Chapter 2 : Parts III, IV, V, and VI
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'You can't start the next chapter in your life if you keep rereading the old one.'
I didn't find it that hard to find a place to live. Apparently people don't want live near the top of an apartment building when there is no elevator. I chose an old apartment in London as my home for the moment, living in a muggle area. Needless to say my parents were very surprised I had actually gone through with my plans. I had no experience in anything muggle. But it was the best way to get independent. The rent was doable and the size of my flat was small. The one thing I loved was that it had a fireplace and large windows. Yes it was a one person flat, but it was pleasant to live in.
Job-wise I wasn't really sure. My parents were backing me up financially, but they did say I had two years to figure something out before I was cut off. I was trying to decide as to where I would want to work. I applied for a few small things here and there: some at the Ministry in the International Department and Transfiguration Departments, two shops in Diagon Alley, and then I applied to a muggle School of Architecture as a student. I wasn't even sure what that was really about and it was a tad random but there had been students on the street as I was walking by that were letting people apply for free so I thought I'd give it a shot.
A few weeks went by before I heard anything. The Ministry Departments I had applied for informed me that they were not hiring at the moment and to try again at a different time. Out of the two shops, only one contacted me back saying they didn't need employers; the other didn't even bother replying. I got accepted to the muggle university though and I thought about it seriously for a few days before I decided to do it. Risk something, why not?
I spent the summer wandering around London trying to pick up non-wizard vocabulary. I read up on architecture and what was supposed to only be a twenty minute jaunt into the library turned into a five hour one. Yes I decided to do it on a whim, but the applications of it fascinated me the more I read about it. It would be interesting to combine magic and architecture. I visited the wizarding library to get more books about it and discovered that since it combined so many different forms of magic, it simply couldn't be labeled under one. In other words, it was right up my alley.
I decided to take it one step further and talked to a wizarding architect company. They said that the muggle education would give me a step up over other applicants if I ever applied; wizards were usually too snobby to go to any schools by muggles. The muggle school taught the essentials very well for aspiring young architects. The owner of the company even said that this school might teach it a tad bit better than a wizarding one would. If I did one year at the muggle school and one year at a wizarding school then I would be all set for a career, not counting my apprenticeship.
A bit more optimistic about my future I concentrated on figuring out muggle life and muggle appliances.
The one thing I couldn't figure out was one of the boxes beside the fridge. I figured out it timed something because it would count down from whatever numbers I pressed and because it was in the kitchen I deduced that it had something to do with food. I just really couldn't figure it out. Every time I tried to open it when it was on, it shut off. When I put some food in, it started a fire. So I just covered it with a cloth and ignored it. I was too afraid to ask any neighbours about it. It seemed like such a simple device and I didn't want them to suspect me.
The trip up to the eighth floor tired me every time I traversed it. I was shocked by how quickly I lost my athleticism from school. I started running in the mornings or afternoons, doing a few laps around the park before making my way back to my place.
I was content. I had established some sort of routine for me, had a vague idea about where I wanted to be in the future and I was living as a mature, responsible adult. It was a different life than what I was used to, but it improved me. I was not like the people who I hung around with in school, who were going out every weekend and living with their parents still. Granted, it was just after graduation, but they had no goals for themselves for which I was sad about. I had a feeling that we would never hang out again; me growing up, and them acting like spoilt teenagers. I don't know if I was envious or not. Even though I was piecing a life together I felt like something was missing in my life, something I couldn't name and they couldn't replace. Something important.
It happened one evening when I had just cleaned up the supper dishes and was sitting in front of empty fireplace– for it was still summer- drinking tea and reading one of my books from the library. I suddenly heard a thump from outside my door, silence for a moment, and then a few more thumps. I heard a yell of, 'damnit! A la vache! Merde!' and then there was an insistent knocking at my door. It sounded like someone was kicking it with the intent to break it open. I got up uneasily, not sure if I should open the door or not. The kicking became more insistent so I opened the door, my wand hidden but at the ready just in case.
