wonderful chapter image by UnderPolyJuice @TDA
*Rewriten as of 7-01-12
See what did I tell, a fast update for all my lovely reads. :) It would have been a lot faster except I've been having problems with formatting characters lately, *sighs*. At least its up now right? I had originally planned for the wedding to be one long chapter but seeing how long it was getting, that easily could have been over 8,000 words, probably more. As it is its the longest chapter to date for TM which I'm very proud of. Instead I decided to split it up, part one will be the wedding it self, part two the reception. Enjoy, and I'll see you at the bottom!
"Oh bullocks!" I muttered, bending down to adjust the strap on my shoe so it wouldn't fall off completely as I run up the brick drive before me.
I had just Apparated right in front of Malfoy Manor, and I was running so late. See, I should have been here twenty minuets ago, to get the lay of the land as it were, before the ceremony starts. It was one of those very lovely mornings where anything that could go wrong did. Starting with my alarm clock deciding to just not go off when it should have, bloody thing is now in several piece on my bedroom floor I am happy to report, resulting in my waking up over an hour later than I should have. Thank Merlin for magic, or there is no way I could ever have gotten ready so fast. I even managed to eat a granola bar while I was dashing down the stairs of my building. Now that's what I call successful multitasking. Wouldn't you?
Finally getting my shoe on right, ( turns out in my rush earlier I somehow buckled the bloody thing backwards ), I starting running up the long drive which leads to the very massive Malfoy Manor.
I've only ever seen pictures in The Daily Prophet or Most Prestigious Magical Homes, before, and I gotta say, it's quite the sight to behold. Beautiful gardens are all around filled with exotic plants gently blowing in the late morning breeze, fountains in the distance bubbling away, and the house itself, ( thought that's hardly the right word to describe it ) is three stories tall in the middle with each wing have at least one more. To simply put it, aside from Buckingham Palace, this is the most impressive place I've seen.
Weaving in and out of wedding guests, noticing I know a few as I do, I quickly make my way up the front steps and in the huge double doors which are open wide welcoming quests into its grandness. Right in the middle of the foyer talking to couple of Aurors is Harry Potter, wearing a very smashing set of emerald green dress robes. Now the reason I feel I should point them out is because over the past few years dress robes have changed, a lot. You'll probably thinking along the lines of the Hogwarts Yule Ball right? Well you'd be dead wrong, now dress robes are much more muggle, something I like an extraordinary amount. The jackets are longer than regular muggle suit jackets, and the whole thing just looks very.........wizardy, but in a more conservative way. If that makes any sense at all.
"I am so sorry I'm late Mr. Potter." I breath out the second he looks my way before I've even stopped walking.
"Don't worry about it Elizabeth," He waves off, walking the remainder feet between us. "The wedding party is running late, not that I'm surprised, so you are actually right on time. And one more thing," He adds as I breathe a sign of relief. "Call me Harry, at least out of the office, all this 'Mr Potter' stuff is starting to make me feel old." He finishes speaking with one of his famous Harry grins, and I can't help but grin back.
"Of course, Harry." I say still grinning, before I ask. "So where are we with everything, do I need to know anything else? Anymore hidden rooms we'll need to worry about."
"I don't think so, at least I hope." Harry says with a nervous chuckle, starting to walk to his left towards a grand staircase that stands across from two solid oak door which are decorated with white roses draped over it. Both doors are closed, but I can hear a few noises, like clattering silverware and chairs being moved.
"The dinner and reception are going to take place in there," Harry stated pointed to the doors. "The amin ballroom. Neville, Fennel and I already did a security sweep, and set up a ton of super sensory spells thats will alert us if anything more than a simple charm is performed."
"Sounds good." I comment waiting for him to go on.
"We have Aurors set around the perimeter of the house and throughout the gardens," Harry paused to point out a far window where I could just make out rows and rows of chairs. "That's where the ceremony is going to be, and that is where you, Fennel, Neville, and I, along with a few others are going to be. Basically wherever the wedding party goes, we go."
"Blend in and keep our eyes open." I said, quoting the number one rule of working security.
"Exactly." Harry grinned. "Between you and me though, I don't think anything dark and dangerous is going to happen. Unless you count two pureblood family uniting."
