A/N: Everything, excluding certain OCs and plot, belongs to J.K. Rowling and her publishers. I do not own anything, I'm simply twisting the fate of the story. Thanks!
A single tear shifted down a young boy’s pale face as he crouched under a tree, letting the shadows of the canopy above obscure him from view. His body ached horribly, though he tried not to think about it too much. For if he thought about it, then the pain would suddenly become so, so much more real.
It’s not fair… Another tear fell to the dead leaves of the sycamore tree, staying above ground only a few seconds before becoming absorbed into the soil. It’s never fair… How could his father do this to him? The boy attempted to wipe the tears that were now falling to the ground, but found that his arms were so sore with bruises that he could hardly move another muscle. Why did his father have to go get drunk, then come home to rid his feelings on his son, his favorite punching bag?
He remembered his mother’s whisper, which was hoarse from fear of her husband. “He loved us once, your father did. Don’t ever forget that, Severus.” Like it was easy to think of his father, who come home daily to thrash his wife and kids, as the loving type. Lovedus… Yeah right. In fact, Severus couldn’t think of instance where his father had ever been considerate of his wife or son. If he had, it probably was before he lost his job when they shut the local mill down. Before he met the bottle, he thought solemnly.
He found himself lost in thought until the crunching of small feet on the sidewalk ahead caught his attention. Taking a deep breath, he hid himself deeper in the shadows as the figures approached. To his relief, it was only two girls, one with dirty blond hair around the age of twelve, and another with stunning auburn hair, who looked the same age as himself, about nine. He released the breath he had been holding and tuned into their conversation.
“I told you, Tuney, I didn’t do anything. Besides,” began the red-headed girl, flailing her lunch pail as she spoke, “they wouldn’t expel me for that.” The older of the two stopped walking as the other finished.
“So? I don’t want to known for having a freak as my sister. You know that’s what everyone says.” She narrowed her blue gaze at her sister, who didn’t look amused.
“Petunia, it’s not like I had any friends to begin with. And mum and dad don’t really mind that much. I’m perfectly happy the way I am.” She stuck her head up proudly, and began to walk forward before realizing that her sister had stayed put.
“Lils!” Severus jumped at Petunia’s sudden outburst. He craned his neck uncomfortably around the trunk to get a better view of the situation. The other girl, “Lils”, was frowning. “How can you say that? Don’t you want any friends?” The blue eyed girl glared at her sister as she spoke. “And mummy told you not to try to do anything… weird.”
The redheaded girl scowled. “I don’t try to do anything. I bet it’s perfectly normal. Now,” she turned around abruptly, “Let’s go home before mum gets worried.” The other girl nodded in silent agreement before turning and stalking off with her sister. Severus felt a sharp pain of envy as he watched the two walk off to their probably pleasant family and clean home. He wished with all his heart that he had someone to go to that actually cared, and longed to follow the two to their home. But he knew perfectly well that he would not be able to have such a loving family, ever. At least until I get to Hogwarts, he thought, and fought to suppress a smile. At least there he’d have a family. And friends.
He grudgingly got up to leave. He didn’t want to be late for dinner and become the next subject of his father’s beatings or ridicule. And as he walked, he couldn’t help thinking about the small redheaded girl, and wishing with all his might that he was in her place. Sighing, he made his way down the street towards Spinner’s End.
Lily opened the front door to her house warily. She could sense that Petunia was going to tell her mum. She could just feel it… Sighing, she slipped away from her older sister as fast as possible, stopping in the brightly wallpapered living room before she slung her backpack and lunch box down on the couch. Petunia eyed her sister, something that seemed like a warning filling her blue eyes.
“Mummy! Lily and I are home!” She, like Lily, placed both her school items on the couch. Lily could just hear the stove being turned on and instantly knew that her mother was in the kitchen making dinner.
“Hmm? Oh, Petunia! Lily! You’re home!” Lily’s mother rushed out of the kitchen and scooped up her daughters into a tight hug, her dark blond hair getting in Lily’s eyes. “Just my two favorite girls in the world,” she muttered, at last backing out of the hug and allowing her daughters to once again breathe. “So? How was school, my little sweet flowers?” Lily let her gaze move over to where Petunia was now standing, her eyes narrowed at Lily. Don’t do it, Tuney, please don’t-
“Lily got in trouble. Again.” The words spilled out of her sister’s mouth like venom. Lily couldn’t find any words to retort, she simply stared in shock and disbelief at her sister. “Mummy, she was doing it again!” Petunia had a slight pained look that Lily couldn’t quite distinguish. But she knew one thing for sure. Her face was sour, a look that Lily did not take to on her sister’s face.
