Occupation: To Out-Slytherin Her Husband.
Age: Best Left Unsaid.
Relation: Unnaturally Chipper Client.
October 1, 2032
A wise girl kisses, but doesn't love. Listens but doesn't believe and leaves before she is left. ~Natalie
“Er...hi,” Patrick stood at the end of the aisle, rubbing his neck uncomfortably. There was time when Rose found the gesture adorable. Now, she found it annoying. Oh, how times changed.
“Patrick,” Rose repeated with more coldness. “You're the Healer helping me with the toys?”
“Yeah.” Patrick's eyes darted around for an escape, hoping that one of the toys from the many shelves would come out and take him. Rose wouldn't mind very much. Patrick Finnegan could go die a slow, excruciatingly painful death via poisonous frogs while Rose hula-hooped around him to the beats of Dancing Queen, occasionally firing a Stinging or Bat Bogey Hex at his arse.
Rose smiled at the mental picture. Yes...she could imagine it perfectly.
Patrick's lips were moving, but Rose didn't register anything. She was still busy thinking up ways to kill the brunette in front of her. Three years- three fucking years and he still pissed her off.
“Sorry Patrick,” Rose cut him off with a cheerful smile, knowing it annoyed him most when someone interrupted him. “I haven't heard a word of what you've been saying.”
Patrick scowled. He'd put her through shit. There was no way she was going to be pleasant with him. Maturity be damned.
“Anyway,” Rose continued. “Just choose the toys you want. Give them a list and we'll be on our way.”
Patrick pulled something out of him robes,”I've already got a list. That's what-”
“Excellent,” Rose Summoned the piece of parchment, and walked to the counter. “Hello sir. I'm Rose Weasley. If you would be so kind as to have these toys ready and wrapped and labeled for me by the fifteenth? I'll be happy to pay partial in advance for your assistance.”
The man behind the cash register blinked at her and smiled, “Weasley, you say?” Rose's eyes flashed at the familiar look of awe. Twenty six years and she still hated it. “Well of course. Not a problem.” He took the list from her. “I'll have it ready.”
“Thank you,” Rose managed a smile, slid a bag of galleons to the cashier and walked out the store.
“Rose! Rose, wait. Come on, don't be like that,” Patrick rushed behind her.
“Don't be like what, Patrick?” Rose asked with a sickeningly sweet smile. A smile that even a fool would be wary of.
“You don't have to be such a-”
Rose took a menacing step forward. She posed an intimidating figure even though he was half a foot taller than her. She knew spells he wouldn't dream of trying. “Such a what,
Finnegan? Excuse me if I don't particularly feel like being nice
to the man who fathered a child for two of the five years he went out with me whilst having an affair for a year and half before
that, and continuing to hide said affair and
child after the child was born. Yeah, not feeling very giving, sorry.”
“Rose,” Patrick looked between Rose's drawn wand and her flashing eyes. “I apologized. What more do you want from me?”
“How about a written statement to the Daily Prophe
t saying you were a dumb fuck
who wanted nothing more to boink two women for the hell of it?” Rose suggested through gritted teeth. He wouldn't do it, of course. She'd only said the words because Patrick hated it when she cursed or 'used other crude and unladylike words'.
Looking back now, Rose saw he was nothing but a selfish, pompous, sexist bastard. And she couldn't for the life of her remember why she had agreed to go out with him in the first place.
Patrick drew himself up to his full height, held up a finger at her and said, “Well, if I weren't such a gentleman I wouldn't think twice about hexing you in public.”
Rose laughed cruelly and opened her moth to retort.
“If you were a gentleman, Finnegan, you wouldn't have fucked around behind her back.”
Rose turned to see who had spoken. Scorpius stood leaning against a pole picking at his fingernails as though the conversation between Rose and Patrick was of very little importance to him. Only the small ghost of a smile gave any indication that it was indeed he who had spoken on Rose's behalf. Normally Rose would be annoyed that someone else had come to her defense, watching Patrick loose his cool was a much better reward.
