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Lovely chapter image by extraORDINARY @ TDA!

Rose sat innocently at one of the many party tables her grandmother had prepared, looking around whilst sipping her fizzy water out of a straw. If it wouldn’t have looked utterly rude and disrespectful--which was the furthest from Rose’s intentions, believe it or not--she would have been giggling non-stop. Since her maternal grandparents were present, both her mother and Nana Molly had insisted that the homecoming party remain Muggle-friendly. Her younger cousins were constantly being reprimanded for whipping out their wands by Teddy and Hugo, and little Louis’ tantrums were a sight to behold, in the least.

There were a great many folding tables set up both in the front and back yards, not to mention the living room inside of the house, all with pretty white tablecloths and bouquets of wildflowers--which Rose picked, though everyone seemed to think that because a couple of lilies were in the bunch, Lily did--right smack in the middle of them. Why, then, if there were so many tables, did Scorpius and Lily Malfoy have to sit with Rose?

I wasn’t that she didn’t like her cousin and her husband--they were family, after all--but they were…annoying. Materialistic. Bordering on bratty. And though no one, especially her Aunt Ginny, admitted it, Lily was spoiled as a child. Rose had seen worse, she supposed, but really, the only time she could remember her younger cousin not getting her way was when she couldn’t go to Hogwarts when Rose and Al did. She was, at times, a kind girl--to everyone except Rose, however, for reasons that Rose couldn’t fathom. But simply put, she was annoying. Marrying a Malfoy had done nothing but embellish the problem.

Oh, and then there was Malfoy. Rose didn’t know him all that well, save for the one date they had went on together in their sixth year at Hogwarts--he did hold the honour of being one of the very, very, very boys she had ever dated. She barely remembered it, actually, but did remember from that one date that he was not her type. A narcissist, amazingly ignorant, and from all she knew of Draco Malfoy, he certainly was his father’s son--minus the whole, stupid blood status prejudice, however. He’d become a tad more tolerable since she’d been forced to spend time with him in the past eighteen months or so, but they weren’t and would never be bosom buddies. Ever.

“Rosie!” Lily greeted as she sat at the table, her husband in tow. “How are you? You must be thrilled to have Hugo back home, I know we are!”

Rose smiled and regretfully put down her drink. She did love a good fizzy water. “Of course, and it’s always a plus when Mum’s less stressed.”

She internally sighed, already bored to death. This sort of smiley-smiley conversation was beyond torture for her, yet she plodded on, not wanting to appear antisocial to her cousin--if she was deemed so, word would get around to the one-eighth Veelas, for sure, and so on and so forth until the entire family, save for Teddy, was crowding around her, determined to “relieve her of her condition”. It had happened before, and Rose was in no hurry for it to happen again.

“How are you two doing? I heard that you bought your own flat, it must be nice not to live at Malfoy Manor anymore.” Rose said this with the purest of intentions, implying only that Lily must be happy to be away from the in-laws. She did not intend to be scarred for life by Lily’s reply.

“Oh, you’re so right, Rosie! It’s so much easier to find…alone time with each other when Scorp and I are on our own, compared to when we were living with his parents.” Lily followed this comment with an “it’s-between-us-girls” giggle and shrug, and Scorpius cleared his throat as if he was uncomfortable and nudged Lily as if to say, “You’re going too far, dear.”

Rose did nothing but stare blankly at Lily for a good thirty seconds, mentally willing herself not to throw up bile and saliva all over her cousin’s probably 600 Galleon ensemble. Images began throwing themselves into Rose’s mind, horrid and dastard images. Her mouth formed an “O” and she was struggling for an appropriate response when Teddy came up beside her and took a seat, panting.

“I just finished chasing little Molly around--I got it!” Teddy held up eleven-year-old Molly Weasley II’s wand in triumph, seemingly oblivious to the awkward scene before him.

Scorpius took this opportunity as an open door out of the situation he had been dragged into. “I’m sure she didn’t take too kindly to that, mate.” He then turned to Rose, saying, “How are your grandparents taking to all of this?” He gestured to the badly covered up Wizarding scene before them.

Rose mentally shook herself, trying to recover from the shock and disgust of all that had occurred in the past two minutes. “Uh…Oh, them. They’re all good, it’s not like they haven’t seen worse from Mum and us all before.”

