CHAPTER 45: The LocketMature

When Draco touched Alice, it made all the pain from Severus go away.  It didn't feel the same as when Severus used to do it.  It didn't feel like they were connected; it was more like Draco was helping her heal and move on from Severus.  She always lied to herseld that she was over Severus, but she still had a lot of leftover feelings for him.

She was walking down the corridor alone, one her way to Astronomy.  Snape approached her.

"Alice," he said.  She ignored him.  "Alice," he repeated, holding her shoulder.

"What?" snapped Alice.

"Alice, please.  You know I didn't mean what was said back there.  You know I love you."

"No," she said irritably.  "No I don't know anymore.  I thought I knew.  But obviously, I was wrong.  Your patronus is a doe, for Lily."

"Your patronus is a doe, too, Alice."

"For you!" she yelled.  "You weren't exactly arguing when Dumbledore said it was for Lily.  And besides, if you loved me, your patronus would be a bat: anyone who is in love with a vampire has a bat for a patronus."

"What about Draco, then?" said Snape.  "His patronus is an eagle."

Alice looked up at him in stunned silence.

"You think I don't know?" continued Snape.  "You think I can't tell by the way he looks at you?  All the longing is gone from his eyes and replaced by lovesickness."  His voice dropped to a near whisper.  "But you and I both know thats not how it is for you.  I know just as well as you do that you don't really love him.  You're just using him to distract yourself -- "

"That's not true.  I love him, Severus, I don't love you."

"Then answer me this question.  Why are you still wearing that locket round your neck?  The one I gave you?"

Alice stared into his black eyes for a few moments; she could feel the tears welling up in her own eyes.  She lifted her trembling hands behind her neck and fumbled with the latch in the back until she got it to unhook.  She held the necklace in both of her, still shaking, hands and placed it in Severus' palm.  She closed his fist around the tiney, heart-shaped locket.

"I'm late for Astronomy," she said quietly.

The End

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