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Chapter 1 : Fairytale's for Princesses
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“What are you smiling at?” My peaceful little reverie is interrupted, and I reluctantly peel my eyes open. Draco is watching me thoughtfully, like he’s trying to figure me out. Ha, let him try. He’s not the only Occlumens in this bed you know.
“Our bed.” I reply truthfully. He snorts, stroking a long pale finger up my arm like he’s tracing an imaginary line.
“And what, may I ask, is quite so hilarious about our bed?” He says this without looking at me, all his attention on the path he’s drawing up my arm. I can barely feel him, his touch so light it almost tickles, but the crackle of electricity he leaves on my skin is unmistakable.
“Mmmm,” I murmur softly, rolling over so I’m facing him. “It’s not so much the bed, more who I’m sharing it with.” He chuckles quietly, his grey eyes meeting mine, lighting up. We fall into a comfortable silence, me absentmindedly twirling a strand of my long dark hair around my index finger. My stomach is churning unpleasantly, but I try to pass it off as just hunger.
The silence is broken a few moments later by Malfoy’s voice. “Marry me.”
“What?!” I drop my hair in shock. Surely I hadn’t heard him correctly, he couldn’t mean…
“Marry me.” He propped himself up onto one elbow, looking at me, straight in the eye.
“You want me to marry you?” I ask disbelievingly.
I scan his face, searching for that familiar glint in his eye that meant he was joking. There was none, only the little wrinkle in the middle of his forehead he gets when he’s being deadly serious. He really wants to marry me. He really wants to marry me. Draco Malfoy, Slytherin prince and son of the Malfoy’s, possibly the most notorious pure-blooded family of our time, wants to marry me?
I grin; crinkly eyed, nostril flaring, ‘here I am looking like a loon’ kind of grinning. “Perhaps if you’d ask me properly, I’d consider it.” I reply. The corner of his mouth twitches up in his crooked half smile, but he rolls out of bed nonetheless. Then, grabbing a small silk box from the chest of drawers by his bed, he came and knelt down in front of me. I sit up, attempting to run my hand through my hair - which is sticking up all over the place, rather unattractively - and trying to ignore the fact that the room is spinning around me. Malfoy is on one knee in front of me, holding the world’s most beautiful ring; a white gold band which holds a single sparkling emerald. Slytherin colours. I gasp when I see it, in spite of myself – it is just so amazing.
Throb, throb, throb. I can feel my throat filling up… Oh please God, not now!
“Well then, Astoria Greengrass, will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?”
“I’m going to be sick!” I cry, putting my hand over my mouth.
“Oi!” Malfoy yells after me, “That wasn’t exactly the kind of answer I was expecting!” I can hardly hear him, having fled out of the hall and into the bathroom. I barely make it to the toilet before I start throwing everything I had eaten in the past 24 hours back up. Before I know it, Malfoy is behind me, pulling my hair out of the way and rubbing me gently on the back. Eventually I stop, groaning softly. My throat is on fire and the taste of the sick lingers in my mouth. Malfoy pulls me close ‘til I stop shaking, rocking me gently back and forward.
“There, there.” he whispers, “It’s ok now. Let’s get you cleaned up.” He tucks me back into bed and gets me a glass of water so I can rinse my mouth out. I hear him cleaning the toilet as I lay there, trying to get rid of the burning sensation in my throat and chest. After a while he was finished, and came and sat on the bed next to me, wrapping his arm around my shoulders.
“So, what do you think then?” he asks, leaning down so his nose is pressed into my scalp.
“Yes.” I mumbled into his chest, letting his intoxicating scent relax me. “Yes, and a million times yes.”
He smiles down at me. “Well, that’s a decidedly better response.” I snort. After a while, I fall asleep, just like that, my head resting against his, both of us still sat up in bed.
I wake up half an hour later, in the same position I fell asleep in. Malfoy’s watching me again. “Mhrgh.” I moan incoherently, rubbing my stiff neck as I straighten myself up.
“Hello sleeping beauty.” Malfoy chuckles. “Feeling better yet?”
“A bit, thanks.” I reply. “That’s got to be the fourth morning this week I’ve chucked up.”
“Mmmm.” Malfoy murmurs. I watch as he furrows his brow, eyebrows knitted together in thought. What is he..?
“Shit.” I jump out of bed. “Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!” He’s watching me wide eyed. We’re thinking the same thing. It can only be, surely…
“How sure are you?” he asks calmly.
“99%” I reply, hands in my hair. How can he stay calm? I’m fricking pregnant! I’m going to have a baby! Why is he not freaking out?
