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Chapter 12 : I Love You Forever
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What had happened between Ron and Draco was unknown to all apart from the two parties involved and Harry. Draco had felt that Harry deserved to know what had transpired between his two best friends and hadn’t failed Hermione when he too punched Ron like he rightly deserved.
Graduation day dawned, Harry and Ginny’s wedding dawned, the end of Hermione and Ron dawned. July bought many changes and not all of them were good.
Graduation passed in a blue of speeches and thrown hats. Hermione and Draco excelled in their head’s speeches bringing the hall to its feet for applause. There were tears gushing from all parents eyes, but no parent was tearing up as much as Molly or Cissie, both clutching each other as they sobbed with prideful tears.
Besides graduations may be a big deal but it really wasn’t the main event of the month. No, no that title was reserved for the wedding of the year, Ginny had wanted a big extravagant wedding, so that’s what she’d got. No expense had been spared, Molly and Cissie had worked tirelessly to transform the Burrow into a gleaming wedding wonderland.
The guests had arrived, the bridesmaids: Luna, Hermione and Hannah waited patiently for Ginny to appear. Harry waited nervously for her at the altar, Ron was present because he was family but tensions were still high between the ‘golden trio’. Draco’s presence and brotherly shoulder pat was a comforting welcome to Harry’s nervous heart.
The music started, the show was upon them as the bridesmaids took their positions ready to move down the aisle. Ginny looked into the smiling face of her ever so proud father and gripped his hand tightly with giddy nerves, “You look beautiful” Arthur whispered to his daughter, she smiled lovingly.
The only thing that mattered to Ginny at that second was looking into the eyes of her Harry. His radient smile and the love in his eyes, she desperately wanted to run down the aisle and throw herself at Harry but she knew that would be embarrassing and improper. So she contented herself with the slow steady march of the wedding walk. And at the moment her father passed her hand over to Harry’s and she looked into his eyes, she knew she was the happiest she’d ever been.
The ceremony had been extravagantly wonderful and flowed seamlessly into the reception. The bride and groom looked so in love and beyond and above happiness. Neville and Luna radiated happiness from the joy of their soon to be born little girl. Hermione was mingling with guests but no one could be sure if she was happy or not and Ron was no where to be seen. Everyone was in awe of the happy couple, molly was now crying tears of sadness as it finally dawned on her that her little girl would be ‘leaving the nest’ as they say.
It was time for the honeymoon – Ginny didn’t know where they were going but everyone else did. Harry had a special hug for his sister before he left, knowing what was about to happen in his absence. He only wished she’d end up as happy as he was now. There were tears from all sides of the family and friends as they waved goodbye to the newly married couple. As their departure took full effect, the music began to play again to keep the party going and the spirits high.
Draco took this as a prime opportune moment. As another dance finished, he lead his beloved Hannah from the dance floor and out into the cool night air. The garden was alight with an assortment of fairy light and beautifully arranged for anyone who needs the simplicity of the night’s air.
“Hannah” muttered Draco, stroking her cheek softly with his hand.
“Hannah, I love you” he said as he tenderly kissed her lips.
He bent down before her, “Hannah, will you marry me?”
Once again Hannah looked into the eyes of her saviour, her best friend, and her one love. Could she ever imagine her life without him? The honest answer being no she couldn’t.
She looked deep into his eyes imagining she could see the surface of his soul and answered with a heart full of compassion, “Yes”.
Months had passed since the ‘wedding of the year’. The honeymoon was greatly appreciated by both parties and married life was suiting them nicely. Luna and Neville had had their little girl, they named her Robyn. Hermione had since taken up training as a healer in St. Mungos, she said she simply couldn’t bare working as an auror after all she’d seen during the war. And Ron seemed neither here nor there, his relationship with Hermione hadn’t been able to patch itself up, so they’d gone their separate ways and still weren’t talking.
Hannah had come a long way since that far away afternoon near the beginning of September when she’d finally been found by the aurors. She’d gone through the period of dependency upon Draco and Cissie, trusting none but them and her dear brother. She’d gone through the torment of learning to trust again, the heartache a heart can give, sheer deprivation at the hands of her second captor. Pain beyond belief at the making of her twin scars, she’d become harder, more independent and strong. She’d made herself a family and friends, she’d gained back what she never dreamed she’d have.
Every girl dreams of their wedding day, some start dreaming as young as 3 for other it takes a little longer. Hannah wasn’t like Ginny, she didn’t strive to be the centre of attention, she didn’t want the big grand wedding with hundreds of guests. She wanted her wedding to reflect the passion she felt when she looked at Draco and the compassion she felt when she looked into the eyes of her family.
It had been a long road for her to get here and now that she was here, she wasn’t going to let anything stop her. There were only two people privileged enough to help Hannah plan her own wedding, there were only two she trusted with the job: Cissie and Molly. It wasn’t entirely her, she knew they’d love to help and she relished the time she got to spend with her adopted mother figures.
