Title: someone else to lie beside

Summary: You know things are bloody messed up when you're in love with your best friend's wife and there's nothing you can do about it. Rose/Scorpius, futurefic.

Pairing: Rose/Scorpius

Genre: Romance/Angst

Warnings: Lots of foul language. Some sexual stuff too.

Word Count: 6100++

Author's Note: Just a weird story I had to write. (: Won't be too long though, around three of four chapters, I think. Reviews would be amazing!


This is Rose Weasley in a nutshell—

She talks a lot more than anyone cares to listen. She never—repeat, never—knows when to shut up. She's ambitious beyond belief. She's loud, opinionated and really bloody annoying sometimes.

(Actually, she's really bloody annoying most of the time.)

She's also smart, brave, honest and reliable. She doesn't take any shit from anyone. She stands up for what she believes in. She never backs down from a challenge. Once she sets her sights on something she won't give up. She's so fucking beautiful it actually hurts him sometimes.

So, yeah, Scorpius is kind of in love with her, and Rose kind of has no idea.

Everything happened gradually, he supposes. It had crept up on him, the way frost creeps up your window during the coldest winters. Then it reared back its ugly head and pounced, and Scorpius never knew what hit him.

He doesn't know why he's never told Rose. He could say he never had the chance, but that would be a huge lie. In fact, he's had plenty of chances, especially considering the fact that he's known her for eleven years. He just never took any of them.

It should be easy.

They're just words. Sure, they're words with heavy, honest emotion enveloped around them, but still words nonetheless. Easy.

But it's not.

(Really, really not.)

Mostly because Rose and Nico Zabini have been together since they were seventeen. So, telling his best friend's girlfriend (now soon-to-be-wife) that Scorpius is in love with her probably wouldn't sit very well with either one of them.

The thing is, Scorpius has probably loved her way before he even knew it himself. Which, if you ask him, is pretty fucked up.

What's even more fucked up is the fact that he's the best man at their wedding.

It's not like he never knew this would happen. Nico and he have been best mates ever since they were shitting in their diapers. Naturally, he's going to be the best man at his wedding and vice versa. No one was in the least bit surprised when Nico and Rose happily announced their engagement over Christmas dinner at the Weasley's last year—after all, they'd been devoted to each other for six whole years.

Scorpius' reaction?

Bloody hell.

So for the past few months he's been sort of trying to push aside the glaring reality of Rose Weasley getting married. But when you're standing beside the groom in your best dress robes at the front of a white marquee on the fucking wedding day, it becomes sort of hard to ignore.

The wedding is, of course, amazingly (sickeningly) perfect. Absolutely nothing goes wrong. The sun is shining, the cake is perfect and everyone is happy. But the selfish part of him (and it's a bloody huge part, to be honest) wants the cake to be burnt, wants it to pour buckets, wants the entire marquee to go up in flames.

He's trying to be happy, he really is. He's trying so hard he's practically giving himself a hernia. His two best friends are getting married, for Merlin's sake. Of course he's got to be happy for them. They've all been friends for more than a decade. He's in Slytherin, sure, but he's not that malicious. Even if he's never been a good person, ever.

Then Rose is walking down the aisle wrapped in soft white gossamer, and there's curls of red hair peeking out from under her gauzy veil. She almost looks like she's glowing. Everyone under the marquee lets out an audible sigh. Beside him, Nico Zabini's gaze is riveted on his bride and he looks like there's nobody else in the place but her. It's making him feel like a total girl for admitting this, but Scorpius literally cannot take his eyes off Rose. He follows her every step and he's well aware that he probably has some dim, blank look on his face now but he doesn't even care.

(For a moment his traitorous mind fools himself into thinking that it's Scorpius she's walking up to, not Nico.)

When she walks by Scorpius, Rose tosses him a happy, giddy smile before she steps up to meet Nico. "You look beautiful," Nico whispers in awe. Scorpius repeats it silently in his head.

Then he's faced with the awful reality again—Rose is married.

Married.

(Fuck.)

