Little Rosie had been brought to Diagon Alley with mum to look for books. Not the wonderful ones with pictures and pretty simple words though, she had totally outgrown those. Less pictures and more books. Mother had told her not to wander off and Rose.... had not listened. She kind of took after her dad in that aspect. Disatractable and already getting a pretty strong will.
So she had found her way to the childrens books at first but curiously had been distracted towards books still above her level for a few more years. It didn't stop her from oggling them though. The shelves were rather too high for her to grab anything but she read the titles with a keen interest. She couldn't wait to go to Hogwarts and learn many of the wonderful things in here. And play quidditch of course! She spotted another child nearby of about her age. She was curious and waved at him. Still, the books were pretty interesting too.
Youthful energy burns like an autumn spent over a day. The green of morning, verdant mid-day quelling into afternoon, the golden rush of winding down as the hand ticked past three, and lastly the deadening to the world of sleep. Scorpy was a heavy sleeper. But he was also a self-sustaining, renewable source of energy. Astoria was staying home from society to spend much time with him, but now she had gone into town on a Mummy's Day with friends, leaving @draco to take Scorpy into Diagon Alley. Beebee read to Scorpius, the wizened house-elf who had come with Astoria when she married Draco. Beebee, Scorpius had discovered, was not only adroit with her particular badn of magic, she could also make stuffed animals seem to talk, and bend her own voice to sound like different characters. Unwavering grey eyes fixed on her until they drifted close when her voice rolled from the cavern of her chest, a primitive hum that sank into his bones, a huzzle of numbing bees that sloughed away the tantrums and frustrations of toddlerism expelled over the day until nothing was left but steady, steady, steadier breathing of a smol human drifting on a raft of fading consciousness.
Books. Mummy read to him to, only when she did it was sometimes about clothes and not knights or dragons or Merlin and Arthur. Daddy read too. He brought the good knights into Scorpy's night dreams, filling his room with imaginary sentinels, raging dragons, marauding pirates. But there were other things, less story things and more mystery, like what would be the pattern of words on the next page, or what art lay on bare walls before you drew it? These were things that kept Scorpius awake until he wasn't when nap tie came, or when he was waiting to be picked up at day care.
When Daddy Draco brought him to town, they were going to make a day of it. "Books first. Then kidditch." Young habits burn hard. He still didn't understand Qs any more than he had a handle on his r's. Only four though, one hand. Bumblebee was working with him on distinguishing read from weed and red from wed. Daddy may have grumbled, but Scorpius patiently reminded Daddy of the moving pictures, and Daddy's kidditch magazines, and won't Mummy be so happy when I can read>?
But Daddy relented. It would be another year before Scorpy schooled in charm school, a conversation still pending with Astoria. Learning in advance couldn't hurt and, if anything, he would be the brightest star of the Malfoy generation. That old celestial family tradition wouldn't hold a candle to what the family would become now.
Scorpius pulled Draco in by the hand but a soft-sharp word from Daddy had him immediately dropping into form and walking neatly by his side. "Can I go please look at books?" And then he was off.
The bookstore was its own maze, another reason Scorpius liked the place. He wandered first to the children's books with all its pictures he could fall into. He wanted to be. But then he grew bold. There was more out there, just like there was more beyond the edge of the Manor property. Big books. Heavy books. The thick leather, the feel of the pages, the way the letters looked on the page. He emerged into an aisle where the shelves towered above him, and the books were the size of his forearm. Scorpius didn't know how to read yet but he knew what he was looking for. He pulled a green covered book of the shelf and it fell open into his lap. He turtled over it, inhaling the aroma of fresh books and pressing his face to the page as if he could fall through and into the underwater cave.
The boy did not wave back. He didn't acknowledge her, which pretty much got her in bad spirits. Rose perhaps was a bit of an ego tripper, whoopsie. She resisted the urge to throw a fit instantly and just marched over to the other boy, very much unamused. She had no idea who he was or why he was smearing snot all over the precious books (even though she knew he wasn't but well, she was upset). She stood in front of him and crossed her arms. "You're supposed to read books, not inhale them." She said, pouting for good measure. "Don't you know how to read?" She asked, even though if he did say no she'd naturally have to teach him. Rose considered reading to be far too important to let that one slip.
So she sat down in front of him, her eyes slightly narrowed at first. "It's okay if you can't. My little brother can't ready yet either. I'm going to teach him when he's older. Or at least try. Reading is very important." She was making herself sound like she was good at it, which wasn't quite true. It wasn't quite false either but it was a little bit over the top. She'd only learned to read a while ago and was still quite slow herself. She felt like it was a huge accomplishment though and had picked it up fairly quickly. Plus daddy always said she took after her mother and her mother was a very very smart woman, everybody knew that. Well, maybe this young boy would not but she couldn't exclude it of course. That was unthinkable. A lot of things were possible and her kind of weird Aunty Luna did teach her that. Never exclude something just because nobody managed to prove it right yet. Only exclude if somebody has proven wrong beyond any possible point of a doubt. It seemed like a very good plan. Open mind but always thinking. That was the plan. She probably should teach the boy that too.
