Chapter 1 : Chapter One
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When I was younger, I lived by the rule that school was the single most important thing that would ever happen to me. Now, I have a new philosophy:
If I’m going to go down, I’m sure as heck going to drag someone else down with me.
And thus, I find myself sitting here in my version of a living hell. But, as I will jovially admit, I’m not suffering alone.
“I hate weddings.”
I would have reprimanded him more---really, I’d love to just lay it in to him---but I 100 percent, absolutely, positively agreed. If it’s not your wedding or your best friend’s, then weddings totally suck.
Another bridesmaid walked past us in all her 25-year-old glory. “Whose wedding are we at again?” Ron asked.
I went to scold my soon-to-be husband but stopped short. He had a point. Whose wedding were we at? Never one to be ousted in a battle of the wits, I let an answer roll off my tongue.
“My second-cousin’s.” Smooth, Hermione. He’ll never suspect a thing.
Ron gave me one of his knowing grins; the same kind of knowing grin that drove me bloody mad.
“And your second-cousin’s name is…?”
Darnit! Think, Hermione, think! I can picture her…thick, brown hair…frizzy like mine but not curly…Oh, look! Speak of the devil! Here she comes now! Convenient, yes?
The occupants of the room rose as one to see a beautiful, blushing bride waltzing down the isle. “Doesn’t Shanna look stunning?” Whispered the girl in front of us to what had to be her mother. I bid you my thanks, nameless girl.
“Shanna, of course! Honestly, Ronald, do you ever listen to me when I talk?”
Ron just grunted in response; my, how charming of him.
The room sat down again as the bride took her place at the altar. Losing interest, my eyes scanned the room and saw many unfamiliar faces. In fact, I’d say I couldn’t place ¾ of the people in here. Alas, I don’t know my family history. For all I know, I could have connections with the mob. Actually I think I do. Something like my uncle’s parents got divorced and the mother remarried, then she had two more children and one of them had a kid, and this kid had a friend with a brother who had a cousin whose dad was in the mob. Yeah, that sounds about right. I can’t remember his name, though. Oh well. For sake’s purpose we’ll just call him Joe.
The first part of the wedding---and in my opinion, the most boring---went by with out too much fiasco. Ron seemed to be counting the bricks in the wall as the happy couple said their wedding vows. I must say, I was sorely tempted to join him. The only mildly interesting thing that happened after that was when the best man tripped on his way back down the isle, but such things can only occupy one’s mind for so long. Before I knew it, we were sitting down to eat.
Ron and I seemed to be stuck at a table for the people that the bride and groom couldn’t fit in anywhere else. As we waited for our dinner to be served, my Great-Aunt Felicia tried to make conversation with me.
Now, Aunt Felicia was one of the few relatives that I could put a name to the face with. Unfortunately, I didn’t like Aunt Felicia or her husband, Uncle Burk (AKA Burk the Jerk). They had a nasty habit of being very, well, blunt. So I hope no one is surprised that I took it as a bad omen when Aunt Felicia opened her mouth.
“So, Hermione, I hear you’re engaged. Where’s the unfortunate young man?”
I spluttered. Unfortunate?
Taking a look to my right I saw a young girl, no older than eight. On my left sat Ron. Gee, Aunt Felicia, do you really need a 50/50?
I gave Ron a cracked smile that was returned with another one of his knowing looks.
“I’m Ronald Weasley, it’s very nice to meet you,” Ron stuck out his hand to shake Aunt Felicia’s.
“Where has that hand been, boy?” Aunt Felicia eyed Ron’s hand critically as though expecting the germs to look back at her.
Uh oh! Huston, we have problem. My fiancée was currently losing to my wicked great-aunt and, might I add, that losing was unacceptable! I figured that we could play it tag-team style.
“My, Aunty! You don’t look a day older than the last time I saw you,” Which, in case anyone is wondering, was when I was 12. And again, in case anyone was wondering, I was now 24. “How old are you again? I believe you’re 96, correct?”
Rather than grace me with an answer, my Aunt gave a none-to-subtle nudge to my Uncle who had been watching from the sidelines until now. This is bad; my Aunt was bringing out the big guns.
“Hermione, haven’t you filled out nicely! And that wonderful dress; you must have bought it off a play-boy bunny, correct?” It was more of a statement then a question, really. Uncle Burk sure had a way with words.
