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Chapter 23 : Harry and Draco
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I stroked Fawkes feathers and watched as he made a nest of my blankets. I laughed and fed him some vegetables, fruit and bread that I snuck upstairs. I almost grabbed some chicken too, but I remembered what happened when Scorpius tried to feed him turkey the day before we left Hogwart, for Christmas break, and thought better of it.
Fawkes nibbled on the bread and I heard a knock on my door. I pulled a sheet over Fawkes and looked at the door.
Before I could even say ‘come in,’ James pushed the door open with Sirius behind him. I frowned at him and got up to join him, before he joined me on my bed. I still haven’t told a soul about Fawkes. Well, that’s excluding Scorpius and the portrait of Professor Snape. Scorpius thinks it would be a good idea to tell Rose, but we haven’t found the time or place for that.
James roped his arm around me and gave me the typical headlock, one-armed hug that he only did with me. “Stop being antisocial, little Slytherin and come down stairs with your favorite big brother.”
“You’re my only big brother.” I struggled to remove his arm from around my neck.
“We’re counting Teddy.” James pulled me out of my room and Sirius closed my door behind us.
“Oh, in that case he’s my favorite big brother.” I tripped going down the stairs.
“Nonsense.” James continued to pull me down three flights of stairs.
“Where has Teddy been anyways?” Sirius asked as we passed Teddy’s officially, unofficial room.
“Training, Victoire or his Grandmother’s. Take your pick. He might even be asleep in there now, I know dad told us Auror training is rough…plus he has to take care of Vicky and she’s a handful.” James finally pushed me onto the sofa in the living room.
Sirius nodded and joined me on the couch. James took his place next to Sirius and began passing out butterbeers that mum and dad already brought out. Lily, mum and dad joined us after a moment. Lily still had that stupid winged rabbit, and as I began wondering if Fawkes would hunt rabbits I remembered Christmas was only a week away.
I looked over to my parents who looked peaceful on the other sofa. Dad was reading the Daily Prophet and mum was knitting. Something she swore never to take up. I decided I would have to ask them sooner or later and it was better to ask them when they were in a good mood. James and Sirius haven’t broken anything, yet and Lily hasn’t blamed them for anything she has done either. It was peaceful.
“Hey, Mum…Dad?” I started slowly as Sirius and James fought over the last butterbeer.
“I’m a guest!” Sirius insisted.
“No you’re not! You practically live here, you bum!” James tried to grab the drink from Sirius.
“James, Sirius, just split it! There are glasses in the kitchen.” Mum told them. “Yes, Al?”
My father and mother now focused their attention on me as James and Sirius ran into the other room to get glasses. While they were gone I saw Lily snatch the butterbeer, James and Sirius had so carelessly left behind.
I swallowed hard. “Could I possibly have a friend over the day after Christmas?”
The words came out rather fast and I’m surprised that either of them could understand what I said.
“Of course you can Al.” My father said looking back to the Prophet. “Rita’s writing again…”
“Anything we should tell Hermione about?” Mother asked him.
“And the day after that can I go to his house?” I almost shouted.
They looked back at me again. “Yes…Will you be staying the night?” My father asked, putting the Prophet down now. His eyes were scanning me, I suppose they could tell how nervous I was.
I nodded. “If he gets permission…”
“Can we meet with his parents?” Mum eyed me suspiciously. James and Sirius just got back from the kitchen with two glasses – Lily handed James the empty butterbeer bottle and giggled as she ran up the stairs leaving James in awe.
“I think that shouldn’t be a problem…” I said, wondering if the Malfoys would meet my parents.
“What shouldn’t be a problem?” James now joined me back on the couch.
“Al wants to have a friend come and visit and then visit them the following day.” My mother was still looking at me, father returned to his paper once again.
“Is it the Malfoy boy, Al?”
Everyone froze. Mum and dad both snapped their heads toward me.
Damn it, James. I cursed James as I tried to think of a way out of this.
“You’re friends with Malfoy?” Mother said as she looked at my father, but he gave me an odd look. Sort of like, he didn’t know what to think.
