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i dare you, rose.

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Rose was fed up with it all. Spending more than five years at Hogwarts, the girl certainly couldn’t stand it no more. The sole reason behind it all, hid in a lanky body, wore a lopsided grin at all times and the girl referred to him as the king of scorpions. Not that Rose Granger-Weasley would ever admit it aloud.

“Rose, I swear he hasn’t stopped staring at you for the last twenty minutes!” Katie, one of Rose’s girlfriends whispered in her ear, while nudging her.
Consequently, the ginger girl rolled her eyes in annoyance. Katie simply chuckled to herself and shook head in disappointment.
“I seriously don’t understand you. He’s super attractive. I mean - he is kinda nerdy, considering his performance in all subjects. Never ceases to amaze me, honestly. Especially his skills in Potions and interest in History. Nothing like his father, but still immensely hot.” Katie continued ranting, more to herself than to Rose, still making the effort, nevertheless.

A Malfoy was a Malfoy, and that could never change, in Rose’s opinion. The freckled girl was fully aware of the misfortunes his family has caused to hers in the past. Her father has warned her multiple times - “Rose, you must crush that sneaky Malfoy in all ways possible! Show him who really owns the show!”. It felt like yesterday, when Ronald Weasley was seeing her daughter off on Kings Cross, impatiently waiting for her first year in Hogwarts. As it turned out, Scorpius has crushed her in all aspects which were of her greatest interest at the beginning. Scorpius was at the top of all classes she took, earning multiple points for Slytherin, which made her blood boil in envy. Soon, she found out her real passion and talent were set on the Quidditch field, and not in the Potions classroom. Luckily, the young Malfoy had no interest in sport, and neither was he exceptionally good in Flying classes. He soon stopped taking them, which automatically raised Rose at the top of at least one class she was attending.

“What you don’t understand, Katie, is that blood is thicker than water. I could never afford to engage in any relationships with that scum. I’m not even going to mention crossing the line as much as to ever consider dating him. He is a huge coward, much like every single person in Slytherin.” The Gryffindor spat out, her anger was growing, slowly but steadily.

 

If Katie admired Malfoy that much, why wouldn’t she make a move on him, instead of persuading her friend? Rose was indeed sure that his innocent crush would fade away, as he had no contact with females whatsoever. This peculiar friendship between him and Albus Potter might be unhealthy, or at least that’s what their whole family agreed on.
Rose, personally, has cut all ties to her cousin Albus, as she found herself to have a much decent friendship with his brother James.
James, of course, was a fellow Gryffindor, a prefect and captain of the Quidditch team. Evidently, that was kind of what the girl’s target group of friends looked like.
She made the effort, she really did. Her and Albus were very close, subsequently to the start of their education at Hogwarts at least. She has promised to stick by his side, and has fantasized multiple times of them being the best of friends. Little did she know back then, that no other than her first cousin was a damn Slytherin.
It was never up to her which house Albus would end up being in, but she was taught otherwise at home.
She trusted no slimy Slytherins and preferred to keep it that way. It might sound cruel, coming from his own family, but honestly what could she do? Rose warned him to stay away from the goddamn Malfoy, it has all started in the train compartment. Albus never listened, forget that, he didn’t want to listen. As if her company was less entertaining than the one of cowardly Scorpius?

“Have it your way, Al. But don’t forget - you’ll come crawling back to me and I won’t be there to help you. Don’t let emotions cloud your judgement.” All the boy did back then was stare at his cousin, dumbfounded. She sure had a way with words, at such a young age as well.

….

 

“Alright, Weasley. Sorry for messing with you. I never meant any harm, you dipshit.” Katie mumbled, digging into her plate. The loss of appetite was evident. It did make Rose snap out of her thoughts, though.
The ginger girl instantly felt bad for reacting the way she did. It was inexplicable - the way he made her blood boil. She felt beads of cold sweat running down her freckled back as she unintentionally looked up, only to find a pair of silver orbs staring right at her. No matter how far he was, it still felt completely intimidating and uncomfortable in the girl’s view.

 

“Okay, let’s say…hypothetically…If you were to date him, pretending to like him in order to manipulate him or something? Won’t you find it, say, intriguing?” The brown-haired girl blurted out, her eyes fixated on Rose. She knew her best friend well, and a thing which all Weasleys possessed was undeniable hate towards Malfoys. Her ginger friend might oppose with the perceptions of her, potentially having romantic feelings for Scorpius, but there was no way in hell she could ever deny the hatred.

“Manipulate him? We’re damn Gryffindors and that’s a thing which slimy Slytherins might do for fun, you know, it’s like saying ‘good morning’ for them.” Rose argued, her face suddenly flushed. She was growing more and more uncomfortable as the conversation escalated.

“Snap out of it, that’s pure bullshit! The guy is completely vulnerable and supposedly you hate him in the damn guts. A normal person would take advantage of such situation. I can’t believe you are doubting it Rose! Surely, you never cease to amaze me.” Katie had it by then. She stood up, huffing angrily and rolling her eyes. Rose did get on her nerves rarely, albeit when she did, it never ended well.