I can't help but laughing in agreement. Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against pureblood's ( except those who continue to hate muggleborns, which luckily most of the Malfoy's and Greengrass's don't anymore ) but you to agree all those inner marriages have make some of them a bit loopy.
From somewhere above I hear a door slam loudly causing both Harry and I to look up. Then a second later another door, or perhaps the same one, slams again but this time its accompanied by voices and foot steps which sound like they're starting the make their was down the stairs. And it turns out I was right.
"If you think I'm going to be the one to explain to Astoria why you're late to you're own wedding, which happens to be in you're own bloody house, you, my friend are nuts."
"You truly are a great Best Man, you know that Blaise."
"Anything for my best mate."
They were about halfway down the stairs before either of them noticed Harry and I standing at the bottom casually looking up.
Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini.
It's been a while since I've seen them both in person, probably the Christmas party at the Ministry last year. Malfoy looked the same as he always did, blonde hair hanging loosely over his stormy grey eyes. Now Zabini on the other hand, I couldn't quite place it but somehow he wasn't as I remembered. Not that ever paid much attention to him, either during school or after. Seeing his picture in the society section of the Prophet doesn't really count. And at Hogwarts....well he was a year older than me and in Slytherin. That says it all huh? But I do remember hearing the girls talk about how desirable he was, second only to Malfoy.
"Ah Potter. Just the person I want to see." Malfoy said as he and Zabini walked towards us.
Oh, and in case you were wondering what they happened to be wearing on this rather festive day, not that you'd ever guess, I'll tell you. Tuxedoes. Still very wizard looking, but see what I mean about the muggle influence? And I have to say, they both look dame hot. Very James Bond-ish.
"Never thought I'd live to hear that." I hear Harry mutter to himself before smiling and extending a hand to Malfoy who shook it happily. "What can I do for you Malfoy?"
"I wanted to make sure everything was ready, on your end." Malfoy answered shoving one hand into his pocket.
"Don't worry Malfoy, you're wedding will go off without a hitch." Harry replied with full confidence. Then the two of them began to walk across the foyer deep in conversation.
"So, are you one of the Aurors, or Potter's date?" Zabini asked causing me to jump slightly because I hadn't notice him next to me.
"Auror." I answered. "Harry has a wife. But I'm going to go out on a crazy limb here, and say you already knew that."
"Who in the wide wizarding world does not." He replied with a beyond charming smile that made my heart beat a little bit faster. "I just wanted to hear you'd say. I'm Blaise Zabini." He offered his hand in introduction and I took it.
"Elizabeth English." I said shaking hands lightly, though the grip he had on mine was firm, yet not in an overbearing way.
Looking directly into his eyes for the first time I felt a draw that I just can't explain, They were the most vibrant blue I had ever seen, like the Caribbean sea, so deep and full of life you want to keep looking, wondering what you might see under the surface.
Suddenly snapping back to reality I slowly pulled my hand back and adjusted my wrap that had fallen from my shoulders.
"Pleased to meet you Miss English." Zabini said after a few seconds of silence, in which I noticed him discreetly raking his eyes over me. "I'm afraid I have to go find the groom, see to it that he makes it to the alter on time and all that. But I hope to see you later."
"You most likely will." I said smiling a soft smirk. "I am working here after all."
"Never any harm in mixing a little business with pleaser, now is there."
Before I could thing of anything to say he tipped his head in a partial bow, and headed off in the direction he'd last seen Harry and Malfoy go.
Still slightly mesmerized by all the charm he could lay on, I watched as he walk out the front doors. Greeting people as he passed. It's been a while since....oh heck who am I trying to kid, it's been way longer than I want to admit. My last year of school, in fact. Since anyone has had that kind of effect on me.
That's the price you paid for a career I suppose. On the few times I do meet a charmer it's always the ones who pile it on so thick I have to use a machete to cut my way free. You know the type.
The really odd thing, all the suave charm Blaise Zabini possess, it didn't seem like a facade. It seems truly genuine. Like he was born with all the charm and dashing smiles, and good looks in the world and he plans to use them to the fullest.
Merlin, he'd make one hell of a con man.
