Chapter One – A Beginning of Sorts
You know, I was supposed to be the most successful witch of the age.
“Excuse me! Sorry! Pardon me! Please – I’m trying to get through – yes, I know there’s a line, I can see, but – okay, you know what? GET OUT OF MY WAY.”
Yes, this is an everyday occurrence for me. Chaos, I mean.
I sighed in relief and pushed past the irritated, large man, grabbing the cups of coffee and giving Andrew a couple of galleons.
“I owe you my life,” I said breathlessly, smiling at him once and turning around to sprint out the door again. I checked my watch as I ran down the street. Crap, I have three minutes to get there on time.
Right, where was I? Oh yeah – successful witch.
I was supposed to be one.
See, this thing called, ‘wanting to work in the traditional muggle way’ happened. And then another thing called ‘not finding a muggle job because I don’t have a muggle degree’ happened. And then another thing called ‘not getting into Healer school because I refused the first time and now have to pay a whole lot more than I currently have’ happened.
A lot happens to me.
And now, in order to get the aforementioned money, I’m currently working – hold on, let me take a moment to cringe and shudder and be generally extremely disgusted – under – gah – Scorpius Malfoy.
That’s right. I know – you have every right to be appalled. Rose Weasley, working under Scorpius Malfoy? As his assistant, no doubt? Head Girl, smartest witch of the age working under Slytherin delinquent (who was, I will admit, also pretty clever himself, but STILL)?! What has the world come to?!
The world, my friend, has come to utter wonkiness. Trust me, I would know. After all, I am the poor shmuck working for her enemy.
And most people would expect said former enemy to be a mature, gentlemanly young adult and let our past differences slide by – but no-o-o-o. Mr. Malfoy – as I’m being forced to address him – simply does not believe in ‘forgive and forget’. He is currently holder of the ‘Make Rose’s Life Living Hell’ award, and is well on his way of securing the position of ‘Rose Tormentor’ forever.
Basically, my life sucks and I can’t do anything about it.
“Good morning, Mr. Malfoy,” I droned mechanically, handing him his cup of coffee as he breezed through the door, pulling off his sunglasses.
“Smile, Weasley, it’s not that bad,” He drawled, as per his usual morning ritual. He even says that when I’m smiling. Which is not quite often, to be honest, but the fact remains.
“I’m sorry, sir, but I’ll smile when I have something to smile about,” I retorted, helping him take off his coat and hanging it in his closet.
“Healing School, Weasley,” He sang, looking through his papers. I scowled and stuck my tongue out at his back.
“I saw that,” He said, without missing a bit. “That is extremely immature, not to mention unprofessional.”
I decided not to deign that with a response.
“Now,” He continued, still looking through his files. “I need the one o’clock meeting pushed back to two o’clock; I have a date with Sirrah. Pick me a bouquet of flowers and a suit that would be appropriate for when you’re breaking up with someone. Also, I need a suit for this weekend; I have a family convention to go to. While you’re at it, pick up the dry-cleaning, there’s a dress for you to wear as well –”
“Wait,” I interrupted bravely. He looked up, irritation clear in his expression. “I, er, can’t come to your ‘family convention’, I’m afraid.”
“And why ever not?” He asked in a falsely polite voice.
“It’s my Nana’s birthday,” I plowed on, despite the fact that I knew I was fighting a losing battle. Malfoys always get what they want.
“Ah,” He drawled, looking back down at his notes. “You’ll also need to buy some shoes, I’m afraid I don’t care what your shoe size is. Also, this coffee is vile, so get me another cup, pronto.”
Tears burned behind my eyes as I finished taking notes and turned on my heel to storm out of the office, slamming the door as I went.
“And I’ll have none of that feisty behavior, Weasley!” He called after me.
‘You’re ruining my life!’ I wanted to scream.
“I know, Mom, I really want to come –” I said wearily into the telephone, running a tired hand through my bedraggled curls.
