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Phoenix Rising
A Harry Potter RPG
Pretty In Plaid 
12th-Sep-2006 09:11 pm
It’s kind of ironic, really. We blokes hate shopping with a passion and would rather be doing almost anything else at the moment but here we stand about to do just that to find some dress clothes for the wedding. What a bloke will do for love...matching accessories. I’ve never worn accessories in my life!

In the meantime, Susan, Lavender, Penny and Megan spend the day at my Grandparents estate being pampered and having their dresses hand made for them by Vera Wang, a dear friend of my Gran. Susan joked to me that there would likely be leg waxing and other sorts of waxing I don’t even want to think about (ouch!). Although, as I look around at the hundreds of shops looming before us I almost believe it would be worth it to lose a bit of hair. Oliver and Dean quickly disagree, recalling Susan’s birthday party and us bloke’s hairless aftermath complete with the embarrassing hair regrowth on Oliver’s request lest he look less than manly in the Puddlemere locker room. Shopping it is!

I start to head toward Madame Malkins Robe Shop, resigned to stand on a stool and listen to Madame Malkin, who sometimes has her mother in the shop to help out during busy times. She yells so loud when that old woman is there!

No mother, he’s a boy...a boy mom! Pink won’t look good on him. Get him the Hogwarts robes...The Hogwarts ones! she would yell, in a frenzy because nearly everyone had left their back to school shopping to the last minute. Old Mrs Malkin would then bring out her huge grammaphone shaped ear piece, clunk me in the head with it while swinging around to hear better, put on her half inch thick spectacles and stare at me wide eyed, commenting on my curly hair and that if I had been a girl I’d look lovely in pink...

Oh Merlin, I love Susan and I’d wear pink handkerchiefs and cumber buns for her if I have to but you’ve been a little short on mercy lately and well...would it kill you to save me from my friend’s teasing by letting her choose a more manly colour for us?

When I voice my concerns to my friends, Wayne replies. "Susan won’t choose pink, red heads don’t often wear that colour and it likely won’t occur to her to choose it for that reason but the other night at the chili cookoff, Megan was wearing a pink sweater and with her brown hair I thought it looked really nice."

We all turn to stare at Wayne.

"What colour was Lavender wearing," Oliver asks Wayne smartly, a knowing look in his eyes.

"No idea...Hey!" Wayne retorts, realizing he’s been caught noticing Megan and for a minute he smiles and it’s the first time I’ve seen his face light up since Hannah’s death. Unfortunately, this is when Wayne catches himself and changes the subject. I honestly think he thinks we’d hold it against him for looking at a woman other than Hannah and suddenly my heart aches a bit for poor Hannah too. She should be with Susan and her friends right now over at Gran’s doing what...well whatever it is women do at those little get togethers that we blokes get to go in after it’s all done and eat up all the left over finger sandwiches and cakes for. And then my heart aches just a little more. And Ernie should be here with us.

Somehow I’ve managed to walk right into the front door of Madame Malkins and bump my nose really hard on the door, curse loudly, and get the attention of old Mrs Malkin. Just my luck, she’s in today. Thanks a lot Merlin! Now I’ll have a bump on the head from the huge earpiece as well as the one on my nose but at least my senses will be dulled for the talk of inseams and matching suspenders.

Old Mrs Malkin opens the door as my friends continue to laugh hysterically at me. I wonder how old she is? She calls me dearie and compliments my long hair and says she has just the dress for me at which point I think Dean is going to hyperventilate. She reaches her gnarled fingers toward me to pull me in and now I wish I had cut my hair instead of pulling it back into a short ponytail. Oh, who am I kidding, she’s always called me a girl!

Oliver steps up to the little old lady and takes her hand and reading her lapel badge, tells her in his sweetest, most charmingly smooth voice that we don’t need any robes today.

"Okay, young man," says the old woman. Why is it she can see that Oliver isn’t a girl! Even at her advanced age, I stare in awe as she checks out Oliver’s backside as we make our hasty retreat back into the street.

"Ub, Oliver," I say, pinching the bridge of my nose still and sounding like I’m under water, "We do deed tuxes. Why don’t we just ged id over wid?"

"Oh, we’re getting better than tuxes," Oliver assures me, heading for Twiliftt and Tattings. Ron grimaces and looks about to back out of the wedding party as he recalls Tara Twilfitt’s strange behaviour at the bar when we met up with the store owner’s daughter after having had her as our shopping guide. Ron looks almost comical when he hears that Oliver has personally requested Tara to help us with our fitting and Neville and Parvati’s friend Donzel has a close personal friend who works there who will also help us pick out our accessories. I don’t know why I despise that word so much but it sounds so...feminine. All of us look like lemurs about to follow one another as we approach the shop.

