"I'm Scorpius, Scorpius Malfoy."

The world around her seemed to freeze at this moment. Lily suddenly realized why he seemed so familiar. Her Uncle Ron had told her all sorts of stories about the Malfoys, a family which the Weasleys' weren't exactly on good terms with, to put it mildly.

"Never trust a Malfoy, they're bad news, the lot of them." Ron had told her at the time, indicating a picture of a blonde boy with an imperious smirk on his face in their school album. Lily had looked to her father Harry to affirm or deny this, but his face was rather blank. From the conversations she had overheard between her father and mother, Lily assumed her father and Draco Malfoy had some sort of grudging respect for each other. Scorpius was almost the spitting image of his father, except for the slightly darker hair she assumed he had inherited from his mother.

Thinking back, she remembered seeing Scorpius one of the first years she went to Platform 9 ¾ to see off her brothers Albus and James, and her favourite cousins Rose and Victoire. Although it didn't really matter to her that Scorpius was a Malfoy, what if he felt differently about her? What if Draco had impressed the same hatred onto him that her uncle Ron had tried to impress upon her? And if by some miracle he didn't, and Scorpius liked her in return, what would her family think? As if liking someone wasn't complicated enough in the first place!

Taking a deep breath, Lily supposed she would have to reply at some time… he had missed the start-of-year announcements due to his absence at assembly, so it was likely he did not yet know her last name…

"Oh, you were in the same year as my brother," she began. "Albus, Albus Potter." Instead of going further to say that her name was Lily Potter, she stopped at this point. Lily could hardly bear to say those words herself, if it was going to make him hate her… A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, she thought to herself ironically.

Scorpius looked slightly surprised, but any vile hatred he felt toward her had not manifested itself on his face. Perhaps this meant he didn't hate her... "Oh, yes, I remember him… that would make you Lily Potter, then?" he half-questioned, as though he needed her to affirm this to believe her. Lily nodded. "Oh, well then… it seems our families have some history… I hope this doesn't have to affect our, er, relationship? As co-workers, I mean."

Lily shook her head, sighing inwardly with relief. He was willing to put family rivalries behind them, thank goodness. "No, of course not." she said, perhaps a little too quickly. With the slight crimson tinge rapidly becoming a permanent fixture on her face, Lily said, "I suppose we should get to the teacher's table… I mean we sit next to each other, we can talk during dinner time."

"Oh, yes, of course." said Scorpius with a nod; he had evidently forgotten that they had had a destination before their meeting. With this they made their way to their seats, and after a few words from the Headmistress, dinner had begun.

"So, how long have you been teaching here?" Lily questioned Scorpius, who was seated to her right. She made sure that no food was in a position to leave her mouth as she spoke.

Scorpius had to pause to think. "This will be my third year here. The previous teacher was involved in a rather nasty accident… I'd rather not go into details," he said with a small laugh. "Could you pass the carrots?"

Lily passed the carrots. "Do you enjoy it? To be quite honest, Transfiguration isn't one of my strengths… I just don't see the point. If you're ever faced with a duel or anything, what can you do, turn your opponent into a toad?" She hoped he would join in the joke, rather than taking it too personally.

Scorpius laughed, to her relief. Lily found herself quite appreciative of the sound. "Well, it's a complicated subject, but it's good fun once you get the hang of it. A toad? No, I prefer to turn inanimate objects into pins and poke my opponents mercilessly until they surrender." he joked, a small giggle escaping from Lily in response. "What do you do in a duel, summon a collapsible cauldron and brew some kind of terrible poison?" She was rather enjoying this conversation, even if he was now poking fun at her.

"No, I always keep a boil sprouting solution handy, just in case. Without that I suppose I'd have to resort to using nails. Peas?"

"No, thank you. Little green orbs of death, they are," he said with distaste, gesturing at the spherical vegetables with a bronze fork.

Lily snickered. "Why, did you choke to death on one?" she joked. As soon as she said it, she regretted it; what if someone in his family actually had choked to death on one? That would make things rather awkward, not to mention it was insensitive. Of course no one in his family choked to death on a pea, Lily scolded herself. That's stupid, not to mention nearly impossible. Why do I always assume the worst?

Once again to her relief, Scorpius laughed. "No, they just taste filthy."

For the remainder of dinner they discussed whatever subjects they pleased, from favourite Quidditch team, to novels, to music… although the two certainly had their differences, it was clear this meal was the beginning of a strong friendship. Or maybe something else, Lily hoped.

