a/n: This Lent I had a bet with Aiiimy as to whether or not I'd be able to give up Bradley Cooper. I thought I would be able to, she didn't. The bet was that if I won, she had to write me a 10k MollyLorcan, and if she won, I had to write her a 10k DominiqueScorpius.

Sadly, I slipped up while I was away in France and we were having a family conversation about Rachel McAdams which moved onto Wedding Crashers and inevitably I chipped in to remind everyone that Bradley Cooper was in that film… I don't think I've been so annoyed with myself in a very long time.

Anyhow, the next day I set to writing this. The agreement was a 10k oneshot, but I reached 20k words in five days and realised there was no way I could publish this as a oneshot. So I've decided to make it a multichapter because otherwise everyone will refuse to read it. I'll put a word count for each chapter up so Aimy can affirm that it makes 10k.

For Aiiimy.


i know it's late but i can't help but thinking
that the day hasn't shown all its cards.
- Dark Roman Wine, Snow Patrol

chapter one : (4390)

The fact of the matter is that Dominique Weasley hates Scorpius Malfoy. It's as simple as that. It's one of those basic facts that are knitted into the fabric of Hogwarts, like how Gryffindors have recklessness issues and Lysander Scamander is always in detention.

To be fair, it is a little unexpected. It was always supposed to be Rose who hated Scorpius, after all, thanks to the little scene with her father on the station in her first year. But Rose has this thing about not living up to expectations and she was thoroughly determined not to be a cliché from day one so she marched up to Scorpius when they got Sorted into Gryffindor together and shook his hand and said, "Hi, I'm Rose."

And he replied, "Hi, I'm Scorpius," and from that moment on they coexisted. They're not friends, which is a massive relief to Dominique, but they're not enemies either. They just are. And it works fine for them, so who cares if everybody else is just the tiniest bit disappointed?

Dominique meets Scorpius for the first time the following summer when Al – who, for reasons incomprehensible to most of the Weasley family, has become best friends with him – brings him back to the Potter's house for Lily's tenth birthday.

Dominique, at eleven, is bouncing off the walls as she sneaks yet another fistful of sweets, dodging her overbearing mother and pretending she doesn't notice the mudstains up the side of the white dress she was forced into under protest.

"Dominique!" another voice yells crossly, and Dom literally skids to a halt as she recognises her elder sister's voice. Victoire, at eighteen, is looking more impossibly beautiful than ever as she stalks across the Potter's garden, glaring at her younger sister.

"For Merlin's sake, Dom, you have to behave," Victoire chides breathlessly, tugging one of her heels where it's become lodged in the lawn, "You've got to be grown up else Maman'll be sending you letters every five minutes when you get to Hogwarts. Trust me."

"I am grown up," Dominique protests, hiding sticky fingers behind her back, "I'm going to go to Hogwarts and I'll be the most grown up there is!"

"That made no grammatical sense whatsoever," Victoire informs her, then pulls out her wand and quickly tergeos the dirt off Dominique's dress, "C'mon, come with me to say happy birthday to Lily."

"Everyone's saying happy birthday to Lily," Dominique argues, but wipes her hands on her dress quickly, prompting another eye roll and tergeo charm from Victoire, and then takes her sister's hand as they cross the garden to where Lily is holding court.

At ten, Lily looks like nothing so much as a street urchin plucked out of a brawl and dumped into the middle of the party. With grass stains on both knees, a huge ragamuffin beam near splitting her cheeks in two and her green eyes dancing as she laughs at one or other of the Scamander twin's antics, Lily is definitely the life and soul of the party, even if she is the youngest-but-one of all her cousins.

"Hello, birthday girl," Victoire says, letting go of Dominique and bending to give Lily a hug, "How does it feel to be ten finally?"

"Great!" Lily responds cheerily, clutching tightly around Victoire's neck, displacing that perfect blonde hair, "Like being nine, only better!"

Victoire laughs and disentangles her cousin, turning to give Dominique a shove forward.

"Happy birthday," Dominique mutters, because she's eleven and it's hopelessly uncool to associate with somebody who's a year younger than you, no matter that she and Lily used to be bestbest friends, "I hope you like our present."