Oliver is very mysterious as we enter Twilfitt’s and we are greeted enthusiastically by Tara who assures us that all of our items are here and ready to be fitted. Somehow at this point, I think the blokes are up to something as they all head toward the men’s department. Well, at least no one offered me a pink dress here...
13th-Sep-2006 02:19 am (UTC)
I’d have thought Justin of all people would have learned that skirts are for women, but no, here we stand with Wood who doesn’t even need to go through this humiliating fitting because he and Liam already have the Wood family colour kilt. That’s it, I’m bringing trousers and as soon as the formalities are over with, I’m changing into them. I nearly froze off my wedding tackle the last time I wore a kilt at the gala ball. Not that I need it much these days with Hermione being pregnant and all and not being in the mood much lately...Hm, on second thought, maybe the cool breeze’ll do me good... The cold showers aren’t doing much good anymore anyway as I always get too chilly and end up in a cloud of steam all by myself with Hermione knocking on the door asking me what I’m doing for so long. One day I smartly told her that I was doing her homework.

I’m always a little reluctant to ask about Lavender and how she’s been doing since the attack on Phoenix House left her in such bad shape but I think Oliver knows that we went out when were kids and it’s nothing like what she has now with him. Oliver sounds happy when he tells me that Lavender is recovering well but a bit of a shadow crosses his face when he asks how married life is treating me. I tell him how happy I am and I’m surprised by the sincerity in my voice. Oliver’s had his pick of a thousand Quidditch Tarts and he chose Lavender instead. I think in the end, us blokes talk about the wild life and getting around but it gets old quick.

Justin looks terrified at the prospect of being fitted for a kilt as he was out of it the last time he had the honour and was awol from St Mungo’s. Any bloke who’d ride a stolen magic carpet wearing a kilt to get to the love of his life deserves to be happy and he will be with Susan. In a way I wish I’d known Justin better in school but it’s likely better this way. We may have second guessed each other the job or had previous notions about each other. I mean I know why he was terrified of Harry now but back then it just seemed so unfair. Turns out Justin, Harry and I aren’t that different after all. In the end, we were all just kids.

"Oi! You just stuck a pin in my arse, watch it!" Bloody hell, this is more embarrassing than a physical for the DMLE!

"Turn your head and cough," Dean says in a fit of laughter. Donzel’s friend who is doing my fitting tells me I have a full seat, whatever the bloody hell that means. So he needs to make sure my kilt won’t ride up with wear. At this point, if it does, maybe Hermione will see it and remember it’s still there... It could happen!

"Well, you know, cats usually land on their feet and Ron being a Gryffindor and all we thought he would too but he took full advantage of his full seat and landed on it many times during games." Justin howls. Oliver laughs and said he wished he could have played with me so he could have seen that. I’ll be sure to send up a breeze for the captain at the wedding. Maybe if I’d played under Wood’s manically aggressive style I’d be a professional Quidditch player now too just like that old mirror reflected..

When I’ve finally had it with how long this fitting is taking because Twilfitt twit insisted we do it au naturel and it’s cold in here, I see one more pin coming toward me and that’s it, I leap off the stool, falling flat on my arse. I lean over to rub it gingerly complaining that it’s not as full as everyone’s been teasing me about.

"The white cliff’s of Dover!" Dean yells.

"Freckles," comes another voice. Keep that thing out of the sun it’ll catch on fire!"
13th-Sep-2006 02:19 am (UTC)

I look over at Justin. Something’s different. This should have happened to him... It usually happens to him... It’s probably the curse mum threatened me with when she learned that Hermione and I still don’t want a wedding reception.

Wayne is the only one recovered enough from the bout of laughter to help me up. Twilfitt’s mouth is looking like it has a mind of it’s own as she tries not to laugh at me lest she lose a commission or something. As she opens the door to the change room for me, she leans in and asks me who got the bed Justin and I bought on our first trip here. I tell her Justin still has it but will probably get a new one once he’s married. She pats me on the arm.

"Too many memories eh?" she asks. I have no idea what she’s on about. I change quickly because I’m not missing Dean’s fitting for anything.
13th-Sep-2006 02:27 am (UTC)

Some things should be exclusively reserved for the sanctity of marriage, to be shared between husband and wife. Topping that list is Ron’s backside. The only thing that could’ve made Ron’s show a bit more palatable would’ve been a nice pint of ale or two.

And that’ll be soon enough.

