Rose and Albus were in the library. They have been having this same conversation for the past ten minutes, and it was getting rather old. Albus was begging Rose to accept the date from Bryan Finnigan, the abnormally mean boy from the boat ride to Hogwarts. He and Albus shared a dormitory, and became good friends over the past five years. Bryan must have told him about how he asked Rose out on a date to Hogsmeade this Saturday, and how she responded by laughing in his face and walking away.
“Rose, he’s changed! I promise!”
“I highly doubt that,” Rose murmured, continuing with her homework.
“You only know him from the boat ride we had five years ago!” Albus whined. “He’s grown up!”
“I don’t think someone can grow out of being a prick, Albus.”
“Rose!” Albus hollered, startling the other patrons of the library. Albus lowered his head, embarrassed, before continuing. “First, please don’t talk about him like that. He’s one of my best friends. And second, please, please just give him a shot,” he pleaded. “He’s been bugging me non-stop about this and it’s driving me insane.”
Rose snorted. “I’m sorry he’s driving you crazy, but I was put in Ravenclaw for a reason. I’m clever enough to know that going on a date with him would be a terrible idea.”
Albus huffed, and crossed his arms. He tapped his foot, annoyed, while Rose continued with her homework. Rose felt his glare on her, and looked up to glower back. When she looked at him, though, she saw his expression change from irritated to mischievous.
Before she could finish her sentence, however, her homework was stolen right out from under her by her cousin.
She sighed. “Albus, give it back.”
He smiled evilly. “No.”
Rose sighed again. “I can just write another essay, you know.”
Albus seemed to think on that for a second, before slowly reaching under the table to Rose’s right. Before she could realize what he was doing and stop him, he snatched her entire backpack and sat on it.
“Albus!” Rose scolded. “Stop being so childish!”
“No,” he said again, wiggling around on his seat. Rose could hear inkwells rolling on the bottom of her backpack. She knew that if Albus continued to shuffle around like that, they would burst open and every school supply in that bag would be ruined.
“Stop,” she pleaded. “You’re going to break everything with your big butt.”
“Say you’ll go out with him.”
“Come on, Rose,” Albus said, stopping his wiggling. “One afternoon with the bloke won’t kill you.”
“You never know…”
Albus wiggled once again, and she heard a slight crack.
“All right!” she whispered, trying to stop him. “I’ll go on one stupid date with him.”
“Thank you!” Albus sighed with relief and handed Rose her essay and backpack. “And don’t flake, please.”
Rose glared at her cousin. “I keep my word,” she replied through gritted teeth.
As Rose rummaged through her backpack to make sure that nothing was broken, she heard a quiet shuffling from a table somewhere behind a stack of book that she was sitting next to. She looked up and thought that she saw a flash of silvery-blonde hair. Before she could examine further, she saw a burst of light zoom past her face. She looked at Albus, who was absent-mindedly twirling his wand so quickly that red sparks had begun to fly out of the tip.
“Stop!” Rose demanded. “You’re going to set the whole library on fire!”
Albus stopped what he was doing and looked at his wand, unaware of the sparks. He then looked at Rose, and shrugged.
Rose groaned and laid her forehead on the table in front of her. “I hate you, Al.”
“I love you too, Rosie posey,” Albus laughed.
“You’re going on a date with a guy you despise?” Cici asked flabbergasted. “And here I was, thinking you had some sort if intelligence about you.”
“Al was holding my stuff hostage with his behind, what else was I supposed to do?” Rose muttered angrily, sitting on a couch in the common room with Cici and Chessie.
“Hm, you know, you have a point there, Rose,” Chessie said. “I mean, I have no idea what I would have done if I were in your situation. Oh, well, except use magic. But psh, why do something that’s all ready been done?” Chessie looked innocently at Rose’s stunned face.
“I…” Rose began, trying to think of some sort of logical explanation as to why she didn’t think of using magic. “I… I… I’m an idiot,” she finished with a smack to her forehead.
“Yeah,” Chessie smiled.
“Just flake on him,” Cici yawned, stretching her arms above her head.
“I can’t,” Rose said miserably. “I told Al I would keep my word.”
Chessie and Cici shook their heads at her. “Well, have fun with a jerk,” Cici resigned.
“Wait,” Chessie exclaimed, sitting up straighter. “What about Scorpius?”
“What about him?” Rose muttered darkly.
Ever since the revelation about Scorpius’ attempted trip to the stars, things were very quiet between them again. She made every effort to talk to him, trying to pretend that he never told her anything, but he wouldn’t respond. He merely ignored her at all costs. He wouldn’t look at her or even reply to her questions about homework. She only saw him in the common room, and in their classes. And maybe also at the Quidditch matches, and sometimes when she was in the library working with Albus.
