As Rose and Erin drew near to the Gryffindor table, they began to make out a rather heated argument between Rose's brother and cousin.

"I'm serious, Lily," Hugo was saying as he brandished his fork at her. "There's no way it'll happen this year. In case you forgot, we men get stronger and faster each year, while you women stay the same after you turn fourteen."

Lily looked affronted as Rose and Erin joined the table, sitting next to her and across from Hugo and Lucy. The youngest Weasley had joined her cousins from the Hufflepuff table and was continuing to eat with her nose in a book while expertly ignoring their argument.

"Well I'll have you know that while you may be 'stronger' and 'faster' as you claim," Lily responded with disdain. "We do have something called feminine intuition on our side." She shot him a smirk as the rest of the girls, even Lucy, had looks of agreement on their faces at this statement. Hugo just stared at them incredulously.

"What the bloody hell has that got to do with anything related to Quidditch?"

Lily rolled her eyes before responding in a condescending voice.

"Well you see, us fairer sex know how to not only work together, but anticipate each other's moves. You males are too caught up in your own self importance to spare your teammates barely more than a thought as you try to hold up your own ego along with your giant head's atop your brooms."

Rose and Erin gave verbal assent to this statement as Lucy nodded along and Lily looked smug at the shocked and slightly hurt look on Hugo's face. He regained his composer a second later and couldn't help but get one more word in.

"Well I don't see how that beats muscle, speed, and raw talent."

Lily scoffed, tucking her chin length red hair behind her ear.

"What, you mean brains, teamwork, and our own heaping dose of raw talent?"

Hugo rolled his eyes and quickly fought back.

"That may be, but are you forgetting that we have an actual professional Quidditch player on our team this year?"

"Oh please," Lily said with a roll of her eyes. "James spends all his time goofing off with Fred and showing off for Violet. He's hardly an advantage."

Hugo seemed to realize he was fighting a losing battle, or at least one where no agreement could be reached, and backed off as was his custom in these types of confrontations with Lily. He had learned the hard way that pushing her too far would only lead to a well placed hex.

"Well I guess we'll just have to wait and see in a month's time then," he said, maintaining a sense of pride in his voice.

"I guess we will," replied Lily with a smug look, seeming pleased with having got the last word.

Hugo rolled his eyes at her and continued eating.

"I hate that James and Fred are gone," he said through a mouth full of food. "Two less blokes to help me defend our honor. Where are Louis and Bobby anyway? And your brother, for that matter." He addressed this last statement to Erin.

"I'm not my brothers keeper," she said indignantly. "But it just so happens that he has some head boy duty or another to attend to," she finished, seemingly disappointed in herself that she actually knew why her brother wasn't at dinner.

"Well, I'm pretty sure Lou has forgotten its dinner time and is still studying for OWLs somewhere with Caleb, and Bobby said something earlier about eating early before meeting up with Neville to ask him about a homework issue," said Lily.

Hugo seemed to accept this answer and went back to his dinner as Charlotte Bray joined them from the Hufflepuff table.

"Are you lot done arguing?" she asked as she sat next to Hugo who shot her an annoyed look.

"Are you that afraid of confrontation that you waited till we were done before you joined us?"

"Yes," said the Hufflepuff very matter-of-factly, loading up her plate with desserts and flipping her long black hair behind her shoulders. "It's not pleasant to consume ones food while there is pointless bickering going on."

"Pointless?" said Hugo in outrage. "I'll have you know that Quidditch is far from pointless."

As she started in on her desserts she responded as calm as ever.

"Well, yes, but as to who will win in the Annual Summer Manor Match? There's no question that we will throttle you as usual."

Hugo dropped his fork as his mouth hung open and all the other girls laughed at his expense. Even Lucy spared him a slight smile. Hugo tore his eyes away from Charlotte just in time to spot what he hoped would be his saving grace entering the Great Hall.

"Finally!" he exclaimed as Scorpius and Albus approached the Gryffindor table. The latter's dark, shaggy hair was still wet from his rather quick shower and both had changed into muggle attire to welcome in the weekend.

