Two weeks later things were mostly resolved between Lily and Scorpius. He didn’t discuss the vision or the argument between them, other than the fact that they would worry about things when the time came. Their Hogwarts letters had just come and they were doing their school supply shopping when she got off of work.
The inn was rather busy, but because of that their were no vacancies. Her job was mainly sitting there, directing people to other inns or giving them directions to find shops in Diagon Alley. The clock chimed two and Lily began packing up her things, waiting for Hannah to come to relieve her. As she stood there she saw the pigtails of Frankie first.
“I can’t leave right now, the pub is much too busy,” she said. “Gracie can’t leave and your father is knee deep in the greenhouse right now.”
“Why don’t we take her?” Scorpius appeared behind. “To get her books at least, I know you will want to get her wand with her. Both of my parents came and I am sure Lily could say the same thing.”
“Yes, it was the last thing I bought. I got it three days before I left because both my parents wanted to be there.”
“I couldn’t ask that,” Hannah said, reaching out to smooth one of her daughter’s pigtails. “But I suppose if you’re going anyway and she wants her books… Wait just a bit while I grab money.”
It wasn’t before long before they set off to Diagon Alley. Lily was a bit puzzled as to why Hannah didn’t want her youngest to go alone as she grew up on these streets when she was younger. However, she did realize that the books and supplies were quite a bit of money. “Book store, Frankie!” Lily shouted, not running after her because of Scorpius arm around her shoulders. The store was surprisingly busy, bustling with people. “Can you find my books too? I want to go with Frankie.”
“Of course.” He took the list from her hands as Lily went to chase her down. She found Frankie not long after, trying to scale a bookshelf to get a rather heavy text down. Eventually she found the pile and handed her the appropriate coins to pay for it with, asking her to wait at the front. She located Scorpius quickly, but he had no books in his hands.
“We should leave,” he said. “We can wait for Frankie outside.”
“Why? I know it’s busy, but--”
Out of the corner of her eye she saw flashbulbs go off and her eyes fixed on a chalkboard with words scrawled across it, Book Signing Today! Author of What Happened at Hogwarts. “I don’t understand.”
“It’s a book about the battle, if they see us…” Scorpius. “The last thing we need to be is on the cover of another tabloid.”
“At least it’ll be us this time, I’m not letting someone else control my life. Besides, I might as well make your mother’s worst fears come true.” Lily leaned forward and grabbed the piece of paper that was peeking out of his pocket. “You can wait outside, I’m getting my supplies.”
She held her head high as she walked forward into the stacks to locate books. All was well, until she went up to pay. The author had moved downstairs once more and was posing beside a pile of books. “There’s plenty for everyone,” he called out, but then paused. “Lily Potter, what a pleasant surprise.”
“Just buying my school books.” She gave him a wide smile and tilted her purchase so everyone could see the spines of her Herbology and Potions books.
“Take a copy of mine, freshly signed.”
The smile felt like it would falter but Lily just nodded. “Thank you.” Her hand closed around the spine, clutching it tightly.
“My next book will be about the Golden Trio, after the battle, if you’re interested in an interview. Rather hard to get Harry to cooperate these days.”
“Lily, we need to head back.” Frankie stood next to her, chin tilted in the direction of the door.
“Yes, we do.” Scorpius appeared beside Lily, an arm curling around her back. “I am terribly sorry to interrupt, but we have plans for today.” The smile Scorpius’ flashes towards them is stiff and polite. He, though, has mastered this look, unlike his mother it manages to look genuine. Lily smiles up at him, turning into his body and he grabs the books from her. By now she wishes had listened to Scorpius, she likes being affectionate, holding his hand, kissing him, embracing him...While he never pushes her away, he makes it quite clear that he prefers if it is in private rather than public. Now, this moment that for Scorpius is something very intimate will be splashed across the pages of some trashy tabloid.
“I’m sorry,” she mutters once they get outside. Scorpius, surprisingly enough, does not pull away his arm.
“Don’t be,” he replies, hand going up to brush against her cheek. It is then he leans in for a small kiss. There is an odd sound from behind them, but it’s just Frankie with a disgusted look on her face. Not a word more is said as they head back to the inn.
The door to Lily’s bedroom is open as her and Scorpius sat next to each other on the narrow twin bed. It was pressed up against the wall long ways, so they sat with their backs are supported, knees knocking together. Both of her parents were at work, Al was out with Julian, and James is at practice. They were reading, or rather Scorpius was, Lily couldn't even pretend to concentrate on the book. Silently, she pushed it aside and leaned over until her face filled Scorpius vision.
She glanced down at the page he’s on, and then spotted his bookmark beside him and plucked it off the covers, tucking it inside. “We’re alone.” She kissed him on his cheek. He smiled and then returns the action. Before he knew what’s happened, he has a lap full of Lily. Her hands are on him, one in his hair, and the other going a bit lower.
