Chapter Twenty: The Universe has Gone Array
Christmas crept up on me like a cat pouncing on a bird. The days leading up to it were so new, so strange without Lucias and Narcissa. They had been holed up in their rooms, and refused to come out. Personally, Hazel and I thought they were plotting to kill Albus. We didn’t share that thought with him, although he probably though the same. Without my grandparents, there were no long speeches about how great the Dark Lord was. There was only laughter and quiet conversations flooding the halls of the Manor now.
Albus made a difference as well on my family. Hazel was happy to have a friend at last, and never stopped smiling. Even though she had me to play with, I knew she had always wanted a friend. Mum adored Albus, and treated him like he was her second son. Dad was very nice to him, which was a little more than I expected. I thought that Dad would’ve blown by now.
But even with all the new peace, I still woke on Christmas morning with a Quaffle thrown on my chest.
“What?” I said frantically. Albus took back his Quaffle and now tossed it from hand to hand. The Gryffindor Keeper was a horrible roommate. First he snored, then he kept spreading his mound of pillows and blankets over my room, and now he wakes me up with a Quaffle.
“What is it?” I asked again.
Albus looked at me. “It’s Christmas!”
I was way to sleepy to understand what he was getting at. “And?”
“And,” Albus said slowly. I noticed that he was already in his Muggle clothes. “It’s almost ten in the morning, and your Mum says to get you down here or she’s going to jinx you.”
Sighing, I threw the covers off of my body and stumbled to the door. Albus plodded behind me as I walked down the dark hallway. The pictures on the walls were crooked, mainly because pictures of Death Eaters and the Dark Lord had once lined the entire manor. Dad had managed to get a couple off, but the rest had an Unbreakable Sticking Charm. Now we had a lot of pictures of our family.
“Your hair is all messy, Scorpius,” Albus said. I stopped walking, one hand on the banister.
“Yours always is,” I rebuked. “Mine looks like this after I sleep.”
Hazel met us at the bottom of the stairs. “Finally you’re up,” she said, exasperated. “I was going to start opening presents without you. Mum and Dad are already in the family room,” she said, and turned on one heel, stalking to the room. I shrugged and followed her, Albus close behind.
I couldn’t help smiling when I entered the room. A fire was blazing in the heath, and Mum and Dad were laughing and joking. After being teased and laughed at by almost everyone in the Wizarding World, it was moments like this that was what I liked doing. Just Hazel, Mum, Dad, and I. People who loved me.
Mum was serving hot cocoa when life turned back to normal.
We were sitting amongst pieces of paper and torn boxes, talking about Hogwarts with Dad. I was holding a brand new broom, a Firebolt 7. Next to me there was an assortment of sweets, and Hazel was already sneaking mine.
Hazel had received a pile of Muggle books, which she enjoyed reading almost as much as she enjoyed bashing people’s heads in with Bludgers. Albus got a ton of sweets like me, and a Weasley sweater. It was the ugliest thing I had ever seen, but I wasn’t going to tell Albus that.
“Thanks, Ms. Malfoy,” Albus said. He took a mug of coco she handed him.
“You’re welcome, dear,” she said. “Draco, would you like any?”
Dad lifted his gaze from the present from Hazel, Mum, and I. It was an album of pictures that ranged from Mum and his wedding, to when Hazel and I left for Hogwarts.
Mum liked taking pictures.
Dad opened his mouth to reply when the doors of the family room creaked open. Lucias appeared in the doorway, Narcissa peering over his shoulder.
As the two of them walked in, I felt Albus tensing beside me. He probably thought that they were going to Avada Kedavra him or something. But it was a good thing that I had not yet gotten my coco, because if I had, I would’ve dropped it, hearing Lucias’s next words.