Polite smiles were his speciality. Currently, Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy had one pinned to his face as his parents talked with their friends. Luckily, he was positioned just right so he could see the barrier and pretend to listen as the pure blooded couple rambled on. “Scorpius, darling, are you listening?” Astoria Malfoy asked, her spidery thin hand wrapping around her son’s arm. When he met her eyes, he had to refrain from laughing. Fake polite smiles were her speciality, something he inherited from her. However, she had mastered the art of speaking with her eyes as well, and currently they read: start participating in this conversation before I forbid you from seeing your best friend that I pretend to tolerate, but we all know that I loathe.
“Of course,” he said in a cordial tone. “Why wouldn’t I be?”
Draco turned to his son, raising his eyebrow a fraction of a centimeter, silently warning him to watch his tone because his responses were getting dangerously close to being cheeky. “We asked you about the Quidditch team,” Draco supplied. “You did not seem to be interested in the subject.”
“Well, I’ve realized over the years that while Quidditch is good fun, I need to put more effort into my studies.”
“Well said,” the man across from him answered, Blaise Zabini. He had two children, both of which were younger than him--thank Merlin--so he had very little opportunity to socialize with them.
“We do hope that the Slytherin team finds success,” his wife, Tracey, replied.
“As do I.” Scorpius lips felt like they were going to break if he kept up this infernal smile. Just then, in the distance, he heard the unmistakable shriek that only Lily Luna Potter could make. He looked up to see her stumbling through the barrier only to be caught by a burly figure with unnaturally red hair. Next came Ginny Potter, holding her eldest son’s hand with the other trailing behind. Following them was none other than Harry Potter, biting his lips to hold back a smile, but altogether obviously displeased.
“Of course Potter can’t control his children,” Blaise remarked with a shake of the head. Draco tensed up slightly at the words as he bit back a response that was clearly on his lips.
“Isn’t your son particularly fond of one of them?” Tracey asked Astoria, her eyes lingering on the large brood that had only expanded. Now Ron and Hermione Weasley were there. The latter spoke to a girl with curly hair as the former had a hand on a gangly boy’s shoulder.
“Yes.” Unfortunately, was the word she left off. Surprisingly enough, his mother had seen past Lily’s last name and focused on her character qualities. That girl is nothing but trouble; she is too much like her parents. If you aren’t careful you will find your name and hers splashed across the cover of one of those gossip rags, she would say.
“Excuse me, I should probably take my leave.”Scorpius smiled at his parents and their friends.
His mother rested a hand on each of his shoulders before kissing him briefly on each cheek. “I expect updates once a week,” she said before releasing him.
Draco reached out for a hand and clapped him on the shoulder. “Watch your grades and make sure take the House Cup and the Quidditch Cup…”
“Of course, sir,” he replied stiffly.
Draco leaned in and lowered his voice. “And do try to make other friends…” His eyes flickered in the direction of the Potter family. Scorpius could tell, though, by his facial expression he was teasing. For some reason he found Lily ‘endearing’.
“Yes.” He bit his lips tightly and, when released, bid the Zabini’s goodbye before walking towards the Weasley-Potter brood. He didn’t make it very far before he heard his name being shouted.
“SCORE!” Lily Potter, never one for subtleties, broke free from under her God Brother’s arm and raced over to him, immediately latching on. “Salazar, it has been ages...I’ve missed you! You won’t believe James and Al…”
“Lily Luna, would you kindly detach yourself before you permanently harm me or attract more attention...Embraces such as this are a very un-Slytherin display of affection.”
“Would you kindly detach the stick from your arse?” she questioned as she pulled away from him, smiling widely the whole time.
“Lily…” a voice said warningly, it was her father. He was in a smart suit today, but the earnest appearance it portrayed ended there as his hair looked like he’d alighted from a broom and his glasses were covered in at least a centimeter of dust.
“Hello, sir,” Scorpius greeted.
“My daughter didn’t hurt you, did she? Lily can be rather dangerous.”
“Nothing I can’t handle,” he responded and reached over to ruffle her hair that was held in place by carefully arranged bobby pins.
