"Nothing happened," I cut her off before she could even start. "We talked a little this morning about the fight we'd been in for the past week, but other than that absolutely nothing happened."
"That's cool I guess," Leila nodded, "I can understand that. Besides, you don't want to screw everything up and put yourself in a situation where you have no idea what's going to happen next."
"Mm-hm," I agreed.
ROSE WEASLEY!” Leila screeched as I ran around the flat like a bat out of hell. “You promised me you had packed everything last night!”
“And I thought I did,” I answered, “But I just can’t find—”
“Your lucky shoes?” she asked holding up my favorite pair of white sneakers with animated doodling on them.
I sighed in relief, “My life-saver.”
“I know,” she laughed, “Let’s go.”
We counted to three together before spinning around the spot, apparating to the absolute best place in the entire world. Opening my eyes, the layered mess of architecture standing just down a dirt path welcomed me with a warm grin.
“Home sweet home,” she laughed as we started up the dirt road.
“So how is this going to work?” I questioned, “You know, the whole you and Al sleeping together thing?”
“The same way it always does,” Leila smiled. “It isn’t going to be any different except for the fact that we’ve done it.”
I raised my eyebrows, “Sweetie I thought you’d learned a long time ago that big changes like this don’t go unnoticed in the Weasley family.”
“Yeah I know, but I can’t really barge in there and be all ‘Hey Mr. and Mrs. Potter, long time no see. By the way I’m doing the nasty with your son.”
I burst out laughing, “True.”
“So what about you and dear Mr. Malfoy… how’s that going to work?”
“I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about,” I told her as I pulled open the old-looking screen door.
“Mm-hm,” she mumbled, just barely audible above the sudden rush of screaming children, clashing dishes, and loud laughter echoing around us. We tossed our overnight bags on top of the massive pile of duffels in the room just off the front porch.
“Let’s go bond with some family, yeah?” she asked, leading the way out of the room.
“ROSE!” a red streak of hair was suddenly flying toward the both of us, wrapping us up in a massive hug. “Where the bloody hell have you been lately?”
“It’s called working dear Lily-kins,” I informed my fifteen-year-old cousin Lily.
“And I thought your mum had a strict no-swearing policy when the kids are around,” Leila semi-scolded as she gave my cousin another hug.
“And do you see any of the kids around? I don’t think so.”
“Alright well while you two catch up, I’m going to go find the rest of the family,” I told them as they started to gossip back and forth.
“Go on ahead Rose,” Lily grinned, “Leila and I have loads of catching up to do.”
“Is that right?” Leila asked with a cheeky grin.
“Well my dear, are you or are you not shagging my brother?”
Leila turned bright red and I hurried to leave the room before she could catch me bursting out in deep laughter.
“What’s so funny dear?”
A small scream escaped my chest as I jumped into the air. “Aunt Ginny, you scared me half-to-death.”
"Oh can it and give me a hug," she smiled as she wrapped her arms around me, "Did you two just get here?"
"Yeah, does Nana need any help with anything?"
"Of course not," Ginny laughed, "She just about tackled your mum when she tried to offer help with cooking dinner."
"Man, I always miss the good stuff."
"Don't be so late to everything then, yeah?" she grinned cheekily, looking just as Lily had a few minutes ago.
"Yeah sure," I rolled my eyes as we made our way into the kitchen.
"ROSE!!!" A small voice screeched just before I felt a force ram into my legs.
"Remmy!" I shouted back, scooping up the miniature version of Teddy into my arms. "Your hair's blue!"
"Cool, isn't it?" he asked. "It's my new trick."
"But I thought..."
"Oh, I didn't morph," he quickly explained, "Daddy had blue hair the other day and I really really wanted blue hair too."
"His first sign of magic," My cousin Dominique said as she made her way over to us. "Teddy and Vic were so proud until they realized his hair wouldn't change back." She laughed as she gently placed a hand over the large bump protruding from her stomach.
"Well is it completely permanent?"
"Oh no, thank Merlin," she explained, "The Healer said he'll grow out of it eventually."
"Well that's good, don't want you walking around with blue hair forever do we?"
"I wouldn't mind," the three-year-old shrugged as he jumped down out of my arms, "Uncle James says ladies love it!"
"I'll bet he does," Minnie and I laughed as he ran to go play.
"Rose," she sighed as she wrapped her arms around me, "It is so good to see you."
