Hello Lovelies! I have returned! This one was a bit of a struggle to force out and you know, life and shit got in the way as always. A bit more from Scorpius' perspective this time which I always struggle with a bit more than Rose, but hopefully it all kind of came out ok. Also I know I've cut back on the descriptive stuff this time and focused more on the dialogue. Again, I wanted to get this out sooner rather than later so while I was well enough and had the time for a few days I thought I'd just get as much done as possible and cut out the less necessary stuff. And now I'm rambling. I'm sorry!

Warning: very small bit of angst at the end, not too much, but ye be warned. And no smut in this one, just as a heads up. But be prepared for fluff. Coz it kinda comes in bucket-loads. Anyways, here it is, hope you enjoy it. I haven't really done a great job of proof-reading so apologies for any/all mistakes. As always, your reviews make me happy and I always enjoy reading them – hint hint

All the best to you all and I hope your lives have brought and continue to bring you all happiness and peace.

All my love!

Disclaimer: Characters are not mine (except Mr. Fuzzy Boots). The situations are.

Part 3 – Soul Mates

Otherwise known as: Finding the person you want to annoy for the rest of your life

"Scorpius and I… we're kind of a thing."

His jumper is ruined.

His absolute favourite, limited edition Quidditch World Cup jumper is destroyed. The world as he knows it is about to end.

He looks at where the bottom – which once sat at his hips – now skims the top of his knees with an air of equal parts horror and anger. Then his eyes return to the collar that once sat nicely around his neck where it now hangs down past his collarbones at odd angles, the material all stretched and mangled out of shape. Who would do such a thing? And when did it happen? He can't remember ever noticing it missing, why he swears he was wearing it just last week. And last week he hadn't noticed anything wrong with it. Not like now that its all bent out of shape and misproportioned and thoroughly unwearable.

When he finds the inbred toad wart that did this to his jumper he'll make them wish they were never born. He'll hex them to Australia, then travel over and hex them some more. Cross-continental hexing – that'll be their fate for until the end of days.

Scorpius momentarily wonders what the chances were of escaping jail time for avada-ing someone in these circumstances. Surely the Wizenmagot would understand. His limited edition, never again to be made, worth its weight in gold Quidditch jumper has been brutally and mercilessly assaulted by some fabric assassin. He deserves answers! Neigh! He demands answers! And justice! Justice served ice cold! He demands that the Antarctica of justice befall the sniveling-toe-jam, mutated-horse-dump of a person that dared destroy his beloved jumper.

Rose hollers for him from the couch to hurry up (what had he even come in here for? Oh Gods he couldn't remember. It barely mattered now though did it? There were much more important things at hand – like the imminent destruction of the jumper-mutilater). He stomps out, dressed in a newly purchased, un-mutilated jumper and flops down on the couch next to her with a heavy sigh.

She eyes him sideways then scowls.

"Where's the blanket?"

Oh right, that's what he was getting. Well Rose can just go jump – he's got absolutely no time to go searching for blankets when there's a jumper-molester to be found and persecuted.

Scorpius grumbles at her under his breath but says nothing intelligible, simply angrily crunching on a chocolate frog they've got laid before them while they watch some repeat of some terrible muggle show she insists on subjecting him to.

Cruel and unusual punishment, that's what it was. And he didn't even have his beautiful world cup jumper to comfort him in its warm cashmere embrace.

Rose sees his crossed arms and how he stares into the distance with blazing fury in his eyes, and decides its best not to scold him for forgetting the blanket. She sets down her tea and turns to face him, her legs bent under her on the couch.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing!" he damn near spits the word at her and then follows it with quiet grumbling and ferocious chewing of chocolate.

Some people might say he's being childish. He'd welcome those people to say it to his face so he could punch them and stomp on their toes.

"Scorpius…" she presses but in response he simply huffs loudly and munches on another chocolate frog (Rose had teased him once, telling him he was such a girl for eating his feelings. He had fired back that she was such a boy for having hairier legs than he did. She had withheld sex for a week before she finally accepted his apology). Rose eventually let's it go, seeing that he was in a mood that there was not reasoning with him when he got like this. She just smiles and goes back to watching the newest episode of Geordie Shore (Merlin it was horrible but she just loved it).

Scorpius sits, stewing, running through a list of potential suspects in his head. First there was Rose. Sexy, smart, lovely, once-burnt-off-James'-eyebrows-for-stealing-her-textbook Rose. She's got a mean streak, that's for sure. Plus she's ridiculously deviant and charming enough to get away with it. He scowls at her out of the corner of his eye. The jumper has been at her house this whole time – she would have had unlimited access to it. It breaks his heart a little to realize she's the prime suspect.

Scorpius watches in silence as she laughs like a hyena at whatever antics the muggle 'reality stars' are up to now, snorting indelicately in a manner that is much too pig-like to be considered healthy. He thinks about all the ways Rose has gotten back at her brother, cousins, or him over the past few years and reconsiders. Rose is cunning – yes – but she isn't subtle. If she had destroyed his jumper she would have been the first one to tell him.

In fact she likely would have done it right in front of him. With him restrained. Crying. While she laughed maniacally. And set his jumper on fire.

No, he didn't think it was Rose.

But who else could it be? Who else would have had access to it, and just cause to wound him in this way?

There was Gideon the hot-beverage engindouchebag. He knew where Rose lived, and he might be angry with Scorpius for being…whatever he was with Rose. But he was hardly smart enough to break in unnoticed, sneak into Rose's room, select Scorpius' most favourite jumper, and then stretch it out of shape. Scorpius doubted the eye-liner-wearing asshat's ability to achieve that level of mind fuckery.

The next possible suspect would have to be Albus. They're best mates, they live together, they're practically brothers.

Buuuut he supposed if Al is angry at him for sort of seeing Rose – which he has never hinted he is, but it isn't beyond the scope of reason – mutilation of his most beloved possession would be a just repercussion.

No. Albus loves Quidditch just as much as Scorpius does – he has a matching jumper in fact – there is no way he would stoop so low. Albus is probably the only other person in existence that can comprehend the sorrow that currently racks Scorpius' body. He wouldn't commit this heinous act.

Scorpius' further contemplation of who he has to find and avada for this gross injustice is interrupted by Rose snuggling up to him.

"Since someone forgot the blanket…" she says as she shuffles towards him, nudging his arms that are crossed over his chest angrily. He really wants to snap at her, to tell her to leave him be – can't she see he's trying to sulk! But she looks up at him with wide blue eyes that shine too brightly, and the lights from the telly light up the freckles that are dusted over her nose, and she has that half-asking smile playing at her lips, and he curses Merlin for not making him a stronger man because right now he just wants to be angry on his own and she's making it down right impossible to deny her company.

He rolls his eyes dramatically to make her feel like there was a chance he contemplated not letting her make her way into his arms, before opening up his embrace for her. Rose squeaks a little in excitement before grabbing the bottom of his jumper and wrestling herself under it. She buries under the fabric, running her body up the length of his torso in a manner that should not be as arousing as it is.

Rose pops her head out the top of his collar like a groundhog and finally settles against him, seemingly confortable tucked inside his jumper, his hands settled around her waist. Its then, resting his chin on top of the bun that battles to contain Rose's abundance of curls, that he realizes what happened to his Quidditch jumper; he wore it all last week. When it was cold. And Rose insisted on snuggling, just like she was now, while they watched telly.

