AN: WARNING: this is a long author's note. Anyway, hello! Here it is, FINALLY, the companion piece to 'He fancies you.' Don't worry, it works as a standalone as well, although I do recommend those who are unfamiliar with that piece to go read it! It's the same story - just shorter - in Rose's POV.

This is for my sister and my friends, who stood by me and encouraged me to write. BIG BIG LOVE TO YOU GUYS, you know who you are.

It's terribly long, and I hope no one gets bored of it! This took quite some time, and I thoroughly enjoyed writing from a different perspective, and I hope you enjoy reading it! Do review if you favourite!

Reviews are as important and irreplaceable to me as humus is to trees in a tropical rainforest.

Just so you know.

xxxicylemonsquash


Effect.

She just had that effect on him.


I walked into the great hall, my eyes instantly zeroing in on the Gryffindor table, looking for a familiar curly red ponytail.

There she was, picking up a pastry and scowling at her cousin, Dominique, the one with the Veela blood. Still couldn't hold a candle up to Rose, in my opinion.

...This was bad for my health.

I made my way towards them, watching as Rose indignantly swallowed the last of her pastry.

I was within earshot now.

"He doesn't fancy me!" she practically wailed. Dominique turned around, arm-in-arm with my cousin – Matheus Zabini – and caught my eye. She held my gaze and smirked, then stretched her neck round further to wink at Rose.

So Rose fancied a bloke, huh?

I ignored the painful twisting in my gut, and carried on walking toward her. It was just like her to think the bloke she fancied didn't reciprocate her feelings.

I wanted to find out who this dunderhead was.

I stopped behind her, and spoke, carefully maintaining an indifferent countenance. "Who doesn't fancy you?"

Not waiting for a reply, I slipped into the seat next to her, ignoring my silver and green tie, and the red and gold ties that adorned the people sitting at the table's collars - as I usually did.

"'Lo there Scorpius," she mumbled, sounding very much like Crookshanks had just died. She scooted over a little, giving my arse a little more breathing space.

"You sound so happy to see me."

"Indeed, Mr Malfoy."

I paused, my earlier curiosity not sated. I still wanted to find out who this dunderhead was.

"Who doesn't fancy you?" I repeated, tilting my head round at her so I could get a clearer look at her face.

She bit her lip lightly, picking up another pastry. "That's irrelevant," she said primly, her eyes locked straight ahead.

Merlin, she could give my mother lessons.

I made a face at her.

Rose did this to me. She brought out whatever I had learned to lock away upon coming to Hogwarts. An example being the crude facial expression she was now being subjected to.

She kept silent, concentrating solely on the pastry that was encased by her thin fingers.

Oh what did it matter who she fancied. It wasn't me.

"Well," I said offhandedly, pulling away from her, "there's no need to drown your sorrows in food." My lips stretched into a smirk, waiting for the undoubtedly coming exclamation.

"OI!" she cried, indignantly turning around to face me.

Got your attention now, didn't I?

"Better watch that waistline, Rosie," I baselessly teased, deftly plucking the pastry out of her nimble fingers. I threw it into my mouth.

She frowned, drawing herself away from me. "You better watch your waistline!" she retorted feebly, furrowing her brows unhappily.

I chuckled. She was just too easy to tease. "I, unlike some people, am an exemplary sportsman."

This was true, though. I had won Slytherin three quidditch cups in my four years as seeker.

She blubbered something about morning runs, and then exclaimed "I'm perfectly fit!" She turned away from me, picking up another pastry as if to prove her point. I watched her red hair swish around, a few strands getting caught on her face. Her dainty nostrils flared and she bit her lip in annoyance. I resisted the temptation to brush the stray hair away from her face.

I had to give that to her, she was perfectly fit.

"Yeah, you are," I said reflexively.

Then I realised the implications of what I had said.

Run. RUN!

I got off the bench as quietly and quickly as I could and immersed myself in the large crowd that had just entered the hall.

I guess that was why I was sorted into Slytherin.

Coward.


"Oh Scorrrrrr!" I heard a terrible, flirtatious high voice call out from behind me.

Oh crap. I groaned inwardly, speeding up my walk.

I was headed to the library, where I'd hoped I'd bump into Rose. This was the last thing I wanted now.

"Scor!"

I really hated when people called me that.

I heard the clinking of her heels against the stone floor as Sienna Williams, Slag of the Century, jogged to keep up with me. I felt her hand on my shoulder in seconds, and I fought the overwhelming urge to shake it off. She spun round, so she was now facing me, her hand on my chest.

Eck.

"Hello, Scorpius," she said, in what I assume was a seductive voice.

"Sienna," I nodded stiffly. I gently pushed her hand off my chest. "I'm actually in quite a rush," I said, backing away from her. I pointed past her shoulder and gestured to the path leading to the library.

She took my hand in hers, and I refused to squirm. "I don't think you need to spend more time in the library, you're smart enough. Maybe you could tutor me?" she pouted, and I felt like running as far away from her as I could.

"I'm sure other people could-"

Then she pulled her shirt off.

Dear Merlin, couldn't she take a hint?

I don't even know how she did it that fast. Practise makes perfect, I guess.

This time I took two large steps away from her, avoiding looking at the lacy black garment that was now completely visible. I put my hands before myself. "Listen Sienna, I really can't do this right now."

She reached out, past my upraised hands, and with a deft movement, her index finger undid the first three buttons of my shirt.

Bloody hell, Hogwarts needed better uniforms.

Besides, was this girl going to rape me?

I grabbed her shoulders and pushed her a safe distance away from me. "I've really got to go. I need to meet someone."

"Merlin Scorpius! Get a room if you intend to shag someone!"

Oh shite.

Rose stood opposite me, holding her hands up to her eyes, her lips sketched into a disgusted frown. Sienna grabbed for her discarded blouse and resisting the urge to run to Rose and hide behind her from Sienna, I redid the first three buttons of my shirt.

She lowered her hand, yelling, "Don't you have any dignity?"

I looked up, surprised to find she was her gaze – and her words – were directed at me. Why was she looking at me like that?

