A/N: I found this story buried deep in my inbox, never completed. With some burst of inspiration I churned it out and attempted to edit my writing. My first completed Harry Potter fic! I hope you enjoy.
"Happy birthday, Rosie!" Lily cried, bounding over and hugging her blushing cousin. "Lily! This is the library! Be quiet," Rose whispered, shooting an apologetic smile at Madame Pince. The librarian narrowed her eyes at the two red heads but looked away as Wendy Longbottom managed to drop a stack of books on the floor.
"Well, I've been looking for you everywhere! I know it's not your birthday until tomorrow but I just had to give you your present now. You have to use it tonight." Rose's favorite female cousin beamed as she held out a tiny box. It was wrapped in pink paper and tied with a red ribbon.
"Thank you, Lily," Rose said, accepting the present without another word. She knew it was hopeless anyway; if she even dared to argue, Lily might do something stupid and get them both evicted from the library.
She carefully unwrapped the gift so that nothing ripped or tore, secretly enjoying the frustration on Lily's face.
"It's a…potion?" Rose asked, examining the tiny vial in her hand. It looked innocent enough, but knowing Lily it could irreversibly color her hair for an entire day or something equally repugnant.
"Not just a potion. Uncle George just finished it. You know, that top secret one that's too important to come to Christmas for," Lily said, pausing to roll her eyes. "He just finished it and I got you a bottle so you could be the first one to try it out!"
Rose looked at the vial doubtfully. Now she felt doubly suspicious. It didn't doubt that Uncle George was brilliant at his jokes and gags, but everything behind skipping Christmas to the intense secrecy was just a little bit odd.
"I don't know, Lily. Has this been approved by any magical associations?" Rose asked.
"Come on, Rosie! Have some faith. It's not like I'd give it to you if it was dangerous."
"I suppose. Uncle George did say it was alright to give it to me, right?" Rose narrowed her eyes as Lily shuffled guiltily. "You didn't ask him for the potion, did you?"
Lily gave an exasperated sigh. "I was there the other week and I heard him tell my dad that the potion was finally ready. I couldn't think of anything else to get you and thought this would be perfect. With all the time spent on this thing, you know Uncle George has had it tested extensively. He's a professional, not some weirdo off the street." She crossed her arms. "Besides, it's your own fault for being so hard to shop for."
Rose sighed but nodded. "Alright, alright. I get it. What's it supposed to do anyway? It's not going to make my feet smell like rotten egg or my hair fall out or something, will it?"
"Please. That's Hugo's department." Lily grinned. "Read the label!"
Rose squinted down at the tiny print.
Perfect Day, Happy Day
Brought to you exclusively by Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, comes the revolutionary new product. Now, for the first time ever, you can ensure unparalleled happiness in one day. Make that special day perfect; that event smashing! With just this tiny sip the night before, you will wake up to a guaranteed Happy Day!
"I swear, he gets cornier with every label," Rose muttered but she couldn't stop the smile from her face. "Thanks, Lily, this is a really nice gift. I suppose it must be something like Felix Felicis. Thanks for the great day." Rose smiled widely.
Lily beamed before looking at her watch. "I've got to run but I'm glad you like your gift! Don't forget to drink it tonight." With a wave, the girl scampered off.
Rose slipped the bottle into her bag and returned to her homework.
"Happy birthday, Rose!"
Rose woke up, heart pounding and almost fell out of her bed. All the girls of her dormitory surrounded the bed, beaming. "Happy birthday, love!" Denise Franklin handed her a cupcake with a candle sticking out the middle. "We all have classes all day, which is total crap, so we wanted to make sure you at least got a lovely start to your special day."
Rose took the cupcake weakly and smiled. "Thanks, everyone. This is so nice." Might have been a bit nicer if I had gotten that extra thirty minutes of sleep, she couldn't help but think as she glanced at the clock. But it was the thought that counted and they did all lose their thirty minutes as well.
Rose closed her eyes, blew out the candle and the girls all cheered. "Have a marvelous day, Rosie!"
One by one, the girls trickled out to the washrooms and Rose was left alone. She groaned softly and fell back into her pillows, pulling the covers over her head.
"Shit, shit, shit!" Rose breathed as she ran through the empty halls. How could she have fallen back asleep? She wasn't a bloody first year!
Her stomach protested audibly as she sailed past the closed doors to the great hall. Why hadn't she eaten the stupid cupcake? What a marvelous beginning to her 18th birthday.
She rounded a corner at a speed that was definitely several miles per hour faster than were allowed and, because it was turning out to be that sort of day, collided full force with some poor unsuspecting person, sending them both toppling to the floor. "Bloody hell!" Rose groaned, pushing herself onto her elbows. Please don't be a professor, please don't be a professor.
"I am so sorry!" Rose scrambled to her feet and reached a hand out to her victim. "I'm horribly late, not that that's a good excuse."
"No, it really isn't." Scorpius Malfoy ignored her hand and got to his feet. "But you really are terribly late. First class started twenty minutes ago. I should give you a detention for running that fast."
Rose grunted unattractively and knelt down to try to gather all her books back into her bag. "Sod off, Malfoy. I'm a prefect, just the same as you. What are you doing out of class?"
Scorpius watched her for a moment and then sighed. Pulling out his wand, he mended her broken ink well, knelt down and began grabbing papers. "I have a note for McGonagall, which means I am out of class on a school-sanctioned task." He handed her the stack of parchment and she sighed with relief.
"Thanks so much. Who knew you could actually make life easier?" They stood up and regarded each other.
Scorpius shrugged. "I'm full of surprises." He glanced at his watch. "Twenty two minutes now, Weasley, plus five points from Gryffindor for running in the halls and injuring the innocent."
Rose's face crumpled into a scowl and he smiled. "I won't forget this, Malfoy," she said, darkly, before turning and hurrying down the hall.
"Late to two classes, a detention and Malfoy all before lunch. Happy birthday to me," Rose muttered darkly in between bites of Shepard's pie. Her cousins made sympathetic noises and her brother grunted. "Buck up. At least you're not going into double potions with the Slytherins."
