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He took her to the only safe place he could think of: the broken-down warehouse beside the canal in Spinner's End. It was a childish impulse, really. The place had sheltered him from his parents' arguments, and the taunting of those dim-witted muggle children. He had gone there to brew potions and be calm. The ingredients had always behaved predictably. They bubbled away with a quiet, beautiful hiss, and made him think that the world was governed by rules. And that, if you could learn to exploit them, you could be in control. You wouldn't hear taunting and accusations; just the sweet, reassuring hiss of bubbling potions.  

It had always felt like taking sanctuary in a cathedral – but a cathedral of logic, and self-evident rules. And nobody else wanted to go there. Everyone else thought it was ugly, broken and pointless, like an architectural version of him.

Some of the roof was open to the sky. The rest was a gutted network of timbers and slates. Everything looked precarious, but the tiles never fell. Everything seemed to be on the brink of collapse, but it had seemed that way for as long as Severus had known the place. The ivy crept across everything, a couple of inches per year, like green veins. Occasionally, a dead rat or an empty crisp packet would turn up. But, otherwise, it was exactly the same as the first time Severus had seen it.

The windows were rattling in the October breeze. He was used to that too. They were made up of sixty-four glass panels – he remembered counting them – and each one was broken, except for the one in the top right-hand corner. As a child, Severus had thrown stones at that panel to try and make it as broken as the rest of them. It had seemed untidy. In all the years he'd been coming here, that unbroken window-pane had always irked him.     

It was funny to think that his parents were just a few streets away. Would they be arguing right now? He checked his watch. Half-past nine. Much too early for dad to have collapsed on the sofa.

He was scared. He wanted to see his mother's face – bruised and pinched and furrowed with resentment. She wouldn't listen when he told her what was wrong; she would be too busy fuming over past humiliations. But he wanted her sporadic attention. Because there were moments when she snapped out of her resentful trance and noticed he was there. And then he would get the feeling that she was proud of him. Or – at any rate – curious to see what he would do – as though he wasn't a symbol of all her problems anymore, but a human being, a clever human being, with interesting things to say.  

It never lasted long. But Severus was sharp, and constantly hungry for affection. He made the most of it when it was there. That absent-minded, erratic attention had taught him what love was, and that he wanted it. It had also taught him to be edgy and greedy with love – because, in his experience, it was always going to disappear the next minute.  

There was no way he could hand the Boggart over to the Dark Lord. She was Lily. She bled Lily's blood.

He found a chair from amongst the wreckage and tied her to it, without using magic. When you were frightened, it helped to have something to do with your hands. And they were always steady, no matter how much his heart raced and his stomach churned. Nobody would ever have been able to tell that he was frightened.

She was warm. And, while his hands worked methodically with the ropes, he realized that he could see the outline of her ribs through her tight, clinging dress. She looked so fragile. He didn't know what she was, but he knew she could die.

And now he had to turn her over to the Dark Lord. Or think of a very good plan for avoiding it.

But there was no way – there was no way – he could do it now. She was Lily. She bled Lily's blood. Her hair smelled of gingerbread. She had Lily's eyes – mercifully closed at the moment, but when they opened, he would have even less choice. Those eyes squeezed all the air out of his lungs, and made him feel hot, red and raw. How was he supposed to think of a plan in that state?

Actually, looking at her, he realized it was probably worse when she had her eyes shut. There was so much eye-shadow that her closed lids looked like dark, empty sockets.

Jen Morgan settled herself on a half-demolished wall while he worked, and tried to get herself under control again. She would straighten every limb and tense every muscle. Occasionally, she would kick a few loose stones, or stun one of the rats that scuttled about in the rubble. Bullying seemed to calm her down. Another unsettlingly familiar trait she had.

Severus finished tying the Boggart-Lily to her chair and, muttering the spell so that Jen Morgan wouldn't hear it, cast a Freezing Charm to stop the bleeding.

He dusted off his hands and looked at his beautiful, unconscious prisoner. She was wearing a pendant that disappeared into her tight-fitting bodice and, after a few moments of internal struggle, he fished it out. On the end was a jagged piece of stone. It was warm from her body, and Severus felt a shudder of excitement when he held it in his palm. But it was so familiar: that greyish colour seemed to have been a background-shade in his life for as long as he could remember.  

"This is how she's doing it," he muttered slowly. "This is a piece of Hogwarts – a stone from the castle's masonry. She must have got it from that abandoned Charms classroom where the ceiling's fallen in."  

"What?" asked Jen Morgan absent-mindedly. She was having a hard time keeping her thoughts from wandering. She was a pure-blood now, so obviously thinking was less important than it had been when she'd woken up this morning.

Snape was too caught up in the thrill of discovery to be frustrated by her stupidity. "The castle is alive, just like Dumbledore said," he insisted. "Any building exposed to high-levels of background magic is bound to absorb it! Hogwarts has a kind of group consciousness that reflects the fears and desires of its students!"

Jen Morgan gave him another look of hardened stupidity, so he elaborated.

"She's the castle's Boggart, in essence. She was shaped by all those stories about the Soulless Redhead, and this - ," he pointed at the pendant triumphantly, "-is how she can keep her shape outside the castle."

Jen Morgan raised her eyebrows. "And there was me thinking she just had a good diet-plan."

Severus ignored her. "She takes a bit of the castle with her wherever she goes, just like the Boggart-Slytherin when he was carrying around Elizabeth Hartwell."

