Till the Wind Sets You Free

Chapter 15

“What time are you going to be home?” Ginny asked as she saw her daughter scrambling about the living room looking for her other shoe.

“I don’t know…” She looked up, her messy hair hanging around her face.

“Will you be with Scorpius?” Harry asked, coming in heading around the other side of the couch and holding up a black flat.

“Thanks, dad.” She answered and put it on. “Not just Score, he invited a bunch of us… Jordi, Flint, Al, Regina…”

“If Al is going to be there, just make sure you get home at a decent hour,” Ginny said. “If you’re coming home past 11 have Al or Scorpius apparate you.”


“Lily, she’s right,” Harry said. “You may have, by some miracle, gotten your license, but I don’t want to deal with you stumbling in the door, at midnight, missing an ear.” He looked down at his watch. “When is this thing supposed to start?”

“Seven, but Score’s coming here.” Lily left to go up the staircase and didn’t reappear until Scorpius showed up. He sat on the couch and attempted conversation with Harry while Ginny was multitasking between criticizing the daily paper and editing articles. “Scorpius.” She crossed the room and pulled him to his feet. “Bye, dad, mum.” With a laugh she tossed her hair over her shoulder as she led Scorpius out. Ginny sighed and set down her quill as Harry rubbed his eyes.

“We can’t stop her.” Ginny walked over to the couch and sat next to him, curling against his side.

“No, do you think it’s taste of our medicine? It’s what your mum told me.”

“Absolutely not, she was easy compared to James.”

Lily was still Lily, Scorpius knew that, but something had changed during her sixth year. Instead of a messy mane, it was loose curls. Her jeans weren’t ripped, but skin tight. He watched as she tossed her head back with laughter as she talked with his teammate’s. “Here you go,” he said as he handed her a drink. “What are you talking about?”

“She was telling us about the time the two of you got caught in the common room. Guess you aren’t a choirboy after all,” Lucas teased.

“I take it she embellished the story.” He looked down at Lily who was looking at him through her lashes. Her hand darted towards his and clasped it tightly.

“I would never do a thing like that.” She took the cup from him with her free hand and planted a kiss on his cheek. “So, why exactly are you having this?” Looking around the room she saw Jordi talking with Flint, Regina had her arm around her boyfriend’s as she talked to one of the beaters.

“Another promotional party,” Steven scoffed. “So just keep on smiling sweetie.”

“Excuse me?” she questioned. Her hand dropped from Scorpius, but one of his arms went to her waist, pulling her a bit closer.

“The only Quidditch team more popular than the Thestrals is the one that James Potter is on,” Lucas remarked. “That’s what you get for having parents that survived the war and our Keeper dating the only daughter of the boy who lived.” He lifted a cup to his lips as he tilted his head in the direction of a few people with press passes working the crowd. “I’d watch your back, Potter.”

“You’re joking, right?”

“I wish I was. Did you see the latest tabloid cover?” Lucas said as he stepped forward and rested a hand on her shoulder. Lily looked at Scorpius with raised eyebrows.

“McLaggan…” Scorpius said with an arm tightening around her waist. “I would like to avoid any further publicity.”

“What?” she asked.

“Your cheating on Malfoy, honey, hate to break it to you.” With those words Stephen gave her a smirk, gesturing for Lucas to continue.

Lily rolled her eyes as he withdrew a magazine from his leather jacket. There were several photos, one of them was Lucas with his wicked grin and a hand on her arm with Harry’s stare focused at him. She let out a laugh. “No wonder why James hates you,” she responded, meeting Lucas’ eyes as she leaned into her boyfriend. “I think he may tolerate you, now.” She looked at Scorpius. “Don’t faint.”

“Let’s slip out of here. Follow my lead.” Scorpius lead her out of the room, into an empty hallway. “Do you mind? I kind of wanted out of there.”

“This is going to tarnish your golden reputation.” She set her cup down on the a and rested her arms on his shoulders, fingers brushing against the back of the neck. “If someone catches us…”

“I’ve missed you,” he interrupted. “I thought inviting you to this party would… The guys kept on saying they wanted to see you again, especially after they talked to you at the pitch.” He touched her face.

Lily let out a laugh and leaned in closer, kissing him and letting her hands drift. “How long do you think we have?”

“Do you want to get out of here? You haven’t seen my apartment yet and my roommate probably won’t come tonight.” Scorpius had pointed him out. He was a quiet bloke, a beater, and seemed pleasant enough.

