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After Robyn left the common room to meet up with Al, Rose went in search of Scorpius. Instead she found Lysander. When Lysander saw Rose enter the Great Hall he waved her over to the seat next to him and handed her a thick scroll of parchment. Rose looked at wondering what this was all about. Lysander smiled “That’s the research you asked me to do.”

It took Rose a little time to remember that she had asked Lysander to tell her about the Ravenclaw mind the day Zabini attacked her.

Rose leaned over and gave Lysander a quick hug and said “Thanks” before finding a quiet place to sit. Rose stared at the roll of parchment wondering if she really wanted to open it. So much had changed since that day and Rose was no longer sure she wanted to learn Scorpius’s secret like this. She had come to like and trust him. This felt like a betrayal of his trust. So he had a secret that he was keeping from her. So what if it stopped him kissing her, she had come to realize that she had never been willing to accept that kiss anyway. Scorpius had always been there for her; he had helped her and never took an advantage of her trust in him. He did not deserve to be spied upon; it was not right.

 Rose had been sitting and staring at the scroll for about half an hour when Scorpius found her.  “What’s up” he said as he sat next to her.

Rose looked up and said distractedly “Hi KISA, I’m on the horns of a dilemma and don’t know which way to go.”

Scorpius smiled and whispered “If you tell me what KISA means I’ll help you with your dilemma.”

Rose was about to say that he was the dilemma when she had an idea worthy of her Slytherin house. She needed to work out the details but if it worked she would not have to read the scroll in order to learn Scorpius’s secret. She would, of course read it, after she had his secret, just for general information. Scorpius saw Rose start to smile, the smile turned into a grin which lit up here whole face. He knew that she had just figured out a way out of her dilemma, what ever it was.

Scorpius sighed “OK you have your answer, anything I can do to help?”

Rose leaned close to him and said “As a matter of fact, yes. My whole plan will revolve around you but I need to work out some details before I let you know what your part is.”

This was like old times, Scorpius countered Rose with “If you tell me the outline of the plan I can help with the details. You know that is what I do best.”

The annoying part was that Rose knew he was telling the truth, he was better at working out the details than she was. “No I don’t think that will work this time. For now why don’t you walk me to my common room so I can put this away” Rose said waving the scroll around.

Scorpius was intrigued with Rose’s dilemma and wanted to find out more. He told himself it was just a case of wanting what you can’t have but that did not stop his interest. Rose stood up and held out her free hand for him to take. Together they walked down to the dungeon. Rose did not let go of Scorpius’s hand when they got to the door instead she tapped her wand to the stone and pull him into the room.

“Wait here” Rose said, pointing to the couch next to the fire, before running through the door to her bedroom.

As Scorpius walked towards the couch the few Slytherins in the room stared at him but none said anything about him being there. A few minutes passed before Rose returned and sat next to him. Scorpius opened his mouth to ask Rose about her plan but she stopped him. “Just sit there quietly while I work this through.”

Scorpius sat there saying nothing but focused his mind on every point where his and her bodies were touching. It was becoming harder and harder not to tell her he loved her. Most of the time, she seemed to be over the trauma of the attack. So he was not sure if now was the right time to tell her about his feelings. “Instead here I am sitting next to her trying to highlight in my mind the places where our legs, hips and shoulders are touching” Scorpius said to himself. “Scorpius you are pathetic!”

Rose had figured out the basis of the plan as they had walked to the common room. The crux was that if she offered to just swap information - her KISA for his secret - he would reject the offer. She had to phrase the exchange in such a way that he did not know what she was after until he was honour bound to keep his part of the deal. Something as simple as I will tell you if you promise to tell me something would not work as Scorpius would be suspicious and demand to know what the something was. But she might be able to refine the idea into something that would work.

In her mind, Rose spelled out the problem in full to see how she could use what she had. Scorpius has a secret, that secret held a reason not to kiss her and he does not want me to know what that reason is. A secret that, most likely, only exists because he can’t kiss me. So if he kissed me there would be no reason for the secret to exist and he could tell me.

“Yes” Rose said out loud.

