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Scorpius and Rose

Chapter Text

“Granger-Weasley, Rose!” Headmistress McGonagall calls.
I step tentatively onto the stage and climb onto the stool. Slowly, I put on the Sorting Hat. It talks, but different than I expected, not out loud, but in my mind.
“Another Weasley? How many of you are there? Oooh, but you’re a different one aren’t you? Yes, I know just what house you should be in… RAVENCLAW,” He bellows, and I take him-it?- off and set him on the stool. I spot my siblings and cousins at the Gryffindor table, staring at me incredulously, their hands still at their sides. I’m in Ravenclaw.
I’m different, I think, pleased. My entire family went to Gryffindor, even my aunts and uncles. My entire family for generations, Gryffindor. My pride wilts into a twist of nerves. What if they don’t like me anymore? I worry. What if I’m shunned? I take a seat at the Ravenclaw table and smile shyly at the people applauding around me.
The rest of the sorting seems to go by in a blur of wonder that I’m actually in Ravenclaw. That is, until I hear McGonagall call out a name I hadn’t expected.
“Malfoy, Scorpius.” As he walks up to the stool I try and recall what my Dad said about him… Ah yes, “stay clear of him”
McGonagall places the Sorting Hat on his slicked back blonde-white hair, and it immediately shouts out “RAVENCLAW.” The whole hall is silenced, as he sits there in shock. Professor McGonagall places her hand on his shoulder gently, and he quickly gets up, handing the Sorting Hat to her. He races down the steps to the Ravenclaw table. People are clapping, but it’s awkward. Nobody expected this. And by the looks of it, neither did Scorpius.
While the rest of the Sorting finishes I stare at the boy who seems as out of place in this house as me. After a moment he seems to recover and holds his chin high and proud, as if he can just take away everyone’s memory of his previous nervousness if he acts tough now. Soon the sorting finishes, and the food appears on the platters in front of us.
Throughout the whole meal I can’t stop glancing back at Scorpius, who seems to have completely pulled himself together by now. Everyone around him seems to be ignoring him, and there’s space on either side of him for at least two people to sit. It’s a shame. Seems like there’s no getting rid of your family’s reputation.

Chapter Text

As the months pass, I heed my father’s word and steer clear of Scorpius. A nod in the hall, slight acknowledgment that he is alive.
Then the bullies come. They flock to my red hair and freckles, teasing me. “Oh, look at the Weasley. Fish out of water,” Every single bully is from Slytherin. Green robes, proud backs and chins. Fish becomes my nickname there.
One day I simply can’t take it. Instead of doing homework, I sit on a couch in the Commons and bury my face in my knees. The couch shifts slightly to the left as someone sits next to me on it. I lift my face up and find myself looking into Scorpius’s gray-blue eyes. I stare at him for a moment.
“I’m not supposed to talk to you. My Dad says.” I say in a calm, measured voice. I wonder why I even said anything, and lower my face again, letting my hair cover my face.
He smiles slightly. “Father says not to pay any attention to the low born Weasleys. But Father’s values aren’t always right, besides, they don’t have to know.” I sit straight up, startled by his bold statement. “What’s your wand?”he asks, not noticing my alarm.“Like, what’s the core and stuff.”
“Willow. Thestral tail.” I say slowly. Why is he asking me this? I consider ignoring him. Didn’t I tell him I wasn’t supposed to talk to him? Does he care about the rules at all?
He whistles, impressed. “Thestral tail, huh?”
“Yeah.” I blink at him, slowly.
“You know, Thestral tail was used in the elder wand.” He pokes me.
“Yeah, I know.” I smile at him. Agh, what am I doing?
“So, what’s wrong?” He studies me.
I swallow heavily, looking down. “It’s nothing.”
“Rose…” He says imploringly.
I bite my lip. “Okay,” I allowed. “Wait, how do you know my name?”
He flushed, looking down at his feet. “Well, I, um..” he looks at me, biting his lip. “I just payed attention to you. You’re not exactly a typical Ravenclaw.”
I feel my ears burn a little. “Um.. thanks?” I say awkwardly, clearing my throat and looking away.
Scorpius pokes my arm again with a half-smile. “You were saying?”
I frown at him. “Why are you so determined to find out why I’m upset?”
“So you ARE upset!” He grins triumphantly.
A small bubble of pleasure builds inside me, and I fight back a smile with an irritated scowl. “I said nothing of the sort. Leave me alone.”
“I will not.” He says stubbornly. “Tell me what’s wrong.”
“Like you’d care what a fish like me has to say,” I mumble.
He must hear me, because he scowls and says, “Is that why you’re upset?”
“Is what why I’m upset?” I ask, avoiding his gaze.
“Don’t play dumb with me. You’re a Ravenclaw, for God’s sake.” Scorpius glares at me. “The Slytherins.”
“Maybe,” I mumble, not meeting his eyes. “I just-“ I cut off with a sigh. “I just wish they’d leave me alone.” Scorpius is silent for a moment. “They won’t leave you alone.”
“That’s helpful,” I say sarcastically.
Scorpius ignores me. “They won’t leave you alone because they’re bullies.” He glances at me sidelong. “But I’ll be here for you,” he blurts, staring at his feet and turning bright red. “If you want me to,” he adds.
I smile at him, a new sort of feeling I can’t place swelling inside of me. “That would be perfect.”
He’s shocked into meeting my eyes.
Slowly, his smile grows to match mine.

My interactions with Scorpius only increase from that day on.
The next time we talk, Scorpius is much more subdued.
“What’s wrong?” This time I’m the one who’s asking.
Scorpius looks up at me sharply. “Nothing.” He bends his head down to continue working on his homework.
For a moment, there is no sound but the scratching of quills on paper.
“Do you really expect me to believe that? You’re a rubbish actor.” I say.
Scorpius glares at me, but gives no reply.
“Fine,” I say. “If you don’t tell me anything, I’ll just leave.”
Scorpius studies me silently, gauging to see if I am lying. “Fine.” He looks back at his paper. “I’m mad at my dad.”
“Your dad?” I repeat, bewildered. “But-“
Scorpius slams shut his textbook and storms out of the commons, leaving his homework half-finished.

God, the nerve of her! I pace back and forth in a hallway just off of the main hall to the Ravenclaw dorms.
She thinks she can just butt into my family life. So what if my dad’s disappointed in me? I cringe away from the thought.
I hate being a Malfoy, anyway. Everyone can tell who I am just by looking at me. Just by glimpsing my hair. I scowl, running my fingers through my white-blonde hair. I hate this hair. I hate these clothes. I never want to look like my father again. Ever.
With a sickening sense of satisfaction, I storm into the boy’s dorm.

The next day, Scorpius and I come to some sort of silent agreement. He follows me to class, because everyone else was too rude to show him anywhere, and maybe, just maybe, if someone comes along with me, the Slytherins will leave me alone.
But of course, I’m wrong.
“Well, hello there, Fish,” a tall Slytherin snarls as we pass. Dolohov. His mob of Slytherins quickly surround us, cutting us off from the surroundings. “Looks like you’ve got a tail.”
“Leave us alone, Dolohov,” I murmur non-confrontationally. Maybe this time, they’ll leave me alone. But I know better. “We’ll be late to class.”
“D’you think I care?” Dolohov says with a snort. “Maybe if you don’t go to class, you’ll learn how to be a little less insufferable.”
I bow my head, letting my hair cover my face like a veil. “Leave me alone,” I mumble, backing up a few steps.
There’s a cold, harsh laugh as I collide with someone behind me. Rough hands push me forward, causing me to stumble forward and drop my textbooks.
I drop to my knees and scoop them up, avoiding Dolohov’s eyes. Avoiding everyone’s eyes, especially Scorpius’s- god, this is so embarrassing, I think, cringing inwardly.
“Maybe you’d fit in a little bit more of you weren’t so clumsy, fish,” Dolohov snarls. “Maybe you’d-“
There’s a flash of movement to my left, followed by a thud. I snap my head up and watch in shock as Dolohov reels back, clutching his cheek.
“You leave her alone,” Scorpius growls.
Dolohov gives him a strange look, but backs away. His group of cronies follow him as they stalk off to wherever their next class is. I turn towards Scorpius, textbooks in hand, gaping.
“Let’s go,” he says gruffly, avoiding my eyes.

I can’t believe I did that. I stare at my hands in Charms, unable to focus.
I just punched someone. Punched them.
“Mr. Malfoy?” Professor Oakwood says. I flinch a little, but he definitely grabbed my attention.
“Yes, sir?” I smile at him unconvincingly.
He rolls his eyes. “What is the levitation charm?”
“I’m sorry, sir,” I say truthfully. “I wasn’t paying attention.”
“That’s what I thought,” he said. “Wingardium Leviosa.”

The summer comes all too quickly. Soon, I am boarding the Hogwarts Express, Scorpius close behind me. I walk into an empty compartment, not wanting to deal with anyone who isn’t Scorpius at the moment.
We sit in silence for a while, watching the Scotland plains roll by.
Scorpius is the one to break the silence. “Rose…”
I swallow. “Scorpius, don’t.”
“Rose,” he repeats firmly. “You know… you know we won’t be able to talk all summer.”
“I know that.” I glare at him.
“Rose,” he says with an exasperated sigh.
“I don’t like goodbyes,” I tell him. “I don’t want to say goodbye.”
“Okay.” Scorpius says.

Chapter Text

I’m antsy. My Dad and Mum are driving us to King’s Cross, and I haven’t seen Scorpius since school got out in June, what with us not wanting to tell our parents about our friendship, for obvious reasons.

“You alright back there, Rose?” My Mum asks, glancing back at me through the rear-view mirror.

“Yeah, I’m fine Mum. Just excited to go back to Hogwarts.” It’s technically not a lie, as I do enjoy all my classes and I know quite a few teachers, but it’s definitely not the whole truth.

When we finally park I practically jump out of the car, lugging my suitcase behind me.

“Wait for us, Rosie.” My Dad says. “We’re getting old you know…” He sighs exasperatedly.

“You’re not even 40 yet!” I shout over my shoulder.

Soon enough we’re at the platform and saying our goodbyes rushedly.

“I love you too, Mum.” I say, wrestling myself out of her grasp and starting towards the train, which is scheduled to leave any minute now.

“And remember to stay away from that Malfoy!” My Dad says before I’m out of earshot. I pretend I don’t hear him, instead running even faster towards the train, but I allow myself a small smile as I hear my mother begin to reprimand him.

Once I find an empty compartment I slide into a seat, lifting my suitcase next to me. The train starts moving, and I wave goodbye at my parents until they’re out of sight. Just in time… Where’s Scorpius? The door slides open and I’m met with a familiar face… and yet..

“Scorpius?”

“Um, hi?” He leans against the doorway.

“What did you do to your HAIR?”  I leap to my feet, gaping in shock.

“What does it look like? I dyed it.” Scorpius rolls his eyes as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

“But why?! It was so beautiful!” I motion towards him.

“You liked it?” He runs his hand through his light brown hair.

“I…never said that.” I say, realizing my mistake.

“You just did!”

“Did not,” I say defiantly.

“Did too.”

“Why did you dye it?” I say, knowing if I keep it up it could go on for ages. “And brown of all colors.”

“No reason. Just felt like I needed to change things up.”

