Chapter 1 : The Art of Moving On
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Rose's red hair whipped furiously in the wind as she spotted The Three Broomsticks just up ahead. She made her way in, breathing a sigh of relief as she felt the warm air filling the space. The Three Broomsticks hadn't changed a bit. It was still lively and warm, the perfect retreat from a cold winter day. The smell of tempting butter beer wafted through the room and Rose felt more at home than she could’ve imagined. She had spent so many afternoons here as a student.
Rose didn't linger long in the doorway; she calmly searched the room for an open table or booth. It didn't take Rose long to finally settle in at the table in the farthest corner of the room. She felt relaxed as she studied the crowded room for familiar faces.
"Can I get a hot cocoa?" asked Rose to a flighty little waitress who was going from table to table checking up and asking for refills.
‘This place really hasn't changed,’ thought Rose as the waitress hurriedly set a mug of fresh cocoa before her. Rose quietly thanked the woman as she cupped the steaming mug in her hands and took a sip. She closed her mind, reveling in the moment. The drink was perfect. It tasted sweet enough to please but warm enough to fill. It brought her back to the many winter Hogsmeade trips she had made during her time at Hogwarts. She always knew she could find safety in the delightful setting of The Three Broomsticks. The Three Broomsticks was, perhaps, Rose's favorite place to be in Hogsmeade. It was where she retreated. Now that she was warming up she tried to recall the last time she had actually visited Hogsmeade...:
7th Year: Winter Hogsmeade Trip
Rose had awoken that morning with more excitement than she had ever expected to. Today was a Hogsmeade trip and the idea with a day off from all her studies was more pleasing than she could've anticipated. She pulled on her heaviest cloak and Gryffindor scarf as she hurried down the stairs of the girl's dormitory.
"Ready for Hogsmeade today Rose?" asked Albus as he spotted Rose hurrying down the stairs.
Rose was smiling, "Should be great," confirmed Rose happily.
Moments later everyone was out in front of the castle waiting to depart. Everyone was wrapped warmly and scarves of all houses and color shone bright against the white blanket of snow that had been accumulating for the past week. Rose scanned the crowd of students, but she was only interested in finding one face. Then she felt someone grasp her shoulder. She whipped around fumbling for her wand. It was Scorpius Malfoy. Her expression, which was tight and furious, suddenly melted into something soft like the snow around her.
"Hey you," she said greeting him.
He was smiling and returned a thoughtful, "Hello."
"I was looking for you," tried Rose as the group started forth.
"I'm sorry, I just got here. I had a few things to take care of," explained Scorpius, sounding a tad distant. Rose wasn't concerned. Scorpius had always been a rather vague person. His nature was filled with an element of constant secrecy but she never found him to be deceitful.
"It's okay, you're here now," claimed Rose, smiling up at him. He threw his arm around her as they walked.
Rose truly loved Scorpius. She had loved him ever since third year. There was something in the way he looked at her that confirmed his affections. She loved dissecting his smirks and talking openly with him. They hadn't always been pining after each other, though. In the beginning she and Scorpius had seemingly nothing in common and they tended to bicker nearly always. She had thought him to be, ‘the ruthless prat my daddy warned me about’ and he had thought of her as the ‘do-gooder Weasley girl’ his own father had warned him about.
Hogsmeade was always a gorgeous scene in the winter. The snow that topped the shops and houses reminded Rose faintly of gingerbread houses. The thought made her smile.
"Where do you want go first?" asked Rose bringing the two of them to a stop. Scorpius was quiet.
"I was thinking about going to Honeydukes. I absolutely need something sweet! Then, maybe we could go to Madam Puddifoot’s? Then round out our day at the joke-shop? I figure that’ll put us in a good mood," Rose suggested, going over the plan in her mind. Rose had always been a planner. She liked knowing her next move. She liked organization, even if it were only mental organization she was dealing with.
"Scor, are you listening!?" demanded Rose nudging him when he did not respond.
"Oh, yeah, sure. On second thought, you go to Honeydukes. I've got a few things I have to take care of. I'll meet you at Madam Puddifoot’s in an hour and a half?" Scorpius was acting more distant than usual. Rose was beginning to worry. He tried sounding sweet but there was something in the way that he kept staring off and the way his responses were getting vaguer by the question that didn't sit right with Rose. Maybe she was overreacting.
