Chapter Six: Honesty

Lily lead Scorpius out of The Three Broomsticks at a leisurely pace. She had almost been surprised how much she had enjoyed their 'date', short as it may have been. As they walked the cobblestone street, Lily didn't bother looking around to see if any of her relatives were around; she had a good feeling. Despite all the worrying she had done and all the lost sleep, somehow she felt that Scorpius had made it worth it. Not that she would express this freely; his ego was certainly not in need of further feeding, or so it appeared. She planned to find out if this was really the case, and she knew the perfect setting to do so.

"So where exactly are you leading me, Potter?" Scorpius questioned playfully; his tone of voice as he said the word 'Potter' was markedly different to the way it was when he spoke to Albus.

"You'll find out when we get there, Malfoy," Lily replied cryptically, grinning.

"Alright. But if you're leading me to the Whomping Willow, there will be trouble," he joked. Hogwarts castle became visible in the distance.

"No, no, no, if I were leading you to the Whomping Willow I would at least blindfold you first. You'd be more unsuspecting that way,"

Scorpius snickered. "You, Lily Potter, have a very devious mind. I never would have guessed. Should have known there was something sinister going on under those flaming locks of yours,"

Lily laughed. "Says the man who some would call king of all things sinister."

"I happen to believe I'm very trustworthy. The Headmaster gave me the position of Head Boy, you know. I'm full of innocence and good will,"

"Full of hot air is more like it," Lily joked as they walked through the towering school gates.

Scorpius sighed. "You don't have a very high opinion of me do you?" he asked, half-seriously.

"It's not that, I just don't know you all that well," she replied sincerely. "I do plan to pick your brain, though, so be prepared,"

"Sounds painful."

Scorpius opened the Entrance Hall door, allowing Lily to pass through before slipping in behind her. They walked silently down corridor after corridor; Lily began to worry that perhaps when they reached their destination they would have nothing to talk about. After all, they did have little in common, or so it seemed at the moment; she would soon know. Finally, she stopped, not outside a door but in front of a stone wall.

"The Room of Requirement," said Scorpius, surprised. "I should have guessed,"

"You know about the Room of Requirement?" said Lily, somewhat surprised that he had known about it already; she had hoped perhaps that she could show him something new.

Scorpius nodded. "Yes, my father, he..." he trailed off, staring at the wall as though he were miles away, "well, yes, I know,"

Lily frowned slightly. "Do you still want to... I mean if you'd rather-"

"No, it's fine. You just walk down and back a couple of times, right?" he questioned, closing his eyes as he did so. A large mahogany door with a brass handle materialised where the empty wall had been. He made a small 'Hmm' sounded that reminded her of her grandfather when he looked at muggle appliances. Again he held the door open for her. "Shall we?"

Lily walked into a small, simple room; it had a fireplace with a roaring fire and a couple of very soft, comfortable-looking lounges set around a small square coffee table. She walked straight over to one of the chairs and flopped down on it, stretching our leisurely. "Not too shabby at all. Are you sure you haven't been here before?"

"Positive," said Scorpius, lowering himself into the other lounge. "Now, what did you say earlier about picking my brains?"

Lily laughed. "I didn't mean anything too serious," she began, "I just want you to... well, tell me about yourself."

"What do you want to know?"

Lily shrugged. "I don't know, anything... everything I've ever heard about you has come from either Albus or James or Rose... it's like only ever seeing something through frosted glass. I don't know what I'm supposed to think of you."

"What do you want to think of me?"

Lily paused, staring dumbstruck at him. She had entertained thoughts or possibilities about him, formed her own image of what she hoped him to be, or what she hoped he would be to her. She was too embarrassed to admit that she had thought of this, and even more afraid that he would turn out to be everything Albus and her family had told her he was. "I-I... I don't know," she stuttered, flushing slightly red at her own answer.

"You can tell me," he said earnestly, "I won't laugh. Or curse you, if that's what you're afraid of."

"I just... I don't want you to be what they've told me. Despite barely knowing you I can't help but feel that you aren't... for some reason, I have faith that you're not."

"Maybe you give out your faith too easily," he replied softly.

Lily felt her breath catch in her throat and a sinking feeling in her stomach. "So you're telling me you are... what they say?"

"No, I'm not saying that. In the end that's for you to judge, but... I'm just saying that maybe you should be a little more careful."

"You know it's remarkable... you hate his guts, but when it comes down to it you sound exactly like my brother," teased Lily.

"Well he's right," said Scorpius, smiling. "You're lucky to have such a big family who would all do anything for you."

"Is it lonely... being an only child? I complain about them a lot but I'm happy to have my brothers." she asked, hoping that perhaps he would reveal a little information on his family.

Scorpius shrugged. "I wouldn't call it lonely. My parents made me 'playdates' when I was younger so I was never bored or anything, but I suppose I always wondered what it would be like to have a sibling."

"Are you close to your parents?" Lily asked curiously.