“Lily,” he says, turning his head away. “Stop.”
“Why?” Her hand is rested on his chest, fingers slowly migrating to the buttons of his shirt. Lily was silently cursing the fact that all Scorpius seems to wear is button downs and not plain old t-shirts.
“Relax, listen to my Score, I’m sorry, I just thought that…”
“No, I just… The last thing I want is someone walking in on us.”
Lily rolled her eyes and settles down next to him. “Dad has already been traumatized enough, he’ll call out before he even comes upstairs anymore.”
“I’d rather not be on the receiving end of a curse.”
Lily rolled her eyes again. “Mum wouldn’t do that and dad wouldn’t want to be like Uncle Ron. Al doesn’t go past here to get to his room and James is at practice until six.” She tucks a lock of hair behind her ear and out of her face. “Tell me what’s actually wrong.”
“I just…” He sighed and looks around her room. The words refused to come to him, how can he explain that awkward half-dressed fondling and sloppy kisses on her twin bed doesn’t exactly sound like fun to him?“Not yet.”
“Fine, but tell me, don’t make excuses.”
“Is this going to turn into a fight?” he asked when he saw her settling on the edge of the bed. Their conversation, though, is interrupted by the slamming of a door downstairs.
“I better go check,” Lily responded.
“Wait.” Scorpius was on his feet faster than Lily could get to the door. He stood in the doorway in time to see Albus stomping down the hallway, fists clutching what appeared to be a magazine.
“Al, what’s wrong?” Lily ducked underneath Scorpius’ arm and goes to her brother, grabbing at him.
“Why can’t they leave us alone?” He shoved the magazine into his sister’s arms and Lily looked down at it. Secrets of the Next-Generation, was the title. The cover picture was a photo of him and Julian. Albus’ head was thrown back in laughter as he stood close to Julian, arm resting on his shoulder. Then Julian leaned in and Albus closed the distance, kissing him straight on the lips, his fingers getting tangled in his hair. Underneath it was the caption, Albus Potter and his presumed boyfriend.
“Al…” Lily starts, but then a smaller caption catches her eye. Potter’s Little Princess With Malfoy Heir. “What?”
“Julian found it before I did. Apparently, this guy wants to write a book about dad, but we’re more interesting.” Albus angers faded into hurt, before he fled the scene.
“Come back,” Lily called out and stepped forward again, only to find herself pulled back by Scorpius.
“Let me talk to him,” he told her.
“Alright,” she conceded, watching him walk away. After he left, she sits down on the bed and flipped through the magazine. It’s the usual rundown, fashion trends, current events, various photos of political figures or pop culture icons, and a rundown of what’s happening in the muggle world. Lily, though, locates the cover story quickly. The title is, Keeping up with the Potters. Apparently, it’s supposed to be a play on words of a muggle television show. It made Lily roll her eyes, but then she saw the photo of the author and her blood begins to boil. It’s the man from the bookstore. The entire article about the Potter’s revolves around Albus and her and the secrets that they have. There is the picture from winter repeated and then a new one, one from the bookstore that shows Scorpius pulling Lily close, both of them have forced smiles on their face and the stupid paragraph mumbles on about Scorpius being a gentleman. The following sentences are about whether or not her parents would disapprove of ‘outdated standards’. What makes her angry, though, is that this is all a publicity stunt to sell more of his current book and to get the information out about his book that is going to be released soon. They objectified Al’s precarious relationship and sensationalized Lily and Scorpius’.
As Lily read, Scorpius sat down on the desk chair while Al laid out on his bed a hand wiping down his face. “Did you know that Julian didn’t tell his parents about me because it was me, not because he was scared of his parents finding out he was gay?” Al questioned. “There’s a social stigma to dating a Potter, you have to be willing for shit like this to happen.”
“I take it that Julian decided it best to end your relationship?”
“Merlin, Score, can you try not to sound so stiff?” he complained. “Yes, Jules decided to break it off. Told me that he was willing to date me, but he wasn’t willing to be used as a tool for a tabloid to sell more magazines.”
“When Lily and I appeared on the cover of the magazine--”
“It was Lorcan and Lucy,” Al corrected. “Everyone knew it.”
Scorpius narrowed his eyes at being interrupted. “My mother still wrote me and told me that I should not risk my reputation on a girl that is too brash to think things through. She continuously tells me that Lily is the wrong choice, that I am tasked with rebuilding the family name. It is all too easy to date a Potter, that the public will view it as a ploy.”
Al rolled over. “Has she met Lily? Merlin, it’s not like she’s a walk in the park to be with. If you wanted to use someone for their name, you could choose Molly or even Dom.”
“I know that, but my picture is going to on a magazine or newspaper at sometime or another anyway…”
“But Julian doesn’t have the name recognition, he’s not used to being shoved into the spotlight like this.” Al sat up straighter on the bed and looks at friend. “I understand, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t make me feel like a piece of shit.’
