Chapter 1 : More Than Melody
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Hey Mr. Love I've been singing and still
There's a hole in my heart only a man can fill
“Well, it’s official,” Rose Weasley stated dramatically, as she slammed her purse on the kitchen table. “I hate my job.” Dejectedly, she slumped into one of the chairs at the table and propped her face up with her hands. “Mum. I hate it at the Ministry. It’s all boring and pantsuits and filing and… horrible. Plus, I’ll be stuck in that job for years before I can even be considered for a promotion! Surely, I’ll be insane before then!”
Hermione turned around and looked at her daughter. Folding her arms, she leaned against the counter as the dishes began washing themselves. “I’m sorry, Rosie baby.”
Rose groaned. “Mum, I’m nineteen. Please, please, please stop calling me… that.”
Her mother held up her hands in surrender and turned back to the dishes, which she proceeded to do by hand. “Well, if you hate your job so much, why don’t you look for another one?” She flicked her wand quickly and sent the Daily Prophet flying towards Rose. “I was reading this morning that the Prophet was hiring. Looking for some file clerks and new talent. It’ll be better than the Ministry, probably.” Rose opened up the paper and began scanning for their help wanted ad. It wasn’t long before she found it and began reading it. “Plus, you were always writing up those cute little fake articles for us. About your imaginary friends? You remember that, don’t you? Oh, they were so adorable.”
“Right, sorry, you’re a grown up now.” Then she began mumbling under her breath, something about it not being that long ago and when did her daughter get so touchy. “Well, if you don’t want to change jobs, maybe you should go out some more. It’s not practical for a girl your age to be so focused on work all the time. Maybe you should try your hand at dating?”
Rose merely glared up at her mother over the paper. Dating was not one of Rose’s fortes. She was an opinionated, graceless babbler. She made for horrible company. She was shit at flirting. She’d had one relationship—ever—and it was with Landon Phillips, a muggleborn in her house. They would hold hands, he’d walk her to class, they’d snog. Then one time they shagged, then they shagged some more and some more and eventually it ended up that they broke up, but kept shagging each other. It was a great little deal they’d worked out. But it was for Hogwarts, and Hogwarts alone, and she hadn’t been on a proper date in her life.
And she was lonely. Horrendously, terribly lonely. Her life consisted of nothing but work. She never went out, never even tried. She had, like, one friend. But she hardly counted, since they just talked in the break room at the Ministry on occasion.
Then, as her eyes slid over the last line in the article, her eyes widened. “They’re conducting interviews today!?” she squeaked. She threw the paper down and grabbed her purse before apparating quickly.
‘Cause I'm getting closer
And I want love, give it up
Rose ran full speed into the main building of the Daily Prophet. If this was her last chance at a job she might actually enjoy, she wasn’t about to waste it. And she probably needed every second she could get. She only stopped running when she hit the receptionist’s desk and said, “Ineedtointerviewfortheopenjobposition.” It had come up much too fast, faster than she wanted it to, so she tried again, “Sorry, I’m here to interview for the open job position. It was in the paper. This morning. Yeah. Uh…”
The receptionist smiled at her kindly. “Alright, can I have your name?”
“Rose. Rose Weasley.” The woman’s eyebrows shot up at her last name. Everyone’s did.
Thankfully, she didn’t start asking questions about her lineage. “Okay, Miss Weasley, we’ll call you up shortly.” The woman gestured to a small row of chairs lining one of the walls near her. Rose smiled politely and made her way over there, still trying to catch her breath. She should really start working out more, I mean she ran for like, what, twenty feet? And she was winded? Yeah, that was sad. Just sad.
She had been sitting for less than a minute before the receptionist called her name again. Hopefully they weren’t getting a lot of applicants. Because that would really help her chances. Or maybe she was the last person, and it had been horribly crowded the whole day. A million thoughts were running through Rose’s head as she followed the receptionist through a maze of offices and cubicles to get to their final destination.
