Chapter 39 : This Is Only The Beginning
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“You like crying, don’t you?” I muttered, fastening the new nappy onto Connor. His little face was dark pink from crying, but now he was calm.
I picked him up from the changing table and held him close to me, savouring the warmth and the smell of him.
“Well I hate to break it to you, but we’re not done yet.”
Considering the size of my family, Connor was always going to be getting a lot of visitors. However, this just took it to a new level. I sighed as I heard Scorpius greeting yet another well-wisher in the hall, and decided we better get back out there.
“Remember just because your family are all crazy, it doesn’t mean you have to be,” I told him, stroking his head softly. “You can’t pick your family,” I whispered, peering round the bedroom door, and then sighed.
“Of course, your Dad and I did pick our friends, and for that I can only apologise.”
I smiled down at Connor and he stared back at me curiously. Every time I looked at him, I felt as though my heart would break. Four days in and already I just adored him; it was indescribable. For someone who hadn’t wanted a baby, it now felt as though we had planned him, I genuinely couldn’t imagine life without him anymore.
“Oh here he is, my beautiful little grandson!” Exclaimed Mum, as I returned. She placed a kiss on my cheek, and one on the top of Connor’s head.
I beamed at her and Dad, who gave me an encouraging smile. They were both just so happy, and Scorpius had said he thought it was coming from me. He said I was so happy right now that it was infectious.
“Rose!” Called a voice from the other side of the room. I raised my eyebrows at Mum, who shrugged, and then turned around to face the visitor.
“Beth,” I said, smiling. “How are you?”
“I’m great but how are you?” She asked. “Connor is absolutely beautiful!”
“Thanks,” I replied. “I’m amazing, a little tired but I’m getting used to it!”
“Yeah, well you certainly will.” She laughed.
Scorpius suddenly cut in, snaking an arm around my waist and kissing me on the cheek. “Can I have my son for a while? I’m beginning to think he’s glued to you!”
I laughed. “He’s only four days old! He needs me! But yes, you can have him for a bit.” I said, carefully handing Connor to Scorpius.
“I’m glad I’ve got you on your own, actually,” Beth said. “Can we talk in private?”
I deliberated for a second, but my overwhelming joy got the better of me and I nodded. “So what’s up?” I asked, when we were back in mine and Scorpius’ bedroom.
“James told me that you know about what happened,” She said. “And I just wanted to make sure you didn’t think badly of me…”
I shrugged. “Look Beth, these things happen and it’s really nothing to do with me.”
“I know, but I just wouldn’t want to think your opinion of me has worsened or anything.” She continued.
“Well,” I said frowning. “It hasn’t honestly. Beth I don’t judge you for having a one night stand with the father of your daughter; apart from anything else, you’re both single! The thing that made my opinion of you worsen was the way you behaved towards James…trying to take Emma away to Italy and everything else.”
“You don’t understand….” She began.
“At the time you said I didn’t understand because I wasn’t a Mum,” I said. “And I was able to agree with that. But now I have a child of my own. And honestly, I’ve only had Connor for four days but already he is my entire life, I would do anything for him and I will always put his needs first. But I’ve also seen how much Scorpius loves him…he would honestly lay down his life for Connor. And I can’t imagine ever trying to take them away from each other.”
She nodded, and I was suddenly shocked to see tears in her eyes.
“I’m not proud…of the way I behaved,” She whispered. “I’m ashamed. More than anything I’m ashamed of the person I’ve become. And the way I’ve lost you, and the girls. I never saw my life turning out like this and…I miss you, Rose!”
“I miss you too,” I whispered, only realising it in that moment. Because it had suddenly hit me; I did miss Beth. I missed the good person she was; I missed her loyalty, and her nature. I missed her.
“Do you think there’s any way we can ever get back to the way it was?” She asked me.
Before I could answer, there was a light knock at the door, and in came Megan, Dom, and Sophie.
“Well here we are again, the fab five,” Grinned Dominique.
