This story is a few years old. Younger than To Break or Bury, but older than Trouble and One-X. Each time this has been posted, it has been re-written. I believe this is the 4th. So you get the best version to-date. Do let me know if something doesn't make sense.
Summary: Fully alive, more than most. Ready to smile and love life. Fully alive and she knows how to believe in futures.
Disclaimer: Nothing has changed. If you have any questions, refer to the prologue.
It was either late morning or early afternoon as a small boy stalked down the Hogwarts Express corridor. He was a scrawny lad with pale skin which offset his dark, greased hair. His face, which was made up of cold, black eyes, a hooked nose, and thin lips, was turned to a scowl. He had traveled the great length of the train and still had not come across an empty compartment. And while he knew most others would have buddied up with some friendly faces, he chose to bypass them, merely due to a run-in he had with a bespectacled boy with unruly dark hair. No matter how optimistic his mother told him to be, he couldn't help the feeling in the pit of his gut that suggested their run-ins wouldn't be just a one-time thing.
As he reached the back of the train he realized he wouldn't find what he was looking for. But he supposed he'd find the nearest and next best thing: a near empty compartment. With a new goal in mind, he quickly set out and found one. The only occupant being a small girl, more than likely a first year like himself. The first thing he noticed about her caused him to blush, his pale skin making it look more severe than what it really was. She was laying on her back, holding a kitten over her head, and her legs were folded up, with a small puffball owl on her knee, which caused the length of her skirt to fall onto her stomach. However, it looked like she was smart enough to have at least put on a pair of shorts.
The boy opened the door, which went unnoticed by the girl, and was greeted by the girl singing the word "meow" to what he recognized as a Muggle cat-food jingle. "Just what are you doing?" He questioned to interrupt her little serenade. She sat up from her laying position and deposited the kitten into her now crossed legs while the little owl flew to rest on her shoulder. She stared at him blankly before tilting her head in confusion. "I thought I was singing... Wasn't I?" He didn't answer but his scowl melded into a look of either confusion or annoyance, the writer remains unsure of which.
'Either this girl's truly dim or she's a very good actress.'
Straightening her head, the girl broke out into a wide grin. "You can sit here if you want. I'd like some company besides Squirrel and Muffin," she spoke while motioning to the opposite bench. He gave her a critical look as an eyebrow shot up, silently questioning which name belonged to which animal, but he quickly dropped the thought and shuffled inside. Once his trunk was set on the hanger above and he was seated, he found the girl had taken to staring at him as if he were some great discovery.
He attempted to ignore it, choosing to turn his attention to the rapidly passing countryside, but with the knowledge that her eyes were practically glued to him unnerved him greatly and he finally had to snap out. "What?" She simply continued to stare at him for another minute, all the while furthering to irk the boy. "... you have nice hair. What's your name?" He stared at her, confusion evident on his face, before crossing his arms and turning away. There was another tinge of pink on his pale skin which went unnoticed by the innocent-minded girl. After another few minutes of silence he curtly said, "Severus Snape." The girl broke out into another grin before replying.
"I'm Lita Donolov! It's really nice to meet you!"
A Few Weeks Later
"Hey! There goes Snape with his lost puppy!"
The voice of a 5th-year Hufflepuff yelled out as Severus rushed by. He looked irritated and a little flushed, like he had been rushing for a long amount of time. But to him, it was necessary. As a first year Slytherin, or a Slytherin in general, he was to conform to the hatred towards anyone outside the Snake's House. Muggleborns, blood traitors, muggle sympathizers... students from the pitiful Ravenclaw House, the lowly Hufflepuff, and their natural rival Gryffindor. So can anyone really explain why he, a proud Slytherin pureblood, was constantly being trailed by a muggleborn Gryffindor?
Looking behind him, Severus found his "lost puppy" was keeping up with him. It was the girl he had met on the train, Lita. For whatever reason, she had taken to following him and, naturally, the combination of the two opposites picked up a lot of attention. Everyone they passed would stop their conversation to snicker and point. Due to his self-consciousness, Severus wasn't fond of the attention at all and would always look towards the floor and shuffle along as quickly as possible, without breaking into a mad dash, of course. Lita, on the other hand, took everything in a much better stride.