"Like who when he was carrying who?"

"This is an unbelievable discovery," Snape went on, talking to himself now, because he despaired of finding intelligence anywhere else. "It probably wouldn't work for any other building besides Hogwarts – it must be something to do with the high rate of magical accidents and the unstable nature of teenage emotions…"

He trailed off. It was an incredible discovery, and he focused on it for as long as he could. Academia felt clean, somehow, compared with what he now had to do. He wanted to surround himself with a protective wall of books and write an essay about it. If only all of this was just an interesting Defence Against the Dark Arts project. If only he could tour the country's universities with the Boggart, instead of handing her over to a snake-faced maniac who would take her to pieces for fun. It was like inventing the world's first particle accelerator and then handing it over to a kid with a hammer.  

"So, are you going to summon the Dark Lord, or what?" Jen Morgan demanded, again barely opening her mouth.  

Severus felt the chill run down his spine once more, as though some very cold animal was drooling down his collar.

He looked at the Boggart. Her head was slumped forwards onto her shoulder, but she was still so beautiful, even with the bitter lines around her mouth and the smudged eye make-up.

She was composed of hundreds of different shades of darkness. The liquorice mascara, and the clingy black dress – so tight that it looked as though her torso had simply been dipped in paint. And then, from the tiny circle that was her waist, out spread that skirt – tattered in places, so that it looked like it was made up of scraps of silk, like bats' wings.  

He'd gone over the reasons a hundred times. He had to do this. But the simple fact remained that he couldn't.

It's not a fact, it's an assumption, said the rational part of his brain. Remember when you first started studying Potions? When you had to disembowel horned toads in Slughorn's class? You thought you couldn't do that. You thought there was a barrier there you couldn't cross, but it was all imaginary. All the barriers you have in your head were put there by people who feared what you could do. You don't need to be afraid of what you can do. You should be proud of it.

She's not Lily. She has Lily's thoughts, Lily's memories, Lily's magic, and she bleeds Lily's blood, but she's not Lily.  

Jen Morgan was folding herself up. She had clasped her arms over her stomach as though she was trying to keep her entrails from spilling out.

"He's a wizard," she said again, barely opening her lips.

"So?" Severus snapped, annoyed at having his torturous thoughts interrupted. "Why aren't you jumping up and down? You're a pure-blood. Do you have any idea what that means? It means you belong to the people with all the power and money and respect. It means you can get a job anywhere. It means nobody's going to think twice about marrying you – unless they're thinking twice about whether they can cope with your anally-retentive personality."

"So where does it all come from?" Jen Morgan wailed, ignoring the bit about the anally-retentive personality. "All the horrible things I want to do to people? Who's responsible for my low grades? If there's no muggle in me, why aren't I good at magic?"

Severus stared at her, torn between horror and sympathy. "Because it doesn't work like that," he said.

"But…" she sniffed and then frowned deeply. "Yes, it does. Everyone says it does. I mean, that's why we're doing all this, isn't it? To keep magic from dying out. If pure-bloods could be just as bad at magic as muggle-borns, then it wouldn't matter…"

Severus raised his eyebrows, but said nothing.

She stared at him. For once in her life, that rigid mouth dropped open. "You don't believe any of it, do you? Then why did you become a Death Eater? Just to be popular?"   

"That's right," he said, with grim sarcasm. "And hasn't it worked wonders?"

"You can't go around killing people if you don't even believe they're different!" she persisted.

"Why not? They're different from me. That's different enough."

She just stared at him. And Severus felt his blood boiling. A Death Eater – a girl who was plotting to kill her father, and who thought muggles weren't even a part of her species – was looking outraged and disgusted at him.

"What do you care, anyway?" he snapped. "Why does it matter what reason you give for killing people? You're still killing people."

"But… for magic," she stammered in a lost, little girl's voice. "For our way of life."

"Let's get one thing straight," he said, massaging his temples with frustration. "Your way of life was never under threat. There are more muggle-borns being born every year than squibs, therefore the magical population is actually expanding.  But the Dark Lord is more powerful than any other wizard in the world. The Dark Lord is going to win. And, if he wants to get rid of the muggles, it's a good idea not to stand in his way. You're a Slytherin, aren't you? Use your head."

"I don't…" She trailed off, looking at her shoes. "I'm going to have to think about this."

"Good," Snape snapped. "You go away and think about it. Get us some supplies. There's an all-night garage on Hamilton Road. We're going to be here for a while."

Jen Morgan wandered off, stumbling slightly on the rubble.

Slytherins were good at self-preservation – and Severus was a master of the craft. When you couldn't stand to think about your own problems, you looked at other people's. Maybe you would find something you could exploit. So he thought about Jen Morgan, and her ridiculous attitude to her father.

She had wanted to kill him because, in her simple mind, it would be a form of surgery – as though you could cut out your muggle half by getting rid of the person who'd given it to you. It was a stupid way to think. You weren't half one parent and half the other; you were a genetic composite of traits they didn't even necessarily display.   

And then he remembered the feeling that his mother and father were fighting each other in every cell of his body – the feeling that he'd been forged in a white-hot fire of resentment and he would cease to exist – the molecules of his body would just drift apart – if he ever found peace.

Jen Morgan was like that, except she had come up with a solution. She didn't want to be torn apart anymore. She had chosen a side – even if that side was a part of her – and she was going to eradicate the enemy. She was so desperate to cover up her roots that she would even contemplate cutting them off.

