As a writer, and a creator of things in general I suppose, you suddenly discover stuff can only be truly good if you write from your heart, and in doing so, put a little bit of your soul into it. You own personal memories and experiences, your emotions, your heart..
This is the first story I ever wrote where I fully realised I made it the best I could, even though I had been writing for years, it was the first time I felt it, the first time I grew as much as I did, I put heart and soul into it, and in return, I know that it's the best thing I have ever written thus far. I grew as a writer and a person, merely by writing this story. I cried and I laughed at my own words, now I look back at my own work, and is genuinely proud, it was a journey and a experience, and for only that it was worth it, that I will continue growing as a writer and writer better and bigger stories in the future is an added side bonus. But what truly made this journey so spectacular, even possible, because I would not have gotten this far if it weren't true, If I didn't knew that people out there can have read and enjoyed my work, supported me so much through reviews and pads on the shoulder, that was truly spectacular to exsperience. And I hope new people can come and enjoy the story just as well.
I thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you, yours truly. Moonbird. Aka. Sofie.
Severus Snape felt the life escaping his body, the warmth leaving with the pouring blood, and cold spreading from his heart and through his soul. Yet it didn't hurt.
"Look at me," he made his last request of the boy standing above him.
Severus had done his job now. Harry held the information he needed in his hand, in that little vial. At last Severus was free, he could let go now. Slowly, Severus met those startling emerald green eyes, and he felt relief pouring through his body as the eyes looked at him, not with disgust or hate, but with forgiveness. The brilliant eyes were forgiving him with that last mercy-filled glance, and Severus felt himself go, sinking down into a warm, welcoming place. There was no sadness here, nothing to hurt Severus, no cold, no fear.
Severus felt himself floating, light as a feather, no longer bound by such a clumsy thing as a human body.
How could anyone have feared something like this?
Drowsily Severus turned to the sound of the voice and opened his eyes, or what passed for eyes in on what he assumed was his spirit, "Mother" he whispered.
Right there in front of him stood what he knew was his mother, although she looked nothing like what he had remembered. She looked young, healthy and above, all happy. Her raven black hair fell elegantly down on her shoulders and she smiled at Severus, a genuine smile all though her eyes looked sad. "My son," she said as she reached her arms out to greet him, and pulled him into a hug "Oh my little Severus I am so sorry."
"Mother, it's okay," Severus told her as he tried to comprehend this. So this was how she was in spirit. Somehow he knew that how he saw people here was how they were supposed to be all along.
"Oh Severus, let me look at you," She said as she held his face between her hands. "I never got to see what you looked like as a man."
Severus smiled as he blinked at her. Somehow there was no pretending in this world, and there was neither need to nor any uncertainty about it. All negative emotions were foreign here. "Oh, but so many regrets." Eileen seemed really sad. "My son, you are almost drowning in them."
Severus suddenly felt them well up in him, all of his regrets, overwhelming him and he felt like crying.
"But you did your best, my son," Eileen embraced him as he cried freely, truly drowning in all of his regrets. "In the end you did all that you could."
Severus held his mother tightly as he cried his eyes out, his inner most being completely betraying him.
"Your regrets are weighing you down," Eileen stated worried. "They are pulling you back and away from me." She held him tighter, and true enough, Severus did feel himself being pulled away from this place, but he did not want to leave! Yet his heart was so heavy that it pulled all of him down.
"Severus, listen to me," His mother held his face between her hands. "I am not loosing you to have you wander around trapped on earth for eternity like some kind of ghost wandering about consumed with regret."
Severus nodded, his tears growing more frequent and his heart even heavier.
"You have to make a choice right now! Choose a second chance! Choose to go back in life. Focus, boy, focus!" she demanded. "Don't think about the situation that you have left behind, or you will be doomed to wander the earth until you don't feel that regret any longer. Most wandering spirits never do find the peace they so desire, so think back! Think back to a time where you had a choice, a time when you would have liked to have chosen differently!"
Severus nodded as he closed his eyes and thought hard. His mind wandered to green eyes and the thing he longed for most, forgiveness.
"That's right," his mother's voice sounded. "Hold that memory, focus on it!"
Long red hair and flashing green eyes, he had pushed away and she had tried to defend him, over and over. He wanted to make it good again, all those times back during his years at school.
"That's it!" his mother's voice sounded. "Hold it! Hold onto it Severus!"
Severus saw it so clearly now, Hogwarts, his young schoolmates chattering away, he himself studying alone, as usual. He could feel his heart growing heavier and heavier as he cried uncontrollably.
"Thank God," he could hear his mother sigh. "You have been granted a second chance, somebody helped you, wished for you to have a chance at happiness." He could feel himself being pulled into a hard embrace as he cried and sobbed, tortured by his own memory. "Do well my son." His mother whispered before kissing his forhead gently in farewell.
"I will." Severus sobbed, trying to cling to his mother while the heavy heart inside of him pulled him another way.
A second chance.
Suddenly Severus felt himself robbed of the all consuming peace and thrust away from the welcoming warm embrace into the cold darkness he did not want to be in. His heart suddenly felt pain again.
Pain, sadness, hurt, anger, guilt and everything that came with it. He could feel his aching body and his dry throat, before he suddenly landed with a thud to the ground, sitting in an upright position.
The sun stung his face with its sharp light and hurt his closed eyes. The noises around him went straight to his head and gave him an instant headache. Without even realizing it he covered his ears with his hands in a weak attempt to make it stop.
"All right, Snivellus!"
Severus felt like he was going to have a heart attack. He was not one to be easily surprised, but this was all too much, too fast. He acted with pure instinct as Severus did the only thing he could think of; he drew his wand to get rid of whatever the intruding threat was.
The wand flew out of Severus's grasp. 'Damn,' he thought, 'when did I get so sloppy?' That he was still in shock was hardly an excuse.
