a/n-It's taken me ages and ages and ages to write this, but I've finally finished and the result is quite possibly the longest one-shot I've ever written. Hmm...I probably should've broken it up into chapters, but that would take too much effort, and I quite like it the way it is, so oh well...
Anyway, I just thought I should mention that An-Jelly-Ca is a genius for pointing out to me that any child Oliver Wood had would be named after a famous Quidditch player. So, go An-Jelly-Ca!
Also, just so you know, there is one word everyone should keep in mind after reading this: sequel.
Disclaimer-I don't own Harry Potter or water balloons.
A Divine Gift for the Winner
Seventeen-year-old Victoire Weasley adored her cousins. She adored all nine of them: Roxanne, James, Fred, Molly, Lucy, Rose, Albus, Hugo, and Lily, and sometimes even her siblings, Dominique and Louis, too. Victoire loved each and every one of them, she really did. Except for when she didn't.
Take right now, for instance. It was the very end of July and there was only the short month of August left of her summer holiday before she returned to Hogwarts for her seventh and final year. The entire extended Weasley family had gathered at the Burrow for her Uncle Harry's birthday, and Victoire had been in the midst of a conversation with her Aunt Audrey when they were interrupted by James, Fred, and Louis.
"Victoire!" James exclaimed, "There you are! We've been looking everywhere for you!"
Victoire raised an eyebrow at this. "Why?"
"We're going to have an epic battle." Fred informed her excitedly. "And we need all of the cousins so that we'll have an even number."
"An epic battle of what?" Victoire questioned.
"Hide-and-Seek." Louis answered. "We were going to make it Quidditch, but there aren't enough brooms, and then we thought maybe a chess tournament because there's about a million chess boards lying around, but it wouldn't be fair to Lily and Hugo because it wouldn't exactly be an equal playing field, then."
"But it would be fair if we all played Quidditch?" Victoire asked, pointing out the flaw in their abandoned plans.
"Every team has its own weakness." Louis intoned solemnly, before a wide grin broke out on his face. "C'mon Vic, you have to play with us."
"Why do you need an even number of people to play hide-and-seek, though?"
"Because we do," James said shortly, grabbing one of Victoire's hands while Fred grabbed the other. Together, the two twelve-year-olds attempted to pull their older cousin out of her chair. "Now come on!"
"I'm trying to talk to Aunt Audrey!" Victoire protested, their combined force barely allowing her to remain seated.
"She doesn't mind, do you, Aunt Audrey?" Louis stated, smiling sweetly at the aforementioned adult in a way that Victoire found to be quite cheaterish due to his Veela heritage.
"Not at all," Audrey said somewhat faintly, taken aback and looking slightly dazed. "You go have fun with your cousins Victoire, dear."
Victoire couldn't fit in a word of protest, however, because thirteen-year-old (and somewhat bigger) Louis joined his two cousins and, in what seemed like the blink of an eye, they had her out of her chair and out of the door.
"I hate you." Victoire declared as the three boys pulled her through the kitchen and out into the yard. "I hate you all."
"You hate me?" Lily's traumatized voice asked, causing Victoire to look around and realize that the rest of her extended underage family members were grouped just outside of the door.
"Of course not, Lils," Victoire said immediately. "I'm not so sure how I feel about everyone else, though."
"Love you too, Vic," James replied, releasing the older girl's arm, "Now, let's get this game started.
"Oi! Who put you in charge, Potter?" Roxanne demanded, though she was smiling with what could probably be described as fondness for her older cousin.
"This was my idea." The twelve-year-old said pointedly.
"Mine too!" Albus added in. "I helped, too!" Victoire furrowed her brow in slight confusion at this; that was a strange way to put it.
"Me too!" Lily chimed in, not to be outdone by her brothers.
"I'm sure all of you plotted endlessly to get everyone to play this game," Victoire cut in before anything else could be said. And, as she spoke, she swore that identical looks of alarm crossed each of her cousins' faces, but they were gone as soon as they had appeared, so she figured she must have imagined it. "But now that we're all here, why don't we just get everything started? Unless…are we waiting for Teddy to show up?"
"No." James said with what Victoire considered to be an overly dramatic sigh. "Teddy flooed Dad before we left to say that he'd be a bit late, unfortunately; some kind of accident at work, or something. So," He brightened up, "Let's get this game of hide-and-seek started, then."
"Actually, we decided not to do that, while you were inside." Molly stated from her place next to Roxanne.
