Conquering a Prince's Heart
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Harry Potter characters and I'm not making any money with this story, I can guarantee you that my pockets are quite empty right now.
Chapter One - The Perfect Bride
It's awful when it rains in the summer, but unfortunately, that happens all the time in England, and that day it was no exception. The heavy rain made a soft noise hitting the glass windows and the small raindrops slowly slid down the glass, making the world outside become blurry and surreal.
Inside of the huge party's salon, dozens of young women wearing ornamented and expensive dresses paraded in front of two elder ladies, one of them wearing a crown.
"This is boring…" Queen Narcissa complained as another young woman made a small turn in front of her, the girl's dress shining under the candle light coming from the crystal chandeliers, hanging from the high ceilings ornamented in gold leaf.
"Milady, don't you like any of them?" Lady Sarah, the Queen's personal maid, asked in a gentle voice.
Both women had spent the last few hours interviewing those young ladies and studying their good manners, their dance abilities, their high-class education, their clothes, hair and so on… The Prince had to marry soon and assure his place as the heir of the throne. Unfortunately Prince Draco didn't seem interested in settling down, preferring the usual bed maids, available at the Palace for whenever the King or the Pince desired special company. This was the reason why Queen Narcissa had taken the matter into her hands and decided to choose the future Princess, whether her son liked it or not.
After two hours and twenty-seven interviews, the Queen felt tired, disappointed and sad. All those girls were quite pretty and well educated, but she was sure her son would tire of them very easily. Draco was a force of nature and a submissive wife would bore him to no end. There was only a way out… Queen Narcissa would have to choose a young woman from another English kingdom.
"Sarah, please tell them to leave and ask for the carriage… I want to go back to the Palace." Queen Narcissa ordered, elegantly rising from her seat, fixing her long dress and slowly walking towards a tall window, overlooking the river that passed through the city.
All the girls stared at the Queen in shock, as none of them had been chosen to marry the Prince, but still, they quietly left the ballroom not daring to say one word.
"Milady, the carriage awaits you…" Lady Sarah whispered, standing behind the Queen.
"They are just like I was at their age… That's why I can't choose any of them, Sarah." Queen Narcissa said in a sad voice. "They are so willing to please, that they don't have a personal identity, they would never question Draco's decisions, either they were right or wrong… They would only want to look perfect beside their husband! That's the way I was, and that's why my marriage is a facade."
"Milady, you are a wonderful Queen… The whole kingdom loves and admires you!" Sarah replied in a gentle voice, saying only the truth.
Yes, the kingdom admired her because she dared to help the poor families and orphanages, but her husband hated her for it. He thought that she was trying to steal his power over the population and that was another reason why their marriage wasn't happy.
"At least someone does love me and admire me…" Queen Narcissa sighed tiredly, running her hand down the window, removing the humidity that had gathered on the glass, finally being able to overlook the town.
The main square was empty except for a small carriage making its way down the street, the horse completely wet and his paws full of mud from the road. The sumptuous houses of the High-classers surrounded the square where a huge fountain in white marble decorated the garden surrounding it. A little down the road, a narrow river flowed wildly with the extra waters of the rain, secured by white brick walls, preventing the water from entering the city. On its margins a woman washed some clothes, placing them inside of a small basket. The woman was wearing a white long dress that now clang to her body, due to the rain, showing off her thin shivering body, while a green scarf covered her hair, like the law required.
Women had little rights according to the magical law of the time. Only men were allowed to attend a school of Magic, women could not learn magic or use a wand. Women could not be alone with a man who was not from her family. In case the woman was single and pure, she would have to use a scarf covering her hair and a white long dress that hid her body shape, because it was believed that showing the hair and body of a young woman would only bring the menace of rape towards her. Married women were allowed to show off their hair, as long as it was tied up, and they could wear long dresses, like it was fashion on the Victorian time. Deep cleavages, tight waist with the help of corsets, huge round skirts reaching the floor and the usual high healed shoes with white silk socks.
Taking a deep breath, Queen Narcissa turned around from the window and walked out of the room, towards her carriage to go back to the Palace she never considered as her home. The carriage was purposefully placed under a marquee, to prevent the passengers from getting their clothes wet or dirty with mud.
The Queen was about to enter when she noticed the same young woman that had been by the river go up the street with the basket full of washed clothes on top of her head, while her arms surrounded her chest to cover the parts of her body that the rain had exposed. A gush of wind made the basket fall off her head but the girl reached it on time, saving the clothes from falling on the mud. The abrupt movement caused the scarf to fall from her head revealing a mass of red hair falling down her back in wet curls.
