A/N: Heey. So, new story :) This one is finished, and it's short (only twelve chapters). The next chapter will be from Harry's point of view, and it goes on like that, one chapter from Snape's POV, one from Harry's, one from Snape's etc… Hope you like it and please review and favourite and put it on your alerts list!
Also Known As The Elephant In The Room
Severus looked up at the house for almost a whole minute before stepping in through the gate. It looked so utterly normal and suburban and muggle that it was hard to believe that it was the home of Lily Evans and James Potter. Oh, of course, she'd taken his name now so it was Lily Potter. That kept slipping from Severus' mind.
The house had two stories and a loft or an attic it looked like. It was big, too big for a family of four, in Severus' opinion. At least it wasn't in one of those muggle neighbourhoods where all the houses were identical. The houses on this lane at least had some originality.
Severus walked up the gravel path to the Potter house and stepped over what looked like some sort of colourful toy, but he had no idea how you used it or why. The thought of Lily, picking the toy out in a store made him seriously consider his sanity. Lily, the brilliant potion maker, a wife and mother of two? No.
He was at the door now and he could still turn back. The thought was very appealing but he'd promised he'd visit if he was in town, and he'd never break a promise to Lily. It wasn't his fault that he'd been able to avoid 'being in town' for, what was it now, 15 years? No, 14 years.
He knocked, rapping his knuckles against the door quickly, and then there was no return. He heard steps and a voice on the other side of the door and he braced himself, stepping back and finding that he wondered how he looked which hadn't happened since... he couldn't remember.
The door opened sharply and the mildly smiling Lily looked at him questioningly before she realised who it was.
"Severus!" she said and hugged him, wrapping her arms around his neck.
"Lily", he said and breathed in her scent, which was still the same.
She stepped back and looked at him, examining him. "You're still not eating enough I see", she said and practically beamed. He'd missed her smile.
He smiled back and she answered by pulling him in to the house with her. "Where are my manners! Come in! I can make tea if you want? Oh, you drink coffee right?"
"I'm fine, Lily", he said and thought about how much he liked saying her name like this, like it was completely normal.
The hall that they came in to was big and seemed to stretch throughout the house, opening to other rooms every now and then. The house was messy, but not disturbingly so, just homey. Lily walked around picking up stray clothing and toys and books everywhere she went and Severus followed her, idly watching the pictures on the walls and the decorations. They ended up in a kitchen, a big counter in the middle of it and a pale yellow colour on the walls. On one wall there was a big window facing the front yard's green lawn and the empty street beyond that.
"I'm sorry it's so messy", Lily said. "Harry - you remember Harry, right? Anyway, Harry is staying here for the summer and he just can't seem to keep all his things in one place! And Alice isn't any better."
Severus didn't say anything, he just leaned against the doorframe and when Lily turned around she smiled like she knew that he didn't care about the mess.
"Gosh", she said quietly. "How long has it been now?"
"Fourteen years since I was here last", Severus said and sat down by the tall counter.
"Fourteen years", Lily repeated.
"This place is nice. I like it better than the first one", he said, but he was lying. The Potter's first house had been a small - at least compared to this one - brick house in a wizarding suburb of London, a smaller place than this tiny Godric's Hollow village even. It had been more Severus' style, small, slightly dodgy, dark and as far from muggle like as possible.
"I should reprimand you for not visiting", Lily complained and put down a cup of hot, steaming, black coffee in front of Severus.
"You should", Severus agreed and sipped the coffee.
"But you've been busy, right?" she said and sounded knowing and disappointed.
"I have", Severus agreed.
"So I'll just jump straight to the 'what have you been up to?'", she said and stared at Severus as if she expected someone to come and tell her he was all in her imagination.
"I've been... Travelling. Working", he said and Lily leaned in, intrigued.
"I don't get details? None at all?"
"I guess I've also been breathing. Eating, sleeping..." he said with a small smile, teasing her. She slapped his arm in a playful manner.
"Fine. Be secretive then."
"It seems like your life has been considerably more exciting than mine", Severus said.
"Maybe", she said and then shone up. "You haven't met Alice, have you?"
Alice. It suited the daughter of Lily. More than Harry anyway, which Severus expected had been her dear husband's suggestion.
"James took her to see Harry play, but they should be back soon. You'll stay for dinner, right?"
"If you want me to."
"Of course! It won't take long, I should get started with dinner soon. Harry plays sort of an amateur..." she tried to explain but trailed off. "I don't think I've quite understood it. He doesn't play professional quidditch though, even though James says he skilled enough for it."
"Oh", Severus said. He vaguely remembered a small toddler running around with that signature scar and James' messy black hair. But that had been such a long time ago, Harry Potter had to be... Nineteen now.
"How old is Alice?" Severus asked.
"Oh, she turns twelve in October", Lily said, pouring herself a cup of tea. "She's gotten so big."
