“Amortentia, or: an Elixir to Make the Heart Grow Fonder:
By far the most potent of all potions in the category of Amorous Enchantments, Amortentia is notorious both for the power of its results, and the level of skill and technique required to brew it. It is also one of the most frequently misunderstood potions, as the centuries of myth and rumour surrounding it suggest.
“Most of the pernicious myths surrounding Amortentia are rooted in a basic misunderstanding of the function of the potion itself. Amortentia is the most successful of all love potions when properly used, yes, but this is because, unlike other Amorous Enchantments, it can only function in the presence of an existing affinity. In short: a small dose of Amortentia will turn fondness into lifelong love, but is powerless to ignite infatuation where no predisposition exists. Naturally, this does not completely address the ethical issues, but it does highlight the fundamental difference of the potion from others in its class.
“This unique feature of the potion is derived from a three-stage curing process, which allows the potion to transmute from its base roots to something more exalted. To begin, however, the base of the potion is similar in structure to that of the average lust potion…”
--Excerpt from Magic Most Maligned: Separating Fabulous Fact from Fraudulent Fiction, by H.J. Granger
The Project began out of curiosity more than anything—curiosity and ambition, both of which Severus had in abundance.
He wasn’t especially interested in what the Amortentia could do. Love potions disgusted him as a general rule; most of them belonged to a crude class of philtres requiring little skill and accomplishing the desired end with even less subtlety. They were meant for unprincipled hacks and the lovesick, desperate witches who paid them. There was no reason for Severus to brew any of them, except for the one: Amortentia.
The attraction was in the challenge, in proving that he could brew a potion meant for a master of the discipline. At the age of 15, he recognized that he was already a better brewer than most adults—better, certainly, than that overfed, arse-kissing idiot Slughorn--but he had yet to try his hand at Amortentia. It was the only potion remaining in the yellowed old Potions text (nicked from his mam, who had nicked it from her mam) that Severus hadn’t yet revised and conquered on his own.
It intrigued him.
For such a fabled potion, most of the ingredients listed were almost disappointingly mundane. Severus already had most of what he needed in his own personal stores, pilfered over time from Slughorn’s chaotic supply cupboard. With one exception, what he didn’t have was obtained through the long-standing trade arrangement he had with the old crone who ran the Hogsmeade apothecary. She’d put up a stink over the pricey Ashwinder eggs—it had cost him two extra batches of Dreamless Sleep and another three of his special Migraine Mender—but eventually, her greed had been satisfied enough to fulfil his request.
The last required ingredient was ‘thee seede of an untouchede wyzard’, and though it was embarrassing, it was no great hardship to obtain that, either. Like most 15-year-old boys, Severus had a more than adequate supply of that particular substance, and was well acquainted with how to provide it.
No matter what his classmates said about his ‘unnatural’ affinity for potions, he’d never actually wanked over a cauldron before, but he was still prepared to provide what the potion required. He wouldn’t be much of a brewer if he got squeamish over adding personal ingredients to potions; practically every truly powerful potion required the addition of human ingredients, a sort of toll for the power taken.
It was the in the adding of yourself that real magic was made. Unicorn horn, manticore hide, runespoor eggs—powerful ingredients all, but none of them could hold a candle to the power of a single human hair, or a drop of blood freely given.
Even though Severus had no particular plans for the Amortentia, he still failed to mention The Project to Lily, and found himself taking pains to keep it a secret within the private little ‘lab’ they’d fashioned for themselves years ago. He wasn’t certain why he didn’t feel inclined to tell her—after all, there had been a time when he’d shared every discovery with her, however small, and they’d worked out all the complications as a team. They had taken the dusty old classroom and made it into their own little sanctuary: a secret world only their own, to explore all the things that their classmates had never even considered.
Lily had started coming to the lab less frequently over the years, and in fact hadn’t been up to it even once since the start of Fifth Year; her prefect duties apparently took up a lot of her time. Besides, she’d got a bit squeamish about experimenting, and the things she’d once eagerly explored now brought a disapproving frown. Even so, Severus could only think of the place as theirs, a space jointly owned, and it seemed somehow dishonest to use it to create something like Amortentia without even telling her.
All the same, he didn’t tell her.