I don't know who was more surprised, Rose Weasley or I. I was surprised- first of all because it was her out of all things, and second of all because there was blood all over her hands. She had a bloody nose. One of her hands was pinching the bridge of her nose and the other was underneath her chin trying to pool the blood that was falling and stop it from getting on the ground or her clothes. She stared at me in shock and I looked at her stunned. She spoke first.
'Ummm. . . Hi. Would you mind if I used your bathroom for a moment. I, uhh. . . well, my nose.'
She kind of shrugged her shoulders as if to say 'it's obvious, please let me in' and I opened the door wider and let her in directing her to where she needed to go. I noticed a bunch of books lying on the floor by the door and picked them all up and set them on my counter. There were lots of them and they were surprisingly heavy. I wondered how she got them up to the eighth floor without magic. I then put the tea kettle back on, for it was the least I could do.
I heard water running and then she came out a few minutes later all cleaned up. She continued to hold some tissue to her nose though, to stop the bleeding. She gave me a shy smile and said, 'thanks.'
'No problem. Would you like some tea?' I said easily and she nodded as I pulled out a chair for her. Then an awkward silence descended.
I was hoping that something would happen, anything– why couldn't I start a conversation for heaven's sake? Then she started to laugh. That was the first time I ever heard her laugh and it gave me jitters in my stomach. It was so fresh, musical, and contagious. I gave a few chuckles too, marveling at her.
'Ah, sorry for laughing. This is just so unexpected. The whole past ten minutes have been unreal it seems! So, Scorpius Malfoy, what have you been up to since we ended school two months ago?'
So she knew my name, I was pleasantly surprised. The tea kettle went off so I got her some tea and then started talking.
'Well I moved here about two weeks after school. . . and have just been here, I guess. What about you?'
'Hmmm, well I was at home with my parents and I decided I needed to move out and live by myself for once. So, I started looking for an apartment and there was a room open on the tenth floor that was really cheap. I was just moving in today before school gets going pretty quick.'
I nodded; I felt a strange thrill at the thought that we would be practically neighbours.
'What are you going to be studying?' I asked her curiously.
'Ermm, pediatrics I guess. They offer a wizarding course in a university around this area of London through St. Mungo's. But I might also do rehabilitation. Who knows!' she said. Then continued cheerfully, 'are you doing school or working? Or just living?'
'I'm doing school. . . I will be going to a muggle university to study architecture,' I said a little nervously. I didn't know what she would think of that. She didn't look surprised at my answer though, just thoughtful.
We continued talking easily about our summers and our hopes for the future. There were no more awkward silences, conversation just flowed smoothly. Finally she said she had to be going.
I thought of something as we walked to the door, 'how did you get that bloody nose?'
To my surprise, she blushed a little. 'Well, I was carrying all those books and I must admit they were rather heavy so I was stopping after each level for a rest. It was honestly frustrating me. Well, I got up this far and then the stairs ended! And that door was in the way– I assume I have to cross over to the other side of the building to get to the top two levels– yeah? So odd. Anyway I pushed it open with my back probably harder than I needed to and then I turned around quickly and ran into that wall because I didn't realize it was so close. If I wasn't frustrated, it probably wouldn't have happened. But alas, it did.'
'What was it you yelled out? I didn't recognize the words?'
Even more curiously she blushed more and then said somewhat reluctantly, 'weeelll, I don't like swearing but sometimes something just needs to come out. So I 'swear' in other languages so nobody knows what I'm saying. It's usually French or German, but they aren't bad swears, just harmless small ones.'
I shook my head with a smile and offered to carry her books to her room.
'Oh no, I'm almost there. Besides I will feel very accomplished when I get up there. Going up and down the stairs will be very easy after this,' she said with a big smile. I piled the books into her open arms and opened the door for her.
'Thanks again for letting me barge in here. I hope I didn't disturb anything important. Don't be a stranger, and I shan't either.'
I assured her I would come see her tomorrow and then she was gone. I skipped to my bedroom in elation and jumped on my bed. What knocked me back into my senses was that I overjumped it and landed on the floor. As I laid there in momentary agony, I reflected that maybe, just maybe I fancied her a bit- just a tiny bit. Oh, but I made her laugh a few times, and smile. Gosh she had a beautiful smile.