"Here you are Miss." An usher said, showing me to my seat in the large open pavilion, which was set up in the back garden of the Manor.
"Thank you." I say with a smile to the usher, before muttering an "Excuse me.", to a middle aged couple I have to cross over, careful to lift up the hem of my dress a little as I did, before sitting down.
I must say the Malfoy's really know how to put together quite the social event. And a really beautiful one too. For some reason I thought the whole thing would be really dark and creepy, don't know why. Astoria would never allow that. She's not your typical pureblood princess. She's very out spoken about what she wants, and doesn't want, very much a free spirit as far as going against the trend her ancestors set before her. Astoria Greengrass is the total opposite of Draco Malfoy, I guess the old saying holds true.
Looking around the pavilion, which is done like a gazebo with only the top covered, I see everything is in a stunning shade of sky blue with silver accents. The flowers are the most lovely blush pink and white roses I have ever seen, and they are covering everything! The raised up alter where the happy couple are about the be wed has roses all over, and the entrance to the pavilion had roses lining the walkway up to it. I glance to my left and in the distant I can see a few regale looking white peacocks strutting about. The whole thing has a very magical feeling to it. No pun intended.
I should probably see who the guests are around me, seeing as I am suppose to be guarding this wedding after all. Make sure no crazed person does anything stupid. I don't need all the extra paperwork that would bring.
I notice several people I either recognize, or know personally.
Minister Shacklebolt and his wife are sitting a on the grooms side, ( I'm on the brides ) taking with the people next them. Several professional Quidditch players are scattered about, along with the newly appointed captain of the Bulgaria team, Victor Krum. Plus many more Ministry officials, celebrities and reporters from the different magazines and papers. If I listed them all for you, I'd most likely be here until dark.
I don't see Harry anywhere thought, or Ginny. Hmm, he must be doing some last minuet checks I guess. Or reassuring the Malfoy's he does have their best interest at heart. You can imagine how well that could be going with good old Lucius. Times like these makes me so happy I'm not the Head of the Auror Department.
"Hey you." A voice startles me from behind. Turning around, I see Neville leaning over the back of the empty chair next to me.
"Hey yourself." I smile. "Where have you been hiding, or were you lost?"
"Making sure the west perimeter was secure." Neville answered before adding with sheepish grin. "I get a bit.... turned around on the way back."
"Oh no you didn't!" I exclaim putting a hand to my mouth trying to keep from laughing.
Sighing Neville runs a hand through his short brown hair. "This place is bloody enormous! More twists and turns than the Department of Mysteries."
"What a cozy home" I comment sarcastically to which Neville nods his head in agreement.
"So, did you and Luna have a nice time last night." I ask as more people start filling in around us. "She was so excited to see you."
"Yeah, we had a nice time." Neville replied gazing off for a second before looking at me again, a small smile pulling at his lips. "I'm glad she was able to come home early."
See what I mean, they are so cute!
"Luna was a massive help to me yesterday." I add.
"Speaking of which," complements Neville nodding to my dress. "You look quite lovely." .
"Thank you Neville." I smile before returning the complement. "You looking very dashing yourself." Which of course is true. His dress robes look a lot like Harry's, only two buttons instead of three and midnight blue.
"Luna said the same thing." Neville says with a ting of pink on his cheeks.
"Smart girl that one." I playfully tease.
Before Neville can say anything, though I don't think he really knew what to say, a women I hadn't noticed crosses in front of me to the vacant seat which Neville was leaning on. Neville leaned back just as music starts to play, the same time I notice all the remaining seats are filled. I turn around in my seat same as everyone else looking to the back of the pavilion.
Flowing silver drapes, which at some point had been shut, open of their own accord to reveal a darling looking flower girl who can't be more than five years old. I wonder who she is, there certainly aren't any girls on Malfoys side, must be related to Astoria. As the little girl passes she looks up at me and smiles, yeah defiantly a Greengrass, then continues on throwing her rose petals all the way down the aisle until I can't see her anymore.
