DISCLAIMER: I don't own Rose, Scorpius, tights, moustaches or parties. But I do own this story and I've loved every second of it.
Getting it Right.
Rose and Scorpius share a hate/hate relationship. So everyone thought. Even Rose and Scorpius themselves. It just took them a while to get anything right. :ScorpiusRose postDH NextGen:
This chapter is dedicated to anyone who has ever gotten it right ... or who, much like Rose, is desperately trying!
CHAPTER THIRTY SIX: The Epilogue One.
(Four Years Later)
(Still best friends with Bea, still cousins with Al and still madly in love with Scorpius)
(Some things never change)
"Good god, you've got more to add to our library?" I asked, staring in amazement as I stumbled through the front door.
From her place on the sofa, Bea chucked one of her many, many books at me. I ducked out of the way, dropping my bag and laughing, only to have the book fly over my head and into the roaring fireplace.
"Oh, crap!" I said, pulling out my wand and levitating the burning book out. "Sorry, Bea!"
"Oh, please, leave it to burn!" Bea groaned, flinging herself back down into the back of the sofa. "In fact, just burn all of these books! I honestly couldn't care less."
I glanced around at our flat. Since I'd grown up loving books, I never really noticed the fact that our flat actually looked like the Hogwarts library. Every single flat surface was covered in a stack of at least three books, journals or magazines. They were a mix of manuals on medicinal plants and herbs, journals listing simple healing spells for broken bones and fractures, text books about wizarding media and pretty much every copy of Witch Weekly that had been published since we'd left Hogwarts.
It's really sometimes funny the way things turn out. After my fifth-year of Hogwarts, I hadn't expected the time to go by so quickly. I had two whole years to figure out the rest of my life! Two years to get the right qualifications, hang out with my mates, try not to strangle my boyfriend and savour my time left at Hogwarts castle.
As it turns out, two years was nothing. After no time at all, everyone around me were suddenly making decisions about how they were going to spend the rest of their lives once they left the castle. Everyone seemed to know what they wanted to do, except for me! Our last day at Hogwarts came and went and as my friends all went off to start the next leg of their glorious lives, I found myself working at my uncle's joke shop.
Yeah. For a while, I wasn't sure what the hell had gone wrong with my life. Apart from the minor detail of having no idea what to do, leaving Hogwarts hadn't been completely terrifying. I was living with my best friend on the second floor of a block of flats in the middle of London. Despite the Muggles, it was warm, affordable and close to the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley. And five days a week over that summer, I found myself trudging to Weasley's Wizards Wheezes and asking little kids if they'd like their bubble gum-flavoured wand gift-wrapped.
That is, until the day Al moved in with Scorpius.
My wonderful boyfriend had managed to get the flat two doors down from mine and Bea's but Al had originally been offered a job in Romania. To cut a very long and stressful story short, there had been a rather large family argument (in which there was a lot of crying, hexing and extra limbs sprouting all over the place) and Al instead accepted a job at the London Ministry, working in the Department of International Co-operation.
Anyway. The day Al moved in, there had been some sort of event happening in the street, so the corridors had been swarming with Muggles and Al and Bea had been snogging all over the place, the latter extremely thankful that her boyfriend was staying in the same country as her. As such, we'd been forced to resort to manual labour and lug all of Al's crap up into his new flat ourselves. Due to Al's inability to walk without tripping over something, he'd of course lost his balance and cracked his head open on the coffee table. Enervate proved to be pointless, so we took him to St Mungo's.
It was the first time I'd been in the magical hospital since before I could remember what it was like. And that day, I'd seen the amazing things the Healers could do. Al was fixed in a heartbeat, yet I'd dragged the others around with me as I explored the hospital in awe. I had been completely taken in and I'd signed up that very afternoon.
As such, one and a half years later, I was a Healer-in-training and I loved every second of my stressful, highly competitive job. Bea was a journalist for Witch Weekly, something we didn't realise she had a talent for at first and we were rather taken aback when she told us that she went in for an interview and they had apparently offered her a job on the spot. As for Scorpius, he was working with Muggle rights in the Department of Magical Law-Enforcement. I always said Muggle Studies must have hit him hard. Apparently, he loves his job, but finds it terrifying since my mother happens to be one of the senior heads of the department and her office is only down the hall from his.
Sometimes, my new life as an actual adult seemed a bit surreal at times.
"So how was Moni?" I asked Bea, grinning as I dropped down next to her on the sofa, sheading my work robe. She groaned loudly.
"Being a complete bitch, as per usual," she said. "I seriously don't know how in the world she ended up as Editor-in-Chief. Everyone hates her! Today, I was all set to start that feature on the house-elf liberation, but she goes and makes me the assistant for her mate, running around interviewing wannabe pop-stars! I honestly wanted to kill her."
"You didn't punch her again, did you?" I asked. Bea had never seen eye-to-eye with her boss, Monica Dodge. When she came home ranting bloody murder after her first ever shift, I'd told her that it took some effort to get along with some people. She had told me to piss off, because no one could ever get along with the reincarnation of Satan. The last time she and Dodge had met, Bea had punched her straight in the face. The only reason she hadn't lost her job was because they were outside of work hours.
Bea rolled her eyes. "I considered it, but decided my job was worth much more than her," she said. "No, I simply forced a smile and said, 'Sure thing, Monica'. Oh, and all day, I imagined how it would feel to finally strangle her."
"Bea, you really do scare me, sometimes," I pointed out. "But it could be worse. Your boss doesn't hit on you every shift. Remember Creepy Howard from Café Julio? Libby still reckons he has some genetic anomaly that ensures he will never retire!"
"I would much rather suffer Creepy Howard than 'Moni'," Bea grumbled. "Actually, I should tell Libby she can have her!"
I laughed. We still saw quite a lot of our old friends from Hogwarts, much to my surprise. To be honest, I hadn't been expecting to see any of them ever again. But as it turns out, the flat building Bea and I had applied for was very popular with the wizarding community, since it was the closest complex to both the Leaky Cauldron and the Muggle underground. Y'know, not that the Muggles knew that. There had already been some older students who had already left Hogwarts living here when we had moved in. Then, after about a week, Libby Fletcher moved into a flat on the ground floor. Pretty soon, every single flat was taken up by mostly all witches and wizards, some of whom we knew, including Trevor Moyle near the roof on the third floor, Lucy Harley (god forbid) living down the hall from Bea and I and the White Twins were on the other side of the building, near the Muggle vending machines (which we frequently abused, by simply levitating snacks out. I swear the bloke who comes and collects the money must be close to a mental breakdown, trying to figure out where all the food goes).
