Chapter 14 : All Apologies
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“Rosie!” Roxanne shouted from across the grand Delacour foyer. It was the first syllable she had uttered in my direction in over a fortnight. Her long dark hair was cascading over her shimmering gold bridesmaid dress—she looked lovely. Her face was painted with a concerned expression as she ran over towards Astoria, Scorpius, and I. My cousin tumbled into me with force and a tight hug. “Where in the bloody hell have you been, Rose? Al and I have been worried sick! We nearly told your parents!”
“You’re talking to me?!” I asked, squeezing her into me.
“Well, fuck—I was sodding woken up by Albus Sodding Potter at eight in the morning because you weren’t in your bed! He made it out to be that you’d run away because we’ve all been treating you worse than dragon dung. Did you? I hope you didn’t. Because even though I’ve been a major cow—for sixteen years now—and especially these last few weeks… I love you, Rosie. And I never wanted you to feel like you weren’t welcome.” Roxanne Weasley stated. She had ended out embrace and had begun to sop up the salt water collecting under her mascara’d eyes.
“Oh, stop that!” I said, laughing. I’d seen Roxy cry all of once; because Fred had eaten the head off of one of her dollies when we were four. “You’re going to ruin your makeup and then Vic will murder you.”
She let a laugh escape her slight sob.
A scoff was heard behind me. “Me three,”
“Oh, shove off, Malfoy,” Roxanne stated, looking back at him with a cheeky grin. And, then, in an instant, her eyebrows furrowed and she peered down at my attire. “Why are you in your nighty?”
I stumbled across my explanation. “Long story,”
“And you’ll have plenty of time to explain during the reception—right now, I need to get you to Victoire’s parlor. She and Dom think you’ve just been sleeping in. I couldn’t bear to tell Dom—she’s a mess. She made me trade dresses with her because she’s in ‘mourning’. Nana had to charm the chest in because it was tailored to our lovely cousin’s huge cauldrons.”
Scorpius cleared his throat and Roxanne made to scold him for interrupting her until her view travelled behind the hulking Malfoy and caught sight of his rather tiny mother.
“’Ello, Mrs Malfoy. How are you? You look lovely! Sorry about that—my mouth sometimes. Mum is always telling me to watch it. She’ll probably want to catch up with you—either way. The good ole’ days from Gringrotts and whatnot! She’s just down the hall helping set up the dining hall.” Roxanne spoke rapidly, attempting to cover up her curses and smut references.
Astoria, constantly poised, grinned from ear to ear. “Not at all, love. I’ll go find her. Have fun, darlings.”
And with that, she wisped away with a series of stiletto tapping on the cold marble floor.
“Nice save, Rox,” Scorpius stated.
“I’ve said it once and I’ll say it twice—shove off, Malfoy.” Roxy replied, mimicking her earlier playful manner. “Go find that sodding Potter, he’s probably getting pissed again. He’ll be wherever the firewhiskey, James, and my idiot brother are. Have fun—bye, bye.”
She waved at our tall companion and grabbed me hand—pulling me up the stairs. I turned to look at my… my Scorpius and gave him a smile as we retreated. He did what I knew he would do—just because he is that kind of cheeky arse who does corny stuff just for kicks: he blew me a flaming kiss. Regardless of how much it made my stomach turn, I still wanted to snog his brains out.
“Shoot me—just flippin’ shoot me.” Molly groaned, throwing her ginger head into her porcelain hands. “Just go find some muggle gun and blow my brains out because I can’t take another instant of this.”
“What?!” Roxanne yelled from beside me. “I can’t hear you!”
“OF COURSE YOU CAN’T!” Molly nearly screamed from her palms. “WHO COULD HEAR ANYTHING OVER ALL OF THIS WAILING?!”
“If you would both just calm down—” I began to explain to Dom and Victoire who happened to be sitting beside each other on the vanity chair across from us—pouring their hearts out to one another; black makeup spilling down their faces and onto their white bathrobes.
“You’re an attention hog, Dominique!” Victoire cried—dabbing her, literally, snotty face with tissue. “Ever since you were born—I’ve been second!”
“WHAT?! WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY TO ME!?” Dom screeched, standing from her seat beside her sister. “MAYBE IT WAS BECAUSE I WAS A BABY?! ‘CAUSE BABIES DO HAVE A TENDANCY TO NEED ATTENTION!”
