Oh god, I love Lily and Scorpius. And New York City. And I even like this.

I don't own, etc.

Enjoy.

There is, as there always was, just you – Carol Matthau

---

It starts slowly, as these things do.

Lily is bright and funny and precocious, and Scorpius watches her.

Albus watches Scorpius watch his baby sister and reassures James that he'll treat her well enough.

---

James knows that he could take Scorpius.

Albus knows that he could fight Scorpius and win also, but he never would. It would be James's job more than his.

---

When Lily is eighteen and a graduate of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, after her ceremonies and parties, she Portkeys to New York City and applies to be an undergraduate student for Columbia University (McGonagall helped.)

She gets in, but not because she is the daughter of Harry Potter. She gets in on her own merits, and an excellent but well deserved teacher recommendation.

He follows her.

Scorpius signs up for an Experimental Charms research committee in New York and promises Albus that he will watch after her.

He does.

---

When Lily is fifteen and a summer she kisses Scorpius. It isn't her first kiss.

It is his first kiss.

He blushes and stammers and she almost wishes that she hadn't done it at all.

She takes that wish back the second she thinks it.

---

"You love her."

"I never denied it, Albus."

"I know."

"Don't worry."

"Why not, Scor? She's my baby sister."

"And I love her more than you might think."

"I've noticed you watch her."

"She's very watchable."

"I assumed as much."

"She's just so- lovely, and elegant, and so Lily."

"I'm still her brother, Scor."

"Trust me, Al, I've never not been aware of that."

"Especially for James, yes?"

"Moreso for James. And Teddy."

"Right, Teddy."

"He's the most protective."

"He is. And Scorpius?"

"Yes?"

"If you hurt her, I'm putting frogs in your bed and hexing your bits off."

"I wouldn't expect any less of you."

"Good."

---

Grandma Molly is very good with tea and cookies and sympathy.

---

In New York they run into each other at least twice a week.

Lily knows why he is there.

He knows that she knows.

Still, they pretend. (And he is interested in Experimental Charms.)

---

He kisses her one night while they are out drinking with fake IDs, pretending to be Muggles, Lily in high high red heels and a short jean skirt and him in a band tee he wouldn't be caught dead in home in England.

(This isn't England.)

She is sloppy drunk and tripping over herself in those spindly heels that make her legs look perfect and she pulls out a disposable camera.

(He didn't know they even made those anymore. He'd learned about them in Muggle Studies, a few years ago. He doesn't realize that you can buy them in drugstores on the corner. New York is strange to him, more confusing and shiny.)

When they are developed, the pictures don't move.

Lily is there with her laughing dancing eyes and long long hair and low cut top, her arm slung around his shoulder and he is smiling just a little, his hair mussed and his grey eyes mischievous-

He sends the picture by post to Al back in London and a copy to his mother, because she wants him to be happy.

A Muggle girl with fluffy brown hair and bangs, jeans, high high blue shoes, and a worn, faded grey shirt took the photos for them, laughing as Lily posed and danced around him while her boyfriend and friends waited patiently and played with their own cameras, and maybe it was the beer and pink drink with the umbrella, and maybe it's just the spring summer night and the cool breeze, and maybe it's just all of the goddamned twinkling lights in this gorgeous damned city-

He kisses her on the lips, dips her backwards and her hair brushes her knees-

She loses a shoe, and he lifts her up up up out of her other one and it falls to the sidewalk -

The Muggle girl snaps a photo and slings an arm around the waist of her boyfriend and kisses his cheek, documenting-

And Scorpius thanks her, and he's kissing Lily, beautiful Lily-

---

They break apart; they do have to breathe after all.

---

And before he knows what he is doing he drops to one knee because this is the girl he has loved since he was twelve and it hits the pavement hard but he cannot see in the camera flash.

The girl and her friends are cheering and Lily's eyes are gold in the streetlamps, and wide. Her mouth, with smeary lipstick, is open in shock and she is shining like the moon does outside of the city light.

It is the right thing to do even though he doesn't have a ring and he's just been seeing her at the coffee shop and has only kissed her a few times and lost a virginity with her his sixth year of Hogwarts that was embarrassing for both of them (he's heard it gets better, truly he has) but this can be enough.

---

The good thing about Muggle photographs is that they don't move, and he'll be able to see that look on her face forever and ever.

(Eventually the photograph gets creased and worn, but he gets more; he has the negatives stashed in a closet.)

---

Lily says yes, and for once, he doesn't need magic.

---

They firecall their parents, even though it is 7 AM on a Sunday morning and both sets are having a lie-in.

Ginny and Harry are yawning and happy for them, Al is ridiculously bouncy and awake and happy and Astoria is over the moon with glee at the event she'll be able to plan. Draco is happy because his son is happy, although unsure about the idea of Ron bring somehow maybe related to him by marriage, possibly (but he gets over it after a few decades).

Grandfather Lucius is not pleased, but it's not like Scorpius cares what he thinks. (Or anyone else for the matter)-

---

"You," he whispers in her ear after they get their camera back from the Muggles who wish them luck and traipse off to a dawn concert.

"It's always been you-" and Lily is brighter than the lights of the Empire State Building in the distance.