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Prologue: Oct 31st 1981

Dear lily,

I know I'm the last person you'd expect to be writing to you, and under any other circumstances I would abide by rules you set up so many years ago, but I must see you. It's urgently important. I know we have our problems, but this concerns the safety of your family. For reasons you know, I can not divulge the information in this letter. Meet me at our secret spot at 7pm tonight. Please come alone, for my safety and yours.

The Half-Blood Prince

P.S. burn after reading

Lily stared at the letter, reading the words for what seemed like the umpteenth time, her mind struggling to comprehend the words. What could Snape possibly have to say to her? Hadn't everything been settled that cold spring morning when he decide the dark arts where more important then their friendship? Three words jumped at her. Safety. Of. Family. Lily's heart rate doubled, speeding up her pulse and causing her hands to sweat. Snape knew something that could cause her family harm?

Giggling voices drew her from her dark thoughts and Lily crossed to the window, laughing out loud when she got there. It was a beautiful autumn day and her husband and child had decided to take advantage. James had summoned a bunch of leaves so harry could jump into them, shrieking with laughter every time. Lily's heart ached at seeing the joy on both their faces. Bringing the paper to her face again, she read the letter one more time, before pointing her wand at it.

"Incendio."

A small dot of fire appeared in the middle if the page- spreading-it erased any evidence of there having been words in the paper. Dropping the ash from her hand to the floor, Lily vanished the pieces, leaving nothing behind. She knew what she had to do.

0o0o

"Are you sure you don't mind?" Lily asked James while gathering her things to leave. James laughed and helping her with her coat, kissing her nose gently. "Why would I mind? You've been waiting for months for Petunia to contact you. And now that she finally does, you think I'm going to pitch a fit?" James shook his head mockingly and missed Lily's guilty expression. She felt absolutely horrid lying to her husband, but what else could she do? If James knew who she was really meeting, he'd never let her go.

"But Harry's never gone to sleep without a kiss and snuggle from me; he won't know what to do with himself." Lily said, putting on a woeful look. She had to make this convincing. Too much would have James suspicious while too little would cause the same effect. It was a fine line she walked, deceiving a marauder. What ever Snape knew had better be worth it. Lily thought ruefully.

James put on a wounded expression. "You don't think my kisses are as good as yours?" Lily stepped close and wrapped her arms around her husband, going up on tiptoe. "I know your kisses are magical." She whispered in his ear, blowing air gently as she did so. James shuddered; Lily had touched his weak spot. "Maybe you could postpone our meeting for an hour or two." James said huskily, drawing his wife impossibly closer.

For a moment Lily actually considered it. Talk to Snape or make love with her husband? What a decision. Before she could make up her mind, James set her away from him, his face pained. "I can actually feel your thoughts right now." Lily's heart dropped and a sudden case of nausea had her stomach churning. "What?"

"You want to stay, my manly prowess has seduced you," James shook his head. "I'm just too sexy, but there's no way I'm going to be the one that messes up this date. You're going and that's final. I will be fine for the few short hours that you're gone. It'll give Harry and me more man time together."

Lily stared at James, for one second she thought… cupping his face between her hands, she gave him a lingering kiss. Merlin how she loved this man. "I will be back as soon as I can. Remember all the procedures. I love you."

"I love you too. Lils, you have nothing to worry about. We'll be fine."

Lily's heart clenched and her stomach churned uneasily again, bile making it all the way up her throat, before Lily could swallow it down. The acid burned her throat, but she managed what she hoped was a convincing smile. It wouldn't do to let James know she wasn't feeling well. "I know you will be."

Lily Apparated to the park of her childhood. The area was dark, but she could just make out the playground equipment. A slide, jungle gym, see-saw, sandbox, and her favorite, the swings. This was the only place Snape could possibly mean, they'd spent countless hours here, talking, dreaming about how life would be like once they got to Hogwarts. The park was where they came to get away from life, Lily from the suffocating protectiveness of her family, Snape, a deeper darker reason. They were young and free here.