Finally, the woman came to a stop and opened an office door for her. She smiled at her and continued in. When she took in the whole office, she noticed how bare it was. There was little on the desk, and what was there seemed to be perfectly placed and organized. Nothing on the walls, no pictures, no nothing. It was rather boring, actually. The only thing that gave it a personal touch was a bare looking bookshelf behind the desk. Finally, her interviewer looked up from whatever he was writing.
And Rose’s face promptly fell.
Scorpius Malfoy’s eyebrows shot up at the sight of her. “Rose?” he asked.
“Uh… Am I in the right office?” she asked, beginning to inch back towards the door. “Because I’m here for an interview, for an open job position? And I don’t think that I should be… But, uh… Yeah. Hey there, Scorpius…” she babbled before cutting herself off short. She bit her lip.
He smiled at her—and it seemed to be genuine, although you could never tell with the rat—and said, “Oh, no, you’re in the right office. Here, take a seat.” She carefully sat on the edge of the chair pushed up towards the desk. “How are you?” he asked.
She eyed him cautiously. “Fine…?”
Okay. The thing about Scorpius Malfoy was that, once upon a time, Rose had been infatuated with him. It was fifth year, and all her friends seemed to be getting boyfriends, so she figured she ought to as well. And, well, it just so happened that Scorpius Malfoy was in all of her classes and sat relatively close to her. They talked on occasion, when they weren’t fighting for the position of top of their class. Anyway, he was decent-looking—and by that she meant absolutely fit—and relatively nice. And it only got worse and worse. Then, she managed to get up the courage to tell him how she felt. Which he promptly ignored and the next day he was snogging Tierney Finnigan in the fourth floor corridor just as Rose was walking into class.
“Good! That’s great. So, you’re interested in the job?” he asked.
She was suspicious of him. He was being far too nice. Usually he’d say something snarky to her and then make fun of her. There was something horribly out of place here. “Yeah. Yes, I am interested,” she stated.
“Alright, well, we’ve been going through a lot of changes in Fine Arts section of the newspaper, what with our last editor quiting abruptly and a few of our staff writers retiring… We’re a bit understaffed, to be honest. Have you written anything before?”
“Well, not… like professionally. I used to write up mock-articles for the Prophet, though. Always fancied myself a writer,” she said, but began to bite her lip again to prevent herself from babbling.
“And I know you know a lot about the Fine Arts. You were always talking about music or art in school.”
“So, I’m going to be honest with you.” He leaned forward on his desk. “You are the only person I’ve interviewed, and I suspect that no one else is going to come seeing as the time window for interviews is about to run out. And I’m a bit desperate. And I know I can rely on you. So, do you want the job?”
“Okay, it’s yours.”
‘Cause you're more than melody to me...I think
It was two weeks of filing.
Rose’s job was to take all of the owls they received as feedback, read them, and file them under positive, negative, or neutral for each of the articles. It was lots of paper work. Lots of folders. Lots of filing cabinets. What sucked was when she would get to the bottom of a certain stack and there would be a response for an article that was written like a month ago, and she would have to search for that area of the filing cabinet and then shove it in. She didn’t hate the job, but it really wasn’t that fun either.
What she did like, though, was Scorpius. He was fun. He would play music all day long, forgive people who were late, and didn’t stay cooped up in his office all day. He would go through and visit with the writers, and even with Rose sometimes.
Finally, her day came.
Scorpius walked up to her desk and slid a disk her way. “You know the Rocket Cauldrons, right? You always talked about them in school.”
“Yeah?” She picked up the disk and examined it. She knew what it was, thanks to her mum’s muggle appliances, but she doubted many wizards would.
“They recently released an album for muggles. Altered lyrics, you know. I want you to review it.”
“You… Me… What? Write? Like, for real?” she asked. She looked up at him.
“Yeah. Don’t let me down.” He smiled at her. “Have it on my desk by lunch, and we’ll see if we can run it tomorrow.” He walked away, whistling along with the music he had picked today.
Excitedly, Rose quickly cleared some space on her desk and pulled out the ancient disk player she had taken from her mum’s old stuff years ago. She had kept it with her since she got out of Hogwarts, because she liked to listen to it when she had free time. She put the disk in and began to listen, taking copious notes. Once the disk was finished, she just started writing.
