Disclaimer: Totally don't own this… at all.


.:Live to Love:.

.x. drink .x.

"A drinking game."

"What?" cried the five other people in the room in a mix of horror and excitement. Rose Weasley sat up on her heels, crossed her arms and looked at James in a disdainful way. The neck of the bottle of firewhiskey in her hand felt cold and alien. She had never gotten drunk before.

James Potter raised an eyebrow at everyone else in the circle. "Are you challenging one of the great James Potter drinking games?"

"Yes," Rose huffed. "This is the dumbest idea ever. And right before a party?"

He nodded. "That's the whole point, dearest cousin."

Albus, who was sitting next to her, just stared down at the bottle in his hands, unsure of what it was doing there and what he should do with it. The firewhiskey had just arrived from Uncle George that day, and James had eagerly found them and passed one out to the five of them: Rose, Albus, Louis, Dominique, and Scorpius Malfoy. The last of the group had been previously uninvited, but had gotten into it when him and Rose were on the way to the Slytherin house party, and James had grabbed Rose's hand and tugged her into the Room of Requirement. They were best friends, and best friends didn't let best friends get kidnapped by crazy cousins.

"I'm all for it," Louis said with a mischievous glint in his eyes.

Dominique, who was a fifth year just like James, shrugged her shoulders. "I'm ready to get smashed."

Scorpius touched Rose's hand lightly, and she whipped her head towards him. He murmured, "C'mon, let's do it."

Her eyes widened. "What? Are you kidding me?" she whispered back.

He rolled his eyes. "No, for once. Let's enjoy ourselves for one night."

Rose sat there with a torn expression on her face. Her and Scorpius had always been two perfect angels, the ones who would become prefects next year and maybe even get Head Boy and Girl and had always saved the first years getting cursed by the seventh years when no one else would. This, which went without speaking, also meant that they wouldn't drink. Let alone play a drinking game.

But it was something they hadn't done before, and Rose always liked trying new things. She started to think that maybe she wouldn't get completely wasted. And maybe, like Scorpius said, she would enjoy herself a little bit more at the party in Slytherin common room later on.

"Okay. Scorpius and I are in." Rose met James's satisfied smirk with a confident glare of her own. If her nose were any higher in the air, it would touch the ceiling.

"If Rose is in," Albus said nervously, "then I'm in." He was constantly trying to adjust his moral compass to point due north, torn between goody-two-shoes Rose and his diabolical brother. But he always seemed to choose what Rose did, and tonight was no exception, even though Rose could tell Albus never expected she'd agree to this one of James's ideas.

James clapped his hands and rubbed them together. "Okay, then. You'll each get a catchphrase from me personally. Anyone from the party is allowed to say it. Okay, got it?"

Everyone nodded his or her head.

James made his way around the circle, whispering in everyone's ears. Rose watched Dom squeal with delight, Louis hang his head in disappointment, and Albus not even flinch as he stared emptily at his bottle, as if he wasn't surprised. When James's words tickled Scorpius's ear, the latter barely contained his annoyance, but eventually just shrugged and sat back easily.

"Okay, Rose," James said with a glint in his eyes that showed he wasn't up to any good.

He leaned in towards her and pressed his lips to her ear. "Yours is 'I love you, Rose,'" he whispered. His hot breath tickled her cheek. "And only Scorpius can say it."

She recoiled away from James to stare at him in awe. But even though his face betrayed no hint of emotion, she knew that his impassiveness was only a mask. I love you, Rose. Why would Scorpius say it, after all? She was going to protest the absurdness of it all, as her family was often inclined to do thanks to Hermione Granger's blood, but suddenly Louis cried, "Wait, we haven't given James one!"

"Louis, don't be a prick," he said with a snort. "I'm James Potter, and I don't need a catchphrase. Drinking games are above me."

Dominique exchanged a quick glance with Louis, and then leaned in towards James. "Oh, you, James Potter, definitely need a catchphrase. I've got that covered, Louis. You four get to the party."

When Rose lagged behind, eager to ask James what he meant by that catchphrase, Scorpius grabbed her hand and tugged her alongside him. "C'mon, Rose. We don't want to be even later than we already are and miss the fun too, do we?"

