For this carnival ride called life's October 28, 2011 prompt from the PROMPTS, PROMPTS, PROMPTS forum.
pairing: scorpiuslily
prompts: ace of spades, like it's the last day of your life, regret, memories
song: no suprises - daughtry

No Surprise

The wedding invitation mocked her from atop her pile of mail. She glared at it harshly as she brushed her teeth—as if it had caused all of the problems in her life. Which, if she was being truthful, was not far from the mark.

"Lily, are you ready yet?" Albus came into the kitchen then, knocking back the rest of his drink on the way to the sink. "We're going to be late if we don't leave soon." She grunted noncommittally and spit viciously into the sink. "What's your problem?"

"Nufing," she spewed out behind her toothbrush before marching to the bathroom. She rinsed her mouth, quickly flossed, and touched up her makeup before throwing a jacket over her red dress and grabbing her purse from the kitchen counter.

"You sure nothing's wrong?"

"Yeah, everything is peachy keen. Come on, we're already late." Lily led the way out of her apartment, ignoring her brother's skeptic look.

"Are you excited for the wedding?" Lily's chest contracted painfully but she passed off a convincing smile.

"Of course, Albus."

"You've always been a horrible liar, did you know that?" She didn't merit that with an answer, choosing instead to grab his hand and apparate them away.

The hotel for the rehearsal was busy when they arrived and Lily immediately separated herself from Albus by immersing herself into the crowd. She was sickened by the venue, if she was to be honest. It looked like a giant, pink froufrou animal had vomited all over the place and she wrinkled her nose in distaste.

"Now, now, let's not have a face like that." Lily's breath hitched and her heart clenched just as her hand was tucked into a gentleman's arm.

"I've every right. It looks like pink cotton candy has been blown all over the place." Her escort chuckled.

"Rosie likes pink." Lily's smile dimmed slightly but she gave him a sidelong glance.

"And you hate pink, Scorpius." He shrugged, his smile radiant.

"That may be, but I can handle it for one day. She will be my wife, after all."

"Yeah, I guess." Scorpius smiled down at her and squeezed her hand.

"You'll always be my girl though, Lils. You know that right?" Lily grimaced but hid it behind a short laugh.

"Yeah, sure, Scorp." He chuckled and continued to lead her around the reception hall. "Where are you going for your stag party tonight?"

"I don't know that I'm going to have one." Lily raised a skeptical eyebrow.

"Oh come now, don't lie to me, Scorpius Malfoy. You can't tell me that you are going to stay in tonight! You've got to go out, have fun, live it like it's the last day of your life—which it is, of course."

"It is not!" Scorpius argued, laughing at the same time. "Rose will not be one to ruin my social life, Lils. And honestly, I just don't need to go out. I'd rather spend a night in, play cards with my friends and fiancé—have a good time with all the people I love. I don't need to go get wasted at a bar full of strangers. It just doesn't sound fun to me." Lily grinned at him, enjoying the banter.

"But think of all the memories you are going to miss out on! And I can't see any Weasley or Potter allowing you to skip out on a stag party."

"Maybe, but I won't leave home without a fight. Don't worry about me, Lils," he said, winking. "I can take care of myself."

Lily opened her mouth to answer but Rose was calling Scorpius' name and he politely excused himself. She watched him walk away from her, but she had to turn away when he bent to kiss Rose's lips.

The rest of the rehearsal went smoothly but Lily kept mostly to herself. Albus interrogated her for a while after they had returned to the Burrow, but eventually left her to brood by herself. It was torture watching Scorpius fawn over Rose like that. Sure, she was pretty and nice, but she didn't know anything about Scorpius. Rose had put him in that horrid green shirt, but Lily knew that he hated green. And their cake was going to be vanilla, because Rose liked vanilla, but Lily knew that Scorpius preferred chocolate. Lily knew these things but she would bet money that Rose didn't.

It made her sad, to watch them together. The way he kept touching her—like she'd disappear if he didn't keep a hold on her. Or the way he was looking at her—like she was his entire world. What Lily wouldn't give for Scorpius to look at her that way.

But of course he had chosen her perfect cousin over her. Rose was always the best at everything, always got what she wanted, and had completely blinded Scorpius Malfoy from any other female alive. If Lily could have changed anything in her life it would have been throwing Rose out of the picture as soon as she had entered it. But, in hindsight, it wouldn't have done any good. Scorpius had been besotted with his fiancé since he first laid eyes on her over eight years ago. There was nothing Lily could have done to prevent him from falling in love with Rose, but she wished she had had a chance. She would have made Scorpius happy if she'd ever had the opportunity.

"Lily, come play cards with us." She was pulled from her thoughts by Scorpius' voice. His eyes were bright and his smile warm. "I need a partner."

Despite herself she smiled and rose to move. Scorpius bent his head down to her ear as they walked across the room.

