Chapter 1 : Spectrum
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All of the writers had broken off into little clusters; eagerly discussing who would be forced into buying the first round of drinks and anticipating the longed for weekend when they could escape work thanks to the other set of reporters stepping in. The humid air caused by them chatting loudly only added to the festival feel, with the breath mixing with the condensation to form a translucent, white film on the windows.
Well, that was the case for all but one person. Rose Weasley was hunched over her desk looking over various facts and files about Ministry employees. She wanted to be a serious journalist, one who tackled hard hitting issues, not one who wrote about gnome fancy dress competitions. Perhaps if she was discovering the latest breakthrough it would match her parents' successes.
She wasn’t too pleased when she was told she had to write about that, but she knew she couldn’t argue. Journalism was more about who you knew rather than what you knew, so complaining to her boss, William Pierston, about the unfairness of it all wouldn’t have been her best decision. Holding a silent protest was the best she could do for now.
Interviewing an old warlock who had personal space issues and always gave her odd looks whenever she asked him a question wasn't her finest moment but it would do for now. She could vividly recall the close up view of his nostril and his red blotchy skin. She was relieved that the event took place outside, so the rain provided her with a reason to scarper. It still was quite fun, but it just wasn’t impressive by her family’s standards. They were all high-achievers, so if Rose wanted to match their levels of success she had to work twice as hard.
She wasn’t a child genius like her brother Hugo. She wasn’t set to become the next Minister for Magic like her mum. She didn't have an international joke shop business which had galleons flooding in like her dad and uncle George had. All she had was some crummy flat out in Croydon which was prone to leaking when it rained, and a couple of amateur articles in the back sections of the Daily Prophet. Well, it was all she had for now; she was determined to make something of herself one day.
In a family as big as the Weasleys it was sometimes hard to find your place. Your chance to shine. Even her job here was thanks to her aunt Ginny, who was the sports editor of the Daily Prophet. Rose couldn’t even use this as her claim to fame. All she wanted was something that was hers and no one else’s, hopefully this article would bring that to her.
She was so absorbed in her work that she failed to notice the arrival of her two friends, Tabitha and Lorcan. “Are you still not done working, Rose? Everyone’s off to the Leaky Cauldron for after work drinks, and you’d better be coming. Even Sophia’s going, and you know how she rarely ventures outside of her house. You can’t stay shut up in here forever,” Tabitha whined. She leaned against her desk and began drumming her purple figernails against it, her hair swinging in rhythm.
Rose glanced up from her work and made a face at Tabitha for being interrupted. She then began tapping her quill against the desk to reinforce the idea. They should know how important this article was to her; she told those two and Molly everything.
Most of the family seemed to think it was strange that she was so close with Molly; after all, she was a squib and a librarian on top of that. But Molly understood. She knew what it felt like to be one of the Weasleys who was overlooked. It didn't bother her as much as it used to, she had grown used to it almost. Yet, it still didn't mean that she wasn't craving that longed for attention.
“I heard your aunt Ginny’s buying the drinks as well, and you know how she never has a limit on how much she spends. It will only be for a couple of hours, and then you can finish your article,” Lorcan joined in with the pleading. Rose couldn't help eye his brown hair shining in the light. He was so different to his brother, so different to his entire family in fact with the way he shunned their 'mythological crap' as he put it in favour of science.
Rose was torn over what to do. One part of her was pleading that she should go. She deserved a break, and it would be nice to spend some time with Lorcan and Tabitha. The other half was saying that if she ever wanted to succeed she should stay here and prove that she was dedicated to becoming a professional journalist, not just a budding one.
“I’d best not. I’ve nearly finished this, and if I go out it will never be done. I’ll see you on Monday,” Rose said regretfully. It was the right decision; well, it felt like the right decision. The idea of being able to hand in a completed article to Pierston did seem more enjoyable than watching her middle aged aunt play drinking games with her friends. Rose shuddered while recalling the memories of the previous Christmas party. Given that Uncle Harry had to pick his wife up was proof of how bad it had gotten.
Tabitha and Lorcan didn’t seem too happy with her decision with their forlorn faces. They bid her a quick farewell, before hurrying out of the office ready to brave the bleak weather. They looked polar opposites walking next to one another. Tabitha with her bright purple hair to match her nails and walking in heels so high she kept on stumbling. Then there was Lorcan, who was dwarfed by most even if they weren't wearing heels, and his dress was considerably more conservative than Tabitha's.
Rose only recognised their departure with a quick nod of her head before returning to work. She didn’t even notice that the rain which lashed against the windows beside her had been joined by crackles of thunder which acted as an accompaniment to the sparks of lightning.
At work, she failed to notice most things. Even now, with the clutter of the newsroom reduced to rubble as all the workers had left, she still carried on as if it were a normal day. She even created a little symphony of her with tapping on the ink pot, the scratch of the quill on the coarse parchment and her frustrated grunts when she made a spelling mistake.