"It's good to see you too Minnie," I squeezed back before asking a loaded question, "How are you?"
"I'm good," she nodded even though her smile didn't reach her eyes. "Not much longer now," she said patting her stomach.
"Do you have any names yet?"
"Um... I have a few, but Phoenix, he doesn't want to discuss names."
"Why the hell not?" I asked. Phoenix was the father of Minnie’s child and her fiancé. If you asked me, he was your typical Grade A Wanker, but Minnie insisted on being in a relationship with him. The year before that Roxy and I literally squeezed each other's hands for an hour straight to keep from knocking that jerk straight in the kisser.
"He wants to be surprised," Minnie quickly explained. "Isn't that fun?"
"Mm-hm," I semi-agreed, biting my lip. "Speaking of your baby daddy, where's that handsome stud today?"
"Oh he's busy at work today. There's a business conference in Cannes today that he just couldn't miss."
"Is that right?" I skeptically questioned her transparent excuse for her butt-head fiancé.
"Yes, but he's supposed to be back just in time for Andre's birth."
"Andre?" I asked softly. "You're having a boy?"
Minnie nodded, "In just over two weeks. I've been trying out names since month five, and Andre just seems to fit."
"I like it too," I agreed, "It's perfect. Much better than some of those crazy names out there."
"What, like your friend Scorpious?" her smile suddenly gained a real element to it, almost joking in a way.
"Yeah," I laughed, "Like that."
"Because having a name like Rosie is so much better," A deep male voice said out of nowhere.
Rolling my eyes, I began to turn around, "Oh whatever. You're just jealous because my name is actually normal."
"Oh yeah?" he challenged, grinning back.
"Yeah. And quit calling me Rosie."
"But you like it."
"The hell," I snorted, "And anyway, I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to Minnie... where'd she go?"
"She bolted the second you insulted my awesome name."
"Is that right?" One eyebrow shot straight up.
"It offended her that you insulted my family name. I saw it in her eyes. She had to leave before she decked you."
"Yup," he popped the end of his word non-chalantly just to piss me off.
"Well you want to know what I think about that?"
Scorpious shook his head, "No not really."
"Well too bad. Because I think--"
Suddenly, Nana Molly's voice echoed throughout the Burrow and across the Quidditch pitch in the backyard. "Dinner!"
Scorpious grinned, knowing he'd had the last word. "Shall we?" He gestured for me to go ahead first as we made our way through he massive stampede of Weasleys and Wanabee Weasleys. We walked together to the backyard where light globes slowly drifted in and out of the tall trees lining the Weasley property. Years back, just after the Battle of Hogwarts, my dad and uncles convinced Headmistress McGonagall to donate the old Great Hall tables to Nana Weasley because one of the tables was broken even beyond magical repair.
Somehow, Scorpious and I found ourselves seated in the most dreaded places out of all three extended tables. Staring back at us as we took the last two open seats was none other than my dreaded Uncle Percy and his awful wife Audrey.
Thankfully, Scorpious is awesome. Being one of my best friends he knew how much the dismal duo frustrated me, he was the one to speak up when Audrey prodded,“So… what have the two of you been since graduating from Hogwarts?”
“Oh we’ve been doing very well,” he kept his voice light and conversational, a classic gentleman.
“Well isn’t that just wonderful,” her voice rang with fake sincerity.
“Mm-hm,” Uncle Percy added, “Rose, has Audrey told you yet about the wonderful opportunity Molly has been offered this summer?”
“Oh do tell. I’m sure it’s fascinating Uncle Percy.” If Audrey could be full of phony sincerity then so could I.
“Well,” he took a sip from his goblet—pinky out—before continuing, “The Minister himself has offered Molly an internship this summer. She’s been shadowing him since holiday began. It’s absolutely fantastic.”
“Oh she’s just been so busy,” Audrey added, “What with this internship and being a mentor for a few younger wizards our Molly certainly has had her hands full.”
“So how does the mentorship work? Is that something she’s interested in?”
Uncle Percy laughed and Aunt Audrey sort of giggled as if I had told a joke. “Why would it matter if it was something she was interested in?” Uncle Percy asked.
I stared, perplexed on the inside. Really?
“What do you mean?” Scorpious asked, “Don’t you think she should do something she enjoys or at least has some sort of liking for?”