“Sure.” I say disbelievingly. “Though I’m not completely against the brown…”

I sit in the Ravenclaw common room, flipping through the pages of Chadwick’s Charms, Vol. II , but I’m not really reading it. For the first time in the three months my hair has been brown, I find myself regretting it. Father hated it, but that had made me feel proud.

Father hates most things. Including Mother, some days. Her sickness. By extension, me. She wanted a child, even knowing it would make her weaker than before, make the curse act quicker.

….

“Full grown mandrakes are fatal to anyone who hears them.” Professor Longbottom says, but it’s all background noise.

I know I should be paying attention to him, but I learned all of this when I was eight, so I pretend to listen to the professor, facing him and staring at the potted plant right behind him. Instead, I daydream.

As we walk out of Herbology class, Scorpius and I talk. “What amazes me is how a plant as small as that can both kill you, and un-petrify you.” He says.

“Right,” I agree. “Too bad I can only do one of those things.”

“Oh, stop it,” Scorpius said, but there was a look in his eyes that said he wasn’t just joking.

“Oh, I have something I wanna show you! Meet you in the common room.” I say.

“Wha- Okay,” Scorpius says, shaking his head.

I scramble up the stairs leading to the Great Hall, racing towards the Ravenclaw girls dorm, excited to show him what I’ve done.

When I meet Scorpius in the common room a mere five minutes later, I carry my most prized possession.  I beam at him as approach.

“What is it?” Scorpius asks, eying the folded parchment warily.

I smooth it out and whisper to it, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” The map of Hogwarts appears, and I see Scorpius and I’s names in the Ravenclaw common room. The path to our destination is clear. I grin down at the Marauder's map. “Alright,” I say in a matter-of-fact tone, “We’re going to the Room of Requirements.”

I march out, grabbing Scorpius’ arm and dragging him after me. After a few moments, he catches up to me and I drop his hand. I wish he didn’t have such long legs, then I could keep leading. The thought is fleeting, however, as I spot the door I need to see. I need my clubhouse.

I pace back and forth in front of the corridor wall, 3rd floor this week. After a moment, the door appears, and I push it open, revealing the clubhouse.

“Meet Albus Potter, James Potter, Lily Potter, Victoire Weasley,  Dominique Weasley, Fred Weasley II, Louis Weasley, Lucy Weasley, Molly Weasley, Hugo Weasley, Teddy Lupin,  and Roxanne Weasley. Everyone, meet Scorpius Malfoy,” I say loudly, pointing to each person as I name them.

They all come up to inspect who “this Malfoy fellow” is, seeming very polite. James makes a face at the name “Malfoy”, and lingers around the edge of the small crowd surrounding us. After everyone says hello they all, including James, though reluctantly, go back to casting spells.

Scorpius waves, pointedly avoiding James’ gaze, then pulls me aside. “What is this?”

“Nothing bad. Just a bunch of family. We're practicing spells. Protective spells, this week.” I say with a smile.

He frowns. “Nothing bad? That James Potter is bad news. He's, like, a bully, except not as bad. And more arrogant. Basically, a Gryffindor bully.” He gestures to James, who tackles Hugo, proving Scorpius’ point.

I sigh. “True. But he's my cousin. I couldn't leave him out.”

“How long has this been going on?” Scorpius demands, running his fingers through his hair.

“Um. A week? Ish?” I shrug.” I just needed time to tell you.” I cock my head. “Why? Does it matter?”

“When were you busy?” He asks, avoiding the question.

“All week! And so were you. We have a lot of homework.” I point to the stack of papers in a corner. “That's a copy of all the homework for this week. One copy.”

He sighs. “I know. Sorry.” All the anger evaporates from his posture.

I grin and glance around the room. Everyone seems occupied, so I lean in to hug Scorpius. He smells like ink and old parchment, and I breathe it in. It smells like home.

Rose is hugging me.  And I just want this to be a happy moment, but goddammit can’t stop thinking about my mother. I try and melt into the hug as best I can. I mean, I really am happy about the club, and all, but am I even allowed to be in it? Everyone in here has a family that was on the good side of the war, and then there’s me.

I wish it was my mom hugging me.

Chapter Text

I sit on an armchair in the Ravenclaw commons, and finish doing the last of my homework. It’s rather early to be “staying in”; most people stay out of the commons until 9:00, and it’s only 7, just after dinner. Students are finding any excuse to not be pent up in here all night, but I don’t mind. It’s quieter without everyone else.
I worry about the O.W.L’s, nerves eating at my stomach. What if I don’t pass? It may only be our 2nd year, but the teachers are already pressuring us to be ready for them.
“WEASLEY, WEASLEY!!!!!” A voice bellows outside the door. “FISH! FISH!”
“PEEVES!” I yell. “LEAVE ME ALONE!” I am answered by cackling, and something thumping on the door. I point my wand in the general direction of his voice. “SILENCIO!” I yell. I am greeted by silence, and I smile. A small win for a small fish.
Scorpius appears suddenly from the boy’s dorms. “How’s homework going?” He asks, his gaze meandering around the room.
“Fine. I’ll get it all done, at least.” I smile. “You?” Of course he’s done, otherwise he wouldn't be here, I reprimand myself.
“I finished it. A while ago, actually.” He finally looks at me in the eyes and takes a deep breath. “I was wondering if maybe you might want to do some light reading.”
I smile at the reference, nodding. “Sure.
Scorpius grabs my hand. “C’mon, then,” he says with a smile.
He pulls me through the halls to the library. It’s rather annoying, honestly, but he’s much taller and faster than me, so we make good time.
As we enter, he heads straight to the front desk and hands a slip of paper to the school librarian, Professor Wolffe.
She looks at us suspiciously, gaze darting from Scorpius to me. She raises her eyebrow, and finally nods.
Scorpius smiles, turning and walking to the Restricted Section, which is, well, restricted, to all students without special permission. He seems to know the area, however, and heads straight to a certain bookshelf. He runs his fingers along the spines before reaching a particularly thick one. As he pulls it off the shelf, a huge cloud of dust bursts in our faces.
I pull my hand from his and wave it in front of my face, wheezing. “What’s this for?” I ask.
“Your club,” Scorpius says simply.
“My club?” He quickly turns and walks out of the library, not bothering to respond.
I scoff and follow him, nodding at Professor Wolffe as I leave. I follow him to the Room of Requirements. We enter, and thankfully, no one is inside. The only things we see are the bookshelf, which Scorpius puts his book on, the calendar, marked with homework and meeting dates, and the assorted pillows and bean bag chairs.
“Are you going to join the club, or what?” I ask Scorpius, breaking the silence.
“Really?” He asks. “I thought it was family stuff.”
“No. You know, technically Teddy isn’t family. He isn’t related to anyone in the club...He is dating Victore though-” I suddenly feel that I am oversharing and snap my mouth shut.
Scorpius blinks, then shakes his head. “Okay.” He seems a little upset about something.
“So? Do you want to join?” I ask, tilting my head.
“Yeah. Sure.” He smiles at me, but his mind is somewhere else.
“What’s up?” I wave my hand in his face.
“You said that Teddy’s last name is Lupin, right?” He bites his lip nervously.
“Yes.” I say, unsure to where this is going.
“So his parents were Tonks and Remus Lupin?”
“Yes...” I say slowly.
“Well…” He rubs his hands together in a nervous way, “My grandparents were Death Eaters, and they were there at the Battle of Hogwarts...”
“Oh.” I suddenly understand. “It’s fine. He was a baby, then. He never knew his parents.”
“Exactly.” Scorpius whispers.
And then he’s gone, racing out the door.

Scorpius doesn’t return to the Commons. I begin to worry when it’s midnight and he’s still not back. He’s never like this, he’s always there, waiting for me, protecting me. It’s also after curfew, another thing that is unlike him. Also I miss him. I push the thought away and find the Marauder's Map.
“I solemnly swear I am up to no good,” I whisper. I don’t find his name on the map. He must be in the Room of Requirements. I put it away and slip off to find him.
I wrap myself in my invisibility cloak and tiptoe through the hallways.
When I finally reach the Room of Requirements, it’s dead silent everywhere. It’s way past curfew. If we’re caught, we’ll be in big trouble. “I need to find Scorpius,” I whisper to the door, then I push it open. In front of me I see a large, dark room full of odd objects. I hear his voice, whispering something. I follow the sound, and see him sitting on a cushioned armchair, pouring over textbooks.
“Hey.” I say softly, pulling off the invisibility cloak.
He jumps, startled. “Oh, um… hi.”
“Do you know what time it is?” I ask, crossing my arms.
He shakes his head. “Nine?” He closed the book and sets it next to him.
“No. 12:30.” I raise an eyebrow.
“What? Really?” He leaps up. “Sorry.”
‘’It’s fine. What you need to be sorry about is that Peeves is unsilenced.” I grin teasingly.
He groans. “Great. He’ll turn us in.”
I giggle. “Not if he doesn't see us.” I hold out the cloak.“This is my uncle’s Invisibility Cloak. If we both get under it, I think it should cover most of us.”
“What, really?” Scorpius looks at me skeptically.
“Just get under it,” I say with a heavy sigh.
“Okay.” We both manage to get mostly covered by the invisibility cloak, but our feet are still visible.
“Okay… this is fine,” I say. “As long as nobody is looking for feet, we won’t be seen.”
Scorpius gives me a thumbs up, and we shuffle awkwardly down the hall.
We make it all the way to the Ravenclaw tower’s door before a problem arises. How will we open the door without talking? I wonder.
As if on cue, the bronze knocker chimes, “I am the beginning of every end, and the end of time and space. I am essential to creation, and I surround every place. What am I?”
“It’s E,” Scorpius whispers, and we walk in, throwing off the cloak. Thankfully, the commons are empty.
“See you tomorrow,” I whisper, and he nods. “Wait.” I grab his elbow. “Don’t stress about Teddy, okay? He’s a grown man. He can deal with himself. He doesn't need his parents. Besides, Uncle Harry had him.”
Scorpius hesitates, then nods. “I won’t. Goodnight, Rose.” He kisses my cheek, then disappears into the boys dorm. I smile, touch my cheek, and go to bed.

I’m kind of appalled at my own bravery. I sit down in the boy’s dorm room. Unfortunately, Lorcan is still wide awake.
“Why were you out so late?” He demanded.
“I lost track of time.”
“Nobody told you when it passed curfew?”
“No.”
“Why?”
“I wasn’t with anybody.”
“Not even Rosie?”
“No.”
“Then why was she gone for so long?”
“I don’t know!”
“... didn’t you guys have detention?”
“Shut up, Lorcan.”
...
I lay in my bed in the girl’s dorm, staring at the roof. I can already tell I’m not going to sleep tonight. My brain is running in ten different directions, and I’m getting dizzy. I try to focus on one thought, but then my brain is overloaded with thoughts of Scorpius. I realize that any attempt otherwise is futile and abandon any thought that doesn’t have to do with Scorpius, and daydream.

Chapter Text

The next school year arrives rather uneventfully. Summer bores me endlessly- I can’t figure out a way to send a letter to Scorpius without my parents noticing! I sit on the Hogwarts Express in the usual compartment, glancing hopefully at the door every few seconds.
Just as the train begins to move, Scorpius slides open the door and steps in.
“Scorpius!” I stand up. “Your hair!” I get a rush of deja vu, remembering last year.
He smiles, running his fingers through his long, platinum blonde hair. “I thought you liked it better this way.”
I scowl. “I never said that.”
“You did too. Anyway, I thought you’d be more irritated by the fact that I’m a lot taller than you now,” he points out.
My scowl only deepens. “You were always taller than me.”
“True,” Scorpius says, sitting down.
I sit down on the seat across from him, smiling. This year is already off to a good start.

