The wintery sunshine outside the window alerted Hermione that it was the morning of her wedding. Sitting up in bed, the brunette began to grin. Today’s the day. Today I marry the man that I will love for the rest of my life. Giggling, Hermione grabbed her wand and pointed it to the black stereo sitting on top of the dresser, causing it to come to life. With an upbeat tune filling the air, she jumped out of her bed and began dancing around the room, her honey coloured hair bouncing.
This morning, Hermione had the cottage to herself until her bridal crew arrived to whisk her off to the ceremony where she would marry her Slytherin Prince. Even Mia had been taken to the Potter’s to stay the night, along with her father, so that the brunette would be able to get her beauty sleep before the big day. Now, as she danced past her bedside clock, she realised that she had four, peaceful hours before the wedding madness broke loose and she would be saying ‘I do’ at the altar.
With another small swish of her wrist, the volume increased on the stereo and Hermione found herself wiggling her butt into the bathroom where her white oval bathtub awaited.
“Hermione, sit still otherwise this is going to be a hair disaster!”
The redhead pulled her best friend’s head back into the right position so that she could slot the curling tongs around her honey bangs, causing Hermione to yelp slightly.
“Stop being such a baby; this is nothing compared to how mum was with my hair!”
“That doesn’t mean to say you have to torture me for it!”
Hermione tried to rub her sore head but her hand was forced back down by Ginny’s freckled one. Luna, who was sitting to Hermione’s right, giggled airily but was silenced with a glare from the youngest Weasley. Hermione sighed as she watched Ginny try and control her honey waves with the curlers. She was flushed with the effort of trying to section the hair; the strands seemed to interlock with each other and Hermione rolled her eyes as her best friend burnt her finger on the tip.
“Ouch! Damn things!”
The brunette usually would just use a spell to control her messy tangle of hair but Ginny had been adamant that no magic was to be used during her ‘creation’ to make Hermione the most beautiful bride ever seen. As soon as the Gryffindor queen opened the door to her maid of honour, she had inwardly grimaced. Ginny had looked slightly crazed with a smile big enough to give the Cheshire Cat a run for its money, while Luna had struggled with the excess bags that Ginny had forced her to carry. Most of which, were full of makeup and other girly things that Hermione never normally would use.
Molly, Jane and Narcissa had arrived two hours later already dressed for the occasion and had set about getting the children ready for Draco and Hermione’s big day, leaving Hermione and Luna to the mercy of Ginny’s hand. The older women did not dare to interrupt the redhead; she had almost shouted at Mrs Weasley when she had asked if Hermione wanted something to eat.
“There isn’t enough time! I am NOT ALLOWING HER TO EAT UNTIL I’VE FINISHED!”
Molly had pulled the master bedroom door closed behind her as quickly as possible, her face full of shock and slight fear; her daughter was not to be trifled with when she was on a mission.
Finally, the tugging stopped and Hermione was able to feel the pulsing of her scalp where her strands were finally left to rest in peace.
“Right I think I have controlled this beast; now for your makeup.”
Ginny scowled at Hermione’s disapproval of makeup, before pushing her head up so that all the brunette could see was her whitewashed ceiling and Ginny’s flaming red hair. Her stomach rumbled but Hermione grimaced at the thought of eating anything; she hadn’t touched any food since her bath this morning, when she had tried to eat a couple of pieces of dry toast. As soon as the toasted bread had touched her lips she’d gagged violently and had run to the toilet to be sick. Nothing had happened since, but it had left the brunette with a sudden aversion to food.
“Well I think that’s it…you’re ready.”
Ginny moved out of Hermione’s eye-line, lightly pushing her head forward as she did so. While she had been gazing upwards, Luna had delicately placed the hallway mirror in front of Hermione’s wardrobe, which was just to the left where the brunette was sitting. Placing her hand in Ginny’s, she let the redhead escort her to stand in front of it so that she could see her reflection.
“Wow…I.I can’t believe…is that really me?!”
Ginny grinned and clapped her hands in delight.
“I know! I mean it was touch and go for a while with your unruly hair but I managed it! I have turned you into the beautiful queen that you are!”