And then they talked about her children, Harry and Alice. She talked about how they were doing in school and, in Harry's case, at work. He was an Auror now, she told him, but Severus had known that. The Prophet had followed the boy around ever since that spell had bounced off his head when he was one year old. Severus hadn't followed the papers' report on him, but he knew the basics. He knew who he associated with, where he worked, he knew his family, he knew what his OWL-grades were, he'd even read an article about his favourite dessert, which was treacle tart. The whole of Britain knew that and a lot more.
And then they talked more about what Severus had been doing and Lily got her precious details. Severus told her about the travels and the work and the potions research. He thought she'd find it interesting and she did. He told her about the people he'd met and the places he'd been and she sounded jealous. It gave him some satisfaction, to hear that she was jealous of his life.
"Taste", she said and held out a spoon of some sauce that had been puttering on the stove.
"Good", Severus said and licked his lips. "I didn't know you could cook."
"Potion making is very similar to cooking, I found out", she said and Severus smiled.
Then she looked out the window almost instinctively, and said, "Look, they're here."
A few seconds later there was noise at the door and Severus clenched his jaw together. He hoped that Potter would just ignore the elephant in the room, just like he and Lily had.
"Hey! Victory!" Potter's familiar voice shouted and there was a bustle down the hall and then they had made it to the kitchen.
Severus heard them quieten as soon as they came through the door. He turned around slower than he had to and tried to not look imposing or unimposing, just normal and not hostile.
Potter was carrying his daughter over his shoulder, and she was shrieking out in laughter. He had stopped dead in his tracks and now he was looking between Severus and Lily. He didn't even have to take that second to recognise Severus like Lily had, he'd recognised him right away.
He looked the same, except for a few grey specks in his hair and a more weather-beaten look.
He put his daughter down slowly and she looked up at Severus with big eyes. She was pretty, she had long, dark, reddish brown hair with short bangs hanging down in her eyes. She had light brown eyes, Severus could see even from that distance.
"Mum?" she asked, of course feeling the tension.
Lily took her oven mittens off and smiled an honest smile. "Sweetie, this is Severus", she said and put a hand on Severus' arm.
"Hi", she said slowly and then looked up at her father, who had his gaze set on Severus.
"Okay", Lily sighed. "Go change then, honey."
"Okay", she said and ran out of sight, down the hall, her footsteps thundering in the stairs.
"And put the dirty clothes in the laundry bin!" Lily shouted after her.
She walked up to Potter and kissed him, smiling apologetically. "So he won?"
"Yeah", he said dismissively. "What...?" Potter pushed her away and took a step towards Severus.
"Severus stopped by", she said tensely.
"I see that", Potter said.
"He's staying for dinner", she said and Severus wished he was somewhere else, somewhere where Potter wasn't glaring at him, hugging Lily possessively to his side.
"Well. All right", he coughed and the tension released slightly.
"Where's Harry?" Lily asked and they were past that awkward moment.
"He's out by the car. Unloading some stuff. What's for dinner?" he asked and walked past Severus looking down into a bubbling pot.
"Pasta", she said, still sounding relieved that they hadn't fought and blown up half the kitchen or something.
"Mum", there was a voice from the door and Lily lit up again.
"Harry! The man of the hour!"
She hugged the dark haired boy standing by the door and he dropped a bag on the floor.
"So you've heard we won", he said and brushed a dark lock of hair from his face. "Hi", he added and looked at Severus with a friendly smile.
"Oh, right, do you remember Severus?"
Potter the younger frowned. "Maybe."
"You were much younger when we met last time", Severus said and hoped that that could pass for a good comment.
"Anyway, you were wonderful out on the field!" James changed the subject. He seemed to have swelled like a proud dad did. He smiled and patted Harry's shoulder.
"It was a team effort", Harry said and smiled, looking a little embarrassed.
"Of course, but that dive you made!" he turned to Lily who looked like she was trying hard to get genuinely excited. She never was much for sports. "Forty minutes in, the other team is up 30 points, and it looks like the end is near. Then-" Potter gestured dramatically, "Then he spots the Snitch like 50 feet beneath him!"
"More like 30 feet", Harry mumbled and Severus smiled slightly.
"50 feet! And he dives and it's so close and he chases the Snitch around the entire field-"
"Not the entire field", Harry said, but he sounded amused.
"And then he catches it!"
Alice stormed in to the kitchen now, cheering.
"And the crowd roared!" Potter grinned at his daughter and Lily chuckled.
Harry shook his head. "Yeah, yeah, we can all agree that I was brilliant. Now is dinner finished soon or...?"
"Right!" Lily exclaimed and waved her wand, rushing over to the stove and the pots, turning the warmth down. "Everyone, wash your hands!"
A/N: So this chapter was more of a preview, no exciting things happening in this one. Hope you liked it, and you can look forward to a new chapter in a week or so. :)
It's obviously a AU, hope you caught that. In my mind everything has happened as close to canon as possibly, except that Harry grew up with his parents, which didn't die. So Voldemort is dead, and has been since about when Harry was seventeen. Use your imagination for the rest. And to those of you who celebrate Easter, have a happy one!