AN: Voldemort went after Neville instead of Harry and died making Longbottom the boy who lived. Also, Regulus did not die, but went traitor with Snape and told the OotP about the Horcrux's which they are now hunting down.

It is now one year after the Dark Lord fell, 1982, and Harry is now 2 years old.


Severus Snape sat silently on the bottom stair and watched little Harry zoom around his father's feet on his toy broom. It was Mabon at the Potter's this year, a sort of Thanksgiving for magic folk, and the house was alive with the aroma of the much anticipated holiday meal.

After the war, the wizarding world was ready to embrace a new life, and Snape had been no exception. It had taken a great deal of effort to rekindle the friendship between Lily and himself, but with times changing and the future looking up, and with all he had done for the Order, she couldn't help but forgive him for his wounding words so many years ago.

He watched Harry with a half-amusement as he zoomed about before the boy nearly crashed right into him. "Watch it there." He plucked Harry off his broomstick and tossed him in the air before catching him again. "You almost got me." Harry just laughed and wiggled enthusiastically to be let down.

Just as Snape was setting his favorite two-year-old back on his broom, the front door opened with a bang.

"The fun has arrived!" Sirius Black, equipped with his long black hair and stubbled face, proudly displayed the 24 pack of beer he graciously brought with him. He closed the door with his foot and handed the booze over to a very appreciative looking James. "Thank you very much. Now, where's that Godson of mine?"

Harry, so excited to see his favorite 'uncle', flew right over, right into one of Black's shins. Severus smirked, and very quietly chuckled.

Sirius grimaced and rubbed his leg, but quickly got over it and picked Harry up off the broom before he could hit him again. "Is that how we say hello?"

"Hello!"

"That's better, and may I remind you that I bought you that broom, so if you're going to be running into anybody it should be that greasy git right over there."

James sighed and lightly hit his friend on the shoulder. "Not in front of Harry. You know Lily doesn't want him learning words like that."

"Yeah, yeah." Sirius plopped Harry back on his broom and pointed him at Snape's legs before letting him take off. Harry, however, veered off to the side and out of the room with James following protectively behind.

Sirius , remaining where he was and making himself quite at home, threw himself down on the couch, sufficiently covering all three of the cushions, while Severus sat back down on his reclusive stair. "So, Snivellus, what do you think you're doing here?"

Severus glared venomously. "I have every right to be here, Black. Why are you here? Shouldn't you be with your family? Your mother is dying after all. Seems very un-sonly of you not to see her off."

"What do you know about it?"

"A good deal more than you do, I'd wager."

The very thought of his family being so close with someone like Snape burned at Black's insides. He missed Regulus desperately, but when his mother seared his name off her precious family tree, that was that. He wasn't going back, not for her, not for anything, even if it meant Reg would be pissed at him for a while. "I don't like you hanging around my brother behind my back."

"It wouldn't be behind your back if you bothered to show up once in a while."

"Sod off."

"You first."

"Now boys, Sirius get your feet off my couch, I want you two to behave yourselves in my house. You know how much Harry adores the both of you, and I don't want either of you poisoning him against the other. Understood?" Lily had exited the kitchen, pudding covered wooden spoon pointed menacingly in their directions as though it were her wand she was threatening them with. "And where's my hug?"

Sirius grinned and hopped up, giving her a modest squeeze before lifting her up and spinning around for a bit before putting her back down. "How's that then?"

"Wonderful, best hug I've had all day." She smiled happily and kissed Sirius warmly on the cheek.

"Hear that, Snivels? You can't even hug as good as me."

"Piss off, Black."

Lily waved her spoon disapprovingly. "Mind your language. Now, why don't you come and help me for a bit in the kitchen."

"Sure." Sev stood and strolled into the kitchen with Lily while Sirius sank back down on the couch.

"You ladies have fun. I think I'll just stay here and play with the Tele." Sirius picked up the remote and tried to remember how it was supposed to turn the black box in front of him on.

Once the kitchen door was closed safely behind them, Lily put down her pudding spoon and leaned against the counter. "Alright, I've got a while before the roast is done. What did you need to tell me?"

Severus looked down at his feet suddenly, feeling very uncomfortable.

Wanting to keep the pause from becoming too awkward, Lily tried again. "I thought you were going to be spending Mabon with the Blacks this year."

"I was, but then…" He sighed heavily and ran a hand through his midnight hair. "I screwed up. Things got… weird."

"Oh, Sev." It proved difficult to keep the knell of disappointment out of her voice. She had been so happy for him for having found a friend in Regulus. What with her being married and a mother now, she really didn't always have the time to spend with him. It was a relief to know that he had someone he could rely on besides just her.

She rubbed her forehead, feeling very tired now after a full morning of nonstop food preparation, bracing herself for the news. "What happened?"

"I kissed him."

Even though she didn't know what she had expected him to say, that certainly wasn't it, and though she didn't voice it, the entirety of her demeanor begged the question.

And he answered it. "I'm gay."

The second that passed between them seemed like an eternity to Snape, and as Lily's befuddled expression gave way to a grin, Snape's feeling of dread didn't seem to lessen any.

"That's fantastic." One might have thought it was Christmas by her reaction to the news. She excitedly wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him in for a suffocating hug. "I'm so happy for you."

"Happy?" He detangled himself from her web of arms and held her hands to his chest. "Lily, he rejected me. I've ruined everything."

"No, no. You two were such good friends. I'm sure he'll get over it."

"But I didn't want to be just friends. I wanted something more than that." He pulled away from her and her reassuring smile. "I really liked him." He looked down at his jacket and played with one of the intricate silver buttons as Lily slid up beside him and rubbed his arm comfortingly. "He was my first kiss."

Suddenly, Snape was shoved to the side in one of his friends more enthusiastic moments. "Get out! There's no way he was your first, your first kiss?"

"Quiet, keep your voice down." Severus glanced around in a fit of paranoia. Surely either Black or Potter could waltz in at any moment.

"But, Sev. Your first? Your 22 years old. He can't have been, I mean, really?"

"Well you don't have to rub it in."

Lily tried to hide her smile. "I know, I'm sorry. You're just too cute. You know that?"

"No."

"Well, you are." She reached up and tucked a few stray strands of hair behind his ear. "And might I add, very handsome."

"Right."

"I mean it. Especially now that you're taking better care of yourself."

He glanced up slightly. "Regulus was insistent."

"Good for him." She played with his collar and smiled a mischievous smile, rocking a bit on her heals. "Sooooooooooooo?"

"… So?"

"Tell me all the details."

"Merlin."

"Oh, come on now. You're gay, you're supposed to like girl talk."

Honestly, Sev would have more than happily complied, had he been given the chance, but the abrupt caw of laughter from the kitchen doorway stopped him cold.

James and Sirius quickly ran back to the couch and set Harry in front of the television, acting as innocently as possible, when Lily and Severus stepped out of the kitchen. Neither of them bought the act, and Lily crossed her arms suspiciously.

"What was so funny?"

James looked up from the picture box with an almost successfully suppressed grin. "Hm? Oh, just something on the Tele. "

"Really?"

"Yeah, " Sirius could hardly keep his shoulders from shaking, "and Snivellus is a bloomin' poof."