Turning back I see someone I do know, and love him to bits I do. I've thought about kidnapping him and taking him home with me on more than one occasion, he really does love it when we spend time together. Though I doubt his grandmother would be too happy about that. Let along his godfather. Standing as talk as his six year old self will let him, and sporting a very handsome head of blush pink hair which matches exactly the rose in the button hole of his jacket, is Teddy Lupin. The proud ring bearer who, by the look on his determined little face, is taking his job extremely seriously.
Teddy walk the entire way, never once taking his eyes off of Draco. All the while every woman, and yes that's including me because Teddy is the cutest, most sweetest child I have ever meet, is gazing at him with glowing smiles. Whenever Harry and Ginny need a last minuet babysitter I happily offer my services.
Draco has also become very fond of Teddy from what I hear, I think he started out trying to make up in some small way for what Bellatrix did, but ended up just as hook as the rest of us. Once Teddy gets close enough Draco leans down, shakes his tiny hand, and says a few words before Teddy sits down only a few seats away next to Adromeda Tonks.
Now that the cute little munchkins have had there chance to steal the show, the first bridesmaid starts walking down the aisle. Carrying a large bouquet of white roses, she's wearing a beautiful full length sky blue dress, halter style, a silver sash is around her waist tied in a small bow in the back. As she gets farther up the aisle I look towards the groom, three groomsmen standing to his left. For once in his life Draco Malfoy looks nervous. He's standing tall, looking as handsome as ever, but bouncing on his toes every so slightly. I watch as Zabini leans over and whispers something to him, causing him to smile a little before going back to his bouncing. I wonder what Lucius thinks of his son bouncing up and down like a ping pong ball, of in his case a ferret. ( I know that's evil of me, but I couldn't resist.) I'm guessing he's trying very hard not to notice.
Merlin help us, a Malfoy showing his feelings openly in public. And the day has only just begun.
Another bridesmaid I don't recognize passes by me and takes her place next to the other. Look back again, this time the Maid of Honor, Astoria's sister Daphne, starts to make her way smiling to family and friends she sees before stopping in front of Draco and giving him a small hug. I can see she's telling him something, probably the old 'You take good care of my sister or I'll hex you into next year and then cut off a few body parts' speech. I've always loved those. I remember the one my uncle gave at my cousin's engagement party a few years ago. Afterwards the poor bloke was shaking like a leaf looking like he'd like to bolt through the nearest door, but had enough smarts to know what would happen to him if he did.
Ah, good times.
Okay once again I'm getting way off track. Back to the wedding at hand!
The music changes now to the traditional Bridal March and I, along with everyone else, stand, my full attention now at the back of the pavilion where once again the drapes are closed. There's a pause where everyone is holding their breath before the silver drapes slowly part and the bride, on the arm of her beaming father, smiles at everyone as they begin to slowly walk down the aisle. I can feel a few tears starting to form in my eyes as they do. I can't help it really, wedding are such beautiful, romantic things that every girl dreams about. Being at one make you remember all the times you played bride and ran around the house in your mums white slip and pearls.
Astoria glides down the aisle with eyes only for one person, I'd like to point out Malfoy has stopped bouncing now and is standing there slightly slack jawed in awe.
Astoria's dress was something out of a fairytale. The fitted, sleeveless bodice is covered in tiny white, and sparkling clear beads down to the lace sash which ties into a small bow at the back. Below the sash the dress then gradually starts to puffs out into a full, wide skirt, that then leads to a long train, all of which is sprinkled with the same beads as the bodice. Astoria's hair is pulled high into an elegant bun, (I could only wish my hair to look that stunning), the veil is secured around the bun with a thin platinum and diamond band so all of the mid-length veil is in the back.
Once they reach the alter, Mr Greengrass kisses his daughter on the cheek, shakes hands with his future son in law, and passes Astoria's to Draco.
The minister, a short, slightly bald, plump little man in black dress robes, who looks like he could probably do this in his sleep, starts to speak as soon as all we are seated.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness in the bonding of matrimony two people who are about to take the first step in one of the most terrifying, and joyousm thing two people can do together. Giving themselves solely to each other in body, mind and heart. Sometime we think love is but a beautiful fantasy that isn't always easy to find, and sometimes harder to keep. Seeing Astoria and Draco together today shows us all that fantasys can come true."
Okay that's just slightly depressing, and yet sweet at the same time.
