Lily Potter and Scorpius Malfoy only spoke a few times in the four years they were together at Hogwarts.

There were a couple of reasons for this estrangement. The first was the three year gap between them. Since they didn't take any of the same classes, they rarely even crossed each other, let alone exchanged words. The second was the mere fact that they hung out in different crowds. Scorpius Malfoy preferred to spend his time in the library or playing Wizard's Chess by the lake. Lily Potter, on the other hand, spent most of her time on the Quidditch field or sticking a toe into the Forbidden Forest to the raucous cheers of curious students. However, these things could perhaps be overlooked if it weren't for the third and most prevalent reason: Albus Potter was Scorpius's best friend. To Lily, hanging out with her brother's friend (who was sure to be as uncool as he was) was the last thing she wanted to do.

What was perhaps sad about this was that they were rather alike and would most certainly have gotten along if it weren't for the aforementioned conditions. Both Lily and Scorpius were natural, accidental troublemakers. They shared the same witty, quick sense of humor and habit of muttering under their breath. They possessed a similar, intense sense of justice and an acute awareness of the emotions of others. And, they both felt, perhaps more strongly than any one of their friends or family, the heavy, eternal presence of their parents' legacies.

When they did meet, it was always quick and polite and passing, except for once, in the early throes of spring:

"Oooh, Malfoy! What are you doing with all of those books?" The voice rang out in the empty hallway. It echoed off the walls for a moment before disappearing in the chorus of accompanying sniggers.

A boy snatched the top book off of Scorpius's precariously balanced pile. "The Wand's Purpose: A Comprehensive Guide to Advanced Defense Against the Dark Arts," he read before the ring leader snatched it from his cohort's hand. He was a slender boy, the ring leader, not much taller than Scorpius, and donned bright red hair and a Hufflepuff tie. His simultaneously relaxed and intense way of holding himself set him immediately apart from the cronies around him. He had a hungry look to his eyes and to his face, and while the other boys jostled each other and smirked, there seemed to be a tension underneath the red-haired boy's posture, almost as if he were a rubber band pulled tight to the point of snapping.

"Malfoooy," he crooned, "I'm surprised you need this, since your family has so much practice with the Dark Arts." He smiled a thin, wicked smile as his friends whooped and hollered behind him, as if that was the most clever thing they'd heard in their lives.

Scorpius looked at them disdainfully, the familiar frustration pressing hard on his chest. "Go away, Anson," he said, his voice low.

The red-haired ring leader perked up at his name. "Go away?" He asked, looking at his friends, feigning surprise. "Go away? Hmm, I wonder how many innocent people screamed that at your kind before they got brutally murdered. How about emyou /emgo away, Malfoy? The world could sure do with less of your family."

The blood surged hot and hard in Scorpius's veins. "I'm not my family," he said, but his voice wavered, and the ringleader's eyes sparked with victory.

He looked at his friends then and nodded. And, before Scorpius had a moment to react, they were upon him. As one seething, dark mass, they shoved him to the wall, knocking his stack of books to the floor. Hands grappled blindly with each other for a moment, and then, finding purchase, they managed to yank the sleeve of his left arm to his elbow. Their mouths were twisted into sickly smiles, their collective breath hot and sweet. Their eyes were wide and shining, and from somewhere within his panic, Scorpius knew they believed themselves to be the heroic vigilantes raining justice upon some unsuspecting enemy. Scorpius let out a ragged yell and struggled against them, but lunch was just being served in the Great Hall, and his voice could not be heard over the din of the students.

Scorpius felt suddenly sick as something cold was pressed against his forearm. He tried to yank his arm away, but clammy hands held him fast. With a gathering sense of dread, he realized with certainty what they were drawing.

It was all over in less than ten seconds, and they withdrew as quickly as they had fallen upon him. "You think you're different because you study and go to S.P.E.W. meetings?" The ring leader's voice reached Scorpius from far away. Suddenly, it wasn't Anson's face that bloomed in his mind's eye, but his own. "You've got pure blood in your veins," he was saying to himself, his voice cold and abrasive against his ears. "You've got the same blood as the Death Eaters. And you know what that means? You're going to turn out just like them."

When Scorpius opened his eyes, they were gone, and he was alone in the hallway with his scattered books and sweating palms. Silently, as if moving through a fog, he looked down at his forearm, and he felt his blood grow cold. There, in long, spindly, black lines, a crudely drawn Dark Mark stood out against the paleness of his skin.

Scorpius stared at it for a moment, and suddenly felt as if he were going to throw up. He rubbed at it with his right hand. The Mark didn't even smear. He rubbed harder and harder until he had worked himself into a feverish frenzy and his arm was pink and raw.

He heard warm voices coming down the hall then, and he yanked his sleeve down to cover the Mark, sinking to his knees to recover his books, turning his face away.

When Lily Potter and her friends turned the corner, she was the only one to notice him, swathed in shadow, huddled just outside the beam of yellow light coming from the Great Hall. She cocked her head to the side in puzzlement before realizing what must have happened, then waved her friends on and approached him alone.

"They really should put up signs when they clean the floors," Lily said as she stooped down to help Scorpius recover his books. "It's so easy to slip if you don't know it's wet."

Scorpius looked up at her warm face and smiled, grateful for her lie. "Thanks," he said, his voice catching only a little as she handed him a book. He helped her up, and they stared at each other for a moment. He reached out to take the last book from her, but as he did so, his left sleeve was pulled up just the slightest bit, and Lily caught sight of something dark on his forearm. He was quick to pull his sleeve back down, but it was too late. She had seen it.

He thanked her again and began to turn away, thinking that she might just let him go without saying anything, but –

"Scorpius," she said, and he turned back. Her eyes were dark and earnest, her black hair outlined in a golden glow with the light from the Great Hall. "They can say all they want, but as long as you know who you are and who you want to be, they can't really touch you. You get to decide the life you want to live. You're not your parents."

He stared at her for a second and noticed how her face pulled tight at her own words, as if they had strained her to say them, as if they surprised her. He watched her smile somewhat confusedly, as if a part of her knew that the sentiment was comforting and true, and yet aware that it had turned her into a hypocrite.

"Maybe, Lily," Scorpius said back, his voice level and kind, seeing something in her that she perhaps had not been aware of before. "And I guess that's how we're alike. But while you're afraid you'll never be enough like your parents, I'm afraid I'll never be different enough from mine."

He smiled a little sadly then, clutching his books to his chest, and she watched him as he melded into the darkness at the end of the corridor.

(A/N: Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed! I feel like all the kids from the Next Generation would struggle really hard in different ways with the unsaid expectations of their family's accomplishments, good or bad. I also think Scorpius would be the kind of character you'd just want to hug all the time, and that Lily would act a lot like James. Again, thanks for taking time to read. Criticism or thoughts in general are greatly appreciated!)