A/N: Happy New Year! Here is a 2017 present to all of you who requested an update. Word of warning: this chapter ends with some heavy Rated M stuff. Another present for you!

Disclaimer: If I was J.K. Rowling I'd probably have a lot more money in my bank account...

A Different Kind Of Love Story

By ByeByeBirdie

Chapter 10: Just Lust

Saturday, December 12th, 1:30 PM

Alice and Albus were chatting beside him but Scorpius barely noticed. He kept glancing around the cobblestone streets of Hogsmeade in search of a particular redhead who had apparently caught his fancy. Only problem was, there were so many Weasleys that red hair was everywhere.

His first sighting of a Weasley was third year Lucy with Frankie Longbottom slipping into Zonko's. Then he noticed Hugo palling around with the Scamander twins and another fifth year, Maya Finnigan. Roxanne looked slightly awkward on what appeared to be a first date with Jax Livins. Louis was with his roommates as they headed into the Three Broomsticks. And his eyebrows shot way up when he saw Lily walking hand-in-hand with Wes Taylor. But so far, no sign of Rose.

He had first wandered into Hogsmeade telling himself he wasn't going to search for her. As she pointed out, she was well within her right to date whoever she wanted. But as he made the trek into Hogsmeade, his heart continued to constrict with angst and he knew that so much of him was dying to find out how her date was going. He hoped badly but he also hated himself for hoping that. He knew that he and Rose weren't dating, nor did he even want to date her, but the idea that she could occupy her time with some other guy and wouldn't need him anymore saddened him more than he liked to admit.

He would never tell her or anyone this but he liked the time he spent with Rose. He had always been convinced that he hated her but he knew now that he didn't. At least not anymore. He wasn't entirely sure what that meant or how he actually felt about her, but he knew their arrangement really had been a blessing in disguise. He found himself drawn to her in ways he never expected. He could talk to her about private things only because he knew she wouldn't blab it to anyone. She had become his secret keeper and he liked that about her. He liked that someone out there seemed to know the real him, not the version he pretended to be for all the spectators of the world who seemed to scrutinize his every move. The Malfoy that had to act bigger than he really was so that no one could ever walk all over him. He had forced himself to be independent. Maybe too independent. And now everything inside of him was screaming because he knew a part of him wanted to be around Rose. Maybe even needed it. And yet she was on a date with another guy and Scorpius wasn't supposed to care about that. He wasn't supposed to care so why did he?

"What the hell?" Albus growled dangerously.

Scorpius glanced up at the hostility in his friend's voice and cringed when he realized that Albus, too, saw his fifteen-year-old sister with seventeen-year-old Wes Taylor.

"Oh, please don't make a scene," Alice groaned, but Albus ignored her as he stormed over to where the couple stood just a few feet away.

"What the hell is this?" Albus sneered, ripping his sister's arm away from Wes.

"Albus!" Lily warned, glaring at him. "What is your bloody problem?"

"The only one here who is going to have a problem is Wes once I steer my fist into his face!"

"Stop it," Lily growled, stepping in between her brother and her boyfriend. "I know you and James and the rest of our goddamned family seem to think you get an opinion on who I date, but you don't!"

"Hey, what is going on here?"

"Oh, you have got to be bloody kidding me," Lily grumbled as Louis strolled over with narrowed eyes. "Stay out of this, Louis."

"She's dating Wes!" Albus snapped.

Louis shot Wes a dirty look. "Like hell she is," he snorted.


"I'm not telling you who to date," Albus snarled. "I'm telling you who not to date."

"Any chance I could interject here?" Wes spoke up.

"No" was the resounding response from Louis and Albus.

"Okay then."

"Ignore them," Lily snarled, grabbing Wes' hand and pulling him away from the crowd. "C'mon, let's go visit Fred at my uncle's WWW shop."

"Oh, good, more cousins," he teased.

"Oy, we're not done with you yet!" Albus argued.

"Yeah, well we're done with you," Lily snapped over her shoulder. "Wes and I are dating and have been for a month now so you're just going to have to get used to it."

"A month!" Louis screeched.

"We never agreed to this!" Albus groaned.

"Mate, let her go," Scorpius finally interjected before a street fight broke out. "She's old enough to make her own choices."

Albus snorted. "Like hell she is. C'mon, Louis, let's see how long it takes Fred to notify James of his younger sister's exploits."

"Oh, Al, please don't," Alice whined but Albus was storming down the street with Louis on his heels. She sighed as they disappeared into the crowd of students. "Well, there goes the end of that date."

Scorpius' brow furrowed, turning to her curiously. "What?"

She froze. "Er…nothing. You up for a butterbeer at Three Broomsticks?"

Scorpius said nothing, his eyes slowly narrowing at the slight panic in her expression. "Wait…" he trailed off hesitantly. "You and Al?"

"No," she said, shaking her head.

His eyes widened. "Holy hippogriff, you and Al?"

"I said no," she hissed with a panicked whimper.

"What the hell am I doing as your third wheel? Last I checked, though I'm hardly an expert, two people who are on a date typically just let it be the two of them."

"We're not on a date," she snapped, shaking her head. "We're just friends."

His head cocked to the side. "But you want more?"

She opened her mouth to argue but the words wouldn't form.

He smirked. "You want more."

"No," she spoke softly. "He's the one that wants more. I just don't know if I can give it to him."

Scorpius wasn't sure he wanted to get involved, but the pained expression on Alice's face had him reluctantly asking, "And why not?"

She shook her head, glancing at him hesitantly. "You don't really want to know, Scorpius, do you," she murmured, sidestepping past him and heading towards the Three Broomsticks.

He groaned inwardly as he reached out for her arm, stopping her from walking away. "I asked, didn't I?"

She turned to look at him, her eyes filled with distress. She said nothing at first and Scorpius slowly dropped her arm, waiting for her to speak. He had long learned that sometimes saying nothing was the best way to get someone to open up.

She let out a sigh, averting her eyes towards the ground. "I've never dated anyone before, Scorpius," she muttered, her cheeks turning scarlet. "I never really wanted to because…" she trailed off.

