I find myself prone to designing weddings, especially when they're mentioned in stories but not expanded upon. Xelan has done this in several stories. This particular celebration is the result of Xelan's "Good News" and has been acknowledged by Xelan as canon for his story. Unfortunately, since I don't own Harry Potter, it's not canon in the actual books. Ah well…
Dappled green and gold sunlight shone through the leaves of the ancient trees that sheltered the glade where a gathering was being held on the warm June day. A few of the ancient trees, the smaller ones whose topmost branches could be seen by the humans who gathered together, had been decorated with crème and blue ribbons. Wind chimes had been hung in the branches and fairy lights glowed gently, illuminating the shadows and gave the glade an ethereal feeling. To one side of the glade was an ancient stone arch, the purpose of which had been long forgotten. But for the day it had been decorated with twining vines of yellow roses, forget me not blooming at its base. A podium had been carefully placed before it and a tiny, ancient man stood at the podium, his remaining hair slicked back and a proud expression on his face. To his left stood a young man with a soft smile on his face and love shining in his eyes.
Several rows of chairs had been set up in the glade and they were filling fast. In the back, standing amidst the trees rather than joining the gathering, were centaurs, proud looking creatures who were half men and half horse. They watched with narrowed eyes, though one with silvery hair, had a mysterious smile on his face. Off to the side of the arch, slightly away from the podium and in front of the chairs, a keyboard had been set up. A man with sandy brown hair had begun to play soft music to entertain the gathering while they waited. A brunette woman in the early stages of pregnancy stood beside him and began to sing. Her strong, joyful voice filled the glade.
When at last it seemed as though everyone had arrived, the man began to play a different song and the woman began to sing a different song.
This change in song prompted a tiny pair, a little boy with blue hair and a little girl carrying a basket, to appear from somewhere in the deeper woods.
The tiny flower girl walked very carefully down the aisle, doing her best to keep in step with the younger boy beside her. She took two steps, made sure she hadn't trod on the hem of her blue dress by pulling it up and then shaking it out, checked that the equally small ring bearer beside her still hand the rings on the decorative pillow in his hands, and then took a fistful of yellow rose petals and forget-me-nots and threw them in the face of whoever was sitting closest to her. If her target wasn't looking at her then the girl would abandon her companion and tug on the person's sleeve to make sure she got them. Most of her victims tried to brush away the fragrant ammunition only to find that it was stuck fast to their faces and clothes. A few of the victims pulled out elegantly carved sticks, only for the person next to them to smack their arm and hiss something at them.
One couple who sat in the very back row of the rows of folding chairs, a fat man with a mustache like a walrus's and a woman who looked rather like a horse, had discovered that trying to wipe away the flowers from their clothes resulted in the petals and forget me not blossoms multiplying and covering them further.
Most of the audience, primarily the part that had not been plagued with inexplicably sticky flower petals or were close to the furious looking fat man and his wife, were snickering at the little girl's behavior. Her mother, the singer, tried not to falter in her duty though she looked caught between mortification and wanting to laugh and it occasionally showed in her voice. Her father, who played the music accompanying his wife, was openly grinning at his daughter's behavior, though if he laughed his singing wife jabbed him as subtly as she could manage so he refrained.
When the little pair finally made it to the altar where the groom waited, his green eyes glinting with humor and a smile on his face, the little boy handed the pillow to the smiling groom and then went to the audience and took a seat beside his grandmother and began to suck his thumb, his hair shifting from blue to butter yellow to emerald green and back to blue. The little girl threw the remnants of her basket at the diminutive man who presided over the gathering and at the groom before going to stand beside her mother who continued to sing, though her voice wavered as she apparently tried not to laugh. The flower girl took her mother's hand and like her companion, began to suck her thumb as she watched the proceedings with a fascinated expression.
For shortly after the tiny pair had begun their trek down the aisle, three more couples followed. The pairs were made up of three blonde women, each dressed in longer, more adult versions of the flower girl's blue dress, partnered with three men who all looked rather uncomfortable in their tuxedoes. The leading blonde wore a sash of bright, sunshine yellow around her slim waist, a sunflower in her hair and a pair of earrings that looked to have been made of bottle caps painted bright yellow. When she walked the tips of bright yellow shoes peeped out from under the hem of her skirt. The two who followed her wore more sedate, crème colored sashes and modest pearl earrings and crowns of tiny blue lilies of the Nile in their hair. Each of them carried small bouquets of yellow roses and forget-me-nots.
When they arrived at the end of the aisle they spilt, the men all going to stand beside the emerald eyed groom and the women standing opposite them. The leader of the men, a round faced man with an amused grin, took the pillow from the raven haired man.
"You ready Harry?" he asked.
Harry shot him a look as if to ask if he had been dropped on his head recently but before anyone spoke further the pianist changed the song once more.
The entire group stood as a young woman emerged from the trees, escorted by an older man with brown hair and a proud expression.
