A/N: Written for the less_for_you Severus/Lily exchange on Livejournal in 2008. Request was for Marauder era, shy Snape, long hair, awkwardness, first time having sex/kissing/etc (but no PWP), fluff, and preferably above PG-13. Betaed by spidermoth.

Warnings/contains: Sexual activity between teenagers (who are of age in their jurisdiction); gratuitous ignoring of canon; fluff; extreme sappiness; Severus being too pretty; no nutritional value.


Lilies are Red, Roses are Blue

Like any growing thing, it had started with a seed.

It was late in the afternoon on the thirtieth of July. Lily, feeling lonely and melancholy, was lying on her bed in her empty house. The occasional warm breeze drifted through the open window. Her grandfather Evans had died late last week, but she had not gone to the funeral with the rest of her family.

She had never liked the man very much, less so since finding out she was a witch. He was too staid, too conservative, too bothered by things he thought were "weird". Too much like Petunia, in fact. She and her parents had gotten into quite a spectacular row when they had said she should at least go out of respect and she had snapped back that she had none.

Now, though, she was feeling rather ashamed about the whole thing. She had acted as though she were seven instead of seventeen - and that was supposed to be an adult if you were a witch, or so Severus had told her.

She wished she had someone to talk it over with, someone who would say "you're not a terrible person for saying those things, Lily," hug her, and take her out for an ice cream. Her girlfriend next door was off on holiday with her family, though, and though she would dearly have liked to have Severus around, she thought it more likely he would just frown and shake his head than anything else. He wasn't the best authority on getting along with one's parents, anyway.

As Lily began to count the leaves on the vines on her wallpaper for the fifth or fiftieth or five hundredth time, she heard a knock at the door downstairs. Strange; she wasn't expecting anyone. Petunia and her parents weren't due back for another two days. Perhaps it was the postman with some sort of package?

When Lily opened the door, she was surprised to see Severus standing there, a few strands of his long dark hair sticking to his forehead in the summer heat.

"Happy half-birthday, Lily," he said, holding out a small pouch made of a piece of blue velvet tied at the top.

"Sev, what are you... half-birthday?" she said, puzzled.

"Six months from your birthday."

"I know, but - is there something special about me being seventeen and a half?"

"Not as such." He proffered the pouch again. "Our birthdays and Christmas are all so close together that I thought you might like to get a present on the other side of the year, too."

"Oh." She smiled a half-smile and took the velvet bundle from him. When she pulled the cord that held it together, the circle of cloth fell open to reveal a large, glittering blue seed.

"Rosa cerulea vera," Severus said with a straight-backed, pedagogical air. "The only genuinely blue rose. Unknown to Muggles. Pollen and petals both useful magically, especially in draughts dealing with bruising and internal bleeding. Attractive to fairies; the careful gardener may occasionally be treated to a beautiful moonlit light-show." He relaxed to a more casual posture. "I would have brought you some of the flowers, but unfortunately they wither the instant they're plucked from the plant."

"It's pretty, Severus, but - well, why don't you come inside?" She moved back to allow him room.

"Is something wrong, Lily?" he said as he stepped over the threshold and closed the door behind him.

"My grandfather died."

Severus said nothing, but gently took her hand in his. It was comforting but also strangely electrifying.

"I should be off at the funeral with my parents and Petunia, but - well, I threw such a fit about it. I don't know what came over me. I said I didn't want to go, seeing as I hadn't actually thought much of him, which didn't go over well with my father. He was just like Petunia, Sev, he would have called me a freak given half a chance! Before I knew it we were all screaming at one another. I think in the end they just gave up on trying to force me since there were so many other things to deal with - travel plans, the will, that sort of thing. It really wasn't very adult of me." She blushed. "So here I am."

"Would you prefer that I leave?"

"No! No, Sev, in fact I must have thought a hundred times about asking you to come by, but - I don't know." She dropped her gaze to the floor, unsure of how to express it. "I just felt silly. I'm almost a grown witch, you know? But I acted like such a brat. I bet you would handle it better if some relative you didn't like had died."

"Maybe," he said evasively, "but I don't fault you." He paused for a moment, then said more quietly, "Having you with me would help."

Lily looked back up at him and blinked the tears from her eyes. "Oh, thank you, Sev." She embraced him tightly, squeezing her hand around the seed he had given her. He hugged her in return and laid his cheek against her hair.


