Beginning of May
Scorpius spent most of his days hiding in the library, preparing for exams and avoiding Tanzy. They still hadn’t spoken since their breakup. It was only a matter of time, but he wanted to put it off for as long as possible. He also felt guilty because he was spending more and more time with Rose (somewhat against his will), but he didn’t want to rub it in Tanzy’s face.
Even though she had initiated the breakup, he didn’t want her to think that he had moved on to Rose.
Scorpius jumped, startled by Rose’s voice. She sank to the floor next to Scorpius and looked at all the books he had splayed out. “What are you doing here?”
Rose gave him a dull look, “I came to fetch you.”
Scorpius looked suspicious, “Why?”
“Wipe that look off your face. It’s Saturday, Gibb is holding another dueling lesson in about… thirty minutes.” Rose said happily. “Not that you would notice since you’ve been locked in the library all day.” Scorpius noticed that Rose was wearing dueling clothes: a black leather jacket, dark jeans, and boots. He couldn’t help but stare at her for a moment, taking in how she looked in her mysterious ensemble.
“Is it that soon?” He had completely lost track of time.
“Yes, Al sent me to fetch you when you didn’t come for dinner.” Rose started packing up Scorpius’s books and he made a noise of protest.
“I’m not finished—”
“Don’t be silly, you have to come. You can’t seriously want to work on homework instead of coming to dueling lessons. Don’t be absurd,” Rose said scathingly. Over the past year, he had been more accustomed to her hyperbolic way of speaking. She said things that would’ve once upset him, but now he understood that she spoke to everyone that way. She was very dramatic and passionate and her word choices reflected that.
“C’mon.” Rose stood up and tossed Scorpius’s bag at him. Scorpius stood up and adjusted the bag over his shoulder. Rose was being uncharacteristically peppy and Scorpius wondered what had gotten into her. Scorpius had the feeling that Rose was trying to keep
Penny busy and distracted from the recent tragedy.
She had taken on this weird group-bonding persona.
Scorpius groaned as he realized that Tanzy would probably be at tonight’s lesson. “Of course, Gibb decides to start up a dueling club weeks after I break up with my girlfriend.”
Rose laughed under her breath as they passed Madam Pince’s desk. The old librarian gave them a wary look. She still hadn’t forgiven them for nearly setting the place on fire. Once they were safely out of her grasps, Rose laughed aloud.
“So you’re afraid that Tanzy is going to curse you off the platform?” Rose asked. Scorpius gave her a disapproving look at the mirth in her voice. “I hardly think Tanzy is so…” she searched for a word, “bold.”
Scorpius rubbed his eyes, “It wasn’t a good breakup.”
“I heard stories,” Rose agreed. Scorpius realized that Rose could’ve heard about Tanzy’s jealous rant. He was embarrassed to have
Tanzy think he cared more about Rose than his girlfriend, but it seemed far worse that Rose would think that.
“It was just a shock.” Scorpius muttered.
“Well personally, I am looking forward to knocking some heads.”
Scorpius laughed, “I can tell. You’re wearing your ‘I’m-a-badass’ clothes.”
“Shh!” Rose snapped as they passed some younger kids. Scorpius rolled his eyes. As if Hogwarts kids never heard curse words.
“You’re a terrible influence.” Scorpius rolled his eyes. His stomach grumbled and Rose gave him a pointed look. “You should’ve come to dinner.”
“I didn’t realize how late it was.”
“There’s probably time to snag food from the kitchens if you want?” Rose offered.
That did seem like a good idea, especially if he was going to be expending large amounts of magic. Rose didn’t wait for him to respond, she started treking to the kitchens. He walked behind her for a moment before extending his stride to catch her. Her red hair swayed and there were few things as mesmerizing as her hair.
Although the way she marched forward without hesitation was also endearing. She didn’t even pause to see if he had followed her.
They walked all the way to the painting of the fruit without saying a word. The house elves happily supplied them with food and Rose snagged several pastries, despite having eaten dinner an hour earlier.
“Thanks Madpy,” Scorpius waved on their way out.
“You is welcome, Mr. Malfy.” The house-elf looked like she would cry with happiness.
When he closed the portrait hole, he saw Rose giving him a shrewd look. “What?” He grumbled, wondering why she was staring at him apprehensively. She simply shook her head and smiled at the ground. “You’re giving me a weird look.”
“Mr. Malfy?” Rose sniggered. “That’s cute.”
“Shut up.” He took a bite of his sandwich.
Rose looked sideways at him, “I didn’t realize you were so friendly with the house elves.” She didn’t think of him as friendly period.
Much less friendly with house elves. And from the defiant look on his face, he knew what she was thinking.
Scorpius shrugged, “They’re friendly with everyone.”
