Author's Note: Nope, this isn't Mercury, nor is this that other ScoRose I write occasionally. I wrote this drabble for one of those Live Journal drabble-writing contest thingies. I liked it (even if the voters didn't). Now, if you've never read any of my stuff before, and you find yourself wondering why the kids are talking about Quidditch, take a look at my story "Scorpius Malfoy Learns Quidditch," and that should explain everything. Now, please enjoy

among velleities and carefully caught regrets

"Oh, you can't possibly be serious, Molly," James Potter said, holding court amongst the younger Burrow cousins in the Hogwarts Library. "He's far too old for you. Do you have any idea what boys his age are after?"

"Probably the same thing you were after when the prefects caught you and Little Miss Seeker in the fifth-floor corridor last week; aiming left-hoop, if the prefects' log is accurate," Rose Weasley piped in.

"Wait, they write -?" James was flummoxed.

"Exactly, James," chimed in Molly. And there's really no need to worry; the Quaffle's not even in the air with this one. He's a nice boy who thinks I'm a nice girl and he wants to accompany me on my year's first Hogsmeade trip. That's all."

"Molly, he's a fifth year," James's voice was rising. "You have no idea what he wants!"

Scorpius Malfoy closed his charms text, and got up from the librarian's desk. The sixth-year Ravenclaw prefect adjusted the clasp on his well-worn cloak, straightened his Prefect's pin, and walked to the table that was creating a ruckus.

"Would you mind please keeping your voices down?" he asked. "Others are trying to study here." He gave Rose a weak smile and slowly walked back to his desk.

James half-heartedly tried to restrain his snicker, and Molly and Lucy were even less inclined to suppress their amusement at what they'd seen pass between Rose and Scorpius. Albus was simply rolling his eyes, while Hugo remained engrossed in his studies on the other side of the table. Apart from a hint of her namesake appearing on her cheeks, Rose remained stoic.

Scorpius understood the arrangement. His family had been impoverished by the War and Reconciliation; he was in no position to ask anything of Rose other than what they had in common: the Ravenclaw prefecture in their year, a love of book-learning and the top marks among sixth-year Ravenclaws. First Year they'd done everything together, third and fourth year they'd studied together, but anymore all they had together were a desk in Charms, a cauldron in Potions, years of regret and more than a few surreptitious glances across their house's table at mealtimes.

Rose desperately wished the conversation would turn back to Molly's date. She wished she didn't feel so trapped in her seat, crushed by her cousins, her family legacy – by the whole bloody Burrow. James, however, was insistent. Head Boy at Hogwarts had been more a coronation than a decision, for he'd been Head Boy amongst the DA's children for years. And if he wanted to discuss Rose and Scorpius, well then that's just what the conversation was going to cover.

"Come on, Rose," he asked. "Tell us what he's like in a broomcloset!"

Rose had had enough. Her cheeks were now bright red. The library table where they sat suddenly became impossibly small. Her heart raced, and her breathing became shallow. She gathered her dignity for one lob against the horde trying to breach her emotional fortifications.

"If you think for one moment that I'd so much as look twice at that swotty pauper, you can hardly think I'm fit to be your cousin, can you?"

As Scorpius gathered his things and left in a hurry, Rose imagined getting out of her seat, calling his name and chasing him down to tell him she hadn't meant what she said (which she hadn't). She imagined telling James exactly who she thought the better man was. She imagined herself anywhere but where she was at that moment; increasingly alone at a table full of her cousins, sitting, mouth agape, a sole tear on her cheek.