The truth of the matter hits him hard – his Quidditch jumper hasn't been destroyed, simply modified. Now it's Rose-shaped.

When he feels her giggle at an inane joke on the God-awful show she makes him watch he finds his anger dissipating. His jumper hasn't been destroyed – now it's just theirs rather than his.

And he's perfectly fine with that.

He begins to removes his brand new jumper – to which Rose grumbles ("But I just got comfortable!") – and summons' his Quidditch jumper from where he left it crumpled in a pile on the floor of the bedroom. He pulls it on, allowing Rose to settle herself beneath it as he does, and goes back to holding her on the couch and watching the truly abysmal show on telly. But try as he might, he just can't be angry. It kinda feels like it fits better this way anyway.





"Yes," Rose said emphatically from where she was sprawled upside down on the couch, "I will have dancing goblins at my wedding."

"No you won't," Scorpius retrieved a beer for Rose (with straw so she could drink it whilst upside down) and himself and came back towards the couch, "Where will you even find dancing goblins?"

"I'll raise some and teach them myself," she takes a loud magnificent slurp of beer and somehow manages not to choke, "It'll be glorious."

"You're going to steal goblin babies with the sole purpose of teaching them to dance so you can make a spectacle of it at your wedding?" His eyebrow is raised at her as he unfolds himself onto the opposite end of the couch. She gives him an affronted look.

"Well that just makes it sound heartless."

"It is – it's heartless and ridiculous." He turns his face towards the telly, apparently thinking the conversation is over. He is wrong.

"Oh come on!" Rose exclaims as she kicks her legs in a rhythm that might suggest she was trying to dance on air, "Mine will be the only wedding ever to have dancing goblins."

"Exactly. The fact that no one else has ever had dancing goblins should indicate that it's not a good idea."

She scoffs at him playfully. "You're such a traditionalist."

"No, I'm just opposed to spectacles of ridiculousness. Like dancing goblins."

"It would be talked about for years!" Scorpius watches as Rose's eyes glaze over with a kind of delirious wonderment, ""Remember Rose Weasley's wedding? The one with the dancing goblins? What a hoot." That's what they'll say!"

"But you wouldn't be Rose Weasley anymore," his voice is soft but still playful as he runs a finger up the inside of her ankle. She tries to kick him in his big fat head but he dodges easily with a snicker.

"I will if I kept my last name."

He stops snickering and looks at her curiously but not unkindly. "Do you plan to?"

"I think so," Rose shrugs and takes another sip of beer through her straw, "I've become quite attached to my name – it's been with me all my life you know. I think if the guy I marry is really adamant on me changing it then I'll definitely keep it, just to spite him. Because I'd be a great wife like that."


There's a silence between them and Rose feels like she may have accidentally revealed some big secret, like she just flashed a naked little part of herself that she's always kept hidden. She feels a little vulnerable for reasons completely unknown to her, and she doesn't like it. To deflect any feeling of 'seriousness' she nudges him gently with her foot with a smile.

"What about you? You gunna demand your wife change her name?"

"No." His answer is emphatic and immediate. He didn't even have to think.

"Really?" Rose tries to inject a bit of humor into what has suddenly and inexplicably become quite a tense atmosphere "You don't wanna be able to say 'This is my wife, Mrs. Malfoy?"

"Oh I'd love to, but the fact that she would have to marry into my family and deal with forever being connected to pureblood supremacists is enough already; why should I burden her with my name too?" Scorpius looks into his beer (and very determinedly not at Rose), a soft completely insincere smile trying to force it's way up his lips. It fails, "No, I think she should keep her own name, my way of saving her from some small aspect of the horror she'll be tying herself to."

Rose is quiet for a minute as the atmosphere around them shifts and becomes thicker. Its probably the first glimpse inside the deep dark depths of Scorpius' head that she's ever been able to get, and its only now that she realizes that the deep dark depths of Scorpius' head is a very sad and lonely place. She didn't realize he's been so affected by his family's history – he's never given any indication of it before, but maybe that's because she wasn't looking for it. She feels like she's failed him a bit for being naïve enough to believe he could be completely unaffected by what his family has done and been through. She gets frustrated enough at everyone who expects her to be a Quidditch star like her dad and as blindingly brilliant as her mum (seriously – it was not physically possible to completely excel at both). How had she honestly thought that he wouldn't have been similarly frustrated by people assuming he was destined to become a raging psychopath like his grandfather (his words, not hers).Rose gets the sudden urge to just wrap her arms around him and hold tight and never let go, and that scares her because she's fairly sure fuck buddies/sort-of girlfriend-boyfriends don't usually get those feelings about each other. (And that's all they are, despite what stupid voices in her head say)

"I'd change it."

It takes her a moment to realize it's her that's just spoken, and a moment longer to realize what she just said. He turns to face her and his expression is a little guarded, but hopeful.


Something in her stomach drops down to her toes at that hopeful expression, because she realizes that she could make him happy, and she really, really wants to make him happy. So she elaborates, and scares herself shitless because it's the mother fucking truth.

"I'd change it, my name. For you, if we got married." Gulp. Was it just her or was her face on fire? "I'd change my name to Rose Malfoy."

He goddam beams and she thinks she must be allergic because her stomach starts fluttering madly and the blushing just intensifies. "Really?"

"Yup," she beams back because apparently not only is she allergic, but now she's a god damn parrot who has to mimic his stupidly adorable expression, "And I'd introduce myself to everyone as Mrs. Malfoy nee Weasley just to show that it is me. And then we'd raise our kids to be really lovely people and they'd all have the name Malfoy and we'd change what the world thought of when they heard the name Malfoy."

Scorpius looks at her with an expression she can only describe as awe, and she decides that if there's one thing in the world that will make a girl feel like a goddam superhero, it's being looked at like that. For the record: Rose really likes feeling like a super hero.

"I think that sounds perfect."

He kisses her forehead, wraps an arm around her and pulls her into his side.

It feels like home.

After a few blissful moments of a possibly-too-intimate silence, Scorpius breaks it.

"But we're not having dancing goblins at our wedding."

"Yes we are!" Rose announces with renewed fervor, turning to face him, her hand on his chest as she gets onto her knees in excitement, "It would be amazing!"

"What about singing toads instead?" his hand has slipped from her shoulder to her hip, "I can deal with singing toads but we are not having dancing goblins."

An evil gleam lights her eyes, "What about dancing singing toads? Now that'd be a sight to behold!"

"No, dancing toads is even more ridiculous than dancing goblins."

"So you're agreeing to goblins?"

"No, I'm not agreeing to either."

She sticks her nose up in the air and purses her lips in a fashion much to haughty for her to pull off completely (especially considering she's not even wearing pants), "Haven't you ever heard of compromising, Scorpius? It means I use the threat of no sex to get what I want."

"You and me not having sex may in fact end the world. If not that, it would definitely kill you."

"That sounds like a challenge to me."

He tackles her to the couch and she loses the challenge.

Scorpius doesn't actively look into the hiring of dancing toads. The information just happens to fall into his lap. He stores it in his office at work. You know, just in case he needs it sometime in the very distant (but strangely foreseeable) future.

"I'm moving in with Abigail," Albus announces suddenly one evening while they're putting together a feast of nachos and beer for their bi-monthly card night with the boys. Scorpius looks at him as he sprinkles cheese with finesse (because when Scorpius Malfoy makes nachos it's a goddamn art-form) and takes a sip of beer.