I smiled around at them. “You know what? I definitely think we can get back to the way it was…let’s be honest I’m going to need you all around as I try to raise a baby! And I miss the way we all were…”
“So we’re agreed,” Said Megan. “The fabulous five are back in action?”
Sophie grinned. “You can bet on it.”
The door burst open again, and Allie came running in, looking up at us curiously.
“What’s going on?” She asked, frowning.
“We were just talking about when we were younger,” Said Megan, lifting her up. “When we were at Hogwarts we all stayed in a dorm together and we were best friends. And we still are.”
Allie looked excited. “Can I be best friends with you all too?”
“Of course,” Beth said at once.
“Yeah, we can be the super six!” Joked Dom. “Rose, you should get back out there, that’s what I was coming in to tell you; the Malfoys are here.”
I laughed. “Well this should be fun. Draco’s probably got Connor in a Slytherin bib already!”
I found Draco and Astoria in the corner with Scorpius, who was still holding Connor. They seemed horribly separate from everyone, and it made me uncomfortable; all of my friends and family were together…
“Rose!” Exclaimed Astoria, as I appeared. “I just can’t get enough of Connor, he is too precious!”
I smiled. “He has that effect, it seems. Why don’t you hold him? I don’t think you got a chance at the hospital, did you?”
Scorpius smiled at me gratefully, before passing our son to his mother. Astoria and Draco beamed down at him, and I couldn’t help but smile at them.
“Connor,” Astoria cooed. “It’s Connor James, isn’t it? That’s lovely, your cousin must have been thrilled.”
“He was,” I agreed. “It was hard choosing between him and Albus who should be godfather, but ultimately Al is Scorpius’ best friend so it made more sense. We just wanted James to be involved, and it seemed like the best way.”
“And the surname…” Said Draco, looking slightly disappointed. “Is Weasley.”
I sighed, and Scorpius shook his head.
“Yeah Dad, like his Mum.”
“I’m not saying anything!” He said defensively. “But do you think you would ever consider Malfoy?”
“I don’t know,” I said, shrugging. “As far as I’m concerned my name is Weasley, and therefore so is Connor’s. If my name changes…so will his.”
Astoria nodded. “Let’s hope one day there will be need,” She said, suggestively. “I have to admit I would love to see you two married.”
Scorpius laughed. “Well don’t look at me! She doesn’t want to get married.”
“Why?” Asked Astoria, looking put out. “Surely you would love to make it all official.”
“One day, maybe,” I said. “But for now we have Connor, and we love each other…I think that’s official enough. Scorpius and I don’t need a bit of paper to prove our commitment to each other. The last seven years is enough proof for a lifetime!”
“Oh, your Mum’s coffee is finished Rose,” Said Scorpius, suddenly. “I’ll make her another.”
I always loved when Scorpius left me alone with his parents. Not.
“Please don’t think it means I love Scorpius any less,” I said honestly. “I love him with all my heart, but for me marriage is just not a consideration right now. Maybe one day.”
They both nodded. “I don’t think we can deny you love Scorpius, Rose.” Said Draco quietly, looking over to where Scorpius was laughing with my Mum. “But given fairly recent history…it’s just a sensitive subject, and for Connor to be named a Weasley-”
“Please,” I interrupted. “Mr Malfoy, not to be disrespectful, but I don’t want to hear about when you and my Dad used to pull each other’s hair a million years ago. As far as I’m concerned, the Malfoys are a part of my family now, and the Weasley’s are a part of Scorpius’…and if anyone can’t accept that then it’s just too bad.”
He smiled. “How did my son get so lucky?”
I returned his warm smile. “I ask myself the same thing everyday,” I joked, as Astoria handed Connor back to me. “Look, I know its weird for you, but I’m sure nobody will say anything if you want to mingle a bit more.”
“We will, Rose,” Said Astoria, nodding. “We have years to fawn over Connor!”
“I’m confused,” Whispered a voice in my ear. Scorpius was back. “Was that just my Mum and Dad walking towards your family, smiling broadly?”
I shrugged. “Wonders never cease. And didn’t you know I am amazing with parents, even yours?”
