There was an old man in a pink suit standing on an ornate balcony overlooking a beautiful bay. He was staring at a blinking green light in the fog.
The balcony was apart of a large, extravagant house, with extensive but dead grounds and an unclean pool, the blinking light was on the end of a wharf belonging to a house whose original residents had long since moved away.
"Hello, old Sport." The generic endearment was said fondly, regardless of the dour expression on the second, much younger mans face. He wouldn't be forty years old yet.
"You'll be Severus," The old man said kindly. "I'm-"
"Jay Gatsby, yes, I know."
The old man turned to look at the dark haired man, his nose was large and hooked, his expression sour his hair greasy and his robes were plain black.
Jay Gatsby leaned heavily on his walking stick, once a thing to show status- an accessory, and now it served its proper function. Jay Gatsby smiled at Severus Snape, who offered a derisive sneer back.
"What brings you here, old Sport?" Gatsby smiled a wonderful smile. "I haven't thrown a party in a long time."
"Since she moved away?" Snape nodded towards the blinking light. Gatsby nodded, unphased by his bluntness.
"Love then is it old Sport? you're chasing a girl of your own?"
Snape sneered. "She's dead."
Gatsby was moved, then.
"Such a shame," Gatsby said. "You've lost her forever." Snape sneered.
"I cannot have her, you lost her."
"I'm still waiting for Daisy to call, Old Sport."
"She won't call." Severus deadpanned, "Its been seventy years."
"It has, hasn't it?"
"She's probably dead."
"Well, I'm not far behind."
He wasn't lying, the man was over a hundred years old. Severus didn't care to comfort him, Severus never cared to comfort anyone.
"What brings you here, old Sport?"
"Looking for information," Severus offered, about Lucius Malfoy."
"British one, that one, I'm much more knowledgeable with the American purebloods."
"Do you know anything?" Severus asked, exasperated.
"Afraid not old sport, nothing you and your's wouldn't already know. I knew more than a couple of his fathers dirty secrets, but Abraxas died a long time ago and nothing he knew would be of any use these days."
"I've come all this way for nothing?" He asked, Gatsby nodded.
"I could teach you something I learned a long time ago, old sport." Gatsby looked at Severus dead in the eye and Severus saw something he doubted anyone else had seen. The mans expression changed, his voice and mannar and posture all changed.
"Don't throw your life away for someone who isn't interested, or can never be interested, Severus. No one in this world is perfect."
Severus was loath to admit it, but when he heard about Gatsby and how outstanding his reputation was he was reminded of himself - pretend, all of it was pretend.
"It was all for Daisy?" Severus confirmed. Gastby nodded.
"Thats right, old Sport, all for Daisy. Don't do the same thing I did, some women are fickle."
"Others are dead," Severus supplied unhelpfully, but truthfully.
The two men, one with white hair and a pink suit hobbling towards the doors, the other one with dark hair and clothes swooping over the marble floor like a bat, retreated into the house. Severus moved to use the old squib's floo, neither of them commenting anymore about how they wasted their lives for women who never could have them and neither of them making plans to see the other again. Gatsby said a friendly, charming goodbye to the young man who replied with a sour, biting remark and they parted ways, the facade still in place, their disguises undisturbed.
Gatsby died of old age a year later, Severus was killed by a big snake later that year, and even in death, the women they loved so dearly were never theirs.