Goodbye

After making her rounds as head girl, Lily Evans delicately pulled James Potter from the Marauder's car (not protesting when Sirius Black called her "luv" or asking Peter why he was shining James's shoes).

The two sat in a vacant car, which was close to the caboose, where no one ever wanted to sit. A little small-talk flared up like the blue in a fire, but Lily had been thinking to herself all day more seriously, and very quickly they were checking the car for enemy spells and discussing Order business.

"I'm fetching you on the second of January, then?"

"Please, as early as possible. You can't be too early. After I see my parents off, I won't want to sit around."

"You're implying I'd let you sit around and wait?"

"You've been known to be detained at the most inconvenient times concieveable!"

"But not at important times, like this." At James's scowl, Lily realized they were treading a thin line.

"Well—I don't mean to find reasons to be angry. I'm sorry."

James did not become angrier, but she could see he was unhappy. "It'd be so much safer if I came with you."

"Please, it's the last Christmas I'll have with my parents, and I want to spend it alone. It could be the last time I see them. If I could floo to headquarters, I would, but you know I very well can't. And, it's far less dangerous in the slums where I live."

"With Snape in a hundred mile radius it's disturbing you're going home alone, frankly."

"Severus Snape would never harm a one of us. My mother's loved him since we were seven years old, and my
father was his Primary school professor."

"Nothing's beneath Snape."

"Can we not even talk about Snape?"

"OK, but keep that mirror on you and use it every night. Especially—"

"If I'm taken. Get off it—if the Dark Lord gets me, it's useless."

"Fuck!" James threw his hands threateningly. She'd crossed the line. "When are you going to stop joking like that! It's disgusting!"

When he closed his mouth tightly, she knew he wasn't planning to open it again. Being the child he still was, he pretended to fall asleep lying on his seat and let his thick hair cover his face completely.

She let him stay that way for a few minutes, thinking ugly things to herself, before lying behind him and wrapping an arm around his side. She spoke quietly in his ear.

"You're good at the fighting and lousy at the bettering. Come on now, and love on me. You don't want to say goodbye like this, all though I know you can." She threw a smile in. "Come love on me."

"I would, but I've lost my nards," James muttered, finally smiling and giving into the red-head's charms. "Op—no, I found them!"

A wild giggle and blush. "That's manky!"

Together, they escaped into the deliriousness of their new young love.

+++
As the Evans drove home from the station in Mr. Evans's Alfasud, Lily watched her parents talk amongst themselves, still fascinated with each other twenty four years later. She felt a bit ignored. As they talked about how glad they were Petunia had declined spending Christmas with the Dursleys in favor of her own family, Lily was jolted by the memory of talking to Petunia over the phone about the Order's plan for the Evans family.

"Let me wrap a finger around your proposal. Do I understand that your Dumbledore is asking you to completely destroy our family by putting into mum and dad's heads that they speak perfect American and have lived there all their lives? And do I understand you are to want me to go with them? To America—a million miles away from my Vernon and the new family I'm about to start? And why, exactly? Because you're stupid magical world is going through a violent torrent of World War Three? Am I understanding you?"

"It seems you understand me exactly, but you're the most selfish person in the world, Petunia. Mum and dad have to go. They're in real danger and it's not just because of me! You and Vernon Dursley and even grandmum are in danger of being killed just for the fun of it at the corner grocery store!"

"Oh, I'll let you send mummy and daddy away, but you get one thing in your thick little head: you're having to erase them because all your little friends don't want them there at all. They never have and they never will. This Christmas is the last time we'll ever see mummy or daddy ever again, and don't you think otherwise. As for me, I will not go. If I am killed at the corner grocer, you will remember all the better that the world will never be safe and lovely until every last one of your kind is dead and gone!"

Petunia hung up on Lily after a bitter scream, and tears the size of coins burst out green eyes.

Albus Dumbledore magiked the phone away and caused a hanker chief with the letter A to dab around the young girls' eyes. Lily did not cry pretty, and for that she turned her head away, hiding it behind the over-sized hanker chief.

"I take it your sister will not be joining your parents," the headmaster sighed.

"No. And she can die, for all I care!"

"A girl like you can't mean a thing like that for all the world. Even sibling discord."

"No—I really do! She thinks it's easy, to send my parents away—to probably never see them again? She's the most cold, unloving person I know! She's hated me ever since I left the slums for Hogwarts!"

"And you hate her more because she loves you less. I know this from my own brother, Abertforth. Surely, you've become acquainted."

Her tears did not stop, but she did ask, "The one that had an affair with a she-goat?"

The headmaster laughed frothily. "Yes, and quite the only Aberthforth known to existence."

"But why does he hate you? You don't have something about goat-lovers, do you?"