Again, the surreal-ness of the situation took over from time to time. It was strange to think that you've finally escaped the idiots you've lived with for the past seven years, only to have them live in the same building as you. Sometimes, we still wouldn't see each other for weeks on end, thanks for our busy lives. But we always somehow managed to make time for each other and in the end, I was glad I got to keep my crazy friends. I don't know where on earth I'd be without them.
"Is it still freezing outside?" Bea asked me.
I eyed her. "Ok, you clearly need to get out more. It's been snowing all day! I swear, I just trekked about half a tonne of slush in with me! That's January for you."
"Damn," Bea slammed one of her books shut. "I was hoping to pop out and pick up some ice cream or something for Libby's party tonight. I can't be bothered trudging through metres of snow!"
"Not going to risk the pasta like last year, are you?"
"Would you?" Bea asked me, raising an eyebrow.
I remembered the incident very vividly and I immediately shook my head. "I'm pretty sure we must have some left over cake from New Year's somewhere," I said, leaping up and heading for the kitchen. I noticed a half-eaten chocolate cake on the bench, still covered in plastic wrap and sitting on one of Grandma Molly's plates. I glanced at the calendar. "Sixth of January … it's not even been a week, this cake will still be ok to eat, right?"
"Just give it to Trevor, he'll eat anything," Bea called, grinning.
I wrapped the cake up more securely in preparation for tonight. The twelfth night after Christmas, in fact. Exactly four years ago, we had been prancing about on a conjured stage in front of the entire castle of Hogwarts, reciting Shakeswotzit in a desperate bid to save Muggle Studies. Thankfully, it had worked and Professor Hanson had been allowed to keep her job.
Exactly four years ago, I had realised that I was in love with Scorpius Malfoy.
I glanced up at the wall above our fireplace where our photos were. There were four pictures in a line, all from each year we'd celebrated. At Hogwarts, we'd celebrated the anniversary of our performance, inspired by our enthusiasm for the subject and also mostly by Libby taking any excuse to throw a party. She encouraged us to dress up as our old characters and we would celebrate, muck around and take photos of the more famous scenes re-enacted.
The first photo was my favourite. It had been taken by Professor Hanson a mere five minutes after the curtain closed, after flinging herself up onto the stage to hug the nearest person. She had gathered us all together and little photographic me was squashed between Bea and Scorpius. The latter had thrown his arm around me, cheering with everyone else. I was grinning and trying not to glance at him from the corner of my eye. I had only just figured out that I loved him about half an hour before.
The second had been taken during our sixth-year, at the after party for that year's performance. Professor Finch, as it turns out, had loved our performance so much that he'd insisted that every fifth-year Muggle Studies class from now on performs a Shakeswotzit play for the school. During our sixth-year, the fifth-years had performed Macbeth and had invited us to help them with their backstage, costumes and props. We'd had fun dressing up as our old Twelfth Night characters and the photo up on our wall was when we had posed in positions that best represented the play. Harley had draped herself in Scorpius's arms, before leaning over to stare wishfully at me with her arms outstretched, while I just looked at her and Scorpius with a frown. Scorpius was on bended knee, serenading Harley in his arms, while Trevor stood back-to-back with me, grinning like only Trevor can.
Meanwhile, Bea was using a feather duster to dust off Toby, who was holding a Firewhiskey bottle triumphantly in the air, while Oliver Gemmal thrust a sword around with a stupid grin. Our positions were the same, yet completely different to what our relationships in real life were like.
The photo taken during our seventh-year had somehow ended up with Lily in it. As a fifth-year, she was a part of that year's performance of Romeo and Juliet, playing the Nurse. While we had been taking our photo of the final outcomes of the play, Lily had scrambled into the picture, throwing her arms around Scorpius and I. Bea and reluctantly forced herself to snuggle up with Toby White for the picture while Danny Parker as Malvolio screamed and shook his fists at us in the background. Trevor and Harley had found that photo rather awkward, considering they had broken up roughly two years ago at that point. However, Bea and I had (rather shockingly) stumbled across the two snogging in an abandoned corridor mere hours after that picture was taken. They've basically been together on and off ever since.
The last picture was different to the others, since it had been the first year we'd all moved out and away from Hogwarts. Some of us weren't there. Tom Ellis had gone on to play Quidditch for England, while Scorpius's old friend, Danny Parker, moved to Denmark. So we had no haughty Malvolio or Feste singing (though that was probably a good thing). Many others, such as Tessa Bletchley and Amy Davis moved too far away to come, like Parker had, but the rest of us had gone all out to dress up at the party Libby had hosted.
That year, Libby had invited Al and several other people that we knew, so we didn't feel quite so put out by the changes. Al had gone as Feste, dressed in a complete jesters outfit. He'd looked absolutely ridiculous, but then we all kind of did in that particular photo. Libby had forgotten that she'd had food cooking away in the kitchen as we set up for the photo. The pasta had exploded seconds before the photo was taken and now we had a rather nice picture of us gasping, laughing and complaining (and completely covered in pasta sauce).
But students gasping, laughing and complaining was basically fifth-year Muggle Studies in a nutshell. So it wasn't really all that different.
I couldn't wait for this year's party.
"Is Al going to come again? Or is he too worried about that report he's got due?" I asked Bea. She shrugged.
"He wants to, but he's not sure he'll have the time to pull away from the work," she answered. "Y'know how your cousin is. Once he starts, he can't stop until it's done. Plus he was up all last night, writing up trial summaries, so he's exhausted. And isn't Tom coming back for the party this year? Al wouldn't be able to go as Feste anymore, so he'd have to go as Malvolio or something."
"Yeah, Al doesn't exactly strike me as a Malvolio," I said. "You're not going to force me into a moustache again, are you?"
Bea laughed. "Are you kidding? You're a woman pretending to be a man! I just have to find my old apron …"
"I believe you transfigured it into some pyjamas after that incident at Trevor's birthday, when the pyjama party turned into a convention for pyromaniacs?"
"Oh, of course!" Bea said. Then she added, "… I did apologise for that, right? I didn't mean to set his lounge on fire …"
"Yes, Bea, you did when we were in the burns department at St Mungo's, remember?"