"So, did you still want me to help you with your potion? I'm sure I could be of some assistance," said Scorpius as the two were about to part ways, back to their offices.

"Oh yes, that would be lovely," said Lily. She had almost exhausted all the possibilities by now, but Scorpius didn't know that. Surely it couldn't hurt…

"Well, I'll be bogged down in marking homework tasks for the next couple of days, but how about Friday night?"

"You gave out homework on the first day? You cruel, cruel man," Lily joked.

"It runs in the family," he joked. Scorpius wondered whether this was an appropriate thing to say, considering their family history… however by the smile on her face, Lily had taken it as he meant it; as a joke.


For the next few nights, Lily spread herself between marking homework tasks and patrol duty. Unfortunately she hadn't shared one of her shifts with Scorpius yet, but she thought she heard him say something about Monday night, when she would also be on duty. However first, she would have to survive their Friday night session making colour-change potions.

Time seemed to move slower than usual, just to spite her, like an impatient child waiting for everyone to wake up on Christmas day and open their presents. However eventually it arrived, and about an hour after dinner that night there was a knock on the door. He was about an hour earlier than she expected, and Lily had been contemplating whether to change into some nicer robes. Nevertheless they would be working with Potions, which could get pretty messy. Plus, she didn't think Scorpius would mind.

"Come in," she called, checking her appearance in a small mirror at the last second before he opened the door. Scorpius was wearing plain robes, too, and holding an old, green leather-bound book with gold trim. Lily recognized it as one she had bought from Flourish and Blotts in her sixth year for a bit of extra work.

Scorpius stepped further into her chamber. "Hey. Blimey, I'll never get used to the lighting in these dungeons. I almost got lost." Lily wondered why, after sixth years as a Slytherin, he could almost get lost on the way to her office. It was right near the Slytherin common room, after all. Actually, that was a thought that hadn't crossed her mind… she had assumed, because of his parentage that he would have been a Slytherin in his school years. She didn't remember Albus saying anything about him, but he could just as easily have been a Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff… Lily would somehow worm it out of Scorpius without him knowing, that was a talent of hers…

"Well, I can't say I've ever had the same problem – getting lost, I mean," she replied, "But they are rather dreary, aren't they?" As she was not the Slytherin Head of House – that position went to Professor Vector – there wasn't much Lily could do about that.

"Mmm. It's nice in here though." For a couple of seconds they sort of stared at each other aimlessly, when Scorpius broke the silence. "Anyway, I've been looking through this book for ingredients that have the right properties," he began, and upon closer inspection she noticed post-it notes sticking from several of the pages throughout the book. "And I think this one would be perfect." He opened the book to a page with a red post it note and indicated the ingredient to her.

Taking the book from him, she examined the page. Boomslang skin, a key ingredient in Polyjuice potion, but not colour-change potion. Lily knew this because she had already tried the ingredient, to no avail. But she didn't want to dash all his hard work in the first five minutes and cut their meeting short. A number of other pages had red notes, so she assumed he had come up with other possibilities. "Well, this could be interesting. Let's give it a go,"

Lily proceeded to explain what she had already found through her past practices, which ingredients seemed to add to the length of time the potion lasted, how long to stir things for, that sort of thing. In no time, they begun the Potion, Lily giving Scorpius orders while chopping up obscure ingredients that she had found through prior research.

It didn't take long for her to realize that Scorpius was almost as bad at Potions as she was at Transfiguration. He was terrible. With some amusement, she wondered how he had passed his Potions O.W.L. After he diced an ingredient she asked him to chop finely, she was forced to giggle. "You didn't take Potions in your N.E.W.T.S, did you?" she laughed.

"Shut up," Scorpius said jokingly, pushing her head to the side playfully as she stepped over to chop it up properly. Their hands grazed briefly, and Lily thought she saw Scorpius blush; however she was used to this kind of thing, and didn't think all that much of it. With her lack of reaction, Scorpius seemed to realise it wasn't all that big of a deal.

However Lily did lose her concentration when he lowered his head, almost resting it on her shoulder, to observe how it was properly done. She knew very well that he was tall enough to see without doing this, but her nerves flared all the same. Her hand slipped a little and she managed to cut her left index finger. "Ouch," she muttered, looking at the crimson dripping from her finger.

"I'll fix that," said Scorpius, a sort of smirk on his face. He picked one of the post-it notes from the ingredient book and transfigured it into a band-aid. Show off, Lily thought to herself with a smirk. Peeling off the edges, he placed it around the end of her finger. "See? Transfiguration isn't all that useless, is it?" he joked, seeming quite pleased with himself for coming up with the idea.

