It was warm and I could tell it was bright even with my eyes closed. I didn't know how long I laid there on the floor (I could not tell if it was soft or hard) before my eyes fluttered open. I was surrounded by a bright light. I slowly sat up taking in my surroundings. I was at the one place that I thought of most often, the place where I had my happiest memories of my life. I slowly stood up and walked over to the swings. I ran my hand over the chains of the swing.
I sat down rapping my arms around the chains. I looked down at my feet causing my hair to fall in front of my face. I rocked my feet back and forth causing me to sway slowly. I closed my eyes as the emotions that I had piled over the years overwhelmed me. Though my eyes were closed I could feel tears well up behind them before a few escaped.
"I missed you so much Lily," I whispered.
"I missed you too," a familiar voice said gently.
My head shot up at my eyes flew open. There she was, the woman I had loved all of my life. I swallowed hard, not knowing what to say to her as she came to sit on the swing next to me. We looked at each other for a moment. I had no idea what to say to her to show her how I felt even after all of this time. She was so beautiful. I had missed her so much and oh how I wished I could have seen her again so many times. Now here she was, it was too surreal.
"Lily," I breathed before reaching out and placing my hand on her check.
"Severus," she said smiling, putting her hand on mine before curling her hand around it and placed both of our hands in her lap, "it's been a long time my friend."
I nodded dumbly swallowing hard.
"Lily I…I'm so sor…" tears filling my eyes once again.
"Oh Severus," she said, "How can I ever thank you. After all that you did for Harry, I can never thank you enough. He is alive because of you."
So he lived I thought, all of my work hadn't been for nothing.
"I am sorry for betraying you though, you were my one good friend and I am the one who had you and Potter ki…"
She placed her hand over my mouth breaking me off, her eyes were sad and soft but there was no hate in her eyes.
"We never blamed you," she said, "Never did we once blame you. There is nothing to forgive you of, especially since you saved our son. We are so grateful to you."
We sat in a comfortable silence for a few more moments, my stomach still turning with guilt.
"Severus you have to go back," she said.
"Back where?" I asked, already knowing the answer.
"There is someone waiting for you," she said, "someone who can love you in the way I can't."
"What are you talking about?" I said pulling my hand out of hers, felling sulky suddenly, "how can I leave you now?"
"You can Severus, and you will," Lily said.
I looked down not wanting to accept the truth. I looked back up, staring into her eyes searching them.
"I won't stop loving you," I said.
"I know," she said smiling, "but let me go, for her."
Everything went blank after that. My dreams were filled with Lily's green eyes that changed to dark blue eyes.
2 years later:
I ran my fingers through my hair sighing, I felt exhausted. I made my way though the shop turning off lights before grabbing a stack of applications and making my way up the stairs. I unlocked the door to my modest two bedroom flat above my apothecary shop. I toed my boots off and sat down on the couch. With a flick of my wand the fireplace sprang to life. After several more flicks of my wand a glass with firewiskey appeared before me.
I glanced at the small stack of applications that came with the post. None of them had been as I hoped. What a waist I thought before throwing them into the fire. Over the last year and a half (after recovering from the attack from the Dark Lord) I opened my own apothecary and potions shop. I had dreamt of opening my own shop once the war was over and I was free from my many obligations. Work had been slow at first but over the last six months business had doubled. So much so that I admitted to myself that I needed help and had put an ad in the Daily Prophet.
All of the applications that had come in so far had not been what I hoped for. I wanted someone who could help brew potions for clients as well as help run things in the shop. I also was cautious with applications since as part of pay was room and board. Since the end of the war I had been feeling…lonely. For years I had been so focused on defeating the Dark Lord that I often repressed my feelings or had been too focused on my work, now however those feelings came out in full force. Now I was hoping to find a good flat mate to live with. I sighed as I stared into the fire while taking a sip of firewiskey. I continued to drink as I thought of my past and future.