I hadn’t told Rose yet. How could I? She was gone, and Father’s temper was only getting worse. Mother would’ve wanted him to move on, to forget her, but I am a walking reminder of the life Father never deserved in the first place. He didn’t even want me. He would’ve prefered to keep Mother for longer rather than have me at all. He wanted the Malfoy line to end.
Maybe it would with me. I pull the small ring out of my pocket. My mother’s ring. I press the stone to my lips and try not to cry.
...
3rd year proves to be a lot more stressful than 2nd year. The teachers really have started to crack down, trying to prepare us for the O.W.L.S. that we’ll take our 5th year.
We’re in Care of Magical Creatures. My textbook - The Monster Book of Monsters-is open, squashed under my foot as I strain to follow Grawp’s reading. The book struggles, trying its best to chomp on my foot, making everything more difficult.
Grawp may have taken over Hagrid’s job, but Hagrid still leads the first years to Hogwarts, even though he’s retired. Grawp looms above us, reading a ginormous version of the same Monster Book of Monsters book.
With a grin, I remember how that book nearly ate a student when I was in first grade.
I try to listen to Grawp, try to refocus, but I find myself once again overwhelmed by thoughts of Scorpius. I’m not sure I'll get anything done at this rate.
“Unicorns, however pretty, can also be useful,” Grawp is saying.
“Focus,” I whisper to myself.
“What’s that?” Scorpius whispers, leaning to the side.
“Nothing,’’ I tell him.
“What is it?” He asks, tickling me with a strand of my hair.
“Shh! Listen to Grawp!” I whisper.
“-can be made with Unicorn hair. Follow me,” Grawp is saying, walking over to his hut. He snaps closed The Monster Book of Monsters and belts it closed.
He stuffs it in his cottage and smiles. “What are some other uses that Unicorns have?” I raise my hand. “Rose?” He says.
“Unicorn blood can be used to grant immortality, but is also very dangerous.” I say, cursing myself for missing what he said earlier.
“That’s right!” Grawp says with a smile.
I move on to Defense against the Dark Arts, and get out my textbook, DA Defense by Amelia Storme, and sit at my desk.
“Turn to page 394,” Professor Storme says, and I flip to it. Boggarts are creatures that take a form to terrify you, The first sentence reads. I sigh. I know all about boggarts. “Read through page 400,’’ She drones.
...
We’re in Charms, and I find myself ignoring Professor Oakwood and staring at Scorpius. Have his eyes always looked like that? His eyes are gray, with light blue traces swirling around in them, which I knew, but I find hints of darker blue rimming the pupil. I could get lost in those eyes, finding all the different grays and blues.
Scorpius looks up and catches me staring at him. He smiles and I blush, looking down, but in a few minutes I’m staring up at him again.
“Remember, class,” Professor Oakwood intones.
“Swish and flick,” The class responds out of habit. I watch Scorpius’ long hair move slightly in the breeze coming from the open window and smile.

Chapter Text

Later, I sit on my usual couch, writing an essay on Boggarts for DA, when the couch shifts. I look up to see Lorcan Scamander sitting next to me.

“Hey, Lorcan,” I say, and go back to my paper. In order to dispel a Boggart , I write, You think of happy memories and say the charm Riddikulus.

“Hey…’’ Lorcan says, rubbing his neck. He opens his mouth and shuts it, shaking his head.

After several moments of this, I ask, “What is it?”

“You know what? Nevermind!” He says, turning beet red and running off. I watch him, puzzled.

“What was that all about?” Scorpius asks, sitting next to me. He has a medium-sized bag slung around his shoulders, looking light. I wonder what could be in there.

“No idea,” I say with a shrug.

“Huh.” He said. “Are you finished with homework?”

“Almost,” I say. “I just have to finish this essay.”

“Well, hurry up.” Scorpius grins teasingly. I finish the paper in two minutes flat. Who cares if’ it’s half-finished if it means more time with Scorpius? “Want to go somewhere?” He asks nervously.

“Sure,” I say. “Where are we going?”

“It’s a surprise.” He replies. He grabs my hand with a smile. “Come with me.”

“Okay,” I say with a smile. He pulls me to my feet and let’s go of my hand with an awkward cough. He leads me through the halls, towards the main entrance, but we are stopped by an all too familiar frame.

“Well, well, well ,” Dolohov says. “What have we here ?”

“Leave me alone, Dolohov,” I snap.

“It looks like it’s the fish and her tail. ” He takes a few steps forward. Dolohov’s eyes are cruel and dark, his hair swirling around his face in a chaotic way as he speaks. “What are you two doing, huh? Probably running off to snog in the forbidden forest!” He laughs, a harsh, grating sound.

“Why do you want to know?” I take a step forward, causing Dolohov to take a hasty step back, almost running into the croon standing behind him. “Are you jealous of the amount of time I spend with Scorpius? I’m sure you’d like it a lot better if I blindly followed you around, right? Just like all of your other ‘friends’,” I say. “Of course, maybe you’d feel better if your parents cared about you.”

Dolohov looks like I’ve just slapped him. “Wha-“

I push past him. “Come on, Scorpius.”

He follows me quickly, not wanting to stick around. “That wasn’t very nice.”

I bite my lip, feeling a stab of guilt. “I know. I shouldn’t have done that.”

“No, it was cool,” Scorpius says with a smile.

I smile shyly back. “Thanks.”

“Hey, I’m supposed to be leading!” He says with a laugh. I slow down, and he leads me out of Hogwarts, across the darkening lawn, and into Hogsmeade.

“Why are we here?” I ask, looking around at the surroundings. The cold September air bites at my hands, and the fact that it’s already dark doesn’t help that fact.. Without responding, Scorpius walks up to the side of a shop and pulls down a ladder from the roof.

“What's going on? What are you doing?” I whisper, staring at him.

“Just… Follow me.” He says with a small smile. He begins to climb up the ladder.

“Are you crazy? Onto the roof?” I demand, crossing my arms.

“Trust me.” Scorpius says, and he looks straight into my eyes. Something I can’t name stirs in me, telling me to listen to him.

“Okay.” I sigh, to both of our surprise. He grins and keeps climbing. I follow him up the ladder, and he turns and pulls me the rest of the way onto the roof. The view is incredible: I can see all the shops, Hogwarts, the mountains surrounding the valley, and Scorpius’s eyes, which are as enchanting as your first time at Hogwarts.

And the sky, oh, the sky , is lit up in beautiful stars.

“It's beautiful,” I breathe, staring into Scorpius’s eyes, and for a moment I’m not sure if I mean the view or him. Scorpius smiles, and looks down at his feet. I look down at my hands and find them still entwined with Scorpius’. I flush and pull my hands away.

...

“Rose?” My heart is pounding in my chest. I can’t seem to bring myself to say it,

“Yeah?” Rose looks over at me, her eyes full of wonder.

“My mother died.” My throat seems to constrict around the words, reducing them to the point that they’re barely audible.

“Sorry?” She asks, tilting her head towards me. “I didn’t hear that.”

My hand dips into the pocket of my robes, and I grasp the ring there. “My mother died,” I repeat.
“Oh, Scorpius….” Rose scoots closer to me and grabs my free hand in both of hers, looking into my eyes. “I’m truly sorry.”

“There’s nothing to apologize for,” I manage to choke out. “You didn’t cast.. The.. curse,” I gasp a little in between the words, fighting back sobs.

Rose’s face twitches, as if she isn’t sure what to say, and settles on a sympathetic look, her thumb travelling in circles on my hand.

I swallow heavily and pull the ring from my pocket. “This is for you.”

“Really?”

“She’d want you to have it.” I place it in Rose’s hands.

Realization dawns on her face, and she quickly tries to hand it back. “I can’t take this,” She says.

I curl her fingers shut around the ring. “She always wanted to meet you.”

Rose swallows and puts it on.”Thank you.”

...

We sit on the roof for what seems like a short while. This illusion is shattered when the sky starts turning pink. The sunrise is glorious, filling the skies with gold and pink, lighting up the bright shops. Scorpius jumps                          up and starts climbing off the roof, but I am paralyzed, staring into the bright sunlight.

“Come on, we have to move!” Scorpius whispers urgently, jerking his head.

“Woah,” I whisper. “This is even better than our roof.’’ Scorpius freezes, a painful look crossing his face for a second before continuing to climb down. I shake my head and close my eyes, and bright spots dance behind my eyelids. When I open them, Scorpius is back by my side. He tugs my arm, looking desperate.

“I’ll leave without you!” He threatens.

“I’m coming!” I say, energized by a sudden realization: It’s light outside. I dart down the ladder after Scorpius. He tugs me after him, towards the Whomping Willow. We sneak around the back and slip in through the great hall. “Crap.” I whisper, flattening myself against the wall and stare at Miss Cod.

Why oh why didn’t I think to bring the cloak?

Scorpius opens his bag quickly and quietly so as to not attract attention from the caretaker and cat currently halfway down the corridor. He lifts the invisibility cloak out of it and wraps it around us. I give him a confused look, how did you get this?  But he places his index finger in front of his mouth, reminding me of what’ll happen if we talk right now.

Mr. Furgle growls at us and sniffs the air.

“What is it, love?’’ Miss Cod says, petting Mr. Furgle’s head. “Is a naughty, naughty child out of bed?” She croons. “Find them, love!” She cackles and sets Mr Furgle on the ground. He immediately tears towards us. “No, love.” Miss Cod sighs. “There’s no one there. You must be hungry, poor kitty.”
Mr. Furgle growls at us, and his mouth foams. He gives a final sniff then trots off, disappearing into the shadows with Miss Cod.  

We wait until we can no longer hear their footsteps, then inch along the wall, walking back to the Ravenclaw tower. “When do you go on red and stop on green?’’ The door asks.

“When you’re eating a watermelon!” I whisper hastily, but I can’t help but giggle.

“Very good.” She says, and the door swings open.

I pull off the cloak as we step inside. “How did you get this?” I whisper, yet again, hoping not to wake anyone up.

“You left it in the Room of Requirements last meeting, so I grabbed it today after lunch.” He sighs lightly, but it comes out more like a yawn. In the light starting to pour in through the windows I can see dark circles starting to form underneath his eyes.

“Goodnight, Scorpius.” I wave and start heading towards my dorm room.

“Goodnight, Rosie.” While I stand in shock at the use of my nickname, Scorpius slips away to the boy’s dorms.

Chapter Text

I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling. I twist the ring Scorpius gave me. It’s silver, with a beautiful sapphire set into it.

Why did he choose to give this to me ?

“Meow,” My cat says, and jumps on my face.

“Bloody hell, Gi! Ugh!!” I shove the cat off of my face and hear rustling in the four-poster next to mine, which means I probably woke up Chris. “Sorry!” I whisper. “Gingersnap, be quiet!”

“Mrorow?” She says, then she begins purring.

“Fine. Sometimes I wish you were one of Uncle George’s Pygmy Puffs. It would be so much easier.” Gi stares up at me as if defying my statement. “Alright, Gi, but leave me alone.”

“Meeeoooooww.” She says, as if saying fine.

Crying. Perfectly normal, a reaction to hormones racing through your brain, and god knows I have plenty of those.

