A/N. Long story short, I found about half of this in my hard drive a few days ago and decided to finish it. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
They make their agreement at the start of their first year, when they're both eleven and anxious and unwilling to have an enemy before they've even set foot in the school.
It's not that they've been instructed to avoid or even dislike each other (at least, not in so many words. Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy might be trying to put the past behind them, but one can never be completely rid of a grudge). It's just that he's a Malfoy, the son and heir and only of his generation, and she's a Weasley, the daughter of two of the most famous war heroes, and the social expectations that they've both been raised not to care about but do nonetheless dictate that they only speak to each other out of necessity. And so when they make their agreement, it's not with an exchange of words or a shake of hands or even a nod of heads. It's with a moment in which their eyes lock.
It's quick, a fleeting glance the two of them exchange as she passes by his compartment, Albus in tow. But in the split second that their eyes meet, Rose Weasley sees in the grey of Scorpius Malfoy's eyes what he sees in the blue of hers — an offer of a truce, a peace treaty, an end to a rivalry that hasn't even properly begun.
And a moment later, when they break eye contact and she walks past his door without a second glance and he lets her go without the patented Malfoy sneer, they've both signed the contract and the agreement is made.
They never speak about it. In fact, during their first four years at Hogwarts, they barely speak at all. It's one of their unspoken-yet-instantly-understood conditions: they're not going to carry on with the enmity between the Malfoys and the Weasleys, but that doesn't mean they have to actually be friends. That would only make things complicated, and honestly, life is complicated enough as it is, being the children of who their parents are.
Accordingly, another one of their implicit terms is that their families don't have to know anything about the agreement. When asked about "Scorpius Malfoy — Merlin, what a terrible name" or "that Weasley girl in your year" by their respective families, both shrug and say, vaguely, "We don't run into each other that often." It's true, really: he's in Slytherin, she's in Ravenclaw, and although House enmity isn't what it used to be, people from different Houses still run in different circles. Especially Malfoy-Weasley-people.
When they do pass by each other in the halls, or on the rare occasion that they are seated next to each other in class, they treat each other with what many see as a studied indifference (although anyone who chooses to observe them past what they expect to see would note the exchanged nods, or even the faint smiles; the quiet acknowledgements of their agreement). For four years, they treat each other as they would any other student unconnected to them.
Sometimes, though, when he picks out her fiery curls in the middle of the courtyard, or when she spies him flying out on the Quidditch pitch alone at night, they wonder about each other. He wonders if she wishes she was in Gryffindor, if she can play Quidditch as well as most of her family can, if she's as uptight as the rumours say she is. She wonders if he's anything like how her family describes his father, if he signed up for Muggle Studies for the easy marks as most people did or for a deeper reason, if he's disturbed by all of the whispers that surround him about his family's Dark past. It's this strange reel of their own version of might-have-beens that runs through their heads in empty moments and on sleepless nights.
They keep these questions secret. No matter how much they might want to know the answers, he's still a Malfoy and she's still a Weasley, and life's complicated enough, yeah?
i just think that we'd get on
In fifth year, things start to change. The terms of their already vague agreement become even less defined, the lines of their sort-of acquaintance blur, and suddenly, they don't have to wonder about each other anymore (as much as they used to, at least. She'll never get him to answer any of her questions about his grandfather, and he'll never understand why she does half the things she does.)
Their new friendship comes about as a result of their both being named prefect. The Head Boy and Head Girl, in an effort to improve inter-House unity, assign prefects from different Houses to patrol together, and by either an unfortunate oversight or a good-intentioned attempt to end the Malfoy-Weasley feud, Rose and Scorpius are paired up.
It's a quiet first patrol, to say the least. They walk down the corridors quickly, determinedly not looking at each other, the twelve inches between them more like twelve hundred, heavy with the words and glances they're holding in. They don't speak except to reprimand the students that they catch. He beats a nervous tattoo onto his thigh and she bites her fingernails down to the quick. At the end of what they both instantly dub the most awkward two hours of their life, they nod at each other, still not making eye contact, before fleeing to their respective Houses.
The next morning, when Rose steps out of her common room, he's there, leaning against the opposite wall. Her friends giggle — the Malfoys, for all their faults, are a good-looking bunch, and Scorpius is definitely no exception — but Rose doesn't even spare him a second glance. She doesn't imagine that he's waiting there for her. Even without their agreement, they're not supposed to be friends, and their intensely uncomfortable patrol of the night before just confirmed that he thought the same way.
But then he steps forward, his cheeks a little flushed but his eyes steely with determination, and asks if he can speak with her. She glances back at her friends, confirms that he's really asking her, and agrees. He takes her aside, the shocked eyes of her friends following them.
"Listen," he says. "About last night —"
"No, it's alright," she interrupts, deciding that this would be much less embarrassing if she said it herself. "I know you don't want to patrol with me —"
"But see, that's just the thing, I do want to."
She looks up at him, eyes wide. He's staring at his feet, his ears tinged pink in a way that reminds her of her father.
"If you'd rather not, I understand," his words spill out as he continues, still not looking at her, "really, I do, but it would be so much less awkward on patrols if we were friends, and honestly, this family feud's gone on long enough, and since it's my family that's been really horrid I reckon that I should be the one to end it, but if you don't want to, Daniels owes me a favour, I could have him switch our patrols, but like I said I really do want to end this thing once and for all, but it's really all up to you —"
He cuts himself off, his hand rising to tug at his collar, his brow furrowed. She's still staring at him in disbelief. She's always imagined Scorpius Malfoy as the cool, composed, unfailingly smooth type — and normally he is, based on her past observations — and hearing him stutter and stammer like the worst of them is fairly disconcerting.