/

"You need to tell her," is how Dominique Weasley greets him when she comes over uninvited and gracefully takes an empty seat beside him.

See, it's like this—Dom is possibly the only person who actually knows that Scorpius is kind of, sort of in love with Rose Weasley. Fuck if he knows how she found out, because Scorpius sure as hell never breathed a word about it to anyone. Apparently it's because she's "astoundingly perceptive and has amazing female intuition". All her words.

He snorts derisively and puts his empty flute of champagne down. "I've done a lot of stupid, thoughtless things, but even I'm not that much of a tosser."

"So you're going to let her go, just like that?" Dom leans forward on the table and fixes him with a hard, flinty glare. "Come on, Scor, I think you've got more bollocks than that."

Scorpius stays silent and looks away. His gaze invariably drifts to the happy couple in the middle of the dance floor that are laughing and smiling and dancing to the music. His heart gives a funny little flop and the need to break something grows exponentially. He presses his lips together and forces himself to look at Dom in the eye.

"Look, I don't know why you keep harping on about Rose. I've moved on, yeah?"

He'll do whatever it takes. Lie until his pants are ablaze. And it's not like he's that far off the mark. People fall out of love all the time. Scorpius assumes this stupid thing he has for Rose will dissipate eventually.

"Right," Dom shoots him a sarcastic smile. "So you're never going to tell her that you love her? That you've loved her for as long as Nico has, maybe even longer? You never used to give a fuck about who you hurt. Where's that cold-blooded Scor I know and love, eh?" she pokes at his sleeve. Scor pulls his arm away with an irritated jerk. "I don't know this weird, sensitive side of you," she gives a small laugh. "I mean, there's a reason why you and I are in Slytherin."

"I can't hurt Nico, not like that. And need I remind you that Nico's your mate, too?"

Dom's caustic expression suddenly turns serious. "Yeah, I know that. I'm just saying that Rose deserves to know."

"He's my best mate, Dom," Scorpius's brow furrows. It takes a long pause before he gets the next sentence out. "I've accepted a long time ago that I wasn't what she wanted. So—I'd prefer if we could just—just forget about this."

They sit quietly together as several minutes pass. Three dancing couples swish by their table. The music stops long enough to smoothly segue into a softer, dreamy number. Everyone applauds enthusiastically as Rose and Nico start swaying together and they stare into each other's eyes. It's like no one exists in their world but themselves.

(It makes him want to projectile vomit.)

"So that's it?" Dom asks quietly. "Really?"

"That's it," he answers brusquely, because fuck, he really doesn't want to talk about this anymore. In fact, this whole wedding business is making him feel like utter shit.

"Right," Dom stands up, brushes herself off and does something surprising—she gently stamps a kiss on the top of her head, ruffles his hair (she knows he absolutely hates that) and murmurs a, "I'm sorry, Scor," before flouncing off.

/

Scorpius starts thinking that maybe coming to this wedding wasn't such a good idea, after all. Although the rational side of him knows that Rose never would've forgiven him if he's skipped out on what is probably the most important night of her life, but with alcohol coursing through his veins, being rational doesn't seem like a very important priority right now.

Which is why he decides to leave instead of staying it out and, you know, actually trying to look happy for both his best mates.

(Yeah, yeah, he's a selfish tosser. He knows that, no need for you to remind him.)

But essentially his duty here as the best man (the phrase makes him ache with bitterness) is completed. There's nothing else left for him to do except enjoy the night and that's certainly not possible given his current state of mind. Scorpius downs the last of his champagne, stands up to leave and is stopped by Rose Weasley herself before he's barely taken three steps out of the marquee.

It's like she's got eyes on the back of her head, seriously.

"Where d'you think you're going?" she demands in the breathy voice characteristic of a person who's giddily happy. Rose jabs him in the middle of his chest and grins.

"Home," Scorpius replies shortly, and tries not to look at her in the eye.

(His stubborn endeavor fails; her expressive brown eyes are a glorious sight.)

Her smile fades. "Why? Scor, is—is something wrong? You're acting all odd."

