Chapter 33 : The Wedding
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“Well that would certainly be unfortunate,” Melora grinned, “All over these beautiful white dress robes?”
Lily glared at her friend. “Nonsense, I’ll aim for you.”
Melora just laughed which intensified the redhead’s glare. “Wait until it’s your turn,” she grumbled, turning back to the mirror to adjust her veil.
Looking down at the diamonds and sapphires shining on her engagement ring, Melora had to disagree. She could feel nothing but excitement at the prospect of her own wedding day. She and Sirius hadn’t set a date, but they weren’t in any hurry. Or at least Sirius wasn’t. He had been so busy this summer with the Order, he hadn’t even fully moved into their new house yet. Half of his things were still in his flat and he spent most nights there as well.
But Melora didn’t tell Lily that. She just smiled and helped her friend with the veil.
Alice Longbottom, in red dress robes that matched Melora’s, popped her head in the room. “We should get going,” she said, “It’s almost time.”
“Thanks Alice,” Melora said, “We’ll be right out.” The blonde witch nodded and ducked out of the room.
Lily straightened herself and smiled to herself in mirror, but the smile fell quickly. “I wish my dad could be here.” Lily’s father had passed away unexpectedly in July and Melora knew the redhead was taking it hard. She had been debating putting off the wedding since then, but at her mother’s insistence, things had gone ahead as planned. “You don’t-you don’t think I’m making a mistake, do you?” she asked quietly, “James and I, we fought so much, and we still do sometimes. And we’re so young…”
“Nonsense,” Melora shook her head, “I’ve never met two people more perfect for each other than you and James. At your engagement party your father said he had never seen two people fit together quite as well as James and you, remember? And, well, sure you’re young but in these times we have to live our lives to the fullest, don’t we?”
Lily nodded, but still looked unsure so with a sly grin Melora added, “Besides, in a who’s-doing-things-too-fast-and-too-young competition Sirius and I have you beat by a mile.”
Lily laughed at this, the tension finally falling out of her shoulders. Melora grinned triumphantly, disaster averted.
“Come on,” she said “We don’t want James to think you’ve come to your senses at the last minute.”
“No,” Lily agreed as they headed out, “We most certainly don’t.”
Melora had only been to one magical wedding before the Potters and she had been four at the time so she hardly remembered it, but she had a feeling she would have a hard time forgetting this one.
Although Lily and James had planned on doing two separate ceremonies, one magical and one muggle, in the end they had decided to only have one magical ceremony and have a small affair. Besides their parents, there were only a few other attendees, mostly made up of Hogwarts friends and members of the Order (many of whom overlapped).
Because it was a small crowd, the wedding was held in a tent outside James’ parents’ home (which Melora thought reminded her more of a mansion). The tent was a glowing gold thanks to the numerous floating lanterns with gold and red ribbons decorating the pews. The Gryffindor color scheme had apparently been James’s one request and Lily had been unable to deny him.
The ceremony was short, but beautiful, James and Lily focused on each other the whole time, to the point where the wizard performing the ceremony had to repeat several lines for them, much to the amusement of the crowd.
At the end, after they finished their vows and exchanged the rings, the wizard announced “You can now kiss the bride.”
A great grin broke out on James’s face, as though he’d been waiting his entire life for someone to say those words (which when Melora thought about it, was probably true). As the couple’s lips met the golden ribbons that hung above them exploded into a shower of gold that rained down on the pair, both too interested in their kiss to notice.
Melora peeked around the couple to look over at Sirius who met her eyes with a sly grin. He gestured to Lily and James subtly and mimed a gagging motion. Melora rolled her eyes, but couldn’t help the smile that grew on her face as she mouthed the word ‘mature’ back to him. Sirius just blew her a kiss in response.
After the ceremony, the pews were transformed into round tables with James and Lily sitting side by side at a small table at the front, the gold and red theme remaining.
Melora sat at one of the closer tables to the bride and groom with Sirius, Remus, Mary, Peter, Alice and Frank Longbottom. There was also an empty seat for Beatrice who had to cancel at the last moment due to a work conflict. The band struck up a fast song almost as soon as they set up and James and Lily nearly fell over themselves hurrying to dance their first dance. Melora had always thought the first dance was supposed to be a slow song, but apparently The Wandering Warlock’s song ‘I’ll Jinx My Way (Into Your Heart)’ was some kind of inside joke between the two. Sirius was quick to follow, offering his hand to Mrs. Potter (the elder that is), while Remus asked Mrs. Evans to dance, the rest of the wedding following suit.