"Ah, that's right!"
I shook my head slightly as Bea hurried off to find her transfigured apron. When it came to home life and fending for herself, Bea had soon found out that she could memorise all the text books in the world; but when it came to applying all that knowledge to real life, she actually knew bugger all. At Trevor's birthday pyjama party a few months ago (we still don't know why he hosted a pyjama party, but still), Bea had attempted to clean up a spilt drink with what she thought was Mrs Skower's, but actually turned out to be highly flammable nail polish remover. Trevor's eyebrows still haven't completely grown back. In another incident, on our first night in our flat, Bea had tried to cook dinner, poked the ham we were supposed to be eating with her wand and the entire thing had exploded.
Needless to say, after that, I had attempted to be the cook, though I did tend to burn a lot of stuff. Eventually, we took to eating Instant-Meals. One wand poke guaranteed self-assembly and no exploding. Bloody handy.
A voice suddenly coming from the fireplace alerted me to someone visiting. Sure enough, Lily's head was sitting among the green flames, squinting through her eyes. "Is it safe to come over?"
I snorted at her. "It's fine, Scorpius isn't even here."
"Wonderful!" Lily said before her head disappeared, only to be replaced by her entire body falling out of the fireplace moments later. Lily had grown up a lot since she was that all-knowing thirteen-year-old cousin of mine. Now, she was seventeen, gorgeous and in her last year at Hogwarts.
"Y'know you don't need to check every time you decide to randomly pop over," I told her as she came and sat down next to me.
"Are you kidding?" Lily asked. "That one time last month when I simply popped over? I found a lot more than I bargained for!" She raised her eyebrows at me and I felt my neck turn bright red. Lily had taken to visiting Bea and I ever since we'd left Hogwarts, almost always startling whoever was at home by suddenly leaping out of the fireplace unannounced. On one such occasion, she had leapt in, only to find that Scorpius had come home early and was supposed to be showing me his report for work … only we'd rather taken up snogging on the sofa instead and I'm pretty sure Lily must have seen something rather traumatic.
Poor Lily had gotten such a shock, her "Holy Merlin!" had caused Scorpius to jump from underneath me, smacking me in the head and I had nearly fallen off the sofa. As such, from then on, Lily had taken to always checking before she decided to randomly burst into our flat.
"That was once, LL!" I insisted. "We're in love and I hadn't seen him all week, give me a break …"
Lily rolled her eyes. "Yes, sure," she said, sarcastically. "Even though I happen to know for a fact that he spends more nights here than he does at his own flat."
My neck flushed again. "I … so?"
"So, I mean you could have at least had the courtesy to make it to the flipping bedroom before I came crashing in! Not go all caveman and go at it right there on the sofa!"
"Lily!" I slapped her on the arm, but she only laughed at me.
"Oh, I'm just teasing you," Lily sniggered. "You and all your freedom!" She sighed dramatically. "I wish I had freedom …"
I sighed with her. Lily had made no secret of the fact that she thought going back to Hogwarts for her seventh-year was pointless. She hated that all her cooler, older cousins got to run amok in the big wide Wizarding World, while she was the baby of the family and was still stuck at school. She had told me that she wanted to travel and see the world, only Auntie Ginny was determined that she should stay at the castle. Lily considered this hypocritical of Auntie Ginny, since apparently when she was Lily's age, she'd wanted to drop out as well.
But as I reminded her, Auntie Ginny had just come out of a war and her brother had just died, which probably gave her a slightly better reason. However, Lily still wasn't having it and she would harp on and on to anyone in the vicinity about how Brazil was lovely this time of year.
"Is that a LL I hear?" Bea's voice came from the direction of her bedroom. She stuck her head out, holding her pyjamas that still slightly resembled her apron. She grinned at my cousin. Bea and Lily hadn't known each other very well at Hogwarts, but they'd become pretty good friends since Lily had taken to visiting us.
"Hi, Bea!" Lily said as Bea came to join us. "How're you and my brother doing?"
"Just fine, LL," Bea answered cheerfully as she pulled out her wand and transfigured her pyjamas back into her apron.
"How's my brother doing?" I asked Lily. "Last I heard, he had three essays to write in one weekend …"
"Oh, he got those done, all right," Lily rolled her eyes. "He's better than just 'doing fine', in fact. You'll never guess who I caught him snogging the other day."
I blinked. "Ok, now I know you're having me on. My brother knows nothing about girls. I don't think he's ever even had a girlfriend!"
"Oh, he's got one now! Kitty and I thought it was insane!" Lily said. "Hugo's had multiple … er, I'll call them snog-partners, since that's basically all they've ever cared about. I don't think he's ever had an emotional attachment with anyone, except for maybe Kitty and I and his family. As for a proper girlfriend …"
"So who's the poor, unsuspecting girl?"
"Amy Covel," Lily said. "Year below us, but it doesn't really matter who she is. What matters is that he was so worked up about this, that they managed to keep it a secret for almost three weeks! We had no flipping clue!"
"Seriously?" I said, disbelievingly. "Hugo's not exactly known for being subtle."
"I know! That's why I was so shocked!" Lily looked slightly worried now. "Rosie, I normally see this sort of thing coming!"
"Trust me, this is my brother. You could never see this coming."
Lily smiled, but still shot me a look. "You know what I mean. I pretty much know everything about anyone, I can read people like a book! But this … this was completely out of the blue! You don't think I'm losing my touch, do you?"
I actually laughed in her face. "LL … seriously, you're afraid you've lost your mojo?"
"Oh, come on, it's a legitimate concern–!"
"LL," I cut over her. "You were the only one to notice how Scorpius and I felt about each other. Without you in the background, I don't think I ever would have gotten the courage to try and say how I felt. I mean, you are truly the most perceptive person I know!"
"Look, Hugo's in love for the first time," I pointed out. "You know how he gets, he stresses about the little things. He was probably freaking out slightly at the fact that for once in his life, he has a proper girlfriend and wasn't ready to tell everyone about it yet. He's probably worried about what you and Kitty will think!"
"Really?" Lily asked.
I shrugged. "It's not going to seem like it, now that you both know. He'll take that as finally being able to relax and him and Amy will be all over each other. Trust me, I know from first-hand experience."
