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The Checklist

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It was dirty, disgusting, and depraved.

It was also the final requirement on Rose's checklist, which meant she had to do it or she'd end up losing the seven-year challenge and would owe her best friend-slash-cousin, Roxanne, big time.

The Checklist: seven dares for seven years.

Rose and Roxanne had first come up with the idea soon after being sorted into different Houses at Hogwarts, as part of the on-going, long-standing rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin. Every year, they each dared the other to do one crazy thing—"sneak three times into Hogsmeade when you're not supposed to be there, and bring something back each time to prove you were there", "insist everyone call you Martha for the first half of the year, then switch back to your real name after Christmas break and get aggro when anyone calls you Martha thereafter", "kiss someone and include tongue", "write a number on your forehead in ink and spell it to stay there for a whole month, and tell everyone a different story as to what it means", etcetera—and they had the entire school year to accomplish the challenge. Losers had to do all summer chores for the other. To date, they'd both completed all their dares.

Except this last one.

Roxanne had finished her required dare in February, but Rose hadn't yet done hers. The school year end was only a week away. That meant the countdown was on, and so tonight would be her last, best chance to get her final checklist item completed—her last chance to prove she wasn't a child any longer, and her first chance to leap into adulthood, finally.

She was determined to finish the checklist, not just to stick it to Roxie, but also because she was tired of being teased and called frigid by her girlfriends and female relatives simply because the attention of boys usually turned her into a female version of the Cowardly Lion. Completing this final dare was her only way of proving that she'd been properly placed into the right House by the Sorting Hat.

Later tonight, when she met up her cousin for dinner in the Great Hall and reported her success in crossing off her seventh and final item—perform oral sex on someone—Roxanne, would finally have to stop referring to her as the 'Gutless Gryffindor'. Because Rose Eleanor Weasley was not lily-livered. She was merely... cautious. Yes, cautious. And a tad reserved when it came to boys, too. 'Shrewdly inhibited', she actually preferred it to be called.

Having such traits didn't mean she lacked the heart of a lioness, though. They didn't mean she was a scaredy-cat…

She stared at the lewd, open face of the glory hole in the wall between the broom closet and the men's loo and felt a tremble of fear go through her.

Oh, for Godric's sake, she was eighteen-years old and a week away from leaving her childhood firmly behind, and she was the sole daughter of two of the most famous and decorated war heroes! Her knees knocking together every time a non-related member of the opposite sex so much as smiled at her sideways was absolutely embarrassing, not to mention unsophisticated and immature. She simply had to get over this dread she had of getting close to men; in that one thing, Roxanne was entirely correct. She'd never get a date otherwise.

The glory hole was her easy ticket to conquering that anxiety. She simply had to buck-up and get on with it!

Glancing at the yawning, black opening again, though, Rose wondered if it really was the best way to go about getting what she wanted, though. Roxanne had been the one to tell her all about this little secret at Madam Puddifoot's, after all, and although she loved her cousin like the sister she'd always wanted, Roxie had also been sorted Slytherin for a reason.

Plus, the girl tended to treat sexual exploits like a sport. She'd already lost her virginity last summer, and was summarily making the rounds before school ended (she called it her 'last hurrah'). Consequently, she knew everything about sex, including some types of kink that totally shocked Rose's sensibilities.

Like the glory hole.

Installed sometime during Uncle Bill's tenure at Hogwarts, it had become a secret meeting place for students looking for a little money or stress relief or both, according to Roxanne. Apparently, Age-Discriminate, Disease, and Contraceptive spells had all been cast around the spot long ago by some enterprising youth to assure only two consenting adults could participate, and that no illnesses or pregnancy could result from whatever one got up to in here. As it was also an unspoken rule that things remain anonymous between partners on both sides of the wall, it became a relatively safe place to experiment and to get one's rocks off. Roxanne had admitted to using the hole regularly since turning eighteen this year, so she could practise her oral technique and make a little extra change on the side.

At least there was one recommendation for the place, Rose wryly thought.