“Yes…” I confessed.
Mum laughed. “Who would have thought a Malfoy and a Potter would be friends. Is he in Gryffindor with you?”
“Umm…he’s in my house…” I said honestly.
Dad caught my tone, but James was faster.
“You haven’t told them!” James jumped up and gave me an odd look.
I glared at him. “Well, no offence, but your reaction kind of put me off telling anyone…”
“You should have told them, Al.” James gave me a worried look. “Are you embarrassed?”
I jumped up now too and shoved him back away from me.
“AL!” I heard my Mother stand up now, but I focused on James.
“I’m not embarrassed! I’m proud! I just don’t want to go through my family ignoring me and acting like I don’t exist again!” I yelled at James.
“Al, I said I’m sorry–”
“‘Sorry,’ doesn’t change that you treated me horrible the first few days of school! Not to mention you fought with Scorpius every chance you got!” I continued to yell at my brother. I saw my Father get up now. He grabbed my arm, but I shrugged it off. “I’m proud to be different, James! And I’m proud I was sorted into Slytherin! I’m going to make sure all those nasty prejudiced against it will be gone by my graduation.”
James backed off looking shocked. Sirius even recoiled a bit on the couch, looking at us.
“Al, why didn’t you tell us?” I heard dad’s voice from behind me.
“I’m going to my room!” I announced not paying any mind to my family anymore.
I brushed my father as I ran upstairs to my room. Passing Lily crouched down at the bottom of the staircase, listening to the whole explosion that just unraveled.
I was in my room a whole ten minutes before there was knocking on the door. I expected my mother to come up sooner. Out of all the children I was probably the oddest. James was always sent to his room, Lily hid and plotted, I on the other hand sent myself to my room. Typically, this threw them off and they didn’t come and see me until mum calmed down enough to talk at a normal level. That was my big move though.
James got punished more because he chooses the yelling back method. Lily got punished about the same, maybe a little less, because mum was typically frustrated once she found Lily. I was punished less, because by the time mum came up to see me she had sorted out what I did and we could talk about it on a more reasonable level. Well, as reasonable as one could talk to a child. I sorted most of this out when I was five. The only time it didn’t work was when I was punished with James.
I just didn’t know how this one was going to play out. On one hand I was friends with a Malfoy, on the other I had neglected to tell my mother and father what house I was sorted into for half the year. Honestly I didn’t really have any plans on telling them. I figured I would just ignore that until they found out on their own.
There was another knock on my door. I let out a sigh and decided to take whatever punishment my mum decided upon like a man…well, boy…
“Come in.” I leaned against my window and peered out into the darkness. The lights on the porch still lit the snow that had fallen the day we got back. Earlier today, James, Sirius and I had saw to destroying the snow’s peaceful fall and there were tracks all over the yard. I could still see where James came to a sudden stop after he followed my freefall on our brooms – I pulled up just in time, but James was a second too late and rolled into a tree. There was a snow-wizard that Sirius helped Lily bewitch, it waves a stick at anyone who passes. And lastly there was a fort that James built and declared war on me. Sirius was supposed to be on his side, but halfway through the ‘war’ Sirius dramatically turned against James and the war continued with just them. James then turned on himself and destroyed his fort…no one saw that coming…
I heard the door close behind me, but I continued to sit in my window and not turn around. The footsteps came to a halt right behind me. It was silent for a while and I wondered if mum was waiting for me to speak first.
I sighed again. “I’m sorry I shoved my bigheaded brother and yelled at him, even though I maintain he deserved it. It wasn’t appropriate and it doesn’t set a good example for Lily. I’m also sorry I didn’t tell you I was sorted into Slytherin and that I am friends with Scorpius. However,” I paused before I continued. “I am not sorry for being sorted into Slytherin and I’m not sorry for being friends with a Malfoy. If I’m going to be punished it’s going to be for the first bit and not the last.”
I realize a bit too late that I sound somewhat arrogant for telling my mother what I will and won’t be punished for, but most of the time she was a reasonable women and knew I liked to have my say in things.
