Author's note: There are those of you out there who are familiar with my Mercury Chronicles stories. This is not one of them. This is a very different Al, Rosie, and Scor. Also of note, the rating on this piece is "M". Allegedly that stands for "mature". There is nothing whatsoever mature about the following. If boys sharing locker-room humor about girls is something you'd rather not read, you're in the wrong fic. That said, please enjoy…

Scorpius Malfoy Learns Quidditch

Dedicated to my friends at the Sober Universe forum.

In the annals of beauty, whenever the next volume is written, I don't think it will be said that Rose Weasley was the most spectacularly beautiful fifth-year in 2022. Ginger hair and freckles, while no longer a combination that induced snickers in passers-by, was hardly a look sought after by the truly fashionable. Her teeth and hair were passed down to her by her mother, and her winter wardrobe consisted of cardigan sweaters with peter-pan collared blouses, calf-length woolen skirts, tights and trainers with ankle socks. And she really only needed a half-dozen sets of this outfit, because she was rarely seen sporting anything other than the school uniform.

Yet to many of us – okay, to me – Rose Weasley was by far the most sought-after girl in our year. When Shakespeare wrote that "Wit beyond measure was man's greatest treasure," he was, without question, portending Rose's birth four hundred years later. She was sharp-witted and acid-tongued, and every target she picked was happy that she did, such was her timing. Having been brought up as the child of two-thirds of the Golden Trio, she had a grace about her that only comes from remarkable self-confidence. She could boldly look each of our professors dead in the eye, disarming them with a smile; all the while turning whatever question they had posed into the beginning of a longer, more theoretical discussion.

Did I mention she was brilliant? Well, I thought so, at least. She didn't have too terribly many friends. Her cousins, save Al, were all in Gryffindor, and she was Ravenclaw. Oh, was she Ravenclaw. She spent every waking moment studying. At meals. During Quidditch matches. I've seen her take textbooks into the loo with her. Al said that her mother would often implore her to take some time for herself; to get to know the other Ravenclaw girls, to maybe – just maybe – actually go to Hogsmeade on a Hogsmeade weekend. They would then squabble for a few moments until Rose decided that time squabbling would be better spent studying.

Rose isn't the reason Al and I became such good friends, mind. I'm not that Slytherin. We hit it off right after the sorting feast first year. We're both sort of a lost-soul type; the kind that makes one good friend and treats everyone else suspiciously. There were six Slytherin boys in our year, and the other four became good friends pretty quickly, too. Called themselves the Snake Brothers. They also became good friends with a bunch of others, both in and outside of Slytherin house. Al and I; not so much. We keep to ourselves, sometimes there's a Ravenclaw or a group of Weasleys that will go with us to the Broomsticks, but pretty much we're our only true friends. At least we were until this past Christmas.

Al invited me back to his parents' vacation home in Mallorca for the hols, you see, and Rose and I were finally away from Hogwarts long enough to get to know each other. Our little duo had become three, as Rose latched on to us quite easily. She and Al had been the best of friends before Hogwarts, but between being sorted into separate houses and Rose's manic study habits, they'd rather lost track of each other. She and I spent many hours just chatting on the beach, watching the sun dip into the Atlantic. Her father gave me quite a good talking-to at one point, but I assured him that there was nothing going on between us.

Which there wasn't – at least not until the Hogwarts Express ride back to Scotland. Al was sitting on one bench in the compartment, Rose and I on the other. We were talking from London to Lancashire before we'd noticed he'd gone. When I did finally notice that, the butterflies in my stomach began to flutter furiously. My face reddened, and I had a devil of a time focusing on our discussion of early Celtic influences on Latin incantations. Then, mid-sentence, Rose stopped talking, which almost never happened. She looked around and looked back at me.

"Right. So we're alone now, are we?"

"Er, it does appear that way, Rose," I answered, trying desperately to maintain a measure of aloofness.

