A/N: I don't know how I turned an Ultimate Wedding Challenge into an angst-one-shot. Hope you enjoy it.
Her reflection in the mirror did not show how she felt inside; the Elder flowers in her hair were perfectly placed along the braid that flowed into an up-do worthy of her Pureblood marriage. Her eyes did not radiate with happiness, her smile forced and tiny, she at least looked like a picture perfect bride. Her dress felt constricting and panic spread from her toes through her whole body, this was not how this day was supposed to be, this was not what she’d been dreaming of all these years as a teenage girl. The dress itself was beautiful, perfect, the one thing she picked out herself but everything else was planned by her mother and his.
This wedding was nothing like the one she had planned all these years ago when she was just a six-year-old girl with pigtails and sundresses, believing in happily ever after. She has recently learned that happily ever after and Pureblood are not words to be combined in real life.
She remembers happier times, where Pureblood meant nothing because she did not understand how blood was supposed to get dirty when it was something that flowed inside your body.
The girl dressed in a white summer dress giggles after she pronounces those words, she’s standing in the attic of her house next to a boy dressed in black pants and a white shirt, he’s wearing a dark green tie that’s clearly borrowed. She’s holding a bouquet of wild flowers she plucked in her mother’s garden earlier and placed one of them in her pigtail.
“Now, it’s your turn to say it.”
She addressed the boy and again falls into a fit of giggles because the boy is clearly not there because he wants to, pouting he whispers.
“Silly, you are never too young for real love. Will you please just say it, then we can go downstairs and ask mummy for cake.”
The girl isn’t annoyed by his question, she knows he doesn’t understand the meaning of real love yet but for her this is practice for when she’s older and really is going to marry him. She really, really likes this boy and her mummy told her she should marry someone she really, really likes.
“Okay, but only because you promised we can go eat cake next. I do.”
Falling into another fit of giggles the girl grins at the boy and reaches for his hand, he’s a little bit taller than her but not by much. So she looks up at him and she feels giddy because he just said those two words, her eyes sparkle in the sunlight that filters through the attic window and his smile is so big on his little face, it’s a picture perfect moment.
“Now you’re supposed to kiss me!”
The girl is blushing even though she’s been thinking of this moment all day long, because every time she sees her parents kiss she has this feeling in her stomach that something isn’t just right.
“Eww, no way, you are a girl and you have cooties.”
Tears are forming in the girl’s eyes because she didn’t expect this reaction from her best friend. The boy is squirming but still clasping her hand tightly, he almost looks guilty standing there making his best friend cry because of a stupid kiss.
“But why do we have to get married at six, aren’t we too young?”
“Okay, okay, just stop crying Daph, you know I hate it when you cry.”
The boy leans closer and gives her a quick peck on her cheek, but that’s enough to make the girl smile and twirl around her skirt out of happiness. Laughing they both twirl and dance around the room, giddy on the play of being grown-ups and the idea of marrying their best friend.
“Promise, we’ll do this for real when we’re old.”
“I pinkie promise, Theo.”
They both fall into laughter and link their arms before descending the stairs and finding their way to the kitchen in search for ‘wedding cake’. The wedding was simple and sweet but when six-year-old Daphne lies in bed that night she wishes that her grown-up wedding will be just the same. Her in a white dress with flowers in her hair and Theo standing next to her like he did today and that after the kiss they’d eat chocolate cake because it’s Theo’s favourite. This is her perfect wedding.
Promises between six-year-olds never are kept by twenty-year-olds and she thinks that might be the reason why she sees herself in the reflection of the mirror, a single tear escaping and finding it’s way down her cheek, that same cheek where Theodore once sealed their childhood wedding with a kiss. A knock on the door wakes her from her memories and now she remembers why she is in this perfect dress on this imperfect day.
“Hey, how are you feeling? It’s time.”
Theodore Nott is standing in the doorway; ready to give her away to her husband-to-be for her father could not be here on this day. He seems at ease, leaning against the doorframe, hands in his pockets, easy smile plastered on his face but she knows him better than that. She sees that the smile doesn’t quiet reach his eyes today, just like hers doesn’t, that his hands are in his pockets because he can’t keep them still. He is nervous just like she is but he’s also a Pureblood and knows how to keep proper appearances up. She wishes her life had turned out a different way.
This brings a sad smile to his face, they both know they won’t be together for a happily ever after and that their lives together end here, today.
She stands up because there is nothing left to say or do but walk down that isle and say 'I do' to the wrong man. Lately she has learned that being Pureblood isn’t being superior (like the older generation still perceives as the truth) or being wealthier than others. Being a Pureblood means being able to uphold appearances even when you want to scream and shout, it’s means marrying someone your parents deem fit for you not marrying the person you’ve been in love with since you were six year old.
In the end, six minutes later, Theodore Nott walks Daphne Greengrass, his childhood sweetheart; down the isle where he gives her away to Blaise Zabini, together with Daphne’s mother he gives them his blessing. Twenty-six minutes later Daphne Greengrass says 'I do' and a minute later so does Blaise Zabini, he kisses his wife on the cheek. Theodore Nott’s eyes are closed during this moment and the only thing he’s doing is praying that it’s not the same cheek he once kissed six-year-old Daph on. It is not.
Both Daphne Greengrass and Theodore Nott know better than anyone that being Pureblood means nothing at all, except that happiness comes after proper appearances and that’s not really living at all.