Two Years Later
"Scorpius, what are you having?"
"Er…just make mine a butterbeer."
"Are you sure?" James raised an eyebrow, clutching his money between his fingers, his other arm slung around May's waist, "It's on me."
Scorpius shook his head, "Someone's got to stay sober enough to get Cassie home." He gestured to the petite witch, who had began celebrating hers and May's new business a little earlier than planned and was already swaying on her feet, her hair sticking up everywhere but Scorpius couldn't remember if she'd intended it to be that way before she'd gone out or not. May raised her eyebrows, looking even more formidable than normal in a dramatic and- despite her insistance otherwise- gothic dress and heavy eye makeup.
"But this is your last night- it's your leaver's celebreation! You deserve a good time, for once. Cassie doesn't need a babysitter." She rolled her eyes, "She needs a referral to a healer, sure, but you should have a real night out! You've passed the interview- You've got a job travelling the world! James is going to be in the ministry! Cassie and I have our own bookshop! It's all good," Her deep eyes went soft at the edges, "You just need to start believing that it is. Let loose- get drunk, chat up a girl-"
"So that's a Fire-Breathing Cocktail, a Peppermint Cordial on the rocks, a butterbeer and something soft for Cassie!" James said, and hastily went to buy the first round (Or Cassie's fifth) to avoid the awkward conversation May was rallying herself up for.
"I have fun with you guys when I'm sober, you know." Scorpius said, smiling slightly, "If it was any other way, I'm sure you'd be offended."
May sighed, "Mark," She could never bring herself to use his real name- she couldn't take it seriously- so every time she addressed him, she christened him with the most ordinary names she could think of so she could maintain serious conversation with him, "It's been two years…your life's coming together now. Maybe it's time to just let this one last thing go."
Scorpius looked away, blinking hard. May was right- it really was best that he let her go. He'd gotten through the rest of school, from the firm help of his new friends, May, Cassie and strangely enough, his now closest confidante, James. He'd passed his N.E.W.T.s with flying colours and the opportunities had opened up in front of his very eyes. He could have gone professional in Quidditch, or gotten a comfortable job at the ministry- he was even offered a position at Hogwarts but he hastily declined. He never wanted to step foot in that place ever again, he didn't even want to think about it, although he never stopped.
Instead, he was about to set off on his travels, working for Gringotts and breaking curses. He told himself he wanted adventure, to break free from this tiny island he called home and to see the world.
But really he was already making plans of the places he would check, the people he would talk to. He was searching for Rose, and although all his friends knew it, they never said anything. They knew they wouldn't be able to stop him.
Because for the past two years she had taunted him, the memory of her, the scent of her on the clothes she had left behind, the shine of her eyes that sometimes he would catch in other people, making his heart stop, his breathing halter. He'd been riddled by her, her sudden disappearance, the fact that she didn't believe that he had loved her. That one hurt the most. It was like a scar- he could try and go on as normal, but it would always be there, making him a marked man. He'd gotten offers from other girls, but every time he'd turned them down, with less tact than they deserved.
He had gone to see her parents. He had to explain to them. When he turned up on their doorstep and admitted that he was the boy from the letter he had sent them, he was sure they would slam the door in his face. But her mother, with the same soft expression and flyaway hair, stepped back from the doorway and her father clutched the doorframe as if he might fall to his knees. He told them the story, and they weren't alone in crying. They accepted it, forgave him. They had kept in touch. They appreciated the fact that he loved their daughter, maybe even more than they did. They understood why he had to hurt her- they had thanked him for protecting her.
And now he was allowed to live the life he wanted. There were no boundaries, no one telling him what to do, not since he had severed ties with his family. But it wasn't a life he wanted to live, a life alone even with his friends surrounding him. It was the life he hadalways feared.
"Scooorpius." He smiled and grimaced at the sound of his old friend warbling to him from a bar stool. He took the one she was slapping her hand against as a clear signal, and rested his head on his hand, smiling at her as she tried to focus on one of the four Scorpius' she was seeing.
Because it was James and May the couple, and then Cassie and Scorpius- strictly friends- they had formed a bond that was just between them in the modest group. So whenever James and May drifted off into their own private world, Cassie and Scorpius would sit in the corner and wait it out together, all the while enjoying each other's company. So this made it easier for him to talk to her. Especially when she was this drunk- there wasn't a chance she'd remember anything the next morning.
