Disclaimer: I do not own any aspect of Harry Potter.

I am sorry for the long wait life has been crazy. It looks like I won't be working much this summer so I will have more time then to write, that is unless nothing else insane comes up. Thank you to all of you who continue to read and review my story and a huge shout out to my amazing BETA Melissa Ivory

Chapter Sixty-Three

A Holiday to Remember

It was a cold and blustery Christmas Eve, snow covered the ground like a blanket, wind whipped and whistled through the air. Not a soul dare venture outside but stayed safely in their warm and cozy homes, as was the case with the Snape family. A tall, perfectly decorated evergreen tree stood majestically near the front window, presents, big and small surrounding its base. Three little girls sat on a rug nearby playing with toys while their parents sat together on a dark gray love seat, sipping on glasses of elf-made wine while they talked and laughed. A fire lit the small front room, stockings hung on the mantel above. The only one missing from this happy scene was the son of the family, a young teen that was currently in the kitchen, talking on the phone with his girlfriend.

Lily sighed as she leaned against the kitchen counter, curing the phone cord around her finger. She had spent the evening with her mum, watching it's a Wonderful Life on the telly, and opening a single present, as was tradition. It was still hard sometimes going on with the holidays without her dad, but with each passing year it got a little easier.

"Petunia's with Alex, Mum said the weathers too bad for her to be driven home so it looks like she'll be spending the night there," Lily said with a laugh. "Mum's not exactly thrilled but I'm sure Petunia isn't complaining."

Severus smirked at Lily's comment, though in truth he was hoping Lily's older sister would be there, but not because he desired her company. Petunia, while not nearly as hostile toward him as his first go around, was still far from friendly.

"Anyway," Lily went on, "I'm looking forward to coming over in the morning. I got you a great gift, Sev. You'll just love it."

"Did you now?"

"Oh yes," her eyes drifted to the gift in question as it trotted into the kitchen alongside her own cat, Salem. "I saw it and just couldn't resist!"

Severus knew Lily was always thoughtful in the gifts she gave to others, so he was sure whatever it was he would love. He just hoped she would be excited about his gift as she was hoping. Technically it wasn't exactly for her, but it would certainly affect her. Master Flamel had sent it over to him a couple of days before. They had been working on it through correspondence the last month in a half, though it hadn't been a high priority as preparing for the next test trails for the Werewolf Cure had been more pressing. The alchemist, however, had a sudden break though and combined with Severus' previous research and ideas on the subject Nicholas was able to come up with a preliminary elixir he though may have potential. When he tested it he wasn't expecting results he received, and notified Severus immediately.

Severus had been shocked yet beyond elated that it worked. Flamel had informed Severus that he had tested it on several animals with success and then moved onto human testing, an acquaintance who had obtained a spinal injury similar to Petunia's in a Quidditch accident. The potion had been completely successful and the man was standing within in minuets and walking within the first hour.

Severus had originally gotten Lily a music box, but that could wait for her birthday.

XXX

Narcissa sat criss-cross on her bed, staring down at the small item in her hand trying to contemplate why James Potter had sent her a gift at all, let alone such a thoughtful and beautiful one. Her eyes drifted to the note which rested on her bed beside the small box the butterfly came it. It was brief, but said so much.

"Narcissa,

I saw this and thought of you. I hope you're thinking of me as well.

Your friend,

James Potter

It was a blue and green colored glass butterfly with intricate designs outlined in gold on its wings. When you spoke the word 'flutter' it was charmed to flap its wings and fly in small circles. She had always loved butterflies from she was a small child, but how in the world did Potter know that? The bigger question, however, was why had he even sent it in the first place? Was it possible that he fancied her? She shook her head at the thought. Yes perhaps he hadn't been his usually arrogant, annoying self recently, and he had even complemented her on a few occasions strangely enough, but did that really mean anything? She could admit she found him attractive, funny, and somewhat charming when he wasn't being a complete ass, but the gift made her wonder if he possibly may have more than simply feelings of friendship for her.

Lily had been joking about her running off with Potter for a while now but that's all it was, a joke. That was all it was ever meant to be. The young blonde sighed as she whispered 'flutter' and watched the small glass object raise from her palm and begin to fly in tiny circles around her.

"That's a nice little trinket."

Narcissa looked over to see her older sister Bellatrix standing in her door way. "Yes," she spoke as the butterfly landed softly back in her palm, "it is."

"Where did you get it?" Bella asked taking several steps into her sister's room.

"A friend from school sent it," She admitted, placing said trinket gently in the box it had come in.

"Is that so," A smirk pulled to the eldest Black sister's lips as she sat down beside Narcissa. "Would this friend happen to be a boy?"

Narcissa couldn't help the blush that rose to her cheeks as she nodded.

"Ah, so you have found someone to replace Lucius?" She asked a gleam of curiosity filled her grey eyes.

Narcissa shrugged, "I don't know… maybe."

"Maybe? Do you like him or not." Bella asked bluntly.

Narcissa sighed but with a nod admitted that she did. "He's very handsome and funny, but…"

"But what?" Bella asked when he sister did not continue right away.

"Well, it's complicated."

The elder witch huffed and crossed her arms over her chest, "If you tell me you've fallen for some Mudblood like Andy did, I will hex you right here and now!"

Narcissa snorted and shook her head, "No, he's a Pureblood."

"Okay, then what's the problem?"

"Well, we've had sort of an odd relationship up to this point," Narcissa admitted. "At first I kind of hated his guts but now, well lately, I've been noticing a side of him I didn't before."

