This is our last chance,
Give me your hands.
'Cause our world is spinning at the speed of light.
- Animal by Ke$ha.
The clouds are so thick tonight that she can only just see the muffled blinking dots that are the stars. With a dour thought on how this night reflects the end of her education, she presses the full bottle to her lips and takes a gulp.
Then she spits it all out over the cobbled balcony because she's Rose Weasley and Rose Weasley has never had a swig of Firewhiskey before in her entire life. Why tonight, she finds a small voice asking her inside of her head. Because she was supposed to make something of herself and she hasn't, she thinks back, pissing herself off more by the moment. Perhaps she should just throw herself off of the balcony and end it.
She pulls herself back to reality with a bitter laugh. That would certainly be a headline: Two-Thirds of the Golden Trio lose a child due to her utter failure. How tragic.
Now she is just being a drama queen and she knows it. Only drama queens spend the night before graduation up on the Astronomy tower occupied by only a bottle of poison and even more poisonous thoughts. It's pathetic. She's being pathetic and she's very aware of the fact.
She blames it on the pressure that everyone else seems to find non-existent. But it's there because she can feel it. The weight that presses down on her chest whenever a test is announced in class, and there's that moment where the Professor looks in her direction and thinks, 'Yes, Rose Weasley will undoubtedly pass this with flying colours for she is the child of Hermione Granger, the Brightest Witch of Her Age,'. She can feel it in the cracking of her bones from attempting to be the best Keeper that Gryffindor has ever seen - her father was the 'King' and Quidditch talent was, of course, hereditary. It might've seemed like being the eldest child of two Wizarding World idols would've made your life a piece of cake, but all it did was set the expectations of you too high. So high, in fact, if you made one tiny mistake, you'd fall to your inevitable failure.
Which Rose thinks she has. Fallen from the sky high pedestal that she's made for herself. She shouldn't really be complaining; passing her Seventh Year exams with straight Os should be something to celebrate, shouldn't it? But she can't help looking back on her high school years and feel like she's been missing out. There's no memories of partying or late nights - unless they were in the Library - and there's definitely no detentions scorching her perfect and golden record. She was the poster child for being a swot, while the rest of her cousins spent their time wallowing in popularity and attention.
She's mildly contemplating pouring the rest of the Firewhiskey over the balcony into the darkness below when a familiar voice makes her blood turn to ice. Then she turns, composing her face into a look she's been practicing for years, towards the boy who's been the cherry on top of her Hogwarts mess of a cake.
"Don't waste that," he says, walking towards her. She would call it strutting except there's an effortless fashion about it that even she finds fascinating. In a disgusted kind of way, naturally.
He reaches her and she has to fight the urge to step backwards; they're adults now and the least she can do is pretend to be civil. Taking the bottle from her, she notices that he smirks at the amount of liquid left and she wants to hit him. She doesn't though, she just looks out to the silhouette mountains and the moon's distorted reflection on the Lake as it peeks from behind a cloud.
Animosity is radiating off her very skin and she's surprised that he can't feel it. It's not that they're standing particularly close, but it's definitely a closer proximity than she has ever allowed before. She has a feeling that if it was up to him, he'd have touched her sometime back in Fourth or Fifth year.
"Nice night," he drawls, but something in his typical I'm Better Than You voice is lacking. Still, she notices his smirk is still in tact. She keeps her gaze forward and tenses her jaw, so he presses the bottle to his lips to fill the silence.
It's a shame really. The thing is that he's almost sorry that they never became friends. It made sense; she is smart and he is smart, she is beautiful and so is he. Something like a friendship between people like them was the kind of thing to spark controversy, and there was nothing more that Scorpius liked than creating chaos - no matter how slight.
But there was no way that she is ever going to let them become friends. No, definitely not. Probably because, even though she will never admit it, she's jealous. He is everything that she ever wanted - still wants - to be. Despite his impeccable grades, the boy still finds time to bed everything eligible girl in the school and party on a Friday night. There is no pressure to be a golden boy for him, his name is already tainted, and he doesn't give a damn.
That's what she wants to most: to be able to not give a damn about anything.
At least she's still not a virgin. That would probably have been enough to send her over the edge. Metaphorically, of course. Suicide is still pathetic, even though at this moment, she will do anything to get away from him.
She flicks her eyes sideways, studying him like she does every other day. He's become a bit of an obsession for her - but not in a romantic way. More in the way she looks at a particular horrendous Arithmancy problem for hours until she gets it. That kind of obsession.
It startles her, mainly because she can't tell how much time has passed, when he chuckles slightly. "Stop staring at me, Weasley."
Now her ears are turning red but it's dark and she's thankful that unless Malfoy has some strange night-vision then he can't see them. However, knowing the overachieving, cocky bastard, she thinks he probably can.
"I'm not staring," she says indignantly, but it's so clear that she really is. And she knows that he knows it. He's perceptive like that. Always has been.
Smirking as always, he nods a little, just to humor her but it only throws her off. In what parallel universe does Scorpius Malfoy humor Rose Weasley?
He holds the bottle towards her casually, letting the moonlight trinkle through the sloshing amber liquid. His silver eyebrow is arched in a challenge and she'll be damned if she doesn't take it. And Merlin, it burns so much as it hits her throat. She swallows defiantly though and she thinks that she almost spots an impressed flicker in his stony eyes.
A small feeling of achievement wells in her stomach. To impress Scorpius Malfoy hasn't been something she'd ever aimed for, but she knows that he isn't easily impressed. Her hand swirls the bottle through the cold air and she smiles out into the night.
