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Chapter 2 : The First Meeting
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When she reached the classroom, however, there was not a bit of noise. Nor was there any light coming from the crack between the door and the floor. Essentially, it was pretty obvious the room was empty. Well hell, it looks like the joke was on Rose after all. Malfoy and Goyle must be having a pretty good laugh down in their stupid dungeon knowing she was up here going to a party that didn’t exist.
Just as she turned to leave, the door of the classroom swung open and a boy she recognized as being a Slytherin in his seventh year peaked his head out and said, “You have an invitation?”
Rose held out her wrist. He looked at it closely then jerked his head toward the room, allowing her entrance. She went in tentatively and was shocked by what she was seeing. There weren’t many people there; maybe around 20 or 30. The vast majority of them were Slytherin though she recognized a couple of Ravenclaws, even fewer Hufflepuffs, and only one other Gryffindor, though she was in her sixth year and Rose had never actually spoken to her.
Everyone was walking around, dressed formally just as Rose was, talking with each other, catching up, and dancing. There was food and drinks and soft music. “I don’t fucking believe it,” a shocked voice said from behind her. She turned to find herself face-to-face with Scorpius Malfoy. “How long have you been here?” he asked.
“About thirty seconds,” she replied coolly.
“As long as you’re gone within the next fourteen minutes and thirty seconds, that’s fine.”
“Damn, Weasley,” Goyle said as he appeared beside Malfoy.
“Must you always start conversations with me that way?” Rose quipped. Malfoy snorted and for a second they both gazed at each other in surprise. She had been funny and Malfoy had laughed.
“Blue looks good on you. Want to dance?” Goyle said, oblivious to the moment she had just shared with Malfoy.
“Sure,” Rose said silkily and she took his outstretched hand. She watched with relish as Malfoy’s jaw fell open and Goyle swept her out onto the dance floor.
Goyle wasn’t exactly bad to look at. He might not be the smartest bloke in Hogwarts, but he was handsome enough. He had dark hair, dark eyes, broad shoulders, a tall figure, he was on the Slytherin Quidditch team and Rose noticed several envious looks at her when they began dancing. He was a good dancer and she really did enjoy herself.
After the song ended, with one arm on her back, he guided her gently back to where Malfoy was still standing looking dumbstruck. “So what is all of this anyway? The Dragon Club and all of that rubbish?”
“Rubbish?” Malfoy spluttered, “The Dragon Club,” he began, sounding much more like his haughty self, “is a secret club at Hogwarts that was started by a group of Slytherins years ago. Over the years it has expanded to include students from other houses, but it’s still mostly Slytherin.”
“What’s it’s purpose?” she asked.
“The purpose is that there is no purpose. We get together often, do random things, organize random events, and just have fun. Mostly there are dances, raves, gatherings,”
She interrupted, “Then why would people want to join it? What are the benefits for the members?”
“The benefit,” said Goyle, “is that you get to blow off steam with a bunch of people who are sworn to secrecy. You can go crazy here and we’re all bound by oath to never tell a soul outside of the people who are in this room.”
“What sort of oath?” she asked.
“Well, when you join,” drawled Malfoy, “you sign an enchanted parchment that binds your tongue from talking about it in front of people who aren’t a part of the club. Also, you get a tattoo of a dragon, the club’s mascot.”
“A tattoo?” Rose asked in surprise. Both Goyle and Malfoy pulled at their sleeves to reveal the dragon tattoos on their wrist. She let out a low whistle, “this sounds rather serious. How does one become a member?”
“They have to be invited to at least one gathering. At the end of the gathering, they can approach a senior member of the club and ask for membership. I’ve never seen anyone be refused membership. The only catch is that nobody wants the club to grow too large so you’re not supposed to invite people often.”
“You invited me,” she reminded him.
“Yes, well, Zander was given a formal invitation to invite one other person at the end of last term because he helped the senior members plan a prank,” said Malfoy.
“What prank?” Okay, she had to admit, she was interested and having a good time. Nobody was staring at her like they normally did around Hogwarts. Here, she wasn’t special, she was just a random person who was invited. She felt normal here and she loved it.
“We jinxed all of the seats at the professor’s table to run away whenever someone tried to sit on them,” Goyle said while chuckling.
“That was you?” she yelped in surprise. Both boys started positively howling with laughter.
“Yes, that was us, The Dragon Club. I told you we’re a riot,” Goyle smirked.
“I want to join,” Rose said at once.
“What?” Malfoy wasn’t laughing anymore.
“I like it here. You are all sworn to secrecy about anything I say or do, right?” They both nodded, “Well around Hogwarts I am constantly gawked at and looked up to like some sort of hero even though I’ve never done anything special. Here, I feel normal and I love it.”