When anyone took to taunting her about being a lost puppy, she'd simply reply that puppies were cute. When they would point and snicker, she'd smile and wave. When anyone asked her why she took to following him, her answer was always the same. While he'd never admit it aloud, he found the girl to be absolutely amazing… in a extremely simple kind-of way.
Feeling his eyes on her, Lita stopped in mid-wave to send him a smile. This just caused his scowl to deepen as another round of snickers and pointing went their way. Not being able to take it anymore, Severus rounded on the girl, grabbing her wrist, and pulling her down a few corridors until there was no one around.
"Something wrong Sevvy?" She questioned innocently while he gave a noticeable twitch. Instead of addressing the nickname he wasn't especially fond of, he glared angrily at her. "Yes something's wrong! You're what's wrong! I've got enough to be teased about without you tailing me everywhere!" Lita just looked at him hurt, eyes beginning to water over and sniffling pitifully. "But Severus... You're the first one I saw." Somewhere along the way, the boy had turned away from her, but once she finished her statement, he made the biggest mistake he could make: He looked at her.
Now by some standards, that isn't so bad, but to see a little girl who always smiles and grins, even at her tormentors, with a new look of absolute sadness just because you told her to leave you be... That's enough to make just about anyone cave.
Severus shifted nervously, quite uncomfortable about having made her cry. Lita sniffled again before wiping away a stray tear with her sleeve. Her eyes were cast on the ground when she mumbled a quiet "sorry" and turned to leave. She only made it a few steps away before he grabbed her wrist again. Lifting her tearful face, she saw he looked reproachful, as if whatever he was about to do was the worse thing in the world. "Look... how about... if I meet you... at the lake? Will you stop following me?" Lita sniffled before adding her own part to the deal. "Every night?" Severus was about to yell a protest, but another look into those big doe eyes of her's and he caved terribly. "Fine― ah!" He yelped out loud as the girl suddenly glomped him causing him to lose his balance and the two to go tumbling to the floor.
'Oh Merlin, what have I gotten myself into?'
Gryffindor Tower - A Few Days Later
Peals of laughter erupted in the Gryffindor Common Room, the perpetrators being a pair of 1st-year girls. The first was the little lamb, Lita (which should come as no surprise considering that this is her story) while the other was a different face, newer to the lamb's memory, but quickly rising to being one of her favorite people.
The new girl was Lily Evans, a fellow muggleborn that bunked with Lita. She had amazing magical ability for her age and upbringing, already surpassing those who'd been born under the knowledge that they were "superior." But beneath her fiery hair, she held a kind face and, to Lita's absolute delight, "the most amerzing green eyes ever!" Even a blind man could tell that girl was going to grow up beautiful.
A series of bells interrupted the pair, but signaled the beginning of dinner, something which had been forgotten in their exuberant chatting.
"I'll see you at dinner then?"
"Yup! Save me a seat, k?"
And so the pair separated, the redhead slipping out the portrait hole while the other disappeared up the steps to the dormitories. It was a simple routine they'd fallen into; Lily would scope out a sitting place in the Hall while Lita would feed her kitten. After all, pet care is very important…
Finishing that task, Lita slipped out her dorm door and down the stairs. Though the word tumble might be a bit more appropriate as her foot caught in the rug and she fell down the remaining stairs, landing in a heap at the floor.
"Owie…" pouted Lita piteously as she lay there, head cradled in her hands. After a moment or two of silence, she lifted rose into a sitting position and looked herself over. Other than the light layer of dirt on her uniform, she was unscathed. But she still garnered the attention of the only other person left in Gryffindor Tower.
"Excuse me? Are you alright?"
Looking up, she found a boy standing in front of her. He had slightly shaggy brown hair and his robes were a little patched. His eyes, which were a lovely shade of amber, held a good bit of concern for the fallen girl.