That's all they do. They stand in silence, passing the slowly depleting bottle between them, not saying a single word. Rose doesn't know how long has passed by, and neither does he, but they're both becoming comfortably aware of the haze creeping in on their sight. Despite the fact that a drop of strong liquor has never passed her lips, Scorpius realizes that she handles it particularly well. Better than he did on this first time, at least.
Out of the blue, a giggle bubbles from her mouth and breaks the silence. Scorpius looks to her, a smile of intoxication slowly spread across his features. "What?" he asks, and she only looks at him and laughs harder. He frowns. Is she laughing at him? Is there something on his face?
He stops his hand midway towards his forehead when he notices her turning. Red wisps of her hair catch the dim lamplight cascading through the window, turning them to burning embers. Merlin, she's beautiful and he'd admit it like it was a fact, but never like it affected him. And it did affect him, more than he ever wanted anything to.
She's smiling at him and he can't help but feel a little wary. Rose never smiles at him. Then he remembers that she's drunk and he's drunk, and whatever happening right in this moment, whatever this moment is, he shouldn't let it slip away. Even if it is with a Weasley.
He's staring at her in a way that makes her heart leap, more than she's comfortable with. Still, her smile doesn't waver. She can't help but see - like she's always seen - how utterly gorgeous he is with his tousled white blonde hair, stormy grey eyes and that jaw line that sends shivers down her spine. And those lips, for the love of Circe. Why hadn't she noticed those before?
Warning bells are screaming inside her head: this was Malfoy and he was becoming alarmingly close. So close, in fact, that she can trace the scar of the side of his jaw where she'd hit him with her broom in Third Year. There's a whisper of a smirk on those tempting lips and something in his eyes that she can't decipher. Could it be possible that Scorpius Malfoy was actually coming onto Rose Weasley?
"Rose," says the beautiful boy in front of her, but his voice is rough, like it's fighting against him just to get out. It sends shudders through her, but she refuses to show it. Instead, her eyes are wide on his and the smile is slipping away. When she doesn't back away, flinch or yell profanities at him for using her first name, he takes it as a green light and steps towards her. "Why are you up here tonight?"
While his voice was soft, sensual, the question was so intrusive that Rose wants to back into a corner and build metal walls around herself. Impenetrable, that's what she'd once been called. But she doesn't. She swallows back her pride, a little easily done with the help of the Firewhiskey, and answers him.
"I've failed everything," she goes to say firmly, but it comes out in barely a whisper. The surprise that contorts his face for a second makes her want to run away, but she fights the urge and roots her feet to the floor. If she was going to anything wild and dangerous in her Hogwarts life, it might as well be this. However, the surprise is gone as soon as it came, and he's studying her with an intensity that triggers something inside.
The last thing she expects him to do is touch her. "How could you have possibly failed?" he asks, and his hand is cupping her cheek. She doesn't jerk away and, contrary to her previous beliefs, his touch isn't like acid. In fact, if she's being honest, it's really quite nice.
"I don't know," she whispers to him. "I just feel like I've missed out on everything. No late night parties, no drinking, no reckless kissing."
As soon as the last word leaves her mouth, it's caught between both of their lips as he kisses her. She forgets what to do. She stands there, frozen for a moment, before dissolving into somewhat of a marshmallow person against him. It's a quick kiss - soft, tender - but her lips flare at his, and her ears are turning red. Again. This time she knows it isn't because she's angry. Their mouths don't fit together like jigsaw pieces and there's no firework display, but she's pretty sure that it's the most alive she's felt in... well, ever.
Surprisingly, he's the first to pull away. She stares at him, dazed and wondering to herself what the hell just happened. In fact, she's not even sure if it actually happened. Then, he gives her a half-smirk, half-smile and she waits for regret to punch her in the stomach. It doesn't.
"There," he says in a breathy, triumphant voice. "Now you've had a reckless kiss, just in time."
Now, she stares at him, unsure what to say or what to do because the reality of what has just happened is slapping her in the face like a wet fish. She has kissed her arch-nemesis, the very boy she has spent the last seven years avoiding like the flu. And, at the end of all the feuding, fighting and sarcastic remarks, she's just gone and kissed him.
And she wants to do it again.
He's watching her carefully, trying to decipher her thoughts because he's - yes, the Great Scorpius Malfoy - is scared out of his mind that she might reject him. A girl has never rejected him before and he's never been worried, but Rose Weasley has always been different. Excuse the pun but she's been the thorn in his side since he was eleven years old. Always a constant reminder of her presence. If Scorpius was being honest with himself, which he never is, he'd say that he had a crush. An irrational, nonsensical crush on the girl he could never have.
But she just kissed him. That had to mean something, right?
"I have to go," she whispers, and his heart plummets. Then he catches himself because a Malfoy's heart should never plummet. He watches as she turns towards the great big wooden doors, confusion painted on her face. At least it isn't regret, he thinks.
"Goodnight," he murmurs flatly, just as the great wooden doors shut and he's left alone with a nearly empty bottle of Firewhiskey. Not only that, but no matter how many times he licks or bites or sucks on his lips, he can't get rid of the taste of Rose.
Then he realizes he's not sure if he wants the taste to go.
So yeah. Hello. This is the first thing I'm posting in a little while, so I might be a little rusty. It might be a three-shot kind of thing or it might be more, I don't know. But I hope you liked it. If you did, please post a little thing in my review box :) That would make my day.