Lily Potter and the White-Winged Prince

Lily Luna Potter is in the middle of a dull summer before her 4th year at Hogwarts, but with a rebel brother and a new secret to keep, it's about to get interesting. Note: ONESHOT for 'Blood of the Birds', concurrent with Chapter 15.



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2. Lily Potter and the White-Winged Prince (2/2)

"Mmm. I have heard about your certain proclivity for Potions, now that you mention it," Lily said with a squished face. Al had sometimes envied Scorpius, so of course he loved to brag about how terrible Scorpius was at Al's best school subject, so Lily knew where Scorpius was coming from. Adding on to the insult, Lily offered in a fake manner of seriousness, "Maybe I should cook instead?"

Scorpius's eyes widened to double their usual size within a second, knowing what a klutz Lily truly was, so Lily complied with, "All right, I suppose I see your point."

So Scorpius continued on in his kind gesture, but Lily couldn't help but interrupt now and then. "You know, it's not very fun to just watch the water boil," she complained as Scorpius opened the box of pasta. Taking matters into her own hands, she took out a cutting board and began chopping away at various vegetables.

"Have you ever cut anything in your life?" Scorpius asked in reaction to a carrot that was sent flying across the room.

"Nothing but your hair," Lily mumbled while laughing and trying to eat a cherry tomato.

"Oh, that's promising," Scorpius replied, making them both burst into hysterics.

After grating cheese and eating it all, the pasta was finally cooked. It was disgusting, with inedible vegetables and no flavor whatsoever, but both Lily and Scorpius ate it anyway. In the meantime, their conversation became all the more serious, with Lily reminiscing over shared childhood memories and asking Scorpius about his mother. There was joking in between all of it, of course, but Lily rather enjoyed the more meaningful topics. By the time they had finished eating, Lily was too curious not to ask a question she had been longing to have answered ever since she'd found Scorpius that summer.

He had spent every summer since he'd met Al at the Potter house, with the exception of this one. Though Lily knew that Scorpius and Rose had drifted apart, she knew of no such feud between the former and Al, and yet Scorpius was hiding out in the woods and refusing to let the head of the Auror department, who happened to be his best friend's father and his own quasi-godfather, in on his circumstance.

"Honestly," Lily started. "Why didn't you just spend your summer with us this year as well? I mean, I know your mum's out there, and I know you said that she's looking for you, but there's not exactly anywhere safer to be than under my dad's watch. And he's done nothing but worry about you all summer long."

"I know," Scorpius nodded. "But I was sort of told not to. And anyway, it would've been predictable." Lily didn't understand who would have told him not to come, but she presumed that it had been his mother, Astoria. Normally, Lily would keep prying for more information, but she didn't blame Scorpius for fearing Astoria. She wouldn't blame anyone for that.

Instead, Lily just said, "I suppose I understand. I mean, my dad went into hiding before the Battle of Hogwarts. At least I think that's what he said. I can't quite remember the whole story." It wasn't a tale her father liked to tell, and Lily, James, and Al had been quite sheltered from Harry's infamous past as best they could be.

"And anyway," Lily continued. "At least school's starting soon. Things will go back to normal, and you'll be back home, right?" Scorpius had always described Hogwarts as his home, and surely he was looking forward to going back, or at least to being safe again. Lily wanted that for him too.

But something went wrong then. Scorpius couldn't make eye contact with her, and looked hesitant to respond to her question. When he did, Lily listened carefully as he stated, "Actually, I'm not going back."

"What?" Lily asked. Hogwarts was the safest place in the wizarding world, and had been a home to Scorpius for the past five years. On a more selfish note, what would Lily do without him? She couldn't very well continue lying to Albus and Harry for the rest of the year about Scorpius's whereabouts. Plus, how could she return to Hogwarts alone? Finding Scorpius had saved her from a previously insufferable summer, and she wasn't ready to end their relationship, whatever form of one it was. He was finally starting to see her as an equal rather than a little kid, and she couldn't let go of that kind of progress that had been four years in the making.