Lily glances over to where the large present from Bill, Fleur, Dominique and Victoire is sitting at the bottom of the pile and beams.

"Thanks, Dom," she says brightly, that big grin still in place, "I hope you have fun at Hogwarts."

Dominique's smile widens now, much more genuinely this time, "Thanks! I'm really nervous, actually, in case I don't get Gryffindor."

"Merlin, I hope I don't get Gryffindor!" Lily exclaims fervently, ignoring the looks of shock from those around her – Potters go into Gryffindor, that's another of those basic facts of life, "Imagine being stuck in the same house as James and Al for six years, eurgh."

Victoire laughs where she is hovering over the pair and ruffles Lily's ragged curls, "I'm sure you'll think differently when you get there."

"Nuh uh!" Lily protests, ducking aside and giggling, "Anywhere but Gryffindor! I'd even take Hufflepuff. I hate books so I can't be Ravenclaw like you, after all."

"What if you get Slytherin?" Dominique breathes in horror, hands at her mouth, but Lily just throws her head back and laughs uproariously.

"We'll just have to wait and see," she announces when she's done laughing, but when she looks at Dominique this time those greengreen eyes are glittering with promises and something else that, when Dominique reflects later in life, can be nothing but pure lust for the idea of being Sorted into Slytherin.

At that moment, the whole party seems to still and Dominique whips her head around to find the cause of this surprise. She finds everybody staring at two boys in the doorway to the Potter's house, one blonde and one dark-haired, standing gazing around themselves. The dark-haired boy is smiling a little apprehensively, eyes very wary under his fringe as he gazes around at his gathered family and the various hangers-on. The blonde is the picture of arrogance, and for a twelve-year-old he has a very imposing presence.

Dominique unintentionally shrinks behind Victoire a little and whispers to Lily, "Who's that?"

"Scorpius Malfoy," Lily whispers back, and the volume of her voice rises as people gradually begin to start chattering again, casting suspicious glances at the two boys, "He's Al's best friend. We're all supposed to hate him but Al likes him so he can't be too bad."

"I'm not sure I trust Al's judgement," Dominique informs her, her eyes trained on the duo as they mingle into the party, Al having to actively tug Scorpius along behind him at some points, "He told me that trying to dye my hair purple would be a good idea."

Lily snorts in an undignified manner at the memory, unable to help laughing, and Dominique is chuckling despite herself when Albus and Scorpius suddenly appear in front of them.

"Hey Lils," Albus says easily, looking the picture of relaxation in the summer sun, "You know Scorpius already. Scorp, this is my cousin Dominique. Dominique, Scorpius."

Dominique glances around for back-up, but Victoire has disappeared to talk to Teddy who is laughing exuberantly with a friend at the other end of the garden.

"Alright," Scorpius drawls, taking a sip of the drink in his hand, his eyes raking her up and down in a remarkably unsettling manner, "Nice dress."

Dominique glances down at the frilly dress, and when she looks back up there is mocking laughter dancing in Scorpius' cold grey eyes.

"Nice drink stain," Dominique compliments in return, and when he glances down at his front to reassure himself that she's seeing things she steps forward in one smooth motion and knocks his drink out of his hand, sending a creeping red stain down his shirt that spreads as they watch.

"Dom," Albus reproaches in horror, giving her a shove backwards, "What on Earth was that for?"

Behind Dominique, Lily is doubled over with laughter, clutching her stomach. Dominique squares her shoulders, glaring in equal parts at Al and Scorpius. To her horror, Scorpius is merely looking faintly amused, his hair very blonde in the sunshine.

"Don't patronise me," she commands firmly, crossing her arms, expression thunderous, "It's rude."

Scorpius is just opening his mouth to reply when Teddy suddenly appears in between the girls and the boys, hair gradually flushing from a celebratory gold to a warning red.

"Is there a problem here?" he inquires in an even, steady tone, eyes casting suspiciously over Scorpius and then softening when they come to rest on Lily.

"None at all," Scorpius replies evenly, every line of his body screaming nonchalant superiority, "I was just on my way to find a clean shirt."

