This story features a pairing that some may find squicky. If that is the case, I'd appreciate it if you didn't review this. Ta lotsly. :)
Author's Chapter Notes:
A big thank you to Alex and Carole for encouraging me to write this pairing, despite my inferiority complex :/
Thank you so much to Maple and Alex, my two wonderful betas.
"So do either of you deny that you are in a sexual relationship?"
Scorpius said nothing to his employer, Jonas Fawcett, who was sitting across the desk from him. Neither did Rose, who sat next to Scorpius as he squeezed her hand and tried to smile at her, reassure her. They could do this. They could get through it.
Whose idea was it to tell Fawcett? Scorpius winced, not even wanting to admit it in his own head. After all, Scorpius had only wanted to clear the air, make their boss aware of what was going on, just so the others in Magical Law Enforcement didn't start gossiping about the two of them. It seemed the right thing to do at the time, especially because Fawcett had shot his fair share of not-so-covert looks at Rose himself.
Really, Scorpius didn't think it would get them in any serious trouble - he had seen far worse breaches of the rules happening right underneath Fawcett's nose, and he thought it unlikely for them to even get a telling-off, let alone this.
"And you are both fully aware of the fact that relationships within your own office, especially with your superior, are strictly forbidden." It was not a question, but a statement, and neither Scorpius nor Rose said anything in reply, simply nodding in unison. "Then you know the consequences, yes? I do understand. You work with each other, and you share an office; it's perfectly natural for people to develop feelings for each other."
You bloody wish, thought Scorpius belligerently. However, he kept his mouth shut, not wanting to say anything that would jeopardise his job further.
"Unfortunately, as per the rules, if you still want to stay together, one of you will have to transfer out of the department. Most likely-" Fawcett paused, his eyes piercing Scorpius's, and he continued, "Malfoy, since you've just arrived, and Weasley has been here for much longer than you."
The fact that Scorpius had been demoted from being an Auror a couple of months ago hung, unsaid, in the air. As a result of his daughter's untimely murder last year, Scorpius had been unable to keep up with cases, taking days off without any notice, finding it impossible to solve anything successfully. It was a relief, in a way, when Auror Potter had taken Scorpius to the side and informed him that he was being moved down, to another department in Magical Law Enforcement. Admittedly, his new job was lower down on the ladder, lower than Rose's position, actually, but it was still quite similar to his work as an Auror, and at least this one didn't involve grisly murders and death threats.
Scorpius looked up as Fawcett went on. "However, if neither of you want to move, you can't be together. That's how the rules have been for a year, now, and both of you know that. I'll give you until the end of today to give me your answer. Think carefully. I know you'll make the right decision," Fawcett finished, looking pointedly at Rose in particular. He got up: their cue to leave. They stood, and it was only then that Scorpius realised Rose had relinquished his hand. Frowning, he followed her out of the office and into the one that they shared.
"Rose, I can speak to people, move to another department-" Scorpius began as the door swung shut, but Rose cut him off.
"No. That's - that's not fair on you."
"We can make things work," he tried.
"But I'm not going to be happy with it, and neither are you!" Rose said angrily. "You're going to leave here - this job, that you've only just started, and - I've seen, with my own eyes, that you enjoy it here. You'll leave, and for what? For me. And that's not - not right. I'm not taking the responsibility for that."
"Listen," he said, reaching out to touch her arm. He thought she would shake him away, as she normally did when she was tense, but she didn't move, glaring up at him. "I'm not asking you to take responsibility for anything. I just want us to be together."
"We can't, Scorpius," she told him, and her expression softened as she shook her head.
"We can. I - I love you, Rose, and I want to be with you, and there isn't anything I wouldn't do for that..." It wasn't the first time he had said this to her, but Scorpius did not want it to be their last.
"No," she snapped, and this time, she stepped away from him. "Stop it. For God's sake, look - I love you too, but I think I - I think I love my job more." Rose bit her lip and met his eyes, appearing to not realise (or, perhaps, trying to ignore) how sharply her words had pierced his heart.
"You don't mean that," said Scorpius automatically, but his face fell nevertheless.
"I do," Rose whispered, clenching her fists together, and it seemed, to Scorpius, that she was forcing herself to hold his gaze. "I love my job, and I'm not going to be accountable for you losing yours, especially when I think you love your job too. You'll hate me for it."
"Rose, that's not fair," he protested. "And I couldn't possibly hate you, even if I wanted to."
"But you would regret leaving, and then you'd eventually blame me, and rightly so, and - I wouldn't be able to live with myself if that happened. I'm sorry, Scorpius. We… we had fun together, okay? It was great. But... it's over."
He realised he was fighting a losing battle, but he had one last go. "You're - you're sure this is what you want, Rose?"
For the first time, Rose's voice shook a little as she said, "Absolutely."
"Can we at least talk about it?"
"There's... nothing to say," said Rose helplessly, and Scorpius realised she was close to tears.
"Fine," he said shortly. "Fine. You tell Fawcett, then. I'm - I'm taking a walk."
He left, not wanting to hear a reply from her, and he strode right past two of his colleagues who were standing in the corridor without saying a word. Scorpius was so caught up in his own thoughts that he didn't even realise he had reached outside until he felt a sudden gust of wind and rain attack his face. He was sodden within seconds, but that didn't deter him in the slightest.
