Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the characters or places mentioned. They all belong to J.K Rowling. Extracts take from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, page: 544.

Letting Go

She pulled her robes tighter to her body, cursing herself for leaving the warmth of the common room, where the end of year party for the seventh years was still going strong despite it being nearly midnight. But she knew why she left. All her classmate, now ex-classmates celebrating their last night at Hogwarts, tomorrow they will be boarding the Hogwarts Express for the final time and for the final ride home, and for some odd reason she still missed him. Watching everyone else have fun just didn't feel right. Besides she wasn't sure she can stand watching Sirius and that fifth year girl thrash around like a pair of ells any longer or James's worried glances over at her every five minutes.

The stands of the quidditch pitch came into sight as a gust of wind came and hit her like a pack of ravenous wolves. The weather was cold despite the fact they were nearing the end of spring and enter summer. Pulling cloak up to cover her face she quickly walked towards the shelter of the stands. The trees of the forbidden forest seemed dark and eerie like every other night but tonight will be the last she'll ever see it. She quickly passed the great big oak tree and came on to the path that will lead her to the stands.

A quick shuffling sound broke through the quite sounds of the night. Lily whipped around just in time to see the hems of a robe disappear around to the other side. Fear bubbling inside her, she quickly pulled out her wand and held it out in front of her.

"Whose there?" she said out aloud beside her better judgment of turning around and running. Lumos. The tip of her wand lit up casting light all the way up to the base of the trunk. "Show your self!" she said again, she would have thought, whoever it was had left but the sound of a twig snapping told her otherwise. "I warned you!" she yelled feeling her self getting hysterical by the second. Levi Corpus.

There was a curse and a green flash of light as the dark silhouette of the intruder rose up into the air.

It was the curse that did it. "Severus," she whispered watching the figure struggle against the invisible bond that held him up, she quickly ran over. "Severus? Is that you?"

She waited for him to answer, but after a moment of silence, when no reply came she turned around to leave, him not answering the obvious wasn't a surprise. He stopped talking to her in fifth year, even after she forgave him, by half way through sixth year he refused to acknowledge her altogether and by seventh year they had become strangers.

"Evens let me down!!" he commended, feeling the blood rush to his brain, cursing himself inwardly for not making his presence know but at the same time he was glad he was wearing pants. She whipped around and stalked back towards him, the sight of her red hair whipping around her entranced him, he felt his heart break all over again but he didn't let her see it.

He was good at that.

"Don't talk to me like that!" she hissed glaring up at him, bitter anger welled up inside her, surprisingly fresh, surprisingly huge. She flicked her wand carelessly and watched him fall into a heap.

"What are you doing here, Evens?" he asked sitting up and leaning against the great oak, cradling his slightly bruised and perhaps dislocated arm on which he landed. He didn't even bother looking at her.

"I can ask you the same question Snivllius!" she retorted, using a name she was sure would offended and it did, for he looked up sharply at her, his eyes narrowing fast.

"Sneaking out to snog with Potter?" he hissed spitting out the last with exceptional disgust.

"Sneaking out to snog Flich?"

She was still fast with words, it gave him a small comfort knowing she didn't turn into a over egoistical girls who can't walk past a reflective surface without checking themselves out especially now that she was going out with Potter. "Low blow Evens," he whispered not bothering to hide the feral grin.

She made no replies but looked at the hand that he was holding closely to his chest. "Are you hurt?"

"Just a few scratches, but I'll survive." He replied curtly, she didn't need to know the pain that was shooting up his arm, he'll have to get it checked by Madam Pmopfry. "Go back to castle Evens," he droned, looking up at the castle. Feeling the air around him stir, he turned back around and was surprised to see her kneeling in front of him, he quickly lowered his eyes to his lap before he did something that would require answers and consequences, neither of which he had or wanted.

"Your hurt." She whispered, surprised to find herself worried and her heart clenching at the thought of him hurting.