"Okay, I'll meet you at Madam Puddifoot’s then," tried Rose attempting to keep herself collected. Scorpius broke away from her slightly, smiled, gently gave her a kiss on the forehead, and darted off in the other direction. Rose felt a weight in her stomach as she watched his departing figure. He was acting so peculiar today. A strong wind brought Rose back into reality as she realized how numb her hands really were. They felt like ice.
Honeydukes, just like The Three Broomsticks, had a warm and inviting atmosphere. The store was crowded, as usual, with insane amounts of Hogwarts students moving from counter to shelf picking out their favorite sweets before there were none left.
Rose took in a deep breath and with that deep breath the familiar smell of sugar quills and chocolate fudge invaded her nostrils. Rose adored the sugary atmosphere. Honeydukes was the place she came to be happy and it never failed to do just that. No matter what kind of foul mood Rose had slipped into, Honeydukes saved her from it all. It put a smile straight on her face. Scorpius had once called it, "Rose's sweet oblivion."
Rose moved mechanically, eager to snag some sugar quills before all the greedy third and fourth years snatched them all up. Sugar quills were Rose and Scorpius's favorite treat. In fact, a lot of Rose's happy memories involved a large stash of sugar quills and Scorpius by her side. Sugar quills held nothing but good memories for her.
Rose had managed to get to the shelf that held the sugar quills with more ease than she had expected. Yes, just her luck, there were approximately two sugar quills left; one for her and one for Scorpius. As she reached up to grab the last two quills another hand swooped up and caught them before Rose. Rose was furious.
"Hey! I was-" she started to yell as she searched for the person the hand belonged to.
"Whoa, Rose! If you want them they're all yours!" pleaded Albus as he shoved the quills into her hands and put both hands up in surrender. Rose's face softened as she took in the sight of her cousin surrendering.
"I'm sorry Al. I thought you were someone else," admitted Rose, her tone slightly apologetic. Rose studied Albus. He was much taller than her. It was quite odd because for a majority of their lives Rose had been much taller than Albus. Albus had just shot up in the past two years. It was ridiculous, how much he had grown. It was almost frustrating to Rose to have to look up every time she wanted to speak to him. She had grown so used to looking down.
"No, it's fine, take them you mad woman! You might hex me!" joked Albus, his hands still in the surrendering position.
"Oh, come off it," laughed Rose punching Albus in the arm playfully. Albus laughed too as he finally lowered his arms.
"Why are you so territorial over a couple sugar quills anyways?" asked Albus as his chuckling died down.
"I'm sorry, but I really needed these two. They're Scorpius and my favorites," explained Rose as she started off to the Chocolate Frogs and Fizzing Whizbees.
"Oh," said Albus following.
"I'm sorry for stealing them from you. If you have to have one I suppose Scorpius and I could split?" offered Rose as she sifted through a jar of Pumpkin Pasties.
"No, no, you keep 'em. Jams will understand," muttered Albus thoughtfully.
"Thanks, Al," tried Rose, her arms now full of sweets. Rose looked down at her wristwatch. She was due to meet Scorpius in fifteen minutes.
"What are you getting Al?" asked Rose as she studied her cousin's empty arms.
"Oh, I don't need anything," professed Albus shrugging."James wrote me the other day and asked if I could send him some sugar quills from Hogsmeade," explained Albus. Rose suddenly felt guilty.
"He can get sugar quills in Diagon Alley, can't he? He's always there," mumbled Rose.
"I know, but he always says the ones in Hogsmeade taste different. They're the best," tried Albus.
"Here, take one!" exclaimed Rose, her guilt weighing on her.
"Nah, it’s okay, really. James will survive. He can wait until the next trip or he can apparate his lazy arse down here himself if he wants 'em so bad." said Albus unforgivingly.
"Oh, please take mine," tried Rose one last time as she extended her arm, sugar quill in hand.
"Nah, like I said, the wanker can get it himself if he wants it bad enough," spat Albus as his forehead tightened. Albus only did that when he was resentful or thinking really hard.