"Yeah," Albus nods, not looking at his friend while he beholds the glory that is Scorpius constructing the Mexican snack, "So I'll be putting the apartment on the market."

Scorpius stops sprinkling and looks up at Albus.


"The apartment," he gestures to the space they're in as if Scorpius has forgotten what the apartment is. Dunce, "I'm putting it on the market. Just so you know."

"But where will I live?" Scorpius feels a panicked anger rising within him – Albus didn't even think to consult him about this first? He's just going to sell they're home? Just like that?

Albus looks at him like he's a particularly daft schoolboy (a look Albus got frequently from their Divination Professor at Hogwarts funnily enough) and says slowly, "Where you already live. At Rose's."

Scorpius stares at Albus like he's just turned into an elf. He does not live at Rose's. It's Rose's. He lives with Albus in their apartment. He just spends some time with Rose. That's all.

"I do not!" he sounds more defensive than he means to and finds that he's surprisingly anxious about the whole thing. Seriously, did it just rise several degrees or was it just him?

"Yes you do."

"No. I. Don't."

Albus smirks, takes a swig of his beer and nods his head in the direction of Scorpius' room, "When was the last time you went into your room?"

"The last time I was here," Scorpius answers simply while he tries desperately to remember when exactly that was.

"Which was…." Albus waits for him to fill the end of the sentence, a stupid smile across his face.

"Which was…" Scorpius tries to project an air of indifference to cover the slight panic rising in his gut, "Just…the other…"

"Year," Albus supplies with another sip of his drink, "Just the other year."

"What?!" Scorpius exclaims disbelievingly, "No! I haven't spent that much time at Rose's!"

"Mate, it's March," Albus says it like he's particularly daft as he steal a corn chip from the left-over pile (because some corn ships are simply not good enough to make their way into Scorpius' fantastic Nachos), "and you have not slept in that room since well before the New Year."

Scorpius is floored. He swears things between him and Rose weren't that serious. Yes, he loves her. And yes, she loves him too. But they're not actually a real Thing. They're just taking things as they come. They're just people who hang out together and sleep together and cook together and love each other and stuff.


He puts down the bowl of cheese he was nursing and struts over to his room, beer in hand.

"This is still my room!" he declares as he opens the door to the room, "It still has all my-"

He freezes when he looks inside the room. The itinerary of the contents of his room is:

- One Bed.

- One shoe.

- Three dead spiders.

And that is the entirety of things in what was once Scorpius' room.

He turns back to Albus who continues to steal discarded corn chips and smirk at him triumphantly. Dick.

"Where the fuck is all my stuff?!" Scorpius demands, sounding somewhat erratic even to his own ears.

"It's at your home," Albus says with that same stupid smile, "With Rose's stuff. Because you live together."

"But…" Scorpius looks back into the skeleton of what was once his room and frowns.

"Fuck." He runs a hand through his hair as he drags himself back to the kitchen (he can't leave Albus unattended with his un-finished nachos – he'd destroy them). The bi-speckled boy just slaps him on the back and lets out a hearty laugh.

"Cheer up buddy!" he says in jest, "We all have to grow up eventually. Abigail and me, you and Rose…"

"Abigail and I."

"What?!" Albus looks like he's about to punch him. Scorpius doesn't notice because he's too focused on trying to figure out WHEN THE FUCK THIS HAPPENED.

"Abigail and I is grammatically correct, you said Abigail and Me," he answers distractedly and puts the finishing touches on his nachos. Albus just stares at him and waits for the penny to drop.




"Did I just correct your grammar?" Scorpius bellows, looking horrified at himself. Albus just smirks again and nods.


Albus, the twat, does nothing but laugh at his friend's misfortune as he moves to set up the table for when the fellas come over.

"Relax mate, it's natural for couples to adopt certain characteristics of each other."

"But, but…" he doesn't have words. He is literally speechless. And it's all because of Rose. (And Abus too. Yeah, this is totally Albus' fault. Knob.)

Albus starts shuffling cards and making sure there's enough snacks on the table. He glances at his best mate and decides to take pity on him.

"Seriously, mate, it's no big deal," he shrugs, "You love her right?"

"Yes," Scorpius responds immediately although it does feel awkward discussing such things with Rose's cousin.

"And she loves you."

It's not really phrased as a question but Scorpius nods his head all the same.

"And you've been together for like, what? A bit over a year now?"

Scorpius thinks about it. He doesn't really know. He never thought of him and Rose as being, strictly speaking, together. Ever. Period. They just have a…a Thing. Albus misconstrues his silence as affirmation of his statement.

"So why shouldn't you be living together?" he shrugs and keeps setting up the table, completely ignorant of the fact that his best mate is having a very serious existential crisis over here!

Scorpius falls into one of the chairs at the table and continues to think about the situation. It's not their house. It's Rose's house that he lives in. He's not sure how comfortable he feels about that. For one he doesn't pay anything towards her mortgage or bills, which is all kinds of unfair. Secondly, if he isn't aware that they're living together, he has the sneaking suspicion that Rose isn't aware of it either. And considering how well she reacts to change – to this day she will not read a copy of Witch Weekly because they changed their front cover font, something Rose found pointless and rather distressing – he doubts she's going to take the whole 'we live together' thing very well. Scorpius decides he needs a strategy for how to break the news to Rose that they're kind of living together. It takes him all of two seconds to come up with the perfect plan. It is as follows:

Don't tell her.

He can sort out the money situation easily enough – a few deposits at Gringotts here and there is nothing beyond his capabilities – and he's sure he can very subtly move in some of his remaining belongings (such as anything and everything in the kitchen – Albus Potter does not cook) without her noticing. Yes, this is completely do-able. Nothing has to change. Except his mailing address, but Rose doesn't have to know about that either – his dear old owl usually brings his mail to him if he's there anyway.

Scorpius takes a calming sip of his beer and rationalizes the situation. This is fine. This is all fine.

"Wait – what are you thinking?" Albus asks with a raised eyebrow, "You've got that 'Slytherin face' on again."

Albus accused him of having 'Slytherin face' whenever he looked like he was scheming. Scorpius liked to inform Albus that he didn't scheme. He was a meticulous planner. Of other people's fortunes. That was all. Scorpius simply smirked at him and shrugged.

"Nothing mate, but if the shit hits the fan just know that I'll be sleeping on your couch."

Albus laughs and mock toasts to him.

"Deal – as long as it works both ways. I'll be crashing at yours if things with Abigail fall through."

Scorpius smirks and waits until Albus is taking a long swig of his drink before replying, "Sure. Just know that whenever you crash on the couch I'll be sure to have really loud obnoxious sex with Rose."


"Look what I bought today!"

Scorpius looks up from where he's mixing a new potion to spray on the weeds out the front, because whatever Muggle crap Rose had been buying just simply wasn't doing the job, and very nearly has a conniption. Rose stands in the doorway of their study/potion room proudly holding what has got to be the ugliest looking, mangy fur slipper he has ever seen in his life.

Please don't let it be a gift for me.

"Oh, you bought a…" he stumbles because he honest to Merlin has no idea what the fuck she is holding in her hands, "…that."

"That?!" Rose looks offended and clutches the hairy ball of miscellaneous fur and hair to her chest and strokes it lovingly, "What are you trying to say about Mr. Fuzzy Boots?"

