The good news: I'm not dead

The bad news: I'm really not going to get any better at updating

The next morning Albus awoke before the sun, to his mother rubbing his back softly.

"Morning my love." She said quietly. "Breakfast in ten minutes alright? Then we have to start getting the house ready." She waited until Albus has given a grunt of understanding before getting up and walking out of the room.

Albus glanced the clock. It was 6 am. He hated having Christmas at his house. Slowly he rose out of bed, only to cringe when he felt his head pound. Dammit, he was really hungover, which shouldn't have come as a surprise, based on how much gin he had drank, but was a major inconvenience on a day like today, where he would spend six hours preparing his house to host 30 plus people and then entertain those 30 plus people for a day and a half.

Shaking his head Albus stepped out of bed and almost tripped on something that was lying on the floor. Glancing down he pick up a small glass bottle, which was lying next to his jeans from the night before. It took him a moment to recall where it had come from. Sullivan! He had said 'for the morning'. Could it really be what Albus hoped it was? Only one way to find out. Albus popped the cork off the top and drank the whole thing in one gulp. Instantly his headache and stomachache disappeared, he felt more awake than could be possible after five hours of sleep. The potion was even a little minty, getting rid of his morning-after breath. Albus grinned, he had never loved someone as much as he loved Sullivan in that very moment.

After changing he walked downstairs and passed his sister, who ironically looked a lot worse off than he did.

"Well somebody has a pep in their step." She growled, rubbing her eyes. "Anything good happen to you last night?" Albus just gave his sister a small smile. She shook her head and whispered, "I want all the dirty details later."

Arriving in the kitchen they sat down with their mother and father. James was still upstairs.

"JAMES! BREAKFAST! NOW!" Ginny yelled up the stairs. Her second wake up calls were always I lot less loving than the first. Moments later James lumbered down the stairs, still in his pajamas.

"Merlin Mom, its just the family, I don't see why we have to go through all the fuss." He complained.

"It's Christmas James." She said, as if that explained everything.

"Happy Christmas Eve!" Harry announced to all of his children. They all chimed it back to him, but he was looking mostly at his youngest son.

"Have a good night then Albus?" He asked.

"Yes, very much." Albus replied, digging into his breakfast.

"What did you all do?" His father asked.

Albus tried his very best to keep a straight face. "We ate a lot of food, and told stories of past Christmas' we've had with our families. A lot of them travel over the holidays, so they have a lot of exciting adventures. Then we just talked about… stuff, I dunno, school stuff and… stuff." He finished lamely. He looked over at his father, who seemed satisfied.

"Well good, I'm glad you had fun." He answered, before going back to his toast.

"Oh, and mum they loved the candy canes!" Albus brightened, happy to be able to share something true, "They all wanted me to thank you!"

"Oh, well I'm so glad." Ginny brightened. His mother was easy to please, just compliment her, and that was enough.

Just then an owl flew through the kitchen window, and landed on the owl perch they had on the kitchen counter.

Harry glanced over and his face darkened. "A ministry owl? On Christmas Eve?"

Ginny's face went sour. "They better not call you in today, I don't care what's going on, you work too much as it is, you need a proper holiday!" She glared at the owl, wishing it to go away.

"Now hang on Ginny, let me read it first." Harry carefully unrolled the parchment from the leg of the owl and began to read. About halfway through the letter he burst out laughing,

"Hang on, you've got to hear this. Its from Drowel, he was working the floo connections network last night it seems." Then Harry read the letter aloud.

Mr. Potter,

Early this morning as I was working the floo network I noticed a very strange connection from the Malfoy Manor to your residence at 1:02 am. I was very alarmed, but when I looked back earlier in the night I saw a connection from your residence to the Malfoy Manor at 8:00 pm. I didn't want to bother you so early this morning but wanted to let you know, in case by any chance, you were not aware of this. Although, I'm sure Mr. Potter you are alert to the wizards that enter and exit your residence. I hope all is well. Happy Christmas.

