A/N: New story! This one was inspired by 'Smiles' by Rebelbyrdie. It's not a Harry Potter fic, rather, a CSI one, but it's amazingly good. So good, in fact, that I ended up stealing the plot. -Grins sheepishly- You can find it, and the sequel, on my favorites list.
Seriously, go read them.
Anyway, I'd like to warn you that the setting on this one is rather foggy. Not where, but when. It's post-war, and nothing from OotP, HBP, or DH happened. It's placed somewhere around the end of Harry's last year. Notes about the antecedent action will be in the ending A/N if anyone is confused.
Important Note: Yes, I'm aware that Severus is out of character. I was so kindly reminded by another reviewer for my ficlet, 'Can I have a Kiss?', that it is, oh, what was it? -Shuffles papers- Ah, yes. "Extremely anti-canon, love, and a helluva lot OoC for Severus." Yes, that is an exact quote. Now, give me a moment to thoroughly express my shock that a Snarry ficlet was considered OOC and anti-canon.
Think of it this way. This is AU, meaning a lot of things that happened in canon, didn't. When you omit things from someone's past, or even present, things change. The person, or in this case, character, changes. Yes, Severus is different, but he's also in completely different circumstances. J.K.R's Severus would not act like mine does. If that bugs you, go read something else.
Er, sorry about that. Had to get it out of my system.
Warnings: Slash, mild, well, not mild, but not horrible, OOC, AU as of OotP, minor language, angst, major character death
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, or even the plot this time. Credit goes to J.K.R and Rebelbyrdie, respectively.
It was a well-known fact that Severus Snape did not smile. He was surly, hateful, cruel, terrifying, mean, and just about every other descriptive trait with a negative connotation in the book. He was not happy, and, therefore, did not smile. It was for this reason that the whole of Hogwarts stopped and watched in blatant disbelief when the corners of his lips curved up in unconcealed joy.
Sirius skidded into the teacher's lounge, glancing around frantically. Upon realizing that neither Snape nor Dumbledore was there, he breathed a sigh of relief. He had been afraid for a moment that he was late for a staff meeting. Again. A triumphant smirk appeared on his face, and he shot an 'I told you I could do it' look at the other Professors in the room. Although he had taken the Defense Against the Dark Arts position, shortly after being proven innocent by his wonderful Godson, over a year ago, he had yet to arrive at a staff meeting on time. He grinned at Moony, who was stifling his laughter, before turning toward the table at the edge of the room that held the coffee pot. He was surprised to see a small bouquet of red roses sitting there.
"Hey Minnie, I think someone sent you flowers."
Minerva turned to glare at him, obviously not appreciative of the use of Sirius' 'pet name', but she glanced at the bouquet in surprise.
"Those aren't mine."
"Well, whose are they?"
The other Professors shook their heads in confusion, and Moony, who had taken the Care of Magical Creatures job when Hagrid went back to grounds keeping, stood up and walked over, a curious glint in his eye. Sirius thought about it for all of a second before tossing such silly notions as 'respect for privacy' and 'manners' out the window and snatching up the card. He read the name scrawled in unrecognizable script in shock.
"These are for Snape!"
"What are for me?"
Everyone whipped their heads around to look at the entrance to the staff room. Severus Snape swept in, imposing as ever, followed by an amused-looking Dumbledore. Snape's eyes traveled from Sirius in suspicion, to the note in his hand in confusion, and finally to the flowers in dawning realization. Everyone thought that they had gotten the shock of their lives upon discovering that someone had sent Snape flowers, but Snape had another in store. He flushed. Not the full-faced red of anger, but a light tint in his cheeks that indicated embarrassed pleasure.
His next move was much more in character. Striding forward with a scowl, he reached out to snatch the card from Sirius' hand. Sirius, however, was having none of that. He wanted to know who had sent it. Dancing out of Snape's grasping hands as the other members of the staff watched on in curiosity and amusement, he ripped open the card.
"And it says… 'Thank you for the lovely evening out.'"
