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A Butterbeer Betrothal

Chapter Text

Somewhere, in a room outside of canon--perhaps even out of time--a boy with dark hair, round glasses, and a pale but distinct scar on his forehead sits in an armchair. The room is cozy and cluttered, and a record player sits on a table next to the chair. The boy finishes rifling through a box of bric-a-brac by his feet, pulling out a record. He looks up at you.

“Hello,” he says. “How are we today?” He pauses. “A little quiet? I’m feeling a little blue myself. A little anxious for no particular reason, a little sad that I should feel anxious--a little self-conscious anxiety resulting in non-specific sadness: a state that I call ‘blue.’”

He pauses to take a sip from a glass of water sitting on the table on his opposite side. “Anyway, whenever I’m feeling this way--blue--I like to take a look through some of my parents’ things. They were found in vault just last year, isn’t that exciting? So, I dug about, and what did I find, but one of my favorite shows!”

He holds up a record. The sleeve is worn, and the words “A Butterbeer Betrothal” are printed on it in big letters.

“It’s a two record set, and it tells this story about a wedding full of mishaps and mayhem. It’s wonderfully fun, and even better, its main characters have the same names as my parents! Of course, I’m sure it’s not really about them; after all, it’s a musical and it seems far too ridiculous to be true, but that coincidence must be why they loved it so much!”

He takes a second to remove the record from its sleeve and place it on the record player. “Oh, and Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall are in this too! It figures, of course, they’re certainly famous figures here in the wizarding world. There’s also this guy, they keep calling him ‘The Drowsy Chaperone,’ and he sounds a little bit like Professor Snape? Except I think that he’s really drunk, and he sings a lot, and I can’t even imagine Professor Snape singing. That would be frightening.”

He sets the needle on the record and a smile lights up his face as the static clears and the overture begins. “Here we go! Oh, this show is wonderful, I’m sure you’ll all love it!”

Chapter Text

You’re transported back in time as the show begins. Scenery fades in around you—you’re in a splendid house, decorated for the upcoming wedding. Dumbledore stands in the center of the room, dressed in elegant purple dress robes. He turns to look at the back in the mirror, as the fabric swishes around his ankles.

McGonagall crosses the room, in a simple black dress, to set down a vase.

“Oh, Minerva?” Dumbledore says, turning around to face her.

“Yes, Albus?” she responds, looking up from her spot arranging decorations on a table.

“How do I look?”

“You look absolutely fine, Albus.”

“I do love these robes,” he says, smiling down at the gold-edged fabric. “They never go out of style.”

“It’s a miracle, sir.”

“Now!” he walks over towards his friend. “The guests will be arriving shortly.”

“Yes, Albus,” McGonagall replied.

“And why are they coming?” Dumbledore asks, a look of confusion passing over his face.

“For the wedding, Albus.”

Dumbledore’s face lights up in realization. “The wedding! Oh, I love a wedding. I shall go put on my dress robes!”

McGonagall sighs. There had been an incident the previous school year while Dumbledore had tried to take and review some of his memories; he’s been a tad forgetful every since. “You’re wearing them, Albus.”

“Oh,” Dumbledore replies. “Silly me! I love these robes. They never go out of style.” He pauses, then looks back at McGonagall in confusion. “When will the guests be arriving?”

“They’ll be here shortly, sir,” McGonagall reminds him.

Dumbledore smiles. “Oh! Then I shall go put on my dress robes…”

McGonagall gives a tired sigh, smiles and shakes her head. Dumbledore looks towards the mirror—through it, even—and towards you. Music starts up, and at the edge of the illusion, you see Harry sitting in his chair back in the room, a smile crossing his face.

My robes! My robes! My fancy robes—but as to why I’m wearing them, well I don’t know,” Dumbledore sings. He turns to McGonagall again. “My robes, my robes, I love these robes! Can someone tell me why I put them on?

McGonagall sighs and joins the song. “Ah those! Your robes, your fancy robes—‘twas such a pleasure airing them, restitching and repairing them; Those clothes—your robes—they’re such fine robes, and I will tell you why you put them on.”

