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"I need to talk to you," Rose stated, tugging on her uncles arm like she had when she was a child. The difference was she wasn't going to give him the option to turn her down. "Right now, uncle."

Her Uncle Harry's eyebrows furrowed as he glanced down at her. "Rose-"

"No," She told him sharply and quietly. "You can hate me all you want. You can think I killed Albus for as long as it takes for the pain of his death to go away…I. Don't. Care." Rose insisted her voice completely still. "I need you to come with me…right, now."


Twelve Hours Earlier…


Moving into the office that morning was like heading into the jungle wearing packets of meat with nothing but a stick to protect her. She was trained in a lot of things through her job. Rose Weasley didn't have a lot of skills other then book smarts and Quidditch when left Hogwarts. When she was eighteen she had no idea how to defend herself, how to deceive someone and most importantly how to tell if someone was deceiving her. But now, at 24, she saw the devils everywhere and finally she had really found one, right under her nose.


Her first objective was to write down as much pieces of evidence as she could, without the fake Jake Andrews noticing, but she knew it was nearly impossible. If this guy had been copying her real partner, then he had to know her well. He had to know when she was acting strange and he had to be writing down her motivates as well. So this had to be played perfectly, as if she wasn't living her life, but playing her life as a role. And since she had never thought of her life like that, it was a bit of an… adjustment.


"You alright Rose?" Fake-Jake asked her in this stiff, but concerned voice.

She nodded and did what she would do if the last part of last night hadn't happened. "…I'm fine Andrews…You honestly don't have to worry about me," Rose pinched the bridge of her nose, "I'm fine."

"You know that tonight we have to go to the ball with our partners right?" Andrews reminded her shifting the conversation away from her.

"What?" Rose was honestly thrown off by this piece of information. "When was that decided?"

"Last week…You were at the meeting."

Rose frowned, and remembered blocking out her Uncle's words because of her frustration with him. "I wasn't listening."

"Well…uh…um, what color is your dress?"

She looked right across the desks separating them, and said, "White."

For a moment, he paled, but then he asked, "A white gown?

"Yes," And then she said, "What?"

He shook his head and avoided her eyes, his chest tightening in an emotion she couldn't decipher. "Nothing."

Looking over her caseload for the rest of the week, Rose thought of why he would have such an expression. Why would a white dress almost seem to… rattle him?

"Yes," An elegant, but crisp voice cut through her thoughts from a few desks over, "I'm here to see Rose Weasley."


Rose twisted around in her chair to see Mrs. Malfoy standing only a few feet over, her soft brown hair twisted in a knot on top of her head. Instantly she leapt to her feet and went to her side.


Rose told one of her colleges, "Thanks Matt, I have this." Then after that she placed a hand on Mrs. Malfoy's back and guided her aside. "Astoria," Rose blinked, "Is everything alright?"

"Rose, I have to tell you something, but," She gulped and glanced around anxiously, "Not…here," Mrs. Malfoy whispered.

Nodding, she said, "Alright…Come on," Rose moved her along and told the Fake-Jake, "I'll be back later."

Fake-Jake said nothing, but Rose saw a flicker of emotion behind his eyes at the sight.


Evidence #4:

The sight of Rose Weasley with Astoria Malfoy makes the culprit jumpy when has no reason to be.


"What has you so startled?" Rose whispered as she brought Astoria into the Auror's side of an empty integration room.

"Rose," She gulped, suddenly looking jumpy and very nervous, "There's been movement in Scorpius's bank account."

Freezing Rose said, "…What…what do you mean there was movement?"

"I didn't notice it at first," Astoria Malfoy whispered as she sank down into a nearby chair, "You told me to look for anything strange…to you know, keep track of his finances and then I saw this morning that for the past three months small amounts of money were being funneled out of his account every minute…The amount was…just so small I didn't see it…"

"Shhh…it's okay," Rose soothed her, as she rubbed small circles into her shoulders. "You weren't supposed to do anything but let me know as soon as you knew and you are doing exactly that right now."

She shuddered as tears escaped her eyes, "I know…I know."

