Severus Snape stared at the purple sphere in front of him. It looked innocent enough, merely lying there on his desk, gleaming in the soft green light emanating from torches surrounding the interior of the dungeon. And yet, there was something about this oddly glowing gumball that Snape just couldn’t trust. No doubt it was some trick or other to torment him—he’d confiscated it from that Weasley girl after all. Merlin knows her twin brothers had caused enough havoc, and Snape had the suspicion that this girl was scarcely different.
Slowly reaching down, Severus gingerly lifted the purple gumball. He rolled it about his hand, staring intently at the deep purple hue. It was precise the same shade she had been wearing when he had first laid eyes on her, all those years ago. There had been a most forgiving cool breeze on that dreadful hot summer day. Severus had wandered to his usual haunt near the park some three miles from his house. He had watched, hidden, as a girl his age with long, deep red hair ran onto the playground, her somewhat older sister hurrying on behind her.
She was wearing a purple blouse, Snape recalled, purple because it had been her favorite color at the time. Remaining hidden in the bushes, Severus watched the red head as she picked up a dying flower and was he shocked when it bloomed into a beautiful red the next moment. Snape was sure that is was then he had fallen in love with her. With her light hearted demeanor, delighted smile, and natural curiosity. Severus was only eleven years old, and yet he knew what he had found the one girl he would love forever.
Snape gripped the ball in his hand tightly and gritted his teeth against the tears that were threatening to fall. He shifted his gaze away from the candy in front of him to the pensieve only a few feet away. It was emitting a soft light, no doubt from the many memories swirling about inside it. Memories of her. All at once Snape wanted to burn her from his memory, and yet, with only memories left of her, Severus knew he couldn’t live without them. Without Lily. And more to get away from his deep despair than anything else, Snape bit into the gumball, hoping for some small reprieve.
“Why, Severus, what are you doing here m’boy? Something I can help you with?” asked the large form of Horace Slughorn as he entered his office.
“Oh, no Professor. I’d only gone looking for…Well, no, sir. See you later, Professor.”
Severus exited the Potion master’s office and slowly made his way out of the dungeon. Of course she wasn’t in there, he’d merely hoped—but of course she wasn’t. She’d been avoiding him for days. She must still be mad at him for last week. Severus clenched his fists. To make matters worse, today was the last day for a Hogsmeade visit till the next school year, and a day the both of them had been looking forward to for some time. Severus paused for a moment by the door of the Potions classroom. While he had a natural affinity for Potions, it was Defense Against the Dark Arts that Severus was really drawn to. If only Lily could see his brilliance in the subject, she would admire him undoubtedly.
Severus glanced about, looking for a clock. Quarter to ten. Lily would no doubt be heading down to the entrance hall. As Severus ascended the stairs from the dungeon, he began to feel a bit more hopeful. He wasn’t sure if Lily would be waiting for him at the statue that stood at the entrance of the castle, and he was more than sure that Lily wasn’t sure if she’d be there waiting for him or not either.
Drawing ever closer to the Great Hall, Snape could hear the excited clamor of students. With exams over and summer tempting the young witches and wizards, they were more than ready to get into that summer air. Snape’s breath caught as he saw Lily standing there, her hair pulled back in a messy ponytail and a dark green sundress on. In his opinion, Lily was the most beautiful girl in school. Unfortunately, it wasn’t solely his opinion.
A group of sixth year boys sauntered up to her and engaged Lily in small talk. Severus stood where he was, hidden behind one of the castle’s great pillars. He waited with bated breath as Lily smiled at the boys but managed to shrug them off. Severus let out his breath and hope once again filled him. Lily kept glancing around, and Severus was more than certain that she was waiting for him. His forward step was retracted quickly when Potter and his gang approached Lily.
“Hey Evans,” Potter called, strutting up to the redhead. “You going to Hogsmeade?” the raven-haired boy asked her, much to Snape’s chagrin.
