Gift For: karasu_hime
Title: Here Is the Deepest Secret Nobody Knows
Pairing(s): Severus/Lily, Remus/Severus, Lily/James
Summary: I carry your heart. I carry it in my heart.
Author/Artist's notes: Hi Karasu Hime! I used Prompt 1, though the end result may be a bit different than the original. Hope you enjoy.
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
Lily’s hands get cold quickly and she’s forever forgetting her mittens. She shoves her hands deep into her coat pockets, but it’s not enough on a late November afternoon walking back from Hogsmeade. Severus would offer his gloves, but doesn’t. He would also offer to hold them, her hands, to warm them between his fingers, but he does none of those things, either. Instead he raises one eyebrow and chastises her for forgetting yet again.
“It’s hardly her fault,” Remus says as he kicks at dirty clumps of snow.
“Isn’t it?” Severus says.
“Course not. She has too many important things on her mind. Mittens, sadly, hardly make the cut.”
“Oh?” Severus looks sharply at Lily, at the top of her red head, which is bent. “Like what?”
“Like James Potter—”
“Remus, you prat!” Lily squeals and attacks him, pushes him hard, but laughs at the same time. They race ahead, playful as Kneazles, leaving Severus behind. Lily’s laughter is loud in the still, cold air.
“You look…different today,” Remus says to Lily in the library. Severus looks up from his Potions essay. She’s wearing her green jumper and she lights up the whole world.
“She looks beautiful,” Severus says before he can think.
“I bet you say that to all the girls,” she teases, touching the top of his head as she passes. Severus blushes, then frowns, because he can feel Remus watching.
“She’d be right lucky to have you,” he says.
“She doesn’t want me,” Severus mutters darkly.
“Then find someone who does,” Remus says. He slams his book shut, hard, stands and walks away.
December and real snow, thick and heavy on the ground, perfect for snowballs and shoving down girls’ jumpers on the walk to Herbology. The sky this day is the colour of scrubbed cauldrons, hanging low above their heads.
Lily’s hair is very red against all the white and when she spins she is on fire. Severus can’t look away. Remus watches him watching her.
Lily spins and spins until she’s all a blur, then staggers and falls, laughing weakly.
What Severus says: “You’re going to make yourself ill.”
What he doesn’t say: My heart, my heart—
“Dress robes.” Severus peers at his reflection. Does he like what he sees? Though he scowls, secretly he is pleased. Even his nose doesn’t look quite so large.
“Aren’t you ready yet?” Remus asks as he bangs into the room. He stops short when he sees Severus. His mouth drops comically.
“What?” Severus is suddenly self-conscious; maybe he doesn’t look nearly as dapper as he thought. Remus only shakes his head, looks away, smoothes the front of his own robes with slightly shaking fingers. “What?”
“Nothing. Stop preening and let’s go.”
The Yule Ball and they are all so very nervous. The Great Hall is alive, thrumming. They stop by the entrance, terrified.
“This is for you,” Severus says, shy and fumbling. His face has gone quite red and there’s not enough saliva in his mouth. His hands tremble as he holds out the flower.
“Oh, Severus,” Lily breathes. “It’s lovely. Really.”
He pins it to her, worried he’s going to stick her, but instead his fingers brush against the gentle rise of her breasts and he almost faints instead.
At the last moment he presses his lips to hers, light as falling snow. She lets him, briefly, then sighs and pulls away.
“Severus—” she says, an apology in her voice.
“Ready?” Remus says loudly, and though none of them is, they join hands and they plow ahead.
She’s staring across the room, her eyes overly bright. Remus nudges Severus hard in the ribs. Severus follows her gaze.
James Bloody Potter.
“He’s coming over,” Remus stage whispers. Lily slaps his arm and whips around, entranced by the punch bowl and its ornate ladle.
“Remus, Snivellus,” James grins. His cheeks are flushed. His teeth are very white. “Dance, Evans?”
Lily glances over one shoulder, appears to consider and for one glorious moment, Severus thinks she’s going to decline. But, of course she doesn’t. She shrugs as if she could care less, but takes his hand and follows him to the throng of dancers.
“I think he fancies her,” Remus says.
“Shut the fuck up,” Severus hisses, wanting to punch something, throw something, hex everything. He pushes past Remus, pushes past everyone in his way and runs and runs and runs.
Remus finds him the in the dungeons, pacing, kicking the wall. Pain shoots up through his leg, but he doesn’t care. He likes it, so he keeps doing it, harder.
“Severus,” Remus says and there’s pain in his voice.
“Go away,” Severus says and moves past, but Remus grabs his arm and holds him tight.
“I wish…I wish I could make you see.”
Then Remus shoves him up against the wall. It all happens so quickly Severus doesn’t even get his hands raised. Remus has him pinned, anyway, with his torso and his long, cold fingers curled around his jaw. Not a word is uttered, but Remus’ breath comes fast and hard. Severus can feel him, all of him, pressed hot and urgent against him. Then Remus is kissing him, his lips flattened against his own with his urgency and Severus is kissing him back, trying to free his hands so he can grab him, but Remus won’t let him, afraid, perhaps, that he’ll merely push him away. Remus stops at last, resting his sweaty forehead against Severus’, panting, heart hammering. He swallows, clears his throat as if to speak, but in the end says nothing, nothing at all, not even “Happy Holidays,” or “See you next year,” and he pushes away, walks unsteadily away, doesn’t look back, not even once.
Shuffling and jostling as they wait for the train. Lily presses against his side.
“Where’d you go last night, anyway?”
“Away. Too much…everything.”
If Lily understands, she doesn’t say. Instead: “Sit with me?”
He shakes his head, not trusting his voice.
She tries again: “See you at home, then?”
He shrugs. “Dunno.”
Then: “Severus— You’re my best friend—
He laughs. What he says: “Bet you say that to all the boys.”
What he doesn’t say: My heart, my heart my heart—