Lily awoke on Christmas morning, sleeping on a transfigured cot between Rose and Roxie. The air was chilled, so she pulled the knitted blanket tight around her shoulders as she yawned and looked around. Only one of the beds was empty, Lucy, probably. She was always up at dawn to help Grandma Weasley get started on breakfast. It was a Christmas tradition for the entire extended Weasley family to stay in the Burrow since it was renovated years ago. Now there were two large rooms designated for the cousins, one for the boys and one of the girls. The adults stayed in their respective childhood rooms with their spouses.
Quietly, she slipped out of bed, only pausing long enough to slip on a pair of moccasins. As she made her way down the stairs she saw her father in the living room with Audrey, Percy’s wife. “Lily!” the enthusiastic brunette greeted. In every single way she contrasted her husband with her sunny smile and warm hugs. “It’s so good to see you.” She hugged her tightly. “Molly shooed us out of the kitchen.”
“It’s cold,” she mumbled.
Audrey only laughed and ruffled her niece’s hair. When she did this her eyes caught a glint of silver. “Where did you get that necklace? I thought you never wore jewelry.”
“It was from a friend,” she muttered, her eyes not meeting her father.
“Which one? Simone? Daphne?” Harry asked, his eyes looking at her over the rim of a mug. There was a glint there, one that made Lily perfectly aware that he knew precisely who it was from.
“No, it was Scorpius.” She pulled the blanket tighter around her shoulder as her aunt’s eyebrows quirked upwards. “I owled him his gift last night.” Her fingers toyed with the frayed edges of it.
“I like it,” Audrey said. “He has good taste.”
At that a few more people descended down the stairs. Louis, looking absolutely adorable and much younger in pyjamas with hair sticking in all directions. Then, the remaining adults that weren’t already up and about elsewhere. Behind them was Hugo who looked a bit frustrated at being awakened at this early of an hour. Girls filtered down next, all of them except for Victoire. She stayed at Andromeda's the night before and all of them--Andromeda, Teddy, and Victoire--would be over soon enough. The last to come was Fred followed by James. Both looked especially grumpy.
“There better be food,” Fred grumbled.
“And coffee,” James said. He didn’t drink tea, wouldn’t touch the stuff until it was steeped for so long until it was black and bitter.
“Are you lot up?” Grandma Molly shouted. “Teddy, Andromeda, and Victoire just came in through the back door.”
Everyone then migrated towards the dining room and sat down at the large table. They got rid of chairs and replaced it with a few long benches on each side, it made it much easier for cramming all the extra people in. Both Arthur and Molly seemed to thrive in the chaos, they loved it and there was never a shortage of helpers. “Dig in,” Molly ordered. “There is plenty for everyone and no one can open presents until everyone gets their fill.”
Everyone complied. Lily always thought that her grandmother cooked the best, better than the elves at Hogwarts. She loaded up her plate with more food than normal and filled a large glass of pumpkin juice. For once she just settled down and tried to absorb all the noise, she wasn’t in Gryffindor like most of her family and not accustomed to this. Hugo was messy and an imitation of his father. His mother, Hermione, and sister wrinkled their noses, but didn’t say a word, they hadn’t tried in years. Fred and James sat across from George and Angelina. The two boys exchanged conspiratorial glances with George while Angelina rolled her eyes and attempted a conversation with Ginny. Harry sat extremely close to his wife while Percy spoke to him about work. Audrey relayed a story to her daughters and anyone else who would listen. Andromeda spoke with Molly and Arthur...It was dizzying to say the least.
Breakfast took a good hour then the adults started clearing away things with their wands. Molly floated the leftovers to a separate counter to be boxed up for later. If it wasn’t a holiday, just a normal Friday night dinner, then the kids would have to do it the muggle way, earning quite a few groans. Once everything was mostly clean they moved to the family room taking up the coaches and the floor. Presents were floated to recipients and everyone waited until everyone got all of them.
None of the presents at the Weasley Christmas were expensive. Most of them were handmade or practical as all of the children still stuck to their roots. It wasn’t that they couldn’t afford it now, what with George having an expanding business, and over half of the adults having high positions at the Ministry.
