|After All These Years
Author: rosai-gryffindor PM
After casting his doe patronus to Dumbledore for proof of his true loyalties, Snape grieves for Lily. A story of his memories before meeting her, and how she changed his life, but most of all how after all these years, he still loves her. DH spoilers!Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Severus S. & Lily Evans P. - Words: 1,927 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Published: 10-27-07 - id: 3858344
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter! (Did you really think I did? Of course not!) The extract in italics at the beginning of the story is from Deathly Hallows, I most certainly did not write it!
" …'Expecto patronum!'
From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe: she landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded, turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
'After all this time?'
'Always,' said Snape."
The headmaster smiled sadly, and as the potions master headed towards the doorway, bided him a quiet goodnight.
Severus, who had remained emotionless after casting the patronus, despite the older wizard's sadness, let the grief come pouring through his body as soon as he was alone in the corridor. He stopped briefly just outside the stone gargoyles, and pressed his hands to his face, hot tears flooding into his eyes. After a brief moment he pulled himself together with a shuddering breath, and wiped his damp cheeks with his robe hem before striding purposely towards his room. There, he would have total privacy. There, he could have time to grieve away from any prying eyes.
He reached the door to his quarters, and said the password, entering quietly and heading over to the bed. Once there, he sat down heavily on the four-poster mattress, reaching into his robe pocket and taking out a torn half of a photograph. Tears seeping into his eyes once more, he stared sadly into the sparkling emerald green eyes of Lily Evans, whose face radiated with happiness. She was laughing softly, causing the dimples in her freckled cheeks to indent, love shining out of her eyes into Severus' as he lost himself in her gaze, his heart aching with love, loss and regret…
With a sigh, he fell back onto the bed; his unkept, straggly dark hair flopping onto the pillows, and black, glittering eyes staring up at the ceiling in silent pain. He did not often loose control like this, giving way to his emotions, mostly they lay buried beneath the surface. There were times however, when certain words, places, or objects brought back delicate memories, and the emotions failed to stay beneath his cold, unfeeling surface. Having Dumbledore suddenly announce that his work helping to protect Lily's son was all for nothing, and then having him accuse Severus of actually caring for the boy, was one of them, as the anger at this accusation, when all he had ever cared about was Lily, surfaced his emotions for the beautiful red head and resulted in him having to cast his patronus as proof.
As usual, he had used one of his most precious memories to produce the doe: the one of him and Lily chasing butterflies in the fields behind Spinners End on a particularly beautiful summers' day. Lily's flowing auburn hair shone with shades of golden red in the sunlight as she skipped around, took his hand in hers, calling 'come on Sev!' giggling as he stumbled blissfully after her, reaching to catch a peacock butterfly…
He smiled, and came out of the dream once more, his heart tugging painfully as he realised he was not in the fields behind Spinners End, but in his bedroom at Hogwarts, still in his teaching robes and shoes, black, as were all of his robes, in an ever mourning colour for a love that was long gone.
Kicking off his shoes in a burst of frustrated anger, and wrapping his bat like robe close around him, he sighed and looked at the picture again, his only remaining visual reminder of Lily.
He thought back to his childhood years, before even coming to Hogwarts, and of how desolate and lonely he had been before setting eyes on her, the one girl that would change his life forever. He was an only child, and his mother cared little for him, finding him more of a burden than a blessing; she wouldn't let him play with the other children in the village, calling them 'muggle scum', and the only children he was ever allowed near were kids like Bellatrix Black, Lucius Malfoy and Rudolfus Lestrange, who he only ever saw once a year anyway at the Christmas 'pureblood' gathering, and they had bullied him mercilessly…
He sat with his knees hugged tight to his chest in a quiet corner, staring sadly at the mothers in the room who were holding young toddlers, hugging them, loving them. 'Hey Smelly, when wus the las' time you had a wash?' The sound of harsh children's laughter, the cold yet beautifully piercing young eyes of Bellatrix staring at him...
'Never. He wasn' even washed when 'e was born, right Smellerus?' More laughter, causing the tears to rise, but he would not let them know they were hurting him. He crawled deeper into the corner of the room, trying to shrink into the wall and disappear, away from the kids' taunting and teasing. The pain in his arm as Bella pinched him, as Lucius pulled at his overlarge, girly woolly jumper, then the louder voice of Mrs Black, sneering and screechy: 'Now now children, play nicely...'