Feeling he owed her an explanation, Scorpius said, "I'm not going back to Hogwarts. I'm going to stay here. And once I'm strong enough, I'm going to find my mother, and I'm going to make things right again."

And then Lily sighed. After hearing Scorpius's point of view, she immediately understood. This wasn't about her, or them, or even him. This was about the greater good. Scorpius was quitting school to prevent the next blood war, just as Harry had done so many moons ago. Of course Scorpius would want to do the same. After all, he felt responsible for Astoria, and he knew that it was only he who could stop her.

Lily wondered why she hadn't realized all this earlier, but then maybe she had? Maybe that was why Lily had packed him such a large bag of food? Because she subconsciously knew that he'd need more than just a few days' worth. She had always been good at picking up on peoples' secrets.

Pondering what to say, Lily decided to lay all of her feelings on the table for Scorpius to see. "You know," she said. "I wish that I could hate you for doing this. But I think it's actually one of the reasons I like you so much." She then looked up at him, an understanding smile forming on her cheeks, and hoped that he would understand just how much she meant what she said.

Suddenly, a hand was on hers. Lily didn't need to look down to know that it didn't mean what she wanted it to. "Thank you," Scorpius said. "For not hating me." He ignored the last sentence Lily had said to him, even though they both knew he'd heard it.

Then Scorpius stood up and cleared the table, giving Lily some space to accept the fact that she hadn't received the desired reaction. She also came to the realization that this meant that tonight was and her and Scorpius's last night together, and she wondered if she should just give up on her feelings for him. Still, that was easier said than done.

In the middle of her daydreaming, a buzzing sound was heard, and Lily looked up to see Scorpius trying to tune a Muggle radio that had somehow appeared on the counter. Lily had used radios before to listen to Quidditch match commentaries with Ginny and James, but now something different was coming out of the box. It was music, slow but pretty, and perfectly suited for a candlelight dinner. Unfortunately, Lily felt like theirs had already been blown out.

Scorpius ignored Lily's moping and offered a hand. She wondered if he was just teasing her, but Lily knew Scorpius better than that. This was his way of saying he cared, even if not in the way she wanted him to. So she reluctantly took his hand and followed him in a dance.

Scorpius spun her around the room gently, and Lily couldn't help but laugh. He knew exactly how to cheer her up, but then all too soon she was leaning on his chest, their hands entwined and breaths synchronized. For the first time in years, Lily felt like crying, but she stopped herself with a distraction as she let Scorpius in on her own secret. "I can't come back tomorrow. I have to go to Diagon Alley with my family, and then Dad's coming home tomorrow night. He wants to be there to see us all off."

"I know," Scorpius said, and Lily understood that his subconscious had been just as good a mind-reader as hers.

After a while longer of dancing in the moonlight, Lily and Scorpius broke apart, and Lily was quick to turn away. She wouldn't let him see her tears, but she also couldn't leave things so open-ended. Turning back around, she said to Scorpius, "I know you may not think so, but this is all for some noble reason."

"Some stupid noble reason?" Scorpius quoted her.

"Noble," Lily repeated with a chuckle. "But not stupid." She wished that he'd come back to Hogwarts with her, but she also admired the fact that he wouldn't.

"Goodbye, Lily," Scorpius said, his hands stuffed in his pockets and back hunched over. Scorpius couldn't take a compliment for his life, but Lily admired that too.

Reminding herself that they would at least always be friends, and that she'd surely see him again before too long, Lily switched off her longing side and laughed as she headed out, yelling, "See ya, Scorp," as she exited the tent.

Once she was outside though, Lily frowned and wiped a lonely tear from her face.

Diagon Alley was eerily empty that year. Weasley's Wizard Wheezes was as packed as ever, Lily's uncle George reckoning that people needed a laugh these days, but all the other shops were struggling to stay open. It looked like Scorpius wasn't the only one planning on not going back to Hogwarts this year (though people had noticed his absence, with whisperings from shop to shop about 'that Malfoy boy's whereabouts').