He did not think about the reason why, even though he found himself resorting to obscuring charms and special wards that would hide the bubbling cauldron from any eyes but his. He didn’t think about the sudden guilt that occasionally gripped him as he worked on the chopping, slicing, shredding and grinding that was necessary for success, or the creeping hope/fear that Lily might suddenly pop in unannounced and catch him in the act.
Lily wouldn’t be interested in Amortentia anyway, Severus told himself. She would think it was lacking in romance. She would turn her nose up and lecture him about how morally dodgy love potions were. She would wholeheartedly disapprove if she knew about The Project.
What she didn’t know wouldn’t bother her.
Really, when he thought about it, he was doing her a favour.
Besides, he didn’t need her to be his conscience; it wasn’t like Severus could think of anybody he’d even want to use it on. Most of the girls in the school were far too shallow and annoying for Severus to want their romantic attentions, and the very thought of their eternal devotion made him feel nauseated. In any case, Amortentia only worked on people who liked you in the first place, and the only girl who even halfway liked him was Lily.
Strangely, the thought of Lily’s eternal devotion wasn’t even close to nauseating. In fact, it was making his face feel hot in a way that probably wasn’t entirely due to cauldron steam. His hormone-addled brain seemed to have no objections to the idea, and happily suggested fantasy after fantasy, each more inappropriate than the next…
The cauldron emitted a loud, wet-sounding belch, bringing Severus’ attention back where it belonged. He swore and turned down the flame, stirring vigorously to be certain that nothing had scorched.
This was exactly why it was a bad idea to let his mind wander when he was brewing: it would inevitably lead to disaster, which would probably lead to getting caught, and nothing was worth that, not even guilty thoughts of Lily.
Although they had been very pleasant…
But also very wrong, Severus decided. With an effort, he tried to concentrate on the potion before him, pushing the fantasies to the back of his mind.
There would be time to think about those later.
“After approximately four weeks of careful tending, the Amortentia may be seen to have reached its intermediate stage, though exact timing is dependent on cauldron composition, bottom thickness, freshness of ingredients and ambient temperature of the preparation area (see Lydgate’s ‘On the Variables of Amortentia’ for a more thorough discussion). This intermediate stage is characterized by development of the characteristic mother-of-pearl sheen, a rising of the steam in unmistakably spiral formations, and most importantly, the specialised quality of the aroma. It is at this stage that each observer of the potion will be able to detect a unique aroma, customised according to personal predilections and reflective of one’s deepest desires. Having evolved beyond a mere lust philtre, the Amortentia begins to assume those traits that qualify it as a true love potion.
"It is important to note, however, that technique alone is insufficient to move the potion to this crucial stage. Intentionality is key, and a brewer whose desire is insincere or impure will find great difficulty obtaining the higher stages of Amortentia…”
The Project turned from a curiosity into a preoccupation right around the time that Severus noticed two things.
The first was that he couldn’t bring himself to stop watching Lily in class. No matter how many times Severus tried to force his eyes to focus on the parchment in front of him, his regard inevitably wandered back to Lily, cataloguing her every move, every gesture, every grin or pout or giggle, as though she were an especially fascinating potion to be studied. He observed the way her nose crinkled when she was deep in thought, and the graceful curve of her slender white neck when she wore her hair up. He made note of the way her sweater pulled just so over her breasts when she stretched, and he knew the fiery flash of her hair in the torchlight.
He was a lexicon of the language of Lily.
She was his friend, Severus reminded himself, his best friend, and he had no business wanting her that way, much less lo—liking her. The truth of this did nothing to help him put a stop to his watching. He’d always watched her, from the time they were children, but now it seemed unthinkable to stop. When he closed his eyes, her image still glowed on the inside of his eyelids. When he slept, she was there in his dreams.
The second thing Severus noticed was that Potter couldn’t stop watching Lily either.
In a way, it made perfect sense: Potter oozed entitlement from every pore. He lived in a beautiful bubble, a world composed of Italian racing brooms and pedigreed Eagle owls and mountains of sweets from Honeydukes. Potter’s robes were always stylish and custom-tailored, and though he couldn’t be arsed to crack a book now and again, he always had the newest editions at his disposal: all crisp pages, bright covers and stiff, straight spines.
Potter had never gone to bed hungry or been forced to scavenge his parents’ wardrobes to find proper clothes. Potter, Severus was quite certain, had never heard either of his parents express the wish that he’d never existed.