"'Bout bloody time…" and she tenderly grabbed my face with her hands and snogged the daylights out of me. It took all of a half-second for my butterflies to cede ground to my hormones, and we passed from Lancashire to Hadrian's Wall snogging like the schoolchildren we were. And it was at Hadrian's Wall that Al and Hugo barged right into the compartment to let us know it was time to change into our school robes. Had they waited until Glasgow, well…

Anyway, Rose and I became quite the Hogwarts romance that day, and we both took a good bit of stick for coming out of our respective shells so abruptly when we did. Rose now spent nearly as much time in the Slytherin common room as she did the library, and neither of us were particularly shy about our affections. One night after curfew, the Snake Brothers made this quite clear. I was the last one in; red in the face, and sporting a fresh nail scratch along my neck. Fawcett, the prefect and leader of this group, had apparently been chosen as my interrogator.

"Oi, Malfoy. We've got a bit of a bet to settle here. Decker and Noll don't even think you've scored through the left hoop, whereas Simpson and I believe you've tallied left, right and center. So, give it up then, mate, how far's that Weasley bird let you go?"

"I'm sorry," I replied, "We're really not playing Quidditch in our spare time. Besides, it's her dad who's the 'keeper; in their family pick-up games she prefers beater." The four of them shared a laugh at this.

"Funny," Noll interjected, "I'd have thought Potter over there was the better beater." Al flung a scroll from his bed, which Noll dodged with a laugh.

"Easy there, mate, just taking the piss here." Then he turned back to me. "Do you really not get what we're asking?"

No. No I didn't. So rather than replying, I just looked at the four of them blankly. Noll pointedly looked at Al, who was very busy trying very hard to pretend this discussion wasn't happening with him in the room.

"Al, that's just not right, leaving your best mate out like that!"

"Oi, he's been after my cousin since first year, and you want me to talk to him about getting into her pants? It's not my fault she's ignored him until now."

That's when the group's own Lothario, Will Decker, stepped up. He cleared his throat and walked toward our section of the room.

"Now then, Scor. You are familiar, I will assume, with the basic strategies surrounding the game of Quidditch. At its core, the best Quidditch is played by offensive-minded sides. Your chasers and seekers are going to be the ones to win the match for you. Your beaters just give the team something to do in between scoring drives."

"Actually," I interrupted, "many teams will employ rather sophisticated beater strategies throughout the course – "

"Right. You'll just be quiet now. Anyway, as I was saying, you really don't want to spend the whole match just beating. It's about scoring. And you, Mr. Malfoy, are in a match with one Rose Weasley. Your objective is to score – score often and score effectively. Then, when the time is right, you send your seeker out to catch the snitch."

I continued to look blankly back at Decker.

"Sex, Malfoy. We're talking about sex." And that's when the light went on in my head.

"Sex, right… Oh yes. Al the beater, catching the snitch, releasing the seeker. Yes, yes, very good then, I understand." I chuckled nervously, as there had been something very obviously missed in my education. I didn't understand at all.

"You don't understand at all, do you?" Decker asked. I shook my head. "Potter? You want to give this one a go?"

"Will it make you shut the hell up any quicker if I do?" Al asked. "Right, you lot learn him on it, then."

Decker began to pace, then got a look in his eyes as though he'd just found the 13th use for Dragon's Blood

"Alright, Mal-boy," I hated it when they called me that, but I let it go. "What's the easiest hoop to score through?"

"The left one. It's most 'keepers' blind side."

"Right. And what's the hardest hoop to score through?"

"Center."

"Okay, now we're getting somewhere. So, if sex is like Quidditch, it would make sense that your 'keeper is going to have an easier time protecting her center hoop than her left one, right?"

"Of course – it's that way with all 'keepers." Quidditch I knew. The rest of this, not so much.

"So, if you get your hands on her tits, over the clothing, that's the left hoop. Under the clothing, that's the right hoop. Get under her skirt, and that's center. Catching the snitch, well I suspect you get the gist of that."

