I've been listening to "Those Voices" by StarKid for hours on repeat. It's just so beautiful.
So I wrote this.
This isn't beautiful.
But I love Snape and I love Lily.
Severus Snape was returning to his office after a tiresome day, his black robes billowing out behind him like ripples of dark water. The grounds were silent; the students were under very tight restrictions due to the threat of Black, though Severus suspected Potter and his friends were snooping around under the cloak his father used to own.
Severus passed by the lake. It was such a huge body of water with a smooth surface. Normally, the potions master had no particular care for it; the merpeople were a mysterious and dangerous race and he didn't fancy an encounter with the giant squid.
But for one moment something caught his eye.
The sun was setting over the lake; a huge arc of orange and gold and umber spread its light on the surface on the water. It reminded him of one thing.
The fiery colour of Lily Evans hair.
And she was there, in the corner of his eye, willowy and red-haired, her jade eyes striking jewels.
Severus ignored her.
"Lupin," Severus called in a drawl, rapping his knuckles on the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher's door as he went about his tedious outer-curricular activities. "I have your potion."
When there was no answer, he pushed it open and entered the room.
A lizard-like creature sat in a tank on the floor, seemingly engulfed in flames. Severus passed the salamander and moved up to Remus's oaken desk.
If he had been a nicer person, he would have left the casket on Lupin's desk and left with nothing else said or done.
But Severus Snape was inquisitive by nature, and so he pried at the desk, investigating Lupin's work.
A piece of familiar looking parchment lay open on the worktop; Snape recognised it as having once been one of Potter's possessions. He sneered at it and craned round to look at it.
It was what appeared to be a map, but when Severus looked closer, he saw and intricate web of characters. He soon became aware it was a map of everyone present in Hogwarts.
He looked down instinctively to the lake to see if her name was there, but saw nothing. Instead, his gaze was drawn to a nearby passageway. His eyes narrowed. Black had sent him down there once on an almost fatal exploitation.
There, he saw six names he recognized automatically. Three were Potter and his comrades. The other three were the ones that startled him. Peter Pettigrew? He was dead!
He felt a moment's rage. How could Pettigrew be on the map when Lily wasn't? Where was Pettigrew's importance in comparison to her?
Sirius Black. Snape felt a moment's shock at that. There were children down there with the escaped murderer.
And Remus Lupin. Severus had been right all along. Lupin had been helping Black to get into the castle.
He felt torn. Should he go down there? It was the moral thing to do.
But there was such a burning hatred that coursed through his veins. What was the point? They hated him. He hated them. What was the point in saving their wretched ungrateful lives when everything he had ever cared about had been ripped so cruelly from him?
The bitterness absorbed his very being.
Severus looked at his hand on the desk. A beautiful warm red glow lit it as it shone through the glass pane of the window in Lupin's office. It glinted from the polished wood, lighting some of the gloomy shadow. It was much more impressive than the salamander in the tank.
"Severus, what are you doing?" a voice behind him asked. He turned. He hadn't heard the voice in such a long time.
"What do you mean?" he snapped anyway. The redheaded girl standing in front of him raised her eyebrows at him, smirking.
"Staring into nothingness. It's unattractive."
Severus smiled to himself as a conversation he hadn't spoken in years returned to his memory.
"Oh, I do apologize, Evans. I didn't realise you cared that much."
"Of course I care," Lily shot. "What makes you think I wouldn't?"
"Your new friends," Severus replied. "You never hang around with me anymore. You're always with those Gryffindor freaks."
"Freaks?" Lily's eyebrows rose another few inches, as did her smile's width. "I'm in Gryffindor."
"Exactly," teased Severus. "You're the freakiest of them all."
Lily beamed. "I miss you Sev."
Severus blinked a moment. This hadn't been in the original transcript, he was certain. "I miss you too," he found himself saying. "I miss you a lot." He inhaled. "I'm sorry."
And the next minute she was hugging him. He breathed in. She smelt the same, that same fragrant burst of fruity soap. He closed his eyes, savouring the moment.
"Save my son," she breathed.
And then she was gone. He opened his eyes and she wasn't there.
Severus shook his head.
He had finally cracked.
His eyes travelled back up to the window and gazed upon the lake, where he saw the water had almost swallowed the burning colours.
And he felt hollow. As hollow as he had ever felt before, like he'd fall apart if he breathed out too much.
He had loved her so much that he had become a shell, a vessel for hatred.
Harry Potter was the last living trace of Lily Evans.
Severus looked up at the remnants of the sun, and vowed that he would live to give Harry Potter another detention.
And it was sure going to be a nasty one.