Goodbye Chapter 3… Goodbye

The weather was turning cold. Winter had just hinted on the breeze. Two young friends wandered by a large lake, laughing. Severus stood nearby, unfazed by the weather. The scene panned out before him; he was more of an observer than a participant, a ghost of sorts moving along as the friends stopped by a tree and sat down, overlooking the lake.

Severus watched his younger self talk with the woman he loved; he himself watched the young woman, ignoring the scene itself. His greasy hair was at its usual length, down to his shoulders, his face pallid and his dark eyes glittered with tears.

The scene was a memory, one of hundreds he had of the young woman, Lily. In this particular scene, it was about the middle of October, and winter was coming. Students wandered outside in the hopes of catching sun rays before the weather grew too cold. The sun made Lily’s dark red hair shimmer exquisitely, rippling colors like a rainbow as she moved her head slightly. Severus moved closer to his younger self, drinking in the sight of the woman who lived no more in reality.

There was a quiet cadence that seemed to echo across the grounds through the winds. Severus breathed in deeply, memory more so than any breeze bringing the smell of Lily to him.

Lily was speaking. “Can you believe Potter? That toe rag went and told Professor Flitwick to shove it. He’s still doing lines. He’s so rude, even to those whose position demands respect.”

“Would you never date him?” the young Severus asked. He said it offhandedly, but watched Lily closely.

“I wouldn’t say never, because that can always come back to bite me, but I would almost rather be unhappy than be with him,” Lily said. She laughed lightly.

The older Severus answered, for he knew his memory-self would remain silent. “But I’d never want to see you unhappy.”

Lily leaned back on her arms and closed her eyes, smiling as she drank in the sunlight.

Severus pulled himself from the memory, and quickly dried his eyes. He glanced out of the window in his office to see that night had fallen. A glance at his clock showed it was well past midnight. He shook his head lightly and made his way over to his desk. The portraits of headmasters and headmistresses of the past still covered the walls. The room was silent except for a few snores. They were, for the most part, sleeping. The one directly behind his chair, however, was still awake, and gave Severus a critical glance, his blue eyes boring into Severus’s dark ones. Severus hastily looked down as he approached his desk.

“What sparked a trip down memory lane this time, Severus?” Albus Dumbledore’s portrait asked.

“Why can’t you just let me be?” Severus retorted. He then sighed deeply and sank into his chair, closing his eyes. He tried to block all thoughts and memories of Lily but wasn’t succeeding too well. It’s not Dumbledore’s fault, he chastised himself. If you weren’t always thinking of her, this wouldn’t have happened. If you just kept to yourself and didn’t go snooping through the dead’s belongings… He didn’t finish the thought.

“You should’ve known she’d bring you heartache,” Dumbledore said. Severus ignored him, laid his arms on his desk, and then put his head down. No matter how hard he tried, the images, the memories of his time with Lily occupied his thoughts. She is gone, he thought cruelly. She is gone, and you cannot follow until your task is complete.

Slowly, Severus lifted his head and pulled from out of his robes a photograph. It was of a slightly older Lily, who was laughing. The picture seemed torn. He held it out so Dumbledore’s portrait could see it.

“I stole it from headquarters a while back,” Severus said. He would not look at the portrait as he spoke, afraid of disapproval.

However, the portrait remained silent, and Severus chanced a glance back. Dumbledore’s eyes were a little watery.

“Do you disapprove?” Severus asked warily, not quite meeting Dumbledore’s eye.

Dumbledore smiled. “How could I disapprove love?”

Severus shrugged lightly but did not respond. He then stood abruptly. Leaving the office, he carefully tucked the photograph away. He paused at the top of the stairs and controlled his facial expression in case he saw someone before he made his way down the spiral staircase. He had not really wanted Dumbledore to respond, and was a little irked that he had. Dumbledore’s portrait even knew how to get under Severus’s skin.

Severus made his way downstairs and paused as some house elves scurried passed to do some cleaning. They bowed slightly as they noticed Severus, but continued on with their work. He passed the Great Hall and exited the front doors out onto the quiet grounds.

He cast a Disillusionment Charm upon himself and made his way towards the lake. More memories followed like ghosts before his eyes. When he made it to the tree from his memory, he sat down and stared across the lake. Moon and starlight reflected across the glossy black surface, showing Severus a kind of peace he could not find within his own mind. He lost himself, staring at the reflection of the sky, his mind going blank and quiet for the first time in sixteen years. He could almost feel the warmth that emitted from Lily when she was in close proximity, the smell of her hair while it blew gently in the wind.

Severus found himself with Lily, unexpectedly, sitting by the tree. This, however, was just Severus and Lily, no memory self. She laughed and grasped his hand tightly. He lost himself in her green eyes. An eternity seemed to pass when she slowly looked over Severus’s shoulder and smiled more widely. He turned and saw James Potter standing there. He did not look angry, nor did he have his usual teenaged haughtiness. He was older, more mature. His eyes were soft as he looked at Lily. Then his eyes shifted to Severus. James gave him a small, apologetic smile.

Severus felt Lily stand beside him, her hand still in his. He also stood, and stared once more into her beautiful face. She gave him a wide smile and leaned in, hugging him. Severus wrapped his hands around her tightly, afraid to let go. He could feel tears falling. Finally, he knew he had to let go. He released Lily and wiped his eyes quickly, then looked at James. James had his hand held out to Lily, who squeezed Severus’s hand one more time before she went to James. She gazed up at him, and he down at her, and they both smiled. Then they turned and looked at Severus, who smiled sadly.

“Goodbye,” he whispered. James and Lily waved, and then faded into a sudden brilliant light.

Severus blinked. The sun had risen. He had fallen asleep. He sat up and stood, lifting the Disillusionment Charm upon himself. He made his way towards the castle, but this time his thoughts were not on Lily. His thoughts wandered briefly to Harry Potter, who was roaming across the country side somewhere with the Sword of Gryffindor in tow.

            Severus paused on his way to the castle. He glanced back at the tree. A bunch of wild lilies were growing there, pale white and new with the summer air. Severus smiled. My task is nearly done, he thought, making his way into the Great Hall. Soon, Lily, I will join you.


~ by HelixRook on April 24, 2011.

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