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Chapter 1 : Exposed
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I crumpled a small piece of parchment in my hands and threw it at the curly-haired witch sitting across of me, sighing when her back remained resolutely turned. “Roooose,” I whined, trying a different method and tugging lightly on one of the red curls resting against her scarlet and gold Gryffindor robes.
“What?” Rose finally turned to face me, trying and failing to appear irritated, “We’re supposed to be doing coursework right now, if you haven’t noticed. If Professor McGonagall comes by and hears us talking, she’ll have our heads.”
“Professor McGonagall’s practically deaf,” I scoffed, lowering my voice nonetheless, “Besides, it’s not like anyone else is doing anything productive.” I gestured a few seats down to Rose’s cousin, Dom, who was flipping through a Witch Weekly magazine concealed within a textbook.
“Well unlike everyone else,” Rose huffed, “I’m actually trying to finish this Transfiguration essay.”
I rolled my eyes, albeit fondly. Rose Weasley was truly a witch unlike any other. We were complete opposites, yet somehow, our friendship worked and it had from the moment we met as first years in an empty Hogwarts Express compartment. It was unheard of, of course, a Malfoy befriending a Weasley, and our respective families had disapproved from the start. But that sure as hell didn’t stop us from becoming best friends through the years, and alas, it also sure as hell didn’t stop me from falling hopelessly in love with her.
Yes I, Scorpius Malfoy, am hopelessly and painfully in love with Rose Weasley, and I have been since fourth year, when I was just a fumbling, awkward adolescent who could barely comprehend what love even was.
Grandfather Lucius would surely have a heart attack if he ever found out.
And he wouldn’t find out. No one would ever find out because no one knew, not even Rose herself. Sure we told each other everything, but this sort of information was friendship-ruining, potentially even life-ruining.
So no, I didn’t plan on confessing to her anytime soon.
Rose’s voice snapped me out of my thoughts, “Scorp, are you even listening to me right now?”
I blinked, “Huh? Sorry, what?”
“I asked you if you wanted to go to Hogsmeade with me and Albus this weekend. You didn’t schedule Quidditch tryouts or anything, right?”
“Quidditch tryouts are bloody today, so no,” I muttered, running a hand through my blonde hair, “But Albus Potter? Really, Red? You know he hates me.”
Rose sighed exasperatedly, “He doesn’t hate you.”
“The hexing incident in second year?”
“That was an accident. He apologized afterwards!”
“Punching me in the face in third year?”
“Well...you know Albus, he can be a prick sometimes-”
“Setting fire to my robes in fourth year! Knocking me off my broom in fifth year! Sending me to the hospital wing-”
“Alright, alright,” Rose said hastily “,maybe he does hate you a tiny bit. But I know you two would be great friends if you just gave each other a chance-”
“That’s a bloody lie and you know it,” I said, leaping to my feet as Professor McGonagall dismissed the class, “But fine, I’ll go with you guys since you’re insisting.”
“Yes, Scorp! Love youuu,” Rose sing-songed as she rolled up her scroll of parchment, and I flushed instantly, ducking my head to hide the stupid grin spreading across my face, mentally slapping myself for being such a dumb, love-sick mess of a man.
This girl was going to be the death of me someday.
Being captain of the Slytherin Quidditch team was a pretty big deal at Hogwarts,and it was a job that came with many responsibilities; one of which, unfortunately, was to hold team tryouts at the beginning of every school term. It might not sound too awful, but trust me, an hour of watching incompetent idiots falling off their Nimbus Two Thousands and you’ll be begging for a quick and painless death.
I stepped out of the team locker room and onto the Quidditch pitch, clad in my silver and green robes, Firebolt in hand. I was greeted by the usual crowd of eager hopefuls and a unsurprisingly large audience of onlookers sitting in the stands. I spotted Rose among the bystanders, textbook open in her hand and giving me a half-hearted wave with the other. I grinned and shot her a wink before turning to the throng of people before me.
“Alright, everyone! Thanks for coming out today. We have a lot of people to get through so let’s try to make this easy and quick for all of us, yeah? I’ll be looking at Chasers first, so um-Dom? Is Dom here?”
Dominique Weasley was known widely throughout the school as the accomplisher of many milestones. The first of which, becoming the only Weasley in generations to be sorted into Slytherin. The second, being the youngest witch ever to be featured on the cover of the immensely popular Witch Weekly magazine. And last, but certainly the most important in my eyes, was holding the rightful reverence of being the best Chaser at Hogwarts.
I’m lucky as hell to have Dom on my team because Merlin that girl can fly.