-Lester Drowel

After finishing the letter Harry burst out laughing once again. "Oh poor Drowel. He does have such a boring job; I don't blame him for wanting to spice it up every now and again. But really the idea of Draco or Astoria Malfoy breaking into my house in the middle of the night…" He started laughing again. Even Ginny chuckled.

"Well Albus, I'm afraid he's busted you." Harry said, turning back toward his son. Albus suddenly went on high alert, what did his father mean?

"1:02 am huh? I believe your curfew was a strict 1:00 was it not?" Albus was relieved to see the jest in his father's smile; he was clearly not concerned with the two minutes and was just giving his son a hard time. Albus played along.

"I'm very sorry father, if you would like I will give myself two minutes of alone time in my room today to think about what I have done. "

Harry grinned, "I think that is an acceptable punishment." And with that the Potter family went back to enjoying their breakfast.

Stephanie found Scorpius the next morning, not in his bed but passed out on a couch in the east wing piano room. His shirt was off, lying next to him on the floor and he was holding onto an empty gin bottle as if it was his teddy bear.

"Scor!" She said loudly, the blond stirred.

He cracked open one eye and said, "Please tell me we have hang-over potions."

Stephanie tossed him the one she had been sent to deliver to the sleeping prince. Scorpius sat up, drank the bottle, and then reached down to put his shirt back on.

"Soooooooo." Stephanie said slowly, "How was last night."

"Rather disappointing actually, thanks for reminding me." Scorpius grumbled.

"Well Albus didn't look too disappointed when he came downstairs to say goodbye last night. He looked pretty content… if you know what I mean." Stephanie winked.

"The damn brat got me all riled up and then just left." Scorpius lamented. Stephanie rolled her eyes.

"Scor, just because you didn't fuck him, doesn't mean he left you high and dry. He's a virgin you know, and he's not just going to jump into bed with you on a whim. It's gonna take awhile. And based on the way you've been acting the past month, I'm surprised you got anywhere at all."

Scorpius just grumbled some more.

"Besides, it's not like you to complain about your one night stands leaving in the middle of the night. Usually you complain because they won't." She reminded him.

"You know Albus isn't just some one night stand." Scorpius replied.

"Oh!" Stephanie brightened, "So you are saying he's special, different from everyone else."

"NO!" Scorpius yelled, "Dammit Steph stop twisting my words."

Scorpius was frustrated, because in reality he had no idea what the Gryffindor meant to him. He thought the boy was funny, and kinda cute and decent hook up so far. But there was also something unnerving about the boy; he constantly caused Scorpius to spill his secrets. Like just last night, when he told Albus about his grandparents. He never talked to anybody about his grandparents. But he got around Albus and the whole thing just slipped out. Scorpius couldn't take it.

Stephanie watched her friend battle furiously in his mind over Albus Potter and sighed.

"Can you just admit that you like him so we can all stop trying to avoid the obvious?"

Scorpius gave her a death glare. "Fuck you, I wont say it again, I don't like him!"

Stephanie rolled her eyes and left the room, calling out behind her, "I'll make us some breakfast. Oh and Happy Christmas, you wanker."

Scorpius laid back down on the couch and closed his eyes, "Bah humbug."

Albus put one last batch of cranberry biscuits in the oven when his mother walked into the kitchen.

"Oh dear, thank you so much for your help today. Your grandmother will insist on cooking tomorrow, so you might be off the hook."

Albus smiled, he was exhausted after spending 8 hours in the kitchen, but the Potters did not take Christmas lightly. The truth was James and Lily had worse jobs. James was cleaning and helping their father find a place for everyone to sleep. This required a lot of magic on Harry's part and a lot of heavy lifting for James.

Lily was in charge of decorating. However, Ginny Potter would walk into every room Lily had done and tell her to change it. Just a little more tinsel here, no, move the wreath over here. Albus couldn't keep track of how many times he had heard his sister yell, "Why don't you just do it yourself mom!" The kitchen was really the safest place to be.

"I'm happy to help mom." Albus smiled.

