Words of Wisdom
I own Nothing
Author's Note: Isn't anyone else a little tired of seeing Rose/Gryffindor, Scorpius/Slytherin? I say damn that, those two really are destined for different houses.
"Slytherin!" Cried the Sorting Hat and Rose Weasley's eyes nearly popped out of her head.
A Slytherin? She was stuck wearing green and silver while her rotten cousins made it into House Gryffindor almost automatically. Her eyes scanned the Gryffindor table and noticed, to her disappointment, nearly every member of her family eligible to attend Hogwarts had a place in House Gryffindor…except her.
It was humiliating! Embarrassing!
Then she noticed the small blonde haired boy sitting on the end with her cousin Albus, smiling and laughing. HE was in Gryffindor? What was it her father said about him? That he came from some sort of crime family, a bunch of crooks and cheats.
Yet he was sitting at the Gryffindor table laughing with her family while she was about to go into the damp, dark Slytherin Dorms. It wasn't fair!
She felt her eyes narrow into vengeful slits.
"Hey, pureblood!" Rose shouted, then when the scrawny blonde boy turned she let him have it. A giant clump of mud…right in his handsome kisser. The other Slytherin laughed and laughed as the young nobleman fell backwards into the dirty puddle and struggled to return to his feet.
The only person who wasn't laughing was Albus who shot his cousin a hard glare, "You shouldn't treat people like that Rose." She just rolled her eyes.
Rose's broom pushed her faster and faster towards ground level until she was in a perfect 180 degree spiral, then at the last second she pulled up on the broom and let a blast of air smash the ground with a might whoosh.
She laughed mischievously as her intended target, a young blonde boy in Gryffindor colors, lost his footing and fell hard on the ground…sending his homework papers and library books flying.
She scowled at the sight of the scrawny blonde boy walking arm in arm with Cynthia Hessen from Ravenclaw. Little tramp was hooking up with that? That foppish little weasel? Annoyed beyond the point of feeling mercy, Rose aimed her wand at the blonde boy's head.
One good hex later and the little blonde boy started breaking out in ugly, nasty hives.
Another year, another lecture from Mom about the proper way to behave. She was sick of it and tuned it out. Instead Rose found her self staring at the end of the train platform where a tall, muscular blonde boy emerged from a fancy black car and kissed his mother good bye. Rose smirked; the Pureblood was filling out okay.
Stupid Cynthia broke up with the blonde kid, what gave her the right to be so picky? Oh well, thought Rose, not like Blondie was short of female admirers. Lots of girls were noticing his new looks. Every female student at Hogwarts was following him around, making puppy dog eyes. Every female student except for Rose.
She didn't care one bit about his perfect smile or handsome face, only someone really desperate would ever be attracted to that.
The worst was watching how her cousins behaved around him: 'Oh you're so noble.' Or 'You're so different from the rest of your rotten family! Give me a hug you Pureblooded goof.'
Rose watched him, walking across the lawn with a gaggle of giggling third year girls following him around and hanging on to every word he said. She wanted to throw up….or make someone else throw up instead. Another wave of the wand and suddenly it was time to watch Mr. Perfect puking his guts out.
The girls screamed…and Rose smiled.
"Need anything else?"
Rose just shook her head 'no' and carefully tucked the bag under her robe. By Salazar, if anyone saw her buying this she'd positively die.
Not that there was anything inherently embarrassing about the book she just purchased, 'Machines of the Muggle World' was an extremely popular book among wizards that practiced 'Muggle Studies'. But if her school friends ever found out who the book was for it would be the end of her fearless reputation.
So she over heard some girls talking about how the blonde kid liked muggle stuff, big deal! So she may have listened intently as they described how the boy loved muggle machines and was planning on ditching his family's sweet pureblood life to go to a muggle science school after he graduated from Hogwarts, so what? It wasn't like she cared or anything. And yes, maybe it was a little silly that she snuck into the records room and looked up the Blonde's birthday so she could buy him a book the next time she went to Hogsmeade.
If Rose was thinking clearly, she might've paused and asked herself: 'Why am I doing this? I hate that kid!' But right now she was more concerned about getting the book into the blonde boy's hands without anyone knowing where it came from.
