Recap:"Don't tell Daddy we aren't actually dating. We're trying to keep it up over the summer so he can make that girl jealous."
"Is the girl he likes jealous?" Hermione asked.
"I think Georgina's jealous." Rose replied, sitting up finally.
"Wasn't talking about Georgina. Dinner's ready when you are."
Three Weeks Later- Potter Palace
Rose arrived at her Uncle's Manor and looked at it with the same amazement she had since before she could remember. Harry had inherited the gaping stretch of lawn, gardens, and accompanying mansion when his father- the last remaining Potter- had been murdered. "Rose come on!" Hugo shouted as he ran inside with his bag. Their parents paced much themselves more slowly than Hugo but beckoned her as well.
Hugo was done greeting people by the time she reached the kitchen. She noticed Harry, Hermione, Ginny, Ron, and a Draco that looked pleasantly surprised chatting. Her cousins, brother and Scorpius we engaged similarly. "Hey slow poke!" Albus said lightly. Scorpius turned to see her and the smirk on his face stretched to an eye-reaching smile.
"Rose." She heard him breathe. She blushed.
"Uncles before boyfriends, sorry." Harry disrupted the moment expectantly. Ginny elbowed him. "What?" Rose went and hugged her Aunt.
"Aunts before Uncles- sorry." Everyone laughed as she gave Harry a particularly large hug. Rose shook Draco's hand and greeted all of her cousins, saving Scorpius for last.
She kissed him lightly but her grabbed her by the waist and deepened it, apparently not interested in being polite. "Hello to you too." James muttered, causing Rose to pull away and her cheeks to blossom. Scorpius seemed to realize with a quick glance that there had been other people in the room. He looked at Ron out the corner of his eye, trying to catch a reaction. But he only joked.
"Say 'Mione, how come you don't say hello to me like that anymore?" Laughed ensued and the tension eased. "Come, just a 'hi' right on my cheek!" Hermione grinned and gave him a 'hello', a 'goodbye' and everything in between.
"Ew! Get a room!" Lily shouted.
"Why a room? We've got a whole house to ourselves. Come on Ron." Hermione apperated away, waving.
"Bye Harry, Ginny, Draco, kids." Ron prepared himself to leave.
"Make sure you take your whole eyebrow!" Harry interjected quickly. Ron scowled at him and left. Rose looked at Scorpius who also looked confused. "The first time he took his apperation test he left behind half an eyebrow."
"Ah." Scorpius looked satisfied but Rose was still out of the loop.
"Hm, I've got an empty house too. I'll be back in a week Harry, Ginny." And then Draco apperated away.
"What is going on?" Rose asked.
"Well, you see, when a mummy and a daddy love each other very much and have a week without their children…" James said with a shrug.
"I meant the whole 'buddy buddy' thing between Mr. Malfoy and my family!"
"They decided to work out their differences for us." Scorpius informed her.
"Not that you noticed anything but Malfoy's tongue." Lily slipped in casually. Rose blushed again but didn't correct her.
"Let's go for a walk Scor- in the gardens." Rose led her fake boyfriend outside. They walked in silence across the lawn to the blooming part of the grounds.
"Merlin, this place is bigger than my estate." Scorpius noted.
"Why'd you kiss me like that?" She asked suddenly.
"It seemed appropriate to have a big kiss."
"But you already had a date with Georgina! Why keep this up?"
"I just don't know if our parents will stay friendly if we break up. And that date was terrible. I need to make every girl in that bloody castle jealous just so I can have a decent pick. What?" Rose rushed ahead of him in a flurry of anger.
"You're using me! When it was Georgina I was helping you but now you're just taking advantage."
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry. It was just a joke- the part about every girl in the castle not the date. I would never take advantage of you like that- our friendship means everything to me." His apology had been sincere but Rose still wanted to cry. How was this boy making her so emotional? "Rosie, what's wrong?" A pleasant shiver ran up her spine when he used her nickname. She hated it.
"Don't call me Rosie." He stepped back; his eyes brimming with hurt like hers were brimming with tears.
"Because I don't want you too. We need to break up; I can't keep lying like this. Pretending to like it when you kiss me, or when you whisper in my ear, or when you wink at me…" the tears overflowed as she realized that she loved all of these things. But she couldn't allow herself to love him, she couldn't. He'd only break her heart.