Patrick sneered, “What are you now, her boyfriend? Finally bagged her, have you? Took you long enough.”
Rose's temper flared. How dare he suggest-?
“No, nothing of the sort Patty
,” Rose snarled before Scorpius could answer. “Scorpius is a friend
. Something you know nothing about. I suggest you leave before I Floo call your supervisor and quit on the grounds that one of her Healers was being discourteous. Let's see how you and your dear St. Mungo's deals with pulling off the entire benefit then, shall we?”
Patrick glared at her, then at Scorpius before shouting clearly at the blonde. “I wouldn't bother with her. She's not that good anyway.” He was gone before Rose could send a curse flying at him.
Scorpius shoved her wand hand down, preventing her from cursing the spot he stood seconds before. “He's gone.”
Rose snorted, and stowed her wand away. “I noticed.”
“You love pulling the 'I'll quit' line, don't you?” Scorpius glanced down at her with a small smile.
Rose grinned, her anger at Patrick Finnegan rapidly dissipating. “Maybe. What're you doing here?”
“Rescuing fair maidens like you,” Scorpius gave an exaggerated bow. “Not that you're incapable.” He amended at the look Rose threw at him.
“My knight in shining armor. How chivalrous of you.”
“I try,” Scorpius shrugged. Rose laughed at his feigned modesty. “I was actually on my way to Gringott's for some Malfoy business when I saw the Royal Pisser himself talk to you.”
Rose gave an mock pout, and batted her eyelashes dolefully. “And here I thought you were stalking me.”
Scorpius leaned down, closer to her, his lips twitching. “Would you like
me to stalk you?” His light blue eyes sparkled in mischief. Rose's stomach lurched. If she didn't know better-which she did- she would say she was flirting
with Scorpius Malfoy. And he was flirting back.
She remembered her thoughts from last night, immediately squashing them before they came to the forefront of her thoughts. Rose didn't need to be thinking about Scorpius Malfoy like that.
Rose blinked, stepping back hastily. “Erm, I won't keep you then. You should go take care of your business. Merlin knows the goblins detest unpunctuality.”
Scorpius stood back up as if he had only just realized his position. “Yeah...er, see you on Tuesday then.”
“Mmhmm,” Rose nodded with pursed lips, and gave a quick smile. “See you.”
He gave a quick smile of his own, and vanished into the crowd before anything more could be said.
Well, that was...interesting
Shaking her mind off Scorpius Malfoy and his firm- eyes, Rose decided she would go to her Mum and Dad's for a quick visit. After all, Hermione was always complaining about how Rose had now skipped three Friday night dinners.
Rose Apparated right outside the wards, and walked the rest of the fifty meters or so to the kitchen door. There was no one in the sunny, open room where she had spent many summers eating ham sandwiches. Auror instinct forced Rose to finger her wand in anticipation. Although she would never admit it to anyone even under torture, Rose missed the combative magic she had grown fond of during her Auror days. However, she'd love to see anyone who would be so stupid as to cross Ron and Hermione Weasley.
Rose heard hushed voices from the den. She crept in quietly, half-wondering why she was so suspicious. But...it was just in her nature. She opened the ajar door silently. There was a giggle now. Was-was that Hermione? Giggling?
The young witch didn't lower her guard, and continued walking into the room to-
“ARGH!” Rose jumped back, shielding her eyes from a half naked Ron and Hermione. “Bloody fucking hell!” Rose grimaced and turned her back to her parents, wishing she could just Oblivate herself and be done with it.
She heard her father curse, and her mother reprimand even now.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.” Rose kept up the mantra until the hasty rustling of clothes had stopped and she was confident that the two people who she never wanted to see in that position
“Ahem,” Ron coughed pointedly when Rose still averted her eyes from them. “Rosie, what are your doing here?”
