Scorpius Malfoy ran into the Slytherin Common Room, a parchment letter clutched in his pale hand. He didn't seem to notice the looks (and glares) that followed him as he raced past emerald green couches and roaring fires. He did, of course, hear the immediate whispers that followed him as he left the main room; Scorpius had become use to the whispers and rumors that followed him and Albus like ghosts in Hogwarts' halls and classrooms. Killing Voldemort's crazy daughter only a month earlier tended to have that effect.
While they weren't sure how the story had gotten out, Scorpius had embraced the results of proving he wasn't awful by fighting against the dark-side; Rose, and the rest of Albus's family for that matter, was much more friendlier to him now. Well, for Rose, that just meant she said hello and politely asked him how his day had gone; but that was still proof she was trying to make an effort. Mr. Potter had even offered Scorpius to come by for Christmas, and James always came to play Exploding Snap with Albus and Scorpius after his quidditch practices. Lily and Hugo had started asking them to bring home chocolate frogs from Hogsmade (which Scorpius could tell made Albus happy) and Roxanne (George's daughter, who was one of the only older cousins Albus still had in school) often stopped by the Slytherin Common Room (her boyfriend was a snake king).
None the less, Scorpius was happy at them trying to be nice, and he happily found his way into his dormitory, the words of his letter still burnt into his head. Thankfully, no one but Albus was in the room, and he was lying down peacefully on his bed. Scorpius grinned, and then launched himself onto the bed next to Albus's, his own bed, and somersaulted over it, before hollering "ALBUS WAKE UP! HIS ANSWER IS HERE, AL!"
Albus Severus Potter, who had been in a light sleep, cracked one forest green eye open. He kept his body in the same position, but rolled over on his side, so he was facing his platinum blonde haired friend, before closing his eyes again.
"You're lucky Goyle wasn't in here, Scorp," Albus groaned. "I was planning on getting a full twelve hours of sleep, but now I'll fall asleep in Binns class." Scorpius frowned.
"You would have missed supper, though, Al." he said, momentarily forgetting the parchment in his hand. Albus frowned, opened his eyes, and sat up on his bed.
"What'd you say?" he asked.
"I say you'd miss supper," Scorpius responded slowly. Albus rolled his eyes.
"Before that; when you came screaming in here and woke me from my peaceful sleep," he said. A smile was etched on Al's face; his friend was so forgetful, and had the attention span of a gerbil.
"What were you dreaming about?" Scorpius wondered aloud, starting to recline on his own bed.
"My father naming me something better then Albus Severus," Albus replied sarcastically. "Focus Scorpius."
"Focus on-oh ya! My father responded to our letter," Scorpius said, shooting back up to a sitting position. Excitement flickered between the boys like electricity.
"He agreed to let my entire family come over?" Albus asked in disbelief. "Even Grandma? Are you sure."
"If I nod anymore my head'll fall off," Scorpius laughed. "But ya. He said they could come on Christmas Eve, Al. This party's gonna be great!"
"It's hardly a party," Albus protested. "And they'll be so much tension, it'll barely be a friendly gathering."
"It'll be great," Scorpius argued. "It'll be-"
"Hey, Potter and Malfoy," a husky voice said, as the dormitory door slammed open. Julian Goyle stood in the doorway, squinting at his roommates. "It's time for supper."
"Right," Albus sighed, and hopped up from his bed, praying Scorpius wouldn't point out he had been sleeping and trying to skip supper. He snatched up his robe from the edge of his bed. "You coming Scorpius?"
"I'll meet you down there; I want to put this letter away," Scorpius said, hoping his friend would get the hint he wanted to be alone. Albus didn't move; neither did Goyle.
"You want us to wait?" Albus asked.
"I'm not waiting," Goyle imputed. "I'm hungry."
"You go; I'll be down in a sec, Al." Scorpius promised him. Albus looked like he wanted to protest, but Goyle sighed angrily, and he decided to give Scorpius some time alone. Albus walked slowly out of the room, but finally left with Goyle the Gorilla.
"He's a fourth year, he can find his own way down," Scorpius heard Goyle muttering to Albus.
Scorpius watched his friend go, before peering down at the letter, skipping over the part of his father agreeing to let the Potters' and Weasley's come over for Christmas Dinner. He reread Draco Malfoy's careful handwriting, the way the cursive letters started to blend together when they spoke of her.
Scorpius felt a smile stretch across his face as his wish was confirmed; she was coming. She was really coming. She was really coming and staying and going to Hogwarts, and Scorpius's best friend was really gonna get to meet her. He reread the words, looking for the date his father had said she would arrive.
The letter almost dropped from Scorpius's hand, as he sat on his bed, alone, in a Slytherin dormitory. Daphne Greengrass's daughter was coming from America to stay with Scorpius and Draco on Christmas Eve. When Harry Potter would be at the Malfoy Manor. When a million awful, terrible things could go wrong.
"There are only two ways Christmas will end," Scorpius said aloud, as he carefully tucked the letter into his robes' pocket, and stood up. He walked out of the dormitory, spying his best friend talking to Goyle. His best friend who nothing of Scorpius's cousin coming to visit for two years. His best friend who would get more than one surprise on Christmas Eve. "It'll either be the best night of my life...or the worst."