Disclaimer: Harry Potter does not belong to me.

For Amy is rockin, because she wanted me to write a Scorpius/Rose and she's, well, rockin' =P

A bat of her eyelashes, a prettypretty smile, a toss of her red curls and—

They're hers.

She learns fast, and she learns well, and she's learned how to get boys wrapped around her finger in a matter of minutes.

She's watched Victoire flutter her eyelashes and lure boys in with her own special Veela-induced shine, watched Dominique blaze her way into hearts with just one perfectly-timed glance out of her icy-blue eyes, watched Molly cake on make-up and flash smile after smile, and she caught on quickly to the secret from watching her older cousins.

Be pretty. Act sophisticated. Play hard to get.

She's Rose, and that's her life.

She aims for Scorpius Malfoy because she's fifteen and bored and rebellion by forbidden love was always a favorite cliché of hers.

"Hello," she greets him when she's over at Albus's house. He's staying the month with his best friend and it's opportune bewitching time. "Scorpius, right?"

He quirks an eyebrow, gray eyes amused. "Yes. And you're Rose."

"I am," she beams, tossing her—styled, shiny, perfect—red hair over one shoulder. So he knows her. Wonderful. "We have Transfiguration together."

"We do," he drawls, leaning back and stretching luxuriously in his chair and allowing her a look at his muscles underneath his white shirt.

Perhaps she's not the only one who knows how to play this game in the house.

She's always liked a challenge.

"Did you understand that last theory Professor Goldstein taught us?" she asks him, winding a wildfire curl around her finger and looking at him just right from under her eyelashes.

Scorpius looks interested. It's a good start. "I did. Didn't you?"

"No," she says, flashing him her dazzling smile, made for the express purpose of making boys melt. "Could you perhaps teach me?"

A grin crosses his face. "I would love to."

He's all hers. She just has to let him know, now.

It's remarkably easy after that.

They're sitting outside for one of their lessons, the sun beating down on their shoulders, their Transfiguration textbooks all but forgotten in the haze of summer sunshine and hormones.

"You have pretty hair," he remarks nonchalantly, reaching over to twirl a fire-bright curl between his fingers.

"Thank you," she says, her voice breathless, and leans forward.

She's honed her instincts to perfection, so she knows the time is right. And she's proven correct when he meets her halfway and claims her lips in the most burning kiss she's ever experienced.

"Oh," she gasps, not because she feels anything—because she's Rose, and she's stopped herself from caring a long time ago—but because it seems just cliché enough for her tastes. She kisses him back, drawing him in deeper when he tries to pull back (there's a metaphor in there somewhere, but she doesn't bother trying to figure it out), eventually turning that not-so-innocent little kiss into a make-out session.

He tastes like apple mint, and his hands are hothot rebellion on her body.

She decides to not throw him away immediately.

"Daddy, I love him!" she proclaims, dramatic and stubborn and just like Juliet (except she's not—and Juliet never did this, anyway). "I'm going to date him no matter what!"

Ron sags, relenting, just a little. "If you really love him, Rosie," he mutters, drawing her in for a hug. "If you're sure he's what you want."

"I'm sure," she assures him, smiling prettily. "I'm positive."

Albus catches her eye over her father's shoulder, the only person in the crowd who isn't laughing or shouting jokes or collecting money on bets. His green eyes are dark as he looks at her for the length of one heartbeat, and that best-friend bond that's been there since forever in their hearts tightens, just a little.

He's not happy with her.

To tell the truth, she's not too happy with herself, either.

At Hogwarts, they're the perfect couple, the modern-day Romeo and Juliet, clichéd and fairytale-like and romantic.

He brings her flowers, takes her on dates, flashes her those special smiles of his and, okay, maybe it's still a game, but at least it's fun and at least it's perfect. Because she's Rose and so she knows perfection and this, them, well, it's perfect. It's meant to be, it's true love, it's a bunch of other silly things from romance novels.

(Well, maybe not. But everyone else thinks it is, and isn't that what matters?)

"Do you really love him?" Albus demands, cornering her one day about three months into Rose-and-Scorpius, and she nods.

"Of course I do," she replies airily, flicking her hair out of her face. "Why would you doubt that?"

Albus sighs. "Look, I know we haven't been as close as we used to, but you're still my best friend, Rose. I know you. And I know when something's right for you and this relationship isn't."

"Don't do that," she frowns, feeling the walls she'd carefully built up since the first time she'd straightened her hair begin to tremble from the pressure he's putting on them. "Don't say stuff like that, Al."