So why can’t I cry?

...

The next day, I’m in Herbology with Scorpius. I am completely ignoring Professor Longbottom again, although it probably doesn't matter, because he talks about his classes at home during the summer anyway.

“What?” Scorpius asks. I realize that I’ve been staring at him while I was lost in thought.

“Nothing.” I say.

Scorpius smirks. “Can't keep your eyes off me, huh?”

I blush. “No! That's not it! Shush! Pay attention!” I swat his arm.

“Rose?” Professor Longbottom asks. I whip my head around to face the front of the room and I can see everyone staring at me.

“What?” I ask.

“What is the main purpose of mimbulus mimbletonia?”

I rack my brain trying to remember. “Uh, Mimbulus mimbletonia is widely known by it defense mechanism, which is to spray a sticky substance known as stinksap.”

“Correct.” He smiles, then goes back to lecturing the class. Slowly everyone turns back to face Professor Longbottom.

...

The next morning I’m eating a bowl of hot cereal when Pig, the family owl, flies in and drops a howler on the table. I stare at it for a moment.

That can’t be good.

“Hey.” Scorpius says, sliding into the spot next to me. He opens his mouth, but I don’t hear what he says next because the howler slides on the edge of the table and hits the floor. I pick it up, the seal cracks, and the letter starts yelling at me.

“ROSE GRANGER-WEASLEY!” My father’s voice screeches. “HOW DARE YOU GO ANYWHERE NEAR THAT MALFOY FILTH!”

At first I’m confused as to what this was prompted by, but then I remember the letter I sent to them a week ago. I must’ve mentioned Scorpius. Oops . I wince.

“DO YOU NOT REMEMBER WHAT I SAID? HIS FAMILY ARE DEATH EATERS! THEY ALL BETRAYED US…” My dad continues to rant about disgusting ‘Malfoy filth’, but all I see is Scorpius slowly sliding down in his chair, all I can hear is the thunderous laughter coming from the other tables.

“EVEN YOUR MOTHER AGREES, WE TOLD YOU HOW SHE PUNCHED HIS SNOBBY FATHER IN THE FACE…” I break out of my stunned trance and quickly turn over my bowl of hot cereal, trapping the Howler underneath and muffling it. “MMMMM!” I hear. I smile sheepishly around at my fellow students and run out of the Great Hall with the Howler, still yelling loudly, but muffled against my robes and the bowl.

“That went well,” A familiar voice behind me says. I whirl around to see Scorpius.

“Yeah,” I say, rolling my eyes.

Scorpius opens his mouth and shuts it before settling on, “Did your mom really punch my dad in the face?

“According to my parents, yes.” Scorpius laughs, and I grin back.

“Yeah, somehow that doesn’t seem like something my dad would want anyone to know about,” Scorpius says between giggles.

Something tingles in the air, offsetting the mood.

Peeves flies in overhead. Of course. Way to ruin the moment.

“Ooooooooooh!” He chuckles gleefully. “Scorpius and Rose, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-”

“Shut up , Peeves!” I yell. He flies out, still singing. “Great,” I sigh.

“That’s going to spread fast,” Scorpius agrees.

I peer at him. He seems carefree, leaning against the wall, smiling and talking, but he bites his lip, and I see the same nervousness in his eyes that I saw in the first day of school. “What?” I ask him.

“Huh?” He says, snapping out of a trance.

“What is it?” I ask him.

“Nothing.” He says with a fake smile. “I’m fine.”

I’m not fine.

Chapter Text

“Please let Professor Oakwood know if you are staying here for Christmas,” The Gray Lady intones as she floats through the Ravenclaw commons.

Scorpius sighs.

I glance up from my book, Hogwarts, A History. “Are you staying here again ?” I ask him.

“Yes.” He frowns.

“Why?” I flip to the next chapter, The Enchanted Ceiling .

He picks up a large book and peers at it. “I don’t like Christmas.” He says, not looking up from it.

“That’s impossible. Everyone likes Christmas.” I close my book and glare at him.

“I don’t like Christmas at home , then.” He turns the page in his book.

“Why not? Stockings… St. Nick… presents... what’s not to like?”

“You can talk all day, I’m still staying here,” Scorpius says.

“You’ll be alone.” I set my book down on the marble coffee table.

“It won’t be any different from last year,” He points out, but we both know it isn’t true.

His mother.

“Maybe it will.”

“How?”

“If you don’t go home this year, I’ll stay too.”

Scorpius rolls his eyes. “No, you won’t.”

“Actually, I will.” I stand up and put my hands on my hips.

He looks at me carefully. “Okay then.”

“Really?” I blink.

He shrugs. “Being stuck with you all break is preferable to going home.”

I look at him in shock for a moment. “I’ll write my Mum and Dad,” I say finally, composing myself.

“You do that,” Scorpius says, his attention back on his book.

I set down the book I’m reading as soon as Rose vanishes into the girl’s dorm. I’m not even sure what I was reading; I wasn’t paying attention.

She’s staying here for Christmas?  It’s a weird thought. I’ve had Christmas alone for several years now- It’s always quiet, and calm, with nobody around. I picture my typical Christmas being shattered by Rose bounding out of the girl’s dorm, wearing a horrendous sweater I’ve only ever heard about and squealing, and I can’t help but smile.

Rose emerges again, holding an envelope.

Father will be alone this year. I almost felt guilty, but then the rage builds back up behind my sternum. Maybe he deserves it.

She turns and smiles at me, and a bit of the rage ebbs away. I smile back.

“I’ll tell Professor Oakwood that I’m staying and go give this to a school owl,” she says, holding up the envelope.

I nod. “Okay.”

I hum quietly as I enter the common room. Everyone has already left for the train ride home, and Scorpius and I are the only Ravenclaws staying at Hogwarts for the holidays. Scorpius is sitting in front of a bookshelf, looking up at the domed ceiling covered in stars. He turns his head to look at me with a small, slightly sad smile. “Hey,” he says softly.

“Hey,” I respond, sitting next to him.

He looks back up at the stars, silent.

“Do you wanna talk about it?” I ask.

“Talk about what?” He sounds heartbroken.

“Your mum. I know she meant a lot to you.”

“She died 5 and a half months ago, Rose. It doesn’t matter anymore.”

I turn to face him. “Your mum doesn’t mean nothing, even if she’s dead.” He flinches, so I soften my voice. “I’m sorry, Scorpius. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you when you needed me. But if there’s anything I can do now, just tell me, okay?” I give him a soft smile.

“Alright.” He exhales and gets up. “I’m gonna go down to the kitchens and see if there’s any food. Do you want anything?”

My stomach rumbles. “Do you think there’s any steak and kidney pie left from last night?”

“I can almost guarantee it. Be back in 20.”

Mum sends me a letter on Christmas Eve, saying that she misses me and wishes I was home with the family. Hugo signs at the bottom in green, standing out against the neat black lettering. Have fun, Rosie! I chuckle. Only Hugo would be happy that I’m staying at Hogwarts with Scorpius. He thinks we’re “cute”. I have to keep telling him we’re not dating.

Christmas morning I wake up to see a pile of packages at the foot of my bed. I groan when I see a lumpy present in red wrapping. Grandma Weasley. I cringe as I open it, knowing there’s going to be a sweater in there. I exhale deeply, relieved when I realize it’s blue and not maroon.

When I walk down to the commons room Scorpius is already up and has a book in his lap. Gingersnap rubs against his legs before laying down. She paws at his toes and he quickly drags them away.

“Can you please tell your cat to not bite me? That would be much appreciated.” He looks up at me. “Is that the infamous Weasley sweater?” He sounds excited. “It looks a lot softer than I thought it would. Can I feel it?”

I step forward to the couch, and pet Gingersnap. “Be nice!” I reprimand her, sticking my other arm out to Scorpius, who still has his legs curled up against him.

“That is so soft. I’m a little bit jelly.” He says, joking.

“What did you get for Christmas?”

“My dad sent me a watch.”

“That... Hm.”

“Yeah. I’m not sure how to feel about it either.”

Chapter Text

Too soon, the Christmas holiday is over and everyone returns to Hogwarts. I’d never realized just how loud everyone was. Even just people studying, their quills scratching across parchment, is louder than I thought.  It’s only the second day back and teachers have already started piling on the homework. Deciding to ignore the mountain of homework on my bed, I opt for a walk outside.

Scorpius joins me on the grounds while snow falls around us. We walk next to each other, the ground littered with big soggy flakes.

He shivers. "It is so cold out here." He tugs his cloak around him. His muffler hat is wrapped tightly over his head, but his nose is pink.

"And that is exactly why we're out here." He looks at me, a mixture of confusion and betrayal on his face. "Nobody else is out here because it's so cold, which makes it the perfect place to plan a prank."


"Who are we pranking? And why?"

"We are gonna give James a taste of his own medicine."

Scorpius giggles a little bit at that. "What?"

"You said it yourself. James is a Gryffindor bully. But what if we made him pay?"

"Rose, what are you talking about? I mean, I can get behind making him stop, but what are you planning?"

"So I say that we use my Uncle George's swamp spell and put it in his bag. Or even better, his bed, but that would be too hard because we can't get into the Gryff-unless!" I turn to face him, excited. "We had a spy on the inside."

"Or..." Scorpius adds, slowing down our conversation. But he looks as if a light bulb just went off in his head."We could put it in his goblet at dinner. Of course, we'd have to make sure the swamp was harmless first, but imagine having a swamp in a cup! That would be so cool!"

"Okay, so-new plan. You go talk to Professor Longbottom about a harmless swamp. He's the professor, so he should be the best source. And I'll talk to my uncle."

"Rose." He gives me a sly smile. "I have an idea. When the Gryffindor house wins house cup again we could put it in James’ cup.”

I nod at him. “Vengeance.”

“I’m sorry. You’re doing what?” Victoire exclaims, confusion and anger in her voice.

“Look, all we need is details. Who could put it in his cup?” I ask.

“Why are you two doing this?”

I faux sigh. “Victoire. He’s basically just a Gryffindor bully.”

She half shrugs, her light blonde hair brushing against her shoulders. “Yeah, he’s a bit annoying and all, but I don’t think he means to hurt anyone.”

“Except for the Slytherins,” Scorpius mumbles.

Victoire ignores him. “Look, you two should just stop. Trust me, you don’t want to get on his bad side,” She says definitively and walks out of the Room of Requirement, leaving Scorpius and me alone together.

“Do you think we should stop? She seemed pretty serious.”

“The one time that she ever got on James’ bad side was when she and Teddy started dating. James ignored her for three months.” I exhale. “But, I trust her. So if she says we shouldn’t we shouldn’t.”

Scorpius and I are awkward around James for a bit afterwards. Victoire keeps eyeing us in the club as if she’s assessing us. James gets suspicious though.

“What are you two up to that I don’t know about?”

“No-nothing.” I blurt out.

He side-eyes me. “You’re lying.” He glances over to Victoire who is looking at us, her eyes pleading as if she thinks that just that is enough to keep us from pranking my cousin. He looks back at us and looks us both up and down. “This is gonna sound repulsive, but are you two dating?”

“No!” says Scorpius quickly.

“Hm. Interesting.” He steps back. “Alright, I’ll leave you two alone for now. But I’ve got my eyes on you.” He raises his index and middle fingers to his eyes, then points them at us.

We sigh in relief as he walks away.

“That was a close call.”

