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Chapter 24 : The Perfect Idiot
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Time seems to stand still as I wait for him to kiss me back. My heart is pounding furiously, and I know that if he doesn’t respond within the next two seconds I’m going to end up exploding with embarrassment. So two very long seconds pass and nothing happens. It’s like kissing a corpse. Oh Merlin – have I read the signs wrong? How the hell have I done that? A bloke knocks you up, tells you he likes you on several occasions, says he loves you, is willing to help you raise your child…you’d think he’d be up for a bit of a snog but no. Apparently not.
I pull away from him. It’s obvious he never closed his eyes during the very awkward five second kiss, because it looks like they’re about to pop out of their sockets in shock. His arms are hanging limply by his side, showing no willingness to wrap themselves around me in the passionate embrace I was expecting. Once again, he’s like a corpse. I wonder is he dead? Could I cross necrophilia off my list of things to do before I die? Or add it to my list and then cross it off? Because let’s face it, nobody aims to get on a dead body. It’s just one of those things…
Stop it, Rose. Think about normal things for once in your life. And look, Scorpius is now scratching his head uncomfortably, meaning that he’s not a corpse and is in fact still alive. He clears his throat and then looks down at the floor.
“If you could say something that’d be spiffing,” I break the silence. See, a normal person would just run from the room in shame, dig a hole in the back garden and live there for all eternity. And don’t get me wrong, I’m going to do that, but not before I manage to embarrass myself to the furthest possible extent.
He opens his mouth to say something but then closes it again. Then he frowns and starts biting on his bottom lip like he always does when he’s frustrated.
“You know, anything at all would be fine,” I push, “Just so I know that you haven’t completely lost the ability to speak.”
I should turn and run, I know I should. I want to, believe me. But I suppose I want to know why the hell he didn’t kiss me back more.
A minute passes. In that space of time he’s cleared his throat nine times, ran a hand through his hair, almost chewed his bottom lip right off and stumbled sideways. And then:
“You don’t mean it,” he says.
Wow, for a bloke who got mostly Os in his OWLs, he’s fairly thick.
“Yes, you’re right, I just climbed three flights of stairs in the most uncomfortable dress ever and burst in on you in the loo for a laugh,” I snap. Thicko. If I wasn’t in love with the bloke, I’d probably kill him. In fact, I haven’t ruled out that possibility.
“I don’t believe you,” he says quietly and now looks kind of angry.
“Why?” I ask, confused. Is he calling me a liar? Who the hell lies about stuff like this?
“Because you always do this!” he growls bitterly and turns away from me, “You act like you like me –”
“I do like you!” I snap angrily, “D’you think I’m the kind of girl who’ll sleep with someone I don’t even like?”
“I don’t know anymore!” he snaps back.
I withdraw my wand from the horrible little electric blue purse and point it straight at his forehead. I’m really bad at this love rigmarole, aren’t I?
“I didn’t mean it like that…” he says nervously, looking at my wand very apprehensively.
“How did you mean it then Malfoy?” I hiss.
I have him backed into the wall, so there’s no escaping.
“I mean you liked Ted when you slept with me! You would have preferred if it was his kid you were having!” There’s a definite shake in his voice.
“I had a crush – big deal! You were the one who asked Dom out afterwards! And actually, I would have preferred not to be having anyone’s kid, but we don’t always get what we want!” I lower my wand, deciding he’s not worth the trouble.
How could I be so stupid? Of course he’s still angry. Why did I think that one little kiss would make him forget the fact that I’ve harboured secret feelings for Teddy Lupin for as long as I can remember?
“Surely you’ve had one big crush,” I try to reason with him, “Everyone has them, they don’t mean anything!”
“Yeah, I had one,” he scowls, “On you.”
I don’t like his use of the past tense there. I wander out of the bathroom and back into his bedroom, and sit down on Al’s bed. I know it’s Al’s because his favourite ‘Spiderman’ pyjamas are thrown on the bed. He got them when he was about four (he was mad into Muggles back then even, especially Muggle superheroes) and instead of throwing them out when they got too small, he made Aunt Ginny magically expand them. And now, almost thirteen years later, he still wears them. Sad, eh?
Scorpius follows me into the bedroom and leans up against the wall opposite me with his hands in his pockets. He stares at the ceiling, clearly as lost for words as I am. I try not to think about how handsome he looks in his black dressrobes, but it’s hard. I’m glad he doesn’t wear them all the time or else I’d never get anything done.
