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After Hours by llyralen
Chapter 3 : Result!
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 12

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Author's Note: Four days! Whoa! Why the speedy update? I lost a bet, and you all get to reap the benefits. Enjoy!

Standard Disclaimer: I own nothing but my imagination. JK Rowling owns the rest. Furthermore, the cast list mentioned below is a list of people I envision to be the characters and is only provided to serve as visual aids for the reader. I have, in no way shape or form, any means to actually procure these actors to be my characters. Thank you!

Rebecca Hall as Molly Weasley
Deborah Ann Woll as Lucy Weasley
Keira Knightley as Rose Weasley
Karen Gillan as Lily Potter

Henry Cavill as Gorgeous Nigel Parkey
January Jones as Victoire Weasley

by me

Chapter Three

As if being dumped and going to a wedding alone wasn’t enough, did Lucy really have to look like a flouncing fairy cake as well? Was the world that cruel? Or was it just cruel to her?

But she wouldn’t cry. She promised herself she wouldn’t cry.

As Lucy looked at herself, all puffed, primed and tiered like a glorified, purple splattered cancan dancer, she told herself that this was Victoire’s day. She wouldn’t ruin it by opening the floodgates and washing everyone out of the bridal shop before final fitting was over.

She walked out of the dressing room, her head held high and her tears kept at bay. Victoire was waiting there - still in her empire cut, satin finish, gold embroidered princess wedding dress. Even with her hair all frazzled, her cheeks flushed from the excitement (and champagne) and her veil falling off her head, one look at that woman was enough to bring a whole new meaning to envy. That was how women were supposed to look during weddings. Not fairy cakes.

“It’s perfect! Oh, Lucy you look gorgeous!”

No she did not. It was a lie brides told bridesmaids to guilt them into wearing those tea cozies they dared pass off as dresses. Lucy scanned the room for support. True enough, her girls were on the sidelines, fake smiles plastered on their faces. Lily winked at her and gave her a thumbs up. Lucy twirled around the three-sided mirror and for the first time, saw the full effect of her monstrous dress.

“Wow,” she fought back the tears. “This is absolutely fabulous, Victoire! I can’t believe I get to…get to…” Lucy was going to say ‘walk down the isle’, but for some reason the very phrase induced depression.

Victoire was going to walk down that isle a complete goddess, to meet the man she loves on the other side, to swear fidelity, devotion and love to him as long as they both shall live…and Lucy would be at the sidelines. Holding a subpar bouquet, throwing the rice she wished as being thrown on her.

Lucy excused herself, under the pretense of a bathroom break, and locked herself in one of the stalls.

She couldn’t breath.

The air conditioning was flowing fine and the ventilation was quite good in that stall, but she couldn’t breath. Lucy haphazardly took the dress off and hugged herself as she leaned on the stall walls.

She couldn’t bear the thought of it! She was supposed to go to this wedding with Paul. He was her plus one. He was the one!

She couldn’t hold it back anymore. The thought of cancelling Paul’s RSVP was just too much. Lucy cried.

It wasn’t long before four sets of footsteps came through the door, following her. Their dresses swished on the bathroom tiles. Canary yellow, periwinkle blue, carnation pink and mint green.

Gang’s all here.

“Lucy, honey?” Lily’s sweet, familiar voice echoed above the clacking of their heels on the tiles. “Lucy. It’s us. Are you alright in here.”

“Not really,” she said, in between her sobs. “Second stall.”

“Why don’t you come out, yeah? So we can talk about it.” Like Rose really meant that. She was about as nurturing as a spider eating its young. Still, Lucy appreciated it.

“I can’t go out. Can someone get me my proper clothes?”

Shuffling noises. Some whispers too. Perhaps Molly and Rose trying to fight over who got a few minutes of freedom. In the end, periwinkle blue Rose won out.

She came back a few minutes later and Lucy made herself decent. She reluctantly came out to see her best friends dressed like prize idiots. If she weren’t so depressed, the sight of it would have made her fall down on the floor in laughter. But she was depressed, so instead of laughter came more tears.