"Because why?"

She said nothing at first, finding a sudden interest in the icicles lining the storefronts. "If I tell you something, do you promise not to tell anyone?" she asked in a soft voice. "Even Rose?"

"Right, like Rose and I partake in personal conversations," he snorted, though he knew that was a lie.

She shot him a look.

He chuckled sheepishly. "You can trust me, Alice."

She frowned, a shiver running down her spine, though she suspected it wasn't because of the cold. "I've had a crush on Albus for as long as I can remember."

Scorpius gaped at her in surprise. "What?"

"Yeah, I know, it kinda caught me by surprise, too," she murmured.

His brow furrowed. "But then why have you…"

"Why have I snogged everyone else in the school beside him?" she suggested with an awkward smile. "Well, I pretty much assumed Al would never show an interest in me so the easiest way to try to get over him was to involve myself with other guys. Only it never worked. It just made me want to be with him more."

He considered her words carefully. "I'm not sure I see the problem here," Scorpius mused. "You say he wants more but you don't know if you can give it to him, yet you clearly want to."

She grew unnaturally quiet, ignoring the hustle and bustle around the busy streets as she thought of the underlying insecurities resting in her heart. "Yeah, and every guy I've ever tried to be with has found an easy way to eventually turn me down," she eventually murmured. "I'm the girl who lasts a short period of time before their newest victim comes along. I'm the girl they have their fun with and then chuck the moment they get bored. I'm not what they want. I'm just a girl who they use in the heat of the moment before moving on to someone better. So who's to say Al won't do the same?"

Scorpius considered those words, sensing the burden in every word she spoke. "Al wouldn't be chasing you if you weren't what he wanted," he found himself arguing with a sincere nod. "He wouldn't screw up a seventeen-year-old friendship for the heat of the moment. He doesn't just want you for a short period of time. There is no new victim for him. He won't get bored with you. There is no one better. If he's telling you he wants more then you're what he wants."

As he spoke, his eyes noticed a flash of red hair in his peripheral vision and he knew before even looking that it was Rose. His stomach tightened almost immediately at the convenient timing. He had just finished speaking about Alice's fear of giving into her feelings and it was as if someone was sending him a sign that it was his turn to give into his. The feelings he refused to believe he had because there was never a day in Scorpius' life that he didn't choose his head over his heart. He had never let anyone into his heart before and he wasn't convinced he wanted to. Not yet anyway.

"I'm scared to find out that the real thing won't live up to my expectations," she said, cutting through his thoughts.

He frowned, his heart beating wildly against his ribcage as he finally looked up and saw Rose hovering outside her uncle's joke shop with Haydn. "There's really only one way to find out," he whispered, wondering if he was bold enough to take his own advice.

Alice looked up at him, sensing an unexpected heaviness in his words. "It's that easy, hm?"

He let out a sad laugh, shaking his head. "Merlin, no," he murmured. "Falling for someone is the easy part. Letting yourself love them is harder."

He was rather surprised to realize that he meant those words considering his own negative thoughts of the farce that some people called love.

He clearly wasn't the only one surprised as Alice gaped at him. "Those are rather wise words coming from a guy who knows all too well what it's like to snog half the school without striving for anything more."

He shrugged coyly. "I've never wanted anything more," he muttered, not realizing until much later that it was a lie. "But apparently you do."

She nodded slowly, finding a lot of comfort in his unexpected words of wisdom. She had needed to hear them but hadn't had anyone to talk to. And now that she blurted it all out, she felt a huge weight lifted off her shoulders and a better idea of what she wanted and need to do. "Thank you, Scorpius," she spoke softly before instinctively reaching out and embracing him.

He stiffened slightly at the unexpected hug but slid his arms around her and embraced her back, sensing that she just needed to know that everything was going to be okay. "Of course," he spoke as he stepped away from her. "Now how about you go tear that soon-to-be boyfriend of yours away from his sister before she decides to hex him into a coma and this whole conversation would have been for naught?"

Saturday, December 12th, 1:45 PM

Rose watched her best friend hug the guy she was hooking up with, a sickening feeling of dread filling her heart. She knew she had no right to be annoyed but she was. While Alice and Scorpius had always managed to be civil towards each other, they weren't friends in any way and now there they were looking rather chummy in the middle of the Hogsmeade streets only hours after they shared a dance together. It all seemed rather suspect to her.


She jumped, whirling around with a fake smile on her face. "Sorry, Haydn, I was just distracted."

He glanced at her curiously. "You've been distracted all day."

She frowned. "I've just got a lot on my mind."

He didn't seem to think that was a good enough excuse. "Why'd you agree to go on this date with me?" he asked softly.

She blinked in surprise. "What?"

"I just…I'm getting the sense that you don't particularly want to be here with me so I'm just wondering why you said yes."

Because it was either that or admit she might be developing feelings towards a guy she absolutely was not allowed to be developing feelings for. "I…I guess I'm just having a hard time moving on," she spoke softly, which was partly the truth.

"From Cameron?"

She sighed, wondering why Cameron Zee had such a strong hold on her months after they broke up. "Yeah, which I know is ridiculous because we broke up six months ago, but…"

"It's not easy getting your heart broken?" he suggested.

Jerking her head up to meet his gaze, she offered him a sad smile. "No, it's quite easy getting your heart broken," she murmured. "The hard part is putting the pieces back together again."

He contemplated her words before slowly shaking his head. "I don't think you can do that on your own," he considered. "I think when the right person comes along, it'll happen without you even realizing it."

She felt slight panic settle into her heart as she wondered if her heart was in fact slowly healing all thanks to Scorpius. Because the only time she wasn't thinking about Cameron was with Scorpius. He knew how to get her mind off of him. Off of her broken heart. Off of her fear of moving on. Scorpius always seemed to know the right thing to do or to say. She hadn't always liked that about him but he had no problem confronting her when he felt she was acting off. He challenged her in a way she had never experienced before. He made her feel as if she mattered, which was weird since for years he made her feel anything but. It was clear that so much had changed between them. She didn't know what to make of it but she wasn't going to spend too much time dwelling on it because she wasn't sure she really wanted to know.

