It had been three months.

Three months and she had learned so much, met so many amiable patients and attractive single Healers, each with little charms and quirks that the majority of the female Healers insisted were irresistible. It had been three months of putting one foot in front of the other, moving for the sake of it, with a sense of directionless; a couple of times she had thought to herself, If only my life came with a map.

It wasn't that she didn't enjoy the job. Lily loved being on her feet all day, constantly on the move making potions, helping people, and there were no papers, homework, or exams to mark, which was a definite positive in her opinion. She was cheerful in the day-to-day sense, but a wider sense of satisfaction currently eluded her. Lily knew the reason being, but felt powerless to change the situation. He hadn't listened to her when she had first attempted to talk to him, and why would Scorpius ever bother to pay notice of her again when he had such a beautiful girl on his arm already?

She had seen them in Flourish and Blotts the previous week, laughing flirtatiously with hands interlinked, and found herself grappling with an instant dislike of the stunning blonde girl. Of course, having never met her, Lily had no rational reason for this, and felt somewhat ashamed of herself after this jealous moment passed. She still cared for Scorpius so much, and the girl obviously made him happy; Lily couldn't begrudge her for that.

Silently, she had wished them luck, buying what she needed from the Apothecary and then leaving as quickly as possible with the image of their happy faces seared painfully into her mind.

Though she had no way of knowing otherwise, Lily's far-off observations and resulting conclusion of happiness couldn't have been further from the truth. He was fairly happy, Scorpius supposed. Aubrey was beautiful and intelligent, she made him laugh and smile, and they flirted and held hands, but his heart wasn't in the relationship. As far as he could tell there was something lacking on her side as well; the whole thing felt contrived, the only real thing being the apparent distance between them.

With this in mind, Scorpius was forced to wonder how he had found himself in his current situation, which was namely concerned with two things.

Engagement. Marriage. All of a sudden they seemed like dirty words, and he wondered how he had come to associate such dissatisfaction with what was supposed to be the happiest part of his life. If only I'd refused to go to that stupid dinner, he thought to himself begrudgingly, it would have been completely different.

Twisting the knife even further was the visit the couple had had to Flourish and Blotts last week. Scorpius had found himself bored when Aubrey initiated a long conversation with Albus, who worked there on weekends as a shop assistant, and decided to wander off. By chance, he looked out the window and could have sworn he'd seen a head of red tresses the exact same colour of hers, entering the Apothecary.

From then onward, he'd spent the whole afternoon thinking of her, what she was doing now. And what about what James had said to him? Was there a chance Potter really was responsible for the whole thing? Surely Lily would have come to talk to him herself if that was really the case. A large part of him really wished she would. Scorpius was no longer angry, he just wanted to know the truth. Was she regretting their break-up just as much as she was right now? So many questions filled his head, and he was unsure whether he wanted to know the answer to some.

Scorpius was relieved to leave Flourish and Blotts. Not because Albus wasn't his friend, but because it felt so awkward that Scorpius had dated his little sister. He was sure James had not told Albus what Scorpius had called her either, because Albus would no doubt be angry with him had that been the case. There was also the unremitting flirting between him and Aubrey, which made Scorpius slightly uncomfortable.

He was awakened from his thoughts by an irritated Aubrey. "Scorpius, are you even listening to me? This whole time walking and you haven't been listening to a word I've said, have you?" she questioned crossly.

"No, sorry. I suppose it's sort of like the five times I tried to talk to you when you were too busy with Albus back there." He replied coolly.

"Scorpius, you're grossly exaggerating. It was once, after which I told you to wait a moment and you walked off," Aubrey replied with an indignant sniff.

Another month and we'll be married, Scorpius thought to himself, and if we carry on like this, the both of us will be either dead or with a restraining order the month after that. Unless of course she runs off with Albus. Actually, that wouldn't be too bad…

"Scorpius, you've tuned out again. Either that or you're practicing selective deafness." Aubrey said exasperatedly.

"Sorry, what did you ask?"

"Is your grandmother going be there for the fitting tomorrow?"

"No. Not that I know of."

"Thank goodness. No matter how many times I see that woman she continues to strike fear into my heart."

Scorpius snickered. "Don't worry, she gets scarier," he replied in a mock-reassuring tone.

Aubrey rolled her eyes, grinning. "Gee, thanks. Speaking of grandmothers, we have to go and break the news to mine in about half an hour… I think we should go home and get ready now."

"How could I have forgotten… yes, I suppose we better leave," he replied. With one last look toward the Apothecary, Scorpius turned back to his fiancée and they apparated away.

There was a knock on the door of Scorpius' office the next day.

"Come in," he called out, looking up from the latest case.

"There's a girl here to see you, sir," began Archer. "It's the pretty red-head you mentioned. I thought you were just joking about that, sir."

