Severus didn’t like the month of December. He resented the Christmas cheer, the colorful lights and seasonal sweatshirts, because he’d never been asked to join in. He resented the cold and the ending of a long year that hadn’t seemed any different from the rest, showing no signs of offering changes for the next.
Lily loved the moth of December. She spread the Christmas cheer, she put the lights on bushes outside her house and she wore the seasonal sweatshirts. She loved the cold, her warm breath in the air, hot chocolate and scarves. But most of all, she loved falling snow.
And when she was around, Severus found a way to love the month of December too.
He would wait for her by her house, bundled (albeit shabbily) from head to foot. And she would come running out the door, without glove or hat, breathing out repeatedly as they stood together in her front yard, just to see her light breath on the wind.
“Breathe, Sev,” she’d tell him. “Isn’t it so cool?”
Severus smiled at her and blew warm air in her face. She ducked away, pretending it was putrid.
“You need one of Mum’s Christmas mints!” she exclaimed laughingly, backing away, leaving little temporary footprints in the snow.
With one light push, she landed on the white ground. He threw back his head laughing, the way he could with no one else. She took up some snow in her hands and threw it at him, making him yelp. He bent down and took snow in his gloved hand, flinging it toward her. Lily screamed but didn’t retaliate. She just stood, wiped the snow from her front and opened her mouth wide toward the sky, stretching out her arms.
The snow started to fall (it seemed to Severus) merely because she was waiting for it.
Falling lightly from a heavy cloud, it spiraled peacefully down onto her face and hands, melting against the incomparable human warmth.
“I love catching the little snowflakes,” Lily said, still gazing upward. “They’re so pretty and full of designs.”
“You’re not going to catch any with bare hands,” Severus explained, practical as ever, “They’ll melt a moment after they touch your skin. Here, I’ll catch one for you; I’m wearing gloves.”
He waited too, with outstretched hands, keeping his eyes open to see if a flake fell, for the gloves kept him from feeling.
“Here.” He showed her a snowflake on his glove, the minuscule designs standing out upon black. “Now you can see it.”
Lily watched the flake thoughtfully, her green eyes seeming much more alive in the season of endings and deaths he had not learned to see the beauty of.
“Sure, I can see it,” she said, taking his hand and turning it upside down, so that the snowflake fell onto her hand, melting after only an instant. “But I just love to feel it melt against my hand, even if that means I can’t see it as long.”