Till the Wind Sets You Free

Chapter 14

She thought that being back would distract her. Instead, it seemed as if the stress would never end. Jordi got nominated to be Damon’s new co-captain with the absence of Scorpius. Something that Lily should have delighted in, but instead she now dreaded practice as he made sure that everyone was in the top shape. Nobody could say the Slytherin Quidditch team was slackers, but it was hard to concentrate on her work when every muscle in her body ached.

On top of all this, she realized that she should have dropped more classes. Instead, the only thing she dropped from her schedule was History of Magic, as she learned not a single thing from Professor Binns. Professor Wolfe only let in those with O’s into Advanced Potions, but expected a few with E’s given that they could prove themselves in the first semester of class. This was a trial period, remaining in class was contingent upon the fact that they do receive an O. If that doesn’t happen they are out.

So, when the first Hogsmeade weekend came about later than usual in November, Lily found herself buried underneath a mound of classwork in the Great Hall. She tried to skip breakfast, but found her books and things piled into her arms as her roommates forced her out the door. “Lily, are you honestly staying here?”

It was Damon Flint, leaning across the table to look at her. “You’re going to burn yourself out. As your Quidditch captain I order you to put a pause on your study and have some fun. Giving yourself a breather for a few hours, won’t hurt.”

Lily looked up at him with a glare and began to write furiously on an already impossibly long scroll of parchment. “I can’t compete if I’m failing,” she mutters. “And if you stopped let Zabini run practices then I wouldn’t be so exhausted and I could study after practice.” They’d even upped the number of practices per week, to the maximum the school would allow. It was crazier than her third year when Damon was fighting to tooth and nail to get the novice team into shape after the loss of so many seventh years. She looked up at him and the older boy’s face still had that stupid hopeful look on it. “Fine,” she huffed. “But I’m only going for an hour or so. I can’t afford to waste my whole day there.” She began to pile her things into her satchel. She could take them with her, hide out at the Hogs Head instead of going to the Three Broomsticks. The Hogs Head was always quiet this time of day, she had no idea why he even bothered to open before seven.

Less than fifteen minutes later Lily was stepping out of the carriage at Hogsmeade. Luckily she got on one of the last ones and her roommates weren’t trying to pull her towards the shops. As she walked, she looked over at the train station and saw a familiar figure leaning towards the building. It couldn’t be. Scorpius had to be in London for a match tonight. Yet, there her boyfriend stood with that small half smile and impeccably dressed.

“Score!” She launched herself for him, grabbing him and holding him tightly in her arms as if he would float away if she didn’t hold him. “What in Merlin’s name are you doing here?”

“I thought I would surprise you. Next weekend is your birthday and I won’t get to see you until winter holiday. James said that his favorite Hogsmeade weekend was when Teddy dropped by to see Victoire.”

“When did you see James?”

“At that event for Quidditch teams based out of England. There’s three of us.” He pulled away from her. “Do you want to go get a table at the Three Broomsticks?”

She nodded and laced her hand with his. “I was planning on studying at Hogs Head, but this seems to be a better alternative.” With a smile on her face she pressed a kiss to his lips before leading him in the direction of the pub. It wasn’t busy yet, and Madam Rosmerta was serving food in place of alcohol since it was breakfast time. Lily had just eaten, but Scorpius had foregone breakfast as he had errands to run before he came. So while Lily got herself situated, he ordered a pot of tea along with a plate of biscuits.

“Well, first order of business is your gift. I know you don’t like to make a big fuss, but I wanted to do something.” He fished a box out of the messenger bag he had and passed it to her. “It may be traditional for a wizard to get a watch on his 17th birthday, but seeing how you gave me a proper watch on my 16th…”

Lily looked at the piece of jewelry and smiled. The silver was dark and the watch head was rather large with big Roman numerals. The band was thin, made up of delicate links. “Thank you! Where did you find a muggle watch?”

“It came into my mum’s shop in box of things. She was going to throw it out, but when I saw it I thought of you. Your granddad actually helped me put in working order.”

“Grandpa Arthur?” she questioned, eyebrows shooting up.

“It wasn’t working, and dad had just mentioned about this bloke in his department that loves tinkering around with muggle objects, when I found out who it was…”

Lily kissed him and he helped her put it it on. Their tray was levitated over and they talked for what seemed to be ages, when someone tripped over Scorpius’ bag on the floor. The younger student apologized and helped pick up the things, but not before Lily caught sight of a black and silver jersey. “What’s that?”

