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Chapter 26 : Bound by Love: Rose and Scorpius POV
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“Rose,” a voice said, somewhere off in the distance. I snuggled deeper into my soft bed.
“Ro?” I felt a soft prod against my shoulder. I lifted my arm and draped it over Scorpius – but it fell limply all the way to the mattress. He wasn’t there. Oh, well. Sleep was good.
“Rosie-Ro, time to get up,” Another gentle shake. What was going on? Who was disturbing my rest? I needed to sleep. Suddenly, there was softness against my lips and then the sweetest smell in the world. Scorpius. I breathed him in and opened my eyes as our lips stretched from my smile.
“Hello, love,” I whispered against him. Happiness swept over me. This was a nice way to wake up. Somewhere it was beginning to register that things were out of sorts. Scorpius wasn’t lying in bed with me, he was kneeling on the floor with his head perched next to mine on the mattress. Also, it was still the middle of the night – I couldn’t see any light shining through the window. He got up and sat down on the edge of the bed. He was fully dressed.
“Time to get up,” he repeated, smoothing my hair. I grudgingly lifted my head to look around, making sure that this was not a dream.
“Have you gone mad?” I asked. “It’s dead of night. It can’t be time to get up.”
“Actually, its 4:30 am – so not dead of night. But, I have a surprise for you and we have to leave now to go see it.” He had a goofy grin on his face – and he reached up to scratch the back of his neck - his nervous tick. Why would he be nervous? Unless he feared the wrath from waking me so early...
My body stretched itself up to a sitting position. I couldn’t say no to him – never could. Slinging my feet over the side, I sat next to him and gave him a sweet, proper good morning kiss. “All right – but how long is this going to take? I need to get some serious studying done today.”
“Well, I’m not exactly sure,” the hint of nervousness appeared in his voice once again and I searched his face, looking for a reason for the anxiety. He continued, “I thought we could spend a relaxing day together and forget about studying,” he explained cautiously.
“Scorp! I already told you I am behind and this is-”
“-the most difficult round of courses,” he finished for me. “Yes, you’ve already told me.” Now he was grinning and he squeezed my hand. “But you’re not doing yourself or your studies any good if you get stressed out. How about this? You give me until, let’s say… lunchtime, and then you can decide when we come back to study.”
Damn. Why did he know me so well? He knew I couldn’t say no to him - not for just the morning, anyway. I pouted briefly at his clever argument. “Deal,” I said finally, still wary of his plans. “What do I need to wear to this… event?”
“Just dress warm and comfortable,” having won the debate, he hopped off the bed,grinning in self-satisfaction. He blew me a kiss as he turned and swept out the door, still with that goofy grin on his face.
I was not liking how cryptic he was being. Nonetheless, I put on a pair of jeans, a tee shirt and a warm jumper. For extra warmth against the April, early morning chill, I added my periwinkle traveling cloak.
“All set, love,” I smiled up at him. We stood at the bottom of the stairs after I had visited the bathroom to quickly to splash some water on my face and brush my teeth.
He paused, “You look beautiful,” he brushed his fingers against my cheek. I melted and words failed me. He held out his arm and I took it.
We landed outside somewhere – it was still dark, and it took my eyes a few minutes to adjust to the moonlight. Scorpius had to hold me up – the apparating made me dizzy, as usual, and I lost my footing, as usual. The ground was soft beneath my feet. He waited for me to open my eyes.
“All right there?”
“Yup. All good.” A deep breath in to calm my stomach. The crisp morning air was soothing and the charmed cloak kept my body warm. “Where are we?”
He flicked his wand and two brooms flew toward him. “Fancy a fly?” he asked, cocking an eyebrow as he caught them and handed one to me.
“Are we on the Cannon’s pitch?! For real? This is amazing!” My eyes were adjusting now and I swiveled my head around to see the stands and the goal posts. I hadn’t been flying at night in ages – I hadn’t been flying in ages. The broom was calling to me and I threw my leg over and kicked off, sailing up up through the air and zooming around the pitch. The high speeds and my empty stomach made me a little bit nauseous, but the cool air in my face felt great.
