He fell in love with her from the moment he first saw her.
She was playing on the playground with her sister. He watched her from afar, for surely she would frown if he spoke to her and he loved seeing her smile and laugh. It was obvious she was going to go to Hogwarts with him – she had more magic than even he had, and he was a half-blood! She was a Muggle-born!
He was right, as he knew he would be. She went to Hogwarts with him, but to his disappointment, she was Sorted into Gryffindor. Somehow she was able to put up with the stupid Marauders (and later on she did a little more than just putting up with them) in her House. Meanwhile, he thrived – though it may not have shown on the outside – in Slytherin with many other boys with his same beliefs. Though he loved her, he couldn't stand the other Muggle-borns in their year. They couldn't cast a spell correctly the first time – with the exception of Lily – to save their life. Unlike her, they were true Mudbloods.
He was never able to forgive himself when he accidentally let it slip. Accidentally called her – HER – a Mudblood in their fifth year. Never. Their relationship, whatever it may have been, was eternally ended and broken after that incident. It was then, he realized later on in life. . .it was then that he lost her forever.
If only his fifteen-year-old self could have taken it back. If only his now wizened and aged self could go back in time and save that moment, that mistake, that time.
It was his seventh year that he came onto the scene. Potter. His enemy that he had hated since he first laid eyes on him. And somehow she found interest in him. What, how, and why, he had no idea. After all, hadn't she hated 'Prongs' since that day on the train in their first year? (Apparently not.)
He was furious. Very furious. She had betrayed him. No, he had betrayed her, then she had betrayed him. He was the one to call her, regrettably, a Mudblood. She was the one to fall in love with. . .Potter. He had always warned her not to mess with him, that he was a heartbreaking git, but she ignored him. And it turned out he was wrong.
The day before graduation Severus sat by the lake, under the same tree he always sat under. He watched as Potter and Lily walked around the lake hand-in-hand, probably discussing their future and who-knows-what. He probably didn't want to know. He watched them – well, her – longingly. Not because he wanted to be in love or loved, but because he wanted her. And somehow Potter – James Potter – had won her over.
The same Potter who she had hated for six years. The same Potter who had desperately begged her to go out with him on a date. The same Potter who badgered her and annoyed her, teased her and mocked her. Yet she still fell in love with him. Him.
Severus watched disgustedly as Black, Lupin, and Pettigrew eagerly poked their heads out of the bushes occasionally, spying on the couple. Potter had clearly told them something that Lily did not know (in typical Marauder fashion).
Sure enough, Potter got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Her to marry him. Her – Lily Evans! – to marry him – James Potter!
At that very moment, Severus was living his worst nightmare.
Life went on. Overcome with grief from his "loss" of Lily Evans – now Lily Potter – he joined the Death Eaters, wanting to start anew. Voldemort welcomed him with open arms (figuratively) and it wasn't long before he joined the ranks as one of Voldemort's most loyal servants.
Potter and Lily, as well as Potter's friends, joined the Order of the Phoenix. Severus ran in to them sometimes when they were on missions hunting him and the other Death Eaters down. Lily didn't hesitate to show her disappointment and disgust in him. Of course, her husband didn't either. However, he and the other cunning Death Eaters were able to escape before the Order members could capture them. (Although Severus wondered if it would be better if he was captured.)
Suddenly Lily wasn't there anymore. There were no more face-offs, no more bitter words coming out of her mouth, aimed towards him. It was just Potter and his friends and some other Order members. Severus was frightened; something had happened to her. But Potter seemed just as happy – if not happier – as he always was.
Something had happened to Lily. He received word of it one day as he sat around a table with the Dark Lord and other Death Eaters. The man he sat by – Fawley was his name – whispered it to him. "You know that Mudblood who always yelled at you?" he said, shaking his head. "She and that Potter boy had a kid. So we won't be seeing them anytime soon." He cackled happily and turned away as Voldemort began to speak.
Severus wasn't able to listen, though. He couldn't. She had a son or a daughter with Potter. James Potter. Not him, Severus Snape.
Again Severus was living his worst nightmare.
And then there was that day he overheard Sybill Trelawney. That terrible, terrible day. Being the young and stupid wizard he was, he rushed to Voldemort first, thinking that the Dark Lord would do what he asked: to spare Lily when he went to kill their child. Then he rushed to Dumbledore, begging for him to save Lily, his Lily, for him. . . .
