Rose was waiting for Scorpius in the entrance hall. It was now five minutes before seven and they were due to start rounds at the top of the hour. He made his way to her two minutes before she would have scolded him for being late, having changed back into his dress pants, shirt, tie, and sweater. Thankfully, robes were only mandatory for classes these days. They we about to make their way through the castle and towards the second floor to start their hour long rounds, when they noticed a disturbance in the direction that Scorpius had just arrived from. It quickly became apparent that a few 5th year Slytherins were about to try their hand at sneaking out. It was common knowledge that the Slytherin 5th years and above had a tendency to have a little too much fun on the weekends, and most of the time it involved alcoholic beverages that had somehow been smuggled in.

Noticing the group of them, decked out in black and trying to walk stealthily through a deserted corridor that lead to a secret passageway, Scorpius groaned in frustration. He hated having to bust his own housemates. As they got closer, he realized that one of the culprits wasn’t just another housemate.


He asked the question as if he didn’t want it to be true. The dark haired boy spun around at the use of his name and immediately looked ashamed of himself, but quickly covered it up with a nonchalant look.

“Scorp, what’s up mate?”

Scorpius scowled and approached him, the other two boys had stopped as well and were watching with slight trepidation.

“What’s going on here?” Scorpius asked, a challenge in his voice.

Corbin shrugged.

“Out for an evening stroll, exercise and all that. You know how Mum’s always telling me how lazy I am.” He gave a sly grin at this, as if sharing an inside joke with the older boy.

“Don’t think for one second just because we’re family that I’ll turn a blind eye.”

Scorpius stared him down with his arms crossed over his chest as Rose stood resolutely by his side, ready to support him at a moment's notice, but understanding that he wanted to handle this himself.

Corbin finally seemed to realize the situation he was in along with his inability to get out of it. He heaved a sigh and ran his hands through his hair in frustration.

“Look,” he said, “it’s the first time they’ve trusted us to do this. We’ll lose any credibility we have if they know we’ve been caught. Come on Scor, you know this is important to me.”

“I don’t care Cor, rules are rules.” Scorpius stared at him for a while. He didn’t want to let him off easy, but there was still only so much he could do as a prefect. And he really didn’t want him to have to deal with the older students giving him a hard time.

The boy had a pleading look on his face as Scorpius sighed and made, what he hoped, was the best decision.

“WelI I can’t give you a detention so don’t worry about that. And you’re not even out after hours so I won’t take points, even though I know you’re up to something. But I can tell you to head back to your common room. Please don’t let me find you out here again.”

He gave him a pointed look and the younger Slytherin nodded his head as the other two boys relaxed.

“Thanks mate, I appreciate it.”

Scorpius nodded and the three boys walked off in the direction of the common room. He stared after them for a few minutes, looking unsure if he had made the right decision.

“That couldn’t have been easy,” Rose began tentatively, not entirely sure how what just occurred had affected him. “I mean, I always hate it when I catch my cousins doing something less than acceptable, and I know it can be even more complicated when it comes to yours.”

Scorpius sighed and looked at her, a small, grateful smile on his face.

“You’re probably one of the only people who actually even remotely understands what I have to deal with in these situations.” She gave him a small smile in return as they continue down the hall together. He had his hands in his pockets and a contemplative look on his face. She decided it was best to wait him out. If he had anything else he wanted to add, he would do it in his own time. She knew he had a hard time with his housemates. With the exception of his relationship with Albus, he wasn’t close with any of them. When he reached the end of 5th year and decided to no longer participate in the monthly ragers that were thrown in his common room, any friendships he had with his other housemates fizzled out into acquaintances, save for Al. He would still occasionally attend the gatherings, mainly to make sure it didn’t get too out of hand, but never took part in organizing them. Apparently, he had refused to go through the initiation of making his first Hogsmeade run, due to his status as a prefect, and that was basically asking to be exiled. Based on how the boys responded earlier, it was something that held a lot of weight to the house as a whole. Rose wouldn’t be surprised if the Slytherins had just waited for them to leave before continuing with their mission tonight.

Scorpius wasn’t what they had expected of a Malfoy. Pureblood prejudices were all but extinct and the houses got along a lot better now, but a desire to stay within your “class” still remained among the majority of the pureblood families. With Albus, who only ever attended, they understood because of his family, but they couldn’t quite understand why Scorpius was so keen to throw them aside to hang around with a bunch of Gryffindor’s most of the time. Rose knew he had his reasons, even though she wasn’t entirely sure what they all were, but she sometimes wished he had a better relationship with his housemates, his younger cousin in particular.

She just wished that everyone else would accept him for who he was. Like she had, like Al had, and like her whole family had.

“I'll miss Ethan as head boy next year,” Scorpius said eventually. They were about halfway through their rounds and, apparently, he had decided to just move on from the subject. She looked at him quizzically, wondering how he had arrived at his last statment. He caught her questioning look and explained.

“I was just thinking about how much has changed over the past few years, especially with all your cousins leaving, and how much more it will change after this one. And I realized that I will strangely miss having Longbottom as head boy.”

