FIC for fiendish_thingy: "For the Moment" (PG-13) Title: For the Moment Author:midnight_birth Recipient:fiendish_thingy Rating: PG-13 Word count: ~3,000 Warnings: Some harsh language, snogging, nothing much else worth mentioning. Summary:The summer before their fifth year, Severus visits Lily at home for the last time. Disclaimer: Not mine. I play with permission to do so. Author’s Notes: I tried to include as much of what you wanted as I could. This is my first time writing this pairing, so I couldn't quite work in smut, but I hope you like it anyway!
For the Moment
I like it when she's the one to open the door. For some reason, she always looks surprised to see me, even when she knows I'm due to visit. She swings the door open with more strength than you'd expect from such a small person, her hair catches the wind, she gives me one of her usual uninhibited grins and a hug that is always, always too short.
As usual, at the door, we begin a battle. She begs me inside, for cake, for tea, for dinner, and I refuse through my teeth, looking anywhere but at her. She's insistent and stubborn, and this time, this last time, she wins.
Mr Evans greets us in the living room with a warm smile and a handshake. He's been nothing but nice to me since Lily had first introduced us, but I can see the weariness around his eyes when he looks at me, the very slight strain of his lips when he smiles. He is a good man. I know he tells himself firmly that he will not judge me by my shabby clothes, or the mono-syllable answers he can only barely squeeze out of me during small talk, or the hateful looks, as his older daughter says, I give everything.
I can understand his concerns, and I share them. One needs only to look at Lily to know that her light is deemed by mere association with me. One needs only to glance at me to have serious question what is it about me that she can see that no one else can. A question, unfortunately, no one has been able to answer, not even her, though she smiles sadly and shakes her head when I ask. I can see he is afraid of the one thing I would give my life to gain, and may never, probably will never, have.
Both the reasons I never want to visit join us in the living room. Mrs Evans, as usual, gives me a long appraising look, and then descends on me with the kind of "motherly affection", as Lily calls it, that makes me want to go live under a bridge somewhere.
"Severus, how nice of you to visit!" She gives me something that's not quite a hug and smiles, still eyeing my clothes and general appearance. "Do you remember what it's like to be a boy, George, not a care in the world, getting into... Whatever you get into to make your clothes look like that."
She laughs and Mr Evans joins her with an unsure chuckle. "Yes, believe me, Severus, I remember. My mother wouldn't let me wear anything even remotely nice except for special occasion, because I would ruin it in about a quarter of a minute."
"Dinner will be ready in about an hour," Mrs Evans continues, "so you kids can go and do something until then. Now Severus," she puts her hand on my shoulder before I can slip away, "why don't you leave your coat here for me? I'll mend it right quick. There's a whole, and you're missing a couple of buttons there, I see."
"Thank you, Mrs Evans, that will not be nece-"
"Get it off this instance!" she commands, adopting a half-mocking, severe look that I know means I will be going home in a coat actually resembling a coat, as opposed to a tattered cloth. There's not much she can do about it, mind, but I know she will do more than seems possible at first glance.
I shrug out of my coat and hand it to her, keeping my eyes on the ground, mumble a "Thank you" that I do not mean, and follow Lily out of the living room and upstairs to her room. To my chagrin, I hear footsteps behind me.
I don't know how much the Evanses know about my home life, but I suspect it's everything, or at least a pretty close idea to the truth. Mrs Evans is just like Lily - not a good liar. I can see how hard she tries to pass everything she does for me as natural, as if she doesn't know that if she doesn't mend my coat, likely no one will. I rarely even tell Lily about what's going on at home, thought not for lack of her asking, but I always make it very clear that the last thing I want is charity or pity from her and hers.
Of course, not her whole family is sympathetic.
Once we're in Lily's room, I plant myself uncomfortably into a chair.
"I'll go get some soda!" she says with a smile, and walks out. The warning look she gives her sister before she goes doesn't escape me.
Her sister. I raise my eyes and fix them on her ugly face. Every time I look at her, I am left to wonder how genes that mixed to create someone like Lily could also mix to create something like Petunia. The ugly, plain, jealous sister that doesn't deserve to have Lily care for her as much as she does. Of course, I am not the one to make that claim about anybody, considering I'm right among those ranks of undeserving scum Lily cares about.
"You're pathetic," Petunia hisses at me, a cruel smile forming on her lips. "Lily was always one to bring in abandoned animals off the street that most considered trash, and we are always the ones to put up with her "kindness". Why should we feed you and have our mother mend your clothes? Don't you have one of your own?"
