Please Review! This is the final update and completes my novella, "Across the Quidditch Pitch!" Hooray. It was almost a year ago that I thought of this fic. Please review!

Epilogue: School Dance

Melodious music drifted out the Great Hall. It was a sweet harmony of piano with strings, a gay ballad, matching the student body's general content. The cotillion was a success for those deserving older students in good standing.

There was Mary Macdonald and Sirius Black waltzing across the room, the happiest couple of them all. But theirs would wind up as a short-lived relationship. But Mary had triumphed over Mulciber. She was never hurt and got the boy she wanted.

Sirius's barking laughter echoed around the hall as Mary and he caroused across the dance platform, the other dancers giving them a wide berth out of fear of physical injury. Mary and Sirius held hands, whilst Sirius' other hand lightly touched her hip, and she kept balance by leaning into his shoulder.

And then there was another couple starkly evident: the blonde Pureblood boy Avery. He had gotten a date for the dance and looked to be enjoying himself.

James and Lily were in the epicenter of things and hard to spot with all the others surrounding them. They were the most popular couple of the evening. All sought conversation with them.

The couple swayed slowly, together in tandem to the tunes emanating from the band. Lily's hands rested at the back of James's neck, as she craned her neck slightly to gaze into his eyes. And James gazed into her green eyes, his face aglow. James's hands held the small of Lily's back and he was grinning widely.

Nobody spotted the pair of black eyes peeping out of the rich red-velvet curtains, curtains that replaced the Great Hall's doors. The curtains separated Snape from all of them, but it was the perfect place to watch.

All Snape had eyes for now was James and Lily. He couldn't see Lily's face, only the back of her. A sheath of flaming red hair. He longed to lovingly caress that hair, even though it was slightly frizzy. Lily's backside was in tight, form-fitting dressrobes that showed her voluptuous curves. Her dance movements were tiny but lithe. It enraged Severus to see James's hands holding her. And then to see James's face, alight with obvious excitement. Snape would rather die than forgive James.

He could feel the very music vibrating within his veins. He was drawn to this party and planned to gatecrash. He knew he could tell Slughorn the headmaster gave him permission even if that wasn't exactly true. He watched with the greatest longing and desperation. It was similar to how he first spied on Lily through the bushes in the playground all those years ago….

And now the song ended. There was a pause before the live band took up another song. Lily unlinked her hands from James's shoulders. Snape greedily watched those pale-pink lips move. She was saying something to Potter.

He responded right away. Lily answered again. Snape almost flinched when Lily kissed him on the cheek.

But Lily had meant it as a good-bye. Flightily she stole away from her date. James went after her at once, dogged with determination. There was no chance that James could simply give up on her.

Snape kept smiling, that nasty smile of his, the thin lips curled over with satisfaction. 'It's all contingent on Lily leaving him,' Snape thought. For even Snape knew it wasn't possible for James Potter to quit at anything.

Snape hoped desperately Lily would leave the party and leave her date in the cold.

James finally left Lily alone, albeit if only temporarily. Looking exhausted from dancing with James, Lily went to sit at the deserted buffet.

Snape was about to move in and make his entrance to talk to Lily. But immediately a group of girls were swarming around her. Most of them just wanted to talk to her and had no idea what went on with James.

Snape watched her false, cheery smiles. It was difficult for Lily to wear a smile after fighting with James. Snape felt some pity for her here.

The girls went away and at once Snape pushed his way across the dance floor. Lily saw his tall, lank profile coming over to her and the green eyes widened in shock. Snape was relieved to see her at least attempt a smile.

But then she noticed Snape's hands holding a bouquet of red roses. She frowned. Snape had indeed conjured them in the hallway before. And now Lily was startled, and looked at the boy as if he was a freak. Some kind of weird-do, like what Tuney thought of all magic-folk.

Snape went to sit beside her at the empty buffet table.

Lily wouldn't look at him. Instead she was staring at the mountains of spinach casserole. "I thought you were in detention," began Lily with disgust.

"Dumbledore let me off early tonight." Snape tried his best to keep his voice calm, and friendly, ignoring Lily's snide tone.

Snape's hands tightened over the thorny stems, not caring if he cut himself. She would have to wait to receive her flowers. Firstly he had a score to settle with Lily. He must find out what was up between her and that James Potter.