"Are you sure you don't want anything?" thoughtfully asked Rose.
"I guess I could get some licorice wands," gave in Albus disappearing to find the licorice wands.
"Atta-a-boy!" cheered Rose smiling as she watched Albus immerse himself in the crowd. He rolled his eyes at Rose as Rose headed to the counter to pay for her loot.
"That'll be one galleon, eight sickles, and nine knuts," said the witch running the counter, she was the owner's wife Mrs. Flume. She was middle-aged and seemed very impatient noted Rose as she fumbled for the correct change. Rose checked her watch again. Five minutes! Rose shouted in her head. Her eyes widened. There was no way she was going to be able to fight her way out of Honeydukes, sprint across Hogsmeade, and make it into Madam Puddifoot’s to meet Scorpius in time.
"There you go, dear," said Mrs. Flume, smirking as she handed over Rose's bag of sweets.
"Thanks!" called Rose, taking off in a bit of a sprint through the store.
"Rose?! Where are you going?" called Albus signaling to her with his rope of licorice wands.
"I've got to meet Scorpius!" yelled Rose never looking behind her. She was out the door before anyone could say, "Transfiguration." The cold hit her unexpectedly as she booked it out of Honeydukes, but she never slowed. Her fingers might freeze, but she had promised to meet Scorpius and Rose had no intention of breaking her promise.
Rose sprinted through Hogsmeade as fast as her legs would carry her. Her hair was flying wildly behind her, her scarf was close to coming loose off her neck, and her package of sweets was flailing crazily as it hung from her wrist. She turned on High Street and saw the tea shop within distance. A part of her was relieved but she refused to slow down. She checked her watch as she ran; she had exactly one minute.
Rose felt more than glee as she reached the door of Madam Puddifoot’s and swung it open, perhaps a bit dramatically. Rose was attempting to slow herself down. No one had even seemed to notice her grand entrance. Everyone was absorbed in their conversations, significant others, and cups of hot coffee. Rose admired the tea shop, even though she wasn't a girl prone to many frills, she kind of liked the forced romantic atmosphere.
The tea shop was cramped and steamy as usual and the place seemed to be decorated for the upcoming Christmas Holidays. This meant glistening accents of jewel reds, evergreen greens, ice blues, and gold. Floating in the air were golden cherubs, similar to the ones Madam Puddifoot put up for Valentine's Day that busted with green and red glitter. On each table, there was a miniature Christmas tree and a candle that burned bright blue. Light romantic Christmas music invaded the room, setting a mood. Also, gorgeous mistletoe was forming out of mid-air over certain tables.
Rose had made it in time. She scanned the couples sitting quietly at their tables talking in hushed whispers and giggling on occasion. No Scorpius. No matter. He's probably right on his way. He probably got caught up at Dervish and Bangs. That's All. Rose thought as she grabbed one of the few remaining tables. It was just big enough for two and Rose quite loved that.
"What can I get you love?" question Madam Puddifoot, a very stout woman.
"Can I get two coffees?" asked Rose her eyes moving from the window to Madam Puddifoot.
"Two?" she asked perplexed.
"Is there a problem?" asked Rose.
"No, no love. You must like coffee an awful lot, that's all dear. Two coffee's in one little girl," laughed Madam Puddifoot as she scribbled down Rose's order. Rose was confused. Oh, Merlin! She thinks I'm here alone?! How embarrassing! Thought Rose.
"I'm waiting on my boyfriend," spat Rose up at Madam Puddifoot. Madam Puddifoot seemed to be caught off guard at Rose's mini outburst. She reddened, nodded, and then walked away. Many minutes passed where Rose looked out the window waiting for Scorpius. He surely wasn't standing her up was he?
"Here you go, sweet," said Madam Puddifoot as she delivered the coffees to Rose. Rose smiled politely, then returned to staring out the window. Where the hell was Scorpius?
The coffee had gotten cold and Scorpius was now officially forty-five minutes late. "Are you sure he's coming, love?" asked Madam Puddifoot as she stopped by Rose's table, inspecting the full coffee cups. Rose bit her lower lip. She was beginning to lose faith and honestly, she wasn't sure if he was coming or not.
