My breath clouded in front of my eyes as I waited at the door to the Nott residence as the chilly January air bit at my skin. I’d graduated from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry eighteen months ago and I’d like to say that my life was finally heading in the direction of normal. I’d finished my year-long training at the hospital and had become an intern in the Spell Damage wards. It was amazing and I loved my job.
“Oh Merlin,” my mother sighed, “Why do you even ring the door bell? It’s freezing out here and you know that you’re welcome in this house whenever you like! Everyone’s already here!”
I laughed, “Wonderful to see you too.”
“I only saw you last week, Bella, don’t be drama queen,” my mother poked.
Christmas had been last week and my mother had decided that it was time for our first family holiday. She’d invited James along so as a strange-weird double date, Theodore, James, my mother and I had jetted off to the Meldives for the week. James had gone absolutely nuts because he had to leave Ollivander’s for a whole week but of course, his wonderful boss had forced him to go.
I stripped off my winter coat and hung it on the banister of the staircase. It wouldn’t be there when I walked past next time as the house elves would surely get to it but I didn’t like forcing them to put things away from me. They made me feel helpless.
“You looked wonderful,” Theodore smiled, as I walked into to the warm kitchen. Well, kitchen number one. This was the kitchen that my mother had demanded be built so that she could cook when Theodore announced that there was no witch or wizard size door into the main kitchens. House elves only.
“Thank you, Theo,” I smiled, kissing my step-father on the cheek as I poured me a glass of wine. I kissed James on the lips when I reached him, sitting at the centre island. “Hello everyone.”
Not only were my boyfriend and his parents in the room but Hannah and Neville Longbottom were sitting in the kitchen along with their children, Delilah and Joseph. Delilah, of course, had bought her significant other… fiancé now, Parker. He’d popped the question over Christmas and the wedding was set for August 12th. Lydia was here, too, but apparently Albus Potter hadn’t been able to make it. Oh, yes, Lydia was still with Albus. It was scary, honestly. Jack was missing as he was with his girlfriend, the supermodel Anna Hurtz, in the Caribbean for two weeks.
My mother had become best of friends with Ginny Potter which, I admit, was a little unsettling at first. It weirded me out a little less when I found out that Theo and Mr. Potter had been friends prior to the relationship between James and I.
“What are you thinking about?” James whispered in my ear as I took at a sip at my red wine.
“It’s amazing, you know, how we’re all still so close,” I smiled.
“Yeah, well, Lydia is with my brother so we’re never getting shot of those two. Parker and Delilah are around all the time… seeing as they live bloody next door.”
I laughed, “That’s true. Whose stupid idea was that?” I whispered.
“You and Delilah thought it would be cute,” he groaned into my ear.
“Why did you agree?” I asked, confused.
“I have no idea.”
I laughed and kissed him on the lips again.
“Annabelle!” Delilah squealed coming up beside me.
“Delli!” I grinned.
“Could I have a word?” she asked, dragging me off into the living room.
“I suppose so,” I laughed when we stopped in front of the fire.
“Alright, so you know how Parker and I got engaged?”
“I might have heard something about it.”
“Well, seeing as James is going to be Parker’s best man and everything… I was wondering if you’d be my maid of honour? I mean, I know that they’re supposed to married or whatever but I’m the first of my friends getting married … and Parker and I have never been that traditional so … what do you say?”
I just beamed at her. “I would love to!”
“Yay! You have to make a speech.”
“I have to make a what now?”
“A speech. Like one of those things where you talk.”
“Are you sure you want to trust me with that?”
“You got this! Just nothing too embarrassing, okay? And my parents are going to be there… so change anything about us having sex to uh… cuddling, if you have to bring it up.”
“Will do, dollface! I don’t wanna kill your Great Aunt Bree either.”
“Oh Merlin, I doubt that lady’s heard the ‘s’ word in a thousand years!”
“How old is she, anyhow?”
“Like three hundred and eight. She’s got cobwebs.”
Why was I friends with her?
I watched as the water sit underneath the bridge as I waited for James to pay the bill. It was our anniversary, three years today, and he’d surprised me by rushing me off to Venice. I was twenty a few weeks back so we were kind of celebrating a bit of both.
“Babe,” a voice breathed in my ear as a hand wrapped its way around me.
I jumped slightly. “Way to scare the shit out of me, James.”
“Sorry,” he whispered.
