1. Point of Contention

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Rose picked herself off the ground, straightening to her full height and brushing dirt off her skirt. She glared at the tea kettle sitting at her feet in the grass, filling her gaze with her disdain. "I hate portkeys."

"Me too," I said, still lying on my back where I'd landed, staring up at the clouds.

"Too bad we have to take one home again," said Albus. He reached over and picks a twig out of Rose's hair, which she had pulled up into a bun on the top of her head.

"That was an unnecessarily bumpy landing," said Rose.

Scorpius, besides me in the grass, poked the tea kettle with his shoe. "I don't think the portkey's going to apologize, Rosie."

"How many times have I told you not to call me that?"

"Several thousand," said Albus. He appeared in my line of sight, blocking the clouds, and offered me a hand, which I accepted. Once I was on my feet, my cousin stuck his hands in his pockets and started down the hill without another word. Rose and I exchanged a look before following him without offering a hand to Scorpius, who yelled after us. The three of us laughed, but waited for him to catch up.

It was an unusually warm day for England, even in the summer, but it didn't keep Scorpius from wearing a scarf, albeit loosely around his neck. He was just as incapable of properly wearing a scarf as he was his Hogwarts school tie.The pleasant breeze blew Scorpius's hair into his eyes as we walked together in a tight knit group. I reached out to ruffle it, persevering as he tried to duck out of my reach.

"You need a haircut," I said.

He shook his head to get his hair out of his face. "No, I don't."

Albus snorted, Rose laughed.

"Okay, okay, changing the subject," said Scorpius, turning slightly red. "After all, this is hardly the place to get into a conversation about my hair."

He stopped walking and threw his arms out wide in front of him, encompassing the entirety of the Quidditch pitch in front of us. The stadium was the biggest thing for miles, beating out even the tallest of the pine trees surrounding us. The rest of us kept moving as Scorpius stopped, Albus grabbing him by the arm and dragging him along to keep him from getting trampled by the other wizards and witches trying to make their way inside. Scorpius let himself be dragged along backwards, Albus's hand firmly around his upper arm, and continued walking that way for a few steps even after he was relinquished.

"Turn around," said Albus. "You're going to trip and fall."

"Aye aye, " said Scorpius, turning on his heel.

As we got closer to the entrance, more and more little stalls popped up, people trying to sell us merchandise every way we look. Figurines of the players for today's match flew around one stall, darting in and out of the crowds going past, trying to entice children into grabbing them so their parents would be forced to fork over galleons. Another stall offered flags and banners to wave in support, one that continuously burst with light was kept farther back from the crowds. I craned my neck to try and see what it was.

"Esther," said Scorpius, his hand on my shoulder, "how many galleons do you have?"

I narrowed my eyes at him, suspicious. "About thirty."

"About thirty," he said, "is going to be nowhere near enough."

"I'm not buying you anything."

"Not what I meant."

"Esther, he's a Malfoy," said Albus. "Have you seen his house? He can buy whatever he wants."

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