Laughter sounded and Severus moved his eyes to meet the laugher. His heart slowed down as he could feel another wave of paralysing shock come over him. It was not the source of laugher that shocked Severus beyond reason. Right beside the source, was the messy black hair and brown eyes of long since dead James Potter. Was this real? Severus felt himself stare at James. Could it be? If James was here, would Lily be as well?
Potter returned his gaze and suddenly looked unsure, though he tried to bite it back. "What's the matter Snivellus?" he asked in a mocking, smirking voice. "You look like you've seen a ghost."
Severus wet his dry lips with his tongue as his Death Eater instincts suddenly came to mind and he concluded the only logical sort of action to get out of the danger, and get his wand! Without thinking he threw himself after the wand, which had rolled down to Potters feet's.
"Oh no you don't. IMPEDIMENTA!" Potter yelled.
Severus felt the curse strike him. 'Damn again,' Severus thought. 'Why didn't I just accio my wand? Potter never would have seen that coming, and then I could have gotten away, swiftly and quickly.' He was too sly and experienced to be beaten by a bunch of teenagers.
He could hear Black's words in what he supposed was meant to be a mocking tone. "I was watching him. His nose was touching the parchment. There'll be grease marks all over it. They won't be able to read a word."
Severus could not care less. He had been called worse and been through worse. If anything, lying down gave him a chance to compose himself for a minute.
"Aww, he's lost for words." Potter smirked. "Sirius, I believe you've hurt his feelings."
"I just hope he isn't going to wipe his nose with us."
Cold and calculating Severus knew what to do. "Accio wand!" he demanded with his hand streatched out.
The spell hit Severus before he caught his wand, and before he could counteract the spell was already on him. But to counteract was not necessary as the sudden, horrible taste in his mouth, combined with panic, gave him enough strength to break the spell without thinking about it. Sitting up coughing and spiting, he tried to get rid of that horrible, horrible taste. Defeated by a children's curse? This was getting more embarrassing by the moment. As he spat out the soapy taste he sent a dark glare towards Potter, drying his mouth with his sleeve.
"That should teach you to wash your mouth," Potter instructed him, although Potter's voice sounded rather shaken. None of them had foreseen Severus's sudden display of wandless magic. And that Severus was merely starring sullenly at them instead of swearing seemed to scare them more than anything else he could do. So he sent all the discomfort he was now feeling, his confusion, his headache, all that hurt, into one of his sullen glares, while he coughed and spat, actually making Potter take a step back. Before raising his wand again. "Well, aren't you going to tell me what a spoiled brat I am?" he asked in a mocking all knowing tone, though it sounded like he was praying for Severus to answer.
"Leave him alone!"
Severus's eyes widened. Everything was forgotten - the pain he was currently feeling from the sun, the headache from the noises, his utter confusion of this bizarre situation, the ill feeling in his body, the shock of seeing James and Sirius, even the horrible taste in his mouth and his desperation to get to safety. None of that mattered. She was here, and she didn't hate him enough to not defend him.
Severus's heart was literately doing flips and the world might as well have been standing still. In that moment, it all seemed muffled and unreal to him.
Insensible mumblings between Potter and Lily went straight over his head, Severus did not hear them. He just watched her very much alive and vibrant with anger, her green eyes flashing in proud defiance and her strong melodic voice soothing his mind.
Fighting himself up onto his legs, Severus had only one thing in mind. He wanted to get closer, to see her for real, to beg for her forgiveness.
Potter, seeing him approach, apparently got the wrong idea as Severus suddenly saw a wand pointed at him.
Severus felt his head falling slightly askew in wonder as he first looked at Potter, showing no expression on his face and feeling nothing inside him, not even annoyance or hate, nothing, before his eyes wandered to Lily. He felt his heart leap and his throat tighten so much so that he was almost literally unable to breathe.
"Stop right there," Potter warned, with his wand still raised and pointing right at Severus's face, mere inches from his face. The fear in James' voice was obvious as well, and it was hard not to notice that his wand hand was shaking.
But Severus only had eyes for Lily.
"I am warning you," Potter tried again. "Stay where you are."
Severus did not care one bit. In fact, it was not possible to care less than he did at that moment. He just wanted to see that Lily was okay, so he took a step towards her, one long slow step, afraid of it being a dream.
Severus felt his world turn upside down once more as he found himself in the air and on his head.
Lily held both her hands up to her mouth, as she also seemed shocked. It all seemed so irrational, and like it was coming out of nowhere. "Let him down!" she defended him at once, however she was still holding her hands to her mouth, while starring shocked at him with disbelieving eyes.
"When did you last wash your pants, Snivellus?" Black asked teasingly, but the words were uttered with such uncertainty that they didn't seem funny at all.
Potter also seemed shocked as he looked at Severus.
"What do you have up your sleeve?" Potter asked, his voice betraying his emotions as it trembled. "Somethings wrong, Sirius. Snivellus, what do you have up your sleeve?" Potter swallowed nervously. "FOR MERLINS SAKE SPEAK SNIVELY!" James demanded desperately.
Oh, Severus had a great many things up his sleeve. He really didn't need a wand to get himself out of this one, yet his eyes were fastened on Lily, and his own emotions were now betraying him, as he felt a tear and sob fighting there way out.
"Oh, look at that, you made Snivelly cry," Black said, this time with more courage.
Yes, he was crying, there was no denying it. And he couldn't stop, it just happened.
"James Charlus Potter, put him down!" Lily said in a loud voice burning with anger, although behind her fury she also seemed unsure of it all.
"Lily," Severus uttered the word in a crooked, broken voice, making everyone tense and silent at once, everyone's eyes transfixed on him. It was the first word he had spoken since this strange encounter had begun, and he said it so softly barely a whisper as he hung upside down, with tears running silently down his face. "It's all right, they are the ones who end up looking like children."
