As the next two weeks passed, and as Lily was still away on holiday, Severus spent a lot of his free time helping his mother spruce up the house. Their home on the corner of Raven Way and Spinner's End was once a quaint little bungalow style home, but years on neglect had turned it into a near hovel. Severus had started on the fence that surrounded their small front garden. It had originally been painted brown, but his mother had suggested white, and so he did just that, and the Muggle way at that. It wasn't as if he could use magic in front of the Muggle neighbors, anyway.
On the inside, however, Eileen was using her wand more then she had in years. She was doing more than simple cleaning spells, too. Besides Potions, Charms had always been a talent of hers and so she had decided to make use of it. She had started on the kitchen curtains changing from dingy blue to sunshine yellow, and she then charmed the tablecloth on the table to match. She repaired the faded and chipped wood on the cabinetry and mended the cracks on the tile floor, and finally, with a simple swish of her wand, the kitchen walls were now an eggshell cream. Meanwhile, Severus was outside painting the banister on their front porch to match the picket fence. He had almost forgotten how dubious it was to do manual labor Muggle style, but then again, he supposed it built character, or at least that's what he father always said.
"Wow, Severus, the fence looks great." Severus turned to see the love of his life smiling brightly at him, which he quickly reciprocated.
"Lily." Severus instantly put down the paint brush and rushed over to his best friend. He was about to envelop her in a hug, but Lily held out her hand.
"Sev, you have paint all over you." No that Lily wouldn't have loved a hug from her best friend, but she wasn't about to ruin her new sundress.
"Oh, right, sorry. Can I at least give my best friend a kiss?"
Lily blushed a little; she always did when he mentioned kissing her. "Okay." Lily turned her face to the side, and Severus happily pressed his lips to her cheek.
"Well, this is new." It wasn't Lily or Severus who said this, but Tobias, who had just walked up in time to see his son's lips brush Lily's cheek.
"Oh, hello, Mr. Snape." Lily said, adding a small giggle afterward. "Well, I better get home. Sev, when you're done and paint free, come by, 'kay?"
Severus nodded, smiling as he watched Lily walk back down the street. His gaze only diverted when he heard his father clear his throat.
"You want to explain what that was about?" he asked.
"It's nothing, just a friendly gesture," Severus quickly explained as he picked the paint brush from the banister where he had left it.
"Hum. We will talk more about this later. The fence looks good, by the way."
Severus gave a small smile at his father's compliment. "Thank you." He had received so few over them over the years, it was almost unreal to hear them.
Tobias was surprised to say the least when he saw his son kiss Lily, but also a little proud. He had known his son had a terrible crush on the girl, at least according to his wife he did. "Looks like he finally decided to make a move on the girl. Well, I guess that means it's time to give the old birds and the bees speech," he mused to himself.
"Eileen, I'm home," Tobias called out as he walked through the front door.
"In the kitchen, honey."
Tobias Snape's jaw dropped when he walked in and saw the state of their kitchen. Wait, was it even their kitchen? Yes, he had just talked to his son, who was painting their porch. He walked through his sitting room, and now he was in his kitchen, looking at his wife. Wasn't he?
"Do you like?" she asked, greeting him with a kiss on the cheek.
"I-I do. I don't think I have ever seen the kitchen look this nice, not even when I was a kid. Wow!" Tobias had grown up in this home, and although it was obviously newer when he was a child, he couldn't recall it ever looking this pristine.
"I used magic. I hope you don't mind." She looked up into her husband's dark eyes hopefully.
"No, not at all. It's amazing," he replied, still gazing around the immaculate kitchen.
"I was thinking of doing the sitting room and den tomorrow."
"You should." Tobias then looked back at his wife and smiled at her happily.
She truly was a beautiful woman; how he had neglected her for so long, he couldn't wrap his mind around. He knew it was the liquor that clouded his judgment. Since he had stopped drinking, the world seemed so much brighter. He was pretty sure his wife had somehow tampered with his drinks; how else would a delicious pint of beer suddenly taste like he had taken a piss in it? But he was happy she did. She had given him his life back. His family back. Family, yes. When they were young, before they married, they had talked about having a house full of little Snapes, but they only ever had Severus. Why? Several reasons, mostly lack of money, and there was Tobias's drinking problem. It wouldn't have been fair to bring another child into the equation, but now…now things were different.