"No. I'm afraid my brother blames me for the complete destruction of our family." The Headmaster did not add that he personally thought his brother right.

"Why?"

"I became involved in a movement much like that of the Death Eaters when I was your age. It had nothing to do with Salazar Slytherin and everything to do with Wizards leading the world into an age of enlightenment. Alas, such is a principle ramsacked with souless, violent men at the helm. It cannot be otherwise, I think."

"You're talking about the movement that started Grindelwald out, aren't you?"

"You certainly are Head Girl. You're fierce, Ms. Evans."

Sensing that the head master didn't like to talk about those days, or much of his darker history, Lily decided on a sensible question. "And because of your involvement, your brother has estranged you?"

"Completely, and there was a time I hated him more because he loved me less. Now, I simply wish him happiness. I hope he finds a nice goat to settle down with and wider acceptance in Wizard society of such affairs."

A little laughter did not end Lily Evans's tears, so the headmaster said, "When the war is over, and I assure you it will be, before you ever turn twenty one, we will know exactly where to find your parents, and we will repair their memories that very day. I do keep my promises, Lily."

"Yes, headmaster."


From the front of the car, her father called. "Lily, your mother is speaking to you."

She looked up at her mother, thinking her lovely, memorizing her looks, and asked her what she'd said.

"I said that I do worry about Petunia."

"Me too."

"I hope that you take good care of each other, while we're gone to America."

"We will," Lily tried to comfort her mother, but her mother was not a dull woman.

"Even if Petunia doesn't take care of you, the Order will. Especially that James Potter of yours. I want you to know that even if we shouldn't live to see your wedding day, we will be there."

"Don't you think of marrying that Potter boy while we're gone." her father said dryly. "He's not asked me properly and it's a bullet in the head he'll get if he doesn't by the time we leave."

"Really, marriage is the last thing on my mind. There's a war on, remember?"

"That's when everyone gets marriage-happy," Mrs. Evans began. "That's exactly what happened to your father and me. We shouldn't of ever done it, but we did, and where did it take us—a life in the slums. I don't regret it, but it wasn't right to marry so young. We should've saved and saved before we ever bought us a house and worked and worked until we were in the right job."

"It could never happen to Lily if she married that James Potter. She'd have pounds spilling out her ears."

"I don't think it's right to say it's ok to marry James Potter because he's wealthy. Do you, mother?"

"No, I don't. You're to young and it's simply wrong."

In Mr. Evans's green-bean Alfasud, they talked about all sorts of things and hypothetical occasions, until Lily was very glad to be home and the conversation on the lawn, the neighbors, work, and her school year at Hogwarts, as always.

In James's mirror that night, James reported that very few members were actually at headquarters, instead following Dumbledore on some mission not known to younger members.

"But what is not known to younger members?" Lily asked, wagging a finger to let James know what she meant.

"They're consulting Olivander, before he's taken again."

"What do Death Eaters want with a wand maker, anyway?"

"Who knows. Maybe they want him to embelish their wands with longer shafts, which would maximize their spells' potency."

"You're manky! Can't be serious for a second?"

"Sirius rubs off on me. Why, do you need me to be?"

"Yes."

"Then maybe. What is it?"

"Well, it's, really stupid, and awkward," Lily blushed, "but my parents are obsessed with the idea that we're going to get married, and you won't be able to ask for my hand properly, and they'll get their memories fixed without ever have given you proper permission. It's ridiculous."

"I'll ask your father on Christmas. Give him the mirror at seven o'clock."

"No—it's not that—"

"I insist. It doesn't mean we're ever going to get married. It's just a precaution, in case we do get married."

"Right."

"Of course, you do want to marry me. It's true love, but it's not right for Head Girl to just up and marry someone before she's even ninety. I expect your dreams of becoming headmaster would be shattered. A homosexual lifestyle is best for that, in fact."

"You're rotten."

"I am. Now, our next order of business is this: if I was in the room right now, what would you do to me?"

"This was just the sort of reason I hated you, a while ago."

"I know. You were a very proper child, waiting for a prince!"

"Just be glad I didn't keep on with Severus Snape. He was a proper prince."

"Alright then, if Severus Snape was in the room right now, what would you do?"

"Give him a big kiss for you and a cracker."

"You're a strange one, Lily Evans."

