I'm supposed to working on More Issues Than Vogue, but I've been writing this for awhile and couldn't wait to share it. It'll likely be 7 chapters. Do review and I'll try to update ASAP, or check out my other Rose/Scorpius :)
First year: Collyfen
That's the girl. The girl his father warned him about.
There were a few important lessons young Scorpius Malfoy's parents had drilled into him. Don't be a smartass. Don't try and show off. Be kind to muggle-borns. Don't get on the wrong side of Potters or Weasleys. He sat there in the Great Hall on his first evening in Hogwarts, eating quietly because nobody really wanted to talk to a Malfoy. His father had warned him of how it would be. After all, their family name was etched in Hogwarts: A History, permanently inked into countless pages, forever tarnished by mistakes made years before.
Scorpius had already decided he hated history. And mashed potatoes.
And there she was, cocooned by a sea of excited redheads and loud, boisterous chatter. She's not a Gryffindor but a Hufflepuff, but she fit right into the fray, all crinkley eyes and dreamy smile. Everything about her looked so safe; she would never have to worry about being lonely.
Unlike him, she would never be alone.
She seemed harmless enough. But Scorpius took his father's words to heart.
Scorpius was reticent by nature, and as term began proper he found himself isolated from the rest of Slytherin. His family history probably didn't help, but Scorpius supposed he didn't mind being left alone.
A few weeks in, most of the first years became enamoured with Quidditch. From a young age, he'd always thought it to be an overly raucous affair, preferring to spend his time with a book. Never mind the new Firebolt owled to him a few days back; he knew his father had always been somewhat disappointed that his son never warmed to the sport, and bore hopes that he would change his mind. Well, Scorpius thought drily, that's not likely to happen.
While everyone was out watching the first Quidditch game of the season, Scorpius found solace in the Library. He enjoyed the silence, and it thrilled him to be surrounded by books. With the whole school outdoors, he had the study area to himself.
Or so he thought.
He removed a book from the shelf to find a pair of keen blue eyes staring right at him from the other side. He let out a gasp; the book hit the ground with a loud thump. Before he could react, she appeared right before him, swiping the book from the floor and offering it to him.
Her sudden presence startled him. The sunlight caught the gold in her red hair. He found himself distracted by it.
"Hello. I'm Rose Weasley," she said breathlessly, and she was watching him intently, a sort of wonderment in her eyes—"You're the most beautiful person I've ever seen."
It made little sense how Rose Weasley was the only other person in the Library with him when the rest of her family were out there screaming their lungs out for the team of choice, most likely Gryffindor. But Rose Weasley—Hufflepuff Rose Weasley—only smiled brightly at him, as though the statement she just made wasn't at all strange, then set her books and quills down across from him and proceeded to do her own thing.
Scorpius wanted to tell her that he really just wanted his alone time, but Rose said not a word after her greeting. He sneaked a glance or two at her while she was working. Her notes were jumbled and messy, with random doodles all across the margins of her textbook. But she didn't bother him, and he wasn't one to strike up a conversation, and so they left it at that and worked quietly across from each other.
He had no clue how or why, but Rose stuck to him like a bee to honey since. Her cousin Albus Potter was a little weirded out by her clinginess, but not as much as Scorpius was. In that respect, at least they had something in common.
He knew that Rose was a little odd, and for all her natural smarts she wasn't exactly winning House points in any of her classes. She chose him for her Potions partner (because he was brilliant at the subject), sat with him in almost every class (because he was quiet, unlike Albus), and loved to peek at his notes (because the stuff he doodled in his margins were so fascinating).
"What are you drawing?" she whispered in one class.
Scorpius looked away from the blackboard. "What—? Oh. They're symbols." He pointed them out to her. "This one stands for Soapstone, and this one Pewter." He glanced at her textbook. The margins of her text were full of portraits of a pointy-faced boy that looked oddly like himself. "…What are you drawing?"
"You," she replied easily, popping a Sherbet Lemon into her mouth and giving him a toothy smile.
