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Chapter 4 : Christmas Break
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Hermione kept Rose’s secret from Ron and Hugo, and Rose was grateful for it. She sat next to Scorpius on the train home for Christmas Break, and talked excitedly about her plans with her family. Scorpius listened intently while Al and Lenny played exploding snap across from them. “So what are your plans for the holidays?” Rose asked him.
Scorpius shrugged, “Well my father will probably work all the time”
“He doesn’t get off on holidays?”
“Not much. He works in the Magical Law Enforcement and seems to always be busy. But he’ll get Christmas day off and we’ll probably have a bunch of his co-workers and other family members come to our home for a big dinner. We do it every year” Scorpius explained.
“Oh well that sounds fun!” Rose said, smiling.
Scorpius frowned, “It’s mostly just a bunch of adults…I’m always the youngest one there. It’s always boring for me.” Rose gave him a sympathetic look.
“Maybe you could visit me sometime” she suggested. Al gave her a furtive side glance; apparently he wasn’t much interested in exploding snap with Lenny. “Er-I mean- if my dad lets you” Rose added on while turning scarlet. Scorpius gave her that small little smile that she loved and then they changed subjects quickly. They never talked much about their families.
“Mum I don’t want to wear that” Hugo was complaining. Rose was still sitting by the Christmas tree with her dad while Hugo complained about the Weasley sweater that grandmother had made him. It was purple with a blue H. Rose had already put on her pink sweater with the red rose, her dad was wearing his usual maroon one and her mom sported the blue one.
Hermione held out the purple sweater and said, “What’s wrong with it Hugo?”
Hugo scoffed, “Its purple, a girl’s color” He stared at it as though it were going to bite him.
“If you don’t wear it grandma Weasley will be upset” Hermione pointed out. Hugo stuck out his tongue defiantly and Ron got up and grabbed the sweater from Hermione’s hands. Then he flung it over Hugo’s head before Hugo could protest.
“There we go” Ron said while laughing. Hugo crossed his arms but was laughing all the same. “Now can we go? I’m starved” Ron patted his belly.
The Burrow was ablaze with festivities all around and full with people. Harry, Ginny, James, Albus, Teddy and Lily had arrived before Ron, Hermione, Rose and Hugo. Bill, Fleur, Victoire, Dominique and Louis came shortly afterwards. Teddy gave Victoire a romantic hug, which raised whistling and whooping from James and Hugo. Mrs. Weasley barely had time to greet everyone before Percy, Audrey, Molly and Lucy walked across the threshold, followed immediately by Charlie, George, Angelina, Fred and Roxanne. When everyone was settled inside, the house seemed to burst with noise. There were twenty-six people in all, and lots of laughter and cheering rang throughout the house. Mrs. Weasley, Hermione, Fleur, Ginny, Angelina, and Audrey bustled around in the kitchen, preparing a Christmas feast while Harry, Ron, Percy, George, Bill, Charlie and Mr. Weasley set up numerous tables and chairs outside. Teddy and Victoire had disappeared shortly after everyone had arrived and James and Hugo entertained themselves with Wizards chess while Rose, Lily and Albus sat by the fireplace, showing off their gifts to one another.
“Everyone outside!” Mrs. Weasley called after a few hours. Everyone was greeted to the sweet smell of turkey, savory chicken, pork chops, mashed potatoes, vegetables, soups, and fried tomatoes. They all sat around three tables that had been pushed together, and they were still elbow to elbow. Everyone enjoyed the company and good food around the table.
“So Rose and Al, we all want to hear about your first few weeks at Hogwarts” Bill said through mouthfuls of hot chicken.
“It’s amazing!” Al began, “And do you remember Dead Thomas mum?” he asked Ginny. Ginny laughed a bit, she had never told him that she had dated him once. “I know his son, Lenny; he’s invited me to stay at his place over the summer for a few weeks. And he’s shown me a secret room on the seventh floor”
James laughed, “Oh Al, I’m the one that showed that secret room to Lenny. My friends and I found it ages ago” he said while rolling his eyes at his brother. Harry laughed and shook his head.
“You still have a lot to learn about the secrets of Hogwarts. I thought I had learned everything, but you never know when something will surprise you” Harry said to James. Then he turned on Rose, “How do you like school?” he asked her.
Rose opened her mouth to speak, but before words could come out, James blurted out, “Know who her friend is! Scorpius Malfoy!” he was pointing at her with a greasy finger. Rose blushed furiously and bit down on her lip.
“Oi, enough out of you. I think Harry asked Rose, not you” Ron said to James. But the effect was instantaneous; it was too late for James to take it back. All eyes were now on Rose, whose ears were turning beet red. James looked quite smug. “What’s he talking about anyways?” Ron asked Rose with a raised eyebrow.
Rose shrugged, “He’s nice dad. I don’t care if he’s in Slytherin.” She grabbed her goblet of pumpkin juice and took a long drawl of it, wishing to melt into her seat.
Ron didn’t answer, thankfully Hermione did, “Oh Rose it’s honestly fine for you to be friends with him. Just because Ron and Harry have hard feelings towards his father doesn’t mean you two should hate each other”
“I don’t have hard feelings. I just think he’s a git. Besides, you’re the one who punched him in our third year” Ron told Hermione. Hermione rolled her eyes as James said, “You hit him! Cool!”
“I was thirteen. Besides, he’s changed.” Hermione said. And so the discussion began. Harry, Ron and Hermione bickered about Malfoy like children and Rose wanted to disappear. She shot daggers with her eyes towards James, who relished her embarrassment.
Well Rose thought glumly at least they all know that I’m friends with him. Because that is not going to change no matter what they think.
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