Chapter 2 : Bridesmaid
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It was a well know fact among the Weasley-Potter clan that Rose Weasley worked too hard.
“You work too hard, dear!”
And it was a well circulated, not to mention frustrating, habit for her relatives to frequently point it out whenever they happened to have the joy of her company.
“Listen to your Mother!” James Potter shouted through the door with an unmistakably delighted chuckle. Well, it made a nice change for the person being shouted at not to be him.
Rose miserably swallowed the remains of her wine with a flustered sigh and subtly flipped him the finger.
“You are chained to that desk of yours! And don't think I didn't see that hand gesture young lady!”
Coming from the former Hermione Granger; the self professed workaholic, that was a pretty damning conclusion. According to both her Dad and her Uncle Harry, Hermione wouldn't have know relaxation if it smacked her round the chops, so, having such a woman say that you work far too much, is quite the telling sign things aren't going your way. At least, for Rose, that was exactly how it felt.
Feeling pretty morose over that point, Rose corked open a fresh bottle.
“And you have another thing coming if you think you're staying in here, drying out my wine collection!” Hands on hips, mouth a thin, puckered line, Rose pondered over how her Mother was slowly transforming into Minerva Mcgonagall. All she was missing was the tartan, the bun and the accent. But other than that, the similarities were frightening.
“Seeing as I arrived merely five short minutes ago and I've had one glass, that's all Mother, one measly glass, I'm pretty much within my rights to have another!” Rose grumbled with a sly glare over at the bushy haired woman hovering around. “I'm perfectly entitled to the joys of chardonnay on my day off.”
Hermione scoffed loudly and folded her arms; obviously trying very hard to bite down whatever words of descent had flew to mind in concern to her little girl, the developing problem child.
Rose pulled herself up onto the marble counter in the middle of the kitchen and swung her legs slightly as a content, calculating grin flashed cheekily in her Moms direction, “I might just stay in here, it's nice and quiet. No prying relatives poking me about my love life! None of James' adolescent mates with wandering hands! Wonderful!”
Her mom rolled her eyes drolly, quite unimpressed. “There's no point in hiding Rose, I'll tell them all exactly where you are! And besides, who in their right mind hides in the kitchen at a Weasley party?! Honestly!”
“Traitor.” Rose muttered in response with a mock narrow eyed glare, “But good point.”
Hermione's light chuckle lifted her flagging spirits slightly. “Now, no more of this moping,” She affirmed with a gently but firm tone, “...it's a celebration, you should join in. And your Grandparents are waiting to see you, it's not very polite to leave them waiting.”
“Fine,” Rose exhaled in defeat, “lead the way!”
She could quit her moaning to at least say hello to her Grandparents. That ten page report she had left on her coffee table, which was a niggling scratch at the back of her head, would just have to wait. Maybe she could slip back home later and pick it up, then again, maybe she could slip away altogether. It wasn't like she expected anyone to miss her miserable mug for too long. She just didn't have the heart for parties like she had in the past.
Rose knew, deep down, that she was just being her usual melodramatic self. There was nothing like a good old family party, at least, there never used to be. These days, the appeal of an early night, curled up on the sofa with her well thumbed Pride and Prejudice and Crookshanks the II snuggled over her feet after a hard day's work, no surprises there, was wholly agreeable. Normally, when it came to the crazy, interfering and utterly loving masses of her family, Rose couldn't wait to jump right in...but today, today it was something different completely. No amount of pestering and prodding could put a genuine smile on her face.
Of course, this lack lustre attitude was all the doing of a certain Potter named Al.
Al bloody Potter had the most perfect relationship known to mankind. Al Potter, the bloody romantic, had gone and gotten himself happily engaged. For Rose, her favourite cousin's coming union only served to put her own wilting love life or lack thereof, into sharp perspective. She hadn't really needed her failure illuminated but here she was, a chocolate guzzling, despondent and wholly disillusioned bridesmaid.
It wasn't jealousy she found herself experiencing as such. There was no doubt about how happy she was for Al and Jules, no doubt at all. She couldn't have begrudged him that permanent look of contentment; on the contrary, this nagging annoyance she felt was more along the lines of a kind of awoken awareness. Rose had started to see the painting of her future playing out before her now no longer blinkered eyes. She could see the letters flashing an insistent red, demanding attention without an option of ignorance. Spinster. Cat lady. Single until damnation. Doomed to live with Crookshanks the II and a menagerie of other household pets. She was Bridget Jones without the two handsome men fighting over her, although, she definitely had the typical Bridget Jones figure. She was a less eloquent Lizzy Bennet minus the happy ending. Her Mr Darcy was probably still brooding over their last meeting and her unfortunate fiery temper.
Here she was, just turned twenty years old and her closet comparison to a successful relationship since getting out of Hogwarts was shagging the same guy on more than one occasion and even that had stopped over the last few months. Rose had just been too jumbled up in work and feeling utterly sorry for herself to notice her social life had slipped rapidly and uncontrollably through her fingers.
It wasn't really her fault she couldn't find a man that excited her to the extent, she grudgingly admitted now, that he did. No, it wasn't her fault at all. Rose sneakily grabbed back her glass of wine as soon as her mom turned her back and began to slowly follow. It had nothing to do with her that no one could top that one supposedly inconsequential kiss. No one came close or boiled her blood or drove her mad, no one's hair was the right shade of blonde or their lips as soft. It was hopeless; she was hopeless. At the very least, she got to put the blame for her awful love life on the one and only, Scorpius Malfoy. At least she had something she could feel high and mighty about.
