With A Cherry On Top
"What a beautiful wedding! What a beautiful wedding!"
says a bridesmaid to a waiter…
"And yes, but what a shame,
what a shame, the poor groom's bride is a whore."
I Write Sins, Not Tragedies – Panic! At the Disco
'Why, don't they make the most adorable couple, Katie dear?' my mother asks with a simpering smile in the direction of Mrs. Wood, whose face is aglow with pride.
I choose to ignore her.
Her perfectly plucked eyebrows furrow for a moment before she sighs and turns away – I'm apparently not worth the trouble of scolding today. I follow her gaze and have to clench my teeth together from screaming out at the injustice of it all – Oliver and his fiancée are dancing in the middle of the parquetry floor, all smiles and laughs as they twirl to the music happily.
'Olivia, you are lucky,' my mother continues to gush, 'Adrienne is such a stunning girl – she'll make a gorgeous husband for him.'
Even I have to admit that she's right – Adrienne Sanchez is beautiful.
Oliver spins her under his arm and brings her up to his chest in an embrace as she laughs merrily, the sound of it matching her perfect, slightly tanned face and graceful, dainty steps. They're spinning around in circles now, like seven year-olds, her long dark ringlets fanning out behind her petite body like a lustrous sheet of chocolate coloured silk.
I brush a piece of my own lighter brown hair from my eyes, tearing my gaze away from them – or rather, him – and their sickening display of mushy antics. My mother and Mrs. Wood are talking about drapery now, and I'm finding the conversation intensely boring, until I'm tapped on the shoulder twice and I turn around to see the Weasley twins standing behind me with identical, trademark grins.
'Why, hello there Miss Bell!' greets Fred – I think its Fred – with a smile.
'Hey Fred… Hey George...' I reply half-heartedly, trying to keep my eyes from wandering over their shoulders to Oliver and his pretty fiancée.
'Care to dance, Katie-love?' asks George, holding out his hand.
Rolling my eyes at my mother's gasp of surprise (could it be that Katie, her wallflower disappointment of a daughter has an admirer?), I nod and step out onto the floor with the pair of them.
'You know, my mother's going to think you're in love with me now.' I warn George as he sways me to the music, purposefully steering me away from the happy couple.
'Oh well, Alicia will be here soon and she'll soon be rid of that idea.' He replies with a little laugh, dipping me backwards.
As I'm suspended upside down in the air, I snatch a glimpse of Oliver, who's stopped dancing with Adrienne and is watching George and I with – dare I admit it – a rather annoyed glare. In my shock, I forget to pull back up with George's arm and I end up flat on my back in front of most the majority of Scotland's upper class cronies.
'Oh dear, are you quite alright?' enquires Adrienne's mother as she and Mr. Sanchez waltz by.
'Oh, I'm fine thank you.' I manage to croak through my embarrassment as George offers me a hand up, his face scarlet with repressed laughter.
'You right there Katie?' asks Fred as he dances by with Angelina, whose expression is one torn between amusement and pity for me.
'I'm fine.' I repeat, getting to my feet and brushing the dust off my long, green dress with shaking hands.
'You know Katie, if I didn't know any better, I'd say Oliver looked jealous.' George whispers into my ear with a smirk.
Startled, I turn to look at Oliver who, realising he's been caught watching us, hurriedly turns around to see where Adrienne's disappeared to and bumps the waiter behind him, scattering champagne flutes everywhere with the smash of shattering glass and the splash and shrieks of wealthy aristocrats being drowned in alcohol.
With a chuckle, George lets go of me and leads me away so that Oliver can recover his pride before upsetting anymore trays or waiters. We've just reached the Weasley family's table when the doors to the auditorium creak open and Alicia steps through them meekly, looking phenomenal in a peach-coloured, asymmetrically hemmed dress that matches her slightly rosy cheeks perfectly.
With a slight whistle underneath his breath, George nods apologetically to me before hurrying over to greet her – picking her up and twirling her around in a circle before planting her back on her feet where she stumbles slightly in her matching high-heeled shoes.
'Well now, doesn't Alicia look lovely?' comments my mother somewhat grudgingly from a nearby table, throwing me a disdainful glance.
