A/N: This is a story I began to write a long time ago but never posted. I realized very quickly that the idea I was going to be much longer than what I was willing to commit too so I let it sit. Then Casakitten mentioned I should try Rose/Scorpious and I told her I had and well here it is. For now it's a oneshot because I don't want to start a story just to abandon it. I'm really proud it though and hope you enjoy it too. Thanks
Misunderstanding and Miscommunication
She drummed her fingertips loudly on the table's worn wooden surface. Agitated scowls from a group of 7th years studying a few tables away went unnoticed as Rose watched his gray eyes gaze lazily out the south east library window. She began tapping her foot, more looks from the 7th years. She shifted in her seat in a fruitless attempt to focus her attention on the corrected Herbology assignment before her.
She reread the incorrect sections on the parchment which were pointed out by thick red ink, she glanced up on the circled numbers at the top of the page. The large 85% caused her to clinch her teeth in frustration. Never, had she gotten such an abysmally low score. She was midway through her 5th year and up until the accursed parchment that lay before her the record had been 93%. She referenced the thick text and attempted to discern where she had gone so completely off course. Mid-paragraph she found her focus once again being pulled against her will to the pale figure sitting statuesquely only two tables away. His thick white blond hair was falling in front of his eyes and he made no move to sweep them behind his ear as was his usual habit. When his tongue grazed slowly across his front teeth her annoyance bubbled uncontrollably to the surface. Without conscious thought Rose slammed the book closed and jumped to her feet, scooping up her things without bothering to pack them into her bag she strode purposefully toward the library's thick double doors.
When her stomping feet passed by the object of her distraction without soliciting a comment Rose felt her temper snap and she reversed. Without preamble her Herbology tome slammed onto the table in front of him. He was instantly pulled out of his reverie and his shocked pallid eyes met hers.
"What no snappy comment or snide remark?" Rose's tone was harsh and desperate but despite her abrupt rudeness his response was one of absolute confusion.
"I... I didn't say anything." Scorpius stammered, his eyebrow now raised showing his uncertainty.
"Yes, I believe we've covered that, do try and keep up." Rose leaned forward in a motion that was clearly challenging. She had to force her mind to focus as she caught the first wafts of his cologne.
"I haven't the slightest indication as to what you could possibly be referring to." His voice was bored and his eyes shifted back to the window in an obvious dismissal.
"You have got quite a bit of nerve Malfoy!" She bit her lip as his eyes met hers again. Looking into them it was as though she could see his brain snap in irritation at her.
"I have done nothing what so ever to merit your interrogation OR your tone and I must now insist that you BUGGER OFF!" He leaned forward finally meeting her challenging stance. Their noses were almost touching and Rose felt her heart beat quicken at his nearness. Although his voice was barely above a whisper it carried with it a commanding authority. How dare he dismiss me. She thought. His lack of cooperation only drove rose to further annoyance.
"That's exactly the problem isn't it!" She was practically shouting her words eliciting more angry looks front the studying 7th years. Rose felt a blush creep onto her cheeks. Damn Weasley genes. Rose knew she was like her father in that her every emotion was visible on her face. She rolled her eyes and slide into the empty chair next to him and did her best to adopt his authoritative whisper. "Ever since you've returned from holiday you've been a complete waste of space. You say nothing in any of our classes, your time in the library consists of staring out the window and you merely seem to be going through the motions with your prefect duties. He let out an exaggerated sigh and looked as if he was about to respond but rose's tirade cut off the attempt.
"It's selfish of you. Only four and one half months until the O.W.L.S. and you're sloughing about as if you're some Imperius drone. I demand you put an end to this ridiculous behavior at once." His brow knitted together and he threw his hands in the air as he spoke.
"You're barking! Absolutely none of your bloody business what I do. I could strap on a pair of coconuts if I so felt the inclination and prance about in a grass skirt and it would be no concern of yours." Scorpious crossed his arms in front of his chest in a way. Rose felt her blood begin to boil inside her. No concern of hers?
