Author's Note: Well hello there. To make a long story short, I rejoined the workforce shortly after posting chapter 24. Working full time, taking care of my daughter, and my good friend Murphy and his accursed law have made sitting down to write a troublesome task. I hope this chapter is worth half of the waiting and hype.
As always, thank you so much for all of the reviews and support I've received. I'm sorry about dropping off the face of the internet. I can't promise it won't happen again, but I will do my best to not leave you guys hanging for quite so long.
To point you all in the direction of someone is a much more reliable author, Silently Watches has some amazing stories to read. Fans of this story are very likely to enjoy his four part 'Black Queen series,' beginning with 'Princess of the Blacks.'
It's a nice day for a Black wedding.
Deep in thought, Harry didn't notice Morticia's silent approach as she glided across sitting room floor. Her gentle voice startled him out of his contemplation.
"What's wrong Harry? You look so depressed, and I can't imagine that Wednesday has been able to thoroughly crush your soul yet."
With a small sigh of frustration, Harry gave a weak smile. "No, it's not that. It just dawned on me that the only Gryffindor keepers worth anything are dead."
"Oh dear, then I suppose one of our guests last night was a member of your school athletics club." Morticia looked thoughtful. "Perhaps this is why people tend to get upset about little things like murder. I suppose it can be quite inconvenient at times."
"I think most people have other reasons, but yeah that's what I've be thinking about." He nodded in agreement. "I've thought about maybe lashing McLaggen to the center ring, but I'm pretty sure that will upset people. Besides, that won't be too effective in the long run."
Hearing the miserable groans of the family butler down the hall gave Morticia an idea. "Well, if you still have all the pieces, Mama and I would be happy to reanimate him. It's a shame we're so far from the family mansion, or we'd have plenty of spare parts on hand."
Wilkie Twycross looked up at the young lady who had entered his office moments ago. "Now, I can understand your impatience Miss... Granger, but apparition is not something that you can just learn from a book. I'll be giving lessons at Hogwarts soon after the holiday. I trust I'll see you then."
"You're not even going to let me take the test?" Hermione was stunned, she couldn't even find the words to argue her case.
It was always the muggleborns that gave him grief like this. Although, the pure-bloods from old families also caused their own share of headaches. Twycross avoided rolling his eyes in annoyance as he sighed. He didn't recognize the name Granger, so her confidence probably came from ignorance instead of a misplaced sense of superiority.
"Apparition can be very dangerous Miss Granger. If you absolutely insist, I will let you try, but failing an apparition test isn't the same as failing a charms quiz. The results could very well be fatal if you aren't up to the task." During the controlled setting of the test, and under his supervision, death was almost impossible, but he wanted to really drive his point home.
As a stark contrast to the atmosphere of Grimmauld Place, Persephone's saccharine voice sang out, accompanied by giggling. "The arm bone's connected to the..."
"Ankle bone!" Pubert laughed as he finished the verse.
"Yes, well, as funny as it may be, I think we should put everything back in it's proper place." The Addams nanny playfully swatted Pubert on the nose as she swapped out McLaggen's foot for his hand. "There, isn't that better?"
"I suppose Harry would prefer his goal tender to be more or less the same shape as before." Morticia conceded as she knotted the thread that held McLaggen's head in place, cutting the excess with a large pair of shears. "Personally I think there is some charm to mixing things up every now and again. I believe Cousin Igor would agree."
With the telltale bang of a novice disapparition, Hermione Granger was gone, leaving Twycross trying to process the past hour or so. He wasn't exactly sure what had just happened, but he knew he needed a drink, and maybe a friendly ear.
Several minutes later found the apparition instructor with a half-empty bottle of Ogden's Finest that he'd purloined from a coworker's not-so-secret stash. A few more minutes, and he was recounting his experience to a somewhat unamused Griselda Marchbanks.
"This is exactly why we have scheduled lessons and tests Wilkie." Marchbanks sighed. All she'd managed to gather was that some young witch had splinched, caused her inebriated coworker some moderate distress. "Honestly though, what exactly happened that you haven't already seen dozens of times by now? Nothing can be as bad as that poor sod who managed to splinch himself into four separate pieces."