Luna nodded in agreement, murmuring “You look amazing Mione, a true beauty.”
Hermione blushed and turned to gaze at her reflection. Ginny had done a truly beautiful job; she honestly couldn’t believe her eyes. Mrs Potter had managed to curl Hermione’s already wavy locks, gathering them into a semi pony tail on the top of her head, held together with a silver pin set with a sapphire stone. The hair left was set as looser curls; similar to her natural waves, that cascaded over her shoulders, glimmering due to the silver glitter Ginny had sprinkled over her brown strands. It was like a shining waterfall of honey; something that Hermione never thought she would ever say about her hair.
Her makeup was mostly natural colours that accented her beauty; her eye shadow which consisted of a shimmering gold colour with chocolate brown eyeliner being the most bold. Her lips were glossed with a pale pink shade that made her lips look plump and luscious. A similar colour was used for her blush to highlight her slightly tanned complexion, the nude foundation covering up all her imperfections. However, it was the dress that emphasized everything. Ginny had begged Hermione to allow her to pick the dress and after what seemed weeks of badgering, the brunette finally gave in. This was the first time she was to set eyes on her wedding dress and she had to hand it to Gin, she had done a fantastic job.
It was vintage, completely laced, with the mid-section covered in gold satin, finished with capped sleeves. The sweetheart neckline accented her average sized breasts, while the modified ‘A’ line hugged at her curves brilliantly ending with the beautiful trail. It was breath-taking. I’m…I’m beautiful.
It was the first time that she had ever considered herself truly beautiful.
“Oh Mione; you’re gorgeous!”
Hermione twirled to see her mother, Narcissa and Molly standing in the doorway of her bedroom, each brimming with tears. Blushing she replied,
Mia had pushed her way through the women to see what they all were staring at. The little angel was dressed in a pretty tea-length lemon coloured dress with matching shoes. Her already curly yellow bangs were dotted with white daises that reminded Hermione of the Queen of the fairies that lived merrily in the back garden. She was staring at her mother; her mouth in the form of a small shaped ‘O’.
“Mummy you’re really pretty!”
Hermione laughed and bent down to her daughter’s level with her arms open wide. Mia giggled in delight and ran into her mother’s arms, leaving Ginny to wince at the creases that were being made in the dress that had taken ages to find.
“Well, my little princess you are very pretty yourself, now, how about we go and meet your daddy at the altar.”
Mia nodded and planted a quick kiss onto Hermione’s cheek. “Okay mummy”
Draco was pacing the corridor just outside the hall where he and Hermione were to be saying their vows, wringing his hands. It was a quarter to two; ten minutes until the ‘I do’s’ and all could the blonde could think about was the ‘shadowy figure’ that had eluded him and had managed to scare his beloved.
Last night, as he slept in the spare bedroom of the Potter’s house, Mia snuggled close by his side, he had dreamt of the figure that haunted Hermione. He had been waiting for his wife in the reception quarters they had hired for the wedding when it had struck. It had crept out from the shadow of a pillar; it’s red and green eyes looming in the darkness, sending a shiver down the Slytherin Prince’s spine. Draco had pulled out his wand ready to strike the entity when it disappeared and Hermione was in its place.
She did not answer, her whole body frozen in fear. Her eyes appeared blank, emotionless, as if she was no longer the possessor of her own body.
“Mione? Mione answer me, what’s wrong? What has it done to you?”
She did not answer. Her eyes stared off into the distance, unaware of her surroundings…unaware of herself. Draco watched in fear as an incoherent gasp escaped from her rosy lips, her eyes began to widen in what appeared to be horror. Whatever was happening to his new wife, the person he loved most in the world, was terrifying her.
Draco bent to his knees and grasped Hermione’s hands in his own. Tears strolled down his face as he realised he was unable to help her.
“Mione please, PLEASE! Come back to me!”
“She can’t. She is no longer yours. She is mine.”