Scorpius gives me a small smile, but it doesn’t reach his eyes.

“Are you sure we can’t send letters to each other over the summer?” I ask.

“My parents would freak. I’m sorry Scorpius.”

I shrug. “It’s alright. I didn’t expect anything different. I mean, I’m pretty sure if my dad found a letter you sent me he’d throw a fit too.”

She takes a hold of my hand and lightly squeezes it. I look up at her. Her red hair, her freckles all across her face, and her smile. I smile back.

This summer I’m gonna find a way for Rose and me to talk without owls.

We both get off the train, separately so our families don’t think we’re hanging out. I watch Rose out the window as she runs towards her family, their arms wide open for her.

My dad’s on the far side of the station, away from the entrance. Probably trying to avoid drawing attention to himself.

I wait to get off the train until her family has left the station through the bricks. My first time seeing my dad in 10 months is nothing like how Rose’s family reunion went. He stands there while I lug my suitcase and Andromeda my screeching owl towards him.

“Hey, Dad.”

He nods solemnly at me. “Son.” His eyes look pained, but I don’t know why.

Probably Mother.

This is gonna be a long summer.

This is gonna be the best summer of my life. Sure I can’t talk to my best friend, but I get to play quidditch with everyone else. And sure we have to visit Gramma Weasley and Grandpa Weasley, but we also get to use their backyard as a field for quidditch and spend our days out in the sun.

I’m not actually a big fan of professional quidditch, Mum says I get that from her, but it’s Weasley tradition to play when we’re all together over the holiday.

Albus and I spend a lot of time together when Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny bring him and James and Lily over. So we spend part of our days outside underneath blue rhododendron bushes, looking up at the sky in between the soft petals.

“I think I like Scorpius,” I say.

“Oh?” He sounds disinterested.

“Yeah.” And I leave it at that.

Something is wrong.

My dad won’t come out of his office to eat or sleep in a bed or drink water. Sometimes I hear soft snoring, and I saw him asleep on his desk, his head resting against an open book.

But… he still had dark circles underneath his eyes.

“Hey, Dad?” I’d prompted when he started behaving like this.

He responded only with a grunt.

And he hasn’t responded with anything since.

We don’t have maids or house elves; my dad insists we do everything by ourselves. So I make myself and him sandwiches and pasta. I take plates up to his study and leave him be.

I think he likes the pasta. He eats more of that than the sandwiches. A couple bites. Mum used to make pasta once a week, tortellini, angel’s hair, penne, linguine. We’d go to the store and she’d let me pick out the type of pasta we’d have that week.

I should tell someone about Dad. Maybe they can help him. My immediate thought is Rose, but she told me to not contact her over the summer because her family would freak out. My dad told me to never talk to my Grandpa Lucius, and Grandmother Narcissa died a couple years ago. And we don’t have any other family, so I guess my only choice is Rose.

In my room, I grab a piece of parchment and a quill and pen to her.

Dear Rose,

I know you told me not to contact you over the summer, but I think this is really important.

My dad hasn’t been talking to me or eating anything besides a couple bites of pasta and sandwiches every so often and he hasn’t left his study in days.  Maybe your parents can help? I wasn’t sure who else I could contact.

Your friend,

Scorpius

I blink, trying to think about the letter Scorpius sent me.

His great grey owl Andromeda nudges my hand and I give her a treat. “You stay here. I’ll be back with a letter for Scorpius.”She preens her feathers, and I take that as a yes.

I run down the stairs, my feet pounding against the steps.

“Mum!” I call, knowing she’ll be more likely to help.

“What is it, dear?” She asks from her favourite blue armchair. Her glasses are slipping down her nose and she has a book in her hand, per usual.

I walk towards her carefully, making sure my dad isn’t around.

“Scorpius’ dad needs our help.”

“Malfoy needs OUR   help?” My father exclaims. “And what has that idiot ever done for us?”

“Ronald, try and be a little more sensitive. His wife died last year and he’s obviously depressed.”

He grunts then looks up at my mum, and he seems to understand. He sighs in defeat. “Alright. But what can we do? Drag him out of his office? I doubt that would work.” Mum glares at him. “I’ll go call St. Mungo’s.”

“So what are you gonna do with the kid? He can’t stay in a big empty house all by himself. And it looks like the only living relative is Lucius Malfoy, who worked for You-Know-Who.” The guy from St. Mungo’s is standing there in a white doctor’s jacket, all buttoned up nice and pretty, staring down at me and my parents.

Someone else is inside talking to Scorpius and I saw multiple people go in to talk to his dad.

I feel bad for both of them.

Thinking about Scorpius, I almost miss it, but Mum glances at Dad, then says “We’ll take him.”

“You can’t avoid it forever.” Scorpius won’t look at me. He looks down at the dirt, rubbing the back of his neck. “Scorpius.”

He finally looks up, his eyes bright with tears. “I don’t want to see her,” He says. “If I see her, it makes it real.”

“You kids coming?” Dad is already inside the cemetery, and he waits behind while Mum and Hugo move forward towards the Black lot.

“Yeah,” I call forward, and I look to Scorpius.

He looks at me and sighs.

We move forward together.

Dad is already there by the time we reach her grave.

It’s not the first time we’ve visited, and it won’t be the last, but that doesn’t make this part any easier.

I look at Dad.

He looks at me.

The Weasleys lag behind, too polite to impose themselves in our situation, but I kind of wish they would.

Looking over me, Dad says, “Thank you.” It’s stiff and brittle and I’m pretty sure it’s the first time the words have passed his lips.

Mr. Weasley looks shocked. Then he looks uncomfortable. “Uh, yeah, no problem mate,” He says.

A bit of trademark distaste shows in Dad’s eyes, and I allow myself to relax. It fades without him saying anything- another first- and he looks back to me and steps forward to crush me in a hug.

I freeze, and he pulls away before I can hug back. He has tears in his eyes, and if he starts crying, I know I’m done for.

Instead, he says “thank you” again, and the Weasleys leave us alone to grieve..

I almost wish they didn’t have to give me back.

...

The summer is interesting, to say the least. After Scorpius’s extended stay at my house, life falls back into its normal routines. Dad tells me that he’s fine with me being friends with Scorpius now that he knows he isn’t “evil like his father” and I have to struggle not to roll my eyes.

You’d think after everything that happened Dad would have changed his mind about Mr. Malfoy, but I guess they have too much history.

The rumors I overhear on Platform 9 ¾ make me want to throw up.

Why can’t people just be friends?

Chapter Text

The Hogwarts Express seems different this time. It's where Scorpius and I say hello on September 1st and goodbye at the end of the school year. I guess this time’s just different because he lived with me for a month during the summer before his dad was deemed fit to live at home again. So there's that. But there's also the familiarity with going to Hogwarts on September 1st on the train that calms my nerves.

I haven't seen him in 3 weeks. Will he have dyed his hair like he did second year? Will he have cut his hair short?
I inhale and exhale.
Checking the time on my wristwatch I'm surprised when it clicks over to 10:57. Where's Scorpius? He's usually here by now. I look all around the platform, but I don't see any sign of his or his father's unique white-blond hair.
I start to panic when the clock ticks to 10:58. Everyone still on the platform is wishing their child goodbye as they usher them onto the train.

Where is he?

I sigh in relief when he comes barreling through the brick wall and onto the station, pushing a trolley with his luggage and Andromeda. He slips past people, rolling his cart faster and faster to get across the platform.

He makes it on with a minute to spare.

I pet Gingersnap in between her ears while waiting for Scorpius to get to the compartment. “You’re so cute, aren’t you?” I press the pad of my finger to Gi’s nose.

The door opens, startling me.

“Hey,” says Scorpius, waving at me awkwardly.

“Hey! How was the rest of your summer?”

He shrugs. “It was alright. We did pretty normal things, like going to the opera.” He sets Andromeda’s cage down on the seat and unlatches it, letting her fly free around the compartment. She hops out, surveys her surroundings, then flies up to the luggage racks above our heads. She preens her wings, then lets her head rest in between her shoulders. Her body rocks slightly with every movement of the train.

I scoff. “I can’t believe she just settles right in like that.”

“Yeah,” he looks up at her. “It is pretty unbelievable.” He looks back at me and takes a seat on the red cushioned booth. “Anyway, how was your summer? Did you play any more quidditch with your family?”

I smile. “Yes, actually. We went over to Gramma and Grandpa Weasley’s house and we saw everyone right before school, so we had time to play a bunch of quidditch instead of doing any studying.”

“Wow.” He raises his eyebrow and teasingly says “You’re getting to be so rebellious. How dare you not like studying all the time?”

I laugh. “You actually gonna try out this year? I know you have rebellious tendencies of your own.”

Scorpius smirks. “Yep. Seeker. Will I see you there?”

I try to remain as nonchalant as possible. “Maybe,” I shrug.

....

“Join the Quidditch team!” Riley Aberforth, the new Ravenclaw Quidditch captain, stands in the common room, a pile of flyers in zir hands. “Plenty of openings!” One of last years’ beaters walks by, and ze throws a flyer at him and hexes it to stick to his clothes.

I feel a little bad- almost all of our old players graduated last year, and it’s hard to find people willing to juggle Quidditch and studies. “C’mon, Riley, now I’ll never get it off,” The beater complains, trying and failing to pull it off of his robe sleeve.

“That’s the idea,” Ze replies savagely, and he sighs.

“Hey-” Scorpius walks up to zir, scratching the back of his neck. “I was wondering when seeker sign-ups were?”

Aberforth looks immensely relieved. “Two weeks from now,” Ze said, passing a flier to him. “Don’t miss it.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t,” Scorpius says and throws a wink over his shoulder at me.

‘Shut up,’ I mouth at him, and he chuckles as he disappears into the boy’s dormitories.

I watch as Aberforth sticks a flier to the wall with a permanent sticking charm.

Maybe there'll be an easy chaser spot, I think.

I exhale and grip the handle of my broom tighter. Now that I’m here, everything seems exaggerated. I look to the stands at Scorpius. He waves, and I smile awkwardly, waving back. I’m really doing this.

Scorpius had been talking about trying out for seeker since he came over for the summer, but I only decided to try out for the chaser position three days before tryouts. It left me with a bit of a time crunch but, well, too late to worry about that now.

“And… start!” Aberforth throws the quaffle straight up into the air. One of the other chasers gets to it first- she dives and twists up in a move that I, luckily, recognize from years of playing with Albus and his sneaky tricks. I get the ball from her easily, and in a whirl of movement, I’ve already scored.

Aberforth blows zir whistle and looks impressed. “Good job, Weasley!”

I blush, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear. “It’s nothing, really,” I try to avoid, and ze smirks.

“Precisely,” Ze says, and throws the quaffle in the air once more.

...

It’s my turn.

There are a few assembled people- a blonde girl with bright eyes, a boy with comically oversized glasses- but most notably is Lorcan Scamander, looking completely out of place and practically swimming in his borrowed gear.

“Lorcan?” I ask, bewildered. “What’re you doing here?”

He jumps, then puffs out his chest, glaring. “I have every right to be here as you do,” He says defensively.

“Right, of course,” I say, “It’s just you don’t really seem… the type.”
He manages to look even more outraged. “I can fly!”

“Right,” I say.

He finally deflates a little. “I mean, I heard Rosie was trying out, so I figured… why not?”

I blink.

He crosses his arms.

I blink again.

“Right,” I repeat.

