Okay, so there were probably more than a few things wrong with this.
First of all, it was after hours. Lights were supposed to be out, all students in their respective common rooms, so on and so forth. But that was a rule Rose rarely followed. She had heard enough of her father and mother's crazy Polyjuice Potion and Shrieking Shack stories to know that they'd done a fair share of their own night time creeping.
Secondly, they were in a broom closet. How cliché was that? The late Albus Dumbledore himself had probably kissed a girl in a Hogwarts broom closet before.
And finally, it was Scorpius. That in itself was probably wrong.
Dad hated Scorpius. Well, really, he just hated all the Malfoys. Rose knew some of the story, but had chosen to brush most of it aside. Yeah, yeah, okay. Scorpius' dad was a jerk, mean to her father, sorta kinda served Lord Voldemort once. Whatever. Scorpius wasn't Draco Malfoy.
Or maybe that was just Rose's way of lying to herself.
She pushed this thought away.
It was completely and utterly dark, as one would suspect in a broom closet. The air was musty, a mixture of candle wax, mothballs, dust, and old coffee. There were cobwebs, of course. Rose couldn't see them, but she could feel the weird tip-toe they made against her skin. It was silent, except for the sound of Scorpius' and her own breathing.
They were hiding from Professor Longbottom, of course. Who else?
It had started simply enough. There had been a tradition ever since James, Harry Potter's oldest, first came to Hogwarts. It was a tradition inspired by one of James' favorite stories, one that his mother and father would sometimes tell when their children begged. Of course, it was about James' own father and of course it had to do with the TriWizard Tournament. James couldn't get over the fact that his Da had fought a Hungarian Horntail. The thought thrilled him to no end. Sure, sure, defeating Lord Voldemort was fabulous but James had heard that story a thousand times.
When there were TriWizard stories, it was better, because those were rare. And like gold and silver, rarities are almost always more whole-heartedly cherished.
Gillyweed, of course, was a very important part of Harry Potter's TriWizard tournament. It allowed him to grow gills and breathe underwater, and, more importantly, to save his best friend from drowning in a vicious mermaid-infested lake.
Professor Longbottom was the one who had given Harry the gillyweed all those years ago. Hearing this, James had devised a plan, deciding that just about any trick that he could play on the professor was a good trick. Especially one that had its basis in the TriWizard Tournament.
And so it started that, on a random date once every year, James would steal a jar of gillyweed from Professor Longbottom's storage cupboard, take it out to the lake, and he and several buddies would take a little swim excursion. This would be both a joke towards Neville (who James really adored, but liked to tease nevertheless) and a bit of fun. It was wildly outside-of-the-rules, ridiculously dangerous (considering those lovely mermaids still inhabited the water), and everything that James was looking for.
Of course, the tradition became a wide-spread thing and Rose was immediately swept into it when she came to her first year at Hogwarts. The first time was always terrifying. The water was ice cold and dark beyond all comprehension, and you always had this uneasy feeling like something was going to wrap its tentacles around you and pull you down. But the kids always brought their wands, and so far everyone had lived to tell their tales.
Then Scorpius was inducted into the Gillyweed Group (as it was fondly titled by its members) and Rose was given the duty of obtaining the magical plant.
It was a relatively easy task, and Rose had done her research. Honestly, it would have made her mother proud. She had checked to see which times Neville locked and unlocked the cupboard. She had offered to help Neville sort supplies so that she could locate the gillyweed. She had read up on the properties of gillyweed and how much each student needed to consume for them to stay fish-like for two hours.
Most importantly, she had convinced Scorpius to come along with her. The kid could cast a wicked Disillusionment Charm, one that would last long enough for her to sneak into the cupboard, grab as much gillyweed as she could get her hands on, and get going.
Rose had been attempting to set up another charm so that Longbottom's cupboard would appear unchanged, but then Mrs. Norris the Second had come along and, well…things had gone from there.
Running like a lunatic. Surely she had inherited that from her father.
She had shoved herself into a broom closet with Scorpius Malfoy right behind her, pressing her back against the wall and hoping to God that Filch (who was still alive, of course) would simply pass by.