Mr. Fuzzy Boots? She's actually named it? The ball of fucking-nasty lets out an indignant 'Meow' (that seems to convey the threat of 'I could kill you in your sleep insolent human') and suddenly it all makes perfect (horrifying) sense. Scorpius watches as a yellow eye from deep within the bundle of fur forces itself open and glares at him with the power of a thousand suns.

"That's a cat?!"

"Of course it's a cat!" Rose strokes Mr. Fuzzy Boots lovingly while she glares at Scorpius before turning her gaze to the hairball and cooing at him, "He's the bestest, most adorable cat in the whole entire world. Yes he is! Yes he is!"

Scorpius has sudden visions of Rose as a mother. They make him deliriously happy which is horrifying, so he tries to kill them as soon as possible. To do so, he turns his attention back to the alleged 'cat'.

"Now I want to preface this by saying I love you dearly," he puts his hands up as a quasi barrier between them and does a quick itinerary of the potions surrounding Rose – any that could result in the loss of his bollocks if she threw one at him? No. Ok, safe to proceed, "but are you fucking mad? That thing is the ugliest composition of fur and fangs I have ever seen in my life."

Rose glares at him with almost as much power as the hairball-with-an-eyeball and snuggles it a little closer to her chest (lucky feline).

"Don't be so cruel to Mr. Fuzzy Boots! He's had a rough start in life – he was the smallest of the litter and has been in a lot of fights and he's not even 8 months old and he's already missing an eye and he limps coz one of his feet got trapped in a drain, and he got hit by a random spell that made half his hair fall out in odd places, and he always gets picked on and beaten up by all the other alley cats, but he's got a heart of gold and he just needs someone to love him and Lily said-"

"Wait!" Scorpius puts an end to his girlfriend's (that still feels weird) tirade as he sees more pieces of the puzzle fall into place, "Lily?"

Rose bites her lip and he watches as she tries to come up with a convincing back-pedal that will get her out of the hole she's just dug herself. She will not be successful.

"Of course!" he says with a slightly condescending smile, "This is one of Lily's random charity projects again, isn't it?"

Scorpius is not opposed to charity, he really isn't. What he is opposed to are Lily's charities. They are always the most abstract, rather pointless causes in existence. For example, he's fairly sure he's still donating part of his weekly salary to building playgrounds for baby dragons in Istanbul.

Yes. Really.

Rose, bless her soul, is often conned by her younger cousin into supporting her causes, which by extension often means Scorpius is conned into supporting all these rather ridiculous causes. Again, he wouldn't protest if it was something useful. Rebuilding hospitals? Definitely. Funds to construct proper magic education facilities in third world nations? 100% involved. Funding research into new spells and potions to assist with illness? Here, take his money! (The Malfoys were in fact, collectively and silently, part-establishers of a fund for orphans of the Great Wizarding War as a way to seek some small form of atonement for their role in it all). But building playgrounds for dragons, or – even worse – making knitted jumpers for the city's mice (not as some form of prevention of disease, just because seeing the city filled with brightly coloured mice would just be adorable according to Lily)? No. He was keeping his money for himself thank you very much.

And this "cat" was apparently part of the newest scheme. Well no, he would not be roped into this again. He was putting his foot down.

"We cannot keep that thing Rose," he said with finality as he moved back to his potion which was starting to bubble somewhat worryingly, "Go and give it back."

He watches her take a deep breathe and square her shoulders. Oh dear. Here it comes.

Tick, tick…



"I'm not calling him Mr. Fuzzy Boots –"


"I'm not even sure he's actually a cat…"




"Rose," he said once more through gritted teeth. Scorpius had never had a pet apart from his beloved, well-groomed owl Horatio. He would not, under any circumstances, be responsible for caring for the thing currently purring and spitting in Rose's arms.

"No!" she glares at him with such determination he actually feels stunned for a moment before she looks lovingly down at the little screwed up furball in her arms, "He's been abandoned all his life and people have always picked on him and left him for dead and he's kept fighting to survive and prove them wrong every day of his life, and I am not going to leave him out there to face abuse and torment for the rest of his days. He is staying here and I am going to look after him and love him and if that is a problem for you then you can just leave."

She looks at him defiantly as she finishes her speech, chest pressed out and hand stroking Mr. Fugly-Ass behind the ears. He looks at the cat as her words register and everything makes a bit more sense again. Scorpius is the cat. The thing that's been picked on and tormented for reasons outside his control, the one that's had to battle to be more than everyone assumed he was just by looking at him, the one that has faced uphill battle after uphill battle – they're one in the same. And, just as she had done with him, Rose has looked past everything else, saw what no one else did, and had been determined to love him completely because she knew he deserved it.

Something stings in his chest (he has a sneaking suspicion it's his heart, but that's silly - he gave that to her years ago) and he remembers again just how much he loves her.

Looks like they're keeping the cat.

(Besides, as much as she says he can just leave, he can't. Albus has sold the apartment, so Scorpius is living here permanently now, which Rose still hasn't realized apparently. Best not to bring it up now when he was already losing the current battle.)

Scorpius lets out a sigh pretends that he's at least still got an iota of control over this situation.

"I will not call him Mr. Fuzzy Boots." The smile that beams across her face makes his stomach flutter again as she snuggles the aforementioned monstrosity into her chest once more.

"But it's the perfect name for such the most cutie little poopsy-doodles in the whole entire world."

Poopsy-doodles?! Scorpius has the fleeting thought that it really isn't a cat – it's some mind-control alien-thing that has managed to mind-control his girlfriend. Could cats cast the Imperius Curse?

Rose snuggles the pug-nosed, one-eyed, mangy-haired, butt-fucking-ugly "cat/alien" to her face to which is spits and purs happily.

At least it's proof that she'll love their children unconditionally.



Hold the fuck up.

Where the fuck did that thought come from?

Scorpius must have fallen silent and let his mortification show clear on his face, because he is brought back to reality by a gentle hand on his arm and Rose looking up at him with a concerned expression on her face. (The cat thing is just licking its nose)

"Hey," she says softly with a hesitant smile, "You ok?"

No. No he is not ok. Because now all he can think about is Rose and kids, his kids, and how happy they'd be and how great of a mum she'd be, but he's sure he'll make a terrible father, and what if his children are evil like some of his relatives, and what if they're not, and what if they just make him deliriously happy for the rest of eternity and his life is fucking perfect with just him and Rose and their family, and what if that's what this whole thing is, what if this cat is the start of his life being absolutely bloody perfect, and oh holy shit he doesn't think he's even breathing any more. Fuck.

"Scorpius," her voice brings him back again and he finds his breathing starts to slow and return to normal once more. He can't tell her everything that's just gone through his head. He doesn't think she's ready to hear it yet, especially when he can't even work up the courage to tell her that they're actually living together now. But Scorpius decides in that moment that he's pretty sure the one way for him to be happy for the rest of his life is to spend his days with the woman in front of him, raising a family, and just living as them. No bells and whistles, no saving the world, no big adventures. Just them; together. It's an epiphany of earth-shattering proportions that simultaneously elates and horrifies him, and all he can do to try and calm himself back down is smile at Rose.

"I'll call him Cat," he says glancing down at the hairy Cyclops that's now making a sound that's a cross between snoring and choking, "And he should take it as a compliment."

Rose mock pouts at him while she scratches Catunder his chin.

