Or, Five Times Lily Missed Severus
"Sev, Sev, look, I got O's in Arithmancy, Charms, and Potions!" Lily Evans would've shrieked.
"Great job, Lily! You're so brilliant!" Severus Snape might've replied.
"How about you?" Lily would've inquired diffidently.
"Potions, Ancient Runes, Transfiguration and Defense Against the Dark Arts," Sev probably would've answered; those were his best subjects.
"Wow, that's so great, congratulations!" Lily would've exclaimed, feeling the teensiest twinge of jealousy and squashing it down firmly.
"P in Herbology, though," Sev would've said, making a face, so as to make Lily feel better about her own scores (E's) in Ancient Runes, Transfiguration, and Defense Against the Dark Arts.
Lily, seeing this handsome sacrifice, might well have flung her arms around Sev's neck. "You're so good to me, best of all my friends!" She could've cried, somewhat indistinctly, into his shirt.
Sev probably would've stiffened for a second, but then he would've relaxed and hugged her back. Lily would hold on just a teensy bit longer than strictly necessary between friends, wondering when Sev'd get the hint.
He would never take advantage, though. And she would love him for it.
She could've scolded him for not racing over to her house to tell her his O.W.L. scores—to which he would undoubtedly reply that he'd assumed she'd come to him, and if he walked the couple of blocks, they'd probably miss each other in transit.
She could've laughed, and playfully swatted him on the arm. They could have talked for hours, or just sat together on adjacent swings in companionable silence.
They could've—if things had been different.
Sev could've taught Lily how to Apparate. He could've shown her just how to twist her left ankle so that she'd disappear and appear at will.
She would've laughed and cried with frustration, but eventually, with his hand on her waist and his low voice softly whispering instructions, she would've done it—Apparating them both to Honeydukes.
He would praise her and say she should have another try, just to make sure she really knew it, and she would giggle coquettishly and drag him into the candy shop. He would grumble and complain and end up buying her everything her eyes lingered on for longer than a second.
They could've walked back to Hogwarts, Lily talking a kilometer a minute, and Sev nodding and smiling and watching her hair bounce and sway and catch the late afternoon sun.
She could've told him impulsively, "I had a great time today," at the gates to the castle, and reached up and kissed him.
He would've stiffened for just one tiny second, and then he would kiss her back, and it would be bliss.
James Potter would see, and Lily would finally get up the courage to tell him, nicely but firmly, that if he didn't stop chasing her and harassing her with his unwanted attentions, and hexing her boyfriend, Sev, then she would report him to the Headmaster—and, if that didn't work, she'd move into the Slytherin dormitories to get away from him while she filed a Wizarding restraining order with the Wizengamot.
Gobsmacked, Potter would hardly know where to start—"Snivellus is your boyfriend? You'd rather be murdered in your bed by some enterprising pureblood fanatic Slytherin then sleep in the same dormitory with me? A restraining order?"
While he was still staring at Lily in outrage and stupefaction, and his friends were grouped round him looking bewildered and angry and (in the case of Remus Lupin) a little guilty, Lily would lead Sev up the steps and into the castle.
"Wow," Sev would say, once he'd recovered the power of speech. "Lily Sunshine Evans, I absolutely adore you."
Lily and Sev would be an acknowledged item by this point, and Lily would've persuaded Sev not to focus so much on the Dark Arts. In turn, he would've introduced her to the less bigoted and more palatable Slytherins, who, while never quite approving of her existence, would gradually come to accept her as the exception to their favorite no-Muggle-borns rule.
Lily would appeal to Dumbledore, and then to the Board of Governors, after dragging the story of the Whomping Willow and Lupin the werewolf out of Sev. None of the Maruaders, as they called themselves, would actually be expelled, but their casual disregard for human life would be revealed, and Potter would have his Head Boy badge revoked. Black would be in detention for all of seventh year. Lupin's identity would remain a well-guarded secret.
Upon James's removal, Sev, who would've relaxed a lot and consequently gotten much more popular over the past year, would be appointed Head Boy in Potter's place.
Lily would permanently move into the Slytherin Head Girl quarters, within easy reach of Sev, and the two of them would spend many happy hours snogging when they weren't running the school.
They would be voted Cutest Couple in the yearbook.
The Order of the Pheonix
Dumbledore would invite about half the graduating class (all the Gryffindors, half the Ravenclaws and half the Hufflepuffs) to a 'small' dinner party a few weeks after graduation. He would explain the mission of a vigilante group called the Order of the Pheonix, ask people to join, and frown direfully when Lily brought Sev.
"What's he doing here?" Potter would ask sourly, but Lily and Sev, secure in their relationship and their own brilliance, would magnanimously ignore him.
"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Sev would ask doubtfully, after the meeting. Everyone invited had agreed to join. "I mean, Dumbledore's asking us to put our lives on the line, here."
"He wouldn't ask if it weren't important," Lily would say with determination. "V-V-Voldemort is really, really evil."
"And evil must always be fought," Sev would finish for her, smiling.
It wouldn't be long after that—a bright, summery day in fall—when Sev asked Lily to marry him.
Dumbledore would've called Lily and Sev into his office, expression grave. "I'm afraid your child may be in danger," he would've said. Lily might've clutched her husband's arm, fearing the worst. Would her own dear son, Harry Severus Snape, be all right? She would pray for him desperately.
Dumbledore would go on about the prophecy, and finally about the need for a secret-keeper. "I offer myself—I am at your disposal," he would say gravely.
But Lily and Sev would already have someone in mind. Besides, as Sev explained later, it was hard to trust the man who'd been sitting on this information for about a year before passing it on. He'd heard the prophecy, but he hadn't realized, until recently when Voldemort started going after infants, that the Dark wizard must've heard of it somehow. Still, he could've warned the relevant parents a long time previously.
Lily might've firecalled her old school friend, Alice Callahan Longbottom, and the two women might've decided to be secret-keepers for each other, since Alice's son was also in danger. Frank and Sev might've bonded over some firewhiskey, and set up the ritual.
Sev, and Lily, and Harry, might've gone into deep hiding, so deep Voldemort would never find them.
They would've survived on Lily and Sev's combined salaries from the articles they'd both write for the Practical Potioneer (sent in to the editor by Dumbledore).
They could've heard of Peter Pettigrew's treachery from a minimum safe distance, and shook their heads over it, shocked that even he, always a weak reed, would so betray his friends—who all would've survived, of course. All three of them would eventually settle down and marry three nice (and long-suffering) girls, and Potter would finally stop looking for Lily.
Alice and Frank and Neville would be safe and hidden, and the war would come to an end somehow—perhaps Lily and Sev would help, but it wouldn't really matter. Not long as they had Harry, and each other. And maybe a daughter or two eventually.
And they all would've lived happily ever after.