“I came to surprise you because...I haven't been round lately. Fuck, I should have just knocked. I'll come around later when you're...just later,” Rose finished lamely, unable to acknowledge that her parents had been about to-
Don't think about it! The images will go away if you stop thinking about it. My poor eyes. I'm scarred for life.
Ron and Hermione didn't stop her as she shuffled out the front door without a backwards glance at them.
Never again would Rose step back into her parents home unless she was sure there were two other people already there. Never. Again.
Rose blindly Apparated back to her flat, hoping to squash out the unpleasant images from her brain when she saw a pale blue owl with white tipped wings. It hooted at her and stuck it's claws out insistently. Rose frowned. It wasn't an owl she recognized. Rose deftly detached the letter, expecting the owl to fly away but it didn't.
The redhead groaned when she read the contents of the letter.
I hope you are well. The party last night was simply divine. You have truly outdone yourself. The charming broomsticks were an absolute delight. I was sorely tempted to sneak one out to add to my collection.
To get to the point, I was looking over the seating charts this morning when I saw the minutest of problems. It's rather difficult to explain in a letter, so I was hoping you wouldn't terribly mind joining us for lunch at one today to go over the chart? I usually wouldn't ask on such short notice but Draco and I are to visit my parents-in-law for brunch tomorrow, and I know how busy you are during the week. It is simply impossible obtaining a scheduled meeting with you during the week when our times coincide. I would know, I've tried before.
If you accept, please send your response with Bleubelle.
Awaiting your response with my sincerest apologies for the last minute missive,
Of course the woman would give her owl a French name. Of course.
It wasn't that Rose didn't like Astoria Malfoy. No, Astoria was a fine woman. She wasn't like all the other uptight bitches on the Wizarding Society Ladies charity committee. Astoria was pleasant, civil, understanding of minute problems and like some of the pure-bloods on the committee, she wasn't prejudiced against Rose for who her parents were. Although that could have something to do with the fact that her son was best friends with the son of the Savior of the Wizarding world.
Astoria's only problem was that she had a tendency to stall and linger to make decisions. The auction was exactly twenty-one days away and the woman chose now to go over the charts one last time. Rose had given them to her for review two weeks ago. The blonde woman also had a habit of finding other faults while complaining about one. Rose was sure that if she went for lunch today, she would not only be discussing the seating charts but the order of the auction and the drinks and the yadda yadda yadda.
Resigning herself to the fact that she would be spending a better part of her afternoon at the Malfoy's Rose sent over her affirmative response.
Now to the closets. One did not call on Mistress Malfoy for lunch without being impeccably dressed. Another reason Rose avoided 'calling' on any pure-blood in her profession. She strictly kept it to in office meetings or 'charming teas' like with the Smithsons. Lunches and dinners were a hassle. But this was
Astoria Malfoy. And the money the Wizarding Ladies were dishing out was by far the most Rose had been dished out to. With Astoria as their head, she couldn't really say no.
She rifled through her closet haphazardly. Astoria was expecting her in an hour.
Scorpius was led to the parlor by Jemma for his usual Saturday luncheons with his parents. His thoughts still whirling with his earlier encounter with Rose. She had called him a 'friend'- a friend! Scorpius tried not to squeal like a twelve year old girl with her first crush, but inside he was cheering. While it was possible she had said it in a moment of anger to the Bastard, Scorpius liked to think she actually believed them to be friends now.
Scorpius paused in confusion when he saw his parents. Astoria and Draco were dressed more sharply than usual, Scorpius observed. He pecked his mother on the cheek, shook his father's hand and blinked several times trying to understand why his parents were dressed to impress. He looked downright bland next to their flowing robes.
The only time his parents dressed up for lunch was when they had invited a guest over. Before Scorpius could inquire, Draco spoke whilst preparing Scorpius' drink.
“I hope the Goblins weren't any trouble?”
“No, just their usual nasty self,” Scorpius grinned, taking his gin and tonic.