More people showed up as the day went on, but the numbers were still fewer than usual. Parents were too scared to let go of their children after Astoria had attacked the Creeveys with such force, and had then escaped unharmed. Lily didn't mind the quiet, though. It gave her some time to think, as she was dragged through Flourish and Blott's and Ollivander's by Hugo, Nigel, and Roxanne.

Lily had been able to shrug off her family as soon as she'd arrived and met up with Hugo. Al had gone off with Rose, and James had refused to come earlier that morning, so he was at home, most likely practicing Quidditch moves in the backyard. Of course, Ginny had been furious at James's decision, so now she was ranting about it to Ron and Hermione at the Leaky Cauldron.

When Nigel was pulled into a conversation with the wandmaker running Ollivander's, Roxanne listening in about a wand rumored to have once belonged to a mermaid, Lily and Hugo decided to wait for their two friends outside, where they could each buy an ice cream.

"Where were you last night, anyway?" Hugo asked after taking a bite of his favorite flavor: peppermint. "I was bored out of my mind listening to our parents whisper about all the danger in the world."

"Oh, sorry I wasn't there to entertain you," Lily apologized sulkily. She wasn't in the best of moods today, and Hugo's whining was the least of her problems. "Anyway, didn't Al tell you? I was at Roxy's." This could be a problematic answer, since Hugo could easily ask Roxanne about this, to which Roxanne would have no idea what he was talking about, but Lily figured Hugo wouldn't go through so much trouble.

"Al doesn't tell anybody anything these days, you know that," Hugo said. This was true. Al had grown extremely quiet over the summer, and now that Hugo mentioned it, Lily wasn't quite sure why. "Plus, he and Rose were upstairs the whole time."

Lily would have said something witty and sarcastic about Rose's endless depression, but she didn't want to upset Hugo. Instead, she changed the subject, asking, "Has your dad gone back to work yet?" Ron had been on a leave of absence while healing from the injuries he'd been given by Astoria at the Creeveys'.

"No," Hugo answered. "And to be honest, I'm sort of glad he hasn't. I don't want him going after her that stupid Forbidden Flock again, not after what it did to him the first time."

Lily nodded. Hugo knew first-hand how dangerous Astoria truly was, as he had been there during the attack. Curious to know more about the story which both Hugo and Nigel had been shady about, Lily asked, "What was she like? Astoria."

"Er, I can't really explain it. In fact, I think I've blocked most of that night out of my memory," Hugo said seriously. It wasn't often that he could speak about things without joking, which made this a rare occasion. "But she had this glare. She already looked terrible, but her expression was the tip of the iceberg. Before my dad got there, she had nearly grabbed Colin, and I was about to attack. Then she just looked at me, and I could tell that she'd kill me if I tried to use magic. She wouldn't hesitate. I don't think she'd hesitate on anyone."

Their conversation came to a halt then, as their families had returned to announce that they were leaving. Lily gave Hugo, Nigel, and Roxanne a rushed goodbye and then hopped into the Leaky Cauldron's fireplace. When she arrived back in her own, she barely noticed the yells coming from the kitchen. Lily just stood unmoving in the living room, pondering what Hugo had told her, and wondering how she could have let Scorpius go so easily.

Al came in after her, and rushed into the kitchen after all the noise. When Ginny arrived, she heard the voices and asked, "Harry?" before running along just as Al had. Hearing her father's name woke Lily from her trance, and she slowly made her way to the kitchen, where the mumbled noises became both clearer and more intensified.

"I don't care what promises they've made you. Nothing could be enough to stop you from going back to Hogwarts!" Harry yelled at James. The former was standing in the middle of the kitchen, and Lily's eyes sparkled upon seeing the familiar, disheveled black hair and perfectly circular spectacles. James was pacing in front of him, and Al and Ginny were trying to pick sides, Ginny staring longingly at Harry and Al looking between the two. Lily stood just outside of it all, wondering how long ago the argument had started.

