Chapter 6 : Gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
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Teddy Lupin - 25, son of Remus and Nymphadora Lupin, grandson of Andromeda Tonks, engaged to Victoire Weasley, Gryffindor.
Victoire Weasley - 23, daughter of Bill and Fleur Weasley, sister of Dom and Louis, engaged to Teddy Lupin, best friends with Alice Longbottom, Ravenclaw.
Alice Longbottom - 22, daughter of Neville and Hannah Longbottom, sister of Ethan and Erin, best friends with Victoire, Ravenclaw.
Fred Weasley - 19, son of George and Angelina Weasley, twin brother of Roxanne, roommate and best friends with James Potter and Lysander Scamander, Gryffindor.
James Potter - 19, son of Harry and Ginny Potter, roommate and best friends with Fred and Lysander, likes Violet Finnigan, Gryffindor.
Roxanne Weasley - 19, daughter of George and Angelina Weasley, twin sister of Fred Weasley, best friends with and dating Lorcan Scamander, best friends with Violet Finnigan, Gryffindor.
Lorcan Scamander - 19, son of Rolf and Luna Scamander, twin brother of Lysander, best friends with and dating Roxanne Weasley, Ravenclaw.
Lysander Scamander - 19, son of Rolf and Luna, twin of Lorcan, best friends and roommates with Fred and James, Ravenclaw.
Violet Finnigan - 19, daughter of Seamus and Lavender Finnigan, older sister of Bobby, Sean, Bella, and Layla Finnigan, best friend and former roommate of Roxanne Weasley, probably likes James Potter, Gryffindor.
Dominique Weasley - 18, daughter of Bill and Fleur Weasley, sister of Victoire and Louis, best friends with Eva Wood and Ethan Longbottom, Gryffindor.
Eva Wood - 18, daughter of Oliver and Katie Wood, older sister of Caleb Wood, best friends with Dominique Weasley and Ethan Longbottom, Gryffindor.
Ethan Longbottom - 18, son of Neville and Hannah Longbottom, brother of Alice and Erin, best friends with Dom and Eva, Gryffindor.
Albus Potter - 17, son of Harry and Ginny, brother of James and Lily, best friends with Rose, Erin, and Scorpius, Slytherin.
Scorpius Malfoy - 17, son of Draco and Astoria, best friends with Al, Rose, and Erin, Slytherin.
Rose Weasley - 17, daughter of Ron and Hermione, sister of Hugo, best friends of Scorpius, Erin, and Al, has feelings for the Malfoy boy, Gryffindor.
Erin Longbottom - 17, daughter of Hannah and Neville, sister of Ethan and Alice, you know the drill by now so see the three above for best friends, Gryffindor.
Louis Weasley - 16, son of Bill and Fleur, brother of Dom and Victoire, best friends with Caleb Wood, suspected of having a crush on Jill Boot, Gryffindor.
Caleb Wood - 16, son of Oliver and Katie, brother of Eva, best friends with Louis, Gryffindor.
Jill Boot - 16, son of Terry and Lisa Boot, only child, best friends with Molly Weasley, Ravenclaw.
Molly Weasley - 16, daughter of Percy and Audrey, sister of Lucy, best friends with Jill Boot, Ravenclaw.
Lily Potter - 15, daughter of Harry and Ginny, sister of Al and James, best friends with Hugo Weasley, though spends a lot of time with Lucy, Charlotte, and Bobby, Gryffindor.
Lucy Weasley - 15, daughter of Percy and Audrey, sister of Molly, best friends with Charlotte and spends a lot of time with Lily, Hugo, and Bobby, might have a thing for Bobby Finnigan, Hufflepuff.
Charlotte Bray - 15, daughter of Charles and Anna Bray (Muggles), younger sister of Malcolm (wizard), and triplet of Caroline and Catherine (muggles), best friends with Lucy, spends a lot of time with Hugo, Bobby, and Lily, Hufflepuff.
Hugo Weasley - 15, son of Ron and Hermione, brother of Rose, best friends with Bobby and Lily, Gryffindor.
Bobby Finnigan - 15, son of Seamus and Lavender, brother of Violet, Sean, Bella, and Layla, best friends with Hugo, Gryffindor.