"Oi!" Bea called from her bedroom. "We weren't that bad!"
"Bea, I hardly saw you!" I called back. I turned back to Lily. "But don't worry. The honeymoon doesn't last forever."
"Thanks," Lily grinned at me. "This is an unusual occurrence, I must admit. Normally, you're the one who comes to me for advice!"
"Yeah, that always was rather embarrassing," I pointed out.
"If it helps, LL," Bea put in, sticking her head back around her bedroom door. "Back then, Al was so sure that you had him all figured out. He thought you knew exactly how he felt about me and was worried that you'd tell Rosie and that she would then tell me."
"I wouldn't tell you!" I said in outrage.
"Are you kidding?" came the voice of my brilliant cousin and best friend. "Of course you would've!"
Both Al and Scorpius had arrived, having to knock aside some of our library to open the front door properly. Bea just snorted and threw her apron on, as Scorpius gave me a grin.
Despite the fact that it had been four years, I found that his smile could still make my insides just implode. He had hardly changed since I'd first met him, still with the same, messy blond hair and dark blue eyes, only now we were the same height. Thanks to my dad being so tall, I had been taller than him right up until we were about seventeen. Then, he shot up and now he could look me in the eye.
The only other difference now was the fact that he was wearing tights.
He scowled at us when he noticed that he was the only one in costume. "Seriously? Come on, girls, the party's in half an hour!"
"I'm wearing my apron!" Bea insisted as Al gave her a kiss hello.
"And I only just got home, I was getting there," I pointed out.
"Hmm, yeah, your gossip session on the sofa so looks like it," Scorpius said, sarcastically. He then added a quick and polite, "Hello, Lily."
Lily just rolled her eyes. I got the feeling that no matter how long Scorpius and I are together, no one in my family will really quite get over calling him Scorpius, rather than 'Malfoy'. It even took me forever to get used to it! While most of the time it just seemed natural, sometimes I would feel like we were sitting in that empty classroom again back at the end of fifth-year, calling each other by our first names for the first time.
That moment had been almost as nerve-wracking as our first kiss and trust me, that's an experience I tend to block out.
Either way, now 'Rose and Scorpius' was normal, but it was still often awkward to other members of the family. We only ever attempted one more Weasley-Malfoy dinner so I could get to better know the Malfoy side of the family. That hadn't gone down nearly as well as the Weasley dinner did. And, well, nicknames were simply out of the question. I was 'Rose' for ages before Scorpius could even handle Rosie and forget LL. To Scorpius, she was always going to be Lily.
Scorpius dropped down next to me, kissing me on the cheek. Despite the annual crack out of tights to wear, the fact that he never folds his clothes, has to always be right, his bloody mood swings and just the fact that overall, he makes me hate him, I was still as much in love with him as I was however long ago it was when I fell for him.
I still can't figure out when exactly that was. I know I figured it out when I was fifteen, but I still had no bloody clue what moment it was exactly when I fell in love with him. Perhaps it was a day when he only cursed me once and insulted my hair twice; then, that was it, I was hooked! Seriously though, if someone else could ever figure it out, I would honestly pay them a million Galleons.
"I'd complain about you calling me Lily, but I've given up," Lily grumbled.
"And our gossiping is very essential, I'll have you know," I pointed out. "LL thinks she's lost her mojo."
"I won't even ask what that means," Al commented, half sitting on the sofa, half sitting on top of Bea, since we now had five people squashed onto a sofa made for three.
"Look, it's a witch thing!" Lily exclaimed. "And that's probably my queue to leave and let you get to your party. Love you, Rosie! I'll tell Hugo you say hi, yeah?"
"Tell him 'what the hell did you slip into Amy's drink to make her want to snog you'!" I called after her with a grin and Lily gave a laugh just as she entered the fireplace and called, "Hogwarts, Gryffindor Common Room!" The resulting flash of green fire made her inhale about ten tonnes of soot and the last image I got of her was her choking.
Got to love Lily.
"Al, I love your sister!" Bea said.
"So long as you love me as well, I'm fine with that," Al rolled his eyes.
"Oh, I don't know," Bea grinned. "Sorry, but she's just too pretty. I think I simply must leave you for her."
Al narrowed his eyes. "You've clearly been living with Rosie for too long. You never use sarcasm like that."
Scorpius snorted and I turned to stare at him. "What?"
"Al, it's too late now," Scorpius said. "Once you're friends with Rose, the filter turns off and the sarcasm just comes pouring out! Don't even get me started on when she's drunk."
"Well, it's true! You're a bad influence. I never used to use sarcasm until I met you."
I just scoffed at him, despite the fact that I knew it was true. He'd been a right, stuck up little prick at eleven-years-old. "So how was your day?" I emphasised to get the topic off me and my unruliness.
"Slow and boring," he answered, bluntly. "But we've got a party at Libby's, which generally ends in some sort of drama, so things are bound to liven up."
"I can't even go!" Al moaned. "I was up all night finishing that report for work and it's still not done! My boss had a right go at me and said if I don't have it in by tomorrow, I'm, well, in lots of trouble, to put it mildly."
"In other words, you're in deep shit?"
"Thanks, Rosie. Needed to clarify that."
I just pulled a face at him. "You weren't even in Twelfth Night to begin with!"
"I went last year! The jester costume suited me, I think."
"… I am not going to comment on that," Bea said.
"Look, as much as I would love to sit here and chat to you ladies all evening," Scorpius put in, Al rolling his eyes in the background. "We have a party to get ready for! C'mon, you're not even dressed yet!"
"Ooh, I've been perfecting my hair-growing charms especially for this!" Bea said, excitedly. She had to throw Al off her so she could leap up and grab my hand, also hauling me to my feet. "Course it would be better if we could get a hair-stimulating potion, but my charms will have to do. That's kind of why we had hairy pasta for dinner last night, sorry …"
"For the last time, I do not need a moustache!" I cried, but Al and Scorpius just laughed at me.
I do not get enough points for this. If Scorpius thinks he's getting any tonight, he's got another thing coming.
After half an hour and a lot of fussing, including a hair-growth charm going spectacularly wrong (a Ravenclaw, Bea is, someone with perfect aim, she is not) we were finally ready to go. I had been forced into the same kind of uniform as Scorpius's and once my forehead didn't have metre long hair spouting off it, Bea (more carefully) charmed my hair short and grew me a wonderful moustache.
