This is my response to the 'Rival Ships Challenge' by 'JG Rox'

An Arranged Marriage

I rolled my shoulders as I lay in the bath, soaking in the healing water with a touch of lavender, and let my thoughts run through all the preparations for today.

The wedding dress was perfect, modest but accentuating, the white colour matching my hair, which I was being very careful not to get wet as it was already neatly piled onto my head. The flowers had arrived exactly on time, the white roses winding around as many table and chair legs they could find, pretty, but not tacky. The venue was also perfect, the rolling hills of the grounds of Malfoy Manor a perfect green, the ballroom already decorated for when everyone would convene for the reception. The bride-maids dresses were also perfect, a soft, pastel blue that made her sister's hair even more shocking. Tears came to my eyes when I thought about Andromeda, the sister I had always adored, and how pretty she would have looked in the light blue colour.

Calming my thoughts and regaining my composure, I slipped out the bath and quickly dried myself with a towel, before slipping into the tight, sleeve-like dress. Admiring myself in the mirror, I knew I looked perfect, the ideal wife for the rich and completely pureblood Lucius Malfoy. Regardless of the fact we had barely spoken to each other, I couldn't release the childish hope that one day I could grow to love him like a husband should be loved.

There was a knock on the door, and I crossed the room, opening it to find Bella there. She looked as beautiful as expected, her dark curls untamed as they tumbled down her shoulders, meeting the bodice of the light blue dress. "Come on, Cissy. You know Mother wants you to be there early." She gave me her best patronizing look and walked off, expecting me to follow like the good little sister I was.

Following her, I was smuggled from a side door across the grounds and into a tent. This was where I would wait until I was called out and led up the aisle on my father's arm. Bella had already been through this, and I knew she was unhappy in her marriage; Rudolphus Lestrange wasn't exactly the 'perfect' husband everyone had thought. It was a good thing Bella had an extremely vast knowledge of just about every dark hex, curse, and spell known to man.

I picked at the detailed lace on the bodice of my dress, a deep sigh blowing away from my body. This was one of the few times I had ever wished that I hadn't been born into a pure-blood family, not to mention the approaching threat from the Dark Lord. I already knew that at one point I would have to join him, especially as my family supported him and I knew Lucius was a devoted follower as well. My mother popped her head in. "Narcissa, you're on."

I rose gracefully, smoothed down my dress one last time, and stepped out into the warm summer's air. A perfect smile painted its way onto my features, and I took my Father's arm, turning my warm, practised smile towards him. He gave me a smile that matched mine, and we walked slowly down the aisle, the speed also perfect so everyone could envy the sharp, cold beauty I know I radiated.

When I reached the end, Lucius held out his hands, and I was passed from one master to the other, my chains only switching hands. The hand-fastener began in a monotonous voice, and I droned him out, instead looking over my soon-to-be husband.

He was definitely handsome, pretty almost, with almost delicate features, long, flowing, ice blond hair, and well cut robes that defined his slight but muscled build. His eyes, a deep stormy grey, were devoid of emotion.

"I do." His voice was silky, carefully tailored to charm.

I zoned back in, and said at the right time; "I do."

He waved his wand and ribbons of green and silver fastened out hands together before disappearing. "You may now kiss the bride."

We both lent forward and carefully pressed our lips together. An electric shock ran down my spine, and I knew from that moment I could learn to love this too perfect man.