Chapter 2 : The Wedding ii

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THE DAY wore on and it slowly fell into the evening, the sun gracing them with a beautiful golden sunset. The dinner finished with a flourish, the toasts were done, the traditional cutting of the cake amusing because of Freya splattering Jackson with the chocolate cake.

Charlie saw Charlotte slip out of the tent, as the laughter became drunk and boisterous. He was surrounded by a flock of Freya's cousins, the blonde girls tittering about his scars. Working in a dragon sanctuary earned him a few unwanted scars and burn marks. He smiled apologetically.

"Sorry ladies, I just saw an old school friend calling for me. Thank you for your enlightening and charming conversations." He kissed each of their hands and left them giggling together.

He angled himself to the slit of the tent she went through, skirting around family members of the bride and groom. Mostly the bride as it seemed like every second person had blonde hair and blue or brown eyes. They were all quite good-looking in their own way and Charlie couldn't help but wonder if they had Veela in them, like Fleur, his sister-in-law.

The rest were a colourful bunch. This included a tall, Ethiopian women with delicate features and chocolate skin laughing with a man from Uganda, who was shorter, had dark, dark skin and harsh features. Both were wearing their traditional formal dress and Charlie admired the patterns and colours in their clothes. The diversity in the Jet's past was a very interesting thing for him.

He slipped outside and found her sitting on a bench, a few metres away from the big tent. She was partly hidden in the dark, her curled, long hair lifting in the night breeze. The outside air was humming with insect sounds, owls hooting and frogs croaking. It was a warm summer evening and he slipped off his evening jacket, the heat of the evening making him regret not having a hair tie near. He rolled up his sleeves to his elbows and before approaching her, he admired her.

Her hair was curled and long, the strands reaching past her waist. Her brown eyes were hidden in the dark, but from earlier that day, he knew that they were particularly intense today. Her lips were coloured a pretty red, her nose more crooked than he remembered. Her lithe body had filled out since school, but it only added to her attractiveness. She was wearing a modest, knee length dress with a green, tropical print with black strap heels. She had grown up beautifully since school and he was even more attracted to her than he was before.

He was quite curious about her nose though.

"Are you going to make some space for me?" His smile was charming as he looked down at Charlotte.

"Only if you drink some of this with me." She smirked up at him, her eyes raking over his face hungrily. She pointed at a Firewhiskey bottle.

"You didn't even have to ask." He sat next to her, his hands skimming her thighs as he reached for the bottle in between her thighs.

Heat filled his body as he realized how close he was to her intimately and he struggled to keep calm and collected. They were on the wrong side of twenty-five and he wasn't inexperienced when it came to sex, but he felt like he was seventeen again. Luckily he pulled it off, as he grabbed the bottle, swigged a shot and settled into the bench. The tent was on a hill and this bench overlooked the nearby muggle city. The lights twinkled in the evening and he found himself missing the darkness of the mountains at the sanctuary.

A smell drifted over, the familiar scent of gardenia. She was looking at him, her chocolate eyes thoughtful.

"How did the meeting with the Ministry go?" He asked, breaking the comfortable silence.

"Not too bad, I achieved what I could." She shrugged, her body now closer to his. She took the bottle from him and took a sip.

"A job interview?" He asked, taking another sip from the bottle she now held towards him.

"No, not like that. Just informing them of the sanctuary in Denmark." She smiled, her answer vague.

"You promised to tell me what happened with your mother." Charlie grinned, as she spluttered after taking another sip from the Firewhiskey.

"Oh Merlin, are you sure you want to hear such a horrid tale?" Her dramatic groan made him chuckle.

"You promised, Hippogriff." He leaned forward, catching her Hippogriff necklace in between his index and thumb and rubbing it slowly.

She looked down at him, his nearness unnerving her. She could smell the muted scent of burnt wood and pure masculine essence. His red hair was now very long, reaching his shoulders in wild curls. It was warm outside and she could see the curls stick to his neck. It clearly bothered him as he subconsciously moved his hair around his shoulders. He had a scar on his left cheek, the skin puckered and pink. His freckles were abundant on the bridge of his nose and his cheek bones. She tore her eyes away from his handsome face, his cobalt eyes burning her face. She felt herself go pink under his gaze, but thankfully it was hidden under the cover of darkness.

"Hippogriff?"

She snapped out of her thoughts.

"We confronted her a few days after school finished. We had actually gotten into contact with a few aurors' through Jackson, and they hid from her, just in case she did anything drastic. It turns out the ANM was in their eyesight, but they had nothing so far to convict anybody tied to the movement. So we were helpful, although they were reluctant to allow us to confront her." She laughed at that and shook her head.

"Of course, she played dumb for a few minutes until I showed her the picture that Hunter took and told her who he's related to. You remember the picture?"

He nodded and she continued.

"She changed her tune from there. She started throwing these hateful comments about the three of us, shouting that we were traitors and snitches. She's our mother and the way she spoke to us," Charlotte trailed off and shuddered at the memory, "I always thought a mother's love is unconditional but the ANM cause warped her mind. We were obstacles in her eyes and when she started spouting things about You-Know-Who, Jackson became enraged. He spent most of it just listening to us argue and shout but I guess that pushed him too far. He's a staunch advocate against him."

"Is that why you two are civil now?" Charlie asked his curiosity obvious to her.

"It was the start. He helped me a lot after that with my work and we worked past the hurt of everything. Anyway, when she started throwing spells at us, trying to start a duel, the aurors stunned her and she was taken into custody. She had a trial, was found guilty and was sentenced to 5 years in Azkaban. Unfortunately, a few years before the war began, the Dementors were a little too enthusiastic with her. It was during the time Sirius Black escaped."

"Oh, that's horrible Hippogriff." Charlie voice was full of pain. Charlotte shook her head fast, to dispel his thoughts.

"She didn't die but unfortunately she is now permanently in St Mungo's. The Ministry is paying for it because they couldn't control the Demontors. My dad divorced my mother before that though, but they're paying my father for compensation." Her voice was sad but she had worked through the pain, of her mothers betrayal and her horrible demise.

A silence fell, both consumed with their own thoughts. She had moved towards him throughout the conversation and now, her head was resting against his shoulder. His arm was flung across her shoulder, the Firewhiskey making their actions more comfortable and natural.

"Want to drink some more?" Her question broke their silence, her holding the bottle up.

"Yes. Let's do that."

His answer was enthusiastic and they both took quite a few swigs of the Firewhiskey laying in between them, the warm evening humming pleasantly around the couple.  

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