Author's Note: For the followers of "Continuum", I swear that the update is coming. Chapter 18 gave me a very hard time, my house was being remodeled and this little bit was distracting me. For anyone who has read the "Bound/Woven/Restored" trilogy, you know that Anwen and Sirius ended up with this huge. overblown wedding that they got a touch lost in. Their original wedding was to be on the shores of the Black Lake, with a light supper to follow. The following story is inspired by what transpired in "Continuum", but really reflects more the wedding these two might have chosen for themselves. It was also inspired by the song "Marry Me" by Train, which I found to be one of the most romantic things I've ever heard. Enjoy, it's all fluff and if you don't read it, you're not going to lose anything of the plot of the story that it's inserted into. MNFeathers
An Anwen and Sirius One Shot
(Fits in between Chapters 16-17 of "Continuum")
June 22, 1980
After the startling news this afternoon, Sirius, Remus and I somehow had to get ourselves together enough to return to James and Lily's for my party. I wasn't in a partying mood. I was in a sit and sulk mood; but there wouldn't be time for that today. James had gone and gotten Lily's parents to bring them up for supper, and I was expected to be happy and jovial. I would need to fake it tonight.
Faking being happy was something that I'd gotten good at in the last year. I got so tired of people asking if was "okay" that I just started acting like there was nothing wrong so they'd stop. I suspected that Remus saw through it, I knew that Sirius did. At the moment, it all felt like too much. I was expected to start my full time Auror training in a week, with my completion in six months. Usually you got three years to prepare yourself, but because I was bright and had begun my training classes while still at Hogwarts, I didn't get that time to prepare. I was going to be a fully fledged Auror before my eighteenth birthday. To add to my stress, I now had to know that Harry and Ginny had been lying to us about who they were, and why we were here.
Thinking about them made their predictions come to mind as well, something that caused me to shiver violently. At some point, probably in the near future, James, Lily and I would be dead, Harry would be orphaned, Sirius would be in jail and Remus would be alone. I had never contemplated what might happen to my beloved if I wasn't here with him. I had always assumed that we'd be together, forever. We were two halves of one person, I was certain of it. From the day we met, I just knew that we belonged together, though in what capacity I wasn't sure. To know that I would leave him alone in this world, and that he'd act rashly and ruin his life…I just couldn't take it.
I picked up the crystal owl that was sitting on the small table next to me and sent it hurdling at the front windows of the house. It crashed through the middle pane, the shattering sound nearly deafening and then the owl hit the support for the front porch, itself splintering in a million pieces and falling like fall leaves all over the decking. I realized what a stupid idea that was when I looked at the floor and the tiny fractals of glass that were scattered upon it. I was trapped in my favorite arm chair as I had no shoes on my feet, and I didn't know of a spell to protect my skin from being torn apart by the remnants of the window.
Sirius' heavy footfalls cascading down the stairs alerted me that my personal cavalry was on it's way. "Anwen, are you alright?" he yelled while on the upper steps, unable to see the room below. As he reached the landing, he bellowed again. "What the bloody hell happened?"
"I got pissed off and threw the owl Remus gave me through the window," I told him, embarrassed that I'd lost my temper. That was usually his department. Sirius chuckled at the situation, even as he was drawing his wand from his back pocket. With a flick, the crystal bits knit themselves back into the owl, which sailed through the hole, Sirius levitating it back to the spot next to me. He quickly did the same with the front window. He came and knelt in front of me, his larger hands taking my small ones.
"Do I even have to ask why you lost your temper?" I shook my head at him. "Come on, I know you don't want to go, but we have to."
"Please, can we have a few minutes," I begged him. "I just need you to hold me." He lifted me up under my arms and legs and cradled me to him. I began to sob. "I don't want to leave you," I whimpered through my staggered breaths. He didn't reply. It wasn't until I felt his tears hit my forearm that I understood why. He sank us back down into the chair, and we held each other and wept. I only could remember one other time that Sirius had cried, but even then I couldn't see him as he did. I only knew of his despair as his tears had fallen against my chest the night that he'd sent Snape out to the shack. He was afraid that he'd damaged his friendships beyond repair. I somehow thought that if we'd all known then what we know now, we might have let that cretin get mauled.