“I don’t understand why you don’t just quit, Rose, this is getting ridiculous!” Mom rambled on the other line.
“You know I need this job, Mom,” I reminded her patiently.
“I could always get you a job at the ministry, they adore you –”
“Mom, I’m doing this myself, okay?” I told her firmly. “I’m not looking for shortcuts in life because I’m one of the ‘Golden Children’ or whatever.”
There was a short silence, during which I knew that my mother was having an internal battle between pride and exasperation. “Okay, sweetheart,” She finally said quietly. “I understand – I’m sure Nana will, too.”
I sighed. “I really want to come, Mom. I miss everyone so much.”
“I know, love. We miss you, too. I feel like it’s been forever since we’ve seen you.” Mom sounded close to tears, so I figured I should wrap this little conversation up soon. I hated listening to her cry – she always sounded so heartbroken and it left me feeling hopeless.
“Tell everyone I said hi, alright? And tell Nana that I love her, and happy birthday.”
“I will. I love you, Princess.”
“I love you too, Mom. Bye.”
I sighed and rubbed my temples as I hung up the phone. There was an awkward shuffling sound, and I saw that Malfoy was standing there, looking, for the first time, anything but cold and heartless. In fact, in that moment, he looked hesitant and a bit regretful.
I shot out of my chair hastily. “Er –”
“I want these filed.” A large stack of papers landed on my desk.
Scratch whatever I said about him not looking cold and heartless for once.
“Right,” I said quietly.
I looked up. “Yeah?”
“Don’t use the office phone line to make personal calls.”
I imagined myself picking up my paperweight (a birthday present from Al, but I’m sure he would understand that the thing came in extremely good use in the end) and chucking it straight at Malfoy’s annoying git-face using my super Chaser skills. Then I imagined him falling over.
And hopefully dying.
“Of course, sir,” I said sweetly.
Works every time.
I let out another deep sigh as I started shuffling through the papers. There must have been a hundred different files in the pile, all conveniently out of order. I was willing to bet a substantial amount of money that Malfoy had put them out of order, simply to make my life even more miserable than it was.
I cursed under my breath. Arse.
“Oi, where’s the suit?”
I quickly jumped out of my seat again as Malfoy sauntered out of his office, checking his watch.
“Right here, Mr. Malfoy,” I said, hurrying forward with the jacket and tie. He held his arms out, and, teeth gritted, I slid the jacket over them. He turned around again and let me do his tie. I know he can tie his own fucking tie – I’ve seen the prat do it every day during breakfast at Hogwarts – and yet he absolutely insists that I do it for him.
He’s such a fucking baby.
“Did you get the flowers?” He asked, his deep voice dangerously close to me.
“Yes I did; they’re on my desk.” As I talked, I wove the fabric around itself, shaping the tie with my fingers. My hands fumbled as I craned my neck to see up to Malfoy’s bloody neck level, which was honestly too high for it to be considered normal, and I rose up on my tiptoes.
“They’ll do,” Malfoy said. I rolled my eyes.
“Glad you approve.”
“Is that sarcasm I detect in your voice, Weasley?”
Funny, but his voice seemed almost…playful.
As I pulled the tie around his neck – debating on whether or not I should just keep pulling and then deciding against it – my eyes met his. They were closer than I had expected, and I froze in surprise.
“Of course not.” My voice sounded faint.
Malfoy cleared his throat as he stepped away from me, and I could feel heat rising up my neck. Don’t get me wrong, I completely despise the arse, but, man, he’s attractive.
This just goes to prove my theory that the world is completely and utterly unfair.
“I’ll be back in forty-five minutes, I want that dress on you by that time,” He said, pointing to the blue dress that was in the pile of clothes that I’d picked up from the dry-cleaners.
“If I’m not back, I want you to call me with an emergency.”
I’d done this enough times to know that the women that Malfoy dated – and inevitably broke up with – were bloody feisty women and usually fought for a hell of a long time. I honestly couldn’t see why. I’d be pretty thrilled to have gotten rid of such a vile person, personally.
