"No," I said flatly.
"Come on," Albus said, his voice grating as he tried valiantly not to let his tone dip into outright pleading. "She's not that bad!"
"Sure she isn't," I scoffed, shaking my head.
Al sighed. "Look, you're already here at Godric's Hollow, and she lives next door for Merlin's sake. Just be nice to her? You know what that means, right? You know, don't be… well…" he drifted off, a smirk playing at the corners of his lips. "You," he finished.
I glared as Al started to laugh. "Rose Weasley and Scorpius Malfoy will never be friends," I told him, settling further into the comfy chair by the side of his bed where I was seated. "Just accept it, Al."
"I won't," the stubborn arse said defiantly. "Just give her a chance, Scorpius. She lives right next door. You're just making your own summer hell if you refuse to at least accept she's going to be popping every once in a while."
I scowled. "Al-" I started warningly, but then was cut off by a knock on the door.
"Al? It's Rose, Aunt Ginny let me in! I heard Malfoy's coming in sometime today, and we have to talk now."
I turned to face Al, my expression one of pure horror.
The git merely tossed me a sheepish grin before vaulting off his bed and opening the door with a flourish. "Rosie, m'dear coz, how are you doing this fine day?"
"Shut it, Al," she said murderously, glaring at him. "How could you invite Malfoy over for the whole damn summer?" she demanded, completely missing my presence.
"Well, Rosie, I invited him over because he's my friend, and no matter how much you bluster on, he'll still be my friend. I like to seeing him just as much as I like seeing you," Al said calmly. "Why don't you come in?" He stepped aside as she stormed in.
I nearly laughed out loud at her expression as she caught me sitting on the chair, my travel bag open and nearly empty next to my foot. Her eyes widened almost comically as her mouth fell open in shock. She stopped short in the middle of the room, simply staring at me.
"Having a good summer then, Weasley?" I drawled.
"Better since I saw you here," she retorted, twisting around to glare once again at Al as he walked further into the room. "He's already here?" she nearly shrieked. "And you didn't tell me?"
Al grimaced. "I thought you'd react badly."
"And how do you think I'm reacting now?" Weasley cried.
"Like a psychotic nutcase, that's how," I told her succinctly as I busily twiddled my thumbs to show her exactly how much I was invested in our conversation.
She immediately rounded on me, eyes blazing in anger. "Oh I'll show you 'psychotic nutcase,'" she promised. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"I was planning on enjoying a parents-free summer," I said slowly, "But now I think you've effectively sucked the enjoyment right out of it."
"Malfoy, you better watch it-"
"I'll do nothing of the sort," I said shortly, leaning further back in my chair and surveying her with distaste.
She took a step forward, only to find her path suddenly blocked by Al.
"That's enough," he said as his bright green eyes stared her down. "You two are going to at least agree to be cordial. Now."
"Not a chance in hell," I scoffed from behind him.
"Enough!" Al repeated. "You two should be ashamed of yourselves," he began, glaring at the two of us in turn. "You're fourteen years old. Behaviour like this is only acceptable, and barely tolerated, when exhibited in James or Hugo. Now, the two of you are my best friends. Make this work, or Scorpius, I'm kicking you out and Rose, I'll keep you from this house."
I smirked. "Wow, Potter. You almost sound grown up."
"Nice try Al," Weasley retorted, "Aunt Ginny would be proud."
Al looked mightily offended at both our comments.
I grinned and shared a commemorative look with Weasley. She even smiled back before we realised what we were doing and quickly looking away.
Al was still wrong no matter how many looks Weasley and I shared.
"Fine," Al said, rolling his eyes. "Be stubborn. Rose, get out."
"Scorpius, I'm going to owl your mum and tell her to come pick you up tomorrow morning."
"Al!" I exclaimed, outraged.
"I'm not moving because of him."
"I'm not leaving since she's here."
"Well, then," Al said smugly, "You'll just have to agree to be civil, won't you?"
Weasley wrinkled her nose in distaste. "Civil? With him?" she asked slowly, deliberately not looking at me.
"Civil, with her?" I asked mockingly, pushing myself up from my chair to stand next to Al.
Weasley turned to glower at me. "No," she repeated firmly.
Al sighed. "Fine, Rose, get out."