She looked at him and half smiled. It was an attempt at least. She was still a little thrown. "I'm Rose. Who are you?" She asked, remembering her manners of making conversation far too late. At least she did think of it, which was a bonus, she figured. Perhaps they could even be friends and play together some times? It was worth a shot in making friends, or at least Rose figured it was. It couldn't hurt at the very least. So she waited for the boy, hoping that they'd get along. If not, she could go to her mother and see if she had something interesting to say.
Tag: @scorpius Notes: Might be fun if we end the thread by inviting the parents in eventually? Mione and Draco? Could set an interesting stage for when they go to school together!
There was someone else in the aisle whom Scorpius hadn't paid any mind at first. It was a girl, and girls were scary and silly, at least most the ones he'd met through Mummy her friends and their daughter. Frail baby birdies who iked dressing in lace and making him dress up . Eugh. Scorpius would escape to the libraries of the Manor, or go running through the msanor halls naked before he let himself be captured by the fiends again. But then this person was standing before him speaking to him. He rolled up right and looked at her curiously. She seemed upset, her face pinched fiercely that he fixed her with an alarmed expression, blonder than blonde eyebrows suspended by threads that stretched his small face into wide-eyed confusion. Who was this other little person and what did she want from Scorpius? She was a bit scary, and a lot disconcerting in the way she fixed her attention on him with apparent single mindedness. He wanted to shush her, but last time he did that to Mummy, she became Upset so he didn't shush things he didn't like any more, only went to the quiet spaec in his head, the same space he went when he wanted to go to sleep but he had to look awake with his eyes open.
She was still spewing words at him, and he finally tuned in. ". "It's okay if you can't. My little brother can't ready yet either. I'm going to teach him when he's older. Or at least try. Reading is very important."
"I can read, he blurted crossly. Scorpius didn't like the way she said it. The words slipped through his ears with an edge that made him frown. Perhaps it was that he wanted to read so much that he scrambled the tones. It starts early in people, hearing what you want to hear or not hearing well e nough. He was impessionable, which is to say he soaked the world in like watercolor paper. He couldn't possibly know who he would become. There were at least ten versions of Scorpius Malfoy could become and he felt as complicated and confused on a daily basis. The smallest things seemed like Very Important foothills that big people like Mummy and Daddy just didn't understand. \
And reading. He had blurted it out, but now she would test him, wouldn't she? And there were only some things he could read and now he had dug himself into a hole he couldn't escape from. "My Mummy is teaching me some," Scorpius added. "Scorpius." And he stuck out one small hand just like Daddy always did when meeting people. The book lay between them, still opened to that illustrious effervescently blue page of an underwater cage. There was a creature in it now he hadn't noticed, a large grey thing with a sharp spike on its top along what he imagined must be it's back. "Scorpius Malfoy." He said with a bop of his head and as serious of an expression he could muster. Just like Daddy. "And I know books are meant to be read. I was just imagining and seeing much as I could." This brought a sour tinge to his pursed lips as her earlier words finally broke through his mind weeds and floated to the top of his head. She didn't need to be so bossy.
In the beginning she worried a little that she had scared the boy. His eyebrow shot up high and he looked kinda like daddy did sometimes. Or Rose thought he did. Daddy got defensive sometimes when Mommy was a bit annoyed. Rose figured it was totally normal. People simply didn't always agree on everything. She didn't think too much of it.
Then he blurted that he could read and Rose was instantly excited and already halfway to considering him a friend. She liked people that could read! She smiled broadly at him and shook his hand when it was offered to her. After that she sat down on the floor next to him to look at the book. It looked so difficult and complicated that Rose was rather impressed with the boy if he actually could read this. She did instantly believe he could read though. Rose was not extremely familiar with lies and deception if she saw no obvious use for it. She said it was okay if one could not read so why would he lie?
"Rose Weasley by the way." She said as she sat down. "What is that creepy thing in the drawing?" She asked, pulling a face at the creature in the book. It was a bit scary to little Rose, although she wasn't sure if it was even dangerous. It didn't look harmless though. She then focussed on the words amd tried to read what on earth it was in the pages. It was ovbiousy a book for big people though. The words were not ones she was familiar with so it didn't make a lot of sense. She mumbled in herself a bit as she attempted to read the small print. Nearly all her books had nice and big letters and simple words. Not like this. "You sure like a challenge." She muttered with some admiration, still presuming he could read at least as well as she could. Maybe they could figure it out together or just look at many more pictures together if they could not? It certainly sounded like a plan to her.