"Yes, I'm fine. Not even broken in the least little bit!"
The boy had to jump back as Lita suddenly popped up, a wide smile on her face as she demonstrated her un-brokenness. In spite of himself, the boy found a small smile working its way onto his face as he watched her. This girl was just too cute… not like "attractive" cute, but "aw" cute… Not to say that she wasn't attractive because she was, but it was… just… that… He had been so wrapped up in his thoughts (and fighting off an embarrassed blush, without success) that he failed to catch what she was saying till the end.
"I'm sorry, what?"
"I asked what your name is."
"Oh. It's Remus. Remus Lupin."
Lita gave him a nod and strode forward, leaving almost no space between her and him and causing his hidden blush to re-emerge full-force. Her doe eyes were narrowed as she stared at him and the tip of her tongue poked out from behind her teeth; a true sign of concentration.
"W-what're you doing?"
"... you've got really pretty eyes."
"Uh... thank you?"
Once satisfied with herself, for what reason not even I know, Lita backed away. She continued to stare at him while clasping her hands behind her back and rocking on her feet. Neither made any motion to leave, but a look into the boy's uneasy eyes showed that was what he desperately wanted to do. "Hey Rem, you're gonna be my new friend, k?" Remus looked at her questioningly, finding himself drawn in by her undeniability, answering "sure" before nearly being knocked off his feet. His blush burned brighter as she buried her head into his chest and even through his shirt he could feel her wide grin before she yelled out, although it was slightly muffled.
"Remmy's my new friend! ... who smells like chocolate! YUM!"
A Few Years Later - 4th Year
"Scruffy! Snuffles took my shoe!" Cried Lita as she groped around in the dark for the offending thief. It had been about three years since the two befriended each other and in doing so, Lita picked up three more friends: A messy-haired boy named James, a grey-eyed boy named Sirius, and a mousy boy named Peter. They were such a mismatched group, but anyone could see how deep their friendship ran.
"Padfoot, give Lumi back her shoe!" Said Remus as he led the way down the dark tunnel. He was sickly looking as he shuffled along. It had been about two years ago when his friends discovered about him being a werewolf. Once they found the cause for his monthly sicknesses and disappearances, all four of them had secretly studied to become animangi. It was only recently that they were all able to transform and tonight would be the first they'd go to the Shrieking Shack.
Lita continued to grope for the thief when her hands touched something big and furry which quickly turned to smooth skin and a grinning mouth. But the real kicker, the one that brought a scowl to the typically cheerful girl's face, was the shoe dangling in the thief's mouth.
"Ew! Snuffles! You got dog slobber on my shoe!" Cried Lita as she pulled the shoe from his mouth, cleaning the slobber off on his robes. Her only response was a bark-like laugh before a large, rough tongue licked up the side of her face. "Ew! Snuffles! Bleck! Gross!" Screeched the girl while furiously wiping away the spit. "Oi you two! Hush up, we're here," called James from up front.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Questioned Remus once they were all in the Shack. He'd been nervous and fearful for his friends ever since they got the crazy determination to spend his transformation nights with him. "'Course we are Moony. Don't―" Remus failed to hear the comforting words to follow because a quick glance out the window had him losing his humanity.
The next morning Remus woke to find himself on a bed in naught but a blanket. Sitting up he looked around for the damage he knew he had caused. All-in-all, it wasn't too terrible. Sirius was fast asleep, as a behemoth of a dog, on a couch whose cushions were shredded. James was oddly sprawled on a chair which back legs had broken off. And Peter was curled on some fallen curtains in the corner. He was relieved to find all of his friends safe and in one piece. All except for Lita. She was nowhere to be seen and his mind instantly ran through all of the worse case scenarios. 'Did I... Could I have... Is she…?' He couldn't, wouldn't, follow a direct thought but images of a werewolf ripping apart a little ball of fluff flooded his mind.
