I tried really hard to avoid an outburst like the one at the beginning of the year. I was running every morning as a result-- trying to blow off steam and what not. It did help, if only a little. Besides that, Al had become a safe haven. I assumed it was because he was the only person who knew what was going on. I couldn’t tell anyone else about it... well, maybe Tabby but I knew what she would say. She wasn't exactly known for sporting a sympathetic ear.
The nice thing about Al was that he didn’t ask any questions, though I knew he was dying to. He just hung out with me, usually in silence. Since Seven was with Annie now and Gordie was with Six, Al and I had plenty of time to re-kindle our "cousin connection". If any of my house mates noticed my absence, they didn't mention it. Too absorbed in their own lives, I guess.
That said, Dom was trying like hell to get Bertram’s attention but was failing quite miserably. He was spending most of his time with Tabby, which I found particularly odd. Part of me wanted to ask him why, since I knew he fancied the pants off of Dom, but mostly I looked on in detached amusement. One good thing was that it didn’t look like a Tabby/Bertram re-connection was in the making. Thank Merlin...
Then there was Ade and James, who were being as weird as ever. Ade told me that, while she appreciated James’ declaration of love, he wasn’t exactly out of the doghouse yet. He clearly had some serious arse kissing to do before she consented to moving their relationship forward.
Finally, there was Jocelyn and Gates, though she swore that they were ‘just friends’.
That left just just me and Al. Of course, Scorpius was around as well, but I really didn’t see him much. I overheard Bertram tell Tabby that he was working in the library most nights on some Muggle Studies project.
Not that I cared.
We did see each other at Quidditch practice but, when you’re flying in the air throwing balls around with three people who hate you, it's easy to forget about the guy who you maybe loved hovering on a broom above you. Well, okay, not easy but doable.
Life had returned to a somewhat normal routine. Nothing I couldn’t handle. Nothing that made me a zombie, non-eating, crazy drunken stalker. Nope, I was handling this thing with maturity and it was practically mutual. I was totally going to break it off with him, anyway. I was going to choose my family’s happiness over ours. Scorpius had done the right thing, ending it when he did. Yep. Everything was great. It didn't matter that I couldn’t sleep, or that I would snap at Annie and Seven every chance I got, or at anyone else for that matter. It was no big deal that I spent hours sitting around in silence and that I now had a serious addiction to running. Running was healthy-- it was really, really good for you-- plus, tears and sweat taste the same when they run down your cheeks.
I was obviously worse off than I thought. I really must have snapped somewhere down the line and never even knew it. Well, that or hell had frozen over, because I swear I just saw Tabby talking to Al. To Al!! And they hadn't scowled, or cursed, or even shed blood! Something was definitely up. Determined to find out what it was, I started towards them but Al must have seen me because he turned and scurried down the corridor.
“I think you should take me to Healer Wharton,” I announced as I stepped up in front of Tabby.
“Yeah?" she replied, furrowing her brows in concern. "You sick?”
“I must be because I just saw you talking to Al and neither one of you left with tentacles on your face or coming out of your-“
“How do you know? He’s got robes to cover that kind of thing.” Tabby shot me a wicked grin.
“What exactly were you two talking about?” I asked with a fold of my arms.
“Nothing at all," she sniffed. "The tosser ran into me so I decided to tell him off.” Her hair swished back and forth as she headed towards the Slytherin common room.
“That did not look like you were telling him off, Tabby,” I puffed, rushing to keep up with her.
She stopped and looked at me. “Hmmm, maybe you do need to see the healer, especially if you think my conversing with Albus Potter was anything…else,” she spit the last word as though it were a bogey flavored Bertie Bott.
“Okay, whatever,” I relented. No use arguing if Tabby was unwilling to confess-- unless I tried the good auror/bad auror thing again but, I didn’t care enough to put in all that effort.
“Hey! Do you happen to know why Bertram keeps giving Dom the boot?” I asked.
Tabby gave me a pointed look. “Because I told him to.”
“Oh Merlin, please tell me you two aren't together again!” I whined and palmed my face in aggravation.
“Sweet Crice, no!" she boomed, looking a bit green. "I simply told him that he needed to play it cool. Dominique always gets her way with guys-- she needs someone to make her work for it. I'll admit, it's been hard for Bertram but, I send a hex in his direction whenever it looks like he’s going to cave." Her face broke into a malicious grin. "It’s kinda fun.”
