Characters: Rose Weasley and Scorpius Malfoy.
Notes: This is a final 2011 story showing New Year's Eve in 2023 for seventh years, Rose and Scorpius. I hope you enjoy!
"You're awfully quiet," Rose whispers as the common room starts to liven and the music starts to play. Scorpius watches her unashamedly, his eyes only daring to drop for a second.
"Ever considered that I might be thinking?" He replies easily, still watching her.
It's the Slytherins' turn to host the annual New Year's Eve party, and all Houses are gathered in the dungeons to prepare for the fireworks some of the fifth years, and Rose, have set up.
"I have to admit, the idea never came to mind," she says absentmindedly, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear and stretching backwards and observing her Ravenclaw cousin, Roxanne, and her two best friends, Lorcan and Lysander, dance around the room, using the Slytherin banners as a make-do maypole.
"Fancy escaping now before the rush goes outside to see the fireworks?"
"But it's only..." Rose looks at her wristwatch from her Aunt Ginny. She blinks and squints at it. "It's only 11:27, Scor. We've got loads of time before midnight."
Scorpius rolls his eyes. "I can tell the time, you know. I just thought it would be nice to get away from here. Despite the amount of pride I show for my house, the dungeons are bleak and really not the best way to spend the last few hours of 2023."
"That I can agree with you on," she says, and she tugs on his hand and leads him past the late-night partiers who have decided to welcome the New Year at Hogwarts rather than home.
When they finally reach the school grounds and their classic willow tree with almost silver branches, they're out of breath and holding tightly onto each other's hand. They both embarrassingly let go and collapse onto the grass.
"Your hair's going brown," Scorpius comments, tugging on the closest hair that appears to be chestnut rather than auburn nowadays.
"Oh dear," Rose says drily. "I'm going to be disowned. There has never been a Weasley in history without red hair. It's sacrilege. Blasphemy. I fear this is my last night, Scor, before the wrath of Ronald is bestowed down upon me. Unless you save me, of course."
"I'm sorry," he replies, looking lethargically across the grounds. "I don't work on Sundays."
"Pity. Who else will save the poor dragon from the heartless virgin next Sunday? Not Albus, 'cause bless his Slytherin soul, his sense of self-preservation is hardly lacking."
"And you're saying mine is?" He asks, and Rose blinks up at him, her brown eyes narrowed and contemplative. A stray Weasley's Wizard Wheezes product sours closely past Scorpius' ear, but he can't say that he really notices.
"It might. I always said that blue was more your colour. It brings out your eyes," she says, pulling at his green scarf.
"Are you saying, Miss Weasley, that I do not have the classic Malfoy colouring suited directly for the noble colours of silver and green? That my skin tone does not suit the strand of emeralds I wear at my neck for formal parties that Mother always insists is not a necklace?"
"Your mother is a highly disturbing woman who seems inclined to believe you are but a doll to her," Rose scoffs with a scowl on her face.
"Are we bringing out the posh speak, now?"
"You started it, Scor. I should have been effing and blinding my way through school since first year, by way of tradition, but Mum seems adamant that the less of my father's habits I pick up, the better," she tells him honestly.
"She's a wise woman, your mother," Scorpius replies, thinking of the strong-headed Hermione Weasley.
"That's the way to go. You don't need to go to all the trouble of impressing my dad; compliment Mum and she's putty in your hands, and she also has Dad whipped. Piece of cake."
"I'll keep that in mind for my marriage proposal." He waves her off, leaning back on the cool, slightly damp grass to stargaze. He sees Rose shoot up from beside him. "Oh, no, not you. You should've realised that I harbour unfortunate affections for one, Hugo Weasley. Something about the wide-frame glasses and slightly off-centre nose..."
She laughs, and elbows him. "That's my brother you're talking about!"
He shivers in reply. "You're right. Ugh."
This time, she slaps his arm and leans back to lie beside him. "I'm a Scorpio, you know. From the constellation, Scorpius." She winks at him.
"Really?" Scorpius asks, searching the skies for his star-sign. "I'm a Leo. Rather unfortunate, don't you think? The lion in the snake house - more like ironic."
They sit in silence for a few more minutes.
