This relationship is built on breakfast.
- The Waitress, Seth Sentry
It wasn't necessarily that Rose Weasley loved mornings- it was more that Rose Weasley loved solitude. And at Hogwarts, the only place you could ever really find solitude was at five thirty in the morning.
Sometimes she's late. Sometimes she can't drag herself out of bed and she gives herself an extra half hour to lay there and stare at the top of her bed. But regardless of how tired she is, she always gets up. She always shuffles down to the Great Hall where the only thing available is tea and a few select breakfast items. She always manages to make it down there.
Before it was because that hour or so where she could sit in silence and drink her tea was the most calming part of her day, and she needed it. Occasionally there were others down there, especially if there was early morning Quidditch practise, but they never lingered, and the other few people would respect the silence, because they wanted it themselves.
Now, it isn't the silence that makes her put one foot in front of the other. Not really. Granted, it has something to do with it. At least that's what she tells herself.
Scorpius Malfoy works best in the morning. It's something about waking up with the sun that invigorates him. It's having the entire day, stretched out before him. Knowing the possibilities are endless. He's never overly tired, never needs more sleep. He practically bounds out of bed, every morning at five thirty.
Whenever he mentions this to his friends they scrunch up their faces as if five thirty in the morning is a curse word. Jason Zabini once asked him if the world looked different at five thirty than it did normally. As if five thirty in the morning was a completely different place, one that only Scorpius could access.
He usually brings his work with him, re-editing essays and checking over questions, making sure everything is right. Everyone always marvels at how his grades are so good, but there isn't really a secret to it- what else can you do at five thirty in the morning, all alone in the Great Hall?
Or at least, almost alone.
Sometimes, he doesn't get any work done.
He's too busy looking at her.
The first time Rose notices Scorpius Malfoy is the second time she ever goes down the Great Hall, desperate for silence. This is in third year.
At that point he was the only person in the Great Hall, besides her. His blonde head was stooped over his work as he sat at the Slytherin table, and when she entered he looked up. She expected him to glare at her. He hated James and Albus with a passion, and would tease Rose whenever the opportunity arose.
Instead, he simply returns to his work.
That was the beginning of their unspoken agreement- in the morning, they weren't rivals. They didn't have to hate each other. They didn't mean anything to each other.
That agreement didn't last very long.
The first time he acknowledges Rose Weasley is in fifth year. He tries to tell himself it isn't just because she grew out of her awkward stage and got sort of kind of really pretty.
Anyway, she walks into the Great Hall and they are the only ones in there and in the few seconds when their eyes lock, instead of looking down and pretending she doesn't exist, he nods at her.
He can't tell what possessed him to do that but she smiles a real genuine smile- a really pretty smile, but he tries not to notice- and then goes to sit down at the Ravenclaw table.
He nods at her the next day, too. And the next.
She smiles at him the next day, too. And the next.
In sixth year, after a year of nods and smiles, he makes the next move.
He walks into the Great Hall before she arrives and instead of making his way to his regular spot at the Slytherin table, he goes and sits down across from where she normally sits at the Ravenclaw table. Then he takes out his homework but he can't concentrate on the words so he ends up staring blankly at the parchment while staring at the door out of the corner of his eye.
When she enters the Great Hall and sees a visitor at her table she falters a bit. Her steps slow but don't quite stop, and she stares at him as if he's a mirage and she's seeing things.
He pretends not to notice her.
After she gets over her initial shock she makes her way to her usual seat and sits down across from him without saying a word.
These are their seats from now on.
Rose Weasley and Scorpius Malfoy speak to each other a total of two times.
The first was when they were working on the same Potions essay and Rose, in a moment of early morning lapse of knowledge, couldn't remember the ingredients of a common love potion. Groggily, she looked up and said, "er, this is a bit of silly question, but what are the ingredients of a love potion?"
Calmly, Scorpius listed the ingredients in a tone of voice which said, quite plainly, that he had memorized these ingredients and could point them out with his eyes closed.
And then he looked up.
