Written in a different style from my usual. Enjoy! :)
Being The Five Times Scorpius Malfoy Didn't Kiss Rose Weasley
(And The One Time He Did)
o n e
Scorpius is scared. He's first year and a Malfoy and he just got himself sorted into bloody Ravenclaw and he's not really sure which hurt him more, the fact that hardly anyone clapped when the Hat shouted out his House—the students were all too busy whispering to each other—or the letter of quiet congratulations he had received from his father, which (he fancies) has an inescapable tone of regret underlying every single line.
He thinks he'll be lucky—wonderfully, miraculously lucky—if he makes any friends at all, because despite his undeniably Malfoy looks, he thrives on companionship. Every single friend he's ever had has gotten over the Malfoy prejudice, but he's afraid that in Hogwarts, things are going to be different. His father had gravely warned him as much.
Maybe that's why it isn't all that surprising that, when the new Ravenclaws are settled in their common room—which is much prettier than Scorpius had ever expected a common room had a right to be—and some kid whose last name is Smith calls him over, he obeys with alacrity.
"We're playing Dare," the Smith kid says, loftily. His nose is so upturned that Scorpius has to repress the urge to snigger, just a little. "Truth and Dare's for girls, but we figure Dare's all right. You up for it, Malfoy?"
He's haughty and condescending and the two other boys with him don't seem much better, but Scorpius is desperate to at least establish a few acquaintances, no matter how unsavory they might be.
"I'm game," he answers.
"You can go first, then," says Smith, smiling nastily.
Why these three arrogant boys called him here is slowly beginning to dawn on him, but he waits to see if he's right.
"See that girl over there?" Smith points out a quiet girl in brown pigtails, sitting at a table with her chin in her hand and a book right underneath her nose. "That's Weasley. I dare you to kiss her."
What he had suspected turned out to be right—they had called him over because they wanted to humiliate this Malfoy who had dared to be sorted into Ravenclaw, and not into Slytherin where he belonged—but what they're making him do is far worse than anything he had thought them capable of. Kissing anyone would have been bad—kissing a Weasley is ten times worse. Everyone knows about their families' silent feud.
But maybe if he does kiss her, he'll impress Smith and his conceited friends sufficiently enough to call them his… friends. It causes him to shudder, but it's better than nothing.
"All right," he says, attempting to mirror Smith's arrogant tone of voice, and he marches off.
He takes a seat beside her, and she turns around and smiles.
"Hello," she says. "Scorpius Malfoy, right?" She sticks out a hand and he takes it, at an extreme loss. She isn't just the Weasley girl all of a sudden; she's a real girl with a real smile and real feelings.
"Right. You're Rose Weasley." And he suddenly remembers that she's the very first of the Weasleys to get sorted into a new House, too, and that she might be lonely.
He rallies more thoughts of being friends with Smith and his cronies and tries to pucker his lips a little, but the thoughts aren't very encouraging, and when he opens his eyes, she's still smiling at him, with absolutely no idea what he's trying to do.
And then he decides that Smith and his friends can stuff it. This girl's a lot nicer than anyone's been to him lately, and instead of trying to kiss her, he stays and talks to her, instead.
And he realizes that he's found a new friend, after all.
t w o
Scorpius is in shock. He sees the Bludger hit her back and he sees her fall off her broom before his brain can register the images. Then the world becomes a confused blur—smeared colors, voices ringing in his ear, Al's panicked face as they speed across the field, and before he knows it, Scorpius is in the Hospital Wing, uncomfortably squashed between the infamous James Potter and his seventh year cousin, Dominique Weasley. It would have been uncomfortable enough without James glaring at "that Malfoy kid" or Dominique staring down her perfect nose at him, perhaps wondering why on earth he's here, but he's Rose's friend, too.
When Madame Pomfrey informs the room at large that Rose is going to be okay, the army of Weasleys trickle out of the room, little by little—he decides that they must have overwhelmed Madame Pomfrey with their amount of red hair, and gotten past the six-visitors-only rule—and soon, it's just he and Albus left.