"It's kind of weird, seeing you with facial hair," Scorpius told me as we hurried down the stairs to the first floor, where Libby's flat was located about halfway down. I think if a Muggle saw us right now, three young adults wearing clothes straight out of the 1600s, they would think we had gone completely mad. That, or we were the unfortunate test subjects of a time-travel experiment, but I think the Ministry was banned from attempting that. Anyway. Scorpius tilted his head sideways, looking at me as he held my hand. "I dunno, though, it's kind of growing on me …"
"You're weird," Bea put in.
"Oh, yeah?" Scorpius glanced at her for a second, before tugging on my hand and suddenly planting one hell of a kiss on me. I very nearly fell over; Scorpius never failed to make me want to melt. It really was annoying. After a significant moment of this with Bea hastily coughing in the background, Scorpius pulled away, his arms still around my waist as he turned to Bea and said smugly, "I love her, even if she has a moustache."
"Oh, come on," Bea huffed. "Rosie?"
"… yeah," I said a little breathlessly, still staring at Scorpius. "Er, if you want, I'll grow a whole beard?"
"Oh, honestly," Bea scoffed.
Libby's flat was definitely alive and kicking once the three of us arrived. We let ourselves in since you could hear the music and Toby belting out rock ballads from the corridor. I seriously doubted that anyone would be able to hear us knock, let alone arrive, but funnily enough Libby practically ambushed us the second we walked in the door.
"ROSIE! BEA! SCORPIUS!" she cried, flinging her arms around me, who was the closest. "Haven't seen you lot in aaaages! Not since Trevor's pyjama party went up in smoke!"
"Again, I'm sorry about that," Bea said.
"Ah, it was the best fun I'd had in ages," Libby told Bea, giving her a hug as well. "And you!" she added to Scorpius, who was the last to get a hug. "You still owe me 5 Galleons! That bet we made on the odds of Rosie forgetting your birthday?"
"That's right!" Scorpius said, hugging her back. "Sorry, I swear I'll get that to you."
"Wait, you two BET on me?!" I cried. Scorpius and Libby just exchanged looks before turning back to me and shrugged. They didn't even look guilty!
That was the funny thing about Scorpius and I having finally gotten together. Those last few weeks we spent during fifth-year together, we had sort of awkwardly merged with Scorpius's friends. By the time sixth-year rolled around and people saw that we were still together, the whole castle seemed to have gotten over their shock (well, sort of, we still got a hell of a lot of stares, especially when we would start screaming at each other) and everyone sort of just accepted the fact that Ravenclaw house now officially got along with Slytherin.
Yes, it was as weird as it sounds.
There was only one person I had never really been able to see eye-to-eye with and she showed up at Libby's flat just behind us. Lucy Harley would have gone unnoticed arriving if Libby hadn't spotted her, since in her black dress and veil, she had the most normal costume out of all of us. When I had discovered that Harley had also gotten a place at St Mungo's as a trainee-Healer like me, I had been spewing. Then, she just had to move into the empty flat opposite Al and Scorpius's and the latter had practically had to hold me back (there had also been a lot of snogging done to convince me, but that's a whole other story).
At Hogwarts, we had tolerated each other, simply because I was going out with her best friend. We occasionally managed to have a conversation but once we left school, we basically just ignored each other. I mean, I don't really hate her. It's more just like serious dislike now and to be honest, I think that's a pretty good improvement.
"Lucy!" Libby had said, running over to give her a hug as well. Yeah, I don't know how Libby managed to be friends with everyone she meets, especially considering the fact that she's not exactly known for being normal, but there you go.
After she was greeted by everyone, Libby ran off to rescue a lamp that was being thrown about, Scorpius and Bea started chatting excitedly, probably about books or work or something else they'd bonded over. To my horror, this left just me with Harley standing there awkwardly and not quite knowing what to say.
"Erm," I said. "Hey?"
She just snorted. "It's fine, Weasley," she said. "You don't have to make forced conversation with me."
"Nah, nah!" I said. "I'm totally interested in your life! How's work and all that?"
"Have you been drinking stain remover again?"
"Oi, that was once," I pointed an accusing finger at her. Thanks to Bea accidentally leaving said stain remover in a bottle we usually used to hold orange juice, it was no wonder I had accidentally ended up in St Mungo's as a patient, rather than a trainee-Healer. "Seriously, I want to know! You're in creature-induced injuries at the moment, right?"
Harley seemed resigned to the fact that I was going to keep talking until she talked back. My mouth tends to do that, even when I try to tell it not to. "Yes," she said, rolling her eyes. "Had a bloke in today who accidentally ate a doxy. His mate put one in his sandwich. Totally thought of you."
"Oh, you're just bloody charming, aren't you?"
"Hey," she said. "You're the one who asked."
I actually found myself laughing and even Harley cracked a smile. "Ah, you're bloody lucky, Rose Weasley," she told me. She nodded over at Scorpius, who was still talking to Bea, his blond hair flopping all over his face in his enthusiasm. "Saw him come into work the other day to pick you up. There's tonnes of girls in our training year who'd love to get their hands into him. And even some of the blokes."
"Oh, I know," I told her. "Of course, he's flipping oblivious. But I haven't punched any of them. Yet."
"You punched me once."
"What, you mean back in fifth-year?" I asked, thinking that had probably been one of the only times I'd punched someone who wasn't Scorpius. I was a rather vivid memory.
"You never apologised."
"You deserved it!"
"Oh, all right, I might've done," Harley admitted, folding her arms in a huff. "But you didn't have to hit so hard, I had a bruise for a week!"
"Hey," I pointed out. "That's what happens when you mess with Rose Weasley."
"I'll bare that in mind." I swear Harley almost laughed. I might have laughed with her, but I was sort of interrupted by a loud voice yelling, "ROSIE!" and a big shape suddenly came barrelling into me.
"Trevor?" I gasped out, as he threw his arms around my waist from behind and nearly bowled me straight into Harley from the force.
"The one and only!" Trevor said, happily. Once he let go of me and I could breathe properly, I saw that he had yet again managed to charm his hair the exact same shade of red as mine, even though he hadn't seen me since the aforementioned flaming pyjama party incident. Looking at us, you'd think we really were twins and I wouldn't have wanted anyone else to be a second brother to me. "Must say, Rosie, you're looking mighty fine this evening!"
