p class="p1"span class="s1"Everything was dark. Dark woods, dark fields, dark hills, dark lakes, dark skies. Only when looking closely, a spot of light suddenly appeared within the harbourage of darkness. The closer one looked, the more the spot fanned into many little dots. Warm, flickering dots, some outside, but most of them blurred behind the majestic windows of a castle. Within its walls, torches were still burning bright to light the corridors. Many shone onto naked stone, but over the past few days the grey stone walls, of the lower floors especially, had transformed into canvases for winterly art. Some hallways offered floating candles to the thousands or thick fir garlands wound from door to door, themselves speckled with shiny baubles. The tracks of festive decoration connected like a spiderweb in the midst of which lay the Great Hall. Ahead of it in the Entrance Hall, room temperature snow was restlessly floating from the ceiling and dissolving before it touched the ground, and a grand fir tree bore ornaments in the four house colours. It united all of the castle's well respected virtues, while the gaudy, glittering and gleaming firs in the Great Hall drew students and teachers in with their appeal of joy, comfort and variety./span/p
p class="p2" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"Although it wasn't freezing outside, ice cold winds drove the students inside to huddle in front of the fireplaces or to warm up around the torches outside their classrooms while waiting to be let in. The most dreaded walks were those to the green houses or to the edge of the forest for Magical Creatures or Herbology classes. On their way to these subjects the students crowded together like flocks of penguins, collectively yearning for the start of the Christmas Holiday./span/p
p class="p2" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"It was one of these flocks which Albus just managed to evade by crouching behind a cold suit of armour. He was so small, that it was easy to overlook him in any case, but his thick winter cloak nearly doubled his size. It was unfortunate, yet necessary, since he was going to have to brave the weather. That was the only way. When the echo of the group's voices had faded, he dared to emerge and traipsed on, making sure to avoid highly frequented corridors. The closer he got to the entrance doors, the harder this became. Using short cuts would help circumvent the traffic, but if he bumped into someone there, he would have nowhere to class="Apple-converted-space" /span/span/p
p class="p2" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"Was it wrong for him to be sneaking through the halls of the castle? No, technically it wasn't. Other students might be curious about his warm getup, which was partly while he was sneaking around and also why he wanted to exit the castle before he died of a heat stroke. But the actual problem was his family, and Merlin knew, they were everywhere. Not a single day passed that Albus did not get a sight of a Weasley or Potter head. It was almost as if there was a conspiracy of their parents to birth all their offspring within seven years, so they could all go to school together; twelve cousins like the twelve gifts of Christmas - or curses, who could say for sure./span/p
p class="p2" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"For a little while he was crouching at the end of a corridor, comparing his options. Everyone in his family knew every short cut in the school, although the younger cousins like him had had to fight hard for this knowledge. Very hard. So hard that he could definitely taste sweat and blood in his memory. A shout made him jump. It had been his name, called by a girl with a squeaky voice that was too close for comfort. Within the fraction of a second, he made a decision and rushed off. Taking two steps at once, he climbed back up to a higher floor, dared to take a short cut after all, and reached the door to Moaning Myrtle's toilet. The moment he entered the forbidden girls' bathroom, he could feel everything around him change. /span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"Since long the room had served as a portal, as a door, and it was like a twist of fate that Voldemort should enter Myrtle's life anew by giving her home a new use during the Battle of Hogwarts. Ignoring her wailing, Albus marched into one of the stalls and kneeled in front of the toilet bowl. There on the floor he loosened enough tiles for him to fit through, knowing that they were going to magically reseal. This new way out of the castle was the most horrible, and he was allowing a lot of risk by choosing it, since it wasn't known to every student, but definitely to every Weasley-Potter. Albus took a deep breath and slid into the opening. The pipes lead him away from the Chamber of Secrets and instead spat him into a network of subterranean corridors. Different than expected his feet did not hit the hard, cold ground, but instead crashed into something much less resistant. Accompanied by two screams, he and someone else collapsed onto the ground and immediately made to detangle. Expecting the worst, Albus merely stared at the face of a pale boy who was shooting him an angry look./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Are you mad?" the boy growled./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Are emyou/em mad?" Albus growled back. "What kind of troll sits at the end of a slide?" His tone of voice carried a clear judgment on the intelligence of the other boy, who was now sheepishly rubbing his aching ribs./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Didn't know people knew this one and didn't wanna get lost."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""You came down here without knowing the way?" Albus asked incredulously, now certain that the boy in front of him could not be very smart. He'd seem him around the common room before, but always found him too arrogant for a conversation./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Do you have a death wish?" he pushed, when the other stayed silent. "How would you have gotten back up?"/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"The pale boy pressed his lips together. Unsure of what to do, Albus brushed the dust of his clothes. Then he stood there in silence, until he had had quite enough. Any moment now, his brother James could be taking out the stolen map and discover him down here. He had to get off of school grounds./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Where are you going?" the other one snapped, when he started walking./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Out."