Severus spent most of seventh year trying to figure out what had happened that night in the infirmary. Lily spent her days laughing with the Marauder gang, and Severus tried not to be in her way. He still waited around the campus at his old spots in case either Lily or Auren ever wished to speak to him... but they never came.

Lily didn't even come to the owlery when it rained, and he sat on the ledge alone as tears fell from the sky. Severus spoke to Dumbledore and did end up becoming a death eater, at least he would be able to bring information to the school that way.

Severus' mother passed away one night during seventh year, and he found out via the death eaters he worked for as they laughed about it. Severus cried with only his pet Dog at his side that day. For all intents and purposes, he was alone.

In the last week of his schooling, Dumbledore approached him and asked if he wanted to stay at the school as a potions master. Severus would have declined, but the night before, Voldemort had requested he find a job position at Hogwarts to continue 'spying' for him. Severus agreed, knowing he had signed his life away when he had gotten the mark. Hogwarts was the safest and most useful place for him to be.

The last day of class Auren shuffled up to Severus and apologized for getting so mad at him. She explained that she had been bitten by a vampire when she was a child, and had suffered with it ever since. "What? Why didn't you tell me?!" Severus asked, more shocked then bothered.

"I... did?" Auren responded. Severus stared at her as memories of their past and her ramblings flooded back to him... She had! "I... I thought you were joking." Severus said, confusion evident in his voice. She had said so many things that he had assumed she had been joking about, like being a vampire, knowing latin, being from Romania...

"I never joke." Auren said, a deep level of gravity in her voice. Severus' brain kept flipping through things he had assumed she had only been saying because he looked like he wasn't listening. Like that her least favorite color was white because it looked like the unicorn blood her mother use to drink, that she would get violently ill if she ate vegetables, that she would sneak out to see the gamekeeper because sometimes he would let her bite his livestock.

"Never." Auren said, as she turned to walk away. Severus was silent in his swirling thoughts. She had told him her first kiss had been with a Hufflepuff, but he had run away screaming because of her fangs... That time she said 'I love you'. Severus froze. She had told him she loved him. No one except Lily had said that and been serious, so he had just assumed it was a joke. There had been no other explanation.

"Wait!" Shouted Severus, but when he looked up to where Auren had been, she was gone. Simply vanished. There was no carriage, no broomstick... Just gone. Just then, Lily appeared behind them and cleared her throat. Severus turned around and nearly fell to his knees with shock.

Lily let go of James' hand and strode over to embrace Severus. Softly she gave him a kiss on the cheek and whispered "I forgive you." in his ear. All thoughts of Auren suddenly vanished. No matter what his new life threw at him, those words would be his saving grace. Lily, his Lily... Forgave him.

~ The End ~

(( A/N: Please take a quick second to review! The story that takes place directly after this one is Black Daisy ))