I recently became aware of the whole Rose/Scorpius thing and I must say, I am enthralled. So here's my penny's worth for the Romeo and Juliet of the Wizarding world.
I have NO idea how long this will end up! I'm hoping I'll have the stamina to take make it a fully-fledged saga, but it will take a LOT of encouragement (ie reviews a-plenty)!
Disclaimer: I am poor. JK Rowling is rich. I own nothing but the odd name that you see here and do not recognise, but even then I owe her for the inspiration.
She sits on the opposite side of the table from him, the eerily bright light of the chandelier glinting in his oily black eyes. They're the only people in the room - a room far too big for just the two of them. Or maybe it's far too small? It depends on how you think of that entity, 'them'. The whole world wouldn't be big enough for us, she thinks wryly.
Her parents are on their way. Any second now and they'll be apparating into the hall of the Malfoy mansion. Rose hasn't a clue where Scorpius' own parents are and she doesn't really want to think about it. His mother is haughtily beautiful in an intimidating and awe-inspiring way that makes her feel inadequate and dumpy – she must have some Veela blood in her, otherwise that kind of glowing, transcending beauty just wouldn't be possible. His father petrifies her, the way he sneers at her, mutters words like, 'half blood' and 'filth' as she passes him in the corridors. Her mum told her that she shouldn't listen to foul words like that; that she's more gifted than most in the school inspite of her lack of 'wizarding blood' and besides, those barriers were broken down years ago. It's practically archaic that there are still people in the world with such prejudices.
But Rose still cares. She cares because when Scorpius looks at her, she knows that inspite of whatever else he says or she thinks he might be thinking, he's judging her for her inferiority.
And it breaks her heart.
The first thing Rose's mum ever taught her was that she should never judge a book by its cover. She should give everyone she met at Hogwarts the chance to be her friend and they'd all give her the same one back in return. Her father had snorted at these words and although Hermione Weasley had whacked him over the head with a rolled up copy of The Daily Prophet, later, when they were alone, he'd explained that there were some people you could tell were bad eggs right from the start. Rose didn't know who she should listen to.
Kissing her parents goodbye on Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters, Rose had been very quiet. She sort of wanted to burst into tears, but wasn't sure why. She knew she was sad but it was an elusive sadness, applicable to too much of what she felt. It didn't help that this sadness was mingled with tingling excitement, either. Her brother Hugo was with her and she knew he'd look out for her, not to mention the numbers of other students she knew either already enrolled at Hogwarts or embarking on their first year, like her, but she still felt sad, as if something was coming to an end. There would be no more hazy, golden summers spent at her grandparents' house where she could use magic and pretend it was an accident while her uncle George spurred her on from behind the scenes. She knew that the start of secondary school would bring about the end of a dear, much-loved childhood; not just her own little world but the entire, plentiful clan that made her feel safe and loved and happy would all change as soon as she stepped on that train; James, Albie and Lily she would miss most of all. No more games or adventures with Lorcon and Lysander, her childhood friends - they were both starting Hogwarts the same year as her - she felt bereft; what if they didn't end up in the same house? What if everyone met newer and better friends who replaced her? What if she failed all her classes and was asked to leave?
The thoughts of such things filled her with fear and dread. But the thing she dreaded most was leaving her parents. Her dad; her dear, boisterous, funny, joking, silly dad. The thought of not seeing him everyday made her want to run back home, fling herself onto her bed and weep. And her mum; she could be nagging and tiresome and, worst of all, a little bit of a killjoy sometimes, but she was wise and loving and thoughtful. Rose just didn't know what she would do without them.
One thing that she did know, however, was that it would be a long time until Christmas.
As they boarded the train, Rose ran to a spare compartment, flung her hand baggage down and pressed her face up against the window. Her parents spotted her immediately and ran over to the space on the platform where they could see her best. Rose tried her best to smile in an excited matter but she felt like her face would crack at any moment. The train sped out of the station and before she could even realise it, her mum and dad were two stick figures in a billowing cloud of pearly white steam. She resisted the urge to cry, now realising it was too late to go home.
Little to Rose's knowledge, the secluded compartment she had sought had filled up with familiar faces. Hugo wasn't there, having insensitively run off to find his own, older friends but Lorcon and Lysander had settled themselves opposite whilst her cousin, Albie, was occupying the space beside her.
