I claim no rights to, or profess no ownership to any of the works below..., the low level of my bank account itself proves that.
A/N: I would like to send out my thanks to Bobmin356, for allowing me the use of the druid hand fasting ritual, from their story Sunrise Over Brittan. If you've never read their work, check it out!
Birth of a Phoenix
Harry walked into the courtyard, and began to look around. His wedding was only hours away, and this was his first opprotunity to see how magnificently the courtyard was decorated. The druid circle, which was located in the center of the courtyard, was etched with ceremonial runes, and was fully visible, lit up by the bright, cloudless, sunny sky. The alter like structure, located within the druid circle, was decorated with an ivory white satin cloth. Approaching the structure, Harry was able to decipher that the runes represented the four elements, as well as peace, love, and tranquility.
While Harry was investigating the druid circle, and the alter within it, the Hogwarts elves were popping around inside the great hall, finishing up the few final touches that had to be done for the reception. The house tables and chairs had been removed, only to be replaced with hundreds of ivory white coloured chairs, with ivory colored tables, that would seat anywhere from 8 to 10 people. They had flower vases, adorned with the pink and red roses, with small decorations of Baby's Breath flowers decorating the outside edges. The gold plates and cutlery, along with crystal goblets were already placed, waiting for the guests to be seated. The house banners were also removed, only to be replaced with the official Hogwarts banner, directly above where the Headmaster of the school would sit. Red and white silk streamers were connected from the center point of the ceiling to each individual corner of the hall, with a slight downward slope in the center of the streamer. White lillies, mixed in with pink and red roses, were hung on both hall doors, as well as decoratively hung throughout the rest of the great hall.
As Harry continued to observe the alter like structure, he heard the popping sound of an elf, just off to the side. As he stood and observed the elf in action, he noticed that the elf was placing a familiar gold and silver embossed casket on the surface, as well as two lengths of silk cords.
"Excuse me..., but why did you place the casket for the goblet of fire on the table?" inquired Harry.
"Pardon me, Mr. Harry Potter sir. Tilly wasn't knowing that you were in here. Mistress Minnie asked Tilly to place the goblet and blade on the alter. They is part of your bonding ceremony here at Hogwarts."
Harry pondered this information for a moment, and then replied, "Thank you Tilly. I wasn't aware that this was involved. I guess I was expecting more of a muggle like ceremony."
Tilly bobbed her head vigorously, and replied, "That is being ok, Mr. Harry Potter sir. You is not being knowing. Tilly must be going now. You is being having a good ceremony soon."
"Thank you Tilly." replied Harry, with an appreciative smile at the little elf.
Suddenly, a voice from behind Harry spoke up. "Well?"
Harry spun on his heels, dropped into a fighting stance, and raw magic began to crackle upon his outstretched hand. Noticing that it was only Neville, Harry relaxed and straightened up. "Merlin Neville, dont sneak up on me like that. It's only been 6 months since I beat him inside the great hall, and I am still a bit jumpy!"
"Jumpy? Merlin Harry, you make a long tailed Neazel in a room full of rocking chairs look docile!" responded Neville jokingly.
Harry chuckled to himself, and said, "Yeah, I guess I do, don't I!"
"Well mate," said Neville, "I do believe it's time for you to start getting ready. The guests will be arriving within moments, and it would be in rather poor taste, to have you standing there in muggle jeans and a weird sisters t-shirt, don't you think?"
"Yeah, I do believe you're right!"acknowledged Harry. "Besides, my wife to be would skin me alive if I ruined her wedding day, and I'm sure that she likely knows the spell for it too!"
"Y'know, I don't doubt it a bit. Anyway, let's go." responded Neville.
Shortly after the two friends left the courtyard, the wedding guests started arriving by pre authorized portkeys. There were members of theWizengamott, all decked out in their ceremonial robes, along with specifically chosen ministry workers, as well as family and friends. Seconds after the guests started arriving, a couple of house elves, dressed in robes embossed with the Hogwarts symbol on the chest, began to direct the guests to their seats. As the guests showed up at the entrance to the courtyard, and gave their names to the elves, they were directed to their assigned seats.