"You'd be right if perhaps you had started behaving like this much sooner but time is short and we are too far along to even fathom adopting a new system now. You will just have to snap out of what ever it is that's getting your knickers in a twist or we are both in serious danger of failing our O.W.L.S.."
"What system you bleeding nutter?" Emotion resonated for the first time in Scorpius's voice, pure desperation. "Kindly explain what it is you're babbling on about in such hysterics." He crossed his arms in front of his chest. Rose rolled her eyes in exasperation.
"The one in which we try to beat out each other to be the top of our class. Nothing brings out the best quite like a bit of healthy competition and I'm ill equipped to switch rivals this far along." Rose mimicked his stance and folded her own arms across her chest.
"You being an insufferable know-it-all, insistent upon gloating about superior marks for the past four years is not a system."
"Yes, I'm quite sure that smug look of triumph after you bested me on our mid-terms last fall was me being the only one in competition." Rose has expected him to accept defeat after she made that point but instead his face twisted in cold agitation.
"Well after years of constant goading and belittlement in front of all my classmates at the hand of your overactive superiority complex, yes I reveled in that single moment of kicking your freckled arse. If only to make you feel just one fraction of the constant humiliation I've suffered from your inflated ego."
Rose chuckled and cocked a half smile. "Funny, I've always thought of that as the moment things FINALLY became interesting."
"You know what Weasley, you really are crazy? We have never had anything close to healthy competition. We aren't friendly rivals out to see who can get more O.W.L.S.! You are Rose Weasley, crown jewel of the vast Weasley empire made up of an impossibly large brood of cousins and god children and children of close friends the golden trio that you all just grew up together." His voice was a cheery sarcasm at this last sentence and Rose could feel a hard lump forming in the pit of her stomach. "You are so smart and so beautiful and so popular it's actually nauseating to be around you at some points.
"I am Scorpius Malfoy, both my Father and Grandfather were Death Eaters," his tyraid was quickly becoming hysterical. His steely eyes were alive with malice. "thus making me instantly hated by most of the population of Hogwarts, though of course there were a few pureblood lunatics, waiting to accept me with open arms as evil royalty but now they're hacked off I was sorted into Ravenclaw instead. Just because I would prefer to read a good book then plot world domination.
"You and I are not equal in the eyes of anyone at this school. For all intents and purposes I am the scum you wipe off your shoes." Rose felt tears forming in her and all remaining shreds of annoyance were gone. "For the past 4½ years you have made my life an even more miserable living hell then it could have been. All I have ever wanted was to be left alone. I study alone, I eat alone, I go to Hogsmeade alone, the boys in my dorm make damn sure I feel alone every moment I am in their presence. So for you to sit here and tell me you find out interaction "interesting" well it sort of makes me want to punch you in the face. Not the most unique of earthy tortures but hey I'm a simple guy."
Neither of them made to move and an oppressive silence settled over them. Rose attempted to blink back the tears that were clouding her vision, she detested being emotional in front of others. She was in shock, none of what he had said had ever occurred to her and she bit down on her quivering bottom lip as a thousand memories shifted slightly inside her mind and fell into place. His reading a book during every meal, always getting picked last for group work despite having the 2nd highest grade in every subject. Shuffling slowly in Honeydukes, the envious stares at everyone else and their WWW bags, a store which she now realized he'd probably been too fearful to go in. The pit that had begun to form in her stomach when he begun his rant had now settled itself firmly in her throat and she was finding it difficult to form words.
"I'm sorry Scorpius." Rose's aversion to showing him this part of herself was overwhelmed by her need to clarify. She nervously met his gaze as a few of her tears spilled over, cascading down her cheek. She didn't move to stop them. "I had... I had no idea." He broke their gaze as she stammered. He looked down at his open potions book.
