Blaise knelt on the grass. He'd followed Susan's family traditions and arrived while the sun still shone brightly on the center of her family's circle. He'd walked the spiral path alone, knelt on this grass, and felt the sun warming his skin. His friends found their places along the path and joined him in his vigil. He could hear their conversations, the rise and fall of playful banter, the quiet exchange of greetings, but he did not allow himself to be distracted. This was his last time in the sunlight as a rootless being. He longed for the press of night, for its coolness, for its change.
He let his magic flow into the ground and did not call it back. This night, he offered all of himself to her House, to her family. Susan would return it to him if she found him worthy.
He felt the sun slide from his body and noticed the air cool around him. He heard new voices and felt the presence of others as they claimed their places around the circle.
None of them were Susan.
He longed to hear her voice, to feel the comfort of her magic, to taste the salt of her sweat, to smell the enticing scent of her perfume. He pushed everything else away and focused on finding her magic, and the warmth of her.
His strength was flagging. Fear gripped him. This was a challenge he could not fail, but his magic was all but exhausted. His body was cold. He didn't want to open his eyes and see the dark void his life would become if he failed. He pressed his hand deeper into the ground. He forces his magic to keep flowing. There was no other choice. He would not fail Susan.
His body was shaking when he felt the first faint warmth of her teasing against his skin like the first blush of dawn. He opened his eyes, but he didn't turn to look at her. He would see her when the path carried her to him. With each of her steps he felt the magic around them growing. He caught glimpses of the girls dancing and laughing as they followed the spiral path through the stones. Their joyful procession sparkled with magic as their voices rose in their comforting way. The call of magic flowed around and ghosts began to appear as they passed along the way. Centuries of Bones ancestors arrived to greet the future of the clan, and Blaise felt the flow of magic returning to him even as his was accepted. For the first time in his life, he felt a deep sense of belonging.
Draco reached out and grabbed Hermione's hand as she took her place beside him. He blinked as a willowy ghost smiled at him and waved her hand. Her ghostly children scampered along the path as her husband's form coalesced beside her. He smiled at the pair and took a deep breath.
He'd never been to a wedding attended by ghosts. The amount of magic in the House of Bones was incredible. He looked over to watch Susan and Blaise join their hands. His thoughts drifted to his own wedding and he looked closely at his bride.
Hermione was his everything, and today, he'd followed her down a path that would lead them all into danger. The Bones family heirlooms had been dumped at that fetid little shop recently. He knew Hermione would trace them. The near destruction of the Bones family would be avenged. He knew that he would be among those pursuing justice. He looked around the gathering. There were more ghosts attending than there were living guests.
"Our House renewed." The ghosts intoned and Draco blinked, he'd missed the exchange of vows.
"Stop fretting." Hermione squeezed his hand. "Tomorrow Millie will be married to Greg. Let's not gather a war council tonight. Justice can wait a bit longer. Joy is more important."
The ghosts faded away and Greg blinked as the night's darkness returned. He'd felt like he was on the swirling arm of one of those fancy universes in Hermione's muggle astronomy books. He rubbed his free hand along his robes and glanced at Millie.
"Ghosts aren't going to attend our wedding, are they?" He didn't much care for the way his voice cracked as he spoke.
"Neither of our families have ties to this kind of magic." Millie smiled and shook her head. "I wasn't expecting this, but the House Bones has always been very protective of their traditions."
"I guess to each its own." Greg looked around the space. "It's nice to just have close family here. I know our wedding will be bigger, but this was good for them. Blaise doesn't like being vulnerable in front of people."
"I like being center stage for once." Millie blushed. "I've spent years being told I wasn't feminine or even passably pretty. Pansy told me I wasn't witch enough once. I want our wedding to be what it is."
"If you didn't, our family would be working right now to change it." Greg smiled. "It's good to have friends like ours."
