“And who should I be when they’re judging me as though I’m unaffected?”
Over the next couple of days, Lily kept mostly to herself. She kept her nose shoved in her studies, wanting to start out the year as best she could. Severus visited her in the library where she spent most of her time and often stayed until Madame Pince kicked her out.
"Do you think maybe you spend too much time studying?" He had asked. "Even the professors don't recommend this much."
She had waved his thought away with the hand that held her pen, consequently splattering ink across his face. From then on he kept his thoughts to himself.
While Severus was busy with other things, which she hoped did not include spending time with his friends like Mulciber, another boy would come see Lily in the library. She restrained from telling Severus, however, knowing that he would not approve. She still couldn't see why he hated James so much. From what she knew of James, he wasn't so bad at all.
"He thinks he's so high and mighty." Severus griped as he flipped angrily through his potions book. "I just hope that I get to be the pin that pops that big head of his."
Lily rolled her eyes and smirked as she scribbled a few notes on her paper.
"He doesn't seem to bad to me." She murmured.
His head snapped up. "What did you say?"
She blushed, but said nothing.
He scowled. "You'll see, Lily. Someday you'll understand why I loathe him."
“Whatever you say, Severus.” She giggled.
He didn’t seem to find it as amusing as she did. He left her alone for two days as punishment. In those two days, she began liking James even more.
“Where’s your body guard?” He joked, looking around the almost empty library. “I thought for sure he would be here to protect you from me.”
Lily laughed and closed her books, filing her notes neatly into her bag. “He’s mad at me right now. Apparently I’m supposed to hate you.”
James, who had his back turned to her as he pretended to be interested in book titles, quickly turned around. His hair was all over the place and his robes hung on his body as though he had been in an awful hurry this morning. He was the exact opposite of Lily whose hair and clothes were as neat as if Merlin, himself, were coming to visit the school. But the smile on his face reminded her why she liked him so much.
“You don’t hate me?”
She laughed again. “Of course not! Why would I hate you?”
“No reason, I guess.” He smiled innocently. “Snape hates me. That’s all.”
“Well, Severus hates a lot of people. Just because he’s my best friend doesn’t mean we have the same likes and dislikes.”
He leaned forward, so close that she could feel his breath on her face. “I’m glad.”
Before she could reply, not that she could have gotten anything but incoherent blubbering out, James pulled back and buried his face into Ancient Runes Made Easy.
“He’s into dark magic.” He said nonchalantly flipping through the book. “And his friends are weird.”
He caught sight of her face and quickly added, “Except for you, of course! Er…I mean his other friends are weird.”
James babbled on trying to dig himself out of a rut he wasn’t actually in. Lily ignored him, clearly in shock. Could Severus be involved in something so awful?
“Dark magic?” She whimpered.
James stopped mid-word.
“Is he really into dark magic?” She asked, angry now. “How could he be? There’s no way! I would know. He would have told me, right?”
James sighed and slid the rather worn book back onto the shelf. “I just call it as it is.”
Lily stomped her way down the stairs to the dungeons, not bothering to excuse herself to the people she shoved out of her way. Running a hand through her messy hair, she braced herself for what was to come.
She stopped in front of the portrait hole for the Slytherin common room. Looking around and seeing no one to help her, she leaned forward and banged roughly on the portrait.
“Oww!” It said, but she wasn’t in the mood for talking-back pictures.
The portrait slowly opened and a dark figure slipped down on the floor beside Lily.
“Avery.” She said monotonously.
“Evans!” He replied a little more brightly. “What brings a pretty thing like you into the dungeons?”
She suppressed a shutter as his eyes trailed her body. Avery wasn’t one a girl would like to meet in a dark hallway.
“Come to see me, have you?” He wagged his eyebrows, a smirk sliding onto his smooth face.
A shiver took over her body as much as she tried to stop it. “I’m looking for Severus.”
“Severus? Why would you want him when you could have me?” He laughed, taking a step forward.
Before he could take another step, another figure jumped out of the hole.
“Avery, your girlfriend is inside waiting for you.”
Avery jumped and hurriedly slipped back into the common room.
Lily wanted to look relieved, but kept her expression hard and angry. She had to find out the truth.
“Severus, I’ve heard a rumor about you.”
He eyed her quizzically. “And why would you all of the sudden believe one of the many rumors the Marauders spread about me?”
He shook his head. “Never mind. What’s this one about?”
Lily gulped. “The reason I thought it might be true was your new friends you seem insistent upon spending time with. I heard that you’re into…dark magic.”
He stared at her for a split second with a hint of worry on his face. Then he laughed.
“Lily, you can’t really believe we’re stupid enough to mess with that rubbish!”
She let out a nervous giggle. “I suppose.”
“Who told you?” He said quietly, twisting his robes in his hands.
Shaking her head, Lily waved the question away. “It doesn’t matter. As long as it’s not true, right?”
She was already halfway to the Gryffindor common room before she realized he had not replied ‘right’ to her easy question.
“Have you seen Severus?” Lily asked.
Mary, who was on her way into the Great Hall, stopped walking. “Oh…I saw him walk out of Divination.”
She thanked Mary before heading toward the Divination tower. Maybe he was waiting for her somewhere.
She was almost there when she heard dueling. Getting angry at such nonsense, she wanted to stop them. But afraid of getting hurt, she didn’t.