McGonagall gestures around the entrance hall they’re standing in, which is decorated with ribbons and flowers for the upcoming ceremony. “Wedding bells will ring! Wedding bells will chime! Albus, you’re the host, and now it’s happy wedding time!

Dumbledore smiles, finally remembering. “Wedding bells will ding! Wedding bells will dong! Wedding bells will ding-a-ling, and we will ding along!

A few other people who were helping set up the house for the wedding sing excitedly as they await the guests. A doorbell rings, and the guests begin to flood into the house, introducing themselves to you.

A man who looks awfully similar to the boy sitting in the armchair at the edge of the illusion enters the house, places a hand on his chest, and nods. “James Potter, the bridegroom, I’m here to marry Lily! A girl I met in classes, whom I love a lot!

A man with curly, dark, shoulder-length hair follows James into the entrance hall, smiles, and bows. “I’m Black—yes, Black—and his best man! I’m honored to be doing what a best man ought!

He turns around and shakes hands with Dumbledore. “Ah, Professor Dumbledore—now don’t worry, I’ve got this whole wedding planned out!” He holds up a hand, with short strings tied around each finger. “This whole wedding’s going to run like clockwork!”

“Oh, there’s going to be a wedding?” Dumbledore asks. Sirius Black’s smile falters a tad. He and James move out of the way to let in more guests.

Another man walks through the door, looking somewhat frazzled. “I’m Peter—Pettigrew—I’m doing my lord’s bidding: I’ve got to stop this wedding, or I’m not worth squat!

Someone else behind him waves from the doorway. “I’m Lupin—or Moony—I’m also friends with Potter. I’ll join the wedding party if I get my shot!

He and Peter leave the doorway and join the rest of the fray. Two people dressed rather conspicuously in all black walk into the house, wearing mismatched aprons and bearing rolling pins.

We’re pastry chefs!

We’re pastry chefs!

We cross our hearts, we’re pastry chefs—

No fakery—

—a bakery is what we’ve got!

The two move out of the way as another figure strides in, exuding confidence and arrogance. “I’m Lockhart, yes Lockhart, the one and only Lockhart! I am the king of romance, so I kiss a lot!

The rest of the wedding guests sing and chatter amongst themselves, celebrating each others’ arrivals. They look around the room as the music continues, realizing they’re missing the most important person—the bride!

With a crack and plenty of flair, a red-headed woman apparates into the scene and flashes you a smile. “I’m Lily! Lily Evans—here to marry one James Potter! Moving on from school of wizardry to tie the knot!

The others in the room smile and cheer. Behind her, a dark-haired, black-clad man stumbles into the room, already visibly intoxicated.

“Am I late?” he drawls. “I’m the chaperone—chaperone to Lily Evans. Man of Honor, friend, and confidant—and all that rot.” He turns to Dumbledore and McGonagall. “Where’s the bar?”

McGonagall looks at him, exasperated. “Now’s hardly the time!”

The man rolls his eyes and pulls a flask out of one of his pockets. “Good thing I brought my own—“ he takes a hearty swig of whatever liquor it contains, giving McGonagall a wink “—champagne makes me drowsy!”

The guests continue to sing excitedly as they prepare for the wedding, when they begin to hear noise in the distance.

What is happening?” they sing, as they look up towards the ceiling.

Suddenly, the room is filled with melodic screeching as a bright phoenix flies into the room. On the edge of the illusion, you can see Harry startle as the squawking fills the room. The phoenix finishes its line of the song and flies away as quickly as it came.

As the guests continue to sing about their excitement, the boy in the chair outside the illusion turns to you.

“Well there you have it—all of the characters have been introduced,” Harry says, as the record continues playing in the background. “We have a bride becoming an adult and wanting to start a family, her debonair bridegroom and his best man, one of their friends (who seems awfully stressed), a pair of Death Eaters masquerading as jovial pastry chefs, another friend who feels he deserves a place in the wedding party, an overzealous show off, some sort of a bird? and my own favorite character—the drowsy chaperone! What more could you want?”

He turns up the volume and smiles as the song concludes.

