|Fic: Grief (mainly Sev/Lily)
||[Dec. 21st, 2011|10:14 am]
|[||Tags|||||character: evan rosier, character: lily evans, character: severus snape, fandom, fandom: harry potter, fanfic, first wizarding war, het, paring: severus/evan, paring: severus/lily, slash||]|
Characters: Severus/Lily, (brief) Severus/Evan, Draco
Word Count: 1,636
Warnings: Canon character deaths, pure!angst
Summary: Lily is gone and Severus struggles to cope.
Author’s Notes: Fic written for theinterhouse_fest. Sections of fic are based loosely on the lyrics in the prompt and the five stages of grief.
Banner by elle_blessing
Severus knows it’s irrevocable. It can’t possibly be any other way. In the dim morning light, where everything exists in a stillness of mist and watery sunlight just barely creeping over the horizon, the world seems both surreal and undeniably permanent. Lily’s body in his arms has grown cold where it had been still warm when he had arrived the evening before and her red hair sprawls in a maddening contrast over his black robes. He lays her down on the carpeted floor and takes a deep breath, drawing in the cool morning air with lungs sore and rasping from the sobs he had shed through the night.
He doesn’t think this image will ever leave his head – the chaos of the room, the scorch marks in the hall, the child’s toys scattered across the floor, the overturned furniture, a shattered window, and Lily’s lifeless body in the centre of it all, lying prone and alone in the empty room. The child is long gone, taken away by Hagrid. It is just as well, for Severus doesn’t think he could bare to see the spitting image of James Potter alive and blubbering while Lily lies cold and motionless on the floor.
He stumbles out of the house through the halls, unable to look back, knowing that if he does, if he goes near Lily even one more time, he won’t be able to leave. He will simply have to join her on the Other Side, press the tip of his wand into his throat and gurgle out the Killing Curse. It would be a sweet blissfulness. But he is too numb for even that at the moment.
The morning wind is stinging against his overly sensitive skin as he trudges down the path away from the house, away from Lily, away from his only chance at true happiness. His nerves are numb and fraying, at the edges is screaming hot agony and he wants to avoid it for as long as he can. Suddenly, Severus wishes he was the sort to drink. But he never had been – his father’s bad habits had turned his away from alcohol to the extent that he barely touched his drink of firewhisky when he was out with his lot in Hogsmede or some other place.
“Sev, where were you? What’s wrong?” Evan’s voice breaks through his blanked-out mind the moment he enters their shared flat. He doesn’t look up, just pushes past Evan into the kitchen and pours himself tea, steeps it dark and bitter. Adds a bit of sleeping potion. He’d appreciate the oblivion at the moment. “Sev?”
“Get lost, Evan, I’m not in the mood.” He knows he’s being unfair, but he doesn’t care. His Lily is dead and it’s his fault. His, because he couldn’t protect her, because he gave just the person just the information needed to lead to her death. He would be told by Evan, or any other friend he asked, that it was not his fault, he couldn’t have known it would be her and, besides, she was the enemy now. But he couldn’t think of her that way. She was still his Lily and her laughter still rings painfully clear in his ears. He can’t breath for the feeling of heaviness of his chest – maybe it’s regret – so he takes deep, gasping breaths which make Evan stare in concern. “I’m going to bed,” Severus mutters tersely and shoulders his way out of the kitchen. He reaches the bedroom and falls on the bed, falling asleep before his heart can cause any further damage to his head.
Severus always wakes up from the dreams the same way – with a start and a low guttural moan which turns into a growl as he realizes that it was a dream. He sits up in bed and faces the door, searching out the ethereal form of Lily and not finding it in reality. He feels hot waves spread through his body and the room seems terribly stuffy and hot. He wants to throw something but stops himself. He looks over at Evan asleep beside him and clenches his fists. Evan is leaving the next morning. It is no longer safe for him to stay here and Severus thinks it’s for the best. He has been nothing but cruel to his lover in the past two weeks and he thinks Evan knows why but doesn’t say anything on purpose.
