A/N: Hello everybody! Well, I wrote this fic about a year ago and I've finally decided to post it! I apologize for any grammar errors it contains :S! Hope you like it!
The ring lay on the hard black countertop, across the room from where Lily Evans – soon to be Potter – sat. She had wrenched it from her finger the second James had left to go see Sirius – Lily had convinced him that he shouldn't see the bride before the wedding, and that it was bad luck; James had simply shaken his head and muttered something about 'overreactions' and 'bloody muggle superstitions'.
It was absurd really, Lily thought to herself as she stared at the ring, that something so small, so innocent, could mean so much. This ring was her future, this ring was what would make her Lily Potter tomorrow morning, this ring promised her to the man she loved. The ring was meant to be a good symbol, a symbol of love...of hope. Yet Lily felt strangely contaminated whenever the ring was on her finger.
Lily Evans was getting married tomorrow.
And she wasn't ready.
Lily turned away from the ring; it was easier to think positively when she wasn't looking at it. Of course she was ready, the feeble, noble part of her mind argued back, she loved James, didn't she?
Lily gazed out of the window, watching as the setting sun cast pink and orange rays of light across the sky. Every tick of the clock on the mantelpiece brought her closer and closer to the moment where she would say 'I do'. She wanted time to stop moving, yet it only seemed to pass more quickly.
The sudden flash of green in the fireplace brought Lily back to reality; she jumped up in surprise, and bumped her head on the low ceiling.
A tall, dark figure stepped out of the fire place, and removed the black hood covering his face. Lily gasped when she realised who it was.
"Severus! What did you – how did you – oh, it's very good to see you!"
And it was true; Lily hadn't seen Severus since she'd left school, and she'd missed him terribly, even if he was in league with You-Know-Who.
Severus nodded curtly. "Lily," his voice was deeper, more pained than Lily remembered. He was taller, and far skinnier, and there was something in his black eyes that made him slightly frightening.
"What are you doing here?" Lily asked softly, avoiding his gaze.
"Giving you a wedding present," he spat, throwing her a small, poorly-wrapped package. "And to inquire why I was not invited to your joyous occasion."
"Oh, Sev, I'm sorry." Lily whispered. "I did try to send you an invitation but...I thought you didn't want to speak to me. You never even gave me your address. You never said goodbye to me! What was I supposed to do?"
"Not this," Severus said, speaking so quietly that Lily had to strain to hear. "You and Potter aren't supposed to be together. It's not right – you deserve more, Lily."
Lily squeezed her eyes shut tight and counted to ten before speaking again. "I am not having this discussion with you, Severus."
"I'll leave right now – if you can swear to me that you're ready to be married."
Lily stared down at her feet. "Of course I'm ready, why wouldn't I be?"
Severus smirked. "Well, for one, you're not wearing your ring."
Lily had a sudden urge to throw something at him. "Even if I was having second thoughts – which I'm not!" she added with a glance at Severus's face. "It would be absolutely none of your business!"
The smirk vanished from Severus's face, and he was suddenly serious. "Lily, I know you better than you know yourself, and I know that you hate change. So stop pretending, you don't need to have to act like you love Potter."
The hot anger Lily had been trying to contain burst through her, spreading to every part of her body. So this was what he'd come to talk about. "Oh, not this argument again!" Lily felt like a volcano erupting, the anger came off her in hot waves. "Why can't you just be happy for me, just this once? I know perfectly well how you feel about James, but why can't you consider my feelings? You know what, I do like change – it was change that made me stop being friends with you! You want to know what I think of you? You horrible, interfering, evil –"
Severus clamped a strong hand over her mouth. "Will you please allow me to talk?"
Lily glared at him before nodding grudgingly, signalling for him to continue.
"You have every reason to be angry with me – I haven't spoken to you in years, I've done terrible, evil things, I've joined...him. But I need you to hear me out," he removed his hand from Lily's mouth, and placed it gently on her shoulder. "I want you to choose me instead of him. I want you to come away with me. We'll go far away – anywhere you want to go, it doesn't matter to me – as long as I'll be with you."
Lily's anger evaporated in an instant. "Oh, Sev." she reached up to touch his cheek. "I can't. It sounds more incredible than anything, but...I love him, Sev. I can't change how I feel about him. I'm getting married tomorrow!"
"No, please!" Severus's voice cracked. "Listen to me. Lily, we were made for each other, you and I, we have something amazing – or, we will. I – I love you."
And then, an image suddenly flashed in front of Lily's eyes. She could see herself in a beautiful white dress, but she wasn't anxious or terrified, she was beaming from ear to ear. A tall man stood at the altar, smiling back at her. Severus's hair was shining, his clothes were spotless and he was happier than Lily had ever seen him before. An image that could become reality...if she only said yes to him.
Lily pulled away from him, trying to hide the tears in her eyes. "I'm sorry, Severus."
"I'll never stop fighting Lily, when he breaks your heart – I'll still be here. I'm never going to do anything to harm you like he will."
Lily turned her back to him. "You should go." she said thickly, and waited to hear him storm away, and out of her life.
The soft, pleading reply broke the short silence. "Please, Lily..."
"I'm sorry, Sev. Me and you – it just wasn't meant to be."
She didn't look back as he strode to the fire, until a flash of green flames signalled that he was gone – forever.
Lily sank unsteadily to the floor, clutching her chest. Pain flooded through her, she felt like she'd been pierced with thousands upon thousands of knives – the Cruciatus curse was nothing compared to this pain. It was like James and Severus had each taken one of her arms and were pulling with all their strength, like she was the rope in some sick, painful tug-of-war. Lily could even feel the deep cuts running down her chest, so strong that she couldn't believe it was all in her mind, that she was slowly being torn apart as she lay there on the floor.
'I'll never harm you,' Severus had promised.
But he had, and, no matter what happened now, Lily knew the gashes running along her chest would never truly heal.
A/N: Good? Bad? Strange? Let me know what you think! I absolutely adore reviews (hint, hint)!