“Same,” agreed Rose. “But I happen to think you'll make an excellent head boy.”

She said it with such conviction that Scorpius was slightly taken aback.

“Really?” He asked “You think it'll be me?”

“Of course,” she said, as if it were obvious.

“We all know Macmillan is too stuck up to treat anyone fairly, Shepard is far too lazy and only thinks about which prefect he can snog while on rounds with her,” she said with a shiver. “And Davies,” she continued, “is far too biased. He'd let his own house off easy every time. And goodness knows those Ravenclaws don't need any more reasons to think highly of themselves.”

“Well blimey Rose, seems like they'd be a fool not to pick me, even if it is because I appear to be the only option,” he said with a roll of his eyes.

“What, No! I didn't mean to imply that you would only get it just because no one else deserved it,” she began, eager to correct the implication of her words. “You deserve it far more than they don't. You're fair and kind and just. The way you just handled everything with your cousin earlier? There wasn’t anything else you could have done in that situation and still remained fair, and you could tell how much he respects you. You know how to lead people and bring them together. Not to mention you're smart and easy going. Not too high strung, and mature enough to know how to balance things out in your life. I think you can even be trusted to not shirk your duties by sneaking off to snog the head girl.”

She grinned coyly at him and he blushed at her praise and insinuation. Scorpius hadn't dated much. Ever, really. He had been on a few Hogsmeade dates with a few girls last year, but nothing had seemed to stick.

“Yeah, well, who knows, I might surprise you,” he said with a smirk at her.

“Scorpius Malfoy, how dare you suggest you would ever break a rule. Let alone for such a scandalous reason,” she said with mock indignation.

He chuckled at her expression as they continued on their way.

“Don't worry, I'll try and behave myself.”

“Good,” she said, continuing in her mockingly stern tone before they drifted into a comfortable silence and Rose was left to her thoughts for a moment. She may have joked about it, but it pained her to think of him spending time alone in secluded areas of the castle with another girl. To her, his response seemed to confirm that he wasn't interested in her. She figured he would have denied having any such ideas or desires and gone on to confess his need to be with her and only her for all of his days.

Wait a minute, where were these thoughts coming from?

She needed to gain some perspective. She was still confused about her feelings for him and she didn't want to dive into anything too soon or get carried away. They were still young, they had time. It could wait for now.

She was brought back out of her head by the sound of his voice.

“ ‘Course, it'll probably be you though, won’t it?” He asked as if the answer were the most obvious thing in the world.

“What'll be me?” She asked, trying to regain her hold on the conversation they'd been having ten minutes ago.

“Head Girl,” he said with a smile.

“What?” She had barely uttered the word, but he heard her and elaborated.

“Don't get me wrong, Elaine, Mandy, and Angie are great and all that, but they don't have your fire. You could really challenge the students, get them going. Yeah, we have more house unity now, but there could always be more. I see you taking us to new levels. All you'd need would be people willing to follow you, and I know I sure as hell would.”

He said all this while looking straight ahead as they continued walking. Rose didn't say anything for a few moments as his words sunk in. That meant a lot coming from him. He wasn't the most trusting person, but for him to put so much faith in her and verbalize it, it meant something.

“Thanks you, Scorpius,” she said after a few minutes of silence had passed.

“It's just the truth,” he said with a shrug of his shoulders, still not looking at her.

“Really, Scorp.” She put her hand on his shoulder as they stopped outside of the joint common room, their rounds coming to an end. He stood a good half a foot above her and she had to look up to meet his eyes. “Thank you, for having faith in me. I know it's not something you do lightly and I want you to know that I'd be the luckiest head girl in the world if I got to work with you nwxt year.”

He rolled his eyes at her but grinned all the same.

“Oh, stop being all mushy. You know I love you too.”

And he swung his arm around her shoulder and lead her into the joint common room. She barely had time to register what he had said before they joined their friends in the arm chairs by one of the many fires in the great room.

The joint common room had been added on to promote inter-house unity shortly after the war ended. Her father, in fact, had made a big push for this, but part of her thought he mostly did it to impress her mother. It seemed to have worked though, because nine months after the room had been opened, she'd been born. Or at least, that's the story that her uncles liked to tell.
It was spacious with high ceilings and three fireplaces rather than four. Having one for each house would have been counter productive, so they settled on three in the hopes that it would be well used by many students, and that all houses would mix and mingle. As Rose and Scorpius approached their friends, she spotted two Ravenclaws, three Gryffindors, and a Slytherin among the couches and armchairs, and even a few on the rug in front of the fire.
Rose plopped down on the couch next to Erin, who scooted towards Albus to make room for her. Scorpius sat on the floor in front of her as they joined the conversation that picked back up after they were greeted.

“I just don't see where you come up with these things,” said Jill, addressing Louis as they faced each other over a chessboard in front of the fire. Molly and Caleb each sat reading in arm chairs on either side of the couch.

“I mean, using a time-turner to gain more study time? Do you want to die from exhaustion?”

