Firstly I apologise for not posting sooner! Real life had gotten in the way :/ Anyway here's the new chapter! Enjoy :)
Chapter 12: The Start of Summer
Over the next couple of weeks Death Eaters were slowly being rounded up and brought to trial for their crimes. Severus was obviously protected by Dumbledore and had seen how truly powerful the Head Master was as he read the account of the trails in The Daily Prophet. A death Eater he had met on a few occasions, Karkaroff, had been set free due to a list of names he had produced, including Barty Crouch Jr. Snape thought thinking of how the man had tried to reveal his true identity to The Dark Lord and then tried to have him sent to Azkaban. However Dumbledore later confessed that with The Dark Lord 'gone' in the Crouch families eyes, Crouch's father had once again managed to keep his son out of Azkaban and locked in the house. This meant Crouch kept some dignity for technically his son was not 'convicted'.
"They'll be more Death Eaters than you think getting away with their crimes" Dumbledore had explained to him naming Lucius as one of them due to his 'efforts with the Ministry' – meaning his money. Wormtail remains 'missing' to this day and everyone that knew him understood why. Snape just prayed a bird of prey would find him soon enough for breakfast.
Yet Severus Snape had not spent the start summer as he had hoped as a free man with Lily…
The day after the party Lily took Harry straight up to Azkaban to see his Godfather. It was a surreal experience as she waited in the visiting room; a small room divided down the middle by iron bars with seats dotted along either side. They took a seat at their designated place when a ragged looked Sirius was brought out dragging the loose chains that bound his hands and ankles together.
For the first time since his incarceration Sirius smiled. Harry gave a shy wave and Lily explained to Sirius why she had been unable to visit him over recent months. He nodded a asked how The Order was getting on and if they had made any progress in finding Wormtail.
"As far as I am aware" Lily explained "You are now at the top of their priority list to get released…obviously we need Peter"
"Even if you just found out where he was would be enough information to me" Sirius said in a hushed tone.
"Why?" she asked then saw a glint in his eye "You're not thinking of breaking out are you?"
He did not answer as a guard entered the room with another prisoner. "I'm bidding my time…"
"Don't do anything foolish" she warned "We'll get you out. Sev tried –"
"-Sev?" Sirius frowned "So it's Sev now? Did not take you two long to get back to old ways"
"Sirius" she warned "He saved my life and Harry's…I owe him greatly"
Sirius did not press the issue any further but listened to what she had to say about recent events at the ministry and what she was now up to working at Hogwarts. Sirius wished Harry a happy birthday that was just around the corner and wished he could be there that day. Lily hated seeing him looking this way but there was nothing more she could do and everyone was doing their best with the situation – without Wormtail Sirius was condemned.
Upon returning to Hogwarts Lily passed the dungeons and having not seen Severus at breakfast assumed he must still be sleeping. She decided to spend the rest of the day with Harry as the weather was holding up and took him out in the grounds to play. Remus turned up and joined them and it was well at the castle…or so it seemed.
Down below in the depth of the school Severus Snape was tossing and turning in his sleep. He had not even gained the energy to change his clothes and lay upon his bed still wearing what he wore the day of his arrest. He ached and felt that all he had done had not made a deference to the world. He was being treated like a criminal, Lily did not share in his affection and the prophecy of Lord Voldemort still hung over them all meaning he would one day return.
The door to his chambers opening did not even wake him; it was only until hands gripped his arms and shook him awake did his eyes finally open.
Snape squinted as harsh light from the doorway flooded in and he was face to face with his old Transfiguration Professor.
"Bloody hell" he flinched and she stepped away from the bed he was laying on.
"Good afternoon Severus" She folded her arms "Are you not going to greet the day at all?"
"What do you want?" he threw his arm over his eyes blocking out the sun.
"Severus…" she spoke in a stern yet caring voice "I understand you have been through a lot recently. However there are some pressing matters concerning you working here"
He sat up and swung his legs off the bed to sit up "Go on"
She flicked her wand a pile of parchments appeared on the side table "Firstly there are forms you must fill in and then there are lesson plans you must go through"
He stared at the paper work "What if I don't want the job?"
"Then you will be asked to leave the castle" she retorted "I'm not trying to be harsh Severus but I have seen what happens to people when left to wallow in their own misery"
"Maybe I like wallowing" he said under his breath.
