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"It's the fluxweed! Merlin! You're stubborn, Weasley."

"And you are forgetting the fourth principle of plants in the mint family. The fluxweed does little more than add a nice smell when it's chopped with a silver dagger. The real problem here is that the dragon's blood is unstable."

It's a smidge past curfew and their chatter echoes through the empty stairwell. Scorp tugs at Rose's sleeve. She looks down and leans into him to avoid the right side of the seventh step from their common room door. She moves back away on the next step, which doesn't collapse when stepped on.

"Exactly," Scorp continues, without missing a beat. "And my theory is that by grinding the fluxweed, we'll take advantage of the neutralizing properties of the oils, which the silver dagger nullified this last time."

Rose tucks a strand of auburn curls behind her ear and runs through the potion in her head. It's been weeks of messy explosions, and Slughorn's at his wit's end with the mess the O.W.L.s study project has produced. Still, if they could manage this, fifth year students inventing a Disillusionment Potion? Well, it would land them in Hogwarts: A History for one thing – and not just as footnote listing a family tree.

She can think of nothing that jumps out at her to indicate Scorp's theory is false. It is sound. Still, there is something itching at her. She can't quite form the thought entirely. Some basic principal that she'd memorised in second year that would be the real answer. They are so close. She feels a tingle of excitement in her belly. The trials – and all the charms to re-grow their eyebrows and get flobberworm guts out of their hair – would be worth it.

"I just don't think that's the answer."

Scorp's eyes light up. "Good!" he says, and knocks her shoulder. "Then when I'm right about this, I can gloat all the more."

He's such an arse, and really, Rose seems to be the only one who sees it. He needs regular reminding, lest he forget. "You’re an arse, Malfoy." She loves the way it rolls off her tongue, well practiced.

"Be sure to tell your dad that in your next owl." He grins and his eyes crinkle at the edges.

She laughs, because she certainly will be mentioning it in the next owl. She's never yet missed an opportunity to make a disparaging remark about Scorp in her communications home. It thrills her father, and if her mother sees through the griping to the true friendship that lies beneath, she's had the decency to remain silent about it.

"I think that it's worth a try," Rose concedes, though she'd love to keep arguing. "Honestly, Scorp, it's a great next step. I just know there is something more."

Scorp tugs at a lock of her hair and she fights the rising heat in her cheeks. "One step at a time, Weasley. Remember, it took sixty years for Edward Earwaggle to invent Polyjuice."

Rose chuckles and does her best impression of Scorp's drawl. "We could've done it in half the time."

"That goes without saying."

They stop as they reach the top of the winding staircase and wait for the bronze eagle to speak. "What is the speed of dark?" it asks.

Scorp looks at Rose and raises an eyebrow. "Security is getting lax."

Rose rolls her eyes and turns to the door and rhymes off, "The absence of light is eternal and everywhere. Darkness does not travel. It exists."

"Well put." The eagle squawks and the door swings open.

The warmth of the room chases away the chill of the drafty staircase and brings a smile to Rose's face.

The low rumble of voices in the common room is broken by a shrieked, "Scorpy!"

Rose's smile fades into oblivion as Calla Finnegan jumps from her seat and bounces across the room, brushing past Rose to entwine her arm with Scorpy's.

"Just who I desperately needed. I'm working on Transfiguration and I know you're top of the class, Scorpy."

"Well actually…" Scorp, cheeks pink, turns to Rose. Rose scowls, daring him to name her as the top of the class just to get out of that tart's clutches.

"Don't be modest, silly." She pulls his rucksack off his shoulders and shoves him into a seat, then leans over him so that her long blond hair drapes over his shoulder.

Rose grits her teeth and murmurs, "I'll see you tomorrow."

Scorp looks up and stutters, "Um, oh, g'night," before blinking at another parchment Calla shoves in his face.

Hours later, Rose is tucked in bed, staring at her bed curtains. Her restless mind loops over Scorp's idea about the fluxweed. Maybe they are going about it all wrong. The fluxweed crushed instead of sliced would certainly do something, but it's too weak an ingredient to make the difference. They need a breakthrough idea, a moment of realization such as the one Earwaggle had in which he realised shredded Boomslang skin would be powerful enough to affect the entire body.

Rose blinks, the answer slapping her across the face like it had always been there. It's obvious. Boomslang skin. Exactly like Polyjuice. They are, after all, changing the entire body – from visible to invisible. Of course the principal of the transformation would require a similar base ingredient to allow a full body transformation after ingestion.