Lily looked at him with an astounded look on her face, her eyes were wide and her mouth slightly open. She was terrified, and it hurt Severus, he wished that he knew what to say to make her feel better, she just looked so beautiful, like an angel, and, oh so alive. Though to his dismay she looked very frightened. "Sev..." she said in a shaky voice.
Potter and Black seemed to have no idea what to do. "You're really happy to see us, huh?" Potter tried to say something to turn Severus off. But the words were said in a defeated tone, and made the whole scenario just seem more awkward and not at all funny.
"If I was able to move, I would kiss you Potter," Severus said as he smirked. The worst thing was that he felt like he genuinely could. This was all to good to be true.
All at once he found himself being dropped onto the hard ground beneath him. This had apparently been too much for Potter who had lost his concentration, from the shock of Severus' words, thus ending the hex's hold on Severus.
Slowly Severus sat up as he tried to compose himself, doing what his Death Eater instinct demanded of him, asess the situation, so that you can properly defend yourself. This was his fifth year, he remembered this, it was right after his Defence Against the Dark Arts O.W.L. exam. Severus raised up onto his feet and he could feel everybody around him take a step backward, frightened of him and his irrational behaviour.
In spite of everyone taking one hesitant step away, they all looked at him in firm fascination. Lily on the other hand stood perfectly still, looking at him, with sheer fright and he could see that she was shaking lightly. The sight of this stung Severus's heart severely.
Slowly, Severus captured her eyes, those beautifuly brilliant green eyes. Slowly he approched her, closer and closer, afraid that she would suddenly vanish. He was feeling the strong urge to make sure that she was real so Severus reached out his shaking hands and first just touched her lightly on the shoulders, before taking a firmer grip, looking at those startling Emerald green eyes that were finally in the right face, though they looked so shocked, unsure, worried, and that did it. He just couldn't help but draw her into a tight embrace and hold her close to him as he felt the years of pent up tears finally escape from his eyes and fall down his cheeks.
"Thank God," he cried, and he knew that everyone could hear it, but for many different reasons he didn't care. "Thank God you're safe."
"Sev," Lily's voice sounded shocked, and he could feel how she tensed in his embrace while her hand was awkwardly patting him on the back. "It's fine, whatever it is, it's fine." She tried to say. "I'm fine!" she confusedly tried to assure him.
"I can see that, but I just can't believe it," Severus felt his body trembling as he held her even closer.
Surprisingly enough, no one came up with any stupid or immature comments. Not even Black reused the joke that Severus used people like Lily to wipe his nose. Severus just couldn't stop crying. It was dumb and ridiculous, he was too old for this, he had been through too much, but perhaps being through so much was exactly the reason for his breakdown. "Everything is going to be different now," Severus promised, although it was not a promise to Lily, as much as it was to himself and the world. "I promise I can change, I really can" He sobbed.
"Shh," Lily patted him on the back, at last it seemed like she had regained some certainty and just acted as the kind person she was. "It's all right, it's all okay" she spoke the words softly although Severus could feel her insecurity. "Sev..." she spoke. "Lets go somewhere else."
He nodded and gathered up the strength he needed to let her leave his tight embrace, and it did take some strength from his own mind to make that simple gesture of letting go. Yet as he saw her face again, he could feel a genuine smile fighting its way out, and for the first time in God knows how long, Severus was smiling. Not a big smile mind you, but for Severus Snape, this little glimmer of happiness was worth galaxies of starlight. His smile became even brighter as Lily, after a little hesitation, returned the smile with a small one of her own. Then she grabbed his arms so she could guide him away.
"Oh wait," Lily gasped as she let go of his arm, leaving Severus to suddenly feel incredibly vulnerable and standing alone in this weird unfathomable situation without her protection, before she thankfully returned. "Here." Severus felt something being stuffed into his hand.
Tensely, Severus looked down and saw his own slim black wand, the same object he had always had in his hand, that he had back in the shack. Was it only minutes ago? Somehow, feeling the pulsing vibe of his wand told him that it was for real, even though he could not figure how or why. "Thank you," he muttered.
For a while he just stood there, until Lily took his arm once again and led him into the castle. Severus wasn't really aware of where they were going, for the first time ever his guard was completely down, his emotions were out of control, and so were his thoughts. That is, to say for the first time in his life he might as well have not had any thoughts in his head, he still just felt completely stunned. Severus found himself being led gently down onto a couch. Warily he looked around and discovered red banners, a warm fire place and four beds standing side by side. Severus blushed as he put two and two together, he was in Lily's dorm.
Severus knew it wasn't exactly against the rules for students to bring schoolmates from other houses to their own common room and dorm, boys could not go to girl dorms by themselves, but girls could accompany them. It was just rare that a student thought that far, and house pride often led the students to believe that they were not supposed to bring other people in. The passwords for the common rooms were just there for the sake of it, so there was a feeling of unity in the house, like something cool and special, that only they knew. Yet, even though he had been a teacher for so long, he didn't have a clue as to what the rules were for a girl of a different house bringing a boy to her dorm in the middle of the day. It was honestly not a situation he had ever had to think about. Vaguely Severus noticed what a stupid thing it was to be thinking about since he had been magically brought back to Lily. But thinking about something so mundane and trivial just seemed so much simpler to do.
"It was the only place I could think of where we would be alone," Lily excused. "How about I make you some tea."
Severus nodded his head in agreement, barely moving. As Lily buzzed around the room, Severus was sat with his thoughts swirling inside his head. It had all happened so fast. He tried to collect himself and make some sense of it all, and of course he had no such luck, none at all, his only conclusion was that nothing about this made sense.
