Paradise in Winter

Unknown Known

-Present-

Scorpius stepped into the hospital's cafe, looking for his best friend. As soon as he found her, his eyes lit up as he hurried near her.

"Rose Weasley! What's this? Your friends ditched you?"

"No, I wanted some time alone to read," she replied, focusing on the word 'alone'.

"Aah... You ditched them!"

"No one is ditching anyone, Scorpius."

"Oh right. Sorry, I took you wrong. How can Rose Weasley ditch someone!" he said with sarcasm.

"I never ditched you in Diagon Alley! I told you I got lost in the crowd!"

"Well, lost people are not found eating ice cream!"

"Do I really have to go through this again? I got attracted by that while I was searching for you!"

"You do know I am never going to believe your I-got-lost story?"

"Yes, of course, you have taken oath to never agree with me, so how could you now? So what are you doing here? You should be at work."

"I hate ministry food, and thought to drop by for a cup of tea or coffee and also grace you with my presence."

"I told you I wanted a little time with my book, so I guess you should probably have your meal alone, though I have to agree meals in this hospital are remarkable."

"Oh come on, weasel! There is a world outside books! You know, as your best friend it is my duty to make sure you are physically, mentally and SOCIALLY well. It won't hurt to live a little, will it? Besides, you have spent your life reading enough to-"

"OKAY! If I join you for lunch, will you stop speaking?"

"I knew you wouldn't say no!"


-10 years before-

The class was dull as Professor Binns was giving a lecture that no one was listening to, except Rose who was listening with grave concentration.

Johanna Brown was writing something on her parchment that didn't look like notes but was pretty long. She bit a side of her pencil, looking at her work and thinking deeply, before again writing furiously.

Rose and Jo were made to sit in the last seats by Professor Binns who wanted the last row to come to thefront so they could concentrate more. Rose hated sitting at the back, she had to pay extra attention to figure out the professor's words. Plus, everyone in the last row was sleeping. Literally sleeping!

Albus Potter was passing notes with Steven, his other Slytherin fellow. Albus was sitting diagonal to Rose, a row ahead, between Steven, who sat in front of Rose, and a blonde on the other side. A brown haired girl was looking at Professor Binns with a bored expression, somewhere between awake andasleep, her right hand supporting her head.

A strange black haired boy had a Rubik's cube and was solving it with his tongue sticking out in determination. Another boy had a book from the library and was reading it. Many were asleep, andmany would be soon, or so it seemed.

Rose then noticed the blonde haired boy sitting on Al's right side. The blonde had a pencil between his fingers which he spun and did tricks with lamely while staring at the teacher. He did it with such ease, like a person walking. He was a natural, Rose thought. She bent down and took a pencil out of her bag to try it herself. She tried and failed. Then she looked closely at how he did it, the path it moved, the movement of fingers.

She must be staring hard, because the blonde felt a gaze upon himself and straightened before puttingthe pencil down.

Rose looked at her pencil and gave it another go. And another. Another.

She must be doing something wrong! She looked at him again to observe better this time. She was surprised as she found him looking back in her direction with a raised eyebrow. He must have felt me staring, Rose thought as she mentally kicked herself. She was utterly embarrassed and her face turned red while the blonde just smirked and pointed toward the teacher as if telling her to pay attention before he again looked forward.

Her embarrassment suddenly changed into fury and anger. How dare he tell her to pay attention while he hadn't been listening the whole class! Besides, he was the reason Rose got distracted in the first place!

She threw the pencil on the desk furiously. It was weird, but somehow the pencil bounced and hit Al.

"OKAY! Who was that!?" Al glared angrily at the last row students, who looked at him questioningly still in sleep.

He seemed scary, enough for Rose to lose her brains.

"Seriously, have some manners!" she fake supported her cousin.

"Okay, everyone! I don't want any arguments here or I will have to deduct points against my will," Professor Binns threatened and continued with his lecture like he hadn't been interrupted.

The blonde boy picked up the pencil that had fallen on the floor and looked at the red head.

He raised an eyebrow and threw another smirk, which again embarrassed Rose yet angered her, too.


-Present-

"-then he said, I would never let anyone touch this plant. It's a precious one that deserves extra care. Then he accidentally touches it, and then the next thing you know he is crying and begging for itsapology!" Rose finished her story, animatedly. Scorpius laughed along.

Rose had no idea why was he even listening to her stories, when no one else ever did. Rose felt good to have someone around who actually had interest in her talks.

"Oh I almost forgot! I brought you donuts!"

"Scorpius, you bring me food and you are always welcome here!"

"Are you trying to say you want me here every day 'cause my company is irresistible to you?"

"Well, I am resisting!" she said after folding her arms and giving him a give-me-food-NOW-'cause-I-don't-like-games look.

He smirked and gave her the donuts. She immediately opened the box and dug in.

"I think you got distracted. You were telling me something..."

"Oh, I almost forgot! I was telling you about our professor who taught us herbal remedies."

Then Scorpius again tuned out and started looking at her face closely.

She had big eyes that showed emotions and thoughts more than her mouth could. She made different expressions while telling the moment when she was outsmarted by someone anonymous in Hogwarts.

"-then he was flicking his blonde hair like 'Yeah! Take that, another stupid cousin of Potter' and all I wanted was to hit him right across his stupid pale face-"

"He sounds remarkably like me..."