“Yes, yes. Remember our wedding, dear?” Lily butted back into the conversation and put an arm around Scorpius. Rose found it a rather sickening sight, but then she doubted she’d ever be able to look at the two of them without feeling ill ever again. Lily just didn’t think before she spoke sometimes.

Lily continued, “Of course, you’ll all remember, I just had to invite Cousin Dudley, we’ve had such a share of childhood memories with each other.” Lily paused, smiling and basking in what Rose was sure were her “fond memories” of her wedding day. At that thought, Rose just had to bite back a laugh. Being her Maid of Honour, Rose knew how Lily really acted that day. To put it simply, she was anything but a princess behind the scenes, and Rose shuddered at the memory.

At the mention of Dudley Dursley, who happened to bring his mother as a guest to the wedding, Scorpius, Teddy, and Rose all turned away and pretended to watch four-year-olds Lorcan and Lysander Scamander throw handfuls of gravel at each other.

Immediately noticing that the attention had deviated from her, Lily looked around, asking, “What? What is it?”

Teddy coughed. “Well, Lily, your mix of guests didn’t turn out the greatest, if my memory serves me correctly.”

Scorpius shot him a “don’t go there” look while Lily rolled her eyes, saying, “Oh, that little run-in? It wasn’t too big of a deal, was it?”

Rose couldn’t help but laugh out loud, even though she knew that it was probably the least wise thing she could have done in the growing tension. “‘Wasn’t too big a deal’? Lily, your father’s aunt and cousin had to have their memory Obliviated, if only to keep them from going insane with anxiety! Lucius nearly hexed them, for Merlin’s sake! Now, I’m not saying that your wedding was a total disaster, but it certainly could have gone a bit better than it had!”

Teddy glared at Rose. Scorpius glared at Rose. Lily glared at Rose. “Really? And how is that my fault, Rose? I can’t decide whether some people get along or not!”

Rose laughed even harder, ignoring the two men at the table. “Well, of course it isn’t, but really, that ‘little run-in’ could certainly have been avoided, to say that least.”

Lily pouted and turned to Scorpius, who started murmuring words of comfort into her ear. Rose laughed again, getting up and saying, “I want cake. Teddy, come with me--I wouldn’t want to disturb the happy couple.”

Rose made her way towards the table bearing a nearly giant-sized cake with the words “Welcome home, Hugo!” on it, Teddy following her and looking nearly furious.

“Rose! Really, you can’t go around saying things like that to people, especially your own cousin! Even you have to admit it, it was beyond rude of you to bring up Lucius in the manner that you did in front of Scorpius--he’s his grandfather!”

Rose sighed, turning around and putting her hands on Teddy’s shoulders in an attempt to calm him a bit. “Fine, Teddy, perhaps it was a bit inappropriate. But she’s so annoying! Did you hear how she scarred me for life before you came in and saved me?”

Looking amused, Teddy answered, “Actually, I did. Contrary to what you might believe, I do have more exciting things going on in my life than stealing a first year’s wand.”

“Well, it wouldn’t surprise me if you didn’t. And Molly will be in her second year come next month.”

Teddy raised his eyebrow in a way that always infuriated Rose and she knew he was doing it just to do so. “Does it matter? You really should go and apologize to Scorpius now, at least.”

“Don’t do that thing!” she yelled a bit too loudly, causing Hugo to look their way, roll his eyes, and turn back to their Uncle Bill. Hissing under her breath, Rose continued, “I’ll apologize to him later if I must, but I don’t want to.”

Teddy handed her a slice of cake from the table and took one for himself. “You never want to apologize to anyone, do you, Rosie?”

Pulling herself up to her fullest height, Rose argued back, “That is certainly not true, Lupin! Remember the time I threw a Dungbomb at Lily at her seventeenth birthday party? I apologized then--and I even sent her a handwritten note!”

“And it all comes back to Lily, doesn’t it? Which means you should go apologize to her husband.”

Rose rolled her eyes and contemplated smacking Teddy right in the face with her piece of cake--its red frosting would certainly complement his forest green hair. She was actually about to do just that when no one but Victoire Weasley came running up to him.

“Teddy! How are you? I haven’t seen you in so long!”--after hearing this, though it was barely distinguishable from a cough, Rose could make out Teddy mumbling something along of the lines of “Not long enough”.

