They're the last two in the common room. He's watching her, but she doesn't seem to notice as she stares into the fire.
"What do you think it's like," she asks, "being in the fire?"
He averts his eyes, knowing that's she's noticed him (how does she always do that?) and doesn't answer. He just looks at his lap and the book perched on it (Romeo and Juliet. He's always been romantic).
"Scorpius," she says, and he can tell from her voice that she is becoming impatient. "How do you think it would feel to be burned?"
He still doesn't answer, and she finally leaves after ten minutes of silence. She's angry, he thinks, but he just doesn't know what to say.
The girl with the dark red hair and the bright blue eyes has always fascinated him, but that doesn't mean he wants her to notice him, even though in a secret little corner of his brain, he does.
The next time they speak is a year later. They're in sixth year, and the last two left again. It's the same routine—her staring at the fire and him staring at her.
"You never answered my question," she says suddenly, looking at him. She isn't facing it, but the fire still burns in her blue, blue eyes, the ones that are so like fire, but so like water at the same time. She's an contradiction, that girl.
"Pardon?" He asks. He's surprised, which is the only reason he manages to talk to her without puking.
She giggles; such a strange sound coming from her. It doesn't fit in with the fire and the water. It has no place in Rose Weasley, he thinks, but at the same time, it does.
"Last year," she replies. "I asked you what it would be like to burn along with the fire. You never answered. What do you think?"
"Painful," he says slowly, thinking it through as he answers. Rose Weasley deserves only the best answers. "It would be painful, but it would also be exhilarating, I think."
She grins at him. "When you think, your face screws up."
He doesn't know what to say to that, and her expression tells him he doesn't need to. When he sees her the next day, she grins at him, but he still can't speak to her. She's still Rose Weasley, the girl of fire.
In their seventh year, she sits down at his table in the library. "Hello," he says quietly, adjusting the black rimmed glasses she wears for reading.
"Do you remember when we were in fifth year and I asked you what it felt like to be burned?" She asks.
"In sixth year I told you it was painful and exhilarating," is his only answer.
"I'm glad you remember," she smiles lightly. "It's not true, though. Being burned only hurts like the fieriest pits of hell."
"And you would know this how?" He asks, still pretending to read his book, even though all of his attention is focused on her.
"Romeo and Juliet again?" She asks quickly, changing the topic. "First fifth year and again now? You're a hopeless romantic, Scorpius Malfoy."
"Rose," he warns her. "Just tell me."
"Promise not to judge," she tells him. He nods. "No, promise me out loud."
"I promise," says the boy with the glasses.
"You'll break that in a moment." Her laugh is dry and humorless. "I ran away. My family kept it quiet—they knew I'd go eventually, I think. It was… out there in the real world, away from Hogwarts… it hurts, Scorpius Malfoy. It's not like you'd think."
Suddenly the girl of fire seems just a bit more human to him. "Where'd you go?"
She stares at him and laughs. She just laughs. He screws up his face again, remembering her comment the year before and tries to figure her out.
"You're so naïve, Scorp." It's a name no one calls him. How fitting it belong to her. "I'll see you in hell."
He doesn't comment. There's two reasons behind it. He has nothing to say, and she's gone before he can think of anything. He regrets his silence, but then again, he always regrets Rose Weasley. She's the one thing he can't understand, and it kills him.
scorpius, a note left by his bedside table says, i need you. be the last one again.
"You don't capitalize anything," is the first thing he says when she sees her.
"Trust it to you to mention that first," she rolls her eyes. She's putting on a brave face, he can tell that much. Something has her worried.
"I'm running away," she tells him, biting her lip.
"Where to?" He asks.
"Anywhere," she replies. "Everywhere."
"Why tell me?"
"Because you aren't full of shit. Everyone around us, they're just pretending." The flames are in her eyes again, and he can't remember being so scared of anyone else in his life. "I'm so tired of it, of living here in this castle where everyone plays games and keeps secrets."
"So you're going to leave here and go to an even more secretive world?" He asks, raising an eyebrow.
She shrugs. "Out there, I won't be the daughter of Ron and Hermione, or Harry's niece, or Hugo's sister. I'll just be me, Rose Weasley."
Rose Weasley, the girl who plays with fire, he thinks. He doesn't say it out loud, though.
"Good luck," he tells her.
"I don't capitalize because I want to be fair to all of the letters," she says. He's already going back to his dorm, and he pretends he doesn't hear, but he writes his next essay in all lowercase.
It's no surprise to him the next week when she runs. Albus Potter asks if he knew, and he wonders if he's supposed to lie to protect Rose. He decides to answer with a simple, "Yes."
Albus shakes his head. "There's something about her," he says, and Scorpius has to agree. There's just something about Rose Weasley.
She doesn't come back, not that year, and not the next, but every year on October fifth, the day he told her what being burned was like, and he receives a note with a single rose petal. It always says the same thing. Being burned is so painful.
When he's thirty-five, the note never comes. He isn't surprised to find out that she's dead. The girl who played with fire was finally burnt.
He leaves a note on her grave with a single rose petal. See you in hell.
This was for Lady Phoenix Fire Rose's challenge "The One Hour Challenge/The Hardest Challenge" on HPFC. I wrote this in an hour. It was RoseScorpius (duh) with the prompt flames. Sorry there wasn't much romance. Rose was just too fiery for that.
Several things influenced this, mostly on accident. Rose is modeled slightly off of Margo Roth Spiegelman from John Green's book Paper Towns. It's worth reading, if you haven't already. Also, there's a rather small Doctor Who quote in there. Props to whoever can find it.
Sorry that was so long, by the way.
I don't own HP.