And, with one last supercilious glance backwards, he has disappeared into the crowd.

"Please, Dom, be nicer next time," Al pleads as he begins to follow his friend, "He was very brave to come here."

"He's a prat," Dominique retorts firmly, arms crossed, and Al is about to reply when Teddy takes him gently by the shoulders and gives him a shove back towards the house.

"Go find him a shirt," he orders firmly, and then turns back to Dominique with his arms folded, one eyebrow arched down at her, "So I'm guessing you knocked his drink over him?"

"A little," Dominique confesses, one foot scuffing in the dust, "He was rude."

"That temper of yours is going to get you in serious trouble one day," Teddy warns her, but there's a grin starting at the corner of his eyes and Dominique knows she's not in trouble.

"That peace-making complex of yours is going to get you in serious trouble one day," she shoots back, and he chuckles and then staggers backwards as Lily springs out of nowhere onto his back and clings on tightly around his neck.

"Bloody hell, Lily!" he exclaims as he tries to unhook her, but she just clutches tighter and giggles and informs him that Victoire is looking for him, giving Dominique a wink from over his shoulder. Dominique laughs, the tiff with Scorpius already forgotten, and goes off to see if she can persuade some unsuspecting adult to transfigure her dress into jeans and a t-shirt.


On Platform 9¾ on the first of September, Dominique is trying to wriggle out of her mother's embrace.

"Maman, please, I'm going to miss the train!"

"'ow am I going to cope wizout you?" Fleur demands, peppering kisses onto her daughter's hair, "Eet will be trop quiet! Now Victoire eez going to university, I will 'ave no-one. Ne personne."

"You've got Dad," Dominique points out validly, managing to free her face enough to send a helpless look up at her father, who just grins and makes no move to aid her, "And I'll be back at Christmas!"

Fortunately she is saved from suffocation by her Uncle Percy, who appears with Lucy and Molly in tow. Lucy, already wearing her Hogwarts robes, is looking like she can barely contain herself with excitement, trying desperately to pin her blonde hair back while fending off her younger sister at the same time.

"For Merlin's sake, Molly!" Lucy exclaims as Percy greets Bill and Fleur, the latter finally releasing Dominique, "Let go! You're going to be fine at home by yourself! Lily is without James and Al, isn't she?"

"Please take me with you!" Molly begs, totally ignoring Lucy, suddenly releasing her sister and attaching herself to Dominique instead, "Please. I'll do anything."

"You're not old enough, Molls," Dominique reasons gently, prying her cousin off, "It'll be your turn in a couple of years. 'Sides, think about it – you've got your parents all to yourself, and you'll get all the cake and stuff like that. How cool is that?"

Molly looks slightly happier and lets go of Dominique, short red curls bouncing as she skips up to her father.

"Daddy, can we go to the zoo tomorrow?" she asks brightly, tugging on his sleeve and ignoring the fact that he's talking to Bill, straining up onto tiptoes to try to get his attention, "Pleeeeease?"

"I'm talking, Molly," he tells her with barely a pause. Undeterred, Molly continues tugging at his sleeve, and Bill takes advantage of Percy's distraction to usher Lucy and Dominique towards the train.

"C'mon, girls, before Fleur realises you're leaving," he commands, levitating their trunks for them and hurrying them along, "Did your mother not come today, Luce?"

"Nah," Lucy replies, looking quite unbothered, "She said she had a meeting today. She was dressed up really pretty for it too. But she put on too much perfume, it made Molly sneeze five times in a row."

Bill looks vaguely preoccupied as he helps the two girls up onto the train, leaving them with their trunks, but manages a big smile as Dominique leans down to hug him.

"Have fun, lovely," he tells her, putting his arms around her slim form, smiling into her hair, "You're going to be brilliant. And don't worry about the Sorting. We'll love you whatever."

"Thanks, Daddy," Dominique replies, hugging him tightly, suddenly ragingly reluctant to let him go. But she does, somehow, and backs off so Percy can say goodbye to Lucy, hugging her tightly and then lifting Molly up to hug her too.