"It's not that." He grimaced, before taking a long draw from the bottle. "She just lost an arm, nothing too major, and easily fixed. It wasn't how she splinched, it was how she reacted to splinching. There is something terribly wrong with that Granger girl."
"Granger? She just sat her OWLs last spring. Hermione I believe her name was." Marchbanks thought back, recalling the young witch's test. "Beyond being a bit of a know-it-all, I don't remember there being anything wrong with her. Was her reaction to the splinch that bad? Maybe she has a particularly low tolerance for pain."
Twycross laughed without humor. "Oh she tolerates pain just fine. The girl picked up her own arm and reattached it before I had time to react." Taking a long drink, he shuddered. "She seemed more upset about making a mistake than having her bloody arm fall off. I was so dumbfounded that I didn't think to stop her from finishing her practice apparitions. By the time she took the test proper, she preformed flawlessly... What could I do but approve her license?"
"It sounds like you're overreacting." Marchbanks rolled her eyes impatiently. "I told you she was a know-it-all. She probably studied up on how to deal with splinching before hand. You should be commending her for remaining calm, not saying there's something wrong with the poor girl."
Closed for a private function of some sort, the usually busy harbor was eerily quiet. Locals were filled with curiosity. Who had the kind of money to close off the entire harbor? What was going on down there? Speculations ran wild, and the leading theory was that a big-budget movie was being filmed. Lending credence to the theory, was the derelict Spanish galleon that had somehow sailed in earlier in the week. The old fashioned wooden ship even looked like it had been dredged up from Davy Jones' Locker with its tattered sails and barnacle encrusted timbers.
Despite the rampant curiosity, not one person wound up taking a closer look. Many tried, but for some reason they always got sidetracked, and forgot all about it.
Susan looked down at her recently purchased dress robes, and sighed. The drab gray was anything but flattering, and the red trim did little to brighten the outfit. Nonetheless, she would wear the robes with a smile for her friend's wedding. Although... Wednesday was the bride, so maybe a smile wouldn't be appropriate. That line of thought produced a giggle, improving the Hufflepuff's mood as she waited for her ride.
Not long after making peace with her wardrobe, a car pulled up, and the rear door opened. Hermione stepped out of the car, wearing what Susan considered a rather daring muggle dress.
"Thanks for picking me up Hermione." Susan said as she walked toward the vehicle. "You look as nice as anyone can in these colors, but I can't believe your parents let you wear something so racy."
"Racy?" Hermione looked down at her somewhat simple dress. "I guess it's a bit form fitting, but it's down to my knees, and I'm not showing any cleavage at all. Then again, I suppose it is more revealing than dress robes."
Shrugging, Susan slid into the car, and said hello to Hermione's parents. "Thank you for taking the time to drive us." Turning to Hermione, she added in an aside. "If Wednesday and Harry had waited until the summer, we could have apparated instead. I can't wait to learn how."
A look of frustration clouded Hermione's features. "I went and got my license already, but it was a waste of time. I've never been to that harbor, so I don't know how I'm supposed to apparate there"
"You could have taken the knight bus there first." Susan pointed out. "I'm glad you didn't think of it though, otherwise I would've had to take the bus. This thing is so much nicer to ride in."
Hermione burried her face in her hands. "I need to stop overthinking things."
"It's just as well, I don't like the idea of you teleporting all over England after only just learning the spell." Emma Granger voiced her opinion on the matter as she turned to see their new passenger. "You must be Susan. You're more than welcome for the ride, and don't feel too bad about the color of your dresses. You should have seen what I had my bridesmaids wear. All eyes should be on the bride anyway."
The trip was uneventful, until they had all but reached their destination. Dan Granger slowed the car, and turned onto a side street.
"Daddy?" Hermione could see the wedding venue, but this wasn't close enough to look for parking. "Where are you going?"
"I'm looking for a car wash sweetie." He said, as if it should have been obvious. "I think I remember one being a few blocks this way.
"Muggle repelling charm." Susan guessed out loud. "We could lead your parents through it, but I'm not sure how to do that when we're passengers."
Hermione sighed in frustration. "I never bothered learning how to drive, it didn't seem important enough. I'll have to have mum teach me when there's more time. For now though, Daddy, you should park the car."
"Is something wrong Hermione?" Dan asked as he found a free space along the side of the road.
