Chapter 4 : Everyone Chokes a Whole Lot
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Finally, he spoke, “You look a lot like your mother.”
My head snapped up, my eyes surprised. “Er…thank you.”
“Remind me a lot of her, too.”
“That’s what my father says,” I said cautiously, knowing that my dad was probably a bad topic for Mr. Malfoy. I mean, he might be more mature about it – whenever the name ‘Malfoy’ is mentioned in our household, dad mutters something that sounds strangely like ‘bloody ferret’ and then go and have a couple of swigs of Butterbeer.
My dad is weird.
He grinned suddenly. “How is Weasley doing these days?”
“Um. Fantastic,” I guessed. I haven’t seen him for a while, so I imagine he’s a bit furious (he’s a tad overprotective. Has issues with not seeing his ‘princess’ in over two weeks. Yeah, I somehow love my dad anyway), but he’s dad, so he’s probably doing his best.
“Haven’t seen him in while,” Mr. Malfoy mused. Good thing, too, otherwise dad’s blood pressure would go to astronomical levels. “Though we’re probably meeting each other soon.”
My eyes widened. “Why’s that?” Dad would start foaming at the mouth if Mr. Malfoy suddenly showed up. As entertaining as that would be, I’d like to keep my father around for a little while longer, thanks.
“Well, it’s customary to meet the in-laws, is it not?” Mr. Malfoy asked.
I laughed nervously. “Er – yeah, right. Because I’m getting married to – right. Yeah.”
Fuck, my dad is going to have a heart attack. And then come back as a ghost to haunt me forever.
There was another short silence while I had an internal panic-attack and Mr. Malfoy continued to stare me down.
“I can see why Scorp likes you,” He said.
Say whaaaaat? “Pardon?”
“You’re exactly the type of girl he needs to keep him in check,” He continued, as if he was suddenly the new master of relationships or something. I gaped at him. “Plus, he’s always had a thing for feisty red-heads.”
“Mahogany,” I muttered.
“Come again?” He asked politely.
I sighed. “Nothing.”
He smiled in a reminiscent manner. “I remember how we used to tease Scorpius when he went to Hogwarts – he had a rather large crush on you, as you probably know.”
I choked on my own spit. “Wha – seriously?”
“He never told you?” Mr. Malfoy asked, appalled.
I was shocked. Completely, totally, absolutely stunned. No way – there is no way. Dude. My whole world is crashing down around me right now! Do you know what this must be doing to the universal balance?! We’ve disrupted the circle of life! And now that fantastic muggle song won’t make sense any more, which is just tragic because the song is brilliant! And I really like it!
And my brain is babbling utter nonsense right now.
“The bloke was practically in love with you! He’d turn bright red whenever someone mentioned you, and –”
“Hey, everyone!” Mrs – err...Astoria chirped happily as she swept in with the tray of teacups. Malfoy came in behind her, sipping a mug of what seemed to be coffee.
Dude. HE USED TO FANCY ME!
“Whatcha talking about?” She asked, grinning as she set down tea in front of me and Mr. Malfoy.
“How Scorpius used to like Rose when he was younger!” Mr. Malfoy said, smiling as well. There was a loud choking sound, and I turned around to see that Malfoy had sputtered coffee all over the place.
“What?” He yelped, his face slowly becoming redder and redder. “I did not! Don’t believe these two! They’re compulsive liars!”
Oho. A large, satisfied smirk grew on my face as I took in his blustery expression.
“You never told me you me you had a crush on me in Hogwarts, Scorpius,” I said smugly, trying not to stutter over his name too much. I mean, honestly – who names their child Scorpius Hyperion?
Then again, I shouldn’t be talking – my favorite cousin is named Albus Severus.
“That’s because I didn’t!” He said loudly.
“Honestly, love, it’s okay now – you are getting married to the girl. It’s alright to let her know that you found her completely enrapturing during your younger years –” Mrs. Malfoy said slyly, wearing a satisfied smirk very similar to Mr. Malfoy’s.
