Chapter Image made by me! (AKA: Saleena_Blackwell @TDA)

A/N: This chapter has now been Beta'd by MrsJaydeMalfoy. Please read & review to let me know what you think. Just like every other author at this site, I heart getting feedback... So don't be afraid to be brutally honest, ok? I promise, I don't bite, haha!! ^_~

It all started when he first asked me what my most romantic date idea would be, to which I answered: “A picnic for two at our secret spot by the creek that runs through the Forbidden Forest.” Honestly, I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to spend an evening together; just us two. Especially if it was to be the evening he would finally be asking me back out again.

“Yeah, if you’re lucky,” he replied with a wink.

Lysander had been sneaking around and planning for something all week. I wasn’t a total idiot, I knew something was up. So when he asked me to go out on Saturday, and didn’t say to where, I just knew that the big day had finally come. I got all dressed up and spent extra time on my hair and make-up. I was so excited that he was finally going to ask me back out I could barely contain myself.

Sure enough, he had packed us a picnic dinner for two, and we sat at our spot at the creek and watched the sun go down together. We sat there and talked until the stars came out and, for the most part, it was truly the most romantic date I have ever been on. But the atmosphere in the conversation changed suddenly when he decided to bring up his possible future job choices.

“So I’ve been thinking,” Lysander said cautiously.

“Yeah?” I replied, uncertainly. For one glorious split second, I thought to myself: this is it, the moment I have been waiting for!

“And I think I might become a part of The Preparation, once our time at Hogwarts is up,” he finished.

In case you are wondering; The Preparation is the Ministry’s new way of preparing themselves for another war. Minister Shacklebolt seems certain that another Dark Wizard will one day try to rise to power again, so The Preparation is like this private army that is trained to fight and prevent said war from ever happening. My guess is that the Minister figures if some Dark Wizard knows that the Ministry has their own army already trained up, he will be less likely to try and rise to power like Voldemort did. This is a stupid assumption, I think.

“But Lysander,” I said, completely shocked. “That would mean you’d have to be gone for three whole years!”

“I already know that Sandy,” he replied, calling me by my nickname. For the record, I should mention that he is the only person who’s allowed to call me that. “Because I’ve already looked into it.”

“You mean you’ve looked into it - as in, this is not something you’ve only just begun thinking about?” And here I’d actually thought he’d been thinking about me this whole entire time.

“No, it’s been on my mind for a little while now,” he admitted, though he looked uncomfortable. In that moment, however, I could really have cared less.

“But if you go away for three years, then where does that leave us?” I asked, even though the answer to this question completely scares the hell out of me. “I mean, there’s no room for me in all of that!”

“Well, I was actually hoping that you would wait for me,” he answered quietly.

Yes, because that’s just how I want to spend my entire young adult life - waiting on someone who may not even get to come home. That sounds like so much fun, you might as well sign me up for it right now. NOT!

“Lysander, I don’t know if I can do that,” I answered as nicely as possible. I may be known for my blunt honestly, but that doesn’t mean I want to completely destroy his feelings by telling him what is really on my mind. I am not a liar; this is true, but I am also not a total bitch either. He always did say that that was one of the many things he loved most about me - the fact that I am blatantly truthful, even when the truth hurts. “I mean, there is a chance that you might not even come back. You know me. I’m not a very patient person, and I hate being alone. Honestly, you cannot possibly expect that I would just go along with, or even support something like this.”

Ok, so maybe that wasn’t very nice of me, and perhaps I am being a bit selfish. But I am completely against war, and violence, and fighting, and the like. Unusual for a Slytherin, I know, but that’s just me. And the worst thing is that Lysander knows how against The Preparation I am. He knows my mum raised us to be against preparing for war, and supporting random acts of violence like that. We’re all about family now, the Malfoys are, and organizations like The Preparation are exactly what tear close families apart!

“Well I just need to know that you’re on my side, Sandra,” he sighed. “No matter what I might decide to do in life.”

“And I do support you Lysander, you know that!” I am almost hurt that he would believe, even for a second, that I didn’t support his decisions. “But this… you know how I feel about violence and war - it’s dumb and I hate it. So I do apologize, but this is the one and only thing that I simply cannot go along with.”

And from there on out, all hell broke lose...

I was hurt that he chose to talk about this, when I thought he had brought me here to ask me back out. He was hurt that I couldn’t “get over myself” and compromise my beliefs for him. I don’t know how long the fight lasted, but I do know that it felt like it went on and on for hours though.