"Bye, girls!" Percy calls as they disappear onto the train, searching for a compartment. They pass one full of very rowdy third years, and Lucy actively winces as a particularly loud yell tumbles out of the door. They make it about three metres before a black-haired boy almost falls out, turning to swear amiably at the person who attempted to trip him, and hollers at them.

"Luce! Dom!"

The two girls turn and find James bearing down on them, beaming magnanimously, jumper on back-to-front, "Why don't you come sit with us?"

"Thanks," Dominique says, watching in amusement as something sails towards the compartment window and splats messily against it, "But if it's alright we'll find some other first years to sit with. Get to know them and stuff, y'know?"

"Okay," James replies with a shrug, and then reaches out and ruffles both of their hair at the same time, looking like a proud parent, "I can't believe it, you two at Hogwarts already!"

"Oh, shut it," Dominique mutters, but James is already disappearing back into his compartment and slamming the door behind himself.

"One obstacle safely navigated," Lucy comments with a chuckle as they carry on down the train, passing more full compartments, lugging their trunks with their faces getting redder and redder from the effort.

Eventually they find a compartment with only three other occupants, all looking out of the window waving goodbye to parents, and exchange a look before sliding in.

"Hey," Dominique says brightly, summoning all her courage, "Mind if we sit with you? We're first years."

"Us too," says the only other girl in the compartment, turning around and looking relieved at female company, "I'm –"

"Grace!" Lucy interrupts, pushing past Dominique and beaming down at the other girl, "Grace Longbottom! You come to birthday parties and stuff with us. Your dad's friends with some of our aunts and uncles."

"Lucy!" Grace exclaims in delight, hopping up and giving Lucy a big hug, and then Dominique one just because, grinning all the while, "Merlin, I thought I wouldn't know anyone!"

"You remember Dom though, right? She knocked a drink on Albus' friend Scorpius at Lily's party," Lucy presses, beginning to huff and puff as she tries to get her trunk up onto the rack. Grace nods and tries to help, but when it becomes obvious that they're struggling one of the boys finally drags his attention away from his waving mother and leaps up to help them.

"You know me," he says, and Dominique does a double-take as she recognises him, calculating that he must have grown a good few centimetres since she last saw him, "Lorcan Scamander. Lysander's just on his way – my dad caught him trying to smuggle his salamander onto the train."

Dominique laughs and abandons her trunk to hug him, relieved that she knows another person, "Lorcan! It's so nice to see you!"

"Yeah, yeah," Lorcan deflects, blushing slightly as she releases him, turning his attention back to helping Grace and Lucy with the trunk as the other boy moves to give Dominique a hand.

"I'm Tristan," he tells her, practically shaking with shyness, "Tristan Edgemoore. It's nice to meet you."

"Dominique Weasley," Dominique replies as they give her trunk one final shove and install it safely on the rack, shaking his hand and beaming, "Nice to meet you too. Have you got any brothers or sisters at Hogwarts already?"

"No," Tristan informs her as they flop down onto one of the seats, Grace, Lucy, and Lorcan taking seats on the other side, "I've got three older brothers but none of them can do magic. I'd never even heard of Hogwarts before I got the letter on my birthday."

"You're Muggle-born?" Lucy demands in abject delight, leaping up from her seat and snuggling cosily down next to him, "Can you explain something to me? I saw a girl with…"

Dominique tunes out as Lucy goes off on one of her Muggle-centred rants, grinning idly across at Lorcan and Grace, not needing to explain to them Lucy's weird fascination with all things Muggle that she apparently inherited from her paternal grandfather.

Lucy is distracted as a doppelganger of Lorcan tumbles through the compartment door, slamming it shut behind him and falling heavily into a sitting position against the wall beneath the window, breathing rough and desperate.

"Did he see me?" he demands of Lorcan, who merely rolls his eyes and shakes his head. Looking around, the boy catches sight of Lucy and Dominique next to each other. A massive beam nearly splits his face in two as he recognises them, "Lucy! Dominique! How are you guys?"

"Not bad, thanks, Ly," Dominique replies with a grin – Lysander has always been able to make her laugh, "Yourself?"

