Author's Note: Sorry it took me so long to update with this chapter, I was just so stuck for so long that I really had no idea what to do. But it's here now! If there's ever a delay like that again, check my profile and I'll keep you updated :D

Also, to the anonymous reviewers - Moronicisus (thankyou so much for your glowing review, it really encouraged me!)

"So, I suppose the only question remaining is... do you want to do this again?"

Lily felt her heartbeat quicken slightly in her chest, half out of shock and partly from excitement. Was he asking her out? She decided to react casually with a question of her own, not giving too much away. "What do you mean exactly? Another Hogsmeade weekend?"

Scorpius shrugged. "I was actually thinking more about here. It's much more convenient,"

Lily had to stop herself from frowning at his rather ambiguous reply. Did he just want to sit around and talk with her, or were there deeper feelings behind his request? All she could do was agree, and hope that his feelings and intentions revealed themselves in time. "Sure, why not," she replied, nonchalantly shrugging her shoulders, as thought it was of no real importance to her either way. "How about next Saturday?"

"Wouldn't miss it," he replied, a good-natured smile on his face. "Now I'm afraid I have a rather nasty little charms essay to start. You'll have plenty of these to look forward to, just so you know,"

Lily grinned. "Thankyou for the glimpse into my dim future," she joked.

With one last grin at her over his shoulder as he opened the door, Scorpius disappeared from the room.

He headed straight back to the Slytherin common room, mulling over their conversation. He had been unsure as to how Lily would react when he told her why he had initially spoken to her, but her reaction had not been angry or upset. In this case honesty really had been the best policy; he would hardly gain her trust by lying to her.

He took the steps to his dormitory two at a time and retrieved his quill and unfinished essay, deciding that he'd finish it in the comfort and warmth of the common room, which was surprisingly empty and for once, a conducive environment for study. Or so he had first thought before he sat down in a comfortable chair, back to the staircase leading to the dormitories. For this had given someone the perfect opportunity to slink quietly down the stairs and place two slender, tanned arms around his neck and lightly kiss his cheek.

"Hello Alice," he said unflinchingly, the scent she always carried with her alerting him to her presence. Also, there was no one else that would have approached him so boldly.

"I heard the most odd of rumours today, Scorpius," she announced, not bothering to return his greeting. Her lips hovered somewhere near his left ear, her warm breath tickling him. "My friend Alyssa swore she saw you at The Three Broomsticks today... with Lily Potter of all people,"

Scorpius calmly continued to scan through his essay, not acknowledging the accusatory nature of the question beyond her honeyed tones. "Quite the creative imagination your friend Alyssa has. Tell me, is she the brunette with those idiotic looking horn-rimmed glasses?"

A brief flicker of a smirk appeared on her face in amusement, then Alice nodded.

"Then her vision can't be that good, can it?"

Alice cocked her head to the sighed as she pondered his defence, then sighed in resignation. "All right, I see your point," she replied, flopping down onto his lap. "I mean, what would you possibly see in that girl and her disgusting family anyway?"

"Exactly," Scorpius nodded, still editing his charms work.

Alice shrugged nonchalantly, "Alyssa's probably just jealous for some reason. But don't worry. I'll find out," She swiftly kissed him on the cheek and left the common room without another word.

Waiting for Alice outside the common room was a dark-haired girl with olive skin and a pair of horn-rimmed glasses. "So, what did he say?"

"Exactly what you said he would," replied Alice coolly.

Alyssa groaned. "He's lying to you," she said pointedly.

"True, he said what a guilty man would say. But what blameless man would not protest his innocence?"

Alyssa rolled her eyes, to which Alice gave her a sharp look that clearly said that she was not one that should be mocking. Alyssa was visibly startled by such a menacing look, and crossed her arms across her chest defensively. Alice smirked at this little gesture of subservience; her 'friend' was well aware of who held the power here. Alyssa couldn't help thinking to herself: You just like to intimidate people, see them squirm don't you? You don't care about the truth. She felt a blaze of great dislike for Alice, but masked it coolly. "Well, what are you going to do about it?"

Alice's face lightened and a shadow of the smirk of amusement from earlier returned to it. "What I always do when someone doesn't give me the information I want; force them. Manipulate it out of him. He won't have any choice but to show me his true colours..."

By the time Scorpius reached the Great Hall for breakfast the next day, his friends had already gone to their classes, as had most of his housemates. When he had chosen his subjects he had ensured himself a free period on Monday mornings, to give him time to relax, wind down from whatever had gone on that weekend (including, if necessary, time for recovery from the occasional Firewhiskey hangover). He sat down and helped himself to some bacon and eggs. At the entrance of the Great Hall, a friend of Alice's appeared, looking out of breath. The girl, Cordelia, headed swiftly over to Scorpius, interrupting his first bite.

