“Come on, Rosie,” I hear Mum’s voice as I feel a gentle rub on my shoulder. “It’s time for you to get up.”
I open my sore eyes slowly and I see my mother’s brown eyes crinkling with a gentle smile. And that’s all it takes for me to break down again, like I had last night after losing Philip.
“Oh, honey,” Mum says as she rubs my exposed shoulder. “You can’t save everybody. It was wrong for Perry to rely on you like that.”
“I tried s-so hard,” I say between sobs and I rub my tears from my cheeks. “I had to save him, but I couldn’t even do that.”
“But you saved Scorpius. You’ve saved countless others,” Mum tells me, stroking my cheek to catch the falling tears. “You can’t just one loss destroy you, Rose.”
I roll onto my back and look over at Mum. “But I tried so hard.”
“You can’t save everybody, Rose,” Mum says with a weak smile. “But the ones that you have saved owe everything to you. You’ll face losses while you’re a Healer, honey. But you can’t let those losses stop you from doing your job and living your life. Now, let’s go eat breakfast. You’ve got work today, don’t you?”
I nod and rub my tired eyes. “Yeah. At five. But all I wanna do is sleep.”
“You can’t hide from the world, Rosie,” Mum tells me.
“How’d you even know about last night?” I ask Mum, reclining on my elbows in bed.
“Carolyn owled me this morning before she went to work,” Mum replies as she gets off my bed and smoothed over my blanket. “She told me everything about last night and how she thought it would be a good idea for me to be here when you wake up.”
“She knows me too well,” I joke and rub my eyes again.
“You’ve known her for ten years. Of course she knows you too well,” Mum says and grabs my hand. “Now, let’s make you coffee the Muggle way and some pancakes.”
I smile for the first time since yesterday afternoon and roll out of bed to walk with Mum to the kitchen. We walk hand-in-hand to the messy kitchen (my fault from last night) and Mum makes me sit at the kitchen table while she starts making me breakfast. The last time she made me breakfast was the morning I was moving out to come here with Carolyn, just a week after graduation. I’ve always missed her delicious pancakes (which she learned from Grandma Molly) and her Muggle coffee.
“So how’s life been, Mum?” I ask her as I fold my arms on the table in front of me. “I saw that you passed the legislature on centaurs.”
Mum nods, most likely smiling as she makes my pancakes. “Life’s been good. I was honestly surprised that the bill passed. I expected it to fail again because of all the bloody idiots at the Ministry.”
I laugh, hearing Mum curse. It’s such a rare occurrence that all I can do is laugh whenever it happens. However, it’s the opposite with Dad, who curses every chance he gets.
“Now, it’s onto house-elves,” Mum adds.
Mum nods as she begins on the coffee. “It’s been fifteen years. Hopefully it’ll be better this time around.”
“Maybe,” I say, hoping that it will be different. It broke Mum’s heart when the House Elves Rights Bill didn’t pass the first time. Since she’s always been so passionate about house elves and the rights they don’t have, it broke her when others at the Ministry didn’t feel the same way.
“Anyways,” Mum says as she sighs and faces me as she leans against the kitchen counter, “how have things been? I feel like we haven’t spoken in a long time.”
I shrug. “Aside from last night, everything was pretty good. Except from being super busy at St. Mungo’s and never having much time to go out.”
“So, I’m assuming things fizzled with that one guy?” Mum asks as she turns back to my pancake to flip it.
I snort and begin laughing. “Nothing was even going on with Nick. We went to dinner once and that’s it. That was maybe two weeks ago.”
“Oh well,” Mum says. “It’s not like I’m expecting you to get married yet. You’re far too young for that.”
I laugh. “Don’t expect it to happen for a long time, Mum. I’m too busy for anything.”
Mum begins chuckling as she brings me over my coffee and my pancake. “I won’t. Gabby is basically a granddaughter to me, so I don’t need one for quite a while, especially with Victoire having another so soon.”
I chuckle like her. “That’s nice to know that you won’t be pressuring me into having children.”
“Rosie, you’re only twenty-one,” Mum says and slides my plate and coffee to me from across the table. “I’m not expecting till at least twenty-five.”
I laugh and say sarcastically, “At least I have another four years.”
“A lot can change in four years, Rosie,” Mum tells me. “You’ve shown me that a lot can change in three years.”
I look up at her and smile weakly. “A lot has changed since Hogwarts, hasn’t it?”
Mum nods. “A lot. You saved Scorpius and tried to save Philip and that proved it to me. Before then, I didn’t know you would ever get over it.”
“I didn’t think I did until Scorpius was dying right in front of me and his life was in my hands.”
Just after breakfast, Mum left to go to the Ministry for work at the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. I got dressed into my scrubs, even though I don’t have work for another couple of hours. But, Mum gave me an idea to keep myself busy until work, so I decided I was going to take advantage of it.
