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The universe, I was slowly discovering was incredibly unfair. It wasn’t just the little things that it did either – like making it so that there was never a toilet around when one desperately needed it, or how my friends never wanted to go swimming until it was ‘that’ time of the month. No. The universe had to go and be unfair on a colossal level. Someone up there was laughing at me right now. Or maybe they were trying to kill me. Whatever it was, it was working, because right now I would have rather gnawed my own arm than be here.

“Why are you here, Malfoy?” I growled, struggling against my bindings.

“The better question, Weasley, is why you are here,” he replied, a surprising nonchalance seeping through his voice.

“I lost a bet,” I answered venomously.

“Oh, I don’t think that that is the case at all Weasley,” he said with an eerie cheer, as if he was the proverbial cat who was about to catch the canary.

I struggled harder against my bindings. Every part of me, even the good little voice, was telling me to go over there and knock his lights out. Growing up with James and Albus, I was pretty sure I could too. If only my teammates hadn’t chosen this particular method of punishment.

“I think,” he continued, his grin widening as he came to crouch down right in front of me, “that you and your little friends were spying on our tryouts.”

I opened my mouth to shout some angry retort about how we were not spying on his team and just having our annual Dress-In-Black-and-Hide-Under-the-Bleachers-Tea-Party, when he held up one of his long fingered hands to shush whatever I was going to say.

“Save whatever excuse you have ready, Weasley,” he said, still holding up that stupid hand. I wanted to bite it, seeing as it was only about an inch from my face, but then I would have Malfoy in my mouth, and I had a hunch that that tasted worse than James’ socks. “Because I’m not as thick as you think I am.”

Don’t think of the innuendo. Don’t think of the innuendo. Damn it, I’m thinking of the innuendo…

“So what do you want from me, Malfoy?” I croaked after a moment of collecting my thoughts and pushing any thoughts of Malfoy’s thickness from my mind.

He stood up and slouched against the opposite beam smugly. “I won’t tell,” he said, drumming his fingers against the wood, “if you tell me why exactly you were calling my name out on the pitch.”

If I could have banged my head against the wall, I would have. Honestly, self-concussion sounded better than having to answer that question. Now I knew why my teammates thought I was crazy. I was crazy. No one in their right mind would ask Scorpius Malfoy to do what I had planned on asking him.

“It was nothing,” I answered quietly.

“Nothing,’ he scoffed, peering at me from under his white-blond hair. “How can it be nothing if you risked getting yourself, and your team caught?”

“It was a moment of temporary insanity,” I replied angrily.

“Temporary?” He asked cheekily, his eyes sparkling mischievously.

Temporary.”  

I glared up at him, daring him to try to contradict me again. He smirked back in response. I was going to KILL James and the rest of them for binding me like this!

“Fine then,” he said after a moment. “If you won’t tell me, I’ll just go.” He stood up properly and stalked off into the shadows again.

“Wait!” I called somewhat desperately.

And then I mentally slapped myself in the face. He had known that I wouldn’t let him walk away. He knew that I needed his help – not necessarily why or how – but he knew. Hell, I knew too. And he had been right. It had to be important if I was willing to risk my relationship with my friends and my spot on the team to ask something of him. Didn’t it?

He turned on his heel, his eyebrows raised in mock surprise and his blue-grey eyes widened in the sort of innocence one usually associated with serial killers. He was infuriating, the bloody git.

“I’ll tell you,” I mumbled, feeling a blush creep up my neck.

“This should be good,” he said, just loud enough for me to hear him.

“If you’re going to be like that, just go away!” I hissed shrilly.

“No, I’m good,” he replied, eyes twinkling as he sat down comfortably on the floor across from me.

I waited for him to make some other snide comment, but when none came, I decided I really had to tell him. “Well, er, see, the thing is, I’ve been having some problems at home,” I began unsteadily, “and I am kind of tired of it.”

“What kind of problems are we talking about here?” he asked. I couldn’t tell from his tone of voice if he was asking because he was really interested, or if he was just asking to be a jerk, so I ignored his question and plowed on,

“So I have a favor to ask of you –“

“A favor you say,” he simpered.

“Yes! A favor!” I cried. “Now if you’d stop fricking interrupting, I would be able to tell you what exactly that was.”

“Carry on then,” he said somewhat grudgingly, folding his hands in his lap.

“As I was saying, I have something to ask of you, because well, to be blunt, I want to make my father squirm as much as possible, and to show him that I can make my own decisions –“

“Trouble in paradise,” he commented more to himself than to me, but that did not stop me from shooting him a withering glance worthy of a fancy hyphenated name. He swallowed the rest of his rebuke.

“So basically, what I’m really trying to say, is, er, will you pretend to go out with me?”

My last words hung thickly in the air. He was silent, his mouth opened in a small ‘o’ in the perfect imitation of a goldfish. I could hear my heart beating in my ears. This was a bad idea. A very, very bad idea.  

All of my survival instincts were screaming ‘RUN’ but all of the nerves in my body had gone on vacation and my muscles turned to lead. I was stuck. I was a bloody fool!