But now there was nothing to get rid of. She still felt violent and stupid and corrupt, but she couldn't blame it on her muggle father anymore, because his lineage was as pure as Malfoy's. Now she had to accept herself as a human being who, for no reason at all, wasn't very nice.   

The Boggart-Lily stirred. Those heavy, clumped eyelashes fluttered open, and Severus saw her eyes. Even under all that make-up, they shone like gemstones.  

She looked like a smudged oil-painting. He supposed that was what happened if you tried to make someone like Lily into art; her natural vitality would break through. The layers of paint would crack. The colours would run. It was like trying to gild a waterfall, or put spray-paint on the sky.  

She worked out where she was, and what was happening, remarkably quickly. It only took a few, disoriented seconds before she brought back that bitter, cynical smile.

"It was very clever, Severus, the way you caught me."

Snape shrugged contemptuously. "I didn't expect it to work."

"I can see that." She looked around again, her eyebrows raised politely. "You didn't plan for this."

"Yes, I did. I plan for everything."

"So what went wrong?"

"Nothing went wrong," he said, keeping his voice as expressionless as possible. "The Dark Lord is on his way."

"I don't believe you."

Severus sighed. "Look, I'm not asking the world from you. Considering how many of my friends you've attacked, I think I've been fairly patient."

"You call them friends, do you?"

"But I would appreciate a bit of consistency," Snape went on, raising his voice to drown her out. "You keep saying I'm a monster - ,"

"No," she interrupted. "I said you were a bastard. It's different."

"Right," said Snape brightly. "A bastard. Thanks for that. You know I like to get things right. You keep saying I'm a bastard, but you don't believe me when I tell you I'm about to hand you over to the Dark Lord. Is it such an odd thing for a bastard to do?"

The Boggart-Lily frowned. "I don't think you're that much of a bastard yet," she said carefully.

"But it's inevitable, right? According to you, anyway. So I might as well get it over with, mightn't I?"

She hesitated. That bitter smile faltered. "Is he really on his way?" she asked quietly.

"Yes," Snape lied, simply because it was a hard habit to break.

She went back to taking in her surroundings. Lily had never seen the warehouse before. He had wanted to tell her about it, but something always held him back. He needed a place where he could be sure of being completely alone. He couldn't tell her everything.

"We're in Manchester, aren't we?" she muttered. "I can smell it."

Severus wasn't surprised. The canal-side suburbs smelled like nowhere else on earth.

"Maybe I'm being naïve," she resumed, "but this doesn't look much like a Death Eater meeting-place."

"I doubt you're ever naïve, these days," said Snape.

The Boggart ignored that. "Why isn't he here already? What's keeping him?"

"He'll be here soon. And, I can assure you, you'll answer all of his questions, one way or the other, so you might as well answer mine."

He always had questions for her, but she never gave him the answers he wanted. He always came out of interviews with her feeling just as confused, and a lot more angry, than when he'd gone in.

Severus licked his parched lips, and wondered how to begin. How long had he been waiting to have her in his power? He felt that strange, unsettling warmth again – the kind that had shuddered through him when he'd picked up the fragment of Hogwarts stone, still hot from her body.

The woman who'd been eluding him – who'd been making his life miserable – who'd been backing him into a corner for months – was right here in front of him, tied to a chair, completely in his power. She couldn't talk in riddles now. He could make her cooperate. A few drops of Veritaserum, and she would tell him everything she knew about their life together. He could learn how to get Lily – how to keep Lily.

"I won't tell you anything," she said, fixing him with those over-shadowed eyes. "And, when he gets here, he will be similarly disappointed."  

"You're not real, you know," said Snape, letting her see a tiny part of the frustration he was feeling. "The things you remember didn't really happen. They're just details you had to fill in, in order to be a convincing nightmare. Before you were Lily Evans, you were a spider, or a Banshee, or a stern teacher. You just don't remember any of that, because you had the mind of a spider, a Banshee and a stern teacher."

"Then why are you interested in what I have to say?"  

Snape hesitated, feeling as though he had walked into that one. He wasn't interested. Not really. But, after seeing those visions of the future on Azkaban, he was desperate to hear about any alternative, no matter how unlikely.

"I'm a Slytherin," he said at last. "I like to be prepared for every eventuality."

She gave him another of her broken smiles. "And what is it you want to know?"

"Two things. One, so that I can avoid it, and the other, so that I can ensure it. First of all, how do you go from being a ginger angel to a mad, cackling old crone?"  

"Simple," she murmured, giving him that hard, cold, bitter smile. "The ginger angel, as you call her, was actually a human being all along. She's in the Hospital Wing right now, being a human being. She gets mad. She gets frightened. She has doubts and tantrums and hissy fits. She doesn't symbolize anything except her. If you'd have just talked to me, instead of assuming I was an angel that you'd corrupted, you would have realized the seeds of who I am now were already there! You didn't create them. So I became angry and bitter and spiteful – you didn't bother trying to understand the reasons. You thought I was perfect before, so the only reason for my fall had to be you. But it's more complicated than that. It's so dangerous – so insulting – to idealize someone. Why couldn't you have talked to me? Why did you always have to do everything on your own?"

She stopped, panting, suddenly aware that she might have gone too far. Severus, stunned as he was, was still lucid enough to appreciate the fact that heavy breathing in that tight dress was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen.

