A Cold, Approaching Dawn
"Not now, Weasley," Scorpius muttered as Rose drew closer, her robes whipping in the frosty night air.
What the hell was I thinking? Scorpius thought, torturously. His hands were twisting in his robe pockets as he stormed through the night towards the castle. He was vaguely aware of Professor Longbottom following behind and intensely aware of Rose Weasley racing to catch up with him.
This cannot happen. She cannot happen. It would never end well, not one of her cousins would allow it. Not to mention she probably thinks I'm just something to experiment with…
No, this will not happen.
"Merlin, Scorpius," Rose huffed, catching up to him at last, "wait up!"
Scorpius ignored her dutifully as he pushed through the cold air to the ever-advancing promise of whatever limited warmth the castle would offer.
"You can't go back to just ignoring me!" Rose stated, tugging on his arm. He ignored the sensation. "You can't just snog me like that and—"
"Weasley!" Scorpius hissed, sending a warning glance in her direction as he checked to see if Professor Longbottom had heard.
"Oh, sod Neville!" Rose said, throwing her hands up. "And what's with this Weasley business?" Rose bit her lip as she looked up at him. She looked rather vulnerable for a moment, a look Scorpius knew for sure he had never seen on Rose's face, and his heart crumbled just a bit. He took a deep breath and walked on.
Rose stood standing where he had left her until Neville caught up and Scorpius could hear a whispered, "C'mon Rose." He glanced back to see a confused Rose being tugged up the hill by the elbow, Professor Longbottom supporting her.
Scorpius's heart lurched, but it was good…
It was good, wasn't it?
…he needed time to think and Rose was just a distraction.
A lovely, warm, willing distraction…
Scorpius shook his head free of all Rose centered thoughts, replacing them instead with images of her cousins James and Fred cornering him, threatening him, hexing him… Scorpius shuddered. Those two particular Weasleys were just so creative with their jinxes. And what about Roxanne? She was his dorm mate and had never bothered him before, but surely blood would win out in this instance. Just how much influence does an attractive, popular, seventh-year witch have over the males in her house? Scorpius's chest caved in at the answer to that question.
Dammit Scorpius! Why did you have to go and do something so bloody stupid?
He knew why though, of course he did.
She had just been so lovely, the moonlight filtering though her soft, brown hair, her eyes twinkling in the starlight, her skin glowing softly, and her sighs…
Merlin those sighs!
Just insubstantial breaths between breaths, a small volume of air being pushed through her lips at a slow pace, and yet how exquisite they had sounded as they passed through her lips.
Scorpius grit his teeth as the cold air billowed about him.
He had been unable to stop himself, unwilling. Her lips were wet, and looked so soft. She was nervous, he could tell, but so was he. And when his lips pressed against hers it was unlike anything he had ever felt. He was so unsure as to how to proceed but she took control, as it seemed she always did.
Her mouth opened and Scorpius thought his chest would explode on the spot. She was so warm, so sweet, and he wanted more, yet was totally unsure of how to get it. The only other contact he had was his pinky on hers, the smallest possible amount of skin touching, and yet it grounded Scorpius to the spot, heat raced from his finger to hers. He traced small circles on her skin, wanting to be daring and try for more, wanting to reach for her, grab her…
Yet all he seemed able to do was trace the outline of her damnable little finger.
Scorpius laughed harshly to himself as the outline of the castle loomed above him, dark and foreboding. What new tortures would await him now? How many Weasleys were there anyway? Surely there must be some at least smaller than he.
Scorpius pushed through the heavy wooden doors and stopped to wait for his professor, pacing across the entrance. Professor Longbottom entered first, looking slightly winded, followed by Rose.
She had not donned her hood and so looked deliciously windswept. She was biting her lip, looking everywhere but at Scorpius and Scorpius felt a pang.
But good, this is good. She shouldn't think that we could do that again.
But rather than comfort, that thought merely brought on another, quite more painful, pang to his heart.
