Humperdinck and Buttercup stood, a trifle bored, before the aged Archbishop of Florin. He was very old, with long white hair and beard, and his pale blue eyes twinkled as he began to recite the ceremony of marriage. Very, very slowly. ("How nice," said Dumbledore good-humoredly. "I get a cameo in the story." Hermione laughed.)
"And do you, Princess Buttercup -" the Archbishop started to say, but Humperdinck interrupted.
"Skip to the end," he said, irritably pushing a lock of silver-blond hair out of his eyes. He pulled out a ring and shoved it roughly onto his bride's finger. "I do, she does, we do, et cetera."
It was at about this time that Fluffy began attacking the guards at the gate, and the commotion could be heard clearly within the castle. They all looked around wildly, and Humperdinck signaled to the Count to go and stop whatever was causing the disturbance.
Westley, Fezzik, and Inigo had entered the castle and were making their way down a corridor when they met up with the Count and a few soldiers. Inigo stared in amazement at the cruel red eyes - at last, he had found his father's killer!
The Count watched coldly as Inigo drew his wand, then bowed very formally. "Hello," he said softly. "My name is Ingo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to suffer some serious agony before you die."
"Kill him," the Count growled. The soldiers, whose faces were obscured by dark hoods, advanced on Inigo. As Fezzik stepped in front of Westley to protect him, the soldiers drew their wands. Unfortunately for them, the hoods that hid their faces also prevented them from seeing very clearly, and in a matter of seconds, they had accidentally cut each other down with fatal curses.
"Oops," said Inigo, quite cheerfully. He looked at the Count and began to advance. The Count hesitated, then turned and fled down the hall. Inigo dashed after him. Fezzik turned around to speak to Westley, but he was gone.
The Archbishop sighed. "Man and wife, you're man and wife."
He didn't have much choice in this matter. Humperdinck had grown so tired of how long the wedding was taking, he had his wand pressed to the old clergyman's throat, demanding to hear those words. Once they were uttered, he turned and roughly pushed his new wife into his father's arms. "Escort her to the honeymoon suite," he said irritably. "I'll be there shortly." And off he ran to find out what was keeping the Count.
What was keeping the Count, of course, was the fact that he was being chased through every room in the whole darn castle by Inigo, who kept yelling, "You killed my father! Slow down and prepare to die!"
Buttercup felt distraught, though she concealed it well. She strolled down the hallway with the ancient King, one hand resting lightly on his arm, thinking of how within minutes she would be dead. Her lustrous brown hair lay in great coils on her shoulders; her wedding dress gleamed in silver folds in the flickering lamplight. Today of all days, she was beautiful...if only Westley could have seen her.
At the door to the honeymoon suite, she bade Humperdinck's parents goodnight and slipped inside. A great canopied bed, hung with satin curtains, sat in the corner. Nearer the door, various personal effects of the Prince lay scattered on a carved table; the wand she intended to use sat hidden in an ornamental case. She opened the lid and drew out the means of her self-destruction; it was, Humperdinck had once told her, the wand which had belonged to his grandfather. She looked at it a moment, then pointed it at her heart and began to speak. "Av- "
"Stop that," interrupted a voice from behind her.
"That's not how it goes," said Hermione, frowning slightly.
Dumbledore coughed and, to her surprise, looked a little embarrassed. "Miss Granger, the line as it is written is a bit inappropriate for me to read to a student."
"I didn't know you were in the habit of censoring dreams."
"Only the ones that I'm in. Shall we go on?"
Buttercup whirled. A long, thin body, dressed in black, lay calmly among the pillows on the bed. His red hair looked a little odd against the mahogany wood of the headboard, but she didn't care. She dropped the wand and flew across the room to his waiting arms. "I could kill you!" she cried. "Why didn't you come and stop the wedding? Now I'm the wife of - of that - "
"Slimy git?" Westley suggested. "Calm yourself, love. You're no such thing."
"Unless you said the words 'I do'...you didn't, did you?" His blue eyes betrayed his anxiety, and she shook her head. He smiled. "Then you're not married. If you didn't say it, you didn't do it. Don't you agree, Your Highness?"
Buttercup whirled again. Standing in the doorway, a most unpleasant sneer on his face, was her would-be husband. "Pretty clever, Weasley."
