Sorry for the disappearance. Here's an update, it's a bit shorter, but I felt that it was perfect on its own. Don't worry there will be more.
A fiery blur flitted in and out of the library alternating between distracting Hermione and assisting Dorea Potter. Lily was a force to be reckoned with the day of the ceremony, and unfortunately had discovered that Hermione had no qualms about disagreeing with her. The two girls clashed so violently that James resorted to to dumping a calming draught in the witch's tea. His efforts earned a stinging hex, which he declared, "worth it" after Hermione laughed.
"What if you wore this?" Lily asked as she walked back into the Potter's library holding a scarlet dress with gold trimming. Hermione didn't bother looking up from the tome she was reading before sending one of her signature blue flames at the garment.
"Hermione Dumbledore!" Lily shrieked as she extinguished the flames before it destroyed the garment. "Stop setting my clothes on fire!"
"Stop demanding that I dress up," Hermione responded mimicking Lily. "Then you wouldn't have a problem." The redhead sent her a scathing look while she tried to fix the damage to the dress.
"She makes a good point Lily," James said as he grinned at the two witches from the nearby sofa. "How many dresses have you attempted to convince her to wear?" Hermione glanced at the black haired boy with a slight smirk. At least someone was on her side.
"I lost count after the first thirty," Hermione answered as Lily grumbled under her breath. "You can have the big fancy wedding Lily after James convinces you to marry him." Lily's face colored to match her hair while James grinned impishly. "I've never wanted a big wedding, and I've long adjusted to living through war. Besides, it's just Sirius."
"Surely you're not insulting me already," Sirius interrupted as he entered the room. The three occupants turned to look at him as he crossed over to Hermione and kissed her forehead. Her grimace only served to make him grin wider.
"Judging from the scent of the room, I'd say she's simply bemoaning her situation by setting fires," Severus drawled as entered the room after the Black Heir. Hermione had suddenly sat up straight staring between the two boys, suddenly feeling hopeful since the decision to hold a handfasting ceremony had been made.
"What's Snivellus doing here?" James demanded rising swiftly as Hermione launched herself at Severus . She wrapped his arms around his waist and hugged him tightly as Lily smiled at Severus' discomfort. The Slytherin awkwardly patted Hermione on the shoulder before giving up and leaving his arm. Lily watched amused at the discomfort the Slytherin displayed before awkwardly patting the girl on the back and leaving his arms around her shoulders.
"I invited him," Sirius answered looking at James. "You will behave."
"This isn't amusing Pads," James said angrily. "What the bloody hell are you thinking?"
"It's my wedding gift to Hermione," Sirius answered with a slight shrug. "Snape proved his loyalty to her while at Hogwarts. Quite simply, he's her best friend. If you are anything, but perfectly polite I'll inform Mum."
Sirius paused a moment before adding, "About everything." Hermione, Severus, and Lily all stared perturbed at the conviction that laced Sirius' voice.
"You wouldn't," James scoffed with a shake of his head. "Mum would know you participated."
"I will tell Mum myself about our transgressions if it meant Severus was present to support Hermione." Both girls melted as Severus rolled his eyes. Lily stepped over to James after he still hadn't agreed to be civil.
"Behave and I will let you take me on a date," she said after several seconds of hesitation. . James' head swiveled so fast Lily thought he might snap his neck. She grimaced before adding, "You may even...tell others about it afterwards."
"Self-Sacrificing Gryffindorks," Severus muttered under his breath. Hermione began giggling at his assessment, particularly because she couldn't help picturing him in his teaching robes lamenting the punishment that was teaching dunderheads.
"Prongs, that right there is why he's earned a right to be here," Sirius said pointing out Hermione's smile. "Now if you're done being a prat, Mum wants us downstairs. We're about to start the ceremony." Lily jumped into action and grabbed James by the hand so she could tug him from the room.
"Sprite," Sirius said softly as he approached Hermione. "Severus is going to escort you downstairs. I'll be waiting for you. Take as much time as you need." She nodded at him, surprised to see him and Severus shake hands before the Black Heir walked out the door.