& & & &
  • Current Mood
    amused amused

The Left Side of Beds

• • • •

On the train home, they sat together in the head car, hands a mile apart.
"You'll have to come to Headquarters, sometime."
"I'll come in the summer."
"You'd be safer, and you could bring your family for Christmas."
"It's safe in the slum."
"You just don't want to come to my house, do you?"
"Honestly, no."
Another irritated look from James Potter was added to a wide collection that year.
"It's dangerous."
"If it's dangerous, the Order will collect my family."
"Really!" James said, rolling his eyes. "You think I'm a slag!"
"Don't say that," Lily hissed. "I do not."
"Then what's all this ignoring me, not coming to Hedquarters, not writing me anymore, and kissing me like a double-ended skrewt?"
"So what—that means I think you're a slag?"
"It does."
Green eyes became brighter, and her lip tightened. "You're such an arse. I am not sitting in this car alone with you if you're going to pout. I'm going to go find Alice."
That promised, Lily stood up and slid the car door open.
"You're going to see Snape."
"Oh, don't put that on again. You're still a jealous fuck—years later, and it's still disgusting."
"Fine, justify it, Lily, but you can't pretend to call it all off because of me. I respect your virginity and all of that. So who is it, really? It's you. It's your choice."
"So it's go to your house or it's over?"
"Yeah."
"Fuck you," the last two words Lily said to James Potter that holiday.

• • • •

Lily walked the red carpet behind her mother. Mrs. Evans found a seat near the front, because they were early. The pews around filled with the elederly and young mothers with children, but mostly they were vacant.
"I miss poor Eileen Snape," Mrs. Evans said to Lily. "She would have been sitting here. We'd talk about how you are, arranging a marriage." Despite a bit of tears, Mrs. Evans laughed and patted Lily on the back. "I think she'd say, 'Lily, you're such a good girl, coming to church on Sunday. Did you know Severus won't come? Talk a bit to him, will you, love?'"
Lily's mother often spoke for the dead. It was not as endearing as it could seem, at times.
Thinking of Severus, Lily looked around the pews. He wasn't there, in fact.
On her knees, she prayed.

• • • •

In the hall to the loo, she saw him standing by an enterance to the pulpit. The choir was singing behind the wall he leaned against and he seemed to be listening. His hair was tucked behind his ears as it had been when they were twelve.
She walked through the connecting walkway and strained to hear the music, too.
"You came back here to see me, did you."
"No," she didn't think it was a lie.
"Well, I came here to see you. It's heart-warming to hear the same."
"I wanted to see you."
"You're not at Potters, where all the little aurors are scuffling."
"And you're not at Malfoy's."
"I will be, shortly." At her look, the corners of his mouth pulled up. "I've got a Boxing Day present for you. Come to Spinner's End."
"I can't just disappear. My mum's here."
"Then we'll tell your mum after mass lets out."
"OK."
Lily was no good at standing. She sat down on the floor and motioned for him to do the same. When he did, he was not close enough, so she moved his way. "Can I see it?"
"What?"
"The dark mark."
He unbuttoned his shirt sleeve and held his arm out. When her finger moved to touch it, he held it off with his hand. She struggled, and kept trying to touch it.
"You'll summon him," was all, and she never tried again.
It occured to him that she was still childish, always trying to touch what she wasn't allowed.
"Why did you have to become a death eater?"
He lowered his head and looked into her eyes like he might a child's. "To protect Lily Evans."
"I don't need protection."
"You think."
"Well, I'm not happy about it."
"Nor I. You could have smaller ambitions than defeating the Dark Lord himself."
"I couldn't."
"You could be a house wife."
"I couldn't." And she shook her head in disproval. "Not head girl."
"Remind that to James Potter," his voice was bitter.
She took up the hand belonging to the dark mark. "Don't talk about him."
"He's completely off our list of vocabulary, then? I can't say Ja----Ja--Pooh?. Wow, I can't."
"Just like that."
"I'll go along, but you have to promise me things."
She didn't promise.
"You have to smile into my face. You have to really appreciate it."

(no subject)