"We're supposed to be going to Harry's wedding, but there are charms to keep muggles away like at the Leaky Cauldron. You can drop us off here, or we can guide you there. Either way we'll need to walk the rest of the way."
Neville and his grandmother apparated onto the docks in their finest dress robes. Bags had begun to form under Neville's eyes, because he'd hardly slept since he'd learned that the Lestranges would be at Harry's wedding. Augusta knew something was bothering her grandson, but he hadn't been forthcoming about what it was.
After ascending to the deck of the galleon, the Longbottoms were greeted by Draco and Millicent. The two teens looked almost relieved to see Neville and his Grandmother.
"I didn't know you two were seeing each other." Augusta commented with amusement. "Good for you Draco, breaking family tradition, and not dating strictly pure-bloods."
Neville nearly lost his composure as the Slytherins tried to hide their disgust at that thought. He wasn't sure who looked more ill, but their discomfort almost put him at ease. Still fighting a smirk, he wondered if his gran had done that on purpose.
"We are not together Madam Longbottom." Draco insisted. "We are simply... avoiding socializing with the bride's family as much as we can." Turning to Neville he added, "you may want to join us. Despite our painfully obvious differences, at least we are all normal."
"Normal?" Augusta raised her brow as her voice sharpened. "I would expect better manners from you young man."
Draco refused to back down. "I haven't completely figured out proper etiquette when dealing with an Addams, but I assure you they consider abnormal a compliment. Look, before Bulstrode arrived, I tried to occupy myself by counting heads. Halfway into my count, I realized more than once I counted two heads on a single body."
"The boy is quite right. Whenever we get together the head-count is almost always higher than the body-count." A dapper elderly man wearing a top hat and a neatly trimmed beard seemed to appear from nowhere. His Spanish accent was faint, but noticeable. "Though we should probably refrain from mentioning any body-count. We wouldn't want anyone to get too excited."
The stranger gave a charming grin and bowed to Augusta with a flourish. "My name is Lord Armand Locomente Addams, but most everyone just calls me Uncle Loopy. And how may I address the vision of loveliness before me?"
Taken aback by the sheer personality of the man, she took a moment before answering. "I am Dowager Augusta Longbottom." She had intended to go on to introduce her grandson and the other two teenagers, but was again shocked into silence when Armand took her hand and kissed it.
"A truly majestic name for a truly elegant woman." He placed her hand on his arm and gestured toward the crowd. "Come, let us leave the children to entertain themselves. I shall introduce you to the other guests."
Neville watched as his grandmother was whisked away, then turned to Draco. "What, what just happened?"
"They just kind of suck you in with their enthusiasm." Millicent explained to herself as much as to Neville. "They don't even consider it possible for you to not want to go along. Honestly, Wednesday seems to be the odd one. The rest of her family is really cheerful."
Standing high up in the crow's nest, Harry looked down at the surprisingly large crowd. Remus was at his side, as was Pugsley, at least before the half-rotten boards had given way. Unconcerned with hanging upside down by one trapped ankle, the Addams boy was pointing out family members he recognized.
"There! Floating through the crowd is Aunt Minerva. She haunts our home, and isn't usually this social." Pugsley noticed a second silvery figure following behind. "That explains it.
She doesn't like Uncle Specter, and he's trying to catch up to her."
Trying to not think about the structural integrity of the ghost ship, Remus cleared his throat. "So, I haven't been to many weddings. How is this going to work? I doubt it will be anything like your parents' was."
"I think we're just waiting for a few more guests, then we'll set up on that raised deck in the back of the boat." Harry pointed to the stern.
"That's the poop deck, and I believe this is a ship, not a boat." Remus pointed out almost absently.
Harry eyed his former professor skeptically. "Really, poop deck? … Anyway, you are going to be standing with me. You shouldn't have to do anything, just kill anyone who objects to the marriage, but Gomez says that hasn't happened in years. After the ceremony, the party will continue until all the guests leave, pass out, or the sun comes up, whichever happens first."
"Ooh! There's Uncle Mange, the hunched one with all the fur, you should meet him." Pugsley tried to point out to Remus as he worked on climbing back up. "He likes to pretend to be a werewolf, you should hear him howl."