He had remembered the incident that he had just come from, thinking about how it had played out differently this time around. It had been while he was taking his O.W.L.s in his fifth year, right after he had taken his Defence Against the Dark Arts exam. He and Lily had been growing apart for a while, because of his past choices. He had wanted power and to be powerful so much. He had wanted revenge for what the marauders had done to him, wanted to show them all, at the time, and in his mind, he had seen nothing wrong in Voldemorts ways. Joining him was just an opportunity to gain the power and recognition he had always wanted. His only flaw in that was that he had not realised he would have to pay a heavy price, in the end, for joining.
Lily was to the point of nearly begging him more times than it was worth counting to reconsider his ways and his friends. Warning him that if he continued like that he would lose her friendship, which she constantly reminded him of. They hadn't even studied together for the O.W.L. exams. This most recent incident had been Lily's last attempt in defending him, and then the final straw had been drawn, which had caused Severus to lose her. Although Severus did not have a clue as to whether she would be willing to give him another chance or not. If he had changed his ways in his first life, maybe she would have stayed friends with him, because she had given him an ultimatum, them or me, basically saying change your ways or leave me alone.
After that he had closed off for good, swearing to show them all that he would be so powerful! And in his youthful stupidity, he had actually thought that if he could just become powerful and respected she would come running back to him. She was not that kind of person though, she would have been disgusted at what he had become. All he needed to do was change for the better, maybe he could have gotten her friendship back. She was always keen on seeing the best in people, the best in him, because of this he felt that he had honestly gotten what he had deserved.
But now she was there in the room with him. Suddenly Severus felt an icy feeling creep over him as he started to remember the mark. He closed his eyes as he begged for it to not be there. If it was and she saw...she would have every reason to leave him and hate him forever! With a shaking hand he touched his sleeve, and while holding his breath and making sure Lily was on the other end of the room buzzing around, he pulled the sleeve away. He let out a great sigh of relief, an emotion that quickly filled his whole being and threatened to shed another tear; relief and disbelief, his arm was as thin and white as ever, but that was it. No dark mark was to be traced, not even the dark red annoying spot that had been there when Voldemort had disappeared. This was indeed a moment of pure joy for Severus. It was the chance for freedom that he needed, something he hadn't had since he was, well, eighteen and freshly out of school.
He breathed in another sob, yet somehow he couldn't help smiling. Then he covered his eyes with his hand. This had to be a dream, even so, it was a good dream.
"Sev, are you all right?" Lily asked as she sat down in front of him and handed him a steaming mug of tea.
The mug warmed Severus' hands, and he sipped it, it was delightful to have the liquid warming up his throat and chest.
"I'm fine," His voice sounded incredibly hoarse and tear filled, Severus smiled vaguely at her although at the same time as tears were still silently spilling from his eyes. "Right now, I am actually fine." His words surprised himself.
"Did something happen?" Lily asked, looking him over with those gorgeous green eyes of hers, they looked very puzzled, and a little apprehensive as she looked him over for any sign of trouble.
"I've been through hell," Severus said, looking down into the mug, unable to watch those eyes anymore, and was met instead with the sight of water vibrating and swishing around because his own hands were shaking. "I've seen stuff, horrible things, I would not want anyone to see."
"But when?" Lily asked, looking like someone who was determind to decifer a puzzle. "Sev, how, you haven't gone anywhere, you've been here the whole year. I know we haven't spoken that much, but I have at least seen you on campus everyday."
"Time can be an illusive thing Lily," Severus muttered darkly. "Especially when we are living in a world with magic, that no one can really explain."
Lily frowned, not really looking satisfied with the cryptic answer, she kept looking him up and down with a frown on her face.
"Lily," Severus whispered as he suddenly felt like his heart was tearing apart. "I was wrong, God help me, I was so wrong. And I am sorry, I am so sorry." He looked pleadingly at her. "I promise, I will do better, I'll do anything to make it up to you." He said as he felt his body start to tremble again.
Lily looked confused; she blinked a couple of times. "You mean.." she hesitated. "I know you're tired of hearing this, but if you want to make it up to me, think about what your doing! Supporting Voldemort is wrong! Even just the idea of it is wrong, he is evil!"
Severus winced at the sound of the name, almost dropping the mug in his hands, and starred wide eyed at her, with a shocked expression, as if he couldn't believe his own ears.
"Don't look at me like that." Lily hrmpfed crossing her arms. "You know how I feel about that lot."
Severus noticed he was gaping at her and blinked, shaking his head to clear his mind while running a hand through his dark hair. "I don't." he swallowed trying to do something about his ever tightening throat. "I really don't want anything to do with him." He looked at her sincerely. "Ever."
Lily straightened her small frame, looking more apprehensive than ever, staring at him with wide unbelieving eyes. She couldn't believe what she was hearing, that these words were coming from her childhood friends mouth.
"Lily, I never told you and I need to tell you now, you are the kindest most compasionate and beautiful person in the world..."
Now Lily was just gaping.
"and you were, right!" Severus tried to tell her everything he wanted to say. "You were always right! I was wrong!"
"Sev," she looked incredibly confused. "Why now?"
"Because in a moment I'll wake up and this will no longer be real." Severus could feel how sad and desperate he had to look. "You will be gone, and I will never see you again."
"Sev for heavens sake!" she moved closer as if to look at him properly and sat right in front of him on her knees, looking at him forcefully. "What's wrong! What's happening!" she looked at him. "Please! I need to know," she cried looking frightened, as if she suspected something terrible was going to happen somewhere, as if she was completely sure something terrible was happening this very moment.
"I am not sure." Severus tried to say. "It's a little bit complicated." Actually it was very complicated, he was just really confused and couldn't seem to keep his thoughts straight for even a few seconds.
"Are Avery and Mulciber out setting something up?" she asked at last. "Something you planned? Did something backfire? Get out of control! Just tell me what is going on?"