"Scruffy! You're awake!" Remus instantly snapped his head towards the voice and found the innocent, blue-eyed girl walking through the door. He heaved a noticeable sigh as he put his hand over his heart as if to calm the rapid beating. "You scared me. I thought I had…" He trailed off not wanting to speak his horrific thoughts. She merely sent him an apologetic smile before apologizing verbally. "I just went back to the castle. I figured you might need some clothes and maybe you were hungry." It was then that he noticed the clothes and muffins in her hands.
Remus took the clothes as she looked away. He was nearly done dressing, only a few more buttons on his shirt, when he heard her speak. "You know we're gonna be here for you, right? We're never gonna leave you. It doesn't matter if you get a bit hairy once a month, we'll always be with you. Especially me. You're my best friend, Remus. I love you."
The young wolf couldn't help but falter as he finished buttoning his shirt. Lita had always been an honest, and rather forward, person. It hadn't been the first time she'd said such a thing to him, but with the absolute sureness in her eyes and the sincerity in her voice, he couldn't help the sudden rush of butterflies that swarmed his insides. Maybe it was his imagination or maybe it was just wishful thinking, but he couldn't help but feel the way she said it was different than the other times. But despite all the things he couldn't help, he knew, without a hint of doubt, that he'd never appreciate her any more than this moment in time.
"You should eat your muffin before Snuffles wakes up."
A Year Later - The Night Before Final Exams
It was dinner time and the Great Hall was full of hungry students. Lily and Lita were seated together at the Gryffindor table, speaking animatedly with each other. They had just gotten onto the subject of "futures" when they were suddenly joined by the Marauders. James took the seat beside Lily, running his fingers through his ever-messy hair while Sirius sat directly across from the bespectacled boy. Remus, with his ever-large stack of books in tow, sat across from Lita and Peter brought up the rear, taking the seat in-between the two mutts.
In an attempt to be smooth, James wrapped his arm over Lily's shoulder as he sent her a cheeky grin. "So nice to see you again, Evans. You look absolutely wonderful tonight." Instantly his arm was shaken off and Lily clipped for the boy to "go away."
"Aw, c'mon Lily. I'm not that bad, tell her Lita!" said James, practically begging for the small girl's help, but all he received was an owlish look and a tilt of the head. "I can't. Lily told me not to lie." His grin instantly fell and Sirius let out his signature laugh. Remus, who had busied himself with reading one of his books, just let a smile grace his lips and Peter gave a hesitant laugh, torn between his two heroes. James, in the meanwhile, heaved a heavy sigh and muttered something along the lines of "why's everyone got to put me down?"
Dinner passed by in its usual pace. Lily, getting fed up with James' persistence, left to go back to their dorm. Although it didn't do much for distance as James followed right after. Sirius left shortly after the pair; with his entertainment gone he turned his attention to a pretty little Ravenclaw. Even Peter had left, claiming he had "people to meet" which just left Lita and Remus. Closing his book, Remus looked over at her. "Ready to go?" She tapped her chin in thought before something caught her attention. "Ah! I'm sorry Scruffy, there's something I gotta take care of." She spoke while giving him an apologetic smile. He simply waved it off and let her go.
Lita made her way to the courtyard and looked around. It was apparent she was looking for someone, and by the sudden triumphant look on her face, she'd found them. Dropping to a crouched position, she silently made her way towards the person. She'd been a foot away from the person when a slightly cold voice stopped her. "Hello Kios." She instantly pouted while dropping her espionage act. "Aw Lias! How'd you know I was there?" She asked as she moved beside him. Near the end of their 5th year and Severus was still as pale and lanky as he had been when he first arrived. Though his height, hair, and, unfortunately for him, nose had grown as well. Turning to the girl, he found she had clasped her hands behind her back and was rocking on the balls of her feet; it was a pose he had often found her in. The bat-like teen stared down at her, bringing a finger to his temple he answered her question. "You were practically yelling your thoughts to me." Lita seemingly accepted the answer because she tugged him to sit down.
