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Chapter 25 : Blissfully Perfect? Not Likely.
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I wake up at around eleven the next morning. That’s early, considering it was half four when we all managed to get to bed. At first I think last night was just a dream. How can everything have gone from insanely complicated to blissfully perfect in one day? Okay, maybe not everything is blissfully perfect, but almost.
I am Scorpius Malfoy’s girlfriend.
I never thought I’d say that. When Dad told me on my first day of first year not to get ‘too close’ to him, I thought ‘as if!’ Back then he was a scrawny little Draco-Clone with a pointy face – sort of like a rat. He was like that for a few years – then in fourth year he started getting girlfriends. It sort of came as a shock – he was only fourteen after all. But he no longer had the pointy face thing going on…he’d sort of filled out. He became less like his dad and more like his mum. Well, I think he’s more like his mum, apart from the fact that she has jet black hair and he has snowy blonde. Then he took the growth spurt and he was just a completely different person than the one Dad had warned me not to get ‘too close’ to.
And now I am his girlfriend.
So, deciding that I’m too happy to possibly sleep any more, I get out of bed and take a long, hot shower, reflecting on just how perfect life has become. I will no longer focus on the negatives. Cynical, sarcastic, pessimistic Rose Weasley is no more – I officially love life. The glass is half-full, the Hippogriff is half-bird, James is a half-wit…and I am in love!
So, to celebrate, today I sing ‘I’m So Excited’ at the top of my voice – I’m not worried about waking the entire house. They drank and danced so much last night that I don’t expect to see them until at least mid-afternoon. After I’m full sure that I’ve used every drop of hot water in the house, I hop (well, you know) out of the shower and get dressed. Lily is still conked out in her bed – she didn’t come in until well after six o’clock this morning, having spent the night wandering around the countryside with Lorcan. I can’t see Dom’s face as her mass of strawberry blonde hair is covering it, but her loud snoring tells me that she’s still fast asleep. She tried to bring Mark back to the room last night, but Uncle Bill caught her. Those scars all over his face make him look way more intimidating than he actually is, so Mark didn’t dare try and sneak in after he’d left, much to Dom’s disappointment.
I leave the bedroom quietly, and as I close the door gently, the door of Al and Scorpius’ room opens. At first I’m excited at the prospect of seeing my boyfriend – my boyfriend – but then I’m disappointed when I see it’s just my stupid cousin. My stupid, extremely hung-over cousin.
“Morning Albus!” I grin at him. He’s not wearing his glasses, so he squints at me and runs a hand through his very messy black hair. He looks like a dog’s dinner.
“Red,” he greets me back as retaliation for me using his full name.
“Where are your glasses?”
He holds them up – they are broken in two.
“How on earth did you manage that one?” I scoff.
“Slept on ‘em,” he grumbles.
“So fix them,” I shrug. We learned the bloody Reparo charm back in first year.
“I can’t,” he says, “I’m still sixteen, remember?”
Oh yeah. I forgot that.
“Sure you’re only a baby,” I grin patronizingly and flick my wand at his glasses. He grumbles a ‘thank you’ (or at least that’s what I take it as) and we walk down the stairs to breakfast. A few people are up before us – Nana, Mum, Ginny, Percy, Harry and Fleur – but most are still in bed. Mum, although she went to bed as late as the rest of us, doesn’t really look any worse for wear. Percy, on the other hand, looks as if he hasn’t gotten a wink of sleep at all.
“…honestly! He is forty-five years old, when is he going to grow up?” Uncle Percy scowls, wiping his glasses on his shirt, “You know, he’s just like Uncle Bilius.”
He can only be talking about one person.
“Oh lighten up, Perce,” Ginny sighs at her older brother, “George was only having a laugh.”
“A laugh?” Percy cries, “You call putting six mice into my bed and stuffing my pockets full of gravy a laugh? I don’t think Audrey will ever get over the shock…and I didn’t hear anyone laughing!”
“I did,” Harry mumbles under his breath, and Mum has to pretend to be looking for something in the cupboard so Percy won’t see her giggling.
“Everything has to be a joke with him, doesn’t it? You know, I think he’s worse than Uncle Bilius was, when he has a few drinks in him!”
Percy says ‘Uncle Bilius’ as if it’s an insult, but I know perfectly well that George would only be too delighted to be compared to his late uncle. Bilius died way before I was born, but Dad’s face always shines with admiration whenever he talks about him. ‘Life and soul of any party’, Dad always says. He’s especially proud that he was named after him.
