Snowmen and Snape
Edited: July 17, 2012
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
"Sirius, can I speak with you for a second?" James asked his ex-best friend out to the side of Hagrid's hut.
He noticed Lily stood up beside him in a protective stance, her eyes flashing dangerously. Little snowflakes covered her fiery hair and her cheeks and nose were rosy. James couldn't help but think that she looked adorable. Usually the guy was going for the girl and the girl's guy friend would stand up, not the other way around. He had to admire Lily's bravery. It was times like these that her understood why she was in Gryffindor.
Remus, Alice, Sirius, and Lily had been enjoying the cool winter air by building a rather impressive snowman. It was at least 7 feet tall and had a mouth made from a thin piece of spaghetti and the nose of a chocolate éclair that Sirius had nicked from the kitchens. Its eyes were two round, green mints and it wore a scarf of red and gold. House pride, Hogwarts couldn't stand without it.
Sirius had also insisted on making a snow dog so that the snowman wouldn't get lonely. A dog is a man's best friend. It was now sitting beside the man made of snow looking proud and loyal…even if its nose was lopsided and it was missing a foot (Sirius was too lazy to create all four legs). It would make anyone love the innocence of youth.
They had been lying down in the hard snow when James walked over wanting Sirius. This actually scared Lily, creating a jolt of adrenaline to run through her. She didn't want her friend to get another ugly bruise that she had to heal again. She decided that whatever James wanted to say, he could say it in front of her too. She let him know this and he walked off towards the Forbidden Forest wanting them to follow him.
Lily was terrified of this forest, but Sirius acted as if he had been in it a million times before, and he probably had. The shadows seemed to bend and twist with sinister intentions that sent her heart into an icy chill. She clutched onto Sirius's upper arm just in case those giant spiders that were rumored to live in the out-of-bounds forest came at her.
She heard Sirius snicker at her attempt to cover her fright, but no matter, if she were to go down, she would take him down with her. They only walked in far enough so that you could no longer see any students, but Lily was scared witless nonetheless.
She saw James's eyes flicker to her hands that were holding onto Sirius as if her life depended on it, and in her mind it did. Her grip remained steady; his gaze didn't frighten her. It was more his words actually. Those were the most dangerous of his weapons. He frowned a bit and his eyes darkened, but she thought nothing of it. They stood there in silence for what seemed like an eternity, both sides daring the other to speak first.
"Areyouguysdating?" James suddenly asked in a rush faster then a firework going off.
"What?" said Lily, genuinely confused. Was that strangled mess of words supposed to be some kind of apology?
"Are you guys dating?" he said a bit slower. This made Sirius frown. His eyebrows furrowed slightly and Lily felt him tense.
"Well what do you think?" he asked seething, "You seemed pretty sure of yourself when you socked me in the face." James looked to the ground at that comment and Lily took pity on him. Sirius wasn't the only one who lost one of his best friends.
"No James, your best friend didn't stab you in the back and run after me." Lily said coldly, her eyes were daring him to retort.
"Look, I-I'm sorry. I was just so confused and I didn't know what to think. How could I! I was jealous and cruel and jumping to conclusions. I STILL don't know what is going on! I was just mad that you could help Lily and I couldn't."he whispered the last part and kept his head looking at the ground.
Lily looked up at Sirius and he shrugged his shoulders, but he was frowning still. James's apology sounded sincere enough. The pleading expression he was now giving them reminded Lily of a puppy who was lost and far from home.
She pinched Sirius's arm and he had to bite his tongue to keep himself from letting out a little yelp of pain. She glared at him and he stared back moving his head slightly in one direction. She tilted her head down a bit in response.
They had gotten scarily good at communicating silently. Remus told them that they would need to write a book of signals before he would be able to understand what they were saying to each other. It was the best way to speak without causing any "difficulties" as Sirius had put it. Lily nudged him again and he looked down at her annoyed. He finally nodded.
"James?" Lily said stepping forward, her hand moved to Sirius's hand rather then his arm. No way was she letting go until they left that cursed forest.
"No, Sirius and I aren't dating and you were helping me! You were always there trying to act happy for me. It's just that, I need to conquer one problem at a time. You and Sirius were both trying to help me defeat different problems and the one Sirius was handling was just easier. I have Sirius' back now and he has mine,"
James then realized that Lily's life was far more complicated then he had known. Her trials had been numerous and she had to over come each and every one of them. It was like trying to climb a wall two times your size with no footholds. It was impossible unless there was someone there to help push you up. Sirius had been the one to push her over one wall and he had helped her over another. Maybe now she would be okay.