"You heard what he said! Scat, Weasley," I said gleefully.
Al rolled is eyes. "You too, Scorpius. If you two can't get along, you can't stay here."
I stole a glance at Weasley. She had he brows drawn together in thought and a stray hand was fiddling with the end of her fiery red plait. She sighed, her breath fluttering her fringe. "You're making me be friends with Malfoy, Albus?" she asked dismally as if he had just asked her to maim a small furry animal.
"Yes," he said with finality.
I shook my head at his folly and prepared myself for another round with Weasley.
"Malfoy, do you want to be mates?" she asked, to my complete surprise.
"No," I said truthfully.
She didn't show any surprise or offense at my answer. In fact her face took on a decidedly resigned expression. "Me neither," she said, a small smile. "But do you agree to be, er, civil?"
I paused for a moment, considering her offer. I didn't trust her farther than I could throw her – which actually wasn't saying much as she was miniscule – but being civil I supposed wasn't too bad.
Knowing Al he could have made us agree to far worse.
I shuddered at the thought.
"Fine," I said with a long-suffering sigh. "I'll be civil, Weasley."
"As will I, Malfoy," she shot back.
"Excellent!" Al said, clapping his hands together.
I rolled my eyes and walked back to my chair.
"So, Rosie, what brings you over here?" Al asked, walking over to sit across from me on his bed. He patted a spot next to him to indicate that Weasley should take a seat as well.
She looked mildly ill as her eyes flickered from the spot of bed next to Al and the close proximity of my person.
"Do sit down, Weasley," I drawled, propping my feet up on the bed exactly where Al had saved for Rose. "We don't do personal invitations here."
"And yet that's exactly what I got," she snapped back.
She strode over and took the seat anyway, though, after unceremoniously shoving my feet off with a painful grimace as her hands made contact with my trousers.
I watched, amused, as she perched herself at the very edge of the bed near the wall – the furthest from me.
"You can actually relax, Rose," Al muttered, exasperated.
"I don't bite," I said, grinning at her.
"Much," I added in an unmistakeable undertone. "And only if you ask really nicely."
What could I say; it was fun to watch her squirm. The way her face flushed from the neck upward, the way her eyes narrowed as she took in the hidden innuendoes, the way her chest rose as she inhaled sharply…
All in all, very fun to watch.
Nobody ever reacted like Weasley; they would either give me exasperated eye-rolls (Al) or demonstrate absurdly exaggerated disgusted cringing (females in general).
After tossing a withering glare in my direction, she settled against the wall, looking marginally more comfortable. She was deliberately refraining from looking my way.
Well, I couldn't have that.
"So, Weasley," I started, turning to face her fully. "How's your summer been?"
She opened her mouth to respond, but I cut her off before she could get one word out.
"And no sarcasm or thinly veiled barbs about how it's just gotten a whole lot worse, or some other rubbish. Honesty is key, Weasley," I said patronisingly.
She rolled her eyes. "It's been fine, Malfoy, thanks for asking."
"No sarcasm," I inserted, wagging a finger at her.
"Wasn't being sarcastic," she argued.
"Oh come on," I said, surveying her impassively.
"Honest," she said, holding up her hands and giggling. "It's nice you asked. I didn't think you could spare a moment to think about someone other than yourself. It's nice you proved me wrong."
Well. How to interpret that…
"Yeah, well," I said, shifting uncomfortably as I suppressed the urge to respond to her crap insinuations about my self-centred tendencies, "It's my goal in life."
She smiled. "And I thought that was to get a tan."
"Oi! When have I ever expressed an interest in tanning?" I asked, astounded.
Weasley smirked. "Well, you haven't. I just assumed because you're practically albino that you'd want to get some colour. Prove to the rest of us that you're not a vampire, and all that. Suppress those nasty rumours that have been going on since first year."
"There are no such rumours," I snorted derisively.
She laughed. "There could be," she said, grinning. By her side, Al looked far too interested in this topic for my liking.
"There won't be, Weasley," I growled.
She simply giggled and leaned back on the bed, surveying me lazily. "Just remember that, Malfoy. Accept it as a caution, of sorts."
I rolled my eyes. "Is that a threat?" I asked coolly, leaning back in my chair as I surveyed her thoughtfully.
"Sure," she said flippantly. "Whatever."
