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"I almost wish that we were butterflies, and lived but three summer days ..."

~ John Keats

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Severus sat in St. Mungo’s chilly waiting room, face hidden in a veil of black hair. His mind felt as though it were unraveling – tendrils of his brain unlacing and twisting out of his skull and into some dark void where light could not reach.  He was dizzy, shaken. His mother was dying and he couldn’t save her. Lily was unreachable – and even if he could reach her, would she want to speak with him? He doubted it. He felt blindly for the wand in his coat-pocket. For the first time in his life, he felt the uselessness of magic.  How could it help him out of this? The doctor, a perky fellow named Rossmire Russ, had rather cheerfully just broken the news to Severus: Eileen had a few months to live, at best, and it would be better to send her home where she could die in comfort. Severus wondered if he was alone in thinking that home was not the most comforting place one could be. He knew at least one person agreed with him: Eileen. And that was what prompted him to finally stand and walk the narrow, pale-green corridor to the administration office.  

“Yes?” A receptionist with wildly blue hair and overlarge glasses frowned up at him.

“I’m here to sign – eh – to sign my Mum into permanent care. She’s terminal.”

The nurse lowered her glasses and peeped over them.

“Do you have guardian rights?”

“I do.”

“Name?”

“Mine or hers?”

“The patient’s, please.”

“Snape. Eileen Snape.”

“Reason for permanent care request?”

“My father is … not equipped to help her.”

“And you?”

“Snape. Severus.”

“No. I mean, are you not equipped to help her?”

Severus shifted feet. He could feel the sting of the Dark Mark on his left arm, the danger he carried everywhere. He could never care for someone with the Mark on him, not with his allegiances and enemies always at his back.

“No,” he whispered, “I am not.”

The nurse sighed.

“Full out this paperwork, then.”

Severus did, his hands shaking.

“Sign here.”

Closing his eyes, Severus pressed the quill into the paper, his signature illegible.

“Do you want to inform Mrs. Snape, or shall I?”

“No, no. I will.”

Severus left the office and headed to his mother’s floor.  The heaviness of loss weighed on him like a demon.  He could faintly see shadows, swirls of smoke, of sorrow, trailing from his fingers and his feet: the physical manifestation of his despair.

The visit to his mother was quick. He told her, gently as possible, that she would be living in hospital for the duration of her illness.

“Until I die, you mean?” she asked with a small smile.

“Yes,” he answered honestly.

She sighed.

“Will you bring me some things from home? Some books? My wand?”

“I have your wand at my house, I’ll bring it tomorrow morning.  What books?”

“Anything you can grab without your father noticing.”

It was bad. Life had become this difficult.  Severus nodded.

“Alright.”

“And Severus – please. Don’t tell your father I’m dying. I don’t want him to look for me. Or to … well. I don’t want him to worry.”

Severus shook his head in disgust. His father could still control her, still cause her to love him or care for him in some sordid, pathetic way.  He had often wondered if Tobias was the one who was magical, considering he got everything he wanted out of life, had been able to manipulate it to his will, and never seemed to lose anything. How was it that the two wizards, the Hogwarts-trained witch and wizard, had made such a mess of life, yet the muggle – the cruel muggle – seemed to have life under his big, oppressive thumb?

Severus left the hospital room without saying goodbye. He stumbled to the stairwell, sat in a corner, and wept.

~*~

Lily wished she could sleep until the war was over. That, somehow, her sleep would bring back everyone she had ever lost in a flood of missing pieces.  She wished that, by sleeping, she could help the war efforts. She wished, she wished, she wished. There was no use for wishes anymore, she knew. She was no longer a child. She no longer had everyone she loved at her side, no longer even had half of them in the world.  And she was fairly certain that she would die soon, before the war ended, before she made amends with the old friends she had lost along the way. With a start, she sat up and gasped. Panic swept in from nowhere and clutched her heart with a fierce grip, then dropped like a chunk of ice into her stomach.

“Molly!” she cried, clutching at her blankets – or what was left of them; half were in a heap on the floor.

“Molly!!”

She was certain she would wake up every sleeping body in the house, and sucked in her breath, waiting to hear an infant’s wail. None came. Instead, soft footsteps padded down the stairs and Molly appeared. Her hair was a bird’s nest of unwashed curls and her eyes had dark circles beneath them. Still, she had the soul of a true mother. She would help anyone, no matter how tired she was. Lily may as well have been another wailing infant.  

Molly knelt at Lily’s side, her knees pressed into the blankets on the floor.

“Your fire went out,” Molly mumbled, and flicked her wand towards the hearth, which slowly flickered into flame. Heat flooded Lily’s body and she calmed down a little.

“Now, love. What’s wrong? Shall I make tea?”

