Chapter 16 : XVI - Love and Marriage
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“Roxanne! Fred! Aunt Angelina! Uncle George!” Rose could picture excitable Lily waving down the stairs at her relatives. The next time Lily’s voice sailed through the door Rose felt like laughing, “oh, sorry Hugo, didn’t see you there. That invisibility potion must be really good!” Rose heard Lily clattering down the stairs to go and meet her cousins. Rose sighed, she should be enjoying tonight. She usually loved the Christmas Eve Party’s at the Burrow, but she wouldn’t be happy until she was safely married to Scorpius and no one could stop them.
Rose quickly turned her head to the window. The marquee was almost assembled in the Burrow’s garden, and hopefully it would not be too long until the guests started to gather under the gold silk roof and the party begun. Then Rose would be able to disappear into the night. There was a loud knock on the bedroom door as Dominique’s voice floated through the wood.
“Rose, are you ready yet? Gran wants you downstairs; the Shacklebolt’s will be arriving soon.” That was the one thing Rose was sure she couldn’t face. She wasn’t sure whether she would be able to lie to Uther for a few more hours before she fled the house with Astoria Malfoy. Rose had decided she would tell Uther the truth when she returned back to Hogwarts; she wasn’t sure she could face both Uther’s disappointment surrounded by her family.
“Yeh, I’m ready.” The door creaked open as Rose appeared in the dim light of the hallway and she heard Dominique gasp. “Rosie,” began her cousin, “I feel so underdressed, you look beautiful!” Rose raised one of her eyebrows at perhaps her most attractive cousin. Dominique could be wearing a bin bag and still look beautiful with her shimmering blonde hair and light blue eyes.
“Says you!” teased Rose. Dominique was still staring at Rose in shock. Rose had decided she wanted to look beautiful on her wedding day. She wished she could wear the fairytale white dress, but her old floor length silk dress she had last worn at a Ministry Ball several years ago had been the closest thing she could get away with to her dream. She had her long red hair flowing down to her shoulder, carefully positioned into loose curls. A white flower was weaved into her hair, giving her a natural look. She had a short white cardigan on to cover her shoulders, but she would take it off at the church.
“Rose!” came Rose’s mother’s voice from below her, “Delilah and Uther are here!” Dominique grabbed Rose’s hand and began to drag her down the stairs, and even in her high white heels Rose was able to appear angelic as she gracefully perambulated down the stairs, arriving just in front of the gobsmacked Uther.
“God Rose! You look gorgeous!” Delilah Shacklebolt slapped the back of her son’s head scolding him for his rudeness mockingly. The truth was that Delilah was probably the coolest mum you could ever have. She used to be a model and had rich chocolate coloured eyes and the most infectious laugh ever.
“You look lovely Rose dear.” Delilah said, giving Rose and pat on the shoulder. Then Rose remembered how she was going to betray Delilah’s son in a few short hours and mumbled something about being able to get drinks in the marquee. Luckily, Dominique began to lead both Delilah and Uther into the garden. Breathing a sigh of relief Rose turned around facing the front door, but suddenly felt a hand on her shoulder which pulled her round, and she found herself looking into Uther’s eyes.
“Hey, are you alright?” he said, embracing her tightly. Guilt washing over Rose, she pushed him away, mumbling that she felt a little ill and might go for a lie down, and that he should be getting into the marquee. Uther agreed and turned away from her to join the many Weasley relatives and guests in the marquee, leaving Rose perfectly alone. It was pleasant to have a moment to herself. She could not bear to look anyone in the eye and it was so difficult to lie to them; but she knew otherwise they would try to stop her. Once she had composed herself she followed the path that Uther and Delilah had taken towards the lavish golden tent that seemed to be floating in the garden.
The marquee resembled to Rose everything her family had achieved. The room looked like a frosted wedding cake, cold but beautiful and it was decorated with various celebrity names of the day. Her mother stood laughing at one of Kingsley Shacklebolt’s jokes and Minerva McGonagall greeted various members of the old order, but Rose felt she did not truly belong here. She had no ambition to be a glittering star scaling the heights of ambition. She just wanted peace, and peace with Scorpius, nothing more.
