It was late, the moon shone brightly on the sky. There was a man, tall and dishevled, wearing auror robes and had hair that was a rather peculiar shade of brown. He walked inside the brick building, wand gripped tightly in his hand as he walked to the front desk.
“Teddy, Victoire should be down soon, she’s just cleaning up for the night.”
“Martha, listen to me, send a message to all of the workers, they need to be out soon.”
“Teddy, I don’t understand.”
“I don’t want them to panic, but they do need to evacuate in an orderly fashion within the hour, understood?”
The woman as the desk didn’t get a chance to answer, she was cut off by the door to the laboratory wing swinging open. It was Victoire who raised an eyebrow upon seeing her husband. “Teddy, what are you doing here? Did you just get off work? I thought you had the graveyard shift.”
“I do, Victoire, get home, alright? Ginny took Stella for the night.”
“I don’t have time to explain,but I’ll be home as soon as I can.” He leaned forward and pressed a kiss to her cheek. When he pulled away Victoire eyed him curiously. “I need to make sure everyone is out of the building and seal the exits off.”
“Then I’ll help you.”
“It’s the protesters again, isn’t it? If that’s the case they’ve been threatening to harm us for ages, let’s go home Teddy.” She grabbed his hand and was going to pull the door when there was a clatter behind the door. “I’m sure it was--”
The door opened with a burst of light--
“Lily…” A hand rested in between her shoulder blades. “Are you alright?” It was Scorpius, he knelt beside her chair in the library as he watched her face contort itself into a pained expression. She didn’t look like she was sleeping, the ink on her parchment still wasn’t dry and her books were spread about, Potions, she’d just got out of class twenty minutes ago.
“No…” she said when she came to, shaking her head. Her eyes were narrowed when she turned to look at Scorpius. “What are you doing here?”
“I just got out of class, were you sleeping?”
“No...Can you…” She gestured with her hand and Scorpius walked sat down on the chair next to her. “What do you know about protests that have been going on recently?”
“Haven’t you read the Prophet lately? A big group of anti-werewolf people are picketing outside the laboratory where your cousin works.”
“She’s developing a potion as an alternative to wolfsbane, one that’s supposed to work better.” The words that came out of her mouth sounded monotone.
“They would rather seen them killed.” Scorpius tone was full of disdain, a grimace crossing his face. “Your aunt is a brave woman.”
“I think she’s going to die.”
“Lily, what on earth are you talking about?”
“Remember that vision at the garden party, of Teddy?”
“I had one related to it again. He went to Victoire’s office and he was trying to get everyone to leave, but Vicky refused and there was all this noise and then the door opened and there was this light…”
“I...I don’t know. You pulled me out of it.” Her tone wasn’t accusatory, but one almost of relief. “Professor Patil told me it was possible, but extremely difficult to do. Dreams aren’t so hard, but when you’re awake…”
“Do you need help with your Potions?” he asked once her voice drifted on. His eyes scanned over her essay quickly. “Perhaps not, you’re doing really well, now.”
“I hate to admit it, but Wolfe seems to be a better teacher than Slughorn. He’s easier for me to understand even if he is a pain in the arse.”
Scorpius held his tongue, not wanting to comment. He hated to break it to Lily that the reason she probably didn’t like Professor Wolfe straight off the bat was the fact that her parents weren’t friends with the professors, like most of the others. Even the Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher, was fairly good acquaintances with Harry, as Lily’s dad came in at least once a year to talk to the classes.
“I know it’s getting cold earlier, but do you want to go flying tonight? Hufflepuff’s have practice, but they won’t mind if we get our brooms out of the shed and go around Black Lake.”
“I can’t. I told Uncle Neville I’d help him with the greenhouse. The first years were supposed to do some work, but he doesn’t want them anywhere near the plants.” She looked up at him. “Do you want to help? He probably wouldn’t mind if it was you. I think he rather likes you.”
“No thank you, Lily,” he said.
“Don’t want to get dirty?” she teased.
