This is my first attempt at a fanfic, so please tell me what you think, even if it requires that I go buy a club to beat myself with to prevent any other stories from being published :D This fic is not beta-ed, so I apologize for any and all mistakes; I blame my ridiculously small hands. Anywho, I hope you enjoy it enough to leave feed-back! Smooches!
It wasn't enough to pass her in the corridors and exchange simple pleasantries. It wasn't enough to have her hand "accidentally" ghost over mine when reaching over me in potions. It wasn't enough to feel my whole body practically convulse under the scrape of her nails down my scalp when no one is watching during passing period. It should've been enough to feel the slender lines of her body pressed flush against mine while pinning her to the closed door of the prefect's common room. It should've been enough, but it wasn't.
It should've been more than dirty words whispered in empty storage cupboards under the veil of nightfall. It should've been more than breathy moans and quivering limbs in the steam-filled prefect's bathroom while the rest of the castle slept. It should've been more than a simple, "Good morning, Scorp" rolling off her tongue after where I had my tongue the evening prior. It should've been more than a, "I'm sorry, Scorpius, but I already got asked" after all the promises she panted into my ear in the small hours of that same morning.
It should've been enough to possess her for the few meager hours that I did, but it wasn't. I wasn't a fool; I knew I was being used, but what I knew in my head was not as easy to convince my heart of. I should've been contended with what she was already giving me, but what had seemed like a blessing before, was slowly becoming my own personal hell. Every touch meant more to me than it ever would to her and it made me hollow to point where I had become a shell of the Scorpius I once was.
I didn't want to be her secret 'study partner' anymore; the one that relieved the stress of being head girl, nevermind that I had the same stresses as Head boy. I didn't want to be her bedmate that she was to ashamed to consort with, in the harsh light of day. I didn't want to be jealous of every other man she talked to or even looked at, but I was and it cut like a muggle blade to see her deem others worthy of her companionship, but not me; never during in the daylight, never where someone might see. I didn't want to be the guy she cast frightened glances to when she caught me staring hungrily at her from across the room in transfigurations, just on the off chance that someone else noticed. I didn't want to be the publically plutonic friend anymore, but I wasn't a complete moron. I knew it would've been much healthier to move on, but I couldn't force my wasted heart to quit her. I could get myself to the point where my trunk was packed, my Head boy resignation letter in hand, and even get myself out of the common room before a flash of ginger hair in one of the corridors or her obnoxious nervous giggle stopped me and ruined any chance of escape. Three times I had attempted this and three times, catching so much as a sliver of red color in my peripheral has sent me running back to my room like the coward I am.
I could see the blatant displays of interest from my fellow classmates towards me. Hufflepuff girls dropping pencils by my desk, knowing full well that I'll pick it up for them so they can slip me a note in the brief exchange. Ravenclaw prefects asking to come on rounds with me so that they might get the chance to have me confess my love for them and ravish them in a storage cupboard. It sounds petty to think of them as so desperate and myself so aloof, but do none of them notice how I wince walking by storage cupboards, because chances are that I had been in it with Rose at some point or how I may acknowledge their presence, but haven't shown interest in any of them? Perhaps we all suffer the same disillusionment.
Rose noticed their attention. She had noticed all along and at one point I thought that's why she continued with me, but it wasn't. She made that perfectly clear when she told me to go after them; that she could find someone else if I decided I wanted one of them.
She couldn't fathom why a stared at her angrily for a full minute after the words left her mouth and died an excruciatingly quick death in the air between us. Or why my rage got the best of my manners as I practically pushed her over in an effort to get out of the suddenly stifling common room. It probably came as a huge shock when I slammed the common room door hard enough to dislodge the entrance painting; thus locking myself out for the night.
She was such an idiot! Was she honestly so blind that she couldn't see that I was brushing off these loads of girls for her? For being the brightest witch of our generation, she really was dim sometimes. This was written across my mind like a mantra while stormed through the hallways and up staircases and across the grounds until the sun came over the mountains and I forced myself back towards the castle. I decided to forgo breakfast with every intention of going back to my room and finally getting that damned letter of resignation to McGonagall. It had been rolling around in my mind throughout my entire walk and I had now set myself to it, but once again found myself caught off-guard by the effects of Rose Weasley. The entrance painting had been restored to its place on the wall and the entire common room had been cleaned from the support beams of the ceilings to the hearth; like she always did when she couldn't sleep. My head came to the logical conclusion that the OWLS were two weeks away and her studying had drove her mental, like it always did, but my heart wouldn't buy it and insisted that her insomnia had been Scorpius-induced. It punctuated this claim with a strange seizing beat that left me breathless. I so wanted my heart to be the victor in this argument.