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Out where? Do you know where you're going? Where do the corridors lead?" Curiosity but also skepticism were evident in the other boys expression./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Of course I know the way," Albus said with pride. "If you go the correct way, you end up right outside the gate." Hesitant admiration now mixed into the other's emotions./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""What du you want out there?" he continued asking./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Pretty nosy," commented Albus, grinning internally. As arrogant and intimidating as the pale boy had seemed before, he now had to follow Albus. emHe/em was the one in charge now. "I don't wanna be found."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Why not? I also don't want to be found, why don't you want to be found?"/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"Albus kept himself from answering. He had to seem strong and certain./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Why don't emyou/em want to be found?" he asked in class="Apple-converted-space" /span"It's nearly Christmas anyway."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Exactly," muttered his peer. "Tomorrow everyone goes home to their families. I'd rather stay here."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""So why don't you?" This time Albus didn't get an answer as quickly as before./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""My parents said I must come home."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""That's cool. We always get tons of cookies, roast and sides, like potatoes and what not, and just everything your stomach could dream of. There's also soup, but I don't like it." /spanspan style="text-indent: 14.2px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial;"The pale boy's eyes widened. /spanspan style="text-indent: 14.2px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial;"Albus resumed the walk, remembering that James could find his name on the map any moment. "Come with me. If you keep sitting here, who knows who will slide into you, and they'll definitely drag you back up."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"Hastily the blonde boy stood up and stumbled after him./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""So, do you not get cookies or what's going on?"/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Of course we have cookies!" the other one snapped with an unexpected harshness./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Okay, whatever," Albus retorted just as pointedly./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"Suddenly there were steps behind them. Panicking, Albus searched for a hiding spot and disappeared behind a corner just in time. The other one hadn't reacted fast enough and the steps halted./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""What are you doing here?" asked a brisk girl's voice. "Where's my cousin? Where's Albus?"/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"The other boy was either extremely intimidated or unimpressed, either way, he said nothing./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Albus," the girl continued, "come out, or I'll tell James, and then your friend here will get in trouble, too."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""We're not even doing anything wrong," the pale one hissed./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Ha, so he is here," the girl observed, satisfied. Albus could choke the idiot. Annoyed he stepped into the weak light coming from her wand./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Rose," he grunted as low as it was possible with his young voice. "This is a closed community."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"Rose rolled her eyes. "Albus, you have to come back up," she demanded. "James said you'll be in tremendous trouble if you don't."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Good thing I don't care what James says. I have every right to be here, just like… my friend here. We're on an excursion to adventure."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""It's really exhausting when you say such nonsense, Al." Again she rolled her eyes, and then proceeded to examine her cousin's companion. When she recognised him, he took a sharp breath of air./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Do you even know who you're frolicking around with, Albus?" He merely shrugged, causing her to grow even taller. /spanspan style="text-indent: 14.2px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial;""This is Malfoy!" she declared with a pointed finger. Before Albus could say anything, the accused took a determined step towards her./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""My name is Scorpius," he hissed. Unlike Albus, Scorpius was a good bit taller than Rose, who was glaring at him./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""What sort of a name is that?"/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Better than Rose, so boring," he commented cooly. This was exactly the guy Albus had seen in the common room. Exchanged from one second to the next. It was indeed quite impressive, albeit confusing. Rose said nothing. It was obvious how desperately she was looking for a witty reply, but she failed to find one./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Just come now, Al. We don't fraternise with Malfoys."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"There was an unknown anger bubbling in Albus now. It definitely originated from the way Rose seemed to think she could command him, but the way she was treating Scorpius was part of it. She didn't even know him./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Why are you even on James' side?" he growled./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""He didn't mean it like that."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"Albus crossed his arms in front of his chest. "Of course he did!"/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""You don't know that!"/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Yes, I do!"/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""No, you don't!"/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"For a few seconds the Malfoy allowed the game to continue, until his ears began hurting and he pressed a hand onto each other their mouths. /spanspan style="text-indent: 14.2px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial;""It's like torture with you, too," he complained, and Rose slapped his hand away./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""How dare you?" she spat, but her words bounced off of his cold facade. Instead of answering her, he turned to face Albus./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Before I run away with you, I would like to know, what you're fleeing from and if it could have a negative impact on me."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"While Rose was cursing their silliness, Albus gave the demand due consideration. /spanspan style="text-indent: 14.2px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial;""Okay, that's fair. Same goes for you, agreed?"/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"Scorpius took his hand. "Agreed."