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Living Life by singing
Chapter 27 : Chapter Twenty Seven
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 25


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“I can’t believe this! I can not believe this!”

“For Merlin’s sake,” I muttered under my breath, trying to concentrate all my attention on the cereal in front of me.

“What do you mean there’s no hotel reservations? There has to be hotel reservations!”

“Honey,” my father began soothingly. “Let me talk to him.”

“No!” she yelled at the phone, as she circled around the kitchen. “You must be doing something wrong! Check again!”

It had been going on like this all morning. Apparently, the fancy hotel that my dad had made reservations for in the mountains, where they were going to spend their honeymoon skiing, had lost their reservations or something. This is why I’ll never get married.

“Carrie, let me talk to the manager.”

“Charles, just stop it okay? Leave me alone for one second.”

I picked up my bowl of cereal and put it in the sink, muffling my father and Carrie’s yells after closing the kitchen door behind me and heading up the stairs. I walked in my room, where everything was already neat and tidy, with all my clothes stacked perfectly into my trunk which was at the end of my bed. I sighed and fell down onto my bed, pressing my face into my palms, and trying to steady myself.

By tomorrow, Carrie would be Mrs. Charles Evans, and what was worse; my stepmother, but only by law. She’d still be the cruel woman my dad had decided to marry and let live in our house.

Sigh.

I sat up straight, pulling the curtain slightly to the side and stared across the street, at the Potters’ home. Hm...James...

Argh. Snap out of it Lily. Get him out of your head.

I forced myself to close the curtain and tried not to remember all the times I got to see him up close, and where he was acting so sweet, so great, so wonderful...

I stopped immediately once I noticed that I had a glazed expression in the mirror, and decided that I should try to find something else to do. I passed Petunia’s empty bed, and crossed to my closet, where the bridesmaid dress was hanging, standing out because of its bright colors. I sighed and took the plastic cover off, feeling the fabric between my fingers. It was soft, and I scowled at myself for thinking it was pretty.

I put the dress back on its hanger, not bothering to put the cover back on. I sat on my bed, glancing at the picture of me as a baby on my headboard. My dad said Virginia had taken it...

The picture was the only photo in my room that wasn’t moving. My father was holding me in his lap, while Petunia gripped onto his arm and grinned at the camera. I was surprised that my dad hadn’t come in here and taken it away, since there was his ex-daughter in it. I glanced at the bed on the other side of the room, wondering where she was. I wasn’t too worried about her safety...I knew Virginia wasn’t a mad woman, at least I didn’t think so. What worried me was that she thought that she wasn’t loved...because I did love her. Even if she hated me in return.

“Lily!” my father bellowed from the kitchen, which was considerably quieter now that Carrie had stopped screaming. “C’mon, honey!”

I furrowed my eyebrows and walked to the door, stopping at the doorway for a moment. He deserved waiting for me a little bit longer...since he was trying to make things sweeter and more enjoyable by calling me ‘honey’. I waited, but he didn’t call me again. He opened the door and walked onto the pavement, his voice muffled as he closed the door and started to argue again with Carrie.

I scoffed, seriously considering that maybe I should just lock myself in here, just to mess up the whole wedding ceremony that Carrie had so carefully planned to be the ‘perfect’ wedding. Ugh, how I hated her.

“Alright, Lily.” I murmured to myself, and then walked down the stairs to the door.


The priest was waiting by the altar, while we rehearsed for what seemed the hundredth time. Again, I walked carefully down the aisle, forcing a grin at the invisible audience as I tried to get to the priest as fast as possible without making it seem too obvious. I looked anywhere but where Andy and all the other groomsmen were standing, one giving me too many obvious looks.

“Argh!” Carrie shrieked, waving a flower around as she glared at me. “Lilian, you’re doing it wrong.”

The bridesmaid behind me rolled her eyes at me, as if to say ‘get it right, kid’, and my father shook his head disapprovingly. I tried to concentrate on the ceiling above me, so I wouldn’t get upset too easily.

But it was too late, Carrie was already stomping down the aisle, not caring about steps or anything and put her hands on her hips. “Honestly, we’ve rehearsed this about ten times and you still can’t get it right! You’re not stupid, I know you’re not.”

I scoffed, rolling my eyes and looking grudgingly towards my dad, who was finding his fingernails very interesting. Er...

“Ms. Simon.” the priest said soothingly. “There’s no need to fret.”

“But, Father!” she sputtered, her face steadily growing redder. Her blonde hair was coming out of its bun, and she didn’t look to attracting. Exactly what did my dad see in her?

