Chapter 8 : Rose
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The song I reference is U2’s . That part where Bono just starts screaming “All I Want is You” is, to me, reflected when Rose confides in Harry.
Edited with the help of my reviewers. I’ve added a little backstory to help this stand alone. Lovely chapter image by socal.
The main part of the story takes place Winter 2038.
Molly’s Hen Night, 2031
It was getting late; or rather, early. This was venue number eight on the list for Molly’s hen night. Rose smiled to herself - if you could call this place a venue. They were supposed to go to twelve bars, one for every year Molly had known Richard. An ingenious idea; to Rose’s mind. She’d planned it after all. She had been a little miffed that they weren’t following her idea, but they were having more fun in this dive Muggle bar than they had anticipated.
There was no music, but of course the Weasley girls and friends had danced all the same. There was a crash from the next table. Lucy, probably. She was a lot to handle on a night out, even now. Lucy’s one year of fun still translated to madness; and enforced Rose’s surprise that the mothering one, Molly, had not married first. A look over her shoulder confirmed it had indeed been Lucy to fall off a table, pulling the far more graceful Dominique with her. Dom didn’t handle weddings well.
Rose did. Rose loved weddings, and cried at every single one of them, much to everyone else amusement. She cried along with her mother, never minding for once how her father compared them. She smiled to herself now as she waited in for Roxanne to come back from the bathroom. They had just been discussing Roses’ boyfriend, Rob Peaks, an old friend of Roxanne and Colin’s. Lately he had been dropping hints about an engagement. She didn’t want to get married yet, she was still too young. It was nice though, to know that it was going to happen someday. It was nice.
This was brilliant though, this night. She had really enjoyed herself, only now taking a little break from the dancing. She rubbed her sore feet absentmindedly. She was enjoying her little reflection; she rarely allowed herself those. Rose was happy, she decided. She wasn’t completely over the moon, but happy all the same. Content was the word, she thought, smoothing back the artificially straight hair that dismayed her mother so.
She scanned the now crowded pub for Roxy’s black curls before her eye caught a flash of blonde.
She rose to her feet and walked unsteadily on her high heels. She pushed through the people surrounding her, as if she had been possessed by someone else. It wasn’t Victoire, or Dominique. They were the only ones of the group to have hair that bright.
She kept pushing, despite hearing Lily call her name frantically. Before she could think, she was clipped in the stomach by a tray of glasses, which then smashed to the ground in some kind of glorious, awful chorus.
She hopped back so her feet would not be cut through her sandals and noticed the pair of feet opposite her do the same thing, though the men’s shoes left the feet better protected.
She looked up. It wasn’t Victoire, or Dominique, or even Louis calling in; an easy mistake with their bright hair.
It was someone quite different altogether.
With all the promises we made
From the cradle to the grave
And all I want is you
“What do you think, Rose?” Charlotte asked, holding out a pale blue dress. “I think this blue is the way to go, this shade will look lovely with your hair.”
Rose snorted. “Unlike all the others.”
Eva’s eyes widened. “Really, do you think all the blue is too much? I know it’s supposed to be just ‘something blue’ but I like blue and - ”
Charlotte hushed her. “No Eva, it’s lovely.”
She shot a glare at Rose as she spoke. Rose rolled her eyes, but fondly. It had been years since Rose and Charlotte had finally made friends, but it didn’t mean they always had to agree. Charlotte was right to comfort her, with the wedding so close she was entitled to panic. Eva, as usual, had been perfectly organised, until she realised she hadn’t done anything about the bridesmaids’ dresses. Still though, Rose knew Albus couldn’t figure out how three months was “so close”.
Rose was pushed into a changing room with the dress after Charlotte had put her hair up, and began grappling with all the material. In her teen years, she had been a lot more interested in clothes. Now that she didn’t feel as much of a need to be unlike her Mum, she had calmed somewhat. Once dressed, she surveyed herself in the mirror, absentmindedly dancing a bit to the music playing on the wireless in the shop.
She couldn’t believe Albus was getting married.
It felt wrong to be helping organise the wedding from the brides end, but this was her duty as bridesmaid. Eva was one of her best friends, though, so she didn’t mind. Al, her real best friend, deserved no less.
She was so happy for him, but still so sad. She had had a front row view of Al and Eva’s getting together in school. Fifth year had been an important year for both of them, Rose and Al, grappling with so many things.
The Rose in the mirror bit the inside of her cheek. It was hard to think of that happy time without thinking about him.