I did slow twists and turns, arcing widely around the pitch. Scorpius was flying too and we were criss-crossing from side to side of the pitch. We zoomed toward each other and his hand reached out to touch my fingertips as we passed. I let out a silly giggle.
Next moment, he was flying along with me, but slightly behind. I turned my head back and smiled. Flying was one of the purest forms of freedom I’d ever experienced. He accioed a quaffle and we began tossing it back and forth. I tried to score on him and then we switched. Not fair, as he had been a chaser and I’d been the Ravenclaw seeker. The quaffle easily sailed past my attempt at a save and into the third loop. I pouted at him as he grinned and zoomed around and up in a celebratory victory fly. However, I couldn’t stay angry for long, we were having far too much fun. The sky had lightened considerably and there were birds chirping in the woods beyond the pitch. It smelled like freshness and morning.
“All right,” Scorpius cried from across the pitch. “Here you go seeker, see if you can catch it!” He tossed a snitch high into the air.
My eyes followed it. From years of practice, I knew how to follow the snitch with my eyes without moving my head. This was necessary as the other team’s seeker could follow your line of sight and use it to their advantage. I rocketed forward as the snitch continued to rise up, up, up.
He was making this too easy. Somewhere in the back of my mind, it registered that there was something unusual about this snitch. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but the seeker skills in me had clicked on and I was too focused on catching it to analyze what was off. It suddenly changed direction and began spiraling downward.
I squinted and concentrated on the fiery glint that I saw elegantly fluttering toward the ground. The sun was rising up over the horizon and twinkled against the object. I sped up and drew closer... closer and held my gaze on the glinting gold. One last jolt of speed and my fingers clasped tightly around it just as I was sailing to the earth. Success! A cry of excitement and elation left my lips and I remembered the feeling of triumph from my Hogwarts days. I tipped my broom up slightly and slowed my pace to a gentle cruise so I could disembark. My feet found solid ground as the broom hovered in the air next to me. Now that I was no longer fixating on catching the object, my brain kicked into gear, trying to evaluate what exactly was wrong with this snitch.
It was tiny. So tiny it lay hidden within my hand. I heard Scorpius land just behind me as I opened my palm to see not a golden ball with quivering wings, but a ring, made of warm gold with a deep blue stone in the center. The metal that made up the band was interlaced with a twisting, filigree pattern. I’d never seen anything like it.
“Rose,” I heard behind me. I turned around to look up at Scorpius, but my eyes had to drop to find him. He was kneeling down – on one knee. My mouth fell open.
“Rose,” he began again. The sunrise gleamed across his golden hair and he smiled a nervous smile. “You are the most amazing woman I’ve ever known. You make me feel like I can do anything, accomplish anything. I didn’t think that I would ever be happy again, and you brought me out of the pit I was in to show me how much love there is in the world – and you asked for nothing from me. At every turn, you surprise me how with much grace and compassion you have for others. I can’t imagine life without you in it. If you give me the chance, I’d like to spend the rest of my life trying to show you just one iota of the joy that you’ve given me.” He took my hand with the ring in it and clasped it between his two hands. “Will you marry me, Rose Weasley?”
I was completely devoid of words. My thoughts were swirling around me. Did Scorpius Malfoy just propose? To me?! Without warning, a wave of emotion passed over me and tears pricked into my eyes. I never expected this. He wanted me – forever.
“Rose?” he asked tentatively after several quiet moments. “I was kind of hoping for an actual answer,” he was still holding tightly to my hand. The sunlight was getting brighter and streaked across our faces. A tear dropped from my eye and I knew that I would love this man forever. I looked in his silver eyes and nodded, “Yes, yes. Yes!” I tried to shout, but the emotion took over again and the word caught in my throat.