Louis sighed exasperatedly. "Why not? Do you have any idea how long it took us to come up with even an idea for a game to play that everyone could conceivably have an equal chance of winning, once all of the age differences and various skill levels at just about everything were taken into account?"
"Yeah…we were all there." Lucy replied. "But then when you lot went to go find Victoire, Uncle George stopped by with something."
Fred perked up immediately at the mention of his father's name. "Has he, by any chance, got a new prototype for us to try out for him?"
Roxanne indicated the previously unnoticed bag at her feet. "Dad got the idea from something Aunt Hermione says muggles call water balloons."
"What are water balloons?" Victoire asked dubiously, unsure if she really wanted to know if they were what she thought they sounded like.
"They're balloons filled with water." Rose replied, thus confirming Victoire's fears. "Muggles have water balloon fights where they throw them at each other. It's great fun, especially in the summer heat."
"I don't want to get wet!" Victoire protested.
"Calm down, Vic," Dominique said, "Uncle George's are different; you'll get wet but you'll be dry within five minutes."
"It is a prototype." Victoire muttered, but if anyone heard her, they chose to ignore that comment.
"This is going to be so much more epic of a battle then a game of hide-and-seek could ever be." James said excitedly.
"I never even understood how playing hide-and-seek was even going to be a battle." Albus admitted.
Fred knelt down at his sister's feet. "All we have to do is full them up with water," He informed everyone upon his inspection of the packages in the bag there.
Hugo groaned at this. "That's going to take forever."
"Or," Victoire began with a slight smirk, her previous reluctance to participate clearly forgotten, "I could take care of it; I did turn seventeen almost three months ago, now, you know."
After a few minutes and several flicks of Victoire's wand, the twelve Weasley's and Potter's were standing around a small mound of outrageously-colored water balloons, all emblazoned with a 'W.'
"What would we do without you, Vic?" Louis stated happily.
"Die of impatience, probably." Victoire responded. Then, with a grin, she quickly summoned a balloon from the pile and threw it with deadly accuracy at her brother, completely soaking the front of his shirt. "Next time, let me keep talking to Aunt Audrey."
With that statement, the ensuing chaos led to each and every one of them becoming just about completely soaked. But, true to George's promise, they all dried off within minutes. However, this led the group to a slight dilemma.
"How are we supposed to determine who the winner is if we are all completely dry?" Lucy cried.
"Hmm…good point, we'll have to include this in the notes for dad." Fred said thoughtfully.
"Let's focus on the more important issue, why don't we?" Roxanne said to her brother, ever the one to take after their mother. "We clearly still need to figure out who won."
"Well…" Molly began slowly, "Victoire is the oldest, so why don't we just say she won and call it a day?"
"Excellent." James stated. "Now, what should we give her for being the winner of our epic battle?"
"I really don't need a prize." Victoire protested, nothing short of amazed at how quickly her cousins had declared her the winner, and without any protests, either. "I'd be fine just going back inside."
"Nonsense. If you win, you need some sort of memento." Dominique stated. "But what to give you?"
Victoire rolled her eyes as her cousins and siblings all attempted to think of some sort of unnecessary prize to give her. Rose appeared to be so absorbed in her thinking that she gave a start when there was a popping noise in the front lane, most likely signifying Teddy's long-overdue arrival. Victoire couldn't figure out if Rose's eyes widened because she had just gotten an idea for a 'prize' or because she, too, had realized Teddy was finally here. Personally, Victoire just wanted to go greet her oldest friend, whom she hadn't seen in far too long.
"I've got it!" Rose exclaimed, breaking the silence around them. "We'll give her Teddy!"
Apparently it was because of both things, Victoire thought to herself. And then Rose's words sunk in.
"C'mon, it makes perfect sense, just look at their names. 'Victoire' is French for victory; it means she's the winner. And 'Teddy' means 'divine gift.' Therefore, Teddy is a divine gift for the winner: Victoire."
"Where in Merlin's name do you come up with these ideas?" Victoire demanded of the younger girl, attempting to quell any thoughts of Teddy being anything more than a surrogate cousin to her.
"C'mon Vic, Rose is Aunt Hermione's daughter, obviously she's a bloody genius." Louis reasoned. He turned so that he was facing all of his assembled cousins. "All those in favor of giving Teddy to Victoire as her prize, raise your hand."
Eleven hands immediately shot into the air.
"It's decided then." Louis said with a tone of finality.
"I'll go get Teddy." James said, and he disappeared back into the Burrow in a flash. He emerged moments later, dragging Teddy by the arm in much the same manner that Victoire herself had arrived in the yard just half an hour previously.
