He's standing before me, laughing loudly. His face, identical to mine down to the last freckle, has a great grin etched all over it. I'm laughing too, my single ear ringing. Lupin and Tonks are locked in some kind of final embrace that makes me want to gag, but I don't comment on it. After all, it's the end of the wizarding world. Maybe they're entitled to some degree of soppiness.
"Get out of there!" Someone's screeching at us, but I can't tell who it is. My brother's laugh, so freely echoing down the winding golden corridor, doesn't cease, but my smile is already drooping. A man's voice, booming and angry, is calling a warning that I can't make out. Suddenly, I'm on my feet and sprinting away, but not before I hear my brother's final laugh...
We're sitting together, alone on the beach. My dark brown hair, messy and carefree, is hiding my face from his searching gaze. I don't usually give a rat's fart about how I look, but now I can't help but feel self-concious about it.
"I heard you exploded Jay's DADA homework," he says softly. I snigger.
"DADA?" I question. The boy beside me rolls his eyes.
"Jeez, Rox. Get with the times, why don't you? DADA stands for Defence Against the Dark Arts," he explains. That makes more sense.
"'Course not. I wouldn't dream of it," I snort, tossing my hair back.
"Sure," he laughs. A pair of laughing blue eyes meet mine, and I allow a small smile as well.
"You know me far too well, Scorpius," I sigh, and turn around 'cos someone has tugged at my hair. A lightly tanned face peers down at mine. It's my twin brother, Fred. Actually, his real name is Fredrick The Second, but everyone calls him Fred because of our uncle, Fred The First. My eyes narrow at the thought of our dead relative, who made Dad depressed years before our births.
"Have you done all your Divinity homework? I saw it half-finished a while ago," he demands. I give him a filthy look. Everyone expected Fred to be a trouble-maker, just like Dad and Fred The First used to be. He's not. He's the biggest goody-two-shoes on the planet, and doesn't even look like Dad. Nobody says it, but we both know that Fred The Second is a huge disappointment. I'm not, but that doesn't make it right.
"Scorpio did it for me," I say tightly, giving him my Go Away glare. My best friend smirks triumphantly as Fred trudges away, drooping visibly. But when I turn back to Scorpius, his face is serious.
"Is it your dad?" I whisper. He shrugs.
"Nothing I can't handle." Who's he trying to kid? Not me, that's for sure. I narrow my eyes. If there's anything good about me, it's the fact that I don't go down without a fight. As a matter of fact, I don't 'go down' very much at all.
"Tell me!" his lips tighten. I can tell he's considering telling me, but a loud cough makes us jump apart. Hugo and Ted, my cousin and friend, are standing behind his. Al and Victoire are with them. As if on cue, they all start laughing when they notice how close together we're sitting.
"Oh, interupted something, did we?" Ted laughs. I don't even bother coming up with a sort of cutting retort,because we all know that he's the smitten one, so to speak.
Everythings okay at school, I guess. But something isn't quite right. I know there's been a war, a big one of recent times. The war between good and evil. The war that my parents fought in, and my uncle died in. It's still going on in small, non-violent pieces.
The only way to stop this is to investigate.
Uncle Harry would be proud of me.
I could tell that something was bothering her. Roxie's no wimp. After the first day here, she didn't just fit in here; she seemed to own this place. But everyone has problems, right?
You could say that I'm okay. I was worried about finding friends - Dad warned me about the sorts of people they allow at Hogwarts- but Roxie sorted that out, too. She's part of some kind of group, the Potter-Weasely gang. They're all nice enough. Victoire, who's an eighth Veela, is gorgeous, but she doesn't know it. There's Ted, her boyfriend (insert whistles here), who supports the same Quidditch team as me. Then there's Hugo, who's got a huge sense of humour and is lucky enough to be good-looking, too. Then there's Al.
Albus Potter, the boy of the year. The boy that makes teachers gasp when they see his name in the register. The guy that has all the girls whispering as he walks down the corridor. I feel like a hand has just grabbed my throat and is squeezing it with passion. I've forgotten what my dad told me.
I close my eyes, and I'm taken back to a memory from not so long ago.
Mum straightens my collar, her expression taught. Dad coughs loudly.
"Scorpius, I need to talk to you," he says. Mum glowers at him.
"Oh, not now, Draco," Mum says in a girly, shy sort of way. I give her a look of disgust. My mother isn't exactly the right mothering material. Her marriage to dad doesn't really seem proper. All she knows how to do around him is blush, giggle and flirt. In fact, that's all she knows how to do around any men.
"Don't you tell me what to do!" he growls. Mum mumbles something, defeated already.
"There are bad people in Hogwarts, Scorpius. Very bad people. People who forced me onto the wrong side during the Wizarding War. One of them was Harry Potter," he says. Mum gives a little squeak.
"Don't, darling. We agreed we wouldn't talk about that... that vile person!" she says.
"Shut up, Astoria. I don't give a damn about what you have to say. I'll say what I want to say, and you'll live with it!" he shouts. Another cringe, another timid apology.
"Anyway, your mother's right. For once. You're too young to know about Harry Potter, but you should know that I forbid you to go near any of his children. And that includes any Weasleys." his expression is stony and harsh.
"Weasies? How do I know if someone is a Weasie or not? How do I know who his children are? Why can't I be friends with them? What did Harry Potter do?" the questions tumble out of my mouth one after another.
"It's none of your bloody business what he did. Just know this - Potters and Weasleys are people of two families that hang around together. A Weasely will have bright red hair, and he'll be as wealthy as the Minister of Magic himself. A Potter will have the school revolving around him. And they're both dangerous, Scorpius." he says. I stare at my feet.
"What if I do make friends with a Weasley or a Potter?" I can't resist asking.
For a second, I think he's going to answer. And I'm right. But his answer isn't what I expect.
A hand grabs me by the throat, and tightens there...
"Earth calling Scorpius!" a voice calls, and we all troop off to dinner.
Dinner is good, but I'm too preoccupied to think much of it. Scorpius seems distraught too, but I know that it's best just to leave him to think about it. I know him well. It's like I've known him forever, even though I only met him two weeks ago, at the start of term.