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By lunchtime the lack of anything new to discuss and the call of food broke up the meeting and all six trooped down to the Great Hall to eat. Afterwards they decided to just sit and talk. As normal, when there was nothing important happening, the conversation turned to Quidditch. Al, Rose, Robyn and Cameron were all Quidditch mad. Soon Scorpius and Tegan found them selves listening to the others arguing the merits of players, umpiring decisions and coach’s team selections. Scorpius turned to Tegan and in a loud voice said “Over Christmas I read a very amusing muggle book on Dragons, it was called Basil Brokentail."

Tegan caught on immediately and replied, also in a loud voice “Really; what was it about?”

“It was in a world where dragons were as intelligent as people and worked with them. Basil was a battledragon which meant he fought in wars. He worked with a boy and they formed a unit; it was quite entertaining.” By now the others had stopped talking and were looking at Scorpius and Tegan.

Tegan ignored them and continued talking loudly “Sound interesting who was the author?”

“Christopher Rowley” answered Scorpius.

Cameron leaned over, kissed Tegan on the cheek and said “Alright we will stop talking Quidditch and discuss something we can all talk about.” 

The rest of the afternoon was spent in pleasant company.

After dinner the group broke up into pairs who drifted their own separate ways. Cameron and Tegan decided to go back to the Room of Requirement. Robyn and Al were going to find a quiet corner to sit and talk. Rose and Scorpius headed to the library.

“I still think Al’s idea of asking your mum is a good one. She knows about the Harry Potter Voldermort connection and she has access to material we will never have” Scorpius said.

Rose clenched her jaw “And I said NO. I am not having my mother poking her nose into my love life.”

Scorpius started to list the benefits; ”But with her access….”

Rose rounded on him “If you want to have our first fight only hours after our first kiss just keep talking like that.” Rose may have been half a head smaller than him but Scorpius felt like a small naughty child in her presence, he shut up. They walked the rest of the way in silence. They entered the library and found an empty desk to sit at.

Scorpius very carefully said, “I will get the references I already found on the connection between us.” He stood up.

Rose said “Sit down. Please.” Once Scorpius had sat down Rose took his hand and said “I’m sorry. In case you didn’t know I have my dad’s temper. If I feel like people are trying to force me to do something I will dig my heels in and fight, especially if they have a valid point. Best thing to do when I’m like that is walk away and come back half an hour later. I would be over what ever got me angry by then.”

“Looks like we are both starting to learn things about each other” said Scorpius. “I get too focused; once I have something in my mind I will worry it till I have a solution. So I will make a deal with you; I won’t push you if you let me devote all my attention on to whatever has taken my fancy.”

Rose squeezed his hand. ”Agreed, now we have to kiss and make up.”

In private Scorpius had no problems kissing Rose, in public he felt very self conscious about being seen kissing her. Rose found the look of fear that flared in Scorpius’s eyes amusing. He fought six students at one time, he had stood up to her father, he had the whole Malfoy legacy to deal with and he never back down an inch. Now she suggested they kiss in the library and he starts looking for a place to hide.

Rose laughed softly and said “It’s alright Scorpius every one knows we are going out together so kissing me won’t shock anyone.”

Scorpius returned her smile “I hate to point this out to someone with your temper but in a school the size of Hogwarts four people knowing about us is not everyone”.

Rose shook her head “You really don’t understand the mechanics of the grapevine do you?” Scorpius still looked baffled so Rose elaborated “Two of the people that know are Al and Robyn. Al is a Weasley and what one Weasley knows all the Weasleys know so now your four is fourteen. As none of the Weasleys are sworn to secrecy; before you go to bed tonight all the friends of the Weasleys will know.  Robyn on the other hand has a vested interest in making sure that the school knows about us. Right now her and Al’s Christmas antics are the main talk of the girl’s rooms. It will remain like that till something better comes along. We are that something better and Robyn would be more than happy for people to start talking about us.” Scorpius had paled at the situation that had just described; Rose looked at her watch, “I figure by about ten o’clock tonight the last person in Hogwarts will be finding out about us.” With that she leaned over and kissed him softly on the lips. “Now go get those books.”

Scorpius and Rose studied into the night without finding any thing that Scorpius had not already covered with Rose. Every night for the next few weeks they returned to the library; they usually rushed through their projects or assignments and then went back to researching their connection. Sometime they came with Cameron or Al or Robyn or Tegan but usually they came alone. It was 10:30pm Thursday night and Rose slammed closed another book that had absolutely nothing they needed in it. This had got so common that Scorpius didn’t even look up from the scrolls he was reading. Rose looked at him in the torch light and again felt a thrill go through her. He was gorgeous and he was smart; so it was time she listened to him no matter how much she would hate what he would say. Rose reached out and put her hand in the middle of his scroll “Love, tell me again why I need to talk to my mum about this.”