“O-okay.” What else was I supposed to say? There was no point in arguing with Tabby. Besides, it was working! Dom had never had to work so hard to get a guy's attention. It was probably killing her... but it was also good for her. Dom needed a turn at the other end of the stick.
“So Rose..." Tabby began in an unusually measured tone. "How’re you and Scorpius doing?”
Shit! I hadn’t expected that! I really should have. This was Tabby, after all. The bint did not know the meaning of "beat around the bush".
“We’re fine," I blurted out. "We’re friends.”
Her brows rose into her hairline. "Friends?"
I gave a casual shrug. “We decided it was better to call it quits. No point causing a bunch of drama if there was nothing there, right?” The words felt like sand in my mouth and it hurt as I swallowed them down.
“Hmmm...” It was her only reply.
That was what life was like for the weeks leading up to the ‘secret event’ everyone was buzzing about. For a surprise memorial, there were a lot of people who knew about it. Hell, I heard a lot of first years mention it when I walked into Ancient Runes the Thursday before. First years!! They don’t know anything.
Putting that aside, I had come to the conclusion that I despised Ancient Runes. It was the only class Scorpius and I shared without any buffers and I had taken to sitting with Amit Singh-- Al’s dorm mate-- to avoid being close to him. My excuse for sitting with him was lame. I told him it was because I could see better from that seat. If it bothered Scorpius at all, I couldn't tell. He rarely showed emotion in front of me anymore. Not that it should have bothered him anyway. He didn’t like me anymore.
Amit was actually a good person to sit next to. He smelled nice and he was very studious. Thankfully, he had a serious girlfriend and there was no chance of any sexual tension developing between us. He was a safe bet, much better than the Nose Picker who also shared the class with me. He sat alone in the back, of course... probably so he could wipe his bogeys under the desk.
“So, are your parents coming tomorrow night?” Amit asked as we unpacked our books at the start of class.
I gave him my ‘are you serious’ look.
“Oh, right? Sorry. So, are you excited then?”
“Not really," I admitted. "This stuff is pretty boring and mum always gets so serious when she’s at these things. Dad, on the other hand, gets a bit saucy and brags about how he rode a dragon or some nonsense. If I could get away with it I wouldn’t even show up.”
His neck jerked back and his eyebrows rose in shock. I guess that wasn’t the answer he was expecting, especially from the child of Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.
“What about your family?" I switched the focus to him. "Is your mum coming? I know she fought at the final battle. My mum said she was pretty good, too.”
Amit straightened his shoulders and flashed a proud grin. “She said that? That’s so cool!" he exclaimed. "Yeah, Mum’n Dad’ll be there...and my Aunt Padma is coming as well. She also fought in the final battle.”
“That’s nice,” I rejoined. I wasn't exactly sure what else to say. I just wanted the conversation to end. Where in the world was the Professor, anyway? Shouldn’t class have started by now?
“What about your parents Scorpius?" Amit turned towards Scorpius. "Are they coming tomorrow night?”
“Unfortunately.” His response was very dry and Amit finally took the hint to shut up already.
All I felt was regret. Hearing Scorpius' voice sent a sharp pang through my chest and I clenched my fists in response. I pulled a deep breath and reminded myself that this was nothing I couldn’t handle. Taking my seat, I looked down and saw that my quill was broken in half. I blinked, realizing that I must have been holding it when I heard him speak. I never knew they could snap so easily. I would have to find a better brand if they were going to continue to break on me like this.
“Rose, your dad is standing outside the porthole,” Ten announced.
I was going over my potions essay with Tabby and responded without taking my eyes off of my assignment. “Tell him to come in.”
“I did but he said something about being in enemy territory.” I looked up and saw Ten grimace before rejoining a group of first years huddled by the fire.
“Ugh! Well, I guess I'll see you at the thing," I said as stretched my arms overhead. "Mind taking my books up to the room?”
“Whatever," Tabby retorted. "Um, aren’t you going to change first?” She eyed my ratty, green jumper with obvious distaste.
“What for? I don’t even want to go to this thing.”
Tabby shrugged and I took that as my cue to go see my dad. I exited the common room and saw my dad leaning against the wall opposite the common room entrance, staring up at the ceiling.
“Seriously dad? You won't even come inside?”
His lips pursed, his face contorting into an expression he made right before he passed gas.