"You don't do anything by half measures," Severus said once they were alone. "Are you positive you want to attach yourself to the mongrel?"
"You speak as though I have a choice," Hermione answered shaking her head. "I picked a fight that I can't win, and that has consequences.."
"Hermione," Severus said pinching the bridge of his nose. "You always have a choice, even if that choice is to not act." She smiled at him and nodded.
"I'm so happy you're here," she answered. "Walk me down?" The two friends took their time walking downstairs and out onto the Potter grounds. The sun was setting as they approached the trellis that Dorea and Charlus had set up next to the Potter Wedding Tree. The garden was lit with floating candles, which reminded her of fireflies. There were a few rows of chairs that in front of the trellis that held familiar faces.
There were more people present than she expected. Molly and Arthur were beaming at her as Severus escorted her down the aisle. Seated next to them were Dorea, Charlus, and Aberforth. Lily and James sat beside Remus and woman Hermione didn't recognize. Alphard was next to her, and most surprising was that Andromeda sat between her husband and Narcissa Malfoy. Underneath the trellis, Sirius watched her approach, with Minerva was standing next to him. Severus passed Hermione's hand from the crook of his arm into Sirius' waiting hands before taking his seat next to Remus.
"Who presents this young witch?" Minerva asked as she amplified her voice with a silent sonorus charm.
"I do," Aberforth said rising from his chair. "As father of the witch and the blessing of the Patriarch of the House of Dumbledore. I bless this union freely of my own will." He sat down as Alphard Black, Andromeda Tonks, and Narcissa Malfoy rose to their feet as the small crowd looked at them.
"Does the Black Family accept Hermione Dumbledore as their own?" Minerva asked looking at the Black family members.
"Yes," Alphard said smiling. "I greet and accept Hermione Dumbledore as my daughter-in-law, which is my right as Sirius' legal guardian with the blessing of my House Patriarch, Arcturus Black." Hermione felt her eyes widening at the statement and she turned to see that Sirius looked just as surprised.
"I greet and accept Hermione Dumbledore as my sister," Andromeda said smiling at the young couple.
"I greet and accept Hermione Dumbledore as my sister," Narcissa repeated with a small smile. Both witches retook their seats as the familial magic settled over the participants. Minerva focused on the two students in front of her. The magical oaths that the family members had pronounced settled over Sirius and Hermione, nearly overwhelming the young witch. Sirius fared better because his magic already recognized his family.
"Hermione Jean Laila Dumbledore," Minerva said turning to her. "Have you willingly and freely agreed to this union with Sirius Orion Black?" Her eyes connected with Sirius' before she answered. union?"
"Will you vow to cherish and remain loyal to your betrothed, Sirius Black?"
"Do you vow to stand by his side through all circumstances, regardless of pain or darkness, happiness or light?"
"Will you bind your magic and soul to Sirius for as long as you both shall live?"
"I do." Sirius was squeezing her hands, as tears slipped down her face. Minerva turned to Sirius and recited the same vows word for word. Each one had Hermione's mind spinning, but she was unable to tear her eyes from him.
"Will you bind your magic and soul to Hermione for as long as you both shall live?" Minerva asked.
"I do," Sirius answered. Magic swirled around both of them as brightly colored ribbons manifested around their clasped hands, settling on their wrists and intertwining them. Minerva then handed Sirius a ceremonial knife which he used to prick Hermione's hand and she did the same to his before they allowed their blood to drop on the soil of the Potter Wedding Tree.
"Your magic recognizes and accepts these vows," Minerva said as the colored ribbons dissipated into their skin. "I declare you bonded for life. May Merlin and Morgana bless your union. Sirius you may kiss the bride." Hermione was grateful that Sirius kept their first kiss chaste, and they turned to the crowd of witnesses who cheered. Sirius and Hermione took turns greeting each family, and then turned to the Blacks. Narcissa lingered behind her sister and Uncle as Sirius exchanged hugs with Andromeda.
"How did you get Grandfather Arcturus' approval?" Sirius asked Alphard as the two men shook hands. Alphard hugged Hermione before answering.
