Disclaimer: I own none of these characters. They belong to JK Rowling and company. I merely use them for my own amusement and wish fulfillment. No copyright infringement intended.

Summary: It's back in sixth year in the late 70's, and Severus Snape and Lily Evans haven't really been friends for a while. But one evening, Snape begs to speak to Lily again and she obliges him. Set before she began dating James and after she'd already stopped being friends with Snape. This is their one night together that neither of them ever told anyone about.

Real For Us

It was just after hours, and Severus Snape was waiting in the corridor near the entrance to the school, hoping that Lily would actually show her face. He had pulled her aside after a Slug Club party the night before, and asked her if they could speak. She had initially turned him down and tried to walk away, but he told her he was sorry, and had things to tell her. And he wondered if she'd meet him the next night when everyone else was already in their dorms. He knew they both might get into trouble for wandering the grounds after the curfew, but he was willing to risk it, if she was. But she was late. He was beginning to think she wouldn't come after all. He was disappointed because he had so much to explain and apologize for. He wanted to really talk, and not just say a couple words at a crowded party. He needed to be alone with her. But time was ticking away and he was nervous about being caught. But just then he saw Lily peek her head around the corner, and then come running down the corridor to where he stood. She ran up to him breathlessly.

"Sorry I'm late. That stupid cat was following me, and I was afraid that old codger Filch would find me," she told him, gasping for breath.

"It's alright. I just thought perhaps you'd changed your mind about talking to me," he admitted, glancing down at his shoes.

"No," she shook her head. "Although, I don't know what else you can say. You already apologized."

"Yes, but you barely accepted it. And I have to explain things. It's complicated," he told her.

"Well I'm here. So explain yourself," she said, crossing her arms.

He put his hand on her shoulder and propelled her towards the doors.

"We can't talk in the castle. We need to go outside. I know a place near the entrance to the forest where Filch never looks," he informed her.

"Oh, alright. You swear no one will catch us? I really don't need detention. I have a near perfect record, aside from that one infraction first year. But I don't even count that! I was new," she pouted slightly.

"I promise we won't get caught. Just follow me," he said, as they walked out of the castle together and onto the grounds.

He took her hand, which she accepted begrudgingly, and they both took off running towards the forest before anyone could spot them. He let go of her hand once they reached the place he spoke of, and he sat down on the ground at the edge of the forest by a large tree. He motioned for her to do the same. She sighed and sat down across from him and tucked her legs underneath herself.

"So what do we need to talk about exactly?" she prodded him curiously.

"Lily, I behaved abhorrently last year. I know I did. And I'm so sorry," he told her regretfully.

"Severus, you already told me that last night. And I said it was water under the bridge," she said with a dismissive hand wave.

"I know, but I really am sorry. I only said the things I said because other people were around. I didn't want them to know how I felt for you. It was stupid. I've grown now," he assured her.

She laughed slightly. "Yes, you're all grown. You're sixteen now."

"It's still older than I was then. And I realized how wrong it was to say hurtful things to you, just because my so-called friends wouldn't approve of us being friendly."

"Yeah? Well my friends don't like you at all. Obviously. You already know that," she told him with a raised eyebrow.

"I do know. Especially that Potter boy and his sidekick, Sirius. What a mark on the Black family tree that he's a Gryffindor," Snape said, shaking his head.

"So what? You're not helping your case. I'm a Gryffindor too, you know. I thought this was an apology? And besides, I'm not really friends with Potter. He's a jerk. But Sirius and Remus are nice to me."

"Remus? You do know what he is right? And that Sirius almost got me killed by him once. They're not nice. The whole lot of them are complete pricks," Snape said with irritation.

Lily sighed. "Yes, I know about Remus. And I know what happened to you. But none of that really matters right now, does it? Is this what you wanted to explain to me? That my friends are a bunch of pricks?" she wondered with exasperation.

Snape shook his head. "No, forget them. That's not what I want to talk about. I wanted to explain how sometimes a boy does and says stupid things to impress their friends. And that's what happened with me. But I regret it. And I don't really think you're a Mudblood."

"Liar. Yes you do. I am a Mudblood. But I remember when we were kids and you said it didn't matter a bit. Guess your friends changed your mind," she said haughtily.

