Chapter 14 : Datable Bridesmaid's Speech
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June 7, 2033.
Love does not care to define and is never in a hurry to do so. ~Charles du Bos.
“The cake does not go there! Levitate, Braxby, levitate the fucking candles! No, no. It's a Muggle ceremony. Everything else will be magical. Yes, of course the food will appear directly. Are you a wizard or not? Do not drag the table. What do you mean their Portkey wasn't on time? I will AK the lot of you if your don't follow my buggering orders!”
Albus, Scorpius, James, Draco, and Hugo watched on as Rose stood in the middle of the lawn behind the chapel where the wedding ceremony would take place, slashing her wand through the air with the speed and dexterity of someone who knew exactly what she was doing. Her charms and spells were expertly aimed so they didn't hit the melee of workers buzzing around her likes bees around their queen.
A hot, fiery, red-haired, temperamental queen whom I would very much like to-
“Do stop drooling, Scorpius.” His father's voice cut through like a shard of icicle. There went that train of thought.
Scorpius still mustered an indignant sputter. “I am not drooling. And why are you here, anyway? I didn't think you were so willing to help Rose with the preparations.”
Draco smiled. “I'm not. I am here because your mother has been trying to track down Rose Weasley for the last week or so, but she hasn't replied to a single letter of Astoria's. You know how she gets when ignored.”
Scorpius knew all too well. He had had the good sense to ignore the woman for three weeks after a particularly nasty round of 'shop for the pure-blood witch' four years ago. Astoria Malfoy had Reducto'd his front door and held his book collection hostage until he apologized. Scorpius swore never to ignore his mother after that. It had been difficult explaining the door situation to his Muggle neighbors once.“I don't think you've noticed, father; now is not the best time to corner Rose into a favor.”
“I bet you'd love to corner her for a whole different reason, wouldn't you, Malfoy?” James smirked. His brother and Hugo sniggered into their hands. Draco's lips twitched knowingly.
“I refuse to dignify that with a comment.” Thus said, Scorpius sniffed haughtily and walked over to Rose.
James oh-so-maturely shouted after him to “Get some!”
Rose glanced up at her cousin's voice. Scorpius winced internally, sincerely hoping Rose hadn't heard that. She flashed him a warm smile, “What brings you to brave the chaos that perpetually reigns up till ten minutes before the actual event.”
“I was wondering if you required help?” Scorpius asked, as he watched her charm the flowers into garlands and drape themselves on the surrounding oak, maple, and beech trees. “Impressive,” he added.
Rose smiled...shyly? Scorpius blinked in confusion. Since when had Rose Weasley ever been shy?
“Thanks, nothing to do here though. I would appreciate it if you took Albus back my place to get ready. The wards will allow you. And pick up the rings. And if someone could pop by Teddy's to check on Remus and Andora. We can't how our ring-bearer and flower girl napping during the ceremony. Oh, and can you grab the four pieces of parchment in the first drawer of my desk in the study? They're the wedding vows and our speeches. Also, bring me my duffel bag, please? It should be sitting right by the door. I'm going to get ready in the chapel.”
Scorpius chuckled, remembering the first time she had recited a bunch of instructions at him, back in September. Luckily, he had gotten used to her rapid fire way of speaking over the last few months. “Will do, Rose. If that's all?” he turned away.
She held him back by touching his forearm gently. The touch sent shivers down his spine, just as it had when she held his wrist. “Thanks,” she muttered. “For being patient and understanding all these months. I don't know what I would have done without you.”
Probably been just as amazingly talented as you always are. The words were on the tip of his tongue, but he resisted voicing them out loud. “No problem, Rose. Anytime.”
Rose gave him an odd look, smiled inscrutably, and leaned on her tiptoes to kiss him. On his cheek.
Scorpius' breath caught. He stared down at her, wide-eyed and frozen. Every muscle in his body locked down; only his eyes remained constantly moving.
She was frozen too, he noticed. Rose was still standing on her tip-toes, one hand resting on his forearm, almost leaning on him. She blinked slowly, lazily, a tantalizing smirk stretching out over her face. The smirk threw Scorpius' world out of proportion. There were so, so many things wrong with that smirk.
First: he had never seen her smirk like that before. Hence, the action seemed alien.
Second: she shouldn't be smirking at him, period. Damn it! Did she not realize what it did to him?
Third: She looked too bloody gorgeous with her lips stretched across her face so carelessly.
Fourth: ...well, he was sure there was something else. He just couldn't remember it, what with Rose standing right fucking there.