The woman had a proud lift to her head and her expression shone with happiness. She wore a beautiful white gown with small cap sleeves and a modest scoop neckline. The white material clung to her upper body before flaring out slightly at the hips to make a full skirt that swished softly as she walked. Faint silver embroidery and beadwork decorated the bodice and the hem of the magnificent gown as well as the modest train. Her rich brown hair had been tamed into an elegant twist decorated by a crown of lilies of the Nile and a long sheer veil with silver embroidery and bead work that echoed the pattern on her dress. Her free hand she held a bouquet of yellow roses intermixed with forget-me-nots and baby's breath. The one jarring note in her outfit were the radish earrings she chose to wear.
She and the green eyed groom caught each other's eyes and were lost. No one else in the world mattered to either of them at the moment, not her father escorting her or her mother in the audience, not the people in the audience, nor any of her friends who stood by them. For the moment, the man she was walking to was her world.
Slowly, gracefully the woman and her father walked down the aisle and when they reached the podium her father kissed the young woman on the cheek and went to sit beside an older looking version of the bride, her mother, who was trying in vain not to cry. The bride handed her bouquet to the sunflower bedecked maid of honor and turned to look at her husband to be. The congregation all sat down and the music ceased. The singer took a seat on the piano bench and the little flower girl sat in her own father's lap.
The diminutive man in the black robes cleared his throat.
"Ladies and gentlemen," he began, "I am Filius Flitwick and I have been given the honor of officiating. We have gathered here today to witness the union of two who have long been bonded together, whether they officially realized it or not, and now choose to present their joining before us all in the form of marriage."
There was a scattering of giggles among the people and the bride and groom both blushed slightly.
"Marriage is a serious institution that should not be entered into lightly," the man went on, "It is not something to be done and then undone for no reason beyond the idea that it was harder than expected. It is a representation of a man and a woman's decision to bear one another's burdens, to help one another along a mutual path. Marriage is a reminder of why you walk together, an expression of the love you feel towards one another. It will not always be easy. There will be sadness as well as joy, and you must support one another through the grief and sorrow. There will be pain - but pain shared is pain halved, as joy shared is joy doubled, and you each must sacrifice your own comfort to share the pain of the other."
The brunette in the audience gave up all pretenses and began to cry. Her husband smiled and put his arm around her, tears in his own eyes as well.
"You must not pledge yourselves thinking that all will be well from this moment on," Flitwick warned them, "You are two different people and a marriage is a partnership, not a situation where two become one. Two minds cannot fuse, two souls cannot merge, two hearts cannot keep to the same time, not even with the strongest of magics. If two are foolish enough to try this, one must overwhelm the other, and that is no love, nor is it compassion, nor responsibility."
Everyone remained silent, hanging on his every word.
"This particular branch of marriage is especially serious," Flitwick continued, "For once done, it cannot be undone. There is no divorce in this case, no way to tear this bond apart."
"We understand," bride and groom said in unison.
"Alright," Flitwick nodded, "Then let us begin."
Flitwick brought out his wand and raised it as though he was a conductor about to lead an orchestra.
"Who gives permission for this woman to be wed to this man?" Flitwick called, looking out over the audience. Hermione's parents stood up, tears streaming down their faces and the pianist, the singer and their daughter stood to move beside them.
"I am Daniel Horatio Granger," her father said firmly, "Head of the Granger family. This is my sister, Miranda Emily Granger Cranston and this her daughter Alice Ophelia Cranston who shares the blood of the Granger family. This is my wife, Emma Helen Granger, mother of Hermione Jane Granger. Together, the Granger family gives leave for the daughter of our family, Hermione Jane Granger, to leave our family and be wed to Harry Potter."
With that they sat back down, smiles on their faces as they clung to each other.
"And who gives permission for this man to wed this woman?" Flitwick asked.
There was a sober moment before a tall, formidable woman stood, her normally stern expression softened by and old grief and a new joy.
"In the absence of his parents or any other guardian who is worth the name," the woman began, there was a sound of protest from the back but it was quickly silenced, "I, Minerva McGonagall, Headmistress of Hogwarts, give permission for this man to marry Hermione Granger."
"Very nice," Flitwick said with a small laugh, "And now, do you, Lord Harry James Potter, head of the Ancient and Noble House of Potter and Head of the Ancient and Noble House of Black, Head of the Ancient House of Slytherin by right of conquest, Head of the House of Gryffindor and Master of the House of Peverell by birth and conquest, Knight of the Realm of England,"
There were more strangled noises from the back of the crowd but once again they were quickly hushed.
"take this woman to be your wife?," Flitwick continued blithely, "Will you love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, keep only unto her until time ends?"
"I will," Harry said firmly.
"And you, Hermione Jane Granger, first of the House of Granger" Flitwick turned slightly to look at the young bride, "Will you take this man as your husband? Will you love him, respect him, honor him and keep in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, keep only unto him until time ends?"
"I will," Hermione said brightly.
The charms professor waved his wand and for a moment Hermione was encased in a silver light while Harry shone gold.
"Now, who stands as champion to Hermione? And do you lead any with you?" Flitwick asked.
