“Oh, Severus. James Potter isn’t that terrible anymore. Actually, he’s quite nice to me now.”
“Only because he fancies you, Lily. Remember when he flipped me on my back? He’s only jealous of our friendship.”
Lily sat up, a wide grin shone on her face, showing off her shiny teeth. “Imagine that- James Potter, jealous!” She giggled at the thought and ran a finger through her red hair, which had knotted from her lying down. The grass was slightly damp, but neither sixteen year old minded much. The stars were so bright, and the moon was so full it looked like it might burst. The night was cloudless, the air warm. “He’s not a bad person, just ignorant. Like his friends,” she added thoughtfully.
“An ignorant dunderhead,” Severus murmured under his breath, frowning. Lily appeared not to have heard him, and instead stared up at the sky.
Lily pointed out a rather bright star, and described how it reminded her of the tip of a wand, after someone had said “Lumos”. Like when the brightness of the spell increased for a millisecond before it went out.
“I think I’ll call it…….” Lily furrowed her brow, thinking.
“I’ll call it ‘Lily’,” Severus whispered, squeezing her hand. The corners of her mouth turned up slightly, and she pointed to another star.
Snape stared up at the sky, under the very tree he remembered his best friend lying under. He could picture perfectly the way her eyes glistened and her giggle echoing through the air. But Snape didn’t smile. Snape never smiled.
If he hadn’t been wearing the cloak, of course the grease in his hair would’ve reflected the moonlight, and he would’ve been easily spotted by his students. Instead, a black cloak had been wrapped around his usual dark colored robes and head. He heard several giggles behind a tree, obviously students disobeying the rules about their curfew. Rather like he and Lily had done often.
“And that one is Severus!” she cried.
Snape didn’t bother looking to reprimand the students hiding behind the trees, probably pranking each other. While he was cold-hearted snake, he didn’t have the energy or the will to get angry with anyone. Tonight was his- and Lily’s- night. As he sat down in the grass, his heart pounded. For a moment, he was sure he could smell Lily, but then it was gone and Snape realized how silly he’d been. Lily was here, he was sure, just not….here.
“Don’t be silly,” Severus sighed, looking up at the star Lily had named after him. It was quite late out, but neither seemed to mind. Not even Lily, who hardly ever got into much trouble. It wasn’t that Severus got into a ton of trouble, just more than Lily.
“Why am I silly?” the other sixteen year old asked defensively.
“It just seems like only you should have a star. You’re the brightest of us.”
Still, his mind flooded with images of the girl, from age eleven until the few months before her death. Her red hair stayed just as fiery each year, not a darker strand in sight, reflecting her personality. Her lips were perfectly round and complimented her perfectly rounded face. The only thing he hated to think about was the Gryffindor crest that was always present against her black robes.
Severus shrugged. It was a silly thing to say, but it made sense to him. He turned to her, and smiled. Stargazing was oddly fun, though it seemed like something only the Astronomy professor might do. They’d done it several times before, since first year. Just sitting there, pointing out the brightest stars and admiring how beautiful the moon was.
Snape looked up, and pictured her face doing the same. There were Lily and Severus, the two stars they’d named after each other. They were positioned right next to each other, though Severus seemed to be a lot dimmer than Lily. Dimmer than the night they named it. Much dimmer.
“You know, Sev, I better getting going. It’s getting quite late.” Severus was confused. Why would she care if got late?
“But it’s Friday. You’ve got no classes tomorrow.”
“Well…” Lily hesitated, sitting up. “I, um, have plans tomorrow. Real early.”
“But the only thing that happens so early is……” Severus stopped, realizing what was going on. “Quidditch practice,” he finished. “Why?”
Lily took a deep breath and bit her lip. “Well…James asked me if I wanted to come see it before Mary and I go for the Hogsmeade trip.”
Of course, Snape knew why. After Lily’s death- even before- his life went downhill. Everything he did seemed wrong, even now. The only way to get through life was to inflict the pain on his students, especially the easy targets, like Longbottom. And Potter, of course. He never looked into the boy’s eyes, it was too painful. But everything else- the glasses, the hair, and the face- was James. The man who ruined his life, and saved it, too, was there, every day, lurking the hallways like he never left.
“Bye Sev,” she said, squeezing his arm. He watched her leave, and lay back down.
The memory still brought back uncomfortable feelings of loneliness and jealousy. Those feelings were the ones that would haunt him until he died, that would follow him like a pet dog. But Snape knew that that was his own fault.
A chill ran down his back, and Snape knew that if he stayed here, the worst memories of his time with Lily would haunt him. He needed to leave.
Standing up, he frowned, looked at the brighter star, and whispered, “Goodnight Lily.”
“Goodnight, Sev,” the wind whispered back, fading away as he walked towards the castle.