Severus loved the holidays, no bullies, no distractions and most of all no Potter. Just him and Lily. Just Lily, led in the grass beside him, next to the lake, every year, since they were kids. He didn’t know for how much longer it would last though. They were fourteen now and her friendship with the other boy was worrying him. He didn’t want to lose her. She was all he had, her and the time they spent here.
“You’ll always be my friend, won’t you?” She looked at him sideways, expression unreadable.
“Always,” he said, taking her hand in his. They held hands often, she never took it further.
“Will you always love me like you do now?” she asked, bluntly but with a smile. Even he found her difficult to predict most days.
“What do you mean?” He didn’t meet her eyes, instead staring into the sky even though the sun hurt his eyes.
“You know what I mean. James told me you never stop staring at me. He said it was creepy and I had to explain it to him. That’s just how we are. Friends... forever, right Severus?”
“Yes, Lily, friends forever.” He smiled and she knew something was missing.
“You want more than that, don’t you? Would you rather we weren’t friends and we met today and fall in love like a fairytale? Or would you rather I didn’t hold you back and you would be able to see other girls without them getting jealous of me?”
“I wouldn’t trade you for all the fairytales or girls in the world. I don’t want different girls, I’m happy with you; it’s you that I want more of. More than friends forever. Everything forever.” He finally looked at her and again couldn’t read her expression. “But we’ll pretend I didn’t say that and everything will be fine.” He broke eye contact, back up to the sky.
“Would it be all that different? Is there much more we can be? And you know I won’t ignore that, you know me too well, I won’t dismiss feelings that strong. I’m not cruel.” She reached out and turned his head back to her. “I do love you, Severus, I’m just not sure how I love you. It’s more important than fancying James.” He grimaced at her admittance, he’d always known but it stung to hear it from her. “...and I get on better with you than I do with my own sister.” This time he laughed.
“You get on better with everyone than your sister, she’s a stuck up bitch.”
“Severus! It’s true... but still.” She laughed despite the weight currently resting on her heart.
“We wouldn’t change, not deep down, maybe in little ways. Like now, we’re holding hands, we’d still do that but it’ll mean more.” He squeezed her hand gently.
“What does it mean now?”
“For me, it means I never want to let go. What does it mean to you?”
“I don’t know, I don’t have your way with words. Maybe that I’m safe, that I know I’ve got you, that I’ll always have you. Huh, I guess that’s the same.”
“Then we wouldn’t be different if we dated. Only you’d know you’d always have me and I’ll always have you.”
“I already know that.” She smiled and he nodded, he already knew it to, at least he knew he’d always be hers. Her eyes fluttered and his heart nearly stopped, she was leaning towards him, soft lips brushing his, she paused for a second and then kissed him more firmly.
“Lily! Dinner!” Petunia came stomping towards them. “And get off that boy, you don’t know where he’s been.” She sneered at him and he glared back.
“I do know where he’s been, with me all day. And he has a name and you know it.” Lily stood up, threatening a fight. “You’re so rude”
“I know he has a name but it’s weird and stupid.”
“At least I’m not named after a daft flower....” He cursed himself; he had a bad habit of not thinking his insults through. “Sorry, Lily, you’re named after a much better, not daft, flower.” She smiled and shook her head, she wasn’t mad, she was amused.
“I better go before I get hit by anymore misdirected insults.” She laughed and kissed his cheek. “I’ll think about it, ok?” He nodded and watched her run after her sister, swearing blind she was going to kill her.
The next day when they met up, she’d forgotten all about her promise and their talk, she was too absorbed in twirling around, showing her new summer dress off. He was happy just to watch her.
Two years later, he burst into her dormitory, taking in the sight of her, cuddling the toy owl he’d given her for her twelfth birthday, crying her heart out.
“Severus! What are you doing in here, this is the girls’ room, it says so on the door” She had stopped crying in shock.
“Yes, I read that before I disregarded it. I saw you run in here crying. What’s the bastard done now?”
“How did you even get in here, you’re not a Gryffindor”
“You tell me how to every week, I know how to get in here sooner than my own house. Stop avoiding the subject, what has he done to you?”
“He said his friend said they didn’t want me going out with them because I spoil their fun.” Lily sniffed, fresh tears making their way down her cheeks.