"Oh, that's rich, coming from you, isn't it?" James yelled back. He was infuriated, his fists balled and jaw clenched. When Harry didn't respond, James looked around at their newly arrived audience and added, "By the way, the rest of your family's here, or are you too thick to notice anyone else but your troubled son?"

"That's not fair!" Harry screamed then, practically pouncing on James, his finger pointed directly at his chest. Harry looked powerful, as he always did, but James was still half a foot taller than him, giving him a slight edge over his father.

"But this is?" James asked without hesitation. His mind was set, and it had been for weeks. "You think it's fair to control everything I do? You think it's fair to make me go back to a place that doesn't do anything for me anymore instead of doing something that I love, that I'm good at? You think it's fair that you get to have all the glory in this family rather than letting somebody else take it for a year or two? You really think that's fair?"

"Hey!" Ginny finally piped in. "That is not what this is about, and you know it." James had always been closer to Ginny than to Harry, and so he tended to listen to her with less retaliation. Ginny then took Harry's hand in hers, staying strong as one unit when up against James.

Listening more closely now, James went silent as Harry continued in a less forceful tone, "James, you know how proud we are that you've been offered a permanent place on the team. You know how much we've hoped for that for you ever since you made the Gryffindor team six years ago. And you know how much this family supports Quidditch. But I have been gone for weeks now, tracking down what appears to me as a ghost. That ghost is raising forces faster than the rest of us could ever dream to, and the wizarding world is not about to ignore the signs all over again. We're preparing for a war right now, and that means that Quidditch will be obsolete within a year. Being out in the open at a World Cup is not a safe place to be, believe me. But Hogwarts? That's as safe as it gets, and you only have one year left to take advantage of that. Please, for your own sake and for ours, don't waste it."

James took in his words slowly, and for a while he didn't say anything. In the middle of the long silence, a burst of flames was heard from the living room, and Al went after it, saying, "Sorry. It's Rose; she just wanted to stop by to show me something." He and Rose then ran upstairs, and the four left in the living room ignored the new presence.

Then James shook his head, and he looked directly at Harry as he said confidently, "No. No, I can take care of myself. I don't need protection in some safe house. Plus, I have you here to give me all the protection I need. I've got my own personal bodyguard right at home, so what do I need extra protection for?"

With Hugo's words still stuck in her head, Lily mumbled before Harry had a chance to respond, "Because she'll kill anyone without hesitation."

All eyes were on her within a second, Harry looking at his baby girl like she was a different person, Ginny stunned that Lily would know such a thing after sheltering her so well, and James finally giving someone his full attention. They waited for her to speak, and Lily realized that she didn't know what to say.

Acting on an impulse, Lily began a speech, "James, we've been in denial since Dad left. Mum just whispers with Ron and Hermione, and Rose and Hugo are too traumatized to talk about what happened this summer. I'm your number one fan when it comes to Quidditch, but Mum and Dad are right. Some people have to be part of this 'impending war', but you don't! Stop acting like you're above all of it, because Astoria can and will kill you just as easily and as fast as she will anybody else!"

When Lily stopped talking, practically out of breath, everybody just looked at her in silence. Then she rolled her eyes, turned around and stormed out of the room, clambering up the stairs. She didn't get to her bedroom though, since she overheard whispers from behind Al's half-open door on the way there.

With her face pressed against the adjacent wall, Lily listened in on the conversation, which almost sounded more serious than the one she had abandoned downstairs. "And what exactly does this thing do? I mean, I always thought it just turned off lights," Al was asking Rose. Lily couldn't see the object they were talking about, but she kept listening nonetheless.

"Well, so did I," Rose answered. "But then I remembered my mum telling me at Christmas about how Dad had found her with it. Supposedly, she said his name, and some sort of recording of her voice came through the deluminator and helped him Apparate to her. It was back when they were hiding with your dad." This was the first time Rose hadn't sounded sad in at least a month. In fact, she sounded almost hopeful.

