Chapter 8 : Hopelessly Devoted
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Chapter 8: Epilogue – Hopelessly Devoted
“Scorpius! We are going to be late! Our families are already waiting for us in the Great Hall. They want to have breakfast together and then walk with us down to the White Tomb,” Rose shouted up the stairs as she adjusted her new silver-blue robes.
After the Second Great Wizarding War, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry adopted somewhat of a Muggle tradition – the students of the graduating class now participated in a “commencement ceremony” of sorts. It was more symbolic than anything, but it did allow the students to feel a bit of closure on their lives at Hogwarts.
Getting to that point today, however, was proving to be much more difficult than Rose imagined. As Head Students, Rose and Scorpius were to meet with the other prefects, who were organizing the attendees and guests, in exactly forty minutes in front of Dumbledore’s tomb where the ceremony was to be held.
“Rose, relax. This ceremony thing cannot very well start without us, eh? Our parents can wait twenty more seconds while I do this one last time in this room,” Scorpius sauntered over to his flustered girlfriend and captured her lips in a fiery kiss.
Suddenly, he pulled back and held her face delicately between his hands. Rose noticed his palms were sweaty and his hands were trembling slightly. But my, his new bottle-green robes are truly a work of art. The color looks exquisite, and the fabric… He is absolutely gorgeous, as I am sure he very well knows. Git. Trying to upstage me.
Not breaking eye contact, Scorpius removed his hands, caressing her cheek as he did, and reached into a hidden pocket.
“Scorpius, what…?” Rose trailed off as she saw what looked to be a small baby-blue box adorned with a white silk ribbon.
It was a jeweler’s box. Rose gasped, covering her mouth with her right hand as Scorpius slowly sank to one knee.
“I adore you, Seeker Girl. I am insanely in love with you. I do not deserve to be in your life, having you smile like that at me every day – believe me, your father has made that abundantly clear – but I am hoping that you will allow the craziness to go on just a bit longer.” He elegantly dropped to one knee. “Rose Nymphadora Weasley, will you join me in insanity? Will you be my wife?”
A long silence followed, as Rose simply stood there with her mouth hanging open. She blinked, and looked at Scorpius. Merlin. I am pretty sure that I need to say something now. That is, if I can remember how to speak.
Rose took a deep breath, thoughts swirling every which way in her head. “Wow. Um, Scorpius, you know that I love you. I do want to be with you, I want to share my life with you… but, don’t you think we are too young? We are only 18 and just graduating! I mean, I have at least two – possibly three – years at the Healer Academy before I do my internship at St. Mungo’s, and you are going to have a lot to learn, what with you wanting to train with your grandfather to take over the family business, not to mention you are on the reserves for Chudley…” she said in a rush.
Scorpius frowned. This was not going at all how he had planned. He had assumed that she would say the magical word of agreement, throw her arms around his neck, and then they would snog for a bit before rushing off to meet with their families before the graduation commenced.
But now – It almost sounds like she is going to say ‘no.’ I am not sure exactly how I feel about that. She says she loves me. This does not sound like a break-up… not that I would know, I was always fortunate to be on the other side of those conversations. Oh man, I bloody messed this up. I cannot lose her. What if –
Scorpius broke out of his suddenly depressing thoughts and realized Rose had finished speaking; she was now looking tearfully up at him to gage his reaction. “Score? Would that be alright? I mean, I know that would be a rather lengthy period to wait, and if you do not want to I completely understand. You – you can of course hold on to the ring, unless for some reason it would make you more comfortable if I wore it around my neck or on the other hand or something…”
“Rosie. Calm down. I only ever want to make you happy. I am sorry if this feels rushed. I know we are young, I just did not see the point in waiting to ask you this, because I have always known that you and I would grow old together. Today is the first day of our adult lives, and I guess I wanted to start it on the right foot. Officially. But, if you are not ready for this, I will wait as long as you need,” Scorpius finally said sincerely, taking her trembling hands in his once again.