"Oh, I do love weddings," said Mrs. Weasley, as they entered into the courtyard. "I simply can't wait to see how beautiful Ginny is in her gown. Oh, and Hermione, she must look like that of an angel!"
"There, there, Molly, I'm sure that everyone will look absolutely dashing." responded Arthur Weasley. "I know that this wedding was planned rather quickly, but the bride and groom have been friends for years, and didn't want to wait any longer. Here's our seats dear, let's be seated, and wait for the moment. Shouldn't be long now!"
Minutes later, as the courtyard finished filling with guests, Kingsley Shacklebolt, the newly appointed Minister of Magic, walked to the courtyard entrance. "Ladies and gentlemen, we are just moments away from witnessing this monumentous occasion. If you would, please divert your attention to the main doors of Hogwarts, and we will begin."
As the people turned and stared, the main doors of Hogwarts opened, and the groom began to enter. Harry was adorned in a majestic, pearl white dress robe, trimmed with royal blue, and his family crest embossed on both the back of his robes, as well as a smaller one on the left side of his chest. Followed by Harry, was his best man, Neville Longbottom, who was dressed similarly, only with his family crest embossed on his robes. After Neville's entrance, the groomsmen began to enter. Bill Weasley was first, followed by Charlie, and then both Fred and George ended the procession. All four of the groomsmen were dressed in majestic red robes, trimmed in gold, and their family crests embossed upon their robes.
Watching out the great hall doors, Kingsley watched for his cue. After getting the signal, he began to announce, "And now, we have the beautiful procession of brides maids, along with the matron of honor.
First through the doors, was Alicia Spinit. She, as well as the other three brides maids, wore a gold, strapless gown, which also had a red sashe around the waist, which was then tied in a bow from the back. Followed by Alicia, was Angelina, then Ginny, and then Fleur. As the wedding guests watched and waited, the matron of honor began to make her way down the isle. Daphney Greengrass calmly walked down the isle, gazing lovingly at her boyfriend, Neville Longbottom. Daphney was dressed in an identical style gown as the brides maids, but only the colors she wore were the same pearl white, with the royal blue sashe. Finally, as Daphney took her position, everyone turned back to the doors of Hogwarts, and silently waited upon the arrival of the bride.
Slowly, two figures, arm in arm, made their way through the main doors of the school, and, step by step, slowly down the isle. Harry watched, as his bride to be, walked side by side with her father, towards the alter, and the beginning of her new life. As he watched, he was nudged in the ribs by his best man.
"Harry..., you can't keep forgetting to breathe!" said Neville with a laugh. "You won't do her any good if you are passed out due to oxygen deprevation!"
Harry inhaled deeply, and then chuckled nervously. He looked up into the sparkling eyes of his bride to be, and could clearly see the amusement she felt, as well as the intense love she had for him.
As the bride, and her father approached the alter, Harry outstretched his hand, to receive hers, as her father gave her a loving embrace, and gently placed her hands in Harry's. The two stared lovingly into each others eyes, and then turned to Minister Shacklebolt.
"Before we begin, I would like to announce, that I will not be performing the marriage ceremonies this afternoon." stated Kingsley. "Harry, and his lovely wife to be, Hermione Granger, have agreed to an ancient soul bonding ritual, called Hand Fasting. To perform this ancient ritual, we have invited the Arch Druid himself."
At this announcement, smoke began to waft up, like a foggy mist, from the center of the druid circle, until it was about six inches high above the ground. Suddenly, a figure began to slowly rise from the mist. After the figure had fully risen from the depths of the mist, the gentle breeze slowly disappated the mist, and the courtyard was clear once again.
The Arch Druid was a tall man, standing approximately 6 foot 4 inches high, with the build of a man who is used to living off of the land itself. He had warm, caring brown eyes, and a gentle smile that would put even the most aggressive of men at peace. He looked at both Hermione and Harry, and then turned to Dan and Emma Granger.
"Do you allow this woman, your daughter, to be hand fasted to this man, of your own free will, with full knowledge, and understanding of the ritual we are about to perform?" questioned the druid.
The two Grangers stood together, held hands, and replied, "With full understanding of this ritual, we, Dan and Emma Granger, father and mother to the bride, freely allow her to be wed to her chosen."
