Chapter 5 : Finding The One.
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Occupation: Torturing His Son To The Brink Of Insanity
Age: Best Left Alone
September 14, 2032.
"Marriage is a lottery in which men stake their liberty and women their happiness." - Madameoiselle de Rieux
The steam of the Hogwarts' Express billowed in the back as Albus and Scorpius stood a little ways away from their fathers, undoubtedly talking about their back to school prank when he saw it happen.
Draco didn't notice anything at first, except that Ron Weasley had come with his two brats in tow. Ron turned his head this way and that searching for Potter. He came over when he spotted the two former enemies.
“Harry...Malfoy,” Ron gave a nod to the latter.
“Ron!” Harry exclaimed. “Draco and I were just talking about this years prefects. Apparently it's Rose and Scorpius.”
At her name, Draco saw his son's head snap up to locate her. She was saying something to her brother-scolding him more like.
“Yup,” Ron grinned, ruffling his daughter's hair affectionately and ignored her indignant shout of 'Dad!' “Couldn't be more proud. Albus got Quidditch captain, right?” Ron looked at his godson.
Albus grinned, “Hell yeah,” pointing to his badge.
Scorpius' eyes were still observing Rose, Draco saw. It was look he had never seen on his son's face before; it was greedy, hungry, yet wistful at the same time.
Draco took his time to observe the Weasley girl. She looked at Scorpius and Albus' huddled forms, and he saw a flash of pain cross her young face.
“Hey Al,” she said, staring at her cousin.
Albus glanced at her for a fraction of a second, “Oh hey Rose.”
“Hi Rose,” Scorpius said softly.
Rose walked closer to the two boys, ignoring Scorpius, and glanced down at what seemed like diagrams in their hands, “What are you up to?”
Albus hastily rolled up the pieces of parchment, “Oh nothing a goody goody like you'd want to know.”
Draco knew Albus meant the comment in a good jesting nature, but it was apparent Rose didn't see it that way.
She glared at Scorpius, “Well, I'll go find Cely then.”
Draco neither knew nor cared who this Cely person was. All he cared about was the flash of confusion in his son's eyes as she turned away without a backwards glance at the young blonde.
“Bye Rose,” Scorpius muttered under his breath as the girl walked away with her trunk and owl after once last good by to her father and uncle, and a courteous nod is Draco's direction.
Once their children had boarded the train, Ron stalked over to Draco.
“I don't like the way your son was looking at my daughter, Malfoy,” Ron growled.
Draco looked at the other man evenly, “And I don't like that your daughter is going to break my son's heart.”
Ron scoffed, “Rosie would never go out with your son.”
“Exactly,” Draco sighed sadly. For whatever reason, it was clear Rose was not Scorpius' fan. “Which is why she'll break his heart.”
“Or get her heart broken by him,” Ron said with a frown. He had not missed the glare Rose shot at Scorpius. Or the look of controlled resentment toward him when she saw his and Albus' huddled forms.
“How do you figure that Weasley?”
“I have my reasons Malfoy. He'll break her heart first, in more ways than you'll know.”
“Want to bet?” Draco held out his hand.
Ron stared at the hand for a few moments before taking it, “Fifty galleons.”
Both fathers felt only slightly guilty for using their children as a way to further this life-long grudge.
Rose woke up late the next morning, nursing a killer headache; a direct resultant on finishing half her liquor cabinet my herself last night. She knew she shouldn't have but the memory of the interview still smarted.
Lavender Brown had discussed very little about her actual career. She seemed much more interested in talking about Rose's family and personal life.
This wasn't how it was supposed to go, Rose said hurtling to the bathroom to upchuck whatever she had in her system. Once that was done, she stumbled into the kitchen and fumbled through the cabinets for a Sobering Solution.
What time is it? She glanced at the clock. It was eleven, as in brunch at Albus and Cely's eleven.
“Fuck!” Rose shouted, Summoning the solution and downing it in one go. She rushed to the shower, no longer having the urge to puke her guts out and took the fasted possible shower, threw on the first t-shirt and jeans she could find, and Apparated to the front porch of their house in the country.
“Sorry I'm la-” she stopped short when she saw Scorpius was there.
Again? What is with him being everywhere these days?
It was funny she was running into him everywhere recently when she had barely spoken two words to him in the last five years. Or was she just noticing him more now that they were working together? She smiled briefly at him, then turned her gaze back to Cely. “Woke up late.”
