Disclaimer: I don't own anything but craziness!
For 'Felicity Dream' who prompted this part of my little series of (somewhat) continuous one-shots.
This is a sort of prequel to The End Is Just The Beginning To Something New! Since fairly many of you had been interested in seeing the developing relationship between Rose and Phil Coulson.
Hope you enjoy!
Warning: violence, character death, Fem!Harry, past Draco/Rose
One Shot: First Meeting
The day Rose Potter's life was torn apart easier than a card house happened to coincide with her parents' death.
For eight years after the Final Battle, she had enjoyed a relatively normal, unexciting life. Rose married her rival/crush-turned-boyfriend on their two-year-anniversary. They were in love and the war had taught both of them to enjoy themselves while they still could.
It didn't matter that half of the magical population thought she was drugged on love potions or, as the other half claimed, assembling her own Dark army.
Rose could count on her best friends to always have her back. They believed her when she vouched for Draco's love and tried to get along with him, for her sake. Even Ron or Ginny. And Draco remained civil in their presence at all times, proving to them all he had truly changed.
Surprisingly, or not, Hermione managed to ensnare the blonde in complicated discussions of high-risk potions, establishing a tentative friendship.
Very tentative, but better than the usual exchange of insults from their schooldays.
Over the course of those eight years, even the most hard-headed Weasleys got over themselves.
Of course Rose's life couldn't just sail smoothly (her cursed luck never would allow that) but neither the fickle public nor the many fights between Draco and her dimmed her happiness - much.
They were vacationing in the nonmagical part of New York (because no one would immediately recognize them there just by seeing their joined hands) when it all went to hell in a hand basket.
Somehow ex-Death Eaters - unmarked during the War - had found out where they stayed; deciding to throw them a surprise party.
Draco and Rose were both well-versed in dueling, but holding their own against six skilled attackers in a dark alley proved too much for even them. Bombardas, Cutting Curses, Avadas, Stunners, Expelliarmus, Crucios, Blood-Boilers; they lit up the alleyway in a bad mockery of a bonfire.
Rose Stunned one of the masked guys only to get hit by another's silent dark-purple spell in the abdomen. She wanted to cry from the pain but composed herself.
A moment too late.
The same attacker had followed the unknown spell up with an Avada.
Draco (astonishing everyone who later heard about the incident) pushed her out of the way, taking the curse for her. Her grief-fueled fury activated a large burst of accidental magic, completely incinerating their attackers. They turned to ash before hitting the ground.
Although this magical explosion cost Rose her last strength, sending her directly into sweet oblivion.
When the redheaded witch woke again, everything was disgustingly white. The walls, the ceiling, the cursed hospital gown someone had put her in while she was unconscious - everything.
Even the floor.
Rose hated it within seconds. Slowly her awareness of her surroundings increased. Especially when it quickly became clear no one crowded around her bed, as her family usually tended to do when she landed herself in St. Mungo's. The nondescript walls were not decorated with animated posters of some kind of health slogan. ("Scraggle - get your preventive potion today!")
So Rose concluded she must have been treated in a mundane hospital.
What she didn't understand was how Hermione had not been contacted. She owned a cell phone - her number was Rose's emergency contact in mundane files. This led the witch to believe someone had either not identified her or refused to contact her family.
Now which was the case?
Just then the door finally opened. A man wearing an eye-patch and a long leather coat entered, followed by a dark-blonde suit. Both exuded a carefully cultivated air of danger.
Visitor number one reminded Rose of Moody, which led to memories of his death, followed by flashbacks to Draco's dead body falling to the ground. Instantly she pushed all her strength in her Occlumency shields. (Draco had helped her to finally understand that art due to being tutored by Snape.)
"My condolences, Mrs. Malfoy," Eye-Patch began in what she assumed he thought was a sympathizing tone. It sounded very...unused.
Rose nodded shortly, unwilling to show any emotions. They were unknowns so she would not underestimate them. "Thank you...?"
"I'm Nick Fury, this is Agent Coulson. We're from the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division."
"Quite a mouthful," Rose replied blankly, involuntarily impressed by his overwhelming resemblance to Alastor Moody. "Since you already seem to know who I am, I want to know where we are."
"In a top secret base of our organization," Agent Coulson answered. He probably was ordered not to reveal the exact location by his superior.
Although his response cleared up her earlier question.
"What do you want from me?" Rose demanded tiredly.
"I want to offer you a new life. We have heard about the going-ons in Britain. You abhor your fame..." Fury started but was quickly interrupted.
"What about my family?"
"If you insist on keeping in contact with them, we would find a way. It has to be non-magical though."
"So you know about that too?"
"We know almost everything there is to know, Mrs. Malfoy," Fury said imperiously.
Rose sighed. "Why? There has to be a reason for this generous offer."