"You're crying! Rose, what's wrong? Why are you so upset? Talk to me- please!" He reached for her but she ran deeper into the gardens. Scorpius chased after Rose for almost a half an hour before she finally stopped. She was sitting on the ground smelling a lily with a grim smile. He sat next to her. "What's the matter?"
"The first time I went this far in the gardens my parents had to send Uncle Harry searching for me. When he found me I was sitting right here, smelling a lily. I'd been upset and you know what he told me? 'The next time you run all the way out here, they'll be roses just for you- but only if you come back inside with me.' But he lied. There aren't any roses. People always say what they think you want to hear instead of being honest. I would've come if he'd said he would make me hot cocoa. What do you think I want to hear Scorpius?"
"The truth?" He shrugged. Rose laughed.
"You can do better than that."
"That I just want to be friends?" He guessed. She couldn't hear the disappointment in his voice.
"So what's the truth?" Scorpius was afraid to answer her. He wanted to tell her the truth: that in the train station all he'd wanted was to protect her, on his date with Georgina she was the only thing he could think about, when she'd arrived his heart had skipped a beat, and he'd kissed her so passionately out of his own desperate desire for their charade to be real. But what if she didn't feel the same?
He looked down at her and tried to decide what she wanted to hear. But he knew what she wanted was the honest truth. He opened his mouth to answer her when James came walking up. "Rose! Malfoy! Mum and Dad say it's time for dinner- oh. I'll tell them you're busy." He grinned.
"No. I'm starved anyway." It was true enough- crying always put a hallow in her stomach. Or maybe it had been how sure she was that Scorpius didn't feel the same.
"So…"Albus said expectantly as he and Scorpius trudged up the stairs to their rooms. "What happened in the gardens?"
"Nothing." Scorpius said. Except I almost told your cousin I loved her.
"Mate, you need to tell her." Albus put a hand on his friend's shoulder.
"Tell her what?"
"You gave yourself away when she got here. 'Rose'" Albus mocked Scorpius. "And then you slobbered all over her."
"I did not. That was all show!"
"If it makes you feel better she fancies you too. G'night." Albus left the Malfoy to ponder his words. That night Scorpius dreamt that he was about to kiss Rose and she turned away and jumped on Lysander Scamander's motorbike. Then she'd call him a good friend. Needless to say it was one of the worst nightmares he'd ever had.
"Good morning Mr. Potter." Scorpius yawned as he walked in the kitchen. Harry jumped with surprise. "You okay?"
"I wasn't expecting anyone up this early." Harry replied, clutching at his heart. "It's seven a.m."
"How are things between you and Rosie? You both seem pretty upset."
"They've been better. She's upset with me." Scorpius sat down at the table. Harry folded his Prophet back up to listen.
"Do you know why?" Scorpius laughed.
"She's a girl and a Weasley. Am I supposed too?" Harry laughed as well.
"Gin and I have been married for more than twenty years and I still don't know what I do half the time. Best thing- just say I'm sorry."
"It's a little more complicated than that, see, Rose and me aren't really dating."
"Trying to piss off Ron." Harry said knowingly.
"And to make a girl jealous. It worked too- both plans- but um"
"You feel for her."
"Am I that obvious?" Scorpius groaned.
"Why yes you are. You should tell her."
"I tried. Then James came and said it was time for dinner and she practically ran from me. I dunno what to do!" He put his head down. "I don't even know if she feels the same."
"Did she ask you how you felt?" Harry questioned the troubled teen further.
"She wouldn't have asked if she didn't like you. Tell her. Cereal?" Scorpius nodded and summoned a bowl for himself. Harry made the milk and cereal pour itself. "Are you seventeen?"
"Nope." Scorpius said as he took a spoonful. "It's the summer Mr. Potter! Please don't have me punished a month before my birthday!" Harry shrugged.
"If Ginny or the ministry catches you- you said you were seventeen. Don't eat too much. Your lover will be making breakfast once she wakes up."
"Why Mrs. Potter?"
"She doesn't like people breaking the rules without her permission." Scorpius nodded and picked up his bowl. He poured the rest of the half full bowl's contents into his mouth. "Did- did you dislocate you jaw?" Scorpius swallowed and his mouth clicked.
"Only a little."