That morning she and Charlotte had been discussing Eva’s upcoming hen night, through Floo with Lily, from her office in Hogwarts. They needed to find a time when Lily could be away from school, when Dominique could return from France and the like. Of course, talk had turned to the now favourite story James’ rage of jealousy, when he crashed Charlotte’s hen night. It wasn’t long until Rose had been forced to think of Molly’s bachelorette party, a good seven years before.
That wedding had been far from pleasant for Rose, still shaken a week after the surprise encounter in the Muggle bar. Luckily she had fled before she had time to say anything stupid.
She had been fine before she saw him. She had gotten a boyfriend, a real one, and was doing well for herself. Seeing him had brought her back down, and it had taken her a while to build herself back up again. Somehow, despite what she had thought to be a silly teenage romance in their senior years at Hogwarts , he had changed her utterly.
Eva poked her head in, before cooing. “Oh Rose, that is beautiful on you! And you were right about the one shoulder style! Charlotte wants the strapless one, but I think the different shapes will look well, with my two little straps and –“
She took a breath and frowned. “I’m babbling again, aren’t I?”
“The dress will suit Lily, too, you know.” Rose stammered, suddenly shaken again. She couldn’t do this. She couldn’t dance with him.
“Lily doesn’t want to be a bridesmaid, Rose. She said she’d step up if needed but, you know, the three times a bridesmaid, never a bride thing.”
This was Roses’ third time as a bridesmaid.
“I can’t do it Eva,” Rose whispered, frantically. “Can’t Charlotte dance with him? I’ll dance with James, I don’t mind if he steps on my feet or anything. And the dress will look even better on Lily, you know that!”
Suddenly Charlotte was in the dressing room. It was suddenly very crowded. She and Eva exchanged glances.
“Look, I know he and Al have gone through a lot together, and he wants him to be a groomsman. He told me.” After much protest from Rose, that was. “But I can’t. I haven’t spoken to him in about twelve years.”
She shot the two girls pleading looks.
Eva looked at her solidly, the determination that Al loved so much becoming apparent. “You’re Rose Weasley. You can handle anything.”
“Even Scorpius Malfoy,” Charlotte said firmly, though her pale green eyes revealed how unsure she was.
Victoire clapped her hands together happily. “Perfect, Albus, it’ll be perfect. But what are you going to do with the Muggles?”
Al shrugged. “Nothing. We’ve asked everyone to keep the magic to the minimum. Eva’s not past confounding any friends or family, anyway.”
Lucky, no one in Godrics Hollow would protest against anything a Potter would say. Victoire was right, Rose thought, her heart filling. The church here was lovely, if a little small, and would be even more beautiful covered in snow, if they were lucky enough. Roses’ mum had said that the first time Harry had seen Godrics Hollow it had been Christmas time, and snowing. Al seemed to want to recreate that for Harry, and Rose had done everything she could to organise this.
“You sure you’re ready to live so close to Harry and Ginny?” Rose asked, sceptically. She hadn’t believed it when she’d heard the news.
“We’re ages away from each other, Rose. We’re at the other side of the outskirts. And it’s not as if it’s you.”
Rose shuddered. It wasn’t as if her parents couldn’t Apparate to where she was, but she still liked some physical distance.
Sophie pulled at her. She wanted her hair plaited, it seemed. Rose knelt down to set to work on Victoire’s daughter, once again marvelling at the little girl’s beauty. Her hands weaved in and out of the mane of blonde waves, darker than Victoire’s, but lovely all the same. She heard Victoire and Teddy talk over the plans again with Al, who was explaining how they were going to keep everyone warm in the dead of winter.
A call came from the back of the church. Rose felt everything inside her freeze, and involuntarily grabbed at little Sophie’s hair.
The girl squealed as Al answered the call.
“Scorpius! Yeah, we’re back here mate.”
Victoire frowned momentarily, but smoothed a smile on her face and waved. She thought the friendship was odd, but didn’t say anything. Luckily, Teddy, Victoire, Molly, Dominique and Lucy had never known about Rose and Scorpius; they had left the school by the time the couple was “official”.
They weren’t going to find out now. Rose carefully tied a bow at the end of the braid, and straightened out, breathing deeply. She smoothed out her own hair as subtly as she could. She would not be turning red; she instructed herself firmly, she wasn’t a teenager anymore.
“Hi everyone,” he said, smiling in his reserved way. He shook Victoire and Teddy’s hands, smiled at Sophie, and turned to Rose.