"Why, thank you," I told him. "You look pretty dashing yourself!"
"Finally, where the hell did you get to?" Harley was saying, reproachfully. "Honestly, I leave you for five minutes and you disappear!"
"Aw, I forgot about getting some crisps for the party, so I had to nip back and levitate some out from those Muggle vending machines!" Trevor explained. "D'you want a hug as well?"
"Trust me, I've had enough of your–!"
Harley was cut off in a shriek as Trevor took that as a yes and threw his arms around her too, lifting her in the air and swinging her around. "Oh, come on," Trevor let her fall to the ground, though he didn't move his arms from around her waist. "You know you love it."
"… so I take it you're back together, then?" I asked.
"I have no idea why," Harley said, immediately.
"You love me!" Trevor said in indignation. "Or was that all a line just to get me to snog you again?"
Harley scoffed and I ended up laughing at them. Trevor and Harley had basically been on and off ever since they got back together in sixth-year. One minute, they're together and the next, Trevor's a mess, lounging around and complaining about how much he misses her. I've completely given up trying to keep track. As the two bantered, I felt another set of reasonably less forceful arms go around me and Scorpius's voice in my ear asked, "Did you actually just have a conversation with Lucy?"
"I was feeling diplomatic," I answered, glancing back at his face. He was looking disbelieving. "I don't know what the hell came over me."
"So you two are still together, then?" Harley asked.
"We're Orsino and Viola!" Scorpius told his friend. "Of course we are!"
"That's the spirit!" Libby called, joining us with her camera. Glancing behind her, I noticed that everyone had already cracked well into the Firewhiskey. Toby was currently spinning around on the coffee table, trying to get Bea to dance with him; a large group was gossiping on the sofa; and Oliver Gemmel was demonstrating the uses of a sword, while Jo and her boyfriend were throwing sweets through the air and catching them in their mouths. Libby's latest flatmate, Big George, was silently playing air guitar in the corner. Libby really hadn't been able to hold down a flatmate to save her life; it came with the whole 'attracting weirdoes' thing. This bloke claimed that he and his 'indie screamer pop' band were 'gonna make it big'. So far, he'd shown no talents except at playing an imaginary instrument.
Yeah, there's never a dull moment at Libby's.
"We're going to do photos soon!" Libby told us, gesturing with her sword. I didn't even want to know where she got that from. "C'mon!"
"Do I have to?" Scorpius moaned.
"Yes! You and those tights are definitely getting caught on camera," Libby laughed.
Just then, an owl flew in from the window, landing on Libby's shoulder. Libby petted the owl for a moment before pulling off the letter and reading. "It's from Professor Hanson!" she said. She pulled out her wand and made it emit a loud bang, which caused everyone to shut up. She shoved Toby off the coffee table, letting him fall over and onto the sofa, before standing up herself.
"Welcome everyone!" she said cheerfully, as Bea found her way back to Scorpius and I. "Exactly four years ago, we gave the best performance Hogwarts has ever seen and we have a letter here from Professor Hanson!"
"Lib, remember, it's Professor Ackerly now!" Oliver Gemmel said, leaning on his sword as he reminded Libby of how our two professors had gotten married the summer after our seventh-year.
"Right, sorry, we have a letter from Professor Ackerly," Libby continued. "Geez, that must be confusing for the poor sods still at Hogwarts … anyway she sent this," She cleared her throat before reading, "'To My Crazy Old Class, happy anniversary! I hope Libby has put on another terrific party for you all, but don't let her near the kitchen again. The pasta photos were hilarious. Muggle Studies is still going strong and every day, I remember the fun times we all had together. This year's fifth-years are performing King Lear tonight! They're getting pretty into it, considering only three characters survive in the end. Loads of families have come up to watch, so I talked to Professor Finch and he thinks it would be fine if you lot wanted to come see next year's play. I seriously just want to thank you guys all so much for helping me keep my job all those years ago. If I had lost my job then, my life would be going nowhere. So have fun and thank you! Love from, your old professor'."
"King Lear?" I repeated to Bea as many others started clapping Professor Hanson's letter. "I'm pretty sure that's the performance my cousin, Roxanne, is in. Lily's helping out with backstage and told me Roxie's playing someone called Regan, who gets poisoned by her sister in the end …"
"Sounds like a tragedy, all right," Bea said.
Libby then started taking photos. This was something we always ended up doing; while pretty much every event that was attended by Libby was definitely documented by her camera, we also ended up being stupid and re-enacting random moments from our performance. Oliver and his sword stood in triumph, while Toby swung off his arm with a bottle of wine in the other hand, Libby snapping the picture. Trevor and I stood back to back for one photo, looking as identical as ever and in another, I pretended to scream for my drowning twin while Trevor secretly pretended to swim around in the background. Even Scorpius and Bea took a photo together, even though Orsino and Maria never really interacted in the play. Whenever we get together, the original plot kind of gets screwed up anyway.
"C'mon, Scorpius!" Bea was saying, since every time she tried to dust off his face for the photo, he would sneeze and cringe away. "It's not that hard, just stay still!"
"Oh, harden up! Lib, take the picture already!"
I just laughed at the two of them. Scorpius and Bea's relationship had changed remarkably since our school days. They'd become close while we were at Hogwarts those last few years, but I think Bea sort of just humoured Scorpius during that time. It wasn't until we moved away from home that they sort of realised that we were all we had to rely on now. They had become really close friends without even realising it, bonding over ridiculous things like Muggle films and coffee.
"Rooosie," Scorpius whined, while Bea battered him into place. "Remind me why we come to this party, again?"
"Because it's fun and it gives me the opportunity to force you into tights!" I called back.
"And yet, you are the one with a moustache."
"You know you secretly like it."
"Like you secretly like the tights?"
"For Merlin's sake, stop flirting!" Bea cried. "Libby, TAKE THE PICTURE!"
"I can't fit you both in, Scorpius keeps flying away!" Libby said, walking backwards with the camera and nearly tripping over Tom Ellis, who was lying on the floor with a guitar, strumming away (but thankfully not singing).
"I can help with that!" Trevor always did seem to know when his flying presence was needed. Dragging Harley by the hand, he ran into the picture and practically threw his girlfriend at Scorpius, so she could keep him in place. Harley forced him upright, with a lot of complaining, while Trevor grabbed my hand and hauled me to his side.
