OK, this is the final chapter for this story. The sequel "When Fame and Fortune Collide" will be up in a day or so. Thank you to all who have reviewed and read this story. I hope you will enjoy the sequel. Sorry but you don't get to find out who is after Lily yet. That comes in her 5th year or so. I haven't fully decided. Also, I know JKR said that Minerva would not be the head mistress at this time, but I just love her character, so that is why she is still alive and kickin as the head mistress. Thanks again. And now, on with the show.
Things were also going well for Scorpius with Melinda. It seemed that she was back to her old self. She was not clinging to him every second or demanding a nickname. She had even helped him come up with his first plan to get Lily to forgive him.
Scorpius and Mel had taken to spending lunch together. They would eat out by the lake when it was sunny out and after dinner, they would meet up in the library. She seemed to understand that Lily really wasn't competition and Scorpius was trying to show her that.
During the winter months, Scorpius had brought up an idea to Lily. They were out by their tree, bundled up against the cold. Scorpius was looking up at the snow falling down. Lily was pouring hot chocolate into steaming mugs. She passed one to Scor. She cradled one in both her hands, breathing in the smell of warm chocolate.
Scorpius took a little sip, feeling warmth run down his arms and legs. "Lily, I want to talk to you."
She looked over at him, smiling, "Yes Scor?"
"Well, remember when we talked about Mel being jealous of you?"
"Mmmhmm" Lily was sipping from her mug. She smiled over the rim.
"Well, she asked where I went in the mornings, and I told her. I told her how we come just talk, and that's it, but I think it would help if she saw that was what we do. I think she feels really left out."
Lily raised an eyebrow. "How…insightful of you. So you want my permission to invite her to come out with us in the mornings?"
He sighed in relief. Sometimes he swore they could read each others minds. "Yes. I think she would want to spend more time with you and me if she saw that we don't do anything much. I mean we just talk."
Lily grinned, "And have snowball fights. Where I always win."
"In you dreams Potter."
"Is that a challenge, Malfoy?"
And before he knew it, the snowball fight had started. As the two battled on, Oswald stood at the top of the hill, watching his former friend. And something seemed to be setting in for the young Slytherin. Scorpius was happy. Oz frowned as he watched the pair laugh in the winter sun.
It was spring before Scorpius had been really ready to invite Mel to their morning routine. He had still wanted Lily to himself for a little longer, and he wanted Mel's first experience to be a somewhat warm one. Mel was not really one for cold, and she did not really enjoy the outdoors, so he wanted the day to be perfect.
The day was warm with a tiny breeze. The sun was peaking over the horizon. The night before, he had asked Mel to meet him out by the quidditch pitch. He had finished practice and was waiting for her by the pitch. He was starting to get edgy. She was late. He looked at the sky. Damn, Lily was going to beat him there today. She hadn't done that in months.
Finally, he could see Mel coming towards him. She looked sleepy. She came over and kissed him good morning. "Sorry I'm late Scor. I'm not used to getting up so early on a Saturday. Where are we going?"
Scorpius smiled. He had been irritated, but that was just because he was so excited. She smiled back as he led her over the hill and to the tree. He was right, Lily had beat them there. Worst of it, she was gloating. Not the way most do, but rather with a smile that he knew meant she had won. He hurried over.
"Lily, you know Mel of course." Lily smiled up at Melinda who was clinging just a little to Scor's arm. She smiled.
"Hi Melinda. Glad you could join us today." Scorpius looked down at Lily. She didn't have her usual stuff. She was obviously reluctant to let someone else know about her sketches, so instead of drawing, she had brought out homework.
Melinda smiled, "Hi Lily. How are you?"
The two girls exchanged small talk while he and Lily settled in. They didn't even look at each other as they worked. It just came naturally. It was like a dance. They did this every morning and they anticipated the others moves.
Lily stood and Scorpius spread out the blanket. Lily turned to the bag and grabbed the food while Scorpius set out plates and cups. They laid out breakfast. Lily dished up waffles for herself and Scor, never bothering to ask what he wanted on his, she just knew. Scor poured drinks for the three of them, knowing Lily preferred milk in the morning rather than pumpkin juice. He made a waffle for Mel, exactly like his own. Lily pulled out a blanket for their legs in case the wind picked up, and the two friends sat down at the same time.
