In a secret secluded spot in the park hidden behind some shrubbery was the perfect little hideout overlooking the lake. This was where two children liked to meet away from the laughter and prying eyes of the other more noisy children. The two young children are enjoying another bright summer's day. The girl with fiery red hair and bright green eyes has been listening enchanted to her friend, a pale boy with mesmerising eyes like obsidian and dark hair framing his round face. He's been enthusiastically telling her all the stories his Mum used to tell him all about Hogwarts, the magic school where they will be going when they turn eleven next year.
He pauses, "I can't wait to go there and get out of this dump" he says sighing, lost in his dreams of a magical world far away from the dreary, run-down industrial town where he's grown up.
"It's not that bad Sev" the girl says laughing slightly.
"Maybe not for you but everyone knows Spinner's end is a slum and they never let me forget it, even your sister pointed it out remember" he reminds her bitterly "Hogwarts will be different we'll belong there, we'll be accepted and we'll be able to make loads of friends without anyone judging us. It's strange, I've never actually been there but the way my Mum describes it, it already feels more like home than Spinner's End ever has"
"Oh just ignore her, you know how Tuney can be, sometimes she can be a right stuck up little so and so" she says earning a sly smile from her friend "at any rate she's wrong about you and so are all those other kids. They shouldn't judge you based on where you come from, I don't care about any of that. I'll admit you didn't make the best first impression, but, you're nice and really intelligent underneath that rough exterior. You're my best friend and you've taught me so much about magic and accepting myself. Hogwarts sounds amazing the way you describe it, I can't wait till we can see it for ourselves" she smiles at him.
He perks up at this "I guess you're right, I'm just so used to everyone judging me, it's kind of hard to ignore it" he says sighing. He sits there thinking for a minute, "You think I'm clever?" he asks curiously.
"Of course silly. You're one of the cleverest people I know, well compared with most of the kids around here at least" she says giggling.
"I don't know about that" he says, his chest swelling with pride as he tries not to brag "Lily, you think we'll always be best friends?" He asks, glancing at her nervously.
"Yeah Sev, of course, always" she says gently bumping his shoulder and grinning at him.
"Right always" he says feeling relieved, grinning back at her.
She smiles mischievously at him "come here" she says before grabbing him by the shoulders, they tussle on the grass for a few minutes before Sev manages to gain an advantage.
"Hey get off!" He says, laughing, managing to roll her onto her back, looking down happily at her smiling face.
"Come on Sev, you need to loosen up a bit and have some fun" she teases before using her slight weight advantage to roll him back the other way and off her pushing him back.
He lands roughly back on the grass with a thump that knocks the wind out of him, he's still smiling and laughing before he feels intense searing pain flare-up rippling through his back bringing back memories of last night, his back feels like it's on fire. He can't help himself shooting back upright, crying out with a yell of pain.
Lily whips around looking at him in a panic "Sev, what is it, what's wrong?" she asks, concerned, reaching out gently to touch his shoulder.
He jerks away sharpy "nothing it's fine" he cries, wincing with pain.
"Are you sure it sounded like you were in pain?" she tries again.
He cuts her off, getting more upset "it's fine, it's nothing please Lily" his eyes glisten with barely contained tears as he pleads with her desperate for her to just drop it.
She looks at him biting her lip as she becomes even more concerned. She's torn, she knows it's no use trying to push him when he's uncomfortable but it's quite plain to see that he's hurt and trying to hide something from her. It's not the first time he's come to the park with barely concealed bruises either. Every time he tries to shrug it off and shuts down or gets angry when she tries to get him to confide in her but this time it seems serious, she has to do something and help him before it breaks him.
"No you're not fine, you're hurt Sev. Come on I'm getting you home, my Mum'll know what to do"
He looks up at her eyes wide with terror pleading with her "no Lily I can't, I'm alright really"
She shakes her head trying to help him up "no you're not, come on my Mum'll help you, you'll see it'll be alright" she says carefully patting his shoulder. He groans looking down at his feet, resigning himself reluctantly to allow her to steer him towards her house.
I hope you all like this new story. It's one of my favourites of the ones I've done. It occurred to me when working on another story to think what things might have been like for Severus if he'd actually been rescued and raised by a loving family instead of in what appears to be an abusive household where he also appeared to be neglected. The one thing that I found a surprising lack of was stories that fit the bill, I've certainly not found any which are as long as mine which takes it in the same direction although there are a few of note (if anyone knows any I've missed let me know, as I always enjoy reading them and getting ideas):
Magic in Cokeworth is very good but it takes things in a totally different direction to where I'm going
The Honorary Evans is a shorter story, lovely little piece, it starts along similar lines but ends after the initial rescue
One Happy Day is, as the title suggests, still a very nice little piece where Severus gets a bit of much-deserved family love