"So there you are. Lucky I found you, come with me," Cordelia said breathlessly. She seemed calm, but clearly in a hurry; Scorpius wasn't quite sure what was happening, and his only concern was that whatever was happening was preventing him from eating.

"Come with you where?"

"It's Alice, I thought she might listen to you. She's taunting some Gryffindor-"

Scorpius scoffed. "Have you actually met Alice? That's just what she does. If you really need to stop her, get one of the teachers to handle it. As you can see, I'm eating,"

"Yes, I know, but she's using magic, and last time Headmistress Vector said if they caught her using magic on other students again, she'll be expelled."

"And I'm sure Alice is aware of that. It's not my responsibility stop her, I haven't the faintest idea why you would think it is,"

"Because she says she's doing it for you,"

"Taunting Gryffindors in my name? I'm pretty sure I never asked Alice to do that. Think I would remember,"

"Well you said something, and whatever it was set her on the warpath."

"Wait a second, who has she-" Scorpius began, before freezing suddenly. He knew the answer to the question before he had finished asking it. He put his cutlery down and abandoned his breakfast. "Fine then," he said coolly, "since you won't allow me to eat until I've saved Alice from herself, I'll go with you."

Cordelia lead him to a part of the castle that was almost always abandoned. It had been a tower; the roof and the wall to the outside of the castle had been destroyed by either spellfire or great stones lobbed by giants or mountain trolls during the Battle of Hogwarts. After the Battle, parts of the castle had been rebuilt anew, but for some reason this particular tower had resisted rebuilding. Not that they hadn't tried; they had, and many times, but there was always some kind of mishap that prevented it, a death or malfunction with equipment or material. Eventually people came to regard it as cursed, and for that reason it was generally avoided (except by first years, who often snuck out there on dares, or lovers who wished to be undisturbed).

This was part of the reason Scorpius felt a sense of foreboding. Not because he believed in the curse, but because he knew that there would be no one in this part of the castle. Alice's teasing of other students was usually without any specific point, she simply loved the attention, thrived on it. She would start a fight with someone right outside the Great Hall after breakfast, for all the crowd to witness.

But here, there would be no audience, which only meant one thing; Alice must have some kind of sinister purpose, and that thought filled him with dread. Until now he had only thought of her as a very strange but mostly harmless girl who occasionally picked on those she saw as weaker than her. He had heard rumours that she had actually tortured people, but he had dismissed that as idle gossip, like most of the rumours that flew around Hogwarts. Could it be, that that particular insight about her true character had been correct? Either way, a terrible feeling was rising in the pit of his stomach.

Scorpius paused at the bottom of the staircase. There was no crowd, no yells or jeers like there usually were at Alice's fights. There was complete silence; it was unnerving. "Alice?"

"Up here, darling," her voice sung out softly.

He ascended the stairs, but Cordelia did not follow, staying at the bottom to play lookout.

A cool breeze blew over him as he reached the top of the stairs, he looked around and saw Lily, levitating upside down; her face was very red, and by the looks of it Alice had both locked her legs together and hexed her so that she could not speak, as she was making various muffled noises. His eyes travelled away from her to Alice, who was leaning on a wall with a very self-satisfied smirk on her face.

"Hello Scorpius," she purred softly, "I got you a present."

"What's this about?" asked Scorpius, confused, his heart beating faster as he looked fleetingly at Lily.

"Well," Alice said, sounding pleased with herself as she stepped toward him. "You remember how I asked you if you were at Hogsmeade with Miss Potter here?"

"Yes," Scorpius said slowly, not comprehending her meaning.

"You said no. But the thing is, Alyssa was pretty certain she saw you both there. I don't believe she'd have a reason to lie to me."

"Alice, let her down-"

"So, the only other conclusion is," Alice continued, ignoring him, "that you lied to me. Why would you do that, Scorpius?"

"I didn't-" he began, but Alice slowly swung Lily over the edge, still red-faced and upside down. When she saw that she was dangling over the school grounds she stopped struggling against the curse, afraid it may suddenly wear off if she continued trying to free herself.

"Don't, Alice - I'll tell you the truth. I always thought our flirting was just a game, a joke between friends - I mean it's been going on for years and nothing has ever happened between us. I never thought you were serious... but I wasn't sure, so I didn't want you to know that I went on a date with Lily. I didn't want to hurt your feelings. So I lied,"

"So you find this-" Alice began, swinging Lily back so that she was hanging next to her, out of danger again, for now. "More attractive than me?"

"Of course not," replied Scorpius, moving slowly toward Alice. He placed his hands on her arms. "I just never realised you were really interested."