"What? Oh..." Severus had to remind himself they were not on the same page at all, he really needed to figure out his own page before he could start figure where she was. "Lily nothing is going on." he assured her.
Lily didn't really seem like she believed him. "I saw you whispering with Avery and Mulciber this morning." she took a breath. "And you promised Black a payback of some sort today. I heard you, just outside the door to the exam area." she crossed her arm looking at him accusingly, as a mother would when questioning a naughty child. "Sev, what did they do?"
Severus stared blankly at her. "nothing." he tried to say.
"Okay then." Lily looked at him. "What did Malfoy, Mulciber or Avery do?"
"Haha" Severus cut her off, genuinely amused. "They don't deserve to sniff my dirt. They are incompetent fools and I don't want anything to do with them ever again."
"Sev," Lily looked shocked at him. "you...you.. what? I thought you told me they were your real friends!" She accused.
"I was wrong," Severus told her firmly. "People like them don't know what real friendship is. I should just count myself lucky that I do." Gently, he took her hands, very carefully, but he just needed to be sure, as he looked Lily directly in the eyes. "I really should." He emphsized his words. "You were right, they are evil. You were right about everything." You were always my guardian angel and conscience.
Lily looked even more wide eyed than ever, completely shocked. "Urh...thanks, I guess." She looked confused. "All right, tell me this. What are your views on muggles?" She asked. "Be completely honest now, I can tell if your lying, I know you."
Severus looked oddly at her, now feeling really confused. "What about them? People are people. Well, you're a muggleborn and you are my friend, isn't that saying something?" Severus asked, very puzzled. "I couldn't care less whether somebody is muggle, muggleborn or pureblood and you do realize that I'm a halfblood right?"
Again Lily just looked at him as if he had lost his mind. "Sev.. I don't think I have ever heard you say that out loud." She told him.
"Oh," Had he really been that narrow minded and arrogant in his previous life? Apparently.
"Honestly I really don't care, you know who else is half blood?" Severus asked.
Lily shook her head, starring at him her eyes never leaving his face, as if they were determined to capture any clue to what he was really thinking.
"The Dark Lord," he said dark anger finding its way to his chest.
Lily raised an eyebrow. "How would you know that?"
"I know a lot," Severus shook his head. "I know his real name is Tom Marvolo Riddle. I know that he is a good for nothing piece of shit and would do everyone a tremendous favor if he would just drop dead." Lily seemed shocked by his words, still, whether it was because Severus was talking about Voldemort or that he suggested he wanted somebody dead, Severus didn't know. Perhaps it was his sudden change in belief, painfully he remembered he had showed admiration for Voldemort by the time he was fourteen. "I know…" Severus's eyes widened as he realized. Horcruxes! Had Voldemort been making them even now? And if so, how many were out there at this point. Wait, one of them had already been made, the diary, he had made that as a student. This information was important, to important to keep to himself. He needed to tell someone and soon.
"Know what?" Lily asked.
Severus looked at her. "Too much," he snapped. "I know too much."
"Does this mean that he is coming after you?" She asked horrified. She meant the Dark Lord, of course. "Have you been meddling with him? Of all things Sev!"
"No, no," Severus stood up as he started wandering around the room. "The Dark Lord doesn't have a single clue that I know anything, how could he, I was never there, not anymore." He walked around in quick manic steps. "But that doesn't alter the fact that I know now, and if I don't do something it's as bad as joining him. Don't you see," Severus stood right in front of Lily, who was still sitting down. "If I do this right I can turn this whole thing around!"
"Severus, you're scaring me," Lily looked up at Severus with wide, and true enough, scared eyes. "You sound... mad." There had been a pause and the last word, "mad" had been uttered in a defeated tone, and he got the sense that she was debating whether he had lost his mind or not.
It was like all the tense energy left him, and his shoulders just fell as he exhaustedly looked at her. "I'm sorry Lily, I just don't know what to do," Severus turned around and walked away from her feeling rather embarressed. "I can't just go around spreading information so who do I tell..."
Suddenly his eye caught a movement, an unfamiliar face. Stepping back, Severus was minorly shocked. It was typical for girls to have mirrors everywhere, heaven forbid having a bedroom without a mirror. But Merlin, did he look different. Severus was staring at his own reflection, the mouth of the reflection was slightly open, slowly he lifted a hand to touch his chin as the mirror image did the same. He looked so young that it was incredible. He had never considered himself to be attractive, and had not been a pretty teenager at all, but his many years of using dark magic had not made him appalling, because he hadn't done it yet. His skin, although it looked pale, didn't look sickly pale or like dry parchment. There were no wrinkles, either mature or premature. He didn't look as scary as he knew he would eventually be. Severus suddenly realized he was sixteen again. He was not even as tall as he would become in the future. He was also scrawnier than he had been before, having not fully grown into himself. His face was not too sallow and his cheeks weren't sunken in, but he was pale and was as greasy as every other teenager. His nose, big as it might be, wasn't as distinguishable, and his eyes weren't like tunnels any longer, more like two pitch black orbs. He had actually liked his eyes once, he vaguely remembered. Though, it seemed like the tunnels were hiding in there somewhere.
In the mirror Severus could see Lily approaching from behind. She too looked young. She was sixteen, Severus had to remind himself. "You look like you have never seen a mirror before," Lily commented while biting her lip as her head appeared beside his. How young they both looked. "I don't know who you should tell, everything that you know," Lily placed a hand on his shoulder. "But you can tell me if you want." She frowned as she looked at him. "It would actually make me feel better." She said honestly. "I promise I'll listen if you tell me."
"Thank you," Severus whispered. He wondered if his voice would ever stop being hoarse again. "I think I might, but not now... right now I need," he didn't really know what he needed. "I need to relax." he said. "It feels like my head is bursting." It really did, he actually felt quite ill.
