Chapter 4 : Chapter 4
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“You haven’t grown an inch,” he jokes, knowing it’ll make her smile. She always smiles for him.
Her dimples show, her grin so bright that it hurts. “Maybe you’ve grow so tall you can’t tell the difference,” she replies, taking a nervous step back.
“I can tell.”
Rose swallows dryly. He could always tell the difference with her.
Jolted back to reality, it’s with a bit of a surprise that she notices Astoria in the room. Way to go, Rose, way to go. Pursing her lips and avoiding the woman’s triumphant stare, Rose busies herself with catching the pillow she’d previously dropped to the floor and that could be dirty from the floor, muttering Scourgify under her breath. Preferring to play it safe, she goes stand on Astoria’s side that’s opposite Scorpius, in case anything else was to happen were they near.
He’s a good sport about it, grinning from ear to ear even though she seems to keep some distance between them. “You look well,” she tells him, instead of the you look good that she almost lets out.
“I am well. I’ve been very lucky,” he says, his eyes never leaving her.
It’s unnerving, and familiar in a way it shouldn’t be. Not anymore. Not after so long. Rose decides to ignore it in favor of being grateful for having him back in one piece. “I’m glad. Your parents have been dying to have you back,” she mentions with a smile to Astoria, but knows what’s coming and really, she’s the only one to blame for it.
“We all have,” Astoria singsongs with a pat on Rose’s hand. “We all have. It’s so good to have you back, son.” She reaches for his hand as well and Scorpius sits back down beside her.
Rose takes the moment they indulge in conversation to appease her mind and wordlessly check his vitals, performing basic spells to check on his well being. She’s brought out of her trance by his raised brow and a smile on his lips. “Were you checking on me just now?”
Rose blushes, caught red-handed. “Maybe.”
“I remember well how your maybes are often times most likely yes,” he teases.
Oh, he would know. “Okay, so maybe I was. You weren’t supposed to have noticed.” She thought she was being discreet. She’s mastered the spells long ago to have her patients barely feel a tingle when she examines them. Curiosity gets the best of her. “How did you notice?”
Scorpius grins, excited about finally being able to share with someone - anyone, really - anything at all about his trip now that he’s not in dangerous territory anymore. “To study wandlore, you’d think my wand would become an extension of my arm.” Both Rose and Astoria nod in agreement. “Funny thing is, the first thing I learned was to study my own wand and pick her apart to her essence, so learning to master non-verbal spells was imperative.”
“You weren’t half bad at school,” Astoria reminisces. “I’m sure you did well.”
“I did. I’m the best I could be at casting non-verbal magic, and because my affinity to it is so strong, it’s fairly easy to recognize the non-verbal spells of another, especially if they’re being cast on me,” he grins at Rose, and her heart aches with longing for all the months she’s gone by without seeing that lovely smile. “It wasn’t hard to figure out what you were doing. But I’m still ten times better with my wand.”
He looks so proud of himself that Rose can’t help but to be reeled in. “I can imagine. Was it everything you hoped it would be? Are you incredibly powerful now? Should we be worried?,” she jokes lightly, enjoying how much she doesn’t have to miss him so much anymore. He’s here.
“If you knew the things I can do with a wand now…” His response turns her ablaze, and she suddenly wishes Astoria wasn’t nowhere near them. Somehow her mind went to a place where the mother of her ex-boyfriend should never be privy to. Even Scorpius seems surprised at the inflection in his words. “I mean- I’ve learned so, so much these past few years. The very little we learn about wandlore at school? It’s nothing compared to everything that’s behind it. And there’s a reason for it. With great power comes great responsibility, and the power this branch of magic can give someone who decides to pursue it has to be tread lightly.” He looks at his mother for a moment first, then he holds Rose’s gaze for another. “I know I left a lot behind when I left, and that I’ve missed on things I’ll probably regret missing, but I couldn’t have been more proud to have been chosen to take Mr. Olivander’s place. He’s been a good mentor, and a good friend, and his talent is like no other. I’ve learned a lot from him. So much will rest on my shoulders when he steps down, more than you can imagine. I can only hope to be a worthy substitute and to maintain and respect his legacy the way he expects I will.”
“No one resents you for leaving,” Astoria murmurs, cupping his cheeks. “There’s a path for each and every one of us, and I believe that was yours.”
“Your mother is right,” Rose surprises herself saying. “Mr. Olivander couldn’t have chosen better. We know what you were capable of then, and we’re sure you’ll be the best at your job now.”
It’s not a lie. Although they haven’t talked about Scorpius all that often, both women are in the same page whereas confidence in his abilities lie.
