Pairings: James/Lily, Severus/Lily, James/others implied
Disclaimer: Not mine, sadly. Harry Potter belongs primarily to J. K. Rowling, with sidelines for Scholastic, WB, etc., poor lad.
Written for the Hogwarts_Rising Challenge community’s Valentine’s Day challenge. It placed second. Yay!
Semper Te Amabo
He cast the final charm with shaking hands. Months of finicky, painstaking work hidden from the ever-watchful eyes of his interfering Head of House crested on the gentle slide of his voice and the precise arc of his wand.
The roiling grey-black liquid shimmered to dancing gold.
Severus Snape released a relieved sigh and felt laughter bubble up within him. He’d done it! Felix Felicis, supposedly impossible for anyone other than an accredited master to produce! He swept a sweat-dark lock of hair away from his face and laughed.
It was perfect.
“Valentine’s Day, hmph!” grumped Lily Evans as she sat down at the Gryffindor table.
“What was that, Lily?” asked Alice Kettleburn, waving a delicate heart-shaped lace-and-satin confection in front of her face, like a fan.
“Oh, you!” Lily wrinkled her nose. “Well enough for you to like Valentine’s Day, what with Frank Longbottom worshipping the very ground you walk on.”
Alice blushed becomingly, eyes bright with laughter.
“Now, now, there’s at least two boys I can think of who are honored to share the air you breathe.”
Lily snorted. “I’ll have you know, they’re all privileged to share oxygen with me.”
“Oh, you!” Alice giggled and then glanced up. “Don’t look now but the boys are here.”
“There are always boys here,” Lily noted dryly.
“Good morning, Evans!” Sirius Black flopped down next to her like a big, dubiously friendly dog. For a moment Lily half-expected him to lick her face.
“What’s good about it?”
“Feeling lonely, Evans?”
There was a voice that could give her goosepimples, except that it belonged to that absolute jerk James Potter.
“Less than you, I imagine,” she smiled up at him. “I hear that Imogene Walthers told you to jump off the Astronomy Tower after catching you with Enid Pennington.”
“Yes, well, I’m sure I could be faithful to the right girl.”
“Then why do you apparently keep going out with the wrong ones?” she asked sweetly.
“And that, gentlemen, is why Miss Evans can’t get a man.”
Behind her, she could hear Lupin choke – he was too nice to laugh. The same could not be said of the little blond tag-a-long, Pettigrew, whose amusement seemed disproportionate to Potter’s sally.
“Oh, I’d have no problems with a man, Mr. Potter,” Lily sighed dramatically. “Unfortunately, I appear to be surrounded by boys.”
“Is that what you tell yourself?”
“I’ve no need to vocalize what can plainly be seen… of course you are a bit at a disadvantage there, aren’t you?”
“Lily!” Alice kicked her. Lily kicked back.
“Well, if he’s so nearsighted that he can’t see the obvious…”
Lily was interrupted by the post owls dropping letters and gifts all over the table. A small box landed in front of her, with her name written in an elegant hand.
“What’s this? Evans has an admirer?” Potter snatched it away from her.
“Give that back.”
“What, you afraid of us knowing that you sent it to yourself, Evans?”
Lily glared at him, wishing – and not for the first time – that he wasn’t so handsome it made her blood burn in inappropriate places. “Give it back, Potter.”
He smirked at her and then suddenly winced, a green-and-silver beard sprouting instantly from his chin.
“Snape,” Black hissed. “Little bastard.”
Lily took advantage of their distraction to yank her Valentine’s gift from Potter’s hand. Pulling it tight to her chest she turned and glowered at Black. “You leave him alone.”
“Oh, please, Evans. He just hexed James –”
“As if he didn’t need hexing!” said Alice. “And how do you know it wasn’t someone else?”
“Only Snape –”
“As if he’s the only Slytherin –”
“Remus, aren’t you going to –”
“All of you just shut up!” Lily said darkly and stood. “I can’t say that I’m feeling hungry any more. It must be the company.”
“Me either,” said Alice, gathering her things. “Library?”
“Yes. I think so. I’ve got a few more things I want to look up for Charms.”
Lily stalked off oblivious to the looks the Marauder’s were giving her.
“Well,” said Remus, waving his wand and de-hexing James. “That went well.”
“James, the girl isn’t going to like you if all you can seem to do is attack her. And you know she’s right – your track record with the girls is not exactly one to be proud of.”
“Huh?” Sirus, never serious, had already stuffed a handful of sausages into his mouth. “James has had lots of girlfriends.”
Remus rolled his eyes. “That’s rather my point.”
“What does he see in her, anyway?” asked Peter, filling his own plate. “I mean, she’s a right hand with Charms and is pretty and all, but…”
“Just because she’s Muggleborn doesn’t make her inappropriate, Peter,” said James, irritated with the recurring argument. “All that pureblooded claptrap is ridiculous – name one pureblood in the school as smart, pretty, and capable as she is.”
Sirius snorted. “Oh, please. Narcissa has all of Bellatrix’s old assignments and Andromeda’s notes to work from.”
“You’re not saying she cheats?” Remus sounded scandalized.
“I’ve got one word for you,” Sirius poked him in the chest. “Slytherin.”
“That’s still a fairly major accusation.”