Hours passed so slowly and Rose became more and more anxious because of it. The candles bobbed above the revellers heads and they seemed to keep the cold out. The night had descended and Rose found herself dancing with Uther and having a long conversation about Quidditch with her cousin Fred. He never let Rose speak so this meant Rose found herself drifting off into her own thoughts. No matter how much she tried to stay with the conversation she found herself pondering her current situation. One half of her soul was pulling her towards the family she loved with all her might; but who smothered and controlled her. The other half pulled her towards Scorpius who was offering her freedom and true love on a silver platter. You’ve made up your mind Rose thought to herself you’ve chosen Scorpius and Mrs Malfoy will be here for you in ten minutes.
At that thought she suddenly realised she should be getting ready to slip out of the party unnoticed. Fred was still rambling on about how Aunt Ginny was perhaps the greatest of the Holyhead Harpies’ chasers when Rose decided to bring his terribly tedious monologue to a close. Once you started Fred on one of his discussions he became like his Uncle Percy, much to his father’s horror.
“Fred,” Rose began, looking over her shoulder and eyeing the crowds of people close to her to discover one who would be a good distraction. In the corner of her eye she realised she saw Rosaline standing on her own, sipping a glass of lemonade. Albus had invited her in an attempt to get over Cecelia’s betrayal but seemed to be neglecting his guest and instead he shot evil looks at Robert every time he eyed up Rose. Fred had always had a soft spot for the attractive Rosaline, so Rose assumed this would be both hers and his chance.
“Look, poor Rosaline is standing over there all on her own,” simpered Rose, putting her hand on her cousin’s shoulder, “I’m sure some attention from someone would be really appreciated. I’m sure she would be so grateful.” Fred seemed to consider what Rose was saying for a moment; and then quickly turned his back on her and marched over to Rosaline, immediately asking her if she wanted to dance.
With Fred out of the way Rose slowly walked towards the door of the tent, she had danced with Uther so her obligation to him was done. Then suddenly Rose walked into a large fleshy wall. Looking up in confusion she saw she had been ambushed by none other than her father, who kissed her on the cheek with all the affection he could muster. Rose found this instantly strange; when she had been young she had been close to her father but now she hardly ever saw him and only tended to see him at some large Ministry function or at the Weasley’s Christmas Eve Party.
“How’s my little Rosie?” he asked, patting her on the shoulder. Rose mumbled something about being absolutely fine but Ron Weasley did not seem to listen to his eldest child and continued to talk regardless, “how is it going with young Uther?” he asked, a jovial grin crossing his face. Rose sighed, this was the last thing she wanted to be asked now.
“Fine, fine,” said Rose, trying to veer past her father’s large frame and out of the tent door, but her father was not at all interested. “He’s a fine young man,” smiled her father, turning to look at Uther who had escorted Rosaline away from Fred and was now dancing with the lonely girl. Rose had to admit he was kind and generous, but he was just not the thing that Rose was looking for.
“Yes, he’s a fine young man,” said Rose imitating her father’s words. Then as best she could she gave him a warm hug and whispered, “I need to go and get a drink for someone.” Her father nodded gently and then released her from the embrace and letting her pass without a word and exiting the marquee and making her way into the kitchen through the back door.
“Rose, darling!” came a loud voice as Rose passed from the recently constructed veranda into the kitchen. To her horror Rose saw Delilah who had just got herself a drink standing by the sink, a look of happiness on her pretty face. “I haven’t had the chance to have a proper conversation with you yet!” Marching across the kitchen, Delilah held her arms out wide and enveloped Rose in a giant hug, so when she released her Rose was gasping for air.
“Hello Mrs Shacklebolt,” Rose said politely, her heart dropping. Rose was not sure she could stand speaking to Delilah and keeping up the pretence. When Rose walked out the front door she would becoming Mrs Rose Weasley, and she would have to unpick all the lies she had told, including her relationship with Uther.
“Oh, don’t call me Mrs Shacklebolt, love,” said Delilah, placing her hands on her hips in a mock reproving way, “not when you’re making my Uther so happy. And anyway, who knows how much longer I’ll be Mrs Shacklebolt anyway!” Delilah roared heartily but Rose clearly saw the hurt in her eyes. What would it feel like to be betrayed by someone you love? Rose was just about to destroy Uther in the same way that Kingsley had destroyed Delilah. But Rose knew she had to do it, not just for happiness but to try to breach the impenetrable gap between Slytherin’s and Gryffindors.
