Lily dares to kiss her best friend, and it ends up changing everything for her. Lily's point of view of the kiss from Once Upon a Time, The Grass Was Green. However, this piece can also be a stand-alone.
P.S. for all you awesome people who have me on their author alerts, I'm SORRY I've been updating so much. I don't usually get this much time to write, so I've been going crazy taking advantage of it. I PROMISE this is the last entry for a while. :)
P.P.S: I know the bezoar thing happens in HBP but I thought it'd be interesting if Severus had heard about it this way before he eventually wrote it down.
"Severus," Lily said, squinting down at her Potions book. "Have you got to the part yet about antidotes?"
"Yes," he replied tiredly. She turned to him, only to find him suppressing a yawn.
"M'sorry," he mumbled, scratching his head and turning a page of his book. "Just stayed up late last night trying to sort out a spell."
"Something new," he managed to smirk before he yawned again.
"Anyway," she said, "about the antidote section. Why not just shove a bezoar down their throats and be done with it?"
A faint snicker floated toward her from where he sat, then nothing else.
She turned about again, only to find him fast asleep on the ground, his Potions book discarded.
In all the years they'd been friends, she'd never known him to fall asleep on her before. Maybe it had to do with that thing in him that held himself so guarded, that wouldn't even laugh heartily when she told him a joke, but just chuckle dryly as though that were all he could manage.
The fact that here, now, he was able to relax around her enough to sleep in her presence seemed a victory to her, especially in light of his recent distance from her, in preference of his new friends.
As he lay on the grass by the river that summer's day, she wondered at the opportunity to gaze on him with impunity, to study the wiry muscle beneath his plain t-shirt, the intricate architecture of his face, the utter uniqueness of her oldest friend.
When he'd first burst out of the bushes that long-ago day in the playground, he'd been the strangest boy she'd ever met in her life. Not just because of his odd, mismatched clothing, or the outlandish things he had to say. No, it was the long, black hair, the almost far-Eastern shape to his eyes, his decidedly foreign-looking features. She thought of camel traders and Arabian Nights, of gypsies and fortune-tellers. There was no one like him in her school, in her neighborhood. It was in her sister's nature to immediately be revolted by him. Yet it was Lily's nature to be drawn to him almost at once.
It'd been years since she'd thought of him as alien, of course. In that time, he'd become as familiar to her as her own face. More so, perhaps, because she looked at him far more than she looked at herself. But as she gazed down at his sleeping form right now, she was reminded anew how different he was, even among the students at Hogwarts.
Ugly, they thought him. She knew it well. She'd heard it enough times from James and Sirius, but also from Mary and her other girlfriends. But Lily wondered if, to them, ugly was just a synonym for different, for their inability to accept what wasn't familiar to them and what they could not understand.
Even her sister-perhaps especially her sister-thought him ugly. But Lily never did, not once. She liked to think she was special in her ability to see what was special in him, particularly the stark beauty of his impossibly black eyes, the intelligence behind them, the sensitivity he tried so hard to mask but which he could never hide from her. Not completely.
Which is why it hurt her so much that he'd grown distant from her of late, choosing friends who hated her kind and didn't shy away from expressing it. While she was glad he'd made friends of his own at last, having suffered from such terrible loneliness all his life-except for her, she was proud to say-she couldn't help but wonder how he could select those who despised people like her so much. Despised her, actually. His best friend. Or so she'd thought.
She'd started to wonder if perhaps he was becoming like them, that perhaps he, too, had started to think of her as a Mudblood. But here, now, in their spot by the river, beneath the shade of the tree they'd known since childhood, the softness of his mouth, the innocence of his expression told her No, he could never do it.
Her eyes went to his mouth again. Normally, his lips were thin with his habitual sneer at the world at large, but right then they were relaxed, even slightly parted. She wondered what he dreamed of. His thoughts were often unknowable, but she always sensed the moods they produced. On the rare occasions when his mood was a good one, it was like stepping into a patch of sun on a cold and blustery day. Never had she felt the full force of his ire's bitter gales-those, he saved for the Marauders-but she experienced a shiver as they blew past her, all the same.
