Rose refused to believe it.
She was never wrong.
However stupid she had the propensity to be, however blind and scatter-brained and mislead, she was never wrong. And yet she was. True, it was probably not the best time for an epiphany, but she refused to shake it off. She felt like an idiot, like she had wasted her whole life away. She thought she knew him. Oh come on, Rose. How can you know somebody you were never friends with and only ever argued and fought with?
Rose groaned and her uncle shot her a weary glance from next to her. She shook her head as if to say nothing was wrong and took in a deep breath.
You fucking moron, she was screaming on the inside. You absolute twit. You blithering idiot.
The music began to play and Rose wanted to hit herself. She wanted someone to remove her entire memory and leave her with nothing but her great-grandmother’s raspberry scone recipe. Did she want to cry? No, Rose was feeling enough self-loathing without breaking down at her cousin’s wedding.
She took another deep breath and thought about it.
Everything that could have been. Should have been, really. Rose and Scorpius were perfect for each other. Their intellectual levels were unmatched by others, they had more chemistry than a nuclear bomb, and their relationship – whatever it was – was one of a kind.
Corny, she though, shaking her head and chewing at her bottom lip. Was it true, though? Were they perfect for each other? No, she shook her head again and let out a deep breath. Scorpius had disappointed her. Somewhere in seventh year, he had turned into an alcohol-abusing, weak, senseless halfwit like 99.99% of all the other blokes she knew. He had gotten lazy. He did this in his own way, though – Scorpius had managed to become Rose’s worst nightmare and still be bloody fabulous. He was still the most respected person in their year and had everybody who didn’t know him well enough under the impression that he was a saint.
That still didn’t change the fact that they were perfect for each other. He was still as smart as she was, and they did still have enough chemistry to blow up an island. And their relationship was still unique.
What relationship? thought Rose with a snort. He had never fancied her. She, however, had nursed a gigantic crush on him right through their years at Hogwarts. And she daresay she still felt something for him, however small and insignificant, five years later. What they had was neither platonic nor non-platonic. They would argue for hours, abuse each other, call each other names, trod on each other’s egos, compete, shout, scream, laugh. But they were not friends. They never spent time together and in the rare moments that they were not murdering each other, there was always an awkwardness around them – an awkwardness so obvious you could see it from space. So was it because they both had feelings for each other? No, of course not. Rose was not Scorpius’ type. He liked girls like Lily – girls with limited knowledge of the ways universe but great fun to be around. Rose was not fun, not in the least. She spent her time in the library studying Runes or reading Poe, or watching Quidditch matches and questioning game strategies. Dull Rose Weasley. Always with a book in her hand. Sure, boys like girls who challenge them with their snarky remarks and quick repartees, but they fancy the ones they can skive off class with and snog.
As the chairs around began to groan against the ground, Rose realized that people were beginning to stand up. She straightened herself out and closed her eyes, feeling a dull ache in her chest and wishing to be anywhere else. It was almost as if there was a video montage of all her moments with Scorpius playing in her head. The time he had wished her on Valentine’s day, all the times she had caught him looking at her (and vice versa), sitting behind him during Transfiguration, playing his wife in the Hogwarts play (she scoffed at the irony – Lily had lost the part to her and she nearly grinned at the memory of Professor Sprout telling her cousin that she had seen a dragon with better acting skills), when he was full of praise for her work with the newspaper, when he had tried to cheer her up when he found out her uncle had died, and finally, when he was trying to read her hand during Trelawney’s class.
Rose groaned again and Uncle Harry turned to look at her once more.
“Everything alright, Rosie?” he asked gently and she nodded hastily. He gave her a small smile and Rose had never felt more miserable.
Had it all been in her head, then? Had he loved Lily all along? Had he honestly never ever had any feelings for her? Rose felt tears brim her eyes. Not because Scorpius didn’t feel anything for her, but because she felt like such a giant dimwit. All the times she had stood in front of the mirror and compared herself to Lily came to mind. Lily, who despite being the same height as Rose (if you could even call it height), was slender and never put on any weight. She had the perfect hair, and an actual nose rather than a squashed piece of cartilage between her eyes. She had long fingers, not like the little stumps Rose had, with immaculately manicured nails. Rose looked down at her horribly bitten fingernails and swore.
“Shhh!” she looked up and saw Roxanne shooting her a look. Her expression immediately softened, probably at the sight of Rose’s reddening, tear-filled eyes.
What a bloody fool she had been.
Had Scorpius ever told her that he fancied her? No. Had she ever heard of such a thing from any of his friends? No. Then why – or how, is probably the better question – was she so convinced that he had feelings for her? Had she overanalysed everything? What if he was looking at something else when Rose thought he was looking at her? No, there’s only so many times that can happen. Surely...
Surely what, Rose? she screamed internally. Alright. Take away all those moments of eye contact. What else is there? Nothing. He had never flirted with her, never complimented her, never tried to get her attention. He had never walked up to her at a party and made conversation with her, like he did to others. They were not even friends.
“Oh my God, Rose,” she mumbled, feeling humiliated and ashamed. “He never loved you. You imagined the whole thing because he was perfect for you,” she whispered, and nobody even noticed because Lily Potter was walking down to isle. “There was never anything there. He’s liked other girls and he’s told them so. He never told you, did he? Because he never loved you.” A small sob escaped her lips and Rose prayed that no tears would fall down her cheeks. She felt somebody move next to her, and before she knew it, her father was right there, holding her hand. Rose wanted to fling herself into his arms and wail, while simultaneously reprimanding him for not making her as beautiful or wonderful as Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny had made darling Lily. Jealousy, anger, betrayal – it was like Pandora’s box had been opened all over again.
Ron gave her hand a squeeze and Rose whimpered, a giant tear splashing onto her cheek. For twelve years Rose had counted on Hope, telling herself that maybe she would find out how he felt the next time she saw him. That he would tell her she was perfect for him. But nothing ever happened, and she knew it never would, deep down. She felt the stab of pain in her chest that she had felt when Lily showed had showed her the ring Scorpius got her.
The priest was mumbling something incoherently and Lily was repeating after him. Scorpius’ eyes were searching the crowd frantically but coolly, in a way only he could have managed. Finally, their eyes locked and Rose gasped, feeling her whole stomach turn upside down and her lungs shut down.
He’s going to stop the wedding, she thought, her heart beating so fast and vision going all wank. She couldn’t bear to stand.
Do it, Scorpius. Do it.
“And do you, Scorpius Malfoy, take Lily Luna Potter to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
If the ground had split the way her heart had at that moment, Rose would not have noticed.
Scorpius was no longer looking at her.