It was their last week at Hogwarts. Lily hadn't talked to Severus at all in months. She hadn't even given him any thought until now.
She had started to rummage through her trunk as she tried to make an attempt at packing day by day instead of all in one night. She had cleared through some useless pieces of parchment and set aside some memorable objects she had of that year. When she got to the bottom of her trunk, however, she stumbled upon a picture face down. When she turned it over, a slight smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. It was a picture of herself and Severus when they were children sitting under their favorite willow tree. She looked deeper into the picture, much deeper than she had ever done so before- Severus' expression was so warm and happy; he was looking into her emerald eyes. She noticed that his eyes were full of something she hadn't noticed before- love.
She paused for a moment, her eyes leaving the picture and looking out her bedroom window in the Gryffindor common room. Why hadn't she had noticed that look before? She hadn't given Severus much thought over the past few months, but her feelings that seemed to be self-suppressed surfaced once more. Deep down, she really loved Severus. Those feelings were shot down slightly the day he called her that foul name, but they had never left.
Suddenly, it became so much clearer to her. She thought about all those times they spent together. She remembered in the winter in their second year he gave her his own black over-coat to keep her warm as they walked around the grounds. She remembered when they first held hands- his hands were unusually warm but comforting. She remembered his eyes- those dark eyes that are etched forever in her psyche. Why hadn't she ever noticed before?
At that moment, she knew she had to go find him. It was their last week; she didn't know they'd see each other at all over the summer. She quickly pulled on her robes and headed towards the grounds. She knew where he would be.
Severus sat on a stone bench overlooking the entire landscape outside of Hogwarts. A slight breeze rushed over him; his long black hair flying in the wind. His head was cradled in his hands and tears were streaming down his cheeks from his dark eyes. He was thinking about the only girl he ever loved- Lily. If only he hadn't said that word that one day she stood up for him. If only he hadn't been outside at that time when James and his gang came to harass him unmercifully. If only he had his best friend back. If only.
His whimpers of despair and pure heart-break were soft but noticeable. He had been alone, thankfully, until he heard a small voice from behind him.
" He recognized this voice; a voice he so longed to hear. It sent shivers through his body, starting in his neck and radiating throughout.
He looked up quickly but didn't turn around. His eyes were wide and bloodshot and tears stained his pale cheeks. Lily came around the bench and stood beside it, looking down at him.
"Sev," She said weakly. There was an obvious tremor in her voice; the sight of her best friend in the state he was immediately pulled at her heart strings.
Severus sniffed and wiped his eyes. He made a sore attempt at looking up at her, but he squinted because his eyes had become awfully dry by that time (thanks to the wind).
" He started out, but he couldn't finish his sentence because he immediately burst back into tears. Lily now was feeling more heart-broken than ever.
"Oh Sev," She sat down next to him and put her arms around him. She felt pity for this poor creature of darkness. Severus felt everything in that hug, but he felt her forgiveness more than anything. Even so he continued to sob harder, trying to hold back from the embarrassment of crying in front of his crush but failing to do so.
Lily let go slightly but remained close to him. She cleared away some of his long, black hair from his ear. Her warm breath sent shivers down his spine again. His sobs had let up now as he closed his eyes to take in the sensation.
"Sev, I forgive you." She whispered.
He sniffed and looked at her, tears still staining his cheeks and his dark eyes still bloodshot, "You do? Oh Lily, I'm so sorry. I should've never said what I did. It cost me my best friend."
"It didn't cost you anything, Sev," She said again. He looked at her with a perplexed expression, one that seemingly replaced the saddening one he wore before. She continued on, looking straight through her beautiful emerald eyes into his black, "I'm still your best friend."
"You are?" He sniffed.
"Yes. Always." She replied as a warm smile surfaced.
Severus smiled slightly- something he had not done in the past months that were filled with loneliness and self-loathing.
Lily took her hands and cupped Severus' face, using her thumbs to clear away some of the tears that had not dried. He closed his eyes briefly as the sensation of her touch started to overwhelm him. His lips parted to try and breathe in some of the cool, spring air because he had accidentally stopped breathing. When she had dried his pale cheeks, he opened his eyes again. He became captured immediately by her bright, green eyes. They were no longer filled with hate and disappointment, but rather warmth, pity, and a slight sense of passion.
That moment seemed to last for an eternity. They had captured each other in each other's eyes. Severus became lost in the green pools that were Lily's eyes. She broke her gaze by looking at his slightly parted lips, then back to his dark eyes. She started to lean into him.
Severus finally gained consciousness and gently put his hands on her forearms that cradled his face. Finally, their lips met and a spark ran through each other's body.
Lily could feel her heart racing as she kissed him. When they had parted, they returned to looking deeply into each other's eyes. Lily could feel a smile surface on her face again- this was an obvious sign of her heart saying that this was right. Severus returned her smile and leaned in for another kiss, this time more deep and passionate. Her hands moved to around his neck, allowing him to move his around her waist. She broke the kiss after several minutes and giggled slightly.
"Oh Sev, forgive me for being so blind." She said.
"What do you mean?" He replied.