"He doesn't mean it Mr. Fuzzy Boots," she says in a sing-songy voice, "He's just being a big ole-"

Mr. Fuzzy Boots lets out a particularly loud hack before projectile vomiting a hairball roughly the size of Scorpius' hand across the table and right into his potion (how did a hairball that big even fit inside that tiny little body?). The potion bubbles and spits before turning a rather offensive shade of puce and exploding all over the workbench.

Rose looks at the mess with wide guilty eyes, Scorpius's left eye starts to twitch uncontrollably, and the cause of this whole disaster simply licks his nose again, letting off an odour that could not be confirmed as a fart, burp, or just bad cat BO, before settling against Rose's shoulder for a comfortable nap, his work apparently done for the day.

Scorpius' head whips around at Rose who simply sniffs and turns towards the door.

"That's what you get for being rude to Mr. Fuzzy Boots – you bought this on yourself."

Yes, he thinks as he watches her sashay out of the room rocking Mr. Pain-in-his-posterior like a baby, I guess I did.

Mr. Fuzzy Boots and Scorpius' relationship does not improve over time. The cat makes a point of vomiting on Scoprius' pillow, shitting in his shoes (right down in the toes so Scorpius doesn't know until he's put them on – how does he even get the shit down there?), and licking himself on the table in front of him while he tries to eat. Scorpius makes a habit of accidentally locking him outside when it rains, trapping him under laundry baskets, and making the floor leading to his food bowl extra shiny and polished so the cat goes flying whenever he tries to run towards his food.

However, if there are times when Rose is out and Scorpius finds himself somehow sharing the couch with Mr. Fuzzy Boots, than they are few and far between. And he down right denies that he ever actually pats the damn thing. It just…sneaks under his hand sometimes. That's all.

Lily apparates to the front of Rose and Scorpius' house, a pint of extra-chocolate-choc-chip ice-cream and an extra large tin of condensed milk in her bag, to find Scorpius sitting on the doorstep with a sour look on his face, umbrella in one hand, and Mr. Fuzzy Boots (or as Scorpius refers to him, Cat-Bastard) sitting proudly beside him, casually licking his privates for all the world to see. Scorpius is glaring at nothing in particular as he mumbles expletives and curses under his breath. Lily turns her nose up, throws her hair over her shoulder, and strides up the front path and up the steps towards the door. Scorpius looks at her and when she stops beside him he offers rather pointlessly, "Rose and I are fighting."

"Um, obviously," Lily responds with an eye-roll, "Why do you think I'm here, dip-shit?"

Scorpius glares harder at her and mutters a few more choice curse words under his breath.

"Merlin, you two are the two most stubborn people I have ever met," Lily sighs disbelievingly.

Scorpius has to stop himself from responding with an incredibly unintelligent 'yeah, well you're stupid." Fighting with Rose exhausts his wit and makes him stupid. He hates it.

They sit/stand there for a few moments in silence, Lily looking at him expectantly.

"You know if you just apologise then she'll forgive you."

"She won't tell me what I've done wrong!" he exclaims, accidentally knocking Mr. Fuzzy Boots off the steps with a startled 'raaow!" as he throws his arms wide to exemplify his point, "How can I apologise when I don't know what we're fighting about?!"

Lily sighs heavily like he's the slowest excuse for a human in existence.

"Boys," she says with a shake of her head, like that's all the explanation she needs to give. It infuriates Scorpius beyond belief.

(Meanwhile, Mr. Fuzzy Boots stalk-limps behind Lily's legs, glaring at Scorpius out of his one eye and making a low, threatening rumble as he sizes up his prey).

"Oh thank you for your incredibly helpful contribution, Lily," he scowls at her and smiles condescendingly, "A wealth of information as usual."

She scoffs at him once more, mutters an audible 'ass' under her breath and walks inside.

(Mr. Fuzzy Boots leaps onto the bannister and crouches as he meanders his way closer to his blonde-haired nemesis. He sits. He waits.)

"I heard that!" Scorpius yells.

"You were supposed to!" she calls back before stomping through his house to his girlfriend, to talk about him.

Urgh. Girls.

Some four hours later when it is roughly, Scorpius guesses, 9:26pm, Lily emerges, swaying slightly thanks to the wine she and Rose apparently consumed. Scorpius still sits on the doorstep, his ass well and truly numb, his body drenched, and his scowl still in place.

(Mr. Fuzzy Boots also continues to sit, patiently waiting, one eye trained on the aforementioned blonde who will soon meet his unfortunate fate).

Lily starts at the sight of him before groaning.

"Urgh, you're still here?"

"Yes," Scorpius suppressed his shivering by sheer power of will alone – she will not see him as being weak, "I live here – where else am I supposed to go?"

"I don't know!" Lily exclaims like he's the one that's being difficult, "your parent's place? Albus'? Just somewherethat isn't here so I don't have to witness your brooding."

"Well seeing as my brooding is such a burden on you, and as you don't actuallylive here, how about you go some place else so you don't have to be confronted by it?" Scorpius is snappy and rude, this he knows, but he's cold and his numb ass makes him say things he's sure he'll probably regret eventually. Lily is used to such melodramatics (she was, after all, raised in a household with not only Albus but also James – she's used to boys acting like little bitches from time to time) and simply rolls her eyes once more.

"You're such a…poo-bum-brain."

Scorpius places his hands over his heart but doesn't have the energy to actually look hurt.

"You wound me once more with your unmatched wit, Lily."

She lets out a myriad of syllables – none of which form an actual word – and stomps down the steps towards the front gate. She stops half way down the path and turns to face him again.

"I don't get you!" she exclaims with a look of confusion painting it's way across her features, "You upset her, you don't apologise for it, you're a dick to me, and then you sit here like some love-sick puppy waiting to be let back inside!"

Scorpius isn't a love sick puppy. He's not.

"You're, like, a massive contradiction," she shrugs again, "Why don't you just not be a dick?"

Ah, if only it was so simple.

"I'm a Malfoy," he deadpans, "I'm engineered to be a dick to Potters and Weasleys, remember?"

Lily looks almost contemplative for a minute.

"Nah, if that was true then you wouldn't be friends with Albus," she shakes herself out of it and looks at him like he's some form of difficult, stubborn puzzle, "Look, can you just figure out how not to be such a dick soon, please? Coz, like, I'm all good to come over here and drink and eat ice cream now, but I do not still wanna be doing this every time you fuck up when I'm, like, 90 or something, ok? So sort your shit out and learn how to say sorry. Please? My thighs can't keep eating a pint of ice cream every time you fuck up."

Lily disappears in the rain, walking a little straighter now, and leaves Scorpius alone with his thoughts for a moment. There's something ringing through his head that he can't shake.

I do not wanna be doing this every time you fuck up when I'm like, 90 or something.

She's right. He's in this forever. He intends to be with Rose until the end of his days. And he simply cannot afford to sit on a cold doorstep every time they have a disagreement; his poor (fantastic) ass simply couldn't take it. Scorpius decides that today he has to man up and be prepared to say sorry. Even when he doesn't know what the fuck he's done wrong.

Ok. Here it goes.

Scorpius calls out to Rose and stands as he turns to face the door.

And that moment, when one foot is raised and the other is perched precariously on the edge of the wet step and he is at his most vulnerable, is when Mr. Fuzzy Boots strikes.

With a screeching battle cry that pierces the ears of dogs throughout the surrounding seven neighbourhoods, Mr. Fuzzy Boots leaps from his spot on the bannister, wet and scathing as he exacts his revenge by connecting with Scorpius' face and knocking him off balance. Letting out a curse of 'fucking toe-rag!' Scorpius tumbles down the three small steps to the front door, and lands spectacularly – and painfully – on the brick path at the bottom.