The red hair contrasted perfectly with her rosy skin and white dress. As the girl kept on walking closer, Queen Narcissa noticed the small freckles that dusted the girl's nose giving her a childish and innocent look, but her amber eyes showed maturity and sadness by the way she never raised them from the floor. Her rosy lips were not smiling and the Queen wondered how the girl would look if she did.
"Guard!" Queen Narcissa called, being immediately attended by one of the Palace's guards that always accompanied her, wherever she went. "Follow that girl and report to me later. I want to know where she lives, who's her family, her name and her age… GO!"
The guard bowed to his Queen and proceeded to follow the red-haired girl with a safety distance.
"Milady, what are you thinking?" Lady Sarah asked, curious with her Queen's request.
"I believe I've found the future Princess of Birmingham's Kingdom…" Queen Narcissa smiled and entered her carriage. There was a lot to do at the Palace, to prepare the Engagement Ball and the Wedding.
"Why me? Why?" Ginevra Weasley mumbled when the basket full of washed clothes fell from her head. Fortunately she had grabbed it on time, but still she was furious. It was middle of the summer and it was raining heavily, but still, her brother's clothes needed to be washed. So, who else should go under the rain to the river's margins to wash them? Why… Ginevra, of course!
Ginevra Weasley, the youngest of seven children, the only daughter among six other boys, the only one to stay at home with her mother taking care of the house, while all her brothers went to the school of Magic and got fascinating jobs, such as working with Dragons, working at the Main Bank of the kingdom, and so on… Just because she was a girl, Ginevra wasn't allowed to have the same freedoms and rights her brothers had, and that made her furious. Why should she stay at home, washing clothes and ironing them with hot coals? Why should she have to sew old socks and plant vegetables on the small backyard?
"This is so unfair…" she complained loudly, still making her way home, through the muddy road with her bare feet. Ginny, has her family called her, loved her parents and her brothers, she didn't mind doing the house work because she was raised to be a working girl, with no fear of such tasks, but still, she wanted more… Ginny wanted to learn magic, she wanted a wand, and she wanted the same rights that men had. How many times had she read her brother's schoolbooks at night, with only a candle to keep her company, as no one could know she was reading them? How many times had she done the wand movements explained on those books with a stick she found on the backyard? And still… it wasn't allowed…
Finally, she arrived at her house… The rain had stopped by now, making a strong scent of wet earth come to her senses. In front of Ginny was her old house, the walls needing to be painted, the roof was dark with the moss that gathered there, the front door threatening to fall and the old backyard where a huge cherry tree provided shade on the rare sunny days.
Her family wasn't poor, but they weren't far from it. Ginny's father, along with her youngest brother Ron, worked for the Kingdom's Security Department, but their paycheck wasn't very high. Fortunately, the twins Fred and George owned a small bar in town, where they served meals and drinks, to men only, and they always gave their parents some money from their dividends. The twins and Ron were the only ones living at home now, while Percy, Bill and Charlie were all married to nice girls and lived their own lives. Percy was the King's personal assistant, Bill worked in Birmingham's Bank and Charlie lived out of the country working with his dragons. They were all free to choose a job, a life partner, a suit to wear… But she couldn't.
After placing the clothes on the drying string, under the porch, Ginny entered the kitchen to help her mother with dinner, not noticing the Royal Guard watching her from the other side of the street, his sword reflecting the shy sunlight that dared to break through the dark clouds.
"Milady, the Guard has arrived." Lady Sarah warned later that night, when the Queen was embroidering a tea towel. The Queen's face lightened up and an anxious smile appeared on her face, as she made signal for the Guard to enter her Atelier.
The Guard walked in, bowing in front of his Queen and then straightening up again to face her.
"So, tell me what you've found…" the Queen ordered.
"I've followed her home and then I've talked with some neighbours. Her name is Ginevra Weasley, she's the only girl in the family, but she has six brothers. She's the youngest at the age of twenty-two, she spends her days at home working with her mother on the house-hold… According to the neighbours she has a fiery temper, making her own brothers fear her reaction to their jokes. Miss Weasley is still single and has never been asked for marriage…" the Guard told everything he knew and waited for his Queen's next orders.
"I can't see why not! She's a gorgeous young lady…" Queen Narcissa mumbled, running her hands over the flower she had finished embroidering. "And she has a fiery temper, uh? That's good… Draco needs to learn he can't have all he wants just because he wants it. He needs to learn to fight for what he wants, and Ginevra will be the right person to teach him, I hope."