“You are SO selfish, Sandreiah Malfoy!” Lysander exclaimed.

“Oh, I’m selfish?” I retaliated. “You’re the one asking me to change how I feel, just so it will make you happy. But if you really loved me, then you would just accept my take on the matter and be done with it.”

“Oh yeah? Well I could just as easily say the same thing about you,” he fired back. Damn it, why hadn’t I seen that one coming? “But then again, its always about you, isn’t it?”

“I beg your pardon!”

“It’s always about how Sandy feels, what Sandy wants, where Sandy wants to go, and so on, and so on,” he rambled. “Well, for just this once, I want it to be about what I want, but you won’t hear any of it!”

“Lysander, it isn’t like that and you know it!” I was on the verge of tears at that point. The night was already ruined, so why were we trying to keep making things worse? “If it were anything else I would support you, honest. But you know how my parents grew up - my dad especially. The war almost tore my family apart, so you know why my mum so strongly discourages organizations like The Preparation, and why I was therefore taught to hate them in the first place. We’ve been friends since our second year, so there’s no excuse for you not to know these things! You know me, and you know my family, so why does my reaction to all of this even come as a surprise you?”

“Oh sure, lean on your mummy and daddy for support - let them be your crutch, as always,” he snapped at me. “You know, I really am sick of you always going back to that. It’s always; my dad says this, or my mom doesn’t want me to do that, with you and I am sick of it! When are you going to grow up and start making your own decisions, Sandra?”

“I do make my own decisions, thank you very much” I corrected him. “I decided on my own to be against preparing for another war, when there aren’t even any real threats of having another one, because I believe that people really do live up to your expectations of them. So, if we keep going around saying that another dark wizard will rise, well, then eventually, it is inevitable that one day one will. People need to stop living in fear; preparing for the worst all the time, and just live in the moment. We’re only put here for a set amount of time, so we should all learn to just appreciate and enjoy what time we are given. At least, that is how I feel about it anyways. We aren’t even promised tomorrow, Lysander, so I don’t understand why you keep insisting on living for it.”

“Because, unlike you, I like to have a plan for my life,” he responded. “I prefer structure, and being prepared for what lies ahead. I am not about to just ‘live for today’ or whatever, and throw away any opportunities that may come up, simply because you don’t think I should worry about my future at all!”

“I never said you shouldn’t worry about your future at all,” I corrected him again. “I just don’t think that it should be the only thing you live for.”

“Yeah, well, you don’t know the first thing about trying to prepare for a family, do you?” I don’t like the look he is giving me right now. It’s warning me that he is about to say something really mean out of spite and anger. “I mean, how can you, when you barely have one?”

And there it is; he went there again. He always goes there. “Why must you insist on bringing my family into this every single time we have an argument? I already know you don’t like them, no matter how much you know that they like you. My parents have never done a single thing to make you hate them the way you do.”

“Its not so much your mother, as it is your father,” Lysander stated. “And it’s not really anything he’s done, so much as it is who he is, if I’m being honest.”

“What, because he’s a Malfoy?” Damn the Wizarding world and their stupid grudges. Of course, it’s not even my father who everyone hates, it’s his father - my grandfather - Lucius. My dad has had to put up with being an outcast due to the crimes of his father ever since the Ministry cleared his name when he was nineteen.

“Well in case you haven’t noticed,” I continued ranting at Lysander. “I happen to be a Malfoy as well, and things are different for me than they are for you because of that fact. Everyone loves your mum and dad; the famous Wizarding Naturalists, off on adventures to discover new and exciting things every damn day. Whereas my father is an ex-Death Eater, as is my grandfather, and he faces criticism for it every single day, no matter who’s side he was on in the end. Most of the people in this world are unforgiving bastards, Lysander, but I never would have thought you to be one of them!”

“I’m sorry I never told you, but while we’re on the subject of being completely honest here, I just thought I’d tell you how much your family history really bothers me.” I can tell he’s still mad, but so am I so I really don’t care about his feelings anymore. No one insults my family and gets away with it, I don’t care who you are.

“And, since we’re being honest and all,” I shot back. “I never told you, but I think you are a pompous ass who relies way too much on his money to get him through everything in life. Money doesn’t buy you happiness, you know, and it certainly won’t buy you any friends.”

“This coming from the girl who has spent her entire family fortune on clothes,” he murmured. I don’t know if he meant for me to hear this comment or not, but I did, and I am beyond pissed that he went there.