My first two classes were Rose free and therefore a complete waste of time considering I only stared at the blank page of parchment in front of me until class was dismissed and I was that much closer to seeing Rose again. My first class with Rose was Potions were we sat as potions partners at the same desk. My heart leapt at the chance to be so close to her, but my mind knew better; this was going to be torture.
She didn't say a word the entire time we sat together. We were able to get through an entire brewing of Polyjuice without muttering so much as a syllable to each other. My heart thought this was some twisted form of foreplay, but my mind knew better. I have to admit; I had never hating being a logical person more in that moment than in any other. Somewhere in the back of my mind I had made the connection between her silence and her sudden understanding of where we stood in regards to each other. Her silence confirmed my growing fear of what would ever happen if I made my feelings known to her; of what would happen if I ever pushed for more than the shreds of affection she threw me. I was being rejected; not only as potential friend, but also as a lover. I cannot put into words the pain I felt when my heart finally came to the same realization my brain had come up with almost six months before. I only know that if I had thought I was hollow before, it was nothing compared to the emptiness that now consumed me.
My throat burned like I had been yelling for hours and my entire body suddenly felt hot, like I was blushing furiously, but my skin was unearthly pale. I felt like someone had hit me square in the mouth with a cotton charm, for I couldn't speak past the lump in my throat. Had it not been considered undignified, I probably would've crumpled into a pathetic heap of Scorpius right there in the middle of my potions classroom.
I missed lunch and honestly can't recall if I made it to my next two classes or not. I remember going to Transfigurations as it was my last class, but also because I remember staring at her for the entire class period, not even removing my eyes from her downcast face to answer questions. I remember going to evening meal, because it was there that I realized that I was not the only recipient of Rose's silent treatment. I watched Albus ask Rose a question and look about awkwardly when she didn't answer his question, but merely look at him with glassy eyes. It made my heart lurch and for a moment I honestly thought I was going to lose what small amount of dinner I had just consumed.
The walk back to the common room was an unusually solemn one for me. I kept replaying every moment I had ever spent in her company; from the first time I met her, when the Hogwarts Express had suddenly shuddered to a stop in front of Hogwarts station, pitching me through the open door of Rose Weasley's compartment, to the glazed look on her face when she stared at her cousin at dinner earlier. All the good and bad memories of her all seem to blur together creating the Rose I knew. I had never really realized the extent of my infatuation with her up until that moment. I had truly been in love with her, unrequited though it may have been. It was then that I came to the horrible conclusion that I wasn't really in pain yet. I had come to the conclusion that I had been rejected, but I had yet to hear my worst fears confirmed by the object of my affection. She had yet to bring voice to the words I knew would shatter my already broken heart.
I may be uncommonly brave for a Slytherin, but I am a Malfoy after all and Malfoys are not noted for their bravery. While I should've just continued on to our common room and gotten it over with quickly, I instead bolted the opposite direction like I was being chased by a blast-ended skewt. I rationalized this complete and utter act of idiocy by telling myself that I had to go on rounds anyway and it was near time to get started; I was just acting out of duty to my position as head boy, but that lame excuse sounded weak even in my head. About an hour went by with me just walking absently about the corridors; telling students to get the there dormitories here, de-charming pranked surfaces there, just the usual thoughtless routine while the whole time my head and stomach turned over on themselves, almost in unison. I kept scolding myself and trying to convince my body that I needed to just get started back to the common rooms, trying to convince myself that I could talk her into taking me back, if only as what we were. Finally, my logically inclined brain kicked in and made up a sort of deal. If I went back now and she was still in the common room, I would fight for her. I would let my broken heart rule me and continue to goad over her until I couldn't any longer. If she had already gone on rounds then I would wait for her to return and take her rejection with pride; besides, that was the healthier choice.
With a speed I didn't know I possessed sans Firebolt, I raced through the castle hoping to catch Rose back in the common room before she went on her own rounds, I could barely admit it to hope, but I sincerely wished that she had decided to go on rounds late and that I could catch her.