She showed me how to work the microwave. Apparently tinfoil didn't go in the microwave. I felt a little stupid but just shrugged it off, for I had guessed fairly closely. Strangely, or not strangely at all, Rose and I became good friends.
We'd eat meals together and walk in the park. Sometimes we would study together and sometimes we would go for a run together. We could sit in front of the fire drinking tea in silence but equally spend an evening laughing so hard our stomachs hurt. She stopped over a lot on her way up and down from her flat. I always made random excuses to go see her, like I had no sugar, or milk, or needed to know the spelling of a word. Another excuse was that I wanted to borrow a book, or needed her to test me on something. I couldn't even remember what I had done for the two months when she wasn't here for we spent so much time together now.
When we would eat meals together sometimes our knees would gently brush or we would reach for something at the same time and both pull back really quick. She always blushed and got shy. She took me to an outdoor folk festival and we danced together, twirling and laughing into the evening. She fell asleep on my lap once when we were studying and I lightly stroked her hair away from her face.
I had never felt that way before, with anyone. We fit together so nicely. I felt like a whole different person when I was with her. It was hard to believe that I was who I was, and that I had just graduated school. I was only 18!
Months passed and eventually we found ourselves at Christmas. White snow blanketed the Earth and our fireplaces became an essential when we discovered another reason why rent had been so cheap: only the first five floors had heat. Rose and I would layer ourselves up in multiple pairs of socks and jumpers and sit in front of a roaring fire with books lain out around us for school. With the companionship, the cold was no problem. It was hard to imagine me living in the apartment without Rose upstairs. If she hadn't come along I probably would have moved home when the cold first hit.
We had just come back from a run outside and Rose was complaining as we walked up the stairs.
'This is all your fault! I'm not going to be able to walk tomorrow at all. I probably have frostbite in my toes too. Running in winter is crazy! I can't believe you manage to drag me outside every time! ANd my glasses are fogging up again. Something is wrong with me!'
I chuckled. Every time we went running, she said that. But I knew she liked the challenge and exhilaration of it. She stopped on the stairs and sat down for a moment. I took her glasses off her face and wiped them off, putting them gently back on afterwards so I could see her eyes. She shook her head at me.
'I'm serious Scorp, I'm dying. I just need a break for a second. I think I pulled a muscle when I slipped on the ice.'
'Rossseeee, we're almost there! Three more flights to go!'
She rolled her eyes. 'For you, superhuman, but I have five more. I think I'm going to die right here!' she said dramatically and then she leaned back on the stairs breathing heavily and shut her eyes. Well what could I do? I sat next to her and relaxed too for a moment. We were both breathing fairly heavily.
Eventually she stood back up with a groan and stretched her back, with her arms lifted high over her head. It cracked a few times and she wrinkled her nose.
'A la vache. That's nasty. Come on lazy bones. Hot chocolate is calling my name.' She reached out her hand and helped me up. To my surprise she didn't let go as she led the way up the remainding staircases.
'Pardon me? Lazy bones? You are the one who wanted to rest in the first place!' I said laughing again and she gave me a grin.
She deposited me off at my apartment with the promise that I would come up after I showered. I made it up in no time at all and was knocking at her door, but that was more for courtesy than anything. I entered before she had time to respond.
She had a towel wrapped around her head and was busy brewing some hot chocolate at the stove. I noticed she was wearing one of my jumpers and I couldn't stop staring at her in happiness because of that simple fact. I sat down at the table.
'Rose it's freezing in here! Did you start the fire?'
'Don't be silly, you can see it roaring right there. Give it a bit to warm up.'
'Ahhh, it's cold though.'
'Oh goodness. Well I think I still have one of your sweaters on my bed that you could go grab.'
'You're saying that besides the one you are wearing right now, you have another jumper too? No wonder I have no clothes left.'
'Meh, they're warm.'
I shook my head at her as I went to her room and grabbed it. I liked her wearing my jumpers; it was almost as if she was wearing a piece of me. A photograph caught my attention and I picked it up and looked at it.