The front door opens – an opportunity Mr. Fuzzy Boots snatches by running into the warmth and escaping the scene of his brilliantly executed crime – and Rose steps out to find Scorpius groaning and wheezing expletives in the rain.

"What happened?" she asks as she hurries towards him.

"Your cat tried to kill me," he groans, wiggling his toes just to prove to himself that he can.

"Our cat," she admonishes, coming to kneel beside him in the rain, her eyes a little glazed over from wine.

"No, dear – when it tries to kill me and make it look like an accident, he's your cat."

"Sounds more like a Slytherin move to me – which would make him your cat."

He wants to argue with her – because that thing is not his fucking cat – and he knows that a part of her wants him to argue with her too, because they're both mad at each other and fighting is their default setting when they get like this. It's like their stubbornness prevents either one from apologizing so they just end up arguing for the sake of it, just so neither has to admit they're wrong.

Not today. Today he makes a change.

With a deep (painful) breath, Scorpius forces his eyes open to look Rose in the eye.

"I'm sorry," he says softly but with conviction, "I'm not entirely sure what I did, but I'm sorry."

Rose smiles sadly at him and holds his hand without seemingly realizing she's doing it.

"Not knowing what you did to upset me is kind of half the problem, Scorpius," she sighs and sounds defeated; it makes his heart hurt.

"How am I supposed to know if you don't tell me?" confusion is plainly written across his features. A certain hardness comes across Rose's features and he knows she isn't going to relent.

"Because you should know me well enough to know when I'm upset."

"You're not subtle love – the second something flies past my face I get a pretty good idea that you're pissed."


"I said sorry!" he exclaims and it hurts – dear Merlin his back may actually be broken, "I'm trying to be the bigger man and say sorry even though I don't know why and you're still arguing with me. In the rain. When I've just survived an assassination attempt. Why are we still arguing?"

Rose takes a deep breath and looks torn for a moment before continuing.

"You didn't do the dishes. Again."

Scorpius stares at her for a moment, only blinking when water falls on his face, and tries to comprehend the situation.

"Seriously?" he sounds incredulous and stunned, "You kicked me out of the house because I didn't do the dishes?"

"No," she grits her teeth, takes a deep breath and calms herself down a bit before replying, "I yelled at you because you didn't do the dishes when you were home all day, just like you never do. And you still haven't cleaned up the potion room – like you said you would do three months ago. And you went to your boy's night with Albus and took the nice bottle of Ogden's that I had been saving without even asking. And then you were a smart ass and a dick and that's why I kicked you out of the house."

"I didn't know you had been saving it," he cringed and took a deep breath, "And all those things happened months ago, Rose – how was I supposed to know it was a problem."

"Because I asked you to do them –"

"Yeah, like, once," he only realizes how shit that excuse sounds after it's already out his mouth. Rose sets her mouth in a stern line.

"Which is all it should take."

"Merlin, sometimes I forget Rose," he doesn't whine. He doesn't.

"But I shouldn't have to constantly remind you," he hears Rose's voice rising and knows that now is the time to try and avoid an argument, if for no other reason than without her assistance he is never going to be able to get off this path. Scorpius takes a calming breath, tries to push past the pain and sound as condescending-less as possible.

"Ok, how about, from now on, if I'm doing something that annoys you – or not doing something – how bout you tell me? Does that sound logical?"

He fails at not sounding condescending.

"Fine," Rose crosses her arms and scowls at him, "You're being annoying right now."

"Thank you for the constructive criticism," he smiles and it's fake. There's a voice deep inside screaming at him stop making the situation worse asshole. It sounds annoyingly like Lily, "I will endeavor to not be as annoying in future."

"You're still doing it."

Scorpius lets out a sigh and holds onto her hand a little tighter.

"Rose, I can honestly promise you that there are very few instances that I will do something with the intention of annoying you."

"I know," she concedes, not looking at him, instead focusing on where their hands are joined. How is it possible that they fit together so perfectly, "It doesn't mean you're not annoying though."

"I know. I'm just saying," he takes a breath and feels himself getting a little dizzy, "if I'm going to not annoy you, maybe you could tell me when I am annoying you so I know so I don't do it in future."

"Ok," she says but looks at him with a stern look, "And maybe when I ask you to do something you can actually do it so I don't have to keep reminding you and annoy you?"

He smiles because even though she looks angry, the way her thumb traces her knuckles tells him she's not really. Not anymore.


Rose looks him over, as if only now realizing that he's drenched and lying on the ground in blinding agony.

"Let's get you inside."

Rose manages to help him stand and they hobble inside. Rose isn't a very good crutch – she's stumbling all over the place thanks to what Scorpius can see were three bottles of wine she consumed with Lily. She gets him into the shower to warm him up and stays in there with him to make sure he doesn't fall and, you know, die.

Afterwards, she rubs some ointment into his back, makes him drink a potion to mend any cracked bones, and then hobbles with him down to the bedroom to fall into bed. By the time morning comes they're both too sore (Scorpius because of death-cat, Rose because of wine) to care about their argument.

However, when Rose asks him the week later to do the dishes while she's out they are actually done when she gets home. And Rose may or may not turn a blind eye when she sees Scorpius walking around he house with a water pistol calling out for Mr. Fuzzy Boots to come out of hiding (she does not, however, tell him that she knows where Mr. Fuzzy Boots is hiding. She's playing the neutral card. She's Switzerland).

Rose takes a breath, squares her shoulders, and prepares to give the big speech to Lily as a trial run for the rest of the family.

"Ok, here's the thing," she starts and Lily looks at her curiously, "Me and Scorpius, I mean Scorpius and I…well we're…that is to say we kind of…Well, we're kind of a thing."

"A thing?"

"Yes. An item. Now don't go getting haughty on me – it's nothing serious! We're just…Lily? What on Earth is wrong with you?"

Rose looks at her younger cousin as she cackles into her glass of sparkling water. It goes on for a solid minute and a half before Lily can contain herself to just barely suppressed giggles.

"Oh Merlin Rose," she sighs, still heaving from laughing so thoroughly, "You are the smartest person I know and yet you are so incredibly thick sometimes. It's hilarious."

"Excuse me?"

"You and Scorpius 'a thing'," Rose does not appreciate Lily's use of air-quotations like it's the most ridiculous thing in the world, "Well that's the greatest understatement in the history of ever. Why can't you just be a grown up and call it like it is?"

"Says the girl who invited me over for a tea party in her tree house."

Lily turns her nose up and scoffs haughtily.

"Oh come on, like you're not totally jealous of my fabulous tree chateau!"

Of course. Because Lily Potter was exactly the kind of girl who would call the 20 year old rotting, barely together box of wood they are currently sitting in a chateau.

"It's a wooden box in a tree Lily," Rose deadpans. She watches her cousin's eyes go wide with wonder and glory as she spreads her hands wide as if to gesture to the wooden-death-trap's magnificence.

"That is merely what it appears as, Rose! It can be anything if only you dream and imagine…!"

"All I'm dreaming about right now is that gravity has decided to take the day off and doesn't bring this whole thing to the ground."

"Don't tempt the fates Rose!" Lily grumbles through gritted teeth. Rose is sure if she were standing (ie: if there was room in here to stand) Lily would have stomped her foot in protest.