"Oh don't be so childish" she replied rolling her eyes "Either get the papers sorted out or tell Dumbledore you are not interested"
As she turned to leave Severus spoke up "Professor…will the parents even want me here?"
"First of all Severus I am not longer your Professor." She replied curtly "Secondly you have been bypassed for all your crimes. They will have to deal with it for the students have nowhere else to go – now stop overthinking everything and sort yourself out"
As she closed the door Snape fell back onto the bed and closed his eyes for he was still utterly exhausted. McGonagall did not seem to understand what he had been through, perhaps no body other than Dumbledore did…he just felt awful and could not gather the strength to get up.
It was way past lunch time and Lily returned to her room so Harry could have a nap. As she placed her sleepy son on her own bed she found a letter addressed to her neatly placed upon her pillow. She carefully opened it to find she was holding an invitation to attend a medal giving ceremony for services in the war that would take place at the school in a couple of days where she could invite one guest.
Lily wondered if Severus had been invited then remembered how the Minister stated he would never be decorated for he still committed crimes revolving around Death Eater activity. She looked to the clock on her wall and saw how it was nearing the evening and she had still not seen Severus all day. Lily decided to leave it till dinner and if he did not show up she would then go and check up on him seeing as she had just put Harry down for a nap.
Yet even Lily was struggling to sleep since Voldemort had been weakened. And that was the reason – he was weakened, inactive, and dormant – he could come back… As she lay beside her son who was fast asleep she wished she could sleep soundly like he did, utterly unaware of what dangers lurked around every corner. She watched Harry's tiny chest rise and fall in his slumber and he occasionally stirred as he dreamed; she saw so much of James in his appearance it was uncanny.
When Lily finally drifted off to sleep she had awful dreams of Voldemort killing James mixed with images of being saved by Severus. She felt sick even in her dreams as the images of James became washed out while Severus seemed to grow clearer and stronger. She tried running after the washed out James but he vanished before she could reach him causing her to breakdown and sob yet hands picked her up and held her – Severus's hands – she awoke at the sound of the dinner bell and found herself soaked in sweat yet was awfully cold. She quickly showered still feeling queasy and that traitorous dream. She missed James terribly and wished him to be here every day yet there was denying she loved having Severus back in her life. He was a true friend and not many would risk their lives the way he did for her.
As she sat at dinner she just pushed her food around the plate and stared aimlessly at the empty hall (as only the staff sat in there). She thought of what would happen if Voldemort rose again and tried to shake the image of his horrid face from her mind.
"You alright there?" McGonagall asked her "You seem a little pale?"
Lily nodded "Just tired"
She pushed away her half eaten dinner and took Harry over to where Hagrid was sat "Can you watch him for a moment please?"
"'o course I can" Hagrid smiled as he loved spending time with Harry.
Lily then made her way out of the room and stood by the entrance to the grounds taking in the cool evening air as the sun sank behind the trees. She had told herself she would check on Severus if he did not show up for dinner so after a moment of composing herself she descended into the dank dungeons to the little room at the far end that were his chambers.
She knocked on the door but had no answer. She tried again and still heard nothing. After the third failed attempt she found the door to be unlocked and stepped inside a dark room that contained his desk, a book shelf and few chairs. No candles were lit and the fire was out making it very cold in here as she stepped in further.
"Severus?" she called out but had no reply.
She went over to his desk and found a pile of lesson plans and forms from Dumbledore addressed to Severus. Lily had received similar ones for Charms last week but he had not signed the declaration confirming he was staying at Hogwarts to work for the year as Potions Master. At the back of the room a door to his sleeping quarters was open a jar so Lily quietly made her towards it and pushed it open slightly further.
The bed was made but looked as if someone had slept on top of it. It was very bare in here and his duffle bag was left in the corner untouched.
She turned to leave only to collide with a body "Oh, Severus"
Snape was standing in the doorway to the bedroom and stepped back into the main part of the chambers where she followed "I was just in the store room collecting some ingredients…for a sleeping potion"
"Oh right" she felt embarrassed for it looked like she was caught snooping "I came to see how you were"
"I'm fine" he said flicking his wand at the fire igniting it before taking a seat at his desk. "Please, sit"
Lily took the seat the other side of his desk and saw an empty bottle of scotch on the desk and a half empty one behind him on the shelf. "Are you sure you are alright?"
