Rose was stressed. She sat in the heads common room at one o'clock on a Saturday morning, texts, parchments, quills and ink lay strewn all over the table and couch which she was currently occupying. Christmas exams began in just two weeks and Rose had no doubt that they would be extremely tough to prepare the seventh years for their N.E.W.T.S. which they would sit in the spring. She copied another passage out of her Ancient Runes text, and for the first time cursed herself for choosing to take ten of the possible twelve N.E.W.T.S., having left out only Divination and Muggle Studies, two subjects which she hadn't even bothered with in her O.W.L.S. years. Rose let out a sigh as she flipped the page.
"Have you even moved today Weasley?" A voice behind her sneered. She closed her eyes and let out a soft sigh. Of course out of the entire male population of Hogwarts she would get stuck with Scorpius Malfoy as her fellow head. He was such a pretencious git and had done nothing but mock and tease her for the past six years, a fact that had always bothered her. She had tried to become friends with him in first year, but he would have nothing of it, preferring instead to make her life a living hell whenever possible.
"Once or twice." She muttered, twirling her quill around in her hand. She was not about to let him know that he was affecting her, she had way too much to do to get destracted.
"You know, if you stay like that for too long then you may permanently get stuck like that. At least for now you have the chance that some desperate bloke will take pity on you and date you, but no one finds a hunch back attractive." His tone was cocky and pompous, in the way that was reserved for her and only her.
"Thanks for the concern Malfoy, glad to see that you care about my happiness.." She wished that he would just go away and leave her with her books.
Scorpius was taken aback by her nonchalance. Usually he was able to get a rise out of her, and he loved getting her worked up. She looked so bloody beautiful when her face flushed in frustration, her eyes shining as she glared at him, her melodic voice would rise and she would invade his personal space, but not tonight. Scorpius smirked, he had never been a quitter, he'd just have to try harder.
"It's not like anyone else is going to."
"Shouldn't you be off in some dark corner doing Merlin knows what with Melody or Karen or who ever your flavour of the week is?" He smirked again, she always brought up his serial dating when he was bothering her.
"It's one in the morning Rose." He emphasized the use of her first name, knowing that it would get some sort of reaction out of her. He then smirked at her. "Besides, she was busy."
"Real classy Malfoy. You're father must be so proud that his son is a man whore. I bet it would be easier for you to list the girls you haven't shagged then those you have. Now would you kindly leave me alone." She huffed in frustration, flipping the page in her book. She was not going to let him get to her.
"Where would the fun in that be Weasel? Am I too distracting for you?" Stupid Slytherin git. She took a deep breath, setting down her quill on top of her parchment before glaring up at him.
"Not now Malfoy. I have a lot of work to do so please just leave me the fuck alone. I have ten exams to prepare for Malfoy. Ten! My cousins are driving me mental and my brother wants me to tutor him for his Arithmancy exam, I need to rework the Quidditch practice schedule for my house and for that matter we need to discuss the prefect patrol schedule for the train and the Christmas Ball isn't about to plan itself. So I really, really do not have time to deal with you and your bullshit right now so it would be greatly appreciated if you could just leave me alone." She had stood up and come towards him during her rant. Her eyes were wide with worry, tears of frustration shining behind those beautiful hazel orbs, and bags were present under her eyes, making him wonder when the last time she had really slept was. Her deep red curls were piled on top of her head and she wore a pair of red and gold boxers and a simple black tanktop. Her school books were scattered all over the usually immaculately kept common room. She looked absolutely exhausted, and he felt sort of bad because he definitely wasn't helping. She pinched the bridge of her nose with her thumb and index finger, letting out a loud sigh of frustration. He could preactically feel the tension radiating off of her tiny body.
"Turn around." He stated simply. Her head snapped up as she locked her gaze with his.
"Why the bloody hell would I do that?" He ran his hand through his hair, of course she would expect him to so something terrible to her, they hadn't exactly been friends over the years, a feat which he still was kicking himself for. They could have been friends. She had tried in first year, but he had decided that he'd prefer to mock and tease her instead. He was a bloody idiot.
