Till the Wind Sets You Free

Chapter 4

Quidditch sign-ups were posted on Wednesday which gave her even more of a chance to avoid Scorpius. Simone and her other roommates were getting concerned and suspicious that she stayed out all hours of the night. So, she did her best to stay in her room and be with the Jordi and Nott whenever she wasn’t at lessons.

Scorpius, though, did stay away from her. That was the best and most infuriating thing about him, he was always seemed so detached. However, whenever she met his eyes he looked at her with concern.

“Potter,” one of the fourth years called out. Damon Flint was one of the youngest Quidditch captains that Slytherin ever had, but there was no one left to fill the spot. None of the older Slytherin’s had any desire or talent to play on the house team. “Remember, we have tryouts this Saturday. I booked the pitch tonight for all the prospective players to practice. Alright?”

She nodded, clutching her fork tightly. His tone of voice was not one that she appreciated, but it was one that she grudgingly became accustomed to as the youngest of all her cousins. “How many people signed up?”

“Numbers aren’t that great, but let’s not worry about that now.” He gave her a smile. “Have you seen Malfoy around?”

“Why are you asking me?” she snapped, causing the Nott and Zabini to look at her strangely.

“You’re kidding right?” Jordi questioned. “Last year we wondered if someone used a sticking charm on you two.”

“Whatever,” she rolled her eyes and got to her feet. “I have to leave, thanks for telling me about practice, Damon.” Lily threw her bag over her shoulder and marched out of the Great Hall. Behind her she heard footsteps, and saw Scorpius. “Do you need something?”

“Usually, I’d leave you alone until you’re ready to talk, but…” He shook his head and let out a laugh. “You and Albus are a lot alike.”

Lily looked at him and balled her hands together. She thought back to the constellation in the sky, the distinct shape formed by bright stars. “Firenze and Professor Patil are helping me.”

“Is that where you’re going now?”

“Yeah, History of Magic doesn’t start until nine and Professor Patil doesn’t have a class until this afternoon.” Lily bit her lip.

“Let me walk you, it’s on the way to Charms.”

Lily nodded and walked close with him as they began their ascent up the stairs, shoulders brushing against each other. A cold shoulder and frustration wouldn’t chase Scorpius away, she knew that. Why was she scared of this? She borrowed Simone’s astronomy textbook to look up the mythology behind the constellation, in one of them Scorpius killed Orion to defend Dionne’s chastity. Many thought that Lily was the one who influenced Scorpius, that she convinced him to all sorts of crazy things, but Scorpius was the one who influenced her. How ironic was it that someone who was named after the stars kept someone named after a flower grounded?

Lily was searching through her trunk in her dorm while her roommates lounged on her bed. “What are you looking for?” Simone asked.

“My trousers, I have practice tonight.”

“Practice for what?” It was Daphne, her other roommate. “Oh, do you mean Quidditch? I want to come, Ophelia is trying out and I promised I’d watch her…” She smirked. “But then again Damon isn’t really hard on the eyes.”

“It’s not tryouts,” Lily replied through gritted teeth. Daphne was a sweet girl, but she reminded her too much of her cousin Dominique. The flirty part Veela who was constantly gossiping with Roxanne. Ophelia, Daphne’s sister who was in her fifth year, was quieter and known for her skills on the Pitch.

Lily said no more to roommates as she slid on the trousers and one of her t-shirts that she wasn’t quite sure was her own, in fact it was most likely Hugo’s as he had a tendency for leaving his stuff laying around at the Potter’s. Since Albus and James were quite a bit larger than him, all of his long forgotten clothes ended up being Lily’s.

“Are you coming Simone?” Lily asked as he pulled her hair back into a ponytail, then stabbed at the loose tendrils with bobby pins.

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world.” She smirked and jumped off the bed. The three girls headed downstairs and then out of their common room, down the corridor and outside. Daphne and Simone continued to the bleachers, but she stopped at the shed.

“Do you have your broom?” Scorpius questioned. “The school one’s are rubbish.”

“Albus has always said I can use his, mum is sending me mine soon,” she answered and grabbed her brother’s broom. It looked as if it hadn’t been touched since the beginning of the school year. She found that strange as James was the Captain and he turned into some crazed leader that began practice mid-September. Lily looked at Scorpius with a wrinkled of concentration across her forehead.