The two sat at the far side of the lake, purposely hidden behind foliage and shadows. Which was probably a good thing, too, considering how they were seated. Lita was seated behind Severus with a leg on each side of his. Her thin arms were wrapped around his torso, thumbs stroking back and forth on his stomach, while she rested her head against his back, the purest smile of happiness on her face. If Severus was disturbed by her affection, he didn't show it. In fact, he almost, almost, looked as if he were enjoying it.
In these little meetings, they never felt the need to speak, simply being with each was enough. But as time ticked on, they could feel that curfew was growing closer, so they got ready to go their separate ways. With one last hug, Lita raced away towards the Tower not knowing this would be the last happy moment she'd spend with him for decades to come.
The Next Day
"Who are you calling so short you want to squish like an ant?"
"Calm down, he didn't say anything like that."
"But he was thinking it."
Sighing heavily, Lily pulled her angry little friend away. It was common knowledge that Lita was... sensitive about her height and after leaving their Charms O.W.L.s Lita had been confronted by a boy who had made a slight suggestion that she was short. Pulling her away, Lily brought Lita out to the courtyard where they joined up with some of the other girls in their year. They had just fallen into a light conversation over their O.W.L.s when someone yelling "Expelliarmus!" caught their attention.
Looking towards the voice, Lita's eyes widened as she saw Severus' wand fly into the air and land a few feet behind him. Shortly after a loud bark-like laugh, Sirius joined his friend. Pointing out his wand, he yelled "Impedimenta!" which knocked Severus off his feet when he made a mad dash for his wand. Lita continued to watch, frozen in her spot, as her friend lay panting on the ground. Both James and Sirius advanced on him with their wands drawn. Only when James looked over his shoulder in their, mostly Lily's, direction did she get to her feet. The look on James' face was one the little lamb was familiar with, having seen it a million times when he wanted to impress Lily.
"How'd the exam go, Snivelly?" 'James'
"I was watching him, his nose was touching the parchment. There'll be great grease marks all over it, they won't be able to read a word." 'Sirius'
Lita moved through the building crowd only being able to hear what they were saying, her frown deepening as she listened to her snake-ish friend pant out words. This would be the first time, in a long time, that she would express something other than naïve happiness. The last had been a very similar situation like this where James and Sirius had decided to show off and prank, if you could call it that, Severus. Lita had become so furious with them, the two jokesters had made a note, and promise, never to do anything like that in her presence. Needless to say, they broke their promise.
Breaking through the crowd, Lita heard her snake-ish friend let out a stream of curses and cusses. But alas, since his wand was still on the ground, it didn't failed to do him any good. "Wash out your mouth. Scourgify!" She stopped dead at the coldness in James' voice and looked at Severus. Pink bubbles were spewing from his mouth. They were making him gag... they were making him choke...
The thoughts that her first friend was choking, hurting, didn't seem to register properly as she was once again frozen in her spot. Only when a loud yell broke through did she realize what was happening. All attention had shifted over to Lily and boy did she look livid. "All right Evans?" questioned James as he eyed his flame, though she ignored his ogling and demand he leave the boy alone.
"What's he ever done to you?"
"Well, it's more that fact that he exists, if you know what I mean... ow! Bloody hell, what was... Lita?"
The crowd watched on, shocked but still very interested in this turn of events. Lita had let her mind switch to auto-pilot and in doing so, she moved on impulse. She punched him, and quite hard I might add considering James had stumbled back a few steps and was clutching his cheek that was already beginning to bruise. "You idiots... You, you damn bloody idiots! You said you wouldn't, promised you wouldn't... And now you're... and he's..." Lita stumbled through her speech, words seeming to fail her as angry tears threatened her sight, but the crowd didn't seem to care. After all, the titchy little girl had never cussed before... or been violent for that matter, but hey, all the better entertainment... Stupid frickin' spectators being stupid frickin' idiots…
Scusi, back to the situation at hand. Everyone was broken out of their stupor as a flash of light streaked across the area and a gash appeared on the opposite side of James' bruise. In another flash, the greasy-haired Slytherin was hanging upside down in the air, an immediate feeling of blood rush as his robes fell over his head. Again, the crowd laughed as well as James and Sirius, but neither Lily nor Lita found it humorous. Jumping back into the fray, Lily demanded he put him down and with a flick of his wand, Severus came crashing down to the ground. After fixing his robes, he rose from the ground with his wand out. But it was in vain as Sirius yelled "Locomotor mortis!" and he fell over, stiff as a board.
