Till the Wind Sets You Free

Chapter 9

Teddy grimaced as he attempted to parallel park the Potter’s car. “Don’t tell ‘em,” he muttered.

Beside him James smirked and replied, “secret’s safe with me”. In the back Lily and Albus exchanged a look but got out of the car anyway. As they went to the trunk they noticed one tire on the curb and Lily rolled her eyes.

“What’s that look for?” he questioned, then looked around before he began to pull the their trunks out, then his wand where he restored them to their original size.

“I sincerely hope Vicky is better driver than you.” Lily reaches for her trunk with a grin across her face. He grabs her with one of his arms and tousled her hair. “Hey!”

“Let’s get going!” he shouts and leads the way to the barrier after they get trollies. The Potter kids follow him. When they heard Harry and Ginny weren’t taking them to Kings Cross at the beginning of the year, they were understandably upset. Both of them were called into work and angry that they couldn’t see James off for the last time. Ginny made a big deal when she left the night before to cover a story. Lily, though, knew it was about more than just not being able to see them off. Harry’s three day mission, his first field assignment in months, was delayed and stretched out to a week--if he was lucky. Not only that, but his location was classified.

Lily was the last through the barrier. As she entered she saw her brothers already splitting off after a quick goodbye and thank you to Teddy. James was rushing toward Fred where he stood next to his father. Albus was heading in the direction of Julian. From the way he approached the boy it was fair to assume their dating was still mostly a secret.

“Lily Luna,” Teddy said and sweeped her up in tight hug. “Take care of yourself, you hear?” He ruffled her hair and gave her a smile. When she didn’t reciprocate quickly enough he made his hair and nose change. “Knew it would get to you. Don’t worry about your dad, he can take care of himself.”

“I know,” she muttered and tried not to let memories slip into her mind now. She didn’t need to recall the time her mum woke them up in the middle of the night to go to St. Mungo’s when she was five. Or the time when her dad stumbled through the door, weary and battered, supported by their Uncle Ron who looked equally worse for wear. Or even the stories she had heard from when he was a teenager.

“Then why are you worrying?”

Lily just stared up at him, but didn’t answer. Of all the secrets Teddy knew about her, he wasn’t privy to the most important one. How could she tell him that when she went to sleep at night, her mind groped to show her where her father was. She couldn’t tell him about when they were shopping in Diagon Alley and her hand touched a Defense Against the Dark Arts book she had to fight off a vision or risk losing it in the middle of the store.

“I don’t want you going to school like this, so you can be the first one to know this.” He pulled her closer and bent down so only she would able to hear. “Victoire is pregnant, we...eloped last week.”
She stared at him with wide eyes and pulled away. “Teddy Lupin!”

“Hey, my grandma knows, we just don’t know how to break to Bill. One thing I do know is you can expect a Christmas wedding.” He patted her on the back and gave her gentle shrug. “You better keep your lips sealed.”

“You can’t just tell me that and expect me to get on the train!”

“Come on Lils, your 14. Vicky and I have been living together since she got her job in London. We’ve been engaged for, hell, I don’t know how long. We’ve been meaning get married, but it just never seemed like the right time.”

Teddy pulled away from her and gave her another grin. She gave him one back this time, but rolled her eyes as she did it. Honestly, the way he talked about his wedding so casually made him laugh. She could picture him walking up to Victoire and saying, “we both don’t work today, lets head to the courthouse to get married. I’ll put on some shoes, can you get our ID’s?”

As she was finishing up her conversation, Scorpius stood next to his mother in the middle of the crowd. In distance he could see Lily talking to her godbrother. He was surprised how much in the course of a summer she could change. Sure, they had owled constantly and met up at Diagon Alley, but seeing her now it was clear she wasn’t the third year that had tackled him last fall. She had cut her hair so it went to her shoulders with bangs and shorter pieces that framed her face. It was messy as always, but that was to be expected. She was wearing a sweater that didn’t look like she stole it from Albus and the jeans were shockingly free of holes.

“I can’t believe that the Potters sent that Lupin boy for their children,” Astoria commented.

Scorpius looked at his mother, an eyebrow raised, as if saying, you know why they aren’t here, should you really be speaking? His father was called away to do damage control to an incident closely related to the mission Harry had went on.

“I will see you come December,” he responded, giving her a tight smile.

“Of course, remember to owl.” She pressed her lips lightly against his cheek for a split second, hands rested on his shoulders, but barely touching. “We want to hear about everything.” Her smile faded when she saw Lily walking towards them. “You know my sister was telling me how the girls in Regina’s year are nice, have you met Ophelia? She’s such a darling.”

