I remember running through the wet grass…
It was August thirty-first, just one day before they were supposed to leave for their first year at Hogwarts. And it was raining. No, not raining. Pouring – buckets of warm water that fell from the blue sky.
But Snape didn't care, couldn't care.
Lily was looking over her shoulder at him, a beaming smile lighting up her already beautiful face. Her laughter flowed through the sound of the deluge, almost drowning out the rush of the storm. She was running, running for all she was worth, and Snape was desperately trying to keep up with her.
They'd spent their last day in the muggle world in the park where they'd met. They'd sat on the grass, excitedly discussing what was to come September first. For the millionth time Lily had asked him if she would fit in or if she would be complete and utter rubbish at magic. Severus had gladly reassured her once again, delighting in the thrill of being her confidant.
The look of relief on her face had warmed him each and every time they'd had that conversation, and today was no different. Except that today, when she'd given him that same gaze with her jewel bright eyes, he'd felt different. He'd felt…
Well, it was impossible for him to truly sum up how he'd felt.
It had been the same dizzying mixture of greed, pride, hunger, possessiveness, and desire he'd felt every single time he'd seen Lily Evans. But today, that feeling had been magnified so much that he'd felt like he would burst.
The intoxicating mixture of emotion had taken him over completely. All thought, all embarrassment, all insecurity had melted away, leaving pure possibility in its place, and Snape had gone with it willingly. He'd leaned forward, just as she'd turned to watch a bird swoop low to the ground to snatch a bug out of the air.
Lily had gasped at the sight, and Snape had held his breath, his lips an inch from her soft cheek.
But before he could summon up another ounce of courage, a loud crack of thunder had rent through the air, the first splashes of a summer storm quickly following it.
The warm drops of water that had splashed against his cheeks and nose had dissolved his confidence and resolve, and he'd pulled away before she could turn back.
The next second she'd sprung to her feet and was laughing. Without a word she'd began to run, her short, white and yellow sundress fluttering behind her. Snape had sat there, stunned, until Lily had called back, "Come on, Sev!" Severus had jumped to his feet a second later and had followed.
And now, they were running, clothes soaked to their skin with the warm rain. Lily's bright red hair plastered to her neck in chunks and her face open, happy and trusting.
As he followed, Snape knew he would always follow Lily Evans. No matter what they should weather.
And falling a step behind…
"Hey, Sev." Snape's head snapped up from the rolls of parchment on the table in front of him. Dinner was over, and the only ones remaining in the Great Hall were other stragglers with similar heaps of paper surrounding them.
"Lily." His deep black eyes focused on the face in front of him, barely noticing the details he loved so much. Rather than seeing her bright green eyes, he saw the effects of a jinx he was reading about, and instead of her smile, he focused on the incantation for the spell. Focused on his work, it took him a minute to truly seeher. But when he did, he felt something inside of himself soften. "Hi."
Her smile faltered for just a second as she searched his face. What she was looking for, Snape didn't know. But her gaze made him uncomfortable. "Is there something you wanted?" Snape's voice was a little rougher than he'd intended, and he saw the result of it in Lily's expression. He felt instantly guilty. "I'm sorry." And he was. "I just have an exam tomorrow and -"
"We have an exam tomorrow," she corrected. Lily's voice was a touch frosty, but she recovered instantly. Shaking back her crimson locks, she smiled again, a genuine smile that touched Snape's heart. "We may not share the same hour for Defense, but we're both still second years, Severus. We both have the same classes." Snape sat there feeling as if he were being lectured and not caring because it was Lily who was doing the lecturing.
"Anyway…." Her voice trailed off hesitantly. "We're going to have a study group in the library. I wanted to know if you'd come with me." She looked at the books and rolls of parchment in front of him. "After all, it does seem like you need to study." Once again, Lily smiled at him, but this time it was hesitant.
Snape watched as she tried to maintain her smile. Things had been so… difficult between them lately. He loved her just as much as he had during their first days together. But they were no longer protected by the safety of that summer.
Now they had other things to deal with, things that seemed to get in the way of their friendship. There were different classes and different houses and most importantly, different friends. He had Mulciber and Avery, and she had… whoever she had. He didn't know who she was friends with beyond him, nor did he care.
They didn't mix friends much, but their mutual hatred of Potter had brought them closer together.
It wasn't enough though. And he could feel a slight crack beginning to form in their friendship.
"Who is going to be there?" Snape hated the idea of sharing Lily with others, but if it meant spending time with her, he would deal with it.