"Can't we have this discussion someplace that doesn't smell like mould and cat faeces?"

She knew the smell well – most of Scorpius' shoes smelt that way these days.

"Oh are you too good for the chateau now that you're practically Mrs. Malfoy?"



"Why would you even think that?!" Rose feels her face heating despite her attempts to quell it, "Scorpius and I, like, only just became an…item…thing."

"Item-thing?" Lily raises an unimpressed eyebrow, an expression Rose has seen many times on her own face, "Rose, you've been living together for nearly six months."

"We don't live together!"

"Yes you do."

"No we don't!"

"Or really?" Lily crosses her arms and looks much too arrogant for her liking, "Then how would you describe your living arrangements?"

"We're…." Rose stops and tries to come up with a logical answer. She hasn't ever really thought of it. They don't live together he's just the person that's just kind of there at her house. A lot. Practically…nearly…every night. But they don't live together. Because it's her house and she looks after it and if she was living with someone then it would definitely be a 50/50 split of chores and costs. But Rose does all the indoor cleaning (and the garden just kinda…doesn't grow?) and she cooks all the meals (that Scorpius doesn't) and she hasn't ever seen him do any cleaning which must mean he doesn't. But he does cook sometimes. But he doesn't pay off her mortgage. And they've never discussed living together and surely that's not something that just happens.

No. No they definitely don't live together.

They're just fuck-buddy-friends-kind-of-girlfriend-and-boyfriend-but-not-really-just-people-who-sometimes-stay-at-the-same-house-and-cook-together-and-shit.

Was there an acronym for that?

Lily interrupts her very confused inner monologue.

"See – told you!" Lily gets that shit-eating grin that all the Potter children seem to have inherited somehow (neither Harry nor Ginny seemed to have it, but from what she's heard of him and his antics, she suspects it may have belonged to the legendary James Potter the First). Rose has hexed Albus and James when they've given her that look before, and if it was not for the fact that Lily's optimism alone seemed to be holding this death-trap up then she would have hexed her too.

"We don't! I would know if we did."

"Rose, you didn't admit to being in love with him until a good year after everyone else knew."

Her stomach does that flip-floppy thing again when Lily mentions Scorpius' name and the word 'love' in the same sentence but she has absolutely no inclination to deny it. She does love him, and it's terrifying, but it's true.

"But this is entirely different," she reasons and shifts her weight, only to stop when the 'chateau' makes a creaking noise that suggests gravity might just be kicking it's ass back into gear, "Seriously Lily, if we stay here much longer we may actually die."

"Chateau le Lily is perfectly stable thank you."

A particularly forceful gust of wind causes the entire structure to sway precariously. Rose tenses and starts madly bum-shuffling towards he exit.

"Fuck this – I will not die in a tree house."

"It's perfectly safe!" Lily tries to sounds convincing but Rose can hear the waver in her voice, "I mean…I think it is…"

Rose – very ungracefully – twists her body to get out the 'door' (read: hole in the wall that is only just big enough to fit their adult bodies through) and starts the death defying decent down the rickety old wooden ladder that leads to the tree house.

(These people are The Potters – they have more money than god. Surely they can afford a proper ladder!)

"Fine!" Lily screeches from within the confines of her perilously swaying time-bomb, "Run home to your lover who you live with!"

Rose grumbles an expletive or two under her breath and jumps to the ground due to the final 4 rungs on the ladder being broken.

"He is not my lover, and we don't live together!"

"Oh really?" Lily's head pops out of the doorway with that same haughty look on her face, "When was the last time you slept in your bed alone?"

"I slept alone just last…" Rose thinks for a moment. Scorpius just started sleeping over randomly one night…a few…months…ago. No that couldn't be right. A-ha! Three weeks ago Scorpius didn't go to bed with her! He was working late so she went to bed alone!

And woke up with him wrapped around her.


She can't let Lily know she has the upper hand, "That doesn't prove any-"

"Does he have a drawer?" Lily interrupts, still haughty.


"A drawer – you know, in your closet where he keeps a selection of his things?"

"No," Rose puts her hands on her hips – she's got her now! "He has his own set of drawers where he keeps most of his stuff, and his robes just hang at the opposite end of the…"


Lily's eyebrows go high as she smiles broadly.

"So he has his own entire set of drawers?" she repeats with inflection that indicates she knows she's won.

"That doesn't mean anything!" Rose fires back quickly (too quickly).

Lily tosses her hair over her shoulder as she prepares to pull out the ultimate question that will prove she's right. "Where does his mail get sent Rose?"

Well that's easy; his mail gets sent to their place.

Their place.

"Fuck!" Rose exclaims, looking off into the distance in complete disbelief, "We do live together!"

Lily grins from where she is perched in her chateau, "Told you."

They live together. They share the one house where they both reside. They have one bed for both of them, they cook together, they watch tv together, and they do crosswords together on the weekends. They're fucking domesticated.

"Well when did that happen?" Rose demands with a stomp of her foot, redirecting her gaze back up to her younger cousin whose picking split ends out of her immaculately straight hair. The girl simply shrugs.

"Beats me – it's your house."

"Yes, but I never asked him to move into it."

"Well he has."

He has. Scorpius has apparently just up and decided to live in her house without even asking. How dare he!

Rose murmurs a few expletives under her breath and turns towards the main house.

"Fine!" Lily calls with a smile, "Run on home to your lover-boy, Mrs. Malfoy!"

"Shut-up Lily!"

Rose says a quick good-bye to her Aunt and Uncle before flooing home to sort out this whole situation.

Rose steps out of the fireplace to find Scorpius painting the architraves that nice cream colour they picked out together to better match the drapes.

They're so fucking domestic it almost makes her physically ill.

"How's Lily?" Scorpius asks, eyes still on his task so he doesn't spill anything. He apparently can't feel the fury and stress radiating off her.

"We live together." Rose blurts it out with absolutely no finesse or prelude. Scoprius pauses in his brush stroke to send her a side-ways glance quickly before going back to carefully painting the architraves. He decides that adopting an air of indifference is probably the best way to get out of the apparent shit-storm that is about to be unleashed.


Rose puts her hands on her hips (Danger!) "Did you ever plan on telling me you moved in?"

He shrugs and continues to paint, "No, I just figured I'd wait till you asked me to leave."

Rose lifts an eyebrow and crosses her arms instead (marginally better but still in the danger-zone), "So because I never explicitly told you to sod off you just…didn't?"

"Pretty much."

There's a silence that fills the space between them and Rose can see from the way he chews the inside of his cheek that he's nervous. Serves him right – she is well within her rights to give him a serve for the trick he's pulled.

He does look a little bit like a kicked puppy though, and she could never be mean to kicked puppies.

"Is my living here a problem?"

"No." she surprises even herself with the speed with which she answers.

"Soooo…" Scorpius looks at her like she's some kind of rabid beast that could bite his nuts off at any minute, "why are we arguing?"

"We're not arguing. We're discussing our living situation," he raises an eyebrow, "Loudly."

"Ok. Well is the discussion finished or…"

The question hangs in the air for several moments and Rose tries her best to think of why this should be an argument. Because it should be an argument shouldn't it? It's a big change and they never really discussed it and now they're living together and shit feels serious and it's kinda freaking her out.

They're only just barely A Thing. They're not even a Them yet.

But there isn't exactly anything wrong, is there? Rose is happy, Scorpius seems happy. And if they're happy doing what they're doing, is there really any reason to change?

