Rose arranged the vast array of antidotes in the cabinet, humming to herself as she did so. She could have had someone else do this, but she was sort of anal that way; she didn’t trust anyone to do it to her satisfaction. The song stuck in her head had been there for days and she couldn’t forget it for some reason. It was a song she had heard while on her way to work last Wednesday, and though it was by a Muggle artist, it was nonetheless just as catchy as any Celestina Warbeck single.
“Excuse me, Miss Weasley?” a timid voice said from the doorway. A tiny, mousey haired head peeked in from the door. It was her assistant, Molly McGregor. Rose didn’t know many Molly’s, but whenever Molly McGregor came around, she would instantly compare her to her cousin, Molly Weasley. Well, she supposed it was technically Molly Clearwater now. Anyway, Molly McGregor was nothing like her cousin. Appearances aside, her cousin had finally become everything she wanted; she had married Liam Clearwater, whose father was currently the Minister of Magic. She hated to say it, but Molly had the life. Rose wouldn’t trade her profession for that of a trophy wife, but being a Healer was exhausting, and as much as she loved it, it was known to consume her life. Rose thought that being absorbed with her line of work was very professional, and she couldn’t think of anything more satisfying than helping people. Yet it was still a high stress job, and sometimes it brought out her mean-spirited side, like when she had to deal with Molly McGregor. She had assumed the woman who had been hired as her assistant would be like her cousin Molly, and she was sometimes very disappointed that it wasn’t that way at all.
“What is it, Molly? You know I’m due to visit Agnes in ten minutes!” Rose exclaimed, exasperated. She liked the girl well enough, but she had a habit of showing up at the worst times. To make matter worse, the things she often had to say didn’t improve Rose’s mood.
“Err, well, you see…” Molly started hesitantly. At Rose’s impatient finger tapping, she collected her thoughts quickly. “Mr Meadows would like you to see him in his office as soon as you’re finished with Agnes.”
“Right then. You can go now, Molly,” Rose said, more tired than exasperated this time. She couldn’t think of what William wanted this time. She was only on a first name basis with William because, as unfortunate as it was to admit, she had once been practically engaged to the man. She disliked with a passion the amount of time she had to associate with her ex-boyfriend, but she would just grind her teeth and force a smile whenever she needed to be in his presence.
William had broken up with her nine months ago, saying he hadn’t known what he wanted. How that was possible, Rose didn’t know. The man was a bloody Healer for Merlin’s sakes! He had to know what he wanted to do for most of his life to get in this line of work. She didn’t understand how such a decisive man could cower behind an excuse that pathetic, but though she wasn’t anywhere near over it, she’d dismissed it and thrown herself into helping the patients. Everyone had been so sure William would propose to her after three years together, but when he broke her heart instead, they’d acted like he was scum and that he didn’t deserve her at all. Yet her family never let it go, especially not when all of her female relatives were now married, Molly being the first. Well, that wasn’t quite true. Dominique, her cousin and best friend wasn’t married yet either. Then again, Dom wasn’t at all like Rose. She didn’t have a purpose in her life yet. She just flirted around from man to man, living her life impulsively, and nobody expected her to settle down. But they expected Rose to settle down, of course.
Rose shook her head and cleared her thoughts. She glanced at the clock and gasped in horror. She needed to be in Agnes’ room in less than five minutes and if Rose was ever late, Agnes for some reason or other, always refused to see her.
After the dreadful rush up to Agnes’ floor, Rose had made it with only seconds to spare. Rose emerged from the hospital room, reaching in her robes for her wand. She started to mutter a spell to expel the residue hair covering her robes that happened with every visit, when someone bumped into her from behind.
“I am so sorry! Oh, Rose, is that you?” a man’s voice said, and she straightened impulsively. The voice belonged to none other than William, but Rose had hoped for a few moments to clean up after her daily visit with Agnes before meeting with him. After all, she wanted to look her best in front of him. Though she wasn’t fussed about him wanting her back necessarily, she was still determined to show him he had missed out by losing her.
“William, hi,” Rose said, smiling sweetly, trying to ignore the fur sticking out from her hair and coating her robes. “I just got done visiting Agnes, and I was about to clean up...” Rose said. Then, without thinking, Rose muttered the spell to expel the fur from her robes and hair, closing her eyes while doing so. When she opened them, her jaw dropped.
William stood there, now covered in the fur that had previously been on her clothes, and Rose remembered with chagrin that the spell she used to get the fur off transferred the fur to wherever she had her mind on, and, with the surprise run-in, William had been the one on her mind.
