Chapter 24 : The Ball's in who's Court
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“Rose,” Scorpius called, as he entered the Head Common Room, his breath heavy and his cheeks flushed. He was wearing black and white dress robes with green detaining round the rim of his clothes. They fitted him perfectly.
“ROSE!” He called again when there was no answer, as he took for the stairs and into her bedroom- taking little notice of the strange fact that the stairs hadn’t turned into a slide.
“I’m just coming,” Rose shouted from behind the closed door of the bathroom. The girls had told Scorpius that Rose was here; he had been looking for her for the best part of an hour; his heart pounding and his head racing. “Looks like you did something to gain the stairs trust,” Rose continued.
“Sorry…?” Scorpius said, being taken out of his focus mind set and then being confused by this peculiar statement.
“The stairs,” She repeated. “It didn’t turn into a slide- you must have done something to make the stairs trust you.” Scorpius hadn’t thought about that but he supposed she was right.
“What do you think?” Rose emerged from the bathroom, looking down at herself unsure, questioningly and confused. Scorpius’ heart stopped.
She was wearing the dress robes he had got her for Christmas. IT had a cow neckline and thick strapped sleeves. The top of the gown was tight and then it flittered out to be bell shaped at the bottom. Scorpius noticed that the colour enchantment on the dress was changed to the same emerald that detailing his own robes.
Soft read ringlets fell from her porcelain face and onto her shoulders. Her lips were slightly more read and rosy, her cheek bones highlighted with careful blushes of pink and her eye makeup made her magnificent blue eyes pop.
“You-“He stopped almost to catch his breath. He had never seen anything more beautiful in his entire life. “You look breathtakingly beautiful,” He said finally as her face melted into a wide smile.
“You don’t look to shabby yourself,” She said happily, taking a look at him.
“Why thank you, Rose Weasley- glad you approve.” There was a long weighty silence where they both didn’t speak. “Rose,” Scorpius said finally, trying to find the right words of what he came here to say and do. “The thing is-” But he paused again, his palms sweaty, his heart thudding. “On my- here,” He shoved a blue velvet box into her hands. Rose looked at it then glanced back over to him. “Open it,” He ordered gently.
Rose did as she was told her meticulously manicured fingers unclasped the box and then cautiously opened it. Inside there was a small silver chain. The chain was decorated in beautiful crystal flowers and glittering emerald jewels.
“Scorpius, it’s beautiful,” She gasped, looking down at the necklace in her hands. “But I don’t understand,”
“This necklace was Serena’s great, great, great grandmothers- it’s been passed down through the generations and this birthday she gave it to me,” He stated simply. “My dad said that when I was to find someone special- a girl really and truly special- I should pass it onto her,”
Rose felt her heart sink to the bottom of her stomach, her eyes fighting back tears, her skin suddenly feeling cold.
“I’m sure Belle would love it,” She said turning away from the necklace and shoving back into Scorpius’ hands. Scorpius smiled a soft, loving, tender, smile.
“I’m not giving it to Bell,” Rose’s eyes suddenly snapped to his. “I’m giving this to you,”
“But- But- You can’t give it to me,” Rose said simply.
“Who else would I give it to,” Scorpius asked as if the answer was impossible to find. “Who else has been with me for as long as I’ve know them? What other girl is that special? Who else means something to me more than you, Min?” Rose looked at him with wide questioning eyes. “I want you to have this necklace,”
“But I’m sure your dad meant that you should give it to someone you could see yourself with forever- a fiancée or a wife not just some friend- some girl on a whim.”
“I will be with you forever- we’ll always be with each other, driving each other stupid probably.” He took the necklace out of the box, wrapped it round her neck and clasped the back. His fingertips making her skin burn at the contact, his warm breath on her neck making her shiver at the proximity.
“You mean the world to me, Rose,” He said twirling her around and looking at her straight in the eye. Their bodies were close, their faces inches apart. “And you’re not some friend or some girl. You’ve always been my friend and my girl,” And even though Rose hated being called somebody else’s and had done her entire life, she realised it was true. She was Scorpius’ and she always would be. His face absentmindedly moved towards hers-
“Look,” Scorpius said snapping away from her. “I need to go- punishment with Al, remember- save me a dance.” He rushed away and out of the room. Roses legs felt like jelly and her mind had been reduced to goo.
“Thanks Scorpius,” She managed to say but she didn’t know whether or not he heard her.
She turned to the mirror and looked at her own reflection and her hand reached for Scorpius’ necklace. For a moment it seemed her reflection had change and her small hand reached for a golden locket decorated by red rubies in the shape of Roses and then it flickered back to the silver emerald necklace.
She shook her head and then turned away. She lifted her dress and glanced at her emerald green shoes the same emerald shoes from the dream. Again, it was as if she was having a Déjà vu as she placed her dress back down. Her piercing blue eyes scanned over her appearance in the mirror, making sure every last detail was kept the way it should. And with a flutter of her heart and a deep exhale, she turned to the door and began to stroll out.
As she entered the corridor she couldn’t shake the worry that this was like her dream in many ways- the dream when Scorpius had… She couldn’t think of the ending, it was too painful to even think about. Again she clutched her necklace tight inside her hands. It really was very beautiful. But why has Scorpius given it to me, she thought earnestly as she walked towards the way to the great hall, why was I so special?
