Summary: She's had moments of impulsivity, impropriety, and indiscretion: a look at Lily's more human side as told through short prompts. Mainly SS/LE, but includes femmeslash.
Rating: M (or R, I suppose)
Characters and Pairings: Lily/Severus, with Lily/James and Lily/Narcissa as side-bits
Warnings: coarse language, adult themes, femmeslash, narration in the Second Person POV
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in the Potter Universe; I am making no profit off of this fic.
Author's Note: This idea came to me after reading many a Lily-centric fic where she was portrayed as the pinnacle of goodness, and I thought to myself that such goodness was impossible because everyone has moments of imperfection…and so I very much wanted to explore some possibilities for hers. Some of these drabbles are a little disturbing – hence why I rated it M – so I thought I'd warn you in advance. I don't mean to offend anyone; if it bothers you to think of Lily in this way by all means consider this an AU…but I'd like to think that it's not so far-fetched that anyone (even someone as good and pure as Lily Evans) might just have moments, you know? Moments where she's just a little shocking. Slughorn did say in the 6th book that she'd have made a good Slytherin, after all…
Another thing: I know I've mentioned this twice now already (once in the summary and then again in the warnings) but it bears repeating – one of the prompts is a femmeslash. Somewhat graphic, at that. I just don't want to receive flames saying, 'ew, that's such a squick, why didn't you warn me?!' If the pairing bothers you please click back now.
It starts with the potion. You don't mean for it to happen, but it does, it just does, and although you try to fight it, you're fifteen, aren't you, Lily? You're fifteen and your willpower isn't quite as strong as it might be with a bit of experience.
It's just that the potion is meant to be a pale lavender and instead it stands at a lurid neon pink, bubbling away in the pewter cauldron and lapping noisily at the sides. And while Severus is beside himself with frustration, trying to determine where the two of you went wrong, you are much more fascinated by the clashing magenta smoke issuing from the potion's surface. Because that's…just how you get sometimes, isn't it? Fascinated by failed attempts?
And the smoke is rather pretty, right? And you aren't quite thinking clearly? And so after a moment's consideration you lean forward and inhale deeply (it smells like burnt rubber and melted plastic and spun sugar all rolled into one) and the effect is instantaneous: suddenly you're flying and seeing sounds and everything is spectacular.
Severus freezes, looking horrified. "Lily! Those fumes might be toxic for all we know!"
"I was curious," you reply distantly. "Seeing as I'm not a cat I reckoned that was okay." You touch his arm, delighting in how warm his skin is. Mmmm! "Give it a sniff. The feeling is wonderful."
Later on when you're both still flying (every sensation heightened every touch electric every breath orgasmic) you will tell Severus that you love him. Because you do, really, more than you've ever loved another human being in all your life. Come three p.m. the next day, of course, you won't remember that moment of effortless honesty. But Severus will. He will also spend all of his free time for the next two-and-a-half months trying to replicate the sugary syrupy goop, in a vain attempt to hear those three words directed his way just once more.
It is after that that nothing (yes, nothing) is the same. Because after that, she happens and he gets jealous and you get confused. The she-he-you situation is enough to make your head spin...but not like her tongue does. No, not quite so much as Narcissa's tongue.
Above all else, you remember Narcissa's tongue the best. You don't like girls, have never even taken a second look (especially not at her), but when she pins you against the wall of the Restricted Section of the library after hours and hikes up your skirt and calls you a dirty little mudblood bitch your head reels and you wonder for a second if it's boys you really want to be with.
You just broke up with that bloke from Ravenclaw, Roger, and he meant nothing to you anyway, so of course you have no reason to feel guilty. Right? What follows is a series of similar incidents, all of which are branded in your memory as with a hot iron, and all of which result in orgasms more spectacular than anything you've ever had with Roger. You are haunted by her. Everything about her screams perfection, and you crave it. You long to run your tongue down the wounded curve of her throat, the divets of her ribs, the small swells of her breasts. You want to bring her to a screaming climax and then shatter her into a million tiny pieces. The look in her icy eyes suggests she'd like nothing more than to do the same to you and so you return to the same spot in the library every night for a week, revelling in her expert touch and fiendish tongue.
Then the shock and shame sets in, and in a flurry of rumpled robes and your own flushed face you steal away to the Prefects' Toilet, hoping to scrub away what you've done. You tell no one, even when Severus asks you in Potions the next day what's gotten up with you, why are you so twitchy?
Thankfully, the whole business only lasts the one week. Roger approaches you that following Sunday and begs you on bended knee to forgive him – he announces to all and sundry that he's sorry for the foolish things he's done and wants nothing more than to have you back – and that evening you do not go to the library.
