Chapter 1 : The Boy Who Lived and The Mother Who Died
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Severus Snape, dressed in flowing robes of black, sat at a raised table in the front of the Great Hall. The teachers surrounding him were casually conversing, pausing every few seconds to peer down upon their students and smile.
Snape, however, remained silent. He was looking straight ahead, his head sitting perfectly rigid on his shoulders, his dark hair lifelessly hanging by his ears, and his long and thin fingers pressed together in what looked almost like a prayer.
Professor Quirrell, his purple turban tied haphazardly around his head, leaned in towards him.
“How was your s-s-summer?” inquired Quirrell politely.
“Fine,” Snape replied dully after a moment.
“What d-did you d-d-do?”
Snape opened his mouth, hesitated, and then closed it firmly shut again. He did not bother to respond. Instead, he merely continued to gaze ahead eerily, transfixed on the doors.
“I-I asked, w-what did you d-do?” Quirrell said eagerly, slightly louder than before.
Quirrell waited several more moments expectantly, and then, face fallen, turned to his right, where Professor Sprout sat beaming.
Despite Snape’s formidable and intimidating stature, it was clear something was worrying him. He appeared as if he hadn’t slept in days. He had large dark circles under his eyes, which were bleary and unfocused, and his skin was taut and paler than usual.
His eyes flickered fleetingly from the doors to his wrist, upon which sat a gilded watch, the golden hands pointing to 7:12.
His breathing became heavier, and he lifted his eyes back up, staring now with even more vigor, at the doors of the Great Hall.
“When does he get here?” he asked himself under his breath.
“S-sorry, d-didn’t quite c-catch that,” Quirrell said, ears perked, cocking his head in Snape’s direction.
“A-are you s-s-sure you d-didn’t say s-something?”
Snape gave an irritated grunt, but was saved from having to spurn Quirrell’s advances once more by a commotion on the opposite end of the room.
The great doors had finally opened.
Led by Professor McGonagall, her hair in a tight bun and her forehead creased with wrinkles, dozens of First Years came pouring in. They filed into a line, the tops of their heads bobbing nervously behind McGonagall, and walked to the front of the Hall where they stopped abruptly.
McGonagall disappeared into a doorway on the side of the room, and emerged a few seconds later carrying a wooden stool, and an aged hat. Wending her way through the shivering students, she placed the stool down upon the cold stone floor and mounted the hat atop it. Then, suddenly, the old hat opened in the middle, and in a booming voice began to sing.
“Oh, you may not think I’m pretty,
But don’t judge on what you see,
I’ll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me…”
Snape stopped listening after the first verse, allowing the rest of the Sorting Hat’s song to meld into the background noise. He paid attention to it no more than he paid attention to the sound of feet shuffling, of chairs creaking, of students whispering.
Nor did he pay any attention to the Sorting itself. He did not listen to the Sorting of “Abbot, Hannah” (HUFFLEPUFF!), or that of “Bulstrode, Milicent” (SLYTHERIN!). He simply continued to scan the crowd of First Years greedily, his eyes opened, his eyebrows raised critically, until-
Snape’s back straightened, his gaze hardened.
Now sitting under the Sorting Hat, with his back facing the teachers, sat Harry Potter.
The whole Hall, along with Snape, held its breath…
“GRYFFINDOR!” the hat shrieked after a several minutes.
The small and lanky boy, with a sigh of relief, pulled off the hat, uncovering a head of unruly hair. It was black, and stuck up in the back, Snape noticed with a grimace. In short, it looked exactly like his father’s hair had. The boy even, Snape saw as Harry walked towards the Gryffindor table, walked like his father. The very same swagger he had seen on James…
And suddenly, Snape was hit with something- a memory sprang to life, regurgitated unwillingly from the recesses of his mind…
“Lily, come on, I’m hungry,” James Potter whined, dragging Lily Evans with one hand, and ruffling the hair on the back of his head with the other.