The raspy voice that filled the air was coming from behind Hermione, along with a putrid smell of death. It was back. The figure stepped out from behind the beautiful brunette, still hidden from the shadow of the pillar. Its skeletal finger pointed to Draco’s chest, causing him to feel a sudden searing pain throughout his body. It laughed; a sound so evil that it made the Slytherin’s skin crawl as he stared into those deadly red and green eyes.
Draco reached out to Hermione, to pull her away from the shadow but to no avail. The shadowy figure grabbed Hermione’s arm and dragged her out of reach.
It was Mia’s rocking of Draco’s body that awoke him from his nightmare. She had stared into her father’s eyes, a look of pure horror on her face.
“Daddy, why are you shouting? You’re scaring me.”
Draco’s breathing was heavy as he hugged Mia’s small form to his chest. “Sorry baby, Daddy was just having a nightmare that’s all.” Mia, still slightly confused, snuggled deeper into her father, her tiny hand gripping Draco’s t-shirt. This small gesture temporarily made the sexy blonde forget his horrific dream, as he stroked his daughter’s curls until she fell back to sleep. It didn’t take long before the sound of light snores could be heard, telling Draco that his daughter was once again sleeping soundly by his side.
Now, as he wore down the carpet outside the hall, the Slytherin Prince could not help but feel a slight apprehension that the figure may appear at the wedding. He had desperately tried to get in contact with Hermione, to express his worries, but when he phoned the cottage he was shot down by what seemed a half crazed Ginny shouting,
“HE’S NOT ALLOWED TO SPEAK TO HER; WHY WOULD YOU EVEN CONSIDER IT!”
He hadn’t bothered phoning a second time, worried that he may get poor Mrs Weasley into trouble again. Instead he tried speaking to his mother about the situation but before he got around to explaining the dream to her, he was shot down with the line that ‘he was probably suffering from cold feet.’
He gazed up at the clock and saw that it was five to two. Five minutes until me and Hermione are married. Harry, who Draco had nervously asked to be his best man, peered round the double doors that lead to the hall his face full of concern.
“What are you doing out here? The girls will be here any minute!”
It took the Boy Wonder a couple of seconds before he realised that Draco was worried. His sixth sense for danger and a person in need kicked in, causing him to shut the double doors behind him, leaving the two men to talk in private.
“What is it?”
Draco bit his lip. “I’m not sure. I have a bad feeling.”
Harry raised an eyebrow, interested in what was causing his old enemy distress. “What do you mean you have a bad feeling?”
The blonde rolled his eyes; he knew that when he told Harry that ‘he’d had a dream’ he would probably snigger and brush off Draco’s ‘feeling’, but he knew if he didn’t tell someone then it was going to eat away at him, which wasn’t something he really wanted on his wedding day.
“I had a dream about the shadowy figure. It took Hermione away and over the last couple of months, there’s been unexplainable things happening at the cottage. I’ve hid them from Mione as much as possible but I know that she’s afraid. The night of the engagement party, when she disappeared, she was out on my mother’s patio with the figure. Apparently it had made her believe it was me; that I’d been dancing with her when I was down in the cellar. She was really shaken up about it! I’m just worried that something is going to happen!”
Harry had kept silent throughout Draco’s speech, his brow becoming more and more furrowed as it went on. Draco glanced at him, waiting for Harry to burst into laughter but was surprised to see the concentration on the old Gryffindor’s face.
Finally, Harry said, “Why didn’t you or Hermione mention any of this to me?”
Draco shrugged, secretly grateful that Harry had believed in him and said, “Hermione wanted it left alone; she didn’t want anyone to worry about her and I had no proof that what I’d seen had actually happened; I could have just been imagining it.”
“What did you see?”
“Writing on the windows mostly, oh and I heard someone say ‘she’s mine’ which is what the shadowy figure was saying in my dream.”
Harry nodded, listening intently. Draco was about to ask what Harry thought of the situation but he noticed that his best man was checking his watch, his eyes widening. It was 2 o’clock exactly; the bridal group were meant to be arriving any minute and the hero knew if he and Draco weren’t in the right positions by the time the bride arrived, Ginny would have his head.
Pointing to his watch he said, “Come on, let’s get you married and then we’ll talk about this entity. I’ll keep on high alert throughout the wedding and I’ll tell Ginny, Luna and Neville to do the same when they arrive.”