The hole was as impersonal as it got, though—a cold and mechanical swap of money for services between two complete strangers, with no emotion to it at all. Rose had always believed any sexual exchange between people should, at the very least, mean something special to them both. Heart and flowers didn't need to accompany it, but sex shouldn't just be a means to an end, should it? It should be something you think back fondly upon, whether you were twenty or one-hundred and twenty, and it should be a memory that makes you smile, right?

"Geez, Rosie, it's just two people getting each other off! Why do you have to make it into such a big deal?"

No, Roxanne was most likely right: sex was purely a physical release of tension and a way to experience pleasure at the same time. It didn't need to be put up on a pedestal. It didn't need to mean anything. It certainly didn't seem to mean anything to Roxie, who changed partners as often as she changed her socks.

So, perhaps the glory hole would be best for Rose to experience at least this one of her first times, as there would be no unreasonable expectations from it, no chance for her to be embarrassed by it in the real world, and no crush for her to feel in the aftermath… there had been, for instance, after the snogging incident in the library with her former Ravenclaw study partner, Scorpius Malfoy, during their fifth year. That jerk had hurt her with his stupid, playboy shenanigans, because Rose had put more importance on her first kiss than Malfoy had. Finding out that Scorpius had been snogging Violet Zabini the very next night after he'd sent Rose to the moon with his kissing efforts and his declaration that he'd liked her and had wanted them to date had been the biggest disappointment of Rose's young life. She'd never forgiven him for it and still held a grudge (and still felt a sense of satisfaction from the memory of the very public slap across the face she'd given him in the dining hall after finding out about his treachery). If Roxanne hadn't told her what she'd accidentally walked in on between Malfoy and Zabini, Rose might never have known the truth.

An unfortunate by-product of that event had been that ever since, Rose had been shy around boys, mostly untrusting of their motives. So, maybe in her case, the glory hole's anonymity really was the best way to help her overcome her issues and protect her feelings at the same time.

Yes, the more she thought about it, the better Roxanne's pitch about the advantages of using this space for her purposes sounded. Today, Rose would get over the childish, overly-romantic notions of sex she'd painted in her mind (thanks to her parent's fairytale-like relationship and the years she'd pined after Malfoy), she'd be able to check off her final dare from the list, and she would be able to look at the subject of sex objectively from now on, with a new maturity, like an adult. Like Roxanne.

She glanced back at the hole and wondered what her first (and only) customer would look like. Would she like what she saw, or be so traumatized by the ugliness that she ran screaming for the hills?

It wasn't as if she were a complete prude. She'd seen photographs of the male anatomy plenty of times; this last summer, Roxanne had swiped from Uncle Bill's house a Muggle porn mag that had featured men and women having all kinds of sex. Rose had studied those photos with a secret hunger and often used the memory of those images when touching herself in her dorm bed, late at night. She knew enough from the magazine what oral sex looked like at different stages, too, and intended to replicate today what she'd seen between those pages. She just hoped her first… cock (say it)… wasn't too ugly or worse, unclean. She'd have to come back another day if she encountered either of those issues.

Her fingers measured the open slot where Galleons were slipped in from the opposite side to pay for the anonymous services received by those kneeling precisely where she was standing. Standard fare, according to Roxanne, was five Galleons for a blow that ended in a handjob, eight for a facial cumshot, and ten if you took his release in your mouth. If a man slipped any extra Galleons into the slot, it meant he wanted you to turn around and drop your knickers for a go at one of your other holes. The price for any requested "exotic service" was negotiable. Any request could be denied, of course.

Despite Roxanne's goading, Rose would accept no more than ten Galleons tonight, as there would only be the one experience and absolutely no penetration of any orifice aside from her mouth. The whole purpose of tonight was merely for her to finish her Checklist and to win the dare Roxanne had put to her. She didn't intend on making the glory hole into a career or an opportunity for her reputation's ruin, for Circe's sake.

Sitting her bum down on the supplied stool, she waited for her client to appear, sipping from a tankard of room-temperature water to keep her mouth moist, as Roxanne had recommended. Hydration was, apparently, key for giving a good blowjob.

