A/N: Hi guys! Here's another Rose/Scorpius story. It's a bit less focused than The Chess Game and a good deal longer. I think this first chapter has more words than the whole of The Chess Game combined.

I feel like it's been forever since I've posted something... heh. I think it's been four days. Anyway, this has been sitting in my RWSM file for a few weeks, so I finally decided to post it.

Disclaimer: I do not own... (insert recognized name here).

"This could work," I said, holding up a fine silver necklace with a jade teardrop pendant.

Scorpius shook his head at me, reaching out to wrap the chain experimentally around his finger. "Too cliché."

"You're the pickiest person I've ever met, hands down," I grumbled as I put the jewellery back.

Scorpius shook his head, smiling at me. "My dear Rosie, you will be too once you have to pick out a Christmas present for some gentleman friend of yours."

I snorted. "'Gentleman friend'?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.

Scorpius didn't refute his earlier claim, but a slight pink tinge appeared around his high cheekbones. "It's what my mum says," he muttered after a moment.

I grinned. "Your mum was wondering if you have any 'gentlemen friends'?" This was highly amusing. Oh I could delight in this for ages.

Scorpius immediately scowled. "No," he said emphatically, looking askance at my gleeful smile. "She was asking about you."

That shut me up. I walked over to another glittering shelf while trying to reign in my temper. Merlin knows Scorpius would never forgive me if I left him to shop for Jade's gift all alone. Although a womanizer, he did care about his many girlfriends. Even if he did go through them very fast.

"This one's nice," I said, pointing at a random pair of amethyst earrings displayed at eye level.

I felt Scorpius come up behind me. Turning, I saw him frown. "Too small," he criticised, peering over my shoulder.

I glanced down at my watch. "Come on, lover boy, we've got half an hour until curfew. It wouldn't do if both the Heads were caught out of bounds on a Hogsmeade weekend. Choose something for Merlin's sake."

Scorpius made a few thoughtful rounds about the shop, studying the glittering gems with a practiced eye. "How about these?" he asked experimentally, indicating a necklace and earring set made of diamonds and sparkling sapphires.

"Well it's nice," I said slowly as I considered his choice. "But, as loath as I am to remain stuck in this shop with you for a minute longer," I nudged him playfully in the ribs with my elbow, "diamonds mean business."

He cast me a questioning look.

"She might get the wrong idea if you give her this." I waved my hand over the display case. "Mainly that you're in for a long term relationship."

Scorpius backed away from the diamonds in horror. Once he was a safe distance away he told me, "And that's why I need you here Rose."

I hummed thoughtfully, a smile playing across my lips, as I turned away from him and ran a finger along the edge of one of the many glass cases lining the walls.

"You know, I can never figure out what all this mental girl stuff means on my own," his voice continued.

"'Mental girl stuff'?" I quoted as a question, looking over my shoulder at him.

"Yeah," said Scorpius, rolling his eyes. "You know, the hidden meanings in flowers or presents, when she's trying to make you jealous as opposed to when she's actually cheating on you..." he drifted off.

"You've been cheated on?" I asked with interest.

"Oh yeah." He didn't look that concerned.

"You don't seem to put out about it," I said aloud.

He smiled sheepishly at me. "Er, it was probably because I cheated on her first."

I shot him a reproachful glare. "You're in incorrigible."

He held his hands up in surrender. "Yes I know, and I deserve all your near illegal verbal abuse and tongue lashings. But, in my defence, I was fifteen."

I crossed my arms over my chest, clearly asking him silently, 'So what?'

"Well, it wasn't like I shagged another girl," explained Scorpius. "Just fooled around a bit in the back of the common room."

"That's just gross. With everyone watching?"

Scorpius scratched the back of his neck in an embarrassed sort of way. "Er, probably. Doesn't matter, everyone was too plastered to see straight anyway."

"I see," said I tapping my foot and frowning sternly, "and that's what makes it okay?"

"Y-no," he changed direction at the speed of light once he caught my glower that was about to appear. "Not at all," he said firmly, shoving his hands in the pockets of his trousers and looking determinedly at the floor.

I let him stew in his guilt for a few moments, watching as every once in a while he would sneak a peek at one of the display cases to his left. Scorpius looked as if he was seriously considering death-by-cufflink after a minute or two under my icy glare.

Finally deciding that he'd had enough, I broke the silence. Frankly I didn't feel like staying in the cramped jewellery store a minute longer to give the whole You're at Total and Complete Prat Speech (I've given it so often to Scorpius, Al and Louis that they practically know it by heart anyway). "So, all in all, I think you'd be better off getting her this."