"I'm not him," he repeated in a hollow voice. "I'm not your husband."

The most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. And, behind her, he could see that one unshattered window-pane. The only thing in the world he hadn't been able to break.

"And the second thing?" she asked, still slightly out of breath.

"How did I get you?"

The Boggart-Lily grimaced. "'Get' me," she muttered impatiently, as though the word had left an unpleasant taste in her mouth. "Why are you always talking like that?"

"Alright," he said, through clenched teeth, "how did I persuade you to marry me?"

"Just be yourself," she replied mournfully. "Until you can't stand it any longer."

"Why are you doing this?" he asked suddenly. "Why attack the Death Eaters now?"  

"You've had your two questions," she replied. "In fact, there were three, but I was lenient with you. Now, I would like you to either untie me or hand me over to the Dark Lord."

"He isn't here yet."

She raised her eyebrows. "We both know he isn't really coming."

Snape passed a weary hand across his forehead. "You can think what you like. The next few minutes will probably be your last opportunity to talk coherently, so I thought you might have wanted to take advantage of them. If you don't, we'll just wait until he loosens your tongue with the Cruciatus Curse."

Snape was good at staring people down. It was one of the reasons he was such a good Occlumens. Even the Boggart-Lily, who had spent years looking at his maddeningly blank expressions, couldn't tell whether he was lying.

"I did it to teach them a lesson," she muttered at last.  

"For things they haven't even done yet?"

She raised her eyebrows skeptically. "I wasn't jumping the gun for many of them, Severus. The career of a vicious bastard begins at around the age of five."

"You were jumping the gun for me."

"You think so? You kidnapped Caladrius. You cursed Madam Pomfrey. You made sure Lily was too busy to breathe, let alone notice other men. You made her put on wet clothes and freeze herself - ,"

"Shut up," said Snape woodenly, but the Boggart just raised her voice and carried on.  

"You called her a mudblood. You dragged her into that fight on Azkaban. She was put under the Cruciatus Curse because of you. Don't you remember? Malfoy cradling her head in his lap, pushing her hair back off her forehead, being tender and kind because you couldn't?"  

"Shut up," he repeated, closing his eyes.

"When Malfoy is giving you lessons on how to be human, you know you're a worthless, hardhearted bastard."

"Crucio!" he shouted, raising his wand without the intervention of his brain. She didn't even cringe. She just looked up at him and smiled.

"Never mind, Severus," she purred. "You keep on practicing. You'll be able to manage it one day. I've seen the future, remember?"

Severus turned away from her, his vision blurring with anger, his guts crawling with self-hatred. He had tried to put Lily under the Cruciatus Curse. So what if it hadn't worked? It could have done.  

But, at the same time, it hadn't worked. He couldn't summon up an ounce of hatred for Lily, not even when she was a bitter, revenge-crazed lunatic who'd been making his life a misery. The future she represented could never have happened. If he couldn't hurt her now, how was he supposed to hurt her when she was giggly and warm-hearted and his wife?

He realized, after a while, that the Boggart was still talking.

"You think it hasn't already started. You think there's some kind of fork in the road up ahead and, to get to my future, you take a wrong turn. But the fork was ages ago. It's miles back. You've already started turning into my vicious ex-husband, and your precious little Lily has already started turning into me. There are no choices to be made now. There's just a long drop, without a parachute."

Severus went back to safe ground. "Why are you doing this?" he repeated angrily.

"Because I've seen the future," she replied, with maddening calm. "These people don't suffer for the harm they do."

"But there's more than one possible future."

"I don't think that's true anymore. When I started this - ." She broke off, and gave him a reproachful look, as though he'd tricked her into saying more than she wanted to. "But not anymore. Everything I see confirms it."

"What about the future I saw on Azkaban?"

"The one with the child of prophecy? The one with the lingering shred of hope? It's a dream. A bed-time story. It won't happen. In the real world, the only prophecies you can rely on are the ones based on knowledge of a person's character. I know you. I know what you'll do. You can't help it."

"But you said if I'd just talked to you - ,"

"You won't. It seems simple enough, doesn't it? Just talk to her? But it's like asking water to drip upwards. It's against every physical law."

"It bloody well isn't!" he shouted. "I'm talking to you now, aren't I?"

"You can't trust people," she snapped. "It's programmed into every cell in your body. What do you want to do? Spend your whole life pretending to be something you're not?"

Snape knew better than to say 'yes', even though he had dedicated most of his waking life to trying to convince people that he was something he wasn't.

"You can't trust me," she breathed – and that thin-lipped mouth was twisted with hatred now. "You can't talk to me. It's in your cells. It will happen in every world." She drew a deep, shuddering breath, and then added: "But, equally, in every world, you'll love me. That's as innate as the mistrust. Everything about you is divided. You're a war-zone. In your veins, muggle blood fights with wizard blood. In your head, your vicious father shouts at your resentful mother. And, in your heart, the will to love fights with the will to dominate. Accept it."

She looked up at him. Those bright green eyes were getting even harder to discern, because they were filmed over with tears. But she was just like Lily. She wouldn't blink. She was too proud. She'd rather go blind than let him think he'd made her cry.  

"Even if you can't have happiness," she croaked, "have knowledge. That's what being a Slytherin is all about."