Al grinned smugly, his emerald eyes darting back and forth between Weasley and me as the conversation continued.
"I see your enjoying this," I said blandly, turning to Al.
"Immensely," he said cheerfully, stretching out on his bed with his hands behind his head and staring up at the ceiling. "I knew you two could be friends." He laughed quietly to himself for a moment.
"We're not friends," I said sharply, breaking through his chuckles.
Beside Al, I saw Weasley nodding vigorously in agreement.
"Well of course not yet," Al said in a strained voice. "Friends don't refer to each other by their surnames, do they?"
His question was greeted by silence.
"His name is stupid," Weasley said after a moment.
"Her hair is stupid," I retorted back.
"Merlin, Malfoy, are you twelve?" she asked disbelievingly as she rounded on me.
I smirked. "Better than you. What are you again, fourteen going on fifty?"
"I am not-" Weasley began, incensed.
"Sure you aren't," I drawled, smirking, "because knitting and yelling at children when they interrupt your reading are often activities of fourteen year old girls."
"Malfoy you are so full of crap-"
"Rose!" Albus barked, alarmed at Weasley's display of temper.
Merlin, a teakettle could set that mad bird off.
"What, Al?" she demanded, rounding on him. "Am I supposed to just sit here as he blatantly insults me to my face?"
"Yes," Al responded emphatically, to my complete surprise. "Because sooner or later you're going to do the exact same thing to him, and I don't want either one of you storming out of here in a hissy fit. I'd tell you to both back off with the insults, but I think that's too ingrained in the two of you by now for me to change. So you'll just have to deal, Rose Weasley."
Weasley sucked in a deep breath and sent me a murderous glare. "I despise you so much right now, Malfoy."
Al sighed and rolled his eyes. "Why me?" he asked no one in particular.
I tossed a disparaging look his way. "You brought this upon yourself, mate. Better if you just send Weasley packing so you and I can have some real fun."
"I'm his cousin!" Weasley exclaimed, outraged.
"You're a pain in the arse," I shot back.
"Enough," Al said impatiently, pushing himself off his headboard to sit up straight and glare at us. "Believe me, there is nothing I want better than to send both of you packing, but this animosity you two have going is not going to work."
"It's been working just fine for the past three years," I muttered.
"Oh yeah?" Al asked, his green eyes narrowing. "How about when I had to send Rose to the hospital wing because she was hysterical after a combination of your hexes and insults last-"
"Al!" Weasley hissed, looking positively mortified. "You weren't-"
"Because he deserves how much his behaviour has affected you!" Al interjected, his voice rising slightly. "And you," he said, turning his angry gaze on Weasley, "Have to stop dredging up his family name every time he says something that you don't agree with! You have no idea how many times I've had to prove to him that I'm not trying to prove anything by being his mate."
I blinked, my eyes swivelling automatically to gauge Weasley's reaction. Her face as red, but whether it was from either from anger or embarrassment, I didn't know. She was running her hands nervously through the tail of her plait, obviously thinking hard. Her brows were furrowed in thought, and when she briefly looked up to meet my eyes, I looked away.
"You two are ridiculous," Al sighed after a full minute of uncomfortable silence.
"D-do you really not like it when I talk about your family?" Weasley asked in a small voice, so soft I barely heard it.
"No," I said shortly.
I was sure if I wasn't brusque I'd fall into downright nasty instead, and then Al would really kick me out if I said everything I thought about that particular habit of Weasley's. Whenever we got into some sort of spat or another, while I more often than not would resort to wands, she chose an entirely different tactic. It was as hurtful as it was frustrating. Now, I'd never admit that Weasley ever bested me at anything, ever – but during those arguments she came mightily close.
I remembered one time she had caught Al and me leaving the kitchens, sometime last February. We had been laughing at some stunt Al pulled with Professor Longbottom, and Al had just sprinted off to get ready for his Quidditch practice.
Our little jaunt to the kitchens had been in honour of our perfect mark on our yearlong Potions assignment together. Our friendship still had been on its first legs, and Al had felt we should definitely celebrate together to solidify all our hard work – both on the potion and as friends. It had been incredible, and although I'd never tell him for a million galleons, Al had been the best potions partner I could have hoped for. What he lacked for in pure scholastic intelligence he more than made up for in responsibility and dedication. Again, not that I'd ever tell him any of this. Wouldn't be right tell the poor sod I actually liked him, after all.