“Scorpius?” Rose's breathed words brought him out of his smirk induced stupor. He flushed scarlet, embarrassed that he had been caught staring so openly.
“Yes?” Scorpius murmured just as softly. He was captivated by her closeness, and her spicy scent, and the fact that she was only a few inches away. All he had to do was bow his head ever so slightly and that would be that.
Her eyes flicked across his entire face, searching for...what?
“Don't go running for the hills, okay?”
“What?” Scorpius asked stupidly, his heart pounding in his chest harder, faster, stronger. All the noise in the chaotic lawn diminished like a tiny pinprick of light somewhere eons into the night sky.
Instead of answering his question, she leaned in further, her hand traveling up his arm and resting at the nape of his neck. If the blonde had had difficulty breathing before, he had stopped altogether now. Because Rose Weasley closed the remaining few inches between them, pushed Scorpius' neck down with her palm and kissed him on the lips.
It was gentle and experimental. As though they were two thirteen year old teens fumbling in a dark broom cupboard for the first time since puberty hit. And dear God, it was mindbogglingly, and indescribably sweet. Scorpius didn't waste time in thinking. He was a Gryffindor, damn it. He acted first, thought later. The young Malfoy snaked his hand around Rose, pulling her close, running one hand down her spine, and tangling the other in her hair, vowing never, ever to let this specimen of beauty slip through his fingers.
Rose responded enthusiastically to his touches, splaying her fingers across Scorpius' chest. She pulled him even closer- if that was even possible at this stage, since they were flush against each other- by his collar, and moaned.
Bloody hell! Scorpius spiraled into another haze of want, need, lust at the sound.
The distant sounds of catcalls and wolf-whistles from Albus, Hugo, and James didn't matter as long as she, Rose, Rose frikking Weasley, was kissing him like there was no tomorrow.
Reluctantly, when the need to breathe and the determination to not die of asphyxiation so soon after the subject of his desires for better half of the last decade had just snogged him over took the will to continue said snogging, he pulled back.
“Why,” he asked, panting. “the bloody blazes would I go running for the hills because of that?”
Rose licked her lips twice before answering. “I dunno. If you didn't like it, I suppose?”
Scorpius crashed his lips down against hers. This time they kissed with more ferocity and greed than simple pleasure.
Oh yes, he most certainly wouldn't be letting her go anytime soon. Like, ever.
When they broke apart again, Rose had a dazed expression on her face. “I suppose that makes sense now.”
Scorpius growled. He ducked his head and nibbled gently at her ear. “You suppose?”
Rose gasped, and bit her lip to keep back a strangled cry. “Know. I definitely know now,” she amended.
Scorpius could have continued down her neck and much, much farther than that. However, a soft, yet obvious cough threw icy cold water over his lust hazed plans.
Rose craned her neck around to look at-
“Dad!” she jumped, and maneuvered out of Scorpius' locked embrace.
Scorpius bemoaned the loss of her warm body internally before turning to look at Ron Weasley with a perfectly sober expression. His insides were at odds with his exterior;they were a jumble of nerves and knotted organs. And he had the odd need to dance like a buffoon. But no, his father was still here, and Scorpius would be carted off to St. Mungo's before he could taste that delicious patch of skin under Rose's ear, and that was just not on.
The older man was gaping from his daughter to Scorpius. The Head Auror looked as though someone had swatted him across the face with a Muggle ping pong paddle. His face was beet red, his mouth formed into a perfect o in a silent exclamation. Rose, Scorpius noted with some amusement, was just as flushed as her father, and shuffling her feet awkwardly. She had the air of a small child caught with her hand in the sweets jar.
Finally, Ron spoke to Rose. “Please tell me you kissed him first.”
Rose blanched. Scorpius thought he had been the one swatted with the paddle.
“What?” the said at the same time.
Ron received his answer from Draco. Draco held out a pouch for Ron. The older blonde sighed dramatically. “Here you are Weasley. You've won the bloody bet.” He shot a mock-glare at his son.
Ron face broke out into a grin. “Excellent.”
Rose was staring at her father and Draco in mortification. She turned to Scorpius pleadingly. “Please tell me this isn't happening.”
A grin spread out over Scorpius' face. “I'm afraid it is. It seems they bet on us.”
“Oh yes,” Ron said, gleefully weighing his pouch of Galleons on his palm. “Knew you'd make me proud.” With that, he Disapparated.
