Astoria Malfoy (née Greengrass) (born c. 1982) was a pure-blood witch. She married Draco Malfoy, with whom she had a son named Scorpius. Contents [show] BiographyEdit
Astoria with her husband and son in 2017 Added by Greater good Astoria was the younger sister of Daphne Greengrass by two years. Astoria attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She eventually married Draco Malfoy, who was two years ahead of her and in the same House as Daphne. The couple had at least one son together, Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy, whom they saw off at King's Cross Station for his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 2017. EtymologyEdit The name Astoria may be derived from the London Astoria, a music venue in London, England, or the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, a famously luxurious hotel in New York City. This hotel was named after the Astors, a very wealthy and influential American family. The name may also be related to Astraea, a daughter of Zeus in Greek mythology who personified justice. Astraea is derived from Greek meaning "star-maiden"; this may related to her husband's maternal family often naming its members after stars and constellations. The name may also be spelled Asteria, as shown on the Weasley Family Tree. Like Hyperion-her son Scorpius' middle name-Asteria is the name of one of the Titans of Greek mythology. Behind the scenesEdit Astoria is played by Jade Olivia, Tom Felton's real life girlfriend, in the epilogue scene of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. J. K. Rowling has said that she chose to have Draco marry someone other than Pansy Parkinson, who seems to have been his girlfriend during his adolescence, because she always hated Pansy, who represented "the girls who teased me when I was at school". She has referred to Pansy as "the anti-Hermione".  Astoria is the only character addressed in the epilogue that the regular trio don't know, although the fact that they know about Scorpius might mean that they do know her, they just call her "Draco's wife."
Thanks to all of you. If Daphne Greengrass was in Slytherin, I wonder if Astoria was. I kind of like the idea that Draco might actually think outside the depths of Slytherin. But who knows? I like having the whole run down on her though. Whoever decides to write another chapter or a continuation can fill in more about her . . . if'n they want to.
I thought that, as long as she's "toujour Pur" it might be all right. After all there are Purebloods in Gryffindor, so wouldn't there also be Purebloods in the other houses? You're probably right, though MSM, she'd probably be Slytherin. I'll change it in the text.
I suspect that the only house that really displays blood- prejudice might be Slytherin, and even there one finds half- bloods like Snape. The other three seem to have a mix-- the Trio, for example, have one of each.
Molly Weasley was as nervous as she could be. She had done well at Bill's wedding, but this was Ginny, her only daughter. The hustle and bustle around the Burrow was becoming mind-boggling. The wedding was still three days away, and Harry was already wishing he could do something to calm Mrs. Weasley down. He knew it would only get worse.
Hermione's level-headed attitude helped, but she was flustered because her parents were coming home in less than a week from Australia, and she so wanted them to meet Ron in his new role: fiancee. Hermione's usual aplomb in handling any situation was being stretched to the limits. George, Bill and Charlie were equally helpless to calm Molly. Ginny was, as usual, cool, although the flutters that affected her when she was 11 were returning, too.
Only Arthur noticed that Harry needed a little attention. Harry was wearing a path in the yard when he wasn't sitting nervously on the rock by the garden gate, rocking back and forth and staring into the hills around the Burrow. It was lucky this day that he was, because he was the first to notice someone suddenly appear on the crest of the next rise. It was not an oversized garden gnome he saw either! At first he couldn't make out who it was. When he realized, however, he was stunned! It was Lucius Malfoy. Draco appeared almost as suddenly beside him. They looked around to get their placement and then started toward the Burrow. Arthur was a little stiff-backed about greeting them, but Harry went quickly to meet them just outside the garden. The farther he could keep them away from the Burrow the better. He knew their attitude toward the structure Harry had come to love.
Draco stood slightly behind his father. Lucius made a point of ignoring the figure of Arthur Weasley hovering just inside the gate. Harry smiled broadly and shook hands with Mr. Malfoy. "Welcome, Mr. Malfoy, Draco! What brings you here today? I don't think you've ever come to the Weasleys have you?" Harry considered their discomfiture as almost humorous.
Lucius looked above Arthur's head at the house. "No, I can't say I've ever been here. Might we, perhaps, come in and sit down? My back has never recovered from some of the angry outbursts of . . . well, of you know who!"
