“How’s life been, Rosie?” Albus asks me as he bites into his sandwich at Three Broomsticks. “Sorry I’ve been too busy with studying.”
I snort. “It’s fine, Albus. And my life’s been fun. Relatively boring until last night when I got pissed with Healer friends.”
Albus laughs with his mouth full. He still hasn’t learned his manners and he’s twenty-one years old. I bet Aunt Ginny gives him grief about it every time he comes around their house.
“I can’t see you getting pissed,” Albus tells me and follows his sandwich with a gulp of Butterbeer. “Your good girl attitude from school is still burned into my mind.”
I smirk and chuckle. “Oh, I’m so happy that school is done. I’m so finished with testing.”
“I’ve still got another year and a half,” Albus complains and shoves more of his sandwich into his mouth.
Our weekly lunches always consist of him complaining about studying for becoming an Auror and me shoving it in his face that I don’t have to deal with testing anymore, since becoming a Healer six months ago. We usually meet once a week for these lunches, but haven’t had one for about a month because of Albus’ studying. He started Auror training a tad late than the rest of us since he had first worked at Uncle George's joke shop. And since the Three Broomsticks had been one of our favorite restaurants during our Hogwarts days in Hogsmeade, we always Apparate here to have lunch.
“So, how’s Lizzie?” I ask as I sip on my Butterbeer.
“Pretty good,” Albus replies quickly. “She’s been busy with the boutique and trying to expand it into Hogsmeade.”
“It sounds like she’s being pretty successful with it,” I say as I take a bite of my pasta. “I’m sure it helps that her parents are loaded.”
Albus chuckles. “They only helped with her stocking the place when she first started it. Since then, she’s been on her own with it, besides Elaine helping her run the store.”
I smile when I see Albus’ eyes shine brightly talking about his longtime girlfriend, Lizzie Blackhold. They had started dating their sixth year at Hogwarts and shocked everybody since Lizzie was the Seeker for Ravenclaw while Albus was the Seeker for Gryffindor. But soon after, they became the Golden Couple of Hogwarts, except when the week before Ravenclaw and Gryffindor played; they were at each other’s’ throats during those weeks.
“Gonna pop the question to her soon?” I ask Albus, knowing he’s gonna get annoyed with me about this.
Albus groans. “Why does everybody ask me that? We’ve been dating for a little over four years.”
“Four years is a long relationship, Albie,” I tell him. “I can assure you that she’s waiting for a proposal.”
Albus sighs and takes another big bite of his sandwich. “Maybe after I’m done with all this studying.”
“That’s another two years, Albus. You can propose now, but just not marry her until you finish Auror School.”
Albus sighs again. “That’s a possibility.”
I furrow my eyebrows and lean back in my seat. “You wanna marry her, right?”
Albus nibbles on his bottom lip. “I’m not ready to propose, Rosie. Maybe in another year.”
I lean forward and cross my hands on top of the table. “Albus, Lizzie isn’t gonna wait around for that long. I know her and if you don’t make your move soon, she’s gonna give up on this whole relationship.”
“Can we not talk about this anymore, Rose?” Albus asks me and rubs his forehead. “It’s gonna give me a headache.”
I lift my hands in defeat. “Fine. Be that way, you arse.”
Albus laughs. “How about your love life?”
I snort. “What love life?”
“Exactly. So, stop bugging me about mine,” Albus teases me and I flip him off. He laughs gently. “But seriously though. Nothing’s going on.”
I shake my head. “Nope. I don’t have time. I just started my job, so I’m still busy. And my schedule just always sucks. Like, for example, I have to work the night shift tonight.”
Albus whistles. “That sucks for you.”
“It’s worse for Carolyn since she works all the damn time,” I warn him. “You should seriously marry Lizzie before you finish school. You will have no time afterwards.”
Albus eyes me with contempt. “Shut up.”
I giggle merrily. “You love it, cousin.”
Albus rolls his eyes as he wipes his mouth sloppily with his napkin. “Well, I gotta go since I need to study some more so I don’t fail my next test.”
Albus and I stand up together and head outside of the Three Broomsticks. We hug each other goodbye and promise that we’ll have lunch next week. Then, Albus Apparates back to his flat that he shares with Lizzie and I Apparate back home to rest before my long night shift that is sure to be eventful.
“So, she left peacefully?” Griffin asks as he looks up at me while writing his report.
I nod and continue to lean against his oak desk. “Yep. Surprisingly.”
“I expected her to throw a fit,” Griffin jokes with me. “That’s at least how she was in school.”
“I was at least expecting a slap,” I tell him truthfully. “But she did accuse me of cheating on her with Carolyn.”
Griffin raises an eyebrow. “You’re serious?”
I nod slowly. “Yeah. She thought something was going on since we always worked late together.”
Griffin bursts out laughing and everybody in the surrounding area looks over to see what the hell the commotion is about. I pinch the bridge of my nose and sigh, incredibly embarrassed by Griffin’s loud guffaw. I back-slap his shoulder and he slowly stops laughing.
“It’s not funny, Griffin,” I tell my best friend. “It pissed me off.”
“I’m sure it bloody well did,” Griffin replies, still chuckling under his breath.
“Then, she told me that she thought I was lying to her,” I add to my complaints.
