I was inspired. What can I say? I'm warning you, the reader, that this isn't something I write normally-- but I think I rather like it.

Pencil Sketch

Pale eyes, pale skin, pale hair. Scorpius Malfoy knows that he's nothing but a chalk portrait, or maybe a faded penciled sketch, beside the vivid colour painted in Rose Weasley's cheeks, in her blue blue eyes and brown curls.

But when he laughs with her, or sits near her, or furtively watches her speak with an animation verging on vehemence, he doesn't feel very lifeless at all. It's as if her colours are bleeding through, seeping into him and breathing life into his faint lines, his white silhouette.

And he's never felt so very alive.

The Malfoys are grace and elegance, erect backs, and frosted smiles. They are certainly not laughing eyes and rainbows sung into being. So it has been—and so it will always be. But Scorpius finds himself longing to taste the shades just out of reach; so very, very close, though they might as well have been halfway around the world for all the good it did him.

(He has always been told that forbidden fruit tastes best, but never had reason to believe it until now.)

He finds himself slipping whenever the smear of colours floats by, near enough to grab. Who ever said that first love is the sweetest? This was not sweetness—pain and happiness and yearning and disappointment and pleasure, yes, but not sweetness. Scorpius Malfoy doesn't think that sweetness is his lot. He wishes with all his heart that he's wrong, though.

It's conflicting emotion, being near Rose Weasley, joy and pain spinning in a merry, destructive tempest. But joy wins by just enough to make Scorpius inwardly thank Harry Potter for inviting the Malfoys to the Ministry's dinner in celebration of the Dark Lord's defeat.

Their age allows them to sip some champagne, but they're nowhere near old enough to try the vodka (no firewhisky at a Ministerial function, please), so they sit at a table together with Al Potter, conversing with the ease and unhampered liberty three good friends share. And when Al leaves them to chase a pretty blonde with dusky eyes and a crafty smile, they talk some more, and Scorpius finds himself coming to life little by little, finger by finger, limb by limb.

"I'm so glad Dad doesn't mind us being friends," she says, and underneath the warm light of her smile, he can almost feel his hair changing from white to gold.

"My father… well… he's okay. My grandfather, on the other hand…" Scorpius grimaces, but even that expression has a colour of its own, dark, dark red when it might have been grey as a pencil sketch.

Roses (the irony—or beauty—is not lost on him) bloom on her cheeks as she shakes her head. "Grownups can be so stupid sometimes. They should learn to let go of grudges." She looks up at him, oceans and clouds in her eyes, and he realises that he will never be content with poor, stolen patches of color, when the full spectrum is within reach.

"Dance with me?" he says abruptly, aware of his quick change of subject, but not quite able to bring himself to care.

She laughs, and now there are stars as well as clouds in those eyes of hers. "But no one else is dancing!"

He raises an eyebrow at her, the perfect image of a Malfoy, knowing that she hates it when he does that. "That bothers you because…?"

His aristocratic eyebrow dares her to produce a good reason, and she accepts his challenge, chin aloft. "It doesn't bother me at all. Let's dance."

It's awkward at the start, and people stare, but Rose hums snatches of the melody playing, and Scorpius is lost as the little jewels of music drop about him, like pitter-patters of rain. This is why he longs for her colour, for her, as he watches her face flash hundreds of different emotions, each more beautiful than the last. Her violet dress swishes around him, her loose curls are cascading down his own shoulders, and he realises that he's much closer to her than he first thought. He can see every shade of crimson in her lips, every tint of brown and gold in her hair, every hue of soft, elusive lavender in her eyes. And he can feel himself blazing with colour, shedding light, radiating the vivid life she has painted into him…

They're very near, too near the dive off of lover's leap, and he knows that she knows it, just as well as he does. Another finger's width and the colours could be wholly within his grasp… they both lean in…


He doesn't break away from her gaze, knowing full well whom the voice belongs to. The old, querulous tone of his grandfather's tenor still holds that familiar hint of suaveness and arrogance, and Scorpius knows that disobeying can result in serious consequences.


Don't go… blue oceans plead with him, as he continues to stare into her gaze. Don't go… choose me.

But he breaks away, and even as he turns towards his family, who are leaving for the Manor (disapproval rolling off of them in waves), he can feel the colour draining away, leaving him paler and emptier than he ever was before. He doesn't even feel like a chalk sketch anymore… he's a blank canvas with utterly no meaning.

As he walks away, he distinguishes the faces of James and Al Potter, sorrowful and accusatory, and even glimpses the expression on Ron Weasley's face (he looks as if he's about to scream bloody murder, because no matter how opposed he is to the Malfoy name, his baby's happiness comes first, always), but Scorpius can't bear to look at Rose, afraid that, maybe, her colour might be slowly trickling away, too…

His mind suddenly presents itself with a frightening image—Rose as a pencil sketch, a Malfoy sketch, pale and white and hollow. And he realises that he can never let this happen, never.

He turns his back on his family and their frosted smiles, and runs back to the brightness he knows he will never let go of, and he presses his lips to Rose's before anyone has a chance to do anything other than gape. Like a jolt of electricity, a thrill runs through them both, but Scorpius knows what it is—it's life returning, hues brightening. And he comprehends that, for the first time, he has truly grasped the elusive vibrance, the elusive colour, and he need never let go again, if he doesn't wish to.

(And he suddenly realises that this first kiss is sweet, too, and his lips curve upward at the beautiful revelation that sweetness just might be his lot as well.)

When they finally break away, Scorpius is so drunk with joy that he can only manage one sentence. "Rose, you will never be a pencil sketch, and I won't be one either."

She doesn't understand, but she doesn't need to—because now they're both full-colour portraits, paintings come to life, and she is his in all her ocean-eyed, bronze-haired, purple-gowned, rainbow-shaded glory.

A/N: So... I've never written anyone kissing in my life (really! If you read my stories, you'll always see that I either write the characters almost kissing, or not at all) but this idea struck me so suddenly that I had to write it. And the funny thing is, I've never written romance that wasn't explicitly stated in the book, either, so that's another huge leap for me. Hope you enjoyed it regardless. :)

Edit: Oh, and I tried my hand at British spellings. I'm more used to the American way, so if you caught an error or two, I'd be grateful if you pointed it out.