“Behave yourself,” her father said with a smile as he planted a kiss on her forehead. “We’ll expect no detentions for at least two weeks.”
“I don’t get detentions,” Rose Weasley huffed in response. “That’s Hugo you should be telling,” she added as she shut her neatly packed trunk.
“Dad! I can’t find my Quidditch gloves,” Hugo shouted from his bedroom. “I need them because James’ll holding trials soon!”
“I’ll be right there,” Ron sighed as he muttered a spell and moved Rose’s trunk downstairs. “Go help your mum pack the lunches.”
Rose smiled happily and headed towards the kitchen. When she pushed open the door she was greeted with quite a familiar sight: her mother’s arms were folded over her chest and she was glaring at the stockpile of cold cuts on the counter.
“Your brother and father have the exact same eating style,” Hermione huffed.
“And that’s to eat anything and everything as soon as possible?” Rose asked with a smile.
Hermione smiled as well before reaching out to her little girl. She pulled her in for a hug and rested her forehead against Rose’s. “Everything ready to go?” she asked softly.
“Yes, Mum,” Rose smiled. “At least mine is. Dad’s with Hugo trying to find his Quidditch gloves.”
“I’ll never understand the men – and Ginny – in this family with their Quidditch fascinations,” Hermione muttered before waving her wand and making two sandwiches – one with the works for Hugo and a peanut butter and jam for Rose.
“It’s not so bad,” Rose said as she began manually putting the food back in the ice box. “It’s quite interesting and flying is quite fun.” At the look on her mother’s face she hastily added, “Not that I want to play Quidditch or anything. I like to watch though.”
“The game or the players?” Hermione asked as she playfully nudged her daughter.
Before Rose could come up with an answer Ron and Hugo burst into the room. “We’ll have to apparate,” Ron declared.
“No way,” Rose refused. “I hate that feeling. Can’t we floo?”
“We have to go by car, Ronald. You know that,” Hermione said.
“But – but …” Hugo had convinced his father that apparating would be fun and now he was losing out.
“We have loads of time. It’s only half past nine,” Hermione said gently as she handed Hugo his sandwich.
“Betcha Harry and Ginny are there already,” Ron muttered.
“Yeah but that git Scorpius is probably there too,” Hugo muttered.
Rose wanted to correct her brother and say that the young Malfoy wasn’t a git at all but she knew she couldn’t. Her father had taken the rivalry beyond what it should have been. He had nearly lost his mind when she wrote that she had been sorted into Ravenclaw with a couple other kids, Scorpius Malfoy among them. Ron had even gone so far as to write McGonagall to try and get Rose’s House changed. “Then don’t talk to him if you don’t like him. He didn’t bother you once since last Christmas.”
“That’s because he got a girlfriend and had better things to do,” Hugo winked.
Rose turned slightly pink. So people really did assume that when he was sneaking off he was doing it to meet a girl. Which he was, truth be told, but it was only her. With all of the kids born to Harry Potter and Ron Wesley in Hogwarts at the same time, things got quite difficult. The boys looked out for the girls in the most territorial way. She, personally, had only been on three dates to Hogsmeade. And both of them involved a Potter boy being not far away. It was apparently Hugo’s job to keep an eye on Lily. Which she didn’t like. At all. And let him know. Loudly. In public. At dinner. People still relate the story.
“I don’t know why you think he’s sneaking off to have a snog with some girl. Maybe he’s just going to hang out with a friend,” Rose said.
“Doubt it,” Hugo snorted. “He’s a ladies man, ‘inne? I mean, you’re in his House. You should know.”
“Just because we’re in the same House and the same classes doesn’t mean we’re friends,” Rose defended. “Because we’re not,” she added as if the comment would make all the difference in the world.
“There wouldn’t be anything wrong if you were,” Hermione said as she ushered the family out of the kitchen. “Hugo, please go put your and your sister’s trunks in the car. Ron, help him. Rosie, grab Freddie and Remi, please.” Freddie was her cat and Remi was Hugo’s owl.
Twenty minutes – and a few minor scratches – later, the family of four were on their way to Kings Cross. Rose had never been so happy to live in London. Her dad was driving so it was a little bit slow, but they eventually made it and parked. She and her brother grabbed their belongings and headed inside, Ron and Hermione in tow.
“Oooh, look, Hugo, it’s your girlfriend!” Rose taunted as a pretty black-haired girl waved to the blushing redhead.
“Shut up,” he muttered before dropping his trunk – on her toe! – and making a beeline for Amelia Crowson.
“Hey, Lia,” Hugo said as he scratched the back of his neck nervously. “Good holiday?”
“Better now,” she said cutely. “I need to go say goodbye to my mum and dad. I’ll see you on the train?” she asked. When he nodded she smiled and pecked him on the cheek. “See you soon!” she shouted over her shoulder.
Hugo blushed crimson when he heard his cousins cat-calling him. “Shove off,” he said as he shoved Albus away from him.
“So you finally worked up the bits, huh, little cousin?” James asked with a smirk. “She really is a nice piece of work.”
“Don’t talk about her like that,” Hugo growled.
Albus started laughing until he saw Ron and Hermione disappear to speak with his parents and Rose sink slowly into the steam. “Where’s Rosie going?” he asked.
“Probably to read some bloody book,” Hugo groused. “It’s all she does. Read and write letters to someone. She won’t tell me who.”
“Think she’s got a boyfriend?” James asked with concern. “She’s much too young to date.”
“You had a girlfriend last year so shut up,” Lily said as she passed. “And, for your information, I have a boyfriend now,” she smiled and headed to say goodbye to her parents.
“What?!” Albus and James shouted.
“Hey, don’t look at me. She was with you two all of summer holiday. I kept an eye on Rose and made sure she didn’t go off meeting some boy. Just because you two don’t know how to keep tabs on Lily doesn’t mean you get to blame it on me,” Hugo defended.
Their parents made their way over to the kids to say goodbye, Hermione and Ron having already spoken to Rose again.
“Where’s Rose?” Albus asked. “I want to see if she made prefect again.”
“Of course she did,” Ron said proudly. “And she said she needed to help one of the other prefects with something. We’ve already seen her off.”
“Which prefect?” James demanded.
“Donno,” Ron replied whilst scratching his head. “I think she said it was someone from her own House. Same year too.”
Albus took off like a rocket shouting “I’ll write soon, Mum and Dad!” over his shoulder.
“Where’s he going?” Ginny asked.
“To rescue Rosie,” James replied.
“From what?” Hermione asked as she laid a calming hand on Ron’s arm.
“Malfoy,” Hugo muttered. “He’s the other prefect from her House in her year.”
“And why does she need rescuing?” Lily asked.
“Because it’s Malfoy,” James replied with a shrug.
“That’s not a good reason, James Sirius,” Ginny replied with her hands on her hips. “You boys had better leave her alone. She deserves to have some fun.”
“Fun?!” Ron, Hugo and James cried.
“Yes,” Hermione responded for her sister-in-law. “Fun. Leave your sisters alone,” she said to James and Hugo. “And your daughters,” she added to Ron and Harry.
Harry raised his hands in a surrender pose. “I’m the one who saved Draco’s life. I don’t have a problem with him, his wife or his kid.”
“Good,” Hermione said. “Because Asteria is a lovely woman. We have tea once a week. She may be nicer than Fiona, really ...”
Hugo and James narrowed their eyes in a silent agreement to keep Malfoy and Rosie as far apart as possible. But they knew it would mostly fall to Albus, who was already very protective of her, since he was the one in their classes.