He shakes his head and puts his hands firmly behind his back because seeing her up close all sweaty and perfect and real just makes him want to touch her. Not good. Not good at all. "Nah, I'm just feeling a little tired. I'm really sorry, but—but I think I'll be leaving early."

"But my wedding's barely even started!" Her cheeks flush, her mouth drops open and Scorpius has learned that this is a sure sign that Rose is getting pissed off.

Scorpius rubs his face with a tired hand. "I'm sorry," he repeats, and he really is. She doesn't know how sorry he is.

Rose narrows her eyes. "Scor, you can't leave. Come on. You're the best man! Come back in and enjoy yourself. Please?" then she's looking up at him with those huge eyes that are silently pleading him to just stay and he almost caves in (seriously, try and resist those eyes) but he knows if he's forced to stay another second longer he might actually try to kick himself in the crotch. As anatomically impossible as that sounds.

So he shakes his head. "I need to leave. Congratulations, by the way. On your wedding." He tries to keep his voice light.

Her anger fades. Now she just looks concerned. "Well, if you really must. I'll tell Nico you've left."

(He hates the way her eyes light up at the mention of Nico's name. He hates the fact that he notices this even more.)

She pushes a strand of her red hair back and wraps her hands around him in a feathery hug. "Feel better, Scor," she says into his ear. She pulls back , shoots him an encouraging smile and runs back into the marquee.

He stands there for a while with his eyes closed before he turns around and walks past the wooden fence surrounding The Burrow.

/

He somehow ends up in the Hog's Head.

Which is, conveniently enough, his favorite place to get absolutely pissed. Mostly because no one there gives a flying fuck if you drink yourself into a bloody coma and pass out at the bar. The atmosphere there is suitably gloomy and all Scorpius wants to do is feel miserable. So he seats himself at the loneliest corner of the seedy bar and orders some Firewhiskey.

(He's prepared for a night of drowning himself in self-induced pity.)

When the brimming glass of amber liquid arrives, Scorpius quickly lets a large gulp and revels in the way the Firewhiskey burns a painful trail down his throat.

What he's doing pretty much borders on pathetic but he's kind of past caring right now. It isn't until the second tankard of alcohol that this torturous mental image he has of Rose Weasley in her wedding dress starts to fuzz pleasantly at the edges. By the third all his senses are numbed and his head begins to throb. When he downs the fourth one he can barely remember the wedding at all.

Mission accomplished.

(He's one of the last to leave. Regret is a bitter companion.)

/

Yeah, so, you're probably thinking that Scorpius is one pathetic arsehole.

He hasn't always been like this, you know.

And by "this", he means becoming the kind of bloke who actually falls in love. Because, to be honest, Scorpius is a downright arsehole to a majority of the women he encounters.

To put it simply, he flirts with them, fucks them, and never speaks a single word to them again. It's his routine. Relationships have never really made any sense to Scorpius, and he's lived by this system of being a tosspot when it comes to women for as long as he can remember. He's never really been a nice bloke, ever, and he's not about to start becoming one. In fact, breaking hearts has—as terrible as this sounds—become a habit of sorts with him. He's been doing it ever since he hit puberty, and it comes naturally to him. All Scorpius has to do is quirk a blond eyebrow and put on a smirk for women to practically fall over at his feet.

So, yeah, he's comfortable with the system. It's easy. It's simple. It's fun.

Then, ever since Rose and Nico announced their engagement, everything is fucked up. Suddenly empty sex and one night stands don't hold the same appeal as before. Every girl he meets is too tan, too blond, too quiet. It isn't until he unconsciously starts imagining every girl he sleeps with as a pale-skinned redhead with brown eyes that Scorpius is forced to acknowledge that he has a huge fucking problem.

He tries to avoid it at first. Should be easy—all he has to do is bury those goddamn feelings (Merlin, just saying the word "feelings" out loud makes him feel like a girl) and they'll eventually go away. Right?

