Author's Note: This is a sequel to The Prince, The Toerag and the Lily. If you haven't read it, I HIGHLY recommend it. It'll give you a short idea of what happens between Snape and Lily from the 'Mudblood' incident to the time where this story picks up. Also, I love hearing what you think, so let me know.
Summary: AU. What if he had never called her Mudblood... what if Lily Evans never became Lily Potter? LilyEvans/SeverusSnape.
Two Lilies and a Prince
Diagon Alley, 1977
Those first weeks were easy, easier than anything either of them had ever done. They didn't have much money, but they scraped enough to rent a tiny flat above Ollivander's. When they weren't looking at The Prophet's Jobs section, they watched witches and wizards filing in and out of the wandmaker's shop, guessing what kind of wands he had just sold them. Lily thought it might be hard to live with a boy at first, even one who was her best friend, but it didn't seem to be so. Severus was neater than expected, and the two of them learned to cook together, resulting in some atrocious inventions at first, but eventually finding themselves half-way decent cooks.
Besides, not all of the experimentation involved cooking, or occurred in the kitchen… There was a good amount scattered across the rest of the little apartment; the bedroom, the tub, the bedroom, the floor, the bedroom…
Lily lay before him, sprawled on the white sheets like a goddess from a Renaissance painting. Her milky skin looked as if someone had sprinkled a handful of freckles in strategic places; a few a cross her nose, a smattering across her collarbone, a bit on the shoulders. Her hair glowed red in the golden, setting sun, her lashes thick and luxuriously curled above her half-open eyelids as she watched the effect she had on him.
One of her feet flirted with the leg of his jeans, her toes curling around the fabric and tugging at it slightly. He watched her, unmoving, trying to burn the image of her form into the insides of his eyelids so that he might keep her forever. Her long legs, the curve of her stomach, the couple of ribs he could make out. She got up impatiently and kissed him, and some bit of him screamed with ecstasy. How could he have ever considered going to Albania? Malfoy and his groupies seemed an easy exchange for the picture of perfection that was now trying to pull him into bed.
Grimmauld Place, 2020
'Al! James! Lily!' Ginny shouted, and Harry pretended to cover his ears. The floor above their heads seemed to shake, and a rumble of footsteps came down the stairs, accompanied by various shouts and yelps. Ginny and Harry grinned at each other.
'I did NOT ride your broomstick!' Lily protested.
'I know you did,' James said nonchalantly, grabbing a sausage.
'Al rode it!'
Al shook his head seriously.
'Enough! Eat. James, is the broom damaged?' Ginny asked.
He shook his head, still grinning.
'Alright then. No matter who rode it.'
'Or who may have moved it while cleaning,' Harry added, tugging a loose strand of Ginny's hair. She ruffled his hair affectionately and held a finger up to her mouth.
As the kids were too busy eating to argue, Harry suddenly spoke up.
'When you were cleaning, did you see a little crystal flask by any chance?'
Ginny shook her head, her mouth full of pumpkin juice.
'What's in it?' piped up James.
'I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you,' replied Harry seriously.
'That's what you said when I asked where your Firebolt was!' James grinned.
'Who says I've forgotten?' Harry retorted, and Lily giggled. He winked at her.
'Daddy, stay home today and tell us a story! It's summer holiday, you should tell us stories before we leave for school!' Lily begged.
'No more stories for you. You had more than enough last night,' Ginny scowled at Harry.
'You know, you looked just like your mum there for a second,' he murmured, sipping his coffee.
'Did not!' Ginny said indignantly. Harry, James and Lily grinned, and Al held his teacup out to the kettle which rose off the stove on its own accord and poured.
When Lily began looking for all her scattered possessions near summer's end, she wandered up to the attic. She pored through old trunks filled with funny-looking Muggle clothes, dusty spell books, an old empty portrait labelled 'Phineas Nigellus Black', and a very old Snitch whose wings looked grey with age. Finally free of her brothers' constant nagging, she buried herself in the forgotten treasures. By the time she'd finished scouring all of the contents of each trunk, she had picked out a small assortment of goods she wanted to keep: an extremely old and tattered copy of Advanced Potionmaking (despite the fact that she wouldn't actually be using a book that advanced for years to come, it looked quite interesting, since it was covered in little scribbles), a very large, forgotten box of Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder in a Weasley's Wizard Wheezes label, and a pretty little bottle full of an interesting silvery substance that fascinated her. She slipped her new possessions into her school trunk, and continued to pack.
September First came and went; it was several weeks into the new school year that Lily truly unpacked her trunk and found her old treasures, taken from the attic. She carefully stowed away the Powder, examined the book for a few minutes before turning to the little bottle. The content was something between liquid and gas, a silvery sort of substance. She tipped it left and right, back and forth. It swirled and swivelled. She wondered if this might be some old Potion her parents had made at Hogwarts, or maybe that they had been given. It didn't look like any potion she'd ever seen. Determined, she slipped the bottle into her pocket, and headed to the library. It hadn't failed her yet, after all.
'What are you doing?'
James slid into the seat next to his sister.
