The bark of the tree pressed through his thin summer robes, leaving painful impressions in his back. But he dared not move. His Disillusionment Charm was good, but not good enough to risk the attention that shifting might bring. One sound where there shouldn't be any sound, and he was liable to find himself on the receiving end of a Stunner. At least thesepacifists weren't likely to throw around Avada Kedavras. Besides, the discomfort provided a distraction from the farce playing out in front of him.

"Do you, Lily …" The minister's voice floated back to within hearing range with the vagaries of the shifting wind.

Her reply was lost as the wind changed again, but Severus didn't need to hear her. He'd heard enough of her voice for a lifetime; it was burned indelibly into his brain. He remembered …

("Promise me, Lily," his childish voice pleaded once upon a time. He wrapped his long, pale fingers around hers and clutched them painfully.)

"With love in this life and next …" Her voice rang out clearly over the flickering, changeable wind. She did not tremble. She did not hesitate. That was Lily, always so sure.

("Of course, I promise. We'll always be friends." She squeezed his hands and their warmth flowed into his own.)

"And do you, James …"

Severus clenched his fingers into his palms. There would be marks later.

("I hate him!" Tears streamed down Lily's face, mixing with the muddy mask. She scrambled up from the ground inelegantly and shot dagger stares at the pair of boys not bothering to hide their laughter.)

"I take you, Lily …"His voice wavered, for once less than completely, arrogantly, egotistically confident.

("Stay away from her," he snarled. "Oh yeah? You gonna make us? There's only one of you," Potter sneered, right before hitting him with a Jelly-Legs Jinx.)

She positively glowed at him. The sunlight danced in her hair, making it seem as if it were dusted with flecks of gold.

(He sprawled in the mud as his legs jiggled helplessly in front of him. "There are two of us," her voice snapped as she flicked her wand sharply. And just like that Potter and Black were covered in painful boils.)

Potter grinned (insufferably) and leaned forward. Lily turned her perfect face up to meet his halfway.

("Go out with me, Evans?" Potter slimed. "I'll never go out with you, so just LEAVE ME ALONE!" she shouted, making half of their Defense Against the Dark Arts class turn in shock.)

The kiss started out gently, the way Severus always imagined Lily would prefer to be kissed. She slid her fingers through Potter's perpetually matted bird's nest that he liked to call hair. He cradled her back with one hand, while the other caressed her cheek.

("Ugh. I'd rather kiss a flobberworm." Lily wrinkled her nose adorably.)

Potter suddenly swung Lily into a dip, their lips still locked. Severus waited, futilely, for her to push him away, offended by such improper passion. But Black cheered and when Lily and Potter broke apart many seconds later, they were both laughing. And though Lily's horseturd of a sister sniffed disapprovingly, Lily just grabbed Potter's hand and ran with him down the aisle.

After that the party dispersed rapidly towards the reception. Severus stayed pressed against the tree long after the sounds of merriment had disappeared and the lingering scent of final rejection had sunk in properly. The wind shifted one last time, settling into an icy chill from the North that brought no promises and told no lies. He fingered the still bare skin of his arm. He had a vow of his own to make.

A/N: Not my normal style being somewhat angsty, but I couldn't get the final two lines out of my head. Also, I find Snape's voice very difficult to capture. As always, I'd love a review.