"I know you are." She gave Albus a kiss on the top of his head, "You're such a sweet boy." She then gave him a quick hug and pushed him out of the room.

"Guests will be arriving soon, so go wash up and get changed."

It was while Albus was in the shower that he heard the first of the guests arriving. It wasn't until he was out of the shower and heading for his room to change that he recognized the voice downstairs. Albus instantly ran into his room, pulled on a T-Shirt and jeans and raced back downstairs.

"Teddy!" Albus yelled. Standing in the middle of the living room was his brother.

"Hey Al, nice hair." Teddy smiled walking over and rustling Albus' wet and dripping hair.

"Albus Potter, the family will be here soon!" His mother gasped when she saw his appearance. "Go dry your hair and put on a shirt!"

Albus rolled his eyes, "Mooom, I'm wearing a shirt, and I haven't even gotten to say hi to Teddy."

"Not a T-shirt for goodness sakes, its Christmas!" Ginny shrilled, shooing him upstairs.

"I'll come with you." Teddy grinned following Albus up the stairs.

Once they were out of earshot Albus whispered, "Sorry about her, she goes bonkers when company comes over."

"I HEARD THAT!" Ginny screamed from downstairs and Teddy burst out laughing.

"It wouldn't be Christmas any other way." He smiled.

Once they were inside Albus' room, Albus closed the door and grabbed Teddy in a huge hug.

"I missed you."

"I missed you too." Teddy said letting his brother go.

Albus walked over to his closet to grab a nicer shirt. "So what was the exciting news you told me about in your letter?" Albus asked.

Teddy blushed for a moment and Albus' eyes widened. "What is it Teddy?"

"You'll find out tonight." Teddy waved off the question, "Harry tells me that you went to Malfoy Manor last night." Teddy raised his eyebrows at his brother, "Do tell."

"Ugh, they would tell you that first. Let me explain." Albus pulled off his t-shirt then turned around to explain the details of the previous night. Before he could get a word out he saw Teddy's face.

"What?" Albus asked, because his brother looked as if he'd seen a ghost.

"You don't need to explain, I think I get the picture." Teddy said half amused, half embarrassed. It took Albus a moment to realize that it was him that made Teddy looked so surprised. Glancing down at himself Albus gasped. Over his right nipple was a large bite mark, bright red from the shower he just took.

"Oh merlin." Albus was quickly turning beet red and he turned to his brother to try to explain, but he just sputtered, "It's no-not what you th-think!" He managed, grabbed his button up shirt and pulling it on quickly.

"The relationship has progressed I presume." Teddy said with a cough, looking away from Albus as the boy buttoned up his shirt.

"No!" Albus insisted, "Well, I mean, yes but- oh god this is so embarrassing."

"Embarrassing huh?" Teddy cocked an eyebrow, "Do you regret it?"

Albus turned impossibly more red. "No." He said quietly without looking at his brother. "I just didn't want you to find out this way."

Teddy shrugged, "Well I did, and now you have to tell me what's been going on."

So Albus sat down on the foot of his bed and began to recount the last couple of months at Hogwarts to his brother. He talked about the drinking and the smoking and how Scorpius' attention shifted on and off of him daily.

"He's using you!" Teddy burst out, outraged when he couldn't listen to Albus' story any longer.

"He's just a… free spirit." Albus tried to explain, "Does what he wants."

"He's an asshole." Teddy yelled again, "A slimy little git. And don't think I'm overlooking the drinking and smoking Albus." Teddy continued. " I have half a mind to tell Harry and Ginny."

"Oh please," Albus laughed, calling his brother's bluff. "As if you didn't drink at Hogwarts, AND sneak around with Victoire. I still do my work, why can't I have a little fun?"

Teddy just sighed, he clearly wasn't going to get anywhere by lecturing Albus. Many people who didn't know Albus thought he was soft-spoken and shy, but Teddy knew better. Albus was just as passionate and temperamental as the rest of his Weasley relatives; he just chose his battles much more carefully. That way, when he finally did insist on something, everyone was too shocked to say no. He didn't always get his way, but he did about what mattered most to him. Clearly Scorpius Malfoy mattered to him a lot.