The note was written in the same plain script that was obviously used to disguise someone's handwriting, and it was not signed. As one, the curious eyes of the Hogwarts faculty turned to bore holes into Severus Snape. What they found, though, was far more shocking than anything they had seen as-of-yet. Snape was gazing at the flowers with a distant look in his eyes that clearly stated he was reminiscing about something. Then, slowly, as if everything was slow-motion, Snape's mouth curved into a small, happy smile.
Rumors among the students and staff of Hogwarts ran rampant as, almost like clockwork, a bouquet of flowers would appear for Snape just before the beginning of each staff meeting. The bouquets where always small, but the kind of flower always changed, and there was always a small note. Nobody got a chance to glimpse what they said, but from the look on Snape's face, they were akin to the first one.
The impact this whole thing had on Snape was astounding. His classes became more bearable, his disposition much more enjoyable. He began to join in on conversations, instead of glaring at anyone who came near him. Well, he still glared at Sirius, but Sirius was perfectly fine with that arrangement. The war had been over for awhile, just under a year, but Snape finally seemed to be coming out of the hardened shell he had built around himself. He began to use certain teachers' privileges, like being able to go off castle grounds on weekends and evenings. He began to take better care of his looks. He stopped using gel to slick back his hair, instead pulling it back into a ponytail that made the hair look silky and Snape look distinguished.
And them there were the smiles.
Snape had never full-out grinned, but he did smile whenever he caught sight of a new vase of flowers. A glint would enter his eye, and his mouth would curve upwards. The harsh lines of his face would smooth, making him look more carefree and happy than anyone had ever seen him. It was striking, how much younger Snape looked when he was smiling. Sirius could almost see the appeal.
Of course, occasionally a cloud would mar Snape's personal sun, and Snape would go right back to being a bastard. He would storm through the corridors, inspiring terror and reducing first years to tears. But fortunately for everyone, the cloud would pass, and the sun would shine again, full force.
It was disturbing, it was wrong on every level, and it was true; Severus Snape was in love. And damn-all if it didn't suit him.
Sirius knew the saying, 'All good things come to an end'. It was a clear message, simple in its agonizing certainty. It was also undeniably true.
It had been like any other patrol with Snape. It was just before curfew, Sirius was ushering students to their common rooms, and Snape was staring off into space. They had just turned a corner, not paying attention to the shadows in the hall. In retrospect, Sirius thought that everyone had been so stupid. Nobody had given the slightest thought to what the embittered children of incarcerated and dead Death Eaters were going to do.
Why was it that when shocking, but generally good things, like Snape smiling, happened, they happened in slow motion, but when dangerous, life-threatening things happened, there was no time to prepare?
Sirius saw several things simultaneously. First, the figure of a seventh year, Nott, removed itself from the shadows. He raised his arm, wand pointing at Sirius, mouth forming words. At the same time, Snape's eyes widened and he shoved Sirius out of the way. One second, a Blasting Curse was about to hit him dead on, the next, it crashed into Snape. There wasn't even time to shout.
While good scenes slowed and bad ones quickened, the one playing out before Sirius and the entire Hogwarts faculty did neither. It just happened. Crystal clear, it brought about a number of shocking revelations.
In the main chamber of the Hospital Wing, shivering and sobbing in the arms of Hermione Granger, was one Harry Potter. As Madame Pomfrey, pale and on the verge of tears, walked around a pair of curtains, shaking her head, they watched in blatant disbelief as Harry Potter's usually commanding voice rasped out a simple but shocking sentence.
"I can't lose him."
And they all knew, without a doubt, that though Severus Snape's mouth had curved so easily into a smile, Harry Potter's never would again.
A/N: -Wipes away tear- Sad, innit? Believe me; the original is even better and sadder. Just go to my favorites and scroll till you find 'Smiles' by Rebelbyrdie. Review please!
The antecedent action is as follows:
-Harry enters sixth year
-Harry gets involved with Severus
-Remus comes to work at Hogwarts
-Harry clears Sirius' name
-Sirius comes to work at Hogwarts
-Harry offs Voldie
-Harry enters seventh year
-Boring bits, end-of-war celebrations, Myrtle floods her toilet, blah, blah, blah
-This fic takes place