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Chapter 1: (silly boy.)
B R I L L I A N C E
It shines through her every word, her every smile, her every glance, her every touch. One look and you know that she’s not ordinary – oh no, she could never be described using such a mundane word. No, she’s incredible. She’s sharp and bright. She’s breathless. She’s breezy summer days and earth-shattering thunderstorms and every single star in the heavens, brought down to earth in the form of Lily Evans.
He’d always been a selfish boy. When he was four and there was no food in the house, he took the last piece of bread and scarfed it down so fast it hurt his stomach for hours afterwards. When he was eight and a little girl stared at the seaglass he found in the middle of the road he stuffed it in his pocket and gave her a hard glare.
Mine, mine, mine. All mine.
And now, that seaglass, that piece of bread…that seemed completely irrelevant in comparison. Because Severus wasn’t keeping food or a shiny object – no, he was coveting the most precious, beautiful, vibrant beam of light in his dark world.
She went by the name of Lily Evans, and she was his friend, and every time she laughed he would get this fizzy, bubbling kind of feeling in his stomach that made him feel like he was soaring above the clouds.
She had a sister, and a mother, and a father, and other friends, but he didn’t care.
He was keeping her.
(and you know, he thought he could have this forever)
M U D B L O O D
If anyone had known her, they would have used it as the last word to describe her. There was nothing mud about Lily Evans. Nothing at all.
Yet he’d said it. He’d let that disgusting, horrible, degrading word slip past his lips in a moment of shame and anger. He’d hurt her, his only source of light, his only outlet of happiness.
His life seemed to be split into two separate parts: Pre-Mudblood and Post-Mudblood, and he’d give up anything in the world to get back to part one.
(Except, of course, Lily.)
(Just not Lily.)
He missed her. He missed the way she’d wrinkle her nose when she laughed, the way her bright green eyes would spark with passion when she was angry or happy or interested, the way her laugh seemed to tinkle around them like dropping diamonds, the way she was there. Always there, tucked away into the corner of the library, his beautiful escape.
And every day he’d go back to the library and sulk behind the bookshelves of their favorite table, and he’d watch her work. He’d watch her eyes flit across the words of the books and he’d watch her write and be, and he’d ache with the knowledge that he was no longer allowed near her.
No, he’d have to spend his life lurking behind this bookshelf, just out of reach.
Look, but don’t touch or talk.
It felt like shackles, like losing your best friend and getting your heart ripped out of your chest all at once.
And the years went by, and he watched her grow and watched her shine, and he watched as she brought new people to their table in the back.
(Is it really their table anymore? It’s her table. He didn’t even use it.)
There was Marlene McKinnon. Alice Prewett. Remus Lupin. Remus Lupin and Sirius Black. Remus Lupin and Sirius Black and James Potter.
Just James Potter.
(so here’s the thing about James Potter)
(and no, Severus was not jealous.)
A R R O G A N T
It oozed from each and every one of his pores. The way he walked, the way he talked, the way he ruffled his hair, the way he looked at everything like he owned the world and you were just a paying and unwelcome guest. It was the way he’d play Quidditch like he was born to fly, it was the way he’d get all the highest marks without even trying, it was the way he was kind of brilliant and brave and (ugh) good, and that Lily noticed.
It just had to be Lily, didn’t it?
He’d never heard her laugh more than she did when he was around. James would just have to lean close, mutter something in her ear, and she’d throw her head back and laugh so loudly that it seemed to echo around the entire room. And he would smile, his hazel eyes alight, his face lined with tenderness.
And Severus hid, watching behind the bookshelves, seething with hate for the man who had everything he wanted, sitting right next to him with her firecracker smile and gunshot laugh.
In any other circumstance, he’d be happy that she was happy. But happy because of Potter? Unacceptable. What happened to bullying toerag? Arrogant, self-absorbed jerk? Irritating prig?
He’d turned into Mature Head Boy, and Charming, and Funny and Brave and every other little thing that had snared Lily in right away.
But of course she’d go for James Potter. Lily never settled for anything less than ordinary, and James Potter was as extraordinary as they came. Severus had realized that from the minute James had come barreling down the Willow after him and pulled him out despite the werewolf at the other end.
(I still hate you Potter.)
(But I suppose she could do worse.)
Severus had known from long ago that he wasn’t doing anyone any favors by falling in love with Lily Evans.
But he fell anyway, despite it all.
And that always hurt the most.