The young Weasley, however, despised fighting with her friends which she cherished, oh, so much. Especially dear, innocent and loyal Katie. Besides, people were staring. The brown-haired female continued standing up, gaining the attention of most students. She had crossed her arms, and glared at her friend intensely.

“Alright, alright! Just sit down and act a little decent, I don’t want everyone staring at us. Especially that squib. I’ll do it, but you’ll pay, I swear to Merlin, you are so gonna pay for this.” Granger hissed through gritted teeth, pulling the other by the robes and indicating to sit her ass down already.

Katie had already plastered this self-satisfied grin on her face and happily finished her meal. That’s when Rose knew she was in deep shit.
These silver orbs never looked away from her throughout the whole lunch period.

Chapter Text

Scorpius Malfoy felt like his feelings towards Rose were inexplicable, in a way. The poor boy barely even knew what she was like. In fact, he couldn’t clearly recall their last sufficient conversation. Maybe it was her appearance alone. She did have long and luscious ginger hair, which was pretty to stare at (especially in Transfiguration classes) and he did suppose her freckles, unevenly spread throughout her whole face did possess a certain charm. The lanky boy has spent numerous sleepless nights, counting the hours while he waited for the sun. The window still was the ideal place where he did so. Believe it or not, young Malfoy had been fascinated by the Muggle culture. He had his ways of acquiring Muggle stuff, the time spent reading has payed off eventually, as Albus liked to say. Summers were scarcely ever spent in the Malfoy mansion as Draco couldn’t bare with the evocations of Astoria. Father and son liked exploring the Muggle world and, boy, was that one hell of a challenge at the beginning.
Airplanes were something unfamiliar to both blonde males, they intrigued and at the same time bothered them. As they soon got the grip of it all, the small family managed to go on a backpacking trip throughout Europe and eventually America as well.
The young pureblood took these journeys as an opportunity to detach himself from the world he was sometimes even sick of. He never forgot about contacting Albus. If there were a million things Scorpius grew tired of, it was never his best friend. Rose Granger-Weasley too, supposedly.

As a matter of fact, as the male explored yet another mysterious land accompanied by his father, Scorpius stumbled upon an intriguing group of people in their mid-twenties. They were chattering in a language, unknown to the sixteen-year old boy, albeit it didn’t affect their interaction much. The individuals were enjoying a calm night out, seated beneath a huge black umbrella, attached to the soil. It was raining heavily, however the wizard never seemed to mind it. It was refreshing, in a way. The valley had no access to light whatsoever, which made Scorpius kind of anxious, even though he wouldn’t admit it to himself. Soon, the strangers took notice of the Slytherin and gestured for him to come closer. He didn’t think twice as his lower limbs started moving, eventually dragging him to where the others resided. The men tried to engage a conversation, as hard as it evidently were. The teenage boy did nothing but stand awkwardly and nod from time to time, and damn, learning Latin was of absolutely no help. One of the men reached out to his pocket only to pull out something which reminded Scorpius of a cigarette. Once they lit it up, odd scent filled up the air. They started passing it to one another in the small circle they have formed, and eventually it was the blonde’s turn. He honestly had no idea how people were doing such things, he has never smoked and never expected he would be. Draco, his father, weirdly enough was a fan of cigars and usually bought a lot on their trips worldwide. His favorite were Cuban ones, if Scorpius remembers vividly. The young boy, however ceased to enjoy the smoke, the smell and felt like his lungs couldn’t take such damage. He was in a tough position though, he knew none of these people and was scared to move an inch. He took the cigarette and positioned it between his fingers, and eventually inhaled. What was followed was a fit of coughing, but soon got used to it. He inhaled a couple more times, and felt relaxation take over him.

Soon enough, Scorpius came round to realize what he was smoking back in the mentioned night, was weed. He dug around, of course, eager to learn more. Eventually, he also mastered finding it himself, discreetly obviously, as he was alert of Muggles’ laws and he couldn’t risk himself, nor his father over such business.

As time went by, the boy grew to be a frequent user of the herb, but couldn’t risk anyone finding out about what he was doing. As the Ministry of Magic has declared no legislations against the usage, Scorpius remained somewhat tranquil about the whole situation. Nevertheless, playing it on the safe side was always in his favor. Albus could never find out, hell, did he even know about the existence of marijuana?

The boy snapped out of his thoughts, as he pulled a rolled blunt and swiftly put it behind his ear. As anxious as he were, he scanned the dormitory one last time, enough to ensure himself that his roommates were all fast asleep. He then pushed the window ajar, and proceeded to light the cigarette.
He felt relaxation take over him, and that was of immense help at the end of a long and stressful day. The teenage boy had a lot of stuff on his mind and wasn’t exactly the type to easily put his feelings on display.
Not even for Albus. Yes, Albus was indeed , the one most important person in the whole universe to Scorpius. After his dad of course, they were yet to strengthen their bond, slowly albeit steadily.
The emerald-eyed boy ultimately tried his best to confront his best friend once he sensed something was off with him. In return, the latter would simply brush it off, and offer an obviously fake grin.
Their friendship was the thing Scorpius Hyperion cherished the most, and therefore he would never want to feel like a burden and annoy Albus with stuff he was supposed to figure on his own.

