Disclaimer: Story title taken from the song Grapevine Fires by Deathcab For Cutie and all characters and setting belong to JKR.
The day is one like any other, except that it is not. The chill from outside sneaks in through the defective doors and windows of the house, creating draughts that the pitiful fire in the hearth is unable to fight off.
Severus Snape, who is huddled close to the fireplace, makes no attempt to relight it, even as the chill spreads to his bones. This isnít the first time in his life that he has been alone, but it is the first time that he wishes things were different. Self-imposed isolation is easier to swallow when you can pretend that it is all down to choice.
The books that line the walls, closeted deep in their shelves, are encased in dust and an air of neglect permeates the room. The furniture is weathered, the rug moth eaten, and archaic, almost motionless portraits line the walls. Nothing in the house is beautiful.
But the fading embers in the fire glow with the vivacity of her hair, and when they die they are the same shade as his.
And he cannot watch it.
Severus forces himself up out of the armchair, and the collapsed springs give a weary moan of pain at the shifting weight. His breath leaves lonely wisps of winter in the air, and he pauses momentarily to watch it disappear, before hurrying to retrieve his cloak from the rusty hook it perches upon. He wraps it tightly around his negligible form and braves the cold outside.
But perhaps braves is not the right word? Severus Snape has never been a brave man. He is barely a man. It is lucky that the temperature inside his own house does not leave room for much bravery.
It is beginning to grow dark, and the meagre glow, cast by the filthy street lamps, reveals a scene best kept in darkness. Severus Snape lives in a place that can only be described as one of the recesses of the world; the abandoned terraces around him have been boarded up, smog clouds the sky and the scurrying of a rat is welcome. It means youíre not alone.
His quick, light steps make no impression on the path below him, but his presence seems to have caused a disturbance of some sort. The sky is weeping. Its tears are glacial, and not many brave the smog to try their luck in Spinnerís End. But some do. And they are braver than Severus has ever been.
He does not stop to ponder this extraordinary miracle, but carries on in the direction of the river. He echoes conspicuously among the silent houses and not a single snowflake settles on the hostile ground he walks upon. They land, and are for a minute tricked into thinking that there is a chance for them on this cruel earth, but they should know better.
Nothing has a chance in Spinnerís End.
Maybe if you live on the other side of the park, far enough away so that the towering tenements do not steal your light, and a great enough distance is put between you and the smoke-belching factories, maybe then you will flourish. The only thing that flourishes here are the weeds. Scrawny weeds that the real world will wage war upon and pull unceremoniously from the ground. But on the other side, that is where the flowers have made their beds.
And they are white and pure and brave just like her.
And he is merely a weed encroaching on their perfection.
Severus reaches the river, and he doesnít care that he looks out of place wearing his travelling cloak in this run down mudblood hovel, because the cloak makes him feel like heís part of something, much like the mark on his arm.
The sloping banks that lead down to the river are steep and strewn with rubbish, and the water itself is scummy and green. Not green like her eyes, mossy and teeming with amphibious creatures. Her eyes are too bright and sparkle too much to be compared to the results of neglect. And when it comes down to it, he compares everything to her, because to him, she is everything.
I looked up what you liked in your MTA, Sami, so I hope you enjoyed it! Snape/Lily is something very new to me ^_^.