Chapter 1 : Before The Exam
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There was only half an hour before the Defense Against the Dark Arts exam and Severus was watching Lily pour over countless books in the library to cram. “Give it a rest Lily, you need a break. Why don’t we go outside for a moment?” Severus suggested to the frantic Lily.
Lily stared up at him incredulously, “The exam is only minutes away Sev! I can’t just relax, not now!”
Severus sighed and took a seat next to her, grabbing a book to quiz her with. After a few questions it was clear that she was going to pass this exam. Lily seemed a bit more relaxed after answering the fifteenth question correctly that Snape shot at her. “There, look at that, one hundred percent!” he said, beaming.
Lily smiled at him, “thanks Sev”
Severus smiled and looked at her with hungry eyes, “Now how about we go relax a bit.”
Lily looked horrid again, “Sev I can’t! You should be studying too!”
Severus shook away some strands of black hair from his face while saying, “I’ve been studying all week. Besides, you’re the brightest witch in our year, you don’t need to worry”
Lily suddenly looked up from her book and stared at him, “Sev, do you really mean that?” she asked.
Severus stood up and stretched a bit, “of course I mean it. It’s true” Lily got up from her chair as well, staring at him. She had been friends with him for the longest time, but sometimes had wondered why. He was always being teased and liked to hang out with some weird and creepy friends, such as Avery and Mulciber. She could see that he was being slowly drawn into the dark side by these ‘friends’ of his, and she would be very upset if he joined up with You-Know-Who. But then there were other moments, moments like these when Severus was kind and thoughtful, often giving compliments to Lily as though she were an angel from heaven. This was the Severus that she much preferred, and the one she had befriended with all those years ago.
“Well thank you” she said to him somewhat lamely.
Severus was now moving a bit closer to Lily, and he took the book out from her hands, placing it gently on the table. “Lily?” he said, placing a hand on her waist and blushing slightly.
“I-I think I might know a way to calm your nerves…and maybe get you less tense for the exam” he said. Now he was positively red, but Lily couldn’t understand why. He took another hesitant step closer to her, so now she could see the details of his face: that curtain of black hair that she secretly found adorable, and his crooked, hooked nose.
“What is it?” Lily breathed, now his nose was closer to hers than ever before and she was just beginning to realize how alone they were in this section of the library. As an answer, Severus leaned forward just the tiniest bit and closed his eyes. Then they were kissing, Severus’s hand still awkwardly placed along her waist, and his hair falling onto Lily’s face. Lily kissed him back at first, but something felt misplaced. She pulled back after a few seconds and took in a large breath. Severus blinked confusedly at her through his dark curtain of hair.
“Sev –I- don’t know what to say” Lily stumbled, feeling very uncomfortable.
“I’m sorry. I just thought maybe it was the right time –er- I probably should’ve asked” Severus was staring at his shoes.
“Oh it’s not that Sev! It’s just…oh I don’t know how I feel about you!” Lily bit her lip, obviously conflicted.
Severus stared up at her in alarm, “What do you mean?” he asked.
“Sev I’ve talked to you about this before! I don’t like that you hang around Mulciber and Avery…and I can see that you’re changing…I just can’t bear to be with someone who’s on the opposite side” she said, her voice rising a bit. She had been surprised at the kiss at first, but now she was becoming openly upset about it. Why would he think that that would calm my nerves? This has only made matters more complicated!
Severus blushed and said, “But Lily, I –I love you”
Lily stared up at him, her heart torn between affection and hatred. She wanted to both kiss him and punch him at the same time, and for this bittersweet range of emotions, she became even more outraged. “Sev…how can I believe you? How can I know if that’s true or not! All these years I’ve tried to figure you out and I still can’t!” she stared up at the ceiling to hide the tears that started to leak out from the corners of her eyes, “I just can’t do this right now…I’ve got to go” and with that she picked up her books and stormed out of the room rapidly, eager to get out of his sight before the cascade of tears and wails began.
