The last week of August was always the busiest in Diagon Alley. Everyone who went to Hogwarts came from all around, floating around from shop to shop to get all their packages and school supplies. Most had excited smiles on their faces, some were laughing gaily with their friends, and one solitary girl sat in the middle of it all, tears streaking down her face.
Rose Weasley was a small girl, short and thin with petite features, no real muscle to show for, but her bouncing red curls and bright blue eyes stood out of a crowd. She would have been easily spotted, she figured, with her flaming red hair that only a Weasley could have, but, somehow, she had gotten herself lost.
Rose looked around through tear-filled eyes in hopes of finding her family. How could so many of them disappeared? The whole Weasley-Potter clan had come today, most of them with the same red hair she had (but not as curly, she got that from her Mum's side of the family).
With a pang Rose realized that they may have forgotten her - it was about four now, and they had been here since ten . . . what if they had finished shopping and gone home without her? They were all going to have supper at Grandma and Granddad Weasley's tonight, so they would probably think she was holed up somewhere reading her school books . . . they wouldn't even realize she was gone until later tonight.
A sob came out as Rose realized she was probably going to die.
Pulling her legs up to her chest, Rose buried her head in her knees and cried, her whole body shaking. Would Al say something? They were best friends, he had to notice if she was missing. Would her Dad notice? No, he wasn't normally very observant. Her Mum might, if she didn't just assume that she was off reading somewhere.
Curse me and my studying habits, Rose thought bitterly, her tiny hands fisting into balls in her anger.
Deciding that she had to do something - she couldn't just sit around all night! - she stood up blindly and stormed angrily further into the Alley.
She didn't make it two steps before she knocked into someone. She backed up quickly and ran into someone else in her hast before falling on her face, her hands going out in front of her to break the fall. She felt a snap in her wrist and cried out in pain.
"Bloody hell!" she exclaimed before she curled up in a ball on the dirty ground and burst into tears, holding her wrist with one hand while the tears ran down her face.
Why did she have to come from such a bloody giant family? If her family had been smaller she might not have gotten lost and then she wouldn't have broken her stupid, bloody wrist.
Oh Merlin if her Mum knew how much she was swearing she'd have her head.
She felt someone kneel next to her and pull her up into their lap. She held onto the woman's robes tightly with her good hand, sobbing into her shoulder.
"Shh, it's okay," the woman said kindly, stroking her hair. "You're going to be just fine."
After a few moments Rose's sobs quieted and she looked up at the woman hugging her.
"There now," she said softly once Rose looked up, a breathtaking smile on her pretty face. This woman was beautiful, Rose decided, wishing she looked like her. She had long, blonde hair and soft features, while Rose had a beast on her head and freckles covering ever inch of her skin. "Can you stand?"
Rose nodded weakly, pushing herself up to stand and watching as the woman stood beside her. She looked behind her and saw a man and boy standing behind her, both looked so alike each other that you knew they had to be Father and son. The boy - who looked to be about her age - was looking at her with a worried expression, while the older man was staring at her as though in shock.
She looked back at the woman. "I'm sorry," she said quietly, her throat thick as her wrist throbbed with pain. "I didn't mean to run into you." Rose looked down at the lady's dress, which looked expensive and was very pretty, noting the dirt stains at the bottom of the fabric. Rose felt tears gather in her eyes again as she added, even quieter, "Or soil your dress."
The woman looked down at her dress in confusion before recognition dawned on her face. She smiled faintly. "It's okay, I wasn't particularly fond of it, anyway."
"You should have been," Rose said, sniffling. "It's very beautiful."
The woman looked over Rose's shoulder at who Rose assumed was her husband, an amused smile on her face. Rose blushed red as she heard a low chuckle behind her. She straightened up and her chin rose an inch or two - mimicking what her Mum did whenever she was offended or angry, because, right now, Rose was both. She crossed her arms over her chest unthinkingly and flinched when her wrist screamed with pain. Still, she tried her best to keep her stoic expression.
"Thank you for your kindness," Rose said, her voice harsh, making the woman turn towards her in surprise. "And I'm sorry, again, for running into you. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go find my family."
She spun on her heel quickly, her face determined, and walked a couple feet before walking into a venders cart on the side of the road. She swore loudly as her injured arm came into contact with the side of the cart, her face contorted with pain. Sucking in a quick gasp of air for strength, she tried to continue on her way, but suddenly got very dizzy.
"Merlin," she said, stumbling a few feet with her head in her good hand. Her wrist was throbbing, her stomach was churning and the tears falling from her eyes from the intense pain wasn't helping her sight.
