"I think I made a big mistake," Lily told Rose when she cornered the Head Girl coming out of the Great Hall after dinner the next night. "A really, really big one."
"What happened?" Rose asked with concern as she pulled Lily into an out-of-the-way alcove. "You didn't run off and snog or … or shag some random bloke, did you?"
"No," Lily sighed. "It's sort of worse."
"How in the world could it be worse than that?"
"I sort of agreed to go to Hogsmeade with Lysander Scamander this Saturday."
There was a long, strained silence in which Lily was sure her cousin's head was imploding. She had put off telling Rose for many reasons, the first of which was that she'd just gotten her cousin back and she was afraid something like this would send her into a coma or something. She winced as she watched Rose's face turn a Weasley Red (something she hadn't seen happen since they were children) and her fists form tight balls.
"Lily, for the love of Merlin, please tell me I just hallucinated and you did not tell me you're going on a date with the little brother of the bloke you have a crush on," Rose said calmly, her fists clenching and unclenching in a smooth rhythm.
"I didn't know it was going to be a date!" the redhead whispered back harshly. "He said he didn't know Hogsmeade and since Lor's going on a date with Calliope he wouldn't have anyone to show him around. He said he was nervous, Ro, and I'm a prefect."
"So how do you know he thinks it's a date?" Rose asked slowly as she tried to calm down.
"He sort of kissed me on the cheek and skipped out of the library," Lily mumbled.
"Oh sweet heavens, LL," Rose sighed. "How in the world did you manage to even get to that point?"
"Well, Ly asked me to tutor him in Runes since he was having some trouble already. I was pretty good at it in third year so I agreed. He said I looked kind of down, which I was even though you told me not to be, and asked if I wanted to talk about it. So I told him …"
"You told him?!" Rose interrupted with a screech.
"Well not with names," Lily hissed. "I just told him I liked this guy who was hanging out with this other girl and that I was upset about it."
"And has he been spending any time with any other girls lately?"
"Uhm, I think he was hanging out with some girl Bultruckle or something like that. Why?"
"He thinks you were talking about him," Rose said flatly.
"What?!" Lily screeched. "Are you kidding me?"
"Afraid not, little cousin," Rose said as she wrapped an arm around Lily and started directing her towards the stairs. "You've got yourself a genuine date with the little brother of the guy you fancy. I have to say, I'm quite impressed."
"This is so bad," Lily moaned as she leaned into Rose. "What am I supposed to do? I can't just tell him to shove off."
"So go with him," Rose shrugged. "It's not like you have romantic intentions towards him. Just make sure you let him know when you guys meet that you're glad to be going with a friend. Make sure he understands that it's not a date."
"What if he takes it badly?" Lily asked as she looked up at her cousin.
"Oh, he'll definitely take it badly. But which would you prefer: an upset Lysander or a Lorcan who doesn't think you're interested?"
Lily thought that it wouldn't be a bad idea to slam her head against the wall until she passed out.
"Hey, Lorcan!" Lysander called to his older brother as he entered the Ravenclaw common room, "You'll never guess what!"
"What?" his brother asked as he lifted his eyes from his Arithmancy book.
"I have a date for Hogsmeade," the younger blonde smiled. "I would have told you yesterday but I couldn't find you after I left the library."
"We probably just missed each other then," Lorcan replied. "I went to meet Lily to go over some stuff for OWLs."
"Saw Lily, did you?" Lysander asked with a scowl.
"Did she mention me?" he asked.
"Erm, not really. She seemed a bit out of it. She kept touching her cheek or something. I think she might have had a toothache."
"Did she look kind of dazed?" Lysander asked eagerly.
"Now that you mention it, yeah," Lorcan responded. "She was kind of out in her own world – like Mum gets sometimes. Was she like that when you were with her?"
"Not until the very end," Lysander said slyly. I didn't think I would have that much of an effect on her.
"Huh. That's odd," the elder said as his eyes moved back down to his book. "So, spill. Who'd you get to be your date to Hogsmeade on Saturday?"
"Lily Potter," Lysander said smugly.
