Chapter 2 : Astoria.
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"Beautiful!" Amelia squealed as she jumped up from her chair, clapping her hands together. "You need to get this one!"
I smiled down at my reflection, taking in the sight of me in the white dress. It had been magically altered to fit me perfectly. It was so unlike my first wedding dress, one that Narcissa had picked out. This felt more like...me.
"I think you're right," I turned toward my best friend and maid of honor. I never had many female friends, but I had been adopted into Amelia's circle of friends with open arms. All of which were now my bride's maids. This group was nothing shy of fantastic. Between Kate the wedding planer, Ana the fashion designer, and Amelia the baker my wedding was coming along perfectly. Just a few short months away and it would be married. This marriage was different already. Instead of being nervous, I was relaxed and excited to become Mrs. Macalister.
"Good! Now can we talk about more important things?" Ana winked.
Kate rolled her eyes, "The dress is the most important part, Ana!"
"Not for me it's not," a smile played on Ana's red stained lips.
"Honestly, I don't care about the hens' party. It's up to you," I shrugged, still admiring the beautiful dress.
"Oh, boy..." Kate mumbled, knowing well how Ana could be. I giggled to myself, these two were always clashing. Kate was this proper, feminine romantic. All blonde hair and green eyes, with this bubbly personality that could make anyone smile. While Ana was a little more crude to say the least. She was a redhead and her personality proved that it was natural. She was spunky to say the least. Amelia was somewhere in the middle (looking too much like her brother) and I guess I was there with her.
"Back to why we're here, you're getting this dress right?!" Amelia asked, trying to steer the conversation away from where Ana wanted it to go. I really didn't care about a bachelorette party, but Ana insisted. I didn't really care what happened at it. I was just excited to be marrying the man I was in love with.
"Yes!" I smiled down at the dress again before making my way back to the fitting room to change out of it. I did a little happy dance in there, bouncing between the balls of my feet. I did it, I found a dress!
After purchasing my dress the four of us made our way to a small restaurant we visited frequently.
There I watched disgust as Kate dug into her plate of Haggis, "How do you eat that?" My nose crinkled in displeasure as my stomach rolled at the sight.
She shrugged as she hovered a full fork before her mouth, "I'm Scottish." She was a dainty little woman, girly to a t. But she ate some of the most disturbing foods. It must just be a Scottish thing...
"Love your country, not your food."
"Love our men too," Ana winked.
Amelia piped in, "Hey, Marcas is half English too!"
"Yeah...speaking of English lads, are you ever going to tell us about this ex-husband of yours?" She raised an eyebrow at me.
I narrowed my eyes. I loved Ana, but the girl had no sense of boundaries or what was appropriate. Crossing lines was practically her pastime.
At my face as well as the other two women's disapproving looks she threw her hands up, "What? It's an honest question. I'm nosy, I like to know things."
"Yeah we know you do, but that's not okay to just as, I mean Ast-"
I cut Kate off, "No it's fine. Uh...let's see." Where did I even start? "I had a crush on him as a kid, he was friends with my older sister. He called me cute once. My sister ended up marrying a muggle, much against my pureblood supremacist ways. They didn't like it, obviously, and made me agree to an arranged marriage. This marriage happened to be with none other than Draco Malfoy. It was a good pairing really, it benefited both of our families," I paused to take a breath. "We had a... decent marriage. That was until he fell for a woman he worked with, someone who he had spent half of his life hating. He left me for her, we got divorced. I moved here. He's happily remarried with a bouncing baby boy that his new wife could give him."
I had left out some major things, like my suicide attempt that was still a fuzzy memory, and only Amelia knew about those. Amelia looked slightly surprised that I had just spewed out that much information, but the other two sets of eyes wore shocked expressions.
Ana looked apologetic, "Oh... Astoria, I'm so sorry, I shouldn't have made you-"
"Stop," I held up a hand, "I'm fine, really. He's happy, and I'm happy. I'm glad it worked out that way."
"Plus now you get to marry my brother and become my sister!" Amelia squealed, grabbing my hand across the table.
I smiled at that, "That's the best part, finally my happy ending."
"There's my beautiful fiancee," I heard the smile in his voice as I walked in the door. "You look happy. Good day?"
"I got a dress!" I replied happily, excited to be one step closer to being ready for the wedding.
"That's great!" He looked at me,"So... where is it?"
"It's at Amelia's, it's bad luck for you to see it!"
"Gotcha," he got up from where he was sitting at the kitchen table, reading The Daily Prophet.
