"Are you really my friend?"
"Yes, Malfoy. I'm your friend."
"Because sometimes I feel like I'm misreading the signs and that you might just be stringing me along."
"As much as I loathe to admit it, you've turned out to be quite a respectable guy."
"So about that incident in 5th year…"
"Why don't we talk about that another time? When we haven't been drinking."
"Did you know what people called you?"
"Yes. Did you know what people called you?"
"Yes. Didn't it bother you?"
"No. And by seventh year no one was calling me "Ice Queen" anymore. In fact, I'm glad that they called me that. It motivated me to develop a persona for the public and honed my acting skills."
"Oh. So your detractors actually fueled you to better yourself. Maybe I should have had a shittier nickname in school."
"Did our dear "Prince Charming" not enjoy his nickname?"
"I only found out in sixth year that the name came from a Muggle fairytale."
"Did it make you like it less?"
"Because it was Muggle?"
"No, because I thought they were calling me Prince Charming due to my charming personality, not because of my looks."
"Idiot, they were calling you Prince Charming due to the combination of your charming personality and your good looks."
"So you think I'm a charming good looking guy?"
"No, but I can see that most of the female population does."
"Have I ever told you that you're fantastic at building up self-confidence?"
"I do love drawing, but it's always just been a hobby. My parents have always supported it and they even supplied me with a private tutor when I was younger, but as supportive as they were, they always emphasized that they supported it as a hobby."
"Do you ever think about just pursuing art seriously?"
"I don't let myself."
"'Why do I like you?' What kind of question is that?"
"Just answer it."
"I like you because you're smart and competent."
"What else do you want me to say?"
"You're not supposed to say what I want you to say. Well, I guess you are, but not intentionally! Well, maybe a little. You're supposed to start gushing about all the reasons you like me. Feel free to list my charming personality and roguish good looks amongst the many reasons, by the way."
"Okay. I like you because you're smart and competent. Oh, I guess you're also good at keeping a secret, but then again you're legally bound to do so."
"You didn't mention my charm and looks."
"You said feel free to list them. I chose not to. We've run out of cheese."
"I am fascinated by the shape of your eyes. Can't get enough of them. Would you mind if you posed for a second so I could get the proper contour of your eyelid? I'll just run and grab my sketchbook really fast."
"Malfoy, these sketches are… fascinating. Did you charm them?"
"A few of the colored ones are charmed."
"This abstract one is a concept that I've never seen before! How did you do this?"
"Oh you know. I researched a few artistic charms here and there and cobbled together a few charms of my own making."
"Malfoy, inventing charms takes hard work. Trust me, I would know."
"They come pretty easily to me, believe it or not."
"Looking at these, I think I choose to believe."
"Weasley, you are remarkable at holding your liquor. How are you so remarkable in so many remarkable things?"
"Malfoy, you're not so bad yourself although I do think the alcohol might be getting to you at this point."
"Perhaps I am a little tipsy."
"We've gone through three bottles of wine, I'd be surprised if you weren't at least a little bit tipsy."
"Well what about you?"
"I have a French aunt. I've been drinking wine since I was six."
"Well so have I but that hasn't stopped my brain to slowly turning into mush right now."
"Weasley, can't you tell me something real about yourself?"
"I tell you plenty of things about myself."
"You know what I'm talking about."
"My name is Rose Weasley. I'm a freelance curse breaker. I-"
"No, not that stuff. Tell me something real."
"What do you have in mind?"
"Tell me about the tune you hum to yourself."
"The piano piece? It's by a famous composer-"
"No, no, no. Tell me why you hum it. Tell me why you like it."
"I suppose it resonates with me. It's sweetly sad. I can't really explain it, but it's one of the only tunes in the world that can move me to tears if played correctly. The opening notes alone are enough to sink me into an entirely different world. The notes are a magic of their own…"
"I can feel the world moving."
"That's great Malfoy."
"Weasley. Lay down on the floor so you can feel the world moving."
"I can feel it moving from the couch."
