Chapter 1 : our smile
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There he was.
Smiling, beaming, brilliant. The most amazing man in the world, my love, and my sole friend and confidant. He meant the world to me, and I to him. He was smiling our smile, the one where we smiled till our cheeks hurt and our faces were pink with the pains of hidden love.
I walked closer, my heart beating in my chest, my eyes watering with relief and happiness and my ears ringing, ringing in fear that is will all go wrong that this day will end that we would be found, caught and slaughtered on sight for my deceit and for his blood.
So often all we could do was smile. To show any inclination of acknowledgment more than a smile would have been too much; people would have known our secret. I couldn't have that; we couldn't have that.
I would have to pretend and be the most cunning of them all, and then send him a quick smile -a simple reminder- that I was thinking of him, only him and us, and that I was not who I was pretending to be.
Who I had to pretend to be.
My hands were clasped around the white tulips, clutching onto them for dear life as my palms sweated profusely, slick with anxiety. I would take a step and hope that the world wouldn't fall from under my feet. I hoped that my reality would not waver and shatter before me. Because this is what I wanted, what I always wanted, and will always want. No one should be able to take that away from me, no one should be able to keep us apart after this day, the most blessed and amazing day.
I looked down quickly, in a haphazard attempt to reassure myself that my feet were really touching the ground. I took a step and I felt gravity pushing me down, slowing me, and preparing me for the end of at all.
I felt the swishing of the plain silk gown that I had made in preparation for this day. I felt the shock from the earth touch my covered toes and make a path from my feet to my brain, alerting my nerves that I was alive and that I should keep walking forward. Towards him.
I looked up and he was still smiling at me. The goofy, cheeky smile that I loved. Those adorable hazel eyes staring at me, loving only me, and welling up with tears. My smile grew larger; I could feel my face stretching the furthest it could possibly stretch just so I could show him how much I loved him. And how much he, more than anyone else, could make me smile and feel happy and at ease all at the same time.
I walked towards him, closer to my happy future, further from the darkness of my past.
Before this day and this moment we would have to go days, weeks, even months without communicating with each other. Time would slow to almost a stand-still. Yet it would go by slowly, ever so slowly, and all we could do, all we had, was wait and smile.
Nothing more and nothing less.
I had no choice and he understood. He always understood, even when I could not, even when I wanted to give up.
My smile widened as I took my last step. I stopped walking, placed the tulips at my feet, not looking at my smiling, goofy love, in my attempt to tease him a bit.
Instead I looked directly ahead, at the wizard presiding over the ceremony, pretending my love wasn't even next to me. That he wasn't even there, seeing me the happiest I've ever been in my life, and loving me endlessly. My smile turned into a smirk and I knew he would understand what I was doing, and pretend to ignore me too.
"We are gathered here this afternoon," the wizard's voice boomed loudly in my face, as if he was speaking to a room was filled with people, when there was only the three of us present, "to celebrate the vows between Ted and Andromeda." The old wizard produced his wand and waved his arms about dramatically as if waiting for applause from the room or something of the sort.
I had to sneak a peek at Ted, who was biting his lower lip to keep himself from chuckling. I wanted to mentally slap myself for letting him pick out the vowing wizard, but I trusted him and knew that on such short notice there was nothing else to be done, especially finding a wizard who wasn't connected to my family in some manner. I turned back to the presiding wizard and awaited our vows.
"-who here denies such youth, vigor, and companionship found in the youngest of our generations! I declare this couple to be the finest I've ever seen!" The wizard yelled joyously and I had to fight back a giggle because his eyes were shut as he ranted and raved about the majestic plenitude and fortitude of young women and men, ready and willing to jump-start the next generation!
My vision blurred and my ears were ringing now more than ever, I swear Ted was now clearing his throat to cover his little laughs. The short old wizard took this as his cue.
"Do you Ted Tonks take this lovely creature, Andromeda Black," I winced and Ted inhaled sharply, as if mentioning my family's name would signal them to our location. The wizard continued as if we made no noticeable gesture, "to be your magical soul mate, to love and to cherish from this day forward, say that you do!"
I turned towards Ted and smiled our smile. We held our hands, stared into each other's eyes. He squeezed my hands, my shaking hands, and said resolutely, "I do."
"Most excellent!" The wizard said, "Andromeda, do you take this dashing young devil, Ted Tonks, to be your magical soul mate from this day forward?"
I couldn't help myself from blushing as I said, "I do." Ted squeezed my hands harder and I squeezed him back as I started to cry, knowing that we had been successful.
No one had found us and we would be married and run away together very soon.
"Then I know pronounce you bonded for life," the old wizard spoke and as he whipped his wand and did a few dramatic flourishes I couldn't even begin to follow with my eyes. Ted coughed to cover his laughter and I fought to suppress a giggle.
"You may now kiss the bride! And make it good," the old man winkled and gestured suggestively towards Ted.
Ted came closer to me and I to him. He was smirking so I put my hands on the back of his neck and pulled him closer to me. I kissed him with all my might, more determined than ever.
The sweet peppery scent I was so accustomed filled my senses as heat rushed to my cheeks. His lips, thin and soft, felt so perfect against my own tender lips.
As we parted, I untangled my hands from his hair and we both smiled our smile. His more bashful than mine because of the clapping coming from the vowing wizard. Ted found my hands and squeezed them gingerly, signaling he was ready to leave together. When I squeezed his hands back, I knew it was officially the best day of my life.
I am whole now, what was missing from myself has been filled; I can feel it seeping from my soul outward.
I could finally be with him. I could finally be free of my family and happy with myself.
Here I am.
nrb writes: Another pitiful attempt at minor humor. Hope you enjoyed the Ted/Andromeda action regardless! Characters belong to J.K. Rowling, obviously.