“Just finish eating,” she commanded. Scorpius smiled and realized that she didn’t get to witness his better side very often. Although she had admitted to Tanzy that Scorpius wasn’t ‘an overall bad guy.’ He still hadn’t questioned Rose about what she meant when she said that. Tanzy had begged him to to say anything and out of respect for her, he didn’t tell Rose what Tanzy had said.
Now, Scorpius had no obligation to keep Tanzy’s secrets. But do I really want to throw Tanzy to Rose’s mercy? They were headed to dueling club, so telling Rose that Tanzy had confided what she had said was risky.
“What are you thinking about?”
Scorpius blinked and his cheeks heated. “Question,” he cleared his throat, “would you consider us friends?”
To his surprise, she didn’t hit him. Instead she gave him an are-you stupid look and said, “Of course we’re friends, you idiot.”
“You’re giving me mixed messages.” He replied dryly.
“Well, I can’t start a new friendship and start being nice to you on the same day. It would just be too much.” Rose said with off-handed humor. Scorpius smiled despite himself and understood what she meant about not moving too quickly in their burgeoning friendship.
It was almost as though they would get whiplash moving from enemies to friends.
“Do you think we’ve redeemed ourselves enough to be made Heads?” Scorpius mused.
Rose looked sideways with a cheeky smile. Scorpius’s heart jumped and he clenched lips together to keep from grinning back at her.
“Oh, I think we’ve put on quite a show for McGonagall. Holding the door for me was perfect.” Scorpius’s step faltered for a moment as he tried to recall what she was speaking about.
“Wait, when was that?”
Rose gave him an impatient look, “A few days ago… when you saw McGonagall and held the door for me. The old bat looked thrilled by our progress.” She spoke slowly, enunciating every word. Scorpius’s face heated, not knowing what specifically she was referring to, which meant that he had not held the door for her because of the Headmistress.
He must have held the door for her reflexively. “Oh, right.” He agreed quickly, “Maybe she won’t make us patrol together once a month anymore.”
Rose gave him a curious look, “We’re only scheduled to patrol together once more. We’re almost free!” She clapped her hands together delightfully. “Although, I am peeved that we have to cover the fifth years’ patrols.” Scorpius smirked at her bitter statement. She was always so black and white, with little room for a middle ground.
All of their friends ignored her hyperbole, but Scorpius could hardly resist a chance to needle her and see her face flush. “It actually makes sense. Since fifth years and seventh years have O.W.L. 's and N.E.W.T. exams.” Rose’s face screwed up and she scrunched her nose in the way she always did when he was right.
“Yeah, well,” she huffed playfully, “we have exams too.”
“Next year when we’re heads we can change it,” he nudged her with his elbow.
Rose pursed her lips, “It’s hardly going to matter when we’re not sixth years anymore.”
A group of young Hufflepuffs skirted around them in the corridor. One girl turned pink and made a choking sounds as she practically clung to the wall, keeping distance from Scorpius and Rose.
When the back of his neck tingled, Scorpius looked at Rose and found her staring at him with amusement.
Rose shook her head and he caught sight of her smiling. “Everyone loves you.”
Scorpius’s eyebrows dropped, not sure what had brought on this line of conversation.
Rose giggled at his expression, “All of those third years were staring at you.”
“I think they were afraid we were going to start dueling.”
She snorted in disbelief, “Please, they have crushes on you, that’s why they all turned red when you dained to look at them.”Scorpius’s blush crept down his neck and he looked pointedly away from Rose. “Hayley and Sybil have been trying to convince me that you’re a catch, but I had a hard time believing it. I suppose the Hogwarts population disagrees with me.” Rose didn’t sound pleased with that fact.
He didn’t know how to respond to any of those revelations. Hayley had publicly thrown herself at Scorpius on several occasions, but she didn’t realize that her and Rose had argued about it. Sybil was always so quiet, he did not know her well and was surprised that she also thought that he was a catch.
Rose seemed to revel in his discomfort and silently congratulated herself.
They arrived outside of the Great Hall, which had been transformed since dinner. The doors were closed and several students were gathered outside, including Penny and Al and Tanzy, much to Scorpius’s dismay.
And worse, all the other students appeared very interested in how Tanzy and Scorpius would interact. He was determined not to be gossip fodder any longer. Scorpius didn’t spare his ex-girlfriend a look and made straight for his friends, Rose following close behind.
“I wish we had more time to practice dueling,” Penny said, leaning casually against the stone wall.
“I hope Gibbs actually lets us duel. I’m sick of practicing defensive spells, I want to go on the attack.” Rose said eagerly.
Al gave her a dry look, “Don’t you think you’ve had enough practice attacking Scor?”
“Yes and since we’ve stuck up a truce, I haven’t had a way to get out my pent up aggressions.” Rose snorted. Scorpius had to bite his tongue to keep from making a snappy retort. He wanted to tell her that there were multiple ways to get rid of pent up aggression that didn’t include fighting.