"Seriously, come down to the ground to feel it move. I've never felt so… at one with the world. Hum the tune."
"I want to tell you that out of my great respect for you coupled with a little fear, I would help you uncover the secret behind the curse even if the contract were to be ripped up into bits."
"Thank you Malfoy, that means a lot to me."
"Seriously. I like you so much that I would do anything to help you lift the curse."
"Thank you Malfoy."
"Really. I really like you. It's not fair that you have a curse on you."
"Thanks Malfoy, but I did open up the stupid locket."
"Yes, you are stupid. But you're not stupid. You're smart and you're scary and you make me laugh. You have energy that just crackles off of you and you're more ambitious than anyone I've ever known. You have just the right dash of craziness."
"Malfoy? Malfoy? Are you sleeping?"
The next morning
Ugh, Scorpius thought, we got wasted last night.
He got up and saw the glass of water next to a small vial of Hangover potion on the table next to his bed.
Thought you might need this.
He quickly drank both potion and glass of water and ambled out to his living room. It was spotless. The glasses had been washed and returned to the shelf above his sink. His papers were organized on the table and the bottles of wine were neatly stacked in the bin. She had even cleaned up the cracker and cheese remnants and had thrown out the moldy cheeses and expired food products.
Correction, he thought, I got trashed last night. Weasley, evidently, stayed sober enough to clean up after us.
He went to his notebook on Rose to enter in the data on her drinking habits and paused when he saw entries he had no recollection of ever making.
Apparently, he had the presence of mind to jot down a few notes after getting sloshed. Perhaps he had also had the presence of mind to help her clean up?
The Rose Notebook
She put me to bed, but I wasn't sleeping. I was feeling the world move.
I told her I liked her and she said thanks.
WHAT. He panicked. If he, in his drunkenness, had told Rose Weasley that he had an enormous crush on her, he'd collapse out of mortification right here right now.
The fact that they were dealing with an ancient curse that was debilitating Rose Weasley paled in comparison to his current crisis. Did he or did he not confess his feelings to Rose in a drunken state of mind last night? He had to figure out, but he had no way of doing so unless he wanted to face her.
He reread the note by his bedside table.
Thought you might need this.
The Hangover potion. Had she gone back to her flat then popped back to his to put it next to his bedside table? If so, then if he did confess his feelings last night, was this potion a way of showing that she felt the same way?
Maybe the potion was something she found in his flat while cleaning it out?
She had cleaned out the apartment. Did that mean that she found it so disgusting she couldn't possibly leave without tidying it up a bit or was it her way of showing that she cared for him?
Maybe he hadn't confessed at all and his drunken mind only thought he had confessed and maybe everything was absolutely normal?
Thought you might need this.
Damn her and her efficiently short notes. There was no wiggle room, no way of interpreting her words. They meant only what they said and the initials "M" and "RW" meant nothing but their names.
Thought you might need this.
The fact that she thought he might need this might show that she took the time to think about him? Maybe she was trying to tell him that she thought about him too and that she felt the same way he did? That is, if he did actually confess his feelings last night. He was hoping that he didn't.
Thought you might need this.
Perhaps… oh bollocks.
Scorpius crumpled up the note in frustration and went back to sleep.
Two days later
There she was, laughing it up with Benjamin in the café. She had charmed her hair brown, but that didn't prevent him from recognizing her.
He hadn't seen her in two days. The day after the drunken night, Scorpius had waited patiently for some sort of owl. Any owl would do. He went back and forth on whether he actually did confess to her and then would go back on forth on whether Rose had completely ditched him or not.
She was touching him arm and whispering in his ear. He knew that she saw him, but a flicker of recognition didn't even pass through her eyes. She was far too good of an actress to make a rookie mistake like that, but he wasn't a pro so he ventured closer.
He got as close as he dared and moved to walk away when he heard a voice call out, "Malfoy? Is that Scorpius Malfoy?"
He turned around to see Benjamin the librarian waving him over. Just splendid. He walked over, thinking the entire time that this was quite the hot mess and focused on making the interaction as short as humanely possible.