"But Rose, what makes you think that it will work for you and Scorpius?" Al asked. He had a kind voice on, careful not to take away Rose's hope.

"I don't know," replied Rose. "I just have a feeling."

"And you're sure you want to see him? I mean, I read the letter, and after all the things he wrote to you, I'm not so sure he deserves a second chance. How do you know that he was lying?" Lily wanted to know what that letter had said, but hearing these things was a distraction enough as it was. Everything that she and Scorpius hadn't dared to talk about was now being spoken of right in front of her.

"Because of this," Rose said, and Lily heard a rustling sound, as if Rose was taking something out of her pocket.

"Your ring?" Al asked. "I thought you gave it back to him? How'd you end up with it?"

"It was dropped off at my window today," Rose said, and Lily could tell that she was crying through the whimpering in her voice. "I saw him, Al. He needs me. He's weak, and he's scared, and he's all alone. I have to find him; I have to help him!"

"But we've been looking everywhere! I've been sneaking out every day for weeks, and we've been all over Ottery St. Catchpole." Ottery St. Catchpole was the town in which the Weasleys lived, and of course only Lily knew that they were looking in the wrong place. "I flew all the way to the Shrieking Shack the other day. He's nowhere to be found!" Apparently this was what Al had been doing lately, when Lily and James had been too caught up in their own problems to care.

"I never asked you to go all the way to Hogsmeade, Al," Rose said. Lily could hear her pacing now; she must have gotten up from where she'd been sitting out of nervousness.

"You didn't have to!" Al said loudly. Then, much quieter this time, he said, "He's my friend too."

"I know," Rose said, this time a squishing sound coming through Lily's ears. She had sat back down. "I'm sorry."

"It's all right," Al complied. After a deep breath, he asked, "So, what do we do now? Just wait and hope we hear him say your name through this thing?"

"It's the only chance we've got," Rose said.

Hearing that the conversation had ended, Lily went into her own room and collapsed on her bed. She wanted to turn her mind off, but she couldn't. She just kept thinking, everything in her head combining with the single common point of Scorpius. How could she have let him go? Didn't she realize how much danger he was in? And Rose was right, he was all alone. What made Lily think that she could take care of him by herself, and then abandon him just as easily? And had he really visited Rose today, after everything that had happened between him and Lily last night? How could Lily have been so naive as to believe that she actually stood a chance with him?

As Lily kept thinking, talking to herself in her head, the house became quieter and quieter. All conversations stopped, and then a knocking was heard at Lily's door. It was funny, but based solely on the specific amount of force behind it, Lily could tell that it was her father.

Harry came inside when Lily failed to say anything, and sat on the edge of her bed. As soon as he did so, it was like an invisible bubble of strength had formed over Lily; she felt completely protected from all the dangers in the world around her, just because her father was finally there.

Sitting up so that she could rest her head on his shoulder, Lily said, "I missed you, Daddy. I'm really glad you're home."

"Me too," Harry agreed, brushing his daughter's perfect hair. "I just wish you weren't all leaving tomorrow. I don't know how to say goodbye so soon."

"All of us?" Lily asked, her head perked up so that she could look directly at Harry.

He smiled. "All of us." Lily smiled back, and Harry added, "James wrote a letter to the Magpies saying that he was deferring their offer, but that he'd be happy to take the position as soon as he graduates from Hogwarts. And it's all thanks to you."

Lily sighed. "I'm still surprised. He's had his heart set on that jersey all summer."

Shrugging, Harry said, "I suppose hearing things from your little sister makes it that much more real." After a pause, Harry asked, "Speaking of which, what made you change your mind? I thought you didn't care that he wanted to quit school?"