She thought back to his rejection just a few weeks prior. Scorpius didn’t love her like she did him so that meant that he gave her this necklace because they were friends.
But friends didn’t seem adequate enough to describe what the two of them had.
As she turned the corner and came to a halt she was reminded of the dream again. In the dream she had too stood in this position she had stood at the very top of the stairs she came to a soft halt and gazed down at a young man below.
Like in the dream, the young man wore black and white dress robes that fitted him perfectly. His right arm bent at the elbow and positioned in front of his stomach. But instead of blonde hair gelled back for once, which seemed fairly unfamiliar, the boy hand a much more sandier colour that was gelled up in spikes. And instead of a warm smile told her that it was the same person she had been so close to for years, it was a fairly ordinary smile she had seen on this young man many times before. Instead of silvery eyes that glittered in light of the flickering candles and were filled with such emotion that she only imagined mirrored her own, they were blue and although they glittered, they did not hold as much emotion. Instead of Scorpius it was Joseph.
Like in the dream she glided down the stairs, her dress sweeping the step behind, as she reached the bottom of the stairs her heart beat quickened in panic as she heard the next words leave Joseph’s mouth.
“I thought you stood me up,” He said smirking, whispering into Rose’s ears.
“Wouldn’t miss this for the world,” She repeated the same reply from the dream, although she was not sure what drove her to it.
“You look stunning, tonight, Rose Weasley,” Again it was parallel to the dream- he had even offered his arm like Scorpius had but as she said ‘Thank you’ to him and followed him on, she realised she didn’t feel light headed and giddy like in the dream, she felt tiff and nervous and worried.
Her worries were certainly forgotten though as they entered the great hall, she didn’t even notice Joseph wondering of to get her a drink. She gasped! Scorpius had really out done himself. The bewitched sky was clear and covered with the brightest stars Rose had ever seen. The candle lights were dimmed and instead of conventional candles, there were little luminous hearts for flames, which gave out a soft red-ish glow.
The large tables had been transfigured to small circular ones that decorated the rim of the room and where the teachers had usually say stood a large stage with a big band. Streams of confetti would fall from life like cupids over the random couples and even the walls were transformed. They were ice like and silver with large fireplaces scattered throughout.
“Rose,” She swivelled around to see Anita. Anita looked beautiful in her strapless burgundy ball gown and pixie puffed out skirt that reached the ground. Her hair was up in an elegant bun with very few wavy strands falling by the sides of her ears.
“Anita, you look amazing,”
“Why thank you, Rosie,” Anita smiled. “Complement returned of course- where did you disappear of to?”
“Left something behind at the room,” Rose admitted, subconsciously grabbing her new necklace.
“Well you missed it,” Anita said her smile was disbelieving, her eyes wide in excitement. Rose was about to enquire what she had missed when Anita answered the question. “It’s Debby- she has a date,” Roses mouth fell open.
“But I thought she said it was all a waste of time- that she would rather jump of the astronomy tower than give into this sceptical and actually come with a date!”
“Well,” Anita said carefully, her smile knowing and teasing. “Apparently, if it’s the right person asking then the situations different,” Rose’s eyes worked their way quickly around the room, eventually she saw Debby.
Debby, too looked very pretty, in her long, navy cocktail dress, her hair cut even shorter for the occasion. She wore the brightest smile on her face that Rose had ever seen- she almost looked unrecognisable. And she was holding a hand; something she had always said was stupid- unnecessary public show of affection- and she was doing it. Rose was shocked further when she found that the hand belonged to Neil Andrews.
“When did that happen- she hates Neil!” But before Anita could reply, a voice bellowed from the stage.
“Good Evening everyone!” It was Uncle Nev, who was also dressed for the occasion. “Now, these dances are always great fun but what would make them even greater fun?” Neville was smiling as if he was made to do this, to address students of all ages. “Well how about some entertainment- true entertainment,” Rose smirked knowing what was coming.
“You may remember when the whole school erupted in song at the last Quidditch game and apparently a certain duo was behind it all,” Neville continued the crowds whispering behind their hands. “Well how about we make them perform to all of you,” The crowd shouted their approval, Rose giggled a little more. “Please welcome Mr Malfoy and Mr Potter!”
“This should be fun,” Joseph sneered from behind Rose, as the cheers around them grew louder. Joseph handed her a punch glass and glanced up at the stage looking pleased with himself. It was he who gave Neville the first tip of to go look in the tunnel.
“Evening guys, Albus Potter here,” Al said strolling onto the stage, His outer robe discarded and his and his tie suddenly undone, hanging messily over his shoulders. One hand was in his pocket and the other clutching a wizarding microphone. “Sorry I couldn’t date every one of you gals tonight,” He said, his head scanning the crowd and then finally falling on Anita. “But I’m taken,” He said before looking away and everybody else. A few disappointed groans echoed.
“Unfortunately things get a little worse,” He continued. “Cause I got to be joined by Malfoy and we all know nobody wants to see his ugly ferret face-”
“Cause you’re so handsome, Potter,” Scorpius said sarcastically as he entered the other side, the crowd cheered again; they loved to see these two interact. The brass band started playing from behind them. “At least I can dress properly- you looking like you just come back from a party hung over is not an attractive sight.” But he corrected himself. “You in any place or anytime is not an attractive sight,”
“Says a lot about you if I’m more popular with the ladies,” Al commented.
