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Shortly after their conversation Scorpius and Rose dressed and returned to their own rooms; unfortunately for Scorpius he is too energized to sleep. The party, the people who are his friends and the gifts had got his blood pumping. Also Rose’s question has his mind working. Scorpius closed his eyes and replays the conversation in his mind. The key point came when he asked Rose ‘Do your parents feel shameful or guilty when they are lying naked next to each other in bed?’ Rose replied ‘No, but they’re married’. Suddenly Scorpius understood, at her core Rose had some very traditional value. It may be 2023 in the real world but Rose’s moral values came from the middle to the 20th century. That is why she would not give herself to Zabini and why she considered her self immoral tonight. Her mind and emotions were in the 21st century and her conscience was stuck in 1950. At this point Scorpius fell asleep. He knew the problem and his mind knew it could now find the answer so it relaxed and Scorpius slipped into a dreamless sleep.

The next morning Scorpius woke up with a solution to Rose’s concerns about her morality fully formed in his mind. She needed to be married in order not to feel immoral so they would get married. “I’m already 17 and Rose will be 17 on the 8th of June. That’s only 6 weeks away. We can get engaged on her birthday and then get married as soon as we finish school next year.” To Scorpius’s mind it made perfect sense, Rose would have a commitment from him as soon as she was an adult and the 12 months engagement would dispel any rumours that they had to get married.   

The first thing would be to get an engagement ring, that meant he needed to tell his parents. It had been only a month since they had come to school and been told about the soul mate connection between him and Rose. Now he had to ask them to come back to school so he could tell them that he was getting engaged. Scorpius smiled at the irony of the situation, at this rate his parents will never come to school again. The problem was Scorpius did not know how his father would take this latest development, at their last meeting he seemed to approve of Rose. Had he changed his mind in the last four weeks; it did not matter Scorpius could not put off telling them so it would have to be faced. He got out a piece of parchment and quickly wrote a note to his parents asking them to come to the school as he had some good new that he wanted to tell them face to face. He then collected his books for the day and headed to the Great Hall via the owlery.

It took two days before Scorpius go a reply to his note, it was in his mother’s hand writing and said that his father and her were in Germany on business and would be back in England next week and would the weekend after that alright to meet. Scorpius turned the message over and wrote “That would be excellent. See you then.” He attached the note to the owl that delivered it and sent it on its way.

It was now Roses turn to get suspicious. Her boyfriend had received a note and had hastily replied and sent the owl on its way, she could also feel his excitement starting to grow. Rose was certain that Scorpius was not cheating on her; she had absolutely no doubts that he loved her alone but he was up to something. Rose tried to dismiss it as just an overactive imagination but her mind kept flashing back to Lysander’s paper. Scorpius’s ego would cause him to believe that he knew what was best and his tendencies to accept collateral damage in order to achieve his ends would be trouble. Scorpius had already made a decision to sacrifice both their happiness for what he believed would be a better relationship in the future. Rose needed to be sure he was not going to try that again. For the rest of the day Rose observed Scorpius when ever they were together and he did not do anything else out of the ordinary. To Rose this indicated that what ever Scorpius was up to; it was for some time in the future and it concerned her. This meant that she had a little time to figure out what it was and stop it if she disagreed with his decision.

That night she met with Scorpius after dinner to get some ‘personal time’. She also was going to give him a chance to tell her what he was up to. As soon as they found a deserted room Rose slid into Scorpius’s embrace and peppered his face with tiny kisses. After a few minutes of this she asked who the owl he got at breakfast was from. Being wrapped in Scorpius’s arms, it was very obvious that he momentarily stiffened when she asked the question. Scorpius quickly relaxed and said “Oh, that. It was from my parents. They’re in Germany working. They are going to drop into the school on their way home next weekend.”

Rose could tell he was telling the truth but she could also tell there was more to it than an innocent note from his parents. She was thoughtful for a few seconds before she asked “Your father has come to terms with us hasn’t he?”

Now Scorpius relaxed completely and answered “Yes he has. He is unhappy with your parents but he likes you a lot.” Scorpius ended any further conversation by capturing her mouth with his. Scorpius was just reaching for the buttons on her blouse when the door to the class room was pushed open and two other students virtually fell into the room. Their clothes were in an advanced state of disarray and the boy’s hands were running wild. They were totally unaware that the room was occupied by Rose and Scorpius. Rose quietly straightened her own clothes before walking over to the couple.

Without any preamble Rose said very loudly “What do you two think you are doing?”

The effect was magical the girl screamed as she leapt backwards. The boy yelled “Fuck” as he spun around to see who had spoken to them. The first thing he saw was Rose standing only inches away from him. The second thing he saw was her shiny Prefect badge. He stood there petrified.

Rose’s face was completely blank as she looked from the boy to the girl. If she had to guess she would have said that they were only 15. “What are your names?”

The boy tried to answer defiantly but only sounded scared “Richard Cabbot.”

The girl was almost in tears when she said “Delia Tipping.”