“Yes, mother, I have met Ophelia.”

“Perhaps, you should get to know her, it could never hurt.”

Scorpius clenched his jaw tightly, but managed to keep a polite smile on his face as he said goodbye and watched his mother leave. Lily came up with a bright smile on her face and quickly gave him a hug. “Are you okay? Never have I seen Scorpius Malfoy this angry.”

“My mother wants me to date Ophelia.”

Lily let out a laugh as she pulled away. “Seriously? That would never work, I have seen the two of you at Quidditch practice together. It’s not pretty.”

“I know,” he muttered. “Honestly, what is the matter with you?”

“Excuse me?”

“You know what I mean. I just want to know why my mother despises you so much. Salazar…” He pinched his nose between his index finger and thumb. “She seems to think…”


“It’s silly.”

“I’m sure it’s not.”

“It’s just I haven’t dated any girls at schools and I spend a lot of my time with you. Or she seems to think that I spend all of my time with you.” He took a deep breath. “Let’s board the train and find a compartment. I have to go to a Prefect meeting with Al, but I am sure that you and Julian can find something to talk about.”

Scorpius was treated to another eye roll as she pushed through the crowd and he followed close behind her. The train was not full yet, many of the students lingered outside, and they found a compartment easily. Not long after Albus came in, laughing, followed by Julian who had a smirk across his face. No one said much, Julian grew silent after he was left alone with Lily. She pulled out her dream journal and wand, looking over the pages that spanned over the summer. When she was about to pull out a quill and ink to begin writing the door slid open to reveal Jordi and Nott.

“Found you!” Jordi says. “Every where else is filled up, hope you don’t mind.”

“You can thank him.” Nott jerks a thumb in the direction of his friend and pushes past him to sit beside Lily. “He was trying to make a pass at this Gryffindor girl and lost her cat in the process, wrangled me into helping him find it.”

“Who was it?” Lily turns to face Jordi who sits down on the other side. While she may not know many Gryffindor’s, she’s heard most of the names in passing from her family.

“Emily Thomas,” Jordi says a smile crossing his face. “Have you seen her? Merlin, it’s shame she’s going to have to wear uniform robes if you know what I mean.”

He jabs Lily in the side and she snorts, then shoves him a bit. This earns her a look of approval from Julian who is reading. “As lovely as your adventures sound, can I finish this up?” She gestured to the book and as she does it, Nott tries to lean over her shoulder. It’s blank, she hasn’t cast the spell to be able to read it. Time passes rather slowly and it seems to take forever before Albus and Scorpius come back. Albus doesn’t pay mind to the extra inhabitants and sits next to Julian, already beginning to talk before the boy sets down his book. When Julian pulls his eyes away he looks at him with this distant look and small smile before asking him to repeat his words.

Scorpius, on the other hand, does a double take. Nott looks up at him and he sits on the bench across from them after he pulls a book out. “You should probably put on your robes,” his voice is even as he scans over the two boys, but rests them on Lily.

“I can take the hint.” She sighs and gets into her luggage, tucking the journal inside before grabbing her uniform. “Do you think I can get away with just wearing the robe?” She frowns at the skirt, blouse, jumper, and tie.

“I am sure it will make Professor Wolfe’s day being able to give you the first detention of the year,” Scorpius replied.

Lily walked out and headed to where a bathroom was located. She stripped out of comfortable clothes and put her uniform on. The skirt was from last year, she hadn’t grown that much, but it was enough that hemline was bit higher than before. It grazed her knees instead of covering them. She buttons up the shirt and then puts on the tie before tugging the sweater on. It takes a bit of fussing to have everything line up correctly and she slips her robe on over, not bothering to shut it. After this is done she scowls in the mirror, trying to get her to lay down flat. It, though, was subjected to Teddy and Teddy is only careful when it comes to work or relationships. Anything else he blusters through. He’s a big man, from what she understands that in itself is surprising as both his father was lanky and his mother petite. Nothing about Teddy is small: he’s a good head taller than most men, his shoulders give you plenty of room to cry on, hands big enough to hold your heart ache.

As she thinks through this description, her mind can’t help but wander to Scorpius. Maybe that’s why she’s drawn to him, he’s actually quite a bit like her ‘favorite brother’. Although, where Teddy stumbles through life with luck and a grin, Scorpius’ actions are deliberate and carefully calculated.