Rose shook her head. "I'd take double potions any day." She glanced at her watch. "I've got to stop by the library before my next class. At least today can't get any worse." She stood up and swung her bag onto her shoulder and immediately regretted it as hot liquid burned her arm, shoulder to wrist.
Erin Creevey stared at her with huge eyes. "Oh my Merlin, I'm so sorry, Rose! I wasn't paying attention!" She was holding the now empty soup bowl in her hands and seemed to be close to a nervous breakdown.
The Potter and Weasley clan stared at Rose's stony face; it seemed as though the whole hall became silent. Finally, a chuckle broke the silence and Rose whipped around, steely eyed. Scorpius Malfoy stood behind the despondent little Gryffindor ("I'm so so so sorry! I'll never carry soup again!"), a cup of tea in his hand and a grin on his face.
"Something funny, Malfoy?" Rose hissed, trying not to think about tomato dripping off her sleeves.
The Slytherin didn't even answer, just walked past, chuckling the whole time. It was all Rose could do not to rip the smug smirk from his stupid face.
Hours later, Rose fell into bed, trying to decide if she was too exhausted to cry. By the time she had charmed her jumper clean after the soup incident, she'd had to run to pick up the books from the library, which made her late for her next class. Luckily, Professor Longbottom was particularly cheerful after a delivery of rare Chinese orchids and had let her off with a warning. In class, she'd managed to get bitten by a possessed Venus Flytrap and in Potions she'd spilled eye of newt all over her skirt when Malfoy jostled her. That last one might not have been purely bad luck as she was fairly sure he'd done it on purpose. Luckily for him, she was too tired to even send an expletive his way.
Of course, then she'd had to patrol the fifth floor corridor and Malfoy popped up as her replacement partner as stupid Morgan McDonnall had gotten bit by something in Herbology. If that wasn't bad luck, she didn't know what was. After patrol (she'd only run into two knights of armor and stepped on Mrs. Norris's tail once; even Malfoy had commented on her extraordinarily bad day) she'd been too exhausted to do anything but drag herself up the stairs and collapse into bed, which is where she found herself now.
Rose rolled over and sighed heavily. Her eyes fell on the tiny potion bottle Lily had given to her the night before and she grabbed it. "Thanks loads, Uncle George. You still have some kinks to work out." She tossed the bottle back on the nightstand. "The only good thing about today was that it'll never happen again and every future birthday will be amazing by comparison."
"Happy birthday, Rose!"
Rose's eyes snapped open and she immediately began scowling. "What?"
Once again, all the girls in her dormitory surrounded her, smiling widely. "Happy birthday, love!" Denise Franklin handed her a cupcake with a candle sticking out the middle. "We all have classes all day, which is total crap, so we wanted to make sure you at least got a lovely start to your special day."
Rose looked at the cupcake suspiciously. "Ok, what are you all up to? Pretending it's my birthday again, very funny, you got me. The cupcake even looks exactly the same."
The girls exchanged looks. "What are you talking about?" Wendy Longbottom asked, crossing her arms. "Today's your birthday. March 6th, right?" She looked at Denise. "There's no way we made a mistake."
"March 6th is my birthday but today's March 7th." Rose blew out the candle before the wax all melted into a puddle.
More looks were exchanged. "Check again, Rosie. Today's the 6th."
Rose frowned as a few of the girls began to detach from the group and into the washroom. "Are you feeling all right?" Denise asked. "It's not like you to not know what day it is." Rose looked at the wall calendar that Wendy religiously crossed off every evening. March 5th was crossed off, leaving the 6th front and center.
Rose shook her head, trying to mask her confusion. "Yeah, I just had a really vivid dream that it was already my birthday. Good thing too! It was a horrible day."
Denise smiled. "I'm sure you'll have a lovely day. See you later!"
Rose laid the cupcake on the nightstand and fell back into the pillows. How weird.
"Shit, shit, double shit!" Rose ran through the halls, panting heavily. "How could I fall asleep like that?" She turned a corner and immediately collided with a solid object and fell to the ground.
"Ok, this is so not normal." Rose lay on the ground a moment longer. "It's all the same."
Scorpius Malfoy came into her vision, frowning down at her. "Are you alright?" He offered his hand. "Which is what you should be asking me, for reference."
Rose ignored the hand and sat up, looking around at her mess of books and papers. "I'm fine. I just feel like I've had to do this whole thing before." She sighed and began to gather the belongings. She wasn't surprised to turn around to Scorpius doing the same thing.
"Thank you." Rose turned to leave, bag firmly on her shoulder. Don't say it, don't you dare say it.
"That'll be five points from Gryffindor for running in the halls, Weasley."
Rose spent the rest of the day eyeing everything suspiciously. How could this be happening? She didn't think she had any Seer blood in her. Could her dream have been some weird prediction? Her mother would have a field day with that one. But so far, everything was happening just the same as it had in her dream. She sipped her soup with a scowl on her face.
"Everything ok, Rosie?" Lily finally asked, cautiously.
"Not really. So far it's been a completely crap day," Rose looked around her. Scorpius was sitting at his table, surrounded by friends. He'd probably be coming by any moment now. At least she could cross that embarrassment off her list. She was not moving from this spot until Erin Creevey was safely seated. If nothing else changed, at least her day would be that much better.
"Well, I'm off. Want to walk with me to Charms, Rosie?" Albus asked, setting his fork down.
"Nope. I'm staying right here."
Lily, Albus and Hugo exchanged looks. "Ok. I'll see you at dinner."
Albus got up and within moments there was a squeak of distress and hot liquid spilled over her shoulders. Rose yelped and jumped violently. Behind her, Albus was holding Erin Creevey's forearms, obviously trying to keep her from falling over. Her face shone with fear and embarrassment. "I am so sorry, Rose! It was an accident. Albus got up so suddenly."
Rose didn't say a word, just buried her head in her arms.
