A/N: This is sort of a new writing style for me, so I apologize for any rough parts! I don't know how long this'll be, but hopefully I'll be able to squeeze it into not more than three/four chapters or so. Review if you like it! (: Rose/Scorpius is so adorable! Basically, this starts when Rose/Scorpius are little first-years.


First Year


He's eleven and he's utterly terrified.

"Come on, it's not like they're going to kill you the moment you step inside or anything," Albus Potter – his supposed best mate – insists, pulling on his hand. Scorpius shakes his head and makes sure his feet remain firmly planted outside the creaky gate of The Burrow. He turns around just in time to see his mother shout, "I'll come pick you up at six!" and Disapparate into thin air.

Panic blossoms inside his chest – he knew he should've just listened to his mother when she said this would be a bad idea. He hadn't even bothered to go to his father for permission – the word "Potter" is something of a taboo word in their household.

"Did... did you tell them I was coming?" Scorpius hates the way his voice comes out in a squeak. Father definitely would've disapproved.

"I've already told you, I want it to be a surprise," Albus rolls his eyes and pushes up his glasses, more out of habit than anything. He vaults effortlessly over the gate and motions for Scorpius to follow. "Scor," he sighs.

Scorpius eyes the gate. It's weathered and beaten and there are plenty of uneven, rough carvings on them. James was here. Hugo wets his bed. RW + SA 4EVA. He looks up at The Burrow. It's nothing like he's ever seen before. The thatched roof has a gigantic hole in it and the walls are patchy. The entire house looks like it's going to topple over at any second. There are chickens clucking along the pathway. Scorpius doesn't think he's ever seen a real live chicken before. He honestly can't decide if he likes or hates The Burrow.

"They know I'm your friend, right? They know I'm alright?" Scorpius' hands moisten at the thought of entering a house where everything from his hair colour to his surname isn't welcome.

"Well, yes," Albus replies after a hesitant pause. He picks at the end of his huge green jumper that has the letters AP on it in lurid orange. "I mean – they know you're my friend. My dad was actually all for it."

He licks his dry lips once and leaps over the fence. Albus gives an excited cheer and hastily leads him up to the house. "Hurry, or the pudding will be gone."

Before he can protest, Albus pushes open the front door and shoves him in first. The smell of warm pie and cinnamon hits him in the face. He splutters in dread and suddenly he finds himself standing in front of a huge crowd of strangers eating a Christmas meal very heartily and noisily.

(This might just be the scariest thing Scorpius has done.)

The laughter and banter dies down as Albus practically screeches, "This is my friend Scorpius!"

The first thing he notices is that about ninety percent of the people in here are red-headed. The second thing he sees is that the dinner table isn't nearly big enough to accommodate everyone in the room, so there are mismatched chairs and tables scattered everywhere throughout the house. There are people sitting on counters and sofas and basically any square inch of free space they can find.

Thirdly, everyone (literally everyone) swivels around to stare. They stop whatever they're doing and just gawk. A middle-aged red-haired man in a horrible maroon jumper starts spluttering on his turkey leg. His eyes flit around in fright and they eventually settle on the tips of his sneakers.

"I invited him over for Christmas," Albus announces happily. He apparently doesn't seem to notice the way some people already seem to recognize his sharply-angled face and white-blond hair.

The silence is agonising and eventually a tall man with features scarily identical to Albus rises from his seat and hurries over.

(He assumes this is the famous Mr. Harry Potter.)

"Welcome!" he greets Scorpius, smiling. "Scorpius, right? Albus told me a lot about you."

He manages a nod and he tucks his hands firmly into his pockets to keep from anyone seeing them shaking violently.

"He never told me you were coming," Mr. Potter fixes Albus with a stern look. Albus shrugs, seemingly oblivious to the unbearable tension in the room. "I wanted it to be a surprise," Albus says. "You're always saying that you'd like to meet him someday, even though Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Ron would probably blow their tops—"

"Why don't you take a seat and, er, get some food?" Mr. Potter hastily gives both of them small pushes on their backs. Albus prances back to his seat and Scorpius keeps close, determined not to look anyone in the eye. He tries his hardest not to bump into anyone along the way, but it's almost impossible. He accidentally stumbles into several people and Scorpius quickly mutters apologies.

Albus settles down in his seat and Scorpius somehow manages to squeeze in beside him on a rickety little chair. His ears are burning. He keeps his head down and doesn't look up again until he hears someone plop something down on his plate.

Scorpius looks up and sees a pretty woman with red hair and laugh lines around her brown eyes smiling at him. "Eat up," She says, gesturing at the steaming pile of mashed potatoes on his plate.

"That's my mum," Albus informs him.

To Scorpius' great relief, the chatter begins to pick up again. He listens intently while Albus does a small introduction for everyone in his family. He recognizes James Potter (bit of an arsehole), Dominique Weasley (best-looking girl he's ever seen, aside from her sister, Victoire) and the Scamander twins (weird blokes, them). The rest he forgets almost as soon as he hears them. Albus eats messily and wipes his mouth on his sleeve. His mother berates him for this and she smiles again at Scorpius' amazed expression when he spoons some mashed potatoes into his hungry mouth. Undoubtedly the best he's ever tasted.

Christmas lunch lasts for another hour, and after Scorpius is done stuffing himself he sits back in his chair and observes everyone at the table warily. He simply can't wrap his mind around the sheer number of people here. Also, the noise is unbelievable. He's surprised anyone can hear themselves talk at all. People are milling about and the food seems endless. Jelly tarts, apple crumble, treacle fudge, and mince pies (Albus informs him that these are his grandmother's specialty). Spoons and ladles bob around the table in mid-air. An occasional pop signals the opening of a Christmas cracker. It's a far cry from the quiet, formal Christmases he has back home.

Also, everyone is dressed in jumpers. Green ones, yellow ones, red ones, purples ones. He looks down at his own plain white shirt and smiles wryly.

"—you can have a go at one of those Christmas crackers later, my Uncle George makes these wicked ones in his shop. Have you ever been to Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes? It's just about the best place in the world. I'll take you there one day. Uncle George is opening another shop in Hogsmeade so we should be able to visit there when we're in third year—" Albus babbles non-stop and Scorpius tunes him out as he spots a tiny girl with coppery-red hair and warm brown eyes ogling him behind a holey red armchair. She looks a little familiar.

