Chapter One: 8:29 P.M.

I'm a little out of breath as I reach the bathroom door, barely glancing at the "WOMEN" sign as I push my way in. Though I'm hoping my date doesn't notice that I'm pretty much running away from him, I also really don't care.

I nearly trip from these stupidly high heels on my way to the sinks, catching myself on the fancy granite counters. I brace myself and look into the mirror. Lipstick is perfect, dark eyeliner is unsmudged. There isn't even a hair out of place of my straightened-then-curled-again maroon hair, when it's normally frizzy at a Miley Cyrus level of Can't Be Tamed.

Basically, I look pretty fucking hot right now.

For NOTHING.

Surprisingly enough, no one else is in the bathroom, so I chuck off the too-tall heels Lily made me wear and pick them up. I'm practically limping to the couch in the corner of the bathroom (why are there always couches in these fancy places?) because my feet are not even close to being used to the pinching feeling of high heels. I collapse onto the couch and close my eyes.

My cousin Lily means well, but she's been practically married to her boyfriend, Noah Finnegan, since they were at Hogwarts. And seeing as it's several years later, we're twenty-one, and she just wants to see me happy, I understand why she set me up on this blind date, but it was such a disaster.

Where do I begin?

Well, first off, he was thirty minutes late. And as someone who does not tolerate tardiness, this raised one flag in my mind already. People meet up at times for reasons – so no one has to stand around waiting for the other person, getting more nervous and anxious and impatient.

When he picked me up, he introduced himself by immediately hugging me very tightly. And if I didn't feel violated enough, he took my shock as an opportunity to bring his hands from my waist and slide them slowly over my butt.

And squeezed.

EXCUSE ME, MY BUTT CHEEKS ARE OFF LIMITS.

And before I could shove him away, he turned into a man-child and excitedly dragged me to this restaurant that was so expensive and fancy according to all the Muggles. I care so little about those things and tuned him out, wishing I could just bring pumpkin pasties back to my flat and pig out while the re-reading Witches Brew Mysteries for the millionth time.

But I was stuck with him. I could tell he was panicking at how stony-face and unresponsive I was being, so he told me all about his important job and his wonderful business trips and more bullshit that made want to gag into my salad – that, by the way, he ordered for me.

I groan at the thought of going back and listening to his nasally voice about how rich and important he is and how he has a corner office at the Ministry of Magic. I grab the pillow in the corner of the seat, stuff my face into it and sink into the cushions. If I stay like this long enough, everything will go away, right?

Right.

I hear the bathroom door open so I slide the pillow off my face and into my lap. Miraculously, no lipstick or foundation rubbed off on the white pillow, though let's be honest, I wouldn't fess up if it did. I had to think up a plan before I went back there – maybe Confund him, make a run for it? Or maybe –

"Shit." My eyes fly up to a tall man in front of me… in the women's bathroom. He looks extremely embarrassed, the red flushing up to his cheeks as he sees me. "Wrong door."

Wait a second. I know him.

Scorpius Malfoy?

I haven't seen him since Hogwarts. I haven't even said more than ten words to him since we were paired in Potions that one time. I was in Gryffindor, he was in Ravenclaw and we didn't really have any friends in common. He was a good Potions partner, I suppose.

Before I can say a word, he spins around, opening the door. Just as I think he's stepping out, he rushes back in and slams the door shut. I stand in suspicion. I can hear him swearing under his breath.

"Weasley?" he says, like he can't quite believe it.

"What are you doing?" I ask, stepping into my heels and placing my hands on my hips. Malfoy is slightly out of breath and wide-eyed as he looks back at me. "This is the lady's –"

"I know," he says quickly, cutting me off. Looking back at the door, he seems to make a split second decision and bolts for a stall. Unfortunately, he grabs me along the way and drags me inside.

"What are you –" I'm cut off again by him gently placing his hands on both sides of my arms. He locks the door and looks at me, begging with his eyes. I struggle but he is very strong.

"Shh!" he says frantically, looking back at the door of the stall, as if he could see through it. He looks back at me again, pleading in his expression. "Please – just hold on until she leaves?"