"Ok. I am going to wake up and it's going to be a brand new day. It will not be my birthday and it will not be the worst day of my life." Rose rubbed her eyes, tiredly. The day had progressed almost exactly the way it had in her dream. She'd still been late to her next class, she'd still been bitten by that stupid plant and Malfoy had still been her partner during rounds. It was as though the universe was out to get her.
"No matter. I'm going to wake up to a fantastic day. I can't have the same dream twice."
Rose shut her eyes determinedly. "New day."
"Happy birthday, Rose!"
Rose's eyes shot open. She looked at the girls surrounding her bed and the cupcake in Denise's hand and immediately her hands to her face. "Why is this happening to me?" She groaned.
"See, I told you she wouldn't like to be woken up early."
"This was a bad idea."
"Well, there's no need for her to be so crabby about it."
Rose looked up at the girls around her, whose expressions ranged from confusion and apologetic to irritation and annoyance.
"I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me. Thank you for doing this. I guess I was just a little bit startled." She took the cupcake from Denise and blew out the candle. "You are the sweetest girls ever."
The girls seemed appeased and they drifted off, with another round of 'happy birthdays' and promises of gifts to come.
Rose looked around at the empty dormitory and fell back into the pillows. How could this be happening? It was physically impossible for the same day to repeat day after day. She wasn't sure anymore that she had had a dream in the first place, which made this the third time she had lived this day. Of all the days to have on repeat. Why couldn't she be reliving the day she met Marko Krum or the day she found out she had aced all her OWLs? Those were days worth repeating. She glanced at her watch and sighed. Although she didn't have to get up for another 25 minutes, she may as well get up now. She knew exactly what falling asleep again would get her. She may as well shower now that she was actually awake before her classes.
"Lily! Are you in the shower?" Rose tapped on the door, recognizing her cousin's towel outside the door. "Hurry up!" She frowned, looking around at the row of latched doors. She couldn't remember ever seeing all the showers taken. She shuddered. There was no way she'd voluntarily wake up extra early every morning just to have nice smelling hair.
"Lily!" She banged on the door again and it finally opened in an eruption of steam. Lily emerged and grabbed her towel. "Relax Rosie. There's still plenty of time before class." Lily looked at her oddly and left the shower room.
Rose grunted and entered the shower. At least this part of her day would be pleasant. Who knows, maybe pre-class showers would really agree with her. Maybe this was the secret to success. Maybe… holy Merlin. Rose let out a piercing shriek as the water emerged from the spout, a bone-chilling, March-reminiscent, Titanic-sinking cold. She turned off the water and stood in the shower, teeth chattering.
In her seven years at Hogwarts, she had never had anything but the perfect temperature in the shower. The showers were charmed to know the exact temperature you wanted, and as far as Rose knew, had never failed.
Several attempts to get the water warmer failed, and Rose gave up, teeth still chattering.
"Morning showers really aren't all they're cracked up to be," Rose said crossly from the floor of the fourth floor corridor. Scorpius Malfoy peered down at her before gingerly offering a hand. "Did you hit your head, Weasley? Maybe I should take you to Madame Pomfrey. You really shouldn't run like that around corners."
"I am fully aware," Rose snapped, pushing his hand away. "Apparently I am also the world's biggest moron for not getting the hang of this by now. You have horrendous timing."
Scorpius raised an eyebrow. "I believe you are the one who spent the better part of a minute getting acquainted with the ground." He frowned. "Are your lips blue?"
Rose threw her hands up. "Well isn't today just wizard. I'm going to the hospital wing for some Pepper-Up." She stalked down the hallway before whirling around, finger pointed threateningly at the Slytherin. "I swear to Merlin, Malfoy, if you say what you're about to say, I will hex you."
Malfoy's mouth shut, a slight smirk emerging. Rose scowled and stomped off.
Some Pepper-Up in her system and Rose had finally lost her shivers. Apparently she hadn't been the only person to experience some problems with the showers that morning, which did little to levy her irritation.
She had made the executive decision to skip lunch, instead going to sit in the library, far away from any spillable liquids. As well as avoiding potential disasters, she was also on a mission. There had to be a book somewhere that mentioned this particular dilemma. She can't have been the first person in the world to repeat the same day over and over again. If she was, than she'd just have to write a book about it so the next poor soul wasn't all alone.
However, no matter how long Rose searched the shelves for anything helpful, nothing popped out. It truly seemed as though this was an impossible situation and she began to fear that this was all in her head. Maybe she had hit her head when she'd smacked into Malfoy and she was in a coma. That would be the best birthday present she could hope for. She could just imagine her parents crying over her lifeless body, the extended Weasley clan standing behind them in solemn solidity.
Rose couldn't help but snort at the image. Merlin, she was starting to lose her mind. She put Mysterious Maladies back on the shelf and looked at her watch. Perfect. If she left now, she was just in time to be late for her last class of the day. She sighed. How had the entire day gotten away from her? She had accumulated more absents today than she had all term. She almost hoped that today would repeat itself and these wouldn't go on her attendance record.
She bit her lip. Well, there hardly seemed much point in arriving late to Potions. Merlin knew the sass she'd have to endure from Malfoy if she did. No, it was a much better idea to sit down, work on some homework. Even if today did repeat, at least she'd have an easier time finishing her work when she did get out of this vortex if she'd already completed it.
Rose pulled back a chair in a deserted corner and began to work on her Arithmancy problems.
She was jolted awake, not by happy birthdays, but by a rough hand. "Weasley!" She frowned. This was new.
"What is your problem? We were supposed to begin patrol thirty minutes ago."
Rose rubbed the sleep from her eyes, a very blonde, very unamused Slytherin unblurring in front of her. She shot to her feet. "Shit!" Her corner of the library was dark now, apart from dimly lit torches showing the way to the exit. "I can't believe I fell asleep. I've never been late for patrol before. Natalia is going to kill me." The Head Girl was not known for leniency and had been looking for a way to punish Rose ever since Rose had beaten her in an Astronomy exam.