Albus shakes his head indulgently as they leave. "It's a madhouse, but you've got to love them," he says affectionately, as if he isn't one of the younger cousins as a third year student, but a tolerant mother.
Scorpius acts as if Albus hasn't spoken; he leans over Rose's bed, looking down anxiously. "Why isn't she waking up?"
"She must have hit her head pretty hard" is the cheerful reply.
Rose is still, so still. Scorpius isn't used to it—she's always in motion, even when it's just her eyes rolling or her mouth twitching into a smile. But she's pale and still and Scorpius is very scared for his friend indeed.
Then she opens her eyes and Scorpius is tempted to kiss her in absolute relief, because she's blinking and that's motion enough for him. He's leaning, halfway there, before realizing that girls have cooties—or something to that effect—and even though he can kiss his mum or his sister, if he had one, it might be different if it's Rose. So he stops what he's doing and strokes her hair, instead.
"Ow," she says.
Albus laughs. "The champion of the Ravenclaw game finally speaks."
Scorpius says nothing. He's so relieved that she's all right, and that she's smiling.
t h r e e
Scorpius is confused. They're fifteen with all the uncomfortable feelings and raging hormones that come along with it, and he doesn't know whether she's thinking the same things he is, because when he sees her, he begins noticing things like the way she twirls her pearl earring in its hole when she's thinking, or how her eyes are the color of the sea when it's in the middle of deciding whether to be serene, or stormy.
But he's still not sure, not sure at all, because she's Rose Weasley and he's Scorpius Malfoy and they've become friends despite all expectations, and he's not sure he's ready to deal with anything more.
They're walking along an empty corridor together, on their way to Charms—Albus has just left them to dash off to Transfiguration—when Peeves arrives and begins shouting in their ears.
"Behave, you two looooovers," he sings. "It's Christmastime, not Valentine's Day!"
They know Peeves too well to really pay him any attention, but Scorpius can't help noticing that Rose's ears are red.
"Ooooh, they're not listening, but someone's ears are buurning," crows Peeves, who has apparently noticed Rose's ears, too. "Give her a sting on the lips and it should make it all better, Scorpion!" Before they can say anything, he swats a piece of conveniently placed floating mistletoe in their direction, and then disappears with a sinister wheeeee.
"Great," Scorpius grumbles, trying to hide his discomfiture. "Now he's going to tell the whole school how we're kissing and—"
"Scorpius," Rose interrupts. He stops and looks into her eyes for the first time, really, since Peeves came, and he sees that they're soft, much more like the color of the sky than the sea, now, and much nearer than he expected. She comes nearer, nearer and nearer, and takes a look at the mistletoe floating above their heads, before closing her eyes and pursing her lips.
She's giving him the choice, now—it's all in his hands. He can close the distance—bridge the gap—or he can decide not to—and she would have looked almost comical just frozen there, waiting, if he wasn't so torn.
And then he thinks, I can't do this anymore, and he murmurs, "I'm sorry," before leaving, not quite running, but hurrying away.
He has dreams of unanswered questions, and burning, reproachful eyes the most beautiful shade of blue that night.
Rose doesn't speak to him for weeks, and they don't exchange a single letter over the holidays. But when they come back, she smiles at him and he knows it means that he's forgiven, but there's a restraint to that smile that tells him she isn't going to give him such a chance again.
And he can't help thinking that he's missed the best opportunity of his life.
f o u r
Scorpius is angry. And so is Rose Weasley.
"Get over yourself, Malfoy," she spits, and he's surprised to feel a wrench in his gut as she says that, because she's never called him Malfoy in all the time he's known her, never. It's as if, with that one word, she's nullified their friendship, treating him not as a person, but as a name. As a Malfoy, and not as Scorpius.
"I just don't get why you're going out with him," he growls. "He's a jerk, Rose. You can do better than him."
"You don't know what he's like!" she screams, looking completely demented, and what his father once told him—something about the famous temper of the Granger girl—flits into his mind and is immediately banished as she continues to yell. "He's nice to me and treats me well and was there for me when I needed someone!"
