Sort of inspired by a line from Taylor Swift's Speak Now, though this has drifted very, very far from that.
"I am not the kind of girl who should be rudely barging in on a white veil occasion."
Written for the 2012 Hogwarts Games – Relay. Our team wrote on the theme of weddings.
He ties his red tie, watching his hands fumble in the mirror. He tightens it and notices that it lies entirely lopsided, the left side far too large and the right far too small. Attempts to smooth it all fall short, and eventually he just gives it up as a bad job. He's never been good with ties, anyway.
A small, fond smile flitters across his lips as he remembers how put-out Percy used to look when Oliver would try to knot his own tie and fail miserably. He'd sigh long-sufferingly and untie it, retying it himself to his own standards.
"I don't know why you bother, Ol," he'd said once. Oliver had grinned in response.
"Because I know you're there to fix it for me." Percy had kissed him for that.
As much as the memory smiles, it also makes him ache. Never agin. That'll never happen again.
He slips in a little bit late a little bit on purpose. Dressed up in his nice black suit and his red tie – knotted asymmetrically – he blends right in, which he'd hoped for. He slides into an empty seat in the back row on his side of the church. He's crossing his fingers that she hasn't seen him, because he knows full well that Audrey doesn't want him here. Not today. He knows that the invitation was entirely due to Percy.
Oliver fiddles with his tie, wishing he knew how to tie it properly, trying not to think. His mind refuses to acquiesce. He's still not sure coming here was a good idea, but he doesn't think he could have stopped himself.
After a moment, he gathers himself and looks toward the altar – he rather suspects the Muggle church was Audrey's doing – only to find himself breathless. And no, it isn't because of the bride.
He looks incredible. Unlike Oliver – who always feels a bit like he's wearing someone else's skin in Muggle suits – Percy looks perfectly at ease, perfectly confident, and completely incredible. And, beyond that, he looks happy, which is what Oliver most hoped for and most dreaded to see. Oliver's lips twist up into something halfway between a smile and a grimace before he finally begins to survey the entire scene.
Bill stands at Percy's side in the position of best man, which is no surprise to Oliver, because according to Charlie, Audrey refused to let Percy ask Oliver. And that was the only ground Percy would give her. Charlie said the whole Burrow heard the yelling when Audrey tried to tell him that he couldn't even send Oliver an invitation. Or, well, hear her yelling. Percy is the type for quiet fury.
Charlie stands next to Bill as one of those people who Oliver can never remember the title of, but that stand with the groom. Audrey's brother is behind him.
The bride herself is missing yet, and that only makes the moment all the more priceless for Oliver. It isn't that he has anything against Audrey in particular – he's sure she must be good for Percy, or Percy wouldn't have chosen her – but he cannot help but despise her a little bit despite that, because she's the one that's taking him away.
He watches the expression on Percy's face as Audrey enters the room, and he knows in that moment that he can be happy for them. The sheer joy on Percy's face is enough for him – Oliver would rather Percy is happy, no matter how much it hurts.
He's not really listening as the wedding progresses, as he's too busy memorising Percy's face. He does, however, hear those famous, cliché words.
"Speak now or forever hold your peace." Oliver stands up. His has eyes only for Percy, who is gazing at him, eyes unreadable – almost disappointed, almost wistful. Oliver feels like words are fighting their way up his throat.
He says nothing. He is grateful for his position in the back, because most of the audience hasn't noticed him at all. Percy has, and Audrey has, and most of the people up front have, but that's really it. Because he isn't here to disrupt the wedding.
He turns around and walks out the sanctuary doors.
He doesn't let the tears fall.
He spells the card he leaves with a message for both of them that the other can't see. In normal ink, it says, "I wish you both the best. I hope you enjoy long and happy lives together, and congratulations."
For him, it says, Just… be happy, Perce. That's all I want.
And then, just for her, the card says, You better damn well love him like he deserves.