“Git! All of them, they’re not worth you tears.” He sat down and hugged her, her head resting on his chest.
“Oh no, it gets better than that. He then went on to say I was frigid because I slapped him when he tried to stick his hand up my skirt.”
Severus bit back a laugh, he couldn’t imagine Lily slapping anyone and he’d wished he’d seen it, especially if Potter had been on the receiving end of it.
“Well, I’m glad someone finally did it.”
“Stick their hand up my skirt?” She was smiling wryly.
“Well, if the opportunity calls for it.” He shrugged, indulging her moment of fun, she needed it. “No, I meant slap him. Insolent prat.” He stroked her hair.
“He wants me to sleep with him, I won’t do it, see how he likes that”
“You won’t? Why? Not that I’m encouraging you onto him, I’m just... curious”
“You remember that day by the lake?” she asked, taking a deep breath.
“Out of thousands? No. You’ll have be more specific”
“The day you tried to ask me out and I said I’d think about it.”
“Yes,” he said carefully, he wanted to say he’d never forget it but he’d learnt not to say the first thought in his head every time.
“Well, I’ve thought about it.” She shrugged out of his embrace so she didn’t have to strain her neck looking up at him.
“That was quick, are you sure you don’t want more time to consider it?” He smiled at her, his turn to be wry.
“Shut up. Well, that was my first kiss. And it was so much nicer than when James paws at me.”
“That’s good to know.” He knew he was being sarcastic but she could take it.
“Will you stop?” She hit him playfully on the leg. “I know you hate him but I bet you’ll take what I say next seriously.”
“Do elaborate.” He nodded, leaning forward, preparing to pretend to look enthralled.
“Well, if his kissing is anything to go by, I don’t want my first time to be like that. I want it to be with someone I trust, someone gentle, someone I feel safe with.” She paused, treading carefully, he hadn’t blinked since he’d leant forward, ready to mock. “And you’ll never guess who I thought of.” She laughed nervously, trying to seem more confident than she was. His silence was killing her.
“Serious?” he asked, searching her eyes.
“I didn’t mean Sirius... I meant are you... serious?”
“I am, you told me you’d love me forever and you’re still here, I think you meant it. I know you meant it.” She lifted her hand to his cheek, something she hadn’t done in months, not since she’d understood how much intimacy it held. She was serious. She let her hand fall to his chest, leaving it there for a second before reaching for a shirt button.
“Shouldn’t we talk about this first?” he asked, taking her hands away and holding them in his.
“What’s to talk about, nothing will change. When you hold my hand what do you feel?”
“That I never want to let go,” he sighed, knowing she’d won, she always would.
“Then don’t let go.” She kissed him, her resolve final, she wanted to do this and she didn’t think he’d need this much talking round so she changed tactics. He kissed her back until another thought occurred to him.
“What if someone comes in?” he asked eyes wide.
“I’ve fixed the door so anyone who comes up the stairs starts thinking they need the loo.” She smiled, pleased with her creativeness.
“I got in.”
“I did it while you were raging about James.” She kissed him, silencing whatever remark about James he would have said. He managed to murmur “You crafty girl” against her lips, letting her tongue in his mouth in the process. He’d given in. Like always, he was hers.
She stripped him of all his clothes and blushed when she realised this was the first male she’d seen nude. He’d stripped her too, silently taking in her beauty, amending the picture he’d had in his head before to fit what he saw now. He wanted to touch every inch of her but was scared he’d break her, like she was porcelain. She peeled back her duvet and climbed under it, he followed her.
“Will it hurt?” She asked nervously.
“Maybe,” he answered, he’d heard rumours but he’d never been through this first hand before.
“Will you kiss it better?” Her old smile returned.
“Definitely.” He kissed her, at a loss of what to do next but not wanting to admit it. She guided his hand between her legs.
“I’ve heard the other girls talking.”
He nodded and did the only thing he could think of, he slid a finger inside her. He was led beside her so the angle was awkward but he kept going, adding another when she started breathing heavily. When he felt her tightness begin to lessen he asked if she was ready, she nodded and took his other hand. “Don’t let go”
He entered her, her small strangled cry making his heart ache, he asked her if she was ok and she nodded.
He made an extra effort to be slow and gentle with her, although both their bodies cried out for more.
He made sure he was always kissing her, as much as he could.
And he never, not once, let go of her hand.