Sometimes you feel like no one can see you.
It’s not as though people don’t try to be your “best friend.” You blame your parents for the multitudes of people who pretend like they know you because they read your mum’s book and have your dad’s Chocolate Frog card.
You’re not lacking in attention by any stretch of the imagination, but you’re missing the right kind. The kind that notices when you’re offended by James’ stick-up-your-rear jokes, how you’d rather trim Mandrakes than fling spells at another student, and that you despise treacle tart.
Your mum tells you not to be offended when people show you common courtesy, but you’re strictly convinced that not a single soul knows what that is. “It isn’t polite to refuse someone’s offer of treacle tart when they’ve invited you over to dinner,” but you don’t think it’s nice to offer it in the first place. It’s utterly repulsive.
But sadly enough, you’ve allowed being overlooked to become a part of who you are. You are the slave to a master which is expectation.
So one evening when Scorpius Malfoy steals your treacle tart and shoves it into his mouth all at once, your initial instinct is to be insulted. But when you see him inconspicuously carry on in his conversation with Fred and Al, you blink several times and decide to call it a blessing.
And it is a blessing. Until he does it again several nights later. And again the next time that one of your cousins forces it onto your plate. And again. Again. Again. And again, until you’ve long lost count.
You don’t talk to him. He’s never seemed especially interested in getting to know you, Rose Weasley, but that may be because he’s best mates with the son of the Boy Who Lived. Or because he’s a Malfoy; he’s got better looks than most blokes in school and he doesn’t need you to boost his reputation.
So you let him eat your treacle tart, and it isn’t a problem at all.
Well, it isn’t a problem until he starts cutting into James’ jokes with an uninteresting piece of gossip. Not to mention that he starts pairing himself with you in Defense Against the Dark Arts so that you can complete the monotonous activities early.
But then you stop to realize how great this is for you. So you decide that he’s probably a saint.
You never say much to him. He never asks, so you find no reason to tell him anything. And it works well. He works with you so that you have extra time to pay attention to the new sprig of Dittany that Professor Longbottom brought you. Every class. Every time. You never stop to ask why, but you assume that he has his own reasons; you decide to let it slide.
So you let him eat your treacle tart, avert the nasty comments, and get you out of your least-favorite class. And it isn’t a problem.
Well, it isn’t a problem until you start to notice how he’s everywhere. You see him in the library only two tables away from you. You notice how he always sits near you at dinner, treacle tart or not. And you can’t help but see him around every corner in the hallway; that blonde hair is unmistakable.
But you realize that your family likes him. So why can’t you like him, too?
You move down those few tables so you can study near each other. You realize that you’ve needed him to coach you through Ancient Ruins, and he seems to need you for Arithmancy. He tells you stories about his American cousin at dinner and nearly makes you wet yourself from laughing. And you even greet each other in the hall when you’re on your way to class.
It’s like friendship. Except it isn’t.
So you let him eat your treacle tart, avert the nasty comments, get you out of your least-favorite class, help you on Ancient Ruins, make you laugh harder than you ever have before, and talk to you casually. And it isn’t a problem.
Well, it isn’t a problem until you notice how he looks at you and acts when he’s with you. He goes out of his way to make sure you’ve eaten enough at dinner, hasn’t cast an adequate spell against you in Defense for weeks, and doesn’t mind letting his hand linger on your forearm or wrist when you’re studying together.
You find yourself getting used to that look. It’s that look that your dad has for your mum. You’d know it anywhere; he smiles down at you like he’s struck gold. You used to dream that someone would look at you that way, but you never expected it to be him.
But then you decide that the attention isn’t all bad. You like the way that his skin feels against yours and that you can finally cast an adequate spell against him. After all, nothing has to come of it. You may as well enjoy the attention while it lasts.
So you let him eat your treacle tart, avert the nasty comments, get you out of your least-favorite class, help you on Ancient Ruins, make you laugh harder than you ever have before, talk to you casually, look at you like you matter, go easy on you in Defense, and let his hand linger on yours. And it isn’t a problem.
Well, it isn’t a problem until he kisses you. Both of you are on your way back from the library when his books suddenly fall to the floor and he’s closer than you’ve ever let anyone. You feel pathetic for not seeing it coming sooner, and you feel even worse that your breath probably smells like the pot roast and potatoes from dinner. Frankly, you’re scared.
But when he holds you close and admits that he’s quite enamored with you, you realize something brilliant. He noticed. And what’s more is that he noticed the parts of you that no one else could.
You pull him closer and try to non-verbally convey to him how much that means.
So you let him eat your treacle tart, avert the nasty comments, get you out of your least-favorite class, help you on Ancient Ruins, make you laugh harder than you ever have before, talk to you casually, look at you like you matter, go easy on you in Defense, let his hand linger on yours, and kiss you until you can’t think straight. And it isn’t a problem.
Well, it isn’t a problem until you notice that his lips taste like the treacle tart he stole from you at dinner.