"I didn't," Lily admitted. Should I tell him?, she wondered. This was her last chance, and Scorpius needed somebody. Someone should at least know where he was, in case something happened to him. She had promised to keep his secret, and for once in her life, Lily had been keeping that promise. But maybe this secret shouldn't be kept? Okay, that was it. Lily had decided. Somebody needed to know, and who better than Harry?

"Actually," Lily began, "It's because I found Scorpius."

"What?" Harry asked. He'd been asking around to find Scorpius himself before he'd left, but now Lily had done it for him. "When? Where is he? Is he all right?"

"Well, he wasn't all right when I got there, but he's okay now," Lily explained. "I found him a few weeks ago, in some tent in the woods just behind our house. He's been there all summer, ever since Astoria escaped from Malfoy Manor. He's hiding from her. He says she's looking for him."

Harry was silent, rubbing the scar on his forehead as if he could feel pain coming from it. "And Dad," Lily said. "He doesn't want to go back to Hogwarts. And nobody else knows that he's out there."

Then, just as suddenly as the silence had come, Harry was standing up and ready to dive deep into Auror mode. "I'm on my way."

"Dad, wait!" Lily yelled as Harry approached the bedroom threshold. She then hugged him as tightly as she possibly could and said, "Thank you. Just keep him safe."

"I will," Harry promised, and then he was off, leaving Lily alone in her room.

She spent the next hour pacing, hoping that Harry had found Scorpius, and that Scorpius had actually let him inside. Eventually, there came a point where she had spent so much time alone in her room, thinking to herself, that she decided to make a move. She cared about Scorpius, and she couldn't stop. She needed Scorpius to realize just how much she cared once and for all, so that she could finally say goodbye to her childhood crush.

Harry was there when Lily arrived at the tent. It was raining outside, and she was already soaked as she peeked her head through the canvas. It looked as if Scorpius had listened to Harry, as Harry had a hand on Scorpius's shoulder and was telling him something reassuring or sentimental, from what Lily could tell.

After seeing her at the entrance, Harry gestured to Scorpius and the latter met eyes with Lily. She then walked inside, bringing some of the rain with her, and turned to her father to say, "I have to talk to him. It won't take long, I promise. Meet you back at home?"

"Sure," Harry smiled. "Have a nice night," he added to Scorpius.

After Harry had gone, Lily looked to Scorpius and started speaking. She couldn't tell what he was thinking, as his expression gave nothing away. Still, Lily didn't dwell on it, instead just rambling on at him, "I know. I know how angry you are, but I couldn't help it! I get that you're trying to do the right thing, but I was worried about you. You were nearly dead when I found you out here, and you were planning to just go back to being alone. I couldn't let you do that without telling someone where you are. I had to know that you'd be safe."

Scorpius tried to interrupt at one point, but Lily kept going. "I was at Diagon Alley all day, and everybody noticed that you weren't there. They were all asking about you, and I was the only one who could have answered them. It was driving me crazy not to, and then by the time I came home, Dad was there, and he was yelling at James for some petty, stupidreason, and all I could think about was how ridiculous I'd been for not telling anyone about you before. I thought I could handle it, because I can handle everything, but I've heard Hugo's stories. I know how dangerous Astoria is, and when I saw my dad, I realized how worried I'd been about him. And then I realized how worried I'd be about you." Scorpius had been so clear about not wanting anyone to know where he was, and he had trusted Lily. She had betrayed that, but for once, she hadn't done it for herself. She'd done it for him. What she was going to do next, on the other hand... well, that was for her, and her only.

"I know you may not care about yourself," she said. "I know you may not care that you nearly died only a few weeks ago. I know you may not care when you keep hurting yourself now. I know you don't care about anything now that you and Rose are over. I know you think that hurting yourself will make it easier to be without her." Lily wasn't an idiot. Those cuts and bruises were coming from somewhere, and Lily had finally put the pieces together. Rose had mentioned Scorpius as being weak, scared, and alone... Lily had seen that in him too, and surely he'd seen it in himself. The cuts and bruises were his distraction.

