EDIT: Probably going to be a two-shot because I can't stop thinking about it, bloody hell... Also I know this story is kinda weird as hell but I laughed while writing it, maybe I'm the weird one?! Please review if you enjoyed this, and part two will come quicker :p
It was happening again.
Same scenario, different girl. Only this time they've spotted Rose, and now Scorpius Malfoy was probably zipping up his pants, and the girl—Madison Bard—was slipping off the large teak desk, her bum quite possibly imprinted into the notes Rose had carefully laid out earlier that evening. At least, that was what it all sounded like. Rose was thankfully obscured by the cabinet, her eyes shut to avoid seeing the whole thing.
"She's a voyeur," she heard Bard say decisively. "That has to be it. It's always the quiet ones."
"Hush, Maddie. I'll see you tomorrow."
Bard's voice lowered in a manner that Rose could only surmise as flirtatious. "Maybe we can get it on some place else?"
Scorpius' voice was firm. "Maybe tomorrow."
"What about Weas—"
"I'll handle her."
Huh. What did that even mean? Was Malfoy going to cast a memory wipe on her for witnessing his rendezvous with Madison Bard? Tell her off for being a sneak? Rose huffed, trying to figure out what their deal was. She left them to it, didn't she? It was the considerate thing to do, tucking herself away behind the large oak cabinet and letting them go about their business. She had diligently booked the viewing room in the Astronomy Tower, and therefore she had every right to be here, even if Scorpius Malfoy insisted on barging in on her study time with his conquests.
She bristled at Bard's assessment of her. A voyeur, seriously?
Clack, clack clack. Rose could smell Bard's perfume as she brushed past her, a delicious whirl of grapefruit and magnolia. Even with her eyes shut, she could picture Madison's swaying gait as she went. Bard was the sort of knockout that even girls had to pay respects to. Hell, she wasn't surprised in the least that Bard would be up to no good with—
"Weasley," Scorpius said, and Rose remembered, just then, that he was still there. She could hear the slightest hint of amusement in his tone. "What are you doing?"
"Disappearing," said Rose, squeezing her eyes shut even tighter. She probably resembled a prune, but she didn't care. She would wait for Malfoy to leave, save him the embarrassment of knowing there was a witness to his debauchery—
But he didn't hurry past her the way Bard did. Instead, she heard the shuffle of his feet, the sudden warmth of his presence filling up the narrow space between her and the cabinet. He smelled warm and expensive, like Teddy—like he'd showered in soft pine and sandalwood. When he didn't say anything, Rose continued blindly, "I didn't see or hear a thing. You can pretend I'm invisible, or a ghost, or—"
"That's quite impossible," Scorpius said. There was a definite smile in his voice. "You can open your eyes now. She's gone."
"Will I see her scantily clad bum on top of the maps?"
"Or find a pair of lace panties hanging from a telescope?"
A chuckle. "No."
"Well, it's happened before. Maybe you should check on my behalf? I wouldn't put it past your girlfriends to leave you a parting gift."
"Weasley, look at me."
"Not unless you're decent."
"I'm decent. I swear I didn't take my pants off." He sounded like he was trying not to laugh. His knee brushed lightly against her thigh. "You're a stubborn one, aren't you?"
"That's me," Rose said under her breath.
Then she opened an eye to peer up at Scorpius Malfoy.
He was surveying her the exact same way he liked to study plants in their Herbology classes, his stormy grey gaze focused and unyielding, as though he was trying to dissect its properties. For a Slytherin, he was remarkably good at the subject. The two of them had shared several classes since their first year, but they had never paid attention to each other. Oh, she knew who he was—her parents had warned her against him once upon a time—but he lived in a parallel universe, and had only skirted the very edges of her own reality. Before tonight, their paths had never crossed.
And she was perfectly fine with that.
So it felt just a bit odd to have him so tangibly close, so very suddenly. A bit like two circles meeting in a venn diagram, finding common ground for the first time.
They weren't touching, but his presence felt like a static shock. Rose blinked furiously, clearing both her mind and her throat. She hoped she wasn't blushing.
"Malfoy," she said, straightening her back and lifting her her chin with as much dignity as she could muster. Not that it mattered; he had a good few inches on her.
"Weasley," he replied, a slow quirk pulling into the corner of his lips. "You haven't answered my question."