"Yup, he's just got himself caught up, I suppose," muttered Rose. Madam Puddifoot arched her brows then walked away huffing dissatisfied. Rose ignored her. She didn't care how many coffees she had to buy, she was going to sit there until she was forced to leave.
Madam Puddifoot’s smelt sweet like Honeydukes but it also had in the mix, the smell of coffee and tea present. Rose wanted her sugar quill bad but she was going to resist and wait for Scorpius. It would make it all the more better. Madam Puddifoot’s was starting to clear out. The lunch crowd had passed and Rose was feeling more stood up than ever. Then, when all hope seemed gone she saw Scorpius sprinting up the road headed directly for the tea shop. Her insides did front flips and her smile was growing with every step he got closer to finally being with her.
He flung the door open in much the same fashion she had done. His cheeks were ruddy and he was out of breath. He scanned the room and spotted Rose at the corner table by the window.
"I'm sorry," he simply said, sitting down. Rose tried being mad at him for a few seconds but the effort was futile. She was really mad, somewhere deep within, but looking at him now just made her melt.
"What happened to ‘I'll meet you in an hour and a half’?" teased Rose.
"I'm sorry," repeated Scorpius again.
"So are you going to tell me what you were off doing while your girlfriend sat waiting in a tea shop full of couples waiting to be with you?" asked Rose, curious but sounding terribly impatient and inquisitive. Scorpius looked down at his coffee and then took a sip.
"Ugh! It's freezing!" spat Scorpius. He had grabbed the attention of the entire tea shop including Madam Puddifoot who scurried right over.
"What is the matter dear?" asked Madam Puddifoot in a hushed tone. She didn't want to alert the other costumers.
"My coffee is freezing," said Scorpius. Madam Puddifoot eyed Rose as she said, "Oh, let me fix it for you dear!" She whipped out her wand and instantly made the coffee steaming hot, yet again.
"Thanks," said Rose as Madam Puddifoot departed across the room.
"Rose there's something I've been meaning to discuss with you for awhile now," said Scorpius seriously before he took a sip of his newly hot coffee.
Rose kept her face blank, unsure of what was coming next. Her mind raced. Was he going to propose? It was the only logical thing Rose could think this would be. It was a nice and romantic setting he had chosen to bring her to for lunch. It had been the place they’d shared their first official date three years prior. Plus, that would explain his strange behavior all day and his lateness for their date. He had probably been out getting a ring! He was going to propose! Rose could hardly contain herself as she came to this realization. She wanted to smile, but he was acting so serious that she thought it inappropriate for the moment. Rose braced herself though. This was it!
"Rose, I want to break-up," said Scorpius.
"YES!" cried Rose standing up from her chair. Her eyes were closed and she was smiling.
"Uh, Rose?" asked Scorpius quietly.
"Yes?" asked Rose still in oblivion.
"Could you please sit down?" asked Scorpius again. Rose opened her eyes and unclasped her hands. Everyone was staring again, so slowly Rose sat her smile fading.
"I had no idea you wanted to break up too," professed Scorpius taking another sip from his coffee.
"Break-Up?!" asked Rose in complete disbelief. She must’ve heard him wrong. Had he just said ‘break-up?’
"Yes, I just said I wanted to break-up," said Scorpius, giving Rose a strange look.
"But...but...break-up?" stammered Rose confusedly. Her brain couldn't process the information. Her plus Scorpius did NOT equal breakup.
"Are you okay Rose?" asked Scorpius examining Rose's flushed cheeks and irregular breathing. Rose was wide-mouthed and wide-eyed. Was he seriously asking if she was 'okay?'
"No, I'm not okay!" said Rose rather loudly.
"Rose, I think you should calm down," calmly suggested Scorpius.
"Calm down?” spat Rose, eyeing him skeptically.
"Rose, we both knew this was a long time coming," tried Scorpius as he casually took another sip of coffee.
"We did?" asked Rose furiously. Scorpius nodded. "What in the name of Merlin are you fucking talking about Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy?" spat Rose angrily. Her expression was hard like stone and her fists were clenched into tight little balls of fury.
"There's no need to get worked up Rosie. Have a sip of coffee," claimed Scorpius.