“Wasn’t that wonderful? “And we will ding along”; why, I don’t even know what that means! Alright, I’ll lead you through the record as best I can. Don’t worry, it shouldn’t be that hard. We start with a welcome from our love-struck bridegroom…”

The scene in front of you fades back into focus. James stands in the center of the room, surrounded by the other guests. “Well, I just wanted to say thank you for coming. I tell you, I must be some lucky fellow. Why, who would have thought that I, James Potter, would be marrying such a lovely, smart girl as Lily Evans, and that she would be willing to marry me, James Potter!”

Lily smiles at him, and the others in the room cheer. Lily’s chaperone begins to empty the contents of his flask into a nearby decorative goblet.

“Why, if I weren’t concerned for the alcohol tolerance and penchant for mischief among my friends, I’d say let’s raise a glass—“

The chaperone raises the goblet: “Here here!”

“—to Lily Evans, the most beautiful girl in the world!”

“Absolutely not!” Sirius exclaims, stepping in front of James. A confused murmur sweeps the crowd.

“Excuse me?” James asks, looking around Sirius.

Harry perks up from his corner outside the scene. “Oh, here Sirius says something that sets the whole convoluted plot in motion!”

“The groom mustn’t see his bride on the day of the wedding! It’s bad luck!” Sirius clarifies.

The crowd seems to accept this explanation.

“Breakfast will be served in the Arabian room,” McGonagall announces, going off to make preparations. Dumbledore follows closely behind her.

“Say,” Sirius says, turning to Lily’s chaperone, “it’s a little early to be drinking, isn’t it?”

“I don’t understand the question,” Snape replies, taking another sip of his drink for emphasis.

Sirius makes an exasperated noise. “Look, just keep Lily away from James, you understand? You’re the chaperone—that’s your only job!”

Snape empties his glass and sets it back on the table it came from with a thunk. “Gladly,” he says, a hint of bitterness edging his voice. He goes to stand by Lily, who’s deep in conversation with her fiancé.

“I shan’t lay an eye on you until we’re standing at the altar—how will I survive?” James laments melodramatically, taking Lily’s hands in his own.

“Oh, I was going to wait until our wedding night, but…” Lily extracts one of her hands to pull a photograph of herself out of her pocket. “I had it taken this morning.”

“Why, you’re even more beautiful in black and white!” James exclaims, taking the photograph and handling it like a precious object.

Lily smiles brightly. “Oh James! Who’s my magnificent stag?”

“I am!” he offers up, “I’m your magnificent stag!”

Snape shoots you a deadpan look before grabbing Lily by the arm and whisking her out of the room. Sirius shoos James out of the room in the opposite direction.

Most everyone leaves, save for Peter and Lupin.

Chapter Text

You see Peter Pettigrew pacing across the entrance hall, muttering to himself and blatantly ignoring Lupin’s presence.

“Stop the wedding and keep them out of the prophecy, he said.”

“Wormtail?”

“It’ll be easy, he said.”

“Wormtail?”

“Since when did we care about the lives of those who could put us in jeopardy?”

“Wormtail!”

Peter gives an irritated sigh, turning to his friend. “What is it, Moony?”

“You know, if whatever these suspicious things you’re muttering is too taxing, I’d be happy to take over the position of ring guardian in your stead! I could even take over planning the post-ceremony entertainment, if you’d like!”

From his corner, Harry pipes up: “I think they have an adult ring bearer. It’s weird, but the bride has her own sort of best man instead of a maid of honor, so I suppose it’s not that weird.”

“I’ve already told you, Moony, I’ve got it under control!” Peter gives another sigh, then turns to exit the room. The two suspicious-looking pastry chefs enter, blocking his path.

“Care for a petit four, Pettigrew?” The taller one asks, offering out a tray.

Peter grumbles. “Not now.”

“Perhaps a nice profiterole?” The second pastry chef crosses her arms.

“I’m not hungry,” Peter snaps.

“Then perhaps we could offer you something else to chew on?” The first pastry chef says.

“Yeah.” The other one smirks. “Something that’s not food.”

Peter freezes in confusion, then looks at the two pastry chefs. “What?”