"I would feel better if people would stop asking me that" he replied calmly "How are you?"
"I'm ok" she lied "Well a little scared to be honest"
"Scared?" he frowned but was now concerned "Of what?"
"I'm not a fool Severus" Lily said "I know the reason Aurors are constantly at that Black Pond is due to the possibility of Lord Voldemort returning to power"
Suddenly Lily choked and put a hand over her mouth unable to stop herself from crying. Severus instantly stood up and walked around his desk. He slowly neared her side "The Dark Lord is gone; no harm will come to you or Harry"
Not while I'm around…
"Severus don't lie to me" she sniffed, tears forming "I have fought to long and have lost so much"
He was behind her now, his hand hovered over her shoulder a moment before he placed it there to comfort her "Dumbledore told you then"
She nodded "He said he is sure Lord Voldemort will rise again, he just does not know when. It could be 1 year, 5 years or 50 years for all he knows" She turned and looked up at Severus now "I don't think I can do it all again"
His hands were clasped together now restraining himself from trying to comfort her again for he knew it would only hurt him more for she does not feel the same. "You and Harry are perfectly safe now"
"I don't feel it" she admitted.
Snape perched on the edge of his desk facing her "You overcame The Dark Lord, you are the most powerful witch I know"
She wiped her tears "I am not"
"Oh don't be modest" he snapped "It doesn't suit you"
Lily looked up Severus "I was protected by James that night because of his sacrifice…It is only a one time deal"
Snape nodded wanting to pull her to him and tell her everything was going to be alright and that he'll protect her should The Dark Lord return. The unusual vagueness of how Voldemort was defeated in The Prophet gave him a sense of security as it mean Lily is able to walk about and not be recognised as the only witnesses were The Death Eaters of which most of them were being arrested and sent to Azkaban.
"You were very lucky to have someone like James then" Snape said eyes fixed on her.
"I won't be so lucky next time I'm in mortal peril" she forced a laugh that tried to hide her worry which of course Snape could sense a mile away.
"Instead of worrying about it why don't you try and do something to ease your anxiety" he stated knowing full well it sounded harsher than he meant it. "You're skilled at charms and spells but with more practise who know what you could accomplish"
"I'm not learning any dark magic Severus no matter how powerful you think it is" her eyes narrowed.
He pondered for a moment "What if you were just familiar with the spells?"
"You mean study the dark arts in theory not practice?" she asked contemplating the idea.
"I was thinking more on the lines of I show you and you learn the correct way of defending yourself" the room was tense now as he stared into her green eyes "I can teach you all sorts of magic"
"Magic I am not accustomed to practising yet will be familiar when fighting with it" she nodded with a smile "Alright then"
"You can come by my chambers and we'll practise" he said in a hushed tone.
She nodded and stood up "Ok we can do that"
"How about tomorrow?" he asked.
"I have that medal ceremony to go to" she said then by his expression realised he had no even been invited "Would you like to come with me? I can bring a guest"
As much a Snape did not feel welcome he would not miss Lily receive her well-deserved medal "Of course."
"You'll need new robes though" she pulled a bit of loose thread from the arm of his robes. They should have been jet black but were more dark grey now and even more faded at the elbows "I don't even think magic can repair this anymore"
Snape gave a little laugh "I suppose my wardrobe has seen better days"
"So after the ceremony then?" she asked, her eyes meeting his "I'll come by and we'll go together"
He nodded with a smile "Then we'll come back here"
"Thank you" she returned his smile and headed for the door "See you tomorrow"
He nodded and she closed the door as she left leaving him alone once more. Despite feeling low after everything that had happened he forced himself to be happy for what he had. After having a very unproductive day and still feeling drained after being locked up for the trials Snape decided to finally clean himself up and get a good rest hoping he would find a way to fix his robes for the ceremony tomorrow.
Severus woke the next morning and from the little window in his room could see people congregating outside by the lake. After a closer inspection he saw they were setting up for the ceremony. He cursed himself under his breathe for waking up late and now not having time to sort himself out yet as he spun around he saw hanging on the back of his door a set of robes. However they were not his for they looked brand new.
Jet black with a high collar and many buttons up the front and along the sleeves – it was just his style. There was a little note attached to the collar which read.