“Wow.” He replies, moving towards the edge of the bed and placing his hands on my stomach. “Wow.”
“Malfoy,” I say, “I’m going to have a baby… You’re going to be a dad.”
He looks up at me, grinning. “I know; isn’t it brilliant?” He pulls me onto his lap, kissing me on the forehead. I giggle.
“Aren’t you worried?” I ask him, wrapping my arms around his neck. “I mean, what will everyone say? They don’t even know we’re dating, let alone living together! This will be the illegitimate baby, the stain on your perfect pureblood family tree. And my father, he’ll kill me when he finds out. What will I say?” My face has fallen progressively throughout this little speech, and now I’m biting nervously at my bottom lip.
He starts to laugh. “Then, let’s get married today!”
“Malfoy,” I sigh, “I’m being serious. You can’t just mess around when there’s a baby involved you know.”
“I am being serious!” he retorts. “It’s the ideal situation!” I start to interrupt, but he silences me by putting a finger over my lips. “Look, hear me out. We get married today, then that way, when we tell your family, it’s too late, the deed is done. The baby will legitimate, so our families can’t get mad on that account, and maybe they’ll be so shocked you bagged a catch like me, they’ll forget to be angry!” I smack him playfully, but in reality, everything he’s said makes sense. It would be perfect. What could they do, it would be far too late…
“You’d really do that?” he asks, as though he didn’t believe I’d actually say yes.
“I’m marrying you anyway, aren’t I? What difference would it make?”
“Absolutely none. Like I said, it’s an excellent plan!”
“You didn’t actually say that, you know.” I laugh, plucking myself off his lap. “Oh god, look, it’s half past 11 already! We had better get a move on if we’re going to get this over with today.”
“Alright, alright, keep your hair on!” He swings out of bed, revealing a perfectly toned abdomen. When did he take his shirt off?
I begin to bat him out of the room. “Come on, I’m going to get ready.” He smooths his hair back and stalks out of the room, hovering reluctantly in the door way. “Oi!” I moan, “You’re not supposed to see the bride until she gets to the church!”
“And how, exactly, are you going to get there without me seeing you?” he smirks.
“Oh, shut up, at least let me make a grand entrance down the stairs or something.”
“Fine.” He rolls his eyes and finally moves his arse out of the doorway. I begin to swing it close, but he sticks his foot in to stop it.
“Go!” I cry, but he pokes his head round the door instead.
“I love you.” He grins.
“Love you too, Malfoy.” He shuts the door behind him.
I throw open the wardrobe doors. What do you wear as a spontaneous bride? I browse, uninspired, through my rack of clothes, until I stumble upon an emerald green dress crumpled right at the back of the cupboard. I pull it out; it was the dress I was wearing the first time I met Malfoy, back when I was working at the Prophet. I was interviewing him; he asked me out at the end of it. I smile at the memory, holding the dress up – it looks like it would still fit, at least, and it’s the exact same shade as my new engagement ring. Perfect.
“Crepito-absentis.” I mutter, getting rid of the creases in the dress. I look at my reflection in the mirror on our dressing table, sitting in front of it as I brush my hair gently. I can hardly believe I’m looking into the eyes of a wife and mother; that I’m going to be a mum. I rub my stomach carefully, trying to imagine a little person growing in there, but I can’t. It’s surreal.
Then, I curl my hair using the adapted muggle curling tongs my sister gave me for Christmas, and layer on my makeup; foundation, blusher, a touch of eyeliner, mascara. I spend longer on it than I normally do, making sure it’s as good as I can get it. Next, I slip my dress on, adding my engagement ring. Each step mapped out thoughtfully and carefully. I finish myself off with a spritz of my favourite perfume and smile at the result in the mirror. Although I say so myself, the finished product isn’t too shoddy.
Just at that moment, Malfoy calls up the stairs. “Are you ready yet?” he asks.
“Uh-huh.” I reply, looking at my reflection for just a second longer before I open the door. I tread carefully along the landing and down the stairs, which are littered with confetti. Malfoy is waiting for me at the bottom, looking far too handsome in his favourite steel grey suit, the black tie left untied around his neck. He studies me carefully before breaking out into that crooked grin I love.
“Lovely day for a wedding, beautiful.” He offers me his hand, pulling me close into his chest. “You are sure you want to do this, aren’t you?”
I look up into his concerned face and squeeze his hand. “Of course.” I smile. Then, we turn on the spot, and we’re pulled into that black void of apparition.
Before I know where we are, the feeling’s over. We’re standing in the back streets of Diagon Alley, in front of an old looking building. Peeling red letters on the door read “Ministry of Magic Registry Office.” The place looks like it hasn’t seen another living soul for several years.
