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He told her stories. There was nothing else to keep her with him. He was angry and dirty-haired, and his clothes were all too big, and the local children whispered behind their hands about his weird mum and his drunken father.

So he told her stories, in the cool basin of shade beside the canal. He tried to keep her eyes on him using words, since looks obviously weren’t going to do it. He told her about the Dementors of Azkaban, and the bloody revolt of Gellert Grindelwald. He told her about phoenixes and Floo Powder and Pygmy Puffs. He watched for the things that made her eyes light up, or made her gasp, or squeal with delighted horror.

And, when he was doing it, he felt more powerful than he ever had before. For an eleven-year-old boy who’s used to inspiring fear and disgust, if not outright derision, it’s intoxicating to see someone hanging on your every word, drawing closer to you, gasping in horror or fascination – or Lily’s usual mixture of the two – as though she sees only your words, and not your pointed, sallow face and greasy hair.

And he understood, when she got called in for her tea or dragged off by her nosy sister, how bereft his father had felt when he’d seen his bottle of whisky emptied all over the living-room floor. She would dart away with an apologetic little smile but, when they next met, she would always remember where they’d left off. Without so much as a “Hello, Severus. How are you?” she would leap back into the story.

“Go on – you were telling me about Slytherin’s fight with the other school Founders.”

And he would laugh at her enthusiasm, or pretend he’d forgotten the story, because he didn’t know how to talk to people without being a little bit cruel. Those parts of his nature were difficult to rein in.

In years to come, every time he held a classroom in a breathless hush – under a pall of fear so thick he could almost touch it – it was a pale echo of this thrill. While he talked about the subtleties and intricacies of potions, and saw their eyes grow glassy with fear – because they were dreading being questioned on all this information, but they were too terrified of incurring his wrath to risk dropping their eyes in order to write any of it down – his pulse would quicken with the sudden conviction that he mattered.

But it wasn’t the same. Lily hadn’t been frightened of him. Fear was just something she played with. She felt a thrill in it, because it didn’t own her – the same thrill she felt in listening to other people, because they weren’t a threat to her. She could smile at Potter’s pig-headed arrogance, or Mary MacDonald’s shrill stupidity, because none of that worried her. She could look fear in the face and make notes about its features. She would draw closer at the gruesome parts of the stories. That was the incredible thing about Lily. She was gentle as a lamb, and always would be, but she reveled in the excesses of other people’s behavior. Her eyes lit up with the thrill of a riddle – a challenge for her empathy – whenever he described the bad guy of the story.  

He soon learned that she liked stories of heroic last-stands, or intolerant authority figures getting outsmarted. She wasn’t a romantic little girl – although, when he’d told her the story of the Fountain of Fair Fortune, she’d grinned triumphantly when Amata married the muggle, Sir Luckless.

Snape’s mother had always skated over that bit on the rare occasions she’d ever read to him.

They took refuge with each other. Severus didn’t find affection anywhere else, and Lily didn’t find sense anywhere else. Imagine listening to the brainless twitterings of that horse-faced sister twenty-four hours a day!

He told her about Nearly Headless Nick, with his head hanging on by two inches of ghostly flesh and sinew. Or the mysteriously blood-stained ghost of Slytherin House – or Thestrals – black, skeletal horse-creatures that only appeared to you if you had seen someone die. He talked about possessed limbs and re-animated corpses – wizards who kept their hearts in little boxes, where they grew hairy and twisted through lack of use. And the giant spiders who lived in the jungles of Borneo. She hadn’t liked that. She’d taken to glancing over her shoulder, or rubbing her neck nervously. But Severus, partly because he loved having the power to soothe her, and partly because he wanted her undivided attention again, assured her that they were never found in Britain.

And all that was fine, when it had only been his voice she listened to. But now her ears were filled with other voices, competing arguments, Gryffindor propaganda and Slytherin abuse. He couldn’t wrap the world round his little finger anymore: there was simply too much of it. There were too many chaotic, hungry, grasping, selfish people: they didn’t care about the symmetry of the plot. And they certainly didn’t care about the central love story.

The problem was, she loved all those competing voices, all those differences of opinion. She loved the variety – the bright, tender chaos of it. Even the bigotry and prejudice seemed to interest her. She wasn’t looking for one truth that superseded all the others.

In that basin of shade, he’d been drunk on the power, the attention. But now they were in a world where hundreds of other people competed for her attention. Hundreds of pairs of eyes were fixed on her with desire, and Severus couldn’t poke out every one of them: it would simply be too time-consuming.

To his everlasting humiliation, she got to see that he was powerless. He couldn’t command respect or admiration. Potter and his cronies tormented him. Even the other Slytherins sneered at him – because he was a half-blood, and he was hook-nosed and greasy-haired. The teachers were all under the spell of Potter’s arrogance and – even while they saw that Severus was clever – they disliked him. He made them uncomfortable. He had too much energy – too few scruples.

