. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8a and 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails....And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Both muggle and wizard philosophers have written on the subject of love extensively. They have tried defining it, qualifying it- they have done everything they could to find what constitutes love. Harry Potter has been saved by the power of it, he has a permanent reminder of what love is etched into his skin.
Neville knows what it is. He looks into the mirror calmly, the man staring back at him is pretty different than what most people must have expected him to become at twenty five. He is still stocky, but it’s the solidity of muscle now- he knows that he will never be particularly lithe or lean. His hair is longish, it curls around his ears and makes him look younger than he actually is. He runs his hands over the suit that Luna says makes his eyes stand out. But no matter how much he loves her, she’s not really to be trusted- she also has a theory that her allergies are so bad due to the wrangwungles being particularly rowdy during her birth.
‘Speak of the devil,’ Neville thinks to himself wryly as Luna bustles into his changing room. She is dressed in a dark grey suit with a bright blue silk hankie tucked into her breast pocket, it’s her attempt at looking like a traditional best man. But she’s also wearing a wreath of lilies, radishes and acorns around her head- it’s her way of staying true to her own highly unique personality.
“Come on,” Luna tugs him close and begins retying his tie “you can’t be late for your own wedding.”
Neville is patient as he stands still in the midst of her frantic activity. He cocks an eyebrow “you know” he grins “I don’t think I would have picked you for my best man had I known how bossy you would have turned out to be.”
Luna sniffs “I'm your best friend, who would you have picked? And, this wedding has to go off without a hitch.” Her eyes are surprisingly lucid as she winks at him “I’m pretty sure that your intended would have my head on a silver platter if it doesn’t.”
Neville gives her a smile as she starts putting a white lily into his pocket “are you alright?”
“Yes,” Luna’s eyes are watering slightly “I’m just so happy that this is finally happening for you two.” She cups his cheek with a slightly soggy smile “come on Nev, let’s get you married.”
The guests give him smiles and wave as Neville walks up the aisle decorated with tricolor hibiscus flowers. His side is mostly Gryffindors and Ravenclaws while quite a few Slytherins pepper the seats across them. Neville gives a wave to Narcissa and Andromeda who are sitting together, the tow-headed Teddy is making noisy airplane noises beside them. His hair keeps flickering between the black and blonde of his grandmother and great-aunt and it is somehow the most natural thing in the world.
He stops as he hears raised voices and Luna almost bumps into him. “Merlin,” he mutters “can’t those two berks stop arguing for my wedding?” Neville sighs and prepares to go and break up the two idiots who look like they’re one stop away from physical violence.
“I’ve got it, I’m pretty sure that it’s my duty to break them up as your best man,” Luna says “go take your place.” She mutters something highly descriptive regarding the Malfoy and Potter bollocks and where they’re about to be shoved into.
Neville grins, they’ve all been so influenced by each other that Faith’s highly colorful language pops up from time to time in the most surprising people.
“Malfoy!” Luna yells out in a snappy tone, “get your hands off Harry’s throat and go take your place back there!” She reaches up and tugs at his bright blonde locks so hard that he gives a yelp of pain.
“Ow! Bloody hell Lovegood, lay off the violence!” he rubs at his head as he ambles back to the back. Though he still manages to turn around and throw Harry a poisonous look.
Luna gives the snickering Harry a slap upside his messily haired head, “you shut up.” She points a finger at Draco “and you be quiet.” The Slytherin knows enough not to mess with her, years of close friendship with both Neville and Faith have made her scarily assertive and just plain scary.
Today is the day that Luna Lovegood sees her best friend get married to the girl of his dreams. She watches the band start playing their instruments as Neville takes a deep breath and Draco smiles at somebody behind the curtains in the back. The guests stand up as Faith begins walking down the aisle with Malfoy leading her to the altar. He’s her best friend, he’s her man of honor and Malfoy is giving her away.
Faith looks radiant in a cream, strapless gown. Her long hair is held back with two crystal combs that Narcissa has given her for the wedding. Her smile is luminous, her joy is palpable. Malfoy doesn’t look too bad at her side either, the aristocratic blonde is grinning for all he’s worth as he walks his best friend up to her intended husband.
Luna takes a breath, this is the culmination of eleven years of history. Everyone has always known how much these two love each other, even when it wasn’t evident to them- it feels like a natural progression of things to see them married. They may not be the most traditional couple in the world but they are definitely one of the happiest. They are never soppy, Faith has only said ‘I love you’ three times during their relationship with Neville and he still has trouble saying it out loud to her. They’re famous for being joined at the hips and for their blatant public displays of affection but Faith is a shocking cuddler when they’re in private.
The bride and groom stand with such open and vulnerable smiles on their face that Luna isn’t surprised to see so many people crying. McGonnagal smiles as she reads the bonding rites and Luna is happy. She catches a shape out of the corner of her eye and isn’t very surprised to see four shadowy shapes watching the proceedings beside her. A tiny blonde, a pixie-ish redhead and a tall man with an eye patch have their eyes glued to Faith and Neville who have begun reciting their vows.
“I give myself to you .”
The fourth man in the shadow group is a man in an eye-blindingly lime green shirt and what looks to be a bowler hat. He is chewing on a piece of plastic and has a huge grin on his face.
“I promise to protect you, your body, your soul, your heart .”
Luna squints and she sees the blonde wiping tears off her cheeks as the redhead grins widely at the proceedings.
“I will be there, no matter what.”
The man with the eye-patch leans over to the redhead and says something that Luna can’t quite catch.
“You are mine and I am yours. For eternity.”
Luna blinks and the shadows start dissipating. They dissolve in a shower of bright pinpricks of light that almost hurt her eyes and she has to hold a hand over her gaze to see them go. The blonde goes first, followed by the redhead and the eye-patch man.
“Ever mine. Ever thine. Ever ours.”
Luna’s heart feels free, happy and soaring as she watches Neville kiss his wife for the first time. The applause is deafening, the Weasley twins are whooping and hollering so loudly that they almost drown out half of their family, Narcissa is hugging her sister and Teddy is jumping up and down beside them. Even Malfoy is grinning at his fellow Slytherins who are too pureblooded to whoop and holler but who are applauding highly enthusiastically. Kid,
Luna hears a voice in her head and turns just in time to see the shadowy man in the bowler hat start to dissolve into those bright lights, he says Tell her she did good, we’ll all be waiting for her on the other side.
And then the sun shines brighter as he dissolves into a spark of golden light and Luna can feel the complete happiness, joy and love around her. She tilts her head back and smiles at the sky.