He starts avoiding Rose. Staying away from Rose is easy. He stops going over to Rose and Nico's flat to hang out on the weekends. Stops visiting the Burrow just in case he runs into her. When Rose writes him an owl, he shoves the parchment in a draw and doesn't write back.

See? Easy.

(Except it's not. But he's pretending really hard that it is.)

At first it seems to work. Scorpius immerses himself in work and women and stays as far away from the topic of Rose and Nico's wedding as possible.

Naturally, Rose notices straight away what he's trying to do and shows up at his tiny flat one night furiously demanding why, pray tell, are you avoiding me? She had every right to be angry, considering the fact that they've been friends for eleven years.

But seeing her in his doorway, all riled up and practically emitting steam from her ears, has made Scorpius come to a revelation: being away from Rose actually hurts.

(Fucking hell.)

He'd missed her.

Scorpius Malfoy actually has the emotional capacity to miss someone. Someone alert the fucking presses.

So, yes, Scorpius is mildly in love with Rose Weasley.

And there's not a single thing he can do about it.

/

The next morning is hell.

The alcohol he consumed by the gallon last night is taking its heavy toll on him. His head is pounding and he feels like vomiting his guts out. The amount of light streaming in through his curtains is enough to tell Scorpius that he's late for work.

Somehow, by some miracle, he manages to pull himself together enough to get ready. He gives Apparating a miss this time (he can barely put one foot in front of the other, for Merlin's sake) and hurries as quickly as he possibly can to the Ministry.

Archibald Thicknesse, the Head of the Department of Magical Law and Enforcement, berates him for a good ten minutes when Scorpius shows up, huffing and puffing, at 8.32 a.m. He stands there, nodding along and picturing his fingers wrapped tightly around Thicknesse's red neck while the tosser rants on and on about "proper work ethics" and "a minute is worth a hundred galleons" and "punctuality is the key". By the time Thicknesse eventually lets him get to his cubicle, Scorpius has an ugly look on his face.

"Hey, Scorpius," Priscilla Hawthorne saunters by him and shoots him a little wink. They've been fucking regularly for these past few weeks but Scorpius doesn't even bother to acknowledge her this morning. He all but drags his feet towards his messy desk and slams his files and reports onto the wooden surface with unnecessary force.

"Wild guess – you went drinking last night?" Nico's head pops up from the cubicle in front of him and he grins.

Scorpius gives a non-committal grunt and irritably waves away a small crowd of flying memos zoom about his messy head. He accepts the cup of black coffee that Nico hands over to him and gulps it all down because he desperately needs a caffeine rush right now. Nine long hours ahead of him and he's got a shitload of work to do.

"Any reason why you left early yesterday?" Nico asks, shuffling some parchment over to his desk. "Here… these need to be sent over to the Department of Magical Transportation…"

"Just felt like it," Scorpius manages to say. He tries to decipher the miniscule writing on the parchment in front of him but his head's killing him. "Sorry I had to leave early yesterday."

Nico knows Scorpius well enough not to press him for more information. He shrugs and shoots him a concerned look. "Feel better, mate."

Scorpius's vision is still sort of blurry but his eyes invariably focus on the simple gold wedding band on Nico's fourth finger. Everything from last night comes rushing back with enough force to make him feel breathless.

He didn't think it was possible, but his day just got a whole lot worse.

/

The four of them – Rose, Dominique, Nico and himself – meet up for lunch as usual in Diagon Alley. It's a hundred times worse somehow, seeing Rose and Nico cuddle up with each other on the seat opposite. They laugh and touch and smile and somehow the whole atmosphere is different now that they're both married. It's total shit. Scorpius just slouches in the corner, making sure he exudes as much hostility as possible.

(Yeah, he knows he's being a baby about this, but fuck that. He's hungover, alright?)

Dom is her usual chatty self, telling them about useless gossip no one really gives a shit about and teasing Rose and Nico lightly about their newfound newlyweds-status. She starts some discussion about Rose and Nico's upcoming honeymoon and Scorpius contributes the occasional nod and grunt to the conversation but really, he'd rather be anywhere else but here right now.