Lorcan's head whipped up and he stared at his little brother intently. "You asked out Lily and she said yes?" he asked in disbelief. "Are you serious?"
"Of course I am," Lysander huffed. "Why wouldn't she want to go out with me?"
Lorcan stared at his brother for a minute before shaking his head and packing his books. "I'm going to bed. See you tomorrow."
Lysander couldn't help but grin.
"Your little sister seems to have stepped in it big time, Al," Scorpius said as he and Rose took their seats beside him in Astronomy.
"And why do you say that, mate?" Al asked as he jotted down a star and mapped its projected path across the September sky.
"Because she's going on a date with Lysander Scamander."
"What?!" Al cried out. "Nooooooo. No no no no. She fancies Lorcan … why in the world would she go out with Hugo's little mate?"
"She didn't know she was accepting a date," Rose whispered. "He played it off like he wanted to go as friends."
"And how, exactly, did she figure out he wanted to go on a date?" Albus asked slowly.
"Well, I reckon it was when he kissed her," Rose replied.
"That little shit kissed my sister?!" Albus screeched in a voice that made him sound much more like a woman than he would have cared for.
"Mr. Potter," Professor Sinistra hissed. "Do you have a problem?"
"Yes," Al said over the protests of Rose and Scorpius. "I have to go kill a third year, Professor. I will accept any detention you care to give me, but my baby sister's honor is at stake and I will not let it be compromised by some little shit who thinks he has a chance with her. Have a good evening," he said before spinning on his heel and leaving the Astronomy Tower.
"Go, Miss Weasley," the professor responded before Rose even had a chance to ask. "And I assume you'll be going as well, Mr. Malfoy."
"No, Professor," Scorpius responded. "I'd rather keep away from the bloodshed tonight. Please continue."
Rose planted a kiss on his head and hurried after the enraged Slytherin prefect who had gotten quite a head start. "Al!" she called. "Al, slow down! Please!"
"No, Rose. I have to go kill that little git. If they cart me off to Azkaban, make sure Scor takes over the quidditch team and don't let Amelia Frowley take my place. You move to Seeker and let Hobart take your spot."
"Al, you're not going to Azkaban because you're not killing Lysander. Just let it go …"
"Let it go?" he asked with a harsh, humorless laugh. "I don't think so, Rose. She's not interested in him – she's not interested in any boy right now and I'm quite pleased at that, mind you – and he just kisses her? No. No, I don't think so."
"It was only on the cheek, Al," Rose tried again. "It wasn't as if he grabbed her and jammed his tongue down her throat."
Albus paused in the middle of the corridor and Rose thought her had finally gotten through to him. "That was much too graphic for my liking and I'll thank you to not ever mention anyone with their tongue in my sister's mouth again," he told her strongly as he pointed a finger in her face.
"Sweet Merlin, Al," she sighed. "Lily can handle herself without …"
"Say your Heads password and let me into the tower," he cut her off.
"No," she refused. "I'm not going to aid you in trying to kill an overzealous third year. Would you look at yourself?! This is ridiculous. He didn't mean any harm and honestly thought Lily was interested in him. Please just drop it and come back to class."
Albus let out a long breath of air before slowly turning to Rose. "How do you know about this anyway? Rumors like this don't usually make it up to seventh year …"
"I … uh … well, Lily came to me," Rose replied as they turned back for the Astronomy Tower. She rubbed the back of her neck slowly. "She came to my common room yesterday to talk to me about a, erm, issue –"
"Was it a girl thing?"
"Erm, yes. Anyway, we kind of had a long overdue talk and, you know, she confided in me. And she told me today that she thinks Lysander thinks it's a date because he kissed her on the cheek when he left the library. It's all one big misunderstanding."
Al slowly nodded and allowed Rose to lead him back to Astronomy. He wasn't happy about it – which he told her every few feet – but he would accept it. For now.
Friday began cloudy and chilly – much like Lorcan Scamander. He was still miffed that his little brother had asked out Lily Potter before he got the chance. He couldn't figure out what had happened.
