Chapter 1: After the Options

Nine years had passed. Severus Snape, nine years old, wearing what could only be described as musty, blackish grey and overly long rags, was kicking stones near the local playground. He lived in Cokeworth, Manchester on a small street called Spinner's End.

He hated his short life. Not many children his age tended to possess such a negative outlook on life. That usually came in another four years at the rebellious age of thirteen. But in Severus Snape's case, it was generally justified.

He had been the victim of heavily physical and mental abuse from his godforsaken father, Tobias. He had never been a pleasant man, admitted his mother, Eileen. But he was so possessive in a very charming way, she had melted in his hands as the wife he desired and had to have; a trophy wife.

After Severus' birth and his inevitable, sensitive appeal to magic, such as summoning a toy across the room, Eileen had been forced to admit to Tobias that she and Severus were magical, and Tobias snapped and broke both their noses as punishment for being evil creatures of darkness, and dragging him into their sinful livelihoods. Not that one could call Tobias an angel on Earth in any case.

Eileen hadn't been allowed to take the five-year-old child to hospital, in any of the several cases that he had been beaten and had his nose bashed in by his father, hence why his nose was currently so grotesquely crooked and misshapen. The mental abuse she had suffered at Tobias' hands, not to mention his snapping of her wand made her unable to bring up the magic to fix Severus' nose herself.

But things had taken a very unexpected but to Severus, very fortunate turn: Tobias died after breaking his neck upon falling off the top stairs of his local pub. He had just come out of the toiletries and the only witness was a respectable looking gentleman whom had raised the alarm, but it was no good. Tobias Snape was dead, much to the bereavement of only one person, the owner of the pub; Tobias had been his most faithful customer.

Eileen and Severus heard the news, but neither looked horrified or distraught as the police imagined they would be; in fact, they looked as though they had a very heavy weight lifted off their shoulders. They were introduced to the gentleman who witnessed Tobias' death, and he looked deeply concerned for the two remaining Snapes, but Eileen assured him that they would be okay.

It was a week later that Severus was walking near the playground on this day. He was approaching it when he saw two young girls on the patch of grass nearby and the taller girl screamed when the smaller, redheaded girl held out her palm and to Severus' surprise, sprouted a little daisy from it.

Could it be that this little girl, clearly a local of Spinner's End, was a witch like his mother?

Severus wanted to learn more about this girl, but feared doing so. He had never approached other children. Most of them that had passed him by in the street holding his mother's hand, either mocked him for his pauper-like appearance or took to the hills in fear of the big, bad drunk of the neighbourhood, Tobias Snape attacking them for going near his son, who was, to them, bound to end up just like his father.

These incidents with other children, not to mention the abuse hurled at him by his father gave Severus another reason to fear going near these two girls. The taller one was obviously a Muggle because she was horrified that her companion was sprouting daisies in her palm, and Muggles had an immense negative impact on him, so he both feared and disliked this girl automatically.

Then the girl shouted: "Lily! What?! HOW?! That's freaky! I want-"

The girl stopped there. She was going to say she wanted to have a go at doing that, but she knew it was impossible. But then how could Lily do it?

"Tuney, I don't know how I did it. I just can." replied the shier redhead.

Severus moved closer by peeking through the hedge. He saw the expression on the elder girl's face. It looked scared, yes, but also, envious. It was plain for Severus to see that she wanted to be able to show off a special talent such as magic as this younger girl could do.

Severus took a closer look at the girl who could do magic. He saw her freckled but pretty face. He felt a pang of something. What that something was, he didn't know or understand. But to take a guess, he couldn't help but think that this unknown girl's face had a very familiar appeal to him. But how could that be so? He had never met this Lily girl before now. She hasn't even seen him before yet.

He shrugged off the feeling when he saw the girls rush away to home.