Oh yeah, nice body, younger, and blonde. My daddy’s favorite.

“I know she’s doing this on purpose,” Carrie said, shooting me a hard look before returning her gaze to the priest. “I hate to say this, but the girl doesn’t like me too much.”

And of course, Carrie is a saint. She doesn’t do anything wrong.

“Nonsense!” the priest said jovially, smiling at us from behind his round glasses. “If that were true, Ms. Simon, then she would not have agreed to participate.”

Actually, I was forced. Since I still am underage. But hey, who cares, right?

“Why don’t we try again?” my father said, just as Carrie opened her mouth. “Lily, try to do it right, sweetie.”

Sweetie. The names just keep on getting better and better.

Okay, rehearsal number hundred and one. Keep up with the steps, Lily. I noticed that it was even harder to smile this time.

I concentrated on the back of Helen’s brunette head, whose’s hair was put half way up. I resisted the temptation of rolling my eyes as I stepped onto the alter, next to a redhead who I didn’t know the name of, and tried to look as happy as possible. Because, of course, I was completely supportive of my father’s relationship and am ready to take on any responsibility that will help them along the way.

Finally after the whole line of bridesmaids, and too many stares from Andy, Carrie came in, not so fantastically, since she was huffing and trying to smile at the same time. The music wasn’t playing either, I suppose, so I guess that could have an effect. I stared at her and tried to picture her as Mrs. Charles Evans, the one who would soon be exchanging rings and kisses in front of everyone with my father.

Argh. I tried not to think about it.

And then, just when I started to think things were going way too peacefully, Carrie stopped abruptly, a few feet from the altar, and broke out sobbing.

“Carrie?” my father asked, half-exasperated, half-trying to be thoughtful.

“It’s all w-wrong!” Carrie sobbed, covering her face with her hands. Her maid of honor, Jacklyn, ran down from the altar and handed her a handkerchief. Carrie took it, without thanking anybody and continued. “It’s just...it’s just--”

“Just what, Ms. Simon?” the priest prompted politely.

“The bridesmaids!” she shouted hysterically, pointing at our row. All the women exchanged nervous looks, straightening their outfits as if there was something wrong with them. I rolled my eyes. “The groomsmen! Everything!”

I looked at her, perplexed. This woman was such a drama queen.

“It’s all because of that Petunia,” Carrie continued to mutter. “That horrid Petunia...”

“What has Petunia have to do with any of this?” I said loudly, before I could stop myself. My father gave me a warning look, while Carrie looked up, glaring at me.

“Carrie, dear.” my father said soothingly, walking over to her. “I thought you were over that? I even got rid of one of my groomsmen so it could be balanced out...”

“Six’s such a horrible number though!” Carrie wailed. “Seven looks so...so much better--”

“What’s wrong with six?” the priest asked curiously.

“It was supposed to be s-seven! Seven’s a-a lucky number!”

I suppressed a snort with difficulty, as Carrie continued dreamily, “And our first date was on the seventh.”

Merlin. This woman was too much for me.

“You know,” I said irritably, ignoring my father’s look. “If you really are prepared to get married, luck shouldn’t matter.”

Carrie gave me a look of pure loathing, while my father said, “That’s enough, Lilian.”

I shrugged, while the all the bridesmaids gave me disgusted looks. Pfft.

“I’m just saying,” I said matter-of-factly. “Marriage is much more than luck.”

“Like you’d know!” Carrie shrieked at me. “You’ve...” she began dramatically, pointing an accusatory finger at me. “You’ve been against this wedding from the beginning!”

She looked like a little brat, yelling at me for no reason. Her eyes were watery and red...and her face was tear streaked. I was pleased to say that she looked a mess.

Which I did.

Which is why my father told me to wait outside.

Which is why I now have to sit on the steps in front of the church, waiting till my dad goes through another hundred rehearsals.

I wrapped my coat tightly around me, staring vaguely at the frosted trees as the chilly air hit my face. All this trouble of having a wedding indoors while everyone freezes to death outside, waiting till the bride and groom run down the steps of the church, was too much of a hassle for someone who just wanted their wedding on valentine’s day.

Which I’d be spending alone, by the way. Because my father is completely selfish. Not that I’d have a date anyway.

Stupid James. Stupid Carrie. Stupid dad.

The church doors opened, and everyone from the rehearsal filed out, chatting about how this would just be a wonderful wedding. I waited till Andy passed by, trying to catch my eye, and till my father stopped next to me, giving me a cold look.