Now that Severus was around, Lily thought that getting out and going someplace she could watch the world go by might do her some good. She enjoyed sitting with him and observing things because he never tried to engage her in unwanted conversation. If she wanted quiet, he gave her quiet; if she wanted to talk, he would talk, although he was never given to idle chatter. He seemed to have a very good sense for which it was she felt like doing at any given time.

They first went to have cold drinks and a bite to eat at the Leaky Cauldron, then spent several companionable hours wandering around Muggle London to no particular purpose. Every so often Severus would lean over and murmur a wry or sarcastic remark in her ear, making Lily chuckle. Not only did she approve of his wit, but the smooth sound of his voice was calming to her as well. Sometimes his lips would brush her ear, and all the hairs would stand up on the back of her neck.

They returned to Lily's house quite late that night.

"You should go home, Sev," she said after they had some tea in the kitchen.

"Only if you want me to."

She didn't, really. "But won't your parents wonder where you are if you stay?"

"No," he said darkly, the shadow of a scowl crossing his face.

Lily bit her lip. She liked the idea of having Severus around, and especially of having him there when she woke up the next morning. "All right, then. You should go get a change of clothes or something, though."

Severus nodded and stood up. "I'll be back shortly." He turned and Disapparated.

Lily washed up their tea cups and then went looking for a spare blanket and pillow while she waited for him to return. In a few minutes, she heard a light tapping at the door.

"You could have Apparated right back into the house, Sev," she said.

Severus cocked his head to one side and raised an eyebrow. "How rude. And what if you were in some state of undress?" He clucked his tongue, and a smirk played at one corner of his mouth.

"What, in the front hall? What do you take me for?" Lily said, smiling.

Severus shrugged. "As much as I often wish I could read your mind..."

"That's not answering my question," she teased in a singsong voice.

Severus reached for the blanket and pillow she was holding and laid them carefully aside on the sofa. He took both her hands in his as he stood in front of her, his thumbs tracing slow circles on their backs. Lily's palms felt like they were burning where his fingertips touched them.

His eyes searched hers for a few moments, and then he smiled slightly. "My best and first real friend," he said quietly.

Lily felt dizzy. Everything except his actual words was saying "I love you." Suddenly, she wished they could stand like this forever. She never wanted to let him go.

"Stay with me, Sev," she whispered.

"I am. I will."

"No, I mean, come upstairs. Stay next to me."

His eyes darted towards the sofa. "But I could just-"

"Please," Lily said, embarrassed at how whiny she sounded.

Severus drew her towards him and embraced her, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. That was "yes" enough for her.


Severus had insisted on changing clothes alone in the bathroom and then waiting in bed while she did the same. Lily was disappointed, somehow. It wasn't exactly that she had been hoping to see Severus naked, nor vice versa, although the idea gave her a fluttering sensation in her stomach. She worried, though, that something other than shyness or propriety was motivating him. Lily thought of Severus as a friend, of course, but if she was truthful with herself she quite fancied him as well. Secretly she wanted to know that he felt the same way, even if nothing ever came of it.

When Lily came back into the bedroom, Severus's eyes were closed and he was breathing deeply as if he were already asleep. She knew he couldn't possibly be, but humoured him for the moment, and just gazed at him silently. He looked peaceful and innocent, and she felt a pang of guilt about her fleeting imaginings.

Although her experience was limited, she was very well aware of certain things she liked to see and certain things boys seemed to enjoy having done. She had only discussed the sparest of the details with Severus; it hadn't seemed appropriate to do otherwise. That was the sort of thing you talked about with girlfriends, not boys.

Lily gingerly laid down with her back towards Severus. She listened to his slow, even breathing for a few moments, and wondered what he was thinking, if anything.


"Mmm?" he replied sleepily.

"Do you mind if I... if I curl up against you?"

There was a pause. Then: "All right," came his nervous whisper.

Lily slid backwards until her back was pressed up against him. She could feel one of his arms folded against her back, but he didn't seem to know what to do with the other one. She reached back, took that hand in hers, and cuddled it to her breastbone, smiling. It was very pleasant having him warm and alive back there.