"I want to know what's been going on with you," Severus asks, and if you didn't find his possessiveness so infuriating you'd be rather touched.
"Nothing, I'm fine," you mutter, tracing with your mittens the powdery snow that looks like finely crushed bicorn horn – or perhaps stardust. Maybe. It's always so pretty but melts too fast and soaks through to your skin and makes your fingers numb. When it falls from greying clouds and tangles in your bangs and eyelashes you are hit with a wave of calm you haven't experienced in months. You swallow and turn to him, wanting to tell but not wanting, wanting to kiss him but not wanting (it's Severus, it's always been Severus), thinking you should leave but not thinking, and then he is rolling his eyes and sneering in typical Severus fashion and you no longer want or think any of those things. You just are for the moment, and perhaps are is just too much for you both.
"Right," he says snidely, and you can tell he's reaching out – in a way that he never usually does – and it's difficult for him, isn't it, Lily? – and the least you could do is give him a little credit for that and open up yourself – "So the skulking about…the sullen silences in class…the conspicuous absences at meals…all indications of how 'fine' you are?"
"Sev, I'm sorry, really, I am. I just…can't, okay?" Your fingers experience osmosis as the snow begins to melt and soak through the wool. You peer at your hands in dismay and then turn to him, a frank expression on your face, eyes imploring him to let it go, Severus, come on now.
He does, but not without an ugly look and a melodramatic sigh. Sometimes, you wish he didn't hold you with kid gloves.
When the day by the lake comes, when Severus finally calls you that terrible word (and it doesn't sound nearly so sexy coming from his mouth as it did from Narcissa's, no, not nearly so sexy as that), you cannot help but feel a little relieved that you're no longer expected to save him, be his keeper, try to persuade him to see the error of his ways. That's not to say you think he deserved what he got, because you don't really – do you, Lily? Think he deserved what he got? – it's just that it's finally a neat little severing has occurred and now you can say, it's over, I've tried; I've so tried, I love you, I'm sorry, goodbye.
And you do so love those failed attempts, don't you, Lily. Oh, yes.
About a year down the line when you and James are finally together, a grope and a chat between classes and coursework and (even later) the sheets allows you to glean the knowledge that James is lovely – wonderful, even, for despite all of his deplorable traits he is Good where Severus cannot be – but he lacks the certain qualities that turned you onto Severus in the first place. Desperation. Depth. Deviance.
You have a strong moral code. Let it never be said that you are anything less than a strong independent morally-sound young lady. But you have doubts and desires that James would never understand. He simply is not wired to see the world as you do; things, to James Potter, are rather black and white. All or nothing. Ultimatums all around. And you. Oh, yes, you, Lily. You do not see things quite so starkly. You've been caught up in Severus's grey for quite some time now, have you not?
But it mustn't always be so, of course – you have options. You could hold fast to your darker side or you could slowly let it go, become a better person, the person James thinks you are. Which would you prefer, Lily? What would make you happy?
You have always wished nothing but the best for Petunia. It infuriates you that she can't (won't?) just be happy for you when you bring James home to meet the family. She turns up her unusually long nose and sneers at your husband-to-be. "One of your kind?" she asks snidely, as if it had ever been in doubt that you would marry a wizard. She looks James up and down with something akin to appraisal. "Well, better you than that scrawny snivelling Snape bloke Lils was always hanging around when we were children…"
You try not to bristle at that, especially because after your falling out with Severus you haven't seen him except in classes and you don't know, anymore, if he's scrawny or snivelling...and you know for a fact that if you don't know, Petunia certainly couldn't.
James is a good sport about it, takes the whole affair in stride, but later that evening in bed he asks what crawled up Petunia's arse and died. You find yourself laughing (a choked pathetic strangled sound) and you don't quite know why. Maybe it's that there are just too many directions in which you could take that – too many jokes to make, too many conclusions to draw, each as logical as the next – and you cannot chose which one to go with.
So you tell him so. "That's what aeroplane pilots call 'target confusion,'" you say grimly, placing your head at his chest and kissing his protruding collarbone. James looks confused (that's right, Lily, how could you forget? he doesn't know what an aeroplane is) but you don't deign to clarify.
"Well, what do you want to do, then?" he asks, and you are not quite sure to what he's referring. Does he mean regarding the Petunia situation, or is he asking if you want a meat injection? You hope it isn't the latter because after the day you've rather lost your appetite for sex. Sometimes you feel like you've rather lost your appetite for sex with James…but you don't tell him that. You also won't tell him that every once in a blue moon you think of Sev when you're kissing him. No, Lily, you won't ever tell him that.