"Teddy!" Lily squealed excitedly, launching herself at the young man.
"Hey Lils," Teddy said, wrapping his arms around the little girl in a tight hug, "I take it you missed me?"
"'Course I did." Lily replied. "You're much more fun than everyone else."
"And speaking of everyone else," Teddy said, placing the young redhead back on the ground, "What are you all doing out here? Don't tell me the grown-ups kicked you out. I barely got in the front door before James bombarded me and informed me that I just had to come out here. I didn't even get a chance to say hello to anyone, let alone wish Harry a happy birthday."
"We just had the most epic water balloon fight in the world!" Hugo exclaimed, causing Teddy to chuckle which, in turn, caused Victoire to melt slightly.
This was not the first time Victoire had felt this way. For as long as she could remember, Teddy Lupin had always been her best friend. Even after they had been separated by his departure for Hogwarts, where he made some new friends, the pair had stayed close. And those first two years, whenever he came home for the holidays or the summer, she had been overjoyed to see him.
It wasn't until the beginning of her sixth year that she realized her feelings towards Teddy were beginning to change. Teddy was once again moving on with the rest of his life before her, this time to start Auror training under her Uncle Harry. That was when Victoire decided that she really didn't like spending time away from Teddy.
But she had kept it to herself. The rational part of her brain told her to give it up; Teddy only thought of her as little Vicky, the almost-cousin he had pretty much grown up with. The less-than-rational—and, most of the time, more prevalent—part of her mind refused to let go of her feelings for Teddy. And that was what had led Victoire to pour all of her feelings out to her best friend at Hogwarts on the very last night of term, a month ago.
Joscelind Wood had sympathized with Victoire and given her the advice that she should follow her heart. Victoire hadn't exactly been very pleased with that piece of advice. That was all her second best friend in the entire world had to say on the matter? If Victoire had had something to say about Quidditch, she was sure that Joscelind could have gone on for hours.
Nevertheless, Victoire had considered the advice, and finally resolved that she needed to talk to Teddy, and face-to-face—not through owl, like they had been doing over the past year while she was in school.
And thus the waiting commenced.
When Victoire had gone home for Christmas, before she had fully accepted her changing feelings, she had seen Teddy nearly every single day. Whenever members of the extended Weasley family got together, Teddy was there. But Uncle Harry had given all of the Auror recruits two weeks off for the holidays then.
Teddy didn't have two months off for the summer.
And so Victoire waited; growing more determined every day to have her conversation with Teddy, yet not exactly mourning the fact that it was continuously being put off. They continued to write to each other, but Victoire really wanted to see him. That was most of the reason why she had resisted her brother and cousins' (ultimately successful) attempts to drag her outside. Victoire had wanted to claim Teddy for herself the moment he arrived so that she could talk to him right away.
But maybe it was all worth it now, because Teddy was right here, in the backyard and, for whatever bizarre reason, her cousins were insisting that he was going to be her prize for winning their water balloon fight. Although, even with Rose's explanation, Victoire still found it a bit odd; in her opinion, everything was working out just a bit too perfectly, not that she was complaining…yet. No matter the reason, though, Victoire was finally going to get to spend some time with Teddy.
"A water balloon fight?" Teddy replied, a grin appeared on his face. "I'm sorry I missed it. Who won?"
"Victoire, of course." Louis said and, after a struggle due to the difference in their heights, managed to throw an arm around his older sister's shoulders.
"You didn't cheat, did you, Vic?" Teddy questioned, his eyes twinkling, "You are the oldest, after all. That's a bit of an unfair advantage…"
"Victoire didn't cheat!" Lily sounded scandalized from her position still in Teddy's arms. "We voted her the winner!" She grinned then. "And guess what her prize is for winning!"
"Hmm…I don't know, a thousand galleons?" Teddy guessed
"No, even better!" Lily informed him.
"A nice, shiny trophy?"
"Bigger than that!"
"A nice, big, shiny trophy, then?"
"You aren't very good at guessing, Teddy." Lily said with a serious frown on her young face.
Teddy sighed dramatically. "I'm just no good at this. You should probably just tell me the answer, or else we'll be out here all day."
"It's you, silly!" Lily told him, giggling profusely.
"Me?" Teddy repeated in a way that showed he thought that the nine-year-old's answer was rather cryptic.
"You," Lily confirmed, "We're giving you to Victoire."
"How did you come up with that one?" Teddy asked, and although he was still smiling at Lily, Victoire couldn't quite read what the expression in his eyes was.