"—and that's my cousin Rose! You remember her, don't you? From school? She's in Gryffindor," Albus leans over and waves at Rose. She purses her lips and steps out from behind the armchair.

"Hullo." She flicks back her hair and Scorpius is momentarily distracted by the fact that her hair looks like its on fire when it catches the light. It looks nice. "It's nice to finally meet Albus' friend." She says, holding her hand out.

Scorpius stares because what kind of eleven-year-old does that? Only stuffy old people want handshakes when they meet people. He ignores the hand and slouches back in his seat. Colour floods her cheeks and her hand drops back to her side. "How very polite of you," she huffs and marches off.

"Don't mind her," Albus reassures Scorpius. "She can get a little high-and-mighty sometimes but she's mostly okay. Want some more nut brittle, Scor? It's wonderfully crunchy."

.-.-.

When lunch is done with, everyone gathers outside The Burrow, with Scorpius reluctantly following. He somehow gets roped into an impromptu game of Quidditch with the rest of the Weasley-Potter clan (he's begun to call them that in his head) by Albus. He can tell by the exasperated looks his older cousins shoot Albus that he's certainly not wanted but Albus absolutely does not take no for an answer.

A small ball of resentment rises in his chest as he's picked last for teams (he goes into Teddy Lupin's team) and he's determined to give it all—even though he's never actually played Seeker before, but he figures it shouldn't be that hard. They play on a small expanse of grass some distance away from The Burrow. He can see the rest of Ottery St. Catchpole from here and he admits to himself that it's a nice place to play Quidditch. Some of the adults gather around on the ground to watch. They get a small melon to act as their Quaffle, and Albus' Aunt Hermione has charmed several apples for Bludgers and a walnut for the Snitch.

Ten minutes later, the struggling walnut is trapped beneath his fingers and everyone is gobsmacked. He touches down on the ground smugly and notices Mr. Potter looking at him with interest. The adults applaud and cheer but the Albus' cousins now have ugly looks on their faces. Albus flies over on his teetering Nimbus and slaps him on the back. Teddy Lupin gives him an approving punch to the shoulder, and Scorpius smiles for the first time since he arrives at The Burrow.

Nine games later (Scorpius catches the Snitch six out of nine times), the opposing team look positively murderous. Scorpius' own team are laughing and hollering in appreciation. Rose Weasley, who's on his team, zips by unsteadily and says, "You're doing an amazing job!"

Scorpius pauses before allowing himself a small grin. "Thanks."

.-.-.

Scorpius is sort of, maybe, having fun with the Weasley-Potter clan as they toss small fireworks at gnomes and watch them squeal because their heads catch on fire. When it's six o' clock, his mother Apparates in and calls for Scorpius. He runs over to her with his pockets brimming full of small toys and candy from Christmas crackers (Albus was right, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes' Christmas crackers were fantastic).

His mother kisses him on the top of his head ("Mum!" he complains). "Did you have good time?" she asks, but her smile is tense and strained.

Scorpius looks back at The Burrow. The party is still going strong.

"It was okay," he shrugs non-committally.

(This is a huge fib. He doesn't think he wants to leave.)

He looks up and sees Mr and Mrs Potter coming over. Mrs Potter has a pink streamer in her hair and she's pink in the face.

"It was wonderful to have your son over, Astoria," Mr Potter smiles tentatively. "He's a very talented Quidditch player." Scorpius flushes at this unexpected compliment.

"Yes, it was a real pleasure. Do come again," Mrs Potter nods and shoots Scorpius a wink.

His mother looks like a deer caught in headlights. "Thank you very much," she bobs her head once and grips his forearm. Scorpius feels the familiar sensation of being squeezed into a small tube as his mother Disapparates with him.

.-.-.

When he's back in school, the first thing Albus does when they're in double Potions together is demand, "Well? Did you like Christmas at my place?"

Scorpius painstakingly copies down a diagram from his copy of Potions for Beginners. He nudges Albus and says, "It was alright, I suppose." He's careful to whisper in an undertone. Professor Slughorn has surprisingly sharp hearing.

Albus is outraged. "Just alright? Christmas with the Potter-Weasley's is always an experience you'll never forget."

"It certainly was an experience I'll never forget," Scorpius snorts. "What were you thinking, announcing me to your family like that? I'm lucky they didn't run me out of the house with pitchforks."

Albus laughs a little and dips his quill into an inkwell. "I don't see what's so unusual about a Potter and a Malfoy being friends, really. I remember how outraged my grandpa was when I told them I was friends with you. My parents are okay with it, though. They kept going on and on about how good you were at Quidditch. Ever thought about trying out for the team next year?"

Scorpius considers this. "I probably will. My dad wants me to, anyway. You?"

"James will take the mickey if I don't at least try," Albus shrugs. "He can't wait until it's me versus him when I make the team. Teddy was captain when he was in his seventh year. You remember Teddy, right?"

Scorpius nods. "Yeah. I like him."

He waits for the ink on his parchment to dry properly (he learned this lesson the hard way a few months ago when he'd ruined a perfectly good Transfiguration essay because the ink was still wet) before turning it over.

"Everyone does. My cousins and I are betting that he'll get married to Victoire in three years or so. You can come to the wedding if you want. Hey, want to come over again? For holidays, I mean. You can come over every Christmas too, if you want," Albus' tongue sticks out in concentration as he carefully jots down Professor Slughorn's notes.

Scorpius raises an eyebrow. "Er – okay. And stick your tongue back in, mate, that looks disgusting," he snorts with laughter as Albus' eyes widen in indignation. Albus opens his mouth to retaliate but a particularly stern look from Slughorn shuts them both up.

.-.-.

The second time he sees her, she's tucked into this small corner of the library, a heavy book propped up on her lap and concentrating so hard she doesn't even notice when Scorpius accidentally stumbles by.

(There's a reason why he's in the library. His latest Potions assignment is killing him and he figured he'd drop by for a bit the next time he had some free time.)

There's a half-finished cup of chocolate by her side and her hair is pinned back. She's tucked her legs up on the chair and Scorpius quickly backs away before she realizes he's there.

A few weeks later, he eventually figures out that that's sort of that Weasley girl's spot. Which is plenty weird, if you ask him, because what kind of eleven year old likes to read?

Scorpius can't wrap his head around it.

.-.-.

It's History of Magic with the Gryffindors and Scorpius is bored to death because Professor Binns? Just about the worst bloody teacher in the world.