She leaves the bathroom, tossing her hair over her shoulder and managing the bundle of clothes. There are other people in the hall, mostly buying from the trolley, one of them calls her name and when she doesn’t notice he grabs at her arm. Lily turns and sees Damon standing in front of her. “Hey!” she greets cheerfully.

“You better be trying out for the team this year. We are going to dominate.”

She doesn’t pay mind to how his hand hasn’t left her arm or the way he leans in close when they talk. He does drop his hand and pull her to the small alcove when others need to get by. “Don’t worry, I wouldn’t miss being part of the team for the world.”

“I was hoping you’d say that, the team wouldn’t be the same without you.” Damon looks around. “Do you want to get back?”

“Probably should, Jordi is probably getting the death glare from Scorpius by now and Nott’s getting subjected to Julian’s sarcastic comments that he can’t understand.”

Damon laughs at that stands up off the wall, touching her arm again. “See you around.”

“Yeah.” They go their separate ways and Lily knows she’d have to be completely oblivious if she didn’t realize what he was doing. Living with James and being around Teddy and Fred for so long taught her to recognize the difference in ways boys talked to her. Ever since the hug at the Quidditch game his interest seemed a little more than platonic. She, though, had other things to think about.

It was easier to fall into a pattern at school this year. Scorpius and Lily were back to their routine, stealing early morning hours to speak. She appeared to have slept, but worry clouded her features as she scrawled in the dream journal Albus had got her. As much as he wanted to ask or read what she wrote, he could guess.

“He’s not back, is he?” Scorpius murmured when he found Lily on the couch Monday morning. They’d been back at school just over a week now.

“It was supposed to be a week,” she whispered. “Three days at first, but he was only gone a day when we left."

Scorpius reached out to touch her, lay a hand on her shoulder. “Have you…”

“No. I mean, yes, but I haven’t remembered much other than a few vague scenes.” She snapped the journal shut. “Every rational part of me tells me that it’s my father, he’s made it out of every other mission alive, but there’s something that’s telling me he could be in danger.”

He knew Lily’s visions were a blessing and a curse. To him, though, it mostly seemed like a curse. They never seemed to be enough to satisfy her curiosity and worry. In addition, Lily was perceptive, could tell what he was thinking by giving a good once over and always followed her gut feeling. Most people stumbled through their life blindly, Lily as stumbling through life with a blindfold on. She could see what lied ahead if she was able to get off, or see a little ways ahead if it was bright enough, but it was struggle.

“Have you talked with Professor Patil or Firenze?”

“There’s nothing they can do and mum says that as far as his department knows, he’s not in any danger.”

“Lily, this is probably the last thing you want to hear, but stop worrying until you have a reason to. There’s plenty to do here.”

Lily just leaned against him, an arm stretching across his midsection and one behind his back in a semblance of a hug. They sat like this until they heard footsteps, then they got to their feet to head to the Great Hall. Before they exited the common room, they paused at where a bulletin board hung, attached was Quidditch sign-ups. “Damon’s getting a head start,” Lily said. Her journal and quill were still out, she was planning on finishing up at breakfast.

“He’s taking after Wood’s strategy.” Scorpius watched as Lily wrote her name, with chaser beneath. Then, she continued to write his name with keeper next to it. “Thank you,” he replied and then lead them out.

The Great Hall was practically empty when they sat down and helped themselves to breakfast. Scorpius focused all of his attention on his half empty plate, Lily divided it between shoveling all her food into her mouth and scribbling the last remaining pieces into her journal. Even when more students filtered in, it was still fairly quiet. That is until noise erupts from the Gryffindor table--at least one part of it--after the mail delivery. Scorpius turns and Lily cranes her neck to see what in the name of Merlin is happening. Of course it is the Weasley family, even Grace Longbottom is leaning over the shoulder of Dominique as the others gather around her, Lorcan and Lysander follow Molly over to the table and they all squeeze in a small section.

“Do you have an idea what that is about?”

“Somewhat.” Lily shrugs and takes a bit of toast. “At least a sneaking suspicion.” She remembers the words that Teddy said to her at the train station. Victoire probably wrote her siblings, knowing that they’d pass along the information just the same as writing individual letters or telling her aunts and uncles and waiting for them to give the news to everyone. “Looks like we’ll find out.”

Dominique and Roxie and over, sliding to a stop, each with a hand on their cousin. Around them Slytherins had faces of disapproval at the running and loud voices. “Lily!” Roxie said. “Fred so owes me. I was right!”