Rose and Nico leave first, and Dom barely waits until they've stepped out of the café door before demanding, "Don't tell me – you got piss drunk and spent last night pining over her?"

(Dom can be kind of a bitch sometimes.)

Scorpius tips his head back and closes his eyes. "Shut up," he says tiredly. He's fucking exhausted and all he wants to do right now is sleep for the rest of his life or something.

"My," she clicks her tongue. "Someone's in a bad mood."

Scorpius ignores her. She carries on talking.

"It's sad, really, seeing Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy reduced to a pathetic, blubbering husk of the man he once was," Dom says off-handedly, taking a dainty sip of her tea. "All because he's in love." Scorpius knows that she's trying to get him all riled up just for kicks (one of her many delightful hobbies), but he refuses to take the bait.

"Just stop it, won't you?" Scorpius snaps. He doesn't need Dom to remind him of his misery. Really, they're friends and all but sometimes Scorpius fails to see why he even bothers to interact with her on a daily basis.

Dom's caustic expression softens just a tad. She sighs and gives him a sympathetic smile. "I stand by what I said yesterday – you need to tell her. Soon."

"It'll go away soon."

"Right. Of course it will."

Scorpius responds by dropping a few sickles onto the table and walking out.

/

It doesn't get much easier after that.

See, Christmas is in a few days, and Grandma Molly literally goes batshit crazy over the holiday. She invites every member of the Weasley-Potter clan over for Christmas dinner, makes enough food to feed a small, starving nation for several weeks, and knits several thousand special Christmas sweaters for everyone. So, naturally, seeing as Scorpius is practically an honorary Weasley anyway (Grandpa Lucius must be turning in his grave) he gets an invite.

To be honest, he's not looking forward to it. But not going is definitely not an option, because Grandma Molly will tear him from limb to limb.

When he arrives, the Burrow is draped with so many multicolored fairy lights you could spot it from a mile away. The ground is covered with a light sheet of snow and it's about forty degrees outside but several of the younger Weasleys are running around throwing snowballs at each other. Several of the snowy projectiles narrowly miss his blond head ("Sorry, Scor!") but he makes it in the warm threshold of the Burrow safely.

Before he can even shake his coat off, Grandma Molly comes barreling out of nowhere with a beam on her wrinkled face. "Scorpius!"

Her affection feels like a familiar, soft blanket. He grins and bends down to give her a long, hearty hug. "Good to see you, Grandma Molly."

"You're late," she admonishes, and quickly ushers him inside through the chattering crowd. "Come now, I think I have your Christmas jumper here somewhere…"

He allows himself to be led and slowly looks around, taking everything in. There are enchanted tankards of mead floating about everywhere (Aunt Hermione put a tricky Age Charm on it to repel anyone underage from getting their fingers on it) and huge bunches of mistletoe hanging at every possible nook and cranny. Every single person in here is sporting a Weasley jumper in different shades and sizes. Plus, almost everyone here is a redhead and Scorpius thinks that's pretty hilarious. His own shockingly blond head sticks out like a sore thumb.

(He hates how his eyes automatically sift through the crowd for Rose. Seriously, every time.)

(He doesn't see her yet.)

Grandma Molly sifts through a pile of folded, brand-new jumpers and pulls out an emerald green one with a silvery S on the front. It's the same one he gets every year, and Scorpius immediately pulls it on.

She practically glows. "You look adorable, dear," she reaches out to pat Scorpius's cheek in a very motherly way.

"Merry Christmas," he can't help but chuckle at her fevered enthusiasm. Christmas does scary things to this woman.

"Merry Christmas."

/

It's nearing nine o' clock and fine, he'll admit it, he's looking for Rose. The place is absolutely packed and even moving around is a chore so he just sits in the living room, chatting with a few of the Weasleys he's more familiar with, waiting (hoping) until he catches sight of either Rose or Nico. Because, you know, when there's one, the other's bound to be nearby. They're always attached at the hip.

(The bitterness is still there. He wonders how long it'll take until it fucking goes away already.)

