15 days before the Engagement Party
Hugo watched his sister pace back in forth in the living room of her flat. The incessant cursing under her breath was proof that their father's DNA coursed through her veins when she was stressed, panicked, pissed - either separately or all at once. At this very moment, it was a combination of all three, and Hugo was biting the insides of his cheeks hard to keep from laughing.
Rose, however, caught the smirk he was failing to keep from forming. "Damn it, Hugo! This isn't funny! This is a big fucking problem!"
"I'm sorry!" Hugo exclaimed, trying hard to suppress the laugh. "I don't see what is, as you say, the big fucking problem is."
"Of course you wouldn't," she sassed. "Because you like to see the good in everything!"
"So what, you think this is a bad thing?"
"Do you think I'd have sent an urgent message to McGonagall to get you a weekend pass if I thought this was a good thing?"
Hugo rubbed the palms of his hands on the tops of his jeans. He glanced over at the clock above the fireplace. "Is Scorpius back soon?"
"Only if my luck continues to go in the current direction it is going," Rose groused. Scorpius was at a World Cup practice, which was just more quidditch on top of his usual quidditch schedule since he was named as an alternate to England's team competing this summer. "I'm hoping his practice goes late." She plopped down on the couch next to Hugo and sighed. "This wasn't supposed to happen. Buggering fucking fuck."
"You sound like Dad."
Hugo laughed. "Look - I know you think this is bad, but it really isn't. So it's not in your plan. Guess what - plans suck. And your need to plan everything comes from Mum."
"Seriously, Hugo. I love you. But fuck you."
He linked his arm with hers and leaned his head against hers as it fell to his shoulder. "I love you too." He waited for a few moments before he felt her arms tighten around his, hugging it like it was a lifeline. "Rose," he said, his tone losing it's jest. "You love Scorpius and he loves you. This is really going to be ok."
"But what if it isn't?"
"But what if it is?"
"But what if it isn't, Hugo?" Rose whispered fearfully. "This wasn't how it was supposed to go."
He gave his sister's hand a squeeze with his free one. "Sometimes the best things aren't planned. Sometimes you just have to go…you know…go with the flow."
"That goes against everything I know how to do."
"Trust me, I'm aware."
Rose looked up at her little brother. "I'm pregnant, Hugo. I'm not even 19 and I'm pregnant."
He scrunched up his face. "Considering your line of work, you would have thought you knew how to prevent that."
"It was one time!" Rose wailed. "We were both completely hammered and it was after they beat the Tornados and it was just one time!"
"You're half Weasley - how you weren't taking a potion and using muggle methods was beyond me."
"You can't take muggle birth control and a magical potion. It doesn't work," she haughtily replied.
"Condoms, Rose. Condoms," Hugo replied, mimicking his sister's tone perfectly.
"I don't eat fish, Granger."
"You try it."
"I already know it tastes good, you picky pain the ass. Just try it!"
Draco rolled his eyes, looking at Hermione as she had a bite of honey glazed salmon on a fork. "If I eat this and projectile vomit all over you, I plan on saying I told you so."
"First of all - disgusting. Secondly - just take the bite," Hermione instructed. She was fully aware he didn't eat fish, having heard the story a handful of times whenever fish was served at any event the two of them had attended about how they always ate codfish at the Manor as a child and he hated it. However, honey glazed salmon was a recipe of hers that her grandmother used to make, and it was one that she loved. "Honestly, Draco," she said with a huff. "Do you honestly think I'd feed you something I know you wouldn't like? Do you think I'm know you that little? Salmon and cod don't event taste alike. Just take a bite. Please?"
Reluctantly, Draco opened his mouth and leaned over the kitchen island that separated just enough for Hermione to feed him the bite. Fully prepared to hate every taste as he chewed, he found himself surprised. "Damn it," he said after swallowing. "That…that was actually really good. How did you even know I'd like that?"
Hermione gave him her trademark told you so look. "I'm an incredibly perceptive person."
"You're such a swot."
"Call it what you want - but I'm right and that's really all that matters," she said with a grin. "Would you like a plate then?"
"Did you make that rice I like too?"
"Well then dish me up a plate, woman. Your man is hungry."
"My man has two arms and two hands," she said, handing him a plate. "Serve yourself."
He laughed, taking the plate. "How about you go grab a bottle of wine and I'll dish up both plates. Deal?"
"Deal," she replied.