It didn't take long. Within the first hour, her client arrived on the other side of the wall. Rose could hear the rustle of his clothing, and then the shiny 'clink' of coins being deposited into the slot. Setting her tankard down on a small side table, Rose leaned forward and scooped up the Galleons, counting them out.

Five. A five-fingered ending it was, then.

Was it weird that she was disappointed?

When the man's cock appeared through the hole, her eyes flew wide with disbelief. It was already fully erect, long and relatively thick, clean, and quite astonishingly beautiful (thank Godric, Circe, and Merlin all!). It was nestled among a thatch of dark gold hair that was, when she reached up to run her fingers through it, quite a bit softer than her own in the same place.

Trembling, but shoring up her courage again (be a Gryffindor!), she wrapped her fingers gently around the straining length. The skin was soft, but beneath the surface, it was like iron. With careful consideration she traced the underside with her thumb, letting her fingers lightly skim over the top, fascinated by the ivory smoothness in her grasp.

The man on the other side of the divide groaned.

Quickly, she moved her hand off, concerned she'd hurt him. "S-sorry!" she squeaked, to her ears sounding like a frightened first year Hufflepuff, and once again that niggling doubt crept up in her mind: maybe Roxanne had been correct and the Sorting Hat hadn't picked the right House for her after all. "Gutless Gryffindor" just might be right!

A lingering pause ensued, where Rose considered whether to abandon this entire idea and admit defeat or to press on, all her earlier mental convincing flying right out the window now that she was face to… head with the thing.

Her client seemed to sense her hesitancy, and to her surprise, actually tried to assuage her doubts. "You didn't hurt me. What you were doing felt really good."

His voice was magically disguised so there was no telling his identity, the clever devil. Rose cursed herself for not thinking of the same thing before setting her wand aside earlier. Now, it sat on the other side of the room, tossed into that bottomless pit of a satchel she carried around, and it seemed too much a bother to get up to get it. Besides, she worried she'd chase the man off if she began rooting around in her bag while he stood there with his todger swinging in the wind, waiting.

She'd just have to artificially change the pitch of her voice, maybe lowering it to sound sexy or something. Clearing her throat, she said in a deeper and huskier tone, "Did it really?"

"Absolutely," he replied straight away, as if anxious to convince her. "I'd really like you to continue, if you would."

His polite manners and odd sincerity made her cheeks heat. "O-okay," she agreed, and reached up to take him in hand again.

"Do just what you were doing before, only all over," he instructed. "I liked that, to start."

Given blanket permission to explore, her fingers glided over him again, feeling the muscle under the skin flex, causing his rod to twitch and another of those low, masculine groans to escape his lips. The sound made her shiver with pleasure.

When she lightly brushed her nails over the ring of the thick, swollen crown, tracing its shape, he gasped. "Ah, Merlin, don't stop!"

Empowered by his encouraging words and sounds, and by the way his prick tightened and seemed to almost reach for her touch, Rose stroked over him from tip to base, and then caressed the heavy, tight sac underneath.

"Gently," he cautioned as she weighed them in her palm. "They're very sensitive."

As she caressed and rolled the twin weights in her hand, his cock began leaking a clear fluid from the rosy tip. Roxanne had told her all about pre-come—the trickling release signalling a man's heightened arousal, designed to make penetration into a woman's sex easier and more comfortable for them both.

"It's usually a little salty tasting, sometimes even bitter, but not bad overall. Not like actual come which can taste awful, especially if the guy is a smoker or heavy drinker or if he eats a lot of meat, that sort of thing. Come tends taste like what a bloke puts into his body. It's the same for women."

She hadn't asked how Roxanne had known that last bit; some secrets were best left unknown.

Her client gasped again, and this time he actually hummed in enjoyment. "Gods, that feels so good. I could come so easily, just from you touching me like this."

In that moment, Rose began to realise that here was power—simply by holding him in her palm and giving him satisfaction, she owned this man right then and there. He'd given himself to her, and would say whatever she required him to say, even pay her extra she was sure, if she promised to bring him to a spectacular finish. And she hadn't even put her mouth on him yet.

