Chapter 10 : A decision
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Chapter 10: A decision
The next morning, Lily was alone in her dormitory, packing a bag for her trip home for her father’s funeral.
She had spent the night cradled in James’ arms in the Gryffindor Common Room, crying too loudly to be in the dormitory. Finally worn out after hours of tears, she had fallen into a fitful sleep on the couch with him.
When she had awoken the next morning, James was still holding her in his arms, watching her closely. As her eyes opened, he twirled his wand and a cup of tea appeared, which he handed to her. It was exactly what she needed.
He had then offered to help her pack, but she had told him she needed some time alone. He kissed her on the forehead and granted her wish.
As she folded up a gray skirt to put in her bag, a rapping at the window grabbed her attention. She turned to see a black owl hovering outside, with parchment hanging from its leg.
She opened the window and the owl flew in, lifting its leg in her direction. She untied the parchment, and the owl hooted and flew back out of the window.
She unrolled the parchment and read:
I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I know how much you loved him. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I wish I could be there to hold you in my arms and make things better. If you need me, I’ll be in the courtyard by the herbology gardens. But if you want to be alone, I understand that as well. I’m here for you.
Lily stared at the letter in her hands, a variety of emotions coursing through her. Reading this note was different from reading the other notes he had sent her in the past.
She glanced over at the clock on the wall. She had half an hour until she had to be in Dumbledore’s office ready to take a portkey back home. That was enough time.
Lily zipped up her bag and walked down to the common room. James had been sitting rigidly on the couch, staring at the staircase. At the sight of her, he stood up abruptly.
He walked over to her and put a strong arm around her. “All packed?” he asked.
“Do you need me to do anything?” he asked, with a look of concern on his face.
Lily began to shrug, but then said, “Actually, James, could you take my bag to Dumbledore’s office for me? I’ve just got something I need to do before I leave.”
James slipped her bag out of her arms immediately. “Of course, love.”
“Thank you,” she said. She leaned and kissed him softly and sweetly on the lips. He stroked her cheek with his thumb and then began to make his way toward the portrait hole, but Lily stopped him. “And James?” she said.
He turned around. “Yes, love?”
“Thank you for last night. I don’t know what I would have done without you.”
James gave her a light smile. “I can’t imagine having been anywhere else,” he said, and he exited the room.
Lily then steeled herself and made her way to the herbology gardens. As she approached the lone courtyard between greenhouses, she saw a solitary figure in black robes pacing the ground.
Lily took a deep breath and walked toward him.
“Severus,” she said, getting his attention.
He whirled around and walked quickly towards her. He hugged her close, and she returned the hug, grateful for his affection.
He pulled back and his black eyes met her green eyes. “How are you?” he asked.
“I’m okay. I think I cried myself out about it last night, at least for the moment. Now I just feel…kind of numb.”
Severus nodded. “I wish I could have been there.”
“It’s alright,” she said quickly.
“No,” he said, “I should have been there for you, holding you and making sure you were alright. Instead I was in the dungeons with Avery and Mulciber while they plotted their next pranks on first years. It pained me so much to be apart from you while I knew you were in so much pain. I should have been there.”
“No,” said Lily quietly, “You shouldn’t have. You couldn’t have.”
“Lily, I love you so much,” he said softly.
Lily was silent.
“I love you,” he repeated. “It hurts much to be apart from you, and to keep it a secret.”
“I know,” she responded.
Severus paused before bravely continuing on, “Lily… do you love me too?”
Lily took a step back. “Sev, I’m sorry, but I can’t say it back.”
Severus’ face fell as he tilted his head, trying to comprehend.
A tear rolled down Lily’s cheek. “Don’t you see Severus? We’re just not meant to be. I will always care about you, but I’m meant to be with James. Last night…he comforted me. I wanted him to be the one to comfort me. I care about you and love you as a friend, but I love him differently. I’m so sorry. I never wanted to hurt you.”
Severus pushed his long hair behind his ears. “I can’t believe what I’m hearing. I mean, Potter? Really Lils? I want you to be happy, but I don’t believe that you can be happy with him. I could make you happy, Lily.”
She smiled weakly and said, “I know he can make me happy, Sev. I wouldn’t say so unless I knew for sure.”
“So that’s it then. You’ve chosen,” said Severus coldly, turning away.
Lily grabbed his arm. “Sev, don’t do this! I don’t want this to change things. Especially not now. Can’t we stay friends? We’ve always been best friends, Sev.”
“I need time,” he said. “I don’t know if I can be friends right now. I don’t know if we can ever be best friends again.”
Lily sniffed back and sob and whispered sadly, “Things are just too complicated, aren’t they? I always thought our friendship could last, but now I know it’s not that easy. Our paths are too different.”
Severus nodded, slowly.
“Goodbye, Sev,” said Lily.
They stood there for a moment until Lily surprised him by wrapping her arms around him to envelope him in a hug. He hugged her back, cherishing the moments they had spent so closely. Before he walked away, he put his lips against her ears and whispered,
“I will love you forever, Lily. Always.”
[Severus Snape was true to his word]
Well my lovely readers, that's the story! I am really sorry if you wanted Lily to end up with Sev. I ship Severus and Lily SO much, but I just feel like his eternal love for her despite her choosing James is so powerful that I couldn't mess with it (at least not in this fic). I hope this ending was satisfying for all of you.
THANK YOU so much for reading!!! It means a lot to me. Look for more stories from me in the future, and feel free to read my older story, Unexpected Romance!
Much love xx