Relief washed over his face and he blew out the air he’d been holding in his lungs. He stood and pulled me into him. Brushing the tear from my face with his thumb, he moved his lips to mine and I breathed him in. My hands rested around the back of his neck. To my surprise, he released my waist and grabbed my wrists, removing my hands from his neck, gently. We broke apart and I looked at him, questioningly.
“I think we need to make this official,” he grinned. He gently pried my fingers open and took the ring out of my palm. I had forgotten all about it! What an idiot. Holding out my hand, he placed the beautiful ring on my finger. Now that I could see it properly, I couldn’t stop looking at it. It was stunning. The gold wasn’t yellow, but more of a bronze color and the stone was a deep blue that looked like light shone from within it.
“Ravenclaw colors,” I whispered, unable to take my eyes off the beautiful object.
“It’s rose gold,” he explained. “With a sapphire.”
“Scorpius, it’s… the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen,” I was tearing up again. I threw my arms around him. He lifted me up and swung me around and around. We both laughed. When he finally put me down, I had to grab on to him from the dizziness. I held on tight, but it built up and spread through my head down to my stomach. The nausea throbbed and I shut my eyes tight. Not now. Why now?
“I’m going to be sick,” was all I could manage as I ran off the pitch toward the changing rooms. I only just made it to the loo. Thank Merlin my hair was short now. As it was, I got some sick on my face and cloak. I can’t believe that I ruined the most special moment of our lives. Damn panic attacks. Would they ever stop? The tears began to stream down my face.
Scorpius had been right on my heels and knelt behind me, rubbing my back as I was sick again. I heard a very quiet Scourgify behind me. My cloak was clean and I grabbed some loo paper to wipe my mouth, but I couldn’t stop the tears. I turned to face him, “I’m so sorry Scorpius. I didn’t mean to. I’m really sorry that I completely ruined this perfect day that you planned.” Looking at the ring again, I just began to cry harder, “You obviously worked so hard to work out this wonderful moment-”
He put a finger to my lips, effectively shutting me up. I was blathering on, so I’d needed it. He conjured a much needed toothbrush for me and I took a few minutes to clean myself up at the sink, feeling much better and refreshed, and at least a little calmer.
“Now love,” he began, coming up behind me. I could see him in the mirror over my shoulder. “We need to figure out what’s going on with you.” He spoke to my reflection as he wrapped his arms around my waist again.
“Honestly Scorp, it’s just nerves-” I looked at the Scorpius in the mirror.
“Rose, you can’t believe that you’re having a panic attack after just getting engaged. That’s the sort of thing Dom would do, but not you. Why don’t you just list your symptoms and think of what could be causing them?” He leaned his head on my shoulder as he dipped in to plant a kiss on my neck, sending waves of wonderfulness down my body. I had to inhale slowly to keep my focus on the conversation.
“You’re on your way to being one of the top Healers in the wizarding world, I’m sure you can figure this out. Maybe you’re allergic to something, or have been eating something that doesn’t agree with you – like bread. It seems to me that all you’ve been eating lately is bread and crackers.”
“Scorpius,” I turned to look at the real Scorpius, trying not to sound condescending, but really? “As helpful as you’re trying to be, bread-eating is not an actual symptom for an illness, magical or otherwise.” It took a lot of strength for me not to roll my eyes.
“Alright, what about your attacks? Do they seem to occur at any particular time? During studying? Stressful exams? What’re you doing right before you have them? – And you’ve been so tired lately. Selenia mentioned that you forgot to study for an exam.” His eyes pierced mine, wanting an answer to this enigma.
He really was taking this too far. It was as if he just figured that there was some magical ailment that lined up perfectly with the symptoms of being dog-tired, getting sick and eating bread to calm your stomach-
“Ho-ly… For the love of Morganna.” I thought I might be sick again.
It can’t be.
“Rose, you’ve gone white. What is it? Ro?”