Melinda looked unsure about what to do. Scor laughed, "You can sit Mel." She smiled and sat down.
"Wow, you guys did that all without running into each other. Neither tried to do the others job. That was quite amazing."
Scor caught Lily's eye and they said in unison, "Lots of practice." At which the two bust out laughing. Smiling, the group began to eat. Looking at Mel, he noticed her pick of the peaches from her waffle. She caught him looking and blushed.
"I don't really like peaches." Scorpius looked at her and inwardly cringed. He should know that shouldn't he? I mean he knew what Lily liked to eat, and he had lunch with Mel almost every day, he should know this.
"Sorry." Melinda just smiled.
"It's OK, you never see me eat breakfast so you wouldn't really know." They continued to eat in silence. Scorpius could tell that Melinda was not fully enjoying herself, but maybe she was just nervous. She had never just come outside and sat and had breakfast with them, it was new.
By the time they had finished eating, she seemed to have warmed a little and was even starting to talk a little bit with Lily. Lily, for her part, was answering everything very politely, but Scor noticed a slight change in her behavior. He couldn't quite put his finger on it. She was being genuinely nice, but something was off.
Melinda told a joke and Lily laughed. Mel put her hand on Scor's arm and that's when it hit him. That's what was wrong. Lily was making sure not to touch him. Usually she hugged him, or put a hand on his arm or slapped him upside the head. He did the same with her, but she was avoiding touching him. He looked at Mel's hand and then looked at Lily.
She smiled, but raised her eyebrow at him. He could see her give him the Dumas look. While Mel was glancing around at the scenery she leaned close and whispered so only he could hear, "Please, I'm not going to push things with your girlfriend here. We know it's nothing, she doesn't, so just relax." Once again, she had read his mind.
It was going alright. Lily sat working on homework, and Scor leaned against the tree. Mel looked between the two. She cleared her throat and brought Scor out of his happy daze. "You know, you don't have to just sit there. You can talk the same way you always do. I know it's usually just the two of you, but I'm not here to intrude. Just act naturally."
Scorpius gave her a puzzled look. "What do you mean Mel?"
"Well, you're just sitting here, not doing anything. I was happy you invited me, but I hate to think I am keeping you from doing what you normally do."
Lily smiled at Mel. "Don't worry about it. This is what we normally do."
"You mean you don't just sit out here and talk?"
Scorpius leaned back and closed his eyes, "Nope. I mean we do, but we usually just sit here for an hour or so. It's relaxing." He placed his hands behind his head and relaxed even more. He could feel Mel settle in next to him. He could hear Lily's quill scratching on parchment. It was near perfect.
That only lasted five minutes. His peace was disturbed every time Mel moved. She just couldn't seem to get comfortable. Every time Scorpius thought she had settled down, she would sigh, or shift. It was breaking up his usual calm and he could feel irritation start. Lily seemed to sense this and he heard the quill stop.
"So, Melinda, how are classes going?" Scorpius could feel Melinda perk up.
"Wonderfully. I mean I am really getting the hand of some of the new spells they are teaching us. And I met the nicest portrait on the third floor the other day."
Scorpius interrupted, "Just watch out for that third floor staircase. It's a doozie." Lily laughed next to him. He opened his eyes to see Melinda giving him a confused smile. He shrugged, "Sorry, inside joke."
The small talk continued on. Some of the time, it ended up being Lily and Scor discussing things and Melinda looking on. Lily really tried to keep her in the loop, explaining some of the stories. But for the most part, you had to be there, became a phrase commonly used during the morning.
Soon the morning was up, and the two friends went through the dance of cleaning up. Again, they seemed to read each others minds and no one tried to do the same jobs. Mel looked on, again. Lily wiped grass off the back of her robes and smiled, "Well, glad you could join us Mel. I'll see you around." She turned to Scorpius, "Talk to you in class."
Lily lifted her arm, and Bludger came soaring out of nowhere. The two headed off to the castle, leaving Mel and Scorpius alone for a few minutes. The walked slowly towards the castle themselves. Mel finally grabbed his arm and turned his to face her.
