Chapter 1 : In Sickness and in Health
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“Miss will please keep still, I is needing a bit more time,” squeaked the little elf as she ran from side to side.
“Calm down dear,” soothed another red haired woman, laying a hand on her daughters pale shoulder. “It’s over there but I don’t want to touch it. I’m not…” She trailed off looking embarrassed.
Lily sighed and turned back to face the mirror but when she gazed into its depths she saw not a pretty, slim and freckled face but a woman striding purposefully along a walkway between two blocks of chairs. It seemed she reached her final destination for she stopped. A tall, dark man with glasses looked into her eyes and smiled.
“Lily!” the older woman reproached her daughter, “Will you get your head out of that accursed mirror and come here so I can check you over! It’s nearly half past you know.”
Lily slowly turned her head from the mysterious old mirror with regret but her mother’s words had stirred something inside of her. Today was the day those dreams would become reality.
“Mum, it’s going to be okay isn’t it?” she asked shakily, not meeting her mother’s eyes; trying to make sure she betrayed no hint of fear but her mother was not an easy women to fool.
“Lily you know it is going to be fine so stop faffing! Now, you’ve got about ten minutes to kill so I suggest you have a read of that newspaper you brought – help keep your mind off it.”
Millicent Bagnold Appointed Minister for Magic
Today, 29th January 1980, Millicent Bagnold has broken all records by succeeding Nobby Leach and controversially becoming the first ever female Minister of Magic. The new minister began her régime with the statement: ‘Times were changing and wizards were not…until now’.
Bagnold had been discretely gathering internal support at the Ministry of Magic through her post as Head of the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes and with help from her notable close friend Edgar Bones of the Improper Use of Magic Office.
Many have greeted this selection with open arms saying that it is time the Wizarding World updated its legal system. In fact Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, exclusively told the Daily Prophet that ‘a woman can extract sympathy from the even the driest men’.
However, for every word of support uttered by one, another has a warning to add. Bartemius Crouch allegedly, within hours of the announcement, claimed ‘any woman in a position of power is weak, unconcerned with important issues and cannot be trusted to run our world. Bagnold is a prime example of the women I have just described.’
Lily threw the article away unfinished, a revolted expression on her face at the words of Crouch. How dare the man say that? It was pure jealously. It was threw his ‘strength’, that apparently women did not have, that he now had a son being tried for torture and wife who looked to be in danger of evaporation whenever the sun came out.
“Lily,” her mother said gently, “Lily, it’s time to go,” Lily gave a start and pulled herself out of her angry thoughts. However, her mind took barely a second to comprehend the meaning of the words. The moment had finally arrived.
“Okay,” she said in a small voice. She got up and walked to her mother as if she was about to face unimaginable hardship. When she finally stood, quaking in front of the older woman, she was paler than she’d thought possible.
“You look perfect,” were the words her ears heard but the message seemed to get lost in translation as it made its journey to her brain. ‘You’re going to be fine’ she kept thinking but it was as if she stopped listening half way through and the words got tangled and replaced by such sentences as ‘you’re going to fall over’ or ‘you’re going to be left standing there – he’s not going to show”.
The corridors in the ancient town hall seemed cold and never ending to Lily as the mother lead the way toward the main chamber where it would all go wrong, she just knew it.
The music filled her head as they rounded another corner. She was grateful for it blocked out any thoughts of what awaited her around the next bend. She knew it was what she wanted; the Mirror of Erised had shown her, but she could not stop her, rather knobbly knees trembling under the immense weight of dread filling her insides.
Her mother was quite silent as she and her daughter came to a halt, just out of sight to the people in the back row of seats, only a few feet away. She turned and hugged her daughter, giving her a quick peck on the cheek.
“Good luck.” She said and then hurried round the corner and out of sight.
Lily stayed stock still, in the same position as her mother had left her, for almost a minute before her balding father hurried down the corridor towards her.
“Wow,” was all he could say as he gazed upon his beautiful daughter who managed a small smile. “Are you ready?” he whispered and, at her nod, held out a tuxedo-clad arm. They began to walk.
They rounded the bend and the whole room opened up before Lily. She gazed from left to right and noted several people she had not seen enter through the window in her dressing room: Bathilda was there, smiling encouragingly at her, Gideon and Fabian Prewett sat side by side, gawping at her in a way only those two could manage. It was very strange she thought to herself, the mix of magic and muggle, dress robes and dresses or suits was bizarre.
She supposed it was such a shock because she had never witnessed both the worlds in her life interspersed before. It had always been that she was either at home, in the muggle realm, or out of it, in the land of wizards. Times of extreme joy or terrible sadness, must do that to people, bring them together, connecting them, Lily reasoned.
They were nearly half way up the aisle now and, for the first time, Lily’s eyes looked forward and as they did so, she felt all nerves, all trepidation leave her. He was there. James stood; his hair untidy, glasses firmly in place, and a huge grin upon his face. She stared into his hazel eyes and he into her green ones and, as if a telepathic link existed, they said to each other ‘I love you’.
“Do you, James Favian Potter take Lily Teryl Evans as you lawfully wedded wife in sickness and in health?”
“I do,” whispered James, but he had not finished yet, “Lily, you know I’ve loved you for many more years than are probably healthy,” there were titters from the crowd, “And I know that that will never end, and I’ll probably end up dying of Spattergroit before I give up on you so, in spite of that, I’d like to say, that the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death and that I am not fool enough to attempt it so, until death do us part, I love you.”
Lily had melted; she had to work hard to prevent herself collapsing into his safe arms. How could she match such a speech? What was she to say that could get across the same meaning as James had managed?
The old rector had started talking again,
“- and do you Lily Teryl Evans take James Favian Potter as you lawfully wedded husband, in sickness and in health?”
“Of course,” she replied before continuing, “James, I know I thought I hated you for nearly all of the time you were trying to impress me but what did I know? I have grown wiser since I have been with you and now I know that I could never have hated you - I love you too damn much.” James gave a watery chuckle and she glowed inside as she heard the words,
“I now pronounce you husband and wife.” Claps and cheers rose as the newly voiced assembly let their feelings know while, without waiting for the rector’s say so, James embraced his new bride and kissed her with all the passion he had left.
At that moment, Lily knew that the mirror had been wrong; this was ten times better than the scene it had shown. This had involved James Potter – her husband.