“In your dreams, Potter,”
“I am better than you in so many ways, Malfoy,”
“Alright then Ali-boy,” Malfoy smirked. “Fancy a sing off,”
“Oh Skipper,” Al said his impish grin widening. “Wouldn’t ever miss an opportunity to humiliate you,”
“We’ll see about that,”
“I may me be young,” Al Potter stared to sing, pushing Scorpius out of the way as he paced the stage. “But I know what it’s like, to have your heartbroken all the time, you start giving up.” Al received a few sympathetic looks from the girls as they went wild.
“The relationship rush,” Scorpius walked in front Al, and more cheers issued. “And then the breakdown, living a half-life, and then getting back up.”
“I thought I’d never love any other,”
“I thought my heart had taken it last smother,”
“But now I know, I have never truly loved” Al began.
“Until now… Hmmmmm…” Scorpius finished and then they both started singing in unison, the crowd of girls going even crazier than before.
“You have ensnared me, bewitched me so very much,
Amortentia can’t even bottle it up,
And I Promise you that Felix Felicis couldn’t make me any happier,” Al’s eyes found Anita’s and Scorpius’ found Rose’s before he quickly diverted back to Belle. “Than if you just loved me back.”
The instruments bleared louder, and they both started speaking again.
“You can do better than that, Potter,” Scorpius said screwing his face up. “Cornish Pixies are more pleasing to the ears,” The audience laughed.
“You’re mistaken,” Al retorted. “And tone death- you look and sound like a drunk troll,” Everybody laughed again, the two really knew how to work the crowd. “And if you think otherwise then you’re as thick as one and all,” Then Al began singing again.
“I will get you one day,
Cause I will never give up,
I’ll make ‘you and me’ a ‘we’,
If it is all that I can have.”
“Whenever you want,” Scorpius sang, stealing the line from him. “Wherever I am,
You can come running,
Straight into my arms.”
“I know that you can have just about anyone,” He sang pointedly at Anita
“I know that you are more than something to be won,” Scorpius was looking at Rose but as he finished this line he looked at Joseph in a harsh angry stare that the rest of the audience missed, as they were too engrossed with Al’s next line.
“But I also know that no-one-”
“-could possibly love you more than me…” Scorpius completed, getting back to his charming character he had played on the stage.
“Hmmmmm…” Al hummed before they broke into Chorus again.
“You have ensnared me, bewitched me so very much,
Amortentia can’t even bottle it up,
And I Promise you that Felix Felicis couldn’t make me any happier,
Than if you just Loved me back”
“I can’t eat, sleep or live,
Without you there-e-r,
Too cold… alone,” Al bellowed, his voice rising as the notes got higher and more tricky.
“But I won’t stand for this
Won’t just take this
Won’t live like thi-is,” He held the high note as the instruments started playing the instrument solo. The song slowed, the instruments stopped, the lights dimmed. Al stepped forward singing once again.
“One day we will be something special,”
“One day we will be together and have it all,” Scorpius said almost sadly, longingly as if his acting were almost real.
“On day we will experience,”
“Every amazing possibility… Hmmmmm…” The audience went quiet and so did the stage, Anita and Rose, like all the other girls were hypnotised to the spot. Then the music started gain and the chorus was sung, this time twice.
“You have ensnared me, bewitched me so very much,
Amortentia can’t even bottle it up,
And I Promise you that Felix Felicis couldn’t make me any happier,
Than if you just loved me back.”
Everybody cheered. Rose looked at uncle Neville to find that expression on his face; astonishment. Astonished because it didn’t matter what punishment these two were given together, it would never work.
“You have to admit,” Rose smiled. “The two of them had style.” Joseph made a strangled noise.
"Merlin," Joseph replied. "Pass me the bucket- and do you know what’s worse?"
"What?" Rose said, barely listing at all as she watched Scorpius take a bow and wink in her direction.
"That the poor girls are actually falling for that Dragons Dung,"
"Oh shush," Rose replied harshly. "Lighten up Joseph," She ignored his frustrated grunt as Scorpius and Al now made their way over to their respective dates. Her heart tugged as she saw Scorpius walk over to Belle and put his arm prospectively around her shoulders. Belle, who was absolutely beaming previously, glanced off into the distance for a second before turning away with a forced uneasy smile. Rose followed the direction Belle had looked in, and saw Joseph eyeing Belle and Scorpius up also.
Rose, however, didn't have time to mull over what the encounter had been about because she heard a voice from behind her.
"What you think, Cuz," Al smiled broadly, as Rose leaped into his arms.
"You were fantastic!" She said releasing him and looking at him wide eyed.
"You think I should go professional?”
“Not that fantastic,” Rose laughed, correcting herself. Suddenly, the band started blaring again. Uncle Neville stepped away from the magical microphone and walked over to Hannah Longbottom, offering his arm. She smiled mischievously before taking his hand and swinger herself into him. Rose couldn’t help but smile at how natural and happy the pair looked together.
“Want to dance?” Joseph whispered from behind her. Rose nodded, her smile widening slightly and with that the pair melted into a beautiful dance.
“Scorpius,” Belle snapped, angrily, tearing away from him half way through the slow dance. “I saw you, I saw you eye her up,”
“It’s all in your head,” Scorpius said shaking his head at her. “I was looking at everyone,”
“You were looking particularly at her and you know it,” Belle said in a loud annoyed whisper.
