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Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with JKR or anything that has anything to do with the brilliant world of Harry Potter. *Sigh.*

Chapter 5: Hiding Away

“Albus Severus Potter! What have you done?,” Rose burst out, wasting no time before lunging over the counter at her smirking cousin. She clutched at his neck with her small hands, attempting to strangle the traitorous git.

George Weasley started to laugh loudly. He nodded to his business partner, Lee Jordan, to man the counter for a bit and, after magically binding his niece’s hands behind her back, ushered a furious Rose and a sulking Albus up the small stairs to his Hogsmeade office.

Once inside the entirely magenta-and-orange room, George sat with his feet propped up on the desk and turned toward the fiery young witch who reminded him so much of her mother.  “Rose, I do not think Albus deserves to be strangled… at least not until I hear what all of this is about. Now, tell me what it is you think that he has done, and I may just change my mind and join you – No one messes with my Rosie.”

“Hey! Uncle George! That is not fair, you cannot play favorites!,” Albus spluttered, backing as far away from Rose as the small room would allow.

“Oh, yes I can. Sorry, Al, but its as simple as that messy mop of yours, really. Those of us who have to survive every 'Ginger' joke known to man day after day stick together, eh Rosie?,” George retorted with a wink.

“Even if do-no-wrong Rose Red here is dating a Malfoy?”

“Even if she… wait, WHAT? Rose Nymphadora Weasley, I am shocked! How could you dirty the Weasley name like that? I cannot believe you! I think I am going to have to discuss this with your parents when I see them for dinner tomorrow night. In the mean time, I think I speak for everyone in the family when I say you are forbidden to date the Malfoy brat!” George’s face was now quite red.

Rose bit her tongue to mask her fury. It would win her no points with her family if she behaved as a spoiled child would. She would speak calmly and rationally.

And if that did not work, she would revisit the idea of hexing her cousin. And possibly her uncle, just for good measure.

“Uncle George, I am sorry, but I do not believe that you – or anyone else in the family, for that matter – have the authority to tell me whom I can or cannot be involved with. Scorpius is nothing like his father. He has actually become a wonderful friend and is quite lovely to spend time with. I have decided to give him a chance, and I would appreciate it if the rest of the family would as well,” Rose said firmly, looking her uncle directly in the eyes.

“Well, Rose Red… I must say I am rather surprised by your attitude. You finally put poor old Scorpius out of his misery and you neglected to immediately inform your favorite Uncle George?,” George said with a mock-stern expression.

Rose opened her mouth to say something in her defense, but as she registered what George had said she closed it again promptly. She stared at her uncle, who was watching her bemusedly. What did he mean by that? He knew Scorpius and I would eventually start something? How is that possible!? I thought he was angry with me! The Weasleys have always made it clear that they abhor the Malfoys!

Rose glanced to her cousin. Albus' face held an expression of shock. He spluttered unintelligible sounds at George, who was clearly struggling not to laugh. Albus then turned to Rose, his features taking on a quite Slytherin sneer.

Poor Rosie looks catatonic,
he thought. It was quite amusing actually.

Albus could not hold it in any longer. He fell back into an old plaid armchair and laughed.

After several side-splitting guffaws, he turned to a now purple-faced Rose. “And that, dear cousin, is why I am always going to best your boy-toy Malfoy when it comes to pranks,” he said, with as much grace as he could muster.

Rose simply stared at the two men, both of whom were now laughing like hyenas all about the room and congratulating each other on a prank well-done. Her eyes narrowed. How dare they decide to play with my emotions and insecurities like this! I cannot believe Uncle George would do this! Albus, well, he is a Slytherin, so I should not be so surprised… though I think I ought to talk to Aunt Ginny about his lack of familial loyalty… and maybe I should have a word with Aunt Angie as well…

After I channel Aunt Ginny and bat-bogey both these gits, of course.

*** Two hours later, The Great Hall ***

“Tell me again, Rose, why you had to nearly splinch my perfect face by dragging me to your Uncle’s shop?,” Scorpius asked, coming up behind Rose at the Gryffindor table as the evening meal was underway.

“Malfoy, I have already apologized profusely for this afternoon’s misadventures. I’m terribly sorry for placing your vain and egotistical self in any imaginary danger. And I will say it again: I’m sorry. What more would you have me do?”

“Oh, I am sure you can think of a few things…” Scorpius said in a low, husky voice.

Rose eyed him with a small smile as he swung one leg over the bench to sit beside her, grabbing an apple from the gilded fruit basket nestled between two heaping platters of sandwiches in the center of the table. Taking a large bite with a satisfying crunch, he turned to Rose and raised one delicate blonde eyebrow at her.

She narrowed her eyes in a glare that was known to instantly put all of the Weasley and Potter men in their place.

Rose had been about to reprimand him for not sitting with his own house and for disturbing her much-needed quiet time. However, she was suddenly quite distracted by a small drop of juice rolling toward his chin. Why must he be so intelligent AND visually appealing? It’s a wonder I managed to ignore my obvious attraction to him for so long. Blast it all, I really am falling for a Malfoy. Pity that Dad does not handle stress well.

Absentmindedly and without hesitation, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, she smiled and reached one hand to his face to gently brush his chin, capturing the errant drop.

Scorpius let out a quick breath and dropped his apple onto his lap. Rose was drawn immediately back to reality. She quickly folded both her hands in her lap and stared at the potatoes on her nearly empty plate.

Oh no, oh no, oh NO! What was that? Rose Weasley, you are flirting with him! Shamelessly! And yet…

In an instant, Rose realized that she did not care any more about hiding her feelings for her fellow Head. Albus and her Uncle George knew, which meant the rest of her family would be informed soon enough.

I think this is an opportune moment to prove I do belong in my House. Might as well have a bit of fun with it and get the inevitable confrontations over with. I’d rather all of the howlers came at once anyway.

Raising her head and meeting Scorpius’ still-startled expression with fire in her eyes, Rose leaned toward him and captured his lips in a soft kiss.

Mmmmmmm. I could get used to this…

Rose broke the kiss after only a few seconds, with a satisfied smirk now appearing on her lips. “You had a bit of juice there as well,” she said while turning back to her plate.

“I believe you missed some, Flower.”

And with that, Scorpius turned Rose’s chin to face him and crushed his lips to hers, both hands tangling in her hair at the nape of her neck.

Loud cheering and declarations of, “I knew it! Pay up!” and “Finally!” could suddenly be heard around them, particularly from the Ravenclaw table.

The two broke apart and smiled at each other, hands now entwined. Scorpius suddenly smirked, wiggling his eyebrows at her.

“You know, Rose… don’t think this means I will look the other way and let you catch the Snitch in the upcoming match. I do have my ‘Star Seeker’ reputation to uphold, I will have you know.” And with a wink and quick kiss to her cheek, he leapt from the bench and headed toward his cheering mates.

Rose sighed. Some things never change, it seems. Note to self: Write to Vic to learn the art of seduction while on a broom. I will have him so distracted, he won’t know the difference between a Quaffle and a Snitch.

A/N: Thank you for your patience! I am terribly sorry for not updating in forever. Real life has been insanely busy as of late, and I am still not in the best of health. I will try to not let it happen again! Only 2 more chapters, and then the epilogue! Happy reading. *smiles*

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