Cauldrons and Lilies

Chapter 11

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Chapter 11

He spoke to Lils in the train station, two weeks after the incident in the school grounds. They had seen each other and spoken but Marlene was always with them. She would not go away and Lily avoided being alone with him. At first it hurt him deeply and he would have given anything for their relationship to be like when they went out for her birthday but he realized it could never be. Lily was his friend, his best friend. He loved her, he would kill and die for her but they were not meant to be together. Severus had another opportunity to touch her, to hug her and talk to her. He would conform and watch as she married and bore Harry if it meant they would be friends and stay close to each other. Every night for two weeks Severus convinced himself that it was best this way. Lily would understand, he never called her that awful name. She was hurt, he knew that but they would overcome this glitch. Severus single-mindedly ignored all other outcomes and fixed his mind into that blind determination. Since a very young age Severus engaged in a vicious cycle. He examined and ruminated every single outcome to a given situation and decided to adopt the one he believed feasible. In this case, Lily had to forgive him for whatever shortcoming of his and they would remain close friends. His experiences before did nothing to sway his determination. So he waited and was glad that the opportunity presented itself on the journey back to London. Marlene was a prefect and had to be with her fellow Ravenclaw students. Lily and Lupin were prefects too and so they would need to be in the prefect's compartment for at least ten minutes during the ride.

Marlene kissed him and then was off to her compartment. She assured him they would see each other once they arrived to King's Cross. He feared she would cry when they finally parted. Severus wanted nothing more than to part with her. Marlene was a nice girl, any other teenager would be glad to be with her but Severus wanted space. He wanted to only be friends with Lils.

He waited in their compartment and was happy to see her red hair. She looked at him and gasped. "What are you doing here?"

"This is our compartment. We always use this one, just the two of us." He said simply, he had to remain calm and not beg for her forgiveness or something equally reprehensible. "I thought you and your girlfriend would like to be alone."

He wanted to tell her Marlene was not his girlfriend but she was. The Ravenclaw girl was his girlfriend. She told anyone who listened to her. Severus did not remember having a girlfriend ever. During school he fooled around and snogged a couple of Hufflepuff girls and lost his virginity to Magnolia. She fought with her boyfriend and had sex with him out of revenge but that had been in his sixth year and pretty soon after that he was having one-night stands with discreet seventh year girls. He shook his head; this was not the time to think about sex. He needed to focus on Lily and their friendship.

"No, she's at the prefect's compartment with her friends." He said calmly. Lily sat in front of her and did not say a word for almost an hour. She did not send him away so she meant to speak with him. Lils would have thrown him out or went away if she wanted to keep quiet. He waited patiently.

"I thought you like me." She said and looked straight to his eyes. Severus would not lie. "I don't want us to stop being friends." It was true. He did not want to make the same mistakes he made in the past. He would protect her; he would make sure she and Harry were safe, protected away from harm.

Lily nodded and tried to smile when he held her hand. "I don't want to lose you. I cannot think about the future without being by your side." He breathed deeply and looked at her, he had to say it, she needed to know, "I love you Lily; you are my best friend, my family."

She cried and hugged him. "I love you too Sev. I'll be ok. You belong with Marlene, I am sure she will make you really happy." He hugged her and forgot about the fact that they were hugging a little too close.

As expected Marlene cried and kissed him hard. He kissed back; as much as he was conflicted Marlene was a good kisser. She deserved better than him. She deserved more but he had to admit he was glad to see the jealous glint in Black's eyes whenever Marlene kissed or hugged him. He felt a strange sense of happiness every time Sirius Black scowled or when Marlene rejected his cocky advances.

Lily put on a brave face, but she did not completely like Marlene. The three of them made it out of the wall and faced their parents. Marlene turned him around and kissed him goodbye for the hundredth time. She said her goodbyes and was off with her father who glared at him. He tried to ignore him and went to his own set of parents. Tobias looked happy and even healthier than months before. Mother was not in attendance he noticed a little annoyed by the impeding trip with his father. "Is good to see you son?"

