A/N: This is my first try at a Next Generation fic. I don't know how much I like it or even if it's that good. But it is my first try at these new characters so hopefully it's okay. Um I actually got the idea from a hair product. Yep, a hair product. The story has nothing to do with hair products though. Anyway, enjoy! R&R! Thanks. –Mac
Disclaimer: I don't own HP
Scorpius Malfoy was acting strangely.
Not that he ever acted conventionally. He was a Malfoy and thus marched to his own drum, and was thoroughly misunderstood by his own definition. However, he was acting stranger than his norm. So strange that nearly ever student had heard some whisper of the reasoning behind his behavior. Even the first years, of every house mind you, were entertaining themselves with groundless gossip. There was only one person who was actively ignoring the rumors that were spreading. Despite her cousins maddening obsession on the matter, Rose Weasley remained indifferent. Or at least tried to do so.
James and Al had been going on and on about every reason why Scorpius might be acting as he was. Fueled on by their rivalry with the Malfoy heir they sat in the Gryffindor common room bouncing stories they had heard off each other. James was lounging, sprawled out, on one of the chairs. Al was spread out on the couch, his charms text open on his lap, unnoticed. Lily sat on the other end of the couch, at her brother's feet, working on her Potions essay. Hugo was in another chair reading Hogwarts, A History for the hundredth time. Rose sat on the ground with her back against the couch trying to tune out their conversation while simultaneously working on her Defense Against the Dark Arts essay.
"I heard he went completely over the edge insane. That his Dad is looking to stick him in the loony bin at the end of term." Al said.
"Well his behavior is certainly, certifiable!" James commented.
Hugo closed his book, his finger pinched between the pages to hold his place. "What exactly is this certifiable behavior he's exhibiting?"
"You can't honestly say you haven't heard about it or even witnessed some of it?" James sat up straighter, his mouth agape at Hugo's question.
Hugo shrugged, "It's just Malfoy. Other than you two's quarrels with him, I don't pay him much mind."
"But it's the talk of the school!" Al exclaimed. "You can't be in a conversation with someone longer than a minute without it coming up!"
Hugo shrugged again, "You two have been going on about it for so long. Now I'm curious."
"He's been caught whistling." Al threw out.
"And?" Hugo frowned.
"Malfoys don't whistle." James stuck up his nose. "It's undignified."
At spit fire pace, they began to list off twenty some odd eccentricities that Scorpius had reputedly been exhibiting. Rose rolled her eyes at her cousins' excitement over the matter as they explained it to her brother. She didn't understand the need that many of the Hogwarts inhabitants had to feed off gossip and rumors or how easily her cousins could be consumed by a scandal. Malfoy is acting strangely—raise the alarm, call the Headmaster! It was all nonsense.
And the nonsense was distracting Rose from completing her essay. Rose put down her quill and turned to James, "Have you seen him do any of these things?"
"I thought you weren't interested in this sort of 'rubbish,' Rosie." James responded, "Or did I hear you wrong?'
"James, really." Rose rolled her eyes again. "Have you?"
"I haven't, but I have it on good authority." James answered, leaning back in his chair.
"How about you Al?" Rose raised an eyebrow at her younger cousin.
"Nah, but it has to be true, right?" Al shrugged, "Everyone and their mother is talking about it…"
"Humph." Rose slammed her books closed and began to gather up her parchment. "If you two insist on continuing this mindless conversation, I'm going to the library where I can get some real work done."
"That essay isn't due 'til next week, Rosie." Al replied as Rose stood and picked up all her things.
"So I should have had it done yesterday." Rose said, "Lily, you want to come with me?"
"No thanks, Rose. I'm just about finished." Lily answered. "Thanks for the offer though."
Rose headed for the portrait hole. As she walked away, her cousins fell right back into the conversation.
"Maybe he snuck in a secret stock of firewhiskey." James suggested.
"You ever think he might be in love?" Lily piped up. "Love can make a person act quite strange."
"Who would ever fall in love with such an egotistical git?" James chuckled.
Any response from her other family members was cut off by the portrait closing behind her. In the quiet of the stairway, Rose took a deep breath and headed for the library. She was actually thankful for the lack of company. She liked to work in peace and quiet—and with the family she had such a thing was a rarity. When she reached the library it was practically deserted. Only a couple of Hufflepuff second years where huddled together at a table on the other side of the room. Rose set up at her usual table and got to work.
Rose was thoroughly absorbed in her essay, her quill scratching away, when the chair across from her was pulled out and someone sat in it. Assuming it was Lily taking her up on her offer, Rose didn't lift her head to view the new arrival until she had finished the sentence she had been writing.