"That reminds me, how have your transformations been?" Harry asked while he helped pull his soon-to-be brother-in-law back into the crow's nest. "Has Grimmauld Place been a good playground for your furry half?"
"I suppose it has, all things considered." Remus admitted ruefully. "It's more than a little embarrassing, essentially being Pubert's pet, but nobody ever gets hurt, not even me. I can honestly say that I've never felt more at peace with my furry little problem."
"I should have worn flats, or maybe tennis shoes." Emma Granger lamented. "Being led down the street with my eyes closed is bad enough, but going downhill in four inch heels makes me feel like I'm going to break my ankle any moment now."
Susan looked at how far they'd walked. "I'm pretty sure we've gone far enough Mrs. Granger. You can try to open your eyes now."
Both parents were relieved that upon opening their eyes, they were able to continue walking toward the docks without guidance. A noticeable 'bang,' and suddenly two figures appeared in front of the foursome.
Emma shrieked in surprise, and lost her footing. She threw her hands in front of her to break her fall, as she closed her eyes before the inevitable impact.
"I'm terribly sorry, I didn't mean to startle you. You can open your eyes now, I've got you."
Emma opened her eyes to see the ground inches away. Looking up, she saw a wizard pointing his wand at her, while wearing a blindingly colorful suit. With bell-bottoms and an enormous collar, she half expected him to strike a pose and start dancing like it was 1978.
With a few waves of his wand, the oddly dressed wizard levitated Mrs. Granger to her feet. "Xenophilius Lovegood, and this is my daughter Luna."
After brief introductions all around, the small group made their way to the wedding. Xenophilius took the lead, while discussing the difficulties the Grangers must have had raising a witch without having magic themselves.
Trailing behind, the three young women held their own conversation.
"I think I should apologize for daddy's odd taste in clothes." Luna began
Susan laughed. "I'm sure he'll be fine. Wednesday told me that almost no-one in her family wears robes. He'll fit right in with muggle clothes."
Hermione shook her head. "I think she's talking about his coat of many colors. From what I know, Wednesday's family isn't too fond of any bright colors, let alone all of them together."
"What are you two talking about?" Luna looked puzzled.
"Then what?" Susan began to ask.
"Daddy's wardrobe tastes terrible. My robes on the other hand, are delicious." Luna explained before licking the red hem of her own grey dress robes.
Before either girl could respond, Harry ran down the gangplank to meet them. "You three are the last of the wedding party to get here. You two should go help Wednesday get ready below deck. C'mon 'Mione, we're going to captain's room. The others are there already."
Pulling Hermione along behind him, Harry skidded to a stop before addressing the adults. "Sorry. Hi Mr. and Mrs. Granger, Mr. Lovegood, you guys can just mingle with the crowd."
The Grangers watched their daughter as she was almost literally dragged up the walkway. Allowing the two other girls to board ahead of them, Dan commented on the energetic groom. "I don't think I've ever seen a man so excited to get married. I mean I wasn't hesitant by any means, but our wedding was all about you. I was almost just decoration."
"He is a teenager." Xenophilius pointed out. "As much as I'm sure he's in love, I'd be willing to bet my snorkack horn that he's just looking forward to the wedding night."
Luna and Susan found their way below deck, and to the cabin where Wednesday was halfway through getting dressed with the help of her mother and Aunt Dementia. Millicent Bulstrode was sitting on a bench wearing her own grey robes, which was not a surprise. What was a surprise, was the boy standing off to the side.
Joining Millicent on the bench, Susan voiced her concern. "Why is there a boy in here while you're half naked?"
"He's my brother, Pugsley." Wednesday explained while her aunt knotted her new scarlet corset closed.
"Don't worry," the boy in question said. "I don't want to see my sister getting dressed. I stapled my blindfold on myself."
"Now girls," Morticia spoke while she worked with Dementia to force Wednesday's dress into place. "As bridesmaids, your job is to ensure that Harry doesn't try to escape. It's just a formality of course, Harry is almost as excited as Wednesday is. Do you have a nice showy weapon for the occasion? If not I'm sure we have something laying around that you can borrow."
"Uncle Fester had his blunderbuss brought over so I can use it to shoot Harry in the back if he tries to run." Pugsley held up the old firearm proudly.
Luna held up a gold fork. "I borrowed a trident from a mermaid in the Black Lake. Can someone un-shrink it for me?"