So he tried to command fear. It was literally the only way. There was nothing else he was good at. Lily was slipping away from him by slow, torturous degrees. Trying to hold on to her was like being on the rack. And then Dark magic had fluttered into the palm of his hand like a trusting butterfly, and he’d remembered Regulus Black telling him about Chaos theory. The merest flutter of a butterfly’s wings could cause a tidal wave a thousand miles away. He didn’t have to just take this. He could react. There could be a reckoning.  

Being feared was almost as good as being desired. You got to have an effect on people. You got the satisfaction of seeing them draw back when you walked past.

It was a lonely life, but in a cruel, dark, bitter way, it was satisfying. He’d always thought that the world was full of self-centred little animals, and now he knew his suspicions to be correct. There was something beguiling about knowing the direction people would turn, even if that direction was always away from you.



“Well?” Lily demanded impatiently. “Then what happened?”

She was in her bed in the Hospital Wing, still dressed in the blood-stained pink blouse that she had grabbed in desperation in order to pass as a muggle earlier that day. Severus was sitting in the chair beside her bed, with The Tales of Beedle the Bard propped open on his lap. He was reading softly, because Madam Pomfrey was in her office, and she had kept the door open a crack. He wasn’t supposed to be there. In fact, Madam Pomfrey had forbidden him from coming near Lily in a tone of barely concealed disgust. But the matron had clearly fallen asleep at her desk because, every so often, the story was punctuated by loud snores.

Severus was in his element. He knew that she had already heard all the stories in The Tales of Beedle the Bard, so he would throw in little extra details to surprise her, shock her, or make her laugh.

They were reading The Warlock’s Hairy Heart. It was his favourite story – of course it was – all that dark magic and invulnerability – but, this time, the maiden was fighting back against the hairy-hearted warlock who wanted to exchange her pristine heart for his own. There was an exciting fight ranging all over the castle. Lily was secretly marveling at the number of curses he’d been able to weave into this story.   

He gave her a look of polite puzzlement. “What happened when?”

“In the story!”

“Oh.”

He took his time going back to the book, and finding his place on the page. Lily rolled her eyes. He was always pretending to have lost his place, or forgotten the story. The more eager she got, the more forgetful he became. It was cruel, but it was Sev’s ground level of cruelty. You couldn’t get nicer than that from him, and it was, in any case, kind of exciting.     

Then,” he said at last, “you went to sleep and got better, so that you didn’t have to spend another night in the Hospital Wing, under the beaky nose of Madam Pomfrey.”

Lily glared at him. She decided to let the ‘beaky nose’ comment slide. It was, for Severus, very mild abuse – practically praise. And he’d had a hard day. “I’m not tired,” she said sternly.

Snape raised his eyebrows. “That’s not what it says here.”

“Sev!”

“Honestly!” he protested, holding up the page for her inspection. “You don’t believe me? See for yourself. This is how the story ends. Who are you to argue with Beedle the Bard?”

Lily looked at the page. It was there, all of it – in exactly the same font as the rest of the story. Even the part about Madam Pomfrey's beaky nose.

She gave him a look of irritated admiration. That really was extraordinary magic! If only he had more confidence – if only he would stop hanging around with creeps like Avery and Mulciber – if only he didn’t spend all his time and energy trying to get Potter expelled – he could be such a brilliant wizard!  

“I didn’t even see you pick up your wand,” she muttered.

“That’s because you’re tired,” he replied simply.

“You’d better be able to change this back. Madam Pince will strangle me.”

He shrugged. “I like this ending better. Less messy.”

“You can’t just go changing the endings of beloved children’s stories!” she protested.

He treated her to another look of innocent surprise. “Apparently, I can. Do you want to see the new ending of Babbity Rabbity? You should be over eighteen, really - ,”

Lily succumbed to the giggles that she’d been fighting off for the past five minutes.

Severus really was in his element. She saw the corners of his mouth turning treacherously upwards, but he was – as usual – trying to yank them down into a scowl. The grin kept creeping back, though, whenever he wasn’t paying attention. It was wonderful to watch.

“Now, go to sleep,” he said sternly.

Lily was gripped with unexpected panic. She was tired, but she didn’t want to be left alone with the memories of Trafalgar Square littered with muggle bodies. And his voice was unspeakably comforting. She loved listening to his stories, whenever she was tired or afraid. She wanted to hear him making sense of the world for her – making it grim and grand, dark and dramatic, but all of it somehow bent in on her - like a shadowy canopy protecting her, but also shutting her in. It was as though she was the axle on which the whole world turned but, because of that, she never got to move or travel or change. It made her feel terrified and yet desperately needed.

“No, no, no!” she whispered, as he got up to leave. “Just tell me one more story! Tell me what happened when you met the Lockharts.”

Snape narrowed his eyes suspiciously. She was always asking to hear about that. As Lucius Malfoy's on-again, off-again friend, he got to meet lots of minor celebrities. Gilderoy Lockhart had just finished his first book - a very heroic tale of Albanian werewolf hunting - and, consequently, every rich pure-blood wanted to know him. Severus had been sickened by this meeting, but Lily had never really been able to understand why.