“Scorpious, we want the girls to grow up having a solid base for a stellar career in whatever they choose,” Audrey explained as if she was teaching a three-year-old how to tie their shoes for the first time. “Molly is planning for a fantastic career in the ministry, so we encourage her to do as much as she can to make herself look good on paper.”
“So… what about Lucy,” I asked as I looked around for my favorite Weasley of the Percy Weasley clan. “What are you having her do to pad her resume?”
Aunt Audrey pursed her lips as if she’d just drank a Sour Slurp. Uncle Percy squeezed her hand and sighed, as if they’d just faced a major setback. “We’d rather not talk about that,” he insisted.
“Oh,” I said abruptly. Merlin you’re weird, I thought to myself, there’s no way you can be related to the rest of my family; you’re not cool enough.
“And what about you Rose,” Uncle Percy pursued, “What have you been up to lately?”
“Well Uncle Percy,” I said as I began to stand up, “I live in an apartment with one of my best friends, am barely making enough money for rent and groceries because I chose to start from the bottom, and worry the piss out of myself some nights thinking about the Equalizers.”
“Hm.” Was all that escaped Aunt Audrey’s pursed lips.
“Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to sit with someone actually worth my time because I am absolutely sick of having this same conversation with the two of you each and every time there is a Weasley Weekend.”
Turning my back to them I heard Audrey huff, “How dare she say that to us. Does she have any idea who we are?”
“I’m sure she’s well aware,” Scorpious said as he stood to join me.
As we walked down across the lawn even further I spotted the person I wished to see most. There, sitting next to Al and Remy was my favorite little mini-me sporting fresh pink hi-lights.
“ROSE!” Lucy bounced up and down on her seat as we sat down across from them. “Oh it’s so good to see you!”
“It’s great to see you too Luc, I love your hair.”
“Thanks,” she grinned back before looking at Scorpious, “And what do you think, Scorp-O?”
He rolled his eyes even though a hint of a smile was creeping onto his face. “It looks nice I guess.”
Lucy laughed, “Mum and dad absolutely hated it, but that’s what makes it even better.”
I felt myself unable to hold back a grin as Scorpious chuckled next to me, “Sounds like someone else I know,” he teased.
“No,” I rolled my eyes and shook my head, “You dyed my hair pink, remember? In second year you dyed my hair bright pink because I told you that you couldn’t think of a good pranking jinx to save your life.”
“Surely a gentleman would never do such a thing,” he joked, attempting to look truly hurt.
“Oh, but you did,” I insisted.
“Really?” Lucy laughed.
“Really,” I grinned, “You can ask McGonagall. I’m sure she’d love to elaborate on how much of an idiot this one here is.”
“Don’t make me change your hair again Weasley,” Scorp eyed his wand.
“Like you would dare when my Uncle George is less than ten meters away from you,” I challenged.
“No one said he had to do it now,” Lucy laughed, “The sneak attack is a classic.”
Hey now! I thought before voicing out loud, “Aren’t you supposed to be on my side?”
“No way man,” she shook her head, “I’m Switzerland. I can cheer for whoever I want.”
“Is that right?”
“Duh,” she grinned.
I rolled my eyes before dropping my tone and changing the subject. “So how are you doing Luc?”
“I’m alright,” she said quickly before popping a bit of food into her mouth. “How are you? How’s the new job?”
“It’s going really good actually. Aunt Luna has got me working like a fiend, it’s great.”
“You freak,” she teased, “You actually like working at the bottom of the totem pole.”
“No, that’s not it,” I explained, “I like working and knowing that whatever happens, I have worked for every minute of it. Whatever I own or don’t own is on my own terms.”
“Not how many people you know or have connections with,” she nodded and finished for me, completely understanding where I was coming from.
“Right on,” I grinned, knowing she was more like me than even I had thought, “And Leila and I have our own flat now. You should come and stay with us for a few days this summer. Get away from your parents for a little bit maybe?”
A strange look crossed her face before she asked, “Haven’t you heard?”
Lucy rolled her eyes, “Oh that’s just like them to pretend everything’s all fine and dandy.”
“Lucy… what happened?” Scorpious’s voice was calm and serious.
“I moved out the day they brought me home from school.”
“Oh?” I was taken aback. No one had even hinted at the fact that Lucy had left her parents’ house for good.
“Yup,” she forced a slight smile even though I could tell she was upset. “You know my best friend?”
Scorp nodded, “Megan Brown, right?”
