Disclaimer: The characters are the property of the amazingly talented J.K Rowling! I'm only borrowing the characters and world that she has so brilliantly created.
Beta by: ilovethedotgame
Lily peaked around the corner into the small chapel, her eyes searching for James. She smiled as she spotted him near the front of the room. Sirius, as his best man, was at his side. He was laughing at something Sirius had said, and Lily knew that James' eyes were shining as they always did when he smiled.
They had officially been a couple for slightly more than a year now, but Lily's heart still skipped a beat at the sight of James. He looked so handsome in his formal black dress robes. His hair was still was just as untidy as ever, although Sirius had informed her that James had tried to subdue it in honor of the occasion.
Secretly, Lily was glad that James' hair had not cooperated. Untidy though it was, it was part of who James was, and she was glad that nothing about him had been altered for the wedding.
They had chosen to have their wedding be a mix of the traditional Muggle and wizarding ceremonies. Lily had always loved the traditional Anglican vows, and she also wanted her father to be able to walk her down the aisle. James, however, had grown up in a pure-blood home and was used to the wizarding customs surrounding a marriage ceremony. He had never known anything else and indeed could not imagine a wedding of any other sort.
It was to be a small gathering of immediate friends and family only. Voldemort and his Death Eaters were increasingly becoming a threat to the wizarding and Muggle communities alike, and the marriage of a pure-blood to a Muggle-born wasn't something she and James had wanted to broadcast.
Sitting in the front row were Charles and Dorea Potter. Dorea was positively beaming; while Charles didn't appear enthused, neither was he scowling, which was a large accomplishment in itself. Ever since Dorea and Hestia had stood up to Charles on the matter of the betrothal, he had been slowly becoming more open toward his family. Tensions between James and Charles still remained high, but things were improving.
Charles had made no attempt to stop James from getting married to her and had even congratulated Lily. Lily's own mother was sitting next to Dorea Potter, waiting for her husband to take his seat next to her after walking Lily down the aisle. Petunia had chosen not to attend a wedding where so many magical people would be gathered. She had congratulated Lily in a stiff and unconvincing manner, which Lily supposed was almost all that she could expect from Petunia.
Frank and Alice, still happily married, were sitting next to Emmeline in the row behind. Little over a month ago, they had narrowly escaped an encounter with Voldemort himself. Both had been shaken by the meeting, but adamantly continued their Auror training. Last Spring, Emmeline had moved to London to a flat within walking distance of Lily and Hestia. She had taken a desk job at the Ministry and was quite happy.
Remus and Peter were across the aisle. She and James had purposely planned their wedding at a time two weeks from the full-moon so that Remus would be able to attend in good health. He was having difficulty finding a job since few employers wanted to hire a werewolf, but he refused any help from James or Sirius who had offered several times to give him money or help him find a position. Peter was working at a shop in Diagon Ally, and as far as Lily knew, was doing well.
"It's almost time," Hestia said, appearing at her side, wearing the pale yellow Lily had selected for her maid of honor. "Are you nervous?"
"No," Lily smiled, turning to face her best friend. "I thought I would be….but I'm not. There's no doubt in my mind that I'm doing the right thing, marrying James."
"It's strange to think that in little over half an hour you'll be Lily Potter and not Lily Evans," Hestia commented thoughtfully. "But Lily Potter suits you; it sounds almost as though it was meant to be your surname."
"Have you and Graham picked a day?" Lily asked, referring to Hestia's recent engagement.
Lily was glad that her friend had found Graham Jones. She had never seen Hestia as relaxed or as happy as she when she saw her in Graham's presence. The two of them were exceedingly happy together, and both James and Lily were pleased for their friend.
Hestia twisted the golden ring on her left hand with a small smile. "We're thinking of some time in the early fall. Neither of us wants a large wedding; just a small gathering of friends and family like you and James decided."
She paused, as though searching for the appropriate words. "Since you're my best friend, I was hoping you would be my maid of honor."
"Of course I will! Lily exclaimed, hugging Hestia as closely as her dress would allow.
"Don't rumple your dress!" Hestia warned, pulling away. "You look so beautiful today, Lily. I'm sure James won't be able to take his eyes off you."
Lily had worried that today would be stressful or bring back unwanted memories for Hestia, but her friend had never looked happier. There was no bitterness about her, no sign that she was saddened by the loss of what should have been her wedding. Hestia was eagerly anticipating her own wedding day and refused to allow the past to ruin her future.
"It's time, Lily," her father said, approaching her. He was smiling, but his eyes were glittering with what Lily strongly suspected were tears.
Lily peaked around the corner again, and sure enough, everything and everyone was in place. Dumbledore, who was officiating the ceremony, had taken his place at the front of the chapel, a bit behind where James and Sirius stood.
She saw James watching the doorway she would enter through in an expectant manner. She felt her stomach clench in anticipation, but she had never felt more confident in a decision in her entire life. With all of her heart, soul, and mind, she longed to be Lily Potter.
L … J
James scanned the small crowd that had gathered in the chapel for his wedding. His wedding. Once the phrase had held a connotation of deep dread and entrapment for him, but today he was marrying Lily, and the only words that were fitting were joy and fulfillment.
As music began to softly fill the chapel, Hestia came through the door in the back of the room, carrying a small bouquet of flowers. She walked towards them, and upon reaching the front of the chapel, she took her place on the left side of the altar. The music was unfamiliar to James, but Lily had assured him that it was a common bridal march in Muggle weddings.
Lily's father appeared at the door with Lily holding onto his arm. James very nearly forgot to breathe as his eyes rested upon Lily. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. The white dress she wore contrasted with her hair, making the auburn strands seem even more vibrant. The dress itself was simple, yet elegant, with short sleeves and a scooped neckline. A veil covered her face, but James could see her bright eyes shining through the sheer material.