Potter was also a Quidditch player, and for good reason: there was nothing he loved better than chasing and winning the newest, shiniest, most exclusive things. His taste in girls was no different: half the female population of Hogwarts would have leapt at the chance to be on his arm, but Lily was the prettiest, most talented and the hardest to get, so naturally he’d set his sights on her. To him, she was a glittering Snitch, just waiting for his hand to pluck her.
It wasn’t a surprise to see Potter’s interest, and yet it still filled Severus with helpless rage--rage, and a cold, sick feeling like dread.
She’s mine, he wanted to shout. You don’t appreciate her like I do! I knew her first, and you can’t steal her from me.
Potter knew about Severus, too. Their gazes had locked once across the draughty distance of the Charms classroom, each caught in the admiration of the same unattainable object. As Flitwick had droned on and on about charms that Severus had long since mastered, Potter’s hazel eyes had widened in surprise and then narrowed at the discovery of a fellow voyeur. A smug, amused smirk had stolen over Potter’s face as he’d looked from Lily to Severus, his message more than clear.
Severus sneered in response. Fuck off, he mouthed.
Potter grinned. Under the guise of fussing with his silly hair—always a common occurrence—he casually returned the sentiment with a two-fingered salute.
Just in case Severus hadn’t got the message, his bag mysteriously came apart, just as he stood to leave. As students streamed out the door, eager to escape, Severus watched as the worn fabric gave way, parting suspiciously along the seams and spilling the contents over the floor. A bottle of ink exploded against the stone, carelessly splattering everything in its path.
“Bugger!” he swore. Even as he knelt to try and repair the damage, Severus turned reflexively to find the culprit. And yes, there was Potter just tucking his wand back up his sleeve, and there was Black, and weren’t they both sniggering like fools? It was easy enough to vanish the stitching out of something, and Severus was probably only lucky that they’d aimed for his bag and not his robes.
“Sodding bastards,” he muttered, plotting a messy revenge.
“Language, Mr. Snape,” Professor Flitwick admonished. “Five points from Slytherin for profanity.”
Severus only barely contained the urge to growl in frustration. “But Potter and Black—they did it—it’s all their fault--”
“I saw nothing untoward, Mr. Snape. Sometimes accidents, as unfortunate as they may be, are only accidents,” Flitwick replied, sounding vaguely disapproving.
Severus swallowed his protests, and felt them turn into a hard ball of rage that stuck in his throat. He couldn’t seem to gather his supplies fast enough; the other students stepped around him, over him, on him. Some particularly helpful soul kicked over a pile of Severus’ textbooks. Another deposited an inky footprint right in the middle of a Transfiguration essay.
“Oops,” Pettigrew said with barely-concealed glee. “Sorry, Snivellus.”
Severus allowed his scowl to express his opinion of Pettigrew’s apology.
“Sev! What happened?” Lily was suddenly crouched at his side, helping to gather up his things.
“Nothing,” Severus muttered. Lily’s hand brushed against his as they reached for the same book, and Severus felt his face heat. He could smell her perfume, something sweet and floral; between her scent and her nearness, he was beginning to feel light-headed.
“It doesn’t look like nothing! Oh no, your bag didn’t split, did it?” Lily frowned at the puddle of worn fabric, now gutted of its contents. “I know you can’t get a new bag every year, but honestly, Sev, I don’t know how many times I’ve warned you to use a reinforcing charm on the seams. See what happens when you don’t take care? Here, let me--”
He blushed harder, this time out of embarrassment. “I don’t need you to clean up my messes--”
“Don’t be silly! It’s just a little thing, so give it here--”
“It’s fine,” Severus snapped, batting her hand away. “I’ve got it. Don’t fuss, Lily!”
Regret bit at him almost instantly, sharp and deep, as the sympathy vanished from Lily’s lovely face. Her eyes narrowed, her pink mouth puckered, her forehead wrinkled and her nose twitched. This, Severus knew from careful observance, was the face of Lily’s hurt and anger, and it was all because of him.
“Fine,” she said shortly, standing and gathering up her own bag. “I’ll just leave you to it, Severus, since you’ve obviously got it all under control without my help. I wouldn’t want to get in your way.”
What was it about her that turned him into such an ungrateful fool, twisting his words until he couldn’t speak without wounding? Sometimes he wondered at the fact that she still forgave him his errors.