"I don’t want the damn coffee! I want you to tell me why you want to break up! And, for the record, don't EVER call me Rosie ever again you prat!" whisper-screamed Rose. Rose was trying not to cause yet another scene. It was likely Madam Puddifoot would throw them out and then Rose would never get the answers she so desperately craved.
"Look Rose, I just think we're in different places in our life, on different pages, different mindsets. I'm sorry," he said unaffected. Rose couldn't believe what she was hearing.
"We've been together since fourth year!" blared Rose thinking, perhaps, if she reminded him of how long they had spent together it would somehow convince him to change his mind.
"I know and it's been all good fun, but I think I'm ready to explore my manhood. I need something deeper Rose," admitted Scorpius.
"Your MANHOOD?" crowed Rose. She knew exactly to which he was referring."You mean sex, don't you?" growled Rose unforgivingly. Scorpius was taken aback. He hadn't expected Rose to burst out like that, especially in public.
"Rose-," started Scorpius, but Rose cut him off.
"You tosspot! You're breaking up with me because I didn't want to have SEX with you after all this time?" yelled Rose standing. She didn't care about making a scene anymore. This was getting bloody ridiculous. "Excuse me if I have morals! Excuse me if I wanted to WAIT!" shouted Rose as she placed a hand on her hip.
"Rose! Sit down, please!" hissed Scorpius, pleading with her as he looked from her to the horrified, yet curious faces of all the couples around them.
"Forget it," replied Rose as she pulled her scarf tight and started to march out the door. She got the door partway open before she felt Scorpius's hands on her shoulders pulling her back. "Let go of me RIGHT NOW!" snapped Rose pushing him away.
"I've been seeing Genevieve," confessed Scorpius looking Rose in the eyes. Rose didn't struggle, she was completely still as she stared into his silvery gray-blue eyes. So the truth was out. She was being dumped for the slut Genevieve Loring, who Scorpius had probably been out screwing all afternoon. Things were getting very clear, very fast. Rose had upheld her morals and refused Scorpius and since she wouldn't be willing he had found someone who was. It was a painful truth to face.
"I'm sorry," said Scorpius sadly. It took Rose a minute to find her voice but when she did she was very clear and precise.
"You don't mean it you unabashed bastard. Don't speak to me. Don't look at me. Don't be sorry." said Rose through gritted teeth. She was trying to convey every bit of angry fiber she had at him. She turned to leave, but once again felt Scorpius's grasp. "Let me go," she demanded, on the verge of tears.
"You stay, I should leave," deduced Scorpius. Then in one quick instant he pulled on his cloak and was out the door without another word. Rose fell back into the chair she had been sitting in at the table in the corner. She was more upset than words could describe. A single tear fell as she saw Scorpius running away from Madam Puddifoot’s, running away from her, running away from their future. The tea shop was quiet.
Everyone was watching Rose, who started to break down faster than she could've ever predicted. She was gasping for air and her tears would not quit. Everything reminded her of Scorpius. She examined the two coffee cups on the table. She sobbed harder. She looked down at her bag of sweets, the end of a sugar quill sticking out. She sobbed even harder.
Rose dug out two galleons and threw them on the table. She was in pieces. She looked up and noticed a piece of mistletoe forming above her head. This was the saddest day of Rose's life. Rose let out a tearful gasp as she noticed the mistletoe and came to terms that she had no one to kiss. She stood up slowly leaving the bag of sweets where it was, made it out the door, then started running not knowing where she was going, fully.
"Can I get you a refill dear?" asked the flighty waitress, bringing Rose back from the painful memory. Rose's eyes instantly shot down to her empty cup. She hadn't quite realized she had drunk all of it. Rose had been concentrating so much on the ordeal that it took her a minute to form words.
"Yes, please," Rose managed to choke out as she handed her mug over to the increasingly impatient waitress. Without anything to grasp, her hands felt awkward. Unable to feel at peace she finally just decided to fold her hands in front of her.
How could she have forgotten that memory for so long? It had been a defining moment in her life. That moment had changed all her plans. If Scorpius had not broken up with her that day in Madame Puddifoot’s, she might have married the good for nothing bloke. She might have had little Scorpius's and mini Rose's with him. Rose shuddered at the thought. Oh, how her life would've been so very different.