“That's good dear,” Astoria muttered absently, craning her neck to look at the door. “Draco, she did say she was coming, did she not?”
Draco chuckled affectionately, “Yes dear. I told you. She said she would be here at one. And it isn't one yet. It's-” Draco checked the grandfather clock in the parlor, “-twelve fifty nine. She has one more minute.”
“She? Who's she? Mother, you aren't setting me up with one of those prissy society ladies' daughters again, are you? I told you I'm not-”
“Hush, Scor. And they're not all prissy.” But her smile spoke the contrary.
“I'm afraid, son, this time you will actually enjoy the company,” Draco grinned with a dangerous glint in his eye. Over the years, Scorpius had learned to be wary of that glint. It only meant his father was unleashing his most Slytherin tendencies. Being a Gryffindor himself, Scorpius was never able to avoid the snaky traps.
“I find it hard to believe any acquaintance of mother's can bring enjoyable company to lunch,” Scorpius remarked, sipping serenely. “All hags the lot of them,” Scorpius added under his breath so his mother wouldn't hear.
Draco laughed, “I assure you, this one is most certainly not a hag. Quite the looker. I'm sure you'll agree.”
The younger Malfoy observed his father suspiciously. Draco was far too gleeful at the prospect of this guest for it to be his mother's friend's daughter. Usually, he hated them as much as he hated his receding hairline-which was quite a lot. Then who could it be? Scorpius gazed at his father intently, hoping to gauge the answer from his eyes because he knew the older man would not give up the name so easily.
He needn't have bothered. Scorpius' answer came in a wave of familiar spicy but feminine scent. He looked at his much too happy father in wide-eyed terror. He knew.
Draco Malfoy knew.
Draco attempted to keep his patented smirk off his face as his son's eyes widened in recognition but it was impossible. The terrified look on his son's face was too priceless. He had half a mind to start doing a little jig right there in the parlor(not that he ever would, what with being a Malfoy and all). But this? Oh this was too precious.
It had taken all of Draco dormant conniving to come up with this and he had succeeded.
See Potter? Not all my plans end in debacles. Just most of them.
It had bothered Draco how utterly Gryffindor his son was. If it had been up to the older Malfoy, he would have gotten the Weasley girl back in his Hogwarts days. Although Draco did fear for his son's sanity and taste. A Weasley- spawn of Ron Weasley, no less. The ultimate Weasel.
But Draco had stopped questioning it from the day the bet was made. Granted he had forgotten about the bet until meeting Miss Weasley a few weeks ago.
It had been easy really. Three days ago he had seen Astoria look through seating chart for her auction. Inspiration struck. If Draco knew his wife-and he was positive he did, then Astoria would check and re-check that chart fifty times before handing it back to the young Weasley. All Draco had to do was tamper with the chart, make sure Astoria didn't look at it until this morning and Astoria's paranoid hostess nature would do the rest. So what if Draco had maybe suggested it would be more courteous to call the Granger-Junior for lunch the very same day
his son was supposed to be here? And yes, maybe he had taken the liberty to string Narcissa along and make her invite Astoria and Draco to their country home tomorrow so Astoria couldn't change the date.
But really, what did such trifles matter when he could see his poised, calm, self-assured son- for lack of better word- lose it?
Truly, this was too good.
And his son too much of a Gryffindor.
But if she made him happy...what of it? There was no problem in having a red-haired heir. Draco winced mentally, alright so there was a problem. A big one. It was quite nauseating actually.
But Scorpius' happiness is what matters.
And the boy was obviously not happy with any of the other girls he had been with in the past. Draco had never seen his son's eyes light up quite so around anyone else except Rose Weasley. So he would forgo the cringe-inducing thoughts of having ginger haired grandchildren...for now.
Aren't you getting ahead of yourself? You haven't an inkling whether she likes him or not.
A snide voice in his head interrupted.
Ah, yes. But he is a Malfoy. And Malfoys get what they want.