"And something tells me, Rose, that I'm not that right person for you," he spoke softly.

She cringed, glancing up at him hesitantly as she broke out of her revelry. "Oh, Haydn, I'm sorry," she pleaded. "I really do like you. You're an incredible guy."

"I'm just not the guy for you," he said with a smile.

She said nothing but that pretty much sealed their fate. "I really am sorry," she eventually whispered.

He leaned down and pressed a kiss to her cheek. "I hope you find what you're looking for, Rose."

She wrapped her arms around him and embraced him gratefully. "Yeah, me, too."

Saturday, December 12th, 2:00 PM

Scorpius saw Haydn lean down and kiss her on the cheek. He saw her reach out and hug him. And all he saw was red as the frustration and anger and yes, even jealousy built up inside of him for reasons he couldn't quite pinpoint. She was supposed to be free to date whoever she wanted. He had no claim over her and he was more than content in believing he wanted no claim over her. So instead of dealing with the hot rage bubbling in his heart, he made his way through the crowds of people on the streets and entered the Three Broomsticks.

"Yo, Scorpius!"

He glanced up at the sound of his name and hesitantly sidled up to the table where Roxanne stood chatting with Lucy and Frank. "Yeah, what do you want?"

She rolled her eyes. "A lovely greeting as always," she drawled. "Rumor is Albus caught Lily shagging Wes Taylor in the alleyway behind Honeyduke's. Care to comment?"

Scorpius blinked. "Well, damn, that gossip certainly made its way around fast."

Little Lucy's eyes bulged out. "So it's true!?"

"No!" Scorpius groaned, shaking his head. "He caught the two of them, gasp, holding hands. Alert the press!"

Roxanne let out a disgruntled sigh. "Oh, that is so much lamer than the alleyway story."

"Well then, why don't you and Jax go shag in the Honeyduke's alleyway and I'll send Al over in a few short minutes?" Scorpius smirked.

Roxanne shot him a dirty look, but another voice chimed in before she could comment. "Whoa, who is shagging in the Honeyduke's alleyway!?"

Scorpius glanced to his right as Albus and Alice appeared, Louis directly behind them. "Not your sister and Taylor, though apparently all of Three Broomsticks thinks so."

"What?Who said that!?" Albus demanded to know. "I'll kill them!"

"Al, we've been over this," Alice sighed, shaking her head. "A life sentence in Azkaban isn't worth eliminating a few horny teenagers from the planet."

"Oy, let's not use the word 'horny' in front of our thirteen-year-old cousin," Louis chimed in, nodding towards Lucy.

Lucy burst into laughter. "I am the youngest of eleven very sex-crazed cousins, Louis. Believe me when I say, I've heard it all."

Both Longbottoms burst into laughter while the Potter-Weasley clan looked very uncomfortable. "Well, I definitely need a drink after that," Al muttered.

"I'll buy the first round," a new voice spoke and the group broke out into grins as twenty-year-old Fred sauntered up.

"How generous of you, Fredilicious," Albus drawled. "I wasn't aware working for Daddy paid such big bucks."

"Watch it, Squirt, or I'll be spitting in your butterbeer," he smirked, turning on his heel and heading towards the bar before Albus could comment.

"Make some room," Alice urged, lightly shoving her younger brother's shoulder as she slid into the table beside him.

"You, too, Goose," Louis encouraged as he nudged Lucy and dropped down beside her.

She rolled her eyes at the nickname but obliged as Albus and Scorpius grabbed a nearby table and dragged it over before plopping themselves into empty chairs.

"So you were able to tear Al and Louis away from a potential murder?" Scorpius asked Alice once they were all settled.

"I wasn't going to murder the guy," Albus scoffed. "I was just going to rough him up a bit."

"Who are you murdering, Al?" Lucy asked.

"Wes bloody Taylor," Louis muttered irritably.

"Actually, my middle name is Daryl," a male voice spoke up and the group glanced up as Wes and Lily wandered up hand-in-hand with a smirking Hugo right behind them.

"I liked it better when you weren't talking," Albus drawled before setting his gaze on Hugo. "And you, you little shit. Were you ever going to mention that my bloody sister landed herself an older boyfriend?"

Hugo rolled his eyes. "I was more trying to avoid a brawl."

"Smart kid," Scorpius smirked.

"And on that lovely note," Lily murmured, glancing up at Wes, "What do you say we find a table?"

"Oh, no you don't!" Albus scoffed, jumping up and pulling out two seats for them. "You two are going to join us here at our table."

Lily's eyes narrowed curiously. "You actually want the two of us in your presence?"

"Hell, no," he snorted, "But it's better than you two cuddling up at your own table. At least this way I can keep an eye on you."

"Has anyone ever told you what a jackass you are?" she scoffed.

"Yeah, quite a few people actually. Now park your asses in those chairs."

Scorpius was finding much amusement in their whole exchange, finding it somewhat endearing how protective Albus was over his sister. But the amusement very quickly faded when the door to the Three Broomsticks opened and in walked Rose.

He caught her eye across the room and he frowned immediately, his heart doing an unexpected somersault at the mere sight of her. She just stared at him for a moment, not moving until someone came in after her and lightly pushed her out of the way. She tore her eyes off of Scorpius, her jaw taut with what appeared to be resentment, though he couldn't be sure what that was in reference to. He found a sudden interest in the tabletop as she slowly wandered their way.

"Ah, Rosie!" Fred's voice boomed as he made his way back over to the table with the butterbeers levitating in front of him. "You're just in time for a butterbeer."

Her lips pursed as she glanced surreptitiously at Scorpius before reluctantly dropping into an empty seat beside Louis.

As Fred passed out the round of drinks, Scorpius said, "This might be redhead overload for us blonde folks."

Alice and Frankie, both blondes, laughed with him. "It just means we stand out more," Alice teased, reaching across the table and high-fiving the Slytherin, a gesture that did not go unnoticed by Rose.

"It's not like you're not used to being surrounded by redheads," Albus pointed out to Scorpius. "The annual New Year's Eve party at my place has far more than this, of which you've been a part of the last few years."