Melora, however, remained at the table, talking at first to Peter and Mary, then Marlene McKinnon, and so on. Dancing was never her strong point.
Unfortunately, she was now engaged to Sirius Black. When the band slowed things down, he crashed into the seat next to her, pouting.
“You going to leave me all alone all night or what?”
Melora patted his cheek lightly. “You didn’t seem to mind so much when you were dancing with Alice. Should I be worried?”
“Of course not,” Sirius grinned, “Obviously if I cheat it’s going to be with James.”
“Uh-huh,” Melora turned away, mostly to hide her own smile.
“Come on then,” he poked her in the side, “One dance.”
Maybe it was the three flukes of champagne Melora had already drank, or perhaps she just couldn’t say no to Sirius, but she gave in with a shrug and a sigh. “Alright, alright,” she offered her hand, “Swipe me off my feet Romeo.”
The reference was lost on Sirius, but that didn’t stop him from grabbing her hand and dragging her onto the dance floor.
From that point on the night was a blur of champagne and dancing. Melora had vague memories of eating cake (or rather, shoving cake in Sirius’s face and having him return the favor), spinning in circles with her fellow bridesmaids, leaning heavily on Remus while giggling in his ear, throwing up cake in the bushes behind the tents, and snogging Sirius at multiple random intervals.
She woke up the next morning in her bed at home, naked with Sirius (also naked) pinning her down with his arm. Despite a fairly awful headache, she couldn’t help but giggle when she spotted the bouquet of flowers made especially for Lily at the foot of the bed, before snuggling up against her fiancé.
Things picked up quickly after the Potter wedding. Despite Melora’s hopes for the contrary, there were more and more attacks on muggles and muggleborns by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named every day.
Both Melora and Sirius found themselves busy with work, Sirius fighting with the Order and Melora at the Daily Prophet, and before they knew it, it was nearly Christmas again.
Although Sirius was still very much in a state of in between his flat and their house, he had promised Melora he would spend all of the holidays in the house. Admittedly, he was doing a fairly shit job of following through on that promise after being unable to help her buy a Christmas tree due to an Order meeting (her father had gone instead), but he had promised to abstain from any missions until after the holidays were over.
He was sure the combination of his promise plus the immense amount of decorations he had inside the massive box he was now struggling to carry down the street would make Melora would forgive him for the tree debacle.
Shifting the box carefully, he just managed to reach around it to the doorbell, but before he could press the button, the door flew open.
“Did you hear the news?” Melora asked, hopping up and down, “Lily’s pregnant!”
Sirius peeked over the massive box, “What?!”
Melora stepped aside to let him in and waited for him to put down the box before flinging herself into his arms. “Lily’s pregnant!” she exclaimed.
Sirius laughed and gave her a spin before setting her down and making his way into the living room where Emily had her face pressed against the screen of her playpen attempting to see what all the fuss was about.
“Damn Prongs doesn’t waste any time,” he said with a chuckle.
“Like you’re one to talk,” Melora shot back with a grin. As if on cue, Emma let out a giggle from her playpen.
“Dada!” she cooed, “Up!”
Sirius obeyed immediately swooping his daughter up and spinning her around not unlike he had her mother before settling her against his hip.
“How ‘bout that Emmy? You’re going to have a new baby cousin.”
Melora doubted Emma knew what her father was talking about but that didn’t stop her from clapping her hands in glee.
“So what’s in the box then?” she asked as he settled down on the couch with Emma. The toddler immediately began to play with the shiny silver watch on Sirius’s wrist. It had been a present from the Potters for his seventeenth birthday and Emma’s favorite play thing.
“Decorations,” he said proudly.
“That whole box is decorations?” Melora said shocked.
“Well it was supposed to make you less mad at me for the Christmas tree, but apparently James shagging Lily has already done that for me.”
