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Prior Engagement by shewhomustnotbenamed_
Chapter 1 : Engagement and Planning
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 4

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I rolled over in bed, yawning. Last night was exhausting, who knew being romantic could work up such a sweat.

I say romantic. I basically stuck to the clichés, what? It was thoughtful; I knew Ashleigh would love it. She thrived on the obvious, big romantic gestures. And honestly I didn’t mind, it meant I didn’t have to put too much thought into it. I replayed last night’s events in my head. Smiling at the thought, I really had nailed it to perfection:

A meal at her favourite restaurant: Lavender’s. I had her favourite booth by the window booked, that showed the muggle London’s busy life and more importantly gave the paparazzi (that I may or may not have hinted to) the perfect view. With champagne on call, and rose petals sprinkled all around, there was no denying I still had my famous Potter charm.

The ring, you ask? I had it placed on top of her pudding (which I had to persuade her to order – girls and their blooming diets). She screamed when she saw the waiter carrying it in, I swear there’s still a ringing in my ears. I didn’t even get a chance to get on one knee before she screamed yes in my face grabbing the ring like Gollum, and taking it for her own.

I should have felt happy. Overjoyed that I was engaged, but I wasn’t. I was just ok; like it was a good feeling I’d made her night. But I wasn’t exactly excited either…

Ashleigh didn’t share my feelings. She was over the moon, I’d never seen her so ecstatic. I thought with my romantic gesture, last night was going to be unforgettable. And it was, just not in the way that I’d hoped… I thought oh I’ve done a nice thing; she’ll reward me in the sheets. But no, I was up all night, listening to Ashleigh call and write to all of her friends and family telling them the good news.

I didn’t know she knew that many people. Honestly, I would have just told my Mum and Dad and let them do the work. Well actually, that’s what I did do; well I told them before that I was asking. Mum was happy, she thought Ashleigh was a lovely girl – a bit shallow and ditsy at times but nice never the less. Dad was less enthusiastic, but as long as it got Mum and Nana Molly off my back, I honestly didn’t care.

And Ashleigh was nice. She was hot – extremely hot. She was five foot nine with the perfect figure. The longest legs I had ever seen. She had long ash blonde hair, which she’d sworn was natural (Lily had her doubts though) and bright blue eyes that were always covered in mascara. I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her without make up; she always looked dolled up to perfection. Not that I mind, at least she’s pretty to look at. Freddie made the joke that she was going to be the perfect trophy wife, and honestly it looked like he was right.

That explains why when I rolled over just in bed; Ashleigh was nowhere to be seen. I had two guesses to where she was, either in the bathroom getting ready or telling more of her fake friends about our engagement.

I stretched out groaning. My muscles were still hurting from Wednesday’s quidditch game. And no, that’s not me being wimpy; I’m literally covered in bruises, I avoided a bludger from Dave Broco Puddlemere’s lethal beater, the only minor thing was I ended up flying at speed into the goal posts. Ashleigh’s lucky really; I could have died before popping the question. Alas, even I wasn’t that lucky a quick view over and the healer told me I was good to go, gave me some potions for the pain and that was it – no broken bones or internal bleeding. I was in the clear.

At the mere age of twenty-six I was the star chaser of the Tutshill Tornados, in my prime both psychically and in appearance. I was a heart throb, so you could understand why girls – including Ashleigh, threw themselves at me so willingly. It just so happened that Ashleigh was the one who made the biggest impact, and convinced me enough to stay.

That brings me on to Ashleigh, ignoring her fantastic figure and incredible good looks. She really was a catch. Ashleigh Lightwood, daughter of the CEO of Wizarding Tech. The Lightwood’s were almost as famous as us Potters; they had more money than sense and controlled half of the muggle, wizarding hybrid technology. They were filthy rich and Ashleigh used it to her advantage, she didn’t have a job. She was just more of a socialite, living off her father’s allowance and her inheritance.

I know how lucky. Mum and Dad would never have let me do that, they insisted of me making my own way in the world. Which I have, kind of… the Potter name does have it quirks. It’s opened a lot of doors and given me a lot of freebies, not that I couldn’t afford them anyway on my income, but it’s always nice to have free stuff.

Back to Ashleigh and her debatable wonderful traits. Did I mention she’s been labelled Teen Witch Weekly’s most beautiful woman, for three years in a row? Or that this year we had won best looking couple? The publicity – annoying at times – was brilliant for quidditch, and for me. I was everywhere. We both were, everybody wanted to be us, and life… life was good.

Yawning one last time, I decided it was finally time to see where my so called fiancé was. Still in my boxers, I walked out of my bedroom. The thing with Ashleigh and me, we hadn’t exactly moved in together yet, it was just the kind of relationship, where we spent half the week at each other’s places. It worked out well, because neither of us was willing to give up our apartments. Something we were going to have to work on now…

I heard the voices before I saw them. Three separate voices to be exact, they sent shivers down my spine. I’d already stepped into the living room and made my presence known, it was too late to turn back. I smiled at the three women, sitting painfully straight in my living room.
Karen – Ashleigh’s best friend, giggled as she saw me in nothing but my boxers.

“Good morning, James,” Mrs Lightwood addressed me stiffly. Don’t get me wrong the woman loves me; I’m just guessing she wasn’t too impressed with my attire at the moment. I mean she should be I’ve worked hard over the years for this psyche.
“Sorry” I said motioning down to my lack of clothing “I didn’t know we were entertaining” I shot Ashleigh a look, she smiled at me showing me her perfectly straight teeth. She had a look of innocence about her that said: can you blame me? And honestly, yes, yes I could.