"He's all wrong for you!" He's yelling now, too, even though he promised himself he wouldn't, but he can't stop himself anymore. He can't help thinking that he's fueled more by anger at himself than anything else—he can't stop thinking about how pretty she looks, blazing angry with that color in her cheeks and her bright eyes…
He lets out an internal groan.
"Look, Scorpius," she says, her voice suddenly deceptively soft. "You had your chance, okay? And you blew it. Nothing's going to change that. I'm sorry."
He's more than angry, now, he's furious, but maybe that's because she hit too near the mark. "It's you who needs to get over yourself, Rose," he says, in the same soft tone of voice she used. "I'm only trying to look out for you. But if you won't listen to what I'm trying to say, I'll tell you why he's all wrong for you. I caught him kissing that Parkinson girl yesterday."
The anger has completely drained out of her voice when she whispers, "What?"
Scorpius suddenly feels ashamed. He had threatened the Goldstein bloke, told him not to breathe a word about Parkinson to Rose so she wouldn't get hurt, and now he just went right along and hurt her himself.
"I'm sorry," he says, his voice abruptly full of guilt.
"No… I don't believe you. You're a liar, Scorpius Malfoy," she cries.
He comes close and sees the tears pooling in her eyes, and he's suddenly filled with a strong impulse to kiss her until the tears go away. He's closing his eyes, readying himself for it, when—
Smack! Rose fulfills her mother's third year legacy and then runs out of the empty classroom.
Scorpius tells himself he's outraged she had the nerve to slap him, but he can't muster up the energy anymore.
Rose breaks up with Goldstein the next day, and approaches Scorpius. "I'm sorry" is all she says.
"Me too," he answers.
They make their peace, but for the rest of sixth year, Scorpius simmers with some hidden anger, anger at himself for not being able to hate her and her knowing it.
Because she's right, really. He blew his chance, and it's not coming back.
f i v e
Scorpius is groggy. There's someone banging on the door and everyone in the dormitory is groaning as the shouts grow louder.
"Coming, coming," he grunts, even though he knows no one can really understand his sleep-fuddled tongue, and he wrenches himself out of his warm, warm bed and throws a robe on, shivering in the February air.
He rubs the sleep from his eyes and squints as he opens the door.
She looks terrible—she's in a hastily thrown-on robe, too, and her hair is tumbling down her back, the messiest he's ever seen those shining waves, but that's not what grabs his attention. Her eyes are red and her nose is red, and there's a heartbreaking look in those blue depths; they look more like the ocean than ever, swimming in tears.
"What's wrong?" he asks, alarmed, quickly grabbing hold of her shoulders as she sways. He closes the door behind him.
"Scorpius," she chokes out. "I'm… I'm so sorry, but," she gulps her words furiously, "do you mind if—if—I mean—can I just stay with you, first?"
He's never seen her like this, so out-of-control and obviously broken. He nods and puts a supporting arm around her. "Let's go down to the common room. Come on, Rose…"
He guides her downstairs and settles her into a cerulean couch, builds the fire up with a flick of his wand, and then, hesitantly, sits beside her and puts an arm around her. Unexpectedly, she turns into his chest and begins to sob.
"I'm sorry," she says again, through her tears. "I just… needed to talk to someone… and I had no one to go to…"
"What happened?" he asks, rubbing her back and trying to ignore the jumping in his stomach. Their closeness hasn't disappeared because of the incident in the empty classroom a year ago, but he can feel the cautious barriers they've built breaking, one by one.
"It's my dad," she says softly. "He was attacked by the son of some former Death Eater… Scorpius, I'm so scared…"
He tightens his grip. "How is he? What exactly happened?"
"He… he was in the joke shop, closing up, and when he turned away from the door, there was this kid with a wand pointed at his face and—" She sobs a little harder, then continues. "McGonagall woke us up to tell us, but she said there's no point in us going to St. Mungo's, we can't do anything, and we should just—just go back to our dormitories, but I'm—" She lifts her tearstained face from his soaked robe and says, in the quietest voice imaginable, "I'm so scared, Scorp."
