The voice waking the youngest Potter sounded familiar, but she wasn’t alert enough to place it. Instead she was slowly walking through a meadow half in a dream. A breeze from the open window sent a chill up her arm so she wrapped the duvet tighter around herself, trying desperately to stay in the meadow.
“Potter you’ve gotta get up.”
A hand touched her shoulder trying to rouse her, but she swatted it away and turned towards the open window, letting the smell of last night’s rain send her back to her memories.
“Let me be...”
She insisted to the tense voice. It clearly wasn’t Scorpius, that accent was too middle-class to be a Malfoy. Who else would be in his cottage Lily wasn’t sure, but she was finding it hard to even care.
“Seriously. You can’t be here right no-”
“Why not? What in Godric’s name is so bloody urgent?!”
Lily erupted from the bed and flung the first thing she could find, in this case her lipstick, at the increasingly panicked voice. To her surprise, the stranger caught it before it could collide with his shoulder.
“Laurel is on her way ‘round and she’s not gonna like there being another woman in my bed!”
Her eyes narrowed at the blonde standing at the side of the bed, taking in his figure. He was tall - then again for her petite frame most people seemed tall. He could have been a very imposing presence if his expression wasn’t full of panic. His eyes were what finally placed him, not their color, though they were a memorable shade of green; it was their softness, their accessibility. That’s when she placed the voice, it belonged to Lysander Scamander.
One of her feet dropped to the floor and the carpet seemed to scratch at her toes instead of gently wrapping around them. That’s when her eyes tracked slowly around the room, realizing that she wasn’t where she had meant to be.
Instead of Scorpius’ plush, blue, rug, there was just short, beige carpet. Looking up was the most obvious indication - there were far too many memories hung about the walls. After passing a shelf full of photographs of Lysander laughing with his twin brother and their family, and a pennant for the Chudleigh Cannons pinned over a dresser, her eyes ended up staring back at herself in a mirror. She didn’t meet her own gaze; her attention went straight to the frizzy, matted mess of red waves atop her head. Her eye-liner seemed to have melted down her left cheek and her freckles peeked through where her foundation had brushed away.
She shook her hands through her hair while climbing out of the bed and flattened her shirt- which was buttoned in all the wrong places.
“I take it this isn’t Scorpius’ cottage then, yeah?”
Lysander, who’s expression still had a sense of apprehension, suddenly laughed.
“He’s next door, but one...though I suppose they all look the same at 3am...especially when you climb in a window rather than using the front door.”
Had it not been for his honest eyes, Lily would have been offended by his seemingly snide comment. But it was clear that if anything, he was impressed by her ability to scale a building in heels.
She found herself meeting his laughter with a smile before shaking her head and pinching at the bridge of her nose. So much of the previous night was just a blur of bright colors and loud voices. The last real memory she seemed to have was watching the Quidditch match - the Cannons had won after a great catch by their new seeker...Lysander Scamander.
Suddenly, she let out a huff of annoyance. Both at the serendipity of whose bed she’d woken up in and the fact that she’d caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror again. She was such a mess.
It took another sweep of the room to find her bag. Half of its belongings were strewn about the floor so she kicked the make-up and empty potion vials back into it and then dug for her wand.
“Climb into Malfoy’s window often then?”
Lysander caught Lily’s eye before she sat on the edge of the bed. Instead of answering, she twisted her wand around her hair and the knots quickly straightened, reaching passed her shoulders at its full length.
“How would you enter a house in the dead of night with the front door locked?”
She glanced just passed the mirror to watch his reaction and was glad to see that his eyes had drifted to the floor. He kicked at a loose floorboard while she pulled a handkerchief from her bag and, in one motion, wiped all the make-up from her face. She folded her handkerchief in half and then in half again before flipping it over and giving it a shake. The mess of mascara and eye shadow had disappeared and it was perfectly clean again.
“You climb into Scorpius’ bed often too?”
Her shoulders tensed at the question and she caught herself now looking at the floor. When she peeked around her bangs, he was holding out the lipstick she’d thrown at him earlier. His expression puzzled her because it didn’t match his words. She’d seen enough judgmental glances to know the signs. Tightened eyebrows, a narrowed gaze, looking down their noses - but in Lysander all the youngest Potter saw was curiosity.
“What if I do?”
She snatched the tube back from him and Lysander held his hands out quickly to show he meant no ill will before backing towards the doorway.
“Sorry...s’not my business it’s just...” He shrugged fumbling for the right words, “I mean bloody hell, if Scorp’s been waking up next to you everyday and still brooding like he does, I don’t think there’s anything’ll make him happy.”
The tension in Lily’s shoulders eased and she felt another smile break through, but after a moment it turned melancholic. Scorpius had married the love of his life when they were only 19. He and Rose were the perfect picture of true love - right up until they got divorced five years in. Now, three years of being fully separated, and Scorp still hadn’t fully recovered - though he put on a good show of it. It struck the young Potter that Lysander was able to see how unhappy her friend was when most people thought he’d long gotten over the Minister’s daughter, but then something else caught her attention.
<Waking up next to you everyday>
But she hadn’t woken up next to Lysander. In fact, she was certain he hadn’t been in that bed at all that night. Her emotions took another turn, this time from melancholy to protector. She didn’t like that he called out her friend. She didn’t like that he’d called her out earlier. He needed to answer for his challenge and for waking her up to begin with - and she just figured out how. Some people she’d intimidate, others she’d belittle, but judging by Lysander’s jealous tone and his increasingly tense demeanor as she approached him, Scamander’s comeuppance would be a seduction.