My glass soon slipped out of my hand and fell to the floor, the sound quickly woke me and I sat up with wide eyes. I took a deep breath; I had fallen asleep on the couch again. It was not an uncommon occurrence for me to fall asleep on the couch. I took my wand out to repair the broken glass before standing and stretching wincing as I felt a stab of pain in my lower back as I made my way to bed. Little did I know that the owl that I had been waiting for the last two years was about to show up.
I read over the application once more before I put it into the envelope and attached it to my owl (Sepetimus). I sure hope this is the one I thought was I watched the owl fly away. This job was the last job I could find among the few that offered the pay for me to survive on my own. As a graduate of potions making from an American University it was hard to find work within the wizarding community. There were many jobs at St. Mungo's; however you needed a specialized medical degree which I did not have. All other options were ones working in businesses, which appealed to me. I wanted to make potions for people. I found making potions hard work and a rewarding task. The jobs opened now for making potions for people were few and far in between. This job I had applied for would give me an opportunity to do what I loved as well as give me the pay (as well as room and board) I needed to support myself.
After Sepetimus flew out of sight I put my cloak on before leaving the small hotel room I rented for the time being. The hours dragged by slowly as I spent my time window shopping in Hogsmead before I made my way up to the hotel room. My heart leapt as I saw Sepetimus sitting on the windowsill with a letter attached to her leg. I quickly got the letter off of her leg and opened it.
Dear Ms. Zellar,
I have received your application. It appears that you would
be a perfect match for the shop. Please meet me at The Leaky Cauldron
this evening to discuss payment and hours that you will be working.
p.s. I shall be at the Leaky Cauldron at 7pm.
Please do not be late.
I stared that the letter for a few moments before rereading it. Could it be that simple? I was hoping for a job quickly but how could it come this fast? As seven approached I got ready, taking more time on my appearance that I normally would as I thought about who S.S. could be. Would they be kind and someone easy to work with? I apperated to the place just outside (hidden from Muggles of course) the Leaky Cauldron. I took a deep breath and smoothed out my deep blue robes before stepping into the pub. I looked around the building; all of the people were sitting with someone else. S. S. must not be here yet as I sat at the bar and ordered a drink as I was a tad early.
"Ms. Zellar?" A deep voice said behind me that sounded familiar.
I turned to see Professor Snape standing behind me. He looked different from the last time I saw him (which had been during my last year at Hogwarts, and the final year of the war). His hair was a little shorter than I had remembered and cleaner as well. He looked more filled out and at ease as well, which suited him quite well. He, over all, looked much improved from the last time we had seen each other.
"S. S.?" I asked.
He nodded and gestured toward an empty booth. I followed him and sat down across from him. He quietly ordered a drink from a waitress. He looked back at me after the waitress left, I suddenly felt nervous.
"I brought a resume with me Sir," I said swallowing not sure where to start, "it's a Muggle idea, of putting down all of your accomplishments for an employer."
"I do not need to see it," he said, "I remember you from my class, one of the few that could brew a decent potion."
"Please sir, it would make me feel better," I said.
"You think this is happening too quickly," he said, it wasn't a question holding out a hand, I handed him the resume and he eyed it over.
"Yes, I didn't think you would want to hire me so quickly," I said.
"I have been searching for an assistant for a long time," he said looking up, "you so far have been the only one that I feel can do the job."
"Oh," I said not sure what to say next, it was rare to hear a complement from Professor Snape. I never remember getting one from him in school.
"You may start next Monday or sooner if you wish," he said.
"Could I start tomorrow?" I asked.
Quietly we discussed pay and what would be required of me around the shop. Soon a silence fell over us.
"I must be going," he said, "we have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow."
I nodded in agreement we both stood as he put some money on the table. We walked out the door.
"I shall see you tomorrow," he said, "I trust you know how to find the shop?"
"Yes sir," I said knowing exactly where to find it.
"I'll see you tomorrow," he said, his ebony eyes looked into mine for a moment causing a strange feeling in my stomach to occur.
"See you tomorrow," I said before he apperated on the spot.
I apperated after a moment of looking at the space where he left, as I got ready for bed I thought of how I would react if I knew two years ago I would be working with Severus Snape. A smile crossed my lips as I fell asleep; I finally had my first job.