"Here, I need to grow what I brought too." Millicent drew her wand, and took something out of her other pocket.
"I honestly thought you were joking Wednesday." Susan admitted, deciding the theatrics while over the top, were appropriate for Harry and Wednesday's wedding. "I suppose my wand isn't showy enough then?"
"I had a feeling you wouldn't take me seriously." Wednesday pointed to the wall behind Susan where a few weapons were hanging. "You can borrow my bullwhip. Don't worry if you don't know how to use one, it really is just a formality."
"Yeah." Pugsley held his gun up again. "I've been practicing, he can't get past me."
"Okay, I'm dressed brother." Wednesday tore the blindfold off of Pugsley, sending staples flying across the room. "You should probably help Millicent string that longbow she brought."
"I wouldn't have brought it if I couldn't use it. I knew you were serious." The Slytherin witch waved off Pugsley, and bent the yew weapon with practiced ease. "My dad got me into archery when I was little. I'm only up to a fifty pound draw, but his bow is a hundred and twenty. You should have seen his face when I snuck a strength potion, and loosed a whole quiver with it."
"I'm surprised that your husbands aren't with you." Andromeda confessed, upon finding her sisters chatting together beside the main mast.
"You're one to talk sister dearest." Bellatrix pointed out. "I don't see your pet mudblood anywhere."
Andromeda sighed "We've had this conversation Bella. Ted isn't a pet. His pedigree is unfortunate, but he is as much a wizard as your own husbands. He may not be as talented a duelist as Rodolphus, or as silver-tongued as Lucius, but Ted outstrips them both when it comes to his understanding of runes and his creative application thereof. Not to mention, he's a better lover than either as well."
Stilling her more violent sister's wand hand, Narcissa glared in annoyance. "We three are grown women now. Yes, we know that you're an unrepentant slag; but remember, Bella is an unhinged psychopath, and I'm a vindictive bitch. If we want to actually be a family again, let's put that all aside and concentrate on what's important right now."
"You're right, I'm sorry." Andromeda held up her hands in surrender. "Ted isn't here because he's afraid you two will make good on that threat you made prior to our wedding. He's rather fond of being intact, and I prefer him that way as well."
Laughing, Bellatrix placed her hands on her abdomen. "As fun as that sounds, it would make it harder for you to pop out another half-breed."
"Precisely." Andromeda nodded. "Speaking of, Nymphadora told me that you'll be making up for lost time and giving us two new nieces or nephews."
Narcissa smiled at the topic. "Not only that, but I managed to get Lucius to remember that he's more than the Dark Lord's whipping boy. If I'm not yet, I'm sure to be pregnant soon. The only reason he's not here, is that he's still confined to guarding the Dark Lord's familiar."
"Roddy's around here somewhere, probably talking with his poofter brother." Bellatrix waved aimlessly at the crowd. "Since you mentioned her, hows my widdle niece Nymphie doing on the wizard front? Still trying to shag mongrels?"
"Thankfully no." Andromeda said with no small relief. "Though she is sulking, and doesn't appear interested in finding a decent match. No matter, she's still young.
"Pardon me ladies." A cheerful blonde interrupted with a cherubic smile. "You wouldn't happen to be the groom's cousins would you?"
"We are indeed. Is there a problem miss?" Narcissa questioned, suspicious of the woman who seemed to be carrying a hairy magical creature of some sort.
"Persephone, I'm little What's nanny." The blonde held up the bundle of hair proudly. "He's all tuckered out from playing inside the old cannons. That's neither here nor there. I have a theory about your family, and I would love to be able to test it out."
The Black sisters looked at each other, and as if the years apart had never happened, the eldest spoke for all three. Bellatrix eyed Persephone with distrust, and undisguised malice. "Choose your next words carefully. The glorious house of Black is not some potions experiment. Insult our blood and I will spill every drop of yours."
Unperturbed in the slightest, Persephone explained happily. "Blood is exactly what I want to talk about. I like to think I'm something of a blood expert, self trained mostly. The schools I tried to attend felt I was 'overenthusiastic.' Anyway, my point is I think that Black blood, your blood, has old magic flowing in it.
"Harry mentioned something like that before." Bellatrix sneered in dismissal. "We already know that our house came from old magic."
