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The feeling of Christmas was definitely in the air. The grounds were covered in a blanket of white snow and giant icicles hung from the battlements of the castle. Everything smelled like cinnamon, peppermint, and evergreen and you could see your breath in the hallways first thing in the morning. It was the most wonderful feeling in the world.

I hurried inside from my Herbology lesson, stamping my booted feet on the ground when I got to the Entrance Hall. It was snowing again outside and I felt the snowflakes that had landed in my hair starting to melt and run down the back of my neck. I shivered and ran my fingers through my hair, sighing in frustration when it didn’t help much.

I jumped when I felt a pair of arms lace themselves around my waist, two large hands settling at the base of my stomach right above my skirt.

“Your hair looks fine,” Scorpius whispered, his hot breath tickling my neck as he leaned down to kiss my cheek from behind. My stomach quivered involuntarily and I took a shaky breath.

“Well thank you,” I said, laying on of my hands over his and then reaching up with the other to ruffle his hair. “Where have you been all morning? Skiving off class?”

“Did you miss me love?” he asked seductively.

“Possibly,” I said, turning to my head so that I could better look at him. His hair was all mussed up and he smelled freshly of aftershave. He must have just woken up.

“Good,” he said, leaning over a bit more so that he could rest his chin on my shoulder.

My heart was beating so erratically it was a wonder he couldn’t hear it or hear it. It had been like this for the past week. Ever since the broom cupboard incident every time he was near me or Merlin forbid touched me all of my insides quivered in a very pleasant way. It was making me crazy. He was making me crazy. I just wanted to push him up against a wall somewhere and snog him senseless. Of course that would require actually having the guts to do it, so I figured that the chances of it actually happening were something like one in a billion.

“So did you ever send that letter to your mum?” he asked, and I twisted my neck away from his mouth, because I hated being tickled like that. Well not really. I kind of liked it. It made my skin crawl, in a good way. I didn’t really want him to know that.

“Yes I did,” I replied.

I had sent it yesterday to be exact. The damn letter, asking for permission to lead Scorpius to his death. Or to be more exact, home for Christmas – which was the same thing in essence. He had no idea what he was getting himself into.

“Thank you,” he said, chuckling when I twisted away from him again.

“What’s wrong, Rose? Are you ticklish?” he asked, chuckling and tightening his grip around my waist when I tried to pull away all together.

“Yes, in fact, I am,” I retorted, still struggling. Damn, he was strong.

“That’s cute,” he smirked. “I wonder what you would do if I did this.”

I didn’t have time to ask what ‘this’ was, for the next thing I knew his lips gently grazed the base of my neck and top of my collarbone and I visibly shuddered, enjoying the sensation too much for it to be physically possible. All too soon it was over, and Scorpius was chuckling, and I sighed contentedly.

“You enjoyed that,” he said triumphantly.

Oh yes I did.

“No, I did not,” I replied, not wanting to let on. “Your lips are warm is all. My skin is cold.” 

“Whatever you say,” he chuckled and kissed me right underneath my jaw. Dear Merlin!

“Oi! Get a room!” I heard someone shout at us and then Scorpius stopped and straightened up, twisting slightly to see who was yelling at us.

“Shove off, Tony,” Scorpius shouted back.

Ah, just Anthony. He wasn’t a bad bloke really. I’d come to know him better over the past week, seeing as Scorpius had demanded I sit with them for a couple of breakfasts and lunches. He was pretty funny and delighted in embarrassing the heck out of me, which really wasn’t that hard, but still…

“Hi Tony,” I said, waving slightly and turning the color of a tomato. Stupid Weasley genes.

He sauntered over to us, hands resting casually in his pockets, his handsome fast twisted into a mischievous smirk. 

“Well just look at the two of you,” he said. “So lovey-dovey. It’s disgusting.”

“You’re just jealous mate,” Scorpius chuckled.

“That I am,” Tony said, his eyes raking over me and Scorpius pulled me tighter to his chest.

“Cut it out, Tony,” I giggled. “You’re going to make Scorp have an aneurism.”

“ROSE! ROSE!” 

Everyone paused as my brother came hurtling down the staircase at full speed, shouting at me with a wild look in his eyes. He skidded to a halt about a foot away from us and paused to catch his breath, seeing as he was a bit pudgy. I waited patiently for him while Tony shot me a curious look and Scorpius chuckled from behind me still.

“What’s up, Hugh?” I asked when he seemed to have recovered.

“Did you see the Daily Prophet this morning?” he asked, grabbing said newspaper from under his arm.

“No, I don’t take the paper anymore,” I said nervously, not quite sure of what I was going to see. Surely if it was bad I would have heard about it?

