If I say that I feel like a frozen statue, it would be too minimal a description for how hollowed I feel. The strongest moment of friendship, and the weakest came simultaneously and ruthlessly. I knew that people could be tyrants, but now I know that a single moment could be a tyrant, a single word, a provocation. I could still hear that single utterance in my ears, reverberating without a hint of mercy. Some would say it's a childish thing, to end what was once great because of a single word. "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." It was a lie—whichever poor, delusional maniac had binged that was denying the truth. A single word is what slashed my soul, and left it with irreversible lacerations.
'Just stop thinking of that word.'
'Don't cry this time, Lily. Yield to it. Be strong; don't break.'
I can still hear him spitting it out whilst sneering. I can still hear his chilling voice, and it's in my ears. I know it will stay there, if not for eternity, then for the second before I die. "Mudblood." What a vile word. It used to bother me, to make me weep for hours on end. It's not the word that troubles me. What incapacitates me is that the person—a boy who I had trusted, a boy who I had loved—is the one who had sneered it with acrid contempt. He was the one who had told me that I should not listen to discrimination, that I should be proud of my heritage. Behind my back, he was involved in a group (a cult) that was against every word he had told me.
"Severus," I whispered into the stark nothingness of the night.
How many years had passed since that day—the day at Hogwarts, fifth year, right after our OWLs? Three years to the day, and yet I still remember it. A normal person would have let that moment go and have moved on. Some would say I did, but those who truly know me (there was only one person, and now he is gone) would say I never did. It is true, I still hold onto it. There is only a single reason for this: Harboring that memory is what makes me feel human. That human feeling, still assures me that I have never stopped loving him.
"I never meant to call you that."
The door slams in front of Severus' face, and for a single moment I swore that I could see a tear stream down his sallow face. But his tear is nothing compared to the river that I will create by the end of the week.
The door slams: It's the end of what was once the origin of so many profound occurrences, escapades, memories and feelings.
The door slams, and my heart shatters with it. But it just isn't that. Through the door, I knew that I heard another heart shatter. If the pieces could blow away into the atmosphere, then maybe I would not still feel this pain.
The door slams, and I cannot find the strength to open it and chase after the black haired boy who had been my savior at one time. I'm so weak, and from my weakness I collapse on the un-mopped, tile floor. His name is shouted from me. My roommates drag me to a bed, and there goal is to comfort me. No one could calm me down. I was hysteric and hurting. Severus was gone, and with it the pivot which I leaned on for support. Both halves of me were devastated.
A window opens, and down below I saw people who don't know loss. Among them is James Potter.
I lay, sprawled on a hill, the hill where he and I had met. I usually didn't go back to that hill, but that day something had possessed me to be there. The polluted lake is down below. I can smell it. To passers-by, it smells repugnant. To me, it smells of home and happiness. It's brown like used car-oil, and dying willow trees line its edge. The grass is yellow, and it smells of musk. The sky is black—the same shade of ebony that Severus Snape's eyes once held. But this sky twinkles, much unlike his eyes had. It was these entities that further prodded at my emotions. I yearned for the strength to not be ashamed of the tears I shed for him. Yet I still yielded.
"Stay away from him."
"He'll become a Death Eater."
"He's with you because he plans to rape you."
"There's only one thing a boy like that will amount to. It's called failure."
I denied their every word. I stuck up for the friend I thought I knew so dearly. I protected him. He protected me too; he protected me from his housemates, and those who chose to lash out against me. He jumped in front of spells for me, took the brunt of whatever horrid oppressions the students chose to utilize. He was a martyr; he was my martyr.
His name is like fire to a frost-bitten man. On my tongue, I relish it. "Severus, Severus, Severus, Sev." I see a boy, lanky and pale, with greasy hair a twitchy walk and a crooked smile. The townspeople were disgusted, yet I found it rather endearing. I see a boy with hope and the capability of love and laughter. "Sev, Sev, Sev, Snape." I see a man—a man under a blood-soaked, sullied cloak, but that is all. I don't see the face I wish I could have traced, and I can't find the smile I once cherished. I hear laughter, but it's not his. It is maniacal and irking. Where had my Sev gone?
My heart heaves and feels atrophied. I can still feel his touch, the softest caresses he had me captured in for the briefest instant. I'm wrapped in a memory, and I don't want to get out of it. He was once my solace, and in the saccharine memories of him, I still find that same tranquility. I want him so badly, and at the same time I know that if I have him, then I would only push him away from me. I attempt to stroke my hair the way he used to, but it is to no avail. I'm a love-scorn woman, and my only medication I have is pain.