An unsure reluctant shadow came over Lily's eyes, and she was visibly straining to get the words out. "I'll let you go then," she sighed.
"No!" Severus snapped a bit too quickly and a bit too loudly, causing Lily to jump. "I mean, urhh..." He could feel his cheeks burning with embarrassment. "I would be able to relax more easily if I didn't... If I didn't have to be alone." He struggled with the words. "If I could have you near me." He finally spat out and afterwards, was taking a deep breath as if he had just dove head-first into ice cold water, and then looked at her. "Please." He begged of her.
Lily blinked, mildly shocked, then a light smile briefly crossed her lips as she seemed beyond relieved. She probably didn't want to let him be alone either, or she didn't quite trust him to leave him alone yet.
Almost suddenly Severus felt his legs weaken from exhaustion and as he slumped down into a hung-over sitting position on one of the beds, resting his aching head in his hands as he tried to draw a string of sense from everything that had happened to him that day. Since they had stayed in Lily's dorm and drank their tea, Severus was thankful for the peace and quiet since everywhere else there would be nothing but prying eyes. Especially after that incident at the lake earlier that afternoon. Severus winced at the memory of that, what would his students think? Mentally slapping himself, he remembered that he didn't have any students, he was a student. And this time around he didn't want to have any students, EVER! He would never become a Death Eater now, and so he would not run into the same problems with people not wanting to give him a job. He smirked when he thought of how easy it would be to impress all those potions fools, with potions that wouldn't be invented for another ten years, ones that he could brew with his eyes closed.
And Lily, he would not have been able to relax if she wasn't within his sight. To just have her sit there was gratifying, all though she kept sending him puzzled looks, each glance of calculating puzzlement hurt him, as it showed that his angel did not yet trust him. Yet the fact that she was there made everything alright when all else was too much for him to bare.
Sadly, the last several minutes to curfew came all too quickly, and he needed to get to his own common room. He ventured down the stairs with Lily beside him, dreading the moment he had to let go of her and still fearing that his leaving would be the end of their time together and make her disappear.
Severus' attention was pulled from Lily as he glared at a flabbergasted James Potter. "Snape!" he exclaimed again, drawing the attention of several students who turned their heads towards them curiously.
"Potter," Severus nodded his head in a courtly manner.
"You can't be here," Potter lifted an accusing finger.
"Well, obviously I can," Severus smirked, as he thought of how immature it might be to find it funny that it would hurt Potter to see Severus walk down the stairs with Lily from her bedroom.
"But, you're not allowed to be here," Potter pointed out, and Black who sat beside him as he always did, (those two had been joined at the hip during their early years) nodded in agreement.
Severus frowned and pointed out, "Actually there is no rule against it." "As long as I am back in my own common room before curfew, which is where I am heading, there is nothing wrong with my being here, so if you will now excuse me, I really must be going." he added cheekily
He turned towards the portrait hole, and had just reached it when he turned around again, looking oddly at the Marauders. None of them had tried to come up with any of their typical snide remarks when he did this, and it surprised Severus alot, they were all there and not one of them said a thing. Potter and Black were sitting side by side, Wormtail looking at them, questioningly, and Lupin with his face burrowed in a book as always. Though even he glanced up from behind the pages of his book and looked with furrowed brows at Severus. That was the only way Severus ever remembered Lupin being in the old days. Hidden away beneath a book trying to ignore the situation whenever Severus was anywhere near them. To be fair, it was when Lupin first got the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor that Severus had first learned what Lupin was like as a person, and more so at the order meetings. He had liked to shoot a lot of hate in Lupin's direction, for a number of reasons. and further more, Severus bloody hated werewolves! They frightened him, but in the end, Lupin had been one of the few to believe in Severus, and stood by him, however quietly, and had done so up until the time Severus had to do the deceitful deed by ending Dumbledore's life. Severus closed his eyes from the mere memory of that.
Lupin was a man who knew where his loyalties lay, and knew who he should be grateful to. Damn well that Lupin should be grateful to Severus at the time. Wolfsbane potion wasn't an easy potion to brew, and it was time consuming at that, plus it had been a perfectly good opportunity to poison Lupin and claim it was an accident, no one would be able to know for sure, and Severus hadn't done it, no matter how much he may had fantasied about it. Lupin owed him for that, and unlike so many other people, Lupin had stood by it.
It would be practical to have Lupin stand in his debt once again, and it would be amusing to see the other Marauders' reactions to it, it would probably be quite healthy for them. Severus couldn't help but shudder at the memory of Lupin's werewolf form from the incident at the willow, that for him, had happened an eternity ago, but was something he had to remember, because it happened recently for those around him. Even to this day, Severus was terrified of werewolves, and now that he knew the Marauders were actually running around the school grounds during the full moon, especially when Lupin had no control, he was frightened all the more.
Severus shuddered inwardly at his thoughts, a memory flashing from when he had seen then Professor Lupin transform as he tried to shield the golden trio who were standing behind him. Though for once he himself had been of little use, simply because he was so terrified. He, Severus Snape, the man who had faced the Dark Lord, was afraid of werewolves. It was decided then, for his own safety that the Wolfsbane potion was his only option. With a last glance over at the Marauders, puzzled by the lack of snide comments, Severus turned around and exited the Gryffindor common room.
That Lily being confused was a poor way to describe her feelings, she just stared at the exit long after Sev had gone through it.
He had seemed genuine enough, both at the lake and in her dorm, and so far she had always been able to tell when he was lying, even when others couldn't.
But something was different and totally off! Something was out of place and completely wrong! Not just one thing, but everything about him was wrong!
She wanted to believe his words, God how she wanted to. But it seemed so abrupt, so sudden, and all out weird.
He looked shocked as well, like he had experienced something life altering that shook him to his core.