“You need to ask him about that.” Scorpius rubbed the back of his neck and grabbed at his own. “It’s a long story and one that I don’t know if he would want you to know yet.” He forced one of those polite smiles across his face and reached for her shoulder, rubbing it a bit to let her know that she shouldn’t worry. “Damon’s going to be wondering where we are and if we’re gone for too long Regina won’t let me hear the end of it.”

Lily lifts an eyebrow, silently asking Scorpius why Regina would give him a bad time. People must think that there’s more than there is between them. Even here, with her body not far from him, she doesn’t feel that pull towards him that Victoire’s always going on about with Teddy. She thought back to when James first caught them kissing each other and wondered what it would be like with him.

“Yeah,” she answered and then a smile crossed her face. “Race you out there!” She let out laugh and he chased after her, struggling to keep up, because for a girl so small she sure is fast.

Lily was only eleven--her first year---she had butterfly clips in her hair and a Holyhead Harpies t-shirt. While she hugged her father, Albus shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans as he stood beside Scorpius at King’s Cross The light haired boy was in khaki’s with light blue button up shirt. Albus wanted to tease him about the way he dressed, more formal than their school uniforms, but he knew it wasn’t really his choice.

“Listen, about Lily…” he began. “I don’t know what house she’ll be in, but…”

“If she’s a snake…” Scorpius finished.

“Mum and dad didn’t tell James and I very much before we started school...You know, about the war and all. They told Lily even less, though.” Albus kicked at the ground. “I think you know how it is, the War is a hard thing for anyone to bring up. Dad used to have these terrible nightmares and Mum can’t stand it when dad is gone for long… Lily pretends that she can handle things, but James let her watch a scary movie with us and she was scared to use her closet for weeks after.”

“She doesn’t know about Voldemort?”


“My dad told me I soon as I could understand. He told me never to be ashamed of my name because the sins of my father are not my own. It’s harder for you and Lily and James, isn’t it? People expect more from you.”

Albus nodded. “Dad refuses to talk to the press or have interviews or appearances. Lily thinks all the attention we get is because Mum’s a big Quidditch star.”

“Well, I can help you watch out for her if you think she needs it. Merlin knows you aren’t going to be getting any help from James.”

“Yeah, I think you’re better than Rose or Dom.”

Scorpius shuddered at the last name. “Can’t believe Roxanne and her are such good friends.”

“Hey, that’s my family.” Albus pretended to be offended and slugged him in the shoulder. “I know what you mean.” He laughed and stood closer, it was surprising that they became such good friends. His only hope was that Lily got to like Scorpius just as much as Albus liked him.

Come Saturday Lily was so nervous she couldn’t even sleep. Instead she went down to the Great Hall extra early with a Potion’s textbook and Divinations textbook. The latter was one for fifth years, but Professor Patil thought it would be beneficial for her. The former was to annotate it for an essay that was due by next Thursday.

“Relax,” Scorpius said as he slid down next to her. “Are you going to eat anything?”

Lily rolled her eyes and reached for a slice of toast. “Happy?” She munched on it loudly devouring it in three bites. “It’s more than you eat in a week.”

“That’s an exaggeration.” Scorpius poured a glass of water and scooped half a spoonful of eggs on his plate, adding a slice of toast mostly out of spite. “Why did you come down to the dining hall?”

Lily shrugged, trying to look nonchalant but Scorpius knew the look on her face.

“You don’t need to be nervous. There’s three Chaser spots. Ophelia is practically guaranteed one, but your flying is superb.” Scorpius was caught off guard by Lily wrapping her arms around him. He patted them lightly, but didn’t reciprocate the embrace. Slytherin’s were trickling in, and some of the older ones already had their eyes fixed on him.

“Are we interrupting something?” Regina questioned as she sat down on the bench across from them, Ophelia following suit. Regina could pass for a Malfoy with her silky blonde hair, pale skin, and clear blue eyes. Ophelia was the opposite: light olive skin, hair that was practically black, and clever eyes so dark you could hardly distinguish the pupil.

