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uninvited guests

AFTER THE RUSSO FAMILY'S INCREDIBLY PACKED DINNER, THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS ALL MIGRATED TOWARDS THE LIVING ROOM. Claudio proceeded to pour drinks as they all found comfortable seats, James immediately gravitating towards Clarisse, taking the sofa spot next to her.

"That was a lovely dinner, I especially loved the panettone as dessert!" Megella Avery's voice floated through the big room as she sat down next to her boyfriend with a big smile. Cosimo began to play with her dark red hair, his eyes twinkling as he stared at her.

James raised his eyebrows lightly, dipping his head down towards Clarisse's ears. "She's laying it on a bit thick." He whispered.

Clarisse shrugged as she watched Megella attempt to suck up to her parents, Cosimo watching in amusement. "She just wants them to like her I guess."

"Meg was nervous all day." Finlay added as he leaned over to the duo off of his plush chair that was placed next to the sofa. "She really wants to make a good impression."

His words, despite unwanted, made Clarisse look at the boy in surprise. She didn't expect him to sound so... caring? She nodded to him and pursed her lips before nudging James. "Antlers wanted to make a good impression too, didn't you babe?" She fluttered her eyelashes with a slight smirk making the boy grit his teeth.

"Yeah, I did." James admitted truthfully with a little resistance, his face heating up as Clarisse stared at him through her hair. She didn't expect him to answer genuinely.

"I thought you were madly in love with Evans?" Finlay leaned back into his chair with a raised brow. "I recall you saying that you 'could never live without her' and 'would never stop pursing her.' Did I not?"

The boy held an evil smirk, his hands rubbing together reminding Clarisse of how flies look when they rub their hands together. He looked like he was deviously planning and it nerved the girl.

James tightened his hand around the end of the sofa, his jaw clenching. Something about Finlay Avery rubbed him the wrong way. "People change."

"Not James Potter." The boy emphasised with a wide smirk. "You don't like change. You haven't in seven years, so why now?"

"And how would you know if James had changed or not? I don't recall you being his mother?" Elliot butted in with a fake smile, his wrists twirling around the whiskey glass in his hand making the man look quite intimidating.

Finlay's eyes widened as he opened his mouth, not expecting to be caught out. "Uh-"

Before the boy could answer the question, the eldest Russo brother cleared his throat as he stared directly at the boy who was dating his sister. "What are your future plans, James Potter?"

Clarisse sent her brother a weird look. "Why are you using his full name like he's Michael Jackson?"

"Why did you specifically choose Michael Jackson?" Carlo tilted his head. "You could've chosen George Michael or-"

Cosimo narrowed his eyes at his sister and brother making them shove their hands up in the surrender position.

"I plan to be an Auror." James answered easily, leaning forwards as he clasped his hands together. "Straight after school. I love DADA and my father has already put me in contact with some potential mentors, such as Alastor Moody. I'm very passionate about fighting for what is right."

Cosimo's eyes were calculative as he stared at the boy with glasses, a twinkle in his eye which reminded Clarisse of her headmaster. Before Cosimo could ask another question with his intimidating gaze, Carlo jumped in attempting to break the awkward interrogation. "Did you know that Cosimo is an Unspeakable, James?"

"Carlo, the whole point of being an Unspeakable is that it's not to be spoken about-"

"Antlers already knows, besides you tell everyone you know. When you first found out you got the job, you told the postman." Clarisse waved her brother off. "James fan-girled when he found out-"

"I did not!" James gasped dramatically, holding a hand to his heart as the girl snickered.

"Yes you did!"

The doorbell rang and the occupants of the room exchanged confused looks. Claudio looked at his eldest son. "Do you have another guest coming?"

"Not that I know of." Cosimo offered as he turned to his brother. "Carlo, Elliot?"

"Nope." They said in sync before looking at their sister. "You got another mysterious guest?"

She shook her head with furrowed eyebrows as her mother advanced towards the door. The front door was right next to the living room so it gave the occupants of the room a perfect view of the frame of the door.

Camilla opened the door, her body momentarily covering the mysterious person as she exclaimed in surprise. "Oh hello? Who are you three?"

As Camilla leaned against the door, allowing the family to see who was there, Clarisse groaned loudly at the sight of three familiar boys.

"Oh my Merlin!"

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