Chapter Two - Welcome To My World
It happened two years ago. I was twenty years old. Twenty sounds old when you’re a teenager, but when you’re actually twenty, you still feel like a thirteen year old, trapped in this new adult body. You’re not a teenager anymore, technically, but mentally you are. Mentally, you’re no different from when you were thirteen, fourteen or fifteen. You’re still a teenager in many ways, though people expect much more from you.
I moved into this flat when I was twenty. I was a twenty year old teenager with a three year old son, moving away from home for the first time. Hogwarts never really counted as being away from home because I was always surrounded by family. Now, I was on my own. I’d only just started working in St Mungo’s, having given up on the dream of doing my NEWTs. After all, I had no time to study for them like I thought I would when I was a young, optimistic seventeen year old – well, not optimistic, but young. I hadn’t realised that motherhood was a twenty-four hour a day job, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. I was an adult. A real grown-up. I was terrified.
Then he came around to celebrate my new job and my new flat – my new life. He brought a bottle of cheap champagne, because he couldn’t afford the good stuff. Nimbus wasn’t paying him much at the time, considering he was just an apprentice. But I didn’t mind. I liked the cheap stuff, and I was used to settling for second best. And as long as he was the one bringing it, he could have brought me urine in a bottle and I wouldn’t have cared. He was all I needed and when I was with him, arguing and bickering, I felt like a carefree teenager again. Not that I was actually ever carefree, but more than I am now.
He was wearing a white shirt, which I found strange at the time, considering Scorpius only ever wears t-shirts or hooded jumpers. He looked smart and formal. I should have suspected something as soon as I let him inside, but I didn’t. After we polished off the bottle of £3.99 champagne he’d bought in the Muggle supermarket, he turned to me and said ‘Marry me’. As if I didn’t have enough on my plate. As if I wasn’t going through enough change.
I said no. And that was that.
So now, as he sits before me on my couch, the same couch he popped the question on only two years ago, waiting for my response, I can’t help but marvel at the irony of it all.
“You got married?” I say blankly, “You…got married?” I say blankly. He nods. Just nods. “As in…married?” He nods again. “As in you have a wife?” Another nod. “So you’re somebody’s…husband?”
I hold up a hand and he stops talking. “Just let me get this straight. You got married…in Las Vegas.”
“You got married – as in, you took a wife – in Las Vegas.”
“Do people actually do that?” I ask, “I mean, does that actually happen in real life?”
“Apparently,” he replies.
Well this has to be some sort of joke. Scorpius was never really very good at the jokes, but this has to be one. I grin at him and wait for him to grin back. But he doesn’t. He just keeps looking at me like I’m a ticking bomb, waiting to explode at any second. But this has to be a joke! I can’t stop myself from laughing at the image of Scorpius Malfoy, son of Draco Malfoy, standing in the Chapel o’ Love, getting married to some scarlet woman by some awful Elvis impersonator! It’s like something from a horribly cheesy Muggle film!
“You had me going there for a minute!” I laugh, “I mean, can you imagine if you actually did get married? You know, Scorp, you were never really a funny person. You got funny! Well done!”
He still isn’t laughing. Why isn’t he laughing?
“Rose, I’m not joking,” he says seriously. That makes me laugh even more. I’m starting to get hysterical now – I just can’t stop! I sincerely hope I don’t wet myself, because I’d never get it out of the couch. I haven’t laughed like this since Molly got drunk at my twenty-first and fell head first into the toilet. “Seriously.”
I stop laughing and look at him. Oh dear God he’s serious.
“You...you’re not joking.”
“You have to be joking,” I gasp, “I mean, I know you wouldn’t just get married to some random woman without running it past me – past Aidan – first. Unless...were you drunk? Or on some sort of mind-altering potion? Were you imperiused? Are you still imperiused?”
“I just fell in love,” he shrugs. I feel like he’s kicked me in the stomach. “Her name is Daisy, she works with Nimbus too and I’ve known her a while. We only really got to know each other while we were in America...”
I’ve stopped listening. Daisy is a cow’s name. Not a ‘stupid bitch’ cow, but an honest to God, mooing Friesian cow. I have to be dreaming. This is just another one of my strange dreams.
“...and we just decided we’d go for it. Life’s too short to wait around, you know?”
“Right...you’re right. Life is too short. Congratulations.” I can’t believe this is coming out of my mouth. It’s as if my mouth in no longer connected to my brain. All I want to do is throw things and yet here I am, smiling politely. Even Scorpius is shocked by my reaction. I can’t blame him. I’ve thrown things at him for much smaller things. “This is really great.”
