A Marriage Most Convenient

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Chapter 33: One Step, One Breath, One Heart, One hand – Part One of the Wedding

If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory.” – Jane Austen.

I have so many memories of Hermione Granger. They swirl around my brain. Some are bad, some are sad, same are funny, and some are happy, but none compare to the memory of her walking down the aisle, in a beautiful white dress, and in knowing that at that moment, and for all the rest, she was…forever…mine.” – Draco Malfoy.

If I could turn back the hands of time, I would give Draco Malfoy the experience of raising his child from time of birth to today. Since I cannot perform that feat of magic, I must instead give him new memories, in which to replace the memories that never were.” – Hermione Granger.


Hermione Granger:

I’m all alone in my room, finally. I shooed my mother, Draco’s mother, Alice and Ginny Potter out ages ago. The wedding planner left a few seconds after them. I needed some time alone. I needed time to prepare for this. I looked at myself in the mirror and I didn’t even recognize that pretty woman looking back at me. At least I won’t embarrass anyone today. My hair’s even beautiful.

The most important thing that I need to do today is to remember to breathe deeply. True, normally people don’t forget to breathe, but for some reason, I felt the constant, undeniable urge to tell myself to breathe. In and out, in and out, in and out. I looked at myself in the mirror a second time, my hand on my stomach, my dress feels too tight, and I feel as if I might pass out, or throw up. What if Draco changes his mind at the last moment? What if my father walks me all the way down the make-shift aisle in the garden and once we have reached the end Draco vanishes? It’s a possibility.

Oh, I don’t know if I can do this. I must admit, I do look nice today. This is a lovely dress. I never thought I would ever be the type of woman who would care about a fluffy white wedding dress, but this is a beautiful, beautiful dress. Just enough lace, just enough poof, just enough satin. Tea-length hem, ballerina flare, sweetheart neckline, capped sleeves, long satin gloves, more buttons than should be allowed by law. Alice told me I looked like a fairy princess.

Beautiful little Alice. She’s so excited to be my flower girl. Her dress is mint green, and every chance she gets she turns around in a circle to watch the skirt flare out, and then she goes… “Wee!”

Everyone laughs when she does that.

Alice isn’t nervous at all. I wish I could feel her fearlessness. I used to be braver. I was the epitome of a Gryffindor. Now I feel more like a Hufflepuff, (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s just not me, not really.)

Breathe in, breathe out, one step at a time, old girl. I walk up toward the mirror and take a closer look. This is it. This is my real wedding day. That other thing, five years ago, didn’t count. This is the only wedding, the only marriage that will ever matter to me.

I smile and turn to leave the room. I look out into the hallway and see my dad talking to Harry Potter by my bedroom. I ask my father if he’s ready. He laughs, makes a joke that he’s been waiting to do this for years, then tells me he’s ready if I am.

Harry asks my father is he can have a moment with me first. He tells him yes. I open the door and let Harry walk through.

Harry Potter:

I’m making small talk with Hermione’s father out in the hallway, but the truth is I can’t really concentrate on anything he’s saying. I laugh, nod my head, pat his arm a few times and say, “Yes, yes, I recall that,” but I still don’t know what he’s saying to me.

I’m too distracted. I’m thinking about Hermione. She’s marrying Draco Malfoy today. I never thought I would ever live to see the day that one of my best friends would marry a former Death Eater. I hated Draco Malfoy from the moment I set eyes on him. I truly did. The feeling was mutual. He hated me, too. The feeling is probably STILL mutual. He was spoiled, haughty, conceited, snooty and arrogant. In other words, he was everything that I never was, and that I always despised. He was like all the people I had grown up with, he was even like my relatives. Seriously, he’s still all of those things, but somehow she thinks she loves him.

Then, there’s Ron and Hermione, my two best friends. Never in the world could a man ask for two better friends. They’ve stuck by me in the best of times, and mostly, in the worst of times. The horrors and vicissitudes that they had to put up with in their young lives because of me makes me shudder, makes me ashamed, yet makes me proud to call them my best friends.

How can I let this woman, who after my own beloved wife, is like a part of my own body, or my own flesh and blood, marry a man whom I so utterly despise? Has he changed? Perhaps. Does she love him? Without a doubt. Does he love her? Probably. Still, as much as she always wanted to protect me, forever playing the part of the big sister, I too, want to protect her. Nevertheless, I also want her to be happy. If she tells me that this will truly make her happy, and I see no shadow of doubt in her eyes, I’ll keep all of my doubts to myself.

But, if I think for one moment that she’s doing this for someone other than herself…for Alice, or for Draco, (because after all, that is so like her, to do something like this for someone else’s happiness) then by all that is holy, I will grab her arm, then grab Alice, and Disapparate away from here, and no one will ever find them or hurt them again.