Sighing, I decide I might as well find someone else to dance with before my mother decides to deem me a spinster, I take a couple of steps forwards without looking where I'm going and run into the last person I want to see – Oliver.
He looks down at me with slightly alarmed brown eyes, blinking slowly with long, dark lashes and brushing a piece of his dark hair from his brow.
'Hey.' he says hoarsely with a slight smile.
'Hey.' I reply dimly, returning his smile.
'H-how have you been, then?' he asks, twisting his hands in the pockets of his tuxedo pants.
'Oh, alright…' I answer nervously, 'You?'
'Oh, alright…' he says, 'been busy, what with Thomas' wedding and all.'
'Yeah, I can imagine…' I reply, with a nod towards Oliver's elder brother and his blonde new wife, both of whom are looking ecstatically happy.
He opens his mouth to say something else, but instantly shuts it again as Adrienne comes gliding towards us, her scarlet dress floating around her creating a vision of perfection.
'Oliver bambino, who might this be?' she enquires of him with a slight Spanish accent, taking a firm grasp on his arm and smiling at me politely.
'Oh, this is Katie,' he replies with a little cough, 'Katie, this is my fiancée Adrienne.'
With a (forced) smile, I offer her a handshake which she returns with brute strength – she may look like a porcelain doll, but by Merlin is she tough.
'Wow, its lovely to meet you at last Adrienne, Oliver talks of nothing else.' I say with what I think is a charming smile, but the look on Oliver's face says otherwise.
'Oh, I hope all that he says is good!' she exclaims with a little slap on his arm that makes my stomach lurch with suppressed jealousy, 'he talks an awful lot about you too, Katie – he tells me you play Quidditch together?'
'Um, yes...' I reply with a slight stutter, 'we both play for Puddlemere United.'
'Oh, how lovely,' she says, with an awkward look on her face that she knows I notice, 'I'm sorry, its just that I do not like Quidditch very much you see, I was the victim of a nasty flying accident a while back and I have taken a rather unfortunate dislike to all things broom-related.'
I take in this information with a rather startled disposition, before clearing my throat and saying perhaps the stupidest thing I've ever said in my eighteen years of life.
'Oliver, do you really like her then?'
As soon as I say it, I snap my mouth closed and clap a hand to my mouth in horror. Adrienne blinks as if she thinks she's misheard me, before a look of pure offence appears on her face and before I can say anything to alleviate the situation, Oliver gives an almighty cough and runs a hand through his hair, as if to say "I don't really know".
At first, I hope that she doesn't notice, but she's smarter than I've given her credit for, and so, she begins to get angry… really angry…
'WELL?' she screams in his face, 'Are you going to stand there all day or are you going to answer her question!'
The whole hall is turning to see what the commotion is about, and I glance quickly around to see if there's anybody who will save me if she finds it necessary to kill me, but I can't see anyone. Oliver looks as if he wishes he could just disappear right now, and he's looking at me like he doesn't know whether he should strangle me or cry on my shoulder at the embarrassment of it all.
'Adrienne, I honestly didn't mean it that way, it just came out like that and I really didn't mean to-' she cuts me off by doing the one thing that's guaranteed to make me want to kill a person – she slaps Oliver.
'Alright lady, that's something you really don't want to do!' I snarl, pushing myself in between her and the red-faced Scotsman, who looks as if he's going to pass out.
'Oh really?' she laughs in my face; looking less like the vision of perfection she was a few minutes ago.
'Really.' I hiss, pushing her away from me and sending her stumbling into the table behind her.
'Katie Bell, don't you dare!' yells my mother from across the hall, but I barely hear her in my anger.
'Oh, so you're a brawler are you, you little puta?' she sneers, reaching down to unstrap her sparkly little red heels.
At her mention of the word 'puta', her mother starts to scold her in Spanish, so I know what she's said is nasty. Consequently, in response to being called a 'puta' – whatever that is – I reach down and unstrap my own shoes, tossing them aside where they bounce along the floor and hit Oliver in the shins, startling him from his escapade reverie.
'Katie… Adrienne… what are you doing?' he asks exasperatedly, before we answer his question for him by launching at each other like lionesses.