It was a picture of her family, and it got me thinking for a moment. I returned to Rose putting the jumper on.
'Say Rose, what are you doing for Christmas?'
She poured out our drinks and shrugged. 'Well probably something with my family. Christmas day we all go to the Burrow usually. It is quite a fiasco. Why?' she asked with a curious smile as she pulled the towel off her head and shook out her wet hair. Her hair was a few inches below her shoulders now but still very curly.
'Do you want to. . . come over for a day– to meet my parents, or just for a supper when exams are finshed. You know. . . if you were interested. . . at all. . . ' I lost confidence the longer I talked and so I shut up, almost sorry I said anything at all.
She beamed at me, 'I would love to. And you're invited to my place too, you know.'
That settled it. When I told my parents about it they just raised their eyebrows. My dad asked me whose kid she was. When I told him he held a hand over his heart and grimaced.
'I need a drink. Please don't bring her over tonight, I need time to process this and probably won't be in the right state to meet her.'
I wasn't too impressed with him. 'Honestly dad. It's not like we're getting married.'
He groaned, 'don't say that to me. I'm going to need a week now before I will be able to see the young lady. First muggle London and now a Wealsey?' He walked away muttering and I heard him say, 'this will not end well. Him marrying a Weasley, why I never.'
Even though it didn't seem like it, my dad had been in excellent humour. I brought Rose over a few days later and he acted with the perfect amount of decorum to her. She even made him spit up his pork in laughter with something she said. My mom winked at me when we were leaving and whispered, 'bring her over again.'
We disapparated back together to her place to avoid the stairs because nobody had seen us leave it in the first place– that was where we had apparated from. Yes we cheated sometimes and acted like real wizards to avoid those god awful stairs.
We went to her home the next night. It was Christmas Eve and the house was decorated up in all its Christmas glory. It was just her immediate family. I met her Dad, her Mom, and her younger brother Hugo. Her dad seemed to take an instant dislike to me but Hugo instantly took to me. He was in his sixth year at Hogwarts and was animatedly talking about Quidditch. He seemed very interested in what I was taking in school: architecture.
'What is architecture exactly? Are you going to build things do you think, when you are done the schooling?' he asked as we sat around the kitchen table enjoying a glass of wine after dinner.
'I'm not sure. I will just make plans of the buildings or structures and give it to the workers or companies. Probably supervise the work site and I would probably do some final touches too, if things need to be changed or adjusted a bit.'
'That's cool. So you could one day design someplace. . . like Hogwarts?'
I laughed thinking how I used to gaze with wonder up at Hogwarts in my first few years there. 'Umm, yes potentially I guess. Though I don't think castles are that high in demand at this point, and it would be a huge project to undertake.'
'That is really cool. Well sis, he is alright in my books,' Hugo said cheerfully to Rose with a slap on her back. Rose turned bright red and mumbled, 'we are just friends Hugh.'
That stung a bit. Yes, technically we were friends, really good friends. By the way we acted; I always forgot that it was only friends. I never said the word out loud, hoping I could deny the truth of the matter. But I couldn't deny it anymore. I wanted more than friends. I wanted to hold hands with her and kiss her. It was kind of sad that it took a comment from her younger brother to make me realize it. I loved her and I needed to act soon. The angry glare her father was giving me would probably turn into a death glare if I had anything to say about it.
We eventually made our leave way. Her dad asked to speak to me before we left, in private. I got nervous and Rose shot a calculated glance at her father but then nodded to him. He pulled me into his bedroom and shut the door.
'We are just friends.' I blurted out before he could say anything, my heart thumping. My thoughts from a few minutes ago instantly disappeared as he regarded me coolly. I was afraid for my life at that moment.
He raised his eyebrows at me, 'if you say that from a year from now, I don't know if I will be secretly grateful, or angry at you for breaking Rose's heart.'
I stared at him in shock as he continued, 'now I know that me saying this to you seems very out of place but you know what? I have heard Rose laugh more tonight than in the past four years. She has been through a lot and maybe, no matter how much I try not to like you, maybe you are just what she needs. So. . . just. . . be. . . careful. I was very adamant against this in the start, but now, now I'm not too sure.'
