Warnings: Character death
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.
“Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away into the next room,
I am I and you are you,
Whatever we were to each other,
That we still are.” – Henry Scott Holland, excerpt from the poem ‘Death is Nothing at All’
Every year the trek to the grave seemed a little longer, a little harder. His knees creaked more and his hair was less, but he would not miss visiting her grave for all the world. Scorpius Malfoy, well over a hundred years old with his oldest great-grandchild in tow, had missed his wife every single day for the twenty years since Death had separated them, coming upon his beloved quickly and painlessly in her sleep.
Even to this day, James S. Potter would still creak out that Scorpius did not really love Rosie. Scorpius had long since stopped replying to such behavior, but it was true that publicly he had not made a spectacle of himself in grief.
He mourned her, certainly. There was constant pain in his heart, carved into his chest and his soul, his constant companion. There was an empty slot in his bed, where she would lay curved against him; a missing warmth in his arms, where he held her; a missing softness against his lips, where he kissed her.
He missed the scent of her hair, the sound of her laugh, the twinkle of her eyes. The smell of roses could recall it all in an instant, bringing pain and pleasure through him like a stampeding herd of hippogriffs.
But at the same time, he knew in his heart that he would see her again. She was simply across the Veil, waiting for him to cross over to her. He often felt like he could hear her speak, the softness of her voice coming from the next room, the brush of her breath against his ear, the brief pressure of her hand against his back.
She was there, and yet not. So how could he wallow in grief, when it would only be a time until he saw her again?
“Great-pa,” his ten-year-old great-granddaughter started, her little face so serious as it tilted up toward his, “am I really like Great-ma? Everyone always says so, but I don’t remember her at all.”
“You never met her, Prim,” Scorpius told her, resting a hand on the cold tombstone they had come to visit. “She died before you were born. But yes, you are very much like my Rosie, and she would have loved you very, very much.” The tombstone was elaborate, as befitted a Malfoy and, admittedly, a Weasley in this day and age. The words were simple, however: Here Lies Rose Malfoy, Who was all things to all who knew her.
Primrose knelt on the ground, rubbing a smudge of dirt from the crystal vase in front of the carved stone. The vase contained eleven roses: the first seven he’d ever given her with notes, two additional blues for each child they’d had together, a white shot with red for their fiftieth wedding anniversary, and the only charmed one, which had a petal of every color, for when they passed their hundredth birthdays.
In his hand he carried a single flower. With the help of his great-granddaughter, he knelt to the ground, knees creaking with age, and reached out to slip it into the vase.
The black colour stood out darkly against all of the others. It was as close to true black as nature could ever provide.
“Great-pa, why do you always bring that flower here? Why aren’t there more of them?” Her curiousity made him smile, a nostalgic expression.
“I first brought this flower to her grave the day I had to bury her,” he said, as he’d started the story many times before. “Every year, the day before I come back, I wake to find it on my pillow, waiting for me to bring it again.”
It carried no charm other than the stasis charm. Rose was not a ghost. But it didn’t change the fact that he awoke to the heady aroma every year before he trekked here.
“And so every year, I bring it again, so that Rosie will know I’m here and always thinking of her.” And hoping, every year hoping, that this would be the last year he’d walk up the hill. That this was the last year he’d live without her at his side, always just around the corner.
Prim knew the story of every rose by heart—though some were edited for her age—but like every year, she asked, and like every year, he answered, weaving the tale of his childhood, of his Rosie, for her namesake. She knew exactly what every rose said, and she read them as the story went on, taking each rose, smelling it, fingering the petals with respect.
She always lingered over the black rose. Scorpius suspected that she was too young yet to fully comprehend death and loss, but on the flip side, her youth seemed to allow her to understand better than most how he felt that his wife was right there, waiting for him to finish with his life so he could join her.
Her young voice lilted, almost as if in song, as she read the note. He smiled, a sad smile, and Prim leaned forward and hugged him.
“Come on, luv, let’s go home,” he said, and she helped him off the ground and back down the hill.
When his granddaughter, Calypso, checked on him the next morning before going into her job as head of the MLE, she wasn’t entirely surprised to find Scorpius quiet and cool in his bed, a faint smile curving his lips at the corners.
Next to him lay a black rose, and off the end of the rose a note dangled, one familiar to anyone in the Malfoy family. Everyone knew the story of the roses; everyone had seen Rose’s bouquet. At one point or another, everyone had accompanied him to the grave of her grandmother with that same black rose with that same sweet note.
Despite having half-expected this for many years, it did not keep Caly from sniffling back tears as she picked up the rose and laid it gently on his chest. A breeze from the window tugged on the string that tied on the slip of parchment, and it twirled absently on its leash.
“Between this life and the next, where I’ll see you again, I’ll be loving you. Love, me.”
“Now you’re together again,” she whispered as she leaned down to press a kiss to his old, wrinkled cheek.
A/N: Written for Weasley Fest for jade_chan. All information on colors of roses were found on various websites, and none of the poems or quotes belong to me. Also, that last note is heavily influenced by lyrics of If You Get There Before I Do by Collin Raye. Thanks to my wonderful betas, and special thank you to everyone who has been so encouraging and enthusiastic about this bit of fluff I've written.