He grinned at me, and leaned down to kiss me lightly. “Your Mum is just amazing in general Connor,” He muttered, smiling at the baby.
I smiled, holding him closer to me as his eyes started to close slowly, and his breathing slowed, as he fell asleep in my arms.
“Well, I’ve got to say it,” Scorpius said, kissing my shoulder. “If this was the point in all the fighting and heartache and drama we’ve gone through, if it was all necessary to
get us to today, and to get Connor to us, I don’t regret a second of it.”
I nodded; I completely knew what he meant. I now realised, that all those years of my life I’d spent wondering whether Scorpius was the one for me, I had been blind. He was the one for me, because regardless of anything that might happen to us, we had Connor now. And that made it all worth it.
“Is it really possible for everything to turn out this perfect?” Scorpius asked me, as we both looked on at our son and our family, together and happy.
I leaned against him, holding Connor tightly to my chest.
“You know Scorp, this time I think it is.”
One year, two months, and three weeks later.
Summer seemed to come around with a speed none of us had foreseen that year. Whether it was the passing of Connor’s first birthday, or the celebration of all of us turning a year older, or simply the fast-paced build up to the wedding, none of us could be certain. But it seemed as soon as the last thickets of snow had fallen, the sun was already shining, and the big day was upon us.
It was a scorcher, even early in the morning as the bridal party all got ready in the crowded hotel. I found myself casting cooling charms between getting my hair and make-up done, only to have Ginny scream at me about wrinkling the dress.
When we finally arrived at the church, every guest was already filing into their seats in the pews while we waited outside, caught up in a rushed flurry of bouquets and last minute lipgloss-applying.
As the doors to the church swung open and the first note of music announced our cue, I took a deep breath, fanned myself once more, and smoothed down my dress. I began my walk down the aisle slowly, keeping my eyes on the hem of Lily’s dress in front of me so I would stay in a straight line while I walked.
The ceremony was pleasant, and not too over the top. I couldn’t help but tear my eyes away to look at Connor, sitting perfectly in my Mum’s arms in the front row. He smiled back at me, and I blew him a kiss.
I looked back to the minister, who was talking about the strength of love, and how this love had never let anything beat it. The words were perfect.
My eyes found Scorpius, heart-breakingly handsome in his suit, with the big, cream rose in his buttonhole, and I winked at him. He rolled his eyes, stifling a laugh.
“Love is, in effect, the greatest force we have ever seen.” Said the minister, smiling genuinely. “The love this man and woman feel towards each other is clear to see; it is a love that could be pushed to the ends of the earth, and remain intact. And it is a love that will last, undoubtedly, until the end of time.”
He looked to the right, and said the historical, renowned words with pleasure;
“You may kiss your bride.”
I let out a huge cheer along with the rest of the congregation, as Albus grinned and wrapped his arms around Frankie’s waist, kissing her passionately. I started clapping with Lily and Frankie’s best friend, Sarah, my fellow bridesmaids.
James and Scorpius led the applause, still standing by Al’s side as best man and usher, and the guests stood up in cheer as the new couple smiled around at us, holding hands and looking ecstatic.
It had been the perfect day.
“And I would also like to point out, that Frankie Potter is far too good-looking, smart, sophisticated, and just generally cool to ever genuinely want to marry my brother,” Said James, half an hour later at the reception. “So she clearly has mental problems and we should pity the pair of them.”
Everyone laughed and he smiled over at Al and Frankie, who were shaking their heads, trying not to smile.
“But in all seriousness,” James continued, his glass still in hand. “I’m not just the best man, I’m the groom’s brother, and I like to think I know him pretty well. And I know for certain that in the years he’s been with Frankie, he’s become happier than you’d ever think possible. So I suppose I should thank the bride, for making my little brother eternally happy. To Albus and Frankie!”
“To Albus and Frankie!” We all chorused, sipping our champagne.
Now that the speeches were over with, and the meals were done it meant everyone could get up and mingle, and in the bride and groom’s case, take their first dance.
