White Lilies on a Winter Solstice
The country estate was abuzz with activity. It had been for a few weeks now, considering that a wedding was going to take place there.
Yes, a wedding.
It was almost amazing to think of, considering Harry had never had that whole experience. What she had before, that private, small ceremony…that had been perfect and fine, and it had still been beautiful to her.
But now there was a wedding planner and she would get to choose everything, and her husband was there to be with her and help choose, and…
It created a warm feeling inside of her, as well as tears in her eyes.
"Are you alright?" a warm hand covered hers, and she looked to see Giovanni watching her carefully.
"Wonderful," she said, her voice trilling slightly.
He smiled. "I'm glad then. So our wedding party and guest list have been sorted. The planner will handle getting everything set up and reserved. We just had your engagement party and you had a bachelorette party recently. How was that by the way?"
She blushed lightly. "Alright. Although, I'm surprised Cyrus was there." She laughed a little about that.
Giovanni rolled his eyes. "My fellow boss has no knowledge of social norms. I swear…"
"Rufus will be the officiant, since he's now Minister of Magic and can make sure we're legally married in the Wizarding World as well. Not that the bond ceremony doesn't make us legal and official enough," she added.
"James and Butch have volunteered to be the photographers, while Petrel and Proton will be the videographers," Giovanni told her, and she nodded as she remembered the four men that Giovanni had introduced to her.
"Mrs. Weasley and Ash insisted they were going to make the food," Harry hmmed. "And we have a bunch of people offering to do the entertainment."
"Of course there are," Giovanni muttered, thinking just exactly who she was talking about from his side of things. "Did you get your dress?"
Harry smiled widely. She hadn't thought so much about the difference of choosing one's wedding dress, but faced with the thought of it and finally going and choosing it…she had been so happy and it was beautiful and perfect in her eyes.
"That's a yes," he smirked. "I've got my tuxedo. The groomsmen and the bridesmaids have gotten their clothes. All those who need a ride will get to be picked up by my Rockets, and there's room here for those who need a place to stay overnight."
"The wedding invitations were sent out, and Ariana and Domino have taken charge and are making sure the estate's cleaned up and decorated, as well as making sure everything will be ready for the wedding. They are also making sure everything we chose will be accepted and nothing gets mistaken or messed up."
Giovanni gave her an unsure look. "Those two won't be…fighting?"
Harry shook her head, knowing his fears of the two headstrong women who tended to fight when it came to matters outside of Rocket business. And having just met Domino, the blonde certainly wasn't about to let Ariana get her way easily, even if she was younger than the other…
"No, they promised. They also promised to make sure the music, flowers –especially the bouquet –and everything else will be fine. So don't worry about them."
He was still worried, considering he knew the two women, but he let it slide for now.
"So…the closest to us during this time promised to give a toast –Archer, Ariana, Ash, and even Cyrus. Sirius also wanted to give one."
Harry hesitated, but at Giovanni's prompting look, she said, "My two best friends wanted to give a toast too. If you don't mind?"
Giovanni shook his head. "Of course not. They're very welcome to. Anyway, we just finished the seating arrangements, which means all that's left is our…"
"Vows," she finished, her blush darkening.
"I'm already halfway done with mine," he said teasingly. "How about you?"
Harry averted her eyes shyly, feeling awkward. "I've already finished them."
He blinked at her in surprise, having not expected that. He then squeezed her hand, and smiled warmly at her when she looked at him.
"Fantastic. Now you can relax, mia stella. In the meantime, I guess that means I need to focus and get mine done."
Harry felt excited. She was going to have an actual wedding.
And Giovanni was the one who had given her everything.
"No, no! You're getting it wrong!" Jessie screeched at Cassidy, the two women butting heads over how to fix the wedding favors up.
"I am not!" the strawberry blonde screamed back.
"No, she said she wanted the flowers to be pomegranate flowers and lilies! Why are you putting roses in?" Ariana yelled at Domino.
Domino waved a hand at her dismissively. "Roses are romantic! And traditional for weddings. Just a few are fine!"
The four women bickered and Ash's eye twitched as she arranged some flowers in the ornate pot. Three of four of those women weren't even used to this place's atmosphere, and yet they could still scream at each other fine…
"This is a nightmare," she grumbled irritably. Cyrus awkwardly patted her shoulder, though he glanced at the women warily. At least Jupiter and Mars weren't there. They would have added to the fighting, he was sure…But he did get an idea.
"Perhaps we should take a break and move somewhere for a moment?" he suggested.
Ash immediately agreed. Anything to get away from those crazy people.
He took her hand and led her off to somewhere. It was an even bigger battle arena than the one nearer to the top floor where Harry, Giovanni, and Sirius' rooms were, but Ash was just happy to see something she was used to and loved. She wondered if Cyrus wanted a battle though?
