The ‘summer house’, as Scorpius called it, was absolutely stunning. It was a white brick manor, and looked like the sort of house I expected to find in one of the Jane Austen books Mum had given me for my thirteenth birthday.
She’d insisted I learnt to appreciate Muggle literature.
“Holy…” I said, staring at the house we’d just apparated in front of with my mouth wide open.
It took my breath away.
“Yeah,” Scorpius grunted, before he started off down the gravel path (framed by hedges, I might add). I stood there admiring the beauty for a minute longer before I followed him.
The house had wooden double doors that greeted us, framed by columns. As we approached, Scorpius a few metres ahead of me, they swung open, revealing a marble-floored entrance hall.
I swear, this house was more amazing than Malfoy Manor. I couldn’t help but wonder why Astoria and Draco chose to live there, not here.
“This was the house my parents’ lived in when they first married,” Scorpius said quietly as I moved to stand beside him in the entrance hall.
Ah, that explained it then.
“My mother fell in love with the house and had it fixed up. It used to be in quite bad shape, from what she says,” he said, waving his wand so the curtains flew open, flooding the hall in sunlight.
“It’s bloody amazing,” I said, still in awe of my surroundings.
Scorpius chuckled lightly at that.
“It’s been in the family for many generations,” he said as he followed me with his eyes as I inspected the room. There were several doors leading off the hall, and a marble staircase so grand I wanted to stare at it for hours.
“Just…wow,” I said breathlessly.
I turned back to face Scorpius, and saw that he was smiling.
“Why did they ever move out of here?” I asked quizzically, and Scorpius frowned slightly.
“When grandfather died, the Manor needed someone to take care of it. I miss this house, however. It will always be my childhood home.”
I moved to stand in front of him, quelling my strange and sudden urge to hold his hand.
Stupid bloody emotions.
“I’ll show you the rooms,” Scorpius said suddenly, moving to the staircase and climbing it before I’d really registered what he’d said.
Shaking my head slightly, I followed him up the staircase, both of us carrying our packed bags filled with the essentials for the week.
“This was one of the guest rooms when we lived here,” Scorpius said, gesturing to a door on the second floor that, I guessed, would overlook the grounds.
“It’s got a wonderful view, and something tells me it will suit you,” he said with a shrug, and my brow furrowed slightly at that statement.
The fact that he cared enough to pick out a room (there must be many rooms, now that I thought about it) that would suit me spoke volumes for his character, and for our relationship. It was one of those moments where a shred of hope, a tiny thought popped into my mind hoping that he did still have feelings for me. Like always, I crushed it with the reality; after what I’d done to him, there was no way he could love me.
He opened the door, revealing a room bathed in golden sunlight. It was done in pale cream, with hints of pale green scattered across the room. It was soothing and calm, and I loved it instantly.
“This is amazing,” I said, smiling as I crossed the threshold into what would be my room for a while.
“I thought you’d say that,” I heard Scorpius say over my shoulder.
I was too busy examining the artefacts in my room to realise that he’d shut the door and gone to his own room, it was only when I turned around and saw that he was absent that I noticed.
I sighed slightly, sitting down on my bed with the bag at my feet. I stared out at the grassy expanse visible from my window for a moment, before flopping back onto the bed, which was extremely comfortable, as I had expected it to be.
Slowly, I allowed myself to slip into the memories I’d drawn up to crush my feelings, letting myself remember what I’d done, so I could remember to not be that person anymore. I liked to think I had matured.
“Rose, I don’t understand.”
“Rose, you have to talk to me about this, you can’t just ignore me.”
It was the last one, the simple stating of my name that prompted me to look up from my plate, and into the eyes of the boy I still did love.
“Go away Scorpius,” I said – it was becoming a reflex now that I said that every time he approached or spoke to me.
“No,” he said stubbornly, and I sighed, looking up at him.
“I don’t love you anymore,” I said simply, knowing it was the only thing that would work. He was better off without me, everyone had said that when we’d started dating.
He had potential, he was a rising star. I was not. No one had ever told me that I could be, I don’t know, the Minister of Magic. I was far eclipsed by the rest of my family.
I was Rose Weasley, the failure. Hell, I’d failed two of my O.W.Ls. I don’t think my mother would ever forgive me for that.
“You…what?” Scorpius said softly, and I could tell he didn’t believe me.
“Don’t say that, Rose. This is just some stupid issue you have, that you think I’m better without you, isn’t it? I know you now, I can tell,” he said, leaning forward in earnest.
“No, it’s not,” I said bluntly, sticking my nose in the air slightly for emphasis.
“I don’t love you anymore, Scorpius,” I said frankly, watching as his face fell slightly, the hurt in his eyes plain to see.
