If You Want Something Done Right: Chapter 1. Summer Days Fall Away
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the story which directly takes ideas from JK Rowling. This story is not being used for commercial purposes it is simply for pleasure and fun.
The sun was shining brightly, it was a cloudless July afternoon. Snape was doing something he hadn't done since he was a young child; he was hiding behind some bushes watching Lily Evans and her sister. Only this time they weren't playing on the swings, they were sun bathing.
As there were several other girls around Lily's age, all muggles, doing the same Snape assumed this was a new fashion for girls, to tan their skin. There were about 10 of them all lying in a remote part of the park in brightly coloured teeny bikinis.
Lily stood up and began rubbing something on her skin. She was beautiful. The sun made her red hair sparkle and shine while the green bikini made her somewhat pale skin look creamy and perfect. Snape had never seen Lily with so little clothing on and he would have found it shocking had it not been for all the other girls also lying about the same manner.
She'd lost weight since he last saw her on the final day of school just over a month ago. It wasn't much weight but it made a big difference. Her legs, which were always quite slim were now toned and the curves of her muscles were easily distinguishable when she walked. Snape spent many potions classes taking furtive glances at her exposed legs and he noticed that each year she would hike her school kilt up a little further. There was certainly a difference in Lily. He assumed all these positive changes came from spending less time with him.
Ever since that incident by the lake and their argument that night the two of them had not spoken. There were a few glances here and there. Lily's bloodshot eyes staring coldly at him across the dining hall the morning after their fight, meeting each other in the hall of the train on the way home and so forth. Snape was too afraid to go to her house assuming that Lily had shared his idiocy with her family and he would not, therefore, be welcome. He really missed Mrs. Evans and her cooking. Snape had lost weight too but it didn't make him look any more human. At this thought his stomach grumbled and for a second he was afraid Lily heard it because she glanced in his direction. Snape's breathe caught in his lungs. Then Lily turned and handed her sister a bottle and laid back down.
Lily was so beautiful, just when he thought she was perfect and could not get any prettier she turns up like this, toned and with more freckles. Snape fantasized about counting the freckles on Lily's body. But they were only fantasies; he wasn't good enough for her. He would never be able to match Lily's grace and beauty, his clothes were terrible having been owned by his much larger father at one time, also he apparently had no conception of personal grooming according to every student in the school. He had nothing to offer Lily. He had seen several old, ugly, wizards and muggles married to women like Lily, but they were rich. Why he ever thought he had a chance against someone like Potter, he couldn't figure out.
But Potter can't make her happy!
No, he used to think that but not anymore. Potter was good looking and rich, he could provide Lily with every and anything she needed.
Snape looked around making sure no one noticed him and began moving deeper into the forest that made up most of the park. It was hard for him to come out during the day because he stuck out too much and his mother kept a close eye on him. She never said anything but Snape knew that she didn't like him going out. He crept through the streets until he reached Spinner's End. There were no parks or bright sunshine in between the houses here. There was no more solid a reminder of Snape's position than the difference in their houses and on top of that Potter's house probably made even Lily's look a cottage.
He went in through the back and popped his head into the kitchen to tell his mother that he was back but she was not in the kitchen. He went upstairs and found her in her room holding a towel and staring at the wall.
"I'm back mum."
That was the only answer he got but he knew it was enough. He ran down the hall into his room and shut the door, then magically sealed it so no one could come in without him noticing it. He knew he could do simple spells at home without anyone at the Ministry knowing it was him and not his mother. He plopped down on the bed and stared at the ceiling. Lily looked happy so that should be enough. He wondered if she was in contact with Potter, maybe they were planning on doing something together this summer. Snape remembered that last year Potter sent Lily a letter asking her to go on vacation with him somewhere but she said no because he was a git, but would she say no this year? Maybe she'd say yes and they'd go to Egypt or something, maybe that's why Lily lost weight and was tanning, to look good for Potter in her bikini as they swam in the Mediterranean. The thought pained Snape greatly.
Just as he was imagining Potter giving Lily presents and Lily agreeing to be his girlfriend he heard a strange sound coming from outside his window. He looked up and saw an owl scratching at his window. He opened the window and let the owl in who landed on his desk and held out its foot. There was a letter there. Snape took the letter and saw it was from Avery. Snape opened the letter wondering what Avery could possibly want during the summer.
Snape, I need the following potions in two weeks time:
Blood-Replenishing Potion (8 doses)
Essence of Dittany (8 doses)
Invigoration Draught (4 doses)
Wound-Cleaning Potion (8 doses)
I'll pay you whatever the stores normally charge as long as we keep this between us. Send them to me by owl.
