Warning: There are spoilers for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2, in this fanfic. A.U. Voldemort dies/is defeated somehow long ago(not by Harry). Lily and James never die, and there is no betrayal. Set sometime during Harry's school years at Hogwarts. Probably during his fourth year, with the tri-wizard tournament. (So, yeah, Harry's still a champion, somehow). Snape still teaches potions there, Dumbledore is still headmaster, and the staff is, as always, filled with the other teachers we know and love. (Oh, and for this, Mad Eye Moody is the real Moody.)

Disclaimer: I don't own the Harry Potter series or any of the characters.

Enjoy and please review.

The third and final task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament was only a few days away. The family members of the champions would be arriving soon to visit them. Immediate family only, of course, which meant that only the parents/guardians and their siblings would be allowed to come. All of the three(now four) champions were expected. Victor Krum's, Fleur Delacour's, Cedric Diggory's, and Harry Potter's.

Potter! Severus Snape realized with a jolt. Potter's parents, James and Lily, were coming. Lilywas coming.

Lily was coming to Hogwarts.

The potions master was not sure whether he felt elated or terrified at the idea of seeing Lilyagain. Did he want to see her? Of course! Did he want her to see him? Yes. And no. It was so complicated.

Any romantic ideas he had were immediately dismissed. Lily had chosen to marry James Potter, and, as such, was out of his reach. Even though he despised James Potter-it was for Lily's sake and

happiness, not to mention his own maturity, that no such overtures were to be made. She was accepted that, and would respect it. That did not, in any way, mean that he no longer loved her, or loved her any less.

Friendship was also out of the question. A distant, painful echo of a memory came to his mind at the mere thought of the word.


She had not forgiven him all those years ago. She would not forgive him now.

But a man could still wish for it? Dream of it despite the futility of such a thing? Yes. Of course one could.

He could be neither her friend or her lover. What excuse could he have for approaching and speaking to her? For a moment, Severus seemed at a loss as to what to do when the time came for all of Hogwarts' staff to greet the champion's families. Then he realized something. He was a teacher. He would be able to do as the rest of his fellows could. Say hello, shake their hands, show them to their child(or perhaps more like vice-versa), and make small talk in general.

Yes! He thought, victorious. He had cause, at least, to walk up to Lily and speak to her. And to Potter...if he absolutely had to.

Severus would be calm.

He would be civil. To all, including James and Harry.

He would be composed.

Should any...trouble be brought up between himself and James Potter, he would not be the one to cause it. He would be the mature adult in such a situation. However, he hoped that James would be so, too. Over Lily's behavior, he worried not. He knew her, and knew that she would be fine. Her mind, he knew, would be on her son.

He hoped and wanted for only one thing out of this future meeting: reconciliation. Closure. He wanted to make peace with her. To learn that she had, at least, forgiven him for what he had done all those years ago. Forgiveness...That was all.

As for James...well...if Lily was happy with him, then he, Severus, was happy for her. Nothing James Potter might throw at him would hurt him anymore, be it a spell or a verbal barb meant to provoke him.

Merlin, he might even stop hating Harry as he did, or, at least, a hate him a little less.

However, and though he despised having to do so, he had to consider the other possible outcomes. She may not listen to him, speak to him, or even acknowledge his existence, denying him the opportunity to even speak his piece. Or, if she didn't ignore him, and he got to say that what he wanted, she might not forgive him, even if he told her that it was for the sake of peace, and nothing more was expected.

Or, and this might be even worse: James himself might block him from even getting close to Lily-let alone allow him to speak with her. He imagined James Potter standing there, glaring at him as he stood between Lily and Severus like some sort of guard dog.

The world around them would cease to exist, and it would be as if they were back in school-immature, both of them, to an extent. And hurt, too, though in different ways. Potter physically-Snape, in his hatred of the one who had bullied him, and yet who still got Lily Evans' love, had started to hex him him at almost every opportunity. Potter had always thought Severus to be evil, and it seemed unlikely that his opinion would ever change. Especially due to Snape's said actions toward him, and their rivalry in general. If there was any emotional hurt or otherwise, Snape did not know, and nor did he care.

Snape, though, was hurt in another way altogether. He'd been hurt physically as well, too, though. The bullying he had received had certainly done so. And the fights, too. But he was hurt far more by Lily's rejecting of him, and ending their friendship. It had been damaged before the terrible event, yes, he had to admit. But still...to be so shunned by Lily, and so quickly!

Did Snape blame himself? Yes, he had to. But he also knew, as the muggles would say, that it took two to tango. Two to make a friendship, and two to end it. Lily had contributed to the problem, too, though he could not figure out how exactly, save her stubbornness, and...the rest. On a pedestal he put her not. But still, Lily was Lily. He knew, logically, that she was not perfect. But his heart had been, and still was, hers, even if she hadn't known it then and didn't know it now. He loved Lily for herself, and could look past all her flaws. He only wished that she, too, could do the same for him. But this, he could look past, too.

Despite the many scenarios that ran through his mind, he still did his best to hold out hope that things would go well. Lily had demonstrated her optimism and hope for a better future more times than anyone could count.

He was going to borrow a leaf from her book.

So, he had hope. Not that it was very high, of course, in case of...

No, he thought, with new determination. He would not think about what could go wrong-he'd done that already, and did his best to prepare himself.

Hope was something he hadn't had in a very long time. Things could actually, for once, turn out okay. In the meantime, he would have to somehow find the strength to avoid throttling Potter. As in, Harry Potter.

The dunderhead.

And thus ends Chapter 1.

I don't think this story will be too long, probably just another chapter or two. I hope that you like it, and would please be kind enough to leave a review. Doesn't have to be long-just, you know, whatever you think about the story. Anything, so long as it is not inappropriate(no flames, bashing, trolling, etc). Getting reviews renews one's desire to write and to continue their stories.