“That’s a lie,” he said, but I could hear his resolve faltering.
I stood up, frustrated, swinging my bag over my shoulder. I saw him do the same out of the corner of my eye, so I took off down the length of the table, heading for the Entrance Hall.
“Rose!” he called as I sped up, and I heard his footsteps quicken to a run.
When I entered the Entrance Hall, out of the gaze of our fellow students, I turned abruptly to Scorpius. He was determined, I’d give him that. He wasn’t stupid enough to accept my rejection without a proper reason.
So, I had to give him one.
“There’s someone else,” I said quietly, looking at my feet. If I saw his face whilst telling this lie, my resolve wouldn’t be able to hold.
The silence that followed that statement was deadly. I quivered slightly, blinking to stop my tears from falling.
“I’m sorry, Scorpius,” I said softly, biting my lip.
There was another awful silence, and then I saw him take a step back.
“I have to go,” he said hurriedly, before he stepped back once more, turning on his heel and fleeing.
I looked up then, and watched him retreat to the dungeons and his common room. I let the tears fall, splashing onto the well-worn flagstone beneath my feet.
“It’s for his own good,” I whispered softly to myself, repeating it over and over.
I had to remember that. I had to.
I crept out of my bedroom, having had a shower in the adjoining bathroom and cried myself out. For some reason, I felt the need to cry over Scorpius today.
Now, I was hungry. I also had the desire to explore the house, being the curious person I was.
So, I started with my floor, and stuck my head in each room. Scorpius must have been staying on a different floor, because he wasn’t in any of the rooms on mine, nor was his bag.
There was a third floor, but I decided my stomach was ruling my body, so I headed down to search for the kitchen. I couldn’t really face Scorpius at the minute with those memories so fresh in my mind.
It was late afternoon now, and the dusk light was pouring in the windows. Every window had a lovely view of the sunset, and I stood and admired it from the room directly below mine.
Moving on, I finally found the kitchen, and helped myself to a snack. Scorpius must have organised it so we had food, as there was no shortage of supplies.
As I chewed on some chocolate chip biscuits, I rested against the counter. I had no idea what I was doing with myself, and it was scary. I would go to work tomorrow, but I didn’t want to do that, not really.
What I wanted to do was disobey my promise to my father. My curiosity was piqued, I wanted to find the traders and solve that mystery. I wanted to figure out what their plan was, why they’d broken in, why they were interested in me.
Sighing, I finished my biscuit and moved to the fridge, only to find someone standing in the doorway. Looking up, startled, I smiled innocently at Scorpius.
“I was hungry,” I said meekly.
The corners of his mouth quirked up slightly at that.
“It’s fine,” he said, and I couldn’t help but smile back at him.
I watched as he followed the path I’d recently took, and moved the fridge, opening it. I watched him, my emotions bubbling beneath the surface.
It was all about emotions; emotions and instincts.
He turned, a butterbeer now clutched in his hand, and faced me. He didn’t say anything, but we regarded each other carefully, my eyes staring into his.
There was something about him that always made my breath hitch. I shouldn’t have been feeling these things, but I was. I was already in a fragile state that day from reliving the memories.
“Rose…” he said, his voice low and serious.
I trembled, unable to look away from his face.
“Yes?” I said quietly.
“Who did you cheat on me with?”
That made me look away. I closed my eyes, going into panic mode. He wasn’t supposed to ask these questions. He wasn’t supposed to care now.
“Why?” I said, pinching my nose with my fingers as a headache settled in.
“Because,” he said softly, and I heard him take a step forward, my eyes still closed, “I don’t understand why you did what you did. We were happy. Don’t deny it, I know you were. So I want to know who to blame for ruining all that.”
He’d moved so close that I could feel his breath on my face, and it took all of my restraint to remain perfectly still. My mind was cloudy however, and I made the mistake of looking up at him. He was trying to force me into telling him.
I had a feeling he’d suspected for some time now that I’d lied to him back then. He probably had his theories as to why, and he was most likely spot on with them, knowing me as well as he did.
“Rose,” he said simply, and that was all it took to break me. Looking at him, seeing the emotion in his eyes as he said my name, I opened my mouth.
“No one,” I breathed.
As soon as I uttered those two words, my eyes widened, and I stepped back, the spell broken, but not before I saw the gleam of triumph in his eyes.
“I knew it,” he said slowly, a grin spreading on his face.
“No,” I whispered, looking at him in horror.
He wasn’t supposed to find out.
He was supposed to move on, to find someone better.
“No,” I repeated, this time moving swiftly out of the room and back upstairs, my steps quickening to a run.
I wasn’t sure why I was so worked up about this, but I was. I was fragile. He deserved better than me, I was breakable.