“About what?”

“Roxie don’t get ahead,” Dominique admonished before shoving a piece of paper into Lily’s hands. “Read it! Isn’t it exciting?”

Her eyes skimmed over the page. The start of the letter was a boring account of what had been going on at home and at work from Victoire. It wasn’t until the end where a smile crossed her face. As you know, Teddy and I have been engaged for what seems like ages. We’ve finally decided to stop making excuses and start making plans for a wedding. Of course, it will have to wait until you lot are home from Hogwarts, but we want to do it as soon as possible. That being said the wedding will be on the 28th, two days before you return to school.

“He’ll really be our Teddy!” Dominique exclaimed. “I know he’s practically you and Albus and James’ brother, but now it will be official.”

“A wedding is always fun,” Roxie says and then looks at Scorpius, then at Lily. “You better bring him with you as a date. I like you.”

“Thank you,” he replied slowly, taken aback by the girl’s comment. Of all the Weasley’s he’d interacted the least with her. Part of it was that her brother’s best friend was Lily’s and Albus’ brother, who hated his guts. The other part of it was that Roxanne Weasley was more than a little terrifying. Every part of her stood out: from her curly brown hair, to her voice, her Quidditch abilities, and she was not afraid to let anyone knew what her opinion was on any subject.

“Don’t get too excited, screw up with her and you’re dead in my book.” Roxanne pushed away from her cousin and stood up a little straighter. “Dom we better head back, I’m starving.”

Lily received a hug from Dominique before the two headed back to the table. She laughed and shook her head.

“Your family is quite literally insane.”

“That’s just Roxie for you.” She shrugged. “You should be proud of the compliment.”

“Well, she also threatened me.”

“It’s how she shows her affection, she was raised with Fred after all.”

Scorpius fixed her with that look of his,then stared down at his plate, a smile playing on his lips. Lily rolled her eyes and deposited her journal in bag. “I have Divinations first, I’m going to head up now. See you at Lunch.”

Wednesday night Lily raced up to her room after dinner. The only time Damon could book the pitch was after dinner at six. Luckily enough they would still have about an hour of daylight left. It wasn’t tryouts, they had a slot reserved on Saturday for that. Today was was a preliminary practice, give everyone a chance to work out before the official tryouts.

“Lily, where are you going?” Simone asked. “You said you were going to help me with Charms.”

“Oh, I completely spaced that I have to go down for Quidditch tonight. Why don’t you ask Esther? She's loads better than I am.” Lily’s fingers worked to tie her trainers as tight as possible before she caught up her loose locks into a messy bun.

“Quidditch?” Simone sat up straighter on her bed and pushed aside the textbook. Her look of her concern was now replaced with a wicked grin. “Hmm...You seem excited. I hear Damon’s quite good.”

“He’s our Captain,” she replied. “So he has to be decent.”

“Oh..is he not as good as say, Scorpius?”

“Are you actually asking me about Quidditch?” Lily said. “Because if you’re trying to be coy it’s not working.” She shook her head as she slips a sweatshirt over her head and then walks out the door. Most of the team is sitting on the couches, waiting to head down together. Regina is talking with Damon in hushed tones, in the corner. She has a clipboard and a quill poised, Damon has his fingers pressed to his temples.

“Is Regina aware that she’s not the captain?” Jordi questioned when he stood next to Lily. “Honestly, those complicated plays of hers do more harm than good,” he muttered under his breath.

“Come on, we better go.” She pointed to Damon who was walking towards the portrait hole. Most of the team and a few new additions followed him out of the Common Room, down the corridor and outside to the pitch. They stopped at the shed, getting out brooms and other equipment. Jordi grabbed his broom and quickly headed out, following Ophelia to the field, but Lily stayed behind when she saw Scorpius in the distance. “Where were you?”

“Study group,” he answered. “Waiting for me?”

She shrugged and watched as he grabbed his broom. “It looks like Regina has already gotten into an argument with Flint.” She sighed. “I think she should just join the team.”

“No. That would end well for no one.”

“True, let’s go before we hear clever quips from Jordi about--”

“Since when do you clever and Zabini fit into the same sentence?” he questioned, then reached out to place a hand on her shoulder. “But you are right, come on, I can’t wait to start flying, even if I have to dodge bludgers and catch Quaffles.”

Two hours later Lily is dragging her feet to the shed to put away her broom. Scorpius is busy. He’s explaining some techniques to a second year that is pretty good, but won’t be anything more than a back-up until the older students graduate. “Good job, Potter,” Damon said. “Want some company back to the castle?”