“She’s not interested- I’m not interested,” Scorpius replied tiredly, grabbing her back into him as they continued forcedly dance with one another. “Ok,” He admitted. “I may have looked at her once or twice but that was innocent- we’re best friends, it’s impossible not to feel-”
“Impossible to feel what exactly?” Belle said in a strangled voice. “Feel what Scorpius? It’s impossible not to feel something for her? Impossible not feel like she might actually be the one you want to be with?”
“No- that’s not what I said,” He said looking at her straight in the eye. “I just meant that it’s impossible not to feel a connection- a strong friendship connection. So she happens to be female? What does that mean?” He paused, choosing his words carefully. “Nothing has happened between us, Belle, I’m not with her- I’m with you.”
“I know you are,” Belle said calmly but there was a slow sadness in her voice that surprisingly broke Scorpius’ heart. “But I want to feel that you’re with me because you may be with me, Scorpius- but you always put Rose first and you’re always mentally and physically with her. I might be your girlfriend but I feel like Rose is treated as more of the girlfriend.”
“We’re just so close,” Scorpius said thoughtfully. “We used to be inseparable.” He paused. “I guess I’m just not used to splitting my time more evenly,”
“But when you care about someone enough to want to be their girlfriend, it shouldn’t be hard or an effort because you’re supposed to like them or love them so much that actually it comes natural to split your time up- to be away more from friends,”
“What are you saying?”
“I’m just trying to communicate with you- tell you how I’m feeling the question what are you going to do about it?”
Unknown by the two of them Joseph had been watching from a far, smirking at his handy work underneath his breath. He wasn’t sure what they were saying exactly but by their body language and their frantic mouths, they were having an argument.
“Joesph!” Rose snapped for a final time. His eyes snapped to hers suddenly. “You’re not listening,” She said looking at him harshly.
“I am listening!”
“What did I say then?” Rose questioned, as Joseph’s face pictured a deer in headlights.
“You said something about Debby and her date,”
“That was ages ago,” Rose was huffing now, her face growing red. “What they hell are you smirking about?” She asked in a loud whisper.
“Nothing,” He said his smirk widening despite himself. “It’s just Scorpius and Belle- they don’t look like they’re having a good time,” Rose looked over to where her best friend stood, dancing slowly with his girlfriend. They were looking angry and frustrated, their faces were screwed up and their cheeks were red.
Rose couldn’t help but feel her insides smile to, her anger suddenly left her body and it was as if her day had suddenly brightened up.
“But everybody can’t be as happy as we are,” Joseph said looking down at her still smiling. “You’re amazing,” Rose stared at him and she felt herself beam. Joseph really was very sweet and she realised the very reason she got together with him in the first place. “I do love you know,”
Rose froze. She didn’t know what to say to that. After that conversation with Al it didn’t seem right to say that she loved him back. Luckily for her he didn’t seem all to bothered because just as she opened her mouth to reply he spoke again.
“Look at them, look at him,” Rose followed his gaze again, the couple still looked up uneasy. Joseph threw his head back and chuckled to himself. “And to think he actually thought you’d prefer him to me,” Joseph laughed again. “No one would choose him over me,” Rose went pale.
“How do you mean,” She said the anger back suddenly.
“How do you mean?” She said more clearly and sternly.
“Well on the train,” He answered. “You know- you said you’d rather go out with him than me any day. And I was right wasn’t I? You dumped his sorry arse at the wedding to be with me,” Joseph laughed again. “Knew I’d prove him wrong,”
“Is that why you asked me out?” She said sadly. “Because you wanted to make a point?”
“No,” Joseph said suddenly a very serious look on his face as he embraced her in his arms more tightly. “Remember the reason for said comment was because I already asked you out, remember?” It was true, Rose felt her insides relax and a smile soon returned to her face.
“I asked you to be my girlfriend because I love you and I find you irresistible- proving a point was simply an added bonus.” He kissed her lightly on the forehead before continuing. “Anyway I’m going to get some punch,” He said with another smile on his face as he glanced in the direction of the punch bowl. “Why don’t you go talk to Al and Anita?”
Rose nodded and watched as Joseph walked away. She couldn’t help but feel lucky. She was with a guy who loved her more than anything. She really liked him too. Life was looking a little better. Trying to ignore the mute vision of Scorpius out of the corner of her eye, she went off to find Al.
Scorpius had also glanced at her as she walked off in the opposite direction to him.
“See you’re looking at her again,” Belle said before her expression changed and she shook her head exasperatingly. “Look what you’ve done to me Scorpius,” Belle said, her eyes filled with sadness and tiredness. “I’m exhausted- I was never the jealous type- never! Look what you’ve turned me into.”
“-No,” She interrupted. “Listen to me,” She paused. “You put her before me, you do everything for her and I know she’s your friend and that’s what friends do and I might just be being paranoid,” She looked around before settling on his eyes.
Scorpius could feel his heart ache with guilt as he looked right back at her. It wasn’t her fault- she was the innocent party. He should never have asked her out when he know he preferred someone else. But he wanted to move on from Rose and he thought Belle could do that but she couldn’t.