“You said last night you love me,” I point out over a few minutes. He doesn’t look down from the ceiling, but furrows his eyebrows.
“I said I might,” he corrects me.
“Oh you might,” I snap angrily, “Well excuse me for getting the wrong end of the stick! You tell everyone you love them, then? You’re a proper modern-day Jesus aren’t you?”
Then he makes a face, like he’s mocking me. What a bastard.
“Right,” I snap, and jump up off the bed (well, at least in my head I like to think that’s how it looks – in actual fact, I have to pull myself up with one hand on my back to stop myself falling over), “If you’re going to act like a big baby –” bad choice of word, I know, “then I’ll just leave you to it!”
As I make my way towards the door, he grabs my hand and looks at me despairingly and clearly confused. I’m sure I look the exact same. We just look at each other for a moment, neither of us knowing what to say or do. Fortunately – or unfortunately, I’m not quite sure – Al stumbles into the bedroom, blind drunk. Scorpius drops my hand.
“Al, mate?” he approaches him with some caution, “Are you alright?”
Al says nothing and keeps his mouth firmly shut. He looks like he’s about to –
“Holy shit, Al!”
Yep, he throws up all over the Delacours beautiful cream fluffy carpet. Aunt Ginny is going to have to reconsider who the more menacing son is, I think. Al doesn’t seem to care, but throws himself down on Scorpius’ bed, as it’s closer to him, and starts groaning in pain. Scorpius looks absolutely disgusted. He didn’t look that horrified the time I threw up on him, but I suppose that was sort of his fault.
“If you think I’m cleaning that up, you’ve got another thing coming, Potter!” Scorpius scowls, “How much did you have anyway?”
Al mumbles something incoherent and rubs his temples. He looks awful, he really does.
“Sleep it off, Al,” I advise, “I’ll come back to check on you in a few hours, yeah?”
He mumbles again, so I take that as a ‘yes, thank you Rose’. I point my wand at Al’s ‘mess’ and clear it up with a vanishing charm, and then leave him alone in his room. Scorpius follows me out.
“Look, Rose –”
“Leave it,” I say shortly, “Just forget the whole thing. I’m going back downstairs, the speeches should be soon.”
I don’t know how we’re supposed to forget the whole thing, but he doesn’t say any more and follows me back down the stairs. It’s a pity there aren’t two staircases so we wouldn’t have to be so close to each other after this embarrassing incident. Suddenly the Delacour’s house doesn’t seem so big anymore.
Downstairs, I rush to the table where James, Fred, Mark, Dom, Louis and Lily are sitting and pretend as best I can that I didn’t just go temporarily insane. Everyone seems to be sitting, waiting patiently for the speeches to begin. Dom looks at me with curiosity, but I look away. I don’t feel like explaining myself right now. Scorpius, having nowhere else to sit, also sits at this table, but luckily he’s the opposite side.
“What’s going on?” Dom asks me quietly, “DON’T say that it’s a wedding or I will kill you,” she adds. The girl is a mind reader.
“Nothing’s going on, everything is dandy,” I reply. Can I just say, that’s the first time I’ve ever said ‘dandy’…and is very likely to be the last. Even Dom raises her eyebrows at the use of this new word. She doesn’t say any more though, as Uncle Bill stands up to deliver his father of the bride speech.
“Hello…everyone,” Uncle Bill starts nervously and clears his throat, “I just want to say a few words…” It’s clear he doesn’t want to say a few words, but his wife is making him say them. “I’ve known Teddy his whole life; he’s like a second son to me and Fleur. So when we heard that our little Vic was going to marry him, we couldn’t have been more delighted.” Fleur smiles and nods in agreement. “I remember when they were little kids…”
And so it begins – the reminiscing, the embarrassing stories, how they were made for each other from day one. I tune out and play with a crease on my dress. Every now and again, people laugh and either Ted or Victoire go very red. And although it sounds very selfish, all I can think about it how my heart is broken. That sounds so cheesy, doesn’t it? I didn’t think heartbroken was a real feeling. I thought it was just one of those words bad authors used when they couldn’t think of a better word for ‘sad’. But I actually feel as if Scorpius has reached down my throat, pulled out my heart, ripped it in half and thrown it back down for good measure. And believe me, it hurts.