"He's not Weasley, he's Westley," said Buttercup defensively.
"Whatever. It doesn't matter anyway. But I am curious to know how you got here, since I myself killed you just yesterday."
"Well, that's an interesting question, Prince Humperdorkinadress," said Westley pleasantly.
The Prince glowered. "I know you didn't just call me what I think you just called me."
"Actually, I did. Those tabards of yours really look like dresses, you know? Haven't you ever heard of pants?"
"You are only still alive because I want an explanation as to...well...why you're alive. Speak!"
"Oh, all right. But I don't really know the answer to it myself, exactly, only that - petrificus totalus!"
The Prince's body siezed up and fell to the floor so rapidly, Buttercup hadn't even realized what was happening. "How did you do that?" she asked in amazement.
"I had a wand right here the whole time," he said calmly, getting off the bed. "Fezzik - my friend the giant - lent it to me. The Prince couldn't see it because you were in the way, and while he was distracted by my insults, I was able to aim it just enough to hit him with the full body-bind." Buttercup stared at him admiringly.
Just then, Inigo burst through the door, panting wildly. "Where have you been?" asked Westley.
"Avenging my father," replied his friend triumphantly.
"Excuse me, Professor," said Hermione, puzzled. "But why didn't we get to hear about Inigo killing the Count?"
"Because nobody knows yet how that happened," Dumbledore explained. "It's still a mystery."
"Where's Fezzik?" asked Inigo.
"Dunno," said Westley, tucking his wand into his pocket.
"Inigo!" called a voice from outside. They all crossed to the window. Down below, in the palace courtyard, Fezzik held the tethers of four glistening white unicorns.
"'Ello," he said, looking very pleased with himself. "I found the stable, and would ye believe the Prince keeps unicorns?" He glanced at them in wonder. "So I jus' helped mehself to a few of them fer us to escape on. Hop down here and we'll ride off."
"Nice work, Fezzik," said Inigo. Fezzik shrugged.
"I was hoping he kept dragons," he said. "By the way, have you seen Fluffy?"
"So," Dumbledore read, "they jumped out of the window, and Fezzik caught them all and put them on the unicorns. They rode away toward the horizon, and when they saw dawn breaking they knew they were safe. A great wave of love swept over Westley and Buttercup, and they reached for each other."
Abruptly he stopped reading and closed the book. "What happened?" asked Hermione.
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled as he surveyed her. "I believe, Miss Granger, that the rest of this story is going to be up to you."
Hermione blinked several times, then rubbed her eyes. The movie was over; Harry was taking the video out of the VCR and putting it back in its case. Ron was chewing the last handful of microwave popcorn, looking thoughtful.
"It was a good story," he said finally. "But I didn't get that whole 'As you wish' thing. What did that mean again?"
"It was like code," Harry reminded him. "When the guy said 'As you wish' to the girl, he was really telling her that he loved her." He glanced over at the sofa. "Awake, Hermione?"
"Yeah," she said, sitting up. "Sorry, I must have dozed off. What a weird dream."
"You missed the whole movie," said Ron.
"That's okay, I can watch it anytime," she said. "What do you guys want to do now?"
Harry's gaze strayed to the window. A light snow was beginning to fall. "Let's go outside," he proposed. "We can build a snow fort or something." The others agreed, and he took the popcorn bowls out to the kitchen.
"Did you like the movie, Ron?" Hermione asked. She pulled her hair back away from her face, and noticed that he was watching her with an odd expression. His ears were pink.
"Oh...yeah. It was good," he said vaguely. "Um...where'd we put our coats?"
"In the front hall closet," she replied. "Could you get mine for me? I'll shut everything off in here." He nodded and moved toward the door. At the threshold he paused, glancing back at her.
"As you wish," he mumbled, and quickly left.
A/N: All done! Wasn't it fun? A clarification: For those of you who have never seen The Princess Bride (get to the video store now and rent it!), the line that Dumbledore didn't want to read was "There's a shortage of perfect breasts in this world; 'twould be a pity to damage yours." I couldn't quite see him reading that to one of his young female students without feeling just a little perturbed! And yes, we missed out on Harry-Inigo killing Count Voldemort because this was written long before book 7 was published. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it!