If I Die Young- a short story

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Harry Potter... what else could it be? :) Title borrowed from the song, "If I Die Young," by The Band Perry. Warning: this is a Severus/Lily story.

Submitted: July 17, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 17, 2012



 If I Die Young


Lily Evans hid behind the large lilac bush, trying her best to not giggle and give her position away. She couldn’t remember a time when she hadn’t been happier, crouching close to the clean cut blades of grass, ready to spring for a playful attack. She could hear soft, duck-footed steps coming closer, and she stifled the loud laugh she wished to let fly.


He was extremely startled when she jumped out at him, and they both fell to the grassy ground, she collapsing into a fit of giggles, while he tired to slow his heart rate down.


He glanced at Lily reproachfully. “What were you trying to do, give me a heart attack?”


“Yep!” Lily chirped, smiling proudly. She pushed her long red hair out of her face and sat up. “How’d I do, Sev?”


Severus hesitated, eagerly gazing at her. “I think my heart did have an attack,” he admitted ruefully.


Lily covered her mouth and turned red from laughter. “I got you good!” she howled, and deliberately poked him in the ribs.


“Ow!” he cried, gingerly rubbing the offended area.


She wickedly grinned. “Just getting you back for last week!”


Severus struggled not to roll his eyes. Instead, he forced a laugh, which actually became genuine. He couldn’t believe his luck at having scored such a pretty and entertaining friend.


Suddenly, though, she looked serious.


“Sev, tell me more about Hogwarts.” She bit her lip nervously and glanced briefly down at her yellow sundress.


“What else can I tell you? I already told you all I know,” Severus replied, though it was clear he wanted to tell her everything he could.


“Okay, tell me about your favorite subject!”


Severus gave her a skeptical look. “How can I when I haven’t attended school yet?”


“You know what I mean,” Lily pushed him, her pale face exposing her excitement. Severus looked into her pleading green eyes and found himself wanting to keep her undivided attention forever.


“Potions,” Severus said simply. “I like potions. Perhaps because it doesn’t really require wand work, and since I don’t have a wand yet…”


“Tell me about potions,” she commanded softly.


Severus’ heart fluttered at her quiet voice. Did she know what she did to him? His intense gaze made Lily blush, and he guiltily coughed, looking down at his baggy pants that really didn’t suit him.


“Well, it’s a lot like cooking. But what’s best about it is that a potion can do things a spell couldn’t, especially since magic folk expect a spell- they aren’t always aware of potions and their potential.”


“What can they do?” Lily worriedly asked, now seemingly a little scared. Severus realized that he had used too much vindictiveness in his tone.


“Oh, well, they can disguise you- turn you into someone else for an hour,” he said frantically, trying to lighten the mood. “They haven’t invented a spell to duplicate someone else yet.”


Lily’s eyes were round as golf balls. “Why would you want to be someone else?”


Severus began to feel uncomfortable. He couldn’t exactly give his own reasons for such a potion. “Um, let’s talk about Defense Against the Dark Arts instead.”


Lily reluctantly agreed. “So, Dumbledore is against the Dark Arts, right?”


“Yes, Lily,” Severus said with a lot of patience, something he rarely had, but around her. “You’ll be safe at Hogwarts. You will learn so many spells to-” he cut himself off, not wanting to scare her again.


Lily glanced up at the cloudless sky above, lost in thought.  Sev watched her tiny, beautiful face, her slender nose, her bright green eyes, her red hair that slightly danced in the wind. He noted the melancholy that had settled on her once more. He longed to reach out, and hug her close, to whisper his inner-most desires into her ear. Oh why couldn’t it be easier? Why couldn’t he just say it? Say that he loved her as she said constantly, as she would laugh and play with him. He was too young for this- that was his excuse, though he knew he didn’t really believe himself.


Lily’s trembling voice cut across his thoughts. “What if I- what if I die young?”


Severus almost cried at those words. He would never ever let her die! Not his friend- his one true friend whom he desperately loved and needed. “You won’t die,” he said, exasperated.


Lily glanced over into his dark eyes. His heart fluttered again. “You don’t know that, Sev. What if the dementors got me? I can’t ward them off!”


She seemed like she was choking back fearful tears. Severus’ heart almost broke in two. He awkwardly patted her shoulder, though he longed to do so much more. “You won’t run into dementors, Lily. They live far away from here. You’re safe.”


“But what about the Dark Arts? I really don’t know how to defend myself against them. What if I'm the worst in the class and they come after me for it? What if-”


“Lily, stop it! You won’t be the worst! And they won’t come after you. I won’t let them!” Sev sternly told her. She weakly smiled into his face.


“Promise me, Sev? Promise me you won’t let them?”


“I promise,” Severus stated, and this time, he leaned forward and gave her a fierce hug. His heart pounded wildly when she returned the affection.


“Oh, Sev. What would I do without you?” Lily asked, her green eyes sparkling.


His brain tormented him with the memory as he struggled, but failed, to find sleep. “Lily!” he sobbed. Her young, determined face swam before him. Her young, smiling green eyes, her young , tender, laughing lips.


He hated himself. He despised every fiber of his being. Why, why had he let this happen? Why hadn’t he kept his promise? He had let her die young- young and innocent. He had let her down the minute he made his promise. It would have been better for him to have not, for him to have been cowardly and avoid the subject altogether. But now, the guilt pressed upon him heavily, the weight of a ton of bricks crushing him into oblivion. How could he have let this happen? The one person he had cared about, whom he had clung to, whom he had cared for- he had lied to her! He had betrayed her! Why couldn’t he have died young? It would have been better than this bitter, unbearable agony. Lily…


Oh, Lily…


Her trusting eyes, her comforting face, her dying words- “Promise me, Sev. Promise me…”


What if I die young?


If I die young, Severus thought, it will be the best thing that could have happened.


His left arm suddenly throbbed and Severus gritted his teeth. How could he have let this happen? Where had his life gone? One foolish choice- and the consequence that followed harrowed his soul. How he wished again and again to take it all back. He would never get to see her face again, experience the comfort and warmth from her radiant smile. Never, because he had lied to her. Had broken his promise.


And because Lily had died young.

© Copyright 2018 Nagini Riddle. All rights reserved.

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