"Thanks for bringing me today, it meant a lot that you invited me. Is this really what it's like every morning?"
He smiled, "Well not as much talking. We sometimes sit there, just lost in our own thoughts for an hour, but yeah."
He could see her thinking of a way to rephrase her next comment. "Well, it makes me feel better, to know what you do with her. I would really like to spend more time with you and Lily. I mean if we are going to continue to date, I should really get to know your best friend." Scorpius nodded.
"Well, don't take this the wrong way, but I was bored. It's just not my thing and I kept feeling like I was intruding."
He felt himself get alarmed. She wasn't going to get weird on him again was she? "No no no, it was no intrusion, no bother whatsoever. I liked having you there."
Mel laughed, "You liar. Besides, the outdoors just isn't my thing, and everyone needs time away from their girlfriend or boyfriend. But maybe I could join you other time you are hanging out, every once in awhile. That way I could get to know your best friend a little better."
Scorpius felt his panic dissipate. "That would be great." The two began walking again hand in hand up to the castle.
For weeks, everything worked out well. Mel started to spend more time with him and Lily. They laughed, and joked, but she never seemed to get completely comfortable with Lily. In fact, Scorpius always felt a little tense when the two got together. Lily of course explained it to him.
"You have two girls in your life, and each shares something different with you. I don't want to intrude, that's why I don't eat with you at lunch. She feels like she is intruding on our time, and yet she wants to be the important one in your life, so she is getting used to me. Just give it time Scor."
And so he did, and slowly, she seemed to get used to Lily. It was all slipping into place. The only problem was those stupid hospital visits. Lily was up to three already this year. Every time he would rush in a panic, with or without Mel by his side. She was very understanding though and would tell him of course he had to go, it was Lily in the hospital wing.
After the last trip though, she was starting to give the two odd looks. It wasn't malicious or jealous. He knew that. It was more…curious. He just wasn't sure what to think. He shook his head and went on with homework.
Before he knew it, it was close to the end of the year and his birthday. Lily was almost bursting at the seams. He knew it had something to do with his birthday, but she was saying nothing. It was thoroughly annoying.
The night of his birthday, she couldn't seem to sit still. Throughout dinner, she just kept giving him a glowing smile. She barely touched her food. He was about to ask if she needed to go for a little trip to St Mungos when the Headmistress stood up. Professor McGonagal gave a small smile to the room. All were quiet.
"Well my students, we are nearing the end of our year. As it ends, it has come to my attention that some changes need to be made for next year." This caused a flurry of excited whispers. What changes was she talking about? One stern glance was all that was needed and the room lapsed into silence once more.
"As I was saying. It seemed that there is a slight flaw in the makeup of our school. When the founders started this school, it is my belief that they never intended to separate the students permanently when they divided them into houses. It seems that free time must be spent in your common rooms or outside. When it is cold, there are few places students from different houses may go to spend time together. The common rooms for your houses are a place to create friendships and to relax, but what do you do when you have a friend that resides in a different house?" At this, Scorpius looked at a beaming Lily.
"That is why a students has brought forth a proposal for next year. In addition to the house common rooms, a new common room will be built. It will connect to the great hall, and it will be a room where anyone from any house may go to relax. It is my hope that this will bring out unity not only in our houses, but in our school as well. Thanks you for your attention."
Professor McGonagal sat down and the whispers became a dull roar as people began to talk. Scorpius looked at Lily, she hugged him, laughing, "Happy Birthday Scor. Now we cam spend time in the common room together with everyone else."
Scorpius hugged her back. He was speechless. Lily had gone to the headmaster to get a common room that they could both use? He pulled back and looked at her, "Lily, how…wha..?"
She laughed at his stunned expression. "Well, I just went to talk to Aunt Min...I mean Professor McGonagal a few weeks ago. She loved my idea, so I have been working on sketches for the new room. The teachers will work on this summer and we should have it by next fall."
He looked at her and was suddenly overcome with joy. He picked Lily up and swung her around the room, not even caring that people were staring at them. "Lily Luna Potter you are the most amazing friend a person could ask for. It's perfect!"