"They didn't. That's what I'm trying to explain. They're the ones who say that kind of stuff. Not me. I don't know what made me say it except I was angry. But I swear I think no less of you than I ever did," he promised her.

"Alright. Fine. I forgive you then. Just don't do it again. And if these people were real friends, you'd not have to insult your other friends to impress them," she told him.

"Does this mean we're still friends?" he wondered hopefully.

"I don't know. I guess. Maybe," she shrugged.

"Do you still like me?"

"Sometimes I like you. But not as of late, no. But tonight, you're alright," she said with a small smile.

"Just alright?" he asked, smiling slightly back.

"I don't really know why you've waited all this time to apologize. It's a little late. But I suppose better late than never," she said softly.

"I was embarrassed and ashamed. I often get humiliated in front of you, and I guess I just snapped. And for that, I'm ashamed. Because you were always nice to me. It wasn't your fault. I guess I just felt your associations made you guilty of my humiliations as well," he admitted just as softly.

Lily looked at him for a moment and she felt a bit ashamed herself. She wouldn't really say she was incredibly close to the people that often teased Severus, but she was friendly with them. And she could understand how he'd see her as somewhat of a traitor. And in seeing her that way, he might be prompted to lash out. It wasn't right, but she kind of understood. She scooted closer to him and took his hands in her own and held them.

"Remember when we were just kids and Petunia would always make fun of us and call us names? And you told her you'd curse her silly until she ran away crying? Sometimes kids do stupid things when they're being mocked or bullied. I understand it, Severus. But I'm not your enemy. I never was," she said fondly remembering how they'd both torture her sister.

"I know you're not my enemy. I was worried I was yours," he told her nervously.

"No. I just felt we needed space. Obviously our lives went differently. I saw no place for me in your world, nor did I see one for you in mine," she admitted wistfully.

"But it doesn't have to be like that. So what if you're a Gryffindor and I'm a Slytherin? And who cares if your parents are Muggles? My father was one," he pointed out almost frantically.

"Yes, but all your pureblood friends hate the likes of me, and also hate Gryffindor, just on principle," she reminded him.

"But I'm not pureblood. I'm half blood. And I meant what I told you all those years ago. It doesn't matter, as long as you're special. And you are. You always were. Don't you remember the times we'd spend at the pond or at our favorite tree?" he reminded her.

She laughed slightly. "Yes, of course. I just told you I remembered those times. But we aren't little children now. And like it or not, we have a rivalry at this school. It's just how it is."

"It's stupid, honestly. In the end, it doesn't matter. Do you think I'm evil?" he asked.

"Evil? No. Never. Do you think I'm ridiculously brave or selfless?" she asked back.

"Yes. I do. On both counts," he admitted with a faint smile.

"Silly boy. I'm neither really. I'm just a girl," she said dismissively, letting go of his hands.

"I think you're way more than just a girl. You're Lily. You're amazing. And you're kind and gentle and beautiful," he added, looking away from her.

"Beautiful?" she questioned with a surprised look.

"Yes, beautiful. Your eyes are like glistening emeralds. And your hair is the color of fiery flames," he explained awkwardly.

She giggled a little and covered her face.

"Oh Severus, you're too much. Is this how you woo the girls?" she asked.

It was his turn to cover his face in embarrassment.

"No. I don't woo anyone. Am I awful at it? Was I too cliché? I meant it though."

"Well it was very sweet. A little over the top, but sweet. And what do you mean you don't woo anyone? Surely there are girls you fancy?" she posed the question to him.

He felt his face turning red, and he hoped she couldn't see it in the darkness.

"There's only one girl I fancy. But I thought she hated me," he admitted barely audibly.

She looked at him with a mix of surprise and a bit of pity. She had no idea he felt so strongly, especially in light of his treatment of her, and the fact that they'd barely spoken at all in a year.

"You fancy me?" she finally squeaked out nervously.

"Obviously. It's why we're here tonight. I couldn't keep it a secret. I had to apologize and tell you how I felt. I've been so lonely without you, Lily. You were my best friend," he told her honestly.