"I'm not going to hex you or anything of the sort. I swear." She raised an eyebrow at him. He could be so infuriating. "Just do it Rose."
She wasn't sure what made her do it, maybe it was the softness in his tone, but either way she sighed and complied, earning her a cocky smirk from the git. It really should be illegal to look that attractive when smirking. If someone had told her two years ago that she would be using the word attractive to describe Scorpius Malfoy, she would have told them that they were in need of a head exam at St. Mungo's because clearly they had gone nutters. Ever since the middle of sixth year, Rose had found herself harboring romantic feelings for the stupid sod, and it drove her mad that she didn't know why. He was cocky and arrogant and had done nothing but tease her and mock her since first year.
She jumped as his warm hands came into contact with her ice cold bare shoulders. He smiled as he began kneading the knots out of her muscles. She was even more tense then he had realized. When a soft moan of pleasure escaped the red head's lips, he felt a tingle shoot up his spine and could have sworn that the room increased about ten degrees. He continued rubbing her shoulders and neck, kneading his way down the length of her back until her muscles relaxed completely. He removed his hands from her shoulders and she turned to face him, an unreadable expression on her face. She looked absolutely adorable and he had to resist the urge to kiss her, something that he had been finding himself doing a lot lately. He'd given up on his serial dating tendencies a few weeks ago, not that Rose knew that, or really cared for that matter. The things that he had been feeling recently were not ones he was familiar with. At the beginning of fifth year, he had noticed that she was beautiful, but instead of dealing with the feelings that had began to appear, he'd been content to just tease and argue with her. It wasn't until a few weeks when he had a very embarrassing slip up while snogging Romaldia Florance that he'd realized the extent of his feelings for Rose, the girl who had been his sworn rival for the past six years.
"Thank you." Her sentiment was so quiet that he almost missed it. "But why?" Her hazel eyes were burning holes into his grey ones. He shrugged.
"You looked like you needed it." He said as if it were the most natural thing in the world. She gave him a wary look. "I can be a nice guy, Rose." He was answered with another look.
"You hate me though." He laughed, if only she knew just how untrue that was.
"I've never hated you Rose." She was taken aback by the number of times that he had used her first name that night. She placed her hand on her hips.
"Really? Is that so? Could have fooled me. You've done nothing but torment me for six years, so excuse me, but it seemed like a logical assumption, Scorpius." The sound of his name on her lips sent a shiver up his spine. Until that moment he had never liked his name. "What Scorp, no come back? That'd be a first? I again find myself wondering why the hell you're acting so strangely."
She was frustrated. He was the most confusing person that she had ever met in her life. One minute he was trying to get on her nerves, the next he was being Mr. Nice Guy. Rose shivered and wrapped her arms around her body, cursing her decision to wear a tank top in December. Apparently, this action hadn't gone unnoticed by the blonde. He removed his Slytherin sweater, leaving him in his dress shirt and green tie, handing her the grey garment. She raised her eyebrow at him again. "Seriously what is with you tonight?"
"I told you, I can actually be a nice guy. If you'd prefer to continue shivering…" She took the Slytherin sweater from him and slipped it over her head, instantly being overwhelmed by the scent of him. The edges of her boxers were barely visible from underneath the much too large sweater. Scorpius looked at her and swallowed hard. She looked good in his clothes, he could definitely get used to this.
"Thanks." She said quietly for the second time that night. She glanced up at him smiling slightly, a gesture that he returned. He really had a beautiful smile. She was seeing a completely different side of him tonight, one which she had always hoped had existed. "Can I ask you something?" He nodded slowly, not fully trusting his voice. "Why do you act like a pompous git all the time?"
Scorpius looked at her, thinking for a moment before answering her question. "I suppose it's just easier." He said simply. She locked eyes with him as he continued. "I take enough crap from everyone about my father, my grandfather, being in Slytherin, I suppose it's just easier to pretend that I just don't care."