“I haven’t even seen Al yet, have you?”

“Lily…” Scorpius bit his lip. “You aren’t going to see him. He asked me to tell you that he had a long day and didn’t want to be out late.”

“Don’t lie to me.”

“He’s fine, his wrist is already healing--”

“What did he do?” she asked.

“He didn’t tell me, it was an accident during a training exercise.” He pulled away, only keeping a hand on her shoulder. “Al didn’t want you to worry, he told me that you stress out enough and he knew that I haven’t seen you since you got home.”

“I… I just can’t do this right now.” She laid her hands flat on his chest. “Let’s go to your apartment.”

“You just told me no.”

“Well, I changed me mind.” Her eyelashes fluttered as she tilted her head until the space between their lips was so fractional they were nearly touching.

“Lily, I’m not taking you because you’re upset.”

She leaned in and pressed another kiss to his lips. “Take me because I want to be with you.”

He seemed to contemplate this for a minute as he looked into her eyes. Finally, he sighed. “I’m going to tell coach that I’m leaving and then we can apparate.” He planted a kiss on her cheek before leaving her. Lily backed up, tilting her head until she hit the wall. Closing her eyes she forced her mind to stay focus, to not wander, and grope for a vision until it came. She wouldn’t do that. Not now.

Standing in a white room she looked down at what she was wearing. A robe, green and white, like a healer’s. In her hands was a clipboard full of names and vitals and lists of potions that she didn’t even know what did, but dream-her did. A bell sounded, so high it seemed to puncture her eardrums.


“What do I need to do?”

“Head to the post-op wing,” the older woman ordered.

“What? That was a warning sound, we’re going to serious injuries in here in less than five minutes.”
“They’re aurors.”

“So?” She tried to remain calm, but her heart fluttered.

“I’m so sorry, Lily, but hospital rules clearly state that you can’t--”
“Can’t what? I am the best at treating injuries from dark magic and was first in my class for--”

“Lily. Go. NOW.”

Her knuckles turned white as she gripped the clipboard, and bit her lip with multiple scenarios running through her mind. When she calmed herself down enough to look at the supervisor she had a realization. “No. NO.” The only possible scenario for her not being able to treat a patient was if they were family.

“Leave, now, and come down when your shift is over.”

“Who is it? What…”

“Lily? Come on…” A hand touched her arm gently. When she opened her eyes, Scorpius was staring at her. “We fell asleep, I guess…”

She blinked blearily and saw the coffee table in front of them. Her empty bottle of butterbeer and Scorpius’ now cold cup of tea. The tv played the end credits of a movie...She was surprised that he even knew how to work it, but apparently his roommate liked muggle things. “What time is it?”

“Uh...11:30…” Scorpius swiped a hand over his face and looked down at the girl still curled against him. “Hey, what’s wrong?” he asked. “Usually, I’m the one who overanalyzes the situation and worries about your parents.”

“My dad is going to be angry.” She got off the couch and smoothed her shirt before looking around for her shoes.

“I’ll explain it to him, relax.”

“No. Don’t tell me to relax, because all I’m doing is proving his point.” She shook her head. “First mum, and then James, then my dad…” She found her shoes and shoved her feet into them. “He doesn’t even trust me to apparate myself home. I’m 17 years old.”

“Yeah, and when I was 17 my parents didn’t want me apparating unless they knew I could make it home safe.” Scorpius stepped forward. “No responsible person would let you leave this apartment alone.”

“I am perfectly capable--”

“How much have you had to drink tonight?” he asked. “You just woke up five minutes ago, you're obviously distraught, and you got your license, what? Two months ago?”

“Can I not argue with you?” she questioned. “And for your information I only had enough alcohol to get a house elf drunk.”

“Whatever.” Scorpius looked away, but she knew he was giving her that stupid look of his. Did it matter that she had a drink or two at the party? She was legal and sober by now.

She looked at him with narrowed eyes. Still, when he held out her hand, she took it and closed her eyes. Before she knew it they were on her front porch. The lights appeared to be off, which was normal this time of night. “You got me home.”

“That I did.” He gave her a side hug. “I have a break in two weeks. No games for a bit, I want to see you then, alright?” A hand cupped her cheek. “I don’t know what’s going on, but...I am here.”

She looked at him and nodded before giving a real hug, one of her embraces that made Scorpius feel like he was at home.

The next morning when Lily came downstairs for breakfast, she expected to be alone, but she found her dad, pouring himself a cup of tea. “Good morning,” he greeted.