"I've had to put up with nothing but them talking shit about how they're going to throttle us in the match this summer and it's grating on my last nerve."

"Hugo", said Scorpius resignedly, taking the seat next to Charlotte. "How many times have I told you that there's no point in you arguing with them about this? It just gets you all worked up and in your head by the time the game comes and then you end up letting in twice as many goals as your sister due to your sheer state of panic. We're likely to fully replace you with Wood this year. Who cares if he doesn't have dibs due to the family he was born into."

"Besides," Al said as he sat beside Erin, "You'll get so worked up you'll wind up making a stupid bet that you'll regret if we do lose."

Hugo looked astounded at his lack of support.

"How can you say that?" he said, his voice cracking slightly. "I mean," he said, attempting to control his pubesant vocal chords. "I can keep my cool. And I think we can win it this year."

"Yeah mate we all do, but wouldn't it be better if we took them by surprise? Don't give away all our secrets beforehand," said Scorpius in a fake whisper that had all the girls laughing as Al nodded with somber agreement.

"Oh quit taking the mickey," Hugo grumbled, but went back to his dinner and dropped the subject for the rest of the meal.

As everyone continued to tuck in, they were eventually joined by Louis, who was dragged into the Great Hall by Caleb Wood as their older sisters trailed behind them.

"If you want to make it through to next term, eat," said the brunette Gryffindor as he shoved his fellow fifth year into the seat next to Lily. Louis looked up at him imploringly.

"One week Caleb. One week between us and something that will decide where our future takes us. I can't believe I've wasted so much time not studying this year. I barely have a second to lose. Plus, you can survive a week on a meal a day right?" And he made to stand up, but Caleb had remained standing with his hand on his shoulder and easily pushed him back into his seat.

"He sounds like you," Scorpius shot at Rose with a smirk. She just scowled and didn't dignify his remark with a response.

"Maybe," Caleb said, taking the seat next to Louis. "But that will make you even less prepared for your OWLs. You'll have the shakes so bad that you'll be likely to accidentally transfigure your examiner into a teacup. Besides, you're one of the best in our year. I don't understand why you're losing your head over this."

Louis looked like he still wanted to argue before their sisters sat across from them.

"Relax twerp," said Dominique with a nonchalant attitude. "You'll do fine. And anyway, OWLs have nothing on NEWTs. I can't wait for this week to be over. I feel like my head's about to explode."

"I second that," agreed Eva as she began tying her long brown hair up in a bun on the top of her head before she began her meal. It was a habit she had picked up when she refused to cut it as a child, but didn't want to drag it through her food. She had been afraid people would mistake her for a boy if she wore it short, as she always seemed to be found with dirt on her tattered play clothes and scrapes on her knees. It didn't help that she looked very similar to her brother Caleb and that they were often mistaken for twins despite their two-year age gap.

At the other end of the table, Rose had noticed something that caused her to roll her eyes.

"Malfoy?" she said to gain the attention of the boy sitting across from her.

"What's up, Weasley?" he replied with a cheeky grin.

She shot him a "don't be smart with me" look, but he just continued to grin at her.

"Have you forgotten something that you're required to do tonight?"

He thought for a moment before responding.

"Nope, can't say that I have. Did we have plans? I can't imagine how I'd forget that." She ignored his flirty attitude along with Erin's studying stare as she watched them, looking back and forth between the pair.

"Come on Scorp, it's Friday night? Rounds? You can't do rounds in muggle clothes, you'll get in trouble for that."

Scorpius buried his face in his hands as she spoke before sighing and returning to his dinner.

"Alright, it might have slipped my mind. I'll finish up and go change and then meet you in the entrance hall, alright?"

"Thank you," said Rose, grateful he hadn't complained or made fun of her for being a stickler for the rules.

As their conversation ended, Erin remembered her plan upon entering the Great Hall and turned to face the other end of the table

"Oi! Luce!" She hollered at the strawberry blond Hufflepuff who had now put her book down and was talking to Dom about some advanced form of Transfiguration.

"Yes?" she asked, turning to look at Erin, slightly caught off guard by being addressed so abruptly.

"How's the book?" Erin asked with an innocent look on her face.