It was silent for a little while longer and I started to grow worried. I didn’t dare turn around yet and face my mother. I was never good at judging how mad she was until I saw or heard her and I felt that I should have the few moments of peace given to me by this silence, before I faced her wrath or not.
This is why when I finally did hear a voice that was anything but wrath-like or my mother’s I almost jumped out the window.
“May I sit down with you, Al?” I heard my father ask.
I turned suddenly and saw my father standing directly behind me. I nodded, unsure if I would be able to speak at this exact moment. I was preparing for my mum to pay me a visit, not dad. Dad didn’t handle stuff like this most of the time. I didn’t know how to deal with dad when I was possibly in trouble.
My dad took a chair from my desk and pulled it up next to me and the window. He never took his eyes off of me the entire time, I wondered if he could tell I was seriously thinking about opening my window and leaping out of it. James was the flight risk child, but in situations like this I think James might have the right idea.
I was silent again, which gave me time to consider my jumping plan and deciding against it. I instead took the time to analysis my father and try to figure out if he was mad or not. From the rare occasion I’ve actually seen my father mad – although ‘mad’ seems like a gently word to describe it looking back – I decided that he looked nowhere near what he did at that time.
As I was trying to put a name to the emotion on my father’s face, he finally spoke again.
“You’re mother is right about you, you know.” He told me somewhat seriously.
I didn’t know how to take this. What was my mother right about?
My father suddenly smile and I wondered if I was making a funny face or something, because I didn’t think it was the time to be smiling.
“You learn from James.” He finished simply.
I frowned. “I don’t see how. I’m nothing like James.”
He shook his head. “I didn’t say you were, nor do I want you to be. One James is enough for me and your mother. That being said, you still learn from him.”
“I’m not following.” I said uncertain.
Dad smiled again. “I think you are…You’re a bright kid. Too bright if you ask me.”
I took a moment and thought about it before I answered. “Do you mean I possible learn from what he does so I can…” I was trying to think of the best word for it. “…so I can apply…apply it to my life?”
My dad nodded.
“I didn’t think mum knew I did that…” I admitted.
My dad laughed and I smiled.
“So…how much trouble am I in?” I asked directly.
“How much trouble do you think?” My dad raised an eyebrow.
“I honestly don’t know. For shoving and yelling at James I would say next to nothing, we do that daily. But on the other hand James never became best friends with the son of someone you hate and kept information from you.” I shrugged. “So I have nothing to compare that to.”
“Well you say you aren’t sorry for being in Slytherin or being friends with Malfoy…is that still true?” He asked.
I tried to read his expression, but decided that it didn’t matter, because I was going to answer honestly anyways.
He smiled. “Then you’re not in trouble.”
I frowned. “Then why are you up here?”
He smiled again. “What did I tell you when you left on September first?”
“That it didn’t matter what house I was put in…” I saw were this was going.
“So why didn’t you tell us?”
I looked out the window trying to avoid the question.
I sighed. “Mostly because of James…”
“What does James have to do with it?” He asked.
“He wasn’t too happy with me being in a different house, I’ll just say that.”
“So you thought we would act the same?”
“No.” I said.
“I thought you would act differently.” I said turning back to my father before I continued. “I didn’t think that you would act like James, but I thought you wouldn’t act like you would if I was sorted into Gryffindor, so I decided to put it off…It wasn’t the best choice, but it was all I could do at the time.”
“I see.” My dad was silent for a moment longer. “Well, we probably won’t act the same.”
This wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I turned back to the window.
“Al, I don’t mean what you are assuming I meant.” I felt his hand on my shoulder. “I mean, you don’t want us to treat you like you are in Gryffindor, do you? For example, when you’re playing Quidditch you don’t just want us to cheer for Slytherin too?” I turned and my dad smiled. “We’ll have to support both sides now.”
I jumped forward and hugged him. “Thanks, dad.”
He laughed. “Al, like I said, you’re not James. So you need to realize that we already know that too, deal?”
I laughed. “Deal!”