'Fight! Fight! Fight!'
I can hear the voices of Fred and George as I tumble around on the floor with Adrienne, scratching and slapping her with every ounce of strength I have.
'Get off her! Get off her! Katherine Ann Bell, if you do not get off her I will – Ouch!' In her stupidity, my mother has tried to pull me off her and her reward is being thrown off her feet and crash landing in the lap of Mr. Sanchez, who is watching his daughter being beaten up by her daughter with a mildly amused expression.
'Adrienne! Katie! Stop it this instant!'
Mrs. Wood has decided to intervene, and that means trouble for the both of us. She may be a rich, incredibly straight-laced lady, but my God, is she strong.
As I pull back my arm to lay into Adrienne's picture-perfect face, I feel a pair of strong, taloned hands grip my upper arm and I'm being hauled off the Spanish doll and being pulled to my feet. Brushing my hair out of my eyes impatiently, I open my mouth to say something but am instantly silenced by the look on Mrs. Wood's face.
'Explain.' she instructs Adrienne strictly.
But Adrienne's had enough of English, so she turns around and begins to whine to her mother in Spanish, much to the annoyance of myself and Mrs. Wood, who looks rather like she might just be on my side of this argument.
'She slapped Oliver!' I say indignantly to anyone who'll listen as Adrienne continues to tearfully explain to her mother what happened.
'So she did.' Mrs. Wood says, reaching out to touch Oliver's shell-shocked face tenderly.
'See?' I huff to my mother who looks as if she's going to murder me.
'Please tell me that Katie hasn't ruined their engagement…' she mutters to herself, but is somehow overheard by Fred who raises an eyebrow conspiratorially.
'Oi Oliver!' he calls over top of the crowd.
Looking up with a flushed face, Oliver nods.
'Marry Katie or I'll have to kill you!' Fred yells, causing the hall to erupt into pure chaos.
Hearing what Fred says, Adrienne stops nattering away to her mother and flashes me a look of pure hatred. Turning around, she grabs a handful of the un-cut wedding cake and flings it at me, hitting me square in the face.
'THAT'S IT!' I snarl before lunging at her and we both land on top of Thomas and Alice's magnificent six-tier cake.
'Katie!' sigh Oliver, Mrs. Wood and my mother exasperatedly as Fred and George roll around on the floor in hysterical laughter.
As we pummel each other on top of the cake splattered table, we're screaming insults and profanities every which way, causing the entire hall of rich snobs and relatives of the Woods to gasp and giggle at our shocking display.
'ALRIGHT LADIES, THAT'S ENOUGH!'
The loud, magically magnified voice of Lee Jordan – the MC for the day – rises over top of the chaos and everyone instantly stops what they're doing to clap their hands over their ears: including myself and Adrienne.
Sitting up, my eyes watering from the pain in both my ears and body, and absolutely covered in cake, I begin to realise just exactly what my behaviour means for Oliver… I've lost him his fiancée, the respect of his parent's colleagues, the esteem of his relatives; and if I'd ever hoped to become part of his family, I'd just gone and steamrolled that fantasy good and proper…
Getting down from the table, watched beadily by every other person in the room, I walk over to him and look him square in the eyes.
'I'm really, really sorry Oliver… You probably really hate me right now – I don't blame you in the least – but you need to know that I love you… a lot… and that I've only done what I did today because of that reason…'
Holding his gaze for a couple of seconds more, I gave him a quick smile before turning and walking through the rapidly parting crowd, cake and icing falling off me with every step and shamed tears trailing their way through the muck on my face.
At the sound of his voice, I come to a hesitant stop – as if I can barely believe I've heard it.
'I don't want you to leave.'
Turning around, I look at him with disbelief.
'I just ruined your brother's wedding reception, lost you your fiancée and embarrassed you in front of hundreds of people and you want me to stay?'
'Yes.' He says simply.
'Why?' I ask on the verge of hysterical confusion.
'Because I love you.' He replies, walking up to me and picking a piece of cake from my hair with a lopsided smile.
'You're mental.' I say, completely ruining the romanticism of the moment.
'I know.' He laughs, brushing away the tear-stained icing on my face and wiping it on the legs of his trousers.
