NOTE: Next Gen Nibbles is a collection of Harry Potter fanfics set in the next generation era that all take place in the same universe. Most of the fics are stand-alone pieces, but any specific sequels/prequels will be noted as such in the story summary. As this fic takes place in an earlier timeframe than the others, it contains no spoilers.

NOTE: This story is rated Mature for two reasons: swearing and drugs. Neither are condoned, but there is a heaping amount of both. If you're not comfortable with those, I would advise against reading this. There's also quite a bit of sexual content in the form of dialogue. Never graphic and always TOS-compliant, but present nonetheless.

There were several good excuses, some of them even legitimate.

Seventh year was a bitch, and despite her best efforts, Rose's grades were slipping. Straight O's were a thing of the past. She'd begun to accept E's, even some A's. She had actually attacked several people that interrupted her studying. Only two had been to the Hospital Wing so far, and one of them was a cousin who really should've better, the twit.

Detentions were to be had for staying too late in the library, “accidentally” setting a fire in Ravenclaw Tower, and falling asleep in class. Parents were owled. It didn't help a thing. Rose just couldn't focus, bugger it, and the stress was reaching epic proportions. The worse her grades were, the more stressed she was, the less she slept, the less she could concentrate, and the more stressed she was, etc.

It just never fucking ended, did it? All of it a cycle that was repeated over and over again until Rose was actually sick. Sluggish, sweaty, even vomiting twice a week. She said she was fine, oh ever so fine, but bloody hell, she was not.

So when that little sod Scorpius Malfoy asked her if she wanted a joint, with that godforsaken smirk on his face, Rose just threw it all to hell and said yes.

It was a corridor in the dungeons that everybody knew about. They could never really prove much, but it wasn't a secret. It was wide in the open, and the culprits were so smug, you could see it every step they took. They were punished every so often, and each time made promised to reform. But they always came right back to this spot.

Rose was only passing. Completely innocent. She'd gone to see Albus, since she hadn't in about a month and his mother had sent a letter. So many things Rose had to do. She did not have time for this, but she went. He was her cousin. Her stupid lonely, namby-pamby cousin who couldn't get a grip on life in general.

The look on Malfoy's face was priceless. Rose made note of that so she could laugh at it later. He even seemed a bit panicky for a moment, as if he hadn't thought there was a chance in hell she'd consider the offer. But he smoothed it over, shrugged, and gestured beside him.

A thousand alarms went off inside Rose's head. This was a bad idea. Worse than a bad idea. The most horrible, stupid idea in the entire world. Smoking killed you, that's what Mum said. That's what everybody said, actually. But those boys always seemed so... mellow. All the time.

Rose could really use some mellowness.

She let her bag slide off her shoulder and about flung it against the wall. She just couldn't care anymore. Maybe that was the reason. But it didn't matter what it was, because next thing, she was sitting down next to Scorpius Malfoy in a dark stone corridor and inhaling something in a tube.

Seconds after lifting it to her lips, Rose was having a coughing fit. There was a generous amount of laughter. She glowered at her hands, those being the only things she could see very well at all, and tried again. And that was when it happened for the first time. She still remembers.

They shared. Rose didn't think she'd ever share something with Scorpius Malfoy, especially not some drug thing, but it wasn't so bad. He didn't talk much. The smell wasn't great, but she couldn't be too picky. Several minutes of this before he spoke.

'You've never done this before,' he said.

'Obviously not,' said Rose, but it wasn't with the usual bite. She felt a bit too light for that. And sleepy. Was this what it felt like, being relaxed?

He passed her the tube-y thing. 'No, not just this. I meant... rebelled.'

'Well, I didn't know it was this easy' was all she could think to say back before taking another drag.

And that was probably the first time she had ever told the truth to a Slytherin. Except Albus, but he didn't count, because he was hardly a Slytherin to begin with. And she lied to him more often than not anyway.

Malfoy made some sound, Rose wasn't really sure if it was a grunt or a chuckle, and said, 'Yeah.'

Well, they sat there for a bit. More than a bit. Actually, Rose really wasn't sure how long it was. But Malfoy said she'd better stay with him for awhile after they'd finished because she hadn't been high before and who knows what crazy shit she'd do? Rose pointed out she had already done some pretty crazy shit, but he insisted.

Of course, that was probably because he'd had the most embarrassing crush on her when they were twelve and really, Rose wasn't entirely sure he'd ever gotten over it.

But! Details.

The other boys left. Rose knew them all by name. Colin Grove, Barrett Avery, Sebastian Wood. In fact, everybody knew them. They were probably talked about more than anybody, even the most famous Hogwarts teen celebrities. But the boys were a bit more... infamous.

So it was just them left, Scorpius Malfoy and Rose Weasley, probably the last two people anyone would expect to be sitting together in a corridor in the dungeons. It was the family feud more than anything. Rose had been around him sometimes, but never alone. She might've been a bit nervy about it, except she wasn't really nervy about anything right now. She was pretty much cool as a cucumber. Inside an icicle.

'Why today?' he asked her after some silence that wasn't really that awkward but not comfortable either.

Rose shrugged.

He did that grunt-chuckle thing. Snort, perhaps? 'Come on, Weasley. I only ask every time you walk by, and you pick today to say yes. And it was s'posed to be a joke. Hell if I want to share this shit with anyone.' He leaned in a bit, and Rose could make out a smirk now that her eyes were adjusted to the dark. 'Even you.'

'What's that supposed to mean? You want to share other things with me?' she asked in a mocking tone. 'You want to share your feelings, Scorpion?'


'I know what your name is, twit.'