"What are you doing?"
I turned around swiftly at the unholy screech that had carried down the corridor. "Weasley?" I gaped, staring as the fiery girl came barging down the hall towards me. "Was it your Gryffindor bravery that convinced you that you could pull off that tangled mass atop your head?" I asked, smirking at her ire.
"Shut up," she said haughtily. "What were you doing with Al?"
"What's it to you, Weasley?" I asked in a bored voice. "Come on, I don't have all night."
Her eyes burned and she stalked right up to me so that we stood less than a metre apart. "What's it to me?" she repeated, her voice low and dangerous. "Why shouldn't I know if my favourite cousin suddenly ditches our study plans to spend time with you?"
"Oh?" I asked, my smirk dropping to be replaced with a scowl. "And why is it your business at all?"
"Because Al shouldn't be fraternising with people like you."
"And what's that supposed to mean?" I hissed in a low voice, knowing exactly what she meant and hating her for it.
"I mean," she said hotly, her rising temper evident in her reddening cheeks, "That it's not good for Al to be associated with dark wizards!"
"I am not, nor have I ever dealt with dark magic," I spat. "You and your rubbish accusations can go to-"
Weasley shook her head, curls flying everywhere. "Everyone knows what your family did," she said, her blue eyes flickering with unbridled passion. "I don't care whether it was your grandfather, your father, or you- you're bad blood."
I snorted. "Look here, Weasley," I said, true anger for the first time bubbling to the surface. "You are such a filthy hypocrite, as it sure as hell wasn't me or my family who went around championing the stupidity of blood purity. Now you've got the nerve to call me bad blood?"
She flushed as she realised the implications of her words. "Of course you would take my words at face value," she scoffed, rapidly regaining composure. "I had no intention of bringing up blood status-"
"Like hell," I interjected, "You can't accuse me of having bad blood and not implicate yourself. You sound ridiculous, and, let me say it again in case you missed it, like a fucking hypocrite."
Weasley flinched at my language. "What I meant," she began again, her blue eyes like chips of steel, "Was that your family has been on the wrong side of things from the start so maybe you should leave Al alone."
"You have no right to dictate who he should be friends with," I said dispassionately. "Albus Potter is a fully qualified individual with intact reasoning. There is no need for you to act like he's some infant who wandered to the wrong side of the nursery."
"I'm just looking out for Al's best interests, which does not include you," she said swiftly.
"Who the hell are you to judge that?" I demanded, crossing my arms over my chest defiantly.
"I'm his cousin!"
"And I'm his best mate, so you'd better deal," I said, my voice low and dangerous. Strictly speaking, that wasn't exactly true as we'd only became friends a little less than three months ago, but I wasn't one to quibble over semantics when arguing with Rose Weasley.
Weasley smirked. "And why do you think that is?" she asked rhetorically. "Everyone knows Uncle Harry's been the champion for forgiveness and forgetting the past, who's to say that Al hasn't inherited that particular trait? As far as I'm concerned all he's doing with you is proving his father's point that dark wizards can be befriended, contrary to popular belief." She threw me a significant look as her eyes burned into mine with hate.
My retort died on my lips, as the first inklings of doubt crept up my spine at her words.
Now, I knew that I hadn't been the most sociable of people. My name was a bit of a confusing topic for the wizarding world. Shunned by the pure-bloods who participated in the previous war and distrusted by everyone else, my family never quite fit in anywhere.
What if Weasley was right?
I knew what the rest of the school thought about me, and about my family. They paralleled Weasley's opinions exactly.
Then why would Potter be so willing to be friends with me?
But still, Weasley was just standing there, sneering at me and I didn't have any time to dwell on the unpleasant conjectures she had proposed.
"At least I have friends," I said coldly, as I fought to push down the shivers of panic that were coursing down my spine at her words. "Which is more than I can say for you," I added.
The smug look fell from her face no faster than if she had been doused with a bucket of cold water at my words. Spluttering, she gasped, "I have friends," her voice going a mite shrill.
"Family members don't count," I said coldly. "I've noticed that all you do is hang around Al. Doesn't anyone like your company? I guess not, for who would want to spend time with a know-it-all with an outrageous temper."