The first present she opened was a Christmas jumper. Grandma Weasley had given up designating everyone the same color and switched it up. Part of the reason was now she had help, Louis and Molly were experts at it. Lucy may have been the second best cook, but she was rubbish with anything resembling clothing. “Thank you.” She held the cream colored jumper that had a pink Lily on it. James had a snitch on his and Albus simply had a big red ‘A’ on dark blue.
The other presents were candy, the newest wizard wheezes inventions, articles of clothing, and stationery. The last present though was from her Albus. She slid her finger under the green wrapping paper and saw a leather bound journal.
“Score told me that you’d want that. It’s a dream journal. The instructions are tucked into the first page, you can hide it so only you can read it.” Albus gave her a smile and before he realized it, Lily crossed the short distance between him and wrapped her arms around him.
“I take back what I said about Teddy being my favorite brother,” she whispered. Her throat felt tight as she swallowed. The gift was ordinary, but it meant that’s how he saw her, ordinary. She wasn’t some freakish girl with nightmares. “Don’t tell James.”
“With his ego he assumes he’s everyone’s favorite.” Albus gave her a knowing smile as she pulled away. The two then turned their attention to their father who was now opening his traditional Christmas gift: a pair of ugly socks and a tie. The tradition started when Lily was a small child and for some reason always associated her father with a tie. Back then, though, he worked long hours in the auror office, they’d given him time off from dangerous assignments when his kids were younger.
“Thank you, I will wear them to work when I’m in the office again,” Harry said with a dry smile. Ginny let out a laugh and curled against her husband’s side. “They are very becoming. Look the tie has a Hippogriff on it.”
“I take it that you had a hand in the selection this year.”
“Remember what I said...” She then leaned over even further and whispered something in his ear that made his smile spread and crinkles form around his eyes.
After relaxing and conversing for a bit Lily excused herself to her room, taking her jumper with her. Upstairs she slipped on a pair of jeans, tank top, and her new jumper. Victoire came in, followed with Rose. The blonde had her blue eyes narrowed and pink lips pursed as she listened to her cousin. “Not now,” Victoire hissed. All of the tension faded from her features when she saw her other cousin. “Hello, Lily.” Her tone was lighter and a smile crossed her face.
Rose frowned and grabbed her bag that held her clothes and marched out of the room.
“What’s gotten into her?”
“Nothing.” Victoire bit her lip and took a seat on Lily’s cot, beside her. She watched her cousin tie her shoes. “I suppose you’re good at keeping secrets.”
“Why would you say that?”
Victoire shrugged her thin shoulders and reached for her cousin’s hands. “Rose feels left out. She was grilling me on what was going at school, particularly with Albus.” She laughed and looked over Lily’s face, reading her expressions. “I assume you know what I’m talking about?”
“Good, it’s about time. Albus is dreadful about keeping his own secrets. You can tell him anything and he guards it like a Gringotts goblin, but his own...” Victoire rolled her eyes and then withdrew a chain out from under her shirt. “Rose saw this and she wanted answers.” A ring dangled from the chain. “Teddy wants me to marry him, and I want to, but…” She bit her lip. “There are a lot of details that need to be ironed out and not the cutsy ones.”
“And Rose wants you to air out your dirty laundry.”
“No, just tell her everything.” Victoire’s smile started to falter. Her face looked tired and Lily suspected that she only got the day off from Christmas. Her and Teddy probably stumbled through Andromeda’s door late last night and went straight to bed. He was an Auror, Victoire was...well, she was labelled a herbologist, but she was a researcher and potion maker, constantly searching for a cure for a turned werewolf. It was Teddy’s dream, but he was rubbish at potions. His mind didn’t work like it needed to, but Victoire’s did. She didn’t care if she had to wait to grow a plant from a seed and take meticulous notes. Brewing a potion in stages for months didn’t infuriate her like it did Teddy. As much as they loved their jobs, both of them were long hours and long trips.