"Excuse me?" I asked evenly, even though I surprised at the turn of events. What did dignity have to do with anything?

"Yeah, now you decide to be polite!" she raged, blood rushing to her face.

"What are you talking about?" I asked coldly, my jaw tightening. What the fuck was she talking about?

"What kind of guy are you, ripping her clothes off in public?" she demanded.

"Rose," Sienna called quietly.

Rose ignored her, her eyes focused only on me, looking at me like I was the most disgusting piece of slime to set foot in Hogwarts. That pissed me off. That really pissed me off. Did she really think so lowly of me? I know I hadn't been the most conservative of guys last year, but I was always a perfect gentleman. She should know that – especially her. And fuck if she was to wrapped up in that bloke she fancied to see that.

"Listen, Rose, just because you're such a prude, doesn't mean you have the right to go around judging others," I grit out, not even bothering to defend myself.

"I'm not a prude!" she screamed, her eyes betraying the hurt her voice hid.

I kept going.

"For someone who claims to be so awfully intelligent, you're acting an awful lot like an idiot. When will you ever learn to keep your nose in your own business?" I asked evenly, my fury at being judged by her rising through my words.

"Rose," Sienna called quietly, again.

She looked like I had just slapped her, and I immediately wanted to take back my words. "Shut up," she said weakly, backing away from us. "Just... shut up." She shook her head at me, and I noticed her wide blue eyes were glistening – tears.

She opened her mouth and closed it, seeming beyond words. She swallowed and spun round, heading in the direction of the library.

I opened my mouth and stepped forward, reaching out, but she was gone in seconds. I ran my hand through my hair, turning to Sienna.

"Are you happy now?" I asked her shortly.

She bit her lip, twirling beach blonde extensions around her finger. Without waiting for an answer, I walked away, in the opposite direction that Rose had gone.

Fuck my life.

###

Albus slid into the seat next to me in potions.

Can't say I wasn't surprised. Rose'd hardly sit next to me since the fiasco last Friday.

"Collins asked Rose out," Albus informed me.

I blanched, turning around to look at him. "She said no, didn't she?" I asked, my anxiety coming through clearly. Albus raised his hand subtly, signalling me to wait, and raised his head, eyes following Rose as she entered the classroom.

Rose met Albus' eyes and shot him a watery smile, completely ignoring my presence.

I watched her walk away, large red ponytail swishing together with the movement of her hips as she walked. She took a seat next to Francesca Longbottom.

"Why would she?" Albus said truthfully. "Girls seem to find him perfectly 'dashing'," he quoted his younger sister, rolling his eyes slightly.

"Because he's a cad! You've heard how he talks about girls!" I whispered harshly, clenching my fists.

Oh this was thick. Rose got on my case for being a manwhore – which I am not (not anymore, at least) – and here she was, going to go out with the biggest arse in Hogwarts.

"But she hasn't," Albus said calmly, ever the voice of logic.

"Then tell her!" I ground out, lowering my head as Professor Bane entered the class.

"She won't believe me! You know her, she'll just think I'm being overprotective, like you were."

"What do you mean?"

"Scorpius," he deadpanned, "You've scared off almost every guy that was ever interested in Rose."

"I haven't!"

"Billy Jacobs, Damien Finnegan, Daryl Thomas-" he rattled off, throwing me a look.

"Yeah, but none of them deserve Rose!"

"You don't think anyone is good enough for Rose," he stated.

"That's because nobody is," I muttered, turning away from Al, and facing the front of the class.

"And calling her a nosey prude is exactly the way to show her you think that highly of her, isn't it?" Al said sarcastically, shaking his head.

"I guess not," I mumbled, pulling my quill out of my bag.

###

The next day, Al told me Rose agreed to going out with Collins.

Incidentally, I also bumped into the Collins the same day.

I put a hand on his back as I walked up from behind him, alerting him of my presence. "Malfoy," he greeted, and nodded at me.

"Collins," I returned his greeting. "I heard you asked Rose out."

"Yeah I did," he grinned at me. "Fine piece of meat, isn't she?"

Chauvinistic pig.

"Listen here, Collins," I said evenly, taking my hand off his back. "You hurt her, in anyway at all, and I will make sure I hurt you."

He looked me in the eye, and my irises never left his gaze. He was trying to size me up, I suppose.

"Since I am fairly sure that it is impossible for you to act respectfully toward any girl, I recommend you stay the hell away from Rose."

His jaw tightened. "Is that all?"

I nodded. "Glad we cleared that up, mate," I said, and increased my pace, leaving Collins behind me.

Hopefully he'd make the right choice.

###

When I saw Collins sitting at the Gryffindor table with his arm wrapped around Rose, Al had to physically restrain me from punching him in liver.

What was so great about Collins anyway? Why would Rose want to go out with him, of all people? He couldn't match up to her intellect, her humour, her beauty, nothing. He was a disrespectful git, and it pained me to see her putting up with him.

Or to see him touch her.

###

When I heard Collins cheated on Rose, however, Albus wasn't around to prevent me from pulverising his face.

###

Funnily enough, later the very same day, Rose spoke to me for the first time the entire week. As I walked by the Gryffindor table after a rather lonely dinner at the Slytherin table, approaching Al to tease him about his inability to ask Francesca Longbottom out, Rose's head jerked up at the sound of my voice. I ignored this, clapping a hand on Al's back. Since Rose was sitting right next to him, out of the corner of my eye, I distinctly saw Rose's head snap around to take in my bruised knuckles.

She swallowed and returned her attention to her food.

I called Albus spineless pussy, and told him to man up, if only to distract myself.

Albus spluttered indignantly as his cousins – save Rose – burst into laughter.

I cheerily – and completely ingenuinely – called out goodbye, stalking off to wallow in my undisputable cowardice. Why couldn't I bloody speak to Rose?

"Scorpius!"

That voice gave me chills, in the best way imaginable.

I turned around to see Rose jogging up to me, her wild curls bouncing in their usual thick ponytail, a few loose strands framing her thin face. I abruptly stopped, waiting for her to catch up.