“So if you’d all join me in raising a glass – to Teddy and Victoire.”
“To Teddy and Victoire!” everyone echoes.
Of all the weddings I’ve been to, this one wins the award for the worst. I have absolutely no idea why I came here. How could I have possibly thought that this would be fun? Don’t get me wrong, I like a good wedding. When my Aunt Daphne got married it was all cheesy dance moves and party poppers. Here, I am yet to see even one Rock The Boat or Cha-Cha Slide or even The Macarena, and you’d think those would be a given at any wedding. Then again, this is a wizard’s wedding, and my Aunt married a Muggle – and let’s face it, those Muggles have the best cheesy music.
No, this wedding – to put it mildly – is about as fun as a piss-up in a nunnery.
As Mr Potter takes to the floor to make his speech, Dom stands up and says she’s going to the bathroom. On her way past me, she grabs my shoulder, digging her long nails into me and whispers into my ear “follow me, now.”
Does she want me back? Because she has another thing coming if she thinks I –
“Now!” she hisses.
Deciding that nothing can be worse than listening to these speeches, I follow her. This must look strange, but Mark doesn’t seem to think so. Then again he’s just a dumbass idiot with nothing between the ears –
Stop. You don’t hate Mark. You hate Dom, remember?
I follow her out of the marquee and she rounds on me, fuming. What is it with Weasley girls making angry sexual advances towards me today?
“You are an idiot!” she barks, and slaps me upside the head.
“Ow! What the hell was that for?!”
Apparently she’s not making sexual advances. Instead she’s trying to kill me.
“For you being a total prat!” she smacks me again.
I back away from her – my whole life is flashing before my eyes.
“You are so stupid, d’you know that? You are the stupidest idiot I’ve ever come across in my whole life!”
“Woah! Slow down, Dom, where the hell is this coming from?” I cry, frankly terrified of her.
“What did you do to her?” she spits, her reddish-blonde hair coming loose from its…whatever the hell it’s tied into, “What did you do to Rose?”
Steering away from the more sarcastic ‘got her pregnant, but I thought you knew that’, I reply, “I have no idea what you’re on about.” For that, I earn another wallop.
“I’m not stupid,” she snaps, “One second she’s looking all over for you, wanting to tell you how she feels and the next you’re sitting at opposite ends of the table stealing guilty glances at each other. What did you do to her?!”
“I didn’t do anything!” I cry, and technically I’m not lying. She kissed me and I, like a perfect idiot, did absolutely nothing. I just stood there. The more I think about it, the more stupid I think I must have looked. “I didn’t do anything,” I repeat.
“Wait…what?” Dom glares at me, “What does that mean?”
“It means…” This is embarrassing. “…she kissed me and I just stood there.”
Dom looks at me, eyes widened in shock. Then –
Right across the back of the head.
“Jesus Dom, stop doing that! I don’t want to hit a girl!” I yell, rubbing my very sore head.
“You are an idiot!” she repeats angrily, “Are you telling me that the girl you’ve been pining for, for Merlin knows how long, kissed you and you rejected her?”
Yep, that’s about the extent of it.
“No,” she interrupts before I even get started, “Don't even bother making excuses. You’re the world’s biggest plank, you know that? Don't you think she’s been through enough in the last few months?”
“I know –”
“Then why are you doing this? Do you Malfoys just strive to be bigger shitheads than the generations before you? Because Scorp, you’re doing a pretty good job of it!”
“I got scared!” I admit. I wish I hadn’t said that – I sound like such a Fruit. “I – I mean, it’s all a bit much, you know? I’m going to be a father in a few months, and I’m just…what if it doesn’t work?”
She sighs and sits down on one of the garden chairs. “Sit,” she demands, pointing to the chair opposite her, “now.”
I sit, because I’m afraid she’ll beat me again if I don’t.
“Do you think this is working for you? You and Rose being ‘just friends’ I mean. Do you think it’ll make having the baby easier?” she asks.
“I dunno,” I mumble.
“If the baby wasn’t in the equation – let’s say Rose never got pregnant. Would you want to be with her?” Dom presses.
Yes, I would. She’s Rose.
“I’ll take your silence as ‘yes’,” says Dom, “So what are you waiting for?”
I don’t know.
“I fucked up,” I admit.
