Author's note: My friend Dickensian812 (http:/ www . fanfiction. net/u/2269414/) suggested to me after the latest episode of Person of Interest (the one in which Grace makes an appearance) that if Harold ever got married, he would do it just like Mr. Wemmick from Great Expectations. Here is Harold, doing it just like Mr. Wemmick.
The text is taken directly, with certain alterations, from Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens.
I invited Harold to come upstairs and refresh himself with a new Sencha tea I had in from Japan. He accepted the invitation. While he was drinking a fragrant cup, he said, with nothing to lead up to it, and after having appeared rather fidgety:
"What do you think of my meaning to take the day off on Monday, Nathan?"
"Why, I think you haven't done such a thing in the last six months."
"In the last six years, more likely," said Harold. "Yes. I'm going to take the day off. More than that, I'm going to take a drive. More than that, I'm going to ask you to take a drive with me."
I was just about to excuse myself, as having an appointment on Monday, when Harold anticipated me.
"I know your appointments, Nathan," he said, "But if you could oblige me, I would appreciate it. It won't be a long drive. You'll be home by noon. Couldn't you stretch a point and manage it?"
We had been such good friends, and he had done so much for me, at various times, that this was very little to do for him. I said I could manage it—would manage it—and he was so very pleased by my acquiescence, that I was pleased too. At his particular request, I appointed to call for him at his apartment at nine on Monday morning, though from what I knew of his habit of working through the night, I wondered what sort of shape he would be in to drive that early in the morning.
Punctual to my appointment, I buzzed at the outer door of Harold's apartment building on the Monday morning and was let up. Harold struck me as looking more prim than usual, and having a sleeker tie on. On his breakfast table were a cup of tea and a cup of coffee and two croissants.
When we had fortified ourselves with the tea (for him) and coffee (for me) and were going out, I was considerably surprised to see that Harold left his cell phone behind on the hall table. "Why, not a stitch of technology?" said I.
"No," returned Harold, "not today."
I thought this odd: however, I said nothing, and we went down to the underground garage and got into his Buick.
We drove out of the city and into the countryside. The fall day was very fine, and I began to enjoy myself, but Harold only looked prim and drove in companionable silence. As we were going through a very small town, Harold said suddenly, "Hello! Here's a church!" and pointed out a charming little brick-and-white-wood church with a steeple.
There was nothing very surprising in that; but again, I was rather surprised when he stopped the car and said, as if he were animated by a brilliant idea, "Let's go in!"
We went in, and in the meantime, Harold was diving into his coat pockets and getting something out of them.
"Hello!" said he. "Here's a jewelry box! You hold that, Nathan."
As the jewelry box was clearly a ring box, and as Harold's prim mouth was more prim than I had ever seen it before, I now began to have my strong suspicions, particularly considering our conversation the day we powered off the Machine for the first time. They were strengthened into certainty when I beheld a woman in white entering at a side door.
"Hello!" said Harold. "Here's Grace. Let's have a wedding."
That red-haired damsel he called Grace was attired in a short white lace dress and a very lovely smile. She came up to us and kissed Harold on the cheek, so that he blushed, and gave me her hand and said she was pleased to finally meet me. And Harold looked so pleased and so prim and so foolish that I didn't have the heart to scold him for never mentioning a certain Grace.
The clergyman then appearing, we came to order at the altar. True to his notion of seeming to do it all without preparation, I heard Harold say to himself as he took something out of his pocket before the service began, "Hello! Here's a marriage license!"
When it was completely done, and when we were going out of the church, Harold said triumphantly, "Now, Nathan, let me ask you whether anyone would suppose this to be a wedding-party!"
Certainly no one would ever have supposed him to make up one of the principals of a wedding-party.
Lunch had been ordered at a pleasant little café in the pleasant little town square. It was pleasant to observe that Harold did not hesitate to wind his arm around Grace and that she put her arm around his neck and kissed him in a very affectionate manner.
We had an excellent lunch, during which I found out more about Grace than I had found out about Harold in three years of graduate school. I drank to the new couple, drank to the church, drank to Harold's propensity to eat ice cream cones in wintertime, but mainly sustained myself on coffee because I was driving Harold's car back to New York.
Harold came out to the car with me, and I shook hands with him and wished him joy, though I couldn't help teasing him about his closeness and secrecy.
"The Machine couldn't be brought into it nor it into the Machine, you know, Nathan," he said. "I had to wait until it was well away and no longer my responsibility."
"I understand. The Machine is not to be mentioned," said I.
Harold nodded. "Thank you, Nathan. You're the only person I could share this with. I'm glad you were here." And he turned and went away to Mrs. Harold Wren.