Scorpius shook his head. "I told Natalia that you were meeting me at the patrol site. You weren't feeling very well but like a true Prefect were going to push through this patrol if your life depended on it."
Rose stared at him. "Why would you do that for me?"
He shrugged and started walking off. "Consider it my birthday gift to you. Now can we get on with this before I die of old age?"
Rose shoved her books into her bag and rushed to follow him. This was probably the oddest gift she had ever received, including Hugo's drawing of a garden gnome she still suspected was supposed to be of her.
"By the way, 5 points from Gryffindor for running in the halls earlier." Scorpius's voice carried loud enough that people around them looked up but not so loud that she could dock points for noise in the library. She scowled.
"Honestly Malfoy, you are the most annoying twit I've ever met."
"And yet you are eternally grateful. If it wasn't for me, you'd still be asleep back there. Who knows what would have happened to you."
"Oh yes. The never-ending dangers of the Herbology section." Rose rolled her eyes. "I'm shaking in my boots."
Whatever response Scorpius had was silenced by the loudest, most embarrassing stomach growl Rose had ever heard. Rose immediately clutched her abdomen, cheeks aflame. They both stared at each other for a moment before the silence broke. Rose scowled as she watched Scorpius laugh. "Shut up. It's not that funny. I haven't eaten anything aside from a cupcake and some Pepper-Up today."
The Slytherin kept laughing and Rose's cheeks remained flushed. She huffed and began walking away. Before she got too far, he wiped his eyes and ran to catch up with her. "Come on. We'll patrol this way tonight," he managed to get out in-between chuckles.
Rose stuck her chin up and followed him wordlessly. She wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of a response. It took her a pathetically long time to realize which direction they were now heading. It was only when her stomach grumbled its agreement that she stopped. "We're heading to the kitchens."
Scorpius turned around and smirked. "My partner is no good if she faints from hunger. Plus your stomach will let everyone know we're coming. We might as well stop for a snack."
Rose opened her mouth to disagree. She didn't want to spend any more time with him than absolutely necessary. Plus it was against protocol to change patrol schedules. But she was beginning to feel a bit lightheaded and the kitchens were just around the corner. "Fine. But it was your idea." She pushed past him.
"Of course. Everyone knows I'm the smart one."
Rose chose not to dignify that with a response.
"No way! You did not hide behind the statue of Flavius the Flatulent," Rose laughed before taking another bite of her sandwich. Scorpius smiled. "I was a first year. I was foolish. How was I supposed to know just how animated some of the inanimate objects are in this castle?"
Rose laughed again. She sat on one of the large counters in the kitchen, a plate of food on her lap while Scorpius leaned against an opposite counter, a mug of tea in his hand. House elves moved around them, involved in their tasks except to ask if they needed refills. Rose sipped her tea and regarded Scorpius over the brim. This was one of the oddest nights she had had in her entire life. Who would have thought she could be having such a pleasant time with Scorpius Malfoy of all people.
"Now tell me something." Scorpius looked right back at her and their eyes locked.
Rose coughed and broke the gaze, refocusing on her sandwich. "Hmm. I don't know." She was suddenly struck by an idea. "Actually, I just thought of one but you have to promise not to think I'm mad."
Scorpius shook his head. "Knowing you, I make no such promises."
Rose rolled her eyes. "Fine." She fingered her mug of tea, absorbing the warmth. "My cousin gave me a potion for my birthday that promised the perfect day. My uncle developed it. And not only have I not had the perfect day, but I've not had the perfect day three times now."
She waited for him to respond. "I'm not sure I understand."
"I've woken up three times now and it is still my birthday. Three mornings now, I'm woken up by the girls in my dormitory wishing me a happy birthday with the same cupcake and the same presents. Every day at lunch, Erin Creevey spills soup on me. That's why I skipped lunch today. Every day, I'm late to class and get caught running through the hallway. I've run into you three times now."
Scorpius didn't say anything. "That's impossible."
"Obviously. But it's happening. I don't know what to do about it. I've looked in the library and there isn't anything there."
The two sat in silence for a few moments. Rose looked down at her feet. Of course she had to go and ruin the perfectly pleasant time they'd been having. He must think she was utterly insane. At least tomorrow he wouldn't remember anything.
"How many times have we done this?" Scorpius said finally, looking as surprised at his question as she felt.
"You believe me?"
He shrugged. "For some reason, I do."
Rose's mouth twitched into a smile. "We've never done this before. I never skipped lunch before and never fallen asleep in the library. This is totally new. Definitely an improvement over past days. But I really don't know what to do. The library has never failed me before."
Scorpius ran a hand through his hair. "You said your uncle developed this potion? Have you tried contacting him? Maybe he has a cure."
Rose's eyes widened. "That's brilliant! I can't believe I never thought of that before."
Scorpius smirked. "Which is why I'm Head Boy and you're a prefect."
Rose glared at him. "I don't think that's much to brag about, Malfoy. Everyone knows it was between you and Richard Thomas and he's an ignoramus. Plus, you get the pleasure of Natalia's company every week, which I believe speaks for itself." She slid off the counter and downed the rest of her tea. "Thank you for the evening and for the help. I am going to go see if I can floo my uncle before the day repeats itself."
Scorpius inclined his head. "Let me know how it goes, assuming I remember."
"Good night, Rose."
The common room was deserted by the time Rose returned. She glanced at her watch. Quarter to twelve. Assuming the days restarted at midnight, she had just enough time to find out if Uncle George did have a countercharm. She took a handful of the Floo powder that was kept next to the fireplace and threw it in the fire. "Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, please!" Rose stuck her head in the fire. Hopefully Uncle George hadn't decided to make it an early night.
Luckily, her uncle was the textbook definition of a workaholic. The redhaired man sat hunched over his work bench. "Uncle George!"
George Weasley jumped violently and turned around. "Rose!" He grinned widely and came over to the fireplace, hands on knees. "Happy birthday! Did you get our parcel?"
"Yes, I did, thanks so much. But I actually have a question for you. It's very important."
