The red coat wasn't really mine. It used to be cousin Rosy's and boy, did she run the poor thing into the ground. If she hadn't loved it so much, I swear it would have lasted long enough for me to actually wear it when she finally gave it to me. The heavy fabric rested in my hands as I felt the worn elbows and traced the patch over the left breast with my finger.
Rose got the coat when she was nine-years-old. She was much too young to care about how horrible the red of the coat had clashed with her hair, or the fact that it was much too large for her to wear for a few years.
Diagon Alley had never been so busy. At least, not while I was there. We were all out shopping for James' school supplies. Well, mostly. He was about to begin his first year at Hogwarts, but there was a new Quidditch book out that mum wanted and Aunt Hermy wanted to buy Rose some new clothes because, "tThat girl was growing so fast it's surprising she doesn't get a new wardrobe every week."
Dad and Uncle Ron went off with James, Albus and Hugo trailing along behind them. I followed mom into some clothing shop that looked brand new and embarrassingly girly, like that Madame Puddifoot's Teddy had told me about. The entire place was much too pink and lacy for me to walk about in with my eyes open, so I grabbed onto the back of Mum's jeans and squeezed my eyes shut so tight,. Mum had laughed and said:, "Lily, you're never going to be able to open your eyes again with them like that."
I had cautiously opened my eyes just in time for Rose to find the only decent thing in the store. It was a coat that contained not a shred of lace or a centimeter of pink. I had wondered if this is why Rose had fallen in love with it.
Aunt Hermione bought it (the Granger-Weasley money almost as boundless as the Weasley-Potter money,) and she had not really cared what she did with it, as long as Rose was happy. And Rose was happy with a giant, red coat from a pink, lacy store.
The store was Chang's Clothing and we all would've stayed together that day if it wasn't for the fact that the owner of the shop was Daddy's crazy ex-girlfriend from all the way back when he was in fifth year. The storegets a fair amount of business now, mostly from all the girls who visit Madame Puddifoot's every chance they can. It's still obscenely pink and frilly, and I haven't put a foot in it since that day. Rose did though, once, when she was in seventh year, she told me. Her red coat was the only one the store had ever sold and nothing like it ever rested on the shelves again.
Rose said she was happy about this because she had the only red coat and it made her special. She was already special. Rose was mediocre at everything except being herself:; a girl with no fashion sense, enough friends to fill the Great Canyon (Rosy's favourite place in the world), and a great talent for writing.
Rose had known what she wanted to do since she was in third year, and started slacking off in anything that she didn't think would do any good in her line of work. It wasn't really a good idea. She thought she wouldn't have to do 'field work’, she thought she'd be sitting in an office all day.
Rose had run into my room. It was obvious she was very glad about something. She grinned from ear to ear, just like the day she got that ridiculous red coat that she still didn't fit into, but wore everyday anyways. It turned out that Rose had every right to be that happy. Rose had figured out what most people don't until they're 54.
"Hey, Rosy. What's going on?" I asked. Rose was just about the only person in my family would talk to me because I was a first year. Everyone knew that talking to me would just about be social suicide. Rose said that was just silly and family was family even if I am just a first year.
"I'm going to be a journalist for the Daily Prophet."
I was used to Rose making those sort of declarations. She hardly, if ever, go through with half of what she said. Like in her first year when she wrote me a letter telling me she was going to make the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Her attempt to join was actually completely horrendous she told me later. "That's great, Rosy."
"I'm going to do it;, I really am, you'll see." Rose sat on Mary's bed, right in the middle. Her red coat pooled around her, the puddle of fabric making her look even tinier than she is.
"Mhm," I hummed.
"I'll be a novelist too, Lily. I'll write and write and write all day, about adventures and romance and mysterious creatures and you. I'll write about you, Lily Potter, because you're the best friend I've ever had."
Rose did write and write and write all day. Dark circles were always under her eyes as if she never got a wink of sleep and mealtimes were always spent with her hands covered in ink. Rose would've done nothing else if Aunt Hermione hadn't caught onto her horrible grades.
Rosy scraped Acceptables until her seventh year when she found some inspiration in the form of her new crush Scorpius Malfoy. Of course, if he wasn't so ‘bloody good at everything’, Rose wouldn't have liked him as much or worked as hard to keep her grades up.
"Merlin, Lily, I don't think that boy could be more infuriating if he tried." Rose slammed her books down on the table making Madam Pince send her a sharp glare.
"Geez, Rosy. You know, he's sitting right over there." I pointed out what she hadn't noticed. The blonde boy sat across the library, messy hair flopping into his face and hunched over some large book with his quill tapping along the edge. His eyes were focused on a knot on the table and I could tell he wasn't really reading.
Rose laughed and sat down. "It's not like he's listening to us. Look at how hard he's concentrating on that book."
I pressed my lips together forcing myself not to say anything when Scorpius grinned and looked over at us out of the corner of his eye. Fooling one, but not fooling all. "Yeah."
"I should go blonde."
"What?" I shouted as Scorpius' eyebrows shot up. "Rosy, are you serious? Why would you do that?"
"Why wouldn't I? I mean, if it looks that bloody good on him, why shouldn't it look just as good on me?" Rose sometimes got a little carried away with competition and I thought it was good that she didn't ever get on the House Quidditch team because it'd be a whole sight harder for the other team, and ours, to play fair if Rose was going after the gold, even if she did play seeker.
