Chapter 3 : An admission
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Lily stood there for several minutes, rooted to the spot. Her mind was reeling. Her best friend since childhood was in love with her, just when she’d started a new relationship with her schoolmate enemy. It was too much for her to process. She walked toward Hogwarts, unsure of how to face James when she saw him again, knowing that things were suddenly different now.
Lily reached the Gryffindor Common room to find James sitting on a couch in front of the fire.
“Hey babe,” he said, patting the couch next to him. She walked over to him and sat down, putting her head on his shoulder as he put his arm around her. He kissed her on the forehead.
“What’s new?” he asked.
“Nothing. I was just out talking to Sev,”said Lilly calmly. She felt James stiffen a little, but he overcame it and continued on.
“Oh. How was it?”
“Weird,” she said.
“I don’t really want to talk about it,” said Lily. “I’d rather just enjoy us right now.” She was speaking truthfully, and yet despite how hard she tried to forget it, she could not stop thinking about what had just happened.
James was more than happy to oblige her request, and they talked for a few minutes until James looked at his watch and said, “Alright, Lils. I’ve got to go to bed. I have quidditch practice in the morning.”
He leaned in to kiss her, and Lily welcomed the kiss, hoping it would erase the memory of Severus’ kiss. However, she couldn’t help comparing the two kisses. Severus’ was passionate and fiery, James’ was sweet and affectionate. She wasn’t sure which she preferred.
She smiled weakly at him as he left for his dormitory.
When Lily went to bed that night, she lay there for several hours mulling over Severus’ kiss in her mind. As much as she wanted to deny it, she had felt something, something powerful, when he kissed her.
All she had wanted was a simple romance, and she almost had it, but now Severus had interrupted her wish with wishes of his own.
She punched her pillow and waited for sleep to come.
After a mostly sleepless night of tossing and turning, Lily skipped breakfast and slept in the following morning. When she finally descended the stairs to the Gryffindor common room, James was there waiting for her.
“Hey,” he said, leaping to his feet when he saw her, “Are you okay? It’s not like you to miss breakfast.”
“Oh, yeah, I’m fine. I just didn’t get much sleep. Did I miss anything?” replied Lily.
James laughed, “No, other than my sadness about not having you next to me this morning.”
Lily smiled and leaned in to give him a quick peck. “You’re sweet.”
“Nah,” said James as he flashed her a crooked smile, “I’m just honest.”
Lily glanced at her watch and sighed, “Okay, time to go to class.”
James took her hand as they walked through the portrait hole into the hallway together. His hand felt comfortable and warm around her own, and it was almost enough to make her forget the previous night’s events. Almost.
Lily remembered that she had Divination with Severus in a few minutes, and she frowned. She was not ready to face him yet. After kissing James goodbye (he had opted out of taking Divination years ago), she ascended the ladder into the classroom.
She immediately saw Snape, who smiled broadly at her and shifted over to make room for her at their usual table. She chose to avert her eyes and take the seat closest to her, rather than sit next to him. She could feel Severus’ eyes on her from across the room, but she kept her own down and focused on the table in front of her.
As the professor started class, droning on about stars and moons, Lily let her mind wander. She chanced several furtive looks at Severus, noting how he looked when he was focused. His long hair was tucked behind his ears, and his eyebrows were slightly tightened into a concentrated frown.
Lily couldn’t deny that she found him pretty cute, especially when he was so absorbed. He suddenly looked up and over at her, and Lily quickly averted her eyes yet again. She thought about how long they had been friends and wondered how she could possibly not have noticed his affections any earlier.
Now that she thought about it, there were definitely signs of his feelings. But she had always thought that was just the kind of friend that he was. He had never tried anything on her or even asked her out.
This was opposite of James, who made his affections clear from very early on, and was very persistent in getting her to date him. Maybe she should have seen it coming from Sev, but it was hard to predict his feelings given that they had been friends for so long. Was it even possible for their friendship to change into something more? Lily chose to push that thought from her mind rather than dwell on it.
At the end of class, Lily was the one to make a quick escape and avoid Severus this time. She made her way down to the library, and found a desk hidden safely in the back corner. With a sigh of relief at knowing she wouldn’t be bothered, she vowed to spend her free period studying and not thinking about boys.
This plan worked well for her until, upon leaving the library, she was instantly stopped by a familiar voice.
“Hi, Lily,” Severus said from where he was leaning against the doorway.
Lily jumped, but gave no response to him and continued walking.
“Ignoring me? Really, Lily? Didn’t you say ignoring was a ‘childish’ behavior?” called Severus.
Lily turned around and glared at him. “I’m not ignoring you,” she said, “I’m simply choosing not to respond.”
Severus’ eyes searched her face as he said, “I need to talk to you.”
“I don’t want to talk to you Severus!”
“Why not? Because of what happened the other night?” he asked
“Yes!” she replied.
“Lily. I’m sorry. I just…didn’t know what else to do. I guess my feelings took over,” said Severus honestly.
Lily stood with her arms crossed in front of him, silently.
Severus continued, “I’m sorry, Lily. I never should have done it. I crossed a line, and I messed things up. I’m sorry.”
“You’re right!” said Lily. “My love life was going great, perfectly in fact, and then you had to step in and ruin it all!”
“Wait,” said Severus, “How did I ruin it? Potter doesn’t know, does he? You two are still together.”
Lily suddenly realized she had said too much. “That’s not what I meant! You complicated everything!” she said, trying to backtrack, but failing miserably.
Severus took a step closer. “Complicated?”
“You kissed me,” she said, pointedly.
“I’m aware,” said Severus.
“And now…” she began.
“And now?” repeated Severus, raising his eyebrows and moving another step closer.
“Dammit, Severus! You weren’t supposed to…I wasn’t supposed to…this wasn’t supposed to happen!”
“What weren’t you supposed to do?” asked Severus.
“Nothing! Forget I said anything,” replied Lily.
“Lily…” said Severus in the commanding tone which he always used to get Lily to tell him something.
“I wasn’t supposed to feel anything!” she yelled, crossing her arms across her chest.
Silence rang as her words floated away and the two stood there at a stalemate.
A smile began to work its way onto Severus’ mouth.
“Stop smiling,” grumbled Lily.
“So…you felt something then?” asked Severus quietly.
Lily paused and then said, “I may have, might have, maybe felt something, possibly good or potentially not, when you kissed me, yes.”
“What does that mean?” asked Severus, confused.
“I don’t know…” said Lily honestly. “I need time to think about it.”
“I can give you time,” said Severus eagerly.
“Okay,” said Lily resolutely, feeling better now that she had a plan. “Thank you." After staring at each other for a few moments, she continued, "Well, bye Sev.”
Without thinking, she leaned in for her customary hug goodbye. As Severus’ arms locked around her, Lily felt that something was different than usual. He somehow felt softer than ever before, and she found it harder to let go. When Lily was finally able to break from his embrace, she turned and walked away without giving him another glance.
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