Rose did not look away from the girl when she said “Scorpius please escort Richard back to the Ravenclaw rooms and make sure he understands the trouble he is in.”

Scorpius grabbed Richard’s arm and lead him from the room. Rose pointed to the first desk and said “Sit.” Delia slowly walked to the chair and sat down. “How old are you?”

Delia sat staring at the desk and whispered “I will be 16 in January”

“So you are 15 now”

Delia just nodded.

“And what do you think you two were going to do in here?”

“Richard said if I loved him then I would have sex with him.”

Rose thought her heart had stopped when she heard this. Instead of this talk being about Delia and Richard it was about Rose and Zabini. “What did he say to you?” Rose finally said through clenched teeth.

Delia told Rose that she and Richard had been going out for about three months and he wanted to go further with her. He had been pressuring her for the last month to have sex and had started saying that because she would not have sex that she didn’t really love him. Rose held up her hand to stop Delia for talking and then focused all her mind on Scorpius. She had never deliberately tried to talk to him mind to mind before but this time she knew she had to do it. She was desperate and she really needed him to know what she knew. Once she felt his presence she pictured Richard and transformed him into Zabini. She thought about what Delia had said and let her anger and rage loose in her mind. Almost immediately she felt her feelings reflected back and she broke the connection.

Draco had brought up Scorpius to respect women and not to abuse them physically so he had been disgusted that a fellow Ravenclaw would be acting the way Richard had been acting towards Delia. During the walk back to their common room Scorpius had been angrily telling Richard how stupid he was to get carried away with Delia. Scorpius had been saying that if he was not careful he could find himself in real trouble when he felt Rose’s presence forcing it way into his mind. Scorpius stopped and concentrated on Rose. As soon as he did this his mind was flooded with fear, anger and an overpowering desire to hurt Richard. Then he understood when he saw Richard becoming Zabini and heard what Delia had said. A rage so dark filled Scorpius and primal scream escaped from his throat before he grabbed Richard with both hands and swung him around and slammed him into the wall. Scorpius pulled Richard away from the wall and slammed him back into the wall, banging Richard’s head. Scorpius pushed his face into Richards face and said in a very quiet menacing voice “You are a piece of crap and if you ever again try to pressure a girl onto have sex with you I am going to hurt you so bad.” Scorpius took a deep breath to try and regain control before he asked “Do you know what happened to Zabini?”

Looking at the hatred and anger in Scorpius’s face Richard feared he was dead. He was unable to answer so he just frantically shook his head.

Scorpius smiled with all the warmth of a dragon. “He tried to do the same thing you just tried to do. But he did it to a friend of mine. I hunted him down and finally caught up to him in the potions room. He was with his goons when I found him but that did not stop me. After I had taken care of all his goons I had plenty of time to make Zabini regret what he had done. Have you heard of the Sectumsempra hex?”

Again Richard shook his head.

“Look it up because when I was pointing my wand at Zabini it was the only spell that was in my mind.” With that Scorpius let Richard fall to the ground. “Just remember that Delia is now my friend, in fact all the girls you will ever meet are my friends. Now get yourself back to your room before I allow my anger over rule my mind.”

Richard picked himself up off the floor, blood running down his face. “I need to go to the hospital to get this looked at.”

Scorpius took a step closer “Do I look like I care if you bleed to death in front of me. But if you will to give me a single excuse I will show you what Sectumsempra does and then that little scratch will be meaningless.”

Richard turned and stumbled down the hall towards the Ravenclaw tower with Scorpius following behind like the grim reaper. When they reached the door Scorpius pushed Richard into the door frame and said “Remember I know a lot more than you do. I know what you said to Delia even though I was standing with you when she told Rose. I will know what you say and do no matter how careful you think you are and if you try anything like that again – I. Will. Kill. You.” Scorpius then turned and walked through the common room and upstairs to bed.

Meanwhile Rose had to calm her own anger down, knowing Scorpius was taking care of Richard helped. She turned back to Delia and sat next to her. As gentle as she could she took Delia’s hands in her own and said “You know he doesn’t love you. Any boy who says that is only interested in the sex and not the girl. Two things would have happened tonight if we had not interrupted, he would have dumped you the second he had his fun or he would have kept you hanging around as long as you were willing to have sex. Eventually he would have dropped you for someone he thought was better.”

Delia was crying now so Rose put her arms around her and held her tight. Again her mine flashed back to Zabini but this time to the scene after she had broken up with him and Scorpius was holding her while she cried. Now she knew what he must have felt. After a few minutes Rose pulled back and took a handkerchief out of her pocket to dab Delia’s tears. “I want you to promise me that if anyone tries to convince you to do something that you don’t want to do that you will come and talk to me before you make any decision. Or if you want to talk to someone in your house you can go to Tegan Anders. She will listen and help you. OK?”

Delia nodded “OK.”