"But why are you like that to me? I've never judged you Scorpius, I tried to be your friend and you were nothing but horrible to me for six years. I want to know why." He swallowed hard, keeping his eyes locked with hers.
"At first it was because my father told me that you're family wouldn't take too kindly to me because of his past actions, his family's past actions. I suppose I decided to beat you too the punch. Over time though, that changed. You did, you do beat me at everything, grades, Quidditch, all of it. Ever since I met you I've been second best at everything and it drove me mad." She cocked her head to the side, not breaking their eye contact.
"So why change now? Why decide to show me that you're actually a nice guy?" He finally broke their eye contact, taking interest instead in his black shoes. When he finally spoke, his voice was very soft and quiet.
"You weren't in the mood to fight with me. You have so much going on, I just…" She looked at him, her features softening as she stepped closer to him, he could feel her warm breath on his face.
"That's never stopped you before. Something changed. I'm going to ask you once more, why are you being so nice to me?" He could feel her gaze on him and he let out a shaky breath.
"You're not going to like the answer." He whispered.
"Try me." His head snapped up, his eyes locking with hers as he prayed that she wouldn't hex him for what he was about to do. He ran his hand up her arm, bringing it to rest on the back of her neck, tucking a stray curl behind her ear with the other. He leaned in slowly and closed the gap between their lips. It was better then he had ever imagined. She tasted like cherries and chocolate, he didn't think that he'd ever grow tired of this. Out of all the girls he'd been with, he'd never felt this much contentment with a simple kiss as he did right in that moment with Rose. She moaned softly running her tongue against his lips, causing him to groan in pleasure as her tongue slipped into his mouth. He pulled her flush against his body and she wrapped her arms around his neck. What seemed like an eternity later the pair parted, faces flushed and lips swollen.
"Oh," Was all that she managed to say and he felt his heart drop and he began rambling uncontrollably.
"I'm sorry! It's just that you're so beautiful Rose. I love how passionate you are about everything, that's why I fight with you. I love the way your face flushes, your eyes shine and for those few minutes you're paying attention to me and only me! At first I didn't understand why, these things, feelings, that I've had since fifth year are ones that I just finally managed to understand. I fancy you Rose, a lot. I just figured it out recently and I didn't know what to do. It was like being fourteen all over again and not really understanding what was going on and then there was this incident with Romaldia, I mean it's not my fault that her name starts with the same two letters as Rose… well it's just you were stressed and I thought that maybe if I-" He never got to finish his sentence because Rose cut him off, kissing him soundly on the lips once again. She pulled back and her just stared at her causing her to giggle.
"You were rambling. It seemed like an effective way to shut you up." He nodded, smiling timidly. "Apparently I was right."
"Yeah." He sighed, causing her to laugh.
"You fancy me?" He nodded slowly, eyes wide with fear of being rejected. She smiled. "Good, I thought I was the only one." He couldn't help the smirk that appreared on his face.
"And you think I'm pompous. At least I'm not in love with myself." Wait, love? Had he just said that he loved her, as indirect as it may have been, he hoped that she hadn't noticed.
"You know what I mean." She swatted his shoulder playfully, causing him to smile.
"Hm, I'm not sure that I do." His tone was playful.
"I love you too you git." He laughed at her response. Apparently nothing gets by Rose Weasley. He leant over, kissing her soundly. It was addicting.
"Love you Rosie." She raised an eyebrow at the nickname, but he just laughed.
"Scorp? What incident with Romalda?" Oh boy.
"I have no idea what you're talking about." He leaned in to kiss her but she stopped him.
"You said it wasn't your fault that her name started with the same two letters as mine. What did you mean by that?" He looked at his feet. "Scorpius…"
He leant in, kissing her, pulling them both down into one of the armchairs by the fire, hoping that she would forget her question. When they parted she rested her head on his shoulder. "Clever avoidance tactic."
"I thought so." She could feel the vibrations of his voice in his chest as he spoke.
"So, are you going to answer my question." She looked at him expectantly, but he just smirked.
"Not a chance."