Chapter 1 : Back to Our Place
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Back to Our Place
The light was fading as his breath came slower and slower. Harry swam in and out of his vision as the pain began to disappear. Severus pleaded with Harry to remember. He gave Harry his memories, the truth. As his eyelids became heavy Severus focused on Harry’s eyes, so like his mother’s eyes. Oh how Severus wished he could see Lily once more, apologize. What would she say about the man he had become? He would never know.
His eyes were too heavy so he closed them as he let his body go. The darkness was welcoming. His body was floating. He felt, for the first time, close to peace. There was still that nagging feeling that one person had never forgiven him, his Lily. The floating sensation stopped. His body lay against something hard, but soft all at once. There was warmth on his face. Opening his eyes Severus gasped in surprise.
Lily sat waiting under the large tree that had marked her and Severus’s special place as children. So many years had passed, including in death, since she had seen this place. The sun shown warm on her face as she waited. Lily had watched and hoped. Hoped Severus would move past his hate for James that he projected onto Harry. Hoped that he would let her go and find love, happiness, and family, but he never did. Lily heart ached that Severus died without finding happiness like she had.
She had thought about sitting by her old friend’s side as he left the physical world, but decided against it. Harry needed to know the truth. Needed to know that all these years Severus was really watching out for the son of the woman whom he loved, but never loved him back. Her being there would have prevented that. A tear slide down her cheek, she had always loved him, just not the way he hoped. A gasp caught her attention, there Severus lay. The lines on his face were gone as was the grey that had began to show in his hair. He looked once more like a young man full of life.
“Severus.” Lily smiled standing to go to him.
Severus could do no more than sit up. He was in awe of the woman walking towards him. Her red hair cascading softly around her face, a warm smile on her lips; she was angelic in her flowing white dress.
“Lily.” Severus whispered and then suddenly jumped back. “What trickery is this? Have I not suffered enough?”
“I’m not an illusion Sev nor am I here to cause you suffering.” Lily hopped that using her old nickname for him would help.
“Why else would you be here. Your memory haunted me in life why not in death.”
“I’m here to help you move on to the next life. I’m here to help you find peace.”
“I can never find peace.”
“Why?” Lily’s voice was soothing. She sat down next to him and he quickly moved away.
“How could? I am not worthy of peace.”
“Why not?” Lily titled her head slightly to the side.
“Look at what I have become, a bitter man who could not move past a childish grudge, who took that hate out on an innocent child.”
“Why did you treat him that way? Did you hate me so much that you turned your hate on my child?”
“No! I could never hate you.”
“Then why?” Lily knew she had to push, she had to get him to admit and accept or he would never find peace. She could not let that happen and there was not a lot of time. “He did not deserve how you treated him.”
“Every time I saw him all I could see was your eyes and then James. All I could think about was losing you and blaming James for taking you away from me.”
“James never took me away from you Sev. You pushed me away on your own.”
“You did, but you still chose power over me.”
“You what Sev?” Lily asked standing back up. “You said you were my friend. Said you cared about me. Then you turned your back on me, on our friendship. All to impress those who never gave a damn about you! For a master who did nothing but destroy everything you ever cared about!”
“I know!” Severus sounded defeated, “I did not want to see that I had pushed you from my life. That my choices, my need for power and control pushed you away. I never wanted to push you away. You were the only good thing I ever had.”
There it was what Lily had been hoping for. Severus was letting her through the wall he built all his life. Severus had known so much pain, so much betrayal that he had built up so many walls to protect himself that Lily had not been sure she could get through, but he was letting her.
“You are not a bad man Sev.” Lily walked over to him.
“How can you say that? After the way I treated your son.”
“Did you not still protect him?”
“Did you not put your life on the line for him?”
“But nothing Sev, yes you made some bad choices and acted less than kindly towards Harry, but you still protected him. At the end of the day that is what counts.”
“Even though I betrayed you and Po...James to the Dark Lord? Even though I am the reason Harry had to grow up without you?” Severus voice had become load, he quieted again as he said the last part,
“Even though I only begged Dumbledore to save only you?”
