Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Author's Note: I love Teddy/Lily. I love Scorpius/Lily. I love angsty, unrequited love, so I wrote a piece that contains all of these things.
He didn't know what possessed him to walk out into the Potters' garden. He felt more comfortable at the Potter house with every passing year, though he supposed he would always feel a little awkward every time Mr. Potter spoke to him or looked his way, but he still had no excuse to be wandering out of the house. Just because Al mentioned that Lily was outside practicing on her broom, Scorpius just had to make some excuse about needing to use the toilet so he could slip out to the garden and watch her.
Except somebody else had the same idea.
Scorpius didn't get very far when he realized that there were two figures out in the garden instead of just one, and that Lily's broomstick lay forgotten on the grass. Stealth had always been Scorpius' strong point and he hid behind a bush, wondering why Teddy Lupin, of all people, was standing so close to Lily and looking at her in a way that made Scorpius' skin crawl.
Merlin, was he kissing her?
Scorpius could hardly bear to look, and yet he couldn't look away. There was Lily standing several feet from his hiding place, her red hair a bit wild from flying, and she didn't scream or pull away when Teddy moved in closer and pressed his lips to hers. Teddy's hair was a vibrant gold that day, just like the summer sun overhead, and Scorpius felt pale and insignificant as he stood behind the bush and watched his second cousin kiss the girl he had been secretly in love with for years.
They looked so sickeningly perfect. How could something so wrong look so terribly right? The way the red and gold mingled together, the way he held her like he could shield her from the world, the way she whispered Teddy in between kisses. Scorpius felt hot under the sun and the leaves were scratching his face, not to mention the fact that Al would wonder where he was, and yet he still couldn't move.
What was Lily doing with him, anyway? He was too old for her. She was still a Hogwarts student and he would be thirty in a couple of years. Lily deserved someone her own age, someone who wouldn't get bored with her and ditch her for an older woman, someone who wouldn't break her heart because she was still so young and beautiful and vulnerable. How could she let somebody his age take advantage of her and be the first one to kiss her when Scorpius had been there for her all along?
But of course that was Scorpius' own stupid fault.
He had never been good with feelings. He struggled to express them and found it safer to remain silent, content to watch Lily without telling her how he felt. He never really needed to tell her how he felt. Since she never dated any boys, he thought she would always be available, and that he would always have a chance to summon his hidden bravery and make his move. But now, as he watched her with Teddy and took in the details of her face, her voice, her very spirit, he realized that perhaps he didn't know Lily as well as he thought he did.
She had always been more than just Al's little sister. In the eyes of all the other girls, Scorpius was nothing more than that pale, quiet boy whose father had been a Death Eater, but Lily had always reached out to him and made him feel like his existence was worthwhile. Perhaps it was because he was her brother's best friend, but it didn't matter. Scorpius adored her since his first visit to the Potter home, when Al invited him during the summer after their first year at Hogwarts, and he thought everything was going to be awkward until this redheaded girl with bright brown eyes took him by the hand and asked him if he'd like to see her new kitten.
Lily wasn't that little girl anymore, but Scorpius still worshipped her. He thought she could do no wrong until he stepped outside and found her kissing somebody as old and experienced as Teddy. He thought she never dated any boys because she was always meant to be with him, with Scorpius, but she never really wanted any boys at all, because Teddy was a man.
Scorpius disappeared from his bush as silently as he came and trudged back into the house, making more excuses to Al. He was lucky he was so good at hiding his feelings, even from his best friend, though he spent the rest of the day in a distracted haze and barely realized that he had said yes to Al's invitation to stay for dinner.
They all sat at the table, the five Potters plus Scorpius and Teddy, and Scorpius had never felt so uncomfortable at Harry Potter's dinner table. His first visit to Al's home had been awkward enough, with both of Al's parents giving him strange looks all the time, no doubt remembering the infamous father he closely resembled, but that was nothing compared to the discomfort Scorpius felt now.
Teddy and Lily sat right across from each other, unaware that Scorpius was watching them. Did Lily's family know what was going on? Probably not. Al would have told Scorpius if he knew that Lily was seeing Teddy and besides, if the family knew then James wouldn't be chatting so amiably with Teddy right now. Instead he would have hexed Teddy a hundred different ways and convinced his parents to keep Lily locked away in her room until she was thirty-five. James was notoriously protective of Lily, which was one of the reasons why Scorpius kept silent on his feelings for so long.
James didn't like him very much, even after years of putting up with his visits to the house.
"You'll take me to Diagon Alley to get my school things, won't you, Teddy?" Lily asked.
"When do you want to go?" asked Teddy.
"Oh, I don't know. Next Saturday? Or are you busy?"
"Next Saturday is perfect."
They both sounded so casual, so ordinary, that only Scorpius guessed why Lily wanted to go school shopping with Teddy. Didn't anyone else see it? Were they all blind to the way Lily and Teddy looked at each other across the table? Scorpius lost what little appetite he had.
"I see how it is, Lil," James broke in, pretending to sound hurt. "Ditching your favorite brother, are you? And I'm the one who bought you that expensive broomstick polish last summer."
"Don't be ridiculous, James," said Lily. "The only reason you like going to Diagon Alley is so you can ogle the girl who works at Flourish and Blotts."
"I do not ogle. I admire in a very intense way."