“You’ve just made my Uther so happy,” said Delilah, quickly changing the topic, “he can not say enough about you. Oh, Rose is so clever, Rose is so smart, Rose is so kind. That’s all I ever get in his letters home from Hogwarts all his feelings about you,” Delilah smiled, clearly thinking these words would please Rose, “you’ve just done so much good.”
“Thank you,” muttered Rose, “but I feel a little ill, I need to go for a walk in private.” Delilah clearly seemed taken aback by these words but she nodded and bid Rose goodbye, taking herself out through the back door into the garden, leaving Rose alone, ready to take the solitary path to a new life without the support of anyone familiar.
As silently as she could she crept out of the kitchen and towards the front door. Her fingers quivered as they undid the lock and she stepped out onto the snow covered porch. It was terribly cold away from the artificial heat from the marquee and the human heat from the house. At the end of the ancient path leading to the gate of the Burrow, a woman stood alone, gazing at her.
Astoria Malfoy looked like an angel. She was wearing long, dark green robes with a heavy hood and her dark hair cascaded down her front. There was a slight hint that she had been crying through the redness of her eyes, but otherwise she seemed fine. Rose glided towards her and soon she found her rooted next to her future mother-in-law, gazing back at her grandparent’s house. The Burrow had never seemed so distant in all her life. It was just at the end of the path, but it seemed a million miles away. She could hear the guests in the garden laughing at chatting. But now it was as if she was leaving this life of being as close to her family as she possibly could be to being part of two families’; her parents and the Malfoy’s.
“Come on,” said Astoria gently, taking Rose’s pale hand in hers. She needed no convincing, Rose was sure she was making the right decision and she braced herself, apparating was not the most comfortable thing and Rose was prone to throwing up and she definitely did not want to do that in her wedding dress. Crushing pressures squeezed into her sides as she was dragged down the little tunnel of apparition. To her surprise she hit the ground rather gracefully, her heels landing delicately in the snow.
They were a little way out of Hogsmeade, and Rose could see they were standing between the magical town and the isolated chapel which stood as a small black blob across the field. Astoria tutted to herself as she let go of Rose’s hand, “sorry, I was never very good at this apparating thing.” Rose smiled pleasantly at Astoria and the two women turned silently away from each other, squinting at the little chapel.
So they began to walk through the field. Rose did not think this was a particularly good start to her wedding night, but she did not complain and followed her future mother-in-law towards the chapel which grew larger and larger as they walked towards it. It looked nearly as old as Hogwarts itself and Rose could faintly see the outlines of the stained glass windows that Scorpius was talking about.
They arrived at the large wooden doors quicker that Rose had expected and when Astoria pushed them open they were both blinded by the warm light. On stepping into the chapel Astoria dried Rose’s dress with her wand and took Rose’s own wand away, she’d been grasping it ever since they left the Burrow, but she relinquished the wand and discarded her cardigan, which Astoria took from her willingly and put them both in one of the secure safes by the door. Then Astoria gave Rose a little smile and walked into the church, gliding down the aisle.
Then the uplifting violin music began. Snatching a bunch of white lilies that were left dormant in a nearby vase, the notes compelled Rose to start walking down the aisle and she caught sight of Scorpius who was dressed in a tuxedo with a red rose on his lapel. He was gawping at Rose as she drew up the aisle, soon appearing next to him. Astoria and Mercutio were sitting at the front of the chapel smiling gently.
It was at this moment that Rose first saw the priest. He was a short man with wiry brown hair and a thick moustache. His eyes seemed to always be shifting and he gazed up at Scorpius who was now gazing so intently at Rose it seemed as if he would never look away. The priest finally gave a little cough and Scorpius tore himself away to look at the little man.
“The thing is, when you booked my services you did not tell me your name or this lovely girls name either,” the priest said irritably, pushing his glasses up his thin little nose. Scorpius crimsoned; looking slightly embarrassed for the moment but then gave a small cough and muttered, “Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy.” At this Rose burst out laughing.