Carrie was looking much happier, I noticed. She was even grinning and laughing with her bridesmaids as if nothing happened. But I couldn’t avoid my dad any longer, I looked up at him, trying to look innocent.

“What was that?” he asked, in his calm yet angry voice. I stared up at him. “Are you trying to ruin this, Lilian?”

Well, I suppose. I mean, I do hate the woman. Not that it matters. Not that he cares. Who cares if I hate her? Who cares if she’s a total, horrible, woman?

“No.” I said, trying not to grimace as he looked at me hard.

“Tomorrow’s a very special day for me.” he said, crossing his arms as Carrie slowed down considerably, probably to eavesdrop. I watched as she dropped her purse, bending down to pick it up. “You’re being very selfish if you’re planning to make it all about you.”

“Wha--”

“I expect you to be grown up. In a few months you’re legally an adult. Act like it.”

“But– dad!”

“Lily!” he roared, making a few pigeons nearby jump and scatter in fright. Carrie wasn’t trying to hide the fact that she was listening now, she was staring at the two of us, looking interested. “You’re not a child!”

I stared at him, feeling hurt but making sure that I wasn’t showing it. “Fine.” I muttered, looking at the ground. My father made an irritable noise in the back of his throat, then turned on his heel and left. I felt my insides burn with anger when I heard Carrie ask what was wrong.

I forced myself to stand up, and walked over to the car where my dad was already sitting in the driver’s seat, Carrie spinning around in her seat to look at me. I stared at my dad’s reflection defiantly in the rear view mirror, until finally he started the engine and headed towards the road. I crossed my arms and stared out the window, watching the cars and trees pass by.


For some odd reason, Carrie had picked out a church about two hours away, which meant plenty of time to nap while my father and Carrie fought in the front. Unfortunately, I was not done with the day yet. Carrie had called the woman who made the dresses to come and adjust my bridesmaid dress to my body, so it looked perfect. Carrie was quick in saying that she should’ve picked yet another color, and complained about how I was too pale. As if I did it on purpose.

I laid down in my bed later that night, not even bothering to eat dinner and feeling exhausted. I closed my eyes and tucked myself into bed, digging my face into my pillow and falling asleep. It wasn’t a very peaceful sleep though, because I had nightmares the whole time.

There was this one that my father was driving away on the Knight Bus with Carrie, waving at me as they both laughed and yelled at me that I was now going to live with someone else. I turned around, feeling miserable, to encounter no other than Virginia, beaming with Petunia under her arm. She launched into how I was going to be sent to another boarding school, telling me how she hated how I was a witch and why wasn’t I like everyone else in the family, while Petunia shrieked with delight in my ear.

It took me a while to steady myself in the morning and convince myself that Virginia didn’t even know I was a witch, and that if my father was sending me to anybody, it certainly wasn’t going to be Virginia and Petunia.

Carrie burst through my door, throwing me a yogurt drink and walking to my closet to have closer inspection of the dress. “Your father already left,” she drawled. “He’s getting ready for the wedding with his friends. He looked dreadful though, probably because of the stag party last night.” She scowled, putting the dress onto my bed carefully.

“Everyone’s going to be shortly arriving. Start drinking your breakfast, take a shower and change into decent clothes. We’re getting our hair done soon.”

Without further ado, she left the room, jogging down the stairs and punching numbers into the phone in the kitchen. I listened as she barked some more orders at other people, while I closed the door, walking into my bathroom.

I wasn’t very awake when I was taking a shower, feeling drowsy and weary. I tried to imagine me watching the wedding and being happy for everyone else, but it was too hard. Ugh.

“Hurry up!” I heard Carrie yell from downstairs as I was changing into some clothes and drying my hair as fast as possible. I groaned and threw my towel onto my bed, rushing down the stairs and putting on my trainers. Carrie was already waiting by the door, tapping her foot impatiently as she crossed her arms. I rolled my eyes, then followed her outside.

“I told you not to wash your hair.” Carrie said grudgingly, although I was pretty sure she didn’t. She sighed, sounding exasperated. “We’ll just ask them to blow dry it, I suppose.”

I didn’t say anything, just sat in the car, which was demanding all my self control so I would spit anything at her. I closed my eyes and rubbed my temples, trying to concentrate on what I had to do. I needed to fully prepare myself for everything that was coming.