“Lily!” Her mother snapped, a look of sheer surprise mingled with disappointment showing plainly on her face. “Is this true? Even after I told you not to try to do anything out of the ordinary?” Lily averted her gaze for a second before looking back up to meet her mother’s troubled eyes. Yes, but I didn’t mean to…
“I didn’t mean to, mum! It just happened!” She looked pleadingly into her mother’s eyes once again before murmuring so that Petunia couldn’t hear, “plus, you know how overdramatic Tuney can be!” At her plea, her mother seemed to be contemplating the fate of her daughter.
“Lily,” she sighed, her voice sounding exasperated, “you just can’t keep causing trouble for your teachers, or your family, voluntary or not. I’ll let you off with a scolding this time, but don’t expect to get by without consequences next time, young lady.” Lily couldn’t help a faint smile from playing onto her face, at which a scowl could be seen being emitted from Petunia across the room.
“But mum! How can she get away with it twice! She keeps doing it, she’ll never learn!” She turned abruptly at the spot, her short bob of golden hair flying with her. “I’m going outside. See you at dinner, mum. Lily,” She spat Lily’s name, but not before gaining a reproachful glance from their mother. Typical Tuney. Always being so stubborn…
“Tuney wait!” And with that, Lily hurried out the back door, following her sister at a run, heading towards the playground nearby, her dark red hair swinging silently in the breeze.
“Mum?” Severus’s voice filled the front hall as he walked tentatively in the door. “Mum? Are you home?” He glanced around, hoping with all his might that his father was not home right now. He held his breath as a bit of scuffling came from the next room.
“It’s all right, Severus, your father isn’t home right now.” Severus sighed with relief at his mother’s tired voice and began to walk into the sitting room quietly. His mother was sitting in the beat up armchair that was situated in the corner of the room, reading what appeared to be a potions book. “How was school?”
Severus felt a frown coming onto his face. Well, I only got teased, bullied, kicked, and tormented all day long, he thought glumly. But instead, he muttered a low “fine”, not making eye contact with his mum. He hated lying to his mother, especially since she always seemed to know when he was. Even more he hated pretending that the muggle primary school he went to was less than joyous. Yet he also knew that if he told his mum, she’d be disappointed in herself for not being able to provide a better education for her son, so he kept quiet.
“Sev, you don’t need to lie to me.” She lifted her head from the old, tattered book, her tired eyes boring into his. “You can’t fool Eileen Snape!” She let her lips lift up into a smile. “Now, dinner won’t be ready for a few hours, so you can go get washed up. I left some salve for your bruises in the washroom as well.”
Severus nodded politely at his mother before heading up the stairs, which creaked each time he stepped. The Snape house was in serious need of repair, and dust filled the air with an unmistakable musty smell. Severus never did like his house, but his family could not afford to fix anything, sometimes they even had to go without power if his parents could not scrape up enough money to pay the bills.
He sighed, looking into the tarnished mirror in front of him. His shoulder length, untidy black hair always looked so… greasy. It fell ungracefully over his dark depths for eyes, making his unusually sallow face seem even paler. Yet another thing he hated about himself. He could hardly get anyone to look at him without there being a look of disgust on their face. He mentally assured himself that as long as he looked this way, he was probably guaranteed to live his life alone and friendless. How reassuring.
He tenderly applied the thick, smelly salve his mother had supplied him with to his bruises, wincing at the pain. With each bruise, he thought bitterly of how much he really hated his father, and how he tried his best to make his and his mother’s life into a living nightmare. Too bad that was the only thing he seemed to be able to succeed at.
He jumped as he heard the front door being unlocked from downstairs. He was home. Just what I need… He silently opened the bathroom door and snuck into his bedroom, managing to get a glance at a very drunk Tobias Snape wobbling through the front door.
