Harry looked over his book of pictures of his parents for what felt like the hundredth time. In every picture they looked so happy, carefree, as though a war wasn't being fought right outside their door. He made it to the back of the book and found that a page was slightly larger than the rest. He pulled at the page and found there was a picture he had never noticed before.
On the far right, Remus and Sirius stood, with Sirius leaning his head comfortably in the crook of Remus's neck. Harry could have sworn he saw Sirius nip at the skin of Remus's neck several times, though he assumed it was his imagination. On the far left, Lily stood with her arms wrapped around James's chest, her face one of complete shock, yet happiness. It was in the center that startled Harry the most. Rather than Lily and James highlighting this picture, two young students stood with their backs leaning on each other, their arms across their chest in authority. The young girl, who was significantly shorter than the others, often cast her eyes to the older boys around her, as a mother would for her mischievous children. Harry looked on the back of the picture for a clue on who this girl and boy were.
On the back in a curly script, it read, Marauder Meeting, 1978, Remus, Sirius, Del, Severus, Lily, James. Harry flipped the picture and blinked hard. The boy standing there was nothing like the man he knew. Though now that he looked more closely he could see the resemblance. A smirk was clear on his face and his hooked nose stood out as he glanced down at the girl named Del. He stuck the picture in his Potions book and ran down the stairs to the Common Room to do his Potions homework.
The next day, Harry ran out of the Potions room, holding his book by its cover, making any papers in it fly out. Professor Snape growled as he bent to pick up the boy's papers. He was sure to take off at least 20 points for this. He looked through the papers, to see if there was anything else that should be point digression worthy. His breath caught when he saw the picture of the young girl that he had once known. Memories flashed through his mind like a movie picture.
A flash of purple black hair flew by as Del ran past him. He stalked after her, his Prefect badge glistening in the moonlight. She paced in front of a wall three times and suddenly a door appeared out of nowhere. Severus sprinted to catch the door as it closed. He snuck in and saw Del walking towards Lily and James, who were talking softly. They looked up at her ecstatic hello and returned them before standing. A hex hit Severus from behind and he was lifted into the air by his ankle. “What is he doing here?” Sirius hissed.
“What are you doing?” Severus rebutted.
“We're just having a bit of a meeting.” James said as he came into the conversation.
“Severus! Come on!” Del said as she set up a camera. Remus was pined against the wall, Sirius's arms trapping his body. “Guys, detach your lips for five seconds so we can take this picture!” Sirius broke away with a ludicrous look to Del.
“It's our favorite pastime!” Sirius moaned.
“Will you stop being such a baby and take this picture? I want to remember this forever!” Lily stood off to the side as Remus stood obediently and Sirius stood not so obediently behind him and began to lick at his neck. “Sirius for Merlin's sake stop it!” Remus yelled, his cheeks red.
“Why? This is how it'll be forever from now so why change anything for a picture?” Sirius asked. Severus came into the frame slowly. Del set up the timer and ran into the picture.
“Lily! Come on! Get in the picture!” James said as he motioned for Lily to get into the frame.
“James, just relax. I don't want to be in the picture.” James quickly ran out of the frame and pulled Lily to him, crashing her into his chest. Severus stood awkwardly until Del leaned herself against him with her back.
“Come on Severus, mirror me!” Del said. Severus slowly mirrored her and let his arms cross over his chest.
The camera flashed.
Del stood in the graduation ceremony, whooping with the parents. One would have thought that she was an enthusiastic little sister, not a fifth year that she was. Sirius did a fist pump to the audience as he took his diploma, Remus following close behind to hit him over the head and take his own. Lily and James took their diplomas together, with hands clasped. Severus slowly followed this procession, taking his diploma with a long look at Lily and James's clasped hands, Lily's ring finger lightly glistening with the engagement finger on it. Del wolf-whistled for her friend, forcing him to turn and look at her with a slight smirk that border lined a smile.
Del ran through Spinster's End, her cloak billowing behind her as a strong wind blew. She ran to the Snape resident and banged hard on the door, to the point of accidentally hitting Severus in the face when he actually opened the door. “Gah! Del?! What are you doing?”
“J-J-James and Lily...they were...they were...Vold...” Del was shaking and crying as she tried to speak. Severus shepherded the girl into his home and sat her on one of the chairs. She clung to the front of his night shirt, staining it with her tears. He took her by her shoulders and pulled her away from his chest. Her dress robes were stained with dust and mud and her makeup was streaked down her face. She wiped away some tears before trying to speak again. “Severus, James and Lily...they were murdered. I just got away from what remains of their house.” Severus could feel his heart stop beating. He leaned against the counter to keep his balance.
“But...but...he promised...he told me.” Severus said aloud. Tears coursed down Del's cheeks, telling Severus this was not the time to go and search for Voldemort. Severus awkwardly folded Del into his arms, resulting in a fierce hug from Del.
“Dank do Deverdus.” Del said into his shirt.
“You're welcome Del.” Severus said as he put his chin on the top of her head. They stayed like that for several moments, content as the world they knew collapsed around them. A featherlight kiss was placed on his Adam's Apple as Del maneuvered herself out of his arms.
“I need to get going. Make sure Remus doesn't kill Sirius. Etc cetera.” Del said with a flimsy flip of her hand. She walked out of sight and with a pop, Disapparated.
Severus's Adam's Apple still burned from her kiss.
Severus's eyes burned. Del had been assumed to be killed by some of the last Death Eaters in an act of duty to the Order, taking them with her. She had been like a little sister, perhaps more if he hadn't been so loyal to Lily. He lightly traced Del's frame with his finger, over her long black hair that fell well past her upper thigh, bright brown eyes that reminded him of chocolate, petite frame that gave off the essence of a pixie until you were on the other end of one of her pranks, and happy-go-lucky smile that lit up a room. He wiped away tears that now pricked his eyes. The door was open and Severus snapped, “I don't have time to help you with your homework, you should have paid more attention.” Rather than hearing a first year scrambling for an excuse, he heard the words that he hadn't heard in years.