Lily smiled faintly at the whimsical thoughts her mind had conjured. It was easy to slip into her child memories here, easy to forget all that had happened. She made her way to the swings, and sat, the seat creaking lightly, as if protesting her weight. Checking her watch, Lily saw she had a few minutes to seven. Unlike some people she knew, Snape was a very punctual person, forever worried about being on time.

Lost in her thoughts, Lily didn't hear the rustling of a cloak, as someone Apparated into the park, but she did feel the shock her watch sent her. It traveled up her arm and into her heart, bringing a level of fear she'd never thought to feel in this place. She shouldn't have come alone. Pretending she didn't know someone was there, she moved her wrist slightly, releasing her wand into her hand. Snape had betrayed her, but she wouldn't go down without a fight. She wasn't called the brightest witch Hogwarts had ever seen for nothing. With an image of James and harry in her mind to remind her what she was fighting for, Lily looked up and her heart sank.

Dressed in all black, his pale, sallow face, the only thing that would distinguish him for the dark, his pitch black hair, tied at the nape of his neck, was her former best friend, the death eater. "I wasn't sure if you'd even come." His voice, slightly hoarse scraped against her heart, assaulting her with memories of a happier time. "Why Sev? Why did you take that bastard's mark?" Sadness eked out of her voice, and Lily looked at Severus trying to find the man she once was knew better then herself.

His face showed shame for a second, before in smoothed into a mask. He shook his head. "That's neither here or there. I have something important to tell you."

Lily pushed herself up from the swing, anger crowding her head, throwing the sadness into the background. "Damnit! you at least owe me this. How could you choose to work for such a man- if he even can be called that-? How could you throw our friendship away for a person who wouldn't give two shits if you lived or died?"

Snape masked dropped, and anger twisted his face. "I gave this friendship up? I?" his finger shook as he pointed in Lily's face. "You were the one who couldn't forgive. You were the one that broke us, not me."

Lily's hand tightened against her wand, ready to strike. "You promised you'd never call me that, you gave me your word, and you didn't keep it. But it wasn't just that, I knew who'd you started to spend time with, Lucious, Rookwood and others. I knew what they must have been telling you, but I wouldn't let myself believe that you would go that way, I wouldn't…" Lily stopped unable to make herself go further.

Sighing, her body practically sinking to the ground in regret and loss, she said. "It doesn't matter now. You chose your way and I chose mine. It's only the memory of our friendship that I haven't taken you down. Tell me what you need to, then go, I don't who've you become Sev, I wish you found something better, but-well- we all have to go our own path." Lily looked up at the moonlight night, trying to hold back the tears that wanted to track down her face.

She would not cry in front of this man, this stranger in her best friend's body. "Very well, Lily." Snape stopped his throat full of words he longed to tell this red hair girl. "You always were unfailing honest, even when it didn't suit you. It's only fair I extend the same courtesy. And because I know what I have to tell you, you won't believe off hand, especially from me. I'm willing to swear on my magic."

Shocked Lily looked up to see Snape, wand in hand. "Wha…"

"I, Severus Snape do swear on my magic that everything said here tonight is the truth, and if I should utter one solitary lie, may my magic be stripped from me, unto death." Lily couldn't believe what she was hearing. Snape, giving her a magical oath?

"Wha- why would you do this? If you utter one lie to me, you will die. Magic isn't supposed to live without magic, the purging will kill you."

Snape smiled faintly. "The last time you believed anything I said was the summer of our fourth year, which was when you made me promise never to call you…" he shrugged. "You know. I can't take the risk that you won't believe me. I-"

"You what?" Lily prompted, when he stopped suddenly.

"Nothing. Listen I didn't come here to rub old wounds. I came to warn you, your friends are not your friends."

Lily shook her head, not understanding Snape's meaning. "What are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about the fact that today I went to an initiation ceremony. The Dark Lord was bringing someone new into the family. He said that this person had been working in the shadows for a while, spying on Dumbledore's ragtag group."

"You know about that?" Lily was almost physically ill, she had to tell Dumbledore, every one's life was at risk.

"You would be surprised at what the Dark Lord knows." Snape face grew dark, as if remembering something unpleasant. "He does not take kind to secrets." He murmured, so slow low Lily had to strain to hear him.