Maybe this is what Roxanne enjoyed about the glory hole: the power over others it gave her. It would certainly be something her Slytherin-sorted cousin would believe. What it gave to Rose, however, was a nudge of bravery and an emotional fulfilment that went bone deep. She—the only Gryffindor in history to lack a reckless kind of courage—was taking a chance and doing something crazy for once, and in the process bringing someone else pleasure. This stranger on the other side of the wall was putting his trust in her not to abuse him, and that bolstered her confidence.

"I'd love for you to lick me," he bade in a sexy whisper. "Will you put those pretty lips around me and suck?"

"Sure," she whispered, lifting him to her mouth and blowing cool air on him to tease. "It's what you came here for, isn't it?"

He moaned. "Yes… undeniably, yes." He paused, seemed to consider what he wanted to say. "But is it what you really came here for?"

She stroked him, using the excuse of keeping him erect and on edge to give herself time to come up with a good reply. "I… I came here to learn how to be brave."

"Then be brave," he urged her, and reached into the hole to place his hand over hers. He had lovely hands, well-manicured with long fingers, no callouses. They were the hands of a scholar or a duelist, not a Quidditch jock. "Take me like no one has before."

Her head rocked back on her shoulders. "You mean, you haven't done this either?"

"First time," he admitted.

"Get out."

"No, really. I was waiting. I wanted it to be…" He trailed off, clearly embarrassed to continue.

"Special?" she dared to ask, and felt that diminished spark in her chest light up. Was it possible she'd been wrong, that at least as far as first times go they should mean something?

His fingers entwined with hers and together, they started stroking him again. "Yes, that."

"And you think this fits the definition? I'm an anonymous stranger and you're paying for me to perform a sex act on you. Where's the intimacy in that?"

"It's just you and me here, and no one else around," he reminded her. "That's intimate. And what you're making me feel right now is singularly exceptional. I certainly won't forget this first time. Will you?"

Well, when he put it that way… "No. No, I don't think I'll ever forget today." Just coming here to the glory hole and agreeing to go forward with this crazy plan had definitely changed her, and now, knowing she would be responsible for this man's first oral pleasuring did all sorts of exciting things to her. She felt as hungry about doing this now as she had about looking at Uncle Bill's dirty magazine and then touching herself between her legs. A ravenous, greedy need ignited within.

Her first and his… together.

God, she was definitely doing this! Nothing could turn her away now!

He gave her hand a little squeeze. "Then let's make this first time for both of us a memory filled with pleasure and a sense of accomplishment, shall we?"

Something about those words, about the inflection in his altered voice, it was alarmingly familiar in the back of her brain, but she just couldn't quite place it. Did she know this man, or was he just some random stranger stopping over in Hogsmeade who'd heard about the glory hole and had wanted to try it out?

Regardless, it was time to put up or shut up, as Roxanne might say. Time for this Gryffindor to go the proud route of all her Weasley ancestors and throw caution to the wind!

Leaning forward, she opened her mouth and took him between her lips. Her tongue slid over the tight, rounded head of the stranger's cock, lapping up its pearly pre-release. To her delight, it wasn't all that salty, not in the least bit bitter, and tasted absolutely delicious. Her client moaned again in that deep, husky tone, setting her thighs to trembling. The skin of his cock was unlike anything she'd ever tasted, silken and smooth as it slid across her tongue and into the depths of her mouth.

As she pulled back, she very gently let her teeth scrape against his skin.

"Oh, Merlin, that's..." He let out a heavy, shaky breath. "That is far better than I'd ever imagined. Do it again."

She did, and then alternated her technique with every downward glide, sucking so hard she hollowed her cheeks one time, only to take the next mouthful in a playful, light hold, allowing her tongue to tickle it. She utilized all the information contained within Uncle Bill's porn magazine to give it a good go, from the written descriptions to the actual visual aids. With each pass of her mouth over his cock, each gasp from the wizard she now utterly controlled, she became bolder, until she was brave enough to begin playing with him, prolonging the experience for them both. She lapped over the tip of him, sucked his balls into her mouth, and learned all his magic spots by touch.