“Seriously Malfoy, you want me to get married here?” I ask, sceptical.
“Well excuse me, you didn’t exactly give me much warning, you know!” He says.
I laugh. “You were the one who said, oh, let’s get married today, like you do!”
He rolls his eyes, and opens the door. I stick my tongue out at his back but he sees, and makes rude gestures at me without turning round.
“Oh, I’m so glad I’m marrying you.” I reply snidely.
“Ah, hello.” Malfoy’s now talking to the bored looking reception girl, whose chewing gum with her mouth open. I grin to myself, knowing how much that annoys him. “We have a booking, under the name Draco Malfoy?”
“Next room, please.” Her eyes didn’t move from the copy of Witchy Business she had open on the desk. There was a large photo of Harry Potter’s wife splashed across the double spread, bearing the caption; “Ginny Potter; Pregnant at Last?” I feel sorry for her, what with the press shadowing her every move. Their new campaign is trying to find out if she’s pregnant. They’ve been married five years now, and they decided it was time for her to pop out a couple of offspring. It must be hard. She could have just eaten a large lunch, for goodness sake. It’s why I quit the business; I don’t want them stalking me and my baby.
Oh, would you listen to me. I’m about to get married to the actual Draco Malfoy, and all I can think about is Ginny Potter and her slightly over-inflated belly? Honestly!
“I’m guessing you must be the happy couple?” A slightly stooped, aged looking man with a long silver moustache greets us. I presume he would be the minister.
“Yes.” I reply, “Astoria Greengrass, nice to meet you.”
“Ah yes, nice to meet you too. And your groom?”
“Draco Malfoy.” He sticks out a hand; I notice how, when the minister shakes it, he bows his head slightly. Draco might be the son of a convicted Death Eater (and former Death Eater himself, although this is less widely known – something Draco owes to the ‘Chosen One’ himself) but he still commands respect wherever he goes. That’s one of the things I love about him. He’s a no nonsense kind of guy.
“Right then, shall we begin?” The man waves a frail hand in the direction on a small wooden stand, upon which rests a Wedding Register.
He ducks behind it, surprisingly nimble for someone so old, and Malfoy and I stand in front, holding hands. The minister clears his throat gently before he begins.
“We are gathered here today,” I notice his eyes darting around the empty room, but my free hand falls to my stomach. Malfoy sees, and although he says nothing, his hand tightens around mine. “to celebrate the joining of this woman and this man in holy matrimony, according to the laws of the Ministry of Magic and the sacred sanctity of marriage. We shall begin with the vows. Do you,” he glances at the register, “er, Draco Lucius Malfoy, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
I listen to Malfoy recite the wedding vows, a tingling feeling spreading through the pit of my stomach. I could hardly believe that this was it; you’re looking at the new Mrs. Malfoy. You’d better look scared!
“Er, excuse me, Miss Greengrass?” The minister made me jump out of my own thoughts. Malfoy sniggers beside me. I send him death glares.
“Oh, sorry! Where were we?”
“Ahem, as I was saying,” the minister sends me death glares. Not exactly a pleasant wedding, but what can you do? “Do you, Astoria Gertrude Greensgrass, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
“Wait, wait, wait, your middle name is Gertrude?”
“I’m not sure I want to marry you anymore, I didn’t know you had such a Granny middle name!” He is practically doubled up with laughter.
I elbow him. “Oh, shut up! Your name is Draco. What kind of normal name is that is it?”
“Er, shall I continue?” The minister looks completely baffled.
“Yes, yes,” wheezes Malfoy between intakes of breath. “But could we speed this up a little, we have to go and tell her father she’s pregnant, and I’d rather be fully awake during that conversation.”
“Errr, right. So do you, Astoria – ”
“I do, I do, I’ve suffered enough at the hands of my middle name, let’s not repeat the experience please.”
“Oh look, you may kiss the bride.” The minister rolls his eyes, and begins to fill the register in. I turn to face my new husband. His eyes gleam in the soft light of the registry office, crinkling around the edges as he smiles.
“Hello Mrs. Malfoy.” His whispered, scooping a piece of hair that had fallen onto my face behind my ear as he stepped closer.
“Hello husband.” I grin as Malfoy closes the space between us.
We spent the evening at my parent’s, telling them what happened. They weren’t exactly happy but I guess I lived to tell the tale, so I can’t have been all bad. Now I have a son, our little Scorpius, and I’m honestly happier than ever.
So, it wasn’t my fairytale wedding, but I’ve married my Prince and that’s what’s important, right?
I’ll get my honeymoon one day.
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