I turned into him so that I was facing him. “Thank you for bringing me here,” I smiled, “It’s gorgeous.”
“You’re welcome,” he smiled as I tried to crush my lips onto his. “Wait, wait.”
I looked at him, an eyebrow raised. “What?”
“I want to say I love you,” he grinned.
“I love you too, James, now what’s up?”
“We’ve been together three years, we’ve lived together for two and I can honestly say that I fell for you the first time I met you. I have no clue how I didn’t know you before seventh year but since then you’ve made my life absolutely amazing. I don’t regret a thing that I’ve done with you by my side and I can honestly say that I love you more than I ever thought it would be possible to love one person. I am so proud to call you my girlfriend, but to be honest, I think it’s time… that I ask you,” James faltered, trying to pull something out of his pocket. I raised my eyebrows at him, questioning. “Would you like to be my wife?”
He was proposing? On a bridge in Venice? Oh Merlin. I … oh Merlin. That ring. It was bloody gorgeous. “Yes, yes,” I breathed, “Yes.”
He grinned, sliding the ring onto my finger as I stood there in shock. I hugged him, throwing myself at him.
His laughter vibrated through his chest as I hugged him close. I smiled into his shoulder, shocked.
“It’s beautiful,” I looked at the ring on my finger. It was white gold, with three diamonds set into the band; the middle a perfectly round diamond, the two outside diamond slightly more ruggedly cut into more of a pear shape.
“Your mother helped me pick it,” he grinned down at me.
“My mother knows?” I asked, confused.
“Of course – I don’t know how it goes, but your step-father is pureblood… so I thought I should ask them for your hand… before I took it anyway,” he mumbled.
I smiled up at him, kissing him softly on the lips. “When it comes to me, you can take anything you want.”
“Well, I would like it very much if I could take your clothes off,” he smirked.
I hit him softly, on the chest. “We’re in public, James.”
“Hotel time?” he asked, watching me.
I smiled, my lips turning up ever so slightly at the corners. “Alright.”
She was beautiful; there was no way to deny it. Delilah Longbottom was the perfect bride. Her slender frame allowed the sheath-silhouetted dress to graze her curves. The sweetheart neckline looks amazing, as the slit on the left side showed her toned and tan legs. Her father hadn’t been too happy about the dress initially but once Delilah wanted something there was absolutely no way to stop her from getting what she wanted.
“You look amazing,” I smiled at her, fixing her veil in the mirror. Her hair was curled and pulled
into a half-up half-down style. It looked like it had hurt a little to secure but that may have been
because she had insisted that her hair be done by the muggle hairdresser that had done both mine and her hair when we were kids.
“I’m nervous as hell,” she admitted, “We’re so young, how do I know this is right?”
“Well, you’ve loved him since you saw him. Besides, if you don’t marry him there are thousands of girls out there who would. I don’t think you’re young, we’ve been out of Hogwarts for nearly three and a half years now. You’re nearly 21. It’s time to grow up, settle down. Your mum and dad married at nineteen and look how they turned out.”
“You’re right,” she smiled, softly, though I could tell she was still nervous.
“It’s alright to be nervous, Delilah, expected even. You know that I will be.” Once I had gotten engaged I had asked Delilah and Lydia to be my bridesmaid, deciding that I didn’t want a maid of honour. My mother would be up there with me, as well as my two best friends, Lily, James’ sister, and Rose, James’ cousin. James would have the exact same wedding party as Parker is having, except a switch in brothers. Parker had Oliver beside him where as James would have Albus.
“We’re ready for you,” a man from the church poked his head through the door.
“Thank you,” I smiled.
“Come on, you’ve got this,” I grinned at her. “In ten minutes, you will be Delilah Wood. By the way, don’t make me cry too much with your vows. I look terrible after I cry.”
I walked through the old oak door, my shoes hitting the cold concrete with a clack. Delilah had decided to do a church ceremony, despite being completely un-Christian. She hadn’t even known anything about the religion and couldn’t comprehend it but the churches were just magical.
I had no clue how she managed to swing it with the priest… but she did.
“You look gorgeous, Delilah,” Lydia smiled, coming up on my side.
“You do,” her mother smiled. “Alright, Lydia, off you go.”
Lydia rounded the doors, and you could tell that people were blown away with her outfit. Delilah had given both Lydia and I the freedom to do whatever with our dresses as long as they matched so of course. We were defiantly not doing a ‘who wore it best’ session down the aisle. We both wore a pale lilac color. Her dress had a deep plunge at the front and was sleeveless whereas my front was completely covered but the back had a twisted design so that it was mostly backless.