"I… er, I was walking up back to the tower anyway, so I thought… we could maybe walk together for abit," she said awkwardly, fingers fiddling with the hem of her untucked blouse.

"Sure," I said easily, nodding for her walk with me.

She smiled in relief, probably grateful that I hadn't made it difficult for her.

As we walked through the stone corridors, it was silent, the clicking of our shoes the only sound echoing through the halls.

"So Scorpius…" she said quietly, as we walked. "I saw your right hand just now. What happened?"

She peered over her shoulder at my right hand.

I smiled at her, but I was rather sure it didn't reach my eyes. I raised my hand, making it easier for her to see, the large purple welts present on my knuckles.

"I had a nasty incident with a bludger during practise. I seemed to think it would be apt to punch the bludger away from my face."

"Oh."

It was a lie, and she knew it.

"Well, don't you think you should go see Madam Clearwater?"

"That's alright," I said glancing at my hand, which was painfully throbbing.

She stopped walking and reached out, and gently touching one of the large bruises. I flinched, and she looked pained at my expression. "Maybe I could help heal it?" she asked uncertainly, looking up at me, as I came to a halt as well.

"Do you know how?" I asked, turning to face her fully.

"I know how to reduce the swelling," she murmured, taking my quidditch-calloused hand in her dainty one, and looking at it closely. "And make it hurt less."

I nodded, trusting her. She wasn't the smartest witch in our year for nothing. "Give it a go, then."

She nodded, pulling out her wand. She held my right hand in the palm of her left, raised her wand above it, quietly murmuring spells that were unfamiliar to me. I paid no attention to my healing hand and focused all my attention on her. She was about a head shorter than me, and she was so petite, she just disappeared in my arms when I hugged her.

I glanced at her long, dark red eyelashes, musing at how they seemed to go on forever. Tiny freckles were scattered around her forehead and cheekbones and across her immaculate, small, sharp nose. She bit her light pink lips and furrowed her thin brows as she concentrated on my hand.

Merlin, she was beautiful.

Just as I thought this, a stray curl fell from where it was messily parted, at the side of her head. I impulsively used my left hand and brushed it away from her face. She looked up at me and smiled, looking rather amused. She brought her own wand-hand up to tuck it behind her ear.

She focused on my hand again.

"I'm sorry, you know," she said quietly. "I shouldn't have said all of that without knowing what actually happened."

"I should be the sorry one," I muttered darkly, frowning. "I said terrible things, for absolutely no reason-"

"Done," she interrupted me, letting go of my hand. I raised it to my face, and she really had done a good job with it – it wasn't half as swollen, and I could barely feel it, save for the light throbbing of the bruises.

I flexed my fingers. "Thanks," I said, and I meant it.

She grinned, and hooked her hand through mine, like she always did. The familiarity of the action was so welcoming.

She begun walking, and there was a spring in her step that hadn't been there previously. She looked up at me, blue eyes gleaming. "What do you say to letting bygones be bygones, Scorpius?" she asked, her lips curving up in the corner.

"Fuck yeah," I laughed, and I felt like it was the first time in years.

Blimey, the effect this woman had on me was maddening.


Rose looked at her peas disgruntledly, her lips sketching into the oh-so familiar tiny frown that often graced her lips. She prodded them with her fork, and mumbled, "Stupid ball."

I cocked a brow at her, seeming to have been the only one who had heard.

Then her eyes suddenly lit up and she smiled widely, looking up, her blue eyes wide and excited. Looking at her smile was enough to make my stomach feel like it was falling from the Astronomy tower. I kept my face nonchalant and continued looking at her, waiting for her to elaborate.

"Let's not take dates to the Victory Ball!" Rose said excitedly, putting her fork and spoon down and flapping her hands like an excited bird.

I laughed at the odd action and she put her excitement on hold to scowl at me.

"Huh?" Albus looked taken aback at the random statement.

Lily turned round and looked at Rose as though she was mad.

A few perturbed first-years glanced at me cautiously, their eyes on my green and silver tie, clashing with the rest of the Gryffindor table. I raised my brow at them. "I'm not going to murder you," I informed them, my voice even, low and cold.

Their eyes widened, and they hurriedly stumbled away from me.

"Unless you want me to," I drawled to their retreating forms. Shaking their heads vigorously, they tripped over each other trying to find the seat furthest away from me.

Lily laughed and Rose sighed. "Do you have to terrorize them like that?"

"Yes. They should learn not to stare."

"Curiosity's not a sin."

I switched the topic of our conversation. "So what was this dateless ball you were talking about?"

Her eyes lit up. My stomach dropped. Merlin, why did this girl have such an effect on me? "I figure we should all just go dateless. It'll save the trouble of finding a date, and turning down the people we don't want to go with – unless of course, there's someone you'd like to take..?" she said quickly, trailing off with her brow raised.

Yes, there was actually.

But I shook my head, turning around to look at Albus. He was looking rather forlornly over his shoulder, at the Hufflepuff table. I noticed his gaze linger on Francesca Longbottom.

He turned back around, and shook his head. "I guess not," he mumbled.

"Good!" Rose clapped her hands together. "It'll be great!"

"Rose," Lily deadpanned, "It's a ball. I think the idea is to take dates."

Rose made a face. "Not everyone has a posse of boys following them around wherever they go. You're exactly like Aunt Ginny, when she was in school."

Albus coughed. "This is my mother and baby sister we're talking about here."

Rose snorted.

I leaned across the table, getting closer to Rose. She seemed taken aback by the action, and her eyes widened comically.

"Why do you do that?"

"Do what?" she asked, alarmed.

"Snort. Do you enjoy sounding like a pig?" I asked quietly, a small smile playing on my lips. Truth was, I found it rather endearing. Besides, Rose couldn't sound like a pig even if she tried.

She flung a spoonful of peas in my face.

###

"Take Francesca."

Albus looked up at me from where he sat opposite me, at the library.

"Ask her to the ball. She'll agree in a heartbeat."

"Do you really think so?"

"If the shameless flirting that's been going on for the past month is any indication, than yes, I really think so."

He nodded. "Thanks mate." Then he paused. "But what about the whole dateless ball thing with Rose?"