Rose stared up at him, nonplussed. Her tendency to observe chose this moment to betray her. She found that she wanted to study him for awhile. It was one thing to know what he looked like… it was quite another to look at him. Scorpius was… well, he really was quite a lovely sight. He had a crown of silver blond hair, and humorous grey eyes that softened the astonishing symmetry of his profile. And he had a Seeker's build—tall, toned, and lean. With every passing second, Rose was beginning to discover, much to her horror, that even a girl of her cleverness could not be immune to such obvious sex appeal.
So much for not blushing.
Why was he so close to her again? Perhaps he had a girlfriend and didn't want her to go snitching on him?
Rose was thinking so hard about Scorpius Malfoy that she barely noticed him standing before her now.
"Huh?" she heard herself say, jolting out of her thoughts. How very eloquent she must sound.
"What are you doing?" Scorpius pressed. "Hiding behind the cabinet and watching me like some strange little pervert…"
Rose had no idea how to maneuvre past this moment. So she found herself saying, quite righteously, "Madison Bard. She's a nice girl."
There was a tug in the corner of Scorpius' lips.
"Truly a treasure for the Ravenclaw team. Really good arm, gets those Quaffles in like nobody's business. She won't shut up about you in Charms class—she sits behind me, you know. I like her better than the other one from a few weeks back."
A knot formed between Scorpius' eyebrows. "Wanda Parkinson?"
"That's the one. She's quite loud, isn't she?"
"Well—only when I bite her."
Rose tried not to flinch, keeping her voice even. "So she's the reason, then? You don't want me to tell Parkinson you've been fooling around with Bard? Because I assure you, Malfoy, I'm not interested in gossip—I find it quite tedious, in fact—so you can trust me to keep my mouth shut."
Scorpius' jaw slackened, ever so slightly. Rose cleared her throat and pushed on.
"Though if you're a decent bloke, you really should tell Parkinson yourself. She's rather mad about you, isn't she?"
Scorpius laughed just then, a deep, booming sound that startled Rose, but made her somewhat wibbly on the inside, because he truly was quite exquisite upclose. He rested a shoulder against the wall, leaving a slice of air between them in that very narrow corner. Rose bit down on her lower lip, blinking nervously. There was an awkward pause between them as Scorpius' laughter faded, the mirth in his eyes lingering as their gazes locked. Rose waited for him to say, well quit stalking me then, or you're a weirdo, Weasley, but the words never came. He merely looked at her, lower lip worried pink, his usually neatly combed hair now rumpled and soft from his fingers. Rose cringed inwardly at these observations.
God, she needed to get away. This situation—whatever it was—was entirely out of her comfort zone.
At length, she said, "Toodles."
"Where are you going?"
Rose glanced at her watch, trying to inch out of the corner the best she could without touching him. "Well, it is getting late, and…"
Without warning, Scorpius blocked her exit, his hand pressed against the cabinet beside Rose. She froze as he leaned forward, his breath tickling her ear… probably unintentionally.
"It really doesn't bother you," he said, sounding somewhat distant despite his closeness, "what I'm doing here, with other girls?"
Well, of course it bothered her. It bothered her the way a person would be bothered when they were interrupted while in the middle of something they loved, like Nintendo or Wizard's Chess. Rose backed away slightly, not wanting to smash her nose into Scorpius' arm, and she wondered if it would be rude to simply duck under his arm and run away from him helter-skelter. This was Scorpius Malfoy, for goodness sake. They didn't know each other… well, perhaps they did, but only as abstract concepts. They were from rival families, and until today they had never even spoken more than two words to each other. He didn't owe her an explanation any more than she owed him.
"Malfoy," she said, trying to keep the stiffness out of her voice, "I don't care what you do with other girls. It's not my business. But it does annoy me that you didn't think to check the logbooks to see who had booked the Viewing Room. I handpick my hours here for a reason—certain times of the night—because I'm hoping to catch the Zisis Showers."
"Zisis Showers," Rose repeated, folding her arms and frowning at him. "You know, the meteor storm that comes only once a century. I can't see it from my room, not even with my magicked binoculars. It's so far away that only magical folk can hope for glimpse of it through the Whipple. It's a sight that Muggles can only dream about."
Scorpius was looking at her with an unreadable expression that Rose chose to interpret as confusion.
So she gestured to the towering telescope by the window.
"The Whipple," she repeated. "Well, it's more accurately called the Whipglass, but its invention was inspired by Fred Whipple, the Muggle who discovered asteroids. Can you believe wizarding folk never cared enough for the skies to make any real astronomical breakthroughs? We owe a lot of what we know to Muggles. The Hubble telescope was pure Muggle ingenuity; the Whipple is a magical copy."