He shifted a little in his sleep, and the hem of his t-shirt rode up just a bit. The sliver of skin it exposed was as pale as snow, and she was tempted to touch it. Somehow, she wanted to see whether he was warm, or cold. Sensing that touching him there would be a violation of boundaries, she decided his arm would be safe, and she reached out her hand, hoping she wouldn't wake him up.
Her touch was gentle, as gentle as she could make it. Startlingly, he was not cold at all, but rather almost hot. Marvelously so. She found her hand running up the length of his forearm, but she drew it away when he murmured in his sleep.
She released her breath when he didn't wake up after all. Then, her hand, formulating an agenda of its own, slowly lifted toward his neck, and touched him there, too. Again, his skin was almost scalding, and Lily felt something strange stir within her. Soon, her fingers were running through his hair-how soft it was!-caressing him in a way some part of her had always wanted to do. It was akin to petting a tiger at the zoo, or a hippogriff, once it decided it liked you well enough to let you touch it.
In his sleep he exhaled slowly, murmured her name. Her hand froze. Then, unbelievably, his mouth broke into a tender smile for a moment, before it faded again. She heard herself gasp. Never had she seen such an expression on his face before. She longed even more to know what he was dreaming of. What could produce such sweetness from him? She defied Mary to look on Severus right then, and say he was ugly.
Suddenly, she wondered if he'd ever kissed anyone before. A violent dart of jealousy went through her at the thought of it. Why not her, she asked herself then. After all, they had to learn sometime. Honesty made her ask herself whether she were being completely frank in her motivation. Perhaps not. Maybe she only wanted to see that tender smile on his face again, and know it was she who had caused it.
"Ugh, bloody hell," Severus swore uncharacteristically when he suddenly shifted awake, looked round him. "How long was I out?"
"Not long, fifteen or twenty minutes," Lily replied lightly.
"Sorry," he said, shaking his head. "I completely skived off our work. Where were we." He sat up and picked up his Potions book, flipped through it, then reached for his quill.
"Hey, Sev?" she asked him. Might as well do it now, while she still had the nerve.
"Yes?" Severus looked up from his Potions book and frowned at her. She felt her cheeks grow hot under his scrutiny.
"What is it?" Severus asked tersely, narrowing his eyes with suspicion. Lily's blush deepened further.
"Oh, nothing," she replied, glancing down at the ground and plucking a few blades of grass.
"I doubt that it's 'nothing'," Severus observed, turning to his book again and scratching a note onto the margin of the page with his quill. "Surely 'nothing' wouldn't cause you to blush like that."
"Am I blushing?" Lily giggled nervously. Was she that easy to read?
"Are you about to tell me that you fancy someone?" Severus asked. His tone was calm, but there was an iron tinge to it. "For I can see no other reason why you should manage such an un-Evanslike bashfulness."
"I'm not being 'bashful'."
"Do you fancy someone?"
"Maybe," she shrugged. Best not to say who it might be. "But never mind that," she added, waving the topic away with a hand. "What I want to know is: have you ever kissed someone?"
The quill paused in his fingers, and it took him a long time to answer. Maybe she'd offended him.
"Why do you ask?" he said at last.
"Oh, no reason." She giggled again. "I'm just wondering if you did, that's all, and if so, what was it like?"
Severus bit his lip. After a moment, he replied "Since you're asking me this, I take it that you've never kissed someone yourself?"
She shook her head. "Never."
"I should hope not."
"What does that mean?"
"It means that I can't think of a single person in the world who'd be worthy of such a thing."
"Oh, Sev!" She shoved him on the shoulder. From anyone else it'd have been cheap flirtation. From him, it was earnest protectiveness. "But you didn't answer my question."
"Well, what do you think the answer is?" he replied testily.
"Why not?" she asked, so relieved he hadn't that she suddenly grew silly. "You know what they say about boys with big noses, after all."
"Lily!" He nearly dropped his quill at that, and his face went bright red.
"Sorry. But that's what Mary told me."
"Mary's a fool."
"So it's not true then?"
"I refuse to continue this offensive conversation," Severus muttered, lowering his head so that his hair shielded the entirety of his face.
"All right, all right, Mr. Prude! What I was going to say is that maybe we should practice."
"Practice what?" Severus snapped, glaring at his book.
"Practice kissing." She held her breath, then rushed on. "You know, so that when it happens for us, we're ready."