Sometimes he wondered when she would stop.
“Lily, wait…I didn’t—I didn’t mean--”
She glared down at him. “Yes, you did.” She turned on heel and began to stalk away, burning with righteous anger, her hair trailing behind her like flames.
Severus watched her go, choked with a thousand unexpressed apologies and explanations.
A wadded ball of parchment bounced off of Severus’ head. He looked around in startled annoyance for the culprit, but Potter was already sweeping past him in a swirl of artfully mussed robes and hair, trailing hangers-on like a prince surrounded by his courtiers. The other students jockeyed for position around him, each eager to bask in the reflected glow of Potter’s golden aura, giggling and admiring his showboating.
Even Lily wasn’t immune, Severus realised with horror. Of course she was scolding Potter for acting a prat, but even as she did, it was impossible for Severus to miss the slight flush to her cheek, the brightness in her eyes, the way she was compelled to spar with Potter, drawn to him like a magnet. Her words said that she had nothing but contempt for Potter, but her actions told a different tale.
And because Severus was an expert in all things Lily, because he had spent half a lifetime observing her, he recognised exactly what those actions said: she was actually interested in that smug, bullying git. Worse yet, Potter knew it.
The cold, gnawing dread returned, bringing with it a tinge of despair. If Lily actually returned Potter’s interest...
He couldn’t stand to lose her. Without Lily, what was left? If you love something, set it free—that was what people were always saying, but it sounded daft to Severus. If you were lucky enough to have something to love, then you had to be ready to cling to it with everything you had.
Unbidden, the thought of The Project rose in his mind: a cauldron full of an elixir to turn liking to love—to “maeke thee hearte growe fonder,” as the book said. If he’d done his job right, it might work—it could work, and then she might feel the same…
No. Severus swiftly closed down that line of thought and refused to examine it more closely. He hadn’t lost yet, and there had to be some other way to draw Lily away from Potter; he wasn’t prepared to let Potter steal her without a fight.
Instead, he repaired his bag with an absent flick of his wand (he was rather better with mending charms than most boys his age were) and quickly refilled it. He frowned at the balled-up parchment thrown by Potter, and against his better judgment, decided to unroll it.
Not even in your wildest dreams, Snivellus, it read. There’s not a love potion strong enough to get her to want a greasy git like you.
Severus’ lip curled, and he resolved to hex Potter at the next opportunity, preferably with something painful and embarrassing.
This time, he wouldn’t get caught.
Later that night, after Severus had successfully got away with treating Potter to a case of rainbow-coloured boils in an inconvenient area, he returned to tend to The Project once more.
The clear base had finally gone white and lustrous, viscous and glossy like melted pearls, and after Severus carefully applied the correct incantations, the steam turned from wispy, trailing tendrils into textbook-perfect spirals. Severus allowed himself a grin of satisfaction.
He’d successfully made the transition to the intermediate stage, which meant that the hardest part was finally behind him. If all went well, at the end of four weeks’ time, he would have a single dose of Amortentia to his credit: his finest achievement yet.
His first thought was to run and share the news with Lily. His second thought was to keep the news to himself and think more carefully over what had happened that very afternoon. His third thought was that the potion smelled both amazing, and amazingly familiar.
He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. The first two notes were easily identified: the dry, dusty smell of knowledge and old libraries mingled with the sharp, fresh scent of grass crushed underfoot. But the third component…it was so familiar that it was almost primal…
Washing powder! Yes, that was it, and not any old washing powder: it was the stuff that Mrs. Evans used to clean her family’s clothing. It was, specifically, the smell of Lily’s clothing: sweet and comforting and pleasing in its absolute cleanness.
As a child, he’d loved that scent and had wanted to absorb it into the very fibre of his being; it meant warmth, security and acceptance. Lily’s mum had once washed his dirty shirt for him and he could still clearly recall the thrill of wearing the finished product. For the rest of that day, he’d gone round sniffing the shirt and feeling as though he belonged to the Evans family, smelling of their washing powder and marked as one of their own. He’d gathered the scent around him as a security blanket, a badge of belonging, and it had felt good.