"I, Luna Lovegood," declared Luna from her place at Hermione's side, "Lady of the House of Lovegood, stand champion to Hermione, my sister-in-arms. I lead Lady Hannah Abbot-Longbottom, Lady of the House of Longbottom and Lady Fleur Delacour-Weasley, Lady of the Western Veela enclave and the House of Weasley, to stand beside me in defense of the bride."
"And who stand champion for Harry?" Flitwick pressed.
"I, Neville Longbottom," began Neville at Harry's side, "Lord of the House of Longbottom, stand as champion to my brother-in-arms. I lead Dudley Dursley of the House of Dursley, and Bill Weasley, heir of the House Weasley, in defense of the groom."
"I will not all my son-" began the rose petal covered walrus man but this time those surrounding him were not as kind when it came to silencing him. The pair were carted out of the glade by a pair of goblins with very sharp looking swords and menacing grins.
"Thus, as witnessed by the light of silver and gold, there are no blood reasons why this wedding should not commence," Flitwick intoned, ignoring the proceedings in the back though the bride and groom both suddenly seemed to have an added gleam of satisfaction in their eyes.
"Does anyone care to challenge this union?" the diminutive mage asked, "Keep in mind that if you do, you must face their chosen champions."
The glade was completely still but Flitwick waited for another beat before continuing.
"Both the bride and groom have chosen to use their own vows," The charms professor announced.
With this Harry took one of the rings from the pillow that Neville now held and he turned to Hermione.
"I love you Hermione," Harry began, "You're my best friend. I fell in love with you for the qualities, abilities, and outlook on life that you have. I won't try to reshape you in a different image. I promise to give you the best of myself and to ask of you no more than you can give. I promise to respect you as a someone with your own interests, desires, and needs, and to realize that those are sometimes different, but no less important than my own. I promise to try to keep myself open to you, to try to share with you my innermost fears, feelings, secrets and dreams, though you might have to prod me into it. I promise to grow along with you and to be there for you. And finally, I promise to love you in good times and in bad, with all I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how... completely and forever."
With that Harry placed the ring, a delicate creation of white gold crowned with a diamond flanked by a pair of sapphires, onto Hermione's ring finger. Hermione smiled brightly and then took the second ring from Neville.
"I love you Harry," Hermione said, "I've loved you for as long as I can remember. You're my best friend. Today I give myself to you in marriage. I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I promise to cherish you, and to always hold you in highest regard. These things I give to you today, and all the days of our life."
With that, Hermione placed the golden band around Harry's ring finger.
In a guttural language that no one, save the three older Granger women and Luna, understood, Flitwick waved his wand over the two. Once again there was a flash of light emanating from the pair though this time it merged and created a flare so bright that for a moment everyone was blind.
"As magic has bound, let no man dare to try to tear asunder," Flitwick declared when everyone could see again, "And now, by the power vested in me by ancient means, I now pronounce you husband and wife, you may kiss the bride!"
The two met in a kiss that cause Alice's parents to cover her eyes and Andromeda to do the same to Teddy. They received a few catcalls and a great amount of cheering before they were done.
Later, the guests of the wedding were all in the Great Hall of Hogwarts, waiting. At last Neville stood before them on the dais which set the professor's table apart from the rest.
"May I present," Neville began with a large grin on his face, "Lord Harry Potter and his wife, Lady Hermione Potter!"
With that, the recently wed pair entered through the doors of the great hall and everyone cheered.
For the rest of the day there were celebrations. Harry and Hermione danced with the bridesmaids and groomsmen and of course they danced together. Hermione danced with the pianist, her uncle, and with her father. Hermione's Aunt Miranda claimed a dance with Harry and walked him through a simple salsa dance, which he performed quite well. Shortly after their dance, the singer's daughter, little Alice, chose to follow her mother's example and tried to show Harry how to properly do the hokey pokey before she abandoned him in favor of sneaking sugar biscuits with Teddy.
A rather embarrassed Ginny caught the bouquet and Lee Jordan caught the garter when the two were tossed. They were good sports about it and shared several dances, though Lee had to be careful of the reactions of her brothers. He was a canary several times throughout the party, but somehow each of the attending Weasley brothers ended up a canary a time or two themselves.
The party lasted throughout the day and long into the night, ending only when Hermione's aunt and uncle had to take their sleepy daughter away and Andromeda had to do the same with a hyped up Teddy. Of course the bride and groom had long since disappeared, but no one expected them to stay the whole time.
When at last the day was over, Luna was the one to sum it all up with a smile, a sigh and one simple word.
Since originally the bridesmaids were supposed to protect the bride by serving as decoys in case of kidnapping, whether by bandit or evil spirit didn't matter, the bridesmaid was to protect the bride. The groomsmen were possibly there to keep the groom from running, at least that's my personal theory. I wanted to take it a step further and decide that if anyone objected, they bridesmaids and groomsmen would be a bit more proactive in protecting their charge, not that they need it, but just in case
Harry and Hermione's vows were found on the internet, I'm afraid I don't remember the website I got them from, nor did I write it down as I should have