Al, Rose and Scorpius enter their third year with a lot of unexpecteds. There's a strange boy who seems to be befriending Slytherins with Death Eater families, there's a Muggle-born first year in Slytherin with a fiery temper. Al finds it even stranger when Scorpius starts spending time with them. On top of that, there are the twists and tangles of his friends' lovelives and conflicts. If that stress wasn't enough, he now has to deal with his own feelings for a girl from Gryffindor.
Lily and Hugo enter a first year under the shadow of the chaos their older siblings and cousins are facing and/or creating.
This, in some ways, is a sequel to my fic of their first year at Hogwarts. But perhaps those who haven't read that, could catch up and understand this without having to read Times of Change. So anyway, enjoy! :D Those who read the first one, love y'all! :D Oh, and the trio might be a little different here, people change, right? Although I think the one who changes most is Scorpius. His tough school life... hardened him... y'know? Anyway... on wit teh fic!
Oh wait, about the title... it's subject to change. If you've a good suggestion, share it! :D
Chapter One Ferret Fan Club
Ferret Fan Club
Bangs, clacks and thuds were the sounds Albus Severus Potter awoke to. Groaning with annoyance he reluctantly opened his eyes to find the source of the sound. Al made a groggy growl before putting his head under his pillow and pulling his blanket over his head. Scorpius was hitting a ball against a wall using a bat. None of the objects were the real, enchanted Beater's bat and Bludger, so the only threat Scorpius's practice posed would be missing and having the ball hit someone after it bounced against the wall.
"You're awake?" Scorpius had heard Al's growl.
"Now I am." Al replied from under his pillow and blanket. His voice was probably muffled.
Al grunted an unintelligent response and tried to go back to sleep. After lying still with his eyes closed, he had to admit defeat. It was impossible to go back to sleep now. Mildly irritated, he sat up. "Don't you ever get tired of doing that?"
Scorpius shrugged, and not for the first time, Al noticed, and with a hint of envy, how Scorpius's shoulders had broadened somewhat. Scorpius wasn't exactly big and brawny, like the troll-like Flints, but playing as Beater had given his muscles some definition. "I find it fun."
"Great." Al said sarcastically before yawning and stretching. Moving his hand over his black hair, he tried in vain to flatten it. What ran through the Potters and kept their hair messy Al would never know. "Come on, let's see what mom made for breakfast."
"Sure!" Scorpius smiled, putting down his bat.
Scorpius and Rose slept over the previous night, they were up talking until Al's mom, Ginny came in and told them to get to sleep, and sent Rose to the room she was sharing with Lily. The first time they did this, last summer, Ginny seemed doubtful, but gave him permission. The Malfoy family… well… Scorpius's parents seemed alright with it, Scorpius said, but, as he put it "Grandfather threw a fit, throwing curses all over the room, we had to hide behind furniture while the spells bounced around. It took about a day to calm him and being outnumbered for him to stop ranting and complaining."
Now however, it wasn't too much trouble. There was… something like a tense truce between the Malfoy family and the Potter and Weasley families. But Uncle Ron still wasn't entirely comfortable with the idea, and still held a few hostile feelings… the same could be said about Grandpa Arthur and Scorpius's grandfather, Lucius. Al wondered why they couldn't all just get along. The war was over. Now was the time for peace and friendship. Why keep old enemies when new friends could be made?
Oh well. It was their choices to stay the way they did.
The moment Al opened the door, his younger sister's voice greeted them.
"Good morning, Scorpius, Al!" Lily walked over to them, carrying her precious brown and pale grey ferret, Cookie. "Mom just sent me over to wake you two."
Scorpius and Al exited the room. Scorpius went straight to Cookie.
"What about Rose?" Scorpius asked while stroking the ferret's fur. Al knew Scorpius was very fond of Lily's pet.
"She was awake ages ago."
Scorpius chuckled. "I was too, but Al was still snoring."
"I don't snore!" Al retorted.
"Believe what you will." Scorpius didn't look away from Cookie.
"Do you wanna hold her? I know how much you love her!" Lily giggled, holding up her pet.
Scorpius's smile grew. "Sure!" He took the ferret from Lily, and held it in his arms.
"C'mon, let's have breakfast. You two can start your Ferret Fan Club later."
"Has Cookie been hunting bigger prey, or something?" Scorpius asked Lily. "She's heavier… and I think she seems rounder too." How Scorpius could notice that was beyond Al. Cookie looked the same to him. But then again... it could be because he saw the ferret every day, so change would be harder to notice. Scorpius only saw it whenever he'd come over or at Platform 9 3/4, when Lily brought the ferret with her while they either boarded the train or left the train.
Lily didn't answer right away. She seemed to be choosing what to say. Al wondered why. Usually, she would eagerly discuss her ferret's habits. He shrugged it off and dug into his bacon.
"Yeah, she's been eating a lot lately."