He huffed not even bothering to curse. For a girl who received twelve O.W.Ls, she sure had a limited vocabulary. He looked up again to tell her that but his words died in his throat. Sliver light illuminated her dark form and he looked away again before he could see her green eyes. A familiar feeling was bubbling in his stomach. Pain, dread, excitement and hope, maybe just maybe he still had a chance.

"Go back," he repeated.

"After I see how hurt you are!"

"It'll be taken care off,"

He heard her un-lady like snort and felt the air stir around him and whipped back around when he felt her warm hand on his and instantly found himself drowning in her green eyes. Snape hissed. Pain lurched into his chest and he couldn't keep the urgency out of his voice anymore. "I said I'm ok. Leave me alone!" he bit back, jerking his arm away form her and instantly regretted it, not just because the pain in his arm doubled but vulnerability that seemed to have sprung to her face.

The rejection hurt more then it should. How did they become this? They were such good friends when they were younger. Was it simply because she was in Gryffindor and he was in Slytherine. Was it really that simple, that they drifted apart simply because they were in different houses. "You can't always get what you want," she breathed looking down at her lap.

"I know all about not getting what I want Evens," remember?

"Let me have a look."

"I said no!" he replied, but there was a hint of laughter in his voice as he stood up. A sense of familiarity hit him, remembering that seven or eight years ago they had this exact same conversation after he had fallen off a tree.

"I'll take a look and I promise I'll go." She retorted, standing up along with him as the same sense of familiarity hit her.

They stood under the great oak, watching each other, contemplating their next move.

Black met green. All of a sudden she hated those eyes. She couldn't fight the same conversations, the same gestures. She couldn't, she was tired. "Now's not the time to be stubborn,"

"It's as good a time as any." She glared at his words but at the same time fighting the urge to laugh at their old childish game of trying to stare each other down. Snape was awed by the woman standing in front of him, noting the differences in her since their last conversation two years ago.

"Let me have a look…" she whispered outstretching her hand in front of her. Snape looked at it but did nothing else. Only when she grunted in impatience did he respond again.

He looked form the outstretched hand to her impatient face. "There was a time when you listen to what I said," he croaked out before adding "back when we were friends."

Her face hardened at his words, "Then I don't have to listen to you, since we are no longer friends, for the last time Snape, let me see!" she snarled. He glared at her, feeling he could get lost in those eyes forever. The dull ache in his chest didn't matter anymore all that mattered was her in front of him. She glared back, too determined to give up now, too stubborn to end it like this and too hurt to let it go.

Just as she was about to give up he sighed, "Fine, do what ever you want." He whispered slumping back down.

She blinked back the hot pressure of tears at those familiar words. She already cried too many tears for him, because of him. She lit her wand again and busied herself into check his arm, hiding her glee and sadness with impatience.

"We should get you to Madam Pomfrey," Lily started, but was cut of by his sneer.

"I'm not spending my last night here with that old hag!" he exclaimed jerking his hand back and glaring at her again.

"I could spend the night with you," she whispered. Her quite words made him look at her sharply; she was ready for the angry outburst, his dirty sneer of him not wanting her kindness or pity or to be in the company of a mudblood. But it didn't come as he continued to stare at her with his brows furrowed.

Finally he replied, "I would like to go back alive," he sighed looking up at the castle. She understood, like she always did. He sighed again, "You do it," he added never looking at her, "you know more healing spells then that old hag!"

Lily frowned. "She's not a hag!" she exclaimed, then ignoring his sneer, "besides, I think your shoulder is dislocated, I don't know how to fix that!"

"Push it back then,"

"But you'll be hurt!"

"Right…I'll be hurt…"he said with ill treated sarcasm and indifference, taking pleasure in watching her color. The effect was rather beautiful, even in wand light. She ignored him.