It came naturally to her, like she heard herself writing the article in her head and just put it down on paper. She wrote as if she was talking to someone who was thinking about buying it. She gave her honest opinion, and she threw in some musical jargon she had picked up on.
Her hand began to cramp as she was writing it, because she was writing so quickly. She just didn’t want to stop for fear she might lose some of what was in her head. Finally, when the last word was said, she held up the parchment and examined it. She read it over three times and decided that she was awesome.
Smiling, she waltzed into Scorpius’s office and slid the parchment his way. “And we’ve still got thirty minutes to lunch,” she stated, smiling to herself.
He motioned for her to sit, and he began to read the article. His eyes flicked across the page, but his face gave no clues to if he liked the piece or not. Finally, when he had finished, he looked up at her and said the most amazing words Rose had ever heard, “We’re running it.”
The rest of the day was a dazed blur as Rose went through her normal motions. She knew that, somewhere in the building, her first article for the Daily Prophet was being handed off to numerous people and was getting ready to go to print. It was too exciting for Rose to think. So, she didn’t. She just did what she did everyday, only now with a crazy grin on her face.
Finally, when she was about to leave, Scorpius came around to her desk. “Hey,” he said. “You busy tonight?”
She shook her head as she shrugged into her coat. “I was just going to go home…”
“Do you want to come out for a drink with me?” he asked. “As a little celebration for your first piece getting published.”
She smiled at him. “I’d like that.”
And that’s what they did. They drank, and drank, and drank, and drank. Completely trashed, they finally stumbled out of the bar sometime after midnight. As they walked through the cold streets of London, Rose slurred, “I can’t go home to Mum now. Gotta… sober up.” She laughed, for no reason at all, before turning to Scorpius. His face had gone serious all of a sudden. “Something wrong?” she asked, her face falling.
“No,” he said simply. He stopped walking and, after a few steps, Rose did too. Out of the blue, Scorpius closed the distance between them and kissed her. For a moment, she was stunned and all she could do was stand there. But, once she realized what was happening, she gave into it and kissed back.
Before she knew what was happening, the two had made it back to Scorpius’s apartment and somehow got through the door before throwing all of their clothes off. They were drunk, clumsy, but passionate. It was all a hazy blur of emotions and movements.
When she woke up the next morning, her head pounded with the ever-predictable hangover. She groaned, but opened her eyes a little. That was when she realized that she wasn’t at home. That was when she felt Scorpius curled up against her and his hands holding her. That was when she realized that she was completely naked under the covers. Her eyes shot completely open.
In these sheets not my own and these hands where they don't belong
And I'm all but a victim in my prison head
I should run for my gun but I'm lying instead in your hands
Rose, once she pieced together what had happened through the fog of her hangover, stumbled out of the bed, landing with a thump on the floor. She shouted an obscenity and grabbed for the sheets on the bed to wrap her naked self in. Scorpius stirred from his slumber at the shout and rolled over to see her. “Oh, GOD you’re naked!” she screeched, throwing the sheets back at him and crawling across the room to where her coat was thrown carelessly on the floor. She hurriedly wrapped herself into the thankfully long coat. She tied it tight before looking back up at Scorpius.
He was laughing. The jerk.
“You know, this isn’t very funny,” she snapped at him from across the room.
He smiled at her. “On the contrary, this is hilarious,” he assured her.
“Did we at least use protection!?” she shrilled, too panicky to be reasonable. He nodded. “Oh thank God. Cause I think I skipped a pill like… a month ago. And yeah, my mum makes me take the pill too, cause she’s a muggleborn and she insists that I have to if I want to be safe when having sex, not like I do this often, mind you,” she said pointedly, “but it’s for times like this when I… Oh, my God. Oh, my God.” Her eyes bulged.
“Are… are you okay?” he asked, starting to get up from the bed.