Just say thank you.
He smiled in shocked that she would go that effort for him and he pulled the robes down from their hanger.
Lily was making her way down to the dungeons holding Harry in one arm. She had dressed him in his nicest clothes and brushed his hair until it laid flat. She reached the entrance hall only to stop and admire the figure staring out at the grounds by the main doors. Severus was wearing the robes she had went out and bought this morning and he had scrubbed up rather well. He could do with a haircut she thought but he still looked very smart.
He turned around thanking her rather shyly for the robes and gave a small smile as he complimented her and Harry "You both look nice"
"Thank you" she returned the smile and they walked out into the grounds together where by the lake a small stage had been set up with several rows of chairs in front of it. Some people had started taking their seats and Lily saw Remus waving her over after saving some chairs for them.
Severus sat in silence as one by one people went up and had medals pinned to their lapels by the Minster of Magic. He clapped accordingly as each person went up and was taken aback when Lily handed him Harry to hold when she was called instead of Lupin. However Harry did eventually struggle away from his grasp to be with Lupin instead but it was the thought of Lily giving him Harry in the first place the shook him.
Mad Eye Moody and Dumbledore were the last ones after Lily to receive their medals which were on ribbon and placed around their necks followed by a huge round of applause.
As they all headed back to the Great Hall for another round of celebrations Snape could not help but smile. Despite eyes staring at him after hearing his story he still head his head up high and walked beside Lily into the hall and started talking to her about certain duelling tactics she preferred so that he may prepare for tonight.
Severus Snape was not one for baring his emotions but spending an evening with Lily caused him to waver his stoic nature when he was sure no one was looking at him. He had already thought of counter curses to teach her against Dark Spells that the Order in the past has had trouble deflecting. McGonagall had caught him smirking to himself as he poured himself a drink.
Dumbledore approached him and patted him on the shoulder "I'm so glad you came out today"
"I can't hide away forever" he replied "Besides…I have nothing to hide from"
"Good" Dumbledore winked "There is no medal great enough for what you did. Placing one like mine on your chest would not be nearly good enough"
Snape gave a small nod "Thank you Sir"
"However this does not mean it is the end, I trust you know that?" Dumbledore said in a quiet tone.
"Of course" Severus said "My mark tingled the night he went under…He is merely dormant"
The rest of the party went past quiet uneventful. Nobody gave their thanks to him for they hardly believed his tale anyway and Lily was getting inundated with gratitude that she gave Harry to Remus to watch over for the evening so that she could leave the party early. Snape left with her but returned to his quarters in the dungeon where he magically pushed all the furniture against the walls. Lily knocked and he allowed her in at exactly 7pm on the dot; even in her dressed down outfit for training she looking stunning to him – just jeans, baggy cardigan and her hair tied back – an odd muggle outfit in Snape's eyes yet he saw only her beauty.
They began with simple deflecting of wands to ease themselves into each other's fighting tactics. They started off being very serious at the task but by the end Snape and Lily kept laughing as wands shot off in all directions. They mainly trained on silent spells finishing the night with a glass of whiskey that Lily cheekily pointed out on the shelf.
This was when Severus's summer really started and above all life resumed to normality. Lily and Severus occasionally ventured to The Three Broomsticks to unwind while someone was able to babysit Harry; Remus joined them on occasion too so Snape had attempted to arrange meeting Lily near the end of the month…not that anyone had noticed. However now his friendship with her had been reinstated fully he did want to spend as much time before the start of term for he knew it would be more difficult to do so with students around.
Every evening Lily would drop Harry off at Hagrid's and then would go straight to the dungeons to train with Severus. It was pleasant and felt as if all that had happen in the past few years never altered their childhood friendship. Snape still felt he owed her the world after she defended him in court but in truth he did regardless; it was he who set off Lord Voldemort in the first to her resulting in the one she really loved dying. Yes, Snape hated the man but he hated seeing her in pain more.
At times it was almost as if they were dancing their moves were so smooth and matched each other's. Her footwork was impeccable which gave to her advantage as Snape could detect her silent spells a mile off but not watch her feet as she leapt away from oncoming hexes.
One evening before Snape was due to meet Lily downstairs he found himself marching towards the Headmasters office. He entered after knocking accordingly and without a word he stepped up to Dumbledore's desk and placed a wad of parchment before the Headmaster; the one on top bared his signature stating that he accepts the role as Potions Master when term started in September.