Cely smiled at her best friend with a knowing look. She knew that yesterday's interview hadn't gone as Rose had hoped. She had noticed it on TV as Rose's flashed violently every time Brown strayed from Rose's work, “It's alright. Scorpius just got here too.”
Rose wanted to go, 'Yeah, about that. Why is he here?' But couldn't bring herself to. He was Albus' friend, and by extension, Cely's. He was bound to be here. Plus, today's brunch was to talk about wedding details so it made sense Scorpius would be present. Instead of commenting on the blonde man's presence, Rose helped Cely carry the tray of appetizers out into the living room but only succeeded in tripping over the carpet and causing the tray to fly out of her hands and spray Albus and Scorpius with shrimp and duck liver.
“Aw, fuck Rose,” Albus said, as he wiped the gravy off his face.
“Shit, I'm so sorry!” Rose hastily waved her wand and the mess of cleared up as soon as it had been made. “I swear I didn't see the carpet corner.”
“It's fine, Rose. We know you can't help but trip,” Cely teased, levitating the trays to the kitchen sink.
Rose blushed and looked from Albus to Scorpius, “I didn't mean to. Honestly, it was a mistake. It just happened.” She wasn't sure is she was just apologizing for her hideous clumsiness or what she had said about Scorpius on the telly yesterday. Maybe both. She just hoped he would understand, because this was closest to an apology that she would get. For some odd, inexplicable reason, Rose wanted him to accept the apology.
It's only to keep things at work smooth, she told herself.
“Meh- no harm, no foul,” he smiled genuinely.
Rose smiled back, “Good.”
“Well, now that's done. How about we skip appetizers and move to drinks?” Albus suggested, a small, inscrutable smile tugging at his lips.
“Ick...” Rose said remembering last night. “I'll just stick to iced water, thanks.”
“Rough night?” Albus smirked sardonically, handing her water. His tone seemed friendly, yet Rose knew him well enough to know that something was bothering him. Something about her.
“Something like that. I had to get some pieces for the auction right after the-the interview. And then I had to meet the Smithsons for tea again because they wanted to clarify something 'just one last time'-” she used air quotes. “ And then the florists for the auction. And-oh shit!” The other three jumped at the sudden cry. They looked at her with intrigue.
“What is it?”
Rose thought for a second if she'd turned one of the checks for Alice. She had.
“Nothing, never mind. I thought I forgot to do something yesterday,” she grinned sheepishly.
“But you didn't?” Cely clarified.
“Nope, all done,” Rose smiled serenely.
“So are you all set for one day of normalcy?” Albus asked.
Rose snorted, “Normalcy? Around you? Not a chance.”
“Aw, give it time Red,” Albus chuckled.
“What? Even after twenty-six years?” Rose teased.
“Yeah,” Scorpius grinned. “'Spose you'd have to give it another twenty-six.”
Rose returned the grin, “Or fifty. Personally, I feel sorry for Cely. She's got to spend the rest of her life with him in eternal shackles.”
Cely rolled her eyes as she rubbed circles on her fiance's back, “It's not that bad.”
Rose guffawed, “Don't make me laugh. You're getting-you're having a wedding. That's deceptive imprisonment if I ever saw one.”
“We're getting married, Rose. Not just having a wedding,” Cely pointed out for the thousandth time.
Rose pointed accusatory at Cely, “You said the Word!”
“I'm lost,” Scorpius stated, looking from Rose to Cely in confusion.
“Rose has this thing about now saying 'marriage',” Albus explained complete with air quotes. “She calls it the Taboo Word.”
Rose meanwhile had childishly covered her ears when Albus said marriage, “Don't say it.”
“She's against the institution of marriage,” Cely clarified further. “She finds them, and I quote ''conventional, traditional, constricting, boring and sexist.'”
“Well they are,” Rose told Scorpius. “I mean, if you really love someone, then why do you have to define it? Or need a piece of paper and some hideously over-expensive ceremony to declare that you're in love? Isn't the whole point of love that it's meant for the two people in love?”
Scorpius blinked at the oddly insightful opinion Rose had given.
Albus looked offended,“Need I point out that we're getting-”
“Don't say it!”
“I said don't say it! And no, you needn't point out. But you should know by now that as much as I support your relationship, I don't support that fact that you're succumbing to societal views and paying a shit-ton to have your names on paper. I've told you this before,” Rose said. She had that glint in her eye. The one she got every time anyone challenged her beliefs.
“So,” Scorpius leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees with an odd concentrated look on his face. ”What you're saying is that if you came across that one person, someone you share a connection with, you wouldn't jump at the chance to be with the bloke for the rest of your life?”