The oak doors opened and Lily Potter the second glided into the room—her freckled face plagued with sheer confusion. “What is going on in here?! Everyone down stairs is under the impression that the house is infested with banshees!”
Lily had walked into a mess. The two blonde Weasley sisters had been having a train wreck of a heart-to-heart since the moment I had arrived. They had been passing back complaints about one another since.
“You’re ruining my wedding,” Vic sobbed. “I just wanted to have one day when you and I got along and I could just be happy! And you’ve gone and ruined it—you’ve ruined everything!”
“Oh, you little cow!” Dom replied. “Perhaps, you should have thought about that before you decided to marry the guy that I wanted to marry!”
“OH, please, Dominique!” Victoire snarled. “When you were eleven!”
Dominique opened her mouth to, undoubtedly, reply with something completely snarky and inappropriate—but I could no longer take it. I stood up, in a very calm manner, and opened my mouth to speak—instead, I yelled: “SHUT THE FUCK UP!”
The room was still, save for a sniffle on Victoire’s part and a tiny whimper from Lucy at the end of the room—who had been startled by my outburst and had dropped her massive book onto her toes. I had everyone’s attention.
I inhaled, exhaled, and began.
“You both need to stop this. Now. You’re family—you’re sisters. You don’t have to get along, but you should bloody hell get some perspective. Neither of you are innocent in this,” I halted and turned to face the rest of the room. “Who here has ever felt… victimized or insulted by Vic?”
The entire room—including Lucy raised their hands. I turned to look back at Victoire apologetically.
“See? Everyone thinks you’re a cow—” Dom began to say, but was interrupted by a chorus of ‘NOT AT ALLs’.
“Oi!” I said, facing Dominique. “You’re no angel, Dom. You’ve hurt a lot of people in this room with some hateful words before. You ignored me for two weeks for something that had nothing to do with you—when I spoke to you immediately after you referred to me as… well, a properly awful name last year when I told you that you couldn’t copy off of my OWLs. And, you know what, you do like attention—you both do. That is the issue. You both need, want, a lot of attention and you despise having to share with each other. The problem with the both of you is that you’re a lot alike.”
“Are not,” they defended themselves in unison.
Lily giggled from behind me and earned herself identical evil looks from the two girls on trial.
“Now, you two need to suck it up. It is Vic’s wedding day—she loves Ted and Ted loves her. We can’t do anything to stop that. Why would we? Yes, Dommy, your feelings do matter—but I know for a fact that you hardly ever think about Teddy. You’ve had a million boyfriends that you’ve liked better and the only reason you hold onto this blasted Teddy thing is because you still feel slighted. You can’t stop love, though. Vic and Teddy are in love—and one day, you are going to understand that love conquers all. This wedding isn’t about you or them. It is about their love coming together. Why would you want to put a damper on that?”
It had been one of those moments—where you have gotten up and begun to say something, only to realize that you should have stopped talking before you had even started… but it was too late and you had to keep going. It wasn’t as though these thoughts weren’t valid, but weren’t they inappropriate? I mean, my cousins were just beginning to speak to me again—and this, this would surely put me back in Dom’s bad side.
I gulped; awaiting the reaction of my peers. It seemed as though all of us were.
Victoire was the first to speak. In the mere seconds it took for her to open her mouth and form speech, I felt a familiar sheen of sweat form on my upper lip. I had never been particularly frightened of Victoire, but she was intimidating and her approval—in this certain situation—carried influence over the rest of the cousins present in the room. Not to mention, my earlier scolding spiel could potentially ruin her ‘perfect’ wedding.
“Dom,” she said, turning away from me and grabbing her sister’s hand. “I—I’m sorry.”
And then, the impossible happened:
“Me too,” Dominique replied, pulling her sister in for a hug. “For everything. I’m so sorry.”
“No, I’m sorry!” Victoire cried into her sister’s shoulder.
They continued arguing over who was more apologetic for many more minutes as the remainder of us exchanged looks of shock and confusion. None of us were quite sure if their apologies were completely sincere—but they were a quick fix to a dire situation. Victoire was due to walk down the aisle in less than an hour and the rest of us were under instruction to have her ready before then. Alas, instead of questioning the sudden resolution of things—we got to work.