Teddy looked over his brother again carefully. He loved his little brother but Albus wasn't 11 years old, looking up at Teddy like he was a god anymore. Eventually he was going to have to learn this lesson and it looked like it might be the hard way.

"When are you going to share this information with you parents?" Teddy finally asked.

"Are you kidding?" Albus threw up his hands, "You should have been here when I asked to go to Malfoy Manor. I thought sparks would come shooting out of my parents' ears. There's no way they would ever let me date Scorpius." Albus glared.

Teddy was thinking that there was no way Scorpius was serious enough about Albus to date him, but he kept that thought to himself.

"You have to tell them you're gay Albus. To be honest, they might already know. If all of Hogwarts is talking about it I doubt your secret is safe much longer."

Albus' eyes widened, as if he hadn't thought about that yet. Then he glared, "You're worse then James." Albus mumbled finally. "If you two had it your way I would march downstairs and announce it in the middle of Christmas dinner tonight."

Now it was Teddy's turn to have his eyes go wide. "Well, I mean, maybe not tonight…" He answered hesitantly.

Albus' gaze narrowed, what in the world was going on with Teddy?

Suddenly a voice came from downstairs. "Boys get down here! Company is arriving!" Ginny yelled. Teddy looked relieved by the interruption.

"Come on." He smiled, "We better go."

The two headed downstairs together and saw that the majority of the family had arrived. Aunt Hermione and Uncle Ron were there with Rose and Hugo. Uncle George and Aunt Angelina had arrived with Fred and Roxanne. Uncle Charlie was there, as was Uncle Bill. And of course if Uncle Bill was there, so was his wife and children.

Teddy brightened when he saw Victoire. Standing right next to her was her younger sister Dominique and their youngest brother Louis. Albus tried to keep a pleasant face but it couldn't have been too convincing because Teddy elbowed him and said, "Play nice, okay little bro?" Then he walked away, to stand next to Victoire. Albus watched the two of them for a moment. They were both all smiles, but they also seemed a little nervous. What did they have to be nervous around one another for? They had been dating for years now.

Albus' train of thought was broken when he noticed his cousin Louis approaching him. It was for Louis that Albus had tried to keep his face pleasant, but when he saw his cousin closing in, he couldn't help but roll his eyes.

"Dearest cousin." Louis called. Albus wished he could disappear into the ground.

"What do you want Louis?" Albus grumbled, quietly enough that no one else should have heard.

"Simply to say hello to my dearest cousin Albus." Louis grinned and pulled his cousin's face to give him a quick kiss on each cheek.

"Hello, how are you?" Albus asked, in what he thought was a very polite tone.

"Fantastique, merveilleux, formidable!" His cousin exclaimed. Then he pretended to look embarrassed, "Oh, excuse me, I mean I'm great. I forgot you don't speak any French. Just another thing they don't both teaching at that school you go to."

Albus took a deep breath and resisted the urge to poke his cousin in the eye. Louis Weasley went to Beauxbatons along with his sister Dominique. Dominique was in her last year of school while Louis was the same age as Albus. Never had Albus had a conversation with Louis in which the boy didn't brag about how superior his school was to Hogwarts. Both him and his sister seemed to look at Hogwarts students like little ants beneath them, so classless and ignorant and probably filthy to boot. Dominique had the grace to at least to be cordial to her cousins. She nodded and smiled and the correct times, but clearly didn't enjoy herself. Louis on the other hand was like the little boy who put a magnifying glass to the ants to watch them squirm.

Although Louis was equally as rude to all his Hogwarts-attending cousins, he had a special place in his heart for Albus. Being born so close together meant their parents had always assumed they would be friends. And by always being forced to spend time with one another from a young age the two boys had always been in constant competition. Louis usually won. He was equally as smart as Albus. He was also much better looking, being a quarter veela. He was much more sociable, generally stronger and faster, a few inches taller, and (as he always loved to remind Albus at any moment) bilingual. The only thing Albus was better at was generally not being a dick.