While Avery had asked Snape you make him potions before they were obviously meant for pranks: breast engorgement, Freud's Slip potion that turned every sentence into something dirty, or sleeping potion ect... these didn't make any sense. Obviously Avery was going to do something stupid and he wasn't doing it alone. If he was willing to pay Snape why not just buy them from the store? Snape shrugged and started looking through his potions kit to see what he needed to buy, at least this would keep him busy and keep his thoughts away from Lily.
Snape just finished bottling the last of the potions for Avery and he wondered whether one owl could carry them all. As an apparent answer to his thoughts, 4 owls started peaking at Snape's window. He let them all in and they landed in a straight line each one had their legs out, one of them had a small package tied to it. Snape took the package and opened it to find 14 galleons and 8 sickles inside. There was also a note:
Here is the money for the potions, I trust that they are all well made. See you in September.
Snape smirked, Avery trusted him? I guess he knew if Snape did anything funny he could get him back during school or after using his potions for so long Avery knew Snape was capable. Either way it felt good to be trusted. Snape tied the package to the owls and they flew off into the quickly darkening evening sky. Only a few more weeks of summer and then school would start. With nothing to do anymore Snape began to think about Lily again. Did she see Potter over the summer? Did they do anything together? Would he go to school in a few weeks time to discover they were dating? One thing was certain, Snape could no longer spend his train ride to Hogwarts with her and he also couldn't study with her or be her partner in potions. While the prospect of leaving Spinner's End was a happy on, the alternative of being at Hogwarts certainly lost some of its appeal without Lily. Maybe after the summer to think it over Lily would be more understanding, maybe she'd even forgive him. It was hopeful and probably stupid thinking but she was obviously still upset the last time they spoke and then school ended and he couldn't bring himself to go to her house and cause any problems in front of her family.
Maybe she'll come around.
Snape sighed, leaned on the window sill and looked out into the dirt packed square that was supposed to be his backyard and noticed something out of the corner of his eye. He was certain he'd seen something moving in the alley just beyond his fenced in "yard". Stupid kids. The urchins in Spinner's End practically lived in the alleyways but they usually knew better than to come so near his house. Perhaps a new prostitute moved into the area and found the alley by his house to be the only empty one. Well he certainly couldn't have that. He grabbed his jacket and tip toed out of the house. As he made his way down he briefly considered taking the company of one of the working women in the area. He was fairly certain his father spent a good deal of his paycheck on booze and these women leaving only so much for him and his mother. That was why he neither drank nor tolerated these women but he was starting to feel differently about it now. He always thought that Lily would never condone drinking and she certainly wouldn't be happy with him keeping the company of such women so on top of his revulsion for his father's habits Severus never even considered it, but things were very different now. He probably had no chance with Lily even if she did forgive him and it wasn't as though he had a family to provide for. Severus did his best to save some money for whatever he and Lily would need in the future but that seemed pointless now. Maybe he should have a drink, if it made him forget about Lily it seemed like a good idea. With the galleons from Avery he certainly could get a few drinks but none of the pubs in the area would take galleons and he didn't feel like making a trip to Gringotts until he had to go down to Diagon Alley for school supplies. Even if he had enough money for a girl which he suspected he did as the ones around here couldn't charge much, they definitely didn't take galleons.
By this point he was almost past his backyard and the alley between the two houses that immediately bordered his yard. He turned into the alley but no one was there. He did notice a set of shoe prints in the mud, not heels but runners and they were small. Some kid was probably standing here staring at his house. All the children here were afraid of him. He knew he would have had a harder time at a normal school, they probably all behaved like Griffs.
Slightly annoyed, Snape turned back into the house and back into his room where he proceeded to kill flies with his wand to pass the time.
Two more weeks Severus, that's it. Just two more weeks.
It was the day the Hogwarts Express was set to leave for another year from King's Cross. Snape was making his way through Diagon Alley, squeezing himself through the hoards of people also last minute shopping. That morning Snape's mother handed him some money and said goodbye, nothing more. While it was short it was better than the beating his father gave him for everything he was going to do wrong this year. As he made his way to the crammed Flourish and Blotts he was often pushed and squished between people making his injuries from his father's farewell smart horribly.