She stroked the inside of his forearm with the backs of her fingers. The skin at his wrist was almost softer than she could really feel without using some softer part to touch it. She imagined what it would be like to feel more of that against her own skin, his arms wrapped around her in a half-clothed embrace, and suddenly she felt rather warm all over.

"Sev?" she breathed again.


"Can I... can we touch skin to skin?"


"Like this." Hardly believing what she was doing, Lily released Severus's hand, leaned forward, and pulled her top off over her head. She didn't dare look at him. He stayed stock-still for a second, and then she heard a muted rustle that she hoped meant he had taken off his shirt as well. Severus placed his hand on the center of her back, and she moved back against him once more.

Oh my. Oh... my. She had thought it would be nice, but she hadn't been prepared for how nice. Apparently it really made a difference if you honestly fancied someone instead of just being curious. Each of her few experiments paled in comparison to this simple contact.

She and Severus had tried kissing a few times, but she was never sure how to ask for more, or, perhaps more importantly, if he would approve in the first place. It was so much easier when there was no long friendship all tangled up in things. Lily had often thought about Severus's kisses late at night when she was discovering what she could do to herself with her own hands, and usually felt a bit embarrassed about all the things she was making the imaginary Severus do besides just kiss her, not to mention the things she was doing to him.

But this - this was just how she thought it would be, and yet it was more. Her breath quickened as the realization dawned: more than fancying him, she desired him. She wanted to... well, to do something. Anything that involved more touching sounded like a good idea, for starters.

Severus must have heard the change in her breathing, or maybe he felt her heartbeat given where his hand was placed, because he murmured, "Lily, are you all right?"

"Just fine, Sev," she said. She held her breath, closed her eyes, and rolled over in his arms. She pushed her bottom arm underneath his body as quickly as she could and drew him close, nestling her face against his neck. One... two... three... oh, thank Merlin. Lily let the breath out in relief as she felt Severus's arms settle around her.

"Are you all right?" she said into his skin.

"Just fine," he replied, with a slight tremor in his voice.

"Good," she said, and brushed a kiss against his throat.


Severus pulled back slightly so that he could see Lily's eyes. Well, one of them at a time, anyway, at this range. He was astonished at what was happening. They had kissed a few times, and he supposed that she had liked it, since it was in fact "a few times" and not only once, no-thanks-Sev-I-was-just-curious. But what was happening now was something he had hardly dreamt of. No, usually he was well awake when he was having those kinds of thoughts.

The two of them half-naked, embracing, and her lips touching him in a way that made him flush bright red, he was sure, and dear Merlin, most of his body urging him to stop thinking and kiss her and put his hands anywhere he could reach - could it be that the mental pictures that had fuelled many a late-night wank were not strange and unwanted, but in fact perfectly right?

Lily smiled up at him tenderly, and for a moment he was overcome with silent joy. She was here, she was real, he was touching more of her skin right now than he probably had done if you added every other time together, and she liked it. The only question was, was she expecting him to do more? He got a queasy feeling in his stomach at the thought.


Severus was scared, she could tell; scared and shy. He kept looking at her like he wanted to caress or kiss her, but never made a move. Well, perhaps she would have to do something first, to prove to him beyond doubt that she would welcome his touch.

Lily reached out with a tentative hand and pushed her fingers slowly into Severus's hair above his ear. He had always worn it somewhat long, but he must have been neglecting to cut it lately, since it now flowed well past his shoulders onto his upper back. Although it was fine and lank, she thought the pitch-black hue of it was perfect against his skin. Lily lovingly stroked it back from his face, swiping her thumb over his cheekbone as she did so. She leaned in and pressed a kiss to the other cheek while tracing the tips of her fingers along the hollow under his jawbone.

Severus half-closed his eyes and exhaled softly, but less softly than his resting breathing had been. Lily drew back momentarily, running her hand down his throat, over his collarbone, and to his shoulder. He was so slender, so delicately formed. His eyes opened fully once more and sought hers as she paused and admired him. She smiled.

"You don't know how beautiful you are, do you, Severus?"

One of his eyebrows started downwards in a disbelieving frown, but she kissed him on the lips before he got any further than that. He froze, startled. She let him take a few breaths and then pressed towards him a little more while running her hand down his hair from the top of his head. Severus trembled, then relaxed, moaned low in his throat, and kissed back.