“The team’s manager handed this to me after practice when he heard that I was going to see you. He’s trying to get all the guys that are dating someone to have them wear these, promote the name. When he heard that my girlfriend was Lily Potter…”
She grabbed the jersey and held it up. Already, she’d gotten free merchandise from James, but all of them were basic ones and didn’t have a name plastered across the back. The front said Thestrals and the back had ‘MALFOY 72’. She let out a laugh. “I’ll wear this on one condition…”

“And that is?”

“You’ll know when I think of it.”

“I don’t care what you do with it. Think of it as a gift from the team, the agents are kind of crazy, but the guys are good.” Scorpius leaned back in his chair and Lily couldn’t recall a time that he seemed this...relaxed. Usually there was a nervous energy about him, wondering what people were thinking of him or the image he portrayed or if he was going to make his mother angry...but not today.

“It’s good just to see you. Things have been...hectic, especially with Jordi co-captain.”

“Zabini’s co-captain?” He smiled widely. “I told Flint that he was the best choice. Don’t get me wrong Lily, your flying is amazing, but you would rip the second year members a new one.”

“I don’t want to be captain of any sort,” she said. “I’d rather focus on my studies, especially with my tutor gone.”

“Is potions still that challenging for you? I know it was one of the few you didn’t get an O in, but you’ve improved.”

“I’m on probation for the advanced class because I got an E, if I don’t pull an O out this semester, then I’m kicked out of class.”

“You still want to be a Healer.” The statement hung in the air for a bit, but then Scorpius gave him a smile. “That’s great, who knows, if I stay playing Quidditch I’m going to need one at some point.”

Before Lily could open her mouth to respond, she found her table swarmed by seventh year Slytherins enthusiastically greeting him. The Scorpius she knew would have a polite smile and kind word for all of them, despite being a bit annoyed. Instead he seemed rather happy to be surrounded by the people and got to his feet to trade stories and listen to them talk.

“I see Malfoy found you.” It was Damon, he’d taken a seat beside her at the table.

“That’s why you were so adamant to get me to Hogsmeade.”

“He’s been helping me quite a bit and thought the least I could do is make sure your in Hogsmeade when he’s here.”

“What do mean, helping you?”

“Do you really think Zabini is that much of a master mind? The schedule, plays… Malfoy has been doing that in his free time. As much as he hates to admit it, he misses Hogwarts.”

“Why would he miss Hogwarts?”

Damon looked Lily over and let out a snort. “I can think of one reason, but there’s a few others...He’s a good guy, great guy even though I hated his guts after we...Well, I’m glad that you're both happy and I’m happy that you're still my Chaser.” He patted her shoulder and got up to join the other guys. Lily leaned back in her chair and waited for Scorpius to get free. When everyone left, he had a wide smile on his face. He was about to open his mouth when he looked down at his watch. “Salazar...My train leaves in 15 minutes.”

“Train, you’re taking a train?”

“The game got moved from London, it’s here, in Scotland at the Quidditch pitch that’s just South.”

“Then we better get going.” She got to her feet and put her satchel over her shoulder, draping the shirt over her arm. Scorpius followed her lead and put an arm around her shoulder as they made their way towards the train station. When they made it she stood in front of him and gave him a smile. “Thank you again for coming.”

He pulled her in for a hug, and she let out a small gasp. “I love you,” he whispered and then planted a kiss on her lips, not like his normally chaste ones. “Was that a good enough public display?”

“I miss your ties, this shirt is hard to grab onto.” She gave him smirk as they pulled away. “I’ll see you at Winter Holiday.”

There was a ringing bell, followed by a man shouting. “I guess that’s my train.”

The two of them stood in silence for a bit, but Lily was the first one to move. She planted a kiss on his cheek before resting a hand on his arm. “I know you’ll do great. I’ll even wear your jersey on the way home.”

He laughed and gave her a quick hug before going towards the train. When she was almost positive he’d gone through the doors she made her way to turn around, but then stopped. Scorpius head turned to look at her and she bit her lip, raising a hand and realizing the blush that was spreading across her cheeks. I do love him, she told herself as she hugged the jersey to her chest. He does love me.

