A Serpent and His Rose [The Final Countdown]

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Felicia’s POV:

Your mother buzzed around your room like a hyperactive bumble bee, messing with your dress, your hair, your nails, constantly muttering how everything had to be perfect.

“Felicia darling, don’t frown! You will create lines!” she said, motioning to your face. “Honestly, what do you have to be upset about! I mean, you are about to marry the son of one of the most powerful pureblood families in the world.” she said, smiling sweetly.

“I know mother.” you said, your voice feigning excitement. You stared blankly as your bridesmaids fluffed your dress and hair. You didn’t even know their names. They were your parent’s friends, not yours. You remembered a time when you thought that this would be the happiest moment of your life. But nothing was happy about it.

“Okay! We need to be downstairs in five minutes!”

“Mother, can I just… have just one minute, please?” you asked. Her face fell, and she wrung her hands as she looked out the window at the guests flooding into the manor from outside.

“We really don’t have time, Felicia.”

“Mother!” you half-shrieked. She sighed and nodded. She ushered the bridesmaids out of the room. You saw her hesitate at the door, then grab the pair of scissors off the end table and take them with her. You didn’t blame her. Even she could tell how badly you had wanted to end things for yourself. Your mother was a cold woman. She wouldn’t mind if you offed yourself. But only after everything was legal between you and Draco.

But that was then. Thinking back on it, you felt foolish for doing it. You looked in the mirror. You really looked quite beautiful. It was exactly how you wanted to look on your wedding day. You sucked in a deep, labored breath and stood up. It was difficult. Your dress felt like it added fifty pounds to your frail frame. You paused at the door. You felt your heart beating harder in your chest. This was a familiar feeling when you started to panic. You clenched your eyes shut, letting Draco’s words from last night soothe you.

“The groom isn’t supposed to see the bride the night before the wedding.”

“Are you worried about us having bad luck?” he asked. You smiled, setting your hairbrush down on your vanity and turning to face him. He had a scotch, his drink of choice as of late. And he always had it with him.

“Not anymore. I think we will have that no matter what.”

“Don’t think that.” he said seriously. You raised an eyebrow questioningly. “Felicia, I don’t want you to ever try to hurt yourself again.”

“Draco--”

“No, listen. I know how I treated you played a big part in it. And I apologize. I just want you to know, as long as we are married, I will treat you the way my wife deserves to be treated. It’s the right thing to do.”

“Th-Thank you.” you said, shocked at his sincerity. He nodded and stood. You turned back to look in your mirror. “I guess this is how it always was meant to be. You’re a Malfoy, I’m a West. We are pureblood. We were foolish to think otherwise.”

“Yes we were.” he said. The sadness in his eyes tore your heart apart.

“I’m sorry, Draco.” you whispered. You were scared to hear his response. This was the first time you brought up the whole situation with Andrea and Adam. You never thought he would forgive you, which was why you avoided it. But to your surprise, he didn’t start yelling at you or even appear to be upset.

“I know why you did it. And I understand. I don’t blame you.”

You were shocked at his words last night, but they brought comfort. He was going to try to make the best of the situation. He was going to try to not take out his anger and resentment on you. And you were going to do the same. With that thought in mind, you took one final breath and turned the handle of the door the led you to your future as Mrs. Draco Malfoy.


*      *      *      *



Draco’s POV:

You sat in the parlor, facing the window. The weather outside that afternoon was murky and made you feel even more sad inside than you already were. You swirled the scotch around in your glass, and took a deep swig of it. It tasted foul, but you needed it today. Probably for the rest of your life as well, you thought as you peered into the brownish liquid in the glass. You could see the guests pouring into the manor from the driveway, dressed for a magnificent occasion in the pureblood wizarding social circles. Your mother raved that it was the social event of the season. It made you sick.

“How ya feeling mate?” Blaise asked, walking beside your chair. “We have to get down there, it’s almost time.”

You stood up and finished off your drink. Then you turned to the mirror hanging over the fireplace. “Tell them I’ll be down in a moment Blaise.” you said, trying to gather your composure.

“Okay… Hey man? I just want you to know… I thought you and Andrea would’ve been great together. I think it sucks that it has to be like this.”

“Yeah Blaise… Me too.” you said. He exited the room quickly, leaving you to your thoughts. Your eyes fell to the small bag of Floo Powder sitting on the mantle of the fireplace. Your hand twitched as you fought the urge to grab some and escape. The truth was, you could never escape your family, your blood. They would find you. You closed your eyes and pictured what this day should be like…

Andrea would turn the corner, and the room would go quiet. She would wear the most beautiful white dress. She would smile when she saw you standing there, waiting to make her your wife forever. She would finally reach you and take your hands in hers. She would whisper that she loved you…

The clock chimed as 4 o’clock came. It was time.

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