“No.” She pulled away from Scorpius and piled more food on her plate. Across the table Ophelia picked up the book and cocked an eyebrow.

“Aren’t you a third year?” Her tone was accusatorial. “This textbook is advanced for a fifth year.”

“It’s a hobby,” Scorpius said. “You know how Professor Patil is, she always indulges curious students.”

Lily knew he was covering for her, but she couldn’t help but be angry, especially with how the girls looked at her. “Can I have it back?” she questioned and then snatched it out of Ophelia’s hands. Scorpius rested a hand on her knee to inconspicuously tell her to calm down. She slid away from him and pulled her face into a frown. “I need to grab my trainers before tryouts, see you there.”

Lily made it to the pitch as Damon was arriving. She was on the bleachers stretching out as set the case down on the pitch. The one aspect of Quidditch that she despised was those infernal bludgers. She has a distinct memory of visiting Albus in the hospital wing after a particularly bad instance with the bludgers.

“You alright?” he questioned when he saw the look on his face. “Where’s Malfoy?”

“I had to change my shoes, I left him in the Great Hall with Regina and Ophelia.”

He gave her a look but threw her a Quaffle as he he mounted his broom. “Let’s get warmed up, show me what you got, Potter.” He smirked at her and she followed his lead, going straight into the air. The wind surged around her and she looked around the pitch to see him not far. She threw the ball, hard, and flew in the direction of one of the hoops. This went on for quite some time, zig zagging around the pitch, racing up and down. When their other teammates entered the pitch Lily held the Quaffle under her arm and saw Ophelia on the ground. She mounted her broom and came up to them.

“Pass it here!” she shouted. Lily saw Damon fly to the ground as she passed it to the fifth year. Jordi mounted his broom and followed them. It was then she realized the tryout was beginning when Damon used an amplification charm for his voice to shout complicated plays at them from the ground. He instructed them to stay on one half while he ran the others trying out for Chaser on the other half.

Once the passing was completed he had them run through various flying, catching and throwing drills. “Potter, Greengrass, get up there. Show me the figure eight formation.”

Lily bit her lip, wondering whether or not he was doing this to prove that she can handle the demands of the team or to prove that she cannot fly. The figure eight was difficult, they start at different ends of the pitch, they cross each other’s path in the middle an easy toss when they are far enough away. They do this, executing the first half perfectly, Lily tosses her the Quaffle. There is Scorpius at the other end, filling the role of Keeper that he does so well. Ophelia tosses it and he blocks it, knocking it far. Lily knows that she should let it go, her diving is part of the play, still she does it. Not far from the ground she caught in the arm. Her broom paused, but she fell forward, tumbling in the grass before she regains the momentum to fly again. The flying is shaky, Scorpius stares at her. She can see the worry and uses it to her advantage, swerving up and down to toss it into the lower left hoop. When she turns around she sees Damon with a beaming grin and Scorpius flying to the ground, holding a Quaffle still wondering if she is alright.

Lily was better. Or so it seemed. When Scorpius went to bed after patrol’s she was not in the common room. In the morning he didn’t see her until she came into the dining hall, sat down beside him with one large textbook or another as she piled her plate with inordinate amounts of food. That’s why he didn’t expect what happened a week after Quidditch tryouts.

Albus and he were conducting patrols, something that both of them looked forward to. Out of all the other prefects they enjoyed each other’s company much more. As they walked they kept quiet. “We don’t want Rose to accuse us of not correctly conducting patrols,” Scorpius said.

Albus shook his head and laughed. “I know why I think she’s insufferable, but what happened with the two of you? I thought the two of you used to be close.”

“Why aren’t you playing Quidditch?” he questioned, coming to a stop.

“Score...I...it’s a long story and no it doesn’t have to do with James or Wood.” He sighed kicking at the ground. “I have a lot on my mind and I’m a Prefect this year...Besides, I’m rubbish at Quidditch.”

Scorpius’ face was usually expressive, so it was hard to school a look of neutrality across his face when he was in utter disbelief. Albus was probably the best out his siblings, his family, at Quidditch. He, like his father, had made the team his first year and was Seeker. Like his mother, he was adept at flying. One thing, though, that Scorius was able to do was pick out the underlying meaning, I’m not my father. Scorpius was in the same boat as Albus. Both of them looked extremely similar to a their father when they were the same age. It was hard to find people that could look past that, especially given their reputations.