Eye-Patch's eyes glinted with intrigued amusement. "We would like to consult your expertise on certain matters whenever they should arise. In the meantime, we have prepared a new background for you."
For a moment the redheaded witch stared at him with a piercing glare (which never seemed to bother him), trying to determine his true motives.
Fury handed her a nondescript brownish file.
Rose flew over the information. They had already arranged an alias - Rosalie Evans - and even gone so far as to invent a CV for her that sounded much more convincing than anything she could have come up with herself.
"What about my job in Britain? I was promoted to be the assistant Head of the Auror office. Besides I don't know how to play cello or speak French. Nor has my family ever been to Oregon in recent history. You should probably check your sources' competency if they told you that."
Only for a second, Agent Coulson's eyes twinkled with amusement. However Fury didn't seem fazed at all with her sarcastic response.
"The American Ministry of Magic has graciously agreed to take you on as liaison to our department. You get paid decently enough, no one will bother you and you can still work the job you seem to love so much," the man explained with the patience of a saint.
Rose sighed. His offer was too good to turn down. Britain had lost ninety percent of its appeal to her with Draco's death.
She knew he would immediately recognize her decision the moment she made it final.
Therefore Fury stood to leave.
"I suggest you learn how to play cello," Eye-Patch advised before exiting the room.
Rose rolled her eyes and quickly stomped down the almost overwhelming urge to childishly stick out her tongue at the brash man. Agent Coulson remained behind though.
"If you feel up to it, I would like to debrief you on the attack and answer any questions you might have," the blonde explained.
Unwilling to stall this conversation, Rose conjured a comfortable chair à la Dumbledore for the man and invited him to sit.
"This must come in handy," she heard him mutter.
Then Rose recalled Halloween night for him, trying to get the unpleasant part out first. Later she would cry and grieve for her husband.
Agent Coulson gave her a hankie when she cried despite her tightly controlled Occlumency shields, never interrupting her or asking stupid questions.
"Do you have any questions?" the man asked politely.
She was impressed by his warm professionalism. Most people came across as cool and aloof whenever they talked to her about something work-related. (If they didn't turn into bloody fangirls.)
"Yes. A few. What date is today? When do I finally get to leave this room? How am I supposed to contact my family? What have I been hit with? Where can I learn to play cello? Who are you to me?"
Rose gave him brownie points for not groaning under her Hermione-esque onslaught of questions.
Instead he smiled lightly. "Today is November fifth, two pm. Unfortunately you will have to stay for about a week or two longer, depending on your recovery rate and the medical staff. I suggest you write a letter or dictate it to me so they will know you're safe but cannot contact you at the moment. Officially Rose Potter died on Halloween."
This didn't exactly surprise the redhead, although it probably should have. Fury had promised a new life to her, after all; without any of her fame.
Well, she was nothing if not adaptable.
"As to what spells have been inflicted on you, I regret to inform you that I cannot tell for certain. However, we have specialized medical facilities. They did all they could..."
"What injuries?" Rose interrupted briskly.
Agent Coulson squirmed just minutely, but it showed his level of discomfort. Aurors were trained to never show emotions when talking to a victim, except for compassion. Spies would probably be taught not to show anything if they were not specifically told what they were supposed to portray.
The redhead sighed. "Just say it bluntly. I'm not made of spun glass."
"A few grazes, akin to gunshots, some first and second degree burns, a sprained ankle and inner bleeding in your abdomen which led to a miscarriage and heavy scarring of your uterus," he replied uneasily. "I'm sorry."
She had finally conceived? There had been a baby growing inside of her? Draco would have been ecstatic, jumping for joy. (Albeit in the privacy of their bedroom.)
They had been trying for a baby for over three years. Both wanted so very much to have a child, a real family.
Rose knew what heavy scarring to her uterus meant. She had been to too many Healers all around the globe to misunderstand.
A tear - just that single one - fell, rolling down her cheek to drop on the white sheet.
Agent Coulson respected her silence, allowing the witch as much time as she needed to gather her composure.
"Thank you, agent," Rose finally managed in a hoarse voice.
He simply nodded. "Do you want to continue or rest?"
"Just... let's get this over with, okay?"
"As you wish. Every employee of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division has a handler they can contact. I am to be your go-to person in case you need something while if we require a consultation you will be notified by me."
The redhead nodded. It seemed as if they worked much like the Unspeakables.
Besides, the less people knew her identity, the better.
"Alright. In that case you should probably just call me Rose. I'm not too picky with formalities. Plus if anyone asks I can just tell them you're an old friend from school or something. It's less suspicious."
Agent Coulson nodded approvingly, jotting something down on a piece of paper.
"Then you must call me Phil," he replied with a small, barely noticeable smile. "Now as to learning French and how to play cello..."