My dad is insane – these people are awesome!
Well, they could be boring old sods, but as long as they continue to mortify Malfoy – THEY ARE AWESOME!
“Okay, that’s it. Come on, I’ll show you your room for the night,” Malfoy grabbed my forearm to tow me out of the door before my smug smile threatened to break my face open.
“Oh, don’t be silly!” Mrs. Malfoy appeared in front of us. “You don’t have to pretend for us – it’s the twenty-first century and we aren’t that old-fashioned! Honestly – you can sleep on the same bed. We understand.”
We don’t have to pretend?
Oh, the irony in this situation is just sickening.
My face, set into a frozen look of appalled…appalledness, was slowly turning bright red. Malfoy’s face was the color of Lily’s hair and he rubbed his hand across the back of his neck.
“Er…well, I still think she would be more comfortable in a guest room –”
“Nonsense, she can sleep in your old room with you!”
Malfoy’s face suddenly drained its color. “My…old…room?”
“Yeah, come on!” Mrs. Malfoy said happily, grabbing my hand so she could lead me up. Suddenly, her brow furrowed as she brought my hand closer to her face, inspecting the empty ring finger. I gulped and shot a panicked look at Malfoy, whose face had also frozen.
“Why don’t you have a ring?”
“Er – well, I’ve been busy, and I was getting to it –” Malfoy started blabbing uncomfortably.
“Scorpius, every woman deserves a ring. Honestly, how did you propose to her?” She admonished.
I snorted. “Trust me, it wasn’t anything romantic.”
He glared. “It was romantic. I am a very romantic guy. That’s why I have – HAD – ladies swooning at my feet.”
I rolled my eyes, “Right, and they were really swooning oh-so-spectacularly whenever you dumped them and they started flipping out at you.”
“I bet you were secretly thrilled every time I did,” He said cockily.
“Whatever helps you sleep at night, Malfoy,” I responded in a dry voice.
He quirked an eyebrow suggestively, “I could think of a lot of ways to help me ‘sleep’ at night.”
“I’m still standing here, you know!” Mrs. Malfoy had her hands on her hips, but she looked amused. “Honestly, you two flirt like teenagers.”
“Mom, I’ll get her a ring soon –” Scorpius intervened quickly at the mention of the word ‘flirt’. We don’t flirt. We have intense intelligence battles with each other. Seriously, the world is just delusional.
“Don’t be stupid,” She said.
You’re asking too much from him. Don’t test his limits.
“She’s not getting any old ring – I’ll go and get Nana’s ring right now, and you can put it on and everything,” She was smiling excitedly at this point. “Wait right here.” She quickly ran down the hall, Malfoy staring after her with a bemused expression on his face.
“I really like your parents,” I said, just to break the silence.
He looked at me. “Yeah, they’re pretty awesome.”
“I mean – your dad is really mature about this whole thing. Mine will probably have a minor heart attack and then strangle the both of us when he finds out.”
“I can hardly wait,” He said drily.
I let out a slow breath. “This is really weird.”
“I kind of feel like I’m in a crazy nightmare.”
“Did you really like me when we were in Hogwarts?”
I smirked. “Just checking.”
He huffed and muttered something that sounded like ‘stupid dad’ under his breath.
“Here we go!” Mrs. Malfoy appeared, holding a small blue velvet box in one hand and Mr. Malfoy’s hand in the other. She handed it to Malfoy, who took it gingerly, as if it were a poisonous rattlesnake instead of a harmless old ring.
“Go on, then,” Mr. Malfoy prodded, letting out a hiss of pain when Mrs. Malfoy elbowed him in the ribs. Looking nervous, Malfoy slowly opened up the box and took out a small, simple ring. It was nothing special, to my utmost relief – just a thin silver band with a large diamond inlaid on the top. The diamond was surrounded by clusters of smaller emeralds, making it look like the ring had grown a flower from its silver body. The diamond was tinged with the faintest pink glow.