The motions of his mouth were slow, deliberate, exquisitely gentle, and she found herself instantly aroused. She chanced a flicker of her tongue along his lower lip. This brought a tiny gasp from him, but he did not part his lips. She whimpered and pulled back just enough to part their mouths from one another.

"Please, Sev," she whispered. "Please. Want to taste you." She dived back in, curling her fingers in his hair at the back of his neck.

"Ummhmmnn," was all he said in return, the pitch of the sound rising as he opened his mouth under hers. She slid her tongue against his in lazy curves, relishing the way his pulse quickened under the fingertips of her other hand where they rested on the hollow of his throat.

Lily removed her hand from his hair and stroked the tips of her first two fingers along the ridge of his collarbone. She nuzzled under his cheek to get him to turn his head, and moved to lightly kiss a spot right behind his right ear. Warmth spread through her as she heard Severus draw a long breath. It was too soft to be called a gasp, but she got a feeling he was suppressing some more distinct noise.

"Don't stop it, Severus," she murmured, surprised at how forward she was being. "Don't be ashamed. Make any noise you want to. God, please, make any noise you want to. I want to hear you. If I give you pleasure, I want to know it." She bit the side of his neck softly and was rewarded with a matchingly soft cry.


Severus's stomach was full of butterflies. He was acutely aware of the sound he had made, which despite Lily's request he had tamped down as well as he could; it made him feel exposed and ashamed.

He was unnerved by the desire coursing through him. Nobody had ever spoken such words to him before, and hearing them from Lily's lips was incredible. Her skin, her touch - everything was driving him to new heights of lust. Not that he was unacquainted with lustful thoughts of Lily, but it was quite a different matter having her actually with him at the time.

The thought that Lily wanted him physically, wanted to pleasure him, as she'd put it, made his mind reel. He felt dangerously close to letting her do whatever she pleased. At any other time he would have welcomed her advances and rejoiced that they were occurring at last, but... no. She hadn't seemed grief-stricken, but perhaps she was just in shock. That had to be it. Lily couldn't be in her right mind. He had to protect her, try to stop her before he let her do something she'd regret.

Despite earnest protest from several parts of his body, Severus pushed himself back from her. "Lily, I don't think you really want to do this."

She smiled ferally. "Oh, I think I do, Sev." She took his hand in hers and laced their fingers together.

"You asked me here for company. This - er, seems to be more than that. I don't want you to hate yourself tomorrow."

"I don't think I could ever regret anything I did with you, Sev." Lily paused, and her eyes darkened as a thought seemed to occur to her. "Is it - do you not like this?"

Severus wanted to laugh; it was a ridiculous question. "I do, Lily, but-"

"Severus." Her eyes bored into his. "You're alive, and here, and I'm not alone, and I l-" Lily stopped herself and swallowed whatever word it was she had been about to say. "And I like it that way," she finished a bit lamely.

She brought his hand up to rest against her throat and let it go. It seemed she wanted him to touch her after all. Yes, yes, yes! whispered a small voice that seemed to come from somewhere inside his trousers.

Severus traced his fingers over her throat and collarbone. Her skin was like silk. Closing his eyes, he summoned his courage and slowly he moved his hand down to brush the outer curve of one breast. Lily gasped, and he pulled back sharply as if caught doing something he oughtn't to have been doing.

She opened her eyes. "Do that again," she whispered.

Severus hesitated, then made almost the same motion again, this time cupping his palm slightly. He followed the motion through, touched the backs of his fingers against the inside curve of her other breast, then turned his wrist and ran his fingertips softly over that nipple.

"Mmmm..." murmured Lily. "More..."

More? What did she mean for him to do, exactly? He tried circling one nipple repeatedly with a thumb, and was pleased with the open-mouthed smile that elicited. Encouraged, he lightly pinched the nipple between the backs of the first two fingers of that hand, while stroking and then tenderly cupping the other breast with the palm of the other. She leaned forward to kiss him, but he was so concerned with keeping the motions of his hands smooth and graceful that he nearly missed kissing her back.

Lily giggled. "Would you..." She bit her lip. "Lower? Please?"

Severus slid one hand down over her stomach, but stopped at the waist of her pajama bottoms.

"No, I mean... well... here." Lily shimmied out of the bottom half of her clothing and laid her leg lightly on top of his. She placed her hand on top of his where it still rested on her belly and slid it down to brush the hair between her thighs.

