Summary: It's wedding season in the wizarding world and, for two people who loathe the idea of marriage, Rose and Scorpius certainly seem to get invited to a lot of them.
Winner of the SMRWFicafest 2011 over on LJ! Yay! Huge thank you to my beta makoshark8 for all of her hard work!
Enjoy, lovelies xXx
Till Marriage Do Us Part
Mr. and Mrs. William A. Weasley
cordially request your presence at the marriage of their daughter
Ted Remus Lupin
on Saturday, July 5th
at eight o'clock in the evening
Shell Cottage, Pembrokeshire.
"Who the Hell gets married on a beach, anyway?" Rose Weasley grumbled to no-one in particular, leaning against the side of the house as she emptied a mountain of sand from her brand new high heels.
Unlike the young witch's mood, the setting was idyllic. Her cousins' childhood home had been transformed into a nuptial paradise, the enchanted white marquee shimmering in the last of the sunlight whilst crystal waves rolled in along the golden shore-line. The reception was already in full swing and the army of guests, more than half of whom Rose had never met in her life, certainly sounded like they were having an excellent time. Raucous laughter and cheers carried across the beach whilst someone, who sounded suspiciously like Albus, had begun a hearty karaoke rendition of The Weird Sisters latest hit.
Rose had managed to slip out unnoticed, grabbing the opportunity for a moment of peace and a sly cigarette before she surrendered herself back into the usual chaos. Weasley family events were ridiculous at the best of times, but a wedding? You were lucky if you made it out with even one ear drum intact.
It wasn't that she didn't love her family, all several hundred of them, it was just that Rose often felt a little overwhelmed by her relatives'...err, enthusiasm for life? The yelling, the charging about, the taking off of one's clothes in a public place, it could all get a little too much for one woman. Now, at the ripe old age of twenty-one, she'd grown used to having her own space, her own life and it was sometimes a little tough trying to fit back into that Weasley niche. Thank Merlin Scorpius was here or else she might have drowned herself in the decorative champagne fountain by now.
Rose was just conceding that there might actually be worse ways to go when...
"There you are, Weasley! I thought you'd quit?"
She glanced up sheepishly at the oncoming figure, relaxing at the rather obvious lack of bright red hair. "I have! I mean, I almost have. It's a gradual process, Malfoy," she snapped, sulkily, moving to stub out the offending cigarette amongst the sand.
"Well, I can hardly let you succumb to temptation alone," Scorpius propped himself against the wall beside her.
"I thought you'd given up?"
"It's a gradual process, apparently," he mocked, accepting the out-stretched packet and dipping into the pocket of his tailor-cut trousers for his wand before looping an arm around her shoulders. "Your mother sent me to find you. Her majesty, Victoire, is having a melt-down."
Rose snorted. "Naturally. How's Teddy?"
"His hair's a bit greener than usual but otherwise fine. The man's so laid back I thought he might fall asleep at the altar. Your Uncle Harry keeps trying to give him man-to-man chats, what is it with Gryffindors and poetic speeches?" he shook his head, taking a long, deep drag of his cigarette. "More emotions than sense, most of them."
"Don't let them hear you say that inside," she grinned, "House loyalty's still a big deal in this family,"
"Tell me about it. There isn't a room in your parents' house that isn't painted in some offensive shade of maroon. Here, fix my bow-tie would you?"
Rose 'tsked', but swatted away his fumbling thumbs. "You know, one of these days, I might not be around to do this for you," she muttered, smiling teasingly.
"Don't be ridiculous. Wherever I go, you go, and vice versa. You are my everything, Weasley."
She chuckled darkly, "Good to see that biting sarcasm of yours isn't dampened by the occasion. Lift your chin."
Scorpius obliged. "Sarcasm? These words are straight from the heart! Salazar's balls, I've come over all Gryffindor."
Rose and Scorpius had always seemed an unlikely couple, which made sense, because they weren't. They were, however, about as close as two people could be without actually getting in to bed with one another- which was something they'd only ever tried once... Oh alright, three, maybe four times but it was always just for fun and usually after several bottles of cheap Merlot.
In essence, they were best friends, had been ever since their paths had crossed as fifth years, both protesting their lack of prefect badge; he a Slytherin and she a Ravenclaw. And whilst the following six years hadn't always been smooth sailing- the Weasley temper and Malfoy vanity made for some vicious encounters, everyone knew there was no shaking this marriage of sharp minds and dry humour. Merlin knew both their father's had tried hard enough at one time or another, to absolutely no avail.
"So what do we make of tonight then?" Scorpius mused, after a moment. "I'd say it's better than Goldstein's do, what did we give that one?"
"A four out of ten, I think,"
He frowned, "Seems low, even for our standards."
"I believe you were disappointed at the time by the distinct lack of nudity,"
"Ah yes," he laughed, loudly, "nothing like dinner and a show."
Rose didn't quite manage to deliver the poisonous scowl she was hoping for. "There," she muttered, brushing down the front of his dress-robes and stepping back. "Dashing as ever, Malfoy."
He offered her his best swoon-inducing smirk. "Without fail. Now come on, Weaslette," he ditched the cigarette and laced his fingers through hers, "someone's made a fatal error with the portkey bookings and they think I'm going home without you. We'll need your Ravenclaw brilliance to save the day."