She springs out of bed and looks around the dorm, surprised to see everyone asleep, as if they too should be sharing her epiphany. It is so obvious, it feels like the entire world will wake up tomorrow and just know how to create a Disillusionment Potion. But she figured it out first.

Before Scorp.

Her belly twists in excitement. But it's only a matter of time before he figures it out, too. He's probably in his bed going through the same thought processes she had. How many times had they figured out solutions within seconds of each other? Ha! This time she's sure she beat him. And she has to let him know it.

She doesn’t think twice as she races down the steps of her dorm, through the common room and up the boys' stairs. The chill of the night air slips through the thin cotton of her nightie and she shivers, but doesn't stop.

His bed is in the far corner, the one by the window. She's studied on it more times than she can count. It's warded with the Charms she taught him, and she easily dissolves the invisible barrier and slips through the curtains.

She crawls in and laughs to find him asleep. Not even close to the solution unless he's working it all out in a dream. His glasses are on his bedside table and his hair is dishevelled, feather light on his pillow. He looks deep in a dream, his eyes fluttering back and forth beneath his eyelids. She climbs on top of him, anyway. "Scorp! Scorp, wake up." Her hands shake his shoulders. "I figured it out."

He groans beneath her and tilts his hips up. She realises her mistake instantly. Her nightie is thin and she can feel the heat and unmistakable hardness of him between her legs and through her knickers. It is not their potion that he's dreaming about. The impulsiveness of coming here, now, in the middle of the night, and climbing into his bed, invading his privacy crashes down on her. They are good friends, mates, but this is private at a level they've never shared. Neither of them has dated yet, too focused on besting each other to care for the kind of distractions everyone else in their year seems so keen on. She can still sneak out and slip back into her bed and forget it all, forget that she felt him so very intimately. And if she can't forget, at least try not to blush in the morning while she's telling him about her brilliant solution.

She places her hands carefully on either side of him and lifts her weight off him, edging to safety inch by inch, knowing that any minute he could wake. He moans at her movement and his hands are on her hips, clutching her, and she gasps. Her eyes dart to his face and find his eyes still closed, brow furrowed and lips parted like he's in pain. He looks so different, older. His grip on her hips tightens, holding her in place, and her thighs aren't strong enough to break free. His hips lift to meet her and his groin grinds against her. God, he's so hot and hard. A rush of heat flows to her groin where they're connected, and her cheeks burn at the thought of her knickers getting wet. If he were wake, she's sure he'd feel it, too.

It's like her body is not her own anymore; the reactions are instinctive and so… primal that she knows under other circumstances she might analyse them and be fascinated by the pull that keeps the species alive. At the moment, she's not able to do anything but panic at the tingle in her lower abdomen and feel a flush of pride at the sound Scorp makes as he holds her to him. She's fifteen, and she's read books. Bubble-gum books, her mother calls them. The ones that she reads in the summer when her brain's too mushy to want Moste Potente Potions, but still needs a book in her hand. They are full of love stories and unlikely heroes and scenes like this that fade to black and start the next chapter with the sunrise.

In none of these books is the girl fifteen or the boy asleep and unconsenting. She tries to pull away again, to peel his hand off her hip. His eyes open.

He's trembling, slick with sweat and blinking up at her, confused. "Rose?" He blinks again and takes a gasp of air. "What's going on?"

The words are caught in her throat. She curses not being able to Apparate inside Hogwarts because, even without a license, she's never wanted to simply disappear like she does at this moment and she is sure she could do it from sheer force of will alone.

He shifts beneath her and seems to realise their predicament. His mouth falls open and she thinks he's going to accuse her of … something. Instead, he croaks, "Merlin," and lifts her off him.

There's a dull ache in her chest as she's moved to the side of the bed. She tries not to be disappointed, she hates to feel sorry for herself, but there are tears in her eyes and she's grateful it's dark. And she swallows back her humiliation.

Scorp has curled up in a ball and he's trying to regain his breath.

"I'm sorry. I ju…" she tries to explain, but it tumbles over Scorp's, "God, this is embarrassing."

They fall silent for a heartbeat, then Scorp clears his throat and asks, "What are you doing here?" It's not an accusation. Not filled with venom and snark like she expected.

She takes a deep breath and tries to remember what this was all about in the first place. It comes to her easily and that pressure in her chest lightens. She did have a reason. "I figured out the potion."

"Yeah?" Scorp looks up at her, a broad grin spreading across his face. And the tension in her body vanishes.