“I don’t know,” Rose continued. “Maybe this date will help me get my mind off of Scorpius for once.”
“So you admit that you have been thinking about him non-stop for five years straight.”
“Cici, you’re a sweetheart,” Rose said, rolling her eyes and getting up to walk to her dormitory. This was going to be a troubling weekend…
Rose trudged out of the Great Hall after breakfast the following Saturday, her eyes averted to the Great Hall ceiling.
“I hate my cousin, I hate my cousin, I hate my cou--”
“Hello, Rose,” she heard a smooth voice greet. She looked down and saw Bryan smiling at her.
Bryan laughed a bit awkwardly and walked closer to her. “Listen, I know I was a jerk the last time we spoke, which was, admittedly, a very long time ago.” He looked her sincerely in the eyes. “But I promise you that I’ve changed. I’ve grown up and matured a bit, and I’m going to show you that today.” He offered his arm to her so she could hook hers through it.
“We’ll see,” Rose said as she walked past him and out the doors of Hogwarts. She wasn’t going to fall for his charm like she knew many of the other girls in the school did.
She looked over her shoulder to see if Bryan was coming and found that he was several steps behind her. She stopped in the courtyard to wait for him to catch up when she saw a peculiar sight—Scorpius Malfoy. He was walking on the other side of the courtyard, towards the gates of Hogwarts. To many, this would seem like a normal thing to see on a Hogsmeade weekend. However, Rose knew that the two years they had been permitted to go to Hogsmeade, he had never gone.
“Sorry,” Bryan apologized after catching up. “I had to tie my shoe. Shall we?” Instead of presenting his arm, he extended it towards the path, allowing her to walk first.
Rose nodded and began to walk. As they travelled into Hogsmeade, Bryan talked about his success in Quidditch, about why he hated classes, and how he and his friends pull stupid pranks on each other. Rose merely nodded and made “Mhm” noises, but never contributed to the conversation.
When they arrived in the village, Bryan asked, “Where would you like to go first?”
“I need a few new quills, so I suppose we can visit Scrivenshafts,” Rose said, walking towards the store. Bryan began to make a noise of protest, but Rose marched away too quickly to hear him. When she entered the store, she found hundreds of quills in different shapes and sizes. She loved this store. She knew it was ridiculous, but she could spend hours searching through the quills, examining the craftsmanship that went into creating each one.
While searching through the boxes of quills near the window, something shiny caught her attention. She looked out the window to see Scorpius walking up the street. She watched him until he went out of view. What’s he doing?
After an exaggeratingly long time in the store (mainly to annoy Bryan, but she wasn’t going to admit that), they exited the shop.
“How about a trip to Honeydukes?” Bryan asked, with a pleading look in his eyes.
“Yes, I suppose that would be acceptable,” Rose quipped, and began walking towards the shop. She heard Bryan sigh behind her, and continued to walk.
When she entered Honeydukes, the first sight she saw was Scorpius Malfoy, looking intently at the price of Cockroach Clusters. He glanced up after a few seconds and saw her watching him, and immediately put the snack down and left the store.
“Wow, I’ve always loved the smell of this store,” Bryan said, breathing deeply as he walked into the store, passing Scorpius on the way.
Rose sighed and walked through the store, randomly picking things up and putting them back down, and ignoring everyone. What in the world is he doing?
“Rose,” Bryan started, “would you like to go to the Three Broomsticks?” Rose nodded, still lost in her thoughts, and followed him out the door.
When they arrived at the crowded Three Broomsticks, Rose was still lost in her thought, and didn’t even realize that she passed Scorpius, who was sitting by the front door sipping a butterbeer.
Rose sat down at the table Bryan chose and chewed on her lip while she thought.
Why, out of all of the times he could have come to Hogsmeade, did he decide to come today?”
What is his problem? Why won’t he just talk to me?
Rose looked up, startled. Bryan was sitting in front of her, waving his hand in front of her face.
“Yes?”she responded, shaking herself from her reveries.
Bryan sighed and handed her the butterbeer she wasn’t aware that he ordered for her. “I have to say, Rose, that you haven’t given me a fair chance today.”
“What?” she asked, still slightly distracted.
“You’ve gone on this date with me, but you haven’t really been here the whole time. You’re either off thinking about something, or being rather short with me. So, it bears repeating, I do not think you’ve given me a fair chance to show you that I have changed today,” Bryan explained.
