Chapter 5: Christmas
This term is finally over. I’ve finished packing, and tomorrow I’m getting the Hogwarts Express, and staying with Scorpius at his parents’ house and seeing the Puddlemere United vs. Falmouth Falcons game on Sunday. To say I’m a little nervous is a massive understatement. Apparently his grandfather has taken ill with dragonpox and won’t be attending the game with us, which is a relief for me. But I'm still nervous. I'm the first muggle-born witch to ever actually be invited into Malfoy manor.
Scorpius decided to sit in the carriage with Louise, Allie and I instead of with his friends. He really does seem to have moved on from the whole blood supremacy nonsense. He even gets on well with Charlie now. I have to say that I’m really impressed with how much he’s changed and matured. The old Scorpius would have gone mad with jealousy, and teased me about being muggle-born as a way of letting his frustration out, but this Scorpius was easy with the fact that I had a couple of guy friends, and even when he didn't sit with me, he still shoots me smiles across the classroom.
Once we arrived at the platform we were greeted by Scorp's parents. His father looked just like him, except older, even right down to the grey eyes, which unnerved me a little, but Draco (he refused to let me call him Mr Malfoy) seemed to be friendly. Scorp's mother, Astoria, is stunning, with smooth wavy dark hair, falling to the middle of her back. She surprised me by pulling me into a hug and saying Scorp had written home and told her all about me. All four of us then linked arms and disapparated.
My first impression of Malfoy Manor was one of astonishment. The plants in the garden were trimmed neatly, all shaped around an elegant fountain. The actual house itself was beautiful. Dark, and intimidating, but also with a spark of warmth that reminds one of home. Apparently Scorpius has his own bedroom and sitting room.
He was giving me a tour when we reached his bedroom. It's definitely a boy’s room. A simple double bed, desk and small chest of drawers, and the walls covered in Quidditch posters, and a photo of us together from last year, which I didn’t know he still had. He must have kept it after we broke up. I examined the photo closely. It was from last Christmas, as we were both wearing our scarves, and I had brown hair (I went blonde a few months after).
Scorpius spotted what I was looking at, and came and put his arms round me. “I never took it down,” he explained. “I really made the effort to change for you, because you deserve to be treated like a princess. I didn't even treat you like a human being. Let me show you what I have in my sitting room.” I could tell he was trying really hard not to sound too posh, and he was also just as nervous as I was.
In the sitting room was a television set, admittedly a really old one, as well as several paintings, both magical and muggle, and a guitar on a stand. “I was really trying hard last summer to understand muggles a bit better,” he admitted, looking a bit embarrassed. “I managed to shock myself on the television trying to make it work without magic, and I’ve been trying to learn guitar. I even made bought all these paintings because there’s a sort of magic about them, you know? Even though they don’t move, somehow they’re still alive. To be honest, I was surprised my dad let me, and then he told me he was just as fascinated by muggles as I was. It’s amazing the ways they’ve found to get along without magic.”
I honestly didn’t know what to say. I’m proud to be a witch, but just as proud to be muggle-born, because it makes my magical achievements that much more impressive. I was really touched that he’d somehow managed to tap into that side of me without me even telling him. I reached up on my tiptoes and kissed him. We were interrupted by a polite cough.
“Dinner's ready,” Draco looked embarrassed to be disturbing us, but Astoria looked ecstatic to see us together.
We left early for the game the next day, wanting to get a good spot in the stands. Draco is as much of a Quidditch nut as Scorp. He's very generous, he bought us ominoculars and scarves to support Puddlemere. Scorp was wearing his jersey under his cloak.
Once we had seats, he began fiddling with the ominoculars, looking around in detail at the crowd. I rolled my eyes at his insatiable curiosity, and looked across the stands. In the next section over, I saw Rose and Albus and their family. I remembered them telling me that James, Albus' older brother, had just been signed as the Puddlemere Seeker, and this was to be his first game.
“Hey Em, your roots are coming through,” Scorp grinned wickedly at me, looking through his ominoculars at my scalp.
“Oh, shut up,” I elbowed him, and waved at Rose. She waved back, and her father looked over and gave Draco a glare.
I gave Scorpius a cheeky grin and told him to follow me. I walked right past Rose, right up to her father.
“Hello, I'm Emily Smith and I'm muggle-born,” I said. “I'm going out with Scorpius and we're friends with Rose and Albus. I'm here to say hi and also to announce a truce between the Malfoys and the Wotters.”
“The what?” Rose's father frowned, while a dark haired man in glasses who looked disturbingly like Albus (which I took to be the famous Harry Potter) covered his laughter with a cough, while his red haired wife nudged him, struggling to conceal her smirk at the ridiculous name I'd just given them.
“The Wotters. It's what the Hogwarts students call the Weasley-Potter kids,” I shrugged. “So, are we calling this truce or what?”
“Er...” he still looked surprised.
“Ronald!” his wife, the absolute image of Rose, reprimanded him. “Yes, we'll take your offer!” She held her hand out to me and then Scorp. “Hermione Weasley.” She then waved Draco and Astoria over, and we joined them for the match.