“Fine...but I must tell you that you are a complete wimp."
“A wimp who helped save the world," he shot back. "A wimp who is getting honored tonight for that very thing...a wimp who can still ground you when you come home for summer holiday.” Dad tried to keep a straight face but, like always he failed miserably. He was rubbish at being stern. Pigheaded he could be, but stern… never. Well, at least not with his little girl... even if I am in the ‘enemy camp’.
As we turned the corner, we took the stairs up to the entrance hall and my heart suddenly leapt into my throat. Scorpius was on his way down and my father and he were about to hit head on.
“Rose.” Scorpius nodded at me, though he averted his gaze and kept looking forward as he veered out of my dad's way.
“Malfoy,” I replied, but he had already passed and my voice was hardly audible.
“I thought you two were friends.” Dad spoke up once Scorpius was out of ear shot.
“We are,” I beamed with more enthusiasm than was necessary.
My dad quirked his brow at me and said, “Well it’s for the best. Weasley's and Malfoy's don’t mix.”
My temper, which had been brewing close to the surface as of late, finally got the best of me. “Why is that dad?!" I shouted, my face growing redder by the second. "Why can’t a Weasley and a Malfoy get on? Scorpius is a nice bloke and no matter what happened with you and his father, there is no reason for us not to be friends!”
A group of second years passed us, clinging to the opposite side of the wall to evade my rant.
“You don’t know everything, Rose," my father averred. "Trust me, it's for the best.”
He tried to walk away but I grabbed his arm and stood my ground. “I know more than you think," I hissed. "I know that mum and Mr. Malfoy were married. I know that you have some weird jealousy thing going on with Malfoy Sr., but I don’t care! I don’t give a whit about what happened back then because that was the past and if I want to be friends with Scorpius Malfoy, I will be. Hell, if I want to date Scorpius Malfoy, I will. And if Voldemort had some long lost son and I wanted to hang out with him, I'd do that too!"
My father looked positively gobsmacked.
“Why the hell did you fight for freedom if you were just going to harbor all these old grudges and try to keep me caged? Grow up daddy. Just grow the hell up!”
I left him in the corridor with his mouth hanging open and his ears burning a familiar shade of red. Then I ran. I ran as fast as I could, out of the castle, and onto the grounds. Several older wizards were walking around as the memorial service would begin in an hour. Naturally, all the wizards with children had come a bit early to spend some time with their families. That said, there was no place to hide and I could feel all the strangers staring at me as I hauled off towards the Black Lake. Settling myself behind a large boulder, I couldn’t see anyone and I hoped they couldn’t see me either.
“If you were looking to hide you really shouldn’t run through the grounds like a madwoman.” My mum’s figure was blurry through all the tears that refused to stop streaming down my face. I resolved to look for a tear duct removal spell, because this crying shit sucks.
“I’m not hiding,” I said defiantly.
“If you say so.” Her condescending tone made me want to scream.
She faced the lake and threaded her hands behind her back. “I ran into your father a few minutes ago.”
I said nothing.
“Care to tell me what’s going on?”
I shook my head. “Nothing’s going on, mum.”
“So, you’re out hear all alone crying because everything is okay?” She rubbed her hand gently over my shoulder. “You know, you're allowed to be friends with the Malfoy boy. I know your father can come across…”
“Like an arse?” I cut in.
“I was going to say pigheaded but arse works, too.” She smiled and my lips twitched in response.
“He doesn’t mean it though, sweetie. He loves you and he’ll get used to you seeing Draco’s son... don’t worry.” Her tone was full of concern but all I could hear were her words from the night of Aunt Ange's Hen Party. "I’ll hate it. Okay? It will make things awful for me."
“Wait, seeing each other?" I piped up and pretended to be shocked. "What are you talking about?"
She chuckled lightly. "Rose, I'm your mum. I know everything."
"Well apparently you don't because, not only are Scorpius and I not seeing each other, we're barely even talking to one another.” I turned my head and tried to keep the tears from flowing.
“Oh, dear, I am so sorry.” She started to rub her hand in slow circles on my back but I jerked away.
“No you’re not," I groused. "Don’t lie to me, mum. I know you didn’t want me to be with him.” I wiped a bit of snot from my nose with the arm of my jumper.
“Wha- what makes you think that? All I want is for you to be happy and if Scorpius Malfoy is the boy to do that, then of course I am sorry that you're not together.”