Rose was quiet. Looking deep into his beautiful eyes, she saw love, joy, kindness… and then, though he was trying to mask it from her, she saw disappointment and pain.
Feeling as though her heart was somehow caught in her throat, Rose realized something.
She never wanted to be the cause of his pain.
Suddenly, Rose realized she wanted to be with him more than she wanted to breathe. She could not lose this man who had taught her the most important thing she had ever learned at Hogwarts – how to love, and how to be loved in return.
He was her life now. Her future, all of those carefully-laid plans she had made for herself, none of it could happen without him by her side.
Scorpius was carefully tucking the box back into his robes now, shoulders slightly hunched as he gently tugged on her hand to lead them to the portrait hole and then to their families.
She stopped him. He turned to look at her, one perfectly blonde eyebrow raised. “Flower, you are right. We are running a bit late. Our parents have been alone, stuck together in a room for far too long; I would not be surprised if our fathers are engaging in some old-fashioned Muggle sparring. We should go…” he gestured toward the portrait hole.
Rose pulled him closer to her and tenderly brushed the hair away from his eyes, speaking softly. “They can wait. They are my past, they will always be there for me – you are my future. I love you, Scorpius. I know these next few years will be chaotic and we may not ever have a moment alone, but… I want to marry you. It will be a long engagement, because I do want to be through with the Academy before we get married, but I want everyone to know that I belong to you, heart, mind, body and soul. So, if it is alright with you, I think I would very much like for you to place what I assume is a rather large rock on my finger now, Mr. Malfoy,” she said with a wink.
“You – are you saying yes?” Scorpius could barely breathe. He had to make sure he was hearing her correctly.
“Yes, Scorpius. If you are okay with a long engagement, I am saying YES!” Rose flung her arms around his neck and pulled his head down for a quick kiss. “Now, do I get to see my ring? Or is the fancy Tiffany’s box only for show?” she teased.
*** Some time later, Great Hall ***
“Where are those two? This blasted ceremony starts in fifteen minutes, and we did not even get to eat a proper breakfast!,” Ron complained from his seat at the Ravenclaw table around a mouth full of cranberry muffin.
“I see your manners have not improved with age, Weasel. Pity not even Granger could civilize you a bit. It is a wonder your daughter has turned out half as well as she has,” Draco drawled from his seat at the opposite end of the lengthy table.
“Boys! This is your children’s graduation day. You will both behave! Don’t give me that look, Malfoy, Astoria agrees with me that you two have acted impossibly childish about the entire situation. Our children are in love. No matter what the future brings, we need to support them,” Hermione glared first at Ron and then at Draco.
Just then, the doors to the Great Hall flew open and a whirlwind of blonde hair and the scent of vanilla ran toward them. “Tante Hermione! Oncle Ron! You must come, please! I think Papa is going to murder my sweet Teddy!”
“Victoire. Calm down, sweetie. Breathe. Bill loves Teddy, I am sure it is only a misunderstanding; he would never want to harm him. Now tell me, what is going on?,” Hermione asked, her niece trembling in her embrace.
Victoire pulled away and looked in Hermione’s eyes. “Well, you see, my patience became quite thin waiting for Teddy to ask for my hand. So I told myself, ‘Victoire, you are a modern woman, you can do this just as well as he could’ – and so I asked him when he returned from America two days ago, and he agreed. We did not want a fuss, and so, well, yesterday… we got married at a small Muggle chapel in France. Of course, when we arrived here together this morning, Maman and Papa saw the rings…”
Hermione stared at her, and then exclaimed, “You got married?!? Without your family there?... Oh, Vic, I am sure your father is only hurt that he was deprived of the chance to walk his firstborn down the aisle. He has nothing against Teddy, we all knew you two would one day be married, but don’t you see? While every father feels like he has lost his little girl when she decides to marry, most of them have time to process their feelings during the months leading up to the wedding. Bill did not have that time, so I would imagine he feels as though you were ripped away from him.”