His gaze softened at her explanation, an odd sort of crinkle appearing in the corners of his eyes. Which Rose took as a sign to continue.
"So, honestly, I don't mind your wooing and mischief if you must conduct it in the Astronomy Tower, but I have to be here, obviously. Just until the end of October, when it becomes impossble to spot the Showers. Then you can have your privacy back."
"So you don't mind my wooing and mischief."
"Really. I don't. Now, if you'll excuse me—"
It happened impossibly quick. Scorpius's hand trailing down the length of her arm and stopping at her wrist. His touch on her bare skin made her tingle and her eyes blink, the nervous habit returning at full force. She glanced up at him, flummoxed.
"Do you flutter your eyelashes at every boy who touches you?" Scorpius asked, his voice low.
Her mouth was dry. God, why did he have to be so damn close? "I do that when I'm nervous."
"So I make you nervous?"
"Rose," he breathed, then he had leaned in, trapping her between the rough brick wall and the cabinet, his cashmere jumper pressed against her Molly knit. Static shock. He had a gentle thumb to her cheek. "Answer me."
Rose squeezed her eyes shut, inching away from him as much as she could, the sharp brick jabbing her through the back of her jumper. "What are you doing?"
"Do I make you nervous?" he murmured. His tall frame had wrapped around her, his warm hands cradling her face.
"No," Rose managed, her arms braced against his chest to keep him from closing in again.
"Then why won't you look at me?"
"Stop it," she blurted, upset at herself for getting distracted by his beauty. The warmth of him against her felt all too good and her knickers were getting into a twist—the damp sort. None of this made sense, and it was mortifying. "I swear I'll scream."
Scorpius threw his head back and laughed, and the sight made something tighten in her chest. "Oh, I'll make you scream."
"I just—look, I'm not like that—I'm not interested in one night stands or whatever you call it, I…"
The amusement faded from Scorpius' smile, and for a moment Rose decided she'd rather have a mischievous, teasing Scorpius in place of this one, with the strangely lit eyes and rather haunted expression. He studied her a long moment, fingers gripping on her arms, as though marking her under her jumper.
Then he said, "Weasley. I'm not interested in a fling, either."
"Good. Then we're in agreement." Rose shrugged out of his grip, still somewhat stunned. Of course he wasn't interested—he was just having his fun, that's all. Not that Rose harboured any hopes. She'd seen the kind of girls Scorpius Malfoy went for, the Madison Bards and Wanda Parkinsons of the world—gorgeous, svelte, womanly creatures. Without looking at him, Rose pushed past him and hurried over to the desk where Madison Bard's bare arse probably rested just fifteen minutes ago, grabbing her violated notes and stuffing them unceremoniously into her bookbag. Scorpius was at her heel, and as she turned around, he was there, blocking her from leaving.
"Rose." The way he said her name—in a low, roughened voice that felt all too intimate—made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end.
Then, before she could utter another word, he had stepped forward in one long stride, trapping her against the desk with his arms on either side of her, pinning her down with darkened eyes.
Rose felt her breath still in her throat. She could not understand, for the life of her, why he was looking at her this way… the good humour that made him so appealing had gone, leaving behind a predatory sort of hunger. It was all happening too fast—she had barely known Scorpius Malfoy fifteen minutes ago.
He lowered his head then, his breath warm against her ear as he whispered, "Assuefacio."
The term was familiar. Rose blinked, momentarily distracted. She turned her head sharply, their noses brushing as she met his tilted gaze. "I heard that somewhere before."
He didn't say anything more, only smiled at her in an oddly encouraging manner.
"It's… an Herbology term." Her mind was racing now. "Professor Longbottom must have mentioned this to me once…" Now she wished she had listened harder to Longbottom's long-winded one-way conversations about magical herbology, often peppered with the most random facts about the subject he so loved. Scorpius continued to watch her carefully, looking almost as though he was challenging her. Rose stared blankly back at him, yet not really seeing him—her brain was clicking, indexing, searching for meaning.
Seconds turned into a full minute. By now, Rose had completely forgotten she was in Scorpius' arms, so lost she was in her head. Finally, she caved in to her curiosity and took the bait. "Tell me more."
"What do I get in return?"
"The enlightenment of a fellow student," Rose said seriously, and he snorted good-naturedly.
"Do better, Rose."
Again, he used her name like he owned it on his tongue… as though he had said it a thousand times before without her knowledge. She worried her lower lip then, genuinely puzzled. She felt caught in a labyrinth somehow, having no idea where the riddle began.
