Something to be SaidAuthor: chiraloveCharacters/Pairings:
DH compliance and general sadnessWord Count:
Severus's throat still hurts, when he presses his hand to the new skin, but it is a pain he is learning to live with. Author's Notes:
I know nothing about geography and only something about poetic license – however, for the sake of this story, please allow me to pretend that there's a lake near Spinner's End.
This is the cabin, exactly as Severus had planned it and set it out in dreams and on solid parchment. This is the lake and these are the swoops of the linnets' wings and the cricket songs, all of it overlaying the peace that drops slow, moment by moment, into Severus's heart. He takes a deep breath and breathes out.
There was a time when each breath was precious. Each gasp of air, each molecule, each moment was hard-won. It made his throat ache to breathe, the skin raw and tender, torn open with any tiny movement.
Severus fills his lungs with air again and looks out over the lake. A swallow swoops low over the surface, wings skimming the water, and dragonflies skip over the lake like bubbles popping. This place is his home now.Lily had brought him to the lake, promising peace from her parents and her sister. They found the peace they never seemed to find at Hogwarts. She propped her legs up on the pier and lay back, dangling her fingers in the water and looking over at Severus. "We can't go on like this. You'll have to stop, Sev."
Severus didn't answer her – there was nothing to say.
The silence here feels like honey going into tea, a slow stream of thick liquid dissolving slowly. Severus's throat still hurts, when he presses his hand to the new skin, but it is a pain he is learning to live with.
Deep afternoons spent in the tall grass, lying and looking up at the vast sky – the way they used to do, together – and busy mornings spent cleaning the cabin, preserving her favorite fruits for winter and keeping the house tidy. Everything is the way that Lily would have wanted it.
Jars of red raspberry preserves in neat rows, a bowl of blue flowers on the table – Severus will dry them and use them in a potion, later. They bring the color of the sky in the house, the color of the lake in the deep shadows cast by the trees, and that is what he needs, what she would have liked.
When the owls come in on soft wings, Severus turns them all away. He is not fit for company, or messages, or the back-and-forth of the world. He has played his part. This is his cabin and his corner of the world, and he has no need for anything more.In the heat of summer, there were two children by the lake, kicking their heels in the water. Lily reached out and took Severus's hand, holding his fingers with her smooth clean ones.
"Back to Hogwarts in two weeks," she said.
Severus reminded her of it, of that day by the lake, when they met by chance in Diagon Alley, many years later. She glowed, but turned away from Severus when she saw him.
He reminded her. He went up to her in the middle of the street, accosted her and made the strangers stare, but she turned away again. The lake, the things that they had shared – best friends forever, they had said. Severus reminded her that he loved her, and he tried to tell her, to warn her, but Lily didn't listen to anything that he had to say.
The silence deepens through the night, until Severus slips between his starched white sheets. They are, he thinks, the color of her skin – not at the lake, but in the middle of winter, after weeks of lessons at Hogwarts, after weeks spent indoors. Lily was as pale as the flower that was her namesake, and her skin was soft, soft to the touch.
Severus slides one hand under the sheet. Lying there, flat as the boards he used to build his bed, he touches himself. His hand on his stiff flesh, his other hand traces the lines of his lips and the scars on his throat.
His skin, she has touched and sanctified and sacrificed. His blood has been spilled for her, and there is nothing – in all of his books, in all of his potions, there is nothing that is more powerful than that.
"Lily," Severus says, and he thinks he sees her. He thinks that he has summoned her to him, used the power of the sacrifice that he made, and after everything that he has done, she comes back to him. In the night, she comes to him and puts a hand on his lips, her fingers cool against his flesh.
Severus closes his eyes. He cannot bear to see her. He cannot bear to look. His hand moves on his cock, and he groans to think of Lily seeing him like this, but he feels the soft breath of her kiss on his forehead. By the lake, with everyone watching, Severus denounced her. In solitude and shadows, he apologized to her.
Nothing that he said. Nothing that he said made a difference, and he tried to kiss her, tried to apologize, but she turned away from him.
The pressure builds, pleasure spreading through him like the ripples from a stone tossed into the lake, and Severus yields to it. His hand moves faster on his cock, and if he keeps his eyes closed, he can imagine that it is Lily who touches him.
He can imagine that it is Lily who rides him, her eyes closed and her head thrown back and her red hair falling around her face. Her hand on his chest to brace herself as she moves, and her body welcomes him, and Severus is home.
Severus would summon one of the blue flowers from the bowl on the table and use its petals to tease her skin, rubbing it down her smooth arms, over her belly, across her peaked nipples. He would mark her skin with the pollen from the center of the flower, leave his mark on her – as golden as the sun, as the light that she had always been, as the pollen at the center of the white lily.
This is her lake, her cabin, her body – Severus comes, his hand jerking violently and his breath catching in his throat. It closes in on him and he cannot breathe. For a moment, he cannot breathe and he is lost in the darkness of the Shrieking Shack and then trapped in the straight white lines of the infirmary at Hogwarts.
The faint touches of his Lily on his skin slow and then stop, and then in the darkness, she is gone. Severus does not open his eyes to see her go. He rolls over and buries his head in the pile of pillows, not caring that he is wrinkling the bed and smearing his semen on Lily's clean sheets. He will wash them tomorrow. "Lily," he said, the first time he knew he loved her, the first time she took him to the lake, "we'll be friends forever, won't we?"
"Of course," she said, taking his hand. "Friends forever, Sev, you know that."
That summed it all – there was nothing left to say, and so they walked down to the edge of the lake in silence. She held his hand and taught him how to skip stones.
Lily's stone flew across the surface of the water, barely seeming to touch down before it disappeared into the distance. After the third skip, Severus's stone fell, soundless, into the water and sank to the bottom of the lake.