"So, er," he says after a second, clearing his throat. He finally raises his eyes to meet hers, and she's surprised at the earnestness she sees in them. "What do you think?"
She considers him for a moment, extends her hand. "I think we haven't actually ever been properly introduced. I'm Rose."
He smiles, taking her hand in his (she tries not to note how warm and strong his feels), and from the way his eyes brighten, she knows he caught the deliberate omission of her last name. "Scorpius."
you're a little bit more than i thought you'd be
Scorpius isn't quite sure what he'd expected a friendship with Rose Weasley would be like, but it certainly wasn't this.
He hadn't really thought about what it would mean when he proposed an amendment to their agreement (to be honest, he hadn't really thought anything beyond that was unbelievably awkward, I never want to go through that again and we can't carry on like this for the rest of our lives and what's the harm in getting to know her a little?), but he supposes that there was this vague expectation of casual conversation during patrols and perhaps the occasional wave in the corridors. It turns out that their relationship goes beyond what he would have ever imagined — he's discovered that Rose isn't one to do things by halves. When she says friends, she means friends.
And being friends with Rose Weasley is pretty bloody amazing, he's starting to find out. It's never not interesting and nothing short of incredible, in both the wild moments and the quiet (well, as quiet as Rose can get, anyway) ones. It's playing tic-tac-toe and dots and hangman during boring classes and exploring the dungeons on Sunday afternoons and placing sickle bets on the most ridiculous things. It's sneaking into the kitchens at midnight after patrols for the best hot chocolate he's ever tasted and debating the merits of Muggle versus Wizarding romance literature over breakfast ((un)surprisingly, he takes the side of Muggle writing and she takes the Wizarding one). It's her pushing him into the lake one unusually hot day and jumping in right after, roaring with laughter the whole time.
To his surprise, it's a big part of his life now. He'd never have thought that they would get on so well, but after a day or so of the expected initial unsure awkwardness, Rose dragged him on a search for secret passages, and, well, the rest is history. In three short months, Rose has become one of his best friends, and he can't remember or imagine it being any other way. And he definitely doesn't want it to be: he likes their easy, comfortable friendship, the carefree laughter and the (mostly) good-natured give-and-take, the way he lends her the books his mother sends him after he's done reading them and the way she introduces him to the heretofore unknown world of Muggle rock music. It's natural, almost effortless.
At least, getting along with each other is. The process of other people getting along with the idea of them getting along isn't quite as easy. When it becomes clear that Scorpius Malfoy and Rose Weasley are far more civil with each other than anyone ever expected them to be, it seems that the entire population of Hogwarts, from the professors down to the ghosts, have something to say about it.
Rose's relatives are particularly outspoken about the new friendship, as Scorpius discovers when he walks into the Great Hall with her for the first time, a week after the handshake.
They're coming in from outside, having spent a few hours visiting Hagrid and helping him with his "pets" (a not altogether unpleasant experience, to Scorpius' surprise. He didn't sign up for Care of Magical Creatures in third year, based on the advice and horror stories of his father, and he rather regrets it now). Caught up in a discussion about thestrals, neither of them notices the stares at first. It's only when they pass the Gryffindor table that Scorpius becomes uncomfortably aware of the prickling at the back of his neck. Rose seems to sense it at the same time, her voice trailing off in the middle of a sentence.
"Keep calm and carry on," he tells her under his breath. Being the son of Draco Malfoy, he's fairly well-versed in what to do in the midst of unwanted attention. "It'll be worse if you don't. Just pretend you don't notice."
She nods, finishes her sentence as if she never faltered, her dimples flashing as she glances back at him. He's impressed at both her quick recovery and at the brightness of her smile. His lips twitch up in response, and they continue the conversation surprisingly well, making their way to the Ravenclaw table and sliding in beside Rose's friends. Scorpius notes with some amusement that their dumbstruck expressions match perfectly.
"Hey," Rose says to them, tone cheerful, ignoring their wide eyes and open mouths. "You lot know Scorpius, yeah?"
One of them, a blonde with black-framed glasses, manages a nod.
"Right, well, we're friends now," Rose says, so matter-of-factly that Scorpius has to smile. "Scorp, this is Emma and Nicole."
Scorp? he thinks, staring at Rose, too startled to even greet her friends. He does have close friends aside from her — he and his dorm mates have continued the grand old tradition of forming bonds for life with the people you sleep next to for four years — but they've never called him anything except "Malfoy" (although he does get the occasional "Scorpius" when they're drunk or want something from him.) Not that he blames them: Scorpius Hyperion is both ridiculously pretentious and ridiculously hard to shorten into a respectable nickname. No one's ever even tried to give him a nickname before.
To tell the truth, he rather likes it, even if Scorp isn't quite as dignified as he would have liked. (At least, he likes it coming from her. He doubts it'd be the same coming from one of his dorm mates, lifelong bonds be damned.)
"Scorp?" asks another voice from behind them, somehow managing to convey incredulity and derision in a single syllable.
They both freeze. After a long second, Rose exhales and turns her head slowly, her unruffled air in stark contrast to that of her cousin's. "Well, Scorpius is a bit of a mouthful."