Beside him, Albus is already snoring. He's sprawled all over his desk and his glasses are askew. Nearly everyone in the classroom is. Except for one glaring exception.

"Professor Binns!" everyone silently groans as Rose Weasley's hand shoots up in the air for the tenth time that period. "Could you please elaborate more on the Goblin Wars? I'd like to know why Urik the Unclean overthrew his siblings and how he led the Great Goblin Massacre of 1250..."

Scorpius is sitting in the far back, so all he can see is a sliver of that Weasley girl's back. He rolls his eyes slightly when he sees her enthusiastic nodding as Professor Binns drones on.

Morag Zabini, a fellow Slytherin, nudges Scorpius in his side. "What a disgusting little swot," he sneers. "I bet she's the daughter of that Granger woman. My father told me all about her."

He whispers this, careful not to let Albus hear. "I bet she'll want to get top in all exams and be every teacher's pet."

Scorpius feels slightly uncomfortable and shuffles in his seat. "Yeah," he finally says after Morag shoots him a suspicious glare. Because, you know, he's a Malfoy, he's supposed to hate all Weasleys. It's practically in his genetic code.

(That's what everyone says, anyway.)

.-.-.

He decides that he likes Astronomy. It's fun, laying down underneath telescopes and trying to decipher patterns from planets, stars and constellations.

He's sitting a little ways from Rose Weasley (he notices that she doesn't really have a ton of friends) on a warm March night. Professor Sinistra weaves carefully between students and tells everyone to look for Mars.

Scorpius can't help but snicker a little when he sees Warrington Nott – another fellow Slytherin – accidentally-on-purpose bump into her. She jerks forward and yowls in pain when her eye collides painfully with the telescope. Warrington Nott jeers and Albus jumps up from beside Scorpius, his face reddening with anger. "I told you, no picking on my cousins, even if they're Gryffindors!" Albus shouts. He looks positively microscopic next to the huge bulk of Warrington.

Warrington shoves past Albus and lumbers away. Albus rushes over to Rose, who's rubbing her eye. "Sorry about that. Warrington's a bit of a plonker."

For some strange reason, she shoots him this absolutely poisonous glare after she massages her eye. "I'm fine."

Scorpius feels a little uncomfortable.

(He thinks she might have heard him snicker.)

Oh well. She's not his cousin. Nor his friend. He's free to laugh all he wants.

.-.-.

Quidditch quickly becomes his new favourite sport. Only second-years and above get to try out, but Albus tells him his dad got into the team when he was only a first year. He's got his fingers crossed. Madam Saltzman, the Quidditch coach, tells him he's got natural talent. Everyone seems convinced that he's going to make the team next year.

(Including himself.)

.-.-.

He passes all his exams with flying colours.

(Rose Weasley still beats him in every subject, though.)


Second Year


It's the first of September and he nearly misses the Hogwarts Express. He boards it just in time and he finds himself relieved he's going back to school after a rather boring summer back at home at the Malfoy Manor. Albus asked him multiple times to come over to the Potter Manor but his mum absolutely refused.

Most of the compartments are already full and he's looking for Albus (because, you know, he has other Slytherin friends but he prefers Albus). He finally finds him, but he's seated with all his cousins. Their compartment barely looks big enough to contain all of them.

"Scor!" Albus leaps up and grins widely. "Good to see you, mate."

Several others mumble half-hearted hellos. Scorpius really isn't surprised. He sees James Potter and Dominique Weasley (she smiles at him and he blushes a little. She's really pretty, alright? Even if she is a year older than him) and Fred Weasley. The Scamander twins wave dreamily. Rose Weasley is tucked into a far corner.

"Come on, sit down. We were just getting started on a game of Exploding Snap," he says cheerfully. Scorpius thinks Albus is trying much too hard to make Scorpius fit in with his extensive family. He backs out of the compartment, shaking his head. "No, it's alright. I'll just go find another compartment," he disappears down the corridor, sighing a little. He goes into the first empty compartment he can find and settles himself in for a long, lonely train ride.

Five minutes pass, someone knocks raptly on his compartment door. He stands up to open the door and he finds Rose Weasley outside, looking purposeful.

"Yes?" Scorpius raises an eyebrow, nonplussed. "Does Albus want you to tell me something?"

"No," she slips right past him and sits down. Scorpius finds this vaguely confusing. "I just thought you might need some company."

For a moment Scorpius is tempted to say, "I don't need company from a Weasley" accompanied with the famous Malfoy sneer but he doesn't. Instead he shrugs and takes his seat.

(None of this makes sense.)

There's a slight awkward pause as Scorpius stares at her questioningly. Rose leans against the headboards and starts talking about Quidditch. He supposes it's okay thing to talk about.

An hour later, he discovers several things about Rose Weasley:

One, she talks a lot. Like, a lot.

Two, Rose wants to try out for Quidditch this year too.

Three, Rose wants to be the first ever person to take all eighteen subjects for her NEWTs. And she's determined to get Os for all of them. Also, she'd like to be Minister of Magic one day.

When Albus finally shows up at his compartment, he's convinced that Rose Weasley is completely batty and scarily ambitious. She uses big, complex words when she speaks and sometimes she talks way too fast.

But talking to her isn't all that bad, he supposes.

(It's actually sort of nice, but Scorpius will never admit that.)

.-.-.

Quidditch tryouts are held two weeks into school.

Albus and Scorpius show up ten minutes early to the Quidditch Pitch. A tight ball of nervousness coils in his stomach when he sees other players — all of them bigger than him — stretching and doing practice flights around the pitch. Most of the people trying out are third-year or older.

Albus pushes up his spectacles, looking distinctly green.

(Scorpius doesn't feel too good himself, actually.)

The only other second-year is a really tall, scrawny boy named Toby Arlington. He walks over, recognizing them. "Hello. Trying out?" he asks, rubbing his hands over the handle of his worn broomstick.

Scorpius thinks this is a stupid question (what else would he be doing here with a broomstick in his hand?) but nods anyway. "What position?"

"Beater," Toby replies. His brown hair is windswept. "You?"

"Seeker," Scorpius says succinctly.

"Chaser," Albus manages. The three boys nod at each other and wait silently.