“Good morning, dears,” Nana Molly greets me and Al tiredly, just noticing that we’ve entered the kitchen.
“Morning Nana,” I smile back at her. Why can’t I stop smiling? It’s as if my mouth is stuck like this. Apparently Ginny has noticed, because she grins at me knowingly. I say knowingly – of course she knows the reason for my smiles. I was dancing with the said ‘reason’ all night! Al throws himself down on a chair at the table and begins scoffing his face with food, reminding me very much of his older brother.
“You disappeared very early last night,” Ginny frowns at Al suspiciously.
“I was tired,” he snaps grumpily. Seriously, the resemblance between Al and James is becoming uncanny. Apparently Ginny is starting to think so too.
“Albus Severus Potter, you reek of drink!” she hisses, “Are you hung over?”
“I’m not hung over!” Al protests angrily.
“Al, watch your tone,” Harry warns. Oh Potters, please don’t ruin my good mood…
“Don't you start on me and all!” Al complains gruffly. Yep, that’s it. He’s pissed Harry off good and proper. Well done, Al, well done.
“I’ll start on you all I like, I’m your father!” Harry snaps, “I don’t mind you having a drink or two –”
“Or seven,” I can’t stop myself from saying. This earns me a very dirty glare from Al.
“– but you come down here like – like – like…”
“A baboon with nappy rash!” Ginny finishes for her husband.
“Exactly!” Harry continues, “You’ve put everyone in bad humour!”
“Hark! Do I hear my parents giving out to someone who isn’t me?!” James appears in the kitchen, thankfully fully dressed, and smiling happily. James always takes great joy in seeing his parents give out to Al ‘The Golden Boy’.
“Thin ice, James, very thin ice,” I warn him quietly, and even he knows when to stop. Al stays quiet, and we don’t talk about his state of intoxication any further, but I know that when Harry and Ginny get him home, he’s in for a serious lecture.
I help Mum to clean around the house after breakfast, and she seems very suspicious as to why I’m helping. Can’t a girl clean up without facing a bloody inquisition?
“Do you want something?” she asks sceptically.
“Did you do something?”
“Are you dying?”
“Am I dying?”
“Mum!” I stop her, “Nobody’s dying, I just thought I’d give you a hand!”
This is the last time I ever try to do something nice.
No – you’re positive Rose, remember? No more cynicism.
“Are you almost packed?” Mum asks, “Because we’ll be leaving in around an hour and a half or so –”
“Of course I’m almost packed…”
That’s a downright lie, but it doesn’t look as if Mum has noticed. In fact, she’s stopped drying the plate she was holding and is staring fixedly at something behind me. I whip around to see–
And he’s shaved his beard right off. He looks about ten years younger without it, I have to say, and apparently Mum’s noticed too.
“Morning,” Dad coughs uncomfortably.
“Afternoon,” I greet him back. Mum’s cheeks have turned bright pink. She turns around and continues drying the dishes, almost dropping the plate she’s holding. She’s blushing. The man she’s been married to for almost twenty years enters a room and she blushes. And guess what? Dad’s blushing too.
“Looking good without the beard, Dad!” I grin at him, just to make Mum more uncomfortable. This is fun.
“Yeah, erm, thanks,” he mumbles, “Have you packed?”
Bloody parents and their bloody packing. I throw the tea towel at Dad, indicating that he should be the one helping Mum to do the dishes, not poor old pregnant me. Then I wander off up the stairs to pack. On the way I meet practically everyone. First is Monsieur Delacour in the hallway, smiling happily and wishing me a good morning, though it’s almost one in the afternoon. Then Lily and Dom stroll down the stairs, both of them still in their pyjamas, yawning. They barely notice me. Then I meet Roxie on the staircase, followed by Fred and Mark, then Uncle George, Aunt Angelina and the whole Scamander family. When I finally reach my own floor, there’s only one person left on it (apart from the newlyweds, of course).
Scorpius comes out of his room, yawning and stretching like everyone else. He strolls over to me and embraces me in the best hug I’ve had since…well, last night.
“Afternoon,” I grin back, “You’re up awfully late.”
“I know,” he says, his forehead touching mine and his arms still wrapped around my waist, “Some girl kept me up all night dancing.”