Hugo left the table he’d been sitting at with my Mum and Dad, and made his way to the stage with his band. Not only did it mean a lot for Al to have his cousin play at his wedding, but due to Hugo’s celebrity status these days he had been absolutely hounded by paparazzi upon his entrance to the reception, giving Al the opportunity to throw in a good punch to one of them. We all knew Al would be eternally grateful for the opportunity.
After checking on Connor, who was being looked after by Mum while I tended to my bridesmaid duties, I went to find one person in particular.
Allie giggled again as I spun her around on the dance floor, clutching my hands tightly.
“I think you could give your Mum and me a run for our money with those moves!” I said, as we shimmied about together.
“I’m going to be a dancer when I grow up!” She told me, as the song ended.
“Really?” I said. “Six years old and you know what you’re going to be, well Allie that is impressive!”
“What do you think Connor will be when he grows up?” She asked me, as we took seats at Megan and Stevie’s table.
I smiled. “I’m not sure, since he’s only one he can’t tell me yet. But I do know you’ll be his best, most favourite Auntie in the world.” I said, kissing her forehead.
She grinned. “I’m an Auntie to Connor and I’m going to be a big sister!”
Megan rolled her eyes. “Allie sweetheart, I think Aunt Rose has noticed my great big tummy a while ago!”
“You’ll be the best big sister in the world,” I told her.
“Care to dance with someone your own size?” said a familiar voice from behind me.
I spun around, grinning at Albus. “Yeah!” I said, jumping up.
“Well this is nice,” He said, as we revolved slowly on the busy dance floor. “Let’s just hope my wife doesn’t get jealous.”
I laughed. “I’m so happy for you Al,” I told him. “Honestly, this has been an amazing day.”
“I owe you a lot,” he said. “When you made me Connor’s godfather, it really gave me some responsibility; made me grow up. And I just realised I wanted to be with Frankie forever.”
“Well I’m glad to have been such a good influence on you,” I said. “And Connor loves his Uncle Al. I’m proud of you Albus Potter.”
He nodded. “We’ve really been through it all together, haven’t we Rosie?”
“Yeah we have,” I said, smiling, and yet feeling slightly nostalgic.
“I’m glad I had you with me, along for the ride.” He said, hugging me.
I nodded. “I couldn’t have done it without you.”
As the night went on, I socialised and danced with everyone. I had already had a turn with James, my Dad, and Steven, when Scorpius found me sitting bouncing Connor on my knee with Dom at my side.
“Are you ever going to dance with me?” He asked, laughing.
“Yes, she will!” Said Dom. “And I will take my godson, the most beautiful baby in the world!” She added, taking Connor from me with a look of pure adoration. Dominique lived for Connor.
“I know I’m a poor substitute for the dance styling of your Dad,” Scorpius said, as we both glanced over at my Dad and Harry trying to dance cool to one of the band’s faster tracks. “But I’m glad you’re dancing with me in the end.”
I laughed. “Well this is where I belong. I do love you a bit, you know.”
“I guess I might like you a tiny bit too,” He said, grinning. He lowered his head and I leaned in to kiss him, when we were interrupted by the piercing cries of Connor.
“I’m sorry,” Said Dom, holding him while he squirmed in her arms. “I think he wants one of you.”
“I’ve got him,” Said Scorpius, taking him expertly and walking him out to the entrance, bouncing him lightly.
“I hate to interrupt a kiss,” She said, smiling.
I shrugged, laughing. “We’re used to it; Connor has really bad timing. And I’m honestly still taking in the sight of you, at our cousin’s wedding, with the guy I had an almost wedding to.” I said, looking over at Mark, who was chatting to Bill.
She laughed, looking at him too. “I know. But you can’t help who you love, can you? And maybe you and Mark only met so that, eventually, he and I would find each other.”
“Yeah,” I said, nodding. “Though that is three men now that we’ve shared.”
She winced. “Three! Mark, Scorp and Carson. I really don’t think we need to count Carson.”
“And then there was the night I shagged Max-the-arsehole,” I joked.
“Shut up!” She laughed.