Scorpius didn’t respond, with the amount of curse words he used he didn’t quite know what to say in response. “People like that man who wrote the article can’t be stopped. The media is always going to be there, always will be until they decide that the Potter-Weasley family isn’t worth attention anymore. Until then, you have to realize that they might be there when you’re getting coffee with someone, or go to a party, or even buying books for school in Diagon Alley. No matter how hard we try to fight it, they try to define us with out-of-context pictures.”
“I know.” Al rolled his eyes. “Lily was nicknamed the ‘Potter Princess’ when she was born, James will always be troublemaker with devilish charm, and I’m...I don’t know. I’m Harry Potter’s son,”
“So? I’m Draco Malfoy’s son.”
“Yeah.” He snorted. “We’re the spitting images of our fathers,” he said and then looked at the clock. “You better get back to Lily before she barges in here and please shut the damn door. Dad won’t be home for a few hours and if mum pops up she’ll roll her eyes and tell you to watch it. She always did--”
“I’ve seen enough of you and Julian, I don’t want to hear about it too.”
At that Albus chucked a pillow at Scorpius. “Watch it before I hex you for snogging my sister, better yet I’ll sick James on you.”
“Shut up.” Scorpius threw the pillow back at him and retreats from the room even though he thinks that staying with Al might be a better idea. The fleeting thought is lost when he opened the door and finds Lily on her bed shredding the magazine. He held back a laugh and sat beside her, the next thing he knows she’s in his lap again, her hands staying away from his buttons and the kiss she places on his lips is one that is soft, barely any pressure. By the time Ginny came home, she tsks at the door that is barely ajar. When she opened it the first thing she saw was the mess on her daughter’s floor, then Lily curled against Scorpius as they both attempt to read. “I take it you’re here for dinner?”
“Yes,” he answered, only looking up for the briefest amount of time.
Ginny gave him a smile before backing out of the room and shutting the door. Lily tossed the book aside and curls up against his side so there is no space between them.
Summer came to an end all too quickly. For Lily it was a surreal experience, because for the first time James wasn’t squeezing into the car with them. Instead he popped up minutes before their departure to the train station. He recently leased an apartment with a few other guys that were on the Quidditch team with him. “I’ll miss you Albie,” James said as he ruffled his brother’s hair and gave him a side hug with a quick clap on the his shoulder. “Lils, come on.”
“You know I hate being called Lils.” She did give him a hug, though. “Quidditch has been good to you, you don’t act like a bloody prat anymore.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment and if Malfoy does something to you, he’ll have to answer to me after you’re done with him.” He held her at arm's length. “Try to stay out of trouble, you are Potter’s Little Princess after all.”
Lily snorted at that remark, but it was a nickname the newspapers dug up and one that she despised. Scorpius simply got dubbed the ‘Malfoy heir’. “Try to stay sober,” she teased. Luckily, they got ripped from the headlines as soon as James was spotted in a pub, celebrating the first game and first win of the season with the rest of his team.
“You know us alcoholics,” he said this softly so their parents wouldn’t hear and gave her a wink. The two pulled away and James helped load the trunks in the car before waving goodbye to all of them.
Once they crossed the barrier, Lily was on her tip toes searching for Scorpius already. This year was much different as she had seen him a few days ago. Still, as soon as his familiar face came into sight she launched herself at him like she hadn’t seen him all summer.”
“You’re going to wrinkle my blazer,” Scorpius said in his wry tone of voice as he returned the hug, pulling Lily extra close. “Why aren’t you properly dressed?”
“I’ll change on the train Mr. Prefect,” she teased. When she pulled away, she helped adjust his jacket and tie. Every centimeter of him was perfectly arranged from the black blazer with forest green piping, crisp white shirt, tailored slacks, windsor knotted silver and green tie with his shiny loafers.
“Good morning, Lily,” Astoria greeted as she examined in her son’s girlfriend. Lily hadn’t paid any attention to what she grabbed, but she’s sure old jeans with a stolen t-shirt and dirty trainers aren’t exactly up to snuff. Standing next to Scorpius she realizes that she probably looked ridiculous. “Where is the rest of the brood?”
“Around here somewhere,” Ginny responded, arms across her chest, not even bothering to fake a smile.
“Next year, Lily will be the only one. What with Albus graduating.” Her eyes, though, don’t go towards Albus, but instead rest on Scorpius. Lily bites back a response, because she knows exactly Astoria is thinking. Next year Scorpius will be off somewhere away from her.
“Let’s find Hugo and Louis.”
Both Al and Scorpius give her a strange look. Out of all of the cousins, she barely spends anytime with those two. Louis is simply because she spent more time trying to keep up with Dom and Roxie, whom she used to idolize when she was small child. Hugo is because...he’s Hugo. Out of all of the family he’s probably the most caring, but he does it in a sort of clumsy way.