"We can put it in a sling," she pondered on, "then take you to madam Pomfrey-"

"Didn't you hear what I said?! I don't want to go to her!" he almost shouted. For the first time that night, she looked at him in the eye. Shocked, he had never raised his voice at her in the eight years she had known him. She was surprised and hurt when she realized that it was anger in his eyes, not annoyed or cool indifference or even hatred, but anger that seemed to be directed at her and she was sure it had little to do with her wanting him to go to the Matron. But his glare was to the point.

She knew, she knew what he wanted her to do.

"So you know what to do? Or has Potter diluted you too much?" he sneered.

Their eye's met. In acknowledgement of their time together, in respect of what they once shared, in trust of what they are about to do. Even after all these time, even after all the unanswered questions and hurt, the tears and betrayal. It was still there, between them. Inside them.

It was so ironic, in their earlier years they would've laughed their asses off. But now, there is only a big gaping silence.

Lily wanted to hit him, curse him. How dare he? How dare he make her do this? How dare he make her remember? How dare he make her feel again? She wanted to rant and rave and raged but all she said was, "I don't want to hurt you," she whispered softly.

He sneered again. "That's the least of my worries." But it seemed that she was ignoring him again, as she busily looked around. "What are you doing?" he asked irritably, here he was in dire pain and danger of never being able to use his arm again and she was ignoring him!

"Looking for something for you to bite on," she replied, then waving her wand in midair trying to fashion something that will hopefully create some sort of comfort or distraction. But it didn't seem to be working as she couldn't concentrate on any item.

He scoffed, his manly ego dented. He wasn't Potter, who needed comfort and attention whenever he got a scratch, he didn't need some one to help him, make him feel better, he was above all that, yet here she was, offering him comfort and distraction. Did she know that she was the source of his pain, did she know that just her being with him was more comfort then anything else in the world. Mastering his foulest look he replied, "I don't need any distraction, just do it and get over and done with it!"

She looked at him, ignoring his hostile tone, "You should have something to distract you from the pain," she replied firmly.

"Pain," he said with cool indifference, "what pain? Just push it back." His impatient eyes shifted over to her face as she continued to wave her wand in the air and mutter spells under her breath. Her forehead wrinkling, her lips pressed into a tight line, her green eyes dark and restless, and all this in concentration. He hesitated; there was no doubt to what he wanted, what he always wanted, yet he felt like the nine year old again peering at her from behind the bushes, contemplating whether he should approach, whether he should ask….

"You want something to distract me? Fine." He waited, holding his breath, until her eyes shifted to his. "Kiss me." Two simple words.

Lily felt a hand squeeze her heart then jab a ice pick through it. "What?"

He kept his eyes on her face, watching the shock bloom in her eyes, she was always easy to read. He gulped inaudibly, his heart thundering as he repeated the two simple words that now seemed to hang like a death sentence over him. "Kiss me."

She turned slowly to completely face him and all of a sudden he was afraid, he didn't want to undo everything again, he want to go back to what they were, he couldn't live with himself, if he made her hate him. Watching her shocked face, he resisted the temptation to delve into her mind and find out what she really though about him.

She glared at him. "Serves you right if I rip that arm off!"

Their eyes met in a battle of wills, "Do what you want. I'm all yours." He whispered, stating nothing but the truth.

She looked at his shoulder, at how weirdly his arm was hanging by his side, but it was his voice that bothered her the most, at how earnest and heartfelt it sounded. "That's not funny."

"Who's joking?"

"Is this what you are now? Is this what he made you? Is this who you want to be?" she cried.

His eyes darkened at her disapproval, "This is what you left behind," he retorted, before adding bitterly "when you chose Potter."

Her face hardened. How dare he blame her! How dare he say it was her fault! "If anything, you brought this upon yourself!" she hissed.

He leaned back, stung, blinking his eyes he replied softly "So I did," before closing his eyes that were starting to show too much. "Enough talk of the past, so graduation, hu-"

"James and I are engaged."

It shouldn't have hurt. It's shouldn't have felt like a thousand hot needles digging into his skin but it did.

"Congratulations. When's the wedding?"