"You misunderstand." Persephone shook her head. "I mean the blood in your veins right now has old magic, it's just sleeping. I think I know how to wake it up. If I'm right, Black blood is every bit as powerful as Addams blood."
Remus sighed internally as he looked over the gathered crowd. This was not the sort of family that he wanted for Harry, but he had to admit, he couldn't ask for a more loving group of... people. Looking down at the rapier he'd borrowed for the ceremony, he had a feeling that he looked like an absolute wanker. James or Sirius would have looked dashing, for him, silly was a more fitting adjective. Draco was wearing a similar sword, but the blade didn't look out of place on the pure-blood. Absently, Remus wondered if the boy had any idea how to use it.
The werewolf noted that Hermione looked quite comfortable with the thin, jeweled small sword at her hip. She had transfigured it herself while they were all preparing, so he hoped she knew it would be worthless as a weapon... Why was that the first thought that came to mind... Too much time spent with the Addams family...
Eventually, Remus' attention fell on Neville. The young Gryffindor's bloodshot eyes were filled with hatred, and his grip on the halberd he'd borrowed was white-knuckled. Startled, Remus turned to see what was upsetting the boy so much. A quick scan in the general direction of Neville's gaze was all that Remus needed. Alongside her sisters, Bellatrix Lestrange was standing on the crowded deck. The insane witch wore a small smirk, and was all but certainly taunting Neville with her mirth filled eyes.
Frowning, Remus resolved to talk to Neville as soon as the ceremony ended. The boy was sure to get himself killed. A high pitched series of noises interrupted the werewolf's observations. While he was concentrating on Neville, the rest of the wedding party had arrived, and taken their positions. The ceremony was about to begin
Slightly off-center of a raised dais, Harry stood facing the congregation of mostly less-than-sane guests. On his side of the upper deck, Remus stood with Draco, Hermione, and Neville. Across from them stood Pugsley, Luna, Millicent, and Susan. All eight attendants wore grey with red accents, and all eight were visibly armed. Harry was wearing expensive looking black dress robes, hemmed with a wide red band. The high-pitched warbling that drew Remus' attention came from a large pile of hair on a small platform on the main deck. The mass of hair was wearing a white collar around what might have been a neck.
The pile of hair, Cousin Itt, stopped talking, and a hush fell over the crowd. Ominous music filled the air as Lurch played a distorted variation of the wedding march on a massive pipe organ from the within the captain's cabin.
The crowd parted, and two figures made their way toward the waiting wedding party. Gomez Addams smiled proudly as he walked his daughter down the aisle. All eyes were on the bride. Wednesday wore a striking red dress. Form fitting, and adorned with black lace that formed a spiderweb pattern, the fabric shimmered as she moved, almost as if it were alive. Full length, and with a modest neckline, the dress was almost conservative, save for how tightly it hugged Wednesday. Her arms were covered with the dress' shear black lace, and she wore no veil, allowing all to see her pale emotionless face.
Upon reaching the bottom of the stairs that lead to the upper deck, Gomez kissed his daughter on her porcelain cheek, and let her go. As her father took his place next to her mother, Wednesday ascended the stairs with such grace that one might almost think the stairs themselves were lifting her upward.
Taking her place next to Harry, the couple held hands and faced Cousin Itt. The music ceased, and Itt projected his voice loudly.
Easily one of the least comfortable attendants, Tonks was extremely confused. Most everyone was listening to the high-pitched gibberish with rapt attention. She felt as if she was the butt of some kind of elaborate joke. The crowd laughed as if a joke had been told, nodded in agreement, and a few even teared up, all as if these people could actually understand the strange warbles.
Deciding it wasn't worth trying to figure out, Tonks turned her attention to the real reason she had accepted the invitation. There were at least four Death Eaters in the crowd, she knew there was no chance of arresting them all, but they weren't all together. If she was smart about it, she could recapture her aunt. After this farce of a wedding ceremony of course, as her mother had been drilling into her lately, manners count.
"Beyond my last breath." Harry responded to Itt's question.
Itt shifted his attention to Wednesday and repeated his questions.
"For eternity." Wednesday answered simply.
Raising his voice further, Itt's hair shook with fervor.