I shook my head. "Don't worry; Rose'll understand. Anyway, if you take Francesca, that'll leave me with her."

Albus smirked at me.

"Shut up," I muttered, shoving him in the shoulder.

Two weeks later, I found myself waiting impatiently in the entrance hall with Albus. Albus nervously tugged on sleeve of his blazer. I shoved my elbow in his ribs.

"Stop jittering Al, you're going to make me nervous."

"The great Scorpius Malfoy, nervous?"

"Fuck off."

There she was.

She was descending the stairs carefully, scanning the crowd at the foot of the stairs, looking for me and Albus. Her bright red hair was down, looking exceptionally silky. Her bangs were pulled apart in the centre, and were braided along the sides of her head, making her look like she was wearing a crown.

Fuck it if I sounded like a sap, but she looked like royalty.

She was wearing a short silvery gold dress, and her legs seemed to go on forever as she descended each step one at a time. She tugged a ringlet of red hair, seeming uneasy. I continued looking right at her, hoping she'd meet my gaze.

She dropped her gaze and continued down the stairs, and as she neared the bottom, she looked up, and by some mad coincidence, her eyes immediately locked with mine.

I leaned over to Albus, never taking my eyes off Rose. "Your cousin is beautiful," I stated unabashedly.

"And you're a ponce."

I shrugged, smiling at Rose.

She shyly broke eye contact and looked down. I moved forward, as if she physically drew me toward her. As she finally stepped on the marble floor, I slung my arm through hers, and directed her through the mob of students, into the Great Hall, which was specially decorated for the occasion.

"You look beautiful, Rose."

She smiled gently, and her cheeks turned pink. I loved her blush. "You're not too bad yourself, Malfoy."

I chuckled.

###

Rose coughed drily, looking at the large crowd of students in the hall, and the growing number of people on the dance floor. I distinctly saw Francesca and Albus in a corner, looking very... er, taken with one another.

She made a face and said, "I need to hydrate myself."

I shrugged and followed her as she made for one of the floating trays of sparkling pumpkin juice.

She grabbed a glass and downed the entire thing in one go, before I could point out that might not be the best course of action. Matheus had told me earlier that a couple of the 7th year DADA NEWT students – namely, himself, James Potter, Fred (II) Weasley, Dominique Weasley and Alyssa Longbottom - had planned to spike the pumpkin juice this year, as a sort of farewell prank.

After she emptied the glass, she stood there for a moment, and then the alcohol took effect.

"Whoa!" she slurred, reaching over to clutch my shoulder for support.

"Rosie!" I exclaimed, caught off caught by her instability. I reached out to support her waist with my hands without thinking.

"That," she said loudly, gesturing to the punch, "is most definitely spiked."

She was adorable.

"You've really never had alcohol before, have you?" I mused, a smile creeping onto my face.

"There's always a first time for everything!" she hollered loudly, causing me to grimace. I promptly realised that my hands were still on her waist and immediately pulled away from her, dropping my hands.

"You should sit down," I said, and taking hold of her hand – that was a safer place to hold, wasn't it? - beginning to lead her away.

Merlin, why was her hand so tiny and soft?

"Scorpius!" she whined, digging her heels into the floor.

I laughed incredulously, turning around to face her.

She beamed at me.

God, she really was beautiful.

God, I really was a ponce.

"You're not here to babysit me," she said, and she suddenly reached out to my face. Her finger gently traced the line of my jaw. My eyes widened and I blinked at her. What on earth was she doing?

She laughed, reaching out to grab my other hand. "Let's dance!"

Blimey, this woman had no idea the effect she had on me.

"...Are you sure?" I asked cautiously, unsure of whether she was in the proper state to do such a thing.

"'Course I'm sure! COME ON!"

And we danced.

There was only one word for it – amazing.

She was freer than I had ever seen her, and her feet practically flew across the marble floor. She spun round under my arm countless times, her lovely dress rising up around her in the wind. She never stopped smiling, and it was a welcome change to the tiny frown that almost always played across her lips. I lost myself in her – not the music, her – and it felt more magical than any spell, it felt like it was just me and her, and it was almost as if I could just hold her in my arms forever.

After a countless number, she gasped loudly, burrowing her forehead in my chest. My arms wound around her waist automatically and I wished we could stop time.

Instead, I spoke.

"You're tired," I whispered. "We should go back."

"No!" she denied, looking up at me, unable to contain a yawn.

I shook my head at her. "Even when you're drunk, you're stubborn."

She made a face at me. "I'm not drunk!" she slurred, grabbing her fifth drink from a passing floating tray of glasses. She cringed as she swallowed the strong liquid.

"Enough, Rose," I muttered, reaching out to take the glass from her, even though it almost physically pained me to take my hands off her waist. She held the drink out of my reach, frowning.

I almost laughed. She was so tiny, that most definitely couldn't stop me.

"When did you get so responsible?" she grumbled, looking at the floor.

"The day you start drinking, I figure it's time for a change," I said truthfully.

She frowned.

"One more dance!" she demanded. "One more dance, and you can have the drink." She pulled the drink away from me again, the liquid sloshing about in its glass.

Merlin, she really wanted to dance with me, didn't she?

Well, who was I to say no?

"Alright," I agreed easily, extending my hand, waiting for her to pass me the glass.

The moment in landed in my grasp, I downed the entire thing in one go.

"HEY!" she yelled, indignant. "How come you get to drink?"

"Because that's my first drink of the night, love."

"Yeah, whatever," she slurred, grabbing hold of my tie and pulling me toward her. "Come on."

The previously loud, pulsing beats of the music had died down to a much slower song. Only couples were dancing now – save for James Potter and Fred Weasley, who were causing somewhat of a scene by holding each other dramatically close to one another, swaying wildly to the mild beat.

I chuckled – I wasn't sure at what - and wrapped my arms around her smaller frame. She pulled my hands up and interlocked them behind my neck. She sighed into my chest.

I could get used to this.

I impulsively leant down and kissed the top of her head.

She looked up at me curiously.

That did it for me.