"Well," Professor Longbottom broke the earlier morning silence of the Entrance Hall, loosening his robe as he did so. "I trust Mr. Malfoy will escort Miss Weasley back to her Common Room? Yes? Well, then, goodnight to you both."
"But, Professor?" Rose called out quickly to Neville's rapidly retreating back.
"Now Miss Weasley, be nice to the poor boy," he called back over his shoulder as Rose's jaw dropped.
"Be nice to him?" she muttered savagely. "But, wait! Neville!"
"He's gone," Scorpius murmured softly, removing his cloak and slinging it over his arm. "I'll take you to your Common Room."
"I can take myself, thank you very much," she sniffed as she strode past him in the direction of the stairs. He jogged to catch up to her. He knew from experience just how well she did on the school's moving staircases.
"I said I could take myself, Malfoy!" she spat and Scorpius cringed at the malevolent force behind her use of his surname. "In case you can't decipher that, it means I don't want you here!"
But, Merlin, do I want her…
"I did realize it, but Professor Longbottom told me to escort you so—"
"Oh right, the perfect Scorpius Malfoy always does what he is told."
Scorpius laughed. No one had ever thought to insult him by calling him perfect!
"What?" she snapped, turning to face him with a blazing look in her eyes, her hands firmly on her hips.
"N'nothing, sorry," Scorpius stuttered, taking a step back. Rose blew out a breath and looked away.
"Why did you even kiss me anyway?" Rose asked in a voice so small Scorpius almost missed it. She turned from him and removed her robe. Her eyes were cast downwards, her features hidden in shadow, yet Scorpius could identify the hurt that laced her tone.
"I… because I…"
"I don't know."
"Perfect," Rose mumbled, crossing her arms over her chest, her dark cloak hanging over them, before turning back away from him and slowly ascending the stairs.
"Look," Scorpius supplied softly as he ascended the stairs next to her, falling into the railing a bit as the staircase moved, "I'm doing you a favor, both of us a favor, we can pretend this never happened and just go back to ignoring each other, right?"
Rose's spine stiffened and she continued to stare straight ahead. "I see," she said coldly. Scorpius frowned.
What didn't she understand? He had gotten carried away, reaching for things he knew he could never have, and now he was admitting this to her and giving her an out. He wouldn't talk about her behind or back or anything, he just didn't want her cousins making his life even more of a hell.
"So you won't tell your cousins about this then?" he asked as the staircase jolted to a halt, sending Rose careening into the railing with a little gasp. He reached out, ready to steady her and she gripped the front of his shirt tightly and bent her head into him. He spoke a moment later. "It's okay, the stairs have stopped, we can go now."
Rose nodded and released him, stepping onto the solid stone of the hallway floor with shaking hands.
"How do you manage to get on the stairs everyday?" Scorpius asked, shaking his head slightly. Rose's fear of heights seemed ridiculously pronounced for one who was so excellent on the Quidditch pitch.
"Albus usually walks me," she said in a soft voice, her head down as she walked slowly forward, her hands clasped behind her back.
"Well, Albus mostly, but sometimes James, Lily, or Hugo," Rose admitted, her tone low and her eyes downcast.
Scorpius nodded. "Nice to have such a large family."
"Why did you think I would tell them?" she asked suddenly, turning on her heel to face Scorpius. He blinked.
"I don't know, don't you tell them everything?" He searched her features through the moonlight spilling from the surrounding high windows. She looked confused.
"I guess usually, but what makes you think I'd run to tell them all about some bloke who rejects me after a bit of snogging?" She said it all calmly, but she didn't once look at him.
"Rejects you? That's not what I—"
"Well, what do you call it then?"
"I just, umm… I'm sorry, I thought you'd want to—"
"To what? Forget it? Or do you believe I'm in the habit of snogging any old person one day and switching the next? Is that what you think of me?" Rose asked, her voice rising in volume so that Scorpius became afraid she'd wake half the castle.