Real Slytherins don't spy on Gryffindor boys. But then again, real Slytherins don't buy birthday presents for Gryffindor boys, and then wait around to find out how much they liked them. Real Slytherin don't weave listening enchants so they could hear a conversation across a crowded lunch room between her cousin Albus and the perfectly wonderful young boy reading a new book:
"Hey, how's it goin'?"
"Fine, just fine Potter…Did you send me this book yesterday?"
Albus shook his head, "Any good?"
"Nah, rubbish actually." Blondie laughed and tossed the book aside, "It's written by this clueless pureblood wizard who's never seen anything more technologically complex then a steam engine, pathetic really."
They kept talking but Rose wasn't listening anymore. A hazy curtain of red descended across her vision and suddenly the only thing on her mind were the words "Occio Rock!"
The student body was in an uproar over the latest 'Big Evil Dark Wizard' problem and naturally her cousin Albus was the one trying to find a solution. He was always holding some sort of meetings with his little team of wizarding superheroes. What was it they called themselves again? The Marauders? The P.A.? The Stuck Up Prigs with Messianic Delusions? (She thought the last one was the best.).
The strange part was seeing how much their little group relied on Blondie, they seemed to act like he was the only one who knew what he was doing and anytime they had a question about dark wizards or Death Eaters they'd turn to him.
Not that she cared. She didn't care one bit about him. Nope, not in the least.
In fact she was going to spend the rest of her lunch NOT caring about the annoying, rich, privileged, handsome Gryffindor. The whole lunch.
Wait, why was he sitting with Jenny Carver?
The small lobby area outside of Headmaster McGonagall's office was exactly how Draco remembered it. Nothing was different from the days when Albus Dumbledore worked tirelessly to keep a certain young from making the biggest mistake of his life, a battle that would eventually claim poor Albus' life.
It was a bitter sweet memory for Draco. On the one hand, it was heartwarming to know one man could care so much about a very screwed up kid. On the other, none of it would've been necessary if Draco had resisted all that Death-Eater nonsense in the first place. The Second War began and ended on the doorsteps of Malfoy Manor and most of it had been his fault.
Sad memories and guilt mixed into a potent cocktail of regret as Draco settled down onto the small wooden bench nearest the door, waiting his turn to go inside. All of a sudden, he felt very tired and leaned his silver topped cane against the wall beside him. Here in this private moment, Draco released his hold on the carefully crafted persona of a Magical Lord drop just a little until he was nothing more then a father desperately concerned for the safety of his young son.
"What are you, a prince or something?"
Draco suddenly realized he wasn't alone in the room, on the other end of the bench sat a red haired girl with freckles and perfectly pressed set of Slytherin robes. She had this look of defiance in her eye, as if daring him to answer her question or suffer the consequences.
"No, I am a Lord." He returned the girl's defiance with a scowl, and then fired off a verbal shot of her own poison, "What are you supposed to be?"
"A Slytherin." The girl retorted.
There was a silent battle of wills between them for a short moment as each sized the other up in a quiet struggle for social supremacy. It was exhilarating for Draco, who rarely met someone so strong and fearless, even in the halls of the Ministry where the most powerful wizards in the world walked beside him.
In the end they called it a draw and Draco flashed the girl a smile, "You may call me Draco." He said, making it very clear that she should regard it as a privilege that she got to call him by his first name.
Silence descended over the room again as they both searched for something to else to say. But Draco eventually found his curiosity getting the better of him. "What are you in for?"
"I turned a boy into a toad."
"What are you in for?" The girl was genuinely curious and he smiled politely in return.
"My son," He said as he moved down the bench to sit alongside his fellow Slytherin, "Someone's been picking on him."
She nodded "He's must be a Hufflepuff."
"Gryffindor, actually." Draco's voice had a grim edge to it but leaned forward with a smile, "Course I'd be lying if I said I wasn't guilty of ribbing a Gryffindor or two during my day in Slytherin." And they shared a knowing laugh before settling into a polite silence.
"So you were a Slytherin?" She said and Draco nodded in return.