"It's fine?" Lucy responded hesitantly. "Actually it is quite interesting," she continued. "It's all about Gamp's laws and I was just saying to Dom that - "

"Did you get it from the library?" Erin interrupted. At that point, the female half of the table began to gather where she was going with this, while the males remained in ignorant bliss.

"As a matter of fact, I did," said Lucy as a grin tried to come to her lips, but she carefully restrained it. "Why do you ask?"

"It's just that," Erin continued, full out grinning now. "I find the library aids to be particularly helpful this year don't you? Always willing to lend a hand and recommend books. Whoever recommended that to you must know you pretty well to understand your love for transfiguration."

Lucy's blush rose and covered her freckled face and ears as Erin spoke. The rest of the girls tried to hide their chuckling as the boys continued to look clueless.

Lucy cleared her throat and shook herself in what appeared to be an attempt to shake off her embarrassment and subsequent blush.

"Yes, they are quite helpful," she responded trying simultaneously to not give into the bait and appear as if there was nothing for her to be teased for.

"Wait," said Louis, who had momentarily forgotten about his study concerns. "What are we missing?"

"It's not so much what you're missing, rather who's missing from this table." Dom mumbled into her pumpkin juice. The rest of the girls giggled as Lucy elbowed Dom in an effort to keep her quiet.

"Wha-" Louis paused as it seemed to dawn on him, the previous part of the conversation starting to make sense, and he quickly scanned the table before turning back to grin at Lucy.

"Cheers Luce. He's alright as far as blokes go. You could do worse than -"

But he was cut off as his sister kicked him in the shin. Lucy buried her face in her hands. Thankfully, the rest of the young men at the table hadn't caught what Dom had said and were still as lost as ever.

"Oh cheer up Luce," said Lily, reaching across to grip her cousin's arm. "There's nothing to be ashamed -"

"Yes well," said Lucy as she gathered her book and rose from her seat. "I think it's time I stop by the Ravenclaw table. I just saw Molly and Jill walk in and my sister hasn't pulled her head out of a book in ages."

The girls started to protest and apologize for teasing her but she waved them off with a small smile on her face.

"Seriously, it's fine. No harm done. I was finished anyway and I really should say hello to Molly."

She started to turn away but got an evil look in her eye as she turned back to look at her only male cousin who now knew her secret.

"Say, Lou?" she said with an evil grin, the likes of which her family and friends weren't accustomed to seeing on her face, but knew spelled trouble on the rare occasions it did appear.

"Yeah..?" Louis asked hesitantly.

"Wouldn't you care to join me?" Lucy asked as Caleb smiled, catching onto what she had up her sleeve.

"Why?" Louis responded skeptically with an untrusting look in his eye.

"Oh, it's just that, I'm sure Molly would be more than happy to swap notes with you for OWLs, and I know you'd be more than happy to swap spit with Jill."

The whole group was in an uproar as the girls laughed and the boys cheered and applauded Lucy for her more than satisfactory dig at her cousin, who was now the same shade as a ripe tomato. It wasn't exactly a secret that the Gryffindor harbored more than a passing fancy for his cousin's best friend, except to maybe the girl in question.

"Oh bugger off," he responded sorely. Lucy smiled and flounced away to join the two Ravenclaws. They sat at their table looking over at the ruckus their friends and family had created as the boys continued to make jibes at Louis, who had seemed to have had enough.

"You lot can bugger off too. Don't think I don't notice who each of you can't help but drool over."

This seemed to do the job in shutting up all the young men at the table, Caleb looked particularly terrified. Albus quickly changed the subject, and the rest of dinner passed in peace.


Hello again! And now we meet many more characters. I'm rather fond of them. I have the next chapter finished so you might get it soon seeing as this one is relatively short. Many thanks to Avanell 2 for being my first reviewer! Hope you enjoy the next installment. I tend to take time on things so you can expect the things that come up at the beginning to matter, but it might take a while to understand why. I really want to get to know these characters and their world. Anyone you like right of the bat? Anyone you're not too fond of at first glance? Please, feel free to let me know what you think! Reviews are always welcome.

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