A sudden surge of inspiration swept over me! Pardon me for not updating Chronicles right now, but this just had to get written. I hope you enjoy it.

(It has been pointed out to me that you only receive the results of your N.E.W.T.'s during the summer, but hey. Let's disregard that fact, shall we?)

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or settings, JK Rowling does.


CHECKMATE

How dare he!

With her otherwise pouty lips pressed into a thin line, Rose Weasley circled around aimlessly in the air. She nearly refracted her own, very fancy broomstick with the tight grip she was currently holding it with – that's how utterly livid she was. She'd worked to earn that broomstick. She'd had to help her mother for hours, nearly boring herself to death performing cleaning spells all day long at the Ministry. After that, her father had enthusiastically paid for the ridiculously high-prized object, with a head-shaking Hermione in his wake.

But all the cleaning spells in the world hadn't refrained this drama from happening, had they?

Rose groaned loudly as she watched the crowd cheering. The wrong crowd. The green crowd. They were waving their emerald and silver coloured flags ostentatiously, raising their banners with silly slogans higher, throwing green confetti all around. She almost gagged at this display of completely undeserved triumph. How could they'd possibly won fair and square? Not that she'd actually witnessed them cheating, but – they were Slytherins! They lived for dirty tricks!

Ron Weasley was going to strangle his daughter with his bare hands – she could imagine.

After all, he'd been the one playing with her every morning when she was six years old, entirely disregarding his wife's wishes. He'd been the one who'd taken her to Quality Quidditch Supplies in Diagon Alley countless times, losing himself in the gear just as much as she did. He'd been the one that'd sent her a huge pie – home-cooked and burnt, but a pie nonetheless – when she'd made Seeker in second year. He'd been the one that had thrown a big party when she got appointed Captain. And he'd also been the one threatening her with first-class murder if she lost the Quidditch Cup this year – especially to Slytherin.

She looked at the reason for her misery.

There he was. That – that insufferable, conceited git! The only reason she could distinct Scorpius Malfoy from the other players was due to his bright, blond head, but she didn't need to see his face to know what he looked like. Poster example of pedantic smugness, she was hundred percent sure. She didn't really feel like getting down – she wasn't waiting to grant him an opportunity to flaunt his victory in her face – but staying up here all alone wasn't an option either.

She descended, slowly, defeated, and pretty damn set to kill.

Just how did he manage to catch the Snitch before she did?

Rose: 0 – Scorpius: 1.


How dare she!

Steam blowing out of his ears, Scorpius Malfoy strode through a buzzing corridor, towards the Slytherin dungeons. Many of the students who had the displeasure of witnessing the blond's wrath, threw him both curious and annoyed glances as he brushed past them. Paying no heed to his surroundings, he merely kept his metal grey eyes focused on what was in front of him – seeing red due to newly unfolded events.

He could not believe this.

He was the genius. He was the bloody epitome of brilliance. He was the walking encyclopaedia. After all, he was the one people sought out to copy their homework from (which he virtually never allowed, unless said people were blackmail material), wasn't he? And his peers never tried to contradict him, did they? No! They didn't! Why, you ask?

Well, the simply answer to that question: he never had to be contradicted, because he was always correct!

Scorpius Malfoy sighed.

Wait until his father heard about this. He'd Avada his only son (and therefore pride of the family) right on the spot. Callously, heartlessly, mercilessly – whatever you want to call it. Draco Malfoy would not consider this a laughing matter. Something about proving what he's worth and all that. A case similar to what happened to the Jews, if you will. They'd been shunned about everywhere they attempted to settle, historically viewed, and simply because they became so discriminated in all the places they went, they had to try harder. They had to fight for what other races may had gotten effortlessly. Draco liked this comparison – he was quite a whiner, that one, and his favourite subject to whine about for the past sixteen years had been how 'the Malfoy family was not considered equal in the Wizarding society, even though they were more'.

Scorpius, on the other hand, knew that this was a load of crap.

His father simply liked to push his child, and then tried to cover it up in a bunch of empty theories and pretty words to not come off as a resemblance to his father. Which was wasted effort, really, since Draco had inherited pretty much all of Lucius's qualities. Perhaps he was the somewhat more... reformed version of the intimidating, old nutcase, but even without the Voldemort and pureblood mania, Draco still remained a strenuous, exacting, nasty bastard – which was exactly how Lucius acted towards Draco, wasn't it? Forcing your son to be the best at everything?

Now, to his not-so-great regret, Scorpius was an obvious product of the Malfoy line too. The only big difference between him and his father was that, well, he did beat everyone at everything.