"Oh," Lily's expression became worried. "Well, just some other kids in our year…. Frank Longbottom, Vanessa MacDougall, Remus Lupin, Te-"
"Lupin?" Snape's declaration was half question, half accusation. It was bad enough that she wanted him to join in with the others, but to invite him somewhere where Lupin would be…
That was too much.
Lily had, at least, the good grace to look a tiny bit sheepish. "Yes, Remus. He's not so bad once -"
"No, thank you." Snape just managed to swallow his resentment.
"Severus, please, I…" Lily pressed her lips together; her gaze was worried.
But even though that expression had broken him a million times before, this time, it didn't even make him blink. Before, he'd have given her the world if she even looked a touch upset. But over the past two years he'd come to realize that there were some lines, that when crossed, changed his feelings. That didn't mean he loved her less. It meant that he wasn't able to sacrifice himself for what she wanted. "I said no." His voice was low, harsh.
Lily's eyes flamed with anger. "Why?" She crossed her arms over her chest. "Too busy with your Dark Arts studies? Mulciber and Avery going to help you with the practical?"
Snape didn't reply.
Lily walked away a moment later.
They didn't talk for the rest of the week.
Both of us never tiring…
"Lily, it was nothing!" Snape grabbed a hold of Lily's elbow, and she spun around to look at him. She was angry and hurt, but she didn't pull away. "Just a bit of fun! Honest."
"Malfoy gave that first year a bloody nose!" Her eyes welled up, and she half-heartedly tried to pull her arm back. "He passed out before Madam Pomfrey was able to reverse the jinx. He's been the hospital wing taking a blood replenishing potion since this morning. How is that just a bit of fun?" She parroted his words, a nasty streak of sarcasm he'd never heard from her before coloring them.
Snape tightened his grip on her arm, desperate to convince her. "Lucius didn't meant -"
"When will you stop trying to defend him?" This time she did yank her arm free. "He's vile and awful! The whole lot of them are. Why can't you see that? Everyone else can."
Snape recoiled as if he'd been smacked. They'd been at Hogwarts for three years now. And as much as he hated to admit it, he knew she had a whole life beyond him. And he certainly had one beyond her. But even though they didn't care for each other's friends, they'd kept the insults to a minimum.
Until now though that was.
"They're my friends!" He couldn't remember ever being so angry with her, and the feeling filled him with shame.
"No they're not!" Lily stomped her foot to emphasize her point. "They're evil, Sev. Why won't you believe me?"
He'd fought so hard for her friendship, but it was sohard lately. But even so, he would never give up. "I'm sorry, Lily. Please don't be mad at me."
He hadn't given up. Ever.
But Lily had.
She'd stopped trying to convince him that what he was doing was wrong. And she'd stopped telling him that his friends were bad. She'd stopped… everything, and she'd given up on him.
It had broken his heart.
And now, on the eve of their last night at Hogwarts, his heart hadn't begun to heal. But even though she'd hurt him so terribly, he still loved her.
Rather than going to the leaving feast, where he knew Lily and Potter would be fawning over one another, Snape had decided to pack up his belongings. It had taken a surprisingly short amount of time to pack away his life. Books, potions supplies, and robes had quickly, and easily, found their way into his trunk. His other things, broomstick, awards, etc. were stowed away in a pouch with an engorgement charm used on the inside.
With everything packed up, that left one last task, the thing he'd been dreading the most…
Walking over to his four-poster, Snape laid down on the bed he'd called home for the past seven years.
The soft mattress gave under his weight, and he seemed to sink into the downy green comforter. For a few seconds, he laid there with his eyes closed, dreading what he was about to do. But even though he wanted to put it off forever, he knew he couldn't. Sighing deeply, Snape pointed his wand at the canopy of his bed and whispered, "Lumos."
Even though he couldn't see it, he knew that the fabric arch above him was illuminated. And though he didn't want to, he opened his eyes.
Up above him, he could see tiny pinpoints moving around, like shooting stars. As his eyes adjusted to the light, those moving specs became the smiling faces of him and Lily in happier days.
There were pictures of them smiling together on their first day at Hogwarts and pictures of them lying in the grass on beautiful, sunny days. There was a Slytherin Quidditch pennant she'd bewitched to blink their names, the charm long ago faded. The whole canopy was covered with memories and mementos of their friendship. He'd kept his collage a secret with a simple disillusionment charm since first year. And now it was time for him to take it down.
It was time for him to move on.
But even as Snape began to pull down the pieces of his life, he knew he could never do that.
He would never give up on her. He couldn't.
Squeeka Cuomo's Notes
- This fic was written for "silverdoefest" on LJ.
- The beautiful lyrics in this story (and the title) come from the song Desperately Wanting by Better Than Ezra.
- Quack: Thank you for your help.
- Reviews are love.