“It wasn't my idea,” said Louis defensively. “Rose’s mum did it in her third year and she turned out alright.”

“Barely,” said Rose with a snigger as Jill looked at her with wide eyes. “She ran herself ragged according to my dad. Missed a few classes and assignments too. It was a lot to keep up with and she couldn't take it so she dropped a few classes and handed it in to McGonagall at the end of the year.”

“Wow,” said Jill with reverence. “You're mum is amazing. And that proves it Louis,” she said, turning back to the blond Gryffindor. “If Hermione Granger can't handle it, you certainly can't.”

“I think you’re all thinking about this the wrong way,” came Al’s bored tone from the other side of the couch as he stared into the fire, ignoring the Herbology book that was open in his lap.

“If you had something as precious as a time-turner, there would only be one logical use for it.”

They all looked at him, expecting him to say something profound and meaningful.

“Sleep,” he said with conviction. “I'd wake up, turn the thing back a few more hours, and get some more shuteye.”

He said this with finality and Louis nodded his head in agreement as Caleb and Scorpius chuckled while Rose, Erin, and Molly rolled their eye.

“I can see how that sounds appealing,” said Erin in an annoyed tone. “But at this rate you are going to need one to have more study time. Do you want my help with Herbology or not?”

“I do,” he groaned as he threw his head back. “I'm just so bloody tired and I want it all to be over.”

“Sorry sleepyhead,” she said as she ruffled his black hair in a rough but affectionate manner. “We still have exams starting a week from Monday and you are a few years away from being prepared.”

He threw her arm off and pouted at her.

“Fine, then you better help me. You know this stuff better than I do.”

“Will you return the favor with Defense? I'm still having trouble getting the wand movement for the shield charm.”

As they moved over to a table and chairs a few feet away, they heard Al’s incredulous response at her lack of ability to correctly perform a charm that he found as easy as riding a broom, but tuned them out as they carried on with the previous conversation.

“With all your concern for having enough time to study Lou, you sure are doing a fine job of ignoring that responsibility now,” said Rose as Jill and Louis continued in their chess match.

“I have to be prepared to beat Uncle Ron this summer,” he said, not taking his eyes off the board. “And believe it or not, Jill is my best competition.”

“Not Hugo?” Molly asked in faint surprise as everyone else around the fire looked skeptical as well.

“Skill wise maybe, but Jill here won’t shut up for two minutes straight and it blows my concentration, so, I figure, with all the commotion going on when our families get together, it's best to be prepared.”

Jill looked at him as her jaw dropped.

“Well then, what if I just refuse to play you?” she said with her arms crossed and her nose in the air, her wavy brown hair, held back by a teal headband, tossed over her shoulders and falling down her back.

“Please,” Louise said, only offering her a glance, his dirty blond hair slightly falling off his forehead and into his eyes, “you can't resist a chance to beat me in something, even if it is slim to none.” He made a move, then looked up at her with cocky smile.


Jill looked down at the board as if it had personally offended her, then placed her chin in her hand and contemplated her next move, forgetting Louis’s previous comments about her ability to jabber on.

“You know what I find interesting..” she said a few moments later as she prepared to make her move, going off on a topic unrelated to their previous few.

Louis’s grin went unnoticed as she stared at the board while he stared at her. Molly and Caleb had gone back to their books and Rose was making room for Scorpius to join her on the couch, having been vacated by their two best friends a few minutes ago.

“We still need to finish our Arithmancy study guides,” he said as he pulled his homework out of his bag. They had both left their bags there before going on their rounds so they wouldn't have to go back to their respective dorms to get them.

“You're right. Best get cracking,” Rose said as she stretched, then moved to put her back against the arm of the couch after retrieving her own notes from her bag. Scorpius watched her as she settled in and she caught him staring.

“What?” She asked as she pulled out her book and began filling in the answers.

“It's hardly fair that you're all the way over there,” he said.

“Why’s that?” she asked, pausing in her writing to look up at him.

“Because now I can't see your notes. How am I supposed to get any work done that way?”

She contemplated this for a moment, then lowered her knees and stretched her legs across the couch, crossing them at the ankles.

“Tell you what. You use your own notes for now and if you get stuck, maybe I'll be gracious enough to help you if you ask nicely.”

“Fine,” he chuckled as he started in on his work. “But on your head be it if I fail.”

She shook her head and chuckled at him before focusing back on her own work. She had to help him a few times throughout the night, and she wasn't bothered at all by the fact that they ended the evening with their legs stretched out side by side on a couch that, thanks to the brilliant mind of her father, they were able to share.

First off, anyone know of another site to host story and chapter art other than photobucket? I don't want to have to pay such a steep fee but I want to be able to add chapter images and a story banner.

Also, I know it might be getting confusing with all of the characters and I'm planning on adding a family tree to the next chapter authors note if that would be helpful! I realize that the first three chapters all take place in one day but that won't be the norm. It's going to move ahead from here. Hope you are starting to love these kids as much as I do!

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