“I’ll see you on the other side,” I grinned, kissing Delilah on the cheek, and following Lydia down the aisle. I didn’t look around, I didn’t smile at anyone. I looked straight ahead, praying I wouldn’t trip. I saw James, in his tux, and smiled softly. One day, soon, this would be me.
Well, walking down the aisle in a wedding dress instead of a bridesmaid dress.
We had set the date for the following September, so a year and a month. We hadn’t wanted the two weddings close together as both were being covered by the media.
I mean, seriously, the bridal party consisted of four professional Quidditch players with Parker at Pride of Portee, Jack at the Magpies, Oliver Wood at the Arrows and Delilah herself being the Harpies co-captain. I was in the news lately as I had ‘saved’ the life of four Hogwarts students at the hospital – personally, I thought it was a bunch of bullshit that I was getting recognition for the job that my team had done but it built my status or some shit. I don’t know, James was trying to explain to me why reporters cared about any of this. James, of course, was son of Harry Potter and had recently won an up and coming award when it came to advanced magic or something. Lydia had begun modeling and styling for Witch Weekly so she was a hot-shot too. A whole load of shit, to be honest. We weren’t special in any way… but apparently it was cool to be friends with Quidditch players.
The bridal march began, the whole room turning to see Hannah and Neville walk their beautiful daughter down the aisle. I looked at Parker, his face a mixture between shock and adoration. The best part of a wedding is looking at the groom. It makes everything worthwhile, you know, reminded everyone why they were doing it. There was like electricity between the bride and groom that made all the sense in the world. Any nervousness was gone. It was all smiles, tears building in certain people’s eyes.
I took her bouquet, lilies and roses, whilst she took her beloved’s hand.
“I, Delilah Longbottom, take you, Parker Wood, to be my lawfully wedded husband. I will love you, like I have every day since I was eleven, I will love you even when you leave your socks on the floor, even when you forget your keys and call me to let you in the apartment, I will love you and respect you even when we beat you on the Quidditch pitch. I will respect your wishes, thoughts and opinions for the rest of our lives, even when you’re wrong and I will support you when you try to conquer the world. You are everything that I have ever needed, everything that I’ll ever want. As I have given you my heart, I give you my life, my love and my hand in marriage.”
“Delilah, we were born to be together and though it took me seven years for me to realize it, I feel like we’ve been through it all. No one except us will ever understand the love that we share; it might not be fairy tale, it might not be all sunshine and rainbows, but to me, it will always be perfect. I will love you until the day I die, I will love you when you are screaming your head off when I forget to do something, I will love you when you burn all the food for the next year and I will love you when we beat you at Quidditch because we’re not going to lose. You’ve shown me how amazing life can be and I don’t think I could ever live without you; you showed me that even through the darkest days there is light. I will love you today, tomorrow and forever more. I will give you the world, I will share your laughter, share your pain and share your tears as long as I still breathe and my heart is still beating.”
“Delilah Longbottom, do you take Parker Wood to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
“Parker Wood, do you take Delilah Longbottom to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
“I know pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride,” the priest spoke, softly.
Grins on their faces, Parker swept her into his arms and placed a sloppy kiss on her face. She giggled, softly.
Together they were perfect.
They were enviable, they were happy.
I hit my fork against my cup, softly, calling for everybody’s attention. I was nervous for the speeches but I’d prepared all month to make this speech… I just really hope I don’t stumble.
“Hello there, everybody. I’m Annabelle, Delilah’s best friend. I’ve been trying all week to find a moment in their lives that would perfectly describe Parker and Delilah but to be honest, there are too many to choose just one. I’ve known Delilah my entire life, growing up with her and loving her like a sister. The first time she set eyes on Parker she fell for him. She didn’t know what love was when we were eleven but over time her feelings grew into the heart-wrenching, stomach-flipping desire that is love. Seven years later, she finally managed to capture the heart of Parker Wood, resident bad boy and I’m so happy that she did. I think the moment that defines Parker and Delilah would be the week leading up to the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw final. They wouldn’t talk to each other, they yelled at each other across the Great Hall, they were competitive in everything they did for an entire week but they couldn’t stay apart; Joseph, Delilah’s darling brother, walked in on Delilah and Parker, curled up in a ball, just cuddling. They didn’t talk; they just lay there, smiling, giddy. They loved each other too much to stay apart. There hasn’t been a day since then that they haven’t been Delilah and Parker. They wouldn’t be one without the other. Of course, I yelled at her for it, as she’d banned me from talking with my own boyfriend and best friend as they were ‘the enemy’ despite none of us playing Quidditch… but of course, anyone that has seen Delilah angry would rather just listen to her than defy her. Good luck with that, Parker. I don’t have to tell them to enjoy each married day to the fullest, or to cherish each other because, frankly, it’s like they’ve been married for three years. The only difference is that gorgeous ring on her finger, and her last name. To Mr. and Mrs. Wood!”
