Summer Love

A retelling of Severus' first and only love, Lily Evans.

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8. Always

As he leafed though his stacks and stacks of papers in his bedroom, Severus Snape's hand hit somthing hard. Confused, he grabbed hold of it and fished it out of the stack. It was a small wooden box, with a dainty gold lock. He reached for his wand and murmured, "alohomora!" as he flicked his wand in the direction of the clasp. It immediatly clicked and flung open, and Severus put away his wand and slid his fingers under the lip of the box's lid.

As it opened, the faint smell of parchment and lily blossums met his nose, and Severus remembered what it was. It was Lily's box. Inside, he reached a stack of notes, covered in his hasily scrawled penmanship and Lily's neat almost-cursive. Passing notes was somthing Lily had done in Muggle school, and so she and Severus kept up the habit, asking questions like "do you know what the bludger it is that Sluggy's rambling about?", "wanna meet up at the Three Broomsticks so we can discuss the assignment, I don't quite get it", "what was that all about, what did James want with you?" and "why are you acting so strange today, Sev?". Each set of notes passed opened fresh memories for him- both painful and sweet. The last one was printed on a fine sheet of parchment decorated with green vines and reddish-pink hearts. Tears spilled down Severus' cheeks as he read the words again.

"You're invited! / WHAT: a Wedding! / WHO: James Harry Potter and Lily Elizabeth Evans (Potter)/ WHERE: Old North Hallows Church, third building on the left side of Godric's Hollow about two miles from Spinner's End. WHEN:..."

Severus dropped the wedding invitation. It was too painful. The message she'd inscribed at the bottom was too much to bear to read, yet Severus didn't have to read it- he'd memorized it already. "Sev- I know you don't like James. I know you think we aren't meant to be. But you had your chance. I did love you- but you changed. Anyway, I was really hoping you would show. If you come, at least I know you don't hate me now. Please- just come. You don't even have to talk to James or me or anyone, just come for a few minutes, let me know that you still care. Lily."

Severus always imagined her voice saying these words, and the pain nearly swallowed him whole. But he imagined it anyway, every time.

The last sheet of paper was another invitation. Albus Dumbledore's neat, tight scrawl in green ink, more words he'd already memorized. "Severus, I... I can't say it enough, but I am so sorry. Lily, James, both gone. I know you tried. We all did. But Peter, he must have given the secret up, I knew switching secret keepers was a bad idea." (Severus didn't believe it was Peter. He knew the whole 'switching' thing was a scam. It was just like Sirius to give up his best mate's life for his own.) "Again, I am so sorry. Please, at least come to the funeral. -Albus / p.s. did you hear the news, though? The boy, her son survived. And Lord Voldemort, we can speak his name freely now, is gone, not dead, but gone, at least for now. I think Lily's love saved him after all."

Now, rereading these words, the wound flowed again, the pain seared white-hot again, the despair flowed again. Severus clutched the papers to his heart, almost spilling the bottle of Lily's lavender and lily-scented perfume that was yet another painful reminder of his lost love, and he sobbed as if the wounds were still as fresh as ever. They would never heal. But he knew one thing, and one thing only- he would avenge his love's death, he would make sure it wasn't in vain. He would protect this boy with her beautiful green eyes, he would kill the one who had killed his Lily, and he would do it all for her. Because she did belong to him, in his memories and his soul.

Always.

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