I was Rose Weasley.
Tears appearing in my eyes, I fled down the second floor corridor, coming to an abrupt halt at the door to my room.
Scorpius, however, was extremely fit, and had caught up. He was now standing just a metre from me, not even panting.
Damn Quidditch players and their fitness.
“Rose,” he said again, and my face twisted.
I was torn. I wanted to hear him say that, again and again. I wanted him to love me, to kiss me.
I also wanted him to turn and go back downstairs, and to forget about me.
“Go away, Scorpius. I don’t deserve you,” I said softly, choking back tears.
“Yes you do,” he said frankly, advancing on me.
I shook my head wildly.
“No I don’t! Everyone said it back then, and they were right. I broke up with you because of that. I lied to get you to leave me. I was holding you back.” I smiled slightly at him for that, wanting him to understand.
“You have to see, Scorpius, I’m not good for you. I’m not good for anybody,” I said, and my heart broke a little as I let the pathetic truth out.
“That’s not true, Rose,” he said, a furrowed line appearing between his eyebrows.
“You’re beautiful, and amazing.”
I shuddered as he said that. I wanted to cover my ears, but he was too close and had his hands around my wrists.
“I love you.”
That was it. The three words I’d tried to rid him off. I didn’t get time to protest, however, because his mouth met mine, and he was kissing me.
It was just like it used to be, only better. We’d matured, and there was passion. Fire. Desire.
I kissed him back.
I lost myself in that kiss for a while, and I was sure he did too. It was only when his hand shifted, snaking around my neck that I started out of the reverie and stepped back.
This wasn’t supposed to happen. He’d just said ‘I love you’, three words I was supposed to want to hear, three words that I was supposed to be ecstatic about. Instead, all I could think about was how he could do far better than me.
I stared at him, a tense atmosphere building between us. He opened his mouth to say something, but I didn’t give him a chance, and apparated away without a thought to the consequences of doing so.
I had, without thinking, apparated into the copse of trees near Edgeston Primary School simply out of habit.
What I’d forgotten about, however, was the traders. It was a Sunday night, and people were about, there were several Muggle families around and who would bear witness to anything that did happen.
I stepped out of the trees warily, my eyes catching a flicker of movement in one of the classrooms. Stepping closer, partly concealing myself behind a tree, I saw the same black-clad men I’d seen a few weeks back in the classroom.
Just as it had been last time, Jack Pinton was there, talking to the men. This time, however, I recognized the men for what they were. They were the traders.
What on earth was going on?
I stepped closer, leaving the safety of the tree for a few moments as I progressed to crouching behind a bush, desperately wishing that I had an Extendable Ear on me.
Whoever said that Uncle George’s products were worthless and immature must have been insane.
“Miss Weasley,” someone hissed, and instinctively, I knew it was Sophia.
I turned slowly, seeing the form of the child standing in the darkness.
“You shouldn’t be here, Sophia,” I said softly, glancing between her and the men in the classroom.
“Neither should you,” she replied sassily, and I had no response to that.
She had a point, after all.
I had apparated here on a whim, but I knew I couldn’t leave now. Clearly Jack was involved somehow, and I’d bet my broomstick that they men in that room were the traders. I was so close.
“Stay here,” I whispered to Sophia, and I started to edge forward, using the shadows of the trees to hide me.
The school buildings weren’t the best for sneaking around. The windows were large, the grounds fairly bare in the run up to the building, so all I could really do was hope they didn’t look outside.
Somehow, I made it indoors. I crept down the corridor as silently as I could. It was all going well, and they hadn’t noticed me.
That was, until someone apparated directly into the corridor, creating a loud crack. That certainly got the attention of the people in the classroom.
“Scorpius!” I hissed at him, my eyes narrowing as I glanced between him and the men in the room, who I could hear were moving.
“Rose, what the hell-“ he started, but I grabbed his arm and pulled him back down the corridor, as the door opened and the men piled out.
They saw us, and we didn’t have time to think. My wand was already drawn, but it took Scorpius a moment to draw his. I fired spells, taking down one, but there were too many of them, and Scorpius was behind.
He was hit, and went down. I didn’t turn to help him, I saw him fall out of the corner of my eye, and fury ignited within me. I tripled my efforts on the men, but there were still more of them, and they were winning.
All of us, however, had forgotten one very crucial thing. The muggles.
They were everywhere, and we were creating quite a scene. They could see it, and that wasn’t good. We’d just done magic in front of Muggles. My eyes widened in fear, and I could see the same happening to the traders as they realised. Before I could attack them, or them me, they disapparated, leaving me standing next to a fallen Scorpius, holding my wand.