“Hey – I’m James Potter and Parker happens to be my best mate. There are probably plenty of embarrassing stories that I could pull out on Parker but seeing as my wedding is in a year and he could have his revenge, I think I’m going to keep this a nice as possible. Three years ago, when Parker and Delilah got together, Parker came running into the dormitory at Hogwarts and was completely shocked. He had fell for a girl so hard that he hadn’t known what to do; she wouldn’t fall for any of his tricks, she wouldn’t laugh at any of his stupid jokes and he had absolutely no clue what to do. Joseph had offered the best advice there was “just be yourself” though I’m sure if he’d known it was his own sister, he would’ve just punched him but Parker somehow managed to land the beauty that is Delilah … Wood. Annabelle has told me she’s been waiting years for that, that she doodled it all over her note books in second year and finally she can say that is her name. I cannot, however, sit down without revealing that whilst we were at Hogwarts and Parker was so unsure as to whether he had a shot with Delilah that we’d tried to break into the Ravenclaw Common Room and eavesdrop on one of their conversations. That day, the knocker had said “What makes you smile like there is no sadness in the world, ache like there is no cure and live like there is no tomorrow?” The answer was love but instead of coming out with that, Parker just grinned and said “Easy. Delilah Longbottom.” Of course we didn’t get in… but it defines Parker and Delilah perfectly. Congratulations!”
Delilah was Mrs. Delilah Wood. She’d been dreaming of this day since she was eleven years old, throwing a quaffle around on the Quidditch pitch with her brother when he’d been jumped on my three dorky boys. Now, one of them was hers, one of them was mine and the two others would always be in our hearts.
Who said lives couldn’t be perfect?
In a year I would be Mrs. Annabelle Potter, with a ring on my finger just like Delilah’s. One day, maybe, Joseph would find the girl of his dreams, Jack too. Maybe, Lydia would even become my sister-in-law. How messed up would it be if Joseph married Lily Potter? We’d all be related. Well, that could work, except for the fact that she … doesn’t swing that way.
Oh well, it would’ve been cool.
Life was perfect three years ago, life was perfect now.
Maybe what goes up, doesn’t have to come down.
Maybe things will just stay the way that they are.
So this is the end. I’m so sorry that it took so long to get here. I updated my other story twice before I could even get the words together for this one… and I lost my hard drive in the middle of it. So yes, there are two versions of the epilogue but I like this one better. Anyway, there were no chapter’s images to this story and I’m sure in your mind, there is a long list of people who you think embodies each member of my cast however, I thought I would share with you who I had as each character. I had Annabelle down for both Taylor Swift and Olivia O’Driscoll at one point during the story, whilst James was played by the undeniably gorgeous Nicolas Bemberg. Albus was played by Marcus Hoult, Lydia played by Jeisa Chimminazo, Delilah by Allie Crandall, Parker Wood by Mathias Lauridsen, Oliver Wood by Kevin Flamme, Jack Avery by Clement Chabernaud… just a little rougher, and Joseph Longbottom by Victor Norlander. I may go through and correct my terrible, terrible grammar and punctuation mistakes at some point but I may just have to get through another story before I take on that task.
I would like to thank everyone that has favourite-d or reviewed this story. To honestly, see those numbers go up makes my day. I would like to thank everyone that has read the story, I would like to thank anyone that has ‘favorite author’-ed me because that doesn’t just make my day, it makes my week.
Now, if you would like to continue reading my stories, this is a shameless plug for my up and coming story, Not Like The Movies. It’s a Marauders era story so it’s different, but I assure you that it’ll be good. Well, I hope it will be.
This is long enough, I think. Thank you for reading and staying along with me for this long. You’ll never know how much it means.
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