Arthur warily opened the gate, and Harry led the Malfoys into the yard. Harry whisked his wand around and four chairs and a small, round table appeared. The four of them sat. No sooner were they seated, than Molly bustled out of the house with a pot of tea. "Now if you'll just let it steep a few minutes, it will be quite good, I'm sure." She was gone.
As Arthur poured a cup of tea for each, Draco spoke quietly. "Father, perhaps we should get to the point. I'm sure they are working hard on the wedding that's coming up. We might save them some time and trouble."
Lucius stiffened his back. "Yes, well, Draco, what a cryptic way of putting it. I am, as I think you know, trying my best to help round up the remaining few Death . . . uh, followers of the Dark Lord. There is still a small contingent hiding currently in the hills of southern France. They have noticed the announcements of your engagement, and they are planning to disrupt any wedding that the 'chosen one' should plan."
Draco could tell that his father was having trouble coming to the point. "My own wedding plans are being kept quite secret. Astoria Greengrass and I started going together during the final days before the great attack on Hogwarts. Her father and sister had been in Slytherin, but the sorting hat put her in Ravenclaw. She feared for her life every time the Carrows came into view. Her father was tortured for lack of support of the Dark Lord. Some of those who fell when the bridge was destroyed did not die. They are the ones plotting revenge."
Arthur asked quietly. "What brings you here to warn us? It is quite unlike you, Lucius."
Lucius Malfoy took a huge breath and then, almost in defeat, he lowered his head. "I'm trying to be a responsible wizard. My probationary status makes me a target from those in France, too. I know you are planning a joyous event. Our plans for Draco are much more reserved. They are planning to elope! It won't be compulsively performed, but they will certainly be married and safely together. The Greengrass family is still under suspicion. I don't," he paused, searching for the words that would sound less sanctimonious, "I don't want you to have an event that we'll look back on with sadness. I would hope your wedding was equally joyous. Now I don't suggest you should elope. I might suggest, however, that you consider severe protection and, just possibly, tailoring down the celebration to something more private and intimate."
Draco laughed. "When Astoria and I marry, I don't expect more than a few close friends. No Deatheaters." He almost added, "except for father", but thought the better of it.
Harry laughed lightly. "Well, there won't be too many family, since I only have three relatives, and of those, only my cousin is coming."
Lucius was astounded. "Do you mean your aunt and uncle choose to stay away? That is awful. I can't imagine."
Draco took a sip of his tea. "Your cousin came to the reopening ceremony of Hogwarts, didn't he? He seemed to be a nice chap, if very ill-at-ease. Then he came again, dealing with that menacing willow tree!"
"He's a nice chap now," Harry said after almost choking on his tea, "but he loved to beat up children. He never showed any signs of magic until he was 19 years old. Can you imagine? I think Uncle Vernon was so strongly against magic, that Dudley didn't have a choice in the matter. I think he experimented once or twice while I wasn't there. Aunt Marge's dog suddenly stayed away from Dudley. Of course, he might have tried to beat it up, too."
Draco suddenly looked up. The look on his face was one of horror. His father noticed it at once. "Is something wrong, Draco?"
Draco nodded, still speechless. When he could talk, he asked quietly, the dread dripping through every consonant, "Is his last name Dursley?" Harry nodded matter-0f-factly. "Good heavens! He's showing a strong interest in Daphne, Astoria's sister. Is he really a wizard?"
Harry shrugged. "I dunno. He could see Hogwarts when he got here. He also apparated once. That says something. And he knew how to do some magic without even being told. He has certainly shown magic late in life. I often wonder if he's a squib, the magic just breaking through." Harry thought a moment. "I'd like the Malfoy family to come to our wedding, if you could."
Lucius raised an eyebrow. "Where are you intending to have the ceremony?"
Harry sat a moment, unsure what all to say. "We're going to have the ceremony at Hogwarts in the great hall. I take my last upper level exam tomorrow. I can hardly think about it with the wedding."
Draco asked, "What's the exam in?"
Harry had a gleam in his eye. "Potions!"
Lucius was looking at his little date book. "Just when is your wedding?"
Harry shook his head. "I'm going to send out multiple patronuses. They'll be arriving at midnight the day before. I'll just say it's quite soon."
Arthur Weasley had not spoken much. "Harry and Ginny are planning the entire thing. Molly is making sure or preparations here, but after Bill's wedding, we don't feel up to another one here."
Lucius smiled, lifting an eyebrow as only he and Draco could. "I'll await your message then."