Hugo looked up at me and for the first time noticed the two handsome Slytherins that I was with. He blushed profusely and looked down at the stone floor, mumbling something I could not hear.  

“What was that?” Scorpius asked and Hugo blushed brighter red. He mumbled it again but it was still unintelligible.

“Hugh, you’ve got to look up when you talk mate,” Tony said, looking slightly afraid for my brother. I seriously wished Scorpius would let me go so that I could give my brother a hug, but then again that would mean being away from Scorpius and that didn’t seem very pleasant either. He was warm.

“Sorry,” he said, his voice cracking and he cleared his throat anxiously. “But look! Mum’s won Minister of Magic!”

“WHAT?!” I snatched the paper from his hand and stared at the headline in disbelief.

Hermione Weasley Named New Minister for Magic

Yesterday in a surprising turn of events, famed and beloved Minster of Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt resigned from his position. Mister Shacklebolt would not comment currently on why he has stepped down from office, but sources close to him cite that Shacklebolt is in poor health and would like to spend the last years of his life relaxing with his family and friends.

The Wizengamot was called into action later that evening to help elect the newest Minister for Magic. Among the possible candidates were Hermione Weasley, Justin Finch-Fletchly, Mrs. Weasley’s law partner and  successor, Augustus Monk, head of the Auror department, and Percival Weasley, the Junior Undersecretary to the Ministry. A spokes wizard for the Wizengamot has said that “although we cannot reveal the total number of voters per candidate, Mrs. Weasley was the most popular choice.”

While Mrs. Weasley may have been the most popular choice, she may have also been the most obvious choice. It is a well known fact that she fought alongside friend Harry Potter in the Second War and is, as some would say, the brightest witch of her age. CONTINUED ON PAGE 14.

 

I stared down at the page of newsprint in front of me. Could this really be possible? It didn’t feel like it. My mother was the new Minister of Magic. Merlin’s saggy balls!

I stared down at the picture that accompanied the article. My mother was smiling and waving, her arm wrapped around Justin Finch-Fletchly’s shoulder as he congratulated her on her win. My father stood on the other side of her, putting on what I recognized as a forced smile, but one that would look completely natural to anyone who didn’t know him like I did.

Scorpius let out an appreciative whistle. “Wow, Rose! Your mum’s the new Minister of Magic!” 

“I know, I can’t believe it!” I gasped, still in shock. I had not been expecting that. Everyone thought that the laws and ideas my mother had, especially on magical creatures, were too radical. Maybe more people had liked her ideas than I thought. Or maybe my mother really was the perfect choice for the job. She was definitely the most logical person I knew, the most level headed, and the most organized.

“How do you think this is going to affect our lives?” Hugo asked anxiously, abandoning his previous anxiety around the two Slytherins in lieu of asking his question.

“I’m not sure,” I said, still staring down at that picture. She looked so happy, almost ecstatic. This was definitely the happiest I’d seen her in a long time. “Maybe things will be better now. I’m guessing she’ll get a pay raise. Maybe you’ll get that new radio you’ve been begging for for Christmas. Maybe I’ll get the new Firebolt-“

“Self-centered much?” Anthony asked playfully, elbowing me in the ribs. I glared at him.

“No, I’m just guessing. That’s probably the least amount of things that will change. Mum will be working all the time and she’ll probably be grouchier on the days that she’s been with the Wizengamot. Dad, well, he’ll just be dad. “ Scorpius tightened his grip around my waist protectively. “And well, it will be a lot harder to go out places with Mum now.”

“It’s always been hard though,” Hugo pointed out. It was kind of true. Everyone knew that our parents were best friends of Harry Potter and had helped him to defeat the darkest wizard ever known. Our whole family was kind of famous that way.

“Yes, but this time it won’t just be adoring fans or whatever. It will be actual diplomats and people on the street. We’ll get to ride in those Ministry cars everywhere and maybe we’ll get to travel to a different country.”

We all just stood there and tried to imagine ourselves in a different country. For me, I pictured myself lounging on a beach in my new swimsuit and unrealistic rocking body. This whole Minister thing might work out fine.

“How did you not know about this?” Tony asked suddenly.

I glanced over at him, but it was Hugo who answered.

“She doesn’t read the paper anymore. She says she doesn’t like the way our family and other people’s families are portrayed. Rose also won’t admit it, but she was once featured in the Prophet’s ‘What Not to Wear’ section.”

“Hugo!” I cried, lunging at my brother. I struggled against the vice grip that Scorpius had on me as the three of them roared with laughter. 