Looking surprised, Scorpius followed my arm to see what I was pointing too. I could see the contradiction in his eyes before his mouth could formulate the words.

"No?" I asked him shrewdly.

He shook his head. "Too red," he said as he examined the garnet sprinkled bracelet I had suggested.

"A true Slytherin, then?" I asked, crossing my arms over my chest.

Scorpius puffed out his chest in pride. "Of course. I only date the best."

"The best?" I asked, eyebrows raised, "Please. I've dated Slytherins, and none of them were the best snoggers-"

Scorpius opened his mouth to retaliate, but I cut him off. "Oh!" I gasped as I spotted a sparkling piece of jewellery over his shoulder. I walked over to it and lifted the shiny silver filigree off its stand. "You should get this for her, Scorpius. It's gorgeous," I said in an awestruck tone.

Scorpius took the necklace from my hands slowly, turning the piece over in his delicate white hands. "I suppose," he said hesitantly.

"Suppose?" I repeated dubiously, "It's perfect! Not too ornate, yet not boring. It's not too large or too small. Get it for her," I commanded.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw the shop proprietor come over to us. "Can I help you?" he asked politely once he was within earshot.

"No, thank you," Scorpius replied stubbornly in the same tone as he had the previous two times the man had come over asking to assist us in our purchase.

I gave Scorpius a reproving look.

The clerk ignored his slightly impolite tone and instead focused on the item in Scorpius's hands.

"Oh a fine choice," he said excitedly as he took the fine chain from Scorpius's grasp. He held it up to the light so that the light green emeralds caught the torchlight and sparkled with twice as many shades as before. "I think the little miss here would quite enjoy this beauty," he said as he held it up to my neck.

I quickly shook my head as Scorpius smiled wryly. "No, it's for another girl."

The wizard looked a bit taken aback at this piece of news. "My apologies," he said quickly as he gave the necklace back to Scorpius.

"I'm sorry," I said, "But I've think we've got this all handled, don't we, Scorpius?" I turned to him.

He nodded.

Looking disappointed, the wizard walked off to attend to some other customers.

I reached over to run a finger over the artfully arranged cluster of emeralds. "Jade would love it," I insisted somewhat regretfully.

"I don't know." Scorpius tilted his head to look back at me. "Check the price, why don't you?"

I quickly bent my head over to examine the price tag located on its empty stand. "Never mind," I said quickly. "Forget it. It's forty galleons."

Scorpius protested, "Money isn't really a problem, Rose, you know that." Still, he repositioned it back on the shelf looking thoughtful.

I flushed. My father was naturally frugal, and coupled with his upbringing and the common sense inherited from my mother, I was usually very cautious in my purchases. Yes, I knew Scorpius had a considerable amount of pocket money to spend, but forty galleons? That was a bit much.

"I know that," I snapped irritably, "but why would you spend money like that on a girl you're going to dump before Valentine's Day? It's not worth it."

He paused and took in my argument.

"Plus, then you'll have more money to spend on her right before you break up." I walked over to a smaller display case in the back, saying over my shoulder, "I figure then you can fix her broken heart with something shiny."

He smiled sardonically at me as I ran my hands along a long chain of pearls. "You know me so well," he said with feeling.

I laughed. "Sometimes I think that I shouldn't encourage you. But then," I paused, turning to face him, "I reasoned that you have never listened to me in the past, would you start now?"

Scorpius smiled smugly. "Not a chance," he said casually as he crouched down to examine a couple of opal bracelets.

"How about these?" I proposed, holding up a pair of pearl earrings. "Right size, don't you think?"

Scorpius straightened up and walked over to where I was offering one of the earrings for his inspection. "You know, Rose," he said slowly, taking it from me and examining it closely, "I think you might be on to something."

"Fantastic," I said eagerly, and without further ado, I grabbed the matching choker lying innocently on its velvet plinth and hurried up to the cashier to get the jewellery packaged before Scorpius could find fault with it.

"Is this it?" the shopkeeper demanded, a little sullenly, in my opinion. "That'll be twenty-six galleons and eighteen sickles." He looked up over my shoulder where Scorpius was standing. Silently Scorpius handed over the money, tapping his foot impatiently as the wizard took time to count out each coin and hand over the change.

"Thank you!" I called once we were out in the street. I didn't get a reply, but the wizard flipped over the sign from open to closed once he had shut the door on our backs.

Scorpius smiled as we walked up the main street, clearly happy to be rid of the jewellery store once and for all.

I glanced at my watch and let out a gasp. I punched him in the arm.

"What the hell," he started angrily, but I interrupted him before he could get another word out.