They looked rather silly side by side. Scorpius was immaculate, his robes beautifully tailored to match his small frame. Rose, on the other hand, looked the way she always did—as though she'd just walked through a whirlwind. Her robes were too big on her, and her red hair was held in a loose bun by a pencil. Despite her parents' fame—Rose herself had grown up in the society pages of wizarding world—Scorpius noticed people were starting to avoid her.
Her quills often went missing, her books were stained with ink and paint, and sometimes so were her robes. Kids often snickered about her frazzled appearance. Once, when Scorpius heard a group of second years whispering snidely about Rose's sloppy appearance, he shot them a Jelly Leg Jinx when they weren't looking. Rose had laughed about it, and that in itself made it worth it.
He was hypersensitive to what people said about him, and in turn what they said about his companion. Yet she never seemed to let any of it bother her. She was constantly daydreaming, chewing on her pencil as she hummed. Her mother Hermione was a Muggle-born, she explained, as though he didn't already know, and often preferred to write the Muggle way. She herself liked pencils. "Much more convenient than quills," she said enthusiastically. "Not very traditional, but the easiest thing to draw with. And they keep my hair up."
As the weeks wore on, her clinginess became comfortable. In the Great Hall, the only time they sat apart, he found himself missing the way she forgot personal space, and the way her hair always tickled his cheek when she leaned close. Whenever Rose caught his gaze from the Hufflepuff table, her face would light up, and Scorpius wouldn't feel so alone.
"Why do you never hang out with your cousins?"
Rose was barefoot this sunny afternoon, her toes wiggling happily in the grass. They often took walks after Charms class in companionable silence. Scorpius liked that she wasn't the chatty sort. Like him, she seemed happier to observe her surroundings. While he took notes on peculiar botany they chanced upon, she drew them instead. One day, Scorpius thought, he could use her sketchbook as a reference point for his plant research.
Rose tilted her head slightly, considering the question as she chewed on her sugar quill.
"When I'm with you," she said finally, "they leave me alone."
It was a blunt statement, and it stung slightly. Scorpius pursed his lips, unsure of what to say. Rose turned her head and offered him a small smile. "My father told me to avoid you," she admitted, "but I never could resist a pretty thing."
"Hmm. When I was six, there were Collyfen growing in my garden. They're these tall, wide petal blooms, a deep maroon in the middle that fades into a bright fuchsia towards the tip. They smelled like granmum's old pickles but I loved them. They don't come by often, you know—a window of a few weeks, just before autumn. They were the most beautiful flowers I'd ever seen. I spent every day of those weeks painting and sketching them. I never tired of it. My mum and dad thought I'd gone barmy. My cousins took the piss out of me, but I didn't care." She looked wistfully out to the Great Lake. "The Collyfen flowers didn't last, anyway. It was stupid, but I cried about it."
Scorpius wasn't sure how to react to the story, or what it had to do with him, but then Rose looked up at him, her blue eyes keenly catching his own grey ones—"You, Scorpius Malfoy, are like a Collyfen flower. My cousins can make fun of me for it, but I still won't care."
Scorpius let the story sink in. "So I smell like old pickles?"
"Oh, no. You smell nothing like Collyfen." Rose leaned in and pressed her nose in his shoulder. Scorpius felt his face heat up at her proximity. "Notes of nutmeg and sandalwood, in fact." She beamed. "Though you certainly look every bit as lovely."
She was interesting that way. Scorpius had grown up his whole life around graceful, elegant women. His mother, while the most loving person he knew, was a perfect example—aloof, impeccably mannered, with wonderful social graces. His grandmother, too, expressed her affections in the most dignified of ways. And she never went barefoot in the grass. Ever.
Rose, on the other hand, defied everything Scorpius knew a lady to be. She had none of the qualities his father insisted young women should have—restraint and decorum. Perhaps that was why he warned Scorpius of her in the first place.
Funny. Scorpius found her rather charming.
"Rose," he said then, "You're odd, you know that?"
Rose's eyes crinkled. "So I've been told."
"It's a good thing," Scorpius said, and they exchanged a smile.