A tightness curled in his lower stomach that had been occurring more and more.
It was the same feeling he got when he caught himself staring at her hair or her legs. There was heat in his chest… but also guilt. It seemed too soon after breaking up with Tanzy and there was also the small fact that Rose was his mortal enemy.
Except even Rose herself had admitted that they were friends now.
“Maybe you should look into therapy,” Penny smirked, “if you have so much aggression that you need to go around attacking people.”
Al and Scor laughed and even Rose cracked a smile.
“I meant,” Rose said with emphasis, “that it’ll be nice to blow off steam since we’ve all been cooped up for months.”
And thirty minutes later, after Gibbs and several other professors had arrived, Rose was going to get her chance. Same as the last session, Gibb went over rules and several strategies to get an opponent off balance. Then, to everyone’s surprise, Professor Sprout took a turn discussing how to maximize your chances in a duel. They were all on the dueling platform and Gibbs took a step back to let Sprout take the spotlight.
“Who here knows what your wand is made of?”
All of the students raised their hands.
Rose wasn’t surprised. It would’ve been ridiculous for a wizard not to know the make of their wand.
“And who knows the attributes of their wand make? Does your wood prefer an owner who is confident or an owner who is mindful?” Sprout asked thoughtfully. This time fewer students raised their hands, Rose and Scorpius among them. Al gave them a dry look as if to say, of course you both know.
“Ms. Weasley, why don’t you tell us about your wand?”
Rose took in an eager breath, “My wand wood is Ebony, which pairs well with owners who are self-assured. Ebony is particularly good at Transfiguration work and excellent for dueling. My wand is not particularly flexible, not great for changing opinions, and 12 and a half inches.” Rose didn’t mention that longer wands tend to choose owners with dramatic personalities. Somehow, it seemed like she had already revealed too much about herself. Although, none of this was a surprise.
Sprout gave her a pleased smile, “Right you are, five points to Gryffindor. And your wand core?”
“Dragon Heartstring.” Rose said proudly. “A powerful wand core, but also temperamental and more likely to produce accidents.” In her peripheral vision, she saw Scorpius give Al a knowing look. She could imagine he fixated on the word ‘temperamental.’
Sprout made another happy sound. “Excellent! And let’s see… Mr. Malfoy, why don’t you tell us a little about your wand?”
Rose was rather curious to hear about Scorpius’s wand. The make and model said a lot about their owner’s priorities and personality.
As she glanced around, she saw Tanzy watching Scorpius intently and felt heat rise in her cheeks. The blonde curl was clearly still hung up on him and it didn’t help that Scorpius was always at the center of everything.
“My wand is made of Red Oak, a wood that choses owners with quick reflexes,” Scorpius glanced at Rose, “and is also known to be an excellent dueling wand.” Rose narrowed her eyes and met him with a challenging smile. “My wand is 10 and a half inches long and moderately flexible. My core is Unicorn hair, which is reliable and loyal.”
“Five points to Slytherin,” Sprout nodded, looking thrilled with her best students.
From the competitive glint in Scorpius’s eyes, Rose knew that that wasn’t the end of it. Last lesson, they had gotten to practice more advanced spells, but did not get to practice a real dual. Rose wanted to push herself as hard as she could and put everything she had learned to the test.
Afterall, what was the point of school if not to prepare you for the real thing?
Gibb took over from Sprout and gave the students a stoic look. “Thank you, Professor Sprout. It’s important that you know your wands, know your strengths and use them to your advantage in a duel.” Gibbs looked out over the several dozen sixth years with discerning eyes. “Dueling is about how well you know yourself and how quickly you can figure out your opponent. You have to make split second decisions and hope that you don’t get disarmed… or killed.”
The mood in the room shifted dramatically with just two words.
Anticipation built and many students looked nervous. Rose was ready. She knew that she could beat anyone in the room and wanted the chance to prove it. She didn’t want to spend time practicing disarming spells any longer, she wanted to do the real thing.
“I need two volunteers to come up and demonstrate a formal duel…”
As soon as Gibbs said ‘volunteers,’ Rose and Scorpius’s hands flew into the hair without hesitation. Rose saw some other students’ arms twitch, but then they thought better of it. She wasn’t sure if they just wanted the entertainment of watching Rose and Scorpius go at it or if they didn’t trust their own skill.
Gibbs’s shoulder slumped in defeat. Rose nearly laughed at the professor’s aversion to letting Scorpius and Rose duel. He paused for another moment, as if hoping for anyone else to volunteer. Sprout gave him a small shrug and it became clear that Rose and Scorpius were the only ones offering.
“Alright,” Gibbs and the other professors stepped off of the platform. “Mr. Malfoy, Ms. Weasley, step up and take your positions at either end.” Rose gripped her wand and walked up the steps, keeping her eyes on Scorpius walking up on the opposite end.
