in front of her. “Christmas is my favorite time of year,” she said to Scorpius without taking her eyes away from the view. “There is just something about it that can cheer everyone up. You get together with your family and friends, and you enjoy the time you have with the people you love.”
Scorpius looked down at her: she was amazing in the way she thought. “Maybe that’s why they call it the Christmas spirit,” he said softly.
Quickly turning her head to look at him, she suddenly found their faces centimeters apart. “Maybe,” she whispered back to him, looking into his eyes and feeling safe.
Grabbing her hand, Scorpius pulled her away from the scene. “We better get going, or we won’t get our shopping done. That is the whole reason we came here.”
The first stop they made was to Bookworm Reads where Rose found a muggle book with all of Shakespeare’s writings in it.
Scorpius watched her as she purchased the book and asked on the way out, “Who is that for?”
“My brother Hugo: he loves muggle books, and I have a feeling he will enjoy it,” she said while leading the way to Scrivenshaft’s Quill Shop.
“Your brother is one hell of a Quidditch keeper,” Scorpius commented, not really sure what to say about him since he didn’t know him.
Smiling to herself, she said, “I’m sure he is. My dad had us playing from the time we were four.”
“Wait, you’ve played Quidditch? I thought you hated it.”
“I do hate it; I take more after my mother. I’m not a big fan of flying, but when I play with my dad, it feels safe. I know he would never let me get hurt,” Rose smiled to herself.
“You and your father are pretty close,” Scorpius said as he opened the door to Scrivenshaft’s.
“Extremely. We have this understanding between us that just doesn’t need words. We almost always know what the other is thinking, and we have the same opinions,” she said as they walked up to the counter and she picked out some quills for her mother.
“Except for your opinion of me: that’s different,” Scorpius said as he looked at a black quill made from a phoenix feather. It was by far the most expensive Quill in the store, but Scorpius pointed for the cashier to pull it out for him to look at. Just taking a quick glance, he nodded his head for it to be wrapped.
“Who on earth are you buying that for?” Rose asked, noticing how Scorpius hardly examined the quill before purchasing it.
“My father,” Scorpius said without giving any more of an explanation.
Walking to the exit, Rose asked, “Do you and your father get along?”
Thinking about his answer, he said, “We get along pretty well. We’re not close, but I know he has my best interests in mind.”
“What about your mother?” she asked, taking a seat on the patio of Madam Puddifoot’s.
Scorpius sat down across from her and smiled softly at the mention of his mother. “I adore my mother. She is very kind and nurturing.”
“She sounds nice,” Rose said as she looked at the menu and ordered a cup of green tea and an apple tart.
Scorpius just ordered some coffee. “She is extremely selfless. You know, she was one of the few people who stood up for my father. She always argued that he changed, even when mentioning the Malfoy name was a disgrace.”
Rose smiled at the way Scorpius talked about his mother. It was truly kind. She looked at him as he talked. She loved the way he spoke with such passion, and how he leaned his head a little to the left when he was thinking deeply about something. Also, the way he focused on her like she was the only person in the world fascinated her.
“You know, Scorpius, I am really happy you got me to come here,” she said as she dug into her apple tart.
“Well I’m glad you decided to listen to me for once,” Scorpius said as he sipped his third cup of coffee.
“I listen to you more than you think I do,” Rose smiled back at him, raising her eyebrow as she watched him down his coffee.
“What?” he said innocently, happy she was staring at him.
“You do know coffee will make you stay awake, don’t you?” she asked, taking a sip of her tea.
He smirked, “Why do I care? Tomorrow is Saturday.”
“You truly are incredible, do you know that?” Rose said, throwing a corner of her tart at him.
Laughing, he looked outside at the crowd, which was growing larger as the band continued to play. They were not far from the dance floor at all. Rose loved just being able to watch the people as they passed by with shopping bags in their hands or made their way to the dance floor.
The song that was playing ended, and the band started to play a new song. Out of nowhere Rose said to herself, “I love this song.”
Scorpius was about to say something, when out of nowhere, Arnold and his family came and stood next to him. When they reached the table, Arnold smiled brightly. “Happy Christmas, Rose and Scorpius.”
“Hey, Arnold,” Rose and Scorpius both said at the same time with a smile. Reaching out her hand, Rose grabbed ahold of Gregory and gave him a big kiss on the cheek, which he proceed to wipe off with his hand the second he was free.
“What are you doing out here?” Opal asked while adjusting Belly in her arms.