"My Queen, is there something else I can do for you?" the Guard asked, waking the Queen from her thoughts.
"Yes, you can. Tomorrow I want you to guide me to that girl's house… You may go now, good work." She replied watching him turn around and leave the room. "Sarah, I think she's the one!"
"This is the house, My Queen." The Guard said, as he helped the Queen come out of the carriage.
The day was sunny and warm, the perfect opposite of the day before. The sunlight reflected on the house's windows, the walls showed the need of a good painting, the garden was occupied with vegetables instead of grass and there was a horrible tree near the house.
Queen Narcissa already expected the girl to be poor, by the way she washed clothes on the river and wore a dress made of cheap fabric, but seeing the house she inhabited was another thing. But still, she wanted this girl badly, and she would do anything to make her the next Princess. Yes, it would involve a lot of work, but Queen Narcissa could hardly wait. In fact, it would probably be very amusing to teach all the high-society standards to that girl.
Straightening her long blue dress and her matching umbrella, the Queen and Lady Sarah made their way to the main entrance, clapping their hands to signal their presence. A short red-haired woman opened the door, still cleaning her hands on the apron she wore around her waist, and gasped in surprise before bowing in front of the Queen.
"My Queen, what an honour to receive you at my humble home! How can I help you?" Mrs. Weasley asked in awe, as she studied the woman's perfectly styled blond hair, the light blue eyes, the ivory skin and the expensive dress.
"I'm here to talk about your daughter, Ginevra…" Queen Narcissa said with a smile. "May I come in?"
"Oh, but of course! Silly me… Make yourself comfortable." Mrs. Weasley replied excitedly, gesturing for both ladies to seat down on the worn couch, as she sat on the other one facing them. "What about Ginevra? Is she in trouble? I'm always warning her not to listen to those men comments, but she insists on trying to hit them… She has inherited my temper, I'm afraid."
Strangely enough, the Queen seemed pleased with that information. Apparently the girl had an extremely fiery temper… Good, very good!
"No, she isn't in any kind of trouble. As you probably know, I'm searching for a bride to my son, Prince Draco, and I've happened to notice your daughter's beauty, and I wanted to ask her hand for marriage." Queen Narcissa said, going straight to business.
Mrs. Weasley stared at the Queen in shock. This high-class woman wanted her low-class daughter to marry her son, the Prince? Why? There were several rich girls, cute enough to marry the Prince…
"Why?" was the only word that left her mouth.
"She's the only one I believe capable of such responsibility." Was the only reply.
"I need to speak with my husband first…" Mrs. Weasley replied, covering her worried face with both hands. "Ginny's going to hate this situation."
"My Guard went to your husband's place of work and soon they'll be here. But, why do you say that your daughter won't like this situation?" Queen Narcissa asked, confused. "Doesn't she want to get married?"
"She believes in marrying for love… She won't like the idea of an arranged wedding." The woman replied, rising from her seat to pace the small living room. "She believes in equal rights for men and women, and now, we're asking her to submit herself to an undesired husband…"
"I can see that your daughter has strong beliefs and hopes. As the future Queen of this Kingdom, she would have the power to try changing the things she believes to be wrong, and who knows, she can end up falling in love with her husband." Queen Narcissa said, her voice full of hope as well. Hope that her son would have a life full of happiness with that young woman.
"Mom? Mom, where are you?" a female voice called from another room in the house. "The iron needs hotter coals…"
"Ginny, put the iron away and come to the living room, please…" Mrs. Weasley called back, her voice showing off her nervousness. Ginevra walked in the living room at the same time that her father entered the house and they both stared at the two elegant ladies in surprise.
"My Queen…" Arthur Weasley gasped in surprised, bowing to the lady and Ginny just stared in shock at everyone.
"Queen? You mean this lady is Queen Narcissa?" she asked, confused.
"Yes, I am, Ginevra… Nice to meet you." The Queen replied with a small smile on her pink lips. "Nice to meet you too, Mr. Weasley."
"But, why are you here at our house?" Ginny asked curious.
"Ginny! That's no way to address the Queen…" her father hissed, nervously.
"Oh, it's fine… She's curious, that's perfectly comprehensible. Well, I've been speaking with Mrs. Weasley and now I'll let you both know what brought me here…" the Queen said, taking a deep breath. "I want Ginevra to marry my son, Prince Draco."
"NO!" Ginny screamed, horrified by the idea.