“She sounds extraordinary,” I say.
“She is,” he replies, “A bit bigheaded…”
I shove him. “That’s big talk coming from a Malfoy!”
“Have you packed?” he grins.
“What is it with everyone and their stupid packing?” I sigh, to myself more than to him.
“Come on, I’ll help,” he offers and steers me into my room. Even Dom and Lily have their stuff packed. My stuff seems to be thrown everywhere. I don’t even see why I have so much, considering we’ve only been here a few days.
Scorpius does most of my packing, as bending over is quite challenging for me at the moment. We just end up talking about nothing in particular, but I can’t help but feel like it’s one of the best conversations I’ve ever had. Even after we’ve (well, he’s) finished packing, we just lie on the bed and chat some more. See, my life is perfect. Not even Grandad getting arrested for suspected terrorism could ruin this.
“Oh, I almost forgot…” Scorpius pulls out a small box wrapped in purple paper from his pocket and hands it to me.
“It’s your birthday present,” he says simply. Oh yes. My birthday. That feels like months ago. “It’s not much,” he says nervously, “I didn’t really know what you’d like…”
I open the box and find a ring on a white gold necklace inside. The ring has a single purple stone in the middle and it’s breathtaking.
“I just thought it was…nice,” he says lamely.
“It’s amazing, thank you so much,” I whisper to him and kiss him. I then take off the necklace that Teddy gave me and replace it with Scorpius’. And I know somewhere deep down that I’m not likely to take this one off any time soon.
“Alright Weasleys! Let’s go through this once more!”
Grandad has us all lined up in the garden once more, except this time it’s the Delacour’s garden. There are less of us travelling home by plane this time, luckily. Al, James, Lily, Hugo, Scorpius and I are going with Mum, Dad, Charlie, Nana and Grandad on the plane, while everyone else is taking a portkey. Although I’m entering my third trimester now I feel safer flying than I would taking a portkey.
“What do we not say in the airport?” Grandad asks.
“Bomb,” we all answer automatically.
“Dad, we’re really not the ones you should be warning,” Dad sighs.
After twenty minutes of a lecture on the importance of being quiet in the airport, we set off home. We say goodbye to Teddy and Victoire, who will be setting off to Greece on their honeymoon in a few hours, and then Harry drives us to the airport. The car, needless to say, has been expanded significantly.
This time (luckily) there are no hitches at the airport. Grandad keeps quiet, and the plane isn’t even delayed. See, my life is perfect! Al sits with me and Scorpius on the flight home, but hardly says anything for the first half an hour. He doesn’t even join in with Grandad’s yells of joy as the plane takes off. He just sits there, staring at the safety instructions printed on the seat in front of him, not looking up when the air hostess starts doing what Grandad calls her ‘funny little dance’ – in other words, the safety demonstration.
“Isn’t she funny, Lily?” Grandad chimes loudly as the air hostess points to the emergency exits. Lily tries to hide her face as the air hostess shoots them very dirty glares.
When the seatbelt sign has been turned off, Al gets up to go to the loo, leaving me and Scorpius alone to scheme.
“It’s Jenny,” says Scorpius simply, “She's what's depressing him. Of course it is. What else could it be?”
“I know it’s Jenny, Einstein,” I roll my eyes at him, “But the question is how do we cheer him up? How do we make him get over her?”
“We can’t make him,” says Scorpius, and I know he’s right. I hate when he’s right. “Who says he has to get over her? What if we got them back together?”
“Good luck with that,” I snort, “The chances of Jenny taking him back at this stage are as likely as Dumbledore taking up line dancing.”
“Exactly,” I conclude. Then I remember – I’m supposed to be Miss Optimistic now. “No! You’re right! We can get them back together!”
“You changed your mind awfully quickly,” says Scorpius suspiciously, knowing fine well that I don’t usually give in this easily. And that’s probably the first time I’ve ever said ‘you’re right’ to anyone in my entire life. See, love changes people.
“Don't be so pessimistic, Scorp,” I tell him, making him raise his eyebrows even further.
“I’m the pessimistic one?”
“Shh! He’s coming back!”
Al doesn’t notice that we’ve immediately stopped talking. He just goes back to staring at the seat on front of him, expressionless.