"Eileen, love," Tobias said, wrapping his arms around his wife from behind.
"Yes," she said, turning in his arms.
Tobias placed a kiss on her soft lips. "I love you."
"I love you, too."
Tobias gently moved a piece of stray hair behind his wife's ear then looking lovingly into her dark eyes asked her, "Do you still want to have more children?"
Eileen's smile was so wide it nearly threatened to split her face in half. "Are you serious?"
"Very. With my promotion I think we can afford another."
"Oh Toby, yes. I would like that very much."
Severus stood back and admired his work. "Not bad." The young wizard then cleaned up his mess, gathering the paint and supplies he had used and placed them back in the garage. Heading into the house, he went upstairs, took a quick shower, dressed, and then, after borrowing a dash of his father's cologne, he headed back downstairs.
"I am going to Lily's."
"That's fine, sweetie." his mother said.
"Severus, when you get back, we need to have a talk about what I saw you two doing earlier."
Severus smirked. "Sure" was all he said before quickly leaving.
"What did you see then doing?" Eileen asked, concerned at the possibilities.
"Kissing, well, it was just a peck on the cheek, but it's obvious his crush is growing into more."
Eileen let out a sigh of relief. "I thought you had caught him smoking or something."
Tobias laughed. "No, if I caught him doing that, I would have dealt with him right then and there. I know he's only twelve, but I think it's time for 'the talk'."
Petunia Evans almost didn't recognize the boy standing on her front porch. "Severus?" It couldn't be Severus Snape. The boy from Spinner's End. Her sister's freaky friend who was obsessed with boiling nasty, smelly things in large pots.
"Hello, Petunia, is Lily home?" The sound of his voice clenched it; it was Severus. Her sister did say he had changed a bit, but wow, what a change!
"Um, yeah, come on in."
Severus headed into the sitting room, and Petunia went upstairs to retrieve her sister. Petunia had always been a bit jealous of her sister. She was prettier, smarter, popular, and of course magical. Not that Petunia didn't have her talents, but she couldn't help but feel inferior to her perfect sister. Petunia wasn't ugly, per say, but there were things about herself she utterly hated, such as her hair. It was thin and a murky reddish brown, like her father's. Why couldn't she have gotten hair like her sister, auburn and thick, and wavy and beautiful? Also, Petunia had always been rather skinny, no matter how much she ate, she was always as thin as a pole, and had often been teased because of it. Her sister, on the other hand, inherited their mother's curvaceous figure.
Petunia knocked on Lily's door and then pushed it open before she could answer. "Severus is here."
"Oh, thanks, Tuney." Lily grabbed a stick of lip gloss from her dresser and ran it over her lips, rubbing them slightly together.
"You're not really trying to impress him, are you?" Petunia asked, crossing her arms.
"I'll admit he's cleaned up a bit," Petunia interrupted, "but he's still a poor nobody from Spinner's End."
Lily's face reddened in anger. Petunia was always picking on Severus. She was such a bitch sometimes. "You're just jealous." Was all Lily said, before pushing past her older sister and out of her room.
"Hi, Sev." Lily greeted her best friend with a hug. Severus happily hugged back and then gave her the traditional kiss on the cheek.
"Hi, Lily. So, how was France?" Severus asked as the friends headed out to the back garden, sitting down in the porch swing.
"A lot of fun. We got to see the Eiffel tower, and Versailles Palace was absolutely brilliant! "
Severus happily listened to Lily go on about her amazing trip. He hoped one day they would be able to take such trips together.
Sirius Black sat at his desk composing a letter to Severus Snape. He supposed he could call the boy a friend, but in truth he really didn't know him that well, and normally the only time they hung out outside of class was to study. His mother had practically insisted he invite him to the Quidditch World Cup game his father had gotten tickets for. He had wanted to invite one of his Slytherin friends, just because he knew them better. Probably Boris, because besides himself, he was the biggest Quidditch fan out of their group, but his mother had insisted on Severus, and knowing she was not a woman to be trifled with, he didn't put up much of a fight concerning the issue. Besides, who knew, maybe he wouldn't even be able to come. Finishing the letter, he placed it in an envelope, addressed it, and headed downstairs to find their owl.