“I lied to Lily today. She wondered why your broom is collecting dust. I told her it was a long story and that you weren’t playing.”

“Thanks, mate.” He managed a smile as he halted, but his facial expression betrayed him. “What’s wrong?”

“Lily’s my friend too, and deceit has no place in friendship.”

“If you want an actual answer, one of my...friends…” At that word his voice had a peculiar sound as if he didn’t quite know what to call them. “Made me realize I was doing it for the wrong reasons.”

Scorpius just nodded as he looked ahead. “We better get back to bed. Heads have a late night meeting, so they want us done by ten.”

The two boys split up and headed to their respective dormitories. Scorpius got as far as the portrait hole when he was nearly ran over by a small figure with a mess of red hair. “Lily?” he whispered, grabbing at her arm. “Where are you going?”

She looked at him with watery eyes. “I need…” Lily shook her head. “My dad....owlery.”

“The owlery is locked this time of night, come on.” He released his grip, but then wrapped an arm around her shoulder.

“No, you don’t understand.” She shook her head profusely, trying to pull away from him.

“Lily, what in Merlin’s name is happening?” He tried to still her, but she struggled. Eventually he let her loose and she stood in front of him. “Is it about…” He was referring to her nightmares, her visions. They were never this bad, she hardly ever remembered them, usually they just kept her from sleeping.

“I don’t know...there was this man and auror’s and a bright light and screams…” She curled into herself. “I’m not supposed to remember.”

Scorpius whispered the password to their portrait before guiding her in. The dim light of the Common Room never went out, so he sat down on the couch and Lily followed. He wanted to say something, but she curled against his body and clung on tightly. It didn’t take him long to realize that she had fallen asleep in a mere matter of minutes. Before he knew it, he himself had followed her lead.

Professor Andrew Wolfe made his way to the Common Room after the meeting with all the Heads of Houses. He despised that you had to cross through the dormitories to get to his office, then up a flight of stairs and to the left to get to his room. It was made to be secluded, so students could access him if absolutely necessary, but the location was a deterrent. He envied those professors that could live off of the campus or at the very far from the students.

When he walked into the Common room he noticed it wasn’t empty. The biggest couch was occupied by two individuals: one boy and one girl. The girl he’d recognize anywhere, Lily Potter. Her red hair cascaded across the boys chest and arm. She was nothing but trouble, couldn’t even made it to class on time and probably thought she was above the rules,like her idiotic older brother did. Other professors, older ones, said there was hope for him. There wasn’t, the only decent individual out of that family--Weasley clan included--seemed to be Albus Potter.

Professor Wolfe shook his head and marched forward, but when he pieced together who the boy was anger sparked inside of him. It was the Malfoy boy. The studious, shy boy who somehow was devoid of his father’s arrogance. All the professor’s sang his praises and he too had hope, the boy’s work was excellent thus far and he was a prefect.

“Mr. Malfoy, Miss Potter,” he said, just loud enough for the two of them to hear, but still firm. When they didn’t respond, he grabbed the boys robe to shake him a bit. “Mr. Malfoy, wake this instant.”

The boy straightened up, his eyes popping open. When he realized that the Professor was standing over him with the girl draped across his chest he shrank a bit and pulled Lily in closer.

“Sir, I can explain. There is a perfectly acceptable reason why I am here with Miss Potter.”

“I would love to hear it, but I would like to go to bed, where the two of you should be currently. So, please wake her up or I will and it will not be pleasant.”

The professor watched as Scorpius gently moved her, a hand grazing against the bare skin of her arm where her jumper had fallen. Lily blinked a few times, still clinging tightly. Scorpius murmured a few words and she sat up straighter, biting her lip when she saw him.

Her reaction, though, puzzled Professor Wolfe. Most couples push away from each other when they are caught, but Lily leaned into his body, even more so than when he pulled her tighter. “Sir, I…” Her voice was strangled and her eyes looked red, he noticed they were slightly puffy as if she’d been crying.