"Most boys are idiots, Crissa, but they grow out of it, usually," she said with a dramatic roll of her eyes.

Narcissa chuckled, but looked down at the glass butterfly still resting in the box. "His family is noble, and ancient, not to mention quite wealthy."

"Then I repeat, what is the problem?"

The younger witch's eyes slowly rose to meet her sisters. "Well, he's a Ravenclaw but he has Gryffindor-ish tendencies."

Bellatrix brow rose, "So you're saying what… he's blood traitor?"

Narcissa groaned in response, in the end that was exactly what it came down to. "His family has leanings towards the light, yes, but… he likes me, I think, even though our family thinks differently than his. I mean that should say something don't you think?"

Narcissa had expected her very dark-minded, traditionalist sister to tell her she was crazy, that she would be burned off the family tree just like Andy if she even thought about pursing anything with him. To her surprise, however Bellatrix gave her sister an inquisitive look before saying, "You really care about this boy don't you? I mean, seriously have feelings for him."

It wasn't something Narcissa really wanted to admit to, especially to Bella, but it would seem her sister was already onto her and it wasn't like she was ever good at lying to her anyway. Bella could always get the truth out of her, sometimes with just a look.

"I… I think about him all the time Bella, dream about him. I try to hide it, but Merlin, I… I don't want to pretend anymore. Now that I have some idea that he may feel the same way, I can't just ignore this anymore."

Narcissa was somewhat surprised to see her sister's prying look suddenly fade, her expression softening.

"So, if you told mother and father about this boy and they refused to allow it, would you stay with him anyway?"

That was the million dollar question, wasn't it? She wanted to say yes, but was sorted into Slytherin for a reason, bravery was not one of her strong points. "I don't know Bella, but I know I have to choose someone soon. If I don't, Father will and for all I know, he could end up being worse than Malfoy."

"I suppose that's true," he sister agreed.

When Bellatrix had heard what Lucius had done to Narcissa, she saw to it that he paid the price. The Malfoy heir wouldn't be enjoying female companionship for quite some time thanks to his rash and uncouth behavior towards her little sister. Rodolphus had called her insane and that Malfoy had done nothing inappropriate. She had been quite tempted to place the same curse of her fiancée after he said that but choose instead to simply refuse his bed. It wasn't like she got much out of it anyway.

"Crissa," Bellatrix continued, "I'm going to give you some advice, advice that if I'm lucky I will take myself." Narcissa gave her sister a confused look.

"What?"

Standing, she placed a gentle hand on her younger sister's shoulder, looked deep into her clear blue eyes and said: "Follow your heart."

Narcissa smiled at her sister words, though it quickly faded when Bellatrix added, "If you tell anyone I told you that, I will hex you so badly the only boys that will be interested in you are trolls!"

And with that she swept out of the room as swiftly as a gust of wind.

XXX

Lily gave her boyfriend a confused look as he handed her a small bottle of cloudy grey liquid. "Um… I'm sorry Sev, but I don't recognize this?"

"No, I suppose you wouldn't," Severus said, scooting closer to Lily on the loveseat. The tiny pure white kitten that had been given to him by Lily just moments before jumped off his lap and quickly found a piece of wrapping paper to occupy his time with.

Eileen looked on in excitement, anxiously waiting for the reveal. Severus had told her and Tobias a couple of day ago about the potion being a success, and that he wanted to present it to Lily on Christmas Morning. She was currently having a heck of a hard time containing herself, she knew how huge of an impact this would have on the Evans family. Her eyes darted back and forth between her son, Lily and Rose who was looking as confused as Lily.

"It's a new potion", Severus went on, "one I have been working on for quite some time, though thanks to Master Flamel, it was completed much sooner than I had expected or even hoped for. It's actually more of a gift for your sister, but I wanted you to be the first to know of it."

Lily gasped in shock, her eyes widened in realization. "You mean… is—is this, will this make Tunny walk again?"

Severus gave his beloved a soft smile and nodded, "It will. It's already been successfully tested on a man with a similar injury to your sister's. I see very little possibility that it would fail."

Tears of joy rolled down Lily's cheeks as she looked between the small container in her hand and Severus. "Sev I… I don't have the words to properly express what this means to me, to our family."

"Neither do I," Rose added as she raced over to Severus pulling him into a strong embrace. "Thank you," she whispered into his hair, "Thank you."

"You are more than welcome, Mrs. Evans."

"Oh I just wish Petunia was here. She will be elated!" Rose exclaimed.

Severus would admit he was curious as to how Petunia would react; he doubted she would refuse the potion, though how much gratitude she would display he was unsure of.

"Severus, I honestly have to say that this is one of the proudest moments of my life," Severus turned to his father, who was looking over at him with complete admiration. Taking Julia, who had been sitting on his knee and handing him to his wife, he headed over to his son, kneeling in front of him. "First you use your amazing talents to help Remus and now Petunia. While you try hard not to show it, at times you are one of the kindest people I have ever known and I am beyond proud to call you my son."

He then did something the middle-aged Muggle rarely did at that time, he hugged his son.

Severus was surprised by the gesture, not to mention it was done in a small group of people, even if it was his own family and close friends; Tobias Snape was not an emotional man, this was a huge thing. While Severus accepted the hug happily, he honestly didn't feel like he deserved such praise. Yes, he was doing good deeds, but he had a lot of mistakes to make up for. It was penance for a lifetime of sins.

A/N: So there you go, next chapter Petunia takes the potion, Severus makes the front page of the Daily Prophet and Narcissa decided to do something very un-Slytherin.