The Arch Druid gave them a radient smile, and then replied, "Wonderful. Let us begin!"
"May the peace and safety of this circle and those within it be blessed by the Gods, for we are all gathered here in a ritual of love, with those who would
be wedded," he said, his voice rich and vibrant.
"I call upon the beings of Air and Fire, Earth and Water, to bless those who stand within this circle. Lend of them your constancy and courage, your protection
and wisdom, your love of life, passion and laughter, your faith and hope everlasting, that they may be strengthened in their lives to come. Raise them
up, oh Gods of old, and embrace them as your children as they fight to rebuild their world, and create an ever lasting peace amongst all magical beings."
The druid waved one hand over the Goblet of Fire upon the altar, and a small, but extremely hot fire sprung up and burned merrily with blue-white flames. Reaching beneath the top of the altar, he came up a moment later with several items, which he kept carefully hidden from view.
"To Earth, the embodiment of strength and constancy, we give this gift of silver, taken from your breast and rendered beautiful," he said, holding the bracelet
up for all to see, then dropping it into the flames, were it melted quickly.
"To Air, the embodiment of wisdom and protection, we give this gift of White Mulberry, wild grown, yet shelter to all who seek its branches." The druid held
up several small twigs from a Mulberry tree, then dropped them into the flames.
"To Fire, the embodiment of passion and love, we give this gift of Jasmine, grown with patient care and sacrificed in your honor." Dropping the small flowers
into the fire, the witnesses watched them char and turn black.
The druid held up the last remaining item so that it caught the rays of the sun. The flash of light was dazzling as a small golden torque was displayed.
"To Water, the embodiment of the soul, we give this gift of ancient gold, summoned from the secret stashes of your people, that you may once again know
us, and, though our ways may now be different, know the purity of our spirit and of our purpose."
The golden torque, once dropped into the flames, melted, just as the silver bracelet that proceeded it. The druid waited a moment, then spread his arms wide,
palms up, in a welcoming gesture.
"Here our prayers, know our hopes, feel our faith. We await your blessings."
Nothing happened for a moment and several people shifted awkwardly. Then the fire went out.
As the smoke spiraled skyward, forms could be seen dancing with it, twisting and whirling. A breeze began to blow and upon it were voices, unintelligible
to be sure, but they brought with them a feeling of peace and tranquility to those within the circle.
A sigh went through those gathered in the druid circle, as well as the courtyard, and the druid smiled gently before addressing them once more.
"Today we are gathered in the presence of the Gods, not only to receive their blessings for our great tasks, but also to witness the joining of the couple
before us. Handfasting is an ancient rite, a sacred rite, and not entered into lightly. It is the binding of two lives, the creation of one soul, in the
joyful hope of being so bound for eternity.
"As most here know, the handfasting ceremony signifies that two people have agreed to live as man and wife for the time of one year and one day. At the
end of that time, the couple may sever their connection to one another. If they choose to remain together, however, the binding is permanent, and nothing,
not even the Gods, may separate them, for this ritual has not just the weight of mortal law, but of celestial law as well."
The druid paused for a moment, letting those gathered, absorb the seriousness of his words. Then, with a slight gesture, he indicated that Harry and Hermione should
Harry and Hermione turned, handed the wreaths they had created for each other, to the best man and matron of honor, and then stepped forward.
The druid's expression became stern as he addressed the couple before him. "Harry James Potter and Hermione Jane Granger, do you come before this gathering
of mortal and immortal to bind yourselves, one to the other, in joy and love, and with the understanding that you will never again be alone in this world
or any other?"
"We do," they both replied.
The druid turned to the best man and matron of honor and held out his hands. "The wreaths," he demanded.
The pair stepped forward and placed the wreaths on the ancient priest's hands. Then, bowing their heads once more, returned to their places behind the
bride and groom.
Turning to address the gathering, The druid raised his voice to be heard by all. "In times past, wreaths such as these held the same meaning as the rings many
married couples of today have already exchanged. The shape, a circle, symbolizes the everlasting. In the binding of these two souls, there is no beginning and no
end. There is no 'mine' or 'yours'. There is only wholeness, only one. There is only eternity.
"These wreaths were made, one for the other, before this ceremony. In that way, the individual, the essence of the one, is also present here today.