This is so very awkward. I want to cry and scream and shout and demand to know why the hell he is doing this to me, but I just keep smiling like a crazy woman. I feel completely numb on the inside, even though I can feel tears brewing in my eyes. Is this what a nervous breakdown feels like? Have I finally, after threatening to so many times, crossed the line into crazy town?
“Maybe I should go...” says Scorpius, standing up, “I’ll just go say goodnight to Aidan...”
“Right...great!” I say, too enthusiastically for it to be considered real. I’ve said ‘great’ twice now and I can tell he’s noticed. He goes into Aidan’s bedroom to say goodnight, giving me time to pull myself together. Just a few deep breaths. Everything will be alright. Just because the father of my child is married to another woman doesn’t mean I have to completely lose the plot. I’ve been through worse. I had a child when I was seventeen! This can’t possibly be worse.
Then again, I had Scorpius. Now I have nobody but a five-year-old, depending on me for his every need.
“I’ll be off then,” Scorpius says from the doorway, “I’ll see you soon? I thought Aidan could come to mine at some stage on Christmas Eve?”
“Yeah, great!” I cry, grinning manically, “I’ll talk to you soon, Scorp-O!”
I’ve done it. I’ve called him Scorp-O. There’s no turning back now. He gives me a very strange look.
“Rose, are you drunk?” he asks.
“Nope, not drunk, just happy! Happy for you! And your new wife, Daisy!” I cry.
“Right...well, I’ll see you then.”
I cast a silencing charm on the door of the living room and completely let loose.
“AHHHHHH!” I throw all the cushions from the couch onto the floor and collapse into a heap on top of them. I really need to kill something. I need to snap something in half. I need to kick a stray cat or burn down an old abandoned building. I need to stop pulling out strands of my own hair and take my anger out some other way.
I hear a key in the door and wonder if it's Scorpius coming back to tell me it's all just a big joke. It's not.
“Rose! I take it you heard then?” Jenny bursts into the living room, clearly shocked and amused by the sight before her – me, sitting in the middle of the room, surrounded by cushions. Luckily she didn’t hear the screaming thanks to my silencing charm.
“Heard? Oh yes, I heard,” I cry, “I heard all about Daisy. Daisy Malfoy. Mrs Daisy Malfoy.”
“Oh Rose, I’m so sorry,” says Jenny miserably, “I couldn’t believe it when James told us. I can’t believe him...and James too!”
“What...why? Why can’t you believe James?” I ask sharply.
“Oh...n-no reason...” says Jenny, looking down at the floor. She is the world’s worst liar.
“Jenny, what did he do?” I ask. She says nothing and continues looking down at the floor. “Jenny! What did my arse of a cousin – your arse of a future brother-in-law – do?!”
“Well...he was...Rose, he was Scorpius’s best man!”
That does it. I always knew I’d be the one to kill James Potter. Aunt Ginny might bloody him up first, but I’d always be the one to finish the job.
“Stay here,” I tell Jenny, “I’ll be back.”
I grab the pot of floo powder off the mantelpiece and floo to Al and Jenny’s. I try not to floo too often. It destroys my clothes and it’s a generally unpleasant feeling. And since I never had the time to take apparition lessons, I have no choice but to either walk or floo places. And since I need to kill James Potter right now, I’m flooing.
“Alright Rose? What’re you –”
“Shut it, Al!” I snap, “Where is he?”
Al doesn’t even have to ask who ‘he’ is. I know it’s not Al’s fault that he has a complete idiot for an older brother, but sometimes I can’t help resenting him for it, considering they look so alike. And Al sometimes even acts just as arse-ish as James – take for example the Robert Hitch fiasco of 2023. But still, Al possesses all the good qualities that seemed to have skip James.
“I think he went up to have a shower,” Al tells me.
I storm to the upper floor of Al and Jenny’s two-storey four bedroomed house, which is easily five times bigger than my dingy little flat. I suppose we all can’t have rich parents, and rich grandparents and well paying jobs. I kick open the door of the bathroom, like in some old western, and James is standing at the sink, fixing his hair with a towel wrapped around his waist. Something about this scene seems strangely familiar.
“Alright Red? I’m sort of busy here,” he grins, enraging me even more. I grab him by his wet hair and drag him out of the bathroom – yes, I’ve definitely done this before. “EASY! WATCH THE HAIR!”
“YOU ARE A PRAT!” I scream, feeling that I’m being quite generous just calling him a prat, “CAN YOU GET ANY MORE THICK?”
“What the fuck did I do now?” he shouts, holding on to his towel. I hear Al running up the stairs to watch the brawl. “AH! LET GO OF MY BLOODY HAIR!”
“His best man?! You were his best man?” I cry and let go of his hair, “Why? Have you got anything at all between your ears?!”
