Chapter 12 : Taken For Granted
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March 14, 2034- May 12, 2034.
Being taken for granted can be a compliment. It means that you've become a comfortable, trusted element in another person's life.~Dr. Joyce Brothers
Rose tapped her heel sharply against the plush fitting room floor. Cely continued her idle chatter from the other side of the screen. Chatter Rose was paying only half attention to as she stood in front of a fool length mirror wearing the pale rose colored dress Marissa and Lily had chosen, and Scorpius had stamped his seal of approval over. How could she possibly protest the color now?
Especially when she saw how Cely's eyes lit up when she saw the color.
In the month since Albus and Cely had returned from their conference, the wedding preparations had taken a fast paced momentum. The couple had been placed under the registry of various Wizarding and Muggle stores since the guest list was enormous and neither Albus Cely wanted two of anything. Cely's approval was given to everything Rose had arranged and the menu was set.
She remembered a particularly nasty confrontation with Grandma Molly when the matriarch discovered she would not be the on in charge of food for the middle Potter's wedding. Only Harry, Ginny, and Hermione's combined effort had calmed the old woman.
Now all that was left was Cely's dress, veil to go with her dad's Great Aunt Muriel's tiara, hair, and makeup.
Rose smiled, imagining the day with perfect clarity. She could just see Cely walking down the aisle with her father, beaming as her eyes stayed fixed on Albus- Albus who would probably swell with happiness at the sight of Cely in her beautiful gown. Then they would say their vows, exchange rings, and the Muggle pri-
Rose's thoughts came to a screeching halt like an old record.
How could she have forgotten the most important part of the fucking ceremony! She hadn't gotten any rings! Dear Merlin, she was stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
The wedding was only three months away! She didn't know what Cely and Albus wanted engraved on them either.
“Rose,” Cely stepped out from behind the film separating them. “I think this one is perfect, don't you?” She twirled around, looking at herself in the one-eighty mirror. “The trail is- what's wrong?”
Rose winced, “Er...heh...see, the thing is, I may have quite accidentally forgotten about your wedding rings.”
Cely blinked, “Is that why you've had a doomed look on your face all day?”
No, that would have something to do with Scorpius bloody Malfoy spending half of last night dancing with some blonde bimbo at Vervain Zabini and Richard Goyle's engagement party. But she didn't want to tell Cely that.
“Er, kind of,” she said instead.
“Well, don't worry. We can go right after...”
All thoughts of the wedding rings vanished as she remembered last night once more.
Why was he dancing with her? Were they a couple? Did they meet for the first time last night? And honestly, her robes were just a tad too tight. Unless Scorpius was into women like that. But he didn't seem like it. Not from what she knew.
Yes, because you know oh-so-much about Scorpius Malfoy. You're barely even friends, a snide voice commented at the back of her head.
Friends nonetheless, she snapped back. And she was practically draping herself over him like a-a-a curtain!
Says the woman who went to said party only after Jaden Zabini told her Scorpius Malfoy was going to be there.
The snide voice seemed to snigger. Rose gritted her teeth: She did not go just to see Scorpius. It had nothing to do with him. She enjoyed Jaden's company and thought him-
A boring, pretentious, pompous arsehole, the snide voice commented. Admit it, you're in love with Scorpius Malfoy.
No, Rose growled.
She was not in love with Scorpius. She just liked him...very much. That was it.
Scorpius handed his cloak over to Jemma in an orderly fashion, and walked behind her as she led him, not to the parlor, but the Sun Room he knew his grandmother was so fond of. And Scorpius knew immediately who had dropped by for another visit.
Well, at least this time I'm wearing robes. Lucius can't fault me that. Maybe I should tell him I was running an errand for Harry. That should annoy him sufficiently.
Scorpius scolded himself the minute those thoughts took formation. He had promised his parents he would be civil the next time his grandparents came to visit. Besides, Narcissa had sent him a letter a few weeks prior saying she hoped he wouldn't hold her in contempt for his harsh words during Christmas dinner. Scorpius had written back with an increased respect for his grandmother and a promise that he wouldn't. Which was easier said than done since Lucius had once again badgered Scorpius about marriage proposals.
