Say You Love Me

“What did he do, Lily?” Remus asked, his voice still tinged with laughter. She bit her lip in hesitance - she could easily make something up that he had done, but decided against it. Godric, what didn’t James do? Lily felt like telling them how he runs his hands through his hair every two seconds and messes it up even more than it already was, and how pushes his glasses up the bridge of his nose with the knuckle of his index finger where he wears his family ring, and how he chews his quills and licks his lips afterwards and he talks with his hands when he’s explaining something and how they shouldn’t even get her started on how he rolls his jumper to his elbows or what his shoulders look like in his Quidditch jersey or how he lets his tie hang off his neck. But instead she dropped into the chair closest to her saying simply, “I hate him.”

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1. Chapter 1

Severus Snape was nervous. Completely anxious, full to the brim with doubt and worry. He felt sweat pooling in his hands, glistening against his forehead as he looked around, desperate to distract himself from what was about to occur. His hands trembled and his legs shook as the greatness of the hall before him overwhelmed his senses. He could see four tables, filled with students and another horizontal to it filled with teachers. A vague feeling of awe hid hesitantly under the emotional chaos of anxiety that plagued his mind but he was unable to fully appreciate it. A hand grasping his startled him out of his thoughts, a feeling of warmth that spread from their connecting skin lapped at the ice in his veins soothingly like waves against the shore line. His head shot to the source to find a head of long, dark red hair, hopeful green eyes that were filled with excitement and a smile that let the tension out of his body and pushed the corners of his mouth upward.

“It’ll be alright Sev.” She told him, seeing through his transparent smile. “Even if we’re not sorted together - we’ll always be friends.” Her voice wobbled with the words. “Right?”

Severus took a deep breath, filling his lungs with oxygen in an attempt to calm himself, “Right. Always.”

She seemed pleased with his response, and let go of his hand. “Come on. It’s about to start.”

He followed her eyes to where the female Professor that had led them to their current place was standing, parchment in her hands as her eyes gazed over the group, demanding quiet. Next to her was a stool, which seated a hat, one that looked identical to the typical muggle-style witches hat. It was black, but rather old, patched and frayed - not to mention extremely dirty. Severus knew that it had something to do with the ceremony, but was hardly expecting it to speak.

He was unsure how to respond as the hat sung, explaining all he already knew of Slytherin (where ambition and slyness was abundant), Ravenclaw (where you would find those who had a mind begging to be filled with knowledge), Hufflepuff (where loyalty and honesty rung true) and Gryffindor (where cowardice was replaced with bravery).

Lily turned to him in wonder as the singing stopped, her eyes bright and wide as her smile threatened to split her face in two. “Is this real life?” she whispered.

He nodded, his best effort at a smile forming on his face as he did so. The Professor, whose name he had already forgotten, called the first name from the parchment, “Avery, Erebus”.

The hat was set onto his head carefully and not ten seconds later it had proclaimed, “SLYTHERIN”, earning one side of the hall to erupt into cheers as the boy was welcomed to the table.

At that, his insides pulled and anxiety consumed him once more, pulling him under a wave of emotional chaos. Severus barely listened after that. He didn’t hear the names called, the hat’s exclamations, or even Lily whispering questions in his ear in her endearing manner of excitement.

Not until it happened.

“Evans, Lily”

Hearing her name called nauseated him, her smile and whisper of, “See you soon”, did nothing to settle him. He watched as she walked on unsteady legs to the stool and sat. Severus’ dark, heavy eyes didn’t leave her as she did so, too afraid to lose sight of her for even a second.

Please be in Slytherin, please be Slytherin.

The hat didn’t say anything for a few moments, and Severus could see Lily becoming uncomfortable.

“GRYFFINDOR!”

Severus felt his heart drop from his chest to his stomach, feeling like a boulder at the bottom of the ocean as his features remained sickened - his eyes hooded, his mouth slightly parted and his eyebrows furrowed as he felt stabbing sensations against his chest. Lily walked with a skip in her step toward the Gryffindor table, a blinding smile on her face as she turned to him, an expression of pure joy covering her features. He watched as she turned to a boy he knew know to be Sirius Black and say something - he could almost hear her excitable tone and naivety tumbling from her mouth.

Why couldn’t she just have been put in Slytherin? Or at least Ravenclaw? Why Gryffindor? He knew she was glad that she had been sorted somewhere, as she had worried she wouldn’t be sorted at all. That she would be told to go home, that she didn’t belong. That this had all been a great joke pulled upon her.

Severus, at this point, would have preferred that than her be in Gryffindor. He would rather her sitting carefully on the swing at the park by their houses, a flower resting on her palm, or lying by the lake, bringing muffins and cake and biscuits from her house to share and rolling her eyes as she climbed the tree, telling him to hurry up.

Would they even do that anymore?

He sulked for the rest of the ceremony. There was no way he would be sorted into Gryffindor of all places, which meant he would never be with Lily, no matter what happened.

“Snape, Severus.”

He walked to the stool, determined not to let his feelings show as he turned to face the entire school, his stomach rolling over itself as he took in the slightly bored faces of some students.

“Hmmm,” The voice of the sorting hat echoed in his ears, and judging by the fact that nobody else had looks of surprise on their face, he guessed he was the only one who could hear it. “No doubt about you, definitely...SLYTHERIN!”