Scorpius just smiled and stared down at the table. Lily grabbed his arm and then got close to him before planting a kiss on his lips. “I know I don’t say it nearly often enough, but thank you, Score.” She hand rested where his neck met his shoulder, touching the creamy white skin. “Just for being here, I know I’m not the easiest person to deal with, especially with…” She didn’t finish, but kissed him again and then pulled away suddenly. “I should finish this…” she murmured, eyes going back to her paper.
Scorpius was aware of the other students in the library, of the Ravenclaws returning from the stacks and catching their kiss, of the younger Gryffindor and Hufflepuffs snickering or wide eyed looks and the Slytherin’s glare of disapproval. Still, he couldn’t help but feel that it would be more helpful to Lily to do something besides Potions. Respecting her request, though, he pulled out his work and halfway through problems for Ancient Runes he noticed that Lily had not written another.
“I’m going to get changed before dinner so I can head straight down to the greenhouse.”
Lily stopped as soon as she heard the familiar voice when she tried to escape the dining hall. As she froze there, she prepared herself to hear one of Professor Wolfe’s infamous lectures. She tried to think of what she did this time. Her homework assignment turned in today probably didn’t have the proper header or she left the table a “mess” or he had seen Scorpius’ embrace at the start of dinner.
“How many times have we discussed my dress policy?”
“I honestly can’t remember, sir,” she responded.
“Cheek isn’t appreciated. I know I’ve taken away many house points on account of your attire and given you multiple demerits. Perhaps, detention would remind you to dress suitably?” he questioned. “As much as I dislike you and Mr. Malfoy’s public display of affection I so hoped that you would acquire some of his better habits.”
“Professor, I am on my way to detention now. That’s why I changed, Professor Longbottom wanted me there straight away.”
“I see.” His eyes lingered on her clothes. Lily knew that even her father had attempted to throw out her ripped jeans and beat up trainers before. The flannel shirt she wore over the faded t-shirt wasn’t much better. “You must get better at your lying.”
“What do you mean, professor?”
“I have told you time and time again cheek will only get you in trouble, Miss Potter, so do not play coy with me.” He shook his head and a smile played at his lips. “There is a reason whenever you get in trouble I send you to Professor Longbottom, he’s the only teacher that you’ll listen to.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Professor Patil and Professor Firenze do not count. You spend enough time with them already.” He sighed. “Go to Professor Longbottom, but next time please do not be so eager and attend dinner in proper attire. I am thinking of proposing a rule that everyone has to wear a uniform to dinner to prevent this…”
“Good night, sir!” Lily called, already rushing away from her Head of House. It didn’t take long to get to the Greenhouse. Neville was already there, engrossed in his work. A stack of essays were placed in front of him as he sat at the potting bench.
“Good evening,” Neville greeted before getting to his feet. “I don’t know what you’re avoiding, but I can’t even get Frankie to volunteer out here.”
Lily shrugged as she pulled on a pair of gloves and headed to the far corner of the greenhouse where she immediately started to prepare the flower beds. It was obvious this corner of the flower beds had gotten neglected. She knew that Neville had expanded herbology department the past few years and it was almost too much work for him. Time ticked away and Lily let it pass without notice, just zeroing on her work. When done with that, she moved onto the next task, the whole while Neville switched between grading and transplanting.
“Lily, it’s getting fairly late, you should head back.”
She looked up at him and pushed a lock of hair out of her face, effectively smearing dirt across her face. “What time is it?”
“Half past nine, you’ve been working for a long time.”
Lily bit her lip. “Can I talk to you? As my uncle and not as my professor?”
Despite her dirt she rushed over and gave him a hug. It took him a bit by surprise, but he patted her back. “Sorry, for doing that suddenly, but I just really need my dad right now.”
“Hey, Lily, what’s wrong? The last time I heard, you were doing great. Did something happen with your teachers or Scorpius?”
“No, nothing like that.” She pulled away and felt tears prick at her eyes. “I’m just worried about what’s happening at home.
“The protests outside the laboratory’s,” he said.
“They’re getting worse…”
“Lily, how do you know about the protests?” Neville questioned. “Very little has been released to the papers, most of my information has been Hannah, you know the Leaky Cauldron isn’t far from the laboratory.”