“Alright then,” Malfoy sighed and huffed, running a hand through his platinum blonde hair, “Let’s go find Warrington.”
“Simon Warrington. He’s a senior member who I know pretty well,” Malfoy surprised her by taking hold of her wrist and leading her up to a tall and intimidating looking Slytherin. “Rose Weasley wants to join.” He said.
Rose smiled timidly up at Warrington and he, surprisingly, smiled back. This really was a place where people could just let loose, “Excellent,” he said. Warrington led her up to the front of the room where he leapt onto a table. “May I have your attention, please?” he asked, his voice booming. Everyone in the room paused and even the music stopped. Rose felt herself blushing from the roots of her flaming red hair to the tips of her toes. “Rose Weasley has expressed interest in joining the Dragon Club. Who supports this motion?” The crowd of people burst into rapid applause. “Are any opposed?” he asked. Silence. They were accepting her into their club!
Warrington pulled a long parchment out of his robes and handed her a quill. She scribbled her name onto the bottom, along with the names of dozens of others and she wondered vaguely if this was the original manifesto of the club, as it held so many names. Warrington pulled out his wand and offered her his hand. “What?” she asked nervously.
“You need your tattoo,” he said simply. Damn, she had forgotten that part.
“No, no, I think I’m okay. I’d rather not have the image of a dragon permanently inked into my skin,” she said.
“Rose,” Warrington said loudly, “The Dragon Club is a family. What binds families? Blood. Blood is the symbol of union, and for us the symbol of union is a dragon emblem. If you want to be a part of our family, you have to share our blood, metaphorically of course.”
She had no bloody idea what she was doing or what she was getting herself into. She had definitely rushed into this stupid decision. What on earth would she tell people when she suddenly had a random tattoo on her wrist that matched those of mostly Slytherins? But a reckless part of her fourteen year old brain wanted this. No, she more than wanted to be a part of the Dragon Club, she needed it.
As Rose Weasley, daughter of Ron and Hermione Weasley, life was never ordinary. While the Dragon Club was far from ordinary, it made her feel ordinary. It didn’t want her because of who her parents were, it wanted her because she was one of them. They accepted her for her and not because of something that had happened before she was even born. With this in mind, she extended her right arm and flinched as there was a burning sensation in her wrist. She looked down once she knew Warrington had pulled his wand away, and there on her wrist was the tattoo.
Everyone cheered and clapped. This was how she, Rose Weasley, became a member of the Dragon Club, all that entailed, and all that would become. Even though at the time she had no idea of the repercussions of her actions, she knew that in that moment she belonged and that was all that mattered. Protectively, Malfoy took hold of her hand and pulled her off of the table.
“Where are we going, Malfoy?” she asked as he began to lead her through the crowd.
“I need a drink,” he said stiffly, “and since we’re pretty much blood now, how about you start calling me Scorpius?”
“Okay, but that means you have to start calling me Rose,” she said.
He snorted, “Deal,” he grabbed a tall glass of alcohol off of a table and downed it in a couple of swallows.
“Well well well,” said a jeering voice behind me. Rose spun around to find herself facing Viola Selwyn, a Slytherin in her year. “Was it you who invited Little Miss Perfect, Scorpius?”
“Actually, that would be me,” said Goyle as he joined their conversation, swaying slightly on his feet. Something told Rose he had a bit more to drink than Malf-er-Scorpius. It was going to be hard for her to start calling them by their first names.
“What does it matter who invited her?” Rose felt Scorpius’ hand snake around her waist as he stood beside her, talking to Viola, “The point is she’s here and she’s staying. She’s one of us now and you know the rules.”
“Yes, I’m aware of the rules,” she glared at Rose once before adding, “whether you’re a member of this club or not, Weasley, you had better watch your back,” she spun around and left.
“Bloody hell, what was that about?” Rose asked.
“Viola has fancied Scorpius for years and tonight he’s been showing you a bit of extra attention,” said Zander.
“I didn’t mean to cause any problems with you and your girlfriend,” she began, but he interrupted her.
“I can’t stand her. I would rather her think I’m interested in you than for her to fool herself into believing that I fancy her,” Rose stared at him in shock at this outburst. Did he honestly just say he would rather be with her than Viola? He hated Rose. What did Viola ever do to get Malfoy to despise her that much? Rose couldn’t imagine.
“Is that why your arm is around me, Malf-Scorpius?”
He withdrew his arm quickly, having just realized that he left it there and said, “Actually that was for your safety. I wouldn’t put it pass Viola to try to hex you, even here. I wanted to make sure I could move you out of the way fast enough if she tried anything.”
Oddly touched by the small gesture, Rose said with the tone of confusion, “Um, thanks.”
