Chapter 4 : Just Well Acquainted.
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Occupation: Assistant to Rose Weasley.
Relation: Assistant and Friend.
September 13, 2032.
I determined that if I was to carve out a piece of reportorial territory for myself it would be [doing] the hard interview, irreverent if necessary, the façade-piercing interview.- Mike Wallace.
“I can't do this.”
“Yes, you can.”
“No, I think I'm going to be sick.”
“You will not be sick!”
“Did you not hear what that freaky woman with those pointy-ass heels just said? There's going to be more than million people watching! A MILLION! OVER!”
“That's a good thing.”
“No, it isn't!”
Marissa looked at her boss in worry. In the four years Marissa had worked with Rose, she had been the only one privy to moments such as these: a scared shitless Rose Weasley moment. To the world, Rose put on a facade, she made people think that she didn't need anyone, but not around Marissa. Rose had cried, kicked, screamed, admitted to fears and failure and even voiced thoughts about giving up in front of Marissa. She had been the one Rose came to first when she felt that WEM wouldn't work, and she had been the one who had urged Rose to keep going on, she had been the one to hold Rose Weasley aloft during the times business wasn't going well.
She was one of the few people who had seen Rose cry. It had been when the business was just starting out; Rose hadn't accepted money from her parents, preferring to get her business started with her own finances. But the events were few and debts aplenty, and Rose wasn't sure if her dream of planning events would come true at the rate she was moving.
It hadn't been easy to convince Rose to continue. Marissa had never-not once in the eleven years that she had known Rose- seen her look so defeated. This girl curled up on her couch, clutching onto a tear-soaked pillow reminded Marissa so much of the eleven year old red-head who came rushing up to their dormitory because Andrew Thomas had teased her about her hair. It broke Marissa's heart to see her this way, but slowly, bit by bit, she had egged Rose, urged her, angered her, and finally after many many tubs of chocolate ice cream, convinced Rose to keep going on.
Marissa wasn't just Rose's personal assistant; she was her friend, her confidant, she was one of the few people Rose put complete trust in.
But that was almost three years ago now. Marissa hadn't seen a Rose Weasley breakdown in three years and she knew Rose needed to get it together before she went in front of Brown or Rose's facade and reputation would crumbled like brittle glass. In two short minutes, Rose was to go on live and it was up to Marissa to get her boss to calm down. Pronto.
It was a good thing she had practice.
“Rose, listen to me-no, look at me. Stop.”-she held Rose by the shoulders, halting her pacing- “Stop moving and look at me. You are Rose Weasley. The girl-woman who became a public figure before she was twenty five, the woman who could hex fifty people into oblivion with a twitch of her wand but instead chose to dedicate her life to bringing happy moments to strangers. And now this is your moment, Rose. This is your chance to create a happy moment for yourself and you've deserved this. So you will go out there in a minute and show the entire Wizarding world what Rose Weasley is made of, alright?”
Rose was nodding now, “Yes..yes...I'm Rose Weasley dammit!”
“Hell yeah, you are!” Marissa smiled, relieved that her short spiel had worked.
“And I can do this”-color was returning to Rose's complexion now- “It's my moment” -she smiled widely at Marissa- “and no one can take it away from me!”
“That's right. So you go out there with that cute little number I spent hours shopping for at Harrod's and dazzle them with your amazing with, beauty, charm and sexiness,” Marissa grinned.
Rose laughed, “I don't know about the sexiness.”
“Nonsense, blokes are going to be lining up at your door after today. Just watch,” Marissa waved her hand dismissively.
“We'll see about that,” said Rose, looking a much more calm and contained than she had been moments ago.
There was a knock on the greenroom door, “Rose?”
“Come in,” Rose called, self-consciously straightening her skirt one last time.
The woman with the pointy heels had returned with a sickly sweet smile which seemed to say she had seen many come in and out of here with their reputations destroyed and she thought Rose would be joining them.
“We're ready for you,” her smile didn't change even as she spoke.
Rose blinked at her coolly, any and all hints of hysteria gone, “Excellent. I'll be out in a sec.”
“You can do this,” Marissa smiled encouragingly.
Rose leaned over and hugged her assistant and friend tightly, “Thank you Mar. For everything. I wouldn't be going out there today if it weren't for you.”