"I'm sor-" he started once again, but Sirius interrupted.
"We know, you're sorry, but we forgive you." He said, almost hesitantly.
You could tell he was still a bit peeved at the boy. He stepped up to James and attempted to give him a manly hug, but that was rather hard when Lily's grip was iron. He looked down to see his hand was almost purple. He pulled her to his other side and switched hands, shaking out his other.
James saw this and grinned timidly. They stood there in a semi-comfortable, semi-awkward silence for a few moments. Lily seemed to be scooting closer and closer to Sirius at every sound of a stick breaking somewhere behind them.
"Something bothering you, Lils?" James joked. A hint of his trademarked smirk seemed to linger.
"Oh nothing… just this forest that's going to swallow me up, chew me, and spit me back out again without an ounce of mercy." She said glancing over her shoulder with a nervous laugh as if looking for the monster that would partially digest her.
"Well, no need to fear Petal, for your knights in shining armor are here!" he yelled rather loudly. Sirius smiled, a bit more at ease, as they started to retreat out of the spooky woods.
"Yeah, Sunshine. You have TWO knights in shiny armor, how lucky are you?" Sirius said bumping her shoulder.
"Oh I'm sure I'm very unlucky in reality for I can't help but feel like my knights are going to set a pile of dungbombs off at my feet any second now." She said rolling her eyes.
They arrived to their snowman (and dog) to see Remus and Alice constructing a second snow creation. This one was a tall thin snowman that had spectacles sitting on the edge of his nose, an all-knowing smile, and an incredibly long blue beard. He also appeared to have a bowl of candies in his hand.
James, Sirius, and Lily let out long peals of laughter and were met by the smiles of their other friends who seemed to understand what had changed. Sighs of relief traveled through the two of them. It was never fun being stuck in the middle of a raging war.
Things were now the way they should be, if not a bit strained. Sirius and James were trying to push each other into the snow, Remus and Lily debated on the best potion to relieve one of a headache, and Alice was staring longingly at Frank Longbottom who was sitting a few steps away buried in a book.
"Sunshine, rain or sun?"
"Sun." Lily said without a second thought.
"That's good, it is your nickname. But I agree, sunshine equals summer and summer equals…"
"Lack of homework and uptight teachers…oh and lemon drops" she replied nonchalantly to the many snickers of their friends.
James was surprised at how well Lily and Sirius knew each other after such a short amount of time. It was no surprise if they constantly asked questions like that though. Their little question game had gone on for more than half an hour while they all warmed up by the fire, ridding themselves of the icy chill that seemed to settle over the hallways.
"You know me well Sunshine…maybe a little too well" he said staring at her funny.
"Haha, very funny Black. It's my turn anyway. Dinner or breakfast?"
"Breakfast, I love my bacon!" he shouted. Remus just shook his head and threw the pieces of his smashed up rook from his chess game at him.
"Chocolate or vanilla?" Sirius asked, dangling upside down off the back of his chair.
"I prefer strawberry actually" Lily replied while still keeping her eyes on her book.
"Oh, chocolate for me. Red or gold?"
"Gold, red reminds me too much of my hair." She said twirling a thin strand around her finger.
"Oh come on Sunshine, I like your hair. James does too…he can never seen to shut up about it. It's always Lily's hair this, Lily's hair that, Oh Lily's hair reminds me of the sunset." Sirius said trying to imitate James while laughing. James chucked a pillow at him and turned to Lily.
"Whatcha reading?" he asked from his seat across from her in the Head's common room. Lily giggled at the small blush that had settled over his face.
She took a look around the room before answering him. Remus was playing chess with Marlene on the floor who was leaning against Lily's legs and Sirius and James were enjoying the glow of the fire. Alice was playing with her hair and tying it in all sorts of intricate knots for the fun of it, Lily assumed. She was watching Remus and Marley's game with little interest. Peter had told them he was going to go for a study session with one of the Ravenclaws so he wasn't present.
A warm feeling rushed inside of her before settling in her stomach, making Lily feel happy almost instantly. If only every day could be like that one, perfectly fun without a care in the world. Lily looked back to James and found him staring at her with a small grin on his face, almost in a daze.
