Note: Utter silliness. My friend Maggie made me do it. I wasn't even gonna post it, because it's faaaaaar from being an original idea, but . . . I got talked into it. So here it is. I hope it makes you laugh at the very least.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Rose or Scorpius, nor do I own Romeo and Juliet. The first belong to JK Rowling, the second to Will Shakespeare. True story. Oh, and the title's from some musical, I think Kiss Me, Kate, though I'm not sure, but anyway, I don't own that, either.
Brush Up Your Shakespeare
"I still can't believe you're taking Muggle Studies," Scorpius Malfoy muttered as he walked out of the classroom with his best friend. Their first quiz of second term had been handed back today, and it wasn't at all surprising that she had gotten the highest score.
Rose Weasley wrinkled her nose at him. "I think more people are likely to say that about you," she countered. Scorpius had the grace to look mildly embarrassed.
"Dad told me I had to," he admitted. "I probably would have anyway, but he said it's very important to appreciate the culture of all different people. I have things to learn in that class. You don't. Your grandparents are Muggles and your mother is Muggleborn, Rose! You've got an unfair advantage; no wonder you're top of the class!"
Rose sniffed and turned her head up. "I'm top of all my other classes, too. How do you explain that?"
"Couldn't be that you're descended from the wizarding world's biggest brainiac, could it?" he teased. She pretended to be offended, but then cracked a grin.
"Mum might well be part of it, I'll admit that."
"Just don't tell me your mother took Muggle Studies when she was here." Rose laughed; she couldn't help it.
"Only for a year," she told him. He rolled his eyes.
"Figures," he said. She shoved him playfully and he stuck his tongue out at her before reaching out to the brass knocker on the wall now in front of them. Three times he knocked, and then a cool, familiar voice rang out.
"What is the most important factor in equality?" Scorpius bit back a sigh.
"Tolerance," he answered. "Learning to accept that the ideas of others are equally valid with your own, and may be, in some cases, better." The door appeared in the wall for them. "It always gives me questions like that," he said sidelong at Rose, who giggled.
"Well, you're the one who had the audacity to be Sorted into Ravenclaw," she said.
"Hey, you're a first generation Ravenclaw, too," he pointed out.
"True," Rose agreed. "My fifth year and I still don't think my dad's forgiven me," she said. Scorpius smiled. He knew what that was like.
"So, what's the deal with this Shakespeare guy?" he asked, turning the conversation back to the topic of class. "You sounded pretty enraptured with him in class."
"William Shakespeare," Rose sighed dreamily. "One of the most brilliant Muggle playwrights of all time. He wrote thirty-seven plays." Scorpius rolled his eyes.
"Yeah, that much I got from the textbook and the lecture. I didn't ask who he was, I asked what the big deal was. He had dozens of contemporaries. Why did his stuff stick around for so long?"
"He's a classic!" Rose said as if it should be obvious. Scorpius tugged at the end of one of her long braids.
"He had to get that way, genius," he said. "I mean it. Why Shakespeare? Why not Marlow or Davenant or Jonson?" Rose considered her answer.
"I think partially because of the stories and partially because of the way they're written," she said at last. Scorpius waited for more, but it didn't come.
"Well?" he said finally. "Don't go off in a trance, Weasley!" She glared at him.
"His stories are timeless. There's meaning in them even today. And he appealed to his entire audience, and not many authors of the time did that. He made his material interesting, spoke to the issues of the day in such a way that was sure to echo throughout the generations. Plus, he was a literary genius. He broke literature barriers that no one else even approached! He added over four hundred words to the English language, you know, and all of his plays were written in meter – blank iambic pentameter. You have to admit it's impressive," she said when he didn't seem as if he were quite impressed enough.
"I guess. You've read them all? All twenty-seven?" he asked.
"Not all of them, no," she admitted. "But most of them."
"What's your favorite?"
"Romeo and Juliet," she said, the dreamy sigh returning. "One of the most tragic love stories ever written." Scorpius bit back a snort. How like a girl! "'Romeo, Romeo, wherefor art thou, Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name! Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Capulet!'" she cried dramatically, clutching at her heart for effect. Scorpius stared at her, eyebrows up.
"All right, then," he said finally. "So, what's so great about it?"