"I seriously don't know why you two haven't started your own Ferret Club yet." James spoke with his mouthful, spitting out bits of meat as he spoke.
"I seriously don't know why you haven't embraced table manners." Scorpius took a piece of bacon that had soared from James's mouth to his cheek, stared at it in disgust and wiped it on James's shoulder.
"James! At fourteen, you should know by now not to talk with your mouth full!" Ginny scolded Al's brother sternly.
"Sorry." More bacon hopped out of James's mouth when he made his apology.
"You leave me no choice." Taking a napkin, Ginny forcefully held James in place and wiped his mouth, ignoring his protests.
Al, Scorpius, Rose and Lily laughed at the scene.
His face blushed with embarrassment, James ran his hands through his dark red hair, muttering things under his breath. He repositioned his glasses, which had nearly fallen off when he was struggling to get away from his mother.
"Scorpius, why don't Al and Rose ever sleep over at your house?" Lily asked curiously.
"Grandfather won't let me." Scorpius answered with a frown. "He has a lot of… issues. None of you will want to meet him."
"Is he that bad?" Rose asked.
Scorpius shrugged. "He's a biased old man." He didn't seem up to pursuing the subject further.
"Where's dad anyway?" Al asked before Rose or Lily could ask anymore questions. He pointed a fork at his father's empty seat.
"Not really. Do you remember your Uncle Dudley?"
James made a face. "Urgh! How could I forget? His son was a great fat-"
"Who?" Lily asked, looking confused.
Al recalled vague memories of a large, heavily built man with blonde hair, and a small, chubby boy with round cheeks and blond hair. He couldn't clearly remember the boy's face. He just remembered that the kid was fat... and whined a lot. "I barely remember."
"Well I don't expect you to remember, Lily. You were just a baby. And we stopped taking you three there when James and Dudley's son had a fight over some toy and James threw a tantrum."
"That kid started it!"
"James, you were a year older. You would have known better."
"He didn't wanna share that cool looking toy." James insisted stubbornly.
"Well anyway, the point is, Dudley came over really early this morning, he seemed really worried… or frightened, actually… and from his clothes, he looked like he ran through a forest. He said he needed to talk to Harry, show him something."
"What do you think happened?" Al asked, concerned. Even if he could barely remember his relatives on his father's side, he was concerned for family, just the same.
Ginny shrugged. "I'm not sure. But my guess is that some young witch or wizard pulled a prank on them, and as Harry's the only wizard he really knows…"
"So you don't think it's a serious problem bothering him?" Rose asked.
"I hope not, but I'll ask Harry later."
"Mom, Rose and I are done. Can we go for a walk?"
"Alright." Ginny said, "But stay in the village."
Lily rolled her eyes. "We know, mom."
"Can we come?" Scorpius asked.
"Yeah, maybe we could head out to that empty field out back, the one mom and dad put charms on, and we could play with my Quaffle!" James sounded eager. Al himself was only mildly interested. He had finally gotten the hang of riding a broom, but his flying skills were nowhere near the skills of James, Scorpius and Rose.
"No!" At Scorpius and James's disappointed looks, Lily added, "Rose and I weren't going to play Quidditch, we… we wanted to go shopping!"
"Eww! I am definitely not going shopping with you girls. But, hey, you guys! Let's toss my Quaffle around!"
"Sure!" By how willing Scorpius was to play, Al could almost forget that they used to hate each other at one point. Playing Quidditch was like the common ground between the two, they both loved playing the game, Scorpius played Beater and James played Chaser. They would occasionally have one fight or another when Gryffindor and Slytherin played against each other, but they'd get along again sooner or later.
"Have you thought of a Christmas gift for Scorpius yet?" Rose was surprised by Lily's question.
"Christmas? But it's just summer!" then she added, "No… why?" What did Lily have in mind? Rose was a little annoyed by the fact that Lily might have already gotten Scorpius a present while she hadn't yet.
"Well… I was thinking…" Rose was curious when Lily started smiling. What did she have in mind? "You know how he loves Cookie… or ferrets, right?"
"Right." Rose remembered how Scorpius once talked to them about how he wanted a ferret of his own, but his father had refused to give him one, saying Scorpius wasn't ready for a pet. Rose herself wasn't exactly an animal lover, while Scorpius was fond of ferrets and Al seemed very interested in Hippogriffs, specifically Hagrid's pet Hippogriff, Thorntalon. She respected that they had different interests, but to be honest, books and… well… people interested her more than any pet might.
Lily's smile was wider, and it was a grin now. "I've got the perfect present for him, just help me take care of his gift 'till Christmas, when we give it to him."
"What do you mean?" Rose asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Could you think of another reason for Cookie being round besides fatness?"
Rose felt her eyes widened when she caught on. "That's a brilliant idea!" So what if she lacked interest in animals? Taking care of a gift for Scorpius would be worth taking a bit of interest.