By winter holiday Lily was glad to be done. Zabini bid her goodbye, giving her a side hug before she descended the steps. Her father was supposed to pick her up, but instead she saw another familiar face. Her brother. “Al, what are you doing here?” She gave him a hug nonetheless and pulled away to see his warm smile.

“Dad got roped into some meeting with the muggle prime minister, a threat assessment. You know that mum had that big press conference.” Al touched her arm. “I also was able to bring someone along.” He looked behind him to see a lanky figure appear. “Malfoy, here, wouldn’t shut up about you.”

“Albus…” Scorpius held out his arm and Lily practically leapt into them.

“How come I didn’t get that amount of enthusiasm?” Albus teased. “Come on, I have the car and I want to get you two home before I have to get back for my next class.”

“Let me get your bags.” He was slipping them off of Lily’s shoulder before she could even respond. As they moved to the car she rolled her eyes when he opened her car door. He took the opportunity of Albus turning his back to get into the driver’s seat to kiss her on the cheek. “You’re wearing my jersey.”

“I said I would.” She smiled at him before sliding in to the back seat. He sat in the passenger seat and snuck a few glances at the mirror or behind him to see a smile on her face. Lily felt like she had in the train station and hoped that feeling wasn’t going to leave.

Like usual, less than a few days later, was the Malfoy Christmas ball. Something she never exactly look forward to. Her mother lent her a gown this time, some dark green high necked affair that she wore to a charity function the Prophet forced her into going. “Are you going to say something or just stand there?” She asked when she saw her mum standing in the doorway to her bedroom.

“You look gorgeous.” She walked in the room and held out a box. “Earrings because it’s impossible to wear a necklace with that.” Ginny took them out of the box and handed them one at a time to her daughter. “Although, I see you tried.”

“This? I forgot I was wearing it.” Lily’s hand shot up to undo the necklace after she put in the earrings and her mother caught sight of her watch.

“Birthday present?”

“Yes.” She smiled. “You want to say something, I know you do.”

“Your 17 years old Lily, barely and have a year and half left at school. Scorpius, however wonderful he may be, is nearly 19 and…”

“What are you trying to say?” Lily crossed her arms over chest, not bothering to take off her necklace.

“To be careful, especially with Scorpius’ job. I know what it’s like to be a professional Quidditch player, the stress that you’re put under, not only from playing the game, but from interacting with the public.”

“Didn’t you say that dad helped you with that?”

Ginny pursed her lips. “The situation was different Lily, you can’t compare what you have with Scorpius to what I have with your father.”

“Why not? Didn’t you say that you had a crush on dad since you were 11? That you started dating when dad--”

“It doesn’t matter.” Ginny’s tone had an edge to it. “Lily, you have to understand something. What we were going through…” Ginny planted her hands on her hips and looked at the floor. “During my sixth year your father was being hunted by a man that wanted him dead. When I saw him again...during the Battle, that is, he kissed me goodbye and I had no idea if I’d ever see him alive again. That night I thought he’d died, but he came back. He always comes back.”

“Mum, I don’t understand…”

“Lily, I am happy that you and Scorpius are doing so well, but I just don’t want you to move too fast. You can’t compare what you have with him to your father and I, or to anyone. Every relationship is different.” She stepped forward and reached for her daughter’s shoulders, looking her straight in the eye. “You have such a bright future ahead of you.” With that she gave her a quick hug before exiting the room. Lily glanced down at her watch, Scorpius said he would meet her, but that wasn’t for a good half hour. She could floo to his place and catch him before he left. Not even bothering to grab a shawl she headed downstairs and stepped into the fireplace, grabbing powder and shouting her destination.

Usually when she flooed to the manor, the only people in the parlor would be Scorpius, occasionally Draco or one of the staff. Today, though, she nearly thought she came to the wrong house. “Excuse me, has anyone seen Scorpius Malfoy?” she asked, stepping out of the fireplace. There were several men in the room, a few with faces she vaguely recognized.

“Oy, where’d Malfoy go?” One called out before he stepped forward. “Steven Myers, Miss…”

“My name is Lily,” she snapped. “Is this the Malfoy manor or not?” She looked around the parlor, besides the men this was his home, right down to the hideous antique carpets Astoria insisted on buying.