"What the hell is right, Malfoy!" I hissed. "We were in that store for an hour and a half!"

He had the grace to look a bit sheepish as we made our way down High Street back to the castle.

"Sorry?" he said plaintively as we left Hogsmeade. "Er, would a thank you suffice?"

I harrumphed but gave him a reluctant smile. "Just don't let it happen again. I'm not wasting another of my Hogsmeade weekends on one of your airhead girlfriends!"

"They're not airheads!" he protested instantly.

I threw him a disbelieving look. "The last one asked me if it was true that you played professional Quidditch for England last year."

He smirked. "Well, that's a valid misconception."

"Not if you saw you're last Quidditch match against Gryffindor."

"Now you know your Chaser-"

I wagged my finger at him. "Don't be petty Malfoy, we won fair and square. It's not my fault that we are a better team than yours."

"You so are not," he protested instantly. "Just because you lot have more brawn than brains... It sometimes might allow you to get lucky-"

"Come on!" I exclaimed loudly. "It was more than just luck that allowed us to score those twenty-nine goals-"

"Rose Weasley, it was less than-"

"And did you just insinuate that my house has no brains, Malfoy?" I flared up as soon as I realized what his implications meant.

He turned his head and surveyed me with cool grey eyes, tossing his sleekff blond hair out of his eyes with a casual elegance. "That's exactly what I insinuated at, Wealsey," he replied smartly.

"Well, I-I-I-" I was too incensed to get my sentence out.

"You are what," he smirked at me, "Going to stutter at me until I admit the error of my Slytherin ways?"

I snorted delicately. "Well excuse me Mr. I-Couldn't-Speak-to-Girls-Without-Tripping-Over-my-Sentences-like-a-Demented-Troll-Untill-I-was-Thirteen."

"I have no recollection of anything of the sort," Scorpius said quickly, as he met my eyes, daring me to continue on my dangerous path.

Well, we Gryffindors never backed down from a dare. Call it a sense of honour. Or, you know, a house-wide risk-your-neck-for-every-perceived-insult complex, as Scorpius was always too eager to insert.

"Really?" I asked, faking surprise. "Because I can never forget that time you tried to ask out Dominique during that summer before fourth year. I think the whole ordeal lasted about half an hour before she took pity on you and put you out of your misery." I smiled sweetly at him.

I was delighted to notice his eyes narrowing in the dim light from the overhead lamps. Oh, Scorpius was very angry at me now, I'm sure of it.

"That's it, Weasley!" he exclaimed loudly as he lunged at me.

Of course, given his well honed Seeker arm, it was only a fraction of a second before he had grasped my wand sticking out of the pocket of my robes and had pointed it menacingly at my nose.

"Fancy a pumpkin for a head?" he taunted as he waved my wand about. "Because that's what's going to happen if you continue in this vein."

I crossed my arms across my chest and gave him a sly smile. "Empty threats, Malfoy," I scoffed. "I know you wouldn't be able to curse me."

"Why the hell not?" he demanded.

"Because then you'd have no one to cover for you when you ditch head duties to go snog some bird in a broom cupboard."

"Well," he paused, evidently thinking of some reply. After a few minutes he lowered my wand. "Fine," he admitted grumpily. "You're off the hook this time, but don't you dare mention that incident again." He sighed. "Bloody hell, I'm just glad Al doesn't remember."

I laughed. "At least James wasn't there."

Scorpius lifted his mouth into a small smile. "Merlin, your right."

"Aren't I always?"

"Shut it, I don't think we'll be able to make it through that next archway with our egos."

"You're one to talk. I don't think the whole castle can give you enough room for your overly large head."

"My head is perfectly shaped, thank you very much," retorted Scorpius. "But yours..." he drifted off to indicate my busy red hair.

"Are you seriously back to criticising my hair?" I asked.

"It never gets old," Scorpius said, chuckling slightly.

"It certainly has over the course of seven years," I said heatedly. "Remember? That was the first thing you said on the train ride to me our first year."

"Good times, good times," Scorpius said happily, eyes drifting towards the skies as he remembered.

With his eyes otherwise occupied, I allowed myself to mimic the small smile that was creeping up the corners of his mouth. No way would I ever let on to his face that I actually enjoyed his joking insults. They, I don't know, made me feel special. In a very bizarre way, I will admit. He was usually so careful to refrain from offending anyone too badly, what with his family's legacy being what it was. The Malfoy name was hard one to live down, and Scorpius always bit his tongue against anything too cutting, lest he put his ruin all his family's worked for these past twenty-five years or so. However, he never bothered to be overly polite to me. I guess it's because I was just so open a target: a puny little eleven-year-old with wild red hair, big front teeth and an unreasonable obsession with books (never mind that he was only a few inches taller and the same age, for the regal Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy never let a little thing like hypocrisy stop him before). At first it hurt, a lot, but I got used to it, held my head high and ignored him.