“Will do,” I responded, not entirely able to hide a smirk.
Malfoy glared briefly at that, but, shaking his head, walked out of the office. I let out a relieved breath as his footsteps echoed away. Being around him always put me on edge – I had to watch myself, be careful with what I said and did. I couldn’t really be Rose Weasley when he was around. I was more of a…watered-down version, if you will.
I kicked off my shoes and rolled my shoulders, taking off my sensible sweater, not caring that most of my cleavage was visible with the white collared shirt I was wearing. As I pointed my wand at the radio to turn the music on, I was smiling again.
Suddenly, the world didn’t seem so bad anymore.
Half an hour later, I was cursing loudly and fumbling with the zipper on the godforsaken dress. Don’t get me wrong, the dress was bloody gorgeous. Sapphire blue with gems studded down the neckline (which dipped down in a generous V, making me wonder what exactly was going through Malfoy’s mind when he picked out such a low-cut dress) and along the intricate straps covering my back, it flowed down my body like a waterfall and somehow just seemed to settle around my feet perfectly.
But this stupid fucking zipper.
“Shit!” I cursed loudly, giving up and letting my arms hang down my sides in defeat. “Fuck this.”
I checked my watch again, and saw that there were only five minutes left before I had to call Malfoy. I tried zipping the dress again – and that’s when I spotted my wand, lying on the table next to me.
I literally stood there fuming at myself for a good minute.
Honestly, Rose – are you a witch or what?!
Letting out a resigned sigh, I grabbed my wand and used a spell to zip up the dress as I picked up the phone.
“Scorpius Malfoy,” I told it in a tired voice, raising it to my ear as it started to ring.
He picked up on the second one.
“Hello, Scorpius Malfoy speaking.” The voice was relieved, and I could distinctly hear a loud screeching noise in the background. It sounded vaguely like, ‘Who do you think you are, huh? Do you really think that you can just fuck around with women and then just bloody throw them away?’
I allowed myself a brief smirk as I leaned against the desk.
“She’s not taking it too well, huh?”
“The Watson files? No, of course I’ve looked over them…oh, I see, there’s been a problem.”
“Sounds like she’s giving you a good piece of her mind,” I continued conversationally, as the woman continued to hurl insults at him. “Are you listening carefully? Merlin knows you need something to deflate that head–”
“Healing School, Weasley. I’ll be right over.”
I made a face as I dropped the phone onto the receiver. Sighing heavily, I picked up a strappy silver heel and started doing it up. I was on the other foot when Malfoy walked through the door, his fingers massaging the bridge of his nose.
He dropped his hand quickly when he caught sight of me, and I straightened slowly.
His eyes slowly went down, taking in the dress. I swallowed nervously and studied the ceiling – it’s really very interesting – as I fidgeted slightly under his gaze.
I let out a deep, exasperated sigh as he continued to look me up and down. “Are you done yet?” My eyes were still firmly set on the ceiling.
Merlin puts me in too many awkward situations with this guy – it can’t be good for my system.
He cleared his throat again. “Wear that on Saturday.”
But the word was left to hang in silence; in three strides, he’d quickly pulled open his office door, stepped through, and shut it behind him.
Smooth. Real smooth.
i know, i know - this is a tremendous shock. what happened to updating all my other
stories?! how in god's name can i even think
about putting up yet another
story?! what can i say? i'm wild. i put up stories like BAM.
nah, this actually originally started off as an exercise for Breathless - every time i started to sit down for that story, i'd get writer's block and want to write something that just didnt have to do with that story line. pretty soon, i got sick of those extra thoughts and just went ahead and wrote another story.
i ended up completely falling in love with rose and scorpius, and i just couldnt bring myself to keep them from you :) so i'm warning you now - this is going to seem kind of similar to breathless, but at least be glad that it's going up, yeah?
review, please :D i wanna know if i should keep going with this, or just stick to updating for breathless ;)