“You mean the blonde bimbo and his wife, the slightly blonder bimbo?”

“He’s not a blonde bimbo!” she whispered, shocked. “He’s done great things!”

Severus scowled. “He’s a shallow imbecile. His wife looks like a Playwizard pin-up.”

“Maybe he’s very much in love with the pin-up,” said Lily reasonably. “Pin-ups need just as much love as the rest of us, you know. More, probably.”

Severus let his expression thaw just enough to permit an exasperated smile. “Why more?”

“Well, because people are always using them for their bodies.”

“The poor things,” said Snape dryly.

Lily wasn’t going to be so easily deterred. She knew Severus well; and she would never have got a chance to know him this well if she couldn’t wade through the thickest, darkest sarcasm. “Women who look like she does… well, it’s probably hard to find a man who’ll value her for her intellectual worth.”

“With this particular woman, it’s impossible. Unless you have a very broad definition of intellectual worth”

“I think maybe you should consider the possibility that yours is a bit too narrow.”  

Snape raised his eyebrows again. “You know, if anyone overheard that, they could get the wrong idea about me.”

Lily collapsed into giggles once more, but she broke off with a wince, because her ribs felt as though they were stabbing through her skin. She wasn’t quick enough to hide the grimace from Severus. His dark eyes turned suddenly darker, and his jaw locked into place. It was as though that creeping grin had never existed.

“It still hurts, doesn’t it?”

Lily didn’t feel like answering him directly. “I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with your potion,” she said.  

“I know there’s nothing wrong with my potion. That’s what’s worrying me. Are you sure none of the curses you healed today were infectious?”

Lily heaved her aching shoulders into a shrug. “It’s just stress.”

Severus looked at her, half-fuming and half-businesslike. He was silent for a moment, as though making up his mind about something, and then he said:

“Sit up. I want to try something.”

“What are you going to do?” she asked doubtfully.

She knew immediately that this had been the wrong thing to say. He was worried. The very last thing he needed now was to be mistrusted.  

“Just sit up,” he said slowly.

Lily did as he asked. It was agony, after she’d been lying in the same position for so long, to ease herself upright, but she didn’t let it show on her face.     

Severus sat on the bed beside her. He traced the tip of his wand over her skin, moving from her collar bone to the nape of her neck, and then down her spine, muttering under his breath as he did so. It was as though he was mapping out her bones, or maybe tracing the path-ways of her veins. In the wake of his wand, she felt a kind of unknotting– as though every taut muscle in her body was springing back with a blissful shudder of relief. It was like sinking into warm water – and there was a similar rushing in her ears, although that might have just been caused by his closeness. The touch of his wand left a slipstream of calm behind it. All the aching was soothed – all the tightness loosened.

Completely disarmed, she murmured his name, and then saw him stop, frowning with concentration, until he could collect himself and go on again.  

She noticed, as he came to her torso, and carefully traced his wand over each of her ribs, that he was breathing heavily through his nostrils. His jaw was locked, and he was looking at her with that same, bewildering expression of fierce tenderness she had grown to recognize. He was half-snarling and half-pining. All that greed was offset by such a look of forlorn longing that it made her want to throw her head back and laugh. He was so ridiculous! What did he think he needed to fear from her? What did he think could ruin this? Let him snarl all he wanted, he was still her Severus. Nobody was going to come running in and snatch her away. The only person who could take her away from him was him.     

By the time he stopped, she was smiling broadly, and feeling the happy fog of sleep drift across her vision.  

“How do you feel now?” he asked, in a voice that was firmly clipped and controlled.

“Much better,” she murmured.

“Good. Now go to sleep.”

“Severus,” she muttered, with sleepy alarm, as he extended his hand to switch off the lamp beside her bed. “You’re trembling.”  

“What’s your point?” he snapped.

Lily, too bewildered to be angry, could only point out the obvious. “I guess my point was: are you alright?”

His expression softened. “Of course it was. Sorry. I’m used to dealing with… people who aren’t you.”

“That must be why you’re so miserable all the time,” she said brightly.

Severus just switched the light off. For the next few moments, until her eyes adjusted to the darkness, his expression was a complete mystery to her. But then she began to make out his features in the gloom. He was still breathing heavily.

“Will you show me how you did that?” she asked, as her eyelids drooped.

“Tomorrow.”

“It’s not dark magic, is it?”

“How could it possibly be dark magic?” he asked patiently. “Who does it hurt?”

Lily allowed him to push her backwards on to the bed. “You’re brilliant, you know,” she murmured. It was a childish, impulsive thing to say, but her mother had always taught her that you had to say these things, even if they seemed obvious, or your loved ones might go around not knowing.

He laughed softly. “You Gryffindors say the funniest things.” Then his expression darkened, and he added. “Well, some of you do.”

“Do you like me?” Lily murmured.

The corners of his mouth twisted upwards slightly. “You’re alright.”

“’Cause I like you…”


And then she was asleep.