“Allow me to elucidate,” says the first pastry chef. “Although we stand her before you in the guise of innocent pastry chefs, we are also--”

“And primarily--” the second interrupts.

“--employees of a certain individual.” The ‘pastry chef’ grins, placing his hands on his hips as he waits for Pettigrew to get the hint.

Lupin looks back and forth between his friend and the two suspicious pastry chefs, confused.

“A c-certain individual?” Pettigrew parrots.

“A certain individual…” the shorter pastry chef begins.

“... who happens to be your boss too.” Pettigrew looks visibly startled as he realizes just who the two ‘pastry chefs’ are talking about. “He’s sent us here--”

“As pastry chefs--”

“--to express his concern about Miss Evans’s impending nuptials.”

“Specifically,” the second Death Eater adds, tucking a strand of her red hair behind her ear.

“That if she gets married and has a kid any time soon with that Potter boy…”

“Then he’s gonna have to off her,” the tall Death Eater finishes. “And he’s got a special request from one of our other members to not do that. It’d be a shame if our boss were made into a liar because of you, wouldn’t it be, huh Pettigrew?” He gives the man a saccharine smile.

“Alright, alright!” Pettigrew says, throwing his hands up in exasperation and surrender. “You tell the boss this wedding is never going to happen! You have my word.”

The shorter Death Eater grins lopsidedly. “Oh, we’ll take your word alright.”

“But to go back on that word would be a recipe for disaster,” the other elaborates. “Like making your shortbread too long.”

“Or turning your upside down cake right side up.”

“Or putting cats in a pie!” Lupin provides, rather unhelpfully. The others stare at him, having forgotten that he was there listening to the entire conversation. “Well… cat pie. That would taste awful.”

Peter and the two Death Eaters stare at Lupin for a moment. “Yes,” one of them says, “Yes it would.”

The Death Eaters turn back to Peter Pettigrew.

“To summarize,” one says, “We hope we have made ourselves perfectly éclair.”

“One cannoli hope,” the other adds.

“You biscotti be kidding me.”

“A trifle much?” The second Death Eater raises an eyebrow at her partner.

“Don’t tart with me,” the other frowns.

Pettigrew gives an exasperated sigh. “Alright, you can drop the pastry chef routine. I know who you are.”

“Alas,” the female Death Eater sighs, “we ganache.”

“We’re on the lamb,” the other adds, grinning.

His partner looks at him in surprise and slaps him across the face. “Lamb’s an entrée, you macaroon!”

Pettigrew gives a huff of impatience. Lupin grabs a pastry off of one of the trays, taking a bite. The two Death Eaters give him an appreciative nod.

“We’ll leave the matter in your hands, Pettigrew,” the taller Death Eater says. “In the meantime, feel free to browse the dessert carousel.”

The other one smirks again. “We’ve got a creme brulee that’s to die for.”

The other one huffs out a sardonic laugh and smiles a cold smile at Pettigrew. “Yeah, and a peach melba that’ll break your kneecaps.”

The two give one last warning glare to Pettigrew, then exit the room. Lupin’s face suddenly lights up with recognition.

“They’re Death Eaters!”

Pettigrew quirks an eyebrow at his friend. “You think so?” he deadpans.

“Yeah, I recognize them,” Lupin says. “They used to terrorize my old neighborhood. If you tried to fight them, they’d come back later and give you a surprise.”

“A surprise?”

“A Toledo surprise,” Lupin affirms, the unfamiliar name not quite rolling off his tongue.

Pettigrew looks confused. “A Toledo…. I’ve never heard of that.”

“That’s because people who have heard of it are never heard from again,” Lupin replies ominously. “You know what I mean?”

Peter Pettigrew nods, albeit a tad nervously.

“Because they’re dead,” Lupin clarifies. Pettigrew scoffs at him.

“Yes, I get it!” he snaps. “Go help Sirius and James!”

Lupin looks rather excited at the prospect of helping with the wedding and leaves the room in search of his other friends. Pettigrew approaches you, one hand at his chest and the other reaching into the sky melodramatically.

“I’ve got to stop this wedding, but how?!” he laments. “Oh, Lord in Heaven how! How?”

