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Scorp.

Plenty of people had called him that over the years. But when Rose had said it, it had sounded wonderful. He would have given anything to hear her call him that again. But Lucy had asked for another piggy back, starting an animated discussion between her and Molly about the practicality of giving piggy backs indoors, and James had called Rose over to read Teddy's letter, and Hugo and Albus had bounced over to Scorpius and challenged him to a game of Exploding Snap. That, in turn, had escalated into an Exploding Snap tournament, with three games going at once. In the end, Rose and James were in the 'finals', facing off to see which of them would be named the Exploding Snap champion. It took a long time, but Rose won out, and James had to promise to give her flying lessons when the sun came out again.

Of course, Scorpius would have been more than happy to teach her.

Now, Rose was sitting in what looked like an extremely comfortable arm chair, reading a book. Scorpius had already determined that it indeed the book of spells that she had been reading earlier that week. The other children had already gone to bed, except for James, who was polished his broom.

"Scorpius?"

Scorpius turned and tried to hide his surprise.

"Rose tells me you enjoy playing Wizards Chess," Rose's father continued.

"Uh, yes, sir. Yes, I do," Scorpius stammered.

"Would you like to play a game with me?" Mr Weasley asked, motioning towards the Wizards Chess set on the coffee table.

"Sure," he said, getting up and pulling his seat over to the table. Ron sat in the chair opposite Scorpius and made the first move.

Out of the corner of his eye, Scorpius saw Rose look up from her book and smile. He grinned as he played, and on asked him about his opinion on several things throughout the game: politics, the rights of house elves, life after Hogwarts, his parents. Scorpius took his time answering these questions – he knew that Mr Weasley was doing much more than simply making polite conversation. Mr Weasley was very patient and waited for each answer, and seemed pleased enough with what Scorpius had to say.

Of course, Mr Weasley won. Scorpius was a talented player, but he knew that Rose's father was brilliant, so the loss wasn't surprising.

"Well played, Scorpius," Mr Weasley said, and Scorpius wondered whether he had meant the chess game or the answers to his questions.

"Thanks, Mr Weasley."

"Scorpius?"

"Yes, Rose?"

"I'm not quite sure about this spell – could you have a look?"

"Sure," Scorpius said, glancing at Mr Weasley (who eyed Rose suspiciously but said nothing) before getting up and peeking at the page she was reading. "That is confusing," he mumbled, leaning on the back of the armchair. "They've worded that really strangely."

"Yeah, they have," she agreed softly, looking up at him. He had never been this close to her before, and he instantly realised that her eyes were a much brighter blue than he remembered.

It was another hour before Rose announced that she was going to bed, and Scorpius said that he should be getting home. As Rose walked past him, she whispered in his ear, "Well done, Scorp."