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I was the first person out of the Transfiguration classroom when the bell rung. I had been itching to get out of there, to say the least. When I was with Scorpius, he provided a sort of meat shield for the taunts of my peers. But when I was alone, well, I was a lot more vulnerable. And when you have as low a self esteem as I do every little last whisper matters. It’s a wonder I’m not suicidal.

I had barely made it through the doors when my bag was lifted from my shoulder and I spun on the spot, wand at the ready to curse whoever was picking at me now. I looked up into the bemused face of Scorpius.

“Hard class,” he asked, smirking slightly as I lowered my wand again.

“You have no idea,” I sighed. 

“I imagine I do,” he said.

“Oh really?” I asked, getting more and more frustrated with this situation. “Tell me, how many people have you had call you a slag today?”

“By the last count,” he said, trailing off as he pretended to count on the hand that was intertwined with mine.

“Shove off,” I growled, purposefully digging my nails into his palm. I don’t really know why, but it felt loads better to take out all my aggression on Scorpius. It probably wasn’t fair, but then again nothing in my life was fair.

“Ouch, stop it Weasley,” he winced, slackening his grip on my hand so that my nails didn’t have access to his palm anymore. “I’m sorry I buggered you.”

“Thank you,” I said, not really meaning it, or forgiving him. What was with me today?

We rounded the corner, deep scowls on both of our faces. Mine deepened exponentially when I saw the gaggle of girls gathered on the side of the hall closest to Scorpius. They were probably fourth or fifth years, and were the type of girls that wore thongs under their uniform and more makeup than a drag queen.

“Hey, Scorpius,” the nearest one, a big girl with fat calves and chubby cheeks said, blowing a pink bubble with her gum and letting it pop in a feeble attempt at seduction.

To my delight he did not even acknowledge her presence.

“Why not ditch little Red over there and come play with us,” another girl said. This one was thinner and had blue eye shadow on all the way up to her eyebrows. Her blonde hair was cropped into a bob at her chin and she leaned casually against the wall.

“Why don’t you die,” the little voice at the back of my head snarled. Wow. Someone was definitely mad today.

Again, Scorpius didn’t say anything and we continued walking. I was starting to feel very uncomfortable around all these girls. It was obvious what type of attention they wanted from him – and it was a type of attention I wasn’t fully comfortable with. You’d think that with as many Weasley’s as there are today, sex would be an open topic in our family. But let me tell you now, it is definitely not. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if someone even mentioned sex to my father or Uncle Harry, they would turn a delicate shade of green and quickly change the subject to Quidditch. 

The boldest of any of the girls stepped out in front of us, blocking our path. “Scorpius,” she said, her voice low and husky, “why don’t you leave the appetizer, and come have some of the main course?” She flipped her long red hair over her shoulder and grabbed Scorpius’s green and silver striped tie, pulling him close to her.

“That is it!” I cried, letting go of Scorpius’s hand and wrenching his tie out of her grip. “Get your mangy paws off of my boyfriend!” She stepped back in fright, and I firmly planted myself between Scorpius and the little red headed whore.

“Your boyfriend?” she scoffed.

“Yes, my boyfriend!” I growled, my voice growing in pitch with every syllable. “Haven’t you heard? The whole school’s been talking about it.”

“Of course,” she said, her voice becoming weaker. “Everyone’s talking. I just didn’t think it was true. I didn’t know Scorpius would date such a little slag.”

Scorpius grabbed my arms and pinned them behind my back before I could hit her. I struggled against his grip, but it was impossible.

“Where the hell do you get off calling me a slut?” I asked my voice dangerously low. “Huh? What gives you the right to call me that? How old are you – twelve? Here’s some advice, go wipe that tar you have plastered on your face off with the tissue in your bra and cut the stitches in your skirt so that it at least could pass for clothing. Maybe then a bloke will be interested in you.”  

I felt great. All the anger I had been feeling, that had been all bottled up inside me and twisting, had found a very convenient outlet. It felt as if I had had a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. And then she had to start fucking crying. All that joy I had been feeling a minute ago was replaced by guilt as her giant blue eyes welled up with tears and she ran off down the corridor sobbing, the excess amount of mascara she had been wearing running down her face like war paint.