My heart picked up speed, and I couldn't seem to focus my gaze on any one point. My eyes flickered to her pleasantly pink lips.

She continued looking at me, something shining in her bright blue eyes.

I wanted to kiss her so much.

So fucking much.

As if controlled by a puppeteer, my hand rose to the side of her face. I knew her eyes were still boring into mine, but I trained mine on a freckle on her cheek. I swept my thumb across her cheekbone.

She was drunk though, and it would be wrong for me to take advantage of her loose tongue. If anything ever happened with Rose, I didn't want it to be like this – not some drunken fling.

So I let my hand fall limply by my side.

My heart rate was still erratic, and I took steadying breaths to calm myself. I groaned inwardly at the unfamiliar feeling. Merlin, only Rose had this effect on me.

I then wound my arm around her waist, pulling her closer to me as we swayed to the light music.

She leaned into my chest, and I decided that, for now, I would be content with that.

###

Half a bottle of firewhiskey later, Rose's arms was slung over my shoulder and my arm was wrapped around her waist as I basically dragged her to the Gryffindor tower. I, unlike Rose, could hold my liquor relatively well, but half a bottle of firewhiskey had me rather unsteady on my feet.

Rose, on the other hand, had consumed copious amounts of alcohol – by her standards – and given and she really hadn't had any before tonight, I'd say she was doing rather well.

"Rosie," I muttered irritably, "stay awake, would you?"

"Mhm! Awake, awake…" she mumbled, swaggering along with me.

Amazing how light and nimble she was when she danced, compared to how she meandered clumsily on her feet when she walked.

"Scorpiuuuus," she called out contentedly.

"Yeah?"

"Thank you for tonight," she said loudly. "I had so much fun." She got on her tiptoes and kissed me on the cheek.

I laughed.

She frowned. "Why do you always laugh at me?" she asked, like a child.

Biting back yet another laugh, I said, "Because you make me laugh."

She furrowed her brows. "You didn't answer the question."

To distract her, I kissed her on the cheek, and murmured, in my most suave voice, "You're welcome."

I drew back, my lips tingling lightly from the contact with her cheek, and I observed a distinct redness rising up her cheeks, illuminated by the dim candlelight. She giggled like a schoolgirl – which was something very unfamiliar, given it was coming from Rose, who was about as much of a giggly schoolgirl as I was.

I chuckled.

"Come on, then," I said, doing something very odd – probably due to the alcohol oozing through my veins, and the uncommon occurrence that was Rose flirting.

I lifted her off her feet, carrying her bridal style, along the corridor.

She squealed, kicking her legs violently. "What are you doooooooing?"

"Walking back to the tower with you tripping over your own feet would take forever," I stated bluntly. "This is faster."

"If you say so," she sighed contentedly, and wrapped her arms around the back of my neck. A wave of unadulterated content washed over me at the feel her skin on mine.

I couldn't shake the feeling she wouldn't remember all of this.


"Scorpius," Rose warned me, backing away from me as I edged toward her, broom in hand, grinning wickedly.

"Aw, come on Rose," Lily teased, zooming past her on her latest torchsprint, Albus on her tail. "Just give it a try!"

"Don't be afraid, Rosie!" Albus chuckled, and was promptly knocked into the sand by Fred Weasley II, who promptly yelled, "I'VE GOT HIM!"

It was the summer before our seventh year, and Mr and Mrs Potter had been gracious enough to invite me over to spend the summer with them, since my parents had gone off to Albania to visit the oldest generation of Malfoys.

Apparently, this also involved Victoire and Teddy's wedding, and hence, I was standing on the beach on the outskirts of shell cottage, trying to convince Rose to fly.

"I can't fly, you know that perfectly well!"

"Of course you can't, given you haven't any wings. I merely intended for you to ride a broom."

She rolled her eyes. "Do you have to say something annoying every ten seconds?"

"You inspire me, love."

"I'll kill you."

"Oh, you wound me with your words."

She glared at me. "I'M NOT DOING IT."

I pondered on that for a while.

"Then you don't have to," I winked, getting on my broom, a plan formulating in my mind. I took off, going one round around her.

She watched me uneasily, as if she knew something was off.

Of course something was off.

"Fat chance," I yelled, lowering my broom until it was level with Rose. I grabbed her waist and threw her onto my broom, and she quickly interlocked her ankles under the broom, grasping the wood with her fingers, screaming, "SCOR-PEEEE-US!"

"Yes Rosie?" I asked smugly, turning round to look at her.

"Put me down!" she shrieked.

"You better hold on if you don't want to fall off," I advised, turning away from her, a laughing.

She immediately wrapped her arms around my waist so tightly I was rather afraid she would never let go.

Not that I actually had a problem with that.

"You need to loosen up!" I roared over the wind.

She screamed unintelligibly, and everyone on the beach laughed.

"Scorpius!" she complained, and even without looking around, I was sure that familiar, tiny little frown had found its way onto her lips.

"You need to shut up, Rosie," I said, amusedly.

"Git."

I took my left hand off of my broom, and gently stroked her interlocked fingers - that were hugging my stomach tightly – in hopes to placate her.

"Just close your eyes," I said softly, and sincerely. "Feel the wind in your hair, and the freedom in your bones. You won't fall," I assured her.

"How would you know?" she asked shakily.

"I won't let it happen," I said simply.

I felt her tentatively place her head on my back, her cheek pressing against my shirt, and as the sand sped away beneath us, her iron grip on my stomach lessened.

After about five minutes, she murmured quietly, "It's beautiful," looking out at the sun, as it sank behind the sea, filling it with large streaks of orange light. She began drumming her fingers against my stomach lightly and lifted her head off my back.

I ignored the butterflies that were swirling around my belly and my suddenly slippery grip on my broom handle and smiled. "Having fun?" I teased, trying to distract myself from my palpitating heart. No one, no one, could make me feel the way she did. She just had that effect on me.

She laughed. "I'm really glad you forced me up here."

"I'm really glad you didn't have a seizure and fall off."

"Stop it!" she called playfully, and I felt her cheek press against my back. "It's a nice moment and you're ruining it."