Severus watched her for a few moments, until her breathing became deep and regular, and then he breathed out. His head was swimming. Every inch of him was aching with desire. But he hadn’t let her see it. He wondered even now if that was a good thing. How was anything ever going to happen between them if he always treated her like she was an optional extra in his life – just a cameo role with a few lines and a swift exit?

Well, everyone else had a swift exit. Except the bad guys – they never knew when to leave. But it would be dangerous to assume that Lily was going to stay any longer than the rest of them. Especially now that Potter was buzzing around her like a lecherous fly.

He let his eyes drift over to the slightly open door that led to Madam Pomfrey’s Office, from which smooth, regular snores were still proceeding. Some people never seemed to have any trouble sleeping – no matter how many spirits they crushed during the day.  

Severus felt his insides curl with resentment. That bitch had dragged Lily off to a war-zone, made her work until she was aching to her bones, and then carried her away to the Hospital Wing before he’d even been able to make sure she was alright. Before she’d even been able to tell him that the blood-stains on that frilly pink blouse weren’t hers.

Everyone thought they could just walk all over him.

Well, if he couldn’t make them respect him, the very least he could do was ensure that they lost a few hours’ sleep.

He cast a Disillusionment Charm over himself and tiptoed to the doorway. It was instinct, by now. He’d gotten used to moving without making a sound, living without drawing attention to himself; it was what made him such a perfect spy. The Disillusionment Charm had probably been unnecessary. He was part of the shadows now; nobody ever looked in his direction if they could help it – unless it was to sneer or tell him to keep away. He was only detectable to the bullies of the world. And Lily. But her super-human eyesight couldn’t last forever.   

He hadn’t been lying to her, really. The part where he took away the pain wasn’t dark magic. It was just that the pain had to go somewhere. There were rules. The spell was for transferring pain. Over hundreds of years, wizards had learned that, if you happened to be injured in a fight, you could get out of it a lot quicker if you got rid of all that inconvenient pain. And maybe gave it to the even more inconvenient people who were trying to kill you.

You could draw the pain up into your wand, but you couldn’t keep it there forever. Severus had seen wands shatter into hundreds of splintery pieces, or spontaneously combust, if they were forced to house that pain for any longer than a few minutes.

And Madam Pomfrey had been cruel today.

He peered around the doorway, to see her slumped in her chair.

Severus didn’t like medical offices. They reminded him of that vision he’d been shown on Azkaban, of his beaten mother seeking help from Bernadette Potter, and getting told to draw a curse down on her head to save her unborn son.

Lily would be mad. But Lily didn’t understand. That wasn’t a bad thing. He liked that she didn’t understand. It was one of her most endearing qualities. But, unfortunately, it also meant that he couldn’t explain to her why some people in the world deserved to have the smug, complacent smiles wiped off their faces.  

Muttering under his breath, he cast the pain into her body. She shuddered in her sleep, but didn’t wake. She would be aching all over when she did – aching beyond the amendment of any potions or charms.  

They should learn what it felt like, to be aching all the time. It might make these Gryffindor creeps a bit more humble.

And then, keeping to the shadows out of pure habit, he crept back to the Slytherin common-room.
An extra chapter, following on from Sympathetic Magic [link] but before the Soulless Redhead [link] (I can never write anything in order!).
This was partly inspired by :iconlilyhbp:'s beautiful painting Late Summer Afternoon: [link] , so many thanks to her for sharing her beautiful art-work with us!
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:icontroven:
Troven Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012  Hobbyist
Mmh... I certainly like this chapter as well =)
Again, very beautiful writing with the story-telling and so on...
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012
:w00t: You're racing through this story, my dear! I'm so glad you like this chapter - I think it's one of my favourites, because I just love it when Severus and Lily get a chance to have teasing, meandering conversations! :heart:
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:iconpolkadotpeony:
polkadotpeony Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011
"What did he think he needed to fear from her? What did he think could ruin this? Let him snarl all he wanted, he was still her Severus. Nobody was going to come running in and snatch her away. The only person who could take her away from him was him."

THIS is what he must learn, must know, must truly understand in order to move forward with Lily. That the only person who could take her away from him is him. He keeps focusing on the two separate futures he has seen, but he needs to realize there that is an option C, an option of his own making, one where everything goes right and it does so because he makes it right. But there is just so much insecurity in him. It's so hard to separate it from himself because it's just so ingrained in him.

Again, I love how you understand Severus. He does bad stuff like what he does to Poppy but for some reason it's understandable because yeah she's been so mean to him and I do agree that what she did by taking Lily to that place was irresponsible and unnecessary. Reminds me of something Dumbledore would do, I mean he only did it a thousand times with Harry Potter. But also it was kinda evil that he gave her that pain. But then again Severus is just so sexy, so really it all balances out. Right? lol this is my logic. Sev sexiness > evil.
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2011
Sev sexiness > evil :rofl: I totally agree! And, because you've expressed that mathematically and he's a teacher, I think he'd be pleased to hear that too.

