19th century lit & stolen kisses
"There is a boy who never returns his library books. Don't give him your heart⎯ it is unlikely you will ever see it again."
- Lang Leav
Sometimes, Rose just gets a little bit lost. Admist the exams, volunteering, prefect duties, family, and it's all just too much so much of the time.
So Dominique dresses her up, throws her in a party at the common room filled with boys and alchohol and really, she is more bored here than in Potions. Boys come at her like bullets, twirl her red hair around their finger and she is just not interested.
She knows these boys and she knows what they're after. So she shoves her drink in their chests and leaves the common room with a bang. She twirls her red hair into a bun and sits herself down at the librarian's chair, pulling out her books.
It isn't long before a figure is standing in front of her; she flinches before Madam Pince yells at her for reading on the job but to her surprise, it's a smirking Scorpius Malfoy.
"Oh, bloody hell. What do you want, Malfoy?"
"Easy, now, Weasley. I just want to take out this book." he tells her, placing his elbows on the counter so his face is inches from hers.
She gets up from the chair (not failing to notice that he was following her) and glares at him across the counter. "You don't read." she replies amiably, shooting daggers at him.
Scorpius's eyes narrow. "How would you know, Weasley?"
"I suppose I wouldn't," she sighed, taking a book off the shelf. "Enjoy Wuthering Heights. It might be too advanced for your level, but by all means, feel free to come by if you need something easier."
He leans in close again and her breath hitches in her throat.
"Will you be here?"
She crosses her arms and tilts her head. "I do volunteer here, so yes, I suppose so."
He flashes her a white smile and an ohsocharming wink and twirls himself out of the doorway.
He comes back the next day, and the day after that, browsing the shelves as she pretends not to notice him behind her counter.
"Are you looking for anything in particular?" she asks him eventually when he passes by her for the sixth time in ten minutes, his long legs skinny in his uniform.
"Not really," he tells her, placing his hands in his back pockets. "I just finished Wuthering Heights. I was hoping for some 19th century works."
She avoids the reflex to raise her eyebrows sarcastically. Scorpius Malfoy? Reading Emily Brontë?
"I suppose I could find you some Jane Austen, if you're really into muggle books," she reaches in her bookbag, tucking a curly red hair behind her ear. "This is my copy of Pride and Prejudice. I doubt the library has it. You can return it in Potions or something."
He takes the book and looks at her, his prettypretty grey eyes shining. "Really? So what's this about?"
"Well, Elizabeth Bennet, the protagonist-"
"No, I mean with you. How come you're being so nice? Should I expect Hippogriff feces in my hashbrowns tomorrow morning?" Scorpius smiles at her, leaning next to a bookshelf.
"Shut up," she tells him, crinkling her nose at his comment. "It's just pleasantly surprising to find someone who enjoys reading Muggle books."
He shrugs sheepishly and laughs, placing the novel in his bookbag. "Thanks, Weasley."
He turns on the right corridor, giving her a small wave. She almost has an impulse to follow him and ask him to go to Hogsmeade with her this weekend but she remembers that she's Rose Weasley and he's Scorpius Malfoy and really, they could never work out.
November ends and Rose starts cramming for O.W.L.s early. She takes a break from the library for a little while. Madam Pince hunts her down with pointed looks, asking her when she plans to return.
What a lonely woman, Rose thinks.
Scorpius gives back her book in Charms, a period before Potions, and can't stop talking about it.
"Realistically speaking, I just don't think Darcy and Elizabeth would end up together." she argues with him as they walk downstairs to the dungeons. "But I understand, it's 19th century literature and people get to know their spouse after they get married."
"Why are Darcy and Elizabeth so hard to believe? A middle class woman marrying a wealthy man?"
"No," she replies, jabbing a finger in his chest. "They've seen each other a total of what, six times? Half of the time not even speaking, just gossiping about each other. And he writes her a letter explaining his love for her and bam-Elizabeth stands up for herself in front of his horrible aunt and they run off and get married? No. And don't even get me started on Mr. Bingley and Jane!"