"A bit of a mouth —" Albus Potter seems to choke on his words, his already distressed expression becoming positively strangled. Scorpius watches in interest as the black-haired boy takes on the countenance of his old pet goldfish.
Rose waits patiently for Albus to recover, the blasé expression never leaving her face, despite the fact that the eyes of the entire Great Hall are on them. Down the Ravenclaw table, there is a round of shushing.
"He's — he's Scorpius Malfoy, Rosie!" Albus sputters at last, in a fierce whisper that Scorpius supposes is meant to keep him from hearing despite being only two feet away.
"I'm aware of that, yeah," she says, and he smirks.
"D'you think this is funny, Malfoy?" Albus snaps, his angry gaze moving to Scorpius.
He opens his mouth, about to retort against his better judgement, when Hogwarts' most notorious pranksters (even worse than the Marauders and the Weasley twins, it was officially decided by the older professors last year) appear, moving to stand behind Albus. Out of the corner of his eye, Scorpius spies Rose's friends sliding further down the bench, away from them and the inevitable explosion — but not so far away that they won't be able to hear it.
"Right, what's going on here?"
"Your brother is quite irritating, you know," Rose tells James, her tone conversational with a slight touch of boredom. She would make a bloody good actress, Scorpius muses.
"That's what I've been telling you for the past fifteen years," he says, with a grin that doesn't look put-on at all, despite the situation. He catches Scorpius' eye, gives him a nod. "Oi, Malfoy."
"Slytherin table's over there," Fred adds, jerking his head in said direction without taking his eyes off of him.
"He's sitting with her," Albus tells them, his voice strangely high-pitched, expression even more agitated. "She called him Scorp!"
James raises an eyebrow, cool and sceptical, and Scorpius notes the contrast between the two brothers standing side-by-side — one smooth and confident and in control; the other a twitching bundle of anxiety, his distress written all over his face.
Fred snorts. "It's an improvement over Scorpius, I'll give you that."
"Making friends with Slytherins, are we, Rosie?" James asks, and though his voice is warm, teasing, his eyes flash with what Scorpius recognizes from Rose as the old Weasley temper.
She smiles at him in a way that makes even Scorpius a little uneasy, her voice a curious blend of sweet and steely. "It's none of your bloody business who I'm friends with, James."
"Maybe not," he says, still casually, folding his arms slowly and raising the other eyebrow, "but I reckon Uncle Ron would like to know that his daughter's fraternizing with the enemy —"
"Really, is that what you call your thing with Zelda Smith?"
Scorpius smirks again — Merlin, he really has to stop doing that — as James recoils, surprise flickering over his face. Rose's stance mirrors his now, her arms crossed and her eyebrow quirked up in an expression that's half-amusement, half-defiance, and all Rose.
Albus gapes up at his brother. Fred hoots with laughter. "Zelda Smith? Seriously, mate?"
"Sod off," James mutters, and, flustered for once, looks back at Rose. "That's different —"
She rolls her eyes. He stops, frowns at her for a second, then shifts his gaze and glares at Scorpius instead.
"I swear to Merlin, if you do anything to hurt her, Malfoy —"
"Oh, bugger off, the lot of you," Rose huffs, rolling her eyes again and waving them away. "You're ruining our lunch. Scorp, pass me those potatoes."
but now those days are gone I'm not so self-assured
Ron Weasley is decidedly not happy with the news that his precious daughter and the Malfoy heir are close friends.
He hears about it first from George and Angelina at the Burrow, during one of the Sunday brunches that Molly is quite happy to organize for her extended family (sans Hogwarts-aged grandchildren, of course). The couple's just Flooed in, and Ron's barely stood up to greet them when his brother grins at him and asks him how he feels about being the prospective father-in-law of Scorpius Malfoy.
Ron can do nothing but gape at him, confusion giving way to a slowly dawning terror.
"My Rosie's dating a Malfoy?"
George chortles. "Not yet, but from what Fred says, it looks like it's heading that way."
Angelina rolls her eyes at her husband. "Apparently they've been paired up to patrol and now they're friends. Just friends," she adds hastily, eyeing Ron and his rapidly reddening face.
This knowledge does not seem to comfort Ron in the slightest. "My Rosie's friends with a Malfoy?" is all he can say, eyes still wide in horror.
George pats him on the shoulder in mock sympathy. "It's not so bad, Ronnie," he says. "If he's anything like Malfoy Senior, they won't be for long. And you'll feel better when you hear who Harry's son is actually dating."
you really got a hold on me
The train ride back home has never seemed so long. Rose stares out of the window, biting her lip as she watches them getting closer and closer to London. Across the compartment, James, Albus, and Lily are engrossed in a new Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes card game as Fred watches, barred from joining because he's play-tested it so many times.
Rose would join them, but she's nervous. It's something of a novel sensation for her: armed with Ron Weasley's stubborn streak and Hermione Granger's determined efficiency, she's always blazed through problems quickly and methodically, leaving little time or room for anxiety to bubble up.
But this isn't exactly a problem she can solve with the ol' Weasley charm, as her dad calls it. She's not the one who needs to charm her parents; it's all up to her boyfriend to do that. And she doesn't envy him in the least: Ron Weasley, friendly and easy-going in most matters, is — and this is an understatement, in Rose's opinion — decidedly overprotective when it comes to his only daughter. She's quite sure that he wouldn't like anyone she brought home, even if he was a straight-O, future-Minister-of-Magic Head Boy with an undefeated streak in Quidditch.