'Puta!' Adrienne snarls as she and her mother stalk past us, their noses held high in the air – Adrienne's covered in white icing – and Mr. Sanchez walking along behind them with an amused smirk.
'Hey, stop!' calls a voice from the crowd and Lee Jordan comes running down from the stage to catch up with the enraged Spanish princess.
'What do you want?' she hisses through icing covered lips.
'To dance with you, if you'll let me.' He says, offering her his left hand and waving his wand with his right to start the music up again.
'Oh…' she says quietly, a shy smile creeping onto her face as she takes in Lee's handsome face and wild-but-cute dreadlocks.
'Will you?' he asks earnestly.
'Why?' she enquires.
'Because you're the hottest thing covered in icing I think I've ever seen.' He replies, causing me to call out 'Hey!' indignantly, 'Haha, sorry Katie…'
Shrugging, Adrienne smiles and lets him lead her onto the dance floor, away from her mother whose jaw is hanging open in shock very unattractively, and her father who is giggling in spite of his wife's perception of the events.
'Well, I happen to think you're the hottest thing covered in icing I've ever seen.' Oliver says to me quietly with a lopsided grin.
Laughing, I slap his arm lightly, before turning to look at Mrs. Wood soberly.
'I'm really, really sorry.' I apologise to her guiltily.
'Whatever for dear?' she says with a wink, before taking her husband's hand and dragging him out onto the dance floor.
Walking up to me with his startled new wife in hand, Thomas shakes his head as he tries not to laugh at me. 'You were never one to give up on him, were you Katie?'
'Never.' I say with a laugh that sparks his own laughter off and then Alice's and then Oliver's, and soon the four of us are laughing like hyenas at the stupidity of the situation.
'Well, we'll be off to dance then.' He says, before turning back to look at me, 'You had better make sure the cake at your wedding is well hidden or else…'
'Why? You're not planning on throwing cake at me to get Katie, are you?' asks Oliver with a grin.
'No, but I'm sure Fred and George will find some use for a huge cake with plenty of mess potential.' Thomas replies before whisking Alice away.
'He's right.' I say with a smile, as Oliver and myself sit down at a table in the quietest corner of the auditorium.
'Yeah, he definitely is.' Oliver agrees, looking up at my hair for a minute, laughing and then putting a straight face back on again.
'What is so funny?' I ask, raising an eyebrow at the stupid look on his face.
'Nothing, nothing at all…' he says airily.
'Oliver, you were never a very good liar.' I say, as he gets up, 'Where are you going?'
'To get some drinks.' He replies, taking one last look at the top of my head before hurrying off, his shoulders shaking with mirth.
Getting worried now, I take out the powder compact Alicia has lent me for the night, and observe my reflection in the mirror. Scowling, I realise exactly what Oliver is laughing about. Standing up, I locate him and shout across the hall.
'Oliver Tobias Wood, why is there a cherry on my head!'
'Because you were so covered in icing that we decided to turn you into a sundae.' George answers as he and Fred step out of the shadows with identical grins.
'A sundae?' I echo confusedly.
'Yeah, a sundae – you know -' says Fred.
'- with a cherry on top!' finishes George with a laugh.
Shaking my head at them, I sigh and plonk down onto my chair as they disappear across the dance floor, just as Oliver comes back and places a Butterbeer in front of me.
Smiling, I lean forwards to pick it up and the cherry decides at that moment in time, to slide off my icing-covered head and land with a small plop in my tankard, floating there mockingly.
That's it for Oliver, he's helpless.
His laughter is all-consuming as he sprays firewhisky all over me, hysterical giggles overpowering every ounce of control he had left.
Picking a piece of cake from my eyelash, I survey him over the top of my cherry-flavoured Butterbeer before sighing tiredly.
A/N: 'puta' is Spanish for 'whore' or 'prostitute'... lol
I'm not sure if i liked this one or not - my writing hasnt been up to scratch lately, i feel, and so i'm going through a bit of a self-doubt stage. lol.
Anyway, please R&R so i can find out whether this really did suck or not.
PS. i dont really speak Spanish, in case you couldnt tell...