Hermione had come out of the house, looking ominously into the sky. Her voice was shaking when she asked, "Does anyone know what kind of bird that is flying above us? It's circled several times in the last three minutes."
Arthur Weasley suddenly stood up and turned around, his wand pointing directly at the bird. "Revelio animagus!" A golden stream of sparks shot from the end of his wand, hitting the bird in its tail. The gray and red bird flapped its wing three times and then fell to the ground, turning from a bird into a tall man of some bulk.
Lucius quickly went over to him and put his foot on the man's hand. "Well, well, MacNair, what a surprise to find you here. Did you find the French cuisine not to your liking? Or was it their wine?"
MacNair glared up at the four wizards around him. As his eyes lit on Lucius, MacNair growled, "At least I ain't consorting with the enemy!"
Arthur Weasley had his wand pointed MacNair. "No, you aren't. You ARE the enemy. I suggest you not try apparating, because I just put a Ministry approved trace on you. We'll know where you are until we decide to remove it. Now why don't you tell us why you are spying on our little gathering."
MacNair looked around him. Arthur Weasley's wand wasn't the only one pointed at him. Both Malfoys, Harry, Hermione, Molly and Ron (who had just joined the group) were all pointing their wands at him. "Do ya mind if'n I move a might? My backside is lying on a stone."
It was Lucius who leaned down slightly and hissed, "Consider that our version of Veritaserum. We'll let you move or go to perdition when you've told us the truth. But for now, why don't you just answer the question!"
"I was just flying over. I wasn't listenin' in on anything. Why would I want to know anything about what you are planning?"
"How did you know we were planning something? Why couldn't we have been sitting here drinking tea like any other Brit?" Harry did not relax his wand stance. "What we were planning does not concern you, MacNair."
MacNair tried to squirm into a more confortable position. Every wand sent a small stunning charm into him. He screamed. "All right! Bloody Hell, I'm only following orders. We knew there was a weddin' comin' soon, and we just wanted to find out when and where."
Ron flicked his wand, and MacNair was forcibly lifted into a standing position, except that he was two feet off the ground. "Whatever you heard, it can change. Time and Place aren't etched in stone, so anything you carry back to your friends won't stay the same. Now who ordered you?"
MacNair puffed himself up at first, but then deflated. "Grandus Scabior ordered it."
Hermione laughed with no humor in her voice. "He died on the bridge collapse. His body was recovered."
"It was, but his brother didn't die that night. He's directing things now."
Lucius stood up straight, the sneer in his face giving him an energy he had not shown since shortly before Voldemort's death. "You're following Grandus Scabior? Dear me, MacNair, you must be quite desperate. Why not try a different course, one based on thinking for yourself. I'm finding it quite invigorating."
"You would." MacNair suddenly had his wand out. WIth only a chance to lightly stun Lucius, MacNair apparated away from the garden.
Molly started to cry. "Now he'll take back the information, and another wedding will be spoiled."
Arthur Put his hand on Molly's shoulder. "Remember, he has the trace on him."
Lucius looked at Draco, concern registering on his face. "Consider well what I said earlier. Hogwarts is safe again, that's true, but there are still enough Deatheaters to ruin the contentment you hope to have at a wedding."
Draco nodded. "Astoria and I intend to marry with only a few friends and onlookers. Anything else isn't safe."
Harry looked to Mrs. Weasley and Hermione. Then he looked at Ron and Arthur Weasley. "The wedding will be at Hogwarts, and the guest list will not be made smaller. I have another guest list to send out that will help us considerably."
Minutes later, after walking the Malfoys up to the hilltop to disapparate, Ron and Harry started back to the Burrow. "Harry, why do you want to invite even more people?"
Harry paused a moment and then looked at Ron. "I didn't say I was inviting more people. I think it's time for me to take a page from Voldemort's book. Won't our wedding be grander with centaurs flanking the entrance to the castle, and with spiders waiting 'patiently' by the gates for anyone who was not invited to enter? And think, Ron, how wonderful it will be to have the Headless Club in attendance - and a few others, too."
Once they were inside, there was a family conference. Harry explained his idea; while the others understood what he meant, George was quite vocal about Harry's inviting the Malfoys. (HIs consternation couldn't dampen his humor!) "Harry, am I hearing you right? You must be mental inviting the Malfoys."
