Tied Fingers, Best Lies

March 11th

“So I usually have control over my transformations, but when my emotions are running wild, it’s not something I’m thinking about. Victoire comes back from the bathroom, and my hair is suddenly pink. She’s immediately suspicious, but I’m safe because she asks me if I’ve ingested some new Weasley Wizard Wheezes product…”

Teddy was in the middle of his story on how he proposed to Victoire. He had, of course, attempted on Valentine's Day, but that night had ended with them soaking wet without wands in the middle of nowhere, so the romance had all fizzled out.

“…And as if that’s not enough, it’s some bloke’s ninetieth birthday two tables over from us. So I’m sitting there, just about to reach into my pocket for the ring, and the waiters have these enchanted frogs singing at the top of their amphibious lungs.” Victoire, anticipating what was to come, giggled. “As soon as the hooplah with the old man calms down, I stand on top of my seat to get everyone’s attention, then immediately jump to the floor and get down on one knee, which, for the record, was incredibly painful since I had dance class the night before…”

Teddy and Vic kept the party fairly casual. Since March was too early in the year for an outdoor gathering, they created a tent of sheer textile and magicked the insides warm. Despite having grown up with magic, Rose found it strange to be looking out at the cool landscape from a warm perspective. She would exit the tent to use the loo and remember why she brought her cloak, which was neatly wrapped around her chair, in the first place.

Rose perused the potluck tables, picking up a chicken leg and scooping some fruit salad onto a thick paper plate. She rejoined her table, where Al, Scorpius, and Lysander sat. Rose wanted to be with James, to make up for lost time, but he was sitting with Lily, who had not stopped giving Rose dagger eyes as sharp as her eyes were bright. Louis was sitting at the big table with Andromeda Tonks and Victoire’s family; everyone was currently playing nice and respectful, but Rose was waiting in the back of her mind for the tension to unfold.

“Valentine’s Day is too cliche, anyway. After that failed, I picked the most important day to us: the day of our first date. And while we’re at it, I might as well say that Victoire and I have been looking at flats. We're moving in together!”

“With Louis living in France and Vic moving out, that house is really gonna seem big, huh?” Al said.

“I was talking to Molly earlier, and she said that Bill and Fleur are going traveling. So maybe Dom with move in with someone? I don’t think she would want to stay at home with everyone else gone.” Rose wasn’t a big gossip, but rumours and slander traveled quickly in such a big family.

“Well, I need a new roommate, so if any of you know someone who is looking, let me know.” Lysander’s bold implication caught the attention of the whole table.

“Are you saying—”

“Scorpius, I don’t want to talk about it, but no, I’m not living in France anymore. Molly and Arthur have been very kind to let me stay here at the Burrow, but it is only temporary.”

“Merlin, in this family, it’s like networking. We’ll find someone for you, Lysander. The only thing that comes to mind…Fred’s graduating this year, so you can ask him what he plans on doing post-grad,” Rose mused.

“I know you don’t know her well, but Dom could be a viable option, if she doesn’t move in with Louis. They always were close, but maybe because from a young age Victoire was always around Teddy.”

“Yeah. Yeah, that sounds great. Lorcan’s starting up business with my mum, so I can’t live with him.” Lysander looked across the room to find his brother, who had been quietly joking with Fred. “What are twins good for, anyway?”

“Twins?” Lorcan asked, sneaking up beside Lysander. “Dancing, I suppose. Come on; the DJ is starting up.”

Over the next few minutes, Rose watched as her friends and family all left to find dance partners and circles to show off their moves in. Lorcan, unsurprisingly, was phenomenal. His trainers dug into the cool grass, creating patterns of wear in the ground like snow angels. Rolf, his father, was the son of a renowned theatre dancer from London, a woman so in love with the magic of art and of life that she fell in love with a Wizard. Lorcan didn’t know much about his Grandma Ruth, but Lysander had spent summers digging in the attic of Rolf’s family home and had found photo albums, Muggle and Wizard alike.

Rose sat at the table for a while, people watching. Her eyes lit up when she saw her relatives betray idiosyncrasies Rose had come love them for: Aunt Angelina always laughed into Uncle George’s shoulder when he told a joke, for instance, and Lucy danced with her arms in the air, eyes closed as if any number of deities were singing to her through the music.

Rose watched as Lily stood up from her own table, leaving just James, until he stood up and walked over to Al. Lily touched up her ruby red lipstick then sauntered over to Rose.

“Do you mind if we talk?”

“Did James send you over here?”