That night, he looked at the sketches of the room Lily and designed. Surrounding him were little gifts and cards from his Gryfindor friends. He had even received small gifts from Grandma Weasley, Uncle George, and Harry and Ginny. He appreciated them all, but that little sketch was perfect. He fell asleep, clutching the parchment to his chest and smiling.
The last few weeks of school flew by. The only thing he noticed was that Melinda was continuing to give him strange looks. Just before school was out, she found him in the library. She gave him an odd little smile.
"Hi, Mel. What's up?"
"Scor, we need to talk." Uh oh, no conversation ever ended well when it started with those few little words. He looked at her apprehensively.
Melinda looked at her hands, "About us." Scorpius gave her a confused look. She smiled at him sadly. "Oh this isn't going to be easy is it?" She sighed and took his hand.
"Look, I want you to know I really like you, but this time I have spent with you and Lily, well, it has opened my eyes a little bit." He interrupted her.
"I thought you knew by now that she is only my friend. I don't have those feelings for her." Mel smiled.
"I know. But you have something very special with her. That's the problem."
"But I have something special with you too. I have been trying to show you that."
"I know Scor, but I have really sat down and thought about this hard for weeks now. I saw your face every time you left the hospital wing. I saw it the morning I sat with you. You two just have something…extra special."
Scorpius didn't know what to say to that. Yes he had something special with Lily but…
"Oh Scor. If you were to pick, would you prefer to spend the morning with Lily or lunch with me. And answer truthfully." Scorpius thought about it and he looked down. If he were to answer the truth, he would have picked Lily.
Mel seemed to know that. "You would pick her, and that is OK Scor. I mean I have never seen a set of friends like you. You read each others minds. You are comfortable enough with each other to sit and say nothing. You have all these inside jokes and when she walks in you just light up." She held up a hand to keep him from interrupting.
"No matter what we would do, we would never have that, bit I want it. Just watching you two makes me realize that is the kind of relationship I want, and I can't have that with you. You have that with her, and I don't want to take that away….from either of you."
Mel stopped talking. They sat in silence. Scorpius thought about what she had said, and he really wasn't sure what to think. She didn't seem mad, only resigned to the fact that she had to break this off. He looked up at her worried face. It dawned on him that she wasn't worried about breaking this off, but how he would react. She had been gearing herself up for this for weeks. He gave her a little smile. Mel smiled back and threw herself into a hug.
"I knew you would understand. I hope we can still be friends."
"Of course Mel. If you need anything, you know you can count on me." Minutes later, he was sitting, contemplating his new single status. It really wasn't the traumatic feeling he thought he would have. It was almost…indifferent. Scorpius sighed, dating was such an odd thing, and he would never understand girls.
A few days later, Scorpius found himself aboard the train heading home. Lily, Albus, Blain, and Melinda were all sitting in the compartment with him. They were laughing and talking about their summer plans. They were soon interrupted by the door sliding open. There stood Oz, looking very out of place. Talking ceased, and Oz lifted his head a little higher. He looked straight at Scorpius.
"Can I talk to you?"
Scorpius nodded and excused himself from the train. Oz led him to an empty compartment. Scor looked around, "Where are the others?"
"Who knows. I haven't really seen much of Grayson or Bernadette in the last few months. They kind of went off to do their own thing I guess. Persephone is still fuming mad, so she is probably off throwing hexes around." Oz shook his head, "Look, Scor I just wanted to say…I'm sorry. I really didn't understand your…thing…with Potter. But I have seen you with her and you seem really happy when you are around her. Kind of like it used to be when Blain was around when we were little."
There was a long pause. Oz shuffled his feet, "Anyways, sorry." Oz turned to leave, and Scorpius grabbed his arm.
"You know, Blain is over there right now. Want to come say hi?"
Oz looked at Scorpius. He could see the small boy debating this. In the end, he nodded sharply. "Sure, I'd like that. Oh and Oz, that thing with Lily and I, it's called a friendship."
He laughed at Oz's expression. With an arm around his friend, he headed off to his compartment, smiling. Yep, life was almost perfect.