He huffs and opens his mouth, clearly readying to lecture me, but luckily, Aberforth blows on zir whistle, and he closes his mouth.

“Alright, everyone know the rules?” Ze calls, and there’s no way ze isn’t using a sonorous charm. Even zir lungs aren’t that big.

Most people nod, but I frown. “No,” I say.

Ze sighs sharply. “Basically, I’m going to release the snitch.” Ze opens zir hand to reveal the snitch, wings fluttering against zir palm. “When someone catches it, my wand will flash- like so.” Ze lets it go, only to catch it out of the air immediately. Zir wand flashes a bright blue light twice. “When you catch it, release it immediately.”

“Okay,” I say.

“Whoever catches it the most times wins,” Ze finishes. “Three… two… one… go!” Ze lets it go, and immediately it takes off, zipping up into the sky and blending into the cloud coverage in the span of a blink.

Everyone scrambles to their brooms, Lorcan nearly falling off, and the game begins.

...

An hour of rigorous gameplay and half an hour of random, unannounced bludger attacks later, the game is over.

The blonde girl comes first with 13 catches.

I come at a close second with 8.

The boy with the glasses is third with 5.

Two angry-looking boys yell at each other in what sounds like French with a tie of 3.

Lorcan catches a grand total of 1.

Disappointed, I go to leave, but Aberforth quickly catches up, grabbing onto the edge of my sleeve. “Hey, Malfoy, wait up.”

I stop and turn to zir. “What?”

“Listen, I know what I said, but I think you have potential,” Ze explains. “Would you like to take a Chaser position alongside Weasley?” When my eyes widen, ze smirks. “Don’t tell her yet, postings aren’t up until after keeper tryouts.”

“Yes, of course,” I exclaim. “Thank you so much!”

“Our secret,” Ze says with a wink, and then ze is gone, jogging back to meet with the winner

When I meet up with Rose, she looks sympathetic. “I’m sorry you didn’t get seeker,” She says.

“Eh,” I say with a shrug and a broad smile. “I think everything’s gonna work out.”

...

Rose zooms across the other side of the field as we both head for the goals. I manage to get near the keeper from Gryffindor who’s tall and burly and looks like he could be better suited as a beater with his large shoulders.

Rose passes the quaffle to me, and I throw it into the hoop.

“It’s only their fourth game of the season and they’re already tearing up the scoreboards-That’s another ten points to Ravenclaw!”

I feel a sense of pride when I look over at Rose. We’re doing it.  

We’re becoming awesome players. Not being able to play with Rose and her family was annoying, but now I actually get to play with her and some of her siblings are on the opposite team.

“It looks like Potter is diving towards something- has he spotted the golden snitch?” Jordan's voice booms across the fields. “Hare is going after it too and it looks like it’s gonna be a close call! Oh, and she pulls up right before hitting the ground-and Potter is down!”

I look down to where he’s crash-landed on the wet grass. He gets up on his broom and flies back up to where we are.

Good move, Hare .

The burly keeper throws the quaffle back into the game, and Rose and I set into motion, me going for the ball and her towards the goal. Finnigan from Gryffindor flies up and sends a bludger right for Rose. I can only see it hurtling towards her before shouting a warning.

“Watch out Rose!”

She ducks, but it still manages to hit her elbow, knocking her even more off balance. “Thanks!” She calls to me. She still has the quaffle held in her good hand. She flips herself right side on her broom and passes it to Aberforth, who scores the goal easily.

The game goes on and on, but it doesn’t drag by at all. The adrenaline keeps me watching every move my team makes and I follow the quaffle with my eyes and broom.

Bordeaux scores a point.

“That’s another 10 points to Ravenclaw, making  it 190-160 Ravenclaw,” says Jordan. “This is a close call for Gryffindor, who has won all of their games for the last 2 years.”

I pass the quaffle to Rose.

“And the game’s over! The Ravenclaw seeker has caught the snitch, ending Gryffindor’s streak. Good job, Alaska Hare and the rest of the Ravenclaw team!”

...

“Good job team!” Aberforth calls from the top of people. Ze’re crowd surfing. The crowd whoops.

“Ravenclaw! Ravenclaw! Ravenclaw!” They chant, and I join in. Adrenaline still rushes through my veins.

Scorpius makes his way over to me, two butterbeers in his hands.”Do you want one?”

I take it. “Thanks.”

“No prob.” He rests his back against the wall, taking a sip of his drink. “They’ve also got some roast beef sandwiches from the kitchens if you want one.”

“Sure. Where?” I look over to him. He has a moustache of foam on his upper lip. I giggle. “You might wanna wipe that off.” I point at it.

He blushes and wipes it off with his sleeve. “Better?”

“Yep. It’s all gone now.”

He sticks his free hand in his jeans pocket. “So, sandwiches?”

I follow him to the corner of the commons room, where people are munching on the food offered at the table. I grab a sandwich, and Scorpius grabs the same, plus an apple.

“Let’s go sit down.” I motion towards the seats. Most of them are occupied, but there’s half of a couch still open. I set my plate and drink on the table, and settle into the soft couch. Scorpius does the same.

“Is it bad that I wish there weren’t as many people celebrating in the commons?” He takes a bite of his apple.

I shrug. “I don’t think so?” We barely see almost the entire house in one place besides the great hall for meals. “It’s weird to have everyone in here.” Especially partying. Everyone either has a drink or food in their hands and are chatting. Though there is one person I can’t seem to find. “Where’s Hare?” I ask.

“Probably enjoying the peace of the library.” He sighs wistfully.

Chapter Text

I bounce on my heels as I scoop Gingersnap up and stuff her into her container.

“Meoooooooow,” She whines, and I shush her.

“Be quiet, Gi, we’re going home!” I shut the latch on my suitcase and drag both her and the suitcase down into the common room.

Scorpius is sitting by the fire, staring into the crackling flames and not moving.

“You’re staying here again?” I ask. I try not to sound surprised, but he notices. I can tell by the way his shoulders curl up around his shoulders.

“Yep,” He says. “It’s not any different than any other year.”

“You don’t think…” I trail off. It’s not my place. “Right.”

He turns to look at me, and he smiles sadly. “Happy Christmas, Rose,” He says.

I smile back. “Happy Christmas,” I respond.

I would stay with him, but after last year Mum made me promise to come back this Christmas, and even though my parents have warmed up to Scorpius, I don’t want to risk making them resent him.

He turns back to the fire, so I leave without another word.

It feels wrong, but I don’t know what else to say.

I climb up the stairs to the Hogwarts Express and walk into my usual compartment. I close the door and let Gingersnap climb out of her cage and explore the compartment. Satisfied, she curls up on the seat and falls asleep. I buy and eat an entire box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans without too much trouble. ( I got a Vomit, Earwax, and a Boogey flavour). The ride is quiet, but I don’t mind. Silence is better than sharing a compartment with James.

I get off the train and see my family.

“How was Hogwarts?” Ron asks my brother and me.

“It was so great, Dad! I got to see a hippogriff!” Hugo says excitedly.

“It was fun!” I say. “I joined the quidditch team and Scorpius, Bordeaux and I were scoring a bunch of points, and our seeker, Alaska Hare, is really good. Like really good.”

“I’m gonna join the quidditch team when I get older!” Hugo announces proudly.

“I look forward to beating my little brother.” I tease.

He sticks his tongue out at me.

“I’m glad you two had fun.” Mum rolls her eyes and picks up my trunk. “Come on,” She says and leaves. I follow her to the car. On the way there, I see Mr. Malfoy looking hopefully at the Hogwarts Express. Why I wonder, is he waiting for someone who will never come? He waits for Scorpius every year. Hopeful, but deep down, knowing the truth. Why I wonder, avoid your family like fire?

When I get home, the whole family is there for Christmas Eve. Uncle George and Aunt Angelina, with Roxanne and Fred II. Gramma Molly and Grandpa Arthur, Uncle Percy and  Aunt Audrey, with Molly and Lucy, Uncle Bill and Aunt Fleur, with Dominique and Louis, Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny, with James, Albus, and Lily. Victoire and Teddy also show up together. Hagrid is there, too, and Professor Longbottom.

“Happy Christmas, Rose,’’ Professor Longbottom says, and then he has to leave. Hagrid drops off his presents and then is on his way, and then the place goes into chaos. The only other children besides me that aren’t crazy are Victoire and Teddy, and they’re technically not ‘children’, both being 18. James, Dominique, Louis, Hugo, Roxanne, and Fred II all run off to play Quidditch, and Lily, Molly, and Lucy all group up and giggle about things, while Albus sits quietly on an armchair. “Albus!” I wave at him. He gets up and wanders over to me.

“Did you hear,” he says, and then starts ranting about the wonders of unicorns. I smile and nod, but I’m not listening; I’m wondering what Scorpius is doing, alone at Hogwarts without his family.

Soon we are all crowded into the kitchen and living room for dinner. In the summer we always eat outside, but since it’s the Christmas holidays we’re all inside enjoying the warmth. There’s a strong chorus of “Can you please pass the potatoes?” and “Is that turkey? I’ll have some of that, please!” throughout the kitchen. I relax when I step into the quiet living room. At least, quiet compared to the kitchen. You can still hear everyone in the kitchen talking to each other as they pile food onto their plates. I flop onto the couch, careful not to spill my food onto the floor. Soon enough everybody starts walking into the living room.

After everyone eats, it’s Hugo, Victoire, Teddy, and I’s job to put away the food and do the dishes the muggle way. This leaves my prankster of a cousin free to do whatever he pleases.

I hear a very familiar sounding song being sung by James and I pale.
“SCORPIUS AND ROSIE, SITTING IN A TREE, K-I-S-S-I-N-G! FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MARRIAGE, THEN COMES THE BABY IN A BABY CARRIAGE!” He bellows.

“Sorry guys, I have to go!” I tell my brother, Victoire, and Teddy. I run up the stairs into the room I’m sharing with Lily and lock the door behind me.

I need to focus, I tell myself. Focus. Focus. Focus.

I take a deep breath in, then exhale. My mind is still racing, but at least my heart has slowed.

I lift one of the floorboards up to reveal a box. I open it and see all the pictures I’ve taken. I look through one pile of Scorpius and I, too angry with James and too embarrassed of what he might have told everyone else to bother looking through the family pictures, look through my pictures of Scorpius instead. My favourite picture of us is when we were on the roof. I bring my camera everywhere, I think, amused. I fall into a fitful sleep, skipping dessert entirely.

I momentarily forget about my anger with James on Christmas morning. I rush down the long flight of stairs from Lily and I’s room into the family room and start emptying my stocking. All the kids are already there, munching on Saint Nick’s leftover cookies. I brush past them, staring at the mound of presents underneath the tree. I sigh as I see a small box under the tree with my name on it from Gramma Molly. That can only mean one thing. Sweaters. Sure enough, a navy sweater with an R on it is in that box and I put it on, for now, vowing to never wear it again after this day.  

I spend the day mostly happy, (as long as I steer clear of James), preferring to spend my time with Albus (who I am quite fond of) and take pictures.

“Maybe you could be a photographer for the Daily Prophet one day Rosie,” Lily suggests, “Since you love taking pictures so much.”

“Maybe,” I reply.

Too soon, or perhaps not soon enough, it is time to return to school.

“Good-bye Rosie, see you after schools’ up!” Mum calls after me as I board the Hogwarts Express.

“Bye, Mum,” I say, rolling my eyes to myself.