Rose was contemplating her life now. Was she even really happy? Would Scorpius have changed that? She was being silly, of course he would've. She had loved Scorpius. He was her first love and perhaps her only love to the date.
Rose had had other boyfriends and serious relationships after Hurricane Scorpius blew threw her emotional trailer park but she couldn't recall feeling as strongly for another human being as she once had for Scorpius Malfoy. Call it teenage love, or first love for that matter but she had never felt such a spark since. It was depressing really; her only love was for the bad boy who wanted her to compromise her morals. Her father had always warned her about him but she hadn’t ever listened. She had valued her relationship with Scorpius so much it hurt even to this day to revisit the painful stepping stones that paved Memory Lane.
"Here you go dear," said the returning waitress as she placed Rose's blue mug back on the table. Rose smiled thoughtfully as she replied with a grateful, "Thanks."
Rose took a sip and her hands felt at peace again as she gripped the mug fondly. In the end Rose supposed she was happy that she hadn't given away her virginity to Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy, even though parts of her had wished she would've. During her teenage years she had wanted to do it with Malfoy more times than she cared to admit. She had come so close on several occasions to just giving in. He, despite his being a jerk and all, was the only man she had even thought about giving it to. Something within her, though, had the notion that if they waited till marriage there would be something solidified between them. It would be all the more special. He’d be hers and she’d be his forever.
Rose sat at her table, politely sipping her cocoa as she watched the people in the pub. Everyone was so different. Everyone had their own agenda, their own stories, and own heartbreaks. It was amazing the walks of life that could be found. Rose had just watched an elderly man whisk out the door and now she eagerly awaited a new subject to study. Who would cross paths with her next? Rose ran options through her mind; it almost became a game to entertain herself and her over active imagination.
Just then she saw the door handle turn and a small part in her braced herself. In walked a man bundled in a dark jacket and an emerald green scarf. He was shaking from the cold. Rose examined him and instantly took in a sharp breath as he pulled the scarf away from his face. It was Scorpius Malfoy, in the flesh. It was like déjà vu. It was dreamlike.
Rose closed her eyes briefly, then opened them again to make sure she hadn't just willed that in her mind. No, he was indeed there and indeed walking her way. Rose bit her lip nervously as she pretended not to notice his tall figure sauntering over her way. Suddenly her empty ring finger and half full cocoa cup became the most interesting thing for speculation one could imagine.
"Rose? Rose Weasley?" asked Scorpius unsurely. He wasn't rude or brash but, perhaps, astonished. It sounded as if he was unsure as if it was really her. Rose looked up cautiously and uttered, "Scorpius Malfoy, we meet again." The confidence in her voice surprised even her. She didn't know where it had come from. His face softened.
"Wow, Rose, It's been ages," he said kindly. There was something very different about him, yet something very much the same. He seemed more polite and indecisive. Unattached but polite would be the closest thing to describe it by. Rose nodded her head as she took a small sip. "Do you mind if I sit? I would like to catch up," he stated very simply. Scorpius seemed more direct in his nature, less vague about things. Rose was confused and puzzled and her mind would not quit going in eight million directions.
"Of course," she said finally, unable to pass up the opportunity or to make a logical decision. The most logical part of her screamed, ‘SEND HIM PACKING.’ The curious and once-in-love part said ‘have a chat.’
"I see you're still sporting the house colors," started Rose very casually as she gestured to his emerald green scarf, now hanging loose. He smiled and gave a small half smile.
"Indeed," he said in a deep, yet cheery voice. He motioned for the waitress nearby and ordered a butter beer. "So, what have you been up to these nine odd years," asked Scorpius. He looked so manly that Rose was almost taken aback. She felt weird sitting there talking to him. It felt out-of-place, like it should've been happening at another point in time to someone else. Rose didn't know how to respond and the way her tone was going to come out scared her.
"Not much really. I'm living alone. I'm a writer and I work some with the ministry. I'm hoping to start my own newspaper or magazine soon," confessed Rose. Conversation was coming easier than she had expected. Scorpius nodded politely. "Yourself," asked Rose gesturing toward him. He adjusted himself in his seat and the waitress dropped off the butter beer he had requested. It was nice and warm and surely refreshing.