I stared at him in disbelief– did he just give me his blessings? I blinked multiple times.
With his spiel finished, he sat down on the bed with a groan, grimacing. I immediately thought of my dad.
'Sir. . . do you. . . need a drink of something?' I asked.
He got up. 'That is exactly what I need. Now off you go, I'm sure Rose is waiting patiently at the porch, waiting to interrogate you. I'll get myself a drink.'
I joined Rose as she stood there all bundled up in her winter clothes. We had apparated from my apartment but since Ron and Hermione had lots of anti-apparation wards around their place we had to walk a ways out before disapparating. We said our goodbye's, Rose telling them she would go directly to the Burrow tomorrow morning. Ron saluted us with his newly filled wine glass as Hermione waved, but Hugo was disappointed.
'Rose, you're not going to be here on Christmas? But it is tradition that I jump on you in the morning! Who is going to wake you up otherwise?'
'I assure you I won't be late silly goose! And who knows, maybe I will make a detour here first and be the one to wake you up! Change the traditions a bit, you know.'
He looked at her with a raised eyebrow and a smile full of disbelief. 'Not a chance, sissy. I'm always up before you!'
She replied to him in a sing-song voice before she went outside, 'don't count your chickens before they are hatched Hugo.'
We started walking in a comfortable silence through the cold. The sky was clear and the air nipped our cheeks. There were so many stars in the sky it seemed like we were on another planet; in a different time, different place. It was beautiful. My hand automatically reached out to grip Rose's and we walked hand in hand over the hill. We reached our destination and just stood there watching our breath disappear on the cold air.
I turned to her and gently brushed my free hand against her cheek. Her skin tinged pink but she didn't say anything; just looked at me steadily with the same eyes that looked at me in fourth year. There was less sadness in them, but they were still calm, intense, and intelligent. This time however, there was something else in them too. Something I knew that was in mine, that had actually been in them for a really long time. I tucked her red hair behind her ear and leaned down, touching my lips to hers. It was like a breath of fresh air. Our lips were cold from the cool air as we kissed beneath the stars. After what seemed like eons, we drew apart and she rested her head on my chest.
'I love you,' she whispered and I squeezed her tight and whispered back, 'I love you too.'
We apparated back to my flat and amidst more kisses we eventually undressed from our winter things. More kisses later, our lips were numb and our hair a mess. She started unbuttoning my shirt as I gently steered us to my bed.
Later that night we lay twined together on my mattress. I gently twirled a strand of her hair around my fingers as I watched her beautiful sleeping face. My heart felt like it would burst with emotion as I slowly succumbed to the night's whispers.
Four months later Rose sold her flat. She practically lived at mine and she always complained about the extra flights of stairs anyway. My friends who had mysteriously been avoiding me the past months popped over a few times just to express how stupid I was to get involved with her, and how young. Thing was though that I didn't feel young. I felt right, I felt complete. I knew the day would come when I would outgrow my school friends. I didn't even care, good riddance to them. They didn't see it in me; they didn't realize how my life had changed. They still saw the same arrogant youngster who was trying to fit in.
It was a week later that I noticed something. . . off about Rose. She would spend lots of time looking out the window staring at nothing in particular and was extra fidgety. Since we were nearing the end of our first year of school we had exams coming up. We were back into our old routine: studying with our papers all over the floor, the fireplace on, and our ever present mug of hot tea. Rose cleared her throat and I looked up at her in a question as she started talking slowly.
'Scorpius. Tomorrow I won't be going to school,' she started off and then pulled her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. I had a sudden flashback to when we were in sixth year. She sat the same way in that broom closet.
'I have. . . I have somewhere I need to go. It's somewhere important, and every April 3rd I go there. But this year I was wondering if you would like to come with me. It's not something very happy, but it is something that changed my life so much that I think you need to know about it,' she finished, looking at the ground.