Later I stopped ignoring him and hexed him instead, once I knew how.

I know my dad was all for punching the little git in the mouth, but Mum somehow managed to get her hands on all his letters and proofread them before sending them off. That way all his violent suggestions for dealing with the 'Malfoy boy' were crossed out and replaced with more humane tactics in Mum's handwriting. Al found the whole mess quite amusing.

Needless to say, I did not.

I suppose my nearsighted cousin did have a few points during the whole debacle; he did offer to hit Malfoy with a Bat-Bogey hex he learned from his mum a couple of times when Scorpius was being especially hurtful.

Thankfully this whole changed during our third year and the following summer. That year we all got year-long partners in Potions. At least Scorpius and I weren't paired up; I think the dungeon would have suffered several violent explosions by the second week of term if we had. No, Scorpius was partnered with Al, of all people. The first month was rough, but somehow they emerged from the whole ordeal fast friends and Al even invited him over to his house in Godric's Hollow during the summer for a few weeks. Naturally, as Al's family and mine were neighbours, that meant I was forced to spend a great deal of time around Scorpius as well.

It was then that Scorpius told me that Al had suggested that we try to get along for his sake. I swear, only Al would try to come up with such a mad scheme as to get Scorpius Malfoy and Rose Weasley to be friendly. To our complete astonishment (minus Al, he swore that he believed we could do it all along, the liar) we all survived the summer with our limbs and sanity intact.

Just because we became tentative mates did not mean that Scorpius stopped teasing me, but it seemed to hurt less. I noticed for the first time that he had started to give me a small smile while making slight jabs at my hair or reading material to show that he really meant nothing by it, that it was all in jest.

Come September first that autumn, for the first time I had more than Hogwarts a History to keep me company on the train ride to school. Of course I had other friends, but the previous three years I had claimed that I needed to give my textbooks a final skim and give my essays a final once over before term started. In boredom, they had all slunk out of my compartment and gossiped next door, every once in a while popping in to say hi.

That ride into my fourth year, however, Scorpius barged in and seated himself boldly across from me. Blithely ignoring my attempts to get his stubborn arse out of my compartment, he said, "I like your hair, Weasley."

I widened my eyes while immediately shooting him a sceptical glance over the pages of my textbook.

"Looks less like a bird's nest than usual."

Ah. The world made sense.

"Thanks a bunch, Malfoy," I drawled, as I returned my eyes to the pages in front of me. "You're such a gentleman, as always."

"I try," he said complacently as he propped his feet up on the seat next to me.

"And fail," I muttered quietly, hiding behind a revised chapter on the house-elves employed by Hogwarts.

I heard his brief splutter of indignation and barely had time to keep my face straight before my book was whipped unceremoniously out of my hands. "Hey!" I protested as Scorpius held it tauntingly just out of my reach.

"What did you say before?"

"Nothing," I denied, hopping to my feet and trying in vain to reclaim my property. "Give it back, you prat!"

"Come on, Wealsey, I couldn't hear you with that book glued to your freckled face. Now, I've got your attention. What did you say?" repeated Scorpius, smiling hugely, as he watched me try to wrest it from his grip.

An idea came to me. "That you're Merlin's gift to witches and I would like to snog you right now," I said suddenly.

The book abruptly dropped to the compartment floor with a loud thud.

Once again I had reduced Scorpius to incomprehensible splutters. Victory was so very sweet.

I grinned hugely as I bent down to pick up my poor book. "Aha!" I said as I stood up straight, clutching my prize to my chest.

"Hi guys!" a voice said brightly from the doorway. "What's going on?" Al said once he caught sight of me, jumping up and down from my success, and Scorpius with wide eyes and an open mouth.

I stopped hopping and Scorpius closed his mouth immediately.

"Nothing," we both said simultaneously.

Albus's emerald eyes narrowed in suspicion. "Really?"

"Yeah," I said, quickly dropping my textbook on the seat behind me.

"Nothing, mate," Scorpius repeated, running a hand through his blond hair. "Fancy a game of Exploding Snap?"

"Sure," Al agreed, still giving Scorpius and me funny looks.

We spent the rest of the ride playing various card games and debating Quidditch. I supported the Chudley Cannons and Al favoured the Holy Head Harpies (Every time he mentioned it Scorpius and I would snicker and mumble something along the lines of 'mama's boy' to which Al would blush furiously and sprout out random Harpies' statistics since 1923). Scorpius just liked whoever was currently winning.