After all, she’s my best friend. I have to look after her. It’s high time someone did.

If she loves him, I’ll abide by her wishes. I’ll still hate his guts, but I’ll abide by her wishes, and I’ll even give her the wedding present I have planned, which really isn’t mine to give, but I stumbled upon it last week when little Alice came to my house with her parents after Ingrid died. Alice showed me that book, and I found that spell hidden deeply inside, and I took it upon myself to activate the magic of the story, because it was what Ingrid wanted.

Even if Hermione doesn’t marry Malfoy, and I end up taking her and Alice far, far away from here, I figure Ingrid still would have wanted the magic of the book to be used in the way that I used it. At least, I hope so.

Hermione just opened the door to her room and asked her dad if he was ready to walk her down the aisle. He made a little joke and she laughed. I laughed, too, even though once again, I don’t have a bloody notion what the man said. I ask if I might have a private word with her first. She says yes. I walk into her room. God, she looks so lovely. I kiss her cheek. I love her.

Alice Granger (soon to be Malfoy):

I’m wearing a very pretty green dress, that has an itchy slip, but which flares when I turn in a circle. Every time I turn I go, “Wee!” and everyone laughs, so I say it repeatedly, because I like to make people laugh.

My mummy looks just like one of those fairy princesses from that book of fairytales that Nanny gave me last year. She’s that pretty. Everyone tells me I’m pretty, all the time, but I’d rather be pretty like my mummy. She has the prettiest hair. It’s so brown. I think brown might be my second favourite colour after green.

Grandfather told me I couldn’t bring my dragon to the wedding and I feel mad at him about that. Grandpa Bob told me he would tell the dragon all about the ceremony later. That sounds stupid. Donald the dragon wants to see the ceremony as it’s happening! I’ll figure out a way to get him to come. Maybe I can sneak him outside before the wedding starts.

Draco’s inside his room, pacing back and forth, talking to himself. I just came from in there, and he made me laugh. He hugged me so tightly that I almost stopped breathing. He said he loves Mummy and me more than anything. He will make a very good Daddy. I won’t tell him, because I don’t want to make him sad, but I still miss Daddy Kevin sometimes. He was a good Daddy sometimes, too, when he was around.

I really miss Ingrid. She was more than my grandmother. Mummy said that I could remember her as my grandmother, and call her that forever. She was the best babysitter, bedtime storyteller, checker player, nanny that I could ever have. I cried for her last night, after I left Mummy’s room, and after my bath. Mummy was crying, and for some reason, after that, I cried. I don’t know why Mummy cried, but I cried for Nanny.

Granny Granger told me to stop skipping in the hallway. She said it’s time for me to come downstairs with her. I need to try to get my dragon first! If I can’t get my dragon, I might just cry again! I need him!

I ask Granny if I can have him at the wedding. She said no, too. She said that he’s too old and faded, and he won’t look good in the pictures. I don’t know what that means. Everyone is making me really mad. Maybe if I ask Mummy. I start to Mummy’s room, but Granddad tells me that Uncle Harry’s in there with her and that I have to go on downstairs with Granny.

I really want my Mummy. I stomp my foot, because sometimes I get what I want when I do that. Granny scolds me and tells me to behave. I stomp it again and shout, “NO! I want my Mummy!”

Grandmother walks up the stairs and asks me why I’m yelling like a banshee. What’s a banshee? I start to cry, because I really don’t know what else to do, and all the big people are being such meanies.

Grandfather walks out of his bedroom. He has a dress on! I promise you! I’ve never seen a man wear a dress, but Grandfather Malfoy has a long, black and green dress on. He looks very pretty. He bends down and asks, “Why are you crying and screaming, young lady?”

The real question is why everyone is being mean to me on my mother’s wedding day. I tell him it’s because I want my dragon at the wedding, but he told me it couldn’t come, and then everyone else also said that, and I really need him there.

He stands up really tall and he snaps his finger just as Uncle Ron is walking up the stairs and he says, “You there, whichever Weasley you are, go up to the third floor and get Alice’s Dragon, and then have one of your relatives hold it during the ceremony. It won’t look so odd if one of your people holds it.” I swear, that’s what he said to him. Granny and Granddad look a bit surprised. Grandpa Bob laughs.

Ron looks shocked, but he sees that I was crying and he smiles at me. I love Uncle Ron. He’s such a nice man. He winks at me and tells me it can be his brother George’s date. I think my dragon will like that. He’s never been on a date before.

Grandfather looks down at me and asks me if I would please stop crying now. I say, “I suppose.”

Everyone laughs when I say that. Like I said, I love it when everyone laughs. It’s better than when everyone cries. I take Granny’s hand and walk downstairs. Mummy and Draco are getting married! When I get to the bottom of the stairs, I turn in another circle and go…WEE!

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