“That’ll teach you, Snivelly.” A voice laughed.
“We should have just thrown him in the bath, Padfoot! That would have been pure torture! Wouldn’t it, Snape?”
Her heart stopped as she recognized the second voice. A voice that as much as she loved to hear, Lily wished it was any other voice.
Footsteps caused her to hide behind a wall. She peeked around the corner and saw James high-fiving Sirius Black as they walked away from the scene.
Anger overcoming her sadness, Lily stomped over to Severus. He was flat on the floor in a body-binding curse wearing nothing but boxers.
She quickly let him out. “Severus, I—.”
“Leave it alone, Lily.” He snapped.
She watched him walk away from her. How could she not have believed him when he first told her about James? How could she have believed James?
Heading back up to the Great Hall, Lily heard footsteps behind her.
“Lily! Wait up, my flower!”
She didn’t wait for James, but increased her speed instead. “I’m not you flower.”
He seemed surprised at her sudden coldness, but chose to ignore it. When he had caught up to her, his arm slipped around her shoulders. “Ahh, but you will be. Once you agree to go out with me. I haven’t seen you for awhile. I’ve missed our rendezvous in the library.”
Shrugging his arm off and coming to a halt, she said through gritted teeth, “Leave me alone.”
He took a step back. Lily watched his handsome face contort in confusion. Of course he was confused. Only days before had she flirted back and shown open attraction to him. Now she was shunning him.
Only days before had I been blinded,
she thought as she stomped away from him. Now he deserves to be treated harshly. He deserves to be treated the way he treats other people…like Severus.
The thought of Severus gave purpose to her absent-minded walking. She turned down a corridor and another until she reached the Great Hall. Glancing inside the thunderous room full of hungry students, she noted that the Slytherin table was missing the one person she had hoped would be there. Lily pulled her head out of the Great Hall and gave the giant door a shove and it slid into place on the wall like the last piece of a rather giant puzzle.
She wanted to find her friend, but concluded that trying his common room was out of the question. She couldn’t recall seeing Mulciber, Avery, or Rookwood at the table and didn’t want an encounter with any of them in the dark of the dungeons.
With a sigh, she headed toward the Entrance Hall.
If I’m going to remain being friends with Severus, I suppose I should at least get used to his friends.
She thought glumly. He put up with her friend Mary. It was the least Lily could do.
Bring on the dark of the dungeons.
She found herself on the dusty floor on her now bruised backside, staring up into the angry face of the person she had accidentally run into.
“Severus!” She breathed. “I was just looking for you.”
His eyebrows rose. “And what would you need me for when you have your precious Potter
Lily turned away regretfully.
“That’s what I need to talk to you about.” She said in a low voice, her eyes fixed on the floor.
Waiting for the reply she wasn’t sure was coming, the redhead took a careful glance at her friend. Her eyes widened as she surveyed his outstretched hand, making sure it was genuine.
“I just want to talk.” She told him.
He nodded with a small smile playing at his lips, stretching his hand out a little further. Placing her small hand in the larger one before her, his long fingers curled over hers causing warmth to invade the skin it touched.
Their hands stayed clasped until they reached the Room of Requirement. Lily broke their connection and collapsed on a couch she had wanted to be there. She closed her eyes and opened them to see Severus sitting close to her on the same couch. Very
“I’m sorry, Sev.” She whimpered. “You were right about him. I should have listened to you. He was…he was everything you said he was.”
Severus watched Lily with warm eyes as she apologized. His hand rested close to hers, wanting to feel her fingers hug his again.
“Do you know what he did, Sev?” She continued, tears of anger in her eyes now. “He asked me to go out with him. Right after he did that to you! Does he think he can play me like that? Does he think hurting my best friend in the whole world will send me running to him? I’d rather date Rookwood and risk exposure to his nasty, yellow teeth. He infuriates me!”
Severus waited until Lily’s breathing had calmed, hinting to him that she was done speaking. He moved his hand slightly until it rested over hers.
“Potter hates me, Lily.” He whispered.
Lily looked up, her gaze moving from their hands to his dark eyes.
He continued. “I…I don’t know why. I suppose its because I’m different then they are. The high and mighty Marauders. They see me as the greasy haired kid who knows all the answers in Potions. That one kid who everyone hates. Don’t sit by Snape. Snivellus might infect you with disease!” His voice changed from mocking to depressed. “But…is that excuse enough to not be who I am? Should I change myself in order to get them off my back? Am I not good enough?”
Lily shook her head. “No. No, Sev. Don’t ever change yourself for those prats. You are an amazing person and I love you for it! I’d have you no other way.”
He chuckled and a nervous smile formed on his lips. “I was hoping you’d say that.”
She giggled and leaned forward to wrap her arms around him. “You’re my best friend, Severus. And I don’t want that to ever change.”
Severus frowned into her hair. What if he wanted it to change?
Ahh! Sorry it took me basically forever to get out the next chapter. haha. But in the time between posting the first chapter and posting this one, I have rewritten the entire plot of the story. I was looking over where i wanted this to head and realized it was so...cliche! I wanted to make it original, so i rewrote the plot. and now i'm extremely excited to write! hopefully you will be as excited to read.
I'm going back and forth between this story and Keeping It Secret getting chapters validated. So when you see a new chapter for Keeping it Secret, you'll know chapter three for this one will be on its way.
Thank you so much for reading!
oh and please review!