A Wedding

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Story Notes:

Response to Quiet Ones Weekly Challenge #12: Chocolate, "I see your lips moving, but all I hear is blah, blah, blah.", Sunshine, Laughter, A hug
Note: Aack. I’m home sick today but felt like writing. Hopefully it isn’t too bad!

Originally Posted: October 21, 2004

It was a beautiful day for a wedding. The sun was high above, the air was warm without being hot, and he was certain he could probably hear birds singing if he listened closely. As it was, he had no desire to hear birds singing and was doing his best not to scowl at the guests who were happy and full of laughter. He shouldn’t be here, he thought for the millionth time since arriving at the outdoor wedding.

The invitation had surprised him, causing his heart to stop and his stomach to feel as if someone had hit him with a horrible curse. It had been two years since he’d seen her, remembering vividly the sweet smile on her lips as she had kissed him that last night before ending their year long relationship. Okay, so relationship wasn’t exactly the appropriate word for what they had shared but it sounded much more polite than simply being honest and calling it a bit of shagging.

His eyes swept over the crowd, finding her standing with her friends, a happy smile on her face as she laughed. She looked so beautiful, the epitome of a woman in love. He’d seen that smile a few times during their affair, but he’d ignored it and it had slowly faded. He would never again see it aimed in his direction, knowing that he was not the cause of her current happiness. Long fingers moved through his thick hair as he continued to watch her, wondering if there was a chance it could have been him that made her look so beautiful if he hadn’t been intent on keeping things between them strictly sexual, if he hadn’t been so scared of falling in love. Somehow, he doubted it.

She deserved far better than a man with commitment issues, who couldn’t give her the words or devotion she craved. And, even as his heart was breaking from watching the woman he loved, for he had realized after losing her that the strange feelings he had been experiencing since becoming involved with her were, indeed, love, he couldn’t keep his full lips from curving into a slight smile as he watched her. He loved her and that meant he wanted her to be happy, even if it was with someone else.

It was his rough luck that he wasn’t the man to make her happy. True, a part of him was sullen and jealous of the raven haired wizard who had just moved behind her and received a tender kiss, but he was fortunate to have had her for the brief time he had, knowing she was the best thing that had ever happened to him. He’d been too stupid and scared to take a chance at opening his heart to her so it was his own fault she’d finally moved on. He looked away from the happy couple, walking to the bar and getting a glass of firewhiskey and snagging a piece of chocolate candy, which he ate as he waited for his drink. Drinking the firewhiskey quickly, he set the empty glass down and sighed.

"I’m glad you came, Adrian."

Hearing her soft voice, he turned and found the bride looking at him with an affectionate smile. Her eyes were lit with happiness and she honestly seemed happy that he was there. Adrian gave her a crooked smile, "I could never refuse you anything, Kitten."

"I wasn’t sure if you’d show up," she confessed, her eyes looking over the handsome wizard she had loved so desperately not three years before, her heart racing slightly even now as she spoke to him despite her sincere feelings for her new husband.

"It’s an important day for you, Hermione," Adrian reminded her with a gentle smile, "I had to be here."

"Will you dance with me?" she asked as she took his hand, her eyes catching Blaise’s gaze as she led her former lover to the dance floor. Her new husband winked at her before continuing his conversation with Pansy and Harry, secure in her feelings for him to not be concerned that she was dancing with someone she had once loved. Turning to face Adrian, they began to dance to the slow song.

"So," Adrian felt a bit awkward, relaxing as Hermione looked at him with gentle eyes and a soft smile. He had missed her. Not just the shagging, though that had been amazing, he’d missed talking to her, laughing about the silliest things, just feeling as if someone actually liked him for more than a quick shag or his looks. They had been friends as well as lovers, and he missed having her in his life. He glanced at the dark Slytherin who had been two years behind him at Hogwarts before looking back at Hermione and asking, "Zabini makes you happy?"

"Yes, he does," Hermione practically glowed as she spoke about her husband, "he’s wonderful, Adrian. He really loves me and I feel safe with him. I never imagined falling in love with him, but it happened and I couldn’t be happier. I know you never interacted with him during school, but I think you‘d like him."

Adrian could see the hopeful look in her amber eyes, knowing that she wanted him to like her new husband, possibly be friends with him. Maybe in time, he would be ready to befriend the man that had the one thing he would never be able to have. "He treats you well?"

"Extremely well," she smiled, recalling her first date with Blaise three months after she finally ended her casual affair with Adrian. Blaise had been a bit shy, surprised that she had accepted his invitation, and they’d spent the entire night talking, having breakfast together the next day. She hadn’t been looking for another relationship, but it had happened and she’d soon fallen in love with Blaise. She had broken off the affair with Adrian because it was obvious they wanted different things in life, but she’d never imagined finding love with the quiet Slytherin not many months following the end of her relationship with Adrian. Two years later, she couldn’t imagine not having Blaise in her life.

She had loved Adrian, still loved him in a way, but she had known that she wanted to get married and have children one day and Adrian had no desire for either of those things. They had ended their relationship amicably, keeping in touch via owl when he began to travel and she began to move on with her life, but this was the first time she’d actually seen him in nearly two years. She had missed him, the two having been friends for several months before they had become involved sexually. It was nice seeing him again. He was smiling but she could see the sadness in his eyes. It was that moment that she suddenly realized he loved her, even if he had been unable to say the words. Feeling awful for inviting him to her wedding when he obviously had some sort of feelings for her, she said, "Adrian, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize…."

Adrian placed a finger over her lips, knowing she must have seen how he felt when she’d looked into his eyes, despite his intentions to keep his secret. He did not want to dwell on his own heartache during her happy day. Deciding that she meant more to him than sulking over losing her, his green eyes flashed with humor as he informed her with a slight smirk, "Kitten, I see your lips moving but all I hear is blah, blah, blah."

"I think you’ve been spending too much time reading Muggle T-shirts," she laughed softly, her fingers brushing through his caramel colored hair as she pushed a stray lock back from his forehead. She knew that there was no point in bringing up the past because, even though she had loved Adrian and still cared about him, Blaise was her future and she loved her new husband dearly.

"He loves you," Adrian told her quietly, "I can see it in the way he watches you, in how he smiles, in the way he looks at you as if you’re the most beautiful woman in the world. I’m glad you’ve found someone to give you what you deserve, to make you happy. I love you, kitten. Thank you for inviting me to share this day with you and Zabini. Now, I need to ask you something very important."

"What’s that?" she asked softly, knowing how much it took for him to make that sincere speech, her eyes catching sight of Blaise smiling at her as he danced with Ginny, feeling the familiar stirrings of desire and love as she looked at the man she married before she looked back at Adrian.

"Where’s the cake?"

Hermione laughed as she gave him a tight hug, whispering in his ear, "I do love you, you know?"

Adrian nodded, a wistful smile crossing his lips as he whispered back, "I know," before taking her hand and following her to join Blaise and get a piece of wedding cake.

The End