I am about to respond bitingly when I hear the bathroom door open. I clear the click-clack of heels as they make their way to the stall beside ours. The door shuts and we hear as she sits down on the toilet. And then –

FFFFFFTPT.

I meet Malfoy's frantic gaze and can't resist silently shaking in laughter. Even he calms a little, mashing his lips together to try not to smile at the loudest fart I've ever heard in a public bathroom. The loudest he's probably heard, too. And it smells.

I'm so mature.

I peer through the crack of the stall as she finishes up and washes her hands. After she exists and the door snaps shut, I shove my way out of the stall. Malfoy immediately holds his palms up apologetically.

"Wait –" He steps in front of the exit. "Rose Weasley, right? Let me just explain."

I don't really want to let him explain, but I also don't really want to go back outside. I glare at him. "Go on."

"She was…" He glances at the door, as if the Loud Farting Lady was going to come back in again. "My mates set me up with her. I came to the loo so I could see if I could ditch. My mates would never live it down if she told them I'd walked into the women's bathroom by mistake."

I snigger. "Oh, so that's why you trapped me against my free will and made me endure her fart? That's wonderful."

"You would've told her I was in the bathroom!" he retorts.

I mean, he isn't wrong.

"Malfoy, it's not my business if you can't read the sign."

He snorts. Actually snorts.

"Don't worry about it," I say, rolling my eyes. I grab my purse from the couch and cross my arms against my chest. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to come up with some way to ditch my own shitty blind date. Other than being kidnapped in the loo."

"You're escaping your date too?"

"Yup," I say, side-stepping him. "I didn't get a good chance to think of an excuse, so I'm just going to –"

"Wait a second," he interrupts, stepping in front of me again, but he isn't looking at me. He's looking at something past me. "Let's climb out that window."

I spin around. "What window… wait, no," I say sharply, turning to him again. "We can't just ditch our dates by never coming back –"

"Hey, I don't care if she tells anyone I walked out on her," he says. "She's a friend of a friend of a friend. I didn't bring a coat tonight. Can't Apparate in a Muggle restaurant. Plus I already checked, and there's no back entrance. I barely know her."

I glare at him. "I barely know you."

He grins and offers his hand. "Scorpius Malfoy. Nice to meet you."

"I know who you are," I say, "But –"

"Great!" he says, excitedly stepping by me. I wince as digs his shoe into the pure white couch cushion and hoists himself up. He draws back the curtains and unlocks the window. "Now that that's out of the way, let's get out of here."

I nervously turn back to the bathroom door as Malfoy is opening the window. Miraculously, no one else has come in here, and my date hasn't come looking for me. And honestly, even if I go back in there and make some excuse to leave, he might not get the message. He is that self-obsessed.

"All right," I say, making a split-second decision. I take off my heels again – Merlin, that feels good – and nod to Malfoy. "Let's do it."

"Awesome," he says, ducking his head out of the window. I can't help but notice how good his arse looks in those jeans.

Maybe not the worst decision, after all.

He pushes the rest of himself out the window – very easy for him, as he's at least six feet tall and we're on the ground floor – and lands on the pavement outside. I only hesitate for a second longer before scrambling out the window after him, throwing my shoes down first before heading down, feet first. I feel Malfoy's hands ghosting by my sides to steady me.

Malfoy closes the windows as I slip my feet back into my shoes. We hurry down the alley until we turn onto the main street, making a silent decision to power-walk into the London crowds in case our dates decide to come outside the restaurant.

My thighs are burning, but we make our way down a block before we slow down. Malfoy turns back, easily scanning through faces. "What does your date look like?"

"A loser," I reply, also turning back to look. "He's probably too busy counting his Galleons to have caught on."

He laughs and looks back to me. "Well, it's half past eight. The night is young. We've both been horrible and ditched our awful dates. How about we drink to our success?"

A smile tugs at my lips. I don't want to admit it, but Malfoy's laughter is infectious. I don't remember a lot about him from Hogwarts, but I remember he was quiet and reserved. Never really drew attention to himself. He seems a little different now.

"Okay," I find myself saying, and something inside me flutters when he breaks out in a delighted grin. "Why not?"

There's something about him that makes me curious.


A/N: New story after forever… I know, story of my life lol. Let me know what you think might happen next ;)