"Well Severus" Dumbledore looked at the paper briefly then up at Snape's face "It is nice to see the young boy I used to have as a student back in the castle"
"Meaning?" Snape face was emotionless as he stared down at the headmaster.
Dumbledore chuckled "You're happier"
"I have every reason to be" Snape said turning on his heels "Goodnight Headmaster"
"Good night" Dumbledore called back "Professor"
As the office door shut behind him it was as if he just realised what he has done. He had not just signed a piece of paper so he could reside in the castle with Lily…he just signed up to teach. Teach insufferable children than would irritate him just because they were in his presence…he pushed the thought to one side and focussed on what was at hand – he was going to enjoy the evening with Lily and not worry about what happened come September 1st.
He had made it back to his quarters before Lily and moved all the furniture aside just in time for her arrival. Lily smiled as she entered the room and shrugged her jacket off only for Snape to quickly take from her to hang up on the coat rack.
"Thank you" she said "So what are we doing tonight?"
"Well" he began hanging her coat up "Now, you can say no…however. I was pondering on whether to show you an Unforgivable"
"What?" she twisted her face in confusion "I can only imagine one of the three"
"The one being Imperio" Snape nodded "Now it can be overcome, fought against thus making you the better opponent for it is a big shock should anyone beat the curse."
"How do I do it?" she asked.
"I have no simple answer" he replied "You merely need to fight it…do you want to do this?"
After a moment she nodded "Just do it"
They stood in front of each other leaving a fair amount of space between them before Snape raised his wand to her and carefully pronounced the curse "Imperio"
Lily felt her as if her body lost all mass, she was lighter than air yet still on the ground…It was a strange feeling as she began walking around the room without moving a muscle.
"Concentrate" Snape's drawl broke into her thought-scape.
She felt like she was frowning but was sure her facial muscles had not moved. She tried screaming, punching and kicking but nothing happened. Remembering lessons on Occulmency from Dumbledore she tried clearing her mind for that was what controlled her body.
"Almost…" Snape said.
After a clearing her thoughts she tried lashing out several times in an attempt to force her body to ignore the curse and do what she wanted it to do. However Snape released her from it and she felt the weight of reality flood back to her causing her to loose balance.
Severus was immediately at her side where he caught her in his arms. She held onto him for a moment bleary eyed at being under the curse.
"Not quite" he began steadying her to her feet again "However a very good first attempt"
"Perhaps we should focus on something else then" she said feeling a little drained after all that.
"Yes let's just do some volleying and then I shall show you some darker spells to familiarise yourself with.
However they did not make it to the Darker Spells as Lily's wand flew out of her hand and rolled under a cabinet that was bracketed to the wall. It was near on impossible to pull the cabinet out so they both fumbled about trying to reach it.
Both Lily and Snape were dangerously close to one and other as they knelt down and felt around under the cabinet occasionally brushing finger tips that caused Snape's hair on the back of his neck stand on end. He cursed his inner schoolboy for having such feelings and retreated his hand away from her reluctantly before she noticed.
Lily finally found it and they both were sat leaning against the cabinet slightly out of breath from the last rally of basic duelling techniques. She turned her head to him "You could have summoned it"
Snape was no fool, he knew fully well he was able to magic it out but felt if he was able to get close enough to her, perhaps she may get used to the idea of them being close.
So he did not reply hoping she would realise his reasons for not using magic and stared back at her, their shoulders were touching as they sat side by side and he was fully away of Lily's striking green eyes flicking from his own to his mouth and without realising he was doing the same to her.
Snape moved ever so slightly but stopped hoping she would close the gap, he saw her hesitate but she did indeed shift herself ever so close to him; their lips were inches apart…yet before they met a grand explosion erupted somewhere above in the castle. The walls around them started shaking and dust from the ceiling fell to eh floor.
"Bloody hell" she gasped griping his arm tightly. "What was that?"
"Come on" Snape leapt to his feet pulling her up with him by the hand and rushed out of the room.
Snape and Lily were in the entrance hall where all seemed calm except the dust falling form the ceiling where the entire building had shook.
McGonagall then came down the stairs "There's an intruder in the castle"
"Harry" Lily gasped in which she then looked to Snape for answers.