The time had finally come for everyone to be under the same roof. It was always a special week for the cousins and not once had a single one of them been absent since they had started their summer tradition. Now that Victoire and Teddy were older they weren't usually there for the whole weekend, especially since they were in the middle of planning their wedding. They had been engaged for nearly 2 years now, but with the passing of Teddy's gran a few months into their engagement, they had put the wedding off. It would finally be happening at the start of the new year, and Victoire couldn't have been more excited to get started on the final details and plans. She was the perfect bride, never losing her head and continuing to be her gracious self throughout the process, even when the wedding was delayed. Despite the heartache, the loss of Andromeda had changed her and Teddy's relationship for the better. It was almost like a wake up call. Teddy had lost his closest living relative and Victoire was to be his family. Her love for Teddy had humbled him from the start, and the reminder that life was a vapor solidified his perspective. He was blessed beyond comparison with the family that Harry had given him and the one that Victoire promised him. He'd become even more of a man over the past year. His wild side had tempered out, and his boyish qualities, while they remained, matured. Being the oldest of the younger generation, his sense of responsibility became less of a burden to bear and he embraced it with gratitude. Rose and all of her cousins had always seen Teddy as one of them, and she was excited for him to officially be a part of the family.
On the morning of the day before the annual family Quidditch match, Victoire, her mother, her Aunt Hermione, and her bridesmaids went dress shopping. She had found her wedding dress a few months ago, but since most of her bridesmaids had been at school, they had yet to find theirs. Other than her sister as maid of honor, Victoire had her best friend Alice, and 3 of her cousins: Rose, Roxanne, and Lily. Erin had tagged along as well since she was Alice's younger sister and had always been treated as one by Victoire. After three hours spent in four different shops, they finally found the perfect dress. One was ordered for each of the bridesmaids after they had their measurements taken. It was a hot summer day and they decided to make an ice cream run before returning to the Potter's.
"So, I was thinking," began Victoire as they sat outside Florean's. "We do a bachelorette night on Boxing Day? That way it's still a week before the wedding and it won't interfere with Christmas."
Everyone nodded in agreement and Dom began to question her sister about how she wanted to plan the evening.
"So," Erin said in an undertone to Rose, "any word on Violet?"
Erin had been brought into the loop regarding James. She, Rose, Al, and Scorp had gone into Diagon Alley the other day, and Al wasted no time before filling her in. Rose didn't mind too much that Al seemed to lack the ability to keep a secret. She supposed she could even use her help and Erin could use the pick me up. Things weren't going well with her great grandmother and she was spending all of the time she wasn't with Rose at the older witch's side.
They hadn't mentioned anything about James' dilemma to the other girls. Rose decided that the fewer people who knew the better. It was less pressure on the two of them that way.
"No," Rose sighed. "I was going to ask Roxy today, but I haven't had a good opening."
Erin nodded her head and began to respond.
"Well it shouldn't be that - "
An exclamation from all the other females seated around the table pulled them out of their conversation. They were all looking at Roxanne with a mix of shocked, excited, and uncertain expressions. The curly haired brunette had a timid smile on her face as she sunk back in her seat in response to all the stares she was receiving.
"Were you planning on telling us?" Victoire asked. She was beaming at Roxy who smiled back at her.
"Well, we had only just officially decided last week and we haven't even found a place yet. I figured I'd tell you at some point this weekend."
She was met with a chorus of questions about how her family and her current roommate felt about this, as well as the occasional affirmation of what a catch her boyfriend was.
"Alright," interrupted Erin, never afraid to be blunt and catching the attention of the whole table. "Mind filling us in? We sort of missed the first part."
"Rox is moving in with Lorcan," supplied Lily with a look of glee on her face.
Rose and Erin turned to stare at Roxanne. It was true that the two had been together for over three years now, but Rose's cousin had never been one to act without thinking, and neither was her boyfriend. They were the opposites of their twin brothers in that respect.
"Well, that's great news, isn't it?" asked Erin.
"I'll say!" said Dominique, who was sitting next to Roxy and gripping the arm of her chair, looking like she was having a rather difficult time containing her excitement. The other women present continued to have skeptical looks on their faces. Victoire's mother had pursed lips and Alice seemed to not know what to think. Hermione looked as if she was trying to keep her reputation as a level headed adult, but was actually hiding genuine excitement for her niece.
"Darling," began Fleur, "'Ave you really thought zis through?"
Roxanna nodded, a look of calm assurance on her face.
"We have," she said confidently. "We've been through alot together and we've only come out stronger. We think we're both ready for that step."
Alice spoke up for the first time.
"But, you're only 18."
"We will be 19 in the fall," she responded. She didn't sound like she was trying to convince anyone, more that she knew exactly what she was getting into and was fully prepared to face it.
"This is something we want and we've already talked to his parents and mine about it. They're all on board."
Fleur seemed to relax at this, but Alice still looked uncertain. She always did when it came to serious commitment. Hermione was letting her excitement show through a broad grin.
"Well I think it's brilliant," Rose offered, smiling at her cousin who returned it with a brilliant one of her own. She knew that they had hit a rough patch in their relationship over the last few months, but she was unaware of the details. She was thrilled to see that things had worked out for them.
"Well, I guess there goes your and Vi's apartment for the night of the bachelorette," said Victoire. Her nose scrunched up as she began to contemplate her other options.
"Speaking of Violet," Rose said, seeing her opening. "Is she planning on coming tonight?"
"Last I heard, yes," Roxanne responded, digging back into her ice cream.
Erin and Rose shot each other grins that no one else noticed.
"Will she keep the apartment? Do you think we could still all crash there? She'll be invited after all." Dominique asked.
Roxanne thought about it for a moment before responding. Her head tilted to the side and her wild brown hair threatening to dip into her ice cream.
"I don't see why not. Although, we can always have it at mine and Lor's. I can just send him to Ly and Fred and James's place. They're talking about all getting a place together once Lorcan and Ly are no longer living together. He can survive one night with them."
They all chuckled at her statement. Lorcan wasn't nearly as wild as the other three, and even though they all got along fine, he had no desire for them to all live together and was forever grateful that he and his brother had been in Ravenclaw during their Hogwarts years.
"Brilliant!" said Victoire. "We can start planning then."
They spent another half hour in Diagon Alley before heading back to Potter Manor to prepare for their girls night in. All the essentials were prepared. They had all of their favorite junk foods and sweets, some bought in town earlier that day and others prepared by their mothers and grandmother. Supplies had been set up for all things girly, music was playing on the old gramophone, and the Potter's had even invested in a television set. Muggle things had become more prevalent in the Wizarding World since the end of the war. Dennis Creevey, who was the younger brother of one of Ginny's friends from school, had gone on to work in a branch of the Ministry that allowed him to develope a way to alter muggle technology so that magic would no longer interfere with it in most Wizarding homes. "With the war and his brothers passing," Ginny had said, "Dennis is determined to better the wizarding world and he wants to do everything he can to help magical folk embrace the Muggle World." The Weasley's and the Potters had grown up watching Muggle films, and even Quidditch games were starting to be aired on the Wizarding Television Network. Ron was still fascinated by it, as were all of the older generation of Weasleys, but young Fred had taken after his grandfather's interest in muggle things and was an expert. If they ever had an issue with any of the "funny contraptions" as Ron called them, they always went to Fred.
As the other girls started to arrive, Rose grew nervous about what the boys had planned, but was determined to make herself relax and enjoy the evening. Since they normally tried something, she knew they were likely to do it again. Especially if James was determined to talk to Violet. She had arrived a few hours earlier than the rest of the girls, determined as always to be helpful. Thankfully, the boys had made themselves scarce by this time. Rose could tell that Violet was trying to avoid James. She floo called before coming over to subtly check if he was there and then arrived moments later in a puff of green smoke, her lean figure wracked with more fatigued than normal. Rose's aunt greeted her as if she were one of her own nieces, embracing her tightly and doting on her. Violet had always loved Ginny and the two had a close relationship. They, along with Alice, were in the kitchen preparing and plating some of the food. Rose and Erin were setting up the family room by putting cots and mattresses out for everyone to sleep on. There were blankets, sleeping bags, and pillows spread all over the room as they began to put sheets on everything while surreptitiously watching Violet through the entrance to the kitchen.
"She doesn't seem as…I don't know, bubbly as normal, does she? Is bubbly even the right word for her?" Erin asked. She was hardly paying attention to what she was doing and was currently trying to force a pillow into its case from the wrong angle.
"Will you stop staring?" said Rose, impatiently. "She's going to start to think something is up."
Erin looked properly scolded and got back to her bedding preparations. Violet came in a few moments later. She looked tired, in a way that seemed to speak more to her emotional state than an actual lack of sleep.
"Need any help with anything out here?" she asked.
"I think we're just about set," said Rose as they threw the last few pillows into place.
"Brilliant," she said with a sigh before collapsing on the couch closest to her.
Erin and Rose shared a look, unsure of how to proceed. While the air wasn't tense, there was an element in the atmosphere that spoke to the internal struggle that was raging in the older girl.
"You alright, Vi?" Erin asked tentatively.
Violet just sat there staring into space for a moment before shaking her head and giving them both a small smile that didn't quite reach her eyes.
"I'm alright. Just tired. Training has me running ragged at the moment. The spell damage cycle is exhausting."
Erin lit up as Violet began to talk about her work at St. Mungo's. While she had never elaborated too much on the subject, Rose knew that Erin's true love for herbology lay in the area of curative potions.
"How's that been going? Do you cycle through different specialties then? What's your favorite so far? Do you know where you'd like to end up?"
Erin fired off all these questions in quick succession and Violet looked slightly overwhelmed yet amused.
"Yeah, we spend about 6 weeks on each floor before switching to another. We should spend time on each floor at least twice throughout our training before we pick a specialty. I mostly prefer to work with the families that come in, and honestly, even though it'll be hard, I think I'd like to work in the long-term care for children ward."
"That's fantastic!" Erin said, excitedly. "You'll be brilliant at that."
Violet gave her a smile that seemed slightly more genuine than her previous one. The conversation seemed to have cheered her up.
"Thanks. I just have to do well on my qualifying exams next year."
"I'm sure you've got it in the bag," Rose said confidently. Violet shrugged her shoulders and seemed to recoil back into herself. Thankfully, Eva chose that moment to show up, closely followed by Lucy, Molly, Jill, and Charlotte. Lily, Dom, Victoire, and Roxy had all been getting things prepared for pampering on the closed in patio, but came in when they heard everyone arrive. Pretty soon, all the food had been laid out and the night's festivities began.
The evening had been going well and by 10 o'clock, Victoire and Alice had left for their respective homes and the rest of the girls were changed into their pajamas and ready to settle in for a film and eventual slumber. Lily was currently inspecting the sleeping bags and blankets. She looked quite comical as she tip toed around with a broom in her hand, using the handle to shift things around.
"Lily," Charlotte laughed at her best friend, "what on earth are you doing?"
She looked up at Charlotte as she and all the other girls watched her.
"I'm just checking. You saw the boys with their heads together on the train. These could be laced with something to make us erupt in boils. Or maybe they shoved a bunch of nifflers in here."
"Lily, we have hardly let this room out of our sight and everything was fine when we set up this afternoon. Maybe we can finally hope that they've matured enough to leave us alone." Rose said practically.
Lily still looked skeptical but resigned herself to the fact that they would have to brave the rest of the evening unprepared. They all began to settle in and Violet and Roxanne volunteered to make fresh popcorn. The rest of the girls had begun to sort through their movie options when they heard two shrieks from the kitchen, quickly followed by Violet and Roxanne dashing madly back into the family room with startled looks on their faces. They were greeted by a chorus of inquiry and alarmed expressions.
"Someone's outside -"
"We saw something through the window -"
"I don't think it was an animal -"
"Definitely human -"
"We're going to die!" Violet finished, a terrified look on her face. A few of the other girls looked startled as well, but Rose, Erin, and Lily all rolled their eyes.
"Who'd of thought," Lily began, hands on her hips and the making of mischief on her face, "they'd actually be stupid enough to show up this year rather than just set something up before hand. There's no way they can get away with anything now we know they're here."
She looked ready to catch them in the act and all the other girls visibly relaxed when they realized what was happening, but Violet tensed up.
"You think it's the boys?" she asked, her words laced with worry.
"Who else would it be?" asked Jill, looking as determined as Lily to spoil their fun. "They must be trying to scare us or something."
"Or something," mumbled Erin, but she was only heard by Rose and Lily, who shot them both a quizzical look.
Violet had started to chew on her freshly manicured bright blue nails. While she previous appeared as if her stomach had dropped through her feet, she was now hopping from foot to foot as if she were prepared to run for it at the first sign of trouble.
There was a sudden banging on the back patio door, making them all jump. It was quickly followed by a loud noise coming from one of the upstairs windows, the kitchen window and another room from the floor above. The girls all looked around unsure of what to do or what was even happening before Molly decided to take control of the situation.
"Alright, here's what we do. Lu, Char, and Lily, head upstairs. That sounds like one of them is coming from Uncle Harry's den. Jill and I will check out the master bedroom because I wouldn't put it past them to climb in through the balcony. Eva and Dom, check the dining room, Erin and Rose, take the patio, and Rox and Vi, head back to the kitchen."
Everyone nodded their heads and began to split up for their respective lookout zones.
"Umm…" Violet began, continuing to nervously shifting from foot to foot, "if it's all the same, I think I'll just stay here."
All the other girls looked at her strangely. Violet had never been one to be easily frightened. Rose and Erin tried very hard to hide grins as Lily continued to watch them, looking like she was dying to question the two girls, and jealous that they seemed to know something she didn't.
"I can go with Roxy if you'd rather just wait here," Lucy offered.
Violet nodded her head in thanks and everyone split up. Rose and Erin were inspecting the many patio windows, wands lit, when Rose finally caught sight of a lurking figure. She would recognize that blond head anywhere.
"Erin," she whispered to her friend, nodding her head in the direction of the door. They crept forward and slowly opened it, peeking out.
They both struggled to reign in terrified shrieks as Al appeared from behind the door. Scorpius approached from the other side of the patio where Rose had seen him creeping. Al laughed as Erin punched him in the chest.
"You morons," Erin said, without any actual malice in her voice.
"What's your plan then? Give us a good scare? That the best you could come up with?"
"Where's Violet?" Scorpius asked, disregarding all of her questions.
"She stayed in the family room by herself, why?" Rose asked.
Al and Scorpius shared a look, evil grins growing on their faces.
"You mean no one else is in there?" Scorpius questioned.
Rose slowly shook her head in affirmation.
"No, everyone separated to try and catch you all, but she opted to stay behind. Frankly, I think she's terrified of facing James, but -"
"Brilliant, be right back," and Al quietly ran off to the front of the house. The girls turned questioning looks on the other Slytherin.
"We aren't really pranking you this year. James was about to lose his shit so we decided we'd band together for him in solidarity. This is all just a plan to get you out of the way. I didn't think it would work this well, actually," he finished as Al approached them again.
"He's going in," he said, slightly out of breath. They all looked at each other for a moment before quietly creeping back into the patio to watch what was sure to be an entertaining encounter. Rose desperately wanted things to work out for her cousin's sake, but she wasn't above a little snooping. They all crouched beneath the window that looked into the family room.
Violet was currently pacing back and forth along the back of the couch. She suddenly stopped and turned to face the front door after hearing the lock turn. She had her wand gripped at her side, looking apprehensive, and didn't relax her pose at all when James poked his head in. He glanced around before his eyes rested on her and a smile lit up his entire face.
"Hey, Vi," he said in a whisper before coming fully into the house and quietly shutting the door behind him. They just stared at each other for a while, James leaning against the door and Violet relaxing slightly and sitting on the back of the couch, twirling her wand in her hands.
"What are you doing here, James?" she finally asked, unable to bear the silence any longer. Sensing a lessening in her animosity towards him, he pushed himself off the door and took a step closer to her.
"I had to find a way to get you to talk to me, and I didn't trust you to stick around til tomorrow."
The honesty in his words struck Rose, his fears reverberating around the room.
"I almost didn't come tonight, honestly," Violet admitted. "But I refuse to let you damage my relationship with your family. Particularly my best friend, who, unfortunately, happens to be your cousin."
There was a disturbance from the direction of the kitchen. Roxanne and Lucy seemed to have noticed something was going on in the family room and had started to walk through the kitchen door, only for both of them to be dramatically pulled back into the kitchen by Roxy's boyfriend and his brother.
Violet's eyes widened at their abrupt entrance and then subsequent removal before turning to James.
"You planned this didn't you?" she asked with an almost disbelieving tone to her voice. He had a sheepish expression on his face.
"I really needed to talk to you and I didn't see another way."
The door to the kitchen slowly crept open, only about a foot wide this time, to reveal it's occupants. Thankfully, James and Violet were too focused on the tense moment between them to notice, and Rose and her friends were able to signal to them that they needed to stay put. Roxy had a huge grin on her face and winked at them before retreating back into the kitchen, but leaving the door slightly cracked.
James was sighing and running his hands through his hair.
"I know I've screwed up. I realize that now. And it would be bloody brilliant of you if you wouldn't run off and you actually let me talk to you this time."
Violet studied him for a second before nodding and looking down at the floor.
"Vi, I'm so sorry."
She looked up at him, slowly. He spoke with such sincerity that it unnerved her. It wasn't like James never apologized, but you were never really sure how much he meant it. But he seemed so vulnerable in that moment, as if the girl in front of him held the ability to make him either the happiest man in the world, or the most miserable soul to ever walk the earth. The truth in his eyes was hard to look at. She barely had time to take in his demeanor before he continued.
"I've always thought I was doing the right thing when it came to you. You're the most incredible person I've ever known and I would hate to ruin the friendship that we have. I've been talking myself into it for years, actually." He scratched at the stubble on his chin, trying to gather his thoughts.
"Talking yourself into what? Being friends with me?" She had developed a defensive tone at his words. James started to panic and was quick to try and correct to situation.
"No! Of course not! I mean the opposite in fact, if that makes sense."
She shot him an uncertain look, not grasping what he was trying the say.
"What I mean is, I had to force myself to just be friends with you. I guess, for a while now, I've fooled myself into thinking that was all I wanted."
Violet stared at him with a hopeful look on her face, giving him the courage to press on.
"I guess what I'm trying to say, is that I didn't want to risk losing you and I was convinced that you would never feel the same way for me that I do for you. You're brilliant, Vi. The most beautiful, talented, and maddeningly frustrating witch I know and I can't stand going one day without hearing your voice or seeing your smile. So please, forgive me for being an idiot, a pig, and a coward for far longer than I would ever care to admit."
He watched her expectantly and she let herself begin to smile shyly at him. It seemed like she was about to forgive him, and Rose wasn't planning on blaming her in the slightest. It was as if her cousin had transformed into a man right in front of her eyes. Humbling himself and apologizing, owning up to his own shortcomings, and admitting how much he cared for his best friend was a lot to accomplish in one night.
"I guess I could never stay mad at you forever."
He beamed at her. Rose didn't think she had ever seen her cousin happier.
They continued to stand there and smile at each other, neither knowing what to do next. James finally worked up the courage to walk towards her. He stopped when there was roughly a foot between them and spoke in a hushed tone.
"I should have taken you with me, and I'll forever regret that I didn't."
She couldn't meet his eyes and was looking down at her feet as she chewed on her bottom lip, a slight blush on her cheeks.
"I was thrilled when you asked me, you know," she said shyly, glancing up at him briefly. "I knew you only meant it as a friend, but I kind of saw it as my chance."
"You're chance for what?" he asked, a look of hopeful anticipation on his face.
"Are you really going to make me say it first?" she asked with a slight role of her eyes, finally looking him in the face. He grinned cheekily at her before moving closer and tucking a strand of her long brown hair behind her ear.
"Nah, I think I've already put you through enough, honestly."
She smiled at him as he reached out and laced his fingers between hers. She blushed at the gesture, but gripped his hands back all the same.
"I just don't fully get why you never said anything before," he asked.
She shrugged her shoulders.
"Probably the same reason you didn't. I was bloody terrified of losing you. Of course, my stubbornness almost managed to make that happen anyway."
He chuckled at her before replying.
"Well, we'll just have to make sure that doesn't happen again, alright?"
They just stood their, their hands grasped at their sides and staring into each other's eyes. Their lovely moment was interrupted by James' younger sister, who apparently couldn't take it anymore and hollered from somewhere up the stairway.
"Will you bloody kiss her already you great pansy!"
The sound of people shushing each other was heard from up the stairs, and the group out on the patio had a hard time keeping in their giggles as James blushed brilliantly. Violet started laughing and buried her face in his chest. He wrapped his arms around her and held her tight, slightly rocking her back and forth.
"I was getting to it!" he hollered back at his sister. Violet still had her face buried in his chest and seemed to be either too nervous or too embarrassed to lift it. James kissed the top of her head before pulling away and leading her out the front door to disappointed groans from the others.
"You buggers are way too nosey!" were his departing words before heading outside for some privacy. They could hear Violet laughing before he closed the door behind them. Everyone started coming out of their hiding places and gathering in the family room. It appeared that James had required the help of every single one of their male friends to be able to pull this off, but Rose had to admit, his planned had worked out brilliantly in the end.
"If you ask me," Bobby began to a disappointed looking Lily, "I'm rather grateful I didn't have to witness your brother snogging my sister."