It was Lily’s scent, and it was the scent of his Amortentia. There was only one possible explanation for this fact, and though Severus had suspected it for several weeks, it was unnerving to have independent confirmation of his feelings. After all, it wasn’t as though knowing this did him any good—it didn’t get rid of the obstacle of Potter, and it certainly wouldn’t make Lily look at Severus with anything more than gentle friendliness in her eyes, no matter what he confessed.
He could just imagine how that conversation would go: he’d spend twenty minutes trying to get to the point, until he’d finally just blurt out I love you! Then she would smile and giggle and roll her eyes and say Well, of course I love you too, Sev. You’re my best friend!
And then he would want to die.
Severus eyed the potion again, letting the steamy spirals kiss his cheek. It didn’t actually bend a person’s will, not really…it was just a sort of enhancer, when it came right down to it, and it could make such a difference…
No. He warded the Amortentia and walked out of the lab without looking back.
That night, he dreamt of green eyes and red hair and the smell of washing powder.
”The final stage of Amortentia is reached after an additional four weeks of maturation, during which time the volume is drastically reduced. This reduction is what leads to the ultimate refinement of the potion, and although the quantity remaining is small, it is potent. What remains in the final stage is no less than the very essence of love, distilled in its purest form: selfless, consuming and unconditional…”
By late November, Severus had developed a plan.
It wasn’t the nicest of plans, and whenever he thought about it for too long it made him feel very uncomfortable, but it needed to be done and he wasn’t the sort to shy away from unpleasant tasks. He’d tried and he’d watched and he’d waited, but he could see no alternative, and the situation was only getting worse. His suspicions seemed to have turned into certainties.
Lily was drifting away from him, Potter was closing in like a lion that had scented weakness, and Severus felt desperation threatening, stealing his sleep and making it difficult to breathe. More and more frequently Lily was avoiding him, always too busy to meet with him; it was clear that she was carving out a beautiful world of her own that seemed to have no place for somebody like Severus in it.
Severus was certain, in his heart, that Lily deserved every bit of her new life (certainly she deserved better than him), but the facts of the matter were these: he needed Lily, and Potter didn’t. Potter wanted her, but Severus loved her; how else could he explain the dizzy euphoria that came with being near her, or the freezing panic that descended over him every time he imagined a life without her in it?
Severus couldn’t lose her. Without her, he would be left alone in the middle of a vast and deep ocean, with the sharks circling round him and no good reason to resist them. Of course he wanted this all to happen differently, much differently, but this was too important to leave to chance.
And so he had come up with a plan. He had his motive, and thank to The Project, he had the means sitting in a vial concealed in his sleeve. The potion had no flavour of its own, and even a clever and Potions-savvy person would be unlikely to detect it.
That was why it was perfect.
Severus had only been looking for the right opportunity, and he was presented with one when Lily approached him for the first time in weeks and asked if he would like to come on the Hogsmeade visit. Perhaps, she suggested, he would come with her to the Three Broomsticks, so that they could have a butterbeer together, just like old times?
Of course he would. Despite the knowledge of the plan hanging in the back of his mind like the shadow of a coming storm, Severus was pleased by the invitation. Thrilled, actually. She could have asked anybody, but instead she’d asked him.
He thought that the feeling knotting his stomach might be guilt.
The walk to Hogsmeade was unexpectedly pleasant. The air was crisp and cool, but the sky was clear and the sun warded off the worst of the sharp-edged chill. Lily’s hair was red and gold and copper in the sunlight, streaming in the wind like the autumn leaves that danced around them. Her hand, when it curled around his, was warm.
“I’m glad you agreed to come, Sev,” she said. “I know you don’t usually go to Hogsmeade, but I didn’t want you to spend all day holed up in the castle. You need to get out more!”
He nodded in mute acknowledgment. It was difficult to think of something to say when Lily was holding his hand, especially out in public, where anybody might see them.
“I know I’ve been busy lately, but I’ve missed you,” she added, squeezing his fingers for emphasis.
Severus closed his eyes for a moment, swallowing against the sudden tightness in his throat. All he wanted was this, exactly this: this warm, wanted feeling of well-being, the feeling that only Lily seemed to be able to conjure. Was it really so unreasonable for him to want this one simple thing in his life?
The Three Broomsticks was crowded and noisy as ever, packed with students sipping butterbeer and hot cocoa, babbling about school and boys and girls and the upcoming Christmas hols. The adults at the bar watched the students with amusement, remembering their own school days through a filter of hazy nostalgia.