(she married James Potter)
(he always thought she would)
(but that didn’t make it any easier.)
T H E B O Y W H O L I V E D
People are happy and it’s disgusting. People are calling this baby the savior of the Wizarding World and why had he survived and why hadn’t Lily survived and was this even real? Maybe he’d wake up tomorrow and realize that he was still ten and his best friend was waiting for him by the swings. Maybe he’d wake up and realize that he was still seventeen and Lily Evans spent every day falling harder in love with James Potter. Maybe he’d wake up tomorrow and realize that she was pregnant with Potter’s child, and she’d never been happier.
Maybe he’d wake up tomorrow and he’d be dead or she’d be alive but it wouldn’t matter because they’d somehow be together.
The world was shattering around him.
(She can’t be gone.)
(She just can’t.)
(Oh Merlin, I can’t breathe.)
(Please not Lily.)
He couldn’t believe that he hadn’t prevented it from happening. He had known what was going to happen, but it happened anyway no matter what he did to stop it. He hadn’t stopped it at all. In fact, he’d made it happen.
This was all his fault. Lily Potter is dead. Lily Potter is dead and it’s because of Severus Snape. It wasn’t supposed to happen. Anyone but Lily.
And Severus wondered how his heart even beat anymore, now that it was cracked into pieces. With Lily gone, he was nothing. Just a million pieces of shattered irrelevance.
The sun doused out and the universe was pitched in black.
Please, no. She can’t be gone.
(he hated Harry Potter)
(but not really.)
E X T R A O R D I N A R Y
Of course he was. He had that messy jet-black hair and that light skin and that slight Seeker build and those bright green, ever-lasting, angel eyes. He was half Lily Potter and half James Potter and there was no way he could be anything short of incredible.
Severus hated him. From the moment he’d looked at him, with that face but those eyes, he’d known he was going to hate the Potter boy. It was Potter, for Merlin’s sake. Exactly Potter. With Lily’s eyes. Disturbing. Wrong.
But he watched Potter grow. He watched him excel at Defense Against the Dark Arts, and he watched him make friends (and that Granger girl reminded him so much of Lily it almost hurt, and for a while he thought Potter would marry the Granger girl and his entire life would be one big, mocking cycle. But Potter fell in love with the redhead and somehow that seemed to mock him even more.) and he watched as he fought, as he faced things that no one should face…and he realized that Harry Potter was more like Lily Evans than he’d originally thought.
(Oh, Severus. Don’t you ever learn?)
(Eyes are the window to the soul.)
(He has Lily’s Eyes, in case you haven’t noticed.)
He hated Potter, because he was living proof that Lily loved James and not Severus, never Severus. He hated Potter because Potter survived and Lily died. He hated Potter for many reasons, but mostly he hated himself.
(what do you mean, he’s going to die?)
(of course I don’t care)
(it just seems wrong.)
L O O K A T M E
No, this wasn’t supposed to happen yet. No, no, no. This was out of order, not according to plan. Severus didn’t mind dying (in fact, he’d contemplated it many times throughout his life. Dying was just another way of escaping the world, he’d decided, and it seemed like a pretty wonderful thing to happen to him), but he minded dying knowing that Harry had death hovering over his head and he didn’t even know it. He minded dying knowing that the boy with Lily’s Eyes hated him for all of the wrong reasons. He minded dying without telling Harry at least once what he deserved to know.
This was strange, dying. It was almost like he couldn’t feel anymore. He tried wiggling his fingers. Strange. Nothing.
Voldemort swept into the other room and Snape gasped for air, wondering why he even bothered now that he was dying. But there was a flash of green and he was glad he did.
Lily? He almost croaked out her name.
(Of course not.)
(She’s dead, remember?)
But it was Potter’s face, with Lily’s Eyes shining out of them, concerned and scared and so bright it almost hurt to look at them.
It was Harry, and for a wild moment Severus realized he’d loved the boy all along, just a bit, because he was a part of Lily and he could never not love anything that had once been Lily’s.
It was the last of his energy, but he had to give him this last morsel of truth. Memories leaked from his eyes. Of Lily. Of the way she shone. Of the way she laughed. Of the way she loved and lived.
“Look at me.”
And green met black, and then there was nothing.
(he died in Lily’s Eyes)
(and that made everything worth it.)
title and summary quotes from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, published by Scholastic (the American Version) on page 687.
"Look at me." found from the same book, same edition, on page 658.
These words belong to Jo. I'm just borrowing :)