Nearly everyone in attendance applauded, cheered, and whistled as Harry and Wednesday embraced, kissing each other with a fiery passion.
With the bride and groom officially husband and wife, the celebrating could begin in earnest. Various guests pulled out musical instruments, and began to play. Dancing broke out almost immediately, along with a few good natured fights. There seemed to be no rhyme nor reason, and the revelry more closely resembled a riot than the reception it was.
With a single mindedness, Neville let the halberd he'd been holding drop, drew his wand, and marched down the stairs into the crowd.
"Think about what you're about to do Neville" Remus said in a low voice, gripping the boy's wand arm tightly. "There's a difference between brave and foolhardy."
"Let me go" Neville growled, sending a hate-filled glare at the werewolf restraining him.
"What's going on? Mr. Lupin, why are you manhandling my grandson?" Augusta Longbottom demanded, still on the arm of Uncle Loopy as they walked over.
"They're here Gran." Neville struggled to free himself as he looked his grandmother in the eyes, his own filled with determination and rage. "The Lestranges are here, and I'm going to avenge mom and dad."
All emotion drained from the elder Longbottom's face. "I'm sorry Neville, but if those monsters truly are here, that right belongs to me. Armand, I've had a lovely time, but now I must go deliver justice."
"May I come along?" Loopy asked politely. "I wouldn't dream of interfering, I just want to watch. It's not everyday one gets to see a mother avenge her murdered child."
"If only Frank had been killed," Augusta trembled slightly with rage that had been held in for years. "My son is in a far worse place than the afterlife."
"Canada?" Loopy guessed, growing more and more curious.
Both Longbottoms stared at the eccentric Spaniard.
Remus shook his head as he felt he could almost understand the Addams' line of reasoning. "Neville's parents were driven insane by the cruciatus, a torture curse. They're both catatonic."
Loopy removed his hat, and scratched his head in confusion. "Revenge is fun and all, but wouldn't you rather just be with your family? If the catalepsy is a problem, just pull them out of it."
"Armand, you have been a charming host, but I will not abide humor in such poor taste." Augusta turned to leave, her temper flaring, only to see the mother of the bride blocking her path.
"If Uncle Loopy says it can be done, then it surely can." Morticia said sedately, placing a calming hand on Augusta's shoulder. He is after all, a major figure in the world of criminal psychopathology."
Blinking in confusion, but no longer consumed with thoughts of revenge now that a seed of hope had been planted, Neville repeated the unfamiliar words. "Criminal psychopathology?"
"Yes." Morticia smiled at Neville. "The study of the criminally insane."
Augusta, also allowing hope to worm its way back into her heart, turned to Loopy. "You didn't tell me you were a scholar."
"Neither did I." Morticia said with a smile, before turning to speak with other guests.
"As important as this seems to you and your grandson, shall we attend to your child and his wife?" Loopy offered his arm once more. "Wednesday will not mind our leaving early. Every Addams understands the importance of family."
Asclepius cared little for weddings in general, only attending because he revered Harry almost as much as Mistress Bella. Since the witch in question was spending time with her sisters, and Rabastan was discussing something with his brother, Asclepius was left to his own devices. While paying minimal attention to the actual ceremony, he'd been trying to make sense of the two muggles he'd noticed earlier.
"I know you're a Death Eater, and killing muggles is part of your job description, but those two are off limits."
Turning, Asclepius found himself on the wrong end of a vine wood wand. "I'm not supposed to hurt anyone without the Dark Lord or Mistress Bella's permission. I'm just trying to figure out why a pair of muggles are being treated with so much respect and awe. Do you know what dentist means? I keep hearing that word, and I think it is something the muggles have that commands respect."
Hermione lowered her wand, and looked to her parents in confusion. Sure enough, they were at the center of a large gathering of Wednesday's relatives.
"A dentist is something that my parents are. It's a kind of muggle healer that specializes with teeth. Most muggles are afraid of going to the dentist. I guess that's why the Addams family is so interested in them. Some people equate dentists to modern day torturers."
"Archery Bulstrode? What are you, a centaur?" Draco smirked as he leaned against the railing, pointedly avoiding looking over the Addams crowd. "Or is that just a borrowed relic, like what Longbottom used?"
Millicent rolled her eyes. "Yes, archery. Not every Slytherin is afraid of muggle things. It's fun, and something I can do with my dad."