“There’s a table right there,” Lily pointed out. “I’ll go save it, if you’ll get the butterbeer. Deal?”
“Deal,” he agreed.
It was far too easy to get two bottles of butterbeer, and practically child’s play to empty the contents of the vial into one of the bottles. Severus managed it all perfectly, even as he felt lost in a numbing fog, strangely detached from the plan and its requirements. Was this what it felt like to be under the Imperius?
Clutching the bottles, one in each fist, Severus headed back to the table where Lily was waiting for him. This was it: the time was at hand. Soon the plan would be in effect, and he would never again have to worry. He suspected that he was supposed to feel triumphant, but he could only feel an odd sort of dread.
“Sev! Hey, Sev! Back here!”
Severus glanced up to see Lily waving at him from the table. Her cheeks were pink from the cold air outside, and even from a distance, he could admire the green of her eyes. Her face was friendly and excited, lit up with a smile that proclaimed that she was genuinely happy to be there with him. With him.
For a moment, it took his breath away.
If Lily drank the potion, he would never see a genuine moment directed at him again. The potion might produce a very good imitation of devotion, but that was all it would ever be: an imitation. Lily’s smile would be empty of meaning, as heartfelt as the painted expression on a doll. She wouldn’t want Severus any more than she ever had before; it would only be the potion making her go through the motions.
Potter hadn’t won her yet. Severus still had a chance to win Lily on his own merits. Was he really so pathetic that he was willing to hang on at any cost, accepting counterfeited love in place of the real thing?
If you love something, set it free, the expression went, and for the first time, he thought he might understand what it actually meant.
In an instant, his fingers had already settled the war between his head and his heart. Before he even knew that he’d chosen, he felt his grip loosening, the bottle slipping from his fingers.
An eternity passed before it crashed to the dusty floorboards with a brittle tinkle of broken glass and the sick splash of liquid; butterbeer splattered over his shoes and his robes and the table leg.
“Oh, damn! Sev, are you all right?” Lily was at his side in an instant, bending to help clean up after him without even being asked.
Severus blinked down at the mess on the floor, feeling as though he’d awakened from a trance. God, how close had he come? How could he have even thought that it was necessary? Lily would never leave him, no matter what, and especially not for Potter; he ought to trust her better than that--
“Severus Snape, do you hear me? I asked if you were all right!”
“I’m fine,” he murmured. Although Lily had vanished the spill, the smell of the ruined Amortentia was strong, mingled with the sticky sweetness of butterbeer.
Lily leaned forward to brush the hair out of his face, peering at him in concern. “Are you sure? You look peaky. Did that stupid toerag Potter give you problems? He didn’t push you, did he?”
“What? No.” Much as Severus liked the idea of making Potter look bad, he just wanted the whole affair to be over. “I haven’t seen him. What made you ask that?”
Lily frowned. “I don’t know. It’s just, I thought I—well, it’s the strangest thing, but I could swear that I smelled him around. Don’t you smell it? Sort of sweaty, with that awful cologne he’s started wearing…are you sure he’s not around here?”
Severus suddenly felt very cold and very sick. His chest ached.
“Hmph. I don’t see him, but I was so sure it was Potter—I wouldn’t put it past him to try something, even here. I’m probably just imagining things anyway. I mean, for a minute I actually thought I smelled those ginger biscuits my mum makes! Isn’t that silly?”
Severus nodded, not trusting himself to speak.
“Why don’t we trade places this time: you save the table, and I’ll get the butterbeer.” Lily flashed Severus a smile. “Stop looking so serious, Sev! It was just an accident; it could have happened to anybody, right?”
“Right.” His voice sounded shaky to his own ears. Lily smelled Potter. The potion smelled like Potter…
“No use in crying over spilled butterbeer,” she continued. “The important thing is that you’re not hurt.”
He stared after her retreating form, a spot of brilliant colour and light in the dimly lit pub, and thought about all the times he’d watched her walk away from him. His robes smelled like Amortentia where they had been splashed, and the smell of it enveloped him, hanging in the air like the ghost of his hopes: old books and new grass and Lily’s clothes.
Severus closed his eyes and breathed in the scent of Mrs. Evans' washing powder, wishing for a time when that had been all he’d needed to be satisfied with life.