I try not to chuckle as I depants myself and I yank on the bit of fabric that Tara gave me to start off the fitting in. Justin really has no clue what we’ve got planned for him. Tav and Eric, Justin’s old MLE mate, are getting things organized right this very minute. Tav was so excited this morning that I swear he was going to bounce into the stratosphere and –


I’m staring into the private fitting room mirror in horror. The “kilt” that Tara gave me is nothing more than a swath of plaid fabric around my middle. I know for a fact that this thing is miles too short because the kilt I wore to the gala was nothing like this.

Holy hell, I look like a bloody school girl! All I need is white knee-high socks.

I reckon that Justin must really love Susan to agree to wear a kilt to his own wedding and subject all of his mates to the same torture. But truth be told, the third coming of Voldemort let alone a silly little skirt wouldn’t keep me from standing up in Justin and Susan’s wedding. I can’t think of a couple who deserves happiness more than them. I wonder if Padma ever asked me to wear a kilt, if I would. I think back to the other day and suddenly I want to go home and see her.

There’s a pounding on the door and Oliver and asks if I’m sewing my own kilt. I hear Ron snort and Justin laugh. But if I could sew, I’d be stitching on about five feet of extra fabric on this thing and not standing here staring at my alarmingly bare legs.

“I think Dean’s scared,” says Ron loudly. Apparently Weasley has recovered from his own fitting to sufficiently heckle everyone else.

If they only knew the horror standing behind this door. A grin slowly materializes on my face. If you can’t beat them, join them. I fling open the door, stride over to the assembly of mirrors, and boldly step onto the foot-high alteration block, fighting the urge to yank the edges of this skirt … er … kilt down as I step up.

I survey my friends behind me in the mirror as I stand there under the hot fitting room lights like a member of a circus sideshow. Justin is practically on the floor laughing and gasping for breath. Ron is doubled over in his chair, his face an alarming shade of purple. Wayne’s back is to me, but I can see his shoulders shaking with silent laughter. At least he has the decency to avert his eyes.

“That’s not right,” says Oliver his eyes wide and incredulous. He leans over to Donzel’s friend, the fashion consultant, and whispers something as he motions to my legs.

Thank Merlin, Oliver knows what’s going on here, I think as a breeze roams past places where breezes shouldn’t be anywhere near, at least not in public.

“So how much more fabric needs to be ordered?” I ask Oliver and the fashion consultant, hoping that one of them says at least five feet.

“What for?” Ron raises his eyebrows innocently and barely suppresses a snort.

“For the length.”

“The length?” Oliver looks at me blankly, but I see his lips twitch. “The length is fine. I was talking about the fact you’re going to need taller socks.”

Wayne loses his self control and begins laughing loudly in the corner as Justin howls and collapses against the wall.
13th-Sep-2006 02:28 am (UTC)
“Very funny,” I say flatly. “You just wait, mate, you’re going to regret this.” I flick up the edge of my skirt … er … kilt in Oliver’s general direction and then laugh at the look on his face.

After one of the most uncomfortable fifteen minutes of my life beyond my first Muggle physical exam and the turn-and-cough test, my fitting is finally over. I could swear that the fashion consultant was trying to get a peek because he re-measured the length that needs to be added to the kilt three times. I just hope that he gets it right. I don’t fancy standing up in front of a roomful of people in a plaid miniskirt.

Justin is now perched on the block with Tara and the fashion consultant hovering around him. He’s taking all the fussing very well considering that the last pair of special groom socks are three inches too short and the fabric of his kilt apparently is irritating him something fierce by the way he keeps clandestinely itching (or so he thinks).

Oliver leans in and says to me quietly, “Do you know if Justin is allergic to Irish wool?”

I shoot Oliver a worried look. “He better not be.” I glance over at Justin who quickly rubs his bum as the fashion consultant leans down and deftly yanks up Justin’s sock in an attempt to stretch it out, almost causing Justin to lose his balance and fall off the block. Luckily Wayne is standing there and grabs him, pushing him upright. “But I don’t remember him being so touchy-feely with himself at the Gala,” I whisper back.

Oliver frowns. “But this is a different blend of wool and the technique that is used to fix the family color dyes is non-traditional.”

I’m not even going to ask what “non-traditional” means, knowing full well some of the “traditional techniques” used for dying fabrics from a mixed media art course I took years ago.

“Hey, watch it!” says Ron, suddenly rushing past.

I look up to find Justin holding onto Wayne and balancing precariously on one foot. His other leg in the air with the fashion consultant attached to the end, grunting and yanking with both hands on the edge of Justin’s sock. He’s mumbling about sock garters and elastics. All three of them are jerking back and fourth and looking like they’re going to fall down at any moment.

