A/N: This is my first fan fiction ever...I would appreciate some reviews. I'd love to write something longer if this proves successful. Of course, a grand thanks to JKR for the use of her fabulous characters.

Snape recalls a cherished memory from his time at Hogwarts with Lily.

A Winter Memory Emerald Green

Severus considered the small gemstone in his fingers as he sat huddled in his worn leather armchair. He nimbly let it travel from finger to finger as he scrutinized the facets, searching for flaws and imperfections. He found none. It was such a stupid impulse that led to this purchase. An emerald…what possible need could he have for an emerald? As he sat chiding himself for such a juvenile action, a shaft of pale winter sun filtered in from the dust-covered window and glinted off the surface of the stone. Brilliant verdant fractures of light sparkled across his walls. They danced and glittered like fire sprites, flitting about to and fro. He felt like a fool. After all these years that color still caught his eye and sent a skip through his heart. He examined the stone with the cold calculating stare that he'd come to develop from years of diligent study and stoic indifference. Yet, something in those eyes, set like obsidian into ivory, softened.

He let his mind wander, thinking back to a time when that luxurious green had been more than a cold, glassy bauble resting in his hand. He could still feel the icy sting of the snow…hear her laughter…and see those eyes smiling at him…for him.

"Is that all you've got Evans? Honestly, you throw like a Hufflepuff, even I could do better than that" he said with a smirk forming on the corners of his lips.

"Oh really Sev? Judging by your snow slicked hair and ice stung cheek, I think I did pretty well" Lily said with a giggle.

Severus wiped the rest of the ice from his face and reached down into the soft white fluff for a thick handful. He quickly patted it into a ball and looked at Lily, that aforementioned smirk forming into a devious smile. Arching his eyebrow he said…"hasn't anyone ever told you a Slytherin always gets revenge?"

"Ha ha…he…" she laughed nervously. "Sev, you put that down…Sev, NO! Put it down!! SEV..N…" but she didn't finish her protest as the frozen white sphere impacted with her forehead. Lily gasped and fluttered her hands in front of her face. "It's so cold!" she exclaimed while Severus let out a full- throated laugh. "Oooo! Severus, you prat!" she said, but without a hint of malice. She looked up at him, a rye smile on her lips, her eyes brilliant and gleaming like enchanted green fire "so it's war is it?"

"It looks that way" he said with a sigh.

Suddenly and simultaneously, both of them drove their hands into the snow surrounding them, hastily forming snowballs and launching them at each other. Severus landed one on her shoulder, Lily, smacked him squarely in the stomach. They laughed and threw and made lofty prophecies of each other's downfalls. Severus pitched his arm back and threw the firmly packed snowball in Lily's direction. It impacted with any icy shatter directly on her face. The impact knocked Lily backwards and she fell into the drifting snow behind her. Severus froze, his arm still perched in the air, the snowball in his hand falling to the ground.

"Lily!" he said as he ran to her. Severus dropped down into the drift beside her, bringing his hands to touch her but stopping himself at the last moment. "Are you alright? I'm sorry Lily! I didn't mean to hurt you! Can you see? Do you need Pomfrey?"

"Sev, I'm alright…it just…it just caught me off guard is all." After a briefly awkward pause, she feigned a bit of disappointment and said, "I suppose this means you win…and mighty Gryffindor has fallen to Slytherin." She pouted playfully while still lying sprawled in the snow, her red hair a burning mantle teasing about her shoulders.

"Well, it was inevitable" he said jokingly as he reclined beside her. She hit him on the chest with her gloved hand and then stretched out her free arm and leg moving them back and forth in the snow. "What are you doing?" Severus asked.

"Making a snow angel…well, half of one, you're kind of in the way of the other half"

"Oh…I thought perhaps you were having some sort of seizure."

"Git" she said playfully. "Now come on, make the other half!"

"Oh alright" he obliged her and began moving his arm and leg to finish off the lopsided angel. "I feel rather ridiculous Lils."

"Ridiculous is good Sev. You need a little ridiculous now and then." Now assured that the angel was complete, Severus and Lily stood up to admire their work. "Ah…hmmm…" said Lily, quirking an eyebrow. "It looks a little…well, your side's a lot bigger…and ah, there's the two heads that are a little odd…it just…"

"Lils, there is nothing angelic about this." Severus said, placing his hands on his hips while looking down at their creation. It looks as if it has some kind of unfortunate back hump instead of a wing and the two heads are, yes, quite terrifying. I rather like it."