Sorry, I know I've been spamming you with replies, so I should probably cut this message short, but I just love what you said here:

He keeps focusing on the two separate futures he has seen, but he needs to realize there that is an option C, an option of his own making, one where everything goes right and it does so because he makes it right.

You're so right! So much of this story is about prophecy vs. free will (even more so because I knew how things were supposed to turn out in the canon story and, for a lot of this fanfic, I wasn't sure whether the events here were going to join up with the canon story or not. I wasn't sure that I had any freedom either!) But this whole story is about clawing back freewill from seemingly hopeless situations - even if I didn't always know that that's what the story was about! ;) Writing from Sev's perspective has taight me to be a believer in making your own future and not despairing, no matter how tempting despair might be.
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:iconkaori-ayanami:
Kaori-Ayanami Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2011
I liked it so much! So in character, and also so well written. Please, keep on writing such pieces of work!
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2011
Thank you so much! :hug: I'm really happy you liked this! I'm completely in love with these characters, so it's a pleasure to write them. :heart: There are lots more chapters in my gallery (nearly a hundred and fifty! :faint:) if you haven't seen them. There's a list of them in my journal here: [link]

Thanks so much for your kind comment, I really appreciate it! :glomp:
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:iconwearesevenstudios:
WeAreSevenStudios Featured By Owner May 19, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Snape’s mother had always skated over that bit on the rare occasions she’d ever read to him.
:(

I know there’s nothing wrong with my potion. That’s what’s worrying me.
What a Severus thing to say. :)

And this is one of my favorite set of lines of the story so far:
“Do you like me?” Lily murmured.

The corners of his mouth twisted upwards slightly. “You’re alright.”

“’Cause I like you…”
:love:

His choice to transfer Lily's pain to Pomfrey sort of made me sigh and think "well, that's just Snape for you," but really, it didn't seem that unjust, so I couldn't be that disapproving. Very in-character of him, in any case. ;)
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner May 20, 2010
:rofl: That 'you're alright' is to help convince me that I'm not making Sev too emotionally articulate in this story. I mean, I know I am - he talks about his feelings way more here than he does in canon - but at least I can comfort myself with the idea that he's never been able to tell her that he loves her.
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:iconwearesevenstudios:
WeAreSevenStudios Featured By Owner May 20, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
I certainly don't think you've made him too emotionally articulate. He seems emotionally aware (I think he'd need to be in order to be a good Occlemens), but knowing what's going on inside his head and being able to articulate that to other humans appear to be very different things to Severus.

I really do love that line, though. To me it shows that even though he trusts her more than anyone (is there anyone else he'd even confess to liking?), he's still too cautious and naturally secretive to say the words. So they develop a way of saying it without actually saying it. :love:
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner May 22, 2010
Yes, he has his grudging, stilted man-code for 'I love you'! I just hope Lily recognizes it.
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:iconwearesevenstudios:
WeAreSevenStudios Featured By Owner May 19, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Oh hey - I just realized that he's reading his self-sacrificing girlfriend a story whose ending he's altered to include the ill-fated female fighting back.
And I now remember that Rowling specifically mentioned unnamed maiden in "The Warlock's Hairy Heart" as being the only passive female in the collection, as well as the one with an unhappy ending.

I love details like that in your writing. I'm looking forward to getting caught up, so I can re-read and see what other elements, like that one, I've overlooked.
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:iconpreseli:
Preseli Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2010
I love this. It seems to me that you really understand the dynamic between them, both its strengths and the faultlines, even though the source material was so parsimonious with details. You've illuminated it so beautifully.

:love:
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2010
Thank you so much! :hug: That really means a lot to me! I love these characters, so basically my entire story (109 chapters so far! :omg:) is based on their strange, bittersweet relationship. I guess, in that respect, I've had a lot of time to practise writing about the dynamic between them (I have definitely not been parsimonious with the details! :giggle:)
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:icondronarron:
dronarron Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2009
“I’m not tired,” she said sternly.

Snape raised his eyebrows. “That’s not what it says here.”

...

Lily looked at the page. It was there, all of it – in exactly the same font as the rest of the story. Even the part about Madam Pomfrey's beaky nose.


lol! Nice one, Sev. I love his subtle sense of humour.

He treated her to another look of innocent surprise. “Apparently, I can. Do you want to see the new ending of Babbity Rabbity? You should be over eighteen, really -”

:lol: God, he's hilarious.
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2009
:giggle: He was showing-off a bit when he changed the story's ending! There's more Gryffindor in him than he realizes, I think! ;) But he's just in his element when he gets to tease her. It's like his usual malicious humour, but toned down until it's actually quite endearing!
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:iconmelorik:
Melorik Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009
No prob,

Glad I could help. A 10 week Snape course.. lol.

