Chapter 1 : Bury Me
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He slowed once he reached the seventh floor corridor, attempting to even out his breathing, tucking a strand of his black hair behind his ear. His footsteps echoed throughout the empty corridor; several portraits turned to watch him as he made his way to the Room of Requirement, a smile playing on his face. He knew he must look like an idiot, but he didn’t care. He was going to see Lily and that was all that mattered. Swinging his bag further up his shoulder, he finally reached the wall where the doors should be. He tickled the pear in the portrait to the side, and the aforementioned doors revealed themselves. His grin widening, he stepped inside, closing the doors behind him.
Dropping his bag and books onto a nearby armchair, he ventured into Lily’s and his own secret sanctuary, only to see that the former had not arrived yet. Too anxious to sit still, he ran his finger along the numerous volumes of books on the shelves to the right side of the room. The fire was already lit, casting an orange glow across most of the room, emanating warmth that made him feel slightly more resistant to the freezing weather. He continued to glance at the doors as he paced the room, awaiting the moment Lily would walk in. He would throw his arms around her and pull her into his embrace. He had been longing to do so for two days.
It was a little hard to show his affection for her in public. It wasn’t as though he was ashamed of it, but it was her decision to keep their friendship a secret. She had told him it was better that way, so that her friends would not badger her about befriending the “enemy”. Severus didn’t mind this so much, it was just the wait until their next meeting that agonised him, but at the same time it kept him on edge, gave him something to look forward to. And he was pretty sure she knew how he felt about her, but she was yet to show him she shared the same feelings, if she actually did.
He was just about to finally drop into a chair when the doors were pushed open and a flustered-looking Lily appeared, dropping her bag to the floor not far from the bookshelves. Grinning, Severus immediately hurried over to her and pulled her into his chest, wrapping his arms around her. Bliss swept through him as he breathed in the scent of her beautiful red hair, feeling the warmth of her body against his. A sense of calm swept through him and he released a sigh of relief.
‘Lily, thank Merlin you’re here. I need to talk to you about –’
‘Severus, sit down.’
Severus pulled away from her, perplexed. The tone of her voice startled him; it didn’t sound like hers at all. He took in her appearance. Her normally-kempt hair looked out of place on her head, her eyes were red and puffy, black bags resided under them, and her expression was drawn into something crossed between sad and stern. She looked smaller than usual, her robes giving the impression they were much to big for her, engulfing her body, drowning her. She looked older, as well – much older than her sixteen years.
‘Why?’ He asked, his brows drawn together in a bewildered frown.
‘Just do it,’ murmured Lily, folding her arms across her chest and pursing her lips. She looked as though she was holding something back. It pained Severus to see her in such a state, but he obeyed her nevertheless, dropping into a chair at the mahogany table, drawing it in, his eyes never leaving hers once. He watched her intently, concern apparent on his usually smooth, untroubled features. Lily proceeded to follow suit, but decided against it and moved away from the table, stopping at the window and staring at the grounds below.
‘Lily, what is this about?’ Severus prompted, worried that something was wrong. She did not usually look so disturbed. Lily turned back to him, wringing her hands together, biting her bottom lip. She opened her mouth to speak, hesitated once again, and then snapped it back shut, casting her bright green eyes to the carpeted floor. ‘Lily?’ pressed Severus once again.
Lily released a distressed sigh as she began to pace the length of the room, frantically running her hand through her long tangle of hair. She avoided his gaze as she said, ‘Severus, there’s no other way for me to say this, but…’
‘What’s going on, Lily?’ Severus asked once Lily trailed off once again. He wanted to stand, to hold her to him and comfort her, but knew she would only make him sit back down again. He remained in his seat, painfully watching her stress out.
She finally brought her eyes to his, and he was startled to see tears brimming in them, sparkling in the dim candlelight. ‘… we can’t see each other anymore.’
Severus was taken aback. ‘Why, are you going home for the holidays?’
Lily impatiently closed her eyes. ‘No, Severus, I’m not.’
‘Then why won’t I be able to see you?’
‘Because James doesn’t want you to anymore.’ Lily murmured quietly, wincing as if the words were knives against her skin. Her eyes remained closed; she’d reached out to grip a chair, steadying herself, her skin a paler shade of its usual creamy complexion. Severus’ lips parted. He exhaled unsteadily, her words reverberating through his mind’s ear, washing over him like freezing water. He gripped his wrist, pressing in on the vein that was most prominent through his white skin. He cast his eyes to the table.
‘Why?’ He breathed, his voice presenting as much calmer than he felt.
Lily took in her best friend’s appearance, scanning the dark arch of his brows, the troubled crease in his forehead. ‘He thinks I’m in love with you, which is preposterous because –’
‘He has no right to stop us from seeing each other.’
She was taken aback by Severus’ venomous words. She pressed her lips together and furtively looked away, a hurt expression taking residence on her face. ‘Severus, please don’t make this harder for me.’
Severus released an ungraceful snort. ‘Hard for you? How do you think I feel about this? After years of friendship, Lily!’
Lily looked desperate. She continued to run her hand through her hair, swatting the red bangs away from her eyes. ‘I know, Severus, but James wants –’
‘I don’t care what Potter wants! What about us?’
‘Severus, “us” died long ago.’ Lily replied sullenly, ramming her fist into a nearby chair so that it toppled over, casting an echoing thud across the otherwise silent room.
Severus ignored her. ‘He’s brainwashed you. He’s always been bad news, Lily. Who’s he to forbid you from seeing your own friends?’ He snapped angrily – he was not furious toward her; no, he could never be angry at the beautiful Lily, but he loathed her boyfriend with every breath in his body because he could have Lily while Severus was left with nothing but her friendship. And now he could not even have that.
