She was luminous. Fiery red hair, eyes that glowed like gems, and skin as pale as milk, it was as if she were enchanted. She wasn't just a witch, she was the embodiment of magic as far as Severus was concerned.
"And do you know what Tuney said to me? She told me that no one would ever want to kiss a freak like me. Honestly! What does she know?" Lily sniffed and stuck out her jaw. "She can't even do magic, and she's not even fourteen, yet."
"You're more than she will ever hope to be," Severus said, the words catching up with him at the end and making him blush.
Lily looked at him oddly and giggled. "Tuney's not all bad. She's just jealous. But it just hurts sometimes. We used to be so close. But now I've got you, haven't I?"
A flush of warmth danced through Severus, suffusing with his greedy, adolescent dreams of having Lily all to himself forever. He opened his mouth to say something, but then looked down at his too-short trousers and his dingy ill-fitting shirt Lily called a smock. He thought of his awful hair, ugly teeth, and sallow complexion. At thirteen he was a gangly, gawky thing, ugly in every way possible.
He was nothing more than a stringy-haired Snivellus. He had nothing to offer Lily.
Virulent thoughts of James Potter popped into his head—Potter and his perfect clothes and perfect teeth and perfect life. He'd made Lily laugh at the end of the term. Severus would hate him forever.
Severus pushed himself away, realizing how close he was to her. Her hand caught his and kept him in place.
"Where are you going? You can't leave yet. We've only just started sharing our secrets tonight."
"I should get back," he mumbled, trying hard not to stare at his trousers or pull at his shirt.
"Don't go. Please?"
Severus looked up and saw the earnest pleading in her eyes. "Alright," he whispered.
"That suits you, you know."
"The, erm, shirt… thing. It reminds me of the soft tunics that Wizarding Wireless star fancies. Makes you special—makes you look like a true wizard all of the time." Lily squeezed his hand and drew closer.
Severus thought he might never breathe again. But then his heart started pounding as Lily settled next to him and he had to take great gasping breaths to keep from passing out.
"Not special," he mumbled.
"You are to me."
"Sev, you'd kiss me, wouldn't you? You don't think I'm sort of freak that doesn't deserve kisses, do you?"
"No. Never. I—I mean… yes, I—I'd kiss you."
Lily smiled. "I think we should have our first proper kiss with each other. That way it won't ever be a bad memory or something to laugh about. Don't you agree?"
"I—" but Severus didn't finish. Soft lips touched his and pressed, the feeling more divine than anything he could ever have imagined. He pressed back and breathed in the scent of Lily's hair.
It was over before it started in many respects, but that brief press of lips was worth a lifetime of joys to Severus.
"Brilliant," Lily said, her eyes sparkling with an emotion that made Severus ache.
He nodded and shuffled closer, not ready to give her up.
Lily giggled again and didn't move, instead relaxing into Severus's side as she started talking animatedly about some toerag named Vernon Dursley that Tuney was mooning over.
Severus nodded and laughed where appropriate, but his thoughts dwelled on the feel of her lips pressed against his.
And as he lay dying on the floor, staring into green eyes both achingly familiar and foreign—blood and life and memories pouring out of him—Severus kept this memory for himself. His best memory.
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