“Oy, Malfoy, keep your hands off my sister!” Albus shouted, waving his arm.
Scorpius rolled his eyes in response as Lily crossed her arms over her chest watching the exchange. Albus and Scorpius were the strangest set of friends at Hogwarts. Both of them were in rival houses, tied for second in academics (Rose was first) and played on their respective house's Quidditch teams. Despite that, they got along famously and were frequently partnered together in class projects. “Your family is determined to publically humiliate me,” he bemoaned.
“It’s how we show our love.” She looped her arm through his.
“Have you met Teddy?”
“Teddy Lupin! He was Head Boy when you were a first year.” She sounded indignant and knitted her eyebrows together in frustration. “He’s practically married to our Vicky by now,” she said in an exasperated tone.
“Yes, I recall him.”
Everyone knew Victoire Weasley, it was hard not to. Part Veela, she was stunning with lengthy blonde hair, bright eyes, inherent grace, and melodic laughter. Not only that, she was witty and vivacious, as soon as she entered a room she seemed to be the center of it. Teddy was the opposite. Anyone who wasn’t family described him as stoic, intelligent, aloof. It was no surprise that Scorpius barely knew who he was, especially since they were in different houses.
“I finally get to meet the famous Scorpius Malfoy,” a gruff voice said.
Scorpius tore his attention away from the petite girl next to him and prayed to Salazar that he wasn’t anything like James. “Yes, and you are Teddy Lupin I presume.”
“Yup.” He extended a hand towards him and Scorpius took it.
“Quite a grip,” Scorpius commented when the man dropped his hand. It was all an intimidation tactic, but he found a steely gaze and stiff hand gave an equally imposing first impression. One that you could do without crushing the other person’s hand.
“Thanks, mate. So you and Lily Luna, huh?”
“Teddy!” Lily shrieked, her cheeks tinged pink.
“She’s a little young and bit feisty if you aren’t used to the Weasley/Potter woman. You could always start with Lucy, she likes to think she’s a rebel, but she’s a real sweetheart.” His eyes drifted to the girl that stood beside Percy Weasley, she wasn’t hard to miss as she was one of the few dark haired ones.
Lily was now glaring at him, her hand drifting to her waistband where her wand was tucked. Scorpius grabbed her wrist with his free hand, raising an eyebrow at her before he released his grip. He had inherited his mother’s gift of speaking with facial expressions and Lily was perceptive enough to understand exactly what he was saying.
“We should board the train if we want to get a compartment.”
“I need to say goodbye to my parents and grab my trunk.”
“Mine’s already on the train, I’ll grab your’s.”
“I can manage.” She rolled her eyes as she unlooped her arm and pulled her wrist free. Before he could protest he saw her run into her mother’s arms, hugging her quickly as Ginny instructed her to write often. When she pulled away she launched herself at her father, kissing him on the cheek. Lily was not afraid to show what she was feeling and as a result loved very freely, doling affection out to people with a heavy hand. What most didn’t understand was that she was selective with the recipients. It was mostly just her family, children of her parent’s close friends, and, for some inexplicable reason, Scorpius.
But as he watched her talk animatedly with her father, he noticed James’ look on his face. He was famous for inheriting his grandfather’s tendencies, even the negatives one. As much as he disliked Scorpius’ relationships with his sibling’s, he had pushed them together. He thought back to the first day they truly met:
Scorpius had stupidly left his novel on the end table in the common room. It was a muggle one that Rose had slipped him as he headed towards the dungeon, and she went to the tower. He made it to the bottom of the stairs when he heard it, crying. That was unusual, most Slytherin’s wouldn’t be caught dead with a tear in their eye, let alone full out sobbing in the common room. “Hello? I’m coming down for a book,” he called out. When he entered he saw the Potter girl sit up straight, smoothing her skirt and trying to hide her face behind a veil of untamed red locks. He pretended to ignore her, but paused when he reached the table. “It would be prudent for you to tidy up. If the prefects catch you down here like this they won’t be happy.”
She glared at him, bright brown eyes rimmed by reddened, damp skin. “Buzz off, Malfoy.”