I couldn’t move. I wasn’t breathing. No way. No way in hell. I had to be sure. I had to get proof.
“Come with me.” I grabbed his arm and apparated us to St. Mungos.
Rose’s reaction was making me panic. She was always the calm one. I’d never seen her so pale. We landed in the waiting room of St. Mungo’s and she ran off down the hall, pulling me with her. Luckily, it was still really early in the morning and there was hardly anyone around.
“Rose, slow down, love. What is it?” She didn’t answer.
“Rose, it can’t be that bad.” Or could it? Maybe she’d just realized that she has some terrible, terminal disease. Maybe someone’s been poisoning her. That would make sense, as to why she'd been tired and sick. She’d brought us to the hospital right away. She must’ve needed to be treated immediately. How much time would she have left? My heart stopped and my feet planted on the spot. I braced our arms that were still attached by our hands and she jerked around, panic apparent on her face.
“Rose,” I began gravely, “What do you think it is?” I wasn’t able to hide the worry in my voice.
“I just have to be certain,” she whispered, still ghostly white. This was bad. Really, really bad. I squeezed her hand as I felt tears start to form in my eyes. No. I had to be strong for her.
“Alright,” I nodded. “Let’s go find out.” She turned back around and started pulling me down the hallway again - not as fast as we’d been going before, but we were moving at a healthy clip.
I had no idea where we were headed. She probably knows all the Healers here. Maybe she was looking for one of her teachers to help her confirm her illness. We quickly walked down a long, white corridor and then turned down another identical one. We were headed toward the classrooms, where she and Selenia took their courses. It was kind of weird to be here, with no one around on a Saturday. Maybe she expected one of her professors to be in the room, working on lessons. Finally, she pushed open on double swinging doors that led into a darkened classroom, but nobody was in there. It looked more like a laboratory rather than a place for lectures.
She sped with determination over to one of the cabinets that lined the walls and began pulling open drawers. Finding what she’d been looking for, Rose pulled out a bottle with some kind of grey, shimmery potion in it. She worked quickly, opening another cupboard and extracting a small kit that was encased in sterile plastic. Inside there was a tiny cup and some gauze. Rose then muttered some spell with her wand over the index finger of her left hand and a pinprick appeared, piercing her skin. A small globe of red blood beaded upon the pad of her fingertip. With her free hand, she poured a small amount of the silvery potion into the cup and then squeezed a few drops of blood so it landed and mixed with the potion.
We both looked at it together for a few moments – or was it several hours? I put my arm around her shoulders and wanted her as close to me as possible. Kissing the top of her head, I squeezed her into me.
Suddenly, the potion turned different shades of pink, ranging from pale to violent and she gasped and stepped back. “No, no, no…” her voice trailed off. She braced herself with both arms against the countertop. It was the worst. I didn’t know what the pink swirls meant, but I knew she’d just confirmed her suspicions about her disease.
“What is it?” I asked softly. My voice would waver if I tried to make it any louder and I had to be strong right now. We were both still staring at the pink, swirling potion as if it would suddenly spell out all the answers racing through my mind.
“No, no, no,” she repeated, taking a step backwards.
“Rose,” I cupped her face with both hands and moved in close to her. Our noses were almost touching. Grabbing her eyes with my own, my need to know the truth won over my desire to want everything to be alright and I finally had the strength to speak firmer. “Rose. Whatever it is, we can figure out-”
“I’m pregnant,” she breathed out.
Nothing, nothing in the world could have prepared me for this. I’d been bracing myself for news of her imminent death. News of a horrible disfiguring illness that would leave us both broken and forever in pain.
I felt a rush of blood burst from my heart and into my ears.
Pound. Pound. POUND.
A/N: Erm... did I just put a proposal and a pregnancy in the same chapter?!? I hope this makes up for the last one... Thanks to Joey (crestwood), my totally awesome beta reader. And thanks to everyone who's been reading, reviewing and favoriting this story! I'd love to hear your thoughts!!
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