I chuckled and gingerly fingered her hands, which were lying flat on my stomach. She sighed quietly - and contentedly – and I was sure that this time, her rather rarer smile was playing across her lips.

###

No one should ever let Albus Severus Potter touch a camera.

The git went absolutely bonkers, running around and snapping at the device like a madman. There were now several pictures of me snoozing and Rose simultaneously prodding me with a fork as Bill Weasley gave a speech at his daughter's wedding's rehearsal dinner, captured in the film whirring inside of the camera.

I was currently sitting on the edge of a rather large rock on the beach, trying to escape Al and his newfound hobby – photographing people when they clearly did not want to be photographed. Then there was also the lovely sea breeze, which was a welcome change to the marble confines of the manor.

"Scorpius!" I heard a call from behind me, and I turned around to see Rose tip-toeing toward me, hooking her index finger through the strap of her heels, looking positively radiant in her bridesmaids dress. "What're you doing out here?" she asked, stepping toward the edge of the rock, her hands held aloft to improve her balance.

"Trying to get away from Al," I said, only partially honest. I reached out automatically, holding her hand to make sure she didn't fall over.

She did have a tendency to be clumsy.

"He does tend to get carried away, doesn't he-" she squeaked as she slipped on the rock and I tightened my grip in her hand automatically. She sighed, and murmured a soft "thank you," that made my stomach feel funny.

Yes, I used the word funny.

"I wish I wasn't so clumsy," she mumbled, sitting down next to me, depositing her heels behind her, and letting her legs swing free.

I liked her, very much, clumsiness and all, but I couldn't tell her that.

"Why?" I said, a smirk tugging on my lips. "Then you would deprive me of the opportunity to tease you endlessly."

She rolled her eyes. "You'd find other things to tease me about, I'm sure."

I nodded. "True enough."

We sat in a companionable silence, watching the vast number of redheads rush around the beach, which was now laden with chairs and held a large, towering archway, where Victoire and Teddy were to be wed.

Fleur hurried around, screaming commands in her heavy French accent.

"'Roh-nald Weeezley get your ARH-SE off ze chair and do somezhing UZE-FOOL!"

"Blimey, woman, put that wand away, I'm moving!"

Rose laughed.

I turned around to watch her, her fingers gently covering her lightly coloured lips, the apples of her cheeks rising, coloured with the most phenomenal flush. The corners of her eyes crinkled, and her darkened eyelashes flashed as she blinked.

I smiled at her happy expression, but it was short-lived. Her expression morphed into one of horror. "Shite!" she exclaimed. "Aunt Fleur'll kill me if she sees me ruining the dress by sitting here!" she hurriedly swung her legs back round and attempted to stand up, but I quickly held up a hand to stop her.

"Hold on, I'll help you up."

"Scorpius," she huffed, as I quickly got to my feet, "I am not a helpless child."

"No, you aren't, but you are terribly clumsy, and I think a squashed Rose will dampen the mood of the wedding rather more than a stained dress, don't you think?" I offered her my hand.

She took it, and frowned. "You're right, I guess."

"Aren't I always?"

She was standing now, and picking up her heels, she tiptoed away from the cliff we had been sitting on. As her feet met the sand, her bare heels dropped into the sand, and she dragged her feet through it, indenting light patterns in the sand with her toes as she walked.

She turned around and looked at me as I walked behind her. "Scorpius?"

"Hmm?" I asked, looking up from her feet.

"Could you check the back of my dress? To check if there's any dirt on it?"

Blimey, was she actually asking me to look at her arse?

"Er, yeah, sure."

She stood still, back toward me. I observed a light grey dusting on the voluminous skirt. "So? How is it?"

"There's a little bit, on the skirt," I said uncomfortably, averting my eyes quickly.

She swore, and grabbed the skirt, trying to look at how bad the mark was. She looked a little bit like a lost puppy chasing its tail.

"Stop it," I laughed, reaching out to grab hold of her bare shoulders. She smiled up at me, and once again, I was struck by how amazingly beautiful this girl before me was. "I'll help-"

Flash.

"ALBUS SEVERUS POTTER!"

"I'll hex your balls off!"

"Merlin, it's just a photograph—Put that wand down, Scorpius— oh shit. SOMEBODY SAVE ME!"


"GOYLE!" I yelled, to my semi-retarded keeper. "Keep your eyes on the fucking quaffle!"

"If that Weasley girl were here, you wouldn't be one to talk, Malfoy."

"Goyle," I said calmly, "I would like you to understand that I am the captain of this team, and I could dock you for a month."

He grunted, pulling his eyes away from the newest addition to our team, Danielle Wright.

I swiped away the wet hair plastered to my face as thunder rumbled overhead and I saw a distinct flash of lightning near the stands. I groaned and grasped my broom handle tighter, pushing it around, observing my chasers and beaters.

My team looked sodden and demoralised, and I couldn't blame them – but we still had to get used to playing in harsh conditions, if the weather was ever unkind to us. I frowned at my team, most of who were shivering.

Maybe this wasn't that good an idea.

I then heard a strangled yell behind me, followed by a loud crash. I groaned and turned around to see Goyle plummeting to the ground, bits of his broken broomstick falling around next to him.

That boy really had peanuts for brains, didn't he? How did someone singlehandedly break their own broomstick into pieces?

I flew down toward the large mass lying at the bottoms of the goal hoops, already dreading lugging him all the way to the hospital wing. I pressed to tip of my wand to my neck and spoke in an amplified voice. "Torrance, come over and help me with Goyle. Jackson, Quinn, pack up the equipment. Flint, clear the mess, Wright… do something."

Torrance approached me, grimacing. "Bloody nuthead."

I nodded.

"Help me pick him up, would you?" I asked my younger house-mate and co-captain, bending down to sling Goyle's unconscious arm around my shoulder, after checking his pulse was steady.

Torrance nodded, looking pained. "Man's a giant," he mumbled.

I grinned thoughtfully as an idea formed in my mind. I quickly pulled my wand out and thought 'levicorpus.'

Goyle was immediately hoisted into the air by his ankle, quidditch robes flapping around him.

