Summary: Snape encounters the Mirror of Erised

Pairing: Severus/Lily

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: I don't own anything having to do with the Harry Potter books. We can all thank J.K. Rowling for blessing us with them!

Spoilers: Order of the Phoenix. Set after Dumbledore has told Harry about the Lost Prophecy

Author's Note: Due to the amount of requests I have received to continue this story I think I'm going to attempt a follow up. It will be coming eventually!


Severus Snape stood and looked into the Mirror of Erised. He had seen it only once before while it worked its enchantment. The other times he had avoided even momentarily glancing at it. In the end what good could it do him? He knew it's trick and what even brief frail novelty lay in the cruel lie of showing someone that which they could never have?

The first time he had stood before it and seen the mirror's purpose, he had been with her. They had accidentally stumbled across it when out of restlessness they had explored the castle. Snape had initially been against the idea. If Hogwarts wished in whatever consciousness it possessed to be playful it could possibly lead them anywhere. With patience Lily Evans had worn away any resistance Severus Snape had managed to retain. She always had that effect. Her green eyes shining, the girl could have led him straight through Hell assured that she would keep him safe as long as he could stare into those eyes and hold onto her hand.

Hell had stayed blessedly far away that day. It had chosen to wait until they were both unaware. Now Snape felt forever trapped there with neither Lily's eyes or her hand to save him.

The memory of the day remained clear in the Potions Master's mind. During their exploring they had found a room with a mirror standing alone and patient as if simply waiting for their arrival. As they had stood before it, each seeing something different and not telling the other what it was, Snape had realized what the mirror did. He even remembered hearing about it before. The Mirror of Erised was enchanted, cursed to forever show any who looked into it their deepest desire. Looking into the mirror Snape saw a boy more attractive than himself standing beside Lily. It was a boy, Snape feared, deserved to be standing beside a girl as beautiful as Lily. Severus instantly turned away leaving Lily to gaze into the mirror and wonder what on earth the mirror did. The reflection she saw was one that any mirror would offer: Snape and herself.

Snape had felt little compulsion to seek out the mirror again even after he had lost her. He had been smart enough to realize what little use a mirror which could only show but never grant your deepest desire could be. Now years later, Severus stood before the Mirror of Eirsed once again. Though he was older and wiser the reflection in the mirror was similar to the one given in his youth for Lily was by his side. There were differences however. This Lily was older, no longer a teenager but now a mature woman still as lovely. The Snape shown in the mirror was the same as the one standing before it. He no longer wanted something as vain and useless as to be handsome. The only thing he wanted now, the only thing his heart desired, was for the woman he loved to be alive once more. This was the most painful difference for him; That place where in her youth Lily had once stood was now in reality empty.

"I need not remind you of the dangers the Mirror of Erised poses?" The Potions Master did not need to turn to know that at some point in time Albus Dumbledore had quietly and unnoticed entered the room.

"No. You needn't remind me," Snape answered softly. "How is he taking it?"

The Headmaster's eyes were filled with mourning and it was a moment before he spoke again. "As well as can be expected. He loved Sirius. We will only know for sure after the shock has gone. I left him in my office sleeping."

Snape nodded. He could not mourn for Sirius Black and he was honest enough to not even try to pretend. Dumbledore would know that it was false.There arose in Snape a strong urge to ask the headmaster how Harry Potter had reacted in his grief. Had he torn through Dumbledore's office? Had he ranted and raved? Was there no consolation that Dumbledore could offer save the one that to suffer was human and that to feel anything despite such heart bleeding pain was human? He had heard them all himself once before.

"Undoubtedly you remembered the way I once acted?" Snape asked. "I was taught to abhor such weakness and in the end I keep returning to it."

"I continually pray for your sake that you will," The older man said. "But what good will it do you to stand in front of that mirror?"

Snape continued to look into Lily's eyes. "You're right. I feel her presence more when I am close to madness than when I look at her here. I see her more when I look into his eyes."

Severus Snape's eyes remained dry. His tears fell only on the inside where no one except the wisest could see them. "Sometimes I can't stand him being here. It all comes back when I look at him. Other times I dread the thought of his leaving. He's all I have left of her, you see? Not this," he said and pointed at the Lily in the mirror. "Harry Potter is the only living reminder of her. He's not mine but I wish to God that he was and I hate him for it. I even love him too though I don't want to. Just like I loved her."

Dumbledore was quiet but in time he eventually spoke. "He is more yours than he could ever be James'. In all that you have been through. In your pain and in your anger. In having to go on living without her. The Mirror of Erised offers you both a similar reflection in the way that she is in them both."

"I lose her every morning. Everyday when I wake up and I know that she is gone. I can't do anything but continue to live this life I know is already dead in so many ways."

Snape raised his hand to the mirror and touched the vision of Lily. "It was a foolish thing to waste an enchantment on," he thought. "We know what we want whether we are not even brave enough to admit it to ourselves. We carry it in our hearts and on our souls. And even if those should rot and decay the longing remains like some phantom pain reminding us of all that we have lost, or like the mirror shows, that which we can never have."

In an instant he had taken the wand out of his robe. Snape held it firmly in his hand and rammed it into the mirror. The glass shattered even as Snape felt it fight against it's death. The many fragments fell to the ground around him. As he stared momentarily at them, he saw Lily reflected in each shard. He looked away and to his arm that was already searing in pain. Some of the glass had cut through the fabric of his sleeve and Snape felt with strange relief the pain of his wounds as they started to weep their bloody tears.

Though he did not look, Snape felt Dumbledore staring at him in quiet sympathy."What is 7 more years anyway?" The Potion's Master bitterly asked. "14 years of pain and sorrow I have already suffered. 14 years of regret. It makes little difference."

"You'd best have Madam Pomfrey look at your arm," Albus said.

Snape nodded, knowing he did not want the wounds to be so quickly healed. They matched the other ones he bore.

Dumbledore waited until Snape had left the room before he turned to the mirror and with his wand pointed at the glass fragments quietly whispered "Reparo."

Watching the Mirror of Erised mend itself, Albus Dumbledore wondered if it was truly worth it. Snape had been right. Still, even though he did not believe in superstition, he wished to save Severus from any more pain than he had already suffered if legend was indeed right.

The Mirror of Erised now whole once more, Dumbledore wished that lives and hearts could so easily be mended.