Draco sighed and nodded in defeat. Harry was right. It was his wedding day and he was worrying about something that could have just been a dream. In mere moments, Hermione would be walking down the gangway towards him; the most beautiful woman he’d ever known throughout his life and then she would be his wife. A small smile etched across his face at the thought, and with a clap on the shoulders from Harry, the pair headed towards the front of the hall where he was to await his future wife.
“Hermione be careful of your trail! Luna quick pick it up before it gets dirty!”
Hermione rolled her eyes at Ginny’s orders, before gazing up at the grand hall where she was to be married. They were a bit late thanks to the redhead making everyone check that they had everything, while moaning at the professional photographer that he wasn’t taking the pictures in the right angle.
The car journey had been marvellous; sipping at champagne, giggling with her best friends and the women she considered to be her mothers, Mia singing little tunes to keep the atmosphere happy. It had been wonderful. Hermione had been in shock when she saw that her bridal car was a magically enhanced Vintage Bentley (another thanks to Ginny) where her whole bridal crew, including the photographer could fit as they journeyed to the hall. Jane Granger’s eyes had widened in surprise as she saw the extended inside of the car, while muttering “magic” under her breath.
Now, it was time for the main event. The outside of the venue was decorated in daffodils and ribbons, which Mia proudly stated that she helped grow because she knew it was ‘Mummy’s favourite.’
The steps leading up to the grand oak doors, were covered in red carpet making Hermione feel like a celebrity as she entered the corridor which lead to where her fiancé was waiting for her. Harry, who had received from Ginny that they were arriving, was standing waiting to greet them just outside the double doors, a wide grin spread across his face.
He and Hermione embraced each other, Harry giving his best friend a big kiss on the cheek.
“You look amazing Mione, I’m so happy for you.”
*snap* the photographer captured the moment as her eyes began to brim with tears and like a shot there was a tissue under her nose.
“Here, I don’t want you smudging your makeup before you’re married. Harry I thought I told you no soppy stuff until after the ‘I dos’; you could ruin my masterpiece!”
Ginny stood with her hands on her hips, her eyebrow raised. She was wearing a baby blue, strapless bridesmaid dress with a black ribbon around the waist. It was simple, but it complemented both Luna and Ginny well while not upstaging the bride. The pair had kept their hair straight decorated with a thin silver headband with diamantes along the centre. Harry grinned at Ginny’s beauty before planting a sloppy kiss on his wife’s lips.
“Sorry Gin just couldn’t help it seen as you all look so gorgeous.”
Ginny smirked at her husband’s cheek before ushering him back into the hall.
“Go and tell everyone we’re here and make sure Draco is in position or otherwise I will hunt him down; I want nothing to spoil this for Hermione.”
Harry sighed inwardly at Ginny’s crazy nature, and as he walked passed Luna and Hermione, he noticed that the pair seemed as agitated with it too. The photographer followed Harry into the hall, taking the last few snaps of the bride and her bridesmaids until Hermione reached the platform where Draco was waiting.
The brunette whirled round to see her father standing behind her, all dressed up in a snazzy suit and tie.
The pair hugged until they heard the slight tutting from behind. It seemed unusual that he was not inside like the rest of the guests, but Hermione didn’t care; he looked wonderfully dapper and she was so happy that she had her father to walk her down the aisle.
“You look wonderful poppet, absolutely gorgeous.”
“Thanks Dad, you don’t look too bad yourself.”
Steven Granger blushed before clearing his throat; he never did do well with compliments.
“Hermione dear we’re going to our seats; we’ll see you in there.”
Jane, Molly and Narcissa were waiting outside the double doors, all three beaming. Hermione nodded to them mumbling “See you in there” suddenly very nervous.
It was mere seconds after the three women left that the music started and Ginny began to usher Mia through the doors with her wicker basket filled with flower petals, along with James who had been given the responsibility of ring bearer.
Turning to her best friend, Ginny grinned and said, “Good luck, love you Mione.”
“Love you too Gin.”