He raised an eyebrow. 'Oh, yeah? And how's that? Dunno if you're aware, love, but we seem to be currently on a last-name basis.'

'What, would you rather we weren't?' she challenged.

'I wouldn't mind it. Too many damn Weasleys.' His nose turned up a bit. 'Confusing shit.'

'You swear a lot.'

'That bother you? Rose?'

Well. That was a question. Sure, Rose swore. Actually, a lot. But her mother had never liked it and Al and Lily were both horrible rats, so she'd managed to confine it to her internal monologue most of the time. Did it bother her that he swore? No. She just... wasn't sure if she should, too.

But Rose turned to Malfoy (Scorpius? Should she call him that?) and said quite plainly, 'No, Scorpius darling, it doesn't fucking bother me in the slightest. Now I can't even bloody make conversation without being accused?' She placed a hand over her heart, not missing the way that he followed the movement with his eyes, and continued, 'You wound me, Scor. You stab me right in the fucking heart.'

So she might have overdone it a bit, but it was liberating. Strangely so. It was a day for rebellion all around.

'On to pet names now?' asked Scorpius. 'That escalated quickly.'

'Honestly Scorpius, these topic changes are giving me whiplash.'

He held up a finger. 'I seem to recall you initiating some of them.'

'I initiate a fair few things, the least of them topic changes.'

Whatever Scorpius might have been expecting of the girl that had sat down next to him on a complete whim, judging by the raise of his eyebrows, it wasn't that. To be fair though, Rose really wasn't this sort of girl. Rose couldn't even remember the last time she had flirted with a boy. Not even daydreams. Rose had zero spare minutes of the day to daydream.

Yet somehow, she had time to smoke something very suspicious with a boy her father had warned her about, explicitly and more than once. A boy that everybody knew as a stoner Slytherin loser going nowhere. A boy that... well, was actually sort of... witty, dare she think it? And surprisingly easy to talk to.

But one mustn't forget the fact that she was sky high. Both of them were. That made it a bit easier to talk to somebody, right? Even if they were a dick, or a control freak? Oh Merlin Rose hoped so because if she was honestly doing this while she was lucid, she'd lose several hundred kilos of self respect.

'Rose Weasley,' said Scorpius in a high-pitched scold, 'I cannot believe you would scandalise yourself so.'

'Ssh, love.' Rose placed a finger on his lips, then leaned in pretty close. And maybe she was breathing a bit harder. 'It's not a scandal if nobody knows.'

Even with her finger in the way, Scorpius managed to get out, 'Well, I'm not telling anybody.'


Then Rose might've snogged him. In hindsight, this was not the best way to go about behaving around somebody who'd possibly harboured a crush on you for about five years. Call this the deep end, and Rose was taking a flying leap off it.

To be clear, no parachutes were to be had in this analogy.


Rose woke up to her alarm, as always. But she did something she had never done before. Ever. In her life. She hit the big, flat button on the top. The snooze button.

Gasp! The horror. But even worse than that, she didn't hit it just once. Rose hit her snooze button no less than three times. And after the third time, she just turned the bloody thing off. It was too damn loud and shrill. She'd stayed up until about two in the morning, and she was in no mood to wake up at five to get her morning studying in.

No more morning studying, Rose decided. She groaned as light filtered through the tower windows. On second thought, no more morning anything. Mornings were horse bollocks.

Rose stayed in her bed for what felt like an absurdly long time. She rolled over and really did try to go back to sleep, but her body would not comply. Or perhaps her mind was causing the trouble. It had more than a few nasty things to remind her of after yesterday. She groaned sleepily. Rose was actually stressing about the fact that she wasn't relaxed, and it was not a particularly relaxing experience.

When she finally looked at the clock, Rose swore. Rather loudly. Ages had gone by since she awoke, and yet, it had hardly been an hour. Rose was sure time had set a curse upon her. And speaking of curses, Rose mumbled and grumbled quite a few on her way to the loo. They had seemed to flow endlessly out of her since yesterday. And as the flow was in her head and really nobody else's business, she saw no reason to dam it.

Rose washed, seeing nothing else to do. She certainly wasn't going to be able to sleep, and she didn't smell particularly pleasant after yesterday. Bloody hell, she thought, the images coming in clearer now that she was rightly awake. You've really done a number now Rose, haven't you?

What healing institution was going to send a drugged-out misfit through training? Even if she had the top scores in her class (which she no longer did, as Min had been so kind to point out), she needed to have a certain... presence. And this? This haggard mess with hair she didn't have time to style and dark circles under her eyes from too little sleep and a predisposition to act out violently under stress? This was not it.

There was a knock at the door, and Rose glanced over to it. She suddenly realised she was gripping the counter rather tightly, and there were marks on her hands that stung if she moved them too much. She gave her reflection one last look, then opened the door.

Alice shoved her aside. Rose was ready to hit her, but the door was slammed in her face before she could do anything much. It was probably for the best, as Alice would easily overpower her in a Muggle fight.

Rose snatched up her Transfiguration book from her bedside stand, closed her curtains, and lit her wand. She did not emerge until nearly an hour later, and when she did, it was with book in hand, eyes glued to its pages.

Nothing was going to stop Rose Weasley from being a golden student, getting her grades back up and graduating with so many honours they'd have to hold a separate ceremony just for her. She'd get into the best healing institution in the country, maybe even the world, and go on to be the most influential Healer of the age.

It might've happened, if it weren't for Scorpius Malfoy.

A/N: Tell us what you think of Rose? In review form, perhaps? :D Note that this hasn't been edited, but I'll be going through and doing that soon, so I'd love to add a few of your suggestions in as well. Thanks for reading!

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