Theo watched Luna swirling around in her silvery dress as they walked towards the area set aside for the reception. The miracles that came regularly around this set didn't bother him much anymore. He'd attended a wedding with more ghosts than guests, but such was life with these witches.
"I love you." He grabbed Luna's hand and pulled her close. Her gown flowed around him like a frothy wave. "I'm not good at these things. I'm not good at declarations, or really anything remotely human, but I love you."
"I know." Luna stroked his cheek. "It doesn't matter. I love you, too."
She spun out from him and pulled him along with her, keeping him tethered with entwined fingers.
Theo licked his lips as she took him directly to the area cleared for dancing. He never looked away from her eyes. He felt their magic flowing, saw the glow of it reflected in her eyes, but he didn't want to look away.
"After all the brouhaha, ask me." Luna stroked her fingers along his cheek. "I'd say ask me now, but some things have a time and others have a place and some have both."
Theo nodded. He wanted this with her. He wanted forever with her. He would never be alone. He would never be bored. Luna would make sure of it.
Deep in his chest he felt something loosen. He rolled his shoulders and gathered his witch in his arms. Life with Luna would always be an adventure.
Frank watched his daughter and son dance and laugh. Their joy was a delight to him, but there was something in Draco's eyes that alarmed him. Hermione was better at hiding things. The others were blissfully unaware of whatever Draco knew.
"You see it, too." Lucius' voice was pitched low. "Draco is worried about something."
"None of the others know." Frank glanced at Lucius. "Neville is too relaxed, and Theo isn't trying to create some sort of magical rampart for their protection."
"Hermione knows which means the other members of her coven are probably aware on some level." Lucius frowned. "The lot of them are impossible to read."
"Do you want to corner Draco tonight or tomorrow?" Frank watched as the coven started to dance in proper form. The magic flaring through the air between them.
"Tomorrow. The longer he lives with it, the quicker he will be to break." Lucius smirked. "I think we can manage a few minutes with him after the ceremony tomorrow."
Frank smirked. He should probably feel a bit guilty that he was looking forward to tormenting his son in law, but he didn't. He watched his daughter and Draco pass by. They were both caught up in the magic of the dance. It was lovely. He glanced at Lucius and saw the man's eyes warm as he observed the young couples.
"I think our lives are about to get very interesting." Lucius took a deep breath. "I believe I shall take this opportunity to dance with my wife before Miss Lovegood decides that she needs to experiment on my person."
"What?" Frank looked at the dancers again and saw Luna wave at them.
"The last wedding I attended was rather eventful." Lucius chuckled. "A dance with lovely wife is just the thing."
Frank watched as the blond wizard glided away before he glanced over at Alice. Dancing with his wife seemed a perfect idea. They'd spent too many long years unable to partake of such a simple joy. He made his way over to her with a smile on his face.
Neville held Hannah close as he watched the magic they'd helped to generate drift off into the night. He felt the flash of her warm breath against his neck and smiled. He'd fallen for Hannah easily and completely. She was everything he had ever dreamed of finding in a partner.
"They're going to start pressuring us to set a date soon." He pressed a kiss into her hair. "After Hermione and Draco do the fanfare."
"Are you ready?" Hannah pushed back from his chest and looked up into his face.
"I am." He took a deep breath. "Look At Blaise and Susan. They're so happy. I want that for us. Look at Hermione and Draco. They don't let anything stop them. Why should we?"
"Look at Theo and Luna." Hannah tickled his sides with her fingers.
"They balance each other." Neville shrugged.
"Millie and Greg?" Hannah looked up at him with an arched brow.
Neville looked over at the pair. They were leaning against each other and swaying despite the lack of music. Their love was a palpable thing.
"The love they share is so steadfast and true." Neville smiled. "I can't wait to dance at their wedding. They deserve celebrating."
"So do we." Hannah reached up and stroked his cheek. "But, let's do the whole dancing and feasting thing with Millie and Greg first."
Neville took a deep breath and smiled. Pulling Hannah back into his arms, he observed their family and friends. His life was so full now.