George frowned but motioned for her to go on. Rose shifted awkwardly. "It seems that Lily took one of your developmental potions to give me for my birthday. I know it was really wrong of me not to return it to you but I didn't see the harm in trying it. Of course, it turns out there was some harm, which I probably deserve."
George groaned. "That little arse. I knew something was missing. You don't have a tail do you?"
Rose laughed. "I wish. I'm stuck in a time loop. Every day, I wake up and it's still my birthday. I've seen three birthdays in three days and none have been particularly pleasant."
George's eyebrows shot up. "What potion did Lily give you?"
"I think it was called Perfect Day, Happy Day. I thought it was just something like Felix felicis, which is why I didn't see the harm in trying it." Rose shook her head. "I was hoping you'd have a countercharm or a cure or something. I'd really prefer my birthday to finally end."
George straightened up and began pacing. "Perfect Day is a bit controversial. Your dad was trying to convince me to give up on it. It's actually not malfunctioning, Rose, so there isn't a countercharm."
Rose paled, no easy feat with the flames licking her cheeks. "What are you talking about?"
"The point of Perfect Day is to give you as many opportunities as possible to have that perfect day. It just so happens that your day wasn't that perfect to begin with. If you make that first day you had completely perfect for you, the time loop will end."
"That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard!" Rose tried hard not to panic. "What if I never have that perfect day and I'm stuck celebrating my birthday until the end of time? How do I know what will make my perfect day?" Her voice was approaching some dangerous decibel levels and George winced.
"I don't know what would make your day perfect. Maybe you could finish NEWT prep early? That'd be pretty excellent. You could also set up the perfect prank and make sure you're not caught." He sighed. "That would be my perfect day."
Rose bit her lip, trying not to start crying. "So you're saying there's nothing I can do? I just have to try and make that original day perfect?"
"That's my best guess. That is the intention of the potion." George rubbed the back of his head. "I'm really sorry, Rosie. I guess your dad was right about Perfect Day."
"Yes, he definitely was," Rose said, tiredly. "Good night, Uncle George."
"Good luck, sweets."
Rose pulled out of the fire and sat on the floor in silence. What on earth was she supposed to do now? How could she possibly make that god awful day perfect?
The next few days passed just the same. Rose lived the same day, over and over again, trying to make the best of that awful first day. By the sixth repetition, she had gotten everything perfect aside from the lunch disaster. She and Malfoy no longer collided and she actually made it through the day without a single tardy. She learned early on that while she no longer completely loathed the Slytherin, he definitely offered more possibility to ruin her day. On the fourth day, she began requesting a new potions partner and on the fifth, she promised to plan the prefect schedule for the next month in return for a new patrol route. But no matter what else she managed to get right, she still had not managed to get lunch perfect. It was like this meal was cursed.
When she sat at different places at the table, she avoided Erin but something else went wrong. The first time she tried, she ended up with mashed potatoes and gravy in her hair. She tried watching the traffic more carefully, but then the soup just ended up spilled in her face. She had even tried an aversion charm but that had led to such horrible results that she couldn't bare to even bring it up.
"Bloody hell! Not again!" Rose cried, feeling the hot liquid soak through her jumper. Behind her, Erin Creevey looked terrified. "I'm so sorry! So sorry!" The second year cried.
"Relax, Rose," Lily said, surprised. "It's not like this happens every day."
Rose glowered at her cousin before stalking out of the Great Hall.
"Watch it," Rose grunted, grumpily. Behind her, little Erin Creevey jumped and spilled her bowl of soup all over Rose's back. "I'm so sorry!" She squeaked. Rose rolled her eyes. "Never mind." She pulled a dry sweater from her bag and exchanged it with the soiled one. "It's not like I wasn't prepared."
"Careful," Rose said, looking up at Erin Creevey. The girl narrowly avoided banging into Albus and thankfully the bowl of soup remained in her hands, unspilled. "Thanks, Rose." Erin smiled shyly. "No problem," Rose sighed, leaning her chin on her hand. A cold sensation spread over her shoulders and she nearly jumped through the ceiling. "Bloody hell!" She yelled, jumping to her feet. Scorpius Malfoy stood in front of her, looking fairly apologetic, a nearly empty glass of pumpkin juice in his hand.
Rose closed her eyes, trying to reign in her temper. "Sorry, Weasley. Creevey was blocking traffic and then your cousin stood up." Scorpius shrugged.
"No problem," Rose said through clenched teeth.
Rose leapt up from the table as Albus took his last few bites of toast. "I think I'll head out a bit earlier today. Don't want to get my schedule messed up." Rose turned to leave when she felt the hot sensation of liquid soaking into her abdomen. She looked down to see Erin Creevey looking mortified. "I'm so sorry!" The girl babbled, reaching over to grab a few napkins.
"Hey watch it!"
Rose almost screamed as she felt a second liquid splash over her head. Erin looked as though she was about to faint, while Scorpius almost looked amused and Lily and Albus looked at her with wide-eyes.
"This is the worst day ever," Rose said miserably looking down at her tomato soup and pumpkin juice stained clothes. Every time she did something very different, things turned out even more catastrophic. How was she supposed to make this horrible day perfect?
"It's not so bad, Weasley." Scorpius gingerly took her by the elbow, probably the only dry corner on her person, and pulled her away from the spillage. "A couple drying spells, a few odor neutralizing charms and you'll be good to go."
Rose looked around gloomily to where numerous people around the Great Hall were giggling and pointing in her direction.
Scorpius raised an eyebrow, took her hand, and led her out of the Great Hall. Rose's brow furrowed. "Why are you being so nice? This isn't the way it's supposed to go."
"You just looked especially pathetic today." Scorpius shrugged. "Even I'm not the type to kick a dog when it's down."
Rose's eyes flashed. "So, would I be a dog in this analogy?"
Scorpius's eyes crinkled with amusement. "I don't know. It probably depends on how bitchy you're feeling today."
