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Clearing The Air

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"Are you going ice skating tonight?" Ginny asks over dessert.

Scorpius looks at Jamie. "Another tradition?"

"Just assume everything we do in December is called a tradition, and you're good," Jamie answers grinning. "But, yes, grandpa ices the pond near the Burrow and we all skate there."

"It's funny, because I've done enough of these things with Al in the past, but he doesn't call them traditions," Scorpius says with a frown.

"He calls them a pain in the arse or forced activities imposed by a dictatorial adult organization, ie his parents." Harry smiles as he says it.

Scorpius chuckles. "Now, that I most definitely have heard before. I mentioned that I used to go ice skating with my parents and grandparents out on the estate. I think he fainted at the notion."

Jamie scrunches up his nose. "You really need to spend more time with people our age."

Scorpius shrugs the words off. "I had fun with my parents, and when Mum was too sick, Dad would make sure that we went ice skating. It was nice to know that he was making time for me."

Ginny smiles. "It sounds like you and your father have a very special relationship."

A bright smile appears on Scorpius' face. "We do. It wasn't always like that, but once Mum got sick, Dad really stepped up and after her death, he was always there. Albus and Dad are really my best friends. I can't imagine not telling him things, you know?"

Ginny looks at Jamie. "No, I'm not sure I do. My children like their secrets, but then Harry and I kept our share from my parents. Maybe we just taught them to do what we did."

Scorpius isn't trying to start an argument, not when dinner went so well, so he brings the conversation back to his own experience. "I guess it helps that it's just me and Dad."

"You told your father about the two of you, but you wouldn't have told us if it weren't for this situation." Harry stares at both of them as he speaks, with that intense look that Scorpius is learning to dislike.

"That would have been Jamie's choice," Scorpius answers, "but I think we would have told you sooner rather than later. We don't want to hide with his family around, especially since we hide with everyone else."

Jamie snorts. "No, we wouldn't have." He looks at his Dad. "Scorpius is apparently an optimist when it comes to family, but the truth is that I'd have fought to keep it secret for as long as we could have, not just from you, but everyone in the family. Now that you know, he wants to tell everyone."

"Be reasonable. Fred and Roxanne know, and Al knows. With Lily moving in with you-"

"Lily is doing what?" Ginny asks.

Scorpius freezes and looks at Jamie.

"Did she forget to mention that she wants to move in with us?" Jamie asks, amused. "I think after the holidays, and you're in deep shit, Malfoy. She'll hex you silly when she finds out you told them."

"How was I supposed to guess that she wouldn't mention moving out? It's not exactly something that you can keep secret from the people you're living with." Scorpius shakes his head. "You make no sense. None of you do. Regardless, we're telling your cousins and you can't expect them to lie to their parents."

"There's a novel idea." Harry's sarcasm is lost on Jamie, who looks like that's exactly what he expects his cousins to do.

Ginny knows her husband full well that this could lead to an argument very easily and tries to redirect the discussion. "Why wouldn't you want to tell us?"

"Because then you'd find something wrong with our- with-"

"Relationship is the word you're looking for, Potter" Scorpius says.

"Screw you, Malfoy, and yes with our relationship. He's too male, too Slytherin, too Malfoy."

"Thank you," Scorpius grins.

"Don't think they'd mean it as a compliment," Jamie says, before turning back to his parents. "After we get through that, we'd move to the other aspects of the relationship. How serious? Are you proposing? When are you getting married? Surrogate or adoption? Mum, I don't know if you've noticed, but this family is exhausting and I've got enough shit with work and the press. I don't want to deal with that at home."

Ginny pushes away her plate and reaches over to cover Jamie's hand. "Have you considered that we wouldn't nag if you simply talked to us? We know you're bi, we don't care if he's a Slytherin and other than Uncle Ron, everyone loves Scorpius. The rest you could easily answer with a simply: we're taking it slow."

Harry snorts behind his mug. "Ginny, dear, now you're the one lying to him. You know full well that it's never worked with your family. Your mother pestered us to get married and Hermione was considering memory charms to make Molly think that she and Ron had children. Your mother mentions marriage and children to all the children on a regular basis." He puts the mug down and stares at Jamie. "I'll make you a deal though. You talk to your mother and me and we will shield you from your grandparents and various uncles and aunts. We might not have the relationship Scorpius and his father have, but it's time that we all make the effort to talk instead of going for the path of least resistance, because we want to help, Jamie, not just with this child, but in the future, for anything that might come up.

"I had no parents, and I brought you up the way I thought I'd want my parents to treat me, but maybe that was my mistake, because your experiences were much different than mine. We still love you, even when we pass judgment, and yes, passing judgement is very much a Gryffindor trait," he says with a sigh. "We will try to do better, but you need to do your part."

Jamie bites his lips and nods. "All right, I'll try. Sometimes I keep things without even thinking. Scorpius is pretty good at calling me on my shit, though, so he can definitely remind me to tell you the truth."

Harry is clearly not happy with the answer, but Scorpius is sure that if his own father had to rely on Jamie to have an honest relationship with Scorpius, he'd hex them both.

"And you can ask us anything," Ginny adds. "We'll try to be as open as we can."

Jamie looks between his parents and then his eyes stop on his father. "Is Teddy your perfect child?"

Harry closes his eyes for a moment and when he opens again, he shakes his head. "Teddy is the dear son of friends. He's my godson and I love him. I wish I could be a father to him, and I've tried hard to give him that connection to his parents that I never had with mine. I understand how my actions might have suggested that I cared more, but it's only because I knew what it's like to have no parents, and maybe I was also compensating because when he was born, I was just a teenager and his parents died because of me, or at least I used to think so. I also knew that I couldn't be there for him like his parents would have been. I was an auror, I had a girlfriend, I was busy more often than not and then I felt guilty that I didn't spend enough time with him. However, none of that can ever compare to what I feel for you, Al and Lily."

"That's the thing, though. You were busy for us, too. I remember how many nights you didn't make it home in time for dinner, or how you'd throw yourself in your work when there was a difficult case and Mum would take us to the Burrow, because everything we did got on your nerves. Still, you made time to talk to Teddy, but not for us. You always left it up to Mum."

Harry looks at Ginny and sighed. "I suppose I relied on your mother a little too much. She made it easy for me. I always saw Teddy as my responsibility and not hers, while you were ours and she was so good with you. She still is."

Just like that Scorpius figures out that they aren't getting a discussion about his gender, house or last name, because Jamie's mother has made sure that those issues aren't brought up. She's still holding Jamie's hand and smiling at him like she never wants to let go of her child. His Dad does it so often that it's easy to recognise.

"Maybe we should go ice skating," Scorpius suggests. He almost laughs when he sees she glare at him. "All of us, I mean."

"This is just for-"

Scorpius smacks Jamie's leg before he can finish his sentence. "What do you say? It'd be a twist on a tradition and Al can't complaint about authoritative figures when you're joining us."

Ginny grins. "I think it's a marvellous idea."