“I am so sorry!” Rose exclaimed, putting out her hands to try and brush off the fur from William’s robes. She felt her entire face flame up, and cursed her Weasley genes. Other than the infamous blush, she hadn’t inherited anything else appearance wise from that side of the family. Unfortunately, she had inherited her immense clumsiness and anytime she wasn’t thinking clearly, she blamed the less rational side of her family. After all, Hermione Weasley was her mum, and anyone who knew Hermione knew she was anything but irrational. She was almost too rational, in fact.
“It’s fine, Rose. I know I took you by surprise,” William chuckled softly, and Rose’s heart melted at the sound. She was pathetic, she knew that, but she couldn’t help but crumble at the memories of her time with William. She was so lost in her reverie that she hadn’t noticed William had continued talking. She snapped her attention back to him, and caught the last bit of his words. “I’ll just try that again, and this time I’ll aim it towards a rubbish bin.”
“Right, that’s a good plan,” Rose muttered distractedly, rubbing her eyes. Today’s good mood had evaporated with this bad twist of fate, and she knew she’d reflect upon this scene for days to come, until she did something impressive to overshadow this particular moment of clumsiness.
“Look, Rose, I knew we were supposed to meet in my office in a couple of minutes to talk, but I think here’s as good a place as any,” William said, drawing Rose’s gaze back to his face. She studied it, remaining silent as she contemplated the features that had once made her think she couldn’t ever see another man as being as attractive as William. Again, she almost missed William next sentence, but snapped herself out of her mind.
“I need to tell you something, Rose, something I think will make up for what I put you through last year. I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes, especially with you. But that’s the first thing I wanted to say—I was wrong to do what I did. But I just wanted you to be one of the first to know… I’ve decided that I’m not going to make those mistakes again. I know what I want now and I think I can safely say that I had no idea what I wanted before I met you…” William said, but Rose’s mind was already turning wheels. Was William saying what she thought he was saying? Was this the moment that he finally realised he couldn’t live without her, and that breaking up with her had been the worst mistake of his life?
“I don’t have anybody to thank but you, Rose. You made me see what I really wanted… and now I can finally embrace that,” William continued, pausing slightly after that.
“Well, you did put me through a lot, William. But maybe it would be okay if it went slow…” Rose said, trying not to let the excitement she felt creep in her voice.
“You’re absolutely right, and now that I realised the mistakes I made with you, I was open to it when I met Rachel. She’s just like you, Rose, and well, we’re getting engaged!” William said, joy written all over his face.
Rose couldn’t do anything but stare up at her boss. Was he trying to torture her? Then she noticed the entire team of assistant Healers were peering from the door, using something that suspiciously resembled a product from a certain joke shop in Diagon Alley…
When they saw her looking, they all broke out in grins and flashed her a thumbs up. Rose didn’t realise why they were doing so, but then it dawned on her. She gaped in horror at William, and then before she could stop them, they all scurried off, presumably to telephone her mum, who would then tell the entire Wizarding World that she was... engaged. Bollucks.
Rose had always thought that her mother bringing the use of the telephone into the Wizarding World was something admirable, but now she knew they did more harm than good. Within the next few hours, Rose had received calls from everyone ranging from her relatives (even Nana Molly) to old acquaintances she’d had back at Hogwarts wishing her congratulations.
She had called her mother as soon as she could, but as her luck would have it, a man with an extra hand protruding from his chest had been rolled in, and by the time she had could get to her cell phone she knew the damage had been done.
When she’d told her mother what had really happened, she could hear the disappointment seeping into the line. She didn’t know how the Muggle world had handled information spreading so quickly, and she had never wished, as much as now, that she was back in the days when she was able to slow down communication with owls. But now, the light on her phone was consistently blinking, and she couldn’t shut the outside world out.
Her mum had understood the mistake, and had vowed to rectify it, promising that Rose wouldn’t have to call anyone personally to tell them the truth. Rose had never loved her mother more than in that instant, because the last thing she wanted to do was talk about engagements, weddings, or love to anyone.
Suddenly, Rose’s phone rang with the ringtone she reserved for Dom, having worked with her mother to program her phone to ring differently when different people called her.
“Dom, hey, look, it was a mistake, alright? William and I are not engaged, and if you were not to ask questions right now, I’d really appreciate it...” Rose started when she answered her phone.
“Oh, Rosie, I’m not calling about that, but I do want to know how you let such a rumour spread so quickly! I wanted to talk to you about something completely different...” Dom replied, and Rose audibly sighed with relief.