“Of course it is.”

“Who are you lot then?” she questioned. “I have seen none of you at previous Malfoy functions.” She realized that Scorpius' style of speaking must have gotten to her.

“It's our first one. Surely you recognize England’s newest Quidditch team.”

Lily raised her eyebrows and planted a hand on her hip. “Oh, well then it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.” She stuck out a hand and he shook it.

“I see you’re making friends.”

“Score.” She turned around and gave him a hug. “Merlin it’s good to see you, you could have given me a warning.”

“I would have if you had waited for me like we agreed upon,” he said.

Lily rolled her eyes and looked around the room. “Can I speak with you in private?” she lowered her voice. He just nodded and gave some excuse about her needing to freshen up after coming through the fireplace. Once they were alone she breathed a sigh of relief. “Do you think that we’re too serious?”

“Did they say something to you? They joke with me whenever I talk about you, but I…”

“No, my mum thinks that we’re too young.”

“We are young, but it’s not like you’ve picked out a wedding gown and our children’s names and I’ve purchased rings and started looking for house.” He grabbed her shoulders. “She’s just concerned about you.” He maneuvered his arm until she was tucked beneath it. “Do you want to meet the team? It’s either that or help my dad try to control one of my mother’s breakdown because the caterer brought the wrong horderves.”

“Is that why you’re hiding in the parlor?”

“That and that’s where my dad keeps the liquor. Since you’re legal, I can make you a drink if you promise not to go crazy.”

“Oh, I will.” She let out a laugh. “But this gown is awful hard to strip--” She paused one she saw one of the guys approaching them. “Hello,” she greeted.

“Is this her?” The man let out a whistle. “I came to ask if it was safe to venture out in the open, but I guess I will settle for meeting the infamous Lily Potter.” He held out his hand. “Lucas MacLaggan, I hope you know we get all the stories from Scorpius about you.”

“Really?” She smiled and looked up at her boyfriend. “I’ll have to tell you a couple about him.”

“How about that drink?”

“Lucas seems awful nice, Score, I think I want to keep on talking.” She tried to gauge his reaction, see if she could do something to make the ever-cool Scorpius blush. It didn’t work, they stood in silence before he began to walk away and she sighed. “I better go with him, it was nice meeting you.” By the time she navigated the crowd, Scorpius had a small glass with amber liquid held out for her.

“This is what my dad gave me, not to strong and it has a nice flavor.”

“What is it?”

“Mead, I’m not sure the specific type, because my dad put it in a decanter for the party.”

She lifted it to her lips and took a sip, appreciating the warmth it gave her as she swallowed. “Tonight is going to be interesting.”

“I tried to invite Albus, but he said he had some sort of overnight training before the school let him off for Christmas. My mother practically forced me to invite the team. The manager and coach is coming later, our agent thinks it’s good publicity, the Thestrals all showing up at a ‘society party’ and acting like ‘gentlemen’.” Scorpius rolled his eyes and chose this specific moment to put in the direction of two of them who were currently roughhousing, one had the other in a headlock. “If they damage one of mother’s antiques...so help them…” Scorpius stepped forward, but found himself being pulled back by Lily.

“Let me handle it.” She gave him her now empty glass. “You must have forgotten who my family is. I grew up alongside James and Fred, along with Teddy intermixed, I am much more capable in handling this.”

He watched as crossed the crowded, touched one of them briefly and said something that made both of them laugh and break apart. She tossed her hair over she shoulder as she shook each of their hands and then continued to talk with wild hand gestures. Before long one of them, Steven, was slapping her on the back when she left. When she came back, she rested her hand in the crook of his arm. “I think it might be time to venture out, I would love a dance Scorpius Malfoy.”

“I would be most happy to oblige, Lily Luna.”

As he held her close in the ballroom, she let the happiness take over, but something in the back of her mind pulled at her. Her mother's words had planted a seed of doubt in her mind. When she looked up at Scorpius’ face, she knew that, in this moment, she would want him, but could that change? Would it?

Summer Break

Lily disembarked from the train with laughter as she listened to Jordi speak. The year was over, finally, and she still felt elated. Slytherin might have lost the house cup to Ravenclaw, but they did win the Quidditch cup for the first time in years. It was no secret that Gryffindor had been vulnerable after the loss of James.