“I want the both of you to go to your respective rooms, we will continue this conversation tomorrow before breakfast.”

He watched as Lily pulled away from Scorpius, but once he was on his feet he held out a hand for her to take, helping her to his feet. They exchanged a look that seemed to be an entire conversation...There was something going on here and he would have to get to the bottom of it.

Lily’s roommates eyed her curiously as they got ready the next morning. Daphne kept her voice low, occasionally giggling as she relied information to Simone. Her third roommate, Esther, kept to herself. Lily got along best with Simone, mostly because they had the same sense of humor, but Lily was nowhere near as gossipy as she was. Esther was rather somber, and liked to keep to herself. She spent most of her time with a small group of friends that consisted of a handful of Slytherins and Ravenclaws.

“Everyone’s talking already,” Esther said as she collected her items for morning classes. “Daphne heard you come in and Ophelia told her that Regina saw you coming up from the staircase.” The girl looked her over. “You should try to be more secretive.”

Before Lily could respond Esther got to her feet and walked out of the room. Lily did her best to look presentable, but her nerves were frayed as she could not think of believable lies to tell. She made her way downstairs and hovered by the boys’ staircase.

“Waiting for someone?” It was Damon, the fourth year grinned as he adjusted his purposefully loosened tie.

“No,” she lied smoothly. “Do we have practice tonight?”

“I booked the pitch for two hours after classes and before dinner, I expect you there as soon as they get out.”

“Yes, sir.” She gave him a mock salute and reluctantly headed in the direction of the office. She wanted Scorpius, wanted to talk to him before they went in. Providing a united front was much better.

However, when she turned down the hallway to his Head of House office, she saw Scorpius lingering. “Lily, where were you?”

She grabbed at his wrist, twisting his arm slightly to get a look at his watch. “It’s still early. Don’t worry.” She smiled and dropped it, trying to hold herself together, to put together a strong front for their Professor.

Scorpius grabbed for the door, holding it open for Lily and waiting for her to go in before following closely behind. Professor Wolfe was at his desk, appearing to be grading papers as he sat there. “I would say good morning, but this is not a social visit. Sit.”

The teens followed his cue and sat down at the same time. Scorpius sat with perfect posture, eyes flickering between the man’s face and the floor. Lily kept her eyes on Scorpius wondering what to do or say.

“Explanations are not necessary. I have punishments in place for those that fraternize and are out of their rooms after hours.”

“Fraternize?” Lily’s voice was high and her eyebrows nearing her forehead. She turned looked at him with disgust on her face. At thirteen she hadn’t even yet had her first kiss. Scorpius was a close friend, practically family in her eyes.

“It was my fault,” Scorpius said. “I encouraged the behavior instead of telling Lily to go back to bed.”

It was a lie. Lily knew that. The words were harsh and stiff, not like how he acted last night. When he saw her he drew her in for an embrace, led her to the couch to calm her down. She had fallen asleep before he told her that it was time for bed. “No. He didn’t do anything wrong, sir. It was my fault, Scorpius was just concerned.”

The Professor took his glasses off and rubbed his temples. “Detention, for the both of you. Miss Potter you will be in your dorm immediately after detention ends. No common room. Mr. Malfoy, you will be put on probation as a Prefect, no patrols or other duties for a week. Is that understood?”

Scorpius nodded mechanically, but Lily felt anger swell up inside her. “It was my fault! Don’t punish him.”

“Lily,” he murmured.

“Mr. Malfoy, would you please leave? You can wait outside if you wish, but I need to discuss some things with Miss Potter in private.”

At that he hesitated, but one look from the Head of House and he got to his feet, exiting quickly.

“I suppose you know why you wanted me to ask Mr. Malfoy to leave.” He paused, but the look on his face told her that he didn’t want an answer. “Why do you think it is your fault Miss Potter? There seems to be a missing part of the story and I do not believe it is one that Mr. Malfoy could tell me. Why were you not in bed when he came back from patrol?”

Lily bit her lip and arranged her hands in her lap as she stared at the floor. How much should she tell him? It was already risky, so many people knowing. It was exactly something she wanted to advertise, what if she’s not actually a seer?

“It was nothing. I was studying and thought I left something downstairs.”