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Then let's keep going to get out of the reach of the castle."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Wait!" Screeched Rose and hurried after the boys./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""You first," they said simultaneously and stared at each/spanspan class="s1" other without blinking until a bit of dust flew into Malfoy's eye./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Okay," he gave in, blinking rapidly, and took a few deep breaths until his eye had stopped tearing. "So... it's…"/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""C'mon, tell me," urged Albus, picking up the pace, so Rose wouldn't hear them. "You don't wanna go home - why?"/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Everything in Hogwarts is warm and decorated and familiar. At home it's…" He hesitated. "Cold. And no one talks. It's so.. sterile. The house elves bake our cookies, and they buy the presents, too."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"Thoughtful, Albus walked next to him. For him Christmas had always been a highlight - even cooler than his own birthday. To imagine that he wouldn't be able to look forward to the 25th of December was more than difficult. When listening closely it even seemed as if the sound of Rose's steps was less intrusive. Scorpius seemed to wait for a response, but Albus was lost for words. He didn't know what to say to that./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""You know, my brother stole my presents," he burst out. "All the ones I made emand /emall the ones my cousins got for me. And he said I wasn't nice enough this year and that I don't deserve presents. All I saw were a few shreds of wrapping paper, but he destroyed the presents."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""What? That's so mean!" Malfoy gasped./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Yeah, you can be quite happy that you don't have siblings," Albus agreed./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""But why are you the one running away?"/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"Albus puffed up his chest with pride. "I was so mad that I destroyed his whole stash of love potions."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"Now Scorpius began giggling, but an angry Rose came to intrude again. "That was not okay, Al! James didn't even destroy your presents."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Stop being such a busy body, Rosalie," Albus shot back. "You're just angry that you can't get some of the potion now, so you can get Marcel to hold hands with you. They wouldn't have worked anyway."/span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""That's not true!" she shouted with embarrassment, and the boys laughed again./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1"Suddenly, Scorpius felt cold air around his ankles and when concentrating, he could smell wet dirt./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p1"span class="s1""Where are we?" he asked when Albus stopped in a dead end./span/p
p class="p1" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""We're here," the Potter declared and began climbing up the wall with some difficulty. The shoes of other visitors had dug small grooves into it, which he could support himself on. Scorpius followed, and so did Rose, until an icy wind was freezing their noses and stinging their cheeks./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Great, what now?" muttered Rose unhappily and conjured a small flame which was licking at her fingers to provide a little warmth. Sullenly because they hadn't thought of the trick, the boys imitated her. Albus pointed in the direction of a foot made path./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""To Hogsmeade I'd say."/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Oh yes, because they'll definitely not find you there," Rose nagged, but followed them anyway. How stupid could they be! They didn't even have good reasons to act like they wanted to run away. "You haven't got your potions together!" she snapped after twenty minutes, but the boys were so engulfed in a conversation about Quidditch that her voice reached through the wind, but not their ears. Another frustrating fifteen minutes passed, until they discovered a dark crouching figure ahead of them. They stopped like frozen, white puffs of breath in front of their faces. /spanspan style="text-indent: 14.2px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial;"Albus, putting on the tough act, snuck closer to the person. They were small, with arms wrapped around their legs./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Hey, who are you and what are you doing here?" he demanded with his lowest, most authoritative voice. The person's head jerked up and revealed her as a girl. Rose was sure that she'd seen her before, but beneath the thick clothes it was hard to identify her./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Who are you?" she asked back, though she was much less energetic than Albus. Rose was sure Albus would give her false names, but it was Malfoy who answered./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Potter."/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""And Rose Weasley!" she quickly added./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Yes, her, too," he admitted./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Thank Merlin!" The girl tried to get up, but her legs had fallen asleep and folded under her. The three of them rushed to her side to support her and realised how cold she was./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""How long have you been sitting here?"/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Long," she admitted. "I ran away at noon."/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Ran away?" Rose asked. It was time she took the lead./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Yes."/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Why on earth would you run away?" Albus reprimanded her, without realising the irony of his words. In the meantime Rose had conjured additional flames for the girl./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""I got a detention."/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""So?" the Potter laughed./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""It's my first one!" She whined, and Rose could relate to her despair. Their little adventure could also cost her her impeccable record. "They'll notify my parents, and I'd have to explain everything, and it would be terrible." Her teeth were chattering as she spoke. "What a stupid Christmas present." /spanspan style="text-indent: 14.2px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial;"Tears were now streaming down her face and for a moment, the other three secretly wondered if they would freeze, but they didn't./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""I know!" Malfoy turned to Albus expertly. "She's a Ravenclaw." Sadly the girl nodded and at once, Rose recognised her./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""You're Clara Bones! We've worked together in Charms before." Clara blinked away her tears to recognise Rose./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Of course, Rose. I'm sorry, I didn't realise."