Reason to Fight:
It Should Have Been

Notes: I hope you enjoy this fic. It's something that's been floating in my mind for a while, now.. Also note that this chapter is supposed to take place around the end of their seventh year.

She was gone, gone forever.

And what hurt the most about her being gone was that she was right there, still so close. She was dangling just out of his grasp, just too far for him to reach her.

He saw her, he saw her everyday in the halls and it was so infuriating to see; not because of her, but the disgusting parasite that had become suddenly attached to her this year.

He saw her, and every time he saw her there was always that James Potter with her. He was always there, talking to her animatedly about Quidditch or something else just as trivial, making her smile or winning the tiniest laugh from her or else worse, touching her, his arm possessively poised around her shoulders, or his hand grasped tightly around hers, or his lips brushing her rosy cheeks.

It made him sick to just see the two of them together, especially when it ought to be him. He should have been the one making her smile and giggle, he should have been the one holding her protectively, he should have been the one, not that vermin, James Potter.

Severus turned away, unable to look at the two of them and their indecent behaviour any longer. He set his attention to the lake in front of him, the glassy water absolutely still on that comfortably cool spring day. He noticed the blossoms on the trees surrounding the lake and the blooming daffodils on the outskirts of the forest.

He tried not to think how many days, as children and even more recently, just a few years ago, they had taken walks down to the stream near her house. There, adjacent to the water was a field of flowers, pure-white daisies, brightly-coloured poppies, vividly blue forget-me-nots, and those brilliant yellow daffodils...

"I love daffodils." She gently tugged one from the ground, holding it up to her nose. Her red hair was falling in her face, her tiny pale fingers curled around the green stem of the golden flower. "They're so pretty. Don't you think so, Sev?"

He smiled at her simple amusement, more captivated by her beauty than the flower's. "Very."

He quickly glanced back at Lily to see her blushing furiously and laughing slightly as James tucked a bright yellow daffodil behind her ear, so beautiful against her dark red strands of hair. He watched in disgust as James kissed her on the nose, causing her cheeks to turn and even darker shade of pink. Damn it, it should have been him!

After a moment, the couple was approached by Sirius Black who seemed to desperately need James for something, not that Severus cared what. And suddenly, he saw James stand up, releasing Lily's hand. He could imagine her making some effort to keep him by her side for just a second or two longer, but James shook his head, probably making some stupid promise to come return to her the second her could, kissing her briefly on the lips before running off with Sirius.

And then, she was alone. For the first time in what seemed like ages, Severus finally saw Lily alone, watching the sun creeping behind the trees and tearing up innocent blades of grass with her fingers.

Before he knew what he was doing, he found himself approaching her rapidly. She noticed him, looking suspiciously at him with her emerald eyes as he drew closer.

"What do you want, Snape?" she asked him coldly, the warmness she'd felt with James immediately melting.

"I want to talk," he told her pleadingly, kneeling in front of her.

"I didn't want to hear your apologies two years ago, and I don't want to hear them now. Leave me alone, just—"

"I'm not here to apologise," he told her quickly.

She raised her eyebrows, getting to her feet and brushing off the back of her jeans, slightly wet from sitting on the grass. "Then here to have a go at James? I don't want to hear that either, Snape." She turned to leave him.

Severus jumped to his feet. "Lily, wait," he said softly, grabbing her arm.

"Don't touch me," she said, her voice dangerously low., yanking her arm out of his grasp. "James will be coming back in a moment, and he'll—"

"I don't give a damn about that worthless git," Severus told her, anger burning inside him. Why wouldn't she just listen?

"You obviously don't give a damn about me, either," she said, vehemently.

"No, that's not true. Lily, I...," he paused for a brief moment, inhaling deeply, "I love you."

"What?" she asked blankly.

"I love you, Lily, and Potter could never love you as much as I do!"

She laughed coldly, sending shivers down Severus's spine. "No, he could never love me how much you do. Tell me, do you always call the people you love Mudbloods?"

"Lily, I didn't mean—"

"No, you didn't mean to say it," she said, shaking her head. "But don't you get it? You did say it."

Severus was silent for a moment. "I love you," he breathed, hoping that repeating it might make her understand.

"Keep your love," she spat, and he thought he saw a tear glistening on her cheek. "I don't want any part of it. Just leave me alone."

She turned, her long scarlet hair whipping around, dancing down her back as she walked up the grass; after a moment she broke into a run, James having emerged once again from the castle. He spotted the redhead running toward him and opened his arms, catching her and spinning her around the moment they met. He leaned down, kissing her on the mouth, her crimson locks becoming tangled around his fingers.

And Severus knew that it never would be him.

Mere weeks later, Severus gazed apathetically at his forearm, a black skull imprinted on it, a horrible snake spewing from the mouth.

Surely this was all Lily ever thought him able to accomplish. He had nothing left in him to try to convince her otherwise. He didn't want to fight it anymore.