"Wait wait wait," Simpson called out. "Is that what your mum taught you, Decker?"

"No, it's what yours taught me, Simpleton. Over hols as she was screaming my name and calling me her 'Double Decker'." Decker pantomimed having sex with Simpson's mum from behind, using some very flashy arm movements. Simpson flashed him a rude hand gesture and continued with my education.

"Perhaps half-pint over here thinks you can score just by getting the hands over the blouse. But the way I was taught, you didn't score at all unless you get under her clothing. Left hoop up top. Right hoop is getting to that burning bush of hers."

"Oi! Do you lot mind?!" shouted Al, "that's my bloody cousin you're going on about!" Simpson disregarded the interruption, but lowered his voice.

"So, is it then?" he asked. "Is that bush of hers a-flame? Carpets match the drapes, if you know what I mean?" Simpson winked and eagerly awaited my response. I let him wait a beat or two.

"Oh yes. Yes, it's quite red." The room practically shook with laughter and shouting.

"Arooo!" howled Noll, "Fire in the hole! Arooo!" And that's when the laughter stopped, and the other three just sort of looked at Noll.

"What? Saw it in a film visiting muggle relatives, okay?" There was a bit of silence, and then Fawcett spoke up.

"Right. That's five galleons, lads. He's scored through that center hoop. And that will teach you lot to underestimate nerd-love."

"Bullshit!" answered Decker. "I want proof before believing that Mal-boy over here has seen the outside or inside of any girl's knickers, and especially Rose "Ice Princess" Weasley. Besides, I'm interested to hear how Simpleton thinks one ought to score through the center hoop."

"Ah, the center hoop," Simpson smiled. "I personally prefer that one with a bit of teeth and just the right amount of suction." He tilted his head wistfully, as if recalling some magical evening of his own.

"Right!" Al yelled into the calm. "First of all, anyone who claims to like teeth on their knob has never had a witch's mouth there, so come off it already. Secondly, my father is a very wealthy man, and I'd have no problem whatsoever owling him right now to get however much it would take for you lot to stop talking about my cousin this way." But Decker just couldn't let it go.

"Burning bush you say, Scor?"

That's all he needed. Al jumped up, grabbed his wand, nearly flinging it as he conjured a flock of sparrows, then shouting "Oppugno!" and having the birds attack Decker with abandon.

"Like that one do you? Her mum taught it to me. She's much better at it than I, though; fancy letting her have a go, bastard!"

Fawcett jumped in quickly to restore order.

"Alright. Let's lay off of relatives, shall we, lads? Think there's been quite enough of that for one evening."

"What about Simpleton's mum? She'll feel left out if I don't let you all have a go."

"Give it a rest, peckerhead," answered Simpson, and the evening's entertainment was over.

The next morning, Al was still in a state when Rose came by the Slytherin table to join us for breakfast.

"What's with him?" she asked, innocently enough.

"Oh, he's still cheesed off at the Snake Brothers for, er…" It occurred to me that Rose probably wouldn't appreciate the conversation she had been the focus of the previous evening.

"For what, Scor?"

"Oh, it's nothing Rosie, really." She loved it when I called her Rosie. "The Brothers were telling me about the finer points of Quidditch, is all." Perfect. I could tell her the truth without embarrassing her.

"But why would – Oh. Quidditch, you say?" She got a mischievous gleam in her eye, and for a moment I thought I might have earned myself a spot of trouble with my indiscretion.

"Er, yes. Quiddich, Rosie."

"Oh, I do love playing Quidditch. Shall we play some this afternoon?"

"But it's minus two outside, and it looks like it might snow."

"Oh, we'll be playing indoors, love. I'll be just dying to get my legs around a broom after studying all morning. Think I can use your Firebolt?"

I really couldn't speak much after that, so I just looked at her with my mouth hanging open.

"Let me warn you though," she continued, "I'm a dreadful 'keeper."