"When does the trolley come round? I'm starving!" Rose was jolted back to reality at the words of Lysander Scamander, moaning as usual about his stomach.
"How should we know? We've never been here before!" Lorcon berated his twin.
Albie was practically hitting the roof, grinning manically and bouncing up and down in his seat. "Aren't you excited, Rose?"
"Sort of. I thought you were nervous, Albie."
"I dunno … I was, but now we're actually here … I can't wait! 'Sides, mum and dad have gone on about Hogwarts so much, it's got to be good!"
Rose found some comfort in her cousin's words. Her parents had, after all, often ascertained the fact that their school years had been amongst the best of their lives. It couldn't be that scary, could it?
The conversation continued for the rest of the journey and the further they progressed, the more at ease Rose felt. By the time darkness had fallen, she was already quite excited. A prefect was patrolling the carriage and periodically glancing into each compartment to make sure no one was throwing up or hexing younger pupils. Throughout the journey they'd been joined by a couple of other nervous-looking first years; one was a boy, Rufus, who had rather a pompous manner but seemed relatively amicable. The other was a small, frightened looking girl with fair hair and freckles that rivaled Rose's, whose name was Clancy. She was seeking comfort in the form of a silky white rabbit in her lap, which she stroked so frequently and violently that Rose feared its fur would soon start to malt. The group was in conversation, albeit slightly awkward, when a rapping on the window interrupted them; the trolley lady was there for the second time, much to the pleasure of Lysander. Rose took the opportunity to squeeze out of the compartment and take a walk down the carriage in search of the lavatories.
As she had expected, there was a queue. The majority was girls a couple of years older than her, seemingly keen to use the well-lit mirrors that would enable them to look their best for the feast. The queue snaked a few metres down the carriage and Rose was forced to halt outside a compartment with a group of students of mixed ages inside it. One of the youngest was a boy with ash-blond hair, a royal nose and marble complexion. She made the observation that he would have looked like a statue had it not been for the fact that he was gesticulating wildly and she couldn't help but stare at him. He seemed to be describing something intensely and to the rapture of his audience, when he looked up and caught her eye.
It was only for a second, but Rose felt the impact of that look. She held his gaze for the shortest of moments, before hurriedly dropping her eyes, hoping her curtain of auburn hair would mask the blush that crept over her face. She didn't turn around again until she'd finished her business, by which time it seemed that the journey was coming to an end. She darted back to her original carriage and caught up with her friends. Everyone was chattering excitedly about the sorting that was to come and the feast they'd all been awaiting so dearly. Rose kept quiet, her nerves resurfacing until the monitoring prefect came and collected them to leave the train.
They were finally at Hogwarts, but all Rose could think about was the pale boy's intense gaze.
The chandelier is the only source of light in the room. It's unnaturally bright – Rose suspects it has been bewitched – but most of the dining room is still obscured in an inky-blue blackness.
He smiles again, but it's the ghost of a smile. During the time at the table, he hasn't taken his eyes off her once. She takes this moment to really get a look at him, as she often has done before now. He's slouching back in his chair, seemingly totally at ease, but she can tell he's just as tense as she is. His blonde hair is as luminous as ever, but his face is beautifully structured and chiseled, grazed slightly with the stubble of a seventeen year old. It's at this moment, as a thousand moments before, that she wishes he wasn't so handsome. A smirk etches itself on his face again, almost as if he can read her thoughts.
"Where are they?" she asks, breaking the steely silence. When the Malfoys had contacted her parents they'd said they would be there as soon as possible; she has no idea what could be holding them up.
"Who knows." He's a blank canvas, not wanting to say too much. But she knows him better than that: You're my accomplice, his dark eyes tell, and I'm going to bring you right down with me.
This wasn't meant to happen. Rose was good, she was an honest, moral, brave girl. Her parents and her brother had been proud of her; her friends cherished her as a clever, funny, interesting but above all righteous person; someone who stood in Evil's way to make sure that Good won in the end. But she'd bowed down to Evil long before she could ever have realised. The thought made her shiver.
It was supposed to be such a success. How was Rose meant to know how terribly wrong things would have gone?
I've drafted Chapter II so should update soon. PLEEEEEAAAAASE tell me what you think!