She looked positively murderous at that. She spat out another retort, something hateful and hostile. All I remember is that it all went downhill from there. At least, more downhill than it had already gone. Needless to say, more insults were thrown, more accusations were made, a few hexes were cast, and I stalked off in a huff and Weasley fled, muttering more curses under her breath.
Back at the Potters' months later, Weasley didn't seem affected by my harsh tone, anyway. Instead, she went back to fiddling with her hair, making the curls wilder and even more untamed.
It was another moment before anyone spoke, but this time it was Weasley who broke the silence.
"I'll stop," she breathed. "I didn't know, Malfoy. I'm sorry."
I quickly raised my eyes to meet hers. "Really?" I asked, stunned.
She shrugged. "It's nothing. I can talk about more than your family legacy. Like how I finally beat you in Transfiguration last term or how stupid your middle name is." She gave me a small smile.
I didn't know what to do with it; I was still too busy basking in the aftermath of her unexpected apology.
"Got anything to say in response, Scorpius?" Al piped up grumpily, leaning over to elbow me in the ribs.
"I, er, I'll stop hexing you," I said grudgingly.
Weasley studied me thoughtfully, her blue eyes roving knowingly over my face. I met her gaze challengingly, and she grinned a little in satisfaction. Slowly but surely, she began to relax in her seat, allowing her stiff posture to unwind and the side of her thigh to make the barest of contact with the fabric of my trousers near my calf.
Not to be outdone, I immediately lifted my feet and placed them squarely in her lap.
Weasley rasied her eyebrows in surprise. "I don't know you quite well enough to allow you to take those liberties," she said delicately, hefting my feet off her and onto the portion of the bed they just left.
"But Weasley," I said, smirking, "Aren't we friends?"
She shook her head, but she smiled nonetheless. "Not yet, Malfoy."
"Fair enough," I said, laughing.
"Getting there," Al inserted smoothly, his emerald eyes darting between myself and Weasley at dizzying speeds.
"Sure," I said, rolling my eyes. Across from me, Weasley was also demonstrating similar signs of disbelief.
Al shrugged. "Mark my words, you two will be mates before the summer's out."
"When hell freezes over."
"When hogs fly, coz."
Al rolled his eyes. "Merlin, you two even think the same. You'd be best mates if you didn't hate each other."
"Never, Potter," I drawled in response to Al's nonsense. By my side, Weasley nodded vigorously in agreement.
He simply shrugged. "Whatever. Don't be mates; see if I care."
"You know, that would have been convincing if you hadn't been telling us the exact opposite for the past twenty minutes," Weasley said thoughtfully.
"Unfortunately, I don't believe you," I told him, smirking.
Weasley gave him a sympathetic look. "Pretty minimal effort you put into that defence, Al."
He looked from Weasley to me and back again in disbelief. "Honestly? You two don't see it?"
"See what?" Weasley asked, confused.
Al groaned. "I give up. You two are denser than Uncle Ron."
"Hey! Dad's got his… merits," Weasley defended weakly.
I snorted. "Please."
"Who are you to judge my father, Malfoy?" she flared up at once.
"You judge mine all the time!" I fired back, but my voice lacked its usual ire when dealing with Weasley.
"Yeah well…" she drifted off, looking conflicted. "Sorry about that," she said bluntly.
I paused, staring at her curiously. "Apology accepted," I said quietly.
"Civility! Nothing like it!" Al burst out excitedly.
I was going to kill him. And by the looks of it, it seemed like Weasley was all too eager to join me.
A/N: There it is! I know you guys were getting pretty antsy with anticipation, so I just went ahead and posted the first chapter. Now all the ridiculous number of you with Compliments on alert can take it off and put this fic on instead!
Now, I only have one other chapter pre-written, so if I post willy-nilly whenever I finish a chapter, be warned that it's probably going to be two months minimum between updates (oh the joys of uni). Please vote in my poll, as it'll give me a gauge of what you readers want to happen.
So... apart from all that, how was it? Keep in mind that this is fourteen-year-old Scorpius talking (don't worry, he'll only stay that way for two more chapters) Any criticism on how the POV is working? Does it still sound like Scorpius from Compliments?