A small one shot written by request for Elizabeth Garcia for her birthday... hope you enjoy it hon! :D

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

I also hope everyone else enjoys this too, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on how I handled Lily... writing her is new to me...

:D

What He Knew

Lily sat back in her chair and considered the young man sitting across from her.

His chin was dipped toward the table, enabling his shoulder length dark hair to fall forwards and almost obscure his face from view. But Lily didn't need to see his features to know precisely what they were echoing of his feelings at that moment. She'd known him now for almost eight years, and they'd been very close during that time. Best friends at times, she decided.

Lily remembered when she'd first met him; that strange, weird, yet oddly intriguing boy of nine years old. She too had been nine, so perhaps there was a lot more to him that she'd missed at the time, but Lily saw enough in him to extend the branch of friendship.

Of course she'd known there was something special about herself that she could not quite pinpoint back then too; and what he knew, who he was, what he could offer her was probably the greatest enticement to get to know him though.

Lily was a witch!

Apparently…

So Severus, her new friend, had said.

This key to herself, the knowledge of what she was, who she was, who she could be, was all it took to overlook the oddities in this young boy and motivate Lily to embrace her new friendship with fervor. He could explain so much to her.

Looking back now Lily knew she had grown to care for Severus, she wasn't a cold, calculating user… and he was smart, passionate and eager; he made it easy to see that he had great potential. Those qualities Lily found admirable, but there was a darker, brooding side to him that sometimes allowed hints of a possible cruel nature to show through too. Those times made her feel uneasy about him…

Still, Severus was her friend and Lily cared for him.

Across from her Severus raised his chin slightly and glanced quickly at her before dipping his chin again even further. Lily sensed he was about to push himself up from his chair and leave. She didn't want him to run off without responding to him.

"Severus…?" She was finding it a bit complicated knowing for sure just what she should say.

He lifted his eyes to hers at her command… in all those years previous she'd never seen his admiration for her quite so clearly, but now it was completely obvious and every sign she'd missed in the past flashed brightly at her from her recollections.

She sighed. In the past she'd easily overlooked his oddities… his… ugliness and had given her friendship. Oh, she had grown to care a great deal for him since, his appearance didn't change that, but how deep did her own feelings run? Could she actually feel more deeply for him despite his flaws, physical and otherwise? That part of him that caused her to feel uneasy hadn't gone away over the years… she just thought that maybe he'd gotten a bit better at hiding it from her.

Nevertheless, right now he looked forlorn and anxious and she felt some sympathy toward him… he'd been very brave in saying what he had to her; he deserved to be put out of his misery one way or the other.

She took another breath and squared her shoulders, summoning her own courage and pleading to Merlin that he might give her the wisdom to say the right thing and not hurt him.

Lily smiled brightly at him.

He looked slightly bolstered by that.

"Severus… I'm so glad you told me how you feel…"