Well, if that was what had forced him see reason, it was a good thing. It was very good indeed, because he was so close to going to far, to a point where he wouldn't be able to turn back. He had genuinely wanted to hurt some people, he needed something to force him to see reason. He needed a lesson and she knew it, only she didn't known how to teach him that lesson. How to make him face the ultimatum she had given him, but for some miraculous reason it had happened, and now there was somebody out there that she owed.
He had been so scary down in the field, not saying a word.
She had been shocked by James' behaviour, but this time around, as she had seen Sev's dark look, she could understand it as James had used levicorpus. And then Sev not having a fit over it and not cursing the Marauders. That is what he should have done, that was what Sev did, he had a bad temper, and lashed out when confronted or attacked. He had difficulty controlling emotions which was often his greatest flaw. Yet he didn't and his silence was scarier than any yelling he could have ever done. And then when he finally did speak all he had to say was, "they are the ones who end up looking like children." In that moment she had feared for the Marauders' very lives, combined with what she knew, and what Sev had been doing, it was the most natural conclusion she could have jumped to. They may be huge prats, but she didn't want them die. To say she had been terrified for them would have been an understatement.
But you can't forget that he had cried, she reminded herself. Sev never cried! Not since he was nine years old. He hadn't even cried when his mother had died, not one tear. What could have scared him so much that had caused him to actually cried?
Was he in trouble? Had things become to much for him to handle? Had it all come back to finally bite him in the arse? Had he finally recieved a much needed lesson and had now turned a new leaf?
She wanted to think that, Merlin how she wanted to think that. For his and her own sake. Right then she decided to give him the benefit of doubt, though she also knew that it would be his last chance. He could not have both her friendship and be in the service of the Voldemort. It was a good thing that the events of this afternoon and then the conversation this evening had come out in his favor. He had just seemed so unbelievably genuine and beside himself with guilt.
Merlin help her she hoped this was a good sign.
But what the hell! Honestly! This was all so unlike him! There was only one word that could describe this, and it was bizarre! She couldn't figure it out, no matter how long she thought about, the way he acted was not like him at all!
Lily turned her head to meet James.
"What's wrong with him?" James asked.
"That's none of your business," Lily snapped.
"So something's wrong!" Sirius stated.
"Padfoot, sometimes your skill of deduction are just astounding," Remus rolled his eyes as he put down his book. "I do think we have all established now that something happened to Snape."
"Then what is it?" Sirius asked.
"Frankly, Lily is right. It's not our business," Remus as he shook his head.
"You're such a bore," James pouted in a childish manner, then his eyes seemed to widen with shock. "You don't think it has anything to do with..." The word lingered in the air as he and James exchanged a knowing look with his friends that Lily couldn't decipher.
"I don't think so," Remus shook his head.
"But it could," James persisted.
"Maybe," Remus said and then bit his lip looking rather nervous. "But I still don't think so."
"What?" This time it was Lily who spoke. "Do you know something?" The four boys looked at Lily with startled faces. "Does it have something to do with you-know-who?" she asked sternly. She had decided she was going to figure this thing out.
"Merlin, no!" James mouth dropped open. "Has Snape had something to do with him?"
"Urh no." Lily quickly tried to cover it up, no reason for Sev to face more trouble as it was "Well, he said he thinks he is evil." Lily nervously pulled on her ear.
The marauders looked puzzled at her before turning to each other. "So maybe Snivellus does have a decent bone in his body," James muttered.
"Maybe," Sirius muttered.
"Would you just stop calling him that?" Lily reprimanded. "It was already childish when you were eleven but now you're sixteen. Grow up already! He hates that name."
"Aww, come on now, Lily," Sirius snorted. "That couldn't have been the reason he cried."
"Of course not," Lily placed her hands on her hips. "But that doesn't mean that he likes it."
Potter furrowed thoughtful his brows. "This time around it didn't seemed like he took notice though." He commented.
Lily was just about to retort, but then furrowed her brows. Potter was right, it hadn't seemed like Sev had particularly cared, and he had assured her that he couldn't care less what the Marauders said or did to him. Didn't he want to see them go down, that they should mind their own business? Again that wasn't like him, and it was even one of the issues Lily had sided with him on, though not to the extreme that he had gone to.
"Guys, I think we should drop it," Remus muttered silently. "Snape isn't one to cry without a reason. I don't think I have ever seen him display any kind of tears, especially not like that. When we come down to it, it really isn't any of our business. I think we should let it be this time around."
Remus gave James a pleading look that said, drop it, more than anything else. Lily rolled her eyes. When was Remus going to show any kind of backbone toward his friends? He shouldn't be pleading, he should be telling them!
"Okay," James then sighed. "You're right."
Lily breathed a sigh of relief, she had known the Marauders long enough to know that any decision James took was final. Sirius still seemed unhappy, but Lily knew he was too loyal to James to pursue anything on his own when James had specifically said no.
Severus walked down the corridors of Hogwarts; he knew every inch of these halls now, and as it was close to curfew only a few students were running to get to their common rooms. It felt strange not to have any of them stop and slow down their pace at the sight of him. Although a few people gave him odd looks, probably those who had heard about or seen the incident outside.
Severus felt surprisingly unconcerned about that. He just continued walking downwards, and into the dungeons. Or he would have been, had he not been stopped.
"Mr. Snape," a voice called out to him.
Immediately Severus stopped and turned around to face Minerva McGonagall. Having her call him Mr. Snape all of a sudden was just another really weird thing to add to today's ever growing list. She had called him Severus for years, with the exception of last year, when she had thought he was a traitor and had gone back to Snape, but not Mr. Snape. He felt a smile tugging on his lips as he saw her. She looked exactly like she did last time, well, perhaps a few less wrinkles, but yet her appearance had remarkably changed very little. She was one of the few people he really respected, and to meet her eyes when they weren't hate filled, disgusted or hurt from his supposed betrayal, was both gratifying and relieving. He was just about to greet her by calling her Minerva, but cut himself short at the last moment and instead greeted her. "Mi-, Gonagall," looking emarrassed at the floor as he muttered a "Professor", at least trying to save the slip up.
