Author's Note: Added 8/17/2012 ~ There is now a beta'ed version of this story that I am posting, albeit slowly. If you don't mind waiting you can check it just go to my profile and click on the title Far Away.
Author's Note: So I was over lurking in the fourms this morning and came across this prompt, I never loved you (though now for the life of me I don't remember which one it was on and it seemed that it hadn't been posted on in a couple of years. So if this does happen to be yours let me know so I can give the credit for it) Anyway my muse ran with it and this was the result. Hope you all enjoy. Still don't have a beta so all mistakes are my own.
Disclaimer: Do I really need to say that I don't own them? I'm just playing with some one else's toys and do return them in the same shape I have found them (well that may not always be the case).
"I never loved you!" she screamed at him before she slammed the door on her way out.
He sat heavily in the chair, his mind racing back to a time when he heard those exact same words.
"Just leave me alone." Lily said to him for the thousandth time since that spring, he had tried to apologize numerous times for his slip of the tongue though she would hear none of it.
"But I'm trying to apologize, I was upset and angry. I never meant to say that to you."
"Maybe not, but you say it about everyone who is like me. A muggle born witch, what makes me so different than them?" Lily asked.
"I love you." He stated quietly to her.
She looked at him for long moments before she finally came to the fact that the only way he was going to leave her alone was to spout a lie and hoped he believed it.
"I never loved you Severus, now please leave me alone." She watched him as the hurt passed across his face quickly covered by a sneer before he said,
"Great friends you have Lily, you allowed them to poison you against me. The ones that have treated me terribly, yet I didn't retaliate often because of you. Now you let them tell you that I'm the bad guy in all of this, and you believe they are right. You are nothing but a two faced mudblood bitch."
Her hand connected with his face, the crack of the slap being the only sound in the silence of the early evening. He turned leaving her standing by the water's edge.
Lily knew that he had said those awful things to her because she had cut him deeply, it had been a lie. She did love him, but it was just must easier to bend to the will of her house than fight them any longer. She hoped that he had a good life, found someone else that would care for him and that he would care for.
Severus stared into his empty glass, as if it would hold all the answers. He never asked for this, nor did he want any of it. Forced into a marriage with someone so much younger than himself, he found himself caring for her despite his best efforts not to. After five years of her presence in his life, he found that she had made for an engaging companion.
She did what her duty was as his wife, she stood beside him though it cost her many of her friends. The two that he thought would truly run away were the two that stuck with her, Potter and Longbottom had become welcome guest in his home. All be it he was not here when they were, or they met coming and going.
He didn't deny her that, he found the longer they were together he couldn't deny her much of anything. As if she ever asked for anything from him. With the exception of the one thing she truly wanted from him, the one thing she never asked for, his love. He had overheard a conversation between her and Potter once six months ago.
"What are you going to do once this law is repealed?" Potter asked.
"What do you mean? There is no divorce in this world, it's forever Harry."
"But you are stuck in a loveless relationship." Something that Potter saw that Severus did not made the young man say, "Or maybe not, do you love him?"
Severus had not realized he stopped breathing just to be sure he heard her answer.
"Yes, but you cannot say anything to anyone least of all Severus. He must never know this is how I feel."
"He doesn't…. can't feel the same about me, I can never give him children. After the fourth miscarriage the healer petitioned the ministry to have the copulation part withdrawn he has not come near me since. If this law is repealed and they allow us to divorce I will go quietly though it will not be without a shattered heart."
Now he understood, though it took him long enough to finally figure it out. Lily didn't tell him that she never loved him to hurt him, she had done it to set him free. Hermione didn't scream the same words at him to hurt him or justify her leaving at the first opportunity she was able. No they both were so much alike in that they both said those words to him to set him free.
He hurled the empty glass at the cold fireplace, though the shattering of the glass did nothing to calm him. He looked down at his trembling hands, he knew this time how she felt and he still allowed the one person in the world that looked past his outer armor to walk out the door. He raked his hands through his hair to try and halt their shaking.
He finally stood pacing, because of some law he allowed her into his home. Oh he made sure she knew it was because he had too, he didn't ask just shoved her into his old bedroom saying she could do whatever she wanted with it. He had only ever seen the inside of it when the damn ring tingled on his finger making it known that it was time for the copulation that the law forced upon them. He never once brought her to his bed, her bed was smaller all the better for the excuse to leave when he was done.
Somehow his legs had carried him to her room, the room that he never really looked at. Now that he stood in the door way staring at the room he was struck by how empty it truly was, there really seemed to be nothing that personalized the room as hers. When she signed the paper did she not say she'd be back to get her things? As he looked at the room as a whole now, not with the tunnel vision of the past entries into the room, he saw the only things that even suggested a woman lived there was the frilly scraps of material he saw through the open closet door, the ones she wore when the ring tingled.
This room reminded him of another he saw years ago, the one time he let Lucius talk him into going to one of the brothels in Knockturn Alley. He was struck by the comparison, did she really think of herself that way or was it he who treated her as a common whore? Did it really matter? He had treated her that way.
He walked over to the bed sitting down, he saw then the only personal thing in the room. A small music box that he had bought her for a wedding present at the insistence of Minerva, it was the only gift he ever gave her. He opened the lid to find that the music had an odd flat tone to it, inside laid the one photograph of their wedding and her ring laid on top of it. He hadn't even noticed that she had not been wearing it. He looked down at his own hand, the band of silver around his finger. A metal she had insisted on saying that she found gold to be gaudy, he had known she had done that for him.
He took out the ring placing it on his little finger, it barley fit to the first knuckle. He picked up the photograph, he looked as he always did not smiling. Hermione on the other hand had a small smile on her face as she looked up at him it disappeared only for the photo to reset itself.
He looked at the photo and the ring wondering when it happen, when had he let himself care for her, love her. He laid down on the bed on his side propping the photo up so he could stare at it, then he did something he hadn't done since the day he had heard those words so long ago, he cried.