We pulled in a fancy looking salon, Carrie rushing out of the car and slamming the door behind her. I followed suit, then walked inside the salon, which smelled heavily of hair spray. Carrie walked to the counter, to talk to the lady with overly huge eyelashes and started to talk rapidly.

“Where are my bridesmaids? Are they already inside?”

“Yes, Ms. Simon. You can just go right in.” the woman said, giving a strained sort of smile. I followed Carrie into the back, where the whole row of chairs were filled with Carrie’s bridesmaids, as they got their hair done, and were getting manicured. I sighed as Carrie pushed me into one of the chairs, apologizing to everyone about how slow I was in the morning.

This was going to be a very long day.

The woman who was attending me had dyed blonde hair that was put up with a complicated sort of hair do, which seemed to include lots and lots of hair spray. I winced, wondering if that was the same hair do I had to wear for the wedding.

“Terri, over here.” the woman said in her nasal voice, snapping her fingers and making a plump lady come immediately with a stool. She sat down on it, and grabbed one of my hands, filling it down furiously. I tried to close my eyes and relax, but the salon woman was tugging too hard on my hair for me to do so.

“Your hair is so...” the salon woman said, scrunching her nose up in disgust. “...red.”

Ahem. No comment.

“My name’s Lily by the way,” I said, trying to keep things as friendly as possible.

“Tina.” the woman said promptly, sticking a comb through my hair. She started to tug on all the knots, a disgruntled look on her face. I rolled my eyes and started to look at the lady next to me instead, but she was too concentrated on my fingernails to be interested in anything else.

I started to drum my free hand on the arm of the chair instead, but soon Terri was done with my first five fingers and was now proceeding to the next. I started to think if I had been at Hogwarts, how it would be different. I’d probably be making fun of Gaby in the common room with Henn while we pigged out on candy. Gaby would be somewhere exotic and romantic with Jack, and Grace would be having some fun with Remus. And James...ahem. Well he’d be somewhere with Eve. Not that I cared. Not at all.

But instead, I was here, in a salon, waiting as I was turned into the perfect bridesmaid and stepdaughter for dear, Carrie. I had to wait here for an hour or so, as Terri muttered under her breath how my fingernails were horribly short, and Tina was close to pulling my hair from my scalp.

Some of the bridesmaids were already getting their makeup done, now that their hair was up in a perfect bun and their nails were perfectly clear. They were now getting their toe nails painted, leaning back in their chairs as they closed their eyes and let the salon girls do their magic. This was going to take way too long.

“You like?” Tina asked, in her annoying voice, turning me around and giving me a mirror so I could look at my hair. Without waiting for an answer, she spun me back again, and started to take out her makeup, studying which colors would look best on me.

About two hours later, I was standing up and looking myself in the mirror, studying my reflection at my now perfect complexion, and stylish hair. I didn’t get to admire myself for too long though, because Carrie was already rushing us out of the building, piling a bunch of money into one of the salon lady’s outstretched hand and rushing to her car.

All the bridesmaids were to meet Carrie at her house, where we were already going to start changing for the wedding and heading off to pictures. I scrambled into my room and took my dress from the hanger, joining the rest of the ladies in the living room where everyone was putting on their tights and shoes.

Ugh. Tights. Too many flashbacks.

I put on my pointy matching shoes that looked horribly painful and slipped on my dress, asking Helen to zip it up for me in the back. Carrie had given us all matching jewelry, which consisted of small, diamond earrings, and a matching glittering necklace. I took my grandma’s necklace off grudgingly and put it in my matching clutch, knowing I’d probably put it back on after the ceremony.

The bridesmaids were done and were now all scattered around Carrie, which of course, had the most complicated dress. Some of the women were already starting to sniffle, telling everybody that they only wouldn’t cry now to not spoil their makeup.

We were now standing back and admiring the effect, except for me. I didn’t want to admit it, but Carrie looked beautiful. Her dress was gorgeous, a scoop neck with a see-through fabric on the bottom, where it flared out. Jacklyn was now helping her put on her veil, which was long with a sparkling tiara at the top. Everyone was already taking pictures, using up almost all of their roll of film.

“Let’s get off to pictures, then.” Jacklyn said to everyone, while Carrie admired herself in the mirror.

There was a limo waiting outside, so all the women climbed in, chatting excitedly as we all sat in the comfortable seats. While that, I stared out the window, wondering how much longer it’d be till it was all over. Carrie and her friends were conveniently ignoring me, so I got some time to think for myself.