I clench my fists, grind my teeth, and continue staring at her. All it would take is a word, not even a wand, to teach her a lesson she will never forget. Must not attack a Muggle, I tell myself, but I know perfectly well, of course, that if not for Lily, I wouldn't think twice. I wouldn't even stop to think. The likes of Petunia are simply unnecessary. What purpose does she serve? What purpose do any of them serve, the ones with no magic in them?
"What's wrong?" she coos at me. "No threats today?"
Breathe in, breathe out, stay quiet. That's what my mother has taught me. If you respond, it only makes them hit harder. It only makes them angrier. Him angrier.
"You're not going to cry, are you? Don't you have some special freak thing you can do to stop me? I mean, what good is it, then, if you cannot even -"
She shrieks moments before the vase hits the wall only a few inches from her and shatters. My fists remain clenched. Hadn't meant to do that. Lily is in the doorframe so fast it’s almost as if she Apparated.
“Is everything ok up there? What happened?” Mr Evans screams up the stairs, and Lily answers almost immediately, “Fine, Dad, knocked over a lamp!”
She quickly evaluates the situation, her eyes jumping from the vase to my clenched fists and furious expression, to Petunia’s ashen-white face.
Petunia finds her voice first, jumping up, her eyes blazing with hate. “He threw it at me!” she shrieks, and Lily quickly steps in and shuts the door behind her.”
“Did you?” Lily turns to me. Seeing her this upset makes me wish I hadn’t missed with that vase.
“He didn’t throw it. He just… He just looked at me with those cursed eyes of his and the vase flew at me with full speed! He was going to kill me, I hope you realize! He could have killed me!”
Lily turns to me, her eyes narrowed. “Wandless magic?” she asks quietly. Too quietly. “You used wandless magic on my sister?” Behind Lily’s back, Petunia gives me a triumphant grin, but, as if sensing it, Lily wheels around and snaps, “And don’t think I don’t know you had to have provoked him, Petunia!”
“He doesn’t need me to provoke him! He’s a crazy freak!”
“Bitch!” The words fire out of my lips before I can stop myself. Both the girls look at me, Petunia with her mouth curled into an ugly sneer, and Lily with surprise and hurt.
I take a deep breath and then jump up and storm past her, down the stairs, and out the door.
“Don’t you follow me right now!” I hear Lily yell at Petunia, and Mrs Evans yells something about my coat as I set down the street.
I can hear her footsteps behind me and speed up. At least I tell my legs to speed up while they slow to a stop. My body, I believe, is incapable of walking away from her.
“Severus!” Her voice rings out loud, but wavers. She’s out of breath, and I can hear the undertones of anger in it. “Sev!”
She grabs my sleeve and spins me around.
“Let me go,” I say quietly.
“No, Sev!” She shakes her head, lets go of my sleeve, and crosses her arms in front of her. “I know you’ve never gotten along with Petunia, but… She’s…” She shakes her head, as if frustrated with herself for not being to come up with an adequate excuse for her sister. “She will never be ok with this, ok? Her and I used to be close. Really close. Once. And then this magic thing happened, but only to me. I don’t even know myself why that would happen, but I can’t blame her for being so hurt about it all.”
I give her a long look, and she continues quickly, “But I’m not excusing her behaviour towards you, either. It’s just you could have hurt her!” She takes a step towards me and looks up into my face, a look of both consternation and concern on her face. “And uncontrolled wandless magic? At your age? That’s not good, Sev. That’s dangerous.”
Finally, I roll my eyes, turning all the way toward her. “It didn’t even touch her. It wasn’t uncontrolled magic, either. I just wanted to shut her up, and, as you can plainly see, it worked.” I scoff. “You should have seen her face.”
I regret saying thing almost immediately. Again, she looks like professor McGonagall on a bad day. I step back slightly, without realizing. “How can you enjoy this? Scaring people, hurting them?”
“She deserved it”
“I know Petunia can be a bit much sometimes, and she is horribly cruel to you, but you can’t just go around threatening or scaring anyone you have a conflict with!”
I shrug and look away from her face. “Works for me.”
Unexpectedly, her hand lands on my forearm and she looks up into my eyes, her look earnest and sad. “You’re worrying me, Sev. You’re worrying me a lot.”
I wonder if she knows the effect she has on me. How far I would go for her. Drop anything and go anywhere at even the slightest hint that she would like me to. I don’t harbour any illusions about what I am, in essence, or what I’m worth, but she is a different case. I would kill anyone who would make her face look as unhappy as it does now. If I could kick myself, I would. But it’s just as well. I can always use a reminder of why I don’t deserve her.
“You’re really changing,” she says, and I find it hard to concentrate because she is still touching me. Her arm is still on my arm, warm and comforting and accepting. It’s a bizarre, painful feeling. If I could capture it, freeze it somehow, and feel it forever, I would. “You’ve been spending a lot of time with Avery and the lot, haven’t you? No use denying it, I know. And they’re changing you into one of them.”