“Don’t you have to wait for everyone else to leave?”

“It’s just Malfoy and Greengrass, nothing’s going to happen with them there.” He gives her a grin and gestures toward the castle. “Come on.”

“Fine, but you're on the line if Professor Wolfe gets angry.”

“His bark is worse than his bite.” Damon walks close to her on the path back to the castle. Dusk is settling into night and the stars are coming up. The moon is bright, a few nights away from being full. “You did good tonight, speaking as an unbiased spectator and not your Captain, of course.”

“Of course.”

“But, you’ve improved loads with your Chaser skills. Maybe you can help me with some flying drills. If we could get everyone up to your level, then we’d be set for the year.”

She looks at him, trying to wonder what he’s playing at right now. “That’s a lofty compliment. Jordi’s flying is decent and Ophelia’s probably better than I am.”

“You’re being modest, come on, I saw the warm-up.”

Lily rolls her eyes and lets out a snort. “You win, alright? Thanks for complimenting me on my flying skills.”

They arrive at the castle doors and Damon holds it open as the two of them walk in. The clock chimes when the walk in, it’s eight o’clock and by now the castle is growing chill. The pair of them bump shoulders as they head down the corridor toward the dungeons.

“I do mean it,” he said as they came to the portrait in front of the Common Room. “About your flying. You should really help me with flying drills, sit down and work them out.”

“I guess, but tryouts haven’t even happened yet, Captain.”

“There’s only four people trying for Chaser this year, one of them is a second year that can’t fly in a straight line, but that’s confidential.” He gave her a wink and then murmured the password. He let her enter the Common Room first, then followed her inside. She paused halfway to the girls staircase and turned to stop.

“I’ll see you on Saturday for try outs.” Without a second glance she ascended the girls staircase, heading to her dorm without another word.

Things were going good. Worry was lifted from her mind, at least most of it, when she got a letter from her father. He had made it home and was uninjured (although, the letter from her mother detailed the minor concussion and sprained wrist he encountered). Visions, though, were not put to a stop. Dreams became more frequent and vivid, faces were now able to be made out.

Quidditch, though, was were she could take out her frustration. Lily often wondered back to why she resented it when she was younger. Scorpius and she frequently worked together, him guarding the hoops and she attempting to get it past him. The results of Saturday’s tryouts were not a surprise to anybody, the exact same line-up. Next year, though, Ophelia’s slot would have to be replaced so her replacement was made to train just as hard.

As for Damon she spent quite a bit of time with him. It was a Friday, two weeks after tryouts. Lily was in the Common Room in front of the fire in a surprisingly empty Common Room. Older students, like Scorpius, had a study group for a particularly challenging test and the younger students still retreated to their rooms, terrified of Professor Wolfe. He had gone on a rampage a few days ago.

“Potter, can I have some help?” Damon called as he sank to the floor next to her. “Regina gave me this play.”

“Give it here.” She pushed aside her Divinations textbook and reached for the large binder that held all of the team’s plays. The newest one was on a piece of parchment, enchanted for the symbols to move. “Fancy doesn’t work.” She looked up at him. “And look at this, she has Ophelia rushing down the field, Merlin, everyone knows she’s better getting the Quaffle between players. Zabini’s one for speed, but he’s clumsy...and look at this! The Beater pattern overlaps and not in a good way…”

Damon just laughed and shook his head, helping her make the appropriate corrections. Before long the Binder was pushed aside. “Thanks, I’m sorry for distracting you.”

“It’s not really homework…” she admitted and stretched her arms.

“I never understood Divinations, all seemed like a bunch of speculation to me.”

“It can be if you don’t take the right approach.” She reached for textbook and held it against her chest. The last thing she needed to hear was someone else’s opinions. Scorpius and her father handled it well; Albus attempted to be supportive, but was biased against it; James pretended it didn’t exist; her mother, though, was terrified of her visions.

“I just don’t have the patience for it.” He leaned a little closer, shifting his weight so he could fully face her. “You know Hogsmeade weekend is next Saturday, and I was wondering--”

“You want me to devise a schedule so we can get as much practice since our game is the Saturday after, right?”

“No, no….Our team has been working hard we need a break for at least a day….” He ran a hand through his hair. “Would you like to go with me?”