"In Hermione's wreath we see Myrtle flowers and Cedar, Fern, Ivy and Oak. By this we know that she sees in Harry his love and strength, his honesty, fidelity
The druid turned to Hermione and held out her wreath. She curtsied deeply before taking it from him.
Holding up the other wreath, The druid raised his voice once again. "In Harry's wreath we see Amaryllis and blue violet flowers, Birch and Plane tree shoots
and the budding flowers of the Hollyhock. By this we know he sees in Hermione her beauty and love, her gracefulness, intelligence and creative power."
Turning to Harry, he held out his wreath. As Hermione before him, Harry bowed deeply, expressing his respect, before taking the wreath.
"Turn now to your beloved," the priest told them seriously, "and make known to each other, and to those gathered here, your feelings and intentions."
Harry and Hermione turned, and gazed lovingly into each others eyes. The vows they had written down, memorized, and recited over and over in practise, had now disappeared from their minds, replaced only with the love they shared for each other. As they continued to gaze at each other, it was as if the words that needed to be spoken had come directly from their very souls.
As Harry continued to stare into Hermione's eyes, he began to speak. "Ever since you entered into my cabin on the train, in our first year of Hogwarts, you've owned my very soul. You were my very first true friend. I've often heard, that to figure out if a person was the right one for you, you need only try to imagine them as if they never existed. I've never been able to imagine that, simply because the very thought of it is entirely too painful. You are the light of the new dawn, that brightens my every day, the very person that warms my heart in the middle of the day, and the firey passion as the evening ends. Without you, Hermione Jean Granger, there is no Harry James Potter, only a soulless husk, with no further wish to exist. I freely give, unto you, all that I am, or ever will be, until the end of eternity. meus pectus pectoris ut vestri pectus pectoris , meus animus ut vestri animus , iam quod forem."
(My heart to your heart, my soul to your soul, now and forever)
As tears of love and joy flowed from her eyes, Hermione began to respond. "Every time that I think that I have you figured out, you manage to open a new avenue for me to discover. Who'd have ever thought, that me, the bossy little book worm, could have ever found her prince charming. Ever since that day with the troll, back in our first year, I knew, deep down inside, that you were the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I knew that you were the man whose children I would gladly bare. Every day, just when I think that I couldn't love you any more than I already do, you smile lovingly at me,, and, in that moment, prove me wrong. You too have also owned my soul from the beginning, and I too give unto you, all that I am, or ever will be, from now until the end of eternity. meus pectus pectoris ut vestri pectus pectoris , meus animus ut vestri animus , iam quod forem."
(My heart to your heart, my soul to your soul, now and forever)
Joining hands, they turned then to face The druid, only to find him smiling gently at them.
Signaling to the best man and matron of honor, the two stepped forward and The druid gave them each a ribbon - one red, the other silver.
The two then approached Harry and Hermione and began to wrap the ribbons around their joined hands in an elaborate Celtic knot they had practiced for
"As your hands are bound fast, one to the other, so too are your lives," The druid told them. "In one year and one day, if you do not sever the bond, two souls
will no longer exist. In their place, the one will take precedence. Two bodies, one spirit, bound together for eternity. If this is your wish, turn to
each other and declare it."
Turning to face each other, her left hand bound to his right, Harry and Hermione gazed at each other for a moment. Then, in one voice, they declared, "Is
mise le meas agus i dtólamh. Yours, faithfully and always."
"My blessings upon you and your newly born union. Let nothing and no one come between you," The druid intoned formally.
When the sound of many small bells ringing was heard throughout the circle, and a bright golden glow began to encompass the newly wedded couple, all looked to The druid for understanding.
Arms spread wide, the ancient priest laughed happily. "The Gods, too, offer their blessings upon this joining, and have decided to grant you pair, a wondrous gift. Shelter under their protection and know they
are well pleased by you both. Go now, my children, and begin your life together!"
As the glow continued to gain in size and intensity, many of the guests in the front rows, had to turn their heads away from the brightness of the golden radience. Moments later, a stream of the golden light shot into the air, and erupted into a huge ball of magical fire, consisting of radient colours of red, gold, blue, orange and white. The ball of fire seem to be suspended in mid air, constantly being fed by the golden light eminating from the couple. Suddenly, the beautiful sound of phoenix song began to echo around the courtyard, and seem to be eminating from the center of the fire.