"Astoria please repeat after me." he asks turning towards the bride. "I, Astoria Greengrass take you, Draco Malfoy, to be by lawfully, wed husband. To love in all things, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sicker and health, I pledge myself only to you. Until death do us part."
Taking a deep breath and looking directly into Draco eyes, with nothing but love showing she begins. "I, Astoria Greengrass take you, Draco Lucius Malfoy, to be my lawfully, and wedded husband. To love in all things, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, I pledge myself only to you. Until death do us part."
Draco looked like he was about to burst with happiness. After all this time, he does deserves to be happy and I'm happy for him. What's done is done, everyone makes mistakes. He's a different person now than he was in school, he's finally lost that chip on his shoulder that he was always daring someone to knock off. Several near death experiences can in fact change a person, even if that person is a Malfoy.
This minister now asks for Draco to do the same. He was looking a tad nervous but has eyes only for his blushing bride.
"I, Draco Lucius Malfoy take you, Astoria Greengrass, to be my lawfully, and wedded wife. To love in all things, for better or worse, for richer or..... Oh hell lets be honest here; for richer of richer," Nobody can help but laugh at the oh so more properly worded vow. Everyone is very amused and grinning, except the elder Mr Malfoy who had his lips pressed together in a thin line.
"In sickness and health, I pledge myself only to you. Until death do us part." Draco finished, his trade mark smirk faintly starting to show, which I think puts the world back into it's proper balance. He was getting to be too 'normal' for a while there. "I also promise to love you with all my heart, every second of every day. It is now my mission in life to make you the happiest wife, not only in England, but the entire world. And to hopefully, someday, be worthy of the love you have given me."
Oh bloody freakin' hell he is good. Now Astoria isn't the one who's bursting and trying to hold back tears.
"I ask now for the rings please." The minister said after few moments, looking between Draco and Astoria, who in turn look to Teddy who has stood up and walk over to the minister. Opening his hand flat, he raises it up above his head and the minister take the rings with a smile. Teddy then turns and scampers back to his place.
Yes I think I'll start planning his kidnapping right now. I even have an extra room, see this could actually work! Well....after the wedding I'll start planning.
"These rings are a symbol of your love and vows to one another, to not only yourselves but to the people around you who have, and will, witness your love and devotion to each other." Pausing again, he then held out one ring for Astoria to take which she did.
She didn't need prompting this time, she immediately reached for Draco's left hand. "With this ring," she said as she slowly slid the gold band on his finger. "I thee wed."
Draco then takes the other ring from the minister, he was already holding Astoria's left hand who looked to be holding her breath. Who can blame the girl, I would be too if I were in her shoes. And what gorgeous shoes they are I'd like to add.
"With this ring," he began, sliding the matching band onto her finger. "I thee wed."
"With the power invested in my, by the wizarding community and Ministry of Britain," The minister said raising his wand above the couple. "I now pronounce you man and wife, magically and lovingly bonded for life. You may kiss the bride." He said looking at Draco with a proud smile, he no doubt looked at all the grooms he wed that way. As Draco stepped forward, closing the space between him and his new wife, he leaned down, placing both hands around Astoria's waist pulling her to him, and kissed her with so much passion and love you could practically hear the swooning from every woman in the pavilion.
Also at the same moment their lips touched, glittering gold sparks shot from the tip of the ministers wand and we all stood clapping loudly.
This wasn't the quickest chapter to write but it is definitely me favorite so far. Can you guess why?
Ok I'll tell you...... Blaise Zabini!! I absolutely love him, he's a dream to write and he is going to be a HUGE part of this story, you probably already figured that out though huh ;), so I hope you all love him as much as I do. I'll have Part Two finished as fast as I can, check my authors page for updates. And as always please leave a review letting me your thoughts, any and everything, but particularly about Blaise because I'm dieing to hear what you think of him. Oh and isn't Teddy adorable? I couldn't resist throwing him into the mix. ;) Please forgive any type-o's I may have, I'll come back later and clean them up.
Also, don't forget to check my authors page for updates on new chapters for this and my other stories. I try to keep it as up to date as I can.
Oh, and how do you like the new fabulous banner?!?
Until next time rabid readers!
p.s. chapter image coming soon.