I could see Scorpius covering his mouth with his long fingers, trying hard not to laugh. I sighed. "Rosy, don't you think you're getting a bit obsessed with trying to beat him?"
Rose just gave me a glare and looked over at Scorpius with great concentration. Her lips were forced into a thin line and her forehead turned into a web of winkles. The roots of her hair turned white. The colour travelled down her hair until all traces of red were gone.
She looked back at me. "Is it purple?" I shook my head. "Great." She grinned.
Scorpius stopped pretending, stood up and walked over to our table. Rose tensed up. She could talk like she didn't want anything to do with him all she wanted, but when he was around she clammed up and her nerves were worse than Al's. He took a lock of her newly bleached hair between his fingers. "Blonde looks good on you."
Rose smiled. "Thanks." And, as if they thought as one, Rose stood and they walked away, her arm draped over his. Right before the red coat turned around a bookshelf, Scorpius kissed her cheek.
Rose and Scorpius never left each other’s side after that and I don't think Rose took off the red coat either since it went so well with her new hair. Also, Rose let her grades slide again after the two of them became official.
They got married a year after graduation and when that finally came around, Uncle Ron actually liked the boy. He wasn't that fond of having Draco as part of the family though and I don't think Aunt Hermy liked it much either, despite her talent for finding something to like about everything. I didn't mind and I don't think the rest of the Potter's did either. Al got his friend to be part of the family and James had more relatives to invite to his next house party.
"Mummy?" The next part of Rose tugged on my sleeve. Castor was born four years ago to Rose and Scorpius Malfoy, eight months before they went on their two year anniversary trip. I was named godmother.
Rose was a bestselling author and was working on a new novel about a crazy girl much like Aunt Luna who was looking for a mysterious beast that didn't seem to exist similar to the Crumple-Horned Snorkack with a smart, quiet boy who appeared to be a renamed Uncle Rolf. Scorpius, ever supportive of his wife and her writing, decided that they should go on an adventure with Luna and Rolf through the African jungles to look for a Umgubular Slashkilter so that Rose could have some personal experience in being a wizarding naturalist for her book. Luna and Rolf started their expedition a week before Rose and Scorpius said they'd meet up with them.
Their trip was supposed to last two weeks, and we waited three before we wrote to see how they were and why they weren't back yet. The letter came right back to us and then we wrote Luna and Rolf.
It turned out that Rose and Scorpius had felt like they had gotten the hang of what was going on after a week and left to adventure on their own.
And so, when we realized they went missing, the family sent out some of the Hit Wizards that were not related to us. Mostly meaning that Dad didn't want James to go looking for his cousin and actually end up in the bed reserved at St. Mungo's for him.
The Hit Wizards roamed over central Africa, finally finding the pair in the Congo. Rose and Scorpius, I heard, were found in an almost perfectly preserved state despite being dead for almost three and a half weeks before the Hit Wizards found them.
Aunt Luna identified the poison that kept the bodies as Umgubular Slashkilter venom. When Luna published a book on her expedition later that year she wrote: , "When I finally found the Umgubular Slashkilter, I was amazed by the unassuming presence of the creature. Looking rather like a chameleon, highly talented magical creatures in concealment, the Umbugular Slashkilter takes the shape of the leaves of the trees it nests in with only two long fangs, resembling smooth branches that look quite inviting to sit on and climb up, to store it's venom. The venom never replenishes in the lifetime of the Umgubular Slashkilter which, after a time of research and study of the animal, is predicted to be about 300-400 years. Rose and Scorpius Malfoy, the late wizards who discovered the Umbugular Slashkilter..."
Everything went off course after the discovery of Rose and Scorpius. We mourned and everyone brought us all different kinds of food and there was a huge funeral with what seemed like the entire community in attendance. Their wills were sorted out. Well, sort of, Scorpius had a will being a Hit Wizard, but Rose hadn't thought about needing one until she was as old as Great Auntie Muriel, who died last spring.
I, being godmother, was given Castor Iapetus Malfoy, a little blonde boy with the wild Granger curls, Mondays through Thursdays, but he got to spend the rest of his time with 'Gran Hermy' and 'Pop-pop Ron.' More permanently I was given an old red coat.
"Mummy, Dad says it's dinner time." He pulled one more time on my sleeve.
"Alright Castor, Mummy's coming," I said. I dropped the coat and waved my wand. The coat wrapped itself around the tombstone and molded to its form. Soon the fabric of the coat disappeared along with the arms and all the openings closed. The coat became the stone upon which the epitaph was written.
"Why'd you do that to your coat, Mummy?"
"It wasn't Mummy's coat, dear," I told Castor. I scooped him up and settled him on my hip. His small arms wrapped around my necks and his head rested on my shoulder. We met Lorcan at the cemetery gate and walked down Godric's Hollow to my childhood home where we were meeting for Al's birthday.
Rose would have been happy the way things turned out. Scorpius didn't have his bed on reserve at St. Mungo's anymore; it was instead given to one Louis Weasley and Rosy would just be glad he finally had a job. I also think she would be quite glad that James and Albus hadn't chased off one of my boyfriends. In fact, I was a Scamander, which pleased Mum and Dad very much because Aunt Luna was now Mum, too. Also, Castor was showing great potential in his magical ability already, which is sure to bring him to the greatness Rose would have wanted.
Yes, I think Rose would be very happy with everything.
I'd like to credit kaityb for the idea of having Hit Wizards also be a search and rescue team and for being my loffly beta . :) Thanks for the help!