Hermione suddenly took a tone Harry had heard many times in the past years. "Harry, you've got to change the location and date. It's simply too dangerous."
Harry had gone to the refrigerator to retrieve a butterbeer. When he turned around, his jaw was set and he was angry. "There you go again, Hermione. Whatever might happen, I assure you my response is not simple. While I can't say that I remember one thing about my mum and dad, I've learned this much, and I've learned it from Sirius, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, and even from Professors Snape and Slughorn, not to mention countless others: Mum and Dad loved me dearly, but they didn't hide behind a pillar or in some distant room just to 'protect little Harry.' Now when Ginny and I have children, I don't want them to think I didn't love them enough to protect them. Lord Voldemort is gone! No one as stupidly minor as Grandus Scabiors is going to frighten me. Besides, you heard MacNair. They're the ones in hiding. My plan will work, I assure you. Now I need help getting the word out to the people involved. Here's my plan." Harry spent the next ten minutes outlining the plan explicitly. Ron was overwhelmed that Harry could have thought up such a plan so quickly. "Don't get too awestruck! It's only what I dreamed of doing when we camping in a cold tent. I never had the chance back then, but I kept the plan in mind. Hermione, I want you to send a patronus to Professors McGonagall, Sprout, and Hagrid. He'll help with the Centaurs. Ron and George, you send to the DADA members. Mr. Weasley, you . . . "
Molly Weasley let out a wail. "Is this going to put us all in danger again? Oh, Harry, we can't do this. I don't want my family in peril again!!"
"I'm not going to openly declare my undying love for Ginny hidden in some pub in Chestershire! I'm going to send a message to Dudley. It's time he learn a little more about the wizarding world."
Within an hour, everyone was sitting at the dinner table, seemingly as if nothing was going on. An owl arrived from Draco. "Harry Potter, you are far more reckless than I ever gave you credit for. The plan is too bold, but it might finally put the remaining 'friends' of my father in their place. He has reckoned that the petite group is a mere 17 or so. What you've planned may sound like overkill, but with the Royal Chainshaft in attendance, everything should go well."
Ron shook his head. "Who in the wizarding world is the Royal Chainshaft?"
How they got through the next two days no one knew, but sharply at 10 a.m. on the following Saturday, those coming to the wedding at Hogwarts were all apparating to the area just outside the gates. Kingsley was indeed there. He brought Dudley Dursley, "treating" him to his first, official, Ministry-approved apparation. Dudley was still not used to it! Dudley was to stand up with Harry, with Ron being the best man. Seamus and Dean were ushers, thus disguising their necessary for being there. Neville was in charge of decorating the Great Hall. He did a wonderful job, although Hagrid had to help. Only Hagrid knew how to get the able assistance of the house elves. Luna helped to organize the Patil sisters, Cho Chang, and the Ravenclaws.
Winky and Kreacher were the true pushers in the kitchen. At 12:45, the Centaurs strode majestically out of the forest. Hagrid helped them to find their correct places on either side of the walk. What only Hagrid and Harry knew (and they kept it securely from Ron!) was that the spiders were poised so that, once a platoon of Death Eaters was in place inside the grounds, they could close off their escape. Peeves and Nearly Headless Nick were in charge of the ghosts. With the Headless Club in attendance and the ghosts of at least fifteen students who had died during the great war (led, of course, by Moaning Myrtle), the army poised to strike at the invaders was considerable.
Against this panoply of war, Harry and the others changed their clothing, preparing for the joyous event in the Great Hall.
Alan, my GOD!! What a talented mind you have. You seem to be channeling JKR with this tale. Well done!! BTW, where can I find MSM's fanfic that this follows? I'd love to read that, as well as keep up with this engaging saga.
Under a blue and cloudless sky, the Centaurs flanked the walk that led to the Hogwarts entrance stairs. The guests filed into the castle in small groups. Several friends from the various houses were there. At almost 1:30, the Malfoy family appeared, accompanied by Astoria and Daphne. Daphne noticed Dudley standing with Seamus and Dean, blushing at him. His returned smile was so purely joyful that he looked like a totally different young man.
Argus Filch was hopping nervously around, trying to be officious but mainly getting in the way. Kingsley Shacklebolt was standing at the entrance to the Great Hall, nodding to people, smiling and welcoming them in with considerable relish. He alone knew everyone on the list and could call them by name, allow them to enter (even without an invitation), or else refer them to Molly Weasley. She would know who was friend or not. Arthur Weasley was, of course, back in a distant room, preparing to walk Ginny to the altar.