The ceremony was brilliant.
Victoire had worn a dress made of exquisite material that seemed to glow in the candle light that illuminated the midnight air. Teddy, who had always been handsome in a rugged sort of way, cleaned up to look like a properly handsome gentleman. There were tears—everywhere. The couple said their ‘I dos’ on the moment of the New Year’s arrival and, in tradition, sealed the deal with a kiss that had all of the aunties, mums, and nanas sobbing their little ole’ hearts out.
I, Rose ‘Only Cries When An Emotional Wreck’ Weasley, actually shed a couple salty drops.
If the ceremony had been brilliant, the reception was especially top notch. Teddy had hired a Weird Sister’s revival band that was actually much better than the original, the drinks were flowing—so the majority of my family was half in the bag, the dance floor was crowded, the food was delicious, and everyone was just… happy.
“Looks like I’ve caught the golden snitch! Always knew I’d have been a good Seeker!” a voice said from behind me, whirling me around in the middle of the dance floor. It was Scorpius, referring to my shimmering golden dress that happened to clash horribly, like most articles of clothing, with my ginger hair. “Ah, and she’s got a pretty face too.”
“Oh, get stuffed!” I said, slapping his chest as a slow song began to invade my ears.
“You look lovely,” he said, kissing my cheek. I could feel the blood rush to the spot where his lips had touched.
“You look… dapper,” I said, slowly. In fact, he looked like I wanted to rip his clothes off and stare for ages on end. Well, maybe more than stare.
“Dapper,” Scorpius repeated with a laugh, leading me in a slow dance. His grey eyes were glued to my face and I could not help but look away in the hopes that my best friend would not, despite his ever-present gaze, notice my face turn scarlet. In the seconds that I turned away, I caught the entire room in their own private moments—in one another’s arms as they swayed to the melodic strumming of the acoustic guitar playing itself on the stage.
Teddy and Victoire took hold of my attention first. They moved back and forth, in sync together, like the high grass at the Burrow did in the summer wind. The smiles on their faces were almost sickeningly sweet and euphoric; the kind of smiles that swims upriver to the eyes to make them sparkle. The newlyweds were in their own little world of stolen kisses, thumb swiped happy tears, and whisper caressed ears.
Closer to the stage, Uncle Harry was leading his only daughter in a dance. Lily, who always gave off the essence of being older than she actually was, looked more vulnerable than her fourteen years as she stood atop her father’s shoes and smiled sweetly up at him while Uncle Harry attempted to move smoothly to the music. Beside them, James was pleading with his mother—undoubtedly, to do something mischievous—as she attempted to enjoy a nice dance with him. Regardless, the pretty middle-aged witch, who I was said to most resemble, seemed to look at her son as though the sun shone through his arse.
At the edge of the dance floor, at a table plagued with flutes of champagne and the remains of the wedding feast, sat two couples. Nana Molly was fixing her beloved husband’s tie while Granddad smiled a crinkled eyed smile at the mother of his children. I could not help, as I glanced at their paper thin and age spotted skin, that when one went—the other would soon follow of a broken heart. And that thought, that horrible morbid thought, was almost sweet.
Beside my grandparents, sat my parents—cuddled together, hands intertwined, and looking straight into one another’s eyes. They were silent and I watched as they, after being married for nearly twenty years, wore the same look that Teddy and Victoire wore merely hours after being married. They looked as though they could love each other for a thousand years and not lose an ounce of adoration for the other.
I couldn’t help but hope that I could one day—if I was lucky—have that kind of love.
“You look happy, Rosie,” Scorpius noted, grinning down at me.
I replied slowly, after chewing over the thought—wondering how to reply.
And, with that, Scorpius decided to put the icing on the figurative cake. Had it been any other boy, they would have asked if they could kiss me in front of the entirety of my family. Had it been any other boy, they would have talked to me about the status of our relationship before he made it completely public. Had it been any other boy, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it half as much as when Scorpius grabbed me by the chin and pulled my lips to his.
I came off of the dance floor hours after I had originally stepped foot on the hard surface. My feet, which were more accustomed to leather boots suited for a lumberjack rather than heels, felt as though they had been hit with a stinging hex. Scorpius had fled from the scene as soon as Al had beckoned him to have some firewhiskey and had left me to answer to Roxanne and Dominique’s questions.
