"Bye Scorpius!" I call as his blonde head disappears through the crowd towards Draco and Astoria.
"Bye Rose!" he calls back, turning around and waving.
I turn to Albus, who's looking at me.
"I'd say goodbye to you, too, but you're coming over in an hour." I say. He laughs.
"Very true." I'm about to respond when I hear Mum and Dad behind me.
"Ready to go, Rose?" Dad asks. I nod, then turn to wave to Scorpius again. He's talking animatedly to his parents, and doesn't notice me staring.
"Rose?" Dad says, but I don't respond. "Rose?" He asks again. This time Mum tries.
"Rose, honey. It's time to go." I finally snap out of my "trance" of sorts, and turn to them.
"Can Scorpius come over, too?" I ask.
"Rose, your cousins are sleeping over until after Christmas." Mum says.
"I know. Can Scorpius come, too?" I ask again.
Mum and Dad look at each other.
"NO! No boys!" Dad says.
"Dad, most of my cousins, who are all coming over for a week, are boys." I say.
"Well, not, not that boy!" Dad says insistently.
"Whatever." I say, then turn to Scorpius, and shout over the heads of several families. "Hey, Scorpius!"
He turns and shouts back. "Yeah, Rose?"
"Wanna spend the week and Christmas at my house?" I ask. "Your parents can come, too."
Dad's face turns purple.
Scorpius turns to his parents, then back to me. "Sure, we'll be there! When should we come?" he asks.
"Come for dinner, like my cousins are!" I say, grinning.
He talks to his parents some more, then turns back again. "Okay! See you then!"
Albus has long since disappeared when I finally leave with Mum, Dad and Hugo.
"Well, now we've got more people coming over, so I'd better tell Winky that we'll need food for three more." Mum says. "Rose, will you clean up the attic with Hugo please?"
"Okay, Mum." I say, getting into the car.
"Hey, Hugo, look at these." I say, picking up two badges I found. One says S.P.E.W., and the other says Support Cedric Diggory. "Mum and Dad told me about these. I'm gonna wear them once everyone gets here and see how long it takes for them to notice." I pin the badges on either side of a badge that Molly gave me that just says, "Because" in fancy writing.
Just as we're finishing, the doorbell rings. I sprint down the stairs and envelop James and Albus into a hug, then turn to hug Lily.
"Hi you guys!" I say, not noticing that when I hugged Lily, it pressed up against the badges, and the Support Cedric Diggory one had changed.
Just as we're moving out of the doorway, Percy and Audrey arrive, shortly followed by George and Angelina. I greet Molly, Lucy, Fred and Roxanne, before we're joined by Bill and Fleur, bringing with them Victoire, Dominique, and Louis. And, of course, Teddy and Andromeda join us. After about half an hour of talking, laughing, and being as noisy as humanly possible, we're joined by the Malfoys. When the doorbell rings, Harry goes to answer it.
"Hello?" He asks, because he wasn't aware that anyone else was coming.
"Hello. Rosaline invited us?" Draco says solemnly.
"Um, okay..." Harry trails off. "Ron, did you invite the Malfoys over?" he calls over his shoulder.
Draco sighs. "Did I not just tell you that Rosline invited us?"
"First of all, we call her Rose, and so will you." Harry says, making Ginny and Hermione roll their eyes and snicker. "Second of all, even if she did, Ron and Hermione would have given her permission to."
"I did not!" Ron says, striding up behind Harry. "I specifically told her not to. She did anyway."
"Well then, we shall leave." Draco says, and he starts leaving, beckoning for Scorpius and Astoria, who have remained silent, to follow.
"No, wait!" I shout after them, and they turn. "Please, Dad, let them stay!" I plead. Harry looks at me, his eyes moving to his shirt, and they narrow.
Ron sighs. "Fine. Draco, Astoria, Scorpius, would you like to stay for the two weeks of Christmas Vacation, along with the rest of the Weasley cousins?"
Draco's about to say something, when Astoria interrupts. "We would love to, thank you." she says. Draco glares at her, but she nods her head at Scorpius, who's expression went from sad and degected to delighted in a matter of seconds. Draco nods his head in agreement.