Lily stepped away from her Uncle, wiping her palms on her jeans. “It’s hard to explain, but trust me…”
Neville took in her wide brown eyes and was transported back to his own time back at Hogwarts, to Ginny. The young lady in front of him, resembled his friend so closely it was hard to believe that Harry had any hand in creating her. “I know that you spend quite a bit of time with Professor Patil, I know that she’s asked me for rather peculiar herbs for potions that even Professor Wolfe doesn’t attempt. I also know that Harry asked me to keep a close eye on you after your fainting incident. Lily, you can’t pull the wool over my eyes. Going to school with your father taught me to be observant.”
“So you know that I...see things?” she questioned, looking at him.
“Ginny...your mum, she was especially worried about you. I know that you haven’t heard all that much from your parents about the war or their time at school, but Ginny had a….” Neville’s face contorted and his hands clenched as searched for a word. “A rough first year. She’s glad that you have Scorpius.”
“I am too,” Lily responded immediately. “I had a vision today, it was about Teddy. If Score wasn’t there I would have…” She didn’t want to think about what she would see next. It had been hard enough to pen a letter to her father, but to explain it using words, tormented her as she thought of Vicky and Teddy...of little Stella left without her parents, much like her father was.
Neville didn’t say anything more, but slipped an arm around her. She rested her head on his shoulder, resisting the urge to grab fistfuls of it and bury her head in his chest. He wasn’t her father. The shirt he wore was crisp, a thick work shirt, not like the soft flannels her father liked wearing. Not only that but his height was off as well, he was taller than her dad who was rather short comparatively. “You really need to go to bed.”
Lily nodded when she pulled away from him. She was about to open her mouth when the door to the greenhouse swung open. “Neville, are you quite ready? Head of house meeting starts in ten minutes.” It was Professor Wolfe, he lingered in the doorway. “I wasn’t aware you had office hours this time of night.”
“Miss Potter volunteered to help me.”
“I can see that.” His eyes went to Lily who had a layer of dirt over what appeared to be her entire body.
“I’ll be going.” She looked at Neville, gave him a smile, and mouthed a thank you. Before she was even out the door she heard her head of house talking.
“She’s family, so please refrain from unnecessary comments,” was what she heard from her uncle.
“It’s nearly ten, I want my students in the common room no later than nine thirty. It is a headache to track them down if they are missing.”
After that she left, hurrying back to the room. Hopefully Simone hadn’t stayed out late, because she’d still be in the shower and all Lily wanted was to at least rinse off the dirt covering her body. Thankfully, she was able to make it to the dungeon without catching the notice of a prefect or it would take a whole lot of explaining not to be drug off to Wolfe who would sigh exasperatedly and be forced to corroborate her story.
In the dorm room, it was not surprise that the girls were still up. Esther was lounging on her bed, reading. Daphne was painting her nails, the brush suspended a centimeter above her hand as she thoughtfully contemplated the design. Simone was busy, apparantly looking for something.
“Looks like someone had a little too much fun with Malfoy,” Daphne commented, surveying Lily. “Although, I thought he was a clean freak.”
“He’ll get dirty for Lily,” Simone replied dryly.
“I was in the greenhouse, thank you very much,” she snapped, not a paying any mind to her roommates as she headed to the shower. Once in there, she leaned her head against the wall and let the dirt wash off her as she imagined that the memory of the vision was leaving with it.
When Christmas break came, Lily couldn’t have been any happier. The stress of school was eating away at her, that combined with visions starting up once again, and strenuous Quidditch practices was enough to drive anyone insane. The train pulled into Kings Cross station and Lily got to her feet, Scorpius wrapped an arm around her waist and helped manage her things.
“My mum wishes to speak with you,” he said, tucking a piece of hair behind her ear. “It’s nothing bad, I promise.”
Lily looked at Albus. “James is picking us up anyway.”
“James?” Lily questioned. Her parents always took the car whenever they came to the train station. “Who allowed him to be a licensed driver?”
“I’ll find him and distract him, go with Score and meet me in ten minutes or so.” Albus flashed his friend and his sister a smile before ducking out. Scorpius guided Lily out of the compartment and into the corridor.