“Hey,” she said and poured herself a glass of pumpkin juice and sat down at the table. “What are you doing here today?”

“Working from home, most of my department is out and I need to get this paperwork done.” He gestured to the files on the kitchen table before he grabbed the butter out of the refrigerator. “Do you want toast?”

“Yeah.” She looked down at the table and then back up at her dad who was busy buttering toast. At the sight of him, she had to bite back a laugh. Those stupid tabloid pictures didn’t show this part of her father. The part of him that wore flannel shirts, liked cooking the muggle way.... “Did you know about Albus?” She looked at him, saw how his hand tightened around the plate when he turned to take it to the table. “I take it that was a yes. Is there a reason you didn’t tell me?”

“It wasn’t serious and he’s coming to dinner tonight, he’ll tell you what happened himself.”

“You can’t protect me from everything.”

“I know that.” He shook his head, with a sad smile on his face. “What time did you get in last night?”

“Around eleven, I side-apparated with Score.” She reached for a piece of toast and set it in front of her. “I’m not going to lie to you, because I know at some point Scorpius will tell anyway, I went to his apartment last night…”

He was already sitting down, his face fell a bit. “At least you’re honest, and I actually knew you were dating someone.” He sighed. “I just expected a stunt like this from James. If you were going to his apartment, why didn’t you ask me beforehand?”

“It just happened and I was with Scorpius, we fell asleep watching a movie.”

“And when I get a letter saying that you were caught with him in the common room after hours, then you send me letter saying not to tell your mum, and that there are aurors in danger.”


“I know that happened awhile ago, but… I trust you Lily and I trust Scorpius. Draco Malfoy may have his faults, but he raised Scorpius to be a--”

“Choirboy?” she supplied, thinking of the name that the guys on the team had given him.

Harry rolled his eyes. “Still, in good conscience… I don’t want you going to his apartment alone, alright?”

“Fine, but isn’t that sort of hypocritical when you invited him to come here whenever he wants?”

“This is my house and you two can’t really do anything in a house that’s part of the Weasley family.” He laughed and Lily knew it was true. Someone was always popping in. Even if they were here alone, give it fifteen minutes and they would be interrupted. “Seriously, though, it terrifies me that you’re growing up. Your mum jokes that James was harder, but he was…”

“Like you?” she supplied. “Aunt Mione says that Hugo acts like Ron, just the way James acts like you.”

“There’s a reason I don’t tell you about my past Lily, a reason I keep you from the press…”

“I know.” She looked at him. “But you can’t keep on doing it. Not knowing anything drives me insane. I realize that you can’t tell me much about your job, but keeping things from me makes it worse. I panic and then the visions start again. I told Score that I don’t want to suppress or control them, they’re a part of me,. but sometimes I don’t know if I’m having a dream or…” She squeezed her eyes shut and remembered what she saw last night, still confused by it.

“Come here.” Her father got out of her chair and knelt slightly so an arm could go around her shoulder in a side hug. “I am never going to stop worrying you or try protecting you, Merlin knows I’ve tried with Albus and James. James makes it impossible with all the scrapes he gets into and Al...well, there is only so much I can do when he decides to be an auror.”

“Let’s finish breakfast, and we can do something together before I have to run this into the Ministry.” Harry gets to his feet and returns to his chair. The rest of the morning passes by in a mostly comfortable silence. About ten, Lily convinces her father to come fly with her, something he hadn’t done in ages. By the time they are done, the wind has blown them all askew and their cheeks are flushed and laughter passes between them.

The wind whipped around Lily and she silently cursed it as she made her way through the Quidditch pitch. She had come to spend quite a bit of time here when Scorpius' practice ran late and she worked the afternoon. Today was no different, accept for the fact that she was relegated to wash dishes in the pub as the inn was undergoing some repairs and the kitchen was busier than usual. Gracie had let her borrow clothes, but ones that she didn't exactly feel comfortable in. The shirt was tight and dipped low, the shorts tan and shorter than she normally wore. Gracie had helped her tame her hair, but it still fell haphazardly around her shoulders in messy waves.

Still, it was nice with the sun hitting her as she watched the Thestrals practice formation drills. Their flying was impeccable, probably one of the best in the league, but she knew from Scorpius that it was their playing that got in the way of them winning many games. When she sees Score dip low and then come back up before doing a loop in the air she smiled. His face was open and expressive, always is when he's flying like that. The only other time she saw him like that is when their alone and she can get his guard down. That only happens when it's late or early in the morning, he's sleepy and relaxed. When he's like that she would plant a bruising kiss on his lips, and run a hand through his hair. He's surprised, eyes wide, as he pulls her close.