Puddlemere won the game, and afterwards, the Malfoys, Potters and a various assortment of Weasleys apparated to the Leaky Cauldron to celebrate their new found truce (and the outcome of the match). Draco drank too much Firewhisky and told Harry Potter and Ron Weasley how much he valued them saving his life. They’d drunk equally as much and embraced him like a brother. It was a nice moment, if slightly embarrassing. Scorp, James, Rose, Hugo, Albus, Lily and even Hermione and Ginny looked embarrassed at them.
Scorpius’ parents decided to stay at the Leaky Cauldron for the night, with the various Wotters (which seemed to include a few Veela, a few of which I vaguely recognised from Hogwarts), so Scorpius and I apparated back and enjoyed the peace of a quiet house... by which I mean we had very noisy and uninterrupted sex.
Afterwards, as we lay in bed, he told me all about the Second Wizarding War, about how his family had switched allegiance at the last minute. He seemed desperate to let me know that they weren’t bad people at all, just his father had been brought up with the old beliefs and slowly come to his own conclusions about the world. Only his grandparents remained in the old way of thinking. I told him that he wasn’t the same as them; he’s proven to me over the last few months that he’s really changed. I also pointed out to him that even the purest blood families will have to marry muggles or muggle-borns at some point, otherwise they would die out. He let me reassure him.
We kept talking, and I asked him what his parents did for a living.
He looked embarrassed. “Honestly... they don’t have jobs.”
“What?” I was shocked. “So they just hang around the house all day?”
Scorp laughed. “Pretty much. We have enough inheritance to live off without having to work for a living... But I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to stay in this house all my life.”
“So what do you want to do then?”
He chewed his lip for a few seconds. “Don’t laugh... I think I want to play Quidditch, or have something to do with it.”
“That’s great,” I encouraged him.
“So what about you?”
“What about me?”
“What do your parents do?”
“My mum works in events management.”
“What about your dad?”
“I don’t know,” I told him honestly, “he left when I was little. I’ve not seen him since I was about 5.”
He chewed his lip for a minute.
“I want to meet your mum,” he said suddenly.
“Ok,” I said, “You can come with me when I go home. I’m pretty sure she’ll let you stay for a few days.” I grinned at him. “I’ve never brought a guy home before.”
“Mum?” I called, as I unlocked the door (with keys, I don't want the neighbours to think I'm a freak).
She poked her head out of the living room door. “Hello, darling. How was the game?”
“We won,” I gave her the short version. No matter how many times I've tried to explain Quidditch to Mum, she just doesn't understand it. “Mum, this is Scorpius... he wanted to meet you.”
“Hi,” Scorp smiled shyly, extending his hand towards her. She smiled warmly back, and shook it, then launching into a conversation with him. They headed into the kitchen for a cup of tea, and I heard her asking him endless questions about his family, about growing up knowing he was a wizard, etc. I left them to it and went to unpack, and when I came back he was questioning her about life as a muggle. I went back to my room, and dusted off my laptop, and switched it on. I’d long since given up hope that my muggle friends from primary school would remember me every now and then and send me an email. What was the point? It’s not like I could reply straight away; electrical items go mental at Hogwarts, and besides, there was no internet there anyway. All they knew was that I went to boarding school and I was extremely busy there. Too busy to read an email every now and then.
Scorp came in while I was busy thinking these depressing thoughts.
“Your mum sent me up,” he said, “She says you get lonely when you come back here.”
“Well,” I turned to face him, swivelling round on my chair.“I’m the freak here. I’m the only witch for miles, I gave up on my muggle friends ages ago, and they have no way to contact me at Hogwarts anyway.”
He smiled wryly. “Good job you have me then isn’t it? Your mum invited me to stay for Christmas, and I’m going to.”
“But what about your family?”
“I can apparate back every few days for a bit.”
“Ok,” I said. There wasn’t much point to arguing with him. Besides, I could do with the company, and I actually liked this new side of him that I'd seen over the last few months.
I've never slept as well in my own bed as I did that night when Scorpius was there. It was a squeeze, fitting us both in a single bed, but it wasn't uncomfortable. Mum pushed a note under the door just before she left for work.
Scorp insisted on getting me breakfast in bed, even though he's never actually made a meal himself in his entire life. I heard smashing and swearing, I hope he’ll repair whatever he broke. He finally came back up with a bowl of cereal on a tray.
“You can’t conjure food can you?” he asked me, placing the tray on my knees.
“No,” I smiled, and looked down.
There was a small box next to the bowl.
Scorpius saw where I was looking and sat down next to me.
“I was going to wait until Christmas day,” he said, “But I woke up early and you were still asleep and you looked so beautiful and peaceful that I decided to do it today.” He opened the box. Inside was a beautiful ring, with two white gold bands, intricately twisted around each other, surrounding a pretty hefty sparkling diamond.
“Its goblin made,” he said gently, “I had it made for you. Marry me?”
I didn’t know what to say. He took my silence as a bad omen.
“I know we're young, but I just know I'm never going to feel the same way about anyone else as I do about you. I want to spend my life with you, Em. I love you.”
I just nodded at him, unable to articulate any words. It was never in my plan to get married straight out of school, but fuck it, why not? I don’t even know what I want to do with my life, but I do know that I want Scorpius to be part of it. He’s tried so hard to atone for how he treated me before that he's one of the few people who actually deserves a second chance.