With that, Ginny followed Luna into the hall leaving Hermione and her father alone. She gripped Mr Granger’s arm tightly for fear that she would trip and breathed deeply.
“You okay poppet?”
The brunette merely nodded, too nervous to answer. She didn’t understand why she had butterflies in her stomach, she couldn’t wait to be Mrs Malfoy; it was something she had wanted ever since she had said yes to Draco’s proposal. Yet, as she headed towards the double doors, something inside her was pulling in the opposite direction, creating fear and panic.
Putting it down to cold feet, she gripped her father’s arm tighter, keeping her mind on Draco’s face when he saw her. It eased her nerves slightly, and within moments they were through the doors and heading down the walkway which led to her beloved.
Seeing Draco made Hermione’s heart leap. He was wearing a black suit with a sapphire coloured tie, matching his cufflinks and her jewellery, his floppy platinum blonde hair sleeked back making him look suave and sophisticated. She blushed as she noticed the way he was looking at her; his eyes were widened in surprise while his mouth hung open slightly; he obviously liked the dress.
Their eyes met and it was all Hermione could do to stop herself running into his arms and kissing him in front of all their family. Harry grinned as he saw how the two were looking at each other; he had felt exactly the same way at his own wedding when Ginny peered up at him from her veil, looking like a fallen angel.
Hermione and her father had made it halfway up the aisle, when the lights went out.
Everyone gasped at the sudden darkness, unable to see past their noses. The only light that could be seen was coming from the small windows that were dotted around the outer walls, not enough to make to make anyone feel comfortable. Draco’s stomach lurched. The darkness was bringing back the dream that he’d had the night before and as his eyes slowly adjusted to the black room; he could just make out Hermione and her father in the centre, Hermione looking a little worried. He wanted to shout out to her that everything was going to be alright but a small tug at his trousers alerted him of his daughter who he remembered hated the dark.
“Daddy I’m scared.”
“It’s alright poppet, everything’s alright, the lights have just gone out for a bit nothing to worry about.”
If only he thought that were true.
The brunette hugged closer to her father and cursed herself for not bringing her wand. Ginny had looked thunderous earlier when Hermione had suggested that she could stuff it down the front of her dress, so she had decided against bringing it. Magical guests could be heard whispering about where they had put their own wands but were hushed by Molly and Arthur. Hermione’s extended family didn’t know that she was a Witch and Hermione had asked any magical friends and family to keep the magic to a minimum so as not to frighten her aunts and uncles.
“Dad, what do you think’s going on?”
Her father didn’t answer, creating a feeling of unease through Hermione. Draco and Harry fumbled around trying to find a light switch, both annoyed that they couldn’t use ‘Lumos’ to sort out the situation.
“Harry I have a bad feeling about this.”
“Yeah me too, just go to Hermione and make sure she’s okay!”
With that the Slytherin Prince headed back to his would-be wife, his arms outstretched in front of him so that he did not bump into anything.
Unfortunately, he managed to fall over the vicar who had dropped his glasses and was searching for them on the steps of the platform. Mia squeaked as he touched her foot and ran to Ginny’s side where James was hugging tightly to his mother’s leg.
Hermione’s eyes finally adjusted to the darkness and she could see the heads of everyone who was seated in the hall. She tugged at her father’s arm to lead him to a seat nearby but he would not budge.
“Dad, come with me and sit down until we’ve got the lights back on! Dad?”
Steven Granger still did not answer his daughter but carried on staring at the place where Draco had fallen over.
Hermione’s unease began to grow ever more and in desperation she pulled her father round to face her.
She screamed. It wasn’t her father at all. It was the shadowy figure; the thing that had red and green eyes.
A glow of light erupted from Harry’s wand who no longer cared about her Muggle family members, and he aimed it towards the aisle where Hermione and figure were standing. There was just enough light from the wand to highlight father and daughter.
It was a decaying human covered in dirty rags and flee infested cloak. Its feet protruded from beneath, mostly skeletal with holes through the bones as if they had been gnawed by rats. The skin on its arms was a blackish blue colour, suggesting that it had been dead for a long time. The smell that came from it was putrid and deathly, causing the hall to cough and cover their noses.