"Smile!" Libby cried and I only just had time to slap a grin in my face before the puff of purple smoke indicated that the picture had been taken.
I think I deserve a point for this!
Ok, yeah, so some things really do never change. After fifth-year, I managed to settle the scoreboard (rather literally) between Scorpius and me when it came to my weird sort of obsession with points. But pretty soon it became apparent that with our relationship, there was always going to be some sort of fight and one of us was always going to have to be losing. More often than not, that would be me, so when sixth-year rolled around, I found myself determined to write down whenever I won.
Thus, the points returned. Not that Scorpius had any idea about that.
Libby continued to leap around, taking photo after photo and I noticed that despite the smile on her face, Bea was looking kind of down as she watched everyone party. No one else would have noticed; the only reason I did was because I knew her so well. As Scorpius chatted happily to Harley and Trevor, I nudged Bea with my shoulder and said, "Hey. You know he really wanted to come, right?"
Bea just looked up at me with a smile. "How on earth do you always know what I'm thinking about?" she asked.
"It's easy. It's always one of two things: Al, or work. In this case, I went with Al."
Bea just sighed. "I feel like I've hardly seen him lately! He's been working so much and he's not letting himself have a night off!"
"C'mon, you know what Al's like," I told her. "You told me yourself! He sticks at stuff until it's done, even if it means working through the night! Actually, it almost always means working through the night … if it's any consolation he's probably snoozing away on the sofa …?"
"You always know how to cheer me up."
I just threw an arm around her. "It's what I'm here for!"
Our party continued on into the night, especially when Libby brought out snacks for everyone and stories started getting swapped and told. That was the beauty of our Twelfth Night parties; everyone knew each other and there was never any awkwardness between us. Even though sometimes we might not be able to see each other for months on end or otherwise barely talk, we all managed to stay together. Twelfth Night was all about telling the differences between appearance and reality and here, all appearances were left at the door.
Scorpius had discovered that an unfortunate habit he seemed to have gained at our parties was to stick by my side and refuse to leave me, especially when he'd had a drink or two. So every now and then, I was forced to send Scorpius away to go talk to someone else, which naturally he wasn't very happy about. Eventually, he caught me as I tried to snag an extra biscuit from Libby's table of snacks.
"No – Scorpius!" I hissed as he more or less leaned into me under the guise of picking out a savoury roll. "Go talk to the other boys! I see you every day, you can last five minutes–"
"Oh, no, you mistake me," Scorpius said, grinning at me. "I'm here for the food. You just so happen to be in my way."
"In my way, my arse," I muttered as he munched on his savoury. "I thought you were talking to Harley before?"
"I was," Scorpius swallowed the rest of his savoury before shooting me a look. "But I see her almost every day, just like you."
"So expand your horizons! Communicate with someone who isn't your best friend or doesn't share a bed with you!"
"Aw, now see?" Scorpius complained, stepping closer. Our bodies were touching now, though I refused to back down by taking a step back. "You've just gone and put that image in my head."
"Then I'll inform you that I'm kicking you out of my room tonight," I said, smugly.
"So, that's a no to sharing a bed?"
"No way in hell."
He shrugged. "O,." he said, before bending down and kissing me.
For a moment, I didn't think and just held onto his arms, kissing him back. Then, I narrowed my eyes and pulled away. "–you … you're supposed to go talk to someone else …" I stammered.
"Talk?" I could tell his expression, but not by looking at him; since his face was so close to mine, I could feel his smirk. "You mentioned 'communicate' you never said anything about talking …"
Another kiss. "Oh …" I murmured against his lips. "… gah … er, all right …" I let my hands trail upwards into his hair as I let him kiss me. I didn't really care that he was obviously triumphant at getting his way; our bodies were pressed together, his arms were hugging up my entire back and his mouth was doing things to mine that made it significantly harder to breath. In fact, I was just thinking that my legs were about to turn to jelly when a loud voice said,
"Merlin's beard, d'you have to do that over the food?!"
"Al!" I yelped, Scorpius and I practically leaping apart. Scorpius actually hit the table and I nearly fell over when I noticed that my cousin had somehow turned up. He had simply charmed some of his clothes to look old and Shakespearian and to be honest … a little bit hyper.
"… did you inhale an entire litre of coffee or something?" Scorpius asked, raising an eyebrow, since Al was practically bobbing up and down on the balls of his feet.
"I wanted to come!" Al said, excitedly. "I was really tired, but then I found this potion in our bathroom that is perfect for keeping your energy levels up! But I didn't think one would be enough, so I took two, then I took another one, and–!"
"Ok!" I cut over him before I could find out just how much he had over-dosed and judge whether I would have to take him in to work or not. "Look, go find Bea to calm you down!"
"Where is she?"
"Last I saw, judging a competition between Toby and Tom, throwing fruit at each other," I shrugged, gesturing to the other side of the lounge where Tom was attempting to play his guitar while also catching chunks of mango in his mouth. "It's not exactly a fool-proof game …"
"Looks like FUN!" Al said happily before dashing off.
"… wow," Scorpius muttered, watching Al dart through the crowd of our friends. "I've never seen him move so fast!"
"Could say the same about you," I rolled my eyes. "No more snogging by the food, ok?"
"But that's a yes to anywhere else, right?"
"Oh, shut it," I said, shaking my head. In the end, though, I would always be joking and he knew that, taking my slap on the shoulder with dignity. He knew it was a slap of love (and yes, those are totally a real thing).
Love was another part of Twelfth Night and tonight, we were demonstrating so much of it. As everyone grinned and chatted together, I saw Libby and Oliver share a laugh; Toby throw his arms around his twin sister in victory as he won a mango-toss round; and Trevor and Harley steal a kiss in the shadows by the hallway. Tonight, we weren't just ourselves; I was Viola and we knew how lives could change, but also stay the same in an instant. We might grow up, move away, stop talking to old friends or start talking to new, but here on the twelfth night, everything would go back to the way it was, no matter what was happening.
Even if it meant suffering once more through Tom's god-awful singing.
"I know! I could sing for you!" Tom said, gleefully at one point during the night.
You'd think he'd be used to all the resulting moans and groans by now, but no, he still doesn't seem to care that he sucks at singing. "Aw, c'mon!" he cried. "I know I'm horrible, but it's all in the spirit! Toby, Oliver, work with me here?"