“But you and Teddy are…”
“We are staying together,” she said firmly. “Merlin, I couldn’t imagine my life without him, our lives our so tangled together anymore, especially after we moved in together.” Victoire straightened up and her eyes rest on Lily’s necklace. “Enough about me, I heard a little rumor floating around downstairs, something about a certain Malfoy.” Her mouth spread into a grin, looking like a cat who caught a canary. “Then when you opened your present I’m pretty sure Albus mentioned something along the lines of ‘Scorpius’.”
“He’s my best friend.”
“Well, it’s a splendid way to begin. It’s how Teddy and I started.”
“No.” Lily pulled her hand away. “Why doesn’t anyone believe me? Scorpius and I...he’s just…” Just what? A voice in the back of her head questioned. Images flashed through her mind, thinking back to the day they left Hogwarts for Holiday, his hug and the look in his eyes. She thought back to the ball, the feeling of his hands on her neck. “Friends.”
“Well, then hold on tight to him. Good friends are hard to find.” She sighed. “For the longest time Teddy was the only friend I had that wasn’t somehow family. Merlin, the first year of Hogwarts would have been torture without him.” She let go of her cousin’s hand and exchanged it for a full on hug. “I need to see more of you. As much as I love Dominique, that girl…”
“I know what you mean.” Lily let out a laugh. “Should we head back downstairs now?”
As if on cue there was a knock on the door. Victoire shouted that it was open and in walked Teddy Lupin, looking rather contrite with his neat brown hair, different from the bright blue hair he normally had. “Bud,” he said, “Should’ve known you’d be with my Vicky.” He ran a hand through his hair and gave Lily a look.
“Like I said, I should back downstairs.” Lily got to her feet and walked towards the door, stopping only briefly to give her godbrother a quick hug. As she reached for the door she turned back around. “Just make sure to lock it behind me.”
Scorpius left Lily’s present for last. It came the morning of Christmas Eve, a brown paper package tied with string and a note tucked beneath the knot in a small envelope. He let it sit on his desk.
All dinners, even Christmas ones, were stilted affairs, especially when his grandparents were involved. Lucius Malfoy had become insufferable in his old age, but Narcissa helped calm him. Usually, she would pull Scorpius aside after and the two would take tea and she would relate stories to him, stories that made his heart ache and his eyes sting, but when they were finished situations would seem much clearer. It made sense why his father had the strict moral code he did, why he all but banned certain words in the house, and watched Scorpius' actions like a hawk. Additionally, it told him about his mother. Astoria Malfoy was tight-lipped and fiercely protective. Protective of her son, her husband, her image, and also the last remaining traditional pureblood ideals that were socially acceptable.
Still, when the dinners were finished he retreated to his bedroom if his grandmother or father didn’t pull him aside to speak. His room was usually chilled unless he specifically reminded either his parents or the house elf to use a heating charm in the specific wing of the house where his room was. The charm was simple enough, but his father didn’t approve of underage magic. He’d never take away his wand or ground him, his lips would just form a tight line and his steely grey eyes would narrow ever so slightly and say, “Scorpius, I expect more from you. Please, ask your mother or I if you have something that needs to be done that requires magic.” Then he would leave.
Scorpius, though, shut his door and exchanged his dress robes for warm set of pyjamas and then sat down at the desk. He carefully untied the string and pulled the envelope free, withdrawing the small card. Here’s a few of your favorite things. When you’re feeling sad, I hope you remember your favorite things and don’t feel so bad. -Lily Luna.
He laughed and shook his head. The first muggle movie he ever watched was with Lily and was The Sound of Music. It was wonderful, surprisingly so. Albus never stopped teasing him, he didn’t like all the singing. Lily said it was the first time she ever saw a family anywhere near as big as her extended family.
Carefully he peeled the wrapping paper back and looked at the contents. A pair of mittens that, upon further inspection, formed fingerless gloves when you lifted the flap that covered the fingers. Then there was a book, Frankenstein. Muggle books were his guilty pleasure, there was something about them that was enchanting about them. Writings like this proved that even muggles were capable of magic, just not in the conventional way.
“Scorpius, can I come in?” It was his mother.
“Yes,” he called out to her and door open. She took a few tentative steps forward and stood in the middle of the room. “Is there something you would like to talk about?”