"Astoria, look at me," Rose told her softly as she bent over to get eye level with her. "This is good news, they can't get into his account without him."

"Yes they can! They can torture him…or. Or. They can…" Her voice died off when a seemingly endless stream of tears began falling down her face.



Rose wrapped her arms around the small, loving woman, and felt tears prick at her own eyes, she held the woman as she cried in terror and pain. All she wanted was her son to come home and Rose wanted more than anything to tell her that was the case. But she couldn't bring herself to give Scorpius's mother anymore hope. Hope was a fickle friend, it finds you when you need it most, but it also is the biggest liar. It tells you to believe, to tells you hold onto faith, and makes you think that somehow someway what has been lost will be returned to you. And sometimes it's true, sometimes if you put all of your trust and energy into something, it does work out. But usually it doesn't, and Rose didn't have the heart to break hers. So instead she said nothing and just held her almost…could have been, most likely should have been mother in law and said nothing.



Eventually she calmed down and gave Rose the paperwork so she herself could examine it. Rose didn't even look at; she slipped it into her purse to read later, away from prying eyes. Then, she walked Mrs. Malfoy out to the visitor elevator and gave her one last hug. Her pale arms cradled the small fragile woman, as she fought to control herself.


"I will come see you soon, to address it," Rose promised her in a broken whisper.

Unable to respond, Astoria Malfoy nodded, and gulped down the fresh batch of tears that were surfacing in her eyes.


A lot of things got to Rose, things that fell through the harsh barriers, into the tiny cracks that shot through her, breaking down any grasp she had on her emotions. She briskly stormed back to her desk and slammed down into her chair forcing herself to look at the paperwork in front of her.


"What happened?" He asked cautiously.

"Nothing," She snapped, not looking at him.

He said, "Wasn't that Mrs. Malfoy?"


This time she didn't have to fake the rush of emotion she was supposed to have. The tears were real, as were the shaky sentiment behind them. Her eyes hardened, his jaw tightened, and her finger nails dug so deep into her palm, a small prickle of blood ran from it.


When this was just about the job it was different. She could detach and think about it like it was a mission, focusing on simple tasks to fix the overall picture…But this was far too personal for that to ever have been possible. How could she have even deceived herself into thinking she was that cold? How could she have convinced herself that it didn't matter? They had systematically dissected her life and sliced it apart, searching for any vulnerabilities and in the process cut away any part of her life that she needed. Sitting there, staring at a stranger, all of the blood rose in her body, turning over and over again, scorching her cells until her very skin turned almost red enough to match her hair.


Rose couldn't last the entire day. For a few seconds she wasn't even sure if she could last another minute. All of her loathing and hate was curling around, buried deep down, fueling venom into her veins. Across from her was person pretending to be someone else for the soul purpose to crawl their way into her life like a leech, a horrible nasty little parasite.


And right then, she wanted nothing better than to seize him by the collar and slam him into his desk repeatedly until he begged, pleaded even, for mercy and forgiveness. She wouldn't stop. Not until he, whoever the hell this soulless…heartless, bastard was told her what he did with Scorpius and why he was doing this to her now.


The only thread, a small almost feeble thread, that held her back was Astoria Malfoy. Rose promised her that she would do everything she could. And right now that would be keeping her mouth shut until she knew who he was. If she tipped him off, if she hurt him, she may never find out anything, and in some ways that was so much worse then knowing the truth.


So, she clamped her jaw tight, and said nothing. She clamped her jaw tight so much her muscles began to ache and whine. For hours, Rose threw herself into her work. Using her anger and rage to rip through all of her work to the point where, for the first time in her career, she finished all of her work early. When she finally stopped, Rose looked down and saw a small bruise forming in the space on her hand she'd been gripping her quill with. Still fuming, Rose cleared her throat and realized she's skipped lunch.


"I'm leaving," She stated to the imposter, not looking at him.

"Where are meeting tonight? …For the ball?"

Rose looked at him for the first time in hours, barely concealing the hate lingering in her eyes. "7:00, front of the ministry, by the Albus Dumbledore statue."