She passed him as he walked towards the food while she walked over to the pantry, stealing a kiss on the way. She could sense him watching her as she knelt down with her knees, looking at the wine she had left in the closet. Still in her heels and black pencil skirt with a plum colored blouse from working all day at her office. Draco thought she was insane for paying to rent a space when she could do her writing from home, but Hermione liked having an office outside of her house where she could focus on work.
Grabbing an acceptable bottle for the evening, she made a mental note to add wine to her shopping list and brought the bottle back over to the island, where two plates of food were sitting at the two bar stools. "You really like eating at this island," she commented. For the past two months, this is where the majority of their meals had been eaten while her dining table acted as a mere prop a few feet away.
"I've eaten dinner in a formal dining room for essentially my entire life," he commented, taking a seat next to her. "I like this," he said. "It's more…I don't know. Casual. Intimate."
She reached out a hand and brushed her thumb against his cheek. "I like it."
He took her hand from his face and pressed a kiss to her wrist. "I do too. Now - tell me about your day - but try to do so without looking so smug about me eating your damn fish dish."
"My day was quite productive," she commented before taking a bite. "Got some outlining done on your family biography - which by the way I still have many questions about - and I finished up a few chapters in the muggle studies textbook. Hopefully it'll be reviewed and printed before start of next year's term. They can't keep using the one they have. It's completely outdated. And if wizards and witches ever wanted to assimilate and live in both worlds, it's setting them up for some sincere disappointments with ginormous oversights…"
Draco listened intently as she talked about her writing and what projects she wanted to tackle next. It was amazing that the things that used to drive him insane about her growing up were the same things he'd grown to love about her as an adult. The rhythm he and Hermione fell into these past two months was utterly effortless, which both excited and frightened him to the core of his soul. He spent half the hours he was awake during the days completely stunned and grateful that he had Hermione as more than a friend, and that he was finally in a relationship of his choosing and genuinely happy. The other half was spent waiting for what seemed to be a good idea to turn into a battlefield of which neither would fully recover.
"Yes?" He said, snapping out of his thoughts.
"You ok?" She asked. "Sorry if I was getting boring -"
"Never," he promised. "I just sometimes can't believe…that we're here, you know?"
She gave him a small smile. "I think that at least once a day. But I can firmly say without a doubt that you make me incredibly happy."
Scorpius had been eyeballing his fiancée for the past week. He always knew she had her moments of…passion when she felt strongly about something. It was the Weasley part of her that he found endearing, even if the passion she was exhibiting to an outsider could be easily construed as sheer insanity. And while he would never ask her if she'd lost her mind to her face, at least not without wearing his full protective quidditch gear, he knew something was up. Her moods were off and more unpredictable than usual. She looked more exhausted than usual. The biggest giveaway of all was that Hugo was sitting with them at the dinner table when he should've been at school. Knowing that Rose mastered a handwriting spell that mimicked Hermione's a few years back, he knew perfectly well how she got him a weekend pass, but was also aware that if Hugo was here, something was wrong.
"Is there something wrong with the food?" Scorpius asked Rose. He watched her push around the pieces of Cornish hen and mashed potatoes on her plate instead of actually eating it.
"I think it's delicious," Hugo said. "I haven't had this in forever. Tastes just like Mum's, too."
Rose smiled. "Thanks."
"Yet you're not eating," Scorpius added.
She shrugged. "I'm eating."
"You've yet to take a bite."
"Why are you paying attention?"
"Uh…because you're you and I've seen you eat?" Scorpius retorted indignantly. "And you're acting completely off lately and you're brother is here like it's normal and while I don't mind your brother here - I also know you - and I guess I'm just waiting for you to clue me in."
Rose crossed her arms against her chest. "Clue you in?"
"I didn't stutter," Scorpius retorted. "What's up with you?"
"Nothing!" She quickly replied.
"Rose," Hugo said. "He's not an idiot."
"At least your brother gives me some credit," Scorpius said.
"It's nothing -"
"Rose!" Hugo exclaimed. "If you can't even tell him what's wrong then how are you supposed to get married?"
"We aren't supposed to be getting married for a few years! We are too young! That's why we were having the long engagement!" Rose exploded. "This is what I was trying to explain to you!"
Hugo picked his napkin off of his lap and tossed it on the table. "And I'm telling you, Rose, that sometimes life just happens and you figure it out!"
"And I'm telling you I have no idea how to bloody do that!" Rose roared back. "I'm not wired this way!"
"Well you better figure it out!"