The sound of the compartment door sliding open rouses Rose from her thoughts. Scorpius walks in, hair and robes as neat as always, a surprisingly bright grin on his face.
"Brill timing, Malfoy," James says when he sees him, patting the seat next to him. "This game works better with a fourth. Fred's not allowed to join, and Rosie's too busy sulking to play properly."
"Rose Weasley, sulking?" Scorpius raises a perfectly arched eyebrow at her as he moves to sit down. Rose decides that James is rubbing off too much on him. He smirks. "I wonder why."
"Dunno," Fred says, a similar smirk creeping up on his face, and Rose wants to hit him. "Might be because her dad's threatened to keep her locked away all summer."
"Which he wouldn't have done," James adds, dealing Scorpius a hand, "if she'd told him that she's had a serious boyfriend — a very serious boyfriend, mind you, going on what I caught you two at the other day —" He looks up at Rose and waggles his eyebrows, and she flushes. "Since, oh… let's see, Malfoy, you would know when."
"Since after Christmas," Scorpius supplies, the smirk on his face stretching into a full-out grin at her expense.
Rose glares at him before turning her attention back to James. "For your information," she says, "I was going to tell Dad in person because I knew he would blow up if he heard about it in a letter — and I was right about that, wasn't I? I'm still cross with you, by the way," she tells Albus, arms crossed.
"I said I was sorry!" Al exclaims. "How was I supposed to know that Mum and Dad would tell Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione?"
"I dunno," his brother says with a roll of his eyes, which Rose is quick to mirror, "Maybe because they're best friends? And because the Weasleys gossip like a bunch of third-year girls?"
"Oi!" Lily cries, taking offense, before swiveling her head around to look at Rose. "I don't see why you didn't tell Uncle Ron at Easter, Rose. You could've told him in person then."
"Don't be silly, Lil," Fred says, "If Uncle Ron knew then, Rose wouldn't have been able to sneak off to suck face with her boyfriend during the Easter Egg Hunt."
Rose can't exactly deny that. Instead, she says, unconvincingly even to her ears, "We weren't serious yet at Easter."
Scorpius snorts. "Come off it, Weasley," he says.
Even Lily, usually the most supportive of Rose, laughs. "Rose, if you're willing to snog him within ten meters of your dad and all the uncles, you're definitely serious."
Rose is about to retort when Zachary Thomas steps inside the compartment.
"Speak of the devil," Fred says, nodding at him. "We were just talking about you, Thomas. Ready to meet the parents?"
Zach glances at Rose before answering. "I think you're forgetting that I've known her parents since I was a kid."
"Ah, but it's different now, innit?" Fred waggles his eyebrows as James did earlier, and Rose wonders if they practice in the mirror. "You weren't her boyfriend when you were a kid."
"Unless you've got something to tell us, mate," James adds with a grin. "We're warning you, you'd better 'fess up now if you don't want Uncle Ron to add castration to the list of things he wants to do to you already."
"Although he might already have that one on the list regardless," Fred says with a smirk.
Zach looks a little worried at that.
"You know he used to be an Auror, yeah?" Scorpius leans forward, and Rose feels her lips twitch up despite herself. "They learn all sorts of interrogation techniques in training." He pauses dramatically, his blue eyes glittering with mirth. "Even torture, I've heard."
Zach looks positively queasy now. Rose stands up and puts her hand on his arm to reassure him, although she can't believe that he would actually believe anything this lot says. "They're kidding," she says, tacking on an obviously in her head, and gives James, Fred, and Scorpius the worst look she can muster. Al and Lily wisely keep their eyes on their cards, although Rose thinks she can see smiles on their faces.
"We're a couple of minutes away from the station," Zach tells her, and Rose looks out the window to verify this.
Lily hums the first few bars of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, and the rest of them burst into laughter.
Rose rolls her eyes at all of them and takes Zach — who looks nervous again — by the hand to lead him to her seat. Behind her, the three most annoying blokes in her life continue poking fun at her boyfriend.
"I must say, Thomas," Fred says, "We were most surprised when we learned that Rosie here fancied you."
"Not as surprised as I was when I heard that he fancied her," Scorpius says. "I asked him about her, once, and all he said was their parents knew each other and that she was a bossy know-it-all."
Rose looks at Zach, who's glaring at his friend. "That was in first year, Malfoy," he shoots back.
Scorpius grins at his dorm mate. "Granted. Still, I hadn't expected to find you mooning after her four years later."
"I was not mooning!"
"Mate, you spent three weeks drilling me on her. You asked me what her favourite animal was, for Merlin's sake!"
Zach's face is positively flushed now, and Rose is about to step in when the whistle blows and she can see King's Cross outside the window.
"Moment of truth, Rose, Zach," Scorpius laughs.
"Best of luck to you, Zachary Thomas," Fred says, with a matching grin, and James gives Zach a salute. "We Weasley men are a force to be reckoned with."
As she stomps out of the compartment, Zach in tow, Rose wonders just how and when Scorpius Malfoy got so friendly with her family.
because i may be a beggar and you may be the queen
Maybe it won't be the most awkward gathering Scorpius has ever been to (that one will always go to the Battle of Hogwarts memorial where he met his great-aunt Andromeda for the first time), but he has a dreadful feeling that Rose Weasley's sweet sixteenth birthday party will definitely rank in the top five.