At eight, they were playing wands and dark-creature hunters. They'd draw and they'd work on building a fort in Mrs. Snape's garden with loose bricks. They'd fight about nothing. There was one kiss by the river, after racing. Lily had asked him if he'd marry her, and he'd said "no." It hadn't been much.
Third year and as soon as they could go to Hogsmeade on the weekend, he'd come up to the entire Gryffindor table and asked her on a date. She'd turned him down and they went just as friends.
Often, her head was on his shoulder, or she'd stroke his chin. She'd put his arm through his or insist on a dance. He'd do anything to make her laugh, whether it be talk nonsense or preform a small dance. Once, he'd turned Potter's face orange for her delight.
James Potter drove Severus mad, putting his arm around Lily's shoulder or tormenting her with inuendo. Potter was a jealous little fuck and a bully.
Seventh year, Potter and Lily started dating. Things looked rosy for them and they turned into the staple adorable couple. When she'd put a hand on Severus's shoulder in the hallway, he's shrink away, muttering precise duragatory under his breath. It seemed to Severus she was only chasing after him suddenly to rub it in about Potter. Whatever the reason, Severus assumed it was coniving. She hadn't talked to him (wouldn't) all of fifth year, and had been generally cruel all of sixth.
Severus Snape did not have once single brain cell at sixteen. He'd gotten the dark mark, had convinced himself Lily Evans was a twat, and had successfully painted himself up to be some tragic misunderstood figure betrayed by the one he loved.
On the train home for Christmas seventh year, she sat down next to him in his box. He shouted at her to go away but she sat down next to Mulciber. Mulciber and Avery walked right out of the box muttering every profanity known to planet Earth.
"Go sit with your little husband," Severus spat. "Or your little wife, knowing you."
"You're disgustingly jealous," Lily said, green eyes on edge. "And, for your information, I'm not seeing that prick anymore."
There was no hesitation, no calculation, and no tact. "So what—you can be a complete dog all of three years, completely forsaking me, and suddenly ask for my understanding?"
"That's dissapointing—is that your plattitude? If I remember correctly, it's you that's needing to be forgiven."
"For what?"
"For being against me."
"Against you ?"
"Yeah. You're so up your ass about blood, you've always been—so where did you get off being friends with me? And then you get in with Death Eaters? You're needing the forgivance."
"It's not even about blood, though I don't expect you to ever understand that."
"Then what the fuck is it? I'm confused. I was pretty sure everyone in your little death-eater squad's got their heads up their asses in bloodmania."
"Fuck you. You think there's a good guy in this war? Fuck you. What makes you think you can sit here and lecture to me about my soul or fuck—ing life? Sorry I'm not an example of your god-damned moral rectitude."
"Oh, whatever! Whatever you have to tell yourself to sleep at night while the Death Eaters kill people I care about. Yeah, I forgive you. I don't think you'll even last with those creeps. I bet you get yourself killed, because, let's face it—you couldn't kill anyone."
"Killing people is grunt work," his voice was quieter.
"And even if you're a big fuck up I know you'd never hurt me. I know... I can always trust you." Big tears the size of galleons tore down her cheeks, and she cried like a child in a tantrum. "You, always making exceptions for me and my blood, I'll never—under—stand."
She apperated her own hankerchief and dabbed it furiously about her face.
"Hey," he said, and his voice was softer. Severus Snape was no bleeding heart, or kind, but just then he felt the need to explain. "It's not about blood."
"Sure, it's not," the red-head mocked.
"It's not," and even though he was angry, there was something Lily recognized in his voice. It might have been trying. "Look, war isn't about good guys and bad guys. This war isn't about blood. It's about power. Albus Dumbledor is not about to win the war, and all the rest of us are afraid and trying to protect our families."
"If that's true... I know plenty of families that would as soon die as not stand up for what's right. Me... I'd rather fight for what I believe in than stick my tail between my legs and bow."
"Good luck with that," Severus muttered. She went on, embarassed with her crying and angry.
The sweets trolley came and Severus gave the woman a crown. He handed Lily a chocolate frog.
"Hey, aplogies for my asswholery."
She had been hiding her face from the trolley-pusher, and just then looked up. "You're an arse." She took the chocolate frog anyway.
"Am," was all. "You can be one too. You went all of fith year not talking to me. Then, dating Potter. Whatever did he do to grab your attention? Was it maybe the contempt you both shared for me?"
"Stop being so bitter. It's disgusting," Lily said, and she took the chocolate frog out of its box because she was a little hungry.
"Really," he insisted. "Or, more interesting, why did you call him off?"
At his very mention, James Potter opened the box door and made a token appearance. Both Severus and Lily drew their wands, with a nasty little look at the intruder.
"Lily, what are you even doing here? You think making me jealous is going to teach me? Come on—" Potter began to pluck her by the arm when she let out a scream.
"JAMES POTTER YOU WILL NOT TOUCH ME!"
Potter's hand released her as if it burned. "AH FUCK! Lily, you don't know what you're doing! You think that creepy fuck over there is your friend?! All he wants is a shag! Come to head box right this instant."
"I don't happen to see a ring on my god-damned finger, so you just sod off, James Potter. I'm not your wife!"
"Sod off, Potter," Severus snarled, curling Potter's tie by twirling his wand. A little bump appeared in Potter's gold and red tie, moving itself upward and tightening around the collar.
"You want to use restricted magic? You think you're the only one!?" but before James could utter another word, both boys were falling backwards, an invisible barrier placed between them.
"You just get out!" Lily said shakily.
"No!" James said. "I won't leave without you. Come on to headquarters with me."
"No," Lily said. "If you want, you can see me home, but I will not go to headquarters till summer, and I'll be damned if it'll be with you."
"Then you'll come to the box with me?"
"No. You can find me later."
"Fine," James said, before pointing to Severus. "Just watch your skirt around." When he was gone, Lily's chocolate frog escaped trailing behind him.
"Oh, my frog!" Lily looked much too upset about loosing a chocolate.
"And what, was that about?"
Forgetting, almost, that she was talking to a death eater, Lily let slip. "Headquarters is his house. He wants me to stay there christmas, since it's safer..."
"Why don't you tell me the street?" Severus mocked, when she seemed to realize her slip. "Well, I've got to go to headquarters too, periodically." He did not say that it bothered him, her going to Potter's house.
"Yeah?" they looked at each other seriously.
"You two are having a little spat, and you suddenly want to make up?" he asked, as though it had all just occured ot him.
"I've been trying to make up all along, so that's not fair."
"Didn't try hard, though, did you?"
"It's hard when you don't even let me touch your damn shoulder."
"It is fair."
She didn't let him get into a bigger fight. She said nothing. Since when had she become the epitomy of mature? All of sixth year she'd been cruel and petty and "you traitor"s.
Feeling safer, Severus put his wand back into his robes. "Why'd you two get into a fight, anyhow?"
"Sex," Lily said. He could have choked on his own tounge. Sex? Lily Evans had mentioned it's existence?
"What?"
"Sex—He's all pushy, but I'm not ready." Oh. Severus thought about it. "I mean, if he cares about me... why can't he just take a cold shower? Instead of pushing me..."
He could die right there in his seat! What...
"I know I'm just not ready. Besides, last thing you should try is pushing a girl. She'll just resent it."
the hell... he said nothing.
"Look, I just want to be friends this Christmas. It's the last chance we've got before we're at headquarters, yeah?"
"It's just... all really unexpected."
"Yeah," Lily agreed. "Course' you weren't expecting it, you prat. I mean, all this time... I didn't even care, even if you were crazy about blood. I was willing to accept that too. I guess I'm desperate to be friends."
The trees outside the window made him dizier somehow. He kept looking from Lily to the window and back again. She had no idea.
"I'm asking you, Sev—do you want to make this work? Do you want to be friends again?"
She had no idea.
"It's all I've ever wanted."