It seemed that the universe was trying to send me a sign and I was just too thick to catch it, I thought to myself as I sat waiting in the empty common room for Rose to finish her rounds. Upon climbing through the porthole to find the common room absent of a certain redhead, I sunk into a small depression that landed me with my head between my knees on the couch. For the moment it appeared that my heart had become blessedly silent in all matters pertaining to Rose; however, this left me alone in the fire lit common room with nothing but my thoughts, which were turbulent at best. I kept coming back around to the question of why she would possibly choose me over someone more suitable, like a fellow Gryffindor. The odds were, most certainly, not in my favor. My father had made hell for entire family throughout their entire school years, my aunt had tortured her mother (in my own house, no less), then there was the house lines which had yet to be crossed between a Gryffindor and a Slytherin. I personally wasn't such a bad choice, at least not in my opinion. I was the top of our entire class, even ahead of her at the moment, I was seeker on the Slytherin quidditch team, ran a tutoring ring that covered most all subjects, I wasn't a partier, and while I wasn't an active member, I had joined her mother's house elf freedom club. She was smart enough to see through my family, even if the rest of her family (Fred) couldn't, so when she finally got around to rejecting me, it would be because she didn't like me, and for that reason alone. That brought on another wave of nausea, which led to my head going between my knees to keep the projectile vomit from surfacing.
Having my head wedged securely between my legs kept me from seeing the porthole open and my own inner musings kept me from hearing the soft footfalls of Rose Weasley making her way to the pathetic mass that was me on the couch. It wasn't until I felt the slight dip in the couch next to me that I realized I wasn't alone in the room. I started slightly and shot up, immediately meeting her eyes. They were calm. There was more peace in her hazel gaze than I had ever witnessed in her before. I didn't know what to make of it, and lucky for me, she didn't give me the opportunity. She stretched up to her knees on the couch placing her hands on either side of my neck. She scooted closer to me placing a knee on either side of my legs, effectively staddling me. My mind had no idea what to say on the matter and my heart was fluttering so quickly in my chest, it had little time to do anything else. She pulled me closer to her, so that my chest was flush with hers and our lips were mere centimeters from each other; my height making up for her sitting on my legs, making us completely even with each other. I thought she was going to kiss me, but she surprised me by locking her arms around my neck and burying her face in my neck. It was such a simple gesture, a hug, but it was something so rare from her that I found myself all too into the situation far too quickly; wrapping my arms around her middle and holding her as tightly as I dared, pressing my cheek to hers and taking in the smell of her hair against my face. Her whole frame was shaking in my arms, but it wasn't until I felt the first wet drop running down the side of my neck did I realize why.
"Rose?" I said quietly into her ear.
She shushed me and shook her head back and forth on my neck, leaving wet trails over my neck and coat.
I held her tighter, wishing with all that I possessed that I wasn't the reason she was crying and simultaneously overjoyed that I was the one she wanted to hold her during this brief moment of vulnerability, whatever the cause.
She cried for what felt like hours, but must've only been about fifteen minutes. We somehow ended up stretched out on the couch, her head on my chest and our hands intertwined on my chest. It was the most intimacy I could ever remember having with her. I could hear her soft breathing change and knew she was asleep. I tried to stay awake as long as humanly possible so as to catalog everything about this wonderful, albeit strange, night into my memory, but fell asleep not long after her.
When I woke the next morning, it was to an empty common room sometime in the early morning. I felt I sharp pain lance through my heart but decided to quickly disregard it. If I was correct in my assumption, then Rose and I were back to where we were and that would have to be enough for me.
I jumped into fresh clothes and made my way to the great hall passing the Gryffindor table on my way to my usual seat. Of their own accord, my eyes sought her out at her table. To my complete and utter surprise, she smiled and waved at me. ME! In front of everyone, including her family. I would've fallen over from the shock, had I not gone stock-still instead, looking behind me to make sure I wasn't mistaken in thinking she was waving at me. I was alone in the passageway; it was most definitely me she was acknowledging.
I managed a weak smile and an awkward wave before finally willing my legs to move towards my seat.
I piled my plate with what I'm sure was a stupid smile on my face. It was something so simple, but I felt as though, in acknowledging my existence, she had acknowledged me as a friend as well. It wasn't much to boast about I suppose, but I had waited years to be called the friend of Rose Weasley. Being in my tunnel-vision cloud of happiness, I didn't notice anyone near me until I felt someone sit down next to me and brush my arm when they reach forward for the pumpkin juice. I looked to my right to find Rose sitting, not a foot from me, like it was her daily routine and this was nothing out of the ordinary. She looked up and caught me staring at her like she'd grown a second head. She gave me a shy smile which broke me out of my slightly stupid state.
"Pass the rolls?" She said softly, still looking me straight in the eye.
The stupid boyish smile returned to my face unbidden as I pushed the bread basket down the table towards her; never once deviating my eyes from hers. She smiled back and for the briefest moments, my hand touched hers on the breadbasket and she didn't so much as flinch from the physical contact in public.
My heart was in a lump in my throat and beat so loudly I was sure she could hear it. It was completely contented as though nothing had ever happened and for once, my mind was in complete agreement.