"Oh, right!" Toby said, seeming to play along, despite the inevitable carnage to our ears. He started quoting his lines from a scene in the play where Sir Toby and Sir Andrew are horribly drunk and request that Feste the fool sing for them. "Come on; there is a sixpence for you: let's have a song!"
"There's a trestril of me too: if one knight give a–"
"Would you have a love-song, or a song of good life?" Tom cut in, grinning as he stood up, his guitar at the ready. I exchanged a horrified look with Scorpius, who muttered under his breath, "This'll be good …"
"A love-song, a love-song!"
Tom cleared his throat, only to have Libby leap up and clap a hand over his mouth. "Sorry mate!" she cried as several people laughed. "but I can't stand your singing."
Tom just shrugged. "Fair enough," he mumbled into her hand.
"Well, I can sing for you!" Toby said, shoving Tom and Libby aside and standing up on the coffee table. "Oh Mistress mine, where are you roaming? O stay and hear; your true-love's coming,"
"That can sing both high and low," Oliver joined him and they had their arms around each other, swaying to the beat of the guitar that Tom played (despite the fact that the beat didn't even match the song very well). "Trip no further, pretty sweeting,"
"Journeys end in lovers meeting," Jo's higher voice joined as she stood up, waltzing around with Libby. "Every wise man's son doth know,"
Eventually, we all began singing the pretty song. Scorpius threw an arm around my waist, singing along happily. "What is love? 'tis not hereafter,"
"Present mirth hath present laughter;" I sang with him and the rest. Bea had gotten up to dance and sway with the still slightly hyperactive Al. Both of them were completely long gone. "What's to come is still unsure:"
"In delay there lies no plenty," we all sang. "Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty," I smiled at that and turned to kiss Scorpius quickly before we all finished with,
"Youth's a stuff will not endure."
We all laughed and clapped for each other as Tom pushed his way back onto the coffee table with Toby and Oliver, his guitar still in his hands. Libby just gave up, shaking her head as she moved to stand next to the girls who had worked in the backstage. "Now I can sing for you!" Tom called out. "Like Feste should!"
"We're all going to die!"
"Block your ears!"
Tom just rolled his eyes before casting a singing charm.
In the end, we all sang together again. Tom chose the final song of the play, the song that concludes all that happens in the world and ends with telling the audience to applause. Tom played his guitar loudly and off-key; much like his singing. "When that I was and a little tiny boy," he began, his scratchy voice still edging through the singing charm slightly. Everyone leapt up to sing and dance and we all joined in for,
"With hey, ho, the wind and the rain!"
"A foolish thing was but a toy," Tom sang, as Toby grabbed Jo's hand and the twins span around the room.
"For the rain it raineth every day." Harley snorted as Trevor attempted a complicated spin and ended up falling over. But instead of just standing there, pointing and laughing like she might've done five years ago, she bent down and helped him up, kissing him a few times for good measure. Those two were so different and I had no idea why they always ended up back together, but I was glad that they did. They were right for each other.
"But when I came to man's estate," Tom continued to sing.
"With hey, ho, the wind and the rain!" The backstage girls, Geraldine and Nancy, sang with their arms around each other. I never thought I'd see the day where inter-house friendships would form, but it's happened. It's even lasted. This entire room is living proof.
"'Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate," Tom sang seriously to Leanne Kite, who punched him in the leg and he nearly fell off the coffee table. "For the rain it raineth every day!"
Scorpius was singing in my ear and Bea had her wand out, causing flashes of different coloured light to illuminate the room. It was weird, but as I sat surrounded by my slightly tipsy and singing mates, I felt proud. Like I'd gotten a good mark on a test, or earned points for Ravenclaw.
Maybe it was because I sort of felt like things were going to be all right? While there would always be things that went wrong, disasters that would strike and feelings that would be confusing, I figured that I didn't really care. I had my mates, I had Scorpius Malfoy and nothing else really mattered.
"For the rain it raineth every day!" everyone continued to sing loudly.
"This anniversary is much different than last years, I must say …" Scorpius said as everyone launched into another verse. "Safer, not as full of pasta."
I turned to look at him. "I'm wearing a moustache and Oliver over there has somehow managed to get his hands on that bloody sword again," I pointed out to where Oliver was blundering around as Sir Andrew, waving his sword wildly. "This is past 'different', this is border-line 'dangerous'."
"Could've said the same thing about our relationship, but you love me anyway."
I just laughed. "And I suppose that's what's right about us."
Scorpius took my hand at his waist, linking our fingers together. "To getting it right," he said, resting his head against mine.
"A great while ago, the world begun!" Tom was almost yelling through the singing charm. "With–"
"Hey, ho, the wind and the rain!" I caught Al and Bea's eyes and I gave them both a grin.
"But that's all one, our play is done," Tom sang.
"And we'll strive to please you every day!" everyone finished with a flourish, all applauding like the audience was meant to.
And as everyone clapped and cheered, I realised that the course to getting it right would never be easy. It would challenge, argue, hurt like heck and, Merlin's beard, it would take for bloody ever! But I had managed to fall in love with someone I hated and by some miracle, made it work.
And hell, was it worth it.
Conclusion to getting it right:
-No more accidental snogs, Wrong Days, Pointless-Balls, Shakeswotzit and intoxicated Quidditch Celebrations!
I bloody well love it!
Rose and Scorpius: 88 (or rather 10 Million), Rest of the Bloody World: 0.
When that DH was, and a little tiny book,
With hey, ho, the Rose and Scorpius,
A foolish thing was not to be together,
For the love, it loveth every day.
A great while ago the fanfic begun,
With hey, ho, the ideas and the site.
But that's all one, the story's done,
And Moon will strive to please you every day.
A/N: Update, 20/11/12: So when I first wrote this epilogue, I trashed it, because I hated it. I had to re-write it about three times to get to something I vaguely liked. I think I found it so hard because I just didn't want to see this story end. It has been an incredible journey, seriously.
The thing I really wanted to ask you guys was what was your favourite line/character/chapter/moment/anything from this story? Because I really got an overwhelming response to this story and I would absolutely love to know what you all thought.
THANK YOU so much for all your reviews! You have all been simply amazing and this story wouldn't have been nearly as fun writing without readers. I hope you all enjoyed the epilogue and I hope you all loved Rose and Scorpius's story.
Just, thanks for everything.
Until next time-