Chapter 7 : Rose's Detention
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Rose sat quietly in Greenhouse Number 4, Neville puttering around, watering plants and the lot. She wasn’t quite clear on why he wasn’t having her do the work for him. Honestly, it was detention. She blushed to herself at that thought. Detention. It was her first ever and she got it for … for … snogging her boyfriend. She shifted uncomfortably in her seat.
“Rose,” Neville said quietly.
“Professor?” she asked as she looked up at him.
“Uhm, see, they told me I had to give you a detention … Miner – uhh, Professor McGonagall suggested you do yours with me. It is your first infraction, after all.”
“Of course, sir,” she said as she slid off her stool. “What is it you would have me do?”
Neville shifted uncomfortably. He hadn’t had much of a choice in this one. Before he could open his mouth to say something – anything – to her, the door to the greenhouse opened and a red-faced Ronald Weasley walked in, his wife behind him.
“Dad!” Rose shouted. “Mum!”
“I tried to talk some sense into him, Rosie …” Hermione began.
“Rose Elizabeth Weasley! Detention?”
Before Rose could reply, Hermione rounded on her husband. “Don’t try that tactic, Ronald Bilius Weasley. I seem to remember plenty of nights when you found yourself in detention.”
“Never for snogging,” he retorted.
“That’s because people were too busy getting sick over watching you suck off Lavender Brown’s face,” she told him with a scowl. “I remember you hexing someone and getting detention in second year …”
“Oi! It was Malfoy!”
“You hexed Scorpius’ dad?” Rose asked in an angry voice she undoubtedly acquired from her mother. “As a Second Year? And you get angry with me for having a bit of a kiss with my boyfriend?”
“Boyfriend?!” Ron nearly screamed. It wasn’t in the direction of his daughter, however, but directed towards his wife. “You said it was a kiss.”
Hermione shrugged. “So he asked you to be his girlfriend?”
“In not so many words, yeah,” Rose shrugged. She then turned pleading eyes on her father. “I really like him, Dad. And we’ve been friends for ages. It wasn’t like we woke up one morning and decided we fancied each other. I don’t know,” Rose said before pausing. “It just seemed the natural thing to do,” she added with a shrug. “Wake up, shower, get dressed, kiss Scorpius.”
Hermione smiled before turning to Neville. He was trying his best to stay out of the conversation. He knew Ron Weasley well … and he knew that the redhead wasn’t nearly finished.
“Neville, is Scorpius a good boy?” she asked.
The dark hair professor froze. He looked to Hermione with pleading eyes. Please do bring me into this. At her look, he sighed in defeat. “He’s really a nice boy. Nothing like his father was when we were kids. He’s smart, too. Second best only to Rose. He’s a good quidditch player …”
“What position?” Ron butted in.
Neville bit his lip as his eyes darted around nervously. “Erm, Seeker?”
Ron eyebrows knitted as he looked from his wife to his daughter. He repeated the action several times before stopping on Rose. “You’re dating a Seeker?”
“There’s nothing wrong with Seekers, Dad!” Rose said heatedly. “It’s a perfectly respectable …”
“I know,” Ron butted in before Rose could start one of her Hermione-like rants. “Uncle Harry was a Seeker First through Sixth Years ... 'cept when he was kicked off in Fifth and skived in Sixth ...”
There was a pause before Rose spoke up. “Not your Seventh?”
Hermione, Ron and Harry had never told their children that they didn’t finish their Hogwarts education. It was something they had spoken about and, knowing the genes that were in their kids, they knew it wouldn’t be right or fair to tell them that they had to stay in school when their parents hadn’t.
“Quidditch was cancelled Seventh Year,” Neville said softly. “That was the year …”
“It was the year the Voldemort was strongest,” Hermione said. “We couldn’t risk having such a large concentration of students out on the grounds, especially Dad and Uncle Harry.”
“And you,” Ron pushed.
“Oh honestly,” Hermione said as she rolled her eyes. “But that’s why Dad didn’t play Seventh Year. No one did.”
The three Weasleys stood together in silence. Rose wasn’t about to remind her father why he was there. She thought he’d calmed down significantly and certainly wasn’t about to rile him up again.
As they stood there, Neville gave her a slight nod and slipped back into the shadows. Her wandered slowly to the back, hoping Ron and Hermione would leave so that he could have a few moments alone to talk to Rose. He needed her to know that Ron wasn’t trying to be mean; he was protecting his family. He had done it since the day he met Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. He was fierce and loyal to those he loved and Scorpius was someone new. Someone who was the son of the man who had relentlessly tortured – verbally, of course – the people he loved for so many years. He knew Ron would come around but he needed her to know that it would take time.