I heaved a bitter sigh. “I know mum, okay? I know you and Mr. Malfoy were married. I heard what you told Aunt Ginny the night of Angelina’s hen party. I know you didn’t want us to be together, so don’t pretend that you aren’t relieved that my relationship with Scorpius didn’t amount to much.”
Mum grasped both of my arms and made me face her. I tried to turn away but she grabbed my chin with one hand-- a very forceful hand, I might add.
“Now listen to me Rose Weasley," she began, "whatever you heard that night were the ramblings of a slightly inebriated and thoroughly shocked woman. I was practically accosted by Astoria that evening, I had way too much to drink, and I was upset. Not about you and Scorpius but that you felt the need to hide what was going on from me." Her deep brown eyes brimmed with unshed tears. "I need you to believe me when I say that I am truly sorry that you are upset. I am your mother and I love you. All I want is for you to be happy.... and if that means dating the son of my ex husband, or the long lost son of Voldemort for that matter, so be it. I support you, Rose-- one hundred and fifty percent and so does your father.”
My mouth would have been hanging open if it wasn't squinched together between my mum’s fingers.
“Now, give me a hug and go clean yourself up," she commanded. "As much as I am sure you want to, you cannot go to the memorial ceremony looking like you just got out of bed.”
My mum pulled me up from the ground and wrapped me in a bone crushing hug that, while painful, filled me with much needed love and warmth.
It was all well and good for mum to be okay with me being with Scorpius. That is, it would be, were we actually together. My heart, which had a constant ache since coming back from the Easter Holiday, burned anew. If only I didn’t have to go to this blasted memorial, then I could just curl up in bed with a good book. That would surely help me forget the fact that I had fallen in love with someone who would hardly even look at me.
I dressed quickly, throwing on a set of simple, powder blue robes. I didn’t bother trying to tame my hair, I just pulled it into a small, frizzy braid. It took me all of ten minutes and that was including a quick ironing spell I shot at the robes on my way downstairs. I was the last person to arrive at the Great Hall and was immediately bombarded by the stench of various witch perfumes, the sound of old friends re-uniting, an extremely round elderly man who reminded me of a walrus picking a wedgie as he slapped Uncle Harry on the back, an elbow in my side and the taste of champagne as it spilled from Grawp’s overlarge glass and drenched the left side of my face. The night was off to a wonderful start.
The long dining tables had been replaced with various cocktail tables and they were scattered around the room. There were little house elves carrying trays of champagne, juice, and various horse d’oeuvres. I looked around and tried to find a friend or one of my cousins but I could hardly see anything over the throng. I did notice that Uncle Harry had escaped from the Walrus Wedgie picker who had found another unfortunate to accost.
There! Was that a red head or just a hat. Damn it! I couldn’t see a damn thing over this crowd. A slam into my back sent me flying to the floor and I found myself being stomped on a few times before being helped up by… Shit! Was that Scorpius’ dad? His hair, though receding was almost the same color as Scopius’. His eyes were a murky grey but there was the same patrician nose and strong chin.
“Are you alright?” he asked in a low voice.
I closed my mouth and nodded, unable to say anything from sheer shock.
“Well, okay then.” He began to turn away.
Not wanting to look like a complete moron, I scrambled to respond. “Thank you,” I muttered before he was completely out of ear shot.
Mr. Malfoy threw a look over his shoulder and nodded. “You are most welcome Ms. Weasley.”
No wonder my mum had fallen for him. He was really quite charming. I mean, besides his being all old and gross, that is. He probably wasn’t like that when they were younger, though. It was too weird to think about such things; my parents having a life before I was born, my mum dating someone else. Hell, my mum dating anyone else. I guess I had never really given it much thought before now but, I bet mum had loads of experiences that I never even considered. Probably because I didn't want to, but…well, I guess it's just weird is all.
I was standing there, lost in my own random thoughts, when Tabby came up from behind.
“What, so you’ve had it with the son and now you’re moving on to his old man?”
“Ugh! That is disgusting. Why must you say such things Tabs?” I turned to look at her and watched her smile stretch as wide as her whole face.
"Pure shock value," she replied with a wink. "So, you gonna tell me the truth about what happened with you and Scorpius, or what?”
“Or what...” I replied and faced a shock of red hair standing next to a nearby cocktail table. I didn’t notice if Tabby had followed me or not as I made a bee-line for whichever relative I had finally spotted.