On that terrible, terrible morning of November 1, 1981, Severus Snape received the news that Lily Evans Potter (and her husband) had been murdered by his master, Lord Voldemort.
But somehow their son, Harry Potter, had survived.
Yet again, he was living his worst nightmare.
Dumbledore didn't understand. He didn't understand that Severus didn't care about 'James' or 'Harry' at all, that all he cared about was Lily. But there was one thing Severus could do for the memory of Lily Evans Potter.
Protect her son.
He hated it. Severus hated almost every bit of young Harry Potter. He looked so much like his father, the arrogant Quidditch star 'Prongs' had been –
The only part of Potter that reminded him of her was his eyes. They were precisely the same shade of green that hers had been. Oh, her beautiful eyes. . . .
What, Severus wondered, was the last thing she saw? Was it her infant son? Was it the terrifying pupils of Voldemort? Was it the ground. . . ?
Somehow, at the end of his first year, Potter was able to get to the Sorcerer's Stone. Severus was furious at him for many reasons – he was being the same 'life-saver' that his father had been; he had somehow been able to get past all of the teachers' protections (Severus suspected that Granger girl had helped him with it); he had neglected to tell a teacher what he was doing; and Severus had not been able to protect him. That was the only reason he taught at Hogwarts, to protect Harry Potter, and yet Voldemort had still been able to reach him in Hogwarts.
Something terrible was bound to happen when the stupid school governors had excused Dumbledore from the school under the influence (and threats) of Lucius Malfoy. As Severus predicted, someone was taken to the Chamber of Secrets. Ginny Weasley.
Of course, Potter and the girl's sister and his best friend, Ron Weasley, had to play hero. For some reason they dragged the worst member of the Hogwarts staff, the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, 'Professor' Gilderoy Lockhart down to the Chamber with them. The 'teacher' ended up losing all of his memory when the Weasley boy's wand backfired. (Nobody except his fans, most of which were ladies who had never actually met him, were upset by this.)
And for the second time in two years, Potter came face-to-face with Voldemort.
This time he was his teenage self, and as Dumbledore explained to the faculty, Voldemort was "just a memory from the diary that had possessed Ginny Weasley." Voldemort could not have killed Potter until the Weasley girl died, so until then Voldemort had the basilisk attack him. Then Dumbledore's phoenix somehow got down there and brought with it, for a reason he could not understand, the Sorting Hat. Potter received the Sword of Gryffindor from the Hat and was able to defeat the basilisk. He destroyed the diary that had possessed Ginny Weasley which destroyed the memory of Tom Riddle.
Potter's third year was relatively quiet. He got in trouble in the corridors quite a few times; one time he even had the same yellowed parchment that his father and the other Marauders used to carry around everywhere. . . .
Those stupid Marauders.
According to Minister Cornelius Fudge, Professor Dumbledore, and Professor McGonagall, (whom Severus had overheard talking on the grounds one gloomy afternoon about midway through Harry Potter's first year) Sirius Black had been James and Lily's Secret-Keeper who had given away the location of their whereabouts to Voldemort. Severus couldn't help but feel angrier at Black than he ever had at James Potter. At least Potter hadn't betrayed Lily.
Now Sirius Black was on the run, having escaped from Azkaban and, as the Minister and many others suspected, was trying to reach Harry. Harry Potter, the boy Severus had sworn to protect. Harry Potter, who was also Sirius Black's godson.
Black had been Severus's second nemesis during his schooldays, behind the one and only James Potter, of course. He was now the most-wanted wizard in Europe. The Ministry of Magic constantly had people searching for him as well as people sending false alarms concerning sightings of Black. Severus was determined to find and capture him in return for what he had done to Lily and prevent to prevent what he was hoping to do to Harry Potter, whatever that was. Severus had not been able to protect Harry Potter well in his first two years at Hogwarts, so he promised himself that he would in his third year.
When he realized that Potter, the Granger girl, and the Weasley boy had gone to the Shrieking Shack with none other than Remus Lupin (the werewolf!), Severus hurried as fast as he could there, just to be attacked by Harry Potter himself.
The next thing he knew, it was dark and the full moon shined brightly in the sky. A werewolf's howl could be heard clearly: it was coming from nearby. Grabbing his wand, Severus raced out of the worn down structure that could barely be called a building. This was his time to prove himself.