Snape rubbed his temples until he felt as though his skull was going to cave in. "Why do you keep offering me advice and then telling me that it's pointless?" he demanded.

"I don't know!" she shouted back. "Because I hate you! How's that for an answer? I hate you, and that justifies everything!"

"Why are you doing this?" he repeated, his voice almost at breaking point.

"Because I wanted to be part of the story," she growled. "When you've watched someone you love sink into despair and suicide, it's hard to sit on the side-lines, twiddling your thumbs. I didn't want to inspire other people anymore. I was sick of being a coach!"  

He frowned angrily. "But you're… you're not doing it right. There's no logic to it. You can't win."

"Haven't you been listening?" she shouted. "I know I've already lost! I'm not doing any of this because I think there's a point to it!"

Severus stared at her, his bewilderment hardening into despair. He didn't understand any of it – not a word of it! Why would you go on fighting people if you knew there was no point?

And then he remembered slamming Regulus against a tree and growling: "Let's get one thing straight. I don't care what's right. I don't care what's best. And I don't – I don't – care who gets hurt."

He remembered how his parents would go on shouting into the night until the sun came up – until their voices were ragged and raw. Hatred kept you on your feet, when you had nothing else.

You could still want to hurt people, even if you knew it wouldn't do any good – even if you knew it could never get you what you wanted. You still felt the urge to make your mark on the whole, sad, pointless story – even if it was just by tearing a hole through it.

Severus looked up. The Boggart was giving him a pitying look. She clearly meant it to be hurtful – and it was – but she looked so much like Lily in that instant that it lit a fire inside his chest. The fire burned, and that was agony, but it was still a light in the darkness, and that was worth it.  

The fact that she could take her great gift for sympathy and use it as a way to hurt people's feelings in an argument was almost… heartening. She was Lily. Both girls had started off with the same raw materials. It was just that the Boggart was using them differently.

He couldn't give her to Voldemort. But he couldn't accept that Lily's decline into this creature would be inevitable, either. He understood her now. That had to be worth something, didn't it?

It was a strange revelation – like the one he'd had just before he learned to fly, when Lily had pressed his ear to her heart and tried to teach him calm through example.

This doesn't make sense, and I'm fine with that.

Every argument told him he was going to fall. Every one of his senses backed up the arguments. But he didn't believe it. That was what it meant to trust someone and – for only the second time in his life – he did.  

Maybe that was what hope was. It didn't have to make sense. It was contrary to all the available evidence – it went against all your instincts – but it was there, and it worked its own kind of magic.  

"You might as well call Voldemort now," she whispered. "Since we both know you didn't call him bef - ,"   

He didn't even let her finish. There was only one way to wipe that smile off her face, and it didn't matter that it was suicidally desperate. It just mattered that she was wrong, and she was going to realize it.

"I'm taking you to Dumbledore," he said.  

It was worth it to see the look of shock on her face. It was the very last thing she had expected him to do, so it was now the only thing he wanted to do. Suddenly, he didn't care about currying favour with the Dark Lord, or avoiding Dumbledore's smug face; all he wanted to do was prove her wrong. Because she was wrong. He and Lily understood each other. Sure, he could be possessive and paranoid – and she could be impulsive and thoughtless – but they always understood why.

"There is hope, Lily Snape," he said coolly. "And I'll show it to you."

But it wasn't going to be that simple. You couldn't plan for idiots like Jen Morgan.
Continuing from Creepers [link]
Another chapter where Severus and the Boggart-Lily get to shout at each other! :dance: I do enjoy writing those ones!
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polkadotpeony Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2011
"There is hope, Lily Snape," he said coolly. "And I'll show it to you."

YAY! I LOVED this chapter! I loved the entire interaction between Sev and Boggart-Lily. Perfection. And I can't help but sigh just hearing Sev say, "Lily Snape" it's makes me all warm inside. I also love that he decides to take her to Dumbledore, it's perfect! I love that he is actively trying to change both futures that he knows of. That he is perposfully trying to find a future where Lily and Sev can be together. And it makes me think of Lily imagining them together having all the time in the world to be together. Sigh, I am such a hopeless romantic when it comes to these two.
ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2011
Me too! :hug: Sev is so sweet when he's being all decisive and hopeful! And, you know, as depressed as he gets, he always seem to find that he can't ever totally lose hope as long as he loves Lily - it's like hope and love are inseparable, and you can't have one without the other. That's something that bugs him a lot in this story, I fear! (He probably gets annoyed with loads of the things I write in this story, to be honest - and he has, once or twice, completely refused to co-operate with the plot, but then he's a wilful character with a mind of his own! ;))
polkadotpeony Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2011
Yes! I have found that to be true first hand. He is so darn stubborn! Sometimes he refuses to talk to me as well when I'm trying to write a scene. Lily is usually always very cooperative but Severus gets pissed off really easily then gives me the silent treatment. Pisses me off sometimes cause I'm like, "I have to finish this chapter and you're giving me nothing so stop being a baby and talk to me dammit!"
ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2011
You know what I've found usually gets Severus out of a sulk? Write an opportunity for him to be all withering and sarcastic to someone! He usually starts co-operating then! :giggle:
polkadotpeony Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2011
LOL yes. He also seems to like it when I write happy memories of them together at Hogwarts.
WeAreSevenStudios Featured By Owner May 28, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
The description of Severus' sanctuary is such a contrast to Narcissa's in form and function.