“I shouldn’t have done that,” I sighed.

“Are you kidding me?” Scorpius roared with laughter. “That was bloody brilliant Rose!”

“I hurt her feelings though. I took out my aggression on an innocent girl.”

“I don’t know about innocent,” he said under his breath. “That chick was bloody frightening.” 

“Do not call girls chicks,” I said sternly. “It is derogatory.”

“Why are you in such a bad mood?” he asked, letting go of my arms and turning me around.

“No reason,” I sighed.

He mumbled something that sounded like ‘the only girl on the bloody planet who doesn’t want to talk about her feelings’.

“You want to talk about your feelings?” I asked bitterly.

“Not really, thanks,” he said quickly.

“Bloody hypocrite,” I muttered.

“I heard that,” he smirked.

“Good,” I replied mutinously.  

The rest of the day passed relatively quickly. It was definitely becoming easier to ignore the other students. Plus, I’m pretty sure that the girls I harassed had spread the word not to mess with me. Scorpius was always waiting for me the moment I walked out of my class room. It was quite disconcerting really. I don’t know how he got around the castle so fast. Maybe he just skipped part of class.

I had just walked out of my last class of the day, Arithmancy, when I felt Scorpius lift my bag off of my shoulder as if by rote.

“So you made it without killing anybody.”

“You don’t know that,” I smirked. Smirked? He was really wearing off on me.

“I’m sure I would have heard about it by now,” he replied easily. “You’re all anyone talks about these days.”  

“I’m so lucky,” I said sarcastically.

“That you are. So are we going to sit with my friends again?” he asked, smoothly changing the subject.

“No. You cannot make me,” I planted my feet firmly and he faltered in his step.

“Are you afraid?” he asked, his tone mocking.

“No, I’m not afraid of anyone. I just don’t enjoy getting fruit thrown in my hair.”

“Like your friends never throw fruit,” he said.

“I never said they didn’t,” I growled. “They just tend to throw it at your face or chest. Hair is out of bounds.”  

“Because that is so much more civilized,” he muttered under his breath. I elbowed him in the ribs in response. 

“So you want to sit with them, I’m guessing?” he asked, his eyebrows rising.

To be honest, no I did not really want to sit with my Gryffindor ‘friends’ either. If it wasn’t for Scorpius, I would probably have retreated back to my bathroom and had Winky bring me a meal. But unfortunately, he was here, and at the first sign of me heading anywhere near the second floor he would have been pulling me back kicking and screaming. 

“Yeah, I want to sit with them,” I sighed. I felt like I had just resigned myself to sitting with Voldemort. Actually, sitting with Voldemort sounded better right now. 

“Oh joy,” he said sarcastically, grabbing my hand and pulling me forward.  

We walked into the Great Hall and I lead him cautiously over to the Gryffindor table, my eyes scanning the rows of black and scarlet for a place to sit. I saw my old Quidditch mates sitting in the middle of the table, having a mashed potato fight and Ian was sitting towards the back, looking a little bit worse for the wear.  

I made a quick decision and steered Scorpius towards the mashed potato fight. My heart was pounding ten times faster and louder than should have been physically possible. I stopped behind James’s head and in front of Albus, who looked like he had taken the brunt of the attack. 

“Hey Rosie,” he said brightly, looking up at me after a moment. I felt myself flush red as everyone else turned to look at me, most of them not very kindly.

“Hey Al,” I said meekly, “Hey guys. Do you mind if we sit with you?”

“Sure!” Al said right as James cried, “NO!” I saw Ben stab James in the shoulder with his fork and heard James’s cry of pain and decided that it was ok.

I sat down on the bench next to Kat and pulled Scorpius, who was looking thoroughly perplexed and out of place, down next to me.  Kat instantly scooted a few inches closer to James and away from me and I sighed audibly. Al turned and looked at us, a glob of potatoes dripping down from the end of his nose.

“Hiya, Scorpius,” he said in a vain attempt to ease some of the tension between everyone.  The team turned as one to look at Scorpius. I felt a blush rise in my own cheeks and I put down the chicken leg I was about to take a large bite out of.  