She forgets for a moment everything that's happened and where she is and bursts into her explanation. "Boomslang skin! Shredded boomslang skin is the stabiliser we need to raise the level of dragon's blood. Just like Earwaggle, right? It'll spread through the entire body–"

Scorp runs a hand over his face and cuts her off. "That's…yeah. Great! Hey, look, can we talk about this in the morning? I'm a little… I need to…" He groans and rolls onto his stomach and hides his face in his pillow.

Rose's mind is blank for all of three seconds. Then the images flash in her head, the stories she's heard from giggling girls about boys' dorms and what happens behind the bed curtains. Rose's entire body heats again. "Oh you… wow." She talks when she's nervous and there's no stopping her now, apparently. "I've never thought about you… you know. I didn't know you… I mean, obviously. Sorry. Sex education here isn’t the greatest, is it? I mean, you hear about stuff that boys do but you …"

"Er." Scorp squirms and turns to face her just enough that she can see one eye, half hidden by the pillow. "Yeah. Um, it's okay. I don't think I've ever thought about it with you. You know doing stuff," he says into the sheets, and pauses a second before adding, "Do you?"

Rose freezes. "Do I what?" She feels ridiculous saying it, but he can't possibly be talking about her and the stuff she does when she's alone.

"Never mind! Merlin! I cannot believe I asked you that." He groans and buries his face further into the pillows. She's close enough to see the bright pink on the tip of his ears.

"It's okay. I just…" She fumbles to save the conversation, which is horrible and awkward but also really interesting in a way that makes her heart pound. "I don't really… you know. I mean I don't really know what I'm doing and it feels good and all but … Oh, God. Why am I telling you this!"

Scorp turns to her. He doesn't look horrified by the pathetic confession. His mouth's open and his breath comes heavy, a burst of warmth that hits her cheek. He has one hand under the sheets and Rose stares hard to see if there's any movement. It's too dark to tell.

"Are you… touching yourself right now?" What she really wants is to lift the blanket and see for herself.

"Yes," he squeaks, voice oddly high pitched. "It's just... I'm so close, you know?"

"Um. Not really." Her parents have always called her a blue Gyffindor and it must be true because suddenly she's saying, "Can I see you?"

"Really?"

"Really. I've never… you know… seen."

Scorp looks at her a moment like he's not sure if she's serious. But they've been friends since first year and, well, there must be some trust there because he slowly lifts the sheets. His pajama bottoms look funny with what could be a banana pulling the fabric taut.

Rose swallows and tries to remember to breathe as he lowers his pajamas and pants and scoops out his dick, cradling it in his hand. "It's … wow."

She squeezes her legs together and squirms, again her body acting on its own accord. Her knickers are wet; she can feel them sticking to her.

Scorp watches her wriggle. "Can I see you, then?" His voice is soft and uncertain.

She should have expected it, of course, but it still takes her by surprise. Rose's mind races, thinking about what knickers she has on and she can't remember. She wishes she were the kind of girl that only owned pretty silk knickers with frilly lace or whatever Scorp might be expecting to see. Scorp's watching her, doing that weird quick gnaw of his lip that he does when he gets incredibly nervous. There's no way she can say no. Not when Scorp's made himself so vulnerable to her.

She slowly lifts her nightie and looks down to see white cotton knickers with tiny purple butterflies. At least the knickers are a skimpy bikini-cut and not the kind Gramma Molly stuffs in her stocking every year. Her hair peeks out the sides a little, curls a shade darker than the hair on her head. Scorp's eyes are wide as he looks her up and down. His hand starts to move on his dick, the tip disappearing and reappearing in his tight fist. His eyes stop on Rose's crotch and he moans. That makes her even wetter.

Scorp's mesmerised by her, little Rosie Weasley, bookworm and know-it-all. Her hair is never perfect and her bag is always over-loaded and she knows she hunches her back just to carry it around between classes. But Scorpius Malfoy is captivated by her. Her legs fall open a fraction and Scorp whimpers and his hand speeds up.

She wants to touch herself, slip a finger in and have Scorp see it disappear. She hooks her thumbs into the tiny elastic at her hips and lifts off the mattress to ease them off. The wetness of the crotch touches her leg and she blushes. By the time they are hanging off one ankle, she is shivering, overwhelmed.

"Merlin, Rosie."