“I hear congratulation is in order” Mrs Lightwood said, giving me an almost fake smile. Looking between the two – Ashleigh and her mother, I couldn’t help but see the similarities. They both had the proper look and seriousness about them; their faces were almost identical aside from the drastic age difference. That Mrs Lightwood had tried to remove, with years’ worth of plastic surgery and anti-aging potions. Ashleigh was blonde – which I figure is from her Dad’s strawberry blonde hair, not that he’s got much left of it now anyway. But her Mother’s was dark brown, slicked back in a bun. She wore red lipstick and a duck egg blue business dress type suit, like her daughter Mrs Lightwood was a socialite, but she used it to her husband’s advantage, scoring major business deals and what not. She’d even managed to get Wizard Technology Industry to be the leading sponsor of the harpies – with my help of course. She was a force to be reckoned with, and yes I was scared of her.

I came around and sat on the arm of the chair that Ashleigh was sitting on. I gave her a quick peck on the cheek and smiled at Mrs Lightwood. She does have a first name, I just don’t like calling it her. Ebony. It didn’t feel right; it was like calling McGonagall, Minnie to her face. You just don’t do it.

“Look at you two” Karen said adoringly “So in love!” she said as she looked at the pair of us longingly. I wouldn’t call it love exactly, not yet anyway. Ashleigh smiled as she took my hand. I looked at the silver ring contrasting against her recently Madrid tanned skin. It was fashion week; last week she dragged me to go; publicity and all of that shit. It wasn’t my first choice, trust me.

“It’s wonderful” Mrs Lightwood said, smiling at how happy her daughter was. “We should start planning straight away” she said clapping her hands together. I nearly fell back off the arm rest, straight then and there. We’d just this second got engaged! Do we have to plan the wedding now?

“Is something wrong, James?” Ashleigh asked me, her hand squeezing just a little bit tighter on my hand. I shook my head at her giving her a goofy laid back grin.
“I just didn’t think we’d be planning this early on” I told her truthfully. All of them found my hidden discomfort hilarious.

“Oh James” Ashleigh said laughing lightly, “How else are we supposed to get every last thing perfect and done in time?” in time, she sounded like she was setting a deadline. I gulped.

“That reminds me, do you want a summer or a winter wedding?” It was spring now! Neither of them was far away. I could feel myself clamming up.

Ashleigh loosed my hand, and brought it up to her chin. She looked deep in thought and trust me I knew she was in thought because this barely ever happened. In a pensive tone she asked “What do you think James?”

“Well…” I said gulping. “I’ve always liked autumn, the most”.
“Autumn!” Karen gushed. Even Mrs Lightwood smiled approvingly; Ashleigh was nodding still in thought. And it was true, autumn was my favourite season. It was warm, with a breeze. The colours were magical, brown, reds everything was warm and welcoming. I’d read this line in my favourite book – (yeah ok, the only book I’d read. I was on holiday with my family and Lily left it by the pool, I just took a quick glance, and before I knew it four hours had passed and I had finished the book). It was called Nature’s Calling it was about a girl finding her way in the world, travelling. It was quite inspiring actually. I tried to find the author, to see if they had any other books, but the author was under an alias E.N.Burton. Nobody knew who she was, and maybe that added to the mystery of the story. It was fantastic. Back to line, that was so memorable to me: “autumn was my favourite season; I never thought I would find peace and beauty from watching nature slowly die. Each orange leaf that fell to its death was like a phoenix being reborn into the cold winter’s morning. It truly was incredible, it reminded me that no matter how bad my life got, tomorrow was another day and although winter was coming, spring was only around the corner.”

“I love it!” Ashleigh announced breaking me out of my thoughts. I looked at her confused, wondering what I’d missed. “An autumn wedding, it’s going to be magical!” she said grinning widely.

Her Mother seemed equally as happy. “The question is, this autumn or next autumn?” I wanted to say next autumn. It gave us just over a year to plan, and a year for me to change my mind. But Ashleigh bet me to it.

“This autumn, the sooner the better!” She said happily, grabbing my hand again. I gave her a weak smile, not bothering to give her my opinion. It wouldn’t matter anyway, she would have her way. She always does.

“I’ll ring Stephanie, and we can start planning right away!” Mrs Lightwood said eagerly. It looks like she was just as eager for Ashleigh to get the golden band on her finger.
“Who’s Stephanie?” I asked curiously, wondering who else they were going to bring into this arrangement.

“Stephanie Hughes, the wedding planner of the century!” Karen told me almost squirming from excitement. Oh great I thought, that sounds expensive. Although money was no object, I still didn’t want to spend millions on something I wasn’t even sure I wanted.

They started talking between the three of them, discussing colour themes and what not. I excused myself, partly because I didn’t want to hear anymore and the other half I needed to get changed or should I say dressed? I was going to meet Freddie, I needed a drink desperately. And I’m not talking about the refreshing morning beverage either. I’m talking fire whiskey on the rocks, continuously...

This was going to be a long and painful, four and half months…

AN: I don't own anything that you recognise, all Harry Potter references, belong to the wonderful J.K.Rowling. All hail the queen! And the Gollum reference of course belong to the king of writing himself J.R.R.Tolkien. But you should have already knew that...

p.s in case you were wonder the quote from "Natures calling" is completely fictious, i made it up. the author the book the lot, just incase you were wondering...

Yeah ok, kill me now. I know I shouldn't be writing a new story with the Quidditch Cup still needing finishing, but i couldn't help myself. i had this idea and i wanted to go with it, so be honest and tell me what you think! Good, bad? should i hang up quill now, or do you want to see where it goes? TELL ME and i'll make it happen.

tell me what you think! drop off a little review, it'll make my day! :)

minor edit 3/7/14

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