She kept her eyes away from him. "Soon." She shouldn't be feeling guilty, ashamed like she was betraying him or herself but she did.

"Sorry if I can't make it to the wedding." He said, his words dripping with sarcasm.

Her eyes came back to his, saw his eyes shifting away. Her heart twisted. "Severus.."

"My Shoulder." He cut her off. "You're forgetting the reason we're here."

She looked at him and decided to follow his lead, placing her hand on his shoulder lightly, although she pretended she didn't miss the wince "Are you sure you…"

"Stop stalling." Severus closed his eyes, took a deep breath and leaned his head back against the tree, readying himself for the oncoming pain.

But it was another kind of pain that answered the call.

His eyes snapped open when he felt her, sensed her, helpless to resist, he opened his mouth and tasted her. Groaning into her opened mouth he raised his right hand, gripped her hair and devoured.

Love, he always thought, was just another pretty word for madness. And he was mad, crazy and insane with it.

Because there is no other explanation for these feelings that raged inside him. No other reason why he still feels like this, even after eight long years. No other reason why he would be touching this woman like she is the very thing that he's been searching for all his life, why deep inside of him, he felt like she is the only answer to his any unanswered questions.

Drugged by the taste of her, his senses blinded by her, hungry for more, he didn't feel her push his arm back into its socket. He didn't feel the bone scraping pain, the shock that should've made him scream in agony because another touch was burning him, scalding, bringing him pain that was bigger, deeper, more overwhelming. But it was a pain he'd rather feel than not...and one that ended all too soon.

Lily pulled away. He let his finger drag along her hair, savoring her touch, her closeness, because deep down he knew, this was as close as he will ever get to her.

"Are you going to tell Potter?"

Her hands twitched in her lap as she refused to look at him. "There's nothing to tell."

"Right. I hope you don't make a habit of kissing strange men and not telling you husband. Even I know that's not a good way to start a marriage."

The slightly mocking tone in his voice laced with indifference of what just happened was the last straw. She whipped her face towards him. "What do you care? You wanted to be alone! You wanted to be a Death Eater! You ARE a Death Eater! You hate my kind! I'm against everything that you're for!" she yelled, she took a deep breath and tried to compose herself "You chose your path Severus and I chose mine!" she finished defiantly.

Severus felt his heart break all over again, he wanted to run, he wanted to scream. Lily- Lils," he started, his voice croaking, she clenched her eyes when he used her old nick-name. "You know if it could be any diff-"

"Don't lie, Severus! Don't pretend that you car-" Snape grabbed her nape and covered her mouth with his. He tasted her tears and lips in one long hard kiss, remembering again how it felt to be… happy. He wrapped his arms around her, held her close as if he meant to keep her in his arms forever. "Don't ever think that I don't care. I care, damn it." Maybe just a little too much.

He let her go, she stumbled back a couple of steps still shocked at his confession. "We will never cross paths again, I promise you that," he chocked out, his eyes stung. He couldn't look at her, not her big green eyes, eyes that will hunt him for the rest of his life.

"Sev," she started but he shook his head refusing to look at her. Her heart broke, the lump in her throat grew and she couldn't breathe anymore.

"Go," When she just stood there, and stared at him, he grasped her shoulders and turned her away. "Run and don't look back. Tomorrow, you'll be free."

Her feet followed his command and she didn't look back, even when she heard him whisper her name.

She felt her heart expanded with all the love she had for the boy she met when she was nine years old returned ten fold with every step she took just by the very mention of her name. She didn't need a declaration of love or fancy poems written in a skillful hand, she only needed him to say her name because in that one word laid the answer to her unanswered question.

He loves her.

v-V-v

"Hide them all, then," he croaked. "Keep her- them- safe. Please"

"And what will you give me in return, Severus?"

"In- in return?" Snape gaped at him, irony was a cruel thing. He contemplated, it didn't matter anymore…as long as she was alive…as long as she was happy…with or without him…"Anything."