“So, I’m assuming that you still want little Malfoy to come over and vice-versa, huh?”
“If that’s still okay…”
“Of course it is, Al!” He laughed again. “I’ll send a letter to Draco tonight asking to meet him at work tomorrow.”
I frowned. “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”
“Well, it’ll work out best if we talk, right?” He said as I leaned back up against the window again.
Just then I got an idea.
“Can I come to work with you tomorrow?” I asked.
“Well, I haven’t been with you to work in a while and I’ll also get to see Teddy and Uncle Ron!” I said excited by my new idea.
“Teddy lives with us, Al. And Ron lives down the street.” My dad appeared to know I was up to something.
“Yes, but Teddy is always sleeping or away and Uncle Ron is always busy.” I explained. “Please! I won’t get in trouble!”
My dad raised an eyebrow at me.
“…on purpose.” I quickly amended.
“That sounds better.” He said as he thought about it for a moment. “I suppose it wouldn’t hurt anything. I’m leaving at five though and we’ll Floo there.”
“Okay! I’ll be up and ready by then!”
My dad nodded and smiled as he got up. “We’ll talk more tomorrow, then?”
I nodded. “Tomorrow!”
“Night, Al.” He said as he shut the door.
I waited until the door had been shut before I jumped from the window and quickly opened my desk drawer. I scribbled a few words on a spare piece of parchment and then folded it shut. I then slide over to my bed and unfolded the covers to reveal Fawkes who was still in his nest made from my covers. He had gotten quite bigger and it was getting harder and harder to transport him from place to place. I told him he might have to fly back to Hogwarts after break if he got any bigger. He didn’t seem to mind the idea.
Fawkes fluttered his wings and then tried to nip at my hand for taking away the covers.
I laughed and petted his head. “I have a message for you to take to Scorp, Fawkes.”
Fawkes ruffled his feathers and hopped up on my arm. I suppose that meant he accepted. I held out the folded parchment and he grabbed it with his beak.
I smiled and pet him again, letting his soft red and gold feathers tickle my skin. “I’ll wait up for you, okay?”
“Bringing yer son in today, Harry?” The wizard at the entrance to the Ministry asked.
“Yes, Albus wanted to come in with me today since he has a break from school.” My dad responded.
“I remember the last time yer sons were here. They made a right good mess of the Minister’s office.” The wizard eyed me suspiciously. I swallowed the lump in my throat, making me look guiltier.
My dad just laughed. “That was mostly James’ doing. I left him at home.”
“Uh-huh…Have a good day Harry.”
I quickly followed my dad quickly as the wizard continued to watch me.
“People still remember that?” I asked quietly.
“It wasn’t that long ago, Al. And despite my stories not many people break into secure offices at the Ministry.” He pulled me onto the lift and it suddenly shoot to my right, jerking me into the witch on my left.
“Watch it!” She said dropping some papers.
“Sorry…” I bent down to pick them up as the lift now plummeted down.
“Just leave them until it stops.” She yelled as I scrambled to get them all. I managed to do it, but now I couldn’t get up.
The lift jerked to a stop and I felt my father’s hands lift me back up and off the lift with him and the snippy lady.
I handed her the papers.
“Thanks.” She said and then looked at me sternly. “You look familiar…”
“I-I don’t think I’ve met you before.” I think I would remember. She seemed scary.
“Come on, Al.” My dad was already leaving me.
I nodded to the young, scary lady and ran off after my dad. I recognized the corridors we were in and it didn’t surprise me that we ended up at the Minister’s office. The door was closed, not that it stopped James and I the first time we visited.
“The Minister won’t be in until six, may I help you with something? Do you have an appointment?” I turned around to see where the voice was coming from and saw that the young, scary lady had followed us. Well, I suppose it wasn’t following since she appeared to have a desk and worked here.
“No, I’ll come back around six, he doesn’t have any appointments first thing does he?” Dad asked her.
“No, I would set you up with one, but he likes to have them approved a day ahead, can I set you up with one tomorrow first thing?” She asked politely.