“Oh, so you have a problem with the way that I dress now?” Judging by the look on his face, he hadn’t meant for me to overhear that last comment. But who cares, right? “What? Is it not skanky enough for you? Are you mad that I don’t dress like a whore, with my boobs and ass hanging out all the time? I’m sorry, but I am conservative, and I have a bit more dignity than most of the other girls who walk these halls today. If that’s a crime, then sue me!”

“I actually do not have a problem that you dress more conservatively.” Ok, so I stand corrected on one count now. Big deal! “The thing I do have a problem with, and I’m just being honest here, is what you wear. All those bright colors and crazy outfits, and the way that everything has to match so perfectly - it’s annoying, not to mention embarrassing. Sometimes you look like a little kid, and I cannot stand to be seen with you when you dress like that.”

Yeah, one thing you never do is insult a teenage girl on the way that she dresses. “I wear all those bright colors and such as way of expressing myself. Sorry if that embarrasses you, but I am not about to just stop expressing my individuality because you’re not comfortable with it.”

“So that’s your excuse then, is it?” he asked.

“It’s not an excuse, it’s the truth,” I told him. “I am a fifteen-year-old girl, going through that awkward teenage stage - which you would know nothing about. I’m just trying to discover myself, and figure out who I am, and where I belong in this world. My mum says it is perfectly normal, but personally, I think that’s just because she’s happy I’m not one of those rebellious teenagers who go out and get all sorts of tattoos and piercings and such, the way half the kids our age have been doing.”

I have no idea why I was rambling on about piercings, tattoos and being rebellious at a time like that - but this is what always happens every time I get angry, nervous and/or upset. My mind races at a million miles an hour, and I literally have no control over half the things that come out of my mouth sometimes. Some people tend to get violent and punch things whenever they’re as angry as I am right now - my brother being one of those people. But as for me, I usually just vent by using my words, and I normally don’t care who I hurt in the process.

“Do you want to know what I think?” he piped up. Well, no, not really, but I knew he was just going to tell me anyways, so I saw no point in arguing about it. “I think it’s because you like the attention too much. You like to have all eyes on you, and you enjoy being the immediate center of attention whenever you walk into a room.”

“So that’s what you really think, is it?”

“Yeah, and I’m not the only one who thinks that way neither,” he added.

Great, so now the whole school apparently thinks I’m some sort of attention-seeking, self-absorbed, conceitedly vain freak. Wow, that’s just… so awesome! By the way; I tend to become very sarcastic whenever I am pissed off this much as well. Yeah, I don’t think I’ve mentioned that one to you yet...

I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths to stop myself from saying something I might one day come to regret. It wasn’t exactly an easy thing to do, but I knew deep down that it was the right thing to do. Damn my sense of morality anyways!

“Is there anything else you’d like to add?” I asked through clenched teeth. “You know, while we’re on the subject of being honest and all.”

“Just one more thing,” he answered spitefully. “Your personality.”

I rolled my eyes at him. “Oh yeah, and what about it?”

“It is the one thing I can’t stand the most about you sometimes, Sandra.”

He might as well have just told me that he outright hates me, for all the good that did to help my mood. “You. Can’t. Stand. My. Personality.” I reiterated in a high-pitched tone. “That settles it then. We cannot be friends anymore, Lysander Scamander, because I will not change who I am for you. If you love me, and I mean really love me as much as you say you do; then I feel that you should love me for me. All this bull crap you’ve said tonight; the nonsense about my clothes, the remark about my personality, the discrimination towards my family, and the way you can’t get over the fact that I will NOT compromise my morals for you… It all just suggests to me that your love has always been conditional and nothing more.”

I was close to bawling at that point, tears had already began to slide down my cheeks, and I knew that there was no stopping them after that. And of course, he didn’t do or say anything to defend himself, which only made the situation that much worse. His silence was so deafening, and it cut through me like a dagger to the heart.

So I did the one thing that I think any typical teenage girl would have done at that point. In one swift motion, I was on my feet again, and had grabbed the closest thing to me on my way to my up - which, in that given situation, had been one of our leftover peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches. This will be perfect, I thought!

I took the sandwich apart, holding a piece of bread in each hand. I then proceeded to walked over to him and smear it all throughout his perfectly quaffed locks of golden hair. “You are SUCH an arse, Lysander Scamander!” I exclaimed, before turning around and running back to the castle, leaving him all alone to deal with the mess.....

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