At Vico Gasparo’s insistence, they held Draco’s bachelor party two evenings before the wedding. That day he visited him to go over any last minute details. Now in his mid-thirties, Vico had changed a little since Draco had seen him last. With black hair neatly kept at shoulder length and a thin olive-skinned face, he had grown a pencil thin mustache but now had a slightly sturdier frame but retained a catlike grace. The resemblance to Bianca remained uncanny despite their age difference. He wore a very odd rather burnt umber necklace. “Why?”
After sipping his tea with his pinky out, he daintily placed the cup in its saucer. “This is so you can party as late as you like. The night before your wedding you need to rest up for the ceremony and most importantly your wedding night.” With age, Vico’s voice lost a rather odd timber from his younger years. Once Bianca told him, her brother had a highly unusual voice enchantment since birth that enabled him to influence emotion. “Trust me.” He flicked his wrist effeminately.
In the past, he would have described Vico as suave but now not so much. As he swished out, Draco watched with a raised brow and recalled Bianca’s insistance at being best man. “Bianca,” he called. Promptly, Vico turned. “No, this is NOT going to happen. You are not going to be my best man.”
“Draco, you are a sexist.”
“I am not a sexist but the term is best man. You are not a man!” At which with the door locked, Vico turned and undid the top button and started to unzip. “Don’t you dare! You’re going to give me nightmares.”
“If you think I’m not a man, take a peek.” Draco continued to cover his eyes and shook his head. “Unless you want a grudge with the Gasparo family, I think we will continue on schedule.”
Draco nodded. “Make sure your zipped before I open my eyes.” With a resounding “zzz”, he opened his eyes. “That charm gives you Vico’s voice doesn’t it.”
He nodded. “It almost does but nothing can quite capture it. Most singers would kill to have his voice.”
“I can’t believe you’re doing this to me. My father will kill me if he finds out.” Draco sat with in head in his hands awaiting disaster.
“He won’t find out. I’ve got plenty of potion.” Vico looked at him with concern. “Poor dear, you’re so tense. It’s been almost two weeks since you’ve...”
“No,” he yelled interrupting her. “You’re perspicacity should be outlawed. Certain topics aren’t discussed. I can’t handle it when you do sex calendar …thing. I mean when you said something about my parents.”
“Really, you’re overreacting. You British are so provincial sometimes over something so natural. As far as your parents, one can’t help but notice that your mother is giddy while your father swaggers nowadays. If you have your father’s stamina when you reach his age, Hermione will be a lucky witch. They must be…”
“Aaaghh!” Immediately, his hands covered his ears while he rocked. “I can’t discuss this with you. Don’t ever tell me how often my parents are…..” I might solicit advice on romancing Hermione but that sex calendar thing drives me nuts. How does she do it? After a bit, he looked up to Vico with his hand on his jutted hip, tapping his foot. “If you’re done, we’ll discuss how to get out of this best man mess.”
“We’re going through with this after all the planning I’ve done.”
“But you act like a woman.” She puts Boyd to shame. He dreaded the calamity that befell him but he knew he had to make the most of it. “Though the male population of the world will curse me, you need to stop swishing.” Using long strides and straight hips, he walked across the room. “This is how a guy walks.” With slightly shorter strides but still a swish, Vico copied him. “No like this. Stop moving your hips.” For fifteen minutes, Draco walked while Vico swished. In an effort to end the swishing, Draco put his hands on Vico’s hips and walked behind him. “Walk with me.”
As they walked, Boyd walked in. “Oh my,” he said swiftly turning around and exiting Draco’s office.
Draco threw his hands in the air. “I give up. This is a catastrophe.”
“No worries brother, I’ll be wearing a robe so no one can tell if I swish. See you tonight for your bachelor party.” With a kiss to Draco’s cheek, Vico left.
With his feet propped up on his desk, Draco leaned back and stared at the ceiling. “Why me? Is it because I’ll be in a church?”
Prior to the wedding, in Stratford Upon Avon, chosen for its historic sites and enormous gothic cathedral, both wedding parties along with most of the guests stayed at nearby inns and hotels. Their families ensured that the bride and groom didn’t accidently bump into each other. With the Malfoys, the hotels were the ritziest around.
In the classy bar resembling a medeival inn, next to the groom’s designated hotel, Draco sat with his buddies drinking and chatting. Disgused as Vico, Bianca whispered some sage words in his ear. “These wizards will give you a lot of advice. Don’t listen to any of it. Take mine instead.”
“It can’t all be bad,” Draco insisted. “Many of them were friends with Hermione as children and know her quite well.”
“When men get together in a group, their collective IQ drops substantially, especially when it comes to women.” Draco’s jaw dropped. “Take one piece of advice they give you and run it by Hermione. If she likes what you tell her, I will bow my head in disgrace. If she disagrees, you owe me one. At a time of my choosing, you’ll pay me back.”