Lily looked up at him and grinned. "Of course you do."

He grinned back at her, looking into her striking eyes, those vibrant, sparkling eyes. He knew he shouldn't linger, but he longed to seek the depths of those star-like eyes. He finally forced himself to drop his gaze, his onyx black hair falling like a curtain around his face. He could see a slight flush on Lily's cheeks, but he attributed it to the cold. "Well," he said, "I suppose we should be getting back to the castle. We'll lose the daylight if we don't leave soon."

"Sev" she said breathlessly, a tremor running through her voice, "let's not go yet. We're not so far as to get lost and the sunset, I'd like to see it. It's so rare to have a winter day clear enough for it."

"Alright Lily," he said, his voice a shy whisper. She gingerly clasped two of his fingers in her hand and led him down to the lake by the edge of the forest. The light danced on the slush of the near frozen water. She drew her cloak more tightly around her slight frame to block the chilling wind from the lake. She leaned into Severus shivering. He drew his cloak around her until they were both encompassed, their fingers still delicately interlaced. Lily placed her head upon his chest sighing heavily as she stared at the diminishing glow of the cold winter sun.

Severus let out a low sigh and placed his chin on the top of her head. Her hair put the sun to shame. It's auburn sheen glinting like burnished copper in the failing light. She smelled like cherry blossoms. "Sev…why can't life be simple, like this?" He didn't answer; he had no answer to give. Days like this were rare, increasingly so. She slipped her hand from his and wrapped her arms around him pulling him closer. He kissed the top of her head as he had done many times before, always a friendly kiss. Lily drew back from him just enough so that she could cast a glance up at him. Her eyes were large and dewy, like those of a doe, Severus thought, but infinitely more beautiful. One of Lily's arms was now resting on his chest; the other was brushing his hair behind his ear.

Severus's breath caught as her fingertips grazed his cheek. "Lily…" He lowered his head to her hers, their foreheads touching, his eyes downcast, but her lips still in his vision. Their noses grazed and he halted, not sure if he would be welcome further.

"Sev…don't" she whispered.

Of course, he thought as his face began to flush with the shame and humiliation he had grown so accustomed to. He could feel the rush of blood in his ears as he began to retreat from her.

"Sev, I mean, don't stop…" she said as she caressed his blushing cheeks sweeping her fingers into his raven black locks.

Still unbelieving, he slowly brought his hands up to cup her face, drawing her to himself. The first touch was with trepidation, lips caressing ever so gingerly, like the brush of a bird's wing on freshly fallen snow. His heart was pounding; how many thousands of times had he imagined a world in which he would be allowed a grace such as this? Unwilling to deny himself what was being so freely given he breathed in deeply and caught her up fully in his arms. There was no gentle touch left in him. He pressed his mouth firmly to Lily's and she responded in kind. Years of pent desire burst forth as a damned river that would no longer be restrained. He tangled his fingers into her hair winding the liquid fire around each finger. He could feel the savage beat of her heart matching his own. As their lips moved, she parted hers slightly brushed his with her tongue. He slid his into her mouth, electricity bolting through him as their tongues snaked together, caressing and exploring. He loved the taste of her mouth, the sweetness of cherries and a hint of the holiday gingerbread she'd nibbled earlier in the day. He loved the feeling of her fingers in his hair, twisting and stroking. He loved the softness of her body, the womanly swells of her curves, her pale alabaster skin. She shown in the last rays of the sun like a sculpture, making every Aphrodite carved by the ancients seem nothing more than a pale and envious ghost of her beauty.

As their lips parted, the day's sun lived its last and they both saw the rare green flash as it slipped the horizon. It was the color of her eyes. "The green flash Sev" she said, "it's rare to see that…very few people ever do."

"Hmm" was all he could manage as he embraced her, resting his chin on her head again as she clasped her arms around his waist. He was still breathless, reliving the past few moments in his mind, trying to capture every single detail, locking it into his memory forever.

"The green flash Sev…it's rare to see that…very few people ever do." He shuddered as he lingered on that phrase, the emerald resting in his open palm. The sun had set and the glittering sparkles had faded from his walls. The only light now came from the dwindling fire which cast no heat into his miserable living room. He placed the emerald on the small table beside his chair and walked to the dust caked window. Through the ice crusted glass he could see the soft glow of the electric street lamps as they crackled to life. The harsh, dirty corner of England known as Spinner's End began to soften under the dusting of freshly falling snow…