Scorpius, it’s decided, is going to stay at our house for the remainder of the break. Dad insists that he has to stay in the spare room (because if he stays in my room I might, you know, get pregnant or something). Mum comes back to the house with us after we’ve dropped the Potters off on the way home from the airport. She insists it’s ‘just for a minute’ as she comes in, though. Still, it’s nice to have the family back together again. Even Hugo seems that little bit happier.
We leave Mum and Dad to talk in the kitchen. Hugo shuts himself up in his bedroom, and Scorpius and I sit in the lounge, plotting ways to reunite Al and Jenny again. At first we just sit in silence, thinking. If I’m being totally honest, I’m not sure if I see them getting back together at all. I know that’s very defeatist, considering my new mood, but honesty is the best policy.
“Maybe we could, you know, tell Jenny that Al really wants her back,” Scorpius suggests. Seriously, after twenty minutes of silent thinking, that’s the best he can come up with. Pathetic.
“Al’s not even admitting that he wants her back, so that’s not going to work,” I tell him, “Besides, Jenny’s not going to listen to us – least of all you.”
“Why not me?” Scorpius asks, offended.
“Because she doesn’t know you for one,” I say logically, “All she knows is that you’re Al’s best friend. Of course you’re going to be on his side. And I’m his cousin, so it’s the same with me. We can’t make it seem like we’re picking sides.”
He looks as if he’s trying to think up a good argument, but he knows I’m right. So he goes back to intense thinking. He’s cute when he thinks. It’s a pity he doesn’t do it often enough. Stupid, non-thinking Slytherins.
“I know!” Scorpius jumps after a few moments, grinning, “We could tell Al that Jenny wants him back!”
“That’s not going to work!” I argue, feeling all of my newfound optimism slipping away slowly, “She’s never going to admit she wants him back. Then he’ll find out she doesn’t want him and it’ll just be one big bloody massacre! And you know who’ll be slap bang in the middle of it?”
“We will,” says Scorpius sadly, realising that his two best ideas have just been completely shot down. So we sit in silence for a few minutes more. I’m not even thinking about Al and Jenny, really. I’m just looking at that one bit of blonde hair at the back of Scorp’s head – it sticks out more than the rest of it. It’s sort of annoying. I feel like slicking it back with hair gel. Of course then he’d just look exactly like his father and we don’t want that…
“D’you know what we could do,” Scorpius says after a few more minutes.
“We could forget about Al and Jenny…” already done, “And just kiss?”
Sounds good to me.
Mum goes back to her apartment late. Dad told her she could have their room and that he’d take the couch, but she insisted that she had ‘things to do’ and left. I can see he’s upset by this, but he doesn’t say anything. They were getting on so well today. I could see Mum blushing when Dad would smile at her, and he’d blush at her blushing! They’re like a pair of teenagers. No, they’re worse than teenagers! I’m a teenager and at least I face up to my feelings and just go for it! Bloody hell, when are they ever going to grow up?
Dad goes up to bed after Mum leaves, wishing me and Scorpius a good night (though he says it rather coldly to Scorpius). I then show Scorpius to the spare room, which is right beside Hugo’s.
“Good luck trying to get a good night’s sleep,” I tell him, “The Idiot plays his crappy music well into the wee hours of the morning.”
“That’s okay,” Scorpius shrugs, “My dad listens to a lot of Country and Bluegrass. Metal makes a nice change.”
All of a sudden I get a mental picture of Draco Malfoy wearing a straw hat and dungarees, playing a banjo. Officially the second freakiest thing I’ve ever seen, right after Laura Phelps’ mother. I wonder how Laura is…
I kiss Scorpius goodnight and creep into my own room, hoping that I don’t wake Dad up, even though I know he’s not going to be able to sleep. Despite Hugo’s very loud music, he has a lot on his mind (though luckily he now has less on his face). I have to say he looks a bit strange without the beard. In the pictures of my first birthday he has a bit of stubble – by the time the baby pictures of Hugo came around, he had a fully grown beard. It’s just weird to see him without it now. His hair is still quite long, though. Male-patterned baldness usually skips a generation, so I’m guessing that Hugo’s going to end up like Grandad when he gets older. Luckily, Lucius Malfoy still has a full head of white hair, while Draco is balding, meaning that if my theory is correct, Scorpius won’t go bald! Yay! So if I have a boy, will he or will he not suffer male-patterned baldness? This is too confusing. I’m going to stop thinking about it.