“I usually go with Scorpius, but you can….” She paused and shook her head with a chuckle. “Oh...I feel…”

“So, what do you say? We can keep it casual, get some butterbeers at The Three Broomsticks, take a stroll to the Shrieking Shack.”

Lily rolled her eyes. “Yeah, I’ll meet you in the Courtyard in the morning.”

“Thanks for your help again, I’ll see you at practice tomorrow.” As he says this, he’s hand casually brushes her arm. He smiles, getting to his feet and heading to the boys staircase. When Lily looks up she realizes that the study group is back, Scorpius is amongst them, laughing at something someone said to him.

“Get a lot done?” Scorpius asked when he walks over. He doesn’t sink to the ground, but leans against the chair positioned near the fire.


“Did Damon find you? Regina gave him this ridiculously complicated play after dinner.”

“He did.”

“Good. “

“He also said we were going to have Saturday off for Hogsmeade weekend.”

Scorpius fixed her with a confused look. “How did you manage that? Al says that he’s worse than Wood, at least this year.”

“What makes you think I did something?”

He fixed her with a look that said, don’t even start with me. “Sometimes I think you don’t realize your power of persuasion.”

“I do, trust me.” She smiled and reached for her books, gathering up everything. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Score.”

“Going to go pretend to sleep?”

“You know me so well.”

Scorpius waited until she made her way up the stairs and then took a deep breath. He wondered if he could ever work up the courage to tell her, at least before someone else much braver did it first.

Saturday and Hogsmeade came far too quickly. Lily was waiting on the couch, feet tucked under her and book splayed open across her lap. She was chewing on the end of a featherless quill as she took notes for a Herbology essay. Not many people were down yet, which wasn’t a surprise. The girls usually took extra long getting ready and the boys typically went down to the Great Hall to eat quickly or the courtyard to play some game while they waited to be able to leave.

“Lily,” Scorpius called out when he descended the stairs. “Why aren’t you in the Great Hall?”

“I need to get a good start my Herbology homework and it’s quietest here.”

“Admirable trait, diligence, but you do realize this is the only day Flint isn’t going to try to run us into the ground and you are sitting here--”

“Are you truly lecturing me about working too hard?” she teased and then got to her feet, depositing all of her items into her bag. “But you are right, I need to snag some breakfast before heading to the courtyard to meet Damon?”

“Why are you seeing Flint?”

“I thought I told you, he wanted me to go to Hogsmeade with him.” She slung her satchel over her shoulder and gave him a brief smile before exiting the common room. Downstairs she made a quick sandwich out of toast and bacon before heading to the Courtyard. A group of older kids had a football, something one of the muggle borns had brought and it had caught on like wildfire around Hogwarts. It was easier to organize a game than Quidditch as long as you had a ball and an open space.

“Potter, pleasant surprise seeing you here.” It was Damon, he sauntered over and sat beside her on the bench.

“Morning,” she answered back, taking a bite of her breakfast.

“Girl after my own heart,” he chuckled. “What do you want to do?”

“I don’t know.” She shrugged at that. “Grab a couple of butterbeers, I need to get ink, and maybe stop by the bookstore…”

Damon smirked, leaning against the bench before wrapping one arm around her shoulders and pulling her back. “It’ll be nice just to get away from the castle.”

“And from my barmy Quidditch captain.”

“Hey, I take offense to that.” He turned to face her, their knees knocking together. “You don’t know how hard it is for me to deal with the team. Especially that pig-headed Chaser.”

“I don’t think Ophelia would appreciate being called that.”

“Cheeky,” he responded, but his eyes left her and turned to where students were lining up. “Come on.” He kept his arm around her shoulder, but when they got to their feet, it found it’s way around the smallest part of her waist.

Luckily, Professor Longbottom was the one that was one on duty today and not Professor Wolfe. He checked everyone off quickly and told them to have fun as he watched them get into the carriages to take them to Hogsmeade.

Lily hadn’t seen Scorpius since this morning. She and Damon got into a carriage along with Jordi and Nott, the two delightfully oblivious to what was going on between their friend and team Captain. They, though, parted as soon as their carriage came to a halt. The pair heading off to Spintwitches, Jordi needed to replace some of his equipment before their first game and Nott was after something or another.

Damon and Lily wandered through the streets, making small talk that did eventually circle back to Quidditch. It wasn’t exciting, she bought a few books and a bottle of her favorite ink before they headed to the Three Broomsticks. When they entered, a wave of warm air hit them along with din of voices. Immediately, Lily saw her family at one of long tables towards the back with James and Fred in the middle of it all. It was not a shock to her that Albus was missing, he was most likely with Julian.

