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When Albus stepped out of the fireplace of the Burrow, coughing slightly, he saw that the place was packed to its brim. In addition to all his cousins and their friends there were all of his aunts and uncles, and Aunt Andromeda and Teddy. Overall, it had to be at least thirty people. And more people were stopping by for new years. Wow.

“Albus!” Lily exclaimed, running over and hugging her brother. Albus smiled at his little sister. He’d forgotten how much he missed her. “Home is so boring without you and James! Hugo’s by all the time but it still isn’t as fun. How’s Hogwarts this year?”

“Less stressful than last year,” Albus said honestly.

“That’s good!” Lily said. “Hugo and I have gotten really good at Quidditch. Mum and Dad have been helping us out a lot, and you know how good they’re at Quidditch-”

“-They’re actually getting quite good. Better than me when I was their age,” his mother interrupted. Albus joyfully hugged her, happy to see her and the rest of the family. After talking with his mum and sister for a few more minutes, they finally wrapped up the conversation and moved on. Al spotted Rose and David over by Grandma Weasley, so Albus went over to greet her.

“Albus!” Grandma Weasley exclaimed. “I’ve just told your friend David here how skinny he’s looking. I still don’t think you all get fed properly at that school,” Grandma Weasley said.

“She’d probably have a heart attack if she saw Art,” David whispered under his breath, as Art was skinnier than all of them. Rose snorted, somehow without Grandma Weasley noticing.

“Hello Grandma,” Albus said, ignoring David’s comment. “Don’t worry, we’re fed very well at Hogwarts. School’s been great…” They sat on the barstools and talked about what was happening at Hogwarts. Albus, unsure what to say, complained about Unglesbee’s classes and Dire’s classes, and Grandma Weasley was suprisingly sympathetic.

“Oh yes, I remember during my time there were some simply awful teachers…” she said. Albus tuned out as he drank some pumpkin juice, occasionally exchanging bored looks with David and Rose. He loved Grandma Weasley, he really did, but there were a lot of other people he wanted to talk to as well.

“Albus!” someone shouted behind him. Albus quickly turned in his seat.

“Dad!” Albus shouted, and ran into his arms. As they hugged, he flitted his eyes over to where Rose and David were sitting. Rose looked ecstatic, and David was very pink and motionless.

“Oh dad, this is my friend, David Haid,” Albus said, embarrassed that he hadn’t introduced him yet.

"Nice to meet you," Harry said, shaking David's hand. David looked pink and looked like he wanted to sink into the floor. Albus supposed it wasn't everyday when you met Harry Potter.

"I'll see you later boys, I'm going to go talk to James," Dad said.

"Bye," Albus said. Once he left, Albus turned to David, and bluntly stated, "You're very pink."

David clapped his hands to his cheeks. "No, I'm not. I don't blush. I can't blush."

"Well, you are." Rose said, joining in. "How do you explain that?"

"Some weird anomaly?" David said, shrugging. "Or maybe your eyes are wrong."

“No, they aren't," Rose said, not getting the joke. "My eyes have 20/20 vision! They're perfect."

"Nobody gets jokes anymore," David said glumly.

"I got it," Albus said. Feeling the lull in the conversation, Albus added a few moments later, "Do you want some food? I think Uncle Charlie set up a table with a bunch of Grandma Weasley's cookies."

“Yes! Does she make chocolate ones? Those are so great,” David said. They walked over to the table, where there was a mistletoe-shaped tray with various cookies, including chocolate chip cookies. Albus nibbled on a few slowly to preserve their taste as long as possible, but David took a bunch of cookies and shoved them into his mouth like his life depended on it.

“How many cookies have you eaten so far?” Albus asked as he finished his two.

“Um… I think it was ten? Or was it eleven? Not sure.” With cookie crumbs sprinkling his face, Albus couldn’t help but laugh. He was in a very festive mood, helped by the fact that there were Christmas carols playing in the background.

As David hovered around the food, Albus wandered away. Rose was talking to Molly (he had no idea where Lucy was), and walked over to the only cousin (besides grouchy Dominique) who was alone: Fred.