Severus slides out of the bed and stalks into the kitchen. He pours himself a calming draft and drinks it down. But even the minty-tasting potion can’t wipe out Lily’s voice in his head. She is always laughing or calling his name or saying a tongue twister. Always something joyful and perfect, framed by golden sunlight and fiery, silky hair. He clenches the glass in his hand and hurls it across the kitchen. It hits the wall and crashes to the floor, scattering shattered glass everywhere.
Severus walks to the hall across the kitchen tile, feeling the sharp edges of the glass pierce his feet and not caring. He hates the world, hates everything and everyone. He hates himself for not keeping Lily, for hurting their relationship, fot not trying hard enough to get her back, for telling of the prophecy. He hates James Potter for being an arrogant, self-righteous bastard and for taking Lily away from him where she would have been safe, where he would have been more capable of protecting her. He hates Harry Potter for being born in the wrong month. He hates the Dark Lord for killing Lily.
He hates Evan for the worried expression on his face when he sits up in bed and notices the bloody stains Severus has left on the carpet on his way back to the bedroom. He hates that Evan loves him because he could never love Evan nearly as much. Lily took so much of his heart that there is very little of it left to give out, yet at the same time, what is left of it belongs to Evan and that makes it harder.
Severus even hates Lily. Because she had not listened. Because she had left. Always left, always she. First into James’, now into the arms of the Veil.
Evan has left. In fact, Evan is dead and now Severus has only his grief and his memories of Lily to fill his days. His trial passes without his notice, just a blur, a noise-saturated affair at the end of which he speaks to Dumbledore about taking a position at Hogwarts and returns home to curl up in his own misery, like some wounded snake in its nest, and not interact with the outside world.
The bleak late-autumn days leave room for thinking. Every flash of color reminds him of Lily and he wonders at how he had not seen that she was the only true source of color in his world. Everything else remained and remains inadequate. She was the best thing that had ever graced him and he had allowed her to slip away like the golden leaves that fall of trees in the autumn only to turn black once they brush the ground.
If only he had not said what he’d said. If only Lily had given him a chance. If only he’d gone to Dumbledore sooner, If only hadn’t heard or relayed the prophecy. If only Lily had loved him as much as he had loved her. There are so many “if”s that it is impossible to sort through them all and Severus goes up to Hogwarts early so he can use the potions lab there to brew as many complicated potions as he can because he needs something to keep him busy. Something to keep him from plotting ways to steal a time-turner, because, frankly, that is the verge of insanity.
He truly does attempt to go on.
Severus works and works. He teaches the brats, he looks after his little snakes, he spends his weekend evenings at Malfoy Manor talking comfortably with Lucius, he even indulges his tiny godson, Draco. In fact, Draco seems to be the brightest thing in his world at the moment.
Severus honestly tries to lean on something that isn’t Lily, that isn’t the past. He desperately tries to find meaning. There used to be menaing, even when she wasn’t near.
But then there had been hope. Hope that the war would end, hope that she would recognize him as a far greater man than that swine Potter. There had been the aura of agency, of power, of a future of which Lily could still be a part. Perhaps, even just as a glimmer on the horizon, a fantasy just an arm’s reach away.
But now there is nothing. There is no hope and with no hope there is no light, no feeling. Lily’s fire has burned out and Severus can literally feel himself freezing over without her fire in the world to melt the ice around his heart.
His students call him the bat. He’d like to be one. Then perhaps, he wouldn’t feel anything. Then perhaps, not feeling anything would be normal.
Draco is eight and has been gifted his first real broom.
It has been seven years since Lily died. She still comes to Severus in his dreams sometimes. Quite often actually; not a month goes by without her. She’s always standing at his door, looking at him with mournful, green eyes, but never crossing the threshold.
“Uncle Sev, look at me!”
“Yes, Draco. Be careful.” Please, for Merlin’s sake and all that is good in the world, be careful.
Lily will never cross his threshold again. But the little blonde boy swooping into his arms does so regularly.
Severus really does try to move on.