It was Lucy and I was hesitant to approach her. I mean, you never knew what that girl was up to and since Molly was nowhere to be seen, I became even more nervous. I didn’t get a chance to decide because, just as I got close enough to say something, I was pulled back into the crushing assembly.
“Don’t even think about it.” My brother's familiar voice whispered in my ear.
I groaned. “Why not? What are those two planning?" I held up a hand. "Wait, never mind, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.”
“Trust me, you don’t want to know,” he affirmed.
“Where is everyone else?” I asked.
“Uncle Harry has been hiding in a corner behind Hagrid and Mum and Dad are over there…”
He pointed to the front of the hall where a dais was set up and a large object was covered by a black cloth. They were talking to Headmaster Hotness and some dour looking ministry official. The man from the ministry seemed to be arguing about something with my parents and it looked like Headmaster Hotness was doing his best to temper the hotheaded debate.
“…and Aunt Ginny is talking to Luna and Neville over there…”
I looked in the other direction and saw the trio deep in discussion in the far corner.
“…and everyone else is randomly strewn throughout this mess of a party," he concluded. "Al asked me to find you...said he needed to see you immediately. He’s over by that cocktail table on the left.”
“Okay, any idea-”
“Nope, he didn’t say what for, just said to find you and send you over as soon as possible," Hugo interrupted. "Seemed a bit twitchy about the whole thing.”
Great-- a twitchy Al was never a good thing. The last time he got like that he'd stolen James’ invisibility cloak so he could sneak us into Hogsmeade. We had almost gotten caught by Professor Boot outside of Honeydukes. Good thing Professor Boot is clueless, otherwise he might have cottoned on to the fact that the bottom of his robes in the back had been singed.
I spotted Al’s messy thatch of hair poking up near the table that Hugo directed me to. His eyes were darting back and forth and he had a large bulge he was trying to cover with his arms in front of his stomach.
“What are you up to?” I asked. Probably shouldn’t have snuck up behind him as he jumped about a mile in the air, causing the bulge fell to the floor in a silvery heap.
“Shit! Damn-it Rose, don’t sneak up on me like that!” Al hissed and ducked down to scoop up his contraband.
“Sorry.” It didn't sound sorry. “So what the hell are you up to? And why on earth would you need to take the cloak out tonight?”
“Shhh… You’ll see. Now come with me.”
He pulled me into a corner, behind a potted Flitterbloom, and proceeded to drape the cloak over top of us. Taking my hand in his sweaty palm, he dragged me along the walls and pulled us underneath one of the cocktail tables. I looked at him archly and he responded by putting a finger to his lips. I rolled my eyes-- it was the quietest thing I could think of doing to protest his utter insanity.
Suddenly, a pair of very familiar Mary Janes stepped up in front of us and Al reached out to poke the wearer’s ankle. I tried to get up at that point but he dragged me back down by the wrist and clamped a hand over my mouth for good measure. What did he think I was going to do? Scream? Well, actually I would have if I hadn’t heard an agonizingly familiar voice.
“What's so important that you had to drag me away from mother? Doing things like that are bound to get her hopes up.” Scorpius’ tone lacked the intimate friendliness he had had when we were together but it was much better than how he'd been speaking to me since our break up.
“As if that would ever happen,” Tabby retorted. “No, I came here on a completely different mission, Scorpius. I want to know what the hell you've done to Rose.”
My heart stopped in my chest and Al had to poke me in the side to remind me that I might need to breathe.
“Wh-I-What are you talking about?” This was quite possibly the first time I had ever heard Scorpius even the tiniest bit flustered. There was no doubt that Tabby’s questions had taken him off guard.
“Please spare me the bullshit Scorpius," Tabby snapped. "I know you two were together... and don’t look at me like that. I've known you since we were in diapers-- don't think I didn’t know about your little crush on Rose. Merlin, you two were as obvious as the nose on Dumbledore’s face." She paused and I saw her shift on her feet. “So, like I said, what have you done to Rose?”
“I did nothing," Scorpius supplied. "Rose is fine.”
“Have you gone blind? She's turned into a right miserable shrew! Ever since Easter Hols she has barely spoken to anyone except that mindless cousin of hers – Ow!” Tabby flinched as Al sent a stinging hex towards her foot. As a result, his index finger had a nice encounter with the heal of Tabby’s Mary Jane.