'Hm… I'm researching something.' She didn't look up from the book she'd been reading.
'Like something that's none of your business.' She closed the book and contemplated the pile before choosing the next one.
'Dear sister, why ever don't you ask your dear older, wiser, brother for advice?' James picked up the book she'd just closed. Black, stout letters on the cover spelled out 'A Thousand and One Potions'. He shuddered, dropped it and pulled another from the pile.
'Because I don't have any wise older brothers,' Lily retorted calmly, her finger sliding down the index page.
'Brews in Bottles' James read. 'What sort of Potion are you researching?'
'I don't know!' Lily sighed, shutting the second book and adding it to the new pile. 'That's sort of the problem.'
James grinned. 'Now you're making absolutely no sense. Is it possible that maybe you've just lost your marbles?'
'Is it possible that maybe you could leave me alone?' She snapped, reaching for another book. James edged the pile from her grasp.
'Well, yes. But considering I was supposed to be practising with you for the Quidditch try-out, after you begged me for days--but of course, if you'd like me to leave, I'd be more than happy--'
'Blimey, I'd forgotten! Sorry!' She jumped up, piling the books and picking up her bag. 'And I didn't beg!'
After carefully scrutinizing several dozen books on Potions and asking the Potions professor about any silvery brews, Lily had nearly given up hope. As the rest of the school had started chattering about the Halloween Ball, she couldn't stop thinking of the nagging little bottle she carried in her pocket nearly everywhere now. Whenever she was alone, she'd pull it out and examine it, and her growing frustration with her fruitless research made her want to just open it and poke at it. She tried to resist; she knew enough about Potions to know how dangerous one could be.
One evening Al sat across from her, catching her unaware, the crystal still in her hand. He glanced at it curiously.
She shoved it into her bag hurriedly. 'Oh, nothing.'
'No it's not. I've seen you looking at it loads of times, when you think no one's watching you.'
'Well, don't watch me.'
'Lily, come on. What's in there?' Albus watched her carefully.
'I don't know,' she said, frustrated. 'I've been trying to figure it out for ages.'
'What do you mean? I thought it was a potion, James said he saw you--'
'Yeah, yeah. I thought it was too, but I'm not so sure. It's weird. It isn't really--liquid.' She shrugged, giving up on her secrecy. Maybe Al could tell her what it was. She hadn't really wanted to show it with her brothers, but it wasn't really much use to her sitting unidentified in her pocket, either. She pulled the little flask out of her bag, and he took it.
'Well?' She asked, as he watched the substance swirl. He shrugged.
'I don't know what it is, but it's definitely not a potion. Potions always have a liquid consistency, thick or thin. They might emit gas sometimes, but they aren't ever gas themselves.' Lily held out her hand for the bottle, and he hesitated before handing it back to her. Now he was staring at the container, sparking in her hand.
'Wasn't Dad asking Mum about a crystal flask before we came to school?' He asked, still watching the substance. Lily tucked it into her pocket, and widened her eyes.
'Blimey, I forgot,' she said. 'But he said it was a crystal flask, I thought this was more of a bottle.'
Al shook his head. 'It's definitely crystal. Where'd you get it?'
'Found it in the attic.'
Al nodded thoughtfully. 'It's probably sort of important if dad didn't want to tell James.'
Lily snorted. 'Telling James anything is a mistake.'
'Oh the insults I endure,' a voice piped up from the entrance to the common room.
'Oh the insults you deserve!' She added in the same tone of voice.
'Now what aren't you telling me?' He asked, sliding into the seat near Albus.
'About the thing Lily--'
'No! Don't tell him!' She interrupted, glaring at James.
'Oh come on Lily, he might know what it is!'
'Well, I do admit I am quite knowledgeable.'
'Hmph,' Grunted Lily, arms still crossed. She contemplated for a moment, then reached for her pocket grudgingly.
'Blimey, you've got whatever Dad's been looking for!' James exclaimed right away, as she showed him the little bottle. He reached out to grab it, but she pulled it just out of his grasp.
'Do you know what it is?' She asked impatiently.
'Well let me see it and I'll tell you!' He grabbed at it. She handed it over, with a stern, 'be careful,' and a scowl still on her face.
James examined the contents very carefully, then declared, 'We've got to open it!'
'But what if it's something dangerous?' Albus suddenly looked concerned.
'Dangerous?!' James huffed. 'Are you a Gryffindor or what?'
He opened the top, and all three leaned in expectantly, as if waiting for an explosion. Nothing happened. The substance continued to swirl slightly in its bottle. James shut it again with a look of disappointment.
'Right. Well, maybe we can ask Teddy. Or Victoire.' He shrugged, handing the bottle back to Lily.
'You know, I heard daddy talking about how Dumbledore used to take him into memories when he gave him those lessons…' Albus said suddenly.
'Well, he said the memories where sort of… silvery.'
'You think it's a memory?' Lily said excitedly. 'I wonder what it's of! Maybe it's of Dad fighting the Dark Lord, or destroying a Horcux or…'
'Well, how do we see it?' James asked, on the edge of his seat. Al frowned.