"How is Hogwarts by the way?" Louis asked. Albus couldn't help but notice there was a gleam in his eye.

"Fine," Albus replied. "Why do you ask?"

"I've heard some interesting things have been happening there this year." Louis said cryptically. "In particular I've heard some very interesting things about you." Louis offered with a grin.

The color drained from his face. Louis grinned again.

"Anything you'd like to share Al?" He whispered.

Albus froze and stared at his cousin. Louis knew. He knew. It was exactly what Teddy had just warned him about.

"Louis, isn't there a mirror somewhere you could be looking in?"

Louis turned to greet the new member of their conversation. "Rose." He sniffed at her.

Albus looked at Rose and she smiled at him.

"Sorry to intrude, but I need to borrow Al for a moment." She sent her French cousin a snotty smile and then pulled Albus out of the room and into the backyard.

"God he's so awful." Rose mumbled when they were out of earshot. "Cant even be pleasant for Christmas."

Albus still felt frozen by what Louis had said. "He knows." Albus whispered.

Rose didn't even bother asking what Albus was talking about.

"He wont tell." Rosie assured him.

"How did he even find out?" Albus demanded.

"Rumors spread." Rosie shrugged, "It's what they do Al."

"What, what if my parents hear about it." Albus couldn't imagine how awful that would be.
"Don't worry." Rose put a hand on his shoulder. "Teenagers don't usually go home and tell their parents rumors about the on goings of Hogwarts." Rosie smiled again, "It will be fine Albus. Please don't think about it, it's Christmas. We're playing keep-away Quidditch in the backyard, come on."

Keep-away Quidditch was something that James and Albus had created when they were young. Back then; his mom wouldn't give them a real snitch to practice catching, worried that they would lose it. To make up for it James would make Albus the snitch. If he could touch Albus then Albus would be the seeker and James would be the snitch. In essence it was just tag, but on brooms it became much more exciting.

Over the years their cousins and even aunts and uncles had taken a liking to the game, until it became a family tradition. Now, they never played it with less then ten people. There were two seekers, while everyone else were snitches. Their uncle George had even created a charm, that would turn you bright gold when you were a snitch.

Albus walked out into the yard and his brother threw him a broom.

"Snitch or seeker?" James asked him.

"What are you going to be?" Albus replied.

"Seeker." James mounted his broom and rose a few inches in the air.

Albus did the same, and then replied, "Well then I'll be a snitch."

No sooner had the words come out of his mouth then his uncle pointed his wand and Albus turned bright gold.

"Is that a challenge baby brother?" James grinned. Albus shrugged but grinned back.

A moment later a whistle blew and Albus dashed off, quick as he could. There were plenty of snitches, but James focused on his brother. Albus would fly in between his brother and the other snitches, and James would clearly avoid them, going solely after Albus.

Albus wasn't a bad flier, in fact he was good enough to be on the house team if he worked at it; quidditch was just in his blood. His mother and father were both amazing fliers, and Albus had been taught to fly very young. He enjoyed flying immensely, but was not a fan of the rough and competitive game of quidditch. Albus was not a very competitive person usually, however when it came to James, he couldn't bear to lose. Unfortunately, while Albus could hold his own on a broom, his brother practiced quidditch almost everyday, after a few minutes of evading him, Albus finally got tagged by his brother. As soon as James touched him, Albus' gold color was transferred to James.

"Gotcha!" His brother laughed and flew away. Albus laughed to and chased after his brother.

As the game went on people left and others joined. At one point their father decided to chase their mother, and after about twenty minutes gave up. Ginny may have retired from professional quidditch almost 20 years ago, but she was quick as ever.

After what felt like hours Grandma Molly came out.

"Hey you lot its time for dinner!"

Everyone brought their brooms down. Smiling and windswept, they went inside.