She felt someone grab her shoulders gently, stopping her before she fell face first onto the side walk again.
"Why don't you sit down," a deep voice said. Rose turned her head and recognized the man from earlier. She felt her face get hot, but she took his advice and sat down on the nearest bench, his hands on her shoulders to stop her from falling.
"Now," he said, crouching down so he was at her eye level. "Where does it hurt?"
Mutely, Rose pointed towards her wrist, which was now twice it's normal size and slowly turning blue. She heard a sharp intake of breath and looked up to see the boy standing at the end of her bench. When he saw her looking he sent her a kind smile, which she tried to return but ended up yelping as the boy's father touched her wrist.
"Sorry," he said immediately, withdrawing his hand. "It's definitely broken. Would you like me to heal it for you?" he asked, taking his wand out of his robes and raising a pale blonde eyebrow at her.
Rose sniffled, reaching up to wipe tears off her cheeks with her good hand. "Will it hurt?" she whispered, staring straight into the man's grey eyes.
He nodded slowly. "Yes, but only for a moment."
Rose swallowed loudly, fisting her hand into her skirt tightly and biting her lip. After a moment she nodded, saying, "Just do it."
He smiled a bit at that and pointed his wand towards her wrist. He muttered a spell under his breath and Rose swore under her breath as she felt her bones snap back into place. A moment later a warm feeling spread through her arm, her wrist shrinking down to normal size and looking just like it had before.
Rose stared at it, a small smile on her face before turning towards the man in front of her. "Thank you!" she exclaimed with a brilliant smile.
He nodded once before standing up. Rose hopped off the bench cheerfully, feeling much better, before she realized she was still lost. And she was probably still going to die.
The boy saw her smile fall and walked up beside her. "Would you like an ice cream? I'll buy you one!"
Rose turned towards him in surprise, staring at him for a moment before grinning, her head nodding up and down and her hair flying everywhere.
The boy grinned. "Is it okay, Mum?"
The woman nodded at him, a small smile on her face, and before Rose knew what was happening the boy had grabbed her hand and was pulling her towards the ice cream shop.
Once they had ordered their treats, the two kids walked over and sat at a table, eating their ice cream happily.
"I'm Rose, by the way," Rose said, suddenly remembering her manners. "Rose Weasley."
The boy stared at her in shock for a full minute, his ice cream dripping onto the table steadily. His grey eyes were wide and his mouth was gaping open. It wasn't until Rose snapped right in front of his face that he jolted out of his shocked state.
"You're kidding," he said, before accidentally dropping a spoonful of ice cream onto the table. He scowled and swiped it up with his napkin sloppily.
Rose shook her head slowly. "No, that's my name."
"Huh," was all he said, staring at her for a moment longer before continuing, "My Dad has told me all about your family."
Rose looked over towards his parents, who were sitting a few tables away and were conversing quietly, occasionally looking over at the two of them. "Oh," she said quietly.
"Not bad things!" the boy exclaimed, taking her quiet as anger instead of wariness. Rose was used to people liking her for her family - nobody every helped Rose unless she would get them an autograph from the Golden Trio. Was this family going to be the same? "He speaks very highly of them."
Rose nodded silently and continued with her ice cream. She heard a loud sigh and looked over at the boy in front of her curiously. He was looking at her with a very serious expression on his face and Rose felt herself blush red.
"He really only says good things, I promise," he said solemnly. "I know that might be hard to believe, but it's true."
Rose raised her eyebrows. "Why would that be hard to believe?"
The boy's eyes widened. "Don't you know who he is?" Rose shook her head and the boy stared at her in shock. "You don't?" he asked again, and Rose nodded once again. The boy sighed before saying, "My Dad is Draco Malfoy."
Rose's head snapped over to the boys father. He was staring back at her, his face stoic, but Rose could see the curiosity and wariness burning behind his silver eyes. She looked over his whole face and felt like smacking herself in the forehead. Why hadn't she realized before?
Of course she had seen Draco Malfoy in photos - he was in the Daily Prophet frequently and Rose had started reading the Daily Prophet at the tender age of five. She knew he had a wife, Astoria Malfoy nee Greengrass, and a son, - who was now sitting across from her - Scorpius Malfoy. She knew stories told to her by her parents from when they were in Hogwarts. They said he was mean then, but he had grown out of it. She knew he had been a Death Eater and had watched her Mother be tortured in the Drawing Room at Malfoy Manner. Her Mother said he didn't have a choice, her Father had never forgave him. Rose sided with her Mum.
