Rose felt the mattress shift as Scorpius turned and sat up on the edge of the bed. It was at least the third time he'd gotten up tonight, which was not normal for him. Worried, she turned towards him. "Knut for your thoughts."

A sigh; not aimed at her, she intuited, but more likely at the same unnamed reason he was so restless tonight. "I'm keeping you awake, aren't I."

At this she got up, pushing away the bedcovers to kneel behind him and wrap her arms around his shoulders. His skin felt cool and dry, and his hands came up to clasp hers. "Never mind me," she said, pressing her lips to his bare shoulder. "I'm more worried about what's bothering you." She kissed him again, this time below his ear, her lips curving into a smile at his quivered reaction. "Not having any regrets, are you?"

His hand, which had been stroking hers, came to a rest as his finger traced the edges of the ring she wore. The ring he had placed there, in the registry office while the matronly clerk who'd stamped their certificate dabbed tears from her eyes and the witnesses commandeered from the newspaper kiosk outside the Ministry of Magic shot off sparks from their wands, that morning. Had it really only been that morning? Her arms tightened reflexively.

"Of course I'm not having any regrets. Are you?"

Only someone listening carefully would have heard the faint note of self-doubt in his voice. Rose always listened carefully. "Not on your life. You can't get rid of me that easily, Scorpius Malfoy. You're stuck with me for life."

She felt his smile in the way his shoulders relaxed. He leaned back into her embrace, so that her breasts were pressed firmly against his back. "I'm glad to hear it, Rose Malfoy."

She giggled involuntarily. Rose Malfoy. It sounded so strange, after having been "Rose Weasley" for twenty years. Strange, but thrilling. "So what's got you so worked up, then?" She freed her hands from his to knead his shoulders experimentally. "Merlin's beard! You're wound so tight you could probably light up Hogsmeade with all this nervous tension. What's wrong?" She was pretty sure she knew the answer, but wanted to hear him say it. Her cousin Lily always said that to face your fears, first you had to name and acknowledge them.

He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly before answering. "I'm really not looking forward to dinner at your parents' place tomorrow. Er, tonight." Rose glanced at the clock on the bedside table; it read 2:17. "Your father is going to hex my bollocks off when he finds out."

"He'd better not!" She grinned. "I have plans for those bollocks, you know."

"It's not funny!" he protested, though he, too, shook with silent laughter. "Your dad's a scary bloke."

"Nah, he's a pussycat."

In the muted light from the window, she could see the disbelief on his face as he turned to look at her. "'Pussycat' is the last animal I think of when it comes to him. More like, 'charging rhinoceros'."

She grudgingly admitted he had a point. "Only when it comes to you, though. To most people he's as meek and gentle as a lamb."

He made a noise halfway between a snort and a cough. "And now I've gone and made myself his son-in-law, as if being your boyfriend weren't offensive enough. I can't see that going down too well. He'll flip his bloody lid." He scrubbed his hands over his face. "I might as well have charmed a target on my chest."

"He'll get over it, eventually, and then he'll get used to it. He won't have any choice in the matter."

"Rose, he's going to be really hurt to find out you went behind his back."

She rested her face against his shoulder and sighed. "I know. I'm not looking forward to that part myself. But it's not like we didn't try to do things the proper way. It's not my fault he tried to forbid me from marrying you."

He recaptured her hands, kissing each in turn. "I'm not saying it is. Just that we're both going to have to deal with the fallout."

"Yeah, I know." Once more she kissed his shoulder. "Hopefully Mum'll take the news better. And we already know my Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny approve of you. What about your parents, though? Your mum seems friendly enough, but your dad's always looking at me as if I'm something he found on the bottom of his shoe."

He let out a laugh. "Mother will be pleased, I think, though disappointed we went to the registry, but then she'll console herself by planning a big party." He cocked an eyebrow at her. "Take that as advance notice you should look for a suitable party frock."

"Duly noted," she said wryly. "What about your dad? How will he react to find out his only son has tethered himself to a Weasley?"

"He won't be pleased," he said with a grimace. "He'll make snide remarks until Mother snaps and tells him to shut it or go sulk someplace else."

"In other words, business as usual."

"Pretty much. He's bloody consistent that way." He leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees. Rose reluctantly released him from her embrace. "It's really just your father I'm worried about. You're his little girl, and I'm – I'm a Malfoy."

"You may be a Malfoy, but you're the man I'm in love with. The man I married, the man I want to have children with, the man I want to grow old and saggy with." She leaned forward until her breasts were once more pressed into his back and reached around to stroke him through the thin fabric of his underpants. "The man I want to have wild, passionate, earth-shaking, hot screaming monkey sex with six times a day." With each descriptor, she gave him another stroke.

He was laughing as he turned towards her , though his voice was husky. "Only six?" His hand came up to curl around her neck and cup the back of her head.

"Well, on average. Some days it'll be seven, others only five." She grinned roguishly. "And that's not counting the kinky stuff."

His eyebrows went up. "Kinky stuff? What have I got myself into?"

She tilted her chin up until their mouths were almost touching. "Come back to bed and I'll show you."