The captain, a hard-muscled seventh year named Spartacus Flint wants Chasers to try out first. Albus moves robotically over. Scorpius and Toby watch from the ground as Albus does some spectacular flying and goal-scoring. He can tell by the look on Spartacus Flint's face that he's impressed. The sick feeling in his stomach grows. He doesn't think he'll be able to stand it if Albus makes the team but he doesn't, as selfish as that sounds.

An hour later, all three of the second-years make the team.

(Toby sort of becomes their friend after that.)

.-.-.

Rose passes by him in the fourth-floor corridor one day and she walks over. "Congratulations. I heard."

Scorpius doesn't know how to answer. For one, several of his Slytherin friends are beside him. Morag Zabini looks at him incredulously. "Do you know her?" he asks, not bothering to lower his voice for Rose. Violet Parkinson shoots Rose a particularly ugly glare. Toby Arlington seems curious. Scorpius doesn't have Albus here to back him up now so he just looks straight ahead and says, "No."

Rose flushes and hurries away with her head down. His Slytherin friends roar with laughter.

She doesn't try to talk to him again for the next three months.

(Whatever. It's her fault for assuming they were friends after one measly conversation.)

.-.-.

His first kiss goes like this –

He thinks he might like Nina Carrow. She's nice enough (to him, at least), her eyes are a pretty shade of green and she's the only second-year he knows who already has a substantial chest. This, of course, makes for a huge plus.

They've been talking, he supposes. Mostly she comes on to him and talks about homework or new spells or whatever, and he doesn't push her away, because he's now the envy of all third, second and first year boys everywhere. And that's bloody awesome.

They're walking along the Great Lake on a Saturday morning after breakfast (Nina suggested it) and he notices how extra-glossy and pouty her lips look today. So when she suddenly stops walking and looks up at him through mascara-coated eyelashes (Scorpius thinks she might've learned how to do that from Teen Witch) he leans down and kisses her. Her lips are soft, and she tastes of cherry chapstick and syrup.

He decides he likes it.

(She becomes his girlfriend after that. They might not be the most popular couple, but they're one of the most talked about.)

.-.-.

Toby groans when he finds out that Scorpius is dating Nina Carrow. "You are so bloody lucky," he says. "She's the prettiest girl in our year. I can't believe she agreed to go out with you."

He says this jokingly, and Scorpius smirks (he discovered only recently that girls quite like that) and sprawls all over the green sofas of the Slytherin common room. "Well, some blokes are just irresistible," he stretches himself and gets to work on a DADA assignment. He feels someone poke him in the side and he looks up. Nina approaches, wearing a smile.

"Just wanted to say goodnight, Scor," she says sweetly, and pecks him on the lips. Scorpius smiles when this gets much attention from everyone in the common room. Nina skips away and Toby gives him an admiring glance.

"D'you suppose girls will like me?" Toby questions off-handedly, pursing his lips and looking up at the high vaulted ceiling of their common room. Scorpius gives a laugh and raises an eyebrow.

"Why're you asking me that? I'm not some bloody Agony Aunt."

"Just humour me for a moment, will you?" Toby's cheeks grow red.

"Is there any girl in particular you're talking about?"

"Well... there's one, but she's in Gryffindor, so..." Toby places his hands on the back of his head and kicks his feet up.

"Do I know her?"

Toby blushes further and Scorpius stops himself from rolling his eyes. "Yeah. I really like her."

"Arlington, you're such a sodding girl, you know that?"

Toby throws a punch at his shoulder (and it kind of hurts too. Hey, he's a Beater, alright?) and he looks pretty ticked off. "Forget I asked."

(Scorpius thinks this whole thing is hilarious.)

.-.-.

His first Quidditch match is against Hufflepuff.

The morning of the match, Toby, Albus and Scorpius huddle together at the Slytherin table in the Great Hall for breakfast. Toby is reciting game plans and flight formations, Albus is completely silent, and Scorpius feels like he's going to throw up all over his bowl of cornflakes.

His Quidditch robes feel too big and foreign on him. His new Speedflight 6000 (his father had it sent over the minute he heard his son made the team) is gleaming in the bright sunlight and he should feel excited, but all he can hear now is the huge crowd outside cheering. If he slips up, he'll make a fool of himself in front of the entire student population of Hogwarts.

Then his name is announced and he finds himself up in the air, flying, flying and suddenly all his nerves are gone and the only thing on his mind is finding that Snitch.

Hufflepuff's Seeker is a tiny fifth-year girl. Scorpius' eyes flit around and he flies as high as he can go. He's aware of the commentator screaming, "And it's ten zero to Slytherin!" and adrenaline is pumping through his veins.

He loves this.

He sees Albus score an amazing goal and he cheers silently, still flying about. The Snitch is nowhere to be found.

Five minutes later, he spots a glint of gold somewhere twenty feet below him and he immediately rockets over with his heart somewhere in his throat. Hufflepuff's Seeker quickly follows suit. There's a brief struggle between them for the Snitch. She's not much bigger than him but she's just as fast (maybe faster). Then his fingers finally curl around the desperate Snitch and the game is over.

"Slytherin's Seeker has caught the Snitch and the game is over in fifteen minutes!" the commentator screams and Scorpius touches down. He hollers in delight and is tackled by all members of his team. "Slytherin wins a hundred and eighty to twenty!"

(He decides he loves Quidditch victory parties.)

.-.-.

Albus invites both Toby and Scorpius over for Christmas this year. Scorpius is sort of, maybe, looking forward to Christmas at the Potter-Weasleys.

(What? He had fun last time, okay?)

It takes a lot more convincing than last year for his mother to say yes. "I take it that your father doesn't know?" she sighs as he prepares for Side-Along Apparition.

"You know how he is with the Potters and Weasleys," Scorpius mutters, feeling guilty. "He wouldn't have said yes even if I asked him. It's only for one day, anyway."

When he reaches The Burrow, Toby and Albus are already there, sitting on the fence and waiting for him. Scorpius vaults over the rickety fence. "Merry Christmas!" Toby greets. Scorpius sniggers at his festive Christmas scarf and Albus leads them both into The Burrow.

He likes to think that he's more welcome this year. The Christmas meal Albus' grandmother prepares is impressive. Toby and Scorpius stuff himself silly. Toby is in the middle of munching on some ginger snaps when Rose and one of her friends (Scorpius recognizes her from Hogwarts) hop over to their side of the table to sit and eat. Toby takes one look at them and chokes.