"Well they both worked a lot when I was younger, so I didn't spend as much time with them as some children do with their parents, but I still have distinct memories of them... Father taught me everything. He'd read to me and answer my questions, while Mum was the one I went to when I skinned my knee, that sort of stuff. If I was ever in trouble, if there was something I wanted everyone to know, I'd tell her first. But I just see us as a typical wizarding family,"

Lily frowned. She had a question to ask, an important but sensitive one; she wasn't quite sure how to word it without offending him.

Scorpius seemed to sense by the look on the face that she was about to ask something difficult. "If there's something you want to know, ask... I won't be angry, I promise."

"What did your father tell you about the war or... about his beliefs,"

Scorpius didn't look surprised, or angry for that matter, it seemed that he had anticipated this question for a long time. "He didn't tell me much about the war. He doesn't speak of it. I'm forbidden to ask. I told you the other day, if I remember correctly, that I found out the hard way. There's only one thing I know of my own finding, from something I wasn't meant to see... " he trailed off without clarifying exactly what he had seen. "That was the day I found out that there are some things we're better off not knowing. He was furious that I'd seen. I've never seen his face that white before... "

Lily wanted to ask about the memory, what he had seen that was so shocking and horrible, but in her mind there was a much more important question to ask. "So he didn't tell you to hate muggleborns or anything like that?"

"No. Sometimes when I think back on conversations I had with my grandparents... but I didn't understand what they meant at the time. My parents never told me to think that way. Father still believes what he believes, deep down inside, I know that, but... he knows he's a dying breed. He knew that I would suffer if I was brought up in the same fashion he was. Look, I know you think he's a horrible person, and your father probably told you to hate all Malfoys-"

"My dad would never say that, ever. He lets us come to our own conclusions, trusts our judgement. Albus and James dislike you because they hear a lot of stories from Uncle Ron about the war... he never let go like Dad did."

"Well, no matter what he thinks of my father, what anyone thinks... he makes me angry sometimes, but I understand all the sacrifices he makes for me, and how much he loves me and my mother. I could never hate him."

Lily smiled. "I'm happy to hear you say that. Albus would like me to believe you're incapable of love,"

"I can love just as strongly as I can hate," he replied, smiling back at her. They sat in silence for a while before he continued. "Do you feel like you know me a little better now?

Lily nodded slowly; now she had his history she understood him a little bit better, but that was only his past. What did he want now? "I suppose so."

"So you're not afraid I'll curse you when your back is turned, then?" he questioned playfully.

"No. I think I can trust you not to. But I do have just one more question,"

"Fire away,"

"That day I asked you why you talked to me. You said I was..." she paused, feeling awkward about referring to herself in such a manner, "You said it was because I'm-"

"Pretty? Yes, I did mean it, if that's what you're going to ask."

"No, I wasn't. I mean, there are lots of pretty girls at Hogwarts – why would you talk to me? I just feel there's something more. There has to be another reason."

"But of course. There are many reasons, none of which you will much like. But I'll tell you, if you really want to know,"

Lily bit her lip. While she understood Scorpius a bit more now, she still didn't understand why he was here with her. Part of her was afraid that she wouldn't like the answer, but she had to know. "Yes, tell me. I want to know,"

"Just as you're curious about my origins, I'm curious about you. When I saw you on the pitch all I knew about you is that you're Harry Potter's daughter, Albus' sister. You're the most jealously guarded secret in the Potter family... the thing they find most precious."

Some would have felt complimented, but Lily understood the deeper implication, the one he knew she would not like. "So you wanted the challenge of getting to me? You just saw me as a sort of trophy, some precious object to pursue."

"I suppose you could say I wanted to get to you. But I already did, that day on the Quidditch pitch. Knowing that I 'bypassed their defences' would have been satisfaction enough for me. If there was nothing more, I would have stopped there, not spoken to you again... but despite all the reasons I have to stay completely clear of you, I still want to know you. So yes, I did partly see you as a challenge. You can hit me, curse me or what have you, but never say I wasn't honest with you,"

Despite all the things that could have angered her, caused her to run to Albus and tell him that he had been entirely correct about Scorpius and all the reasons she had to stay away from him too, something caused Lily to remain. And she knew that something wasn't just teenage rebellion. Lily knew it wasn't love either, but something continued to draw her toward Scorpius Malfoy.

And his words, 'if there was nothing more', seemed to echo slightly in her head... what did he mean by that? Could it be what she hoped it meant? It seemed that every word, every cryptic sentence raised just about as many questions as it answered. He had managed to reveal everything that she had asked and somehow still remain an enigma.

"I should be furious, but I can sort of understand why you felt that way. I suppose in a way, you're a challenge to me too. Maybe that's what keeps me sitting here, rather than drawing my wand to hex you,"

"So we find yet another way in which we're alike," said Scorpius, smiling.

"Yes, I suppose so," she admitted with joking reluctance.

"So, I suppose the only question remaining is... do you want to do this again?"

Author's Note: I realise that was a terrible ending, despite the clear plan in my head I've got a bit of writers' block. You guys have been waiting for ages, though, so I thought perhaps something is better than nothing. I promise the next chapter will be better :)