This story is based on characters and situations created and owned
by J.K. Rowling. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark
infringement is intended.
Author’s Note: Thanks to all my
early reviewers at LiveJournal, to Albie, who gave me some vital feedback that
helped with the ending, and to PirateQueen for her beta reading duties.
A sleepless spring night:
Yearning for what I never had
And for what never was.
A Spring Lament
cannot sleep. As I write this letter to you, you are, to the detriment of the
world, resting eternally. It is your slumber—and, I believe, my role in it—which
is keeping me awake this night.
may have been your favorite time of year, but spring was when you came alive.
The newness and beauty of the world was reflected in your smile. Your laugh.
Your eyes. You are everywhere this time of year. I can remember the
anticipation I felt every spring—anticipation of those few precious weeks each
summer when I could have you to myself. If I concentrate hard enough, I can
almost feel you near me. I can almost feel your delicate hand in mine or smell
the scent of your shampoo. I cannot escape the memory of you. Maybe I am not
supposed to. Maybe you are supposed to haunt my every waking moment—the
punishment fits the crime quite well, does it not?
of that time long ago are keeping me awake tonight. They lead to other
thoughts—dangerous thoughts. What would my life be if only I had listened to
you all those years ago? Would life still flow through your veins? Perhaps.
Would I still have lost you to that detestable scab? It pains me to admit this,
but, yes, most likely. I should have fought harder for you. At the time, I
thought I was. I was a fool—a selfish fool. Could I have made you happy? True
happiness was known to me only when I was in your presence. Even then, I was
aware enough to know that you would not have said the same.
am comforted by the thought that, even after our estrangement, a small part of
me lived in you. I introduced you to this world of magic, of endless
possibilities. I was the one who helped you to realize you were a part of
something extraordinary, something that only a fraction of the world’s populace
could ever fathom. All the knowledge of our world that I shared, nothing and no
one could take that away from you. It is something you carried with you until
the end of your time on this earth. Perhaps it is with you still. Most nights,
these are the thoughts that aid me in drifting into uneasy dreams—except in the
spring. In the spring, there is no escaping you.
course, these days, escaping your memory is an exercise in futility, no matter
the season. Teaching your son is like watching history repeat itself. He is
very much his father’s son—in looks and attitude. After my first cursory
observation of the boy, it was quite obvious that Potter’s chromosomes bullied
their way into dominance. And yet, some small part of you would not be moved.
His eyes—your eyes—have been commented on by many of my colleagues, ad nauseam.
It is unnerving to see them fixed on me with such malice. I suppose I only have
myself to blame for that. I may have promised Dumbledore—promised you—to
protect him, but I refuse to give the boy preferential treatment. I watched
everyone treat his wretched father like a celebrity for seven years; I will not
contribute to that same idiocy with his son. Besides, I know you would not have
wanted that for him.
would never admit this to anyone else, but the boy is like you in other ways as
well. He shows the same loyalty to his friends that you once showed to me. Most
people would attribute that quality to his father—I know better. And though his
face may be his father’s, the facial expressions are all yours. I had forgotten
that fierce look of resolve you would give me anytime you had stubbornly made
up your mind about something. The boy gave me that very same look today. With
his father’s penchant for rule-breaking and your willfulness, it did not take
Legilimency to know that he was up to no good. Perhaps that is what is
keeping me awake tonight—your little troublemaker is up to something, and my
vow of protection will not let me rest until I know he is safe. It will be a
long night, indeed.
will be here soon. The young green of spring that so reminds me of you will
give way to the familiar, muted green of summer. In a few short weeks, I will
not have to deal with these hormonal time bombs on legs we refer to as
children, nor will I have to be concerned with the affairs of your
calamity-prone son. I will be able to sit in peace and remember summers
past—summers when you reserved your affections for me alone.
the love I possess,
carefully folded the letter and sealed it inside an envelope. He rose from his
desk and walked across his chambers to the fireplace. With reverence, he placed
the letter on the glowing embers, stepped back, and murmured, “Incendio,”
setting the letter on fire. He always burned the letters he wrote to her—not
because he was afraid someone would read them, but because he hoped that the
sentiment of his letters, if not the words, would somehow find its way to her.
It was a foolish ritual, but at times, the hope gained from it was the only
thing that kept him going.
watched the edges of the envelope curl and blacken, a silvery white phoenix soared
into the room, illuminating his chambers with its pure, ethereal glow. Severus
frowned at the sight of Dumbledore’s summons. He said he would be at the
Ministry tonight, he thought, his mind racing back to the parting words the
headmaster had uttered earlier that day. Something is wrong. His eyes
returned to the charred remains of his letter.
as though I was right, Lily,” he whispered. “Something is going on, and as sure
as I am breathing, your son is in the thick of it.” Refusing to be seen outside
of his bed chambers in his nightclothes and dressing gown, Severus dressed
quickly. “There truly is no rest for the wicked, is there?” he mumbled. Taking
a deep, fortifying breath, he strode out the door to fulfill his vow.