McGonagall answered instead "Is still with Hagrid, he's fine. They were at the Quidditch pitch, I saw him go back to his hut"
Mad Eye came limping in from the main entrance with an Auror who looked very shaken.
"It's his partner" Mad Eye began "Said he's possessed"
"What?" Lily snapped.
"Are you telling me Mr Moody" McGonagall was stern but spoke calmly "That one of your Aurors is roaming around this castle possessed by You-Know-Who?"
"This has never happened before" Made Eye exclaimed "Well come on, he can't go far"
Snape and Lily were paired up by Mad Eye to search the first and second floors while Dumbledore searched the towers, McGonagall the Common Rooms and two more Aurors the upper floors.
"Hagrid would rip that Auror limb from limb" Snape assured her "Harry is safe with him…That Auror is not as powerful as The Dark Lord just because he is possessed by him."
"What does this mean Severus?" she asked raising her wand as they rounded a corner on the first floor.
"It means he is stirring" Snape sighed "I will not lie to you Lily in saying that is clearer now that The Dark Lord will rise again"
"Why won't that foul creature just die?" she shook her head not expecting an answer.
It had occurred to Severus on many occasions that any other witch or wizard exposed to such violent situations and incidents as The Dark Lord had would have died several times over…Voldemort did not seem to be able to die.
Severus was shaken from his thoughts as a groan at the end of the dark corridor echoed around him and Lily. They both raised their wands and illuminated them to hear the scuffling sound of boots rounding the corner at the end of the passage. Preparing themselves for Lord Voldemort himself their breathing became heavy and their hearts raced yet they were not prepared for the sullen faced Auror who dragged his feet over the stones. He could barely speak audible words; in full health this Auror would have neatly combed dark hair, a clean shaven face and perfect complexion. Now his hair was ragged, he was pale, bruised under his eyes and drool dangled from his mouth.
"He looks like a zombie" Lily gasped.
"Technically a zombie is deceased human body that is possessed" Severus said "Yet this man is very much alive…making him extremely dangerous for we cannot attack him without harming the Auror"
"I don't even know his name" Lily was saddened that she had not asked.
The Auror straightened up "Sev…Sever…"
Severus knew he was trying to say his name but played ignorant just in case Lord Voldemort could see him. The Auror produced a wand a fired a stunning spell at Lily who blocked it effortlessly.
"He is weak" Severus stated "Incarcerous"
Ropes shot out of the end of Snape's wand and wrapped around the Auror's neck and chest yet his feet kept moving towards them. He was being choked yet it was as if he did not realise it.
"Stop it" Lily said "Severus stop it you're killing him"
Snape released him from the jinx utterly astounded at how they were going to manage this one.
"Sorry old man" Snape said "Stupify!"
The Auror was launched form his feet and smashed into the far wall that would knock out any regular person.
"Stupify!" Lily screeched this timeand watched horrified as the Auror head swung backwards and into the wall knocking him out.
A grey wisp of smoke existed the man from his nostril and dispersed around him. Snape carefully approached the unconscious man and checked for signs of life. "He's ok…he needs a hospital right away though."
After having the Auror sent to St Mungoes Lily bid everyone goodnight and retreated back to her room. Snape cursed not only himself by The Dark Lord for that intrusion into their intimate moment alone in the dungeon. As he swore under his breath Lily came back around the corner.
"Yes?" he turned back to meet her and then realised he may have sounded a little over excited so returned to his stoic nature "What is it?"
"Fancy a pint down The Three Broomsticks tomorrow – I think we deserve it don't you?"
A smile crept across his face as he nodded knowing that tomorrow was the night before Harry's Birthday – which would he the night before the full moon meaning Remus Lupin would be out of action then…
"Of course" he replied "I'll see you then"
"Look forward to it" she smiled "Goodnight"
She bounded back up the stairs leaving Snape with happier thoughts. He had almost forgotten that Lord Voldemort nearly managed to possess a man and attack them all tonight. He would savour every day he had for recent events put it in stone that Lord Voldemort was indeed regaining his power…each day that passed was day closer to Snape having to return as a Death Eater in order to spy...he vowed not to waste any more like he had the days after being released from prison.
He would spend them with Lily.
New chapter coming very soon! Thank you all for reviewing! I really appreciate feedback of any kind :)