“What's got you grinning?”

Lily spun around and saw Albus coming toward her. “Nothing,” she answers, “just thinking.” She looked him over and sees that he's changed after his auror class. He looks so much like their dad it isn't funny, what with is messy hair, thin flannel thrown over a loose t-shirt. The only thing that's different is a pair straight leg jeans that hug in all the places thanks to Dom and Roxie declaring if he wants to start dating, he should stop dressing like a slob. “Ready for your date?”

He let out a groan and leaned against the railing. “Can I tell you something? Don't tease me because if I wanted to be with James I would be.”

“I promise, but just this once.”

“When I broke my wrist in training the night of the party, I was angry at myself, but also glad that I didn't have to go.”

“You were supposed to meet him then?” At that Lily looks up to the sky to see who 'him' is. Vince Hendricks, Beater for the Thestrals. The guy is attractive, built a lot like Teddy with broad shoulders and decent height. His hair, though, is cut short and he has bristly stubble with clear blue eyes.

She had seen him that night at the party, at least from what she remembered. As much as she hated to admit, after the first drink Jordi gave her, her mind went a little fuzzy. Something that she liked to do, kept her further away from visions.

“Yeah, I've tried meeting guys myself, but dating is frowned upon for Ministry employees, especially if you're in the same department. Julian and I may have been more friends than boyfriends, but I liked him.” He kicked at the ground at that. Lily leaned against him and smiled at him. Sweet, thoughtful Al attracted the most peculiar men. Julian was intelligent, fairly quiet, and had a biting sense of sarcasm. From what little she'd heard from Lucas and Stephen, Vince was a large teddy bear. Even during a game, he never showed any sort of aggression. Sure, he did his job and he did his job to the very best of abilities, but he stuck to the rules.

“You look like you're about to bolt any second and you want your first date to be with your best friend and little sister...”

Albus shrugged. “I just...this dating thing wasn't something I did. I didn't even think...When I met Julian it was because we were partners for a project, then we started hanging out together, going to Hogsmeade or playing chess or taking walks...I just fell into it, somewhere along the line I had to admit that I was gay.” He swallowed and ran his hand through his hair. “I don't have to do that this time, I can start from scratch and be honest with myself.”

Lily slides an arm over her brothers shoulder and then gives him a full on hug. Al lets out a laugh and returns it. By the time they pull apart the players have landed and are trickling into the locker rooms. “They're heading to the old training center that's attached. They never go to the newer one unless it's a game day.” She reaches for her brother's hand once they pull apart and tugs him in the direction of it. The old center is all cement blocks, white paint, and cracked grey tile. They go past the front desk, Lily smiled at the receptionist—a guy in a polo shirt—and sprinted past the weight room. Before long they are in a maze of hallways, all melling vaguelly of chlorine, sweat, and cologne, before they come to a plain looking door. “Now we wait.”

“You spend a lot of time here.”

“Summer is the only time I get to see him, so I have to spend time here with Score's crazy schedule. I was even able to work out here once, it was a voluntary session.” Granted as soon as she showed up, she was handed one of Scorpius' jerseys and told by the coach to play nice with the press. Apparently, voluntary workout meant mandatory media meeting.

“I'm surprised that you can tolerate it.”

“If you make some sort of crack about me getting busted for staying late at Score's I swear--”

“No, it's just... I know how attached you get to people Lily, I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but I imagined you had a hard time when most of us graduated and you still had two years left.”

“It was hard, it is hard, especially since that's what everyone keeps on asking me about. I trust Score and he trusts me, besides I have other friends. My roommates and I are getting along fine, plus I have Jordi. If I ever get particularly lonely I know I can go to Louis or Hugo or Alice.”

Their conversation is cut short by the team members spilling out of the locker room. Lily greets Lucas and Stephen enthusiastically, giving each of them a side hug and a bit of teasing before they have to leave. It's then she notices Vince come out, no doubt hanging back.

“I take it your Albus,” he said with a voice that is deep and rumbling. “I'm Vince.” He holds out a hand and looks Lily's brother straight in the eye.

“Call me Al, most everyone does.” He takes the hand and holds it a bit too long before retracting it. “You've met Lily, right?”

