Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Always0 Reviews
Lily comes to Severus for the first time in 14 years to ask him for a favor and a deep secret is revealed.
It was just that behavior that led Lily to doubt the last several years of her life. Harry was doing all the things she was hoping he wouldn't get from James. More stories about bullying found their way through the grapevine, and as his Quidditch standings went up his grades went down. There was no doubt that he was brilliant - he was so much more than a jock and she knew that... but he refused to see that and she was afraid it was because of James's reputation. She spent two years trying to reverse it herself, asking for McGonagall's help, making James give him counter influences (which somehow always turned into stories about the Marauders or great Quidditch games...) and pulling other good male role models into his life like Remus and Arthur, but still he slid down the path of a jerk. It was driving her crazy, and what was making it all worse was James's insistence that he was fine. That it was natural for boys to bully other boys, that his grades didn't really mean that much, that he was turning out just like his father and his father had done very well. It made her stomach turn for so many reasons. She spent another year living with growing regret. The decision she made so many years ago did not just seal her fate - it did not just lock her into a dead-end life of stay-at-home motherhood followed by meaningless jobs but it may have ruined her son's future as well.
During Harry's Fourth year she could not take it anymore. OWLs would be next year and she was desperate to find a way to make him care. It wasn't necessarily a logical decision, and it was certain to disrupt her life in large ways, but inwardly that was what Lily really wanted. Divorce had been deep in her heart for a long time. She was sabotaging her own marriage now, trying to put reasons in front of her to make her go through with it. What a dirty word that is - divorce. It's not done. It's never done. Wizards do not divorce, no matter how miserable things get. Their marriages may be annulled in severe cases, but James had never raised a hand to her and he never would. It was such a dirty word that Lily had not yet consciously thought it.
So, armed with convincing arguments and deep secrets, Lily set out for Hogwarts for the first time in more than a decade. She had gotten the Headmaster's permission, but would be arriving unannounced to Severus. She didn't want him to have time to harden himself to her.
Severus sat in his office grading papers. Although he slipped in all his other classes, it seemed Harry still pushed himself in potions, and Severus still found his work honestly deserving of the title "Exceeds Expectations." It seemed some part of Harry still cared.
Knock knock knock
'So help me, if that's Draco again...' Severus rose from his seat, his robes flowing rather dramatically around him. He opened the door, his gaze directed downward. Rather than seeing the face of a young student he saw a pair of large breasts bundled in a maroon t-shirt. He cleared his throat and brought his eyes upward. He could have never anticipated what he was going to see. Those incredible green eyes. His best, most treasured memories all contained those eyes. Every course he had ever taken and every long hour spent practicing Legilimency and Occlumency was to protect those eyes despite the insistence of everyone else that the Dark Lord was gone. Somehow he had spent the last ten years forgetting all of that -forgetting the eyes that he lived for, that he drove himself to excellence for. It had been difficult, but he had even managed to forget that Harry's eyes and her's were the same. He had known them for nearly as long as it had been since he had seen them. For a long moment he could not speak. He could not handle his denial any longer.
Lily expected this. She had a plan, she had an image in her mind of what he would look like, how she would greet him, everything. It was all planned. Sure, she was nervous, and there was room for it to backfire, but she felt confident. She knocked on his door three times like he always told her too. He could hear her in his mind as she did it - 'It seems very ambiguous, like something everyone does, so consciously no one will notice it but in reality no one actually knocks just three times like that, so I'll always know it's you,' and then he took her hand, and the two played with the idea of kissing for the thousandth time, but they would actually do it for another few months. How wonderful things were before Hogwarts...
Suddenly the door swung open, and every plan she had fell from her mind. Is this what the boy she knew had grown into? The robes, the hair, the stress written on his face... He was a wizard and he was a man. He was nothing like that boy, the Muggle wanna-be that inhabited her house and slept in her bed; the boy who had all the talent in the world but squandered it for motorcycle rides and unregistered Animagus status. Her eyes met his, and the two just stared at each other for a moment. It seemed he had forgotten how to speak for longer than she did, because soon she asked. "Can I come in?"
He nodded, not once breaking his gaze from her's and not yet using his voice.
She stepped passed him, he closed the door behind her.
Severus took his seat behind the desk and she sat across from him. There was silence for a while.
"I've come about Harry."
He just watched her.
"James's son." Was that it? Were those his first words to her after all these years? He felt the bitterness grow inside of him.
She had nothing to say to that. His questioning only reminded her of her own doubts. She could not confirm it, not anymore. "He's certainly turning out like James..."
"I've noticed." His voice was dry, disinterested.
She was quiet for a moment. "I hate him for it, Severus. I hate both of them for it."
"Why are you here?" He was tired of this subject. He did not want to have a parent-teacher conference with her and he especially did not want to be the Potter family therapist.
"I was hoping you would help him."
Help him? You have no idea, do you? And how dare you come here, asking me for help again after all these years, after all these things that I have done for you, Lily Evans. Lily Potter. All thought in rage that she would not hear. "I see." Still his voice was dry despite the fact that he was seething just below the surface. "And just what is it you think I can do for your boy, Mrs. Potter?"
He cut her, and he knew he just what he was doing, too. Lily looked at him with pain in her eyes. Was that really all there was - had she done so much to him that she had become Mrs. Potter? She really had become half the woman she once was. She took a moment to pity herself before getting back on track. This was not about her or Severus. This was about Harry and getting the best for him. She cleared her throat so that she could speak - it had tightened quite a bit. "I thought you might be able to encourage him. I know the students respect you a great deal."
He had no remorse. He expected to, but he didn't. She felt only the smallest amount of pain that she deserved. "He's at the top of my class, Mrs. Potter. I don't really know what else I could be doing for him. As you're well aware, Slytherin and Gryffindor do not have a good relationships. I'm sure my words would not mean much to him.
"I understand how well he's doing in your class, Professor Snape. It leads me to believe that you're one of the few adults he cares to impress. I believe that your influence could easily spread to other aspects of his life if you were so inclined."
"And why, Mrs. Potter, would I be so inclined?"
"To save other boys from what James put you through?"
He was not interested.
"To have a good influence on the next generation?"
"As a personal favor to me?"
"I am done with favors to you, Mrs. Potter."
She took pause. "I see. Well... Perhaps with time you will reconsider." She did not feel hopeful.
"I doubt it."
She stood, and so did he. She extended her hand, and as was polite he shook it. Inwardly it caused a multitude of mixed feelings but outwardly they both held their cool. Lily made for the door and Severus stayed standing. When she reached her destination she did not turn the handle, but instead she thought of her child once more. She could not leave with nothing for him. Facing Severus again, their eyes met.
"You have something else, Mrs. Potter?"
"Are you familiar with wizarding medicine, Professor Snape?"
"Are you aware of the uncanny accuracy with which witch pregnancies progress without some extenuating circumstance?"
"I am." He patiently waited for her to get to her point.
"38 weeks from conception to the day, is it not?"
"Sometimes to the hour."
"Would you consider my pregnancy to have had extenuating circumstances?"
"As far as I know James is human and is not inflicted with any magical diseases, and you are in the same condition, so no - you have no circumstances that would have sped up or delayed your pregnancy." What could this possibly have to do with anything? He prayed she was not pregnant again.
"That's what I figured too. But here's what I'm left with." She looked him dead in the eyes. "I got married on November 9th. Harry was born on July 31st." Lily had no intention of saying it plainly, nor of staying to hear Severus go through all the possibilities she had gone through herself. As he stood, mentally counting the weeks and the days, she left.