“Well I didn’t think it’d be a problem, Red, considering you and Malfoy haven’t been together in five years! Don’t put this on me!”
“You know how I feel about him,” I yell, “Everybody knows! And since when are you and him mates?”
“Can I get dressed please? I’m feeling a bit exposed here,” he says and crosses over to the bedroom opposite the bathroom.
“Calm down, Rose,” Al tells me, “I know he’s a bit of a –”
“Wanker? Yes, you’re right,” I sigh. I can feel the tears coming again. “I’m going home. Goodnight, Al.”
“What an arsehole,” Gladys says bluntly after I tell her the story.
“Completely useless shit,” Hazel agrees.
I’m glad Linda’s not in today. I don’t think I could take her cheery ‘always look on the bright side’ way of thinking. Because there is no bright side here. Things do not look any better today. In fact, they look a whole lot worse. Nothing could brighten up my day. But I’m guessing it could get a whole lot worse. This is my life, after all.
“Weasley, I need the Richard Simpson chart,” Healer Wharton barks at me, spitting all over me. How I would love to stab my boss with my quill right now.
“Please,” I snap.
“Excuse me?” he snaps back.
“You need the Richard Simpson chart please,” I growl, frowning at him. At first I think he’s going to start yelling and spitting as usual. Maybe he’ll even fire me. I really couldn’t care less at this point.
“Er, yes. Right. Please.”
I grab the chart and hand it to him. He nods at me and then stalks off down the corridor.
“Wow, nicely done!” Hazel marvels at me.
“Yes, nice job, love!” Gladys agrees.
Okay, my day has become a little bit brighter.
Hazel and Gladys make the tea today. Usually they make me do it considering I’m the youngest and their knees aren’t what they used to be, and they can’t be dealing with getting up and down from their seats all day. They even give me the last chocolate biscuit. And at twenty-five to four, Healer Kennedy walks past and smiles at us as usual. And suddenly, life doesn’t seem so bad anymore.
Aidan doesn’t have school today, so I left him with Teddy. After work, I head over there to have a good moan and to forget about my crappy excuse for a life. Teddy and Victoire live in the countryside. Their house is quite small, but not too small. It’s always had a nice lived-in look, since the day it was built. It takes about a half an hour on the bus to get out there. I really have to learn to apparate, or to drive. Dad tried to teach me once, but we just ended up arguing and I stopped the car on the motorway. We didn’t try again.
Remus answers the door before I even get the chance to knock. Today his hair is purple and his eyes are the usual silvery-blue, the same as Victoire’s. He’s four years old, and apart from my own son, he’s the cheekiest little boy I’ve ever known.
“Hi Auntie Rose!” he grins.
“Hello Trouble,” I ruffle his hair, “Looking forward to Santa coming?”
“Yeah!” he exclaims as he leads me down the hall to the kitchen, where I’m guessing everyone else is, “I’m getting a broom and a new snitch and a puppy!”
“A puppy? Your Mum is allowing you get a puppy?” That does not sound like the Victoire Lupin I know. They already have a dog, much to her dismay. I can’t imagine why they’d want another one.
Teddy, Victoire, Dorie and Aidan are sitting around the dinner table like some perfect little family. Dorie is in her high chair, dropping food down to the dog, Ronnie (named by Remus after my Dad – Dad was even more flattered than when I named Aidan) and clapping her chubby hands together. Teddy, Victoire, Remus and Dorie are the perfect family. I envy them. They lead such a normal life.
Dorie is a year old and just about the cutest little girl I’ve ever set eyes on. Baby girls are so much easier than boys. Well, Dorie is anyway. She just smiles all the time. Even when she’s tired she smiles. Uncle Bill literally lights up whenever she’s around. Nana Molly forgets about her arthritis when Dorie smiles. She calls Aidan and Remus the Terrible Twosome – I think they make her arthritis worse. I wouldn’t trade Aidan for anything in the world, but the boy is a menace.
“Hi Rosie,” Teddy greets me, “D’you want some food?”
“No, no thanks,” I say and kiss Dorie on the cheek. She grins up at me, and I momentarily forget how shit my life is. That’s how magical her smile is.
“Vic, how’s business?” I ask, just to make conversation. I don’t really care how her clothes shop in Diagon Alley is doing.
“Great!” she replies, “I’m thinking of setting up shop in Hogsmeade too. We’re really busy this time of year...”
Teddy can tell there’s something wrong with me. Teddy can always tell. He has a sixth sense. He was the first to know when I got pregnant with Aidan. He just knows things. Even though Victoire is my cousin, I’ve always felt closer to Teddy. I used to have a massively inappropriate crush on him, but luckily he never found out about that.