Severus stood rooted on the spot, stunned at what had just happened. He had been planning this moment for as long as he could remember, and everything had gone terribly wrong. He slammed his fist down on the table, upset with himself for coming onto her like that. He cursed himself for replaying the kiss in his mind, paying close attention to the details. Her sweet scent and rosy red lips against his…the feel of her warm body underneath his hand…her tongue sliding through into his mouth for that small second…but he shook these thoughts away, feeling ashamed and embarrassed at the same time. Trying to distract himself, he stared down at his watch and jolted when he realized that the exam was in ten minutes. He left his books sprawled out on the table and sprinted for the Great Hall.
When he arrived he was immersed in the crowd and shuffled along into his seat. The exam began and he had to work harder than ever before to concentrate on his paper. His mind kept swimming back to Lily, and he was suddenly furious with her for leaving him as she did. What was wrong with her? Why couldn’t she appreciate a little kiss? He thought bitterly as he wrote his answer to the question about werewolves. When the exam was finally over, he permitted himself to become fully outraged at Lily. He knew that she loved him, but she was being fickle about it. Or does she not love me? Severus thought glumly.
He moodily picked up his things and looked down at his notes that he grabbed from his bag. He didn’t want anyone bothering him at the moment, so he pretended to be immersed in the notes while he walked outside. He was really keeping his eye out for Lily, but he couldn’t seem to find her anywhere. He wanted desperately to tell her off for giving in to the kiss and then breaking it off with worries about his Slytherin friends. He was so upset he could yell at her…but of course I won’t a voice in his head said.
Snape walked outside and sat near a clump of bushes, still seemingly occupied with his O.W.L. paper. After looking over the parchment a couple times, he thought he saw Lily’s red hair along the shore of the lake with some other girls. He got up and stuffed the papers away, heading over. But he was stopped as his two least favorite people in the world stepped out from behind a beech tree. “All right, Snivellus?” James sneered at him.
Severus had no time for James or Sirius’s silly little games. He dropped his bag and plunged his hand in his robe for his wand, raising it into the air as James shouted, “Expelliarmus!”
Snape felt his stomach lurch as his wand parted from him, and he knew he would not be reaching Lily anytime soon. “Impedimenta!” James roared. Severus was knocked off his feet as he tried to retrieve his wand. His ears ringed painfully as several students laughed at him. This was the last thing he needed right now.
And so the taunting went. Severus loathed James even more as he filled his mouth with soap bubbles. But just then, to Severus’s horror, Lily appeared, looking murderous, “leave him ALONE!”
“All right, Evans?” James said with a pleasant voice. Severus gagged again. Then Lily started to speak in defense of Severus, as James retorted back. Severus barely listened to what was being said, he was furious at the both of them. James for obvious reasons, but Lily was now acting the hero, as though she really cared for Severus. But he felt as though she had stabbed him earlier today by leaving him stranded and heartbroken…what does she know of my feelings? He questioned as he squirmed pathetically on the ground, reaching for his wand. Eventually he grabbed it and spun it around at James. There was a flash of light and a gash appeared on the side of James’s face, spattering his robes with blood.
James whirled around quickly and another flash later Severus was hanging upside down in the air, his robes hanging over his head to reveal his underpants. Now Severus had had enough, and he was furious with the entire cruel world. Lily and James shouted some more, and Severus was dropped only to become stiff as a board by Sirius’s wand.
“LEAVE HIM ALONE!” Lily shouted, her wand now pointed at James and Sirius. The two of them eventually obliged and Severus was freed.
He struggled to get up as James sighed, “You’re lucky Evans was here, Snivellus-”
This from James Potter was too much for Severus to handle at the moment, and before he could stop himself he was yelling, “I don’t need help from filthy little Mudbloods like her!” As soon as the words tumbled out, he regretted them immediately. Lily looked broken, her mouth slightly agape.
But then James and Lily were shouting again, and the noise rang horribly in Severus’s ears, but he couldn’t seem to understand their words. He had just called Lily a Mudblood, something he had never done before. He hated himself and wished nothing more than to go back in time just a few hours earlier and change everything. He would have never made the same mistake again, never called her a Mudblood…
Severus didn’t even seem to care so much as James continued to torture him, flipping him upside down and jeering at him again. Severus’s head pounded as he thought about Lily and how much pain he had just caused her. His own selfishness had ruined their relationship, and now he could never take those words back, never prove to Lily that he really did love her.