"Benjamin the librarian!" he said, as warmly as possible, "It is good to see you. I'm just a little busy-"
"Nonsense!" cried Benjamin. "Meet my girlfriend, Jane Grey." He practically pushed Rose forward to show his prize off and said, "Jane, this is Scorpius Malfoy. He's a trainee in the little Unspeakables program I told you about."
He grimaced. Benjamin was doing his best to talk him down to his "girlfriend." "Hello, Miss Grey, it's nice to meet you."
"Please call me Jane," Rose said with a giggle. He was shocked at how good of an actress she was. There was no hesitation when she shook his hand, no glimmer of the Rose that Scorpius knew at all. If he didn't know she was playing a role, he would have thought that the girl in front of him was not Rose at all, but a lady named Jane Grey who looked an awful lot like Rose.
Scorpius held her hand for a bit too long for Benjamin was soon hurrying him off. "Scorpius, didn't you say you had somewhere to be? Jane and I also have places to be…" He gave her a lecherous grin.
Scorpius generously took the out. "Yes, I did. It was a pleasure meeting you Jane; Benjamin I'll see you in the library sometime."
Rose dumped Benjamin's body on the bed. She had let the fool give her a few kisses before the potion kicked in. She quickly concocted a memory of them having sex and inserted the memory into Benjamin's head. He was becoming suspicious of the fact that he always passed out after sex, but she reassured him every time that it was marvelous. This little modified memory should be enough to placate him for the time being.
She sat down to write an owl.
Good job today. He didn't suspect a thing.
Meet at 8:00pm at the Eatery. Bring the card.
Was quite surprised today when I saw you. I have to say you're a better actress than I give you credit for. Have you ever thought about taking the stage?
Is the hair color charm new? Is it permanent? I'll see you tonight at 8.
Hair color charm temporary for Diagon Alley outing. Explained it as a frivolous beauty charm.
Don't say stupid things.
Shit. Another attack was coming on. Rose collapsed onto the floor and lay there, quietly handling the pain when an owl from Scorpius came flying in. The owl sat there pecking and pecking at Rose the entire time she was laying motionless on the floor. When she could finally manage to move her arms, she gave the owl a great big whack and took the note.
You usually send me the box you want me to give you the documents (or in this case the card) in. Where's the box with hearts all over it? Shall I improvise?
I'm warning you, if I improvise, I'll be giving you the card wrapped in pages of the Daily Prophet.
She sat on the floor, her back leaning against the bed while she took in breath after breath, trying to calm herself.
It's a small card. I believe we can slip it to each other without the need of a foolish box.
Took a while for you to respond. What are you doing? Are you still with Benjamin the Librarian?
He's passed out next to me. If you have the time to be sending me notes, you should spend it on casing out the library for any security glitches. We need to find a way into the hidden section.
I'm going to go through Benjamin's papers. You take the time to go to the library while it's not manned and go through the security. Use the charm I taught you to reveal hidden words and files.
He knew he was pushing it with the way he was writing to Rose, but by his estimations of her very short owls, he didn't confess his love to her that night. This was good. This was very good. This meant things could return to normal. Yes, he would push and push his crush down until it was nothing and the two of them could resume their working relationship.
He did as she told and snuck into the library and pulled copied file after file on the secrecy spells placed on the hidden chamber. Most of the documents were written in ancient runes, which were probably going to take another month or two to decipher.
Nothing ever came easily in this task, he thought as he attempted to decipher the first line. It looked like the documents were written in code as well as runes, which would mean that it would take even longer to decipher… fantastic.
Unless Rose was a hidden codebreaker as well as a cursebreaker (which he didn't put past her), it would take at least a month to figure out the secrecy spells and then it would take more research to figure out how to bypass them.
- Things aren't going to go as smoothly as they have been
- A (chance?) encounter with a member of the Dudley family
- Scorpius grapples with his feelings
- What exactly did he say while drunk?
As always, please review.