My dad and the groomsmen were already leaving in another limo, but it was only until my father was completely out of site that Carrie went outside, followed by her minions and me. The photographer was already in front of the church, smiling as we came closer.

“Ms. Simon, is it? The new, Mrs. Evans?” he asked merrily.

“Yes.” Carrie said sweetly, smiling.

“Good. Very, good.” he said, nodding towards all of us. “Now, I think the first picture should be of all the bridesmaids and you, so if all you young women could stand in the back, with Carrie in the middle...”

Everyone scrambled towards the steps, positioning ourselves and standing up straight. All of us grinned at the camera, which flashed, making us all blink rapidly.

Photos took another good hour. I never knew there were so many positions for so many pictures. When my photographer finally said that for now, that was enough, I felt exhausted. But I didn’t get any time to rest, because the priest was coming out, signaling us to come inside.

We had to wait in a separate room until all the guests arrived and my father had come too. I was, as usual, sitting in a chair by the window, staring out onto the snow. I was daydreaming so profoundly that I jumped when Carrie addressed me.

She was alone, wearing that false smile of hers as she looked at me. All the other bridesmaids were still talking at the other side of the room, but I suspected that they noticed that Carrie had come here. Actually, she probably told them all not to interrupt.

“Lily?” Carrie repeated, making sure I was paying attention. I blinked at her.

“Carrie.” I replied, although without the false cheeriness. Carrie smiled at me, with that little smile parents always use when their children think they know best but really don’t. Carrie was using that same, agonizing smile.

“How are things?” Carrie asked, and without waiting for an answer, she sat down in the chair next to me, looking at me expectantly.

Without knowing what else to say, I said, “Good.”

Carrie raised her eyebrow. “Oh, really?” she said interestedly, as if she actually cared how ‘were things’. She crossed her legs, folding her hands in her lap. “Well, that’s actually slightly odd, Lilian. Because I thought that since it is you, things wouldn’t be good at all.”

I looked at her, trying to decipher what she was saying. She just smiled at me, a smile I was starting to see as a sinister, evil one.

“This thing is,” she continued, waving a gloved arm in the air. “I know you’re not happy with this situation. With this wedding. Not at all.”

Okay...

“It’s alright dear,” Carrie said slowly. “You can admit it.”

I didn’t say anything. I just stared at her, wondering what evil plot was going through her head now.

“I know you’re not.” Carrie said softly, leaning in so she could look at me better. “But this isn’t your wedding. I don’t want you to interfere, as I know your father doesn’t want you to either. Not everything is about you. And I don’t want you to ruin our special day.”

I scowled at her, feeling that indeed, her kindness was too good to be true. Carrie was giving me a smile that clearly said, ‘I won’, and was now standing up, brushing her dress and already walking to the other side of the room.

“One day,” I finally said quietly, but not quiet enough to not hear, “He’s going to see who you really are. And I hope that it’ll be soon.”

Carrie paused, turning around with the same smile. “Oh no, dear. He’s already seen who I am. And let me assure you, he quite enjoys it.” She then turned around and joined her friends again, as if nothing even happened.

Before I even had time to react or even think about it, the door opened and Carrie’s aunt came in, smiling at her niece. As far as I knew, Carrie wasn’t close to any of her relatives, that’s why she didn’t want her aunt in any of the photos. Her parents had died, like my father’s.

“Carrie, honey.” she said. “It’s time to go.”

All the bridesmaids gave excited squeals and started to line up, Carrie checking her reflection in the mirror before proceeding. I sighed and stood up, walking over to my position and already practicing on my smile. I had to look absolutely convincing...think happy thoughts.

We were already practicing our steps in the hall, finally reaching the doors which were going to be opened. I heard soft music playing and a choir singing in the background, but other than that, it was very quiet.

Carrie’s aunt was waiting by the door, which were now opening from the inside, where I heard everyone swivel in their seats and take several pictures. The rest of the bridesmaids and I waited around the corner, unseen, as Jacklyn headed on, her gorgeous smile already plastered on her face.

One by one, Carrie’s aunt ushered us to go, and soon I was feeling nervous butterflies. What if I broke down in the middle of the aisle? What if all of a sudden, I started to bawl right there, in front of everyone, when I saw my dad? What if I missed a step or something and my father got angry at me? What if I tripped?

The woman was staring at me expectantly, and I knew I had to go now. I took a deep breath as she handed me the bouquet of white lilies that I had to carry and I turned the corner, attempting a smile and hoping for the best.