"Ginny! Calm down…" her mother pleaded, hugging her daughter strongly against her chest. "It's a wonderful request…"
"Indeed it is." Arthur replied, a smile gracing his lips. "I've spent the last four years dreading the day someone would ask your hand for marriage. I didn't want to give you to just any men, because you deserve so much better, my child… This is the perfect chance for you! I will be giving you to someone capable of taking good care of my treasure."
"Daddy, please, if you really love me, don't let me marry the Prince… I would be unhappy for the rest of my life. I want a marriage filled with love, like you have with mother." Ginny sobbed, a few tears dropping from her amber eyes.
"Ginny, with time you'll learn to love your husband, and like Queen Narcissa said, you'll be the future Queen and you'll have the chance of changing those laws you hate so much! You'll give women all the things they want to have…" Mrs. Weasley said in a soothing voice, trying to convince her daughter to accept the situation.
As both parents tried to get their daughter to agree to the marriage, Queen Narcissa studied her future daughter-in-law. Today she was wearing the obligatory white dress that covered her whole body, not allowing one single body shape to show off, and she wasn't wearing the scarf on her head, because she was indoors. Her hair was a shiny deep red, reaching her low back on large curls and her fringe was braided in two, joining at the back of her head. Her eyes were beautiful even shining with tears, but Queen Narcissa would rather see her smiling.
"Ginevra, I know you don't like the idea of marrying someone you don't love, but I can assure you that my son is a gorgeous young man, full of charm and intelligent conversation. I'm sure you two will find common tastes and you'll learn to enjoy each other's company… Together I'm sure the two of you will be able to rule this kingdom and make sure the population is happy and safe." Queen Narcissa said in a gentle voice, rising from her seat to approach the girl. "Please, consider my words, for I'm not telling lies."
Ginny just studied the beautiful woman in front of her, trying to find if she was lying, but all that she saw was sad blue eyes, gentle smile and warm caring hands holding hers. It was so hard having to decide such an important matter in a few minutes… But, they were right. There was a lot she could change as soon as she had enough power in her hands, and maybe she could fall in love with the Prince… She had heard other girls saying he was quite handsome, so, why not? Her parents where having a hard time maintaining the house and one less mouth eating would be an improvement.
"Would I be able to keep in touch with my family?" Ginny asked, her voice shaking with emotion.
"Yes, you would be able to see them from time to time, but only after you're married. Until then you won't be able to leave the palace." The Queen replied gently.
"I guess I'll have to cope with that… I accept with one condition, my family will have to attend the wedding." Ginny said, taking a deep breath and sounding more secure of herself.
"Done! Welcome to the family, Ginevra… Thank you for accepting." Queen Narcissa sighed happily, forgetting all about etiquette when she hugged the young woman. Ginny smiled weakly and hugged her back, feeling the sweet scent of the Queen's perfume.
"Oh, you smell so nice and I'm sweating like a bull… I'm so sorry but I was ironing some clothes." Ginny mumbled, stepping away from the elder woman.
"Don't worry, it's fine… Now, I want you to come to the Palace right away, so say goodbye to your parents." The Queen said, stepping away to Lady Sarah's side, waiting while Ginevra hugged her parents and started to cry again. Since none of them was listening, Queen Narcissa gave orders to Lady Sarah to hire a maid to work at the Weasley's, being paid by the Palace's treasure.
"Milady, I need to go get my clothes now…" Ginny said, preparing to go to her bedroom, but she was stopped by the Queen's hand on her arm.
"Ginevra, that's not necessary… You won't need those clothes, now. Come, let's go." She said, going out the door with her arm around Ginny's small waist. "Goodbye, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley… Soon you'll receive the wedding invitation and I'll send someone to make your outfits. Don't worry, we'll take good care of your daughter."
The Queen and Ginny climbed on the carriage, followed by Lady Sarah and soon, they were being taken away from Ginny's childhood house to the Palace she would learn to think of has her new home away from home.
'I hope I've made the right choice… I'm scarifying too much for things to end up wrong.' Ginny thought as she turned around in her seat to look out the window, her house only a tiny dot in the distance and her heart tightened in her chest with the sadness that came over her body and soul.
Hello everyone. For those who don't know this story, it was recently (and quite rudely) deleted from because they claimed the contents weren't proper for this site... As if!
Well, i'm reposting the story, just as i originaly posted it, changing only the parts that might think too strong for the site.
Hope you enjoy this story, as i consider it one of my best works so far.