Victoire blinked back tears, kissed her aunt swiftly on the cheek said, “I did not think of things from his perspective. Poor Papa. Thank you. I need to go to him now and apologize, and perhaps Teddy and I can plan a wizarding ceremony to take place at the Burrow, or at least a large party where friends and family can gather in celebration.”
She turned and walked away. As she was exiting the Great Hall, Rose and Scorpius rushed through the doors hand-in-hand and beaming. Rose stared after her cousin who was now running through the halls, shrugged at Scorpius, and the pair made their way over to their scowling fathers.
Ron mumbled to Hermione, “At least our Rosie would never run off with that Malfoy boy; better Bill than me, that’s all I’m saying.”
Scorpius released Rose’s hand and addressed the group, “Did you all enjoy breakfast? Sorry to have kept you waiting, we had some things to discuss. Shall we head outside, then?”
“That would be lovely, Scorpius. My, you do look quite like your father. So handsome,” Astoria gushed, taking her son’s proffered arm. “And Rose, dear, those robes are stunning on you. They really bring out your lovely eyes.”
Rose smiled at Scorpius’ parents, surprised when she received a nod from Draco in return. “Thank you. Well, we should head outside, Score and I have to talk with the prefects for a moment.”
As Scorpius and his parents walked out of the Hall, Rose linked both of her arms through her parents’ and sighed, a happy smile lighting her features. Hermione looked fondly at the hand she clasped in her own, and her jaw dropped slightly. Is this what I think it is? Oh, my! She quickly glanced at Rose, who had seen her Mother’s gaze drop to her hand. Rose gave her Mum a little grin. Hermione’s eyebrows rose. Oh, dear. I will have to prepare Ron for this. At least they did not elope.
The six made their way over to a large tent near the tomb of the former Headmaster. Rose turned to her parents, giving them each a huge hug and a somewhat watery grin. “I have to tend to the prefects now, I will see you and the rest of the family after the ceremony, okay?”
When Ron left to go find the rest of the Weasley/Potter clan, Hermione kissed her daughter’s cheek, leaning over to whisper in her ear, “Congratulations, darling. I am so very happy for you.” Rose smiled at the double meaning she knew her Mum meant to convey with those words.
“Thank you, Mum. We will talk more after the ceremony. I love you.” Rose saw Scorpius making his way over to them after seating his parents and she beamed at him. He returned the smile, saying gently, “Well, Flower? Are you ready? The prefects await our final instructions.”
Hermione could not help the enormous joy that she felt welling up inside as she gazed at the look of adoration on her daughter’s face, a look which was mirrored on this fine young man standing before her. She leaned over and kissed Rose’s cheek before turning to Scorpius and giving his arm a light squeeze. “Scorpius, congratulations. I cannot tell you how happy I am for you both. Now, go, you two! The Heads can not be late for their own graduation!”
Rose and Scorpius smiled as Hermione walked over to the gathered group of red-heads in the audience. Scorpius pulled Rose to him for a quick kiss.
“Rosie! There you are! We have been looking everywhere for you two! I hate to ruin your fun, but we need to start seating guests and attending to all these other mundane tasks… OH. MERLIN. Rose Weasley! YOUR HAND! There’s a ROCK on it!”
Rose quickly turned toward her flustered, energetic best friend. Bree was clutching an astonished Al’s hand, but her eyes were trained on Rose’s engagement ring. Rose’s eyes narrowed, her Weasley temper preparing for battle. “Sshh! Bree, we have not told anyone yet! You two had better not say anything, or Merlin help you, I will tell everyone just how close Harry Potter came to becoming a grandfather this year!”
Scorpius was looking on with his trademark Malfoy smirk, amused by Rose’s threat. Albus had paled visibly, and Brianna had now met Rose’s gaze. “Rosie, that is low. It was one little false alarm! Honestly, I would never spoil your fun like that! In fact, I plan on being out of the country on whichever day you choose to tell Ronald Weasley that Draco Malfoy is now his in-law. So please, do remember to floo me before you share your big news, darling!” Bree smirked, clearly relishing her Slytherin moment.