"Cinderella." She replied. A ghost of a smile flickered on her lips.
"Gesundheit" Sirius said lazily before falling off his chair backwards with a 'thump'.
Lily laughed and turned back to her favorite muggle fairy tale, marveling at how childlike her friends could be. She was now at her favorite part, the part where good conquered evil. Cinderella was trying on the famed glass slipper brought to her by her true love.
This made Lily remember something important. Her head snapped up and her leg jerked, causing Marlene to knock over half the pieces on the chessboard.
"Snicker doodle! We forgot about the Amortentia!" she shrieked in Sirius's direction.
James snickered, that nickname was definitely new. Sirius jumped up and ran in the general direction of the room's exit, knowing he'd face Lily's wrath if he didn't. Lily grabbed her jacket (the dungeons would be cold) and slipped it on. She turned to her startled friends and gave a quick explanation.
"Last week Slughorn told me he wanted Snape and I to whip up a few potions for his sixth years. Since I can no longer stand to be around Severus, we split the potion list in half and Sirius agreed to help me with it, probably just because he wants to sneak some of it.
Slughorn needs them by tomorrow and I have all done but the Amortentia, which should be finished simmering by now. It will likely explode if we wait another minute!" she shrieked before running out the room.
The rest of them laughed at how frantic she was. James couldn't help but notice how cute her rambling was. There was no way it would explode, but Lily in a flustered state tended to exaggerate…a lot.
Lily caught up with Sirius a few steps from the musty old classroom they had been using to brew the many potions. He yanked open the door and Lily could swear she saw dust fly. The room was cobweb coated and more humid then the Sahara Desert, but it worked.
The only remaining cauldron in the room was the one that was now contained a thin potion with a mother-of-pearl sheen. Little spirals were circling out and the only thing left to do was give it a few stirs. Lily whisked through the potion several times while Sirius wrote down its characteristics. Slughorn thought that it would benefit them if they wrote down all they say after each step of the potion. He ended up requiring it since he realized Sirius would do no such thing willingly.
"Finished." Lily said after several minutes, luckily the love potion hadn't exploded.
"What do you smell?" Sirius asked in a small voice, almost afraid to question.
Amortentia. The most powerful love potion in the world. While it didn't create actual love, its drinker gained an intense infatuation for the intended person. The mere scent of it showed one's desires. The things they loved most in the world.
"I smell the fire in the Gryffindor common room, the snicker doodle's Remus's mum makes, and the fabric softener mum uses on my sheets." He said wistfully.
"I thought you lived with the Potters?" Lily asked. Sirius nodded and grinned sheepishly.
"That's who I meant Lils...Mrs. Potter." His voice quavered, "I don't have another,"
Lily then surprised both of them by pulling him into a bone-crushing hug. She thought it was sweet that what Sirius loved most of all was home. She thought it was soul crushing that he didn't have his own though. Hogwarts and the Potter's were his home now, and Lily would bet James' prized owl that Sirius wished the snicker doodles made by Mrs. Lupin were made by his real mum. Walburga Black was incapable of such things though. In her mind she had one son and it wasn't Sirius.
Lily shuddered at the cruelty of Sirius's family. She pulled back and looked into his eyes, almost pleadingly.
"Talk to me," she whispered. He smiled sadly.
"I'm fine, Sunshine, truly. Now tell me what you smell,"
"I smell…the scent that comes to you went you open a book for the first time." She said breathing it in with her eyes closed, "and I smell the little pocket mints my dad used to carry around, and my mum's garden." She smiled, her eyes still closed. "There's something else too…" she paused, "It almost reminds me of hot cocoa and cinnamon…" she opened her eyes.
Sirius could tell she was thoroughly puzzled. The smell was very different from the Honeyduke's chocolate Remus smelled of, but it was very familiar. It most definitely was the scent of a person.
She shrugged and poured the potion into several vials while the gears in Sirius's head turned. The description of Lily's last scent struck something in him and it made him grin like a mad man. He had figured out who was in Lily's Amortentia.
She would just have to figure it out for herself though. He grinned once more and hid his excitement behind what he hoped was a nonchalant expression. He decided he needed to get out of the room before he blew anything for all he wished to do was shout it out at the world.
"Sunshine, is it okay if I go back to the Gryffindor common room to work on that last essay I have?" he asked remembering the three foot long report on Animagi he had to do.