He was surprised to find Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, and Sirius Black unconscious as Dementors flew away because of a Patronus Charm performed by a man in the distance. . .was that. . .could it be. . .James Potter?! (While he was alive, Severus was never able to discover whether or not it had been James Potter, but when he died everything was explained to him.)
Severus brought Granger, Potter, and Black to the Hospital Wing back up at the castle, careful to avoid a certain werewolf's howling. When he returned to the castle he told Dumbledore his side of the story, which was apparently not the real story. Dumbledore went out to fetch the Weasley boy so his leg could be mended.
The remainder of the night was a mystery to Severus; he simply could not understand how Sirius Black had escaped, only that Harry Potter must have had something to do with it. (His suspicions were later confirmed correct after his death.)
The summer between Potter's third and fourth years, Severus's Dark Mark began to darken. Not enough so that it burned, but enough so that it was noticeable. He had a feeling that something about it was connected to the Triwizard Tournament (which was coming up and going to be hosted at Hogwarts), which was not a particularly good feeling to have about such a long-anticipated event that even he somewhat looked forward to.
That was until Harry Potter's name was drawn from the Goblet of Fire and all hell broke lose. To him, at least.
How could he protect Harry Potter with the Triwizard Tournament going on? If his feelings were correct and something bad was going to happen connected to the Triwizard Tournament, then how would he be able to ensure that Potter would be safe? Potter was now a celebrity as well as one of the Hogwarts champions; it was nearly impossible for Severus to somehow breach all of the security surrounding Potter if that ever became necessary.
And, unfortunately, it did.
Why did everything happen to this boy?
The third task of the Triwizard Tournament's objective was quite simple: get through the maze and find the Triwizard Cup, defeating as many obstacles as you have to in order to get to the trophy. The first person there was given points for their victory, and whoever had the most points at the end would win the Triwizard Tournament.
Harry Potter and Cedric Diggory grabbed on to the Triwizard Cup together, but it turned out the trophy was a Portkey to a graveyard. Diggory was killed by Peter Pettigrew with Voldemort's wand, leaving Potter alone to fend for himself as he watched Voldemort be reborn.
Severus let Potter escape to a supposed safe haven with who he thought was Alastor Moody. But he was wrong; it turned out to be Barty Crouch, Jr., using the Polyjuice Potion. That was where his supply of Polyjuice Potion had gone off to.
How had he been so naïve? Why hadn't he investigated further, instead of jumping to conclusions that it was Potter who had broken into his potions supply? Severus felt extremely stupid now, as well as a bit guilty. (But he still thought that Potter had once broken into his potions supply.)
Severus reluctantly agreed to himself that Harry Potter was indeed a very brave and courageous boy, but he would never admit it. (At least, not while he was alive.) He probably inherited his bravery from his mother (and his father, sadly).
Between Potter's fourth and fifth years Voldemort rose to power. He didn't take over the Ministry – yet – for he was not strong enough. Severus found his former lifestyle quite challenging to do because of his "double personality." He had to answer to the Dark Lord as well as Dumbledore and the Order. Dumbledore reassured him that Voldemort did not suspect anything (though how he would know, Severus did not know) – Voldemort could not understand Severus's connection to Harry Potter because it was forged by love, something Voldemort could not comprehend.
Midway through Potter's fifth year, Arthur Weasley was attacked by Voldemort's snake at the Department of Mysteries. Dumbledore feared of a connection between Potter and Voldemort, so he asked Severus to teach Potter Occlumency.
That was possibly one of the worst requests Dumbledore ever asked of someone in his very, very long life.
They were a major fiasco. Potter did not practice as Severus wanted him to. But what really set him off and caused him to call off all of the lessons was Potter looking eagerly at his worst memory from his fifth year. Maybe it was because his father and the other Marauders, as well as his mother, were there. Whatever the reason was, Snape was angrier than he had been in a long time (probably since Lily's death, or since Harry was born, or since Lily got married, or since when he watched Lily become engaged. . .). Letting his anger get the best of him, he called of the Occlumency lessons immediately.
Little did he know that because of this decision, Harry Potter would once again be within Voldemort's grasp, and therefore inches away from Death.
Part of it was still unclear to Severus after it had taken place. All he knew was that Potter thought that Voldemort had taken Sirius Black to the Department of Mysteries. For a split second, he had no idea how Potter would have known this (if it were true), and then it hit him. It was his and Voldemort's connection.
But it was Severus's fault.