“Ah...so, being the owner of a multimillion Galleon business didn't do it then?” Rose asked the empty air. Before Scorpius could answer, Ron Apparated in front of them again.
“Almost forgot what I was here for. Your Mum's found the something old.” He handed over a dry, pressed down rose flower. The red had darkened to a maroon. “I gave that to your mother the night we found out she was pregnant with you.” Ron smiled fondly at the memory. “She says to put it in Cely's bouquet.”
Rose looked at the flower reverently. “Wow, Dad. Tell Mum thanks.”
Ron smiled, jangled the pouch at Draco gloatingly and Disapparated once more with a barely whispered, “Later Ferret.”
Draco scowled, before turning to Scorpius and Rose with a smirk. “I had best be going too. I'll tell Astoria you were...busy.”
He too vanished with a faint pop.
Scorpius was about to suggest they resume their prior activity when one of Rose's many helpers tottered up to them. “Madam Rose? There's something wrong with the Refilling Charm on the glasses.”
Rose cursed. “I'll be right there.” She smiled apologetically at Scorpius. “I'm sorry, but...I should-”
“Yeah,” Scorpius nodded, taking care to act unaffected. “I'll go take care of Albus and those other things.”
“Great,” Rose beamed. “I'll see you in a couple of hours?”
Yes, she would. She most certainly would.
Rose twirled her wand over her head once, ensuring it folded over her head in a perfect bun with a few loose ringlets framing her face. Hair and make up done, Rose turned to the strapless pink dress that she was to wear for the ceremony-which would be starting in exactly thirty minutes. She stepped into the satin smooth dress and wondered not for the first time whether she would have agreed to it had Scorpius not stood behind her so closely telling her it was fucking rose colored.
Rose smoothed down the front thoughtfully. No, she conceded. Probably not. Rose smiled giddily at the memory of their shared kiss in the lawn. Rose knew the entire family was aware of the incident from the way she was thrown knowing glances every few minutes. Nothing could ever remain a secret in her monstrosity of a family, really. They had a bet running, for Merlin's sake. What sane family did that?
Then again, the Weasleys weren't known for their sanity.
Later, Rose promised herself. She didn't have to rush into anything. Sure, she needn't keep herself guarded as she had the past few years, but she should have learned better by now. She would tell Scorpius when the time was right. Rose was never a fan of attaching labels, so didn't see to need to bare her feelings right now.
They had kissed, and it had been breathtaking, and Rose most certainly felt something much stronger than lust, or just attraction but there was no need to hurry.
“Later,” Rose murmured to her reflection in the bathroom mirror.
She turned and walked into the side-room where Cely was waiting with Lily and her father Richard Thomas.
Cely looked unsurprisingly beautiful in her traditional v-neck wedding gown with her long trail swishing about as she turned this way and that to make sure no stains touched the perfect milk-white dress. Her dark hair was pulled back and clipped behind with a butterfly clip. Her veil covered her entire face in gauzy, sheer white lace.
Rose smiled at her best friend of almost sixteen years. She still couldn't believe Cely would well and truly be a part of the family.
“You look gorgeous,” Rose smiled. She walked- wobbled, more like in the monstrous heels. It was her worst fear she would trip over a stray twig while walking down the aisle- over to the dark haired girl and pulled her into a tight hug. “Al won't know what hit him.”
Cely looked at her anxiously. “You think? It's just-”
“Don't worry about anything. Today will be perfect. Trust me,” Rose assured her.
Cely smiled after a moment. “Yes. Yes, I know it will be. Thanks to you.” She squeezed Rose's hand tightly.
Rose shook her head in protest. “I did it for you. And you're going to love your wedding present.” She winked slyly at her best friend.
“Yes,” Cely said, her voice tinted with confusion. “Albus told me about that. But said he doesn't know any details.”
“It's a surprise.” That said, Rose left the small room to go check the lawn once more.
Rose's initial idea had been to have them married inside the chapel. But when Rose saw the centuries old trees lining three sides of the lawn and the white gazebo, Rose knew the wedding would have to take place out here. The gazebo was draped in flowers varying from lily white to periwinkle purple, but the ones to stand out most were the white and light pink colored ones. There was a red carpet leading from the back door of the chapel to the steps of the gazebo. That was where Cely would make her grand entrance; from the double oak doors of the quaint chapel. Chairs were set up on either side of the carpet: One side would have the bridegroom's family while the other would hold Cely's. Although, it was rather difficult to compete with the Weasleys when it came to size. Hence, the right side had more chairs.