Marissa tried to hold back the tears welling up in her eyes (she had always been the more emotional between the two on them), but her uneven voice gave the pride away, “You've come a long way, Rose.”
“All because of you,” Rose whispered before pulling back, the affection sparkling in her hazel eyes.
Marissa smiled, unable to contain her emotions any longer, “Go!” She pushed Rose to the door.
She watched Rose open the door and immediately, the Rose to walk out the greenroom wasn't the Rose who had been hugging her. Her face had transformed in a calm smile.
She was Rose Weasley of the world.
Marissa wiped the single tear rolling down her cheek just as the door closed behind her, “Good luck, Rose.”
“Nervous?” the smirking, pointy heeled woman asked.
Rose raised one eyebrow in amusement. She wouldn't give the woman any more reason to smirk.
“No, why would I be?”
The woman blinked in confusion as the blank expression on Rose' face, “No reason...I suppose.”
That's right, pointy heeled woman. I have no reason to be nervous...around you, Rose smirked inwardly as the woman ushered her on stage where Madam Brown was sitting.
“Ah, here she is, ladies and gentleman. The woman of the hour; Rose Weasley!”
Rose smiled confidently and waved at the cheering crowd in the studio.
I got this.
“Oi, you lot! Come quickly, Rose is on in two minutes!” Albus Potter shouted to his family from the Burrow's den.
They had all decided to come and watch Rose together as a family.
There was a loud sound of fifty people thundering through the house to make it to the den in time.
Cely laughed, “It sounds like a stampede.”
Albus smiled at his fiance, “That's because they're all animals.”
“Why am I here again?” an oddly out of place Scorpius asked.
“To watch Rose, you dolt,” Albus rolled his eyes.
“I could have done that in my flat,” Scorpius pointed out.
“And jacked off to it, no doubt,” James, who had been the first one to arrive, teased.
Scorpius flushed red and spluttered in indignation, “I-sh-wh-pfh-th-”
“Aw, save it, Scor,” Molly Weasley grinned, taking a seat next to James. “We all know you would have.”
“No, I wouldn't!” he shouted indignantly as more cousins poured into the small den.
“Wouldn't what?” Ron Weasley asked, coming in with his arm around his wife.
James went to answer, but Scorpius was quicker and he cast a Silencing charm on the Quidditch player.
“Nothing at all, Uncle Ron,” Albus smirked. “Just talking about Rose, and how amazing she's going to be amazing.”
“Course she is. She's Rose,” Ron grinned appreciatively.
Scorpius gave a sigh of relief when Ron didn't ask more about what James had been about to say.
Albus shushed the chatter over Rose with a loud, “Shut up!” when the person in question walked onto the stage.
As was known to happen whenever he saw Rose, Scorpius's breath caught in his throat, and he was very aware of the number of male cousins present in this room.
“She looks amazing!” Lucy whispered.
“I don't see an ounce of nervousness on her face,” Roxy murmured in awe.
“She has no reason to be,” Cely piped up.
“If you don't mind, we're actually trying to listen here,” Lily hissed.
She did look amazing, Scorpius thought. Then again, she always did. There was a mix of emotions in her eyes, he could tell. Years of cautiously observing her from afar during Hogwarts had made it possible for him to read her easily. There was joy, disbelief, excitement, anticipation and...something else. Something he couldn't put his finger on. He had never seen it there before, the particular twinkle was foreign to her eyes.
Scorpius didn't know what it was, but something about her was much more-
She had pride in her eyes. Pride at having achieved a monumental goal in her career. It reflected in the way her eyes flashed as she was introduced to the camera and crowd.
Rose Weasley was officially a celebrity.
“Thank you, Madam Brown,” Rose smiled graciously at the older woman.
Brown tittered with a haughty expression, “Please, dear, call me Lavender.”
Rose blinked, “Lavender, sure.”
“So, Rose,” she stressed Rose's name as if it were a bad four letter word. “You've risen to prestige in a very short time.”
Rose looked between the crowd and Brown with a modest smile, “I don't know about prestige. I've always just enjoyed planning. I only decided to take it one step furt-”
“Yes, but it's apparent your family never approved?”It sounded like a question, but felt like a statement.