Rose's jaw dropped and moved silently. Before she knew it, Scorpius had cast the spells and continued on his way. What had just happened?
Rose turned to Albus. "Hey, Al, how about one more cup of tea before class?" Without waiting for an answer, she poured him a mug and handed it to him. He accepted it, frowning. "Thanks, I guess."
Rose watched Erin Creevey sit down safely at the other end of the table and stiffened as Scorpius Malfoy passed by but as he made it past without losing a drop of his tea, she let out a breath. She couldn't believe her good fortune. She was having a very good feeling about today.
"What are you looking for?" Albus asked, watching his cousin look around.
"Potential disasters," Rose said. "I've never gotten this far without one so there has to be one I'm missing."
Albus frowned. "Alright. That doesn't sound mad at all."
Rose smiled, looking at him. "I don't even care anymore. I'll be mad as a hatter before I let this not be the best day of my life." She looked at her watch. "Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to run off to class before I get a tardy."
She looked around carefully before she stood up and then walked to the doors. So far so good. It already felt like the best day of her life. Nothing hot or sticky had been spilt on her person; that was always a positive. As long as she took everything slowly and carefully, she had a very good feeling that she would finally get to see March 7th.
That night, Rose snuggled into her covers, heart thumping with excitement. The day had been utterly perfect. Nothing had been spilt, she hadn't tripped on anything and no inanimate objects had tried to do her harm. Malfoy hadn't made a single comment and no teacher had had to write up a tardy. What a beautiful day.
"Happy Birthday, Rosie!" Rose's eyes snapped open and she immediately felt like she wanted to cry. She accepted her friends well-wishes automatically but remained sitting on her bed until they had all left. "That was a perfect day!" She slammed her hands down on the bed and angrily rubbed her eyes. Her throat tightened.
"Well, fine. If that day wasn't perfect, than I sure as hell am not going to do that again. I'm going to spend my birthday the way I want to." Rose ripped the covers off before heading to the washroom.
"I don't think I'm going to classes today," she announced to Lily, who was still brushing her teeth. Lily turned to her, eyes large. "It's my birthday! It's an oddly beautiful day, which I never noticed before. I don't want to sit inside all day." She turned to leave the bathroom and Lily shook her head. "Who are you and what have you done with my cousin?"
Rose walked down the halls with a huge smile on her face. She had paused in the common room until everyone had left and now the hallways were empty. She had had yet another crazy idea. If she was spending the day so differently than she ever had before, why not make it even more different? The best part was that if it didn't work, she didn't even have to be mortified for more than a few hours. Tomorrow, it will never have even happened.
She leaned against the wall and looked at her watch. Any minute now.
Scorpius Malfoy rounded the corner and almost walked right into her. He looked startled as she smiled at him. "Weasley?" He asked cautiously. "What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be in class?"
"It's my birthday today."
Scorpius looked at her as though she'd grown a second head. "I know. Happy birthday."
Rose paused. "How do you know it's my birthday?"
"Your birthday is exactly a week after mine. It's fairly easy to calculate."
Rose frowned. "I never knew yours was so near mine. I'm sorry. Happy late birthday."
They stood awkwardly for a moment before Scorpius looked at her oddly. "Why aren't you in class?"
"I'm skipping my classes today. I'm going on an adventure. Maybe go to Hogsmeade, have lunch by the lake. That sort of thing. You only turn 18 once, right?" She smiled at him, watching the confusion flash across his face.
"Why are you telling me?" Scorpius asked, slowly. "I should give you detention for blatantly admitting you're skipping without an excuse."
"I was thinking you might want to come with me." There it was. A crazy idea, but one she didn't exactly have to admit to if it ended badly. There were no consequences here. The worst that could happen would be that he'd laugh in her face and give her a detention that she wouldn't even have to attend.
If Rose had started taking Muggles on tour of the castle while doing an Irish jig, Scorpius would not have looked more surprised. "I figure that we're both adults now and we deserve to enjoy our last year. What better way than to make memories? I don't know about you, but I haven't felt sun since, I don't know, September, and I'd like to enjoy this rare reprieve from gloom. Plus, this week has felt really long and I could very much use a mental health day."
"While I think I understand your uncharacteristic display of truancy, I don't understand why you'd want me to come. We don't exactly get along." His brow had furrowed, as though trying to find the trap in this suggestion.
Rose shrugged. "Well, there's only one way to solve that. Maybe we're meant to be good friends but we've never given it a chance. Who knows? All I know is that I'm going to do it and you're welcome to come along. You could always leave, I won't get offended, not that you'd care if I was." Her eyes shone with the challenge. "Don't you want to do something a little mad for once?"
Scorpius glanced around as though the entire school was going to jump out from behind a corner and laugh at him for believing this was an honest invitation. But, as surprised as he was at Rose asking, that was nothing compared to the shock she felt when he answered. "Alright, then."
She tried not to let it show on her face. She smiled. "Right. Hogsmeade?" She began walking down the hallway and then paused. "Although you should probably get that message to McGonagall first. I'll wait for you by the double doors in about 15 minutes?"
Scorpius nodded, still appearing dazed. "15 minutes," he repeated, before heading off in the opposite direction.
Rose's stomach did an odd twist. Merlin, who knew he would actually agree? What on earth were they supposed to talk about?
Everything as it turned out. Scorpius actually did show up thirteen minutes later and the two left through the front doors. Rose hadn't been able to keep the shiver from going down her spine. She was skipping, to go to Hogsmeade! She had never done anything so out of character in her life.
But she soon forgot her misgivings because it turned out that Scorpius Malfoy was funny. Unlike her family, who specialized in loud jokes and slapstick, Scorpius was dry and surprisingly witty. She didn't remember noticing this the night they had spent in the kitchen. Undoubtedly, she had been too caught up in thinking about her situation. Now, a full week later, it hadn't left her mind but as it was beginning to feel rather hopeless, she allowed herself to think of other things.