“Your father wanted me to come speak with you,” she said quickly. “He noticed, and so did I, that you have been seeming...well, a bit off.”
“I will try harder to appear more content.” He slipped the note from Lily back into the envelope and then put that inside the front cover of his book.
“No, we just wanted to know what’s wrong. You seem more distracted than usual, and you hardly touched your dinner.” She fixed him with a soft look. “Why don’t you come back down, we’re all having tea before we retire.” Then she wrapped her arms around her slim figure. “We need to remember to use a heating charm in this wing.”
Scorpius didn’t reply, but followed his mother out and down the stairs. They arrived in the parlor when the clock chimed. It was late, but still he could tell his Grandfather wasn’t pleased that he changed out of formal wear.
The Malfoys sat in the parlor for a good half hour at least, murmuring a few words that only had to do with how they wanted their tea. Silence was a large part of their life, something that not many appreciated. Yet, none of them spoke up or tried to fill the room with unnecessary noise. This was ordinary for them, but as Scorpius he wondered how this could seem so wrong. How badly he wanted his grandmother to speak, or even his father, with their even tones. Still, even as these thoughts crossed his mind, he sat there and quietly finished off his cup of tea before slipping out of the room, back upstairs, and into bed.
The return to Hogwarts was both anticipated and dreaded by all. For Lily, it was much easier being at home with her family than at school, but she looked forward to her classes, and Quidditch. Scorpius didn’t necessarily like school, but after adjusting to all the hubbub at Hogwarts it was a culture shock to be at the Malfoy manor. Needless to say, the two found themselves sharing a compartment with the same people they did as when they left Hogwarts. When they got back they split off to their respective rooms, but sat together again at dinner.
“I never asked you how your holiday was,” Lily commented as she loaded up her plate.
“Fine.” Scorpius shrugged and followed her lead. “I found your present creative. The book was enjoyable.”
“Good.” She beamed at him and set to eating.
“Potter!” she heard someone shout and saw Jordi rushing over and squeezing onto the bench much to the displeasure of the fourth girls he displaced. “Hurry up and finish eating. The snow on the Quidditch pitch hasn’t been touched since we left.” He passed her a wicked grin. “We’re going to have an epic snowball fight, break out the brooms, are you interested?”
“She’s not,” Scorpius replied before Lily could even process the question.
“What are you--”
“You’re not either.”
“Malfoy, don’t be--”
“I wouldn’t finish that sentence if I were you.” Regina Greengrass appeared seemingly out of nowhere. “Scorpius is perfectly within his rights as a prefect to tell you not to do something that is both against the rules and dangerous.”
“Please be quiet, return to where you were previously, and please try to attempt some semblance of decorum.” She planted her hands firmly on her hips. “Tell whomever helped you plan this little escapade that I will not hesitate to report any of you to Professor Wolfe. He will mostly likely give you detention and assign you dorm restriction as he does not appreciate when his students have a complete disregard for rules, reputation, and safety.”
By the time Regina’s speech was done, Jordi was scowling and he went back to the end of the table. Clearly not pleased that his plans had been shot down that quickly and lectured by the prefects.
“Thank you.” Scorpius met his cousin's eyes.
“No problem, I actually didn’t come here to chew them out, but to tell that Slytherin prefects have a meeting tonight before rounds.” She gave them both a small smile before she turned on her heel and headed back to her seat next to Ophelia.
“She’s intense," Lily said.
“She’s like my mother,” Scorpius murmured. “Sorry about that, but it’s supposed to be below freezing, the snow will be more like ice and it’ll be pitch black.”
“And Wolfe would have your head if he knew that you overhead plans.” Lily stabbed one of the potatoes on her plate and took a bite. “But he can’t be mad if I plan to orchestrate a snowball fight with the supervision of one of the professors.”
Scorpius shook his head and let out a small chuckle. “Professor Longbottom will only agree to that if you promise to stay away from his plants.”
“Maybe I was going to ask Professor Patil.”
“Sure.” The pair then fell into silence, a comfortable silence in the middle of hectic dining hall. All Scorpius knew was that it was comforting to have Lily Potter by his side.