“None of your business, Potter,” Lily replied, slightly belligerently.
Snape was more than delighted. So Lily wouldn’t even think about going with Potter. The next moment, however, Snape’s heart sank like a stone. “Well if you are, then I suppose you’d better get on your way. Filch doesn’t take too kindly to the stragglers,” Remus advised mildly. Lily smiled briefly at the boy. Of course, Severus thought in a slight panic, Lily had a small friendship with the werewolf. Snape merely clenched his jaw, hoping Lily would dismiss the Marauders, but to no avail.
“Yeah, come one, Evans. We’ll show you the real fun to be had at Hogsmeade,” Sirius chimed, gently urging her on with a hand on her back. Lily took another long scan around the room. By now Severus was in full confidence that Lily was awaiting him. Indeed, all he really had to do was step out of the shadows and walk towards her and Lily would desert Potter and his friends. Severus knew he should do just this, so why wasn’t he? Knowing that this could very well spell the end of their friendship, Snape remained where he was, already reprimanding himself severely for his cowardice. Lily sighed and slowly turned back to the boys before her. Giving them a look that could only very nearly be described as ambivalent, Lily shrugged and began to walk out with the four friends.
Thoroughly panicked, Severus waited for only five minutes before he hastened after them. Severus was careful to keep himself just within sight of them, but still close enough to the side of the road, able to jump into the bushes should the need arise. After all, Severus had to keep a constant watch, knowing that Potter was far too infatuated with Lily for comforts sake.
It was a sweltering summer’s day, and Snape’s aggravation was only highlighted by this fact. He watched as Lily broke off from the rest of them and ventured near the local supplies store. The Slytherin growled in frustration as James noticed Lily had left and followed her in. This was supposed to be their day; a day of eating ice cream, buying quills and ink, parchment and sweets, all they needed to tide themselves over for the summer, where they would return home and meet up daily to do their homework and contemplate the upcoming year. Severus and Lily would loll on the grass in the woods between their houses and make watermills in the stream during the day. They would have picnics with watermelon and peanut butter and honey sandwiches, pondering everything from the pronunciation of words to Descartes philosophy.
They would stare up at the endless blue sky as clouds drifted slowly by; and they would call out various shapes of the fluffy white substance that ventured across their field of vision. At night, Lily and Severus would camp out in a tent in front of Lily’s house, a small fire going as they roasted marshmallows. Then the two best friends would spread out on a blanket as they doused the fire to stare up at the infinity of stars and think profound thoughts that neither would recall in the morning. This was them, this was their friendship. The eternal flower, always in blossom. This was the very essence of what was Lily Evans and Severus Snape.
And yet here they were avoiding each other, a fissure deepening between them, slowly but surely breaking them apart. Severus knew he would do something, anything really, to get her back. There was no one he cared for in the whole world more than Lily Evans. And he would be damned if the likes of James Potter stole Lily away from him. Severus had seemed to forget that time was not standing still for him during his reverie, and at last the time called for him to jump behind a tree.
“You know, I really was quite capable of buying those quills myself, Potter,” Severus heard Lily argue. He was displeased, however, to find that her tone was really more flirtatious than it was indignant.
“Yeah, well, I figured you could use the money to buy something you’d enjoy more, rather than the feathers of some dead bird,” James replied. Snape peeked through the branches in time to see Potter shrug at Lily and give her a grin.
Snape was appalled to find that Lily returned him a little half smile, but the jealousy he felt raged at her next words. “Well, thanks anyway, James.” Had she just disregarded her adamant use of his last name only, her bitter refusal to speak more civilly to him than need be, and just called Potter by his first name as though they were best friends? By Merlin, she had.
Snape felt the stab at his heart and for a moment he was lost in a sea of anger and envy. He would have to get Lily away soon, preferably before she began calling Black by his first name as well. Weaving in and out of the trees and through the bushes, Snape dogged the two as they met up with the other three Marauders and headed in the direction of The Three Broomsticks. Severus was beginning to feel as if he’d lost completely to Potter when his chance came at last. Lily had managed to shrug the group of boys off and slip inside the clothing store near the outer edge of the village.
