Featured Character or Pairing(s): Scorpius Malfoy/Rose Weasley
Summary: Every rose in the bouquet symbolizes an important memory in their relationship. Rose’s bouquet is colorful and precious.
“Life’s enchanted cup sparkles near the brim.” – Lord Byron
The Yule Ball started out being everything Rose had dreamt it would be. Horatio Nott had asked her to attend, and despite being a full seventeen years old, having one of the handsomest boys in school ask her to the biggest event of the school year set her heart racing and put a permanent blush of pleasure to her cheeks. It didn’t matter that the young man had barely spoken a word to her before the asking, or that Xander Zabini didn’t like him, or that Scorpius thought she was acting completely daft.
Because she was going to the ball with Horatio Nott!
She had on the expensive set of midnight blue robes her mother had bought for her as a birthday gift; they flattered her eyes. Carrie Finch-Fletchley did her hair—almost everyone but Rose had conveniently forgotten about the previous year’s debacle, especially when she and Scorpius had managed to win back that many points before the end of the year, plus some—and really, she felt prettier than she’d ever felt before.
Horatio was the perfect gentleman, picking her up just outside of the common room. He brought her a flower—a purple iris that at the time she thought was charming, though she couldn’t help but think he might have gone with her namesake. He smiled at her—Merlin, he was handsome—and led her to the Great Hall.
Don’t I look great? she wanted to ask, but didn’t. That would be vain of her.
“I’ll just get us some punch,” he told her, ushering her in, not pausing under the mistletoe, much to her inner disappointment. But he was being so gallant and attentive…
… until he never came back. Rose waited patiently at one of the small tables for ten minutes, then twenty, and then thirty. At thirty-two, she stood and decided to go find him. He was popular, after all, but he was her date tonight.
She found him partly across the room, not even hidden from sight, not really, snogging that Hufflepuff princess, Marsha Vaisey. Marsha Vaisey, who was possibly the most beautiful girl at school since Rose’s cousin Victoire attended. Marsha, with the big breasts and the flat stomach and the fucking perfect blonde hair and green eyes, who had always hated Rose for her cousins and her grades and the fact that James had dumped her and that Marsha never, ever beat her at a single thing.
Marsha saw her, over Horatio’s shoulder, and sighed. And smirked. “Oh, dear,” she said. “Did you really think Horatio was going to be here with you?”
Horatio looked back and her and smirked before nuzzling Marsha’s neck. It had all been a set up. All of it. And she’d been played for the fool. Her eyes flooded with tears as the two lovers laughed, mocking her excitement and care of dress and everything.
She didn’t remember leaving the ball. She just… left. She definitely didn’t remember brushing past Scorpius, but she must have. Or perhaps he simply saw those two snogging and put two and two together, because he found her not too much longer later, hidden in a far nook of the library where she—and often he—studied.
Rose sniffled into her knees, not wanting to look up, knowing that her face looked a frightful mess. She wasn’t the sort who looked pretty when they cried—she got all blotchy and ugly. “Go away,” she muttered. Gods, she really didn’t want anyone, even him, to see her right now. It was too embarrassing, it was raw and painful and it hurt and she was so stupid, so damn stupid, she didn’t want anyone to see her like this.
She heard him rather than saw him sit down and rock his chair so it stood balanced on its back legs. “Don’t you have a date to attend to?” she asked harshly.
“Not anymore,” he said blithely. “But some things are more important than the likes of Daisy Brown-Wood. I only asked her because you had a date, anyway.”
She finally looked up when he said that, mouth partially open but uncertain of what to say. He looked casual and cocky, just like she’d expected, but she’d forgotten that he would be in dress robes. In them, he could have been some young, roguish lord of the manor, hair just slightly too long, enough to brush into his eyes. The high collar of the robes and the fine cut of them combined to make him look… well, yummy was the first word to her mind, not that she’d ever admit it.
“What? I couldn’t go alone if you had a date,” he drawled mildly, quashing her brief hope that he’d been going to ask her until that jerk had.
Rose retreated back to sulking into the knees of her robes. “What, no ‘I told you so’?” she asked darkly, feeling thoroughly sorry for herself.
“Nah. I figure you’re doing that to yourself enough for everyone.” He remained rather quiet, simply waiting on her. She finally looked up again, knowing she looked a mess.
“He didn’t even say I looked nice.” She hadn’t realized it would sound so sad and forlorn, but it did, coloring the air with the ashy remains of her daydreams.
“Well, my dear, that is because he is an arse.” Scorpius stood in one quick, graceful movement and held his hand out to her. “Come on, let me see you.”
Rose reluctantly stood, unfolding herself from the chair and brushing vainly at the lines of her robes, hoping she hadn’t hopelessly wrinkled them. Scorpius whispered a spell, making the nearby candles shine more brightly so he could see her. He looked for long enough to make her duck her head and feel self conscious.
“None of that, now,” he told her, reaching up to tilt her face back up. “You look… absolutely enchanting, Rosie. Don’t let those two vindictive fools make you think otherwise.”
She didn’t feel enchanting, not in the least, let alone beautiful, but he seemed so serious and heartfelt that she smiled anyway. Even the nickname, once hated, felt like an endearment.
“Come on, dance with me, Rosie. It’s the last Yule Ball we’ll ever have at Hogwarts,” he said, reaching out to grasp her hand again and pulling her close.
She laughed, shook her head. Her artistically arranged curls bounced. “What? Here? In the library?” she protested half-heartedly. “There’s not even any music!”
He flicked his wand and the strains of a gentle waltz sounded throughout the normally silent library. And so they danced with graceful turns through the stacks and tables of the library, her laughter a gentle counterpoint to the tune.
That night, when she turned in to bed well past curfew, she found a since lavender rose upon her pillow. Though she had spent a surprisingly delightful night in the library just talking and dancing with Scorpius, he had turned into such a good friend she didn’t think too much of it.
You enchant me, body and soul.
Rose’s heart skipped a beat even as she knew those words were merely to make her feel better. Lavender roses meant enchantment, after all… there was no way he meant love at first sight. They’d known each other too long for that.
Nevertheless, she went to sleep with a smile on her face and was able to face the world with head held high the next day.
A/N: Written for weasley_fest for jade_chan. Thanks to triskellion and somigliana for the betas :D