Despite his tiredness after doing the paperwork at the Ministry of Magic, Severus decided to walk through the magical cobblestone streets of Diagon Alley to pass by different stores, stores, and other places that were of interest to him.
He took advantage of this time and bought as many items as he could from the list of supplies he would need for the summer program at SCoP.
As he was leaving the store where he used to buy the ingredients for his potions, he ran into some unexpected people, these people were a few feet away from where he was and were slowly approaching him to where he was.
"Hey, Evans," Potter said in that voice, that voice he used every time he talked to Lily. He was walking the stores along with his group of friends and Lily.
Severus wanted to curse himself for his bad luck, but now he was quite confident that he could control his emotions.
"Yes Potter?" replied Lily.
"So what do you say we have another dinner?" Potter was talking again, Severus watched as Potter's hands came out of his pockets, and one pair of fingers tapped his thigh while the other ran through his hair.
"Come on Evans, didn't you say you had a good time, you can say it again then" joked Sirius who was standing next to James.
"Keep your promise first." Lily shrugged, as she continued walking "Besides, I'm looking forward to going home now, rest and clear my head for a while."
Potter nodded. "Yeah," he said. "Yeah, I guess. I understand."
"Relax, we're men of our word, Evans, but don't forget to reconsider the date, otherwise Jamesy's going to be sad," Sirius replied.
"Sirius, Potter and I are just friends," Lily replied, "We've always been sort of mates before, and now we're good friends, I'm still really, really mad at you guys for various things, but right now I really appreciate the support you've given me all year, I realize you can be very joking but you're still good people, and that's why I love you as friends."
Potter nodded despite being a little downcast; he had been nodding as soon as the first words slipped between Lily's lips. It seemed painful, how vigorously he nodded.
"Yes," Potter said. "Padfoot, I told you we're all just friends, stop embarrassing me will you."
Lily shook her head in amusement and kept walking.
"Oh, sorry," Sirius muttered mockingly. "I thought it was a date, my mistake."
"Yeah, your mistake," Potter said quickly, "Evans, you know you can count on us to clear you or whatever you need, we all care about you, we understand what you're going through."
"Yes Lily, it's going to be hard, but it's always better to have company to get through some things," Lupin said.
"That, what they said Evans, and besides it's not worth it to be down on people who are worth anything, and Snivellus, he's not worth it."
Peter just nodded at his comments from the side.
There was a moment of silence.
"Sirius, you guys don't know him like I used to." Lily took another deep breath. "Or, maybe I never knew him the right way, the way I thought I did. I know I didn't."
Lily laughed barely sarcastically, and continued speaking but with a bit of coldness and sadness in her voice "God, I should have seen it coming because of the way I used to talk or name others just because they weren't 'like us' or because they were 'muggleborn... I should have seen it coming, just maybe I didn't want to, he was so different with me."
Severus decided to stop listening to their conversation. He didn't want to listen any longer while Lily held all her old mistakes against him, didn't want to watch her let Potter and his group into her life, taking her place as if James Potter had never done anything wrong before.
He had been very wrong, but he had also apologized, he had begged, he had tried to make it up to her, and for what, so she could effectively shut him out of her life, so she could be friends with James Bloody fucking Potter and his group of bullies?
Of course, it had only been a matter of time before she cut Severus off, she wasn't wrong about Severus' bad behavior toward others, but it was still annoying that they made him out to be the only bad guy in the story and Potter as Saint Potter.
Since the beginning of his fifth year at Hogwarts when he had promised Dumbledore not to say what had happened that day with Remus, James and his group had let everyone know that Potter had saved his life, and Severus hadn't been able to contradict anything, he was angry about it, It was worse when he tried to warn her to stay away from Remus Lupin, he knew that the two of them got along well, but he was dangerous, he experienced it firsthand, he had to warn her despite swearing to Dumbledore that he wouldn't say anything, he couldn't explain things, but he could warn her. That only made everything worse, Lily began to believe that Severus was just trying to discredit his friend Lupin and also told him that he was ungrateful for not thanking Saint Potter for saving her life, it was frustrating.
Now Severus understood that Lupin was dangerous, but he wasn't a bad person, it wasn't his fault what happened to him, he was just suffering from his condition, but before Severus was terrified and wanted to warn Lily, everything went so wrong that it almost made Severus laugh now.
"So smart, so creative and so talented, but I dealt so badly with my life situations that it makes me laugh," Severus said to himself.
Severus felt the bitterness as it worked its way through his veins, boiling his blood, sending his heart racing so fast it would surely burst out of his chest and leave him for dead. But he stopped it, he had already been through this, and he had already forgiven, now it was time to put into practice what he had told himself so much and rethought himself. He had to learn from his mistakes.
As the group of Potter and Lily were getting closer and closer to the tent where he was, Severus decided to lower his head, cover himself with the hood of his black cloak and pass them without being seen.
He walked past Sirius, Potter, Peter, and Lily without them noticing him, but just happened to cross paths with the one he least wanted to, he cursed Remus Lupin for crossing his path.
"Sorry, sir, I didn't see you, my mistake," Lupin said, lowering his head apologetically to the hooded man in front of him.
When Severus raised his head to look at him and Remus Lupin was surprised.
"It's no problem Remus, it's a pleasure to see you around."
Severus hadn't planned on interacting with the group, he wanted to leave quietly on his own without attracting their attention, but apparently, his plan wasn't good enough, again, very stupid of him to be so careless.
"I'm not sure I can say the same, Snape," said Lupin.
Severus grimaced and, ignoring the hint Remus had directed at him and prepared to be on his way.
"What did you say Moony?" asked Potter confused turning around to look at Lupin.
"He said it's Snivellus, he must be with his death eater friends" muttered and accused Peter with a grin as he slowly walked away until he stood behind the group in case there was trouble.