“Over here, Scorp,” Dom called, squeezing her way through the crowd to stand next to me, oblivious to the blatant stares and gaping mouths pointed at her as she swept her blonde hair into a ponytail. I threw my arm around Dom’s shoulder, mentally snickering as looks of poorly concealed jealousy were directed towards me, “Dom’s the team co-captain and she’ll be helping me with tryouts. So, let’s begin, shall we?”
Several hours, many tears, and numerous trips to the hospital wing later, I had successfully assembled a somewhat-decent team. I scheduled Quidditch practices and congratulated my new team members before changing back into my school robes, exhaustion crashing over my body in waves.
To my surprise, Rose was waiting for me outside the Slytherin locker room, books clutched to her chest and a wide smile on her face. Despite my exhausted state, I couldn’t help but grin back at her.
“Hey there captain,” she said brightly, linking her arm through mine, “Rough time out there today, huh?”
“I can’t believe you stayed and watched tryouts the whole time,” I said, leaning towards her touch instinctively, suddenly a bit breathless. “I had to give moral support, right?” Rose shrugged, “And besides, I finished my Transfiguration essay, so it wasn’t an afternoon wasted.”
I scoffed, head-butting her gently on the shoulder, “You and your cleverness.”
“Hey, don’t,” She nudged me away, laughing a little, “You’re still all sweaty and gross.”
We walked through the castle corridors, chatting mindlessly until we reached the portrait of the Fat Lady, the “secret” entrance to the Gryffindor common room.
“Ms. Weasley,” The portrait greeted Rose with a respectful nod, then turned to give me her usual frown, “Accompanied by young Mr.Malfoy, as usual. Password?”
“Valde Cupido,” Rose said, tugging on my hand as the portrait swung open. I was such a regular occupant of the Gryffindor common room that no one even gave me a second glance as I settled myself comfortably into one of the scarlet couches beside the fireplace.
“Did you hear about that Winter Ball the Student Board Committee is planning?” Rose asked as she flounced down beside me., elbow pressing against mine. I tilted my head back against my armrest, fighting the sudden drowsiness sinking into my bones, “When do I ever know or care about the plans of the SBC? And winter’s still months away, why’re they planning it now?”
“Well it’s apparently a pretty big deal. My cousin, Molly, she’s on the committee and she told me it’s going to be a proper ball, like fancy robes and slow dancing and such.”
“Yeah?” I muttered, only half-listening, “Slow dancing. So they’re going to make us choose dance partners and all that? Seems bloody lame.”
“It doesn’t sound that lame,” Rose muttered, so quiet, I would have missed it if I wasn’t only a few inches from her I glanced over to find her flushed and pink-cheeked, staring determinedly at her lap.
“I mean, it’s kind of romantic, right?”
I could only stare blankly back at her. So this was the key to Rose Weasley’s heart? Just asking her to some stupid school ball?
I shrugged as casually as I could. “Well, if you’re not planning on going with anyone, we-”
Lysander Scamander chose that very moment to intrude upon our privacy, clambering over on long limbs to squeeze himself right in-between Rose and I with a cheerful, “Hey, Red! I haven’t seen you since the start of term!”
I stiffened a little as Lysander turned to beam at me, “And Scorpius too. How’s it going, mate?”
“Fine,” I muttered. Rose pulled Lysander into a hug, and I tried to suppress the annoyance prickling under my skin. “Hey, Lys! I’ve missed you and Lorcan. How was your summer?”
And just like that, Rose’s attention was snatched away from me, and all I could do was sit there listen to the pair of them chatter away, silently cursing Scamander and his bad timing.
I’ll ask her later, I told myself, And besides,the ball is still ages away, it’s not like I’m in any rush.
The trip to Hogsmeade with Albus Potter and Rose was, as I predicted, an utter disaster. Taking two people who wholly and thoroughly loathed each other and forcibly making them associate is never, ever a good idea, and surely Rose, with her inordinately-intelligent brain, should have realized this.
The first thing that came out of Potter’s mouth when he saw me was, “Prick.”
“Twat,” I muttered back, not to be outdone.
“So,” Rose interjected, a bit too brightly, “Where to first, boys? Zonkos? Honeydukes?”
“Why’d you have to drag him along?” Potter faux-whispered to her, shooting me the lowliest of glares. Rose elbowed him away, grin still plastered a bit unnervingly on her freckled face, “Honeydukes it is, then!”
Potter mumbled something under his breath, then stalked off towards Honeydukes, tall, lanky form eventually disappearing inside the shop.
Rose’s grin dropped from her face as soon as he was out of view, whipping around to frown at me, “God! Can’t you two at least act civil in each other’s presence?”