The teens started with a butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks. Madame Rosemerta had eyed them both suspiciously but when Scorpius said that it this was a birthday present, she softened and even offered them a free firewhiskey. "You only turn 18 once," she had said with a wink. Rose declined and before too long, they left the pub.
Honeydukes was awarded a visit and Rose stuffed herself with too many samples. Scorpius commented something about how it didn't look that her sweet teeth had aged past age 9 but instead of getting annoyed, Rose laughed in agreement. She noticed Scorpius bought just as many chocolates as she had.
The two even managed to stop by Zonko's Joke Shop, although Rose quickly pulled Scorpius out the door. "It just feels too much like cheating," she had said with a shudder. No matter how much this whole situation was Uncle George's fault, there was no way she could even imagine spending more than a few minutes inside.
Finally, the two slowly made their way back to the castle. The weather reminded Rose more of an early spring day rather than a late winter one. She was surprised by how much she had enjoyed the day. Who would have thought that Malfoy could actually be good company? "Do you want to sit by the lake for awhile?" She looked at him carefully, gauging his reaction. She hoped that he was enjoying himself.
He nodded and they adjusted their direction. Upon coming up to the lake, she immediately sat down, hugging her knees to her chest. Scorpius dropped down beside her, pausing for a moment before he lay down completely. His hip touched hers and she pursed her lips.
Rose looked over at Scorpius, her stomach doing an odd flip. Merlin, this was bizarre. She shivered lightly as a breeze blew over them and he looked at her. "Are you cold?" He pushed himself up off the grass and waved his wand. "Warming charm. I can't believe we didn't cast one sooner." He lay himself back down and his elbow brushed hers. Rose's arm erupted in goosebumps, these having nothing to do with the chilliness of the March air.
"What a strange day," Rose murmured, looking up at the sky.
"It's certainly not the kind of day I envisioned having," Scorpius agreed. He glanced at her. "I hope it wasn't a completely disappointing birthday."
"Merlin, no!" Rose sighed. "It was surprisingly wonderful. I'm glad I went mental and invited you along."
Scorpius rolled his eyes before sitting up. "I'm still not entirely sure that your cousins aren't going to jump out from behind a tree and curse me. You were the one tasked with luring me into a false sense of security."
Rose bumped her shoulder into his. "What a horrible thought. We aren't Slytherins." He frowned at her and she grinned. "Why would you come if you thought it would all be an elaborate prank?"
"I have no idea." Scorpius's eyes met hers. "For some reason, I hoped I'd be wrong."
Rose gulped. "I guess you were."
"Rose-" Scorpius started, brushing her hand with his. He looked as though he was learning closer to her and Rose cleared her throat loudly and jumped up. What was she doing? He looked almost as surprised as she did. "I'm sorry. I just remembered that I promised to get an early dinner with my family." The lie slid out without permission and at the look on his face, she wished she could pull it back.
"You don't need to make up excuses. It's your birthday, you can do whatever you want." Scorpius stood up and brushed off his trousers. Rose's heart sank at the tone in his voice. "It's not an excuse, I had a really good time today and…"
"Please don't." Scorpius sighed. "It's ok, I was going to say that this was pretty strange. We barely know each other and have never gotten on. I think if we did this again, your family would hex me."
Rose frowned. "You're being a little dramatic, I just forgot about plans I had. Not everything is a house war or people against you." Scorpius' eyes narrowed.
They looked at each other for a brief moment before Rose turned away. "I had fun today, if you want we should do the again some time."
Scorpius smiled weakly. "Sure."
Rose began walking for the castle in the distance. What had just happened? One moment they were talking like old friends, or something more and the next he had flipped out. You flipped out, she thought grimly. Thinking he was going to kiss you or something, how ridiculous. They barely knew each other. He was probably just shifting around and you had to go freak out about a relationship.
But what if he had? There was definitely something more between them than just academic rivals, if the past few days of repetition meant anything. She couldn't deny that she genuinely enjoyed spending time with him, when he wasn't being his stupid self. One may even say she looked forward to it. Who was to say they couldn't be anything more? Well not anymore, she reminded herself. She had pretty much ensured that ship had sailed.
"Stupid," she muttered. The end of the day could not come soon enough.
"Happy birthday, Rosie!" Rose's eyes opened and for the first time, she felt relief. Thank Merlin yesterday hadn't happened. Of all the ways she had pictured the day to end, that was not the way she ever would want to have it remembered.
Rose looked at the girls surrounding her bed and smiled. "Thanks so much, guys. You're all stars." She took the cupcake and blew out the candle. She had to find Scorpius.
She ran through the halls, ignoring the looks of the students around her. When she arrived at that corner that they had collided at so many times before, she looked around frowning. Of course he wasn't here. She was early. She leaned against the wall to wait, rubbing her arm. She wasn't sure exactly what she wanted to say to him. Hi, you don't remember because I'm stuck in a time loop but we had a sort-of date yesterday but I completely mucked it up and now I want to apologize for something that never even happened? Rose frowned. That sounded like the perfect way to get sent off to St. Mungo's. Maybe this wasn't a good idea. She really shouldn't rush into anything. She should really wait until this whole time loop had been solved before she tried to mess with her love life. She didn't need two impossible problems to deal with at the same time, after all. Merlin, she couldn't believe she'd even thought of her love life in the same context Malfoy. She really did need help.
She pushed off the wall and rounded the corner, intending to finally actually attend class when she collided with something solid. She braced herself for the landing (one of the few things she had gained from this whole experience was how to fall and not kill herself) but two hands grabbed her arms. "Merlin, watch where you're going, Weasley."
Scorpius looked down at her before letting her go. "Aren't you supposed to be in class?"
Rose nodded, wondering if she should feign ignorance. "Yes. I was looking for you actually." Well there went that.
She adjusted her bag and bit her lip. Why was this so hard? It's not like he would remember anything. It was better to say it now so she could see his reaction before it couldn't be taken back. "Erm."
Scorpius looked at her expectantly. "What? If this is about the patrolling schedule tonight, take it up with Natalia."