"What? No, Rose I'm sorry," Scorpius rushed to say, stepping closer to her as he did. She backed up a step and wrapped her arms around her stomach. "It's just, I thought you'd want to avoid me."
Rose's brow crinkled as she regarded him. "Do you want me to avoid you?"
"This isn't about what I want," Scorpius said darkly, clenching his teeth as he regarded the cold stone floor.
"And why not?"
"Because I don't get what I want, not here. Not when everybody knows me and hates me as a son of a Death Eater. A Malfoy, that's all I am to anybody here and unlike everyone else, I don't just get what I want handed to me!" Scorpius took a deep breath and avoided looking at Rose, knowing he'd see the same look of acceptance of his fate that he always saw in everybody he talked to. Somehow he couldn't stand the thought of seeing that look on Rose's face.
"You asked me before what my friends call me? Are you kidding me, Rose? Do you ever see me with any friends? Nobody is friends with me. Nobody even talks to me! I work with Longbottom on the weekends because without that I'd have nothing to do! I'd just sit by myself at the lake or in the library, just like the day First Year when he found me there after Sam Bigby broke my nose." Scorpius stopped suddenly as Rose took a step towards him.
"You shouldn't let anyone tell you you're not good enough for what you want," Rose said, stepping close and looking Scorpius directly in the eye. "No matter what the Sam Bigby's of this school did to you when you were twelve."
"You… you don't understand," Scorpius said meekly, trailing after her as she turned on her heel and walked away. "You're better off just ignoring me like you always have."
"Like I always have," Rose scoffed mockingly. "It wasn't on purpose! I just never noticed you—"
Scorpius laughed roughly. "Then you're the only one, everyone else in this bloody school has had something to say to me!"
"You know what? You are pathetic!" Rose screamed, turning once more on her heel and throwing her robe to the floor. "Is that what people tell you? Because if they do, it's because it's true!"
"No they tell me I'm a murderer's grandson, a torturer's son! They tell me I'm not fit to set foot in this school—"
"Ooh!" Rose growled, stepping closer and pushing Scorpius so that he fell back into the wall. "Well, maybe you're not! Guess what? You're wrong; nobody here gets what they want just handed to them! You have to take it!"
Scorpius stood there staring at her, his jaw tensing and clenching. She was staring right back at him, her chest heaving as she drew breath, her eyes flashing, her mouth set in a hard line.
"I have to take what I want?" Scorpius asked in a low growl, throwing his robe on top of hers. Rose nodded tensely and stood her ground.
"That's what I—"
She didn't have time to finish because Scorpius grabbed her by her upper arms, spun her, and pinned her to the wall. She blinked up at him as he closed in on her. But he faltered as he went to kiss her, placing his lips against the skin of her neck instead. She shuddered underneath him.
"Is this what you want?" she breathed in his ear as he kissed his way up to her earlobe. He didn't trust his voice, so he just kept his lips pressed into her skin, sucking softly. He captured her earlobe between his teeth and bit gently before working his way down her jaw line.
Rose stayed very still, hands splayed against the wall behind her, and Scorpius began to worry that maybe he had pressed his advantage.
"Rose," he murmured, he mouth hovering inches from the hollow of her throat.
"You aren't moving."
"I'm afraid you'll stop."
"Should I?" he asked, grinning against the flesh of her neck, already anticipating her answer. She was trembling under his fingertips.
"Only if you want… Ooh," Rose broke off in a moan as Scorpius's lips pressed back into her throat. "Sod it," she continued in a broken gasp. "Please, please don't stop."
That was all the encouragement Scorpius needed. He laced his fingers into her hair and pressed his mouth to hers. She whimpered against his lips as she opened her mouth to him, inviting him to continue where they left off in the greenhouse.