"Merry Christmas," Rose greets, ignoring Toby's desperate wheezes. Albus helpfully pats him on the back. "I hope you don't mind us sitting over here – Uncle George spilled some of that nauseating Portable Swamp stuff all over our chairs." Scorpius can't help but notice that she looks at anywhere but him and he's amazed by her ability to hold a grudge even after three months. She really is batty.

"Of course you can," Toby says far too quickly. Scorpius and Albus both shoot him perplexed glances.

"Oh, this is my friend Caitlyn," Rose gestures towards her companion. She has red cheeks, long straw-blonde hair and she smiles at all of them a little shyly.

"Nice to meet you. Rose invited me over for Christmas," she says, and takes a seat next to Toby. He lets out an audible squeak.

Something clicks in Scorpius' head. He gives Albus a knowing glance and does this obvious nudge-nudge-wink-wink thing that has Toby protesting in horror. Albus' face clears.

"Oh!" Albus says, and lets out a series of titters and guffaws. Toby looks as though he's ready to sink through the floor.

"What?" Rose narrows her eyes, helping herself to some black pudding that Scorpius can't identify. Caitlyn looks politely bewildered at their behaviour.

"Nothing!" Scorpius and Albus chorus. Toby stares a hole through his loaded plate and doesn't look up again until Rose and Caitlyn eventually leave.

"Could you be more obvious?" Toby whines.

"Look who's talking," Scorpius snorts into his pudding.

"Caitlyn, eh?" Albus wrinkles his nose.

"Just shut up," Toby grumbles, running his hands over his brown hair and freckled face. "I hate you two."

Scorpius and Albus laugh themselves stupid.

.-.-.

After a huge Christmas meal, Scorpius joins in the rest of the Weasley-Potter clan for Quidditch. He learns from Albus that this is a sort of tradition of theirs. This time, he's one of the first to be picked for teams (as are Albus and Toby) and he's feeling pretty good about himself. His team wins several games and they eventually stop playing when it gets too dark to see.

Rose Weasley marches up to him the moment he touches down and smiles reluctantly. "You're a really good Quidditch player. And I never did congratulate you on your remarkable victory a few weeks ago, so congratulations."

Scorpius smiles back. "Thanks, Weasley."

"My name is Rose."

"Whatever, Weasley," he throws a grin over his shoulder as he walks away. For some reason, the irate look on her face cheers him up immensely.

.-.-.

He joins the Weasley-Potters on the train ride back to Hogwarts after Christmas Break. They don't protest when Albus tugs him in, and that's good enough for him, even though James Potter still looks sort of wary.

(Exploding Snap is far more fun than he ever realized.)

.-.-.

Two weeks later, he finds out from some reliable sources that Nina Carrow's been sighted kissing some third-year named Neil Bulstrode.

He breaks up with her the day after and wonders why he doesn't feel much when she cries a little.

He finds a new girlfriend a few weeks later.

.-.-.

Scorpius Malfoy is really tired.

In between classes, homework, and Quidditch training, he's barely got any time left to breathe. It's late at night, he's just come back from some brutal Quidditch practice, and he still has this gigantic two foot long Transfiguration essay due tomorrow. Professor McGonagall will skin him alive if he doesn't hand it in. She might be clocking in at a hundred but she still makes students wet their pants.

He's been agonizing over this essay for about half-an-hour (Albus and Toby aren't faring much better). None of the words on his Transfiguration textbook make any sense and his quill has been hovering over his parchment for fifteen minutes. Nothing comes out.

"Bloody hell!" he yells in frustration and he throws his quill away. Toby is already spread-eagled on his back, snoring on the couch. Albus has scrawled one sentence on his parchment. The common room is almost empty and it's nearing eleven. "I'm giving up," Scorpius announces, and trudges upstairs into his dorm to sleep because he can barely keep his eyes open.

The next morning, he oversleeps.

Scorpius skips breakfast completely, and is furiously scribbling out whatever bollocks he can think of for his essay while he's walking in the hallways when someone interrupts him.

"What's wrong?"

He looks up from his ragged parchment and finds Rose Weasley looking at him with a raised eyebrow.

"Nothing," he mumbles. "Why?"

"Your shirt is buttoned all wrong, your tie is haphazard and you look horrible," she says bluntly.

"Thanks a lot," he snaps. "I just had the worst night's sleep ever, I woke up thirty minutes late, I'm bloody hungry because I skipped breakfast and I have this stupid Transfiguration essay due in an hour."

Rose contemplates this for a while and she sighs. "I'll help you with that essay."

Scorpius' eyes nearly bug out of his head. "Really?"

"Yes, just give it," Rose snatches his essay away. "Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration – Discuss," she reads out. "This should be easy enough."

"You're a lifesaver, Weasley," he breathes a sigh of relief and grins widely at her. Rose gives him a martyred expression.

"My name is Rose."

"Whatever, Weasley."

Rose scowls at him before she walks away and Scorpius thinks that her face is the funniest thing he's seen all week.

.-.-.

He finds a neatly copied out essay on his desk in Transfiguration (how did she do that?) exactly an hour later. He laughs when he sees she's also properly marginalized everything and there are footnotes and asterisks everywhere. Seriously, Rose Weasley is absolutely mad.

(He gets an O for the essay.)

.-.-.

They lose the final match against Gryffindor. It was pretty close, to be fair. He'd caught the Snitch but Gryffindor still won anyway.

(Next year Slytherin will take the Cup for sure.)


Third Year


It's one week into his summer holidays and he can't ignore Albus' insistent invitations over to The Burrow any longer. He confronts his father one night during dinner.

Predictably, his father blows it all out of proportion and there's a lot of shouting and arguing (mostly on Scorpius and his father's part—his mother tries to smooth everything over) before the older Malfoy finally settles on a compromise.

"Only for one day a week. And I'm not going anywhere near The Burrow," his father smooths back his hair.

"But Toby gets to stay for a whole month—"

"One day a week," his father repeats in an unmistakable this-conversation-is-over voice.

(It's actually better than what he expected, but Scorpius isn't going to tell his father that.)

.-.-.

The days he spends at The Burrow are, to put it simply, the best summer he's ever had.