Why didn't she recognize him before?
She stared at Mr. Malfoy for a moment longer before turning back to Scorpius, who was staring down at his ice cream gloomily.
"What's wrong with you?" she asked suddenly, staring at his shameful expression.
"You're going to run off now, aren't you?" Scorpius asked, eyes flickering between Rose's face and his melted ice cream.
"What? No," she said. "Why would I run off?"
"People always run off when they figure out who we are," he said bitterly. "Because we're Malfoy's and we're bad."
"Are you really bad?" Rose asked, a childish curiosity in her voice.
Scorpius shook his head. "Not really. My Dad used to work for Voldemort, but he was kind of forced into it. He didn't want to, I swear."
Rose took one look over at Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy before smiling at Scorpius. "I believe you," she said quietly. Scorpius's eyes snapped towards her own blue ones. Rose smiled before adding, "You bought me ice cream, and that makes you okay in my book."
Scorpius chuckled, looking up at her in admiration. "Can we be friends? I've never had a friend before."
Rose gaped at him. "You've never had a friend?"
Scorpius shook his head.
Rose shook her head in sympathy. "How did you live this long?"
Thinking she was serious, Scorpius blushed a light pink and shrugged, looking away from her. Rose giggled loudly.
"Don't get your knickers in a twist, I was just joking," she said, still giggling madly.
Scorpius blush grew as he chuckled a bit. "I knew that - I was just . . . joking," he finished lamely, making Rose hoot in laughter.
"Good one," she said teasingly, making Scorpius grin, quickly getting the hang of her teasing. When she had finished laughing she looked up at the sky and noticed it was getting steadily darker. Looking around Diagon Alley she didn't see a single red head in sight. Her stomach twisted into a million knots as she realized her family really had forgotten her.
"What's wrong?" Scorpius asked anxiously, watching her face get steadily paler.
"Can you keep a secret?" she asked, looking over at Scorpius. "I mean, we are friends now, right?"
Scorpius nodded eagerly.
"And friends don't tell each other's secrets to anyone, right?"
Again, Scorpius nodded.
Rose nodded in return. "Okay, then. . . ." she leaned over the table towards Scorpius, who leaned in close until they were inches apart. Rose took a deep breath and whispered, "I'm lost."
Scorpius's head drew back quickly as his eyes widened. "You're what?" he asked loudly and Rose shushed him, looking around to see everyone staring at them. She grabbed Scorpius by the collar and pulled him close to her face.
"Will you shush!" she hissed, waiting for everyone to look away before continuing. "I said I'm lost. My family forgot me here and they probably won't notice I'm gone until late tonight, because we were all supposed to have supper at Grandma and Granddad's tonight, so they'll think I'm off somewhere reading my new school books like I usually am and won't come looking for me until my parents decide to leave - which won't be until late tonight. And if they decide to spend the night then they won't notice I'm gone until tomorrow!"
Rose cut off as she realized she was crying. Scorpius's eyes were filled with pity as he watched her. She fell back into her chair and slumped against the table. "This has never happened before," she said, her voice muffled by her arms. "I've never been left behind, and now nobody even realizes I'm gone! No one has come looking for me and I've been lost since before I ran into your Mum!"
Scorpius watched her cry uncomfortably. He pulled at the collar of his shirt, played with a loose string coming from his robe's sleeve and stared around the ice cream parlor shyly. He met his parents curious gazes with a confused one before getting an idea.
"Rose," he said, reaching out a poking her arm softly.
She gave a small sniffle, but otherwise didn't respond.
"Come on, Rose," he whispered. "I've got an idea on how to get you home."
A moment later Rose looked up, staring at him through her big, red-rimmed, blue eyes. Scorpius pulled at his collar once more before saying.
"Do your Grandparents have the Floo set up?"
Rose nodded slowly. She cleared her throat before saying, "That's how we got here, but I can't start it myself."
Scorpius beamed. "I'll ask my parents! They'll help you."
Rose grinned at him, giving a loud, gleeful yelp before standing up quickly. "Can we ask them now?" she asked, her eyes glowing with happiness.
Scorpius's smile fell, but he nodded. "Yeah, okay." he stood up, too, pushing in his chair behind him. Rose copied him while watching him curiously.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
Scorpius looked up at her and plastered a fake smile on her face. "Nothing, everything's fine."
Rose crossed her arms over her chest, her foot tapping impatiently on the pavement. "Don't lie to me, mister," she said, her eyes narrowing dangerously. "Tell me what's wrong, now."