She asked Cissie if they could have a garden wedding at Malfoy Manor. She wanted the aisle adorned with pink oriental lilies, dolce vita roses and white tulips to match the bouquet she’d picked out. Unlike with Ginny’s wedding Hannah opted for a strict guest list, she only invited; the Weasley family, Luna, Neville & Robyn, Harry & Ginny, Dumbledore, Severus’s painting and Hermione. She was content with this list, she didn’t need anyone else nor would she want anyone else. She wanted only to share this day with the people who meant the most to her.
Shopping for the wedding dress, Cissie and Molly found, took longer than they expected. Much longer than it did to shop for Ginny’s gown. They traipsed round shops for days but nothing ever met Hannah’s criteria, they began to wonder if they’d ever find something that would. Everytime the produced a gown she had some remark to turn it down. It was in this note of desperation that Hannah remembered Cissie had a personal dress maker, that she’d used when her presence at pureblood societies was a must.
Hannah had done the unexpected and contacted the dress maker on the sly. She allowed no one in the consultation with her as she talked through with the dress maker what she wanted her dress to be like. And thus the image of the dress remained hidden until the day. Hannah did however, include Cissie and Molly in helping her pick out a tiara to go with the dress. Although they both tried very hard to get information from her as to what the dress itself looked like, they were severely disappointed when she gave nothing away.
Hannah no longer had to drink a sleeping potion nor a calming draught before she went to bed, now she slept peacefully throughout the night without even a hint of a nightmare. This was down to what she had now, her family, the happy thoughts she had, kept the past away and her future clear.
Harry had been busy over the last couple of months, with the absence of Ron – who Harry suspected was off moping somewhere – Harry didn’t feel he’d have much to do at this wedding. But he would be sorely wrong on that matter. If someone had told Harry almost two years ago that he’d be the Best Man at Draco’s wedding, he would have suspected they were under the influence of something. But yet here we are. Harry never thought he’d think of Draco as a brother or willingly put his sister in his protection. But then again, Harry never expected to have a sister. All that time ago when Dumbledore told him of his twin, it was like a spark came on in his body, a spark that would never go out. Her protection, her happiness, her love was all that mattered to him and no one would ever take that from him. He smiled when he thought back at how far she’d come and how much he’d changed for the better. She would always be his sister.
He and Ginny had been working on something extra special to give his sister on her wedding day. Remembering some time back to their first Christmas together, she presented him will a filled photo album of him growing up. He couldn’t do that for her, but he’d done something better, he’d photographed her entire last year at Hogwarts, some of the photos he’d taken sneakily and was sure she’d hit him for them. He hoped this would make up for all that she’d lost, and he’d left a few pages blank at the end, so she could keep filling it with happy memories.
Draco smiled as he watched his Mother transform the garden into Hannah’s own wedding dream. He couldn’t believe this day had finally come, the day he would finally be joined to her, and never risk losing her again. Draco felt he loved her all the more for losing her twice. It wasn’t only he who was her saviour, she was his as well. When he’d first seen her in the old Manor during Voldemort’s reign, it was like a light bulb went on in his head. Like someone was saying, ‘oh, there’s the reason your living’. It was then he felt himself change sides, she was so vunerable, so hurt, so beautiful, she fought for what she believed in, she didn’t just give in because it was Voldemort. She used to tell him stories when she was captive, dreams she had, worlds she’d created, escapes for her mind. And he promised himself that he’d save her, that she’d get a better chance of life. Even then, he loved her too much. She was his lifeline, dragging him from the dark into the light. And what a bright wonderful light it was. She touched his heart and he never looked back.
Draco had asked Harry to be his Best Man and Hannah had asked Luna to be her Maid of Honour, they didn’t do the traditional stag and hen nights. There was nothing sad about what they were leaving behind and they weren’t really the traditional of wedding couples.
As Hannah sat getting ready, she felt an overwhelming desire to cry her heart out. She couldn’t understand why she should feel this way, she was gaining everything she wanted in life. She had her family and her friends and Blaise was wrong, there was still someone to love her despite her scars. Maybe that’s what irked her, her mind had moved on but her body was still stuck in the past and always would be. Or perhaps, as her heart told her, it was simply that at this moment, she couldn’t think of anyone she wanted to be at her wedding more that the parent’s she’d never had the chance to know. Foolish, to think of them now, when you’ve never known them, when you have no memory of them, when you have amazingly dedicated people willing to fill the void for you. But there you have it, somewhere in her heart, she felt a small twinge of sadness that they would never get to see this day.
