A/N: Hello again my fair readers. Hopefully some of you shall have ventured over here, lured by what you have already read of mine. That devotion really means alot to me. I have started to post "Without you, I'm nothing" over at Mugglenet so come over and offer your support over there! Who knows what might happen?
Anyway, just a little one shot really. I had to refrian from being too smug about the Snape/Lily relationship reading DH. I wrote this before reading DH but haven't had a chance to upload until now. Takes place at a crucial moment from "Without you, I'm nothing." Let me know what you think xxx
The seventh floor was virtually deserted as Lily made her way along the corridor, hearing what sounded suspiciously like Peeves cackling in a deserted classroom. She would have felt more confident had there been others, like her, aimlessly milling about; yet to make their way back to their common room after dinner, giving her some further excuse to be wandering about. She was in no-way above suspicion but at least as if there were others, she wouldn't be so alone if caught.
It had been for the best, Lily thought to herself, retreating hastily around the corner she had just passed, hearing in time the sound of footsteps on the echoing floor. It was Snape, it had to be. She had lost him on the Grand Staircase after seeing him leave the Slytherin table at dinner, allowing enough distance to grow between them for him to notice that he was being followed. She had closed the gap as they had reached the seventh floor, wanting to see for certain where it was that he was going; wanting him in plain view to see if he met anyone else along the way. But instead of hurrying in a way Lily had expected him to do, like she would expect anyone to do if they had something to conceal, Snape seemed to be taking his time; occasionally backtracking almost to throw anyone that might be watching off track.
Peeping round the corner, Lily watched as a Ravenclaw prefect, Mathais Brown hesitated in front of where the door to the Room of Requirement might appear, suspiciously casting his eyes about as if looking for something. Mathais was alone in the corridor and although she has followed Snape here he was nowhere to be seen; he had disappeared. But if Mathais had been there all that time then he would not have had time to enter the Room of Requirement unseen. There was no-where else he could hide. Lily shuffled back, frightened that as Mathais turned to scour the corridor for offending students she would be seen, her heels suddenly making contact with the tips of someone else's shoes.
Lily turned, perhaps too quickly, but not quickly enough to draw her wand. Snape's hand had caught her wrist in time, knocking her hand back against the wall, sending her wand clattering to the floor. She had moved to cry out but Snape was, again, too quick, saying the incantation "Muffliato", had made sure that what ever was about to be said would not be overhead.
"Let me go," Lily said, and with a small grimace Snape complied, picking up Lily's wand in one hand before pointing his own at her.
"Why are you following me?" Snape's voice was level although his eyes were furious. For a moment Lily debated lying but she knew Snape well enough to know that he would realise if she wasn't telling the truth. Taking a step forward so that her back was no longer pressed against the wall, she said, "I want to know what you've been doing…where you've been going…"
"You're lying," Snape replied coolly, his lips barely moving as he spoke.
"I'm not," Lily tried to sound earnest although her courage was waning.
"If you're so innocently interested in my whereabouts why not just ask?" Snape had pocketed her wand and was now gazing down his at hers, his face almost expressionless as he continued "You should trust me enough not to need to. I trusted you enough to ask if I wanted to know."
"Can I trust you anymore?" Lily said a little bravery returning as she remembered that they had always had a certain amount of understanding for one another; not believing he would harm her. "I think you've been lying to me for a very long time."
Snape sneered at this. "That's Potter talking, not you! Do you think I don't know what's been going on? Do you think I'm blind, that I can't see?"
"What do you see, then?" Lily asked, hoping rather than thinking that this would be an adequate way to find out. Snape's black eyes flashed dangerously as he replied, "More than you realise."
He hesitated, hearing, perhaps, further footsteps in the corridor around the corner, before asking rhetorically, "Don't you think I know that the reason you've followed me is because he asked you to do it?" Lily's insides tightened as Snape looked her from head to foot with complete contempt before saying bitterly, "You used to have a mind of your own, Evans. At least I could respect you for that. But it seems lately you've been more than happy to place credence in the words of others and forget where your loyalties used to lie."
"This was never a question of loyalty…Severus…please…listen…" Lily asked trembling, beside herself, scarcely believing that were still friends. As she had spoken his name Snape's face became livid, rigid with an emotion he was struggling to control. "You can't be like this with me because I chose to spend time with other people; people who don't lie to me, people who aren't afraid to feel things for others? This is enough for you to be the way you've become? It isn't fair."