"I just wont yooh to know." She slurred, dipping this way and that in her drunken state, "Thaat I reespekt yooh. N-na-nah I rehlly doo!" She added firmly when Scorpius shook his head in exasperation. She flapped a hand at him so he would pay her the proper attention she needed, "Yaw…yaw strong. After….after EVRYfink!"
Scorpius nodded silently, wondering just when James would get here with his own drink so he wouldn't have to have this conversation again.
"It's just so…so trajik!" Cassie whispered in a hiss, her eyes sparkling, "Yooh…yooh luvved her…yooh luvved her so. Much." She smacked the bar with her palm twice to emphasize the last two words, "But it waz jusst tooh layt… shee woz jusst gon. Beefore yooh cood fix it." Her shoulders slumped in sorrow, "It's just …yooh guyz belongg!"
"Yeah." Scorpius whispered hoarsely, unable to speak any louder than this, "But, sometimes these things happen-"
"And now yoou're..you're gonna look for her." Cassie said with hushed reverence, bringing a hand to her chest, the other clutching her drink like a handrail, "Without any clues, or any infumashon…it's so heroic."
Scorpius blushed, "It's nothing like that…I'm travelling for work too."
"No." Cassie said, shaking her head as if he just didn't understand, "Nah. Nope. It's for Roze…and yooh know it. I jusst hayted wot it did to yooh wen she left…"
Scorpius sighed, took the bottle from her hand and downed it in one go. Maybe he was in the mood for cheering up a bit.
"Don't tell me she's depressed you again." May sighed, sitting on the other side of Cassie, and James on the other side of her, "Well, at least she's got you drinking. I already put alcohol in your butterbeer in any case."
Scorpius accepted the butter beer and enjoyed the fuzzy feeling that began to seep through him, making the memories of Rose just that little bit more blurred.
It wasn't until May had pulled James up to dance and Cassie had fallen asleep, using her arms for a pillow, that it happened. It was then that a small hand fell onto his forearm as he watched the hair that had fallen in front of Cassie's mouth flutter forward and backward with her heavy breaths, shocked him out of his stupor, caused him to turn and look into the face of the person sitting just one stool away from him.
The world stopped turning.
And then went spinning the other way. Everything went backwards so nothing made sense. Except one fact that made tears come to his eyes, happiness to overwhelm his heart.
"Rose," He breathed, the air hitching in his too-tight throat. Her startling blue eyes were wide and brimming with tears. He could barely hear himself over the pounding of his heart, could see nothing but the beauty of her, a fully-fledged woman.
Her titan hair had grown over the two years, there was a flourish of spirals piled up on the crown of her head, secured with a small quill. Was she a journalist? A novelist? Or was it simply a quirky habit she had, one that had developed without him. Hey eyes had a certain maturity to them now, an age past her own, her golden eyelashes longer, and softly curving skywards. She had grown into her sloping cheek bones, and her rosebud lips quivered as she attempted a smile. The smile that proved she was still his Rose.
"Wh…" He began hoarsely. What? Why? Where? Which to start with? There were so many questions, ones that she'd left him with, and ones she had brought with her now, hanging between them with the loudest of silences.
They could do nothing but look at each other for just a while longer. Over her shoulder, Scorpius could see James twirling a laughing May, and wondered if he should alert him to Rose's return.
"No, not yet." Rose pleaded softly, as she followed his gaze to the giggling couple, "And isn't he quiet the hypocrite? That's a Slytherin he's dancing with!" She smiled faintly, and Scorpius felt his heart break and mend quicker than the tears glancing down her cheeks.
"Rose…" It seemed alright to speak her name again, and he relished it, the way it spoke beauty and romance with one breath, "You have to know what happened, you have to-"
"I know," She soothed, and her warm palm pressed into his, laid upwards on the bar surface. Her fingers tangled with his, "I've dropped in on mum and dad. They told me everything, why you did it, what happened with James and Matilda, and where you've been living, you and the others. It seems I've missed a lot- you're leaving tomorrow?"
Scorpius nodded reluctantly, "Yeah, this is my leaving celebration," He took a glance at the snorting Cassie, and knew how pathetic his party must have seemed. He found that he couldn't look away for long, Rose drew him to her, as he believed she would if he went searching for her across the globe. But she had found him, "I'm curse breaking for Gringotts- across Asia. There's a lot of Ancient Temples tha-"
Rose leant forwards and pushed her lips up against his. He melted into her, and felt his heart beat out to her, like all those years ago. His lips broke into a smile as her warm hands ran through his hair.
May had been wrong; (although she'd never admit it) letting go of Rose had never been the way to make his life complete. He'd just had to wait for her.
