May 19, 1989
Professor Severus Snape was in a rotten mood. Sitting in his office, he had a whole stack of papers piled up beside him. The papers were all Potions assignments from imbecilic students in his class. His quill was feverishly writing to correct mistakes and cross out entire paragraphs of irrelevant information mumbling the entire time about their stupidity.
He paused for a second and leaned back in his chair. He glanced outside and noticed the afternoon weather. May had been quite cold that year, but the weather outside was nothing short of stunning. He observed the fluffy white clouds in the blue sky, and heard the voices of students laughing in the distance. Though it was nice outside, Severus felt apathetic towards the entire thing; He had work to do and couldn't be bothered.
As the stack of papers slowly dwindled, a knock on the door interrupted his train of thought.
"Come in" he drawled
A first year Slytherin student entered carrying a small package in his hands
"What do you want Somens?" Severus asked irradiated
"Sorry to bother you professor, but an owl just came with a package addressed to you. I was the only Slytherin there at the time so I decided bring it to you; It looked urgent."
With that, the package was placed on the messy desk as Somen's curtly nodded and left.
Severus stared at the package for a while.
"Who on earth would send me this?" he wondered
He noticed the package was wrapped in shiny green and silver colours; the Slytherin house colours. Severus didn't know of any student that would possibility send him something like this. Yet the more he questioned who could have sent it, something about the wrapping seemed vaguely familiar to him. He closed his eyes to reflect.
With a jolt of realization, he immediately stood up. The wrapping was the same design and pattern as the last birthday gift he got from Lily.
"Happy Birthday Sev" Lily whispered fondly into his ear
Severus looked at the Green and silver coloured box, noticing how Lily had always paid special attention to use his favourite colours. He clumsily opened the box to find a hand woven scarf. As he took it out of the box, he felt the heat from a warming charm placed on the scarf, but that was not all. Though a warming charmed scarf was nice, the scarf also projected an aroma.
Severus looked at Lily startled by the discovery
Lily giggled at his expression,
"I placed another charm on it, so it gave off an aroma matching the happiest feeling for the wearer. The charm's based on how Amorentia smells different to all of us, but I used it on this."
Severus reached out and hugged Lily with the scarf around his neck. It was the best birthday present he had ever got. As he took a deep breath, he couldn't tell if the fragrance was from the charm or Lily's hair; either way, it was the same scent.
Severus knew there was no mistaking it now. This package was indeed from Lily, but how had it gotten to Hogwarts? Lily couldn't have sent it. He sat down in his chair, and methodically began to unravel the mystery.
Inside the package was a coiled up letter attached to a white flower.
"Sev, I'm sending this letter to you to remind you what day it is. If this worked, then it should be May 19, 1989, fifteen years to the day when we last saw the Amaranthia comet. It's strange writing this as I just got back into the common room from our unforgettable night. I still feel warm and tingly from holding each other. I remembered to send a letter to myself in case I forgot too. Meet me by the same tree we sat at tonight and I'll bring the picnic basket again. I can't wait to see you again.
PS: I promise that it will be a clear starry night.
With those two last words, Severus Snape dropped the letter and collapsed in his chair. He knew Lily would not and could not come tonight or ever again. The pain of losing her had always eaten away at him, but it was amplified at that moment due to the joy of what they had shared. He started to cry, shedding the first tears since finding out Lily had died. The letter was a fresh stab at what he had pushed away; Lily's love.
With blurry eyes, Severus took another peek outside and could tell the afternoon was dying away. The echoing clock announced it was five.
"If one of us forgets or doesn't come, the other has to promise to be back here. That person will just have to make an extra effort to treasure the moment for the two of us."
Even though his heart's clock had shattered that fateful Halloween eight years ago, he still had time to offer Lily one last gesture of kindness. To fulfill one last promise he made to her.
As he did fifteen years ago, he wearily left his office and went off to search for food.
Severus sat down on the picnic blanket with a small bundle of delicacies beside him. The house elves had been gracious enough to provide him with an ample amount of food. As he took a bit into a small sandwich, he took a look around him. Normally, at this time, there would be students running about, but it seemed fate had respected his need for solitude tonight. He ate the food mechanically, as he watched the dying sun descend. Though it was like any other sunset, it was the first time in a while that Severus felt the last rays upon his face.
"I'll never forget this day Sev. Even in the wizard world, today was something magical"
For all the warmth on his face, Severus never felt colder. He looked beside him, to where Lily had once laughed at him for thinking a picnic was a waste of time.
"Now what do you think of my idea?" Lily said playfully
Now, he thought he shouldn't have wasted the chances. He shouldn't have taken their friendship for granted. It was only when he saw Lily with Potter together, saw the same careless expression on her face, that he would admit how much he loved and missed her presence in his life. By that time, it was already too late to go back. Severus could not escape his path if he chose, and he knew Lily had another destiny waiting for her. He remembered Lily's words to him all those years ago, how she wanted to make the most out of life so she would not have any regrets when she died. Severus knew he was not so fortunate. With Lily gone, he couldn't apologize to her for all his actions, he would have to live with his mistakes and forever regret what happened.
"We'll always be the best of friends Sev"
The cool night's wind blew through his hair. The stars twinkled in the night sky as the early clouds dissipated; the perfect setting. Severus leaned against the tree and waited for the moment.
Time passed by quickly as he waited, but the heavens showed no sign of anything incredible occurring.
"Did Lily get the date wrong?" Severus wondered
Just as Severus was about to get up to leave, a bright light in the sky caught his eye; The Amarthania. It had come again just like Lily predicted. As beautiful as it was, Severus did not miss the symbolism. In more ways than one, it represented Lily's being. The way it had shown itself when Severus thought all was lost. It was the way it lit up the sky and was the envy of all the other stars. It was the conviction that no matter the circumstances of fifteen years, it would always return again. It also had the same green tail hue that matched Lily's emerald eyes.
"I'll remember this moment for the two of us Lily. I know I made many poor decisions and lost your trust, but I hope that by fulfilling this last promise, you at least forgive some part of me. You were always right Lily; a picnic was the best idea." Severus whispered to the wind
With those last words, Severus lost himself to his grief. He realized that tonight was the final moment that tied him and Lily together. It was the last thing they shared together before they went their separate ways. When tomorrow came, Severus would have truly lost everything that he cherished with Lily. The feeling was like that of seeing Lily die twice in one lifetime.
"I'm sorry Lily"
Even in his sorrow, Severus watched the comet, admiring both their beauties. He would capture the entire scene and watch until it was no longer visible; he would do it for Lily. Just then, Severus thought he felt something warmth lean against his shoulder, but it was just the night playing tricks on his mind. And yet, as the last green light trickled and blended into the dark sky, Severus thought he caught the distinct fragrance of a childhood memory; spring flowers meshed with the cold autumn leaves.
And Lily turned to face him again, whispered something softly into his ear, and their laugher echoed in the distance.