“Yes, you did,” Dom agrees, “Take me through it from the start. What did Rose say to you?”
“Eh…” I think back, “I think her exact words were ‘I love you, you idiot’…or something along those lines.”
“You do realise that that’s as affectionate as Rose Weasley is ever going to get, don’t you?” Dom says, “I mean, that’s like reciting a bloody Shakespeare sonnet in her language. Rose doesn’t do romance.”
Dom shakes her head. “You really are an idiot. I can’t believe you rejected her.”
“I’m sorry, could you please rub some more salt into the wound? It feels good.”
“You have to apologise,” says Dom seriously, “Even if you don’t want to be with her, you have to apologise for being such a prick about it. And for Merlin’s sake let her down gently, if you’re going to let her down at all. Just stop messing her about.”
I nod. Dom gets up to go back into the marquee, where the wedding that I’ve totally forgotten about is still going on.
“Dom,” I call before she goes back in, and she turns around to face me, “I’m sorry I messed you about. And…I’m glad you found Mark.”
Okay, maybe I’m going a bit far. I’m not that glad. I’m still a tad pissed off that she cheated on me for a month, even though I was/am sort of in love with her cousin. Still, cheating is bad form. (That kiss with Rose on New Years Eve doesn’t count…what happens on New Years Eve doesn’t count in day-to-day life, everyone knows that.)
“I’m sorry if I hurt you,” she replies, “And I don’t mean with the slaps.”
Yeah, I think they hurt way more than the cheating thing. I’m positive I can feel a bump forming on my head. She goes back inside, and I think we’ve just made a mutual agreement to be friends. Or not enemies, at least.
I go back inside, and now one of Teddy’s groomsmen is talking away about one time he and Teddy were so ‘shit-faced’ on holiday in Spain – yeah, Victoire’s not looking happy at all. Rose is playing with a strand of her hair, clearly bored.
“Come outside with me,” I whisper to her, so I won’t interrupt Mr. I-Was-So-Wasted in the middle of his speech. She takes a look up at the stage, decides that she can take no more of these speeches and nods.
Once outside, I take a deep breath. This is it – the moment of truth. Do I let her down gently, or do I give this a chance? She looks pretty angry – maybe she doesn’t want to give it a chance anymore. Not that I blame her. I was a real prick.
“Are you alright?” is my first question, and it’s a stupid one.
“I’m just dandy, thanks,” Rose replies, arms folded.
“Dandy?” I scoff.
“It’s my word of the day,” she snaps, “Have you a problem with that?”
“Nope,” I say quickly, “No problem.”
“Is that all you wanted?” she frowns, “To see if I’m alright?”
“N-no…” I admit, “Look, I’m sorry for being a prick and a plank and an idiot and…” I try to think of the other things Dom called me, “and a shithead –”
“Don't forget wanker,” Rose adds.
“That too,” I agree, “I…sort of had a bit of a panic attack, I think. This is all becoming so real and I’m afraid I’m going to fuck it up.”
“You already have fucked it up,” she points out logically, “You can’t really do any worse.”
“I’m sorry,” I say again, “I really am.”
Rose nods, but doesn’t stop frowning. “So what happens now?”
I don’t really know what happens now. I don’t know what to do, or what to say. All I know is I love her and I want to be with her. Right, here goes, I’m just going to do it. Bite the bullet. Nip it in the bud. Throw the baby out with the bathwater (that one doesn’t fit, but I can’t think of any more clichés). I take her hand first, to indicate what I’m about to do. See, if I just plonk a kiss on her lips, she might end up popping that baby out on me three months early in shock. Okay, she knows what I’m about to do because she’s sort of reaching up. So I bend down to her level. Then I kiss her, after all these years of waiting, I kiss her and it feels right. For once.
A/N - A bit cheesy, I know! Firstly I'm sorry for the wait, and I know that this chapter was kind of short, but I hope you liked it! I figured it couldn't just take one chapter for Rose and Scorp to get together, I'd have to drag it out a bit! Let me know what you think of the Scorpius POV because I'm not sure if I like it or not...
Secondly, THANK YOU to everyone who voted for Delicate in the Dobby Awards - as I'm sure you know, it won Most Addicting Story. So yeah, THANK YOU again! It made me so happy! I don't have a speech prepared so I'd just like to thank God and the Academy...
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