“No, I’ll just come back around six.” My dad smiled now. He turned to me and winked. “Can you stay here and let him know I’m coming back?”
“No offence, sir, but I’m not a babysitter. I’m–” She stared to say, but dad cut her off.
“You’re Amber Loffler, Junior Assistant to the Minister of Magic, recently promoted and goal to become the Minister of Magic one day. Last year you were Head Girl with Teddy Lupin as Head Boy, so it’s quite a success that you are already in an Assistant position.” My dad continued to smile at her. She looked a little taken back. “My son can look after himself; it’s just that he sends a better message than anything I can write down. Plus he promised to stay out of trouble today, right?” My dad now looked at me.
“Yes, dad…umm, what should I tell him?” I asked looking back and forth between Amber and my father. I’m sure I heard her name before.
“Just tell him I’ll be back around six, or he can come and see me if he wishes.”
I nodded and my dad turned to leave back toward the lift.
I looked at Amber and she seemed to be speechless and fuming. Without a word or a glance at me she began to shuffle through papers and sort everything. Every so often she would mumble something and I wondered if she still knew I was there.
I took a seat at the empty desk beside hers and took out my book I happened to bring along with me. I had already finished my Defense Against the Dark Arts book and borrowed James’ to read for the break.
“I thought I recognized you.” I jumped as I heard Amber’s voice. I looked over and she wasn’t even looking at me.
“You’re a second year. I was Head Girl last year so I probably passed by you sometime. What house are you in?” She asked.
“Umm…Slytherin…and I’m not a second year…”
“That’s a second year book. What are you trying to tell me that you’re a third year and you just like to reread books?” She laughed. “I was in Ravenclaw and not even we did that.”
“No, I’m a first year.” I said a bit stronger. She looked over now.
“I’m a first year, I finished my Defense Against the Dark Arts book already so I’m borrowing my brothers, he’s a second year…”
“Why are you reading ahead?” She asked amazed.
“Lowsley, has challenging quizzes and he’s trying to stump me on questions. I figured I’d better just read ahead and practice to stump him.” I said simply.
She was silent for a moment. “What are your grades?”
“O’s in everything so far.”
“Why weren’t you in Ravenclaw?”
“The Sorting Hat said that I was appropriate for all house, but if I wanted to be different Slytherin was best for me.” I looked back at her. “Ravenclaw was a close second though.”
She nodded, apparently approving. “What’s your name?”
“I thought you knew who I was?” I asked.
“Apparently not, name?” She pressed.
“You can call me Al.” I decided if she didn’t know I was a Potter by now she would later, but that was later.
“It’s nice to meet you Al, I suppose I’ll be seeing you again when you become my Undersecretary or Assistant.” She smirked.
“Pardon?” I wondered what she was talking about.
She shook her head. “Nothing.”
It was quiet for a few minutes until she spoke again.
“Hey Al, are you good at finding things?” Amber asked suddenly.
“See that room over there?” Amber pointed to a door at the far end away from all of the desks.
“Can you get me a file with this name on it?” She showed me the name ‘Creevey’ and I nodded.
I quickly ran over there, despite her saying ‘Walk, kid!’ and opened the door. Inside was a least twenty – if not more – cabinets that seemed to go up two or three floors. I found the one labeled ‘C’ and a ladder appeared before me. I didn’t have to climb too far until I came to the one I needed. Once I had the file in hand I double checked the name and then slid down the ladder, being careful not to drop anything in the file. I looked up and laughed as the ladder disappeared from where I was. As I reached the bottom, I ran out of the room. When I got out I saw that Amber was no longer alone at her desk and with her was a young boy with bright purple hair.
I grinned, knowing exactly who it was and ran full speed to tackle him.
“What the–” Teddy managed to say as he fell on the ground.
“AL!” Amber yelled, but I kept the file from losing a single document.
“Hey Teddy!” I grinned. Teddy got up and grinned back at me then with one hand messed up my already messy hair.
“Hey brat, what are you doing here?” Teddy jumped up pulling me with him.
“I came with dad.” I smiled.