"Yeah, any chance you'll be skipping it this year?" Rose drawled irritably as she sipped her butterbeer.

Scorpius slowly turned his gaze on her, recognizing the hostility in her voice and pretending that he didn't care why it was there. As he met her gaze, he found frustration sparkling in her narrowed eyes and all he could do was blink in mild irritation. "I will be there for the sole reason that it clearly pisses you off, Weaslet."

"How nice of you to go out of your way to spend time harassing me," she grunted. "Don't have much else going on in your life there, do you?"

He snorted seeing as Rose knew very well that his so-called empty life was actually quite busy with all the time he and Rose spent together. "Oh, I think you and I both know that I have plenty going on," he smirked.

Her eyes narrowed at him. "Yes, fooling around with your latest bimbo does fill quite a bit of time, doesn't it."

He had to stop himself from saying that she would know and was more than happy when Albus interrupted. "Oy, shut it, you two. You'll have plenty of time to spar on New Year's Eve," Albus scoffed. "Oh, and Wes? You're not invited."

"He certainly is!" Lily huffed.

"You really want James to be anywhere near him?"

"James doesn't scare me!"

"He scares me," Wes murmured.

"Are you going to invite Haydn to the New Year's Eve party, Rose?" Scorpius smirked at Rose, ignoring the glaring contest between sister and brother.

She glared at him. "None of your damned business."

"Where is he anyway?" Alice asked Rose curiously.

"Yes, where is that darling boyfriend of yours?" Scorpius chortled.

Rose refrained from throwing her butterbeer in his face. "He's off with some friends," she spoke vaguely.

Alice frowned but before she could comment, Fred chimed in. "Who the hell is Haydn and why am I only hearing of this new boyfriend now?"

"You know who he is, Fred. We grew up with him. But he's not my boyfriend," Rose was quick to argue. "It was just one date. Don't start sending in the cavalry after him quite yet."

"Quite yet?" Alice said, her eyes lighting up. "Does that mean it might lead to something?"

"No," Rose groaned.

"Oh, c'mon! Why not? He's such a good guy!"

"Then you date him."

"Somehow I think it's not me he's interested in," she argued. "Did you even give him a chance?"

"Y'know what, Alice? How about you lay off my love life for once?" she snapped. "Just because no guys have ever shown any interest in taking you to Hogsmeade all these years doesn't mean you need to live vicariously through me."

Silence filled the table once again, the insult resting thickly in the air around them.

"I'm sorry that I'm trying to get you to act like a seventeen-year-old girl," Alice spoke coolly, "Instead of the sixty-year-old spinster you're turning out to be. At this point, you may as well start collecting cats because they're about the only thing who will ever love you."

She gulped down the rest of her butterbeer before picking herself out of her chair and storming out of the restaurant.

Another awkward silence encased the table until Albus sighed and said, "That was uncalled for, Rose."

She frowned. "I know," she muttered.

"Besides, you're wrong," Scorpius spoke up with a smirk. "I do know a guy who's interested in taking her to Hogsmeade."

Rose stiffened, staring up at him in disbelief and completely ignoring the flicker of shock darting across Albus' eyes. "Then why don't you go after her, Malfoy," she spoke coolly. "Seeing as you're so interested in all."

"What? That is so not what—hey! Where the hell are you going?"

Rose had jumped out of her chair so quickly that it had fallen backward and clattered to the ground as she ignored whatever excuse was on the tip of Scorpius' tongue and, like Alice, she stormed out of the restaurant.

And once again, the table was plunged into silence. This time it was Frank who broke the silence, clearing his throat curiously and saying, "What guy is interested in taking my sister to Hogsmeade, Scorpius?"

Scorpius put off answering the question by taking a sip of butterbeer, meeting the panicked expression on his best mate's face across the table from him. Scorpius suppressed the urge to smirk and simply said to Alice's brother, "Something tells me you'll find out soon enough."

Saturday, December 12th, 3:30 PM

"How did you know?"

Scorpius glanced over towards Albus as the two of them headed back to the castle an hour later. "About?"

Albus sighed. "You know what I'm referring to."

Scorpius hesitated before just admitting the truth. "Alice told me."

Albus stopped in his track, grabbing Scorpius' arm before he could walk further. "Wait, Alice told you?"

"Yeah, it slipped out," he said with a shrug.

Albus frowned hesitantly. "I was under the impression she was all for sweeping it under the rug," he muttered.

"Oh, she was," Scorpius said with a chuckle. "But I forced it out of her."


"How long have you liked her, Al?"

The trademark Weasley blush filled Albus' cheeks. "Not long," he lied.

"How long is not long?" he snorted.

"Does it matter?" he muttered, turning and restarting their trek towards the castle.

It was Scorpius' turn to grab his arm. "Yeah, it matters," he argued, stepping in front of his friend and blocking him from walking any further.

"Apparently it doesn't," Albus snapped. "Because it's clear she doesn't feel the same way about me."

"She agreed to come with you to Hogsmeade today, didn't she?"

"Because she knew you'd be here as a buffer," he grunted. "It's the only reason she said yes and I just pretended I was okay with it because the idea of losing her as a friend hurts more than the rejection."

"But she didn't reject you."

"She would have," he blurted out desperately. "I just didn't want to give her the chance to do it. So if…if she wants to be friends, then I'll be her friend. It's fine. I'm fine with it."

Scorpius couldn't help but chuckle at the slight petulance his friend was exhibiting right now. "You can be so stupid sometimes, y'know that, Potter?"

Albus scowled at him. "Don't make me shove snow in your face."

Scorpius shrugged dismissively. "It's ironic that you're convinced you like her more than she likes you," he smirked, "Because she's convinced she likes you more than you like her."

Albus gaped at him. "That…that can't possibly be true."

"It is."

He blinked. "I told her a few days ago that I wanted to be with her and she told me she wasn't sure ruining our friendship was a good idea."

"Because she's so bloody scared you're going to break her heart!" Scorpius groaned. "It's what all birds are afraid of, mate."

"Right, because you're such an expert?" Albus muttered.