That is, if you didn't count that horrible, nauseating firecracker of a Rose bloody Weasley. Alright, so maybe she wasn't entirely nauseating – in fact, she was rather fit... But still!

Scorpius arrived at the dungeons and hissed the password between clenched teeth. The evil woman on the portrait gave him a lusty leer while opening up, which he failed to notice as he was too busy fixating all of his thoughts on the one and only challenge he'd ever known. He rushed to the majestic easy-chair in front of the fireplace, ignoring the questioning looks his fellow Slytherins were sending him. With brows furrowed, he stared at the dancing flames and came up with exactly hundred and one ways to kill the redhead.

After all, nobody got away with scoring more N.E.W.T.'s than Scorpius Malfoy the Brainpower Itself.

Rose: 1 – Scorpius: 1.


Rose had many mottos in her life.

'Second place is first the place of the losers', for example. Or 'do or do not, there is no try', on courtesy of Yoda, or 'do never stop questioning', on courtesy of Einstein. 'Life is the art of drawing without an eraser' was one she liked too. But those weren't the ones she currently lived by. No, for this very moment, Rose had her mind set on nine specific words.

Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.

Or that was what she kept telling herself as she observed her rival silently. She was currently seated in the library, at the big table in the centre, with a pile of books shielding her from the rest of the world. Minus Scorpius, that is. He'd always had the tradition of reading there as well, right on her opposite. She couldn't even remember the first time they'd been like this – she supposed it must've happened in first year, when they barely knew anything about each other aside from the fact that she was a Weasley and he a Malfoy and that their parents weren't particularly fond of one another. She'd spared that feud much thought later on, when she grew older and more interested in her parents' history. It only made her want to beat Scorpius more.

He was her biggest opponent, and she was sure she was his too.

Yet that never abstained them from sitting there, at that table, in the middle of the library – together. They hardly ever exchanged a word in this place, unless it was some sort of challenging warning, but still. Together.

As she watched him intently, she found herself becoming rapidly annoyed. The book – classic Russian Muggle literature – he was hanging above was one she knew he'd already read seventeen times (not that she'd counted), and he really was digesting the words with focus. He had a habit of biting his lower lip unconsciously when he was concentrated – she'd noticed somehow, somewhere along the years – and the way his eyes flew from left to right was also kind of a giveaway. Her mouth turned into a scowl at the sight of him... looking like he didn't even care she was there too! Okay, so they usually paid no attention the other's presence here, but this was a different situation. The year was as good as over. They didn't have anything to study for anymore.

She huffed.

Rose Weasley did not like to be ignored.

"So, Malfoy," she broke the silence in a deceptively sweet tone. "You do realize that, no matter how much you study now, you won't get any extra N.E.W.T.'s anymore, don't you?"

If he was startled, he didn't show it. He slowly lifted his head, looking a tad irritated at the mention of his humiliation. She almost grinned in self-satisfaction, when she saw the corners of his lips curling into a trademark smirk.

"You can't turn back time, indeed. Which is why, I presume, you're not out there trying to catch some Snitches?"

She rewarded him with a death glare that would've caused even his grandfather to crawl under the closest rock.

However, he was Scorpius Malfoy, and he didn't go crawling anywhere. He merely kept that aggravating smirk plastered on his aristocratic face, and returned to the oh-so fascinating adventures of Anna Karenin. She'd read that book quite a few times herself, and honestly, the love Anna cherished for Vronsky wasn't that interesting. Okay – so that wasn't exactly fair, as she herself had consumed the eight hundred pages in two days, but come on. She was bored, and itching for conversation. Even if it was with him. Irritated to no end, she opened her mouth again, when –

"Oh, Scorpius! I've been looking for you aaaaaall over the place!"

Oh, no.

Rose vomited inwardly. There was only one girl in this gigantic castle who stretched out her words like that. Unfortunately, the owner of this sugary voice, was none other than Scarlett Rosier. Scarlett Rosier possessed a D-cup (which generally spilled out of her cleavage) and some sort of bleached blonde beauty boys in Hogwarts seemed to find so attractive. Rose supposed it was only fair she had... some talents, since she was utterly lacking in the intelligence department, but she could just not stand the girl.

"Hello, Scarlett," greeted Scorpius, who, by the looks of it, did not share Rose's sentiments.

She ostentatiously flipped her long hair behind her shoulder. "You said you wanted to ask me something?"

Curiosity grew in Rose's throat.

"Well, yes." Was it her imagination or did he just glimpse at her? "I was wondering if maybe you wanted to go to the Graduation Ball with me?"

Rose's jaw dropped to the ground.