He was shaking, panting, begging her for release soon, and finally, she gave it to him. With a firm grip around his reddened, desperate cock, she stroked while sucking fast, concentrating on just underneath the head as it seemed to stimulate him the most. He jerked, thrust, and with a final shout, his cock kicked in her hand and he climaxed.

Rose clamped her thighs together, trying to contain her own arousal as she watched him spurt all over the place. His exhilaration was loud and lusty as he released, and the knowledge that she had made him lose such control, despite her obvious inexperience, emboldened her to give him a happy ending the likes of which he wouldn't soon forget. She wrapped her lips around the head of him and sucked the last of his ejaculate into her mouth, letting her tongue wriggly around his head.

"Oh, my god," her client gasped with pleasure. "Fuck!"

He was hot and gooey and salty, and she swallowed him down without regret.

In truth, Rose had never felt more accomplished or proud in her whole life. Her first blow-job had been a rousing success—literally. Hell, she didn't even care about any form of extra payment for taking him down her throat. It would be a freebie for him helping her learn how to suck cock, as well as for being so sweet to her throughout the experience.

Godric, she thought as she let him go and watched him tuck himself away, it was too bad she couldn't know his name. He'd seemed decent, considering. And if she were absolutely honest with herself, she'd found it extremely arousing to know she'd been his first, too. How neat would it be to share more firsts with him?

"That was absolutely brilliant, love, but… you didn't have to do that last bit," he said, sounding satisfied, and tired, and a little embarrassed. "I didn't initially pay you for that service. Here."

Through the rather sizable hole in the wall, she could see his hand slip into his front trouser pocket, and the clink of coins could be heard from within. She could just picture him blushing cutely on the other side of the wall as he withdrew them and counted them out.

"You don't have to," she told him, reaching through the wall and placing her hand over his. "It was… my pleasure."

He paused. "Are you sure? Because I took the utmost pleasure from that as well, and it wouldn't be right not to offer."

She laughed and gave his wrist a little squeeze. His skin was soft, well-moisturized. His hands looked like they could do modelling gigs in front of the camera for Muggle jewellery and soap commercials on the telly. Definitely, he was the scholarly type, probably a little nerdy, too. Cute! She preferred such guys, honestly.

"It's fine, really. And thank you for making it nice for me, too. I liked it, especially when you gave me the freedom to experiment. It wasn't scary, either. I thought it would be, but you made me comfortable once we got started."

"Really?" He sounded as if he took a little pride in her words.

"Yes, I was terrified of doing this, honestly. I mean, we're strangers and it was my first time, and I don't exactly have a lot of courage when it comes to boys anyway, but you made it easy and fun. And, honestly, you're… umm, wow. Quite handsome and… you taste good."

Did that sound weird?

Her cheeks felt hot admitting such things.

His hand came through the hole and he laced their fingers together. "You're an amazing woman." He drew her arm further through the hole and then she felt his lips kiss her knuckles, her fingertips. When he drew one finger into his mouth and gently sucked upon it, swirling his tongue over every inch, Rose's whole body clenched with a rush of hot, mad desire. An inarticulate sound of wanting, something between a moan and a gasp, escaped her lips. With her free hand, she cupped herself under her skirt as he continued to tease her hand with his wet, slick tongue, mimicking oral sex by tickling the web of flesh between two of her fingers.

Lord, she was damp enough to feel her juices through the fabric of her knickers! Later, when she returned to the castle, she was going to have to take care of that.

He let her go when she moaned again, and she quickly pulled her arm back through the hole and sat back, trembling and needing her own release.

"I hope someday you'll allow me to reciprocate such pleasure."

A small piece of paper came through the coin slot. It was folded up.

"If you want to know who I am, I've written my name there for you. I hope you'll decide to take it and read it, and then come find me. I'd really like to do this again and more with you… Rose."

In a flash, he was gone. The door on his side shut with a firm click behind him, and Rose was left at ground zero, frozen with fear and sick with indecision.