“You could have not known that the prophecy meant Harry.”
“No, but my first thought was not about him and James, but only you.”
“You must forgive yourself Sev.”
“How can I?”
“Accept the mistakes you made. Accept that you are not a bad man. Accept that you have been forgiven. Accept that despite everything you have always been loved.” Lily took Severus’s hand in hers.
“Who would love me? Who would forgive me?”
“Harry has forgiven you. I have forgiven you. James has forgiven you.” Severus made an attempt to speak, but Lily continued. “Death puts everything into new light. James moved past those childish grudges and in death forgave you for how you acted towards Harry. I forgave you long ago, but you made your choices and I knew I could not change the way you chose to live. I have always loved you Sev, maybe not in the way you wanted, but my love for you was always there.”
“Had I never called you that name when we were younger would you have loved me the way you love James?”
“I don’t think so. James is my soul mate in every way.” Lily saw the hurt in Severus’s eyes. “I will not say I wish that was not so, but you do need to accept it. There is a difference between the way you love me and the way James loves me. James needs me because he loves me. You loved me because you needed me.”
“I have loved you all these years.”
“I know you have Sev, but your love become obsessive. You became so obsessed with loving me that you could barely exist in a world without me. Sure you lived, but you barely lived and you lived in anger, self loathing, and sorrow.”
“I did not want to let you go. I could not accept that you did not want to be with me. You know how I grew up, what my parents were like. You were the first to accept me for the true me.”
“Sev you need to understand I never stopped loving you as a friend. You chose power over our friendship.”
“I know.” A single tea fell down his cheek.
“You need to let me go Severus.” Lily reached her hand up and wiped the tear away. Severus reached his hand up and held Lily’s to his cheek. “Let me go and forgive yourself. I have watched you live in sadness, please allow yourself to rest in the afterlife.”
“You have to let go. Close your eyes and let go.”
Severus closed his eyes. His life began to rush before him.
He hid behind the couch, hands over his ears attempting to block out his mother’s cries of pain.
There was the young girl in the park. He watched as she flew through the air off the swing, too high for a normal girl. She looked like a redheaded angel.
Lily and his first ride on the Hogwarts express.
Watching Lily get sorted into Gryffindor than he himself being sorted into Slytherin. Their continuing friendships.
The day he realized he was in love with Lily. All the time he spent with her.
The fights with James and Sirius and the numerous times he was the target of their pranks.
Calling Lily a mudblood. His failed apologies.
Watching as she fell in love with his enemy.
Becoming a Death Eater.
His betrayal. Hearing the news Lily was dead……
Lily did not know how many days, or moments had passed. The sun set and rose several times, she did not bother to count. Time moved differently in death and experiencing the parts of one’s life that they hated and needed to forgive was not a simple task. Lily simply watched as emotions passed over Severus’s face. Occasionally he would smile, frown, scowl, and cry. Lily could tell he had began to reach the worst parts of his life when his expressions with either those of anger, sadness, or simply stone. Eventually Severus broke down completely. Lily pulled her friend close to her holding him in her arms as he cried. She closed her eyes and looked to the sky. Lily could feel the years of hurt, anger, loneliness, and sadness leaving his soul.
After some time had passed Severus sat up, the few lines of worry that had remained on his face were completely gone. The hatred, loathing, and sadness no longer inhabited his eyes; they were calm for the first time in a long time. Lily smiled.
“I’m sorry.” Severus looked up at his friend. Lily could still see the love, but the hurt was no longer there.
“You can be happy now.” Lily whispered still holding on to one of his hands. Lily leaned forward and kissed Severus’s cheek. “Goodbye Sev, I am sure we will see each other again.”
“Goodbye Lily. Thank you.” Lily watched as Severus faded from her sight, holding his hand till he was completely gone.
“He was lucky to have your friendship.” Lily turned to see her husband smiling at her.
“I am simply happy he can move on peacefully now.” Lily stood taking James’s outstretched hand. Lily took one look back at the place she had once shared with her friend. She smiled knowing he had finally found his peace.
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