Rose gave a short laugh, “My family supported me the entire time. Yes, they had their moments of incredulity but-”
“What about Hermione Weasley? How does the Wizarding world's savior feel about her only daughter leaving the promising world of law enforcement to plan tea parties?” Brown delivered the question with an angelic smile, but in her eyes Rose saw cruel mirth.
This couldn't b e happening. The interview was supposed to be about Rose, not her mother.
“She's proud of what I've achieved,” Rose answered calmly.
“Yes, but she must have been disappointed? Surely she must have thought it to be child's play, planning parties?” Lavender looked to the crowd in support, and she found it. Because Brown's tittering was joined in by those in the audience.
“I think I've proven by now that planning events is not just child's play,” Rose said coolly. “It takes preparation, dedication, research and long hours. Not very many children put that much effort into their parties.”
“Well, what about Ron Weasley? What does the now head Auror feel about his daughter leaving Auror training to go-”
This time Rose cut her off, “I didn't quit Auror training. I'm a fully trained Auror. I just wanted to other things with my life.”
Brown locked her jaw at the interruption, “Ah, I see. But he must have been heart broken, poor Ron Weasley, to see his daughter walk out on such a promising career.”
Rose gritted her teeth in annoyance. All these years, Rose had tried her hardest to distinguish herself from her overly large family. She had wanted to be known as something more that just Ron and Hermione Weasley's daughter. Something other than a drop-out Auror. Yet, here Brown was making her and her achievements seem insignificant compared to the reactions of her family.
Easy Rose. Face blank, remember? National television here. You can't afford to loose it in front of all these people.
Smiling sardonically, Rose said, “Heartbroken might be too strong a word. He's accepted my choice of career.”
“How nice.” Her expression conveyed that she thought it was anything but nice. “Well folks, more of Rose Weasley to come, but right after this break.”
Lavender Brown stood up and walked off the stage ignoring Rose completely. This was terrible. Terrible. Terrible. Terrible.
The interview had taken a complete nose dive and she wasn't even sure why. All Brown had asked her was about her parents and her supposed lack of respectable career. If she didn't know any better, Rose would say Lavender Brown held a grudge of sorts against her. And she did know better-right?
“And we're back in five-four-” Brown hurried onto the stage, smile already in place “-three-two-”
“Hello, ladies and gentlemen. I'm here with Rose Weasley today, one of the most prominent young event planners in the country. Anyone who's anyone knows that if they want the best bash, Rose Weasley is your woman.”
Rose smiled graciously.
“Well, Rose, everyone here has one important question on their mind today-”
Here it comes. Something about my business, finally!
“-who is Rose Weasley seeing?”
Rose blanched, “Pardon?”
“Sources reveal you were with a certain Scorpius Malfoy on Monday for lunch,” Brown smirked at Rose's stumped expression.
“It was nothing-”
“Are you saying you didn't have lunch with Scorpius Malfoy in a restaurant in Muggle London?”
How did this woman-this bitch-know that?'
“Well, I did, but-”
“So you are seeing each other,” Brown stressed.
“Of course not,” Rose snapped quickly. “Scorpius Malfoy and I are just...acquaintances. He's been put in charge of handling the Minister Elect's inaugural ball which I am planning. It was a business meeting, that's all.”
“You went to school with him, did you not?”
What was the point of this ridiculous line of questioning? First she asked about Rose's parents, and now about her non-existent relationship with Scorpius Malfoy of all people.
“Yes, he was a fellow Gryffindor,” Rose nodded curtly. “But we haven't been in touch until recently when Minister Elect Potter asked me to plan the ball.”
“I see...how disappointing,” she murmured. “I suppose this is good news for all those single men out there vying for your attention.”
Rose raised one eyebrow at the camera and smirked attractively, “The can try.”
Albus Potter couldn't look over at his utterly mortified best friend. He was mortified too. Everyone else was silent, taking care not to look at the blonde. Acquaintances, she had called them. Albus knew that killed whatever hope Scorpius harbored in regards to his feelings for Rose Weasley. Some had guessed at what he felt for Rose, others like his family members knew for sure. But only Albus knew the depth of Scorpius's feelings for his oblivious cousin.