“Hyperion is your middle name!” she said, clutching her sides. Scorpius looked down at the floor and then turned back to her, “well, what’s your middle name?” Rose then turned to the little priest quite suddenly and then said, “Rose Hermione Weasley.” She knew she shouldn’t have made fun of Scorpius on their wedding day but she could not help it. She loved to tease him. At the utterance of the two names the priest almost fell over. His small eyes were wide with shock.
“A Malfoy and a Weasley...my, my! Your parents will not like you doing this!” Rose dropped her eyes to the floor as she felt herself blush. It was true, she was being a traitor, but her love for Scorpius mattered more than petty hate. Suddenly Rose felt Scorpius’ fingers curl around hers and she felt a rush of confidence.
“I am Scorpius’ mother and I agree with this. You were not paid for your opinion, so just get on with it!” cried Astoria haughtily as the priest nodded and filled out the form in front of him and then discarded it to his side. “So you want to do your own vows, yes?” he said pointing at Scorpius, indicating for him to start. He coughed nervously but then turned to Rose, taking her hands in his.
“Rose, for years I did not notice you, I did not see you for what you truly were, the love of my life. Now I pledge myself to you. I give you my mind, my soul, my heart and my body,” a smirk crossed his lips at these words but he continue with the same fevered emotion that he had used before, “and I swear I will love you as passionately as I do now for the rest of my life. I, Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy, will take thee to be my lawful wedded wife” He drew his breath as Rose looked into his eyes, his sincerity shone through as she grasped his hands in hers.
“Scorpius,” she said, the tears coming to her eyes at the importance of the situation, “I’ve never been one easily able to confess my feelings easily or wear my heart on my sleeve, but I love you more than anything and I can say I will love you until the day I die. I, Rose Hermione Weasley, will take thee to be my lawful wedded husband.” Then a thought struck both Rose and Scorpius at the same time, they needed rings.
“Let me provide,” said Astoria standing up and walking up towards them both. She wore a silver band on one finger which she instantly pulled off and planted in Rose’s head. Rose was not done stammering her thanks when Astoria turned her attention to her wedding ring. She seemed too observe it for a moment and then removed it from her wedding finger and placed it in Scorpius’ hand.
“Mother, I can’t,” he stammered, but she nodded as silvery tears welled in her arms. In one sharp movement she turned around and resumed her position on the front pew as Scorpius and Rose turned to face each other. Rose lifted the ring in her hand and placed it on Scorpius’ bony wedding finger, suddenly realising what a commitment she had made. Holding out her hand she let Scorpius slip the ring on her finger.
“I now pronounce you husband and wife,” said the priest lazily but neither Scorpius nor Rose noticed as they fell into each other’s arms in triumph. They had married without being caught and now they both thought they could easily tell the world the truth. Both of them hurriedly signed the marriage document and then Mercutio and Astoria followed suit, leaving Rose to gaze at Scorpius questioningly.
“How are we going to break it to them?”she whispered, holding his hands, knowing he knew what she meant, “I mean, I don’t think they’re going to take it well on Christmas.” Rose sighed dramatically and wrapped her arms around Scorpius neck, snuggling into his chest. She felt his head rest on hers as he held her tightly and imitated her sigh.
“Well,” he began, pondering his words, “there is the Ministerial Ball next week and that won’t be the best place to announce it,” he paused again and then said, “when we get back to Hogwarts you break it to your friends and Uther, once you’ve done that we can write letters home confessing it all and then wait for our parents to march up the school. That way we can make sure we’re together when we confront them.”
They broke apart quickly as Astoria tapped her watch, “Rose, I should be getting you back.” Rose nodded and then turned back to Scorpius and gazed in his grey eyes. They stood for a moment suspended in animation, until finally Rose swooped in and kissed him. Turning away from him, she followed Astoria out of the little chapel and into the snowy night.
Rose sat in the darkness, listening to her snoozing cousins around her. The moonlight shone through the open window and onto Rose’s pale hands. She was studying her finger with the ring on it. Now was one moment where she could wear the symbol of her marriage, when no one was looking. The band was gold with an intricate emerald snake curling across the metallic ring. It shimmered in the pale light and watched the light dance across it. She was in love with Scorpius, and that was the end of it.
Well...they're married. Please tell me what you thought too slow/quick. Next time...its Christmas and Scorpius and Rose have two very opposite Christmas'...
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