Several weeks passed and Severus had destroyed all the alcohol bottles remaining in his flat. He did not wish for a repeat; he had to learn his self-control. He’d already cast a spell meant to wake her and soon after, he’d managed to find a wand – so he destroyed his old one, so that the Aurors would not connect him with the spell. Alas, the spell that was to wake Lily either worked very slowly or with great delay…
Snape was looking through his bookshelves, wondering which books to keep and which to destroy because they were too full of dark magic, too old or too dangerous. It was then that he heard it. At first he thought he was dreaming or hallucinating.
Her voice. The voice he had not heard in years. He’d forgotten how beautiful it was. It was to him like the sweetest music. It took him a long moment to realize that Lily was screaming. Screaming in mortal terror.
‚James! Harry!… Harry!…’
He woke from his stupor and ran to her room. Lily was sitting on the bed, her hand searching for a wand, looking desperately every which way. Her eyes widened when she saw him.
‚Where’s my child? Where’s my Harry?’
He drank in the sight of her face, eyes, mouth, her wavy hair. Only after a while did he realize who she was calling. Potter… and her child.
‚Your son is safe, Lily’ Severus informed her, fighting the smile that threatened to appear on his face.
‚Where I am? Where’s V-Voldemort?’ she pronounced the name in a whisper, as if she were afraid.
‚You’re at my place. You’re safe. Voldemort is no more’ this time he really smiled.
‚No more?’ she looked at him as if he were mad.
‚Voldemort is dead. Your son has defeated him’
‚That’s not possible! A moment ago he- he-‚ Lily’s voice broke ‚James is dead…’
The Potions Master gave a low groan. She cared about James? She should be happy, she should have welcomed him. Wait… did she say „a moment ago”?
‚What’s the last thing you remember, Lily?’
The woman burst into tears.
‚Voldemort- he tells me to move aside. He wants to kill my child. I can hear him cast Avada Kedavra-‚
‚It’s the past, Lily. You were asleep for a long time. You’ve saved the boy. You’re safe. The war has finished’
Lily clutched the quilt closer to her and stared at him disbelievingly.
‚Do I know you? You speak as if I did…’
Snape took a deep breath. Lily didn’t recognize him! It took him a moment to realize she remembered him the way he was at Hogwarts. He was thirty-nine now, not seventeen…
‚It’s me, Severus. I’m just older…’
As soon as he heard what he said, he berated himself in his thoughts. What an idiocy! Only in her company did he say such dunderheaded things…
‚Sev!’ Lily tossed the quilt aside and clung to him, crying hysterically. She was so upset that her entire body shook. ‚When you said that- I’ve slept for a long time- I thought- that you were dead- James is dead- you look- as if years had passed-‚
‚Lily, calm down. Your son is alive. You and I are alive. We’re safe. Just, a few years have passed, it’s all. Should I bring you a Peace Draught? I’d Accio it, but it’s a Muggle neighborhood…’
The woman sniffed and nodded. When he returned, Lily was arranging the quilt back on the bed, wiping at her tears with a hand. Her arms were still shaking. She accepted the potion gratefully.
‚Who was taking care of me when I slept?’ she asked in a calmer voice.
‚I was’ Severus said.
‚Is this my room? My clothes-‚ she walked to the wardrobe ‚you’ve cooked what I like’ she glanced at the tray on the nightstand.
‚Everything for you-‚
‚I thought- you’d joined them’
‚I was a spy’ he said shortly.
The woman nodded. Severus sat on the bed, next to her. He reveled in the fact that he had her next to him, that she was breathing, moving, talking.
‚Yes?’ he smiled upon hearing his name.
‚Thank you’ she hesitated for a moment ‚Will you tell me what happened while I was asleep? If the war has finished… Who’s died?’
The Potions Master was filtering his information in his head for a while – what he can tell her in the entirety, what he can reveal partially and what he should keep from her.
‚Alice Longbottom and her husband are in St. Mungo’s – Bella. Her son is in his grandmother’s care – I seem to recall her name was Augusta? Bellatrix is dead, she got what she deserved. All the Marauders are dead. Black died some time ago by Bella’s hand. Lupin died at the end of the war, together with his wife – I don’t suppose you knew Nymphadora Tonks, Andromeda’s daughter – their son is in his grandmother’s care. Dorcas has been dead for a long time- the Death Eaters.’ Severus swallowed. ‚Albus is dead too, a powerful curse. Avery, Mulciber and the others are dead. Lucius Malfoy and his wife – Narcissa Black, remember her? – are quite well. I don’t know what happened to the others, say, Mary MacDonald…’
Lily pressed her hands to her temples and bowed her head.
‚So much has happened. I can’t believe it. Sev, my head hurts. Can I go outside?’
‚You’ve been sleeping for so long. I’ll bring something for headache presently. You shouldn’t go out. Several years have passed. I live elsewhere, you’d get lost. Besides, you’d attract undue attention, appearing suddenly after all this time…’