“You know each other?” Amber rushed around her desk and I handed her the file she sent me to collect.
Teddy laughed. “You know Al?”
“I just met him.” She crossed her arms. “Until I learned you knew him I thought he was going to be alright, no offence kid, but Ted here is nothing, but trouble.”
“I’m trouble?” Teddy pulled an innocent face then turned to me. “She thinks I’m more trouble compared to you? Al, you didn’t tell her about the last time you were here, did you?”
I felt my face turn red. “That was James’ fault…”
Teddy grinned and leaned down to ruffle my hair again. “Who shot a Centaur Rocket up Umbridge’s nasty pink dress?”
I blushed more and began to mumble. I actually did that for Teddy – James and I both shot one. I just had the better aim.
“Huh, Al? What was that?” Teddy leaned down to my height and I could fell Amber’s eyes on me.
“She deserved it…” I mumbled a little louder.
“Yes, she did, but let’s not worry about that.” Teddy picked me up and sat me on Amber’s desk. “Now what’s this I heard about you being sorted into Slytherin?”
I frowned. “Did James tell you?”
“I’ve talked more to you than James during the break, so why would he tell me?” Teddy frowned back.
“Because James is a bigheaded prat.”
“Watch your language. That bigheaded prat is your older brother and he loves you.” Teddy flicked my nose lightly.
I frowned more and just looked at Teddy.
Teddy sighed. “Vicky told me.”
I grinned. “That’s right! You and Vic are dating! How’d Bill take the news?”
“Don’t change the subject, Al.” Teddy said sternly. My face dropped into another frown.
“What’s wrong with the kid being in Slytherin, Ted?” Amber asked. I jumped forgetting that she was there.
Teddy grinned at me. “Not a damn thing. I just want to know why Vicky is the one to tell me and not my own little brother.”
I laughed. “Sorry, Teddy.”
“It’s alright, Al.” Teddy ruffled my hair again.
“Brother?” Amber looked between us. “You two look nothing alike and I didn’t even know you had a brother.”
“What are you talking about?” Teddy pouted, then suddenly his hair turned black, eyes green and his face became more round. “We look completely alike.”
Amber frowned. “You know what I mean.”
“No, I don’t think I do Amber-dear.” Teddy moved out of the way to avoid being hit by her.
As Teddy ran around the desk and Amber yelled at him, a new voice entered the room.
“Teddy, will you stop disrupting my Junior Assistant?”
Amber froze and turned around. “Sorry Minister! It won’t happen again!”
“Yes, it will!” Teddy echoed now sitting in Amber’s seat, leaning back and with his feet crossed on top on her desk. “I like your new desk Amber, loads better than the old one! Right in the front and everything!”
Amber ignored him as she rushed over to grab the Minister’s bag and coat. When she had his bag and coat in hand the Minster spotted me.
“Hello, Albus. What brings you here?” Kingsley’s said to me with a warm smile.
“Hello, Minister. I’m here with my father today. He said he’ll be back around six, or I can take you to him if you prefer.” I smiled back.
“Well considering its fifteen minutes until six, I think waiting for him might be the best. If I let you come into my office will you promise not to set off any firecrackers this time?” Kingsley laughed as he opened his door.
I held up my hands. “Didn’t bring any this time, maybe next visit?”
Kingsley let out another deep laugh and motioned for me to follow.
Amber was already inside when I entered the office. I nearly fell over laughing when I saw there was still one scorch mark from the last time I was here. Teddy was right behind me and pushed me through the door. He nudged me into a seat and took the one right next to me.
“I suppose you don’t need any introduction to Teddy here.” Kingsley chuckled as Amber started to make tea. “But this here is my Junior Assistant, Amber Loffler. Amber, this is Albus Potter.”
Amber suddenly dropped the teapot she was holding and turned to me.
“I still prefer Al.” I gave her a weary smile.
She kept her eyes on me as she quickly fixed the teapot, and sent me a look that said ‘You’re in trouble!’ I held back a laugh, but Teddy didn’t. In five minutes, Amber had finished the tea and sat down for a cup with us. Right around that time my dad arrived again. Amber greeted him by name this time and took his coat. She also gave him tea and then ushered Teddy and myself out of the office so the Minister and my father could talk.