"Will someone tell me what in the hell is going on here!" Scorpius shouted, interrupting the two siblings and their shouting match. "Rose! What in the hell is wrong with you?"
Rose went to speak, but every time she tried to get the words out, she couldn't say them.
Hugo sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Rose is pregnant. And she's freaking out. So do whatever it is you do because I've done all I can do at this point." At his announcement, Rose abruptly stood up and ran off to her bedroom, slamming the door shut behind her. Standing up from the table, he walked over and clapped a hand on Scorpius' shoulder. "I'm going to Mum's house. Just…she's spooked. Don't be mad at her."
Scorpius was now the one at a loss for words. "Oh my God," he finally managed to get out. "She's pregnant?"
"Yeah," Hugo replied. "Next time you two decide to get tanked after a quidditch victory, maybe you should make sure to use protection, eh?"
"Shit - that fucking Tornados game," Scorpius groaned. "We hadn't seen each other in weeks because I'd been on the road and she finally had two nights in a row off from work and -"
"Details aren't necessary," Hugo said with a laugh. "But seriously. She's flipping out."
Scorpius cursed himself and their collective stupidity to himself. "Clearly. Ok. I should go deal with this."
"Yes. But for what it's worth - I really don't see it being the disaster she's currently playing out in her head. You know how she always goes for the worst case scenario."
Scorpius nodded, chuckling slightly. "It's the only predictable part about her."
Hugo walked out of the floo into his mother's study and dropped his overnight bag off in his room. He changed into his pajama bottoms and a t-shirt and grabbed his homework out of his bag and took it downstairs, figuring he could watch some tv with his mother while he worked on his potions essay. Of all the muggle things he was exposed to - television was the one thing he missed while at school.
Homework in hand, he scuttled down the stairs and stopped at the bottom of the stairs. He could see into he kitchen from where he was standing, and saw his mother leaning over and giving Draco Malloy a peck on the lips. Hardly able to contain his grin, he made his way towards the kitchen with a skip in his step and stopped at the open doorway, leaning against the frame with a smug smirk on his face. "Well what do we have here?"
"Hugo Arthur Weasley!" Hermione exclaimed, blushing slightly as Draco's hand was on her knee. "Why aren't you at school?"
"Rose," he replied. "She got me a weekend pass."
"You two get away with too much!" she said with exasperation. "I've only told her I don't know how many times to stop writing notes with my name on them."
"Oh mum, it's fine," Hugo replied with a laugh. "So…what's happening here?"
Draco had the decency to wipe the smirk off of his face when Hermione looked at him, then back at her son. "What do you think this is?" she ask. "We are two consenting adults having dinner."
"Oh. Ok," Hugo said, humoring his mother. "Mr. Malfoy - do you always eat dinner with your clients?"
"Only the really attractive ones."
"What !" Draco exclaimed with a laugh. "He's not an idiot, Granger."
"I also saw you kiss him about 10 seconds ago," Hugo added. "Which is fine - I like Mr. Malfoy. He's good for you. We've even joked about it."
"Who has joked about it?" Hermione asked.
"Me, Rose, Cecelia, Scorpius, James, Albus, Lily, Dominique, Molly, Louis, Teddy, Fred -"
"Are you planning on naming all of your cousins?" Hermione asked with a warning tone.
"No - just seeing how far I could get," he teased.
"Stop channeling your Uncle George."
"Stop making it so easy."
Draco could see the gears turning in Hermione's mind and he gave her knee a squeeze. "Hugo - drop the homework and go set up the chess board. May as well take advantage of a good game if you're here tonight, right?"
"If you have homework -"
"I have like, 5 more inches to write - which I can do tomorrow while you make me breakfast," he said.
"What's for breakfast?" Draco asked.
"Who says you'll be here?" Hermione quipped, failing to keep a firm tone of voice.
"French toast," Hugo answered Draco. "Mum always makes me French Toast. She makes it the best."
Hermione shook her head as she stood up from her bar stool and walked over to her son. She gave him a hug and kissed his cheek, shaking her head as she brushed a hand through his hair. "What am I going to do with you?" she asked.
"Nothing - because I'm fantastic," he replied with a smirk.
She held out her hands. "Give me your homework and go get your chess board."
"Don't edit it, Mum," he warned. "It's perfectly fine. I just have to write up my closing remarks alright?"
"Wouldn't dream of it," Hermione said, flipping through his parchment as he walked off to get his game.
"You would edit your child's homework," Draco said with a laugh.