“I sincerely hoped you would be like Albus, although, it seems like you picked up on the unfortunate traits of your eldest brother.”
She jumped to her feet and stood to her full height of five feet. “Don’t you dare say that! I’m nothing like James!”
“Well, he is rather volatile.” He coupled a very pointed look with these words in order to get his meaning across.
Lily attempted to scowl at him, but on one so small it appeared comical. As she did this she mumbled something about her brother and he could only guess what James said to her after she got sorted into Slytherin. Honestly, that boy was as prejudiced as his grandfather. It still surprised given how open minded his parents and younger brother was.
She fell back on the couch, her face twisted with frustration as she hid it behind her hands. The next thing she knew the couch bent and a cool hand placed itself on her back. Scorpius doesn’t say anything, but sat beside her until the crying subsided. When she twisted around, she ran a hand through her hair. “Al was right.”
Scorpius just nodded and grabbed the book he set down before exiting the room. The next morning at breakfast Lily occupied the normally empty seat beside him.
“Mate, let’s find a compartment, Lily can sit next to us,” Albus said, gesturing towards the train. “She’ll talk with dad for ages.”
“My father probably is not happy with Lily’s display of affection.” While his father was entertained with her most of the time, he frowned upon the tactile habits that most people considered commonplace. Hugs were limited to an arm around a shoulder for a few moments, but most of the time a hand on the shoulder was just as good. Even him and his mother only shared chaste kisses on the lips that lasted for about four seconds.
“She always does that.” Albus rolled his eyes. “You should have never of been nice to her.”
“Being nice to her is the only thing that keeps James from embarrassing himself,” Scorpius replied dryly, referencing the older boy’s horrid spell ability. “If I harmed one hair on her head, he would attempt to hex me and we both know how that would go.” James Potter may be prejudiced, and arrogant, but he was still a Gryffindor. A Gryffindor that--even though Lily was Slytherin--would always try to 'protect' his younger sister.
Albus laughed and shook his head as the pair boarded the train. It wasn’t long until they found an empty compartment in what they labeled ‘neutral territory’. The Potter boy got out a Quidditch magazine while the Malfoy boy got out a large novel.
“I almost sat with Roxie and Lucy!” Lily exclaimed when she marched into the compartment five minutes later. “Why did you leave me?”
Scorpius looked up at her through his eyelashes, holding back a retort. As a result she plopped unceremoniously beside him. When neither of the boys spoke to her she sat up straighter and craned her neck to look at Scorpius’ book. “Do you want to play cards?” she asked.
“Not particularly,” he answered and flipped a page. When he looked up he saw her batting her eyelashes. “I am rubbish at muggle games, you know that.”
“Please, Score?” She batted her eyelashes, giving him her best puppy dog look.
Across the aisle Albus chuckled. “She’s manipulative,” he said. “That’s why she’s a Slytherin.” He flipped a page of his magazine and leaned back on the seat. “Say no and build up an immunity to it now.”
“You’re terrible, Al.”
“But I’m still your favorite brother,” he replied.
She scoffed and crossed her arms over her chest, sticking out her tongue. “No, Teddy is.”
“Lily I will play one game with you, then will you be quiet and let us read?” Scorpius questioned diplomatically, setting his book down. When he saw her face, her eyes were wide and a grin lit up her whole face.
“Big mistake,” Albus said in a sing-song tone.
Lily rolled her eyes before she pulled a deck of cards out of her pocket and turned on her seat to face Scorpius. Once she dealt the cards and explained the rules, Scorpius found that he was actually enjoying himself and one game turned into two...That’s when there was a knock at the compartment door before it flung open.
“I know you think you’re above us all, Malfoy, but you were supposed to be in the Prefect’s compartment half an hour ago.”
“Prefect’s compartment?” Lily questioned.
“Good day, Lily,” the boy said, talking in a sweet tone that many reserved Lily, still thinking of her as a small child. “You too, Potter,” the seventh year ordered, his tone turning bitter. It was Elliot Wood, Quidditch player extraordinaire. “Should have known that I would find the two of you together. I knew that this was a mistake, but the Headmaster said--”
“If you’re going to launch into one of your infamous speeches, I know them all by heart and I’ve probably performed most of them for Score.”
