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20 December 2008 @ 10:14 pm

Challenge Twenty-One: Winter Holidays Past
Title: Choices
Author: closetravenclaw
Wizard/Witch: Severus Snape/Lily Evans Potter
Rating/Warnings: G/PG
Genre: Romance/Despair
Word count: Exactly 500
Prompt: 16. tear-stained rosy cheeks
Summary: Severus realizes his mistakes and tries to correct them--is he too late?

The Dark Mark on Severus’ forearm burned. He rubbed at it sorely as he cursed silently. He hesitated and then resisted the pull to Apparate, counting the seconds. Seeing Lily happily Christmas shopping earlier that afternoon had been too much for him to bear. While she would be spending her evening, Christmas Eve, surrounded by family and friends in Godric’s Hollow, he would be doing the Dark Lord’s bidding, catching holiday revelers unawares—and it sickened him. Suffering the pain in his arm long enough, Severus turned to meet his fate.

“Late again,” the hissing voice, barely louder than a whisper, greeted his arrival.

Voldemort had a way of making him feel at ease and even accepted with his sweet, soft voice, but Severus had quickly learned what deception and corruption lay beneath his facade. A persona which became more and more evident each time Severus dared to defy his cue to join the Dark Lord’s side. Voldemort’s words drew him in, but his thoughts destroyed Severus, little by little.

Even as he lay on the ground still suffering the aftereffects of the curse, Voldemort’s kind words lulled him, “I don’t enjoy punishing you Severus, but you have brought this all on yourself.”

And Severus knew that the Dark Lord had never been more right—his choices had brought him to this.

By the time the tremors left his body, he was alone in the snow-strewn field, the tang of blood still in his mouth from where he had bitten his own tongue. Despite being cold and damp, he had come to a decision about his future. He Apparated to Godric’s Hollow.

He could see the scene through the front window, one he had always secretly longed for—one he thought he had found, until he realized his mistake too late.

Lily and—he couldn’t even bring himself to think his name—were gathered around the hearth, laughing and toasting with their friends. Lily’s hair glowed copper in the firelight, her eyes sparkled with merriment. Severus had to talk to her—alone.

Severus crept around to the back garden and waited by the kitchen window. When she entered the kitchen, he used the bird call that they had used as kids, wishing on every star he could see that she would remember. He had to sound the call two more times before she slipped out the back door into the dark shadows.


The sound of his name on her lips gave him the courage he needed. He stepped closer to her.


“What are you doing here?”

“I needed to see you—to talk to you. I’ve made so many mistakes.”

“This isn’t a good time.” She turned to leave.

Severus gently grabbed her wrist. Impulsively, he kissed her—anything to keep her there talking to him. Briefly, he felt her surrender to the kiss. As he wrapped his arms around her, she pulled away with tear-stained cheeks, rosy from the cold.

“Severus, I can’t do this. I’m pregnant.”

Proof Reader: Thanks to the clever, ABBA-loving voxangelus for proof-reading.

LewlinX: Evil!Severuslewlinx on December 21st, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
Poor Severus!
It is a shame he realized too little too late what his decisions did to him...
Beautiful fic!
closetravenclaw: HP-Severus-My Wordclosetravenclaw on December 21st, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I always wonder about the other path taken and the what ifs. But, unfortunately for Severus, he was too late here.
Sea Isle Witch: Misc - A Unicorn Snowflakeseaislewitch on December 21st, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
Wow. The misery that is Snape's cold life contrasts perfectly with Lily's warm, happy one. I can't blame him for wanting a ray of her warmth. *sniff* I was proud of her for telling him the truth, even though she knew it would hurt him. They each made their decisions, and now they would have to live with them. Tragic.