"It's you that's changed!" Snape snapped, and Lily noticed the grip tightening about his wand. "I've always been this way."
Lily laughed, a little involuntarily, taking a step towards Snape that made him move, ever so slightly, backwards. He was palely furious, struggling to remain in control and Lily pushed this as she shook her head and said, "You think it makes you stronger than me because you claim not to feel; because you think that by shutting the world out you can survive better than anyone else." Snape's eyes were unmoving from her face. "But I know you. I know that you're not what you appear…that you're not as uncaring as you seem."
Snape laughed tersely, his hand trembling ever so slightly. "And so this is the reason you've finally given in to him, is it?" His voice had an edge of mania that made Lily suddenly fell less confident in her position, her back once again making contact with the wall. "You're weak for giving in to him, admit it! Going back on everything you have claimed to feel. He's convinced you that he cares enough about you to make your hypocrisy worthwhile. I pity you because of it!"
"I have nothing to confess," Lily said breathlessly, frightened of the glazed look in Snape's eyes, of the way his temper was threatening to break through his carefully constructed façade. "Why should I tell you anything about the way I feel when you think it's necessary to threaten me for me to answer?"
Snape's expression changed; his temper subsided and all at once his countenance once again became cold; became cruel. His grip on his wand steadied his black eyes boring into Lily's as he said smoothly, "You don't have to say a word…"
Dumbstruck, Lily felt as though her mind was loosening; a grey mist seemed to be swirling, struggling to conceal what she wanted to hide from Snape; what she didn't want him to know. But Snape's eyes were fixed; he was staring, unblinking, and the mist began to clear and scenes from the past floated to the forefront of her mind. Once again Lily relieved the first time she had spoken to Snape in class; the day James and Sirius alighted on the nickname Snivellus. She remembered back to the first time that James had asked her out and how she had refused; and a million more times he had attempted to convince her that she was the one for him. The arguments she had had with him of late paraded through her mind, suddenly shifting to a time beside the lake at the end of last year when Snape had called her a Mudblood.
Snape's eyes flickered, and Lily's feeling of helplessness began to lessen, as his top lip twitched. But as quick as it had appeared the memory had slipped from her to be replaced by the warmth of the feeling of sleeping beside James, his arm wrapped about her waist.
It was enough, the mist descended and once again Lily's mind was her own. Snape had lowered his wand but had not stepped back, nor had he broken the eye contact which had caused Lily to feel so utterly vulnerable, her mind open. She was trembling, not clearly knowing what had just happened but knowing by the look on Snape's face that he had seen what she had seen; relieved what she had relieved. His eyes were wide and Lily focused on the whites of them as Snape struggled to find something to say.
Lily was furious; so furious she was frozen; couldn't move, couldn't speak as she met Snape's contemptible glare. He had moved forwards and she could hardly breathe without touching him, wanting to get away, be as far away as possible from someone who could enter her mind without permission; to take away that which was entirely private to her.
He looked drained, almost grey, in the half-light of the hallway, his eyes narrowed as they searched Lily's face. But she couldn't bring herself to look at him, to think of what he had just seen and, even though he vaguely moved to reassure her; even though his lips moved with imminent apology, Lily couldn't stomach the thought of forgiveness for what he had just done.
Someone cleared his throat behind them and instantly Snape moved, his hands dropping from where they had perhaps been intending to go and into his pockets. Dumbledore stood, his eyes moving from Lily, who was yet to move away from her position against the wall, to Snape, who was adamantly refusing to meet his eyes. Mathais Brown stood behind him, wearing an odd smile of triumph and confusion.
Dumbledore cleared his throat once more before saying lowly, "Yes, well, detention, I think."
Lily tried to speak; to explain but speech failed her. Dumbledore's eyes were still on Snape.
"Return to your dormitories." Snape moved at once, rushing down the hallway in a flurry of robes before disappearing out of sight. For a long time Lily stood, unmoving, hardly thinking of what had just happened; frightened to make sense of it all.
"You may go, Miss Evans," Dumbledore said, very softly and Lily, who managed somehow to smile to reassure him, tried not to think of what they had assumed had been happening, as she very slowly began to make her way towards the Grand Staircase, tears stinging at her eyes.
Reviews and opinions appreciated and encouraged. I don't know what I'll be working on next so if anyone has any suggestions, just send them my way xxx