If he had been able to control his anger at Potter during that terrible Occlumency lesson, Harry might not have run off to the Ministry with five friends in tow to "rescue" Sirius Black, just to be attacked by Death Eaters in the end.
Guilt flooded through him. It was all Dumbledore's fault. He was the one who had wanted Severus to give Potter the lessons in the first place. Had he really thought that Severus would be able to teach Occlumency to Potter, of all students, all people? Because if he had, for once in his life, Dumbledore was wrong. Very wrong.
Sirius Black died at the Department of Mysteries. Order members and some of the Hogwarts students who had accompanied Potter to the Ministry were injured, but no others died. Not like Severus would have cared, anyway. He was just glad Harry Potter had, once again, survived.
Over the summer between Potter's fifth and sixth years, Severus gained knowledge of Voldemort's plan to have Draco Malfoy murder Malfoy, as did Dumbledore. Dumbledore told Severus that he would have to kill him instead of the Malfoy boy; Malfoy was "too young" to commit murder.
Then Harry Potter's sixth year rolled around. Dumbledore began spending much time with Potter, entrusting him with what Severus thought were ways and strategies to beat Voldemort. Severus became a bit jealous of Potter; did Dumbledore not trust him? Why had Dumbledore not told him how to defeat Voldemort? After all, wasn't he the one who fed Voldemort lies, not Harry Potter?
Just a few days before his death, Dumbledore told Severus that when the time came, Harry Potter would have to die. Severus was furious; why had Dumbledore made him protect the Potter boy with his life for so long, just to have him killed in the end, like a pig raised for slaughter?
But Severus still did what Dumbledore had told him to do, even though he had his doubts.
He did it in his last moments. Nagini attacked him in the Shrieking Shack. . .the place. . .the place where he had almost been killed by. . .by the werewolf of Remus. . .Remus Lupin. . . . Severus's immediate thought was that he had failed. . .failed Dumbledore's orders to. . .to tell Harry Potter that he. . .must die. But then, suddenly, Harry Potter was there right in front of him.
Severus conjured his memories. Potter had to know. . .he had to know why Severus had. . .had protected him. . .and why. . .why he should trust him. . . . The memories leaked from his eyes and his wounds. Before he knew it, Harry Potter was collecting them in a small container that Severus could not see, he could only feel them cling to his skin as they were scooped into it. . . .
"Look. . .at. . .me. . . ," he managed.
The last thing Severus Snape saw while he was alive was Harry Potter's – no, Lily Evans Potter's – beautiful green eyes.
The first people Severus saw in the afterlife were the Lily Evans Potter, Dumbledore, and the Marauders, minus Peter Pettigrew. Lily smiled at him and waved, though she looked grim; in the afterlife, he learned, you could not learn the future, only watch the present. And that was exactly what she was doing with James Potter, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin.
To Severus's surprise, (James) Potter motioned for him to join them. They were standing in Dumbledore's office, watching Harry Potter pour the memories that he, Severus, had given him into the Pensieve.
Severus awkwardly stood next to James Potter, who grinned at him and clapped him on the back. "Good job, mate," said Potter. "And thanks for what you've done for Harry, even if it wasn't for me." He jerked his head towards Lily, who now sat on the ground as everything around them swirled into Severus's memories.
Severus just nodded, looking around. Dumbledore seemed to glide over to him, beaming and looking happier than he had ever seen the wise wizard before. "You've done it, Severus," Dumbledore said. "Thank you."
He did not know what to say. Should he say, like a normal person "You're welcome"? Or should he say that it was only for Lily and make her guilty? Well, wasn't that what he wanted? For her to love him? Severus did not know why he had ended up with the Marauders, Dumbledore, and Lily instead of his mother or father or one of the few people who had actually been fond of him while they were alive.
Everyone was now looking intently at a younger Lily, Petunia Evans Dursley, and of course, Severus Snape. Lily looked back at him from where she sat and asked, "You remembered that?"
He nodded. "Of course I did," Severus said. He didn't bother to add that he had been watching her for much longer than that and that he would never forget the first time she spoke to him. "You?"
Lily shrugged. "It was the first time I realized I was. . .magical. Bit of an important moment in my life, don't you think?"
Severus managed a smile. She was still the same Lily Evans (now Potter) that she had always been; Death hadn't changed that about her. She seemed as happy, beautiful, and funny as ever, but there was still an air of – sadness – about her that he couldn't seem to decipher. (Admittedly, he tried to use Legilimency on her but, he realized, magic did not work wherever they were now.)