The dinner table was packed. Not just with food, but people as well. Every year the group seemed to get larger and larger. Harry sat down between Rose and his little cousin Fred. He spotted Louis at the far end of the table and smiled. At least he wouldn't have to put up with his cousin during dinner.

Once everyone was sitting his father stood and spoke a few words.

"Happy Christmas everyone." He said, raising a glass. "A toast to loved ones and delicious food." They all smiled and raised their glasses in unison, repeating "Happy Christmas" around the table.

"Now let's eat!" Harry sat back down and the sound of thirty people all helping themselves to food filled the room. The scrape of plates and forks and knives was followed by silence as everyone dug into the delicious dinner that lay before them.

"Amazing Ginny! This is superb!" Hermione said to the hostess after more than a few bites.

"I can't take all the credit, Albus slaved away in the kitchen all day." Ginny smiled at her youngest son. Albus pretended he hadn't heard her, not wanting his mother to continue talking about what a good cook he was, she was so embarrassing.

Instead Albus turned to listen to his dad and uncle Ron discuss their current predicament at the ministry.

"Young witches and wizards are going to parties thrown by muggle teenagers." Harry explained, "It's highly illegal and extremely dangerous."

"Wouldn't it be a good idea for wizards to mingle with muggles dad?" Lily asked, "If more wizards could befriend muggles maybe we would be able to understand them better." She added thoughtfully.

"I wish it were that easy dear." Harry frowned, "But unfortunately when wizard teens go to these parties, they tend to put themselves under the influence of certain substances that impair their judgment."

"They also tend to be idiot show-offs." Ron grumbled, "Which is how they got caught in the first place. We got reports of muggle teens saying they had seen people flying on brooms, disappearing and reappearing instantaneously, freezing other partygoers, transforming couches into elephants. This list goes on, trust me."

"Luckily for us, covering these situations up has been easy, no memory charms are even necessary, because the adults just assume the teens were on some sort of hallucinogen." Harry added.

"What's a haloo-sin-a-gin?" Lily asked, sounding the word out slowly.

"Drugs." Harry answered grimly, "Some muggles like to poison their bodies with the most disgusting substances possible, and it causes their brains to see things that aren't really there."

"We had a young wizard die in St. Mungos just last week from trying too much of some muggle drug. It's deadly stuff." Ron sighed.

"Well isn't this just lovely Christmas eve conversation." Hermione butt in. "Can we please keep the grim ministry talk far away from the dinner table please."

Ron looked slightly sheepish. "Sorry dear."

"You're right," Harry said with a small smile, "Not something to worry about now anyways."

As the adults started a new conversation Albus was content to just sit and watch the dynamic of his ridiculously large family. Everyone was happily chatting, or shoveling down more food. It was times like these when Albus loved having a big family. He didn't need to be like James and talk the loudest to get the most attention, he was content to sit and be a part of it.

As Albus' eyes scanned around they landed on Teddy who was quietly talking to Victiore. The nerves he had noticed earlier seemed to be gone, instead his brother looked determined. Teddy noticed Albus' eyes, he looked over at his brother and gave him a wink. Then he stood up and cleared his throat loudly. Victiore stood up as well and everyone in the room was suddenly silent. The contrast between the ruckus and the silence was almost eerie.

"Victiore and I have something we want to tell you all." Teddy said trying to sound serious, but there was a grin peeking out of his lips.

Albus gaped. How had he missed this? Why hadn't he seen this coming? Suddenly, every little hint Teddy had slipped him made sense. If only Albus hadn't been wrapped up in his own worries.

Everyone was still silent, knowing what was coming but waiting for the words to be spoken. Finally Victiore did.

"We've decided to get married!"

If anyone had ever doubted where or not the Weasley's were loud people the moment after Victiore spoke would have quelled any uncertainties. The house exploded with yells and shouts and cheers. Everyone stood and rushed over to give their congratulations. There were mothers crying, lots of laughing, and Teddy and Victiore looked like the happiest people in the world.