"I have the ace of spades here," he whispered conspiratorially, his arm snaking around her waist and she felt him tuck the card into her back pocket. "Keep it safe for me?" She nodded, straight-faced and sat down in a seat to his right. It was an old trick, one they pulled on most card nights, but it seemed they were never under suspicion and they would win a few rounds before anybody found them out.

It was fun, if Lily thought about it. She liked spending time with her family and playing poker was the best game ever because it was a challenge to figure out who was lying about what—nobody really told the truth—and it was an enjoyable time.

After they had played several games and were just sitting around sipping champagne, Albus sighed and gave Scorpius a drunk, lopsided grin.

"What are we going to do without you, Scorp? With you and Rosie gone for a month in Italy, how are we going spend our Friday nights?"

Scorpius chuckled and shook his head. "I don't know, you'll figure it out."

"Maybe somebody else will have a chance to win at poker now," Fred slurred around his glass.

"Nah," Lily piped in, a sad smile on her face. "Scorp and I will be a tough act to follow, boys."

"That we will," Scorpius replied, giving her a toast. Rose snorted into her glass and then rolled her eyes.

"You two are so sappy." She yawned loudly and then stood, stretching tall. "I'm ready for bed," she declared, turning to Scorpius. "Come say goodnight?"

"Alright, love." Scorpius stood, knocked back the last of his champagne, took Rose's hand, and then left the room with her. Lily watched them leave, feeling rejected. The rest of the Weasleys and her older brother eventually trickled from the room until only she and Albus remained.

"Are you okay?" Albus's forehead was crinkled in concern and his voice was quiet. Despite the fact that she was good at pretending, Lily couldn't do it anymore.

"No," she choked, blinking furiously to keep the tears at bay. Albus sighed and kneeled down in front of her.

"You really love him, don't you?"

"Of course I do, Al. He's one of my best friends—but all he sees is her! All he's ever seen is her, and now he's going to marry her and I don't know if I can stand it!"

"Lily…" Albus put a hand on her knee. "I—there's nothing you can do to make him not marry her."

"I don't think I can handle it."

"You're going to have to. If you want to keep him in your life then you have to accept them together." Albus bowed his head and sighed. "Does he know? How you feel about him, I mean.

"I don't know. Obviously not, or he wouldn't be marrying her."

"I wouldn't go so far as to say that, Lily, but regardless you can't do anything about it now. I wish I could help you, but Scorpius is going to marry Rose tomorrow and that's how it's going to be. You can't stop it."

She couldn't even answer through her emotion. Albus stood and kissed his sister gently on the forehead.

"I'm sorry, baby. Go to bed, sleep it off, okay? Tomorrow you'll make yourself pretty and you'll stand by Rose and you will be the best cousin there, alright?"

Lily nodded but she sat staring at the fire for a long time after Albus had gone to bed. Her chest was tight and her mind was racing. Eventually she made up her mind and stood, swallowing a large sip of champagne to steady her nerves.

~o~o~o~

Albus woke up the next morning to several women yelling. He climbed out of bed, and squinted against the morning sun and peeked out of the door.

"What do you mean she isn't here?" Rose was screeching, still in her nightgown with about a hundred rollers in her hair. "She promised she'd do my hair today!"

"Well we'll have to manage without her," Hermione Weasley consoled, shoving a cup of tea into her daughter's hand. "I'm sure she'll show up soon. You know how she likes to make an entrance."

Confused, Albus grabbed a passing Dominique and asked, "Who's missing?"

"Lily. We've looked for her everywhere and she's nowhere to be found. You haven't seen her, have you?" Albus frowned and shook his head.

"No, I haven't seen her since last night." Dominique shrugged and sighed.

"Okay, thanks. Tell her Rose is about to have a meltdown if you see her, alright?"

"Yeah, okay." He stood in the door way for a moment, thinking before turning back to find a towel so that he could take a shower. It was then that he saw the piece of parchment folded up into the shape of a lily on his bedside table.

Dear Albus,

it read in his sister's loopy scrawl.

I've decided that I can't do it. I think you knew last night, even while you were telling me off, that I wouldn't be attending the wedding tomorrow. To be honest, I don't know why I even went to the rehearsal last night. It wasn't good for me and seeing Scorpius marry Rose will be even worse, so I'm not coming. If I'm ever going to be able to let him go, then I need to leave and start over. I can't let my heart keep giving. I can't live with myself if I do that. Tell Scorpius I'm sorry, and Rose too. Don't wrap it in ribbons—I won't give a reason why, and neither will you. It shouldn't be a surprise—even if it is, oh well; as you told me last night: "that's how it is. You can't stop it." I don't regret it. Tell Mom that I'm okay.
All my love,
Lily

~o~o~o~

A bit sad, butttt, the prompts weren't very happy, were they? Anyway, I hope you liked it! Listen to No Surprise by Daughtry if you want that reference. Great song :). ~ED9