Scorpius decided to intervene for the sake of peace. “Come now, you three, we have work to do before we can truly relish our freedom.”
*** Three hours later, Hogsmeade ***
The ceremony had been beautiful. After Rose and Scorpius’ joint speech to end the commencement exercises, there had not been a dry eye left in the tent as the gatherers shuffled into Hogsmeade for a celebratory lunch.
Amongst a crowd of rowdy graduates and their emotionally-drained families, Hermione Weasley sat at her stool in Rosmerta’s pub, watching her daughter and nephew with their significant others. How is it that they are already so grown up? I remember Rose learning to walk like it was just yesterday. Her first word. Her first accident while flying on her father’s broom with Al. Her excitement when her Hogwarts letter finally came. I remember Ron’s reaction when he found out his little girl would be sharing living quarters with Draco’s son… and now here she is, on her way to becoming a Healer and a wife. Not just any wife – a MALFOY wife.
Hermione’s eyes watered for what felt like the hundredth time that day. She nearly jumped out of her seat when she felt a hand on her arm. “Mum? Are you alright?”
“Oh, Hugo, darling, yes I am fine. Just thinking about how fast time flows. Did you need something, dear?,” Hermione smiled at her son. At least we have two more years with Hugo. I could not bear it if both my babies left the nest so soon.
“Oh. Um, yeah. I thought you might like to know that I think I know what I want to do after my own graduation.”
“Really?! That is wonderful, darling! Go on, I am listening,” Hermione stated, giving her son her full attention.
“I have decided I want to work in the Muggle world. I want to study Muggle history, maybe work in a research lab or be one of those archaeologists. And then, after a while, I think that I want to teach Muggle Studies, either here at Hogwarts or another magical school somewhere,” Hugo said in a rush.
Hermione was not shocked by this revelation; she had raised her children to respect Muggle culture and had immersed them in it from the day they were born – after all, their grandparents were Muggles. “Hugo, that is a wonderful decision. You would make a fantastic Muggle Studies professor. I am so proud of you.”
“I am just relieved to have a goal, honestly, Mum. I think I will be happy. I mean, I love magic, but Muggles can do so much without it! It is fascinating, you know? Anyway, this is Rose and Al’s day – and kind of Vic and Ted’s too, I guess – so I will just go hang with Lily and Francis, okay? See you at home tomorrow, I am spending the night at the Longbottoms.’”
Hermione watched her son fight his way through the crowd to his friends. Her children were going to be just fine. Ron, on the other hand…
“ROSE NYMPHADORA WEASLEY! What is THAT doing on YOUR hand?!”
Hermione rolled her eyes as she finished the last of her Butterbeer and joined her red-eared husband at the far side of the pub.
At that moment, mother and daughter locked eyes and smiled identical smiles, the same thought flitting in both of their minds: Some things will just never change.
A/N: There you have it! I hope that you enjoyed the story, it was far fluffier than any I have written previously. I certainly had fun with it! Rose’s reaction to the proposal is partially based on my own reaction when my husband proposed. I was seventeen. Yet, here we are nearly a decade later… ☺ Oh, and for those who have asked, yes there will be a sequel of sorts to this story. I will be working on it during the summer, so keep an eye out for that if you are interested! It will be from Hugo’s POV, mostly, but Rose and Scorpius will also play a large role! There may even be some cameo appearances by our favorite Slytherin couple. ☺ Thank you to all who read and review! You make my day!
Just for Fun – QUIDDITCH RESULTS:
September: Hufflepuff v. Ravenclaw: R1
October: Slytherin v. Hufflepuff: S1
November: Ravenclaw v. Gryffindor: G1
February: Ravenclaw v. Slytherin: S2
March: Hufflepuff v. Gryffindor: G2
April: Slytherin v. Gryffindor: G3
Quidditch Cup – Gryffindor