Knowing that he probably had a good half hour before she came out, Snape dashed into the somewhat dilapidated shop next door and bought the supplies he would need over the summer. This took longer than he expected, and so Severus half ran to the ice cream shop a half mile away and ordered two cookies and cream ice cream cones. Rushing back to the clothing store he knew Lily would be exiting from at any moment, Severus came to a halt just outside the door. Not a minute later did Lily emerge, carrying a small bag in her hand.
Seeing Severus standing there before her with two ice cream cones, Lily’s expression turned to delight, which she quickly schooled to one of displeasure. Waving the two cones in front of her face, Severus grinned in a playful way. “Really now, Lily, you can’t stay mad when I’ve got your favorite ice cream in my hand. Cookies and cream,” he smiled, holding one of the cones out to her. Lily seemed to struggle with herself for a while before she simply shook her head and smiled at him, taking the offered treat.
Snape merely grinned at Lily, taking a small bite from his own cone and sighing at the relief it brought from the sweltering summer air. As they began walking towards the Shrieking Shack, Severus frowned at her. “Lily, I’m really sorry about what I said, about everything. You’re just completely brilliant, and I can’t believe I called you a…a...” He turned to look at her, and waited until her eyes met his, always that startling, emerald green. In all his life, Severus had never seen eyes like those. For a moment he got lost in the deep green pools, staring back at his with evident hurt and some anger. “Lily I—“ Severus cleared his throat and began again.
“Lily, my whole life, I’ve only seen the bad side of things, of people.” Severus broke eye contact for a moment, glancing at the ground, before forcing himself to stare back into those unique eyes. “But then I met you, and you showed me everything that was wonderful and good in the world. Lily, everything I do, every little action, I think only of you, and if you’d approve of me and be proud, or disapprove and frown on me.”
Here Lily interjected, asking, “Then why do you continue hanging out with those awful friends of yours and learn all that…all that Dark Magic?” she half accused him.
Severus gulped and looked away, mumbling something. Upon Lily’s statement that she didn’t understand a word he said, Snape stared fixedly at a hole in the nearby tree and responded, “Because I thought that if I could impress you with my knowledge, you might…”
“I might what?” Lily inquired. Now her voice was more curious than angry, and this only served to scare Severus more than he already was. It wasn’t as if his heart was palpitating enough already, but Severus could feel his normally pale face flush a light crimson. “Severus?” Lily question again, and Snape knew he wouldn’t walk out of today without telling her.
Ever so carefully, his eyes boring another hole into the tree with his gaze, Severus took a steadying breath. “If I impressed you enough, I though that maybe you might just…love me back.” Those last three syllables had been said so quietly, Severus was afraid Lily hadn’t heard them.
It seemed to take forever for Lily to understand what Severus meant, and each second that passed by, his heart pounding in his ears and his eyes refusing to meet hers, seemed like separate eternities to Severus. At last, Lily said ever so softly and quietly, the utter shock evident in her voice, “Oh!” From his peripheral vision, Snape saw Lily step towards him. “Sev?” she said gently, and he expected the worst. He knew he’d overstepped his bounds and that now their friendship was ruined because he couldn’t have just lied and said something, anything else. “Severus?”
Severus was forced to meet Lily’s face at last. Being afraid of what he’d see, Snape closed his eyes and kept them there until the hand Lily was using to cup his face gently stroked his cheek. Letting his eyes slowly open, Severus was nonplussed to find that Lily had tears in her own eyes and a wide smile on her face. “Severus Snape,” she breathed, “I have loved you from the moment that we became friends. I loved you then and I love you now. And whatever happens, I know that I will always love you.”