When the interview was over, everyone filed one by one, out the den leaving Albus and Scorpius alone.
It was an unspoken agreement that the two best friends would have their man to man talk right in the Burrow's den.
“You alright, mate?” Albus clapped a hand on his friends shoulder.
Scorpius turned his eyes away from the piercing green ones. He remembered Harry Potter once say Albus hand a knack for making a person feel X-rayed just like his namesake did. That was exactly how Scorpius felt now:X-rayed.
“Yeah, fine,” Scorpius reached for his coat.
One never knew when the skies would start pouring in these parts.
“Hey, I'm sure she-”
“I'm fine, Al,” Scorpius said curtly. “Just need to get to Mum and Dad's for lunch. I'll see you.”
He turned and walked swiftly to the door. His hand was already turning the door knob when Albus called out, “You'll be coming for brunch tomorrow, yeah?”
“Sure,” Scorpius muttered, walking into the suddenly torrential downpour. Good thing he had come prepared.
He didn't think his life could get more of a cliché than it already was. He was in love with his best friend's cousin who barely acknowledged his existence even after having been acquainted with him for fifteen years, he couldn't tell her about said feelings because she was sure to laugh in his face. Especially after the stupid fucking interview in which she publicly dismissed him as a worthy candidate for dating. And now he felt like shit after said interview and the sky was raining like it was the last fucking time the skies would open. He half expected Noah to sail up in his arc.
Scorpius never thought he would be encountered with a moment when the weather reflected his feelings, but the rain was pretty much doing a splendid job of reflecting his inner feelings.
He could just imagine the conversation he would have with his Mum when she saw him looking so forlorn.
Mum: Scorpius, dear, what's wrong?
Scorpius: Look to the heavens, Mum. And they shall reveal all.
Scorpius snorted a laugh as he pictured his mother's bewildered expression. Oh, how sad it was that he was seeking amusement in the pathetic fallacies of his life.
His Dad would probably make some wisecrack about the heavens pissing themselves because the god's had had too much to drink.
Scorpius came to halt just outside the wards of the Burrow, and sighed. This was a good place as any to Apparate.
Right on cue, his mother came came bustling into the foyer, all five feet eight of polished pure-blood regalia. She fussed over his drenched hair and dripping brown coat. She buttoned the top two buttons of his blue and white striped shirt, and told him he should iron his pants more thoroughly. It was only when he didn't bother to respond to either one of her flustered movements did she pause and look into her son's pale aquamarine blue eyes-the ones he had inherited from her.
“Scorpius, dear, what's wrong?”
Score, Scorpius smirked. He had gotten it word for word.
He was about to respond with his well thought out heaven line when his father walked out of his study to greet his son, “What's wrong, Astoria, is that he hasn't been home for ten seconds and you're telling him how he should eat, sleep, talk, walk and chew.”
Scorpius grinned at his father. No matter what anyone said about Draco Malfoy while Scorpius was growing up, Scorpius always held his father in high respect. He had accepted around the age of twelve or thirteen that Draco Malfoy hadn't always been the man he was now, but Scorpius never judged him for what he had been. His father adored him and Scorpius was fond of his father. That was all that mattered to him. And being put into Gryffindor meant he had distinguished himself from the rest of the Malfoy's.
Much like Sirius Black, Harry often piped up whenever Scorpius's odd placement was discussed.
Scorpius always wished he could have met this Sirius Black. He identified with the man even though he was long gone.
“Hey Dad,” they did their man hug-slash-justaclapontheback-thing men were known to do.
“Son,” Draco nodded.”How's the Ministry treating you?”
“Well,” Scorpius said, not wanting to get into the details of his work since they now included Rose Weasley.
Draco noticed his son's brisk response but didn't call him out on it.
“Honestly Draco, he hasn't been home for ten seconds and you're badgering him about work. Come, let's go into the parlor for drinks while Jemma sets the food.” Astoria led them into the parlor and poured drinks for each of them.
Scorpius had barely gotten through half of his gin and tonic when Jemma came bobbing into the room.
“Mistress Malfoy, you is having a visitor,” the house-elf said in her squeaky voice.
“Who is it Jemma?” Astoria asked.
“'Tis Miss Weasley, miss. She is wanting a package?”