And so Albus, Louis, Scorpius, and Rose made their way down to the Slytherin common room in the dungeons, each with a bottle of whiskey concealed in their robes. Rose couldn't help but wonder why James had given her such a strange catchphrase. Scorpius would never say that to her. They were best friends, so he wouldn't just outright say tonight, "I love you, Rose." He would never say those words. He would never want to, and he would never have a reason to.

So why was the idea making Rose so uncomfortable?

When they entered the Slytherin common room – with Scorpius's help for the password – the party was in full swing. Teenagers from all houses were climbing on couches, getting drunk, hooking up, and shouting over the din of the crowd and the pulsating music in the background. A ping-pong table was conjured in one corner, and they were playing a common Muggle game called Beirut that Rose had only read about before.

"Wow, Scorpius," Rose said simply. "This is crazy."

And he raised his bottle to his mouth to drink.

When he brought it back down, an expression of distaste was written over his features, but he only smirked and said, "And it's about to get a lot crazier with this little drinking game."

The party progressed as any hormone-infested, drunk-stupor teenage rave would. When anyone said Scorpius's name – which was quite common, since Rose was apt to cry it out when searching for him, and people were constantly greeting him from all houses – he would drink. It wasn't James's greatest invention in terms of creativity, but it was effective. After three hours, he was already completely smashed and couldn't even stand straight. He eventually collapsed on a couch, three-fourths of the whiskey already drunk.

Rose ran into Albus later on in the party. He was leaning on the wall, his bottle clutched in his hand, which was shaking uncontrollably. She noticed that his bottle was one-fourths empty, and made a note irritably that she still hadn't drunk a lick of whiskey – but honestly, had James really expected her to? He must've taken pity on her for being a drinking virgin and given her a command that Scorpius wouldn't say. It was the most plausible reason she could come up with, short of asking James himself. But she hadn't seen him around all night.

"Hey, Al," she said. "What's up?"

"I can't go and join in on the party," he said in a terrified voice. "I don't want to drink anymore!"

"What's your catchphrase?" she asked out of curiosity.

"'James Potter, you're amazing.' It would be like my brother to come up with something like that. I'm scared as he gets more drunk and so does everyone else, it'll become a more popular phrase." He shook his bottle, and then took another drink. His face crinkled in dislike.

"So you're hiding away here until the party's over?" I asked.

"That's the plan. Plus, this whiskey tastes like Merlin's ass."

Rose laughed.

He added, "And at least you're not performing strip teases on the table, wasted out of your mind. 'James Potter, you're such a prick,' is a much more common phrase than mine."

Sure enough, as Rose turned around, she caught sight of Dominique up on the common room table. Her robe was lazily hanging off both of her shoulders, and she was twirling around her platinum blonde hair, no doubt from the Veela blood in her. She was laughing and casting her stupefied eyes around the room, looking for the perfect guy to join her.

He continued, "And James obviously wanted to screw with Louis and gave him, 'Oh, Merlin's old gray beard.' Which drunks are not really prone to utter, in case you were wondering."

Suddenly Albus flicked her bottle, and Rose turned right back around. "You haven't drank anything yet?" he said, astonished. "What's your catchphrase?"

She didn't want to talk about it with Albus because it still made her feel uneasy, so she only shrugged and went, "Something that's never going to be said. James was going easy on me. I'll see you later, okay, Albus?"

And before he could ask another question, she dashed off in her quest to find James.

Although it was kind of hard to. The party was continually filling up with more wizards and witches. And as the night wore on, she was becoming more and more nervous and anxious because she couldn't find James, and she found herself actually not wanting to see Scorpius for the rest of the night, even if she was convinced he would never say her catchphrase. She started to realize that James wasn't as benevolent as he seemed and must have had a hidden motive for her catchphrase, because it was making her feel so many conflicting emotions at once.

Scorpius didn't love her like the phrase implied. They were best friends – peas in a pod, pieces of a puzzle – never meant to be anything more significant or meaningful. It wasn't like they would ever be together, in a relationship or dating or married; there were no romantic feelings between them. Sure, they would occasionally hold each other's hands, and sometimes Rose would jump on his back and he would piggyback her across the school grounds to the Quidditch pitch, and maybe they would lay each other's heads on each other's shoulders when they were tired. But that was what friends did, right?

Her palms were starting to sweat, and she wasn't even drunk. What if there was a possibility that Scorpius did love her, and that James had concocted this plan to get Scorpius to tell her? He had given Scorpius such an easy catchphrase, and maybe on purpose so that Scorpius could get so incredibly drunk that he would say something. Say something that he wanted to. Maybe his lips had been screwed together for so long, and alcohol was the perfect screwdriver.