‘There’s nothing left for me with you.’
Severus, about to protest, snapped his mouth shut and gazed at her, a clouded expression in his black eyes. His lips became a thin line across his face, and his brows became considerably narrower. His fists were clenched so tightly they were whiter than usual, and the vein he pushed with his thumb was throbbing out of his arm. ‘Don’t say that,’ he said tersely, shutting himself off from the hurt her words had caused him, praying he was strong enough to keep in his emotions, to give nothing away.
Lily’s face had fallen. No longer angry, she stood before him, standing with sad grace, her red hair finally coming to a standstill down her back, her hands intertwined before her. ‘I wish it didn’t have to be this way, Severus.’ She said solemnly, the saddened tone behind her voice genuine. ‘I want to be your friend, but James gets very jealous when I spend more time with you than I do with him. He is my boyfriend, after all, and don’t get mad, but I can see how our being together so much looks from his eyes.’ She barely moved. The only thing that gave her sadness away was the grave, heartbroken look upon her face.
‘It doesn’t have to be this way! Don’t listen to him, listen to your heart!’ Severus continued to ignore her, desperate to make her see there was so much to their relationship that it would be foolish to throw it all away, even pointless.
Lily pursed her lips, clearly fighting an internal battle. ‘I am listening to my heart, and my heart is saying that you’re not right for me.’ She choked on the last few words, her emerald eyes glistening with tears.
Severus stammered on a sob. It was not like him to cry; he was usually very good at holding in his emotions, but Lily was so dear to him that to even imagine this conversation broke his heart. But the fact that it was actually occurring, he felt as though his heart had been ripped out, shattered and then stuffed back into his chest. He placed his hand over the skin where his damaged heart resided and bravely raised his eyes to Lily, the cause of his happiness, yet the cause of his pain at the same time. ‘Is it because of my family? You know I’m nothing like them, Lily.’ He murmured, his voice weak.
Lily sniffed, her face crumpled into a pained expression. ‘In some respects you aren’t, but in most ways you are more like them than you think.’
Her words pierced him further, and he slipped off the chair, sinking to his knees. After all the years he had known her, after all the years he had been desperately in love with her, hearing her say she never wanted to see him again was like dying by her hand. No, he realised this was not the truth. He would rather her kill him than have to endure a lifetime without her. She had taught him so much about goodness, and she had been so kind to him. Not like others; no one seemed to like him. No one but Lily. And now he had to wonder whether she had ever liked him at all.
‘Were you only my friend out of pity, Lily?’ He wanted to riddle the question with a threat, but somehow could not bring himself to use harsh words against the young woman that had occupied his dreams and conscious thoughts for seven years.
Lily was aghast. ‘Heavens no, Severus. You know you mean more to me than any other soul in this world.’ She breathed, her chest heaving as sparkling tears formed in her eyes.
Severus felt a stab of guilt upon seeing the pain on her soft features, but was swept with bliss upon hearing her words. He bent his head, staring at the threadbare carpet, his lower lip trembling. ‘Then why are you doing this?’ He whispered, his wounded voice carrying over the crackling embers of the fire.
Lily hesitated, her forehead creasing and relaxing as she inwardly fought with herself, and then finally she pushed herself forward. She dropped onto her knees in front of him and placed her fingertips under his chin, forcing his face up to level with hers. His gazed darted to hers, startled, confused by her sudden actions. Her touch was like fire to his cold skin, and he suppressed a whimper of desire at their close proximity.
Her brows creased into a poignant frown. ‘If there was a way I could still see you, believe me, I would stop this heartbreak in a second and stay here with you,’ she whispered, her quiet voice like a calm ocean, soothing him, momentarily smothering his sadness. ‘But there isn’t Severus, and as much as I love you, I can’t let go of James.’
Severus lower lip quivered again and he reached out, taking hold of Lily’s small hand in his large one. ‘If you love me, why are you leaving me?’
Lily gave a small cry, a defiant tear finally escaping the wrath of her eye and marking a trail down her rosy cheek. ‘I am safe with James.’
Severus’ face crumpled. ‘Do you love him?’
Another tear sidled down her cheek and Severus could no longer take it. Without a second’s hesitation, he harshly pressed his lips to hers as she began to cry. Placing his hands on either side of her neck, he pulled her closer to him, so close he could no longer decipher just which heartbeat was hers and which was his. Tears began to slither down his own cheeks as he kissed her hard, forcing every moment he had ever wanted to hold her into the desperation, to show her just how much he loved her, to make her see he would drop everything in a heartbeat just to be with her. He murmured her name into his mouth, his lips fierce against hers, his body pressed tightly into hers, leaving no room for either to breathe.
Lily gave a loud sob and placed her hands on his chest, pushing him away from her. He stumbled on his knees, but regained his balance before he fell backward. She was already on her feet, her eyes red and swollen, her cheeks wet, and tears still glistening in her eyes. Her expression was hurt, and she was gazing upon Severus with pity, torn. Without another word, she turned her back on him and ran from the room, the double doors slamming behind her. Severus gazed after her, his lips pressed together, a hole where his heart used to be.
A heart that had beat only for her.
A/N: I thought of this idea right after reading the seventh book and thought it would be a sweet but heartbreaking little one-shot. It was a challenge for me because I've never written a Severus/Lily before.
Now, before you all bombard me with comments like, 'Snape is so out of character!' just know that this is how I see him as a teenager. It makes out to be the reason he is how he is as an adult is because Lily left him all those years ago, and so on and so forth.
So fire in those reviews, I'm dying to know what you guys think! =]