"I work within the ministry," he said as he took a swig of his drink.
"How very...typical," Rose said, a bit of bitterness infiltrating her voice. Scorpius hadn't seemed to catch her connotation.
"I guess it is, but we can't all be exciting, I knew it was my place," he said rather happily as he took another drink. Rose gave a half smile. Conversation flowed easily between the two and soon enough Rose had yet again drained her mug. She switched to butter beer as they chatted.
Rose couldn't remember her prior frustration. Seeing him again was better than she could've ever expected. It was going so well. The ease and chemistry of their relationship washed over her like a warm fire. What had gone wrong between them all those years ago? After nearly thirty minutes of discussion Rose was smiling ear to ear.
"Scorpius, it has been wonderful to see you again," she proclaimed as she swiped a piece of loose red hair behind her ear. Scorpius smiled as well. It was a kind smile.
"It has been better than I could've predicted," confirmed Scorpius fondly. "It's been good to reconnect," Scorpius said again as he extended his left hand out onto the table for Rose to take. Rose looked down at his hand and instantly her eyes focused on a shining metal band on his ring finger. Her happiness faded in an instant.
"I-I," stuttered Rose screwing up her face. She pulled her hands into her lap unsure of what to do. He was married and that thought seemed to crush Rose's soul. Some little part within her had thought that things would go back to how they once were. She believed it was the seventeen year old self within her. She hadn't expected a weight like this to come crushing in on her. Scorpius's eyes instantly shot to his band as well. Silence fell between the two and neither smiled. It appeared he had been hopeful as well, as silly as that seemed.
"You know, I knew we were always meant to be Rose," mumbled Scorpius, his eyes fixed on the table before him. Rose pulled back. She couldn't believe him and resisted the urges to both cry and scoff.
"I suppose it was Genevieve then," crisply muttered Rose back. She felt silly for implying he had married the tool to their destruction, but there was always the seventeen year old self within her that needed closure. The wound was covered but not healed. Scorpius looked up; his face was unreadable but somehow sorry.
"No, I never married Genevieve," he said, his eyes glazed and staring into nothingness. "Her name is Amoretta," he replied. Rose hadn't looked up from his hands. She just nodded. Amoretta she said over and over in her mind. It was a lovely name.
"I bet she's beautiful," sadly remarked Rose. Her voice was soft.
"She is," Scorpius answered honestly. His voice was kind and careful. He stated everything like fact and not just pure opinion or speculation. Rose nodded again.
"How'd you meet her?"
"She works in the Ministry too," he claimed keeping his tone general. Rose suddenly felt embarrassed.
"Can I ask you something?" asked Rose as she finally lifted her head. She was facing him full on. "Why did you do it? What you did...us," spluttered Rose stumbling over her words. Scorpius took in a deep breath and closed his eyes. It was something Rose was not quite used to seeing. She could tell he was trying to put in a fair bit of thought to this particular touchy subject.
"Rose, I was young. I thought I wanted something and in being young I sacrificed something so incredibly good for something that I thought to be better. I regret the decision, honestly, but there isn't anything I could or can do now about it. I can’t change things. I don't regret the lessons that love or that sacrifice taught me," replied Scorpius looking deep into her eyes. He meant his words. Rose exhaled her mind swirling.
"I've wanted to know for so long, since I was seventeen," softly mouthed Rose.
"I'm sorry to have kept you so long," Scorpius apologized. "The lessons I learned were hard. I had to learn to live with my decisions and choices. I had to learn to differentiate between love and lust. I had to let you go. I had to learn the art of moving on. I mean, what a mask that is," said Scorpius as he took a sip of butter beer." It wasn't easy to come to my senses and it sure as hell wasn't easy to live with that sacrifice."
"I was devastated Scorpius, my world fell. Do you understand that? I was a seventeen year old girl who had the rug of her entire life pulled out from beneath her. The whole future I had mapped out before myself disappeared in an instant. I had to sit in Madam Puddifoot’s watching you sprint into the distance from the window as every eye watched me crying. Do you even know how that feels? And then there was that stupid mistletoe." Rose felt no tears and somehow that was strange. She expected them hot and flowing by this point. She surprised herself with the composure she was seeming to maintain. Scorpius was taking in every word.