Swear to God, if he talks about Alicia Montgomery one more time, I will disown myself. Or mention Rose. Yes...that would be better. Even if it is wishful thinking.
The Sun Room, unlike the parlor, didn't require artificial lights. It was enchanted so that whenever any member of the Malfoy family entered, it would would be bathed in perpetual sunlight until the Master or Mistress left the room. The pale blue paint on the east wall always reminded Scorpius of the Grecian sky on a mild summer noon, while the somewhat darker blue with red and gold tinted amongst it on the opposing wall was similar to the dusk sky on the southern parts of Italy. But Scorpius' favorite part of the room was the high stain-glass domed roof. One of his ancestress had been Greek. It was she who had the glass depict the Olympian gods and the stories they were most known by.
There was Zeus, chasing a beautiful swan. And Hades, dragging Persephone into the underworld on his chariot. Then there was Poseidon, waging war against Oceanus for control of the sea. And Hera, throwing Hephaestus into the sea. Athena turning a mortal into a spider: Arachne. Aphrodite meddling with mortals' love lives. Ares striking an intimidating figure as he looked down at the destruction of Achilles. Artemis, the great huntress killing a beast, and Apollo riding his blazing chariot across the sky.
But Scorpius' favorite part of this collage of the follies and blunders of the gods was Hercules, the only demigod amongst the mighty Olympians. Scorpius spent a moment looking at Hercules' twelve labors. He always admired Hercules' strength, sharp wit, and his cunning nature. Hercules, Scorpius knew, would have been the ultimate Slytherin or Gryffindor.
Or a Malfoy, he smiled to himself.
Turning his admiring gaze away from beautiful roof, Scorpius greeted his parents and grandparents.
“Have you been somewhere, Scorpius?” Narcissa asked, taking in his fine robes. Her hopeful tone was not lost on the youngest Malfoy.
“If you count spending most of your morning in the Minister-Elect's office then yes, I have been somewhere,” he told her with the air of someone who thought the task to be physically taxing.
Narcissa sniffed, “Working on Saturdays? Does our new Minister have no decorum?”
“Alas, that is a conundrum I have been trying to answer since I was eleven, mother,” Draco answered, effectively diverting the attention off Scorpius as Scorpius wanted.
Scorpius flashed a quick, grateful smile. One question from the elder Malfoys usually led to a full blown interrogation that would put even Ron and Harry to shame.
The conversation melted into a discussion about Ministry politics. Scorpius paid minimal attentions: His mind was focused on a particularly memorable meeting with Rose earlier in the week during which she herself invited Scorpius to Friday night dinner for next week with the Weasleys and Potters.
He had been quite shocked when Jenna reported that Rose, not Marissa had come to the first meeting of the New Year. And so without thinking twice about it, Scorpius went to the next one. And the one after that, and the one after that. He muttered some excuse about being busy, and Rose scrambled out a 'Same with me' and things were back to normal. Well, as normal as they were between them.
Of course, Scorpius knew that Rose knew why he had been sending Jenna. And he knew that Rose knew that he knew why Jenna was present. And it didn't have anything to do with him being busy.
What he didn't know was why Marissa had been sent in the first place. Had Rose really been busy or was it something else?
But Scorpius had troubled imagining anything else. No- it had to be her workaholic nature getting the best of her.
Yes, that was it.
Scorpius felt a tug on his sleeve. Looking down, he saw Jemma holding a letter out of him. He ignored the probing eyes and opened the letter.
I know you must be at your parents' for lunch but I need a favor. And I really wouldn't ask but I'm at the bridal shop waiting for Cely to decide on the damned wedding dress wearing the pink atrocity everyone seems to find 'darling'.
Excuse my rant. I was hoping you would be so kind as to go to the chateau and sign the lease papers? It needs one of ours signature. I completely forgot about it until I was sent a reminder. (The expression on the seamstress' face when she saw the owl!) It HAS to be done before three today.