The dinner conversation went on and on in similar circles, while Scorpius picked at his food and tried not to glare at Teddy. He had never been close with his cousin, thanks to complicated family history, but he had always liked and respected Teddy well enough. Until now, that is. How could Teddy kiss Lily, who was so young, for Merlin's sake, when there were scores of women his own age who would be perfectly willing for a good snog? Why couldn't he have stayed with that Victoire girl and gotten safely married to her years ago? Why did he have to choose Lily?
"You gonna eat that, Score?" Al asked, pointing to the chicken leg Scorpius hadn't touched.
Scorpius pushed his plate toward Al. "It's yours."
"You all right?"
"Of course," said Scorpius, keeping his face carefully blank. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"I don't know, it's just... I've been your best mate for nine years and I still can't figure you out. I keep telling you, Score, you should play wizard's poker with that face of yours. You'd win a fortune."
"I know," Scorpius muttered. He doubted that all the gold in the world could pull Teddy and Lily apart, though. He had seen the way they acted when they were alone with each other and it frightened him, knowing that Lily would never behave that way with him. He would always be her brother's best friend, just a constant presence and nothing more, unlike Teddy, with his age and maturity and stupidly changing hair.
After dinner he found Lily alone in her room, sorting her schoolbooks for her last year at Hogwarts. He hovered awkwardly in the doorway, even though he had entered this room countless times over the years, and cleared his throat.
"Oh, hi Score," Lily said brightly, turning to face him. "Why aren't you with Al?"
"I told him I went out for a walk," said Scorpius. It wasn't the best excuse and Al had looked at him funny for a moment, but he didn't ask any questions. Nine years of friendship had taught Al that Scorpius required personal space.
"So... why are you here?" asked Lily. "Not that it isn't great to see you. Got any advice for my seventh year at Hogwarts?"
"Yeah, something like that." Scorpius shut the door and joined her in the middle of the room. "What are you doing with Teddy?"
Her eyes went wide, but she quickly tried to hide it. "What do you mean? Teddy's my friend."
"You don't have to make excuses," Scorpius said quietly. "I saw him snogging you earlier."
"What's it matter? I'll snog whoever I want."
"He's old, Lily."
Lily dropped the book she had been holding and glared at him, not caring that her book fell open face-down on the floor. "He's not old, Scorpius. And what do you care, anyway?"
Scorpius could have told her. He could have made some dramatic love confession, perhaps pulled her in for a kiss like something out of those books that Al's cousins always read, and then she would finally know. But Scorpius didn't tell her.
"Teddy's my cousin," he said. "I have a right to know what my cousin's up to. And you're my best mate's sister. Of course I care."
"Good Godric, Score. It's only Teddy. He's not going to hurt me, if that's what you're worried about."
"Doesn't change the fact that he's loads older than you."
Lily glared at him again, her temper turning as fiery as her hair. "Age doesn't matter when you're in love. But of course you're Scorpius Malfoy, the boy who's too bloody good to love anybody, so you wouldn't understand." She grabbed her wand and flicked the door open, then sent a small gust of wind that pushed Scorpius toward the doorway.
Scorpius knew the conversation was over and trudged down the hall, hands clenched into fists. How dare she say that he never loved anyone. That he wouldn't understand. If only she knew how he had felt for years... But of course, he never said a word, and now it was too late because she loved Teddy, who was so much older and wasn't afraid to show his feelings.
Scorpius could tell the Potters. He could tell her family, who had always protected her for being the youngest, that their darling Lily had grown up faster than they thought. He could ruin their affair before it got too serious, and then what would happen? Lily would hate him and Scorpius would still be alone, no better off than he was right now.
No, he wouldn't tell a soul. He was better than that, much better than his father.
He found Al in the living room with James and Teddy, setting up a game of wizard's chess. "I promised James I'd play him first," Al told Scorpius. "But you can have a go next."
"Seen Lil around lately?" Teddy asked him.
"Why?" asked Scorpius.
"Just wondering if she's busy."
Al and James weren't even listening, they were so absorbed in their game of chess. And even if they did listen, they probably wouldn't find anything suspicious. Everyone in the family knew that Lily and Teddy were close, that they had been close for years despite the age difference, and nobody found it strange if they spent a lot of time together.
"I think she's in her room," Scorpius muttered. "Sorting through her books or something."
"Thanks." Teddy gave Scorpius a friendly pat on the shoulder as he walked out of the living room and into the hall, toward Lily's room no doubt. Scorpius rubbed at his shoulder with a scowl and didn't bother pretending to watch Al and James play. Soon Teddy would be in Lily's room and of course Lily would be thrilled to see him, because she loved him and all that rubbish. Perfect Teddy with his sad childhood and his famous godfather and his ability to look anyway he wanted, anytime he pleased.
Scorpius had always been a little jealous of Teddy's power. It would have been nice if he could change his appearance so he looked less like the Malfoys and more like a wizard from a respectable family. But of course Lily had always liked his pale blonde hair and his gray eyes, at least until she grew up and decided she liked older men who were practically part of the family.
Scorpius could have given Teddy the wrong answer. He could have confronted him about Lily right in front of James and Al, but he couldn't bring himself to do it, because underneath his cool indifference he was softer than anyone, and he wanted Lily to be happy.
Even if she was happy with someone else.