"We will start with sneering 101. I expect you dunderheads to practice on a daily basis.... for many of you, your own visage reflected in a mirror will prove to be more than adequate inspiration" :D

Cheers,

-Sam
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009
:rofl: You really should write fan-fiction yourself, you know! Your Snape dialogue is fantastic!
And, yes, despite the inevitable abuse, I would love to be on that course! ;)
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:iconflameofthewest7:
FlameoftheWest7 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009
First of all, terrific end sentence! Keeping to the shadows...
As usual, your writing exhibits an admirable flow between canon elements (nice job working in the wizard fairy tales) and original material. The spell Severus uses is so inventive, sinister, and practical: it seems like something he would have made up and scribbled in the infamous potions book. I love how you handled the surprise element of this spell with such a covert revelation... it fits perfectly. He is so crafty!
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2009
:hug: :dance: Thank you! I'm so glad you liked the chapter! I love making up spells, especially the kind Sev uses (though not so much the incantations, because I don't know any Latin!) I think someone like Sev would find it difficult to give up dark magic completely, and this spell was helping a loved one, even if it involved hurting someone else at the end. I don't think he really understands why it was the wrong thing to do. He's going to be slightly mystified by Lily's anger when she finds out! ;)
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:iconflameofthewest7:
FlameoftheWest7 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2009
Maybe you could use an online translator to find a key word in Latin, and experiment until it sounds good? I've wanted to try this in my fics but haven't had the occasion...sounds like fun though!
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009
That's a very good idea! :) I'll see if I can find any evil-sounding Latin names for this transfering pain spell!
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:iconmelorik:
Melorik Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009
Hmm,

Try Transtemorsa or if you want two words you could use something like agona translatum

Morsus in latin literally means pain, and transfer is almost exactly the same (transfero). Same thing for agony (agon).

Hope that helps :D

-Sam
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009
Wow, thanks very much, that's brilliant! :hug: I think I like Transtemorsa (purely for the sound - it sounds so sibilant and sinister - very Snape! ;)) Thanks again, I'll ask you if I'm stuck on any other incantations! :) I'd really like to learn Latin (it would be extremely useful for my job as well, because I work on a dictionary), but am just extremely disorganized about teaching myself (although, I guess, since it's Harry Potter-related, that's an added incentive. If there was a ten-week Severus Snape course, I would sign up in an instant! ;))
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:iconveronika-art:
Veronika-Art Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2009
First of all, I adore the title of the story, it drew me to read it and I found it so incredibly beautiful! The way he catches her attention with all the tales ... just like I imagine he would! Maybe that is why I was so compelled to paint them like I did!!! And btw, thanks for pointing out my work!!! I am honoured to be part of this community and be able share!! Thank YOU for sharing...

Gosh, I love the part where he was trembling... :heart:
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009
Thank you so much! :glomp: I'm so glad you liked the chapter! I always thought that Sev would be great at telling stories, ever since I read that wonderful 'bewitching the mind and ensnaring the senses' speech in the first book! :faint: :heart:
I do hope you're feeling better, by the way. :hug:
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:iconveronika-art:
Veronika-Art Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009
I loved it... it`s a bit difficult for me to read British english, but I love how you write so very much!! Thanks sooo much my dear! :hug:
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:iconmelorik:
Melorik Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2009
I think people like that can change given the right circumstances.

I'm reminded of the sort of treatment that shell shocked war vets receive. There's been plenty of stories about how returning soldiers would often be insular, angry, depressed and would be prone to violence. I'm not saying that Sev's situation is exactly the same, but it does fit the criteria. I mean, just recently he's had to watch a girl get murdered before his eyes for doing little more than talking to DD. I think coupled with his general history and treatment, we've got a kid who'd be a future poster boy for post traumatic stress.

People in these situations need to talk to someone, but many times it has to be coaxed out of them slowly, and by those they trust. I think given Sev's relationship with Lily, her temperment and capacity for healing, she'd be perfect for this. Just to draw parallels, alot of soldiers didn't talk about what they saw partly out of shame and the fear that they'd be rejected by their loved ones.
If she could reassure him that she won't leave him because of the job he performs, it would go a long way towards helping him get better.

Of course, he's gonna have to work really hard to make up for what he's done to Pomfrey, but it might be a good wake up call. Lots of vets choose to try and get better in light of the alternative of losing their family and friends. After all, if he doesn't then Potter gets to slime himself all over Lily and Sev can't have that now can he ;)

-Sam
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2009
Yes, that's such a good point - his behaviour is a lot like that of sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder. I never thought of it that way before. He's certainly getting traumatized at those Death Eater meetings, and his childhood was a lot like a war-zone! :( Poor Sev! I agree that Lily would be an ideal person to get him to open up about all this - and I think he took an important step by trusting her enough to let her teach him to fly. But it will probably be a very long time before he can talk to her about any of it (especially as she may not be too keen on listening to him once she finds out about Madam Pomfrey! ;)) I'm glad you think there's hope for him, though. I'm so in love with these characters by now, and it's always encouraging to see a way in which they could conceivably be happy together!
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:iconmelorik:
Melorik Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2009
Thanks :),

Yeah I try to come up with a realistic way that things could work without compromising the integrity of the characters.