He was still unconscious, unsurprisingly.

Torrance roared with laughter, and patted me on the back.

As we made our way back to the castle, I bumped into Serena Sullivan and Aurora Nixton, whose faces lit up as soon as their eyes caught sight of me. Rose liked to call them my 'groupies'. I couldn't actually disagree.

"Hi Scorpius!" they squealed, and I cringed at their high voices.

"Er, hi," I said uncomfortably.

Torrance smirked at me.

They giggled unattractively and gestured at the levitating Goyle. "You're so hilarious!"

I stood there awkwardly, wanting nothing more than to leave.

"We'll be on our way now," Torrance said loudly, earning another mindless giggle from the girls.

"Well, bye Scorpius! …and?"

"Torrance."

They batted their eyelashes at us, and I nodded gruffly, walking around them, making sure Goyle hit his head against a pillar in the process. Once we were out of earshot, Torrance laughed lightly.

"What happened to you, mate?"

I raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"

"If that had happened a year and a half ago, you'd probably be snogging one of those birds by now."

"Yeah… well, I dunno. Grew up, I guess," I mumbled, although there was only one accurate answer to that question.

Rose.

"It's that Weasley girl, isn't it?" he asked, smirking.

I turned around to look him in the face, ensuring my expression was placid. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Oh please. This year, especially, it's clear as day. Both of you are head prefects, you share a common room, you're both just about attached at hip-"

I grunted, looking down at the mud sludged all over my boots.

He sighed.

"Bloody oblivious," he muttered, as we finally turned around the corner that led us to the hospital wing.

###

Brightening up a little at the thought of seeing Rose, I murmured "peanut butter" – Rose's favourite muggle spread – to the very excited Sir Trinketson's portrait.

"I still don't understand that," Trinketson sighed, and I grinned, throwing the door open, only to see Rose frowning at something in her hands, seated Indian-style, behind the coffee table, on a rug in the middle of the common room.

I trudged into the common room, still rather upset about my muddy exterior, and Rose looked up at me expectantly, her bright blue eyes shining. As her eyes met mine, I felt something akin to a stab in the stomach.

Meh.

I ignored it, and called out, "Why so glum, Rosie?"

"Why so muddy, Scorpius?"

I scowled. "Bloody rain has the worst timings," I growled, and kicked off my shoes. I threw my robes on the floor, as was my habit.

"Oi!" she called, as I knew she would. "Don't muddy up the whole place!"

"I'm going to have a bath," I stated.

She sighed, and as I slunk round the common room, gathering, er, my necessities, I saw her scourgify my muddy leftovers. I smiled inwardly. Before I stepped into the bathroom, I turned round and looked at her one last time.

It was so stupid, I was so ridiculously in love with her, and she had no bloody clue.

Sighing quietly, I entered the bathroom.

I finally left the bathroom half an hour later, having scrubbed all traces of mud off my body, and repeating the rinse-lather cycle multiple times until I was satisfied with my cleanliness level. I pulled on boxer-briefs with the Malfoy insignia on them – why my mother sought to embarrass me like this, I never knew – and pulled on a pair of pants.

I hesitated before pulling on my sweater. It would be fun to tease Rose.

I mean, I knew I was fit.

Chuckling to myself, I completed my routine – consisting of cologne, a hair-drying spell, and a good facial scrub. I ran my hand through my hair once.

I just care about my face, alright?

I stepped out of the bathroom, sweater in arm.

I watched as Rose tried to surreptitiously peek at me. Once she registered my lack of clothing, she immediately turned beet red and threw a pillow at me.

"CLOTHE YOURSELF!"

God, when would she ever stop making me smile?

I laughed and deflected the pillow. "I know you like it, Rosie," I teased.

"Not in the least." She rolled her eyes at me.

Oh well.

I chortled, pulling on my sweater to appease her. I joined her on the rug, crossing my legs. I caught sight of the large pile of pictures on the coffee table. "What's all this?"

"Mum sent over the pictures from past summer," she told me, and I reached out to take one of the multiple piles of moving pictures. I wordlessly began sifting through the pictures, and came across several familiar ones – me falling asleep during Bill's speech - rehearsal and actual – and the one of me and Rose on the barrier of the cliff that stood above the beach. I was grabbing her shoulders, laughing, and she looked up at me, smiling. In the moving photograph, my lips drew shut, and I gazed down at her, the adoration clear in my eyes.

Damn it, was that really how I looked at her?

Well, then she'd clearly know how I feel about her, and she's probably just avoiding it.

Nevertheless, I had to say, we looked like a good couple. We contrasted nicely - I was much taller and bigger than her, and she had luminous red hair, while mine was a rather dull silver-blonde. My skin was pale and clear, and she had numerous freckles on her face, and her cheeks were tinged a lovely pink. I kept watching the photograph as the scene replayed over and over.

Abruptly Rose sighed, and I peeked over her shoulder to see what she was looking at.

It was a picture of Rose, Dominique, Roxanne and Victoire at the wedding, all smiling up at the camera happily. Once again, it struck me how beautiful she was.

"They're all so beautiful," she muttered.

"Huh?"

"Victoire, Dom, and Roxy," she elaborated, turning around to face me.

"Of course not, standing next to you," I snorted, shaking my head, turning away from her and turning my attention back to the photographs.

Hold on…

Oh crap.

Did I just say that? I stiffened involuntarily. That statement would bring consequences.

"Scorpius," she said quietly. "Was that sarcasm?"

"No," I said honestly, uneasy.

"Scorpius," she warned. "Tell the truth."

It would be easier if I lied. She'd think I was just teasing her again, wouldn't she?

"Er, yes. Yes it was."

"Wanker," she muttered, but there was something different about it this time. There was no playful shove on the shoulder, no scolding for being a prat.

Maybe she got tired of putting up with me.

We sat there for another minute, looking at photographs, but I wasn't, not really. Sure, every five seconds I picked up a new photograph and slid it into the bottom of the pile, but I wasn't really processing what I was seeing. I just felt an indescribable amount of disappointment in myself for being such a liar, and above all that, a coward.