“Can you at least give me some idea of what she wants to talk about?”
“My father is fond of you,” he said. “He talked with her, convinced her she was being unreasonable, and now she wants to have tea with you and help you pick out a dress for the Christmas ball.”
Lily stared at him with wide eyes, pushing away from her him with her hands held up in front of her body. People behind her groaned in annoyance, but she couldn’t help it. “Please tell me you’ll be there. I will never survive an afternoon alone with her.”
“You’ll be fine, come along.” He waved and smiled apologetically to those that were behind them before leading Lily out of the train. It didn’t take long to locate Astoria Malfoy who was waiting at the edge of the crowd, arms crossed.
“Scorpius,” she said stepping forward to place a hand on each of his shoulders and kiss him once on each cheek. “Lily, I am so glad that you came over. I am sure that Scorpius filled you on my plan.”
“Yes, he did.”
“Good, how does tomorrow sound? We can meet at eleven for tea and go shopping afterwards? Or would you prefer to meet at nine to go shopping and have tea following that.”
“Whichever you prefer,” she answered.
“Eleven it is, see you then.”
Before Scorpius could offer her a pathetic goodbye of a hug that wasn’t tight enough, she leaned into him, one hand on his cheek, the other on the crook of his neck and kissing him on the lips. His hands were on her waist and reciprocated the action. “Bye, Score, see you soon enough.” With that she left. If she was going to have to spend the better part of a day with Astoria Malfoy, then Scorpius was going to have to deal with the aftermath of that display of affection.
Ginny doesn’t ask questions when she sees Lily at ten o’clock dressed only in the oversized shirt she wore to bed. “Do you need help? I’m working from home today.”
Lily turns and looks at her mother. “I don’t know what to wear to spend a day with Astoria Malfoy! A locket that holds cyanide pills?”
She stifles a laugh, because honestly this whole situation is something that is ridiculous. Lily hardly ever frets over what to wear. However, she knows that Scorpius wishes she would at times. The look on her daughter’s boyfriend’s face when she comes down the stairs wearing jeans that should have been thrown out three years ago, a holey t-shirt and a flannel shirt that is helping disguise stains on the aforementioned tee is hilarious. “You’re going to be trying clothes on, so something easy to slip in and out of.”
“That’s any of my clothes, but I doubt she would be happy if I showed up in what I normally wear.”
“Why are you worried so much, honey?”
“Because I know Score gets stressed with his mum constantly berating me. She’s made it clear that I am not good enough for him, that I’ll damage his reputation and that he needs someone that ‘understands’ what his situation is.” She rolled her eyes at that. “The only saving grace has been Draco which, according to Uncle Ron, is unheard of because he is a vile person.”
“Don’t listen to your Uncle Ron,” Ginny said before walking to the closet. She pulled out a sweater followed by a pair of soft pants that had some stretch to them. “Wear these with your flats.” She kissed her daughter’s head. “I’m not completely clueless when it comes to clothes.”
Not long after she made herself presentable she made her appearance at the Malfoy manor. Scorpius had already told her that his father was talking him out today and wouldn’t be there when she arrived, that made her apprehensive enough. Astoria was there as soon as she stepped out of the fireplace and reached for Lily’s arm. “Let’s not waste any time. Are you famished? I need something more substantial than tea and Scorpius told me you like to eat.”
“Call me Astoria.” She flashed a dangerous looking smile, that meant she wasn’t actually serious and ‘ma’am’ would be a better fit.
Lunch was something she managed to survive, ordering soup and bread figuring that she would make the least amount of mess with that. Astoria hardly said to words to her as she sat across the table, moving her mass of salad greens and grilled chicken around. It was clear as to where Scorpius got his eating habits. “Are you finished?” she asked, wiping her mouth when she had eaten a little more than half of it. “Linette is expecting us at eleven forty five.” She raised her hand and no sooner did a small leather folder drift over. In no time at all they were off to the clothing store that was right next to Astoria’s business. No one was in, save for a woman sitting at the counter.
“You were right...intriguing coloring.” The woman walked over, wand out and tape measure floating around Lily. She kept notes on a small piece of parchment. “I’ll need something in stock, it is last minute.”