I could see the shadows lengthening in our little front room, and I knew that we had to get going. I finally pulled myself together enough to look at Sirius. While his eyes were red, he showed no other signs of having wept. I could feel that my face was swollen and blotchy. I lifted my hand and brought the swelling down and we left without saying a word about what had transpired. We didn't need to, I knew that he felt as if his world had stopped spinning too. Being apart from each other was something that we'd never discussed or even contemplated. Death was the one sure thing that could separate us, and it would seem that it was sooner rather than later.
Dinner was pleasant enough, although how Lily was cooking such a feast while she was so very rotund was beyond comprehension. I knew that she had five and a half weeks until her due date, but I suspected that she'd like her pregnancy to be over sooner. Alice looked worse for the wear, her due date in just under four weeks. Mrs. Evans took pity on Lily and insisted that she and Dr. Evans clean up and get the desserts ready.
Remus and Sirius left the room briefly, Remus returning within minutes without Sirius. I questioned him with his eyes, but Remus nonchalantly shook me off. I couldn't imagine where he'd gone, but the parade of desserts began to enter the room, which delighted the pregnant women. The one sure thing that always made Lily smile was dessert. She'd always had a sweet tooth, but being with child had made it even bigger.
Sirius returned as I put my first forkful of this chocolate, caramel, ganashed torte concoction into my mouth, surprising me with another glass of champagne. I wasn't sure that drinking any more tonight was such a good idea, but before I could put my fork down and pick up the glass, the golden liquid with the pearl like strings of bubbles began to change color. The yellow shifted to purple and then to pink, and the bubbles turned into a green line that grew up and out of the glass.
Soon the line was a vine, leaves popping out and twining to create a heart. I stared at this strange plant growing out of my glass, unsure of what else might happen, or why in the hell he'd done this to my drink. A small heart shaped bush had grown before me, rapidly covered in the delicate purple flowers of the Viola plant. My breath caught, and for the third time today I had been moved to tears.
Across the center of the heart pink flowers began to grow across the middle, and faint words were appearing. Lily and Alice squealed at them, and James and Remus were aghast. I sat there, slack jawed, unable to swallow my mouthful. I looked to my right, and there was Sirius, down on his knees. I panted, unable to even control my breathing, finally emptying my mouth with a hard swallow.
"Do you? Are you?" I wasn't even capable of coherent speech. "Really?" I finally asked, somewhat disbelieving.
"Anwen, how can you ask that?" He sounded hurt. I made some sort of noise, although none of it resembled words.
"You are the most amazing woman that I've ever known. I want to wake up with the sound of your breath on my cheek, the warmth of your lips on my neck, the touch of your fingers on my skin and the feel of your heart, beating with mine. I will never find that feeling with anyone else. I want to share everything with you, my house, my heart, my motorbike," I laughed through my tears at that one. "I want you to be the one who holds me back when my temper gets the best of me, and who'll laugh when my pranks backfire. I can't imagine my life without you, and I don't want to try. Marry me, Anwen Llyn."
"Yes, a thousand times, yes," I whimpered and threw myself at him, our teeth clinking as I accidentally tackled him to the floor. Giddy with joy, I was laughing and crying and lying sprawled out on top of Sirius who was prone, his back against the floor of their dining room, his bark-like laugh filling the room.
"I don't believe it, I honestly don't believe it," James mumbled from behind us.
"Oh, hush up James," Lily reprimanded him. "They're in love, and he was smart enough to get his head out of his arse. Now help them up so that I can congratulate my best friend." I turned to look at her and began to laugh harder.
"I wouldn't argue with her Prongs," Sirius commented as I rolled off of him. Remus and James both began walking over to us, and I tucked my legs beneath me, so that I could get up in something resembling a lady-like manner. "Wait, wait, there's one more thing I have to do," he commanded. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a ring, and slipped it on my finger. I had never seen anything so very beautiful in all of my life. A huge, square-cut diamond was in the center of the rose gold setting. On either side were rectangular shaped diamonds, three of them, getting markedly smaller as they stepped down from the center stone. It was very graceful and geometric, definitely crafted in the style of the thirties.