Very, very sorry. I hope you make it, otherwise we'd have to start searching for another venue and that is just impossible seeing how the ball is in three months.
I will be eternally indebted to you.
Scorpius gave a soppy grin at the angry, slashed writing. He didn't care that his parents and grandparents could see the expression. Scorpius knew how little patience Rose had for her fitting. She had postponed it for months, until Cely came back and demanded Rose go with her today.
Scorpius read through the letter once more. His eyes paused on the signature: Yours.
His heart beat faster as his eyes read the word over and over again. Scorpius recalled every other correspondence they had exchanged over the last few months. In none of them did Rose sign off with 'Yours.' It was always simply her name.
Why the sudden change?
Scorpius realized four pairs of eyes were.
“Engaging letter?” Narcissa asked, giving her grandson a knowing look. Draco was smirking.
His mother leaned forward, hands clasped, elbows resting on her knees. “Is it from Rose?”
Silently cursing the one who gave him such a perceptive mother, Scorpius nodded. “I have to sign papers for the ball. Rose is busy with wedding preparations at the moment so she can't go. Sorry, Mum. I'm afraid I can't stay for lunch. Duty calls.” He waved the letter for emphasis.
“Can it not wait?” Narcissa asked.
“Unfortunately not.” Scorpius still had two more hours, and lunch wouldn't take too long, but he was glad for an excuse to skip out. “It's very important. My apologies.” He said the proper goodbyes and left with a spring in his step.
His new favorite word echoed in his head: Yours.
I need you to pick up the veil for me.
Can you be super awesome and come this morning to take a look at the china for the wedding?
I was hoping if you could meet me at the location at which the ball is to take place. I might have some new suggestions to make.
Please pick up my tuxedo from the bridal store.
There might be a small problem with ordering so many canapes. Come over so we can discuss it in detail.
Please, please, please pick up my bridesmaid dress.
I've decided to go with the circle formation for the tables after all.
There needs to be a change in the flowers. Apparently, the Minister of Bulgaria is allergic to lilies.
“Out of my way! Out of my way!” Rose shouted, carrying a box full of delicate objects down the stairs in her parents' home. Her passage into the den was blocked by James and Albus arguing about the pros and cons of booger flavored Every Flavor Bean. Rose sighed, took a deep breath, and screamed. “Get out of my FUCKING WAY! This box is heavy!”
She really had no patience these days. Between the ball and the wedding and her other commitments, Rose was lucky if she got five hours of sleep each night.
She had to gulp down three cups of coffee each day to function without threatening bodily harm to anyone and everyone in the vicinity.
She knew she had bags and dark circles under her eyes that no amount of make up could conceal. She knew her hair was in a constant state of disarray because she barely had time for a quick shower before getting to her appointments. She knew she was getting testier in the last month or so.
She knew all this, but didn't know how to make it better.
For the first time in her career, Rose wished she had someone else helping her take care of things.
Take care of her...
James jumped. “Blimey! No need to shout. And have you forgotten your a witch?”
“Fuck you. And no,” Rose panted, descending the last three steps. “I haven't forgotten. This box just happens to have all kinds of odd stuff that reacts badly to wand magic.”
“Here, let me help you with that,” a familiar voice offered, relieving her of her burden.
“Thank you, Scorpius,” Rose smiled and stretched her cramped arms.
Scorpius scrunched his nose, “Hate to ask, but, what is all this?”
“Mum's old things,” Rose answered. “We need the something borrowed and blue.”
“Sorry?” Albus looked bewildered.
“For your wedding? The bride needs something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Cely's Mum is giving her a family heirloom necklace passed down for generations, so that's the something old. Something new is going to be the veil. All we need is the something borrowed and blue. I've been trying to find something suitable for weeks. Apparently the something borrowed has to be borrowed from a happily wed woman. Thus...Mum's things.” The spread her hand over the box with a flourish.
“Damn,” Albus scratched the back of his head. “Who knew a wedding could be so much trouble?”
Rose glared at him. “Obviously you didn't or you would have eloped like a normal person. Or sworn before the Wizengamot.”