Severus did a very good impression of an owl. "What do you w... I mean, what should I...?" he said.

"Try a little further."

Severus swallowed nervously. He had only the faintest clue what he was doing. He did as Lily asked, though, and moved his fingers further down.

"If you press in there a bit and then move back up, you'll be able to..."

Severus barely pressed in the tips of his first two fingers, and it was all he could do to stop his eyes rolling back in his head and his jaw dropping open. She was moist; no, more than that, she was positively wet. The slickness under his fingertips was the most incredible feeling. And he had done this to her - his touch, his kisses - she wanted him...!

If he had been hard already, it now seemed to him that he had a hot iron bar stashed in his trousers.

He stroked his fingers gently upwards, and Lily gasped and smiled. He did it again, and was rewarded with the same response, so he kept on with it. Severus was sure that he could listen to that sound forever and never be bored by it. It seemed almost too easy to be doing the same stroke over and over again, but Lily appeared to be enjoying it. And, he supposed, something similar in principle worked on him, too.

Lily kissed him, then, surprisingly hard, and flicked her tongue over his lower lip. He moaned and kissed back. "Try... circles," Lily panted into his mouth. He did the best he could, but that was an unfamiliar motion. Back and forth, he was used to, but circles were difficult to coordinate while still trying to keep up with her kisses, which were becoming somewhat frantic.

Severus decided to be more passive there, and if Lily did in fact devour him, as it seemed she was half-intent on doing - well, there were much worse ways a man could die. She was making the most delicious little noises. On the one hand he thought he would now be able to die content with this one night shining there in his past, and on the other he thought he would die of deprivation if he never got to hear them again.

As if playing into this train of thought, Lily suddenly bit him where his neck met his shoulder, made a quiet, high-pitched sound in the back of her throat, and clasped her legs together over his hand. "Ahh...! Ahhh...!" she said as she repeatedly pressed her hips down against his hand. He felt her pulse throb against his fingers. Then it hit him.

That was - she - oh God - Merlin - me, Severus, I gave her - holy sh-!

After a few moments, Lily relaxed against him and he felt her lips curve into a smile against his skin. "Mmm, Sevvv..." she said, drawing out the single syllable into a loving caress.

Now he knew he would die of deprivation if he never got to hear those sounds again. He hurriedly wiped his fingers off against his trousers, placed them softly under Lily's chin, and tilted her face up for a kiss. She responded to him slowly, tenderly, then pulled back and looked at him with a beatific smile on her face.

Severus felt like he was glowing. He thought he had known, before, but now he realized he had been merely a foolish boy who knew nothing at all. Now Severus was absolutely certain of it: he loved Lily more than anything else in the world.

"Can I touch you, too?" she said, not really waiting for a response before cupping his erection gently through his trousers. He grimaced slightly at the sensation of the damp fabric where it touched the tip of his penis. Lily chuckled nervously under her breath. "It's okay if you don't want me to," she said.

Didn't want her to? Was she mad? "No, no, please - yes. If you want..."

Lily smiled at him and slid her hand into the waist of his trousers, encouraging Severus to slip them off entirely. When he had done, he felt her fingertips brush over the head of his penis, which was slick, nearly dripping with how aroused he was.

A flicker of a frown crossed Lily's features, and she brought her hand up in front of her face. She rubbed her fingers and thumb together, staring at them like she was examining some exotic magical ingredient. She slowly brought her fingers to her lips. With an expression of curious concentration, she stuck her tongue out to lick her fingers, one by one. Severus thought he might explode with lust at the sight, then berated himself silently for thinking that way about her, especially given the reason that he was here at all.

Lily shrugged. "Not bad," she said, and smiled. She put her hand back under the blanket and wrapped it around him.

"Mmm, Lily... ahh...!" Severus said, closing his eyes and pressing his forehead to hers. Her movements were uncertain, but to him they were exquisite. It was probably just as well she didn't quite know what she was doing, or he would have no time to warn her when to stop. Either way, he didn't care; Lily's hands were on him now, like he had imagined so many times in place of his own.

"Tell me how, Sev," she said quietly. "Want to... do it right." She closed her hand a little more tightly as she stroked slowly up and down.

"Nnhmmm - what? 'S fine - oh - just keep - ummmm - doing that..."