"You were mine too, Severus. But I did think you hated me. So I hated you in return. What else was I to think?" she asked confused.

"That's why I'm setting it straight. You had to know the truth. I think of you all the time. I stare at you all the time. I'm hopeless," he told her, looking down at his lap and wringing his hands.

She wasn't sure what to do or say because although she did miss his friendship, she'd never really considered him romantically. Not until this moment. And even then she wasn't sure what she felt. They'd been estranged for so long.

"I don't quite know what to tell you," she whispered softly.

"Tell me you feel it too. That everything we shared still matters. That I still matter," he implored her.

She scooted ever closer and took his hands again. She held them tightly and looked in his eyes.

"Severus, I care for you. I never stopped. You'll always be in my heart. But I don't think I feel the same as you do," she said as gently as possible.

He pulled his hands away from her and leaned back in the grass.

"Don't look at me like you pity me. I get it. You don't find me handsome like that Potter bloke. I understand. I'm not what you want," he said with bitterness.

"Stop! No. I'm not interested in James. I already told you. Yes, he's handsome, but no. It's just I've always thought of you as my friend. My best friend for years, until recently. I'm just not sure it's the same kind of affection you hold for me," she explained somewhat desperately.

"It's fine. I knew this would be a mistake. I just thought maybe you remembered. And that you felt the way I did. Or that you could feel it. But obviously I was wrong," he said, trying to shake off the rejection and play it cool.

"Severus, have you ever kissed a girl?" she asked, seemingly out of the blue.

"What?" he asked quizzically.

"Have you kissed a girl?"

"No. Have you kissed a boy?" he shot back.

"No," she admitted with a small blush.

"Oh. Really? You've never kissed anyone?"

"No, silly. No one except you. Remember that summer at the pond when you said you loved me, and I giggled my head off and kissed your cheek?" she asked with a happy smile.

"Of course. How could I ever forget that?" he said shaking his head with a grin.

"Well that was my first kiss. And it wasn't even real," she said with a sigh.

"It seemed good enough at the time," he smiled at her.

"Well, perhaps we should just get it over with and see what all the fuss is? I mean, everyone's first real kiss should be with someone they care about. Don't you think?" she asked.

He was confused and a little bit too excited at this notion, but he simply nodded his head in agreement.

"Well, then kiss me, Severus. For real," she told him, scooting right next to him now.

"For real? A real kiss?" he asked flummoxed.

"Yes, you nitwit. Kiss me," she grinned at him.

"But why? You just told me you didn't fancy me. I don't understand," he told her, wishing he could just do it, but he was so confused.

"I know, but maybe the kiss will spark something? Just do it, okay?" she said with a wicked little glint in her eyes.

He couldn't resist that look and he was so nervous he thought he might actually pass out and die. But she leaned closer to him and waited expectantly for his move. So he just lunged for her and practically assaulted her with his lips. He had no idea what he was doing, but he was trying his hardest to make this a memorable kiss, so she'd change her mind about him. At first, it seemed like he was doing a terrible job, and she was all stiff and not really in sync with his lips. But soon they found a rhythm they could both enjoy and get lost in. Their lips and tongues melded together and they frantically grabbed each other closer, as the kiss deepened and became even more passionate. But then Lily abruptly pulled away and sat back, slightly breathless.

"What's wrong? Did I do it terribly? Was it bad?" Snape asked her worriedly.

She wiped her mouth as discreetly as she could and then she smiled at him.

"No, it was lovely. It was great. But I think we should stop."

"Why?"

"Because. It was just supposed to be a kiss, not a bloody marathon snogging session. I don't even know what I'm doing," she admitted, looking away from him.

"I'm sorry. Did I get carried away? I can do it gentler or less enthusiastic," he told her urgently.

"No, it's alright. It was great," she smiled. "But I'm afraid it doesn't change how I feel," she added, her smile fading.

Snape looked down at his lap again and began fiddling with the shoestring on his shoe.

"Oh. So it wasn't good, was it? I mean, you still don't fancy me?"

"I'm sorry. It's not that it wasn't good, it's just, you're my best friend. I've known you since we were children. It's…well, weird," she said, tucking her hair behind her ears.