Scorpius rose his eyebrows, his arms folded in front of him. "No," he said, his voice clipped. "You can't make me."
Rose's mouth fell open. Whenever she pulled that face with her cousins they all gave her whatever she wanted, she wasn't used to being talked back to and she didn't think she liked it. She glared at him murderously, raising her chin in the air. Scorpius almost cringed at her scary expression, but held his ground.
"Tell me, you insufferable git," she all but growled.
Scorpius felt fear tingle up his spine and he had to force himself to not step away as she leaned towards him menacingly. "No, I won't," he said, but his voice was already weaker than last time. Merlin, this girl was scary!
Rose huffed angrily. "Friends tell each other things, Scorpius. If you want to be my friend, you have to tell me why you're upset."
Scorpius felt torn. He really, really wanted Rose to be his friend, but he didn't want to just roll over and let her win either . . . he bit the inside of his cheek nervously, wondering what the right thing to say was. After a few moments of deliberating, he sighed in defeat. "Fine," he muttered bitterly. "I was upset because you wanted to go home and not hang out with my anymore."
"Oh," Rose said, frowning. "I'm sorry. I like being your friend, and I do want to hang out with you . . . I know! Do you want to sleepover? I'm sure my parents would let you!"
Scorpius's eyes widened, looking over at his parents. He looked back at her and grinned. "Let's ask my parents!"
"Mum? Dad?" Rose called once she exited the fireplace. She wiped the soot off of her clothes before stepping aside, looking around the room. She saw her school books lying on the table and scowled. A moment later Scorpius arrived, stepping gracefully out of the flames and looking around the room curiously.
Rose started walking towards the door to the living room before she stopped. She turned back towards Scorpius, who was right behind her. "Why don't you wait here," she gestured towards the kitchen table. "They're not expecting you, so I don't want to shock them."
Scorpius nodded, taking a seat at the table and watching her leave the room.
When Rose opened the door to the living room no one even looked up. She stepped into the room and slammed the door shut behind her, glaring at her family, who had all jammed themselves into the living room. It was actually quite a large room, but with the entire family here it looked small and jam-packed.
Everyone jumped as the door snapped loudly into place, looking over at her in shock.
"Hey, Rosie," her Mum smiled. "How are your books?"
Rose narrowed her eyes at her Mother - something she had only ever done a handful of times in the past, mind you -, her face hard. "I wouldn't know," she snipped. "Because you have them."
Hermione shared a look with her husband, who looked just as clueless as she did by their daughters answer. "What are you talking about, baby girl?" Ron asked after a moment of awkward silence. "We left them on the kitchen table."
"Yes, and you left me in Diagon Alley," said Rose angrily, her cheeks burning.
Everyone's mouth fell open. Okay, maybe not everyone, but most everyone, Rose decided. It was kind of hard to get the whole Weasley-Potter clan to have one facial expression, but just then they were all almost identical. Rose would have giggled had she not been so angry.
"We did not," her Uncle George finally said. "I remember we were planning - oh, wait, that was earlier this morning. . . ."
Rose, unable to glare at her favorite uncle, merely nodded at her feet. "Yeah."
Charlie gaped at her. "But that means you've been there alone for-"
"Four hours," Rose said, looking over at the clock on the mantle. It was half past eight now. "Give or take a half-hour or two."
Harry almost smiled at his favorite niece's comment, but held back. It was obvious she was very angry, and having both Ron and Hermione's temper Harry knew she wouldn't appreciate his amusement right now.
Albus was staring at her with a guilty expression. "Rosie, I didn't know, I swear. If any of us had known we would have gone straight back for you."
Rose felt a lump rise in her throat, but decided she couldn't cry in front of her cousins. If she did that they would never let her live it down, and she would never be known as the 'scary' cousin again. No matter how upset she was, Rose was not ready to lose that title just yet.
"I know that," she finally said, her voice even. She looked at every single one of her families guilty faces. "But none of you even noticed, did you?"
By the way everyone cringed and looked around proved to Rose that they hadn't. She scowled darkly.
"We figured you were out reading your books like you always do," Fred said defensively. James nodded beside him. Both of them had dropped their playing card when they saw Rose enter the room in a tiff. Rose was the favorite of all the cousins, everyone loved Rose best, and James and Fred were about to beat up whoever had made her so angry before they realized it had been them. All of them, together.
"And you didn't notice that all my books were still on the kitchen table?" Rose asked, both eyebrows up. "I was just in there, none of them have been moved. What did you do; eat around them?"