She was so close to him now, Snape would only have to lean forward ever so slightly and he would be getting that kiss he so desired. But Lily had done it for him, closing the distance, and he felt her sigh against his mouth. Severus was on fire, every bit of him tingling and overflowing with love for the girl he held in his arms, kissing with a passion matched only by her. Lily’s hands moved of their own accord, one moving to the back of Severus’ neck, and the other reaching around his back to clutch at his shirt. Severus had one arm draped loosely around her waist, the other pulling Lily to him by the small of her back. Severus felt the burning in his lungs, and as much as he hated to, he at last pulled away, breathing in the air greedily.
Severus opened his eyes at last, and for a moment everything was blurred. He could see the fuzzy outline of Lily’s face, her deep red hair. But it was her eyes that stayed within the sharpest focus. That was possibly because a person with those very same eyes was standing before him, and indifferent expression on his face. “Potter,” Snape hissed, his senses suddenly fully alert.
“I’ve finished my detention, sir,” Harry told his Professor.
Snape narrowed his eyes at the boy in front of him, hating every bit of his likeness to his father, and yet unable to stop the caring he felt, the concern for his well-being, based solely on the eyes that were his mothers. “You may leave,” Snape spat, not quite sure he could muster the usual disdain for the tragic boy before him. Harry left without a word, and Snape made it until the door of his classroom clicked shut before the burn of tears in his eyes could no longer be ignored.
Dour, cruel reality settled in on Severus, making him realize that his dreams of the past and what could have been were always ephemeral. It wouldn’t be quite right to say that Severus had been perfidious, but the tacit agreement he’d seemed to make with himself was that he had indeed engendered the demise of the woman he’d been completely enamored with, and it was indeed something he didn’t think he could expiate.
Snape sat there, wallowing in his self-despair, abject tears streaming down his face. Lily had been absolutely infallible, and he’d never so much as told her how much he cared. Every month he went visiting her grave; every break he would roam their old haunts. The steady dissonance of rain against the window seemed to swallow up the discord of Severus’ despair. He was trapped in his constant nightmare, his world where Lily was dead, and it was his fault. His fault for being jealous, for being inane, for thinking that by belonging to a powerful group, that Lily might like him better. Severus stumbled over to the window and threw it open. The rain hit him full force, drenching him within moments.
Every second, every moment he lived without Lily was a torture in itself; one he only bore in the ambivalent need to help her only son through. Yes, Lily’s only son, and yet James’ only child as well. Severus felt his heart twinge and another sob escaped him. If he had another moment with her, just one more day, he’d undoubtedly tell Lily just how much he loved her. Explain to her that the very depths of his feelings. And still the fact remained that he wouldn’t ever have just one more day with her; one more moment. His memories he could relive and cry over, but he would never again see the sparkle of her eyes, or feel the warmth of her skin as she pressed against him in a hug. He had been the messenger, the one who had betrayed her to Voldemort. And there was not a single thing he could do to remedy that.
The rain splashed against his face in an unrelenting torrent. But that didn’t bother Snape one bit, because his mind was revolving around the single most important memory in his life. Severus transgressed through the dark sky, the stormy clouds. Vicariously was he lying on the grassy earth, a bright sun warming him and full, fluffy clouds floating by. However, Severus wasn’t even sparing the clouds a passing glance. He was instead memorizing every last feature of the girl lying beside him. Her soft smile, her long, crimson hair, and her eyes. Snape closed his own eyes against the cruel rain, and for a moment he could see them again. There they were twinkling back at him, with a warmth that not even pictures could capture; eyes adoring him as if she were his very own Anabelle Lee. The sparkling, jewel bright emerald eyes of the one person Severus Snape couldn’t live without, and yet continued to fight for. The eyes of Lily Evans.
A/N: Well, I figured it's probably safe to not warn about spoliers anymore, but I'm still contemplating if I'll have and future generation pairings or not. Anywho, this was such a sad one; the tragedy of Severus Snape. It makes my heart hurt. I hope you enjoyed, and please leave a review to tell me how it was!
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