Lucius Malfoy held back in the entrance to the Great Hall. He, too, knew everyone who came to the wedding, and he was quite prepared to stop anyone who still followed the Death Eaters way of life.
From the front of the great hall, where the teachers usually sat, there were ten trumpeters dressed in dark gray outfits, a sash of Gryffindor colors draped around their shoulders and trailing down their backs like a tartan cape. At exactly 1:30 they blew the first summonms, Professor Flitwick conducting. (His conducting had a lot of flick and swish in it!)
Professor Slughorn stood in the center, behind the make-shift altar, and read several paragraphs from The History of Hogwarts. He was positively regal in appearance, also wearing dark gray, but sporting a robe in Green and Black, his house colors.
After several paragraphs, Slughorn took his seat. Professor McGonagall, head of Gryffindor house, stood forward. In a regal voice, she proclaimed, "The procession will now begin."
The trumpets blew a much longer fanfare this time. Then they were joined by eight trombones and four horns. The introduction to the processional included a flock of white owls flying brilliantly around the hall. They then changed into brilliant flashes of white light, each light descending to the candles that lined the walk way down the center of the room. Through the doors to the Great Hall stepped Kingsley Shacklebolt, Minister of Magic and presiding "pastor" of the ceremony. Preceding him were Seamus and Dean, pulling a shimmering white cloth that acted as runner. Kingsley walked slowly down the aisle, followed almost at once by a ring bearer (Justin Finch-Fletchley) and George Weasley bearing the sword of Gryffindor. Then came Neville Longbottom, Dudley Dursley and Ron Weasley. All of them were dressed in light gray, with Gryffindor colors being sported in their cummerbunds and bow ties. As Ron reached the half-way point, Harry started his way down the aisle, too. He wore a white suit and tie, only the lapels indicating that he, too, was Gryffindor.
The music shifted to the back of the hall now, where a consort of strings and winds (and hand drums) played a tune that sounded Irish in origin. This accompanied the appearancy of Hanna Abbott, Luna Lovegood, and Hermione Granger. They were dressed in pale lilac dresses, each wearing their own house sashes. When Ginny and Arthur Weasley came to the door, a new fanfare announced the fact, and everyone stood as all the instruments joined together in the final portion of the Irish tune.
Kingsley motioned everyone to their seats. "Friends, fellow wizards and witches, and muggles of reknown, we are happy to see you have all joined us here. This is a joyous yet solemn occasion."
He was about to say more, when a disturbance sounded at the back of the Hall. "Maybe it ain't as joyous as you think!"
Death Eaters, led by Grandus Scabiors, were standing there, weapons and wands at the ready. Between them were Harry's Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia, both looking more frightened than Harry had ever seen them.
Sybill Trelawney started to stumble forward to address the men, but Slughorn held her back. Professor McGonagall said quite audibly, "You have no business here. Leave now and you'll only be detained by the forces from the Ministry of Magic."
Grandus Scabior was standing next to Uncle Vernon, who was looking like he would like to vomit on his captor. "We don't want trouble here. We only want one person: Harry Potter."
Harry stepped forward in front of all the other teachers. "I'm here and this is my wedding day. You were not invited, although we planned for your appearance. You are aware that your only escape is through the great gates through which you came. Well, you have one minute to get to them. As Professor McGonagall indicated, Ministry of Magic officials will then arrest you. I assure you that we are not in nearly the danger from you that you are in."
Scabior laughed, his gravelly voice hacking his blend of humor. Dudley said quietly, "Dad and Mum, are you all right?"
Petunia was eyeing the people around her, trying to decide who might be the most vulnerable. She turned to Dudley. "Duddikins, we're . . . we're fine. We are having only a little problem here. Vernon, are you still bothered by that appreating?" Vernon looked at Petunia with a mixture of bewilderment in what she was saying and curiosity as to what message she was sending him. She was being held fast by the burly Death Eater Goyle, the Uncle of Draco's friend. Still, she managed to give a slight indication of gagging and then lightly stomped with her foot.
