"That's wonderful news dear." Her father in law congratulated her. Lily Snape felt as the man Severus had been so scared of when they were children hugged her. She sobbed even more.
Molly sat beside her. "He's in shock. He'll come around. It's the war dear. I am sure he did not mean to be so thoughtless." Tobias stiffened next to her. It must have dawned on him how reproachable his son's behavior was. She wiped her tears and tried to smile. "Molly, could you please be so kind as to lend me some floo powder."
Tobias stood up. "Severus asked you to stay here." Lily looked up to her father in law. "I know what it looks like and there has to be an explanation. He loves you. I know it so."
Lily nodded, "He looked really scared. I'm scared too but he looked frightened."
"So was I when Molly told me she was pregnant with Bill." Arthur said reassuringly.
"As was I when Eileen told me about Severus. I lost it." Tobias said shamefully. Lily tried to be positive but in her heart she knew something was wrong. She felt as if her worst fears had come to realization. Severus did not want a baby. He would leave. Lily never thought her husband would run away from her when she told him she was expecting his child. He had done so. Lily felt hopeless and needed a good cry. She wanted to be alone before Severus appeared again. "Molly, could I please take a nap? Just until my husband comes back."
"Of course dear. Ron is still too small to sleep in the nursery." Lily glanced at her father in law once more and then left.
"It will be fine. You know him better than anyone and he's not like that." Molly said while hugging her goodnight.
Lily closed the door and looked at the baby things around the room. Ron was a loved baby. His little crib and teddy bears around the room proved that. Lily cried a little and transfigured a teddy bear into a bed. She lie down and thought about what had just happened. Severus's behavior was inexcusable; her husband had never been callous. They never discussed children but this was not expected at all. Severus went somewhere with such urgency. He looked mad, possessed. Lily retraced every exchange between her and her husband and simply came to a logical conclusion. Her pregnancy scared him, something was wrong. Lily closed her eyes and tried to sleep until Severus came back. He always did, he just needed time. Sev would come back and explain his behavior.
She had nightmares all night long and could not sleep. She spent half of the next morning puking. Molly helped her and brewed some potions for her. "Severus gave me the recipe when I was pregnant with Ron." Lily nodded. She was getting worried. This was not a normal behavior for Severus. He hadn't come back.
Lily was a ball of anxiety, she knew he was scared but she never expected him to disappear on him. The first treacherous thought in her mind had been that he had abandoned her and the baby. She discarded it as soon as it came to her mind. Severus loved her as much as she loved him. She was sure of it. They had been in love with each other since before they knew what love was. Severus would not leave her, not like this, never like this. Lily struggled to make sense of what happened. As the day progressed that thought took shape and became stronger. In times like this Lily was prone to destructive thoughts. She sat down in front of a pond and thought about why Severus disappeared.
This past year with Severus taught her something really important, he loved her unconditionally and she loved him just as fiercely. Those first months when they finally became lovers had been the most enlightening. She feared Severus expected too much of her. Lily felt inadequate but Severus taught her that he loved her flaws and all. She could drive him crazy with anger. They fought sometimes and would not speak to one another for hours but they always forgot they were in bad terms and ended up talking to each other because they had seen something funny and needed to tell the other or they read something interesting the other would love to read. Severus was her best friend and she had been so scared he would get bored with her after they became physical. Petunia said men grew bored with women after they had sex that was why women had to keep them waiting until marriage. Lily shook her head at those assumptions but in the back of her mind she could hear Tunney's warnings. Severus did not bore with her. He loved her more every day; she knew it so. It was plain for anyone to see. They were mad about each other. It wasn't lack of love from her or him for that matter. It couldn't have been a lie. He couldn't pretend that well. When he told her he loved her it was true she knew it was.