He'd really rather not go — best friends be damned; his Malfoy sense of survival is firmly opposed to the idea of being in the same room as two dozen Weasleys, half of them bigger than him — but Rose alternately bullied and sweet-talked him into it, and his mother saw the invitation he'd foolishly left in the library, and, well, that was that, really.
He presses on the buzzer next to Rose's front door, fuming at the fact that two women have such a big influence on him, and tugs at the collar of his blue button-down shirt. He's never dressed so casually for a party before; in his world, parties mean dress robes and sit-down dinners and waltzing, not birthday barbeques and the Muggle clothes his mother told him to wear.
The door opens, slowly, and Scorpius is rather unhelpfully reminded of the Muggle horror film Rose made him watch with her a few weeks ago. He schools his face into a polite smile, summons all sixteen years of perfect pureblood breeding, charm, and manners, and steels himself to face —
Andromeda Tonks, clad in an apron and a spatula in hand. It's a speak-of-the-devil-moment if there ever was one, and he decides on the spot that this is grounds for bumping up the party to the top three most awkward gatherings he's ever been to.
"Scorpius," she says, the regal nod she gives him at odds with her violently pink apron and the smile creeping onto her face.
"Aunt — Aunt Andromeda," he stammers out. Logically, he shouldn't be surprised to see her there. He's always known that she was close to the Weasleys, but to see her at Rose's birthday party — cooking for Rose's birthday party! — when she's only ever attended any of his for an hour at most... that stings, a little. (A lot.)
Her eyes roam over his clothes, and she nods approvingly, her smile growing larger. He feels better at the sight. "At least you have the sense to dress properly," she says, and he's struck by how like his grandmother she sounds.
"Mum helped me," he admits.
"I've always liked Astoria," she laughs. He's a little surprised at the revelation. She's always treated his mother the same as the rest of his family (i.e., a little aloof but still perfectly proper.) She waves him in with the spatula. "Well, come on in. You're quite early."
He glances at his watch as he steps through the threshold. "The invitation said eleven."
Andromeda laughs again. He wonders if his grandmother ever laughs as her sister does, eyes crinkling, head thrown back a little. Despite his best efforts, the most he's ever gotten fromNarcissa Malfoy is a quiet chuckle.
"In the Weasley family," she says, closing the door behind him, "you always need to add at least half an hour to whatever time they tell you to come."
"I'll keep that in mind." He should have known, really. Rose is forever late, skidding into the library ten minutes after they agreed to meet, entering the Great Hall well into the lunch break, barely slipping into class on time.
"Perhaps it's best that you're here now," she says. "Some people are rather eager to meet you." As she points him into the room down the hall and excuses herself back to the kitchen, he swears that he can hear her laughing again.
Three minutes later, despite the fact that he's sitting on a very uncomfortable chair, trying valiantly to keep eye contact with the man glaring daggers at him, Scorpius has to fight down the sudden urge to laugh as well. This is, hands down, the most ridiculous situation he's ever been in (and trust him, being on good terms with and thus the occasional partner-in-crime of James Potter and Fred Weasley, he's been in a lot of those).
Apparently James Potter agrees, because he laughs suddenly from somewhere behind Scorpius, where he (and half the Weasley clan, including all the Weasley men) has settled in to watch what he dubbed "the interrogation". "Merlin, Uncle Ron, you'd think Rosie had two boyfriends."
"As far as I'm concerned," replies his uncle, crossing his arms in the universally recognized and dreaded protective father pose, "she shouldn't have any."
Beside Scorpius, Zach squirms in his seat. "Mr. Weasley," he says.
"Yes?" return six voices, and Scorpius can't help it — he bursts into laughter.
Immediately, he can feel all the attention in the room return to him, but oh Merlin, the whole thing is just so clichéd and overly dramatic and daft, and his mother would kill him for being so impolite if she was here; but hell, it can't be entirely wrong, because Mr. Weasley(Mr. Arthur Weasley)'s started laughing along with him.
After a few moments, the rest of the Weasley men follow suit, and Scorpius thinks that the air seems lighter.
Later, just before lunch begins, Rose's dad manages to corner him in the kitchen. He looks a little more relaxed than earlier, but his arms are crossed again and Scorpius isn't sure if he's entirely in the clear just yet.
"Sir," he says in the most respectful tone he can muster, mentally running through all the etiquette lessons drilled into him since birth.
Ron says nothing, his eyes flicking over Scorpius without a hint of emotion.
"Malfoy," he says, finally. "Rosie's told me a lot about you."
Scorpius flounders for something to say, coming up with a pathetically-delivered, "Good things, I hope."
He wants to punch himself immediately, because even he cringed at the line. Ron raises his eyebrows, and Scorpius wishes vindictively that Zach had it much, much worse.
"She seems to think so."
"Because they are," says Rose from behind him, and Scorpius can just hear her rolling her eyes. He doesn't turn around (because his mother told him never to turn his back on anyone in mid-conversation and if there's ever been a time to follow what his mother taught him, this is it), but he's never been so glad to hear anyone in his entire life.
She moves forward to kiss her father on the cheek, and Scorpius is momentarily struck dumb at the sight of her. Her hair is neat for once, half of it pulled back and braided away from her face, and she's in a yellow sundress and some kind of strappy sandals. It's not the first time he's seen her dressed up, but this is different, somehow, with the sun striking her hair in a way that makes it glint gold and her blue eyes bright and her cheeks flushed with excitement — he's always known that she was...well, fit, but she's never looked as pretty to him as she does now.