Had he guessed who she was from her voice or had he known all along she'd be in here? The former, maybe, but the latter was impossible. Only Roxanne had known…


Her cousin had set this whole thing up, hadn't she? She'd been so insistent that the glory hole was the most efficient and profitable way to complete Rose's dare, spouting on about it for weeks, selling Rose on the idea, and all the while, she'd been arranging for Rose's client to be here, too! Because, really, there was not a chance in hell that today's meeting had been happenstance; the stranger had known Rose, specifically, would be the servicing witch behind the glory hole on this particular day, and he'd come here to get his cock sucked by her. The fact that he'd had a piece of paper made up in advance with his name on it to give to her practically proved it!

Roxanne had arranged the whole thing... but for what purpose?

One thing was certain: Rose was going to find out!

She eyed the piece of folded paper sitting in the coin slot for a heartbeat, and then snatched it up, placing it inside her robe's inner pocket.

And once she was done with her devious cousin, maybe she'd hunt down Mister Wonderful from today, and demand he tell her his real reason for coming here. He'd said he'd waited to give this first to someone special. That meant, he knew her and he'd purposefully picked her for today's experience. Why?

That was the real question of the hour, wasn't it?

Roxanne hadn't been too difficult to find. Rose had simply followed the trail of broken hearts her beautiful and cunning cousin left in her wake.

"You're a menace, Roxie," she said to her best girlfriend, who was lying back on Rose's bed in her dorm when she returned to Gryffindor Tower that evening. "Poor Thaddeus Nott is crying his eyes out down in the Entrance Hall again, Elwood Macmillan is swearing up a storm on the moving stairs and scandalizing the portraits, and Tom Longbottom is downstairs in my common room pacing like a caged lion denied his mate!" She shoved Roxanne's feet off her clean blankets. "And how many times have I told you not to come up here without me? You freak my roommates out, you snake."

Roxanne hissed at her like a serpent, and then broke into gales of pretty laughter.

It was always something of a surprise to people who didn't know Roxie that she, the most beautiful girl in Hogwarts, would also turn out to also be the one with the most Weasley talent for troublemaking. Behind that delicate, refined bone-structure and lovely, golden-brown eyes lay a heart and mind dedicated to trickery. She was definitely her father's daughter in that respect. As far as leaving the boys sighing for more... well, Rose had been told by her mum that Aunt Angelina had been every boy's fancy at least once during her years at school—and then they'd meet her in rivalry across the Quidditch pitch and run home crying to mum. Roxanne garnered the same reaction from boys, only playing a different kind of sport. Hence her Slytherin sorting.

"So, how'd it go?" her cousin asked, tossing Rose a smug smirk.

"Oh, fine," Rose said offhandedly. On the way up to the castle, she'd formulated a plan for getting even with her bestie. If there was one thing that could drive Roxie absolutely spare, it was when she didn't receive the reaction she'd planned, so Rose played the set-up at Madam Puddifoot's off with an absent-minded wave, as if she were totally indifferent to it. "So, I have an idea for what I'd like to do with my hair for the graduation ball. I want to do something radical to mark the occasion."

Roxanne sat up, frowning at Rose's clear refusal to participate in a discussion about the events at the glory hole. "Just fine?"

"Yes, that's what I said." Rose fingered through her long, curly strands and headed towards the vanity mirror her roommate, Jenny Bell, had installed on the wall next to her bed. "It's so heavy, and I've worn it this way forever. I was thinking of a pixie cut. What do you think?"

Her cousin stood up and marched over to her with fisted hands, clearly annoyed. Rose almost sniggered at her cousin's incensed reflection in the mirror, but bit her bottom lip, holding back her amusement for the sake of the play.

"Just FINE?! It wasn't great, wonderful, abso-fucking-awesome?"

Rose waved her hand again as if it were no matter. "Maybe a pixie cut might be a tad too dramatic. What do you think about a bob, instead?"

"Rosie, you'd better be lying, because that wanker said he'd make it good for both of you. I wouldn't have allowed him to be the bid winner otherwise!"

