A/N: Written for Severus-and-Lily's Valentine's Day contest. I had this idea where Severus and Lily are about thirteen and he has a gift for her. I kept thinking that I would slip it into one of my stories but when the contest came around I couldn't resist. The illustration I made to match it is in my gallery. http// wotchertonks7 . deviantart . com / art / Memory-In-A-Bottle-78785267 (remove spaces)

Disclaimer: All character created by JRK. I do not own them.

Memory In A Bottle


"Lily, I, uh, got something for y––" Severus froze mid sentence at the sight of Lily's dorm room. There was not an inch that was not covered with flowers or candy boxes or sparkly pink baubles. All of which sported bright tags with satin ribbons shouting 'Love James Potter.'

Severus quickly threw his hands behind his back and wondered if he could slip out of the room without seeming rude. He could fake an allergy attack. That was not far off in this botanical nightmare.

"Really?" Lily tossed aside a vase of honking daffodils. "A Valentine's Day gift? From you? I may faint."

"It's stupid really. I'll just go." He turned around.

Lily put a hand on his arm. "Wait, please. I was only teasing. What is it? Please, please tell me it's not flowers."

He smiled a bit. "No. This is special. Something I invented myself. I couldn't afford… I mean, I wanted it to be from me. Like I said, stupid."

"I'm sure it's not. May I? Ohh, Sev. How lovely." She took the small vial from Severus' reluctant hands. It was an odd bottle divided into three different colored sections. "Is it perfume?"

"Not exactly." Severus tugged nervously at his sleeves and chewed his lip. "I, uh, I call it a 'Memory In A Bottle.' It's color coordinated, see? Give the top gold part a twist."

Lily did so and immediately a light, airy fragrance wafted under her nose. "Mmmm. That smells like fresh grass and flowers… and wood and a bit like metal…. It smells like the swing set at…. Hang on. Is this our playground?"

He nodded. "You see? The scent triggers the memory. Now do the same with the silver part."

Lily twisted the second section. The scent was very different this time. "I'd know that smell anywhere. My mother's gingersnap cookies!"

"Try the last."

She turned the bronze section and inhaled. "That smells like clean linen and lavender and… bubble gum? And those fruit scented stickers I used to collect. Wait! That's my home bedroom. Why this… this is that day when we were nine and we spent the afternoon in the playground. Then I invited you home and mum had made us cookies, and we sat up for hours while you told me all about magic."

Severus blushed. "You, ah, you remembered."

"How could I forget? That was the day we became best friends." Lily smiled and kissed his check, just barely touching his lips. "Thank you."