“Scorpius,” she said, as warmly as she could, though feeling her ears reddening, as her Dad’s did.
She stuck out her hand automatically, and he shook it, stiffly, silently. This was surreal.
He looked better, though, she thought. Al had grabbed his attention, leading him towards another part of the church to show him something. She relaxed for a moment. Albus had always been her favourite.
“Do you want me to take Sophie off your hands, Vic?” Rose offered, inspiration striking. Sophie was unusually quiet, and probably very tired.
“I could bring her to see Harry, I think he’s home today. And it’ll be a lovely walk!” she exclaimed, the last part to Sophie herself, who grinned.
“Why don’t you bring Scorpius too?” Teddy suggested.
Rose hated Teddy. She always had, she just never realised until now.
She looked frantically at Al, who had his back turned. “Good idea, Ted. You wouldn’t mind, would you, Rose? I left his suit at the house last time I was there.”
She opened her mouth, then shut it again. He wasn’t serious, was he?
Al had always been her favourite; it was unfortunate that he was now going to have to die.
She nodded silently, and took Sophie’s hand before leaving. Scorpius followed them out of the Church. She gritted her teeth. He knew his way to the house perfectly, he had come to stay at the Potters’ for a week one summer when his family was in trouble; something about the war had come into light. She tried not to think about that lovely week too often, where she paid many visits to her aunt and uncle.
Once on their way, she positioned Sophie in between herself and Scorpius. “Only getting the suits now? Eva thought she was disorganised getting our dresses almost three months ago.”
Keep it about the wedding, Rose reminded herself, squeezing Sophie’s hand.
Scorpius seemed to nod to himself. That was it. Strong and silent, Rose thought bitterly, rolling her eyes.
“Were you two friends in school?” Sophie asked, brightly, skipping over the icy patches.
“No,” Rose answered sharply. She saw Scorpius look over at her, finally.
Sophie broke away, skipping further ahead. Rose cursed her energy.
“Well we weren’t,” Rose said, defensively. She was right, obviously. She stared straight ahead.
She couldn’t help herself, her father’s lack of reserve probably coming out in her, though it was her mother’s voice she used.
“You’re going to have to talk to me, eventually Scorpius,” she scolded. “Don’t be so childish.”
“I thought we weren’t friends,” he sneered, his eyes cold.
She was going to hit him. She was actually going to hit him. He was them going to die a fiery death and when people asked what had happened, people would just say “Rose Weasley, that’s what happened.” Rose smiled to herself smugly, imagining him bursting in the doors of St. Mungo’s burns unit. She’d had a similar vision about him when she was fifteen.
They walked in silence until they reached the house.
“It’s probably in Al’s room, you know where it is.” She said, not even looking at him.
“Fine. I’ll make my own way back,” he snapped. ”But if Al asks, we talked.”
“Talked about what?” Rose said, haughtily. “Who we used to be?”
“Who we are now,” he growled. “It’s a very different thing.”
He turned to walk up the stairs. “You may even want to be friends with this version of me.”
She flounced down the hall, stopping around where she knew Harry’s office would be. Since a child, Sophie was somewhere, the old charm on the door was seemingly activated, ensuring that only someone who needed him would be allowed in.
She looked at the door materialising. He couldn’t help her, but she had to be away from Scorpius. A quick glance told her Sophie had found a cat to play with, and she slipped in the door.
Harry looked up, and grinned. “Rose! I wasn’t expecting you. Did you come for James’ suit? I was hoping he’d pick it up and say hi to his own Dad but –“
“I came with Scorpius. Al made me bring him.”
Harry was obviously surprised he had been interrupted, but recovered well. “Well, sit down. I was only finishing up something. You must be tired after organising everything.”
She took a seat gratefully. Apparently she had been worse than her Mum, taking over.
“Remember when you came in here before, Rosie? When you were little?” Harry smiled, musing. “The others teased you because you weren’t able to fly.”
Rose, startled by the hazy memory, looked at her godfather, properly, for the first time in years. She looked at his greying, thinning hair, the wrinkles behind his big glasses. She saw the man who had always looked after her, when her mum and dad couldn’t. She saw his gaze softening.
“Are you ok, Rosie?” he asked gently. “Do you want anything?”
With that, Rose completely lost it.
She didn’t know how it began, but in a moment she was in a sobbing ball, on the ground, with Harry holding her. Thankfully this room had been long since soundproofed.
“I want him,” she roared, hysterically. “This is so unfair, I hate this.”