"Why the Dumbledore statue?" He asked, his eyebrows rising, looking skeptical at the location choice.

She shrugged, no longer caring how she appeared to seem. "Just be there Andrews."


Rose moved to leave; the file Mrs. Malfoy shifted to the bottom of her purse, forgotten and waiting to be found until much later.


"Are you sure you want to go to this?" Lauren wondered aloud while she eyed her green gown in the mirror. "I mean I'm sure I can say you came down with something if someone asks."

"No," Rose said shortly, not bothering to see how she looked. "I'm fine."

"Well you look like you're about to go axe-murder crazy…but if you say you're fine…"

"I am."

Lauren shrugged, her long blonde hair touching the split in the back of her dress. "Okay."

"You look nice Lauren…Do you have a date?"

Her cheeks flushed, but she otherwise showed no other sign she was bothered at all. "Yes, he's a nice bloke, and not bad looking either."

"That's nice," Rose said stiffly.

"Look," Lauren sighed sitting down next to her, "I …well …I fancied your brother, but he's keen on pushing me away. And I'm not going to wait anymore. It's time I moved on and accepted that I…" She cleared her throat and a more resolved look focused on her pale, "That I deserve more."

Rose's face softened and she gave Lauren's hand a squeeze. "If that's how you honestly feel then I'm behind you a 111 percent."

"Why 111?" Lauren snorted, standing up to check her reflection one more time.

"Because," Rose muttered, leaning back on her forearms, "It's an odd number kind of a day."

"What do you mean?"

Rose shook her head.

"What Rose?" Lauren asked, twisting to look at her, "You seem…all angry and frigid."

"I just found out something today…I can't talk about it, but it's bothering me."

She sighed in disapproval, "That job of yours is going to eat you alive."

"I know. Believe me," Rose rubbed her face carefully avoiding the traces of make-up on her face, "I know."

"Well as long as you're aware of it."

Rose grabbed her purse and stood up. "Have you talked to Kelly?"

"She's owled me at least twelve times today…I think I'm more excited than she is to see this thing ended." Lauren said darkly as she grabbed her own purse and linked arms with Rose. "How about you Maid of Honor? Are you ready for it all to be over?"

Taking a brave breath, Rose fixed her posture and looked at her best friend steadily. "I'm ready."


Rose had a few ideas of how she would corner the fake-Jake. All of them were discarded as soon as she saw him. Lauren left her to go find her date. For a second, there was a small reel in Rose's head. It played out slowly. In the first movie she tortured him, throwing the consequences aside and no longer caring about anything or anyone else, but instead focusing on just causing him pain. A slow darkness crept over Rose making her believe in doing the most horrible things. It was possible, he hadn't seen her yet. Rose could just take him out and end all of it. Her collarbone shuddered and her lips trembled, people in their formal wear passed by her mindlessly, none of them knowing what was going on her mind. But then the image flipped to the next reel, the reel of Scorpius's face, smiling and even laughing. Blinking away tears, her fingers jabbed into her palm, once again drawing blood.


She had a choice. She always had a choice, but this time the thing driving her to hate this man, giving her impulse to kill was also the thing restraining her from doing so. Eventually the choice was taken away from her all together. Andrews eventually noticed her standing there and walked over with a smile.


Under that smile, Rose caught the flicker of concern, the flicker of uncertainty. How had she not had noticed for so long? The answer was because she never really looked at her partner at all. And that made her shittier than she could ever explain.


"You alright Weasley?"

Rose nodded, looking far too pale.


He held out his arm for her to link hers through. After fighting with herself for five seconds Rose twitched her arm through his and walked on. She hoped he didn't know her well enough to tell how deeply damaged she was. Maybe he didn't know her at all and he was just a placeholder to keep an ear out for information. Or that was at least what she told herself as they entered the massive ballroom.


The room was lit up in the most beautiful lights; there were hundreds of tables with the most beautifully dressed people Rose had ever seen. It caught her off guard and she was having a hard time getting any sense of clarity.


"I'll see you later," He told her, unlinking their arms and going off to talk to someone.