He could easily zip through it, but it needed to be done now and it was a rather decent excuse because he was about to spill the secret. He at least needed to let off some steam by taking muggle silly-string to the entrance to the Great Hall. He looked back to Lily and she nodded, still deep in thought.
Sirius jumped up as soon as the signal was given and dashed out the room, exploding into held in laughter as soon as she was out of hearing range. If only he could tell James.
What was that other smell? Lily had thought as Sirius left. She shook her head and left the room. The air in the hall was light and fresh and it made her happy that she never had to enter the old classroom again thanks to their potions being done.
She walked with an obvious spring in her step towards Professor Slughorn's classroom. A feeling of dread washed over her for a moment. It was the feeling that something was about to happen she would rather avoid. At this point in her seventh year, she was as familiar with that feeling as she was with Sirius's obsessions with snicker doodles.
Before she could open the door to Slughorn's classroom, a cold, shaky hand pulled her around a dark corner confirming her previous feeling of fear. She tried to stifle a scream and lit her wand before she did something rash.
Her green eyes met the shallow face of Severus Snape. She grimaced and harshly yanked her arm from his grip. Holding Severus's hand didn't make her feel safe like Sirius' or loved like James', it made her stomach churn and twist and it made her whole body prickle unpleasantly.
"What do you want Snape?" She spat. His eye twitched and a whole new emotion washed over his face.
"WHY DID YOU LIE TO ME?" He yelled suddenly. Lily blinked in surprise; this wasn't what she had been expecting. "YOU TOLD ME YOU HATED HIM! THAT YOU WOULD RATHER PITCH YOURSELF OFF THE ASTRNOMY TOWER RATHER THEN HAVE TO WASTE A SECOND OF YOUR TIME WITH HIM!"
Snape was usually a very cold, icy person. He never had bursts of anger like this and it scared Lily half to death. She then realized she was probably standing in the presence of a death eater, whether he had been her friend of not and her fear increased.
"YOU NEED TO STAY AWAY FROM HIM AND BLACK!" he continued. Pure anger and hated for James Potter pulsed throughout Snape's body and oozed through his pores.
"And why should I do that? Why should I care what YOU of all people have to say?" she hissed.
All the pent up anger she had been holding in for the past months was about to explode like lava gushing out of a volcano. She had been able to get rid of sadness and despair, but not anger…not yet. She felt like if she took her anger out on Snape it would all disappear. It would be better then taking it out on her friends too.
"He isn't good for you and you are going to get hurt." He said in the same tone that Lily had used, taking a step closer to her.
"HE isn't good for me? Then who is? YOU?" she screeched.
The air around her crackled with electricity and many strands of her hair were sticking up due to the magical energy she was giving off. She continued before he could respond,
"You lost my friendship a long time ago Snape. You lost it when you called me a Mudblood and my respect for you continued to drop all through sixth year. I KNOW you joined him. I KNOW that your friends have too and I DOUBT you really care for me."
Her voice dripped with venom and sounded lethal. Her eyes seemed to burn a hole into his soul and if looks could kill, Snape would have been dead minutes ago. She noticed how he hadn't denied one of her accusations.
"Are you daft! OF COURSE I CARE ABOUT YOU!" he said raising his voice once more. She took the bait and finally burst.
" IF YOU CARED WHY DIDN'T YOU HELP ME? YOU WEREN'T THERE FOR ME SNAPE! JAMES, AND SIRIUS, AND REMUS WERE. WHILE YOU WERE OFF TOURMENTING MUDBLOODS LIKE ME IN THE HALLWAYS, MY PARENTS DIED AND I GOT TORTURED IN HOGSMEADE!" at that moment a small bolt of lightning formed out of the air and flashed against Severus, causing him to fly down the hallway and land with a sickening crunch.
A hand instantly shot to her mouth, hiding her gasp. She hesitantly walked over to the boy that was once her friend. No mark showed, but he was sure to be bruised in the morning. His breathing was steady, as ever too, it appeared as if he was just unconscious.
Lily sighed in relief muttering words of thanks under her breathe. Thanks that she hadn't cause any real damage. She may not like Snape, but she wasn't heartless. That didn't make her want to drag him to the Hospital wing though. He'd be best off left there, he could consider it as payback for all the awful things he'd be sure to do in the future as a death eater.