“Do you want to leave?” Damon asked, as he watched his date survey her family.

“Of course not, but let’s go to the back after we order.”

“How about you hide and I’ll get our drinks?”

Lily reached for her purse to hand over coins, but he stopped her.

“I asked you, remember?”

She scowled at that. “Fine, but this for the tip.” Then, she pressed a few sickles into his palm, knowing good and well it was more than would normally be deposited into the tip jar beside the register. Damon, though, took it with a roll of his eyes.

From her seat in the back of the room, she stretched out and surveyed the one long room. It was mostly empty beside from her rowdy family. Luckily, James or Rose hadn’t noticed her yet. They were too busy playing exploding snap and shouting loudly at each other whenever they suspected someone was cheating (or they were losing).

“Here you go,” Damon said, he slid the the bottle across the table. Before he grabbed a chair and slid it closer to Lily, draping his arm across the back of her chair.

“Thanks,” she said and took a drink, the warmth flowed through her body immediately. “You know you made everyone’s day with no practice.”

“Well, I have something to do today.” He took a swig, set it down and then leaned closer, flashing her a brief smile. “So, do you want to check out the Shrieking Shack before we head back?”

“Not really.” Lily took a drink of her Butterbeer turning to face him directly. “I hope you know it’s not actually haunted. That was a rumor that started when my grandparents were in school.”

“How did it get started?”

Lily paused a beat. It wasn’t exactly a family secret, but it wasn’t something they went around telling everyone the details of. There was a lot involved and it usually transformed into an entirely different conversation--one about her father that she didn’t enjoy having. The only person that was privy to the details of her family that wasn’t basically related was Scorpius.

She took a drink to stall and looked up when the door opened. Scorpius was coming through with Regina and other people in his year. His face was stoic, arms crossed over his head as he murmured something to his cousin. She turned to Damon seeing his bright, open face. “I’m sorry, did you say something?”

“Nothing important, do you want to head back?”

Lily nodded as she took a final drink of her Butterbeer before getting to her feet. Damon slipped an arm over her shoulder as they walked, she didn’t step out of it, but she was pretty sure she could feel James’ glare on her back as her family got significantly quieter for no reason at all.

“Was this a complete and total bust?” he questioned once they were out of the pub and walking down the street.


“Yeah, it was. What do you say we head back to the castle early and get our brooms?”

“I thought you said no practicing.”

“Who said anything about Quidditch?” He gave her a wide smirk as he steered her to a side street that would get them out of there quicker. “Come on, the weather’s perfect for a quick fly over the lake.”

In the following week, everyone on the Slytherin team knew something had happened to Damon. He went from being the almost-too-young Quidditch captain with a thirst to prove himself. Gone was ever present anger and what replaced it was simply determination.

No one besides Scorpius noticed the change in Lily. She was a bit distracted, but not like when she was preoccupied with worry or fear about her visions or her family. He decided Damon was the factor because on several occasions he heard her roommates tittering, she no longer was glued to his side at every meal and was not sitting between Jordi and Nott, like when she was mad at him.

While rumors floated around the school, they confirmed nothing until the Quidditch game. Hufflepuff’s weren’t known for being competitive or particularly good at Quidditch, but this year they had came out of left field. It was a hard fought battle and most of the player’s on the team had taken a beating. Jordi nearly got pulled from the game for a concussion, Scorpius narrowly dodged a nasty Bludger when he was trying to block a Quaffle, Ophelia was about knocked from her broom about three times, and Lily was hit by a Bludger twice. Still, though, Damon was focused. His eyes focused in on the snitch before the other Seeker could even tell that it was actually on the pitch

By the time the announcer shouted, “SLYTHERIN HAS WON THE MATCH.” Damon was on the ground, holding the snitch and Lily was beside him, her arms threw around him. That in it of itself wasn’t odd--in fact it was an action that everyone in Slytherin grudgingly accepted as part of Lily’s personality--except for the fact she kissed him. Sure, the first one was on Damon’s cheek and they were split apart by Professor Wolfe before it got any further, but it was enough.

It was enough for Scorpius not to be surprised when he found them in an alcove in the corridor as he was conducting patrols. Lily had her back to the wall, one of his arms was around her waist, the other on her shoulder hid by a curtain of hair as he snogged her. He made his footsteps purposefully heavy as he cleared his throat before coming to a stop. They didn’t notice. “Pardon me,” he said. “Could you kindly disperse before Rose catches you?”