'I'm not sure. I think he said there was a stone kind of bowl that you pour it in. We can look it up, anyway.'
And so they did. The memories, they found out, had to be placed in a Pensieve in order to be seen. Unfortunately, Pensieves were pretty rare, and they were pretty sure that their family did not own one. Fortunately, James was pretty sure that he remembered a stone basin in the Headmistress' office.
'We'll steal it!' he declared, when he'd finished telling them he'd seen it while he was being reprimanded for letting loose a dozen Fanged Frisbees during a particularly boring Divination lesson.
'We will NOT!' Al countered, as Lily exclaimed, 'Are you mad?'
'You two are so lame, you never want to pull a good prank!'
'You are welcome to get expelled, but that's never been a dream for me, thanks.' Al said.
Lily scowled at James. 'Sneaking in to use it will be risky enough, you know.'
He grinned. 'Now you're talkin'!'
The preparations took nearly two months. But finally, two nights before Christmas holidays, their chance arose.
'She's gone for a week!' Al announced, entering the boys' dormitory. James was watching the Marauder's Map, but he looked up at once.
'Excellent!' he folded the parchment up, putting his shoes on. 'Let's tell Lily!'
Lily was finishing an Astronomy chart out in the common room.
'What?' she snapped, when her brother covered up the parchment to make her look up.
Lily dropped her quill and began to pile her books at once.
'Are you sure?' she asked, 'she's really gone?'
Al nodded. 'She left while I was keeping guard. She was walking with Professor Longbottom and she said she'd be gone for a week.'
James whipped out the blank Map. 'She headed for Hogsmeade. It's empty.'
'We'll have to wait,' Lily said slowly, gathering her hair and braiding it. 'The portraits in the office need to be asleep. And we need to make sure we don't run into anyone. We'll leave around two.'
James and Al nodded eagerly.
'You stepped on my toe, I will not shhh!'
'Shut up, you two are such idiots. They can still hear us, even if they can't see us!' Lily reminded.
'Nobody's watching us!'
'Famous last words. Al, what's the password?' She asked.
James snorted, which got him an elbow in the ribs and another shushing from Albus.
Finally, they had arrived at the stone gargoyle. With one last look at the Marauder's Map, to make sure the coast really was clear, they tiptoed up the spiral staircase, which turned out to be harder than they thought, considering they were still wearing the Invisibility Cloak. When they came to the door, Al turned the handle as quietly as he could, and they entered the office. Within a few silent movements, James had pulled the Pensieve out of its cabinet and set it on the desk. Lily poised the crystal flask above it, Al nodded and she poured.
The substance swirled slightly, and the three of them leaned forward to see. Instead of seeing a picture form, as they had expected, the Pensieve formed a sort of window and Lily was the first to plunge in. The boys followed, and they were suddenly in a nearly-empty playground, watching a dark haired little boy as he hid and spied on two girls, one bearing an uncanny resemblance to Lily. They watched as the scenes changed, as they rode the train, as the two kids were sorted, as they fought in the courtyard, and Snape called Lily 'Mudblood', and then they were back in the office once again.
'Well that was a letdown,' grumbled James, as they huddled, alone in front of the fire in the common room, at nearly three in the morning. 'Who were they? That girl looks like Lily.'
'Her name was Lily.' Lily reminded.
'She's our grandmum.' Albus concluded.
But Lily nodded furiously. 'She must be. And that was Severus. The Severus you were named for, Al.'
The boys were quiet, as she continued. 'It was awful, the way he called her Mudblood, wasn't it?'
They nodded, but their interest in the memories seemed to have waned greatly. Al yawned.
'Well, we'll be off to bed then,' James said, gathering up the Cloak and Map.
'Bed?' said Lily indignantly, looking awake as if it were noon. 'But Lily and Severus! I wonder if she ever forgave him for calling her Mudblood. I bet he was really sorry. He seemed nice, didn't he?'
James and Al exchanged a glance that clearly indicated some disagreement over Snape's nice-ness, but they knew better than to protest.
'Well, it doesn't really matter now. It's all in the past, isn't it? It happened ages ago, probably fifty years.' James said matter-of-factly, which only seemed to infuriate Lily.
The boys headed toward their dormitory, James still mumbling, 'It would have been so much cooler if it was Dad's memory of fighting Voldemort!'
But Lily was too wound up to go to sleep. She was sure the memories she'd just seen were much more important than her brothers thought. They think it's some silly love story, probably! She mused, tugging at her long plaits. She couldn't get the boy's face out of her mind; the last image of him, humiliated, enough to insult his best friend, felt like it was tattooed into her mind. She couldn't help but wonder what he could have been like, had he what he so clearly desired; Lily. And Lily! The resemblance between them was uncanny, except the girl in the Pensieve had been slightly paler, less freckled, her hair a slightly darker red, and her eyes were green instead of Lily's amber ones.
Lily took the little bottle out of her pocket, where the memories were safely tucked once again, and examined it. Fifty years ago, it had all happened, just as James had said. She couldn't possibly change anything…
Or so she thought.