The next few days are spent planning and catching up on schoolwork, which has been completely piled on. I have to write a Transfiguration essay, two Potions assignments, a Herbology Essay and a Charms essay. The Easter holidays are never fun. They’re especially not fun this year, when I have to make a birth plan as well as doing all of my homework. And I thought OWL year was hard.
On the Friday before we head back to Hogwarts, Scorpius and I sit down to discuss our plan. At first it goes just about as successfully as the ‘Getting Al and Jenny back together’ plan. We just sit in silence, thinking.
“Okay, so I’m due on July 17th,” I say, and Scorpius scribbles down the date on a piece of parchment, as if we’re doing a project or something.
“Right, July 17th,” Scorpius repeats.
“The chances are it’s going to be late. First borns are usually a week or so overdue,” I say. He scribbles down ‘overdue’. I’m so lucky to have him, don’t you think? (Oops, I forgot, less sarcasm).
“So if you want…maybe you could stay here the week before the due date? Just in case?” I suggest.
“Erm…yeah,” he says, looking a bit nervous. He’s getting scared because we’re talking about the due date. We’re going past the pregnancy part and moving on to the next stage, and that scares the shit out of him. I know this because it scares the shit out of me too.
“Healer Thorne is going to deliver the baby,” I tell him, “And I’m going to have a natural birth – none of those dodgy potions and such. That’s how Mum had Hugo and me, and we turned out just fine.”
Okay, maybe that’s an overstatement.
“A natural birth?” Scorpius looks very distressed at the thought, as if he’s the one who’s going to have to squeeze the thing out. “Won’t that…hurt?”
“No, of course not,” I frown, “It’ll be like having a squishy pillow come out my –”
“Okay! A natural birth, if that’s what you want!”
He scribbles down ‘natural birth’, as if we might forget if he doesn’t. He then starts tapping the quill off the table, waiting for me to tell him what happens next. The hard part.
“I’m quitting Hogwarts,” I say definitely.
He drops the quill and glares at me in disbelief. But it’s okay – I’ve prepared myself for the reaction.
“You can’t quit Hogwarts!” he cries, “I can deal with the natural birth thing, but you can’t –”
“Why can’t I?” I ask angrily, “What other choice do I have? Do you expect me to go and sit the NEWTs with a baby on my hip? It’s not practical! You knew it’d come to this!”
He opens his mouth and then closes it again. It’s like he’s trying to think of another solution, but there isn’t one. I can’t do seventh year with a baby. Not even considering the stress I’d be under, where would he or she live? How could I look after her or him properly?
“I’ll quit Hogwarts,” Scorpius says after a few minutes, and puts up a hand to shush me as I go to protest, “It makes more sense! You’re better than me at school anyway, you’ll get better grades –”
“Let me finish! I have a job, I don’t need NEWTs –”
“Scorpius! I want to quit,” I tell him, “I’ll go back and take my NEWTs when the baby is older, but I can’t do them next year.”
Scorpius goes to argue back when Mum apparates loudly into the living room, looking very disgruntled. The crack makes us both jump, and Scorpius accidentally knocks the quill and parchment off the table. Dad comes running down the stairs to see what the noise was, followed closely by Hugo.
“What the – Hermione?”
Mum turns to Dad, and I notice for the first time that her eyes are all red and puffy.
“R-Ron!” she sniffs, “Oh Ron!”
“Hermione, what’s wrong?” Dad asks, panicked, “Sit down!” He sits her onto the couch. Hugo looks at me, with a very scared expression. He looks exactly how I feel.
“Mum?” Hugo presses.
“M-my dad,” she sobs, “H-he just had a heart attack.”
“Grandad? Is he alright?” I ask, fearing her answer.
With that, she collapses into Dad’s arms and cries even more. Blissfully perfect? My life? No, I don’t think so.
A/N - Of course I couldn't have a purely happy chappie - what do you take me for?!
Some filler parts, some important plot parts here! There are so many issues to address, and its hard to do so in one chapter without it seeming choppy, so I'm sorry for the choppiness! But there's the Al-and-Jenny issue, the baby issue, the Ron-and-Hermione issue...so many issues, so little time! But a quick update, don't ya think? I submitted it for validation the same day Chapter 24 went up! Also, Delicate recently got over 100,000 views! A SUCCESS! So thank you all for reading, you make my life! Drop a review please!
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