She was young and naÔve at that time, and I guess she wanted a reassurance that love did exist. Those days everyone had stopped believing in it. I never did, though, and thatís what I told her.
ďHeís my soulmate.Ē
That was my answer. If I hadnít said it in such a loving, affectionate tone, Iím sure Lily would have looked at me as if Iíd sprouted antennae. Instead, she just looked at me with adoring wonder. I think she understood what I meant.
Later, he told me he was used to people looking down upon him because of his lineage. His grandfather, Lucius Malfoy, had been one of the darkest Death Eaters of his time. His father, Draco Malfoy, had been going the same way until the war ended. Scorpius was sick of the hatred and ridicule so he just stopped trying to convince them he was different.
I saw it, though.
I saw it in the way he would shrink into the shadows of the corridors as people passed him, letting them go before him so he wouldnít get in their way. I saw it in the way he hesitated before answering a question in lessons, and not because he was uncertain of the answer, but because he wanted to ensure he was his best at all times.
I also saw it in the way he looked at me.
I didnít start noticing it until our sixth year, when I paid a last-minute visit to the library and he was the only one there. I saw him as soon as I entered through the double doors Ė he sat in a lone chair in the corner, a big book propped up on his lap. He didnít notice me at all. He must have been too wrapped up in his own head.
I didnít pay him too much attention at first, but I realised there was something incredibly fascinating about the way he sat there, reading as if there was nothing else that pleased him more. I found myself watching him from behind the shelves, winding in and out of aisles so as to view him from different angles.
That night I realised three things.
One was that he had a face carved from an angel. He had soft, delicate features, yet a hard jaw, and thick eyelashes brushed his cheeks whenever he blinked. His blonde hair fell across his forehead in uncertain wisps, as if it were too afraid to fall in any other way.
Two was that he looked so serene, wrapped up in his own little world like that. There was no hesitation in his eyes, no fear. He looked so beautiful on his own, where no one could push him around or call him names.
Three was that I didnít want to leave here tonight without finding out something about him, something that no one else knew.
These things drew me to him without even realising I was moving. He looked up, startled, when I found myself stopped before him.
I gave him a weak smile, and that was that.
We spent the last hour in the library before we were ushered out by a very flustered-looking Madam Pince. I was afraid he would bid me goodnight and I would never see him again, but he invited me for a stroll around the lake. It was the middle of winter, so no one was outside, giving us a somewhat freezing bubble we could become immersed in without interruption.
I realised one more thing that night.
I was falling for him.
Lilyís heard this story more than once, and each time she tells me to recount it, she asks me a different question. Her first question, when sheíd found out (along with everybody else) that Scorpius and I were in love, was what I was thinking when I approached him in the library. It wasnít a nice question, either. It was a demand, something I could imagine coming from my father. Though, I found out later, my father had a lot worse to say about it.
Tonight, as we sit by the fire on a Tuesday night one year later, she pleads for me to tell her the story again. As I finish, I await her question. She looks at me for a while, pondering, and then smiles at me with bright eyes.
She asks me what I had found out about him that night.
I smile back and look down at the only picture I have of him.