“Well, she obviously can’t use those materials while sitting exams, but she’s got a head start on class work.”
James sighed. “I wonder who sent Evans a gift.”
“You needn’t make it sound like she’s some kind of pariah. After all, it’s Valentine’s Day. It could have been anyone. Hell, it might have been her parents. You know that they like to remember things like this.”
James nodded, since Evans’ parents had sent her roses the previous year. Still, he had to wonder.
“So…” said Alice as they reached the Library. “What is it?”
Lily grinned. “Let’s find out!”
The two girls headed over to a table by the windows. “You think your parents sent it?”
“No. I got their card a couple of days ago. Dad said that he didn’t want anything distracting him from taking Mum out for dinner and dancing now that Petunia is out of the house.” Lily’s face was caught between a sneer and a laugh. “Only a year until she marries that… man.”
“Vernon. Vernon Dursley.” Lily shuddered delicately.
“Let’s not talk about love amongst the deadly dull, shall we? Let’s see what you’ve got!”
“Let’s just!” Lily tore into the little package quietly; it wouldn’t do for Madame Pince to think she’d started abusing books. A small bit of red-and-gold parchment fell out and Alice picked it up off the table.
“‘Sweets to the Sweet: Like you, these delights should be savored by an educated tongue.'” Alice blushed.
Lily laughed. “An educated tongue? Think of the possibilities!”
Alice giggled. “Come on, finish opening it!”
Lily pulled the lid off of the small container and the scent of rich, dark chocolate filled the air. “Oh, my.”
“Goodness, isn’t that the imprint…”
“…Chezzlewhite’s Chocolates.” Lily was in ecstasies from the scent alone. She pulled one out and nibbled it gently, moaning as the flavor burst upon her tongue.
“Lily!” Alice flushed harder.
“Sex cannot possibly be this good. Go on, try one.” Lily took a larger bite and let out a deep sigh of satisfaction. “Worth its weight in golden dragon tears.”
Alice pulled one out and bit into it. The resultant noises brought blushes to both of their faces and an irritated Madame Pince ordering them out of the Library.
“I think we’d best go. There’s a test in DADA first thing… practical spell application.”
Alice groaned. “Argh.”
“And Flitwick wants a demonstration of our progress on developing new Charms for the household…”
Alice winced. “Eugh.”
“…and Professor Slughorn wants us to brew Draught of Living Death while tapdancing naked on Potter’s bones…”
Lily Evans, no matter what Peter might intimate, was obviously one of the most capable witches in Hogwarts as proven by her impeccable spellwork in DADA. She’d managed to put him on his arse six times during the practical examination and her work on Household charms was so obviously amazing that even the ever-studious Remus had been remarkably impressed. It was like she was blessed, everything she touched from Charms to Potions blossoming under her fingers.
He sat down next to her at the dinner table. “Excellent show today in DADA, Evans.”
She grinned. “It was, rather. You look so much better on the floor at my feet.”
“You’ve no idea what I’d like to do while kneeling before you.”
Eyes of Slytherin green glanced slyly at him.
“A fantasy for a savoring tongue?” she asked with an unnatural innocence that sent Alice Kettleburn into unexpected spasms of laughter.
James flushed. “I, er –”
“Well, if that’s the case, maybe you should make do with this…” She opened a small box and handed him… chocolate?
“What’s this then?”
“Oh, something for an educated tongue,” said Alice, who promptly buried her flaming cheeks in her hands.
James rolled his eyes and took a chance. The chocolate was dark and velvety, with an unexpected sweetness that made him groan in appreciation.
Evans giggled. “Told you. Better than sex.”
“Not if it was with you.”
He clapped a hand over his mouth. That was not what he’d intended to say at all.
Evans – Lily – raised her red-gold brows in mute startlement. “You think I’m better than chocolate?”
“Better even than ice cream.”
She smirked and stood up. “Good enough to be faithful to?”
“Always.” James rose and grabbed her hand. “You’ve always been the one I wanted to pledge my faith to.”
Green eyes widened as he pulled her close.
Nothing could distract him from the sweetness of her lips – not now, nor ever.
Severus Snape barely saw the couple standing amidst catcalls and whistles in the Great Hall. A single glance was enough to cut his heart to ribbons and empty his soul. Stupid, stupid, and thoughtless Mudblood. Who would have thought that she’d share such a gift, and with that pathetic bastard, Potter? He would never have gifted her if he’d thought she would so misuse his effort and devotion.
He turned his attention to the elegant, cream-colored invitation in his hand. Lucius Malfoy – arrogant, sodding, wealthy prick – had extended an invitation to a kind of Slytherin reunion when the school-year ended. He spoke of mentorship, employment, and educational opportunities not readily available to the general populace. Severus had heard of these little get-togethers, but had never thought himself to be one who might be included. Professor Slughorn, after all, had so readily dismissed him despite his obvious talent and intelligence. Malfoy, on the other hand, seemed to understand his value.
He looked up. They were still at it, a kiss so sweet it was sending diabetics all over the world into shock. Mouth twisting into a sneer, Severus got up and walked out of the hall.
Semper te perodam.
Notes: Okay, it was only two years of Latin and it was long ago… but, I’m pretty sure I managed
Semper te amabo: I will always love you
Semper te perodam: I will always hate (with a passion, even) you.