Guests were flooding in up the cobblestone path. James, Hugo, Louis, and Roxanne were ushering guests to their seats. Rose smiled warmly at them before going to check on Remus and Andora. The seven and five year olds looked quite chipper and excited at the prospect of their first real wedding. Vic assured Rose that they were sufficiently stuffed with sugar and the likes so they wouldn't crash during the wedding- just after it.
Rose made another detour to the gazebo, checking for the hundredth time that all her charms were in place. The effect she intended to have wouldn't be quite as impressive if one of them failed. She was quite paranoid about her charms in that regard. But she found nothing wrong with them, so just to make absolutely sure, she checked the wards that would repel Muggles, prevent anyone from casting any spells in an offensive manner, and basically negate most magic that was not performed by Rose herself, or someone she had approved of. Since that included only Marissa, she knew the wedding was in no danger of falling apart. Rose had taken such preventative precautions after her first year as an events manager when a dispute over blood status had resulted in half a ballroom being blown to smithereens. Needless to say, Rose's business was never welcomed there again.
Finally, after she had made sure everything was in order, and the guests were settled, and Albus was standing at the alter with Scorpius- whom Rose was avoiding looking at directly in the eye- and James, and the Bondsman, Rose hurried to the side-room and told Cely it was time.
Remus walked first, strutting confidently, and smartly in his tux, holding the rings aloft. He smiles, and waved cheerily when walking by the group of Weasleys and almost dropped the rings. Next was Lily, who looked stunning in her pink gown, gliding down the aisle as if it were her wedding, and not her soon to be sister-in-law's. Next went Rose. She walked confidently, and self-assuredly, her cool mask already in place. Her previous harried expressions were wiped clean. When she was only a few feet away from the alter, she caught Scorpius' eye.
The blonde grinned broadly, and gave a discreet wink. Rose fought off the ferocious blush, and grinned back in return.
She took her place, and waited for little Andora to lay the flower path for the bride. Cely followed, holding onto her father's arm, grinning ear to ear. Right on cue, the Bridal March sounded from the air. But it was actually from well placed, but hidden muggle speakers that Rose achieved the effect.
Cely looked stunning, as she glided down the aisle, her eyes fixed solely on Albus. Albus, in turn, was staring right at Cely. And in that moment, in that fraction of time, that sliver of space, Rose saw the love between her two best friends.
And it was nothing short of beautiful.
For all the time and energy Rose had invested in the damned wedding, she had expected the actual ceremony to last longer. But it didn't. It must have been a total of twenty minutes in which the wizard declared the couple bonded for life, waved his wand, caused the golden sparkles to sprinkle on Albus and Cely Potter.
When Albus and Cely shared their first kiss as newly weds, Rose's Time-Lock Charm on Cely's bouquet of flowers lifted, and chirping bluejays erupted from the flowers, circled the newly weds, and burst in a rain of blue petals that vanished before the could touch anything.
Everyone gasped in admiration. Rose simply grinned. This had been one of the few intricate details Cely had been informed of.
Rose watched the couple kiss once more to applause, as the chairs changed formation, and tables for eight were surrounded by them. The red carpet spread out and transformed into an equally ruby red dance floor, and the tent had been invisible until now, shimmered to visibility just as the chords struck for Albus and Cely's first dance.
Rose sighed in contentment, sparing a moment to gaze at the happy couple before bustling off to ensure the drinks and food were in order.
It wasn't until much, much later that Rose found a moment to breathe. She flopped down at a nearby table gracelessly, holding a glass of firewhiskey in one hand. It was almost sunset, and Albus and Cely would be leaving for the honeymoon Rose was gifting them for their wedding.
“Tired?” a familiar voice asked.
Rose looked up to see Scorpius sitting next to her.“You have no fucking idea. I'm ready for this whole day to be behind me. There's still the ball.”
“The whole day?” Scorpius inquired, smiling slightly.
Rose caught on to his meaning. “Well, I suppose not the whole day. The morning was quite memorable.”
Scorpius looked affronted. “I think I deserve something more than memorable, don't you?”
Rose grinned. “What do you suggest?”
“How about...” he pretended to think for a moment. “Datable?”
“No blonde, busty, blue-eyed, cleavage revealing, engagement party dates?” She questioned, alluding to his date at Vervain Zabini's engagement.
“No tall, dark, and handsome ex-Slytherins?” he countered.
“Slytherin who now?” Rose said in mock confusion.
