Troubled Muffins

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"Mmm. It smells fantastic."

"So fantastic."

In a kitchen filled with warm colors that sprung to life and wrapped around its guests with comfort and hospitality, old friends gathered around a large, wooden table to have breakfast. The enchanted ceiling above their heads cast the morning sun on them (to make up for the real grey and rainy British weather). 

"You out did yourself."

 "Outdid yourself incredibly."

With a tentative smile, Hermione placed a pitcher of fresh pumpkin juice on the table, moving the vase with bright sunflowers out of the way to allow her guests more room to settle themselves. She said nothing as she did this. 

"You have to show me how to make these muffins."

"Yes. Pass the secret, please, 'Mione. They're delicious."

Hermione cast the couple a look, biting her lip as she tucked herself in the seat beside her husband. Both Draco and Hermione shared a glance that expressed their sentiment on the tension as they heard clatter of silverware. 

 "I'm an idiot."

"I'm a huge idiot—Oi! Wait." Stopping himself before he could shove a forkful of eggs into his mouth, Blaise glared at Cho as laughs and annoyed grunts broke out at his expense. "Are you really going to start arguing with me so bloody early in the morning, Cho?"

"Why not?" Cho demanded with a firm parenting gaze on her face that became permanent over the years. "You've been annoying me endlessly for almost two decades, what's one morning that I do that to you?" 

Being one of the many who grew tired of the Zabinis' antics, Pansy Weasley was never shy to express her irritation.  "Oh, give it up, Cho. It's been two weeks since the drunken incident. Even I'm over it. You now officially hold a grudge longer than a Slytherin."

"You didn't get over it!" Ron shouted as he resentfully tore into his bacon. "She didn't feed me for days," he told his audience with a shameful mumble. "I had to beg Angelina to toss me their leftovers and endure George's teasing about losing my manly-bits."

Pansy tossed her hair over her shoulder, smirking. "You should have learned your lesson from your last bender, Ronald. In fact, you all should have."

"Exactly," Ginny was quick to agree with her sister-in-law. "Think about the example you are setting for your kids. What do you think they're learning from watching their fathers come home piss drunk?"

"That Weasley is easily whipped, Zabini is still a spineless git, and Potter just nods his head and takes it like a man?" offered Draco with his trademark smirk. "Or are you still grounded, Potter?"

"Piss off, Malfoy. You're lucky Hermione's less vicious than what we've got at home," retorted Harry with a frown, remembering the tickets to Puddlemere United's Quidditch match of the season that he had to return (oh, the embarrassment he felt when he told Oliver Wood exactly why he could not make it). "Couldn't even go to a bloody match...."

Ginny raised her eyebrow at her husband's mumble. "What was that, love?"

"Nothing," Harry was quick to respond with a smile. 

Taking it upon herself to steer the conversation away from the idiotic things their husbands got themselves into, Cho asked Hermione, "Any word on how the kids are settling in?"

"Well, Ariana picked up her habit of writing to us once a week already," Hermione began, noticing how her husband's silver eyes glimmered when his offspring were mentioned. "She said McGonagall sends her regards to all of us. As for Scorpius, well, you know how he is. He prefers not to go into detail about his doings at school. Not that I don't expect a letter from the Headmistress telling me about his rule-breaking."

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