After he bought all his books for the year Snape stopped by the Apothecary to refill his potions supplies and the Junk Shop to see if he could find anything decent in there. Most of the stuff there was in need of repair but there were some forgotten treasures and most of the stuff could be fixed and cleaned up with a little patience and magical know-how. Snape was in desperate need of a new cauldron, he noticed while making Avery's potions that his was not cleaning up as well as it used to and it took a long to time heat up. After leaving the Junk Shop with a new cauldron which was of much better quality and having only a small dent in it that Snape easily fixed before he bought it and a few stationary supplies, Snape made his way to the second hand robe shop. He had never bought brand new robes because he figured he would just grow out of them. Once he was certain he was fully grown he'd buy some nice robes.
Snape needed new robes, he'd grown an inch or two and the knees of these pants had been worn and ripped several times so that even reparo was becoming less and less effective. He wandered into the store and noticed several other children there, they all seemed to be as badly off as he, there was even a witch holding two babies while trying to fit a dress onto a reluctant toddler. The store clerk took one look at him and said,
"Boys Hogwarts uniforms? To the left."
Severus turned to the left and began walking towards the wall filled with old Hogwarts uniforms. He looked through them and held them up to make sure they were large enough. After a few minutes the clerk witch came by.
"Need any help? I see you're shopping alone. Most boys come in with their mothers, or at least another woman!"
Snape nodded and the witch began to take measurements.
"180, you're a tall one."
Snape grimaced and tried to look encouraging. This witch was new, perhaps the woman who owned the store previously had sold it off or maybe she just hired some extra help.
"Here, this one is perfect, might need some alterations since you're so thin but it's a good price, half off what you'd get it for at Malkin's and I'll throw in the alterations."
This was a good deal, Severus had budgeted out slightly more for robes and with the alterations done by a professional, or the very least a woman, they would turn out better than if he did it himself. He smiled and nodded at the witch who began to mark the clothes according to his size. She was quick and obviously well trained, fitting charms were complicated and getting them right took a lot of practice. Once she was done the witch took the robes up to the counter.
"Do you need anything else? I could leave these here and you could look around some more if you want. Undergarments are on the other wall and those are all new if you were wondering."
Well he had saved some money on his robes and it wasn't as though he had a large wardrobe. The witch seemed nice and reminded him of Lily's mother. Then Snape remembered what Lily said about his underwear last June and thought maybe a new pair wouldn't hurt. He nodded again and made his way to the other end of the store. He grabbed a few pairs of underwear and socks, also reasonably priced and new just as the witch said. On his way to the checkout something caught Snape's eye. It was a green and black argyle sweater, a green that was almost exactly the colour of Lily's eyes. Snape stopped and looked at it, it was small but long, perfect for him and even if he bought it and the socks and underwear he would still have spent less in here than he intended. He grabbed the sweater before he could change his mind and went over the checkout counter where the witch and her brood of children were leaving with two bags full of clothes.
"Did you find everything? Oh nice sweater, the sleeves will be long enough don't worry."
He paid the woman and left the store with his new clothes. He was glad to have saved so much money and was slightly elated; maybe this was why women loved shopping so much. He still had some time before he needed to leave for King's Cross but he would rather be early than late so he started heading down the alley towards the Leaky Cauldron. On his way he passed the entrance to Knockturn Alley and he remembered what Rosier and Wilkins told him about it after they visited it with their fathers. He was almost tempted to go down and have a look but knowing him something would go wrong on his way to King's Cross so it was better to have a cushion of time. No one would care if he missed the train.
Once he left the Leaky Cauldron, Snape quickly made his way to King's Cross. There were about 25 minutes until the train left and not many students had arrived. He kept his trunk shrunken and made his way across the magical barrier to Platform 9 ¾ and saw that the train had arrived and that several students were standing around with their parents and getting luggage on the train. Most of them seemed young, probably eager first years who were afraid of missing the train. He quickly got onto the train and found an empty compartment at the very back. After putting his trunk away he sat down suddenly feeling tired.
All that shopping must have gotten to me.
As Snape sat down his eyes drooped and he fell asleep. He awoke only when he heard a whistle and the Hogwarts Express began to move. He looked out the window and saw the platform moving away from him. He turned around to grab something out of his bag only to be greeted by the sight of Rosier who was reading what looked like a muggle porn magazine, Wilkes who was looking sullen and Avery who was eating an apple.
"Alright there Snape? Thanks for saving us a place, I didn't wanna have to sit with the girls this year, they've been driving me mad these past few weeks."
Avery said between chomps of his apple. Severus was certainly not saving a place for them but better than sitting on his own for the entire ride.
"Thanks for the potions by the way, mighty good."
Snape nodded and stared back out the window. Maybe this year wouldn't be too bad.