"Well now you do." Silence hung again. Rose was fighting between leaving him, just running away from the guilt that she was now encircled in, and putting her arm around him as she would Albus or Lily if they were in distress. She settled on neither and they sat next to each other for several minutes before she found the courage to speak.
"Honestly, I was oblivious. I never meant to make you feel like that." She paused hoping he would look at her, when he didn't she went on. "It's not true though." He glared up at her, his eyes angry at the prospect of her imply he was lying. "I've never thought of you as beneath me." A quick mental image of him beneath her while she moved on top of him flashed through her mind and silently cursed being a hormonal teenager. This was really not the best moment to indulge her inner fantasy. "I have pushed myself everyday to beat you, not because I am better than you, but because you're the only person worth being better than. In an impossibly large brood of cousins and god children and children of close friends the golden trio that you all just grew up together.," As she repeated his words he tentatively looked at her. His eyes a swirling mix of uncertainty and bewilderment. "It's easy to get lost. I've always had to compete to get noticed, in everything. Competition is so natural to me that I failed to realize you weren't competing back. I don't know how to be good at something without being better than someone else."
Another silence hung and as Rose shifted her weight to get up but then Scorpius spoke. "There was never anyone to compete against until I got to Hogwarts. I was privately tutored at home until my letter came. Dad wasn't even sure they were going to let me in because of who he was. No cousins, no friends of the family. The only people who wanted to be close to the Malfoy name were people Father didn't want any where near me. The night before I was to leave for school Father sat me down and told me everything, all the evil things he did. He said he didn't want me sidelined by it. He told me a lot of really horrible things he said and did to your parents. Some of it was truly evil. I've always figured that's why you hated me." He looked as if this confession was difficult for him.
"My parents haven't told me anything." Rose did her best to reassure him she didn't hate him for things that had transpired between her parents. "They pointed you out at Kings Cross our first year and Dad told me to beat you at every subject. When we were both sorted into Ravenclaw I though that he had been challenging me to beat the smart kid. Then in our first day in Charms we both had our hands raise to answer a question and Professor Flitwick called on you." She chuckled as she remember her first encounter with Scorpius. "Good thing too because I didn't have the correct answer, you did. For me, you've always been the kid to beat. I've reviewed every lesson in the book before we have it so that I never have the wrong answer again. I never wanted to humiliate you." She placed her hand tentatively on top of his "You don't need to be so alone if you don't want to be."
"I'm not looking for a pity girlfriend." He pulled his hand out from under her and almost spat the words out in disgust. "I'd rather be humiliated in the classroom then the bedroom."
Rose blushed in mortification. Her response was high pitched and annoyed. "Merlin's pants! I am not whoring myself out to assuage my guilt you prat. I was implying we could be friends."
It was Scorpius's turn to blush. "This is a lot of new information to process. It's difficult to shift my perception of you from the vengeful bitch who hates me for my fathers misdeeds to the overly competitive bitch who sees me as a scholastic rival." She punched him in the arm and he chuckled giving her a half cocked smile. She dead panned her response
"Yes well calling me a whore and a bitch in the space of thirty seconds is surely the best foundation of respect and trust needed for any friendship." She almost ruined it by bursting into a fit of giggles but just as she was about to give in he responded.
"So that's where I've been going wrong all these years. To win over people I just need to be an complete arse. Excellent information to build on in the future." His tone was light his lips curved in a mischievous smile.
"Watch it Malfoy, or I just might have to sick the whole Weasley brood on you." She punched his arm playfully.
"Violent little thing aren't you?" He rubbed his arm where she'd just hit him for the second time. Rose could feel her ears go red again and her response was the only thing she knew, mock em til they cry.
"Oh, did the bitty little girl hurt you?" Her voice teasing but not unkind. She reached her hand out to where she'd hit him and was surprised by how thick and toned his bicep was beneath his crisp white shirt. An image of his well muscled arms wrapped around her waist pulling her tightly into him played in her mind. Her Aunt Ginny had warned her teasingly of the Weasley libido and how it wasn't an accident they were such a big family. She leaned forward and kissed his 'injured' arm. "There all better."