I ran my thumb along the thing back side of the band, assuring myself that he had indeed just put it onto me, assuring me that this was indeed real and not just a desperate illusion my mind had created to ease the discomfort of the day. When I'd confirmed that it was real, and that I was grounded in reality, I flung myself at Sirius and kissed him deeply.
We were congratulated by our friends and we enjoyed the rest of dessert together. It wasn't until Lily brought it up that I was reminded that an engagement ended with a wedding.
"So, when are you going to get married?" she asked me, and I returned her question with a blank stare.
"I have no idea."
"May I make a suggestion?" Sirius queried, I nodded my permission. "How about Tuesday?"
"Tuesday, as in three days from now Tuesday?"
"Exactly," he affirmed. "Your Ma has already planned the family dinner for your extended relatives, why not just do it then. There aren't that many more that we'd want to invited, everyone around the table here, Mum and Reg, Peter and a few of the professors and friends from school. They can all get there without any trouble. It would save a lot of hassle, and your Ma wouldn't have the time to drive you crazy."
I lost the use of speech again, stammering as I looked at my fiancée. Was it even possible for this to work? I was lost in thought for a moment.
"I need a dress, you need a suit. We need an officiant, and rings, and we need to let everyone know. What about people to stand with us?"
"Prongs, Moony, you're my best mates. What do you say?"
"Absolutely," Remus answered.
"An angry mother Fireball couldn't keep me away," James replied. "Honestly, Sirius Black, getting married." He sounded as amazed as I felt.
"Thanks for the vote of confidence there," Sirius replied sarcastically. "That's taken care of." I nodded at him, still stunned that he was talking about Tuesday as our wedding day.
"Well, I can ask my sister Liddy when we get there tomorrow, Eira is just too little, although she might make a good flower girl. Lil, I know that you're feeling all bloated and sore, but do you think you could stand being on your feet for a while, to stand up with me?"
"Anwen, nothing could keep me from being there with you, even going into labor."
"Well then, I guess we have some people to notify, and I have some shopping to do," I added, overwhelmed. Sirius and I were getting married in three days. We finished eating, and promised to tell everyone the exact time soon. Lily and I agreed that we'd meet on Monday to go looking for dresses.
Sirius took me to Grimmauld, to tell his mother and brother. I was very surprised how well she reacted. She hugged me and kissed me on both my cheeks. She then lifted my hand and looked at the ring, and smiled very warmly.
"I am so thankful that you selected this ring, Sirius. I hope that your marriage is as happy as theirs was," she explained as she kissed his cheek. I looked up at him, wondering who had worn this ring before.
"That's the engagement ring that my great-grandfather Cygnus gave to great-grandma Violetta. They were the last happy marriage that anyone had in the Black family, well except for Andi, but she married for love," he explained.
"It's actually the second ring, Sirius. When their marriage was arranged, there was a simple and rather dull family ring that was exchanged. They were engaged while they were still in school, and then had the unenviable task of learning to like and eventually love each other. Grandfather had that ring created for their twentieth anniversary, in 1929. Grandmother had wanted me to wear it, but I knew that I would never be happy. I do believe that the two of you can genuinely be so."
"Thank you," I told her as I hugged her. I was so shocked that she'd given us her blessing that I didn't hear much of the conversation that followed. I was definitely shell-shocked, even once we arrived back at our little house, and Sirius had rapidly charmed our clothes off.
Our love making was slow and passionate, both of us feeling the need to celebrate our now life-long commitment to one another, regardless of how long or short that life might be. I needed him this way, I needed to be reminded that I am alive, and that I needed to keep living until I died. So overwhelmed with love for the only man that I would ever know this way, tears followed my cries of passion. Even as he held me as I surrounded him, I still didn't feel close enough to Sirius. I needed to carry him inside of me, I needed to feel his love consume me.
Once we'd shifted around, and my entire body was covered by his, I finally felt comfortable asking him the one question that had plagued me since the proposal had grown from my glass.
"Love, did you ask me to marry you, today, because of what Harry and Ginny told us?"
"Yes." He'd been bluntly honest, but I wasn't sure that this was the answer that I wanted to hear.