"Thought you hated that?" I laughed.
"I do," he pushed the paper away, " but your mother's owl just dropped off another one."
"Anything interesting?" Yeah right.
"Nothing in particular, some praise for some bust the aurors made. The normal." He walked over to me, pulling me to him, " I do have some good news as well." He looked too excited to tell me.
"And what is that?"
"I talked to the adoptions agency we decided on. They're sending over some paperwork that we can get done before we're married. That way we'll have less to do after and hopefully a shorter time."
My cheeks hurt from the smile that formed on my face, "That's amazing!" I threw my arms around his neck. I couldn't wait until we could finally adopt. We knew that even once we were approved it could take years. The adoption process was a slow and painful one.
"We will need to have someone come in and assess our house, make sure it's fit for a little one."
"I think we're okay," I said, looking around our home. We were fine, right?
"We need to have someone from the agency come in an assess our house. Make sure it's good for a wee little one."
I looked around our home, it wasn't the manor...but it had a charm of it's own. It was comfortable and I thought any child would be happy here. "When would that be?"
"Next week, on Tuesday."
The thoughts of us having a baby of our own sooner than planned thrilled me. I couldn't wait to adopt a child and start our little family. "Well that should be fun."
The second she walked in the door she was analyzing every little detail about us and our home. She already looked disapproving and the way she just barged her way into the house was a little more than annoying.
"Hello Mr. Macalister and Miss Greengrass," the little chit emphasized the fact that I was still "miss". Well not for long!
I just barely contained my eye roll, "soon to be Mrs." I smiled as I held up my left hand, wiggling my fingers.
I noticed her struggling to keep her eyes from rolling, "Right..."
I nodded, nothing to say.
Her eyes lit up as she peered into the coat closet by the door. "And what is this..."
"Uh..." Marcas looked confused, "it's a coat closet."
Her head snapped around, " well obviously this is a coat closet, I'm not daft. What is this?!" She pulled out a broom.
"My Quidditch broom," he smiled at the object, "my work has a team. We're actually quite good and we-"
She cut him off in her shrill voice, "Do you have any idea how dangerous this is for a child?"
This is where I stepped back in, "I assure you that it will be put away, locked away, when a child is in this house. Right now it's just more convenient for him to have it with the rest of his supplies by the door."
"Convenience does not trump safety, Miss Greengages!" I watched as she scribbled something on that stupid clipboard of hers.
I saw Marcas's jaw clench. "I'm fully aware of that. It will be put away before a child is here."
She snooped around some more, reaching a bedroom we had left bare. "And this is the child's room?"
She raised an eyebrow in disapproval, "It's empty."
"Well yes, we don't want to decorate and add furniture until we know the type of child we get."
"Type?" Another sneer.
I tried so hard to stay nice, but my words seemed a little forced even to my own ears, "I mean age and gender. There's no sense of putting a crib in there if we get a six year old. And we wouldn't want to decorate it steered toward one gender and then get another."
More scribbling on her clipboard,"You shouldn't be forcing gender roles on a child."
A groan escaped from Marcas who stood to my right.
My eyebrows furrowed, "So you're saying I can't dress a little girl in pink? I'm not going to put her to work in a kitchen, or force a little boy to only play with 'boy toys', but I'm not going to only use neutral colors either."
"I'm only saying that forced gender roles does not allow a child to grow to who they may be designed to be." She spoke as if I was the child in the room and she was explaining advanced calculus to me.
Marcas spoke up, "If they are designed to be something, I don't think the color of their shirt or room with change that."
She made an agitated noise. Great.
Finally she said she was finished and looked forward to seeing us again. Obvious sarcasm had dripped from that phrase. "Is it possible to apparate from inside?"
I shook my head, "Of course not, that's too unsafe. There is an apparation point down the driveway."
"Very well, I will be on my way out. See you again." She took off down the driveway at a too slow pace.
"Well she was a right bitch," I stated after I saw her disappear.
"You said it..."
I was worried. Worried and angry. One nasty woman who clearly let her job title go to her head was not going to stand in my way of getting a child. I would fight her every step of the way if I had to. I knew we had a great home, and we were great people. We would never let anything bad happen to our child. She just seemed to overreact to everything. I turned to Marcas, "Think this will affect our chances?"
He looked the same way I felt, "I hope not."
Sometimes my autocorrect gets me and changes magical words or Marcas to maracas...
Regardless, I hope you enjoy!
Also, every last word of the chapter before will be the first word of that chapter. Just something I find interesting as a type of challenge.
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