The emotion in his eyes catch her off guard when he murmurs “Thanks, Rosie”. She hopes he can’t see the way her lower lip starts to tremble when she manages to give him a small smile in return.
Busy. She needs to be busy and asap, before she says or does something she might regret. She’s never been all that strong when an emotional Scorpius is around. Or when she’s emotional herself. Merlin, she’s done for… “I should get going, I can’t stay for long.” Leaving the pillow with Astoria to retrieve the potions she’d prepared for her, Rose places them on the bedside table. “You know the drill,” she tells the older woman. “I’ll come by in the morning to check on you before my shift.” Hugging Astoria swiftly, Rose faces Scorpius one last time. “It’s good to have you back, Scorpius.”
“It’s good to be back,” he replies, and she can tell that there’s more that he wants to say. With an awkward wave and hurried steps, she leaves the room before he can let another word out.
“Tell me what you’re thinking,” Astoria inquires. Ever since Rose left a few minutes ago, they’ve been talking but she can tell that her son’s thoughts are elsewhere.
Scorpius knows immediately that his mom is referring to Rose, and while he wants to talk about it, he feels guilty for having his mind focused on something else than his mother right now. “I’m sorry if I’m distracted. It’s been a long couple of days.” In his defense, they had been. Traveling from shady Key Port to shady Key Port from the ends of the Earth until he got home took his toll on him.
Astoria tilts her head, catching his eye. “Both you and I know that’s not what is upsetting you right now.”
Scorpius looks down at his hands to find them fidgety. He hadn’t really noticed his agitation. “I wasn’t expecting to find her,” he confesses. “I knew that I eventually would, but I just got back. I didn’t think-”
“But you’d hoped you would. Deep down, you know you did. And that’s alright,” she says softly. She hates that Scorpius and Rose ever had to break up, even if she understands their reasoning. They’ve both suffered more than they should have. “She wasn’t counting on having you back so soon either. But isn’t it a happy coincidence?” Astoria couldn’t have planned for it any better if she’d tried.
At that, Scorpius melts a little, a grin appearing effortlessly in his features. “She’s more beautiful than I remember her. I don’t know how, but she is. And yet she looks just the same.”
“You’d be proud of who she’s become, Scorpius. Top of her class in her internship, offered a position before even finishing it and practically running the Research Division… She’s been through a great deal, but she’s been incredible.”
“I am. I may not have been here to see it, but I knew she’d be amazing. I was proud of her even before she started.”
“So I take it you’re still very much in love with her,” Astoria comments off-handedly, even though his answer matters to her a great deal.
There’s almost a shyness to him when he responds, but it’s brave all the same. “I don’t know any other way to be.”
Glancing at the clock again, Astoria urges him to get up. “You should go talk to her, then.”
Scorpius looks indecisive. “I came here for you, mom. I can catch up with her later.”
“Nonsense,” Astoria dismisses. “I’ll be here all night. Rose’s shift, however, is about to end. I know it’s not ideal, and that there is a lot for you two to talk about at some other time, but I’m sure she’ll want to see you again even if it’s just for you to tell her goodbye and enjoy her evening.”
Scorpius debates with himself for a moment before acquiescing. He tells himself that it’s because Rose seems to be his mother’s physician and he wants to talk to her about it, which is half-truth. “I shouldn’t take long,” he says, kissing the top of Astoria’s head as he gets up.
He’s almost at the door when words he’d never want to hear cut through the air. “I should tell you, you need to know that she’s with someone, Scorpius. So see that you act after thinking, and not the other way around.”
His chest tightens, and his mouth tastes bitter knowing that he could never blame something like this on Rose. He’s the one who left. “Why sending me out there to find her, then? What’s the point?”
Astoria smiles mischievously, the way Scorpius hasn’t seen her do very often. For some strange reason, it gives him strength. “What you two had was real, and not easily forgotten. Nothing is set in stone, my darling, and if you’re fated to be together again, you will be. Until then, I don’t see why you can’t win back her friendship and pick up where you left things off. Do you?”
With candlelit hope and a lot to think about, Scorpius leaves the room to go find his favorite redhead.
Author's Note: I'm now commited to update this story once a week, every weekend. As HPFF has been experiencing some trouble these past few days, this update has come a little delayed so expect the next chapter very soon.
I'd also like to let you know I've posted my first Drastoria one-shot, called "The way you look tonight". I'd love it if you could give it a read and gave me feedback on it. I'm certainly enjoying writing Drastoria more than I ever thought I would :3
Anyway, on the next chapter expect a couple more spoilers on what's been happening in the years that Scorpius and Rose were apart, and I believe at least one (if not both) of them will have you wondering about what it means or how it works or what the heck happened *smirks*
Until the next update!
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