Beautiful work!
closetravenclaw: HP-Severus-My Wordclosetravenclaw on December 21st, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I got to thinking on how Severus' life might have been different with Lily or hers with him, but alas, he was too late here (this is begging to be longer now *swats at bunnies*).
- seaislewitch on December 21st, 2008 11:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
- closetravenclaw on December 22nd, 2008 07:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
closetravenclaw: HP-Always Snpeclosetravenclaw on December 21st, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)

Bambu: HP Severus Snapebambu345 on December 21st, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC)
This is so tragically plausible. Snape's story is one which will always tug at my heartstrings, and you've rendered it beautifully.
closetravenclawclosetravenclaw on December 21st, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you! How different their lives would have been with just a different choice or two--or if Snape had just realized his mistakes a few months earlier.
Somiglianasomigliana on December 21st, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, what a contrast of mood between them. My heart just breaks for Severus!

That was beautiful!
closetravenclaw: HP-Severus-My Wordclosetravenclaw on December 21st, 2008 11:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Different moods, different lives...
beffeysuebeffeysue on December 21st, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
How utterly sad. The consequences of Severus' decisions have always made me wince with thoughts of what-might-have-been's. Well written and spot on.
closetravenclaw: HP-Severus-My Wordclosetravenclaw on December 22nd, 2008 04:36 am (UTC)
Thank you! I am always intrigued with the 'what-ifs,' but in Severus' case here, he was too late.
redvelvetcanopy: Santa Babyredvelvetcanopy on December 21st, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
So very sad for him...and her, perhaps.

Bittersweet, but so very well-done.
closetravenclawclosetravenclaw on December 22nd, 2008 04:40 am (UTC)
I'd like to think it was a bit sad for her too. The Marauders could be a bit bullying and selfish.

Thanks! :)
Gelseygelsey on December 21st, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
Awwww. He came just a bit too late :( Poor Severus!
closetravenclawclosetravenclaw on December 22nd, 2008 04:40 am (UTC)
I know... I didn't give Severus a happy ending in this one.
ladywhitehart: Seasonalladywhitehart on December 21st, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
Too little too late on his part; he lost his chance at happiness. Very sad.
closetravenclawclosetravenclaw on December 22nd, 2008 04:41 am (UTC)

Thank for reading. :)

imhilien: Snape - Pensiveimhilien on December 22nd, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
Poor Severus... I can imagine something like this happening.
closetravenclawclosetravenclaw on December 22nd, 2008 04:42 am (UTC)
Glad you found it plausible. Thanks for reading! :)

MissBlane: Disillusioned/Dracomissblane on December 22nd, 2008 12:20 am (UTC)
*shivers* Wow, what a great fic! Highly realistic and well done. Great work!
closetravenclaw: HP-Always Snpeclosetravenclaw on December 22nd, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)
Thank you! *not sure I've given anyone shivers before--squees*
harmony_bites: Xmasharmony_bites on December 22nd, 2008 10:46 am (UTC)
Oh man, that is one evil, little twist of the knife you put there at the end. Fits canon, sadly though. Congrats on your quill!
closetravenclaw: HP-Always Snpeclosetravenclaw on December 22nd, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC)
Canon was/is pretty evil to poor Snape, unfortunately. Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
closetravenclaw: HP-Always Snpeclosetravenclaw on December 22nd, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I think most of us would like to hug young (or not) Snape--or shake him to his senses. ;) Unfortunately, no one saw his potential except the DE's (and Albus after it was too late). JKR wasn't very nice to him.
atlantelatlantel on December 22nd, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
Lily's anwser is canon, although, it's not an answer.
closetravenclaw: HP-Blast Ended Skrewtclosetravenclaw on December 22nd, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
Lily is clear when she says, "I can't do this." And by adding the "I'm pregnant" she means ever. Of course, Snape will have nothing to do with her either now that she is knock-upped with Potter's kid--not that he doesn't privately sulk in canon, but at least JKR didn't have him stalking well into his 20's. Thanks for reading.
- atlantel on December 22nd, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
duniazadeduniazade on December 23rd, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
How sad, and how perfectly told!
closetravenclaw: HP-Always Snpeclosetravenclaw on December 24th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)