Lily stared at him puzzled.
"What? Where?" asked a confused Sirius, as he tried to find Severus among the people in the vicinity.
Severus sighed defeatedly and turned around to look at them.
"Oh, Potter and his gang, why am I not surprised to find them together?" said Severus mockingly.
Lily only watched Severus for a few seconds and then turned her face away not wanting to make direct contact with him.
When the whole group saw that it was Severus they wasted no time and took out their wands.
"Don't be stupid, this isn't Hogwarts, I don't recommend you to be reckless" hissed Severus with disdain.
Only Lupin and Peter thought about it and lowered their wands.
But Potter and Black were still pointing at him and looking at him as if he were a threat, an enemy.
"Prong, Padfoot, calm down guys, he's right, no good will come of a public confrontation. As soon as you cast the first spell, we'll be knee-deep in Aurors," said Lupin trying to get the group to react.
Peter just watched and waited to see what would happen next.
Lily clenched her jaw but said nothing.
"At least one of you think with that little head of yours, I would recommend you to listen to Remus," Severus said again.
Lily closed her eyes and took a breath. She crossed her arms and pressed them against her chest.
"James...? Please, you promised no fighting," said Lily to Potter, still unwilling to look at Severus.
That seemed to calm Potter down a bit.
"Lose Lily, but it might be dangerous to stay back," Potter replied, even though he was already planning to chant a spell.
"Dangerous you say, how funny you are Potter when the ones attacking me four-on-one, are you" Severus grimaced at his impudence.
"You...!" Potter waved his wand as if to cast a spell on her.
"James, please," Lily said unhappily. "You promised you wouldn't fight or make jokes with Severus if I went out with you. Yesterday was only the first time we've gone out and it isn't even a proper date. Is this how it's always going to be? Insults? Wands at ten paces? Dueling at dawn?"
That hurt Severus a little, it was supposed to be just dinner, but as he had imagined, it seemed that in her head she also considered it a date, as did James Potter. He held his gaze on Lily when she said that, she seemed to notice and looked at him for a moment, but she looked away before he could even get a good look at her.
Severus dropped his eyes sadly, he was tired and defeated.
This was goodbye.
'No, Lily said goodbye a long time ago' he said to himself.
Severus this time saw and heard all he needed to. Lily was no different from any other teenage girl, she liked men like James Potter, he wasn't for her or at least he wasn't for her now. Maybe he was the right person at the wrong time, she was still too young and obviously, she couldn't like someone like him, so she'd better say 'goodbye'.
"TCH, you'd better not pull out your wand Snivy" Potter backed away from casting a spell when he heard Lily, but he still warned Severus.
Severus didn't care about the warning, he didn't even pay attention to it, he was still trying to process everything, it hurt, but now he could control his feelings and learn from all of this, now he knew better than ever that he had to get away from everyone for a while and live his life.
"Tell us what are you doing around here, Snivellus?" demanded Sirius disdainfully as he pointed his wand at him.
His whole gang had always hated him, but since last year when he insulted Lily Evans, that hatred had grown more pronounced in all of them.
"Well, that only concerns me. Or do I have to explain what I do in my private life in Diagon Alley to you?" sneered Severus again.
"Evading the question, aren't you already part of the death eaters, thrilled to be a killer like You-Know-Who," Potter accused.
Peter nodded vigorously at the comment.
While Remus and Lily decided not to comment on the matter.
"That's for sure Jamesy. TCH, it would have been nice to never have to see you again Snivy" commented Sirius dryly with his wand still pointed at him.
"As I said, my private life is none of your business and I'm sorry, but I'm not concerned with what pleases or displeases you, Balck."
"Oh, right, I forgot, I ran into your brother Regulus a few moments ago at the Ministry, he told me very interesting things, I congratulate you on your early departure from the Black family" replied Severus coldly who was already a bit tired and in a bad mood. The idiots were accusing him in public of being associated with Voldemort, everyone knew who You-Know-Who was.
Sirius got angry when he mentioned his family and walked towards Snape, bringing his wand close to Snape's neck.
"Shut up! You'd better not speak or..."
"Or what Black?" asked Severus amused to see what Sirius was going to do, he wasn't the least bit afraid, the only thing Black would dare to do was a hex or spell and if that would be enough to send him to prison he was happy to take it, this wasn't Hogwarts, Dumbledore couldn't protect them so easily from the Ministry before something they did in public.
"Sirius! That's enough, I don't want a fight!" a girl's voice called out to him in alarm, it was Lily who had grown tired of looking sideways and doing nothing.
Sirius turned around in surprise. A swirl of red hair, flashing emerald eyes, and a scowl appeared right behind him. Lily Evans glared at him reprovingly and made their disagreement in a fight quite clear. Sirius lowered his wand and stepped back, but still glaring hatefully at Snape.
"Leave it Padfoot, Snivellus isn't worth it, besides you're part of my family now," Potter told him when he saw Lily's expression, but he kept pointing his wand at Snape in case he did anything.
"Be thankful we're in public. Don't expect it to always be the same," Sirius muttered a threat to her before walking away altogether.
"Be thankful? but if I was waiting for you to do it, I wouldn't mind seeing you locked up in Azkaban, Black."
"But what's wrong with you! Merlin Can't you see you're not helping...!" started to say Lily but she couldn't finish because Severus intervened.
"I understand!, I'd better go, it was good to see you again, despite everything."
"Goodbye Lily, I wish you the best, be happy."
Severus didn't give them time to say anything to Lily or the Potter gang, he immediately disappeared in front of all of them, he had learned apparition a while ago.
He didn't have an apparition license yet, this is because he learned it on his own and before the age required to get the license, but he didn't think anyone would make much trouble for him now that there is a war in the British magical world.