“You should look for them on the train as it is about time to board now.” Scorpius gestured to where most of the parents are saying goodbye to their kids. This year there appear to be quite a few tearful first years.
Lily turned and embraced her father. He pressed a quick kiss to her temple. “Write me lots, and try to stay out of trouble.”
“Be safe,” she whispered to him, pulling away from enough to meet his eyes. Even hidden behind his glasses she could see the mixture of emotions present there and the wavering smile.
“I promise to do my best.” He released her and then moved on to Albus.
“I better not hear that you’re getting detentions or grounded. Even if your Head of House doesn’t owl me, Uncle Neville will.”
She gave her mother an eyeroll. “Yes, of course.”
“I will keep on eye on her, Mrs. Potter.”
“That’s one thing we’re not worried about,” Harry said, coming over after saying his goodbye to Albus. “Now go before the train takes off without you.”
With that, Scorpius put an arm around her shoulder and pulled her towards the train. The pair easily navigated the train and located an empty compartment. As soon as they left her alone, Lily fished out her robe and decent shoes. All she really had to do was roll up her jeans and make sure that her shirt was zipped up all the way. The professors would not pay enough attention to notice that she didn’t have a collar or a tie on.
“Do you have extra room in here?” It was Jordi Zabini and Nott. “Where’s lover boy?”
“Score and Al are in the prefect meeting,” she said, looking up from her book. “What is with everyone and the uniforms?” Her eyes skimmed over their unbuttoned blazers, untucked dress shirts, and loosened ties.
“Why aren’t you dressed is the better question?” Jordi flopped down beside her and Nott took a seat across from her.
“You’re playing with fire,” Nott added. “Wolfe has it out for you.”
“No one pays any attention tonight, besides if I’m with Score then he won’t pay any mind.”
“He’ll pay even more mind.”
Lily looked up at the boy across from her and frowned. “What do you mean by that?”
“The two of you are practically attached at the hip, I never see one without the other,” Jordi told her, “but hasn’t it always been like that?”
Lily shrugged and looked back down at her book. It was hard to concentrate on, even without distractions and Jordi certainly counted as one. The boy could never sit still. If you were unfortunate enough to sit next to him during a class or exam it would be nearly impossible to focus on the task at hand. He was always drumming his fingers or tapping his feet or twirling his quill or dropping or singing under his breath… How the ever solemn Nott dealt with his best friend, no one would ever know.
When she was about ready to give up, the door swung open to reveal both Scorpius and Albus returning back. “Good morning,” he greeted after a two beat pause, then went to sit beside Lily, silently asking what they were doing here. She fixed him with a look and then rolled her eyes as her brother sat down across from her.
“Hey, where’s that guy you’re always?” Jordi directs this question at Al who settles down on the bench as far as he can manage from Nott.
“Zabini…” Scorpius tone is cautionary and he sits up stiffer, no matter how difficult he is with Lily draped across the left side of his body.
“It’s an honest question, you used to be with him, wasn’t he a Ravenclaw?”
“We broke up.” The edge to Albus’ voice is harsh, but Lily can sense the hurt. Albus has always been the soft spoken one, the one that helps you pick up the pieces after you break something. He was her first protector. Unlike James, he never pulled her hair or bumped her too harshly when she was playing Quidditch. Instead he stood up for her and stayed up with her to wait for their dad even though mum had gone to bed long ago. Seeing his heart broken terrified Lily. How could someone do that to Al? She thought of what would happen for her to do that to Scorpius? Granted, he was much different than Albus, more aggressive and guarded, but she knew that he wasn’t the one that was capable of heartbreak.
At Hogwarts, Lily wished that she could say it was good to be back, but within the first week of classes she had a pile of assignments in conjunction multiple chapter to read from each class. OWLs were upon them, at least that’s what the professors thought. She wished that there was more time to be outside, Quidditch tryouts were soon and she wanted to get some flying time in with Scorpius before then. That, though, wasn’t going to happen.
Friday night she found herself in Scorpius’ dorm room. The library had been taken over by second years assigned some group project, the common room was bustling with energy as per usual for a weekend night, and her room was taken over by most of the upper level girls. The best option, given the circumstances, seemed to be the boys dormitory.
Scorpius was bent over his desk when she came in and he was the only one present. “Mind if I join you?”
“Playing with fire,” he said, but gestured to his bed. Lily plopped on top of the covers after kicking her shoes off and made herself at home with her countless scrolls of parchment and pile of textbooks. “How can you stand that?”
“It’s comfortable.” To prove the point she snuggled against the pillows and got situated in a half lying, half sitting position. “Do you want me to show you how?”
“I am perfectly capable of lying on my own bed. Besides, this has to get done.”