“I’d better hear from you this summer.” He shoved her shoulder lightly. “Don’t spend all your time with your superstar boyfriend.”

Lily rolled her eyes at that. “You know he’ll be busy, so will most of my family, so you better make time for me.”

“Deal Potter.” Jordi hesitates for a moment, but Lily takes charge and gives him a quick hug before shoving him away.

“I have to go, but I’ll write you.” She stood on her tip toes before she entered the crowd and soon caught a glimpse of the bright, Weasley hair that could only be her mother. She pushed her way through until she found Ginny, surprised to see her father right beside her. “Dad, I thought you were busy.”

“It’s good to see you, Bud.” He wrapped his arms around and Lily eagerly hugged him back. He wasn’t even dressed for work, his suit traded for jeans and a soft flannel shirt. “I was able to rearrange the schedules…” He looked to Ginny. “James has a game today, it’s a Charity match for Christmas. I thought we could all go.”

“Is Al coming?”

Harry nodded and then frowned. “I have an entire box to fill, usually I turn down these sort of things, but James was playing.”

“He thought he’d invite the family,” Ginny replied with an eyeroll. “Unfortunately, I have to report on it.” She looked around. “Are we waiting for Vicky or Ron?”

“No, their tickets are at the booth, Hermione was supposed to get there early.” Harry glanced down at his watch.

“Are we going to wait here forever?” Lily said as she leaned over to look at his watch.

“No, no, let’s get to the car, see if we can bet the press there.”

“Too late,” Lily muttered, giving her mum a hug from behind.

The Quidditch game wasn’t going to be the first she saw that summer, but it was certainly the best. Sitting between her parents certainly was interesting, her father leaned forward, one hand holding his head up with his elbow propped on his knee. Beside him sat Ron who was very vocal, much like her mother and the rest of the Weasley family. The only one who watched with similar quiet interest, was her aunt Hermione, who had her hands clasped tightly and was biting on her lip every time James got hit by a bludger...which was more often than Lily thought necessary. The other team’s defense was particularly nasty, Lily noted. The beater’s were about twice the size of the ones that were supposed to be protecting James.

“This is why they shouldn’t mix leagues, even for a charity match,” Ginny muttered as reached in her bag to pull out a camera. She snapped a few pictures of the match and then let the camera drop to hang around her neck on a strap. “The other team is in Scorpius’ league,” she explained. “The match was supposed to promote a sort of camaraderie between wizarding London, but it obviously didn’t work.” She crossed leaned back in her chair as she took notes on a pad and groaned. “At least James isn’t screwing this up.”

“He got his flying from you,” Harry said, looking at his wife with a smile on his face. Lily heard all the time about her mother’s fantastic Quidditch skills, that she had been a professional player before she had her children and went into journalism. Her uncle's liked to talk about his skills, the fact he was the youngest seeker Hogwarts had in years, but he didn’t talk about it. The only part of his past her father would willingly mention was after he married Ginny, questions about that were fair game. Questions died in Lily’s throat, because she couldn’t stand the look they’d cause on her father’s face.

“Harry, you’re being entirely too modest,” Hermione said. “It’s not you’ve never flown before.”

“Ginny’s the one with real talent,” he responded slowly.

“Shut up, Harry,” Ginny snapped. “Watch the game and do me a favor…” She took the camera from her neck and set it in Lily’s lap. “Give it to your father and see to it that he takes pictures…” She dug around in her bag and pulled out a press pass that she threw over her neck.

“Gin, I’m rubbish with a camera.”

“I know you’re not Creevey, just get a few shots.”

“Mate, she was talking about Dennis, you know he’s working for the Prophet now,” her Uncle Ron said as he patted his friend’s shoulder.

“Give me the camera Lily, you know your father can never get a decent shot.” Hermione held out her hand and Lily could have passed it, but instead she got out of her seat and walked over to where she sat, happy that Hugo moved to sit beside Louis. “Do you want to ask me something?” She poised the camera and adjusted the lens to take a shot before clicking multiple times. “You could ask your dad.”

“You know I can’t do that.”