Scorpius looked at Rose expectantly but she had gone back to thinking so he continued to sit there quietly. Rose now had her approach but did she want Scorpius to kiss her? She knew that she now had to make this decision. On the previous occasions when Scorpius didn’t kiss her the issue was an intellectual one. If she were honest with herself the fact he did not kiss her hurt her pride but at the same time she didn’t want to be kissed. Even this plan up to now had been an intellectual problem but now the solution was an emotional one that had to be faced. Rose thought about all the times she had been with Scorpius and what she felt about him.

The first time was on the train to Hogwarts in her first year. He had been an arsehole and made her cry but had apologized after she had slapped his face. At the start of their joint project in charms he had been a righteous git but by the end of the year he had mellowed out and they had developed a friendship. She, Scorpius and Cameron had developed a comfortable work/friendship relationship that lasted until this year.  It was the same sort of friendship that her mum, dad and Uncle Harry had, if you believed all the stories they told her about their school days.

This thought distracted Rose for a short while. If the three of them were like her parents and Uncle that would make her Hermione, Scorpius would be Ron and that left Cameron to be Harry. Now as Cameron was with Tegan that meant she would be Aunt Ginny and Robyn could be Aunt Luna and Al would be Professor Longbottom. There; everyone in her group had a counterpart in her parents group.

Satisfied with that Rose returned to thinking about Scorpius. Yes she liked both Cameron and Scorpius and probable would never have considered either of them as boyfriend material except Scorpius was there for her when she needed him. In fact every time Rose needed someone Scorpius was there, like right now. Cameron had come to her when he found that she wanted help but he had not automatically been there every time she needed help. Maybe that is why Cameron is still just a friend and Scorpius has come to mean more to me.

Rose shifted around and stared at Scorpius. He does mean a lot to me, more than I ever expected but where does that put us. Do I like him because he was there when I needed him or was him being there allow me to see him for what he is. Did liking him mean she wanted to be kissed by him. Rose thought back to Christmas and her talk with her mum. When she had been asked to think about kissing a boy she had immediately thought of Scorpius which would indicate that she was willing to kiss Scorpius but she needed to be sure she WANTED to be kissed by him.

Rose sighed as usual one answer raised two questions. The answer to Scorpius secret was getting a kiss. The questions are did she like Scorpius because he was nice or because he was there and did she want to be kiss by anybody?

Before Rose could take this any further she had to know her own heart, her true heart, the one that she could not lie to. She had to stop her mind from twisting and bending what she was into what she thought she should be. The only way to do this was to feel.

Rose immediately put thoughts into action. She sat up and poked Scorpius in the arm. “You are a very uncomfortable pillow. Here let me fix you.”

Rose took Scorpius arm and moved it up until it was lying across the back of the couch. She shifted over until she had settled her self against his side then she pulled his arm down until it wound around her neck and rested on her shoulder. With a final wiggle she settled back. “That is much better” she told Scorpius.

For his part Scorpius felt he had entered a realm where pleasure and torture was the same thing. He was sitting in front of a cosy fire with his arm around the girl he dreamed of every night and she was snuggled up to his side. If his resolve to act gentlemanly were ever to be tested that time was now. Half an hour ago he had been pathetically focusing on where his leg touched hers now it felt like their whole bodies were merging into one, all along his left side. With a minor flexing of his left arm he was able to pull her tightly into his side. Scorpius started to daydream about where their relationship could go; he had visions of them sitting like this, all alone, in their own place. Able to lock the door on the rest of the world and just be the two of them. Scorpius started to think of the things they could be doing, any thing their hearts desired. These thoughts caused his heart to beat harder and Scorpius had to casually drape his right hand across his lap. To hide his obvious enjoyment of the situation rising up and embarrassing him. 

Scorpius look down at Rose, she had pulled her legs underneath her and was literally curled up under his arm. Scorpius would have traded everything he own if he could stay like this forever. He was also aware that if Rose had chosen that moment to look up at him he would not have been able to stop himself from kissing her. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and concentrated on his beating heart.

Rose had deliberately put herself into Scorpius’s arms not so that she could think about her relationship with him but so her heart could feel. She stopped her mind from telling her whether Scorpius was good or bad. She stopped it from asking her if she liked him or was using him. She only listened to how it felt to be with him and it felt right. She felt that this was where she belonged; it felt just like it did in November when he held her on the edge of the lake. 

As soon as she stopped thinking and started feeling Rose knew that she more than liked Scorpius and it was not just because he was there when she needed him. It was that she had been too blind to see him for the man he was. Her mind and perceptions had hidden her true heart from her so that she was unable to recognize Scorpius when she looked at him. Rose also knew she wanted him to kiss her more than she had wanted anything else.