"Don't you know what your name means?" Rose asked incredulously, taking over answering all of Teddy's questions from the younger redhead.
"Um…is 'no' the wrong answer?" Teddy replied.
Rose merely sighed, but was of course more than happy to explain for him.
"You see, Victoire was not only the winner, her name also means 'victory' or 'conqueror.' And your name means 'divine gift,' so clearly it's perfectly logical that we give you to Victoire as a prize for winning our epic battle, Teddy. You are a divine gift for the winner."
"So here you go." Louis removed his arm from around his sister's shoulder and, with a light shove, pushed her towards Teddy.
Victoire, though, hadn't been expecting that at all and therefore stumbled quite spectacularly. However, a strong arm shot out and caught her, pulling her against the body it belonged to.
"Thanks, Teddy." Victoire muttered, silently thanking her Veela heritage for keeping her face its usual pale color, rather than the bright red any other member of the Weasley family would be in her situation.
Lily began struggling then, causing Teddy to remove his arm from around Victoire in order to place the young girl back on the ground. Although it was a nice summer day, the sudden absence of Teddy's arm caused Victoire to realize that she missed the warmth it had provided. Meanwhile, once her feet were firmly back on the ground, Lily took a sidestep towards the Burrow's back door.
"Have fun with your present!" She said with a wide grin. "I think I'll go see if Gran has brought out dad's cake yet."
"Cake?" Fred said, his head shooting up. "Excellent!"
Fred quickly followed Lily back into the kitchen, with James not far behind. One by one, all of Victoire's cousins quickly made excuses to head back inside, most of them involving the temptation that their grandmother's cooking usually entailed. Thus, within moments Victoire and Teddy were left all alone in the Burrow's backyard.
"So…it's been a while." Victoire spoke up to break the sudden silence.
"I know," Teddy shook his head, "I spend all my time working and I don't get a day off to come visit you, no matter how many times I promised I would. Of course, once I finally did get a break to come here, your crazy cousins have decided to literally give me to you."
Victoire smiled. "They're a great bunch, really."
"No need to tell me," Teddy replied, "Now I have an excuse to spend all of my time here with you."
For the slightest fraction of a second, Victoire's smile faltered as Teddy's words forced her to remember the conversation she had been determined to have with him; it would change everything. But she continued to smile, thus strengthening her resolve; if she didn't do this now, she would only keep putting it off indefinitely.
"Hey Teddy, can we talk about something?" Victoire asked tentatively.
"Does this something have to do with that cake your cousins were talking about?" Teddy replied hopefully. "Because I have a feeling that if I attempt to go inside to get some of it without you, I'll be ambushed by them. I get the feeling I'm not supposed to leave your presence for any reason whatsoever."
"No." Victoire said shortly. She paused for a moment before continuing; what had sounded like a crash had come from the kitchen, but she knew it was bound to be one of her cousins doing who knew what, and there were plenty of adults inside to sort the situation out…plenty of adults and other various family members who, by going into the kitchen, would have an excellent view of Teddy and Victoire out back. She grabbed his hand and started pulling him in the direction of her grandfather's shed.
"What're you doing?" Teddy asked her, though he didn't resist being practically dragged across the yard. In fact, the action reminded him of many similar occurrences throughout his childhood.
"We'll talk behind here," She told him, then added softly more to herself than to him, "My family is so nosy…" And then, louder, "Just…sit over there."
Victoire gestured vaguely in the general direction of the back of the shed. With an amused grin, Teddy complied with her request by leaning against the shed as Victoire began pacing back and forth in front of him.
"You okay, Vic?" Teddy asked beginning to become a bit concerned when the girl didn't immediately begin speaking and, rather, merely continued to pace.
"I think I've done something bad, Teddy." Victoire said and, although she looked quite forlorn, Teddy couldn't help but think how beautiful she was.
It wasn't the first time he had thought that. In fact, that had been the very first thought that had crossed two-year-old Teddy's mind when had first seen newborn Victoire—although he hadn't thought that in quite so big of words. But Teddy had eventually come to appreciate Victoire for more than how she looked.
Growing up, she was, quite frankly, just about the best playmate in the world. They had become the best of friends, and Teddy could genuinely say that he had adored her when they were kids. And when he had gone off to Hogwarts two years before her, they had stayed in touch. When he had finished school more than a year ago, he had been upset that he would no longer be able to see his best friend every day. But Teddy managed; he'd write her a letter, and she'd reply within hours, most of the time.