"Oh." Maybe it wasn't real, maybe this all was just a gut reaction to some bad news and when we awoke tomorrow, his head would be screwed on right again, and the man who I'd been friends with for so many years would be back.
"Let me explain, before you go getting all worried that I'll change my mind," he responded. How he knew what I was thinking and feeling from one word, I had no clue. "I have been thinking about this for months, I figured that I'd do it once the babies were born and things had calmed down some. I wanted you to have the spotlight for a while, seeing as you're going to be the most beautiful bride that anyone has ever seen. Hearing from Harry and Ginny that I might lose you, it just gave me the push to get off my arse."
"You'd really share your motorbike with me?" I asked, remembering the oddest but most heartfelt statement from his proposal.
"Absolutely," he enthusiastically replied. "Do you really want to learn to drive it?"
"No, never, I just wanted to test your resolve on this," I teased to which I earned a pinch on my bum. "Ouch, I don't have much padding back there." His hand ran over it before cupping my back side.
"You're shaped quite perfectly, my beautiful fiancée," he muttered before he chose to suck on my earlobe, momentarily leaving me swooning.
"Sweetheart, before we get too involved here, there's something else that I need to ask you. If we get married at my parents home, it will be a Muggle wedding. James and Lily were married in a Wizarding ceremony, their magic combined as well as legally taking each other as husband and wife. Are you sure that you want a Muggle ceremony?"
"Love, I would marry you any way that we could. If you want, we can have a magical binding after the wedding on Tuesday. The Society Circle can do it for us, and it would please my mother. There hasn't been a couple that went through the ceremony in quite some time, in fact, it might be two whole generations in my family that opted out," he commented. "Some of the marriages weren't up to the Society standards, like Mum and Dad's. Other's just didn't choose to, like Bella and Cissy."
"Then it's settled, we'll have a traditional wizarding binding as well. What's the appropriate timing for such a thing," I asked, my fingers trailing up and down his spine.
"It can be anywhere from a few hours after the wedding to more than a month, but a week is the usual choice. It gave couples time to relax after one ceremony before the other."
"Then a week from Tuesday, we'll have our magical biding. Do you think your Mum would be willing to help me plan it?"
"I think that she'd be thrilled, Anwen. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm much too interested in celebrating our engagement than just talking about it," he commented as his lips trailed down my neck, to the hollow of my collar bone and then on to my breasts. I moaned in response.
The next morning we were off for Wales. The original plan was to take the train to my parents, but we were far too anxious and excited to ride for a several hours from London to Cardiff. We instead apparated ourselves directly to the forest behind my parents farm, surprising them at the breakfast table. Ma chastised me because she was still in her dressing gown, until she saw the ring on my finger. Our early arrival was promptly forgiven.
Our intention to marry on Tuesday caught her by surprise, but when we explained that all we wanted was something private and simple, surrounded by our friends and family she understood. My Da was the only skeptical one left. We left the rest of the family at the breakfast table, and I followed him out to the paddock to let the cows out to graze after their morning milking. My brothers would have to clean out the barns once they'd finished breakfast, but before church services. I made a mental note to send Sirius out to charm them to make the job easier and quicker.
"Couldn't you wait a little longer," he asked as we strolled in the dew soaked grass of the yard along the pasture. "You're so young, Anwen."
"I'm an adult, Da. I can make my own decisions, and this is what I want."
"But why now? You just graduated from school, you've got more education ahead of you, and that fancy career of yours. Take some time, child."
"There might not be time, Da," I answered him. I didn't want to tell him everything that was going on, but I did need to share enough to make him understand that the time was now.
"Things are quite unsettled in the wizarding world now, Da. There's this man and he has these horrible, ruthless followers, and they're trying to take over," I explained.
"What does that have to do with the two of you?"
"He wants to kill off anyone like me, born to non-magical parents. Sirius and I are part of the resistance, Daddy."
"You're a child. Why are you..." he stopped and glared at me. My father was a bear of a man, burly and large; years of tending to a dairy farm and shaped his body so. Yet, no matter what he looked like, he was as gentle as the brush of a butterfly's wings on your cheek. I knew that he was trying to scare me out of my choice, but I knew my daddy well enough to know he wasn't really angry, just worried.