Alice pulling away from him, looking sickened. "I do hate it when you lie, Scorpius. You're really not as good at it as you think... I can read you like a book. Can she say the same thing?" Alice flicked her wand and Lily crumpled to the floor, trying to catch her breath. "Don't worry. I'm not going to hurt her again... I'm sure you'll manage that all on your own, Scorpius. Oh yes," she looked around at Lily, who was lying on her side on the floor, shooting Alice a murderous look. "He'll break your heart, I guarantee. I just hope I'm there to see it... See you later Scorpius." With that, Alice left the room.

Scorpius watched her cautiously as she went; he would never turn his back on Alice Avery again. When he was certain she was gone, he dropped to the ground next to Lily. "Are you alright?"

Lily nodded. Her face was much less red and she seemed to be getting her breath back. She attempted to get to her feet, but stumbled before sitting back down again.

"Just sit down a while, get your balance back. Don't want you toppling over the edge," said Scorpius, joking but nervous; he could still feel the adrenaline from when Lily was dangling over the edge. "Here, rest your head on my shoulder,"

Lily placed her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes, Scorpius placed an arm around her to support her.

"Not exactly the usual Monday morning," Scorpius joked, hoping to break the tension that had risen in the air.

Both of them cracked up laughing, and it was several minutes before they were in a fit state to speak again.

"Certainly not," replied Lily, grinning. "I suppose I can't go to Herbology now. I highly doubt Professor Longbottom will buy the excuse, 'sorry I'm late sir, a psychopath had me hanging by my ankles all morning'. For a moment I thought I would be forever known as 'The Ghost of the Cursed Tower'. Then it would really be haunted,"

"So you don't believe the superstition then?" Scorpius replied, laughing, "That it's haunted by the malevolent spirit of Voldemort?"

"I'm sure the malevolent spirit of Voldemort would have better things to do. Actually, I think it's quite nice up here. We should come here for a picnic some time - perfect view of the grounds, the lake..."

"Well I'm glad you enjoyed the view, it was almost the last thing you ever saw... How did she even get you up here?"

"I have no idea how she managed. She must have stunned me from behind and levitated me up here. Cast a Disillusionment Charm as well, so no one would see,"

"Yes, I imagine an unconscious, floating Lily Potter would attract some attention. But the time for jokes is over - we should get you to the Hospital Wing, or maybe the Headmaster. No, I'll take you to the Hospital Wing then fetch the Headmaster and we can-"

Lily silenced him with her lips. Perhaps it was the adrenaline of the moment that made her so bold, but she only knew that her inhibitions about Scorpius had melted away. He cared about her, she could feel it – why else would he have tried to lie to Alice to protect her? And, as it turned out, he was a very good kisser. She placed her hand on his cheek as they kissed, and as he pulled her closer she felt the fear drain from her body, replaced by elation. When the kiss was over, she rested her forehead on his.

Scorpius pulled away, but kept eye contact, gently tracing a hand through her hair. "So - do you still believe what Albus and Alice say, that my intention is to hurt you?"

Lily laughed. "No. I think you're genuine... or a very clever triple agent. But I think that's unlikely. Seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through for a couple of laughs."

"Well, an awful lot of trouble might be what we're in for if we keep going down this path," replied Scorpius.

A smirk lit Lily's face in that moment. "And what path might that be?" she asked coyly.

Scorpius blinked at her response, then shot to his feet almost involuntarily, his cheeks tinged crimson at what had slipped out of his mouth. "Nothing," he said quickly. "I was being stupid, forget I said anything."

He turned toward the stairs to leave, but Lily grabbed his hand and pulled him toward her. She stood on her tiptoes to capture his lips with hers. Scorpius started for a moment, surprised by her advance, but slowly returned the gesture, draping his arms around the small of her back.

Scorpius looked apprehensive as they pulled apart. "We can't tell anyone about this. If this is how Alice reacts imagine how your friends will, your family - your brother for one..."

"Well, maybe in time we can make them understand. Look, Scorpius - I feel like this could be more," Lily started. Scorpius averted his gaze. She cupped a hand on the side of is chin, gently moving his eyeline back to hers. "You don't have to say anything. But I know you feel it too. We could see each other in secret, at least for now - you'll be finished school this year anyway, we won't have to worry then,"

Scorpius cupped his forehead with one hand and sighed. "Even supposing for a moment that I did want to try, and that this doesn't all end terribly. I leave Hogwarts this year - then what will we do?"

Lily smiled, knowing that he wouldn't be allowing for hypotheticals if he weren't seriously considering it. "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, okay? When some crazy girl puts me in a leglock curse and tries to kill me, all it does is make me more determined. And be damned with my family not understanding, they're too caught up in their own fame to understand me anyway, so what's the difference?"

Scorpius sighed again, but there was a small smile playing on his lips. "So you are determined, then?"


Author's Note: So, I know some of you are probably wondering about the line in the summary, as it appears to completely contradict the story so far... my answer to you is to be patient, in a few chapters it will all make sense ;-)