This is the original story. I wanted to submit it as a contest piece on another forum, but it needed like 1,500 more words, so I thought I might as well update it on here. Hope you like the new paragraphs I've put in. Thanks for reading, please review =)


Severus Snape took his place at the High Table for the start of term feast, just as he did every year, wearing the same black robes as he usually did, the same hat, the same unpleasant look upon his face. However, despite his outer coolness, despite the calm, collected fixed stare, inside he was a mess. He despised himself for this; anyone who allowed their emotions to overcome them was weak and foolish in his opinion.

His black eyes were staring, like everyone else's in the Great Hall, upon a small wooden door that led to a small ante-chamber, where the terrified first years would be waiting to be led out and sorted. However, he knew that he had a very different reason to be staring at the door than the other teachers and students.

Behind that door, concealed behind a bit of wood and stone was the son of Lily Evans the only child of the woman he had loved since he was a small boy. He had never seen this child, he did not know what he looked like, but Snape could still picture clearly, even after all these years, his mother's beautiful face. Her almond shaped green eyes still shone clearly in his mind's eye, surrounded by her pale skin and thick chestnut locks.

With a creak of wood, the doors of the anti-chamber swung open and Professor McGonagall swept in, followed by a gaggle of trembling eleven year olds. Snape's eyes swept the group, trying to pick out one face from the mass. Which boy was it? He did not know what he was looking for. Did he have his mother's red hair and green eyes, or did he not look like her at all? Did he have the dark hair and eyes of his father? As he thought of James Potter, Snape wondered if he actually wanted to see the boy at all. Would this Harry taint his memories of Lily by reminding him of the man he had hated so passionately and for so many reasons? He snapped his eyes away from the group and stared down at the solid wooden table, his mind in turmoil. He would have to know the boy at some point.

Snape paid no attention to the names being called by the deputy head. Maybe if he tuned out the words, he wouldn't hear the name and it would put off the moment that he would have to look at the boy. He wasn't even sure if he wanted to see vestiges of Lily in someone else's face, he didn't know if he could cope, if it wouldn't bring back the old grief and pain he felt, drag it up into his conscience again.

Suddenly, he was jerked back to harsh reality as Professor McGonagall's voice cut through him like a whiplash.

'Longbottom, Neville,' she called, reading the Name from the scroll in her hands.

Longbottom.

Snape felt like his stomach had been plunged unsparingly into the freezing lake beyond the walls of the castle as the boy's Name was called. The shock of the unexpected had caused him to jerk suddenly in his seat, causing several of his colleagues to shoot him nervous looks of concern. He pointedly ignored them, refusing to meet their eyes ad instead stared at the podgy, round faced boy who was currently extracting himself from among the thicket of students.

He did not know how to feel. He had forgotten, completely forgotten in his torment that this Boy would also be starting school this year. This Boy who should have been the one marked By the Dark Lord as his equal, as his enemy. This Boy should e the one who was parentless and alone, or else dead in the Dark Lord's stead. His father should have been the one who died to defend him; it should have been his mother who was the one forced to give up her life for her son. Not her. Not Lily. It should have never been her. She didn't deserve to die like that; she should have gone on, lived forever. But she hadn't. She was dead; asleep forever beneath a blanket of earth, asleep beside her husband. Briefly, she flitted through his mind, her red hair dancing in the breeze. This was how she would remain, forever young, unlike he, who would age and crumple with mortality and time. A thought entered his head, one that he had not dared to think of for many years. A thought in which she was alive, maddened with grief for her husband ad child, a thought in which she would have fled to his arms for comfort, and he would console her like a lover.

No. he banished the thought before it even had time to formulate properly. Wishes like that would ring him to nowhere but despair. He had forsaken that hope a long time ago, and it would not haut him now.

In determination, he turned his mid back towards the lumpy boy who was still sitting o the stool, hat falling about his eyes. He peered at him with an almost sickening curiosity, the kind of look that one wears when examining a wart o ones finger. He was nervous, Snape could tell, as first years always were, but there was something about this boy's air that made Snape loath him; he seemed pathetic, the fact that he was spending so much time sat foolishly o the stool confirmed that. He felt that he would dislike the boy even if he did not know about the boy's lucky escape.

