A MuggleLes Dowich

Chapter 8

The engagement party didn't quite go as the guests expected. They all arrived at the large church hall Ron had reserved in Desiree's home village at three o'clock on Saturday afternoon, just as planned. The sun shone warmly and the birds sang in the trees, a few fields away sheep baa-ed, and the stream through the village burbled merrily. It was all very rural, everyone agreed, as they entered the Church hall, which was decked in flowers and swatches of white sain.

Arranging a venue that suited both the wizarding and the Muggle elements of their friends had not been easy. Ron had almost pulled his hair out by the time he had tried to account for all details. In the end, Dez had simply laughed at his struggles and suggested he relax. If anyone asked awkward questions or forgot themselves and performed obvious magic, then they would blame it on the champagne or the weather or simply let Ron's friend Hermione cast memory charms. She seemed to be absolutely superb at doing things like that on a large scale. Ron had laughed himself into a stitch over that insightful observation by his astute fiancé but he couldn't disagree. Hermione could take the whole guest list out with one charm, if she wanted to, she was some witch!

When everyone was arrived and greeted with very good champagne courtesy of Draco's contacts, Ron stood up and clapped for attention. "We're very glad to see you all here today but there's been a small change of plans. See, Desiree and I decided that, bugger the engagement, we would do better just to get married as we don't really want to waste any more time, so we are." He grinned mischievously and nodded to the local vicar who promptly came forward, and to Professor Dumbledore who grinned wickedly and stepped up too. They had decided they would have both wizard and church services, one after the other and it was easy enough to do.

Harry laughed and thumped Ron's shoulder allowing his friend to press a ring into his hand as they took their places on the dais. Desiree took her father's arm and allowed him to guide her toward the raised platform at the top of the hall where Ron and his best man now waited. As Ron kissed her, her simple aqua dress changed into a beautiful silk gown, not quite traditionally bridal but draped and folded over her tall figure with a spray of diamonds and pearls over the front. The Muggles in the audience oohed and aahed in surprise, the wizards made similar noises for a different reason, and Hermione carefully put her wand away, discrete to the last. Draco bent forward and kissed her ear murmuring. "We'll make a proper Slytherin of you yet, my love.'

"Over my dead body, sweetheart," Hermione whispered back with a wicked grin.

The service was short and sweet, Sue Barker acting as Desiree's attendant as she had been asked to be bridesmaid in a few months time. She had been one of the few Muggles who had been let in on the secret and only because she needed to have the proper dress on. Desiree knew her friend best and thought that warning her ahead of time would solve a lot more problems than it created. Sue didn't do surprises well. Harry stood up for Ron, trying hard not to laugh his head off at Ron's audacity. The vicar read a fairly conservative but heartfelt service, extolling the virtues and responsibilities of marriage, the duties and joys they would face together. Albus gave the blessing of the union in time honoured Wizard fashion, which the Muggles thought was a fantastic bit of sleight-of-hand. When he produced a silver knife to cut the binding cords, a few people squeaked and the magic bubble that built over their joined hands caused even more oohs and aahs from their guests. In short order, the vicar announced, "I now pronounce you man and wife; you may now kiss the bride!"

Clapping and cheers became wolf whistles and laugher until the vicar, a cheerful and mischievous soul himself, announced. "You may now stop kissing the bride."

Breathless and bright red, they broke apart and joined in the laughter as their friends raised their glasses in a heart felt toast. "To the Bride and Groom!"