Lily smirked. "Oh, but it is when I can do this," she peeled the band aid from her finger and healed the cut using a simple spell her aunt Hermione had once taught her. "See?" Lily said playfully, holding up the hand that was balled into a fist except for the index finger she was showing him.

"Well then," he said with a smile, raising his large, strong hand to envelop her smaller one. "Have it your way." For a few seconds the two stared into each other's eyes, cold grey meeting warm brown, before Scorpius became rather bashful and dropped her hand. His hand was so cold, thought Lily as he cleared his throat, scratching the nack of his neck. "So, ah, this is the last ingredient right?"

Lily, too, had remembered herself. It was a shame to end the moment, but the fact that they were supposed to be working had surfaced in her mind, even if she knew it wasn't going to work. "Yep, just a pinch of that and it should be ready… Would you like to do the honours?" she mocked.

"I certainly would." Scorpius replied with a grin, adding a pinch to the potion, which now turned a bright shade of puce.

Scooping out a ladleful of the somewhat foul-smelling potion, Scorpius baulked. "Ugh, that smells disgusting… are you sure you want to drink this? I don't want you ending up in St. Mungo's sprouting antlers or being poisoned or something…" he said, a joking smile masking genuine concern.

Lily shrugged. "Antlers are easy enough to remove… if I'm poisoned, you can give me this," She went to her cupboard and withdrew a small stone. "Bezoar." She handed it to Scorpius, who nodded.

Grimacing as she caught the pungent aroma of the potion, she raised her cup. "Bottom's up." With that she drained the glass, almost retching at the taste. She wiped the side of her mouth. "Ugh, it doesn't taste anything like it smells… it's much worse." Lily remarked.

"You are alright though, aren't you?" Scorpius questioned, Lily replying with a nod. "So how do we test how long it'll last for? I mean that could take days, couldn't it?"

Lily nodded, picking up a small vial of grey substance about the colour of troll bogeys. "We use ageing potion… you pour it on your hair and it ages, rather than drinking it."

"You're gonna be grey by the time you're my age," he joked.

"Well, working with you, I might be anyway. Plus, then I can match your eyes." Lily replied with a smile, playfully mussing his hair, to which they both laughed. After stopping to grin at each other, Lily said, "Now, for the moment of truth…"

She poured the liquid onto her hair, which, unfortunately, took only a few seconds to revert to its natural vibrant red. Lily shook her head, "No dice. Wouldn't last for more than a few hours."

Scorpius raised an eyebrow. "You didn't already know that, did you?" he questioned.

Lily feigned innocence. Much like her mother Ginny, lying on the spot was a forte of hers. "No, of course not. Why would I have wasted our time if I knew it wasn't going to work?"

Scorpius shrugged; apparently he had bought it. "No reason. Why do you change your hair colour anyway... I think it's lovely..." he reached out to stroke a lock of her soft red hair, examining the colour for a second before realising what he had done. Courage seemed to come in small spurts, for Scorpius... "Anyway, I suppose I'd better get going…" he said, managing to keep the reluctance from his voice. He liked spending time with Lily, despite what his parents would think of it… "Same time next week?" he questioned, standing at the door.

"Sure," Lily replied with a smile. "Looking forward to it."

"Great." He went to leave, but returned a second later. "Oh, and don't forget patrol duty on Monday, okay? I'm not sure I can handle those pesky students without your help…" Scorpius joked.

"Don't worry, I won't." With one last smile, he closed the door left for his quarters. Lily sighed. There was no way she was going to forget. And she had the perfect secret weapon to take with her, too…


Previews

He stepped close to her, his tall figure towering effortlessly over her petite one. His face was inches away from hers… "You're late." he said playfully.

Was not… her mind argued. Lily checked her watch and frowned. "Only by fourteen seconds…"

"Aha, almost a quarter of a minute you kept me waiting." he grinned.

"You're a dork," she replied, reaching up to mess up his hair like she had at their meeting on Friday. She liked the feeling of running her hand through his hair…

XXXXXXXXX

"It's all right. Let's just say it was a learning experience… I've learned that you are worse than Longbottom with a potion." she replied. Scorpius grinned at this, to which Lily grinned back. "You're going to be the death of me."


Disclaimer - Once again, the misfortune of not owning Harry Potter is mine...

Author's Note - Just thought I'd give you a taste of what's to come with those previews, and I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please drop me a little review... I've decided not to update until I get at least four more XD