"Because someone raised me to believe that if something evil was going on, that I had a responsibility to do what I could to stop it," I interrupted. My father's shoulders slumped and he sighed.
"You always did have the memory of a steel trap. I just don't want to see you get hurt, my little Llynnie," he mumbled, using his pet name for me. "You're sure that this is what you want?"
"I am. I love him, Daddy. I can't imagine my life without him. You know that he loves me as much. We've always been like this Da, from the first day that I met him when I was eleven, I knew. Please, Daddy, be happy for me," I explained, but my father continued to look at the ground beneath his boots. "I don't need your permission, but I want your approval." He gathered me up in his arms and hugged me tightly.
"I haven't always done right by you, my girl, but you turned out right well despite it. My blessing is yours."
"Thank you, daddy."
We headed back to the house, and my smile gave me away before I had a chance to say anything. Since we'd eaten before we left London, and I knew that there wasn't any coffee in the house, Sirius and I excused ourselves and went out to the barn to help my brothers along in their chores. We couldn't check into the inn in town until eleven, which was fine, since our bags were all strunk and inside of my purse.
We rode into town with my family in their large car, Liddy talking my ear off about the wedding, and excited to go with me to pick out dresses tomorrow in London. When the service was over, we spoke with the vicar, and he agreed to perform the ceremony. One thing down, only about one hundred left to take care of in two days.
The next morning we were up and I met with the baker across from the inn. She agreed to bake us a simple wedding cake that would feed the fifty or so people that would be in attendance. It would be frosted plainly so that I could slip some of the flowers from my Ma's gardens on top to decorate it. By eleven in the morning we'd patronused all the magical guests. We apparated to my parents to eat lunch before we'd both head to London, Sirius to Harrod's to purchase a new suit and then to Gringotts to get the wedding bands that matched my ring from the family safe and me to meet Lily at the Leaky Cauldron with my Ma and eldest sister.
Having never Apparated before, they were quite uncertain of the process, and both had trouble landing correctly. I kept them upright, but just barely. We hailed a cab outside of the Cauldron and drove to what had become Lily's and my favorite vintage clothing store. Since my ring had such a strong style to it, I decided that I'd like to get a gown to match it. I also loved the way the bias cut dresses from the art deco era fell on me. Definitely gave the appearance of more curves than nature had bestowed upon me.
Ma wasn't quite happy with my wanting a vintage gown. She complained that I didn't need something "used" for my wedding, but when I explained to her my reasoning, she relented. We rifled through rack after rack of dresses, and I was beginning to become discouraged about finding something for myself, when Lily put her hands on the perfect dress.
The candlelight chiffon and silk dress was perfect for a summer garden wedding. Sleeveless and tailored through the bust-line, the silk top gave the illusion of a longer torso by having an asymetrical dropped waist. Below the hips the dress was layer upon layer of chiffon and I seemed to float when I put it on. The gown had a small belt with an elaborate clasp decorated with rhinestones. On the left hip was a spray of surprisingly well preserved roses made of the same silk as the bodice. It was the kind of dress that made you feel stunning just by wearing it. It was the only dress that I had to try on.
We looked through the store to find something for Lily to wear, and surprisingly found a dark purple, empire waisted gown that fit her ever expanding body. For Liddy, we found a pale purple dress made of layers of tule with delicate embroidery along the top. They looked striking together, and we could use the purple and white hydrangeas from my Ma's garden for bouquets. It had only taken us two hours, and we'd outfitted the wedding party. Lily told the guys not to purchase ties while they were shopping today, so that she could get ones that matched the dresses. We quickly stopped in a nearby men's store and found ties that would match.
I took my Ma and Liddy home, and then went to sit with Lily at the Manor to await the gentlemen from their shopping trip. As we sipped tea, we reminisced.
"Anwen, what about Harrison and Regina? Will they be there tomorrow?" she asked.
"No," I quickly replied, then realizing that I needed a reason why. "They've had an emergency and they're not able to be there." I guessed that it was a good reason: sounded important and yet vague.