“They just got out of school,” Astoria said.
“I have the perfect dress.” She disappeared and then came back a few minutes later with a garment bag. “It is stunning, but takes the right girl not to be overshadowed by it.”
The dress had a simple silhouette floor length, a line, strapless and a neckline that was straight. The bodice was covered in glittering silver beads that slowly separated going into a navy blue tulle skirt with silver scattered across.
“Beautiful, Scorpius has dark blue dress robes and I’ll have him wear a silver tie.” She smiled. “I wanted to make sure you were presentable, you are a pretty girl Lily, if only you would give yourself a chance.”
Lily stood there as Linette pushed her towards one of the curtained off changing rooms, gown in arm. As she stepped into the dress she wondered if the only way Astoria Malfoy wouldn't try to stop Lily from being with her son, was if she was able to mold her into the type of person she thought he needed.
The ball was nothing spectacular, in fact it was rather dull. There was no proclamations of love or fights. Instead, Lily stuck to Scorpius’ side like glue as they navigated the ball room. Luckily, the novelty of her had worn off and there was no blatant staring or pointed questions that were thinly disguised interrogation techniques. Regina and Ophelia seemed to be the ones stirring waves. Both girls came with a guest in tow. Regina’s was a muggleborn that attended Durmstrang and Ophelia had a pureblooded American. “Glad I can’t top that,” Lily whispered to Scorpius once they snuck outside.
“Well I have some news that I think is a bit more exciting than a guest with a terrible accent,” he told her as he wrapped an arm around her bare shoulders. “You know those Quidditch scouts that have been showing up at practices?”
“Yes…” Lily answered. Their presence had been increasing as Hogwarts got a reputation for turning out some of the best athletes in years. Her mother had been the start of it.
“They were at our last game. When my father and I were in Diagon Alley while you were with my mum, a scout stopped me. He said that he wants to meet with me before I go back.”
“Are you serious?”
“I wouldn’t joke about a thing like this.” He gave her a small smile. “I thought you’d be happy, playing Quidditch would be a heck of a lot safer than being an auror.”
Lily held back the comments that were flooding her mind. “Would you be happy, though?”
“Everything is still up in the air. My dad was happy for me, said that I could do whatever made sense for me. My mum probably wishes I’d choose something sensible that requires a lot of schooling, though.”
Lily bit her lip.
“What is wrong with you tonight?”
“What was the real reason I went shopping with your mother?” Lily questioned. It didn’t just stop with the dress, they went to a cosmetic store and then to a hairdresser. The makeup counter put on so many layers of makeup they hid her faint freckles and the hairdresser trimmed and styled her hair until it wouldn't move when the wind came. “I feel like she’s given up on hating me and tried to change me into someone that’s suitable for you.”
“That’s preposterous,” Scorpius replied. “You’re perfectly suitable for me right now.” He pressed a kiss to her forehead. “You could have shown up in your Quidditch robes for all I care.”
“Do you really mean that? You always say that, but when I show up to go to Hogsmeade in jeans you always give me that look…” His famous look, the one where it’s as if he rolls his eyes without them even moving. “We should head back in, forget I said anything.”
He grabbed at her arm and tugged her closer. “I do mean it,” he said. “I might make the face, but it’s only because I know it’ll get a rise out of you.” With that he glanced around. “Come on, people will be wondering where we went.”
After Christmas, when they returned back to school, things seemed to sneak up on them all too quickly. Between studying for their respective tests at the end of the year and Quidditch, Lily hardly had any time to spend with Scorpius. It seemed surreal that by the end of the school year he would never be at Hogwarts with her again. There would be no early morning talks or late night walks. What scared her the most, potentially, was the fact that just last year she needed Scorpius. Professor Patil assuaged her fears some, told her that young seers often times have to have an anchor of sorts to help them cope with the visions. It can be an emotion or a memory or, in Lily’s case, a person.
Still, the idea of him not being there next her unhinged her a bit. Sure, she would still have Zabini and Nott, even Damon had become civil with her once again. She’d also have the family members that were still let, Hugo and Louis were in her year after all.