"Walburga never secured his approval when she removed you from the tapestry. Orion blocked your access to their vaults, however, for you to be truly disowned Arcturus has to do it. The tapestry in Grimmauld Place isn't the original," Alphard explained. "Arcturus has always had his eye on the family's survival, and he agreed that a blood feud would ruin the family, not to mention he believes you have completed quite a coup d'etat in acquiring Hermione's hand."
Hermione couldn't prevent her spine from stiffening at the suggestion that she was a possession. Sirius immediately tugged her over to him and wrapped an arm around her shoulders before kissing her forehead.
"You have to remember that your uncle has quite a bit of power, and there hasn't been a female in the line in years," Alphard added. "Arcturus recognizes that the wizarding world is changing, and you will be a boon to the Black line in that aspect."
"Doesn't mean I have to like it," Hermione grumbled as the other Black women laughed. "Watch it Andromeda, I'll get you reinstated just so you have to deal with it too."
"If anyone could achieve that, it'd be you," Andromeda said chuckling. "After all you managed to secure the most eligible bachelor currently in Hogwarts without lifting a hand. You'll be the envy of every female Slytherin." Sirius and Hermione both looked at her confused.
"Oh Sirius," Narcissa said laughing. "Did you really think no pureblooded girl would want to reform you as it were? Girls have been placing bets on you since you were sorted. If I didn't know better, I'd say Hermione purposefully set up Rodolphus so she could secure your hand."
"Who says I didn't?" Hermione asked mischievously earning laughs from her new family members. Sirius, however, looked incredibly put out by this thought. Hermione took pity on him and hugged him.
"She'll fit in perfectly," Andromeda said grinning.
"I'm suddenly regretting this decision," Sirius said swallowing nervously. The group started laughing again, before Alphard started talking to Sirius about strategy for when he needed to present Hermione to Arcturus. Taking the opportunity, Hermione drifted over to Narcissa Malfoy.
"Thank you for coming," she said. "It probably wasn't easy, and we appreciate your support."
"Sirius and Andromeda have always been my favorites," Narcissa said with a sad smile. "Bella has been warped and her actions as of late...while I don't always understand Andromeda's choices, I cannot abide by Bella's."
"What of your husband?" Hermione asked.
"I pray to Merlin he's redeemable," Narcissa said softly. "Until Arcturus formally declares an allegiance I must tread carefully." It was this admission that shifted Hermione's view of the Malfoy family in her time. How would Draco or Narcissa have gone against Lucius Malfoy when traditionally Patriarch's retain so much power. Hermione found herself hugging the blonde witch tightly.
"You always have a place with us," Hermione said staring directly into Narcissa's eyes. "No matter what happens, regardless of the choices you have to make to keep you and your future children safe, you can seek sanctuary with Sirius and I."
"Hermione," Narcissa said shocked. "You don't know the danger."
"I assure you I do," Hermione answered. "Regardless, you're family, and we will protect you." The regal blonde witch had tears in her eyes. She looked at Hermione before glancing at the ground to control her emotions.
"You chose well," Narcissa said to Sirius interrupting him and Alphard. "If you allow any harm to befall this witch I will box your ears." The small crowd laughed as Sirius looked offended. "I am curious about your clothes, however, why did you forgo traditional robe?"
"She set them all on fire!" Lily suddenly bellowed before turning pink when everyone stared at her. Hermione erupted into giggles at the look on her friend's face. Thankfully, Dorea used the opportunity to remind Hermione and Sirius that they needed to greet their other guests. Charlus led the group to the conservatory where they set up the reception as Molly Weasley gushed over the newlyweds and admonished them for keeping their courtship a secret.
Before he could respond, Dorea led Charlus over to the group and demanded that they allow the newlyweds to greet the rest of their guests before they had the reception. Hermione and Sirius smiled as Molly Weasley gushed over them and admonished them for keeping their courtship a secret. Once in the conservatory, Dorea announced that Sirius and Hermione would have their first dance, and proceeded to laugh when Hermione attempted to escape.
"What do you think?" Hermione asked after escaping a few of the guests with a glass of wine and joining Severus as he observed from a nearby wall. He raised an eyebrow at her. "Still want to be friends?"