"Honestly, Dad," she says, voice exasperated, fond, and threatening all at once, "we've talked about this."
Ron almost seems to deflate at her words, his arms dropping and his features softening, and Scorpius suddenly sees what Al meant when he said that she could get her dad to do anything with a single syllable.
"I know," Ron says, sighing, and to Scorpius' surprise, sticks his hand out. "Pleased to meet you, Scorpius."
Scorpius takes it, shaking it firmly in the way his father spent hours teaching him when he was a child. "You too, sir."
Ron nods, slowly, as if despite himself. He doesn't seem to approve, exactly, but rather looks resigned; it's not the warmest welcome in the world, but hell, it's better than what Scorpius had been expecting. At this point, he'll take what he can get.
A few hours into the party, Scorpius is surprised at how much fun he's having. Yeah, it was a bit (okay, more than a bit) awkward with the older Weasleys at first, even after the Mr. Weasley incident, but midway through lunch, he has George and Charlie chortling over an anecdote over a Potions mishap, and pretty soon everyone on their half of the table is sharing their own stories, and just like that, Scorpius feels like any other guest, laughing and joking with the rest of them. It's more or less smooth sailing from there.
(He likes to think it's his natural charm, but the free-flowing champagne and Molly Weasley's ridiculously good food probably did more to boost the general atmosphere more than anything else.)
After lunch, Rose drags him off to an orchard, where he finds most of the younger Weasley-Potter-and-assorted-family-friends clan (Zach included) already up in the air, racing and tossing a Quaffle back and forth.
"Finally!" James shouts upon seeing them. "What took you so long, Rose?"
"Had to drag this prat along," she yells back, pushing Scorpius to the brooms piled haphazardly in the corner of the small paddock. "Sorry for the wait."
"He'd better be worth it," says an older girl with a strawberry-blonde pixie cut, who he vaguely recognizes as being the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team in his second year.
"Oh, he's a Keeper," Fred tells her with the straightest face he can muster before bursting into laughter.
Rose rolls her eyes, although the faint twitch of her lips betrays her amusement. "Har har har," she says. "He'll be keeping my team in the lead, that's for sure. Scorp's on my team."
"Wait, who says you get a team?" Al cries, zooming to hover in front of them, as Scorpius tries (not very successfully) to keep from laughing at the awful trash talk. Rose elbows him. "You don't even play at school!"
"It's her birthday," the blonde girl says, rolling her eyes. "Can we play now?"
"But I didn't get a team on my birthday!"
"You didn't ask," James says, ruffling his brother's hair as he flies by, and Al sputters in protest. "C'mon, Fred, you're on mine."
Once the squabbling over team members is over — Rose and James fight over the cousins and friends who had been on the House Quidditch teams while they were at Hogwarts with a passion Scorpius finds ridiculous for a simple backyard game – they start. Rose's Aunt Ginny, as a former professional Quidditch player, acts as the referee, and most of the other adults come out to watch as well.
Scorpius quickly realizes that this is no mere pick-up game. This is a Weasley tradition, and one they take seriously. Two goals, three near-misses with the Bludgers, a Snitch sighting, a Porskoff Ploy, and an aborted Wronski Feint (Fleur Weasley's "I don't care how old you are or what team signed you on, Dominique, you could have killed yourself and your cousin!" reprimand is still ongoing, even as they play on), all within the first three minutes. He's no beginner to Quidditch — Slytherin Keeper, tipped to become the captain of his team — and he loves the game with a passion nonexistent for anything else in his life, but even so, the intensity of "Quidditch, Weasley-style" takes him by surprise. He finds himself enjoying the challenging game more than any of the ones he's ever played at school. The match is as fierce as one for the World Cup, the players moving swiftly and without mercy, although there is always an undercurrent of affection in all the catcalls and trash talk being tossed around the orchard.
Rose in particular is engrossed in the game, her expression almost gleeful as she swings her Beater's bat (Scorpius wasn't even surprised when she announced that it was her favourite position) in deadly arcs, Bludgers whizzing accurately towards her intended targets. Scorpius watches as she whacks one towards James, who narrowly dodges it with the effortless grace that's made him Gryffindor Quidditch Captain. Zach, her fellow Beater, ruffles her hair as she passes by, saying something Scorpius can't hear to her, and she laughs, hair in windswept tangles around her face. It's the wildest, freest, happiest he's ever seen her, and he's so caught up in the almost-too-bright blue of her eyes that he almost misses the Quaffle that James has chucked at his left hoop.
won't you let me see you smile?
Astoria Greengrass-Malfoy watches with no small interest as her son skids into the dining room, attempting to flatten his unusually tousled hair, muttering apologies as he hurries to his usual seat. It's the third time he's been late for dinner this week, and although she supposes that she should be cross, she rather likes the changes she's been seeing in Scorpius. He seems lighter, somehow, more comfortable with himself, freer of the insecurity hidden under stiff formality that's plagued him growing up in his father's infamous shadow.
Draco only raises an eyebrow as his son settles into his chair, eyeing him with what most people mistake for disdain (if only because it's what they expect to see) but what she recognizes as amusement. She smiles at him over the lip of her wineglass.
"Where have you been, darling?" she asks Scorpius. "We've hardly seen you these past few weeks."