True Slytherin to the core, that one.

"Rose? Rose Wealsey? Rosie Posey?" a voice called me out of my musings.


Scorpius smirked at me. "You were kind of out of it there. What gives?" he asked, leading me through the Hogwarts gate.

"Is it so hard to consider that I don't especially like looking at your face every minute of every day?" I retorted automatically, but I linked my arm through his to show my goodwill.

"Absolutely," he responded instantly, "You'd be the first, you know," he nodded down at me as we walked up to the castle.


"No, actually most of the Hogwarts female population find my face very appealing actually," Scorpius reprimanded, "or so I've been told."

"And was this revealed to you in various cramped broom closets and empty classrooms?" I asked shrewdly.

Scorpius raised his eyebrows.

"Well then," I stood up a little straighter, "they're a bit biased, aren't they?"

He laughed. "I suppose."

"What are you doing over the holidays?" I asked, changing the subject.

"Nothing really," Scorpius said breezily, "I think I'll be around the Manor for a bit, and then maybe spend New Year's at the Potters."

"Really?" I asked, excitement bubbling in the pit of my stomach, "New Year's party and all that at Uncle Harry's?"

"Yes," Scorpius drawled, but evidently amused at my delight. "The same one I've come to for the past three years."

"I know that," I said, a tad irritated. "Only you would try to ruin my happiness at hearing good news."

"No," Scorpius said quickly, gesturing with his free hand for me to go on, "By all means be happy. It's quite refreshing actually," he said slowly, "to be with a bird that looks forward to my company at a party not because I can do fabulous things with my tongue even when totally smashed."

"Ew," I said expressively, rolling my eyes and making a face.

"You clearly have not talked with Jade, then."

"Or maybe I have and are totally disgusted with your drunken moves that I've heard so much about."

"Nope," he rejected calmly, "that's not it."

"Of course not," I said sarcastically as we reached the Great Hall. "For why would I be totally revolted at a description of your almost gag worthy snog moves while totally intoxicated? When, let me remind you, not only is your reaction time off, but your aim as well?" I gave him a smirk of my own.

Scorpius was spared from retorting back by a shout from behind us. "Scorp! Hey!" we turned to see Scorpius's current girlfriend Jade Li hurrying across the hall. "I was just heading down to dinner, want to accompany me?" she asked breathlessly.

I wasn't sure if it was from her near-sprint to meet us or Scorpius's very presence that made her short of breath. I hurriedly tried to wipe the smile off my features.

Scorpius let go of my arm gently and gave me a questioning look.

Please, I'm not his mother. As Scorpius liked to boast about so much, he was a seventeen-year-old male wizard, he didn't need my permission for anything. (Never mind that it made me secretly glad that he valued my opinion so highly.) Still, I gave him a small nod to let him know that I was going to be alright if he ditched me for his girlfriend. This wouldn't be the first time, after all.

"Hi Wealsey," said Jade a little reluctantly after Scorpius failed to give a verbal answer to her question. It was common knowledge that the grand majority of Scorpius's many girlfriends all hated me; they seemed to see me as some sort of romantic rival in Scorpius's affections, or so he told me. Usually I just laughed it off because really the whole idea of me ranking against them is ludicrous.

I'm not bragging when I say that they couldn't hold a candle to my conversational skills; I'm relatively sure some couldn't even string a coherent sentence together most of the time Scorpius was around – of course their inability to talk never deterred him from sticking his tongue down their throats.

Once Scorpius had seen my acceptance, he took Jade by the hand and led her into the Great Hall saying over his shoulder, "See you later for Head duties, Rose!"

I watched them go. They contrasted nicely, I supposed. He was tall and blond with fair, almost albino white, skin. She was much darker with midnight coloured hair. Shorter than his normal girlfriends, Jade was almost my height. Still he easily was able to throw his arm over her shoulders possessively. Two beautiful people, indeed.

Life was just so unfair

I was the one who explained the mad things us girls do. I was the one who told him what to say when asking a girl out and what to say when chucking her in the kindest way possible. I was the one who solved all his girl problems.

I was his mate Rose who just happened by some weird happenstance of nature to have some secret insight into the workings of the female mind.

That was all I was to him: frizzy haired, library book Nazi, Rose.

And I was happy with that.

I thought.

A/N: Please review!

I urge you to favourite only with reviewing first. I personally choose stories to read based on how many reviews they've got and I'm sure other people do the same. If you liked my fic enough to favourite it, please, please, review so that others will know to read it in the first place!