“This ring,” Malfoy said in a quiet, thoughtful voice, taking my hand, “Has been in my family for three centuries. The woman it was made for was named Rosaline. She was beautiful, and Rowan Malfoy, the man who married her, decided that he would give her a ring to match her beauty. A Rose for a Rose, he said. So, I guess…here’s a Rose for another Rose.”
An odd feeling spread through me as he slid the ring on my finger. It nestled there, a perfect fit, throwing off a million little lights.
I raised it up to look at it, and saw that, on the band on the opposite side of the rose diamond, was a single, engraved word:
“So…this is it?”
“No, I like it.”
Well. I’m only trying to be nice, here! I huffed and continued inspecting his room, ignoring his muttered proclamations of anger and general resentment. His bed was absolutely massive – a large, ornate king-sized mattress which deep green hangings and – of course – green covers as well. Behind it was a banner that I vaguely remembered from a Hogwarts Quidditch Game: ‘Slytherins PWN!’
I couldn’t help but let out a small sort. Classy.
Two other things were hung up on the wall – a blazing Poster featuring Malfoy as the Seeker of the Slytherin team (see, I would make fun of him for being a narcissist, but I have a similar poster of me at my place. Except it says ‘Rose Weasley: Chaser’ across a picture of me doing tricks with a Quaffle and ‘Let’s kick some arse’ written underneath it in smaller letters), and, surprisingly, another poster of a fancy muggle car. The mantle above the fireplace – yes, he has a bloody fireplace in his room – contained various pictures of him with his mates. There was a large bookshelf surrounding it, covering most of the wall. A long, low, black sofa stretched in front of it.
But the best part – the best part was the wall made entirely out of glass. Featuring a full view of a lake glittering in the moonlight and stardust, it reminded me a lot of the large window overlooking the city at his office.
I guess he likes to bring a little piece of home with him when he goes to work.
I found that oddly sweet.
I sucked in a breath as I approached the glass and peered through it at the stars. They were sprinkled across the sky generously today; for once I was able to witness a huge cloud of stars that were so far away that they looked like nothing more than fairy dust. If I kept my eyes open long enough, sometimes I caught a shooting star.
But then I blinked, hating having to do it because shooting stars make you realize how much you despise blinking. You blink once – and you’ve lost it forever.
“Here,” Malfoy said roughly, and seconds later, a wad of fabric hit me on the back of the head. I reached behind me and snagged it before it hit the floor, turning around a second later to unfold it and realize that…
Malfoy looked up from sorting through his suitcase. “Problem, Weasley?”
“Uh, yeah,” I snapped, dangling the shirt in the air. “What’s this?”
“Exactly what it looks like.”
“Your Quidditch Jersey.”
“Brilliant observational skills, Weasley.”
“Your Slytherin Quidditch Jersey with ‘Malfoy’ written across the back.”
“Keep this up and you’ll be the next Captain Obvious.”
“I’m not wearing this,” I said, throwing it back at him. “I’m a Gryffindor!”
“Once again, your skills of perception leave me in awe,” He shot back sarcastically, chucking it at my face again.
“Give me something else to wear!” I said, throwing it at his face.
“Just wear the jersey!”
He gritted his teeth. “Okay,” He said, breathing heavily through his nose. “You can just sleep in that dress, then. Or in your knickers, that’s completely fine with me.”
My eyes narrowed as I walked over to him and snatched it out of his grasp. “Fine.” I spat sulkily.
He smirked, “That’s what I thought.”
I decided not to deign that with a response. Stepping into his bathroom and closing the door behind me, I turned around to look at it with a gasp.
The bathroom was massive – probably just a little smaller than his ridiculously large room. Huge mirrors covered one of the walls from top to bottom, a large vanity wrapping around it. There were two sinks, but the counter was still extremely long.