"Hello Mr. Snape." Lily said happily while she looked for her parents. "Hello Lily." Tobias grabbed her luggage.

"Why are you grabbing her things?" Severus asked a little rudely. Lily shook her head at him.

"I have agreed to take her to Cokeworth. Your parents are visiting your grandmum in Ireland. She fell and broke her hip. Your family left yesterday night." He said plainly.

"Is Nan fine?" She asked fearfully.

"Harry called two hours ago. They are going to stay with her for the summer."

Both teenagers looked in askance at the adult. "Eileen will explain." He said politely and picked Lily's trunk.

Severus shrugged and was glad Lily would be accompanying them. The drive would not be as tense.

He saw the marauders disperse and was glad when he saw their grey car. They travelled north. Severus reluctantly took the front seat. Tobias put on his records and sang along Tommy Steele's "Handful of Songs."

Severus rolled his eyes. His muggle father loved that singer and Elvis Presley. He touched the controls to the radio and managed to get Led Zeppelin.

"What is that racket? Change it back Severus Snape." Severus glared at him and started singing Black Dog on the top of his lungs. Tobias would not do or say anything as long as Lils was inside the car. Lils smiled at him and she hummed along the song and even sang a couple of verses.

Tobias shook his head and lowered the volume but remained driving them. Soon Severus and Lily were talking as if Tobias was not there. Severus could not help but relax around her, she had that effect on him, always had.

"I have a confession. I stole Potter's glasses." He said solemnly and guffawed alongside Lils. She couldn't stop laughing. "Why didn't you tell me? I felt bad for him. He never found those."

"It was just too funny, him squinting and falling all over the castle." He chuckled. "It was payback. I had detention with McGonagall every bloody day since the incident by the lake."

"He went to those too." Lily defended him. Severus rolled his eyes and snorted, "do yourself a favor Gryffindor, shut it."

"Hey." She yanked his hair back. "Ouch Lils. I'm stating facts. McGonagall has preferential treatment for her quidditch players. Potter only went the first two days. He had to train for the bloody quidditch finals."

"Yes, the one Gryffindor won. You owe me Sev." She sing sang.

He dug into his pocket and gave here three galleons he had from doing Rosier and Mulciber's homework. The glint of gold caught Tobias attention, "Where did you get that gold. Your mother and I did not send you any money."

Severus was about to retort with something nasty when Lily interrupted his train of thought. "His classmates pay him to do their homework. He has quite a business going." Lils said with an angelic smile. She hated that he did their homework, it was not morally correct according to her.

"If you needed money you only had to write son. Your mother wanted to give you the news but I can't wait. I got a new job, I am senior accountant at a law firm." He said with a satisfied smile.

Severus was speechless. "How did you manage to do that?" He asked suspiciously.

"I think that's wonderful news Mr. Snape." Lily broke the ice and the tension that formed around father and son.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. Tobias and Lily made small conversation and he was not happy to notice Tobias was nice. He wanted his father to be awkward, to be the same resentful person he had been a year and half ago. Tobias was not, he was a pleasant, mild mannered man and he hated him. He hated him and this mirage he sold people.

They arrived home by nightfall. Severus noticed the little changes, the house looked better than ever before. It was decent and it looked well kept.

"I fixed some things." Tobias said quietly. Severus ignored him.

They went inside and he was shocked to see a pregnant Eileen. "That cannot happen." He muttered under his breath. "Congratulations Mrs. Snape." Lily said happily.

"You cannot be pregnant. This did not happen last time. You are not supposed to have a child." Severus said quietly. He was confused. He was so utterly befuddled.

"We wanted to tell you in person son. It's a boy." Eileen said carefully, her face a mixture of hope and fear. She wanted him to be happy for them. For the first time since he was back he realized how happy his mother looked. She looked younger and beautiful, he hair shone and she smiled, there was no gray in her hair, only lustrous black. Her olive green eyes shone with happiness.

She must have heard his mutterings because she looked about to cry. "I am very happy for you mum." Eileen hugged him and gently said, "Please, for me. Try to talk to him. He's changed."