Author's note: Story takes place in the Marauders Era in their 4th Year at Hogwarts.
Severus Snape held his arms to his chest as he bustled to the front of the group. Today was a Hogsmeade outing for the 4th year students of Hogwarts, and Severus wanted to be the first into Honeydukes. He couldn't let anyone see what he was going to buy. The Slytherin boy had never purchased a thing from Hogsmeade; he had never enough money to even buy one licorice wand. He always envied the way other students would purchase candy left and right, for friends or for themselves. Students like James Potter. He of all the students striding behind Severus was the one he wanted to hide his purchase from the most. Severus could hear James' voice above all the other's, probably boasting about something. His voice always got louder and more obnoxious whenever he wanted to show off. Severus glanced back and caught a glimpse of Lily's Hippogriff patterned beanie. Yes, he was certainly boasting. Lily. His stomach tightened. Severus quickened his pace, slipping on an icy patch of the street but he ignored the sting and veered into a side street to beat the pack.
The sweet aroma of cookies and candies engulfed the young wizard as he darted inside Honeydukes. He relaxed a little when he popped his head back outside and spotted no one. Just an empty cold looking street. He glanced down to his baggy robes and dusted the muddy snow off his knees. Severus winced as the fabric stuck to his damp torn knee, but ignored the pain and headed to the cashier before he was no longer alone in the shop.
"Excuse me." Severus said quietly. He was already feeling his cheeks flush though no one had said or seen anything. A woman turned around from unpacking a box of Bernie Bots and headed over to him.
"Hello, how can I help you?"
"I ordered something, before the holidays. It was meant to arrive today." The woman shifted her weight, adjusting her glasses on her wrinkled nose.
"You ordered it, before the holidays?" Severus nodded. "My goodness boy," she looked to him over her glasses, shaking her head. "You'll be lucky if its still here. I'm sure it arrived weeks ago. You should have come by earlier." Severus' eyes fell to the floor. Now he'd done it! His long saved sickles , wasted. Probably eaten by an employee. He knew he would regret it, he knew he should have spent them on himself.
"Did you hear me?" Severus was jerked from his tornado of thoughts. The woman was leaning towards him. "I said what is your name?"
"Severus Snape." He said through his mop of dark hair falling around his face. He wasn't looking, but he could tell by the change in pitch of her voice she had turned her back and was heading for their storage. "And what is it that you ordered?" Severus clenched his jaw, still looking over his snow dusted shoulder. He was running out of time.
"Cookies. The personalized package." The woman waddled towards a box resting across the room. She flicked her wand, and to Severus' relief a small crinkling baggy floated upwards, filled with light yellow cookies. The woman eyed the bundle in her hand.
"Snape you said your name was, correct?" But Severus hardly heard her as panic began flooding his breast. There they were, Potter's Posse. James was leading the pack, Sirius, Remus and Peter behind him. He had to go, now.
"Yes please hurry." He blurted. The woman slowly headed towards Severus, his heart pounding as James neared the door. He could hear him now, his voice still as loud and annoying as it was before.
"I've got 100 sickles to spend here. I'm just thrilled." The door opened. Severus was racing through his pockets, trying to find his sickles . The posse entered right as the woman rested the cookies on the counter.
"My-my look at these! 5 sickles for 300 Bernie Bots!" That was Pettigrew. Severus could tell by his pig like voice. But the more Severus listened in on the entering conversations, the more he panicked. He was getting distracted, where were his sickles? Had he forgotten them like an idiot?
"That will be 12 sickles, Mr. Snape." The woman held out her hand. Severus glanced up, nodding nervously.
"Look they do have the Snow Chocolate Frogs." That voice was Lily. And it wasn't too far away.
"Told you so," James answered smugly. Severus panicked. If James spotted him, he may snatch the cookies from his hand; publicly humiliate him in front of everyone. "Hey Sirius, look!" The sound of James' quick paced footsteps heading towards Severus was like an unforgivable curse flying his direction, and he reacted as so. In one swift panicked move, Severus grabbed the cookies off the counter and twirled, nearly tripping on his baggy robes and sprinted towards the doorway. But he immediately ran into something.
"Don't mind me." Sirius said sarcastically. But before he could react, the cashier woman barked over her glasses that had now slipped all the way down her nose.
"Mr. Snape, you forgot to pay!" Severus was mortified, everyone was staring at him. He tried to make a silent dash back to the counter. Now he had found his sickles, they were in his robe chest pocket, in small velvet bag safely tied all together. Severus pulled it from his pocket and hurried towards the cashier, almost safe, when James popped his head out from around a bookcase of rainbow candies, his lips smug.
"Hey look everyone, Snivellus is trying to steal!" A few giggles bubbled around the store.
"Maybe next time try it without an audience." Sirius added from behind him, Pettigrew chuckling in response. Severus' face was flushed with horror; he knew he never should have come. He shakily dumped the golden coins out on the counter. They all rolled about as if they too were laughing circles around him.
"I-I didn't mean to steal." Severus managed to say. But he knew by the woman's stiff expression she didn't believe him.
"And what was it Snivells was trying to steal?" James appeared beside him, his big head adorned with those stupid round glasses. He leaned in towards Severus' precious bag of cookies. No! Without thinking, Severus snatched his wand from his robes and flicked it at a stand of lollypops beside James. Several candies flew towards the smug Gryffindor and hit him square in-between the legs. Several gasped as James tried to hide his pain. But Severus didn't watch long, turning on his heels and darting for a side exit as to avoid the rest of Potter's Posse. Murmurs and giggles trailed behind him as he flew out the door, skidding on the icy streets.
Severus welcomed the deep chill in the air; maybe it would cool his burning cheeks. A cold streak tingled his skin, were they so hot that they were melting falling snow? Severus looked up as he hurried away from Honeydukes, but was greeted by a blue, cloudless sky. When he realized what he had felt were tears, he violently wiped them away and wished he could appearate out of the Hogsmeade and forget all this. But then he remembered he was holding his cookies, were they even worth it? Severus headed towards an ally and glanced about before looking at them for the first time. He could read the red and gold icing through their shimmering cellophane, atop the first heart shaped cookie read the name Lily. He sighed. It was a stupid idea. He probably already lost her after that. His best friend.
Severus pulled his wand back out, chucking the cookies to the muddy ground and aiming. He could at least make something disappear, the cause of all this. But in mid spell he paused. For some reason, Lily liked him. She was the only one who would separate him from his Slytherin comrades. Maybe she knew Severus wouldn't steal. Maybe she didn't think her friend looked like as much of a fool as he felt he was. The bright, Gryffindor themed writing seemed to glow the name Lily amidst the mud and dark cobblestone below. Maybe she was still his friend. Severus held onto that thought, and headed back towards the castle, the burning of his skinned knee returning as his mind began to settle.