"Eh, so-so," he replies, still beaming, blonde curls flopping onto his forehead as he rummages around in a pocket and withdraws a lizard, holding it in cupped hands and bringing it up into a shaft of sunlight to examine it, "Dad found Hitchcock in the car on the way here. He set my pocket on fire."

The salamander, Lorcan mouths when Tristan, Lucy, Grace, and Dominique all shoot confused looks at him. Lysander, turning the salamander over, is oblivious to this.

"I didn't realise we were allowed salamanders," Grace ventures after a short, slightly stunned silence, all of them rocking as the train begins to move, "I thought it was just owls, cats, rats, or toads."

"We're not," Lorcan informs her, with the air of one who has had to elucidate this multiple times.

"That's why I had to evade my dad," Lysander explains, finishing the sentence for him, shoving Hitchcock the salamander back into a pocket and then clambering up and shoving his way onto the seat between his brother and Grace, looking pleased with himself, "I'll just install him in the fire when we get to Hogwarts."

The train gathers speed as Dominique, Lorcan, and Grace all begin to discuss the latest Quidditch results and Lysander pulls a sketchpad out of his pocket, examining some slightly singed drawings, as Lucy continues to cross-examine Tristan on the finer workings of iPods.

They've been travelling about ten minutes when a boy and a girl poke their heads into the compartment, looking worried, "Um, I don't suppose you're first years?" the boy enquires.

"Yup, we are," Dominique announces cheerily, hopping off her seat to pull the door open for them and beckoning them in, "I'm Dominique, that's Lucy – she's my cousin, then there's Lorcan and Lysander, they're twins –"

"Really?" Lysander butts in sarcastically, grinning.

"And Grace and Tristan," Dominique continues blithely, ignoring Lysander and smiling, "Who're you?"

"I'm Saoirse," the girl ventures, the hint of an Irish brogue just breaking through her voice, despite her obvious efforts to the contrary, "Saoirse Finnigan."

"And I'm Jack," the boy informs them, helping Saoirse get her trunk up onto the rack before doing his own with apparently little effort, taking a seat gratefully as Dominique shuffles up to make room, "Sasha and I've been looking for other first years for ages."

"Saoirse," Saoirse corrects with the exasperated air of having told him this many times already, "It's not that hard. Say it with me. Sorr-sha."

"Whatever, Sasha," Jack tells her with a grin, and they all laugh as Saoirse jabs him hard in the shoulder and then takes a seat between Grace and Lysander.

Half an hour later and the conversation has rolled inevitably to the Sorting.

"I hope I'm Gryffindor," Saoirse says fervently, hands on heart, "Both my parents were and so are my sisters and brothers."

"How many brothers and sisters do you have?" Dominique asks her, and winces as Saoirse announces, "Six."

"Ouch," says Grace, "I thought I had it bad with two sisters."

"They're not so bad," Saoirse defends with a grin, "At least I know what to expect."

"Unlike me," Tristan puts in, looking more and more at ease in the relaxed atmosphere, "I'm the first in my family so I have no clue. I didn't even realise there were houses at Hogwarts."

"Yup," Lorcan explains, smiling, "There's Gryffindor for brave people, Ravenclaw for smart-alecks, Hufflepuff for loyal people and Slytherin for mean people."

"Cunning people," Dominique corrects, giving him a glare, "Being Slytherin doesn't automatically make you mean. Some of my cousin's best friends are Slytherin."

"Yeah, but, let's be honest, who really wants to be a Slytherin?" Lorcan presses, and the others all shudder in agreement, leaving them all rolling around laughing.

"Well, I want Hufflepuff," Lucy announces firmly, Grace next to her nodding furiously in agreement, "I'm not brave and I'm rubbish at learning."

"Says the girl who speaks four languages," Dominique shoots back with an eye-roll, and Lucy blushes as all eyes switch towards her in shock.

"Four, seriously?" Tristan asks, breaking the surprised silence, "How come?"

"Well when I was little I got really annoyed at not being able to understand when my Aunt Fleur – Dom's mum – talked to Victoire in French. So I decided to learn French."

"Just like that," Dominique mutters good-naturedly, grinning, "And then what was next, Luce?"

"Well, I liked French so I went for Spanish, but that got boring after a while so I switched to Russian."