“It’s Hogsmeade weekend, so we were just doing a little holiday shopping,” Rose said with a smile on her face as she picked up Lauren.
“What about you?” Scorpius said, grabbing Lauren from Rose’s arms, so he could hug the little girl.
“Oh we just came out to let the kids see the town all lit up,” Opal said softly. “You know, they hardly get to come out, and this one of the best times of the year.”
Rose nodded her head.
“You know, it’s not polite to go all evening and not ask the lady to dance,” Arnold said to Scorpius while nodding to Rose.
Scorpius got a smirk on his face. “You know, Arnold, I was just about to ask Rose to dance before you showed up,” he said, standing up and handing Lauren back to Arnold.
Rose raised her eyebrows at this as she stared him down. “You were?”
“Yes I was,” Scorpius said, holding his hand out for Rose to take.
Smiling, she reached out and placed her hand in Scorpius’s. He pulled her up from her seat as he nodded good night to Arnold.
As they watched Scorpius take Rose to the dance floor, Arnold leaned over to Opal and asked, “Do you think they know they are in love with each other?”
“Scorpius does,” Opal smiled, “Rose, on the other hand, has no idea what to think.”
“How do you know that?” Arnold asked, smiling down at his wife.
“Oh, dear, it is quite obvious,” she said with a wry smile on her face, and they both watched Scorpius lead Rose to the floor and spin her around once before pulling her into his arms to dance.
“Aw, that’s sweet,” Arnold said while turning to smile down at his wife.
“Dear, lets go home,” Opal said, deciding that the young couple could use some privacy.
Rose could feel her heart beat slightly faster when Scorpius grabbed her hand and took her out on the moonlit floor. The way he spun her first was so unexpected that Rose released a slight laugh and bit her lip. Also, with the way she practically ran into him when he pulled her in, she couldn’t help but catch the scent of his cologne. It was the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin juice: two scents Rose had always found comforting.
Holding onto Scorpius’s hand and wrapping the other arm around his neck, she admired the way the he could lead her around the dance floor. “So, Scorpius Malfoy can dance. Who knew?” Rose said playfully.
“Shhh. It’s a secret,” he whispered, spinning her once and pulling her back in.
“I thought we didn’t keep secrets,” Rose said with a smile as Scorpius gently placed his arm back around her waist.
“We don’t, but I’m sure there are a thousand surprises about me you don’t know anything about,” Scorpius smiled back at her, hoping she couldn’t feel his palms starting to sweat.
“Oh really,” Rose raised an eyebrow. “Like what?”
Gripping her waist a little bit tighter, he pulled her closer. “Well, for one thing, I actually know this song.”
Rose met Scorpius eyes. “Really? Scorpius Malfoy listens to muggle music. That is surprising.”
He smiled down at her; she was beautiful and content at the moment. “I didn’t say I listened to muggle music. I just said I knew the song.”
Laughing at the remark, she looked at his expression. He was basically willing her to guess how he knew the song. Rose smiled because she didn’t even have to guess: his smile gave her the answer. “Your mother likes the song.”
Nodding yes to her response, he held Rose tight. “But I still know the song.”
“Well that does count for something,” she whispered, gripping her arm tighter around his neck.
Moving side to side, Scorpius smiled at her, and she smiled back up to him. They just danced and enjoyed each other’s company. They fit together so well; Scorpius wasn’t so tall that Rose had to reach to wrap her arms around him, and he wasn’t too short that it was uncomfortable to hold him. And by the way Scorpius held Rose in his arms, he would have thought she was like a puzzle piece that fit perfectly with him.
The way Scorpius was looking at Rose made her blush as he swayed her across the dance floor. Knowing the song was coming to an end, Scorpius spun her one more time and pulled her in so close that if she had been any closer, they would have been kissing. Their eyes met.
Rose was so stunned by the way Scorpius was looking at her that she couldn’t move for minute. It was like all her problems disappeared, and it was only Scorpius and her in that moment. His eyes were the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen. They were practically glowing in the moonlight. She didn’t understand it, but in that moment, she wanted to reach up and kiss him. Shaking her head of the thought, she cleared her throat and Scorpius released his grip on her. Surprisingly, she was sad.
Trying to think of something to say, Scorpius looked at his watch. “We should probably get going, or we are going to miss curfew,” he whispered, not actually wanting to leave.
Rose nodded in agreement. Walking over to where they had been sitting, they gathered their belongings and presents and began to walk to the gates that lead out of the village. As they were walking, Rose saw a group of people standing outside of the gate talking—wasting the last few minutes before curfew.