Ron, who was in my line of vision, had a look that was torn between resentment and laughter on his face. I decided to copy my aunt, just this once. I gently glided my foot over to his leg, running my foot along his calves for a second to lure him in to a false sense of security before soundly kicking him. Hah! That’ll teach you to laugh at me!
“Uncle Burk,” I started, knowing full well my strategy and having a good idea that Burk the Jerk wouldn’t be looking so smug in a moment, “It’s nice to know some things don’t change. After all, you’re still as bald as ever.”
Zing! Uncle Burk went red and his face contorted with anger, but the next moment it was gone. He smiled at me, nodded, and turned his attention to our food that had just arrived.
“So, Hermione,” Whatever Aunt Felicia said next I’d never know because, over my years at Hogwarts, I had perfected a very useful skill. This skill goes by many names, but my personal favorite for it is ‘Selective Hearing.’
Effectively tuning out my beloved aunt---and by beloved, I meant may she be loved by someone else that is certainly not me--- I now focused all of my attention on eating my meal.
This should be the end of my story. There should be a nice little paragraph that goes right here saying that the rest of the wedding went with out fiasco and Ron and I lived happily ever after. We had two kids, a girl and a boy who were named Bonnie and Clyde respectfully and…well….the end! But no. Although my story isn’t too long, there are still a few more incidents I must incite.
For about ten minutes I ate in silence. I was reaching for my glass of wine when I first noticed that the little girl next to me was staring at yours truly. I smiled at her and went back to my meal.
Fifteen minutes later the girl had not stopped staring.
“It there something you need, honey?” Good girl, Hermione! Be polite to children.
The girl looked at me as though I was daft. “You’re holding your knife and fork wrong.”
Across the table, my Aunt and Uncle broke in to hysterics. And meanwhile, Ron hid a snort behind his napkin.
That was it! Didn’t this little girl realize that I could have a cell phone in my purse that was just under the table? Didn’t she even stop and consider that I could have Joe on speed dial? Good grief! And she’s the next generation?
Of course, I didn’t have Joe on speed dial for two reasons: One being that I didn’t have Joe’s number and the other being that I was a witch and didn’t own a cell phone. Now, this little girl didn’t know that I had magical abilities, but if not the cell phone, couldn’t she have at least realized that I had a steak knife perched, however incorrectly, in my hand?
Abruptly pushing my chair back I dropped the offending silverware and picked up Ron’s hand instead. Yanking him out of his chair, I stormed off on to the dance floor where the electric slide was playing.
I joined in immediately. The electric slide was a lot of fun and, come on, anything was better than going back to that table. Again I was slow on noticing someone watching me until the offending person tapped me on the shoulder.
“Mione, what are you doing?” Ron asked.
“Oh, come off it! Don’t tell me you never learned how to do the electric slide?”
Ron shook his head.
“Well, how about the Cha Cha slide?”
“Good Lord! You have to at least know the hokey-pokey!?”
To my surprise Ron smiled and nodded his head. Then he appeared to think for a moment before changing his mind.
That’s it! We are out of here! No more Shanna’s wedding for me! Grabbing Ron’s hand again I started dragging him to the door.
Where I bumped right in to my parents.
Cursing myself that I didn’t have a rabbit’s foot or at least a four-leaf-clover, I reacted without thinking and groaned.
“Darling, you don’t look well,” My mother stated.
“Did you eat something funny?” Asked my father.
Yes, yes! Yes yes yes yes! Daddy I love you so much! Letting another groan pass my lips, I did my best to play sick. “I think it was the…” I wracked my brains for something they had never seen me eat before and therefore wouldn’t know if I was allergic to, “caviar.”
“Oh, dear! You should go home. Ronald, please take care of her! My poor baby…” My mom trailed off as her and Dad walked past us. After all, it would probably be years before either of them realized that caviar hadn’t been served at the wedding.
Throwing a smirk over my shoulder at the object of my affections, I merrily skipped out of the wedding and went back to the apartment I shared with Ron.
So, let this night not be remembered as the night I spent insulting my Great-Aunt and Uncle. Let this night not be remembered as when I got told off by an 8-year-old or even the night that I got terribly sick from non-existent caviar. Instead, let it be remembered as the night that Ron and I played strip poker and I lost terribly.
Of course, I did it on purpose, but don’t tell Ronald.
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The end! I hope you enjoyed it. I’d greatly appreciate it if you took a minute to review. I’d love to know what you thought of it.