Author: InactiveNoLongerUsed PM
Rose didn't anticipate on all the changes that war would bring to her life, especially where one Scorpius Malfoy was concerned. Rated T for swearing. Written for HPFC.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Rose W. & Scorpius M. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 5,863 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 3 - Updated: 05-03-12 - Published: 05-02-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8079361
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This was written for Blood and Moonshadows's 'The Dictionary Competition!'. The word that my story had to revolve around was: jingoism: extreme chauvinism or nationalism marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy. May I just say that I was going to do a really light, funny, fluffy story but it turned into this. I don't even know why I wrote it. I guess it's because when I was younger I used to devour stories about the First and Second World War and so always wanted to write a 'war' story, although this story isn't nearly as centred on war as it is on Scorpius/Rose's relationship.
Enjoy and I'd love to hear what you think about it :)!
The first time Rose read a dictionary properly was when she was ten years old. It was just before she received her Hogwarts acceptance letter in June, and her whole family was outdoors either watching or playing Quidditch. Rose hated Quidditch with a passion that even she was surprised that she possessed. It might have had something to do with her father riding with her on a broom when she was five and accidentally dropping her on the ground, causing a large lump that stayed on her head for approximately two months. Or it could have been the time her cousin James barrelled into her when he was involved in a particularly aggressive form of the sport, causing him to break his nose and her to break one or two finger bones. Maybe it was even the time that her family had decided to go to a Quidditch game instead of the concert of one of Rose's favourite singers. All these reasons were besides the point, though. The fact was that there was no way in hell that she was going outside when they were playing Quidditch of all things.
The dictionary had just been sitting there, on the coffee table - no doubt it was Hermione's fault in part, as she was often seen looking up words in the dictionaries for no reason other than that she wanted variety in her day-to-day speech. Rose had been bored out of her mind, and had actually taken to counting the many different stains on the carpet when her eyes had alighted on the massive book. The idea of reading it passed fleetingly into her mind and, seeing as how she had nothing better to do, Rose picked it up and started to read.
She managed to get up to the 'D' section on that first day. Mind buzzing with new words, she had impressed her family members with her new-found knowledge. Or, rather, she had impressed Hermione. Ron had muttered something about the apple never falling far from the tree and Hugo had started to eat his dinner with his fingers. The Potters and the other Weasleys had all gone back to their own homes for dinner so they missed out on Rose explaining the words 'chauvinism' and 'belligerent'.
The next day she spent the whole of the day reading that dictionary. She finished on the letter 'I' incredibly, although she was so tired and her head was so crammed with information that she felt as though she could in equal parts explode and/or sleep. The day after reaching 'I', Rose took a break and went down to the playground with Hugo and Hermione. The day after that, she received her Hogwarts acceptance letter and celebrated her eleventh birthday. As luck - or Hermione - would have it, one of the presents was a small, leatherbound dictionary. It was by far simpler than the one she had been reading, but Rose loved it.
So it was that she read the entire contents of the small dictionary by the end of the summer holidays. Most of the words were the kind you just couldn't use in every day speech, yet two of these words stuck in her head. The first one was 'zyzzyva', which was the name for several different kinds of South American weevils and was the last entry in her little dictionary. The second one was 'jingoism', which was the kind of word that's description involved her looking up more words so she could make sense of it.
On September 1st, she started her first term at Hogwarts and the little dictionary lay in a cupboard in her room back at home, collecting dust. On 30th of November three years later, the wizarding and Muggle world changed forever when a war broke out in Europe due to the failing resources, and both wizards and Muggles of age were called upon to help.
19th January 2022
"I feel useless," Scorpius growled as they lay on the grass outside Hogwarts, near the giant lake. Scorpius was twirling his wand around and around his fingers absent-mindedly, his thoughts far away from the school.
Rose frowned at her friend, rolling onto her side so that she could look him in the eye. "Why?"
"Don't be stupid, Rose. You know why," he sighed, closing his eyes. "I want to do something. I want to help in this stupid war. I hate this feeling of not being able to do anything."
Rose felt as though the whole sky had darkened around her, and suddenly the air seemed much colder. "You're too young, Scorpius. You can't even legally use magic outside of Hogwarts."
"I know, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to help, does it?" his voice sounded desperate, filled with the longing. Rose hated to think that he wanted to fight. She remembered her parents and her grandparents telling of the wars they had lived through and how, no matter how many helped, somebody always ended up dying. Fear shot through her as she imagined Scorpius being killed by an Unforgivable Curse, somewhere far away and beyond her reach.
Rose's voice broke. "Scorpius, don't do that. Please. My cousins are all talking about it. Heck, James is Merlin knows where, fighting and risking death right now, probably. So is Fred and Teddy and Victoire... and so many others. I don't know if I could handle it if you left as well."
Scorpius opened his eyes and looked at her seriously. Even though she was terrified at the very thought of him going away, she still didn't miss the goosebumps that broke out on her skin as she stared into his eyes. She wanted so badly to reach out and touch him, to hold him. Now wasn't the right time, though, she sensed. It was too soon to be sure of her feelings for him. It might be just a passing fancy. She didn't want to ruin their already fragile relationship - borne out of the knowledge that in these times, if you didn't trust somebody then they were on the wrong side.
"Don't you get it? If I didn't fight as soon as possible, then I'd be a coward just like Father and Grandfather. Do you really think I want to be known as just another Malfoy who didn't have enough guts to fight for what he believed in?" Scorpius's voice was harsh, and Rose realised just how much weight the reputations of his family burdened him. "It's alright for you. Your parents were heroes, your uncles and aunts were on the right side and some of them were heroes themselves. You have Harry fucking Potter on your family tree. If you don't fight then it's fine."
Rose looked away from him, knowing that he was, in a sense, right. "It's just... I don't want you to die."
"At least I'll have died for a good cause. Besides, I want to fight. I want to have revenge. I don't want all those people to have died in vain. I want people to know that I was on the right side," the sun shone through the clouds again, but Rose felt that it was mocking rather than happy. She had heard people talk as Scorpius did so many times in the past few years that she thought it wouldn't hurt as much as it did.
"Is there really a right side this time, Malfoy?" as always, when stressed, she slipped back into the habit of calling him by his surname. She didn't want to see what she knew would be on his face: enthusiasm, a desire to fight for what he believed to be a worthy cause. Rose wasn't saying that it wasn't a worthy cause, but she felt as though more people fighting would not help anybody anymore.
Wind rushed past her face, and she shivered. She could feel Scorpius preparing an argument, disagreeing with her. She might not have been his best friend, but she knew him well enough to know that he was patriotic if nothing else. His country was always right, always on the right side, acting the right way. She didn't want to hear him go on about how the United Kingdom was perfectly correct in acting as it did. She just wanted peace.
"Scorpius, can we not talk about this right now?" Rose murmured, a defeated air hovering about her. She knew she could not change his mind about going to fight, or about the glories that it would present him with, how it would change his family's reputation once and for all.
Scorpius gazed at her with those eyes of his, those eyes that made her feel weak and strong at the same time. "You're just running away from the problem, Weasley. But, sure, if you want to we can talk about puppy dogs."
The conversation was passed over, pushed to the back of her mind. She knew what was coming, she knew the inevitable but she decided that she would fight it in her own way, if she could.
That night, as she lay in her bed staring up at darkness, she remembered her dictionary. Suddenly, one of the words that she had loved so much when she was younger presented itself to her and she closed her eyes at the whole irony of the situation. She had just found the perfect word to describe one of Scorpius's characteristics, the one that was causing her so much pain. 'Jingoistic'.