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I stepped off the train and onto the rainy platform at Hogsmeade Station, the buzz of excited students blanketing the cool night air. The familiar smell of the smoky charcoal of the engine and the cool pine trees met my nostrils and I felt myself relax despite the tight feeling in my chest. I slowly pulled my trunk through the sea of black robe clad students, trying not to hit as many people as I feared I was and searching for Al’s familiar head of raven hair. As usual, I had been the last person out of our compartment, as this year I had stepped on my own robes and fallen, tearing a large hole in the bottom of my robe and bruising my knee beneath my skirt. 

Cursing my own clumsiness, I nearly plowed over two shivering first years while running towards where I had finally spotted the raven mane I had been looking for. He was standing by the furthermost pillar as usual as well, waiting for me to catch up before we caught a separate carriage to the castle.

“Al!” I cried, jumping up and waving my arms around like a mad woman, and earning some confused stares from my peers.

I stumbled as I came crashing back down onto the pavement, falling backwards into what felt like a brick wall. Suddenly I was jerked around forward by my wrist and pulled against that same wall before I could even regain my balance and before my mind could even register what was happening.

“Why don’t you watch where you’re going,” a gruff voice said.

I groaned inwardly at the sound of that voice. I knew that voice. It was one that tormented, teased, and generally embarrassed me on a weekly basis. Not that I cared anymore. After the first few weeks of first year, his barbs had grown less and less hurtful until now I just felt numb when he called me Beaver or Metal Mouth. It wasn’t my fault that my mother had insisted I wear braces for my first five years of schooling.  

“Why don’t you move that huge head of yours to look before you go barging through the crowd, Malfoy,” I snarled, yanking my wrist from his grasp and glaring daggers at him.

“Ah, Weaselette, a pleasure as always,” he mocked, smirking the smirk that my mother had told me came directly from his father and even his father’s father.  

I hated that smirk. It taunted me, mocked me, and occasionally made me want to rip it off his smug, stupid face and shove it up his ass. 

“Shove off, Scorpius,” I snarled, looking up into his stormy gray eyes. He had grown taller over the summer, and his platinum hair had grown longer, so that it hung in his eyes. If it wasn’t for the fact that he was an obnoxious, egomaniacal prat, he might have been attractive. 

Who was I kidding? He was extremely attractive. He was the kind of boy who made a girl’s insides go all mushy just from looking at him and who entertained our wildest fancies. He could have the entire female population (and maybe a few others) eating out of the palm of his hand if he wanted to. And he bloody knew it.

“Now, now, Rose, there’s no need to be mean,” he said as if he was reprimanding a small child. 

If there was ever a time I had wished I could kill someone with my mind, it was that moment. 

“Because you’re just the nicest person all the time,” I said sarcastically, and spun on my heel. I did not have the patience to talk to the insolent little prat today. 

“Weasley!” he called after me, and I spun around to face him again. I don’t know why I put myself through this torture, but I had been taught well never to ignore someone who was talking to me. “I will not be talked to like that!”

“I just did,” I yelled back, grinning innocently and overdramatically shrugging my shoulders. He looked furious with me, and inside I was doing a little victory dance. It wasn’t everyday that I actually won a fight with Malfoy.  I walked backwards with a little skip in my step and watched his gray eyes smolder. Victory was sweet.

And then, I felt it happen. The back of my heel collided with something hard, and I felt my other foot come out from beneath me. Oh dear Merlin, I was going to fall. Again. If there really is god out there somewhere, please don’t let me fall. Let me have this one moment of triumph. But of course, the world is a cruel, cruel place and instead of landing gracefully as I had hoped, I landed bum first on the wet, cold concrete. Hard.

I felt tears of pain, and humiliation spring into my eyes as shooting pain ran up my spine. I had always thought there were various levels of pain – from the slight sting of a paper cut, to the uncomfortable pressure of braces, and the horrible shooting spasm of going over a bump to fast on your bike – but this was the worst pain I had ever experienced. I knew some was natural pain from falling, but the sting I felt was more that of anger and humiliation mixed. 

I jumped to my feet as fast as I possibly could, and brushed off my skirt and robes as best I could. “I meant to do that!!” I cried, sensing that Scorpius Malfoy wasn’t the only person who had seen me fall.  

There was a collective chuckle from the crowd, and even I had to laugh at myself a little bit. I glanced back at Scorpius, whose evil little smirk was still plastered on his face. Mustering up all the Gryffindor courage I possessed, I marched proudly up to him until I was a mere inch from his chest. 

He grinned down at me smugly and I felt my fingers twitch in anticipation. I knew I shouldn’t do it, but I felt my temper stamp on the little voice who usually told me not to do something and give me thumbs up. As fast as lightning I raised my hand and cracked him clean across the jaw. I felt the bristle of his newly unshaven cheek graze my palm, but I did not care.  A resounding clapping sound thrummed through the crowd, followed by a stunned silence.

“You win this round, Malfoy,” I hissed, poking him in the chest and then stepping away, but not before I had seen the redness of his already swelling cheek.

I hope it bruises.  

A/N: And thus, the first chapter (although it's called the second) lives. I'm sorry its so short, I had written more, but it makes more sense to divide them up, the way things worked out. Send me a review if you want to - tell me what you like, what you didn't, what you want to see - let me know. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it!

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