“Hello,” Albus said, slightly wary. Fred had inherited his pranking abilities from his father. Unfortunately.

“Hello, Albus,” Fred said, sounding slightly moody.

“How are you?” Albus asked politely. He didn’t want to give Fred any excuses to pull something on him.

“Not great, actually. I’m kind of bored. I would be with Louis, but…” Fred gestured over to the couch, where Louis and Olivia were snogging. “I’m happy for him, honestly- he’s liked her for over a year, so it’s about time- but he’s with her constantly.”

“Hmm,” Albus said, not really sure how he was supposed to reply. He wasn’t good at counseling people. That did sound quite miserable, however. He dreaded the day when his friends would start dating other people. He was very glad he was still a second year and didn’t have to worry about any of that yet.

“Do you want to help me prank James?” Fred asked, his face brightening slightly.

“Um, I’m not really one for pranks… but you have my full approval,” Albus said. Being pranked for years by James made him not like pranks much, even if they were against the person who implemented the pranks on him in the first place. But from an outsider perspective, they could be rather funny, and he couldn’t wait to see what Fred had planned.

“Dang. Maybe I’ll go ask Roxanne… she doesn’t mind a good prank.” As Fred walked away, Albus went back to the table with food, with David still there. As Albus walked over, he saw his dad approach David. He was eager to see what Dad thought of David. So Albus hung back and waited, absentmindedly listening to Uncle Charlie talking to a crowd of people.

“The Newt Scamander Magical Beast Sanctuary is one of the most fabulous building I’ve ever been in! It really made me passionate about magical creatures when I was younger…”

Albus wasn’t paying very much attention to his uncle, and instead was watching as his dad whispered something incoherent to David.

“No,” David said, sounding both surprised and terrified. David had turned as white as a sheet. Albus thought paling quickly only happened in books, but David had paled almost instantly. Wow, so that actually happened in real life.

Albus walked over, not sure what to say. Should he just ignore it, or say something? His curiosity was burning inside him, hungering for information. It looked like his dad had only said three or four words at most, but whatever he said caused a rather extreme reaction. “David, what did my dad say to you?”

“Hmm?” David said, spaced out and ignoring Albus. Giving up, Albus walked away. This was pointless, of course David wasn’t going to tell him. Albus walked over to Rose, who was finally wrapping up her conversation with Lucy, and they plopped down on the couch. It seemed impossible to be bored with tons of relatives, but he was. Luckily, Aunt Angelina came over and talked to Albus about school, so he and Rose talked to her for a while. Then they just lounged around for the rest of the evening. Albus ate dinner on plates of food on the couch when he got hungry. Grandma Weasley’s massive Christmas feast wasn’t until Christmas day. David joined them after a little bit, but he was so clearly not present that Albus found it impossible to hold a conversation with him.

As afternoon passed into late evening, Albus went to his assigned room in the Burrow that he was sharing with Hugo and David. He slipped on his pajamas, and started unpacking his clothes and things that he needed for the next few days.
When Albus walked through a corridor to use the bathroom, Albus spotted David and Dad embraced in a hug. He watched them, and they both looked extremely happy, but especially David. Weird. David was an emotional rollercoaster today.

Albus stretched back on his bed and thought. He considered maybe asking his dad about it all tomorrow morning. He didn’t understand the strange interactions between the two of them tonight. David walked in only a few minutes after Albus had sat down, and he was completely silent. Rose walked in, even though she didn’t even share the room with them. She didn’t seem at all concerned by the lack of conversation, and she read a book while sitting on the edge of Hugo’s assigned bed, because Hugo hadn’t come in yet. Nobody spoke for at least ten minutes. Albus’s eyes began to droop when he heard David shout, extremely loud.

“MY PARENTS ARE BLOODY DEATH EATERS!”

“What?” Albus said, completely taken aback. He sat up, no longer feeling even the slightest bit sleepy. Rose said nothing, but she stared at David, clearly shocked.

“My parents are Death Eaters,” David said, much quieter. “Their names are John and Miranda Haid. They’re not well-known, because they were only Death Eaters for about six months, tops, near the end of Voldemort’s reign. The last six months of Voldemort’s life. They got the dark mark and everything. They even fought for the Death Eaters at the Battle Hogwarts. Completely masked, of course.” David sounded incredibly bitter.