Scorpius grinned, pulling her into a brief but meaningful kiss that would have made rose sink to her knees had she not been sitting down.
“So is that a yes?” he asked.
“To what?” she asked stupidly, still recovering from the kiss.
Scorpius' tongue flicked out and traced her lips gently before speaking. “To datable?”
Rose shivered as his breath ghosted over her. “Yes. Definitely datable.”
“Good,” he murmured, moving in for another kiss. But Hermione interrupted with a beatific grin.
“I'm and quite possibly the last person who would want to intrude on this happy development but, isn't it time for your speeches?”
Rose coughed uncomfortably. “Um, yes. Scorpius is first.”
Scorpius smirked at Rose's apparent discomfort and called the crowd to attention. He had already memorized the speech, Rose noted.
Rose listened minimally. Instead, she chose to take the opportunity to look at the blonde to her heart's desire without being smirked at knowingly. She had the perfect excuse to ogle Scorpius Malfoy all she wanted.
He gave the gathered friends and family some anecdote about the first time Albus had attempted to ask Cely out; he had been under the impression that every girl liked taking a shower in flower petals in the entrance hall at seven in the morning. Rose still remembered the ensuing Bat-Bogey Hex that Albus had been attacked with with some fondness. The crowd laughed and cheered at Scorpius' recollection, and Albus sunk lower and lower in his seat while Cely laughed merrily next to him.
Soon enough, it was Rose's turn.
She stood up and smiled confidently at everyone. She too, had already committed the speech to memory. “When I found out I had to make a speech today, I thought 'No big deal. I can do this.' I was Head girl in school, and most of you here know how much I loved to talk. I couldn't shut up even if my Mum shoved a sock down my throat- not that she ever did, mind you.” Everyone laughed, and Hermione threw a loving glance at her daughter. “So I got a little cocky and put off writing it until the last minute. But then May second came around, and there we were celebrating Vic's birthday when the panic set in. So, I went home that night, pulled out this parchment and wrote. Or, tried to write. I didn't know what to say. Or how to say what I had to say. I suppose I'll just have to start from the beginning.”
She saw Albus lean forward in interest, obviously wondered what she meant by the beginning.
“It was a few weeks after Easter. Al and I were ten. James had already gone off the Hogwarts, and Hugo and Lily were playing out in the garden. Our parents were at work, so Mum and Dad had dropped us off at the Burrow. I was tired of playing Quidditch, and the heat was getting to me, so we went inside. I suggested we go to Grandad's library. It was one of my favorite places at the Burrow. Al complained for a bit but relented...eventually. I'd read most of the books in there already, but there was this one book I saw on the top shelf, and I really wanted to read it. So, all pulled a footstool over, climbed on, and got the book down for me.
“It was titled How To Make Your Marriage Magical, by Regina Urquhart. Curious, I opened the flap and the first words after the title were: The four most important words in any marriage...'I'll do the Dishes.'”
“I remember Al staring wide-eyed at the page, and saying, 'Blimey! If that's what you've got to do when you get married, I'd rather not. Mum makes me do the dishes now. What's the point of marriage if you're doing the same thing?'”
Rose paused again as the laughter slowly died out.
“I said something about love and promptly forgot about the book when Grandma Molly called us for dinner. But here he is, sixteen years later. Sitting next to my best friend, wearing the soppiest expression imaginable. No one could have guessed when we started first year that Cely Thomas would one day become Cely...Potter. Al was a right part to her most of Hogwarts anyhow. But he straightened out seventh year, so I suppose it all worked out.”
Rose smiled at Albus and Cely affectionately. “When they asked me to plan their wedding for them, I hadn't known how much it would change me. But, I guess that's what weddings are supposed to do. Change you. Make you believe that maybe you've got that one person waiting for you. Even if you do realize it too late.” It took all of Rose's will power to not look over at Scorpius. “ Al and Cely have taught me that. Even if they were infuriating in their demands and suggestions, it didn't matter. Because today is about them, and their love, and the fact that they're going to spend the rest of their lives together because they deserve to be happy. With each other.”
Rose grinned at Albus widely. “So Al, I hope you're ready to roll up your sleeves because if I know Cely, you've got a lifetime of dishes ahead of you.”
A/N: OMG!!! Only two more chapters!!! Well, one more chapter and then the epilogue.
And now you know where the title comes from too! Yay. It all works out.
I can't believe it's almost over. I started this story back in May and I am so going to miss Rose and Scorpius. *wipes tears*
Anyhow, please tell me what you thought in a review. Thanks.
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