Yes, I've finally managed to start another multi-chapter story. As anyone who reads my Jigsaw Pieces will know, I had a little trouble with this, and while I'm still no completly satisfied with it, I've decided to go ahead and post it.
Summary: LilyScorpius. A storm, a half wish, and a memorial plaque, and somehow they were back to a night they should never see. Sometimes, the past can set you on the right path for your future.
She loved the rain. Her brothers always thought she was weird for wanting to stand in the garden whenever it rained, but Lily Potter had long since stopped caring about what they thought.
This wasn't just rain, though, Lily noticed. This was a storm. And here she was, stuck inside, doing homework. Storms were even better than just rain, with the crash of thunder and the flash of lightening.
There were only a handful of people in the common room, which Lily had taken as a sign she was supposed to catch up on her homework. Instead, she was staring out of the window, scanning the sky for a fork of lightening, listening intently for the thunder.
Thunder rolled. Delighted, Lily started to count. She got to seven before lightening flashed, so brief she could have missed it if she'd blinked.
"It's no use." She said aloud, and tossed her quill onto the desk before standing up.
"Where are you going?" Her best friend, Cyndra, asked instantly, looking up from her own work.
"Outside." Lily replied.
"Lily, you don't even have a cloak." Cyndra pointed out impatiently, far too used to Lily's rain fascination to ask more questions.
"Doesn't matter. I'll be fine."
"You'll spend all next week with a cold. You know you will. You've just got rid of one, and all you do when you're sick is complain. To me."
"Fine. I'll...stand at the doors. I'll stay dry." Lily replied.
Cyndra rolled her eyes. "Sure you will."
"I will." Lily replied, half-annoyed, half-amused. That was the trouble with being friends with someone for over four years. They knew you too well. "Look, if Hugo comes back, don't let him copy my work, 'k? He's good at magic, he's just too lazy to do the work."
"Or yours." Lily added, with a little smirk that caused her friend to flush. "I promised my aunt Hermione I'd make him do his own work this year, instead of copying mine. O.W.Ls and everything."
"I know you did."
"So don't let your little crush break my promise."
"Lily, if you're going, go." Cyndra said, her face decidedly red now. "You'll miss your storm."
Lily glanced at the window, saw the rain was still pounding against the glass, and decided she could tease her friend later. "See you in a bit." She said, then made her way to the portrait hole.
Lily hesitated at the front doors, wondering if she'd get into trouble standing with one door open. Wouldn't want to make a mess, she reasoned. Had to go outside. She pulled open the left door, slipped outside and pulled it shut, deciding she'd stand against the door, where the castle would provide some shelter.
She'd expected the grounds to be deserted, as they usually were when she ventured outside in the rain or in storms. She certainly didn't expect someone else to be stood, leaning against the other door.
The boy was instantly recognisable, with the white blond hair, now wet, and the blue eyes she saw when he turned to look at her.
She knew Scorpius Malfoy vaguely, firstly through Teddy, as Andromeda and Narcissa had long ago made up, and Narcissa and her son and grandson had often been found at Teddy's birthday parties. Secondly, he and Al were friends.
"Hi." Scorpius said, looking a little surprised. "I didn't think anyone else would be out here."
"Me neither." Lily replied, with a nervous smile. "Ah...I have a weird thing about rain. Storms. Sometimes I come out here when it's like this and just...watch." She was aware that she didn't have to explain herself to him, and yet it felt as though she should. "There's never been anyone else out here though." She added after a brief pause. He smiled, and she knew he'd heard the question behind the statement.
"It sounds stupid." He told her, and shrugged. "Sometimes, feeling the cold is the only way I know I'm real." She blinked, and he smiled again. "I said it sounds stupid." He'd never told anyone this before, and he was slightly uneasy now. Why on earth had he told her?
"It's just that...my friends all think they know me." He added, because he felt the need to explain properly. "Everyone does. And they treat me...well, people tend to either treat me like royalty or scum. The rain treats me like it treats everyone."
"That doesn't sound stupid." Lily said softly. "It makes sense."
"I guess you know what it's like to be treat like royalty." He said, after a brief silence. "The whole school loves the Potters."
"At least you've got the people who hate you, a bit of variety. Me and my brothers - and even my cousins - know that half the people around us are only around us because of our surname. And apart from a handful of Slytherins, everyone's always...really nice to us. Sometimes, I feel really fake. Or like I'm not...not good enough, not what I should be, what they expect me to be."
She caught herself then, and stopped talking, realising she was dangerously close to pouring her heart out. To Scorpius Malfoy, of all people. She barely knew the guy, even if he was Teddy's cousin - twice removed, or something along those lines.
"And I don't know why I'm telling you." She said, because he was looking at her as though waiting for her to finish. "Sorry." She looked back out, over the grounds, and caught another flash of lightening.
He was watching her, and saw the way the white light lit up her face in time for him to catch a bright smile.
"Maybe because I'm listening." He murmured, and she turned back to him.
"Maybe." She nodded. "Maybe because...It felt like you might understand." She shook her head then, as though trying to clear water from it. "I don't even know what I'm on about."
He smiled, but didn't speak. The two of them watched the sky in silence, listening to the thunder and the sound the rain made as it landed, watching the lightening cut through the dark grey sky. Finally, Lily glanced at her watch and sighed.
"I better go back inside. I have homework to finish, and I told Cyndra I wouldn't be long."
"Storm's nearly over anyway." Scorpius told her, and pulled open the door, letting her through first.
They walked a little way inside the entrance hall, then Lily stopped in front of the huge golden plaque fixed to the way. Engraved upon it, in neat black writing, were names. Too many names, Lily had often thought. Names of all those who'd died in the Battle of Hogwarts. Underneath, in slightly smaller letters, were more names, of those who'd died before that final battle, lost their lives to the cause.
"It's hard to imagine that one night could take so many." Lily murmured aloud. She was talking to herself, having forgotton Scorpius was with her, and so his voice made her jump.
"It's hard to imagine one wizard could destroy so much."
"That's true." Lily said, and found her own name on the second section of the memorial plaque. It was still strange to see it, even though she knew it meant her grandmother. "Does your dad - or your grandparents - do they ever talk about what it was like...on his side?" Lily asked carefully, aware that he could be offended.
"No. My dad once told me that he regrets it, hates his dark mark. Once, I asked what Voldemort looked like. My dad said they was no point describing him, because words weren't enough. He said Voldemort was terrifying."
"White skin." Lily murmured, still looking at the plaque. It was too easy to pick out familiar names, names she'd heard often growing up, names she was related to. "So white it looked like bone. Scarlet eyes. Snake-like face. High, cold laugh. That's what my dad told me. He said words weren't enough, too."
"Do you think it's weird that a part of me wants to see for myself?" He asked casually.
"Probably." Lily nodded, a hint of laughter in her voice. She reached up, touched a hand to the cool metal. "Is it weird that a part of me wants to see that night, what it was really like?"
"Probably." Scorpius replied, smirking slightly, and he, too, reached up a hand to touch the plaque.
The moment he made contact, the centre of the plaque began to swirl, the metal twisting and spinning, causing them both to jump back.
"What did you do?" Lily demanded instantly.
"I didn't do anything." Scorpius replied. He took another step back, pulling her with him. The distance didn't matter, however. The twisting gold centre still managed to pull them into it.