"We ate outside," Granddad piped up, looking guiltier than the rest. Rose's eyes softened as her eyes fell over him. He looked so distraught. "But that's no excuse."
Grandma nodded beside him, the two of them sitting on the loveseat. Molly's eyes were filled with tears as she looked at her Granddaughter. "With all our kids we've never left one behind. Not once. I'm so sorry, sweetheart."
Everyone else immediately began apologizing and Rose's face softened. "I was planning to chew you all out for a few more days, but I suppose I can forgive you now."
Laughing, everyone started to ask Rose questions.
"How did you get home?" Hermione asked.
"What did you do?" Roxanne asked curiously.
"Did you meet anyone cool?" Louis asked excitedly.
"I hope you didn't cause any trouble," Percy said sternly.
"She better have caused at least some trouble," George said, giving his brother an eye roll.
"Start at the beginning, baby girl," Ron said.
So Rose started at the very beginning of when the left, going right up to the point when she had come here with Scorpius - leaving out the parts where she was crying and making it sound like she was really brave and didn't even tear up. The younger cousins looked impressed while the adults all looked disbelieving. When she had finished, telling them about how Scorpius was in the kitchen right now everyone was frozen with shock.
"You mean there's a Malfoy in my kitchen right now?" Arthur asked, glancing at the door and back to Rose.
Rose nodded. "Is it okay if he spends the night? He's really nice - I think you'd all like him."
Percy scoffed loudly. "Unlikely."
Rose's eyes narrowed dangerously at him and he immediately retracted his last statement.
"I mean," he stuttered, "It's likely."
George laughed. "It's likely? Rosie, if you trust him that's enough for me. Is he any good with pranks?"
Rosie beamed at her uncle. "I dunn-"
"Hold on a second here," Ron cut in angrily, standing up. "You haven't asked your parents yet!"
Rose looked over at her parents, her sweetest smile planted on her face. Ginny hid her laughing behind a grinning Harry's shoulder.
"Can Scopius sleep over?" Rose asked eagerly, her blue eyes wide.
Hermione looked over at Ron, her eyes clearly saying 'yes' while his clearly said 'no'.
Ron frowned, leaning towards his wife and whispering, loud enough for Rose to hear, "I don't like it, Hermione. We don't even know this kid."
Rose's eyes narrowed. "Need I remind you that you forgot me today, Daddy? After you promised that you would never let that happen to your 'Precious Baby Girl'."
"You did," Rose cut her Dad off before he could get a full sentence out. "And now that you've broken that promise to me I get one free 'Do-Whatever-I-Want' card. And this is what I'm choosing to use it for."
Harry sniggered as Ron gaped at his daughter. There was no way he could refuse Rose now, and everyone knew it. Ron, though, was just was stubborn as his daughter, and wouldn't go down without a fight. Hermione smartly stayed out of it, letting Ron and Rose deal with their tempers.
"Now, listen hear, young lady," he said, pointing a finger at her. "I'm the Father here, so what I say goes. And I say I don't want that Malfoy boy in my house."
Rose stared at him coolly. Slowly, she pointed towards her wrist, saying. "I broke my wrist. Mr. Malfoy fixed it, and they bought be ice cream."
Ron felt all his anger deflate out of him. "Fine," he said gruffly, frowning as his daughter squealed in delight. "But if he lays one finger on you that is the end of this friendship, understand?"
Nodding enthusiastically, Rose threw herself at her Dad and hugged him tight, kissing his cheek as she pulled back. "You're the best, Daddy!" she said before skipping out of the room, giving her grinning Uncle George a high-five on the way out.
Just as the door clicked shut, Ginny burst into loud laughter. "She has got us all so wrapped around her little finger."
"Yeah, and she knows it, too," Hermione muttered, shaking her head.
"They said it was fine," she said once she was back in the Kitchen with Scorpius. He was sitting alone at the table, his face amused.
"Were you listening?" she asked sharply, crossing her arms.
Scorpius looked worried for a moment, like she might take back her invitation for a sleepover if he admitted the truth, but after a moment nodded.
Rose rolled her eyes at him. "Honestly, I would have done the same thing. Now, come meet the family." Scorpius gave her a look that clearly said she was crazy. "Oh, come on now, they'll be nice."
Looking scared, Scorpius nodded before following Rose into the family room.
Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize.
Author's Note: Please be kind and leave a review! There will be another chapter to this within a few days, so look out for it!
It's my very first story on FanFiction, so I'd really like some feedback.
xx Tiponi xx