Grandma Molly (she insisted Toby and Scorpius call her that) makes them lemonade and bakes delicious apple pie. They play endless games of Quidditch, swim around in the shallow pond at the bottom of the hill, and take turns de-gnoming the garden. James Potter and Fred Weasley join in occasionally, but it's mostly Albus, Toby, Rose, Caitlyn and himself. Mr. Potter talks to him, sometimes. He asks questions about his parents and Scorpius answers them a little uncomfortably. Albus' mother is his favourite, though.

He finds the way Toby blushes uncontrollably around Caitlyn side-splittingly funny. Also, is it just him, or does Rose seem to be paying more attention to Toby than usual?

Weird. Definitely weird.

.-.-.

This is how Scorpius is Rose's first kiss—

It's three weeks till school reopens. They're dipping their toes into the pond and they talk about all sorts of stuff. Scorpius observes the way Rose seems to be trying to inch closer to Toby with every sweep of her toes. Her cheeks go red when his hand accidentally brushes against her thigh. She flicks her hair over her shoulder more often than usual. Then Scorpius realizes he's paying far too much attention to Rose Weasley, and he directs his gaze elsewhere.

Then, Albus starts a game of Truth and Dare and Rose goes first.

"Truth or dare?" Albus asks lazily, trailing his finger over the surface of the pond water.

"Truth," she says predictably, and Scorpius rolls his eyes a little.

"When was your first kiss?" Albus says after a moment of thought.

Rose's freckly face suffuses with a brilliant scarlet. "That—that—" she splutters, eyes darting towards Toby.

Caitlyn brushes her messy blond hair back and sits upright to smile at Rose a little deviously. Rose's red hair is knotted in little braids and there's a small daisy threaded into her hair at the base of her neck. Scorpius thinks summer looks good on her. "Do tell, Rose."

Rose looks like a caged animal. Her head dips down and she mumbles, "I've never been kissed before."

(This interests Scorpius more than it really should.)

"No big deal," Albus shrugs and moves on to Caitlyn. Rose spends the rest of the hour not looking at anyone in the eye.

Later on, when they walk barefoot back to The Burrow, he hangs back a little and pulls on Rose's forearm. "Hey—" she protests and turns towards him.

Scorpius doesn't know why he bows his head kisses her gently on the lips. Maybe it's because he's been sort of collecting kisses from girls (he's had kisses from five girls now). Either way, it's only a kiss. He figures she won't mind too much. Rose goes completely still and she gapes at him when he pulls away a few seconds later.

"What did you do that for?" Rose's face gets even redder and she looks flabbergasted. Scorpius tucks his hands into his pockets and shrugs. Rose's hair looks like it's on fire again.

"Now you won't have to be embarrassed about never being kissed before," he says, as though it should be painfully obvious. Rose's jaw drops.

He turns around to leave. "Later, Weasley."

She replies almost automatically, "My name is Rose."

"Whatever, Weasley."

(He wonders how long they're going to keep doing this Rose/Weasley thing.)

(Her lips taste like lemonade and sunshine.)

.-.-.

He doesn't mention the kiss again for the rest of the summer, and neither does she.

.-.-.

He joins the Potter-Weasley clan again on the train ride to Hogwarts. Fred Weasley's eyebrows are singed off in a game of Exploding Snap and he smirks to himself when he sees how enamoured Toby is with Caitlyn (the bloke's really got it bad).

He decides he's going to do something about it.

After the sorting (Hugo, Roxanne and Louis Weasley all get sorted into Gryffindor), they trudge up to their dormitories. He's sharing a dorm with Albus, Toby and some other weird bloke named Thierry.

When he's certain that Albus and Thierry are asleep (it's always easy to tell with Albus – his snores sound like he's under a Sonorus Charm), he throws one of his pillows at Toby.

"Ow!"

"So what're you going to do about Caitlyn?"

"Sod off," Toby mumbles under his breath, but Scorpius hears it anyway. He tries to laugh as quietly as possible.

"You were mooning all over her all summer, mate," Scorpius grins in the dark. "You're just about as subtle as a swift kick to the groin."

After a pause, Toby replies. "I know you can't see it, but I'm flipping you off right now."

His stomach hurts from the minor hysterics he has after that.

"If you want her so bloody much, do something about it. Talk to her, walk her to classes, do something," Scorpius turns over in his bed. Seriously, he's trying to help a friend out here.

"I don't want her." Toby hisses. "I just like her, okay? Just a little crush, that's all. And I'm working on it."

Scorpius processes this. "You're such a girl."

Toby throws his pillow back at him. "I'm not talking to you anymore."

.-.-.

Albus and Scorpius hatch a plan the very next day. Mostly because they were both bloody tired of seeing Toby making constant googly eyes at her — that kind of shit gets disgusting after a while. Their first ever visit to Hogsmeade is on the first of October, and they're determined to set them up on some kind of a date.

The problem is, they can't seem to figure out how.

"This is girl stuff," Albus groans and leans back in his chair. They'd just spent the last hour and a half in the library trying to come up with some semblance of a plan. "Blokes aren't supposed to deal with this kind of bollocks."

Scorpius privately agrees, but he isn't going to give up now. Besides, it'd be sort of funny to see the look on Toby's face when he finds out he'll have to spend time alone with Caitlyn.

"We need a woman's touch," Albus announces. He looks around the silent library and right on cue, Rose Weasley appears from behind a bookshelf.

"Rosie!" Albus waves her over.

She walks over suspiciously. "What?" she asks, studiously not looking at Scorpius.

(Really, there's no need for awkwardness. It was just a kiss.)

"We're trying to get Toby and Caitlyn together so we need your help. We can't come up with anything."

Rose goes still. Scorpius remembers the way she acted around Toby during the summer and he pays a little more attention to her reaction.

"Toby and Caitlyn?" he can tell she's trying to keep her voice neutral. "Why Toby and Caitlyn?"

"Toby likes Caitlyn," Albus shrugs. "Go figure."

(Scorpius thinks this is a little unfair – Caitlyn's pretty in a wholesome, angelic way).

"Really?" Rose sounds shocked.

"Yeah. Toby couldn't take his eyes off her all summer," Albus taps an empty chair impatiently.

"I hadn't noticed."

(Scorpius thinks Rose is in serious denial.)

"Sorry, I don't think I can help you with this," before Albus can say another word, she hurries out of the library.

"What was that all about?" Albus' brow creases.

Scorpius decides not to tell him.

.-.-.