She looks to Scorp and his brow is furrowed, the hand on his dick is flying in a way that looks like it would be painful. Each pump is accompanied by a loud ugh. Pearly white strips squirt out, a drop lands on Rose's leg and she freezes. Not sure what she should do. She waits, listens to Scorp's breathing, forgetting to breathe herself.

After a moment that seems like forever, Scorp strips off his top and wipes her leg and then his hand and his dick with it, crumples it up and tosses it to the foot of the bed.

He moves closer to her; his face is relaxed now, different than she's ever seen him. "Sorry. Merlin, Rose. You're so… you look amazing. I just, it's hard to hold back."

Rose sort of knows what he means, but mostly not. She bites her lip and nods and wonders if she should get dressed again. She looks at Scorp and he's shirtless. His chest is nice. Thin, not like a man's at all. But nothing like her little brother's either. The waistband of his pants pushes his balls up, his soft penis lies in a mess of curls. She stares at it and it twitches. She gasps. She never knew a dick could move like that, on its own.

"If you keep looking at it, it'll start to get hard again."

Rose isn't sure what to believe. Scorp sounds half-teasing but he often speaks that way to her. Usually she can just roll her eyes, wait until he leaves, and then double check if he's serious in a book to save face. Tonight she's forced to say, "Really?"

"Well, lying in bed with you looking like that? I can't believe I'm not hard again already." He lets his gaze trail down her body in a way that no one has ever, ever looked at her. She doesn't know what to say; 'thank you' feels no where near appropriate. She says nothing.

"It's not like that for you, is it? There's no wait. Greg Smith's magazine said girls can just have orgasm after orgasm all day long."

Rose blinks up at him and starts to lower her nightie. She can't possibly talk to him about this, not when there isn't anything for her to say.

Scorp's face falls, and he leans on his elbow, staring into her eyes. "Rose, what did I say?" He bows his head, shaking it. "I'm such an idiot."

"No, that's not it." Rose puts a hand on his bare shoulder, and his skin is hot and damp with sweat.

"If you don't want to talk about it, it's okay. I'm just high from getting off. It was pretty mind-blowing, you know?" His grin is slightly goofy and unbearably endearing.

Rose turns away. "Um, no. I really don't know."

"Oh." His face scrunches up and he asks, "But girls toss off, right? Well, I guess you don't call it tossing off – but you know – put your fingers inside, right?"

"Well, yes. It's just - I've never, um, managed to, you know – come." She can't believe those words actually came out of her mouth. She stares at the canopy and waits for the laughter.

"Oh, I'm… I'm sorry."

"God! It's not like a catastrophe of something. Girls are just different, I guess."

"But you've…"

She sneaks a peek at him to see him waggle his fingers. She snorts, only Scorp could make this conversation this ridiculous. "Yes, I've …" she waggles two fingers back at him.

He shifts and she feels a warmth against her thigh. She looks down to see his dick – fatter now, and longer – twitch against her skin. "Is that kinda fast?"

Scorp follows her gaze and chuckles. "He's very interested in this conversation."

"And what does he want to know?" Rose laughs, nervous.

"He wants to know what it feels like in there."

Rose flushes and edges away.

"What?" Scorp's eyes widen. "Shit. No. That wasn't a proposition! I didn’t expect… I wouldn't ask… God!" He turns his face into the mattress and continues cursing.

"Oh." She feels like running, just slipping out of the bed and going back to her dorm and maybe sliding in a finger or two and thinking about Scorp's dick disappearing in his fist. She squirms at the thought, how delicious it would be to rub herself now that she has that to think about. A warm tingling starts again, low in her belly. It's always so much better when she's slick and swollen. That she knows. But some of it is still such a mystery. It's not like Scorp, who seems to know exactly what his body wants. "It's hard to describe."

She thinks about Scorp's question, what it's like, and understands that he genuinely doesn't know and wants to. "It's warm and soft," she begins, remembering. "There are lots of bumps and stuff."

"Bumps?" Scorp looks up, a funny look on his face like he expected something more erotic-sounding than bumps.

She swallows past her parched throat and tries to explain. "Like squishy bumps? That feel good when you rub them." Rose bites her lip and slides her hand down. Her fingers run through her damp pubic hair and she flushes at the thought of leaving a spot on Scorp's sheets. Her legs widen a bit and Scorp's dick is warm again on her thigh. She dips her finger in to the second knuckle and closes her eyes. It's hot and slippery, so Rose tells Scorp this. She brings her finger out and back in and it makes a squelching noise. She stills, embarrassed at the sound. She looks over to Scorp. He's staring at her finger, mouth open a little, breathing like he's run the full length of the Hogwarts grounds and back again. His dick is poking her thigh, long and hard.