A massive tub took up most of the space. It was more like a swimming pool, actually, with a million taps around the edges that reminded me of the prefect’s bathrooms in Hogwarts. There was also a shower and a little room for the toilet.
Get this, though – the bathroom was bloody furnished. With silver and green, no less.
Huffing slightly again, I unzipped the dress in one fluid motion and let it fall to the ground in a cloud of blue around my feet. My hair tumbled down next. Pulling on Malfoy’s jersey, I walked over to one of the sinks, grimacing as I caught sight of myself in one of the mirrors.
Merlin, I thought the world would never see the day when Rose Weasley was wearing a Slytherin Quidditch Jersey – Malfoy’s Quidditch jersey.
I splashed some water on my face, using my wand to get rid of all the makeup. I couldn’t help but smile in relief as I raised my head again – there we go. Rose is back. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the flawless face, but I like my flawed face better. I don’t mind the scar above my left eyebrow from when I was four and playing with Albus, or the scar on my chin from Quidditch with James. My face is full of memories.
Flicking my wand at the dress and shoes, making them rise gracefully into the air and place themselves neatly on one of the racks containing some of Malfoy’s clothes, I stepped out of the bathroom, closing the door carefully behind me.
Malfoy looked up from his position on the couch, and his eyes grew.
That’s when I realized that I wasn’t wearing pants. Nope, the slimy little git had provided me with just the jersey, which stopped at about mid-thigh.
And now Malfoy’s eyes were flitting up and down the length of my legs.
You know, this is now the second time in one day that Malfoy’s checked out another part of my general anatomy. That definitely does not float my boat.
“Honestly, would it kill you to keep your bloody eyes on my face?” I asked angrily, crossing my arms over my chest. His eyes flew up again, settling on my own. He was, to my utmost surprise, fighting back his laughs.
“You actually look partway decent in Slytherin colors,” He smirked. My eyes narrowed. My hands curled into fists.
Deep breaths, Rose. In, out. In, out. Control.
“Anyone would look good in Slytherin colors,” I retorted, my voice nice and calm. “They’re not exactly made for the most attractive house.” I looked very pointedly at him, walking up to the bookshelf to look at the books.
“Oi. I am attractive,” He said in a warning tone.
“Whatever you say, Malfoy,” I drawled.
I nearly jumped in shock when Malfoy’s hands gripped the tops of my arms and spun me around to face him. I was promptly shoved against the bookshelf as Malfoy towered dangerously close to me, his eyes glittering with an emotion that I couldn’t quite identify. It seemed a bit like resentment, but also sort of playful.
“You don’t think your fiancé is attractive, Rosie?” He murmured.
I scowled. “Don’t call me Rosie. Get away from me.”
“See, I really hate it when people call me ugly,” He continued, still in his low voice.
I rolled my eyes, “You would.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” His eyes flashed at me.
“It means, ‘that’s no surprise to me, coming from the most arrogant prick Slytherin has to offer to the world’. Which is honestly saying a lot, since Slytherin has an awful lot of arrogant –” I let out a gasp as I was shoved into the bookshelf again.
“That’s not saying much, coming from the Gryffindor Prude,” He snarled quietly.
That stung more than it should have. “I’m not a prude.”
He laughed, the sound low and mocking. “I beg to differ.”
“Just because I’m not a whore like you doesn’t mean –” I began hotly, my teeth gritted. I let out another hiss of pain as Malfoy shoved me against the bookshelf once again. There was a sharp throbbing pain in the middle of my back, but I didn’t let him know it. I’ll be damned before I ever tell him that he’s managed to hurt me.
“I’m not a whore,” His voice now sounded livid.
“Ha!” I snorted disbelievingly. “How many times were you found in broom closets after hours, shagging some mindless blonde bimbo?”
“Taking notice, are we, Weasley?” He drawled, his eyes still glinting in anger. They were a dark grey now, sort of like clouds before a thunderstorm.