Lily crossed her arms. “So what if he did?” She sighed. “Let’s dance.”

They walked to the center of all the redheads. A Lana Del Rey remix was playing, but Rose didn’t get what was relevant about a summertime sadness in the middle of March. Lily’s hips swayed in time with the beat.

“Look, I’m sorry I was mad at you about James.”

“So you’re just… over it?”

“He’s gonna become a healer! It’s just… James has moved on. He’s sad, but that’s because of Lysander. It’s unfair and unjustified of me to be upset about something he’s trying to put behind him, you know?”

“That’s really mature of you, Lily.”

Lily hugged Rose, which was nearly unprecedented. “Yeah, well, spirit of love and all.”

“When we joked about Teddy one day joining the family? It’s really gonna happen!”

“Rose, I’m shocked you don’t already consider me part of the family!” Teddy called from a few Weasleys over, where he was grooving with Victoire and Dom. Rose could barely hear him over the Taylor Swift blasting from the floating stereos.

“I meant officially, you know that!”

Taylor Swift faded out, and Fleetwood Mac faded in. It was Warm Ways, from their self-titled record, Rose’s favorite. She sought out Scorpius in the crowd, recalling the awkward day a few years ago when Rose and Scorpius had listened to Stevie belt out her tunes at the Burrow.

He caught her eye and began to make his way through the dancers.

“I’m not familiar with this one, but I recognize her voice. Ethereal,” Scorpius noted. “Care to dance?”

“Sure.” Scorpius put one hand on her shoulder and the other on her back. The intimacy was weird only because it was new. They had never upheld any level of closeness near to this, even in all their scheming and arguing.

“I have to apologize: I’m not terribly good at dancing…” Scorpius looked to the side, he looked down, he didn’t know where to look. He looked at Rose.

“Do you remember that day with the records?”

“Yeah, I was thinking about that a couple weeks ago. Heard one of her songs at the benefit and it brought me back.”

“Are you still worried about everything that happened that night?”

“Look around.”

Most people were dancing close: the parents, the young couples, siblings and cousins. Louis was dancing with Dom, Victoire with Teddy, Ron with Hermione, Lorcan with Lucy.

Lysander and James were off to the side, sitting near the potluck buffet. James played with the bunch of grapes on his plate as Lysander placed his hand on James’ shoulder.

“It looks like everything’s gonna be alright.” Lysander smiled at her.

“What… exactly is this, Malfoy?”

“I think we make a great team.”

Rose smiled back, all shy in sincere like she never usually was. “Spirit of love, and all?”

“Yeah. Still gonna get better marks than you, though.”

“We’ll see."

After a while of dancing, Rose got tired, so she went to sit at the table with her family. As she swiped a butterbeer off the drinks table, she overheard Aunt Ginny talking to her dad.

“He’s been Al’s best mate since their second year! I don’t see what the problem is. You know as well as I do Draco— ”

“This isn’t about Draco. If it was, I know Harry would never have allowed that boy to stay over with Al. Rose and Scorpius are the same age ‘Mione and I were when we started going, and you and Harry…”

“She’s dated other boys before, Ron.”

“Were you watching them dance? I dunno; this time it seems different. Call it intuition.”

Ginny laughed. “Ron, you have no such thing as intuition when it comes to romance. I know for a fact they weren’t together at the beginning of the party. Let it play out before you get worried, yeah?”

Rose walked up and took a seat. “Hey.” Ginny gave Ron a look.

“Hullo, Rosie. So, where’s Violet? Thought she’d be here with you.”

“She had a… family obligation.”

In reality, Violet had told Rose, “I think I’ve done enough damage in your family,” which Rose couldn’t really dispute. But Rose was trying to be more optimistic, so she told herself they’d get through it with enough time, and hopefully by the time the wedding rolled around.

“Well, she knows she’s always welcome at our house.”

Rose nodded.

“So,” Ginny said, with a devious grin on her face. “I noticed you and Scorpius Malfoy earlier.”

“We were just dancing, Aunt Ginny.”

She hugged Rose tight around the shoulders. “I’m happy for you two. He’s a great guy.”

“Right, yeah, uh….I see Al over there, all alone. I should probably go keep him company. You can finish the butterbeer.”

Rose hurried over to Al, but just as she approached, so did Scorpius. She’d be hearing a lot from her family about him in the coming weeks.

Scorpius slid beside her and took her hand in his. Al looked at the two of them, then he laughed. “I fucking knew it."

“Come on, let’s dance,” Scorpius shouted.

The Weasleys sure did love to dance.

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