Scorpius glared at him. "I'm going to go ahead and bypass that comment," he drawled. "Look, I know very little about Alice Longbottom. Hell, I know very little about girls in general. But it doesn't take a genius to realize that all girls ever really want is to find a guy who will fight for them. You have to find a way to convince her that you're not like all the other guys who used her for a quick snog session and then moved on when they thought someone better came along."

Albus' jaw dropped slightly as if he couldn't believe what he was saying. "No one better could come along!"

Scorpius rolled his eyes. "For the love of Circe, tell her that, not me."

Albus stared at Scorpius, unsure what to say or even think. "So…" he trailed off curiously, "I'm supposed to fight for her even though the last time I attempted to do that she made it seem as if she wasn't interested? Because one rejection wasn't enough?"

Scorpius frowned hesitantly, wondering when he suddenly became the love guru. He didn't hold much of an invested interest in either Albus or Alice's love lives and yet here he was, doling out advice on a subject that he would have thought he had little knowledge on. And once upon a time, he did have little knowledge on it. He never bothered to get to know girls or care about their thoughts or feelings and that made him lack any credibility towards the inner workings of their mind. But over the past couple of months he had become very attune to Rose's actions, so much that he could tell what she was thinking or feeling without her having to spell it out for him. Which was good because one of the things he picked up on was that girls were not good with the spelling out of their feelings. They hid the truth behind fake smiles and the classic words of "I'm fine" all while they stewed and ranted inside their minds. Both Rose and Alice were not an exception.

"Is she worth it?" Scorpius blurted out before he could stop himself.

Albus blinked, meeting the unexpected flicker of desperation in his mate's eyes. Nodding, he said, "Absolutely."

Scorpius decided not to comment on the goofy smile his friend was wearing. "Then I say you do everything you can to fight for her until she realizes she doesn't want to say no."

That goofy grin on Albus' face only grew. "When did you become so wise in the ways of women?"

He neglected to point out that it was all thanks to his cousin. "Since Alice decided to have a conversation with me about you," he teased, punching Albus playfully on the shoulder. "Now how about we get back to the castle so the two of you can start talking to each other and stop using me as your middleman?"

Saturday, December 12th, 5:30 PM
Head Dorm

Rose knew she should have gone looking for Alice, but she was unjustifiably angry and thought it would be better to cool down than provide her with an insincere apology.

She flopped on to her bed with a frustrated sigh, wondering why she was harboring unwarranted frustration towards her best friend. Rose knew Alice was just trying to help, wanting her to find a boy to settle down with who deserved her and who she deserved to be with. She and Alice had been friends since birth and all Alice was doing was looking out for her in the same way that Rose would always feel the need to look out for Alice. Except Rose hadn't exactly been doing a good job at it lately. She spent most of her time in the library or focusing on Head duties or at Quidditch practice and the little free time she had leftover was spent fooling around with Scorpius.

Scorpius. Who apparently had some sort of attraction to the same girl Rose was pretending to be annoyed with over her meddling. Pretending because if Rose were really being honest with herself, she'd admit her frustration towards Alice had little to do with her desire to set Rose up and everything to do with the spark of jealousy resting in her heart at the sudden developed comradeship between Alice and Scorpius. Unfounded jealousy. Fictitious jealousy. Jealousy that was all in her head because there was no way her heart could be involved. She had promised herself that it wouldn't be from the beginning and she was determined to see that through.

But then why did the mere thought of Alice and Scorpius together make her stomach churn?

She couldn't be sure how long she had been snuggling in her bed with only her thoughts to keep her company but she wasn't surprised in the slightest to eventually hear a knock at her door. She let out a low groan, tossing the covers over her head and praying to God that whoever it was (okay, she knew who it was) would turn around and walk away.

Evidently, God was not on her side that night.

She heard the door creak open followed by snort. "I hope this isn't your attempt at hiding because if it is, you suck at it."

Rose tossed the bedspread off her head to glare at him. "I don't remember inviting you in."

He shrugged. "When have I ever waited for permission?"

She glared at him. "Since you clearly didn't pick up on my subtlety, let me make it clear: leave me alone. I am in no mood to talk to anyone right now."

His lips pursed. "Mind telling me why?"

She rolled her eyes. "That would require talking, of which I just said I wasn't going to do."

He sighed, leaning up against the doorframe with a strained frown. "What's going on, Rose?" he asked softly.


"Oh, so you insulting your best friend for no reason is a common occurrence for you?"

"Since when did you care about what happens between me and Alice?" she snapped. "Concerned about how she feels, are you? How uncharacteristic of you."

He blinked. "What?"

She glared at him, his ignorance making her angrier. "Whatever is going on between me and Alice should be none of your goddamned business," Rose snarled, a bit harsher than intended. "In fact, here's a newsflash for you, Scorpius: nothing that I do or that involves me should be any of your goddamned business."

"Oh, for Merlin's sake, I'm not saying it should be!" he snapped in utter frustration.

"Then why the hell are you standing here?"

"I don't know!" he barked, his fists balling at his side. "I don't know why the fuck I'm standing here! I shouldn't be! I shouldn't give a shit about you but apparently I do!"

That threw her for a loop for a half second before she regained her composure. "Bullshit," she snapped, pulling herself out of bed and storming over to him in an attempt to stand her ground. "You don't care about me. The only thing you care about is when you're going to get your next orgasm!"

He narrowed his eyes at her. "Oh, is that all we are to each other? A hookup buddy when the time is convenient?"

"That's all we're supposed to be to each other!" she reminded him and it made him cringe. "That's how we said it needed to be from the start. Nothing has changed."

He slowly shook his head. "Everything has changed, Rose," he spoke softly. "You can't honestly tell me you hate me anymore. I know I don't hate you."

She blinked cautiously, her heart beginning to race at the unexpected words. "Not hating each other doesn't mean we care about each other, Malfoy," she argued.

He gaped at her, the use of his surname causing him unexpected frustration. "Oh, so we're back to calling each other by our surnames, are we?"