The messy-haired, hazel-eyes annoyance known as James Potter is sitting next to me in class. "Lily, will you go out with me?" he asks for the umpteenth time.
"Yes, I'll go out with you." I say it, because I hope that Snape will care enough to stop me—to take me for himself and never let me go.
James is down on one knee. I know what's coming, and so before he asks I say yes like an insipid, obsessed fool. I only agree, because my one dream is that Severus will stop my wedding, and carry me away bridal style. How idiotic am I?
A celestial pigmy owl flew to my side, and pecked gently at my thigh. At first, I did not want to reach for it, but there was some familiarity permeating from it that intrigued me. I scooped it into my hand, and stared into the depths of its emerald eyes. It dropped a crumpled note onto my chest and flew away. I cannot open it, I tell myself. So it stays perched on my bosom, until I am absorbed by curiosity.
There's a car beyond the hill, and music is playing from it. It is slow and meaningful. I'm nearly swayed by it, but I remain still. My tongue travels across my dry lips. They taste of cognac and biscotti. My body is ignited from its taste and I feel like I'm flying with the pigmy owl that's soaring gracefully in the sky. When it disappears, I return back to my hill. My hill—it used to be our hill; mine and Severus'.
I sigh a cold sigh, and my attention returns to the letter. It's old parchment, and it further reminds me of Severus. Aged parchment was one of his favorite things when we were school-kids. My heart recoils, and I am enraptured. It's hopes that have come to me; they are almost too much, and too inane.
I slowly send my fingers into it, and I open it. It's written in black ink, and a sharp, spindly handwriting that I know belongs to Severus. My breath hitches, my eyes water. I knew the risks of coming here. Never had I imagined that I would receive a letter from him. Correspondence between him and I had ceased that one fateful day three years ago.
A single word is written beautifully on it. Once more, my heart pounds like a school girl's. I'm filled to the brim with contradicting emotions. A single word could change everything in a fraction of a second. Words were tyrants. Words could also be liberators, as could be moments, loves, instances and entities. "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but this word has just enchanted me."
'He hadn't forgotten!"
'Will I be there for you when the world falls, and when you're wallowing on the ground.'
'Because we know no never.'
Then he's standing in front of me, a poignant look upon his older face. He is still thin, he is still tall, but he's stronger and he holds himself up (was it pride, or was he taught this?). He holds out his hand, and I stare at it. They're his long fingers, his supple hands that I had never forgotten. I put my dainty hand into his and he lifts me up. I never stop rising, even when I stand up straight on the ground.
He opens his thin mouth, and my name escapes his lips like the words of God. "Lily." I'm shedding the tears I had held in for so long. "Lily, oh Lily." I'm latched onto him, my arms wrapped around his frame. It's thicker than I remember, and I can feel his muscles underneath the fabric of his charcoal grey, button-down shirt. "Shh, don't cry." His voice is the smoothest silk. It's low and sonorous, and I cannot get enough of him saying my name. It's the sweetest chant I have ever perceived, and it heals me just as magic would.
I pull away from him, to take him in one more time. His hair is shorter, and it no longer appears to be greasy. His skin is still sallow, and his teeth are still crooked. His nose is hooked, and his cheek-bones are still angular and high. But his eyes sparkle with regret and apologies. I had never seen them as such. I find him to be handsome, and I'm in a daze because of it.
Engrossed in the moment, I nearly stumble backwards, but he is holding onto me. He opens his lips once more, but I lean in and capture them—the lips I had dreamed of for so long. I can tell the he disregarded the shock, because he is kissing me back fiercely. Is this what real love feels like?—whole and true, no matter the circumstance. He pulls me closer to him, and as he does our tongues collide. I taste him: He tastes of lemons and vanilla, but also of pure Severus, for no words could possible convey the sublimity of him. We pull apart to take in air, and I nestle my head into his broad chest. His heart beats just as mine does. I smell him, and he smells just as I remember—of divine spices and sandalwood.
I say nothing, but he knows of the questions I want to ask, and he answers them all.
"I'm into deep, Lily," his grim beginning only sets the stage for my disappointment. "I came here tonight, and I couldn't believe you were on this hill. I had to come here—to—to tell you. . .If I didn't. . . I could never live with myself.
"If only I had listened," and he was crying just as I was. Though as he cries, he wipes away my tears. His touch is searing, and I only crave more of it. "If I back out now, I could die." It was his postlude, and he turns to leave—to leave me with the rubble of something that I wish we could piece back together.
