6 - The Wedding
~*~Part 6 – The Wedding~*~
The day of the wedding opened with a cloudy sky that faded towards noon into clear, blue skies. It wasn’t hot or cold; just a perfect mix of the two with a slight breeze that was refreshing to all in attendance.
Bill watched from the sidelines, carefully out of view of anyone that might want to give him anymore well-meaning wishes for the day. Guests were filtering in slowly but surely. The actual event was still a good forty-five minutes off. Classmates of Hermione’s mixed with his relatives and her parents. They had not been able to allow more than just her parents out of her Muggle relatives, as letting that many people in on the secret that magic, and wizards, existed, would do nothing short of get them all into trouble. She was okay with that from what he could tell, though her parents were somewhat disappointed that they were not going to get to give their little girl away in front of everyone that they knew.
The wedding was quite large enough even without her relatives and family friends being in attendance, in Bill’s opinion. Where Hermione had been unable to send out as many invitations as she would have liked, his own parents had held no such reservation. He was the first of their children to get married and, as such, every single person that his parents had ever known – or that he had ever known – were invited.
And most of them had RSVP’d! The house had been inundated by owls since the day after the invitations were sent out.
“You look nervous.”
Bill didn’t turn, didn’t need to. “I’m fine, Fleur.”
He had thought, once, that Fleur was the girl he was going to end up with. A flurry of dates led to things getting hot and heavy pretty quickly. Too quickly, it turned out. The fires of their lust had burned out, leaving them as nothing more than friends.
“Of course you are,” she replied with an altogether too innocent smile on her lips. Her accented voice was a soft whisper. “’Zat is why you are hiding from the guests, no?”
“No!” he denied. Too quick. She smirked, prettily.
“You are to be wed, Bill. Suck it up, as the saying goes, and mingle with your guests.”
He sighed as she took his arm and let himself be led out of the safety of the shadow of the house, into the backyard where everything was set up for the wedding.
“Bill!” his mother called out, honing in on him with that unerring accuracy that mother’s seemed to have. “Where have you been?”
“’Ee was talking with me, Mrs. Weasley,” Fleur answered for him, saving him a moment’s embarrassment trying to explain to his mother than he had been avoiding the guests, her, and everything to do with the wedding to try to calm his nerves.
Yes, that was it. Fleur was right. He was nervous. Gut-wrenchingly nervous. This was the day that everything started. His life as a married man. No longer single, no longer free.
And that didn’t matter to him. He wanted this. Maybe he hadn’t at first. Maybe it had all been a crazy scheme of his Mum and Dad to save Hermione from a fate worse than an Avada – but now he was okay with it… even looking forward to it.
“Is everything okay, sweetie?” his mother asked, laying a gentle hand on his arm. He looked down at it and then up to her face, smiling as he nodded.
“Yes, Mum – everything is just fine.”
“Tonight’s the night.”
“That you and my brother –“
“Ginny!” Hermione gasped, hands stilling in their nervous fluttering to look over at the girl that was about to become her sister-in-law.
“Got you,” Ginny laughed lustily. “You looked far too serious, ‘Mione. Day of happiness, right? Just think – that could have been Snape or Malfoy out there.”
“No,” Hermione shook her head, turning back to the floor-length mirror she had been standing in front of for more than a half hour. “Because, had it been Snape or Malfoy that I chose, we would not have been having the wedding at your house, Gin.”
Hermione reached up, twisting one of the curls that framed her face. Her hair looked beautiful and she would make sure to get dozens of pictures of it before the day was over, as she was sure it would never look this lovely again. It was a glorious mess of curls, drawn back with ribbons and pearls, with just a few locks hanging around her face. She looked picture perfect, she knew, and not like the mess of a seventh year that she normally was. Beautiful.
“Every woman looks beautiful on her wedding day,” she murmured to herself the phrase that her mother had said to her once, as they sat looking through pictures of family weddings from the past. Every woman in her family had looked beautiful on her wedding day. Every single one.
And Hermione was no exception.
“Harry and Ron are going to kick themselves,” Ginny grinned.
“What’s that?” Hermione looked over her shoulder, confusion marring her face.
“For not noticing you before all this,” Ginny clarified.
“Right,” Hermione nodded, shrugging.
It didn’t really matter if they regretted things or not at this point; she was perfectly happy with how it had all turned out in the end.
Everyone said the bride looked lovely. From her spotless white gown to the cascade of soft white veil that hid her face and fell gracefully down her back. Hermione listened to it all, soft whispers under the music, as she walked down the aisle, her bouquet clutched in a white-knuckled grip.
This was it.
Her marriage to Bill Weasley.
Ginny stood beside her. Charlie beside Bill.
It wasn’t Dumbledore that did the honors – he was far too busy; but the old wizard that presided over the ceremony was wonderful just the same. He spoke clearly, smiled tenderly when she faltered on some of the words, and kept the pace going just as it should be.
Before she knew it, there was clapping, cheering. And Bill was pulling her toward him.
Their lips met and she sighed, catching a teasing swipe of his tongue. Heat raced through her body, igniting all that she had tried to stifle about herself in the months leading up to the wedding.
The official called out their names – Mr. and Mrs. Bill Weasley, and Hermione grinned inside, her mouth still on Bill’s.
Mrs. Weasley – yes, that sounded just about right.
She trembled that night, when he touched her shoulder in the room that was their to share for the rest of the weekend, before she went back to school to finish up her seventh year. The honeymoon would come later, after her Leaving Feast.
“We don’t have to –“
“I want to,” Hermione whispered with a shake of her head. “But I’m nervous, just the same, Bill. I’ve never –“
“Never?” he looked surprised. “But – Ron said you and Viktor Krum –“
“Oh, he would want to believe that of me, wouldn’t he?” she laughed, amusement winning out over irritation.
“I suppose so.” He licked his lips, ran a hand back through his hair until he got to the tie and then pulled it loose. She yearned to run her hands through it, slip her fingers through the red strands and see if they were truly as silky as they looked.
So she did just that.
Bill sighed, leaning into her touch, and Hermione felt her stomach flutter with anticipation.
Tonight…everything changed. Hermione Granger became Hermione Weasley, she thought with breathless excitement.
And Hermione Weasley learned for the first time what all those whispers in the dorms had really been about.