Scorpius stepped closer in on her, pressing the length of his body against hers, following his instincts as he had not during their detention. Her fingers were trailing up his arms, gliding over the back of his neck, sliding down his chest until she had his shirt twisted up in her fists. Scorpius explored her mouth, savoring the feel and taste of her without hesitation. He nipped at her lips and matched the movement of her tongue with his own. She groaned softly at his actions.
His hands slid out of her hair, her soft, wild hair, and traced the contours of her back. She was lean and fit, muscles covered with petal-soft skin, and Scorpius could feel the tone of her as evidence of her hard work on the Quidditch pitch. And yet she was all girl, soft in the best places and so slight in his arms. He gripped her waist and she shifted closer to him.
She broke from his mouth and trailed her lips to his jaw line, copying his actions from before, as her hands drifted down to his belt. Her fingers tucked behind the leather and she used the leverage to push herself up on her toes, capturing his earlobe as she did. Scorpius's vision swam.
"Hmm?" she murmured, the vibrations from her voice causing her lips to tremble against his skin. Scorpius shivered at the sensation.
"I'm supposed to take you to your dorm," he answered weakly, swallowing with difficulty.
"Are you trying to secure an invitation to my bedroom, Mr. Malfoy?" Rose asked, laughing softly into his neck.
Scorpius stood stock still as Rose chuckled into his skin. "Rose, I didn't—" he started meekly but she cut him off.
"I'm just teasing, Scorpius," she murmured, kissing her way up his jaw line.
"I only meant to do what Professor—"
"Do you always do as you're told?" she interrupted, leaning back to regard him.
"I only very rarely avoid it."
"Then shut up and kiss me already," she ordered, tilting her face back upwards to his and gently gazing into his eyes. Her lips quirked in genuine amusement and her eyes danced in a gentle tease.
Well, I was never one to refuse an order…
Scorpius kissed her, slowly and without hurry. She sighed once more against him and he felt a rush of heat spread from his chest out to his fingertips.
"Mr. Malfoy, what are you doing?" a scandalized, cracked, elderly voice interrupted them like the crack of apparition. "And with Miss… Miss Weasley?" Old McGonagall seemed genuinely shocked, one weathered hand clutching her chest as she stared at her two students. Scorpius looked around and realized that this really didn't look that good. Two crumpled robes thrown over each other on the floor, Rose pressed into the wall, her collar loosed, her buttons undone, not to mention their swollen lips.
"Sorry, Headmistress," Rose interjected, her cheeks flaming but her voice quite steady. "Scorpius was just seeing me back to my dorm after our detention."
"Yes, well, the last time I checked the Gryffindor dormitories were not accessed through a hole in that particular wall, Miss Weasley," McGonagall answered without a pause. "Perhaps Professor Longbottom should have escorted you himself. Make no mistake, I will be doing so next time!"
Next time? What was she on about?
Rose just grinned. "Same time, same place?"
McGonagall frowned. "You have really had too many detentions. Yes, my office, eight o'clock." Rose nodded and looked to Scorpius, who looked back at her in confusion.
"I'm sorry," she stage-whispered, "I just got you your second detention. Tomorrow night, eight o'clock."
Scorpius smiled and shrugged.
Really, detention had not turned out too bad for me so far…
McGongall's forehead creased as she watched Scorpius and Rose with an expression that seemed to be combination of confusion and wonder. "I didn't realize you two were so… friendly with each other," she said, faltering a bit on the word friendly and regarding them as though they should supply some details.
"Scorpius assisted me to the Hospital Wing yesterday…
Was it really only yesterday?
"…and for his troubles we both landed in detention. We talked." Rose shrugged as though to say 'and that was that.' Scorpius just marveled at how collected she sounded, especially in the face of another detention.
Merlin, how many has this girl had?
"I see," McGonagall murmured, looking from Rose to Scorpius with an almost tender expression. "Well, I, that is…" she faltered for the second time, shut her eyes, and leaned heavily on her cane.
How did we not hear her coming when she bangs that thing around all the time?