"You won't be able to see Scorpius, Scor," Rose tells him after catching him looking at the stars. She points to the sky. "Scorpius and Leo are both summer signs. And plus, we're not really high enough to see Scorpius properly."
"How do you know all of this?"
"I listened in Astronomy," Rose teases. They stare at the stars for a few minutes. "So... got a date to kiss yet? Only a few minutes left now."
"I'm going to surprise her," Scorpius says, twiddling a strand of grass through his fingers out of only habit and nervous energy. "If she pushes me away - well - I can say it was a joke. Nobody gets hurt then, and I get my midnight kiss."
"That sounds like... not a bad idea," she replies thoughtfully.
He grins at her dark outline. "What? The Great Rose Weasley involved in trickery? For shame! What would your Mother say?" He asks dramatically.
"Probably that you can't spell Draco Malfoy without drama, and that certain flair for the arts has most likely been passed down to you," Rose tells him offhandedly. "So, who's the unlucky girl?"
Scorpius gasps, and turns to his friend. "Did I not just confirm my intended engagement to Hugh?"
"I suppose I live in a river in Egypt," Rose replies. "But, seriously? Who is it? If you can't tell me, you can't tell anyone." Scorpius opens his mouth to say that that is his intended idea, but Rose goes on. "Can't you tell your best friend? Your best friend since first year?"
"Yes, when you pounced on me," Scorpius replies, grinning.
"You impressed me," she says with a shrug. "I had to make sure you were my friend, against Dad's wishes. And stop trying to distract me, it's not working. Who is she?"
Scorpius looks round at the people now gathered outside of the castle. Most are in pairs or groups, with a few loners looking hopefully at whoever's caught their fancy. Scorpius laughs at them. Some of the fifth years are preparing fireworks and Rose starts to twiddle her wand in her hand. He sighs.
"You'd better go and help them. If they want to attempt NEWT work, they really should get the advice of a NEWT student."
"They'll be fine without me," she replies, but looks wistfully at the intricate and sloppy charms the students from various Houses are performing on the main event of the night.
""I'll compromise," Scorpius starts slowly. He sees Rose's eyebrows peak slightly. "How about I go with you and help with the charms, but don't attempt to be nice to the little kiddies that set my teeth on edge? Fair?" He proposes. Rose grins.
"Fair. Oi, you lot! Step away from the fireworks and let the almost-trained professionals handle it!"
"Ahh," he sighs. "Look at them scamper away. It's almost amusing. Now, how exactly are we going to do this, Rose?"
Ten minutes later, the fireworks are ready and Scorpius and Rose are standing at the front of the crowd. There's a countdown going in the background, but it's been going down since 100 seconds, so Scorpius has learnt to block it out.
"You ready to find your mystery girl, Scor?" Rose asks, with a hint of bitterness in her voice.
"You jealous, Rosie?" He raises an eyebrow at her, trying not to sound hopeful.
Albus, who had been talking with his friends, walks over and rolls his eyes. He pokes them both pointedly. "For Merlin' sake, lovebirds, pay attention! The fireworks are about to go off!" There's a silence from the crowd before the countdown begins.
"Look, Scor I wanted to say-"
"Rose, I know I'm going to regret this-"
"We've been friends for years and-"
"I mean, with my looks, it makes no sense-"
"You're still a conceited, stubborn prat-"
"And you're bossy and superficial and a Weasley-"
"And neither of our fathers will agree-"
"Please, please don't hate me-"
"But we've got to face up to this sometime-"
"1! HAPPY NEW YEAR!" They both lean in at the same time as the fireworks explode and sound above them in a flurry of colour.
It is clichéd and romantic and other couples are meeting under the rockets so they're far from alone, and maybe their fathers won't agree, and they've been friends for years, and yes, they're complete opposites - but dammit, it's a hell of a good kiss.
"You're awfully quiet," she whispers as the cheers start to fade and the fireworks blend back into the night.
"I'm thinking," he replies slowly. He coughs, and looks at her. "I'm thinking that your hair is most definitely going brown." He pauses.
"Do you work on Mondays?"
"For you," Scorpius starts with a smile, and he leans down to play with a strand of her hair, watching her unashamedly. "I'd slay any virgin, red-headed and otherwise." And he kisses her again as she gazes at the stars.