“By Monday.” Her voice was a sing-song tone. She rested her head on one hand and tilted her head. “Didn’t you say that you didn’t like what we were doing in my bedroom because it was awkward in a twin bed. This bed seems plenty big enough for two.”
“You staying in my room is contingent on the fact that you want to study and nowhere else in this castle is suitable. If all you want to do babble all night, then please kindly escort yourself out of my room and somewhere else.”
Lily didn’t respond, but her mouth affixed itself into a sort of pout as she opened her Charms textbook and took out a quill to begin writing. For awhile she immersed herself in her studies, attempting to push away the fact that she was on Scorpius’ bed in his room, alone. Finally, she couldn’t take it anymore. “Is something the matter?”
“No.” The response is immediate and followed by his quill hitting the desk. “Do you want to get out of here?”
“What?” She pushes away the books and scrambles across his bed until she’s at the edge. “Both the common room and the library are packed.”
“I’ve been studying for a good three hours, and we have a bit before I have to be back for patrols.” He looked down at this wrist. “Would you like to go on a walk?”
“Score, it’s freezing outside and it’ll take me a good fifteen minutes to find warm clothes in my room.” She had abandoned her uniform for casual clothes: ripped jeans and a wizarding band shirt that she’d stolen from Teddy.
“I have extra clothes,” he said and got to his feet, pulling out a jumper and scarf for him and his cloak for Lily.
“I’ll take the jumper, you’re much taller than I am.” She pulled the it over her head and then wrapped the scarf around her neck as she waited for Scorpius to put on his own robe. “Where are we going?”
He shrugged as he put his wand in his pocket before linking his hand with Lily’s. The pair was hardly even noticed as they slipped down the staircase and out of their house into the castle. The hallways, especially in the dungeon, were deserted this time of night.
“Do you want to go to the lake or the pitch?” he asked. “Or do you have any other ideas?”
“Lake,” she answered. and began to lead the way, knowing how to get there the fastest. Soon enough they were exiting the cold stone walls of the castle, crossing the threshold of the solid oak door into the cool night air. Up above the stars and the moon shone brightly so far away from the muggles. Light pollution was almost non existent, due to this and the fact it was fairly clear the sky was an interesting shade of dark blue, reflecting against the still waters of the lake. Dew had begun to accumulate on the grass and dampened the legs of their pants.
“It’s so peaceful here,” she said as she slipped her arms around her waist. He paused for a moment before relaxing under her hold, arm circling her body, the other resting on the arm in front of him. “Does this help?”
“Yes, I just…” He looked around. “Let’s sit.” In the distance he gestured to a bench. Once they walked over and sat down, Lily was practically on top of him. “I have to admit, I was stressed out, but I realized I should take some time and relax… I also realized that my roommates would be returning soon enough.”
“Hmmm....It seems to think that I’ve been rubbing off on you, not the other way around.”
“You certainly do a lot of rubbing,” he teased and pulled her closer until her face was directly in front of his. Lily took it as a cue to kiss him and moved her arms up to his neck to wrap around him. This was better than in her room, mostly because he knew for a fact they wouldn’t be interrupted. Granted, they had to make their way back to the castle in less than an hour, but they had now, and that was what was important.
A cloud of steam rose from the tea cup situated in front of her. “Thank you,” Lily murmured, barely glancing up from her textbook as she wrote almost absent mindedly. Her focus was shifted when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
“Lily please drink your tea. You and your partner need to practice reading the leaves,” Professor Patil said.
Lily held back an eye roll. Of all the different forms of divination, tea leaf reading has to be her least favorite. While all forms are open to interruption, this one is greatly inaccurate depending on how a person sees the picture of the leaves forming. Still, she put away the book and the parchment to get out her Divinations journal. “Let’s get to it.” She said and lifted the cup to her mouth. Across from her, her partner, Esther, had already started.
Honestly, Lily was surprised by her roommate taking Divinations. She was like her aunt, loved logic and delighted going to arithmancy each and every day. Professor Patil gave her special permission to enter in the Divinations class later in the term and since then had been Lily’s partner. Most everyone else in the class was a little put off by her seriousness with the subject as most of them were here for a fun class.
“Once your tea is done, hold it in your nondominant hand and swirl three times clockwise. Then, upend it onto your saucer, wait a bit before you lift it up. Then look at it for a bit and jot down all the possible symbols in the journal and your reaction to to them. When that is done, discuss it with your partner.” Professor Patil walked up to her desk where her tea cup rested, once there she turned around to face the class. “Use your books whenever necessary.”
Lily did as instructed and looked at the saucer. There were several symbols scattered around: there was a fence in front of a heart, wavy lines connecting the two symbols with another: a dagger resting nearby and a closed hand along with a broken necklace.
“Not a desirable future?” Esther questioned.
“Confusing,” she replied as she began taking notes. Fence meant barriers, heart was obviously love, wavy lines meant an uncertain path, a dagger was danger...The hand signified an argument and the necklace...admirers.