Graduation, it had all gone terribly wrong on that night. Before the...incident, they hadn't argued for months, she had actually started to like him willingly instead of grudgingly as she usually did. If he hadn't have kissed her that night, if he hadn't have ruined her plans for the perfect first kiss by drunkenly groping her, then well, she might have been the one with the ring on her finger right now.
What annoyed her most was that even that short, somewhat wet and one sided snog he had subjected her to, had permeated a shock of feelings through her that she had never been able to equal. It down right incensed her! How could something so messy and flawed make her feel so damn wonderful? Scorpius and that kiss had bloody well spoiled her. And she was far too proud to hunt him down and beg for a proper chance. Besides, the kneeing him in the privates had no doubt completely soiled her chances.
Rose contented herself in remembering just how much of a prize prick he was most of the time, and admittedly, it made her feel slightly better in air of her previous actions. During school, they had nearly driven both Al and the teachers to insanity with their bickering. She said black, he said white. She said study and he said 'let's go blow something up'. She worked her arse off to maintain her grades and Scorpius, Scorpius just strutted his cool as a cucumber self into perfection over and over again without an ounce of exertion.
Someone had once said to her that there was so much sexual tension between the two that it was simply inevitable that they behaved like four year olds around one another. There had simply been no other outlet considering they both were too stubborn and too pig headed to actually admit their most obvious feelings.
Rose had been an expert at swooning in secret; after all, it was utterly infuriating that she found him so goddamn attractive when he was such a flaming idiot. One minute Rose could find herself dreaming about throttling him and the next, she was wrapped up in a very naughty, very steamy figment of her imagination involving him and hardly any clothes.
Even now, just over a year on, she couldn't purge him from her thoughts.
“Smile, Rose. You have such a beautiful smile.” Hermione whispered in her ear and quickly squeezed her daughter's free hand affectionately.
She plastered a quick and believable one on her face and let her mom lead her out into the packed garden, just about managing a hurried gulp of her drink before her appearance was spotted and loudly announced. It never ceased to unnerve her how quickly everyone sensed another red head and how quickly they all charged in for hugs and kisses. It was like a rampage of red and freckles soaring towards her.
Rose, for the next hour, she was exaggerating, found herself engulfed person after person in embraces and sloppy kisses and pats on the head, courtesy of her Uncle Percy who had never quite gotten to grips with affectionate gestures suitable for twenty year olds. She only found herself truly grinning when her Granddad tottered over and pulled her into one of his famous hugs. In that moment, nothing else really mattered except the warm cinnamon smell that clung to his jumper. Everything was perfect.
That feeling lingered as he returned to his chair and Rose, for lack of knowing what else to do, absently looked around for somewhere she could slouch and proceed to get very drunk. She softened at the sight of Victoire and Teddy with their cute as a button first born and sighed, letting a small laugh spill from her lips at the familiarity of James and Fred playing catch the snitch with the younger, giggling and over excited children.
And then she froze, completely froze.
In the periphery of her sight she spotted the silhouette of someone so familiar, thrills of excitement and apprehension, dancing together, flooded her body. It had to be him, she should have realised he'd be here. Not incredibly known for her skills at being inconspicuous, she forgot the 'play it cool' card in an instant and not so subtly looked straight over. Her breath hitched dangerously in her throat, her shaking grip slopping sticky liquid over her hand and trickling it down her fingers, but she hardly noticed. It was him, it really bloody was. Rose somehow kept her jaw from hitting the ground at the sight. Scorpius Malfoy was even more bloody gorgeous than she had remembered and unfortunately, that only made her scowl.
There he stood with his dirty blonde hair, sticking up every which way and yet still managing to look effortlessly perfect. His features not the blunt, sharp angles of his Father but the soft, elegant lines of his Mother, meaning he was in every way, utterly handsome. He stood out, all 6 ft of lean, slim muscle and designer clothes. Molten grey eyes burned into hers and she indulgently noticed the flicker of unguarded fire, the intensity he had slipped into before she caught him staring. Rose, however, couldn't miss the way a guarded, frosty sneer defensively crept over his impossibly beautiful face in reaction to her hostile response to him.
She admitted, she really, really shouldn't have kneed him in the family jewels.
Sending him one hell of a warning glare out of mere habit, the kind that said 'I would kill you with my bare hands if pushed', she swiftly finished off her drink and retreated to the comfort of a quiet, unoccupied corner of the garden and plonked herself down on her favourite rickety old bench, where she planned to brood and scowl the night away.
It's nice to stare at his back after all this time, she thought sarcastically as she did just that. Rose took far too long to enjoy the way his charcoal grey jumper hugged his obviously worshipped body, and she took just as long admiring the way his black jeans fitted him in just the right way. She realised right then that she couldn't kid herself there was anyone else for her. And she realised, to the detriment of her heart, that she had probably blown it completely during that one night not so long ago.
This weekend, Rose glowered, is going to be interesting.
AN: So, what are your impressions of Rose??
Too disillusioned? Needs more cheer? Or you really rather like her?
It'll be lovely to hear what you think =]
Thank you for taking the time to read, and reviewing if you do
Oh...and I own nothing still! Apart for the plot.
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