"I suppose," he answered. "I'm going to pretend you aren't married though."
"Me too," she agreed snickering. "I met your mother, she's lovely. Alphard mentioned they were betrothed? How do you feel about that...it's quite a shock." When Severus merely shrugged and drank from his goblet Hermione softened her voice.
"Severus, you're allowed to have feelings about it."
"It's just...she hid from him, and chose my father. I don't understand how she could willingly make that choice," Severus admitted.
"I'm sure it wasn't easy," Hermione answered. "No doubt she felt trapped. However, only she can really explain it to you. Sirius always speaks highly of Alphard."
"He protected her today, when my father tried to hurt her," Severus said. "I can't say I understand, but it made me see him positively." Hermione squeezed Severus' arm, knowing he'd balk at a full hug, and then grabbed his hand. She towed him towards where his mother stood next to Alphard.
"Mr. Black," she said capturing his attention without allowing Severus to escape.. The man in question smiled at her and shook his head.
"No," he answered. "You are to either call me Uncle Alphard or just Alphard. Don't forget my dear you are family, not to mention married to my favorite nephew."
"Of course, Uncle Alphard," Hermione said trying it out. She earned a laugh from the man as her nose wrinkled in discomfort. "Has anyone mentioned Severus' skill in potions?"
"Hermione," Severus muttered embarrassed. Hermione didn't even bother to turn as she shushed him. He had to settle for glaring at her.
"He's been top of our class in the subject since first year, and has all the makings of a potion master. Particularly when it comes to creating more efficient brewing techniques and inventing better potions. You'd be amazed at his level of natural talent. I know Sirius mentioned that you have connections with a variety of masters." Alphard looked at Severus with a calculating glance.
"You were particularly was adept at the subject," Alphard said turning to Eileen.
"Yes, and Severus is even better at it. No doubt from all of those cooking lessons I gave him as a child," she said. Severus promptly turned pink.
"Mum," he muttered.
" Are you interested in pursuing a mastery?" Alphard asked saving him as Eileen and Hermione grinned.
"Of course," Severus answered. "However, I lack the funds and the connections necessary to acquire an apprenticeship."
"Leave that for me and your mother to worry about," he said waving a hand. "What about potions captivate you?" As Severus and Alphard started enthusiastically discussing the subject and Hermione slipped away to join Lily. The redhead was taking pictures of everyone dancing, only to have James wrestle the camera out of her hands. He snapped a photo of the two girls after Hermione hugged Lily before Sirius swept her away a waltz.
"Overwhelmed?" Sirius asked her.
"Surprisingly no. How are you doing with everything?"
"I just acquired a brilliant and gorgeous witch," Sirius said into her ear as he pulled her close. "I'm brilliant." She turned pink and rolled her eyes.
"I'm not a commodity," she muttered. He grinned at her. "Don't expect me to ever be a house witch."
"I wouldn't dare," Sirius answered as he spun her. "Your fire and independence only add to your beauty. It'd be unforgivable for me to lock you away in a manor. Besides, how do you expect me to terrorize my mother if I hide you away. I'm rather disappointed you're not a muggleborn anymore." Hermione couldn't help the laughter that bubbled up from her throat at imagining the portrait that always spewed insults discovering she'd joined her family.
"Thank you for inviting Severus," Hermione whispered as she laid her head on his shoulder. "You have no idea how much it means that to me that he walked me down the aisle. If it couldn't be Harry, I'm glad it was him."
"Not your birth parents?" Sirius asked curiously.
"I gave up on that dream a lifetime ago," Hermione admitted. "It was perhaps the easiest part of this transition. Losing Ron and Harry was much more difficult. I've never made friends easily, and Severus can actually keep up with me intellectually."
"Sprite," Sirius interrupted. "I will always do my best to secure your happiness and protect you. Even if that meant charming Prongs' eyes green and making him pretend to be Harry for day." The mirth overwhelmed him at James whining the entire time that he was the original Potter and worthy enough on his own. Hermione had to admit that maybe there was a positive to marrying Sirius.