“Are you two dating now?” Roxanne pried.
“Have you… done… it?” Dom pleaded with me.
“What?! No! We have not… done it!” I had whispered the last bit, praying to Merlin that my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and parents were nowhere remotely near me as my cousins carried on about Scorpius and I. “And—I… I don’t know if we are dating. We’ve just kissed multiple times and I kind of realized I sort of might kind of… like him a lot.”
Roxanne and Dom shared a look of astonishment before looking back at me.
“Merlin’s beard. Rosie, you love Scorpius.”
“What!? I missed the part where I said that!” I nearly hurled as Roxanne had said it. It wasn’t possible for me to love Scorpius, was it? I didn’t know if love was the word for it. I held him very close to my heart for being there for me—always. I yearned, constantly, to be near him and to talk to him. I, as I had put it earlier that day, at home in his arms. And, almost regrettably because—how could I let someone have so much control over my emotions?—I vibrated with complete content and excitement whenever I was with him. Was that love?
“You didn’t have to say it!”
“Can we stop talking about this, please? My feet are killing me and I need to eat before I pass out and ruin Victoire’s perfect wedding.” I mumbled, shuffling my feet and throwing my hands around because I didn’t know what to do with them. In a huff, I left them trailing behind me as I went searching for a room with cushions for my feet and food for my stomach.
Alas, my search was interrupted by Victoire—who had grabbed my hand from out of nowhere and dragged me into her side, a charming pearly smile plastered on her perfect face. She had been chatting with a pretty brunette girl who looked at me as though I was a long lost friend. And, as I inspected her more closely, I found that she looked slightly familiar.
“Rose, we were just talking about you!” Victoire said, her speech was slightly slurred and her eyes were scanning the dance floor for Teddy as she talked. Her brunette companion smiled up at me.
“You remember Kat, right? She’s one of my dearest friends. She’s just gotten back from Egypt! She studies hieroglyphics.” Vic went on, smiling too broadly.
“Oh, that sounds exciting,” I smiled politely, wondering silently why Victoire was torturing me with uncomfortable meet-and-greets when she could very easily grab any one of our other cousins.
I did remember her. I had seen her following Victoire around like a puppy dog during my first year of Hogwarts. Although, she had ditched the acne and glasses since her Hogwarts days. And, just as she began to speak, I had realized she had ditched something else: the second half of her name.
“I believe you know my little brother,” Kat said, ignoring the prior contents of the conversation. She was Katniss Cornish—Klaus Cornish’s sister. The one he so idolized. The sister he had gone on and on about. The sister whose friend he had lost his virginity to. The sister I didn’t have to care about anymore because I had chucked that sodding wanker weeks ago.
“I do,” I nodded uncomfortably.
“He’s said a lot of wonderful things about you. It is so nice to see you in the flesh. I’ve spent so much time trying to imagine you from his letters.”
“Ah, I am sure he has,” I smiled. The ache in my feet was suddenly drowned out by my complete unwillingness to be a part of the conversation. So, instead of politely excuses myself from the uncomfortable situation, I asked the most insincere question that came to mind: “How is Klaus?”
She seemed as though she was going to answer, until she saw someone over my shoulder. My stomach sank. Again, the dreaded realization hit me just as Kat Cornish spoke. “Oh! Here he is now—you can ask him yourself! Klaus!”
She smiled too sweetly.
In much the same manner as Victoire had dragged me over, Klaus was snatched by his sister and dragged into our little circle of rather agonizing exchange. I could tell by his cramped expression that he liked the idea of speaking to me as much as I did him.
“Hell, Rose,” he said, daring to look me in the face. Rapidly, he turned away from me and looked at Victoire with a perplexing manner. “Congratulations Victoire.”
Victoire’s too big smile continued on—not bothering to be phased by her surroundings.
“Klaus,” she nodded.
Usually, I would have restrained myself but I had been scorned and I had been having a rather excellent night until Klaus Cornish’s presence had been revealed. It might have been the excessive dancing, the sore feet, and the empty stomach toying with my usual self-preservation and politeness or it might have been my need to gather something entertaining out of the crap situation but, either way, I said it:
“How is your nose?” I asked, gathering my most sarcastic smile on my nicely done up face. I could tell, as he decided how he should respond to my question, that he was remembering Scorpius’ fist colliding with his face. Oh, how I wished I had been there.