Uncle Vernon, to everyone's surprise, suddenly started coughing, doubling over and acting as if his entire lunch might come up - possibly breakfast, too. His position shifted to just in front of Scabior. With his considerable weight, he fell against Scabiors, stepping on his foot, knocking him over, and deftly grabbing his wand from him. He held the wand in front of him as he walked backward toward Harry and Dudley. "Come here, Petunia."
She took her sharp elbow and rammed it into Goyle's gut, her fist then rising up to hit him squarely on the Adam's apple. Grabbing his wand, she too came toward Harry. Scabior sneered at the two of them. "Clever you may be, but you aren't magical folk. You're muggles, so I ain't afraid of you."
Dudley and Harry stepped in front of the two. Dudley held up a wand. "Are you afraid of me? I've never attended Hogwarts. I was not raised with magic in any way. You wanta try yourself against me?" Scabior took one step forward, and Dudley said quietly but very clearly, "Expelliarmus!" Scabior was pushed by the magic back six steps. The surprise on his face was paralleled by a sudden move from Goyle. He leapt forward and grabbed his own wand back from Petunia. Dudley, however, lunged past his mother and gave Goyle one of his best fighting moves. "Muggles learn things that are more valuable at times than a wand." Dudley's ability to win in hand to hand fighting stunned everyone, most particularly Goyle, who was receiving blows and kicks with lightning fast (for Dudley!!) speed.
Scabior grabbed a wand from another Death Eater and stunned Dudley, who fell to the floor but was not quite incapacitated. "Now I think you'll give me all of those wands. Expelliar - "
He got no further, for from the ceiling, through the walls, and up from the floors came the army of ghosts. They battered each of the intruders on the head, pounding them in any place of their body that they could. The blows hurt far more than anyone might have thought they would. They began to drive the Death Eaters back toward the doors of the Great Hall. Ron, George, Harry, Ginny, Hermione, Luna, Neville, and Dudley all said "Expelliarmus" in unison, and the entire stock of wands flew from the hands of the Death Eaters. Ginny's infamous Bat-Bogey Hex landed on a few of them, too.
Once the intruders reached the outer hall, they turned to run. They weren't sure where they were going, but they weren't going to stay there. Sentiment towards Grandus Scabior was not kind. The insquabbling escalated the nearer to the outer door they got. Once at the door they realized that the Centaurs had special arrows aimed at each of them.
Goyle screamed at Scabior. "It's your fault. You want your revenge! Now we haven't got our wands and we're facing those sub-human beings."
Bane let fly one arrow. It flew at Goyle's shoulder, grazing the coat and ripping it, but doing no harm to Goyle.
A quiet voice cut through the intense silence between Goyle and Scabior. "Why don't we just hold our tempers? I can get you through the Centaurs with no problem at all." It was Lucius Malfoy. Bane gave him a horrible look, one almost as loathesome as the one Draco was giving him ten feet behind him. "Allow me, my friends! Protegi il fronti tutti del arcieri!" A strange hellow mist came up and around the Death Eaters, clinging to their faces, their hands and torsos. "I suggest you head for the gates before the charm wears off."
The Death Eaters warily walked between the Centaurs. Two shot arrows, but they were deflected by the yellow mist. Bane glowered at Lucius Malfoy and muttered, "You're still a traitor, Malfoy."
Lucius Malfoy allowed his voice to sink quite low. "The charm protects only the front of my former colleagues. If I'm a traitor, it is towards them. Why don't you try your arrows now, Bane?"
Bane gave a signal to fire at the 17 intruders who were making their careful way to the gate. The Centaurs fired their arrows at the Death Eaters, and they landed quite securely in the legs, the shoulders, and even in the behinds of the retreating intruders. George Weasley stepped up beside Lucius and blew a long blast on an antique Erumpet! The low, moaning blast carried better than any brass instrument might havef done.
As the Centaurs, George Weasley and Lucius Malfoy watched, the Death Eaters were just out of arrow range. Ghosts were chasing them now toward the gate. Out of the Forbidden Forest came ten immense spiders, the smallest being only slightly smaller than Aragog was at his death. They were accompanied by a hundred smaller spiders. The wizards had no wands or magic to help them fight the Arantulas. The gates burst open and a small army of Ministry people stepped into the grounds, sending ropes shooting from their wands to capture the 17 Death Eaters. They also held the spiders back. The Death Eaters were more than happy to go with the Ministry officials, considering the prospects of Centaur arrows or spiders. Peeves was leading a raucous group of fallen former students against them. Draco watched with a wry smile on his face. "Do you know, father, I'm afraid Peeves is a bad influence on those brave students."