She grinned, "Has that line ever actually worked?"
"And don't say only on my mother!"
"Then no, never."
As soon as the pair stepped back beneath the awnings, the volume seemed to rise to a fever pitch. A procession of guests, led by Rose's Uncle George, cha-cha'ed their way passed the duo, whilst her Aunt Fleur and Teddy's grandmother clung to each other in a fit of emotional hysterics. The Potter brothers were busy trying to out-drink one another at the open bar, their cousin Fred and Frank Longbottom cheering them on, and the bride and groom- totally oblivious to the pandemonium around them- were feeding each other wedding cake and snogging in a corner.
"Merlin, I love your family," Scorpius grinned, throwing his arm over Rose's shoulders again. Rose rolled her eyes.
It was remarkable, really, how quickly the whole Weasley and Potter brood had warmed to Scorpius. Even Rose's dad, for all his initial and badly disguised suspicions of the smooth-talking blond, had finally been won over after excessive dinner-time discussion of the Chudley Cannons' defensive strength. The closeness of the pair had at first confused quite a few of the cousins- particularly Lily, who believed that men and women would only ever enjoy spending time together for one reason and one reason only, but after years of peddling the 'just friends' chat, even her questions had eventually dried up.
Finally battling their way through the never-ending conga line, Rose and Scorpius found themselves seats at the bar and, having snagged an unattended bottle of champagne, set about toasting themselves into a cheery bliss. They'd just raised their glasses in honour of the day Hugo would finally get himself a girlfriend when Lily and Louis came stumbling out of the throng.
"There you two are!" Lily beamed. "Rosie, darling, you look lovely, but did you have to wear black? You look like somebody's died."
"Two peoples social lives are about to," Rose muttered. Beside her, Scorpius snorted into his champagne.
"Oh that's right, I forgot," she grimaced, hopping onto the next stool along. "You two are co-founders of the anti-wedding movement, aren't you?"
"Not at all! Scorpius protested, "We love weddings, don't we Rose?"
"'Course. Free food, booze and a drunken Uncle Percy- what's not to love? It's more the part that comes afterwards that we intend to fight off with every last breath."
"You mean marriage? Oh, it's only a word-,"
"Marriage isn't a word, Louis," Rose gasped, "it's a sentence! I mean, the clue is in the vows: 'Till death do us part'? That's creepy stuff." Scorpius was nodding, gravely. "All the 'do you promise' this and 'honour and obey' that. It's practically a modern version of human sacrifice!"
"Why else do you think they call it an altar?" Scorpius interjected, smugly.
"Yes, yes, alright. Very clever," Louis rolled his eyes. "Well, I don't care what you bitter old love-scrooges say, I've had a wonderful time. I just wish Great-Aunt Muriel would stop forcing me to dance with her,"
Rose and Lily exchanged looks, "Aunt Muriel's dead, Louis,"
"Is she? Since when?"
"Since we were six,"
"Oh, merde! Then who's that old woman I keep kissing at Christmas?"
"You know, you really shouldn't talk about Aunt Audrey that way," Rose tutt-ed and the rest of them fell into choking fits of laughter.
The rest of the evening continued in a similar, buoyant manner. Scorpius and Rose got steadily tipsy, knocking back the champagne till even the most basic of sarcastic quips had become a challenge. Lily, meanwhile, danced with any single man she wasn't related to and Louis sought confirmation of his great-great-aunt's passing, until their Uncle George had insisted on a family rendition of the Macarena. Scorpius had watched on gleefully, chiding Rose for her distinct lack of enthusiasm and descending into hysterics when she tripped over Victoire's train and fell on her arse.
Hours later, when it was just Rose's parents left slowly swaying on the dance-floor and James and Albus had passed out in the cloakroom, Rose walked Scorpius back to the fireplace in Shell Cottage. The beach and the house were finally quiet, the newly-weds having rushed off to spend the night in some fancy hotel before the honeymoon and Rose's Aunt Fleur and Uncle Bill already asleep- leaving just the faint crackle of green embers in the hearth for the guests who had yet to clear off.
"I'll probably get roped into cleaning up at this rate," Rose yawned as Scorpius pulled on his jacket, a little unsteady on his feet.
"Stay at mine if you like," he cocked an eyebrow suggestively.
"Pfft, in your dreams,"
"Every night, Weaslette. Every night." He grinned as he pulled her into a tight hug and kissed her lightly on the top of her curls.
"Floo me tomorrow?" she asked and he nodded, giving her a last squeeze before vanishing into the emerald flames.
Rose stood for a moment in the empty living room; the distant hiss of the tide on the shore just about audible over Uncle Bill's snoring. Perhaps, if she hadn't been so tired, she would have wondered at that strange little twinge of disappointment she'd felt, watching Scorpius leave and go his separate way home. And maybe, if she hadn't had that last glass of champagne, she'd have had the clarity to be concerned by the unusual thump in her chest as they'd said their goodbyes. But as it was, Rose was sleepy and Rose was drunk and so, with a heavy sigh, she slumped into the nearest arm-chair and forgot all about it.