After dinner the family moved outside. Uncle George must have emptied his inventory of fireworks at his shop, because he gave them a fireworks show the likes of which Albus had never seen before. The finale was a giant dragon that danced through the sky before exploding overheard. The parents all happily reminisced of the time George and his twin brother had set a dragon firework on the Hogwart's caretaker.

Albus, Lily, Rose and Hugo all sat together in the grass watching the fireworks. Rose hadn't left his side since dinner, which had successfully kept Louis far away from them. Albus was extremely grateful.

Later in the night someone started playing music. Albus smiled as he watched his mother and father dance around the backyard with all his aunts and uncles. His grandma and grandpa were dancing as well, although much slower, just swaying from side to side. They all looked so happy, and Albus realized that was all he wanted, someone to be happy with. Teddy and Victiore joined the couples dancing and everyone cheered again. Albus couldn't take his eyes off his brother and cousin. He was so happy for them, but he couldn't help feel jealous as well. Teddy was only 25 but he had already found the love of his life.

"Your time will come." Rose whispered in his ear. Albus looked at his and smiled, she knew him too well. He noticed she was also looking at the couples wistfully. Albus wondered, had Rosie thought Jeremy would be the love of her life? He didn't dare ask.

"Yours too." He replied. Rose smiled back at him and slung an arm over his shoulder.

As the night became later and later, slowly the group dwindled as everyone drifted back inside to sleep. Eventually it was just Albus, Rose, Lily and Hugo. Lily had just finished telling the story of how a student in her charms class had set their professor's mustache on fire. Everyone was laughing except for Hugo, and when they looked over they realized it was because he had fallen asleep on the lawn.

"I guess its time for bed." Lily said with a chuckle. She woke Hugo and stood up.

"You go ahead." Rose said, "We'll be in soon."

Lily shrugged and walked back inside the house, Hugo following her drowsily.

Albus and Rose were left alone, lying in the grass watching the stars overhead, feeling entirely comfortable in each others company, for the first time in a while. Albus thought that if he could just capture this feeling between him and Rose, everything would be fine. When it was just the two of them everything felt like it used to. It felt like they were best friends again, and he had been dying to tell Rose about Scorpius. He had been dying to be able to trust her again.

"Rosie?" Albus' voice broke the silence.

"Yeah?" Rose mumbled back. It was the quiet peaceful voice of a person who might at any moment drift off to sleep.

"I want to tell you something." Albus whispered. Then the silence returned. Rose didn't respond and Albus was afraid that she didn't want to here what he had to say.

Finally she asked. "Well… are you going to actually tell me?" She giggled and Albus took a deep breath.

"It's about Scorpius Malfoy."

Rose was silent for a moment before taking a deep breath.

"Alright." She finally responded. But Albus couldn't find the words. He tried a couple of times before going silent again.

"Albus, I think I know what it is." Rose said, sounding resigned. "Just say it."

"I like him." Albus whispered, worried that somehow saying the words too loudly would make them worse.

"Okay." A soft voice replied. It was such a simple response that Albus could almost imagine it had come from the stars overhead. That they were comforting him and telling him that everything was okay.

Then he felt a hand grab his. Rose had grabbed his hand and was holing it tight.

"It's okay." She said. Albus turned to look at her, and she was smiling at him. Albus felt himself start to cry. Rose sat up and wrapped him in a hug.

"I don't know what I'm doing." Albus choked out. He had been waiting for weeks to let this out. His new life that seemed to bloom overnight was so perilous. He new friends were so flashy and fun, but would they last? Scorpius was mysterious and exhilarating but Albus was already convinced that the blond would break his heart. The parties and the drinking, it was exciting and dangerous, but was it what he even wanted?

"I'm so confused." Albus continued, looking at his cousin, hoping that she would have all the answers, like she used to.

"I'm always here for you." Rose smiled and squeezed her cousin's hand, "No matter what it is."

Albus started to cry harder. All the anxiety he had been holing onto began to melt away. He had Rose, he always had Rose. As long as she was with him, everything was going to be okay.