They eventually give up and just settle on trying to herd both Toby and Caitlyn into the Three Broomsticks. There's an extremely slim chance of it actually succeeding but they're going to attempt it anyway.

Albus, Scorpius and Toby wander around Hogsmeade for a good hour or so (his pockets are full with merchandise from Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes) before they lug Toby into the Three Broomsticks. Scorpius buys them Butterbeers and Albus says something about needing a new quill before dashing off, but really he's going off to search for Caitlyn and Rose. Scorpius distracts Toby with fifteen minutes of inane chatter before he sees Albus lugging Rose and Caitlyn over. Rose is scowling but Caitlyn looks befuddled.

"Fancy seeing you two here," Scorpius greets, and he scoots over to make space for Caitlyn.

"Actually, Albus dragged—"

"Oh, bollocks, I forgot to buy my quill," Albus laughs as convincingly as possible. "Scor, Rose, follow me, won't you?"

"Why?" Rose plants herself firmly beside Caitlyn and glares.

"I need your expertise in, um, selecting quills," Albus says hesitantly. He makes wild gestures behind Toby's head but Rose refuses to budge (or meet Scorpius' eyes).

(He thinks she knows he knows.)

There's a long beat of silence between them before Rose sighs and rises. "Fine," she mutters. Toby starts spluttering and stammering but Albus pushes Rose out the door before she can change her mind.

.-.-.

"So, how was your day?" Albus says the moment Toby climbs through their common room.

Scorpius looks up from his game of Wizarding Chess and grins widely. "Had a good time?"

He completely expects Toby to strangle them but their plan must have gone better than expected because he gives a giddy smile and says, "Yeah, it was alright."

Albus and him are geniuses.

.-.-.

Toby starts spending a lot more time with Caitlyn. Like, a lot more time. Scorpius sees him walking her to classes, helping her with her books, all that sappy stuff. Toby's almost always has this dopey smile. It's almost worse than before, but, you know, Scorpius is happy for his friend. Except seeing Toby with a sort-of-girlfriend kind of makes him want to have a girlfriend too, so he starts dating this bubbly, curly-haired Ravenclaw named Lorraine Lark.

(Her voice is a bit annoying and she has this habit of laughing at everything he says but she's a good kisser, so it doesn't really matter.)

.-.-.

It's a bright, chilly morning and Scorpius is doing some laps around the Black Lake when he sees something he doesn't usually see – Rose Weasley sitting cross-legged on a rock beside the lake. There's a book on her lap and but she's not reading it. The wind tugs at her loose hair as she stares out at the lake with a pensive expression on her face.

Scorpius jogs over. "Morning," he says, and settles himself beside her. She jerks with shock and her brow furrows a bit when she sees it's him. Then a scowl is on her face and she goes back to staring at the calm waters of the lake.

"Morning, Scorpius," she mumbles back, and he realizes that this is the first time he's spoken to her directly since summer.

(Also, she insists on calling him by his full name even though everyone calls him Scor. It's a little annoying.)

They sit in surprisingly companionable silence. Scorpius watches Rose throw a piece of toast into the lake. It floats gently on the surface for a few moments before a black, slimy tentacle slithers up and tugs it down.

"Penny for your thoughts?" he quotes one of his mother's favourite sayings without thinking.

Rose leans back on her hands. "I'm thinking that I'm the thickest person ever. Dim-witted. Slow. Dense. Brainless. Obtuse. Unintelligent. Imperceptive. Take your pick. Like you said, Toby's affection towards Caitlyn is so transparent and obvious. I was just too thick to see it. Or maybe I just chose not to. I'm not sure."

He knows that she's talking about Toby. So he stays silent.

(Also, about half the words she used were completely unnecessary.)

"How'd you find out?" Rose turns to him.

"You haven't been very secretive about it," Scorpius informs her with a little grin (Rose punches him on his arm). "Every time you look at him it's as though you want to eat him all up." A bit of an exaggeration, but the look of sheer horror on her face is kind of worth it.

"I do not!" she gasps. She even puts her hand over her mouth and all.

It feels a little weird, sitting her talking about Rose's gigantic crush on Toby. But he has one more hour to kill before Quidditch practice, so he'll stay for a while.

"You do. I'm surprised Albus hasn't figured it out yet," Scorpius runs a hand through his hair. "Sorry about that whole Toby Caitlyn thing, by the way. I couldn't really stop it because then I'd have to tell Albus and I got the feeling you wouldn't like it."

Rose exhales heavily and brushes her fingers over her brow. "Thanks for not telling him."

"No problem."

"And about that kiss—" Rose begins uncomfortably. Scorpius rolls his eyes, because seriously, why can't she just drop it already? It's like she just loves being put into awkward situations.

"What kiss?" he stands up and brushes himself off. "See you later, Weasley."

He can tell Rose is trying so, so hard not to say it.

"My name is Rose," she bursts out, glowering at him.

He laughs to himself.

"Whatever, Weasley."

"You're incorrigible!" she shouts at his back, and Scorpius makes a mental note to look that word up later.

.-.-.

He sets a new record at the next Quidditch match against Ravenclaw when he catches the Snitch in exactly four minutes and thirteen seconds. There's another fantastic victory party and Lorraine lets him feel her up a little when they make out afterwards.

(His life is bloody awesome right now.)

.-.-.

He gets bitten by a vicious Venomous Tentacula in Herbology and spends the next week in the Hospital Wing, slipping in and out of unconsciousness.

There are three vertical scars on his upper arms that won't go away no matter how much Insta-Heal salve Madam Pomfrey rubs on.

(He doesn't really mind, because it looks sort of badass.)

(Plus, Lorraine likes brushing her fingers over the scars when they snog.)

.-.-.

Toby takes Caitlyn out on an official date on their next Hogsmeade trip. Albus and Scorpius make fun of him every chance they get but Toby doesn't even seem like he cares very much.

Scorpius takes Lorraine to Hogsmeade too, but the entire trip is made unbearable by the fact that she wants to go into Madam Puddifoot's Teashop and say revolting stuff to each other. Scorpius absolutely refuses. Lorraine whines and complains. They get into a minor argument about something so fucking stupid he can't even remember what it was about. She stomps back to Hogwarts, abandoning him.

Scorpius shrugs and starts talking to a giggly group of Hufflepuff third-years in Honeydukes. One of them agrees when he asks her out.

(The slap Lorraine gives him when she finds out doesn't sting much.)

.-.-.

