word count: 497
era: Marauders'
posted: Nov 10, 2016


"Talking to you is like trying to navigate through a labyrinth of lies,"

Lily was crying, and even if Severus was the one who put them there, he wanted nothing more than to wipe those tears from her face.

"I'm not lying to you Lily!" he tried instead, unrepentant the desperate note in his voice.

"You've been doing nothing but lying to me, Sev," said Lily. "All year. And I've tried to stand up for you, but there is only so much I can do when you've dug yourself this deep."

"Lily, not once have I lied to you, ever. I…" Severus hesitated. "I… I love you, okay?" This wasn't how he had wanted to make that confession. They weren't supposed to be standing in an unused classroom full of dust and discarded furniture. They weren't supposed to be fighting and Lily wasn't supposed to be crying, and Severus wasn't supposed to be desperate to save their friendship.

"You can't," Lily shook her head in denial. "You can't love me. You can't love me and side with that… that monster. You can't love me and be friends with people like Lestrange and Rowle. And you certainly can't love me if you can call me a Mudblood."

"Lily, I already told you -"

"That you didn't mean it, I know! But the fact is that you did." There was a long moment of silence between them. Severus's heart ached as it pounded against his rib cage. He was so desperate, he felt like he was drowning. Lily couldn't leave him. They've been through too much together, they'd been friends since they were nine years old. He was doing everything for her! Getting close to Lucius Malfoy, putting up with Rowle, coming face-to-face with… him… Severus had done it to keep Lily safe. If Severus could continue to gain power the way he was now, he could keep Lily protected from the rest of them. He didn't understand why she couldn't see that.

"Give me your arm." Lily's voice was clear of tears, but it still wavered with emotion.

"What?"

"Give me your arm, Severus." he hesitated, even knowing it would do no good to argue. Lily's eyes burned with a heat he'd rarely seen aimed at himself. Slowly, he approached, offering her his left arm.

Lily Evans didn't gasp at the sight of the snake-wrapped skull that still raised Severus's flesh. She didn't rant or get angry or cry. Lily accepted it with an eerie sort of calmness that frightened him more than anything else could have.

The look in her eyes was heartbreakingly disappointed.

"You don't love me, Severus." Lily said quietly, and Severus could only hope that the longing he heard wasn't imagined. "This is my proof."

"Don't leave me," he tried one last time. He grasped her hands and begged, regretting everything he thought he had done right, admitting everything. But it wasn't enough. He wasn't enough.

And Lily Evans never spoke to him again.