Everything seemed to be on the brink of collapse, but it had seemed that way for as long as Severus had known the place.
Also like an architectural version of him.

"This is how she's doing it," he muttered slowly. "This is a piece of Hogwarts – a stone from the castle's masonry. She must have got it from that abandoned Charms classroom where the ceiling's fallen in."
Seriously, how do you think of these things? You apologize for plotless chapters, and yet your plots are winding and intricate. (Again with the envy! :tantrum: )

He wanted to surround himself with a protective wall of books and write an essay about it.
:( I understand.

Poor Jen Morgan. Hopefully she'll start employing some rationality now (though the closing sentence doesn't suggest so).

I liked Snape halfway attempting to Crucio the Boggart-Lily. I think the Muggle version is raising your hand to hit someone and then leaving it in the air.

Snape and Boggart-Lily's reflections on the malleability of the future and the effectiveness of prophecies was cool too, because I've often wondered if the entire question, "can I change a prophetic future?" is a fundamental part of most tragedies. This is a little silly, but every time I stop and seriously consider the nature of prophecies, I think of the Disney animated TV series Hercules, in which Hercules' teen-aged friend Cassandra's prophecies always come true, whether they're ignored, followed, or whether the characters move heaven and earth trying to avoid them. I guess it got me thinking from a tender age about how humans treat predictions. Of course, Voldemort tried to prevent the prophecy in Harry Potter, and thereby ended up fulfilling it. But I'm generally more interested in the tragic heroes who fight against fate until the bitter end, and fail.

Writing fanfiction provided me with another view to that end, because when I try to change an ending, if I'm true to the characters, they tend to find their way back to a tragic end no matter what. But that's just my experience...
ls269 Featured By Owner May 29, 2010
I never thought about the way Sev's sanctuary contrasted with Narcissa's. Yes, it's just like their clothes - Sev has to make do with shabby, outsized things that other people have abandoned! :(

You know, I watched that Hercules cartoon too - I don't think I was as young as you when I saw it, though - I watched cartoons until an extremely late age :blush: (in fact, I'm still watching them now! ;))

It's odd that Voldemort believed in the prophecy so implicitly. He's always been very arrogant, so you can imagine him thinking: I'm the best wizard in the world - prophecies don't apply to me! But I guess it appealed to his vanity to have a prophecy made about him - that's something that only happens to very important people. And, as you say, it was his undoing. I guess it's probably better to fight against fate, even if it turns out to be fruitless, because thinking you can work with fate is equally stupid - at the very least, the ones who fight against fate are always more interesting characters! :)

By the way, I'd like to read some of your fanfiction. Is it Sev/Lily? I'm a very slow reader, but it would be wonderful to see your perspective on these characters first-hand, because I love the way you write about them in these comments.
WeAreSevenStudios Featured By Owner May 29, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
I love finding new cartoon series to watch. Though sadly, since the 'golden age of Nicktoons' passed, good animated series have been fewer and farther between. :( I like all kinds of films, TV shows, and books, but my favorites among those aimed at children and young adults seem to be particularly amazing (e.g., Harry Potter). I'm glad to know you've watched Hercules - the few times I've tried to reference a cartoon series in an academic setting, my classmates and professors weren't very appreciative. :blush:

I never gave it much thought, but Voldemort's trust in the prophecy is a little strange. His vanity is certainly a weakness, though.
I think what I like about characters who fight against their fate, even when fate is inevitable, is that it gives hope in its own way. It says (to me) that even when it is impossible to change the end, there can still be humanity and courage in the battle.
One of my favorite books of all time is To Kill A Mockingbird, and the most memorable quote to me is "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see through it no matter what."
With so many things in life out of my control, I like to think that my choices matter, even if they don't affect the final end.
So, all that to say, I really dig Severus in these chapters, because even the overwhelming weight of multiple dark futures can't keep him down.

I actually post very little of the fanfiction I write. Most of it's just for my own comfort. Though, I have been working on a fic surrounding Bella's decent into Death Eaterdom. She fascinates me completely (she's psychotic - I always find the psychotic ones attractive), and I couldn't resist delving into her possible past. If I ever finish it, I'll let you know. :blush: :thanks:
ls269 Featured By Owner May 30, 2010
:love: Oh, I love that quote from 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. I'm such a great believer in the heroism of lost causes! It's one of my boyfriend's favourite books too, but - lazy girl that I am - I still haven't read it yet! :blush:

I agree with you completely. I love characters that struggle and shout, even when faced with inevitable defeat. Even if you can't change anything, the effort is still heartening.

Sev can't help it, though - hope is such an intrinsic part of love. I'm sure he wishes he couldn't hope sometimes, but he can't stop. :( (I've been thinking about with reference to the England football team and the World Cup! :giggle: For some reason, even though we've failed to win the World Cup so many times before, the British public can't stop hoping. We love football, and love always goes hand in hand with hope. How silly we are!)

Do let me know if you decide to post your fan-fiction, I think it would be wonderful. I like psychotic characters too, so I'd love to read about Bella's descent into Death Eaterdom! :heart:
AnCatDubh Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2009
Well, here I am, it's 2.30am and I have caught up with the writing!