“Eileen! Where’s that boy!? I been need’en to give ‘im the beaten he bloody deserves!” Severus cursed under his breath. He needed to hide before he got a nice new set of bruises to go along with the last. “WELL? WHERE IS ‘E?!” Breathing heavily, he locked the door behind him, but still not able to shut the booming voice away. Climbing onto his pink and celadon tartan bedspread, he thrust his window open, pushed his feet out, and squeezed himself out onto a thick branch of the tree next to his window.
He couldn’t stand this for another minute. He felt the rage building up inside him as he slid off the last branch onto the ground, running, fast as he could to the only place he ever had been able to relax. He felt his heart beating irregularly in fear as he ran, straight into the neighborhood park, ducking abruptly under a thicket of bushes. At last he was safe… His father couldn’t get him here. But he felt a jolt of guilt as he realized that he had left his mother with that troll. Merlin, let her be all right… He clenched his hands, wanting nothing more than to be able to smack the one man who had caused so much trouble, pain, turmoil-
“TUNEY! WAIT UP!” Severus jumped at the loud noise, thinking for a second that his father had come back to get him, before realizing that it was a girl’s voice. Not just any girl, but the same one he had seen earlier that day, to be precise. Suddenly feeling nervous, he dove behind the bushes next to him at waited, watching the auburn haired girl run up and take the swing next to her sister.
He stared in awe at the sight. He hadn’t realized how pretty she was earlier that day. Her slightly wavy dark red hair fell down her back gracefully, complementing her light peach skin. Her pale violet sundress fell softly over her shoulders and down to her knees. And her eyes. Severus couldn’t quite catch a good look from so far away, but he could tell they were beautiful, even from a distance. Oh, how they shone like emeralds, so incredibly perfect…
Severus shook himself out of his trance. He wanted nothing more to just go over there and sit next to her on the swings, doing nothing but staring into those eyes. What am I, insane? She wouldn’t even go near a freak like me… He felt disappointment welling up inside of his stomach. I’m not… good enough for someone like her… He sighed, watching the scene that was going on in front of him.
“Get away from me!” The other girl, Petunia, had just gotten off her swing to face her younger sister angrily. “It’s not fair. How come you never get in trouble? How come mum just lets you go on being a-a freak?” Severus realized that the girl had begun crying, and he turned to look at the other girl’s reaction.
“Why, Tuney? If you were a bit different from everyone, do you think that you’d want me being mean to you?” He green eyes shone with something that was not glee this time, but tears. Severus felt a stab of sadness at the sight. “Well? Would you?”
“Lily,” Petunia sighed, “You don’t understand. People don’t like it when people can, well, do things.” She took one last glance at her sister before walking off in the opposite direction. “Now please, leave me alone.”
Severus suddenly felt something nipping his leg and jumped. A bug was crawling off his skin, and he took his gaze back to the girl. To his horror, she was staring, perplexed, into the bushes where he hid. He felt his face going hot at his breathing quicken. If the muggle girl found him, he’d have no future luck of ever getting to know her. Yes, he was doomed…
To his shock and utter relief, the girl took her eyes off the bush, and instead, began swinging up on the swing. Her hair flew with the breeze and she got higher and higher up, but to Severus’s dismay, she kept going higher still. At long last, she jumped off at the tip of the swing, and Severus felt his heart stop. Surely she was going to get hurt, he had to do something, anything…
He closed his eyes, bracing himself for the cries, the screams as she hit the ground, but they didn’t come. He daringly opened one eye and couldn’t believe what he saw. The girl was practically flying through the air, before landing softly on the ground. He blinked. Surely a muggle couldn’t do that? He shook his head, knocking the thought out of his head. She’s a muggle, nothing more. But deep in his mind, Severus knew something was different about this girl. He promised himself that he’d keep watching, maybe she was a witch? Maybe she had something in common with him, slimy, odd Severus. Maybe we can be friends…
He took one last, prolonged look at the girl, letting her gorgeous face fill his mind before starting off towards home. That night, after a meager dinner of fried potatoes and onions, he stared off towards the ceiling above his bed. At least one good thing came of this day, he thought with a smile, and let his mind drift into a sleep filled with those shimmering auburn locks and evergreen orbs.
A/N: Well, I hope you all enjoyed the first chapter! The first few chapters are introductory, the story will pick up more as the Lily and Sev enter their Hogwarts years. This is my first fanfiction, so bear with me, and reviews are greatly appreciated! ^^