Turning to him, that was exactly what she was going to ask when he caught her off guard by the serious but blushing look on his face.
"Cyrus?" she asked questioningly.
He cleared his throat before he closed his eyes and started to lean towards her. Her eyes widened briefly before she closed them and waited in anticipation, feeling his lips connect with hers. They were surprisingly soft.
His hands was warm as they lay on her shoulders, and she was certain that she'd never felt this blissful. When he pulled back and stared into her eyes, she waited breathlessly.
"My life has been an entire waste," he confessed. "Up until I met you."
His hands moved to grip her hands and he leaned closer again, placing his forehead against hers.
"I feel like I've been waiting thousands of years for you," he said hoarsely.
Ash blinked back tears, smiling widely. "I'm here and you are so never getting rid of me now, Cyrus Akagi."
He smiled briefly before taking her into his arms and pulling her into a slow waltz around that part of the battle arena.
Behind the slightly opened doors, the four women sighed happily.
"I need a man," Jessie said enviously.
"Me too," Domino sighed again.
Ariana smiled to herself. Delia would be happy to know her daughter had finally found someone to be happy with. Maybe he'd even tie her down to one place and get her to stop traveling so much…
"Looks like we'll have another wedding on our hands soon," Cassidy noted with a grin.
Ariana's smile twitched.
Not that fast, they won't.
And Ash just stood on her toes and pecked Cyrus' lips, grinning afterwards. He turned red, but it was always like him when it came to this stuff.
"I was waiting for you too."
They were fine being oblivious to everything around them for right then.
It was the day of the wedding. At the Granger residence, Hermione and her parents had just finished getting ready when a car rolled up to their home. A man in a suit with a red dress shirt and a black tie got out of the car, a capital red R emblazoned on his tie. He waited for them to come out, and when they came to him, he opened the door for them.
Similarly, others were getting ready to leave as well.
Ron and his family, chaotically as always, were running around their home and hurrying to get ready. And since their house was the meeting place for the magicals to appear in Harry's wedding, there were several others waiting in the kitchen and living room.
Luna Lovegood was curiously examining the Weasley Family Clock, while Neville Longbottom nervously sat in an armchair and was waiting patiently. Outside, Harry's old Quidditch team was playing, including Oliver Wood, Alicia Spinnet, Katie Bell, and Angelina Johnson. Others from Harry's year were gathered there as well, even Headmistress McGonagall, who had kept a steady support for Harry while she headed the school.
In the kitchen, nonchalant but as distinguished as always, the Malfoy family sat at the table and waited, keeping no expressions on their cold, beautiful faces.
Though Draco certainly was getting impatient, as evidenced by his twitching eyebrow and the tapping of his finger against his thigh.
However, soon enough, everyone was ready to go and they gathered together. The time came and then they were all transported from there and to the country estate, where the wedding was set and the place was already filling up with people.
Numerous people in black suits, red dress shirts and the black ties with red Rs were moving around and doing last minute touches, while the seats were beginning to fill with them on the groom's side. White lilies decorated ivory columns set outside, as well as being placed elegantly around the chairs while being paired with red pomegranate flowers. Pomegranate flower petals and seeds were scattered on the crème-colored runner that led up to the gazebo where the couple was to be wed. The gazebo itself was lined with lilies and the occasional pomegranate flower.
Rufus made his way to the gazebo to get ready to officiate, and was joined a second later by the groom. Giovanni looked suave in his black tuxedo, though his dress shirt was a deep scarlet rather than the traditional white. The matching tie and vest neatly blended with it, and the pomegranate flower pinned to his lapel fit in well. His hair was neatly slicked back and his shoes were shined and without a hint of dirt. The today was a perfect day and so he had to look perfect.
The music began and everyone quieted, knowing the wedding was starting. Giovanni straightened up and stared at the mahogany doors that opened up the estate to the large yard. They opened and first little Teddy walked out, accompanied by Pikachu and Lily by his side while he held the rings on a red velvet pillow, with Pikachu holding a small basket and adding some more flower petals to the floor. Persian followed behind protectively, making sure the trio was alright. And then Archer, the only obvious best man for him, strode out calmly with Hermione Granger on his arm, Harry's best friend acting just as calm. Next up was a more awkward couple, with Ron Weasley being a "bridesmaid" and Ariana being a "groomsman." And then it was Ash and Cyrus, looking satisfyingly at home with each other as they walked up the aisle and to the gazebo, splitting apart and heading to their respective places.
Giovanni's heart picked up and he stared intently at the entrance, waiting and anxious to see his bride.