Could it be because she wasn't completely magical? It couldn't be Severus fought for the Light. Severus was a half-blood himself. Lily's biggest fear was that her Severus rejected her because she wasn't magical enough. It was irrational, stupid, especially now when he did so many things to prove to the world that he did not believe her less, that he thought them to be equals. She remembered that day after their sorting. Severus had been truly disappointed that she was in Gryffindor. "I just really thought you would be in Slytherin. You're brilliant at spells and charms and everyone knows Slytherin is the most powerful and magical house." Lily shrugged but she had been deeply affected by those words her best friend in the whole wide world uttered. It was careless and Severus was not eleven years old anymore. She remembered all those fights, he had been obsessed with blood purity and it scared her because she wasn't pureblood. She was just Lily and he was brilliant, came from an old line of wizards while she was ordinary plain Lily Evans. Lily cried bitterly many nights during third and fourth year because she could feel him distancing himself, making excuses to not see her, to avoid her in front of his pureblood friends.
She cried in front of that lake. Did Severus think her unworthy of carrying his child? She shook her head. "No, he loves me. He doesn't believe in any of that crap." She said loudly, as if voicing it made it true. Lily thought about fifth year when she had her best friend back. One day, it happened suddenly and she remembered that date with so much happiness. She wiped some of her tears. "Saturday, September 27, 1975." He made her say it out loud and since then she had a new Sev but her same Sev from when they were children. It was hard to explain but since then she did not feel so much despair. Severus did not reject her, they became closer than ever and he did not speak about blood status and power so thirstily.
The more she thought about it the less it seemed that it was anything she did or anything wrong with them. It had to be something else but what. She cried bitterly, thinking and rethinking about what could have made her husband, her best friend leave her and she could not help but feel as if it was something she had done. She breathed deeply and tried to convince herself that it wasn't that. Severus loved her and did not think her unworthy of him but it was there that miniscule sliver of doubt. "He's realized he can do better. He's realized you are nothing but a freak, that you don't belong here with him in this magical world, in his magical world."
Tobias helped her up. "Whatever you're thinking it isn't right. He did not leave you. He's not a coward. He's nothing like his old man. Severus loves you. I know I am not the best person to tell you this I have hurt him so much. Lily, I am probably not your favorite person because I have hurt him so much but he loves you more than his life. He's been in love with you since he was nine years old."
"He ran to Eileen when he met you. I was nursing a horrible hangover. I am ashamed to admitted it but here came my son telling his mother in hushed tones all about you. Severus's been in love with you since I can remember he will be back and he'll explain Love. Don't you worry or think you did anything wrong. He's scared and he'll come around."
"I'm just as frightened Tobias. Why did he leave?" Lily asked hollowly.
Tobias walked back to the Burrow with her. "He'll explain. I know it so."
Lily tried to heed her father in law's words of advice and busied herself with taking care of the Weasleys and Gus. Tobias kept her company. They were watching the twins and Percy when he showed her something. It was a beautiful Celtic necklace.
"Eileen wore this for protection when she was pregnant with Severus and Augustus. It now belongs to you." He said and fastened the necklace around her neck.
By the second day Lily grew restless. It was not normal for Severus to do this. Tobias was convinced something happened but was too afraid to distress her. Lily wrote to Remus and Kingsley. She did not go into details. Kingsley had not heard from Severus since last week and Remus had seen him the day she learned about the pregnancy. They knew nothing. Lily barely ate that day.
By the third day it was obvious something had happened and Severus was missing. She grew worried when Headmaster Dumbledore made a house visit. It was evident by then something bad had happened.
"Dear Lily, so good to see you. I suspect Severus is here as well. I need to speak with him about an important matter."
Lily knew Sev and the Headmaster worked together as part of the Order she was aware her husband and Dumbledore worked closely.
"He left two nights ago and has not been back." Lily said with fear. They were at war and although Severus tried to keep a low profile he was known to be a traitor to Slytherins and was not fully trusted by all the Order.
"We were supposed to meet in the morning. How very odd." The old man said almost to himself.
"Something's happened he was frantic. Something's happened to him." Lily gasped and paced around. Severus was not one to be late or not go to work.
"Don't worry Lily. I am sure your husband is in perfect health." He left then with a small smile that was supposed to reassure her but only unsettled her.
Molly transfigured her couch into a bed because Lily refused to leave the living room in case Severus came back. The fourth day Lily wanted to leave the Burrow and look for her husband himself. She tried to apparate and couldn't.