Rose immediately knew the students standing outside of the gate were Ben, Stacy, Albus, Lily, and Molly.
She looked at them and thought how funny it was that not even a month ago, she could walk up to them, join their conversation, and never think twice about it. But that was all different now. She was tired of pretending to be perfect for those people. With Scorpius, she felt like she could be herself; she knew he wouldn’t judge her because he had been judged by everyone his whole life.
Seeing the scene in front of them, Scorpius pulled Rose over a little bit and said, “Let’s go through the woods.”
“Alright,” she said lightly.
They had been walking for a while, but neither of them knew what to say to each other. They both felt awkwardness in the air since the moment they shared while dancing. Hating the silence though, Scorpius finally said, “Do you hate not being a part of their crowd anymore?”
After thinking for a while, she said, “No, not really.”
“You know, a year and a half ago, you would have said the exact opposite,” Scorpius pointed out.
She smiled, “Well I’m not the same person I was a year and a half ago.”
“No you’re not,” Scorpius said, “You’re better.”
Rose stopped walking and looked at him. What did he mean by that? He was always saying things like that to her, and she couldn’t put her finger on why. She saw the way he stared back at her and the way his lips were pursed and how his eyes were lingering on her. Then it all came to her: Scorpius liked her. He liked her more than a friend. She didn’t know what to think, but it all made sense now. How he would always be looking at her and try to hide the fact that he did it. Why he made the comments the way he did.
Blinking her eyes, she looked at Scorpius and asked in an almost whispered voice, “How long have you liked me?”
Scorpius was caught off guard by the question. Releasing a deep breath he had been holding, he whispered back, “A while.” He looked down to the snow covered ground. This was not what he had expected to happen tonight.
Rose took a step toward him. Seeing him so fragile made her want to hold and comfort him. Raising her hand, she lightly touched his cheek, and to make sure he wasn’t going to jerk away, she cupped his face and made him look her in the eye. “And how long is a while?”
He looked deeply into her eyes. “Long enough to know all I want to do is kiss you,” he said, cupping both her cheeks with his hands and leaning forward to quickly press his lips onto hers.
Rose immediately stiffened; she didn’t know what to do or how to feel. But when she felt Scorpius try to raise his head to stop kissing her, she raised her arm up around his neck and pulled his head back down on her lips.
It was like something had taken over her; she deepened this kiss. The feeling she got when kissing him was so foreign and unfamiliar, but at the same time a feeling swept over her and made her insides flip. Her heart was speeding up, and she couldn’t help but kiss him more fiercely.
Scorpius had waited for this moment for so long. He was scared when Rose didn’t kiss him back at first. He thought he had destroyed everything, but when Rose pulled his head back down so she could kiss him, it was like everything had been lost. It seemed as though nothing could separate them with the way her lips were pressed so softly against his. Slowly, feeling like he was about to lose his balance, he pushed her back so she was leaning against a tree, and he pressed his body up against hers.
Rose didn’t know what she was feeling, but it felt right. Turning her head a bit, she separated their lips. “Did I do something wrong?” Scorpius panted.
“No…Air,” Rose said while gasping for a breath.
Scorpius nodded his head as he propped his arm up against the tree, hovering over her a bit as she took a breath of air. He was so close to her that he could smell the scent of shampoo that lingered in her hair; he could feel every move she made under him.
After taking a second, Rose looked up at Scorpius with a confused expression. She hadn’t meant to kiss him back at all: she just wanted to comfort him by putting a hand on his cheek. And yet when he kissed her, she couldn’t help herself. She didn’t know how she felt about Scorpius. The thought of them actually ever being together was such a far off dream, she never thought much about it. She had always assumed it was impossible, yet here she was kissing him, and the world hadn’t ended, and she was lost.
They both heard a noise above them, so they looked up and saw a small, green garnish growing above their heads. Looking back down at Rose, Scorpius smiled lightly and whispered, “Mistletoe.”
Rose looked him in the eyes; she had no idea what to do, so she just bit her lip as Scorpius bent down to give her small, light kisses on the mouth. She wrapped her arms around him again and kissed him back.
They weren’t sure how long they had been out there, but that night, they stayed out hours after curfew just kissing each other and remaining stuck in a moment that wasn’t going to last. But they were going to make last for as long as they could; they both knew once the moment was over, no matter what happened next, there was no going back to the way things were before.
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