Most other mouths in the compartment are hanging open by this point, apart from Lysander, whose pocket has just been set on fire by Hitchcock (again). He beats out the flames calmly, barely even flinching, and then in an unruffled tone, turns to Lucy and inquires, "And what's the last one?"

"Italian," Lucy replies, sticking her chin in the air as if to defy ridicule, "I like the way it sounds."

"Bloody hell," Lorcan ventures finally, looking at Lucy with newfound respect, "How did you learn them all?"

"Uncle Percy reckons it's some weird outlet of her magic," Dominique explains idly, unable to help beaming with pride, "Like, instead of being really good at Charms or whatever, her brain just gets languages. It's bizarre. You speak a word or a grammar rule or something to her, like, once and she just knows it from then on."

"Well, I'm jealous," Saoirse decides eventually, grinning, "I wish I could do something cool like that. Instead I get my one burst of magic at five where I smash a vase, and that's it."

They all laugh and Lucy's blush starts to fade, and the conversation returns to houses.

"I don't really care where I am, so long as it's not Slytherin," Lysander announces cheerfully, "Although Hufflepuff might be fun. I like yellow."

"You'd never be Hufflepuff, Ly," Lorcan protests, "You're not anywhere near nice enough."

"Thanks for the vote of confidence," Lysander teases, and Dominique splutters with laughter in a most undignified manner, and she's about to comment that she suspects Lorcan might get Hufflepuff when their compartment door slides open and a bushy-haired girl appears.

"Hey Lucy, hey Dominique!" she exclaims, nearly tripping over Grace's feet as she enters, "Just wanted to see how you were getting on – oh, hi Grace. And Lysander and Lorcan! Didn't take you guys long to find each other."

"Hey Rose," Dominique says brightly, grinning up at her cousin, "We're fine thanks. Talking about the Sorting."

"Take my advice and don't think about it," Rose warns seriously, "You'll do your nut otherwise. I nearly went mental on my first train ride."

"We'll bear that in mind," Lucy says with a smile, "Thanks. Have you got –"

She's cut off suddenly as another person strides into the compartment, horribly familiar to Dominique, and turns his attention straight to Tristan.

"Are you related to Arthur Edgemoore? You look like him."

"He's my brother," Tristan replies in surprise, shrinking backwards into his seat, such is the magnetic force of this newcomer, "D'you know him?"

"Are you kidding me? He's, like, the greatest show jumper in the country."

Oblivious to protests, Scorpius makes Lucy, Jack, and Dominique budge up so he can sit down next to Tristan.

"You know show jumping?" Tristan replies in complete surprise, eyes wide, "Are you Muggle-born too?"

"Don't be stupid," Scorpius commands arrogantly, kicking his long legs out, looking thoroughly comfortable despite Dominique's glare burning a hole in the side of his head, "Of course I'm not Muggle-born. But my mum is a massive show jumping fan, and I saw him winning when I was competing a while back."

"You compete?" Tristan asks, looking like he couldn't possibly be more surprised, quailing slightly when Scorpius turns his piercing grey gaze on him, "Have I heard of you?"

"Of course not," Scorpius tells him dismissively, running a hand through his hair, "I'm only twelve. I'm not old enough to compete to any good level yet. Father's buying me a new horse for my thirteenth birthday though."

Meanwhile, the other occupants of the carriage are staring at each other helplessly, and Grace sums up all their feelings when she turns to Saoirse and whispers, "What's show jumping?"

Saoirse whispers back, and she's halfway through her explanation when Scorpius finally loses interest and gets up, disappearing out of the compartment after Rose without so much as a backwards glance.

"Bloody hell," Lorcan exclaims feebly once he's gone, "That kid is scary."

"He's an arse," Dominique corrects crossly, glaring at the spot where he disappeared, "Thinks he's the next bloody answer to everything."

"Good-looking, though," Saoirse ventures, her face a furious red colour, and Lysander makes a face as Lucy bursts out laughing, and soon the merry atmosphere is restored and they're all chatting as though they were never interrupted.

a/n: if you like this enough to favourite, it would make my day if you left a review at the same time!