“Deal,” he said shaking Vico’s hand.
“By the way, where’s Pierre? You two aren’t quarreling again, are you?”
“No, I sent him on a mission,” Draco said with a smug smile. “You see he is to give Hermione my gift. Aside from you and the involved parties, he wants this marriage to go through more than anyone so I trust him.” Vico tilted his head. “If I’m married, there’s less competition for the bachelorettes since we travel in the same circles.”
From the bachelors of the round table, while Draco sat next to the most flamboyant Italian male in the wizard world, he listened to several tidbits of advice. “Buy her kinky lingerie, she’ll love it.” After a smirk, Vico sipped a pink drink with a tiny umbrella that he clasped daintily.
Next Draco heard, “You need to ease off on the possessiveness, she hates that.” Vico girlishly giggled quite a bit with that one.
Seriptiously, Draco nudged him and pointed beneath the table. “Pardon me, I dropped my napkin.” Promptly, they met under the table. “Will you stop drinking foofy drinks and drink ale, without your pinky sticking out? Everyone will figure this out.”
“Would you like me to belch and scratch myself as well?”
“I wouldn’t hurt,” Draco replied crossly. “Normally, I don’t care if a guy acts the way you do but with you acting like this, someone who knows Vico will know you’re not him.”
When they rejoined the rest of the group on top of the table, the other wizards stared at them in amusement. “What were you doing under there,” asked Harry.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” Vico gently patted Draco’s cheek and blew Harry a kiss. “Maybe next time you’ll join us?”
Except for Draco, the entire table leaned away from them. Slightly frightened, Harry remained silent for a while before offering his advice to Draco. “Stop that odd places nonsense. Yes, someone saw you two sneak off.”
Uproarious laughter bellowed from Vico to which Draco gave him a polite kick. More advice for Draco followed from his friends. “Remind her who wears the pants in the family,” George added.
Countering that advice, Fred joined in. “Just let her win all the fights or you won’t get sex.”
With a loud thud next to him, Vico fell out of his chair with laughter, literally, before swishing off. “If I hear much more, I might pee in my pants.” Promptly, he joined a group of bridesmaids that included Ginny.
“That is your best man,” Harry asked to which Draco nodded. “He’s… odd.”
As Draco looked at the group of groomsmen, he concluded one thing. “I guess prejudice is acceptable as long as it is politically correct,” he said with every ounce of sarcasm he could muster. That’s the difference between good wizards and bad wizards.
After Vico spoke to Ginny for a moment, he drug Draco away from the group. “I need your help to secure Ginny a proposal. It seems Harry is dragging his feet. Tell him I’m making a pass at her so he gets jealous.”
“He won’t believe it. From your performance, I’m sure he doesn’t believe Vico even likes girls.” Draco gave Bianca the once over. “I told you to stop swishing among other things.”
“Make something up. You’re good at lying. After all, you are a politician.”
While Vico chatted with Ginny near the door, Draco returned to the table. “You better watch out, he likes redheads.” He glanced back at them.
“Redheaded GUYS I think,” Harry replied nonchalantly, watching the twosome exit the bar.
Knowing that was the truth, Draco began convincing his friend otherwise. “Unless they’re married or engaged, they’re fair game in his book.” Harry smirked in disbelief. “You were fooled by his act?” Harry then looked at him questioningly. “He pretends to be overly flamboyant to avoid jealous boyfriends and overprotective fathers. Most of them actually invite him to stay over without ever knowing what’s going on under their noses. You see he’s a smooth talker whose voice makes women melt, but don’t worry. Once he’s done with her, he’ll return her in a few hours. For him, she’s only another notch on his wand.” Woefully, he patted Harry’s shoulder. “Sorry pal.”
Suddenly, Harry bolted. Quickly, he ran to the room he and Ginny shared to find it empty. No one seemed to know where they went. After a couple of hours, he spotted Pierre in a nearby pub. “Pierre, have you spotted Ginny and/or Vico?”
“Yes, a couple of hours ago.”
“Where were they?”
“His room, I was leaving just as they went to his room, down the hall from me. I did notice he put the Do Not Disturb sign on the door. Why?”
“She’s my girlfriend.”
“I’ll take you there. Hopefully, it’s not too late.”
Outside Vico’s door, they heard a din of feminine giggles. Suddenly, the door burst open and a witch known as Penelope something waltzed out buttoning her shirt. “Excellent, I knew Ginny would have more sense,” Harry remarked to Pierre.
Penelope giggled. “She’s next, I think. Vico is absolutely fantastic!”
Harry ran in to find Ginny amongst several other witches arguing about who would be next while Vico calmly sat in the bed watching. “He’s bewitched you with his voice. I’m getting you out of here now!”
“But I’m next,” she argued as she left reluctantly. Ginny turned to the girls and Vico and winked while Harry dragged her away.