Aidan and Remus rush out to the back garden when they’re finished their dinner, and Victoire goes to put Dorie down for a nap. Dorie doesn’t even protest. I’m not even sure she’s a real baby.
“So what’s up?” Teddy asks as I help him to clean up.
“Nothing’s up,” I shrug, “Why would you assume something’s up?”
“Because I’ve known you twenty-two years, Rose Weasley,” he says, “I know when something’s up.”
I sigh. I can’t hide anything from Teddy. “Scorpius got married.”
Teddy drops the pot he’s holding and looks at me. “Are you serious?”
“Yep,” I reply, “And I haven’t told Aidan yet.”
“Wait a second – he got married? When? To who? I thought he wasn’t back from the States until today?”
“He came back a day early, with a Daisy in toe.”
I tell Teddy the whole story and he listens intently and curses in all the right places. This is why I love talking to Teddy. He always seems to know the right thing to say.
“So he got married in Vegas – do real people actually do that?”
“That’s what I said!”
“What an idiot – I never really liked that bloke,” says Teddy. But that doesn’t really help me. As much as I like to insult Scorpius, I don’t like to hear other people do it. I’m messed up. And I hate myself for wanting to defend him. “So are you going to the Burrow for Christmas?”
“Of course.” We go to Nana and Grandad’s every Christmas. Usually Scorpius would come for some of the day, but I’m sure he’ll be spending this year with Daisy. I feel sick every time I think about them. I have the image of a cow-like woman, about three ft taller than Scorpius and four times wider.
Aidan and I floo home at around seven. He is all hyped up about Christmas, but my mind is still on the newlywed Malfoys. I hate Scorpius for this. Why do I have to be the one to tell Aidan? I always have to deal with the crap, where as Scorpius gets to play the good guy, the bringer of gifts, the one who lets him have chocolate at ten o’clock at night.
“Mum, why is my name Aidan Weasley and Dad isn’t called Scorpius Weasley?” Aidan asks when we arrive home, “Because Remus’s name is Remus Lupin and Uncle Teddy is Teddy Lupin. And my friend Henry’s Dad has the same second name as him too.”
See, I’m left to deal with these questions.
“Well...Remus’s Mum and Dad are married, so they have the same second name. When people get married, the Mum usually takes the Dad’s last name. And then they give their children that last name.”
“But you and Dad didn’t get married,” Aidan points out.
“Exactly,” I say, “So we decided to give you my second name instead.”
Whoever created the question ‘why’ should rot in hell.
“Because...wouldn’t you prefer be a Weasley?” I ask.
“Yeah, I like being a Weasley,” says Aidan, without even thinking about it.
“Well, we knew that you’d prefer to be a Weasley. Nobody wants to be a Malfoy.” Except for Daisy. I’ve never even met the woman, but I don’t think I’ve ever hated anyone as much.
“I’m glad you gave me your second name,” says Aidan.
Now that I have him sitting down, I feel it’s the best time to tell him.
“Aidan, your Dad got married,” I tell him straight. He frowns back.
“But...I thought Mum’s and Dad’s got married,” he says logically, “Did he marry you?”
“No. He married a woman named Daisy,” I tell him. He screws up his nose at the name.
“So...if Mum’s and Dad’s get married...is she my Mum now?”
What a kick in the teeth.
“She will never be your Mum,” I tell him fiercely, “I will always be your Mum.” If she carries him around in her uterus for nine months, then he can call her Mum.
“Why did he get married?” Aidan asks, “I...I wanted you to get married to him.”
“I know,” I put an arm around him, “I’m sorry, love. I’m sorry.”
This is all my fault. I’ve ruined everything. Why couldn’t I just have said yes?
“You know what, Aidan?” I tell him as I hug him closely, “Your Dad is going to pick you up tomorrow and you’re going to spend Christmas Eve with him. And I’ll collect you tomorrow evening and we’ll wait for Santa to come, like we did last year. We’ll have a brilliant Christmas, I promise.”
“D’you think I’ll get a puppy like Remus?” he asks excitedly.
“Eh...I...” he looks at me with such hope in his eyes. “Yes. Definitely.”
A/N - The first chapter of 2009 and Rose is in a pickle. Again. I just want to thank everyone who reviewed the first chapter - I'm blown away by the response! I'm glad people like the story so far. This chapter was again introducing some new characters - in case you didn't pick up on it, Remus and Dorie are Teddy and Victoire's kids. But of course you picked up on that! Also, anyone called Daisy, I did not mean to offend your name! I actually like the name Daisy. Rose just doesn't know anything about Daisy except for her name, so that's the only thing she can hate at the minute! I hope you enjoyed the chapter, please review! :D Happy New Year!
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