Scorpius was shooting daggers at Draco. My, if looks could kill, Draco would be dead by now. Scorpius might not be a Slytherin, but he knew how to read his father.
“So glad you could join us, Rose darling. I truly am sorry for such short notice.” Astoria was talking to the politely smiling redhead. “Come sit. Draco will prepare a drink for you.”
Draco smile, “Of course. What would you like? I know, you seem like a vodka person, am I right?”
Rose blinked, “I- yes, actually. I do like vodka.”
“Draco does have an eye for that sort of thing,” Astoria cooed. “I'm more of a wine person, and Scorpius here favors gin and tonic.”
Rose smiled winningly, “I know.”
Scorpius half-choked on his drink. Draco resisted the urge to slap his palm to his forehead. That was hardly classy.
“You do?” Scorpius stammered.
“I've seen you order it at the parties. I always have my bartenders run a tally of who orders what. It helps me know my crowd,” Rose answered. “You always get gin and tonic.”
“Oh right. I keep forgetting you're
providing all refreshments at the Weasley gatherings,” Scorpius smiled back easily. Draco internally cheered his son's attempt at recovery.
“So,” Rose began conversationally, accepting her drink from Draco with a polite thank you. “Did you get your Gringotts affairs in order?”
Draco raised an eyebrow at his son who was studiously averting his gaze. Rose met Scorpius this morning?
“Yes, yes I did. Didn't take long. Goblins aren't one for dawdling.”
Rose laughed kindly, “Yes, they aren't. I try not to go there because the Goblins never help us quickly. They still hold some grudge against Hugo, Al, Lily, James and me. Something about Mum, Dad, and uncle Harry breaking in during the war.”
Draco choked. He vaguely remembered finding out later that they had used his Aunt Bellatrix's hair and Granger- Weasley now- Polyjuiced as her.
“Alright Dad?” Scorpius asked concernedly.
“Fine, so you were in Diagon Alley?”
“Yes, had some things to take care of for work.”
“Work! Darling, do you do nothing but work? On Saturdays no less?” Astoria gave an astonished look.
Rose smiled ironically. She was after all, here under the pretense of work. “Indeed. Idle minds and all that jazz. And it's really not that bad since my work entails roaming around stores looking for the next best decorative artifact, or finding the correct flowers. I enjoy it, or I wouldn't be doing it.”
“And you're amazing at it to. Like I said in my letter, those broomsticks were absolutely charming. Didn't I say that, Draco? I so dearly wanted to snag one,” Astoria smiled reminiscently.
“I'll make sure to have Marissa deliver one,” Rose winked. “Lily already smuggled three last night before leaving, I'm sure of it.”
Astoria laughed, “I would be delighted if you could. They really will complement our collection...”
On and on it went. Draco soon blocked out the idle chatter, offering his two bits only when directly spoken to. It was much more entertaining to watch his son and the Weasel's daughter. He noticed she kept glancing at Scorpius from time to time when he was exceptionally silent. Only decorum kept Draco from kicking his son under the table and prompting him to make smalltalk with the woman he was so obviously in love with. But no. Scorpius kept avoiding her like some blushing virgin.
When she left, it was with a promise to see Scorpius in the office later in the week. Draco should have expected what came next, but he was too busy basking in his glorious achievement to notice his son's very red face.
“Right,” Scorpius rounded. “What did you do?”
“Do?” Draco feigned shock. “Why, what would make you think I did something? It was merely Rose Weasley coming to a nice lunch because your mother had some confusions.”
Scorpius opened his mouth to protest but Astoria cut across.
“Please dear, your father was simply making sure you finally...what's the term these days? Got with the Weasley girl.”
Draco and Scorpius gaped at the Mistress of the house with identical expressions.
“You knew?” Draco sputtered. He should have guessed. His wife was a Slytherin too.
“Psh,” she gave a lazy dismissive flick of her hand. “Of course I knew. Why else do you think I went along with this little game of yours.”
