Author's Note: I've had this one for a while but couldn't find a way to end it properly. The lyrics are from the song "Everybody's Changing", originally sung by Keane, however I prefer Lily Allen's cover.

Summary: All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France

Disclaimer: I do not own anything pertaining to the Harry Potter universe or the song "Everybody's Changing". All rights belong to their proper owners.

So little time
Try to understand that I'm
Trying to make a move just to stay in the game
I try to stay awake and remember my name
But everybody's changing
And I don't feel the same

It wasn't fair, what she was doing to him. She stood beneath an old oak tree by the lake, just staring across the water. She looked so beautiful. Her auburn hair danced out beside her as the breeze caressed her body. The gentle sighing of the trees and the water that kissed the shore of the lake were the only sounds that could be heard. The sun was skimming the tips of the mountains, painting the water with a shimmering, golden glow that sparkled into her eyes.

And all of this waited here for him. He was still astounded how she could bear the sight of him; he knew he wasn't the most attractive boy in the school. He knew what the other girls said about his greasy hair, and his tattered, ugly robes that he seemed to drown in. He knew the other boys made fun of his hooked nose and his lack of athletic prowess. And yet here she was, standing outside on this brisk autumn day waiting for him to show up. Her best friend. And that's what broke his heart.

He knew that despite the raw ache in his heart, and the physical need he felt for her when they were near, they would only ever be best friends. And so, with one more rip to his heart, and with lungs that could no longer take in air, he made his way over to the lake.

His feet brushed the grass with a whisper. She turned her head towards him, but her eyes didn't leave the lake for yet another moment, until her was right beside her.

"Hey, Sev!" she smiled at him, drawing the blade through his heart once more.

"Lily," he replied. Nothing else would come out. Nothing else could come out; he could hardly breathe.

She looked back over the water. "The lake is so beautiful," she sighed. "I don't ever want to have to leave, just so that I can always get to see this." The wind caught her hair once again and he breathed in the smell of her wafting through the air. Like sugar and flowers; lilies.

"I know." He wasn't looking at the lake.

"Maybe I could become a teacher here," she mused. "I could teach… I don't know… umm… charms. Yea, I'm good at charms! And then you could be the new potions master! That would be so great Sev! Merlin knows we can't take too much more of ol' Sluggy!" her soft laughing filled his soul, and he found himself laughing too.

"I doubt they'd let me teach," he replied. "They'd be afraid I'd scare all of the students!"

"Oh, yea! Here comes big, bad Professor Snape!" she teased.

He smiled, then tried to make his face as stern as possible.

"Oh, yes! I am the black bat of the dungeons! Fear my wrath!" He spread his arms wide, the draping arms of his robes acting as wings as he pretended to fly in circles around her.

She laughed and tried to swat him away when he threw the folds of fabric over her and grabbed her securely into a bear hug.

"Ahhh! He's got me! Help!" she laughed.

She smiled at him as he held her. Wrapping her arms around his waist, and laying her head down on his chest, she sighed.

"But really Sev. I love this place so much! I don't ever want to have to leave. It's home."

"I know, Lils. It's home for both of us. We don't belong anywhere else." He pulled her tighter to him and sighed. He could feel another gash open in his heart, but his breathing was just fine; all her could smell was her.

"I can't believe it's the end of fourth year already." Her eyes skimmed across the mountains that were almost hiding the setting sun. The afterglow lit up her face so that she looked ethereally beautiful.

"We still have three more years left. It's not like were leaving yet!"

"Well, I'll never!" Lily pulled back so that she could see Severus' face. "Since when were you Mr. Glass-half-full?" she teased.

Severus rolled his eyes. "Since when were you Miss Doom-and-Gloom?" he teased back.

Lily laughed. He loved their playful banter. He couldn't imagine anyone else he would want to spend his time with.

Lily turned slightly, leaving one arm wrapped around Severus' waist to gaze over the lake once more. "You'll come visit me this summer, won't you Sev?" she asked with a tone of hope in her voice.

"Of course, Lily," Severus declared, surprised she would even ask. "We've got to stick together, you and me."

Lily smiled and squeezed her arm around him tighter. "You really are my best friend, Sev."

Severus could feel the blood draining from his heart, settling somewhere around his stomach.

"Lily," a cry came from across the grounds. "Come along! We've got to finish up!"

"Well," Lily sighed, "I've got to finish packing, so I'll see you later?" She turned to look at him hopefully.

"Of course," he smiled down at her. She leaned up and kissed his cheek, then spun around towards her friends.

"I'm comin' Alice, quite your hollerin'!" She shouted running back towards the castle. Catching up with the other girls, Severus could hear their laughter as they walked through into the Entrance Hall.

He watched as she left him. Somewhere in his broken heart he could feel it; he knew deep down that she would never be his. What was left of his heart seemed to contract, protecting the space reserved for her love; it held on tight, refusing to let go of the best thing that ever happened to him. His lovely Lily, the love of his life, his best friend was changing; she was leaving him, slowly but surely, and one day she wasn't going to come back.

Severus stood at the edge of the lake, watching the sun dance across the water like diamonds as it set. It was August and the air was warm. He stood watching the lake with a heavy sense of nostalgia. His fist clutched around a single rolled up piece of parchment. In it was his signed contract for the position of potions master at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

He watched as the giant squid made waves crash out in the middle of the lake, slowing gradually so that they touched the shoreline as mere ripples.

"I'm here Lily, I got the job. Now I'll never have to leave, I'll get to see this every day," he whispered to the sunset. "I just wish you could be here too." He could feel the tears well up in his eyes. "I miss you Lils."

A sudden breeze whipped up from over the water blowing his matted hair back from his face. Taking a deep breath, Severus could feel something familiar in the air. It washed over him, calming his nerves and easing his pain.

Tears slipped down his cheeks as the smell of sugar and flowers filled the air.

You're gone from here
And soon you will disappear
Fading into beautiful light
Cause everybody's changing
And I don't feel right