From his corner, Harry makes a face. “It’s a bit dramatic, isn’t it? Well, anyway, now that the story’s on it’s way, we make our way to the groom’s room.”

Chapter Text

James stands in front of the mirror, peering into it--almost through it--towards you. He shrugs into his tuxedo jacket and begins to fumble with his bowtie, murmuring instructions to himself as he does it. His hands shake a little as he does so and the knot comes out a little lopsided. He undoes it gingerly.

“Look at you,” he muses at his reflection. “You’re all thumbs. You’re nervous, aren’t you? It’s perfectly normal for a groom to be nervous on his wedding day, isn’t it?”

Harry smiles from his corner. “That’s the guy who has the same name as my dad,” he says. “I think he’s a bit silly in this, but sometimes it’s fun to imagine my dad was just like this guy.”

James grins at himself in the mirror, pointing towards his reflection. “Hey there, mister mirror man,” he sings. “Shakin’ and a quakin’... Tremblin’ like them ‘fraidy cats do--Something big be bothering you...

He jumps slightly, setting one foot forward with a distinctive click, his grin growing. “Cold feets! Cold feets--brother you’ve got cold feets! You can make them cold feets hot with a little rhythm!

James continues to sing to himself, tap dancing with his reflection in the mirror and grinning past it at you.

Suddenly, Sirius Black comes storming onto stage, a half-written Howler in his hands and his owl on his shoulder, ready to take the letter once it’s finished. “Why don’t you just slime back into your mud hole, you back-stabbing flobberworm!” He seals the envelope and sends the letter off. “Great, now I’m going to have to find another minister. Say, what are you up to?”

“I’m singing a song I heard from a muggle back in Lily’s hometown,” James replies, “a remedy for wedding day jitters!”

“Ha!” Sirius barks, “You’ve got jitters? You’ve got the easy part! I have the weight of the wedding on my shoulders!"

“Sounds like you’ve got cold feet!” James supplies, continuing to dance.

“What have I got?”

“Cold feets!”

“What do I want?”

“Bold feets!”

“What do I do--scold feets?!”

“No!” James flashes a grin out towards the audience as he continues, “You make the cold feets hot!

James and Sirius tap-dance with each other, smiling ear-to-ear, pausing only to accept a glass of water from McGonagall, who smiles and shakes her head at them as she leaves again.

Harry frowns a little over in his chair as the song continues. “I wish I could have seen this happening,” he says. “They both sound like wonderful dancers. I wonder if my dad was anything of a dancer. I’m certainly not, and I’ve heard rumours that there’s a dance for the upper years sometimes…”

Your focus is returned to the scene before you as James and Sirius finish their dance.

“Wait, wait,” Sirius says. “That’s enough of that! Dancing around like fools… You could’ve snapped an ankle! Tap dancing is too dangerous...”

Sirius pauses to rifle around in a nearby closet. He pulls out a broom and hands it to James. “Why don’t you go out and fly for a bit? Might help you calm your nerves.”

James grins and takes the proffered broom. “I don’t know what I’d do without you, Padfoot!”

Sirius smiles at the praise, watching his friend turn to leave the room. He seems to realize something and pulls a piece of fabric out of his pocket. “Wait a minute,” he says, stopping James in his tracks. “What was I thinking? You can’t go out there like that. You might see Lily! Here, put on this blindfold.”

Sirius ties the piece of fabric across his friend’s eyes. “There. Now remember, no more tap dancing.”

James nods and walks out of the room. Sirius grins in triumph, singing to himself in the empty room. Somewhere off in the distance, you hear voices calling for Harry. “Wedding bells will ring! Wedding bells will chime! Wedding bells--

Harry stops the record, looking vaguely irritated at the voices outside of the room he’s in. “Just ignore them. I told Ron and Hermione I would be in here, but I don’t think either of them were listening. They’ll leave eventually.”

Sure enough, the voices calling for Harry fade into the distance again. He resumes the record.

--will celebrate a happy wedding time!

Sirius turns on his heel and leaves the room, spirits high.

Harry turns to address you again. “Now we head off outside, to see the bride, where she’s answering some questions for her old professors and school friends…”