"His hair was a little more blonde than yours. Plus do you really think you can outsmart me?"

"That's your judgement that it's not me? I find both reasons invalid. For all I know it was me! Sorry but again how did he outsmart you?"


-9 years before-

Jo and Rose entered the class talking about how irritating their roommates, Shelly Howard and Rebecca Worthy, were.

"I seriously wonder why they are Ravenclaws!"

"Maybe the sorting hat is getting worn out..."

"Or maybe they have brains very, very, very deep inside, that only a sorting hat could ever know."

"Or maybe they had brains in first year before they got shifted to our dorm?"

"Maybe they gave the sorting hat a love potion, too?"

"I knew they had experience. I bet their boyfriends are receiving high doses!"

They pushed the door open and saw all the seats gone. Like always, there weren't any tables, chairs or blackboard. The room was empty and looked like an old room whose furniture was yet to be shifted.

There, Professor Lupin, the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, was standing in the middle of the front of the room, wand in his hands. Rose greeted him with a huge grin and Ted couldn't help but smile back.

"We are going to learn how to duel, today!" he announced, excitedly.

Everyone shared a look with their friends, smirking and mentally saying, 'Go kill all your enemies!'

Rose looked at her friend and found her looking at someone on the other side of the room with a scared expression. Her eyes were wide and her mouth parted as her eyebrows shot up. Rose followed her gaze and saw her cousin Al with the blonde hair. Rose admitted she almost died. ALBUS POTTER with BLONDE HAIR!

Ever thing about that sentence in funny.

Albus Potter with blonde hair.

Albus Potter with blonde hair.

Albus Potter with blonde hair.

If they would have been in a muggle cartoon, Rose's eye balls would have spring out with her mouth literally touching the floor.

Albus must have felt their gaze as they were not the only ones staring. He pretty much had the whole class's attention.

"I am gonna kill James and Fred!" he said angrily and they all started laughing, which angered him more.

Rose shared a look with Ted, who was apparently enjoying this more than he should. Rose raised an eyebrow at him to remind him he was the teacher. Ted got the message and coughed before silencing the class.

"So I will assign the partners."

Jo was partnered with Steven, one of Al's friends, and Rose got Al.

Rose smirked at him as Al mentally cursed for the day getting worse. Now he had to duel with her brainy cousin, who had ninety nine chances to win.

They were taught new spells, which Rose had already read in books, but it felt really nice to actually perform them. Rose easily won four times out of five.

Albus then excused himself for few minutes and went to a blonde fellow who immediately broke into laughter after seeing Albus heading towards him with his blonde hair. Albus shoved the back of his friend's head as he reached him and whispered in his ear,

"Let's change partners."

"Was your partner giving you hard time?" the blonde replied smirked at his hair.

"Just go! She is waiting in a corner of the class!"

"Okay, you owe me one buddy."

The blonde boy made his way across the room, passing through many dueling kids.

Then he saw a red haired girl waiting, leaning on a wall, looking at her feet, bored.

"Are you Al's partner?"

She looked up at him.

"Yes. He sent you take his place, didn't he?"

"Yes, the blonde did indeed," he replied with a smirk.

Rose smiled and gave out a laugh.

"Okay. Let's see what you got!"


-Present-

"-and then I won the duel!" Scorpius shouted.

"No you didn't! You won three and I won two! Just one more than I did!"

"Oh, had I known before you were the one who lost!"

"Oh, I am never going to hear the end of this!"

"Of course you are not! As a friend, it's my duty-"

"-to remind me of all my failures?"

He grinned and nodded.

"That's it! I am going to class."

"But why? My break isn't over for-" he checked his watch and continued, "fifteen minutes!"

"Well, that's a disappointment, isn't it?" she replied with a smirk and got up to leave.

Then she remembered something and turned around to say one last thing.

"Umm...Scorpius? It's just- it was... nice to have you here."

He looked into her eyes and smiled which soon turned into a smirk.

She mentally cursed herself for not recognizing that smirk! His smirk is so unique, she could have connected dots that the blonde-duel-master was Scorpius Malfoy!

The smirk made her break out of her dreams, and she coughed to cover her awkwardness.

"I mean, because of the donuts. Don't think into it!" she said again, turning to leave because she didn't want him to see her blush.

Which he did.


-Next day-

Rose was sitting in the hospital's cafe, sipping her coffee. She was reading a mystery novel which she borrowed from Scorpius. He had many of them as reading them always gave him great pleasure. Rose was reading a really crucial part where the author revealed how the murderer killed the victim, but for some reason her heart wasn't into it.

Some part of her said to herself it was because she was hoping Scorpius would come here again, and he wasn't here. She hoped she could concentrate on the book, but the fact that this book was in his hands too once didn't really helped her.

'STOP BEING SO SNAPPY, WEASLEY!' she mentally cursed herself.

She almost lost faith in him and gave up, when Scorpius finally showed up. He looked tired and exhausted but managed to smile when he saw Rose.

"Sorry for being late. My boss was planning to kill me by paperwork!"

"Well, you are alive, aren't you?"

"Well, after you oh-so-shyly told me to come here daily because you liked my presence, how can I be dead and miss lunch with you?"

"Oh, shut up!"


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