It just seems to me that Sev would respond well to the tough love approach. Your Bogart-Lily reminded me of the sort of woman who gives everything to an abusive partner and gets nothing in return. In that parallel universe though, I doubt Severus really got it through his head that he had to choose. Heck, he never figured it out in canon until it was much too late.

The way things are going here though, he's made some important steps. Lily has excused a lot of his behavior, but he seems to do the right thing so far, whenever it really counts. I wonder if this incident with Madam Pomfrey might not be a blessing in disguise. Something has to drive the point home to him, that he can't go around hating the world and hurting people he doesn't like, and have Lily at the same time.

If she keeps being nice to Sev and excusing what he does, then it doesn't seem like he'll realize that there's a choice to be made. Or he will.. when she finally breaks everything off with him. So she doesn't even have to listen to his traumatic experiences yet in order to help him, she just has to put her foot down and then put the ball in his court.

Seems to me that he needs to realize, as you wrote, that the only person that can take Lily away is himself. So yeah, either way I'm sure Sev will figure it out.... it's just if it takes too long... then it's gonna be Potter's slimy hands holding her, and not Sev ;)

(or if that doesn't work, maybe Bruiser can smack Sev upside the head for being an idiot and blind to the obvious :D).


-Sam
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2009
:) Yes, I agree. Sev needs to make a choice. You understand these characters so well, it's really a pleasure to talk to you! :hug:
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:iconmelorik:
Melorik Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2009
Why thank you :D

But hey, it's you who's the writer. If I'm understanding the characters, it's only because you've written them so well. ;)

Look forward to your next chapter,

-Sam
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:iconmelorik:
Melorik Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009
Wow,

Snape needs an outlet that's for sure. I can understand why he did what he did, and why Lily will be quite peeved when she finds out. A part of me does think that Pomfrey had been indeed mean to him, so she got what she put in I suppose. As Sev said, there's a certain balance to things.

I like in particular your ambigous allusions to the future. Like when you write "In later years he would...blah blah". These little snippets can always be interpreted any number of ways, so that we never really know what the future will actually look like. I congratulate you on your deviousness ;)

It's interesting because you've had Sev essentially pick Lily over the Death Eaters this time around, but that hasn't solved his own rather traumatic issues. Seems to me that your Sev can't just suppress his dark side, he needs to find a safe outlet for it. Otherwise it'll just consume him, whether he's with Lily or not.

On that note, I think this Severus is a very realistic representation of a complicated young man. Alot of people think that if Severus could just have gotten Lily he would've been alright, but life isn't so simple. A romantic partner can't change a person, only they themselves can do that and you're doing a good job of driving home this point. Sev's got the girl, but now that he has her, he's faced with the reality that his problems haven't gone away. Looks like he's still got some more growing to do. I only hope that you'll make that growth happen.... what can I say, I'm biased :D.

Keep up the great work,

Sam
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009
Thank you! I'm so happy you're enjoying it! :) I totally agree with you about Sev's dark side. Because he's been mistreated from an early age, he can't just put it away once he gets the happy ending. Resentment is his default setting, and it's going to take time, and a lot of patience from people like Lily, before he can master that. It's especially difficult because he thinks Dark Magic is the only thing he's good at. When all your self-esteem comes from hurting people, it must be very difficult to reform!
And, yes, you're right, I was being very evasive about the ending, because I still haven't decided what will happen. In many ways, it would just break my heart for Sev and Lily to go back to their canon roles now, but I still think the canon story is beautiful, full of hope and redemption, especially for Severus.
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:iconmelorik:
Melorik Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009
You know,

I'm actually quite surprised at Madam Pompfrey's behavior. She seems a bit well.. childish to me. A medical professional, even a magical one, should be well aware the impact that psychological damage can have on a person. Treating Sev like scum seems a bit ..well.. harsh. Especially since I'm sure she would know the results of his interactions with the Marauders. But then again, if all medical professionals did what they where supposed to do we wouldn't have malpractice now would we :P

As for the canon thing, yeah.. there was redemption, just not much happiness for poor Sev :( But then again.. canon Sev went and bolloxed things up didn't he ;)

With respect to Sev's default setting, I hope Sev learns something from Bruiser Thuggle (The Invincible Muggle.. lol.. love that name) on how to handle that.

Sometimes you just gotta let it out.... that's why we have so many muggles engaging in barbarism like slugging punching bags, walloping each other senseless for sport, or driving themselves to physical exhaustion ;). It's not so much that the dark side itself is bad, it's how you use it and control it I guess. And on that note, have you ever considered having Sev and Potter duke it out to get all that tension out of the way *plants the idea and runs* :D

-Sam
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009
Lol! That's a very good idea, but I'm not sure they'd stop before they killed each other! It would be nice to have all the tension out of the way, though. Maybe Sev should get a punching-bag!
In Madam Pomfrey's defence, I think she has very high hopes for Lily and thinks that she deserves better. She's also sickened by the horrible things the Hogwarts students do to each other because, every time she heals them, she has to feel their pain. In all probability, Severus has sent several students to the Hospital Wing in his time and Madam Pomfrey is mad at him! ;) But still, you're right, he didn't deserve to be treated that way.
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:iconmelorik:
Melorik Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009
grrrr... I get so mad when people are pretentious enough to presume that they know who's "better" for someone. I doubt there's anyone alive that would love lily more than Severus would (assuming he deals with his issues and doesn't off himself. *cough* Bogart-Lily *cough* )