A-ha! The cat was out of the bag... and out the window and over the fence!

She turned on her cousin, baring teeth. "You witch! You auctioned away my first oral to the entire male student body, didn't you?"

Roxanne realised a bit too late just how much she'd let slip. "Er... not the entire group, no."

Rose raised her wand and gently tapped Roxanne on the side of the head with it twice, reminding her cousin that she, Rose, was the better Legillimance, and making it clear she'd pull the memory out if she necessary. She'd done as much before.

"Just our class," Roxie admitted.

Rose rolled her eyes and crossed the room to her bed, throwing herself down upon it. "Lord, my reputation is ruined now! Thanks a lot!"

Her best friend came and sat at her side, patting her hand. "It was a silent auction, if that helps."

Screaming into her pillow, Rose made it clear that it was not helpful information, no. "You absolute bitch!" she moaned into the cushion. "I should murder you for this!"

"Hey, hey, I'll have you know that I intentionally nudged a certain someone into bidding highest just for you, because I know the two of you are perfect for each other!" Roxanne sniffed. "You should be thanking me right now. You got to suck the cock of—"

"I DON'T WANT TO KNOW!" Rose countered quickly, rolling over and slapping a hand up and over Roxie's mouth. "Don't you dare tell me!" She sat up. "If I wanted his identity... He gave me a piece of paper all folded up. Inside he's written his name. He said that if I wanted to know who he was, I could read it." She took the paper out of her robe pocket and looked at it. It was still unopened. "I'm not sure I want to know, though."

Roxanne pressed her lips together, as if she were annoyed. "Why the hell not? Didn't you like what you two did?"

"Well, yes. I liked it a lot, actually."

"That's way better than fucking 'fine'. You know it was his first time getting sucked off, too? At least, that's what he told me. That made it special, didn't it?"

Rose's heart skipped. There was that word again: special.

And it had been that, she could admit. She'd shared something profound with her first and only customer at the glory hole. It was definitely an experience she'd never forget. In that much, she hadn't lied.

"Yes, and yes."

Roxanne bumped her with her shoulder as they sat side-by-side on the bed, legs dangling off the edge. "So?" She nudged her chin towards the paper in Rose's hand. "Open it and find out who your Prince Charming is. Then, you two can go off and shag properly like cute, little bunnies and someday make pretty babies together. What's the problem?"

Rose was scared, that was the problem. She'd had a lot of time to think on her way back from Hogsmeade, and considering all the variables, she'd narrowed down the possible identity of the man behind the wall to three names. Of them, she was heavily leaning towards one in particular, and that name terrified her. Because if she was right...

Godric, if Scorpius Malfoy had been the young man behind the wall, she wasn't sure how to handle that news. He'd already burned her once, and that had set off a chain reaction of mistrust for all other non-related boys over the last two years. That mistrust had morphed into a kind of strange fear of his gender as a result, leading to her always running away from them anytime she saw that gleam of interest in their eyes. If it turned out that he had been today's mystery man, could she trust anything he'd said to her as being true or just something said in the moment?

Also, there lay the very real possibility that he'd only gone through with the auction and the meeting at Madam Puddifoot's looking for revenge against her for the slight she'd done him in front of the whole school two years ago. If that turned out to be the case, she'd be hurt by him again.

Closing her eyes, she scrunched up the paper in her fist, and told her best friend everything.

"And what if it turns out Malfoy's been waiting to apologise to you for the last two years?" Roxanne asked, once Rose had bared her soul. "That he's wanted to tell you so many times that what I saw that night in the library was a jealous and desperate Violet Zabini kissing him, and not the other way around, and that after I left, he'd set Violet straight that you and he were officially dating. That he'd had his heart broken when you'd dumped him flat in front of the entire school the very next day, and he hadn't even known why. That every time he'd approached you to talk about it afterwards, you'd run the other direction, refusing to even look him in the eye. That he's been in love with you since first year, too, and has been trying to tell you that, Rosie, but you just wouldn't give him the chance."