I was kind of starting to wish I hadn’t started this argument. Malfoy can get pretty terrifying when he’s angry.
Don’t tell him I said that.
“I’m the one who always found you, you prick!” I said through gritted teeth, putting my hands on his chest and attempting to shove him away from me. He didn’t budge an inch.
“Were you jealous?” He asked.
“Was I – No!” Color flooded my cheeks. Jealous? Not in a million years.
“You were jealous,” He continued, a smirk tugging at his lips.
“You’re insane,” I spat. “Why the hell would I be jealous of your fuck-buddies? I’m not interested in acquiring the vast number of STD’s you have, thanks.”
“I don’t have any STD’s,” His eyes narrowed at me. “And you were jealous because you wanted me. Still do, in fact.”
I gaped at him incredulously. “Are you high?”
He laughed softly, “Don’t fool yourself, love. I can see it in your eyes.” A long, slender finger pressed itself against my cheek, tilting my head up. I stared defiantly up at him.
“The only thing you can see in my eyes is hate,” I growled. “Burning, overpowering hate.”
He smirked then, a small, satisfied leer set on his mouth. “Do you hate me, Rose?”
My eyes narrowed again. “I really, really do, Scorpius.”
He leaned closer, and for a long moment, electricity flickered in the air around us as he gazed straight into my eyes. I didn’t blink – it was molten silver against smoldering dark brown, and hell if I was going to let him win this.
He whispered one word, “Good.”
“Good,” I repeated, my voice loud and defiant.
“Scorpius? Can I come in?”
My eyes barely had time to widen before Malfoy’s hand shot out, snagged a random book from the bookshelf, and swung us both onto the sofa with surprising speed. I blinked in shock – and before I knew it, I was nestled into his side, a book open in my hands, his arm slung around my waist.
“Sure, mom!” He replied without missing a beat.
He then proceeded to bury his face in my hair.
His face. In my hair.
“Read,” He hissed, and, too shocked to argue, I picked up the book and started reading.
“Hey, kids,” Mrs. Malfoy chirped as she opened the door and swung in a basket full of what seemed to be clothes. “Thought I’d bring over some things to wear so you have clothes for tomorrow.”
I looked up from the book, smiling and trying my best to ignore the fact that Malfoy’s germs were getting in my hair. “Thanks, Mrs – err…Astoria.”
She looked at us, her eyes immediately softening. Malfoy had somehow managed to pull his head out of my hair – finally! – and was resting his head on the top of mine, looking down at the book…or he was ogling my boobs again, and I couldn’t do anything about it.
Either way, I guess we must have looked pretty cute, so I didn’t condemn her for beaming and biting her lower lip with happiness.
But I was still pissed.
“I guess I’ll just go,” She said, her face still set in a wide smile.
“Okay, mom,” Malfoy replied.
“Yeah – I’ll just…yeah. Have a nice night,” She started inching towards the door, not taking her eyes off of us.
“Yeah, we’re just going to turn in early, actually,” I said quickly, before she started getting any ideas. “I’m dead tired.”
“Okay, I really better – right. Bye!” She said, closing the door behind her with a final click. Right away, I jumped away from Malfoy, ruffling out my hair. He stretched his arm along the back of the chair, smirking up at me as I made a face.
“What did I say about boundaries, Malfoy?” I snapped, my hands on my hips. “I thought I made the rules pretty clear.”
He stood up, that same insufferable smirk spread across his face. “Yeah, and since when have I ever cared about rules, Weasley?”
I scowled, “Right. You’re under the impression that you’re some sort of really cool rebel.”
“Rules were made to be broken, love,” He winked at me, and then, just to prove that he was intent on breaking every single rule that I had set, kissed me on the cheek and sauntered over to the bed. “You can sleep on the left.”
UGH. GAHHH. HE MAKES ME SO MAD. My hands balled up into fists as I fumed in silent anger. I swear the man lives to make my existence living hell.
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