I do wonder though. Flitwick was a 'Dueling Champion' which seems to imply that there is some sort of controlled wizard fighting, like there is controlled muggle fighting (like boxing). Maybe Sev and Potter could just hex each other until they where both toads ... no real lasting damage there I'm sure ;)
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2009
:) It is an interesting thought. What could Severus do to let out his aggression without really hurting anybody? I'd quite like to see the magical equivalent of boxing. And I'd definitely like to write a fight between Potter and Severus! They'd probably both feel a lot better after punching each other! ;)
I feel as though, if Sev got some success and respect for duelling, then he might be less insecure, too. It's an interesting idea. I love talking to readers on DeviantArt about the Harry Potter universe, there are always fresh perspectives and ideas that really inspire me, so thank you! :hug: If I end up writing about this, I'll credit you, I promise!
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:iconmelorik:
Melorik Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2009
That's very kind of you, Thanks ! :D

I was also thinking the same thought. Like, what else does Severus have to do before he gets some recognition. He's already saved Lily's life, while outsmarting the most evil dark wizard the world has ever seen. Imagine the reaction if James had done that?

Sev is being groomed to deliberately lie to Voldemort on a daily basis. A feat that at best, only a handful of people in the world could do, and yet it's a thankless talent really. It's not a skill one could advertise.

So yeah, he needs something, or some way to prove at least to the people who matter, that he's worthy of respect and admiration.
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2009
Yes, like you say, the problem with Sev is that he's not really allowed to talk about the things he has achieved! He can't even talk to Lily about what happens at those Death Eater meetings, because he's afraid of alienating her, and driving her into the slimy arms of James Potter! ;)
I don't know if he'll ever be able to persuade himself that he's worthy of respect and admiration. He's probably one of those people who will always feel insecure about his achievements, no matter what, but I think it would certainly help if people treated him better! I do think (well, hope) that people like that can change with patience and kindness.
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:iconnynaeve-3:
Nynaeve-3 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009
Great chapter. Good explanation of Snape's use of Dark Magic despite Lily's dislike of it.
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009
Thank you very much! :hug: It's very difficult for Sev to refrain from using Dark Magic, because he's just so worryingly good at it! And I think it's the only thing that has ever made him feel powerful - apart from telling stories! :) I'm so glad you liked the chapter, thank you for your comment!
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:iconnynaeve-3:
Nynaeve-3 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009
I forgot to mention two typos.

Amator married the muggle, Sir Luckless.

It's Amata.

Even the part about Madam Pomfreys beaky nose.

Madam Pomfrey's.
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009
OK, thanks very much! :hug: I'll correct those.
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:iconnorthangel27:
northangel27 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How very, very Severus.

I love how you understand his dark side. I think that there are Snape fans who were around before DH who just reject any softness in Severus, but then there are people who came to the fandom after DH who forget that no matter how much a hero he was in the end, how much he loved Lily, he still had this dark side. You keep that in balance well in your story, and I love it.

If I was Lily I would be unbelievably angry when I found out what he did. Sigh... I should talk to my husband. He would probably just look at me like - "What are you upset about?" He's such a Slytherin ;-).
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009
Lol, yes, Lily will be so mad when she finds out! It's difficult, though, because Sev kind of did this out of love as well as hatred. He wanted to take away Lily's pain - unfortunately, he saw the fact that he had to give it to Madam Pomfrey as an added bonus! ;) Also, Madam Pomfrey has been very mean to him - giving him healing charms that wore off after a few minutes, and refusing to let him know whether or not Lily was hurt! I guess I'm revealing my Slytherin bias, but I kind of see his point in this chapter!
I often worry that I suppress Sev's dark side too much, so I'm very happy that you see a good balance there! :)
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:iconnorthangel27:
northangel27 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is why Slytherins should write Severus. My Hufflepuff heart can't justify his action, even though I totally see everything you are saying. It's like if I allow for that, then what else might I allow for... Oh, there is boggart Lily coming out again ;-)
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009
Yes, I see your point! It's a slippery slope, forgiving Severus...
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:iconnorthangel27:
northangel27 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
But you just want to soooo bad! Damn him and his long dark lashes, and his pale skin, and beautiful hands, and calming voice, and his dark eyes, and his little quirking half-smiles, and his unparalleled kissing ability...

:no: Got carried away there, sorry! :ambulance:
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009
:giggle: I know exactly what you mean! And he never really does it out of malice - only out of insecurity. It's just so irritating that he does it at all!
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:iconnorthangel27:
northangel27 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, I think inflicting pain on Pomfrey, might have been slightly out of malice, no?
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