"Romeo and Juliet are lovers," she told him, launching into her retelling without losing the dreamy glint in her eye. Scorpius watched his normally sensible friend with amusement. "From feuding families. Romeo is a Montague, but Juliet is a Capulet and the two families have been at war for ages. They meet at a party and fall in love, but they know there's no way their families will let them be together. So they marry in secret. But then Juliet's cousin kills Romeo's best friend, so Romeo kills Juliet's cousin and is exiled from the country. But he makes secret plans with the Friar who married them to come back and steal Juliet away. The Friar gives Juliet a potion that will make her appear as if dead. Her family will bury her in the family tomb and Romeo can come and get her. But the message never gets there because of a plague, so all Romeo hears is that she's dead, so he thinks she's really died, and so in the tomb with her body, he poisons himself rather than live without her. And then she wakes up and sees him dead, and kills herself, too!" And with that, she sighed dreamily once more, flopping back against the sofa.
Scorpius stared at her. "That's romantic?" he finally said. She sat up.
"Of course it is!" she said, shocked that he couldn't see the romance in it.
"But they both die!" he said.
"For love! What's more romantic than that?"
"Living?" he said as if that answer should have been obvious. "Why didn't Romeo just take her away when he fled the country the first time? Or after they married? Wouldn't that have solved a lot more problems?"
Rose just shook her head in exasperation. "You have to read it," she said. "Then you'll understand.
She went straight upstairs and lent him her copy. He couldn't believe she kept it with her. But she refused to say anything more to him until he had finished, and so that night, she sat by the fire and finished an essay while he sat and read Romeo and Juliet.
He read it in only a few hours. When he had finished, he sat with the book in his lap, still completely bewildered as to how anyone could find that story romantic. When Rose saw he had finished, she hurried over.
"Well?" she demanded. "Wasn't it the most wonderful thing you've ever read."
"No!" he said, still staring openly at his friend. "First of all, Romeo has got to be the biggest schmuck I've ever encountered in literature!" Rose gaped at him. "Seriously, Rose!" he insisted. "At the start of the story he's pining over some other girl, saying as how he can't live without her. Then he sees Juliet and completely ditches the first girl!"
"That's because Juliet was his true love! Rosaline was just –"
"No," Scorpius said, cutting her off. "Juliet was just an infatuation that he didn't live long enough to grow tired of." Rose swatted him on the arm.
"He married her!" she insisted.
"Lure of the forbidden," Scorpius said, to which Rose narrowed her eyes, her mouth twitching.
"Lure nothing," she said stubbornly.
"Secondly, this conversation at the party? He's a total flirt! 'Palm to palm is holy palmers kiss'? 'Let lips do what hands do'? 'You kiss by the book'? And the speech he makes at her balcony? 'With love's light wings, I did o'er-perch these walls'? Please."
Rose pursed her lips and crossed her arms, her mouth still twitching. "You haven't got a romantic bone in your body!" she accused him.
"Oh, but I do," he said. "And I could do better than any Romeo." Rose narrowed her eyes.
"And pray tell me how you would win Juliet?" she asked.
"It's not Juliet I want," he said. And the minute he said it, he caught her gaze, and something changed in the air between them. Rose's breath caught in her throat, and she found she could not look away. Slowly, he reached forward and pushed a tendril of hair behind her ear. He laid his hand softly against her skin, his thumb caressing her cheek. Then he leaned forward until his lips brushed against hers.
Rose had long known how she'd felt about Scorpius, her best friend. And she had, for as long, suppressed it, because she knew what her father's reaction would be if she told him she was dating a Malfoy.
Scorpius was, in the end, the one who pulled away. "You know how long I've been wanting to do that?" he asked her. She shook her head numbly, all thoughts of debate leaving her mind. "Do you know why I haven't?" he asked. She closed her eyes and nodded.
"Dad," she whispered.
"Yours and mine," he said. "'I know not how to tell thee who I am: My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself, because it is an enemy to thee,'" he quoted softly.
"Art thou not Scorpius, and a Malfoy?" she returned sadly.
"'Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike,'" he said, his thumb still running smoothly over her cheek.
"I thought you said Romeo was a schmuck," she reminded him. He smiled.
"He is. I'm not. Shakespeare stole all the time. I can't do the same?" She laughed a little at that.
"You know the real reason why I like Romeo and Juliet so much?" she asked him.
"It's always reminded me of us," she admitted.
"Oh, yes," Scorpius said seriously. "Would you like your happy dagger now? Since there's no way our families will allow us to be together, why don't we just skip the drama and go right to the romantic part and kill ourselves?" Rose shoved him, laughing.
"You're horrible!" she told him.
"I see you don't think it's so romantic when it's your own story," he teased with raised eyebrows. "So are you saying you'd rather live for romance than die now?" he asked, mocking her. She glared at him.
"Why don't you find a better occupation for your mouth, sir?" she suggested. He grinned.
"I am perfectly amenable to that suggestion," he said, and leaned close to her once more. "I still think Shakespeare's idea of romance is skewed, though," he told her.
"Shut up," she said, closing the gap between them.
Her dad could stuff it.