Her hair fell in front of her eyes, momentarily obscuring her vision. She hated her hair. The infamous Weasley hair. It made her even more indistinguishable amongst the mass of her family. She had always sworn she would dye it; anything would be better than being a ginger. Yet, as much as she wanted to show she was an individual there was always that part of her which held her back, so the copper burnt on.
The sound of thudding footsteps suddenly appeared out of nowhere. The steady beat of them aroused Rose from her thoughts. She wasn’t sure whether to be afraid or not. There weren’t usually people around at this time of night apart from her. Then again, this was the Daily Prophet offices; nothing that illegal had happened since Rita Skeeter left. She gave a grim chuckle thinking of her parents' former antagonist, then pulled herself back together. There was a potential attacker lurking the Daily Prophet office, and she should be on guard.
“Ah, good. You’re still here Weasley.” Pierston walked in and had a very satisfied expression on his face. Thank Merlin it wasn’t an intruder, she thought happily. She was still confused as to why Pierston was so happy. He had always appeared to be very gloomy in previous encounters she had with him. “I was hoping you would be around. I’ve got a job lined up that may interest you.” He paced over to the window and wiped away the layer of condensation which had built up on it before continuing.
“I’ve just been flooed by my friend in Egypt, and he was wondering whether somebody could cover the magical perfume industry there. Apparently, it was very famous in the Egyptian and Roman times, but its popularity has peaked since then. He thought that if it had more coverage over here, it might get some business. I thought you would be the perfect person for the job, as you seem to have a flair for these sorts of things. What do you say, Weasley?” Pierston had walked back to her desk and was staring down at her, his eyes boring into hers.
Rose was unsure about what to do. One part of her was telling her to refuse. If she ever wanted to be considered as a serious journalist writing about perfume would simply not do. It was a beauty product. Anyone knew that if you wanted to write about that you worked at Witch Weekly, with all the other gossip-hungry witches.
Then the other part of her was screaming at her to take the chance. This could be her big break, and she had the chance to go Egypt. Not only did she love the history of it, but her Uncle Bill had always entertained her with stories about being chased by cursed mummies in tombs. She was pretty sure they weren’t true, but that didn’t quell her desire to visit the country. Factoring that into consideration, she knew her answer.
“I’ll do it,” Rose burst out excitedly. She almost couldn't believe it, she was going to Egypt. The famed Egypt where tales of adventure and intrigue were abound. She could feel the quill in her hand began to fly, and the soft splatters of the ebony colour fire onto every object in its radius. One of those happened to Rose, and she was forced to pull out an old hankie and dab desperately at the blotches.
“Excellent, Weasley. There’s a portkey booked to take you there on Wednesday. It will be basic stuff really, nothing to worry about. You just have to visit the perfume shops in Cairo and talk about how they’ve been made, and a bit about the history I suppose. You’ll get a chance to escape this awful weather, so you could almost say it’s a holiday.” Pierston beamed at her, before pulling a pile of papers out of his robes and placing them on her desk. Noting the blobs of black, he gave Rose a look of confusion before moving on. “That should contain all the information you need. Any other questions?”
Rose had so many thoughts buzzing through her head it was hard to pick them out; she managed to splutter out somewhat incoherently. “Will there be anyone else going? How long should the article be? Where will I be staying? Will I have a translator?”
Pierston had to register the jumble of words before replying. “You’ll be on your own. If it’s necessary we’ll send Scamander over to take some pictures. The article should be reasonably long; it’s a feature, after all. There’s a hotel in the magical area of Cairo where you’ll be staying, and enough people speak English there for you to get by. Is that all?”
“I think it should be for now. I’ll owl you if anymore come up,” Rose replied brightly. She was going to Egypt, the land with a mysterious history. And to write a feature, not just a normal article, she almost couldn’t believe this was all happening.
“I’ll be off then. I’m meant to be at dinner with my wife, so I should make a move for it. You should head home too, before the storm worsens.” Pierston fumbled with the clasps on his cloak, while gazing down at Rose.
“I’ve faced worse, but thanks anyway.” Rose smiled up at Pierston, and he gave her a brief nod in return before sweeping out of the room leaving her alone. Though silence had now seeped into the room, it was far from Rose's mind.
Rose’s article lay forgotten among the clutter of her desk. That was inconsequential now. She was going to Egypt; it could be her big break, her chance to shine. She rooted around in her drawer to find some parchment. If she was going to Egypt, she would at least go fully prepared, and that meant list making.
Her list soon turned to doodling, when she remembered another advantage of going to Cairo. One that was possibly even better than writing her a feature. She would get to see Scorpius.
Author's Note: Here it is, my new Scorose! If any of you are here from my old one, What If? welcome back, and hello to all the new readers! I'm really excited about this story, and I hope you are too! What were your thoughts on the first chapter? I took a different direction with Rose, and I hope you all liked it. And the hinting about Scorpius, who's excited to meet him?
I would love it if you left a review, as hearing your thoughts means so much to me :D