To See Her Again

Severus Snape was not a weak man, in all sense of the word.

He didn't give in easily to anything or anyone. Severus Snape could withstand the torture brought on by the Darkest Wizard of all time. He could look into the large, puppy-dog like eyes of a first year student and feel no emotion. Despite the idea of weakness that most had about the stringy-haired, sour-expressioned teacher, Severus Snape was incredibly strong, mentally, physically, and, when forced, emotionally. However, he had one devastating vice. One person could destroy all of his will in seconds. One glance from her, one second looking into her eyes could make him weaker than a flobberworm.

That person was Lily Evans.

Of course, once she was gone, Severus began to feel as if he would never be that weak again. Now that she was truly gone, not just out of reach, Severus felt as if he would never be tempted by something he could never have ever again. The years passed, and he began to loose grip on the feeling he would get in his chest when he remembered her, or when he looked into her eyes. He knew that he would never stop loving her and never stop forgetting her completely, but the smallest details seemed to slip away over time. Severus Snape built the walls he put around himself higher than ever, convinced that his one vice was gone forever. Little did he know, those walls were to come tumbling down.

The destruction was brought on by temptation.

It was late, very late. Severus, in his usually evening routine, was silently stalking down the corridors of Hogwarts School, looking for students out of bed, trouble, and solitude from coworkers and his own thoughts. Pacing the familiar paths of Hogwarts helped to calm his nerves. As he walked along, he woke slowly from a half-remembered day dream as he realized that he was in the abandoned part of Hogwarts- the level that was now mostly used for storage. No student would ever be back here- and if they were, they would be making so much noise that Snape would have been able to find them without difficulty. With a sigh, he turned around, outer-robes swishing as he made to go back the way he'd came when he noticed something. A door was standing ajar down the hallway to the right. He'd walked right past it in a stupor. Lips pursed, ready to deal with the student hiding in that room, Severus strode purposefully over and threw open the door, eyes already flashing with well-rehearsed menace.

No one was there.

It was just an old, dusty room that on Severus' first glance seemed empty. On the second pass, however, he realized what room he was in. Dumbledore had moved the Mirror of Erised into Hogwarts and directed for it to be kept here until the mirror could be properly placed in his little crucible. For now, the mirror was standing elegantly off to one side, half hidden in shadow. The sight of it made Snape freeze in his tracks. Dumbledore had warned all of the staff not to enter this room for fear of being tempted to look into the mirror and see what they wanted most. If he was found here, he would be in heaps of trouble. That alarming fact, for the moment, however, was set aside. Looking at the mirror from the side, Snape realized that if he looked into the Mirror of Erised, Lily Evans would come back to life, effectively destroying the walls he had built around himself all those years ago. His head instinctively told Severus Snape to turn around and run away as fast as his legs could carry him. His heart screamed for him to take a few more steps and turn to face the mirror, to face those beautiful green eyes without the bitter stain of James Potter upon them.

The inner struggle began.

Even after all those years, Severus Snape still loved Lily Evans with all his heart. She was the reason he was here. It was his love for her, it was for the kindness and friendship they had once shared that kept him here today. They had both been outcasts- in different ways, of course, but outcasts all the same. Lily learned to cope with it. Snape could not. Snape, looking to cope, somehow, flocked to Dark Magic, to the service of the Dark Lord. Lily went the way Severus truly, deep inside, knew he should be going- into light. This one, fatal mistake of his would torture him for the rest of his life, for when he lost Lily completely at the hands of his own Master, Severus was jolted into reality, was forced to see his mistake. In a last ditch effort to cling to the idea of happiness, to the idea of Lily Evans, Severus turned away from everything he had ever known and worked to protect the person he possibly hated most- Harry Potter.

Be rational, Severus thought.

He knew that looking into the mirror would not make him happy, would not bring back Lily Evans and a second chance. Disobeying a direct order from Albus would not end well for him. Tasting the forbidden fruit would only make keeping his cover as a spy later down the road all the more difficult. The memories he could possibly form tonight would devastate him all over again. So, why then, would he want to hurt himself? The idea was ludicrous, yet so inviting… unable to resist, Severus haltingly, cautiously, took a few steps forward and began to inch around the mirror. When he was fully in front of it, his eyes widened, filling with tears at the same time. He took a few steps closer, transfixed by what he saw.

The walls came tumbling down.

Lily Evans stood there with a sad smile on her face, looking right at Severus. Her reddish hair still flowed with aching grace down her shoulders. She still had the willowy, slender frame, the small hands, the calming presence. And then there were her eyes, those beautiful, bright green orbs that knocked the wind right out of Severus. Seeing those eyes erased all thought and emotion right out of him, until he was drowning in an ocean of green. He didn't even realize he had taken several steps closer until he raised a hand and pressed it longingly against the cool glass of the mirror. Lily mimicked him, still looking on at Severus with that sad, distant gaze.

In instant Severus was thrown back into his childhood memories of a time when they were happy together, to a time when things weren't complicated by a Sorting and other witches and wizards. Severus longed for the time when it had just been Lily and him, free to do what they pleased. Seeing a shadow of Lily Evans locked away in the mirror broke him even further, made him even more bitter. He had been weak then to let her slip away and he was being even weaker now when nothing more could be done to bring her back. Tearing his eyes away from the one woman he had and would ever love, Severus turned his heel and strode almost frantically away from those green, penetrating eyes.