/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Okay, okay, whatever. The important question is: Why did you get a detention?" Curious the boys stared down at her. "Did you set a Christmas tree on fire? Did you rip off Filch's wig? Did you throw a dung bomb into Trelawney's aura?"/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Al, that's not how an aura works," interrupted Rose with an eyeball. They didn't manage to get into a fight about it, because Clara was already hecticly interrupting./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""No, no, I just didn't go to class!" Even Rose was a little disappointed at this revelation./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Why don't you go to class? Doesn't seem epic enough to get a detention just to sleep longer."/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""It wasn't about that."/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Then what was it?" Albus seemed to like her, Rose noticed. He was leaning really close to her./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""I was supposed to meet a boy," mumbled Clara, making Albus grunt and Rose light up with curiosity./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""What is it with girls and boys?" he asked annoyed, and began to keep walking with Malfoy on his heels./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Where are you going?" snapped Rose. As if it was obvious, Albus pointed in the direction of the village./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Can't you see how foggy it is? Clara is ice cold, we have to find her shelter."/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""She'll find shelter there," he insisted./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""We'll never find the village," Rose disagreed./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""If we keep sitting here, we won't. Our chances to get back to the castle are the same, but it's much further."/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Albus, you pig head. If you hadn't run away -"/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1"Once more, Scorpius stepped between them. "No time for finger pointing. Bones needs some warmth, so we're going to Hogsmeade."/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1"While Rose wanted to protest, Clara had already begun walking. Shortly after, it turned out that Rose had been right. The fog was so thick that they couldn't see anything. Albus was acting strong and determined, but she knew that he had no clue where they were either./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""We should be there soon," he announced, spreading false hope. They were all freezing, but all of Clara's bones were shaking. Moving helped against the cold, but not enough to counter the cold wind./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Albus, she's freezing."/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""I know," he muttered into his scarf. With little vigor, he pulled out his wand and shot red sparks into the sky. No one would see them, he was convinced of that, but there was nothing to do but walk and send a signal of their position. As they continued, he send a new set of sparks into the sky, alternating colours. Green, blue, yellow, orange, pink, red again. From time to time, Malfoy helped him, though it wasn't long until he gave up again./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1"Clara's legs folded again. She was shaking all over, having clearly underestimated the weather with her choice in clothing./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Hey, can you keep walking?" squeaked Malfoy with panic in his voice./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Now see what we've done!" Rose was now close to tears, whereas Clara barely reacted at all./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""It's not our fault she ran away!" Albus said weakly and began taking of his cloak to give it to Clara./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""No, Albus, or you'll end up the same way. Just imagine you would have come out here alone. You would have been the same!"/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Stop fighting, it doesn't help," Malfoy demanded with slightly blue lips./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""She started," hissed Albus./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Potter!" He jumped. Rose only called him that when she was really mad at him. A look at her face showed him that she was just as surprised as he was./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Potter, Weasley, and Bones!" gasped a voice, and from the fog emerged the shape of Professor McGonagal. She immediately rushed to the freezing girl and conjured a blanket to wrap around her./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Clara!" another woman called, which Rose immediately recognised as Susan Bones. Mrs. Bones pulled her daughter into her arms, and within seconds a third woman appeared to wrap herself around Malfoy./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Scorpius," she whimpered, and the boy patted his mother's arm. "I was so worried. Whatever were you thinking?" Even Malfoy's father stepped out of the fog and tried to calm his wife./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""Albus!" The last one was a deeper voice. An un-proportionally big hand grabbed Albus by the head. "You nutter," harrumphed James./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1"Albus had trouble breathing against the chest of his brother, but still brought himself to hug him./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""What is this about?" he could her Mrs Malfoy asked in the moment in which the Bones' disapparated. Scorpius looked at the ground helplessly, and then up at Albus, silently screaming for help. Before Albus could react, and unfamiliar instinct kicked into gear in Rose./span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1""It was my fault, Mrs Malfoy. Albus was gone and I thought we could find him on our own, so he wouldn't get into trouble. I asked.. Scorpius to help me."/span/p
p class="p3" /p
p class="p3"span class="s1"Astoria Malfoy did not reply to that, although Rose was sure that the woman would have loved to leave her behind in the cold. The gaze of the headmistress, however, remained on Rose. There seemed to be a sort of recognition in her eyes, a deeper knowledge about the events of that day. Instead of giving them all a detention, she placed a hand on Albus' and Rose's shoulder and accompanied them back to the castle./span/p