A/N: I don't own anything you recognize, and I'm not making any money from this. For the FanFiction's Got Talent Competition, Round 1. Prompts: tears, black roses, grave.
Rose sat alone in the Ravenclaw Common Room, trying to count the number of times her father had threatened to disinherit her. It was either five or six, she decided, not able to remember whether he actually threatened her when she cheered for the Holyhead Harpies when they played against the Chudley Cannons. However many times it had been, it was about to be one more. Tomorrow she would be on a train back to London for the Christmas holidays, where she would share a compartment with Scorpius Malfoy, and, no matter how much they wanted to do otherwise, they would still be holding hands when they got off the train to face their parents.
She curled up into her chair by the fire, running through the possible scenarios that might happen when her parents found out (less than 24 hours now...) about their relationship. They had only started dating about three months ago, just as their sixth year started. But everyone at school said it was only a formality. She'd been inseparable from the Slytherin since they shared a compartment on the Hogwarts Express their first year. Before she knew any better or thought about the implications, her 11-year-old self had had a hard time writing home without mentioning Scorpius at least once a paragraph. They'd only gotten closer as the years went by, so of course they would end up together - or so everyone said as she embarrassingly admitted their relationship.
Rose couldn't imagine her mother being surprised. She seemed to know everything anyway. Rose could almost hear her mother's exasperated voice. "Of course they're dating, Ronald! With the way she writes about him, I've been expecting this for years. Let's give the boy a chance, Ron. He might be nothing like his father." She chuckled to herself. Based on the few times she had met Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy, and how Scorpius described them, Scorpius may have looked just like his father, but he was his mother's double in personality. None of the coldness or formality of the elder Mr. Malfoy had made its way into the character of his only child, and for that Rose was grateful.
But she was certain her father wouldn't see it that way, not at first. There were so many ways it could go - his scolding for beating Scorpius on tests but still falling for him, dating a Pureblood when no good Weasley would do such a thing - the possibilities for her father were endless. She wasn't sure whether his short fuse or his sharp humor would be the first to take a stab at her. But she would definitely be finding out soon. Rose checked her watch; it was well past one in the morning, so she got up with a sigh to climb the stairs to her dorm and never quite fell asleep.
Scorpius, unsurprisingly, had beaten her to the Great Hall in the morning, and Rose sat down beside him at the Slytherin table. He smiled, paused his fork-to-mouth shoveling long enough to quickly kiss her cheek, then, having properly swallowed his food, turned to face her. "Good morning, love." He looked over her untamed red hair, the dark circles under her eyes, the heavy eyelids. "You look well rested."
"Very funny. I'm sure your sleep was lovely as well, all dreams of butterflies and rainbows."
"Naturally." He grabbed another handful of bacon. She tried to keep serious, but laughter escaped anyway. It was one of the things she loved so much about him - he knew when to be serious with her, and when what she needed most was a bit of nonsense to ease her mind.
Rose gathered a few pieces of buttered toast to nibble at. Scorpius's jokes were appreciated, but still not quite enough to pull her mind away from what they were about to do. The Hogwarts Express was set to leave about an hour after breakfast, which barely gave her time to double- and triple-check that she'd packed everything she needed and then head down to the carriages for the trip to Hogsmeade.
On the train, they managed to get a compartment to themselves, and Rose curled up on the seat next to her boyfriend and rested her head on his shoulder. Scorpius tried to amuse her with ideas about what to buy her relatives for Christmas, talking over the latest Quidditch matches, Charms, all her favorite subjects, but Rose's mind was already a day's journey ahead of them, anxiously awaiting their arrival at Platform 9 ¾.
They were less than 30 minutes into the countryside when tears started slowly rolling down her cheeks. She wasn't sobbing, just sitting and breathing as water left streaks down her face. "I think the anticipation is the worst, Scorpius. They could do anything! I'm already strange enough to my family - the only Ravenclaw in a family of Gryffindors, a Harpies supporter in spite of my Dad, and I was never really close with my cousins. I didn't even need a relationship with you to be the black sheep of the family." Rose stopped as Scorpius shifted suddenly beneath her head. "Oh, Scorpius, I know they will love you if they give you a chance. It's just that I'm not sure they will give you that chance. You saw all the letters Dad sent back to me whenever I mentioned you... 'Don't you know better than to be spending time with that Malfoy boy? I thought I raised you better than that.' It's so hard to tell in writing whether he was joking. If he wasn't, I will definitely be a black sheep to them, a black Rose. They symbolise death, you know. Black roses. And if they can't get over your last name," The last name I hope to take one day, she added to herself, "I will definitely be dead to them."
As the train rushed past the beautiful scenery, the two of them sat in an awkward silence. Rose was fairly certain it was the first time a silence between them had ever been awkward, but Scorpius just sat there, opening his mouth to speak, closing it abruptly. She wondered what was going through his mind, but Scorpius wasn't one for pouring out his feelings. When Rose couldn't take the heavy air between them any longer, she spoke again.
"I doubt it will be any better with your parents, really. Your dad's family has had a problem with my last name for at least 100 years, right? And here you are, perfect Pureblood child, dating a Weasley with a Muggle-born mother. How could they ever accept me?"
Sighing, Scorpius finally spoke. "Dad's better than he was in school, I think. Mum's changed him. And, well, he told me what your dad and Harry did for him at the Battle of Hogwarts. I don't think he likes them, but he hasn't forgotten what happened. We should be okay. But if we're not, you need to remember that I will always be with you. Regardless of what our parents think. I love you, Rose."
"I love you, too." She leaned her head back onto the shoulder she knew so well, tears subsiding, and slept the rest of the way to London. The sudden stopping woke her up, and she rubbed her eyes, trying to look more awake. Out the window of the train, Rose could see Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy, looking grave as always. Her own parents looked anxious and excited, and her aunts and uncles crowded the platform.
"Are you ready?" Scorpius asked.
She didn't answer, but joined her hand in his as they stepped onto the platform.