Lily nodded. She felt incapable of being alone, and stood up, her feet cold against the bare floor. She grabbed Molly’s arm and they went into the kitchen.  The sun hadn’t risen yet, and Lily glanced at the clock, momentarily forgetting that it wasn’t a normal timepiece. She couldn’t help but smile when she saw what it read:
Arthur: Work
Percy, Charles, Bill: Asleep
Fred, George: Feigning Sleep
Molly and Lily: Time For Tea

Molly brought a steaming, bubbling kettle off the hearth and set it on a tray.  She piled on some cups, saucers, sugar cubes, cream, spoons, embroidered napkins, fresh berries, and biscuits.

“Come. Back to bed. The best talks are over tea, in a safe place.”

Lily followed Molly back into the parlor and snuggled into her pillows on the sofa. Molly poured raspberry tea, smeared thick cream on a biscuit, and knelt on the floor.

“We’ll have poor-man’s cream tea,” she smiled. “Now, tell me what’s wrong.”

Lily’s breathing was still slowing.  She placed a hand to her chest and took in a deep, shuddering breath. She let the hot tea flow down her throat, its sweetness and heat clearing her mind a little at a time.

“I’m not sure what happened. I wasn’t dreaming or anything – I woke up and felt just this sense of complete loss.  Loss of everything. My life.”

“Your life?”

“Molly, do you think we’re going to escape this alive?”

“I don’t know. Lily, no one knows. The war could kill any one of us at any time, although you’re safer here than most places. But at the same time, you could be out fighting and I could get … I don’t know. Run over by an escaped hippogriff.”

That made Lily laugh.

“We don’t know when we’re going to die. That is both the pain and the beauty of life. Life is a terminal disease, if you will. We can only do the very best we can with the time we are given. You know all of that.”

“It helps to be reminded.”

“And you’re missing someone. Who?”

Lily paused. The grief she had felt upon waking was, she had assumed, for her father. But now that she really thought about it, her head clear and her mind sharp, she realized she missed other people, too. She missed her sister, her friends from school. And she missed –

“Severus. I miss Severus.”

Molly frowned.

“He’s with the Dark Lord now, Lily, I - ”

“No, I know, I know. But you can’t take back a lifetime of love and friendship. Can you?”

“You might not be able to, but he can. He chose his path, you chose yours. You’ve fought in the same battles, on different sides. I think his way forward is clear.”

“I worry for his soul.”

“I worry for all of our souls. They are damaged by war, all souls are.”

“Yes, but – he was damaged long before the war. I wish I could heal him.”

“A lesson I learn over and over again, Lily: you cannot change people. They have to want to change. You cannot save people who don’t want to be saved. That goes for healing, too.”

As Molly spoke with Lily, she realized that Lily was one of the people she probably couldn’t save. Keeping her here was like caging a bird. Lily needed to be out, to fight, to risk her life fighting for the lives of others. She would stay for a while and then she would have to leave. Her conscious would not allow her to stay protected indefinitely. Molly wished, frantically, that she could keep Lily here until the war was over and all danger was past. Because she knew, fully, that Lily was right. Lily would die if she went back into the battlefield.  Lily would die quickly and without warning. If only Molly could keep her here a little longer, long enough … but how long would that be? For the first time since Lily had moved in, Molly considered reaching out to a man she swore she would never speak to again.

The sun began to rise as the tea cooled, and Lily wrapped herself up in a robe and went to sit in the frozen garden, her hair like blood against the white snow.

~*~

Severus sniffled into his sleeve. He had failed his mother. What was his next step? To fail Lily, probably. He had failed himself long ago. As he sat in the stairwell, his shoulders shaking, he heard footsteps.  Trying to cover his tears, he stood, falling against the wall. His eyes widened in shock. He didn’t even think to draw his wand.

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lilynoelle's Profile Picture
lilynoelle
A W A K E N I N G
Artist | Student | Varied
United States
"I am the poet of the body, and the poet of the soul."
~ W a l t W h i t m a n ~

Degree: Associate of Arts, Magma Cum Laude
Degree: Associate of Baccalaureate Studies - English, Magma Cum Laude

Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society
Sigma Tau Honors Society

Awards:
Linda Ridpath Fine Arts ~ Excellence in Watercolor
1st Place Collaboration, with Danilo Lejardi (Solo Exhibition, SoJie Awards)
Janis Zroback Fine Art Awards: Excellence in Emotive Quality
SOLO Special Recognition Award for Eulalia

Published in:
BAC Street Journal, Chicago
Pink Panther Magazine, International
Nain Rouge, Detroit
Ceremony
Witches' Almanac
Rose Red Review