Rose appraised him critically. Was he mocking her, or just simply intrigued by her pending answer?
“Honestly Scorpius, how many of us ever actually find that special someone?” she questioned.
Scorpius pointed to the soon to be wed couple, “I've seen someone who has.”
Rose pursed her lips with a small sardonic smile, “Have you found that person?”
Scorpius hesitated as something flashed across his eyes and that was all Rose needed.
She sat back triumphantly, “That's what I thought. You see Scorpius,” she continued in a much more serious tone than she originally intended. “I gave up the delusion of a happily ever after with that special someone a long time ago. It's not for everyone.” She took a light sip of her ice cold water, keeping old memories at bay.
He's not worth thinking about even after three years, she told herself. Shaking herself out of her reverie, she noticed Scorpius was observing her keenly out of the corner of his eyes. So keenly in fact, that she might not have noticed had she not been doing the same.
Rose wondered what had passed through his eyes when he hesitated in his answer. Was it because he had found someone? Was it because he wasn't sure if she was 'the One'? And why was she even asking herself these questions?
It wasn't any of her business wondering if there was someone he had in mind...was it?
No, don't be stupid. Rose shook her head and joined in the conversation Albus and Cely were having about wedding details, very aware of light blue-gray eyes looking at her intently.
“Rose? Do you think you can help me set the table?” Albus beckoned her to the dining room.
Rose glanced at Cely and Scorpius, “Sure, why not?”
“So, the interview yesterday-”
“Let's not talk about it, okay?” Rose averted her eyes, pretending to look for utensils.
Albus blinked in confusion, “Why not? Didn't you get your dream finally? The cherry on top of the dessert that is your career?”
Rose flinched at the harsh tone, “Not really. She didn't ask me anything about my career, did she? It was all about Mum and Dad and our family and my personal life.” It was anything but the cherry on top she was hoping for.
“Yeah, I remember that part,” he spoke quietly, but there was an edge to his voice. “You called Scorpius your acquaintance.”
Realization dawned: this was about Scorpius. Of course. “Well, he is.” She brushed past him to place plates on the table.
“You could have used a better word,” he clucked his tongue irritably. “Like friend.”
It was Rose's turn to look confused, “But he's not.”
Albus threw his hands up in the air exasperatedly, “You've known the man for fifteen years!” His voice had risen and Rose was sure Cely and Scorpius could hear him.
“I haven't even seen him for the last five,” Rose whispered furtively.
“But you have known him for a long time,” he cried.
Rose's eyes flashed. Was he really going to define Scorpius and her's...whatever the hell they were?
“And not once in all that time did I pretend Scorpius Malfoy was my friend, Albus,” her voice was still low. Still calm.
Albus looked, “You could have tried to-”
Rose scoffed, “No, I couldn't.”
“And why is that?”
She appraised him for a while, clenching her jaw. Finally, with a sad smirk she said, “After all this time you still don't get it, do you Al?”
He frowned, “Get what?”
“That's what I thought,” Rose gave a short laugh and walked back into the living room. Cely and Scorpius pretended to be in deep conversation but Rose knew they had heard when Albus was shouting. “Cely, I'm sorry, but I have to go.”
Albus followed her angrily, “Dammit Rose, do not make this about you!”
She whipped around furiously, “No, of course not. It's not about me. It can never be about me when dear-” She needed to calm down before she said something she would regret. She turned around to Cely, “Sorry. We'll catch up later. Scorpius, I guess I'll see you Tuesday,” she nodded curtly at him.
“Rose,” Albus stepped forward to stop her from leaving. “Listen-”
“Fuck you,” Rose spat before storming out the door.
A/N: Now he's done it. Albus Potter just had to, didn't he? Well, of course he did. Nothing better than a bit of cousinly fighting to liven things up.
Who thinks Albus is a blind fool?
Who thinks he's still adorable regardless(I do!)?W
Who thinks Draco and Ron are insensitive for betting on their kid's happiness?
Who thinks it's absolutely hilarious and just like them?
But most of all, poor Scorpius. At least Rose was quiet while Albus was not. Work is just going to be a bundle of joy for both of them.
This is also where I would love to thank all of my lovely readers and all those people who have taken the time to review. You have no idea how happy it makes me feel to read reviews. Also to those awesome people who've added this story as a favorite. Thank you so much. You lot are the best.
I love you all.
P.S: Disclaimer: Nada. 'Nuff said.
P.P.S.: Drop a line in that lonely and very empty box that is barely an inch below. It really loves being filled with letters! You know: a b c d...etc.
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