These were the things that she was thinking of as she sat in the library, under the guise of studying. OWLs were looming in the distance and she was determined to be able take Potions next year. Neville let practically anyone continue on that tried their best, Divinations would be a shoo in for since she worked so closely with Professor Patil, extra nights with Firenze gave her an advantage in astronomy… Of all the classes Charms came surprisingly easy. Professor Flitwick just looked at her with a smile and the shake of his head, murmuring, “just like your namesake.”
“Lily we have practice in ten minutes.” It was Scorpius, he was dressed for Quidditch, as she knew it would be the only circumstance he would be caught dead in public wearing that.
“Sorry,” she muttered. “Did Flint send you to find me?”
He shook his head. “Zabini said you were supposed to show up early to work on drills with him, but the last he’d seen you was in the library a good hour ago.”
“I lost track of time.” She got to her feet and started to put things away. “I need to study for my OWLs, there’s a lot of material that has to be covered, the test is soon.”
“I’m sure you will do fine, do you want some help?” Scorpius questioned, gesturing to the pile of textbooks on the table. “It’ll kill your back and there’s not enough time to head to the Common Room.” Before she had an answer, the books were in his arm and he used his free one to wrap it around her shoulders. “Come on, we’ll never hear the end of it if we’re late.”
Lily was truly grateful for Scorpius, but she still rolled her eyes and offered up some resistance as he guided her in the direction of the field. It was better that way, she told herself. In less than five months time she would be returning to Hogwarts, alone for the most part. Scorpius wasn’t going to be there and she had to get used to that. As much as she loved him, she was going to have to get used to staying put without an anchor holding her steady.
It was all over so quickly. The tests were finished, the final dinner ate, and Lily as packing up all of her belongings into her trunk. In less than an hour’s time she would be heading home. When they arrived at the train station it would be the final time Scorpius stepped off the train with her. These thoughts, though, she tried to push from her mind and instead focused on all she’d be doing this summer. Her aunt Hannah offered her a job at the inn again, James told her he would get her tickets to some of his games. She already let it slip to Jordi, so he was going to accompany her to at least one.
“Are you about ready?” Simone questioned. “You always complain about me.” With that she gave an eyeroll.
“I just finished,” she murmured and lifted her trunk, tossing her satchel over her shoulder. Before long, the sixth year girls’ prefect inspected the room and then let them leave to head downstairs. Scorpius was nowhere to be seen and the girls were soon ushered out of the Common Room and in the direction of the courtyard to meet the carriages.
She sat inside one of them, only to be joined by Jordi, Nott, and a put off looking Esther. “Score will be one of the last ones on the train, seventh years always are,” Esther murmured to her roommate after she took in her long face.
True to Esther’s prediction, Scorpius arrived in the compartment she was seated in just before the train was about to leave the station. Lily was with Jordi, Nott had left in search for someone else. However, they weren't alone much longer when Dom and Roxie opened the door. "Everywhere else is full."
“Worried I wasn’t going to make it?” Scorpius asked as she took the other seat next to Lily. Albus sat down on the bench across the way, back against the wall and sprawled out. “We had to go over a checklist and what to do with our NEWT scores…Unfortunately, seventh year Slytherins fail to comprehend the most simple concepts.”
“At least you won’t have to deal with them next year,” Albus said.
“Yes, but I will have to deal with a crop of new people, who most likely have an addled brain due to how many concussions they have encountered.”
Lily looked at him with wide eyes and grabbed his arm. “Score, does that mean…?”
“I have accepted the recruiter’s offer. Apparently they are adding a new Quidditch team, starting from scratch, so I most likely will be given a starting spot.”
“That’s wonderful.” Lily threw her arms around him and looked around the room. Dom, Roxie, and Jordi shared Lily’s joy. Albus, though, had a dark look on his face.
“You confirmed already? I thought you were waiting to get your NEWT scores back. The Auror Academy said they would accept you as long as you did well. Dad’s telling me it’s getting more and more selective. You may not get in again.