Severus shuddered, coming out of his memories once more, and he stared up at the dark green patterned ceiling, wondering at how he could ever had become friendly with those bullying, sneering kids, despite them leaving him alone as the years went on. Not that they could be classified as real friends, they were more like, what were the words? 'useful acquaintances'. He remembered one childhood Christmas when things had not been so bad, when he thought he had found a friend at last…
The buzz of voices, laughter, and the clinking of glasses filled his ears. Severus stood to one side of a group of loud, chatting adults, leaning against a wall and looking warily around the dull room for signs of his tormentors.
'Boring, isn it?' A small, friendly voice startled him. He looked around in surprise to see a kid his own age looking at him curiously, the boy's dark, fluffy hair well groomed, his blue eyes sparkling at Severus, and a cheeky smile on his face. 'I'm Sirius,' he said cheerfully.
Severus regarded him suspiciously, muttered, ''m Severus'.
'Sevrus…Bella told me 'bout you, you're the one they make fun of.'
Severus' eyes darkened with fear, and he looked down at his feet.
'Don't worry, I hate them too,' laughed the boy. 'C'mon Sev, I have a plan to 'noy them. I brought flour and string. Nice shirt by the way…' Severus stared in disbelief, found himself being pulled along behind Sirius, who led him to the table and ducked underneath it, pulling out a plastic bag full of flour, and a ball of brown string from his trouser pockets…
Severus chuckled out loud into the silence of his room as he remembered the look on young Bellatrix's face when her beautiful, dark, curly locks became coated in sticky white flour, and the furious frown on Lucius' face as he picked himself up from the dusty floor, his perfect, blonde hair messy, and his feet tied together with string!
The incident had had its consequences though, and the result was Mrs Black yelling at Sirius that she knew he wasn't sensible enough to attend this party, that she should have left him at home as usual, that he was in for a punishment, and that he was a disgrace to the family name. He was banned from future parties, and kept by the side of his stern and grim looking father for the rest of the evening in shame.
As for himself, his mother had taken him home straight away, muttering all the way that he was a disappointment and a disgrace to her, that he should respect the other children more, and that she would be telling his father… Severus had never seen Sirius again, and the following Christmas gatherings were worse than ever for the bullying and insults, as the flour and string tricks had only infuriated the kids more.
Sighing, Severus turned over onto his side and stared at the wardrobe, his thoughts this time drifting to what it had been like at home. His father, Tobias, was a muggle, and didn't understand about magic at all. He had married Eileen Prince after a one-night stand that had resulted in Severus, and although he had once cared for his wife, a very long time ago, despised her being a witch and turned to drink. They had very little money because of this, and with his father often coming home drunk, Severus was very often caught up in the middle of a fight, either verbally or physically, between his parents…
The sound of the door banging open, his father swaying on the threshold, straggly, greasy dark hair damp, and tall, bulking frame intimidating. Then the harsh cry: 'Eileen…'
Severus' eyes widened in fear as he sat in the chair at the back of the kitchen, and he clutched his threadbare teddy tight to his chest. 'Eileeen, where are you? COME HERE YOU DIRTY WITCH.'
Severus began to shake, and he got to his feet to run upstairs, to get away.
His mother appeared from the living room, her black eyes glistening with hatred and disgust. Her loud, sharp voice as deep cutting as his fathers; 'Tobias, you have no right to speak to me like that. You're drunk again, get out of my house.'
'NO. MY HOUSE, NO RIGHT, YOU, YOU…'
Severus scampered quickly up the stairs, feeling as if the terror were chasing him, the yelling following him all the way to his bedroom. He scrambled into his cold, hard bed, pulling the faded bedclothes around him and blocking out the fear, humming a shaky tune determinedly to himself to cover the sound of muffled yelling…
The sound of a muffled yell startled Severus from his memory, and he felt for a moment as if he were stuck back in his past, crouched in his cold, hard bed. Relaxing, he realised that the noise had only come from the room next door, that he was lying on his bed at Hogwarts. But it had been enough to bring back memories. Many a time he had cowered, shaking, in a corner of his bedroom, blocking his ears to the shouting and abuse coming from downstairs, and crying. Crying for the love he was never shown, the friends he had never had, and a life he could never have.
He looked at Lily's moving photo again, and felt his heart grow warm, brushing away the clouded, harsh memories to make way for the sunnier times that had followed. Her smiling, beautiful face seemed as real as the day he had first set eyes on her, and he smiled wistfully, his black eyes glinting silver in the room's fading, evening light, and he remembered the day that had changed his life forever…
A/N: Thank you for reading! Please leave a review to let me know what you think, as I am not sure if I did this ok or not. It was going to be a one-shot, but by the time I get to Lily's death, it would be way too long! So it is now going to be a short story!