Spoilers for Deathly Hallows. Snape's inner thoughts near the end of the book.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. Sometimes I wish I did, sometimes I’m glad I don’t. I earn no money from this.
Author’s Note: Spoilers for Deathly Hallows. I had always wondered about Snape, but now I know I love him.
You take the breath right out of me
And left a hole where my heart should be
You gotta fight just to make it through
'Cause I will be the death of you
This will be all over soon
Pour the salt into the open wound
If he had known, back then… If there had been even the slightest precognition of what was to come, he would have watched her from the shadows, always.
Or perhaps not, the temptation may have proved too great, even if he could have known, with certainty, their fates.
In many ways, she was more than an addiction, the pretty Lily Evans. If Severus Snape had any inkling at all what love was, he’d have know it for what it was, rather than thinking of it as something like addiction, but so much more.
But Snape had never known love, not really. There was a time when he thought … maybe… but the moment was swept out from under him, and he called her hateful things.
And she never could forgive him, and he never could forget her.
It pained him, more than he ever thought it would, the way people remembered her after her death. Everyone seemed to forget that the beautiful Lily Evans was ever anything but the wife of James Potter, the mother of The Boy Who Lived.
Everyone forgot that she, a Gryffindor, had once had an unlikely friendship with a Slytherin boy, already turning down a dark and dangerous path. They forgot that when she was angry, those stunning green eyes would flash with a fire to rival the burning brilliance of her hair in the sunshine.
It was forgotten that she had once despised a group of fellow Gryffindors, Potter’s bunch, and come to the rescue of Snape, a Slytherin with only the bad kinds of friends.
They forgot that he had called her ‘Mudblood’, and that the pair of them were ever friends, something he wished so dearly he could forget.
Sometimes, Snape would wonder… if he had never called her ‘Mudblood’… would she have married Potter? would she have died, that night, protecting her son? would he have walked the dark path he had chosen? would she have loved him? married him? borne his children?
Would there have been a Boy Who Lived? Would the Dark Lord have been defeated?
Severus Snape did not allow himself to dwell on such things over long. It was useless, and a waste of time. She was dead, Lily Evans was dead, and nothing he could do would ever, ever bring her back.
Maybe it was better this way. A penance, perhaps, for his bad deeds. Secretly protecting her son, because he loved her, and Dumbledore asked it of him. Sniping at Harry and hating him because he was James Potter’s son, but hating him still more because his mother’s eyes looked up at him from his father’s face. If not for his appearance, he was his mother all over again.
So Snape kept his heart locked up and away so, so tight, sometimes he forgot he’d ever had one. But then he’d look at Harry and it was like a knife through the place his heart should have been.
Some nights he would lay, awake, staring into the darkness as if begging it to consume him. But then he would murmur a spell beneath his breath, and a creature spun of moonlight and silver would come to him, a doe. And she would stand guard over him until he slipped into a dreamless sleep.
And if looking at Harry felt like a knife to the heart, the nights he’d lie awake were like twisting that knife until his heart tore free of its bonds.
Yes, it was better this way, he decided. Risking his life this way was not only a tribute to Lily’s memory, but it kept him too busy and too close to death. He didn’t deserve such a great and wonderful thing as Lily Potter’s love, he realized.
And now, that seemed okay. It wouldn’t be long, after all, he often thought with a grim smile as he watched Voldemort dote upon his pet snake, keeping Nagini ever close to his side.
End Note: Please review! Constructive criticism is always welcome!