I stifled a giggle.
“Are you okay?” Scoprius asked.
“Fine," she replied. "The ministry apparently brought with it a swarm of pests. I have already been bitten twice since walking into this miserable crush. Anyway, as I was saying. Rose is definitely not fine, and neither are you. So please Scorpius, explain to me what the hell is going on?”
I could picture Tabby giving him her no-nonsense look, the one that always seemed to make me give up my secrets.
“Well, if you know so much then you obviously know that we broke up," he rejoined. "Why ask me? Go talk to Rose about it!”
“Don’t you think I’ve tried?" she fired back. "Rose is trying to pretend that nothing is wrong. Too bad her cousin isn’t as tight lipped as she thought. I think I have the gist but what I don’t understand is, why in bloody hell you would break up with her?”
I would have shot an evil glare at Al for spilling my secrets but I was too busy hanging onto their every word.
“I was doing what was best.”
What? Why was that best?
“Lame," Tabby stated bluntly. "Try again.”
“Really Tabs," Scorpius said, "I was trying to do the right thing. Rose wasn’t over Seven so I gave her an out.”
WHAT! That's what he thought? I could’ve understood if it was because of our parents but...Seven? No, that is just crazy.
“Are you mental? She doesn’t care about Seven!”
Yeah! You tell him Tabby!
“Could’ve fooled me," he muttered sourly. "I got one letter from her the entire Holiday and you know what it was about? Seven and his new girlfriend. Then, when she gets back to Hogwarts what does she go off about? Seven and his new girlfriend. For someone who doesn’t care about the stupid wanker she sure spends a lot of time thinking about him.”
Well damn. I mean, I did do those things but I was just venting. And they were about Annie, not Seven. Didn’t he know that? I thought he would know that by now.
“You’re a plank, Scorpius," Tabby declared. "I know for a fact that she doesn’t give two shits for Seven Deciles. Is it possible that you read into something that wasn’t there because, oh I don't know, you're afraid?”
Scorpius barked a mocking laugh. “Of what?”
“Afraid that Rose might wake up one day and realize she was dating you and change her mind," Tabby provided coyly. "So instead of taking a risk, you ended it. You know, for someone as smart as you are, you sure do have a serious inferiority complex.”
“Yes you do," Tabby interjected. "And now that I have helped you see what an idiot you are, what are you going to do about it?”
My heart plummeted.
“Why not?” Tabby’s voice went all high pitched and scary.
“Because she's doing just fine without me!" he growled. "I know you 'say' she isn’t but I don’t believe you, Tabby. I think you're reading things wrong. I saw what she went through when she broke up with Seven-- I know what she looks like when she's heartbroken--, and Rose does not look heartbroken to me. So, if it’s all the same to you, I think I'll keep my own heart safely intact.”
I don’t know what possessed me, really I don’t, but I couldn’t stay still any longer. My anger exploded inside of me and it was like nothing I had ever felt before... and that’s saying something since I am a hot tempered Weasley.
I jumped out from under the cloak and shouted. “You coward!”
Of course, I forgot that we were precariously placed underneath a table and I dumped the entire thing over. It made a huge crash, drawing more attention to our little powwow than necessary. Not that that stopped me, mind you.
“You pansy arsed coward. I can’t believe I thought I was falling in love with you! You spineless piece of-“
Rose's hair was in a tangle around some sort of braid, her arms were flailing about like a mad woman, and there was spittle flying from her lips as she screamed insults at me. But I could only focus on her and how she had just shouted something about falling in love with me.
Grabbing hold of her, I pulled Rose towards me mid rant and her voice became muffled as our lips met. She squirmed for a moment but I could feel her begin to give in as her mouth molded with mine. It was vaguely reminiscent of our first kiss, but, this was even better. This was a thousand times better. This time she loved me. I got lost in her, in thoughts of her, in memories of everything that we had done together, in memories of things I had done for her. I still remembered when I started to fancy her…
It was third year and I was studying in the library. A few tables down a couple of fifth years were having a go at my dad’s friend's kid, Goyle. He was in first year and had been sorted into the Hufflepuff house, much to his families chagrin. Poor sod was sitting there, minding his own business, when some of the older kids came up and starting giving him crap for being the son of a Death Eater.