Suddenly, Rose dropped the pile of photographs back onto the table, shaking her head lightly as she walked away, heading toward her bedroom.

"Rose, where're you going-" I called, surprised, standing up and turning around to face her retreating form.

I heard a mangled sob escape the back of her throat.

I felt like someone punched me in the stomach.

I made her cry.

I made her fucking cry.

"Oh fuck, Rose, I didn't mean-"

She shook her head, turning around to face me. Her eyes were shining with unshed tears as she shakily looked at me. She nervously fiddled with a loose curl. "It's okay, Scorpius-"

I ducked out from behind the sofa and stood before her, the honestly alight in my eyes. "No. No it's not."

I paused. I had to tell her.

So what if our friendship was ruined, really? It was already about as screwed up as it could get, given I was hopelessly in love with her, and she had no fucking clue.

"Fuck, Rose. I don't know how to do this," I mumbled, distraught.

"Do what?" she asked, looking lost.

"You – me- I..." I fumbled for words, frustrated. I ran a hand through my hair, tugging on the short length in annoyance. Why wouldn't the fucking words just come out?

"Forget it, Scorpius. I'm going to bed," she mumbled, turning away from me.

"Rosie, please," I said desperately, reaching forward and grabbing hold of her wrist. If she left now, I would never have the courage to confront her again.

She turned round to face me, tears gathered in her eyes, threatening to spill over. I felt a stab in my gut. "Merlin, Scorpius, what is it you want from me?" she asked defeatedly.

Thoroughly pissed off with the lack of words leaving my mouth, I ran a shaky hand through my hair, tugging on it painfully.

Speak, you idiot, speak!

"Forget it," she said, trying to shake my hand off.

I didn't let go.

"It wasn't sarcasm," I said quietly.

"Yeah, sure," she drawled.

"I swear, Rosie it wasn't!" I said, the volume of my voice rising.

"Well yeah, you clearly said it was sarcasm before, so why would I believe you now?" she asked, looking extremely frustrated with me.

"Because I was trying to cover up!" I said exasperatedly, the truth unknowingly spilling from my mouth.

Good, I had to keep this going. Just tell her. I could tell her.

"Pray-tell, cover up what, exactly?" she asked, unamused.

…I couldn't do it.

"Rose I don't know how to-" I began, feeling like I was trying to hold onto smoke. I wanted to tell her so badly, so fucking badly, but the words just wouldn't leave my mouth. I didn't know how to tell her.

How do you tell someone you love them? Especially when she probably doesn't feel the same way?

"Then fucking don't!" she yelled exasperatedly, shaking my hand off and throwing her hers in the air. "Get on with it, Scorpius, or leave me alone!"

"Touche," I muttered, nodding lightly.

I tried to speak several times, but the words seemed unable to leave my lips. I groaned, sinking to the ground, hiding my face in my hands.

I expected her to leave me kneeling on the ground like an idiot, but I suppose she felt bad for me, because she followed my example and sat on the floor, crossing her legs Indian-style.

"You know what? I'll just sit here. When you figure out what it is you want to tell me, you can."

I looked up at her, and my eyes met her wide blue ones. "I'd appreciate that, thanks."

I just had to say it. Just say the words. Tell her how I feel. Be honest. Speak to her like a calm adult-

"I fancy you!" I abruptly yelled. Realising how stupid and juvenile I sounded, blood rushed to my face, colouring my cheekbones.

So much for being a calm adult.

I fiddled with my shaking fingers uneasily, looking down and then looking up at her expectantly.

"You what?" she blurted, eyes wide.

Actually, right now, I was rather tempted to tell her it had all been a rather bad joke.

No. I had to be honest.

Honesty. Honesty. Honesty.

Then I had a brilliant idea. I would show her how much she affected me.

"Merlin, Rose," I muttered, shaking my head. "You see this?" I asked, a tremor evident in my voice as I brought my hands – my shaking hands – before her face. "I'm fucking shaking Rose. Literally shaking. Because of you. I can't explain it – it goes beyond any brand of rational thought. I don't even know... you just have this effecton me."

She blinked at me. "Effect?" She echoed, once again looking lost.

Taking note of my palpitating heart, I scuttled forward, picking up her hand and bringing it to my chest, over my heart. It began beating even more frantically as she touched my chest. "This is what happens to me everytime you touch me. Everytime you're around me. Even when I see you walking in the bloody corridor. I can't stop fucking thinking about you, it's driving me insane!" I exclaimed truthfully, annoyed.

It was true. Every single word of it. Except… maybe the word 'fancy' was a bit of an understatement.

I had to keep going.

"I've fancied you since... since forever. It's just more intense. I could handle it before, but since last year, I-" I groaned. "Everyone's seen it. Everyone but you, apparently. And I'm sure there's a reason for you being so... blind to it, so I'll completely understand if you want to ignore this entire fiasco and just go back-" I would have rambled on, but she interrupted me.

"No."

What?

I looked up at her.

She shook her head vigorously.

I blinked.

She smiled at me tentatively, and I began to hope, just the tiniest bit, that she understood, and that she reciprocated my feelings.

I smiled tentatively back, but I felt rather uneasy, due to the sudden change in her demeanour. What if she were just trying to make this easier on me? I didn't want that. I wanted her to be honest with me, the way I had been with her.

"Rose, you don't have to-" I begun, already feeling my heart begin to sink.

"Quiet," she ordered.

I obliged, hope rekindling in my lower belly.

She got on her knees, mirroring my body position. Pulling herself upright and scooting a little closer toward me, she placed a hand on my cheek, brushing her thumb against my jaw.

It suddenly became much more difficult for me to draw breath.

"Took you long enough," she muttered, bumping my nose lightly with her.

I smiled at her, and pure, unadulterated joy shone through as I realised what she said.

She felt the same way.

SHE FELT THE FUCKING SAME WAY.

In the name of Merlin's saggiest, most disgusting underpants-

Then she kissed me.


AN: If you managed to make it through that 9,562 word whooper you deserve personal raindance. (I hope you like the rain.)

Don't forget to review!