"Maybe you don't need to know someone a billion years to love them. Maybe you just need a couple of days." he tells her, slowing down his pace.
"Shut up, Malfoy," she replies shortly, tossing her hair into a ponytail and enjoying the way his eyes follow the flash of the sun across her red locks absently. "Don't be such a cliché."
His laughter fills the corridor.
She returns to the library and as a greeting Madam Pince leaves twelve Gilderoy Lockhart books to be organized, covered in library plastic and shelved. She feels a hard poke in her ribs. With a yelp, she spins around.
Albus gives her a large grin. "Guess who asked Georgina Zabini to the Hogsmeade trip?"
Rose rolls her eyes. "Oh, for Merlin's sake. Anyone but her. She's ridiculous."
"She's hot though."
Rose lets out a long sigh and begins shelving the books with her wand. "I finished your History of Magic essay by the way."
"You did? I love you," He plants a wet kiss on her forehead; rather awkwardly being a couple of inches shorter than her. "Oh, yeah, Scorpius asked me to return this to you." He hands her Jane Eyre, spine cracked and pages bent.
She glares at him. "Can you maybe tell him to take better care of my books? They're mine, not the library's."
"Yeah, yeah," he waves her off with his hand. "I don't see why you read Muggle books anyway. They make me want to scratch my eyes out."
"They're raw and powerful," she snaps, taking out his essay from her bag and handing it to him roughly. "And you wouldn't understand them."
"They're dull." Albus retorts cheekily before adjusting the bookbag on his shoulder and making his way to History of Magic.
The winter holidays pass, and spending time with the Weasley-Potters at the Burrow convinces Rose to go and celebrate Roxanne's birthday in the common room. At this point, she's all sparkly-redhaired-Gryffindor-goddess or whatever and boys are throwing themselves over her again. Niall Finnigan even tries to make out with her at one point but she throws herself behind a sixth year and darts into a different direction.
The smell of and sound of horny teenagers is getting too much at this point and Rose slips away, her heels echoing down the moving stairs before darting across the third floor to the library.
Madam Pince hesitated but gave in to Rose's pleas for an extra key to the library last week, which illicited a small smile on the librarian's face to see Rose's joy.
(More like pride, but whatever it takes.)
She unlocks the door with a satisfying creeeeeeeek and tiptoes inside.
"Lumos," she whispers, her wand illuminating the path to her seat. She pulls out Jane Eyre and mends the ruined and bent edges.
"Sorry." a whisper comes out of the darkness, causing Rose to jump out of her seat, wand at the ready.
"Merlin, Scorpius! Don't do that!"
She knows it's him only by the blonde hair being illuminated by the moonlight that is pouring in through the stain glass windows. And only then does she notice the bruises.
He takes a chug from what she realizes is a near-empty firewhiskey bottle.
"Scorpius, are you-how did you get in for Roxanne's party?"
"I didn't mean to ruin your copy of Jane Eyre," he tells her, stumbling almost on top of her so his head is lying on the crook of her shoulder, rather awkwardly, considering his abnormal height. "Albus told me you were mad."
"No, no, I'm not mad. I fixed it, see?" she shows him the book, and his expression only makes her get an even bigger lump in her throat.
"You're not mad?"
"No, Scorpius, no."
She takes a step back and looks at the bruise on his right eye. "When did you get this? It looks pretty fresh."
He takes her wrist. "Don't worry about it, Rose."
She takes in account this is the first time he called her Rose and not "Weasley" but is interrupted by the feeling of soft fur around her bare ankles and the sound of quiet mewling.
"Ms. Norris," breathes Scorpius, dropping the bottle of firewhiskey stupidly.
"Shit. Reparo!" she grabs the glass bottle, Jane Eyre and Scorpius's hand and begins to run.
She avoids Filch by turning a corner and it doesn't help dragging a six foot one drunk boy along each step of the way.