>>>

Hazing

While he was in the bath, an older boy stole his clothes. He'd shouted out for the boy to come back, only to recieve a snicker. "House-elf!" the boy sang. "Do you need someone to hand you a pillowcase?"
Severus shouted more things, but the boy didn't listen.
More Slytherins came in to take their baths.
"Why are you in here?" a fourth year asked him. "Get out."
"Someone stole my clothes," Severus explained.
"Oh, how old are you!?" The fourth year demanded. "Do you need mummy to go fetch you a towellsie? Get out."
"They stole my towel too."
The fourth year laughed. Another came in. "Look—Mudblood's stuck. Someone nicked his clothes."
"Ha! House elf!" The other laughed. "Used to do that to my girl cousins. They'd scream until their mums came and I'd get my ears boxed."
The water was growing teppid.
"Hee hee—look at his balls floating in the water," the older boy laughed. "Small, aren't they?"
"What do you expect from a mudblood?" the other agreed. "—'Course, he's just a firstie."
"I say it's the blood," the two boys carried on in their own strange conversations.
"Can I use your towell?" Severus asked, as they climbed into their baths.
"No," they both said. "Can't afford to get your slime all over my towell."
"Well, what am I supposed to do—wait for them to come back with my clothes?"
"Fat chance of that," they warned. "You'd be better off streaking butt naked through the common room and going to get your clothes."
"I can't do that!"
"Then you have a problem," the boys snickered.
"Can't you—well, I guess it's out of the question, to ask a favor from you lot," Severus spat.
"Just be glad we're not drowning you. You looked like a drowned rat—I bet you'd squirm like one," the younger teased.
The first year said no more. He sank down into the tub and didn't say a word to anyone.
He never got his clothes back. Avery gave him two towells (Severus wouldn't go streaking through the common room in just one) so that it appeared as though a clumpy ghost walked through the common room, head part towards the floor.
"House elf!" the boy who'd stolen his clothes shrieked. A few chuckled. A few stared hatefully.
"Filthy mudblood," Bellatrix Black spat, as the clumpy ghost bade a b-line around her and through the enterance to the boy's dormitory.
Getting house-elfed was not the worst of Slytherin hazing. Severus was often the butt-end of inner-house jinxes and all of his underpants were stolen by the end of first year.