“Good attempt at lying, now tell me the truth.”

She looked up at him. Sure, her lying wasn’t the best, but it couldn’t have been that awful. “I had a…” She considered how to phrase it, but it all seemed ridiculous to her. “A nightmare.” That sounded childish and she supposed it was. She wondered what the Professor would think of her, crying over bad dreams. How could she make him realize that they were so much more?

“A nightmare. That is why you and Scorpius ended up sleeping together on the couch at midnight?”

“When Scorpius found me I was outside of the Common Room trying to get to the owlery.”

At that the Professor leaned forward ever so slightly, taking what she said as the truth. “An odd story, but why were you trying to go there.”

Lily clenched her hands into fists and she shut her eyes, trying to will this away from happening. Though, when she did that, images danced through her mind. The same horrible ones as last night. They popped open and she was met with the face of the man who had been questioning. “It’s complicated.”

“Do you realize that I am not just the person who teaches you Potions? I am your Head of House. In order to keep Slytherin House safe and running efficiently I must know what is going on under my own roof. Is that understood?”

She nodded and loosened her fist. There were now little white crescent moons on her palms from her nails digging in. “Yes, but...Since, I was little I...I used to see things… Snippets, but I wouldn’t remember the visions. They stopped when I got older, but by last year they started again.” She took a sharp intake of breath and closed her eyes. “It used to be just a night, but last year Professor Slughorn was helping me and I fainted in the classroom. When I came to, he said I was muttering, but he couldn’t understand.” Lily wasn’t even finished yet, but she wanted to be. A look of recognition passed his face and she shrunk into her seat.

“When you fainted in my class…”

“I ate breakfast that morning.”

“Who else knows about this? Just Mr. Malfoy or are their others?”

“Scorpius only found out because I would stumble into breakfast half awake or he would find me in the common room when he came down at five.”

“That was not my question, who else knows?”

“Professor Slughorn, but Professor Firenze and Professor Patil know too…” She tried to straighten her spine, but ended up with her arms wrapped around herself and wished that Scorpius would be here. “They say I’m young, and that my sight is strong.” She looked down at her hands once again curled into small fists. When she glanced up at him he had a completely neutral face.

“So, you are a seer.”

“I don’t exactly know…”

“Why was I not made privy to this information?” He waved his wand and one of the filing cabinet drawers open and a folder flew at him. Opening the folder he quickly perused it before glancing back up at her.

“Because…” She didn’t finish the sentence, couldn’t he tell it was self explanatory? That information was private and already too many people knew about. Two professors (three if you count Slughorn), her father, best friend, and brother. Lily knew that her mother was not oblivious or stupid, but she chose to ignore the signs, didn’t want to deal with it, lest it brought up memories she had tried to leave behind.

“It concerns me. Do you not think it is dangerous when you are fainting in the middle of class? That you can’t sleep?”

“Professor Patil and Professor Firenze are helping me.”

“Did Mr. Slughorn offer you any potions to combat the insomnia? Perhaps a calming or peace draught.”

“No, I don’t want to block it, I want to learn how to control it.”

“And in the mean time you will run yourself ragged trying, am I correct Miss Potter?”

“No!” she objected, rather loudly.

“Alright, then…”

“Are we finished?” Her eyes drifted to the clock in the corner of the room. They actually been talking for as long as she thought, in fact there was still ten minutes until breakfast began.

“No. Do you recall what else I wanted to discuss?” He looked her over, waiting for her response.

Lily did remember his words. Fraternization he had called. Preposterous was the name she had for whatever Professor Wolfe thought he had saw. “I needed Scorpius, alright? We fell asleep as two friends, one friend helping the other one, but getting tangled in misunderstanding.”

“No,” was what he said.

“I’m telling the truth this time.”

“I was not referencing the credibility of your statement, but rather the content of it. You do not ‘need’ him. Do you understand how dangerous it is lose a part of your own independence, a part of your own agency as a human being? That being constantly reliant on someone leads you down a slippery slope.”

“Professor we are here to discuss a problem, not my personal life.” He was wrong. She knew that. Lily needed Scorpius as much as Scorpius needed her, although his problems he didn’t outwardly admit. Still, how could she convey to him that having him by her side made her feel at ease? That she liked the fact that they were so comfortable in their friendship that glances could constitute a conversation.