It was time to put her plan into action. Well may be not right now she would enjoyed this closeness with Scorpius for another hour or two then put her plan into action. Rose and Scorpius sat together in front of the Slytherin fire the entire afternoon and probably had not said more than a dozen words to each other. However neither had thought that the time had been wasted.

It was not until the other Slytherins started to head out the door to go to the Great Hall that Rose roused herself and stood up. Scorpius had pins and needles all through his arm where Rose had been laying but he would not have moved his arm by his own choice as it had been wrapped around Rose. As he stood up shaking his arm and looking at Rose he again thought to himself “Scorpius, you are truly pathetic to be this enslaved by a girl.” But then his heart added “And you wouldn’t want it any other way.”

As they walked up the stairs to the Great Hall Rose said “I have all the details worked out to solve my dilemma and I will tell you what you have to do after dinner which, by the way, we are having at the Gryffindor table.”

Scorpius just nodded, he was still on an emotional high from the afternoon with Rose. When they walked in to the hall Rose saw that Robyn and Al were already sitting with Tegan and Cameron. Al did not look upset which was good. But neither of them looked tired or contented which was confusing.

Rose sat next to Robyn and asked “How did it go?”

Judging from Al’s reaction Rose guess he heard the question. His head snapped around so fast that Rose would have sworn she heard a crack. The instant that their eyes connected Al went bright red. Even for a Weasley it was an impressive shade of red.

“You knew” he shrieked. Everyone around them stopped eating and looked at Al who made a serious attempt to go even redder.

Robyn put her hands over Al’s and looked into his eyes “Yes she did. She told me I was making a mistake and she was right.”

Robyn then leaned in and stopped any further protest from Al with a very long kiss. When they finally broke apart to the sounds of several wolf whistles Robyn turned to Rose. “It turned out you were completely correct and I followed your advice.”

Rose flung her arms around Robyn “I’m sorry and thank you.”

The rest of the meal was a light fun affair except that Al had a tendency to go red if he looked at Rose. Tegan was not fooled by the cryptic conversation that Rose and Robyn had. When she caught Roses eye she cocked her head at Robyn and Al and raised her eyebrows. Rose answered with a single nod of her head.

Cameron and Scorpius were oblivious to it all; once again proved that males usually have no idea of what is happening around them.

After dinner Rose asked the others to stay, so they continued to talk as the room slowly emptied. When they had the room to them selves Rose stood up and said “This meeting is now called to order. For the past month Scorpius with a lot of help from a few of you has been trying to discover the meaning of K.I.S.A.”

Cameron, Tegan and Scorpius nodded.

“Well I am here to make a proposal I will reveal its meaning to Scorpius on the condition he performs a single physical task for me.”

There was some muttering but before anyone could interrupt Rose continued “This task will not be done in public and will not become public knowledge unless Scorpius wishes it to become so. The task will not humiliate him nor will it violate any ethical or moral standard that Scorpius holds. It will not involve any physical or mental danger. If Scorpius agrees to this proposal then I want you all to witness the agreement.”

Rose could see Scorpius thinking through her words looking for a loophole or a trap but it was Cameron who voiced the first question. “Why don’t you just tell us what the task is?”

Rose smiled, this was going just as she would have predicted. “Two reasons, firstly as I said the task will not become public knowledge unless Scorpius wants it to and if I tell you then it will be public knowledge. Secondly I am not going to tell Scorpius the exact nature of the challenge until after he has received his answer. Part of the challenge is whether he is willing to accept the proposal without knowing the goal or the price.”

For the next several minutes Rose answered questions and assured all that no school rule would be broken or even stretched as a result of the agreement. It was also obvious to Rose that Scorpius was intrigued and would most likely accept the proposal. When the conversation died down Rose turned to Scorpius and asked “Do you accept?”

Scorpius did not flinch under Rose’s stare; he waited a few seconds before answering “Yes, I accept.”

Rose smiled her plan was in motion and no-one could stop it now. “Scorpius, you and I will meet outside the Room of Requirement tomorrow morning after breakfast. We will enter the room by ourselves. I will tell you the meaning of K.I.S.A. and then I will tell you the task I need you to do.”

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