Rose adjusted the off-the-shoulder sleeves of the silvery blue gown, as she sat in front of the mirror. She sighed and turned to glare at Narcissa, her grandmother-in-law.
“Why did I agree to come to this? Remind me.”
“My dear, you agreed to come the day you married my grandson. You knew full well that by marrying Scorpius, you married into high society.” Narcissa swept over and draped two different necklaces over Rose’s neck. “Which one do you want? It’s my gift to you for Christmas.”
“If you wanted to give me a gift, you’d let me get out of this ball.” Rose pouted, but under Narcissa’s stare, she gave up. “The sapphire one, I suppose. It matches the earrings Astoria gave me.”
“Good choice.” Narcissa nodded as she fastened the necklace around Rose’s neck. She straightened and smoothed the front of her emerald green gown. “Now, where is that daughter-in-law of mine?”
Astoria entered at that exact moment, carrying her own gown in a garment bag. “I am so sorry. Draco had a spot of trouble finding his dress robes.” She rolled her eyes. “The man is hopeless.” Draco had a habit of misplacing dress robes, and only dress robes, right before special occasions. It had happened right before his son’s wedding to Rose.
“Why did it have to be your time to host the Christmas Ball?” Rose asked Narcissa. “Why? For my first event since my wedding?”
“It was no manipulation on my part, dear. It just happened that way.” Narcissa assured her. She then turned to Astoria. “Let’s get you changed, dear.” She led Astoria behind the screen in the corner of the room.
Rose faced the mirror again. She barely recognized herself, dressed up as she was. She had never been the type of girl to dress up like this, the type that enjoyed balls. That had been Lily. Still, she loved Scorpius, and he was a part of all this. She would do it for him.
Astoria came out from behind the screen dressed in a dark red gown, which went well with her dark hair. Narcissa followed, but instead of joining the others at the mirror, she swept out the door and down the hall.
“She’s going to find the house elf who’s supposed to do our hair.” Astoria explained as she sat down next to her daughter-in-law. “It’s a bit overwhelming isn’t it?”
“This just isn’t me.” Rose gestured to her outfit.
“I don’t like it any more than you do, darling. It’s just something you must deal with.” Astoria told her sympathetically. “I grew up in this life style, you know. I was from a rich, pure family, though not as high standing as the Malfoys. I detested it then, so when everything fell apart during and after the war, I used the opportunity to escape. It was nice, being free from expectations. I came back for Draco though.”
“I’m only doing all this for Scorpius.”
“It’s a good reason.” Astoria agreed. “It isn’t so horrid after all. There is food,”
“Disgusting.” Rose interrupted.
“I’m terrible at it.”
“There’s the bright side.”
Narcissa walked back in, a house elf, dressed in a pink dress (showing the elf was a free paid elf) following her. Narcissa sat next to Astoria, then gestured to the elf. “This is Mindy. She’s been doing my hair for decades.”
The elf curtsied, and then busied herself with fixing Narcissa’s white locks. “What would Mistress Malfoy like today?”
“A simple updo will do, Mindy.”
She soon finished with Narcissa, and moved onto Astoria. The women chatted about inconsequential things until it was Rose’s turn.
“Mindy,” Narcissa said. “Get the tiara.”
Mindy’s tiny face lit up as she curtsied and ran from the room. Astoria looked at Narcissa in surprise. Rose looked between them all in confusion.
“Rose,” Narcissa began as Mindy rushed back into the room. “I would like you to wear this tiara tonight. It’s a Malfoy Heirloom, passed from mother-in-law to daughter-in-law. Astoria will receive it when I pass on, and in due time, it will be passed to you. However, I’ve decided to let you wear it, for one night, early.”
Rose covered her mouth so she didn’t gape in front of the woman. This was clearly an extreme honor, one, if by the look of it, hadn’t been granted to Astoria. “I don’t know what to say.” She finally managed to say.
“Don’t say anything. This will help your standing in our society, and will hopefully therefore keep the Malfoy name high in it.” She turned after giving Rose a sly smile, saying, “Also, I think the tiara will look quite nice in your hair, and I’d like to see it.”
“Thank you.” Rose smiled for the first time that night.
“Of course.” Narcissa nodded. “Mindy, proceed with the tiara.”
Later, Scorpius arrived at the room and offered his arm to Rose. “Is Mrs. Malfoy ready?” He asked her.
“We all are, I suppose.” She replied.
He turned to Astoria. “Mother, Father said to tell you that he’d be here in a moment. He said he misplaced his tie.”
Astoria rolled her eyes.
“Well, lets not keep them waiting.” Narcissa swept past the couple and lead the way down the hall.
“Is that the Malfoy tiara you’re wearing?” Scorpius raised his eyebrows when he saw it.
“Special occasion.” She nodded.
“You look enchanting.” He bent down to kiss her. “Are you ready for your first ball?”
“I suppose I have to be.” She tugged on his arm and they began to descend the wide stair to the ballroom.
“Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Scorpius Malfoy.” The announcer declared as the two walked arm and arm into the waiting crowd of the social elite.
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