At that they pulled away from each other. Lily pushed Damon and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand.

“Give us a break,” Flint said with a groan.

“I will, but only because it won’t bode well for either of you.” He tried to avoid eye contact with Lily, didn’t want to see her messy hair or reddened lips. “Can’t have our Quidditch Captain getting on dorm restriction.” He didn’t say anything about Lily. “You go back first, I don’t know when Rose will come by. She’ll believe me if I say I found Lily.”

Damon went, his eyes glancing at Lily before heading to the Common Room. When Scorpius saw his friend she had her arms over her chest. “I guess I know how Albus feels know,” she muttered.

“Let’s go back, I’m practically finished with patrol now anyway and Rose is already convinced that she is the only prefect that does her job correctly.”

“Do you really want to prove her right?”

Scorpius fixed her with his famous look, but didn’t say anything as they headed towards the dungeons. Lily muttered the password to the portrait and was about to walk through when Scorpius reached for her arm. “I may not like stumbling across snogging couples, but I’m glad your happy.”

Lily gave him a smile. “Thanks, Score.” With those words she went through the portrait. He was about to follow her when he heard someone hissing his name, turning around he saw none other than Rose Weasley with her hands on her hips ready to give a lecture. He sighed and decided it he’d better finish patrol with her or he’d never hear the end of it.

Scorpius resigned himself to schoolwork. It was amazing how much he could actually get down without Lily being around. Truth be told, in a way he did miss her nearly constant presence, but she had taken to eating with him at Lunch, sometimes breakfast. Her Potions work had improved immensely, but he did have to carve out at least an hour once a week to work with her on it. Still, it was not the same. Never would he admit to enjoying her constant badgering that he eat more at meals or her distracting banter while he read, but he had gotten used to it. Today, strangely enough, she had retreated to her room after dinner.

“Malfoy, nice to see you.” Ophelia sat down across from him and slid a letter across the table, her mouth pulled into a smug little smile. “Read it, I’m sure you’ll be pleased.” She tossed her dark hair over her shoulder and waited for him to unfold it.

Scorpius skimmed over the words and looked up at her in disbelief. “My mother owled you and asked you to be my date for the Christmas Ball.”

“Not only is your mother lovely, she is persistent.” She took the letter back from him and scanned over it. “Besides, I’m not going to ask you. I am supposed to, and I quote, ‘make it quite clear to my son that you are interested, without being too forward’.”

He groaned at that, wiping a hand over his face.

“You could always take Lily again.”

“What do you mean ‘again’?” he questioned.

“Come on. Unless you’re using Lily as a cover to shag Albus Potter--who has a secret boyfriend that he’s entirely too obvious about--then, what happened last year? No, Malfoy invites a ‘friend’ unless they are related in some vague way or they are dating them.”

“I hardly think that Lily would want to accompany me to some stuffy ball when she has Flint.”

Ophelia leaned forward elbows on the desk, with her head propped up by her chin. “Honestly, how can you be so bright and so oblivious at the same time? Didn’t you hear about the shouting match in the common room last night? Or notice that your lovely little friend only appeared at dinner long enough to grab a plate of food before stomping back up to her room? Tsk...tsk…”

Scorpius scowled at her before packing up his things carefully. Making sure not to smear the fresh ink on his essay or ruin his quills.

“I’ll be at the ball.” She reached for his arm when he walked past her. “Tell your mum whatever you want to, because--while I don’t exactly like being someone’s fake date--it gets my parents off my back for awhile.”

The next morning he received not only an owl as Lily sat down beside him, loading her plate with food. “Winter Holiday is in less than a week,” she said. “I hope you know you’re expected at the wedding on the 28th.”

When she looked up at him with her widened brown eyes, he knew she was saying something so much more. There wasn’t an apology hidden in there, no. “My mother tried to have Ophelia manipulate me into being her date, since I have not made any progress with her.”

“Ophelia’s not bad,” she replied softly.

“Yes, but I get some perverse pleasure out of making my mother irritated. It also makes my father laugh.”

“Albus is spending the day with Julian, he probably won’t be back until late that night.”

“I promise you that I can protect you from my mother,” he teased. “Please, because if you deny me the simple pleasure of irking my mother and having someone to talk to, I will not go to Teddy’s wedding.”

“I suppose I can make the sacrifice.” She flashed him a smile and then relayed him a story from her Charms class that he hadn’t heard yet. It was then he decided during winter holiday he had to tell her how he felt.

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