I like this chapter! It was so fun to write…and only a few chapters left now. Still, hope everyone likes.
Five years had passed since the Christmas had passed when Severus had kissed Lily on the cheek, and thought he heard disappointment when he reminded her that he could only do that on Christmas Day. Now, he visited Godric's Hollow almost everyday, although mostly very early, to avoid missing his classes.
It was one of those times now, five in the morning, and the house was cool with the harsh December wind seeping in under the door. It wasn't strictly necessary for him to be here this early, being the holidays, but it had become something of a habit. They stood in the kitchen, side by side, not talking, just looking out at the lawn, encrusted with sparkling frost. They could hear Harry's heavy breathing upstairs, and the creak of the bed as he moved in his sleep. He would be awake soon: he always liked to see Severus in a morning. The pair got on like a house on fire.
Of course, one person who was distinctly unimpressed about Severus' constant visiting, was Sirius. He was extremely suspicious of his motives, refusing to believe that he really thought Lily needed constant comforting five years after James' death, and even less that it should be Snape who should give it to her. There had been several rather horrible shouting matches between the two men, which had only stopped when Harry got upset, as both loved him to bits.
Now, however, it was just Severus and Lily, exactly the way he always liked it to be. On impulse, he snaked an arm around her waist, and instead of pulling away, as he was afraid she would, she let him pull her closer to him, resting her head on his shoulder, and smiling. They stood like that for a while, Severus feeling a sense of elation at her willingly allowing him to be this close. After a time, she wrapped both her arms around his middle, and he wound his free around her so that his hand was in her hair, holding her. He could feel her shivering in the cool air, and hugged her closer. Neither were talking, though Lily did raise her head and look at him. He looked straight back, trying and failing to conceal the happiness and emotion in his eyes. It didn't really matter, looking into her eyes, he could see a similar expression to how he was feeling.
"Lily…" he began. "Does –"
The door banged open and Harry was standing in the doorway, looking slightly confused at the scene in front of him. He looked almost exactly like James, his nose just a tiny bit shorter, and his bright green eyes the only features significantly different to his father's apart from the thin lightning scar on his forehead. Right now, he was standing, looked bewildered, his glasses perched hastily on his nose, squinting sleepily at the two people in the kitchen. He was used to waking up to find his mother and Severus talking in the kitchen, as he would often join them, particularly interested in Severus' accounts of Hogwarts at the moment, of the teachers, and the students, and of course, his favourite story of the boy who blew up his cauldron in Snape's potions lesson, with disastrous consequences. He loved hearing about Hogwarts, and was already, at only six, impatiently waiting for his eleventh birthday, so that he could join the magical community.
Harry knew that the whole wizarding world knew who he was – when he and Lily went out, they were stopped by any wizards who happened to be around – but he was confused as to why. Mum had told him, of course, all about Lord Voldemort, and his reign of terror, and the relief of Harry having somehow stopped him. Harry was sure that if a tiny baby could have stopped him, then anyone could have. So why the big fuss? Why hadn't someone else done it? Even now, there was a day old Prophet lying on the table, the headline screaming: "The Boy Who Disappeared." He had read it last night, and as far as he could tell, the journalist thought that he had also died, and scoffed at any people who claimed to have met him. Harry blinked and shook his head, and turned his attention back to his mother and Severus.
Today, they weren't talking, just standing there hugging, looking at each other silently, and Harry was confused. He hugged Mum and Severus, but them hugging each other? That was odd. He was just trying to figure out why they might be doing this, when they spotted him, and sprung apart, both looking rather flushed. Harry shook his head, and put the matter from his mind.
"Hi Mum, hi Sev!" he said enthusiastically, hugging both of them (which was the way things should be) "Breakfast?" he added, hopefully.
Severus stayed for the rest of the day, sometimes talking with Harry about Hogwarts; and although he was most interested in learning spells and getting a wand, he also seemed excited about starting Potions. Lily laughed at this, wondering aloud if this had something to do with who would be teaching him.
"You were good at potions," he reminded her, smiling "Maybe he inherited it."
During the afternoon, Lily had promised Augusta Longbottom that she would look after her grandson, Neville, and when he arrived, the pair rushed outside, laughing.
Once again, Severus and Lily were left alone in the kitchen, as the shouts and shrieks of the two small boys drifted in through the window. It was slightly awkward, but not uncomfortably so.
She looked up at Severus again, not entirely sure of what to do. It was funny, she thought, that while he might not be attractive to a lot of people, he was one of the most beautiful people she knew. His eyes, dark and intense, were possibly his most striking physical feature, but there was his awkward, self conscious demeanour that was oddly endearing. There was the way he had followed her all her life, not given up, always been there. Even when he had been in the employ of Lord Voldemort, the thing that had made him change was her. The fact that he cared that much about her made her blush, and she turned away, smiling to herself, wondering what she had ever done to merit that kind of love from somebody she had constantly pushed away.
"Thanks," she murmured, looking back at him. One of his hands moved slightly to touch her cheek. Things were definitely changing between them.
"What for?" he breathed, moving a bit closer, so that they were almost nose to nose, and their clothes brushed against each other.
"For always being there, even when I didn't want you to be. I don't really understand why you put up with me, all these years."
"Lily, I love you…you know that."
He dipped his head towards hers, and she stretched up to meet him. This moment was so perfect, was what he had waited so long for…
A shrill ringing rang through the house, causing the pair, for the second time that day, to spring apart, Lily gritting her teeth together, and muttering threats to whoever had chosen that precise moment to ring the doorbell. Severus grinned at her reaction, but added a couple of his own threats to whoever had inadvertently interrupted them.
Glancing briefly out the window to ensure that Harry and Neville were still fine (they were), Lily tossed her hair out of her face, and dragged herself down the hall, where the dark outline of whoever-it-was could be seen vaguely through the rippled glass.
Sirius' grinning face appeared in the doorway, and Lily's heart sank. She loved seeing Sirius in general, he was always so bright and cheerful, and made her laugh, but right now, he really was the last person she wanted to see. Sirius and Severus together would end in the usual argument, and she felt that she couldn't stand his constant suspicion and both men's dislike of each other.
Harry and Neville were inside too now, talking happily, thundering up the stairs to Harry's bedroom. The house, which only a moment ago had contained her and Severus, seemed uncomfortably full.
"Uh – Sirius is here," Lily called up the stairs, hoping Severus would hear her too, in the kitchen "Harry's got Neville over, by the way, so he probably won't come down," she added. "Oh, and Sev's here too."
"Full house," Sirius commented, though his eyes narrowed at the mention of Snape.
"Yeah, well Severus is here most days, and I owe Augusta Longbottom."
Sirius face changed from mild curiosity, to black suspicion in a moment.
"Why?" he asked sharply, looking at Lily accusingly.
"Why? We've been through this a million times, Padfoot, he's my friend." Lily said exasperatedly, rolling her eyes. Then she stopped, and looked down at her feet, turning red. "And he's in love with me, and I think I'm a bit in love with him, and I know James hated him, and yes, that makes me feel terrible, so just leave it."
I was a bit evil to Sev and Lily in that one… but it was fun! Don't worry, Sirius isn't going to stay the guy that just hates Snape, cause I love Sirius too.
Reviews are very welcome! x