“Oh thank Merlin, Dom. You have no idea how close I was to tearing my own hair out! All this talk about engagements, weddings, and love is driving me mad! I know I can always count on you to distract me when I need it the most!” Rose exclaimed happily, and then noticed that the other end had become quite silent all of the sudden.
“Dom? Are you still there?” Rose asked, checking her display to make sure she hadn’t dropped the call.
“Yeah... I’m still here. Err... Rose, don’t be angry, but I was wondering how you felt about Greece?” Dom asked quietly.
“Well, I’ve not been there since we went for a family vacation, but I remember it was pretty...” Rose said, “Why do you ask, Dom?”
“Well you know Greece have always been one of my favourite places, and I went there a few weeks ago. I met someone while I was there and now I’m sort of... engaged. His name’s Alexandros and he’s absolutely wonderful Rose. You’d absolutely love him, I swear! Anyway... the wedding’s in a few days, and there’s nobody I’d want more for my maid of honour than you. Oh, say you’ll do it, please?” Dom begged. If Dom knew her best friend she’d yell first, and then once she was done with that, she would be there for her, especially since Dom was family, too.
“Dom, you’re engaged?! How long have you known this Alexandros? I mean, two weeks isn’t even long enough to do a background check on a guy!” Rose shouted, her face turning red.
Dom resisted the urge to laugh, and then controlled herself, and said,” Well, it was just one of those things! Haven’t you ever heard of ‘love at first sight’, Rose? And besides, you know me, I’m incredibly impulsive!” Rose couldn’t believe she was actually starting to see Dom’s point of view.
“Well, I suppose I could use a few days away to let everything settle down here, and I remember the promise we made as kids to be each other’s maids of honour at our weddings...” Rose said, wincing slightly at the way she gave in so easily.
Rose had to take the phone away from her ear as she endured Dom’s squeal of excitement. “Oh, I knew you’d be there for me, Rose! I can’t wait to see you! I’ve got to run. I’m meeting Alexandros and his parents for lunch to discuss our venue. Love you lots, and kisses!” Dom said, and promptly hung up.
Rose shook her head slowly, and her mind reeled with disbelief. How was it that even Dom had managed to find a guy who would marry her when she was notorious for her one night stands and Rose couldn’t? She knew the world wasn’t fair, but this was almost taking it too far. Rose inwardly groaned as she realised she’d have to go to William’s office to notify him of her absence. She decided she might as well get it over with sooner rather than later, and popped up there. The stares she received made her want to hex the entire Healing staff —she knew she probably seemed quite desperate—but she restrained herself. After all, she did not want to stay on overtime to fix all her jinxes.
She knocked on the door rapidly, and waited until she heard William’s beckon, and opened the door.
“Oh! Rose... err, I didn’t expect to see you so soon...” William said, clearly uncomfortable.
“I’m not staying long, don’t worry. I’ve had enough... association with you for the day, and we certainly don’t need rumours to go around that I’m desperately trying to win you back or anything like that,” Rose said, and laughed nervously. William also chuckled nervously, but she could tell he only did it because he pitied her.
“Err, anyway. I just wanted to request to take the next few days off. I know I’m scheduled to work, but Dom just informed me that she’s... err, getting married and I’d like to be there,” Rose finished lamely, eyes roaming the room for something—anything – to look at other than William.
“Right, of course. Well, you’ve been an exemplary worker here, so I suppose I can grant you leave. Where’s the wedding?” William asked but Rose knew it was only out of politeness that he’d asked at all.
“Greece,” Rose said. “Thessalonica, to be more precise. Dom has always been fascinated with Mt Olympus and so I’m sure she wouldn’t settle for anything less.”
“Ahh, I see. Well, have a good time in Greece, Rose,” William said softly, and Rose knew she had been dismissed. She hastily retreated, and when she exited the office, she narrowed her eyes at those who had lingered to obviously eavesdrop on her conversation.
“Get a life, all of you!” she muttered at them, and then, once they’d all scurried away, she sank against the wall.
Greece, here I come. Rose thought, praying to Eutykiha** to make it go quickly and as painless as possible.
**Eutykiha is the Greek goddess of luck and fortune
A/N- This is a new, most likely very short story I wrote for a challenge based on the movie 'When in Rome' (2010) which was my prompt for the story along with the Rose/Scorpius pairing. I own nothing and without the movie and J.K. Rowling's characters, this wouldn't be possible. Betaed by the amazing mlewis! Thanks for reading, and I'd love to know what you think, so leave me a review? (: