A/N: I'm really sorry about taking so long to update! I had writer's block for a while and honestly, I got kind of lazy :( But, it's done now so enjoy and please review/follow/favorite :)


Chapter 4

Make-ups, Mysteries, and Merriment or Holidays

Al.

It's Al.

"WHAT DO YOU BOYS THINK YOU'RE DOING?"

Well not only Al. Rose turns to get a better look at the person yelling. Professor Suzuki? At that moment nothing makes any sense. Why is Al, who hates her and Scorpius for Merlin's sake, here? How had he known they were in the dungeons? And that they were in trouble? And how had he managed to get Suzuki after curfew?

"GET OFF OF HIM! NOW!" Rose's thoughts are interrupted by the teacher again.

The guys that were targeting Scorpius turn around. When they see Professor Suzuki their faces contort to show fear. The guy that had been holding Scorpius drops him immediately.

"I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS BEHAVIOR!" Professor Suzuki is the epitome of anger. She looks like a raging inferno. Rose almost expects smoke to come billowing out of her ears.

Once the young professor finishes her rather long rant, she takes them all to the Headmaster's office. There are seven boys in total and they each face severe consequences. No Hogsmeade trips. No quidditch. Detention for a minimum of two months. And some very angry letters to their mothers. However, there are no points deducted, as that would punish Scorpius and Al as well. According to Suzuki, who is still mumbling with rage as she escorts them out of the office, they got off easy. Harassing a student and being intoxicated on school grounds together should be enough for expulsion.

Al explains that he'd noticed that Scorpius hadn't returned to the dorm around nine, so he decided to check Ravenclaw tower. Upon discovering he couldn't get in, he asked someone to see if either of them were there. When he found out they weren't, he tried to think like of possible places they would be and had come to the conclusion that the dungeons was the only probable guess, as he and Rose had made plans to attend the Deathday party. When he was on his way down he'd run across Professor Suzuki, who had been quite keen on giving him detention, until he'd explained how he was afraid his friends were in trouble. Then they found the dungeon and the rest was history.

Rose couldn't describe how happy she was when he'd used the word 'friends' to describe Scorpius and her.

After explaining, Al apologizes. It isn't a long drawn out apology, but Rose is so relieved that he isn't upset anymore she accepts his "I'm really sorry" immediately. Scorpius does as well, but he doesn't seem as keen as her. He has a distant neutral look plastered on his face, similar to the one he gave Rose when they'd first met in the train compartment.

*.*.*.*

November, is far nicer to Rose than October was. Al reverts to his old self in only one night. It takes two weeks and a longer apology for Scorpius to fully forgive him though. She finds out that Al had been sending Scorpius hate notes.

"Where did you learn that sort of language?" she asks Al after reading one.

"James helped me a bit." He answers.

"Indeed," She picks up another.

They are in the main room of the Wardrobe. Scorpius and Al are working one some homework that Rose finished ages ago, and Rose is reading through the letters. When she's done, she can hardly believe that the two laughing idiots who are fighting over Rose's completed Potions essay are the sender and receiver of these letters. How could Scorpius forgive someone who said that? Rose forgave Al quickly because they're family and she understood just how unhinged he was about not making the quidditch team. But Scorpius, well, Scorpius has only known Al for a few months.

She tries not to dwell on it too much. She should just be glad it worked out in the end.

In other news, the Ministry Break In has been long forgotten by most, but Rose hasn't let it go. It doesn't help that she hasn't gotten much of a reply to her letters from either of her parents. The times that she does, they are short sentenced replies like "That's great, Rosie. Keep studying and enjoy Hogwarts." hurriedly scrawled on messy parchment. It doesn't help that today's letter had an accidental attachment.

Dear Kinglsey,

Don't worry about it. It's at Hogwarts now; Fallens will know how to keep it safe.

Sincerely,

Hermione Weasley

She figured that, since it was her father who had sent the actual letter, it must have been slipped into an envelope with something already in it. (Dad does tend to do that often; one time she got a grocery list attached.) She hasn't shown it to anyone, not even Scorpius or Al, because it's unsettling.

What was her mother talking about? What is so important, or dangerous, that the Minister of Magic was worried about it?

"Hey guys," she starts to say as she gets out of her chair.

They look up, both on the ground, still wrestling for the essay.

"I'm going to the Study Room," she announces, "Oh and instead of fighting over my essay, which I really hope you didn't wrinkle, you could just make another copy. And remember to only use mine as a reference!"

She leaves the boys, who've stopped wrestling, and saunters toward the particular tapestry. However, when she lifts it up, the door is locked. She tries to alohamora it to no avail. Someone has been in the Wardrobe, and they don't want Albus, Scorpius and her to be in its corridors.

"Scorpius. Al." she calls, hesitantly.

Scorpius who has managed to duplicate her essay looks up, "What?"

"The door." She says simply.

"What about it, Rose?" Al prompts.

"It's locked," she says, feeling antsier and antsier as the moments pass.

"WHAT?"

Rose isn't sure which one said that, but both of them are coming towards the door.

"It won't open?" Al asks. At the same time Scorpius casts "Alohomora"

The door doesn't open.

Rose crosses her arms, "You think I didn't try that already?"

"Sorry," he says sheepishly.

"So now what?" asks Al.

"I suggest we leave the room. I mean we know we're not supposed to be here, but what if someone finds us here? We'd get into a lot of trouble." Scorpius answers, stepping away from the door and turning to gather his things.

"There's something I haven't told you about," Rose adds.

Both of them turn to her. Her hands fumble for the letter inside her cloak, when she gets it she starts reading aloud, "Dear Kinglsey, Don't worry about it. It's at Hogwarts now; Fallens will know how to keep it safe. Sincerely, Hermione Weasley."

"Rose how did you get that?" Scorpius asks, incredulously.

She answers without hesitation, "It was enclosed in the same envelope as my letter from my dad. He tends to do that a lot. Never checks to see if that envelope that was lying around had a letter in it."

"So you think they hid whatever it was in here?" Al asks.

"Obviously." Rose answers, "Anyone with half a mind could connect the dots. Something hidden in Hogwarts. Door to endless corridors in a magical wardrobe that the Founders of Hogwarts, locked."

Al shakes his head, "I thought they stopped hiding things here. I mean considering the meddling and the problems that occurred when they hid the Philosopher Stone here."

"The ministry was broken into two months ago," Rose starts to say, thinking aloud, "They got into three departments, including the department of mysteries. It's said that something or somethings were taken, but what if they people who broke in weren't able to get something? What if they were still looking for a way to get it? I mean their target is the ministry and possibly Griggnots, but they wouldn't expect someone to hide something here after the events of the Stone."

Scorpius nods excitedly, "But what? What could be so important?"

Al gives him a look, "How would we know? It's the deparment of mysteries; regular people aren't supposed to know what it does."

Rose kicks the door in frustration, "The study room! I need to research this and it's the only place that would have an information!"

Scorpius nods thinking, "Fallens was smart. Lock whatever it was away and lock away the only thing that could be used to find out about whatever it was."

"Well if he knows we're in here then why doesn't he confront us about it?" asks Al.

Rose can almost see the gears turning in Scorpius's head as he drums up an idea, "If he confronted us about it he'd have to punish us for it. If he punishes us then there would have to be a reason given to the people who'd ask—and believe me they would ask considering your family's fame and my family's infamy—and there's a chance that we would refute whatever the reason was and tell everyone about this place which would cause a hullabaloo among the students. Everyone would want to know what we want to know, what's being hidden? And if the kids know then the rest of the Wizarding World would know including the people looking for the thing."

"Wow." says Al, "that was quite the explanation. So we're at a stalemate then?"

"Yeah," says Rose, having come to that conclusion already.

"Well why did he only lock the door to the corridor? I bet someone would be able to open it the given time. Why not lock of the Wardrobe or the entire Attic?" ask Scorpius.

Then realization dawns on him, "I bet that's the plan. As soon as we leave they're going to do it."

*.*.*.*

Scorpius is right. When they come back to the door of the attic after lunch it is completely sealed. There isn't even a doorknob anymore and no spell they can think of works on it.

With some research, Rose figures out that it was a charm that makes a place only enterable to the person who cast it.

"Very difficult magic." She comments, as she skims through the page of Charms and Enchantments.

They are in the Glass Room, sitting on bench, discussing what had happened the day before.

"And only the caster can take off the spell. It's rather ingenious. Whoever wants to get whatever's hidden will need to make the Headmaster get rid of the spell." She adds.

Al, who is lying on the floor, sighs, "Let's not dwell on it, yeah? I mean, whatever was hidden was hidden for a reason. Probably really dangerous stuff that is none of our business."

He sits up, and, with one look on at his friends, looks like he knows all hope is lost.

There is a glint in Rose's eyes from the idea of learning about stuff "that isn't their business". A similar one is seen in Scorpius who doesn't look at all afraid of "dangerous stuff."

So that's how they spend the remainder of November: looking for answers. Every bit of information available on the department of mysteries, is analysed, until it can be analysed no more. The job is mainly Rose's, as Scorpius often has quidditch practice whenever they have free time, and Al loses patience too quickly to get much done.

She finally gives up in December, when she comes to the conclusion that there really isn't anything to learn that she already didn't know. Besides, now there are more important things to think about.

Christmas Holidays, which they have now taken to call "Winter Holidays" for those who don't celebrate Christmas, are approaching.

"I love the winter." Rose remarks one day as they watch the snow fall and write letters home in the Glass Room.

She stops writing for a moment, "Scorpius, what are you doing for the Holidays?"

"Quiet Christmas with my family and my parent's New Year's Ball, but not much besides that." He responds.

An idea starts to form in Rose's head, "Do you think your parents would be okay if you came to the Burrow with us?"

Scorpius's eyes widen with bewilderment, "I-I'm not sure."

"Do you think our parents would be okay with it?" Al snorts.

"Both of our mums would be, and I don't think your dad would object, so my dad would be forced by someone or another to agree to it." She answers, laughing at the thought of Dad's reaction.

Her dad, as he often reminds her in his now more frequent letters, does not approve of her befriending Scorpius. Her mother is all for it, especially after Rose explained how he was a victim of bullying.

"I don't want to upset your dad," Scorpius adds, looking rather scared at the idea of being confronted by an auror.

"Don't worry," Al says, "He'll only go after you if you try to 'make a move' on Rose."

"Eww Al," Rose makes a face then punches her cousin lightly.

"Stop saying stuff like that, unless you want me to tell Scorpius and everyone in my dorm about your little crush." She adds.

Al's face pales, "You wouldn't."

She turns to Scorpius, "T-A-Y-L-O-R."

"You like Taylor Collins?" he snickers in response, "C'mon mate she hates blokes."

Rose laughs, "I know, she glared at Xavier, when he offered to help her carry one of her million books. And Xavier is one of the nicest guys ever."

"Nicest?" Scorpius snorts, raising an eyebrow jokingly, "Is that why he has a fan club?"

Rose shrugs, "Well, I suppose they don't fancy him for that. I think Angelica York said something about his 'dreamy eyes.' But that's not the point. The point is that Taylor hates blokes. She's got the mentality of a five year olds."

"You reckon she thinks we have cooties?" Scorpius laughs.

"That's bloody fantastic," Al groans, "Out of every girl in the year I picked the one who thinks guys have cooties."

"Ha!" Rose grins, "You admit you fancy her!"

"Well, it's not like I could hide it from you," Al replies, trying to hid the blush creeping onto his face by glancing back down to his letter.

Attempting to change the subject he adds, "I'll ask my mum and dad about Scorpius coming. I figure Uncle Ron couldn't say much if it was me asking rather than you."

Rose nods, "Okay that works." Then she turns to Scorpius, "Scorp, make sure to ask your parents as soon as Al's parents say yes okay?"

"Scorp?" He replies, giving her a look, "Really? And why are you so sure they'll say yes?"

"Scorpius takes too much effort to say," She counters, "I mean Albus is to long already. Scorpius that's eight whole letters. And c'mon it's Al's parents. They'd say yes to anything. The only time they don't is when James asks."

When they finish their letters they visit the Owlery together then head back to the Glass Room for a game of Exploding Snap.

It takes a few days, but Rose is proven right, yet again, with a reply from Aunt Ginny, who says she'd "be delighted if Scorpius could join" them.

*.*.*.*

"Why do professors have to assign so many assignments before the holidays?" Al asks to no one in particular as they work in the Glass Room.

"You wouldn't have so much work if you started your papers the day you got them," Rose reminds him. She is working on the Defense assignment Professor Hurst assigned today with Scorpius, while Al is scrambling to finish the Charms essay due tomorrow.

"Rose, procrastination is a cycle. Al doesn't start, so everything starts piling up. Then even if he wants to get a head start, he can't 'cause he's working on something that's due tomorrow." Scorpius counters.

Rose rolls her eyes, "Yeah, well then what about you. You procrastinate sometimes. You start early sometimes."

Scorpius laughs, "I'm just special."

"Hey Scorp, what'd your parents say about Christmas," Al asks, using the nickname Rose had conned, much to her pleasure.

Scorpius frowns, "It's weird. I still haven't gotten a reply yet. I bet mum's trying to convince dad to say yes and dad's trying to convince mum to say no."

"You know," Rose starts, "There's only so much time left for them to respond. I mean we're leaving in a week."

"Blimey, has it already been four months? It feels more four days." Scorpius says, then adds, "Rose, what did you get on number nine?"

"Technically it's been three and a three-fourths months," Rose corrects, "But yeah, I know what you mean. Seems like it was just yesterday when we found the Wardrobe."

"Oh, and I got B but I'm not entirely sure because C is also plausible." She answers.

"Got it."

"Rose can I please just see your essay?" Al begs.

Rose shakes her head, "Sorry Al I turned it in early."

He turns to Scorpius, "Scorp?"

"You nearly copied my essay last time I let you 'take a look at it' so, sorry mate," Scorpius replies, not giving into his best friend like he usually did.

"Budger, I hate this." Al grumbles.

It takes him the entire night, but he does manage to finish the essay, and study for the examination in Herbology.

The next day, Scorpius gets the long awaited letter.

"Dear Scorpius," He reads aloud, "While you're father isn't exactly keen on it, I insisted that you should be able to spend time with your friends. You can spend up to a week with the Potters (I assume they will be picking you up) but I want you to floo home by the twenty-sixth."

Rose peaks over his shoulder, he didn't add the "Oh Scorpius I miss you so much! With all my love, Mum" but it's not really something you want your mates to hear. Unless of course, you like being ridiculed.

Before they know it they're back on the Hogwarts Express. This trip is much different from the first. One, Scorpius actually talks to Rose instead of sulking by the window. Two, Rose doesn't read for a moment. Three, Al is actually with them in the compartment.

They spot the Potters as soon as they reach the platform. It's probably the most awkward moment Rose has ever witnessed when Al introduces Scorp to his parents. He stands out like a sore thumb among their black and ginger hair. The funniest bit is James' reaction to Scorpius staying with them, "You've got to be bloody kidding me! The little ferret's infiltrating our house!" The best part is how Scorpius's face turns as red as Rose's hair. Lily, doesn't have the same aversion to Scorpius, she blushes when she says hello to him.

Huh, so nine year olds can have crushes. Interesting.

Rose wouldn't have been keen to leave the amusing bunch, but she does, in fact, miss her own family. Hugo has grown by three inches, and Rose swears that if he keeps growing like that he'll be taller than her by New Years. Dad and Mum look the same as ever, but their hugs feel warmer. She supposes that's because of how long it's been since she's received them.

When they get home, Rose runs up to her bedroom straight away. It's strange to be back there after spending months in the dormitories. Taking in the room, she looks through her things. All she can think about is how it feels like they're all someone else's. She changes out of her Hogwarts robes and into trousers and a t-shirt, then joins her family for a meal. Despite the fact that it's something they picked up from a restaurant (Mum and Dad are both awful cooks) and her parents argue about every little thing, it's the best dinner she's had in a long time.

*.*.*.*

A few days later, the Burrow is as alive as ever with all of the clan present. Rose's immediate family, Uncle George and Aunt Angelina along with Roxanne and Fred, Uncle Bill and Aunt Fleur with Louis, Dom, and Victoire, Teddy and Andromeda, Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey with Molly and Lucy, the Potters of course, and even Uncle Charlie, the Longbottoms, and the Scamanders, have all managed to arrive for their annual three day fun. As Rose observes the chaos that is her family, she can't help but ponder how extensive the extending charms were for all of them to fit. Then she comes across a sight that can only be described as highly amusing. Scorpius cornered by Grandad. He looks to be sweating like a pig, and as much as Rose would like to watch him struggle, she comes to his rescue.

"You know Grandad, Scorpius knows quite a lot about muggle science and its relationship with magic. It's very interesting and I'm sure he'd love to tell you about it," she says with a smile.

He looks interested, "Really. Please explain, Malfoy."

He's still calling Scorp by his surname, but at least this time, there is no malice in how it's said. Grandad brings him over to the sofa, where they start talking of all the theories that Scorpius had explained to her once.

After playing hero for Scorp, she goes back to her game of Family Watch. Lucy and Lily are trying to convince Uncle George and Hugo that they're the real twins of the family. Roxanne is avoiding Alice who is telling her off. Victoire and Teddy have made themselves scarce. It's a dangerous thing to do considering how tonight he's supposed to be properly introduced as Vicky's boyfriend to the family, even though everyone's known they've been together since at least the Quidditch World Cup. Lorcan and Lysander Scamander, the cute little five year olds, are looking for Nargles in the mistletoe. Louis is chatting with Molly about her chances of being chosen to be Head Girl in two years. Al is talking with Dom, probably about his Taylor problems. And then there's Fred and James doing some plotting in the corner. The last one is interesting. Normally the duo do their scheming privately. Seeing this as a good opportunity to patch things up with James, Rose joins them.

"So Jamie, who's the poor soul you two are tormenting next?" She asks with a laugh.

"You'd just snark on us if we told you," Fred says in a bored voice, still looking at a diagram of sorts that James must have drawn up.

Rose tries to seem offended, "The last time I so called 'snarked' on you was when I was four and you ruined my new swimming suit by putting paint in the water balloons."

"Whatever," James responds apathetically, "Shouldn't you be entertaining Draco Junior?"

"James," She pleads, "Come on. I've tried to apologize for months over what I said that day, and don't you think you're being too harsh on him? I mean even Grandad is being nice to him."

Neither of the troublemakers respond.

Hating that James of all people is upset with her she takes a risk, "What would you say if I told you Ickle Albie has a wittle crush?"

This sparks a reaction.

"My brother fancies someone?" He asks sceptically, but with the classic, and slightly frightening, "James Potter" glint in his eyes, that tells Rose he's already scheming up ways to embarrass him.

"Mhm, why else would he be pleading for Dom for help?" She nods toward them.

"Fascinating development," Fred starts, "If only—"

"Our dear cousin Rosie," James continues, "would—"

"Tell her favourite cousins who the lucky lady is." Fred finishes.

"Yes if only I could tell you that her names is Taylor Collins," She says with a smirk, then prompts to play innocent, "Oops, I let that slip didn't I?"

"It's alright Rose, we won't tell him you told," Fred assures her.

"So what's this girl like?" James asks.

Rose shrugs, "She's my dormmate, and I've learned the basics of her. She's relatively nice, but with a temper like your mum. She loves quidditch, and loathes boys."

"Loathes boys, what is she eleven?" Fred asks, with a laugh, "Still thinks we have cooties or something?"

"That's what Scorp said." She answers, then adds, "You'll give him a chance now, right?"

"Scorp?" James makes a face, "Really you already have a pet name?"

She rolls her eyes.

"Fine, I suppose we'll give him a chance. Besides Mum was threatening to take away my Christmas presents if I did anything to him." He concludes.

Rose smiles, "Great! I missed you two."

She gets up, then adds, "Might I suggest you look into how the matters of the heart work, for Albie's case at least?"

Fred snorts, "Jamie here has already been trying to figure that out."

James gives him a threatening glare.

Ignoring his partner in crime, Fred whispers in Rose's ear, "Alice."

Rose bursts out laughing, "You're kidding me right?"

James has been pranking Alice nonstop since they were ten. She's been the victim of nearly half of his hijinks this year alone.

Rose turns to James, "Are you a five-year-old pulling on her pigtails? Really James, you can't expect her to like someone who charmed ants into her bed."

He gives her an uncharacteristically solemn look, "I don't."

Fred rolls his eyes, "He's upset because the bird already has a special someone, a third year. I think that's why she's cross with Roxy. Something of a 'I-saw-him-first' thing."

Rose contemplates this and finally after a moment she shakes her head, "You second years are strange. But a word of advice James: apologize. And stop pranking her."

James just rolls his eyes and directs Fred back to the paper in his hands.

Rose goes off to help Nana with the cooking, wondering just how much trouble she'll be in when Al finds out she told James about Taylor. ]

This should be interesting.

*.*.*.*

For some reason, Nana seems to treat 23 December and 24 December the same as 25 December so Scorpius is treated to three days of Christmas dinner. The first day goes of awkwardly. First off, Victoire gets to introduce "Theodore Lupin" to her father after getting caught with him in a compromised position in the coat closet. Second, there's the matter of formally introducing Scorpius. Needless to say, the poor blokes, who are technically cousins in some way weird,weird way, are to be pitied.

Rose cannot understand why her dad is looking at Scorpius the way Uncle Bill is looking at Teddy. She and Scorpius are only friends, he doesn't have to have a heart attack each time he passes the basket of bread rolls to her.

She decides to voice this opinion the third time she catches Dad giving poor Scorp the Auror Eye, "Dad, You aren't obligated to torture Scorpius with that glare of yours."

Everyone at the table, including her father, stops and stares at her.

"What?" she says blushing, "It's the third time he's glared at Scorp for saying something to me. I mean come on, we aren't Victeddy—"

She is interrupted by a howl of laughter.

"'Victeddy'?" Victoire finally says, "I like it. I get to come first."

Then the conversation shifts to why "Victeddy" wasn't public for two whole years. In all honesty, Rose is thankful for that. For once in her life, she had no idea where she was going with what she was saying.

That night, before she heading to bed, Rose goes to the kitchen to really confront her father about his behaviour.

But when she gets to him though, it seems like Mum's already taking care of it.

"Honestly, Ron it's extremely rude for you to treat a guest like that." Rose hears her mother say, "I mean it must have been a lot for him to come to the Burrow for Christmas, plus he's a Gryffindor. And don't you forget that our Rose has excellent judgement, she wouldn't be friends with a Draco."

"Yeah Dad," Rose adds as she comes out from the hall, "Scorpius is a great friend and I don't want you to scare him off."

Dad glances between her and Mum and finally mumbles, "Fine but if he lays a finger on you—"

"Dad, I'm eleven. Gosh, why do I have to keep repeating that?" she says annoyed at his implications.

Mum chuckles, "Your Aunt Ginny started fancying your Uncle Harry when she was ten, and now they're married. I mean I'm sure you and Scorpius don't have anything like that going on, but you have to understand there's a reason for your dad's paranoia."

Rose rolls her eyes, "Whatever. It's okay Daddy I forgive you."

She hugs her dad really tightly, and her mum offers to make some hot chocolate.

After a mug full of the sweet drink, Rose goes to bed, happy that Dad won't be going after Scorpius with that rifle of his.

*.*.*.*

Christmas Eve's dinner is the fun one. Secret Santa. Mum's parents started the tradition years ago, and now it's a family favourite. It's a shame Grandma and Grandpa are in Australia this year. Anyway, they all got a parchment owled to them a week ago with the name a random person for whom they had to buy one extra gift, costing less than two galleons, for them. They also had to send two minor presents, these costing a few sickles, with clues as to whom they were. Normally they had two weeks to do this, but since they weren't sure if Scorpius was coming and whether or not Grandma and Grandpa would make it, they lost some time.

Rose got Nana, and after sending a few balls of endless yarn and a new apron, she had decided to knit her a jumper. It was hard, she had nearly given up and reverted to doing it by magic three times, but she had finally finished it.

Everyone gathers in the living room, eager to start as the aroma of Nana's chicken wafted through the air from the kitchen. They start with Grandad as usual and make their way around the circle. His Santa is Hermione who got him a homemade booklet explaining the uses of certain objects, including the rubber ducky she'd sent. Next is Nana who is correctly guesses Rose and loves the jumper she knit. Everyone seems to enjoy their gifts, even Scorpius who gets a pair of socks from James. But Rose is sure that he is just trying to be nice.

After Secret Santa they have another amazing dinner, then everyone under the age of twenty gathers around the tree with their sleeping bags to wait up for St. Nicholas. They've been doing this tradition for as long as Rose can remember; apparently, it started when Teddy was only three and begged to try. Most of the kids know that there isn't a so called "Santa Claus" but with their youngest being only five, they have to keep up the act.

Rose lays her sleeping bag next to Dom's, on the suggestion (read: command) of her father, who said that he'd consider her sleeping next to him sleeping with him (EWWW!). Her father is in many ways entirely out of line, but it doesn't matter because Rose loves Dom. It's great to talk to her again, even if it is in whispers. She asks if Rose has any crushes ("No!") or if she's made any close girlfriends ("Well sort of"), and insists on hearing the gossip she knows. Needless to say, when she hears about James and Alice they have to find a very good excuse for her burst of laughter.

Finally around ten, Rose cannot take the heat of the room and goes out on the patio for some air. The adults have gone off to bed already so she thinks that she'll be alone. Instead she finds Scorpius looking up at the stars.

"Hey you," Rose smiles, "Want some hot chocolate?"

He nods, so she goes back in to get him a cup.

"How much do you hate my crazy family?" she asks, not entirely joking.

"On a scale of one to ten. One being I love them and ten being I hate them, I think they're at a negative one." He says with a grin, "You're so lucky to have a big family."

"Well, don't you have a big family?" she asks, thinking of the cousins of his she's seen in Slytherin robes all year.

"I suppose, but they're not like yours. Half of them refuse to acknowledge the others. A quarter of them are still in jail and all of them are older than me by at least three years." He says frankly, talking a sip of the cocoa.

"I'm sorry," Rose says, not sure how to respond to that. Scorpius either never talks of his family or talks of them with extreme bluntness, and she still hasn't figured out how to properly reply to his comments.

"What for?" he asks, speaking as calm as ever, "That's just the way it is."

The stand in silence for a few moments.

"I'm sorry about my dad again. He's so embarrassing sometimes." She finally says.

"No problem," he answers, "I honestly expected worse."

"Oh."

Silence.

"Which one is Scorpio," she asks, nodding to the sky above them.

He points to it, "You see the outline of a scorpion?"

She honestly has no idea what he's talking about, all she sees are a clusters of stars. Spotting constellations is easier on the maps in Astronomy than in real life.

"Yeah," she lies, "I see it."

"Good because I don't," He jokes.

"Really?" she asks, her eyebrows raised.

"Yeah I'm hopeless at this sort of thing." He says.

"So am I," she admits.

"Aha! You liar!" he grins.

She sticks her tongue out and justifies her fib, "No one can do what Rose Weasley can't."

Then she takes her empty mug back inside, asking him to come inside for a game of Monopoly.

Surprising everyone, but Rose, Scorpius wins in their annual hours-long Monopoly game.

"His mum's a business woman. He was bound to pick up something from her," She says, taking a galleon from the ten people who bet against her.

"Right!" Victoire exclaims, "Your mum started that clothing line, ah, what's it called? Constellations by M."

Scorpius blushes, either from the mention of his mother or from the fact that the part Veela has addressed him, "Yeah."

"Tell her I love her winter line of dresses. Gorgeous." She adds.

After monopoly, the betting for who can stay up all night has begun.

"I think you've realized that betting is a sort of tradition in our clan, as well." Rose tells Scorpius as she bets a galleon that Lucy will fall asleep, like she does every year.

"I've noticed," he says not daring to give a knut to Teddy, who has graciously agreed to be in charge of the bets.

So for the rest of the night, they all attempt to stay awake (except for Lorcan and Lysander who were out like a light before nine). When it's Molly that falls first, on account of the classical music they put on, Fred and James do their worst. The shaving cream in the hand and the feather trick, but with a cherry on her nose so she thinks it's whipped cream. Actual whipped cream beard, and of course the jinx on her clothes to make them footy-pyjamas. She looks like a child Santa by the time they're done.

Next to go are Roxanne and Alice, who are still cross with one and other. Then Lucy, followed by Victoire who did not participate in the bets this year. Lily makes it longer than usual, but still caves, closing her eyes around two. Rose falls asleep by three, shortly followed by Scorpius who doesn't have to stay up. The next morning it's just the Potter boys and Freddie left, along with the referee of course.

Despite their lack of sleep there's still the bets on who wakes up first going on. Rose wins for the second time in a row due to her instinct to wake up at six. She then singes The Song ("Jingle Bells") as loud and pitchy as she can until she has a crowd of annoyed kids glaring at her.

They get over it when they remember the big pile of presents waiting under the tree.

Rose's favourite gifts from "the kids" are a journal from Lily that is connected to her own journal so that they can communicate easily, a set of muggle science textbooks from Scorpius, who promises to tutor her, and a copy of Much Ado About Nothing from Victoire, who promises that if she can understand it she'll love it (a challenge Rose is ready to accept). The best gift from "the adults" are a copy of the Hunger Games trilogy from Grandma and Grandpa, an enchanted picture frame from Aunt Fleur that will depict a picture of the place that she misses most, and a book of jinxes from Dad that he makes her promise not to tell Mum about and use if "that Malfoy tries anything."

After breakfast, they all turn in for a long nap.

Rose doesn't wake up again till four, and by then she's famished. They are given lunch to have outside before the Snowball Fight.

"We have this huge snowball fight each year boys against girls. The winners get bragging rights and dibs on dessert." Rose explains as she finishes her sandwich.

Scorpius nods.

"So you better come ready to play mate," Al concludes, "'Cause we are not losing."

"That's what you said last year before we creamed you." Rose taunts, she turns to Scorpius, "You might want to insist you're a girl if you don't want to die of embarrassment tonight."

"I'll pass. I think you'll be eating your words when we're done Weaslette," He grins evilly.

"Fine Ferret." Rose rolls her eyes.

Shockingly, however, the girls lose. The smug grin doesn't come off Scorpius's face until it's time for him to leave the next day. Then he apologizes for being a prat and wishes them happy holidays. She accepts his apology. After she snowballs him.

*.*.*.*

The rest of the Clan trickle out of the Burrow in the coming few days. Rose's immediate family has to go earlier due to these parties Mum is dragging them to. Rose has to dress up and act sweet, and stumble through ballroom dancing. It's horrid, but the food and presents are almost worth it. The New Year's Eve party they go to is hosted by the Magix Corporation. They are trying to mesh magic and muggle technology. It has taken them years of research and testing to figure out, but recently it's started to all come together. There's talk of even bringing the Wizernet to Hogwarts. But the star of the night is the Magix Mobile system. They have their first phones on the market as party favours to their honoured guests, including the Weasley family. So that means, Rose gets her very own Nova XP Light. It has access to the Wizernet (which is still running beta trials) and can play games and music. Then there's the introduction of the oMail which is an adaptation of what muggles call email. In all, its completely remarkable. The first oMail she gets however is puzzling.

20b8i5a18u5s22l15e12m21z20g9w15n14

Just that nothing else, with the sender being the company. When Rose asks Mum about it, she says it's just a code they sent to make sure everything is working, but for some reason, Rose doesn't believe it.


A/N: As you might have noticed I changed the rating of the story to T, and this is because of the mentioning of the double meaning of "sleeping."

Anyway in reference to the letter, I'll give a shout out to anyone who can crack the code.

Also, quick question: Who would you like to see more of/learn more about?

As always, please review/follow/favorite. Any sort of feedback is amazing! Thank you :)


Updated: 8/21/14