“After the Battle, they fled and escaped to the muggle world. They lived disguised as muggles, not using any magic. I was born during that time. The Aurors weren’t too concerned with my catching my parents for many years, since they were hunting the more dangerous Death Eaters, and it was hard to track people in the muggle world. But they finally caught up with them, ten years after the Battle of Hogwarts. I was two years old. And one of those Aurors that caught them was your dad, Albus: Harry Potter. My parents were sent to Azkaban, and they remain there to this day. As for me, I was sent to live with my aunt and uncle. My uncle is my mum’s brother. They’re okay. Both Slytherins, of course, so they were slightly disappointed when I became a Gryffindor. But they’re okay I suppose, not awful. I know they love me. But I never liked them simply because of their distant connections to former Death Eaters. I’ve lived with them basically my entire life. I was eager to escape the shadow my parents set for me, and so I jumped at the opportunity to become friends with you, Albus. But I didn’t think it through properly: I couldn’t tell you what had happened, in fear of you mentioning me to your dad. I thought that he would ban you from being friends with me. Finally, when I confided in Art earlier this year, he convinced me to loosen up a little and come here. Is that a satisfactory explanation for you?”

“Yes, I think so,” Albus whispered, his mind still processing the information. Wow. Just… wow.

“So whenever you complained about your parents, you were lying then?” Rose asked. There was no accusatory tone in her voice, just curiosity.

“Whenever I complained about my parents, I was really referring to my aunt and uncle,” David said.

“What connection do you have with Scorpius?” Albus asked, remembering the duel the two of them had near the beginning of the year.

“Oh, when I was like, six through eight years old, my aunt was concerned by the fact that I didn’t have any friends, so she registered me for this stupid play group thing. I hated it. It was just a bunch of pure-blood families, and my dad was a half-blood, so they didn’t like me much. Scorpius was in the group, so he of course knew my whole story. They were all Death Eater spawn. At Hogwarts, he was always having to suffer because everyone knew he was the son of Death Eaters, and I was your best friend, Albus, and never faced any of that. Nobody except for a few Slytherins like Scorpius knew who I was, even though my parents were Death Eaters too. So naturally, he was angry that I didn’t suffer like he did, and he lashed out at me that day.”

Despite bursting with questions only ten minutes ago, Albus found his mind empty. He was still processing everything that David had said. This explained everything. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Art over Albus. He’d just prefer to tell a muggle-born than the son of Harry Potter. That made perfect sense. But…

“David, what made you tell us now?” Albus said. David had been so secretive. What caused him to change his mind? It wasn’t like Albus had been demanding answers out of him recently.

“Your dad, actually. When you introduced me earlier today, he recognized my name. He was the one who gave me to my aunt and uncle when I was a toddler. Anyhow, earlier today he asked me if I had told you yet, and I freaked out slightly. He saw how unnerved I was that he took me aside earlier this evening, and explained that he didn’t really mind me being friends with you. Then he talked about his godfather, a man named Sirius Black, who came from an awful family with Death Eater relatives, yet Black himself was a Gryffindor, and fought against Voldemort. And then he told me that I should tell you Albus, and Rose too. He said you wouldn’t mind.”

“I don’t,” Albus said. “I’m just relieved there aren’t anymore secrets.”

“So Art knows all of this already?” Rose asked.

“Well, apart from everything Albus’s dad said today, yes.” They went silent for a few minutes, as the three of them thought to themselves.

James poked his head into the room. “Hey, David, what you yelled several minutes ago, about Death Eaters, I think you should yell a little louder. Only about half the house heard you."

“Oh god,” David said, groaning. Rose chuckled until David threw a pillow at her head.

“So, David…” James said. And the questions began.




Well, that mystery has finally drawn to a close! I'm about to post a one-short story of Harry's POV, to be titled, "The Son of Death Eaters". If you want to see what Harry was thinking during this chapter and also some other info (like the arrest of David's parents) I recommend you read it! I'll submit it as soon as this chapter is validated.

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