McGonagall seemed to have either not noticed or let it slip as she walked to him. "Mr. Snape," she repeated as she stood in front of him. "It has been brought to my attention that somebody from my house has done you serious harm. Is that something you wish to confirm?" she asked in a strictly business tone of voice.
Severus looked at her oddly, well this was new. Perhaps it was his display of tears that had made him look more like a victim than usual. "It was nothing worth mentioning professor," Severus said at last.
"I have been led to believe that you were seriously compromised, and well... emotional," McGonagall tried to speak softly.
To think she put so much thought into a students well-being, Severus had never gone out of his way like this for students, ever! He just gave them detention if he caught them red-handed and left it at that. Emotional... She had been told about his crying episode, well that was embarrassing. "I was emotional as you put it," Severus finally admitted, knowing very well McGonagall probably wouldn't let go before he did. "But it had nothing to do with Potter, Black and Pettigrew," he told her firmly. "It was due to personal reasons."
"Are you sure?" McGonagall asked.
"Yes professor," Severus nodded.
"Very well then," McGonagall nodded. "Off to the dorm with you, it is getting late." And both she and Severus turned around to walk in each of their separate ways. Quickly, Severus swung around again to get rid of one of his many recent irrational needs. "Professor!" he called out.
"Mr Snape?" McGonagall turned her head.
Snape swallowed. "Thank you," he then said at last.
McGonagall blinked. She wouldn't have a clue as to what he was actually thanking her for, how could she? Thank you for the rivalry in a previous lifetime, it was one of the things I enjoyed, thanks for standing by me in two wars that haven't happened yet? Thank you for being you, as you were the one single, reliable thing in my previous life.
"You're welcome," McGonagall looked surprisingly soft at him; she was really a softy behind that hard facade of hers. Especially when it came to students, no matter who she liked more. "We teachers are here for the students after all."
Another sarcastic smirk tugged on Severus's lips. He certainly had never been there for the students, but then again, he had never wanted to be a teacher. "Thank you," he repeated the two simple words which he normally only rarely used, but it seemed he had used frequently today. He nodded courtly to her and turned around to walk to his dorm.
Although he was faced with quite an interesting situation when he finally got to the entrance of the Slytherin common room. He really didn't remember the password. He would simply have to wait for somebody to come along who knew it. Oh, he really hoped it wouldn't be someone who started thinking they had the upper hand with him and would start to insult him because of what had happened.
He didn't have to wait long before running feet could be heard not far from him, getting closer quickly. They sounded light and Severus turned around. He let out a deep sigh of relief as a well-known thin frame with blond hair came around the corner. Narcissa Malfoy, no wait, Narcissa Black, he reminded himself. He should really count himself lucky, not only would she be easy to trick into saying the password, but she was also able to empathize and would not start to pry. "Severus," she stopped and looked up as she saw him.
"Narcissa," he greeted her.
She looked good, young and vibrant. Not yet tied down by responsibility and Lucius Malfoy.
"How are you?" she asked, slightly hesitant.
"Fine," Severus told her as he looked at the entrance.
"Are you going to go in?" she asked.
"In a moment," Severus told her.
"Oh," she looked baffled tilting her head to one side, but then seem to come to the conclusion that he wanted to be alone and she should probably go inside, so she walked toward the entrance. "Cobra," she spoke the code word and the entrance slid open allowing Narcissa to walk in.
He waited a couple of minutes before repeating the word. "Cobra," and walked inside.
There were unmistakable stares from all around him as Severus walked inside. Whispers were sounding in the corners and Severus was on guard, his wand at the ready in his sleeve, ready to be drawn at any moment. He walked directly toward the stairs that would lead to his own dorm and bed. It was to his own surprise that no one confronted him, not a single person.
He lay flat on his back in his bed looking out of the window. A half-moon shown brightly in the window, two weeks till the full moon, just enough time to make the Wolfsbane potion. There was no way Severus would let an uncontrollable werewolf run around the school grounds if he could help it.
Then he looked up at the ceiling, trying to fathom everything that had happened.
He listed the facts, he had died in the Shrieking Shack, killed by Voldemort.
In death he had been weighed down by so much regret, that he had been able to go back to the world of the living.
He would have become a ghost, but for his dead mother's spirit who had saved him by offering him an alternative.
The alternative was to be thrust back to a previous point in life where he would be able to undo his greatest regret.
That point in life had happened to be the day he had destroyed his friendship with Lily, which he now had no longer lost.
That other life was now for all intents and purposes, an illusion, or at least for him it was, maybe it was still out there. But here, things had already started changing.
He was sixteen and in the middle of his O.W.L. exams, and no one knew what he had done because he hadn't done anything. Not this time round, that other life was now the equivalent of a dream that only he had experienced.
He was not a Death Eater, he was not a spy, certainly not a double agent, and he wasn't caught in the middle of two major opposing sides. Nobody hated him, not really. Well, the Marauders didn't like him, but their feelings were nothing close to the hate other people had felt for Severus in that previous life. Lily was alive, and Severus was no longer responsible for any deaths, not a single one.
A sound escaped Severus' lips that could have sounded like half a chuckle. That this scenario had ever even existed once before seemed pretty unbelievable. Severus shook his head as he felt his eyes grow heavy. This had to be a dream, perhaps Heaven really was a real place, and this was a place constructed as his personal Heaven were he would be blissfully unaware that he had done all those mistakes or that they mattered. He could absolutely go with that. Slowly he started to drift off to sleep, with a smile on his lips. Things were finally starting to look up for once.