Rose Weasley's bright blue eyes gleamed at him as she smiled wide. "Right, I'm an idiot. Thank you."
He wanted to say something. Wanted to tell her that they all forget things, and that in no way, shape or form was Rose Weasley an idiot. But instead he just stared at those eyes, and after a moment she smiled one last smile and tore her gaze away, freeing him from that weird spell.
He wanted to get those eyes on him again, wanted to say or do something that would make her eyes crinkle up and she would laugh and smile and look at him.
Instead he turned back to his essay and stared at her using his peripherals.
The second time, he was working on an essay due that morning and she was just sitting there, staring off into space, sipping her tea. Before he was even half-aware he was doing it, he's speaking to her.
"How do you do it?"
She looked up. "Hmm?"
He wanted to turn around and take his words back, but he's too late. Instead he gestured at her.
"I mean, I get good grades because I work hard during this time. I go over everything during the mornings to make my assignments better. But you rarely do work. You usually just... sit."
She smiled and that upturn of her lips made him smile, too. She shrugged. "I don't know. I guess I just get lucky, maybe? I mean, I'm interested in everything we learn about. That probably helps."
He shook his head. "Which means even when I beat you, I'm not really beating you. Because I go over it and over it but you only do it once."
This time she let out a full grin. "You know, that might be a good theory, except for the fact that you never beat me."
He studied her for a moment, and then he laughed.
She was right. She always is.
Without even being fully aware of it, both of them are counting down.
He realizes about halfway through November that every morning when he wakes up is one morning closer to the time where they will have no more mornings to spend together.
She is acutely aware of the fact as soon as she steps onto the Hogwarts Express on September 1st, at 10:53 in the morning.
She tries to ignore it by determinedly avoiding his gaze. She thinks that maybe if she ignores him during the rest of the day, mornings won't mean quite as much.
He, on the other hand, spends most of his time watching her, trying to get his fill of her before he can't anymore.
Neither of them feels any better.
A week before they graduate, she stops coming down to breakfast. It's her last attempt to make herself stop caring.
He sits at the same spot each day, facing her empty seat at the Ravenclaw table, hoping that that morning she will show up. In class, he works hard to catch her eye, urging her with his glance to come back to breakfast.
She never meets his eye.
On their very last day at Hogwarts, he wakes up earlier than usual. He drags himself downstairs at five o' clock in the morning, taking one last look at the place that had been his home for the past seven years. Then he sits down in his regular seat at the Ravenclaw table and looks across at the Slytherin table, realizing that his happiest memories didn't even take place with his own House.
Thirty two minutes later, someone clatters into the Great Hall, and when he looks up he meets Rose Weasley's eye for the first time in over a month.
She stands there and stares at him and she has a sudden impulse to turn around and flee, but more than anything she wants to walk to that table and never leave.
When she sits down across from him they're still staring at each other. He opens his mouth to say something but nothing comes. From the look of her eyes he thinks she might have been crying but he was never very intuitive about these things and besides, Rose Weasley would never cry over him.
He opens his mouth again but nothing comes out and then she smiles a sad smile and then she laughs, and he laughs too but only because he thinks he might cry. They laugh for a few moments and then gradually they subside until they're sitting there in silence. Their hands on the table are almost touching and he wants to reach out and grab hers and she wants him to but instead they just sit there in silence.
They sit there for two and a half hours, until the Great Hall starts piling up with people, hugging each other and promising letters over the summer. Many Seventh Years are crying, staring teary-eyed at the walls around them, but he keeps looking at her and she keeps looking at him.
Then, Albus Potter shouts out, "Rose!"
And Jason Zabini shouts out, "Scorp!"
Without breaking their two and a half hour staring contest, Scorpius stands up.
"Goodbye, Rose Weasley."
She smiles and he engraves this in his memory, because this is how he wants to remember her. Smiling up at him with her hands placed in front of her on the table, asking him to hold them. In the following years, he will forever regret the fact that he didn't.
"Goodbye, Scorpius Malfoy."
They never speak to each other again.