Hermione sighed and set the camera in her lap before leaning in closely to her niece. “Colin Creevey was the excitable kid that was very sweet. He loved to take pictures and Harry was his favorite subject. Harry Potter was his hero…” She sighed and looked over to where her husband and best friend were now talking intensely about the game. “In his sixth year he got kicked out of school because he was a muggle born, but he came back for the Battle.” Hermione looked away and took a few pictures. “McGonagall tried to turn him away because he was underage, but he snuck back in.”

The weight of the words hit Lily hard, so did the look on her aunt’s face. “He was killed, wasn’t he?”

“Harry was extremely upset over his death. He still talks with his younger brother, Dennis Creevey, who works at the Prophet. He’s supposed to be a journalist, but he mainly takes pictures.”

Lily just nods and spends the rest of the game next to her aunt, occasionally taking the camera from her to do it herself. The game is over fairly quickly, James’ team put up a fight but the other seeker was clearly more experienced and better skilled for the job.

“Once your mother comes up I have to make nice with the press.” He rolled his eyes at that. “I would recommend taking one of your cousins and waiting for James. We’re going to go home and after we get a few pizzas.” Harry ruffled his daughter’s hair and gave her a side hug.

“Dad…” She pushed off from him and descended the steps, looking around the pitch. They waited long enough that most people still weren’t in their seats, but there was a large group congregated. Usually some of the players talked with fans instead of heading straight to the locker room, something that James usually did. However, when she got closer she saw that men in front of her were wearing black shirts.

“Lil!” One of them shouted and made his way over. “I told Score he should have come, he wanted to sleep how lame is that?” It was Lucas MacLaggan and his wide grin. “We just came back from a match abroad about an hour and a half ago.”

“Very lame,” she answered. “What are you lot doing here?”

“Charity game,” he explained. “We were working the crowd, showing good sportsmanship… scouting the competition.” The last part he leaned in to whisper. “Listen, a bunch of the guys were going to grab something to eat, drag Score’s arse out of bed and celebrate our win, want to come with?”

Lily didn’t get a chance to answer. The crowd of fans had disappeared, but then a group of reporters came forward, press passes dangling and camera’s poised. One of the other men stepped forward, Stephen Myers. “Mate, get Lily out of here, the press will eat her alive,” he mumbled before stepping forward to distract them momentarily. Lucas grabbed her arm and pulled her away doing his best to block her from the reporters.

They made their way around the pitch, circling back in the direction of the players. By the time she made it to the couches outside of the locker room her father and brother were standing there. “Lils!” James shouted.

“Bud, where on earth did you go?” Her father looked her over and then rested his eyes on Lucas who still had his hand on her arm.

“Dad, this is Lucas MacLaggan, one of Scorpius’ teammates,” she said.

“I met Lily at Malfoy’s party, I started talking her ear off and then helped her dodge the press.” He gave Harry a smile, but the older man still didn’t look very amused. “Well, it was nice to see you, sir.” He turned to Lily. “We on for tonight?”

“What is tonight?”

“The Thestrals just won their game, he invited me to come with him and the rest of the team.” Lily looked at her father and brother, then back at Lucas. “It’s my first day back from school, but thank you for the invite.”

“I forgot you’re still in school. Well, the team better see you around, we have to get some dirt on Malfoy.” He patted her on the back and then left, without another glance at Harry. He led the way to the car and as they were walking she heard James grumble.

“I can’t believe you’re friendly with McLaggen. That guy is the most arrogant--”

“James Potter calling someone arrogant?” she teased and then bumped into him. “He’s nice, and one of Score’s friends.”

He snorts at that. “I helped her dodge the press...I forgot you're still in school.” He rolled his eyes. “For someone who is supposed to be so damn smart can’t you realize when a guy is trying to flirt with you? He’s a creep, especially if he’s going after some girl that’s dating his friend.”

“Is this about Score?” She tugs him to a stop. Harry is in the car, head leaned back against the rest and Ginny nowhere in sight.

“I could care less about you and Malfoy, just…” He runs his hand through his hair. “If you do go with the team, make sure Scorpius is there with you, hell take someone else too like Roxie or Dom or even Gracie. I know what happens when they celebrate a win and...You may be 17, but that doesn’t mean you’re invincible.” He slings an arm around her shoulder and then ruffles her hair before giving her a small shove in the direction of the car. Ginny came not long after and soon enough most of the family was piled in the Potter house, boxes of pizza laid all of tables. Lily almost forgot about the offer Lucas had made her. Almost.

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