“But,” She continued. “You sneak off with her at night, you call her by a nickname, you look her in a way you should be looking at me, you laugh at her jokes, you light up whenever she’s around, you’re jealous of Joseph so much that it is incredible- and I know nothing has happened between you,” Belle admitted. “I know for a fact, without any doubt in my mind, that you would NEVER cheat on me but that doesn’t mean I can’t see that actually you might want to still be with her instead.”
She looked at the floor, her eyes watering slightly but she still radiated beauty from her skin. Scorpius put two fingers under her chin and tilted her head back so she was looking at him again.
“Rose and I have a special friendship- a special connection- but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to make a go of this,” And it was true he did want to make a go of it. He wanted to want Belle more than he wanted Rose it was just going to take time.
“Ok,” She said, her expression changing slightly into a happier one.
“We can work through this,” Scorpius said, wrapping his arms around her and hugging her close. “We’ll get through this,” He repeated as he looked at Rose.
She appeared to be looking around again.
“Al,” Rose asked. “Have you seen Joseph?” Al shook his head as he clung to Anita’s hand. “He was meant to be getting some punch but he’s not back yet and he’s not at the punch table.”
“He might be on the toilet,” Al reasoned.
“Or one of his friends might have stolen him away,” Anita offered, half detracted by Al’s warm hand around her cold smaller one.
“Yeah,” Rose laughed. “Knowing him, he’s probably of somewhere talking Quidditch tactics. I’m just going to go and see if I can find him- he promised me he would dance with me to this song,”
‘You are my Lumos’ had always been her favourite love song and she didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share it with Joseph.
She scanned the room urgently but couldn’t see him. She began to roam the room. Minutes passed and so did the song yet nothing. Maybe Al was right. Maybe he was in the toilets but wouldn’t he have been out by now?
It was then when she saw Miles standing around, chatting with his new girlfriend, with a goofy lover-boy smile on his normally arrogant face.
“Miles,” Rose called, as he looked around sharply. “You don’t know where Joe is, do you?” Miles looked thoughtfully for a while.
“Isn’t he with you,” Miles replied. “He said was going to find you as soon as he was done looking at the Quidditch Cup in the trophy room.”
“Typical Joe,” Rose laughed, almost in relief. “His minds always on Quidditch,”
“He’s probably still eyeing it up,” Miles said as if he couldn’t believe it. “He looked at it for an hour last week just fantasising about winning it.”
“I’ll tell him that next time he can take the cup out instead of me,” Rose exhaled deeply before turning back to Miles. “Well thanks for letting me know,” She unfolded her arms. “Have a good time Miles- see you Monday Gwen,” and with that she was off again.
She looked over to the right of where the teacher’s table would usually have been and she could see the large door that lead to the Trophy room. She should have known that Joseph would have been there. Where else would he have been. She laughed at her worry just moments before.
She and Joseph were going to be happy together. She was going to forget Scorpius and make a proper go with Joseph. Joseph made her happy- Scorpius just brought her heartache, they were better of as friends.
She finally reached the door and grasped at the door handle. She turned it, pulled it open and stepped in. she could see a lantern at the bottom of two steps and round the corner. He was still there, this confirmed- a light usually would have been non-existent if it was empty.
As she hastily went down and turned the corner her smile faded at the sight of Carrie Andrews snogging somebody’s face of.
“Oh sorry, Carrie,” She began apologetically. “I didn’t mean to interrupt- I was just looking for- Joseph…?” She questioned breathlessly.
And sure enough there was Joseph, her Joseph. It was if time stopped. The faint background noise from the ball had muted. Her mouth went dry. All she could hear was the loud pounding of her heart.
She didn’t notice the lipstick all over his face, or the messiness of Carries dress. Her vision was now obscured by the tears in her eyes. She tried to speak but the lump in her throat was suffocating her and so she didn’t say anything. She simply turned around and ran from the room; only vaguely aware that Joseph was following her, only vaguely aware that there were tears pouring down her face, only vaguely aware of the people around her as she ran through the great hall.
“Rose!” Scorpius screamed after her, the minute she passed him but she didn’t stop. “Rose!” He shouted louder but it was no use. And Joseph was not listening either- as he passed seconds later. He was about to go after them when he felt a hand enclose around his wrist to stop him.
“Get of me,” Scorpius said shaking his arm away but Belle held onto it more firmly. “I need to make sure she’s alright, I need to see if she’s ok.”
“It’s hers and Joseph’s problem,” Belle insisted. “Leave them too it- I’m sick and tired, Scorpius, I can’t be second best,”
“Don’t make me choose, Belle, I really like you, just don’t make me choose,” Scorpius was suddenly felling warm, his heart pumping hard and fast. There was an urgency in his body like never before. An urgency to go after Rose and protect her, make her better.
“I really like you Scorpius but I can’t live like this- I need to be with someone who likes me the most- It’s either her or me,” She said strongly, knowing the answer but knowing the question had to be asked- that it had to be done.
“Rose,” He whispered softly, letting her hand slip from his body as he backed away. “It’s Rose every time,” And Belle nodded sadly, as if expecting just that. There was a long pause as if she was struggling with that thought in her mind, as if she was trying her hardest not to cry.
“Then go get her,” She spoke finally and carefully. Scorpius smiled, a soft, sad smile- Belle was truly selfless.
“You truly are amazing, Belle,” He knew she’d be upset but knew that Rubilius would be there to comfort her and so he ran off in the direction Rose had ran.