"Training with Zach," he says, and she would believe him if it weren't for the telltale faint pink that tinges his ears. "Potter's got the Gryffindor team over thrice a week to keep them in shape, and I don't want us lagging behind."
"You can't possibly be practicing every day," Astoria persists.
"We would be if Zach didn't spend most of his bloody time with Rose — " He cuts himself off, darting a nervous glance at his father, who looks as impassive as ever. What Scorpius doesn't know is that Astoria has told her husband all about his friendship with Rose Weasley, and that he's quite fine with it (partly because she's told him in no uncertain terms that she expects him to be). She smiles again at Draco, who takes the hint.
"Perhaps you'd like to have some of your friends over before term starts again, Scorpius," he says, clearing his throat a little, "Henry and Zach and Rose — Weasley, I believe? And ask them to stay for dinner. So you won't have an excuse for being late anymore."
The words are a reprimand, but the tone is light-hearted. Scorpius stares at Draco for a moment, his mouth slightly open before it stretches into a wide grin that Astoria wishes she's seen more of. "Yeah. Yeah, that'd be great, Dad."
do we pretend these feelings don't exist at all, or do we fall?
Ever since she and Zach broke up after the end of Christmas break (well, ever since he broke up with her), Rose has been getting some attention from the male population of Hogwarts. It's not entirely unwelcome — it's flattering, really, and most of the blokes who come up to her are nice enough and a few of them are quite fit, even — but five months later, she's had yet to accept any offers for dates. At first, it was because she was still reeling from the break-up, which came as a complete shock. The worst part is that as much as she wants to she can't find it in herself to hate Zach for it, because he actually did right by her.
"I can't lie to you, Rose," he told her on the train, looking so ashamed and guilty and miserable that even as she knew what was about to happen she'd wanted to hug him. "I met this girl while I was on holiday, and... I didn't do anything, I didn't cheat on you, I'd never do that to you — " and she knows it's true, because it's Zach, and because it's Zach, she knew there was a but coming, "but, I can't stop thinking about her, and it's not fair to you, and..."
In the end, she did hug him. After yelling at her cousins and Scorpius for landing Zach in the Hospital Wing as soon as they found out, she decided to put off blokes altogether for a while, immersing herself in her schoolwork and Prefect duties, spending every night not patrolling in the library.
Rose tells her friends that her workload keeps her too busy for a boyfriend (which is at least partly true, because Merlin, why had no one ever told her how bloody difficult NEWT classes were?), but lately she's been afraid that there's something (someone, if she's being honest with herself) else holding her back. But it's something (someone) that she can't think about, not right now, so she buries herself even more in her work as a distraction.
Of course, it's a little hard to distract herself from something when said something is her patrol partner and insists on studying with her, but her mother's always told her that she can do anything she puts her mind to.
Which leaves her in the library in late June, struggling to finish a particularly migraine-inducing problem set and not be hyperaware of her tablemate's presence. But trust her cousin to come barging in just as she's managed to make headway through both. Albus drops himself into the chair across from Rose, bag clattering to the floor to the ire of Madam Pince, who hisses at him from her desk near the doors. Al flashes her the charming smile he's picked up from James before turning it on Rose.
"No," she says, not even looking up from her parchment as she scratches out an equation.
"C'mon, Rosie, you know I'm terrible at Transfiguration — "
She snorts. "You know you'd be better at it than I am if you just got off your lazy arse now and then."
There's a beat of silence as Al processes the compliment (which is completely true, by the way. Rose envies the natural, almost effortless way he learns new spells, picking up almost instantly the exact flourish of the wand and stresses of the incantation that she has to constantly work at to perfect). He clears his throat, a pleased flush to his cheeks as he says, "Be that as it may, the assignment's due tomorrow and I've no clue what she's asking for, so please let me peek at yours, I know you've done it already, just to get an idea — "
"Honestly, Al, how do you expect to pass NEWTS on your own?"
"I won't be on my own," he protests, flashing her that smile again. "I'll have you, won't I?"
Before she can say anything, her other, heretofore silent tablemate pushes a parchment in front of Al, who looks up in surprise. "Oh, cheers, Malfoy," he says happily, flipping it upright to read it. "See, Rose, some people know how to share — hmm, I remember Granddad telling me about this when he was explaining about that washing machine thing — hey, where'd you get this bit from?"
He looks up at Scorpius to find him staring (well, glaring) across the library. Rose follows his gaze — although she doesn't need to, it's been locked on the same thing (or person) for the past twenty minutes — and rolls her eyes, exasperated (although it doesn't stop the flush of pleasure that rises to her cheeks at his actions).
"Are we still on that, Scorp?"
"Well, he's still clearly on it, going on the puppy dog looks he's been sending you ever since he walked in — "
"He's not doing anything wrong, stop scaring the poor bloke — "
"Hey, hey, hey," Al's voice cuts in, a little high-pitched as it tends to get when he's confused or anxious. "What's going on?"
"Peter Matthews asked Rose to Hogsmeade earlier."
"What?" Al sputters. "He's a fifth year — "
"Don't be such a snob, Al, that's only a year below us. And besides, he's perfectly nice — "
"So you said yes?"
"Of course not, don't be daft." Rose rolls her eyes. It's something she finds herself doing a lot around these two.
"But he keeps on pestering her to change her mind, even after she said no in the clearest way possible without resorting to violence," Scorpius says, his tone implying that he thought she should have resorted to it anyway. Peter looks up at them, catches Scorpius' death glare (and now Al's as well, Merlin), and glances down again hurriedly. "And he still keeps on looking over here!"