I grab his left arm, and tug him toward me. I have to know, I have to witness. I lift up his sleeve; his skin is perfect and unmarred. I touch his skin. Falling to my knees, I began to kiss the underside of his unsullied forearm. He falls to the ground with me. When I separate my lips from him words rush out of my mouth like a bullet, "Why did you lie to me?"
"It's inevitable . . . what is to happen." To the both of us, I know it is ineffable—what he is alluding to.
He isn't facing me, so I turn his head, and his grand eyes bore into mine emerald ones. "Listen, Sev, you control you own actions. No one can dictate you to make them."
"I'm so sorry Lily, I'm so sorry for everything that I have done. . . and everything that I have said."
'The pain of words digs deeper than a pointed dagger.'
"Promise me," I demand without hesitation.
"I don't need help from Mudbloods like her."
'You don't really mean that: I know you don't. Apologize. Apologize in front of them all, and everything will be okay. Why are you walking away? Why am I laughing?'
"Promise me, it's not too late."
"I would promise you the world, if I could." His voice is dripping with emotion.
"I don't need the world."
'And you've changed for the worst.'
"Tell me what you want me to promise."
"Sev, you already know."
He walks away, and so does all the love I ever knew.
"How do I reconstruct this?"
"I won't join Lily, I will never join them." From the look in his eyes, I know that he means every word he says. "I promise it until my dying breath." My heart swells, and I know that I have him back.
"You're a witch."
'I could never have thought of a better beginning to this story.'
A door slams, and I know that it is the end, along with all the wonderful things I had dreamed of. We've finally fallen off the cliff.
'But it isn't, because I found another chapter to this romance.'
"I forgive you." It was all that ever had to happen.
Then he turns away, once again, I can tell that he is broken. "Congratulations." I hear him spit out acerbically.
I look down at my engagement ring. How could I have forgotten? "Oh, Severus," is what I say before anything else. Nothing else can come out of me. I'm at a loss for words. I do the best thing I could do—the best thing for the both of us. I slide off my ring, and I hand it to him. His eyes bore into me in disbelief. "Throw it," I whisper in to his ear.
"If I have to be insane to be with you, so be it."
He throws it into the lake, and I think of what will happen between James and me. I don't regret this. It strikes me that I never wanted James—not the way I want Severus.
I don't know how it happens, but he's on top of me. We're both disheveled as we make up for lost time. We save anything other than intense, heated kissing for a later time. My head is on his chest, and I listen to him breathing and his heart beating. He strokes my hair, and I'm in pure bliss.
'What does that even mean?'
I see Severus across the hall. He looks at me, before walking away. I find myself blushing. "He likes you too, you know," a Ravenclaw girl tells me.
'It can't be true, not after what had happened. I don't like him. He doesn't like me. Why is my heart still pounding?'
"You told me I was different." I murmur it into his chest.
"It's true. You're the only one I ever loved."
"Do you still love me?"
He's looking at the parchment that's being blown away by the wind. He catches it, and hands it to me. "Always," he breathes into my ear.
"I love you too."
"What do you want most in the world?" I asked him one spring afternoon in fifth year.
He just looks at me, pondering, or so I think. There's lust in his eyes. "Nothing," he sighs. I don't believe it.
So badly, I wanted to say, "I want you too". Neither one of us wanted to admit it then.
'I should have told him earlier. Things would have been different then. I still love you, do you know that? Did you ever know? How can you torment me like this?'
"Bastard!" I yell as he walks down the halls after bumping into me. Bothering to say anything at all is a sign that you care. I still care. Do you care too? You never speak to me.
"Goodbye," were the words he told me at the end of seventh year as we walked off the train station. It was a sign—that we got off together, just as we had gotten on together in our first year—but neither one of us took it. I stop in the middle of the station, and watch him walk away. "Hello," I whisper, but it goes unheard.
Dismally, I walk away and lurch from point to point in life. Like a lost man lives, I do. But it's not me who's the only one that's lost. It's Severus too.
"Sev." I climbed onto him, so that my body would be on top of his. "Say it."
"I love you." He knows better than any other human being on this planet about what I want, without me saying it. His hands are at my hips, and he's smiling. I never realized how much I missed that smile until now.
A/N: This is for Lordban, as a prize for my two hundredth reviewer of The Light and the Dark. If you haven't read it, and you like this, check it out! Or check out any of my other stories, if you want to. Happy Easter!
This is a two-shot. Severus' point of view will be the next chapter!