Again, he looked around. Dumbledore looked just as he always had, but Potter, Black, Lupin, and Lily looked. . .younger. Remus Lupin caught him looking around at them and came over, smiling gently. "Noticed how we all look?" he said, grinning.
"Yeah. . . ," said Severus. "You all look younger. Er. . .do I?"
Lupin nodded. "Very. You look to be in your late teens, maybe sixteen or seventeen."
"So. . .what are we doing here?" Severus asked after a short silence between the two of them, as memories of his life flashed by. "Is this where I'm going to stay for eternity? I don't have any descendants or anything to watch. . . ." He felt very exposed and on-the-spot; he had not been in close quarters with all of the Marauders (minus Pettigrew, but he never really counted) and Lily in a very long time, probably since their schooldays.
"Well, as you may have realized, this is the afterlife," said Remus. "I don't know much about it, I've only just gotten here."
Severus suddenly realized that he had just seen Lupin alive, battling a masked Death Eater in the Hogwarts Castle. "Oh, you. . . ?"
He gave a weak smile. "Yes, I died. Just a few minutes ago, actually. This is where I appeared. According to Lily, though, I can just walk a few paces away and whoever I want to see is there. I've already visited my mother, father, grandparents, Dora's father, and Dora."
"She. . .passed as well?" asked Severus.
"Sadly," said Lupin.
"Just after their son was born, too," said Sirius Black, clapping Lupin on the back. "By the way, Moony, congratulations."
Severus took that as his cue to depart the conversation. His memories had now ended, and Harry Potter now knew that he must be killed by Voldemort. Harry was walking by the ruins of the castle from the battle; he saw Ginny Weasley (though he was not usually interested in his students' romantic lives, Severus still knew that she and Harry Potter had had something going on between the two of them in his sixth year, her fifth) tending to some poor girl who apparently just wanted to go home, as well as Oliver Wood and Neville Longbottom picking up dead bodies and carrying them to the Great Hall. He was struggling to wrap his mind around the task that lay before him even as he stepped into the Forbidden Forest, prepared to embrace Death.
"James, Lily, Sirius, Remus, Severus," said Dumbledore suddenly, nodding to all of them as he said their names. "I think Harry has discovered what the Snitch means. It is time." James, Lily, and Black nodded, smiling excitedly, while Remus frowned.
"The Snitch?" he repeated.
"I assume you have heard the tales of the Deathly Hallows?" said Dumbledore. "In my will, I left Harry the Snitch he caught in his first Quidditch match containing the Resurrection Stone. But he has not been able to discover that until now, I do not think. It suddenly all makes sense to Harry, because I left a message on the Snitch: 'I open at the close.' He now understands what that means, as do you."
"Then what is it time for?" Remus said.
Dumbledore smiled, nearly showing the same nervous excitement that James, Lily, and Sirius were. "It is time to see Harry again. He knows what is in the Snitch."
Severus had begun to follow what Dumbledore was implying. "Er. . .I don't know if he wants to see me," he said slowly. Everyone turned to him, surprised.
Lily looked at him encouragingly. "Of course he wants to see you! He knows everything you did for him now!"
"But. . .he probably hasn't been able to fully understand it, and I don't want to ruin his first time every seeing you in his living memory. . . ," he explained quickly, becoming intimidated very quickly.
"Oh, great, now you're making me feel bad about wanting to see Harry!" said Black with a dramatic sigh, though he still smiled.
Severus could see James hesitating, but he said confidently, "I think Harry would probably like to see you. But it's your choice, if you want him to see you or not."
"I. . . ." Severus waited a moment, still pondering this decision. He had this feeling, an indescribable feeling, that he somehow see Harry Potter before he died in a moment. But was that not impossible? Wasn't Harry Potter walking to his death as he thought this very important thought? "I'll pass," he said, surprising himself.
Dumbledore nodded. "Alright, then." Harry tossed the Resurrection Stone once in his hand. . .time seemed to expand. . . . "Off you four go, then."
James frowned. "Aren't you coming?"
He shook his head. "Oh, no. He will have plenty of me later, I'm afraid."
Twice. . . .
"What? How?" said Lily, confused.
"You'll understand in a few moments, Lily," Dumbledore assured her.
She sighed sadly. "He really is going to die, isn't he?" She did not get a reply from Dumbledore, however, for Harry had turned the Stone three times and he now saw James, Lily, Sirius, and Remus.