As he entered the entrance hall he saw the door to the grounds ajar and so ran through them. He saw Rose and Joseph metres in front of him, Rose and tears and Joseph just watching; he decided he’d stay back and only intervene when he thought Rose couldn’t handle it.
“It’s not what it looked like,” Joseph reached out to touch he arm but she swung it violently away from him.
“Don’t touch me,” She screamed, she said with such an anger that Scorpius had never seen. “Don’t you dare touch me!”
“I don’t want to see you, I don’t want to speak to you, I don’t want you to ever come near me again,” She yelled, the tears now stopping slightly.
“But we’re good together,” He said, as she laughed bitterly. “I love you-”
“You love me?” Rose said laughing mirthlessly again. “Is that what you call it? You’re so- argh,” She said shaking her head, her face in her hands. “How could you do this to me? I mean how long has that been going on for?”
“Just tonight I swear,”
“And how on earth can I believe that?” The tears were back, they reflected the light of the moon. Her eye make-up was smudged; her hair had gone messy from the wind. Then it was as if something else had dawned on her. “That’s where you had to go yesterday, that’s where you went the week after we came back- oh merlin, I’m so stupid- I am so stupid,” Joseph stayed silent.
“First there was that conversation in the Quidditch dressing rooms and then you fed be all that Trolls dung about loving me and me being special and always wanting to be with me, you even told me that you asked me out to prove the point and all the while I’ve been so stupid to let you get away with it all!” She said. “Then seeing you with her,” She shook her head, her face paled as if she looked like she was going to be sick. “You’re not getting away with it this time,”
“As if you’re whiter than white,” Joseph spat.
“You hear me,” Joseph shouted. “You’re around Malfoy like a rash. We can’t go anywhere without you mentioning his name. It’s always Malfoy this and Malfoy that. You even have nicknames for each other; you spend every waking moment with him. It takes two to make a relationship but with us it’s always like it’s three. You’re not innocent in this so don’t play the victim.”
“How dare you,” Rose said incredulously looking at him in the eye and stepping closer. “How dare you compare me to you,” She said prodding him in the chest harshly. ”Nothing has ever happened between me and Scorpius- I have always been faithful-“
“So you say-”
“So you know!” rose corrected angrily. “I would never cheat! So don’t try and turn this on me,” She paused, the tears were gone, though she still felt her heart shattering and aching inside of her. “You’re the one that was caught with you lips all over another person, not me!”
Scorpius inhaled deeply. Something inside him was making him feel angrier than he’s ever felt; he’d never had such anger controlled in only one person. He ran forward and just as Joseph turned around to see who had appeared, he swung his arm back and…
Scorpius hardly realised what he was doing until he saw Joseph on the floor. He looked down and saw his fist clenched hard. He was breathing heavily as if he’d run a mile.
“Lover boy coming to the rescue,” He said rubbing his mouth and jaw. “How very predictable,”
“You leave him out of this,” Rose ordered and then she saw Scorpius about to say something. “And Scorpius stay out of this, please I handle this- wait,” And they both obeyed her.
“I’m sorry,” Joseph said softly again, as he got up and strolled over to her; both of his hands cupping her face delicately, his eyes looking at her with sadness and adoration. “I made a mistake-“
“What made a mistake snogging Carrie’s face of or made a mistake getting caught?” Rose questioned.
“I made a stupid one giving into her,”
“Pur-lease Joseph,” Rose said sceptically, folding her arms in place, turning her head to look away. “You knew exactly what you were doing- you’re just sorry that I caught you red handed.”
“That’s rubbish. We can still make this work,”
“Make what work, Joseph.” Rose asked him a calmer sadness in her voice now. “We’re not broken- we were never really working- we were never really there to begin with,”
“That was because you weren’t in it 100%. Right from the wedding you were never truly there,”
“You know that’s not true, Joe,” Rose said suddenly hurt and stung. “You know I was over the moon when you asked me out- I left my date to be with you that night.”
“Yeah but who were you with at midnight? Who did you end up with that night in the end?” Joseph said bitterly, venom in every word that he spoke. “Him,” He pointed at Scorpius.
“Yeah,” Rose admitted. “Because you got me drunk and ran off somewhere I couldn’t find you and for your information I was passed out at midnight. But who was asking for the next day when I was sober- why was I so happy and giddy when I got up, despite my horrid hang-over?” Rose paused; the expression on Josephs face told her that he knew it was true. “And even if you were right and my heart was always elsewhere, does that excuse the fact that you cheated on me?”
“Why can’t we just forget about I, eh?”
“Because you lied to me.” She whispered so quietly that Scorpius could barely here her. “You told me you loved me,” A single tear fell from her eye. “I was the only one for you. You made me promises about the future and like the idiot I am I swallowed it all up like a child.”
“We can still be together, those promises can still happen and I do love you.” Joseph said searching her eyes for some indication of anything that might suggest that she’d come back to him. “We can start afresh,”
“I loved you for years,” She continued in a blank stared, not looking at him in the eye anymore, ignoring what he was saying.
“And you still love me.” Joseph commentated but it was no use it was as if she was talking to herself, she was blocking the world around her, more tears falling from her eyes with every word that she uttered.