His fists clenched by his side, realizing just how irritated he was with the girl in front of him. Which only irritated him more because he had never cared much for anything a girl had ever said to him before until Rose came along. But he was standing at her door for a reason and as much as he had avoided admitting that reason, he knew that a part of him did care about her. And it was about time she accepted the fact that things had changed between them. They had stopped insulting each other. They had stopped arguing with each other just for the sake of arguing. They had stopped challenging each other for no good reason. They started talking to each other. They started sharing secrets. They started trusting each other. And while he couldn't speak for her, he could confidently say that he started caring about her.

"Don't tell me I don't care about you, Rose, because I do," he said, making it a point to use her first name, "I don't know when or how it happened, but it did. At some point in the past three months, you stopped being the girl I tormented for pure pleasure and you became the girl I trusted. You became the girl I confided in. You became the girl I turned to when I was feeling down. You became the girl who had this way of making me feel better about myself. You became the girl I cared about. You stopped being Weasel and Weaslet and Weasley and you just became Rose. And for the first time in seven years, I stopped feeling like a Malfoy and just started being Scorpius. Because of you. So don't tell me that nothing has changed between us because everything has."

He turned on his heel and fled the room, frustration and anger and confusion filling his every thought. He could barely hear the words circling in his mind because his heart was beating so damned fast as he rushed through the common room and up the stairs to his own room, slamming the door behind him. He threw himself on to his back against the bed with a frustrated grunt, wondering why it bothered him so much that Rose was apparently mad at him. It's not like he did anything wrong. She was the one who went on a date with some guy and changed up everything between them. He was the one supposed to be mad at her.

Which only scared him more. Because he wasn't supposed to care about her. That had never been the plan. She was supposed to be the annoying girl he picked on for years who just happened to be one hell of a kisser. When did she stop being the annoying girl? When did everything change? Why did it change? Everything was going so well and then suddenly it was as if something shifted between them. It was a slow shift but it was there. He stopped leaving her room the moment their hook-up came to an end. He held her in his arms and they drifted off to sleep. He spent the night in her bed. And he liked it.

When did everything change?

He jumped when he heard the loud footsteps on his stairwell. Glancing towards the door, he watched as it was shoved open and a very angry Rose stood in the doorway with daggers in her eyes. "You don't get to say those things to me, Scorpius Malfoy! You don't get to tell me you care about me when for so long you told me you never would! You don't get to change things between us!"

"Things have already changed between us!"

"No!" she whispered desperately, shaking her head as panic settled into her expression. "You don't get to make me feel anything for you except irritation! That's who you are to me! You…you have to be the guy who irritates me with everything you say and do. You have to be the guy I feel nothing for. You have to be Malfoy. You just…you have to."

Scorpius sat up slowly, a frown seeping into his expression. "Why?" he spoke softly. "Why do I have to be Malfoy?"

She felt her bottom lip trembling, everything inside of her filling with confusion. She hadn't been expecting Scorpius to tell her that he cared. She hadn't been expecting anything at all. That had been her mantra during their whole arrangement. No expectations, no feelings, no affection. He was just a guy.

Except he wasn't just a guy. He was the guy she never wanted to stop kissing. The guy that made her smile even in the most unexpected of times. The guy who she shared things with she had never shared with anyone else. The guy who made her feel special and wanted. The guy who made her believe she could be someone other than the Weasley the world expected her to be. The guy she stopped hating and started respecting.

But that had never been the plan. Never.

When did that plan change?

"Because if you aren't Malfoy to me," she whispered hoarsely, her heart beating a mile a minute, "Then who are you?"

He pulled himself out of the bed, standing by its side hesitantly. "I think only you can answer that," he spoke, his eyes bearing a hole through hers.

She said nothing at first, just staring at him and ignoring the loud thumping of her heart as a million thoughts ran through her mind. She wondered why she had gone after him, wondered why she felt so desperate to yell at him for telling her he cared. It was unexpectedly thoughtful and completely out of character for him that it threw her for a loop. She had been shocked and then confused and then ultimately angry because he wasn't allowed to care about her when that had never been the plan.

"We promised we wouldn't get any feelings involved," she spoke softly, her bottom lip trembling. "No hearts. No expectations. No feelings. Just lust. That's all this is supposed to be, Scorpius. Just lust."

He sensed the confusion in her words, which wasn't all that surprising since he had decided to tell her that he cared about her. He had believed his heart was made of stone all these years so even he was shocked to find out that someone had the ability to chisel it away. He had not been expecting to tell her that he cared but he couldn't stand the idea that she thought he didn't. He needed her to know that she was different than any other girl he had ever been with. He needed her to know that a part of him needed her. He needed her to know that they weren't the same people they used to be. Something had changed. He couldn't be sure exactly what had changed but something had. So much had. And now they were both trying to figure out what it was because that was the answer to moving past the weird limbo they had suddenly found themselves in.

He slowly made his way over to her, sensing a frightened burden in her eyes that he knew was reflected in his own as well.

"And what if that changed?" he whispered, reaching out and brushing a stray hair from her face. "What if it isn't just lust anymore?"

She dared herself to look up into his eyes, fear and desperation flickering within. "Then what is it?"

He could feel his heart beating rapidly against his ribcage at the mere thought that it could be anything more than lust. All he could do was stare at her, her lips irresistible and her cheeks flushed with tension and her eyes dancing with hesitation, knowing in the bottom of his heart that he wanted and needed her in ways he never thought possible. His heart ached with so much uncertainty, his judgment clouded with a whirlwind of confusion.

But he didn't have an answer to her question because he didn't know what it was. He didn't know what they were. He didn't know what to think or feel or do or say because he was treading in very unchartered territory. He just knew he didn't want her to walk out the door because he had a feeling that the moment she did, their time together would come to an end and that was the last thing he wanted.

"I don't know what it is," he admitted truthfully, slowly shaking his head. "But I think I want to find out."

And before she could respond, he kissed her.

Which was all she needed for the moment his lips crashed against hers, her arms snaked around his shoulders and she drew him into her, their mouths fighting desperately against one another's. It was unlike any other kiss they had experienced. This one held all of the answers in their hearts that they were too afraid to say aloud. It was heated and desperate and vulnerable and filled with an intensity that neither one had ever witnessed before.

His hands traveled down the side of her body and gripped her back tightly. He tugged faintly, their lips never parting, as he lifted her off the ground. Instinctively, her legs hooked around his waist, her stomach fluttering with overwhelming heat as his tongue traced the outline of her lips. Moaning, she titled her head back as his lips made a lusty raid down her cheek and towards her neck. He sucked and licked and nipped at her neck and loved every moan and mewl escaping her precious lips.

Carrying her in his arms, he shuffled over to the bed and gently placed her down against her back, capturing her lips with his once again as he climbed on top of her. She felt his arousal against her leg and let out a light moan at the mere realization that he was as turned on as she was. He pulled her sweater over her head, his eyes meeting hers with his usual impish smirk, before he brought his lips to hers once again. He trailed kisses down her jaw and her neck and her shoulder and her collarbone and perched a kiss on top of her breast, squeezing the other one over her bra with a gentle touch.

His shirt was discarded next, then her bra, and then both of their pants. She lay there in only her panties and he was on top of her with only his boxers. His mouth kneaded at her breasts, licking and swirling her nipples with his tongue as her fingers desperately tangled in his hair. He was quite sure he had never seen anyone as beautiful as Rose and that thought only stuck in his mind with every sound that came out of her mouth.

The heat grew between her legs with every touch of his lips against her bare skin. As his fingers grazed her stomach and hooked into her knickers, she felt her entire body squirming at the endless possibilities. She heard him chuckle, clearly aware of what he was doing to her, and she looked up with a warm smile. And as she did, she realized that she had never wanted or needed anything or anyone as much as she did him in that moment. It frightened her but only for a second before his fingers were dragging her knickers down her legs and tossing them to the side. He met her gaze and she reached up to frame his face with her hands as she kissed him. A simple kiss. A tender touch of the lips as if to tell him she couldn't imagine being anywhere but there.

Scorpius sensed the mood shift between them in that very second. He was no longer kissing her out of pure pleasure or sensuality. He was kissing her because he wanted to. Because he wanted her. Because they wanted each other.

He felt a rush of emotions fill his every vein at the very thought – his heart soared, his stomach pulsated, his mind raced, his eyes sparkled. All he could do to stop himself from exploding was lean over and press his lips hungrily to hers, knowing he couldn't be the only one feeling this way.

And he wasn't. The whole conversation they had, the intimacy of the moment, the shocking truth that they cared about each other hanging over their heads filled her heart with so much more than their usual lust. She didn't know what it was and while it felt scary it also felt very exciting. She didn't just want him, she needed him. More than she wanted to admit but it seemed as if Scorpius already admitted it for the both of them. So it was her turn to realize how much she cared about him.

"Scorpius?" she whispered in a light moan, tugging at his hair as his lips caressed her neck.

His lips remained where they were as he simply said, "Mm?"

She grew unexpectedly quiet and only then did Scorpius pull away, his eyebrows knitting on confusion. Was she second-guessing him? Was she not feeling what he was feeling? Was she no longer interested?

She slowly sat up, wrapping her arms around his shoulders as she brought her lips to his. Pulling away, she pressed her forehead against his and, staring into his puzzled green eyes, she whispered, "I want you, Scorpius."

With relief, he smiled, pulling her legs around him. She hooked them around his back and he leaned forward, pressing his lips to hers before saying, "I want you, too, Rose."

He reached over to kiss her again, but she pulled back before he could, whispering, "No, I mean, I want all of you."

He froze, staring at her with slightly widened eyes. "Uh…"

She giggled, reaching up and running her fingers through his hair. "Not the response I was expecting when I just said I wanted to sleep with you."

"Rose…" he said hesitantly, his brow knitting with unexpected confusion. The girl he had been fantasizing about for months was telling him she wanted him to fuck her and he was hesitating. He was fucking hesitating.

He knew in that moment that Rose Weasley was different than any other girl he'd ever been with. Because not once did he ever consider their feelings or emotions or interest when engaged in any sort of sexual activity. Not once did he ever hesitate to have sex with any of them. Not once did he ever care.

Until now.

"I mean it," she whispered before kissing him chastely. "I wouldn't be saying it if I didn't."

He felt more confused than ever but all he could see was the desperation and desire in her eyes and it tortured his heart in powerful ways knowing that she wanted him just as much as he wanted her. She wanted him to be her first. She wanted him.

He nearly came right there at the mere thought but he struggled to push that thought aside as he leaned over and kissed her with overwhelming ferocity. The kiss was so fervent, she fell back against the bed and he fell with her, their lips never parting.

Her hands were on the waistband of his boxers and instantly, she was tugging them off of him, his erection springing free. He felt his breath hitch at the very thought that in a moments time, he'd be buried inside of her. His lips still on hers, he let his fingers graze up her thigh before inserting a finger into her already wet opening. He let out a guttural groan at the same time she whimpered. He trailed his lips down her neck and her breasts and her torso until he was kissing her clit, watching as she squirmed underneath his touch. He inserted another finger, watching as her face flushed and her expression grew desperate while he pumped his fingers in and out of her.

He sucked and tickled and licked her clit, his fingers continuing to grind against her. He felt her body begin to tense around his fingers as she let out the most perfect combination of moans and whines. She had never felt anything like it. She was used to his fingers and his tongue but something felt different about that moment. As if they both knew this meant something more to them than any of the other times before.

It only took seconds before she was screaming his name out in pure ecstasy, her body convulsing so erratically it made Scorpius even harder, everything about that moment so perfect. She slowly came down from her high, her mind racing and her heart reeling with so much vulnerable anticipation for what was still to come.

"I swear you get better at that every time," she whispered, pulling her up towards him and pressing her lips to his.

He chuckled, shaking his head as he kissed her. "That may be the nicest thing you've ever said to me," he teased, his lips tickling against hers.

She grinned as their lips met again, their kisses hasty and sloppy as they relished in that moment. She felt her heart begin to race as they kissed like schoolkids, nervous and excited and anxious about what was going to happen next between them.

Scorpius felt her tense up and he pulled his lips away long enough to stare at her, his eyes bearing apprehension. "Rose, we don't have to-"

"I want to," she urged, running her fingers along his hairline as she stared into his eyes.

His heart tightened at the clear determination in her eyes. "Are you sure?"

She nodded, a slight smile tugging at the end of her lips. "I'm sure about you," she whispered, knowing that she meant it within the deepest crevice of her heart.

Those words excited and yet scared Scorpius. He was sure about her, too, but the idea of taking her virginity was something he had never anticipated. And once it happened, she wouldn't be able to take it back. He could see how sure she was about it, but the very thought sent so much trepidation to his heart and to his mind.

He had meant what he said to her. He really did care about her. More than he ever thought possible. More than he had ever wanted to. More than he had ever planned to. And in that moment where their naked bodies were pressed up against each other as they were seconds away from having sex, he knew that their entire relationship was about to change. They couldn't just say it was strictly casual. They couldn't say feelings weren't involved. They couldn't say that their hearts were kept out of their arrangement. They couldn't say it was just lust.

What it was, however, was still to be determined.

But instead of worrying about it, Scorpius merely leaned over and kissed her. She kissed him back, her hands running through his hair as their tongues fought against each other for dominance. But they both realized it wasn't about fighting for power anymore. It wasn't about who was in control. It wasn't about dominance. That moment was about two people coming together as one.

As Scorpius pulled back, he met the hope in her eyes and he smiled nervously as he reached over to the nightstand and grabbed his wand. He cast the Contraception Charm and was certain that her heart had to be beating as fast as his.

He nestled himself between her legs and watched her tense up, the smile on her face fading into one of uneasiness. He met her gaze and before he could say anything, she pulled her back off the bed and leaned up to kiss him. "I'm sure," she whispered, answering his question before he could even ask.

He smiled and kissed her again before slowly entering her. She let out a slight gasp of surprise and he immediately met her eyes, the concern resting in his own. She nodded her reassurance, a small smile tugging at the end of her lips. "Just…go slow," she murmured, trying to get used to the feel of him inside of her. It felt weird and awkward and yet amazing all at the same time.

He moved slowly, continuing to ease himself into her. Her body was tense and taut as he watched her shut her eyes. He leaned over and dipping below her ear, he whispered, "Relax, Rose. I'm not going to hurt you."

As if those were the magic words, she let her eyes flutter open and met the trust staring back at her. He kissed her and felt her body begin to relax and unwind. The feeling of pain she initially felt faded and it was as if in that moment, nothing else could ever feel so good.

He started to slowly move inside of her and she felt a moan fall from her lips as he continued to hit her in the right spot. Every detail was branded in her mind. The intense look in his eyes. The raw sounds coming from his mouth. His warm hands against the cool of her skin. The realization that they were in his bed tangled against his sheets.

She was lost in the sensation of him buried inside of her as she reached out and caressed his face. His neck. His shoulders. His torso. Her hands wandered all over his body, needing to feel every part of him as he began to move inside of her. Instinctively, she wrapped her legs around his waist and thrust against him, matching his rhythm. He let out a guttural groan to let her know she was driving him completely crazy in the best way possible.

He had never witnessed anything so passionate and so unbelievably hot before. He was struggling to keep control as droplets of sweat trickled down his forehead. She was so wet and so tight that it was positively maddening. He continued to move slowly, knowing that any faster and he'd be gone in a matter of seconds. But he wanted and needed her to enjoy it. He wanted to give her what she deserved. He wanted to give her a memory she would never forget.

He heard the moans spilling from her mouth and felt her body squirming intensely underneath him. He slowly pushed her back down on to the bed, pinning her arms over his body with his hands as he let out his own agonizing moans. She felt so damned good. No one had ever felt as good as she did. He slowly began to increase his pace, sensing the desperation in her wanton panting.

He had considered the fact that she may not reach an orgasm as it was her first time, but the pleas and moans and whimpers spilling from her lips said otherwise. So he rocked his hips against hers and thrust in and out with the desperate hope that she could reach a climax before he could.

And suddenly she was beyond speech, beyond control, beyond thought, and everything inside of her exploded with an ecstasy she had never experienced before. She screamed out as she convulsed around him, her body becoming detached from her mind as she thrashed desperately against him. He was shouting, too, her orgasm a mere catalyst for his own, as he thrust one last time inside of her. Shuddering violently, he emptied himself inside of her with a series of uncontrollable whimpers.

He was drained, she was exhausted, and neither could move. They were covered from head to toe in a sheen of perspiration, struggling for breath as they clung helplessly against each other, that moment meaning more to them than they both even realized.

He felt himself softening inside of her and with another whimper, he lifted himself off of her and fell to her side. He reached out and cradled her against him, the both of them still searching for the energy that had been completely lost on them.

Eventually, when he felt as if he could actually breathe again, he leaned over and pressed a small kiss to her temple. It was an unexpectedly sweet gesture and Rose smiled. "So that's what sex feels like," she mused when she found the ability to speak. "I gotta say, I don't hate it."

He laughed, his body vibrating beside her as he drew her even closer into him. Something about her being in his arms felt so right and he wouldn't change it for the world. "I know sex isn't uncommon for me," he murmured guiltily, "But I gotta say, that was fucking incredible. You're incredible."

She blushed as she glanced over to meet his gaze, sensing the sincerity in his words. "You really mean that?"

He smiled before kissing her. "I really mean that, Rose."

They both just lay there, still reeling from what just happened. Rose was no longer a virgin. Scorpius had his every fantasy come true. It meant everything to both of them. She had found someone who seemed to really care about her and he had found someone who gave him the ability to care. They were both happy and confused and nervous about what was to come. But that was a conversation for another time. Tonight, all they wanted to do was lay there in each other's arms and know that everything was perfect if even just for a moment. Because if there was anything that they could both attest to it was that perfect moments were fleeting.

They were both about to find out just how fleeting they really were.

A/N: Aaaggghhhhh, and the pivotal moment has arrived! So now what's going to happen to them?