“Give it here, mine isn’t very interesting.” Esther illustrated this point by pushing her own saucer aside as Lily moved hers forward. “Quite troublesome… Professor Patil, could you look at this?”
The professor crossed the room and looked down. “Is this your’s Lily?” she questioned as she shrunk to the table level to get a better look. “There seems to be a quite a bit of obstacles in your path. Of course you need to decide what these symbols mean, but what I see is an uncertain path to a love that has many barriers. I also an argument in the future that may lead to a lost lover...that’s what the broken necklace means. The dagger, though, and it’s position are what’s peculiar…” She looked at Lily. “You know what a dagger means?”
“But it’s not only caused by others, but can be from yourself.”
“What are you saying?”
“It seems that leaves are saying that your uncertain path can lead to an end of a relationship, and you yourself may be responsible for some heartache. Do you see the droplets and the flower?” She pointed to the leaf fragments that were by themselves and broken off. Before more could be said she heard a clattering of tea cups and rushed to tend to the mess, wand already out.
“Rubbish,” Esther said. “Tea leaf reading. I don’t see any of that. That fence looks like squiggly lines to me and that heart could be an ace for all we know.”
Lily listened to the words and silently hoped that the tea leaves were read all wrong. She focused her attention on Esther’s pushed aside saucer, analyzing it in great depth until Professor rang the small gong signaling it time to start tidying up the room before heading to the next lesson.
The tea leaves were out of her mind by the weekend as Quidditch tryouts were among them. Lily wasn’t nervous, the team had shrunk with Ophelia gone and would be vulnerable without Regina’s masterful plays. Still, the condition they would be in would be better than next year with Scorpius gone.
Scorpius had his arm around her as the pair walked to the pitch. He had gotten better with public displays of affection and she most definitely appreciated. The wind was wicked today and it was useful to tuck herself against his body to shield herself from the wind. Once in the air, she knew she’d be chilled to the bone if she didn’t start moving around soon. The pair pulled apart when they came to the shed in order to get their brooms out. Students were already lined up on the pitch, more than she anticipated. One, was particularly familiar, Helena Corner. The girl with stick straight black hair and piercing grey eyes.
“Are you alright?” Scorpius asked when he came up beside her.
“Fine. I think Flint is sorting us into groups by position.” Lily headed to where Jordi stood, along with Helena. The girl was small and slight, good build for a chaser “Hullo,” she greeted warmly. Jordi stepped forward, and got close to her to stand between her and the girl. “Prospects are grim,” he said softly. “She’s all we got for Chaser and you know Ophelia is going to be hard to replace. The beaters…” He looked over to a small group of boys, there were a few older ones that looked promising as they fairly tall with broad. “At least we have Score and Flint, right?”
“Yes. We should warm up. Do you want to walk Corner through the drills?”
“Yeah, start taking a lap.”
By the time Damon had gathered everyone to give them instructions about the tryouts Lily was in the air. She saw his figure with his arms up and then heard the sharp sound of a whistle. Once landed she stood between Scorpius and Flint, breathing fairly heavily with wind tossed hair and pinkened cheeks.
“Now, that everyone is here…” He looked down at a roster and then looked up. “It’s not a secret that Slytherin has been in the rebuilding stages for years, with last year’s seventh years we have some open spots that strong players used to fill. I expect dedication and hard work from everybody on this team. We will treat each other with respect and help one another get to the level that we used to be that. That being said, this year I will not be Captain alone. Professor Wolfe has agreed to let me take on a co-captain.” He looked around the team before his eyes went to the left of Lily. “Scorpius Malfoy has been on the team since his second year and has a season’s worth of experience on me.”
Lily watched as he moved to the center with Damon. His face was unreadable, as always, but surely he would have told her the news?
“Last night I was informed of this development and kept to the utmost secrecy.” He managed a slight smile and forced laugh. “Still, my role will mainly be one of the behind the scenes. Last year and years prior we had a sort of eighth player if you will. One that never stepped foot on the pitch, but could be seen front row in the stands and at every practice. Sadly, Regina Greengrass is graduated and I will be tasked with creating equally brilliant plays. That being said, even if you don’t make the team, that does not mean there will not be a spot for you here.”
“But let’s get started, break into groups. I’ll be starting with Chasers, Scorpius will be with the Beaters.”
As Lily watched Damon come over and Scorpius walk away she knew that she would be in a for a long season of Quidditch.
Fall settled in, but winter was impatiently waiting. Low temperatures coupled with sharp winds was a recipe for a cold Hogsmeade trip. Lily was bundled up as she waited in the courtyard for Scorpius to appear, but for some reason he was not here yet. She sighed, a cloud of breath appearing.
“Where’s lover boy?” Hugo questioned as he strolled up beside her.