Instead you appeal to his more sensitive side. "I don't know," you say, opting out of talking about Petunia or the meat injection. "Let's just kiss awhile, yeah?" Lucky for you, James is happy to oblige.
The one and only time you officially cheat on James, it is (of course) with Severus, and it follows a rather explosive fight that you neglect to mention when you show up at Severus's door. Drunk, of course, and drenched to the bone from wandering out in the rain for hours on end.
It has been over two years since the two of you spoke – perhaps longer – and so his surprise at seeing you is palpable and instantly the air is fraught with tension. You know that at the moment you look about as shaggable as a drowned rat but Severus wants you no matter what you look like – hence why you showed up at his place to start with.
"So you and Potter are on the outs, then?" Severus says tersely, and through a drunken haze you notice (but scarcely care about) the drowning grip he's got on the door handle. As if it's the only thing keeping him upright. Perhaps, you think, he is drunk as well and the two of you can have this night with no strings attached and forget about it come morning.
Focus, Lily. Focus. Answer the question.
"James," you reply, "is a bloody fucking wanker," and suddenly you're tumbling into Severus's foyer and tearing at his clothes.
The hungry-desperate-anxious-feral look in Severus's unguarded eyes ought to be enough to stop you, to get you to realise this is a mistake and wrangle yourself in and pull on your overcoat and clumsily make your way back home. But it isn't. Because in that moment, hungry-desperate-anxious-feral is what you're feeling too and at least Severus won't expect you to keep it in and be a good girl (like James will).
If you were to be perfectly frank, you would have to say that you never really wanted the baby.
Of course you didn't consider terminating; not even for a second. Of course the first thing you did when he was born was count each tiny finger and toe, falling in love with the way his thin tufts of hair wouldn't lie flat and his impossibly wide green eyes held fast to yours with an implicit trust borne only from nine laborious months inside your womb. Because he was Yours and that created a bond far stronger and more potent than any potion you could have ever brewed.
But it still niggles you. Day in day out, for every ten reasons you have to unconditionally love Harry there are still those pesky two to wish you'd had a proper opportunity to wait. The proper opportunity to plan, to prepare, to perhaps ensure that the child would truly be James's and not Severus's. It was a gamble you took, a huge risk, in visiting Severus like that. It comes as quite a relief to see that Harry looks just like James because, truth be told, if not for that fact you wouldn't know – and wouldn't want to know – who Harry 'came from.' You wouldn't care to take a paternity potion. You wouldn't want to see the results.
The point is that you love Harry, beyond all reason, regardless of who sired him. That should be the end of it.
Only, it isn't the end of it, because there's a war outside your front door and Voldemort is growing ever-stronger and forcing a child to grow up amidst all of this just doesn't seem practical. And then when Dumbledore goes and tells you the Prophesy, you cannot quite silence the terrible voice in your head saying see, Lily, see? this is why you never should have had a child in the first place.
Regardless of the indecision and indiscretion that fuelled little Harry's conception, the love you feel for him grows stronger by the day and before long you are making without hesitation sacrifices that would have disgruntled you before. Hours of your day are devoted to keeping him happy; you've taken a leave from your job and now perform all motherly and wifely duties (even though you swore you'd never be a domestic) efficiently and without complaint. The realisation that you would die for this tiny bundle of messy hair and thrashing limbs scares you, because it is a feeling of the utmost permanence and maternal instinct – it is something you have never experienced before, and certainly never so strongly. But you are glad. Happy.
It even brings you and James closer together, for which you are grateful. You and James and Baby Harry, the perfect family, how harmonious.
Everything is perfect, or at least perfect enough, or at least it is until he shows up at your door hoping to say he loves you one last time (just in case) and you are overwhelmed with a deep want you haven't experienced since the time you stumbled through his door, a wet mess of drink and rainwater and vindictive rage. You are suddenly fifteen again, giddy and gangling and tittering nervously as you poured over that sugary glop in Severus's best cauldron – and the desires to kiss and touch him and say I love you back are realer than ever, so intoxicating that you almost cannot resist.
Resist, Lily, resist. Enough now. For you are not fifteen anymore; nor are you eighteen and angry and drunk, neither, and your adulterous behaviour now would be inexcusable. So you do not kiss him (no, Lily, don't kiss him). Instead, you reach out and touch his hand (the deliberate and cursory cohesion of his calloused fingertips to yours produces a tiny electric shock that runs through your skin) –
And with a willpower you did not know you possessed, you say goodbye to Severus Snape for the very last time.
A/N: Hopefully you enjoyed and did not find it too confusing, all over the place, or inappropriate…let me know. Thanks for reading!