A strong urge to make all the glass in Hogwarts shatter coursed through Lily much like Snape's anger had. She practically threw the vials of love potion that had been stored in her pockets at Professor Slughorn's desk.
Luckily, he wasn't currently there so she was able to storm out dramatically without the worry of getting yelled at. It seemed that with every good thing that happened to her a bad one was returned, it was like some screwed up, twisted version of karma that worked in the complete opposite way it was supposed to.
When she had been having fun with Marley and Alice, her parents had died, when she went to Hogsmeade for the first time in a long time, she got attacked by death eaters, when she made friends with Sirius, James decided he hated them, and when she successfully brewed Amortentia and made up with James, she got yelled at by Snape. She decided that maybe she should just go live in a box for a while…then nothing good OR bad would happen to her! She realized she sounded like Sirius and snorted a bit as she walked into her common room. The adrenaline that had previously rushed through her was still present, but it was slowly running out and reality was returning to her.
Remus and Marley were playing another game of chess with Alice close by and James was still sitting by the fire, creating shapes out the rosy flames with his wand. It was like nothing had happened in the last half hour.
A small sob escaped her lips at the sight of how normal they all were. She pressed her hand to her mouth, but it was too late. All four heads rapidly turned in her direction and they became blurry with the tears growing in her eyes. She closed them before any could escape. Lily had vowed that she wasn't going to let a tear slide down her cheeks ever again and she wished to stay true to that promise as long as possible.
A pair of strong arms engulfed her and she buried her head in the shoulder of the person who she assumed to be James. He murmured soothing words in her ear and rubbed her back while she struggled with the urge to break down. Ever so slowly, her mind cleared and she was able to slip out of his grasp. She flashed him a quivering smile before walking over to sit on one of the couches.
"Are you okay Lily?" Remus asked. She nodded and smiled.
"I just had a run in with Snape, that's all" she said shaking her head. She realized the rest of her was shaking slightly too.
All of the room's occupants scowled at the name, but didn't push it any farther. She was obviously not physically hurt and if she was able to shake it off so fast, she'd be fine. Luckily, James decided to change the subject.
"So what're you guys doing for Christmas Break tomorrow?" he asked.
"I am heading to Australia with my parents for 'an outback adventure' as they called it." Remus said after his knight brutally smashed Marley's bishop.
"I'm going to stay with my cousins. You guys remember Fabian, Gideon, and Molly right?" Alice said to the nods of her friends, "What are you doing Mar?"
"France baby!" she yelled to the laughs of everyone else, "I'll make sure to take pictures of all the cute French guys." She said wiggling her eyebrows. Alice grinned and nodded heartily.
"I guess I'll be staying here this year." Lily said in a rather downcast manner. A Christmas alone…that'd be a first for her.
Marlene put a reassuring hand on her leg because she knew that Lily was thinking about why she couldn't go home. Her house probably wasn't even there anymore. Lily hadn't seen it since she came to school, and she didn't wish to either.
"Lils, why don't you come home with Sirius and I?" James asked after a second, "I mean, I know it's kinda sudden since we haven't talked to each other in a week, but it'll be fun! Like, SUPER fun! We have plenty of rooms," Remus scoffed at that. He knew for sure that James's house probably had enough rooms to hold the entire Gryffindor house,
" I'm sure my parents would love to meet the famous Lily Evans I told them about. My mom almost sent me a Howler when I told her I was in a fight with you and my best mate, she'll be glad to know we're okay now." James said rambling on while grinning.
"I could teach you how to play Quidditch, and you can teach my mom how to cook like a muggle, because she's always wanted to learn, and you can help decorate the Christmas tree! Oh, it'd be great!" he continued. The offer was tempting…Christmas with James and Sirius? It would sure be interesting.
"Yeah…" Lily said uncertainly, "Why not?" she then said after a few seconds. James's smile was wider then she had ever seen it before, he looked purely ecstatic.
"Brilliant, great! That's wonderful!" he said cheerily, "I'll go write my parents to tell them now!" he stood and ran up his stairs and Lily giggled at his antics. Alice just shook her head as if she was worried about James's health and Remus and Marlene laughed along with Lily. The first mentioned also loudly yelled,
Lily grinned. It seemed as if James had finally made things right. But, who would have ever guessed that she would be going home for Christmas with two of the Marauders.
I know it jumps around a bit, but I really love this one. Please Review and tell me what you think.