Severus knew he'd regret this. Walking through the shortcut that would leave him standing outside that house in Godric's Hollow, he could already hear the laughter filtering through the open window. Her laughter.

A light was on in the upper window, and he could see figures moving, eager to be ready for the next day. Only one remained still, occasionally turning and twisting round to admire herself in a small mirror, but she was as calm and serene as he had always known her to be. Such a beautiful bride she'd make; he'd known ever since that day in the playground but had never imagined she'd be marrying anyone but him.

His breath catching in his throat, Severus dragged himself the last few steps to the front door, trying to be as quiet as possible. He didn't want to disturb and upset her any more than he already had. Taking one last look at the envelope in his hand, he suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to kiss it; this was the last contact he'd have with her. The love of his life. Such a momentous farewell deserved more than a crumpled envelope, surely?

Time froze as he stood at the door, until he snapped out of his reverie, stuffed the envelope through the letterbox and turned on his heel, forcing himself not to run.

Lily looked away from the mirror and crossed to the window, sure she had heard hurrying footsteps and an anguished sob from outside.

Lily collapsed to the floor, holding back tears but unable to speak. She had searched in vain for a letter or even a scrawled note, but only something blue had fallen into her hand as she tipped the envelope.

Bridesmaids and guests clamoured around her, but she was still as she stared at the enchanted sapphire hair grip, a daisy opening and closing its tiny petals as Severus had shown her all those years ago.