"That's disgusting." The teenager laughed and Harry thought to himself: he probably eats more than Ron. Sometime passed and Scorpius showered and dressed in house clothes.
"Good morning all!" Rose shouted as she bounded into the kitchen, kissing Scorpius lightly and then her Uncle. The two men smirked.
"I rather liked that good morning. I take it you slept well." Scorpius said.
"Nope! But I've decided my day will be better than my night."
"That says a fat lot about what she thinks of you." James said, walking up behind his cousin. Rose turned around and slapped his arm.
"Was it a nightmare?" Scorpius asked; his face red. She nodded. "Will you tell me about it?" She shook her head quickly.
"Enough chit chat! Get to slaving over my pancakes!" Albus came walking in followed by his sister and then Hugo.
"Oh, um, I'm sure Scor would rather eat Aunt Ginny's pancakes…" Scorpius grabbed Rose by the waist and pulled her into his lap and whispered, "I'll take you every time darling." She blushed furiously.
"Well if that's the case, I'll get cooking." Scorpius bit his lip to suppress the grin growing on his face to no avail. Harry gave him a subtle thumbs up.
"Do you play Quidditch?" Harry asked.
"Best Keeper at Hogwarts Sir."
"Better than Hugo?" Hugo grumbled something about cheating as Scorpius nodded.
"You aren't that good." James said with annoyance.
"Blocked every one of your shots for the past three years. Except the one." Scorpius thought back to James' best shot against him. "Bloody brilliant goal."
"But I never hear about Slytherin winning." Harry added, confused.
"The rest of their team is terrible." Albus said. One good player doesn't win games."
"Anyways, that's great, because we're playing Qudditch today!" The whole kitchen whooped. "And I've talked Gin into playing with us!" Everyone groaned.
"When was the last time she even played? Was she even any good?" James muttered.
"I was better than your father." Ginny walked in.
"NO!" James, Harry, and Albus all shouted together.
"Yes I was! I was just as good a seeker as well as a chaser. I led Gryffindor to the House Cup in my Seventh Year without missing any games. And in my Fifth Year when your father was Capitan and I had to take over his captaincy duties and seeker position."
"Game set and match! Go Mum!" Lily hi-fived her mother. Rose laughed and started pouring batter. Then men all grumbled and talked amongst themselves. In half an hour all the pancakes were done and the table was set. Everyone was ready to eat. James dove in first, followed very quickly by everyone else. The taste buds in the room were filled with delight and elation. Though, perhaps none as much as Scorpius's, who were unfamiliar with the heavy, fluffy, sweet, buttery, cakes that only needed syrup out of habit. The only sound for several indulgent, face stuffing minutes was forks on plates and food smacking between teeth. Then the grapple for another cake. The towering stack of forty-five was down to one in no time. Albus and Hugo had a stare down to see who'd get the last cake. After an intense two minutes, Albus won. "Where's the bloody pancake? It was mine!"
"You took too long." James laughed, unbuttoning his pants to relieve his gut.
"Nah. Cook's boyfriend is the self-entitled bastard." Scorpius laughed as Ginny scolded James's rude language.
"Scorpius! If you want the cake you stare for it! Now you suffer the consequences!" Albus shouted in anger.
"Feh. Dad said he'd toss me in a dragon pit if I ate the last piece of pie and I did that. Of course he was bluffing- and so are you."
"Then make me suffer the consequences!"
"To the Hall of Portraits!" Albus yelled, dragging Scorpius out of his chair.
"Oh Merlin. Scor, cough that cake up or something! It isn't worth it!" Rose cried.
"Too late! Walk." The whole table followed Albus and Scorpius to the East Wing of the House. The Hall of Portraits was a room filled with portraits of every member of the Potter family tree and they had some boring stories to tell. "Here we are!" Albus opened the door at the end of a long hallway and shoved his friend in. "Have fun! Next time don't eat my bloody pancake." He slammed the door and Scorpius was left standing there awkwardly.
A/N: Ah, gotta luv Albus. And what's going to happen in the Hall of Portraits? Wah ha ha! And yes, I know its not that great of a cliffhanger but this chapter just would've been too long otherwise. I hope you enjoyed! You should probably tell me too...in a review.
OH! And I don't own a God damned thing in this story. As in "Harry Potter" and all affiliated charaters. They belong to J.K. Rowling. Scholastic and Warner Bros. Please don't sue me!