"But... I can guess, but - I mean, how do you-"

"Shhh-" Severus opened his eyes and looked at her. "-nnhm! Don't want what I would - ahh - your hand... different... don't sto-"

"Okay, okay, shhh yourself," Lily said, and kissed him.

Disappointingly soon, though, Severus felt himself nearing orgasm. "Lily... you'd... better stop or... this could be... messy," he panted into her hair.

"Hmmm," she said lightly, as though that wasn't really something he ought to be concerning himself with.

"Lily... 'm serious... please, I don't-" he almost sobbed. He didn't want her to stop and couldn't possibly have brought himself to force her to, but he also didn't want to deal with the consequences if she didn't.

Fortunately, Lily solved this dilemma for him by diving swiftly under the blanket and taking half of his length in her mouth. His breath stolen from him by the surprise, he came utterly silently, the fingers of one hand brushing against her cheek.


Lily swallowed, then kissed Severus on his hip-bone. Her whole body was trembling. She couldn't believe she had been so bold, but that had been... very... interesting. She definitely wanted to try it again sometime, if she could manage it.

She emerged from under the blanket and looked at Severus. He had rolled onto his back and was staring at the ceiling, the tip of one forefinger caught between his teeth; his breath was still coming quite heavily.

Lily stared at the angle of his jaw. He was so sharp, so carven and cold-looking, but now she knew he was stretched over with warm, pale velvet which she yearned to touch even more. Now she knew that she wanted to stroke their naked flesh together, bite him, kiss him, make him gasp and moan.

She blushed with the intensity of the thoughts she was thinking, but she didn't stop. Lily thought about sucking him, lapping at his prick with her tongue, nipping at the soft skin at the join of his thigh, pressing her thumb into the hollow of the bone hard enough to bruise as she gripped his hip with her hand.

She wanted to take him inside her - pin him down, climb on top of him and ride him. She wanted to feel him arch up into her, thrusting slow and hard until she came on his cock, moaning his name into his mouth - oh, Sssevvverrruuusss...! - and she would make him come as well, panting and babbling and raising the pitch of his voice as he cracked with desire and need.

Yes, that definitely sounded like the thing to do... someday soon.

Lily stroked his hair where it fanned across the pillow. "Sev?"

He turned to look at her, his eyes unfathomable. She saw him quirk a corner of his mouth in a tiny smile before she closed her eyes as he kissed her. Afterwards, she wrapped her arms around him as best she could and pressed herself close against him. His flesh was quite warm to the touch, but she shivered regardless.

"Chilly," she said, before he could ask the question. He craned his neck to look over her at where her shirt must have gone, and reached to catch it between two fingers. She accepted it from him and tugged it back on over her head, then reached down to grab her knickers and pajama bottoms from where they were balled up under the covers.

Lily noticed Severus was making no move to re-dress himself, and looked over his shoulder for his shirt as well. He ran a hand down her back from her shoulder to her hip. "I'm quite warm, thank you," he said, his expression rapt.

She blushed and grinned, then hid her face against him. "Promise me something, Severus," she said into the skin of his neck.


"That you'll still be here tomorrow."

"Tomorrow, always. Where would I go?"

"I don't know. Somewhere else," she said, feeling very small.

"Nonsense, Lily."

"I'd love for you to help me plant that seed."

"If you like, but exotic roses aren't exactly my specialty."

"Oh Sev, don't give me that. You said you'd have brought me the flowers if they could survive being cut from the plant. I think you have one hiding somewhere at your place. Closet gardener, hmm?"

Severus breathed a short laugh thorough his nose but was otherwise silent, and eventually Lily fell asleep, breathing his scent.


Since the Rosa was "unknown to Muggles", they decided to plant the seed in a glade by the river rather than in the Evanses' back garden. With a little magical assistance, the seedling reached maturity in less than a month, and the bush was soon covered in compact, midnight-coloured buds.

Two of these finally unfurled on a late summer day near the end of August. The azure flowers were simply stunning, their edges rimmed in the same fine glittering stuff that had coated the seed. As promised, the flowers attracted fairies. It was only a crescent moon, so the light-show was not moonlit, but that small detail didn't trouble Lily very much as Severus moved above her, his velvety voice at last making the quiet ecstatic cries she had longed to hear.