"Practice with whom?" he spat out.
"With each other, stupid."
"Sev?" Lily asked after a moment, peering through the tunnel of his hair into his face. His mouth hung open slightly, and his dark eyes were confused and sad.
"I..." he began, and stopped. Looked down at his book. "I don't know," he managed to finish, barely a whisper.
"Am I that horrible then?" she asked with a laugh, but her heart sank at the idea that he didn't think she was attractive enough for him to kiss. Not even him, her best friend.
However, before she could blink twice, he dropped his book, leaned forward, and pressed his lips to hers, as though he'd dared himself to do it. It lasted only a second, but afterward they gaped at each other as though both surprised at his temerity.
"Was that so awful?" she whispered at last. Severus swallowed hard, his Adam's apple bobbing up and down with the effort. His eyes seemed lost and at sea, and she felt strongly his mixed-up emotions radiating from him. She'd never seen him so vulnerable, his guard so completely down. She wasn't sure what to make of it; all she knew was that she preferred it to the stoic wall he always shielded himself with, and so she leaned forward and kissed him before he had the chance to hide behind it again.
This time, the kiss lasted much longer; this time, she felt his hands on her arms, then on her shoulders, though gingerly, as though he wasn't sure if it were all right. She deepened the kiss to let him know it was, and then suddenly, his fingers were laced in her hair, and he'd bent over her till she was almost to the ground.
The innocent "practice" she was expecting quite abruptly became something else: the chaste kiss she'd thought to warm his smile with became the feel of his heated lips on hers; his eyes, when they broke apart for breath, like black sparks, making her dizzy. Suddenly, the proud, shy boy she'd always known had transformed into a passionate young man, one whose mouth and hands made her want things she'd never even considered before, and it thrilled her as much as it frightened her.
She had suspected, now and again, that he might have fancied her a little. Now she was sure-oh, it had to be true!-that he loved her with a depth she'd hardly imagined. No one could kiss a girl like that...no one could look at a girl like that, unless he loved her greatly, could he? What else could explain the way he whispered her name, almost like a sob, against her neck as she ran her fingers through his hair? What else could explain why, when they parted that evening in the shadow of dusk, he'd held the palm of her hand to his lips and closed his eyes, as though it were almost too painful to leave her?
After that, she'd been sure he would tell her that he loved her, and ask her to be his girlfriend. She never questioned what her answer would be. But as the days stretched into weeks, then into months, and he went back to being his usual, standoffish self, except even more so, she tried to bury her hurt and confusion by becoming equally distant to him. It wasn't that difficult when he started hanging out with his little Death Eater friends even more frequently than before. By the time the end came at last, she half despised him, to be honest, though the part of her that was still loyal to the boy who'd been her best friend had tried to defend him, one last time. And that's when he showed her he'd never loved her at all, had only used her that one afternoon when they'd kissed, had thought she was filth, just like his friends did.
Later, she wondered why he'd come to Gryffindor Tower to try to apologize. She was still angry and hurt then, and so refused his pathetic groveling. But long after she'd finally succumbed to James, and found that he was quite dashing and sweet, as long as your name wasn't Severus Snape-long after that, it nagged at her why Severus had tried to apologize for calling her a Mudblood. By then, of course, things had moved past the point where there was any hope of reconciliation. There was no question of her being friends with a Death Eater, and her husband's arch-enemy to boot. She finally buried Severus Snape by telling herself that Lord Voldemort had murdered her childhood friend, and in his place stood someone cold, remote, alien. A stranger.
Or so she had thought. When Dumbledore warned them that Voldemort had targeted her and James and Harry for death, she knew immediately without being told that it had been Severus who had given Dumbledore the warning. Who, except a Death Eater, could have access to Voldemort's plans? What Death Eater, except Severus, would try to protect her?
The itch to write him, contact him in some way, became unbearable. Instead she wrote to Sirius, though thinking of Severus as she lay down the adieu. Even if it were acceptable for a woman to write a letter to her husband's foe, she could not endanger Severus's life by making contact with him. She was barred from him forever, and with this knowledge, the remaining vestige of the young hopeful girl within her perished, along with the dark-eyed boy who'd stolen the last breath of her innocence.