Scorpius nodded his head, his lips still pressed tightly together and asked her, “Do you want a drink?”
“No, I don’t drink,” she said.
Zander snorted and said, “What better place and time to start? You can get as drunk as you want and no one will ever know.”
“No, really I’m fine,” she insisted.
“Then let’s dance,” Scorpius grabbed her hand and spun her around toward the dance floor.
“I’m not dancing with you,” was her immediate response. He raised an eyebrow at her and she continued, “Even if we are members of the same club, that doesn’t mean we’re suddenly best friends. Or friends at all for that matter. I’m still going to try to beat you on every test and get you in trouble as often as I can.”
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said seriously with a firm nod, “I’ll be doing the same thing come tomorrow morning, but at club meetings, you are simply Rose, I am simply Scorpius, and nothing else matters. We drop the real world, forget about it, and just live in the moment, and in this moment I want to dance with you because you look ravishing in that dress.”
What the hell? He was right after all. The reason she joined this club was to forget about real life and here was the perfect opportunity to do so. Scorpius was one person and Malfoy was another. Scorpius was asking Rose to trust him, so she was going to do just that. Malfoy wouldn’t be her concern until tomorrow morning when classes started. So Scorpius and Rose danced the night away until almost four in the morning.
As the party ended, and everyone was saying goodnight, she watched with a satisfied smirk as Scorpius forked over ten galleons to Zander. “Come on,” Scorpius said, one hand on her lower back, “I’ll walk you to your dorm.” She didn’t object.
They walked in silence for a long time. They were almost to the portrait of the Fat Lady when she exclaimed, “Oh no!”
“Rose?” Scorpius asked with concern, “What is it?”
“The Cloak!” she turned and ran for the statue of the One-eye witch. Albus would kill her if she lost his Cloak! Especially if she wouldn’t be able to explain exactly why she had left it somewhere.
“Rose?” she realized that Scorpius had chased after her, “Where are we going?”
She spun around to face him, “Listen to me carefully, Scorpius Malfoy. Even though the party is over, you are still to never tell a soul about what you’re about to see,” the threat was clear in her tone. He nodded once with a slight look of confusion and she tapped the statue, mumbled the spell and it sprang to the side.
She retrieved the Cloak and flung it around ger shoulders. “A Cloak of Invisibility!” he exclaimed. She pursed her lips and he said quickly, “I won’t tell anyone, I swear.”
After a brief nod of her head they began their walk, again, toward Gryffindor Tower. Until Mrs. Norris the Second appeared in their path. “Run!” Scorpius hissed and they did.
She could hear footfalls far behind them and Filch’s voice saying menacingly, “We’ll find them, my sweet.”
Cringing at the idea of being caught out of bed at this hour, she wrenched open the door to a broom closet, and pulled Scorpius into it with her. It was a tight fit, with their chests pressed together and both of their backs against walls, but they managed. Once Filch’s footsteps died away, Scorpius gazed down at her as he was a good head taller than she was, and they both burst into fits of silent laughter.
“That was close,” he said.
“Too close,” she agreed.
Scorpius was watching her with a strange look in his eye and he said slowly, “You know, Rose, I feel like I finally got a small glimpse into your personality tonight. Like for the first time I’ve seen the real Rose Weasley, and she’s a lot more fun than the fake front you put on in front of the rest of the school.”
“Fake front?” she snapped, “I do not put on a fake front! Just because I like to get good grades and stay out of trouble doesn’t mean I’m not fun!”
“Calm down,” he said with a chuckle as he tugged lightly on a lock of her flaming red hair that had fallen down from the elegant bun it had been in.
“I will not calm down!” she said as she slapped his hand away.
Still laughing, he said, “I just meant that I like Rose better than Weasley.”
She stared at him for a moment before thinking to herself that she felt the same way about him. For the first time in her four years at Hogwarts, she had one night with the real Scorpius Malfoy and she found that she liked him a lot. He was much better than the stuck up pureblood brat who she normally saw on a daily basis. “I like Scorpius better than Malfoy,” she said.
He smiled and said, “Me too. Let me try this one more time. May I walk you back to your common room?”
“Yes, you may.” It seemed to take them only a moment to reach Gryffindor Tower.
“For what it’s worth, I’m really glad I finally met you, Rose,” Scorpius reached for her hand, caught hold of it, brought it up to his lips and brushed a feather light kiss on the back of her hand. He turned it over, traced her new tattoo with his finger and mumbled, “I never thought I’d see the day…” he smiled at her and said, “Goodnight, Rose.”
“Goodnight Scorpius,” she watched his retreating figure until it disappeared around the corner. “Flobberworms,” she said to the Fat Lady.
“And just where have you been all this time?” she teased with a girly chuckle.
“Flobberworms,” Rose repeated.
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