“You are so lucky that Scorpius is holding me back,” I growled. “Otherwise you would be six feet under right now.”

Hugo instantly stopped laughing, which only made Scorp and Tony laugh more.

“And the two of you, there is nothing funny about that! I was not on the list. It was just someone who looks like me!” 

 
I could tell from the way they kept laughing that they didn’t believe me. I felt myself turning redder and redder. This was probably one of my deepest, darkest secrets. I’d gone through a bad phase a few years ago, where I thought it was cool to tuck my sweats into my socks and wear it with sandals on the way back from Quidditch training. Some lucky photographer had gotten a shot of it. And now, I’d never live it down.

Scorpius removed one of his hands from my stomach to swipe at the tears of laughter that were streaming down his face.

“I’m sorry, Rose,” he said, still not able to contain a few chuckles. I struggled against his grip and this time he let me go. I instantly took off running, too mortified to even pause to strangle Hugo. Maybe his guilt would kill him. It wouldn’t be as sweet, but at least he would be gone.

I felt a hand enclose itself around my wrist and I tried to wriggle free, but whoever it was was too strong. The person gripping my arm whipped me around and I looked up into the much-sobered face of Scorpius.

“I’m sorry,” he said quietly, tucking a strand of my hair that had fallen loose from my ponytail behind my ear. “I’m sorry I laughed at you. I shouldn’t have.”

“You’re right,” I sniffed. He pulled me to his chest and I hugged him and he kissed my temple. I dug my fingers into his back, not wanting to let go, and he kissed down the edge of my jaw from my temple to my chin. Those quivers were coming back again.  

“Mr. Malfoy! Miss Weasley!”

I glanced around Scorpius’s shoulder to see Professor McGonagall standing there, trying to remain composed but not really achieving it. “I shall have to ask you to refrain from such public displays of affection in the Entrance Hall.”

I glanced around to see that more than a few people were staring at us – some girls in envy, some in disgust, and some in just plain astonishment. Most of the guys were trying very hard to ignore us, but others, for example a few first year Ravenclaws, were standing with their mouths wide open. Oops.

“Sorry Professor,” Scorpius called. “I promise I won’t give Rose anymore hickeys in public.”

I turned bright red and stomped on his foot as I watched Professor McGonagall turn a bright shade of red, then purple, then green, and then finally white. If we made it out of this alive I would be amazed.

McGonagall pursed her lips tightly and looked like she was trying to refrain from screaming, or retching, or both. “Right,” she said after a moment, not looking at either of us. “Thank you Mr. Malfoy.”

As soon as she walked away everyone started laughing. I grabbed Scorpius by the hand and dragged him into the Great Hall, wanting to put this all around us. Hugo and Tony soon followed and we all sat together at the Gryffindor table.

“Oh, Rose,” Hugo said after he had taken a big mouthful of mashed potatoes. “Mum sent you a letter this morning. I think there’s one in there from Dad too. I couldn’t open them – you know, that whole secrecy charm thing. They’re here in my bag.”

“You tried to read my mail?” I blurted out, unable to stop the first thing that came to mind from spilling off my tongue.

 I could almost feel the smirk Scorpius was giving him now, and I could see Tony’s.

“Well, maybe,” Hugo admitted. “But I’d only wanted to see because I knew you’d written home to ask Mum if Malfoy could come home with us for Christmas, and I’d wanted to know what she said. It’s useless anyway – I didn’t see anything. Mum’s good at charms. I’d even tried to burn the seal off, but it didn’t work. Lost an eyebrow in the process-“

By the time he got to the end of his little speech I was staring at him open mouthed. Oh my god. My little brother was a total creeper. I’d always known he was off. But now…

 

“That’s messed up, mate,” Tony said incredulously. “That is seriously messed up.”

I nodded and held out my hand. I wanted my letters. No, I needed my letters. Right now. I wasn’t going to let my little demon sibling have his mangy paws on him any longer. Hugo sighed and reached down into his bag, pulling out a long, still wound and sealed scroll. 

I snatched it from him and pulled my own wand out of my pocket, barely noticing when Scorpius gave my knee a reassuring grasp. I tapped my wand against the seal and it instantly opened. I smirked over at Hugo and then slowly unwound the letter.

The first was from my mother.

Dearest Rose,

I was so glad to hear from you yesterday. I know I only saw you last week, but I think it is safe to say that things did not end on the greatest of terms and I was relieved to know that you were not angry with me.