He's horribly frightened for her dad too, if only because it'll break her heart if anything happens to him. "Why didn't you go to Albus?" he asks suddenly, frowning. Albus is her closest cousin, and he must have been with the others when McGonagall told them—he would have expected her to go to him for comfort.
She shakes her head. "I wanted you, Scorp," she says, almost inaudibly.
He feels dazed, but says nothing, holding her tighter.
They stay like that for the whole night, and she murmurs to him how scared she is, how grave McGonagall's face looked, how her dad told her once that he had had to endure one night waiting to know if his dad would survive a snake bite, but she hadn't thought that she would have to do it too, ever. He lets her tell him how much she hates the Mulciber boy, lets her dissolve into tears at intervals, lets her stay silent and reflect. He's there to hold her, offer what little comfort he can, pray that Mr. Weasley's going to be okay, and try his hardest not to realize that he's holding Rose Weasley in his arms and that she wanted him, not Albus.
An owl soars in, interrupting one of their comfortable silences. She takes the roll of parchment with shaky hands, reads and then falls back, laughing and crying at once. Scorpius knows, then, that Mr. Weasley's going to be all right, and that his job is over.
"He's okay, Scorp, he's okay!" she cries joyfully, and she hugs him tight. When she draws back, slowly, her arms still around his neck, Scorpius freezes.
Their faces are close, and now he can see every tear clinging to her eyelashes, and he wonders, is this it? Is it finally going to happen?
But she draws away, folds up the parchment, and places it in a pocket of her robe before standing up and saying, "I… I should be going now."
He nods, crushed and hoping he doesn't look it. She turns her back on him and stumbles towards the girls' staircase, but she whirls around at the last minute and says, "Scorp?"
Her tone of voice, when she answers, is soft and sweet and full of love—just like their first kiss might have been. "Thank you."
She vanishes, and he's silent for an entire minute before going back up to his warm bed, taking the steps two at a time.
k i s s
Scorpius is scared again, as scared as he was in first year when he had the audacity to be sorted into Ravenclaw. He's scared for different reasons, though. Entirely different reasons.
"Lighten up," says Rose playfully, tweaking his ear. "You look like you're about to throw yourself off a building or something."
"I'm thinking about it," he mutters. "It might be better than what I actually have to do."
"It's just my dad," she teases, knowing how mortally afraid Scorpius is of Ron Weasley. "What can he do, really?"
Body bags and chainsaws immediately enter Scorpius' mind, but Rose is smiling at him, and he loses himself, full of love for the bright, funny, beautiful girl he's chosen and who—most wonderfully of all—chose him, too.
"I met your dad," Rose continues blithely, unaware of the all the thoughts in Scorpius' mind, "at that ball, remember? He was perfectly polite. I'm sure, if anything, my dad will try to be as polite as him, if only to be able to say a Malfoy wasn't able to beat him at anything."
"Remember when you told me you loved me?" says Scorpius.
"If you love me, do a better job of trying to distract me, please."
Her eyes light up as an idea strikes her, and all those silly images of Muggles going around with light bulbs over their heads fill his mind when he sees those oceans; he can always tell what she's thinking. She's a transparent book, full of beautiful pages to be read.
"I think I know the perfect distraction," she says wickedly, and she leans forward and kisses him.
Kissing Rose Weasley is something he'd once thought he'd lost forever, but now that he's experienced it, he wonders how he ever debated about whether he wanted to try it or not. She tastes like flowers and joy and chocolate and all the colors of the rainbow—
Someone clears his throat, and Rose's sea-eyes grow wide as she looks over his shoulder.
He turns slowly, knowing who it is, and there stands Ron Weasley, all six feet two inches of him, his ears almost as red as his hair.
"So." That's all he says. And it scares Scorpius more than he's ever been scared of anything in his life.
He swallows. "Good afternoon, Mr. Weasley."