Victoire went on, “We must catch up, come and say hello to my mother--she misses you, too!” She grabbed Teddy’s arm and began to pull him away but stopped to acknowledge Rose’s presence. “Oh, hello, Rose.”

Rose gave a little wave to her cousin and grabbed Teddy’s other arm, acting extremely happy-go-lucky. “Yes, let’s go see your mother! I haven’t seen her in a couple of months either, I hope she’s well!”

Victoire’s face fell and she became stiffer as she led the way to another table across the yard, saying, “Why, yes, she is, thank you for asking.”

Rose nudged Teddy in the side, and whispered as softly as she could, “Now we’re even, so you can stop bugging me about Malfoy.”

Unfortunately, Victoire happened to pick up those last five words, and those only. “Malfoy? As in dear Lily’s husband? Ah, what is it now, Rose, you can tell me!”

The three of them sat at the table, Teddy squished between the two women. Rose just happened to notice that her Aunt Fleur wasn’t anywhere near them, but off conversing with Hermione. She could only help but think just how handy this was for Victoire.

“Oh, it isn’t what it sounded like, Victoire, no need to worry about me running off with a married man!” Rose grinned innocently and shrugged her shoulders.

Teddy glared at Rose again, to which Rose responded with a cutesy wink.

Victoire noticed the wink and stiffened up yet again. “Teddy,” she began, pulling on his arm once more so he was fully turned towards her. “What have you been up to? I hear you’re managing the Wireless, how is it treating you?”

“Oh, it’s all good--well, it’s work, but it’s one of the better jobs I’ve had.”

Leaning around Teddy and placing her head on his right shoulder, Rose piped in, “Yup, and have you heard my shows?”

Victoire’s mouth contorted into a sour smile, making her look as though she’d swallowed a sour candy. “Er…Yes, I have heard them. They’re quite…eccentric, no?”

Rose frantically nodded her head up and down, slamming it on Teddy’s shoulder more than once, making him wince. “Eccentric’s my middle name, Vic,” Rose responded, using Victoire’s childhood nickname purely to annoy her.

“If I’m not mistaken, Rose, your middle name is Dora,” Victoire said coolly.

Prodding Rose off his shoulder, Teddy answered for her, “Yes, that’s what it is, Victoire. Now I really hate to be off like this, without seeing your mum and all, but I haven’t had a chance to talk one-on-one with Hugo, and as it appears, he’s free.”

Teddy stood up to leave, continuing, “It was nice catching up, I’m sure I’ll see you again before the day is done.”

He scampered off, Rose tagging along behind him, and stopped nowhere near Hugo--instead, he ran into the kitchen.

Rose cracked up the moment Teddy had locked the door and sat at the table, breathing heavily.

“Can’t handle the ex, huh, Teds?”

Attempting to look dignified--and doing rather poorly at it, if Rose did say so herself--Teddy answered, “Victoire is not my ‘ex’, Rose, and you know that full well. I’ve never been on a date with her in my life, and I’ve kissed her once.”

All Rose did in response was raise a single eyebrow in that infuriating way, watching Teddy roll his eyes in annoyance with glee.

“Who does she think she is, acting like we’re absolute best friends and lovers?” Teddy continued on, getting up and pacing about the room while Rose giggled like a Hogwarts schoolgirl.

“What’s so funny?”

“You said lovers!” Rose burst out, laughing even harder.

Teddy gave Rose an exasperated look, then said, “Really, Rose, it’s a wonder that you and Lily don’t get along better, you’re both so incredibly immature.”

Rose stood up and marched over to Teddy so she was inches away from his nose, looking him directly in the eye. “I am infinitely more mature than Lily Malfoy, Lupin, and you -- know -- it!” The last three words were punctuated by Rose’s poking Teddy in the chest consecutively.

Patting her on the head as he would to Molly or Louis, Teddy said in a sugary-sweet, false voice, “I know, I know, I didn’t mean to ruffle your feathers, sweet-ums.”

Rose simply glared at him, hands on her hips.

AN: How was this one? I know there was a pretty long wait between chapters, so I'm sorry for that. ^_^ There's a good chance that the next chapter won't be up until after the House Cup is over because I've been getting occupied with that lately. (Go Ravenclaw!) Anyway, I shall end my rambles and ask you to leave me a reviews, long or shortm telling me what you think. :) Thanks for taking the time to read!

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