If there was one thing about his position at Hogwarts that Snape absolutely loathed, it was his nightly patrols. Fortunately he only had to perform the duty twice a week. Unfortunately, one of those nights was tonight.
Severus Snape hated these night time strolls with a passion. They infuriated him, constantly reminding him of what he was not. Whenever he passed the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom or Quirril's office, he was made painfully aware at his failure to obtain his most desired position. Passing the trophy room only reminded him of the once celebrated Quidditch captain who had once levitated him upside down in front of all of his friends, much to his dismay. Of course, there were also the windows, looking out over the castle grounds, offering a view of the serene and peaceful lake, reminding him of a time before...
Severus was anything but serene now. His job, his calling, demanded his utmost attention at all times. There was no time for peace. Even in his sleep, Severus was plagued with thoughts, images, and dreams that were not his own. On the rare occasion that such intrusions let him be, he was beset by nightmares; terrors that often left him sleepless for many nights, for those terrors involved her.
Then of course, came the not-so-rare occasions that Severus happened upon a certain Potter boy during his wandering patrols. The boy was undoubtedly up to no good, just as his rotten father had been. Severus hated his chance meetings with the boy. Dealing with him in class was torture enough. Meeting him unexpectedly struck a painful chord in his soul, reminding him once again of what he was not. He was not and never would be with her…
It so ensued that on one of these much dreaded nightly excursions, Severus Snape happened upon a certain ill-groomed, tabby feline. Filch's companion was generally an annoyance, but Severus was intelligent enough to realize that the cat had her uses. With one glance at her eerie, amber eyes, Severus chose to follow her.
The cat padded swiftly down the corridor, making a sudden turn into an open room on the right of the hallway. Severus silently followed her, the sounds of his footsteps hushed by a nonverbal spell.
The unused classroom was inconspicuous enough. Still, by the cat's reaction, Severus judged that someone had recently exited this very room. He took a moment to examine his surroundings, half expecting to see Potter, or that ever-filthy Weasley boy hiding somewhere. However, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Rows of desks lined the walls, stacked haphazardly on each other. Empty shelves stood gaping, ready to be put to some use. The only oddity presented itself in the form of a single mirror, standing forlornly at the front of the classroom.
Surely this was the Mirror of Erised that Dumbledoor had spoken of. Severus had no idea that it was already safely inside the castle, awaiting its further purpose.
Severus pursed his lips into a thin line as he pondered why such a valuable object was left unattended and in an open room.
He knew better than to approach the mirror. He knew instantly what his eyes would behold if he dared to gaze into the mirror's crystalline depths.
The thought of seeing her face once more was too much to bare. He stood before the mirror before he was even aware that his feet had carried him there.
There she stood, just at arm's length. Severus heard himself gasp and felt his pulse quicken in his veins. After eleven tortuous years, Lily Evans stood before him once more. The sight caused almost more euphoria and more pain than his body could stand. A small, dry sob passed his now parted lips, attempting to express his inner turmoil.
Severus saw his younger self in the mirror along with a younger, still living Lily Evans. They stood facing one another, each hopelessly lost in the others gaze. Each on the verge of tears.
"I'm so sorry, Lily," he watched as his younger self mouthed the words he so longed to speak to her. "I… I meant none of it. I was so insecure, too afraid to stand up for what I honestly believed in… too afraid to stand up for you." He paused briefly, casting a dejected gaze to the prefect's badge on Lily's robes. "You're too good for me, Lily. I can only hope that in time, you can find it in your pure and selfless heart to forgive me."
Severus watched amazed as the young woman simply responded with a kiss. Oh how he had longed to feel those lips upon his own! Sighing lightly, Severus brushed his fingertips lightly over his own lips before gingerly reaching out to stroke Lily's cheek as she deepened the kiss with his teenage self.
Only the feel of chilled glass met his fingertips, instantly breaking the mirror's spell.
With that, Severus turned sharply on his heel, refusing to torture himself a moment longer. He had never been the stag to Lily's doe. She had never wanted him. Even if she had,.. those lips that he so longed to touch were now long cold, frozen in the earth of Godric's Hollow. She was gone and Severus had only himself to blame for her untimely death. Cursing softly, he exited the room and continued his nightly watch, hoping to protect the one part of herself that Lily had left behind.
Author's Note: Well, I was surfing deviant art and I got inspired by this picture www. deviantart .com/?qh=§ion=&q=severus+mirror#/d10m9bl (without the spaces). What a beautiful piece of artwork! I hope you enjoyed how this drabble turned out. I have such a soft spot for poor Severus. It's tragic how one instant of stupidity completely shattered his world.