“I am just kidding,” I said, taking her hand. “You and Mark work in a way that he and I never did. You make him happy. And I am so glad that you’ve finally got your happy ending.”
“Me too,” She said. “Who’d have thought when we were sitting in our little flat, eating ice cream in the middle of the night wondering why we were single, that we’d end up here?”
“Not us anyway,” I laughed.
“Speaking of things you don’t expect,” She said, catching my arm. “What is the deal with those two?”
I turned round and sighed. James was holding Emma on his shoulders, laughing with her, while Beth stood beside them, looking on proudly.
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “James is scared of letting her make him vulnerable, and he is scared that she’ll prove him wrong and be the person we all thought she was. But they have got together so many times in the last year…I think we just have to watch this space.”
“They do have some amount of chemistry, I’ll say that for them,” Dominique said. “You never know.”
“True,” I agreed. “And I once said the same thing about Megan and Stevie, and look at them now.”
“Oh we’re all growing up!” She exclaimed, hugging me. “It’s kind of sad!”
“It is,” I said, as Scorpius returned, crouching down to allow Connor to walk to us, holding him securely.
Dominique beamed down at him and crouched to his level, pulling him to herself tightly and kissing his soft, blonde hair.
“All better,” Scorpius muttered. “Now about that kiss…”
“What would I do without you?” I laughed, pressing my lips to his at last.
He held my hand as we kissed, and I felt his finger run over the slim, diamond ring concealed on my own.
“You have no idea how amazing it feels to have you wearing that,” He muttered. “Even if you are hiding it. What about tonight?”
“Not tonight,” I disagreed. “I don’t want to take attention away from Al and Frankie; it’s their day. We can announce the engagement soon; tomorrow if you want!”
“I suppose I could wait,” He smiled. “After you finally said yes, I don’t care what I have to do.”
I shrugged, grinning up at him. “Well I thought somebody should put the ring on, it’s been rolling around your sock drawer for years.”
He nodded. “We really made it, didn’t we?”
“We did,” I agreed, resting my head on his shoulder as we swayed gently to the music.
If there was one thing my life had taught me, it was the importance of never giving up hope. And never giving up on fate. I had realised long ago that Scorpius Malfoy was my destiny; he had made me the person I was, he gave me Connor, and he had made me believe in the immeasurable strength of true love.
And I would love him, unconditionally, till my last breath.
Till kingdom come.
A/N And that's it. A journey complete! I really hope everyone is happy with the ending - I am. I can't believe the story is over, it feels bizarre to not be just leaving a little "Thanks for reading" until the next chapter. Because there is no next chapter, sob! Thanks to:
- JK Rowling, of course. This amazing writer planted the seeds for my story, and I am eternally grateful.
- Chris Martin, who wrote the song that inspired a novel. Till Kingdom Come is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, and that chance playing of it one night on my laptop literally made me want to write the story, and inspired every word.
- The site. HPFF is unwaveringly brilliant, and the staff who run the site honestly don't get enough credit.
- And finally, but most importantly, I thank you. This story is dedicated to every person who has taken the time to leave a review and read the story. From the people who followed me from Temptation to Till Kingdom Come, to the people who just stumbled across it by chance - thank you. Without your reviews, I wouldn't have continued, there is no doubt about that. Words cannot describe how much I appreciate every one of you.
So what's next? I think that my time writing about Rose and Scorpius has come to an end, as sad as it makes me. I never intended to write a sequel to Temptation, but I was desperate for more; I wanted to explore their lives past Hogwarts, and I feel I've done that. Now, I can leave them the way I've ended this and be happy with it.
And so that means that for the first time in two and a half years, I am officially NOT writing! I have written a first chapter to a possible novel about Dean Thomas while he was on the run, which is obviously very different from the stuff I've done in the past. I may publish that, but for the time being I'm a dormant author. I look forward to sitting down and reading some of YOUR fan fiction. It's been a while.
Once again, my thanks to all of you. I hope you've enjoyed the story; it's been an absolute priviledge to share it with you. Katy x
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