And suddenly there she was, dressed in the slim wedding gown she'd chosen. The chiffon flowed down the skirt of her dress, leading to a chapel-length train that moved around her like a cloud. The illusion bateau neckline was a shimmery sheath, and melded onto the sweetheart bodice wonderfully. Her hair was curled and pinned up, and woven with lilies –reminiscent of their first, short wedding ceremony. But this time the smile on her face was wide and happy and her steps were sure.
Harry was utterly beautiful.
Accompanied by her godfather, Sirius escorted her up the aisle and to Giovanni. When the two reached them, Giovanni stepped closer and accepted Harry from Sirius, grateful the other was there to give her away and that he was.
"You look beautiful," he murmured to her with a quick grin.
"And you look handsome," she returned with an amused quirk of her lips.
He took her and led her to the gazebo, where Rufus began the ceremony. And when it was time to recite their vows, Giovanni eagerly started.
"Mia stella," he started, ignoring the giggles and sighs in the background. "The moment I laid eyes on you, I knew there wasn't anyone else in this entire world I belonged to. I swore to myself then that I would pursue you completely and do all I could to earn your love. But we've come a long way from that, and I hope that I can finally be a good husband to you and be all that I can be for you. I want to be what you deserve and be the man that's perfect for you. If I grow old and die, I will happily do so loving you."
Harry smiled shyly at him and then began to say her vows.
"You intimidated me," she started honestly. "You were intense and passionate, and it was slightly terrifying but wonderful at the same time. I've never had anyone that interested in me before, especially just for me and as me. But you were and you did. And even as passionate as you were, you never pushed me and was so very patient. After everything you have done for me, you have shown so much devotion and love, and though most of my life consisted of none of that, thank you for giving that to me and I hope to give as much back to you. When you set out all those pomegranates, I understood. If you are my Hades, then as Persephone, just as I did then I do now and wholly accept you as mine as I am yours and willingly partake in a bite to be together forever."
They retrieved their rings and put them on each other's finger. Then Rufus had them stand next to each other and tied a handfasting ribbon around their arms together.
"May your love and bond last a year and a day, a lifetime, and for all of eternity. For however long love shall last –may it be for all time –so shall I tie you together and proclaim you husband and wife. Seal your lips in a testament of your love."
Giovanni smirked slightly at her, bringing her in close and kissing her lips lightly. As much as he wanted to, he wasn't going to ravish her in front of everyone.
"Everyone, please stand and welcome Mr. and Mrs. Rocketto, the Lady and Consort Potter-Black!" Rufus announced as they pulled away.
Everyone clapped and cheered, many of them throwing rice grains and orange blossom petals. The couple smiled at each other and Giovanni took her in his arms, and began to waltz with her down the aisle.
"We waltzed together once," he murmured, content.
"We did," she replied, remembering. "And now here we are."
"Here we are," he echoed.
He twirled her up and into the air, and she was laughing liltingly. As she was set down, he then scooped her up and turned to the crowd as he carried her like the bride she was.
"To the reception!"
Amongst the cheering, Giovanni kissed her again.
"Amore mio," she said to him haltingly in Italian.
Delighted, Giovanni gazed into her emerald eyes wonderingly.
"Tu sei la mia luce, il mio amore, la mia anima."
His light, love, and soul indeed.
The food had been delicious and Harry praised and thanked Mrs. Weasley and Ash profusely. The red velvet wedding cake was wonderful, and the cream cheese frosting made it that touch of sinful. She felt a thrill go through her when she had to cut the cake with Giovanni. A man named Attila was DJing and playing music, and everything was wonderful.
Though she wished Remus wasn't so guarded and ready to snarl at everyone around him, at least he was there –if trying to keep to the shadows and hunching over ever so slightly occasionally. Teddy stuck with his father and helped calm him, but it was obviously going to be a long road for the werewolf.
But she also remembered the toasts and she almost started to cry again.
Hermione stood up and clinked her glass with her fork, getting everyone's attention.
"I'd like to make a toast," she grinned widely, giving a beaming look at her best friend. "I love Harry. She honestly deserves so much, and hasn't really gotten what she deserves in life. Until now."
She looked at Giovanni gratefully. "When we were 11, I was stuck in the girls' bathroom in our school. A troll came in, but so did Harry and Ron. She saved me then, like a scrawny 11 year old knight in shining armor…but she did so with a golden heart. And since then, we've been the best of friends, and I've never regretted being her friend. I just regret not being able to do more for her, but I'm glad she got you out of all this, Giovanni."
Everyone started clapping and she smiled at the couple before sitting down. Then Ron stood up by her side and awkwardly grinned and waved at everyone.
