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Awakening by TidalDragon
Chapter 1 : Forbidden
 
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 6


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I came to in a broom closet. My aching cheekbone seemed to be the flashpoint, though the throbbing in my ribs was a close second. Never mind. The stabbing sensation that accompanied my feeble attempt to move my right hand was definitely second, and that only because it could be avoided. I snorted. At least the fact that I could actually make a movement, however miniscule it had been brought me some comfort. They hadn’t left me here in a full-body bind on top of it all. Putting my weight on my left arm, I forced myself to my feet.


Fishing around in my pocket I found the gold pocket watch my father had given me before I headed off to school this year. Engraved with my initials and our family crest, it had been a reward for making prefect. Per usual he was glad I was following in his footsteps. Predictably though, they’d stomped it again, rendering the shattered face entirely unreadable. With my wand hand in the state it was though, I wasn’t particularly confident I’d be steady enough to fix it. I shouldered the door open roughly, stumbling into the empty, darkened corridor as I grabbed for my side. I sighed. After curfew then.


Once again, I wound up wandering the halls and staircases of the school. For once I was thankful for my badge. Doing rounds this year had augmented my knowledge of the castle, giving me ample time to hide or find a shortcut when I heard the footfalls of professors moving about in the night.


Both weary and slightly woozy, I finally made it back to the dungeons. After muttering the password, I entered, bracing myself for the onslaught I was certain was coming.


“Scorpius!” Collette cried.


“What happened?” Astrid whined.


I scowled. “What do you bloody think?”


The two girls fell silent.


“Sorry…” I offered lamely. “If you could just–“


“Set you straight?” Collette interrupted, smiling faintly before flourishing her wand. “Where should I start?”


“If you’ll just do the hand I can manage the rest,” I said, lifting it slowly upward.


As she set to work, I contemplated it in the fuller light of the common room. My knuckles were bruised and swollen, a freshly scabbed cut across my middle and ring fingers. As the incantations flowed from the lips of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty in front of me the injuries faded swiftly and I waggled my fingers freely to make sure they felt right again.


Without a word, I headed for the corner, sagging immediately into my favorite leather armchair. Collette sat across from me while Astrid shifted awkwardly from foot to foot. I watched the pair carefully. Collette’s eyes were fixed firmly on Astrid’s face, while Astrid seemed to be avoiding eye contact at the moment, instead fidgeting with her long brown hair. Finally, she met Collette’s gaze.


“I’ll just…leave you two then,” Astrid said timidly, retreating in the direction of their dormitory.


Collette looked satisfied.


I never understood how witches did it. Communicating whatever bloody messages they kept hidden from the rest of us with no more than their eyes. It was vexing.


“I don’t want to talk about it,” I said brusquely.


“I don’t care,” Collette answered evenly.


I glared.


“This isn’t pranks with your parchment or pants anymore. They beat the hell out of you Scorpius. With their bloody fists.


“I took a crack at them too.”


“I’m sure not first.”


“What if it was?”


“It wasn’t,” Collette bit back. “Now you’re going to–“


“Leave it, Collette,” I warned.


“I will–“


“I said leave it!”


Her eyes were made of steel now. She was measuring me.


I pushed back.


Suddenly they melted and she gently touched my almost-certainly bruised face.
“Scorpius…I’m just trying to help you.”


I pushed her hand away.


“And I don’t need your help.”


“I don’t care if you think you need it or not–“


“I don’t want it either,” I said sharply.


She bristled. Now her eyes were ice.


“Just my wand then? You’re absolutely foul when you get like this,” she spat before storming off, her long blonde hair trailing in waves behind her.


I’d apologize in the morning. She’d accept it even though she’d know I didn’t mean it. She’d say sorry too – for prying – even though she felt completely different. That was our dance, a practiced artistry of deception that ran back to our first meeting, before all this – before Hogwarts even – when hers was one of the few more progressive families that would touch mine. I ran my fingertips over the place she’d touched. It was exactly where the pain was most prominent.


I leaned back in the chair, not yet ready to banish the wound to non-existence with my wand. Right now it was the perfect physical surrogate for the throbbing emptiness that had once more come to the fore inside me.


I swore.


I thought of Collette. It would be so much easier. I was sure this year more than ever that she fancied me. The increased number of letters over the summer. The lingering looks in class when she thought I was too focused to notice. The touches that now accompanied her friendly concern. And she’d make father happy. A proper pureblood, but with a desirable touch of modernity more befitting post-war political climes. And of course perfectly fetching in a dress. But the thought of a life with Collette didn’t make me burn. It felt right in the same way as getting a fine deal on a broom. It bore no resemblance to the fire that was stoked inside with every thought or even sight of her.


She was everything. The simplicity of both her beauty and manner were perfection. Even at formal functions, her face was never painstakingly glamorized to comply with the supposed modern ideal of femininity. Better yet she constantly carried herself without prejudice or pretensions. She was more than a housewife-in-waiting. She had dreams and hopes and ambitions – all as grand as my own – and she was undoubtedly my intellectual equal. And nothing about her would chain me to my father’s world.