“Yeah, well Percy basically gave her one of the worst insults possible just because the only thing she wants to do is play Quidditch. After I defended her and proceeded to let them know that not everyone in the world gives a rat’s arse about who is friends with whom or who works where, and Audrey let me know exactly what she thought of me because I thought this way.”
“Lucy,” Scorpious said softly.
“She called me a bitch,” Lucy said in a rush, “And basically told me that with the amount of ambition I have the only thing I would ever be good at is walking down to the local homeless shelter to get a free meal.”
What a crap-face! How dare she! My inner voice screeched. Scorpious must have sensed my inner anger because under the table he snatched up my hand and gave it a tight squeeze.
“We don’t believe that Lucy,” he assured her. “In fact, Al and I have agreed that you are the second coming of Rose, you’re just that cool.”
“Thanks,” we both said at the exact same time.
“And I stand by what I said earlier; Leila and my flat is always open. You have my mobile number and everything so please, call anytime. I can’t believe you didn’t when you first moved out.”
Lucy shrugged, “I thought about it, but honestly, I just needed to breathe at that point.”
“I know the feeling.”
“But other than that, I’ve been doing really good,” she grinned as she changed the subject, “Megan just lives with her mum who welcomed me in with welcome arms, and I just picked up a job at this really cool muggle record store too. The owner is absolutely amazing and completely understands that I can only work summers. It’s great really.”
“Good,” I sort of sighed with relief. “I’m glad to hear that things are going well.”
“They really are,” she genuinely smiled as we sat in a comfortable silence for a few beats.
“Hey Rose!” a male voice suddenly shouted in my ear.
“Merlin, Hugh,” I snapped back as I turned around to face my brother grinning like an idiot because he knew he’d just scared the piss out of me. “What do you want?”
“To steal Lucy from you so I can kick her arse in Quidditch of course.”
“Is that right?”
Lucy stood up, “Sounds like a challenge to me.”
“Well let’s go then,” I said excitedly. I wouldn’t fly if you paid me, but I sure did like to watch.
“Oh,” he paused for dramatic effect, “It’s on.”
The tables were cleared and the teams formed. This year, Dad thought it would be funny to challenge Aunt Ginny to a boys vs. girls Quidditch match. After a grueling three hours of mudslinging and broom racing, Uncle Harry finally caught the snitch, ending the game, but not securing the win. The girls still made it out with enough points to win the game—something I knew Aunt Ginny wouldn’t let dad forget about anytime soon.
After everyone had grabbed a mug of late-night hot chocolate and biscuits, we’d all gone our separate ways. I was wandering through the burrow, soaking in the feeling of warmth and safety the mismatch walls and furniture had given me when I spotted Lucy down on the edge of the dock out toward the back of the property, dipping her toes in the pond. Taking a plate of biscuits, I headed out to join her.
“Hey there,” I said as I plopped down next to her. “Want a biscuit?”
Lucy snorted as she grabbed one, “Do you really have to ask?”
We stared out at the pond, listening to the sounds for a bit before she broke the silence, “So you and Scorpious seem to finally come to terms with it then.”
“What ‘cho talkin’ about?” I asked, taken aback.
“Well,” she said, exposing a half-chewed biscuit, “You’re like together now, aren’t you? I mean, it sure looked to me like the two of you have finally told each other how desperately in love with the other you are.”
Thank Merlin I wasn’t eating anything at the time or my obituary would have read “Death by Biscuit—Idiot Girl Chokes and Dies.”
“Desperately in love?” I questioned once I’d stopped sputtering.
Lucy sighed, “Still playing the oblivious card then?”
“No,” I shook my head, “I’m playing the reality card. Scorpious is not, and will not ever be in love with me.”
She raised an eyebrow.
“Don’t give me that look.”
“Rose, come on. How do you feel about him?”
I sighed and looked out across the pond. “I love him, Luc. He’s my best friend and I absolutely love him, but I have absolutely no idea where to go from here.”
“Well have you talked to him?”
I nodded, “Yeah. He doesn’t feel the same way. It wasn’t me the potion smelled for him.”
She wrapped her thin arms around me and hugged me for the longest time. It was exactly what I needed. Not only did I need to say the words out loud, but I needed that hug. Lucy sat there, understanding that I didn’t have any other way to explain it, and after she made sure I was alright, she headed for bed.