“Albus Potter?” She glared.
She huffed and rolled her eyes. “Teddy you know too many famous people.”
“You already knew I knew the Potters.” He frowned.
“I suppose I downplayed it in my head.” She sighed and returned to her desk. With a final look at me she scribbled something down and motioned for me to come to her again.
I quickly ran over, wondering if she wanted me to get her another file, but instead she handed me a piece of paper with an address on it and her name. I looked back at her.
“That’s my address, if you ever run out of books to read for any class owl me and I’ll help you out.” She merely said without looking up at me.
I grinned. “Thanks, Amber.”
She nodded and opened the file I gave her.
“Are you ready for lunch, Al?” My father asked me.
I nodded and yawned rolling off the couch. Shortly after my father finished up with the Minister, he brought me back here and I fell asleep on the couch after the first hour of paperwork.
As I sat up on the floor and stretched my arms out there was a knock on the door.
“Come in.” Dad said without looking up.
“Harry, there’s a blond git here to see you.” Ron said a little too loud. If the person was right outside he would have heard him say that.
Harry frowned at his best friend. “Thank you, Ron.”
I jumped up. “Should I wait here?”
“No, we’ll just be having lunch with Draco.” Dad put his hand on my shoulder and led me outside. Right outside – within hearing range of Ron’s ‘git’ comment – was Draco Malfoy and next to him was my best friend Scorpius. My dad gave me a look that told me he realized why I really wanted to go to work with him and winked at me. I smiled and then caught Scorpius’ eye.
Scorpius and I grinned at one another, an exchange that wasn’t seen by his father, because he was too busy glaring at my Uncle.
“Is Weasel-beat joining us as well, for this happy little get-together?” Draco asked.
“Not if you paid me ever Sickle in your vault, Malfoy.” Ron answered back for my dad.
“I assure you there are no Sickles in my vault Weasley.” Draco grinned leaving the offices with Scorpius following.
My dad sighed and followed as well.
Once outside Draco was there waiting on us and turned to Harry.
“I typically have lunch at home if you don’t mind, I told our house elf that you would be joining us and I’m sure there will be enough for the kid, as well.” Draco said more formally than before.
“That’s fine.” Dad agreed, just as formal.
Our adventure through the Ministry – lifts and all – was in silence. It wasn’t until we got back to the Floo stations at the entrance that words were spoken – not exchanged – spoken and that was just for the Floo network. Scorpius went first, followed by Draco then myself, giving me a full minute of awkward muttering of apologies for getting soot on their fine white floor when I arrived.
My dad joined us moments later and followed Draco into the other room leaving Scorpius and myself alone.
“How much does your dad know?” I whispered following our fathers slowly.
“He knows I have a friend coming over shortly after Christmas.” Scorpius whispered back.
“Leaving the hard work for me then?” I elbowed him in the ribs.
Scorpius grinned. “Naw, the hard work is letting Rose come over too.”
“Well that will just be a surprise.” I grinned back.
When we entered the room our fathers were already sitting down. The room wasn’t a dining room, but it was grand enough. Until now I had never been to a house bigger than the Potter Manor or Grimmauld Place, but something told me the Malfoy Manor had been around just as long as Grimmauld Place and was just as big, if not bigger. The room we were currently in was probably a study and just a place that Draco Malfoy had lunch when he came home. I felt like if it was dinner than we would be in a dining room or ballroom and forced to sit up straight and eat all our vegetables. From the way Scorpius ate everything on his plate at school, I had a feeling I wasn’t very far off.
So sudden, that I nearly tumbled out of the seat I was just in, a house elf showed up out of nowhere. I was use to house elves from Aunt Hermione’s vendetta against house elf slavery and of course Kreacher, but I wasn’t excepting one to pop up a foot in front of me.