Scorpius face lit up in a puppy dog grin; he would never get tired of hearing her call him Love. “Your mother has access to books and other material that we may never have, she has access to the Department of Mysteries and she has influence over the Aurors. Your mother has years of research experience and access to information about Harry Potter that only two other people know. Finally we are getting no where and we have not heard from Director Potter for over two months.”

Rose sighed “I will send an owl to mum and dad asking them to come here.” Scorpius stood up and walked around the table and pulled Rose into an embrace. They just stood there for several minutes then parted and packed up there books. “Thanks love” was all Rose said as they walked back to the common room.

True to her word Rose got up early the next morning and wrote a note to her parents.
                  Mum and Dad
                  Scorpius and I would like some advise and
                  help from you. It is not something I want
                  to try and explain in a note, it is of a personal
                  nature. It is NOT about Scorpius and my
                  relationship. Would both of you be able
                  to come to the school this weekend.
                  Love Rose.

She call one of the school owls down from the rafters, attached the note to it’s leg and sent it off before she changed her mind.  The next morning at breakfast Rose got her reply; she knew it came from her dad as it was four lines long. Mum would have written several pages.

                Have arranged for you to come to
                Hogsmeade for the weekend
                Meet Neville at front door at 7pm tonight
                Love mum and dad

Rose showed the letter to Scorpius, “Looks like we are moving out tonight” she said with a forced smile.

Rose spent the rest of the day worrying about how the meeting with her parents would go, she imagined all sorts of things that could go wrong. All her friends tried to calm her down and tell her it would be OK but her mind would not stop looking at the worse possible outcome. After dinner Rose and Scorpius packed some overnight clothes and met with Professor Longbottom at the front door.

Neville look at them and said in a friendly voice “I would suggest a coat, while the days are nice it is still a bit chilly at night.”

When they both had put on extra clothes Neville lead them out of Hogwarts and down the road towards Hogsmeade. As they walked Neville chatted friendly with Rose and Scorpius. At first Rose and Scorpius were uncomfortable as in all the years at school Neville had always been Professor Longbottom and with the exception of a few kind word as they passed in the corridor they had never really spoken to him outside the classroom. They soon got over this feeling and by the time they got to the front gates were talking to him like a favourite uncle. Neville surprise the students when he asked how Cameron and Tegan were getting along. While they had been together since Christmas and had often sneaked off together to enjoy some together time, as Tegan put it; they had never made a big issue of their relationship and behaved normally in classes.

Rose decided to play innocent, “They are fine Professor, why do you ask?

Neville gave a small laugh and said with a wink “Didn’t you know that they are seeing a lot of each other”

Scorpius studied Professor Longbottom’s face; did he just emphasize the words ‘a lot’?

Rose seemed to miss the implication and answered “Yes we knew. I just did not know you knew.”

This time Neville really laughed aloud “It is so obvious even a blind ogre could see it. I have expected them to be together since last year; I guess Cameron is a bit like me when it comes to girls.”

Rose thought ‘Too much information’; she did not need to know how her professor’s love lives were.

On this unsettling thought they had reached a small cottage on Granger Lane. Neville noticed that Rose looked twice at the street name and explained “All the streets in the estate have names of people who fought in the final battle at Hogwarts. Potter Road goes through the centre of the estate and the rest of us come off it. I didn’t like the idea of living in Longbottom Way so we bought a house here.”

Neville open the front door and was greeted by twin girls who ran up to him and each grabbed a leg. Neville then walked into the house having to step with a girl standing on each foot. Rose and Scorpius followed him in. In the kitchen Neville was greeted by a slender woman with short brown hair.

“Hannah this is Scorpius and you know Rose” introduced Neville. He then reached down and picked up the two girls “This is Alison and this is Elizabeth.”

The little girl in his right arm said “I’m not Aly I’m Liz.”

Neville smiled and said “I don’t think so” and started to spin around. The girls in his arm started to squeal in delight. After several turns he plopped the girls on the ground where they staggered around laughing before having to sitting down. Hannah walked around the laughing girls and gave Rose and Scorpius a hug before telling Rose “Your mum and dad should be here soon; why don’t you wait in the sitting room. Girls! Show Rose and Scorpius to the sitting room and don’t annoy them.”

One of the girls jumped up and grabbed Scorpius’s hand the other took Rose’s hand; then the two girls dragged Rose and Scorpius through the house to the sitting room. When Rose and Scorpius had sat down the twins stood in front of them. “We know all about you” they said in unison; looking at Scorpius with wonder.