Everyone laughed and even Lily managed to see the humor in the situation as she started to suggest ways they could still spy on them, before something else that she considered far more pressing caught her attention.
"I don't think so!" she yelled, as Hugo, Louis, and Caleb began to make themselves at home on the various pieces of furniture.
"Lily, come on,' Louis began, "we're here now. Might as well make ourselves comfortable."
Lily huffed at them and turned to Rose, Erin, Scorpius and Albus, who all looked very pleased.
"So, you lot all knew then?"
Rose knew she had to tread lightly here. While Lily had wonderful relationships with both of her brothers, she tended to resent Rose for how close she was with them as well. Rose could understand how she felt, though. She had the same insecurities about Lily's relationship with Hugo.
"It just came up the one afternoon, when you and Hugo went to Diagon Alley that day after lunch," Al jumped in with the save.
Lily seemed to accept this excuse and resumed her cheerful demeanor before going to join Caleb as he looked through the movie collection. Rose shot Albus a grateful look. He understood the complicated dynamics of Rose and Lily's relationship all too well, having been the subject matter of more than one of their arguments.
Most of the others seemed to be gossiping about the new development between their two friends. Fred appeared to be describing the night's events in vivid detail and had Dom and Eva laughing along with Lysander and Roxanne as Lorcan tried to jump in with the story of what had actually occurred. Erin and Scorpius had wandered off after Lily had approached and were gathering food from the dining room for everyone.
"I can't believe the idiot actually pulled this off," Al chuckled quietly as he and Rose stood side-by-side, taking in their surroundings.
"You and me both," Rose agreed with her cousin. "I can't imagine how this is going to affect the dynamics of things either."
"What do you mean?" Al questioned.
"Just that," Rose began, unsure how to explain what exactly she did mean. "When you throw feelings and new emotions and relationships into an already established environment, things are bound to change."
Al nodded his head with a contemplative look on his face.
"Yeah, sure. But not in a bad way, right?" He looked hopeful as he asked the question. "I mean," he continued, "that is to say, if things work out, it can be for the better, right? Change happens all the time, and not all of it's bad. It's inevitable, so why not embrace it when it comes? We'd all be a lot better off that way, I think."
Rose looked at her cousin. Al always managed to surprise her with his ability to be so insightful on occasion, but she wasn't sure why. She knew he was smart, and very intuitive, but he rarely let it show. Take Herbology, for example. He was always complaining about how horrible he was at it, but she was willing to bet he wasn't as bad as he made himself out to be.
"I suppose you're right," she said with a small smile as Al watched their best friends make their way back into dining room for more food.
"Another thing that's changing," she continued, and Al turned to look at her in interest, "is Roxanne and Lorcan's living arrangements."
Al's eyebrows shot up and he looked at his cousin, who's boyfriend had his arms wrapped protectively around her middle as she leaned against his chest. They looked blissful.
"Well, that's brilliant. Cheers to them then," he said with a crooked grin and a far off look in his eyes. He didn't seem quite like himself, but before Rose could ask him what was on his mind, he spoke again.
"I think I'd like that someday, you know?"
"Like what?" Rose asked.
Al nodded his head towards his cousin and her boyfriend, but didn't elaborate any further. Rose was surprised by this. Al had gone on his fair share of dates and had even gone out with Mandy Jordan for a short period of time in their 5th year, but he hadn't shown any special interest in a girl since then.
"Really?" she asked, a smile creeping onto her face.
He noticed her expression and rolled his eyes before shrugging his shoulders. Rose was about to question him further before the door suddenly burst open and Alice Longbottom walked in, closely followed by James and Violet. The latter two were holding hands and had looked concerned as Alice's eyes scanned the room for her siblings. She found Ethan standing against the back of the couch in conversation with Bobby and Lucy about their upcoming O.W.L. year. He looked alarmed at his older sister's sudden presence.
"Alice?" he asked, walking toward her and gripping her arms as if to hold her up. She looked as though she could collapse from exhaustion at any moment.
"Where's Erin?" she asked in a rough voice. Erin chose the next moment to walk back in from the dining room with Scorpius by her side. She had been laughing at something, but her face immediately dropped at the presence of her sister.
"Ally? What's going on?"
By the shake in her voice, Rose could tell she was terrified to hear her sister's answer.
A/N: Sorry for two notes! But I'd love some feedback on the characters. Who do you like, who do you dislike, who would you like to see more of, etc. Happy reading!
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