Finally, with great reluctance, she said, "Well… next time I find you up here with a girl, I promise not to interrupt."
The answer seemed to please Scorpius, and he relented. "It's the theory of magical acclimatisation."
Fascinating. Without realising, Rose had relaxed against the desk, her ears perked as though she was taking notes in class. She hardly noticed as Scorpius inched forward, his legs now on either side of hers.
"For centuries, Herbologists and Botanists have studied the effects of magical presence around plants," he continued in a low tone. "Most wizards believe that magical botany has to be born, but some others think they are nurtured… acclimatised, if you will. Assuefacio assumes that plants are a reflection of its environment, and are receptive to the energies that surround it. Including magic."
"So the more exposed a plant is to magic, the more magical it becomes?"
"Well, at the very least, it begins to respond to that influence, and, in time, will accept and harness that energy for itself." Scorpius flashed her a sideways smile. "In short, when it comes to plants… exposure brings reception."
His elegant response impressed her. "Ten points to Slytherin, Mr Malfoy."
Scorpius lifted a hand, his fingers reaching into the feathery edge of her nape. Rose's eyes widened, but Scorpius didn't flinch. "Stay still," he said.
"I don't want you to be nervous around me." His eyes met hers then, piercing grey on cornflower blue, and suddenly Rose was once again aware of how close he was to her, the strength of his body placing an enticing pressure against the softness of her own.
"What's this?" she found herself asking.
Yet another beguiling smile. "And what do I get for answering that?"
Rose faltered, again finding herself trapped in more ways than one. "You do your house proud."
"I try my best." His fingers had curled into her hair now, a gentle fistful of red against her neck. "Rose… I don't come here to make out with other girls."
Rose couldn't resist a wry smile. "No, you come to give me Herbology lessons."
"That's right." His mouth was now a whisper from hers, his words sounding almost like a sigh. "I was waiting for you."
The way he said it, so dream-like and wistful, made her insides pool with an unexplainable warmth. This was Scorpius Malfoy… and he was kissing her. And not at all in the scandalous way she'd pictured him to have kissed girls like Madison or Wanda, but more like he was persuading her somehow… with slow, sipping kisses, a gentle palm cradling her cheek as he coaxed his way deeper, his lips parting hers so he could revel in the damp heat of her mouth.
She was catching fire everywhere, one of his thighs shifting to rest firmly between her legs, providing an artful pressure that made her squirm and tremble slightly. She heard herself whimper in protest, but Scorpius only tugged her closer, making slow, gentle demands of her tongue as his arms caged her to his tall frame, lifting her ever so slightly to her tip-toes.
"No interrupting," he whispered between kisses, before capturing her mouth with his again.
And the more he kissed her, the less she was able to pull away. Assuefacio, she realised dimly. The theory of acclimatisation… Against her better judgment, her own fingers were tracing up his muscular back, her resistance peeling away to leave her slack in his arms. The quaking nerves of being so close to him had long been replaced by an insistent clutch of desire in her very core.
Rose was no prude, but she had never quite been kissed into a spell like this one.
She didn't open her eyes as he pressed open-mouthed kisses against her neck, a firm hand tilting her head back to his. She finally opened her eyes then, feeling drowsy in the most pleasant way… He looked just as stunned as she felt, his pale skin flushed from need, grey eyes ashened as his heated gaze raked over her face.
"You're so fucking gorgeous," he said softly.
Rose swallowed, unsure of how to reply as her face heated up once more. "When I came up here to see stars," she said, after a moment, "I didn't expect this."
His eyes danced. "You saw stars, then?"
"Oh, a whole lot of them..." Rose glanced over at the telescopes. "And I didn't even need the Whipple."
Her words seemed to infuse a delightful blush into Scorpius' cheeks. Perhaps, Rose thought, she wouldn't mind studying this Scorpius Malfoy fellow a little longer. She had already decided that this boyishly shy smile he had on was the prettiest one yet.
"I mean it, you know," Scorpius said, his eyes fixed on hers. "I'm not interested in a fling. And if you don't mind my wooing and mischief, you should stop hiding behind cabinets… and go out with me."
"What do I get in return?"
His breath hitched. "You learn fast."
Rose shrugged, gazing back at him with a minute smile. "…It helps to have a good tutor."
"Bloody hell. I have to have you." Scorpius' kisses upon her jawline were breathless with need. "Rose. Go out with me. Please."
"Okay," Rose said, after a moment's consideration. "When do we start?"
Scorpius replied her with a playful grin… and a heated kiss.