I couldn't bear to have the space between us. I scooted over to her and wrapped my arms around her, lightly kissing her forehead and telling her I would be there for her. She awkwardly moved to my lap and laid her head on her shoulder. I wasn't sure what the next day would bring.
The winter had been especially long this year. Even though it was April there was some snow lightly falling as we walked into the cemetery in the early morning of the next day. I was surprised at our destination but didn't say anything, even as Rose's hand got tighter around mine.
She was carrying flowers we had picked up on the way. She had noticed my silent question in the cemetery about them but just shook her head as she pulled me along, row after row. The snow crunched around our feet and the fog made it hard to see very far. I was a tiny bit spooked but didn't say anything.
Rose eventually stopped walking and looked down at a tombstone. She gently brushed it off and a name appeared: Grace Theresa O'Neale. Her birthdate was the exact same as Rose's but the death date was five years ago. There was a quote beneath that I recognized immediately. Rose kneeled down to lay the flowers on the partially frozen earth and then stood up again beside me. The first sentence she uttered was so quiet I wasn't sure she even said it, but then her voice got louder.
'She was my best friend up until fourth year. We were neighbours and every summer we would play together outside, walk to each other's houses through the fields, and swim in the ponds. Hugo joined us lots of the time and we always had the best of times; there was so much laughter and love whenever we were all together. She was practically my twin. Well, we always pretended that we were twins because we had been born on the exact same day within one hour of each other. She was a muggle though and didn't know about me being a witch.
'It was hard being friends when I started going to Hogwarts because I couldn't say stories about anything that happened during the year. Summertime came each year and she would have lots of hilarious stories about what she had done and I could only smile and laugh, for I couldn't share anything, the secret was too big. It was the only thing I hated about being a witch. Oh, we both had long red hair too. That was another reason why we pretended we were twins. I had more freckles than her though and I was taller but otherwise we were similar in so many ways.'
Rose stopped talking for a moment and I noticed that she had a few tears on her face. She took a deep breath and continued,
'It happened in third year in the first weekend of April. It was my cousin Victoire's wedding and so my whole family was excused from school for a few days. She was over at my house talking animatedly about one of the adventures she had had at school the past week. I wasn't paying attention though, witches and wizards were coming in and out, and magic was everywhere. Mum told me that she was expecting an owl from my aunt Fleur and so I was trying to watch for it in case I had to take Grace out of the room. I was on guard the whole time, very paranoid and not paying attention to Grace because I had to keep this big secret from her. She got mad at me then. She asked why we were even friends anymore if it was just a one sided conversation all the time and I acted like I didn't care about our friendship. She thought I had become stuck up at boarding school. We called each other not very nice names and then she left in a fit of rage. Oh I was so mad. I had taken my anger out on her, but I was really mad at the stupid wizarding laws, the government, and my parents for the stupid rules we lived by. I was mad that I couldn't say anything.
'I realize now that I could have, and should have said something but then I didn't even think of it. I was thirteen and my parents wanted me to wait until I was seventeen before I made an important decision like that. That night we were invited to my aunt's and uncle's house for supper. I was still mad at Grace but I was excited to see my relatives. They were a noisy lot and we had such fun being hooligans. I could easily forget Grace and our conversation there. Before we were about to leave though, Grace called me and said she was sorry.
'I wasn't though; if she had waited 'till the next day I probably wouldn't have been as mad. But that anger had kept a hold of me. I had such a biting temper when I was younger. I told her we weren't twins anymore and if she thought I was stuck up then she could just leave me alone forever. Again I called her horrible, mean names. Later that night, we got a call. Grace had snuck out of the house and gone to hang out with some of her muggle friends. The driver lost control of the vehicle they were in and they had all died instantly.
'I was devastated beyond words. I was shocked and couldn't believe what had happened.
'My last words to her were mean and spiteful; I had been a hateful child when she tried to say sorry. I then cut off my long red hair; I didn't deserve to be her twin anymore. She had tried fixing things with me even though it was me who was in the wrong, but I had snubbed her. She wasn't the type of person to sneak out. Ever. So I partially blamed myself for what happened and it just broke my heart.