"Hey, everyone," he looked at Harry and Giovanni, his awkwardness melting. "I'm Ron, Harry's other best friend. We met on the train to Hogwarts and became each other's first friend. Honestly, I haven't been the best friend I should be at times, but I know my insecurities got the best of me too much. But she's always been there and willing to forgive me, despite everything. She's such a good person, you know? And I don't know Giovanni as much as I want to, but I know that he's done so much for her and know, just from seeing, how much he adores her. And that's all I want for her, that she has someone who adores her as much as she deserves."
The clapping and cheers grew more as more toasts came. Ron sat down and then it was Archer who stood up, smiling calmly.
"I've known Giovanni for a long time. To be honest, we all know he's not an upstanding citizen," here everyone laughed, though half of the room actually knew what he was talking about. "But he's damn well in love and I can see he can and would do anything for her. He's not going to let her go and he certainly will be loyal and devoted to her for the rest of his life. And though I've only known Harry for a short time, she's a beautiful person, inside and out. I have come to care for her as much as I care for Giovanni, and the two of them are the closest people I have ever let into my life. Here's to a long and prosperous life for them and together!"
"Here, here!" someone answered him, and everyone yelled it out as well.
Ariana stood next, wearing a mischievous smile. "Giovanni's never been in love. He's never been the type to, and he still isn't. Harry is just that damn perfect and one of a kind. I knew, when I first met her in that shop looking for dresses, that she was utterly beautiful and would somehow make her way into our lives. I didn't predict it would be this way, but this way was unexpected but fitting for the two of them. They match each other like yin and yang, and I honestly believe that they will love each other no matter what, forever and a day."
Harry turned to look at Giovanni, starting to cry a bit, and they shared happy smiles. Ash stood then, wearing a huge smile herself.
"If we're going with honesty, then I've always known and thought of Giovanni as a huge, big jerk," which caused laughter to go around and Giovanni to roll his eyes. "Honestly, Harry! You deserve better than him. But then again, you don't need better –you need the person willing and wanting to be by your side through thick and thin," her smile softened and she looked at the two happily. "You two are so, so happy. Harry's made Giovanni a better person, and Giovanni's stuck by her side and loved her so thoroughly since the beginning. That…that's what I call a relationship and what I want to think of when I think of love. Everyone should aspire to have a relationship like yours and I hope one day I do too."
Everyone yelled and screamed their agreement as they clapped hard. When Sirius stood up, he waited a second for everyone to quiet and calm down before beginning to speak.
"I haven't been in your life as much as I should have because of circumstances," he looked to Harry, who smiled sadly back at him with teary eyes. "But you have always been dear to me. I love you and think of you as my own daughter. And you have no idea how happy I am that you've found someone to love and cherish you so wholeheartedly, just as much as your father did your mother." He looked to Giovanni, smiling and tears in his own eyes. "Thank you so much, for loving her and being there for her."
Everyone clapped, and a few in the crowd sniffed or outright cried. And then, last came Cyrus who stood up and looked uncomfortable. But he licked his lips and gave a brief smile to the couple.
"I abhor emotion," he started, causing a few to raise their eyebrows. "Or at least I did. And then I met a girl who showed me emotions weren't a bad thing. And for years, I've been more or less in an isolated daze. But then I was brought into this situation and into this family, and I found myself not being…myself. I was more emotional. Allowed myself to be more emotional. Harry, for a time, hadn't been able to do anything like that. Her emotions were forcibly restrained, and I know now to not take them for granted. Giovanni, who I've known off and on through the years, has changed and come to be someone who loves this beautiful girl. Together, they're just…beautiful.
"Seeing them together brings this ache to my heart that feels wonderful and painful, and I'm filled with such longing. What they have? It's a thing of magic and beauty and awe. It's something that can't be broken and will endure for a long time.
"Once upon a time, I wanted to create a new world –a better world. One without emotion and spirit. But I see that that's not needed, because this world is perfect enough when it can create a thing like them and what they have together, and show the beauty of emotion and spirit in their love. I too wish to someday have that."
He sat down and it was quiet for a moment, before a burst of applause exploded from everyone and the area was loud with commotion and joy.
Giovanni and Harry looked at each other and leaned towards the other.
"I love you," they murmured together.
And now Harry held her beautiful bouquet, thinking back to everything. The pomegranate flowers she could smell and made her remember Giovanni's proposal, the lilies she treasured and to honor her mother…So much had happened since she first met Giovanni.
With a wide smile, Harry gripped her bouquet and then tossed it behind her, hearing the happy and excited screams of her friends. Turning back, she laughed delightedly to herself.
A blushing Ash was clutching onto it, though one of Cyrus' hands had also reached out to grab it (probably to get it for her), and she assumed he was there with the females because he was stubbornly sticking to Ash's side like usual.
How typical and perfect to end her wedding.
Snow slowly drifted from the sky, landing around them and on the white lilies gracefully, the first snow of the season.
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Erica PacumbabaWrite a Review