Rose swept into the library, her face bright red, her hair a puffy mess, and her eyes blazing fire. She hexed each of the fifth years as if it were nothing and then said as calmly as you please, “I don’t think I'd be making fun of this boys parent’s Smith, you don’t see us teasing you for your dad being a tosser and refusing to fight in the final battle? Ran away scared, didn’t he?” The kids scurried away from Rose as quickly as they could.
It was brilliant. There she sat, the daughter of two of the most famous wizards in England, helping out a poor kid like Goyle, who’s father had been on the opposite side.
Her tongue licked the top of my teeth and a shudder of pleasure rocketed through me. I broke away, wanting to look into her eyes, to make sure that she didn’t regret this. They were full of liquid warmth and shone up at me with everything I had ever wanted Rose to feel for me.
“So, you love me then?” I asked cheekily in her ear.
She shoved me lightly in the ribs. “Maybe...”
“Maybe you’ll have to convince me a bit more,” she smiled and I made a move to kiss her again.
“Not so fast young lady!” I heard mother’s voice call out from behind me.
Rose pulled away and looked over my shoulder. Red started to creep up her neck and into her cheeks. It really was a lovely shade on her.
“I think you should stop making such a spectacle of yourself and get off of my son."
I turned around, my own face burning red. “Mother,” I warned.
“Don’t ‘mother’ me. I know what this little hussy is up to and I will not have her or her mother ruin our family.”
A tall figure pushed through the crowd. “Excuse me? I must be going deaf-- did you just accuse my daughter and my wife of ruining your family?" Mr. Weasley snarled. "My wife wants nothing to do with you or your bloody no good Death Eater family and I'm sure with time my daughter,” he shot Rose a pointed look, “will come to the same conclusion.”
“Ron,” Mrs. Weasley’s curt voice cut in.
“You bitch! Why can’t you leave us alone? It’s not enough that he would rather be married to you, now you have to go and steal my son away, too?” My mother’s claws were out. I mean, they were literally out as she made a mad dash for Mrs. Weasley, her fingernails aimed and ready. I made a move to pull her away but I didn’t have to. Father came in just in time and grabbed mother around the waist.
“Let me go!” She was screaming like a banshee.
Mr. Weasley stood guard in front of Mrs. Weasley. I took a chance to look over at Rose and saw that her mouth was almost as wide as her eyes. I guess it would be shocking to see my normally composed mother throwing a hissy fit but I'd been expecting something like this for quite a while.
“Shh… Astoria, calm down. Shhh,” Father was whispering into mother’s ear as he held her tight against him from behind.
I could see the tears in mother’s eyes begin to form as she drooped in father’s arms.
“That’s a good girl. Let’s go and get you freshened up, shall we?” Father led mother towards the doors leading into the entrance hall but, before he did, he shot an apologetic look at Mrs. Weasley.
I could see Mr. Weasley tense as he noticed the eye contact between his wife and Father but Mrs. Weasley grabbed him by the arm and he relaxed his stance.
“Ahem!” I heard echo through the Great Hall.
All heads turned towards the dais at the front of the room where a squat looking man with thinning grey hair held his wand high in the air. His face was pale and he looked a little malnourished, though I was pretty sure wan complexion was due more to anger than lack of appetite. His lips were mashed together in a thin line that gave MacGonagall a run for her money.
“We are all here to recognize the victory and the loss at the battle of Hogwarts," he boomed in a haughty tone. "As such, personal circumstance should be dealt with at a more appropriate time and certainly a more appropriate venue!" His beady little eyes darted around the room in clear disapproval.
Rose’s fingers laced themselves through mine and, though I should've been worried about mother, and concerned that Rose’s father might hex me into oblivion, all I could do was smile.
“Twenty-five years ago the Wizards of England banded together to rid themselves of a plague. The plague of Voldemort!” The ministry official's voice rose to deafening proportions. There was a smattering of clapping, though most people were still preoccupied with the madness that had just ensued.
“We must remember our fallen comrades in arms and keep them in our hearts. We must never forget!” This got more applause and a sniffle here and there.
“We must also remember that it took the heart of a brave young orphan and his two friends in order to truly defeat the enemy. We must remember Harry Potter, Hermione Granger Weasley, and Ron Weasley, for they showed courage that many other’s could not.” Here again the man shot somewhat accusing glances around the room. He was a great speaker, his voice was clear and held much more emotion than I would have expected, but he was so fervent that it scared me a little.