Yes, Teddy Lupin had managed to get by…until he finally saw her again at Christmas. That was when Teddy realized that one day, somewhere in between all of their letters back and forth, his feelings for Victoire Weasley had changed.
"But it's not really a bad thing, exactly," Victoire continued, still pacing. "It could potentially be a good thing…maybe. I just…don't know."
"What's this all about, Vic?" Teddy asked, frowning slightly in confusion.
But Victoire didn't appear to have heard him, because she continued her pacing, talking more to herself than to him all the way.
"I don't really want it to be a bad thing, though," She said, "Obviously, I think it's a rather good thing…possibly great, but it's hard to judge."
"Vic," Teddy's arm shot out and grabbed Victoire around the middle, pulling her closer to him and effectively silencing the girl. "You're hardly making any sense; you need to explain things a bit better so that I know what's going on. Now, what's this supposedly bad thing that might not even be bad at all?"
"I…The thing is, Teddy…" Victoire hesitated and, with each word, became increasingly more aware of the fact of her extremely close proximity to Teddy. Indeed, when he had pulled her towards him, her hands had come to rest on his chest. It would be a rather compromising position for the pair to be found in if anyone was the come looking for them. Nevertheless, she didn't exactly try to pull away.
"There's actually something I should probably talk to you about, too, Vic," Teddy admitted when Victoire found herself incapable of continuing.
"No." Victoire stated suddenly. "I need to say what I want to say, or else I'm going to put it off until one of us is on our death bed."
"So…this is a matter of life or death, then?" Teddy quirked an eyebrow at her.
"Shut it." Victoire said, smacking his arm lightly. "Or else."
Teddy was very tempted to tauntingly reply 'Or else, what?' but just barely refrained from doing so. He was genuinely curious as to what Victoire wanted to talk to him about.
"I've missed you this past year," Victoire began slowly, and Teddy nodded.
"I've missed you too, Vic." Teddy replied immediately, causing Victoire to glare at him for interrupting.
"I've missed you," Victoire repeated, and then continued slowly, "And it's made me realize that…well, I quite like having you around."
Teddy just stared at her helplessly; she was being a bit too cryptic about all of this for his liking. What was so bad about missing him and wanting to have him around?
"Look, Teddy," Victoire began again when she saw how lost Teddy was, "I don't want to ruin our friendship or anything because, quite frankly, I don't know what I'd do without you, which is what I've realized in the last year. But, I…" She hesitated for the briefest fraction of a second before plowing on, "I'm falling in love with you, Teddy Lupin."
Teddy merely continued to stare at her for a moment, before the slightest of frowns creased his features.
"Well," He announced, "You've just gone and ruined everything, Victoire."
"I—what?" Victoire demanded, feeling her heart breaking into tiny pieces. She suddenly realized that her hands were still resting on Teddy's chest, and she attempted to pull away from him, but he just tightened his grip on her waist and pulled her closer, leaning down to whisper in her ear.
"You've ruined everything," He said again, and now she could detect the slightest hint of a smile in his voice, "Because I was planning on telling you the exact same thing."
"You…seriously?" Victoire was practically at a loss for words, unsure of whether or not he was being serious. She tried to rationalize with herself that this was Teddy, for Merlin's sake! He wasn't the kind of person to do something like that…not to her.
Teddy pulled back just the slightest bit so that he could look at her face. "Of course I am. I've felt this way since Christmas. Or, at least, that's when I finally realized I felt this way about you."
Victoire couldn't help herself, she let out a peel of laughter at this.
"We're both so dense. How long have we known each other? And it took us that long to figure things out?"
"Well," Teddy said, his expression serious, "There is the minor thing that we're practically cousins."
"But we aren't." Victoire stated firmly. "Not really." She grinned now. "But I'm sure everyone would be more than pleased if one day you became an actual member of the Weasley family. After all, you're already a Potter."
"Yeah, I suppose I am." Teddy said with a small smile. Then, his expression became serious once more, though there was a smile in his eyes. "Now, I do believe there are two small matters we haven't covered yet."
Victoire merely raised an eyebrow at him.
"The first one being: Victoire, will you go out with me at some, as of yet, undetermined time, at some, as of yet, undetermined point in the future?" Teddy asked. "I should probably also mention the location is also undecided as of right now. But I figure we can talk about that later."
A small giggle escaped Victoire's lips at his antics.
"Of course I will," She replied.