“Prefect?” Lily inquired most more, eyes shifting from her brother to her best friend. She was in her third year, but they were two year’s older. “Is that what you and James were fighting about this morning? Is that why James told me to bugger off and pushed me through the barrier?”
“Lily,” Albus began. “I was going to talk to the Headmaster. Scorpius and I both tried returning our badges, but they just got sent back.”
Elliot Wood rolled his eyes and walked further into the compartment, grabbing Albus by the neck of his shirt, pulling him to his feet. Scorpius held up his hands in surrender following Albus. “See you soon enough, my Lovely Lily,” Scorpius teased and winked. That was something he only did when he did something to make her upset.
To busy herself she picked up the cards and got changed into her school uniform. She could locate her family, but James was probably with them and he was in a nasty mood this morning. However, she could see why he was in such a terrible mood. She was about ready to hex Scorpius when she found out that was a Prefect and hadn’t told her. Although, she couldn’t find it in herself to be too angry at Scorpius. She considered him her best friend, but he hardly ever shared anything with her. Perhaps that was why they were such good friends. Lily always talked too much and he never seemed to talk enough.
“Albus Severus Potter--” a voice started.
“Too late, Elliot already came in,” Lily responded as the door open to reveal her cousin, Rose.
She crossed her arms over her chest and hugged. “Hi, Lily,” she said in an overly polite tone. “Where’s Malfoy?”
“Score is a prefect too,” Lily said.
“Bloody hell!” she screeched. “Honestly, are the professor’s that dense?” she questioned, throwing her hands in the hair. “Malfoy, they let Malfoy be a prefect?”
“Why not?” Lily asked. “Besides, I thought the two of you got along.”
Rose rolled her eyes. “You wouldn’t understand, you’re too young. Besides you’re a Slytherin.”
Lily clenched her hands into fists, but didn’t get a chance for a retort. Her cousin spun on her heel and slammed the door, leaving her alone once again. Having enough of that she went out of the compartment to search for the trolley. She had a bit of money, not much, but enough to buy Peppermint Imps. Although, she would wait to eat them in front of Scorpius as he always got a chuckle out of the smoke coming from her ears and she loved it when he smiles a real smile, not one of those fake polite smiles.
It took a bit of wandering before she located the kind old woman where she purchased two packets of peppermint imps and a few pieces of treacle fudge.
“Where are you going Potter?”
She spun around and saw two Slytherin boys, Jordi Zabini and Terrence Nott. The two of them at had perfected the relaxed look of the uniform. It took much more effort than not caring or putting it on neatly. Their pants were perfectly cuffed revealing shined shoes, shirt untucked, but unwrinkled with the sleeves rolled up just so. Their tie was loosened and their top button undone...She knew all this, because it took James at least twenty minutes to get his clothes on and another five to muss his hair to perfection.
“The trolley,” she said. “Where are you sitting? Al and Score left me.”
“It’s in Slytherin territory, they don’t take kindly to lion cubs.”
“Bugger off.” Lily shoved Terrence’s arm, he always teased her, but most of it was good natured. A Potter in Slytherin was something that was hard for many people to wrap their mind around.
“Knock it off, come on.” Jordi tilted his head in the other direction before leading her to the compartment. “Where did they go?”
“Al and Score are apparently Prefects in denial.”
At that both boys let out a hearty laugh before they got to the compartment. There was quite a lot of stuff in the compartment, leading her to believe that most of the third year boys were in here.
“Do you have Exploding Snap? All I have is regular playing cards.”
“We should wait for a bit, Higgs and Harper will be back.”
Lily never understood the habit that Slytherin’s had of calling people by their last names. She thought it to be something with status, as it was mainly the pure blood wizards that did it. One thing she resented because they insisted on calling her Potter.
“I’ll head back to my other compartment, either Score or Al should be back soon enough. Who knows how long Higgs and Harper will take?”
“Whatever…” Jordi rolled his eyes then looked at Terrence before digging an elbow in his side. Lily walked away, pushing through the door not even paying them any attention.