So I Apparate from the flat and appear in the Ministry with people buzzing all around to get to work. I follow a large group of workers towards the elevators and go down a level, to the Auror Headquarters. A lot of Aurors and other Ministry workers stare at me as I walk through the aisles of desks in the main bull pen until I finally see who I’m going after. Carolyn looks up at me and furrows her eyebrows deeply when she sees me marching towards her. I hurry towards her, then kneel on the ground to look at her at eye level.
“What are you doing here?” Carolyn asks curiously, her eyebrows still furrowed. “You never come here.”
“Mum gave me an idea to help my mind get off of last night,” I tell Carolyn. “And I was wondering if you would like to go to lunch with me.”
“For what?” Carolyn asks, furrowing her eyebrows deeper.
“Just to talk and hang out,” I reply, taking hold of one of Carolyn’s hands. “We haven’t just sat and ate a meal together in so long and I miss that. I feel like I’m missing everything.”
Carolyn smiles politely and grabs her coat from over her chair. “Fine. I just have to tell Scorpius, then we can go.”
My jaw drops a little, but then I fix that before Carolyn notices. “Scorpius?”
Carolyn chuckles as we both stand up. “Rosie, he’s my partner. I have to tell him where I’m going just in case anything happens. It’s a safety precaution.”
“C-can I meet you outside?” I ask Carolyn softly.
Carolyn rolls her eyes. “Merlin, Rose. It won’t take that long. The least you can do after saving his life is just stand with me while I explain to him where I’m going.”
I sigh. “But, Carolyn…”
“Stop whining, you wuss,” Carolyn tells me as I follow her towards the front area of the Headquarters. “It’ll only take a minute.”
I sigh as I let her lead me to the front atrium. I remember still that I found Scorpius extremely attractive when he was lying almost dead on my gurney in St. Mungo’s. I can’t even imagine how good he looks when he’s well and doesn’t have blood all over him.
Merlin, save me.
Carolyn notices me wringing my hands together nervously and she laughs at me.
“Let me guess: Rose Weasley is nervous about meeting Scorpius Malfoy face to face after she saved his life,” Carolyn says as she flicks her black hair over her shoulder.
I chuckle wryly. “More like nervous about finding him super attractive even when he was an inch from death and afraid of what he looks like when he isn’t dying.”
Carolyn throws her arm over my shoulder and kisses my temple. “So you finally admit it. I always knew you found him attractive, even if he was a total arse back in our school days.”
I shove Carolyn away and she laughs again at me.
“Don’t repress it, Rosie,” Carolyn teases me, rubbing her hands up and down my coated arms. “Embrace it. Own it.”
I groan. “Shut up, Carolyn.”
And just as I look back towards the atrium, I see him. And Merlin, is he better looking than I feared. Once Scorpius sees me, he stops in his tracks for a moment, then continues on his way towards Carolyn. I gulp silently and wipe my hands on the back of my pants nervously. I never owned up to the fact that I found Scorpius attractive during our Hogwarts days because he relentlessly teased me, but now that those days are over and it’s been three years since I’ve seen him, I can officially say that he is one of the most good-looking men I’ve ever seen. It’s definitely the platinum blonde hair and his gray eyes that stare straight into my soul. And it doesn’t hurt that he has the body of a god.
“Scorpius, I’m going to lunch with Rose for a little bit,” Carolyn tells Scorpius once he arrives at us, who continues to glance over at me. “I shouldn’t be gone for too long.”
Scorpius nods in understanding. “Alright. I’ll just be working on the cold cases.”
Carolyn nods and crosses her arms. “Okay. Don’t do all of them ‘cause I’m sure Potter will have my ass if you have your signature on the majority of them.”
I elbow Carolyn in the side. “Don’t talk about my uncle like that.”
Carolyn sticks her tongue out at me and I nudge her again, causing her to laugh. I look back over at Scorpius, who’s staring at us. Well, mostly at me in a certain way I’ve never seen him use before.
Scorpius smiles gently. “Hello, Rose.”
I smile back at him. “Hi, Scorpius.”
“Ooohh, already skipping to first names, eh?” Carolyn asks and I immediately withdraw from the conversation.
“Shut up, Carolyn Jia Li Cave,” I tell her and Carolyn sticks her tongue out at me again.
Carolyn turns to Scorpius. “Well, we’re going now. See ya in a bit, Malfoy.”
Carolyn begins to drag me away and Scorpius begins to walk back to the Headquarters. I glance over my shoulder and I notice Scorpius doing the same to me. We meet eyes slowly and smile at each other. Just this small act between us lets me know that I’m right about forgiving him about our Hogwarts days.