Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of JK Rowling's amazing characters. I am merely borrowing them.
The title comes from the song of the same name by The Beatles.
Update: This story has been nominated at the Quill to Parchment Awards for Best One-Shot! Thank you so much for contributing to the success of this piece.
Within You and Without You.
"Was it absolutely necessary to meet … here?" Severus looked around in disgust at the room in the dilapidated Shrieking Shack.
"You know the answer to that as well as I do," Lily answered matter of factly.
He nodded in reluctant compliance.
"And what of your dear husband?" Severus asked sardonically. "Will he not wonder where you've disappeared?"
Lily looked up at him sharply, her glare piercing.
"Of course, he will. He loves me," she said harshly, intending to affront him.
He flinched. Her words had aimed to wound him and they were triumphant.
"He never… He'll never love –"
"But he does," Lily finished.
Severus nodded again, conceding. He knew there was no sense in having this debate again.
But he studied her, his stare bearing down upon her. She looked different somehow. She had a definite air about her, a glow.
"Perhaps you should tell me why you so urgently insisted we meet, tonight, in this place," he said quietly.
"I chose this place because no one ever comes here, as you well know," Lily began. "And I wanted to tell you some… news…"
She trailed off, looking down at her feet.
"News?" Severus urged her on.
She raised her head and looked at him, her bright green eyes clouded with indecision.
"I didn't want you to hear it from anyone else," She ventured again, looking away from his inquisitive stare. "I'm… pregnant."
Incomprehension was the only decipherable expression on Severus' face.
He swallowed hard.
"I'm going to have a baby, Severus," she affirmed, unable to contain the contented smile that crossed her face at the happy thought.
Silence enveloped them as she stood awaiting a reaction from him.
"A baby?" He whispered. "You and… you and Potter – a baby?"
He looked sickened as he repeated the words aloud.
Lily took a step closer to him and he turned his back to her and moved to look out at the snow through the grimy window.
"Why did you really ask me here, Lily?" He said firmly.
"I already told you," She said tenderly. "I wanted you to hear the news from me."
When he still refused to turn away from the window, she persisted.
"You are my oldest friend, Severus. I had hoped you would be happy."
"Happy?!" He yelled furiously, whirling around to face her. "How could I possibly be happy?!"
"Happy for me, Severus," she repeated. "At least, you could be happy for me."
His dark eyes were wild with rage but Lily did not back away.
He stood across the room, his breath ragged from anger and his face pained.
A raised hand quieted her. He shook his head as if battling an internal argument with himself.
"I – I've been a fool," He said roughly.
"No," Lily said as she moved towards him again, ignoring his attempts to move away. "You are not a fool."
He fixed his gaze upon the snow covered ground beyond the window, but answered her with a scornful laugh.
"Oh, yes. I have been a fool. A fool to believe that I might ever mean more to you than that – "
"Don't you insult him," Lily warned.
She was met with another disdainful laugh from Severus.
"Still defending him?" He asked her with a sneer. "He never was man enough to fight his own battles."
He had barely finished his sentence before Lily had gathered her cloak and began walking resolutely towards the door.
"No… don't go," he said, his voice now calm. "Please, Lily."
She stopped with her hand on the doorknob but did not turn around.
"I'm sorry," He added, walking towards her and placing his hand on her shoulder.
Lily turned around and looked up at him, her back pressed against the door.
"I'm sorry," he repeated, looking down into her serious face.
She nodded solemnly.
"You are pleased for me? Aren't you, Severus?" She asked hopefully.
He, too, nodded, honestly. In truth, he thought she had never looked more beautiful than she did at that very moment. Pregnancy suited her.
"I cannot say that I don't wish things had turned out…"
"Differently," she whispered, finishing his thought. "I know."
They looked at one another as a heavy silence fell upon them.
Lily's soft voice was the first break through the quiet.
"Do you ever think about it?" She posed the question hesitantly. "About how it would be if we – "
"Yes," he confirmed, interrupting her. Leaning his forehead against the door, so their bodies were nearly flush against one another.
An expectant smile teased her serious features.
After a silent contemplation, Severus answered… his voice husky with restrained emotion.
"Of course, I do."
"So, do I," Lily confided.
His eyes closed as he exhaled a breath that he'd been holding unconsciously.
"Tell me," He requested, speaking softly into her ear.
Lily found herself mesmerized by his unexpected nearness and warmth… so, against her better judgment she began to share with him daydreams that she had never uttered aloud before.
"We marry," she started gradually, "a small, private ceremony. Just a couple of friends as witnesses. We live in a Muggle town in a lovely cottage. Perfect for a small family."
"Family?" Severus asked, completely entranced in her story.
"A son," she confirmed. "He has my eyes but he's dark like you."
"Your eyes," Severus said. "He should have your eyes."
He placed a hand on either side of her face and tilted it gently upwards to selfishly grant himself a better view of her features.
In that moment, he nearly forgot that she was speaking of a fictional state of affairs. Right there and then, he would have believed that they were married… in love… a family.
The rush of intense emotion caused Lily to reach up to wipe her eyes for tears had gathered there, threatening to spill over onto her fair skin.
"We are so happy, you and I, Severus," she whispered.
Severus opened his mouth to beg her to continue when her hand caught the light sending a blinding glare off of the gold wedding band that adorned her finger.
He pushed away from the door, where they had been standing dangerously close to one another.
"Perhaps, we would have been." He spoke roughly, his voice unable to properly convey everything he was feeling at that moment.
She cocked her head to the side in question.
"Severus?" Lily asked, confused as to his sudden distance.
Turning back once again to the window, he summoned every ounce of courage he had within himself to do what he knew he must.
"You should go," He said, though it pained him beyond comprehension.
"But… Sev – "
"Your husband will be looking for you."
Lily looked at the floor guiltily.
"Yes, I suppose he will."
She stood silently and waited until Severus turned again to face her.
When he finally did, she met his gaze and saw the evidence of tears on his face, as well.
As Lily began taking slow deliberate steps towards him, an unusual thought crossed her mind.
He fixed his gaze upon her, "Yes?"
"I will see you again… won't I?" she asked.
Her entire self was exposed in this moment of vulnerability and he understood that she was true and honest and afraid…
Severus' reserve and menacing appearance were forgotten as he walked towards her, reaching her in a few long strides. Without a second's hesitation, he buried his fingers in her long red hair and dropping his head mere inches, his lips met hers in a searing kiss... though whether Lily kissed him back or not, he couldn't tell.
He pulled away, his hands still cupping her face. She looked up at him with wide eyes and reddened lips.
He lowered his hands and she smiled.
Wrapping her cloak around her tightly, she reached out for his hand. Clasping it between both of hers, she placed the lightest of kisses upon the back of his hand.
He dropped his hand back to his side.
As he watched her leave, he too was hit with the strangest sensation that this was the last time he would ever see her.
Upon hearing her disapparate, he sat heavily into an armchair, rubbing the back of his hand where she had kissed him.
He leaned back, tilting his head to the ceiling. Smiling, against his will, at the thought of a young boy with dark hair and bright green eyes.
And the time will come when you see we're all one,
And life flows on within you and without you.
- The Beatles
Please review and let me know what you think.