Whatever Snape would tell her, would change life as she knew it. Lily could feel it in her gut. "Do you know who came the newest member this morning, Lily? Do you have any idea?"

Lily looked at Snape. The feeling in her stomach was growing stronger, worse with every breath she took. "Who was it Sev? Who took the mark today?"

"Peter Pettigrew."

The world exploded into pain.

0o0o

Lily woke up screaming. The pain was unbearable; it felt as though her very skin was being ripped slowly from her body. She was on the ground, convulsing in agony. Tears leaked out of her body, the pain wouldn't stop, it wouldn't, it wouldn't, it…. A sharp pain on her check broke her out of the panic. Snape had slapped her. Hard. It hurt slightly less then the other pain, but it brought her mind into focus. She was calmer now, though her body still shook.

"What the bloody hell was that Lily? One minute I'm talking to you, the next you're falling to the ground screaming. What's going on?" Snape yelled, his face pale and wild. His hair had fallen out of his band, giving him an untamed look.

Lily rubbed her head, trying to remember what was going on; all she could think of was the pain. "What were we talking about?" she asked him, ignoring his questions. It seemed awfully important that she remember what they were discussing before she went down.

Snape huffed out of breath, completely shaken and exasperated. "Who the hell cares? You need medical attention. What happen just now can't be normal. You were just shaking and screaming, thi-"

Lily cut him off by grabbing his cloak. "You want to know how you can help me. Tell me what we were talking about!" Lily screamed, getting right into Snape's face.

"Alright, alright." Snape agreed, putting up his hands. "I was telling you not to trust Peter Pettigrew. He's-"

Once again Snape was cut off, this time by Lily surging to her feet. "Nooooooooooooooooooooo!" she screamed into the air, before Apparating. Leaving Snape staring in disbelief, all alone.

Lily appeared in front of her house, or what used to be her house. The front of the building had been completely blown away, leaving the house open to all to see. Lily fell to her knees-emptying her stomach- her mind denying what was in front of her eyes. No this couldn't be, we were safe, everyone was safe, we ha-

"Lily?"

She looked up to see Sirius standing next to her, horror stricken. "Sri. I can- what-in-"

"You wait out here, I'll go." He said, understanding the words tumbling out of her mouth. Lily watched him go, his shoulders straight, daring anyone to disprove everything was going to be ok. But Lily knew, deep in her heart she knew. Nothing was ever going to be the same.

Sirius returned a few minutes later, and Lily could not fight her thoughts. Maybe everything would be alright, maybe James was just mixing a potion and something went wrong, maybe…. She had completely convinced herself that it was all a big misunderstanding, when she saw Sirius face. He was holding a bundle of cloth and crying.

Lily had never seen Sirius cry- not once in nine years- had she ever seen him shed a tear, but now-now he was practically bawling, his whole body shaking as he walked to her. Lily rose to her feet and held out her arms as Sirius reached her. Sobs began to rack her body as Lily peered in and saw her darling boy, a lighting shaped scar on his forehead, and-her lungs constricted-a blood red crystal around his neck

Lily could feel the warmth of Harry's body, the steady moving of his chest. She ran a finger softly down his check. Lily looked up into the teary gaze of her husband's best friend.

"James?" she whispered, still somehow, having hope even with the proof in front of her. New tears made there way down Sirius face as he shook his head, not wanting to say the words. Lily sighed, the breath leaving her body limp.

The duo stood there for several minutes, encasing themselves in a bubble, where decisions didn't have to be made. Lily could feel a numbness coming over her body, could actually feel as it started from her hands and worked its way throughout. Sirens brought Sirius back, they were exposed, who knew if there where death eaters around, and there they were standing like ducks, waiting to be struck down. Sirius let his Auror senses take over, grateful for the emotional distance.

"Lily?" he murmured, softly, "We have to get out of here. It's not safe." She didn't respond, and Sirius looked down to see Lily staring forward blankly, she was even holding little Harry funny, as if unaware he was even there. Sirius cursed, and taking both her and harry into his arms, he Apparated them out of there.


A/N: I'm looking for a beta reader. If someone is willing to take on the job please contact me. thanks.