"Oh, of course I want to you with you!"

Great. Just shoot me now.

Rose: 1 – Scorpius: 2.


In the Malfoy Manor, the house elves had always prepared the coffee for Scorpius jet black. He'd loved it that way – bitter. No sugar to embellish the taste. When he was feeling dramatic, he compared it to his life, but then again, when it came down to it he had to admit that his life was pretty easy. It was probably more comparable to the coffee at Hogwarts. Served brown with loads of cream. He'd always hated cream, but stirring it right now, he realized he was going to miss it. In some strange, nostalgic, symbolic manner.

He was seventeen, his Hogwarts years were officially coming to an end, and he was going to spend his very last important event here with Scarlett Rosier.

He didn't even like her, to be honest.

Sure, she had a nice chest, she was wanted by seventy-five percent of the males in his year and below, and she was even kind of pretty – in a cheap kind of way... but damn. The girl could hardly speak one sentence without giggling, and if every time she giggled she killed off a brain cell, he guessed he could explain the minimal amount of sense inside her head. He hadn't actually planned to ask her (the initial talk he'd wanted to have with her was about her mother, how she was doing and all that), but it just... happened. He'd been terribly pissed at Rose for obvious reasons, and he knew she hated Scarlett (not that she'd ever told him, but her eyes spat fire whenever she was around, he'd perceived), so he supposed he did it just to spite her.

He didn't know why she minded, but boy, the look on her face was priceless.

Other than the fact that he simply loved to be the best, her getting riled up over it was a fantastic plus. Like last Saturday, when he caught the Snitch in their very last Quidditch game at Hogwarts. He hadn't even needed to look at her to know how completely flustered up she'd be. When she got angry, her cheeks matched the colour of her hair, and her ocean blue eyes seemed to sparkle even brighter than they usually did. He had no idea why he liked this so much, but he assumed that it was because seeing her so affected only added to the thrill of outdoing her.

That, and perhaps the fact that her hoarse voice got even raspier when she yelled, which was kind of sexy. Nothing like the high-pitched screech Scarlett had going on.

Not that he'd ever admit that to either one of them, mind you.

"Thomas! Thomas!"

In a fraction of a second, Scorpius shifted his gaze upwards. He turned around – albeit subtly and nondescriptly, of course – to see who the familiar redhead had called out to. He found her standing rather nearby, next to the Ravenclaw table, with her back turned to him. Her magenta curls were tied into a loose ponytail, which granted him the sight of her slender neck.

"Oh, hi Rose!"

Aha. That Thomas. Thomas the Ravenclaw Prefect. Thomas the I've-Been-Wanting-To-Get-Into-Rose's-Pants-For-Forever-But-I'm-Too-Much-Of-A-Non-Experienced-Wanker-To-Succeed-loser. Rose had never shown exceptional interest in the boy, so Scorpius briefly wondered what she could possibly have to tell him. What would she need him for now anyway? The only thing he was ever good at were, well, academics, and even if she did have a problem (which he considered close to impossible), the exams were over. Scorpius took a sip and waited in anticipation.

"Hey, I was wondering... if maybe you wanted to join me at the Graduation Ball?"

He almost choked on his coffee. Was she bloody serious?

"Sure, Rose. I'm sincerely glad you asked!"

Oh, gag me with a spoon.

Rose: 2 – Scorpius: 2.



Rose had never in her whole life, spent so much time on her appearance. Her girly cousin, Lily Potter, had come over to her dorm with a box of products, books filled with beauty-spells, and a handful of dresses. Three hours later, Rose Weasley didn't even look remotely like herself anymore. Alright – so she did. But that glowing skin that for once didn't scream 'FRECKLED'? That heavy eyeliner and mascara that made her eyes expand to twice their usual size? That tamed hair that was so perfectly cascading down her back instead of being pulled into a nonchalant bun? That curvy figure supported by a navy blue, satin cocktail dress instead of a school uniform or an occasional knitted sweater and low-waist jeans? Those skinny-heeled pumps instead of her comfortable sneakers?

Yeah. Definitely not her.

But, nevertheless, even she had to admit she looked fabulous. And apparently, so thought the rest of her schoolmates, as they all turned their heads when she walked into the Great Hall with Thomas Smith linked to her arm. A bit of a shame he was the one she'd have to share this huge moment with, but oh, well. It had been a stupid, impulsive decision of hers to ask him, triggered by her vexation towards Scorpius and Scarlett, and now she was going to have to face the music.

"We're a bit late, I think," said boy mused. "Everybody's dancing already."