The Bad Men, the Good Men

Order headquarters was the Potter's mansion. Many prior students at Hogwarts that joined the Order recieved their own rooms and meals there. Right after graduating, Lily had gone with James to his quarters, and they spent a good amount of time in his bedroom alone.
On one such ocassion, they laid on their sides facing each other and played truths.
It didn't surprise James to find out how much of Lily's childhood was composed of Severus Snape and the feelings between the two. He'd long suspected as much and had been a jealous little fuck to Snape through out school, only stopping seventh year when they became head girl and boy and started dating.
When describing their fall out, Lily mentioned Severus hadn't talked to her since Christmas Day. He'd come to the door and asked her to come to his house, refusing to tell her why. Sensing her distrust, he'd shamed her for thinking of him as some kind of creep and disappeared in the snow. Ever since then, he hadn't said a word to Lily, brushing her hand off his shoulder and slithering away down the halls or stairs, any words falling to deaf ears... and thinking of him being a Death Eater... it was nearly impossible.
A small smile crossed her mouth. Tears streamed from her green eyes, and she cried as she always had—like a child in a tantrum, with big tears and boggies. James apperated a hankerchief and made comoforting sounds.
"My feelings for him used to be so strong. It really hurt, you know? And I didn't even notice my feelings were disappearing, or my childhood... It's all gone."
"Me too," James agreed. "I'm not the jealous little fuck I was. And, to be honest, all I think of is getting married."
Lily laughed, at him and their whole conversation. "I wanted to go to university," she sniffed. "Prospects look bleak, yeah?"
"You don't know that!" James said. "You can go to University after the war and we'll get married."
"After the war!" Lily scoffed. "To even live through the war would be a bloody miracle."
James frowned and looked away. "Well, I...want to get married before."
"Are you serious? You want to be one of those couples gets married straight out of Hogwarts?"
A nod, was all. Lily laughed.
"Oh, this is not my dream at all,but war has a way of ruining plans, doesn't it? All you can hope for, in war, is... I guess the nice things, and fighting for people you believe in."

He was in The Crouche's guest room, trying to sleep. He was arrogant and young, always pretending he didn't need sleep and avoiding it like the enemy, but there were times he had to submit to defeat and lie down in whatever quarters he could find.
The Crouche's guest room had a muggle bed, suitable to unmagical folk, but stiff on the back. He didn't care—it was a bed.
It'd bothered him to look at The Crouche's living room. On the mantel above the fireplace sat every size photo possible of their only daughter, all of eight and done professionally. Severus had wondered where the girl was—would she ever know what had happened to her parents?
Alone, he wondered again, and heard a faint voice shame him. "Don't you get it?" And there was Lily Evans, green eyes glaring as she went off into a litany about the cruelty of the Dark Lord. Don't you get it? he wanted to ask that girl. Don't you get what I'm doing for you? What I'm loosing here?
He tried not to even imagine her fucking Potter, or the other things... His mind darted around their times together, just the two of them. She was walking up to him in the halls, not caring about all the eyes that followed her to him.
"Did James Potter really shrink your nose?" She asked a fourth year Severus.
He'd nodded, looking away.
Reaching her small hand its full length to reach his face, she gave a small squeeze and said, "I'm glad you got it back. I'd have missed that nose." She'd walked away bouncing every step. People had snickered and cat-called at him, but he could hardly have cared.
In Crouche's guest room, Severus Snape smiled to himself. A faint smile, and hardly passable as one, before the corners turned down and he was all alone with his worst memories.

The Bad Men, the Good Men

She had not been thinking of Severus Snape. He'd treated her like a traitor since she made head girl with Potter, darting his shoulder away from her hand and skittering off down the halls or staircase. Any words fell to deaf ears since Winter Holiday.
Christmas Day, he'd called for her. He'd asked her to come with him to his house, refusing to tell her why ("For a fucking cracker!" he'd snapped). Sensing her distrust, he'd shamed her for thinking of him as some kind of creep, before storming away through the park and snow.
He'd completely ignored her for the rest of seventh year, and they hadn't talked. Especially not when she started dating Potter or joined the Order. Especially not as Severus got his dark mark.
The last time Lily'd thought of Severus Snape, James Potter was lying next to her on his side, playing truths. They'd told each other everything in the stuppor—their snogging record, their friend's secrets, their preferences... James had even told her about the little witch that had given him his first kiss when he was four.
It could not be avoided—Lily was to tell him about Severus Snape—her childhood in its entirety. Memories flocked together like birds in her eyes; drawing pictures together, playing wands, their one kiss by the river near his house, racing, the train to Hogwarts, the time when Severus asked her to go with him to Hogsmeade infront of the entire Gryffindor table, summer of sixth year, Slughorn's Christmas Party sixth year where he'd danced every step in time and she'd ignored him the rest of the night for her girlfriends, being suddenly afraid of boys, Christmas Day seventh year, and how he'd never said a word to her since.
She didn't spare James any feelings. She told him everything.
"It's strange... I used to feel so much for him—my entire childhood! And now it's all over. I'm not hurt. I didn't even notice I was beginning not to be hurt anymore." As she said this, tears were falling from her green eyes. James wiped them away and made comforting noises, almost like a bird cooing. "Hey," he said in his quiet voice. Lily cried as she always did, like a child with big tears and lots of boggies. James squeezed her hand and apperated a hankerchief.
"Every kiss, every word—your love has erased my childhood," she sniffed. "I love you."
"You've taken mine too," James said. "I'm not that jealous little fuck anymore. And... all I think of, to be honest, is getting married."
Lily insisted no males ever thought of marriage that way. He insisted he did.
"I've known I wanted to marry you since forever!" James scoffed. "Just because some blokes get sick just imagining it doesn't mean I don't. I'm pretty unconventional, yeah."
His fingers found her chin in the dark and stroked her neck. "Hey."
"Well maybe I'm an unconventional girl. I don't want to think about those things," Lily said, frowning. When she saw his sad look she smiled. "You're serious? You want to be one of those couples gets married straight out of school, don't you?"
"Yeah," James said. He looked serious. Lily laughed at him and at their entire conversation.
"I wanted to go to University," she confessed finally. "But there's pretty bleak prospects of even living these days. All you can hope for is... I guess the nice things, and fighting for people you believe in."