“Sirius!” Melora exclaimed. Sirius’s eyes widened as he looked down at the little girl in his lap who was focused on playing with her father’s watch and paying little attention to her parents.
“Bloody hell, sorry!” He winced, “Ah fu-fudge sorry!”
Melora shook her head as Emma looked up curiously. “Come on little girl,” Melora sighed, scooping her off Sirius’s lap, “I’ll put her back in her playpen until dinner.”
Sirius was quick to follow Melora from the living room to the kitchen.
“I’m sorry Lora,” he shook his head, “You know I forget to not curse around her sometimes.”
“I know,” Melora said calmly, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear as she bent over to check the chicken cooking in the oven, “Maybe if you were around a little more, you’d be able to remember.”
Sirius didn’t respond, but the accusation hangs over the small family heavily as they eat dinner. Or at least it did for the two adults. Emily was blissfully ignorant of her parents fight and far more interested in making as big of a mess as she could.
Melora took her upstairs for a bath while Sirius began to clean up the kitchen. He regretted not being around for Emily and Melora, but he knew it was for the best. The world they were living in was a dangerous one. Voldemort and the Death Eaters wouldn’t hesitate putting Melora or Emily in harm’s way and Sirius couldn’t let that happen.
So if that meant staying an arm’s length away for now, he was willing to do that. The war couldn’t go on forever, and when it was over they would be a real family. And until then, he would just have to do the best he could.
Melora called him up not long after to help her put Emma to bed. He watched, feeling slightly useless, as Melora carried their daughter around singing a lullaby softly. Emma’s eyes slowly closed and when she finished the song, Melora laid her down in her crib, tucking the blankets around her, and giving her a soft kiss on the forehead.
Sirius moved forward as she stepped back and gave Emma a little kiss on the cheek as well.
“I’m doing this for you,” he whispered softly.
“So I was thinking we could decorate the tree tomorrow,” Melora said as they headed back downstairs, “With your box we should have enough for the whole house and some of the neighbors.”
Sirius chuckled. “I got stockings too, for all three of us.”
Melora beamed and Sirius was sure he was back in her good graces, but just as he opened the box to show her, there was a tapping on the window.
Melora went over to the window to let the barn owl outside in and handed him the letter tied to the bird’s leg. “It’s for you.”
“It’s from Mad-Eye,” he said, unrolling the parchment as Melora came out of the kitchen with a few spare owl treats to give the bird. “They’ve gotten a report on a big attack happening tonight. Death Easters surrounding a small muggle village outside Derbyshire. I’ve got to go.”
He scribbled out a reply and tied it back to the owl’s leg, opening the window to let it fly out. Melora watched him with a frown.
“I thought you agreed no business this holiday?” she said.
“This is important Melora,” Sirius replied, grabbing his cloak, “I meant I wouldn’t take any missions or look out jobs, but this is different.”
“It’s a mission, isn’t it?”
Sirius sighed impatiently. “We’re in a war and I’m on the front lines. I can’t just ignore this. I’ve got to do my job.”
“Except this isn’t your job!” Melora exclaimed, “You’re not getting paid, you’re volunteering! To what? Get yourself killed? Ensure your daughter grows up without a father? She already lost one set of parents to this godforsaken war, do you want her to lose another?”
“I’m doing this to protect her! And you!”
“Is that why you haven’t moved in?”
Sirius fell silent, he was caught. Melora took that as a cue to continue. “Is that why you’re rarely around now? To protect us? Emma doesn’t need a protector, she needs her dad and I need you too. Please, stay.”
For a moment Sirius hesitated and Melora thought for sure he would put down his cloak and they could return to normal. But instead he shook his head and grabbed his wand. “I’m sorry,” he said leaning in to give her a kiss goodbye.
Melora turned so his lips met her cheek. “Maybe it would be better if you moved your things back to your flat,” she said quietly, “When you’re finished with your mission. It will be safer that way.”
“You don’t understand,” he started, but Melora just shrugged him off. Sirius wanted to continue the argument, but time was ticking before he would be expected at Order Headquarters
“We’ll talk about this later,” he said instead.
But they didn’t.
A/N- And I'm back! With a terribly depressing chapter ending. The good news is this story is actually finished!! There are 4 more chapters after this one and hopefully I'll have them all posted quickly :)
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