"Just before the Second War," And Draco felt his memories replaying in the theatre of his mind, "I was a bit of a terror actually."
"Ruled the school, eh?"
…mudblood…The right sort of wizard…
"Something like that." He whispered, "Truth is I was dealing with a lot of…things at home at the time."
That was what Draco called a legacy of Dark Wizards and evil. Things. He knew he had nothing to really be embarrassed about, he was a boy during that affair. Most of what had happened was the fault of his wretched parents, not him.
But there was always a slight feeling of shame when ever someone mentioned the days of Voldemort's return. After all, it's never easy remembering what it's like to be a coward.
Draco must've reacted to her inquires more then he realized because Rose's voice was suddenly low and encouraging. "Well you turned out okay," Then caught herself before returning to her old persona, "For a pureblood that is."
That earned a laugh out from Draco, "I take it from your tone that you're not a pureblood?"
"Can't stand 'em." She muttered, "Hate 'em really."
The look on her face was very familiar to Draco Malfoy and he suddenly had the sensation of looking into a mirror then through the past. This girl had a great deal in common with him.
He could see her future, and her past. A lifetime of 'whatevers' or 'I don't cares' until there was nothing more then an unpleasant numbness whenever she had a real feeling, the kind of numbness that would one day swallow all hope and bravery, a numbness that killed dreams and separates a father from his son.
Draco wondered if there was anything he could say to prevent that future, perhaps to push away that numbness from her life.
"Why do you hate purebloods so much?"
He watched the girl blink in confusion. She didn't know, which made a lot of sense. Rose was too young for real hatred. "You're not sure, are you?"
And he could see she her struggle, as if caught in a trap. "Because…I…because!" she said, "They're…they…"
"I'm guessing," They locked eyes and Draco could feel the girl tense up, "that at some point in your life someone told you purebloods were bad and that became your default method of dealing with them."
Her eyes looked downward and he knew he'd hit the target.
"Ever since then, any time you had a feeling that contradicts that opinion; you try to push it away…by hurting someone else."
Rose squirmed uncomfortably in his seat but Draco just kept talking.
"That's what bullies do sometimes," He whispered, still captured in the hallways of his past, "We hurt others because we don't have the courage to deal with our real feelings."
The room got very quiet again and he saw Rose digesting his words with a sad look hanging across her face, "Now tell me about this boy you transformed, what did he do?"
She sighs, "Nothing."
"Then why did you turn him into a frog?"
"Because you secretly admire him? Admire the way others treat him? Admire seeing how much everyone loves him?" Draco felt himself smiling painfully, where was all this wisdom when he needed it? "Maybe even you like him just a little?"
She whispers. "More then a little."
"Oh so it's like that, is it?"
Rose nods and Draco chuckles again. "Star crossed lovers and all that?" Another nod and another chuckle, "Then that's so much worse, you must really want to kill him now."
They laughed together and Draco could see a few bittersweet tears at the edge of Rose's eyes. It must've felt so good to laugh again.
"I beg your pardon, Draco." The stern voice of Headmaster McGonagall put an end to their giggles and Draco watched Rose straighten into her 'toughest girl in school' act. "I must apologize for leaving you here with this…ruffian." It was obvious she was referring to Rose and he suddenly had a flashback to his school years…when McGonnagall started calling him a ruffian too. The ancient woman scowled at Rose with an endless supply of rage. "You may return to class young lady, I will deal with you later."
And with that, Rose was gone.
"And remember, young Master Malfoy," the school nurse said as she handed the wart remover to the still recovering Scorpius Malfoy, "Apply this every time you feel hungry for flies."
"Thank you Mrs. Bower." He said with a pained whisper before limping out of the infirmary and into the hallway. Another terribly awful day in the life of Scorpius Malfoy. Dad was already so disappointed with the fact that he was in the 'wrong house', now the old man was finally going to find out how unpopular his son was.
'Don't disappointment me, Scorpius, you're a Malfoy!'
Scorpius sighed, it just wasn't fair! Why was 'being a Malfoy' so easy for his father and so terribly hard for him? He was just so clumsy and awkward. He made friends fairly easily but made enemies just as quickly. Everybody thought he was some sort of criminal because of his last name and he sometimes worried if perhaps, deep down inside, he really was one.