They broke apart, and Rose's sweet breath mingled with his as she breathed life into him. His hand was cupped around the back of her soft neck, his thumb grazing the spot just behind the shell of her ear. He buried his face in her hair, wanting to devour her, to take her into him so she'd never leave him again.
"I've never stopped loving you." Scorpius said fiercely, "Not in all these nine years. I'm so sorry for what happened….I'm sorry I had to end it like th-"
"Shh." Rose hushed sweetly, wrapping her arms around him, robbing him of his breath, "What I put in that letter was so much worse.
"What you did was for my protection, and I understand that, you sweet man…I was so full of hate for myself I passed it onto you. I guess I couldn't deal with it by myself and after you left me I didn't have anyone to turn to. What you did made me love you no less. But it's nearly killed me going over and over what I put in that letter, even what I put in James'.
"Neither of you deserved it and all I've wanted to do was find you again, just to…"
She explained herself by pulling him into another kiss, one less fervent and more slow, one that lasted, on that they could take in and savour and thank God for.
"So. I hear Asia's lovely this time of year." She raised her blue eyes to meet his. He nearly sang.
"Then you're coming with me."
"I'd follow you across the world." She whispered, clutching his face in her hands. Scorpius softened.
"I nearly did just that." He smiled a lilting smile and she laughed a lyrical laugh. This moment was beautiful.
"Let's get out of here." She said, and Scorpius was out of his seat before she'd finished the thought. He didn't let go of her, holding her waist, stroking her hair, kissing her forehead and her eyelashes and the tears from her cheeks. As they left the bar, they passed James and May who were still dancing, now in a tighter embrace as they swayed clumsily. May was the one facing their way. Her eyes widened as she saw them standing together. James turned to see what she was staring at, but before he could May grabbed his face, asked him "Haven't you forgotten something?" And planted a kiss full on his lips. Forgetting everything, James smiled and returned it enthusiastically, wrapping his arms around her and lifting her from the floor. In this compromising position, May opened her eyes and winked at Scorpius and Rose.
"Thanks." Scorpius mouthed, and so they could leave uninterrupted by family reunions. They would meet again.
They walked through the moonlit street, a drunken wizard warbling a love song, cool night air blessing their heated bodies.
"You know, some people would call us star-crossed by now." Scorpius mused, coming to a stop because he had to take another look at her. Gently, he pulled the quill from her hair and watched it spill down her back in a wave of fiery curls. She sighed and took both his hands in hers. He saw a future, he saw a life with her. He saw Rose.
"Mmh?" She asked, and then threw back her head to yell to the night sky:"Then I defy you, stars!"
It rang out around the street and even the drunk faltered in his ditty. Scorpius laughed, at what he didn't know.
"What?" He asked, a beautiful smile curling his tone. Rose shrugged coyly as burning spirals fell into her azure eyes, that shone as they reflected the starlight.
"Just something I read once."
And their story went on…
"Then I defy you, stars!"- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 5.1
So there it is! Not a tragedy after all- it did say a TWIST on Romeo & Juliet, possibly one of the most beautiful pieces of literature this world will ever see.
I just want to clarify that I meant their story would go on and put in that last quote in the sense that they lived a full life together, and that they were indeed defying the stars/fate, something that the original lovers declared but never got to achieve.
So I'm NOT doing a sequel...that I know of.
I would LOVE to do something with James and May, though. They're a gorgeous couple.
So that took a lot of willpower, and without my good friend Pink Pritstick (COUGH! May COUGH!) This plot wouldn't have been as good as I think it is. Thanks so much to you reviewers, especially the ones who committed themselves to giving me the pleasure of one each chapter. And I know it's RUDE to demand this, but if you haven't reviewed yet, I'd really appreciate it if you'd "drop me a line" so to speak, as I like to say, due to the rules of "Equivalent Exchange"- I give you a story, you tell me what you think! :)
This was totally worth giving up my schoolwork for!
And NOW I'm going to write another humor story- GOD I need cheering up! This story sucked the life out of me- you can see where I went loopy and put in some weird comedy moments. Oops.
Oh and the AWESOME character Diaz is dedicated to my fabulous friend, Stefanie. (Stoof ;D) Well he's hers already...but whatever! I'm being all up on my high horse and GRANTING her permission!
So I should shush now- I really hope you enjoyed this story, that you'll favorite it and may even read it again sometime!
Thanks for reading,
Love you as always, readers.
(P.S. JAMIE WE LOVE YOU!)