She continued babbling, grabbing at Harry’s jumper as he hugged her. They rocked back and forth until they heard the door slam.
“Scorpius,” he said, reluctantly. She didn’t want to know how he had guessed.
“I was in love with him!” she exclaimed, not caring that she had never really said this out loud before. “I don’t think I ever stopped.”
Harry pulled away. Rose looked up at him fearfully as he stood up.
She stood up too, hiccupping, trying to wipe her tears away. “Don’t tell Dad.”
He shook his head, looking baffled. “No, of course not.”
She sniffed to herself, conjuring a tissue.
“What happened, Rose?” he asked carefully.
She sighed. “You did. You all did.”
Rose bowed to a gathered group of fans.
“And that’s my dancing for tonight, folks,” she grinned, red at the ears.
“You were terrible, Rosie!” Victoire, the once renowned ballerina, called. They all laughed.
Poor Eva’s hen night had been taken over by Weasleys, not that anyone was surprised. Another Muggle pub, to facilitate some Muggle friends of the Floricks. Both of Eva’s parents were wizards, but had gone into hiding during the war, not emerging until Eva got her letter.
Rose wasn’t sure how she had ended up dancing for everyone, but knew Eva was happy she had. Since her run in with Scorpius, in the church, she had been the perfect bridesmaid. She had continued to boss everyone around as a way of comforting herself, and threw herself into helping with the wedding.
She had since gone on several walks with Scorpius. The excuses Al and Eva used got worse and worse, but they worked all the same. Fake smiles and forced camaraderie were the norm, and avid discussion of topics outside themselves.
A flash of blonde at the window, and Rose was outside.
That was it. Once again, drawn to him against her will. She had made no excuses to anyone around her, but a glance over her shoulder assured her everyone was still dancing.
He stood there, fifteen and at war with the world.
“I’m sorry, Rose,” Scorpius said. Just like that.
She nodded. “I’m sorry too.”
She had just said it. The simplicity of it all shocked her.
“Do you want to go for a walk?” he asked, cautiously.
She nodded again, and fell into pace with him as they walked. They walked through the town, and outside the town, on a narrow country road. She was suddenly not afraid.
“Do you ever think about the day we got together?”
Rose snorted at his question, then covered her mouth in embarrassment. In all her worry about becoming her mother, she had seemingly become her father.
“Obviously,” she said, trying to keep her voice calm.
“We were really stupid, weren’t we?”
Rose stopped, and looked at Scorpius sharply. He was grinning, actually grinning, not smirking. She couldn’t help it, and let out a peal of laughter. Then another. And another.
Soon, the two were doubled over on a windy hillside lane, gasping for air in between bursts of laugher.
Because they had been stupid, some sort of rebellion born out of teenage attraction. Thinking they were the centre of the universe. All the drama; the shouting and tears, the grand sweeping gestures and angst ridden conversations, as if plucked from a romance novel. About what they wanted, what they needed.
Though they didn’t have the glamour of a love in wartime, they had found themselves growing up in a country that was most certainly “post-war”, as Eva put it. It was a time of regrowth, but also sorrow. While the population moved to a new level of understanding, of leaving by prejudices and respecting Muggles better, they still held on to grudges. The Malfoys, though still an affluent family carried a mark against their name, just as the Weasleys could do no wrong. Scorpius and Rose’s relationship would have been seen as being an opposition to their community’s norms and values.
Forbidden love was so exciting precisely because it was deemed forbidden. But whoever forbade it? It was wrong of her, even in her recent confession to Harry, to blame him. Their parents would have been upset, but they had never given them chance. They were two teenagers who had bought into the fantastical idea of star-crossed lovers.
“We were right though, it would never have worked out,” she smiled, starting to walk again. She said it while only partially believing it.
He shook it head. “Definitely. I mean, it’s not like it is now. You know I couldn’t even get a job once I left my family?”
Rose felt as if she had been stabbed. But no, she had nothing to feel guilty about. She couldn’t have helped him, not really. Not without hurting herself.
“Have you talked to him at all, since school?” Mr Malfoy had always been off-limits.
“Yeah, just in the last couple of years. I mean, we’ll never be Harry and Albus but – “
“I’m glad you’ve talked.” Rose said quietly.
They walked along in silence, climbing a hill now.
“School books,” He smirked, changing the subject. She knew by his tone that he was smirking
“There is nothing wrong with putting together school books, Malfoy. Our future depends on it.” She said, on defence again.
