Chapter 1 : The way things are
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And it was such with two of the most eligible wizards in Britain, Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy. Harry famous, handsome, brave and with a solid future in the ministry as an auror and Draco attractive, talented, rich and from one of the oldest pureblood families. Both are facing challenges when it comes to witches and weddings. But when the beautiful friends of Hermione and Ginny cross their paths will they help bring everything into balance? Or will the two wizards ruin their chances at love?
"Draco, be sensible. We need the inheritance that your grandfather left, and it is dependent on you getting married before your twenty second birthday. It’s high time you thought of settling down anyway, you are almost twenty one! Your father had been married to me for two years by the time he was your age." Narcisa Malfoy lectured, her cut crystal voice harsher than usual.
"Mother, this isn't the height of the First Wizarding War any more. Young people do not need to rush into marriages." I countered with forced paitence.
"Well you are not like most other young people, Draco. Most young people do not have families in serious debt to the Ministry of Magic in exchange for no time served in Azkaban. Most young people do not have the honour and name of "Malfoy" to think about. Most young people are not desperately trying to rebuild their entire families fortunes and respectability from almost nothing!" Narcissa raged, her passions and desperation bubbling to the surface, her perfectly cool exterior cracking momentarily.
Taking a breath to steady herself, Narcissa regained her composure and continued speaking, her voice returning to its usual coolness. "And Astoria Greengrass will be a perfect match for you. It is my wish, as well as that of your fathers that you take attending this event with her seriously."
"What about what I want" I muttered mutinously under my breath.
Sharp eared as ever, mother replied to my comment.
“Astoria Greengrass is beautiful, charming and comes from a respectable pureblood family, Draco. What more could you want from a prospective wife? She would be instrumental to bringing respect and honour back to the Malfoy name if you chose her. It is way things have always been done and will be done, Draco. You will go with her to the opening and have a good time." Narcissa Malfoy said in a tone that clearly indicated "or else".
Catching the dejected look on my face, she continued softly as she turned to leave my room. “You are, of course, free to choose who you wish to marry Draco. Your father and I just want to make sure it is the most worthy bride of the Malfoy name, befitting of our only son."
Knowing it was no good to argue I finished pulling on my black velvet dress robes alone with my thoughts. Astoria is pretty. Long golden hair, porcelain skin and a petite figure. So why don't I feel anything for her? I mumbled as I fiddled with my collar in the mirror.
"Because when she opens her mouth she has nothing interesting to say and my sarcasm often goes sailing over her pretty little head." The mirror reorted, if not nastily then completely honestly.
Maybe it wouldn't be so bad with Astoria if I didn't feel pressure from both our families. Her family wants to marry for the money, mine for the status. I thought bitterly. The only way mother will let me marry as I want is if I marry into a respectable pureblood family as befits the Malfoy name, and the Greengrasses are the most respectable of them all. If not then there is always Pansy Parkinson. I get on better with her. I mused idly.
"Yeah but its only because she agrees with everything you say, where is the fun or equality in that? And I think she is more in love with the idea of being the next "Mrs Malfoy" than she is with you." My mirror concluded glumly.
"I wish there was someone out there who could see past my name and money and treat me like a real person, like an equal. I want someone who has confidence and isn't afraid to challenge me mentally and even win. And be beautiful. Hah! As if such a witch exists. If only such a witch could find me, save me from all of this." I thought bitterly.
I put the finishing touches to my hair and picked up a white corsage I was supposed to give to Astoria. It was made of gardenias “At least I get to see how 3 of my investments are going tonight." I said as I gave myself a last look over in the mirror.
Sighing I waved my wand, causing all the candles to extinguish before apperating into Hogsmeade, and my seemingly inevitable future of who would I choose instead of what.
*Credit to Jane Austen’s "Pride and Prejudice" for inspiring the opening paragraph*