Rose suddenly felt anger and raging anxiety flare up inside her. She marched around the common room with a new determination until she found James in the middle of the throng, an empty bottle of firewhiskey in his hands. She had learned before that his catchphrase was, "Because I'm James Potter," which he apparently announced quite often.

"James," Rose said, trying to keep an even voice, "why did you give me that catchphrase?"

James, whose eyes were glassed over, went in a dazed voice, "What catchphrase?"

"You know what catchphrase," she hissed. "The one that only Scorpius can say? 'I love you, Rose'?"

"Oh, that." He shrugged.

"Why?"

James's eyes narrowed, and he glared back at Rose. "Not so loud. It hurts my fragile ears."

"Please tell me why you gave me that catchphrase," she said in a strangled voice.

"Because Scorpius obviously does love you. Now excuse me, but I can't deal with your petty little problems anymore, love, because I'm James Potter."

He stopped where he was going and looked down at his firewhiskey bottle. Upon seeing it empty, he shrugged, then brushed past her without another word.

Rose decided to head out and look for Scorpius, but it was all in a daze. James's words were twisting inside her brain, and she knew that even that conversation was a part of James's evil plan. Because it was all eating up Rose inside. She honestly wasn't sure how to deal with it – the noise and commotion of the party, the smell of butterbeer and firewhiskey lingering in the air, and most of all, the news that Scorpius loved her, even if it was only a secondhand admission for a scheming cousin.

She needed to talk to Scorpius.

When she finally found him, he was sprawled out on the same green couch he was when she last saw him. His finger was tracing the cheekbone of a blonde girl who was kneeling beside him, and another brunette was sitting on the back of the couch and leaning down, laughing and giggling. His now-empty firewhiskey bottle was rolling on the floor next to him.

Rose, with the newfound knowledge that he loved her, flinched when his gaze turned to hers. He still had a lazy alcohol-induced smile on his face, but when he saw her, his gaze became focused on hers, and he politely told the blonde to leave.

He doesn't love me, she repeated in her head to calm herself. Everything was becoming way too different for her taste. She never was fond of change, and there was definitely a reason they didn't drink; she knew this was it.

"Here, Rose," he said and patted his lap. Of course he wasn't in his right mind, and even though she was apprehensive, and he wasn't thinking clearly, she tentatively took a seat on his lap. Her legs draped over his, and it felt weird; they were already way out of their comfort zone.

Scorpius just stared at her, his gray eyes probing deep into hers. Her breathing was slowing down. They were just looking at each other, and Rose was waiting. Waiting for when he would say what she had been dreading – and now, she realized, hoping – to hear the whole night.

"You're not drunk," he said.

She shook her head.

"James must've given you a pretty bad catchphrase, huh?" he asked, chuckling.

She couldn't stand it anymore, the small talk and beating around the bush, and she knew that this was James's intention all along. Her catchphrase, he knew, would cause her sober and rational mind to tear itself apart, trying to find reason in it. Her curiosity had gotten the best of her, as she knew James had hoped, and she just couldn't sit there wondering a minute longer.

"Scorpius," she said carefully, "do you love me?"

He looked as if a ton of bricks had hit him. His arms tightened around her, and he tugged her closer to him. Her hands pressed up against his chest, and her legs fell against his, and their lips were inches away from each other, but Rose forced her gaze up to meet his.

His breath tickled her cheeks as he whispered, "Yes. I love you, Rose."

And he pressed his lips to hers.

Maybe she had intended to drink when she heard those words, and maybe she hadn't. But the feel of his lips on hers was electric and invigorating, and she was becoming slowly addicted to it. They fell sideways against the couch, completely and absolutely enveloped in each other. When she eventually opened her eyes, she caught James's eye, and he winked and mouthed, "It's all in the game, love."

And then she finally knew what being drunk was truly like.


A/N: I had written a good portion of this, then suddenly stopped. I revisited it a month ago, finished it, and then abandoned it again. Now I finally finished editing it, and here it is for all of you. :)

In real life, I'm totally against drinking and everything. But inspiration struck for this idea, and although it isn't original or my best piece of writing, I hope you like it. :) Please review! Thanks everyone!