"Severus did this." Lily paled. Now she was convinced her husband was in danger. It was this that made her send a Patronus to Remus who in turn enlisted James and Sirius to look for Severus.
Tobias was worried now. He sat with Gus and her. Molly offered tea and graciously accepted the Marauders sans Peter in her home. Lily apologized for intruding. "Don't worry Lily dear. Severus is my friend and whatever we can do to find him we'll do.
James was oddly quiet about the whole thing so was Sirius. Remus was kind enough to form the search parties. "I hate that tosser but I hate to see you cry even more." James said. Tobias had glared at the young man but kept silent.
Arthur came from the Ministry empty handed. His contacts did not know. There hadn't been any unusual accidents or anything muggle related that could be related to Severus's disappearance. Sirius had not found him in any of the Order's hideouts but Lily didn't think Sirius had looked hard enough. Remus and Kingsley searched too but nothing.
She puked three times before finally breaking down when she overheard Kingsley whisper hurriedly to Remus. "Frank has received information about a body with Severus's description in muggle London."
"No." She felt faint, the room spun and she had to sit.
Remus nodded to Kingsley who dissaparated.
She cried. James held her hand. She didn't look up. Lily sobbed, quiet sounds, she couldn't keep it together anymore. Tobias paced around the room. Molly tried to soothe her but she -just patted her hand quietly. For once he was quiet, just holding her hand. Arthur was upstairs with all the children. Well, only Bill who was still awake because of the commotion.
"Someone's trying to get past the wards." Remus announced quickly. Lily did not hear him. She only looked up when a hooded figure walked past the door. It was Severus. It could only be Severus.
She stopped sobbing and was on her feet before Molly could hold her back. "Lily, don't." James said but it only mattered that Sev was there and he was whole.
Lily launched herself at her husband and cried. He smelled of alcohol and cigarettes. "Can you apparate?"
She shook her head and whispered softly. "The baby." He nodded.
James pulled her away from her husband. Remus, Sirius, Molly and James pointed their wands at him.
"Ask him something only he would know." Sirius said without taking his eyes off of him. Tobias looked utterly confused. "He smells like a distillery."
"Severus doesn't drink." Tobias said.
She asked him the first thing that came to mind. "Where did we kiss for the first time?"
He laughed, "Room of Requirement, fourth year. November 9th." She nodded and hugged him some more.
"I don't want to be here. I want us to go home." He slurred and nuzzled her neck.
Lily had a billion and one question but the relief to see him well overwhelmed her. She would cry and question his action and behaviors once they were alone. Severus was a painfully private person. The Burrow was not the place to discuss their baby or anything.
He looked tired and was unsteady. "We have to go. Thank you so much, all of you." She retrieved a vial from her husband's robes and made it a portkey.
"Lily, you can't go with him. He's not right." James pointed out. Lily could hear Severus grumble. "It's fine James, thanks for your concern Sev and I will be fine."
"Tobias, I will send a message as soon as we get home. Don't worry." She said to her father in law.
"You can't. Lily, you can't." Molly said emphatically.
Severus pulled her. He tried to get through the door. "What are you doing bloody idiot?" This time it was Sirius who spoke.
Lily could foresee this situation would get ugly quick. Tobias. "Severus." He glared and approached his son.
"Father." Severus looked up.
"Take Lily upstairs." He said with a strained voice. Severus nodded, and held onto Lily's hand. "Sleep in my room. I will sleep in the couch." He said to Lily. She did not want to stay the night. She wanted to be in her flat, with her things, alone with her husband. "You'll go home as soon as you're both rested."
Arthur descended as they climbed to the second floor. She could hear him, "Gentlemen please if you could leave. I will write to Dumbledore myself."
Severus was heavy. She managed to disrobe him. He smelled as if he hadn't showered since he saw her last. It probably was so. She wished they could be in their home. Lily did the best she could and cleaned him with some spells.
She removed her clothes leaving only her underwear. Lily locked the door and slept better with Severus holding her tightly. She would deal with everything tomorrow. Now the happiness to have him back kept her questions at bay. They would speak later, he would explain later.