"Rose," he says, like she's precious.

She pushes her finger in again and swirls it around. Each move sends bursts of pleasure twisting in her belly, more than she's ever felt when she's been alone. Like Scorp being there, watching, changes everything. Like her body knows this is something special.

Without a word, Scorp moves to kneel between her legs and a tremble runs through her. Her mouth opens to protest but he sits back on his heels, his eyes never leaving her hand, which still rests on top of her mound, or her finger, not moving but still inside her.

"Rose," he says, again. His dick's hard, pointing out from his body, no longer limp at his leg. The head is bright pink and, as his hand wraps around it, he lets out a moan, throaty and desperate that's like nothing she's ever heard before. Her hand's moving again, the single finger moving in and out, she's startled to realise. Sharp grunts slip past his lips with every stroke. His rhythm is so much faster than hers and she tries to match it, spreading her legs and lifting her hips to improve the angle and ease the cramp that's started in her hand. Her knees graze his hips and Scorp groans. She flushes as she realises the show she must be giving him.

"Circe's saggy tits!" A voice booms from the other side of the curtain. "Malfoy put up a fucking Silencing Charm."

Time seems to stop for an instant, Rose and Scorp paralysed with fear, looking at each other with wide, panicked eyes. Then Scorp takes a deep breath, then another. His hand moves off his dick and he shouts back a weak, "Fuck off, Greg." To Rose, it sounds like a full confession, but Scorp just presses a finger to his lips and she waits.

"They can hear your wanking down in the dungeons. Old Slughorn's probably getting off on it."

Scorp lets out a puff of air and his face relaxes before he shouts back, "It was a good one, too. Until you had to go mention Sluggy. I'm going to have to start all over now."

Greg laughs and adds, "Wank yourself raw, Malfoy, but don't forget the fucking Charm, all right?"

Rose can hear the squeak of a mattress and the muffled sounds of a pillow being punched into submission. Scorp does nothing for a moment, just stares at the curtains that seem to Rose like an impossibly thin barrier between them and discovery. He leans forward, reaching across Rose with one hand at her side for balance and the other stretching for something past her head. She nearly squeaks in surprise but she knows that Greg is still awake and any sound now is not going to go unnoticed.

Her pulse thunders in her ear and her inner walls clench impatiently around her finger. Her entire body is on fire, waiting for whatever Scorp is about to do.

"Sorry," Scorp breathes and it tickles her ear and she squirms under his weight, "I'm trying to reach my wand."

Rose squeaks a non-reply.

Scorp's eyes trail over her face, a questioning look in his eyes. "Muffling Charm. If any of the guys knew you were here, it'd be all over school."

The thought of that sets her on edge again. She's famous enough as it is, looking like her mom and with the Weasley last name. She doesn't need to struggle with a reputation on top of that.

She lets out the breath she's been holding as soon as the Charm shimmers. She slides out her finger, feeling ridiculous having left it in while everything was happening, but she'd been too afraid to move. Scorp's still half on top of her, leaning again to put his wand back. She doesn't realise just how close, though, until her knuckles graze the soft skin of his groin, maybe his balls, she's not sure – as she tries to move her hand from between her legs.

Scorp gasps and his head falls to her shoulder. "Rose."

"Sorry. I didn't mean to –" She wants to squirm out from under him, the heat from his body is overwhelming, but she's too terrified to move. They're naked down there and so close. She whimpers in frustration. His breathing is hot and wet on her chest, seeping through the threadbare nightie. He lifts up enough to look at her, putting his weight on his elbows on either side of her chest. She tilts her chin to catch his expression.

His nostrils flare a little with each breath. His eyes are half-lidded and he looks nothing like her best friend of the last four years. Except that he does, a little. There's a glimmer of Scorp when he's pensive, trying to puzzle something out.

"Scorp?"

Scorp pushes up and kisses her. His lips are feather light on hers until she tilts her neck and presses closer. Her first kiss. An excited giggle bubbles up inside her chest. This is the most intimate thing they've done so far. A line's been crossed; they aren't potions partners comparing test results (or the sex exploration equivalent of that). They are kissing. Her body is on fire from the feel of his breath on her cheek, his hand in her hair. She writhes beneath him, unable to keep still when his tongue slides into her mouth. It's a blur after that, they collide, his dick frotting her mound and for a second she's scared he might try to go in, but he's just rubbing and the kiss gets deeper, teeth and tongues and spit. She moans into his mouth as she lifts her hips to meet his thrusts and sparks explode inside and all around her as the angle changes.