Draco eyed Millicent with curiosity. "Why do you trust me? It's not very Slytherin of you to talk of your muggle father so freely. I know your mother had him take her name to make avoiding that stain on the family tree easier."
"Because, even though you're a complete arse, you're not stupid. Even you need a friend who you can talk about all the crap you have to deal with. You're stuck in the middle of just about every shitestorm in the country." She grunted as she bent her bow down to unstring it.
Curious about Wednesday's interesting friend who was strong enough to wield a longbow, Pugsley walked over to where she was talking with Harry's cousin.
Draco narrowed his eyes. "Friend? Please tell me you don't actually fancy me Bulstrode."
His statement caught Millicent offguard, causing her to lose control of her bow. The horn tip of the bow slipped past her foot, and sprung violently outward as her grip instinctively tightened on the other end.
"Hey, I was just wonde..." Was all that the newcomer walking over to the conversation managed to get out before catching the tip of Millicent's bow with his chin. The force of the blow managed to tip Pugsley off balance, and send him over the rail where he fell to the lower deck. Landing square on his face, a sickening crunch could be heard, leaving the Addams boy laying motionless among his relatives who payed little to no attention to the falling teenager.
"Merlin Bulstrode, I wasn't serious." Draco began, while looking over the edge to see Pugsley's crumpled form.
"Bulstrode?" He looked around for his classmate, who had vanished completely.
Slicking his hair back, he drew a breath and let out a long sigh. "I suppose I should see if he's still alive."
"So good to finally meet you Mr. Black." Xenophilius exclaimed happily. He shook Harry's hand with enthusiasm, before bowing to Wednesday with a flourish. "And you as well Mrs. Black. My daughter has nothing but praise for the two of you. Thank you so much for letting her stay with you while I was away last summer."
"Sorry about rushing around earlier Mr. Lovegood. I should have stopped long enough to introduce myself." Harry lifted his wife's hand to his lips, kissing her knuckles tenderly. "I was more than a little eager to be able to call Wednesday my wife."
Wednesday caressed Harry's cheek while keeping her dispassionate attention on Xenophilius. "Luna was more than welcome. The entire family loves her."
"None more than that charming little fellow Thing." Xenophilius smiled as he waved his finger knowingly. "I was completely shocked when Luna introduced me to him. I mean, I knew my baby girl would have to grow up and start dating some day, but it just sneaked up on me. I wasn't ready."
"At least you can rest assured that Thing is a perfect gentleman," commented Wednesday. "He has more manners in his little finger than most boys have in their entire bodies."
Nodding emphatically, Xenophilius could only agree. "You are not wrong. He is a delight, and Luna adores him."
A spark of interest shone in Wednesday's eyes an she noticed light reflect off the pendant that Xenophilius wore. "Not to change the subject, but I didn't realize any Frumps lived in this part of the world anymore."
Xenophilius' eyes lost focus as he considered Wednesday's words. "I must beg your pardon, but I can't seem to remember what a frump is. A type of pixie perhaps?"
"My mother's side of the family actually." Wednesday pointed at the pendant that had caught her attention. "You're wearing the Frump signet on your necklace."
Author's note: Someone showed me an interesting post from Instagram the other day. To whomever dressed up as Wednesday and Harry, you two are awesome. The expressions are perfect.
Since it has been so long since I've been active, I have not responded to a ridiculous number of reviews. I gave up trying to catch up, and decided to just address a few points that keep cropping up. If you have a specific question, or want a response; either PM me, or review this chapter. I will try to return to my practice of replying to each new review.
Point 1: The only reason I put any responses in the chapter itself, is because I can't respond to a guest review any other way.
Point 2: If you don't like the author's notes, don't read them. They're clearly marked, and easily avoided.
Point 3: Grammar is not absolute, neither is spelling for that matter. There are multiple correct ways to spell some words, and construct sentences. For example: I prefer grey over gray, both are correct. A grammatical issue that seems to bother some people is my habit of using Addamses to refer to multiple Addams folk. Addamses is not incorrect, it is unusual. Addams' is the more common usage. I prefer to have the distinction of Addamses meaning multiple family members, while Addams' denotes possession. If these things bother you, tough cookies. It's my story I'll write how I like.