But that would never happen. Not anymore.





Talk of the party had been buzzing through the corridors for days. In hushed whispers between classes and silently-exchanged scraps of parchment at meal times word was spread throughout the student body. By the eve of it, all anyone had to ask was whether you were going. You’d instantly know what they meant from the number of times you heard or seen it. 8:00 PM. Seventh Floor. Meet by Barnabus. At first none of us were quite sure what to make of it. A party in an empty hallway? But when I heard she would be there, it was all I needed to know.


All evening I was determined to look my best. Dressed in a pair of dark brown slacks and a pale blue button down, I’d felt suitably prepared. I was bucking the trend by not wearing any of my house colors, but they hardly lent themselves to my mission anyway. I left the top of my closely-cropped blonde hair slightly messy, eager to eschew any comparisons to my father’s self-important slick-back.


I was fashionably late at 8:15 and startled to find nobody present. The empty hall perplexed me. So I’d taken a bit of extra time. Surely the festivities hadn’t ended. And the complete absence of other travelers on my route to the seventh floor meant that no professors could have possibly just broken it up. I paced the stone corridor, focusing intently. I needed to find the party. I needed to find her. As I turned back toward where I’d started, I was even more stunned to find a brand new set of doors straight across from me. Shifting my eyes back and forth quickly to make sure no one was watching, I reached out, expecting to encounter the tell-tale ripple of an illusion, but instead my hand struck an actual handle. I pulled.


The door gave way to an incredible sight. An enormous proportion of the student population was inside, some dancing or singing along to the music that filled the air while others were simply chatting gaily. At the end of the room was what appeared to be a bar not entirely unlike the one at the Three Broomsticks. Rebecca Wood was pouring and the butterbeer flowed freely. All this, within the walls of Hogwarts? It was unbelievable!


I set out in search of people I knew. Truth be told, I hadn’t talked to anyone I knew about coming and I sincerely doubted that they’d expect me. My precarious perch in the social hierarchy of the school meant keeping a delicate calendar. If I completely abandoned the offspring of my father’s ilk, my time in my own house was bound to be hell. Things hadn’t changed that much in the dungeons. But at the same time, I could barely tolerate them and neither could many people in the other houses. It had taken five years of immense effort to position myself as an acceptably open-minded Slytherin, despite my last name. After several minutes of scanning the packed room, I thought I saw Thomas Breeden, my fast friend from Ravenclaw and made my way over.


Roughly an hour later, I was almost ready to leave. The party, despite the refreshments and conversation had proven to be a complete waste. I should’ve known she wouldn’t actually be here. She was probably busy studying for O.W.L.s already. After saying my goodbyes and beginning my trip back toward the door however, my progress was almost immediately interrupted by the flash of fiery red hair I’d been looking for all night. Rose.


Her hair hung down to her shoulders, the edges collected in a tiny tail that lay down the center. The eye-catching red gave way immediately to the soft, pale skin of her exposed shoulders and the royal purple of the dress she wore, which ended modestly at her knees. I felt a tightness clutch my chest as my heart pounded in my ears. I tried to cast my mind back to the conversations we’d had in the library over homework and the hours we’d spent over the years as partners in Defense and Potions. I exhaled slowly. Even if things went – no – I couldn’t think like that. My eyes tracked briefly to the throngs near the bar that were gathered around her cousins, cracking jokes and swapping war stories only they were privy to, they were holding court as usual.


As Rose waved and smiled broadly, I kept a grin I hoped didn’t look foolish plastered on my face. This was an all-or-nothing proposition.


“Hi!” she said enthusiastically, turning her head away as she reached up to wrap me in a hug.


“Hey,” I said simply, trying desperately to keep things normal. It never used to be this difficult.


As she pulled away, her perfume assailed my nostrils again. Keeping my eyes focused on hers, I managed to avoid intoxication. A curious smile played across her lips before she put her hands on her hips and cocked an eyebrow.


“What’s wrong with you tonight?”


I sighed. “It’s been far too difficult to find you,” I said dryly, praying my disaffected delivery would conceal the sincerity behind the statement.


“Yes, well…truth be told I wasn’t sure I was coming. I don’t want to get too far behind. I’m still chasing Colton Melville you know, even if you’re ready to settle for second or third.”


“Still willing to admit I might beat you then?”


“I never count anyone out completely,” she quipped, pretending to turn her attention to the state of her nails while I completed my eye roll.


I snorted. “Is everyone in your house so cocky?”


With an amused glare she stuck the tip of her tongue out at me briefly. “Anyway…when’s your career counseling session? Have you told your parents what you want to do yet?”


“Two weeks from Tuesday I think. Of course I haven’t told them. I’m already anticipating the howler after they get their copy of the notice.”


“Don’t be so dramatic. You know they won’t do that. From the tales you tell they’re far too worried about appearances. Besides, whatever they end up doing can’t be awful. I already had to endure extra hours of so-called mother-daughter time this summer after I told mum I wanted to be a magihistorian.”