He knew he never came right out and said that he fancied her but he could have sworn his actions spoke loud enough. He had done nothing to hide the fact that he was interested in his friend and he had really thought she was interested in him as well. He couldn't help but wonder what had gone wrong.
"Good morning, Lorcan," a soft voice called as he passed a girl in the corridor.
"Oh, Calliope. How are you doing today?"
"I'm just fine, thank you. Looking forward to tomorrow. I'm very glad you said you would help me look for a good birthday gift for my boyfriend," she said seriously. "Even though I've been in the magical world for four years I'm still not sure what a bloke who grew up wizarding would want for his birthday."
"I think anything you got him would make him happy, Cal," he told her with a smile. "The way he acts it's like you're the only girl he sees …"
"Just like Lily's the only girl you see?" the brunette asked. When Lorcan scowled, the dreamy expression her face once held fell away. "What is it?"
"I don't want to talk about her," the blonde spat.
"But I thought you and Lily were …"
"So did I," he interrupted darkly. "But I suppose she was only using me to get to my brother."
"Yeah. They're going on a date tomorrow," Lorcan sneered. "I can't believe her …"
"Does she know it's a date?" Calliope asked seriously.
"Well of course she does! He wouldn't have told me it was a date if it wasn't!"
"Good morning, Lorcan. Calliope," a female voice said from a few feet away. "Excited that it's nearly the weekend?"
"I'll wager you are," Lorcan said meanly.
"Erm, yeah …" she said slowly. "Hogsmeade and all …"
"Oh I'll bet your looking forward to going to Hogsmeade," he said in a snappish tone. "Can't wait for the day to start, huh? C'mon, Cal," Lorcan said as he gripped her by the elbow. "It's getting kind of crowded here." Without so much as a look back to Lily, Lorcan pulled a sympathetic Calliope down the corridor and into the Great Hall.
"So it's going to be one of those days," Lily muttered in a hurt tone.
She knew Lysander must have said something to his brother about Saturday's Hogsmeade visit and the Lorcan must have been unhappy about it. The only thing she couldn't figure out was if he was mad that she was going with Lysander or mad that it was a date (in his mind).
Lily sighed heavily as she made her way into the Great Hall and gave Rose a defeated sigh before plopping down in her seat.
"What's with you?" Hugo asked. "You've been acting really wonky."
"It's nothing," Lily said dejectedly. "There's nothing to be done about it anyway, so I might as well just accept it and move on."
"Right," Hugo said, not really paying attention. "So are you really going on a date with Lysander? Because, to be honest, Lil, I sort of thought you fancied Lo …"
"Shh!" Lily interrupted with a hiss. "Keep your bloody voice down you idiot! What's wrong with you?"
"What?" Hugo asked innocently. "You don't want everyone to know you fancy …"
"Shut it!" she cried as she clamped her hand over his mouth. "What will it take to get you to keep your mouth shut on this?"
"I want you to tell your brother that I want in."
"I don't understand what you're talking about, Hugo. Want in on what?"
"None of your sodding business," the younger redhead replied. "Just do it, yeah?"
"Fine," Lily huffed. "But I want you to promise me you won't breathe a word to anyone about … you know."
"You have it, Lily. It's between you and me. Now, swear you'll give Albus my message," he told her seriously.
"Excellent," Hugo grinned.
"I want to go back to our room," Scorpius muttered huskily in Rose's ear as they finished up dinner. "I don't know what it is about you today, Weasley, but I just want to throw you down and shag you until you don't scream anything but my name."
Rose's neck flushed and her face grew warm. "Scorpius …"
"You smell absolutely fantastic," he continued in a low voice.
"I'm not wearing any perfume …"
"That's not what I'm talking about."
She couldn't help but moan out loud. She ignored the curious looks of her housemates as she turned in her seat and scowled at her boyfriend. "Could you not do that here?" she hissed. "Your bloody father has his eyes locked on us right now.
Scorpius arched an eyebrow before turning to meet his father's gaze. With a devilish smirk he attached his lips to the side of her neck, which made her moan again. He was fairly certain that Professor Longbottom was blushing like a first year Hufflepuff.