Rose was easy enough, and Astoria's delicate pink flowers flashed across his mind. Sometimes silk, sometimes real, always delicate except for the biting sticking points. My mummy likes roses, and I think they're pretty but I tried holding one once and it hurt my hand." He wiped his palm on his pants reflexively. "I don't like roses because that, but mummy says they smell nice and not hold them by the stem."
He glanced back at the drawing. "That's a shark. They swim in the big seas and they eat fish, I think. I can't read it yet. The words are too small and big. But one day I will. How come you know how to read so much?" He looked at her carefully. Her hair wasn't blonde as his, and she was as small ash him, and she was pretty like a bird. He hadn't been this close to a girl before. He scrunched up his face. She didn't smell bad, but Fynn said girls had cooties. He didn't know what they were, but she looked normal enough.
Scorp knew about the flowers she was named for. Pretty but with a mean sting if you tried to take hold of them in any way that might hurt them. Trying to hurt a rose would cause you pain. Rose knew, as she herself had found pain at the hands of thorns. "Roses are mean flowers if you're not careful with them. I don't know if I like them or not. They're very pretty though." She said, her attention once more on the book that had caught their attention.
"Sharks are cool. Kind of creepy but cool." She decided. She poked the picture for a moment and then smiled. "Well, my mommy taught it to me. She's a very smart woman." She said and then focussed hard on the book. She was going to try reading but she would have liked larger letters. With an intense face she gave it a try. "The.... shark... is.. a ....... fe-roleus? Freroppus? Ferosus? Prevalor? Predator?" She pouted then, pulling a face. "So many hard words!" She complained instantly, although it didn't deter her one bit. She only was going to try harder!
He looked back to the book as she tried to read from it. He felt the curl of impatience sprout in his mind - both for want of immediate skill, and the wish she would get the words faster. "What's a pre-da-tor?" It sounded dangerous, with a blooming, hovering shadow waiting to drop like a net. "I don't like this book anymore." He pushed it away from them, then hastily closed it with a snap. "There. Now it can't get us." The book gone, he turned to look more closely @rose . She was color where he was pale in his own face and hands, and he decided he liked looking at her. He reached out and poked her shoulder with an impish grin. "Tag, you're it." Then he pushed himself to his feet and skipped down the aisle and ducked into the one next over. Being small, every place seemed big and full of possibility. Knowing Rose, he could explore more.
Adventurers always had some sort of companion, human or animal. His father and mother didn't deign to invest in a family pet. His grandfather had large winged horses, like his own stuffed one many times smaller. The real creatures were so many times his size he feared being crushed. With company, with friends, the day seemed brighter and more playful.
Rose had no idea what a predator was. She had a few ideas looking at the picture but she wasn't sure. "Maybe it's like dangerous? Or maybe old? Like dator for date? And pre for before? Before date? Very old?" She mused quietly, trying to think over the options in her head. It was difficult and she realised her mom would probably be able to tell her in about a minute.
She was startled from her silent musing when Scorp closed the book to protect them from the old animal. Then he poked her and ran off. Rise was delighted of course, but mommy always told her to quiet and calm in stores. Nobody was going to notice right? So she too took off, runnibg after Scorp to try and tag him back. It was a game. Since there were only so many places one could run she tried to see if she found a faster option to catch him. Eventually she caught up and tried to tag him. "You're it!" And ran away as fast as she could, giggling softly.
Scorpius scrambled up in slight annoyance. She was fast, faster than he imagined she could be. Then, he didn't have any girl cousins - or any cousins that mattered - so he couldn't judge her speed against any others. Except that he was supposed to win always, wasn't he. "I'm going to get you" he whispered. Because they were in a bookstore, and while he liked books secretly he did know enough from scolding that he couldn't reenact battles and ship battles and dragon fighting in libraries - he had to be somewhat quiet. But running was simply fast walking so he couldn't get in trouble. He would defend @rose too if they tried to call her out.
He reached the end of the aisle and skidded aroudn the corner. He couldn't see her anywhere. To the left there were six more double-sided shelves leading toward the big-people section, big colorful books with small print and good only for stacking so he could reach the higher shelves in the sections he cared about. To the right were more subjects including military history - he liked that - and history - he also liked that - and herbology/potions, transfiguration, and romance - his mother liked that - and there! A flash of blue. Scorpius jogged down as quickly as he could, and spun into the aisle. "Rose! Come out wherever you are. I'm going to find you and if I find you, you have to try my favourite kind of ice cream and if you find me first then I have to try your favourite ice cream and " he reached the end of the aisle and caught sight of her mane of burnished hair like the autumn leaves on some of the trees at Malfoy Manor.
"I found you!" Now Scorpius ran toward her, grey eyes narrowed beneath pale brows. If only he could reach her before she could dart down another aisle.