“I am one of them,” I tell her, straightening up a little. “They’re the only anything that I’ve ever been a part of! Why do you have such a big problem with it?”
She raises her eyebrows. “Why? Because there are horrible, awful, cruel people, that’s why!”
“And your fellow Gryffindors are not? Potter, Black? They’re simply a blessing, are they?”
“I’m not friends with them! They’re idiots, I know that, but they don’t torture people, Sev! Their jokes are not for the sadistic pleasure of seeing people suffer, or if they are, it’s in a childish way! They’re just stupid bullies; kids that haven’t quite grown up yet! They’re not… They’re not… psychopaths!”
I narrow my eyes at her, but I don’t respond. She is right on all accounts. There aren’t many who don’t know what kinds of things the Slytherins I hang out with are capable of, or are rumoured to be specifically interested with. But with all her compassion and golden heart, she can never understand this. The feeling of belonging that I feel for the first time in my life when I’m with them. People who admire what I can do with the Dark Arts, instead of labeling me evil, or crazy. Older students than me, ones with established, important connections, are impressed with my abilities and talents. Are respectful of me and my value to the greater cause of creating a better wizarding world.
“They’re my friends, Lily,” I say. I can hear the resignation in my voice. She always wins these stand-offs. “I’m sorry if you don’t like them, but they’re not bad. I can’t only be your friend for the rest of my life. I need them. They can help me a lot.”
She shakes her head stubbornly. “You’re just not the same when you’re with them. At first I thought you were acting. You know, the way you guys do in order to impress and fit in. But it’s starting to spill over into your life. You’re changing. I don’t want you to lose sight of my Severus, because I really really like him.”
My whole body tenses and then, without prompting or permission, moves with surprising speed and determination. My arms go around her smaller frame and I pull her toward me. I don’t know if it is in real life, but I feel like I’m moving her one inch at a time, constantly waiting for her to push me away, giving her more than enough chances to do so.
You don’t deserve to have her this close, my mind chants in my father’s slur, but there is a louder, overwhelming part of it that cannot get over the fact that it’s Lily. Her smell, the feel of her hair, the warmth of her body, it’s all uniquely her, and it’s all around me. Her Severus.
I pause when our faces are hovering inches away from each other and then, slowly, awkwardly, and probably incorrectly, I place my lips on hers. Neither of us moves or breathes as our lips press closer together, until I finally lean back and look at her. Her eyes are wide open, she looks almost scared, bur she doesn’t struggle or lean away. Again, I lean in and touch my lips to hers, this time more insistently. Unsurely, she shifts them, and I do too.
It’s not quite a kiss, or what I expect it should be, anyway. I give up on the idea of the long one and plant a series of small ones on her mouth, but she moves her lips out of pace with mine and it turns out even more uncomfortably awkward. Embarrassed, I grasp her tighter than I intend and press my lips to hers, hard. Slowly, she relaxes them and I am able to grasp her lower lip and suck gently.
It’s a few moments until I lean away enough to allow us to breathe, and murmur, “Your Severus.”
She looks up at me, flustered, her eyes shining, but there is a serious look on her face. “My Severus,” she repeats, as if reinforcing the fact to both of us. “You’re a wonderful person, Sev, no matter what anyone says, and I like you. But I meant it. They are changing you, and I am only prepared to stick around for my Severus. Once he’s gone, I will have no reason to stay, either.” Gently, she runs her index finger down the side of my face. “I love you, you know that. But if what the rumours are saying Avery and his lot is doing is true, then… I’m a Muggle, too, Severus. And I love my family. Nothing will ever change that, and nothing and no one will ever make me sacrifice them.”
Barely visibly, I nod, my heart beating about a million miles a second, and she buries her face in my neck and brings me closer to her. She’s trembling, maybe from the cold, maybe from the kiss, probably from both. I want to tell her the truth. That what she thinks are rumours are not rumours at all, and that I am possibly, probably, deeper in than the stage at which you can just change and leave.
I remember what Lucius had told me. She can be made an exception. Lord Voldemort gives freely to faithful followers. If anything, I can take her away from what will happen, her and her whole family, even her sore of a sister. They may be changing me a little, teaching me what my own parents were incapable and didn’t care enough to teach me, showing me the way the world operates, and the way it ought to, but they can’t change my feelings for her.
I wrap my arms around her, a chill going through me. It is probably, I assure myself, just the wind. She is warm and she is mine, for just right now, this brief moment, and I allow myself to let all other thoughts fall away. In this brief, unreal, fantastic moment, no one and nothing else exists.