The morning of October thirty first was cold and misty, and a light fog covered the grounds. When Lily woke up, she stayed in bed with the covers wrapper around her for quite some time, simply laying where she was and staring at the ceiling. She closed her eyes when someone else would get up. One by one they did, and they all dressed and left the room until Lily was alone.
The light that filtered in through the windows faded from a monotonous gray to a bright blue to a misted yellow, and when the light turned white she got up. McGonagall, in a spot of selfish indulgence disguised as a rare moment of mercy for her students, had canceled all classes for the day.
Lily dressed and went down to the common room, sitting on one of the giant chairs placed there. Her mind felt cluttered, jammed full of emotions and thoughts, more words and sentence fragments than anything. The world seemed to twirl around her and she couldn't make sense of any of it. She sat in the chair and stared at the wall for an hour before she finally decided what to do. Standing up, she flattened out her hair and marched out the door of the Griffindor common room.
"Come in, child."
Though she had not yet knocked upon the door, Lily entered.
The room was vast and green, covered in magical grass and plants and filled with trees to emulate his natural habitat. It had been bewitched so that the ceiling, visible from the clearing in the center of the room, reflected the stars in the sky. It changed per Firenze's request so that he could show his students constellations in places far away, or show them the stars over their sky in the middle of the day. Always, it was dark in the room.
When Lily stepped in, Firenze moved toward the center. His white tail brushed the floor as he walked, and his eyes, a piercing blue, could be seen by Lily even in the darkness of the room. He stood in the center of the clearing as she approached him.
"You seek guidance."
"Er..." Lily stared, suddenly quite unaware of what had possessed her to come to this particular being and rather embarrassed at having chosen to do so. "Yes, I suppose I am."
"Humans cannot see the stars."
"But... yes we can. They're in the sky."
"Humans cannot see the stars."
Lily sighed. Her father had warned her that centaurs held Man in disdain, that they had considered Wizard's ability to perform divination inferior. However, he had also told her about Firenze' sympathy with man, and how he had taken a liking to those who had tried to understand, though he still found it inevitable that they would not.
"I'm not here to see the stars. I don't even know why I'm here."
"You seek guidance."
"Yes, I suppose, but..." He looked at her as her sentence trailed off.
"Your father was a great Wizard, Lily Potter." Lily glanced at him.
"Long has it been since the war of Man. But it returns."
"This is not what I sought guidance for."
"But they are all connected. In the second war, the white-haired ones were the enemy, servants of the Dark Lord. What you fear now is that the one whom holds your affection is also a servant of the Dark Lord."
There was a moment of silence before she spoke, and when she did her voice was barely above a whisper, full of rage.
"Scorpius is not evil."
"Nor is he a servant of any Dark Lord, professor, so I don't know what you're getting at with this, because the Dark Lord was vanquished by my father anyway so - "
"Precisely," he stated, nodding. "Humans cannot see the stars, but they can see each other. And you, my dear, you see this boy."
"Right," Lily said, running her fingers through her hair. "Well, that was pointless, this is pointless, me being here is... Thank you for the, er, guidance, but I'd best be off now." Lily turned to leave, but on her way out she heard him speak.
"Mars will be visible tonight."
Deciding against telling anyone about her council with Firenze, Lily attended breakfast and spent a few hours in the library before returning to her dormitory, where Abigail had assembled the rest of the fifth-year girls. Together they spent what seemed like ages to Lily on fixing up her hair and makeup. After a few attempts at charming her hair into submission and failing, they opted for manual styling, and Lily screamed like a banshee until a sixth year girl ran up from the common room when Abigail tried to convince Lily that she could charm her makeup on.
It took the better part of two hours, but eventually Lily's hair and makeup were done, and the girls in her room left her to get dressed. She spent a moment in front of the mirror examining herself. Her hair was braided back into an elaborate design and curled, the ends hanging loosely down her back. Her makeup had been simple being that it was not often used at Hogwarts, but it was just enough to bring out the green in her eyes, framed by long black lashes.
The dress she had picked out from Hogsmeade was floor length and strapless, made of green velvet. The trim was made of a delicate silver lace that shimmered in the light. She twirled once to see the effect. Satisfied, she pulled a small silver purse out of the trunk at the foot of her bed, stuffing in her wand and essential toiletries, before walking down into the common room where the girls were waiting. They squealed and giggled, fussing over her dress as she blushed. Abigail then walked up to her.
"I got something for you."
"What?" Abigail presented Lily with a small box.
"I got something for you." Lily tentatively opened the box, which contained a pair of silver gemstone earrings. The peridot matched her eyes and her dress. She smiled.
"I found them in this little gift shop and they matched your necklace so I - "
Lily shrieked, throwing herself into Abigail and hugging her tightly.
"You're the best."
"All right, get going," she urged. "You don't want to be late."
"Right. How do I look?"
The potions class was still in the dungeons, as was Professor Slughorn's office, and so it was there that all Slug Club events took place. Lily walked down to the dungeon, running into no one.
"Halloween Feast," she muttered to herself as she walked up to the door of the room where the party was to be held. "Everyone's in the Great Hall..."
"Do you always talk to yourself when you think you're alone, Potter?" Lily spun around, fining herself face to face with Scorpius.
He was in a black shirt with a green vest and silver tie. He had opted for simple black velvet dress robes, and his hair was in its usual ponytail, but there was something about the way he carried himself that radiated elegance. It was something that Lily assumed he had inherited from the Malfoy side of his family.
He looked her up and whistled.
"Like the dress, Lily." She blushed as he stepped forward.
"Well, this is it."
"Yeah. If we do this..."
"Are you getting cold feet?" Scorpius asked.
"No, I just..."
"It was you who complained that I was too ashamed of you to out us."
"I know, Scorpius - "
"I was never ashamed of you," he said quietly. "Never of you. I was proud of you. I was ashamed of myself, of my family. I didn't think that I deserved you."
Lily shook her head.
"We've been over this. Our lives will not be defined by our family's names." Scorpius nodded before offering her his arm.
"Shall we, my dear?" She smiled, taking it.
"But of course."
They both took a deep breath before walking into the dungeon.