A/N: I wrote this a few months ago and then never posted it because I thought it was't very good (as in, I thought it was crap). But anyway, I found it today after forgetting about it, re-read it, and decided I liked it after all, as short as it is. A handful of changes and some editing later, here it is: As I See Fit.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. If I did, Lily and Snape would be friends (which they could have been!) and I would be rolling in my pool of money instead of writing fan fiction for nothing.

Happy Reading!

As I See Fit

"So that's it, then?"

"Yes, that's it."

Lily took a deep breath and clenched her jaw. Standing across the room from her was a greasy-haired kid of seventeen. He stood, a hand clamped on the shoulder strap of his bag, which was strung expertly over his shoulder. Lily honestly couldn't believe what she was hearing – it was like something out of a bad story written by someone with no sense of reality. And yet, it was real.

"So," Lily said slowly, trying to hold in the shout that was struggling up from her chest, "So, after all of this you're just going to – to wash your hands clean of everything and move on to bigger and better things, are you?"

Severus didn't bat an eye.


She took another deep breath and turned her head away from him. He studied her profile, everything from her petite nose to the silky strands of red hair that were escaping from her haphazard bun. He wondered what her ultimate reaction would be – she was, after all, a redhead, and the redhead reputation was generally, well… he didn't really want to push her limit. Eventually she turned her head forward again and fixed him with a steely gaze that almost made him flinch. He may have, perhaps, if his decision hadn't been so important.

"You have to understand," he said defiantly, making to take a step forward. The look she gave him held him back. "Being friends with you would only put you in more danger."

"And yet you'd rather give up any chance of friendship and happiness for that?" Lily said in a dangerous, loud voice, pointing to Severus' left arm.

He grimaced and turned anxiously towards the classroom door.

"Will you be quiet?" he hissed. "If I'm caught I might as well kill myself."

"Don't talk like that!" Lily shrieked, sounding genuinely shocked and repulsed. "What have they done to you?"

"They haven't done anything!" spat Severus, striding forward a pace or two and stopping again. "A life sentence in Azkaban is not much better than death. In fact, it's worse."

"So why take the chance?"

"It's too late now to go back."

"How so?"

"I'll be dead before I'd managed to swear fealty to the Order."

Lily laughed coldly and put her hands on her hips.

"As if," she snapped, "a stint in Azkaban is more desirable."

He rolled his eyes; this was getting very old very quickly. She could not possibly understand what he was after here. He wanted power and appreciation instead of scolding and hate. People didn't understand him here at all. No, not here.

"Listen, Evans," Severus said slowly, "this is not your life. This is my life, and I'll do as I see fit."

Lily shrugged in agitation, as if giving up grudgingly.

"Fine," she said harshly, and began walking to the door. "You do as you see fit, and I'll do as I see fit. However," she turned around to face him, her hand on the door handle, "in honor of our friendship, I'll not tell the Order that you've backstabbed us all. You can have your biding time if you like, or you can make the right choice."

On that note, Lily turned the handle on the door and walked out of his life.

Severus stood there for a moment, frozen by the thought that she had just done exactly what he'd asked. He hadn't been expecting it to go over so well – half as well, actually, and with a bit more shouting – but he couldn't expect her to understand. Some things were more important than a friendship right then, even more important than being powerful. Besides, he thought bitterly, not bothering to fight the scowl that came to his face, Lily would always have James to keep her company.

"Hate me, Lily Evans," he murmured, staring at the door through which Lily had left. "Hate me as much as you can. It's for your own good."