"LEAVE HIM ALONE!" screamed both Lily and Lita as they whipped out their wands. Both boys eyed the offending weapons, only whatever higher power that be knew what they'd do. "Ah, Evans, don't make me hex you," said James earnestly. "You too Lita, put it down," said Sirius obviously not wanting to hurt his surrogate little sister. "Then let him down!" James sighed, but relented to the infuriated females. He muttered the countercurse and Severus struggled to his feet. "There you go. You're lucky Evans and Lita were here, Snivellous―"
"I don't need help from filthy little Mudbloods like them!"
The words slipped past his lips faster than his brain could register and once they did, he realized his mistake. Sneaking a look at Lita he found she had a look of absolute shock etched on her face before she bit her lip and looked away. His heart ached at the rejection, never before having the young lamb turn from him, but he didn't have any longer to dwell on his slip up when two wands were pointed at him. "Apologize to Evans/Lita!" The boys yelled in equal fervor, but it didn't put them back in favor with either girl, especially the young redhead. "I don't want you to make him apologize. You're as bad as he is." Shouted Lily as she rounded on them, but more specifically James, thus sparking another infamous Lily/James argument/fight which gathered everyone's attention... well, almost everyone.
The little lamb kept her eyes glued to the grass, refusing to look anyone in the eye, and allowing her friends to yell around her. Her mind was in a jumble, but she still noticed the familiar niggling prodding in her head. There was a whisper of a voice trying to tell her something, but she quickly shut it out. Even through all the yelling, she could still hear the hiss of pain from the bat-like boy and she had to steel herself against her guilt.
Once Lily could take no more of James, she turned from him, gently taking a hold of Lita's hand and leading the small girl from the scene. Both boys called for them to come back, but neither girl even gave them a glance. The look on the lamb's face was blank, but obviously sad which prompted the green-eyed beauty to speak. "I'm so sorry. I know how close you and him actually were… are you going to be alright?" Lita's will to move deserted her, pulling Lily to a stop beside her as the severity of all it came crashing down.
'Not were, are... We are close... aren't we? I mean, Severus doesn't really think of me like that... but he sounded so sure... even after all these years, he―'
Lita shook her head free of her troubling thoughts, concentrating on something other than the hurting in her chest and turned to Lily, an overly happy smile on her face. "It's alright, It's not your fault or nothing, so don't apologize!" She turned and led them on, ignoring the steady stream of tears that were falling down her still smiling face.
Twenty years have passed since the day Lita Donolov fell asleep, giving the young lamb enough time to relive her memories, at least once. But something was happening as she lay unchanged in her 15-year-old body, the same she had the day of her accident. Something, no, someone was tugging at her consciousness, shaking her sleeping form back into the waking world. Opening her eyes Lita came face-to-face with a man with wavy blond hair, bright blue eyes to rival her own, and a broad, vacant smile that revealed dazzlingly white teeth.
"Ah, you're finally awake! Must've fainted when I came in. Don't worry, happens all the time. Now, how many autographs would you like? I can do joined-up writing, you know!"
A shrill scream echoed throughout the halls of St. Mungo's, followed by various crashes and bangs. But the thing that really caught attention was the yell.
"THERE'S A NUTTER IN MY ROOM!"
Now here I sit, so far away.
Remembering all our memories.
It's times like these that I miss you most,
Remembering when we were so close.
MEST (ft Benji Madden) : Jaded (These Years) : MEST
Nicknames: Lita's Marauder nickname would be Lumi. Severus' nickname for Lita is Akakios, or Kios, for short. A name from Greek mythos meaning "innocent, not evil." Lita's more adult nickname for Severus is Kallias, or Lias. Again, a name from Greek mythos, this time meaning "beauty." If you question why someone would give the man such a name:
"Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it."