"You can sleep somewhere else you know," Hermione said, not looking up at him as she skimmed his words. "Besides. I don't edit. I just provide commentary. My children are brilliant and don't need my help." She walked over to the neglected dining table and placed his homework at Hugo's usual seat when he was home and placed his quill on top. When she turned around, she found Draco standing in front of her, wrapping his arms around her waist. "You know, I had a plan," she said. "To tell the kids."
"We're adults," Draco said. "We don't need a plan. We enjoy each other's company and we're exploring a relationship. They'll be fine, if what Hugo said is true."
"I know. I just…I like plans."
"Trust me. I know." Draco took a hand and tipped her chin up so he could kiss her. "I like plans too. But I never planned to fall for you, and yet here I stand, completely yours."
She returned the kiss, relaxing in his arms as she accepted his embrace. "Completely mine?" Hermione questioned, a smile in her voice.
"Do you even know what the gossip will be if we get married and I have a baby nine months later?"
"I think they'll say 'oh look - another loving couple with a beautiful baby' - but hey - I like to be optimistic."
Rose didn't look up at Scorpius, but remained curled into his side, a hand clutching his shirt for dear life as the two of them lay in bed. "This is my fault," she said.
"I'm pretty sure it's equally my fault, Rose," Scorpius said with a laugh.
"How is this funny?"
"It's not funny - it's just - Rose - you're worked up like we are two poor, destitute individuals about to bring a baby into the world that we can't take care of," he tried to gently reason.
She sighed. "You just said two words that mean the same thing."
"We aren't even 19!"
"We will be by the time the kid gets here."
"No one has babies at 19 anymore!"
"Plenty of people in the wizard it world have babies at 19."
"I wasn't planning on being one of them."
He grabbed her hand, prying it from the fabric of his shirt and held her hand tightly with his. "What is it that you're afraid of?" he asked. "I genuinely need to know."
She sighed, tears starting to pool in her eyes. "That we can't have it all. I want to be a healer. You want your quidditch career. We were supposed to have these things, establish these things we wanted before we started a family. Before we even got married and now…"
"We can still do these things," Scorpius promised. "This kid has four sets of grandparents that will help - two sets of great grandparents that will be competing with the grandparents to help - and enough aunts and uncles fill the spaces in between."
Rose sighed again, knowing that Scorpius was right, being the half of them that was always looking at things with sound logic. "I'm terrified we are too. young."
"We are too young," Scorpius replied. "And if you think this doesn't have me nervous, well, think again. It does. I'm just better at compartmentalizing my feelings. Let's hope this kid also carries this invaluable Malfoy trait."
She shook her head, wiping the tears that had fallen against his shirt. "If we don't get married before this baby comes…it's going to be like Dad and Lavender. I don't want that comparison."
Scorpius nodded, knowing how difficult it was for Rose and Hugo both to see The Daily Prophet's daily commentary on her father and Lavender's pregnancy with the twins. "So then we get married."
"At the engagement party," Scorpius suggested.
"That's two weeks away. Your mother will kill us."
"First of all - she's the only one that can pull it off. Second - she's not going to kill her only son. Third - we can let everyone think it's still an engagement party - and surprise them. Throws everyone off the scent. Tell them that with our busy schedules - we just decided to do it and whatever happens after is attributed to a blissful honeymoon after a surprise wedding for our closest family and friends."
She looked up at him. "Did you seriously just think of this right now?"
He shrugged. "In some regards - I am my mother's son."
She laughed. For the first time since she realized she was pregnant 48 hours ago, Rose finally started to feel the stress and weight of this unexpected event lift. This is what she loved about Scorpius. He was her other half in every sense of the word. In moments of chaos and the unexpected, where she was erratic, he was pragmatic. He was her compliment in every way.
He rolled her over so that he was hovering over her, brushing wisps of her auburn curls away from her face. "I love you. Even when you're completely out of your mind - I love you. And we're young. You're probably right when you say we're too young. But we're going to be ok. Because this plan - us - is right. As long as we are together, the rest will sort itself out. Whatever happens, happens. You like plans? Well - that's the new plan."
"Whatever happens, happens," Rose repeated.
"Because I love you."
"Because I love you," she repeated back.
"And I even forgive you for telling Hugo you were pregnant first."
She snorted. "That was fairly predictable though, right?"
"It was," Scorpius agreed. "But I want the rest of the firsts. Deal?"
Smiling, Rose nodded. "Absolutely."