Why couldn't he be more like his friend Albus? Athletic and strong with a horde of admirers! Why was he always struggling to find his place in the world? The last time Scorpius tried to play quidditch he broke his nose…with his own broom.
Scorpius' thoughts ran wild in his head and his vision narrowed into a darkened tunnel. He was paying so little attention to what was in front of him that he didn't notice the long wire stretching across the hallway until he was already flat on his back staring up at the ceiling.
"Ow." He muttered as he tried to sit up from his prone position. Almost immediately he felt a heavy weight sink on to his chest and breathing became next to impossible.
Rose Weasley was sitting on him.
"Oi, Malfoy! I wanna talk to you." She was smiling; give him a glimpse of that madding smile she always used after a bit of mischief.
"Not now, Rose, I want to go to bed!" Scorpius' eyes scanned the hallway in search of a teacher or even one of Weasley's cousins to defend him against the obviously insane girl sitting on his chest. He found no one.
"Sleep later, you're gonna have a talk with me first."
He struggled underneath her, still weak from his recent transmogrification but Rose held fast and he was pinned to the floor. "Let me go, let me go!"
"Talk first, then I let you go." She took a deep breath and suddenly flashed a happy smile at Scorpius. The sight of so many teeth gave Scorpius the willies. "Why yes," She said almost too thin air, "I would love to go to the ball with you."
"Why thank you for inviting me, Scorpius, it will be perfectly lovely to attend this year's Yule Ball with you."
Scorpius blinked and a sudden realization dawned on him, "Wait, are you asking me to go to a dance? As your date?"
"God you're thick." Rose scowled in return, "No, you're asking me to go to the Ball and I just accepted."
"But I didn't ask you!"
"Yes you did just now."
"NO I DIDN'T YOU MAD BINT!"
"Hey, talk like that is only going to make things awkward when we get to the ball."
His mind reeled as their conversation continued in circles, leaving Scorpius with a sudden and sharp pain at the center of his forehead. "This is giving me a headache."
"Just accept it, you're taking me."
Once again, he tried to push himself off the floor but this time the girl relented and he climbed without grace onto his feet. "I am NOT taking you to the Ball, Rose, I'm not even going to the Ball!" He shouted as he dusted off his robes, "Every time I go to a school function I end up getting-"
"Tormented? Don't worry, I told the Slythies to lay off you for that night." She made a negative motion with her hands and then stepped towards him, into arms length. "It'll be fun, I promise."
"You hate me!"
"Eh, I'm over that."
The pain at the center of his forehead exploded and Scorpius could feel a monsterous migraine turn his skull inside out. This girl was crazy and now he could swear he was going insane right along side her. "You used to pull my hair in potions!"
She shrugged, "Because it was funny."
"You've tormented me for years!"
Another shrug, "Because it was funny."
"You threw a rock at my head!"
No shrug, no she was smiling and stepping closer. "You didn't like the book I bought you." His eyes widened in surprise. She was so close to him now and Scorpius was struggling to remember another reason he should tell this woman to get stuffed.
"I…you…Y-you turned me into a toad!"
"You were having lunch with Jenny Carver."
They were nose to nose and Scorpius found himself reacting automatically to her sweet smelling perfume. "S-she wanted h-help with her O.W.L.s." He was stuttering, why was he stuttering?
"She was trying to get into your pants," Rose scoffed, "Don't tell me you don't notice how the girls follow you around."
"They want me to tutor them."
"Not about girls." And then she closed the distance and kissed him, a light brush of lips. The sweetness of her perfume and the sugary wonders of her lips made his legs go weak. Scorpius had to grab the wall to keep from slipping.
The embrace lasted almost an eternity for Scorpius but still not long enough because when she pulled away he had a sudden urge to pull her back. "I-I'm n-not going to the Ball." His voice was weak this time and a small part of him knew that he really was going to the ball.
"Pick me up at six, wear something nice." Then she was gone, running down the hallway, probably to commit some other act of horrendous mischief on some other poor soul.
Scorpius just shook her head, "Bloody women."