Rose looked away from him, not wanting to confess that her dazing and unwanted attention on the young Malfoy was contributing to a less than stellar date. She wanted to hate Bryan. She wanted to blame him and be mean to him and just think of him as the stupid boy that was on her first boat ride to Hogwarts. But when she looked back at him and saw the sad smile on his face, she knew that she couldn’t do those things, and had to take the blame. “You’re right,” she admitted. “You’re absolutely right. I apologize.”
Bryan gave her one of his heart-melting smiles. “No harm done,” he laughed. “How about we take a walk up to the Shrieking Shack and have an actual conversation.”
“Sounds lovely,” Rose smiled back at him as they stood up to leave.
On the walk up to the Shrieking Shack, Rose talked about her parents and Uncle Harry and the different stories they had told her about their days at Hogwarts. Bryan would chime in with what his father told him about her family when he could and they would laugh at the crazy situations the now-adults found themselves in. Rose had to admit, Bryan was a pretty savvy conversationalist.
“You see?” Bryan questioned, leaning against a fence once they reached the outskirts of the Shrieking Shack. “I’m not so bad, am I?”
“Well, you’ve certainly improved in the past five years,” Rose laughed. “You haven’t glared at anyone or called me a slut yet, so this definitely trumps our last encounter.”
Bryan sighed and swept the ground with his foot. “I’m really sorry about that. I was young and stupid and full of myself.” Bryan began to slowly walk closer to her. “I hope that you can fully forgive me of being so foolish.”
Rose watch as Bryan walked up to her and stopped when he was mere inches away. He took her hand in his and linked their fingers together. “Um…” was the only reply she could think of at that moment.
“I’m glad that you agreed to go on this date with me, Rose, because for a long time I’ve been wanting to do this,” Bryan whispered. He closed his eyes and began to lean in.
I don’t know if I want this! Rose thought in a panic. It’s just happening so fast and—
Suddenly, footsteps could be heard coming up the path to the Shrieking Shack. She turned to see who it was, causing Bryan to kiss her cheek instead of her lips.
She didn’t know why, but she was surprised to see Scorpius walking up the path, his gaze on the ground. When he looked up to see the Shrieking Shack, he seemed genuinely surprised to see Rose and Bryan.
“Oh, I beg your pardon,” he said, backing away. “Excuse me.”
Bryan released Rose’s hand and huffed. “Hold it, Malfoy!” he growled at the retreating back of Scorpius. Scorpius stopped and turned around, waiting for Bryan to continue. “What’s your problem?”
“I was unaware that I had a problem,” Scorpius said.
“You’ve been following us around all day!” Bryan shouted as he began walking towards Scorpius. “I doubt Rose has noticed, but every place we’ve gone today, you’ve been only a few steps behind.”
“I apologize for any inconvenience I may have caused you,” Scorpius said, though Rose could detect heavy sarcasm in his apology. “I didn’t mean to ruin your day with my presence.”
Bryan reached Scorpius and grabbed the lapels of his jacket. “How about you shove off, stalker, before I make your life hell.”
Scorpius did nothing to defend himself. He remained in his spot while Bryan glared at him menacingly.
“Bryan, stop!” Rose shouted and ran over to Bryan and Scorpius.
“Stay out of this, Rose!” Bryan yelled. “This is between me and Malfoy!”
Rose grabbed one of Bryan’s arms and tried to pry him off of Scorpius. “So much for changing, Bryan! You’re the same stupid boy you were five years ago.”
“I said to stay out of it, Rose!” Bryan shouted and began to shake the arm that Rose was holding. He successfully unhinged her, and subsequently made her lose her balance. She fell to the ground, landing with an umph!
The next several seconds sent waves of shock through Rose. She watched as Scorpius seemed to come to life. He broke free from Bryan’s grasp by raising his arms between Bryan’s and pushing out. Then, with all of his might, Scorpius punched Bryan square in the nose. Bryan staggered for a moment before falling to the ground. He was holding his nose and Rose could see blood seeping from between his fingers.
Scorpius stood over Bryan for a moment before bending down and lifting up the bleeding boy up partially by his own lapels.
Scorpius bent his head down to Bryan’s ear and seethed with hate, “Never again.” He then pushed Bryan roughly back down to the earth and ‘accidently’ kicked him in the ribs when he began walking over to Rose, who was still on the ground, and offered her his hand.
Rose stared at the hand for a moment, looking at it as if it were attached to an Erkling. She had never seen this side of Scorpius before, and she found it to be a bit scary. One look into his face, however, let her know that she could trust him. He was glancing down at her with a slight look of worry—she knew he wanted to make sure she was okay.
Rose grabbed his hand and he yanked her to her feet. Then, without a word, he turned around and walked away.