Rose gathered her up and walked her back to the Hufflepuff rooms. When they got there Rose did not hesitate in walking in with Delia. She quickly looked around but could not see Tegan anywhere. It was too early for her to be in her bedroom so she must still be out with Cameron; Rose sat with Delia off to one side of the room to wait. It was about half an hour later that Tegan and Cameron came through the door laughing. Rose stood up and called to Tegan; both Tegan and Cameron walked over to Rose. When they arrived Rose smiled and said “Sorry Cameron this is a girl thing.” Cameron gave Tegan a parting kiss and walked over to a table a short distance away and got his books out to start his studying.

Tegan sat and Rose introduced her to Delia. She then quickly explained what had happened. Soon the three girls were talking about boys in general and about how some were good and some bad. Rose told Delia about her experience with Zabini and about how Scorpius saved and protected her. Most importantly they talked about how respecting Cameron and Scorpius were. It was getting late by the time Rose left the two girls and head back to her own bed.

As Scorpius lay in bed that night he thought over what had happened that night. It proved to him that he needed to make a commitment to Rose before they went any further. He had to prove that there was nothing in him that could be related to Zabini and now Richard. He would do anything to convince Rose that his love was real and not just words. He would have preferred to never have any sex than to do to Rose what Richard had been planning to do to Delia. In the back of his mind Scorpius had been dreading telling his parents that he was getting engaged as soon as Rose turned 17; now that meeting held no fear. He knew it was the right thing to do.

This new resolution buoyed up Scorpius the rest of the week and the entire next week. So it was a defiant Scorpius that met his parents at the front door of Hogwarts Saturday morning. He suggested that they take a walk around the grounds as it was such a nice day. By unvoiced agreement they discussed trivial things as they walked away from the school until they were going past the greenhouses in relative privacy. Scorpius stopped and turned to face his parents. “I am going to ask Rose to marry me. I want to give her an engagement ring on the 9th of June, the day after she turns 17.”

Scorpius had expected resistance from his father but the loud opposition that came from his mother caught him by surprise as she had always accepted the Weasleys. In fact Draco never had a change to voice any arguments as Astoria would not let him get a word in, so great was her opposition.

“What in Merlin’s name are you thinking? I have never heard anything so stupid in all my life. You are a fool, an idiot. It is obvious that you have not given this any thought at all. Even a troll has more common sense than you have right now.” Astoria glared at Scorpius. “How could you even dream of getting engaged?”

Scorpius rallied his thoughts and used the arguments he had planned to use on his father against his mother. “I love Rose and she loves me. There is no doubt in either of our minds that we will be getting married this just makes that official”

Astoria had calmed herself a little. “This is not about love, it is not about Rose nor is it about the fact that some day you two will get married. This is about getting engaged now. Both of you are too young.”

“What does it matter if we get engaged now or in ten years we are still going to be together from now until we die of old age.” Scorpius replied defiantly.

Astoria open her mouth to answer when Draco step in and placed his hand on her arm. He then turned to Scorpius and said in a very calm voice “It does matter, it matters a great deal. This is something that is impossible to explain to someone who has not experienced it but your whole world will change the moment you get married. Intellectually and physically there is no difference; you will be doing the same things in the same way. To the outside world seeing Scorpius Malfoy and Rose Weasley doing something will be the same as watching Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy doing the same thing. But inside you it will be very different. What we want for you is to experience the world as Scorpius and Rose before you have to experience it as Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy.”

Scorpius hesitated, did he hear his father right; was he saying that he approved of him marrying Rose? Scorpius turned and walked away a few steps before turning back to his parents. “Are you saying that I can marry Rose just not now?”

Again Draco stopped Astoria from answering before he nodded and said “Yes that is what we are saying.”

“But you and mother got engaged only a month after you started going out and were married inside 6 months. Why do I have to wait for years?”

Draco smiled “You really aren’t thinking are you. I was 24 when I met Astoria, we both had already experienced life as a person and we were ready to experience life as a couple. The next year we then experienced life as a family. So I am talking from knowledge when I say each phase of my life was very different even though I was doing exactly the same things.”

Astoria walked over to where Scorpius stood and brushed the hair off his face. “I’m sorry I yelled at you. You know we love you. It’s just that you will be making a big mistake rushing into family life before you know and do things for yourself.” Before Scorpius could argue back Astoria continued “I don’t expect you to do this alone. In fact I would not be surprise if you and Rose did ‘everything’ a married couple does while you are doing things for yourself.”

Scorpius was embarrassed when he heard the emphasis his mother put on the word everything but was not going to be put off from doing what he knew was right. “Rose needs this and I will be proposing to her on the 9th of June. This is not open for discussion; I did not ask you here so argue with me. I asked you to come here because I wanted your help.”

Draco sighed “Do you remember what I said at Christmas time? I was going to advise you, I will argue with you but once you make a decision I will help you then stand by and let you make your own mistakes. But I would also help you to do what you wanted to do. This is one of those times. Your mother and I will probable argue with you from now till the 8th of June but we will also help you from now to forever.”

With tears in her eyes Astoria said “I have grandma’s engagement and wedding rings at home, I will send you the engagement ring tomorrow.”

Scorpius hugged both his parents and said “Thank you.”

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