Draco grinned, “I knew there was a reason I married you.” Astoria patted his arm affectionately.
“Game? What game?”
“I believe the game is called Let's-Make-ScorpiusandRose-Make-Sweet-LoveandGrandbabies-Before-His-Mother-Dies-Due-To-Lack-Of-Said-Grandbabies.” Scorpius paled at his mother's words. “Honestly Scor. Did you think I didn't know? I was hoping you would get over this little crush of yours after Hogwarts but then I saw you at the Ministry's Summer End Ball mooning over her and I knew I had to do something. You didn't think her being hired was a coincidence, did you?”
Scorpius opened and closed his mouth several times before words spilled out. “This is outrageous. My own parents are conspiring against me.”
“We're not conspiring against
you, we're conspiring for
you,” Draco corrected, gazing at his wife in admiration.
“You hate the Weasleys! Ron Weasley especially. You can't possibly want me and Rose-” Scorpius broke off, choking on his own words.
Draco appraised his son, “Yes, but this isn't about me, is it? And I must say, you two make a rather entertaining sight. Certainly kept me amused.”
“Hmm, they do, don't they? There won't be a single boring moment around them,” Astoria smiled.
“Oh, well, so glad I could be your entertainment for the day. Next time you want a laugh, why not call Rose Weasley and make things slightly more awkward than they already are? 'Snot like she doesn't hate me enough.”
Draco gave an affronted look. “Rose Weasley does not hate you. She hates your relationship with her cousin. Give me some credit. If the girl hated your she wouldn't keep glancing at you wantonly every ten seconds.”
Scorpius flushed red. “Want- she was not
looking at me wan- like that! And I don't know what you two are playing at but you're got to stop. There is nothing
happening between us, alright?”
“Yes,” Draco said dryly. “I'm sure that's what you tell yourself at night in bed when you're wan-”
“Father!” Scorpius shouted, passing red and turning purple.
“Don't shout Scorpius. It's unbecoming,” Astoria said quietly.
“Unbecoming? UNBECOMING? What's unbecoming is my father talking so casually about my personal life!”
“I'm only stating a fact,” Draco shrugged, enjoying the sight of his wound up son a bit too much. “It's quite alright. We've all do-”
“You're crazy. Mental. Off your rockers, both of you. Staying in this old mansion has messed with your heads. And the old age. I bet you it's driving you loony.”
“I'm offended. Why, I'm barely forty,” Draco said, looking at his son disapprovingly.
“Father,” Scorpius spoke in a voice reserved for a five year old. “You're twenty-five years older than me. I'm
twenty-six. That makes your fifty-one.” The younger Malfoy pinched the bridge of his nose. “You know what? I don't even know why I bother. Just...don't try and pull another stunt like this or I'll stop coming to the luncheons.”
Astoria pouted, “We only want you to be happy. And if it is to be with Rose Wea-”
“For the last time, I am not going to be with Rose fucking Weasley!” With that, Scorpius stalked out of the house.
“Well...” Astoria huffed, staring at the spot where her son had just disappeared. “At least we know one thing.”
“And what would that be?”
“Our son has the ability to turn a very interesting shade of purple.”
A/N: I know. I know. Draco and Astoria seemed a bit out of character. But it was too fun writing them like this. I love Draco-and still hold that he completely turned over a new leaf after the war. Hence the lighthearted, jokey, happy Draco. Obviously, Astoria had something to do with it.
Did anyone not like Draco here? Was he too crazy?
What about Scorpius? Did the mortification show clearly?
And Patrick, of course. Anyone want to kill him yet?
Do tell me what you think- in a review, of course.
P.S: Disclaimer:...yeah, can we not rub it in? I know I'm just playing the Almightyness that is JKR's characters.
P.P.S: This is one of my favorite chappies. (But only because of Draco. Just a note.) :D
P.P.P.S: I finally have a Meet the Author page, (YAY!) socheck it out ask me any questions and stuff you might want answered. :D