“Well, were you?” Griffin asks seriously.
I furrow my eyebrows. “No! Apparently you and Sienna don’t know me very well if you both honestly think I would shag another girl while I was in a relationship.”
“I think you need to get bloody pissed tonight, Scorpius,” Griffin suggests. “It’ll get your mind off Sienna.”
I shrug. “Possibly. Don’t think if I have reports to do tonight, but I got a whole stack of cold cases on my desk that I need to look at since I’m not on assignment.”
Griffin wrinkles his face in disgust. “That sucks arse.”
“Don’t I already know.”
I head back through the rows of desks and sit back down at my desk, where Carolyn is already looking through the cold cases on our desks. She glances up at me quickly, then turns back down to the folder.
“What was Griffin laughing about?” Carolyn asks me as she continues to read the folder.
“You heard that?”
Carolyn looks up at me with a smile on her face. “Who didn’t hear that is the better question.”
I laugh. “I’ll tell you about it later. If I don’t work late, I may go over to the Leaky Cauldron.”
“Mind if I join?” Carolyn asks. “I could use some Firewhiskey.”
“Sure,” I reply back as I take a folder and begin scanning it at my desk. “Griffin may be coming along, but I’m not sure.”
“Really?” Carolyn whines. “Griffin gets sloppy when he’s pissed.”
I laugh. “It’ll still be fun. Somebody would just have to Apparate him home.”
“That’ll be an adventure,” Carolyn jokes.
Carolyn and I continue to read up the cold cases that Potter plopped onto our desks earlier today. Since we aren’t on any assignment, Potter gave us cold cases, which is basically standard for anybody who isn’t on assignment. He’s always hoped that one of us could break a case wide open and the families of the people involved could finally have peace. It’s always shocked me that Potter always had those hopes; hopes like those were always ruined as an Auror since you see things that nobody else would dream of seeing. But Potter has always kept true to himself through all these years, which is really quite admirable. I’m sure Father would love to hear me say that.
When the clock strikes ten, basically the entire headquarters empties. Carolyn and myself are left at our desks, clearly hypnotized by the cold cases we’ve been reading over. I rub my tired eyes and look over at the clock when it reads 10:15. I look over at Carolyn and I see that she’s still reading the same cold case as she was earlier.
“Ready to head out?” I ask Carolyn. “Or are you on the verge of breaking that case?”
Carolyn raises an eyebrow as she looks over at me. “Shut up, Malfoy. And yes, I’m ready to head out. Lemme grab my things.”
I slide on my coat and scarf as Carolyn does the same. She flips her long black hair over her coat and stands beside me as I twirl the scarf around my neck. We head out of the Ministry together and find our ways over to the Leaky Cauldron, which is already busy as hell on this Saturday night-no surprise at all. Carolyn and I squeeze our way through the crowded bar and sit down at a table near a window.
Within two hours, Carolyn and I are already beyond pissed from the Firewhiskey we keep downing. We laugh at cheesy jokes we tell each other, we reminisce the first days of our partnership and we talk about our Hogwarts days. Carolyn discusses how her and her roommate would always sneak up to the Astronomy tower on the weekends to watch the stars and how they would sneak into Hogsmeade through secret passages in Hogwarts. Each time she mentions Rose Weasley’s name, my heart aches a little. I guess I’ve never really gotten over my crush on her, which surprises me since I had dated Sienna for a long time.
“So,” Carolyn slurs and sips on her rum, “what was Griffin laughing about earlier?”
“Agh, I hoped you forgot,” I whine drunkenly. “You don’t wanna know about it.”
“Come on, Scorpius,” Carolyn says to me, leaning towards me. “It can’t be that bad.”
I snort and sip on my wine. “I talked to Sienna last night, so she officially isn’t coming over anymore. But she didn’t go down without an argument.”
Carolyn raises an eyebrow. “Intriguing.”
“She accused me of cheating on her with you.”
Carolyn raises both eyebrows. “Really?”
I nod and take another sip of my wine. “Yep.”
“Can’t say she doesn’t have any basis for that claim, seeing as we’re together all day, every day,” Carolyn says as she finishes off her rum. “No offense, but you aren’t my taste.”
“None taken,” I reply back and I sip on my wine some more. “You aren’t my taste either, but you’re very beautiful.”
Carolyn snorts and flips her fallen hair over her shoulder. “Shut up, Malfoy. I like it better that way.”
I can think of one woman that is more beautiful than Carolyn Cave is. But I can’t bring myself to think of her name. it’ll just torture me to no end. I will always feel terrible about teasing her in my days at Hogwarts, but that was before I realized how I felt about her. Once I realized that, I never spoke another mean word against her again.
“Well,” I begin saying as I finish off my wine, “I suppose we should head home. It’s getting late.”
Carolyn nods in agreement. “Let’s go.”
We each grab our things and make our way through the crowded bar, towards the exit. When we exit the bar, the freezing cold wind hits us both and sobers us up a bit. Carolyn links her arm through mine as I walk with her to an Apparition point, where we will part our ways. I help Carolyn walk through the snow, supporting her as she stumbles over her drunken feet. There’s not a sound in Diagon Alley as we walk further and further away from the Leaky Cauldron.
Everything seems so peaceful.
Until a loud pop breaks through the silence and everything becomes black in the world.