But it was the face that had shocked everyone most. The face was completely intact, white as paper with a bluish tinge underneath the deadly eyes that were full of cruelty. Freckles that seemed to have lost their colour dusted across the bridge of its nose, while the ginger hair still shone brightly albeit a little shaggier than usual.
Hermione stepped back from the decaying body of her ex-fiancé in horror.
He turned his evil gaze on her, before smiling in a way that made her flesh crawl. She gagged, unable to control herself but stood rooted to the spot, the same frozen fear spreading through her body.
“Yes. I told you I would be coming soon. You said you were mine forever and now I will take you.”
“You’ll do no such thing!”
Draco stepped towards the pair of them his face contorted with rage. He hadn’t quite believed it to be Weaslebee at first; he thought that his eyes were playing tricks on him, but when he had turned to see what Harry had thought over the situation, he saw the sad stricken face that the Boy Wonder had.
Ginny was staring at her dead brother in shock horror, unable to move from her spot but Draco noticed that her hands were shaking uncontrollably. Mrs Weasley could be heard weeping from her seat in the front row, Mr Weasley trying to soothe her.
“Hermione isn’t yours anymore Ron! You can’t have her!”
Hermione wanted to agree, to say tell him that he was dead and they couldn’t belong together but her mind was filled with the amazing times that they had shared all those years ago. Her body and mind were torn; fearful yet loving.
The decaying Ron laughed evilly, something so cruel and putrid that Draco couldn’t help but shudder at the sound. Ron pointed a finger to Draco’s chest, similar to what he had done in Draco’s dream the night before.
“You think she is yours but you are wrong! You will never have her heart and it will please me to watch as yours breaks from the suffering you will feel!”
An evil cackle escaped Dead Ron’s lips before he lunged at Hermione, pulling her with him towards the double doors. She could not fight him; she willed her limbs to move, to struggle, but she was unmoving; she couldn’t anything to stop her dead ex-fiancé. Deep down she had known that it was him ever since she had glimpsed his face at the engagement party, she just didn’t want to believe it. The black hole was gaping inside of her, eating at her as she was pulled down the aisle.
Draco’s eyes widened as the scene from his dream began to play out in front of him. He ran after the two but just as they neared the double doors a cloud of black smoke rose up from the ground and surrounded the pair, clouding Draco’s vision.
He coughed and battered the smoke away from his eyes but without success. Harry was still frozen from the shock of seeing his best friend again and Ginny didn’t seem to be able to even conceive what had just happened.
Hermione was gone. He had taken her. Mia ran to her father’s side her eyes wide in fear; her mother had disappeared and the bereft emotions that the little angel could feel were suffocating her. Uncontrollable tears streamed down her face as she gazed up at Draco who seemed lost now that his fiancé was once again missing.
“Daddy, where’s Mummy gone? Why has that man taken her?”
Draco shook his head unable to answer his daughter, his heart aching while his whole body shuddered with the searing pain that he had felt in his dream; he was suffering just like Ron wanted.
James ran to Mia’s side and hugged the little girl tightly to his chest, something that would have looked adorable if it was under different circumstances. He patted Mia’s curls affectionately before rocking her gently in his arms. Ginny, suddenly very aware of her mothering duties ran to the two children and gathered them into her arms. Molly, who had been holding Lily-Mae, went to help her daughter while Jane Granger’s eyes widened in horror at the thought of her daughter being taken and her husband nowhere to be found.
Hermione’s Muggle family had either fainted at the sight of the decaying Ron Weasley or hid underneath their chairs. Now, as they realised that the bride had disappeared along with the horrific sight, they began muttering to themselves about what they really had seen and what had happened. Harry, who had silent tears sliding down his cheeks, growled at them before waving his wand and whispering ‘Obliviate’.
No one seemed to notice that the power was back on.
A/N: So, what do you guys think? Too much? Too little? Was you surprised who the shadowy figure was or had you guessed? Please read and review and let me know what you guys think and I will respond as truthfully as possible.
Yours Stagzpotterfan x