Severus saw Lily’s shoulders slouch slightly but she clapped wildly all the same. He watched her as he made his way over to the Slytherin table, unable to shake the overwhelming feeling that he had just lost his best friend.

>JAMES<

James Potter had all the excitement in the world bottled up inside of him. He was finally at Hogwarts, awaiting to be Sorted. Scenarios of his youth splashed through his mind, begging to be sent to Hogwarts early with his cousins, jealousy shattering his reserve as Marlene, his best friend, travelled to the school with her parents and coming back beside herself and unable to describe the wonder that was Hogwarts. It was the best wizarding school in all of England!

Now, all he had to do was be Sorted into Gryffindor. Gryffindor was the house of the brave and courageous, where his father had been sorted when he was at Hogwarts. He had pictured himself in his own red striped tie since he knew what it was, an affinity for the house as the Sorting Hat had listed the qualities of where he knew he belonged.

A nudge to his ribs tore him from his thoughts away from the past and into the present, where Professor McGonagall stood waiting. Marlene rolled her eyes, “Jamie, are you ever going to pay attention?”

He grinned guilty and shrugged, “Maybe.”

Professor McGonagall called the first name as both James and Marlene turned to the ceremony, “Avery, Erebus.”

He was sorted into Slytherin, leaving James with a shoot of excitement down his spine. The contents of his stomach swirled with nerves as the prospect of being sorted came closer.

Only a few names had been called before Sirius Black was called. Sirius was a boy of black curls and cloudy grey eyes who they had met on the train. Marlene had met him with family twice before they saw him in an otherwise empty compartment on their search for a place to sit.

“Marley, you can’t just barge in there-”

But before he had been able to finish, she was saying hello and introducing him, sitting down across from him as if she had been invited in.
Sirius had barely noticed as James sat down hesitantly beside her, only asking, “So, where do you fancy getting sorted?”

Now, they exchanged a grin, albeit a shaky one, as Sirius waded through the crowd to the front. His grey eyes were clouded with nerves, his hands curled into fists at his sides and his elbows locked. Despite this, a cocky smile of confidence rested on his lips as he took a seat onto the stool. Sirius had told him his entire family had been in Slytherin, a feat not unusual for pureblood families. James found himself selfishly hoping the tradition would be broken, unable to contemplate himself being placed in Slytherin, or to be friends with Sirius after being sorted separately.
The hat was eerily silent and James could see Sirius blushing under the large hat as the silence stretched out.

“What the bloody hell is going on?” Marlene whispered to him, a frown sitting atop her pretty features. James only shrugged in reply, watching as an older student at one of the four tables muttered, ‘hatstall’.

James was unsure what that meant, but before he could question it the hat called out, “GRYFFINDOR!”

Sirius’ nervous look slipped off his face and one of shock replaced it as the hat was lifted from his head. His eyes were wide with confusion as surprise washed over his face as he made his way towards the table of Gryffindor house, it’s occupants cheering wildly for their newest addition.
James watched on, finding himself wishing even more to be placed in Gryffindor. But if Sirius’ entire family had been in another house to him, Slytherin for that matter, did that mean James could be in a different one from his own?

“Evans, Lily”

The boy to the left of James tensed as the girl next to him walked through the crowd.. This gained James’ attention as his eyes followed the dark-red-headed girl up to the stool, and felt his stomach flip when she turned. Her cheeks were almost as red as her hair but her eyes were a bright, celery green. She gave a shaky smile to Professor McGonagall as she placed the hat on her head. A few moments later the hat shouted,

“GRYFFINDOR!”

She smiled again, a smile with much more relief and seemingly less nervous than the last, as she stood from the stool. James felt his cheeks heat up as he realised that Lily Evans was most likely the prettiest girl he had ever seen. He decided it was wise to keep his head down after that.
Marlene was sorted into Gryffindor, as was a boy called Remus that had stopped by into their carriage toward the end of the train ride.
It wasn’t long, however, before his own name was being called and he was walking the same path up the sandstone stairs and sitting onto the stool. Nerves flittered into every crevice of his body, every space and gap between his bones and muscles and ligaments. He was about to be Sorted.

The frayed hat was set onto his head, its rim almost covering his glasses as it fell over his eyes. His heart knocked wildly against his chest as the hat’s voice echoed inside his head.

“Not hard to decide for you. Incredibly loyal, and eternally brave - too brave even. No doubts, GRYFFINDOR!”

James stood up, happiness brimming inside of him and overflowing like a bucket too full of water as he caught Marlene’s eye. A smile large enough to crack his face in half climbed to cover his features as he bounded over to the Gryffindor table, overwhelmed with a loudly cheering house for their newest addition. Marlene stood up slightly, wrapping her arms around his neck as he came closer to her whispering, “We did it, Jamie. Together forever.”

“Together forever.” he whispered back, sitting down beside her in the space she had created for him on the bench. Members of the house greeted him kindly, older years and other first years included. James found himself sitting across from the one and only Lily Evans, who gave him a quick smile before turning back to the ceremony.

Watching her red hair catch the light, James thought that with Lily Evans in his house, the next seven years would be seven to remember.

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