I get off the Hogwarts Express without my luggage or Gingersnap, trusting the house elves to take care of them.

I smile as I see Scorpius running towards me from school.

“I was looking everywhere for you!” He says when he catches up to me.

“Why?” I ask.

He takes a deep breath and asks, “If 120-X = 3 times 4, then what is X?”

I burst out laughing. “You ran all the way out HERE to ask me a question about homework?!”

“Yeah,” Scorpius says, looking confused, still panting slightly from running. “Why wouldn't I?”

“Nevermind. What class is this for? Arithmancy?”

“Yep!.”

“Huh,” I say. I didn’t know he took that class.

“Yeah.”

I rack my brains for the answer (I’m out of practice!) and say “It’s negative one hundred eight.”

“Thanks,” he says. He runs his left hand through his hair, and it sticks up. I take a step towards him and flatten it. He looks up at me and opens his mouth to speak. “Hey, um. Do you want to hang out sometime?”

I allow myself a small smile and say jokingly “Don’t we already hang out?” He looks heartbroken. My hand, which is at my side seems to have a mind of its own. It reaches for his hair and I run my fingers through it, successfully messing it up again.. I take a step closer to him and lift his chin up so that his eyes meet mine. “Scorpius,” I say. I hear a crash from the woods, but don’t turn my head. It’s probably just Grawp having another tantrum. Sometimes I wonder why they let him teach. I hear the rustling of the leaves and students’  voices carrying across the lawn.

Wait, there’s no wind. I think, why would the leaves be rustling? Scorpius stiffens, his eyes full of alarm. I turn around and see a beast. It’s lean and almost hairless. It growls.

“Run,” I say. And we do as if a werewolf is right on our heels.

Scorpius trips in front of me and we both go flying. I’m breathing heavily now, adrenaline is rushing through my body and I feel as if we’re being watched. Oh, how I wish I was safe inside the Ravenclaw common room, snuggling with a book in my favourite armchair.

I hear panting, and at first, I think it’s Scorpius, but these breaths sound more… dog-ish. I look five feet to my right and see the beast. It’s sharp canines protrude from its mouth, saliva drips onto the grass and I identify it. Werewolf.

I put my hand in my pocket, searching for my wand. It’s not there. I left it in my dormitory. I mentally bang my head. Stupid, stupid, stupid… Scorpius is lying beside me, barely conscious. “Give me your wand.” I hiss at him. He doesn’t respond. I frantically search through his robes. “Where is it?!? Where did you put your wand?!?” I finally find it and raise it to where the werewolf was standing. It’s gone.

I wake Scorpius enough that he can lean on my shoulder and walk. I lead him to the Infirmary where Miss Moone hovers over us,  warning us to be careful and such things. She starts ranting as she grabs a bottle, but I focus on Scorpius’s face, zoning out.

I sit in a daze by Scorpius’s bed for hours, longer than Miss Moone would usually let a visitor stay, but I sensed that she took pity on me as it is no secret how close Scorpius and I are close. Eventually, she shoo’s me off, insisting that I need to sleep, and I return to my bunk, although I do anything but sleep. Instead, I stare at the wall, Scorpius's unconscious form flashing through my brain every time I close my eyes.

The sun’s pink rays scrape the sky as I walk out of the dormitory. I sneak down the halls to the Infirmary.  Once I see him lying in the bed I feel the adrenaline fade and I feel as if I am made of lead. I sit in the chair beside his bed and feel my eyes droop.

I am woken by someone shaking me.  “Rose Weasley, GET UP!!!” I turn my head and find Miss Moone’s face three inches from mine.

“Huh?” I say groggily (I never was a morning person).

“You’re going to miss your classes.” My face remains emotionless. “It’s already half past nine. Get up!”

“It’s Saturday. Leave me alone.” And she does. But not after protesting a little bit more. I am left in the clean, cold silence. I find a blanket and fall asleep again.

Chapter Text

A few days later everything goes back to normal, or as normal as things can be when you see a werewolf. Scorpius gets out of the infirmary and we celebrate by finishing the boatload of homework we both have.  

As we work on our Transfiguration homework Scorpius says “Miss Moone said you were at my bed night  and day.”

I blush a little, then nod. I haven’t done much talking the last few days, and I think Scorpius is starting to worry. I can’t stop thinking about that werewolf. Hogwarts is supposed to be protected from them.

Scorpius waves his hand in front of my face. “Hello? Anybody in there?”

I nod. He doesn’t accept my answer, so I say “Yeah, I’m here.” I look at his eyes which today are more blue than grey. I smile, thinking of that night on the roof…

“Hello. Earth to Rose!” Scorpius says, snaking his fingers in front of my face.

“Huh?” I snap back to reality. “Sorry. I got distracted.”

“Obviously.” He snorts.

I smile at him and turn back to my homework.

“Night and day,” Scorpius repeats.

“Yes! Night and day! Now can you focus?” I snap.

He grins devilishly. “Hm. I don't think I want to.”

“Ugh.” I lay my head on the table. “We're not getting any homework done tonight, are we?” I groan.

“Now, why would you think that?” He says, feigning innocence.

I grin. “Oh, I don't know.”

He grins back. “Hogsmeade?”

“Tonight?” I ask.

“Yep.”

“Like, right now?”

“Yep.”

I sigh heavily. “Oh, why not?”

Scorpius laughs. “Exactly my point.”

He grabs his forest green messenger bag from the back of his chair. We sneak out through the passage behind the one-eyed witch, using the invisibility cloak to shield us from prying eyes and to make sure Miss Cod doesn’t catch us.

I grudgingly follow him out of Hogwarts and into Hogsmeade. I wrap my jacket close to my body in the freezing tunnel. Before opening the trap door in Honeydukes we make sure that nobody’s there. No footsteps can be heard. Peeking up we see the light on, but nobody seems to be in the room. Quietly, we make our way upstairs, invisible.

We slip past the worker and the counter. We make our way out of Honeydukes and down the block before entering the Three Broomsticks. Before we do so we take off the Invisibility Cloak and put it in his bag, brushing the snow off of it.

We buy two butterbeers and I lead us to a booth as far away from the door as possible. We each take a seat, Scorpius sliding across the table from me. Peculiar. I lean my back against the wall and stretch my legs across the seat. He remains sitting up in a more formal position, and I frown a little. It's unlike him to be so formal. Usually, he's the one to stretch out first. He rolls his glass in between his hands, something he doesn’t usually do unless he’s nervous.

I sit forward, his nervousness making me nervous. “What is it?” I demand.

“What?” He asks, setting his butterbeer down and reddening a little.

I narrow my eyes at him suspiciously and sit back.

He opens his mouth, then closes it again, a look of wistfulness in his eyes.

“What?!” I demand.

“I- it's nothing!” He says defensively.

“I’ve known you for four years and you expect me to think it’s nothing?”

“Well- well, there's this- well, it's- well,”

“Oh my god. Spill!” I say, leaning forward again.

“Well, “ he grins sheepishly at me as I glare at him. “It's- it's. There’s a girl.”

“WHAT?!” I yell and the few people in the Three Broomsticks looks at me like I’m crazy.

“Stop making this harder for me!” He whines.

“Fine.” I glare at him and sit back. “Go on.”

“You see, this girl, well-” he clears his throat.“I kinda like her.” He looks down at the table, blushing profusely.

“Oh.” Inside I  feel like a deflated balloon, but I try to hide it. “What's her name?”

“Well,” Scorpius says blushing even more than he already was, “she's- she's- well- her name is Rose,” He doesn’t look up at me.

“Me?” I ask. I feel as if all the wind has been knocked out of me. I can’t even breathe, let alone talk. I open and close my mouth, probably looking like a fish while Scorpius rubs the back of his neck awkwardly. At last, I regain my breath. “Yes.”

He looks up at me, confused. “What?”

I smile at him. “Yes, I’ll go out with you.”

He blushes even more and downs his butterbeer in one gulp. “Want some more?” He asks, pointing at my half-empty glass. I nod. We stay there for an hour or two more, dancing around us now dating.

When we finally leave the light has faded from the sky and only a hint of the purple is left. The night air is cold against my face and my hair whips at me. I can’t seem to keep a smile off my face as I walk next to Scorpius. He carefully clasps his hand in mine and I let him. We walk side by side back to Hogwarts through the tunnel, holding hands.

I grin as I lay in bed, unable to sleep. The feeling of giddiness is overwhelming me. I can't believe it! He asked me out!!! Well, sort of. But it still counts! My only problem in the whole world is how Dad will feel.

I sit up in bed, suddenly worried. How will he feel? Will he throw a fit again? Will he not care? Will he be happy for me?! How will my friends feel? How will Mum feel? How will anyone feel?? Will everyone hate me? Will they think less of me? Will they be disappointed and tell me I can do better?

Stop it, I chide myself. It’ll be fine.

With that thought, I slowly drift into a dreamless sleep.  

“Hey,” Scorpius says as I walk down the hall towards Divination, “Meet me in the library during lunch.”

“Okay. Bye babe,” I say teasingly. He blushes and waves, darting away, in the wrong direction. I laugh. “It's a miracle that boy hasn't gotten lost already,” I say to myself.

“Who?” A voice says to my left. I whirl in that direction and see a girl with auburn hair and huge green eyes walking next to me.

“Oh. Just my friend.” I say with a small smile.

“That boy with the blonde hair?” She asks.

“Yes,” I say carefully. I glance at her robes. Weird. Ravenclaw. Why don't I know her? “What year are you in?”

“Oh, I'm in fourth. I just like to keep to myself.” She says, nodding. I notice that she has a copy of the Quibbler in her hands, a magazine written by my friend’s mum Luna Scamander about all sorts of crazy stuff.

“Oh. Okay,” I say as we arrive in divination. I sit at a desk, grab some parchment, and stare at the clock.

All too soon, class is over and I am thrown into the craziness that is pre-lunch hallways. If you thought Muggle school was bad before lunch, try going to a magic school with levels and 142 staircases that move around on their own accord. It's horrible, but I manage to shove and push my way through the crowd to the library.





Chapter Text

I sit at a table in the library, surrounded by books. Where is she? I wonder.

Finally, the library door swings open, revealing Rose, her face flushed. I catch a glimpse of the huge crowds swarming outside of the library. She slams the door shut and takes a deep breath, adjusting her robes and smoothing out her frizzy hair. She glances around the library before noticing me with a small smile.

“Hey,” she says, sliding into a chair across from me. Her eyes scan the books stacked on the table and pulls one off the top.

“A History of Magic ?” she reads aloud.

“Homework,” I say, and she sets it down, nodding.

“So is this like… a date?” she asks.

“Yeah. Sort of,” I say, feeling heat rise into my cheeks.

“Okay,” she says slowly.

“Okay,” I say back.

She grins at me, setting her elbows on the table and resting her chin on her fists. “So.”

“So,” I repeat.

“Homework,” she says, playfully raising an eyebrow at me.

“Yes, right,” I say, looking down at my parchment. I’m supposed to be summarizing A History Of Magic, but I can't help but glance up at Rose as I write, watching as her hair slips from behind her ear and in front of her eyes, blocking them from view.

She reaches up and tucks her hair back, keeping it up with a hair clip she seemingly pulled from thin air. Her brow furrows as she works on her potions homework, chewing on her thumbnail absentmindedly.

