Disclaimer: I am not J K Rowling, and anything you recognize is hers, not mine.
Author’s note: This story takes place in the summer of James and Lily’s 6th year, and Molly and Arthur would have just graduated from Hogwarts.
Alastor Moody, famed Auror with a face fit to scare small children, was not the sort of person one expected to see at a wedding. It just wasn’t his style. He had been heard to wax positively eloquent on the subject of why no one in these troubled times should marry. Alone, wizards were small targets. Two wizards together became easier to find, and a baby makes it much harder to go into hiding.
Any children they have will likely be killed before the poor little tykes knew why, before they know that their parent’s actions against Voldemort had doomed them. Now, in Moody’s opinion, was the time for fighting, so that the children hoped for have a home. When that’s done, actually having children would be more acceptable. However, he spoke not a word of his well-known objections. He was rather fond of Molly and Arthur, though he would never admit it, so out of respect for them he didn’t voice his opinion, just smiled and carried the ring.
He wasn’t the only painfully happy person in the building either. Standing to either side of him was Lily Evans and James Potter. People kept stealing glances their way, apparently as shocked to see them in each other’s near vicinity as they were to see “Mad Eye” Moody in a suit and tie. Not only was Lily standing practically right next to James, she hadn’t yelled at him yet. Even more surprising, he hadn’t taken the opportunity offered by this rare moment to ask her out. That was a first by anyone’s reckoning, even James’ own. It even seemed like they were getting along, if you didn’t look too closely at their smiles. Their teeth were gritted. James was Best Man. Lily was the Maid of Honor. For anyone but Molly and Arthur they wouldn’t have done it.
Everything seemed perfect. As befitting a wedding in wartime, the chapel was bedecked in sober greens, blues, and violets. The Hogwarts crest was everywhere. No one had realized that Hogwarts had a chapel, but they weren’t really surprised when Dumbledore came up with one. Unlike Alastor, he believed that everyone should have someone they could count on because it would provide a source of hope that would sustain him throughout the long war he saw coming. Everything was ready and in place.
Except two things. Where, oh, where were the bride and groom?
Moody, Lily and James glanced at the clock, glanced at each other, and before anyone else had even realized that something was happening, the three had strode out of the chapel, jogged up several flights of floors from the dungeons, and were out of the door and on brooms.
Glancing over his shoulders at the two teenagers on either side of his broom tail, Moody said, “Head on back kids. You’re good, but if something was big enough to hold back Molly and Arthur, on their wedding day no less, it’s not something you can handle.”
James looked defiant, and, for once, Lily agreed.
“If you can handle it on your own, you can handle it with our help. If you can’t, us being around might save your life!” James looked elated to have Lily’s famously abrasive tongue turned not only against someone not him, but for something he wanted.
Moody harrumphed and didn’t argue further. “Make sure you don’t get into the way, then.”
They flew for some thirty minutes in silence, leaning far over their brooms, slick with sweat, to go as fast as possible. James was looking impatient with the slow speed of the other’s brooms, but said nothing. That was a good idea, as the others were very tense indeed and apt to bight each other’s heads off.
“Look!” Lily yelled over the wind, staring down. “That’s their house!”
It was a rather cute little place, small and yellow with a blue roof. Molly had described it to Lily as “small, but expandable.” Lily didn’t see where it could be expanded, though. It was more of a large open cottage than anything else, with a sloped roof. Well, maybe if the roof was removed and a floor or two was added...
But, if the Dark Mark looming wide and menacing over the houe was any indication, there was no reason to believe the house would ever need any expension. Lily’s heart jumped into her throat at the thought, and the three of them hurtled at breakneck speeds towards the ground. Lily pulled her broom to such an abrupt stop that she stumbled off, and broke into a run without pause.
She hesitated a moment at the door to allow James and Alastor to catch up (they had taken a more dignified route off their brooms), and heard the horrific sounds of a fight. All three faces were visibly relieved. There was a chance to intervene. They had arrived on time.
All three lunged into the fray as soon as they entered the door. There were only three Death Eaters, one of which was already sprawled on the floor. None of those present were known for magical brilliance. Crabb, Goyle, and Segmeny had been caught so many times it wasn’t funny. Nonetheless, they always managed to escape before trial (or one of their Death Eater pals managed for them). There was talk of suspension of trials for known Death Eaters, but Dumbledore was opposed to it as a miscarriage of justice. Whatever the fate of the three at the end of the battle, Molly and Arthur seemed to be holding their own. A couple ‘stupefy’s from that unexpected direction ended the battle.
Molly rushed to hug the three, calling them heroes. Alastor looked a bit uncomfortable, and coughed when Molly didn’t initially let go.
“Well...um...well. We thought for a while there you’d eloped. Next time you get the urge to practice dueling, call some of us up, yeah? Makes it easier.” Moody mumbled to his feet as Molly finally let him go.
Arthur looked at Molly pleadingly. “Can we, darling? That wedding was such a hassle. I’d rather wake up these three,” he prodded Goyle with his foot, “then plan another one!”
Molly looked amused. “Hmmm...maybe if you make it up to me.” She wrapped Arthur into a hug and lifted her face up for kisses.
Lily and James turned away to give the happy couple some privacy at the same time. Chance had it they had turned towards each other. For once, James wasn’t smirking. He wasn’t even smiling. Lily decided that she liked that expression on his face. As he opened his mouth to ask her permission to kiss her (after hundreds of hexes, he was finally housebroken), Lily beat him to it.
“James Henry Potter, are you going to kiss me or not?”
Sputtering a little without managing any coherent words, Alastor Moody backed out the door, and jumped on his broom. He was quite as shaken leaving the house as going in. If only he could find someone as right for him as the couples he was leaving behind were for each other...but it was never the right time, the same time, and he simply cared too much.
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