At first he had assumed it would simply have been Aubrey, but at this, Scorpius' heart did a bit of a flip-flop. He felt anxious, but thrilled at the same time; was Lily here to make amends, to finally explain everything that happened?

"Oh, er, send her in," he replied, trying to neaten the piles on his desk and cursing the fact that his office had no mirror.

As the red-headed figure entered the room, his heart dropped. "Oh, hello Rose… I thought it would be… well, never mind. I haven't spoken to you in ages. What are you doing here?"

"Hello Scorpius, it's nice to see you. I realise you're probably very busy, so I won't take up too much of your time. I'm here to honour a promise to a family member," Rose began, launching straight into the matter at hand; she wasn't one for beating about the bush. Scorpius tilted his head to the side slightly in curiosity, nodding at her to continue. "It's been about three months so I thought you'd have had time to think about things by now, and you're probably wondering a bit at what happened between you and Lily, at least on her side."

Scorpius straightened up in his chair. "Well, it's of little consequence now, but you may as well tell me," he replied nonchalantly.

Rose faltered, frowning, but a promise was a promise, and surely talking to him couldn't do any damage. "What James talked to you about, the story he told you. It's completely true. At first I couldn't believe that he would do such a thing to Lily, but apparently he was under the mistaken impression that he was doing the best thing for her… coming here to talk to you was his way of trying to fix things… but I understand that things didn't go very well. But I promise, I'm telling the truth. Not only that, but I know Lily still has feelings for you."

Scorpius looked up at Rose, hardly believing her words. He was positively dumbfounded that Potter had actually told the truth…

And in return, Scorpius had threatened to hex him, sent him from the office. If he'd listened to James, gone to talk to Lily about it, perhaps he would never be in this situation. Wonderful, he thought, mentally hitting himself. Scorpius cleared his throat, deciding to opt for the reaction of disbelief. "And if this were true, why would Lily not come to talk to me about this herself, unless she no longer cared of the outcome?"

"I don't know," confessed Rose, throwing her hands up in the air and taking a seat in the chair in front of her. "She's impossible; I've asked a million times and she won't talk to me about it. I thought I was her confidante… but maybe Lily thought you'd never believe her anyway, or maybe she was scared to make things worse… Teddy sent me an owl about it a while ago, and I think she was counting on you staying at Hogwarts, that way you'd have to talk to her eventually."

Scorpius sighed. After hearing this, he was sick of putting up the guise of not caring, or disbelief. "I really wish she would have talked to me about it herself… I spent too much time wondering why…" he trailed off. "I wish I didn't have to say this to you, but it's too late now… you see, I'm getting married next month."

"You what? Next month? You've been broken up for three months and you're already marrying someone else?" Rose exclaimed, her brown eyes wide.

Scorpius sighed again. "Look, it's not like I wanted things to turn out this way, but it has, and I have to go with it-"

"But why? You obviously don't love whoever you're marrying now and that's obviously because you're still in love with Lily. I can't believe either of you! Why are you so afraid of one little conversation? Why are you willing to marry some girl you barely know and obviously don't love and be unhappy for the rest of your life?!"

"Rose, please calm down," Scorpius said in a firm but somewhat pleading tone. "Look, my family-"

"Your family? Scorpius, you've never listened to your family before, they've never brought you any happiness. Lily did, I know it," Rose stopped and sighed, adopting a calmer tone. "What happened to you? You used to be completely against everything they stood for. At school you would publicly renounce them at the drop of a hat… following through with some arranged marriage is going to bring you nothing but pain, Scorpius, you realise that? Please, just go and talk to Lily. Even if it's just to tell her that there's no chance for the two of you. She won't move on unless you talk to her, I know it. Please."

Scorpius ran a hand through his hair, looking slightly paler than usual. "Fine. I've got a robe fitting right after work, but as soon as that's over I'll go and talk to her, to tell her that there's no chance and that's it."

Rose smiled softly at him, standing up and making her way to the door. "Thank you, Scorpius. Anyway, this has taken up much more of your time than I anticipated, so I'll leave you to your work. But I wish you luck for the future… I hope you'll be very happy." she replied, leaving him to his paperwork.

Scorpius stared at the door after she left, wondering how he was going to talk to Lily. It seemed so cruel to go and talk to her just to tell her that there was no chance for her. Why would Rose do that? It surely wasn't the kindest solution he could think of. However he already said he would go, and Scorpius would honour that.

But first that blasted wedding fitting

Disclaimer: I don't own the Harry Potter universe or affiliated trademarks. However, I do own Aubrey Harper and Riley Arher, and you can't have them! Muahahaha!

Author's Note: Things are looking mighty grim, are they not? Scorpius is almost an (un)happily married man... If you're kind enough to leave me a review, I won't keep you in suspense too long... muahaha!