“It may not have been the real-one-and-only-I’d-die-for-you sort of love- but it was love all the same.” Rose said with such sadness in her voice that it made Scorpius want to cry to. “I tried to get your attention for years- daydreamed about being you’re girlfriend every opportunity I had. This make-over at the beginning of the year was all for you- I was willing to change for you.” She laughed again. “I even tried my hand a Quidditch just so I was the kind of girl you wanted,”
“You are what I want,” Although it sounded sincere there was a slight slyness in his tone.
“But I was never good enough, was I?” She said her voice completely expressionless now.
“No,” She said answering her own question. “I wasn’t before and I’m not now,” She had shrugged him of now and taken a step back- she was still looking in the direction of the castle, she didn’t even blink. “I changed for you and I’m still not good enough,”
“Listen to me, Rose,” Joseph said trying to grab hold of her again. “Look at me,” and she did. Her eyes, which had been so fixed on the castle, had moved to face his and the tears were back again. “You are good enough for me, Rose- I do love you,” He cupped her face again and rested her head on his forehead. His eyes were boring into her and she felt her defences once again falling. There was something about Joseph Lions that when she looked him in the eye it was hard to be strong; it was hard to form negative thoughts about him.
“If I could change what happened tonight then I would.” He said tenderly. “You are the love of my life- I couldn’t live without you. Back there,” He said pointing his thumb behind him. “She asked and I didn’t say no; it was a moment of weakness, Rose, nothing else,”
“And how long will it be before you have another moment of weakness, Joe?” Rose said still looking at him; it was like something had snapped. She stepped backward again. “Hmm…?” She waited for a response that didn’t come. “A day, a year, an hour?” She looked around and looked at him with a sad but understanding look in her eye.
“The world is full of opportunities to cheat and if you loved me you wouldn’t have tonight,” Rose said as she shrugged her shoulders. “So you don’t love me do you?” She stated firmly but cut Joseph of as he tried to correct her. “If you loved me, you would have thought of me at the back of your mind when Carrie was kissing you and you would have stopped it. You would have not been in there to begin. If you loved me I shouldn’t be second best. I shouldn’t have to love someone that I have to share because if you love me I wouldn’t need to share you, you’d be mine- all mine. I shouldn’t have to be looking over my shoulder, I shouldn’t be here listening to you explain why I wasn’t enough for you- I’m not going to beg you to take me back, I shouldn’t have to be with someone I have to beg to stay faithful,”
“But you do want me back then?” Joseph asked. There was a long moment when they all held their breath, waiting for Roses answer. The moment seemed to stretch for hours.
“No Joseph,” Rose finally answered. “I don’t want you back,”
“Please, Rosie,” Joseph said gently. Rose’s tears were heavy and fast now.
“No, Joe, I can’t be with someone I don’t trust,” Joseph fell to his knees, wrapping his arms around her waist.
“Please just forgive me- I’m begging you,” He sobbed but there was no tears, he said the words but they were so perfectly formed it was though it was being performed me a professional actor. “I can’t live without you,”
“You think,” She peeled an arm off of her. “That I can’t do better than you,” She peeled the other arm of as well. “That this world isn’t big enough- that I have to settle for a cheating scumbag like you,” She shoved him away. “I’m going to find someone else who will love and will treat me right and you’re going to be sorry you ever lost me, Joseph.”
“People like you don’t have their happy ending but I will.” Rose said looking down at his broken form on the floor. “We’re through,” Rose said and she felt the relief lift from her body. “I can’t believe I wasted so many years of my life on you,” She said smiling disbelievingly.
“We’re not through- you’re just angry and upset, you’re not thinking straight. We can talk about this in the morning,” Joseph insisted again, looking up at her.
“I’m thinking perfectly fine thanks.” Rose said. “I’m just thankful that I’ve seen the true you- that I dodged the worst curse of my life! You’re nothing but a lying cheat- now get lost!”
Joseph didn’t move. He stayed rooted to the ground, tracing Rose’s face for any sign of weakness and yet there was none. She looked at him with nothing but a strong, determined glint in her eye- one that told him she was serious and was not going to change her mind.
“Well you heard her,” He flicked his eyes over to Scorpius, who looked furious and hurt. His eyes bore through his with such strength that Joseph looked away. “Unless you want a black eye to go with that fat lip,” Joseph didn’t say anything. His eyes also switched to a determined expression. He would get Rose back if it was the last thing he did. And with that thought printed in his mind he got up.
“I’m going to give you some space, but we’ll talk again tomorrow,”
“Don’t count on it,” Rose retorted sharply as she watched him walk away. Moments passed where Scorpius and Rose was silent but the moment joseph was out of sight Rose collapsed to the floor.
Her heart ached heavily in her chest, her head felt as though it was going to explode and, even though she had found that strength within her to end it just minutes before, she started to sob. The tears started and they didn’t stop.
Scorpius gazed at Rose and found this his heart was broken to. He had waited and waited for Joseph to screw up. He had waited for them to break up but somehow the reality of it wasn’t quite what he had expected. It wasn’t what he wanted. He wanted them to break up but not with the sacrifice of Rose’s heart.
His body reacted on their own accord. He shrunk to the floor, put both his arms around her and pulled her close. He could smell her honey and lemon sent as he buried his nose into her hair. His thumb carefully stroked her back tenderly. He felt as Rose buried her head into his chest, her arms clung to him as if she was scared to be alone and let go because being like that with Scorpius comforted her, made her feel safe.