Severus watched the Marauders and Lily talk to Harry Potter in their ghost-like forms, then follow him through the Forbidden Forest as he walked to Voldemort, to Death.
Then James, Lily, Sirius, and Remus returned to Severus, reluctant to leave Harry alone in the forest.
"Oh, no," said Lily nervously, as Harry revealed himself to the Death Eaters.
"He is going to die," said James, trying not to accept the scene unfolding before his eyes. After a few words exchanged between Voldemort and Harry. . . .
Harry crumpled to the ground, seemingly lifeless.
And then things got confusing.
Dumbledore disappeared from the group, but nobody – not even Severus, who was usually very observant – noticed. They just saw Harry lay there, on the ground of the Forbidden Forest, as some particularly negative Death Eaters gasped at how easily Harry had given himself up, to selfless to want all of the others, all of the others to die in addition to those who died during the battle. . . .
But then Harry was alive.
He whispered to Narcissa Malfoy. Or had that been the wind?
She lied that he was dead.
He was carried off by Hagrid, still thought to be dead.
But Harry was alive.
So then he let them know.
Maybe it was because Bellatrix Lestrange had shot a Killing Curse at Ginny Weasley that just barely avoided her. Maybe it was because Molly Weasley finally killed one of the most murderous Death Eaters. Maybe it was because Voldemort was furious about Bellatrix Lestrange's sudden death. Whatever the reason, Harry Potter stepped out from under his Invisibility Cloak and appeared.
And killed Voldemort.
And so, after the victory, the Marauders, Lily, Severus, and Dumbledore all watched Harry's life.
They watched as Harry sat through all the funerals after the Battle of Hogwarts, even crying for some. (Especially Severus's, Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin's, and Fred Weasley's. Those were probably the hardest for him.)
They watched as Harry met Teddy Lupin for the first time at Remus and Tonks's funeral. (Remus also cried at this.)
They watched as Harry argued with many people that there should be a portrait of Severus Snape in the Headmaster's Office, for most people disagreed. Finally Harry explained why he wanted it there and they gladly obliged. (Nobody said anything as they watched this, all of them too amazed by Harry's determination to say anything.)
They watched as Harry proposed to Ginny Weasley. ("Finally!" James said, which resulted in a playful argument between him and Lily.)
They watched the wedding of Harry and Ginny Potter.
And then, years later, there were Harry and Ginny's children.
Severus always came by to watch what the Marauders called the "Naming Ceremony." The first time, the Potter couple decided on the name James Sirius Potter, leaving 'Prongs' and 'Padfoot' in awe.
The second Naming Ceremony, they decided on the name Albus Severus Potter.
Albus Severus Potter.
Dumbledore's eyes sparkled with tears. But Severus was confused. "Severus? After me?"
"Of course!" said Lily brightly, because the other Marauders were surprised by Harry and Ginny's decision. "You protected him during his school years! Why wouldn't he name his second son after you?"
The last Naming Ceremony was for their only daughter, whom they named Lily Luna Potter.
They watched the Potter children grow up together. Cry, laugh, play, whine. James was followed in his namesakes' footsteps, often causing the trouble among the three of them. Albus was quieter than his older brother, but had strong opinions and decent smarts. Lily was joyful and happy, always looking on the bright side of things. And together, Harry, Ginny, James, Albus, and Lily were one big happy family.
They watched James go to Hogwarts.
They watched Harry risk his life on Auror missions, but always surviving and coming back home to his tearful and terrified wife. ("That's what I felt like when you were away on Order missions!" Lily [Evans Potter] said to James [the First] the first time it happened.)
They watched James and Albus and Lily at school. Cry, laugh, fight, argue. Yet again, James followed in his namesakes' footsteps, earning a reputation for the boy with good looks who refused to date anyone except the one girl who he liked. Albus smiled at his brother's arrogance but never objected to it (unless he did something really bad, which was rare), usually turning back to a book or talking softly to one of his friends in the corner of the common room. Lily grew to have Albus's calmness as well as James's popularity and drama.
Everyone loved them. (Everyone included the living and the dead.)
One day, Severus reflected on everything he had done for Harry Potter. He had protected him as much as he could have. And maybe, somewhere deep down, he had grown to care for the boy, now man with a happy family and thriving career.
But Severus would never, ever have as much undying love for Harry Potter as he did, and always will, Lily Evans Potter.