His third-year is coming to a close when he finds out that he has this certain effect on girls—

They like him.

(This is strange to Scorpius, because he's not exactly known for being very nice to girls. In fact, Lorraine made sure everyone knew that he snogged another girl when he was still with her. So it's only logical that all girls should despise him.)

But yes, they do like him. He also learns that girls particularly like it when he runs his hand through his blond hair or when he lifts only one corner of his mouth in a slightly arrogant grin. So, of course he starts doing it more often. His female admirers increase dramatically.

(This makes him feel like he's the fucking man.)

.-.-.

He doesn't know when, why or even how he becomes friends with Rose Weasley, but he does, anyway.

He supposes it happens after they meet up more often at the rock beside the Black Lake. She shows up there every other morning with a book tucked neatly underneath her arm and whenever Scorpius spots her when he's running he'll go over and sit down. Rose usually rants on and on and on about things that are going on in her life. Scorpius just lays back, closes his eyes and listens. Sometimes Rose brings food for the Giant Squid. It's kind of the weirdest friendship ever, and if he starts thinking about it too much, it starts making less and less sense.

"I had to complete a Dream Diary last week for Divination. I don't mean any sort of offence, but Divination is a sort of useless subject, don't you think? All that guesswork and crystal balls and tea dregs seem a bit dodgy too me. My mother dropped it when she was a third-year, but I don't think I will because I'm going to take eighteen subjects for my NEWTs when I'm seventeen. But I've already told you that, haven't I?"

It takes a moment for Scorpius to realize that she's waiting for an answer.

Scorpius nods vaguely. "Yeah, I think so."

Rose frowns a little at his reply, but she continues with an enthusiasm that's almost scary. He wonders what it's like for Caitlyn.

"What?"

Scorpius realizes that he must have spoken out loud.

"Er – nothing."

Rose narrows her eyes. "I heard you say something along the lines of, 'I wonder what it's like for Caitlyn'."

"Nothing," he stresses, turning away.

"Spit it out, Scorpius," Rose crosses her arms.

Scorpius gives in. "It's just that – you talk a lot. So I was just wondering how Caitlyn – er – puts up with it."

(Yeah, he definitely could've worded that better.)

Rose's face falls.

"You wanted to know," Scorpius mutters.

Rose stares hard at her copy of Hogwarts: A History. "A lot of people say that. That I talk a lot, I mean. Well, it's not like I can help it," she says defensively. "If you can't stand listening to me, why don't you just leave?"

Scorpius doesn't budge. He starts humming under his breath.

"Also, I'm not really talking to Caitlyn anymore," Rose informs him haughtily. "We're still friends, I suppose, but she's been completely preoccupied with Toby as of late and I hardly see her anymore, except when we're in class, but even then all she wants to discuss is Toby. It's sickening."

"Toby's the same, but I'm sure they'll get over this phase. Or, you know, until Toby dumps her," he says without thinking. Fuck.

Rose immediately turns on him. "Just because you have a date-and-dump policy with girls doesn't mean Toby's the same. I hardly think he's going to 'dump' her after just two months of an established relationship. Toby's a very, very nice person!"

It isn't until now that Scorpius realizes just how much Rose actually likes Toby. Actually, she's bloody in love with him.

(It kind of bothers him a little.)

"Fuck this." He honestly thinks he's never been more exasperated with her. Rose's eyes widen at the profanity. He picks himself up. "I've got Quidditch practice."

.-.-.

He turns fourteen a month later and his Slytherin mates throw him a little party in the common room. He drinks some Firewhiskey for a dare and he gets drunk for the first time in his life.

(It's fucking fantastic.)

.-.-.

"I kissed Caitlyn!" Toby bursts into their dormitory, scaring the shit out of Scorpius. Albus' jerks awake and he rubs at his eyes blearily. A piece of crumpled parchment that used to be his labelled sketch of a Red Aye Aye for Care of Magical Creatures is stuck to the side of his cheek.

"Come again?" Scorpius asks.

"I kissed Caitlyn!" he repeats, and starts whooping and hollering. Thierry (their other dorm mate) grunts and rolls over in his sleep. "And it was amazing!"

Albus falls back onto his bed. "Congratulations," he mumbles. "Lemme sleep."

"You mean you haven't kissed her yet before?" Scorpius is aghast. He assumed Toby and Caitlyn were already snogging. Bloody hell, he really is the perfect gentleman.

"We kissed in the empty fifth-year classroom beside the Great Hall," Toby has this huge, dopey grin on his face. He flops onto his bed and exhales loudly. "Wow. Just... wow."

He doesn't even throw a pillow at him like he usually does when Scorpius calls him a girl.

.-.-.

They lose the Quidditch cup to Gryffindor again.

.-.-.

He's caught in the fourth-floor broom closet kissing a Slytherin third-year named Monica Macmillian, and he gets detention from Professor McGonagall for two Saturdays.

(Scorpius reckons it's worth it because Monica likes to do this thing where she tugs on his lower lip with her teeth and it makes him absolutely crazy.)

.-.-.

Rose Weasley still isn't talking to him. She's the queen of the cold shoulder, she really is.

So, Scorpius decides to do something about it. It's not because he wants her to talk to him, or anything, but he's just tired of her silence.

He goes running every day until Rose finally shows back up to the rock by the Black Lake. He jogs over and says a quick and reluctant, "Sorry!" before Rose can stalk off.

Her mouth drops open in a wordless O. "What?"

Scorpius takes a deep breath. "I'm sorry about what I said. I was being a twat."

After a few seconds she smiles widely, and just like that, it's over. Rose starts telling him all about a talk she had with Professor Lightwood because of the unfair "Exceeds Expectations" she got for her Charms assignment and how she eventually got the "Outstanding" she rightfully deserved after ten minutes of rational discussion and reasonable justification on her part. (Her words, not his.)

Scorpius gets the feeling Professor Lightwood changed her grade from an E to an O just to get her out of his hair. He laughs and says, "Good going, Weasley."

(It feels good to have her talking to him again, he'll admit.)


A/N: Scorpius' fourth, fifth and sixth year coming up next. Wow, this is the longest thing I've ever written! 10,632 words! Congrats if you made it this far - I hope that didn't bore you to death. Feedback is so very much appreciated. I'm really not sure if I should continue this or post the next chapter because this is very different for me and I don't know if this particular writing style works.