Wedding of the New Millennium

This fan fiction is a sequel to "The Dancing Master" also filed on this website. While building on the Harry Potter canon, of JK Rowlings' creative genius, it covers events after the defeat of Voldemort and the graduation from Hogwarts of Harry Potter and his classmates. This story is a thank you gift to the readers of "The Dancing Master" who were kind enough to say they enjoyed it, one frequent reviewer in particular: Nataly Ravenlocks, this one is for you!

Chapter 1: Storm Warnings

Sunday afternoon in London, first Sunday in November

"Dearest, what are the basic requirements for a wizard's wedding?"

Severus felt red flags flapping in the breeze: beware! His first reaction, after panic and flight, was to grab Rose and kiss her senseless. After several minutes of that, when she melted into a boneless puddle of feminine flesh and fragrance, and tried to insinuate herself through his robes, he had pulled together an accurate and safe answer: "The basic requirements are two people and a binding contract."

"Then why bother with anything else? Do you want us to be a public spectacle?" So, Rose was suffering from stage fright, not second thoughts. Severus thanked the gods and especially the goddesses.

"This from the woman who danced before the Minister of Magic in six ounces of silk? And the very next day entered a public lecture in a skirt that barely covered her buttocks?"

"I was performing, in costume, and wig, and full makeup, and the exposure and the audience very limited. Also, the silk came along with several pounds of metal." She touched his cheek. "I thought you liked the miniskirt."

"I never did ask: why and how did you pull that off?" Severus completely abandoned the parchments he was grading, for a break with his beloved. He had totally given up on coffee and other stimulants. He didn't miss them, either.

"When I got to the lecture hall early, and saw you there, I was still a bit annoyed with you and with myself. I wanted to break out of the rut we were in. I wanted to know what your game was. I wanted to know whether the fact of my existence disappeared in my absence. I wanted to get your attention. As to how, I still had my theatrical gear in the car from the night before, and the miniskirt was a gift for Hermione. I bought the jasmine as a whim that morning."

"You must be a quick-change artist-is that the phrase?" He was stroking her arms and back, soothing the rumpled feelings on his part and hers. She was still awfully tense. The past few weeks had been unsettling, what with trying to blend two lives and two worlds into a workable one.

"Factual in phrasing, but the connotations are not so pretty," she sniffed. "The connotations are fraud or other criminal intent, if not strictly used for a performer."

"Which brings us full circle: you are unhappy with the thought of a public wedding spectacle." Severus shifted her about in his lap, so they could be comfortable while resolving the issues. "Well, I am also uncomfortable with the idea."

"Neither of us has any family left to speak of, if you don't count the children. My grandmother is over ninety; she's not going to fly over here. Cousins are too distant. My siblings and I are nearly strangers for many years now. Aside from the Grangers, whom would I invite: the dance class people? The Oldhams, perhaps, but hardly anyone else would care. I don't have lots of lifelong friends; lots of lifelong enemies, perhaps, but I wouldn't want them at my wedding. And then there's the whole ceremony issue. I won't stand still for anything Christian, and I have no knowledge of any other format, other than the civil marriage. You have Hogwarts, at least, at your back. I am feeling like one lonely little Muggle worm in this big pond of Muggle-eating, magical piranhas."

"I am unwilling to marry in Hogwarts. It would be bad for discipline. Can't have the students seeing the Potions Master as human. I wouldn't want to give my lifelong enemies a reason or an opportunity to cause trouble, either." Severus pondered the situation. "You have a very good point there. But won't you miss the pageantry?"

"Not in the slightest. All I want is you."

"And here I thought girls always focused on the big wedding day." Severus hugged Rose.

"Some do. I never did. I was focusing on the man and our future together. It would have worked, too, if I hadn't been the only one doing so." Rose drooped, and tears were forming behind her lids. "I was an idiot, a gull, a cock-eyed optimist, and a fool."

"You were perfect, and still are. Blame the bastards that break hearts and oaths." Severus summoned Dobby and requested some chocolate, soup and sandwiches. He was still worried about Rose's general health. Her recovery from the combination of an Unforgivable curse and influenza had been slow. He was thinking of warm sunny beaches for the honeymoon, and said as much.

"As long as I don't get sun poisoning, Tahiti sounds like heaven. I will need a lot of sunscreen, and a parasol. I've never been anywhere tropical, aside from Florida, which isn't really, and I got burned on the scalp through my hair in 6 hours." Rose bit into a chicken and cucumber sandwich while still sitting in Severus' lap. "Are you sure you want me to sit here?"

"Absolutely. You can feed me, and I can hold you. What better division of labor can anyone devise?" They munched their way through the platter. "So, no big public ceremony. Do we want any ceremony at all, and if so, where?"

"Back up a bit and tell me about wedding ceremonies where you come from," Rose countered. "I have a lot of speculative concepts from fantasy stories: jumping over a broomstick being the simplest."

"I have never heard of that one," Severus was attempting to drink hot chocolate without scalding either of them. "Basically, there's the binding contract, registered with the ministry, and any charms, hexes, or spells to ensure fidelity and increase love, fertility, and what-have-you that anyone thinks will help. Some families have very involved traditions; some don't bother with anything. An exchange of wedding bands would be nice." He picked up her left hand to examine the emerald solitaire he had fetched out of his vault. "This ring just establishes my claim on your body."

Rose turned about slowly, still in his lap, and stared in his face with the fiercest look he'd ever seen. "What?!!"

He held her gaze for fateful seconds. "Gotcha!" He smirked. "That makes up for the miniskirt, and the harem silks." Several minutes of cuddling and such smoothed things over again. Rose sighed and laid her head on his chest. Severus continued, "We could just hold a reception or two, with dancing and food, one at Hogwarts, one at the dancing hall. You could wear that gold gown, and we could make good use of our extensive training in ballroom technique."

"I like that idea," Rose sighed. "I think I am going to nap now. Care to join me?"

"I want to get to the bottom of this pile, before I lose all self- discipline and self-respect. It shouldn't take long. You go lie down, and I'll join you presently."

Severus patted her bottom as she slid out of his lap. He reached for the next essay and his quill, while contemplating his forthcoming nuptials. Snape family traditions were not designed to accommodate Muggle-Magical marriages, and since there weren't any Snapes left, he could start new traditions with impunity. Would it be fair or even useful to invoke any magic on Rose? It might be dangerous, in fact. Did Rose need magical guarantees placed on him? He hoped he was a better man than that. He would consult with the Headmaster, and Professor McGonagall. They both had personal experience as well as years of observation to draw upon. Severus Snape was no young fool to rush in where angels feared to tread, at least, not without a map and a guide.