“Good morning, Hugo,” she answered. “Scorpius has not made it out yet. Where is Louis, missing?”
“Rose is holding him up, giving him her best head girl lecture,” he replied. “She’s gotten harder to live with, her and that bloody badge.”
It took all of Lily’s will not to laugh at Hugo. People may have called Albus and Scorpius the spitting image of their father, but Hugo certainly acted just like her Uncle Ron. “I suppose we’ll have to take it in stride. You know James was terrible the first few weeks after he got onto the Quidditch team and now he’s not a bloody prat...Still a bit insufferable and arrogant, but if he lost those qualities…”
“You better not be talking about me.” A hand rested between her shoulder blades and it was a welcomed warmth. “Hello, Hugo.”
“Malfoy,” he muttered, eyes narrowing slightly.
Lily sighed. Even after Albus and her being friends with Scorpius for years and dating him for more than six months, Hugo still didn’t trust him. “I was discussing James.”
“Ah, that makes sense.” He slipped an arm around Lily. Looking down at her he gave her one his real smiles.
“I’m going to find Louis, see if Rose is done lecturing him,” he muttered kicking at the ground.
“What have I done to insult him this time?”
“It’s Hugo and you have the last name Malfoy.” She looked around. “We better catch a carriage before we have to share one with Hufflepuff third years.”
He said nothing as he guided her towards a carriage and got in along with two other students that Lily didn’t know the name of. They were two girls, Ravenclaws it appeared, and must have been third or fourth years as they appeared fairly young. “Do you need anything?”
“Another journal and pencils.”
“Pencils?” he questioned, the tone of his voice catching the attention of two girls. “You use ink for everything.”
“I want to try my hand at drawing.” It was something that Lily had turned over in her mind several times. The most recent divination book said that drawing activated a different part of your mind than writing, and it might help with the recollection of visions. She hadn’t had one since she was at Malfoy manor for Scorpius’ disastrous garden party. That one was hard enough and it hadn’t came true yet, at the time Teddy wasn’t even working, now he was still at home with baby Stella. Lily had an inkling that he enjoyed spending time with his child much more than he did at work.
“Drawing?” he questioned, raising an eyebrow, but then he let it fall and gave a laugh. Lily always seemed more at home on the Quidditch pitch or up to her elbows in soil helping Professor Longbottom in the greenhouse (which made him suspect that was why she never objected too much when Wolfe gave her detention) could always manage to surprise him. “Who’s portrait are you going to draw?”
“No one’s,” she answered quickly, the look she gave him suggested that he should not push the subject much further.
“We’re here.” He was the first out the carriage door and helped the two girls out. When Lily came last he was treated with an eyeroll.
“Must you always be so polite?” She hadn’t stepped down yet and Scorpius grabbed her by the waist, swinging her around. She shrieked as her arms went to his neck to hold on. “Score!” she exclaimed.
“I was just being nice, thought you’d like to have a little fun.”
“I have been a terrible influence on you,” she said with groan as her feet hit the ground and she stumbled away from him. “I have half a mind to go find Zabini and Nott to spend the day with them.”
“By all means,” he gestured towards where a group of students was making there way to various shops.
“You know maybe when I was talking to Hugo earlier I was referencing you.”
“Your terms of endearment are rather colorful. Now can we go and get out of this cold?” He held a hand out to her and laced her fingers with his. Scorpius looked at her before grabbing both of them and blew on them after giving them a kiss. “Told you that you would get cold.”
“I’m fine.” She tugged her hands free and then wrapped her arm his waist and nudged him with her hip. “Let’s get going.”
Being with Lily was challenging to say the least. She had no trepidations about the public nature of their relationship, especially after having it placed in two magazines in less than a year’s time. Still, he hoped she would refrain from trying something when her brother, his best friend, sat halfway across the room with the remaining members of her family still in school. He should have known better than to let her pick a table, especially in the back.
“Score…” She said as she moved her chair closer to his, leaning on him before tilting the bottle of butterbeer back. “Do you want me to get another round?”
“I think you’ve had enough.”
“It’s butterbeer, not fire whiskey.” She rolled her eyes as she kissed him on the cheek before getting out of her seat. When she got to the counter there was a bit of a line so she leaned against it and grabbed a fistfull of the pretzels that were sitting out.
“How did you ever manage it?” a voice asked. It was Simone, coming out of seemingly nowhere and dressed like she was on a date with bright red lips and curled hair. “Flint was no challenge for you last year, but Malfoy? That bloke might as well be attending Beauxbaton.”
Lily never understood how Beauxbaton girls got such a reputation for being prudish. Her aunt Fleur went there, so did Vicky’s Aunt Gabby. They may be described as a little...high strung, but they most definitely didn’t lack in the romance department.
“Rosier, there you are. Hey, Potter.” She barely recognized the boy that wrapped his arm around Simone’s shoulder, but then she recalled that he was a Hufflepuff. She had met him briefly in her Arithmancy class. “Clarence Mcmillan.”