When the hat announced him as Gryffindor ad Neville jogged off still wearing the hat, Snape was among one of those who laughed at the silliness of the situation, although the good humour preset in other chuckles was assent. Instead, it was replaced y a cruel, side laugh designed to sting ad hurt. Snape would not let the boy forget what he himself had lost.

In disgust, he turned away from the celebrating Gryffindor's and concentrated once more o the dwindling cluster of children at the foot of the platform on which the staff table stood. Remembering who was among them, he jerked his head away ad looked down at the tale. Once again, Minerva's voice rang out across the hall.

'Potter, Harry!'

Despite himself, his eyes jumped up from where they were boring into the knotted wood of the table, and he tingled in anticipation as they strained towards the small groups just meters away from him, where he knew the boy would be. For the second time, Lily danced tantalisingly through his head. This was the boy who should be his son, the son he should have had. Not the son of that Potter.

A small boy stepped forward, trembling from head to foot. Snape felt all the muscles in his entire body clench tight, and his fists balled tightly in his lap. He was oblivious to the fact his log nails were cutting into the palm of his hands; he could not feel the pain. He leaned forward slightly so that he could get a better view, blind to the fact that almost everybody else at the Staff tale was doing so. He could only see the back of the boy's head, but that told him everything. The jet black messy hair stood out like a beacon and everything In Snape's being ached to see how it stuck up in every direction, ruffled ad windblown, as if he had just dismounted from a broomstick. It was hair that Snape recognised painfully well. It was His hair.

He forced himself to look away from the boy as he sat on the stool, he felt like he was boiling over in anger, in hatred. Everything James Potter had ever done to him came flooding ack. All the tormenting and laughing, the malicious hexes and ruthless name calling. And then, then there was the other effects of James Potter. The way he had caused him to insult Lily I that despicable way, the way he had caused her hatred, The way he had been there, the charming Knight, to pick up the pieces and steal his precious gem away from him forever.

Out of the corner of his eye Snape saw Dumbledore turn slightly to look at him, but he blanked him out, refusing to meet his gaze. He knew what the Headmaster was thinking ad did not want to see the satisfaction or even comfort and sympathy in his eyes.

Dimly, he heard a cheer and looked up ever so slightly to see the Gryffindor's jumping and applauding. Of course, he thought with a seer, he would be in that house. They had both been Gryffindor's, he recalled with a pang. They had both upheld the hour of that house I the manner of their deaths. The hour ad bravery required to give one's life for ones so and the willingness to do so. As he regarded the clapping students he felt as if he had ever hated that house more; it had cost her her life.

Snape forced himself to blank out the rest of the sorting. Fists still clenched under the tale, he determinedly stopped his mid from wandering into the dark corner where she dwelt. Soon, the feast was starting and he was recovering himself somewhat, all the time careful not to let his eyes stray towards the table where both boys sat.

It was halfway through the feast when Snape accidentally glanced in the Harry's direction. One of the Weasley twins had caught his eye as he flung a boiled carrot at his older brother across the table, ad so he found himself looking towards the Gryffindor table where Harry, the last living, breathing relic of Lily sat. Ay sense of foreboding that he might have felt was gone, smothered y the blanket of curiosity. The initial shock at seeing the boy was over now, and his eyes sought him, flitting from face to face until he found him, sitting beside the youngest of the Weasley's. He watched the boy, who had his back to him and eventually, Harry looked round. All in one moment, Severus saw not the boy, but James Potter staring back at him, he ignored the bright green eyes that greeted him, he only saw the dark, messy hair and thin face that belonged to James, and the snide remarks and humiliation that seemed to follow wherever James went. In that moment, Snape forgot Lily and her kind nature. He only remembered the man, James Potter, the one Lily had loved, not Severus Snape.

He had ruined her, Snape thought savagely, this offspring of James's, staring back at him. Snape stared right back, seeing only the pigheaded, arrogant toe rag that was James Potter. Seething, he turned away from the exact copy of Lily's eyes that looked curiously at him. He would never properly see those eyes; never fully appreciate how extraordinarily they looked like hers until the day he died.