"Oh, that's too bad," she responded. "I'm sure that they would have wanted to celebrate with you."
"Maybe they can be at the magical ceremony next week," I non-committaly answered. I quickly changed the subject back to the wedding, and discussed some music with her.
We didn't break with tradition, and I stayed at my parents home that night, while Sirius stayed at the inn. We were meeting with the Anglican minister this morning to discuss our service for this afternoon. The meeting went well, and to appease my parents, we opted for the traditional vows, even though there was little that was traditional about Sirius and I or our courtship.
I sat in the room that I had slept in as a little girl, it now shared between Liddy and Eira and listened to my extended family arriving. My Da had one natural brother - the only other blood relative that he had, since his parents had been killed in the second world war - and two adoptive sisters. They were all married, and between the three of them, I had nine cousins on the Hodgson/Iver side of the family. My Ma had three sisters, two of whom had married, and had six cousins on that side of the family. Only one grandparent still was alive, my grandma Iver. All of them would be here today.
It was a ruckus crowd, the boys kicking around the football and the girls dividing up into smaller groups to play with dolls or talk about music. I sat on the bed in the silky komono robe that Ginny had insisted I buy when she took me lingere shopping, waiting to get ready. Lily was coming to help me with the charms for my hair and make-up as I had never really gotten the hang of them, mostly because I didn't care that much. A knock at the door surprised me.
"You're not supposed to see me," I reprimanded my soon to be husband.
"Don't care, and I don't believe in Muggle superstitions either," he whispered as he came and sat next to me, already dressed in his charcoal grey suit.
"You've got the rings, right?" I questioned.
"Nope, gave them to Moony to make sure they'd get here."
"Wise choice, dear," I muttered as I laid my head on his shoulder.
"My Mum sent something for you," he said quietly, reaching into the inner pocket of his jacket. "She wasn't sure if you had anything to wear, but if you didn't, she'd be honored if you'd wear these." He handed me a small jewelry box, and when I opened it, I was surprised by a pair of cognac colored diamond earrings. "Julia Potter gave them to Mum for her completing her apothecary studies. She hoped that you'd wear them. I'm sure that Aunt Julia would have wanted you to as well." I was choked up at the gift, but nodded that I would. They'd match my dress perfectly. Sirius leaned in to kiss me, and we were surprised when the door opened again.
"Sirius Black you're not supposed to be in here and seeing your bride before the wedding," Lily scolded him and the moment was broken by my giggles. "Go on, scoot." Sirius leaned over and kissed me quickly before Lily threw him out. In no time at all I was dressed and ready to be married.
Just before five I heard the gentle plucking of the harp, and looked out the window to see my Auntie Eleri tuning her instrument. I was so very excited by this, for there was nothing more soothing than the music of the harp, or more beloved by the Welsh people. She began to play the notes of "The Ash Grove", one of my favorite songs as a child, and I caught my tears before I smeared the makeup that Lily had so expertly charmed upon me.
Da came to get me from my room, and as I slipped my hand into his crooked arm, I felt at ease. The butterflies were gone, I was marrying the man that I knew I belonged with. Fate had put us together, love had already bound us, and even death - regardless of when it came - would not put an end to what we had. I wanted to share every minute of every day of forever letting Sirius know how I felt.
Lily handed me my bouquet and kissed my cheek, and then she followed Liddy out. As I stepped out the back door, the one off the kitchen, and into the lawn, I realized what a poor choice three inch heels had been for my feet. The tip of the heel immediately sunk into the warm soft grass and I couldn't remove my shoe from the ground. Trying to still my laugh, I simply slipped my feet out of the shoes, leaving them just beyond the doorway, and walked to my beloved in my bare feet. I think I preferred it that way anyhow, for there was no better feeling that warm grass between my toes.
I lost all track of the world when Sirius looked at me from under the Willow tree. I vaguely registered that my father had lifted my hand from his arm and placed it in Sirius', or that the minister had begun speaking. I could only see his beautiful face and feel the electricity that flowed between us. It wasn't until we started our vows that my mind snapped back to reality.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honorable estate, instituted of God in Paradise, and into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, by God's Law, or the Laws of the Realm; let him now speak, or else hereafter forever hold his peace."