Everything was very bright, there were lights everywhere, since so many people were taking photos and a crew was videotaping the whole thing by the altar. I gulped and looked at my dad, feeling as if the aisle couldn’t get any longer. He was wearing a tuxedo and looked absolutely handsome with a rose tucked in his chest pocket.

This is my last chance, I thought. Please dad, look at me, and try to read my expression! I’m unhappy, you’re making me miserable, please stop this before it’s too late...

But as much as I tried, even when my father looked me in the eye, he beamed. I wanted to run up there and scream at him for not understanding, for never understanding, but it was no use. He thought I was perfect, just like I had practiced to be all my life.

After what seemed ages of stepping slowly on the carpet and reaching the final bench, I turned, not daring to look at my dad and stepped onto the altar where four bridesmaids were already placed. I swallowed the lump in my throat and tried not to concentrate on what was coming, but I could no longer avoid it when the music suddenly changed into that tempo that was so familiar to everyone in the room.

The audience stood up, their cameras at the ready. Carrie was standing there, beaming, and alone. Her veil was brought over her face, and she was holding a bouquet of beautiful red roses. She started the step, and was almost immediately indulged in flashes, as the crew whispered frantically to one another and rushed farther down the aisle, zooming in on her face.

I glanced at my father, and felt my stomach drop. His grin had widened, and it was one of his rare, true smiles. The ones that crinkled his eyes as he showed all his teeth and grinned. I had only seen him use it once; when I told him about me becoming a witch.

This wasn’t fair! That was my smile, he only smiled like that for me. But Carrie had to take everything away! Ruin my whole life. This was so unfair, I couldn’t believe I was actually here, waiting for it all to happen.

I blinked back the tears, staring defiantly at Carrie’s face. She didn’t look at me until she finally reached the altar, and I saw her eyes narrow slightly. Before I registered it, she had turned to my father and had taken his outstretched hand.

“Please, sit down.” the priest said, smiling at the audience. Simultaneously, everyone sat down in one sweeping motion, gazing onto the altar. I forced myself to look at the priest as he spoke, his meaningless words passing through my brain. Love...pfft. This couldn’t be love.

I noticed that I was looking terribly grim so I looked at my bouquet instead, wondering what sort of spell I could use to make it burn. Or maybe I should just throw it out onto the ground, yell, “So long, suckers!” and run out of the church. Then I could break into my own house after hours of walking, get my stuff, and ride back to Hogwarts in the Knight Bus. Yes, it was the perfect plan...

What was I kidding? I must be a seriously messed up person to actually consider it.

“...and I pronounce you, husband and wife.”

What? Was it that quick? Indeed, it was, because everyone was clapping, practically all the women crying their eyes out as they smiled at the couple. I couldn’t help but stare as my father kissed her passionately right there, in front of everyone. I tried not to think of how my face would turn out in the pictures.

I could run after him now. All I had to do, was shout after him, telling him how unfair all of this was...how he was expecting too much of me to actually think I’d cope with this. All I had to do was yell out his name...

But it was too late. He was already out the church doors, hugging Carrie as she jumped onto him, giving him thousands of kisses. The groomsmen and bridesmaids were already descending the altar to join them, and I had to go soon. Helen tapped me on the shoulder, giving me a prodding look, so I had no choice but to sigh and follow the others. Of course, I had to smile while I was doing it. He is seriously asking too much of me.

“Lily dear,” Carrie’s aunt said, although I had no idea how she knew my name. “Stand here with everyone, you’ll have to shake their hands.”

I stood by the redhead and forced myself to look at the people that were now filing out of the church, talking and hugging each other. Once spotting us, the immediately rushed towards the bride and groom eventually shaking my hand as they moved through the line.

I put my fixed smile, showing everyone how happy I was for him. Really.

Most of them shook my hand, congratulating me as if I was the one who got married. Some strange people actually jumped and hugged me, as if we were best friends or something, and some didn’t even acknowledge me after talking to the people they knew. I rolled my eyes and glanced at the door, to see if I had to act friendly to anybody else.

But then I felt my eyes widen as I stared at the person who was now currently shaking my father’s hand. Merlin, he looked so good in a tux.

But the question is...What was James doing here?

He was now shaking hands with the redhead, when he finally reached me. He obviously didn’t look as surprised to see me as I had been seeing him. He paused, looking at me for a moment, looking quite expressionless. Something stirred behind his eyes, until he finally took my outstretched hand, and shook it. I felt goosebumps rise on my arms, trying to think about how this could be possible.

“You look nice, Lily.”


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