"Yes, I suppose it is," Rose sees him let out the deep breath he's been holding and realizes that they're both just as terrified as each other about the entire situation, and that somehow makes it ok.

"But if we live together, why don't you pay anything towards the mortgage?" Rose doesn't like discussing money with Scorpius – it's just something they don't do – but she feels this is important. Scorpius gets this little smirk on his face that says he knows something she doesn't.

"When's the last time you bought groceries, Rose?"

Rose tries to think. She can't remember buying food in the longest time.

Probably since Scorpius started not going home after coming over.


"So you've been buying food, and I've been buying the house?"

"Yup. This is your house – and it always will be. One day when we buy a house together then we'll both put into the mortgage. Until then, I'll buy food, you buy shelter. It all works out."

She's a little impressed and scared by how much he has this all figured out without her ever having to have been informed about any of it. The man was Slytherin right in his goddam bones.

(She also tries not to go too internally berserk at the mention of when they buy a house, not if.)

"Just do me a favour ," she says and he turns to face her, trying his damnedest not to look too intimidated or scared of what her request will be, "if we ever get married, give me at least 24 hours notice?"

He beams and her stomach dances, just like always.

"For you darling, I'd give a solid 36."

"Such a gentleman."

"I try."

She heads into the kitchen to fish out some left overs for dinner and calls back at him, "You missed a spot!"

He hasn't, but if he can mind fuck her and move in without her noticing then she can mind fuck him about painting.

It was not unexpected. In fact everyone could recognize it had been a long time coming. The years following the war had not been kind to the man – what with his time spent in Azkaban and then his social isolation, he had hardly been a healthy specimen for quite some time now. But still, it's never easy to hear the news, regardless of who it is or when it comes. So when Rose receives word that Lucius Malfoy has passed away it takes the breath from her a little.

The letter delivered by the Malfoy Family owl (she recognizes it from the many dinner invitations she has received from Astoria over the past year or so) reads:

Dearest Rose,

I write to inform you that Lucius Malfoy passed this morning. He had been battling illnesses for some time and, unfortunately, succumbed this morning. It was peaceful and dignified.

The cold simplicity of the letter was very typical of the relationship Astoria had with Lucius – although she had never been outwardly hostile towards the man, Rose suspected she blamed him for Draco being implicated in the Dark Lord's plan, and therefore saw him as being the reason her husband had had to battle personal demons and prejudice all his life for following his family's footsteps. Had Lucius not ascribed to such ideologies than Draco's life – and, by extension, Scorpius's – would have been very different. Not that she ever outwardly called him on it; a woman as refined as Astoria Malfoy simply did not insult her husband's father. It was impolite to bring it up, apparently. No, Astoria simply sat back and did all that she could to protect her son and love her husband despite his faults, all the while silently resenting the family patriarch.

It's not his passing itself that shakes Rose, rather it is the conclusion of the letter that forces the breath from her.

Scorpius was never close to his grandfather and will try very hard to convince everyone, himself included, that he is unaffected by the news, but I know he will be. I'm sorry to ask this of you, but please take care of him. He will need it.

All my love,

Astoria Malfoy.

Rose doesn't hesitate to send a quick memo to her boss informing him of a family emergency before flooing home. She finds the lounge empty, and the house feels colder then usual. She knows though, by the way the hair stands up at the back of her neck and the stillness in the air, that she isn't alone. Rose walks slowly down to the bedroom and finds Mr. Fuzzy Boots sitting outside the door, keeping watch of what's happening inside. The door's open but he doesn't take a step beyond the threshold, he just sits, his one eye focused inside the room, and matted tail twitching every once in a while. Rose almost smiles to herself at the situation – keeping watch, just to make sure he's ok. She swears the cat loves Scorpius more than her, in it's own little unusual way.

Rose gives him a scratch behind the ears before walking slowing into the bedroom. What she finds isn't surprising, but it's unsettling all the same.

Scorpius sits on the edge of the bed, posture perfect and expression blank, with his travelling cloak lying abandoned on the floor, robes still in pristine condition, one shoe off and the other undone. It's as if he's started getting undressed and just couldn't find the energy or motivation to finish. He doesn't say anything or make any movement that indicates he even knows she's there, but he doesn't have to. Rose slips off her shoes silently, walks quietly across the floor and retrieves his cloak from where it lies in the middle of the room. She goes about hanging it, and her own, in their proper place on the rack in the corner, before coming and sitting next to him on the edge of the bed. She listens for his breath – slow and steady – and she knows he is trying with all his might to be as unaffected as possible by it all. She says nothing and they sit in a sad silence for an indefinite amount of time. Rose hears him swallow and knows he's about to speak.

"He doesn't get to make me cry," his voice breaks and her heart along with it, "He does not get to make me feel sorry for him. Not after everything he did."

Scorpius' breathing gets quicker and Rose watches as one tear escapes and runs its messy path down his cheek. She feels herself starting to well up too. She takes his hand and holds it gently, resting it on her knee and rubbing her thumb over the back of it.

"You're allowed to be sad, Scorpius."

"But I don't want to be!" his breathing gets a little more erratic and Rose watches, helpless, as the refined and dignified specimen that is Scorpius Malfoy starts falling apart, "I don't want to be sad and I don't want to feel bad. I'm glad he's gone. I've been praying for it since I was seven! And now he's gone and I…I should be happy! Lucius fucking Malfoy is finally dead!"

"But it's not just Lucius fucking Malfoy that's dead – your dad's dad is dead too," she watches his shoulders sink, "And your dad is hurting, and he's sad, and so is your grandma. And you're allowed to be sad for them."

The tears start falling without abandon and when he starts to physically weep Rose feels herself start aching with helplessness. She wants to help him, to stop the pain and to make everything ok, but there's nothing she can do that will make the mess of emotions he's feeling go away. So she does the only thing that makes sense – she holds Scorpius Malfoy's hand until they both fall asleep and silently vows to do everything in her power to protect him from pain forever. It's a silly notion, this she knows, but Rose figures that's what you do when you love someone.

Lucius Malfoy's funeral is a small affair. Rose is used to Weasley-Potter gatherings that usually involve every man and his owl, so when she is met with the sight of little more than 20 people gathering around the burial site it's strangely unsettling. There's a haunting loneliness of it all and it hits home again for Rose just how isolated Scorpius' family is, especially compared to her own. She pushes it aside though, because that's not why she's here today. She's here for Scorpius, and she'll stay as long as he needs her to.

On a drizzling September afternoon, some 27 people say farewell to Lucius Malfoy. One Weasley stands amongst them, but for that time she is not a Weasley; she is Scorpius Malfoy's partner, his other half who is there to be strong for him when he can't be strong for himself. They are a Them. And no one questions it.

Sorry it got a bit angsty at the end there. Hope it wasn't too bad. Thanks for sticking with me guys, your support means the world to me. Shit, over 12000 words? And this was supposed to be the short chapter. Sorry peeps! You would have had this a full 24 hours sooner if my computer had not decided to shit itself and misbehave. So if there are issues with the formatting i dearly apologise and will fix them - i honestly have no idea how this is all going to look once it finally decides to upload. Sigh.

I'm tempted to keep the title of the next chapter to myself, but given I haven't done that for any of the others and that you've all been so super supportive and understanding of my situation, I figure you definitely deserve to know it. So here it is: the chapter for Part 4 is Parents. That's right. I'm going there.

All my love until next time!