Rose didn't watch who he was going to talk to. She had to get a hold of her Uncle. It took her nearly an hour to find him through all of the people. By the time she did she'd been dragged into dancing twice, her feet were killing her and she was in no mood to take no for an answer. Her uncle could hate her until the day she died. It was no longer a concern of her how he felt about her.


"I need to talk to you," Rose stated, tugging on her uncles arm like she had when she was a child. The difference was she wasn't going to give him the option to turn her down. "Right now, uncle."

Her Uncle Harry's eyebrows furrowed as he glanced down at her. "Rose-"

"No," She told him sharply and quietly. "You can hate me all you want. You can think I killed Albus for as long as it takes for the pain of his death to go away…I. Don't. Care." Rose insisted her voice completely still. "I need you to come with me…right, now."


He opened his mouth to shut her down, to tell her that the was nor the time or the place, but he saw a fierceness in her eyes, a fiery spirit, which he knew she got directly from her mother and he found couldn't fight her on this one.


"Fine," Harry obliged, "One minute."

Rose lead him out to a hallway and whispered a spell to keep their conversation private. She let out a hasty breath and said, "I think my partner isn't really my partner."


"Someone has polyjuiced Andrews and taken his place."

Her uncle crossed his arms, "Where is your proof?"

"Uh…Well…You see…" She stumbled, but then she shook it away and said, "I just know alright?! I've been watching him all day and he isn't the same person. I'm completely sure of it! I will swear to the Minister of Magic-"

"People change Rose," He said darkly. "And without actual proof I can do nothing…Your word has no weight to it."

"You know!...You...You are such a git!" She snapped furiously stomping her heel for effect. "For someone who bitches that no one ever listened to you until it was too late you sure do follow in their footsteps!"


Rose didn't wait for his response; she raced back into the ballroom just as the slender, brunette head coordinator pressed his wand to his throat.


"Now then, witches and wizards! I ask all the single few of you to gather up, take a partner and dance."

"Come on Rose," Her ex-boyfriend said grabbing her hand and pulling her onto the dance floor.

"No! I don't want-"

Adrian shook his head, "I don't care. If I have to dance with Clara Franklin one more time I'm going to kill myself. I mean it. She's driving me mad Rose."

"Adrian-" She protested as he made her get into a dancing position.

"It will be over in three minutes tops," He told her soothingly. "Then you can go back to sulking over wearing a dress…you do look pretty by the way."

Rose groaned, "Adrian! This is a switch partner dance! In a minute I have to dance with another bloke!"

Adrian grimaced as the realization hit him. "Oh…My bad."

"I'm going to kill you!"

"Well I would be afraid," He began spinning her around, "If our time wasn't up."


All night Rose had seen Adrian dodging the most unpleasant and needy secretary in the room. His intentions were genuine, but that still didn't stop her from wanting to rip his head off. And she would have, if he didn't spin her right into her next dance partner's arms.


"I'm-" Rose began as soon as the next mans hand reached out for her. But she fell silent when he tossed her around and into his secure somehow… familiar embrace.


Rose gasped, her big blue eyes dilating as she looked up into the eyes of a stranger with Jake Andrews face. The whole night he'd been avoiding her as much as she'd been keeping an eye on him. But while they moved in a dancing formation, he gave her that look again. A look that was so unguarded and so unintentional that it slaughtered any of her defenses.


"I didn't know you could dance." He whispered above the soft tenors of the music as he forced himself to look away from her.

She gulped, thinking of her wand. "I can't…I'm just following you."

"You were worse with that other bloke."

"Well," She said furrowing her eyebrows, "I usually have a hard time following him…or anyone really I usually move on the offbeat…except with…"

He said, his lips a centimeter above her ear, "Except with?"

"Hey," She breathed her voice cracking, "I have to get some air. Can you come with me really quick?"

"Yeah." He stopped moving. "You alright?"

Rose nodded, with a forced smile, her body shaking.


Authors Note:


Song in the summary is Heartbeat By: The Fray. Thank you guys for all the reviews! I LOVE THEM. THANK YOU FOR READING! PLEASE REVIEW!

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