Rose didn't think it was possible for a heart to stop and start so many times in the span of a minute without conking out permanently, but she was sure that when Roxanne finally stopped speaking, there were spots in front of her eyes and she was close to passing out. "Air, I need air," she gasped and with Roxie's help, made it to the sole window in the room and opened it. The warm, early summer breeze blew in, helping her regain some of her composure.

"Will you open the paper now?" Roxanne prodded once Rose had caught her breath and her jelly-jinxed knees returned to normal.

Sighing, Rose opened her hand and looked at the crumpled wad again. "Just tell me, was it you or my... client that came up with the glory hole scheme?"

Her cousin laughed, and it was delightfully wicked a sound. Truly witchy. "Oh, that was all me. But you can bet your little, freckled bottom that your boy bribed me well to make sure his name came out on top."

It was definitely Malfoy she'd... serviced today, then. Had to be. No one else made as much sense.

And he'd really wanted her, and not for revenge, it seemed. He wanted her enough to brave Roxanne's web of deceit just to get the chance to be with her again. And he'd been decent to her today. Lovely, in fact. Just like that evening in the library, when they'd kissed.

Maybe she could trust this, trust him again. Maybe it was time to stop being so afraid and just try.

Rose glanced sideways at her best friend and shook her head. "You're incorrigible."

Roxanne stretched, her naughty grin as wide as her outstretched arms. "Well, sure. I can afford to be now. Literally!"

Shaking her head, Rose kicked her cousin out of her dormitory. Then, once Roxanne was well on her way down to her own common room in the dungeons, Rose took a deep breath, grabbed hold of her Gryffindor courage, and opened the paper, settling the issue of who her mystery man really was... and letting go of being 'gutless' at long last.

She found him in the Restricted Section of the library, of course.

Full circle.

Malfoy watched her cross over to him, so still she could almost swear he didn't breathe or blink. The book he'd been perusing was open in the middle, but lay forgotten in his arms.

"Hi," she greeted him.

He slammed the book shut and quickly set it aside. "Er, hi," he replied, straightening his robes. "How... how are you?"

For some reason, Rose was inordinately pleased that he was this nervous. It made her feel powerful knowing he fancied her as much as she still fancied him.

Taking him in from head to toe, she noted his well-manicured, elegant hands nervously fiddled with his shirt cuffs. The traditional Malfoy family ring, which he'd been wearing since he came of age was back on his right ring finger, she noted. He'd obviously taken it off when he'd gone to Madam Puddifoot's, hiding it from her so she wouldn't identify him right off the bat.

Godric, she had a thing for smart guys!

Closing the distance between then, she raised her arms and encircled his neck, letting her hands drift into his soft, platinum hair. "I'd be better with a little reciprocation," she admitted. In case he was in doubt as to what she'd meant, she rubbed the front of her body against his.

His answering erection was instant and persistent against her covered core.

"I can definitely do that for you. Anytime you want," he said. Sliding his hands around her waist, he pulled Rose completely into his embrace. "This feels nice and familiar."

"Mmm," she agreed. "I like it better than interacting through a silly hole in the wall. It's more intimate this way. Special."

Scorpius' smile crinkled the corners of his eyes. "I can think of other intimate and special things we could be doing right now." He licked his lips, and the sight of that pink tip wetting his mouth made all kinds of things in Rose's lower abdomen and thighs go tight with want. "I've been dying to try them out with you for years, Rose. Want to give it another go?"

"Exactly my thoughts," she admitted, rising up on tiptoe as his mouth moved downwards to meet hers.

Losing her virginity right there on a chair in the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts library later that night to Scorpius Malfoy, secreted behind a strong wall of Silencing and Disillusionment wards and only days before graduation, would have been dirty, disgusting, and depraved to most girls.

To Rose Eleanor Weasley, however, it had been an intimate, special, and symbolic choice—it was the place she'd given up her first kiss to this same boy, her first love, and so it became the perfect place and time to leave her childhood and its silly dares and checklists behind once and for all.

And there definitely wasn't anything prudish or frigid about any of it, either!