“No, I can imagine you,” he said, surprised. “I just thought – “
“I wouldn’t want to end up like Mum?” she teased. “I actually get on a lot better with her now, you know. She has the cover of The New Standard Book of Spells framed in the sitting room at home.
“Merlin, I was a complete cow to her, do you remember?” she laughed.
He chuckled again at her understatement. Rose’s heart warmed. He never used to laugh like this.
“Remember what we used to say? ‘That bloody war’ – what were we like?” She cringed.
“Curse that war!”, Scorpius bellowed, in an imitation of his teenage voice.
Rose shook her head. So young, and so filled with self-righteous first love.
“I never blamed you Rose.” He seemed to struggle to get this out. “I blamed everyone else, never you though.”
Rose closed her eyes, letting her feet guide her.
“We wouldn’t have made it work. We were still only seventeen by the end; there were still inquisitions and things.” This had been her mantra.
“It’s different now.” She finished, without really meaning to.
She opened her eyes to see his widen.
They stood, on a secluded hilltop, two adults. It was starting to snow.
Did this mean they were over it now, or –
“I’m going to get back to the girls, they’re probably wondering where I am.” She rushed.
What was she saying? Was she mental? Was she Ron Weasley after all? Merlin, sometimes she wished she could hex herself.
She looked at him desperately. He nodded, and bowed his head to her.
“After you,” he said stiffly, obviously waiting for her to Apparate first. The moment was clearly over.
She left, and returned to the party. There was nothing left to do now but get on with things.
Rose had never been gladder of waterproof makeup. Her best friends were married, at long last. She looked around the room and saw everyone she loved, all together.
This is what she gained courage from, and had always gained courage from.
Al and Eva began their first dance together, such an impossibly perfect match.
It was time for the groomsmen and bridesmaids to join – James and Charlotte stepped in first, followed by Rose and Scorpius, once she wiped her tears away.
She took his hand, he held her waist. She rested her other hand on his shoulder, and looked up into his cold, light blue eyes.
Except they weren’t cold anymore. They had both grown up.
“Hugo doesn’t like me, you know,” Scorpius said, conversationally.
“It’s ok, I don’t think he likes me much either.”
They shared a soft laugh at this as he twirled her.
“I’m glad they made it work,” she said, nodding towards Al and Eva, offering up some further conversation.
“I really don’t like them apart, you know,” he answered.
She giggled louder. People were looking over.
“No, they’re insufferable,” she snorted. It was very true.
Rose looked over to her parents. They were focused on the married couple. Harry was staring at her intently.
She looked away, and looked back. Was she imagining things, or was he nodding his head towards Scorpius?
Uncle Harry had never been very subtle, but he was often quite right.
“I was a lot nicer when we were together,” she whispered, hesitantly. “I always thought it was just because I was so worried that we would be caught but – “
“We were actually an alright couple, most of the time,” he finished.
“You wouldn’t be my dirty little secret anymore, Scorpius.” Rose replied, voice catching.
They glided across the dance floor as everyone else joined. Hugo and Caitlin were nearby.
“Dad’s going to try to cut in, Ro,” Hugo said, just loud enough to hear, as he passed. “Do not, for the love of Merlin, let him.”
Shocked, Rose looked at Scorpius. His face seemed to mirror hers. Hugo was on their side? Scorpius shook off his shock first, as they moved away from her dad.
“What am I supposed to say, Rose? That I still love you? What would that solve?”
Everything, Rose wanted to say, her heart pounding. Wasn’t that what their parents always said, love was all they needed? Because it was true, she had seen it to be true. She had seen how happy it made Al and Victoire and Molly and all the rest. It was something she had told Louis once, when he had asked her about Scorpius.
“I’m finished with pretending, and hiding,” she said tiredly, hesitantly putting her head on his shoulder. “All I want is you, now.”
Couples spun around them as they now stayed rooted to the spot. She closed her eyes, feeling his heart beat against hers, and feeling at home.
She used to think her heart burned for him. It didn’t. It beat like everyone else’s heart. Perhaps it beat for him. What burned must eventually extinguish, it was transient. This was not.
“Your parents aren’t going to be happy,” Scorpius warned her, though he could tell she was smiling.
“I’m thirty years old, Scorpius.” She laughed. “I think it’ll be alright.”
And it was. Rose had enough spells in her arsenal and the saviour of the wizarding world on her side. It was about time she started doing what she wanted.
It was about time she started practicing what she preached.
Love is all you need.
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