“I can clearly sense something is bothering you, Scorp. Won’t you talk to me for once?Just…please don’t tell me it’s Rose business again. If it is, feel free to never open your mouth again.” Green eyes had stared intensely at silver ones, arms and legs constantly brushing, as they both sat down at the Great Hall one morning back in the day, enjoying breakfast.
Scorpius clearly recalls how close their faces were, that he simply couldn't lift his gaze up from his best friend’s lips. Albus’ expression had revealed worry and slight annoyance at the same time.

“Why does my fascination with your cousin disturb you so much? Plus, she has turned me down too many times already, I’ve even lost the count. “ Scorpius had replied, scoffing and finally turning his gaze away.

Reminiscing on past events too much is certainly something Malfoy was never proud of. He tended to overdo it in peculiar hours of the night, going over the same matters, reflecting on each detail.
When it came to Rose and Albus, as far as the lanky male was aware, their relationship has never been on the good side. His best friend despised her name being mentioned in any conversation, whatsoever. She has never been quite warm towards them, as well. Despite it all, Scorpius was still attracted to her, supposedly. Albus sometimes enjoyed teasing his mate, mentioning things along the lines of Scorpius having a twisted kink for individuals who treated him like pure shit. Maybe, he was right, but Scorpius felt like boasting his best friend up was not suitable in that occasion.
Albus also had difficulties with expressing his emotions most of the times. He was never as reserved as his best friend, though. In the Potter household, he was never one to stand out, or to talk much at all. Most issues bothering him were shared with Scorpius, who was always willing to listen to Albus and provide a sufficient solution to his problems, when he needed one.
Back at home, James tended to always occupy everyone’s attention and the younger had no problem with that whatsoever. Their parents have always tried their best when it came to taking care of their children, making them feel valuable and equal to each other. The thing is, that Albus never liked cooperating. Summer vacations were spent in his room, locked and reading whatever books he had stacked on the bookshelf or whatever Scorpius decided to send him. Meanwhile, James and Lily visited all of their relatives, and evidently all of them complained about Albus constantly missing. Truth is, the boy loved his grandparents unconditionally and made sure to visit them several times in the summer at least, accompanied by Ginny and Harry.
James made excuses all the time to go and see Teddy, at one point Albus even thought his older brother went missing. He was gone for a whole month.
Nobody actually knew what they were doing, neither was it questioned.

When it came to James, he was obviously the cocky prat everyone expected him to be. Students at Hogwarts admired him for being the embodiment of the perfect son Harry Potter could ever have. Quidditch star, captain of the Gryffindor team, a prefect, excellent grades on his OWLs and NEWTs…the list goes on and on - much like the young boy’s boasting. Compared to him, Albus looked like the pathetic squib he tried so hard not to be.

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Scorpius was the only person and reason for Albus to cope with it all. Hogwarts could not be identified as a “safe” place, let alone one where he could enjoy himself, much like his father did. His siblings and cousins as well, which only made him look as an ungrateful brat.
The relationship he had with Harry and Ginny was a reserved one, although the family had a strong bond within itself. Albus was the pressing problem, as always. Partly, it was his fault as well.
Scorpius knew his friend never had it easy. The young Potter had a great and loving family, yes, but he never felt like he belonged there, he was never integrated properly. Despite the magic running through his veins, Albus wasn’t exceptionally good at any important subjects at all. Flying skills were evenly spread throughout the whole family, making him the one to stand out. He wished it could be in a good way, though. Not that he was particularly fond of attention, however it could have been positive for once.
At the end of the day, Scorpius was there for him, he never left his side and helped him get through it all.
Albus desperately wanted to be the anchor Scorpius desired as well, console him and listen to everything he had on his mind.

“Communication is the key, Scorp. I know it might be hard, hell, we’re the same when it comes to such a touchy matter. But really, I want you to talk to me. “ Albus mumbled, finally snapping back to reality.

Both males were walking towards the Great Hall on their first day of sixth year. Scorpius, however, seemed to be far, far away. The blonde was unusually quiet, and distracted.
He ignored the words Albus addressed him. Something had happened, or was happening and the young Potter wished, for once, he could read minds. Or Scorpius’ mind in particular. That would’ve been satisfactory enough.
Once they entered the Hall, Albus followed his best friend’s stare which landed directly at Rose Granger-Weasley. Nothing out of the ordinary, really. Apart from the fact that she was staring right back at the lanky male, accompanied by a playful grin.
Albus vivdly recalls how his heart sunk a little back then.