Then, across the room, he sees a brief flash of that particular shade of coppery red that he has a soft spot for, and yeah, there she is. Fuck. Just seeing her now makes something inside him ache with piercing want. Then Nico's smiling face comes into view and Scorpius just feels like shit. It's his best friend's wife. Get a fucking grip on yourself.

"Scor!" Rose calls out, and they both make their way over.

"Merry Christmas," he greets the both of them, and Rose gives him a brief hug. They exchange the usual pleasantries. Scorpius concentrates on the task at hand – forget about everything that's related to Rose – and for the next few hours or so everything feels normal. All he has to do is pretend, even though he's sodding sick of it.

Pretend he's happy when Rose whispers into Nico's ear.

Pretend he's happy when they invariably end up under some mistletoe.

Pretend he's happy when they touch and smile.

Pretend he's happy when they're happy.

The façade he tries so hard to keep up is exhausting.

By the time it's midnight, all the energy is drained out of Scorpius and he can barely keep his eyes open. He's got a good amount of alcohol inside him so that numbs everything slightly but it still hurts.

Bloody hell, it hurts.

/

It takes forever, but Scorpius waits until Rose finally detaches herself from Nico's hip and wanders out to the Burrow's patio. Every rational bone in his body is telling him that this is an incalculably bad idea, but in his current inebriated state nothing can stop him from following her out the back door.

He finds her sitting down on a porch step with her hands tucked into her sides to keep them warm. Rose looks up when she hears his heavy footsteps and smiles. "Hey," she says, and pats the space beside her.

She leans her head on his shoulder—like she always does—and they sit in companionable silence for a few minutes. For the first time that night, Scorpius feels calm.

Rose is the first to speak: "So. You want to tell me what's up?"

Scorpius thinks about it for a moment. "Not really."

She lifts her head up to give him an exasperated glare. Scorpius pretends not to notice and stares out into the night at a frozen pond.

"Oh come on! I know something's been bothering you. You've been acting rather odd lately. And we always tell each other everything, don't we?"

He snorts. "More like the other way around. I don't know how many stories and confessions concerning Nico I've had to sit through over the years."

Rose's eyes brighten and she gives him a light push. "Oho, so it's about a girl, is it?"

He rolls his eyes expressively. "Oh, Merlin. Why does everything have to be about a girl?"

(Even if it kind of is.)

"So it is about a girl!" Rose exclaims, and socks him one on his shoulder. "I never thought I'd see this day – Scorpius Malfoy's mooning over a girl!"

The irony of the situation is both painful and bizarre.

"Let's not talk about this," Scorpius says uncomfortably, pushing his hair back.

Rose has an impish smile on her face, though there's something else there too. For a moment Scorpius thinks it looks like concealed disappointment, but then it disappears and obviously his drunken mind is tricking him into seeing things.

"You never know, it might be your turn soon," she holds up her hand and waggles her fourth finger playfully. Scorpius turns towards her to utter a dry remark but somehow the words don't make it out of his mouth. Instead, all he think of is just how fucking delectable Rose is looking at that particular moment. Her cheeks are red with cold, her hair is wild and loose and her face is alive with laughter.

Without thinking, he reaches out to hold her outstretched hand. Her fingers are freezing and her palms are soft. Somewhere, deep inside the dark recesses of his mind, something is hollering at him to stop this now but he's not listening.

Rose gives him a questioning look.

His thumb starts going in circular motions. Almost automatically, he slowly leans in and rests his forehead gently against hers.

Rose is suddenly very, very quiet.

Up close, Scorpius can see every single freckle across her nose and count her eyelashes. Her eyes are wide open, staring back at him. His other hand reaches out to cup her cheek. Rose's quick breaths billow over his face.

He's never really been this physically close to Rose. Needless to say, he really, really likes it.

(Actually, it's taking all of his fucking willpower not to kiss her right now.)

Sighing, Scorpius reluctantly pulls away and lets her hand go. "Sorry," is all he can say. Rose doesn't say anything back, she just stares. The expression on her face is undecipherable.