“You’re the brave boy” said the one Scorpius thought was Alison.

“Who beat sixty boys in a fight” finished Elizabeth, the other twin.

Rose hid behind her hand and tried not to laugh while Scorpius spluttered. Getting his surprise under control Scorpius leaned forward to bring his head down to the twin’s level and seriously said, “Actually there were only three boys and three girls and they weren’t very good.”

 The twins looked at each other then back to Scorpius “That’s still brave” they again said in unison.

A knock at the front door had the twins racing out of the room to see who had arrived. Rose finally let out her laughter “My hero” she swooned. Scorpius picked up a pillow and was hitting Rose with it when Ron and Hermione walked into the room.

Scorpius froze in mid swing. Rose’s parents kept walking into the room, past Scorpius with raised pillow and sat in two vacant chairs near by. Neither one of them took any notice of anything out of the ordinary that was happening. Scorpius hastily put the pillow back on the couch and sat up stiffly. When Rose went over to hug her mother, Ron caught Scorpius’s eye and gave him a wink and wide smile before again looking serious. Scorpius relaxed at little and smiled back. Neville, Hannah and the twins followed Ron and Hermione into the room. Neville and Hannah took the remaining chairs and the twins climbed onto Scorpius. Scorpius had never been around children and wasn’t sure what to do. At the same time he felt a strange warm sensation in his chest and an almost overwhelming desire to protect these two little girls.

As soon as Hannah saw what the girls were up to she told them to get down and leave Scorpius alone.

“It’s alright” said the one Scorpius thought of as Elizabeth.

“He’s a hero” said Alison.

Rose had to suppress another laugh as Scorpius blushed.

“He is to” said Aly.

“She said he was” said Liz pointing to Rose.

Rose stopped laughing and went red. For the next hour they sat around talking about school, old friends and work. Rose had known the Longbottoms all her life so she was able to join in most parts of the conversation. To Scorpius it was all new. He did learn that the gentle Herbology teacher was the same Neville Longbottom who had lead the school’s revolt against Voldermort and had actually stood up to him during the final battle. He also learnt that after he and Hannah had got married they had lived in a flat above the Leaky Cauldron which Hannah still owned. It was not until after the twins were born that they moved to Hogsmeade; a flat above a hotel was no place to raise a child. Initially the twins were content to lean on and lay across Scorpius. But after a short time they became restless and started to push and pull at Scorpius. At one point Hannah told Scorpius that if they got too annoying then he was to push them off him. Instead Scorpius decided to fight back; he started to tickle them. Soon the room was filled with squeals of laughter. The twins soon had coordinated their assault and Scorpius was on the floor with two girls climbing all over him.

Feeling very embarrassed Scorpius stood up and said “I am so sorry for that. I got a bit carried away.”

Neville and Ron both laughed and Neville said “Never apologies for having fun. The girls loved it and I was about to join you.” With that he picked up Elizabeth and threw her to Ron then picked up Alison.

“It is time for bed” said Hannah.

“Mummy please” said Aly.

“Daddy can we stay up till he goes home” said Liz pointing to Scorpius.

Neville retrieved Liz and carried both of them out of the room “You heard your mother bed time but Scorpius will be here tomorrow so you can see him then.”

All Scorpius heard as they disappeared up the stairs was “YEAH!”

“Neville and I will head off and leave you to talk. Night.”

When Hannah had left the room Ron and Hermione turned Rose and Ron asked “What did you want to ask us?”

Rose looked at Scorpius, pleading with her eyes. Scorpius knew she did not want to tell so it was up to him to tell her parents the problem. “There was one thing that happened on the night Rose was attacked that we have not told you about.” Ron and Hermione suddenly became very serious. “Rose was gagged so she could not call for help. But for some reason I was still able to hear her and to see enough to know where she was. Then last week Rose heard something I was thinking. It seems that under some circumstances we are able to share thoughts. When it first happened we spoke to Minister Potter because Rose was worried it may have been something like what he and Voldermort shared. We have done what research we can and have found nothing. All we can say is that the connection seems to exists only in stressful situations and when one of us has a need for the other.”  Scorpius blushed slightly when he mentioned their need for the other person.

While he had been talking Rose’s parents seemed to go through several emotions; by the end of it Ron was angry and worried while Hermione was intrigued and suspicious. Ron was first to talk “Why didn’t you tell us about this months ago. It could have been very important. We need to know these . . .”

Rose stood up and shouted back “That is why we didn’t tell you. You would have made a big deal out of it and at the time I had other things on my mind.”