As the flames grew in size, so did the volume of the phoenix grow. Suddenly, just as it started, the flames began to draw into itself, until finally, all that was left, was an oval shaped ball of flame. With one last burst of phoenix song, the ball of flame exploded, and a white phoenix appeared from within the burst of flames. It soared around the courtyard, singing its song of joy, and then finally drifted down, and landed upon the alter. Once perched upon the alter, the arch druid, as well as the wedding party, could see that the wing tips, as well as the tail feathers, had both red and royal blue coloring upon them, and the feathers upon its head, were all tipped with flecks of gold. The newly borng phoenix gazed upon Harry and Hermione, and then, using its wings like arms, drew them in to itself. Using its beak to join their hands together side by side, it then bit them both, drawing a minor amount of blood. Immediately after this, it began to cry golden tears into the wounds. Within moments, the injuries were healed completely, leaving no traces that they had ever been injured.
"Harry..., Hermione..., it's so nice to meet you. My name is Isis. I would like to say thank you to you both."
"Harry, did you hear that? That voice was inside my head!" stated Hermione.
"Yeah, I heard it. I don't understand what it all means, but I most definitely heard it." replied Harry, somewhat worried.
"Fear not you two. The reason you both can hear me inside your head, aside from the fact that bird beaks simply aren't designed for human speech, is because I am bonded to you. The power, and intensity of the love you two share, as well as the newly formed sould bond, and the fact that you have the favor of the gods, all put together, helped in the creation of me." responded Isis, through mental speech.
"Wow!" said Hermione breathlessly, "I don't know what to say."
"Well, how about, just for starters, you pair kiss, as you missed that part entirely. Next, say you love each other, and then thank everyone!" responded Isis.
Harry and Hermione turned to one another, and both, at the exact same time, said, "It's true, I really do love you!" After pronouncing their love for each other, they leaned in to one another, and with a tender loving embrace, passionately kissed. Once again, the golden glow enveloped them, and seemed to give off a happy and loving feeling, which was felt by all of the wedding guests, as well as the inhabitants of both the castle and the immediate surrounding area.
As the newly wedded couple concluded their passionate embrace, and seperated, the Minister of magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, walked up to them, placed a hand on each of their shoulders, and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, it is my greatest, and fondest of pleasures, to proudly present Mr. and Mrs. Harry Potter."
At that moment, the entire wedding party, as well as all of the guests, began to applaud for the newly wedded couple. Behind them, out in the grounds of Hogwarts, a meriod of fireworks began to launch into the sky, and create a wild variety of designs for everyones viewing pleasure. After half an hour of wondrous and colorful explosions, the final firework fired off into the sky, flew up well above the height of the trees of the forbidden forest, and then, in a sudden burst of light, exploded into the form of a red and golden phoenix. As the phoenix spread its wings wide, it lifted its head straight up, and almost as if it were singing the words, a message began to form.
"CONGRADULATIONS TO THE NEWLY WEDDED POTTERS! CARE OF WEASLEY'S WIZARDING WEAZES!"
After the applause and laughter finally subsided, the couple turned to the crowd, and Harry began, "Hermione and I would like to take this moment, to thank you all for attending our wedding ritual. This means more to us than you can ever know. Seeing as how the festivities have concluded out here, let's all make our way into the great hall, and partake of a scrumptious dinner, and dancing!"
Once again, the guests applauded for the couple, and then, one after the other, each guest made their way into the great hall. The final two, Harry and Hermione, stood just within the main doors, and stood there, overlooking the site where their new life had just begun. As one, they turned to each other, gently kissed, and then turned, and walked towards the great hall, to celebrate with the rest of their friends and family. As they disappeared, the main doors slowly closed behind them. High above the school, Isis appeared in a ball of flames, and began to soar around the towers of the school, singing her songs of joy and love. Just as suddenly as she appeared, with another burst of flame, she disappeared, returning back to her bonded, to celebrate their union, and the beginning of their new life together.
A/N2: if anyone likes the story, and decides to do one, which carries on from this point, my permission is freely given.