“D’you really like him, Rosie? I mean, real, honest fancy?” Ron asked softly.
“Yes,” she told him honestly. “And before you ask, I don’t know when or why. I didn’t consciously choose to fancy him. Like I told you before: it felt – it feels – natural. And, Daddy, I don’t want it to stop.”
Ron sighed in something akin to defeat. “I understand.”
“I know you do, Daddy. And I know this is hard. But I also know that you know exactly what I feel. It’s kind of like being sick but in a good way. I’m shaky and nervous and sometimes a bit sweaty, actually, but it’s okay because then he smiles at me and my stomach turns in that amazing way and it gives me a feeling I never want to stop experiencing.”
Ron was slightly taken aback. He cleared his throat and looked at his wife who was, not surprisingly, tearing up. He took a deep breath and put his hands on each of Rose’s shoulders. “Okay. Alright. You win, I suppose. I won’t interfere.”
“Daddy,” Rose whispered before launching herself at him. “I promise I still love you most,” she told him, her face pressed against his chest. “You’re the best in the whole world.”
Ron sniffed, trying not to show his emotions. Damn women making me feel mushy and shite, he thought to himself. “Okay, love, we’ll be okay. Just take me some time to get used to the fact of a Weasley dating a Malfoy.”
“I know, Daddy, I know. But you’ll like him. I swear. He’s a good guy.”
“I’m sure he is,” Hermione smiled from behind her.
“Actually, he kind of reminds me of Uncle Harry. Funny, charming …”
“Do you have a crush on Uncle Harry?” Ron asked with a smirk.
Rose wrinkled her nose and gave him a huffy look. “Of course not. But he has a good personality and so does Scor.”
“Uh huh,” Ron said with a smirk.
“What were you bribing James and Al with?” Rose asked as she quickly changed the subject and stepped slightly away from her father.
Ron stilled and, though she couldn’t see her mother, she knew the older woman was frowning.
“What is she talking about, Ronald?” Hermione asked in a dark tone.
“N-nothing!” Ron said with a nervous laugh. “Oh, look at the time. Best be getting back. Tell Hugo we say hello. Give him a kiss from his mother. C’mon, Hermione, we need to get back to Hogsmeade …” he said as he pulled her along.
After the greenhouse door was shut, Rose chuckled as she heard her mouth ask loudly, “What did she mean bribing James and Albus?”
“Rose?” Neville called as he watched her standing there.
“Oh! Professor Longbottom! I’m so sorry. I can’t believe …” she trailed off shaking her head. “What was it I need to do for my detention, sir?”
“I reckon that was enough punishment for anyone,” Neville laughed as he indicated a stool for her to have a seat on. He sat as well, across the table from her, and folded his hands on top of the dirty surface. “He’ll be okay with it soon.”
Rose shrugged and looked away. She wasn’t about to get her hopes up. “He might be.”
“No, Rose, he will. I promise. It – it’s hard for a father to accept that his daughter’s found someone she likes – fancies. I know … I was like that when Charlotte had her first real boyfriend.”
“But you like him now?” she asked.
“He’s a good bloke who cares a lot for my daughter,” Neville said. “Though I would rather she didn’t date – at all – and just stayed around to play with her old dad all the time,” he laughed, “I know that Daniel will take care of her. He’ll love her like she deserves. And Ron will see that too one day.”
“You really think so?” Rose asked.
“When I lost Tessa I thought I’d lost everything. Charlotte was just a baby and I had no idea what to do with her. So I protected her with everything I had. I didn’t want anyone to go near her. But now she’s engaged to Daniel – I’ve been replaced as the most important man in her life when once I was the only one.” He paused. “Your father loves you very much, Rose, and he will come around. Once he sees how truly happy you are with Scorpius, he’ll find that he’ll want nothing more than to keep you that way. And besides,” he said with a grin. “Your mum’ll knock some sense into him as well.”
“I’ll bet,” she laughed.
“You should get on back to your tower. I reckon Scorpius will be there waiting. And if anyone – except him, of course – asks, you watered and pruned all of the plants in Greenhouses Four and Five.”
“Thank you, Professor,” Rose said with a smile as she hopped off the stool and headed for the door. “And Charlie’s lucky she has you for a father. And no matter what happens, you’ll always be the most important man in her life, Daniel or no Daniel.” Rose gave him one last nod and then headed out the door.
Neville waited a few moments before getting up and tending to his plants once more.
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