Rose was glad that she went to work the next day. It was busy in the Department of International Co-operation, and that took her mind off her sighting of Scorpius. Her desk was buried under stacks of paperwork that she needed to do and she thought it would take hours. Going to work also meant she would get to see Jack.
Jack Spencer was her Muggleborn colleague and he was now one of her best friends. He had attended Hogwarts in the same year as her, a quite Ravenclaw, but she had never noticed him. Now she felt like kicking herself for not getting to know him sooner. He was hilarious and Rose was surprised she ever got any work done with Jack around.
He was also extremely good looking. He was tall and lean, with soft sandy blonde hair and a cheeky crooked smile which always made Rose feel slightly dizzy. His teeth were sparkling white and he had flecked green eyes which always seemed to have a jokey expression. He was one of these people who seemed to have been made absolutely perfectly.
He was also a person who she had had a very tipsy night with. Jack had just had a big falling out with some vapid girlfriend, and he had come over to Rose’s quiet flat. Uther had been away on a business trip and Scorpius had been fast asleep. Rose had let him in, and they had had some red wine. Jack was a lightweight compared to her, and he had soon been babbling about “repressed feelings”. It hadn’t taken ten minutes and the two were in bed together.
The next morning had been very awkward, and Rose and Jack had vowed to never mention the incident again. Jack swore he did not remember a thing, not even going to Rose’s house or the argument, but Rose remembered. She remembered his kiss and the feel of his body; she hadn’t felt that way about anyone since Scorpius died.
But she didn’t want anyone to know about her feelings for Jack. After all, she had a comfortable, friendly love with Uther at home, and even if it wasn’t passionate, it was a stable relationship. Jack was unpredictable and Rose knew she couldn’t compete with the scores of model girlfriend’s he had been out with over the years.
“Hello She-who-is-afraid-of-frogs!” Jack chirped as she arrived. It was a running contest each day between her and Jack. Whoever was in first had to greet the other with the most ridiculously cringe worthy nickname. Jack normally resorted to picking on Rose’s fear of frogs and Rose pointed out Jack’s inability to say the word “millennium”.
“Hello darling,” said Rose, throwing herself nonchalantly into her chair. Jack was looking at her with a bemused expression on his handsome face. “You all right?” he said uncertainly, obviously detecting the uncomfortable look on Rose’s face.
Rose paused for a moment, but then said, “yeah, how was your date last night?” Jack had recently put himself on a quest to find the “love of his life” by going on a date with a different girl every night. Rose knew it was failing spectacularly, as Jack had always claimed he had only ever loved one girl, but had never got her, and all the others weren’t up to her standard.
“Argh,” he said rolling his eyes, “it was terrible. All I heard about all night was her modelling career in Paris and her chicken feet!” Rose attempted to stifle a giggle as she sifted through the papers on her desk. There was only one girl in the whole world who could moan about her chicken feet and be deadly serious at the same time.
“This girl’s name wasn’t Rosaline was it?” Jack gaped at her with a confused expression. Rose let out a laugh, he really did know how to tickle her funny bone. “You know her?” he asked his voice having gone very high and tinny.
“Yep,” said Rose, still giggling, “she was in my house at Hogwarts. I shared a dormitory with her. More conceited than brave!” Jack let out a low laugh. Then for a moment, his face seemed to crumple as if the mask of humour he wore had slipped for a moment.
“She’s not my type of girl,” Jack smiled half heartedly. There was a strange expression on Jack’s face that Rose could not quite fathom. He was looking at Rose almost sadly, but Rose pushed the thought from her mind as she managed to dig through her papers.
“The Minister from Algeria wants that document written up and sent to him by tomorrow,” said Rose seriously, “have you done it Jack?” Jack nodded before picking it up from his desk and levitating it over to Rose. “Lazy Bones,” said Rose jokingly as Jack said, “how do you think I stay fit? Endless workouts by walking over to your desk every time you want a document for a Minister of a North African Country? No; a diet of jam doughnuts and Wingardium Leviosa!”
Their laughter was interrupted by the door which swung open to reveal Carla, the boss’ secretary, who had a huge crush on Jack. She was one of these girls who wore to much make-up and clothes that were far too tight for her. “I bought you your doughnuts Jackie,” she cooed. Rose had always disliked Carla. She always seemed to interrupt her and Jack at the wrong time.
“Thanks,” said Jack, as Carla walked over and put the doughnuts in front of Jack. She gave Jack what she obviously thought was a sexy smile as she sashayed out of the office. Rose had to stifle a giggle as she looked at Jack who looked deeply disturbed. “Let’s get to work,” he mumbled, having gone an embarrassing shade of red.
They spent the rest of the day eating Jack’s doughnuts and getting through their mountain of work while having a great laugh together. By the end of the day, when Rose was packing her bags, she was so happy that she didn’t want to go home; she just wanted to stay at working eating doughnuts and talking to Jack.
“What are you doing this evening?” asked Jack as he slung his bag over his shoulder. Rose shrugged her shoulders before telling Jack nothing much. Uther would not be home yet, so she would dismiss the nanny for the day then play with Scorpius for the evening. Nothing that interesting.