She begins to panic profusely. They're going to strip her of her prefect title, fire her from working at the library, maybe even disallow her from taking her O.W.L.s.No, what a stupid thought. She is the only daughter of Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger and she is the best in her year. She can get out of trouble if she wants to.
But Scorpius can't.
She finds an empty broom cupboard and shoves him inside, handing him his empty firewhiskey bottle and shutting the door quietly.
"Miss Weasley!" Madam Pince's heels are heard down the hallway. "Is that you?"
"Yes, madam!" Rose replies smoothly. "Just out for some night reading."
"You do realize it's after hours, don't you?" Madam Pince looks at her suspiciously. "I heard voices."
"I was just reading out loud."
She nods slowly and looks her up and down. "Well, off to bed now, Weasley. It's not wise to lurk around the school at night."
"Yes, maam." Rose gives her a polite smile. Scared I'll catch you and Filch?
A crash is heard inside the broom cupboard and Rose curses herself for not putting a silencing charm.
"What was that?" Madam Pince asked.
Rose shrugged. "Probably Peeves. Goodnight, Madam Pince."
Madam Pince creeps back inside the library, squinting at Rose from a distance. Rose flashes her an innocent smile and waits until the library lights are off and Madam Pince is gone down the stairs.
She opens the door to the cupboard furiously. "What the bloody hell, Scorpius?"
He is leaned against the wall, clutching the half broken bottle. His lips are pursed and his eyes are clenched shut. Rose sighs and enters the cupboard, closing the door behind her.
"Thank you," he says quietly. "If I was caught and my parents found out..."
He lets himself trail off.
"What would happen if your parents found out?" she asked tentatively, taking a step forward.
He doesn't say anything, just looks at her with that thing in his eyes and suddenly his lips are on hers and her back is being pressed against the wall and she is on fire.
He doesn't come to the library the next day or the day after that. He doesn't show up to Potions or Charms or sits with them in the Great Hall.
Albus looks at her funny one morning over the table during breakfast. "This is the third day in a row Scorpius missed Potions. He's falling behind in his favourite class. Do you know why?"
Rose looks at him with innocent brown eyes. "Haven't the foggiest, Al. He's your best mate."
"He's our mate." Albus replies.
"Who's our mate?" asks Lily, sliding down next to Rose and throwing a piece of French toast in her mouth.
"Yeah, who?" asked Hugo, following behind.
Albus sighed. "I don't suppose you know why Scorpius Malfoy has gone off the map?"
Lily smirked. "Won't leave the common room. Just sits and reads all day. I reckon he's reading those bloody Muggle books you gave him, Rosie."
Rose calculated. If he had finished Jane Eyre then he was moving on to Great Expectations.
"Maybe." Rose shrugged, looking down at her eggs.
Scorpius still hadn't returned Oliver Twist, An Ideal Husband or The Importance of Being Earnest to the library. Soon enough the books would retaliate (thanks to Madam Pince).
He told her once during an outing in Hogsmeade that Oscar Wilde was his favourite author out of all the ones she had recommended.
"Not Jane Austen?"
"She's too much of a girl."
She smacked him upside the head. "Take that back now."
"It's not a bad thing!" he told her, hands in surrender.
She shoved his arm. "Damn right it's not."
"No, but it's nice to have a little bit of individuality between the authors, you know? Oscar Wilde is witty where Jane Austen is simplistic. It's a nice balance." he told her.
"Jane Austen is witty too, in the most subtle ways. Because she was a woman. There weren't many things she could say without people being shocked over her novels."
And in that moment, she was glad that Albus asked out Georgina to go to Hogsmeade with him.
She enters the Great Hall for breakfast the next morning to see (a healed) Scorpius sitting next to Albus, (healed) nose deep in his Advanced Potions textbook.
She plops herself down across from them. "Well, look who decided to get an education today."
"Morning, Weasley. Tone dripping with sarcasm as usual, I see." he replies instantly, not breaking eye contact from the book.
"Oi, it's twelve lacewing flies in that recipe, not twenty," says Albus. "Where the hell is your head, Scorpius?"
Rose smirked, slightly, and sipped her tea.