Disclaimer: I own nothing - JK Rowling does.

This was the first Saturday of the school year and Lily was looking forward to the first Hogsmeade visit. Other students visited the small town over the summer, but she never did and so the first time back was always exciting. New things to look at, to buy. She checked her watch for the second time in as many minutes and fought the urge to tap her foot. Severus was late.

By the time he arrived, Lily had brought out a book and sat on the stone steps, letting the sun warm her skin. Severus stopped just behind her, straightened his robes and couldn't help but admire the way the sun hit her hair, turning it all sorts of reds and oranges, like leaves in autumn or a roaring fire.

Lily turned as he sat beside her. "You're late," she said, placing her bookmark between the pages.

His face fell but he didn't say anything. He felt somehow stricken when he disappointed her.

"Oh well, you're here, let's do this so I can get to Hogsmeade." She pulled her book bag onto her lap and began going through it.

He sneered slightly at the last word, but let it slide from his face as he watched her. Severus had always been fascinated with Lily Evans, that was a given. From the moment he had seen her bright hair and eyes, the pale curve of her chin, he was unable to look away. At some point during fourth year, suspiciously close to the time his voice began to crack and his pants got too short and too tight, his fascination with Lily had taken a turn. He found he no longer saw her as just his friend, but as his...well, he wasn't really sure what it was--mate? Potential girlfriend sounded so insignificant. Severus felt he had found his soulmate (if such a thing existed, he reminded himself without pause). No other girl - or woman - would ever hold a candle to his best friend.

And so, with these thoughts heavy in his mind, he made the decision all at once.

Lily was still rummaging, her hair falling from behind her ear and she was biting her lip as she looked through her papers.

Severus was quietly surprised when his voice came out smooth and even. "Lily, I have something to show you. Will you walk with me a bit?"

She looked up sharply and checked her watch overtly. "I don't know, Severus. I don't want to miss---"

"If you indeed miss the chaperones' walk to Hogsmeade, I will walk you myself."

She looked surprised, but pleased and stood quickly. After a moment's hesitation, she reached out her hand to help him up. Their eyes met as he took her hand.

"Thanks," he said, cheeks reddening without his permission. He turned his head sharply, letting his hair swing to cover his face. Just before he closed his eyes, he thought he saw the bushes move, but couldn't think of what it might have been. Too small to be human.

They walked to the lake and then found a spot both secluded and shaded. His courage had ebbed with every step they took, despite the easy banter about classes and silly things as they walked side by side.

"So, Sev, what do you have to show me?" Lily said, turning and sitting cross-legged facing Severus. She couldn't help but smile at him. As awful as others thought he was, he was brilliant at potions and he was a good listener. She waited patiently for his answer, admiring the slenderness of his wrists poking out of his robes. Pale as moonlight and thinner even than her own, they ended in the world's best hands. Despite his physical awkwardness, which had shown up in the last year or so, his hands were nimble as ever. I could watch his hands for hours, Lily thought, her smile widening a bit. She realized she was very glad they shared potions class. His hands were at their best then---chopping, stirring, writing and such.

She glanced up to find him looking at her, her smile fading just a bit.

"Lily..." Severus whispered, all his breath leaving his body with her name. He placed his hand beneath her chin and could not stop his hands from trembling as he leaned in. He made sure to move in slowly, but surely, and when his lips met hers, his eyes slid shut and his hand moved from her chin to her knee. He was very aware of boundaries and he wanted Lily to know he respected her.

So Severus was greatly surprised when Lily slid her hand up his arm to his face, before slowly kissing him over and over until he was suddenly aware their tongues were touching. He felt the sound before he heard it. Severus pulled away from her, Lily's mouth still open, pale pink lips moist. She looked confused.

"Severus?" Lily whispered, grabbing his arms when he made as if to stand up. She pulled him back down to sitting and for a moment, she considered kissing him again. Instead, she said, "Did I do something wrong?"

His lips became thin as he visibly kept in his words. Finally, he said, "No, but I am sorry if I was too forward."

She nearly laughed in his face. "Forward? I was the one who..." Her grip lessened a bit as she realized he wasn't going to run off. "Let's just say, I thought it was mutual...you know, I mean, I thought..."

Her inability to form a complete thought would normally get under his skin in a way only dear friends could (or so he imagined, as he had no other close friends). At this moment, it was near maddening. And endearing. Better to just shut her up.

He leaned forward and their lips smashed together a little harder than they should have. They both pulled back a bit, eyes wide.

"Ow," she whispered, but smiled to lighten the words.

"Sorry," Severus said, his face red again.

Lily smiled and touched his cheek, his face very warm against her palm. "Just a bit more gentle, okay?" And she moved slowly to slide her lips across his once, twice, three times. His lips were so soft. She pressed her lips lightly to his before darting her tongue out. His lips felt somehow softer against her tongue than her own lips did. She wondered how that was possible for a moment before letting the thought slip from her brain and she didn't think at all as her hands slid into his hair and she slid into his lap. He slid his thin arms around her and clasped them behind her.

He couldn't help himself. She was letting him go further than he expected, considering they had only kissed each other's cheeks before this day, but his body and his heart was shouting far louder than his brain and if she didn't soon stop, he would not know how to.

In the back of his mind, he tried not to think about the fact that she was so good at kissing...so experienced with snogging in general. Severus was aware of Lily's popularity with other boys: Ravenclaw and Gryffindor alike - and probably even a Hufflepuff in a dark room at some point...but he hoped he was different. He felt desperation welling inside and he fought it even as he held to her, his focus on the kiss waning slightly even as she responded with more passion.

"Sev, maybe...maybe we should talk," Lily said softly when they broke apart. When she dared a look at him, he was looking at her intently, his dark eyes faceted to her. And he looked hungry. Then he closed his eyes and when they opened a moment later, the familiar look was back. The slightly bashful, moderately arrogant Severus returned her look with a very small smile.

"Weren't you going to Hogsmeade?"

She narrowed her eyes at him. "Weren't you going to show me something?"

He looked uncomfortable for a moment, but said, with some confidence, "I think I just did." His eyes held hers for a long moment and she searched there for honesty, for the truth. She didn't see it there, but he must have seen whatever he was looking for, because he wrapped his arms around her and pressed his face into her neck, hugging her tightly.

He felt so thin against her, but she wrapped her arms around his neck and squeezed him in response.

It was more than a friendly hug, that much was obvious from the outside, but exactly what it was was unclear to Peter. He had been practicing transfiguring into a rat, as his friends had all been much further along than he the last time they had met up. Peter did not want to be left behind. Here was the answer to his problem. Prongs would find this bit of gossip quite intriguing. If he could return to the castle quickly, he might be able to bring James back before the two quit snogging.

With a small noise not heard by the pair, who were no longer simply hugging, Peter disappeared through the bushes toward the castle.

A/N: Yes, it may seem as though I write a similar scene over and over, but I am looking for something--what, I don't know. I am looking for the perfect story. The one I read and I go, Okay, that's it. I feel complete. Weird, yes, but if my writing bothers, I apologize---when I get it right, it'll be worth it...right?