Ron’s anger immediately collapsed; he stood up and wrapped his arms around Rose and said “I’m sorry Rosie. You’re right. It’s just that I worry about you and the fact you have grown up won’t change that worry.”

Hermione turned back to Scorpius and asked “Why are you telling us now?”

Rose answered “We need your help to understand what has happened to us.” Hermione sat very quiet and Ron did nothing to disrupt her thoughts. Ron knew Hermione was the smarter one of the family and he knew that he had been included in the request for help only because his daughter would never deliberately excluded him from her life. He was here to do any leg work and as moral support but now was the time for the power thinker, Hermione, to do their bit.

After a short while Hermione looked at her daughter and Scorpius and said “If I am going to be of any help I am going to have to ask some questions that you may not like answering. Is that alright?”

Rose grabbed Scorpius’s hand and nodded “Yes we expected that you would need to do that.”

Hermione turned to Ron and said “Love; please sit down and try not to interrupt or get upset at any thing that we talk about.” Ron sat down feeling some foreboding building, what had Hermione figured out that he had missed? Hermione then asked Rose “When you were grabbed by Zabini we know that he tied you to the desk; what else happened?”

Rose squeezed Scorpius hand and said “They also put a gag in my mouth so I could not yell for help. When they threatened to . . . you know. I just screamed for help but virtually no sound came out.”

Hermione stored away the information for a few seconds and then asked “They used a physical gag not a spell?” Rose nodded. “Now” Hermione said “I want you to think back and tell me as clearly as possible exactly what you tried to call out.”

Rose closed her eyes and thought back; as she relived the attack she started to shake. Scorpius moved closer and put his arm around her and started to run his fingers down the side of her face. A gesture that was not lost on either of Rose’s parents. At last Rose looked up and said “I called out Scorpius’s name.”

Hermione only nodded before questioning Scorpius. “Please tell me exactly what you heard.”

Scorpius did not have to think about it; that moment was burned into to mind. “I heard Rose call out my name. It was faint but clear and I could hear the fear in her voice. When I closed my eyes to try and hear it better I saw brief flashes of cauldrons and equipment in the potions room.”

“Rose, when you heard Scorpius was it also faint like a whisper or was it like normal speech?”

Rose smiled, her mum had found another fact only minutes after finding out about the problem that they had not realized with a week of study. It had been a mistake not to go to her as soon as it happened. “It was very faint, like he was whispering to me.”

Hermione took several seconds before she said anything more. She held out her hand to Ron who took it without even realizing it. Hermione then asked the next question “I think this is the reason you did not come to us earlier but I need this information. Rose, tell me about the situation you were in when you heard Scorpius’s thoughts.”

Rose seemed to have gotten over her earlier reluctance to talk and stated clearly “We were kissing.” Scorpius had been watching Ron closely but his face remained neutral. So he must have suspected that our relationship had reached this stage Scorpius thought; and judging by the smile and wink he gave me earlier he must be alright with this development.

“Rose, I will need more than that. I need to understand what lead up to the kissing and whether you heard the thoughts before, during or after the kiss.” 

Rose sighed “Do you want all the sordid details of my love life?”

This time Ron did react, his face became a little flushed and he moved forward in his seat. Scorpius thanked whatever spirits were looking over him that kissing was all they did. When no-one else said anything Rose continued “I wanted to be kissed by Scorpius but he wouldn’t do it without a lot of prodding from me. So I arranged for him to meet me in the Room of Requirements. When I asked him to kiss me he asked if I was sure. I told him I was then we kissed. And before you ask it was not just a simple kiss on the lips it was a whole lot more.” When she had finished talking Rose was bright red and Ron seemed to have calmed down a bit but still glared at Scorpius at the description of the kiss. Rose finished “After the kiss we were just holding each other when I thought I heard Scorpius say he wanted to kiss me again and I answered him. But he had only thought it he had not said anything.”

Hermione looked at Scorpius “I need to know why you were initially reluctant to kiss Rose and what your state on mind was when you thought about that second kiss.” When Scorpius hesitated Hermione smiled and said “I know it is hard to tell us these personal details but I need to know so I can help work out what is happening here.”

Scorpius tried to swallow the huge lump in his throat before he said “I didn’t want to kiss Rose until she had sorted thing out in her mind. She was a bit mixed up after everything that had happened and I did not want to make anything worse. When she asked me to kiss her I had to be sure that is what she really wanted. As for my state of mind, I really can’t describe it. The kiss was like nothing I ever imagined. I can remember that I did not want it to stop.” Scorpius then looked up and seemed to remember who he was talking to and went as red as Rose had.

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