“If you want this meeting to be over, feel free to leave at any time. I am just--”

Lily was already on her feet heading out the door where Scorpius waited.

The second day of detention Professor Wolfe conveniently had ‘other arrangements’. However, that only turned into a positive as she had Professor Longbottom. Besides, working in the Greenhouse as night was much better than working in the Dungeons. The dungeons were always much colder than outside, dark and dank. The night air outside, though, felt crisp. Autumn was still holding on for dear life and the sky was mostly clear, so the stars and the moon shone brightly.

“I don’t get to see you nearly enough,” Neville said when he saw her approach.

“I see you in class.” She gave him a quick hug, though. He might as well be family, him and her aunt Hannah were always over at the Weasley-Potter house for Holidays and really any day they entire family could get together. “I thought you liked that I was more like Albus than James.” Her older brother saw Neville at least once a week for detention.

“You’re so much like your mum.” He shook his head with a smile. “We’re pruning tonight.” He handed her a pair of gloves and clippers. “I’m collecting clippings for Wolfe.”

“Can’t he do it?” she muttered with an eye roll.

Neville raised his eyebrows slightly, but let her attitude slide, even though it was referencing her own Head of House. “You know I don’t like anyone in my Greenhouse without permission or supervision. It upsets the Mandrakes.”

Lily stifled a laugh as she got to work. She wondered how exactly this was supposed to be a punishment. Honestly, she liked it better than being in her dorm or the stuffy library. While it was a mind-numbing task at least it kept her hands busy. Eventually she got into a sort of the a rhythm, blocking out everything around her. It was nice, nice to be able not to think about Quidditch or classes or...She set the clippers down and squeezed her eyes shut. The memory of the dream from that night lingered in her mind. As hard as she tried she could never focus on it enough, the details were too blurry identify any of the people or the places.

“Lily…” Neville’s voice called out softly followed by a hand on her arm. “I think you can be done for tonight, you accomplished quite a bit.” He looked at the rows of neatly trimmed plants with a smile on his face.


“Thank you, but I don’t want to see you here again, even if you are much better at this than your brother.” He ruffled her hair like her dad always did. “Night, and don’t make yourself a stranger. Heck, bring Scorpius down if it’ll get you to visit.”

Lily kept a smile on her face, but it faltered slightly. Outside it was even colder and it wasn’t even that late. She pulled at the edges of cloak and walked a little faster. As she entered the castle she heard voices.

“I have to get back, J.” That voice was a soft tenor, and rather familiar.

“Just a bit longer…” The other one was deeper.

As Lily turned the corner she saw Albus talking to a boy. The boy’s hair was longish and dark, a blue and bronze scarf looped around his neck. Before she could even say anything or move the other way the boy whipped around.

“Lily, what are you doing here?” Albus questioned, walking forward. When she saw him better his hair was mussed, much like James’ was and her cheeks had a tinge of red to them.

“I could ask you the same thing.” She peered around his shoulder to the retreating figure of the boy.

“That’s just Julian. I need to meet Rose for patrols, but he...he wanted me to wait outside the Common Room so he could return the notes he borrowed.”

Lily could tell when her brothers lied, it wasn’t difficult in the least bit. However, she had no clue what he would be lying about. “Whatever, I just got down with detention and--”

“I know.” His tone was all disapproval as he looked at her with arms over his chest.

“What’s that look for? You’re seriously channeling mum right now.”

“Because of you Score and I can’t have patrol together, I’m stuck with Rose.” He groaned at that.

“Score could have pushed me toward the stairs, we both fell asleep on that coach.”

“Wait, what?”

“You didn’t get the whole story?”

“Scorpius said that he got busted for not turning you in for wandering the halls.”

Lily gave him a look and wondered why Scorpius was changing the story. Granted she had told anyone anything other than she had been caught out of her dorm after curfew, and Professor Wolfe was such a hard-ass everyone believed her.

“I should get back to my Common Room.”

“Lils, let me walk you back.”
“I am capable of walking back by myself,” she muttered, turning away from her brother.

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