“Er...normal people usually have a wedding,” Scorpius pointed out.
And just like that, something inexplicable snapped inside Rose.
“Oh. Well then, you should plan the fucking wedding. And the reception. And the stag and hen nights. And the ministry ball along with the retirement for some sodding hundred and fifty year old. Oh, and don't forget the fifty other parties, and engagements, and baby showers I've got lined up from here until Kingdom Come!”
Scorpius looked befuddled. He looked around at Albus who only shrugged back helplessly.
Good. That will teach him what helplessness really means, Rose thought vehemently.
“I was just-”
But Rose wouldn't be stopped. “Honestly, is it so difficult to offer help in this sodding family? Has anyone ever thought about asking me about the wedding they're all so dying to come to? No!” She rounded on Albus. “No, you all just go on with your buggering lives and leave everything to me. 'S not enough that I've spent every spare moment in the last seven months researching and reading through magazines and catalogs to make the perfect wedding for you!”
Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Hermione had walked into the den to see what all the shouting was about. Rose didn't care.
“Every other fucking time any one has gotten married in this stupid family, every one pitches in. Audrey, Fluer, and Ginny worked together for Teddy and Vic's wedding. Lily, Vic, and Molly, and Dom were helping Fluer and Dom's mother-in-law. And Fred's wedding? Angelina, Roxie, George, Grandma Molly. Hell, James helped.” Rose stared at the gathered Weasleys, Potter, and the lone Malfoy.
They all seemed to shrink back. No one met Rose's eyes.
“Did anyone, anyone think to offer me help? I haven't heard from a single one of you except for Grandma Molly. Even the two getting married haven't bothered to pitch in.”
Albus looked pained. He stretched his hand out to Rose, but she plowed on.
“Do you know how many hours of sleep I've gotten in the last week? Do you? Twenty. Twenty bloody hours in the last eight days. The last time I ate a full meal was on Tuesday. The last time I ate something solid? That same day. I've got bags under my eyes. I haven't showered properly because I've got to run off and make sure the chairs are in the right bloody formation at seven in the fucking morning.”
Hermione was looking at her daughter with teary eyes. Ron looked baffled. Harry was glancing between his glass and Rose as though he couldn't quite understand how he had gotten there. Ginny looked at Rose with pity.
Her cousins and brother and Scorpius looked ashamed, and were all staring at the floor.
This only served to anger her further.
How dare they look ashamed when Rose was yelling at them? How dare they act like they gave a damn now when Rose was about to drop dead of exhaustion? What made them think they have the right to look at her with varying degrees or pity intermingled with apologetic grimaces?
“And the entire day my office is bombarded with one line letters saying Rose pick this up. Rose, change this. Rose, add that. Oh, no, Rose, I want the dance floor right there. Please Rose, can you possibly pick up my dress because I haven't got Quidditch practice, and don't work all day, but I have to go spend time with my fiancee in the middle of the week, and basically have nothing better to do than send you to pick up the dress I should have gotten three weeks ago.”
“But wait, Rose, I'm the bridegroom and I've asked you to pick up the wedding rings on the exact same day when it's actually supposed to be the best man's job. Another thing, Rose, the Ambassador from Iceland is allergic to sunshine so can he please get a special table in the shade after you've worked on the seating arrangements for the last three months. Actually, no, never mind, he's not coming. Sorry you had to change the entire fucking chart and do it all over again.
“Well, you know what? I bloody QUIT! The wedding and the ball are in three weeks. Do whatever the the bloody hell you please. Find your something borrowed, or old or tattered. I DON'T FUCKING CARE!”
Rose gave one last withering glare at her family and left.
Albus stared at the front door from where Rose had walked out.
“Did she just-”
“Yeah, Al.” Scorpius winced at the memory of Rose's tired face. “I think she just...”
A/N: Wow...did that just happen? Workaholic Rose just quit a task for the first time in her life. Whatever shall everyone do?
What will Scorpius do?
I suppose you shall have to wait and see.
Only four more chapters left now. And there will be an epilogue.
Read and review!
P.S: None of these characters are mine. *cries into pillow*
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