Snape opened his eyes. Blinding light hit him instantly, forcing him to flash them shut again. He took in a deep breath, preparing himself, and looked up more slowly this time. He wasn't quite sure where he was. A vast, empty white room stretched out around him. Such a clean, startling white he had never known. He wasn't even sure it was a room, on closer inspection it seemed to just be... well, space. He didn't understand.

Snape shakily got to his feet and looked around. He appeared to be alone.

"Severus," A voice whispered.

Snape struggled to locate the source of the sound at first. He whirled around and as he did so he realised that he was wearing fresh, black robes that swirled at his ankles. He felt clean. Pure. And then he turned around and there she was.

"Lily," He gasped.

She nodded. Lily Evans was much more beautiful than Snape remembered, if that were possible. Her kind face was soft, her very skin seemed to be emitting a a pale glow. Her red hair curled around her pretty face, such a vast contrast to her eyes. And such eyes. Glittering, gleaming, scintillating emerald green. Snape could have stared in to those eyes for hours. His memory of them had not done them justice, neither had her sons uncanny replicas.

"Where am I?" Snape croaked, "I-I think I'm d-dead... But how can I be... How can I be dead when I'm alive?" His voice was trembling.

"Ssh," Lily soothed, beginning to take a few steps towards him, "Everything is fine, Sev. You have nothing to worry about. I'm here."

"Alright," He whispered, too mesmerised by her to answer properly. Lily rested a hand on his arm.

"I'veI' been watching you," She said quietly, "You've protected Harry for so long, I can't thank you enough."

Snape hung his head. "But I failed him. I failed you. I've left him and now the Dark Lord is free to take him."

"No, Sev," Lily whispered, "Harry is strong, he's clever. He'll be just fine."

"Where am I, Lily?" Snape asked again, "Is there where people go when they die?"

Lily paused. "I have to go," She said, and when Snape shook his head she placed a hand on his cheek to stop him, "I'm needed," She said firmly, "But I'll be back. And when I am, I'll explain everything."

Lily smiled at him again before taking a step back.

"I'll be back," She said.

Please hurry, thought Snape silently.

I've waited for so long.