It had taken the two of them a moment to realize just how close they were. Broom closets were, as a rule, unnaturally small, practically stuffed to the brim, and filled with sharp or scratchy things. Thus finding a place to stand was difficult, let alone a place to stand that didn't require her to be pressed against Scorpius.
He was about an inch taller than her, she had noticed, as her heart thumped in her chest and she tried to control her breathing. Sprinting through Hogwarts wasn't an easy task.
It hadn't taken long. She hadn't really expected that it would. She'd known that Scorpius had an ungodly crush on her from the day they'd first met. Little, unnecessary compliments and phrases like "You look nice" and "Um…that book is by Helda Pettridge, right?" had clued her in.
She wasn't beautiful by many standards, but she figured the twinkle in her eye must have had some intrigue. Because now Scorpius' face was inches from hers and she had this sudden wild desire to kiss him.
It was probably the broom closet. Yes, certainly the broom closet. Broom closets did weird things to people.
"Do you think Filch is gone?" she whispered unthinkingly, her eyes blinking at what she thought were Scorpius' lips. It was hard to tell in the dark.
"I don't know," he replied, and from the tone of his voice, Rose could tell he didn't care much either.
She had to bite her lip to keep from grinning, as she clutched the three jars of gillyweed to her chest.
Yes, she had inherited her mother's brains. But she had also inherited a mischievousness that wasn't entirely unlike that of her Uncle George.
Besides, it wasn't her fault if she maybe sorta kinda liked Scorpius Malfoy. He was smart and tall and handsome. He had that nice silver-blonde hair. He was a Slytherin, but Rose didn't believe all that nonsense about Slytherins being evil jerks who still held meetings honoring Lord Voldemort. That was absolutely ridiculous.
But Scorpius was Draco Malfoy's son. If Ronald Weasley found out a Malfoy had been caught snogging his daughter, it was very likely that Rose would wake up one day and Scorpius would be flung across the earth in a Flying Ford Anglia.
But Scorpius wasn't like Draco, you could see that by looking at him. Scorp was shyer and less comfortable in a leader position. He sat away from the others, eating quietly and reading often. Yet he could be rather brave when he wanted something done. And he was—
And I need to stop arguing with myself, Rose realized.
"Are we going back out?" Scorpius asked. His voice was reluctant, reserved. He very obviously didn't want to go back out. Not yet.
"Shh," she hushed him and was unable to restrain the smile any longer. She could now see why her parents had enjoyed sneaking around so much.
Her parents had gotten away with so many rules broken it probably should have made a World Record. So what was this, in the scheme of things?
His hand was already a centimeter away from her cheek. She moved her head the rest of the way, touching his skin to her jaw. She allowed him to brush back her flame-red Weasley hair, trying not to think too quickly. That was what her mother had done. No, she would take after her father this time, the way he would study for an OWL. Just jump right in and see what happens.
What was the worst that could happen?
He was still addressing her nervously, and so she made the first move, surprising herself a bit. She leaned forward, accidentally knocking over a wooden bucket with her foot. Her lips met Scorpius' with an unintended force and his back hit the brick wall, causing him to almost slip. His hands reached out for the shelf to steady himself, as Rose set the gillyweed jars aside and put her own hands on either side of his face.
Her lips trailed across his softly, and she realized that she was leading him into this. She, Rose Weasley, who had insisted to herself multiple times that she did not like Scorpius Malfoy and merely enjoyed his acquaintanceship. He was a good Potions tutor and all that.
But, no, he kissed her back with that Slytherin ambition and she realized that, okay, yes, this was actually kind of nice. Okay, yes, she wanted this. Maybe not like…a lot, but…she liked it. She liked Scorpius.
Okay, she could deal with that.
The bucket Rose had tipped was spilling its liquid contents out onto the ground, seeping under the crack beneath the door. It was very likely that it would trickle out into the hall and Filch would slip on it. The thought of this made Rose grin, her nose touching Scorpius'.
Filch would catch them. And then they would run for it, run like lunatics, clutching gillyweed jars, laughing, until it was too hard to tell which way was left and which was right. Then they would hit the Black Lake and lose thirty points from their respective Houses.
And all would be well.