I looked over and saw Scorpius suppress a laugh, by coughing into his hand. I frowned at him and took in the appearance of this tiny elf. It was smaller than any house elf I had ever seen and its tea cozy was neatly draped over it, but appeared a bit too big. The house elf must be extremely young.
I watched in awe as it took a deep bow touching its nose to the floor. “Is Master and guest ready for lunch?” Its voice squeaked high.
Draco nodded and food appeared on the coffee tables before us. I don’t know how the elf knew he nodded, because its nose was still touching the ground and its golfball sized eyes were closed.
“Does Master or guest need anything else?”
“No, that will be all Dolly.”
With a small pop, Dolly the tiny house elf disappeared.
I looked to Scorpius and our fathers whom didn’t seemed as awestruck by the tiny thing. I saw Draco and my dad reach for the items on the plates and looked to the ones closest to myself and Scorpius. There were tiny sandwiches with different meats and vegetables in them. The one I grabbed first was turkey, tomato and lettuce with a light dressing. All were good and to top it off there were butterbeer bottles place next to all of us.
After I started on my fifth sandwich Draco finally spoke again.
“So what do I owe the honor of your visit, Potter?” Draco said. It seemed polite, but there was an edge to how he said Potter and almost a light sarcasm with the rest. “If it’s about the case then I don’t think our sons should be present.”
“It’s not about that however, there is a meeting about that a few weeks after Christmas.” Dad told him after taking a drink.
“I’m touched that you wanted to have lunch just to tell me that, Potter, but is that really all?” Draco didn’t look at my dad the whole time they spoke and neither did my dad. I wondered if this was really a good idea.
“No, it’s not.” Dad finally looked at Draco. “I’m here to put all our past differences aside, Draco.”
Draco looked up now and smirked. “Why so sudden, Potter? Do you want me to be your best friend now? Did Weasel run over your cat or something?”
Dad rolled his eyes. “I’m serious, Draco.”
“We haven’t had any problems after…after school. Why do you want to – as you phrased it – ‘put our differences aside.’” Draco and my dad seemed to now be having a staring contest; neither was blinking or looking away.
“For our sons.” Dad nodded at Scorpius and myself. I froze and I had a feeling Scorpius did as well.
Draco now looked at us. “Why? Are they having problems?”
“None yet, but I don’t want our past to get in the way anymore. What happened between use is the past now and we are both grownups. I don’t want it to cause problems.”
“Why would that be a problem? It’s not like they are friends or anything and if there is any rivalry going on it will just be that against Slytherin and Gryffindor.” Draco took a drink of butterbeer.
Dad sighed. “Albus asked if Scorpius could come and visit the day after Christmas.”
Draco laughed. “Scorpius already has plans that day. He’s going to visit his classmate.”
“What’s his name?” Dad asked.
Draco froze and looked at Scorpius now.
“Umm…He’s not lying father…Al-Albus invited me over on the last day of school…” Scorpius mumbled.
Draco looked at my dad now. “H-how…there not even in the same house…I don’t…”
“I was sorted into Slytherin, sir.” I spoke up and Draco looked at me for the first time. “We met on the train and decided we would be friends even before we got sorted. It just worked out that we were put into the same house.”
Draco’s eyes widen. “You’re not in Slyther – you just can’t be!”
Draco stood up and looked at my dad now.
“You’re okay with your son being in Slytherin?”
Dad sighed. “It makes no difference to me. It’s just a house, Draco. Slytherin is lucky to have both our sons.”
Draco slide down into his chair. “Scorpius, will you and…Albus please excuse us for a moment.”
Scorpius nodded and tugged on my sleeve leaving our fathers to talk. We closed the door behind us and then turned to face each other. Scorpius was frowning.
I laughed. “Well, that could have gone better…”
“It also could have gone worse.” Scorpius countered.
“Ah, now you are thinking on the positive side of things.” I laughed again.
Scorpius laughed too. “Do you want me to show you around? They might be a while…”
I nodded. “Let’s go!”
(A/N) Thank you for all who reviewed so far! Please continue telling me what you think and I’ll be posting a chapter per week, if possible. :D Keep an eye out for that.
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