“What’s wrong with me, Skip?” She said through her sobs. Scorpius heart sunk at the heart breaking sadness of her tone.
“Nothing,” Scorpius uttered soothingly, holding her more tightly. “Nothing’s wrong with you. You really are perfect, Min,”
“Then why does nobody want me,” Scorpius froze as his mouth went dry. He thought for a moment racking his brain for a reply that didn’t confess the extent of his feelings for her.
“Anyone would want you, Lion’s is just a class ‘O’ git,” Rose didn’t reply at first she was still crying into Scorpius’ shirt. “You were right; you made a lucky escape,”
“I know,” Rose said tearfully. “I don’t even know why I’m so upset- I’ve always known what he’d like. He’s always had a reputation.”
“You weren’t to know that he’d do that to you,” Scorpius breathed finally. “You’re upset because you’ve fancied him since first year. You built him up to be something close to perfect- he’d been a massive part of your life. And even if you were right just then and it wasn’t real love, you still loved him. You loved him for a long time and it doesn’t matter if it was real love, puppy love or friendship love, you don’t just switch it off. It doesn’t make you feel the betrayal any less.”
“He really was my puppy love,” Rose said her tears beginning to stop. “I just feel like it’s me- that it was my fault. I mean he was right wasn’t he? I gave you so much of my time and I should have probably-”
“Don’t,” Scorpius interrupted abruptly. “Don’t blame yourself- he’s a scumbag, Rose- you could’ve given him all the time in the world and he’d have still been a cheat,”
“I’m just accepting my part of the blame,”
“What part of the blame?” Scorpius said incredulously. “Our friendship was just coming out- he knows that! And I don’t want to say this Rose because I don’t want to kick you when you’re down but he’s never liked you that much,”
“Calm down, Skip,” rose said wide eyed and sitting up; she didn’t understand why he was getting so angry. “I was just saying,”
“Well don’t because the minute you accept blame, he’s halfway there to winning you back,”
Rose stopped, processing what Scorpius had just said. “Ok,” She said finally. “I know I’m not to blame but thinking I am to blame makes me feel a little less humiliated.”
There was a long silence in which they didn’t say a thing. Rose felt her tears stop completely and her heart go back to its normal rate yet it still ached. Scorpius sat routed to the spot- every ounce of his being taken in making him stay and not go after Joseph. Rose needs you more right now; he thought to himself, you can beat him up tomorrow.
“You better be getting back to Belle,” Rose said gently, feeling like she was going to cry all over again.
“We broke up,” Scorpius breathed but continued on Rose’s confused face. “We just weren’t working- we both knew it, we were just too scared to say it out loud.”
“I’m sorry, Scorpius,” Rose said rubbing her hands into his back while resting her head on his shoulder, involuntary inhaling that sent that made her feel so incredibly safe and happy.
“Don’t be,” Scorpius assured her. “I’m upset- sure I am but in the end we had no choice,” Scorpius sighed. “Not a great day for couples really, is it? Valentine’s day?”
“Well I don’t know,” Rose disagreed. “Anita and Al are together, finally,” She took Scorpius’ arm and cuddling into it. They both enjoyed the feeling of being on Hogwarts’ grounds, late at night, alone because it reminded them so much of the way things used to be.
“Good Merlin, took Potter long enough,” there was a pause before, “Oh crums,”
“What?” Rose said, feeling panicked.
“I got to come up with new material now,” Rose looked at him questioningly. “Well his lack of love life and lack of balls to ask out Anita was the punch line of so many insults and it wound him up so nicely,”
Rose laughed. She couldn’t help it, she just started laughing.
“Well at least my misery made somebody happy,” Scorpius said smiling at Rose’s happy face. “You have a beautiful smile,” Scorpius said softly looking at her as she looked at the castle. His heart fluttered frantically in his chest.
Rose heard the music from the great hall. ‘You are my Lumos,’ was playing. Ironically it was the song that was meant to be for her and Joseph- the one that had prompted her search for him just an hour before- her favourite song. The one her dad used to sing in his slightly of-tune voice before she fell asleep.
It was as if she was in a trance as she stared sadly at the castle. She almost felt the tears coming back when she noticed a shadow cast over her. She looked up and to her surprise Scorpius stood his hand offered, with such a cute look on his face.
“You promised you’d save me a dance,” He said simply; nothing special, nothing fancy, just a simple statement that made Rose’s heart sore none the less. She looked at his hand and then back at his face. And though her heart still ached, she felt it relieve slightly.
She took his hand and he pulled her up, making her fling her free hand on his shoulder. They danced like children,; like they did the Valentine’s day of their first year, when the older students were having their ball and they stood in the same spot as they did now. A lost memory until Rose found it tonight.
She twirled into his arm and he flung her out and twirled her around under his hand. They got back together and rocked side to side stupidly too much. It was nothing like the dance they had performed for the students in dance class but it was so much more tender and fun. They both laughed.
And as rose recalled the dance they shared in their first year, as she forgot for a moment the sadness that she felt, as she rested her head onto Scorpius’ shoulder, still smiling as they calmed, the moon shone over them as if they were the only two people in the universe and Rose realised that was exactly how she liked it.
Her and Scorpius, alone and together. Them against the world.
A/N: Sorry about the long update there have been some serious family problems on for JustSuper- we hope you understand- hope you like thed the chapter? so skip and min are now single? what do we have in store for them next?
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