"Just go before I come to my senses," she said in apparent exasperation, waving Rose and Scorpius down the hall. "But I shall be checking with the Fat Lady! Don't stay out too late!" she called after them as Rose dragged Scorpius by his hand down the hall.
"I thought she said she'd be escorting us? How did you manage that?" he asked, breathless as they took the corner.
"Me?" Rose turned to face him. "I dunno, she's never done that for me before. I think it was because of you."
Scorpius laughed. "And why would old Minnie want to help me out?"
"Minnie?" Rose snorted and then covered her mouth, her cheeks turning pink. "Maybe she's just an old romantic."
"Who gets her thrills seeing students snog?"
"You're awful," Rose giggled.
"Well?" Scorpius prompted, shrugging his shoulders as though to indicate there could be no other possible answer.
"I dunno, do you want to go back and ask her?" Rose teased, twisting around, his hand still in her grip as she pulled him backwards.
"Not on your life," he answered with a laugh, spinning around and capturing her lips with his. She kissed him back, entwining their fingers.
Scorpius broke them apart after only a few short minutes, though long enough it seemed to leave Rose breathless. He rested his forehead against her for a moment before rolling off to the side and leaning into the cold, stone wall of the seventh floor.
"So what now?" he asked tentatively, already worrying about her answer.
"You mean besides jumping into bed?" He blushed at her cheeky double meaning and cleared his throat. "I'm teasing," she reminded him softly. "I know what you meant."
He nodded beside her, the silence in the hallway becoming overbearingly loud as he waited for her to give any sign of what she wanted.
"What do you want?" she asked in a rush and he started. That wasn't at all how this was supposed to happen.
"I know you're not used to telling people what you want, but in this instance I think—"
"Well, what do you want?" he interrupted her, glancing at her sideways as she leaned near him on the wall, puffing out a small breath of air as she did so.
"I want you to be honest with me for a start!" she bit out, frowning at him as she turned to face him. "And with yourself," she mumbled as an after thought. "But actually, what I really want is just to get to know you better."
"Yeah?" Scorpius asked, not quite meeting her eye for fear of finding out that she was teasing him once more, that he really was just a one off snog she snagged in the hallway for a bit of fun.
"You really think I'm just using you here, don't you?" she asked, and there it was again: the amusement back in her tone.
"No," Scorpius said carefully. "At least I hope not, but I'm just not used to—"
"Well you better get used to it, because if you're going to hang around with me—"
"So, then I will be? Hanging around with you, I mean," Scorpius asked in a rush, daring himself to look her in the eye. She bit her lip as she regarded him.
"Don't you want to?"
Don't I want to? This girl was daft, mad… Of course I want to, I've never wanted anything as much as I want this, want her.
"Yes, I want to, very much so." Scorpius spoke with as much care and sincerity as he could, looking Rose right in the eye. She brightened instantly and reached up to peck him on the lips.
"Good," she said, strolling forward and dragging him by the hand. "Now walk me to my dorm, it's getting late."
Scorpius allowed himself to be dragged in a daze as his free hand absently touched his lips, the lips Rose had just kissed.
Merlin was this detention ever worth it!
A/N I've been toying with the idea of making this a novel sized work, as in writing this I really fell in love with Rose's character and see a lot I can do with that. Also, I just love the NextGen, you really can just make everything your own… However, I won't post my pieces until they are complete, and a novel sized work would take some time. So, I'll have to wait and see if the idea fleshes itself out for me or not. As it is, I've completed this story so I thought I'd post for some feedback. I think it can stand pretty well on its' own, no? This story originally came to me as a one-shot and expanded rapidly into the four-chapter story you now have in front of you. Amazing how muses can take hold and grow, isn't it? Hope you all enjoyed! The reviews so far have been just amazing! So supportive! Thank you all! And I would especially like to thank all the readers who came with me from my Victoire/Teddy piece Sometimes It Takes Awhile. Thanks so much for the continued support (Yes, Mousie, this means you!) Cheers!