“It is with the highest honor that I present to Hogwarts this statue on behalf of the Ministry of Magic. May it represent not only the sadness that came from this war but also the great joy.” And with a great flourish the black cloth that covered the statue fluttered to the floor.
A loud gasp could be heard echoing throughout the room. Then the snickers came, then some louder guffaws, and finally almost the entire room had erupted into laughter. The ministry official looked around the room perplexed and then turned to look up at the statue. His mouth fell to the ground and his eyes narrowed into little slits. I could see the red creeping up his neck and his fists clenched tightly at his sides. I guess he hadn’t expected the statue to look so... but then, who would have? There they were-- The Golden Trio-- standing together with their wands held up to the sky. But instead of a wand, Harry Potter was holding what looked to be a rubber chicken, Rose’s mother had a rubber haddock, and her father a tin parrot. This could have been overlooked but no one could miss the beard on Mrs. Weasley's face that fell clear to the ground, the spots covering Harry Potter's body, and the fangs protruding from Mr. Weasley's mouth.
On the bottom of the statue there was a running banner that was likely meant to say something sentimental or run through the names of fallen witches and wizards but, instead it said: “The Ministry is Full of Wankers!”
The Ministry official started shooting spells at the memorial statue but nothing he did worked. In fact, one of his spells ricocheted off of the bronze beard and back at him, slamming him to the ground and knocking him out.
Beside me Rose was shaking with laughter. Given that it was her parents that had been vandalized I would have thought she would be upset. However, none of the Weasley or Potter clan looked the least bit angry. Not even that proper uncle of hers that she once declared had 'a stick jammed permanently up his arse'.
“What in the? I would have thought…I mean…why aren’t any of you mad about this?” I asked, completely flummoxed.
“Are you kidding?" Rose squeaked. "This is brilliant! You know none of my family would want this nonsense hanging around in their honor. It’s a disgrace and takes away from the whole purpose of remembering the war. It had nothing to do with them-- it was for everyone. I’m sure mum and dad had a right fit when they found out…in fact, I bet that’s what they were arguing with that git Ministry man about earlier.”
I shook my head. I would never truly understand the Weasley’s but then, it didn’t really matter. I only needed to know about one Weasley in particular...and she was currently tugging my hand and leading me out of the Great Hall.
Who am I to argue with that logic?
Molly and Lucy had seriously outdone themselves. What they had done was utterly fan-flippin-tastic. The best part was that anyone who knew that they had done it…i.e. my entire family, would never tell.
Now though, the novelty of their stunt had worn off and I remembered that there was a boy that I desperately needed to snog. So I pulled Scorpius along through the hysterical crowd and out of the Great Hall. The Entry Hall was empty and our shoes made loud clacking sounds that echoed off the stone walls. I could feel the pulse in my hand beating in rhythm with Scorpius’. I found our classroom, the one we went to the first night we kissed. Before he had even closed the door I jumped on him, eager and aching to kiss him fully. After a few blissfull moments, he gently nudged me away.
“Wha-what’s wrong?” I asked, giving him the saddest pair of puppy dog eyes I could muster.
“Nothing, nothing at all," he replied gently. "But I do think that we should talk before this goes any further.”
And talk we did. We talked through the evening and clear on to morning. No one came looking for us so it was clear we weren’t missed. It was one of the best talks that I have ever had with anyone. We didn’t just go on about our break up or about getting back together, we touched on those things of course, but it was much more than that. We talked about our parents. I shared with him what my mum said both the night that she was drunk and just this afternoon and he told me about the talk he had with his father. He told me that he didn’t care what his family thought, that while he loved them they were the last people he was going to get love advice from. And the tragedy of it all was that he told me how he had liked me since third year.
I smacked him on the arm at that point. He deserved it after all, making me wait this long to be with him. Hell, if I had known then what I knew now, perhaps life at Hogwarts would have progressed much differently. I couldn’t complain though. From where I was standing, or rather sitting (against his chest, mind you) things were pretty fabulous! We could deal with our parents later and, we decided that no matter what, they would just have to cope because there wasn’t a chance in hell either of us would give this up.
A/N: So... yeah. Just let me know what you think. Thanks so much for anyone who stuck with me through this and especially to my beta Dracosgem, she is the best.
There will be an epilogue coming hopefully soon and that is all she (or rather I) wrote.
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