"Finally have enough of your brothers' rambling—?" Rose stopped as she caught sight of the person sitting across from her. "You're not Lily."
"No, I'm not Lily." He drawled.
"Is there something you want, Malfoy?" Rose asked, glancing around. The Hufflepuffs had left long before, leaving her and Scorpius virtually alone in the library.
"Such tone, Weasley." Scorpius responded, "Did I do something to offend?"
"You are sitting at my table."
"Your table?" Scorpius raised an eyebrow.
"I am speaking English, aren't I?" Rose looked up from her parchment to glare at him.
"Well, it's not as if your name is on it."
"As a matter of fact…" Rose reached over a hand to tap a part of the table.
Scorpius leaned over to find on the edge of the table 'Rose Weasley' etched into the wood. "Defacing school property, I didn't think you had it in you Rose Weasley."
Rose rolled her eyes, "As if I would do such a thing. James thought it would be funny that since during O.W.L.s I spent so much time here, I should take ownership. I'm surprised Madam Pince hasn't noticed yet."
What surprised Rose more was that she was having a civilized conversation with Scorpius Malfoy. It was the first time that Rose thought, perhaps James and Al had been right. He was acting strangely.
"That old bint?" Scorpius replied, "She can hardly tell her right from her left anymore."
"Don't be so disrespectful." Rose chided.
"I apologize." Scorpius brought his hands to rest over his heart, "I didn't mean to offend."
Rose put a hand over her mouth to stifle a laugh at the dramatic display. She collected herself and asked, "Was there something you needed?"
"I was going to ask you a question about that Defense Against the Dark Arts essay, but I think maybe I have some time before it's due, so never mind." Scorpius stood and began to pick up his book and bag to leave.
He was halfway around the table when Rose spoke up, "You might want to try this." She held up one of her books, "I think it explains things better than our assigned text."
"If you have the copy, how am I supposed to use it?"
"This is mine. I'm pretty sure Madam Pince has a copy still in the library as well." Rose corrected.
Scorpius smiled, "You would have your own copy of an auxiliary text."
"My mother gave it to me." Rose shrugged.
"Of course." Scorpius nodded, "Goodnight Rose."
Rose's eyes widened at his use of her first name. She stammered out, "Go-good, goodnight."
Scorpius turned on his heel and headed for the exit. Rose turned around in her chair to watch him go. The one thing that caught her attention: he was whistling the whole way out."
- - - -
"Could you all hurry up? I'm starving!" Hugo exclaimed as their small group headed toward the Great Hall for dinner.
Rose smiled, laughing lightly at her brother's impatience. James threw an arm over Hugo's shoulders and ruffled his cousin's hair.
"There's one thing you inherited from Uncle Ron: his stomach." James chuckled. Al rolled his eyes but laughed along with his brother. Lily shook her head, but she shared a knowing smile.
"Better that then his driving skills." Hugo responded.
"Don't let Dad ever hear you say that!" Rose said, "He likes to maintain the fantasy that he has excellent driving skills."
James nodded, "He still says he was aiming for the Whomping Willow in their second year."
They were all laughing when they came upon Scorpius and a couple of his Slytherin pals. "Well, well, well, what a wonderful brood we have here."
"Oh shove off, Malfoy." Al replied. "We just want to get dinner in peace."
"It's amazing your parents were allowed to procreate at all." Scorpius continued as if Al hadn't spoken at all.
"You're one to talk about procreation, Malfoy." James countered, "Impregnated anyone yet?"
"Hilarious, Potter." Scorpius sneered, "Maybe your sister is available." Lily gave a little sound of disgust in the back of her throat and James clenched his fists in anger. Scorpius's eyes then fell on Rose, "Or your cousin. Always got your nose in a book, don't you Weasley."
Self-consciously, Rose clutched her book against her chest. But then she straightened up and stared him directly in the eyes, "Better than up my own arse."
Al snorted, "Nice one, Rosie."
Scorpius looked unphased, he smirked. "Well like they say like mother, like daughter…"
"Don't talk about our mum!" Hugo stepped forward like the protective brother he was.
"And wipe that bloody smirk off your face." James added. "Because if you so much as think about touching Lily or Rose, I will curse you into the next century."
"I'm terrified." Scorpius responded in mock horror before turning away and continuing to the Great Hall.
"Slimy git." James muttered under his breath. "Come on you guys, let's get to dinner."
As her family moved forward, Rose lagged behind a little. It had been less than twenty-four hours prior that Scorpius had been civilized—if not nice—to her when they were alone in the library. She didn't understand how anyone could act to such different extremes in that short of time.