“Hi Al,” Scorpius said nonchalantly, as if they talked to each other every day. I saw Reagan glare at me over the top of her book. Damn Gryffindors and their bloody pride.

Al did not make a move to say anything more and neither did Scorpius, but I really had to appreciate their efforts. At least the two of them were trying. That was more than I could say for the others. Soon the others resumed whatever conversation they had been having before the great mashed potato brawl and Scorpius and I were left out of the loop again.

“So these are your friends,” he muttered under his breath, but I was certain he had intended me to hear him.

“We all can’t be so lucky,” I growled as I reached across the table for the green beans.

“They make Anna look like a puppy dog,” he whispered, pretending to pick at his food.

“The day Anna looks like a puppy dog is the day I do a jig on top of the teacher’s table in nothing but my knickers,” I replied.

I saw Scorpius’s face go red and then he was laughing loudly, his arms clutching at the stitches in his sides. The entire Gryffindor table went very quiet as they all watched Scorpius laugh. I felt myself growing redder and redder, and I tried stamping on Scorpius’s foot to get him to shut up, but he just laughed harder. 

“What’s so funny, Malfoy?” James asked, his voice dripping with venom.

“Rose,” Scorpius gasped, “knickers, jigs.”

The way that came out made it sound a lot dirtier than it actually was.

“You fucking little pervert Malfoy,” James roared, “this is my cousin we’re talking about!”

Scorpius’s eyes grew wide as he realized what he had said.

“No, it’s not like that-“

“You’re just like your father – an insolent little womanizer! I won’t let you corrupt my cousin!”

“Now wait a damn minute,” Scorpius growled, his eyes going from wide and innocent to narrowed and menacing in less than a second.

“Stupid Slytherin, you don’t belong at this table!”

“Bloody Gryffindor, you always think you’re better than everyone else!”

It happened before I could stop it. One second the gravy boat was sitting on the table innocently, and the next it was hovering in midair above Scorpius’s hair. I glanced quickly down the table to see Reagan glaring at me and Scorpius, her wand raised, and then I heard Scorpius’s startled cry and turned around to see him drenched in brown gravy.

“Reagan!”  I cried, picking up my half eaten chicken leg and chucking it at her. She dodged it easily and picked up her spoon, readily loaded with mashed potatoes. With a swift flick of her wrist she sent the potatoes flying through the air at me. I ducked just barely in time and was mildly amused when I heard a first year Hufflepuff crying that she had potato in her hair.

“WILL ALL OF YOU JUST STOP IT?” Al cried, standing up on the bench. He pushed his food covered hair out of his eyes and glared down at us. “What is your problem? So what if he’s a Slytherin? So what if you’re a Gryffindor? So what if a Gryffindor is dating a Slytherin? Put aside your prejudices and pride and for the sake of our friendship and relationships, can we at least try to get along?”

James stared up at his brother with his mouth wide open in a pretty good imitation of a dying goldfish. “Who are you and what have you done with my brother?” he croaked in horror.

“I’m still the same Albus,” Al said, jumping down from his soapbox and sitting back down. “And no, before anyone can ask, I don’t have brain damage. I just think that its time this school started showing some inter-house unity.”

“That is the biggest load of shit I’ve ever heard,” Reagan sniped. 

“This has to be because of a girl,” Ben said sagely, glancing around the Great Hall as if he was going to figure out who it was.

“Is that true? Is it a girl?” Kat asked, twirling her hair and winking at him.

Al turned a deep shade of crimson.

“IT IS!” James cried his former feelings of anger and animosity towards his only brother gone at the first sign of breasts. “WHO IS SHE?”

If it was possible Al grew redder. He muttered something quietly into his lap so that I could not hear.

“What?” Jason asked.

“I said Anna Rosier,” Al squeaked.

I felt my mouth drop open in horror. “What did you say?” I gasped, my voice coming out all strangled.

“It’s Anna Rosier,” Al said with more confidence and a note of defiance in his voice. “I’m dating Anna Rosier.”



A/N: Tada! Another chapter finished! I got a little bit stuck with my NaNo and this was begging to be written, so I figured I'd update now! 

So what do you think? Were you expecting that? Are you surprised? Frightened? Questioning my sanity? (I would be too. :P) 

Please, please, review! Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it!

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