There was silence in the yard.
"I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgment when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, that ye confess it. For ye be well assured, that so many as be coupled together otherwise than God's Word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful."
Thankfully, Sirius and I were both silent this time.
"Sirius, wilt thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep thee only unto her, as long as ye both shall live?"
"I will," he answered loud enough for everyone to hear, in case anyone had any doubts about his loyalty to me. The action made me smile, to which he quirked his eyebrow and curled just the edge of his lip.
"Anwen, wilt thou have this man to be thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep thee only unto him, as long as ye both shall live?"
"I will," I proudly responded. We now needed to recite the vows that we memorized after our meeting this morning. The minister had promised that he would coach us, if needed, but we very much wanted to do this without the help.
"I, Sirius, take thee Anwen, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, for fairer or for foul, in sickness and in health, to love and cherish, till death us depart, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereunto I plight thee my troth."
"I, Anwen, take thee Sirius, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to be bonny and buxom at bed and at board, to love and to cherish, till death us depart, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereunto I plight thee my troth."
The minister crossed our hands, my left one on top, and retrieved the rings from Remus before lifting them skyward.
"Bless these rings, O merciful Lord, that those who wear them, that give and receive them, may be ever faith to one another, remain in your peace, and live and grow old together in your love, under their own vine and fig tree, and seeing their children's children. Amen."
Hot tears pricked at my eyes at hearing the prayer. I silently begged God to make it so for us. Sirius took the rose gold band, covered in calla lilies and first placed it on my thumb.
"With this ring, I thee wed," then on my index finger,
"and with my body I thee honor," then on my middle finger,
"and with all my worldly goods endow," and finally on my ring finger.
"In the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen."
I repeated the process with the larger rosy band, until it rested firmly upon his ring finger. There was only one declaration left until we would be fully married, and nothing could ever take us apart again.
"Forasmuch as Sirius and Anwen have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and therefore have given and pledged their troth each to the other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving of rings, and the joining of hands; I hereby pronounce that they be Man and Wife together, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."
Sirius jumped the gun, and before he was told to, I was in his arms and his lips were upon me. Joy coursed through me and it felt like it would burst from me and shower all those around us. The only thing that could eclipse my joy, were the exuberant tones coming from my Auntie's harp, the tune of "The Bells of Aberdovey". I used to sing the song while pretending to be a bride with my sister under this same tree.
We were hugged by family and friends, but I could not let go of his hand. I needed to feel him, touch him, let the tip of my finger run across his wedding band to affirm that we were married, and that for as long as we lived, we would have each other.
Ma and the aunts then brought out the stream of food from the kitchen, dish and platter followed one after the other. I doubt that I'd seen this much food, even at Hogwarts. The men set up the tables and chairs and we dined among the flowers in the garden. They even brought out the settee from the parlor, so that Sirius and I could sit together, he insisting on feeding me grapes and cheese as my cousins and our friends came to greet us.
After toasts from both my parents, Mrs. Black, James, Lily and Remus I slipped away from Sirius to speak with my Auntie and Uncle Quentin. He went and got his violin, which thankfully he'd brought with him, and I had them accompany me while I sang "Hen Wlad fy Nhadau", "The Land of my Father's", the national anthem of Wales. I sang through the first time in Welsh, the first of my non-English languages that I had learned as a child. The second time through, I sang in English. Sirius beamed at me as I sang, and all of the older women in my family had tears in their eyes.
My Auntie and Uncle continued to play, allowing for dancing. My parents were impressed when Sirius was able to navigate a jig with me. We celebrated late into the night, when we finally left for the inn, leaving our families and friends to their reverie until dawn. It was only when we were finally alone that Sirius and I had a moment to speak to each other.
"How are you feeling Mrs. Black?"
"As if I am on a cloud, Mr. Black. It was the perfect wedding, and I am so happy to be married to you."
"You could never be as happy as I am. Never have I seen you so alive or beautiful in all the time I have known you. Thank you for marrying me."
"You don't need to thank me for something to which I benefit from so," I told him, holding back my tears as I kissed him and we fell into bed as husband and wife.