He was in The Crouche's guest room, trying to sleep. He was arrogant and young, always pretending he didn't need sleep and avoiding it like the enemy, but there were times he had to submit to defeat and lie down in whatever quarters he could find.
The Crouche's guest room had a muggle bed, suitable to unmagical folk, but stiff on the back. He didn't care—it was a bed.
It'd bothered him to look at The Crouche's living room. On the mantel above the fireplace sat every size photo possible of their only daughter, all of eight and done professionally. Severus had wondered where the girl was—would she ever know what had happened to her parents?
Alone, he wondered again, and heard a faint voice shame him. "Don't you get it?" And there was Lily Evans, green eyes glaring as she went off into a litany about the cruelty of the Dark Lord. Don't you get it? he wanted to ask that girl. Don't you get what I'm doing for you? What I'm loosing here?
He tried not to even imagine her fucking Potter, or the other things... His mind darted around their times together, just the two of them. She was walking up to him in the halls, not caring about all the eyes that followed her to him.
"Did James Potter really shrink your nose?" She asked a fourth year Severus.
He'd nodded, looking away.
Reaching her small hand its full length to reach his face, she gave a small squeeze and said, "I'm glad you got it back. I'd have missed that nose." She'd walked away bouncing every step. People had snickered and cat-called at him, but he could hardly have cared.
In Crouche's guest room, Severus Snape smiled to himself. A faint smile, and hardly passable as one, before the corners turned down and he was all alone with his worst memories.

00000

Circle Drive Park

The Evans were sitting at the dinner table, picking at a roast with their knives.
"Haven't seen your friend around," Mrs. Evans pried Lily.
"He's not my friend," was all, her green eyes edged with distaste.
"Why not?" Mr. Evans asked. "You two have been best friends since you was eight."
"Well he's not," Lily sniffed. "He's gotten in with the wrong sort at school—they're all a bunch of bullies and pick on kids like me."
"I can't see him letting anyone bully you around," Mr. Evans said. "He fancies you, you know."
"Does not," she nearly snarled. "And it's kids like me they pick on—muggles and muggle-borns. Pure bloodery is important to them."
"But blood's not important to Severus," Mrs. Evans said. "It never has been. He adores you to pieces."
"Right," and Lily did snarl.
"You're lying to yourself if you don't think he fancies you," Mr. Evans said. "He does."
Their daughter said nothing. She picked at her roast and plopped bits of it into her mouth, all angry eyebrows and glares. They said nothing more of Severus Snape.

The next day, Lily was reading in her room when her mother called her downstairs. She bounced down every step, telling herself it wouldn't be him at the door, but it was.
He was talking nervously to her mum, hair tucked behind his ears and slouching. When he caught her eyes he looked away.
"What do you want?" She demanded, to be told off crossly by Mrs. Evans.
"Go to the park," Severus muttered.
"Yeah?" She asked. At Mrs. Evans (threatening) insistence, she agreed and led the way to Circle Drive Park across the street.
Neither one said a thing. He stopped following her when she sat down on a swing. His eyes were so sad...
Lily fumed, kicking sand around in her shoe, thinking all about fifth year. She looked him up and down, knowing he wouldn't move unless she told him to.
"Sit down," she said, indicating the swing next to her. He did, though he looked uncomfortable. She remembered, apart from her anger, all her feelings for him when they were smaller, and she remembered how she fancied him. Still. Her eyes lingered on his face—those sad eyes.
She began to swing.
"Never call me a mudblood, you—complete—fuck," she said finally, while inhaling a large breath for her work.
"I won't," he promised.
She looked down at him from her swing, and saw those sad eyes staring back.
"Cheer up," she ordered, ever the bossy red-head.
"I'm winning," she said, on a different note, but he didn't race her height as he had before. He only shrugged, feigning indifference.
"Race me!" she ordered, and he did, rubbing it in when he did, in fact, win.