“He’s the bloody groom, not livestock that needs to be wrestled,” says Ron dislodging the fashion consultant from Justin’s leg. The sock sags down to Justin’s ankle. Stretched and looking very defeated, it’s nothing more than a woolen puddle flopped over his shiny shoe.

Justin looks down at the sock and then laughs. “If my socks falling down at the wedding is the worse thing that happens, then Susan will be elated.”

I think Justin’s got a point there. He’s so accident prone that socks will likely be the least of our worries. I think back to a conversation that Susan and I had during one of Justin’s many hospital visits and how I suggested we keep him locked up and safe in a full-body Bubble head. Maybe that’s something to seriously consider as we are responsible for getting him to the alter in one piece….

Justin shakes his foot, grins, and says, “But I like sock wrestling.” He winks before turning to Wayne. “Remember how you, Ernie, and I used to wrestle in the common room for hours?” He claps Wayne on the shoulder.

Tara looks between Justin, Ron, and Wayne quickly, her eyes widen and she looks alarmed. I don’t know what she’s on about. What’s so scandalous about a bunch of teenage boys romping around and blowing off some steam?

Wayne smiles and then shakes his head and says, “Ernie always won though.”

Ernie should be here, I think. He would’ve been so happy for Justin and Susan. I don’t want to drag myself and everyone else down that “what if” road again so I stand up and say, “Alright, let’s fit the last Puff so we can get out of here.” I grab the last kilt and stuff it into Wayne’s hands. “Happy times, mate.” I grin. “Watch the zip.”

Wayne glances over his shoulder and waves us off as he walks slowly back to the private fitting rooms.
13th-Sep-2006 02:29 am (UTC)
I don’t know what to say. Oliver had just looked at the floor when I’d thanked him for the kilts. We don’t have to be mushy and talk about the symbolism that his giving Susan and I the Wood family colours for our wedding means. It’s implied. We’re brothers. I look around at the blokes and realize that sometimes families aren’t born of the same people, they’re formed when you realize that every time you get a medal and every time you fall on your arse, those same people are right there to congratulate you or to pick you up. I don’t envy Wood the wet-with-tears shoulders he’ll have when Susan finds out about his gesture. A tartan piece of cloth will give more to Susan, who has lost her entire blood family than any gold, diamonds or wealth ever could.

Dean is positively beaming for some reason as he puts his arm around me. He smiles a lot more now than he ever did when we first became friends and I know that’s because of Padma.

We head toward the exit, all of us glad to be done with the fitting as Ron glances at his watch and asks if there is an ice cream shop where we’re going so he can get Hermione some mint chocolate chip ice cream. Oliver shushes him. Hm, maybe we’re going out for ice cream. Makes sense. Ron can’t drink and I’m always in for ice cream.

My friends all crowd in close to me and while I like them too, I think it’s time to remind them about personal space. I’m getting married, not dying! Just as I get a shiver at the sheer stupidity of that thought for obvious reasons, we step through the doors and I’m grabbed from behind, a burlap sack is placed over my head as I struggle and hear laughter.

I reach for my wand but can’t get at it. Bloody hell, the full moon was days ago! What the hell is going on! I hear Ron and all my friends laughing now as a new voice joins them and I calm down a bit.

"Hey guys, you have to remember, Justin’s a bit jumpy these days, ease off a bit eh?"

eh...Eric! It’s Eric Waddington, my friend from training and his classic Canadian ‘eh’ always gives him away.

"Oh, right, sorry Justin," comes Tav’s voice, joining in. "That was my idea. I pictured a Han Solo like capture, being led away to be imbedded in carbon , but instead we take you some place fun."

I control my breathing, vowing to pay Tav back somehow and buy Eric a drink for stopping him from chaining me to a huge fat slug who would make me dance for him in a harem girl costume or something like that. Whatever is wrong with Tav is no small thing!

Without warning Eric steadies me and I feel the sensation behind my navel of being pulled out of my skin. I hate Portkeying.

The burlap sack comes off and I’m about to inhale some of the nice cool air of the night only to find that I’m inhaling a warm, tight breeze.

A castle like building stands before us and we are dwarfed by huge sky scrapers the likes of which I’ve only seen in pictures. Except this one is no ordinary castle. The turrets are painted bright blues and reds and it looks like a picture of Disneyland that I’ve seen on televison. A huge rumbling sound erupts around us and I instinctively duck, only to find that it’s a roller coaster when I turn to the source of the noise. Geographically disoriented as I turn around to see the Statue of Liberty before realizing that it’s a miniature, I look up to see the biggest roller coaster I’ve ever seen in my life. This is going to be a blast! I know this place from pictures. Viva Las Vegas!
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