“In perfect condition, thank you for asking.” Klaus replied, returning the shit eating grin I had offered him. “How is Scorpius?”
I let out a laugh.
“He’s great. He’s in perfect condition. Thank you for asking.” And with that, I excused myself and strolled away in search of the one thing I desired most in the world and had spent more than half of my life looking for.
“Weasley!” called the very, very familiar voice. I was tempted to ignore him, if only for the sake that my stomach was begging me to feed it and it seemed as though the fates wanted me to starve to death. But, it was him, and I had to turn around for him.
“Malfoy,” I winked and did the unthinkable as he turned the corner into the hall. I jumped, almost leaped, into his strong arms and planted my lips on his. It was an almost blissful moment until another voice interrupted the passionate embrace.
“… and Potter,”
My eyes flashed open. Albus Potter stood behind Scorpius—who seemed a little affronted to be interrupted by our best mate. Al, it seemed, had been hidden by his slow pace and had not made his way into around the corner until after my impulsive dive into Scorpius.
I smacked Scorpius’s arm. I was beginning to realise how often I actually hit him and made a mental note to myself to stop being so damned abusive.
“Why didn’t you tell me Al was behind you?!”
“I’m so-orry!” he wailed before putting on a suave front, raising his eyebrows, and continuing: “My mouth was occupied, love.”
I flashed him an evil look. I wanted to say something, to apologize to Al but I couldn’t dare to meet his eyes. I wasn’t sure if he would okay with this coupling—it sort of left him out of the equation.
“Rosie, stop looking so guilty.” Al said, slapping Scorpius on the back with one hand and patting my shoulder with the other. He was wearing a superiorly wise expression and he smelled of firewhiskey. “This is a relief for me. You’re both so daft—it was so hard not to just yell in your bloody faces that you are desperately meant to be! So, all I have to say is—congratulations!”
Albus Potter, the Romantic.
I blushed and, surprisingly, so did Scorpius. Had we really been so daft?
It seemed like the perfect moment to do what I had been longing to do for ages. I grabbed Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy, hugging them close to me. My boys and I—together at last. It had seemed as though it had been ages since the three of us had been together in the same room, smiling, laughing.
Perfect moments, much like rules, are made to be tainted or broken. Our perfect moment conformed to an imperfect moment in an instant as we heard a woman’s sob from the hallway we were hidden from. We broke apart, pressing our backs against the wall; old habits die hard for the three of us—who had spent so much time holding our breaths with our backs up against Hogwart’s cold stone walls in anticipation of getting caught by a professor while we lurked the castle when we were supposed to be snuggled up in our beds.
“Molly, please, stop crying.” A male voice begged of her. We all recognized the cool, raspy voice as Teddy Lupin’s. “Please, Molly. Just stop crying and tell me what is wrong. Vic will be wondering where I am.”
Molly Weasley’s sobs only grew louder at his statement.
“Oh, Molly,” we heard Teddy sooth. There was a moment of silence in which I imagined him gathering my cousin up in a brotherly hug to comfort her. I wondered, for a moment, if I should go to her but the thought passed as she finally began to open up.
“Are you ready to talk now, Molls?” Teddy asked; his tone more patient now.
She took a deep breath and sniffed. I could tell that tears were still streaming down her face but, bravely, she gathered her words together and spoke with only a few breaks in her speech: “I… I am—oh, fuck—I am… I’m pregnant.”
“What?!” Teddy scoffed; his voice was full of… of something I didn’t recognize as an emotion Teddy Lupin had: despair.
“You don’t have to worry, Ted.” Molly sighed, sniffling. “I’m getting rid of it.”
Suddenly, I didn’t feel so hungry anymore.
A/N: Back with a bang! Maybe? No? I tried. I haven’t thoroughly edited this because I wanted to get it in the queue ASAP. I’m sorry for my long, long hiatus—my computer ate two chapters and then I decided to do a rethinking of what was going to happen in this chapter! Alas—it is done and I will edit it at a later date! I’m super excited for you guys to see what is coming and I thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to read and review this! I hope everyone is well and is basking in the awesomeness of Rose/Scorpius!