The Green Dress

Christmas Day, he rang the doorbell, standing on the front porch with his arms crossed. His black hair was covering his face, wet and cold.
Lily had no idea why he came. He'd been treating her like a traitor after she made head girl with Potter—like they were engaged. She was so surprised at his appearance she didn't say a word. She just gawked.
"Come with me," he ordered. "Get a coat."
"To where?" Lily demanded.
"My house," was all.
"Why?"
"For a fucking cracker," He snapped. "Come on."
"Really—you've got to tell me." Did he sense her distrust? He stepped back further into the snow, his lip curling.
"Forget it." He said.
"Wait! Why can't you just tell me?"
When he turned on her, she could see how angry he was. His eyes were narrower and his breath was tight. "You act like I'm some kind of—" he stopped, narrowing down the list. "rapist. Fuck you."
Severus Snape left her alone on the front porch and disappeared into the snow.

Her bedroom door was closed. She was standing ontop a chair, reaching into the top shelf of her closet. The chair beneath her made her nervous as it wiggled under her toes, but she got the envelope and safely returned to the ground.
To Lily Evans, read the neat and tight scrawl.
Lily opened the seal and looked at the line drawing inside. Her character moved about the parchment with full liberty, petting the small black cat at her knees, red hair falling down over her face. The figure picked up the cat and looked at Lily happily.
Happy 16th Birthday, read the caption at the bottom. Your black cat.
Three dimensional Lily smiled at her two dimnesional friend, flattered to think Severus Snape had spent a pretty effort capturing her exact likeness.
He'd always been a prolific artist, even when they were eight, and had oftend snubbed her when they were little, when she'd draw a clumbsy little thing on his papers. So maybe it took little time or effort to draw her brithday present, but she often thought (liked to think) he must have spent more time.
Suddenly, Lily ached. She remembered all the times in the halls, when he avoided her hand on his shoulder like a cat, or how he'd hissed at her to go play aurors with her little Gryffindor friends.
"I'm your friend!" she'd cried.
"You're no friend," he'd say, and slither off.
The brown parchment went back into its envelope, and she set it ontop her knightstand.
Why had he come Christmas Day? Why had he suddenly wanted to see her? And why had she been so afraid?
One memory came to her after another, like birds flocking together.
She was chasing him down by the river, all of nine. He let her catch him, and she kissed him peckishly on the lips. He'd run off faster, not letting her catch up, but grinning ear to ear. Nothing was ever said.
They were twelve, and he was standing declaratively infront of the entire Gryffindor table. "Do you want to go to Hogsmeade together?" He'd asked. She'd known he meant on a date.
Everyone had laughed, snorting, not because they hated him, necessarily, but because it was awkward and made them nervous.
"I can't,"
The snickers worstened. A fifth year said, "You're not going to turn Snivelus down, are you, Lily?"
"Don't call him Snivelus!" Lily said automatically.
"I reckon you rate Snivelus," the fifth year went on. "You two should be married, you should. You're both terriffic prats."
"Shut up!" Lily spat, before turning her attention back to Severus. "I can't go to Hogsmeade. But I'll see you there, yeah?"
"Oi, she turned him down!" the fifth year laughed. A chorus of laughs went around. But at that point, Lily was too horrified to say a thing.
"Why not?" Severus asked her, ignoring the rest of the table.
"Because you're an arse," said James Potter from across. "Get on, Snivelly."
Lily gave Potter a loathesome look before saying, "I just can't."
They went to the bookshop together and drank butterbeer, but it seemed unreconciled to Severus some how. Every time someone would point at them, he'd look to the ground with a grimace.
Fifth year, they'd had a row. They didn't go to Hogsmeade together, or study. During the summer, she'd forgiven him, though. Summer was too long to grudge him forever and he was sorry.
Slughorn's Christmas Party sixth year, she asked him to go with her. He hadn't wanted to, but he agreed. She wore the color of green everyone gave her trouble for. "Damn Slytherin," they'd hiss. "Boo!" She didn't listen.
At the party, Severus had danced with her and knew every step in time. She felt dragged around in his arms like a doll, not knowing a beat to save her life. His stare had been so heavy—so unsettling. She'd wanted to leave. She wouldn't dance with him again and ignored him for her girl friends.
Then seventh year, the way he avoided her hand on his shoulder or told her off...
When she was little, she'd always imagined them getting married.
Now she was scared of him, like he was some kind of beast.
She didn't understand.
She was mad.