Lucius tilted his head in whimsy. "Perhaps, Draco, but I find it invigorating. Shall we return to the wedding?"
Back in the Great Hall, the choir was just finishing a beautiful anthem, accompanied strangely but with some rare quality by a chorus of frogs and large birds, the sounds from each blending into a paean for nature.
Kingsley Shacklebolt continued the service. "I assume the intrusion has been taken care of. Let us resume with the questioning." Harry and Ginny listened and answered the questions, though they couldn't see or hear anything else. They were aware of only each other. Only once did they both hear Molly Weasley let out a long sigh and blow her nose. But then, they heard George do that, too.
George wasn't emotionally upset by the beauty of the wedding. He was thinking back to Fred and how Fred would have loved being there. At one point, during the actual vows, George felt a strange coldness in his right hand and a breeze blowing in his right ear. He looked down and saw the faint outline of a hand. The breeze seemed to send the words, "I'm here, Georgy boy, I'm here." George looked over and could just make out the smile that only Fred could give him. Then Fred added, "I'm, uh, helping Peeves be Peeves." Then he floated off, and George felt better than he had felt since the attack on Hogwarts.
The reception appeared almost magically in the courtyard. The house-elves outdid themselves. The people all filed into the yard between the Centaurs. Then the Centaurs bowed to Harry and Ginny as they exited the castle, and the people threw various kinds of seed. Neville tried to tell people why those certain seeds were picked and how good they would be for the grass and the birds. Poor Neville! No one cared. Harry had only one moment of misgivings. Ginny and he were at the reception table drinking a toast that was offered by Ron. In the front row was Mrs. Tonks with a little boy in tow. It was Teddy. Teddy was looking over to Fleur and Bill, whose little girl was trying to get free to play with Teddy. The thought of parenthood suddenly filled Harry with dread.
Ginny fed Harry a piece of cake. While he couldn't speak, she leaned in and whispered, "Don't worry, Harry Potter, you'll be a great father!"
Harry tried to reply, "An' you-uh be a gray muth." He choked lightly in the attempt to praise Ginny.
Vernon Dursley was enjoying the ceremony and reception far more than he thought he would. Butterbeer had become an acquired taste when they were in hiding, and now he had a chance to taste it again. Petunia felt a little alone on this occasion. As a girl she had so wanted to come to Hogwarts, and now that she saw it, she was wishing that many things had been different.
Minerva McGonagall was standing beside Petunia Dursley. She quietly said, "You know, Mrs. Dursley, your nephew is quite possibly the bravest student I've ever known here at Hogwarts. Your sister and her husband were very brave, too, of course, but more and more things were placed on Harry's shoulders, more and more difficult things to do. He was our one hope. Oh, I don't mean to preserve the magical world. I don't suppose that, in and of itself, was important. If Harry hadn't been determined to conquer the stupendous task we put on him, the Muggle world would have fallen under Voldemort's rule, too. You should be very proud of him."
Petunia turned slowly to Professor McGonagall. "I am prout of him, Professor. I'm also proud of my sister and, yes, even her husband. I think it's really sad when we put up walls of distrust and even hatred just because we don't understand something or someone."
"I agree." McGonagall chuckled as she took Petunia's arm. "Now why don't we get some of that champagne punch?"
Alan, et al, I bet Draco doesn't wear underpants. There's no laundry soap or bleach in the world that could make it possible. That's why Dragons breathe fire. :-) _________________
"I like fire," Ray Bradbury said. "I like clean," Jedi said. "The difference?" Socrates said. "Fahrenheit 451, page one," Hermione said. "Read the whole book," Hagrid said. "Does it go well with shellfish?" Luna said. "There are no easy choices...unless, of course, we're ordering pizza," Jedi said. ;-)
I just tried to gtet the "factual" mistakes out, and a few typos, too. I think that's far enough. I didn't cover the return of Hermione's parents, nor do I follow further the Kreacher thread that migtht include his "present" of a clean house for Harry and Ginny. Those I leave to your imaginations.
Nor do I deal with Ron/Hermione or Draco/Astoria getting married.
I'm not deserting the forums. I just think - for now at least - I've gone as far as the story needs to go. MSM, I just reread the whole thing, yours and mine. I still get choked up at moments in Aftermath.