Then, he goes back inside and leaves the party as quickly as possible without saying goodbye to anyone.

/

The enormity of what could've happened hits him hard after he Apparates back into his empty apartment.

Merlin, he almost kissed Rose Weasley.

Who's married.

To his best friend.

He collapses on his messy bed and groans at his sheer idiocy. Just imagine if Nico had walked out at that very moment. Or if Scorpius had a smidgen less self-control. The consequences would've been unimaginable.

The next morning, at work, he finds that he can barely look at Nico in the eye. They send memos and finish up reports and take coffee breaks together but unbearable guilt suffuses Scorpius every time the memory of Rose's soft skin or her delicate red eyelashes come back to him. He feels like the fucking hugest tosspot in the entire world. They're mates, you know? They're not supposed to fuck each other over like this. Scorpius knows Nico would never in a million years make a move on his girlfriend or whatever. Which is precisely what makes him feel so shitty.

He spends the whole day thinking that Nico doesn't deserve this. He's one of the best blokes Scorpius knows. Nico's always been there for him, through thick and thin, so the least Scorpius could do is try not to mess things up.

Conclusion?

He needs to stay the fuck away from Rose.

(He doesn't know how, but he'll do it. Somehow.)

/

"I'm moving," Scorpius announces.

Dom, who's in the middle of some anecdote about two people engaged in some affair at work, stops talking and gapes at him. It's kind of funny, actually, you'd be hard pressed to find Dom speechless.

Nico's spoonful of spoonful of pumpkin pudding stops halfway to his mouth. Rose—who's been avoiding his eye ever since their lunch started—whips her head around and gawps as well.

"What did you say?" Dom demands.

Scorpius repeats, almost sheepishly, "I'm moving."

"Scor, what the fuck?" Nico says, which pretty much sums up everything.

"Yeah. In a week. To Paris. My parents have got an unoccupied chalet there."

"But—I mean—why?" Rose's brow furrows.

"A change of scenery, I guess," he shrugs. "It won't be for too long. Just kind of snuck up on me."

All three of them stare at him like he's just grown a third limb. Dom catches his eye a little, and the look on her face tells him that Dom sort of knows why he's moving.

"How long have you known?" Nico says, and his voice has gone a little hoarse.

"It was a snap decision, mate," he tries to keep the atmosphere light. "Oh, cheer up. You lot won't even notice when I'm gone. I'll be back before you know it."

/

The night before he leaves is filled with unorganized packing. Scorpius finds that he really does not give a shit, so all he does is get a large duffel bag and throw random items into it. Clothes, money, photographs, it all goes into the bag. When it's almost two in the morning, he finds himself pacing the apartment endlessly, second guessing himself. He's already said his goodbyes, and dismissed Dom and Nico's repeated attempts to wheedle him out of his decision.

Fine, he's hurt that Rose doesn't seem to care that he'll be gone tomorrow morning. The fact that she hasn't spoken to him since that lunch kind of stings as well.

But, you know, he deserves it anyway. And once he moves, he's almost sure that Rose will cease to matter to him anymore.

Which is why this is something he really, really needs to do.

The doorbell rings just as Scorpius is about to turn in. He opens the door and, of course, Rose Weasley is standing right outside. She's in an old baby tee and criminally short shorts. It's clear that she just got out of bed and Apparated here.

"Are you really moving?" Rose asks immediately, and for a moment she seems near tears.

Scorpius nods wordlessly. He needs her out of his doorway now. He hasn't been alone with her since that Christmas day, so who knows what he might do tonight?

Rose steps forward and wraps her arms around him. Scorpius lets his arms hang limp, even though they're yearning to return the embrace. It makes him feel like a fucking girl for admitting this, but the smell of her hair is amazing. Rose's body is all pressed up against his and seriously, the things he's feeling are both beautiful and awful at the same time.

She loosens her grasp. "I'll miss you, Scor."

Scorpius closes his eyes and tries to smile. He's almost certain that a horrible grimace comes out instead. "I'll miss you too."

More than she'll ever fucking know.