She leaned into him, her head resting on his chest. He put his chin on her head, taking in the wonderful scent of her clean, amber red hair. He wrapped his arms around her, his heart beating so hard but so joyfully as not only was one of his desires filled that afternoon, but his long-time dream as well; she was finally in his arms at last.
"I think I've always loved you, but
" She sighed again, "I never realized it."
"I've always loved you Lily, and I always will." He smiled again. She took her head off his chest, looked up at him and kissed him again. She then placed her head back on his chest and closed her eyes, feeling his warmth and listening to his heart.
A few days later, they were walking down the corridor very close to each other. They both looked rather happy as they were making their way to their final afternoon potions class for that year.
"Tomorrow night is the traditional end-of-the-year ball, right?" Severus asked.
"Sure is!" Lily smiled back.
"Do I get a clue to what color your dress?" He said jokingly.
"Nope, I want it to be a surprise!" Her smile radiated wider this time.
"Where can I meet you then?"
"In front of the Great Hall, 15 minutes before 8 o'clock. I can't wait to see you- you'll look so handsome!" She giggled again.
Severus blushed and smiled but grabbed Lily's hand as they walked and interlaced his fingers into her crevasses. When they rounded the corner, James Potter was leaning against the corridor wall with Sirius. When he caught a glance at the two, he smirked.
"Oh, what do we have here? Snivelus and Evans together? I didn't know you could step that low to benefit the less-fortunate, Evans." He laughed as he looked at Sirius who was also laughing.
Lily stopped and glared at him, "The only way I would benefit the less-fortunate was to date you, Potter, but even I'm not that needy to date a swine like you."
James' face became red with embarrassment and anger. Sirius burst out laughing at the comeback, but James punched him in the shoulder, "Shut up!"
He turned his angry eyes back to Lily and then looked to Severus who was standing close to Lily ready to pounce at his enemy.
"You should feel grateful for such a beautiful woman
" He snarled.
"Believe me- I am." Severus said looking down at Lily but back up to James.
Such a loss though; a beautiful woman dating a slimy beast like you." He laughed, but Severus' fuse finally ran short and he socked James in the jaw. He stumbled back, gripping his face. Sirius stood there innocently unsure of what to do.
"You'll pay for that, Snivelus!" James growled as his teeth started to be become stained with blood. He then took off running the opposite way down the corridor with Sirius trailing behind.
"I usually don't like violence like that, Sev..." Lily said. Severus frowned in shame as his eyes met hers, "
but he definitely deserved it that time." And with that, they both laughed and continued their way on to their class.
The night of the end-of-the-year ball had come. Severus arrived at where he was supposed to meet his Lily several minutes early. He had spent an unusual amount of time in front of his mirror prior, but there was no doubt that he looked utterly handsome. He was so good-looking that he turned a few heads as he stood there waiting. His dress robes were incredibly clean and neat and his hair was groomed nicely. It was pushed back slightly, revealing his mature and handsome face.
A couple minutes had passed, but crowds and crowds of people continued to arrive. His eyes traced up the staircase. At the top was the most beautiful woman he had ever laid his eyes on- her hair shined its beautiful red as it was done just so. Her green dress fit her body so perfectly; many of the men at the bottom of the staircase became infatuated with her while many of their dates became utterly jealous. Severus pushed through the crowd and met her when she reached the bottom. A slight crowd developed around them. He bowed slightly in front of her, a proud smile on his face. She held out her hand and he took it ever-so-gently and kissed it lightly. She smiled and blushed.
They had made their way into the Great Hall. The whole night was like a fairy-tale: they had a wonderful time dancing and dining. A smile never left Severus' nor Lily's face. They sat down after dancing for a while. Severus hadn't seen any trace of James at all that night, but he did see Sirius and Lupin.
"Are you having a good time?" Severus asked Lily.
"Yes, of course! I'm with you." Lily replied smiling.
"Good. I can honestly tell you that I was incredibly timid about this whole ball."
"Well, you look excruciatingly handsome."
"And tonight you look like an angel. Even more so than you already are."
"Oh Sev!" She said giggling. She started to blush.
A slow song started to play, and all the singles who came evacuated the dance floor to be replaced by the couples. Severus stood up and held out his hand and stood very straight and professional.
"May I have this dance, Miss Lily?" He said proudly.
"Of course!" She said grabbing his hand.
Severus led her out onto the dance floor. She wrapped her arms around his neck and he placed his hands around her waist. They started to dance slowly but delicately. Severus pressed his forehead to Lily's and looked deep into her eyes.
"I can never stop getting lost in your eyes." He said gently.
She smiled, but as they turned, she took her eyes off of Severus' and glanced at who was watching them from the side of the dance floor. It was James, a bruise on his cheek. He glared at the two and was obviously angry.
"James is watching," She said, "Why won't he leave me alone?"
Severus looked at her, "Maybe this will get it through his thick skull."
And with that, he leaned down and their lips met. They continued to dance slowly, but their kisses continued as well, becoming more passionate and fierce. Severus could feel James' glaring eyes burn into the back of his head, but it soon disappeared as he watched him leave from the corner of his eye. Their lips parted but their foreheads remained together. Severus could feel Lily's warm breath.
"I love you, Sev." She said.
"I love you too. Always."