She looked up at him through her thick lashes and was surprised to see his eyes weren't focused on her face. Instead they were locked on the skin beneath her loosened tie and unbuttoned neckline. This wasn't the first time she'd caught a guy checking her out, but it certainly was the first time she felt a thrill of triumph because of it. She stayed like that for a moment, enjoying the feeling of him wanting her for a little longer before she sat up again, still leaning into him slightly.
He looked back down at his open potions book and cleared his throat. "I'm sure that is a St. Mungo approved healing method." Rose laughed. There were a few moments of comfortable pause before Rose reintroduced the topic that had brought her over to him in the first place.
"So why have you been acting like the walking dead since you returned from the holiday?" she chewed on her lower lip nervously. She knew very little about Scorpius and this new camaraderie was untested.
His eyes didn't move from his textbook and it took so long for him to speak that Rose was about to ask again. The air between them grew stifling and thick before he answered
"My father, he uhm... doesn't approve of my career ambitions." His voice had taken on an angry and mocking tone.
"What, he doesn't approve of your undying aspiration to be on the cover of 'Boys with broomsticks'?" Rose's smile widened as his cheeks reddened.
"To him that might actually be a step up, I think he could see some appeal to being worshiped for looks." He grew quite and Rose had to nudge him before he continued. "I want to be a healer."
Rose loud laughed solicited another round of dirty looks form the studying 7th years. "Come off it, you've pulling the mickey out of me right? Who could be disappointed by that?" Scorpius's sighed and Rose realized he was completely serious.
"He thinks it's unbecoming of a wizard of my status to spend his days in servitude to others and 'mucking about in body fluids'." From his tone Rose understood he was admitting a deep dark secret. She didn't say anything for a moment, instead she just looked at him appraisingly. She brushed his hair behind his ear and let her fingertips trail down his neck before they came to rest on his shoulder.
"That's the last way I would choose to describe the self sacrifice and dedication it takes to be a Healer." Rose's voice was uncharacteristically soft, she was a little uncomfortable with the honesty of it. So in true to Rose fashion she had to ruin it. "If you need any help we could always play a little game of healer, I'll let you give me a through looking over if you like." Her insides soared in jubilee as his eyes grew wide and his pale skin flushed with pink. "Oh how cute! You're blushing like a first year. Aw."
"You're going to be kill me before I get to sit the O.W.L's if you keep that up." His cheeks returned to their porcelain paler as Rose shook with laughter.
"That's the spirit, focus back on the O.W.L's! Now, do you accept my challenge to compete for top marks in our year?" Rose simply beamed at the prospect of a true competition.
"You're going to compete with me no matter what my answer is aren't you." Scorpius laughed at her infectious enthusiasm.
"Yes, but it will be much more enjoyable to kick your arse if I knew you were trying your damnedest to best me too." Her right eyebrow raised in a smug fashion.
"What are the terms?" Rose's insides soared in triumph as he asked, signifying he was up for it. She thought for a moment. She was used to high stakes wagers with her family. Because of it Albus had been obligated to steak across the pitch in the middle of the Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff match and she'd been forced to kiss Ian McMillian for 10 seconds in front of a very full great hall in the middle of the Halloween feast. They're were many more on the list of humiliating tasks but those were the best. She wanted something that was good, something public very public. She grinned as her brain caught onto the most public event in the wizarding world.
"The loser has to get on stage at the Victory ball in June and declares to the all in attendance that the winner is the most brilliant and talented being to have ever graced the walls of Hogwarts." Scorpius's bit his lower lip as he considered Rose's proposal. She half anticipated the shy blond to decline, were her terms too much for him? Then, quite unexpectedly, he leaned towards her so his lips were almost touching her ear. When he spoke his voice was a low and sultry whisper.
"I look forward to hearing you declare to the whole of the Wizarding World how much smarter I am then you."