“Of course, you’re in my arithmancy class.” Lily then took the opportunity to get the bartender's attention, she pushed the sickles across the counter and then accepted two more butterbeers. “I’ll see you around, if you make out of the date with Simone alive.”
“Rosier is harmless,” he said, patting her shoulder.
“Let’s get out of here,” Simone said. “See you around, Lils,” her tone was teasing and Lily held back a grimace as she walked back over to the table.
“Did the bartender try to cut you off?” he questioned as he took the bottle from her.
“No, I met Simone’s newest toy. Clarence Mcmillan who thinks ‘Rosier’ is a nice girl.” Lily rolled her eyes.
“That’s the reaction people get when I talk about you,” Scorpius said as he took a drink. “Just because someone’s not ‘nice’, doesn’t mean they’re not worth dating.”
Lily gave him a smile as she sat down in the chair next to him. “And just because someone’s annoyingly polite, doesn’t mean that they’re a prude.” She took a swig of her butterbeer, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. “Simone told me you might as well attend Beauxbatons.” She gave a snort at that. “My cousins’ were raised by an alum...Dom is far from being a strait-laced old maid.”
“Is that what you were talking about?”
“Yeah, she wanted to know how I ‘managed’ it.”
“You know…” She gestured in the air. “I keep on telling her we don’t go further than snogging, but you know how gossip is…” Lily looked at him. “Don’t look so shocked, how many times have you talked with your roommates about us?”
“Don’t be vulgar.” His eyes flickered as if they were about to roll. “I happen to appreciate your company and don’t go telling every gritty detail to all of my friends. Not like I’d need to.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“That you are a very...physical person, not that that’s a bad thing, but I times I don’t necessarily appreciate dating an exhibitionist.”
Lily huffed and took a drink of her butterbeer. After the second her head always started to get a little fuzzy, she wished that Scorpius was the same way, but he had at least fifty pounds on her, most likely more, so the minimal amount of alcohol didn’t affect him much. “I just remembered I need to get more wool socks to wear for Quidditch. I’ll meet you back at the castle.”
Scorpius sighed and watched her leave as he leaned back in his chair. He’d give her time, and then have a rational discussion with her about it. The library would be a safe location.
“Can I sit or are you done with Potters?” Albus sat down across from him, a mug in hand. “As much as I like my family I live down the hall from Hugo and Louis. Rose is...Rose and Molly is off with Lorcan, so all I have to talk to is Grace and Lucy.” He sighed and took a drink. “Have you tried the coffee here? They just started carrying it.”
“Maybe Lily should try it.”
Albus snorted. “Two butterbeers just adds to her charm.”
“Don’t I know it?” he muttered. “Want to hear the dirty details of our relationship, apparently I’m supposed to broadcast them everywhere.”
Albus almost spat out his coffee, but then set the mug down before laughing. “Sounds like Lily. Listen, Lily will always be my kid sister, but I’m glad you’re the one that’s with her.” He forced a chuckle and rubbed the back of his neck. “Not just because you like to keep quiet, but you have the patience of a saint.”
“No, I just know how to adequately express my frustration, however it seems to aggravate Lily anyway.” He lined up the bottles at the edge of the table. “Did you know she thinks I’m too polite? Honestly, it’s no wonder my mother despises her, it’s a wonder my father can tolerate her.”
“If it makes you feel better, you’ll always be welcome at our house.”
“Even if Lily and you don’t work out, you’ll still be my best mate. However, I can’t guarantee you that you’ll always be free from the Weasley family. Once we get our hooks in, your stuck with us. The Scamander twins, for example, Lucy has latched onto Lorcan. Teddy and Victoire are together, I’m sure Grace or Frankie will end up with a Weasley.”
“As will I?” Scorpius questioned, a smirk on his lips. “How can you be so sure?”
“Because you haven’t left Lily yet and it’s been nearly five years.” Albus finished off his coffee. “I’m off to the joke shop. Uncle George usually tries to coordinate his Hogsmeade day with our trips, do you want to come?”
“Why not?” With that he got to his feet and followed Albus out of the pub as they went down the streets of Hogsmeade. Lily was nowhere to be found, most likely stopping off at the the bookstore on the way to Quality Quidditch Supplies. Even so, being Albus' friend was ticket enough to being treated like family from George Weasley who was eager to give him a tour of the back room and a sneak peek at his newest developments. The man was nice enough, but he had a smile that crossed his face, but never reached his eyes. Sometimes he’d say something and it be as if he was waiting for an answer, or someone to finish his statement, but the extra words never came and he’d sigh, then chuckle a bit and move on as if it never happened. As he stood there, though, he couldn’t help but think that Albus was right. For better or worse he was welcomed into this family and he wasn’t leaving anytime soon.