She held up a hand to stop him. “No, you’re staying there until you put some clothing on. Or at least undergarments.” She awkwardly stood up, pulling her coat down as far as it could possibly go. “I have to use the bathroom,” she announced before turning sharply towards the small hallway where she knew the bathroom was. She slipped inside and caught a glimpse of Scorpius before she snapped the door shut. He was laughing again. She shut the door and leaned against it. “Fuck fuck fuck…” she whispered to herself as she thought about her options.
She walked to the sink and washed off the remnants of her makeup from last night, leaving her face stark naked, as she was underneath the coat. She mulled over her options again in her head before deciding on the best one.
She jimmied the window open in the small bathroom and managed to climb out onto the fire escape which was, thankfully, on that side of the apartment because she would have scaled down the side of the building anyway. She began running down the many stairs until she reached the end of the fire escape and leaped to the ground. She panted a bit, having run down four stories worth of stairs in about thirty seconds, and then quickly apparated into her bedroom at home.
Rose quickly shed the coat and put on some undergarments. She kicked the coat aside, into a dark corner where it could stay for a long time with her memories of last night and this morning. She quickly dressed in work clothes before doing her makeup again, in order to mask the clear signs of a wild night.
When she finally descended downstairs to pretend like she’d been here the whole night, she was met by her mother at the foot of the stairs. The crazy woman was waving a copy of previous day’s Prophet over her head. “Oh, my Rosie baby got published! I’m so proud of you!” She engulfed her daughter in a massive hug. But, once she let go, her face got serious, “But there was a grammar error in your article. You really should proofread.”
“Bye, Mum, I’ve got to go to work now,” Rose said quickly before walking out the door and apparating to the Prophet’s main building. She was early, but she didn’t mind. She snuck into the nearly empty office and took a seat at her desk. She began to sift through the responses that were still on her desk from yesterday. She wanted to do it quickly, before they reminded her of last night too much.
My heart, oh Lord, is in your hands
If she was honest with herself, she knew in her heart that she had feelings for Scorpius. Just like back in fifth year when he turned her down for freaking Tierney Finnigan. But, even just the thought of him made her heart beat faster and her stomach fill with butterflies.
She figured it was just her imagination. Just her head dreaming up the way Scorpius might say hello to her. Her lonely heart dreaming impossible dreams again.
Her name sounded so nice when he said it… at least in her head in sounded lovely. He probably hated her for running off like that. God, she was such an idiot. Fucking crazy too. Here she was, sitting at her desk, pathetically filing all her compliments and criticisms into perfectly organized folders, just dreaming of the way he might say her name and how lovely it might sound—
She jumped and looked up from her work. When she saw that she wasn’t actually imagining his voice, and he was actually, physically there in front of her, she made a loud squeaking noise and blushed furiously. “What? I’m sorry, I’m just a bit frazzled. I’ve got all this…” She threw a couple of letters up in the air. “Fucking filing. And I… I’m hungover and I’m feeling weird and I’m an idiot and I’m crazy and what, what do you want?” she managed to say.
He dropped her undergarments from the previous night on her desk. “I believe these are yours.” Rose scrambled to grab them and hide them under her desk before anyone walking by saw. He chuckled again at her. “So, the bathroom, eh?”
She blushed even more and kept her head down as she began to babble again, “Yeah, dreadfully sorry about that. It’s just… while I was in the bathroom, my owl found me. Yeah!” She looked up at him finally as she embellished her lies. “And it was carrying a letter, so I had to force that window open and let the owl in and read the letter and it was from my mum, yeah? And she’s all like, ‘Get your arse home, Rosie baby, we need to talk!’ And so I was like, ‘For fuck’s sake!’ But, I had to go, yeah? So I decided it would be easiest to just apparate. And then I had to come here and—”
“Would you like to have dinner with me tonight?” he asked abruptly.
“Yes,” she responded immediately.
He smiled at her and walked away from her desk. When he was out of sight, she threw herself on top her desk and began banging her head on it repeatedly.
“Mum!” Rose called as she entered the house. She slammed her purse down on the kitchen table. “It’s official.”
Hermione turned around and looked at her daughter expectantly.
“I love my job.”
A/N: Did you like it? Did you hate it? Please, tell me! I love reviews, and I really like to hear what you all have to say.
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by Leigh Kelley