"Excellent," Teddy replied. "Then there's only one thing left…"
Teddy lowered his head towards Victoire's and, as their lips finally met, Victoire could help but think that, although they were quite possibly the most impossible group of people in the entire world at times and annoyed her rather frequently, she positively adored her cousins and the bizarre prizes they thought up.
Meanwhile, back in the Burrow's kitchen, the curtain covering the window twitched slightly as Fred attempted to see out into the backyard. He had taken over for James, after the former had fallen off of the chair he had been standing on, thus earning himself a rather large bruise on his forehead and guaranteed attention from their Gran for the rest of the afternoon.
"Well?" Molly demanded. "Do you see them? What are they doing?"
But Fred merely shook his head. "I think they must have gone behind Granddad's shed; I can't see them anywhere."
Molly was the one to sigh in defeat. "Well," She said to the nine other Weasley's and Potter's in the kitchen, "I guess we'll just have to be patient and wait to find out how our plan worked out…"
One Month Later…
At the very end of the Hogwarts Express, James Potter was the last to slip into the compartment filled with Weasley's and Potter's. He grinned after a quick glance around revealed only one face missing from his extended family at Hogwarts.
"Where's Vic?" He asked casually, taking the only remaining seat, which was beside Fred.
"Up at the front of the train," Dominique replied, "She has a meeting with the Head Boy."
"You just missed her," Roxanne added in with a grin, "She was back here waving goodbye to Teddy."
"Did you tell them?" James asked, redirecting his attention to focus solely on Rose and Albus now.
When neither of the new first years replied, it was Louis who spoke up.
"I don't think we're going to be getting anything out of those two for a while," He informed James, "When they came in here, Albus was mumbling something about how he's really not going to be in Slytherin, and Rosie was saying something about some Malfoy kid…not really sure what the point of that was, but I digress."
"Tell us what?" Lucy demanded as soon as Louis had finished speaking, impatient.
James grinned smugly. "I saw Teddy and Victoire on the platform together…snogging."
"Yes!" Molly exclaimed, a jubilant grin breaking out across her face. "We did it!"
"I told you it would work." Rose stated, coming out of her stupor quite suddenly. "All they needed was a little…encouragement. And before we all know it, Teddy and Victoire are going to be telling us that they're getting married."
"We probably shouldn't get ahead of ourselves," Dominique began slowly, ever the overly-cautious one, before a wide grin broke out on her face. She continued on excitedly, "Teddy's going to be my brother!"
"We're rather good at this, aren't we?" Roxanne asked no one in particular. "This was quite possibly the most ingenious thing anyone has ever thought of…ever. And to think, we all used to get angry at Jamie for eavesdropping on all of our conversations."
"Don't call me that ever again." James told his cousin, though it was with an air of fondness. "But at least all of you came to your senses and believed that I was telling the truth about what I overheard Victoire telling her friend."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah…we get the point, James," Lucy said, "You were right and we were wrong. But it all worked out in the end, didn't it?"
"We should do this more often." Fred said with a grin. "Seriously, Roxie was right: we're good at this."
"Who else are we going to set up together, though?" Albus finally spoke up. "Uncle Charlie?"
"We'll have to work on that one." Molly conceded. "But I'm sure we can come up with someone."
"Well, in the meantime," Rose began, standing up and pulling Albus after her, "Al and I will be getting back to our compartment."
"You aren't staying here, with us?" James asked, surprised. It was a longstanding tradition for Weasley's and Potter's to ride the train to and from Hogwarts together.
Rose shook her head. "We put our stuff in another compartment because we couldn't find anyone else and that Malfoy kid asked if he could sit with us, because there weren't any other open compartments. We told him we had to go talk to our cousins quickly about something, but we should probably be getting back there so he doesn't think we ditched him."
"The Malfoy kid?" Louis repeated.
Albus shrugged. "He seemed alright; and he said he doesn't know anyone else, yet."
"You know," Rose began, turning to face Albus, "Clearly this means that you two need to become best friends so that I have an excuse to find out if I'm doing better than him in our classes."
Albus just shook his head, laughing slightly, his woes about Slytherin seemingly forgotten for the moment. "No problem, Rosie, I'll get right on that."
"Must you call me that?" Rose demanded, stalking out of the compartment, Albus not far behind her. "I'm eleven now!"
As the door slid shut behind Rose and Albus, James turned back to face the rest of his cousins, a grin spreading across his face at the idea that was beginning to form in his head.
"Now that they're gone…I'm thinking that in a few years, we're definitely going to have to do something about Rosie and this Scorpius kid, too, so everyone start planning accordingly."