For eleven years he had dreaded this day.
Severus Snape paced the length and breadth of the potions classroom. It was his first lesson of the year and he didn't doubt that it would be the worst lesson he had ever had to teach during his time at Hogwarts.
Flinging the door open, he quickly searched for the cause of his misery among the throng of terrified first years but couldn't spot him among the din. He didn't speak, simply gave them all a curt nod Albus has asked him to be welcoming after all and stood there watching as they all shuffled in with their heads down.
Finally, he caught sight of the young Gryffindor and Severus' body tensed involuntarily as his ever-critical eye took in the boy's appearance.
He was the exact image of his father.
Staring down his nose at the boy, Severus felt his emotions flare, fuelled by a torrent of memories.
The Gryffindor golden boy...
As though sensing the intense glare of his potions master on the back of his head, the boy looked up, catching his Professor's gaze the breath was knocked from Severus' lungs.
"I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses..."
Taking a step back, Severus concentrated on the face of every other student in front of him as a means of maintain his composure. The empty feeling of loss settled heavily in the pit of his stomach.
"I can teach you to bottle fame, brew glory and..." he paused for a moment as he caught the boy's green gaze and emotion momentarily choked him, "even put a stopper in death."
His gaze flickered over the rest of the Gryffindors before he turned on his heel and marched to the front of the room, his black robes billowing behind him.
Sat right there, in his potions class, was Harry Potter the living, breathing, undeniable proof that his beloved Lily had loved another man.
There was the proof that, although he would most assuredly die loving her, she had not died loving him.