Lily sat her down on the couch and put a comforting arm around her. Lucy rested her head on the crook of Lily’s neck and tried to force herself to stop crying.

“Don’t worry. There, there.” Molly tried to be supportive as she smoothed Lucy’s hair.

Rose already had a cigarette out. Insensitive of her to smoke in front of someone who was trying to quit. But Molly didn’t seem to mind as she gave Rose the go signal to light it. This was how Rose dealt with stress. She didn’t have the Weasley nurturing gene. Forced to wear in a Saloon girl dress. Locked in a bathroom with a crying basket case. Expected to offer a pathetic excuse for an uplifting speech. It was as stressful as things got.

“You know what?” Rose said, blowing the smoke into a perfect circle. “Just a few choice calls and I can ruin him for you. Even the score. He broke your heart, we break his legs.”

A snicker escaped Lucy, but it was not enough. Rose’s dark methods of healing a broken heart didn’t seem to work this time. She wasn’t ready for anger yet. She wanted to cry. She wanted to wallow in a bed of used tissues and watch soap operas all day. Lucy was sad and she wanted the luxury of being so.

Paul broke her heart, damn it! Wasn’t she allowed to feel some grief?

“I thought I could keep it together for an hour or two. But I saw Victoire that the dress and I thought about the wedding and how lovely it’s going to be and how alone I’ll feel…and…and…”

Right on queue, Molly pulled out a tissue from her bag and Lucy readily took it from her.

Why did it have to hurt so bad!

“Liverpool! Liverpool for goodness sake! He chose a seaport over me! He chose a job over me! I thought he loved me!”

They were so happy together. Maybe not as happy as Lily and Toby were, but it wasn’t as if Paul was a complete Neanderthal either. Everything was fine until Lucy started to notice how much of a workaholic he was. Cancelled a date to take some Japanese investors to a dinner. For heaven’s sake! And when she confronted him about it, he said he had no choice. It was his job to make sure they would take the sale, he said. With the investors only there for one evening, how could he cancel on them, he said. Bollocks! There’s always a choice!

And when it came down to it, his choice was Liverpool. Not Lucy.

“I don’t think I can go to the wedding. I can’t!”

“No, Luce! Victoire is counting on you,” Lily said.

“How can I? I’ll be alone!”

“Well what if you weren’t alone?” Molly suddenly blurted out. “What if you had someone?”

“What do you mean?”

Lily raised an eyebrow. “Yes, Molly. What do you mean? You’re not up to something, are you?”

For a second, Lucy thought she saw Molly twitch. But then again, it could just be her tear-impaired vision.

“Oh don’t be so paranoid Lily.” Rose put out her cigarette, climbed on a trashcan and fanned the smoke out of the window. Lucy could have sworn that Molly took in the smoke like sprits of perfume. “I’m sure Molly was just considering the possibility that it’s not a hopeless cause. Lots of blokes in the world. I’m sure one will present himself.”

“Really?” Lucy sniffed. It was uncharacteristic for Rose and Molly to be so optimistic about love, but at this point, Lucy believed that they just really wanted her to be happy. Or if not, it was their best effort yet.

Lily slowly got into the spirit, kissed the top of Lucy’s head and smiled. “That’s right. You know what, Lucy? Rose is right. There are lots of men out there. Paul isn’t the last. There are millions just like him. Better, even. A lovely person like you wouldn’t have a bit of a problem snagging one up.”

“And what about Paul?”

“Who cares about Paul!” Molly laughed. “None of us even liked him to begin with. Priss little tosser. Couldn’t tell you at first, what with being supportive and all. But now, I can say it! He was a wanker. A bloody, ruddy, sodding wanker. You’re better off without him. Now come on. Give us a smile.”

Lucy tried. But nothing came up. Not even a dimple.

“And you know what?” Rose added. “If anything, Victoire’s wedding just proves that true love does exist.”

“And how do you reckon that?”