The look on Scorpius face was indistinguishable and Lily felt her chest tighten and stomach clench. Was it possible he decided against being an auror for her sake? The idea was preposterous and self-centered, but then again so was Scorpius becoming a professional Quidditch player. It made him happy, he loved flying, but he also liked to be challenged mentally. This was one reason why he was so good at making Quidditch plays, plays that nearly rivalled Regina in their complicated maneuvers.
“When am I ever going to be offered a position on a professional Quidditch team again? Besides my career choice will make my mother glad that I’m dating Lily.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Lily questioned.
“That you are preferable to a ‘useless job that does nothing to benefit the Malfoy name’.” At the last half he quirked quotations marks in the air.
“If she ever has a problem with you, tell them my dad dropped out of school and opened a joke shop,” Roxie said. “He’s done just fine, but mum does get angry with him for trying out his merchandise on her.”
“What are you doing then?” Scorpius asked.
“We’re getting an apartment together,” Dom said. “We found one cheap smack dab in the middle of muggle London. Aunt Ginny got me an internship at the paper, so I’ll be taking a few classes at the uni and doing that. Roxie will be out fighting dark wizards.”
At that, the girl rolled her eyes. “My acceptance is contingent on NEWT scores, but I have been told that there is a place for me in the auror program. Al and I will be going through it together.”
“What?” Lily exclaimed. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I was waiting to find out for sure. I got the letter yesterday.” There was a smile across Roxie’s face that that made Lily’s chest tighten all over again. She thought Roxie was one of the few members of her family that would never become an auror. She was sharp, could hex anyone into the next day, but she never listened to authority. At school she was late for classes, showed up with missing tie, shirt untucked and skirt pushing the limits of the dress code. Even her hair was unruly, thick corkscrew curls that she never could seem to contain. “Relax, Lil, Al and I have Uncle Harry looking out for us.”
She didn’t say much more for the rest of the trip, instead she tried to focus on the fact that Scorpius would be fairly safe, for now.
The scores came in the mail about two weeks later. They saved them for dinner as James, Vicky, Teddy, and little Stella would be making an appearance. After they tucked away their father’s cooking and suffered through dessert made by Ginny, the envelopes were distributed. Lily opened the envelope and stared at the parchment.
“Oh, Al, I’m so proud of you.” Ginny kissed her son’s cheek and Harry patted him on the back. “You’ll be taking after your dad.”
“What’d you get Lils?” James asked.
She looked down at the string of O’s and two E’s. Before she could say anything James snatched the letter and whistled. “Looks like we got a brainiac in the family, almost as good as Aunt Mione.”
“I hope Professor Wolfe lets me continue, I worked hard for that,” she muttered as she took the parchment back, still staring at the E next to potions. The other E was in Divinations and she knew that she made a mistake on the tea leaf reading section.
“Why do you need such a high grade in potions?”
“Because someone has to patch up all the stupid aurors in the world,” she snapped and threw her letter down on the table before heading up to her room. She sat down on the edge of her bed, head buried in hands, elbows on her knees. She heard a knock on the door and ignored it.
“Lily, I’m married to Victoire, so believe me when I saw that I’m patient.”
Teddy. She didn’t expect to hear from him, she expected her father. “Come in,” she called out, then looked up to see her godbrother walk into the room. He took a seat beside her on her bed.
“Before I start, I suppose a thanks is in order.”
“Don’t play coy, I know all about your visions and Harry told me he got an anonymous tip, one that helped a lot of researchers and aurors.” He gave her a smile. “I suppose your reaction tonight was because of Al and Roxie’s career choice.”
“I know that you have a hard time with dad and I...but…”
“I still remember when mum woke me up in the middle of the night to go to the hospital for you. I remember being at my second year and having mum show up because dad was missing for two weeks and the Ministry thought he was dead. I remember the vision of you that Scorpius stopped…” Her face contorted. “I’m sorry I don’t want to be faced with the fact that my brother and cousin will be going through the same exact thing that you and dad go through every day. Who else is planning on doing it with you? Huh? Who else?”
“Shh…” Teddy wrapped his arms around her and began to rub circles on her back. Lily didn’t realize she was crying, but she returned the hug. Her visions were a blessing and a curse. Without them Teddy wouldn’t be here right now and Stella would be forced to grow up with the most amazing father she could ever dream up. Thoughts of the future hit her hard, especially when she would still be at Hogwarts for two more years. “I know you want to plan, but you need to worry about the future when it is within your reach.”