James Potter had been having great summer. He and Martin had been hanging out quite a bit, working on pranks and playing Quidditch. He had invited Jason over, too, but apparently he was spending his holiday in Spain visiting his grandparents. He had thought about inviting Severus, but decided against it, although he could be fun at times, more often than not he spent his time with a nose in a book, that or with Lily. James teased Severus quite frequently about his crush on the girl, often asking him when the wedding date was and how many baby Snapes they planned to have.
Peter sat at his desk in his room writing a letter to Emily. They had planned to meet up later that summer for his birthday. His mother had offered to throw him a party and allowed him to invite whoever he wished, but he had declined, just wanting to spend time with his best friend. So they would have a small get together at home, in the back garden, just he, his mother, Emily, and her family. She apparently had a rather large one, six siblings in fact, she being the only girl, and the only one with the gift of magic. Peter had never been around many Muggles, but he was looking forward meeting his friend's family. From what she had told him, they sounded like a lot of fun.
Remus sat under the large oak tree in his back yard, reading. His parents were just yards away from him, enjoying afternoon tea. He loved his parents, really, and he knew they loved him, but their relationship was never close. It was as if they were afraid…or ashamed of his condition, not that he could blame them; he was a monster, after all.
"Remus, come join us for tea." His mother gave her son a small smile, and he knew she was only offering out of obligation.
Closing his book, he rose from the grass and headed over to his parents. "You know, it's your summer holiday, son. You should be enjoying yourself," his father pointed out.
"I am," Remus said softly, taking the tea from his mother.
"Remus, you spend all day reading or doing your summer homework, and that's fine, but you need to have a little fun, enjoy your holiday. Go swimming in the lake or invite over a friend."
Friend. What friend? Well, there were Lily and Severus; he supposed they were sort of friends.
"I'll think about it."
Severus had had a nice evening at the Evans' home. Lily had told him all about her trip to France, and he had eagerly listened. She had even brought him back a silver key chain with a picture of the Eiffel Tower on one side and his name engraved on the back. He had mentioned to her that he and his mother had been working on fixing up the house, and he had also mentioned having accidentally walking in on his parents enjoying each other's company on the sitting room couch.
"Oh, Sev, yuck!" Lily had shaken her head, fighting off the image of his parents doing-well, that.
"Believe me, I know. It was bad enough having to hear them thump around like rabbits almost every night, but to see it with my own eyes…"
Severus shuddered, and Lily giggled. "I can tell you one thing for certain; I refused to sit on the couch again until it had been completely decontaminated."
Around eight, Severus had headed home, quite tired from working on the house earlier that day. He had planned to go straight to bed, his plans however, were temporarily delayed. First, his mother handed him a letter that had come by owl when he had been at Lily's. He was more than a little surprised to see it was from Sirius. He had been about to head to his room to read it when his father had called him into the den.
That was right. He had almost forgotten. His father had wanted to have a word about him kissing Lily. He hoped this wouldn't take too long.
"Have a seat, son." Tobias had directed his son to sit in the armchair against the wall while he sat on the corner of his desk. "So, do you want to tell me about the kiss?"
His tone had been even and his look serious, and had Severus truly been twelve in mind as well as body, he may have been intimidated, but being an expert spy and deceiver, he had played the part.
"Um, well, it was just a kiss on the cheek. You know, no big deal." Severus had looked down at his lap, trying his best to seem somewhat embarrassed about his father having caught him kissing a girl.
"Severus, I know you care for Lily, but you're only twelve. I think you're a bit too young to be kissing."
"It was just one kiss, Father, that's all."
"Yes, but a kiss can lead to more."
Severus knew first hand that was a very true fact, but he would never take advantage of Lily like that.
"Severus." Tobias had closed his eyes, trying to think of how to word this. He had remembered when his father had given him "the talk" he was thirteen, not much older than Severus, and he had also remembered being completely red-faced when the talk was over. "When I say it can lead to more, you do know what I'm talking about, right?"
Severus nodded, more than anything just wanting to get this over with.
"Yes, well, when two people really care about each other…"
Severus listened to his father rattle on about the birds and the bees for over an hour, trying his hardest to sound interested or at least somewhat surprised at the details. Yes, the details, his father had been very thorough going over the act of intercourse itself, to male verses female anatomy, to how a baby is created-yes, very thorough. And by the time he had finished, Tobias Snape was redder than his son and had quickly decided that if he and his wife did have any more children, she would be the one to give this talk from then on.