"Why not?" he challenges, and she wishes, not for the first time, that he didn't know her so well. Because then, at least, he wouldn't know how to even touch her walls—but he does. "Why shouldn't I? You don't love him. He doesn't love you. Your relationship is built on those silly games you play, on that superficial nonsense—"

"Shut up!" she cries, pushing him away from her because he's breakbreakbreaking those walls, that illusion of perfection, and she hasn't trained herself to handle that.

All she can handle is perfection.

He comes over the next summer and stays with the Potters even though Albus didn't invite him.

She walks in on them arguing one day and feels her heart—or is it just the walls around her heart?—break a little more.

"Damn it, Scorpius," Albus snarls, slamming his hands on the kitchen counter. "If this is just a game to you too, I'm going to kill you. And if it's not—get a clue."

"You're being ridiculous," Scorpius drawls, all icy-smooth calmness, never losing his composure. "Rose and I are cliché, and clichés work. There are no games."

He sounds like he really believes it, too.

"Did someone says 'games'?" Lily interrupts their argument, bouncing down the stairs in an explosion of sunshine and rainbows, her smile lighting up her face—and, damn it all, Rose has never been able to master that easy happiness, no matter how hard she's tried.

She's never been able to shine like that.

"Not those kind of games, Lils," Albus sighs, running a hand through his hair but flashing his little sister a grin anyway. "But what do you want to play?"

Lily beams, bright and blazing. "Let's have a swimming contest in the river!"

Scorpius laughs and looks fondly at her, and Rose raises an eyebrow. He's never looked at her like that. "You're not even wearing a swimsuit, Strawberry."

She sticks her tongue out at him. "So what? It'll be more of a challenge if we're not."

"You're silly, Lily," Albus grins, ruffling her hair—strawberry-red, giving Scorpius's nickname some basis (but she still doesn't have to like it). "Why don't you go get your swimsuit and we'll go get ours and we'll meet you by the river in ten minutes, okay?"

Lily almost sparkles in her happiness, and it's simultaneously the most ridiculous and most beautiful thing Rose has ever seen.

And maybe that's why Scorpius smiles at her like that.

They're making out in the same place they first kissed when she finally gathers the courage to ask him.

"Do you love me?" she whispers, her breath hot on his mouth and full of fire and rebellion (clichés work, they do, they do, they do).

He pulls back, gray eyes astonished. "Of course I do. Why would you doubt that?"

That's exactly what she said to Albus.

And she'd lied then.

"I need a break," she tells him, feeling yet another wall come crashing down as she clumsily pushes him away with shivering fingers. "From—from—"

"From kissing," he prompts, loosening his grip on her waist.

She swallows acid. "Yes. Yes, of course. Why don't we just lie down and relax?"

Scorpius gently tucks a strand of fire behind her ear and smiles at her. "Whatever you want, Rosie."

Whatever you want.

Whatever you want.

Whatever you want.

Whatever you want.

No matter where she places the emphasis, the words never come out perfect.

She wants perfection.

She has it.

Why isn't she happy?

Games are supposed to be fun.

When they stop being fun, the intelligent solution is to stop playing.

Rose is intelligent.

Scorpius is in Lily's tree house, laughing and joking and teasing her, and Lily's standing in the center, blazing and beaming and shining, and when she looks at them, her heart aches and her walls break.

Because she can see that flash of something—love or happiness or (real perfection)—in his gray eyes, brighter than they've ever been around her, and she can see that same sparkle in Lily's hazel ones. She can see the brightbright smiles on both their faces, can see the way they shine together, can see their brilliant, blazing perfection everywhere around them.

And it's so much more than she ever had, and she wants it more than she's ever wanted anything.

But Rose is intelligent, and she knows she's not going to get what she wants with Scorpius anymore.

"It's over," she tells him the day after she finds him in the tree house, no longer quite so firefire rebellion as she used to be.

His hand stills on her waist, a blank look replacing his smile. "Forever?" he asks, carefully guarded.

She nods. "We wouldn't have worked out."

"How do you know that?" he asks, gray eyes narrowed in on her pretty perfection. "Cliché works, right?"

"Not always," she says sadly, leaning up to press a light kiss to his cheek. "You know that as well as I do."

He inhales, exhales, and seems a little relieved. "It was fun."

Rose laughs, a little bitter because those perfect walls of hers are nothing but dust and faded memories of hot summer days.

"All fun and games," she agrees after a heartbeat of silence in which she lets her perfection die peacefully in that room. And then she leaves.

Because she's Rose, and this is her life, and maybe it's not perfect.

But she doesn't need it to be, not anymore.

Author's Notes: So, I've been wanting to get inside Rose's head for ages, and look at that—I finally did it! I also finally wrote a Scorpius/Rose (except not really) =P Hope you guys enjoyed this! Please don't favorite without reviewing! Thank you! =)