- - - -
That same night, Rose was doing her rounds. She wasn't fully focused on her task thought. Somehow a second year from her own house out after curfew had narrowly escaped her notice and scampered off back to Gryffindor Tower applauding himself on the close call. The reason for her negligence: one Scorpius Malfoy. She had been pondering his contradictory behavior, from when they were alone in the library and in front of her family in the entrance hall, as she patrolled the corridors. It was for this reason that Rose had originally ignored the flying rumors. They were distracting. Now that she had bore witness to his "strange" behavior, she couldn't exactly ignore them. Rose shook her head. She needed to get Scorpius Malfoy off her mind.
She turned a corner and came face to face with the last person she expected. She muttered, "Speak of the devil."
Rose was debating whether she should continue forward and ignore him as she passed or pretend she hadn't seen him at all and turn and go back the way she came. She was in the middle of a heated internal battle when he made the decision for her. He took a few long strides to reach her, turned and fell into step beside her. Rose kept her gaze straight forward though she could feel his eyes on her. She wasn't sure which side of him to expect.
"Come to mock me further?" Rose questioned.
"If I wanted to do that I would not have put in the effort to seek you out." Scorpius answered. "Besides an act only works on an audience."
"Like that little performance you put on this evening?" Rose raised an eyebrow, as she turned to look at him for the first time.
"Like the little performance I put on this evening." Scorpius nodded, "You can't honestly believe I mean everything I say."
Rose met his eyes directly, "It certainly sounded as if you meant it."
"I must be a marvelous actor then." Scorpius replied, "Because I don't think there is a bad thing I could say about you that's true."
Rose stopped walking abruptly. It took Scorpius a couple steps to realize she wasn't beside him. He walked back and stood in front of her. A small smile was playing across his lips.
"Something wrong?" He asked.
"Is something wrong?" Rose responded, "Yes, something is wrong. Something is wrong with you! For nearly six years you've pitted yourself against my cousins, my brother, and me. Then yesterday, you sit down at my table and strike up a conversation like we're the best of friends. And this evening, you're rude and egotistical and disgusting…you actually want me to believe that you are—"
Rose's rambling was cut off by Scorpius taking her by the waist, pulling her close and leaning down to kiss her soundly. She was momentarily frozen in surprise, but she regained control of her body. She kissed him back, matching his enthusiasm. She was lost in the kiss until it broke into her consciousness who exactly this was. Rose pushed him away suddenly.
"Are you suffering from split personality syndrome or something?" Rose exclaimed, stumbling backward.
"You're an odd one Weasley." Scorpius chuckled, "We just had a good snog and you're trying to diagnose me with a mental disorder."
"Rightly so. Your behavior is down right schizophrenic!"
Scorpius tilted his head to the side, "I like you Rose Weasley and it's been making me feel and act in ways I never have before."
"You've got that right." Rose blew out a breath and pushed her hair out of her face. "Wait—you like me?"
"I am speaking English, aren't I?" Scorpius smirked. "Yes, Rose, I like you."
"H-how do you know?" Rose questioned, "Never mind, no, you're insane. You can't just be nice to me when we're alone and a complete arse to me when we're not. I won't have it."
"Are you saying you like me too?" Scorpius responded.
"What? No, I…" Rose stuttered. "That's not what I said at all."
"What exactly were you saying then?" Scorpius asked, smiling. "Because to me it sounded like conditions."
"You're mistaken." Rose shook her head, "Besides I have no reason to believe that you're being honest when you say you like me."
"I'll give you a reason. When I'm around you I'm not myself. When I see you, I can't help myself, I want to whistle." Scorpius explained.
"What's so strange about that?"
"Malfoys don't whistle. It's undignified."
Rose let out a burst of laughter, shaking her head in disbelief. "I guess I'm the answer, then. Lily was right."
"The answer to what? What are you going on about?" Scorpius frowned.
"The whole school is talking about it. How you've been behaving like a madman. No one can explain why though…but I guess you just did. Me. Apparently I'm the reason for your odd behavior." Rose said, still laughing lightly. "Little old me."
"Is that so hard to believe?" Scorpius asked, watching her closely.
Her laughter caught in her throat suddenly. Rose tensed, "I'm nothing special. Certainly not anything to cause such a change in normal behavior."
"I beg to differ," Scorpius responded. "You're an odd little one Rose, but nonetheless special. And while you should be the last person I should want, I can't stop thinking about you. Yes, I like you Rose. You might not believe me, but it's true. And I felt in that kiss that you might just feel the same, even if you haven't realized it yet."
"Scorpius…" Rose surprised herself in her use of his first name.
Scorpius leaned in close to her, "I'm going to kiss you again. Try not to push me away this time."
Any complaint was silenced by his lips meeting hers. After that there was not much to complain about anyway. The only thing that was for certain was that when Rose returned to the common room that night she was whistling.