'I didn't go back to school right away but when I did I started to watch what I said. I avoided my cousins who couldn't comprehend the fact that I didn't want to play the stupid games or pranks, or hurt and tease people for fun anymore.
'At school I watched everyone around me. Perhaps it was some form of depression but I didn't want to talk to anyone; there was a huge hole in my heart and I had nothing to say. I didn't think I had any anger left in me, I promised myself that I would never get mad again but then a little bit later I saw something that made me forget that.
'There were two girls whom I knew were friends that were yelling in the girls' toilet at each other. I saw them and immediately thought of me and Grace. I marched right in there and splashed them both with water. Oh, I gave them a telling they wouldn't believe. They were older than me but I spoke so fiercely and so strongly that they just stared in shock. I told them that they shouldn't call each other names for it always cut deeper than anyone realized. They should cherish the friendship they had, for you never know if that person will be gone from your life the next day. I walked out of there and I realized that I felt a little better. Even though that time I had done it in anger, I realized that helping people might be a way to fill the gaping hole in my heart.
'I started to do odd little things. I started talking to the students who didn't have many friends. I started tutoring them a bit when they had questions about school assignments. When people dropped things I helped them pick it up, when someone tripped I helped them up, when I heard someone call someone else a name I told them not to do that.
'One of the biggest things I did was when I found a letter on the ground one day. It was to a girl who was two years above me. The letter was from her father and it was about how he couldn't afford a broom for her because they needed to buy essentials for all of her siblings at home still. Her father said he was so terriby sorry and the letter was so touching. I noticed that there were teardrop stains on it and decided I had to do something. I wrote home and told my parents what my plan was and they sent me my broom. I polished it up as best as I could and then placed it in the broom shed for her, with a little note.
'I visited students in the hospital wing and took tea to my dormmates when they was sick. I did a bunch of other things too, trying to heal that hole. Then I found a quote in a book I was reading, 'everyone knows that the drop emerges into the ocean, but few know that the ocean emerges into the drop.' Grace's parents wrote to me and asked if there was something that I wanted on the tombstone. I told them the quote and they understood and put it there. . .
'We graduated. I felt that I just needed to leave the familiar and go somewhere else to experience whatever I could. There were so many sad and happy memories at home, I felt I was losing ground with that hole was that was always threathening to get bigger. I needed to make happy memories elsewhere too. Then I remembered that Grace and I always talked about getting an appartment together in London after school so I decided to do that.
'Then I met you. . . well officially. I had always noticed you in school before but I never talked to you really. . .
'And, so, there lies the tale of Rose Weasley,' she finished, finally turning to me and looking at me. 'How she turned from a menace to a person who cared. You are now the only person who knows the whole story; it is something I had never been able to share before, never wanted to share before.'
She finished and looked at me. She had tried smiling when she said her last sentence but it didn't really work. I calmly looked at her, not entirely sure what to say. She had stopped crying but her eyes were still red.
I took a hesitant step towards her and said, 'as Grace changed who you were, you have changed me in so many ways as well. I know it was hard to share your story but they always say that sharing is the first form of healing. But don't forget that I'm always here for you, no matter what, no matter when.'
She flung herself into my arms. I caught her and just held her as another storm of tears came. When she stopped crying she stepped back, wiping her eyes on her scarf.
I realized something and hesitantly spoke, 'your hair is long now.'
She smiled. 'Yes, because of you. Although that hole in my heart will never be repaired, you have healed it so much more than I ever thought possible.'
I kissed her forehead and asked if she was ready to go. She nodded and then kneeled down again and put her hand on the tombstone.
When she stood up I wrapped my arm around her shoulders, pulling her close as she wrapped hers around my waist. 'I'm ready,' she said, 'and I know what you were wondering earlier, about the flowers.'
'Well you were wondering why I bothered getting flowers because it is still wintery outside and they will die right away. Right?'
I was embarrassed that I thought that, the flowers obviously signified something to her, but I nodded anyway.
'They were our favourite flowers and even though the plant dies, the seeds don't. When the snow melts, these flowers are the first to bloom in the spring, and they spread. I have always visited the cemetery once in the summertime. The ground is awash in bluebells and it just gives me peace of mind. It truly is an amazing sight. There is purple everywhere.'