The pair pushed open the doors of the Great Hall, and they walked through hand-in-hand, lost in each other’s gaze. So engrossed in one another were they, that they did not even notice the presence of the boy trailing closely behind them. He looked to be about the same age, though he was pallid and sickly looking, and his robes bore not the crest of a golden lion like Lily and James’s, but a green serpent.
The boy lifted his arm, stretched it out in front of him, his fingers extending so that they almost touched the girl’s soft auburn curls…
But at that moment, the girl, steered by the boy who was holding her hand, turned towards the Gryffindor table, her long hair whipping around behind her and hitting the boy’s limp fingers violently.
The boy brought his hand into his body with a snap, nursing it for a moment and then turning the opposite direction, his eyes darting furtively around him.
“Severus!” a boy sitting at the Slytherin table hailed him, moving to make room for him on the table’s bench.
The boy sat down. He took spooned some food onto his golden plate, but merely pushed it around, gripping his fork angrily.
He began to talk to the boy who had called him over before, and though he seemed interested in the conversation, mouthing words like “mudblood” with enthusiasm, it was feigned. For out of the corner of his eye, he was focusing elsewhere.
He could see the Lily still. She was sitting next to the James, smiling and laughing, her white teeth gleaming, and a look of absolute pleasure burning in her brilliant green eyes.
He tried not to watch at her, but her smile was too dazzling, her laugh too infectious and he felt a dizzying intoxication.
As the conversation with his classmate ended, he stared at her hungrily. With his first sip of Pumpkin juice, he noticed she had a freckle above her left eyebrow, and with his last, he remarked to himself that her skin seemed to glow more brightly each day.
He took his eyes off of her only for a second- to push his black stringy hair away from his face, so as to see her better. But when he looked back up, the scene was completely different.
Swooping in, and obscuring his view came a head with messy raven-colored hair, tufts of which stuck up at the back.
James Potter was leaning in towards Lily.
His lips puckered, he gave her a soft kiss. Lily’s eyes closed dreamily shut, but James, deepening the kiss, had his eyes wide open.
Over the girl’s shoulder, for a fleeting second, he stared directly at Snape from behind rounded spectacles. His eyes were shining malevolently. His eyes…
They were the opposite of the girl’s tender and bright green eyes. They were hateful; his dark irises, now directed at Snape, were ablaze with anger…
And now, years later, the imprint of James’ eyes was still burning in Snape’s memory.
In fact, he was still in the middle of picturing them when Harry Potter turned from his comfortable seat at the Gryffindor table, to the front of the Hall.
Looking up at the professor’s table for the first time, Harry and Snape’s eyes locked.
The teacher let out an almost inaudible gasp.
Snape’s hands, once perfectly poised in front of him, now grabbed onto the table, his fingers clutching the edge of the rich wood, his knuckles turning white.
His eyes darted back to Harry’s and he saw again what he had not been expecting to see.
He saw green.
The scar lying on Harry’s forehead, the one that so mesmerized the Wizarding World was of no importance to Snape. Instead, he focused his glance several inches lower down on Harry’s face.
His hands began to tremble.
He pictured her once again, more scattered images, more fragments of memories flooding his brain...
He imagined the same piercing green eyes on a girl from many years ago, Lily Evans. The only girl he ever loved…
But as he shook himself out of his reverie, he noticed that the haunting emerald eyes were not surrounded by Lily’s red hair, thick lashes or ivory skin, but instead, peered up at him from behind rounded spectacles.
They survived, not on the face of Lily Evans, but on that of James Potter, marred by his glasses.
James Potter had stolen Lily, and Harry had stolen Lily’s eyes, the ones he longed so badly to be lost in once more…
Harry turned back to his peers.
“And for that, I will always hate him,” Snape said in a whisper, and let out a long laborious sigh.
A/N well that was my first one-shot, and I hope it wasn’t too terrible. Please review and tell me what you thought, I would really appreciate it.
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