The truth was, she had liked the kiss a lot, but it scared her how much she did like it. She wasn't sure she was ready to be anyone's girlfriend at this point. Much less his. She knew the kind of flack she'd get from all her friends, and she imagined he'd get the same from his. They just weren't meant to be together. It might have worked when they were little, but that's when it was just the two of them against the world. Now life was very different. They were very different. And Lily felt like she had to pull away.

"Weird? It's weird? It didn't feel weird at all to me," he said, trying to hold back his hurt feelings.

"How did it feel then?" she wondered.

"Real."

She smiled, in spite of her nerves.

"Yes, it did feel real," she admitted.

"It's always been real for us."

"Yes, it has."

"But you don't want to be with me?" he asked sadly.

"I'm sorry, I can't. I just can't. But now we've both been kissed and it was with someone who really cared for us. That's special," she reminded him.

"Yeah, special. Just like us," he muttered softly.

"Yes, just like us."

"You're going to leave now and go back to the castle aren't you?" he wondered without looking at her.

"Yes. I have to get back. I don't want to get in trouble," she told him honestly.

"Alright."

"Are you coming?"

"No."

"But Filch will catch you, if someone else doesn't first," she reminded him.

"It's okay. I'm fine. You go," he told her.

She looked at him pitifully and wished she didn't have to break his heart, but she knew no other thing to do. She finally stood up and brushed off her clothes.

"Okay, I'm going back. See you tomorrow in Potions class?" she asked hopefully.

"Yeah, of course. You know you're doing terribly this year because I'm not giving you my notes anymore," he managed a small smile as he teased her.

She laughed slightly. "I know. I need your expertise. You're the only reason I did so well before."

"Maybe if you're nice, I'll let you see my notes tomorrow?" he offered.

"Deal."

She leaned down and kissed the top of his head, and ran her hand through his shaggy long dark hair.

"Just remember, it's always been real for us," she whispered softly.

He looked up at her longingly.

"Yes. Always."

She kissed his head again and then she turned and ran off towards the castle, leaving him on the grass at the edge of the forest. He just sat there and contemplated what had just happened. Lily and he had kissed. Passionately. Apparently too passionately for her taste. But they'd done it. And now she was running away. And she didn't want to be his girl. She just wanted a friend who was good at Potions class. To say he was disappointed would be an understatement. He couldn't even fully enjoy the memory of the kiss, because of what came after. But maybe they could really still be friends somehow? They could still hang out like before. He could just brush off his snobby friends, and maybe she'd stop hanging around those losers she considered friends. He didn't know. He didn't know anything. But after a while, he got up and headed back to the castle himself.

He walked into the Slytherin common room, and found a few of his mates still sitting up by the fireplace. They looked up when he entered.

"Where've you been?" one of them asked.

"Just out walking," Snape replied coolly.

"Walking? At this hour? Do you want detention?" another laughed.

"I was visiting an old friend," Snape muttered softly.

"Oh wait, lemme guess. That redheaded Gryffindor you're always staring at? Did you make time with her? For a Mudblood I guess she's pretty enough. If you don't mind tainted blood touching you," his friend laughed.

"Right, tainted. She's not even worth it. It was a mistake to see her. Filthy Mudblood. I knew she would be a waste of my time," Snape said, trying to act cool for his mates, even though he felt horrendous for saying the words.

"Yeah, filthy is right. Definitely not worth it. Find a nice Slytherin girl, Sev."

"I think I will. I'm over that ridiculous bint. Who needs her?" Snape lied through his teeth.

One of his friends got up and patted him on the back.

"That's the spirit! We'll find you a bird. No worries. Now let's get to bed before the sun rises," his friend said, as he ushered him towards the dorm room they shared.

Snape just went along with it and never said a word to anyone about what had happened that night. And the next day when Lily smiled at him in Potions class, he just looked away from her. He never saw her fallen expression or the pain in her eyes. He never knew how much his second betrayal had hurt her. And she never knew just how deeply she'd cut him by rejecting him, and that every action he took after that moment was all a lie perpetuated by hurt feelings. And they both went to their graves never telling a single soul about the night on the edge of the forest. To everyone else, it never happened. But it was real for them.

Fade to Black….