Chapter 1 : Vowed
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Yet, there I sit as white as the roses that surround us, for the entire world to see. But I could care less if the whole world saw; they don’t matter to me. Only he does. He chances another glance at me and I force back the pleased smile that would instantly slip off my lips the moment he looks away.
His teal eyes do not portray the bliss and contentment that one usually sees in others in his position. They burn a hole through me as he stares at me, burning away at my heart, reducing it to ash. I can feel my smile start to slip already and I pin it back up quickly, the movement hurting my mouth.
He looks away, pained. My smile glides off my expression smoothly and I melt into my thoughts once more.
I had never imagined this day to be so dismal; the pair of us wearing embittered grimaces, which we try to pass of as smiles. No, I had always pictured this day with him and I wearing similar beams of content. How much more pleasing romanticism is…
“You look wonderful,” he’d said through a doleful smile, his angel’s face forlorn. I couldn’t bring myself to smile back at him; I merely stared back at him with the desire I’ve bottled up for so long. It’s ironic how I finally decide to show it on this day; the day I would see him pledge his heart to someone other than me.
“You do too,” I’d mumbled and walked away. A deft glance up at him assured me that he did look handsome. His golden hair clashes with the black of his tuxedo in a way that could only be described as breathtaking. He glances once more in my direction and I immediately train my eyes on the floor. I do not want him to see how disillusioned and frustrated I am that we’re both thoroughly unhappy with how fate has played its cards. I chance back up at him, a laborious smile fixed upon my face, and he is still staring at me. I thoroughly don’t want to hold that smile. It’s deceitful. It’s painful. But I do it for him. To see him happy.
But as he looks away, he seems far from happy. Like seeing my smile brings a wave of frustration crashing down upon him. He mumbles something to his best man, Cain Nott. I can guess the topic of discussion…
Nott sends a heavy frown of exasperation my way… Correct guess: I am the topic of discussion. I shrug at him and get up, not bearing to remain seated a moment longer.
“Where are you going?” Dominique hisses up at me, her green eyes flashing.
“Anywhere,” I mutter and walk away, to her great annoyance. Does she want me to sit through my death sentence? Because that’s what it feels like. His vow will be my death sentence.
It so stupid how we’ve both could’ve avoided this scene or changed it to our advantage… but we’re both stubborn and obviously dim-witted.
I wonder how many more like me have seen the one they love vow themselves to another? I love Scorpius Malfoy and I’m here at his wedding, gluing dishonest smile after dishonest smile upon my face. But it’s all so familiar now. It’s what I’ve been doing for the past four years… ever since she entered our lives and ruined everything for me… ruined everything for us.
She of course, was a perfectly nice, perfectly beautiful individual. Whom I loathed with every fibre of my being. She was Meredith Rosier: healer, blonde, six feet tall and Scorpius’ soon-to-be-wife.
I met her before Scorpius.
I was covering a story on giants hiding in Britain’s forests and being the curious idiot that I am, went to investigate and found my headline to be very true. Most unfortunately, one giant got a little too interested and almost ripped me in half. I’d apparated myself to James’ apartment and promptly fainted. I woke up to find myself resting on a St. Mungo’s bed with her face looming above mine. She was just a trainee back then and annoyingly enthusiastic.
When Scorpius heard and came to visit at four in the morning, she was there to tell him to wait until I had woken up. Naturally, she struck up a conversation with him and had the gall to ask him out on a date. Scorpius laughed it off and declined. But she was persistent. I remained at St. Mungo’s for almost ten days and everyday Scorpius wouldn’t fail to visit. And she wouldn’t fail to ask him out. On the final day, he gave up and after much coercing, decided for coffee at Diagon Alley.
“What do you think?” he asked me once she’d left us alone.
I merely shrugged, hiding my sullenness. I hurt my shoulder in the process and flinched. He promptly got up and gently pulled me into a more relaxed position, my shoulder resting comfortably against the pillow. His hand lingered on my shoulder, his fingers burning welcomingly into my skin. Needless to say, I’d already liked Scorpius from our Hogwarts days, but the moment I saw her with him, I knew my like had morphed into something a lot like love.
I pull myself out of my thoughts and hide beneath a willow tree, a few metres away from the quietening crowd. The dreaded bridal music starts and I turn to watch her walking up the aisle, smiling coyly at Scorpius. My stomach suddenly feels far too acidic for comfort.
My eyes flicker to Scorpius and his eyes flit from his bride to my empty chair. I spy Dominique shrugging helplessly at him. He quickly turns back to his bride and smiles. She reaches the altar and stands beside him, perfectly blonde, perfectly white, perfectly bridal. The minister begins the usually nonsense. I tune my mind out and only catch hints of his speech.
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered….”
I briefly close my eyes and imagine myself in Meredith’s place. It’s a familiar fantasy but it does little to lift my mood. The impossible is simply too much to wish for. I am wearing a simple white dress and he in his uniform of jeans and a white t-shirt. We’re standing near the lake in the Hogwarts grounds and only a cluster of people surround us: his parents, my parents, my cousins and a small collection of his friends.
“…in holy matrimony,”
I open my eyes and stare at the showy white oak chairs, the small orchestra to the side, the brash cream decorations and the large marquee… it all seems so pointless just for a few hours of happiness. My fantasy seems so much more private, more intimate and ultimately more romantic. I know this is nothing of Scorpius’ doing. He refused to even discuss the wedding details.
He’s been so disenchanted ever since the wedding date was set. I sometimes fool myself into believing that he doesn’t want Meredith and wants me as much as I want him but then I rationalize and tell myself to stop being so sick. But it certainly feels that way at times. It felt like that when we were at Hogwarts…
The vows begin and I wish I were born a mute…I spy him glancing at my chair again before he snaps his gaze to mine behind the tree and I hide. Easily, I slip back into my thoughts.
What’s going to happen to me after this day? Will I be able to look Scorpius in the eye once more without feeling a desperate urge to kill his wife? Will I confess my love for him…after it’s too late? I suppress a sigh and listen to Scorpius declare his vow and my heart slowly rips apart, piece by piece, second by second, painful breath after painful breath… it’s almost too much to handle and I force myself to breathe slowly, ignoring the ache in my chest and the ranting of my head.
“I Scorpius Abraxas Malfoy…” the minister says.
“I Scorpius Abraxas Malfoy…” Scorpius repeats hollowly.
“Take thee Meredith…”
I hold my breath and am on the verge of raising my hands to cover my ears when he utters the words that send the heavens crashing down upon the earth.
“Take thee Rose…”
Time stands still and in the distance, a pin drop could be heard. Birds replace my chest and butterflies dwell in my stomach. My eyes dart to his, pleading for some kind of explanation and some truth and he smiles back gently before repeating in a soft voice that is loud enough for me to hear.
“I, Scorpius Malfoy, take thee Rose Weasley to be my lawfully wedded wife in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or for worse, till death do us part.”
My legs began to sprint towards him without my permission and my arms fling around his neck as I reach him. My lips begin to move; reciting the words I’d imagined myself saying for years over.
“I, Rose Weasley, take thee Scorpius Malfoy to be my lawfully wedded husband in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or for worse, till death do us part.”
The guests are deadly silent as Scorpius pulls me to him and kisses me hard on the lips.
But I don’t care.
It’s just me, him and the rest of eternity together.