"No, I didn't understand Rose, until later. I didn't understand until I really saw my decision for what it was." Rose nodded.
"I left the sugar quills there in that tea shop along with the Rose Weasley I once was. The second I walked out of that shop I became someone different." As soon as Rose had remembered the sugar quills, it all became somehow clear. She hadn't had a sugar quill since. She couldn't bring herself to it. "I also regret my decision Scorpius," claimed Rose. His brow furrowed curiously. "I regret the decision I made to live up to my silly morals. What I thought was right...you're the only one that I've ever...wanted...," said Rose sadness trickling in her voice. It was a hopeful kind of sadness.
"Ah, the sugar quills," stated Scorpius as he seemed to reflect. "Don't be sorry for that decision, Rose. You were right and maybe I was too. As soon as I came to terms with my mistake I became a born again virgin, you know? Amoretta was my born-again first. I thought about you a lot during those days Rose. I admired you for how you stuck to your beliefs and it doesn't look like that's changed any," explained Scorpius as he looked Rose in the eyes.
As much as Rose felt happy that Scorpius understood her side of the argument now from so long ago, it didn't dull the pain that she now knew and understood his side, that even though he waited she still wasn't his first...born again or not. She understood the hunger and love and lust for someone. She wished she could take back her decision, she really did.
"I wish this were different," he said after a long spell of silence.
"I wish this was too," replied Rose. He had seemed to speak her exact same thoughts.
"Can I get you anything else?" asked the waitress as she came up to their table unexpectedly. Both Rose and Scorpius shook their head 'no.' "Here's your tab," she mouthed as she set the paper down on the table then walked away to attend to another table. Rose reached for her coat but Scorpius stopped her.
"I've got it," he claimed as he pulled out two shiny gold galleons and nine accompanying sickles.
"Thanks," was all Rose could muster to say. They stood and Rose pulled on her coat. Scorpius wrapped his scarf tightly around his throat once more and together they exited The Three Broomsticks. Rose was unsure of where they would leave off. She was still miserably hopeful that they would once again see day together as couple. It wasn't likely though. Nothing seemed to run in her favor anymore. It was still devilishly cold out and all Rose could seem to focus on was Scorpius's silvery blue eyes.
"So, the art of moving on...? Got any tips?" Rose asked quietly. She wasn't sure how to say goodbye. She wasn't sure she even wanted to. Scorpius was silent for a moment before speaking again.
"Freeze time, never lose sight of what got you there in the first place and eventually you'll have moved on and not even known it. The pain will dull and the memories will become less pertinent in your mind but they'll still be there, stashed away," Scorpius said as he placed a hand on Rose's shoulder.
"Perhaps, we'll meet again?" tried Rose, sad yet hopeful.
"Only time will tell," confirmed Scorpius as he pulled Rose into a hug that warmed her from her head to her toes. "Goodbye," he breathed into her ear as gave her one final squeeze. They pulled away.
"I-I," began Rose but she was having a much harder time with this 'goodbye' thing than she had planned. It didn't matter though. With one final wave Scorpius turned and started down High Street. Rose felt lurking déjà vu. She was once again watching him walk away from her and their future together. Then, just when she was on the verge of tearing up she saw his head turn back to her. He smiled a small smile and suddenly Rose found renewed contentment. She gave a weak smile and a lofty wave and Scorpius turned back, clearly set on his path.
Rose pocketed her hands and turned in the opposite direction. It was good to feel some closure, but something inside of her was sure they would meet again. Unlike the last time Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy had walked out on her, she now fully knew where she was going and where she was headed in the future. For now, she was going to Honeydukes to cure the mounting craving of a sugar quill that had built itself within her for the past nine years.
A/N: Originally Part of the "First Love Challenge" On the Forums. This Was My First Attempt At A Rose/Scorpius. Reviews Are Always Appreciated & Lovely. Any & Every Bit Of Feedback I Can Get From You Guys Means The World!
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by Kat Tales