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Severus and Lily had paired up again in Potions. Professor Slughorn set the class to brew up a little something for each's partner at the beginning of the lesson around an hour and a half ago. The whole class rush out smelling of various burnt objects, mumbling as Professor Slughorn chuckles to himself as the bell rings.

"D-don't you want to see what it is?" Severus asked, rather timidly. Lily laughed tinkily. The kind that made Severus blink and stop still for a moment.

"If it means that much to you," she replied in the voice she always reserved for when she teased Severus.

He just smiled and casually handed her the tiny glass phial he clutched in his hand, despite the eruption of emotions he felt bubbling beneath his surface as Lily spoke. He felt an electric spark on the skin that she touched to get the phial, the skin she deliberately touched.

She popped open the lid and looked inside. Severus imitated her. He let the strangely combined smell of fresh ink, wet cloth and Lily's hair wash over him as he breathed deeply. Lily, not knowing exactly what to do, copied him.

"Wow," she said a moment later, slightly breathlessly, "that smells good." She inhaled again, eyes closed. Their surroundings moulded away and Severus found himself and Lily on the school grounds.

"Wow, Sev!" she repeated. Severus gazed at her with a hungry expression in his eyes but smiled at her, encouragingly, when she opened her own. "It really smells great!"

"It's good, isn't it? I thought you'd like it."

"I really like it," Lily smiled back at and she began to walk slowly forward, Severus beside her, but a step or two behind. "How did you manage to get all the smells I like in one little bottle?"

Severus bit his lip. "It's all part of the magic of the potion, you see. You probably wouldn't know of it."

"Oh," said Lily, grinning but trying not to. "Is that right? Don't patronise me, you." But as Severus began to protest in earnest she laughed it off. "I was joking! So what potion is this, then?" She inhaled deeply again as if taking a long draught of Butterbeer.

Severus stopped walking and thought for the shortest moment. There was no way she could know, this potion was only introduced to N.E.W.T students. "It-it's Amortentia, I think," the words reeling of his tongue, his eyes glazed over as Lily's sparkled, reminding him of the emerald dotted bracelet he'd managed to scrape for her birthday.

"You think?" Lily no longer tried to hide her grin and also ceased her footsteps. "You made it, silly. Anyway, I'm sure I've heard of Amortentia..." Lily trailed off thoughtfully, watching him still. "It sounds familiar. Amore..." she flourished her free hand, putting on an Italian accent.

Severus intervened quickly.

"I'm sure you'd just come across it in some reference book somewhere, one about difficult potions. This one is usually introduced to seventh-years, anayway -"

Lily laughed. "Oh, modest, are we? This really must have been quite hard to make though," she held the phial up to her eyes the better to look at the contents. "It looks perfectly made."

"I made it for you," Severus said earnestly, painfully.

Lily looke straight into his eyes. Severus actually jerked his head back involuntarily.

"I was only messing around," she said softly, taking a step towards him. "I know what Amortentia is and what it does, really," and she kept her eyes on Severus as she let the phial slip from her fingertips and shatter on the cold, hard ground. Severus' face fell and he let out a barely audible moan. Oh crap. She's going to hex me.

Lily took another step froward. "But who needs the dumb potion, anyway?" a blazing gleam in her eyes. Severus heard his own sharp intake of breath before he felt electric sparks and soft flesh against his cheeks -

Rudolphus Lestrange snored particularly loudly in the Slytherin fifth year dormitory and Severus swore as soon as his eyes flew open, making Lestrange stir. He'd been so close. So close this time.