Rose shot a look at the centre of the room. The tables were removed, obviously, and as Thomas had remarked, most of the students were circling around under an impressively charmed ceiling. Instead of the candles that were usually floating up there, a night-like sky was feigned, lit up by glittering, brilliant stars. The staff had certainly done a magnificent job decorating the place, thought Rose in awe. After she'd taken in the furnishing, she let her eyes trail over the swirling audience again.

Where would he be? He was always punctual, hardly ever late. So why couldn't she make him out in the mass?

Shaking her head at her own train of thought, she turned back to her date. "Was that a hidden invitation?"

"Well, I'm not much of a dancer, but if you want to...?"

"I'm not either, but I guess we could give it a shot?"

To say that they both were no dancers, was an understatement. As soon as they walked up to the dance floor, and he slid an arm around her waist, it became clear that neither of them had exceedingly much control over their limbs. About two songs had passed, and if Thomas would step on her toes or hit her knees with his own one more time, Rose decided she'd abandon all of her instilled politeness and leave him standing there alone.

"I'm actually having fun," he suddenly said, smiling at her like an idiot.

She did her very best not to reply with some undoubtedly vicious, sarcastic comment, and desperately raked her brain for a neutral, nice answer which didn't necessarily have to be a lie. But then –

"Mind if I steal your date for a moment?"

That voice.

The hairs on Rose's neck rose as she recognised the smooth drawl she'd unwittingly had been desiring to hear all evening. She froze in Thomas's clumsy arms, which he clearly didn't perceive. He only wore an awkward expression – it was no secret Scorpius Malfoy could be a tad intimidating – and quickly retrieved his grip on her, telling Scorpius it was okay.

Before she knew it, she was scooped from one young man's arms to the ones of another. The first thing that she registered was the heavenly scent washing over her senses , and the second thing was the way he looked.

Scorpius Malfoy was one magnificent Graduate student.

She had to order herself not to gape. She'd always known he was rather of the good-looking kind, but she'd never realized just how perfect the structure of his cheekbones was, or how much his grey eyes seemed to glow , or how soft and pretty his platinum hair looked. He was clad in an obviously expensive black tuxedo, sporting it like he belonged in there.

"Thought you were funny when you asked that loser, didn't you?" He cocked an eyebrow, returning her stare with slightly mocking eyes. His breath tickled her nose, now that she was wearing heels. She'd gotten used to him towering over her – even though she was by no means a small girl herself.

"Terribly," Rose rolled her eyes. "A bit like you and Scarlett, actually. Where is she, by the way?"

He pressed her closer, leading her steps in a manner Thomas hadn't. She presumed he'd learned all that fancy stuff at home, and although she knew this was no fair game, she became a bit ticked off by the fact that he was the better one in this. That is, she would if she wasn't so horribly distracted by the smell of his cologne and the way the light of the stars rolled over his face.

"Don't know, don't care," he shrugged. "And it's only fair, Rose. You got more N.E.W.T.'s than I did."

"Yeah, before which you won our final Quidditch Cup!"

He gave her a dazzling smile. "That was rather splendid, wasn't it?"

While swaying on the music, she wacked his shoulder. "Perhaps. But a week before that, Professor Slughorn, your Head of House, said I was his favourite student, in front of the entire class!"

"Well done, Rose," he said, seemingly unfazed by her physical assault, "but it was me Madame Pince gave a goodbye card to, wasn't it?"

"Blah, blah, blah," Rose sing-songed petulantly. "That was only because you once told her she looked young. And it was a stupid card anyway. At least I made it Seeker a year before you did, and at least I won that prize in Potions in fifth year, and at least I – "

Scorpius eyed the girl in front of him in amusement.

He could only think of one way to shut that babbling mouth of hers up.

" – had a boy singing me a love song one time, and at least I talked myself out of detention every time, and at –"

And what Rose Weasley was about to sputter, no one will ever know.

Because that was the moment Scorpius Malfoy decided to kiss her.

Rose's eyes widened in shock at first, but immediately closed again at the feel of his soft lips on hers. She automatically clasped her hands behind his neck, pulling him even closer. She momentarily lost herself in the overwhelming sensations this brought – the thundering against her chest, the flip-flops in her stomach – when suddenly she realized...

"You bastard!" She cried out, hitting him quite hard on his abs.

Surprised, Scorpius arose from his daze and looked at her warily. "What's wrong?"

"This is so not fair! I wanted to beat you to it! I wanted to be the one initiating it, and –"

"Rose?"

"What?"

And then he kissed her again.

Rose: 2 – Scorpius: 99.

-Feedback is loved. As always.