Snape tried his best to keep the hurt out of his voice but the pain showed nevertheless. Snape placed his hands tinged with blood on the tabletop, making her think it was the thorns that made the pain in voice. "Why are you dating James?!" It burst out in spite of himself.

"For your information Snape, I'm not going out with the toerag. It's just a one-time date."

Snape's face softened slightly to hear her say she didn't want to have an ongoing relationship with him. Yet then his disposition turned sour with jealously. "You still kissed him though. You kissed James Potter! I saw you."

"Grow up, Severus. It was only on the cheek."

Snape couldn't believe his ears to hear his sweet Lily giving him an attitude.

"Why did you kiss him though?" Snape probed unrelentingly.

Lily's green eyes screwed up with annoyance at the hard questions. "I dunno. It was just an act. The kissing satisfied him so that when I told him I needed to be alone it worked!"

Snape nodded. He liked hearing this. So she hadn't really wanted to kiss him afterall. This was good news at least.

Lily drummed her fingers monotonously, elbows on the table. She looked around and wished to find someone else to talk to.

She commented, "This dance doesn't mean a thing for me and James. Okay?"

"Good. Then here - take these flowers I conjured. They're specially for you, Lily."

"No. I can't take them, Severus."

"Lily please. Just take them anyway. Nobody has to know that they're from me."

"I won't!"

"You won't?" sneered Snape nastily. All the worst of his character was suddenly coming out. "Lily if you were my girlfriend you would show me more respect!"

"Don't tell me what to do! I'm never going out with you either, same as James. Go away Snape!"

Snape bolted from his seat, making his escape across the dance floor. And then he vanished from view. Huddled alone against the red-velvet curtain with tears streaming down his cheeks. He finally understood that he would never be seeing Lily Evans, courting her or even be friends again. He was to be a Death Eater, enslaved to a higher evil.

More tears streamed down his cheeks and slipped like tiny puddles onto the floor. He saw himself alone on Spinner's End in his bedroom making flies fall from the ceiling. He saw the memory of James hanging him from the beech tree. And finally, the memories of Lily rejecting him by the portrait hole. He would always be alone. His whole life he was a loner. It simply was a fact of life, part of his identity. It made him desire to be a Death Eater more than ever. Lucius, Voldemort and all the others would finally embrace him.

James went over to reprise his role as Lily's date. But Severus did not see any of this. James tried to speak to Lily, who refused. Lily was upset too, she knew she had hurt her ex-friend. She hadn't really wanted to say it that way but she got mad.

"James – get away from me. I'm off to bed."

Desperately James grabbed her hand and spun her around. His hands lightly touched her face and he started to kiss her. Lily threw off his advances, and beat her fist against his chest, sobbing. James's face morped into amazement, thinking his kisses had made her cry. He was disturbed and greatly upset by this.

Lily ran through the staff room, running as fast as her high-heels could propel her. She went through the short hallway passage and then up the stairs towards Gryffindor tower.

James finally left Lily alone. He knew not to pursue her any further. Instead he went to sit with Wormtail who wasn't enjoying the dance either, as his date had ditched him too.

And Snape meanwhile had gone to the halls surrounding the courtyard nearby. He was still crying silently. In defeat Snape fell to his knees, which impacted the hard cracked flagstones painfully. The bouquet of roses swept to the floor in front of him, where they lay fallen.

Snape dug his hands into his face, pitifully. He'd never acted like this before and it scared him. He couldn't stop. Luckily nobody was here to see him at his weakest moment, alone in the shadowy darkness.

And the music drifted down the corridor, Snape could still hear the faint tunes. A song of happier times that would soon end. He thought of all the dancers in the Great Hall, tiny against the backdrop of the upcoming war against Voldemort's proponents. Most of them probably wouldn't choose to support the Dark Lord – Snape knew now Lily wouldn't. She would be obliterated then. He feared for her life as he knew it might be taken. And all of them would die – those tiny dancers, oblivious to the growing threat against their lives….

And the great magical disco ball shined light onto the dancers. Each person on the dance floor had a star as his or her shadow. Sirius and Mary were the happiest couple, even if a fleeting relationship in the end, but now they were snogging innocently in the corner. There was still many halcyon days to enjoy before the war….

NOTE: The story is complete! Please review and tell me what you thought of Across the Quidditch Pitch as a whole. Please? Or at least rate.