“And what would make you happy ‘Sander?” She met him at the doorway and noticed his shirt was still hanging loosely on his shoulders, unbuttoned. “I don’t remember you out with us last night,” she took the bottom of his shirt and coyly started pulling the buttons together, “you make the winning catch...miss the celebrations...and then a beautiful woman crawls into your bed…”
She finished with the buttons and reached around his neck to fold his collar into place, purposely drawing closer to him, “and you didn’t make a move?”
She tilted her head slightly to one side with a hand still wrapped around him, running her fingers through the hair by his ear. His hesitation was all Lily needed to claim victory and she didn’t bother hiding her grin.
“That looks good on you.”
Her smile fell when his nervous energy was replaced by another honest smile. Then he brushed some of her hair back from her face as if he’d done it a hundred times before. Lily felt butterflies take off in her stomach and her arm quickly recoiled from him and dropped to her side.
“Is this where you tell me not to wear so much make-up because I’m beautiful without it?”
Her annoyed tone explained how many times she’d been fed that line, but she was frustrated to find that it still didn’t seem to phase the boy in front of her.
“You realize that’s twice now that you’ve called yourself beautiful?” he started before reaching out and running his thumb over her bottom lip as if it wasn’t an intimate touch, “...I meant your smile...you’ve been awfully broody these past months too.”
Lily was thrown again. Lysander didn’t have a hint of irony or flirtation in his voice despite their close proximity. It was the youngest Potter’s turn to hesitate.
Who was this person staring back at her? ‘Sander had always been a good mate growing up. Down for anything and not afraid of making a fool of himself. That came in handy since the general consensus from Hogwarts was that he and his brother were both a bit odd. Lorcan had memorized the entire Hogwarts syllabus in their third year while Lysander...he had a tendency to daydream. They didn’t spend many summers together. His parents whisked the family away to seemingly every part of the globe in search of mythical creatures and beings that once only existed in legend. The Scamander family was a best, eccentric. Lily never minded a bit of whimsy, but their friend groups seemed to take them in different directions as they got older.
It wasn’t until Lysander made the Cannon’s roster that year that Lily even had a reason to remember the twins. Scorp had complained more than once that the golden haired Scamander needed to be told instructions three times or they didn’t stick. Watching their matches it was a wonder that he was such an accomplished seeker - half the time she’d swear he was counting clouds.
Yet here he was - calling her bluff. Not taking the bait. Noticing her best friend’s mood swings.
“Can you go now?”
Lily felt a sharp strike to her gut. There it was. Of course it was. Just as she was re-thinking everything she ever thought about this boy. Just when she was about to give him an honest chance...reality came crashing back in to remind the young Potter that love was for fools.
For all his gentle and apparent kindness, the truth remained: he had a girlfriend and she had a reputation.
She rolled her eyes and stormed passed Lysander on her way to the front door.
“Where are you going?” Lysander’s long stride gave him the advantage and he was able to interrupt the red-head’s path, “that’s not how you got in was it?”
“Are you serious?” She put a hand on her hip again, smoke all but billowing from her ears “You want me to climb out the bloody window?”
“You’re the one that climbed in it.”
He shrugged with a mischievous smirk that would rival her brother James’. His smug expression would have sent her over the edge had she not realized that it was the only reason he stopped her to begin with. He was trying to rile her up again; just pushing her buttons.
Lily stretched out her fingers from the tight fist they’d been curled into and turned on her heels, “You’re an arse,” was the worst she could muster. After all, she was willing to bet that if she tried for the front door again he’d walk her to it like a perfect gentleman. But if this was a game to him, Lily was more than happy to play along.
“And this relationship of yours,” She was happy to hear his footsteps trailing behind her on the way to the bedroom again “isn’t going to last long if - Lauren was it - can’t get over what amounts to an honest mistake.”
She grabbed her bag from his bed and tossed it out the already open window. It landed two meters below with a thud and spilled its contents onto the grass. Then the youngest Potter swung one leg over the ledge when Lysander responded,
“My relationship isn’t going to last past breakfast. I rung Laurel ‘round to break things off.”
Lily pulled herself back into house ducking her head back under the window pane, “You rung your girlfriend and asked her over for breakfast with the intention of dumping her? Who does that? No one wants to cry into a piece of toast at 10 in the bloody morning!”
“Would’ve had it out last night, but she couldn’t get out here with work until late - and it’s not like I could’ve done it then seeing as you were strewn about my bed…” Lysander simply shrugged, unbothered.
“Why not, mate?! What’s with all this cloak and dagger shite if you’re breaking up anyway? What’s it matter if the girl sees me or not? If anything it’d hurry the business a long wouldinnit - instead you’ve got me hanging half-way out your damn window!”
“And that’s how you prefer to be left is it? Hurried along? Tossed aside for someone new?”
Lysander took an aggressive step toward the window. His tone was unlike anything he’d used before; he wasn’t playing games anymore, Lily had just attacked his honor.
He let out a breath and seemed to collect his composure, “I have more care than that, Potter. I made a choice…” his shoulders rose and fell again as his tone returned to normal, “I don’t need an excuse to get me out of it.”
Lily thought she’d been knocked in the chest, but then a second knock hit and they both looked towards the front door where Laurel was asking to be let in. By the time Lysander turned back to the window Lily had left out it.
Hey everyone! Thank you so much for reading! This story started as a one-shot, but then it took on a life of its own. I've written two other stories that focused on James (Muggle Studies) and Rose/Scorp (All to Well). All of those stories intertwine with each other and have Lily and Lysander on the outskirts, but I thought it time their story got told in full. Muggle Studies happens before this narrative, but All Too Well will be scattered throughout this one so this is your spoiler warning!
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