The rubbing is good. It's slick and his hard dick glides on something above and not inside that feels so much better than her finger poking around without purpose.

Her hands are on his arse urging him on, telling him it's good, because her mouth is too occupied with the kissing. She doesn’t even realise what's happening, just suddenly her world reduces to the throb between her legs and she clutches Scorp's tight to her, pressing him as close as she can while her hips jump off the mattress in a broken rhythm. The next instant her body goes taut, every muscle aching with tension as she topples over the edge of something she doesn’t fully understand. She can feel the gush, the wave of pleasure ripple deep inside, a clench and release, clench and release. She's almost somewhere else for a moment, unaware that Scorp whines at her too tight grasp, then she's back and she eases her grip and he's sliding around, finding his rhythm and gasping for air.

Another wave hits as he moves against her and she almost wants him to stop, it's overwhelming, but at the same time she never wants this to end. It's not long though before he shudders, shaking in her arms, and a warm splash hits her belly.

It takes a moment for Scorp to be able to move again. She waits patiently, ignoring the cramp in her leg and the cooling come on her stomach. When he moves, he reaches to the bottom of the bed and grabs his already dirty night shirt and rubs her clean. She crinkles her nose but doesn't say anything when it doesn’t do its job.

He lies beside her, pulling up his pants, and she lowers her nightie. Her legs are leaden, but her heartbeat is nowhere near calm. She's wracking her brain, trying to figure out what to say that doesn't sound as ridiculous as "I hope you don't have nail marks on your arse."

She sees Scorp's eyes fall shut and then flutter as he struggles to keep them open.

She needs to leave before he asks her to. "Do you think Greg's asleep?"

Scorp listens a moment and nods.

She clears her throat and sits up, tugging at the hem of her nightie. "Okay, I think I better go then."

Scorp scrubs his face and sits up too, blinking away the sleep. "Right. Okay."

"Okay." Her heart is in her throat like this is the end of a moment that she'll never get back. She doesn't dare think about tomorrow and the awkwardness looming around the corner.

Scorp darts forward and bumps her cheek with his lips. By the time she looks up, he's staring at the bed as if he hadn't moved, but she can still see his goofy grin and feels a matching one spread on her face. She sneaks him a kiss, no more graceful than his.

She rubs the ache from her nose where it knocked his cheekbone. "Um, bye then."

Scorp laughs and waves, looking up at her through his long lashes.

She ducks through the curtain before she can say anything else embarrassing.

Her legs are shaking and weak as she goes down the boys' steps, through the common room and into her dorm. She is shivering and she dives for her covers, but she doubts the drafty castle is the cause.

~o~

Rose wakes at sunrise and shakes off the barrage of memories, snippets of a dream she thinks for just an instant, until she shifts and realises that she's not wearing knickers.

~o~

Calla pours Scorp a pumpkin juice at breakfast, then starts to fiddle with his collar until he bats her hand away. A couple seats down, Rose pushes her kippers towards Greg who dumps them onto his already heaping plate.

"Scorpy!" Calla's voice rings out over the low hum of sleepy voices in the Great Hall. "My goodness! What an adorable bracelet."

Greg looks up and snorts. "What the fuck is that, Scorp? Looks like it's for a girl."

"Maybe I'm just more comfortable with my masculinity than you are."

"Whatever, dude."

"Well, I think it's perfectly charming! Look, little purple butterflies! So cute!"

Rose's stomach plummets and she snaps her eyes up. Scorp is staring back at her with an expression she can't read. The bracelet is white cotton with a slight frill to the edges and very familiar, even if the transfiguration has distorted the butterflies somewhat.

His ears are bright red as he speaks, "Hey, Weasley. I think you had some theory about Boomslang you wanted to talk to me about?" Calla grimaces and releases Scorp's arm. "Sluggy said the potions classroom's free before class today. We could… talk about it."

Rose stands and hopes her cheeks aren't nearly as red and obvious as Scorp's. She tries her best to keep her voice light. "I have the whole solution, you know. I'm sure of it. You are going to think I'm so brilliant." It's the same teasing words she could have easily used twenty-four hours ago, but her delivery is all off.

Scorp's grin tells her he notices, but he stands, too, and holds her gaze and says without a hint of sarcasm, "I already do."