"Inhale, exhale," he heard Sirius mutter to him underneath his breath and fought not to let out a rather inappropriate burst of laugher. He could not, however, conceal a smile. He grinned widely, unable to keep his cheek muscles in a neutral position. He could tell that Lily was smiling as well, and any chance that he might keep a straight face was lost.
The crowd rose to their feet as slowly – what seemed like years in James' opinion – Lily and her father made their way down the aisle. James felt his heart pounding as Lily advanced towards him.
At the last pew, Mr. Evans took his seat next to his wife as Lily proceed to the front. She paused to hand her bouquet to Hestia, and then finally came to stand beside him. She gave him a small smile, and he returned it, feeling his breath come easier now that she was standing there next to him.
"Welcome, ladies and gentleman," Dumbledore raised his arms, greeting the assembled people. He and Lily had chosen Dumbledore to officiate their wedding. They could think of no one better. After all, both he and Lily were quite close to Dumbledore, having known him well at Hogwarts, and now through their work for the Order.
"It is my deep honor to be here today to join together Lily Christine Evans and James Harold Potter in holy matrimony. Being from different backgrounds, Miss Evans and Mr. Potter have chosen to combine different aspects on the Muggle and wizarding ceremonies. At the beginning of a magical wedding, it is common for the audience to show their consent and joy with the impending marriage. I ask that you repeat these words with me, though whether you wish to or not is, of course, your own choice."
"We have come to bear witness to the site of your union," Dumbledore began, and the crowd solemnly intoned the words after him.
"We have come to support your decision to bind your lives together. May you face all of troubles of life together, supporting one another. May your love for each other never diminish, and may your lives be filled with joy."
Dumbledore turned to Lily first. "Lily, will you have this man to be your husband, to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?"
"I will," Lily replied, glancing sideways at him, a smile gracing her pretty face.
Dumbledore now turned to face him, blue eyes twinkling. "James, will you have this woman to be your wife, to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?"
"I will," James answered, his steady voice matching the resolve in his heart to care for Lily all the days of his life.
"Please join hands," Dumbledore instructed. James extended his hands and felt Lily's small ones slide into his. Their hands had always fit so well together, bringing comfort and warmth. He felt her gently squeeze his hands, and he returned the gesture, assuring her through his touch that he meant every word he said.
Pulling his wand from his robes, Dumbledore began to recite ancient words that spoke of unity and vows, traditionally spoken at wizarding marriages. After he finished, he then repeated the words in English for the benefit of the non-magical members of the crowd. "These two people come here today to bind their lives together and become one. May they be united until the end of all things. The vows they now repeat are sacred; let the one who breaks this covenant be cursed."
He then touched each of their conjoined hands with his wand, which caused their hands glow a bright white for several seconds before slowly fading.
James cleared his throat. "I, James Potter, take you, Lily Evans, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow."
He had originally been wary of the aspects of a Muggle marriage ceremony, but now he was glad he had agreed to Lily's request that they merge the two very different wedding styles. The vows of the Muggle service were very formal, but also very beautiful. James felt that the words were expressing everything he wished Lily to know about his love for her.
"I, Lily Evans, take you, James Potter, to be my husband," Lily's eyes were glistening with joyful tears, but her smile remained, and her voice never faltered. "To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow."
Sirius stepped forward, producing the rings Lily and James had chosen for each other from a pocket of his formal dress robes. He handed them to Dumbledore, who held the rings up before the church, reciting more ancient words.
"These tokens are symbols of the unity that will now exist between this man and this woman. They represent the eternal nature of their vows."
Keeping hold of her left hand, James' let go of Lily's right hand and took the ring Dumbledore offered him.
"Lily," he said, gently slipping the white gold band onto her slender finger, "I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you."
Dumbledore then extended a gold band with engravings to Lily, who took it, and slipped it onto James' ring finger, giving his hand a small squeeze after she had done so.
"James, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you."
"Lily and James have consented to this union, and have given their vows freely and without hesitation. It is now my extreme pleasure to present to you, Mr. and Mrs. James Potter."
Over Lily's shoulder, James could see Hestia grinning, and the sight only added to the happiness now filling him like air being pumped into a balloon.
"Mr. Potter," Dumbledore told him, bright blue eyes twinkling merrily, "you may now kiss the bride."
James lifted Lily's veil and pushed the light material behind her so that it hung down her back. Leaning forward, James pulled Lily gently towards him and pressed his lips against hers. Warmth spread throughout his body at the contact, and he felt his mouth curve into a smile against her soft lips.
The sensation of holding Lily so close to him never lost its appeal or its spark, and if not for the chapel full of people, James would have happily continued to kiss Lily until the need for oxygen become imperative.
As James pulled away from Lily, the applause of the small crowd greeted his ears. He felt touched that each person in the room had come to show their support of his marriage to Lily, and that they were here to share in celebration of the love he shared with the woman standing next to him.
Grinning at Lily, he took her hand and the two of them made their way down the center aisle, attempting to dodge the rice being thrown by their guests. Everyone was smiling, clapping for him and Lily, all other cares temporarily forgotten.
The world was an uncertain and dangerous place at the present time, and for a moment, James doubted that the happiness that he was now experiencing would be able to last for long. But suddenly words Dumbledore had once spoken at an Order meeting filled his mind. "Love and friendship are the most important weapons against Voldemort."
James leaned over and kissed Lily softly on the lips, to which she happily responded.
"What was that for?" she asked, in a breathy sort of voice as he pulled away.
"I love you, Lily Potter," he told her, smiling down at her, his heart aching with love for the spirited young woman in his arms.
Dark as the future might look at the moment, James felt that as long as he had Lily, his friends, and family by his side, he would be able to face the darkness with confidence.
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