"Because you keep on looking at him, idiot. He's probably wondering what he did to deserve it — "
"I should've thought that was perfectly obvious."
"So he's persistent. He's still not doing any harm." As much as Rose wants to believe that Scorpius' behavior stems from jealousy, the logical side of her mind tells her that it's really from some kind of protective-brother complex like Al's. But still... in Muggle Studies they'd learned about the scientific method and the importance of testing hypotheses, as improbable as they may seem. She adds, "And I really don't see why you're so bothered about it, Scorp, it's not like you're the one he's asking out."
She ducks her head back down to her Arithmancy assignment to hide her blush, but not before she catches the matching pink of his ears.
and all i can say is, you blow me away
Scorpius tries to process exactly how he's ended up in this situation, but the feel of Rose's fingers curled around his is making thinking ridiculously hard. All he can focus on the visceral: the softness of her hand, the errant curls springing out of the knot at the nape of her neck, the glimpse of freckles on her shoulder from where her sleeve's started to slip down.
"Er, Rose — " he manages to squeeze out, because they're in bloody Diagon Alley in the middle of back-to-school-shopping season, and he thinks he's seen a group of their schoolmates, and The Daily Prophet's office is right there, and oh Merlin, was that his Aunt Daphne — "I think we're giving people the wrong impression."
"Are we?" is all she says, not looking back as she continues to drag him down the street.
He holds up their linked hands in response, trying not to admire the way hers looks in his. (He's turned into a complete sap, but he doesn't think he's seen anything more perfect.)
Her fingers tighten a little around his. "Well, that's the impression I'd like to be giving."
Scorpius stops mid-step, not even bothering to apologize as the person walking behind bumps into him. He stares at the back of her head. "I — you — what?"
Rose finally turns to look at him, rolling her eyes — but it doesn't matter, because he can see the flush in her cheeks and the shyness in her smile (a rarity for her), and suddenly he's on top of the world. "Don't gape, it's unattractive," she says.
He flounders for a bit more under her amused smirk before regaining his composure, smirking back at her (he's pretty sure it comes out as more of a brilliant smile, though). "Clearly not unattractive enough for you to let go of my hand."
She does, and unconsciously he reaches out for it again. Rose laughs and twists their fingers together again, turning away to continue down the street.
"Weasley," he says slowly, staring down at their hands, "was that your way of telling me you fancy me?"
"It's the best you're going to get, Malfoy," she calls over her shoulder.
"And how are you so sure I fancy you back?"
Rose whirls around, letting go of his hand, and someone behind walks into him again, but he doesn't care because she's pressing her lips to his and it's like he's dreamed of only better, and —
By the time he pulls himself together enough to move his legs, she's meters ahead, her laughter ringing in his ears as she glances back, the challenge in her raised eyebrow ruined by the smile stretching across her cheeks.
when we were young, we did enough
Al nearly kills Scorpius, James and Fred make endless fun, Lily pronounces them "adorable", Zach gives them his blessing (neither of them are sure what to make of this), and their parents are...surprisingly okay with the whole we're-getting-married-in-two-weeks-because-Rose-go t-pregnant thing.
(Well, alright, there's a brief moment after their announcement when Ron Weasley is the most terrifying thing Scorpius has ever seen, but Rose and Hermione manage to talk him down, and it goes fairly uphill from there. The prospect of being a grandfather — even if it is a bit earlier than expected — has made Ron scarily cheerful.)
Of course, the Weasleys and the Malfoys have had six years to get used to the idea of them, and so the two weeks of wedding planning isn't as awkward as it could have been. Astoria and Hermione try to cancel out the awkwardness between their husbands (Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy might be becoming in-laws, but one can never be completely rid of a grudge), Andromeda acts as the buffer between Molly and Narcissa, and everything goes as smoothly as it gets when it comes to the Malfoys and the Weasleys (which is to say, not very smooth at all, but they'll take what they can get).
The biggest problem happens when Lucius, finally released from Azkaban, Apparates to their flat and demands that Rose sign a pre-nuptial agreement "to protect the Malfoy wealth". Scorpius is about to hex him — grandfather be damned, he won't let anyone insult her like that — when he's stilled by Rose's hand on his wrist. She gives Lucius that dazzling smile, promises to sign the agreement, and walks him out, so quickly that he's as confused as his dumbstruck grandson in the kitchen.
As soon as the door closes behind him, she kisses Scorpius, and he understands — that first agreement, years ago on the Hogwarts Express, didn't matter, so why should this one?
"Told you we ought to have eloped," he murmurs against her lips.
"We still can," she teases.
He actually considers it for a moment before shaking his head. It wasn't worth the argument. No matter how much they might want to, he's still a Malfoy and she's still a Weasley, and life's complicated enough, yeah?
A/N. This was supposed to be a lot angstier, but honestly real life — and Rose/Scorpius fanfic in general — has enough drama without me adding to it (not that I'm complaining about the Rose/Scorpius fanfic; I'm a sucker for angst myself). Lyrics (and my writing mood music) from Neon Trees, Kate Nash, The Cardigans, The Beatles, She & Him, The Fratellis, Alexz Johnson, A Fine Frenzy, and The Lumineers.
I haven't written in ages, so please leave a review and let me know what you thought. Thanks!