“Well,” said Jack, “do you want to come to the Leaky Cauldron’s karaoke night with me?” He pulled a neon coloured leaflet from his pocket and flung it into Rose’s face. “My mate Tim is the new bar manager, and wants to change the direction of the business. What do you say?” It didn’t take Rose two minutes to agree, knowing full well that Alice wouldn’t mind caring for Scorpius until Uther got back.
The Karaoke Night was one of the best nights ever. Rose took to the stage to sing the big band ballad, “I smell your hair in my love potion” and the pop hit, “Incendio my heart!” Jack got up to scream out the Death Metal Song, “Argh” and Rose found herself rolling around on the floor in laughter as he sang it.
After Jack passed the mike to someone else, he bowled over to sit next to Rose in one of the alcoves as he gulped down some Firewhisky. Rose couldn’t help but giggle at first, but then he put his arm around her, and Rose found herself nestling into his shoulder. It was so comfortable and warm. It was at this moment that a girl with mousy looking hair took the stage and sang the song, “You Are the Wizard For Me” very well.
Then, as it had been in Arabella’s, Rose was not in the Leaky Cauldron any more. She was sitting at the Gryffindor table in Hogwarts, next to a very young looking Cecelia. She could be no more that twelve or thirteen. On the other side of Cecelia was Julia looking equally as young. Opposite were Margot and a young Rose.
“So,” said Cecelia in her usual manner, “what’s your idea of a perfect boy then Rose?” Rose looked at herself, who seemed totally oblivious to her older self’s presence. The girl was biting her lip nervously and then she shrugged her shoulders.
“Come on,” said Julia laughing, “we’ve all said!” Rose looked at her young self. This was just as she had started to get a crush on the seventh year captain of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team, Barnaby Ruddock, and did not want to give herself away.
“Well,” said young Rose, slowly, “He’s got to be tall, handsome, blonde hair, preferably blue or green eyes, funny, a Quidditch player and a little bit dangerous. I mean, he can’t be an Uther. He can’t always do what the teacher’s say and never had a detention in his life.”
Older Rose felt herself gulp. She had just seen herself dismiss Uther as someone that she would never like as a boyfriend, let alone a fiancée. She felt a little sick; like she was making some terrible mistake that she couldn’t get herself out of. The words her friends were saying were blurring to her; she couldn’t hear them anymore.
Then she saw Scorpius. He was standing up by the teachers table having a conversation with the long deceased Mercutio and the very alive Isabelle. He was not looking at them, however, but staring resolutely at Rose.
But before she could act on it, the image started to disappear. Julia and Cecelia had soon merged into one and the colours and lines were blurring. Stumbling backwards, the reality converging onto Rose and swallow her whole.
Rose opened her eyes. Once again she was in the Leaky Cauldron with Jack’s arm around her. It did not take her a moment to spot Scorpius. He was standing over by the door, staring at her with his crooked grin on his face. “I am sorry Jack,” she said as she jumped up clumsily, “I’ll see you tomorrow!” He looked visibly shocked, but she had no time for that.
She raced after Scorpius, but soon he had disappeared outside. Speeding up, she tripped slightly and these impeded her chase, but she carried on, and only realised her mission was futile when she bounded outside and there was no sign of her ex husband.
Julia had come the second he had called. Uther had invited her in instantly and they had gone into one of the huge drawing rooms of his country manor that his father had bequeathed him. He had poured her some port and then he had told her how he had come home and the nanny and told him that Rose had not arrived to dismiss her.
He had been frantic. Rose never did anything like this, so he had called Julia round to see if she knew where her friend was. Julia hadn’t, but she came anyway. She didn’t want him sitting alone waiting for the girl he had been pining for his whole life. Julia secretly knew that Uther would never fully have Rose. She was a free spirit, and did not want her life drawn out for her on a page. She wanted to be unpredictable. Julia assumed that was what entranced Uther about her.
That’s why Julia knew Uther would never love her back. She was nothing like Rose. Julia was not fabulously wealthy, she was not an unobtainable celebrity, and she would never have an affair and then marry in secret. Although she loved Rose, she was also jealous of her. She was everything Uther ever wanted.
“I’m sure she’ll be back soon,” said Julia unconvincingly after they had put Scorpius to bed. Uther looked broken. He did not have the personality to be able to accommodate for Rose’s flights of fancy. He was dependable, reliable and solid, but at the same time he wasn’t unbreakable.
“Julia,” he said gruffly, “why does she do this to me? She always seems to be out of my reach, just on the end of my vision. We don’t think the same way.” Julia had to agree. Nobody could quite work out what went through Rose’s head. She was so quiet and secretive. She was an enigma.
Keys clicked loudly in the lock and Uther jumped up immediately. It was the sound of Rose, so he would follow. He marched out into the hall, and Julia followed. When Rose’s figure appeared, shrouded in the light from the chandelier, Uther did not shout like Julia expected him to. Instead he enveloped Rose into a tight embrace. Julia instantly knew that Uther would always forgive her.
And she felt her heart breaking.
Sorry this chapter has been soooo long! I had the whole plot set out in my mind and then it changed when I read KerryCho's review of the last chapter...Jack just strolled into my mind. Next time...Rose really does go and see Albus and Cecelia and Julia gets a new job...
Write a Review Then I Defy You, Stars: The Second Visitation