There was a knock at her door, Hannah knew this would be Cissie. With no father to walk her down the aisle, she asked the closed person she had, and honestly she couldn’t imagine anyone else she’d rather ask to give her away. “Come in” said Hannah. Cissie entered and gasped in pure amazement, Hannah looked otherworldly, so beautiful and innocent. The secret image of the dress was no more. Hannah’s design was simple, the dress fell to the floor from an empire waist and trailed slightly behind. The shoulder sleeves were made of white lace, and under the bust there was an assortment of crystals. To top off the dress Hannah had a simple tiara in place with a shoulder length veil. She looked the essence of purity, or so Cissie thought.
“It’s time darling” Hannah nodded, taking Cissie’s arm.
The doors stood closed in front of them, waiting for their command, the music. To Hannah it seemed like an age before the music started and the doors opened. The bright sunshine dazzled her vision, as it cleared she saw the wonder of her own wedding. Cissie had outdone herself it getting exactly what Hannah wanted completely correct. The vicar stood waiting at the end of the aisle and on either side of him stood Luna and Harry. It was Draco that Hannah saved till last, drinking in his appearance like he was a drug. He looked so elegantly beautiful, for a moment she felt under dressed. He beamed at her so strongly, even if you didn’t know this couple you’d see the love between them was incredibly real and pure.
Draco and Hannah had decided against tradition and made their own vowels. The vicar stood patiently and waited for Draco to begin.
“Hannah” he spoke “I love you this much. Enough to do anything for you. Give my life, my love, my heart and my soul to you. Enough that I want to protect you, listen to you and cry to you. Enough to be silly around you, and be myself with you. Enough to share all my dreams, fears, hopes, worries and life with you. Enough to pledge my loyalty and faithfulness to you. Enough to adore your personality and respect you and see you for who you are” he looked down at her through love filled eyes. They began to hear the tears fall from their respective guests.
“Draco” she replied, “I love you this much. Enough to fight for you and sacrifice myself for you. Enough to miss you when we’re apart. Enough to believe in our relationship always. Enough to spent the rest of my life with you. Enough to never want to live without you” Hannah’s eyes swam with tears as she finished her part of the vowels. Draco leaned forward to wipe away her falling tear with his finger.
With the ending of their vowels, the exchanging of the rings was effectively happening. For their marriage rings, they’d chosen a simple silver band, with the inscription ‘I love you forever’ on the underside.
They looked at each other, brimming with happiness. They could tell from the sobs behind them that their vowels had been too emotional for Cissie and Molly. They looked up to the vicar, he smiled at them, this was his most favourite part of the ceremony anyway.
“I now pronounce you man and wife” he proclaimed, “You may kiss the bride”
Draco pulled Hannah toward him, a gentle hand at her waist and her cheek, his lips ever so softly touched hers in the most tender kiss you could possibly imagine. The tenderness, only served to make it all that more important. Then the confetti began to fall, and Hannah was passed from person to person in a sea of hugs and congratulations.
The reception that followed was more like a dinner with old friends, which suited the newly married couple just fine.
Harry stood to give his speech, “There’s not much I can say on these two that you don’t already know. How long have we waited for this day?” he smiled as his audience chuckled, “But in all seriousness, I cannot imagine anyone more intune with each other than you two are. It’s like cupid personally arranged your love lives. Draco, I thank my sister for making you a better person, for helping you to see the light in the dark and for adding you to our family. Draco, I thank you for keeping my sister safe when I could not, for giving her hope, love and a future. Hannah, I thank Draco for being your saviour, for keeping you out of the dark and for giving you the opportunity to love. Hannah, I thank you for being my sister, for being strong and courageous, for loving and trusting in every situation and for being yourself through it all” he paused for emotional effect, not that he was having trouble not crying.. “I propose a toast, to Draco and Hannah”
“To Draco and Hannah” the party replied.
“And to you my dear sister, I give you this” he spoke before sitting down.
Hannah stared at the wrapped package in her hands. She touched the feather light paper that covered the surface and pulled at the white bow and paper till the object was free of it. It starred her in the face, her childhood photo album. Slightly hesitantly she opened it, all her baby pictures were still there, but as she continued to turn the pages, she was greeted with more delightful sights. It seemed Harry had been very busy this year, photos of her, Harry, Draco, Luna, Hermione, Ginny, Neville glittered the pages of her album. Even photos of Cissie and the Weasley family were in there. They all had one resounding factor, there was not a single photo that didn’t have Hannah in it. Her eyes brimmed with tears, happy tears, exceedingly happy tears. She looked over to Harry, ‘thank you’ she mouthed.
He smiled in return, “I wanted you to be reminded of all the happy memories you have. And see, all our memories have you at the centre of them” he said as he flushed scarlet. Hannah got out of her seat briefly to hug her brother, the best part of her family.
She looked into the eyes of her family, and sighed in complete contentment. She was aware they’d have to leave soon for the honeymoon but she did not care. For now her happiest joy was looking into the faces of her family, the heart of Draco and seeing the people she loved.
At that as they say is the end of it.
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