I know you probably haven’t seen the paper since you don’t read it since the fashion incident, but in case you haven’t been told yet; I’ve just been elected Minister of Magic! Can you believe it? I think I’m still in shock. It hasn’t sunk in yet that the giant office that I’m sitting in right now, the office that I’m writing you this letter from, is mine. I think I’ll always think of it as Kingsley’s. Hopefully once I bring all of my pictures from my old office in here, of you and the rest of our family, things will start to feel like home again.

I miss you and your brother so much right now. It’s hard to think that I’ve just gotten the promotion of my life and that I cannot celebrate it with you. I know that you will be coming home in a couple of weeks, but maybe we could get together before hand and just spend some time together. Things will be so hectic once you come home – I’d like some time with you all to myself. What do you think? Hugo told me that you have a Hogsmeade trip this weekend. We could meet at the Three Broomsticks for lunch at around noon. It would be fun, just like old times. 


Please, let me know when you decide. And feel free to bring a friend. I should like to meet Scorpius before you bring him home. And yes, I think it is a wonderful idea to bring him home. 

I love you, honey. I hope to see you soon.

Love and kisses,

Mum (a.k.a. the new Minister of Magic)

I grinned when I finished reading her letter and passed it willingly over to Scorpius. He would be excited to see that he could come home. I’d never met someone so intent on bringing on his own death.

Speaking of death – I glanced down at the other sheet of parchment that was still sealed in my hand. It was much smaller than my mother’s letter and it did not look official looking at all. It had to be a letter from my father.

With shaking hands I tapped my wand to the side and winced when it opened without any fuss. I almost wished that I had the guts just to throw it aside and not give it another glance. But I couldn’t do that. He was my father, no matter how he acted. And maybe the one time I threw it away was the one time he apologized. It wasn’t very likely, but I knew that if I did do that, it would happen.

I took a deep breath and unwound the parchment, staring down at the few lines scribbled on the brown paper.

No Malfoy will be in my house for Christmas, do you hear me? You were supposed to have broken up with that bastard months ago. I won’t stand for it, Rose. I will not stand for it. If you insist on this behavior, don’t bother coming home for the holidays. You are not welcome.

 

-Ronald Weasley

I stared down at the paper in shock. No matter how many times he had degraded me, and told me I was a disgrace, he had never told me that I wasn’t welcome in my own home. He had never told me that I was that much of a disappointment. I felt tears prick into my eyes and my chest felt as if someone was pushing a tree trunk against my breastbone. My breaths came in ragged, painful stabs and I just stared at the page.

He hadn’t even signed it ‘father’ or ‘dad’. He had signed it just as he would sign it to a business partner or someone he didn’t know very well. My chest was on fire. The first tears began to fall down my cheeks and I heard Scorpius mumble something to Tony and Hugo and heard them stand up and walk off. I assumed that Tony was dragging Hugo off by the way he seemed to be arguing, and then I was enveloped in a pair of strong arms.

I sank into Scorpius’s chest and sobbed until my eyes burned so badly that I couldn’t cry anymore. He just held me and massaged my back. He didn’t say anything, something that I was grateful for. He also didn’t try to take the letter from my hands and read it. If there was one thing I loved him most for, it was that. Most people would have tried to poke their nose into my business, but he was content on just being there for me.

I sniffled and removed myself from his grip carefully. He was looking down at me concernedly. “I’m fine,” I said, answering his unasked question. 

“I don’t believe you,” he replied, running his cool thumb over my raw cheeks.   

“I don’t believe me either,” I replied and he chuckled a little bit, wiping the last of my tears away. 

“Well, isn’t that just sweet,” someone said from behind us. 

Scorpius and I twisted around on the bench to see Anna and Al standing behind us – Al looking smug and Anna looking just pure evil. 

“What’s wrong, Rose? Results of your pregnancy test come back badly? Cause I must say, you do seem to be showing lately.”

I don’t even know what snapped inside of me. Maybe it was the fragile thread that my sanity was hanging on by. Or maybe I just had a shorter fuse than I’d thought. Because one second I was sitting on the bench next to Scorpius and the next I was on my feet, shouting as many jinxes as I could think of. I heard Anna scream, and Al yell, and then the entire Great Hall went quiet.

I looked down at the giant slug like thing that was writhing on the ground at my feet. Had I really just turned Anna into a giant worm?

I think I had. Whoops.

 

 








 
A/N: Yay! Another chapter done. This chapter was originally much longer than this, but considering the fact that I caught the flu, my computer is acting up, and that I really wanted to update this weekend, I've split it up into two chapters. I hope you guys don't mind. 

Anyway, what did you think? Please, leave me a review and tell me what you thought! 

Thanks for reading everyone! Oh, and guess what? This story is officially past Novel length, and has over 14,000 reads. I can't even begin to thank you all enough. :)

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