"Oi!" Al hissed. "Could you two maybe not start shagging at the dinner table?"
"Just because you're not getting any, Potter, doesn't mean the rest of us should go cold turkey as well," Rose responded as she turned to press her lips to Scorpius'.
Shit, Al thought. The bloody elves must have spiked the wrong juice! His eyes wandered down the table to Greg Uxley and Tamara Gordon – and they weren't acting off at all. Fuck! It didn't work!
"Whoa? What's up with Weasley and Malfoy?"
"Damn, they look like they're going to shag right here on the table."
"Tell Creevey to get his camera."
"Sweet Merlin I hope I get a penseive for Christmas!"
"Oi! Shut it, you lot! Rose! Malfoy! Break it up!" No response. Shit. "Oi! Knock it off!"
"Busy now, Al," Rose said between kisses. "Check back later."
"Well, if this isn't karma I don't know what is," Al muttered as he stood and bodily dragged Rose away from Scorpius. "C'mon, Bug, let's go."
"But … no. I want to be with Scor …"
"Silencio," Al muttered quietly. He knew Rose would start saying things to embarrass herself (and Scorpius) if he didn't get her out of there quickly. Scorpius followed along like a lost puppy. Note to self: no more asking the elves to put lust potions into drinks. "Consider yourselves forewarned," he whispered to Uxley and Gordon. "This could have been you."
The giggles followed the trio out of the Great Hall. Al was certain that he would be on the receiving end of one of Rose's tongue lashings.
Draco Malfoy was in a mood – and it wasn't a good one. His first years had botched up their potions this afternoon, his third years had been too excited about their Hogsmeade weekend to concentrate, and his wife had flooed and said his mother was sick so she couldn't watch the baby and therefore his plans for a romantic weekend holiday were completely mucked up.
So when a loud knock sounded on the door to his private chambers, Professor Draco Malfoy nearly lost his mind. "What is it?" he snapped.
"Professor, I need a little help here … Oi! Knock that off! You're in public for Merlin's sake."
"What is it, Potter?" Draco exclaimed as he whipped open the door … and his son and Rose Weasley fell through in a heap of flailing limps and groping hands. "What in the name of Morgana's cu –"
"Professor! There is a time and place for profanity and now is neither!" Al responded as he reached down and pulled Scorpius off his cousin. "They seem to have drunk some lust potion …"
"Potter …" Draco growled. "How did that drink lust potion?"
"Well, I reckon it was probably in their drinks at dinner …"
"And who put it there, Potter?"
"The house elves, sir. I'm quite certain of that."
"Don't be cheeky. Why did you have the house elves give a lust potion to those two?"
"In my own defense, sir, it was meant for two other people."
Draco rolled his eyes and growled once more before going over to the personal stores. "You owe me big, Potter. If it was anyone else I would be giving them a month of Saturday detentions …"
"But," Draco continued, "I won't give it to you this time because I'm fairly certain who the intended targets were and they deserve nothing less."
Al sighed with relief. "Thanks, sir."
"Besides, you have some Weasley in you too and your one uncle, George I mean, is a pretty funny guy. I want to know how you modified it though. Usually the drinker will latch on to anyone in sight and I'm pretty sure you would be more traumatized if my son or your cousin had tried to …"
"Right. I just substituted wormwood for flaxenberries."
"That was quite a risk," Draco replied, slightly impressed at the ingenuity of the seventh year in front of him. "Who was in on it with you?"
"No one," Al denied.
"Well," Al smirked. "A good ring leader doesn't give away his men until absolutely necessary."
"Right," Draco smirked before administering the antidote to the lust potion. His smirk widened as his son and Rose started coming back to themselves.
"Where's my left shoe?"
"Why is my shirt unbuttoned?"
"Scorpius! Get your hand out of there! We're in public …"
"I assure you, Miss Weasley, that your secret is safe with me," the Potions professor drawled.
Rose turned a bright Weasley red before launching herself at her cousin. "I will kill you, Albus Severus Potter!"