In fact, he relished the numb feeling he felt in his skin as the rain washed over him and made goosebumps erupt on the back of his damp neck, and without even casting an Impervius Charm on himself, he started walking rapidly. To where, he wasn't entirely sure. All he knew was that he wanted to get as far away from work as possible.
An hour earlier, and miles away from the Auror Headquarters, on the other side of London, Louis Weasley and Lily Potter had only just got up.
"M-morning," yawned Lily, as she turned on her side to Louis, her hands resting against his bare chest. His reply was a soft, sleepy "Hello", stretching out his arms to embrace her.
Contrary to her greeting, however, and unbeknownst as yet to either of them, it was not morning. In fact, it was two in the afternoon, on one of Louis's rare days off, and they had been up until the early hours of the morning, finally falling asleep at around four.
"I love you," she murmured to him, delighting in the feeling of those words on her tongue almost as much as the feeling of her lover's arms encircling her body.
He smiled back, reaching out and running his fingers through her hair. "I love you too," he replied, his voice hoarse from sleep. He looked up to see the time, and Lily's smile disappeared at his frown. "Lily, I hate to say it, but you need to get home... your parents will get suspicious…"
"Don't worry. I have a cover story," she lied quickly. She wanted to stay right where she was with him, just for a bit longer, instead of rushing off like she always had to, but he didn't need to know that. He narrowed his eyes, and Lily could almost hear his brain ticking as he tried to guess what the excuse was.
"You can't say you were staying over with Ria again, if that's what you were thinking."
"No, that wasn't what I was thinking," Lily said irritably, trying to hide her annoyance that Louis was right. Then she couldn't help herself. "But why wouldn't I be able to say that? Where is she?"
He rolled his eyes. "I thought you were meant to be the nosy journalist, Lily, not me. She went to Paris the day before yesterday, remember?"
"Oh. Then maybe I can stay a bit longer."
"No, you've got to go!" he insisted crossly.
Lily didn't shift from her position against him, instead burying her face into his neck. Her voice was muffled as she said, "See, this is why I said it would be better if I moved in."
Despite what he just said, Louis didn't push her away as her lips trailed kisses on his neck, moving downwards, to his collarbone, and he stroked her hair and closed his eyes. "You can't, Lily. What if they find out?"
Lily's lips stilled, and she was silent for a few seconds. "They won't! Two cousins sharing a flat - it isn't unusual, you know. No one need ever know. It would just be so much easier for us, and we wouldn't have to sneak around all the time."
"Don't be silly, Lily," he snapped, and she raised her head, meeting his eyes. "I'm sure James is onto us already. He kept looking at us weirdly the other day at the Burrow."
"Even though you insisted that we arrive an hour apart and not sit anywhere near each other at the table and not even talk to each other?" she said somewhat scathingly.
"I think he knows something," Louis persisted, "and if we move in together, it'll just look even more suspicious."
"Are you... scared of my brother, Louis?" Lily asked slowly, frowning.
"Of course not! I just don't want anyone to know about us. But look, I'm not going to bicker with you about this," he said firmly as Lily opened her mouth to argue further. "You need to leave, and you need to leave now, before you get into any trouble with Harry and Ginny."
Lily sighed. Then, she got out of the bed and started towards her clothes, which she had flung on a chair, and someone, Louis, presumably, must have folded them, she thought as she put them on. She stared into the mirror-fronted wardrobe in dissatisfaction at her half-clothed body, far too large in places for her liking, and it suddenly occurred to her how different she was from him. Well, she had always known it; there was always that niggling voice in the back of her mind that told her how much of a fat blob she was. That voice constantly asked why on earth Louis - gorgeous, perfect, normal-sized Louis - would want to be with her, of all people, and not push her away, even if their relationship was a secret no one knew about.
Maybe that was part of the reason. Maybe Louis was just settling for her, and he had someone else in mind, and Lily would do until then. Maybe, at some point, Louis would leave her for a slimmer, prettier girl, someone who wasn't his cousin, someone he could live with without having to worry about who knew of their relationship.
No, she thought firmly. Louis loves me. He said so.
Shaking her head to rid herself of such thoughts, Lily sat on the bed, pulling on her socks.
"So it's a definite no, then?" she asked. "There's no chance at all of you even thinking about me moving in? I'm sure Mum and Dad wouldn't mind - in fact, they would probably be happy to let me, given it's you. They trust you, Louis."
"They pity me, you mean," he corrected her bitterly. "No, it's true. They feel sorry for me. I lost practically my whole family by the time I was eighteen. Course they do. You probably do as well."
"Hey, we haven't exactly found it a walk in the park either, you know," Lily reminded him. "Your family was my family too."
"You don't have to tell me that," Louis said quietly. "I get told often enough. Now go on."
"Please don't tell me what to do, Louis," she replied brusquely, not looking at him. "Merlin knows, I'm big enough and fat enough and ugly enough to make my own bloody decisions. Anyway," she continued, speaking more rapidly as she stood up, talking over Louis's protestations at her words and putting on her shoes, "I know you haven't decided, but - think about it, Louis. It's not a big deal to me, really, it isn't, but I don't know. It's your flat. I wanted it to be our flat. Maybe I'm wrong. Who knows?"
She straightened, turned on the spot and Apparated home, without even a goodbye.
Chapter End Notes:
Please review :) This is my first go at Scily, so I would love to know what you think, even though the Scily action will be in the next chapter :P