Hanukkah fell early that year and the Christmas holidays had not yet started. Scorpius had to spend his favourite Holiday in Hogwarts. Each morning there arrived a parcel with a small gift from his mum, each one accompanied by a traditional handmade dish. Yesterday morning it had been the kind of apricot jam filled doughnuts his grandma used to make. Today it was latkes, kept fresh and hot by a charm.
It was a pity that Scorpius couldn't be at the manor right now; he'd always loved to watch his mum cook. He would sit on the windowsill in the manor's kitchen, a cup of hot cocoa in his hands, and let his feet dangle and bump against the wood panelled wall. Scorpius' mum would flit around fetching this and that, peeling, shredding, mixing, commenting all the while on what she was doing. Scorpius supposed he could still do that once he was at home for Christmas, but by then she would bake Christmas cookies for his father - and while that was fun and involved all sorts of delicious smells, it wasn't quite the same as watching her making latkes.
He'd spent all of last week explaining to Albus how exactly one had to squeeze the liquid out of the shredded potatoes, how much matzah meal one had to use (and what matzah meal actually was), and - oh! - how much he loved frying the latkes best of all. The sizzling sounds of the hot oil were half the fun of this dish.
Today, after class, Albus had claimed to have prepared a surprise for Scorpius. He had wrapped an old tea towel around Scorpius head as a makeshift blindfold and declared, "You'll love this!"
Scorpius had been manhandled down stairs and through doorways until he had not even the vaguest notion of where inside the castle they were.
Now he stood, tea towel in hand, in the middle of the school kitchens and couldn't believe his eyes.
All the ingredients were already laid out on the counters; a house-elf was looking after a pot of oil on the stove. Next to him, Albus was putting on a paisley apron.
"What in Merlin's name?" Scorpius laughed out loud.
"Put this on," Albus said and pushed a bundle of checkered fabric into Scorpius' hands. "Happy Hunukkah," he added. Then Scorpius shut him up with a kiss.