'That's really beautiful Rose.'
She smiled timidly and we walked back to our little flat together. The fog had lifted and some rays of sunshine were peeking through the clouds, illuminating our path from the cemetery.
Two years passed. Rose slowly introduced me to members of her family, instead of bombarding me with them all at once.
We went for afternoon tea at the houses for both her sets of grandparents. Her grandma Weasley decided that a blue Christmas jumper would go wonderfully with my blonde hair and grey eyes. Her other grandparents bombarded us with sugar-free baking and socks.
She took me to the Potters and we played a big game of four-on-four Quidditch outside in their backyard. Hugo came with us for backup because Rose said the Potter kids were very unpredictable. They warned me about the spiked desert Lily made and Hugo stood up for me when James took some jabs at me. They accepted me though because they saw the evidence of how Rose and I were together.
One summer we went to France when her Aunt Fleur and Uncle Bill were visiting there. She already knew French but they taught it to me as we laid in the sun and ate berries from the trees. We tried coffee for the first time with her cousins in cafés and strolled down cobblestoned paths in old cities, admiring the buildings and art. We also decided that we didn't like coffee that much and were going to stick with tea.
We felt particularly brave one weekend and visited her Uncle Charlie in Romania. I won't lie and say that if I never see a dragon again I would be sad, because I really wouldn't.
We talked politics and politicians with her Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey for an hour before Rose's younger twin cousins rescued us from their parents. A not very stimilating afternoon turned into a huge water fight outside with Rose and I ending up getting absolutely drenched from Molly and Lucy.
We went for supper above Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes where her Uncle George and Aunt Angelina lived. She tried to save me from pranks befalling me, but in the end we were outsmarted and both left with our skin stained blue. She said it was inevitable, that was just who they were.
Two years had passed; she still needed two more years of school while I started working for a wizarding architect company in Bookham outside of London. The training was on the job and I was apprenticed to one of the greatest architects of the past twenty years.
After that second winter we decided to move out and find ourselves a home. We had had enough of freezing in the wintertime and of the really small space only designed for one. We moved to the countryside of Bookham. The land was empty but I designed a home for us, knowing exactly how it should be to fit us both.
After it was built, we had a small two bedroom cottage with a big fireplace and large windows. Rose decided she loved our new home too much to stay in London while she had school. She flooed every day to her classes.
I became integrated into her family in all ways but one. When I proposed, it wasn't announced before a grand audience or in a fancy restaurant. It was as we took a twilight walk on Christmas Eve under the stars. There were only the sounds of the night and the rustling trees as she whispered a yes to me.
We had a long engagement. It wasn't until she had finished school that a wedding date was set. With some few close friends who we had met through school and work, and our families, we got married at our house after I landscaped the backyard into something natural and beautiful. The ceremony was very quiet and quaint, but afterwards it turned into a big celebration and party. Her family does certainly know how to have fun. Our dad's and James all tried to outdrink one another, while our moms shook their heads and asked themselves why they had married them again. But it was all in good fun. There were a few small food fights when Rose had pushed my face into the wedding cake. It was a happy affair and full of love.
Rose finished her education and became a Healer for children. There were many sad moments of her job as well as happy, but I was always there for her when she came home after a particulary tough day of work.
I finished my apprenticeship and started taking on bigger and bigger projects. I developed my own style as I liked working with the natural landscape around me, building unique and interesting abodes and buildings.
After talking about it a few times, we decided that kids were something we would like to have in the future. We were financially secure, had a home and reliable jobs. We were ready for the next step in life.
Looking back it is hard to believe how I had been when I was younger. I couldn't imagine life without Rose and I was so thankful that we both had found ourselves in that old apartment right out of Hogwarts. Perhaps our story was chance, or perhaps it it was fate, but life happened and we had lived it the best we could. Rose and I were going to grow old together. I just knew it.
A.N: Extremely sorry for the wait. Sooo many little problems.. anyway
A la vache = bloody hell
Merde = shoot