She laughed. “Score says the same thing.”
“I knew there was a reason I liked him. Now, let’s go back downstairs, I’ll show you how to make mum’s cookies edible.” Teddy patted her back and got to his feet, pulling Lily up with him. By the time the pair reached the bottom of the stairs, there was a hint of a smile on their faces.
Summer flew by quickly. By the time September came around Lily was standing outside her house giving her brothers and father a hug. It was hard not get a bit choked up when she realized that for the first time she would be going to Hogwarts alone. James hadn’t been there for a year, but she still missed his teasing presence that had changed from maliciousness to playfulness. Al wouldn’t be there for her to lean on. Most of all she would miss Scorpius’ presence. It would be good for them, but two years was a long time when he was out traveling and she was stuck in a castle.
“We have to go, Lily,” Ginny called. “See you tonight.” She gave Harry a kiss before getting in the driver’s seat and waiting for her daughter. “Too bad Scorpius can’t be here.”
“The Thestrals have a big marketing campaign, their first match of the season is against Puddlemore.”
“Ugh, I hated marketing. Photo shoots wearing impractical clothing answering overly personal questions.” Ginny rolled her eyes. “Knowing him, he will hate it.”
Lily agreed and chatted with her mum as she sat in the car. When she got out, she drug her trunk, not even bothering to get a cart. Right before the barrier she heard a voice call out. “It looks like you might need help with that trunk.” Scorpius was standing right there, looking as he did every year when he was about to get on the train: perfectly tailored slacks, ironed button down tucked in with a black belt that matched his shoes.
She launched herself at him, arms around her neck and he took all of her until her feet were off the ground. “What are you doing here? You said you something going on with the team.”
“I needed to say goodbye to you,” he said. “It’ll be a few months.”
“Don’t remind me,” she groaned, looking up at him. “Who else is going to find me in the common room at midnight or tell me that my tie needs fixed.”
“We both know that you tying your tie so improper is a poorly disguised ploy to get me close to your chest.”
“You can’t blame a girl for trying.” Her hands went to his face and she placed a kiss on his lips. “This isn’t a goodbye, it's a see you at Christmas time, alright?”
He nodded then leaned her forehead against hers. “Do you want to say goodbye to your mum? I can help you with your trunk.”
“Yeah, just give me a second.” She went over to her mother who had a grin on her face. Lily said her goodbye’s and gave Ginny a tight hug before going with Scorpius across the barrier. Several members of Slytherin stopped him and teased him about how he had already graduated, but he didn’t pay them much mind. The minutes they had ticked by all too fast when the conductor of the train called out last chance to board.
“I love you,” Scorpius whispered a hand resting on her upper arm.
Lily stared at him. Jordi was calling her, but her feet felt frozen as she stood there. Those three words hardly ever left his mouth. She had been careful herself, not wanting to jump in with Scorpius head first. It was dangerous, especially with how young they were. “I love you, too.” She hugged him again, squeezing her eyes shut almost imagining that it was two years ago, that he was coming with her. “Goodbye.”
There was a shout and she saw Simone and Daphne hanging out of the train. Jordi came up. “We have to leave, Potter. Sorry, Malfoy.” He grabbed her hand and tugged her towards the train. “Good luck on your next game,” he shouted, waving. As soon as they got on the train her roommates grabbed her and tugged her towards a compartment that already looked like a disaster zone.
“Merlin, Lil, you and Malfoy…” Simone fanned herself. “What did he say?”
“Goodbye, that’s it,” she answered, looking around the room. The other girls in the room were ones that she hadn’t spent a lot of time with, ones that thought the amount of effort she put into Divinations was pointless. “I’m going to find my cousins, they should be around here somewhere.” That was a lie. Hugo and Louis would be hard to track down, but she could easily find most of the Slytherin Quidditch team, not far from here. And, in no time, she would be back at Hogwarts and she didn’t know if it was like coming home or a place that was holding her back from the world outside it’s walls.