Major: English and Creative Writing


Exhibitions:
Corpus Illuminata II (Detroit) ... anatomical painting
DAMNED V (Detroit) ... painting and photography
Krampus Night (Detroit) ... jewelry vendor
Small Wonders I (Detroit) ... anatomical painting
Corpus Illuminata III (Detroit) ... anatomical painting
DAMNED VI (Detroit) ... self-portrait; performance art
Noche De Los Muertos (Detroit) ... painting
For The Love Of Reading, Vol. II (Ferndale) ... painting
Detroit Erotica Ball (Detroit) ... photography
See What Stacey Started Group Show (Hazel Park) ... Drawings; Performance Art
The Z Show II (Hazel Park) ... Photography; Performance Art
Godzilla v. The Phoenix (Hazel Park) ... Traditional artwork; Performance Art
Detroit Zombie Apocolypse (Detroit) ... Photography
Corpus Illuminata IV (Detroit) ... Traditional anatomical artwork
Menagerie (Ferndale) ... Photography
DAMNED VII (upcoming) ... Photography and Performance Art


Current Residence: Spinner's End
Favourite genre of music: opera, classical, minimalist, symphonic metal, rock, folk, ethnic
Favourite photographer: Brooke Shaden; The many talented friends and strangers I've encountered on art sites and magazines
Favourite style of art: anything that catches my eye
Shell of choice: starchelle
Skin of choice: my skin
Favourite cartoon character: Snow White
Personal Quote: "Whatever on my heart would fall, I would risk it all." - Adelaide Proctor
Interests

CALL TO ART: Letters To Dead People

Journal Entry: Fri Feb 21, 2014, 1:05 AM
I have started a project, inspired by the letters my friend Jesica and I created for our dead heroes.  I would love to see more. Please see the blog's "about" section to learn more. 

If you are interested in submitting a photograph of a letter you have written to a dead person, famous or personal, please comment or PM me. 

Here is the link to the blog, called "Skeleton Letters": deadpeopleread.wordpress.com/

Thank you so much!

Stella (LILY)


  • Mood: Sentimental
  • Listening to: Classical
  • Reading: Someplace To Be Flying (de Lint)
  • Drinking: Water

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:iconsmallsmiles:
smallsmiles Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014
:iconharrypotterplz: :iconsaysplz: Er, I noticed you saw that portrait of me, and I uh, sort of wanted to tell you 'thanks.' I mean, for saying it was pretty ok. I'm glad to hear it.

Also known as, "thank you for the favorite!" Heart I'm glad you're enjoying my Harry Potter portrait: fav.me/d805ldy ^^




Last one? ^^; yeah, I didn't notice you went through so many of  my portraits. triple thank you~
Reply
:iconlilynoelle:
lilynoelle Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Student General Artist
You're quite welcome. :)
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:iconsmallsmiles:
smallsmiles Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014
:huggle:
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:iconsmallsmiles:
smallsmiles Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014
Ah! And one more thank you. Thank you for the favorite on my Rosier and Avery portrait too~ ^^ 
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:iconlilynoelle:
lilynoelle Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Student General Artist
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconsmallsmiles:
smallsmiles Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014
:heart: Hello! Nagihiko Fujisaki and Temari (Sakura) [V1] just dropping by to say "thank you!" for the favorite on my Pop Kimono illustration: fav.me/d7qer5y very glad you like it. Pez   PLZ Unlike Comic - Pink Heart 
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:iconlilynoelle:
lilynoelle Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Student General Artist
You're very welcome!
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:iconnikiando:
NikiAndo Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014  Professional Artist
Thank you for adding  Dream (Fallen angel) etching version to your collection!
la in love 
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:iconlilynoelle:
lilynoelle Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Student General Artist
You're welcome!
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:iconnikiando:
NikiAndo Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014  Professional Artist
Thank you for watching me, tooHeart - Free 
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:iconscarlett-winter:
Scarlett-Winter Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014
Thanks a lot for the fave ♥ !
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:iconlilynoelle:
lilynoelle Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014  Student General Artist
You're welcome!
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:iconnikiando:
NikiAndo Featured By Owner Edited Sep 27, 2014  Professional Artist
Thank you very much for your many favings!!
buzzzzzzzzing butterfly buzzzzzzzzing butterfly 
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:iconlilynoelle:
lilynoelle Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014  Student General Artist
You're welcome!
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:iconivanvladik:
IvanVladik Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks very much for the fave! Have a great weekend! :-)
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:iconlilynoelle:
lilynoelle Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014  Student General Artist
You're welcome! You as well. 
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:icondametenebra:
DameTenebra Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for faving :)
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:iconlilynoelle:
lilynoelle Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014  Student General Artist
You're welcome!
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:iconcourtneymjohnsonart:
CourtneyMJohnsonArt Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Omgg!!! You're a member of Phi Theta Kappa???! Me too! I was inducted in March! It's a small world ;)
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:iconlilynoelle:
lilynoelle Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014  Student General Artist
Yes, I'm an alumni! :) :) It IS a small world!
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