“He’s the one who started this,” I protested, holding the door of Honeydukes open for her to walk in. Like a true gentleman. The syrupy scent of sweets enveloped me the second I stepped foot inside, so sickly I felt as if my teeth were rotting just from inhaling the air.
I began to walk towards the Licorice Wands in the corner, but Rose dragged me over to examine the new display at the front of the shop.
“Look, Scorp! Isn’t that interesting?” I followed her outstretched finger to see bouquets of flowers arranged neatly around a sign that read “Flowers that turn into chocolates when you say ‘I love you’! The perfect gift for your other half!”
“These flowers are so beautiful,” Rose said, almost wistfully, taking a bundle off of the shelf and examining it.
“You think they really work?” I muttered, stroking one of the petals dubiously, “Like, what if the chocolates end up tasting a bit like pollen or something?”
“I love you,” Rose said firmly, and I started in surprise, elbow knocking into the shelf and very nearly bringing down the entire display before I realized she had been talking to the bouquet. I watched in fascination as the lavender and pale gold flowers morphed instantly into a deep, rich brown color. Rose plucked off a chocolate petal and popped it into her mouth, tilting her head to the side and making my heart stutter because she looked so, so endearing.
She hummed, tongue darting out to lick her lips, “Nope. No pollen in the chocolate. It’s actually really good, like even better than Chocolate Frogs. I love these chocolate bouquets, they’re so lovely.”
“D’you want one?” I blurted out before I could stop myself, turning red immediately afterwards. Rose tore her eyes away from the display to smile at me, “You don’t have to buy me one just because I like them, Scorp. Besides, it’s more of a romantic gesture, really.”
“Yeah, Scorp,” Potter’s scathing voice came up from behind me, his lanky figure appearing out of nowhere, “It’s more of a romantic gesture.”
“Piss off,” I hissed at him, resisting the urge to pull out my wand and hex that smug smirk right off his stupid face, “No one asked you to join in our conversation.”
“Yeah? And no one asked for your bloody presence to parade-”
“Albus,” Rose said sharply, effectively cutting him off, “For God’s sakes, I think we’re done here. Shall we go to The Leaky Cauldron next? Grab a few Butterbeers?”
“Whatever,” Potter huffed, the bloody prat.
“That sounds lovely,” I said politely, like any amiable, civil human being would.
The Leaky Cauldron was bustling with activity as usual, and there were more than a few raised eyebrows at the sight of Albus, Rose and I walking in together.The bitter animosity between Potter and I was no secret to anyone at Hogwarts
“I’ll go get the Butterbeers,” Rose said as we sat down at a table, “Try not to kill each other while I’m gone.”
But of course, her words were not heeded by Albus Potter.
As soon as Rose was out of sight, he was grabbing me by the front of my robes and yanking me forward roughly. “What the hell?” I spat, trying with no avail to wrench myself out of his vice-like grip.
“Listen up, Malfoy,” Potter hissed, his face entirely too close to mine for my liking, “Rose is off limits, don’t lay a finger on her, you hear? ”
“What the bloody hell are you going on about?” I said, turning my face to the side to avoid looking at him, “Don’t you think if I wanted to murder her I would’ve years ago?”
Albus snorted , “Don’t play coy! I know you fancy her, I’ve seen the way you look at her, like you’ve got bloody hearts in your eyes or something. It’s sickening.”
I froze, mouth going slack because there was absolutely no way Potter could have figured that out. I wasn’t that obvious, was I? There was just no way.
“I-I don’t know what you’re-”
“You have no chance with her, Malfoy, and you’ll never have a chance with her, so don’t even think about it, or I’ll end you. You touch Rose, even think about touching her, and I’ll hex off your dick and feed it to Hagrid’s hippogriffs, do you understand?”
He released my robes, sitting back down in his chair, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
I could only stare back at him, mouth dry and heart threatening to beat right out of my chest. Potter couldn’t tell Rose, he wouldn’t-
Rose’s voice jolted me into a blind panic. She set down our Butterbeers and took a seat next to me, oblivious as usual to the tension in the air, so thick it was almost tangible. “Have you two been getting along?”
“Uh,” I managed to choke out, hands twisting nervously in my lap, “Uh-yeah.” From across the table, Potter motioned to his crotch before making a slicing gesture with his hand.
I picked up my Butterbeer with shaking fingers, taking a large gulp before dissolving into a violent coughing fit.
This was definitely going to be the worst school year of my life.
A/N: Hiya! My name's Elle and this is my first story on HPFF. I really hope you guys enjoyed this chapter and thank you so much for reading! Reviews are always appreciated darlings x
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