A little thing, written on the spur of the moment, for Ewen (Witherwings01) who needed entertaining. Follows the Snapoetry trope invented by respitechristopher and Sara Winters at the Teachers' Lounge.

Dreams of if only

Things could have been different.

Things should have been different.

They would have been, if only… If only he had been different, not such an outcast. Not someone that she tolerated because of her good nature and kindness and for old time's sake. If he'd been different – better-looking, nonchalantly clever like Black or Potter rather than the studiously clever type, better-dressed, richer, not a Slytherin. And if he had not let Potter and his gang goad him so that he used – that word – against his only friend, his beloved.

So many things that would have made it all different, that would have meant that Lily would love him for what he was, not despite what he was. That would have meant that she loved him still.

He looks over at her now, in the centre of a noisy group of Gryffindors, Potter with his arm slung around her shoulder in a proprietorial way that makes Severus want to punch him. He's not even looking at her, deep in conversation with Black and Lupin as he is. Severus would not take her for granted like that. He would appreciate her.

It's no good. He can't work with that lot over there being so loud. (And with the image of Potter and Lily – his Lily – in front of him.) He shuts his book with a bang that everyone ignores (typical – he is always ignored), and exits the Great Hall with a swirl of his robes that also makes no impression on anyone.

He re-establishes himself in a corner of the Slytherin common room, opens his book, unrolls his parchment and inks his quill. But he has lost all desire to finish his Transfiguration homework tonight. He sighs, finds a fresh piece of parchment and begins to write.

My Lily

Gilded flower, perfect in innocence

My own, my heart.

Seeing me as I am and not caring for my flaws,

My Lily from whom I shall never part.

Fragrant flower, smiling in acceptance

My own, my girl.

Hand-in-hand we go through life together,

My Lily, my hidden pearl.

Pretty flower, beautiful in appearance

My own, my own.

Together we can do anything.

My Lily, softening my heart of stone.

Fair flower, kissing me in love

My Lily, my wife.

This is what should have been.

Together forever, for all of our life.

The common room door bangs, and Severus hides the parchment quickly under his textbook. He has no desire to be exposed in what he is doing. He is scratching away industriously at his essay when his friend comes over to see what he is doing.

But that night – as so often before – he dreams of Lily.