Rose let out a breath. "Yeah. That was it. I'll take it up with Natalia. Thanks." She moved around him and cursed herself. Merlin, she was completely pathetic. It's not like it would matter anyway. What was a couple hours of embarrassment as long as she had an answer?
"How has your birthday been so far?" Lily asked with a smile.
"It's felt really long actually. I can't believe its only lunch." Rose poked at her Shepard's pie. She watched Scorpius enter the Great Hall and her stomach turned uncomfortably. She noticed Albus wiping his mouth with his napkin. "Albus, stay for another cup of tea, would you? Birthday present?" She poured him another cup as Erin Creevey approached, bowl of soup in hand.
"Ok. I shouldn't have gotten you that stuffed owl then, I guess." Albus smiled and Erin Creevey passed by safely.
Rose chose not to answer but pressed her lips together determinedly as she noticed Scorpius coming closer. She stood up from the table, her family watching her curiously. "Hey Scorpius." He looked at her with a frown. "Hi? Did you want something?" He asked, looking around as if she had meant some other Scorpius.
"I wanted to make sure you were ready to patrol tonight. I talked to Natalia and it seems we're patrolling the fifth floor corridor. Do you want to meet right after the meeting?"
He looked surprised but nodded. "Sure. It's not that important. I could do it alone if you wanted."
Rose shook her head. "No, I think we should talk. I'll see you then." She sat back down, ignoring the look on his face. There was no way she could turn back now.
"Alright, what did you want to talk about? I'll admit, I've been trying to figure out what it is all day and every scenario I come up with is a rouse to let your family hex me," Scorpius said lightly.
"Wow, that really does seem to be a valid fear of yours," Rose said. "I'm sorry about that. They really don't hate you that much. I think it's more of an appearances thing for our families than genuine dislike. We don't really know each other well enough to hate each other."
"Very philosophical of you."
They walked the next few meters in silence until Rose stopped. "Ok. I'm just going to come out and say it and please don't interrupt me because it is really hard to say because you'll think I'm completely mad." She squinted at the ceiling and took a deep breath. "My cousin gave me a potion as a birthday present that promised a Perfect Day only it put me in a time loop instead so I've been living the same day over and over now for almost two weeks. During this time, we've spent quite a few days together for some reason but of course for you it's like they never happened. But they've happened for me and I found out that I really like spending time with you. You're shockingly more normal than I thought you were." She avoided his gaze. Merlin she wished she could stop blushing on command. "So, I know this seems completely mental and out of the blue for you but I think I've started to fancy you a little bit, only a teensy bit of course, but that doesn't even matter because it's not like you'll remember this tomorrow."
Scorpius opened his mouth but she held up a hand. "I'm not finished." Was she absolutely crazy? "I also wanted to ask if I could give you something since I forgot before." Taking his speechlessness as concent, she screwed up every ounce of courage she had, she got up on her tiptoes and leaned over and whispered, "happy late birthday," before she kissed him. Definitely crazy.
It was only meant to be a peck on the lips, but as she began pulling away, Scorpius's arms encircled her waist and pulled her back. He returned the kiss and, although she couldn't say she wasn't enjoying it, she finally pushed him back firmly. "We're technically on duty," she said, looking up at him. "We should finish patrol."
She detached herself from his arms and began walking away, unable to keep the grin from her face. "Wait, wait." Scorpius caught her arm. "There's no way you can just do something like that out of the blue and not talk about it. What was that? What potion? Did you hit your head on something because it is not possible to keep waking up in the same day. You must just have really vivid dreams. Merlin, I hope you aren't dreaming right now."
"Can we talk about this tomorrow?" Rose pursed her lips. "I'm pretty tired and it's a lot to go over right now."
Scorpius frowned but nodded hesitantly. "I suppose so. No need to give Natalia another reason to hate you."
"I like to think that we have a strong mutual respect of each other that shows itself in interesting ways."
Scorpius snorted. "Sure. That is one way to think about it."
"Do you want to start a fight? Because I can give plenty of reasons to win at any argument we have." Rose faux glared up at him and he smiled. He took her hand. "And I will come up with a counterargument for every single one of your reasons."
The next morning, Rose eyes shot open to complete silence. She sat straight up and looked around. The common room was empty, everyone's bed neatly made. Where was everyone? Had she slept right through their celebrations? She looked at her watch and almost had a heart attack. "Shit! Why am I always late?" She jumped out of bed, almost falling flat on her face while trying to pull on a sock and button her skirt at the same time. She tore out of the portrait hole only to be forcibly pulled back by a hand grabbing her elbow. Her heart almost dropped out of her body. Scorpius Malfoy stood in front of her, looking a little uncomfortable but completely determined. "Can we talk about last night now?" He asked quietly.
There was a pounding in Rose's ears as she asked, "last night?"
He looked at her patiently. "You know. When you kissed me in the middle of the fifth floor corridor? Or perhaps when you kept going on about a time loop? I know you didn't want to talk about it until tomorrow but it is tomorrow now and I think I deserve an explanation."
Rose gaped at him and then color rushed into her face. "Oh my Merlin. That wasn't supposed to still be happening today! How humiliating! Stupid Uncle George. Of course, that would be the day that everything went back to normal." She groaned and covered her face with her hands. "Who would have thought that was all that was needed to make the day perfect," she mumbled through her fingers.
Scorpius pulled her hands away and looked at her. "I don't know what you're going on about but I think we need to talk. I don't know what got into you to do that so out of the blue." Rose winced. "But I also am slightly pissed because I've been working up the nerve to do that all year. Not during patrol, of course, but you've always been more dramatic than me."
Rose scowled up at him. "What exactly is that supposed to mean?"
Instead of an answer, she received a smirk and a squeeze of the hand. She sighed. "Ok, do you want the long version or the short version? Keep in mind, the long version will probably lead to a tardy and may need a snogging break."
"I can't think of a better way to spend a Thursday morning."
"So my cousin borrowed a potion from my uncle George, which is definitely considered stealing but she said it was borrowing…"