Minutes after she left, I heard someone else make their way to the end of the dock. A tap on my shoulder caused me to turn around to see Scorpious smiling down at me.
“Hi there,” I smiled.
“Are you coming in anytime soon, or are you just going to sit out here until tomorrow?”
“I’ll come in. What time is it?”
“Almost four,” he smiled as he took my hand to help me up. “I figured you’d want to sleep at least a little bit before tomorrow.”
“What’s going on tomorrow?” I asked curiously as we headed back up to the house.
He shrugged, “I don’t know. I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.”
“You aren’t going to tell me?”
Scorpious held the door open and we snuck in quietly. “No way.”
“Why not?” I shout-whispered so as not to wake anyone up.
“Because it bothers you not to know,” he replied with a smile.
I rolled my eyes as we kept walking through the massive house. I thought I heard soft music playing as we got closer to the living room.
“Wait,” he pulled my hand back and we peeked around the wall. “We don’t want to interrupt.”
There, in the middle of the living room was my parents dancing together by candlelight. Dad must have created a cd for mum because the lyrics and music faded from “Can’t Help Falling in Love” to mum’s favorite, “Unchained Melody.”
“Take note,” I whispered to Scorpious as Dad slowly danced with Mum around the living room. “That is how you seduce a woman.”
“Is that right?” he whispered in my ear, letting me know just how close we were standing.
I paused, swallowing my nerves, “Mm-hm.”
“In that case,” he smirked as he twirled me around to face him.
“What are you doing?” I whispered.
“What does it look like, Rosie?”
“Scorpious, we’re in a hallway at the burrow.”
“Don’t worry about that.” He pulled me closer and I gave in to the overwhelming scent of pumpkin-spice and cinnamon. “Just listen to the music and dance with me.”
“I can barely hear the music.”
“It’s alright,” a strong arm wrapped around my waist and I fit perfectly. “It’s your favorite slow song.”
“Billie Holiday?” I whispered.
He nodded as we clung to each other and danced in the small hallway. We moved as one as he led one way and then another. I loved this song, and everything was right in the world. It didn’t matter to me that he didn’t feel the way I did. Scorpious was my best friend and I felt safe there in his arms.
He lowered his head slightly and sang, “I’ll find you in the morning sun, and when the night is new.”
“I’ll be looking at the moon, but I’ll be seeing you.” We finished singing together.
Scorpious danced me around the hallway even though the song had stopped. I didn’t know if there was still music playing, but I wouldn’t have cared either way. Safe in his arms, I was in the best place in the world.
“Rose,” he whispered as we danced.
“Yeah?” I looked up to see a worried look across his face.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Of course you can, Scorp.”
He paused and just stared at me. Scorpious opened and closed his mouth twice as if he was about to say something before changing his mind.
“Well?” I pestered. “What’s the question?”
“Um… well… I don’t know…” he ran a hand through his hair before placing it back on my waist. “What would you think if… err… how would you react when… no, that’s not it... um…”
“Scorpious,” I whispered softly, “Just ask what you wanted to ask.”
“Well the thing is… see…”
Just then, we were interrupted.
“Oops,” Mum said quickly.
“Sorry,” Dad rushed as they back pedaled out of the hallway.
“No, it’s alright,” Scorpious said as he quickly let go of my waist and took a step backward. “We were just saying goodnight anyway. I’m just headed to bed.”
“Sure, yeah,” I attempted to play along even though I’m sure it was completely obvious that I was completely confused. “G’night Scorp. G’night Mum and Dad.” I said as I quickly rushed through the living room and up the two flights of stairs to where I was sleeping. Running inside, I quickly closed the door and fell on to the cot that had been provided for me. The rest of my cousins were practically comatose so I was fortunate that there was no one to hear my voiced frustrations.
“What the bloody hell was that?” I whisper-shouted to myself. “Was he going to say something or not? And what was he planning on saying in the first place?”
Not minute later, heavy footsteps came up the stairs and I heard them go into the room across the hall. Scorpious.
Before I fell asleep, one thought ran sprints through my mind. What the bloody hell was that?
Yes, yes I know it's been forever, and I'm sorry. So here it is. Anyway, now that you've come down from your anger at me for being such a slow writer, I've decided to inform you that I am planning on going through this story and polishing up a few things. No major changes, of course, but be sure to watch for more updates on previous chapters! Also, there's more to come... I promise!!!
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