“Are you serious, Weasley?” he asked, interrupting my thoughts. “This isn’t just some ploy of you and your Quidditch mates to get me distracted, or to hurt my team?”

“No,” I answered, shaking my head as if this would prove that I really wasn’t up to anything more devious than tricking my parents into thinking that I was dating their arch-enemy’s son.

“Okay then,” he answered after a minute’s more thought. “I don’t see why not.”

My eyes widened in shock and I was sure that my heart had stopped. I could not have heard him correctly. Had he just? – No that was impossible. He couldn’t have.

“What?”

“Yes,” he said calmly, as if he was asked out like this every day. “I will pretend to go out with you Weasley.”

The little enclosure we were sitting in was spinning. Had Scorpius Malfoy just agreed to go out with me? Or pretend to go out with me? I think he did.

“Are you alright?” he asked, his voice faraway, as if he was speaking underwater or though a pane of thick glass. “You look like you’re having a fit or something.”

“No, I’m fine,” I replied, my own voice taking on a dreamy and trance-like quality.

He had agreed to go out with me! He had agreed! Now, now Rosie, there’s no need to go getting all giddy about that. It’s not as if you fancy him. You’re just one step closer to getting your father to realize that he can’t control you. This yes, is quite a cause for celebration.  

‘And you might get to kiss him,’ a snide little demonic voice at the back of my head added. I kicked that little voice down and decided that that would not be happening. Just because I had asked him to do this did not mean I wanted any physical contact with the slimy git. I bet he didn’t want any with me either.

“Why?” I asked, coming to my senses finally. I was dealing with Malfoy here. I couldn’t just expect him to do something so magnanimous for me without him asking for something in return.

“Well your eyes kind of glazed over and you were nearly foaming at the mouth,” he said, gesticulating confusedly with his hands.

“No,” I snapped, interrupting him this time. “Why are you agreeing to do this for me?”

“Oh,” he replied, his eyes gleaming dangerously. “Because this little arrangement will be of great help to my life as well.”

Yeah right. I snorted indignantly.

“Do you know Anna Rosier?”

“Yeah,” I said, a vague image of a tall, skinny, dark haired girl coming to mind. “She’s in our year right? In Slytherin?”

“Yes,” he responded bitterly. “She won’t leave me the bloody hell alone. She’s always trailing after me, going on and on about how great we would be together.”

“Isn’t that every teenage boy’s dream?” I asked, confused. In my entire lifetime of having two blokes as best friends, I had learned that girls following you and wanting to get into your pants was good for the ego and the male spirit. One just had to look at James and his big head to see proof of that.

“Look,” he said, dragging a hand over his face in exasperation. “I don’t have the time or patience to sit here all night and explain my reasoning to you. All you need to know is that I want her off my back, and you’re going to help me do it.”

“Alright then,” I responded tetchily.  

Silence hung in the air again. For once, my mind was blank of all thoughts. It was nice to sit in a blissful oblivion for a few moments.

“I should be going then,” he said, breaking the silence.

“Yeah, your team will be missing you,” I countered.

“No doubt,” he replied absently, standing and stretching.

“This stays between the two of us, you know,” I said as he cracked his back.

“Of course,” he simpered, the tone of his voice implying the “well duh”. “We can get together tomorrow to work out the final details. I can talk to the Head Girl if you would like and see if she can mix up our patrol partners. That way we have an excuse as to why we’re talking to each other.”

That plan, was in essence, brilliant. Not that I’d ever tell him. Anyone could have thought of using our Prefect patrols as a way to communicate.

“What are you going to tell her as to why you suddenly want me as your partner?” I asked, hoping to regain some control over the situation.

“Don’t worry about it,” he said smugly. “Morganna owes me a favor.”

“You disgust me,” I spat, trying to block out all the mental images that his inflection had sprung in my head.  

“That, Weasley, I already knew,” he smirked. With that, he slunk back into the shadows before I could register what had happened.

“Oi, Malfoy!” I called as my brain caught up to the rest of my senses. “Aren’t you going to let me out?”

His head of white blonde hair popped out into the dim grey of early dawn. “Where would the fun be in that?” he asked, barely concealing a chuckle before he disappeared once again.

“Malfoy!” I cried again in futility. It was useless. He was already gone. 

Brilliant. Now I was stuck here until Al or someone else from the team came to get me. Hopefully they wouldn’t forget me again like they did last time.

 

 

 

 


 
A/N: Wow, I actually had this chapter finished earlier than expected. :) I hope you liked it. The pace of this story should pick up alot now that we've gotten to here. Certain things had to happen in order for dear Rosie to be able to ask. But from now on, Scorpius will be in nearly every chapter! 

While we're on the topic of other chapters, I have to say that they're not going to be coming as fast as they have this summer, because I go back to school, and am taking some tough classes. I'll update as fast as I can though. :) Thanks for your patience.

 Anyway, I don't want to bore you. Thanks to everyone who's read and reviewed this story! If you want, leave me a review and tell me what you thought! They really help me want to keep writing.

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