"I know you don't care, Scorpius," Lily finished. "But I do care. I always have."

Scorpius didn't say anything. He was just silent. He just stood there, silent. Lily had thought that her speech was over, but now she felt like someone should say something eventually, and it didn't seem as though Scorpius would be the first to cave.

This was it. This was Lily's chance. Scorpius may not be saying okay to her revelation, but he wasn't saying no either. This was her chance to act on it. This was the part where she did something for herself.

"I know you're not coming back to Hogwarts, and I would never ask you to," she said. "But as odd as it may seem, these past few weeks have been the best of my life, and saying goodbye to you last night just wasn't enough. I want to give something to you, something that you can remember me by."

Then Lily stepped toward Scorpius, whom she now noticed was also wet from the rain, and leaned forward. She had never been kissed before, and had never believed that it would be she who gave the initiative, but maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing? After all, she was always in control, and this was her chance to take full advantage of it.

She was inches away when Scorpius put his hands out and stopped her. The rejection was sudden, and though not completely unexpected, still as devastating as it could have ever been. "I'm sorry Lily, but I can't," Scorpius told her. Lily was barely listening, her eyes having drifted down to the floor.

"I like you, you know that," Scorpius went on. "And I appreciate everything that you've done for me. And I do care. I care about myself, and I care about you. I'm sorry if I ever led you on, but I just don't feel that way about you. I think you know why."

Having tuned in to the final phase of Scorpius's explanation, Lily was struck with an idea. It was ghastly and terrible, and he would never forgive her for it, but she no longer cared. The one secret she had ever had that belonged to her and only her had just been revealed, and he'd acted as if it meant nothing. She'd wanted him, and she'd lost him. She refused to return to Hogwarts with that feeling stuck in her heart. She needed to have the upper hand, and so what if she hurt him along the way? He had just hurt her, and they wouldn't see each other all year anyway. So she'd make him say her name.

"Say it anyway," Lily ordered. "Just please, tell me why it can't be me."

Scorpius looked at her with an expression that pleaded for her not to make him say the name out loud. He didn't want to make this about Rose, but Lily was going to encroach that on him anyway. It was the only way she could get the upper hand that he'd somehow taken from her.

After Lily stared him down for a while longer, Scorpius gave in. "Because I still love Rose," he stated.

And then Lily waited. She waited for the immediate pain of hearing it out loud to disappear, and she waited for Rose to come. Any second now, they'd hear a pop just outside the tent, a sign of Rose's Apparition. Then she'd be here, and she'd see Scorpius with Lily, and she'd assume things. Then Lily would have the upper hand, and she could go back to school and rule all the lowly fourth years like she had planned. She could forget about Scorpius, who wouldn't be there, and leave Al to comfort Rose. She would be okay.

"I've decided to go back to Hogwarts," Scorpius said. Lily looked up at him. Now this would not be okay.

Pop. Rose was there, and then she was at the doorway, but Lily didn't look. She just looked at Scorpius. He would never forgive her, and now she'd see him every day. What had she done?

"Scorpius," Rose breathed.

"Rose," Scorpius returned. Lily may have been looking at him, but he wasn't looking at her. He never had.

She couldn't take it back now. What was done was done, and perhaps she should just finish it off? Coughing to gain some attention, Lily made Rose notice her. Rose looked in her direction, and then back at Scorpius. Lily smirked, and she knew that it had worked. Rose was already assuming things, and before Scorpius could explain that her assumptions were wrong, she was gone.

Scorpius didn't say anything more to Lily. In fact, he didn't even seem to remember that she was still there. He ran after Rose as quickly as he could possibly run, calling out her name along the way. This time it was Lily's turn to just stand there, not saying or feeling anything but silence and stillness. She had told so many secrets before, and some of them, like the one she had just revealed to Rose, had never been true in the first place. For some reason though, she knew everybody's secrets, whether fictional or not. Most of them, she never kept for long. Still, sharing other people's secrets was a lot less painful than revealing her own.

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