"Come on, Scorpius, have you met Teddy? And Victoire? And Dominique? I know you've met Louis, he's the Ravenclaw from our year, then there's Lily, who we sometimes hang out with, Albus and James, who you obviously know, Hugo, do you know Hugo? I'm not sure... have you ever talked to Hugo? Either way, he's a Gryffindor third year, then there's Roxanne, she's in Hufflepuff, she's really nice, but I don't think you've ever even seen her, she's also a third year, and Lucy, a Slytherin second year, you should know her, Molly was with us at the dance, you should know her, if not that's Molly, oh, there's Teddy and Victoire, they're dating now, did you know that? Here comes Dominique; Dominique!" I call out. "This is Scorpius, the one I've talked with you about!" Turning back to Scorpius, I say, "Dominique is like the older sister I never had. Anyway, you want some dinner? We've kinda just had it buffet style, so help yourself."
After that long and confusing introduction, we distract ourselves with food.
Draco nudges me with his elbow. "Did you see those badges your niece was wearing? "Spew because Potter Stinks?"
"Yeah, Ronald, what's up with that?" I ask Ron.
"I have no idea." was all Ron has to offer to this conversation.
I'm walking around the living room with Scorpius, trying to talk over the noise of the rest of my cousins when James walks up to me, about to talk, when his mouth closes with a snap, before opening again to yell over the noise.
"Hey, Rose! What are you wearing?" he asks.
"Um, my usual outfit." I say into the sudden silence. The adults walk in.
"Yeah? Read the badges on your shirt." he says.
I look down, and become horrified. The Support Cedric Diggory! badge has changed to say Potter Stinks instead, so if you read the three badges in the order they're on my shirt in, they say, "S.P.E.W. because POTTER STINKS." Oh no. This is terrible. I struggle to take the POTTER STINKS badge off my shirt, talking as I do. "No! This said Cedric Diggory a second ago! Mum told me about these, and I wanted to see how long it took for you to notice!" A memory suddenly comes to the front of my mind. "When I hugged Lily! It pressed against the badge!" I press the POTTER STINKS badge, and it changed back to Support CEDRIC DIGGORY. "See? Accident. Sorry Harry, Ginny, James, Albus and Lily."
"Let's move on, shall we?" Hermione says, and slowly talk breaks out again, and the adults leave the room.
"So, Potter. Our kids are getting to be good friends." I say conversationally.
"Yeah, they are. I suppose at least one generation of our families should get along." Harry replies, grinning. He's about to say more when we hear Albus and James yelling from the other room. We walk in, following Ginny, right as Albus retorts to one of James's insults.
"Nice one, James." he says sarcastically. I'm the only one who notices Harry suddenly burst into tears and leave the room. As the boys keep fighting, Hermione enters the room and walks up to Ginny and whispers into her ear. I can still hear what she's saying, however.
"Ginny, Harry just ran upstairs to your guy's guest room in tears." she says. "Something those two said set him off."
"Harry never cries. What could set him off like that?" Ron asks, stepping up beside Hermione.
"I don't know! He was only here for a small part of the fight, when Albus said, 'nice one J-" she cuts herself off, and the three share a horrified look before Ginny turns on the boys. "You two are in so much trouble!" she says, before hurrying out of the room.
I walk up to Hermione. "What was that about?" I ask.
"The last thing Sirius said to Harry was 'nice one James' when he disarmed Lucius." Hermione says as explanation, and I understand perfectly, and walk into the kitchen.
I heard Mum, Ron and Hermione talking about Dad, but I don't understand what we did to make him cry. I turn to James.
"We'll never fight in front of Dad again, agreed?" I ask, completely aware of the fact that every single one of our cousins are listening. "We let it out at Hogwarts, but while Dad's even in the same building, we get along perfectly, alright?"
"Agreed." James had obviously heard, too, and was shaken. Looking around, I realized that everyone had heard.
"That goes for all of us, okay? We never fight in front of our parents. With anyone." I say.
"Agreed." They all say in unison.
"Harry?" I ask, knocking on the door. All I hear is him crying, so I open the door. Harry's laying on our bed, completely broken down. "Harry, what's wrong?"
"You know perfectly well what's wrong." Harry says. "Go downstairs and have fun with everyone. I'll be fine. Just leave me be."
"I'm not going anywhere." I say, sitting down on the bed next to him. He sits up and leans against me, my arms around him and his around me, and we sit that way until we fall asleep.