Chapter 10 : Achey, Breaky, Heart
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Scorpius stood on the Quiddich pitch watching Lily grow smaller and smaller as she neared the doors to the castle. Laughter and cheers still echoed around him. He walked over to where his Firebolt Series 7 lay and picked it up, carefully inspecting it for any sign of damage. The golden scorpion engraved on the handle glittered in the sun.
Some of the boys’ comments filtered through his muddied thoughts causing him to clutch the broom tightly.
“Did you see her? Almost flattened herself!” Warrington laughed.
“Yes, but the fact is she didn’t!” Scorpius spoke in a carrying voice, anger welling up inside him. Silence replaced the laughter and jeers. “She pulled out of a dive I’m sure not one of you could have done, and she was seconds away from the snitch.”
“He’s right,” Thomas spoke up from the middle of the group of boys staring at Scorpius. “I felt her hand brush my robes. It was very close.”
No one laughed. The group of boys all looked at Scorpius as though expecting him to continue so he obliged. “Truth is she’s a brilliant flier. You’re all mental if you don’t let her on the team. I know fifth years that can’t fly like that!”
Several of the boys looked at the captain in question. His snarl had disappeared and he was rubbing the back of his neck. “Well, perhaps we could make her a reserve.”
“A reserve!” Scorpius turned away in disgust then changed his mind. “You won’t let her play because she’s a girl? What makes you any different from Voldemort?” Scorpius adopted the high pitched hiss his father used when telling him stories of the Dark Lord. “We are wizards! We are superior! Purebloods should rule the world!” He resumed his normal tone. “But that’s not exclusive enough for you, is it? Why don’t we all dress up in dark cloaks and go around killing girls now! Nobel Slytherins, what rot! The lot of you are nothing but a bunch of pompous, arrogant, prats!” With that he turned on his heel and stomped off to the castle. He knew he had given up any chance of being on the team himself, but he didn’t care. Anger continued to boil up inside him.
He thought of his father and grandfather always going on about how much “better” Malfoy’s were than other wizards, how everyone “respected the Malfoy name.” What rot. They don’t respect us, they hate us. He remembered walking through Diagon Alley with his father on his eighth birthday. That was the day his father bought him his broom.
“Are we almost there Dad?”
“Yes, Scorpius, be patient.”
A woman walking toward them holding hands with a brown-haired boy his age looked up at his father and moved to the opposite side of the alley. Scorpius looked at the boy as they passed.
“Don’t look at them, Clarence.”
“Why, Mummy?” the boy turned away from Scorpius.
“They’re Death Eaters.”
Death Eaters—yes he had known what Death Eater were. His grandfather’s stories of their “escapades” had given him nightmares most of his young life.
He looked for Lily in the common room. Alexis sat in a black leather chair reading her Charms textbook.
“Have you seen Lily?”
“Lost her, have you?”
“Is she in her room?”
“I wouldn’t know. I try not to notice the filth on that side of the room.”
Scorpius put his hands on the arms of the chair and leaned over to glare into the blond girl’s eyes.
“I’m going to ask you one more time, Vaisey. Where is Lily?” He could see the girl shaking.
“She hasn’t come in. I’ve been here for the past few hours and she hasn’t come in.” He pushed off the chair and walked out of the dungeon to go check the library. Lily did not show up to dinner that night, and no matter how hard he looked he could not find her the next day either.
“I’m sure she’s fine, mate.” Zabini tried to cheer him up as he pushed the food around his plate wondering when Lily had last eaten. “She’ll have to be in classes tomorrow.”
“Yeah, I guess.” He couldn’t explain to Zabini or himself for that matter, how much of a loss it was not getting to see her. He forced himself to take heart. He would see her tomorrow; he could talk to her then.
It turned out that this didn’t go according to plan either. Lily managed to avoid him between classes and once again she failed to show up to breakfast and lunch. In Charms, he passed Albus a note asking if he had spoken to her. His response was one word. Yes.
That night Scorpius tiptoed into the common room and curled up in a leather armchair in the corner. Alexis had told him Lily wasn’t in her room and he was determined to catch her when she came in. About a quarter to one, just when his eyelids were starting to droop, he heard the sound of footsteps moving across the room.
“Lily?” The footstep stopped. He scanned the room eerily lit by the green light. “I know you’re there. Can I just talk to you?”
He heard some movement in a corner and she stepped out of the darkness. Her eyes were red and puffy and he saw the tear tracks on her cheeks. She stood waiting for him to speak and she pulled a loose strand of tousled red hair through her fingers.
“Are you alright?” He berated himself for asking such an obvious question. “You weren’t at dinner or lunch or breakfast. Aren’t you hungry?”
“Not really,” her voice sounded small and muffled as though she spoke through water.
“Don’t let them get you down. You could get them back,” he tried hoping to see some spark of her former fire. She shrugged. “Come on, I could help you! We could put itching powder in their pants right before the game!” He saw the slightest trace of a grin flit across her face. He stood up and moved closer to her encouraged by the brief flitter of fire. “So, what do you say?”
“I…” She pulled harder at the strand of hair. “I just…not now, Scor. Perhaps later. I just…need some rest,” and she turned and disappeared into the girl’s dorm.
Things didn’t improve in the weeks remaining until Christmas holidays. Lily continued to keep to herself. Although she did show up for meals, she rarely said anything and seemed in a hurry to leave. He experienced a vindictive thrill when the Slytherin team was flattened by Hufflepuff in the first game. Although Thomas caught the snitch, the Hufflepuff team had scored so many goals, the Slytherins were muttering accusations of Hufflepuff confunding their keeper. Whatever joy it gave him was lessened, however, by the fact that Lily was not there to gloat with him.
Finally, the day came for them all to return home for a well earned rest. Scorpius watched Lily greet her family, her smile not quite reaching her eyes. He felt an ache of longing he tried desperately to push away. He felt his father’s stare and ignored the question in Draco’s eyes. Scopius’s eyes followed Lily as she trailed along behind her family through the barrier, and he resolved to do something to cheer her up. Walking down the platform beside a concerned-looking Draco, Scorpius Malfoy wondered what sort of Christmas gift he should get for Lily Potter.
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