I have been enjoying myself A LOT, so thank you again for your wonderful story. In a way it's good that I'll have to wait from now on, because I will get more work done :D. But maybe I'll have to start harassing you from time to time? :poke:

haha, anyway, this was a very fulfilling chapter, not a frustrating one (he is finally understanding some things, bloody hell :D), so it's a positive note to finish on for now!!
ls269 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2009
:dance: Hooray! You really are the fastest reader! I'm so glad you've been enjoying the story, and I promise, you won't have to wait too long for the next instalment. It's nearly finished. The crazy thing is, I love writing it so much, I just don't very often get the time. Also, I stare at the chapters a lot after they're finished, telling myself that I can do it better if I put more time in. Then I just get impatient and post them anyway! ;)
AnCatDubh Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2009
Haha, I know the feeling. I had the same thing with the fanart... I liked it but kept finding new things about it that needed bettering, but in the end I was really starting to get on my own nerves so I posted it as it was. I tend to be too perfectionist, and if you're not careful it's easy to ruin the pleasure for yourself by never being satisfied!

Then again sometimes everything seems to fall smoothly into place... Those moments are great!

And as far as time goes, I can imagine, I'm lucky enough here to have taken a gap year so I have plenty of it but when you have a proper job that takes time and energy, it must be reaaally frustrating!!! Good luck with that :)
ls269 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2009
You're right, it's easy to ruin the pleasure of creating by being too much of a perfectionist. I must try to calm down and enjoy my writing! Having said that, I have just spent three and a half hours trying to get a chapter finished! :faint:
AnCatDubh Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2009
Haha, theory is always so simple and application so difficult! I send you my good vibes.
dronarron Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2009
In all the years he'd been coming here, that unbroken window-pane had always irked him.

It would irk me too! I'd probably have done the same and tried to break it, just so it would match.
ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2009
:rofl: Me too! You can tell we're Severus fan-girls - we like everything to be neat and orderly! Who would we idolize if not Snape? How many literary heroes are passionate, but also slightly Obsessive Compulsive? :giggle:
FlameoftheWest7 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2009
Your physical description of the Boggart-Lily, with her "hundreds of different shades of darkness" is so repulsive, yet seductive--it makes her a very bold, intrusive persona, even though her origins are so mysterious!
ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2009
Thank you! :hug: I find her a very visually interesting character, so it's always fun to describe her. I had to chop out a lengthy description where Severus likens her to the terrible but merciful Hindu Goddess Kali [link] . It got a bit long, and kind of off-topic, but I love mythology and legends (as you know from my constant descriptions of Narcissa as a winter goddess! ;)), so maybe I'll bring that description back sometime!
Nynaeve-3 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2009
It got a bit long, and kind of off-topic, but I love mythology and legends (as you know from my constant descriptions of Narcissa as a winter goddess! ), so maybe I'll bring that description back sometime!

Do that!/is a mythology geek
ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2009
:giggle: If I had my way, this story would be all mythology, topless Severus, and Sev/Lily arguments! :heart:
Nynaeve-3 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2009
AnCatDubh Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2009
MY GOD! Severus Snape and Jungian concepts in one article - I HAVE to read that. Thank you for the link, even if it was for somebody else :D
ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2009
Thank you, this looks fanastic! Will make myself a nice cup of jasmine tea and peruse. :) :hug:
Nynaeve-3 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2009
Have you finished reading the essay?
ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2009
Yes - it's fascinating! I'm not sure if I know enough about mythology to understand every reference, but I love the idea of Severus as the death-archetype!
I've often thought of his relationship with Lily (in this story, anyway) as very reminiscent of the relationship between Hades and Persephone - he drags her down into the darkness, but he can't keep her there. She is simply too bright and buoyant to be permanently restrained!
I also loved the idea that, for certain types of healing, it's far better to call in a god of darkness, because he knows evil, therefore he knows what he's dealing with. I'd like to experiment with that idea in my story.
Thank you so much for linking me to this! Let me see if I can return the favour. I read a great blog recently about the cult of Persephone here: [link]
If you're interested in mythology, you might enjoy it.
Thanks again, :hug:
(1 Reply)
Nynaeve-3 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2009
Glad to read the new chapter. And I second the comment about your best dialogue.
ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2009
Thank you, I'm so glad you're enjoying the story! :) I love writing Sev and Lily dialogue, especially when they get to shout at each other! ;)
Melorik Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009
You know,

This chapter has some of the best dialogue I've read in your entire story. It's superb, especially the interaction between the Bogart and Sev.

I also like the verbal smack down that Jen Morgan got. Looks like she has to come face to face with the fact that she's basically a b*tch. Not a bad revelation, although the way you ended the chapter leads me to believe that she probably won't get the message.

I'm honestly quite surprised that Snape decided to take her to DD. I mean, that is actually the smartest move he could do from a practical perspective. If DD captured the Bogart, then Sev can report to Voldie that he "found out" who was attacking his death eaters, without ever having to bring said person to him.

Hopefully my enthusiasm isn't premature, but it looks like you've had Sev make his next big breakthrough..or come close to it. He has been rather stagnant since the Azkaban incident. It looks like he's not actually forcing himself to trust, and trust DD of all people. I'd love to read about the headmaster's reaction to all this.

Learning to trust.... HA! Now those are some growing pains I'd like to read about.

I do hope you keep writing. Hopefully the direction of the story will come to you while you write the next chapter :D. As for never finishing a story... you know what they say.... first time for everything ;).


ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2009
Yay! :dance: Thank you, I'm so glad you liked it! Sev/Lily dialogue (as you know) is my absolute favourite thing to write (way in front of elaborate potions descriptions, although that is fun too! ;)).
The process of Sev learning to trust (or not) is definitely one that I want to write about. Trusting Dumbledore seems like a big leap, but it's not impossible!
Melorik Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2009
Speaking of good parts, I just re read this part:

She stared at him. For once in her life, that rigid mouth dropped open. "You don't believe any of it, do you?.. "

I can't tell you how much I like that brief moment of crystalization on her face. I have this image in my mind of this sudden that she's experiencing, as she realizes that Snape is basically (as far as she believes), being evil just for its own sake. Evil doesn't need an ideology, it just uses it for its own purposes. That everything she's justified to herself up to this point is nothing more than a lie. She has no one to blame but herself for what she gets then.

I kinda hope you put more stuff like that in this grand tale you're weaving. These sudden, yet rare moments of clarity. Hmmm ... *gets an image of the marauders suddenly realizing that Sev has not only had them fooled, but has fooled you-know-who* heh... one can muse I suppose :p.

On a slight side note, I just watched some recent adaptations of Wuthering Heights.... it really is scary just how similar Heathcliff/Cathie are to Snape/Lily.


ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2009
Oooh, I know, Wuthering Heights is a fantastic source of inspiration for writing Sev and Lily! Friends since childhood, and he sees her as his soul... I think Rowling must have been thinking of it!
I'm so sorry the next chapter is taking so long. I have, as usual, been writing three things at once, which probably means a flurry of chapters a few weeks from now, but nothing at the moment! I've also increased my hours at work to try and get money for Christmas! :faint: All my friends have birthdays around Christmas too, which is most inconsiderate of them! ;)
But your comments are very encouraging. I'm glad you liked that bit with Jen Morgan. It must have floored Sev to see a Death Eater being shocked by him! There will be more about Jen Morgan in the coming chapters, 'cause I'm really starting to like her. She is, as you said, a Severus without the brains - but the lack of brains means a refreshing lack of deception, which is kind of nice. :)
Melorik Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2009
So true,

Except in Wuthering Heights, it was Cathie who cast the first betrayal. In HP, it was Sev who did that by falling in with the DE's.

Still.. I wonder if Severus wouldn't have been just as cruel and vicious given a different set of circumstances. I don't think his emotions would be as visible as Heathcliff's, but as for the all consuming vengeance...who knows.

Interestingly, I think Ralph Fiennes thus far has done the best job playing Heathcliff. Interesting that he also does a fantastic job with LV. In the second part of the story, he's down right scary. Especially when we see what happens to poor Isabella and Cathie II. But, back on topic....

Don't worry about the chapters, I'm not rushing you :D. Good things come to those who wait... even those as impatient as I ;).


Melorik Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2009
(correction above: when I wrote:

he's " not actually forcing himself".... I meant "he actually is forcing himself to trust..." Wish these comments had an edit function :p
ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2009
:giggle: Me too! I once wrote a whole comment in broken French, and really wished I could go back and make it more comprehensible!
Victory-Gin Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh wow, when he called her Lily Snape my heart skipped a beat! Very moving.. things are getting really exciting. I'm so curious to see what Dumbledore will make of this, and of course, I'm wondering how he's going to slip off without alerting Jen to his true plan. Ahh, and the conversation with the boggart was wonderful and everything I was hoping for. I can't wait to see what happens next!

ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009
Thank you! :hug: I love writing conversations between Severus and Lily (especially this version of Lily, because she gets to be a whole lot meaner and more manipulative! ;)) I'll update soon. :glomp:
Victory-Gin Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Yes, it's so wonderful to have her say all the things the real Lily is probably thinking but would never voice. I also like how she pointed out that Severus didn't really corrupt her and make her who she is. (Or who she might become?) I've always sensed that Lily had an innate bitterness in her and overcompensated for it by being so sweet. Please update soon! :hug:
ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2009
That's what I love about the Boggart-Lily. She can say things to Severus that nobody else would dare to say, because she knows him so well, and likes him so little! ;)
Lily is a strange character. I love writing from her perspective, but I find it much harder than writing from Sev's point of view. I don't know if she's bitter, but she seems to dislike herself, because she hides from her own problems by empathizing with other people's. So, if she did become cruel and bitter like the Boggart, it would not be entirely Sev's fault!
northangel27 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This story just gets better and better. I'm dying to know what happens next.
ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009
:dance: :hug: :) Thank you so much, I'm glad you're enjoying it! Next chapter should be ready soon, although, after that, I'm not sure what's going to happen. I can't seem to see very far ahead in this story!
northangel27 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm always that way when I write. It's probably why I have so many unfinished stories. You know, when I started writing "The Alchemist" I had the whole thing planned out, start to finish, and then the characters took over and started doing their own thing, and so much for that! :giggle:

I started fighting with them, and they started fighting back: nag, nag, bitch, bitch, and then finally, :faint:_____________________:faint: <--that's a flat line demonstrating how the story died. The moral of the story - never argue with your characters (especially Severus Snape :no: - you know how stubborn, he can be!) . Let them do whatever the hell they want! :rofl:
ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009
:giggle: I know what you mean! He can be stubborn. I can just see him withdrawing his cooperation if the plot doesn't go the way he wants! ;)
You know, I don't think I've EVER finished a story. That doesn't bode well, does it? But I never had peole who enjoyed reading my writing before, and that makes an enormous difference!
northangel27 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, it really does motivate one to continue, doesn't it ;-).
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