I return my focus to my homework, refreshing my ink and continuing to write. A librarian walks by, smiling down on us as she restocks the shelves. I try to ignore her but it's hard not to as she openly watches us, her eyes feeling like needles on my back.

“Is it just me or is that librarian staring at us?” Rose whispers to me.

“She is definitely staring at us,” I agree.

We both glance up at the librarian, who suddenly is out of books and hurries off.

I grin at Rose, who giggles slightly. She checks her watch then sits up with a start.

“Oh no! We’re going to be late for class!” She says, gathering up her parchment and ink and stuffing them into her side bag.

...

We rush into Potions a few minutes late, with a disapproving look from Professor Engleman. “Ten points from Ravenclaw for tardiness,” he says.

 I wince. “He always had a thing against being late,” I whisper to Scorpius, who nods.

When I look at him, I feel a bubble of happiness grow inside me as I realize, for the second time that day, that he asked me out, and that we’re dating.  

He gives me a smile, the corner of his lip turning up, before turning back to our empty cauldron.

On the board reads the instructions for brewing Veritaserum, the truth potion. “Get along with it then,” Professor Engleman says, waving at us with his hand.  

“I wonder if Professor Engleman would notice if I slipped some into his drink,” Scorpius whispers to me, nodding at the flask Professor Englman is drinking from.

I giggle quietly, which Professor Engleman hears.

“No talking while brewing!” he snaps. “This should be where 100% of your attention is,” he hisses, pointing at my cauldron. “Five points from Ravenclaw.”

After we brew the potion, Professor Engleman assigns us homework, an essay about Veritaserum.

“I hate Engleman's strict rules!” I groan as we exit the class.

“Yes. I agree that they are quite extreme,” a voice says from behind us.

I turn around to see who it is. “Oh, hey Alaska.” I wave at her. She smiles back. Lorcan’s standing next to her, his hands shoved into his pockets, and a scowl on his face. I choose to ignore him. The arse.  

“You ready for the next game?” Alaska asks. She’s always kind of quiet, especially when playing quidditch, but it seems to be the only thing she’ll willingly talk about.

“Only if you are.” I snap my fingers and point finger guns at her.

She laughs, her head leaned back for a harsh bark of a laugh. ”I hope so.”

I smile nervously and look back to where Lorcan is. I find him glaring at Scorpius, and I’m eager to knock him over the head with one of my books and tell him to knock it off. I suffice for kicking my leg out behind me and hitting him in the shin.

Lorcan quickly turns back to me with a forced smile. “Anyway, Alaska and I have to go. Come on!” he says, grabbing her hand and pulling her away towards the courtyard.

She looks bewildered. “But-”

“No, no, we'll be late for class!” He says with forced cheer.

“I wonder what that was about,” Scorpius says.

“Yeah,” I agree. “I wonder.”

Chapter Text

I sit at a small wooden table in the Ravenclaw common room, hunched over my homework. It’s already getting late and my eyelids are starting to droop. I rub my eyes and when I open them Rose comes into the common room from the girl’s dormitory and smiles at me.

“Hey,” I say.

“Hey. What's up?” she asks, sliding into a chair next to me. “Ouch. You're not done with that?” She gestures at my potions essay.

“No,” I sigh. “I can't remember all the ingredients you need to brew it. Don't tell me the answer!” I add quickly as Rose opens her mouth.

She shuts her mouth and smiles guiltily. “What? I was just going to… tell you what page the list is on in the potions book?” she says unconvincingly.

I laugh. “Rose Weasley needs to work in her lying skills!” I tease her.

“It's kind of weird, seeing as my dad runs a joke shop. Although, his jokes are quite lame,” she says with a laugh.

I like her laugh. It sounds like bells.

“I don't know. I think the nose trick is quite glorious,” I joke.

She bursts out laughing. “The nose trick!”

I laugh too, and set down my quill. I can already tell that I'm not going to finish my essay tonight. “What's up? I thought I was the one who stops the homework,” I say with a grin.

Her eyes glance down at the table and she frowns. “Well, I can't stop thinking about that werewolf,” she confesses.

The smile falls from my face. Wincing, I press the tips of my fingers to my forehead. “Honestly I haven't thought much about it,” I say. “All sorts of wild animals live in the Forbidden Forest. I mean, even unicorns have been seen in there.”

“True,” Rose admits, “But according to Uncle Harry, all the werewolves went underground years ago.”

“Where do you keep hearing these things?” I ask.

“My mum’s the Minister of Magic,” she says. “I'm bound to get told something!”

“Told, or overhear things you're not supposed to?” I wiggle my eyebrows.

“No one said that I couldn't listen!” she says defensively.

I grin at her, leaning back in my chair. “So, what's the grand plan?”

She looks at me carefully and speaks slowly. “I was thinking about going to the Forbidden Forest.”

“Why are you looking at me like that?” I ask.

“Well.. It's just we don't have good experiences with werewolves,” Rose says.

I scoff. “I know that,” I say. “I still don't get why you're looking at me like a kicked puppy…. Oh,” I say as she looks down at the table. “I'll be fine.”

She nods. “Okay, yeah, I'm overreacting.”

“Our only problem is that the Forbidden Forest is well… forbidden.”

She smirks. “The invisibility cloak is always an option.”

I lean forward and place my elbows on the table. Something my father would hate. “I like the way you think, Rose Weasley.”

“We need to plan, though. We can’t go in unprepared.”

I smile, relieved to be focusing on something other than potions. “We’ve done it before, haven't we?”

Rose runs her thumb in circles over her left palm. “I feel like this time’s different.”

I lean back in my chair, resting my forearms on the table. “Why?”

“Because...,” she says, running her fingers through her bushy red hair until it thins and straightens out. She’s looking down at the table. When she speaks again it’s forceful, like she’s trying to prove a point. “Whenever Mum, Dad, and Uncle Harry didn't have a plan something crazy happened like Voldemort coming back or discovering the Chamber of Secrets.”

I rest my chin on my hands and look at her. Her forehead has wrinkles in it. She’s thinking. There’s something she’s not telling me. “Wow. Extreme.”

“Still. We need to plan,” she says determinedly.

“Okay, but can’t we plan tomorrow at breakfast?” I yawn.

“Fine. As long as we actually get stuff done.”

“Great. I'm going to sleep now.” I say.

“Bye,” she says, off in another world.

I get up and trudge off to bed. What could Rose be thinking of so hard?

I wake up while it’s still dark outside. “Quid temporem est,” I cast. Large numbers shine a few feet away from me, their blue glow casting onto my bedsheets. 6 o’clock am. I’ve got this.

I decide that there’s no chance of me getting any more sleep today and swing my legs off of my bed, the numbers dissipating. I pull on jeans and a t-shirt and head to the common room, smoothing my frizzy hair down.

I stare at the crackling fire for a while and decide I can't sit still. I begin to pace but that makes me nervous, so I sigh and pull on a coat and shoes and head to the Owlery.

The walk there is silent except for a few birds calling into the early morning light that’s creeping over Hogsmeade. The air is chilly, reaching into my coat and lungs. I shiver lightly.

The walk up the stairs of the Owlery warms me up though and by the time I reach the top I’ve unzipped my coat partway.

I look around at the owls for a bit, debating on stealing James’ owl for a letter home, but I don't.

Instead, I look out the window to the Quidditch Pitch. The Owlery is as tall as the goals. I rest my arms on the old stone in front of me. The place where the windows would be are left open, allowing the owls to fly in and out as they please.

I stay there for a while, just looking out at the grounds and thinking about our plan. We need to figure out where that werewolf came from. Obviously from the Forbidden Forest, but the full moon wasn’t even out when it attacked us. How does that work?

We’ll obviously need to actually get into the forest, so we’ll take the invisibility cloak when we cross the lawn. And depending on how long we need to stay… fuck it. I’ll take the tent with us.

A few owls come back and settle down, getting ready to sleep. The sun rises even more, casting yellow sunlight across the stone floors of the Owlery.

Eventually, I head back to the dormitory and play with Gingersnap until it's time for breakfast. I go down to the Great Hall where I eagerly wait for Scorpius.

I pile eggs and sausage onto my plate and dive in. The other Ravenclaws trickle into the Great Hall.

“Any ideas?” I ask Scorpius when he sits next to me.

He yawns, rubbing at his eyes. “Nope.”

“Ugh. I forgot.” I say, my forehead falling to my open palm.

“Forgot what?” He asks, grabbing an apple and taking a bite out of it.

“You're terrible in the mornings!” I say.

“Am not!” He says, looking indignant.

I laugh through my words. “You so are!”

He yawns again. “I'm just not a morning persons s’all,” he mumbles, taking another bite of his apple.

“I was thinking we sneak into the forest with my tent and invisibility cloak, and keep an eye out for werewolves during the night. What do you think?” I ask.

“Soonz hood,” he mumbles, his mouth full. He swallows. “I mean, sounds good.” He takes another bite.

I sigh. “Okay. Plan made. See you at lunch?”

“We have double potions  together with Hufflepuff this morning,” he says.

“Oh. Right. Well, see you during class then.” I wave goodbye at him and head to class.

During potions I keep sneaking glances at Scorpius while we listen to Professor Engleman drone on about veritaserum.

Scorpius catches me looking at him in the middle of class and smirks at me. I roll my eyes at him and elbow him in the side.

“Very little Veritaserum needs to be used in order to compel your drinker to state the truth,” Professor Englman drones. “A mere drop can be very powerful.”

I take note of that and see Scorpius doing the same out of the corner of my eye. He’s smiling.

Walking back to class I hip-check Rose a few times, just to make her glare at me again. I return her glare with a grin, which makes her roll her eyes. I love it when she does that. Her eyes are a nice deep brown. I like brown.

Snap out of it! I shake my head.

“... Can force the drinker to tell the truth,” Rose says, “You know?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah!” I say, unsure of what I'm agreeing to.

Rose nods, staring off into space. I wonder what she's thinking.

She glances at me, looking down at our intertwined hands.  Instead of dropping my hand like she used to, Rose leans closer to me, resting her head on my shoulder. I smile as we walk down the hall towards the library.

“Hey so… Before we run off to the Forbidden Forest would you like to go to the Hufflepuff- Slytherin Quidditch game?” I ask.

She stops and smiles at me. “That would be great. Let's go!” She turns towards the quidditch pitch, running through the halls and I follow her, our hands still together. I’ve never been gladder that I have long legs than this moment.  

We arrive early enough to grab front row seats to the game. We watch the game progress, both teams doing well.

A bludger flies towards the Hufflepuff seeker, and she barely manages to dodge it, ducking down. But that’s about it for the excitement besides watching their tactics and planning how we can use those against them in our future matches against each other. But right now I’m just glad to be here with Rose, our hands intertwined in my lap, her head resting on my shoulder as she watches Artemis, the odd seeker.

“And Jolee has the ball… Oh does Knight see the snitch?” rambles the announcer as Artemis, the Slytherin seeker, stops, hovers above the game, her eyes darting around the pitch.

Suddenly Artemis dives, and the Hufflepuff seeker is soon after, but it’s too late.

“And Knight has caught the snitch! Game over, 100- 240, Slytherin!” the announcer shouts.

Rose jumps up, clapping for Slytherin. I follow her, standing up and stretching my legs.

She turns around to face me, placing her hands on the lapels of my jacket. She leans her face in towards mine, her nose brushing against my cheek. I grin again. “Now we’ve got a werewolf to catch.”