Scorpius choked on his drink. Surely not-?
“Ah yes. I almost forgot. Well, send her in, Jemma and then fetch the parcels I've kept in the drawing room,” Astoria told Jemma.
Sweet Merlin, he hoped and prayed to every goddamned deity that lay in his father's antique collection shelf that it wouldn't be her. But no- the universe just hated Scorpius. Why was she here anyway? Shouldn't she have been at her post-interview party of something like that? Who the hell went back to work not ten minutes after a international television appearance?
Rose Weasley, that's who.
Even after how she had publicly humiliated him-alright, so humiliated might be too strong a word- he couldn't help but notice the way her red hair-turned darker because of the rain-stuck to her usually pale cheeks that now had a soft red tint to them because of the harsh winds. He couldn't help but see that little droplet of of water slide down her neck into her cleavage, couldn't resist from watching how her wet clothes clung to her body revealing the outline of her bra.
She hadn't noticed him right away. He was hidden in the shadows, the high backed chair and firelight silhouetting his form. She was talking to his mother about some charity auction she was planning, and how she needed these particular pieces from his mother's collection to finish setting the venue.
It was just as she was leaving when Draco Malfoy spoke up, “Won't you stay for drinks and lunch? My son is here to join us as well. You're on familiar terms, are you not?”
She jumped at the mention of his son and blushed red when Scorpius leaned forward, exposing himself to her.
She was thinking about what she had said on air, and looking back on it, she had noticed how much of a bitch she sounded.
“We are...acquainted,” Scorpius said, smirking triumphantly at Rose's discomfort.
She had understood what he was hinting at.
“Yes,” Rose recovered, somehow voluntarily pushing the red flush off her face. “We are. We're working together for the Minister Elect's inaugural ball.”
“Are you now?” Draco muttered, looking from his son to the red head. “How fascinating.”
But his tone implied that that wasn't the only thing he found fascinating about Rose and Scorpius.
“Yes,” she answered with a charming smile. “I was here for a few pieces to finish the collection for the auction. You know how things are. Work never ends. Well, I'll be going now. Thank you for the invitation but I really must get back to my office-”
“On a Saturday?” Astoria exclaimed.
“No break for events, I'm afraid,” Rose said, looking anywhere but Scorpius.
“Correct me if I'm wrong but, weren't you on MagikVision this morning?” Draco asked.
“Yes,” Rose said, her lips oddly thinning into a straight line. If Scorpius didn't know any better he would say she would do anything rather than talk about the interview.
“I watched the last few minutes of it. Excellent work you're doing. Keep it up,” Draco raised his drink to her as if her were toasting her.
“Thank you, sir. If you'll excuse me. I'll take your leave now,” she nodded her head in each Malfoy's direction, even looking Scorpius firmly in the eye.
“Of course,” Draco said with a trace of amusement in his eyes as he watched Rose and Scorpius's silent interaction.
“Good bye,” Astoria waved as Rose levitated the artifacts in front of her and walked out.
“She seems nice,” Draco said pleasantly, observing his son closely.
Scorpius gave a noncommittal grunt. Three hours ago, he would have answered with an affirmative. Now? Not so much.
“She most certainly is,” Astoria spoke up. “Very polite and well mannered too. She was very cooperative when I went to her last minute for the auction.”
“You used to speak about her quite a lot during your Hogwarts's days, Scorpius,” Draco reminded.
“Is that so? Hmm...can't remember,” Scorpius mumbled. “Jemma should be ready with the food now. Shall we eat?” Scorpius jumped out of his chair and virtually ran to the food.
Draco followed his son into the dining room with an inscrutable expression. One fathers tended to have when they knew something about their children.
“I win the bet, Weasley,” Draco muttered to an absent Ron.
A/N: Whaddup lovely readers? So this chappie's done and I quite like it. My favorite part is Draco, let me know what you all thought about him. And Scorpius of course; his reaction to Rose's little verbal slap in the face. And how many of you think Rose is a total bitch right about now?
Who loves Marissa?
Who thinks Lavender Brown should go die in the depths of Tartarus?
So many questions I love reading the answers to! So drop a line letting me know, yeah?
Awesome. You guys are supercool! Hearts and hugs and kisses to all.
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