“Never formally,” he replied and looks at the red head. “Everyone else has crazy stories about Malfoy's girl, but--”

“She's not 'my girl',” a voice called out. It's Scorpius, appearing from the locker room. “I think that implies I have some sort of control over her.” He wrapped his arms around her and Lily gives him a kiss. When they pull away, Albus rolled his eyes.

“You two are nauseating,” he complained and then looked at Vince. “Don't you agree?”

The larger man shrugs, but there is a smile that tugs on his lips. “I'm starved, where are we going?”

“Do you have muggle money?” Lily says immediately, which earns her a glare from Scorpius and Albus along with a confused look from Vince. “What?”

“Lily that tactic never works,” Scorpius told her. “And I have been on the team with Vince for months.” He looked at his teammate. “Lily likes to make people squirm, give them a test to tell if they still have ridiculous prejudice against muggles. I never pounds on me, though.”

“Neither do I,” Vince replied. “Before I came to England I did, but only because the wizarding community wasn't as large as it is here.”

“Can we stop with the interrogation?” Albus said. “Why don't we go grab lunch, I'm starving and I'm sure the two of you are.”

“Let's go to Blue Moon,” Scorpius suggested. “It's nearby and we can eat outside.”

“Is that the one with the striped awnings and painted windows?” Al asked as he watched Scorpius reach for Lily's hand to side apparate.

“Yes.” He nodded and in a blink of the eye, he's gone.

“Do you now where that is?”

“Afraid not.”

Al nodded and held out his hand. It would be easy to grab his arm, but that's something you do with a sibling or a friend you're not very close to. “Is this alright?” He laced his fingers with Vince.

“Fine,” the man replied with a smile. In an instant they are in a secluded area that most wizards apparate to in order to arrive at the cafe. “Do you think they did that on purpose making us go together?” Vince hasn't dropped Albus' hand.

“Probably, Score has spent way too much time around Lily.” Albus looked down at their hands and then looks him in the eye. “We better find them or I won't be able to get her to shut up about how the two of us went missing.”

Vince released his hand, but it went to Albus' arm letting it linger for a few moments. Without anymore words the two men went into the restaurant, interrupted the bickering of Lily and Scorpius. Though, from the tone of their voice, it appeared to be an argument, the teasing smile on Lily's face and the look in Scorpius' eyes, Albus can tell it's anything but. Vince, on the other hand, looked back and forth between them, not quite knowing what to say. It took up until after they order their food and get their drinks for him to be put more at ease.

“I think that I am at a great disadvantage. I hardly know anything about you, other than what Score's told me.” Albus was sitting between Vince and Scorpius, Lily across from him.

“It's not that exciting, I graduated from Hogwarts when you and Malfoy were in your...fourth year, or fifth year...I was in Hufflepuff, played on the house team all six years. I attempted to go to uni, but was recruited to go Ireland and accepted. A few years later the Thestrals were created and I was eager to go home.” He stared back down at the table and then looked back up. “Sorry, I'm not much of a big talker.”

“What about your family?” Albus assumed it's a safe question, he could talk for ages about his family members.

“Uh...It's been me and my dad for quite some time. No siblings.”

“Oh,” Albus responded, hoping that he could talk for longer about that.

“Not everyone is a member of the Weasley family, Al,” Lily informed him. “Our family is huge and crazy and--”

“Wonderful,” Scorpius interjected. “Some of them may glare at me, but at least their not trying to pair you off with someone else.”

“We always hoped she'd end up with Lysander,” Albus teased, this caused his sister to roll her eyes and mutter under her breath until Scorpius reached under the table to steady her wand.

“Who's Lysander?” Vince questioned, looking at them with a puzzled expresson, he thought about it and then, “Oh, one of the Skamander twins?”

“Their practically family,” Albus said.

“Once the Weasley family welcomes you and you accept, we latch on to you and refuse to let you go.” Lily looked at Scorpius at that. “For example, Teddy Lupin was just our god brother, but he married our cousin Victoire. Should I continue?”

“Lily, stop trying to scare him, honestly, you're worse than James,” Albus complained. “This is what I got for agreeing to go on a double date with my best mate.”

That part of the conversation is interrupted by their food being delivered. Vince and Al both got large orders of fish and chips. Lily was frustrated when the server tried to give her Scorpius' fussy goat cheese and fruit salad instead of the burger she had ordered. Once the mishap was resolved she began to tear into it. “This is good, I'm glad you suggested coming here.” She took another bite. “It's going to be miserable going back to school, I swear the food gets worse every year.”

“Going back to school?” Vince asked. “You still go?”