When they were facing each other down, Gibbs said, “Bow to your opponent…”
They followed his direction.
“Raise your wands…”
Rose breathed deeply and shot Scorpius a threatening smile. He returned it.
“On three. One… two… three.”
“Everte Statum!” “Incarcerous!” Rose and Scorpius whipped their wands, their spells clashing against each other.
Rose quickly recovered from the blast of their colliding spells.
“Obscuro,” Rose hissed and she cut her wand through the air, hoping to blindfold Scorpius and get the edge on him.
But he deflected, “Finite! Alarte Ascendare,” he shot a charm meant to launch her into the air. She didn’t have time to cast a shield, so she ducked and rolled.
“Aqua Eructo,” she yelled as she jumped up from her roll. Water sprayed from her wand and blasted Scorpius in the face, catching him off guard and sending him stumbling back. When the water died out and her wand stopped spraying, Scorpius was breathing heavily and coughing.
Rose widened her stance and stood tall, “Everte Statum!” She attempted her first spell again and this time, while Scorpius was recovering from nearly drowning, it landed. Scorpius was knocked backward and let out a pained gasp as he clutched where the spell hit.
She heard some students gasp and let out a shaky smile.
In a desperate move, Scorpius sent lightning flying at her, “Baubillious!”
Rose threw up a shield, but her stance was shaken. She had no idea how long their duel lasted, but they gave each other everything. Rose was so focused, she couldn’t have told you who else was in the room with them. Scorpius was all she saw.
He cast all manner of charms and spells at her and she returned it all with vigor. Time lost all meaning and Rose could barely keep up with his pace as he threw hexes, and anything else he could think of, her way. Explosions sounded around them and just as Rose was about to cast a charm dragging him towards her (in order to gain a tactical advantage), Gibbs started speaking.
Only Rose and Scorpius weren’t listening to the professor. She didn’t know if he was giving them pointers and telling them to stop because nothing Gibbs said entered her brain.
Just as Scorpius was about to finish his confusion charm, when his wand flew from his hand and Rose’s flew from her hand.
The tunnel vision that they both had disappeared. Rose saw Scorpius, breathing just as heavily as she was, looking just as bewildered by the loss of their wands. It wasn’t until Gibbs surged out of the crowd, that Rose saw the two wands clutched in his right hand.
Rose frowned, wondering why the professor had taken their wands away.
Until she saw the other students, huddled against the wall of the Great Hall, as far away from the dueling platform as possible. Even Penny and Albus looked awed. There were char marks on the platform, on some of the walls, and many other signs that showed how fiercely they had been fighting.
“Well done,” Gibbs told both of them.
Their chests moved up and down rapidly, still catching their breaths. Scorpius looked as disheveled as Rose had ever seen him. His black shirt was unbuttoned at the top and his chest and cheeks were flushed pink. His white hair, normally carefully styled, was loose and hanging over his forehead. He looked exhausted but his eyes were alive with motivation.
“Why did you disarm us?” Rose demanded.
“You were getting out of control. And while in a real duel, I encourage you to use every spell at your disposal, we are still inside a school. We don’t want to blow up the Great Hall.” Gibbs frowned, looking at the havoc the two of them had wreaked. “Take a bow and have a seat.”
Scorpius and Rose bowed to each other and then got off the platform. Once they had collected their wands, they went and sat on one of the benches along the wall. Gibbs picked out two more students and the next duel began a few minutes later.
These two sixth years didn’t seem as confident as Rose and Scorpius had been.
“That was fun,” Scorpius smiled softly as he leaned his head back against the stone.
Rose felt how he looked. She was ready to fall asleep and not wake up for at least ten hours. “We’re pretty impressive.” She agreed. Al and Penny appeared in front of them.
“Congratulating yourselves?” Albus scoffed.
“That was amazing,” Penny told them. “I was worried for a while there that you were going to blast each other off the platform.”
Despite those fears, Rose was thrilled. She could feel the elation radiating from Scorpius. They were sitting dangerously close, a hair away from their shoulders touching.
When she glanced sideways she saw the corner of his mouth crook up.
She found herself concealing her own smile.
A/N/: Hi all! Thanks for reading! I'm super into wandlore and spells so I went a little deep with the terminology in this chapter. I hope that you found it interesting :) With everything happening, I haven't been able to write or focus as much as usual, so I apologize for the delay.
Let me know what you think about the duel and the developments between Rose and Scorpius!
Update on 06/12/20: Hi guys, I'm having trouble posting a new chapter, but I am working on getting that fixed with HPFF. Hopefully, it will be fixed soon and the next chapter will be up! So if you are reading this, please bear with me :) In the meantime, leave a review and let me know what you think!
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