“Think about it Luce! Girl like her falling for that goof of an accountant? Must be true love.”

Rose had a point. Weddings were a celebration of love. Not just the ones that exist, but also the ones that have yet to be found. If Victoire could find her soul mate in a strange and sweet man like Carl, then who was to say that Lucy wouldn’t? There had to be someone out there. Someone steady and dependable. Charming and charismatic. Funny and smart. Rugged yet sensitive. Someone who wouldn’t leave her for bloody Liverpool.

There was hope after all.

Finally, Lucy smiled.


The four of them went to the Leaky Cauldron not long after they’d finished with the dress fittings. On a bet with Roxanne, Rose still wore hers outside of the bridal shop and immediately shocked an unsuspecting Gorgeous Nigel, who was stunned to see a 18th century trollop walk into his pub.

“Well, well. Aren’t you a vision?” He laughed loud enough to wake the Southern Hemisphere. “What did you do? Lose a bet.”

“Sod off.”

“No. I mean it. You look like a Victorian street walker. One of the high class ones.”

Rose looked like a baby ostrich that fell into a vat of poster paint. She could have punched Gorgeous Nigel then and there, but she needed him to look his best for the wedding. The affair was black tie. Not black eye.

“Shut it Gorgeous or I swear I won’t give you a tip.”

He shut his mouth with an imaginary lock and threw away the key. “What’ll it be then, my saucy wench? A tankard of ale? Or maybe a bottle of sarsaparilla?”

“I am not going to let you ruin my day.” She rolled her eyes and hopped on a barstool. “Five glasses of whatever champagne you have opened. Not the expensive ones though. Not made of money.”

“Five? But aren’t there just four of you?”

“One for each of them and two for me.”

“You know it’s only alright if you drink in moderation.”

“What kind of a bartender are you? You’re supposed to give me booze, not lectures on liver function. Chop, chop.”

“So, what’s the occasion?” He looked through the bottles he had uncorked and picked the best out of the cheap ones.

“Today, Lucy’s faith in love is renewed!”

“Well done! Who’s the lucky bloke to whom we owe the thanks?”

“None yet. But I’m sure one will turn up from the woodwork. And he better turn up fast. There’s a wedding we’re going to and it would be a shame for Lucy to go by herself. What with all that kissing and well-wishing going around.”

Gorgeous Nigel laughed and poured the champagne on all five glasses without spilling a drop. “Girl like Lucy, I’m sure she won’t have any trouble finding a willing victim.”

Oh this was too easy. “Say, Gorgeous. Why don’t you ask her out?”

“Me?” he almost dropped the bottle. “She that desperate?”

“Are you saying she’s desperate?” she put her hands on her hips.

“No. No. Absolutely not! Any guy would be lucky. But, come on. Not exactly up to par with her long roster of exes. All I’m saying is that I’m not normally the type she goes out with. At least not the type she brings here to meet you lot.”

“And what type would that be?” So the lad’s been paying attention, aye?

Gorgeous scratched his head. “You know. Those types. Fancy broom, sharp suits Oxbridge snob kind of blokes.”

Rose was shocked. “Are you telling me, that Gorgeous Nigel Parkey has self-esteem issues?”

“What? No! Working at the Cauldron is the best job in the world, for goodness sake. What the bloody hell would I have to be worried about?”

“Then what’s the problem?”

A blush crept up Gorgeous Nigel’s pinchable cheeks. As Rose’s eyes widened he tried to move on to another customer, but she grabbed his wrist and kept him leashed to the embarrassment.

“You’re afraid she won’t like you! Is that it?”

Gorgeous couldn’t respond. He’d been put under a spotlight, magnified by a thousand and analyzed to a tee. Guilty! It was written on his face. God, Rose knew this was going to be easy on her end. But she didn’t think it was going to be this easy.

She put the glasses on the tray, grabbed the whole bottle and flicked him a galleon for the lot.

“The thing you need to know about Lucy is that she never stays single for long. Chop, chop, Gorgeous.” She walked away.

Phase one, complete.


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