“I thought you knew,” Scorpius said as he sets down his fork.

“I assumed...” He looked to have paled a bit and dropped the food that was in his hand.

“I'm 17, it's not like he's a pervert,” Lily said. “And you're, what, three years older than Al?”

“No, it's just, you seem older, it's hard to believe that you still have a year left in school.” He prodded at his plate and then looked over at Albus. “Like you said earlier, you know all about my job from the papers, but how's your job going? Malfoy told me that you were training to be an auror.”

“Yeah, it's going good. I started straight away after school, admitted on a contingency of test scores.” Albus looked at Lily, the way she is studying her burger and moving her chair a bit closer to Scorpius. “It's really not all that exciting.”

“It was a shame that you broke you wrist the night of the party.”

“Yeah, but it was an accident. I didn't block a particularly nasty curse that was thrown at me and sent my flying backwards,” Albus explained. “Other than that, it's fine.”

“Don't lie for my sake,” Lily interjected. “Score and Albus try to keep things from me because I worry.” She rolled her eyes at that. “Worry implies that the scenarios that pop into my mind are unwarrented and stem from panic, not that they are realistic possibilities.”

“She dislikes the amount of danger associated with being an auror,” Scorpius summarized.

“And I don't like to talk about it all that much, if you have specific questions I can answer them,” he said.

“That would require some extra time,” Vince said, there was a smile playing on his lips.

Lily looked at the two of them and then at Scorpius who was still picking apart his salad, before she dabbed her lips with her napkin and set it down on her plate. “Score, I need to run to the book store before it closes, would you come with me?”

Scorpius looked up at her, his face breaking into a secretive smirk. “Of course, they have such odd hours, you wouldn't want to risk it.” He got to his feet and then waited for Lily who grasped his hand. “Sorry to duck out early.”

“It's fine,” Albus said immediately and gives Vince a smile to tell him that it really is.

They don't make a trip to any story, let alone a bookstore. Scorpius let Lily side apparate them to her house, something that she—for once---pulled off without a hitch. He stopped by the doorway to hand her the only bit of mail that's sitting on the counter by the door. She looked down at the letter from Hogwarts, rolled her eyes, and then pulled him up her stairs. He still hated her room, especially her narrow bed, but they end up there anyway. She tossed the letter on her desk and then looked at him.

Lily pushed him forward and he fell back. She sat astride his lap and kisses him. It's hard enough to make his lips feel like they are being bruised. Working her way down, she gave him the same type of kiss on his jawline, his neck, his collar bone...Never enough to bruise, just enough for him to feel it. He stopped her, when she tugged at the hem of his shirt. “No.”

“Why? I want it, I want you.”

“Not like this,” he said and placed a kiss on her lips. This one is chaste, light and loving. “Besides, it's nearly five and your parents will be home some. I doubt your father wants a repeat fo the Albus/Julian incident.”

Lily nodded and gets off his lap and goes to her mirror to fix her hair, only to scowl at her outfit. She stripped quickly, not even glancing back at Scorpius, before she slides on a pair of sweatpants and t-shirt. “I think Vince will be good for Albus.”

“They're both good guys.”

“Score...” She faced him now and walked to where he stands halfway between her bed and the door. “At lunch...I was just thinking, and the thought is silly and bit selfish, but... Your decision to not go to auror training didn't involve me, right?”

There was a pause and a fleeting look of panic from Scorpius before he spoke. “No, Lily, as much as I love you I don't base my life around. I like playing Quidditch and I get paid well for something that most people consider a hobby.”

“You like playing Quidditch, you don't love it.” She looked down at her feet and then up at him. “When you were flying today you looked so...happy, but...”

“I'm fine, don't worry about me.” He crossed the distance to pull her in his arm. A gesture that has become easier for him and is very welcomed by her. When stepped back, it's only to rest one hand on either side of her face and give her a kiss. He dropped them when done and gives her a smile. “Are you sure you aren't projecting your worries about your future onto me?”

At that she rolled his eyes and caused Scorpius to let out a laugh. “I would love to stay, but I probably should get going. I promised my flatmate I would be there to sort out a few things tonight, and I have an early practice tomorrow.”

“It's fine.” She hugged him, foregoing a kiss and he apparated from her bedroom. When he's gone she spun on her heel and goes over to the desk, reaching for the letter. Earlier, when the letter was first handed to her, the weight was unnoticable and now it feels like a brick in her palm. Even with Scorpius gone, she can't bring herself to break the seal and see what lies inside.

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