Severus ended up sitting alone on one of the playground swings, and all he could think about was no longer his dead father, the sensation that he no longer needed to be afraid in his home anymore, nor the joy that he had when his mother reinstated herself as a doting and loving mother once more, for the first time since he was five. No, all he could think of now was this girl named Lily. Lily who? Was she really a witch? They looked the same age. Would they go to Hogwarts together? Could they, through their similarities in the name of magic, become…friends?

Severus found this most unlikely. He was the oddball and the child of the most infamous individual to have lived around these parts. Not to mention his heavily mental scars would only act as a deterrent on Lily's part to be his friend. Two other things blocked the likelihood. The first being that Severus was not the best-looking kid, even if he wore more casual and bright clothing, mostly because of his nose which looked like a broken beak because of the several blows to it inflicted on by his father. The second reason was that the other girl Lily was with scared him, simply because she was a Muggle. All Muggles scared and infuriated him, because of Tobias and the neighbour kids' negative influence over his tortured childhood.

But Severus still felt a fascination about this Lily girl. He hung around the park more often, hoping she would make an appearance. However, whenever the girl appeared, she was in the company of the girl who was revealed in a conversation as her sister. Whenever Severus saw the two of them approach, even though he was watching for one of them, he swiftly hid behind the hedge. It was mostly out of fear of the Muggle sister…but he also felt sure that even if Lily showed up alone, he would still have hidden from her. He was too insecure to introduce himself.

Then one day, he saw them already at the playground, on the swings. The elder sister, Tuney was shouting at Lily for swinging too high…and then Lily flew off and landed softly and safely on the ground laughing with joy.

Severus took note on the fact that the elder Muggle sister had that mixed expression of fear and jealousy.

"I'll tell Mummy and Daddy! It's dangerous, Lily! What's going on with you?!"

"It's obvious, isn't it?" Severus was surprised to hear himself speak up, almost automatically. He had a deep feeling that he had said this before, like déjà vu. Only it wasn't in the girl's case. He felt that she had once said "How do you do it?" in a longing voice once…but it couldn't have been. He was very confused.

"What's obvious?" asked Lily.

Severus looked at the girl he showed such interest in, properly, closely…deeply. He looked into those deep green eyes…full of beauty, no hatred but curiosity.

It was like falling into a black hole consisting of long lost memories. He saw the days of the past. The first universe he resided in. He saw his friendship with Lily, his love for the Dark Arts, his hateful ordeals at Hogwarts at the hands of the Marauders, the loss of Lily's friendship, his pain at her marriage and birth of her son, the loss of Lily's life by practically his own hand…and his lifelong servitude to Albus Dumbledore in her memory…and his death…and his options…the Four Options. The fourth he had chosen…leading to this…his second chance at life.

"Hello? HELLO?!"

Severus roused from his painfully nostalgic stupor. He was on the grassy ground. He was being cradled rather uncomfortably by Lily's sister, while Lily herself was gently patting his face, calling for a reaction.

When he was fully self-conscious again, he leapt to his feet. He scowled at Petunia in disgust as he had recalled her mistreatment of Lily and later her son. Then he looked to Lily and paled deeply.

"I'm sorry…I'm so sorry…"

Severus fled, as if for his life. He could not believe what he had seen. He was only nine-years-old. Even though he was remembering a past life, the horrors of it all was too much for him to handle.

Did I really do all those terrible, horrible things? Is that what I become? All because I liked the Dark Arts. Cos I... like the Dark Arts?!

Severus ran all the way to his home in Spinner's End. He had to see his mother; had to tell her what he had seen…what he had done. What he must never do again!

He burst through the front door; pale, sweaty and shell-shocked. But what he saw next made his stomach clench in further surprise.

On the now clean settee near the large fireside, was Eileen Snape, holding the hand of the elderly gentleman whom had witnessed Tobias' death that night. But he was no longer the smart, Muggle, business suit. He was wearing robes of darkest emerald and was looking at Eileen with a remorseful and endearing expression.

This is Chapter 1 of Severus' Lily. If some of this puzzles you, please go to my account page and read the prologue to this tale: The Four Options. Chapter 2 coming soon.