“She didn’t support you?”


Rose groaned. “I mean, she supported me. But she still pestered me all summer about shadowing her at work and ‘considering my potential.’ I’m almost sure the shopping trips when it happened were my aunt’s idea. Mum’s never been that subtle. Or that much of a shopper.”


I chuckled awkwardly before looking at the floor.


When I looked up, Rose was smiling broadly.


“What?”


She shrugged. “Nobody ever finds my little remarks amusing. Not usually. It’s a side-effect of having Uncle George and his lot around so often I guess. It was just nice.”


I returned her gleaming grin. Maybe this wouldn’t go so badly after all.





I woke up in the chair in the common room with a sigh. My neck and legs were stiff from having been contorted throughout the night. With a groan, I stretched as far as the tightness would permit. It was far too early for a Sunday morning, especially after what I’d been through. Still in my clothes from the night before, I eased myself upward. At least I could take advantage of the hour by beating the crowd to the Great Hall. There’d be less chance of running into anyone from the party.


As I made for the stairs to begin the final leg of my journey however, I was suddenly caught from behind and pushed around a corner. I should’ve expected another thumping. I had gotten closer to making a real connection before they’d intervened last night and they’d pounded me before for far less. They were an incredibly protective pair. If it weren’t for the fact I’d become their target it was a quality I could appreciate on a certain level.


Surprisingly unrestrained, I whipped around when we stopped.


“Get on with it then,” I drawled.


Then I looked up.


Expecting the dark hair and angry visages of James and Albus Potter, my mouth fell open when I saw Rose. Truth be told she looked like she’d slept rather poorly, but I didn’t mind, and I wasn’t about to share the thought with her.


“Rose…I–“


“What happened last night?” she hissed, her nostrils flaring.


Hell. What was I supposed to say? That her closest cousins had caught me leaving and bequeathed me an old-fashioned, muggle beating – complete with an utter lack of magic and a copious amount of swinging fists? Instead I elected to shift silently from foot to foot, doing my best impression of a lemming.


“I already know they jumped you,” she said sharply, crossing her arms across her…chest.


I forced my eyes upward.


“It’s hardly the first time…” I muttered.


Her eyes narrowed. “What do you mean?”


“What do you think?” I snapped. “It happens from time to time. I am the son of a Death Eater after all. I can hardly be trusted with–“


Well. We weren’t supposed to get there yet.


“Trusted with…”


Realization dawned on her.


My shoulders sunk as I looked away. This wasn’t how I’d imagined the revelation.


Turning back, I expected to find pools of pity, but instead I found red hair and a flushed face looking upward. Her hands were firmly on her hips, pinching them as if they’d committed a grave offense.


“Those unbelievable little prats!” she spat gracelessly. “As if I can’t decide who–“


Surely my eyes were playing tricks on me. I must have misread the moment where her flush became a blush before she composed herself.


“Well…regardless…it was entirely undeserved. And they should apologize.”


“Rose, I really don’t think–“


“Of course they won’t. But I’ll set them straight.”


Spectacular. The girl of my dreams was going to fight my battles for me.


“They won’t listen to me of course. And I’m not very gifted with pranks. But I think a cleverly-done owl home should do the trick. Yes,” she continued, rambling on to herself as I watched with rapt attention as the words issued from her lips, “I’ll have Catherine send it. Aunt Ginny will have their heads on a platter.”


“Rather gruesome…”


She smiled at me. “It’s no less than they deserve.”


For the first time since before the broom closet, my heart unlocked. She knew. She didn’t care. This conversation was actually happening. And she’d initiated it.


“Scorpius,” she said, using my name for the first time in three weeks, when she’d cursed me under her breath for besting her in Charms, “are you going to breakfast?”


“What?”


“I asked if you were going to breakfast.”


“Of course. Where else would I be going at this hour?”


“The hospital wing?” she deadpanned. “Though from the sight of you I guess you’re learning some new tricks?”


“Yes, well…those tricks are rather necessary for people like me.”


“Perhaps you could show me?” she asked.


Merlin. Did Rose Weasley actually just bite her lower lip?


“Right. Sure,” I said quickly, desperate to appear nonchalant.


She smiled. “I need a bite to eat first…” she added coyly.


Everything stopped. All the punches and pranks. The after-hours attacks. It all paled in comparison. Her red hair blazed against her soft, pale skin, a few well-placed freckles dotting her cheeks as she glanced at her feet.


I looked up the staircase to see sunlight streaming in.


“Join me?” I asked suddenly.


Her face flew up.


“I’d love to.”


A/N: Well. I finally finished this. It’s my first “real” Next-Gen story and certainly my first exploration of the seemingly hallowed ground of Scorpius/Rose. It's intended to capture the moment that they move from friends to more. Another piece for the Gift-It Challenge, it’s my humble effort at thanking Adi/randomhpffwriter for being so incredibly welcoming and friendly when I first joined the forums and Gryffindor and for, as time went by, becoming a super friend.


I hope you enjoyed it Adi! And that I didn’t butcher your OTP too badly...





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